Archive for July, 2011

Press Release: Hot Club of Cowtown Performs Live & 10 other Bands at Wildlife West, July 29-31 in Edgewood

Wildlife West sponsors its 9th Annual Music Festival on Friday, July 29 through Sunday 31, 2011 with an impressive line-up of nationally acclaimed performers, including The Hot Club of Cowtown, Finders & Youngberg, Chuck Pyle and Grayson. This phenomenal 9th Annual Music Festival features 11 bands performing on two stages, musicians workshops, jam sessions, musical instrument contests, wildlife viewing, and free hay rides, camping and parking.

George Bullfrog and the Turquoise Trailers will kick off the weekend of fun with an old-fashioned country barn dance on Friday at 7 p.m. in a historic pinto bean barn. Bring your dancing boots and dance to this outstanding western swing band.

On Saturday different bands perform on 2 stages, each hour starting at 11 a.m. and into the evening until 9:30 p.m.  Hot Club of Cowtown brings the unique style of hot jazz to Western swing in a powerful and breathtaking live show on Saturday at 4:30 and 8:30 p.m., and they present an interactive workshop at 6 p.m.

Other renowned musicians provide constant entertainment and interactive workshops on Saturday, including  Finders and Youngberg, who explores the love for old-time, honky-tonk, folk and bluegrass while making their own unique music.  Colorado’s favorite storyteller and Zen Cowboy, Chuck Pyle, is a sly humorist and an innovative finger-style guitarist.  Singer-songwriter Michael Edser is Grayson.  He has toured extensively through Europe and the United States and is now capturing 66 performances in documentary format over the course of 66 days along Route 66.  Wildlife West is located just off of Route 66 in Edgewood!

Gospel performers, Coyote Crossing, take the stage on Sunday at 11 a.m.  Folk and bluegrass performances continue until 4 p.m. Fiddle and guitar contests start next, providing opportunity for visitors to participate and show their talent.  Winners will be awarded a musical instrument courtesy of Robertson & Sons Violin and Guitar Vista in Albuquerque.  See for contest rules.  Following the contests there will be an open stage for youth group performers.

Throughout the weekend, visitors can stroll around the wildlife park and experience, close-up wildlife in their natural habitat, including endangered Mexican wolves, cougars, black bear, javelina, hawks, crested caracaras and more.

Get away from the heat in Albuquerque for a cool weekend of music ? temperatures are usually 10 degrees cooler!  It’s fun for the entire family ? children under 12 are free.  All events take place in the Edgewood Performing Arts Center at Wildlife West.

Don’t miss this incredible line-up of musicians in a beautiful high desert setting.  Just 25 minutes east of Albuquerque, off Interstate-40 in Edgewood.  The festival is made possible in part by the New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.  For a complete schedule of performances and more information go to or contact Wildlife West at 505-281-7655 or toll free 877-981-9453.


What:  Wildlife West Music Festival
Friday, July 29 – Sunday 31, 2011
Friday, 7 p.m. Country Barn Dance with George Bullfrog & the Turquoise Trailers
Saturday, performances hourly on 2 stages, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, performances hourly, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: Wildlife West Nature Park, 87 North Frontage Road, Edgewood, 20 miles east of Albuquerque off I-40, take exit 187 and follow the signs.
Cost: Barn dance $10, Saturday $25, Sunday $15, Sat. & Sun. $35. Children under 12 admitted free. Purchase tickets at the door.
Contact: 505-281-7655 or 877-0981-9453, or visit

Mortgage Payement Assistance Available To 352 New Mexico Homeowners

by John Weckerle

The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority has announced a new Federal program under which a total of 352 homeowners will receive up to $50,000 to help pay a portion of their mortgage for up to two years.  The Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP) is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and provides assistance to people who are behind on their mortgage payments due to job loss or medical expenses.  Applicants must meet a variety of conditions to qualify.  For more information and application information, see the NMMFA announcement.

Grow Your Own – It’s A Jungle Out There

by John Weckerle

Senior Agricultural Security Correspondent Wilson demonstrates proper pest prevention positioning and his signature "Baleful Bunny Stare." This has not saved the chard, but everything else appears untouched.

Well, it’s almost a jungle, and it’s looking like it may get there soon.  Thus far, Beds 4 and 5 have produced a few very tasty nibbles: a snow pea here, a green bean there, and the radishes – ah, the radishes.  They’re delicious, and they are (or will be) many.  The first of the yellow summer squash will be ready today or tomorrow, and we’re already ready for them.

