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Portrait of Mark Conkling: Builder, Developer and Visionary

After more than three decades in the home building and land development business, Mark Conkling says he is today more interested in building people than houses. “I’ve had a tendency in recent years to try to understand the life cycle and why people are the way they are,” says Conkling, who serves on a part-time basis as a United Methodist pastor for the Bernalillo United Methodist Church, which has a congregation of some 45 members.

“The building I am interested in now is how you might build people,” continues Conkling, “how you might help somebody into a new way of life that changes their family and perceptions.”

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Humane Prairie Dog Removal Services Grow with Construction Industry

Trent Botkin has a sure-fire method for figuring out how many prairie dogs may be living on a given acre of land. “Under normal circumstances, its 10 to 20 prairie dogs per acre,” says Botkin, who is the owner of Eco Solutions LLC, a Santa Fe-based prairie dog removal service.

“But sometimes in urban development, where prairie dogs have moved to the one vacant lot that is left on one block, or the one vacant corner left at an intersection, it could be as many as 50 prairie dogs per acre,” he adds.

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Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture, LLC: Breaking Ground for the Next Generation of Female and Minority Architects

Tamarah Begay, owner of Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture, LLC (IDS+A) is continually breaking new ground for the next generation of female and minority architects. Begay is one of only five registered female Native American architects across the nation and the first registered female Navajo architect. When she incorporated IDS+A in 2012 at the age of 32, she was also the youngest Albuquerque-based architectural and planning firm.

Every day she faces unique barriers due to her gender, culture, and age within her profession. Additionally, like every architect regardless of race, gender or experience, she faces the daunting hurdle of a still-sluggish economy. Yet far from being intimidated, Begay uses challenge as motivation to get stronger—and inspiration to open doors for others.

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Las Cruces Civic Plaza Project Seen as Corrective to 40 Year-Old Mistake

Miguel Silva remembers Las Cruces as it used to be. “We had a pretty significant cathedral in the downtown area, and it was torn down in the 1960s,” says the Las Cruces city councilor. “To a degree, when that happened, the city also lost its heart, the hub of the city.”

Now Las Cruces is on the verge of getting its heart back. Members of the City Council this summer gave their approval to a plan that will result in the building of a civic plaza that could turn out to be as much of a community focal point as the once-grand St. Genevieve’s Church was.

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Albuquerque Rail Yard Market Brings New Life to Barelas, Downtown

The Albuquerque Rail Yards Market ended their inaugural season November 2, 2014. Happy attendees spilled out of the Blacksmith Shop, faces painted in the Day of the Dead “Calavera” style, ready for the Marigold Day Parade.

On May 4, just six months earlier, the historic Blacksmith shop was transformed for the first time from an enormous, empty husk of a building into a bustling marketplace. The first market drew a jaw-dropping number of people—8,000 according to Robert Hoberg, one of the coordinators for the Market.

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Virgin Galactic Crash May Not Detract from Spaceport’s Benefits

Due to the tragic crash of the VSS Enterprise, a Virgin Galactic spaceflight test vehicle, in the Mojave Desert, the inaugural flight of any Virgin Galactic rocket from Spaceport America into suborbital space has been unavoidably delayed.

In a statement after the crash, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides remarked somberly: “Space is hard and today was a tough day.” Remarked Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson: “We do understand the risks involved and we are not going to push on blindly—to do so would be an insult to all those affected by this tragedy.” “We are going to learn from what went wrong,” Branson continued, “discover how we can improve safety and performance and then move forward together.”

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New Library Construction Reflects Larger Trends

Trying to decide whether or not to build a partial or complete library, members of the Camp Verde Town Council were impressed when a group of local teenagers showed up at a recent meeting to make the case for a complete structure.

“There are many teens here, including the members of a teen advisory board, who are very interested and involved in the building plans for the new library,” says Kathy Hellman, the director of the Camp Verde Community Library in the central Arizona town of Camp Verde.

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Jerry Pacheco: John the Baptist in the Desert Promotes Mexican Trade and Building Projects

Surveying for more than a quarter of a century New Mexico’s embrace of such industries as mining, tourism and technology, Jerry Pacheco notes “Until very recently we discounted the fact that the state’s biggest, most in-your-face sustainable economic development opportunities have come with trading with Mexico.”

The long-time executive director of the International Business Accelerator, headquartered in Santa Teresa, Pacheco says an observer taking note of his repeated emphasis on improving economic ties between New Mexico and Mexico likened him to a “John the Baptist in the desert in camel hair, looking kind of crazy and yelling ‘The Future is Mexico! The future is Mexico!’”

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Big Paseo/I-25 Interchange Project Entering 9th Inning Stretch

Workers continue to push to meet a December timeline for the completion of the Paseo del Norte/I-25 Interchange construction project.

“We are 80 percent completed right now,” reports Patti Watson, Chief Executive Officer with the Albuquerque-based Cooney, Watson & Associates, Inc., a firm doing public relations work for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

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Lane Gaddy, El Paso Developer Invests in Restoration of El Paso’s Historic Downtown

A pro-alligator campaign may seem like an odd pursuit for any El Paso businessman, but not for Lane Gaddy in the fall of 2011. “I originally got involved because I believed the alligators that used to be here were one of the most unique and interesting aspects of El Paso’s culture and heritage,” recalls Gaddy of what was known as the San Jacinto Alligator Project.

Gaddy’s idea was simple: as the City of El Paso was preparing to renovate and restore its historic downtown San Jacinto Plaza, Gaddy wanted alligators to be a part of the story.

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Legal Constructs

Dena WurmanBreach of Contract

In March 2014, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) sued one of its most highly compensated executives for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract after he resigned and took a job at its chief competitor, Zillow....
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