Sandoval Signpost

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Signpost Cartoon c. Rudi Klimpert

letters, opinions, editorials

re: Dear Citizens of Bernalillo

On the eve of the mayoral election my supporters and I are working hard to get out my message that it is time for Bernalillo to take a new direction. We must fix the mistakes of the past, open up Town Hall and give everyone a chance to participate in a new era of community cooperation. The time has come to implement new fiscal policies and procedures to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely. With your help our town will keep it’s peaceful, rural atmosphere while dealing with the pressure to change and adapt.   We sincerely appreciate all of the help from so many people. Along with the many volunteers, I have gone door to door throughout Bernalillo to talk to the voters person to person. Our phone bank volunteers continue to do a wonderful job. Special thanks to over two hundred people who have voluntarily placed yard-signs on their property. And thanks to everyone who has helped in so many ways.

The Bernalillo Churches Mayoral Forum was a rousing success. Over 200 people attended, and listened to the five candidates. We believe it gave voters a good opportunity to consider their options. Thank you to the Churches, volunteers and all those who attended. The Alegria community and the Democratic Women of Sandoval County also held forums which gave attendees the ability to ask questions and hear from the candidates. I appreciated the opportunities to address the voters, allowing them the chance to compare the candidates. The more informed the voters, the better.  Thank you to everyone who has contacted our campaign, asking questions and providing input. The response has been tremendous. This willingness of citizens to get involved in the process demonstrates that people want to help. If we work together we can build a better Bernalillo.

I will be a full-time Mayor accessible to citizens. I will solicit Community involvement with task forces and committees. Ordinances must be fairly and consistently enforced. Tax dollars must be spent wisely especially with our drinking water.

Please remind your friends, neighbors and family to vote March 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Town Hall.  Westside voters must vote at the Alegria Club House.    Contact Jack at


—Jack Torres, Bernalillo

re: Eastern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (ESCAFCA) pays back $100,000 start-up loan from Town of Bernalillo

The Eastern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (ESCAFCA) is in full swing. One of its first successes is to repay the start-up loan of $100,000 from the Town of Bernalillo.

In November 2008, ESCAFCA was created by an affirmative vote with funding of $6 million to be paid by a mill levy on area residents’ property taxes. Because that money wouldn’t be received by ESCAFCA until December 2009, the Town of Bernalillo loaned ESCAFCA $100,000 to pay for its start-up operating costs. That loan was paid back in full on February 1, 2010, one full month ahead of the due date.

ESCAFCA is currently working on a number of projects to serve the residents in Bernalillo, Algodones, and Placitas, including the following:

Conducting a thorough topographic mapping of the Placitas area and submitting Letters of Map Revision with detailed analysis to prove that floodplain limits can be significantly reduced. It is expected that 241 homes will be able to be removed from the current FEMA FIRM 2008 floodplain maps, meaning that they would no longer be required to pay high flood insurance premiums. The savings to the homeowners would be about $300,000 per year.

Working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and the Town of Bernalillo to rebuild and certify the Rio Grande levees. When completed, the new levees will prevent flooding from the river and remove hundreds of homes from the floodplain.

Completing a comprehensive analysis of Las Huertas Creek, with recommendations to protect roadway structures, drainage structures, and high-pressure pipelines in the area.

Constructing the Athena Avenue Stormwater Detention Pond/Recreational Facility and Storm Drain Outfall to the Rio Grande, which will alleviate flooding to communities in the area.

Performing a study to intercept storm water from the Sandia foothills to protect properties in Algodones.

For a full listing of current ESCAFCA projects and additional information, please visit

re: manifestos (mani)festering:

In Austin, Joe Stack drove his plane into the IRS office building. In a fed-up homicidal rage, a rage focused on his grievances with the government, he immolated himself and killed and injured others. He left behind his house in flames, a wife and daughter who escaped the burning house, baffled friends… and a rambling, ranting manifesto.

I am not a fan of modes of political expression that kill innocent people, but I think it is time that all citizens, every one of us, begin writing our manifestos.

Twelve Dangerous Ideas (rough draft)

Martial arts training, K through 12: Nobody graduates from high school without a black belt. [This instills courage and diminishes cowardice; instills a sense of honor, diminishes self-obsession; and discourages any tendency toward obesity.]

The United States is hereby a bilingual nation. Nobody graduates from high school without fluency in two languages; one is English, the other is the language of your choice. [This instills strategies that help the individual engage a major challenge; it also instills the sense that the United States is not the center of the universe.]

No citizen of this country will participate in answering any pollster’s questions [no more propagandistic poll-driven news and poll-driven analysis].

