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Book by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Vaunda Micheaux Nelso

—On February 4, Rio Rancho librarian and author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson will read excerpts from her two new children’s books: Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal and Who Will I Be, Lord?

Esther Bone Memorial Library announces upcoming events

“Go Game!” began on January 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the library and will continue every fourth Saturday of each month. This is a new youth services gaming program where children ages ten through thirteen can play Guitar Hero®, Mario Kart®, and Wii Sports®. Gamers can come and go any time during the two-hour period and board games are available for play while gamers wait their turn.

On February 2 at 6:30 p.m., Roberto and Cindy Chavez, a well-known musical duo who perform frequently in the Albuquerque area, will offer a live concert. They play old standards and bring a unique style to each of their songs. Their music pleases all audiences with their smooth and mellow vocals and musicianship. Their CD will be available for purchase and autographing after the show and the artists will be happy to talk to all who wish to know about their music. This is a free concert and no tickets or prior registration are required.

On February 4 at 6:30 p.m., Rio Rancho librarian and author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson will read excerpts from her two new children’s books, Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal and Who Will I Be, Lord? Vaunda will show slides, discuss writing for children, and answer questions. Books will be available for purchase and autographing.

On February 6 at 10:00 a.m., the library, in conjunction with the Anne Frank Exhibit at the Coronado Mall, will begin a three-week film series on three consecutive Saturdays in February in the library’s program room. The Holocaust film series will start with the film “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The movie depicts the harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. On February 13 at 10:00 a.m., the second film in the Holocaust series will be “Defiance,” starring Daniel Craig and Live Schreiber. This is about Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe and their escape into the Belorussian forests. “Schindler’s List” concludes the series on February 20 at 10:00 a.m. All three films are Oscar nominees, with “The Diary of Anne Frank”and “Schindler’s List” winning the coveted statue. There is no charge for admittance for any of the three movies, tickets are not required, and snacks and drinks will be allowed.

On February 9 at 6:30 p.m. as a complement to the Holocaust film series, author Lisa Lenard-Cook will speak, focusing on her 2003 book Dissonance, about a piano teacher in Los Alamos who inherits the journals and scores of a composer she does not know. The composer, Hana Weissova, was a survivor of the Resienstadt concentration camp and her music and journals have a profound effect on Anna. Lenard-Cook’s books will be available for autographing and sale and the author will answer questions following her presentation.

Fans of “Fancy Nancy” in kindergarten through second grade are invited to a Fancy Nancy Book Party on February 10 from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Talk fancy, eat fancy food, make a fancy valentine, and hear fancy stories at the event. Participants may ‘dress fancy’ if they like. This program is free but registration is required as space is limited. You may register in person or by phone.

For information or registration for any of the above children/youth programs, call Youth Services at 891-5012, extension 4. All children’s programs are free to the public. For information on all other programs, call 891-5012, extension 3 or 3128. The library is located at 950 Pinetree Road SE in Rio Rancho.


Marc Calderwood

Marc Calderwood, Coordinator of the BHS Computer Clubhouse

Intel Computer Clubhouse Network gives teens a way to explore technology

—Margaret M. Nava, Signpost

Two teenagers head for an inconspicuous building located just beyond a high school auto shop. One carries a backpack; the other wears headphones. As they climb the stairs to the front door, two more teens—one tall, one short—call out for them to wait. “What are you working on?” asks the short boy. “A documentary,” shouts the teenager with the backpack. “Cool,” replies the short teen. “I’m putting together a rap mix. Friday is my brother’s birthday and I’m gonna give it to him as a present.”

An older man wearing wire-rimmed glasses and rolled up shirtsleeves opens the door. “Come on in, kids. Everything is ready.”

The teens are Bernalillo High School students; the man is Marc Calderwood, a professional screenwriter/filmmaker turned mentor, and the building is the Intel Computer Clubhouse, part of a worldwide network.

