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KUPR advisory board members Tim O'Rourke (left) and Chris Frye offload the FM station's new antenna near the tower site in Placitas. Monitoring the progress are (from left) board members Pat Koensgen, Joan Fenicle and Ruth Bouldes, while Mary Lou Skelton provides moral support.
Photo credit: Bill Diven

Do touch that dial—KUPR-FM joining the airwaves

—Bill Diven

It won’t be a card in the mail, but on Valentine’s Day, Placitas and its neighbors may hear the first live remote broadcast of the community’s low-power FM radio station.

The antenna is ready to install on a tower above Placitas, and the equipment to link the studio to the transmitter also has arrived. The volunteers leading the effort hope to sign on for a live remote broadcast from Anasazi Fields Winery during a fundraising event from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on February 14. The first regular programming to hit air is expected later in the month.

The fundraiser includes live music, wine, food and an auction of art related to Valentine’s Day. Organizers earlier estimated total startup costs for KUPR at twenty thousand dollars.

Installing the equipment, which includes hiring professional riggers to hoist the antenna 75 feet up its tower, completes the first phase of the project supported by volunteers and seven thousand dollars in fundraising from businesses, associations, and individuals. The second phase involves outfitting the studio, which, at last report, still needed microphones, mixers, and other gear.

If the weather cooperates in the antenna installation, the station plans to begin broadcasting a prerecorded signal early this month to test equipment and map the range of the one-hundred-watt signal, according to the KUPR Advisory Board.

The Federal Communications Commission projects the signal on FM frequency 99.9 will cover all of Placitas, Bernalillo, and Algodones and reach into San Felipe and Santa Ana pueblos. Terrain can interfere with signals, so more about the station’s coverage will be known once broadcasting starts.

The station website kupr.lasplacitas.org also will carry the regular programming. While the content will be varied from news and lost pets to music, poetry, and beyond, you won’t hear political chatter and blather.

“We want to be a positive voice in the community,” Joan Fenicle, a member of the advisory board, said recently as members displayed the antenna at the transmitter site.

Initially programming will only be a couple of hours a day, but as more volunteers are trained as DJs and operators, that will expand. Under federal provisions for low-power, nonprofit community radio stations, KUPR must be broadcasting at least 36 hours a week by August.

The effort to launch a station arose from the Las Placitas Association, which holds the station license. The San Antonio de las Huertas Land Grant is providing studio space in its building off Camino de las Huertas.

Engineering support has come from astute Placitas residents and the Sandia Vista Amateur Radio Club, and the station board includes one veteran broadcaster still active in the Albuquerque market.

New Mexico currently has 12 low-power FM stations in operation and another 19 including KUPR listed in FCC records as licensed for construction. License holders include two municipal governments, Isleta Pueblo, a library, a teen arts center, an environmental center, and at least 15 with religious affiliations.

The KUPR call letters were formerly assigned to a station in Alamogordo that now goes by KLAG.


Free civil legal clinic offered

—Janet Blair

The Bernalillo County Volunteer Attorney Program and the Second Judicial District Pro Bono Committee will offer a free civil legal clinic the first Wednesday of every month in the third-floor conference room of the Second District Courthouse, at the southwest corner of Lomas and Fourth, NW, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This clinic replaces the foreclosure clinic that had been offered at the same time and place. Clinic organizers say they will be providing free legal advice on a number of civil legal issues such as immigration and foreclosure, employee rights, landlord-tenant, public benefits and probate. No family law services will be offered. Attendance is limited to the first 25 persons who qualify for low-income assistance. Interpreters and bilingual attorneys will be on hand. Those who come to the clinic should bring all their paperwork with them. They can expect about a thirty-minute, free legal consultation. For additional information, call 797-6077.


c. Rudi Klimpert

Skinny dippers beware

Signpost Staff

After the Albuquerque Journal reported in its December 11, 2014, issue that clothing was optional at hot springs in the Jemez Mountains, Sandoval County Undersheriff Karl Wiese told the Signpost that regulations have not changed since the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office was busting unclothed people at all Jemez hot springs for indecent exposure back in 2005. The U.S. Forest Service also confirmed to the Signpost that the rules have not changed. Public nudity is not allowed.

