The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Community Bits

Checkerboard Food Pantry opens in Cuba

The Checkerboard Food Pantry officially opened on June 2, with the distribution of sixteen hundred pounds of food to over two hundred people. Food will be distributed twice a month at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cuba, on the first Thursday, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and the third Thursday, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Organizing the Checkerboard Food Pantry has been a project of the Cuba All-Around Bunch, in collaboration with Nacimiento Medical Foundation, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and the Roadrunner Food Bank. CAAB is made up of local community members, the New Mexico Department of Health's Public Health Office staff in Cuba, and other parties interested in improving the lives of Cuba-area residents.

Since the food distribution can only be made through a nonprofit organization, Dr. Kozoll, executive director of the Nacimiento Medical Foundation, has agreed to partner with CAAB as the nonprofit organization under which the Checkerboard Food Pantry will operate.

Finding a distribution point for the Food Pantry has been challenging. CAAB is grateful that the board of Immaculate Conception School has approved the use of the school as a distribution point.

The food is delivered by the Road Runner Food Bank in Albuquerque. Roadrunner will deliver food twice a month to the Checkerboard Food Pantry. CAAB will also oversee the volunteers and complete the administrative paperwork needed to keep the food pantry open.

CAAB is seeking donations to keep the Cuba Food Pantry open and purchase additional food. Donations from the community would allow Nacimiento and CAAB to purchase a wider variety of foods that could include meat, cheese, and more fresh produce for additional families.

Anyone who donates to United Way through payroll deduction can designate Nacimiento Medial Foundation. If you would like to donate money or hold a fundraiser for the Cuba Food Pantry, please call Patricia Givens, 289-3718, or JoAnne Hughes, 289-3291.


Emotional-health help group

The Sandoval County Frail and Elderly Program, sponsored by Delores Griego, presents a program on coping with the issues of life on July 26, 12:30 p.m., at the Placitas Community Center. Questions covered will include: How do you do it? How can we help? How can you help others? Coffee, tea, and dessert will be served. For more information, call 867-1396.


Wellness fair at OLOS open to all

The Sandoval County Senior Volunteer Program will hold its first annual Total Wellness Fair at Our Lady of Sorrows Social Center and OLOS gym, 313 Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo, on July 15, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Healthy snacks, door prizes, entertainment, blood-pressure and sugar testing, massages, facials, and information on quality of life will be included in the events of the day. This is a senior-sponsored event, but all ages are welcomed. Admission is free.


Class offers hope, skills to women reentering the workforce

The New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women, Displaced Homemakers/Women in Transition Program, is offering the popular class Effective Work Search Skills, in Albuquerque. This class is targeted to women who have been out of the job market for a number of years and need to return to work or women in transition who need to improve their skills in looking for work. The following topics are addressed in the class:

  • Identify Skills and Interests
  • Effective Résumé Writing
  • How to Tap into the Hidden Job Market
  • Preparing for Today's Interviewing Process

“Looking for a job outside the home after being a homemaker for a number of years can be overwhelming,” states Lorraine Bantista, coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Office. “It is the job of this office to assist women in transition make their way to financial and emotional self-sufficiency.”

The Displaced Homemakers' Program offers the class monthly in Albuquerque. The next class will be held on Thursday, July 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lunch on your own. The class will be held at the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women Community Board Room, 4001 Indian School Road NE, Suite 300. Seating is limited, so registration is required. Contact Lorraine Bantista, 841-8920, for additional information and registration.


©Rudi Klimpert


Sandoval Commission funds land for Placitas library

Anne Frost
Placitas Community Library

The Placitas Community Library wishes to express its gratitude to Sandoval County Commission Chair Bill Sapien, County Manager Debbie Hays, and the members of the county commission for funding the purchase of four acres next to the fire station for a library. We are thrilled!

Board member Martin Bradshaw and our grant committee have been hard at work searching out grants for operational costs and building and construction. We are currently awaiting word on a grant from the Los Alamos National Lab Foundation, and others are in the works. Our site-development committee is working on creating a request for proposals to be sent to architects in the fall. Anyone interested in helping with these projects or with information to offer, please leave a message for Martin (grants) or Anne (site) at 867-3355.

