Mountain View Neighborhood
Friday, April 2, 2004
Neighbors Target Crime, Pollution
By Carolyn Carlson
Journal Staff Writer
They live between a major interstate, the river, the city's sewer plant and several heavy industrial plants.
They are the residents of the Mountain View Neighborhood. Several of
them— about 65 to 75 of them— are active members of one of
Albuquerque's busiest neighborhood associations.
Patty Grice is president of the association. While the board positions
are unpaid and voluntary, Grice and the rest of the members are
dedicated to improving the quality of life in this neighborhood.
Grice, energetic and active in all aspects of her community, lobbies
the state Legislature for money to clean up long-standing pollution
problems. She stays on top of education issues and is a link between
the neighborhood and various county, state and federal agencies.
Grice has an army of willing volunteers that stay as busy as she does.
Kim Murphy, vice president of the association, sits on the Bernalillo
County Open Space Board and past president Mary Ann Reynolds sits on
the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Ground Water Advisory Board.
Reducing crime is one of the neighborhood association's priorities.
Theft, drug dealing, gun shootings, pit-bull fights, bird shootings and
break-ins are some of the crime problems identified by the neighborhood
At a recent meeting, representatives from the County Sheriff's
Department met with residents to brainstorm about how to make their
Several members of the association volunteered to organize a core group
of residents to come up with a plan addressing the crime problem and
coming up with ways to help the Sheriff's Department curb crime in
The group came up with "hot sheets" or tip sheets that could be filled
out anonymously by residents identifying people or locations involved
in criminal activity.
Since that meeting, the community policing program is showing signs of
success in the Kinney Brick and Mountain View neighborhoods, Grice said.
During the last few months, sheriff's deputies have received dozens of
tips and have done several roundups that have netted dozens of
"I am really glad to see that the sheriff's department listened to our
concerns," Grice said. "I am glad to see that hot sheets work."
According to the county Environmental Health Department data, the South
Valley— more specifically the communities of Mountain View, Los
Padillas, Pajarito Mesa and San Jose— has three U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency-identified Superfund sites, the majority of the
county's "Brownfield sites" (abandoned industrial sites) as well as 36
polluting industries that are regulated by the EPA. Thirty-one of those
polluting industries are in the Mountain View neighborhood.
Some of the major polluting industry sites in the Mountain View area
include Public Service Company of New Mexico's Persons Station, seven
petroleum fuel bulk terminals, Rek Chemical, and 35 other hazardous
waste facilities that include a water treatment facility, a dairy, more
than 25 auto recycling yards, five gravel and concrete companies, a
solid waste landfill, a fertilizer factory and a chicken farm. In
addition, there are 16 major air-polluting industries and 66 smaller
polluting industries in the area.
Along with all of those problems, Mountain View is home to the largest
underground nitrate plume in New Mexico. The plume is about
three-quarters of a mile wide and 30-feet deep. The plume contaminated
61 private wells and two city wells. The plume is not considered a
The EPA Superfund sites in the South Valley Mountain View area include
a petroleum hydrocarbon plume from the Chevron, Texaco and ATA Pipeline
tank farms and the old General Electric plant site, which covers about
one square mile in the San Jose area. This was added to the Superfund
site list in 1983, making federal money available for cleanup.
Industrial operations at the site contaminated the soil and ground water with chlorinated solvents and other pollutants.
At a recent neighborhood association meeting, top environmental
officials with the state, Bernalillo County and the city of Albuquerque
agreed to work together to address serious concerns in the South Valley
neighborhood of Mountain View.
"We want to elevate the issues of the South Valley pollution so people
across New Mexico see this neighborhood is a microcosm of many problems
found in New Mexico," state Environmental Secretary Ron Curry said at
Curry, Kristine Souzzi, director of the county's Environmental Health
Department, and Alfredo Santistevan, director of the Albuquerque
Environmental Health Division/Department, all pledged their support for
forming a task force to address environmental problems in the Mountain
View neighborhood and its surrounding area.
On Thursday, Grice said the task force is be made up of about 12 people
including residents and state and county environmental staffers.
Grice said she was in Santa Fe on Wednesday meeting with Curry.
"They are really serious about this project," Grice said.
Improving quality of life
The association donates $500 per year to the Mountian View Elementary School.
"This year we presented Mountain View Elementary School with 20 computers," Grice said.
The computers were donated by the Southside Water Reclamation Plant.
The sewer plant, which is in the Mountain View Neighborhood, has
upgraded its computer system and decided to give the used computers to
the local school.
Mountain View Principal Audie Brown said some of the donated computers
will be placed in the computer lab and others will go into classrooms.
All the donated computers have Microsoft Windows operating systems
loaded on them. Some members of the neighborhood association have also
donated software for the children to use, Grice said.
The association is a member of the Albuquerque Partnership, an
organization of city and county neighborhood associations that focus on
crime prevention, nuisance abatement and education issues among other
The association also is a member of the South Valley Coalition of
Neighborhood Associations, made up of representatives from other South
Valley neighborhood groups.
Grice said the association is always looking for new members, especially businesses members.
"We are a group of people who are concerned and dedicated to preserving
and enhancing the quality of life in this unique neighborhood," Grice
For more information, contact Grice at 452-9159.
Mountain View Neighborhood Association
Environmental issues including air, water and noise pollution
Improving the quality of life for area residents
YEAR FORMED: Early 1970s
President: Patty Grice
Vice President: Kim Murphy
Secretary: Mark Rudd
Treasurer: Mary Hall
MEMBERSHIP: 65 to 75 active members. Yearly dues $5 per household; $15
for businesses. The newsletter is sent to 1,500 households in the
MEETING AND CONTACT INFORMATION: General meetings Second Tuesday of
each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center.
Contact Patty Grice 452-9159.
BOUNDARIES: Woodward on the north, Isleta on the south, Rio Grande on the west and Interstate 25 on the east.
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