Archive for June, 2010

Public Service Announcement: American Cancer Society Relay For Life Meeting

by Margarita Mercure Hibbs

Please come to the meeting scheduled on Sunday, this weekend at 3pm is in the Town Council Conference Room.  We will have an update on current teams, fundraisers and general information and logistics to share.  Please come with your questions and ideas.

A light meal will be provided and the meeting is usually less than 2 hours.

I wanted to remind you that this year’s American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life – Estancia Valley is going to be August 6th and 7th of this summer and will be held in Arthur Park, Estancia, New Mexico.  As you know, Margarita’s Gallery has been a proud sponsor for 3 years and this will be our 4th year.  I hope that you all will please consider this incredible cause in your schedule of activities and definitely donate to this worthy cause.  Contact me at 505-384-3131 or 505-705-9526 or Brenda Smythe at 505-705-5445.  Brenda is my Co-Chair and will be next year’s Event Chair, God willing.

Remember that we can now register online as participants, team or sponsors at:

I Have Had Enough, This Is War!

by Margarita Mercure Hibbs

This week crossed a line inside of me that I will no longer accept. Too many friends and family of mine have been touched by Cancer and I have had enough. To say that I am a conundrum of emotion is too mild. I am angry, frustrated, grief stricken and sick of Cancer marking the lives of people I love, and frankly, even people I don’t know. I am not a star or celebrity. I am only a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and artist, but I have a voice and a heart for this cause and I am hoping that friends and strangers will help in any way that they can.

This week there was a straw that got thrown on this back of mine. This pile of straw has been pressing upon me since my mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer. In reality, the first straw hit me when I was very little and we were visiting my Aunt Marie and Uncle Archie and my only slightly older cousin was dying from Cancer. He was only five. He left behind his twin, my cousin Charles or Chuckie as we called him, a sister Yvette and a younger brother Arthur. The grief was always palpable and solid, raw and painful. Even at that age, I sensed the insanity and frustration of a disease that knows no boundaries, knows no decency. This disease does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, religious affiliation, financial status or sex. »» I Have Had Enough, This Is War!

Corona Fire 92% Contained

by John Weckerle

The Corona Fire, which has been burning about 2 miles north of Corona on Cougar Mesa, was 92% contained this morning, according to Arlene Perea of the Mountainair Ranger District.

The fire burned a total of 113 acres.  Fuels within the interior of the fire are expected to continue to burn out for some time, unless soaking rains douse the remaining embers.  Four Type II crews (20 firefighters each) were supported by four engines and one helicopter, with as many as 126 total personnel fighting the fire on Thursday.  According to Ms. Perea, the Albuquerque Zone Type III Team, managed by Ryan Romero, transferred fire operations to the Mountainair Ranger District this morning.  A five-person crew, with one engine and a chase truck, will continue to monitor the area through the weekend and possibly into Monday.

Au Revoir, Helen Thomas

by John Weckerle

By now, most of the furor over Helen Thomas’s recent comments on the State of Israel has died down.  We’ve reviewed the video and also the transcript of the conversation – which, as is often the case, contains more than the video.  The transcript is as follows:

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Any advice for these young people over here for starting out in the press corps?

HELEN THOMAS: Go for it. You’ll never be unhappy. You’ll always keep people informed. And you’ll always keep learning. The greatest thing of the profession is never stop learning.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Today they’re covering the Jewish Heritage Month. Any—

HELEN THOMAS: Are they going to meet the President?

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Yeah, and any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today. Any comments on Israel?

HELEN THOMAS: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Ooh, any better comments than that?

UNIDENTIFIED: Helen is blunt.

HELEN THOMAS: Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land. It’s not Germany, and it’s not Poland.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: So where should they go? What should they do?

HELEN THOMAS: They could go home.

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Where is their home?

HELEN THOMAS: Poland, Germany—

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: So the Jews—you’re saying Jews should go back to Poland and Germany?

