The Ridges Landowners Association

A residential community just outside Santa Fe, NM

Judy Nelson-Moore

Community news and updates

Roads Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who provided candid and constructive responses to the Roads Survey. The board received 47 responses representing 49 lots. This summary of non-narrative survey results provides very useful information that will help in developing a roads maintenance plan and ultimately a proposed Roads Budget for consideration by Association members later this year. These Survey results support the following takeaways:

  • Most respondents have a relatively high sense of safety while driving on The Ridges roads.
  • Respondents living on the paved road (Principe de Paz) were more satisfied, on average, with the condition of their road than respondents living on unpaved roads.
  • The top adverse issues identified by respondents were washboards, snow/ice, dust, and mud, in that order. Other adverse issues were identified less often.
  • Many respondents expressed no preference in the color of road gravel. The majority of those who did choose a color preferred brown gravel over gray.

The Roads Committee is working on an options analysis that will present relative costs and other pros and cons of the brown vs gray gravel issue.

  • A strong majority of respondents were willing to pay more for road maintenance and repairs.

The Board acknowledges and respects the 10% of respondents who do not support paying more for roads. 

  • Increasing annual dues was the most preferred option to pay for increased road costs.

 

The Board continues its analysis of narrative responses to the Roads Survey and will present these results in the near future.

Below are graphs showing detail of the responses.  

The Ridges Landowners’ Association
P.O. Box 22352
Santa Fe NM 87502-2352
board@ridgesla.org

April 2022 Newsletter

From the RIDGES
Your community newsletter
By Dennis McQuillan
By Dennis McQuillan

Views April- President’s Letter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The daylight hours are getting longer and warmer, and some of the trees and plants are just starting to bud out.  Those of you, like me, who garden are getting ready to plant and the garden tour is not too far away.  The geology tour this year will be into the Galisteo Box where converging faults have created beautiful exposures of bedrock.  A new event this year will be an astronomy night where you can deep dive into the humbling vastness of our Milky Way Galaxy. 

The Roads Committee has acquired bids for repairs to Immanuel and Rey de Reyes, where drainage and erosion are problematic, and those of you who live on those roads are being contacted by the Committee to inform you of the work to be done. 

I really enjoy riding my mountain bike around our beautiful neighborhood where I meet and chat with a lot of you. 

Hope to see you all soon,

Dennis McQuillan

President

Ready Set Go Wildfire Prep

Are you ready for a possible wildfire? As wildfire danger is high because of the ongoing drought, it is time to review the information from the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ RSG! Program and the USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Fire Administration. Their publication, entitled Ready, Set, Go provides a checklist of items to help prepare for a fire, including to go kits that can be assembled and made ready to grab in case of wildfires in our area. Please take another look at this valuable information and stay safe!

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM

Protect it and Inspect It:

Do:  Have your system pumped generally every three to five years, depending on number of people in household.

Think at the Sink:

Do:

  • Eliminate or limit the use of a garbage disposal
  • Properly dispose of coffee grounds and food
  • Put grease or oil in a container before discarding in the trash.


Don’t:

  • Pour cooking grease or oil down the sink or toilet
  • Rinse coffee grounds into the sink
  • Pour household chemicals down the sink or flush them.

Don’t Overload the Commode:

Do: 

  • Dispose of non-degradable products or chemicals such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, cat litter, paper towels, and pharmaceuticals in the trash can!

Don’t:

  • Flush them down the toilet.

Shield your field:

 Do: 

  • Consult a septic service professional to advise of the proper distance for planting trees and shrubs, depending on your septic tank location.

Don’t:

  • Park or drive on your drain field.  The weight can damage the drain lines.
  • Plant trees or shrubs too close to your drain field, because roots can grow into your system and clog it.

Don’t strain your drain:

Do:     

  • Stagger your use of water-generating appliances, especially washers.
  • Become more water efficient by fixing plumbing leaks and consider installing bath and kitchen low-water use fixtures.

Don’t:  

  • Use your dishwasher, shower, washer, and toilet at the same time.  All that extra water can strain your septic system.

