Sandoval Signpost


An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
  The Gauntlet

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letters, opinions, editorials

re: Crest of Montezuma legislation

Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 491, sponsored by Representative Martin Heinrich. The legislation would transfer the Crest of Montezuma at the east end of Placitas from the Bureau of Land Management to a protected area of the adjacent National Forest. For this legislation to become law, it must now pass the U.S. Senate. In order to make this happen, we need to ask our U.S. Senators, Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall to help get this bill through the Senate in the current legislative session. For this purpose, Las Placitas Association and Pathways are encouraging supporters to write letters to both Senators. If at all possible, please send these letters by July 1. However, letters sent somewhat later will still help.

The two sample letters can be downloaded at: and

In your letters please stress your support for HR 491 and that it needs to pass the Senate during the current legislative session. Send your letters separately to each Senator, at the addresses at the top of the sample letters. If you do use these sample letters, you should "fill in the blanks" in the underlined parts, when the letter calls for your name, address, and date.

—Orin Safier, Las Placitas Association

c. Rudi Klimpert

re: bear safety from Pathways

I’d like to add a statement from Pathways, regarding the bear situation on Sandia Mountain and in Placitas. Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM says, if you live near the mountain, ie. south of Hwy. 165 or in or near the Historic Village of Placitas, then you live in Bear Country. To be “Bear Smart,” follow these steps to insure your safety as well as the bears’.

  • Secure your trash during the week, put it out the morning of pick-up, not the night before.
  • Make pet food and bird feeders unavailable to bears.
  • If you see a bear, don’t panic or call Game and Fish; they will kill the bear. Bring pets inside and stay calm—no more food, no more bear.

Learn to live with the bears, and they will continue to live here, keeping the mountain healthy by eating the acorns, grasses, chokecherries, and other native plants. Spreading these seeds in their scat, the bears are a vital part of the ecology and the life of Sandia Mountain.

—Peter Callen, Pathways: Wildlife Corridors of NM:

re: 4th of July Parade spraying

Hello There Parade Attendees:

I don’t know if there are other people out there who feel like I do about the water that is sprayed at the folks watching the parade. I hate it. It seems to get more crazy every year.

There was one parade about three years ago that the folks on the fire trucks were shooting water with their hoses at the people watching and I got sprayed at so hard that my eye glasses went flying in the air and they broke.

There was another instance where one of the deputies was leading the parade and some kids were waiting with a bucket of water and they tossed it into his car and it ruined all the electrical stuff in his car including his computer. Not so funny.

If a person wants to get wet and has a water gun or a bucket, then they should get sprayed. But if someone wants to just watch the parade, then he should be left alone. Not everyone watching wants to get soaked. I don’t want to go back home and redo my hair and change my clothes. Not funny.

I have noticed that every year, the people who watch are getting to be less and less. All because of the water spraying. Eventually, there are not going to be any parades. The candy that gets tossed to the kids gets all wet, because of the spraying.

Last year, the San Antonio de Las Huertas Grant had a float in the parade and we rented costumes of an Indian Maid and another of a Conquistador and they got wet so bad that we had to pay a lot of money for the damage done to the costumes. Again, not funny.

Maybe it’s because I am not young anymore and I don’t like to get wet like that, but I certainly don’t enjoy the parade anymore. I’m thinking I won’t attend the parade this year.

Think before you spray at somebody—spray only if they want to get wet.

—Vivian DeLara, Placitas

re: Placitas Fourth of July parade—preserve water

The annual Fourth of July parade is just around the corner. It is a time of great excitement and celebration in Placitas, and has been for years. This year, more than ever, we need to be aware and respectful of our scarce natural resources as well as being aware of how dry NM is.

The state is fighting fires all around us. Placitas is not exempt. The rainfall is well below normal. We are a tinderbox. The water supply in the village is in danger of being shut off periodically during the summer dry months. We cannot afford to waste this precious commodity having water fights along the parade route.

This year, I appeal to those involved in the parade—spectators and participants alike—put away the water pistols, water guns, hoses, and water balloons. Help us preserve our scarce natural resources. Consider your role in preserving the community from fires and droughts. Don’t waste what we have so little of.

—Jim Maduena, ex officio Placitas Fourth of July Parade Marshal

re: a cat warming

Dear Friends Back East,

Many interesting things are happening in these days of extremism—extreme politics, extreme incivility, extreme storms, extreme denial, extreme heat, et. al. I wish to comment on the latter phenomenon, beginning with your colorful and rather dismaying report of dancing about in the wash of open fire hydrants in your neighborhood. I have pictured all of you near septuagenarians frolicking about in wet semi-nudity on the sidewalks of New York and herewith express my unwillingness to view any photos you may have taken of this escapade. I now require a prolonged visit to the Albuquerque reptile house, and/or perhaps our rattlesnake museum, to cleanse my mind of the imagery. But you seem cool and happy, and that’s what counts.

Speaking of semi-nudity, Patrick My Cat is setting insurmountable records for the shedding of feline thatch. Had his recent veterinary check-up not been excellent, we would suspect some sort of cat alopecia disorder, i.e. that he now faced a life of Rogaine therapy in these his golden years. But we believe it is simply due to the heat.

There are some benefits, however, to continually retrieving clumps, chunks, shocks, hanks, hunks, wisps, and tufts of tawny Patrick fur—collecting it from the floor, from table-tops and chair legs, from cross beams and picture frames and, on occasion, grabbing it in mid-flight. I have, for example, cancelled my yoga classes, dropped a couple of pounds, and attained a level of flexibility not achieved since my teenage years.

And it seems to amuse Patrick to see portions of himself make a getaway, especially when I open the patio door and let the breeze remove them from my fingertips. He watches these hairy wads ride the air currents, occasionally catching on structures and vegetation. They joyously wave back to him before once again taking flight.

Patrick watches them with interest and apparent pride. Sometimes he turns to me as if to say, “Boss, see that big chunk hanging on the desert willow? That came off my butt. And the small piece on the fence post—that’s belly fur. Man, it can really sail!”

And although the wee lad is healthy, he’s also showing his age. He’s smaller, not only because of his flying fur, but because of a loss of muscle mass—so impressive and well used in his prime. And he wants to be petted with more frequency. He seems to say, “Boss, please pet me. After all, this privilege will not always be available to us.”

He continually reminds me of Mark Twain’s observation that, “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave to the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

Write soon and stay hydrated.

—Your Friend, Herb

re: thanks for fire insight

I want to express my appreciation to Ty Belknap for the article he wrote on the Las Conchas Fire in the June 2012 edition of the Signpost. It really reflected his insight of the area and his love for the nature of the entire region. I also appreciated his political insight as far as to what probably happened in the fighting of the fire. It looks like we may even have some of that going on right now down south in the fire near the border in the Gila.

So, thanks very much, Ty. I really appreciate that kind of writing.

—Ric Farrell, Placitas

re: Illinoian enjoys Signpost subscription

Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy my subscription to the Signpost. Keeps me up-to-date on what’s going on in New Mexico. Wish that our local weekly publication had as much news at what you put into your monthly paper. Especially like Evan Belknap’s stories. Hope all is well with you and yours.

—Janet Lareau, Barrington, Illinois

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