EAST MOUNTAIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Meeting Minutes - Jan. 4, 2007
President Bill Walters called the meeting to order at 11:48 a.m. at the Village of Tijeras Visitor
Center and Chamber Office. Followed the Pledge of Allegiance, introductions were made.
Floyd DeGrodt will act as treasurer until another is found. Andrew Barnes has opted to back out
of those duties as his business has shifted to focus on Albuquerque. There was no Treasurer’s
In the Executive Board Report, Bill said the Breakfast with Santa went well, with a record
income and profit.
Jim Calahan of Well Solutions gave the current member presentation. He noted that the well
technology we have is from the 1920s, with the introductions of the submersible pump in the
1950s, the bladder in the pressure tank in the 1970s and Jim’s product, the “Well Manager,” in
2000. Wells should be checked annually. He can do a well analysis to check the static water level
and the yield. He encourages people to be proactive and not wait until you have no water. His
product starts at around $3,000, and with additional features, up to $10,000. The system helps
poor water pressure, and more. Check out Http:www.Well-Solutions.net.
Jim and Carrie Benvenuti of Desert Coyote online store gave the new member presentation.
Carrie has lived many places and come from an artistic family. She says she considers herself a
multimedia artist, working in leather, polymer clay, silver and jewelry, both free form and 3-D
sculpted pieces in “precious metal clay” which has more silver content that sterling. The couple
sells these items on their Web sites and in a couple of area stores. Carrie also does re-caning of
antique chairs. Jim’s background includes news and graphics production, wedding photo/video
production. He specializes in landscape and nature photography. He does the photos and Web
design for the business. He also offers photo restoration. Learn more at their Web sites, which
are www.desertcoyote.com and www.medievalvillage.com.
Our guest speaker was Jeff Streyka, environmental health scientist with the City of Albuquerque,
is in Bio-Disease Management in the Environmental Health Department. He does work in all of
Bernalillo County. His aim is in plague prevention. Since 1949, New Mexico has led the nation
in bubonic plague. There were five cases in 2006, almost all in the East Mountains, including
one fatal and one near fatal. People contract the disease when they are bitten by an infected flea.
Such bites can be prevented by using flea treatment like Frontline on pets, cleaning up wood
piles or other rodent habitat around the house, keeping cats indoors where they won’t bring mice
home, and wear insect repellant from the waist down. He notes that a flea can detect a human
blood source from 50-60 feet. Jeff’s office has conducted a surveillance program since 1975.
They look at retrospective plague by testing dead animals that people find on their property.
Within about 24 hours, he knows if the animals died of plague and can selectively treat areas of
the property if plague is found. In 2006, he tested about 300 animals, only 26 of which died of
plague. Birds don’t get plague. Jeff’s office also looks at prospective plague, from the Sandia
foothills on the town side and in the East Mountains. They trap lie animals, test their blood and
take fleas from them to track the disease.
Bay Stevens announced that members should save the date for the Chamber’s first Enterprise
Training, March 29, on “Selling Your Story,” based largely to home-based businesses and
entrepreneurs. The morning will include a lunch where participants can meet representatives of
agencies and organizations that can be of help to them.
Membership invoices have been sent out. Bill explained the difference between the regular and
advanced memberships. All members will receive a scenic calendar upon payment of their dues.
The next networking breakfasts will be at 8 a.m. on Jan. 12 and 26 at the Cedar Pointe Grille in
Cedar Crest. The next board meeting is Jan. 12 at 9 a.m. following the networking breakfast.