Barn Dance and Fall Festival raised funds

Church Street Market’s Barn Dance and Fall Festival was filled with activities and fun for the community on Saturday night, Sept 29. A large crowd participated and enjoyed the variety of music from the local band J.J. Raschel and Mystic Roots, along with a wonderful performance from the McTeggart Irish Dance Group in their beautiful costumes. They even got the audience to participate and learn a few steps from Irish dancing.

A special unveiling of a new sculpture took place during the evening.

Richard Miller, a local metal artist that has his gallery inside Church Street Market presented “Motoman,” his newest sculpture of recycled metal. He stands 10 feet tall and has rocket-like packs on his back, and Motoman will soon light up in the night. Richard also has three other metal sculptures in the soon-to-be walking path area in front of Church Street Market.

One of the highlights of the evening was the “live auction” conducted by one of our own East Mountain residents, Bobby Rosales. He is an experienced auctioneer and volunteered his expertise and stepped in to conduct the auction. With his help and the businesses that donated, Pictures by Day, Cumulus Radio, The Import Guy, Sundance Aviation Inc., Sierra Blanca Brewing Co., Church Street Market, Rustic Nut, Artist Vicki Hudson and Pulse on the Ridge, the auction raised $625 for FEVA, Friends of Estancia Valley Animals for their injured medical fund.

It was a fun evening that many in the community enjoyed. Church Street Market’s next event is “Trick or Treat at Church Street Market” happening all day on October 27. There are so many fun events in our community!

Diana Williams, Church Street Market


Advocating for ongoing public transportation

Even if you as an individual do not use public transit, most of us know someone who does. Or we have at least seen the “Blue Bus” traveling from Edgewood to Santa Fe and back with a load of commuters filling the seats. Those “Blue Buses” are more formally known as the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) and on Nov. 6, all voters will be asked to reauthorize the existing tax for its funding.

To be clear, voting yes will not increase taxes. The funding will be used to keep the buses running as they are currently doing so—with taxpayer dollars funding nearly 68 percent of the operational costs. I personally value public transit systems like NCRTD, because they serve a growing number of individuals here in Edgewood who work in Santa Fe and count on this service for their transportation to and from work each day.

Not only does this service help out commuters, but on a broader level, public transit reduces the number of vehicles on our local roads, thus reducing wear and tear on those roads. Fewer vehicles equals less fuel usage and less pollution created. The end result is a savings for taxpayers and a cleaner environment for everyone.

Furthermore, this is a service that will only grow more important as time passes. Anything that reduces wear and tear on our road infrastructure and reduces our use of fossil fuels will only help our public bottom line.

If the NCRTD’s funding is not reauthorized and this November 6 ballot issue fails, the community here will lose an extremely valuable public service, and I believe faith in public transportation would sour. Frankly put, it would be much harder to try and restart a similar program in the future.

I urge our community members to vote yes for the reauthorization of funding for NCRTD – the Blue Bus. We need to keep this service available to current users and build on its success to attract more new users going forward. Please join me in supporting the NCRTD. I look forward to seeing the Blue Buses continue to roll for many more years to come.

John Bassett, Edgewood Mayor


Pet blessing event coming to Mountainside Methodist

Oct. 3 is the official day for the feast of St. Francis and several churches in the area are remembering this Saint by celebrating our relationship with animals. Mountainside United Methodist Church at 4 Penny Lane, in Cedar Crest will have their pet blessing event Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a brief worship service and music followed by the individual blessing of each family unit. This is one of my favorite events at our church each year. This year’s pet blessing is going to be on a Saturday morning instead of Sunday afternoon.

Last year was the first year we had Edgewood Animal Control as a part of our event. They brought a lovely dog that was available for adoption. They also will be available on Saturday, to microchip any animals that need it. The fee for this service is $15. This year they plan to bring some adoptable critters, for those looking for a new pet. Western Trails Veterinary Clinic will be there as well. There is no plan to vaccinate any animals, but they will have information on other services and can answer questions.

This year, those who bring pet food to donate for needy animals will receive a coupon for a drawing. We have a pet bed and a carrier as prizes. There will be photographers taking photos and each family will receive a certificate of participation with a photo to commentate the event. Perhaps you have an animal that can not attend the event, please bring a photo or drawing to represent them. We invite all our neighbors to join us for this special event. For additional questions call Paul at 286-9984.

Linda Mizell, Retired Clergy


Column pokes at Republican Party

Tom McDonald had an interesting take on our laid-back, live and let live attitude in New Mexico (Dispatch NM: New Mexico doesn’t fall for the red-baiting issues,” Sept. 28 – Oct. 4), except that attitude was belied by his pokes at Republicans. Since when does a state that votes Republican (Arkansas in his letter) or Democrat or Independent become owned by that party? Do the Democrats think they own New York or California? Also, it is the Democrat Party, not the Democratic Party. There is a big difference.

Rhoda Hall, NM resident


Local residents vow not to return to Balloon Fiesta

Dear President, Board Members and Balloon Fiesta Personnel, CC: Mayor Keller’s office:

It wasn’t bad enough that last year’s park and ride fiasco was an abomination. However, guess what folks? It’s even worse this year! My wife and I purchased our tickets online yesterday for the Park and Ride, where we were to board one of the buses in the Coronado parking lot. We arrived at 5 a.m. and there were literally thousands of people in a snake line that encompassed most of the Coronado Mall parking lot. (See enclosed pics) We noticed that there were a handful of buses arriving to take people to Balloon Fiesta Park. This undertaking should not be difficult. You have thousands of people purchasing tickets the year after a major Park and Ride fiasco, so this time get it right. Hire and mobilize enough buses to transport those thousands upon thousands of people to Balloon Fiesta Park. At 7 a.m. the officials at Coronado Mall stated that at 7:15 a.m. the buses would stop transporting people to Balloon Fiesta. WTF! Are you kidding me? There are literally thousands of people in this parking lot. We are locals from the East Mountains, but what about the people who have come from out of state and this is there only window to attend Balloon Fiesta? This hurts everyone. As residents of New Mexico since 2004, we have vowed that this is our last Balloon Fiesta.

And to make matters worse, our Park and Ride and Balloon Fiesta ticket states: No refunds—what a joke!

What this is doing is simple. It is embarrassing the city of Albuquerque two-fold. It is also making you lose thousands of dollars in income on admissions, merchandise, food, etc. because the thousands of people who were ripped off today and didn’t get to go to Balloon Fiesta will not be coming back again, not tomorrow, not ever.

Wake up and get it right, folks, or the Balloon Fiesta might land in Salt Lake City or Phoenix or Colorado. ANYWHERE But lowly, Albuquerque!



Richard Atkins, Sandia Park