HELEN THOMAS: —and America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?

RABBI DAVID NESENOFF: Now, are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place?

HELEN THOMAS: Very much. I’m of Arab background.


Leaving aside for now the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of Ms. Thomas’s comments, there are one or two ancillary issues we wish to examine.

»» Au Revoir, Helen Thomas

Cibola National Forest Enacts Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

USDA Forest Service Press Release

Albuquerque, June 17, 2010 – The Cibola National Forest, including the Mt. Taylor, Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts will implement Stage 1 fire restrictions starting Friday, June 18 at 8:00am. Cibola National Forest Supervisor Nancy Rose explained, “With the recent increase in temperatures, higher winds, continued dry conditions that are drying vegetation, the potential for Wildland fires has increased and we feel it is necessary to take these precautions.”

As always, fireworks are prohibited on all national forest system lands.

Beginning 8:00 am, Friday, June 18, 2010, the following restrictions apply to the Mt. Taylor, Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts.

Open Campfire Restrictions:

  • Campfires, charcoal grills and stove fires are prohibited on national forest lands except in Forest Service developed camp and picnic grounds where grills are provided.


  • Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters meeting safety specifications are allowed. Please contact the Cibola National Forest for more details regarding where fires are allowed.
  • Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building; a developed recreation site; or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter and free of all flammable material.

Please call for more information, Mark Chavez, Cibola National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 505-346-3900, or one of the following district offices:

  • Mt. Taylor Ranger District, 505- 287-8833
  • Sandia Ranger District, 505-281-3304
  • Mountainair Ranger District, 505-847-2990

Additional fire information for the Southwest Area is available at

Goin’ To The Zoo

by John Weckerle

As we mentioned yesterday, your editor has been away on vacation of late.  The vacation provided an opportunity to visit the Bronx Zoo in New York.  This 265-acre park provides natural settings and large habitats for many of its residents.

This morning, we provide you with just a few photos of the zoo’s denizens.

NMED, NMDOH Issue Smoke Advisory

NMED/NMDOH Press Release

(Santa Fe, NM) — The New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Department of Health today issued a smoke advisory for the areas of New Mexico affected by smoke from the numerous wildfires currently burning across the state.

The Department of Health recommends that sensitive groups, such as the elderly, small children, or any individual with respiratory or heart problems, leave the area where the smoke levels are within the unhealthy range (see table below) until the smoke dissipates or stay inside as much as possible. Citizens are also urged not to use swamp coolers as they will pull the smoke inside.

Air quality conditions associated with smoke are especially important for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease. If symptoms associated with these preexisting conditions do not respond to your usual recommended medications, see a health care provider immediately. NMED and DOH do feel that sensitive groups should practice caution until the smoke dissipates. Real-time air monitoring data is available for some areas of the state at NMED’s website at

In areas without real-time particulate monitors, visibility can serve as a good surrogate in determining air quality. The following chart includes guidelines for extrapolating air quality from observed visibility.

Categories Visibility in Miles
Good 10 miles and up
Moderate 6 to 9
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 3 to 5
Unhealthy 1½ to 2½
Very Unhealthy 1 to 1¼
Hazardous ¾ mile or less

Procedure for Making Personal Observation to Determine Smoke Concentrations

  • Face away from the sun
  • Determine the limit of your visibility range by looking for targets at known distances (miles). Visible range is that point at which even the high contrast objects totally disappear
  • After determining visibility in miles, use the chart to determine health effect and appropriate cautionary statement.

For further information on the impacts of smoke to health, go to NMED’s Web page:, or contact Marissa Bardino, NMED Communications Director, at (505) 827-0314 or Deborah Busemeyer, DOH Communications Director at (505) 827-2619.

Public Service Announcement: Father’s Day Car Show

by John Weckerle

Those looking for something to do this weekend might consider the 7th Annual Father’s Day Car Show at Valley View Christian Church just north of NM 344 and Dinkle Road in Edgewood, which will be held from 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, June 20.  For more information, see the Valley View Car Show page or the announcement.