Based on a learning model created by the MIT Media Laboratory and the Boston Museum of Science, the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network (ICCN) was created in 1993 as a way to provide a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where students could acquire skills and express themselves with the use of technology. With funding and support from companies such as Intel, Apple, Adobe, Corel, Lego, and Autodesk, interested teens can create short films, websites, art, music, and more. “We have computers donated by Intel and Mac,” says Calderwood, “and we have film equipment that we bought through grants we’ve received over the years. Kids can come here and work in all sorts of media processes. They can work in film, create music either for themselves or for the films other kids make, or they can develop spectacular animations like those in Avatar or any one of DreamWorks’ highly successful movies. Some of our software programs are pretty advanced but iLite and iMovie make it easy for the kids to get in and make a film. Once they learn the basics, it clears the decks for them to move on to more complicated programs. Everything they learn here helps them when they go on to CNM or UNM.”

Marc Calderwood became coordinator of the Bernalillo High School (BHS) Computer Clubhouse in late 2008. “This Clubhouse was developed in 2004 but shut down for a year and a half because they didn’t have anyone to run it. Prior to my coming here, there were no films made here. The first thing I did was order some equipment and put the film program together. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working with the high school’s film teacher to produce the First Annual BHS Film Festival. It’s called the Two to Five Fest and it will feature two-to-five-minute-long films made by the kids. We’re hoping to have opening night at the old gymnasium sometime in April. It should be great. One of our Clubhouse members is making a music video and another is making a documentary about Native American rappers. We also have several groups working on narrative films.”

There are approximately eighty members in the Bernalillo High School Computer Clubhouse. Almost evenly split between male and female, some students come in once or twice a week, while others come in three or four days. Thursdays are set aside for girls only. Marc believes that girls sometimes shy away from computers because they feel like they don’t know as much as the boys. With a day of their own, they gain more confidence and experience.

“Last year, two of our young ladies produced a film that went to the state competition and won second place. They were invited to attend the nationals in Texas but that was at the height of the flu epidemic and the competition was cancelled. And a girl from Santo Domingo who graduated from BHS a couple of years ago spent a lot of time in this Clubhouse. In fact, she won a computer and scholarship from the National Clubhouse. She’s now going to CNM and is planning on getting a degree in computer engineering. That shows what direction females can follow.”

Worldwide, there are more than a hundred Computer Clubhouses. Located in more than twenty countries, Computer Clubhouses serve more than twenty-five thousand youth annually. Through an international website, members are able to communicate with one another. “Our kids can compare notes with kids in Russia, Sweden, California, or any of the other three Clubhouses in New Mexico. The website is a closed system open only to Clubhouse members and once a senior graduates, he or she can no longer gain access. These kids are prey and there are a lot of people in the world with ill intent. We don’t need that here.”

What they do need, however, are more mentors. “We have one music mentor who comes in a couple times a week to help the kids learn some of the computer music programs like Garage Band, but we’re really looking for people who can teach animation and website development. We have all the latest software programs but, aside from a few basics, I don’t have extensive knowledge in some of the programs. It would be great if someone could come in once or twice a month and spend a couple hours teaching and encouraging these kids. We particularly need women mentors. Based on our experience, we know girls are just as capable as boys. All they need is a role model.”

For more information about the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, contact Marc Calderwood at Bernalillo High School at (505) 404-5221 or visit the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network website at www.intel.com/education/icc.


Bernalillo’s Recreation Center class offerings for 2010

The newest addition to the Recreation Center schedule is Tai Chi Chuan, an ancient system of physical movement for maintaining strength and flexibility while encouraging good health and calming the mind. New students are welcomed anytime.

• Tai Chi Chuan—Sundays from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. (simplified Yang style). For registration information, contact the instructor, Daniel Mintie, at (505) 792- 4519.

• Badminton—Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

• Shuffleboard—Tuesdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

• Music, Dance, and Talent—Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Line and couples dance. Learn and participate in performances of New Mexican, traditional Mexican, country, and oldies dance.

• Pickle Ball—Tuesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Similar to tennis, Pickle Ball is played on a small court with a paddle and Wiffle ball.

