The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Katharine Graham Dahm

Katharine Graham Dahm

Katharine Graham Dahm named a Macey Scholar


On November 19, Katharine Graham Dahm, a graduate of Rio Rancho High School who is now a senior majoring in environmental engineering at New Mexico Tech, was named a Macey Scholar for the 2007-2008 academic year at the state-supported research university. New Mexico Tech students named Macey Scholars are selected on the basis of their demonstrated academic accomplishments, both in the classroom and research lab, as well as their active participation in institutional service and co-curricular activities.

In addition, Dahm also is a recipient of the prestigious Tau Beta Pi Scholarship, sponsored by the national engineering honor society.

Dahm is the daughter of Clifford Dahm and Rhea Graham of Placitas. She has participated in a summer internship program and maintains a current part-time position with Golder Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting firm in Albuquerque, in which her work has focused on mine tailings top surface analysis by using heat dissipation sensors to estimate moisture flux through the tailings pile.

“New Mexico Tech has set very high standards for its students, and my experiences at Tech have pushed me to become a well-educated and hard-working individual,” Dahm says. “New Mexico Tech provides its students with excellent opportunities in every field of study,” she adds, “and I am grateful to have had the opportunity—as an undergraduate—to work closely with faculty on projects that interest me.”

SMPC to be Placitas Library’s Architect


On November 16, the Sandoval County Commission approved the Selection Committee’s choice of the Albuquerque architectural firm, SMPC, as the architect for the Placitas Library project. Members of the selection committee, Gail DellaPelle, chair, Robert Moraga, Jim Medueña, and Frank Buethe from the Library, and Phil Rios and Fred Marquez from Sandoval County, spent countless hours studying proposals, visiting libraries, and interviewing the final four firms. They did a thorough, fair, and professional job. Eleven firms sent qualifying proposals and the choice among the final four was difficult. The decision was based on the SMPC’s strength in the areas of previous library design, green building design, and openness to and experience with inclusive community input in the design process. All of us at the Library are excited about working with them to create a beautiful, affordable, functional, and green library for Placitas.

Though the Library has raised almost $1 million for the building, this will only pay for approximately half the space community surveys and library standards have indicated Placitas needs. Consequently, our Capital Campaign Committee is hard at work researching potential corporate donors. If you have experience in this area and/or ideas and contacts that might help, please contact the Library at 867-3355 or

Placitas’s own Night Sky expert, Charlie Christmann, will speak at the Library on Thursday, December 13 at 7 p.m. Charlie will be discussing the Geminid meteor shower—including what causes the Geminids and when to watch for them. He will also speak about the Sun, solar storms, and related topics. So, bring your binoculars to check out the falling stars and a new comet, too.

Our large print collection has many new titles, thanks to the efforts of our used book maven, Mary Morell. These are all recent fiction publications so please, stop by the Library or check our online catalog to see what’s new.

Santa Fe Opera announces poster contest

Students throughout New Mexico are encouraged to enter The Santa Fe Opera’s youth poster design contest. Entries are being accepted until December 15.

Images featuring characters from the Youth Night operas (Verdi’s Falstaff on June 23 and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro on June 24), the opera house itself, or elements relating to opera are of particular interest. Images selected will be used to publicize the 2008 Youth Nights. Posters may be submitted in any medium and the final work should be at least 8-1/2” x 11” and no larger than 11” x 17.” Students may submit more than one entry.

At least five winners will be selected and all will receive a cash prize and six tickets per performance to both Youth Night at the Opera performances. If the artist’s work is selected for Opera Shop merchandise, the artist receives $100 worth of merchandise featuring his/her design.

Please print the artist’s full name, age, school, home address, and phone number on the back of the artwork. Mail to: The Santa Fe Youth Poster Design Contest, P. O. Box 2408, Santa Fe, NM 98504-2408. All entries become the property of The Santa Fe Opera. For more information, contact Andrea Walters at (505) 986-5928.

Rio Rancho library announces holiday events for teens

Was the Wolf really that Big and Bad? Inquiring minds want to know, and the Rio Rancho Public Library has the answer!