For further information, please consult the EPA website:  https://www.epa.gov/septic/how-care-your-septic-system

Ridges Photo Submission

Please submit your photos here.

Table of Contents

Recipe

Quarter Hour Soup
Sopa al cuarto de hora

This is a recipe for a light, nourishing soup from Patricia Corres

1 medium onion, chopped

1 t minced garlic

1 bay leaf

2 T minced parsley

2 small tomatoes, chopped (or sub canned)

1 can minced clams  (or use fresh clams if you have them)

2 cans chicken broth (low sodium) (or use homemade)

1/2 C white wine

1 t lemon juice

1/8 t crushed saffron (optional)

1/4 C uncooked rice

Salt and pepper to taste

**************************

In a soup pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil (about 2 T) over medium heat until softened.  Add bay leaf, parsley and small tomatoes, sauté another few minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Stir and cover partially.  Let simmer about 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.

*************************

12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half

1/4 C ham chopped into small pieces (if you have it, jamón serrano is good–otherwise, a lean ham like prociutto or other cured ham is fine)

1 hard boiled egg, shelled and chopped fine.

************************

Add shrimp and ham and cook just until the shrimp turns pink.  Add the egg bits last and serve

Dog Owners!

All the cute little piles are piling up along our roads.  We don’t have an in-roads poop fairy to clean up.  Please be respectful.   

Meet your Neighbor: Dr. Donna Coleman

Seeking Truth and Beauty in The Timeless Time

I gratefully acknowledge and pay tribute to the traditional inhabitants of this beautiful land I currently call home, situated in the heart of the deep Indigenous history of Native New Mexico, from ancient Paleo-Indians to Keres- and Tanoan-speaking peoples who were raided by the Comanche.

The Views editors asked me to provide a few thoughts about my recent work as a musician for this edition of the LOA newsletter. These twenty-four months, The Timeless Time, have been profoundly challenging for me as a performing artist as all of my in-house concert activity ground to a total halt from mid-March 2020 onward, and all plans for returning home to Australia were obliterated. That sad summer, aside from sewing masques and giving them away, as they were in short (or no) supply in shoppes, I created the Salone all’Aria Aperta (open air salons) for my neighbours. Groups of four came en masque to sit in lawn chairs outside the opened windows of my studio from whence I played a series of concerts entitled The Art of the Fugue, each beginning with one of the Preludes and Fugues from Daß Wohltemperierte Klavier by Johann Sebastian Bach, and ending with a selection from the vast, century-long repertory of Ragtime. These events were precious occasions in which I could share my music with others, even if the audience was small and on the other side of a wall!

Many of you have been staunch and generous supporters of the music festivals that I created for the Santa Fe community at San Miguel Chapel: The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] American Music (2018) and The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] Women’s Music (2019) co-sponsored by The Women’s International Study Center. For 2020 I had planned The OutBach® Festival of [Mostly] Beethoven’s Music in honour of his 250th birthday on 16th December, with the first concert devoted to my performances of the ethereal, profound, majestic final three piano sonatas. Of course, that festival could not take place, but I began my online “career” playing each of the sonatas individually for audiences that could view and listen via an iPhone or other MAC device on Face Time. My skill in setting up ZOOM sessions was yet to be honed.

A conversation with musician friends who had relocated to Albuquerque from Los Angeles in 2020 led to an introduction (virtual, of course) to Maureen Doolan, who with her late husband F. David Peat founded the Pari Center for New Learning in Pari, Italy. She was looking for an article about music to include in the upcoming journal they publish, Pari Perspectives. I sent her a paper I had written as part of my ongoing book project, Dancing with the Piano. Not only did she include it in the journal, she asked me if I would consider offering an online webinar. Always looking for any opportunity to connect with an audience, I immediately said yes and presented the two-hour session, On the Interpretation of Signs: The Search for Meaning in Music Notation on 26th September 2020.

