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Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association

—Chris Daul

The Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) will have its first meeting of 2017 on January 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Placitas Fire Station on Route 165. New officers will be elected and an overview on the major issues facing Placitas in 2017 will be given, including sand-and-gravel mining, disposition of the BLM land, and the County’s proposed ordinance on oil-and-gas drilling. All are welcome to attend and participate.

ES-CA continues to meet with Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres on a regular basis. Per our last meeting, the Mayor noted that there have been no complaints about Fisher Sand and Gravel. He also reported that NM DOT has advised him that an RFP has been issued for the bridge expansion project on Route 550 over the Rio Grande and that construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2017. The remaining road expansion is not projected to begin any time soon.

ES-CA also has a representative on the advisory boards of both RUST Medical Center and Sandoval Regional Medical Center. As we know, the Hospital Tax was defeated. We will report on what actions, if any, the hospitals intend to take.

The pipelines that traverse through Placitas continue to be of concern. Some of these pipelines are quite old. The companies do maintain the lines and are required to test them on a regular basis. However, ES-CA member Jodilynn Ortiz is preparing a document to present to our Federal representatives that would require the replacement of pipelines that are over forty years old. We hope to discuss this matter at the January meeting.

ES-CA continues to be concerned that the County is not being sufficiently aggressive in enforcing its zoning laws, specifically regarding the Vulcan mining operation, which continues to operate in violation of its approval. This is even more concerning in light of any proposed new mining on the BLM land to our north. We will continue to work with the County and hope that as more Placitas residents become involved in these matters, the County will react accordingly.

ES-CA continues to monitor Sandoval County meetings, including the County Commission and County Planning and Zoning. Volunteers are always needed to help attend these meetings. Contact ES-CA is you would like to help.

There is no update on the proposed ordinance to regulate oil-and-gas drilling. A draft ordinance was created, but is under review by staff to make changes.

All ES-CA meetings will be on the first Monday of the month, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Placitas Fire Station.


Equality New Mexico guide for LGBTQ families

—--Jamie Dickerman

Equality New Mexico and Family Equality Council are pleased to release a new legal guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families living in New Mexico. This resource provides LGBTQ-headed families and LGBTQ individuals with detailed and accessible explanations of the current status of federal and state, including recognition of same-sex marriages, parental rights, adoption, applying for documentation for children, nondiscrimination protections, school policies, healthcare, parental leave, and more. The guide also includes a list of legal documents recommended that all same-sex couples secure in order to ensure their rights and their wishes are respected.

The guide can be found at bit.ly/NMLGBTQFamLaw.

 
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