Archive for March, 2012

USFA Releases “Your Role in Fire-Adapted Communities”

New guide addresses actions to improve individual and community wildland fire safety

Received from Arlene Perea, USDA Forest Service Mountainair District

Emmitsburg, MD. – The U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, announces the release of Your Role in Fire-Adapted Communities (PDF, 772 Kb). This new guide promotes a holistic approach to wildland fire risk reduction in the wildland urban interface and addresses actions to improve individual and community safety.

For communities to become more resistant to wildland fire threats, a strong collaboration must exist between federal, state, and local agencies and the public. Aligning with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “whole community” principles, this guide encourages a community environment where individuals have access to critical information and the knowledge necessary to reduce the loss of life and property. Visit the FEMA website for information on the “whole community” approach to emergency management.

“It is important that fire departments partner with other local emergency response departments, state fire and forestry agencies, and any regional federal organizations before a fire begins,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell.

The concept behind fire-adapted communities is that with proper community-wide preparation, populations and infrastructure can withstand the devastating effects of wildland fire, thereby reducing the loss of life and property. In addition to understanding wildland fire defensible space and preparedness, the guide further explains how a community can coexist with the threat of wildland fire and ultimately reduce the need for costly fire suppression responses. As the science of fire-adapted communities continues to evolve, agencies and the public can take steps now to understand better the role they play and actions they can take to coexist safely with wildland fire threats.

Your Role in Fire-Adapted Communities can be downloaded under the Publications section of the USFA website at:


Relay For Life Sponsorship Opportunities Available

by John Weckerle

We’ve received the sponsorship packet from the Estancia Valley Relay for Life Event Chair, Brenda Smythe, who is in her second and final year as chair.  Brenda has informed us that her co-Chair for this year, Cassandra Garcia, will assume the Event Chair responsibilities for next year.

Last year, the event raised over $13,000, which was down from previous years.  This year, the Relay for Life hopes to double that total.

For more information, see the sponsorship flier, or contact Brenda at (505) 705-5445 or Cassandra at 505-974-9627.


Drill, Baby… Why?

by John Weckerle

With all the talk of pipelines and politics in the news, we found it interesting to read about a recent Associated Press (AP) article that examined 36 years of domestic oil production and gas prices.  The AP article reports the conclusions of a statistical analysis that found no correlation between production and prices.  According to the article, domestic oil prices are controlled by the global market and, given that U.S. exports account for a small amount of the global total, increasing our production would have little effect on pricing at the pump:

Unlike natural gas or electricity, the United States alone does not have the power to change the supply-and-demand equation in the world oil market, said Christopher Knittel, a professor of energy economics at MIT. American oil production is about 11 percent of the world’s output, so even if the U.S. were to increase its oil production by 50 percent — that is more than drilling in the Arctic, increased public-lands and offshore drilling, and the Canadian pipeline would provide — it would at most cut gas prices by 10 percent.

“There are not many markets where the United States can’t impose its will on market outcomes,” Knittel said. “This is one we can’t, and it’s hard for the average American to understand that and it’s easy for politicians to feed off that.”

Links to articles on the study:

For those who like data – the data behind the study:


Bernalillo County Asks Residents ‘What Projects are Needed?’ – New Feature Available for Online Project Requests

by Catherine Lopez, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – Bernalillo County is seeking input from the community about future capital improvement projects through a series of public meetings and a new online feature.

 “Beginning Monday, March 26, the county will offer its newest feature in this important information gathering process,” says County Manager Tom Zdunek.  “Residents will be able to follow-up on their project request.  Every project request submitted will receive a confirmation number.  If a resident provides an email address, a confirmation number and email will be sent back to them.”

The confirmation number allows residents to access information about how their project was evaluated, as well as where it ranks among projects of its same type.

Residents have until May 17 to submit a project request.

The online request form is available at   Residents who do not wish to submit requests electronically can still fill out hardcopy forms. The county will have forms available at its Capital Improvement Plan public meetings, starting Monday night, March 26.

