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Students lined up in 2006 to pass books to their new home as the Roosevelt Elementary School library moved into the town library building next door.

Town, BPS bargain over school property

—Signpost Staff

Bernalillo Public Schools may have found a buyer for its vacant Roosevelt Elementary School: the Town of Bernalillo.

The school board and the town council held separate closed-door meetings recently to talk about the sale but apparently have yet to reach an agreement. An exemption in the state Open Meetings Act allows public bodies to meet privately to discuss buying or selling property, although any action requires a public vote.

“We’ve made an offer, and they counter-offered,” Mayor Jack Torres said. “We hope to buy it all. They’re amenable, but the devil is in the details.”

The school immediately west of the Town Hall covers seven acres and has four buildings. The oldest is the two-story adobe library built in 1925 as the Bernalillo’s all-grades school. The property is on the market as two separate parcels with the library appraised at six hundred thousand dollars and the rest of the land and buildings at $2.2 million dollars.

The buildings vary in age and condition and have suffered broken windows and other damage since the school closed. Schools officials have said that deterioration could lead to a sale price below the initial appraisal.

“We are excited about the possibility,” BPS Superintendent Allan Tapia said. “If we are able to reach an agreement, then we have to obtain permission from Santa Fe to dispose of it.”

That would involve a review of the sale by the state Department of Finance and Administration and the Public Education Department, he added.

One possible use for the property would turning the library building into a new home for the Martha Liebert Public Library, which is cramped in its current space, a former home just across the street. The library is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

A coalition of veterans groups working for years to open a military museum in the area toured the site in December. The veterans already have a collection that includes vehicles and aircraft but has been stymied by a lack of funding.


Charlotte Perry and A. Michael Martinez are on the air during an open house at the KUPR-FM studio in Placitas. Photo credit: —Bill Diven

Placitas radio KUPR-FM goes live

—Bill Diven

When A. Michael Martinez and Charlotte Perry host their weekly radio show, they reach out to the world for music, adding a few tunes of their own along the way.

Since community radio station KUPR-FM went on the air on May 4, they and other volunteer DJs have been spreading a new sound to Placitas and its immediate neighbors. The station found at 99.9 schedules as much as nine-and-a-half hours of local programming on weekdays and plans to expand over time

Martinez and Perry, musical partners since 1976 and married since 1979, host the Red Road Radio show from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Expect to hear anything from powwow music to rock ‘n’ roll by a group from the Seri people of Mexico to the couple’s original music.

“There are a lot of Native American artists out there,” Michael said.

But that wasn’t the case when he was in high school in Albuquerque and formed a band that evolved into XIT with a recording contract with Motown Records and concert openings for chart toppers like Redbone, Joe Cocker, and Grand Funk Railroad. While the music was rock, its roots, like his, ran deep, mixing the modern with traditional instruments, chants and languages.

“We were like one of the pioneers back in the Seventies when we started,” he said. “Now it’s just exploded.”

Both Michael and Charlotte sing, play, and write with a social consciousness infusing their contemporary music. Her background includes eight years as a degreed music teacher, six of them with the Bernalillo Public Schools, and a broad knowledge of musical ethnology. In addition to being a DJ team, they’re also working on new music in their studio and rehearsing with an eye toward performing in local venues.

The DJ crew at KUPR includes veteran broadcaster Alonzo Lucero, who hosts a weekday program of Spanish music from 9:00 to noon. The rest of the live programming is an eclectic mix of music, poetry, interviews, and more. Sunday mornings feature the David Early Show of rock ‘n’ roll and easy listening from 7:00 to 10 a.m., while George Koinis, Tom Traynor, Tim O’Rourke, and Ken Grimes play everything from jazz and Americana to Mystery Music.

More information on programming appears on the newly launched station website KUPR.org.

“We were worried because the FCC says we need at least 36 hours a week of locally originated programming,” said Joan Fenicle of the Las Placitas Association, which owns and operates the station. “We wondered, how are we going to do that?”

KUPR is still looking for volunteer DJs and hopes to add children’s programming on the weekends. By design the station wants to appeal to community interests but is steering clear of talk radio with social and political agendas.

Station supporters raised seven thousand dollars for construction, buying a one hundred-watt transmitter and raising an antenna with much of the studio equipment donated. The second round of fundraising included a goal of about $3,200 dollars for the hardware needed for Emergency Broadcasting System alerts.

That money came from Sandoval County Commissioner James Dominguez by way of discretionary funds available to commissioners for use in their districts. However, he couldn’t give the money directly to KUPR without running afoul of the state Constitution prohibiting expending public money for private purposes. Once again the San Antonio de las Huertas Land Grant Association stepped up. The association already had provided KUPR a home in its building off Camino de las Huertas, and it agreed to buy and own the EBS equipment and be reimbursed by the county.

“The land grant has been so good to us,” Fenicle said.


Congratulations to Bound for Success mini grant winners

—Fawn Dolan, Bound For Success, Inc.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bound For Success, Inc., we’d like to congratulate the recipients of our first Mini Grant Funding Cycle. Congratulations to these incredible women who are striving to become self-sufficient. They are resilient, eager, and optimistic about their new ventures.

Andrea R—$250 dollars to purchase uniforms for her new job. She recently moved from Bernalillo to Santa Fe and is trying to get re-established as a single woman in a new city.

Donna F—$250 dollars to help pay some bills due to her husband’s recent health issues. She works two jobs and is struggling to make ends meet.

Denise J—$500 dollars to help her move into her own apartment after more than thirty years of being a wife, mother, and girlfriend. She recently moved out of her boyfriend’s house and is currently living with her adult daughter.

Tracey B—$500 dollars to help her start a business as a “stager” for homes on the market. She lives in Bernalillo, cares for her special-needs child and is living on Medicaid and food stamps.

Judy A—$500 dollars to purchase a tablet and training so she can promote her art on the internet and keep current with trends in the art world. She lives in Ponderosa, and is involved in the Jemez Pueblo community.

These women epitomize the mission and goals of Bound For Success, Inc. We wish them the best. Our next funding cycle will begin on August 1, 2015.


Free legal advice at monthly veterans clinic

Enrolled Veterans of the New Mexico VA Health Care System (NMVAHCS) with legal questions on civil matters will have an opportunity to receive free consultation with licensed New Mexico attorneys and other legal professionals on June 9 at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Boulevard, SE (just off Gibson) in Albuquerque. The Civil Legal Clinic will be open from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

The clinic offers free legal advice about topics such as consumer rights, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant issues, foreclosure, and employment. Veterans may also bring their questions regarding family law, including divorce, child support, custody, and visitation. The clinic does not handle wills or estate planning.

No appointment is necessary, and veterans are encouraged to bring with them any documents relating to their legal issues. This clinic is the result of a collaborative effort by the NMVAHCS and the State Bar of New Mexico Young Lawyers Division, as well as other legal service providers and community providers from around the state.

The clinics are offered the second Tuesday of each month, except for federal holidays. For questions, contact Lisa Anderson, Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist, at 908-0383, or Camila Lopez, at 265-1711, ext. 3434.

 
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