From the September, 2006, Signpost: On August 4, 2005 Sandoval County Sheriff’s detectives were conducting surveillance at Spence Springs off Highway 4 in Jemez Springs in reference to the use of illegal narcotics and past reports of indecent exposures. At 11:15 a.m., detectives observed a male subject approach the area of the two hot spring pools. The male subject removed all his clothing, exposing his genitals to three juveniles and three adults and was taken into custody and charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent exposure.

On Friday, August 19, 2005, detectives issued a total of five indecent exposure citations and two narcotic citations at Spence Springs throughout the day. A criminal history was researched on all subjects from whom it was discovered that two of the five subjects cited for indecent exposure were convicted sexual offenders. Due to past incidents and complaints, the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting such operations in an attempt to deter such activity.

Although neither the SCSO or the USFS has busted any skinny dippers since then, nude bathers still risk an innocent frolic in the woods being spoiled by an encounter with undercover detectives, drug pushers, and/or voyeuristic sex offenders.


The Bernalillo Public Schools honored Erlinda and Joe Torres of T and T Supermart for their 25 years of funding and awarding college scholarships to seniors graduating from Bernalillo High School. Superintendent Alan Tapia (left) made the presentation.
Photo credit: Bill Diven

School district honors Torreses

Signpost Staff

Erlinda and Joe Torres did more than supply Bernalillo with groceries over the years. The owners of T and T Supermart gave dozens of young scholars a boost toward college.

Recently, Bernalillo Public Schools honored the couple for 25 years of awarding what is now a five hundred dollar college scholarship to a few graduating seniors each year.

“I was counting on the way over, and we’re up to around seventy students,” Joe said after he and Erlinda received recognition and a plaque during the December 18 board of education meeting.

“It started out as two,” Erlinda added. “The reason we do this is to give back to the community.”

Students applying for the scholarship submit an essay and meet with the Torreses.

“After the interviews, I look at Joe and say, ‘Who do we pick?’” Erlinda said. “They’re all qualified.”

Later in the meeting, the board approved its list of priorities for the session of the Legislature, beginning on January 20. Some relate to strengthening two funding formulas that support schools and limiting the amount of money diverted to the Public Education Department to support programs of its choosing.

The list also calls for an increase in the minimum salary for Level I, II, and III teachers.

Much of the discussion related to “high-stakes standardized testing,” where a shift to an unproven new testing system is adding costs and concerns and won’t be available in Spanish until 2016. The board called for a two-year moratorium in using the students’ test results in teacher and principal evaluations.

“The standardized testing has demonstrated inadequacies and is an unreliable measure of student achievement and educator effectiveness,” the board said in the resolution it approved.

The board also endorsed a two-tiered model for high school diplomas. The general diplomas would recognize academic success while the diploma of distinction would be based on advanced-placement course credits and other work.


Art, history, culture for free

—Matthew J. Barbour, Manager, Jemez Historic Site

El Palacio is an extremely long-lived magazine. Established by Edgar L. Hewett in 1913, it has been at the forefront of art, history, and culture in the American Southwest for over one hundred years. El Palacio reflects the work of New Mexico’s four state museums in Santa Fe, its six New Mexico Historic Sites, and its singular Office of Archaeological Studies.

Currently, El Palacio is published quarterly and offers articles on archaeological work conducted throughout the state, interviews with world renowned artisans, the latest information on new exhibits and special events held by the Museums of New Mexico throughout the state, and much more. It was the first publication to report on the excavations of Giusewa (Jemez Historic Site) and preservation of the murals at Kuaua (Coronado Historic Site). Today, it continues in this tradition with recent articles on the art of Allan Houser and new developments in understanding the life and times of Billy the Kid.

The magazine is great for all Southwest enthusiasts, and it is free. Visit any New Mexico Historic Site, like Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo, or museum, like the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, see the current exhibits, and grab the most recent issue of El Palacio to keep informed about what is happening throughout the state. In many places, back issues are also available. For example, Jemez Historic Site in Jemez Springs currently offers 18 past issues of the magazine for the taking. The new winter 2014 issue is just in.

 
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