The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Public Safety

NM Public Lands Action Network seeks to curb reckless riders


Triggered by growing concern over increasing use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) by reckless riders on public lands, groups and individuals across New Mexico formed the New Mexico Public Lands Action Network (NM PLAN) to address the growing threat posed to all other public land users by irresponsible ORV riders.

NM PLAN held its initial statewide organizing meeting in Albuquerque recently and more than forty ranchers; hikers; private land owners; acequia, land grant, and watershed associations; law enforcement and public health officials; and others joined forces to promote responsible use of public lands and ensure that the state’s ORV-related laws are strongly and effectively enforced.

NM PLAN’s statewide director Emily Romero said the group hopes to achieve its goals through education, advocacy, and partnerships with local groups.

“Public lands belong to all of us, but along with the privilege of using them for recreation, we also have a duty to use these lands responsibly,” Romero said. “It’s not right that a small minority of reckless riders are destroying our beautiful landscapes with no regard at all for the rest of us.”

Off-road vehicle violations are especially widespread on BLM lands, Romero said. She said that more and more watershed associations are working to prevent damage to riparian areas caused by reckless riders.

Romero said reckless ORV riders also cost taxpayers money in injury-related treatment. She said many ORV accidents result in death and serious injuries requiring long-term care. Often, ORV riders lack the necessary insurance to pay for care, and taxpayers end up footing the bill.

To learn more about NM PLAN, contact state director Emily Romero at (505) 459-4304 or visit the organization’s website at See the website for additional information about NM PLAN and the impacts of reckless riding on public lands.

Girl Scouts announce cashew recall

On November 13, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. announced that Ashdon Farms, a vendor they used this year in a small-scale fundraiser, has recalled a limited number of their ten-ounce containers of cashews because they may contain non-food items. These containers were sold by Girl Scouts in Northern and Central New Mexico, including Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, and Valencia counties.

There have been no injuries or illnesses related to the recalled product, but in the interest of public safety, and while the FDA approval process for a recall is still ongoing, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails, Inc. wants to ensure customers who received these cashews are aware of this recall as soon as possible.

Ten-ounce cans of cashews having the code date 7268A9 or 7268B9 on the second line of the code printed on the bottom of the can have been recalled. Only ten-ounce cashew containers with the above code date are affected by the recall.

If you have cans with these code dates, please contact the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails office at 343-1040 or 1-800-658-6768 to arrange for replacement of the product.

Ashdon Farms has been a licensed vendor of Girls Scouts of the USA for more than ten years and has provided products of high quality without incident.

Operation Superblitz patrols Bernalillo


The Bernalillo Police Department will be conducting DWI checkpoints and DWI saturation patrols in and around the Town of Bernalillo during Superblitz. Superblitz will begin on November 16th and run through December 2nd. The department will also be working in conjunction with the Sandoval County DWI program looking for drunk drivers. Please don’t drink and drive.

Beware of bankruptcy and mortgage rescue scams


People facing foreclosures and seeking bankruptcy relief are being victimized by unscrupulous companies that are making their money problems worse, not better.

Consumers are being contacted by companies that promise to save their houses for a fee, but do nothing to protect the homeowner. When it is too late, the company refers the homeowner into bankruptcy and may even find someone to fill out their bankruptcy petition. But, that person is usually not a lawyer and cannot represent the homeowner in the bankruptcy proceeding. A homeowner who files bankruptcy and represents himself may not fully know how to protect his home and may still lose it in the bankruptcy proceeding.

The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips to help avoid losing money to mortgage rescue and bankruptcy scams:

1. If you are in default on your mortgage, do not ignore the problem. Talk to your mortgage company when you first realize you might be in danger of defaulting on your monthly payment; they may be able to work with you.

2. Talk to a HUD-approved housing counselor to understand your options and learn about foreclosure prevention.

3. If someone offers to make your payments for you in exchange for transferring your deed to them, do not agree and do not sign any papers to transfer your ownership.

4. If you decide to file bankruptcy, consult a licensed bankruptcy attorney, not someone from a company that promises to help you file the correct papers.

5. If you seek help from a debt or mortgage rescue company, read all forms and contracts thoroughly before signing.

6. Be very cautious if a company asks you for payment of fees upfront.

7. Remember: debt and mortgage solution company personnel typically are NOT attorneys.

For tips on how to avoid foreclosure, please visit the following website from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

Bill funds wildfire prevention and river and drought studies

Last month, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007, an important bill that includes resources to end the flooding that has recurred in New Mexico for decades following rainstorms.

The President vetoed this bill, but an override vote gained the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto. The Senate must now do the same for WRDA to become law.

With the leadership of the Congressional delegation, the various government entities came together under the umbrella of the Army Corps of Engineers—the federal experts on floods and rivers.

WRDA authorizes $16.15 million in federal support for the project, requiring a partial state/local match of the remaining $8.69 million of the estimated total cost.

Other WRDA provisions of importance to New Mexico include the following:

• It authorizes the Secretary of the Army to fight wildfires.

• It directs completion of a drought study in the Southwestern U.S. including New Mexico.

• It contains watershed management and river basin assessment efforts that include the Rio Grande.

• It extends the tribal partnership program that funds water projects in Indian Country without requiring local matching funds through 2012.

• It provides technical planning assistance to states and doubles the yearly limit per state or tribal government to $1 million.



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