Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kirtland AFB Launches Tons of Crap...Seeks New Permit from City

NOB HILL--Buried in the back of the Food section, on page C-10 , in the (small print) legal notices is the following list of pollutants Kirtland AFB estimates they will be releasing this year.
  • Carbon Monoxide: 124 TONS
  • Nitrous Oxides: 215 TONS
  • Particulate Matter: 44 TONS
  • Sulfur Oxides: 21 TONS
  • Volatile Organic Compounds: 186 TONS
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants: 13 TONS
That comes out to 603 tons of airborne pollutants. And it all works out to 3304 pounds of crap per day. This is just to say that nothing is without cost in this world. For all the benefits of Kirtland, there are a few concerns which should be addressed.

20,000 people work on Kirtland AFB. Taking that into consideration it come to only 2.64 ounces of air pollution per worker per day...about the same weight as two and a half slices of Milton's Multi-grain Bread. On the other hand SO2 with a topping of NOx and CO is not just 20,000 servings of French toast.

This is a serious amount of pollution. It deserves a little more attention than being buried in the legal notices.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dennis Dwyer: The Bard of Tingley Beach

I published a story on the Duke City Fix about this fascinating man...a truck-driver who ended up going to college after falling off his truck twenty years ago. Here are a couple more poems. For more of his work be sure to see the DCF post.

Tired brakes groan hot
taming Pennsylvania's hills.

The ripley tollbooth comes up fast.
Roll in, grab a ticket,
roll out.
The trailer belly sags
under twenty-two ton
of rumbling freight.

Led by a milkwhite October moon
I-90 lays out pale-blue with white trim
like Christmas ribbon.

I'm rollin' easy--into Buffalo.
Couple of quickbeers, then home.
She'll still be up
we'll eat, talk, fight,
make love, maybe.

Then Pow! A steering tire dies!
The drowsy wheel comes alive!
With 230 lbs. of trembling strain
I hold on,
we waken in the slumbering ditch,
blunt and floundering
like a dying whale.

My life rolls back behind my eyes
where we are,
out of control,
plunging into the grey blur of separation.

Then everything stops.
Wrapped in a bone-shaking chill
alone with the smells of hot fuel,
mauled rubber, and the life-saving mud,
I hear the angry crush
of tethereed freight set free,
settle to low muted groans.

I yearn to lie in the hollow of her bosom
speak of my fear
and helpless sorrow for us,
like I used to-----
years ago.


Lying in a field of clover
a boy pilots Starship Enterprise
beyond the sky.
A grasshopper lands on his nose,
he holds his breath.

A man, sixty-five today,
lies in the clover.
This time around, his passions
are letters to be mailed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Last Brandywine Tomatoes of the Season

NOB HILL--Last week we took in the last of the tomatoes...brandywines. These are an heirloom variety that we grew from small plants. We had excellent luck with them late in the season. They are not early maturing, but they are BIG, juicy, delicious, and completely red inside.

The outside color of the tomato has a somewhat grayish hue, even when ripe. But boy do they produce! Btw, the knife in the picture is 8 inches long. An average size brandwine tomato is 4 inches across.My tomato-planting advice for the Albuquerque area is as follows:
  • Cherry tomatoes: Sweet 100's
  • Early tomatoes: Early Girl
  • Big, late tomatoes: Brandywine
  • Cooking tomatoes: Roma
Our plants are in beds that are raised almost two feet. This kept them from freezing for a few weeks after the plants on the ground had died.

The Sunday Poem(s): Tania Rochelle...Wow!!!

Follow the link below for three stunning examples of why you should read women poets. These are much more interesting (imho) than the published poem about the old couple, but Kooser's choice is dictated by brevity and life experiences common to many Americans. These poems which simultaneously deal with lesbianism, parenting, divorce, and self-awareness are a little too long and detailed to be selected. Read them...please.

American Life in Poetry: Column 087

The first poem we ran in this column was by David Allan Evans of South Dakota, about a couple washing windows together. You can find that poem and all the others on our website, Here Tania Rochelle of Georgia presents us with another couple, this time raking leaves. I especially like the image of the pair "bent like parentheses/ around their brittle little lawn."


Anna Bell and Lane, eighty,
make small leaf piles in the heat,
each pile a great joint effort,
like fifty years of marriage,
sharing chores a rusty dance.
In my own yard, the stacks
are big as children, who scatter them,
dodge and limbo the poke
of my rake. We're lucky,
young and straight-boned.
And I feel sorry for the couple,
bent like parentheses
around their brittle little lawn.
I like feeling sorry for them,
the tenderness of it, but only
for a moment: John glides in
like a paper airplane, takes
the children for the weekend,
and I remember,
they're the lucky ones—
shriveled Anna Bell, loving
her crooked Lane.

