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V.22 No.23 | 6/6/2013
If you own property in this green wedge, you can vote.


MRGCD election Tuesday, June 4

It’s all about the water

Property owners in several New Mexico counties will head to the polls this Tuesday to elect board members for the agency that regulates the usage of the water trickling down the Rio Grande from Sandoval to Socorro counties.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) is holding the election so that verified property owners can select board members for positions three and four in Bernalillo County and positions six and seven in Socorro and Sandoval counties, respectively. 

Nearly all the candidates agree that the most troubling issues facing the MRGCD is the area’s lack of water.

Incumbent Adrian Oglesby said persistent drought conditions over the past three years makes this one of the most important elections since the district was formed nearly 100 years ago. 

“The next four years will be critical, we are in the worst drought we ever seen, our reservoirs are functionally empty and we have huge infrastructure issues,” Oglesby said. “So the next four years we need really intelligent leadership to make sure the district survives.” 

The MRGCD with its 200 employees and $20 million budget is responsible for upkeep of drainage ditches, levees and canals along the Rio Grande from Cochiti Dam to Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge. The district is also responsible for delivering water to nearly 60,000 acres of farmland for farms of all sizes, ranging from one-acre family plots to 900-acre commercial farming operations.

Oglesby said that in the past the MRGCD has relied on stored water to irrigate those farmlands, but aggressive drought conditions has him projecting that the stored water will run dry in early July. He added that water reserve depletion would amount to some pretty substantial losses and a big hit to the middle valley economy. 

“If that happens we are obligated to shut off water to everyone but the pueblos that have very senior water rights.  They have a small portion of water being held for that, and once that water runs out, then farming stops until it start raining again,” Oglesby said.

Jim Roberts is facing incumbent Karen Dunning for Position No. 3 in Bernalillo County. Adrian Oglesby will face challenger Louis Trujillo for Position No. 4 in Bernalillo County.  A third candidate, Andrew Leo Lopez died May 28. Lopez will remain on the ballot, and if he wins board members will appoint someone to take his seat. 

David Lorenzo C’ de Baca is challenging incumbent Derrick Lente for Sandoval County Position No. 7 and Chris Sichler faces challenger Jericho Sanchez for Socorro County’s Position No. 6. 

The nearly 80,000 eligible voters can cast their ballots at any one of 26 polling locations throughout Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Socorro counties. Unlike most elections, voters must show a driver’s license or state ID to cast their ballots because of a property rights requirement for voting.  Those who can’t supply ID or prove property ownership at the polls will be issued a provisional ballot.  

The MRGCD was formed in the mid-1920s primarily to drain ground water from farmlands in the Atrisco and Old Town areas of the city. However, a couple of years later, the District added irrigation to its list of responsibilities.

V.22 No.20 |


The Daily Word in shady dentistry, bear bile and riding a Ferris wheel for way too long

The Daily Word

New Mexico's at the top of the list! Of worst droughts in the country!

And pumping water out of the ground just isn't working like it used to.

"El Dentista," an unlicensed dentist in Santa Fe who performed his "services" out of a van, left a trail of mouth infections and unnecessarily removed teeth in his wake. The New Mexico Department of Health is offering free counseling, blood testing and referrals to his victims. But remember, it could be worse.

Developers in Oklahoma are resistant to the idea of including tornado shelters in their homes because it costs too much money. Sad trombone.

Clinton Shepherd of Chicago just finished riding a Ferris wheel for two days straight. "I was thrilled and honored to be able to have all the love and support I did," Shepherd said.

And it turns out that increasing demand for bear bile (used in a nonsense "home-remedy") is really bad for bears.

V.21 No.32 |


The Daily Word in DREAMers, voters, bleeders and truckers

The Daily Word

Today qualified young immigrants can begin applying for permits to avoid deportation.

Federally subsidized programs on Mitt Romney's fiscal hit list: Amtrak, PBS, arts, humanities.

Democratic voter registration is down in eight key "battleground" states with an uptick in registered independents.

Meanwhile, frays over voter registration issues heat up in key "battleground" states, including Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.

Two maps that track the impact of drought across the U.S.

Dusty Pop Art collection in Iran permitted to see the light of day.

Ailing Russian Kalishnikov factory buoyed by U.S. gun buyers.

Univision calls for inclusion of Latino perspectives in presidential debates.

Visine poisoning > diarrhea = jail.

