Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Real People

New Veterans Cemetery planned for Sandoval County

~Ty Belknap

On March 16, the New Mexico congressional delegation notified the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of their support for a proposed Veterans National Cemetery in Sandoval County. Their letter stated that the county’s proposal, submitted in cooperation with the New Mexico State Land Office and the City of Rio Rancho, meets all the site location requirements requested by the VA on January 17.

Referencing a 2015 New Mexico Workforce Solutions report, the delegation letter states that 14.5 percent of all New Mexico veterans reside in Sandoval County, and it was the only New Mexico county with more than one hundred thousand people, eighteen and older, that had a veteran population representing more than eleven percent of the total population.

County Commissioner Jay Block told the Signpost, “I am thrilled that the new cemetery will be in Sandoval County.” Block retired from the U. S. Air Force last year and takes pride in supporting his fellow veterans. He said that the VA Cemetery in Santa Fe is projected to fill up in eight to ten years. The Sandoval County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the new cemetery.

The proposed 585-acre site is located at the top of the escarpment in northern Rio Rancho just off US 550. This is currently owned by the State Land Office, is within the city limits of Rio Rancho, and was planned for commercial or industrial use. The congressional delegation letter goes on to describe the site as “an idyllic setting . . . that will provide enough land to accommodate current demand, but can also serve as the final resting place for generations of veterans.”

The land will be provided via a land exchange by the New Mexico State Land Office if the county can obtain land that is suitable to the land office. At Signpost press time, this land had not yet been identified, according to Sandoval County Public Information Officer Sidney Hill. Hill also said that the details of the transfer to the VA won’t be worked out until after the county has acquired the property.

Commissioner Block also said that a new Veterans Affairs Office will be opening at the Sandoval County Administration Building as soon as a Veterans Service Officer fills the position. Veterans will be able to find assistance with applying for benefits such as a Sandoval County property tax break, transportation, and, ultimately, burial at the new cemetery.

Local sawmill manager named Outstanding Logger

~Tiffany Avery, Sandoval Economic Alliance

On March 3, the Forest Resources Association’s Western Region announced that Terry Conley of Walatowa Timber and TC Company is the region’s outstanding logger, nominated by the NM Forest Industry Association Executive Director. Because of this award, Terry is now in the eligible for the FRA’s National Outstanding Logger recognition.

A third generation logger, Terry has worked on mostly Forest Service lands and privately-owned land since 1961. With New Mexico’s timber economy on the decline over the last several decades, Terry has had to be innovative in his service offerings, and has evolved TC Company to be able to manage just about any treatment requested by land managers.

TC Company holds a Stewardship Contract for the Southwest Jemez Collaborative Landscape Restoration Project, which includes a portion of the Santa Fe National Forest (110,000 acres), 86,000 acres in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and additional acres from the Jemez Pueblo, along with parcels of state and private lands.

“Congratulations to Terry, I was happy to hear he was being recognized for his diligence and hard work. Terry is very knowledgeable and we are fortunate to have him as a partner in the wood industry in Sandoval County,” said Dianne Maes, Director, CPS, Office of Business Development and Tourism.

"We are extremely happy for Terry Conley to receive this award. Terry exemplifies the New Mexico and Western spirit in his business and career by sticking through the ups and downs our industry has faced. But Terry's determination has allowed him to survive and grow, making a significant impact on his local economy and community through the jobs and product he creates. Meanwhile he is having a much further reaching impact by returning health to the forest he works in and protecting our water sources from catastrophic wildfires. Terry and his family are critical to all New Mexicans to restore those healthy forests for future generations," touted New Mexico Forest Industry Association Board President Dr. Brent Racher.

For more information about the Forest Resources Association or the Outstanding Logger Award, visit

Pat McCarty

McCarty’s Floy—-An Irish Family Tale tells of grandmother’s life

~Anne Frost, Placitas Community Library

Library volunteer Pat McCarty returns to Placitas to share the powerful story of her grandmother’s life through her historical novel, Floy—An Irish Family Tale. Floy is an uplifting story of courage, strength of character, and the power of friendship and family.

The author—Floy’s granddaughter, Pat McCarty spent several years in Placitas as was a positive force in developing Placitas Community Library. She served on the Board of Directors, as PCL’s volunteer coordinator, as a Help Desk volunteer, and is an ace genealogist, advising many on the intricacies of

Pat was born during World War II, and lived with her grandparents and her mother while her father was overseas. She developed a strong bond with her grandmother Floy. As she grew up, she continued to spend a lot of time in her grandmother’s company and witnessed the strength and courage of a woman living in a world dominated by men.

In her thirties, the author sat down with Floy and together they created a set of notes about her grandmother’s life. Floy was very open about her experiences and wanted her story and life to be remembered. Floy was a real person who led an amazing life and impacted the lives of those around her.

The Placitas Community Library is delighted to host an afternoon with Pat McCarty and stories of her grandmother on April 15, at 2:00 p.m.

Amazing women of the Wild West

~Susanne Dominguez, Placitas Community Library

On April 8, at 2:00 p.m., actress VanAnn Moore will examines three territorial women through living history portrayals. These women’s lives demonstrate what it took to survive and thrive during very colorful and extremely challenging times in New Mexico’s Territorial era (1846-1912). This program dovetails with the Ladies of the Canyon program hosted by Lesley Poling-Kempes at the Library last month. VanAnn Moore is a Chautauqua performer and researcher who has brought a dozen historical characters alive for the New Mexico Humanities Council for over 14 years. The program, “Amazing Women of the Wild West: Territorial New Mexico,” will be held at Placitas Community Library.

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