The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

THE GAUNTLET

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Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations. Please limit your letter to approximately four hundred words. Letter submissions are due by the twentieth of the month prior. Please see the Contact Us page for submission options (e-mail, web, fax, mail).

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letters, opinions, editorials

The Signpost welcomes letters of opinion to encourage dialog in the community. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations.

re: Bernalillo, better than Russia

Good morning, this Memorial Day weekend.

I am a Realtor and was delighted to find first your publication and then your Web site [www.sandovalsignpost.com]. I immediately forwarded the Web site to my clients who are relocating to the area.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the ads, particularly for landscaping, since Rowland's has closed. I loved the “toothy” sayings on page 47 [Uncle Duffy]. It's been—well, I can't remember when—eons, since I found a newspaper with articles and ads that I wanted to cut out.

My friends are in St. Petersburg, Russia, on tour but my girlfriend and I are going to Bernalillo for a day and think it will be as much fun as Russia!

Keep up the good work and may I add your link to my Web site?

Sincerely
—MARY, Albuquerque


re: keeping bunnies happy

How do you make your garden happy, conserve water, keep the bunnies happy, and make the local farmers happy? Alfalfa. Buy a few bales of alfalfa at the local feed store. Break the bales into 2-to-4-inch-thick sections and place these sections like mats around the base of your trees and plants.

The alfalfa has a pleasant smell and makes an excellent mulch to retain moisture in the hot summer months. The bunnies will munch happily away on the alfalfa and not your plants. And unless you have a plague of bunnies, they will hardly make a dent in it.

When you water your plants and trees, some of the nutrients from the alfalfa will leach out and fertilize your plants and trees. I do not, however, recommend this for lawns. Best to let them die until the drought is over.

—GARY PRIESTER, Ranchos de Alfalfa, Placitas


re: developer failing to conserve water

What are they thinking?

Our mesas are dry and barren. Rabbits, mice, and pack rats are devouring all the plants we have painstakingly nurtured over the years. We are forced to selectively let die those native grasses and plants we cannot save.

And what meets our eyes just east of the frontage road, north of Exit 242? An oasis of newly planted nonnative grass and water-thirsty trees at the grand entrance to Anasazi and Petrocliff Communities.

Just what are the developers thinking? What message are they trying to convey in this time of serious drought? That money brings immunity from conservation?

We are appalled at this waste and the symbolism it implies.
Why have we all tried to conserve water in our landscapes and personal lives if a developer can demonstrate such wanton waste?

An e-mail sent over two weeks ago has resulted in no response. Something should be done to stop this extravagant water use before it goes on any longer. This landscape negates everything Placitas residents stand for. It seems only the rabbits are happy.

—STAN AND HELEN JOHNSON, Placitas


re: parade too hot

Everyone loves a parade ... and no one does it better than Placitas! Year after year our charming community turns out in droves to watch the fire brigade chuck loads of candy at the bystanders, Garden Club and others marching along with American flags flying, ATVs and dirt bikes revving their engines, and of course, don't forget those gorgeous horses bringing up the rear (for good reason!).

Spectators tote umbrellas and bring Super Soakers to keep cool in the ninety-degree degree heat ... but how many of you out there would like to officially change the start time of the Placitas Fourth of July Parade; possibly from the current 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.? That might make it ten degrees or so cooler!! So let's get united in these United States and e-mail Pam Buethe, at fbuethe@comcast.net, if you'd like to consider starting the Placitas Parade earlier!

Thanks!
—THE BOLTONS, Placitas West


re: no cell-phone tower
[In response to “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW???,” June 2006 Signpost]

I have read at least a couple of opinions that the continuous exposure of people and animals to microwave and electromagnetic radiation may be a health risk. Whether cell-phone reception is a convenience or a necessity is a matter of perspective, but I feel that one of the health benefits of living in Placitas is our decreased exposure to these forms of radiation.
I wouldn't support having a cell-phone tower closer to our area.

—MARC HOROWITZ, Placitas


re: help for wild horses?

Is there anything that can be done to help the "wild" pueblo horses that are in very, very bad shape? I saw the picture (taken by Linda Meacher) on your on-line June 2006 Signpost and I drive by the horses on I-25 daily and have seen them.

I understand the horses are owned by the pueblo and the horses are left to fend for themselves with no help. I further understand the pueblo will not allow anyone else to help these horses.
Do you know anything further about this issue? Can I be of any help? I look forward to your response.

—DIANA HUESING, Rio Rancho

[Please see the article submitted by the Wild Horse Observers’ Association (WHOA, www.whoanm.org) in the Animal News, this Signpost. They offer some new information and ideas.]


re: unleashed dogs a danger to the public

As I was walking my leashed fifteen-year-old dog in North Ranchos de Placitas yesterday, a neighbor's dog ran from their house and attacked my dog. Trying to protect her, I was bitten three times, seriously pulled a muscle in my back, and spent three hours in the emergency room last night. My dog was bitten multiple times. I wish I could say this was an isolated event but this has happened several times with other dogs in the past six months as neighbors walked their dogs off leash. This is the first time I've been injured.