Staying out of the woods because Aunt Flo is visiting and you're scared of getting mauled by a bear? Fear no more, says National Park Service.

Corrales votes down gun restrictions.

Horse slaughter plant plans nixed.

New Mexico trucking company tries to avoid workers comp payments, gets called out by Tennessee high court.

V.21 No.32 | 8/9/2012

[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Rock and Roll Fantasy

This typeface is not absurdly tough, yet its pointiness and near-illegibility lends a special aura of mystery that suggests magic, action and adventure. Find those things on Friday, Aug. 10, at the Launchpad (618 Central SW). Tenderizor, Glitter Dick, Contortionist and Drought conjure rainbows in the dark (and the like) beginning at 9:30 p.m. Admission is 21-and-over and $5. (JCC)

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.21 No.29 | 7/19/2012
Chaly / CC by-S.A. 2.0


Is “Megadrought” the new normal?

We've all heard the gloomy scenarios of global warming: extreme weather, drought, famine, breakdown of society, destruction of civilization. Here in New Mexico it feels like we’ve made the switch from esoteric to actual, from computer model to daily life. My perch in Placitas feels like a front-row seat to the apocalypse. Smoke is in the air. Neighbors are fighting over water. Some of my outdoor flower pots have melted in the heat. Wild animals are getting thirsty, hungry and bold. It turns out, this might just be the new normal for the American Southwest.

Chaly / CC by-S.A. 2.0


Bone Dry

Southwest farms bite the dust as “megadrought” becomes the new normal

In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Ariz., a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn't used his tractor in two years, he told me, and he’s cooking instead of farming because "there isn't any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.21 No.28 |


The Daily Word in freedom fighters, not-so-soothing warmth and dark money

The Daily Word

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela.

Top Syrian defense ministers, including President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law, were killed in Damascus by a suicide bomber.

Shrinking Greenland ice sheet birthed a Manhattan-sized iceberg.

Track the extent of countrywide drought conditions.

City cracks down on illegal dog breeding.

Investigation of the Little Bear Fire initiated.

Santa Fe is the "best food town."

Senate Republicans heart secret donors.

"Outsized level of influence": an infographic.

The end of Penn State football is a possibility.

Should we be required to vote?

Sorry, but the Olympic mascots creep me out.

Just embrace the suck.

Ugh, I need some good news.

Life in an undersea space station.

V.21 No.25 |


The Daily Word in Nora Ephron, drought and community relations

The Daily Word

R.I.P., Nora Ephron. The multi-talented writer and filmmaker died Tuesday of leukemia.

More than 32,000 residents were evacuated as a wildfire grows near Colorado Springs.

U.S. West isn't the only region suffering from severe drought and heat.

Unclear affiliations of gunmen who attacked a pro-regime TV station in Damascus. Syrian leader Assad said last night that the country is "at war."

A boat full of asylum-seekers capsized.

Significant handshake in Belfast.

Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic could be on the verge of closure.

APD chief says new recruitment measures are helping address the department's high-stakes community relations problems.

Meanwhile, a new charity solicits funds for an officer battling cancer and a SWAT standoff with a man who committed suicide "is being investigated as an officer-involved shooting."

Hungry for the 4th best burger in the country?

What tomorrow's possible Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act could mean to you.

"Male chimpanzees are well known for violence … and the human encroachment on chimpanzee territory, such as in zoo environments, may exacerbate them."

Ye olde Tyne faire.

V.21 No.24 |


The Daily Word in hot water, Vegas odds and animals gone wild

The Daily Word

A House of Representatives committee could vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over Operation Fast and Furious documents.

Ecuador's embassy in London may now be the only thing standing between Wikileaks leader Julian Assange and extradition to Sweden.

Egypt seizes with new political and constitutional upheaval as conflicting reports over ousted President Mubarak's failing health circulate.

China's reserves of rare earth minerals—essential to production of high-tech devices—are dwindling due to "excessive mining," says report.

Interactive map of West Africa's devastating drought conditions.

May's global hot flashes are not relenting in June.

Vegas roulette wheel beats 114 billion to one odds.

New state department study counts 20.9 million worldwide victims of modern slavery.

Charter schools may be underperforming when it comes to serving disabled students.

Former inmate now exonerated testifies before Senate subcommittee that solitary confinement in prisons "by its design is driving men insane."

Wildlife conservation group says black bears around the Duke City are being egregiously eliminated from the area.

