The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


El Rinconcito español

Cuando se pierde el honor, va todo de mal en peor.
When honor is lost, everything goes from bad to worse.

En boca cerrada no entran moscas.
Flies don’t enter a closed mouth.

Todo por servir se acaba.
Everything gets used up with use.

Submitted by SOS-panyol, Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication skills,


Sandoval County Fair opens August 4

The Sandoval County Fair will be held August 4-7. The fair offers experiences and old-fashioned events that are enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike.

The fair features a parade, Pony Express race, arts-and-crafts market, livestock exhibits, battle of the bands contest, wild-horse show, prizes, and other attractions for the entire family to enjoy.

Key events are the Junior Livestock Sale for 4-H members, and junior and professional rodeos. New this year is a two-day rodeo school for hopeful contestants ages seven and up.

In addition, the fair showcases the rich diversity and heritage of Sandoval County.

The Sandoval County Fairgrounds is just south of Cuba off Old NM 44. For more information, call Augusta Hood, 249-2872


Eddie Torres to speak about matachines and the Feast of San Lorenzo

“El Monarca,” linoleum cut,

El Monarca,” linoleum cut,
by Martha Liebert

On August 7 at 3:00 p.m., the Sandoval County Historical Society will present Eddie Torres speaking on the matachines and the Feast of San Lorenzo which takes place in Bernalillo on August 9, 10, and 11. For those new to the area, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear about a piece of historic folklore.

Eddie Torres comes from a family that has been deeply involved with this celebration for generations; his father, grandfather, brothers, and son have participated in it as an important part of their lives.

The matachines dance drama has its roots in Europe of the Middle Ages. It assimilated influences from the Moors and was brought to the New World by the Spanish, where it incorporated elements from Aztec and Pueblo Indian culture. This fascinating collaboration of music, dance, and drama takes place at several allegorical levels.

The program will be held free of charge at the DeLavy House, just west of the Coronado Monument off US 550, in Bernalillo. For more information, call 867-2755.


Energy Department awards $1.7 million to state to weatherize homes of low-income families

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman has announced that $1.7 million has been awarded to New Mexico to improve the energy efficiency of low-income family homes. The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program makes improvements such as plugging air leaks, improving insulation, and tuning air conditioning and heating systems, which reduces energy waste and lowers energy bills. Through DOE's weatherization program, approximately 92,300 homes will be upgraded this year.

In July, Secretary Bodman, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen Johnson kicked off the Partnership for Home Energy Efficiency, aimed at reducing household energy costs by 10 percent over the next decade. Through this partnership, the three federal agencies have consolidated energy-saving information on one convenient Web site:

DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program gives priority to low-income households with elderly members, people with disabilities, and children.

Low-income families spend an average of 14 percent of their income on energy. It is estimated that weatherization can reduce an average home's energy costs by $237 a year.

The weatherization-assistance program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective energy upgrades for each home. These typically include adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services.  For every dollar spent, it is estimated that weatherization returns $1.40 in energy savings to American families. 

Other weatherization benefits include increased housing affordability, increased property values, and reduced fire risks. DOE funds provide weatherization training and technical assistance, supplementing weatherization investments from the Department of Health and Human Services Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, utility public-benefit funds, and other state and local sources. 

More information on DOE's programs to improve the energy efficiency of buildings is available by visiting DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Web site,, or by calling 1 (877) 337-3463.


Jemez Monument to celebrate 1680 Pueblo Revolt

The staff of the Jemez State Monument invites the public to join them on August 14 in a celebration of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

Jemez Pueblo vendors and food booths will be operating from 8:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. A footrace from Jemez Pueblo to the monument starts at 8:00 a.m.

There will be Jemez traditional dances from 10:00 a.m. to noon, music by the Cumulonimbus flute-and-drum group from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and a performance by Grammy Award-winners Black Eagle at 2:00 p.m.

For more information, call 829-3530.


Valles Caldera online

Here is a link to the Valles Caldera site to schedule hiking, fishing, skiing, etc. in the Caldera (commonly known as the Valle Grande), which was recently opened to the public. Go to, click on an activity, and scroll down to get to reservations.


Suburbia blasts through a national monument

Hilary Watts
High Country News

Roads within the new Volcano Heights subdivision are already laid out and paved,

Although the roads within the new Volcano Heights subdivision are already laid out and paved, construction of the homes is on hold until a city moratorium expires next spring.

One hundred and fifty thousand years ago, the Rio Grande rift rubbed its hands together, creating enough heat to spawn the five volcanoes that dominate the tall west side of Albuquerque. When they erupted, those volcanoes spat out a black shelf of rock that American Indians later adopted as a medium for storytelling, etching thousands of petroglyphs upon the basalt boulders.

Below that rocky escarpment, the city’s sprawl spreads like an exotic weed. Since Albuquerque sprouted from its humble beginnings in the wet embrace of the Rio Grande, this escarpment has held new development at bay.

But now, the Volcano Heights subdivision is headed for the escarpment. When the 3,000-acre area was first platted for development in the 1960s, Albuquerque’s taxpayers still subsidized developments in prime locations. But the city was reluctant to pay for Volcano Heights, largely because of the high cost of running utilities through volcanic basalt, and because no roads connected the area to Albuquerque.

That is, until last year, when voters agreed to extend two roads that would give Volcano Heights residents a straight shot to Albuquerque. One of the roads, Paseo del Norte, would pass through Petroglyph National Monument, which protects more than 25,000 examples of ancient American Indian rock art.

"With the market banging on the door, it’s inevitable that the land will be developed," says Michael Cadigan, a city councilor whose district includes the subdivision. He does worry, however, that the new development, like others at the city’s edges, will force residents to drive to jobs and shopping centers elsewhere, further jamming roadways.

Last October, at Cadigan’s urging, the city council imposed a six-month moratorium on home-building in Volcano Heights so the city could organize a planning team. In January, property owners and developers, advocacy groups, neighborhood associations and government officials met to talk about land use, development style and transportation.

The committee laid out three scenarios. One of them assumes the area will include many houses and few jobs; another has modest retail services, walking trails, and encourages some protection of open space and petroglyphs. The third option would include a "downtown" area, employ about 30,000 people, and designate about 30 percent of the development as open space.

Still uncomfortable with the plans, in April, the council extended the moratorium for one more year.

Dolph Barnhouse, executive director of 1000 Friends of New Mexico, which advocates responsible growth, applauds the city’s "cautious" approach, and is optimistic that Volcano Heights will set a new example for the city.

"It took 50 years to get here," he says. "We won’t turn it around overnight, but we’re heading in the right direction." Still, he says, there are currently no requirements for residents or developers to actually follow any plans the city might make for smart growth.

When the moratorium expires next April, Cadigan hopes to enact mandatory ordinances: In the past, he says, ordinances have used words like "should." Now, he says, "we’ll use words like ‘shall’ and ‘must.’ " Another option is to encourage developers to build according to the plan by giving them incentives, such as reductions in newly enacted "impact fees," which the city charges to pay for public parks, trails, and water and sewer mains.

Meanwhile, the city is still embroiled in a lawsuit with environmental, social justice and preservation groups over Paseo del Norte. The groups argue Albuquerque has ignored the National Historic Preservation Act, which would require the city to explore alternatives to extending a road through the national monument.

Assistant City Attorney Greg Smith disagrees. "We believe Albuquerque has complied (with the Act)," he says. "Extending Paseo is the only prudent and feasible alternative for the city."

High Country News ( covers the West's communities and natural-resource issues from Paonia, Colorado.






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