Baying For Blood

by John Weckerle

Returning from vacation, we were gratified to see that the Mountain View Telegraph shares our sentiments on political advertisements.  In an editorial titled “Save The Venom For After Summer,” the link to which has inexplicably and disappointingly disappeared from the Telegraph’s web site, editor Rory McClannahan bemoans the tone – and the early appearance – of vitriolic campaign ads associated with this Fall’s general elections.  We couldn’t agree more – we made some comments on the primary election ads ourselves – but we are not stopping with Ms. Denish and Ms. Martinez.

There are a growing number of people – your editor included – who are simply sick to death of the tone that the local, state, and national debates on critical issues have taken.  The falsehoods, name calling, inflammatory language, hyperbole, and invective have reached a near-historic pitch, and I for one am tired of hearing it.  Commentators are “Marxist-Socialist” for simply suggesting that the “Tea Party movement” might become a third major political party (Bob Steiner, letter to The Independent, 5/26/10).  Tea Party Express chairman Mark Williams decries Muslims as worshipers of a “monkey god” and “animals of Allah,” and refers to President Barak Obama as “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief.” bloviator Andrew Breitbart propagates a lie about Robert Byrd getting an earmark for a nonexistent company – a lie enthusiastically picked up and passed along by bloggers across the country (see our stories here and here).  Demonstrations are held in which signs are proudly carried comparing Mr. Obama to Adolph Hitler and decrying anyone holding a different opinion as either Socialist, Marxist, or Nazi (none of which terms seem to be particularly well understood by those using them). A demonstrator at a Washington rally became so incensed over the pending passage of a health care bill that his saliva ended up on a Congressman’s face.  (Note: After watching the video a couple of dozen times, we really don’t think he deliberately spit at the Congressman.  However, the obvious alternative explanation – that he was foaming at the mouth over the issue – is only slightly less ugly, and perhaps just as absurd.)

And lest the folks on the other side of the debate get too complacent, here: we have not forgotten’s contemptible “General Betray-Us” ad in the New York Times, or comparisons of Mr. Obama’s predecessor with the aforementioned ruler of the Third Reich.

To those flinging around the invective: We see little to be proud of in this behavior.  Perhaps we should remember that the people we are attacking are our fellow Americans, our fellow citizens.  Few, if any, on either side of the “fence” (whichever side that may be) are seeking to destroy America, or our “American values,” or our “American way of life.”  They simply hold different opinions and have different ideas on how the country should be run and what direction we should take with respect to certain issues.  A more polite and considerate discussion may not bring agreement on all issues, but it might bring at least compromise on some.  We are calling on all parties to stop the shouting, and engage in more constructive dialogue.

Wherever You Go, There You Are

by John Weckerle

Over the past few days, several commentators have made some political hay over the fact that President Obama chose to observe Memorial Day at the Lincoln National Veterans Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.  At first, this seemed an odd choice, but a little research brought forth an interesting revelation: Mr. Obama is far from being unique in this regard.

According to an article at, former President Ronald Reagan was absent from Arlington on Memorial Day four times during his two terms, and two of those absences were for vacation/retreat purposes.  Former President George W. Bush was absent once, celebrating Memorial Day at Normandy, France.  Former President George H.W. Bush, the only combat veteran to hold the Presidency since 1980, never participated in Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington; he was in Rome observing Memorial Day his first year in office, and spent the remaining three Memorial Days vacationing in Kennebunkport, Maine.  The only President since 1980 to commemorate Memorial Day at Arlington every year while in office was former President Bill Clinton.

The National Veterans Cemetery at which Mr. Obama attempted to observe Memorial Day (the event was more or less rained out) is named for Abraham Lincoln, the President during whose term the National Veterans Cemeteries were established.  For more information on the National Veterans Cemeteries, visit the National Cemeteries Association web site.