The success of this offering led to an invitation to create the series that I have named The Quintessence of Music in honor of ether, the Fifth Element, the rarefied space in which the particles of the wider universe dance and inspire me. Thus far, Pari has streamed four webinars, all of which are available to the public free of charge on their website where you will find a host of other thought-provoking recorded events.

https://paricenter.com/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=past

Friends of the Pari Center (link below) receive the digital editions of Pari Perspectives.  https://paricenter.com/membership/

In addition to the Pari Center webinars, I recorded two films, one for the Cuban Cultural Center of New York entitled Ragtime’s Missing Links: Cuba’s Role in the Evolving Ragtime Tradition in the USA, featuring the music of Manuel Saumell, Ignacio Cervantes, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Scott Joplin.

https://youtu.be/N2w4y9wT2BM

For the PROGRAM pdf and full details of the event, click here:
https://www.cubanculturalcenter.org/events/2021/04/ragtimes-missing-links/

An Extraordinary Collaboration: Ferruccio Busoni, Natalie Curtis, and Indigenous Americans is another concert-with-commentary produced for the Society for American Music’s 2022 (online) annual conference. It tells the story of an Italian composer-pianist’s introduction in the second decade of the twentieth century to the music of Native Americans, thanks to Curtis’s 1907 publication, The Indians’ Book. [Natalie Curtis subsequently married painter Paul Burlin, (whose works, many of which boast five- and six-figure price tags!) can now be viewed at the Peyton Wright Gallery on Palace Avenue] and they decided to live in Santa Fe. The property they purchased is now The Inn of the Turquoise Bear!] I am in the process of creating another version of this presentation that provides additional insight into Natalie Curtis and Paul Burlin and the brief time they lived in Santa Fe.

https://paricenter.com/events/list/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=past

I am immensely grateful to have been able to shelter during these twenty-four months in the serene surroundings of my USA home in this inspiring New Mexico landscape, to enjoy encounters with neighbours when I am on my daily walks, to be reunited with my weaving practice (Music I Can See), to be able watch the nightly parade of constellations and seek deep sky objects from my Star Deck, to connect with my beloved friends around the world for free via Face Time and ZOOM, and to have been blessed with these few but invaluable opportunities to create musical experiences for others. Music remains my Reason for Living.

While no in-person performances are on schedule at this stage, the Pari Center webinars continue, and the next one, The Quintessence of Music: Music and Numbers II, will stream on Wednesday 6th April at 10:00 a.m. MDT. To learn more about this event and to register for it, please go to the link below and “purchase” (at NO charge) the number of tickets you want. Registration provides you with the link to the webinar recording when it becomes available about one week after it streams.
https://paricenter.com/event/music-and-numbers-part-ii/

I hope you can join me for these mind-bending, thought-provoking forays into music, philosophy, and spirituality as I continue my endless search for Truth and Beauty in The Timeless Time. Music is the Cure for Everything.

Dr Donna Coleman weaves, writes, walks, studies and photographs the stars, and contemplates the deepest mysteries of the Universe, which she transforms into interpretations of music ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ragtime and Stride, from Domenico Scarlatti to Charles Ives, to compositions written for her yesterday, to free improvisations in which she collaborates with many of Australia’s premiere Jazz musicians. Her recordings may be purchased or streamed from Amazon, iTunes, Alexa and other streaming services, and many performances are on Youtube. She works as a volunteer in the Archeomagnetism Laboratory at the Office of Archeological Studies.

Photo by Larry Ross

Removal of Dead Trees

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
 
It is with great sadness and some anxiety that we see piñon and other trees in the mountains, woodlands, and within The Ridges, turn brown and die as a result of drought and bark beetle attack. 
 
The 2020 Santa Fe County Community Wildfire Protection Plan advises property owners to regularly remove dead trees and shrubs in order to minimize the risk of wildfire. 
(Page A-24)
Apologies…the link for Santa Fe County was withdrawn from their site.  Here is a link from the County about Bark Beetles:  https://www.santafecountynm.gov/userfiles/file/resident/beetlepublication.pdf
 
The Board of Directors of The Ridges Landowners’ Association, Inc. requests that all members promptly cut down and properly dispose of all dead trees and shrubs on their property. Please do not attempt to fell trees on your own unless you have the proper equipment and experience to safely do so. A number of contractors operate in this area and can be hired to remove your dead trees. 
 