Walking continues to be a popular daily activity at the recreation center, whether indoors during inclement weather or outside in the Rotary Park area. Call for exact time and location.

Most programs are geared toward adults of any age, including seniors. For further information, call Jason Soto, Recreation Center Director at (505) 238-0689. In addition to these scheduled classes, the Recreation Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Recreation Center is located at 370 Rotary Park Road in downtown Bernalillo. From Camino Del Pueblo, take Calle Don Francisco west through Rotary Park. The Center is the large building on the right.


State Treasurer speaks to Democratic Women of Sandoval County

—Doris A. Fields

The Democratic Women of Sandoval County (DWSC), along with a number of community members from Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Corrales, Navajo area, and Rio Rancho were treated to an intriguing talk by New Mexico State Treasurer, James B. Lewis, about the Office of the New Mexico State Treasurer and the role of the State Treasurer in serving the people of New Mexico.

Treasurer Lewis noted that, in order to enhance our economic status as a state, each of us, individually and as communities large and small, must be involved in the process and focus on the importance of education, production of goods, and entrepreneurship.

Lewis is an elected member of the state’s executive branch and serves as the banker for New Mexico state government. He is the president of the National Association of State Treasurers, and serves as a member of the executive committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers.

Each month, the DWSC presents a program of interest to the community. In February, the DWSC will feature discussions about the roles of City Councilors and Mayors in Sandoval County. Meetings are held at the Bernalillo Town Hall on the third Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.


Casa Rosa holding more mobile food pantries

—Charlotte Lough, Chair, Casa Rosa Food Bank

At the Casa Rosa Board meeting in December, it was decided that a Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) will be held monthly instead of every other month, beginning in January. A MFP is when a Roadrunner truck delivers 2,500 pounds of food for the incredibly low cost of one hundred dollars. Items typically included on the truck are cereals, crackers, beans, canned fruit, canned meats, peanut butter, breads, and seasonal produce, as available. This allows approximately fifty pounds of food for each family that participates. These monthly events are open to all eligible Sandoval County residents, versus the Casa Rosa Saturday morning food bank, which is for Placitas residents only.

The January MFP was held January 20, 2010. The February MFP is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, with distribution from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. March, April, May, June, and July pantries are scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month, with distribution from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Specific dates will be listed each month in the Community Calendar of the Signpost.

Through the generosity of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church (LPPC) members/ friends and numerous community members, the scheduled pantries have all been funded. If anyone is interested in sponsoring one of these events in the future, please contact Charlotte Lough at clough7@comcast.net or the LPPC church office at 867-5718.

As the need deepens and the economy continues to sag, jobs are not being reinstated, new jobs are not being established, and more and more people are realizing that a “helping hand” is needed to get through these hard times. Casa Rosa is offering that “helping hand” to all eligible Sandoval County residents at the monthly Mobile Food Pantries and to Placitas residents on Saturday mornings.

As February continues with winter weather and very cold nights, many Casa Rosa consumers are having difficulty staying warm in their homes. If you have blankets, comforters, afghans, or throws in good condition that you no longer need, all would be gratefully accepted at LPPC. They may be brought to the church Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or to Casa Rosa on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to noon. If none of these times accommodate your schedule, contact Charlotte Lough, and other arrangements can be made.

The “Coats for Casa Rosa” project is ongoing through the winter months, so if you have gently used coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, scarves, or gloves that you no longer need, you may drop them off at La Puerta Realty, La Bonne Vie Salon & Day Spa, LPPC, or Casa Rosa Food Bank.

For ongoing fundraising in the spring, more pins from Designs by Lucinda have been ordered. In this order, the majority are women pins with some adobe house pins. The focus is Easter gifts in early April and Mother’s Day gifts in early May. This is truly the “gift that gives twice,” because when you purchase a pin, you are giving a gift to a loved one or yourself and you are giving a gift of food to consumers at Casa Rosa. The profit from each pin allows Casa Rosa to purchase approximately thirteen meals for food bank clients.