Bed 4, our “veggie decor” bed, appears to be a success.  The cabbages, which are just beginning to form heads, are a couple of feet across and flourishing.  Four of the six cauliflower plants have begun forming heads, as well, and we suspect that the other two are just a couple of days behind.  It is from Bed 4 that we’ve been sampling the snow peas and green beans, and we can take kale, thyme, basil, and oregano any time we like – although kale is best held until cool weather.  The bell peppers and eggplant remain an uncertainty; these may be affected by the shade from the surprisingly-resurrected trumpet vine, which has yet to produce any flower buds but which has grown from the ground to a height of six feet in about a month.

»» Grow Your Own – It’s A Jungle Out There

Relay For Life Benefit Dinner

by John Weckerle

We’ve received word from Brenda Smythe, the Relay For Life – Estancia Valley Event Chair, that a benefit dinner will be held at the Tomato Café in Albuquerque tonight.  For more information, see the event flyer.

Celebrate Without Fireworks

Editor’s note:  The Town of Edgewood, Santa Fe County, and the City of Santa Fe have all either enacted or extended bans on fireworks.  Many public areas have been closed due to extreme fire.  Folks, we are living through what is probably the worst drought in living memory.  Let’s celebrate our patriotism by not endangering the lives and property of our fellow Americans, and save those fireworks to celebrate some really good rain when it comes.  A tip of the hat to Chuck Ring at for posting information on several of the bans (here and here).

by Martin Heinrich

Dear Friend,

This 4th of July, as we gather with friends and family in celebration of our nation, please make safety a priority. Specifically, I’d like to caution you against using fireworks of any kind this year.

With wildfires burning throughout our state, it is more important than ever for each of us to do our part in protecting our treasured natural resources and communities from more unintended fires. I commend the hundreds of brave men and women who are on the ground fighting the New Mexico wildfires. Please join me in spreading the word on how to stay safe this weekend, and throughout the fire season.

Here are a few wildfire safety tips:

  • Do not use fireworks of any kind.
  • Use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
  • Understand that any fire you create could become a wildfire.
  • Never, ever leave any fire unattended.
  • Properly extinguish and discard smoking materials.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
  • Speak up and step in when you see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.

Common ways you could unintentionally start a wildfire:

  • Unattended debris burning
  • Equipment fires such as from lawnmowers, ATVs, power equipment
  • Smoking
  • Unattended campfires
  • Children playing with matches or lighters
  • Fireworks

I wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and fun holiday. It is an honor to represent you in Congress. My staff and I are here to serve you, and I urge you to contact me anytime.

Be well and keep in touch —
Member of Congress

More Of The Same

by John Weckerle

With a busy week behind us and this morning’s garden endeavors complete, and having been watching for a while, we decided to take a closer look in on the Sandia Tea Party site ( and see what the newest local chapter was up to.  We found ourselves neither greatly surprised nor disappointed:  both in format and in content, we found exactly what we expected.

From the standpoint of format, the Sandia Tea Party site is a mess, suggesting that something has gone terribly wrong with the group’s WordPress software.  This is just a little surprising, since a look through the articles on the site suggests that it is being managed by Edgewood Town Councilor Chuck Ring, who has been blogging for at least a couple of years.  The effective formatting characteristic of WordPress is entirely lacking, and the site is all plain text.  An anomalous swath of dark background nearly obscures one section of content.

As bad as the formatting is, the content does little to compensate.  We examined two articles – one on the famed “Pigford” cases, and one on global warming – and that was enough.  Let’s have a quick look at the two.


»» More Of The Same

Torrance County Extends Fireworks Ban

by John Weckerle

At its most recent meeting, the Torrance County Commission enacted a thirty day extension of the of ban on fireworks and open burning originally passed on May 24.  Open burning, ceremonial burning, recreational burning, and the use of fireworks (other than those that are part of a public display approved by local fire departments) are subject to restrictions.  For more information, see the resolution, the associated ordinance, and the State fire restrictions for eastern, southwest, and south central New Mexico.  Readers who observe people using fireworks and decide not to shoot the miscreants* (505) 384-2705 or (505) 384-2706.

*Editor’s note: We’re kidding; please don’t shoot anybody.