Charlie Sheen's surge of "tiger blood" was in fact a "psychotic break."

Handy tip: If you're squeamish about squid sperm ruining your calamari dinner, remove the internal organs before cooking it.

Water tanks in NYC as public art.

Amorous prehistoric turtles immortalized.

V.21 No.19 |


The Daily Word in potential game-changers, mass murderers and a flowery commode

The Daily Word

Medical records say George Zimmerman was treated for a broken nose and injuries to the back of his head the day after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

It’s been decades since New Mexico has suffered such severe drought; the governor made it a federal declaration yesterday.

With her eye on state legislative races, Governor Susana Martinez’ PAC rakes in thousands of oil and gas industry dollars.

Developments in the Michael Paul Astorga trial in Santa Fe could set the stage for a death penalty debate.

A former Los Lunas prison inmate files suit against a now-retired guard captain, alleging repeated rape and investigation cover-ups.

Investigators try different tactics in search of West Mesa serial killing leads.

The U.S. border patrol shifts security strategy from fence-building to intelligence-gathering.

The new French president’s airplane was struck by lightning.

Convicted Liberian war criminal Charles Taylor lashes out at his prosecution.

Serbian military commander on trial for war crimes is belligerent in court, makes threatening gesture at massacre survivor.

A seemingly “deranged” man set himself on fire outside the trial of accused Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik.

Renewed search in the case of an Italian girl missing since 1983 leads investigators to a Vatican crypt where a mobster’s bones were exhumed.

Portly celeb chef Mario Batali will be subsisting on food stamps.

Japan is known for its compact living spaces, yet behold: the world’s biggest outdoor toilet.

V.21 No.5 | 2/2/2012



Metal subculture is viewed through a gallery lens in art show / concert series DAMNED IF YOU DOOM, opening at Small Engine tonight.

Aural Fixation


Art and music from the netherworld

Artistic team Todd Ryan White and Jack Wesley Schneider show their appreciation for metal subculture with a music series / exhibit of new work entitled DAMNED IF YOU DOOM.
V.20 No.49 | 12/8/2011


When your eyeballs are like raisins, then it’s a drought. Maybe.

Remember when it didn’t rain for months, and the sun punched you during the day? And because of fires devouring trees in every direction, the moon glowed orange at night through the smokey haze?

I think the superheavy instrumental act Pelican sums it up nicely in this number. -------->

But, more to the point, the Water Utility Authority is looking to change how it defines levels of drought. The utility bases drought on how much water we suck from the aquifer under our desert outpost. When the city drinks more than projected, officials can initiate a drought advisory, watch, warning or emergency. As the level increases in urgency, so do water-use restrictions.

But the utility is looking to change the game and proposed new rules. If they come to pass, we’ll have to use up way more aquifer water before an advisory goes into effect. And water-use restrictions would not be tied to the level of drought that’s been initiated. Even if an emergency is declared, your neighbor won’t necessarily have to stop washing her Escalade for hours every afternoon. Instead, the board that oversees the utility will select from a menu of remedies and impose them on customers.

All this and more in this week’s news section.

V.20 No.30 | 7/28/2011

City of Albuquerque

City fines itself for water wasting

The other day I was fined for having water flowing from my yard into the street. Now, I'm not complaining—wasting water is bad, especially since New Mexico is in an extreme drought. But guess who is wasting the most water ... not me, not your annoying neighbor who never fixes the sprinklers. No, it's the city.

According to KRQE, in the last year the City of Albuquerque has racked up a hefty fine of over $21,000 from the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Authority. Even more surprising than the fine is that the areas where the most water is wasted are not large city parks or grassy areas, but street medians. Wow Albuquerque, it may be time for some new sprinklers, don't you think?

V.20 No.29 |


The Daily Word in rain, beer and tall women

The Daily Word

Rain! Maybe more rain!

Atlantis touches down.

Russians declare the era of the Soyuz.

First spacesuits sewn by women who made bras for Platex.

ACLU sues secretary of state for failing to reveal evidence of 37 immigrants she says voted illegally.

Corrales couple wins $200,000 off the lotto.

Ghost of a ghost town all that remains after Bland burns up in Las Conchas fire.

Hit songs written at expensive writing camps, hit factories.

You may be able to trap creatures again in New Mexico.

Russia finally admits beer is alcohol.

What's a calorie?

You're so vain … creative people, says this study.

Nazi exhumed.

Tall women get cancer more.


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