The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Lawrence Gutierrez, governor,
Lawrence Gutierrez, governor,
Sandia Pueblo

Scott Paisano, lieutenant governor, Sandia Pueblo
Scott Paisano, lieutenant governor, Sandia Pueblo

Sandia Pueblo announces new leadership

Sandia tribal leaders have appointed Lawrence Gutierrez as governor of Sandia Pueblo for 2006. Scott Paisano has been named lieutenant governor. Daniel Aragon is the new war chief and Charles Trujillo has been named the lieutenant war chief.

An installation ceremony for the appointed officials and their officers was held on January 6 at the Saint Anthony de Padua Catholic Church in Sandia Pueblo.

Governor Lawrence Gutierrez is the former lieutenant governor of the Pueblo of Sandia. He served under Governor Stuwart Paisano for the past two years, before being appointed governor on December 30, 2005, by the religious leaders of Sandia Pueblo.

Upon being named lieutenant governor, in 2004, Governor Gutierrez was a communications technician for one of the nation's largest phone companies for thirty-one years. His appointment to the new position meant retirement from his phone-company job and new responsibilities to the tribal council and community members.

Speaking on the subject of his style of governing, Governor Gutierrez says, “I have the thoughts of my people in mind. The needs of my people come before everything else.”

Lieutenant Governor Scott Paisano is the younger brother of former Governor Stuwart Paisano. At twenty-five, he is the youngest lieutenant governor in Sandia Pueblo history. He was working as acting sergeant for the Sandia Pueblo police force when he was called upon to serve his community. Paisano will perform his duties as lieutenant governor while continuing his academic pursuits. He is very close to receiving his bachelor's degree in information security systems from ITT Tech.

Historian seeks old photos of Placitas

Arcadia Publishing, the leading American publisher of local and regional history, and Sandia Mountains historian Mike Smith are desperately searching for pre-1960 photos of the towns of the Sandia Mountains for inclusion in a forthcoming book. Photos are especially needed for the communities of Placitas, Ojo de La Casa, and Tecolote, as well as for the entire northern end of the Sandia range.

Smith is looking for historic images of these towns or their people—photos, sketches, paintings, postcards, matchbooks, wanted posters, business licenses, maps, and any other early images associated with this area.

Smith ensures, “Any photos used will be scanned into a computer and returned immediately. Everyone who contributes images will be repaid with complimentary copies of the book and a thank-you in the book itself.”

If you have something which could be included in the book or would like further information, please contact Mike Smith, at 505-281-0151, extension 41, or e-mail him, at

Historical society presents program on pioneers

The Sandoval County Historical Society meets Sunday, March 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the Delavy House Museum. Dick Ruddy, photo archivist of the Museum of Albuquerque will present a slide show and speak on “Old Town-New Town Pioneers,” and John Ray and Rosa De Aragon will display their bultos. Refreshments will be served. The program is free and open to the public.

The Delavy House Museum is off Highway 550, just west of Bernalillo, between Coronado State Monument and Santa Ana Star Casino.

Signpost cartoon by Rudi Klimpert

Bernalillo-Placitas broadband to start up in late spring

Sandoval County has tapped the highest-speed Internet available, although the county's contractor is not ready to take the system public.

“We do have a connection to LamdaRail and are providing over a hundred megabits to Bernalillo,” Jonathan Mann, of AQV, Inc., said. “The bandwidth is being delivered and is working.”

The system is being tested in several county buildings, and Mann said he has begun talking to commercial Internet providers about retailing access to the network. Still pending is a final agreement to use LamdaRail, a new national network with fiber-optic cable and high-tech clients in the Rio Grande Valley, he added.

The terms “bandwidth” and “megabit” refer to the speed at which digital data move through cable and wireless networks. The AQV connection is roughly two hundred times faster than sending computer data over a dial-up phone line and requires being within range of a wireless transmitter.

Mann said the initial wireless service in Bernalillo and parts of Placitas is on schedule for late spring, with expansion to Cuba and a mobile medical center partnered with UNM and Intel by early summer. The county has touted the system as a way to bring commercial, public, and educational services to smaller communities and rural areas.

