Archive for March, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Mountainair Blood Drive

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that there will be a blood drive at the Dr. Saul Community Center on Tuesday, April 5 from 12 to 5 p.m.  For more information, including contacts, see the Mountainair Announcments article.

Grow Your Own – Time To Start Digging!

by John Weckerle

Well, it’s past time to start digging, at least for some of us, and digging we have done – largely sponge pits for new and existing trees and shrubs, but we’ve also taken some time to start prepping the beds for this year’s crop.  With luck and time, we’ll be adding new beds this year, and maybe even experimenting with some new varieties and soil mixtures.

As we approach the season, we thought we’d share a few resources that might be useful to our readers in getting (and keeping) the ball rolling:

  • Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico – Circular 457 by George Dickerson, Extension Horticulture Specialist, NMSU College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. This publication has good information on general New Mexico vegetable gardening topics as well as hints on planting, growing, watering, and harvesting.
  • Growing Zones, Recommended Crop Varieties, and Planting and Harvesting Information for Home Vegetable Gardens in New Mexico – Circular 457-B.  This has some good, detailed information on varieties and planting times for the three areas recognized by the Cooperative Extension Service.  New Mexico Central headquarters, located in the dreaded Area 3, is faced with challenges associated with short growing seasons, and no doubt so are some of our readers.  Others may be located in the slightly more forgiving Area 2.
  • The Mother Earth News Vegetable Garden Planner – Walking past a magazine rack, we noticed a copy of Mother Earth News with the title “40 Tips To Maximize Garden Harvests” in big letters on the cover, as well as the moniker “Giant Gardening Issue!”  Well, there was no way we were just walking past that.  There’s some good information in there, including an announcement associated with their online garden planner.  It’s free for 30 days, and $25  for a year or $40 for two years after the first 30 days.  We haven’t done much with it yet, but it looks as if some of our readers may find it useful; it has tools for layout, plant spacing, and much more.

Happy tilling!

Correction: East Mountain Fire Information meeting

We received word this morning that the original Bernco press release had an incorrect date. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 24 and not Friday, March 25 as previously reported.

Public Service Announcement: Bernalillo County Noise Ordinance Amendments Meeting

WHO:       Commissioner Wayne Johnson and the Bernalillo County Environmental Health Office to host a public meeting in district five to discuss the proposed noise ordinance amendments with the community. Commissioner Wiener will be in attendance to introduce the proposed amendments.

WHEN:     Monday, March 21st from 6:30p.m. to 9:00p.m.
WHERE:  Los Vecinos Community Center
                      478 ½ Old Highway 66
                      Tijeras, NM 87059

For more information, contact:

Breanna Anderson
O. 505.468.7344
C. 505.414.0485

Public Service Announcment: First 2011 Season East Mountain Fire Awareness Meeting

by Larry Gallegos, Public Information Specialist-Bernalillo County Public Information Department   

Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson is calling on all East Mountain residents to attend the first East Mountain fire awareness meeting of the 2011 fire season.

The meeting will be held on Friday, March 25, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Los Vecinos Community Center, 478 1/2 Old Hwy. 66, in Tijeras.

“I encourage all East Mountain residents to come and see how Bernalillo County and other area agencies are preparing for this fire season and to learn how citizens can prepare themselves in case of a fire,” said Commissioner Johnson.

Representatives from the Bernalillo County Fire Department and Fire Marshal’s Office, the Office of Emergency Management, Animal Care Services, U.S. Forest Service and others will be on hand. Topics will include:  preparing for a fire, developing evacuation plans for residents and their animals, weather patterns and fire behavior expected this year. There will be a question and answer period after the presentations from all the panelists.

Coyote Killer Strikes

by John Weckerle

In the March 9 edition of The Independent, local resident Peter Dolny laments the passage of a coyote pack native to the Edgewood, New Mexico area.  New Mexico Central is seeking information on this incident, including the identity of the individual allegedly responsible for the extermination, time at (or over) which it occurs, and the means of how it was perpetrated.  We ask that our readers send us any information they may have on this issue.

