The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Governor Peter Pino of Zia Pueblo speaks in support of the MainStreet Overlay Zone adopted by the Bernalillo Town Council.

Governor Peter Pino of Zia Pueblo speaks in support of the MainStreet Overlay Zone adopted by the Bernalillo Town Council. The pueblo plans to develop nearly 20 acres it owns abutting Camino del Pueblo.

New zoning rules in Bernalillo govern Main Street architecture, style

Bill Diven

Rules to maintain the historic character of downtown Bernalillo have become law, at least for the next fifteen months.

Years of meetings and hours of contention ended with Mayor Charles Aguilar breaking a 2-2 tie among town councilors to create a MainStreet Overlay Zone. The vote came only after town officials added language making the overlay rules easier to amend and requiring another council vote on whether to continue enforcement in fifteen months.

The addition to the zoning ordinance imposes architectural and style guidelines on property four hundred feet on either side of Camino del Pueblo between Avenida Bernalillo on the south and U.S. 550 on the north. The same area already is included in the Bernalillo MainStreet Program, part of a statewide downtown-preservation effort.

“This is one strong tool to change the dynamic of this town,” zoning administrator Kelly Moe said during a special council meeting. MainStreet administrator Maria Rinaldi said the town used the proposed rules to negotiate changes in new commercial developments even though the zoning ordinance did not require compliance.

“There’s absolutely no protection in the (zoning) ordinance against awful-looking buildings,” she said.

The rules limit building and fence heights, exterior materials, landscaping, parking-lot location, signage, and other items related to appearance. For example, a metal building placed at the back of the property behind a parking lot and raw concrete-block wall would not be allowed.

The ordinance also applies to major renovations of existing buildings, both commercial and residential. Opponents of the ordinance said it limits their property rights and doesn’t well define which renovations and repairs must go to the Bernalillo Planning and Zoning Commission for approval.

“The ordinance is poorly written,” home owner Steve Amiot told the Signpost. “It’s totally subjective, so you’re at the whim of the planning-and-zoning people.”

The ordinance should apply to commercial properties, not residential, he added.

Zia Pueblo Governor Peter Pino endorsed the overlay zone, which includes nearly twenty acres owned by the pueblo adjacent to Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. He said that the pueblo is working on a master plan and seeking funding to create an office and retail area around a plaza.

“Every Spanish community has a plaza,” Pino said in an interview. “Bernalillo has no plaza.”

Pino told councilors that Bernalillo has benefited from not being contiguous to as that city spread into the countryside.

“We have the makings of something different here. Bernalillo has not developed as fast as Los Lunas or Belen. Maybe that’s good, because it has given us time.”


Health commons coming to Sandoval County

—Michelle Melendez
Public Health, District 1

In the next few months, when a family walks into the Public Health Office in Sandoval County for a simple shot, they may get a whole lot more. A team of service providers is forming a “health commons” in which families are offered an array of services under one roof and with minimal appointment hassle.

The new, comprehensive approach is called the Sandoval Family Support Program and is being housed in the Bernalillo Public Health Office temporarily until the new building on NM 528 and Idalia Road is completed.

“It is not uncommon for public health offices to be located in the same building as other primary care providers. The difference with Health Commons is that partners will assess the needs of the entire family and deliver services on the spot, as opposed to referring people to follow up for themselves later,” said Mary Meyer, district management liaison for Sandoval County Public Health.

“This creates a space where all these partners come together to provide services,” Meyer said. “It opens doors so families don’t have to take someone to twelve different appointments in Albuquerque to receive care.”

The program will encompass primary care, behavioral health, domestic-violence services and prevention, child-development screening and parenting education, workforce training, and public health services, including childhood immunization, adult flu vaccines, family planning, STD testing and treatment, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, WIC nutrition counseling, vouchers, Medicaid application assistance, and several other services.

Partners include Sandoval Community Health Alliance, Sandoval County Public Health offices, El Pueblo Primary Care Clinic, Haven House domestic-violence services, Abrazos Family Support Services, Peanut Butter and Jelly Family Services, and La Buena Vida Community Mental Health Services.

The $1.2 million, ten-thousand-square-foot building is being funded by the county, state, and federal governments.