Political correctness died on 9/11.

There are only two sexualities, the public and the private.

Two meals per day. Fast three days per month.

We will eliminate the federal deficit by October 2012.

“Theater has replaced government.”

The truth is our role model.

 “Creative truth is the love object of the civilized.”

All governments are criminal networks, each with its own style.

Are you an avid player in the ongoing American Revolution?

—Greg Leichner, Placitas

Happy Birthday Charlie

—Michael A. Aun

He is a modest man that has accomplished something that few others ever have.  He turns 106 years old on March 22, 2010.  Happy birthday Charlie Barcio!

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”  That might be a good way to describe the challenges that this centenarian has faced.

Three years after his birth in 1904 in Erie, PA., Charles Barcio’s father died.  His widowed mother faced the hardship of supporting a family, and the only work she could find was as a cook.  She had no choice; she put Charlie in an orphanage.  At least there he could be fed and clothed.

Charlie’s grandparents protested and after a year they took young Charlie in to live with them, making him the tenth child under one roof.  Charlie’s mom married again and after three years they moved with him to Rochester, NY where they lived for the next five years.

Charlie and his mom moved back to Erie, PA, the place of his birth, where they resided on a farm while he attended school.  Though only a child, he worked part time as a gardener and a handyman, saving 100% of his wages during a summer vacation.  The $75 he earned over those three months bought him his first set of wheels, a brand new bicycle.

After graduating from high school, Charlie worked for Burke Electric Company.  The company saw his potential and urged him to pursue electrical engineering.  He later worked for Edison Electric.

Charlie’s first wife, Winnie, was his best friend’s sister.  They had a daughter and two sons, one of whom was killed in 1944 in World War II.   His father-in-law sold him his first parcel of land and he built his own home, all of this during the Great Depression.

Charlie was always well liked and had many friends, as is the case today.  Every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. Mass, dozens of well wishers drop by to shake his hand and wish him the best at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud, Florida.

It was friends like those that brought him their cars for him to fix back during the Great Depression.  This motivated him to enter the auto repair and mechanic field.  He furthered his education by taking courses in St. Louis, MO.  What started as an avocation became a full time business for him and it blossomed into a very successful business.

He decided to build his own garage but money was scarce.  It was not uncommon for folks to barter in those days for goods and services.  For instance, he negotiated an agreement with Scriber Lumber Company for building materials in exchange for gasoline that he sold out of his new garage and gas station, all done by a gentlemen’s agreement… just a handshake.  “In those days, your word was good enough,” said the jovial Barcio.

In no time at all, it was clear that the gas station proved to be too small and he needed more garage space.  As business increased, he hired 13 employees.

In small towns across America, all fire departments were volunteer.  Charlie was one of the founders of West Lake Fire Department and later became Assistant Fire Chief and later Chief.  He was also State Fire Instructor for Pennsylvania and a First Aid Instructor for the Red Cross.

A devout Catholic all of his life, Charlie was one of five men to start and build St. Julia’s Catholic Church in Erie, PA.  He might have been a mechanic by profession but he could just have easily been a broadcaster.  He articulately narrated Mass on radio station WLEU for 32 years.

While operating his garage business, one of his contacts, who had a Kaiser-Frazer franchise, asked him to take the West Erie district dealership.  Kaiser-Frazer later closed its doors and Charlie became a Ford Dealership.

Charlie was an entrepreneur before that was even a word.  He furthered his business by installing and maintaining coin-operated dry cleaning machines that service the majority of Pennsylvania. 

Never one to shy away from challenges, he also took on the Presidency of Millcreek Chamber of Commerce and Commodore of the Presque Isle Yacht Club.

Charlie moved to Florida in 1972 and quickly became the go-to maintenance guy for Father William Corry at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Sharpes, Florida near Cocoa.  He actually installed the ornate wall that is the background behind the altar.

In 1990, Charlie moved to St. Cloud, Florida with his second wife, Dorie, who was also widowed.  Her late husband, Don Fry, was one of Charlie’s closest friends.  They were wed in 1990.  The day they arrived, Father Fabian Gimeno called on him to help with the maintenance duties of St. Thomas Aquinas, a job he held for 14 years.  At the age of nearly 100, the insurance company that provided coverage for the church said “no more.”  He was forced to retire in 2004.

Now six years later, Charlie remains active in the church and maintains a daily exercise regimen that includes 6-8 miles on a bicycle, weather permitting.  An active Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, Charlie still stands outside of stores handing out Tootsie Rolls to raise money for exceptional children.






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