Deceased Bovine Recognition?

by John Weckerle

We received an e-mail today from one of our readers asking what had happened to Edgewood’s Community On The Way (COW) Awards, typically (and, as it turns out, formerly) held in February each year.  The COW Awards were jointly sponsored by the Town of Edgewood and the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce.  Curious as to what happened to the annual celebration of community involvement, we contacted the Edgewood municipal offices and talked with Town Clerk Estefanie Muller.  According to Ms. Muller, the COW and other nonessential functions were not funded by the Town this year due to financial restraints resulting from State budget cuts and reduced tax revenue.  Edgewood, one of the few New Mexico municipalities that imposes no property or other taxes directly on its citizens, has seen reduced gross receipts tax revenues in some months and fears that proposed elimination of the “hold harmless” funds (which compensate local governments for the loss of gross receipts revenues tax on food sales) may pass the Legislature this year, further decreasing funds.  We took a quick look at the Town budget presented to the Council on February 16, noting that Clean and Beautiful was funded, but most other “discretionary” programs had bitten the dust. 

We also peered behind the cobwebs on the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce web site, which seems not to have been updated for some time.  The COW awards are no longer listed under the Events, and the only reference to the celebration is an obscure one listing it as an opportunity for serving on a committee/task force.  The Chamber, beset in recent times with troubles both financial and “other,” appears to have abandoned the event as well. 

With the event’s two sponsors broke, defunct, absent, or whatever may be the case, and with no other organization with the combination of ability and interest necessary to keep the tradition alive, it appears as if the last plaque has been bestowed and the last cow joke told.  We will leave it to our readers to decide what this says to them about Edgewood in terms of its government and its community spirit, but we can say this: Edgewood’s not what it used to be, even just a year or two ago – and may never be again.

PSA: Sprouting Class To Be Held In Edgewood

A sprouting class will be held Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m. at a new business in Edgewood.  Pathways to Wellness is located at #06 Shetland Road, Edgewood.  The class will cover a wide variety of sprouting as well as how to grow wheatgrass and sunflower greens, natural fermentation for probiotics and much more.  Cost is $5.00 and includes detailed handouts and material for a homemade sprouter.  Seating is limited, so please RSVP.  For more information or to reserve a space, call Lisa Ross at (505) 990-1770 or e-mail

How Politics Works – In New Mexico

by John Weckerle

We recently read the following articles from Clearly New Mexico:

The articles, which appear very thoroughly researched and provide links to references, discusses the establishment, configuration, and interim recommendations of Governor Susana Martinez’s “Small Business-Friendly Task Force.”  We encourage our readers to follow the links and read through the articles.

After being stonewalled by the Governor’s office in response to informal requests, the folks at Clearly New Mexico submitted an Inspection of Public Records request to obtain information on the task force’s makeup and activities.  The article makes several points: that the task force was established and has operated outside the view of the public eye; that small business is underrepresented and big business is overrepresented on the task force; that the task force is packed with lobbyists representing major sources of funding for Ms. Martinez’s campaign; and that rather than focusing on problems and potential solutions, the task force is focused primarily on supporting Ms. Martinez’s large business-friendly regulatory agenda.  We’ll acknowledge that some of the people on the task force appear to be small business owners, but it does appear that the task force is dominated by large business interests and Martinez Cabinet appointees.

There are a few things we find disturbing about the situation.  First, the primary focus does appear to be supporting the Governor’s regulatory agenda.  As quoted in the second article, the preamble to the task force’s Interim Report states:

 “The task force does not wish to present a laundry list of problems to the Governor but develop solutions (sic). The goal is to provide the Governor and/or agencies cover when repealing or revising a rule or regulation thus avoiding litigation if possible.

The final report to the Governor will include a road map of short and long-term tactics and strategies, including the use of executive orders and legislative strategies. Each troublesome regulation identified will be accompanied by a recommendation on the best way to remove their negative impacts (sic).”

So much for identifying problems and finding solutions.  It would appear that the entire purpose is to advance – without any attention to fact or analysis – the interests of big business, most notably (but not exclusively) those of the “conventional” energy and construction/development industries.  Among the top industries listed as contributing to the Martinez campaign are Oil & Gas ($1,008,201) and several construction/development industries totaling over $1,000,000, making these two broad sectors responsible for much more than a quarter of the Martinez campaign’s revenues.  According to the Interim Report from the committee, the construction subcommittee is looking to repeal , modify, or replace collective bargaining provisions in the 2009 amendments to the Public Works Minimum Wage Act.  New Mexico is turning into Wisconsin. Lawyers and lobbyists, very prevalently visible on the committee according to the Clearly New Mexico article, were the sixth highest contributing industry at $242,144.  We’ll point out that Koch Industries, which has gotten some media attention of late, provided $10,000 to the Martinez campaign. 

The Clearly New Mexico articles do a great job in looking through the committee.  We decided to take a closer look at some of the personnel, looking at various web sources, especially  Here’s a little of what we found:

»» How Politics Works – In New Mexico