The police officer who came to my home yesterday said that when such an attack occurs, one can file criminal charges against the neighbor and have the dog impounded for observation or worse. Frankly, I would rather impound the irresponsible neighbors who ignore everyone's right to a safe and peaceful life by not leashing their dogs or restraining them properly on their own property.

This afternoon, I spent an hour talking to the animal-control investigator for Sandoval County, when he visited my home to write up a report on yesterday's incident. He said he would very much welcome something published in the Signpost which would draw attention to the ongoing problem of unleashed dogs.

We do have an important story here of an epidemic of stupidity as many so-called enlightened people knowingly break the law to offer their beloved dogs some absurd fantasy of freedom, while exposing other people to the possibility of their pets' sudden, "out of character" turn of violent territorialism.

By the way, the dog who attacked my dog and bit us both, is being held for ten days quarantine and observation since his rabies vaccination had lapsed. Sadly, he will most likely be killed at the end of the ten days. Both my dog, Grace, and I have multiple puncture wounds, hers on her back, and mine on both hands and right thigh.

But it could have been much worse. I think of the elderly people I know who walk their leashed dogs in the same area. I think of the large and volatile shepherd on the same road who is restrained only by an electronic fence, one which periodically "breaks down." I think of another neighbor who walks three dogs off leash who have charged at my dog in the past. The leash law is there to protect us from these kinds of violent scenarios, and yet we are often too polite or neighborly to file an animal-control report or press criminal charges. What willful ignorance on both sides of the fence!

—YARROTT BENZ, Placitas

[On the next page are excerpts from the Sandoval County Animal Ordinance. To see the ordinance in full, call Sandoval County, at 867-7500.]


Excerpts from the Sandoval County Animal Ordinance

SANDOVAL COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. 02-02-21.8B RELATING TO ANIMAL CONTROL IN SANDOVAL COUNTY
...
SECTION II. AUTHORITY OF SHERIFF AND ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS
The Sandoval County Sheriffs Officers and the Animal Control Officers shall have the authority to issue citations for violation of this Ordinance and to perform such other duties as are prescribed herein. The Animal Control Officers shall carry identification certifying him/her as being an Animal Control Officer. The Animal Control Officers shall be under the supervision of the Sandoval County Sheriffs Department.

SECTION III. IMPOUNDING ESTRAYS, RECORDS TO BE KEPT, REDEMPTION FEES, NOTICE REQUIRED, and OWNER'S IMPOUNDMENT.

1. No person shall, without the knowledge or consent of the owner, hold or retain possession of any animal of which he is not the owner, for more than twenty-four (24) hours without first reporting the possession of such animal to the Sandoval County Animal Control Officer, giving his name and address, and a true and complete statement of the circumstances under which he took the animal, a description of the animal and the precise location where such animal is confined.

2. It shall be the responsibility of an animal owner redeeming an animal legally impounded under the provisions of this Ordinance to reimburse the Animal Control Facility for animal boarding or other costs. The County Manager shall prescribe the amount of the 'impoundment fee approximately based upon actual cost.

3. The Animal Control Officer shall maintain a record of all animals impounded. The record shall contain at least the following information:

a. A complete description of the animal; b. The date and manner of its acquisition; c. The date, manner and place of impoundment.
...
SECTION IV. ANIMAL BITES, RABIES, INJURED ANIMALS.

4. Animal Biting a Person.

a. The owner of an animal that bites a person and a person bitten by an animal have a duty to report that occurrence to a County Animal Control Officer within 24 hours. The owner of an animal that bites a person shall surrender said animal to an Animal Control Officer if the County Animal Control Supervisor deems it necessary to impound said animal for a period of observation. The Animal Control Officer may order the owner of such animal to place the animal in quarantine on the owner's premises.

d. Restraint of Animals. Every person owning or having charge, custody, or care or control of any dog shall keep such animal exclusively upon his own premises or under the owner's control.

e. Female Dogs or Cats in Mating Season to be Confined. Any person in control of a female dog or cat in mating season shall confine such dog or cat as to preclude other dogs or cats from attacking or being attracted to such female animal.

SECTION V. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.

1. Animals Running at Large. It is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any animal to run at large in or on any street, alley, sidewalk, vacant lot, public property, other unenclosed place in the County; or private property without the permission of the owner thereof. Any animal permitted to run at large in violation of this section is declared to be a nuisance, a menace to the public health and safety, and shall be taken up and impounded.

2. Vicious Animals. It is unlawful for any person to keep or harbor a vicious animal in the County of Sandoval. Any person attacked by a vicious animal while on public property may use necessary force to repel said attack. After a judicial determination that an animal is vicious the owner or keeper of such vicious animal shall destroy it humanely or turn such animal over to an animal control officer for destruction.

3. Animals Disturbing the Peace. It is unlawful for any person to allow any animal to unreasonably bark or howl or otherwise to disturb the peace and quiet of the inhabitants of the County of Sandoval, to keep or maintain in such a manner as to allow noxious or offensive odors to emanate from the property, and to otherwise endanger the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the County of Sandoval. The provisions of this section shall not apply to livestock.
...
SECTION VIII. PENALTY, SAVINGS, REPEALING, REVIVOR, EMERGENCY CLAUSE.

1. Penalty Clause. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding three hundred ($300) dollars and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days. Each day this Ordinance is violated shall be considered a separate offense.

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