The public meetings will allow the county to gather project ideas from citizens and neighborhood groups.  The county’s Capital Improvement Plan provides a link between the needs and visions of the public and the county’s capital expenditure budgets.

“Every two years, residents have the chance to make a direct impact on the county’s future,” says Commission Chair Art De La Cruz.  “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity by attending a public meeting and sharing the vision they have for the community with us.”

After hearing from the community, the county will evaluate and prioritize potential projects. During the general election in November, the public will vote on whether to approve the general obligation bonds that fund the projects.

A “capital improvement” is defined as a substantial, physical asset with a useful life of 10 years or greater.  Capital improvement projects from past bond cycles include the Deputy James McGrane Public Safety Complex in the East Mountains, the Bachechi Open Space in the North Valley and the Eubank Boulevard road construction project in the northeast heights.

The community is invited to attend any of the scheduled meetings:

Monday, March 26 | District 1
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Don Newton Community Center
490 Kachina Street NW

Thursday, March 29 | District 5
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Los Vecinos Community Center
478 1/2 Old Hwy 66, Tijeras NM

Monday, April 2 | District 1
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center
9800 4th Street NW

Tuesday, April 17 | District 3
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Hiland Theater, Studio A or B
4800 Central Avenue SE

A tour of the historic Hiland Theater will be conducted at 5:15 p.m. for interested parties

Thursday, April 19 | District 4
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Lt. William Sibrava Memorial Substation
10401 Holly Ave NE

Monday, April 23 | District 2
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Westside Community Center
1250 Isleta Blvd SW

For more information about the capital improvement process, please visit

Relay for Life Kickoff and Planning Meeting

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the Relay for Life of Estancia Valley will be holding a Kick-Off Celebration at the Estancia Community Center on March 31, 2012 from 10 a.m to noon.  For more information see the Mountainair Announcements article or call Brenda (704-5445), Cassandra (974-9627) or Erica (705-5123).

Bernalillo County Encourages Youth Groups to Apply for Spring Cleanup Grants

by Andy Lenderman, Bernalillo County Public Information Department

Bernalillo County – School clubs, sports teams and other youth groups can earn $200 while helping to clean up their neighborhoods and other littered areas around Bernalillo County.

Nonprofit youth groups are encouraged to apply for $200 grants as part of Bernalillo County’s participation in the New Mexico Clean and Beautiful program.

The deadline to apply is March 30.

 “Spring is here and this is a good opportunity for youth groups to participate in hands-on community service while earning money for their team or school club,” Commissioner Wayne Johnson says.

Supplies such as trash bags and T-shirts will be provided by the county.

Visit or click here to access the application. Applicants can also contact the county’s Parks and Recreation Department at 505.314.0416 or for more information.


Edgewood Gets New Mayor, Councilor; Little Change Elsewhere (As Far As We Know)

by John Weckerle

We have obtained yesterday’s election results for the Town of Edgewood.  Former Town Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Brad Hill claimed victory in the race for Mayor, with a vote count exceeding the combined count for his two rivals, Susan Simons and currrent Mayor Bob Stearley.  Town Councilor John Abrams has been re-elected, and Sherry Abraham joins the Council as a new member.  Judge William “Bill” White has been reelected as Municipal Judge.  Detailed results obtained from Town Administrator Karen Mahalick are as follows:

Mayoral Race

  • Susan Simons – 54
  • Bob Stearley – 172
  • Brad Hill – 333

Town Council (2 seats in contest)

  • Johnny Walker – 131
  • John Abrams – 356
  • Phil Anaya – 104
  • Sherry Abraham – 346
Municipal Judge
  • William White – 456

In Moriarty, all the incumbents will be returning to their seats, and according to the Torrance County Clerk’s office, the races in Estancia were uncontested.  Everybody who ran in Mountainair won.  Unfortunately, nobody was in the Village office in Tijeras when we called.  Congratulations to the elected officials, new and returning.


Weather, Weather, Everywhere…

by John Weckerle

Winter remains with us, and so does the cold.  The denizens of New Mexico Central sallied forth yesterday and picked up another dozen bags of pellets.  It’s a good thing we did, as the ice on the fountain suggests.