Additionally, as explained at the March 20, 2022 meeting and in the slides for the meeting posted on the Association website, https://theridgesla.org/presentation-march-20-22/ , the Board wants to identify all residents who may need assistance in the event of a wildfire emergency evacuation. There is no shame in asking for assistance and we have no doubt that many of your friends and neighbors will help you evacuate to safety. If you may need assistance, please contact the Board at board@ridgesla.org.
 
We are all in this together. 
 
Sincerely,
The Ridges Board of Directors
 
The Ridges Landowners’ Association
P.O. Box 22352
Santa Fe NM 87502-2352
 

PBS Documentary Produced By Ridges Residents

Two of our Ridges’ residents – Miles Merritt and Gail Kempler -have produced a documentary entitled, “Just A Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” that will premiere on PBS nationwide this February.  The film is a candid, intimate portrait of the inimitable Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer and arranger of the legendary a cappella group, The Persuasions.  Rare performance clips and exclusive interviews make this film a compelling story of joy, heartbreak and renewal.  It will air here in New Mexico on KENW on 2/16 at 7 PM – and again on KNME on 2/24 at 7 PM.  Don’t forget to tune in!

Year-End Report 2021

THE RIDGES LANDOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION, INC.
P.O. Box 22352   Santa Fe, NM 87502

Year-End Report  and Message from the Board – December 16, 2021

2021 Recap and 2022 Look-Ahead

The Board wishes everyone in the Ridges a happy holiday season. As we all know, 2021 was a very busy and sometimes difficult year. The budget for 2021 will continue into 2022 with an annual dues of $650. The dues can be paid in a lump sum by January 31st or in two payments, with the balance due June 30th.  The Board will revisit the discussion on improving the unpaved roads in the first few months of the new year after a much-needed pause.  Rest assured, we will be open to input from all residents, and we expect that the discussions will be civil and productive. We all want what is best for our community, which may not be something we all agree upon, but ideally is something we can all accept and live with.

There were many positives during 2021, including the revival our community newsletter (Views from the Ridges, published on the website – a December issue was just posted, see https://theridgesla.org/december-2021-newsletter/), learning opportunities on bark beetle infestation and wildfire mitigation from professionals, a coordinated effort to remove bark-beetle infested trees, and first-ever garden and geologic tours.  As a community, we reviewed and discussed the request by a church to approve their possible purchase of Lot 17A on the corner of Alma and US 285 for a use not allowed by the Cimarron Covenants. Their proposed amendment was not approved by a vote at the Association’s Annual meeting, and the Church has withdrawn its offer to purchase the property.  We thank outgoing Board president Roc Curry for all the time he spent in discussions with the church and its representatives, in researching legal and other aspects of the proposed purchase, and in informing the community about its options in the matter.  We also thank Roc for his 3 years of service on the Board, including his leadership as Board president for the past 1½ years.

Resignation of Roads Committee

One of the first orders of business for the Board will be to fill the void created by the resignation of all three members of the Ridges Roads Committee (Mark Glaze, Charlie Whiteley, and Greg Cooper).  With their permission, and in fact at their request, we are including at the end of this message their resignation letters.  The community owes a huge debt of gratitude to these individuals, who between them have put in more than 25 years and many thousands of hours of service to ensure that both our paved and unpaved roads are properly maintained.  Averaged over time, road maintenance accounts for nearly 80% of the Association’s expenditures.  We will soon begin a process of recruiting new Roads Committee members.  Meanwhile, Paul Reimus of the Board will serve as an interim Roads Committee chair.  Please be advised that roads issues may not be addressed as efficiently as they have been in the past for a while.  However, know that the Board has secured services for plowing snow this winter and grading if needed.