Marc Simmons

Marc Simmons

Southwest author to speak at historical society

Marc Simmons will be the speaker at the April 25 meeting of the Sandoval County Historical Society. Marc has been a ranch hand, movie extra, Peace Corps officer, and horseshoer, and he has written forty books on Spanish colonial and Southwestern history.

Simmons’s newest book, José’s Buffalo Hunt, is based on a true story of José, an eleven-year-old boy, and his adventures with the ciboleros, the buffalo hunters. Illustrator Ron Kit will be on hand with original art created for the book. Both Marc and Ron will be available to sign books.

The featured artist for April will be Blackwolf, an internationally known award-winning artist who resides in Peña Blanca. His work focuses on exploring the relationship between life, death, and the spirituality of the desert. He now captures these images photographically and through his collection of desert pieces.

The public is invited to this free program at 3:00 pm at the Sandoval Historical Society Museum on Edmonds road just west of the Coronado Monument.

For information email or call Hal or Beverly  Jackson at 867-1742.


El Rinconcito español

Susana Vincent

¡Calmantes montes, alicantes pintos, pájaros cantantes, elefantes voladores!

[cal-MAHN-tes MON-tes, al-li-CAHN-tes PIN-tos, PAH-ha-ros cahn-TAHN-tes, e-leh-FAHN-tes bo-lah-DOR-es]

This is an elaborate and colorful expression invoking sedatives, painted snakes, singing birds, and flying elephants which simply means “calm down.”

SOS-panyol offers fun and stress-free Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication skills.


History of the Church in the Nineteenth Century in NM

On April 6, the Corrales Historical Society will host “The Church in the Nineteenth Century” with speaker Thomas Chavez. The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Old San Ysidro Church in Corrales. As part of the society’s 2003-2004 Speakers Series, the program is free and open to the public. The church is fully accessible to those with disabilities. Refreshments will be served after the program. For further information, call 899-6212.


Placitas Flea Market gets jumping in May

The Placitas Flea Market will be in operation on the second Saturday of the month starting in May and running through September. Thanks to Orville and Judy McCallister, the booth fees paid by vendors will help fund art projects, purchase of art supplies, and field trips for students at Placitas Elementary School through the Art in the School program.

Art in the School is a private nonprofit organization that trains parent volunteers to provide art education in the classroom. Art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art studio are part of each interdisciplinary lesson. The program addresses a variety of leaning styles to make sure every child benefits. It teaches students that art is an integral part of the human experience. PES has been a participant in this program for more than fifteen years and students have explored art forms including scientific illustration, quilting, African mask-making, Navajo weaving, Impressionist painting, Mayan relief sculpture, and Hispanic tinsmithing.

Scheduled dates for the Placitas Flea Market are May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14 and September 11. Residents can bring items for resale, arts and crafts, and other treasures to set up in the field on the west side of the Merc parking lot. The cost is $10 per twelve-by-sixteen-foot space. Vendors of all kinds are encouraged to participate. However, no hot foods or sandwiches are permitted. Bake sales and lemonade stands are welcome. Vehicles for sale in the Merc parking lot are assessed a $10 booth fee in order to remain in the parking lot on flea market days.

A Placitas Elementary School volunteer will collect vendor booth money from 7:00 to 10:00 am on Flea Market days.


Anasazi Fields and TPL host annual celebration and benefit

On April 24 and 25 the Anasazi Fields Winery will be hosting its annual Fruits of the Earth Celebration, an acoustic folk/rock festival and benefit. This year, admission to the festival will be free. There will be free wine tasting, music by several local groups, arts-and-crafts vendors, and information booths on the conservation easement as well as the Trust for Public Land’s Crest of Montezuma Project in Placitas. The winery will be releasing its 2000 peach wine for the event. The wine is produced from 100 percent Placitas fruit. The festival will be from noon to 6:00 p.m. both days. Anasazi Fields is donating 10 percent of all wine sales during the festival to TPL to support the conservation-easement project.

The partners of Anasazi Fields Winery and the staff of the Trust for Public Lands invite you to join them at Fruits of the Earth 2004 to formally launch the campaign to preserve a beautiful corner of the village of Placitas.


Free senior wellness clinic provides relief, generates health

St. Vincent de Paul Society

The St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church held its monthly Senior Wellness Clinic in March at the church’s social center on Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo. The free clinic monitors blood pressure, weight, and glucose for those with diabetes. This month five volunteers assisted at the clinic.