Children’s Story Hour Fridays, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., through August. Volunteers Nancy Guist and Maureen Hightower, both professional teachers, have put together a children’s reading and art program at the library this summer. Each week a story will be read, followed by a related art activity. The program is geared to ages four to seven, but all children are welcome.

Placitas Talks July 7, 7:00 p.m.: Summer Astronomy without a Telescope, with Charlie Christmann. Tips on observation; identifying moons, planets, bright stars, and satellites in the July night sky. For more information, check out Charlie’s Night Sky article in this Signpost.

Placitas Oral History Volunteer Bob Gajkowski and board member Don Clark are working a Placitas oral history project later this year (see Bob's letter in the Gauntlet, this Signpost). If you have a topic or speaker to suggest for Placitas Talks, please leave a message for Anne, 867-3355.

Reserve, Request Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is arriving July 16. Call 867-3355 to put your name on the reserve list. To request books, please give us a call.

Calendar Art Friends of the Placitas Library is considering a 2006 calendar. Artists interested in having their work featured in the calendar are encouraged to leave a message for Judy, 867-3355.

Library Hours Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Fridays: Children's Story Hour. 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., through August 5
Sundays: Join Don and Bob for crullers and conversation. 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Fax, Copy The library now has a fax/scanner/color copier. Faxes, $1 first page, $.25 each additional page, plus any long-distance charges; color copies, $1; black-and-white copies, $.10.


Host families sought for exchange students

International Student Exchange Programs is seeking local host families for boys and girls from a variety of countries around the world. The students are fifteen to eighteen years of age and are personable, academically select exchange students with good English who are coming to this area for the upcoming high school year or semester. They are bright, curious, and anxious to learn about the USA by living as part of a family, attending high school, and sharing their culture and language.

The students arrive from their home country shortly before school begins, after being screened and qualified by ASSE. All ASSE students are fully insured, bring their own personal spending money, and expect to bear their share of household responsibilities, in addition to being included in normal family activities and lifestyles.

Families may select the youngster of their choice from extensive student applications, family photos, and biographical essays. To become a host family or find out more about ASSE and its programs, call (800) 733-2773.


PB&J seeks donations for children

The families assisted by Peanut Butter and Jelly Family Services need help year-round.

PB&J accepts donations of used clothing, toys, and other items that are clean, in good condition, and in good working order. PB&J does not have the staff or facilities to clean or repair donated items. Donors are asked to drop items off at 255A Camino del Pueblo. For large items or large quantities of items, call Lorraine Ramirez, at 877-7060, Extension 136, to arrange a pickup.

Also needed are the following: art supplies, cribs and crib sheets, car seats, potty chairs, safety gates, landscaping plants and materials for the playgrounds, games for all ages, sports equipment, toys, diapers, baby wipes, formula (Enfamil with iron), children’s music on CDs or cassette tapes, high chairs, humidifiers, and an off-site storage unit in Bernalillo.

Looking for another way to help? Adopt a classroom and provide Crayolas or diapers or another needed item for one month or longer. Contact Marian Matthews, director of development, at 877-7060, Extension 141.


Free day camp offered in Bernalillo by GS Council

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council is offering a Safe Kids 101 day camp for Bernalillo girls and boys five to eleven years old. The camp, funded by United Way of Central New Mexico, will be held August 8-12 in Bernalillo. 

Children will learn a variety of safety skills, including  how to answer the door or telephone when they are home alone, first aid tips—including the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR, fire safety, Internet safety, nationally recognized gun safety rules, four steps to staying safe around dogs, stranger danger and information about abuse and abduction, cooking skills for kids, babysitting skills, and where to go in an emergency. The camp will instill safety knowledge in children so they can be safer at home and in the community.

To register or learn more about this invaluable program, please call Jennifer Lowe, with Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council, at 343-1040. The registration deadline is July 29.

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council serves more than sixty-eight hundred girls and twenty-five hundred adults in nine counties in New Mexico and five counties in southwestern Colorado. To volunteer, join, or contribute, please call (505) 343-1040, (800) 658-6768, or visit






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