Environmental Conditions update and Interactive Map

Our new incoming Board member, Dennis McQuillan, has compiled an environmental conditions update for the ridges that is attached to this email. It includes information about forecasted drought conditions this winter, wildfire danger and bark beetles. This update supplements his original report of July 6, 2021 that can be downloaded from this location:  https://theridgesla.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Geology-of-The-Ridges-Subdivision-and-Vicinity.pdf   He has also put together an interactive homeowner map of the Ridges that can be accessed at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1JtkAjRqwefIco63O2EVy6zjcAL989liw&usp=sharing

This link is also on the website. You can zoom in or out, change the base map, and click on the roads, arroyos, trailheads, wildfire escape routes and hazard icons to get more information and pictures. It is a work in progress, and input/comments/pictures are welcome. The map documents existing conditions and is intended to inform future discussion among residents. We thank Dennis for these contributions, and we welcome him on the Board for 2022.  

Other News

Two of the three members of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) have resigned, effective at the start of 2022 – chair Debra Hagey and committee member Carol Albrecht.  The Board thanks them both for their service to the community.  Gerry Fornell will remain as the only ACC member.  In addition to recruiting Roads Committee members, the Board will also be recruiting ACC members in the coming weeks and months.

The Ridges website will soon feature a new community forum that residents can use to express viewpoints and opinions on issues pertaining to the community.  In the past year, the Board was asked several times to forward emails from residents (or groups), and the forum will be the preferred mechanism for disseminating these types of communications going forward.  Submissions will be subjected to a screening process to ensure that no inappropriate or offensive material is posted (a similar process is currently in place for posting photos or comments).  Rest assured, opinions will not be suppressed, but there will be an attempt to ensure that opinions are expressed in a civil and constructive manner.  We recognize that there will be some subjectivity in this process, and it will be an experiment of sorts, with some tweaks possibly needed, but the Board believes that this is the best way to allow residents to express their opinions to the community without relying on mass emails or mailings.  For the time being, residents will have to email material to the Board for posting to the forum, and they will also have to check the website for new postings (both a submission and a notification process will be forthcoming).  An inaugural contribution to the forum was just posted on the website under “Community News” (where the Views newsletter can also be found).  The link is:  https://theridgesla.org/susan-zeder-comments-the-battlefields-of-clara-barton/.  This contribution was originally solicited from Suzan Zeder for the Newsletter on her recently-premiered play, “The Battlefields of Clara Barton.”  However, Suzan and her husband Jim Hancock decided instead to express their opinions on what has transpired in the community in the past several months, culminating in the annual meeting.  We hope that this teaser will inspire people to access the forum to read their contribution and to engage in constructive exchanges in the future.  Note that the Board will still forward factual emails intended to inform the community on matters such as neighborhood safety or security.

RIDGES BOARD OF DIRECTORS

board@ridgesla.net


Roads Committee Resignation Letters

I would like to first commend the entire Board for the tireless effort you have put into this past years budget process and roads proposal. Unfortunately, the status quo continues. For the last eleven years Charlie and I have faced the same uphill battle educating the Association as to the merits of establishing sufficient reserves to deal with capital improvements regarding our roads. The defeat of the budget and lack of Association members willingness to grasp the financial significance of not funding for the inevitable, has consequences. First and foremost, this tack will require more time and energy on behalf of the Roads Committee to search out more bids to approach individual roads. This will be the case as sufficient reserves do not allow a more comprehensive approach. I refuse to do that. Secondly, and most importantly, this will cost the ENTIRE Association more money over time. Due to the questionable tactics  of six or seven lot owners, three proposed budgets to build capital reserves for future road maintenance were voted down. Because of the aforementioned headwinds, I’m resigning from the Roads Committee. I wish the Board and the Roads Committee the best for the future. Feel free to publish this on the Association website as it may be the shortest and succinct delivery of the message that needs to be delivered to the Association.