Our regular volunteer, Kelly Garry, a reflexologist, performed her therapies. Kelly has offices in Corrales and Albuquerque.

Dr. Michael Martino demonstrated his cold laser modality for deep tissue and muscular pain. Several volunteers were happy with the results. Dr. Martino is a chiropractor in Bernalillo who has been in practice for fourteen years, seven of them in Bernalillo. He has also served as the sports physician for the Bernalillo High School athletic department for the past seven years, and as a chiropractor for the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Dr. Cathy Cameron, DOM, an acupuncturist and massage therapist, also offered her services. Dr. Cameron graduated from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine as a Master of Oriental Medicine. Upon earning degrees in both Chinese Herbology and Acupuncture, and receiving New Mexico licensure, she became a primary-health-care provider. Dr. Cameron also has over fourteen years experience as a massage therapist. She volunteered as a reflexologist and provided therapy for several clients.

Everyone who had their feet massaged by our reflexologists were amazed at the benefits.

Robert Matteson also volunteered with us this month. Rob is a graduate of the Massage Therapy Institute in Colorado. He moved to New Mexico after marrying his wife, Shannon. One of Rob’s therapy specializations is myofacial release of the head, neck, and jaw. Rob spoke about the benefits of massage therapy.

Dr. Martino, Dr. Cameron, and Robert Matteson have offices at Martino Chiropractic in Bernalillo on Highway 550.

If you missed last month’s wellness clinic, please come to the next one on April 15 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend and receive our services at no cost.


10,000 Easter huevos = $10,000

—Fawn Dolan
Bound for Success 

Bound for Success, a nonprofit organization, is sponsoring its first annual Ten Thousand Huevos fund-raiser.

Our goal is to provide ten thousand candy-filled Easter eggs (huevos) to Bernalillo's annual Easter egg hunt at Rotary Park on Saturday, April 10, at 10:00 am.

We are soliciting “eggs”-uberant cosponsors who are interested in donating $500 to our cause. Funds will not only provide ten thousand huevos to hunt but will go towards clothing women in Sandoval County who are in transition to work from welfare, school, and home; and to women and their families who are victims of domestic abuse. Five hundred dollars will provide clothing to five women during the course of the year. Our clients are predominately single, minority females with at least two dependents. They are twenty-one to thirty-nine years old, earn less than $12,000 annually, and lack a twelfth-grade education.

In “eggs”-change for your donation of $500, you will receive a banner that will be placed along the fencing at Rotary Park and acknowledgment in the paper for your “eggs”-emplary support. In addition, you will brighten the day for over 350 children, many of whom live in poverty, who come from single-parent homes, whose basic human needs often go unmet, and who deserve our best efforts.

An individual $10 donation will stuff a dozen eggs with goodies that will “eggs”-cite the children. 

Please send your tax-deductible donations to: Bound for Success, P. O. Box 1960, Bernalillo, NM 87004, or drop them off at Nearly New, A Repeat Boutique, at 836 Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo. Call Fawn Dolan at 280-4603 for more information.


Pilgrimage for Peace will travel to Chimayó, Los Alamos

The twenty-second annual Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace will be held April 17, beginning at 8:00 a.m., at Holy Family Church on Highway 76 in Chimayó. Gerald Nailor, governor and spiritual leader of the Picuris Pueblo, will offer an interfaith prayer circle and blessing. At 8:30 a.m. Father Earl Rohleder, parochial vicar at Santa Maria de la Paz in Santa Fe, will preside at a Catholic mass.

After mass, Los Hermanos of Northern New Mexico will lead a walking meditation prayer to the Santuario for messages of peace and share in a bread-breaking ceremony. Lunch and socialization follow. A car caravan leaves the Santuario at about 1:00 p.m. for Los Alamos and the closing program from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The guest speaker in Los Alamos is Sister Diana Ortiz, who is a former missionary to Guatemala and a survivor of torture. She is also the founder and director of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition and author of The Blindfold’s Eyes. A closing blessing by Picuris Pueblo Governor Gerald Nailor will conclude the program.

A bus ride is available from Albuquerque for $10 per person. For further information, call the Office of Social Justice at 831-8167.






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