Reprinted from "Karaoke Funeral," Snake Nation Press, 2003, by permission of the author. Copyright © 2003 by Tania Rochelle. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Cranes in a Chile Patch

SOUTH VALLEY--We spotted these sandhill cranes in the chile fields just east of the south bosque bike trail. What a day! In addition to the cranes and geese, Bob Evans and I saw a bald eagle. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a decent picture of him.

The Sunday Poem: Illinois Poet Lisel Mueller..."In November"

American Life in Poetry: Column 085


The Illinois poet, Lisel Mueller, is one of our country's finest writers, and the following lines, with their grace and humility, are representative of her poems of quiet celebration.

In November

Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.

Reprinted from "Alive Together: New and Selected Poems," Louisiana State University Press, 1996, by permission of the author. Poem copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bobbi Baca Writes About her Husband Jim

I think Jim Baca is as good as it gets when it comes to a public servant. Oh I know he has made some enemies...and the Lyons' campaign tries to make the most of it. But in terms of honesty, vision, and accountability there is no better candidate in the state of New Mexico. Yet negative ads have trashed him repeatedly. Baca has refused to follow suit. He has not gone negative himself. Don't reward Republican bullshit. Think for yourself.

If you need more info about Jim, just read this email I got from Jim's wife Bobbi. ...and pass it on.

Jim’s Campaign Needs a boost, the negative ads against them are turning the tide, the facts need to get out, and WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW to win!

  • Jim Kept Albuquerque spending below the rate of inflation during difficult economic times. It is much harder to lead in hard economic times then prosperous times. His opponent would have you believe he left the City with a deficit; the reality is it was covered with reserves he built up during hard times to preserve and improve the City’s bond rating. And why did it go over budget, well who could have anticipated 9/11 yes, that occurred during Jim’s last two months in office and the police and fire overtime were significant. How quickly everyone forgets, especially the Journal.
  • Jim is one of the few individuals to have undergone an FBI check and faced the US Senate for confirmation to a post appointed by President Clinton, Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Jim initiated the Mesa del Sol project 20 years ago, he is a man of vision
  • Jim’s family has been in New Mexico for over 400 years, his father was Fermin Baca and Grandfather was Delfin Baca, both from Pena Blanca.
  • Jim still has the family farm in Pena Blanca, New Mexico
  • Jim is a graduate of St. Pius and the University of New Mexico
  • Jim was the first Hispanic Anchorman in New Mexico
  • Jim is an Air Force Veteran
  • Jim Reformed Liquor Laws
  • Jim created a Albuquerque Downtown Renaissance
  • Jim Restructured grazing Leases to take into account economic factors
  • Jim has assured no net loss of hunting habitat, Patrick Lyons still has White’s Peak inaccessible
  • Jim returned baseball to New Mexico
  • Jim brought Eclipse Aviation to New Mexico
  • Jim audited big oil and gas companies to make sure they paid for your oil and gas and the fruits of that effort have brought in millions for education
  • Jim hasn’t been “bought” by those who might be doing business with the Land Office
  • Jim is an individual who did not compromise his ethics to run negative ads
  • Jim is someone who is honest and will tell you what he thinks, not just what you want to hear, isn’t that what we want from our elected officials?
  • Jim is a visionary and leaves legacies and he is a prudent business man who understands sustainability of revenues and the environment are crucial to our children’s and grandchildren’s future

How do I know? I’m Bobbi Baca, Jim’s wife of 29 years. We have two great kids, Justin and Noelle Baca. Both graduated from Valley High School in Albuquerque, both speak fluent Spanish.

Jim needs your help now to help Save the Enchantment.

We have a choice - to let oil and gas interests dominant the land office, or to make one last effort that, if effective, will elect Jim.

Those who know Jim know of his integrity and of his commitment to save the enchantment of our state. We support his commitment to establish a full-time renewable energy division in the Land Office to take advantage of our solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy resources on state land and reduce our dependence on oil and gas. We know he is the right choice.

We can endorse Jim to our friends via e-mail or telephone call. We can, through a "telephone or e-mail tree" make a difference. Please won't you help us enroll your friends, their friends and their friends? Forward this message.