The library’s Teen Advisory Group is producing a puppet show for children that will take place on Monday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m. Adapting stories from Frankly Fractured Folktales by Anthony D. Fredericks, the three-act puppet show will dissect the legend of the Big Bad(?) Wolf. There is limited space, so this is a ticketed event; tickets are available for free at the Youth Services Desk at the Loma Colorado Main Library.

The Library will be putting on a “Paper Fun” craft program for teenagers in early December. Local paper artist Geri Michelli will show teens how to use easy-to-find materials such as ribbon, wrapping paper, and beads to create paper ornaments and decorations for the holiday season.

There will be two “Paper Fun” craft sessions. The first, on Tuesday, December 4, will show how to use the star fold to create decorations; the second, on Wednesday, December 5, will teach the lotus fold, which will be used to make small book ornaments. Samples of these paper crafts are on display in the Twilight Zone Teen Scene at the Library.

Both sessions will take place from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Children’s Program Room at the Loma Colorado Main Library, located at 755 Loma Colorado Drive NE. For more information, call the teen librarian at 891-5013, ext. 3031.

Placitas Elementary 2006-07 yearbooks are coming

The long awaited 2006-07 school yearbooks should be arriving by November 30. Cyndi Krattiger, the 2006-07 yearbook coordinator, apologizes for the long delay. Apparently, the yearbook company “lost” the Placitas Elementary School (PES) packet. Fortunately, for 2007-08, the school has contracted with a different publishing company.

Yearbooks will be available for pick-up at the PES office starting December 5. Please call the school at 867-2488 to verify that the books have arrived as scheduled. If you need more information, contact Ms. Krattiger at 771-2577 or According to Karen Hamilton, the 2007-08 yearbook coordinator, the anticipated delivery date of the current school year’s book is May 23, 2008.

“Keeping the dream alive!”


On Monday, January 21, Grant Chapel AME Church presents its twelfth annual breakfast commemorating the life and ideals of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Marriott Pyramid North Hotel, 5151 San Francisco Rd. NE, in the Journal Center. This event is open to everyone in the community to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and provide an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves to complete the work yet undone to create a fair, equitable, and inclusive society.

Our theme is “A day on, not a day off!” The program includes a speaker, recognition of community supporters, and scholarship presentations. Reverend Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown, Associate Professor of Homiletics at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta, GA, will present the keynote address. Dr. Brown is a civil rights activist and a prolific writer and speaker. She has spoken at religious and secular seminars, educational conferences, and other special events.

Generous corporations, organizations, and individuals throughout the Albuquerque metropolitan area fund scholarships in amounts of $500 or $1,000 that the Grant Chapel Lay Organization will award to qualified young people at this breakfast. Scholarship applications are available at the Grant Chapel website,, or the church office at 7920 Claremont Avenue NE in Albuquerque. The application deadline is December 31, 2007. For further information or assistance, please contact Mildred Smith or Pat Jerabek of the Scholarship Committee through the church office at (505) 293-1300.

Breakfast tickets are now available. Donations are $20 for adults and $12 for students with ID and youth eighteen years of age and younger. Organizations and/or individuals may reserve a table by purchasing ten tickets or more. Please contact Galvin Brown through the church office at (505) 293-1300 for tickets. Frank Jerabek is the Public Relations Chairperson at Grant Chapel AME Church. You may contact him either through the church office or at (505) 263-7187.

Kids in Discovery educational booklet released

The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE) has released a new educational booklet titled Discover the Waters of New Mexico: Kids in Discovery Series (KIDS). The free booklet is aimed at students eight to twelve years old, and is now available through the Office of the State Engineer and its financial partners.

The goal of the booklet is to provide a complete picture of New Mexico’s water. There are sections on water uses, water availability, water law, the history and culture of water in New Mexico, water distribution and treatment, nature’s need for water, and water conservation. The booklet can be used in the classroom or sent home with the students to share with their families.