Mark Glaze


As you may recall, at the Annual Meeting I made the statement, “I can’t understand why any rational thinking person would volunteer to serve on the RLA Board given the lack of civility, character assassination and attacks on integrity being demonstrated, and that’s a shame”. Prior to being compelled to stand and make that comment, there was an accusation from the audience that my involvement on the Roads Committee was self-serving which garnered a boisterous laugh from the audience.  As the Board knows well, days before the meeting I had requested that Rey de Reyes not be selected for upgrade in 2022 due to my involvement on the Roads Committee. But the audience response to that comment sent me a vivid message that they agreed with the “Self-Serving” accusation. If this were the only attack on my integrity and the integrity of other community volunteers, I might let it pass. But more disturbing to me after reflecting on my years of involvement and thousands of hours serving the community, this is the RLA culture. The recent community response to the Board’s Budget/Roads proposal is only one of many, many personal attacks I have witnessed and documented from individuals directed at volunteers serving our community. This includes the insults directed at Board members in many communications leading up to the Annual Meeting, remarks at the meeting and repeated daily emails directed at the Chairman of the Roads Committee demanding his resignation. And the November 8th letter from the CRTR group is yet another example of this group’s effort to sabotage the creditability of the Board by spreading more misinformation to the membership.  I ask myself, where is the appreciation from those who are incapable of understanding that these volunteers only motive in sacrificing their time and talent is to serve in the best interest of their neighbors. I made my decision to resign at the meeting and left before the meeting ended. I honestly fear that our Association is on the precipice of failure due to the potential inability to recruit new leadership and will ultimately become the sister community of Cimarron.

I want to make it absolutely clear that my decision to resign has nothing to do with the membership’s rejection of the Budget/Roads proposal or my anticipation of how the Board and hopefully the membership will move forward. I accept and respect the membership’s vote on the issues with disappointment, however, as in past failed budget proposals, I believe the vote was unfortunately influenced by organized opposition utilizing misinformation, invalid emotional arguments and inappropriate attacks on the Board to influence some members decisions on the issues. My decision to resign has everything to do with the toxic norms continually demonstrated in our community over the years and the entire community is complicit in allowing that culture, embraced by a few, to exist.

I believe that the Board pursued every potential alternative in addressing the gravel roads issue during the past year and exercised outstanding transparency in communicating the alternatives to the membership over the past several months. I have only the most respect for all the hours and hours of hard work each of you have sacrificed for the community in your attempts to present the facts regarding the roads issues. It appears now that you have lost the Roads Committee and I can’t say how sorry I am to be part of that new problem you face. My personal reaction to the demeanor of the Annual Meeting was, “I’ve finally had enough” and I let that decision rest a few days but after further reflection, it is now final. I sincerely hope that the 2022 Board can find ways to reunite the membership and gain membership support in the decision process and that some members can gain some civility.

CW Whiteley


Like Charlie and Mark, I too resign from the Roads Committee. For the six years I’ve volunteered on both the Board of Directors and the Roads Committee, the accumulation of insults and charges of malfeasance no longer justify the time and energy devoted to the position. I am also disheartened by the disrespect shown to my colleagues, Charlie Whiteley and Mark Glaze. I am happy to offer any assistance the Board may require to help smooth the transition in forming a new Roads Committee.

I want to congratulate the Board on their attempts to secure the future integrity of the roads in The Ridges and will continue to support their efforts as a landowner.

Greg Cooper

COVID-19 Information

Be sure to check the community forum for an important post about the coronavirus epidemic.  The helpful post contains information about local resources and suggestions where to find accurate information.

https://theridgesla.org/forums/topic/covid-19-info-and-neighborliness/

Break-in Here in the Ridges

Recently, a home here in the Ridges was broken into during the day between 11am and 3pm. The residents work from home but were out for the afternoon. The police are investigating. We all can easily become complacent because we are a friendly community. There is only one way in and one way out of  the Ridges. And many live on cul-d-sacs with one way in and out. This break in happened on a cul-de-sac.

So this is a reminder that we all need to be alert and not complacent:  Keep doors locked and alarms set when we are out, even during the day.  We are a Neighborhood Watch community. So we can all be on the look out.

Message sent by The Ridges Board via email to residents and owners, 3/17/20
Ridges Board