Finally, on Election Day, if you would, take your Jim Baca yard sign, choose a street corner, and sometime between 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM, wave your sign thus letting people know that indeed we care

We can make this happen with your help ---

Thank you,

Bobbi Baca

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Johnny_Mango's Sunday Wallpaper: Ken Saville's "Angels"

NOB HILL--Friday night was the opening for Ken Saville's show at the Mariposa Gallery. This colored pencil drawing is a sample of the wonderful work he does in this medium. This piece draws from the postcard art of the '40's to highlight another feature of the local landscape...a few angels.

The Sunday Poem: Connie Wanek, Amaryllis

American Life in Poetry: Column 084

Many of this column's readers have watched an amaryllis emerge from its hard bulb to flower. To me they seem unworldly, perhaps a little dangerous, like a wild bird you don't want to get too close to. Here Connie Wanek of Duluth, Minnesota, takes a close and playful look at an amaryllis that looks right back at her.


A flower needs to be this size
to conceal the winter window,
and this color, the red
of a Fiat with the top down,
to impress us, dull as we've grown.

Months ago the gigantic onion of a bulb
half above the soil
stuck out its green tongue
and slowly, day by day,
the flower itself entered our world,

closed, like hands that captured a moth,
then open, as eyes open,
and the amaryllis, seeing us,
was somehow undiscouraged.
It stands before us now

as we eat our soup;
you pour a little of your drinking water
into its saucer, and a few crumbs
of fragrant earth fall
onto the tabletop.

Reprinted from "Bonfire," New Rivers Press, 1997, by permission of the author. Copyright © 1997 by Connie Wanek. Her most recent book is "Hartley Field," from Holy Cow! Press, 2002. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Looming Presence of Valerie Kast

THE PIT--Even before the game started, one had to ask, "Is that blonde pony-tailed girl whose head is sticking up out of the pre-game huddle Valerie Kast? She looked to be a few inches taller than coach Don Flanagan and absolutely towered over everybody else. As good as the rest of the team looked in their 82-43 victory over Vanguard University last night, Valerie Kast got everybody's attention.

I'm putting up all the pictures I have of her from the game. Notice she is not a skinny 6' 6." Players' weights are not listed like they do for the men's team, but she has to weigh twice as much as some of the other players.

I was impressed by how light on her feet she was...sort of quick-footed given her size. And she has an amazingly soft and deft touch around the basket. She went 2 for 2 from the field, including a nice little left-handed shot.

She can jump. She did come down with one rebound and one blocked shot. And she isn't afraid to mix it up. See that pile of girls on the floor? That's her foot sticking up. She's on the bottom with the ball.

Here are her stats from last night:
  • 4 minutes played
  • 4 points (2 -2)
  • 1 rebound (D)
  • 1 blocked shot
  • 0 fouls
  • 0 turn overs
Not bad...not bad at all. After the game Flanagan said he was just working on the basics with her and sincerely hoped that she might be able to contribute at some point this year. He doesn't want to push her too hard or too fast. And she does need to work some on her conditioning.

That is sort of like saying, "Yes that is a battle tank back there, but we're still working on the paint job." Valerie Kast. Oh yeah...Valerie Kast.

To quote from the GoLobos website:

HIGH SCHOOL: A 2006 graduate of Gallup High School...letterwinner in basketball and track and field...member of 2006 New Mexico Class 5A state championship team led by John Lomasney...named first team all-state in 2006 and second team in 2005...selected district 1-5A player of the year in 2006 and first team all-district in 2005 and 2006...McDonald's All-American nominee in 2005...named Estonia U18 team MVP in 2003...averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks a game her senior year.

PERSONAL: Born Valerie Kast in Tallinn, Estonia, on January 12, 1987...daughter of Larissa Tsigrinskaja...has one sister, Maria...hobbies include music, movies, art and dancing...favorite athletes are Larry Bird and Michael Jordan...plans on majoring in International Business Management.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Poll Numbers in the Madrid-Wilson Race

RealClearPolitics is showing new poll numbers in the Madrid-Wilson race for Congress. The newest poll is from Reuters/Zogby which shows Madrid at +9%. The survey was conducted Oct. 24th-29th using 500 likely voters. The latest results:
Wilson 44%
Madrid 53%
Undecided 2%
Because the Zogby poll differs so much from the ABQ Journal poll let's compare it only to the last Zogby which was taken one month ago.
  1. 9/25-10/2---- Wilson 40% Madrid 50% Undecided 6%
  2. 10/24-10/29-- Wilson 44% Madrid 53% Undecided 2%
It looks like the undecideds and neithers have pretty much sorted themselves out. Wilson is still below 50%. Hell, she's still below 45%. It's hard to win elections down there.