Another project that Casa Rosa has begun is the “Rubber Band Project.” Many people are donating specific items that cannot be readily obtained through low-cost Roadrunner orders. For the goods that are available at Roadrunner, Casa Rosa can purchase $9 worth of food for every $1 donated. Therefore, rubber bands are provided for your convenience to attach a $1 bill or other bill to a donated canned or packaged item. Rubber bands are available for your convenience in a yellow bag next to the blue donation bins across from the church offices.

Some of the specific items that are not readily available at Roadrunner include canned meats (tuna, chicken, roast beef, Spam, Vienna sausage, green chile stew), evaporated canned milk, white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cooking oil, toothpaste, and tooth brushes.

These monetary donations will assist Casa Rosa in remaining sustainable and pursuing their vision of providing “A Helping Hand for Placitas.” Thank you to those who choose to participate in this way.

Blessings and sincere thanks are given to all who have shared their bounty with those who have less. Thank you to those who have contributed to Casa Rosa by donating monetarily, donating specific items, and donating precious hours of time. I have found that the more I share what I have, the more my appreciation for life increases, and the more blessings I receive in return.


Placitas Library Corner

—Anne Grey Frost

The Placitas Community Library (PCL) will be open through the month of February. We will not be closing for the move to the new building until March 1. Sandoval County must receive a Certificate of Occupancy before the move to new building. Contrary to earlier hopes, the County does not anticipate having the certificate until March. If all goes according to current plans, the library will open to patrons at the new site on March 23. Please call the Library at 867-3355 or check the website (placitaslibrary.com) for updates. We appreciate your patience in this often-frustrating process. Many thanks to all the community members who have offered to help during the move. We will be contacting help when we have firm dates and can set up a schedule. It is our hope to make the move over the weekend of March 12 through 14.

The Library will continue welcoming book donations until February 28. In March and continuing on into April, no books or materials donations can be accepted. The Library will suspend all services from March 1 until at least March 23. Pre-school story time will be February 11 at 10:30 a.m., only once this month. Story time and other children’s programming will resume in April.

The PCL board is delighted to welcome the following new members: Connie Goodwin, Norma Ruptier, and Jim Pilcher. We are a hard-working board and look forward to each one’s strengths and energy to help move us along. Connie, long active in both Jardinieros and the Friends of the Library, will be chairing our Grand Opening Committee. Jim, a retired businessman, will be chairing our Community Advisory Board. Norma has long been a library volunteer and coordinator of the PCL book groups.

These folks replace two extremely important board members: chair Wendy Aman and past-chair Judy Labovitz. Employment opportunities are causing the Amans to leave New Mexico and a busy travel schedule makes board duties too much for Judy at this time. We will miss them greatly. Each has helped steer the board through this complex building process. We will remember all their work and energy each time we enter that marvelous new building. The PCL board would like to congratulate and welcome its newly-elected officers: chair, Jim Pilcher; vice-chair, Pat McCarty; secretary, Rebecca Watson-Boone; and treasurer, Susan Fullas.

Upcoming Library Happenings:

The Library will be open regular hours all of February. We will close March 1 for the move.

  • Monday, February 1 at 4:00 p.m.: PCL book group #1
  • Tuesday, February 9 at 3:00 p.m.: Bilingual story hour
  • Thursday, February 11 at 10:30 a.m.: Pre-school story time
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 3:00 p.m.: Kids’ book club
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m.: PCL book group #2

Library Hours: Tuesdays—10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays—10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and when the flag is flying.

Visit us at 1 Tierra Madre, call us at 867-3355, or visit us online at placitaslibrary.com. PICTURE PLACITAS submissions are still being accepted!


Arlene Sanchez and Rep. Martin Heinrich

Arlene Sanchez and Representative Martin Heinrich in front of his office in Washington, D.C.

Placitas woman Heinrich’s guest at State of The Union Address

Arlene Sanchez from Placitas was the guest of U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich at President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 27.

