Belen’s reputation


The motto of the city of Belen, is “Defending 17th Century values for 300 years.”

Here is how that shows up:

  • The only new construction in Belen on mostly-vacant Main Street in the last 10 years was Domino’s Pizza in 2018 and the expanded Circle-K in September 2021.
  • A dozen businesses on Main Street in Belen have closed over the last several years, plus Buckland Pharmacy.
  • A half-dozen vacant or unsafe buildings on Main Street in Belen were razed to the ground in the last several years.
  • The permit for a Starbucks store has notoriously taken four years, while the expertise of Starbucks from building their 15,000 locations in the U.S.A. was no match for city of Belen intransigence.
  • There is no Pride Parade scheduled for June; if such an event was held in Belen, the participants would probably have stones thrown at them by people along the curb.
  • The population of Belen is shrinking; the number of school-age children in the area shrank so much that the Belen Consolidated Schools district permanently closed Jaramillo Elementary and temporarily moved Dennis Chavez Elementary.
  • The annual downtown floods continue — not caused by climate change/global warming, but from inaction by Belen city government and by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.

New Mexico Magazine and the state tourism group should consider a cover story titled, “New Mexico Slow: The City of Belen – ‘Progress’ Moves Things Backward”

New Mexico Slow! — that says it all.


G.E. Nordell

Rio Communities


Books benefits VFW


A heartfelt thank you to local authors, Dr. Richard Melzer, Cynthia Shetter and John Taylor for donating the profits from the sales of these two wonderful historical books, about local hero Daniel D. Fernandez and 48 other New Mexico Medal of Honor recipients, to Los Lunas Daniel D. Fernandez, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9676.

These books will make a great addition to your book collection. Post 9676 is doing all that it can to market and sell these two wonderful books.

You can purchase them directly from the Post 9676 in one of three different ways: 1) on our website at (click on the “Resources” tab, then click on “Books for Sale”), 2) by printing, completing and returning the Book Order Form on our Website, or 3) by calling Post Commander Chet Pino at 505-414-0288 or Post Quartermaster Jack Lovato at 505-550-4076 and placing your order by telephone.

Upon verification that you have made payment via PayPal or upon receipt of your order and payment, the Post will promptly send you your books.

It was because these three authors recognized that VFW Post 9676 has limited methods of raising funds, that they generously donated the proceeds from the sale of these, well researched, historically accurate, and carefully written books, to support Post 9676’s many community service programs and projects.

Thanks to public donations, like this, VFW Post 9676 has been in continuous operation since it was chartered in June 1966, shortly after Daniel Fernandez made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of four of his comrades in South Vietnam. We will forever be appreciative to these three authors for their generosity and trust in our Post.

Thank you Richard, Cynthia and John for supporting veterans, especially members of Daniel D. Fernandez, VFW Post 9676.


Chet Pino

VFW Post 9676 commander


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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.