The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Leah and Shanon, Mystics

Leah and Shanon, the Mystics of Placitas

Mystics of Placitas entertain and counsel

I went to Dome Valley for my free ten-minute reading with Shanon and Leah. I’m not really in to all that hocus-pocus, but I must admit that they were pretty close to right on the money. How do they do that? It must be the crystals and tarot cards or maybe they are just very clever and insightful. Or both.

Whatever it is, the reading is quite entertaining and intriguing. Shanon and Leah will continue to offer the free ten-minute reading throughout July. They also are available for parties and special events. They don’t feel that offering their psychic service as entertainment detracts from its validity. “Not every reader is right for you,” Shanon explained. “A casual introduction gives you a chance to decide if you’d like to delve further.”

Leah is from Taos, and Shanon is from Australia. They met at a psychic fair and found they had a lot in common, including a background in martial arts. “We both went from being physical warriors to being spiritual warriors,” said Leah. “We’re both into motivating positive change. Between us, we offer a comprehensive combination of mystical arts and oracles, providing clients with many different avenues to approach their questions in all areas of their lives.” They have a combined twenty-five years of experience as teachers and readers.

Shanon is the author of You Are Wiser Than You Think, and as a visual artist she offers a portrait of your “energy blueprint” in pastel. From childhood, Leah was taught a variety of arcane arts, including past-life readings, and worked professionally at her first psychic fair when she was just twelve years old. She also teaches tarot-card reading.

For more information, call the Mystics of Placitas, at 867-9743 or 730-6215.

County line—Senior program is surviving federal cuts and rising costs thanks to volunteers

You don't need to look any further than the nearest senior center for a splash-in-the-face shock of the dilemma facing our nation. Local governments, which most directly affect the lives of Americans, are scrambling to offset shrinking federal support, while demands for services are mushrooming.

The war in Iraq and its rippling effects are placing increasingly heavier burdens on counties and communities even as the federal budget and national deficit continue soaring to new heights almost daily. To offset surging federal spending on the war and a list of newly created federal programs, Washington is cutting back on support to local programs that are so vital to residents, including services that are federally mandated.

The result is a national juggling act.

Counties across the country are striving to balance shrinking federal resources against growing local needs. Some areas locally and nationally are slashing basic services, cutting programs, laying off employees—and still failing to make ends meet.

Sandoval County is in much better financial shape than many of our neighbors. With prudent planning, working partnerships, active volunteers, and involved residents, we have been able to improve and expand services, especially in the areas of health, transportation, public safety, and senior programs even as Washington is reducing federal support.

Funding for the county's senior program, for example, was once fairly evenly divided among federal, state, and county government. Those days, however, are long gone. Washington in recent years has slashed funding for senior programs, in terms of real dollars, even as demand for those services by an aging population continues to grow.

In just the past four years, the cost of operating senior centers and providing vital services for the county's elderly population has increased by $551,380—or 40 percent—to almost $2 million a year. Despite increased costs, however, the federal government has reduced its share to the point that Washington today contributes slightly over ten cents for every dollar allocated for the county’s senior programs, down from a 13 percent share of the programs’ cost only two years ago.

State funding for the county’s senior program, to the state's credit, has remained fairly constant, at around 24 percent of the total cost.

To offset that decline in federal support, and the effects of inflation and growing numbers of senior residents, Sandoval County's share has dramatically increased by 52.24 percent—from $709,464 four years ago to $1.2 million today.

Even while coping with rising costs and shrinking federal support, Sandoval County also continues to enhance and improve its senior program—thanks in large part to the help of 350 county residents who are volunteering time and services.

Some of the county's volunteers give as many as fifty hours or more each week to assist their neighbors as retired senior volunteers and senior companions. Others volunteer through such programs as Senior Employment and VISTA.

All total, efforts of the county's senior-program volunteers exceed fifty-two thousand hours a year. To put a dollar value on the number of hours they provide, their volunteer service exceeds $580,000 a year—or almost three times the $202,000 that the county's senior program receives from the federal government.

We all owe the senior-program volunteers our deep appreciation. Through their commitments and sacrifices, Sandoval County is providing services that with federal cutbacks and rising costs could otherwise fall by the wayside.

Questions or comments for Commissioner Thomas can be mailed to him in care of Sandoval County Administrative Offices, P.O. Box 40, Bernalillo, NM 87004.





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