The design approaches to each section are slightly varied to account for multiple learning styles, as well as multiple subject matters. For example, maps and graphs contribute to the logic and math skill sets, water stories present content on history and social issues, and various games address interpersonal or intrapersonal skills, depending on the teachers’ needs. The final layout of the booklet expands on the knowledge gained and sets the students on a path of action through water conservation.

To order free copies of Discover the Waters of New Mexico: Kids in Discovery Series (KIDS), please contact your local sponsor or the Office of the State Engineer. The NMOSE orders can be placed through 1-800-WATERNM or by sending an email to Please include your name, mailing address, phone number, and number of booklets desired.

Native Couture: A history of Santa Fe style

Santa Fe style represents a state of mind held by those who live in this town either as full-time or part-time residents. Santa Fe style has influenced fashion and design worldwide. It is not just jewelry and clothing but a feeling inside, a sense of place and that total belief in the Navajo saying, “Walk in beauty.”

The spirit of Santa Fe style has inspired an exhibit with the same name at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Native Couture opens December 16, 2007 and runs through September 1, 2008. Drawing from the museum’s incomparable collections, this exhibition showcases both old and new jewelry—1880 to the present. The exhibition will explore the history of Santa Fe style and what it incorporates.

The focus of Native Couture revolves around the Dicky Pfaelzer Jewelry Collection, donated to the museum by her children in 2005. Dicky, a style-setter, was known throughout town for creating a statement with her beautiful jewelry and exquisite clothing, and she was a fixture on the Santa Fe gallery scene for more than eighteen years. She also drove a station wagon painted with lizards and other Southwest iconography.

Even today, in the spirit of Dicky Pfaelzer, vibrant individuals celebrate local culture by adorning themselves in jewelry and fashions influenced by Native American, Hispano, and Western Frontier aesthetic traditions. Unique and eclectic, Santa Fe style is emblematic of the American Southwest.

Santa Fe style, while focusing around Dicky Pfaelzer and her jewelry collection, is the ever-changing story of jewelry and fashion in the American Southwest, especially Santa Fe. Yet some elements remain timeless, such as the imagery. Bears represent hunting and the prayers associated with a successful hunt, along with the power of the animal. The naja at the end of the squash blossom is a Moorish symbol with hands encompassing good spirits, along with the squash blossoms signifying a good harvest. The religious cross and sacred heart symbols are used in the Catholic Church. The western tradition of cows’ heads, stars, hearts, and badges is everywhere in the iconic popular culture of the west.

Santa Fe style is a tradition of jewelry making by Native Americans, Anglo Americans, and Spanish Americans alike that utilizes easily attainable or local materials such as coins, copper, silver, and turquoise, and traded materials such as precious and semi-precious gems, coral, and shell. An example of this style evolution is seen in the jewelry tradition of bow guards. Here the functionality of protecting the wrists while using a bow and arrow in earlier times developed into a purely aesthetic use of the longer 1950s bow guard which has just as ornate silverwork, but the usefulness of the item is less important than its beauty. Also on view at the exhibit will be richly decorated concha belts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hat bands, dresses, and jackets.

Functional items can also be fashionable. The bow-guards, purse, hair combs and barrettes, buttons, and dress ornaments exhibited are both beautiful and serve important daily functions. Over time, the look of these functional yet fashionable items has changed, as we see with the contemporary bracelet and necklace from the twenty-first century, compared to similar items from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Santa Fe style can be seen on individuals throughout the world today, thanks to internationally-known contemporary designers such as Ralph Lauren and local Native American designers such as Virgil Ortiz, Patricia Michaels, and Pilar Agoyo.

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture is located on Museum Hill, on Camino Lejo off Old Santa Fe Trail. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. New Mexico residents with a valid ID are admitted free of charge on Sundays. New Mexico resident senior citizens (age 60+) with a valid ID are admitted free of charge on Wednesdays. Admission is $8 for non-state residents and $6 for New Mexico residents. Children sixteen and under are admitted free of charge. For more information, call (505) 476-1269 or visit



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