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  Real People

Orin Safier helps give a voice to the community.

Thank you, Orin Safier

—Elaine Sullivan

Orin Safier moved to Placitas in 2001. During his years here, he has been an energetic and positive force in our community.

Orin became President of the North Ranchos de Placitas Property Owners Association in 2006. During these years, a number of issues arose that affected not only the residents of Ranchos, but the wider Placitas community. There were attempts at land development to the north and east of Ranchos that affected several subdivisions. Orin became a leader in unifying the various interests to defeat these developments. By 2007, when the county began a new zoning overlay which would result in separating Placitas between east and west, Orin took a broader leadership position and ultimately the plan was for a unified Placitas. The ad hoc group to which Orin belonged helped to prevent a high-density development near the library.

In 2008, the ESCAFCA situation became apparent. In this case, the county had falsely produced information which made it appear that Placitas was the cause of severe flooding problems and tried to tax the property owners in Placitas for a major portion of the costs of repair. Orin and others worked tirelessly with our state legislators and was able to have Placitas removed from the ESCAFCA taxation. Orin was able to be a voice that found common ground amongst the various interests in Placitas and presented the united front that defeated this tax.

After the ESCAFCA victory, the people involved realized that Placitas could no longer be a group of autonomous subdivisions. We had common interests and common adversaries. Thus began ES-CA in 2011. Orin, along with Bob Gorrell, the current chair, and a host of others, formed a watchdog group to monitor government actions that affect the Placitas community. This group has prevented an asphalt plant near Placitas, worked to limit expansion of the LaFarge gravel mine, submitted comments to BLM on its Resource Management Plan to prevent mining on the Buffalo Parcel, and worked with the Department of Transportation to correct the problems on the new freeway interchange, among other projects.

Orin is also on the Board of Las Placitas Association and Rebuilding Together Sandoval County as well as continuing to be the President of the North Ranchos de Placitas Property Owners Association. He loves the rural beauty of the Placitas area and has used his enormous talents at bringing people together to allow us to continue this wonderful lifestyle.

Orin will be relocating to Denver in February and while it is a great loss for his many friends and for our community, he is leaving a legacy of a Placitas community that is an entity with a real voice in maintaining a good life for its residents.

The Placitas Giving Circle begins third year

—Kate Miller

January 2015 begins the third year of Sophia’s Giving Circle of Placitas. The group came together with the purpose of supporting projects in the Placitas area with monies and resources from the group.

The concept of a giving circle grew out of an NPR program that discussed the value of a philanthropic group that can pool their money, and other resources, to provide support to specific projects that meet the particular criteria of the group. It’s a way to both learn about community and be philanthropic, without being a large foundation. If you look nationwide, there are about 140 giving circles, which have raised nearly ninety million dollars over a five-year period.

We look for local projects that benefit the community. Since we are not a large foundation, but rather an interested group of Placitas Citizens, we consider affordable and sustainable projects in which we can make an impact.

The Giving Circle focuses on projects in Placitas and neighboring communities. During our first two years of operation, we have supported projects through Casa Rosa, Placitas Elementary School (“Sewing the Generations Together” and “An Evening Reading Program”), Placitas Animal Rescue (Spay/Neuter Fund and Food Box/Feeding Fido), The Placitas Library Labyrinth (Bench), the Placitas Low Power Radio Station (KUPR), as well as having helped to insulate houses for needy individuals and families.

The Giving Circle looks for ideas from Placitas and neighboring communities. If you or your organization would like to discuss an idea with us, contact The Giving Circle in Placitas is not a 501(c)3 organization and therefore members do not receive any tax benefit for belonging.

If you find the concept of a Giving Circle of interest, we would be happy to talk with you and share our story.

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