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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

 
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Chris BagleySandoval County firefighter Chris Bagley looses his locks for a great cause.

Firefighters prepare to shave it off for a great cause

The 2010 Bally Dun/New Mexico's Firefighters St. Baldricks event is being held at O'Hares (Hwy 528/Southern Blvd) in Rio Rancho on March 14th at 12:00 p.m. St Baldrick's is an organization that distributes donations raised at St. Baldricks events to research facilities, hospitals and medical fellowships all with the goal of helping find cures and improving the quality of life for children who have cancer or are in remission. 

Cancer is the number one medical cause of death in children. The premise of a St. Baldricks event is simple: Those participating in the event collect donations to shave their heads, going bald in solidarity with those children who often lose their hair as a result of chemotherapy treatments. 

The event is being organized by the Rio Rancho Fire Department and looks to be the biggest St. Baldricks event in New Mexico to date. Other fire departments attending this year include the Sandoval County Fire Department, Bernalillo County Fire Department, Santa Fe Fire Department as well as other teams from University Hospital and the Lifeguard helicopter.

This year, the event has a $30,000 goal, and we are well on our way but need more help. To those who would like donate, you can attend the event or go online to www.stbaldricks.org and search for the Bally Dun/New Mexico Firefighters event.  If you would like to donate specifically to the team from the Sandoval County Fire Department, just search Team SCFD and donate. Everyone is encouraged to attend as well.  There will be food, entertainment and smiles everywhere.


Democratic Women of Sandoval County doing their part

—Doris Fields

The Democratic Women of Sandoval County (DWSC) have been active lately cleaning up the roads, coordinating candidates’ panels, and organizing activities in Sandoval County. In November, 11 community members cleaned one mile along Hwy 165 in Placitas; they filled 32 trash bags and made numerous piles that would not fit into bags. They will be out again as soon as the weather is warmer. In December, they made financial contributions to a wide range of community organizations that support women and families.

The DWSC held the first Straw Poll (mock election) for Lt. Governor in New Mexico this past December, energizing the candidates: Joe Campos, Brian Colón, Linda Lopez, Jerry Oritz y Pino, and Lawernce Rael. Over a 100 people voted. The masters of ceremonies were Senator John Sapien and DWSC President, Patty Cervantes. A video of the event is available for viewing on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgKuuIB3eDQ. Over 42,000 people have viewed the video in the USA and Europe. 

At their February meeting, the DWSC hosted a panel of democratic mayoral candidates from Bernalillo, Corrales, and Rio Rancho. Approximately 40 community members attended the session, listening to candidates present their platforms and respond to questions. One of the most amazing aspects of the session was that there was absolutely no mudslinging. Candidates spoke of their own contributions to the progress in their communities and their hopes for the future, with her/him in the mayor’s seat, of course!

The candidates responded as follows when asked, “What is the most important issue in your community?”:

Bernalillo Mayor Patricia A. Chavez: An economically stable community with a balanced budget.

Corrales Mayor Philip Gasteyer: Balancing the budget without raiding reserves.

City Councilor, Marian A. Jaramillo: A strong administration.

City Councilor, Eddie W. Torres, III: Water quality.

School Board member, Jack S. Torres: Water quality.

Jim Moran had to leave earlier to participate in a forum in Rio Rancho and was not available to respond to this question. During his presentation, he noted that Mayor Swisstack wants to maintain a balanced budget.

In March, the DWSC will host a membership drive on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Corrales Bistro Brewery. Contact Patty Cervantes, (505) 710-8539 for more information.


Seniors get free legal help from The Senior Citizens’ Law Office

—Wendy Basgall

The Senior Citizens’ Law Office (SCLO) with support from the Con Alma Health Foundation and the Center for Civic Values (IOLTA Program), has established the Aging in Place Project, which provides a broad range of quality civil legal services to seniors, aged 60 and older in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia counties, prioritizing those at risk of losing their housing and independence.

Among seniors the desire to age in one’s own home is universal. Over 90% of seniors 65 and older, and all seniors 75 and older, want to remain in their homes, according to an AARP survey. When seniors are forced to relocate, they lose friendships, the comfort of places of worship, and trusting relationships with medical providers, resulting in a significant loss in the quality of life, personal control and dignity. For those who have outlived their spouses, siblings and peers, the security of home and neighborhood may be all they have.

“Increasing numbers of seniors live one crisis away from losing their homes as they try to make their fixed retirement or disability incomes cover the rising costs of housing, utilities, food, medicine, and transportation. The death of a partner, rent increase, medical emergency, or financial abuse scheme can trigger a series of mishaps that places a senior’s housing, income and independence in jeopardy,” said Lisa Schatz-Vance, Executive Director of SCLO.

SCLO will provide a broad range of services, including advice, counsel, and full representation at court and administrative hearings. The Aging in Place Project will also help seniors avoid the pitfalls that prevent them from aging in place by providing community legal education clinics at senior and community centers, Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), and senior supportive housing facilities. The clinics will give seniors the chance to raise their concerns with an experienced attorney and find out how to get help.

Organizations interested in clinics or legal training for social service workers should contact Lisa Schatz-Vance at 265-2300.  The Aging in Place Project provides information by telephone at (505) 265-1244, on our website at www.sclo.net and by mail or in person at 4317 Lead Avenue, S.E., Suite A, Albuquerque, NM 87108.

     

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