The $2 million in seed money comes from payments the county receives for brokering a $16 billion bond issue for Intel in 2005. About $50 million in other projects is underway or pending, with the county receiving a total of as much as $95 million during the life of the bonds.

Eventually the county expects to recoup its $2 million investment by selling the system to a private provider, Mann said.
Taxpayer support for wireless broadband is not without controversy, as newly deployed municipal systems in other states compete with the private providers. County officials have stated they don't want to be in the utility business, while Rio Rancho has issued a franchise to a private contractor who built and operates its wireless system.

“The reason you build a network is because people are going to use it,” said Bobby Bounds, owner of Higher-Speed Internet of Placitas. “Private enterprise is not going to pay the county for this network built out in the middle of nowhere, or they are not going to pay much for it.”

Bounds, who began selling wireless access to the Internet three years ago, said Mann met with him late in February to discuss the project and how his company could tie into it the county system. Without details on costs, agreements, and other issues, Bounds said, he remains skeptical.

Mann said the county is acting because the private sector wasn't interested.

“If we go out and stimulate enough demand, the private sector has an interest in coming in,” he said. “Then the county will bow out gracefully.”

February food drive a timely benefit to Storehouse West clients

The Democratic Women of Sandoval County conducted a food drive on February 11 at the Raley’s Supermarket in Enchanted Hills to benefit Storehouse West, a nonprofit organization in Rio Rancho that provides food and emergency help to the needy.

Carol Nesbitt, director of Storehouse West, commented, “It’s so good to have a food drive in February because food supplies start getting low after the holidays.”

Elaine Lambert, a member of DWSC and the organizer of the food drive, said, “The food drive was a big success, the customers at the Enchanted Hills Raley’s were very generous, and we were able to provide an additional service by registering voters from all parties.”

The Democratic Women of Sandoval County plan to hold another food drive at the Enchanted Hills Raley’s on Saturday, March 11, and one again in April. Everyone is invited to contribute nonperishable food and toiletries to this worthwhile cause.

Library breaks the 10,000-book mark

The Placitas community library is pleased to announce that it has achieved exciting new benchmarks. As of February 15 the library had registered over a thousand patrons and the book collection now exceeds ten thousand volumes. Members of the volunteer staff have attended special New Mexico State Library training programs on topics ranging from cataloging to community demographics to Internet resources for librarians. Other volunteers are taking training classes to become state-certified librarians. Several professional librarians already volunteer on a regular basis.

The library now has available the latest selections for the Los Jardineros book clubs and a selection of recently published fiction and nonfiction. The March and April book-club selections are as follows:

March: The Mermaid Chair: A Novel, by Sue Monk Kidd; The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyle; The House at Otowi Bridge: The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos, by Peggy Pond Church; On Beauty, by Zadie Smith

April: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller; Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood; Traveler, by John Twelve Hawks; The Tender Bar : A Memoir, by J.R. Moehringer;
Nonfiction group: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande.


Contrary to what was implied in the February issue of the Signpost, the Placitas Community Library's relationship with county planning for the twelve acres that are not dedicated to a library site will only encompass the acreage devoted to library use. The library's only commitment is to overseeing the development of the library and its operations. The library board anticipates that the county will use the 2004 community survey, as well as current community input, to determine the most appropriate use of the remaining twelve acres.

In regard to the potential placement of recreational facilities, there has been conversation of the possible creation of a special taxation-assessment district for Placitas. The Placitas Community Library Board voted not to support a special taxation-assessment district at this time.

PLACITAS TALKS: Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m., at the library. “A Dialog with Charlie Christmann on Amateur Radio in the 21st Century.” Many of us know Charlie from his wonderful “Night Sky” articles in the Signpost and from his great astronomy discussions for Placitas Talks.

Amateur radio operators have been an extremely effective part of recent disaster-relief efforts after both the tsunami and Katrina. This hobby also allows you to explore electronics and make friends all over the world, and using Echolink, licensed ham operators can now access radios through their computers. Join us for a fascinating talk.

Library hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays; 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. We are on the Web at






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