Ms. Sanchez was seated in the gallery of the House of Representatives chamber with other invited guests as President Obama delievered his address to the United States Congress and the American people.

Rep. Heinrich met Ms. Sanchez when she was in Washington, D.C. meeting elected officials on behalf of the CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation and Children's Oncology Group. Since her daughter Seneca was diagnosed with cancer, Ms. Sanchez has been a courageous advocate for childhood cancer research. When Senica was six years old, doctors at the University of New Mexico Hospital discovered she had a cancerous tumor. After treatment she went into remission, but unfortunately the tumor recently returned.

“I am honored to join Mr. Heinrich at the State of the Union address. His office has been gracious in listening to my concerns about appropriations to find cures for childhood cancer. The fact that I was invited to the State of the Union event is a clear indication that Mr. Heinrich is interested in reaching out to his constituents,” said Ms. Sanchez.


Mid-Region Council of Governments wants to hear from you about transportation

Just like the Olympics, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) is completed once every four years. At the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG), planners, data analysts, and cartographers are swinging into action to update the plan for the 2035 time frame. However, unlike the Olympics, the Metropolitan Transportation Plan is not a spectator sport. It requires public participation.

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan provides a vision for transportation in the region on the twenty-plus-year horizon. Key factors used to develop this plan include municipal goals, projected population, job growth, and public input.

The MRCOG is interested in learning how people view the current transportation system, as well as hearing about people’s ideas for future improvements. “The MRCOG Metropolitan Transportation Board is responsible for developing the MTP and we want to hear from our constituents,” states Debbie O’Malley, Metropolitan Transportation Board Chair.

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan is in the early development stage and will not be completed until June 2011. “However, now, in the early stages of the Plan’s development, we want to gather people’s opinions who live and travel in the region,” said Dewey Cave, MRCOG Interim Executive Director. The central New Mexico metropolitan region extends beyond Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. This metropolitan area also includes all of Bernalillo County, southern Sandoval County from Algodones on south, and the Village of Los Lunas in Valencia County.

The MRCOG is currently conducting an online survey. People are encouraged to take the survey by February 12, 2010. Visit www.mrcog-nm.gov/content/view/364/1/. Paper versions of the survey can be requested by calling (505) 724-3639.

Future public meetings and forums will be held throughout the development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. In addition, neighborhood associations, business organizations, and similar types of groups can arrange for MRCOG staff to give presentations to their groups about the plan.

MRCOG is a multi-county governmental agency that provides planning services to the communities it serves in the areas of transportation, agriculture, workforce development, employment growth, land-use, water, and economic development.


An entertainingly “original“ afternoon at the winery

Anasazi Fields Winery kicks off its fifteenth year of commercial operation with a free event on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at the winery in the historic village of Placitas. The event will begin at 2:00 p.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. Indie singer/songwriter Katie Gill, blues guitarist Stagefright Slim, and poet Jim Fish will each perform two sets. Fish says, “Because all three of us will be performing original works written by us, we are calling the event Originals.”

Although Katie Gill is a member of the group The Buckarettes, this will be a solo act with her friend Forest Daniels accompanying her on a few songs. Katie Gill grew up in Roswell, New Mexico and has lived in Albuquerque for the past twenty-four years, performing in hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, craft fairs, and private parties. She has one solo CD entitled “All in Good Time” and is working on a new one. For more information on Katie, please check out her website at katiecaingill.com.

Stagefright Slim released his first CD, “Half Century Blues,” last year. The CD contains nineteen original compositions for blues guitar. He will be performing selections from the CD as well as new material.

Fish, the founder and winemaker of Anasazi Fields Winery, will be reading selections from his three published collections as well as a few new pieces. His wood sculptures will also be on display.

Admission to the event is free. CDs, book, and the wines of Anasazi Fields will be for sale. Non-alcohol drinks will be provided free of charge.

For more information, call Jim Fish at 867-3062 or email anasazifieldswinery@att.net.

 

     

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