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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Placitas Holiday Sale donation
PHOTO CREDIT: Dana Patterson Roth

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale Committee presents a check to the Placitas Art in the School program at Placitas Elementary School from money raised from the art raffle last fall.

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale donates money to help fund the arts for children

—Nancy Couch

Each year, the generous artists of the Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale donate an incredible piece of artwork for the art raffle, which has for years benefited the Placitas Elementary School Art Program. Last year, the art raffle raised $1,485, which was just recently donated to the Art in the School Program at the Placitas Elementary School on January 26. This money is used to buy art supplies for the children and enhance the school art program. This marks the eighth year that the holiday sale has donated to Art in the School Program, and it has raised a total of $8,485.00.

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale also benefits the fundraising efforts of the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade, the Placitas Community Library, and the Placitas Elementary 5th grade class that raises money for their field trips for the year.

We wish to thank our sponsors, whose efforts have helped us immensely by their generous donations: Rock Hill Electric, Diamond Tail Ranch, Blades Bistro, Placitas Dental, The Range Café, TP Pump, A & E Café, and realtors Lucy Noyes & Dick Hopkins.

The Placitas Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Sale is organized by a committee of local artists and sponsored by the Placitas Mountaincraft and Soiree Society, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to serving the community, the arts, and artists.

We are already making special plans for this year’s holiday sale, which will be the 30th anniversary of the show. This is a milestone for Placitas, as it’s the longest running art show in the Village’s history.

We live in a very special community where the people really support the arts. Mark your calendars for this year’s Placitas Holiday Fine Arts & Crafts Sale on November 19 and 20.

Support the artists, and remember to buy some art raffle tickets to help the Art in the School Program.

To preview the artists, artwork map, and sites, please visit our Web site at

PHOTO CREDIT: Dana Patterson Roth

A student demonstrates tin stamping, one of the many classes that is taught to the kids at Placitas Elementary School.

Innovative art program at Placitas Elementary School fills the halls with creative artwork done by children

According to Ellen Faris, the Placitas Art in the School program was founded by art historian Sara Otto-Diniz in 1985 because art education funding was severely cut in the public schools. While some art funding has been restored, many children still receive little or no art education.

This nationally recognized, nonprofit program has reached thousands of students throughout New Mexico who would otherwise not have any visual art education.

This year, the theme for the program’s lesson plans is “A World of Art: New Mexico’s Treasures.” The four primary lessons are Community Crafts: Pueblo Pottery; Navajo Weaving: To Craft a Life of Beauty; The Hispanic Tinsmith: Craft an Adventure; and Aesthetics of Place: Southwest Landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Lisa Bear Goldman

Local author Lisa Bear Goldman

Local author reads from her award-winning book at the Placitas Community Library

On Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m., local author Lisa Bear Goldman will be reading from her  award-winning book, Amadito and the Spider Woman, at the Placitas Community Library. This is a story about a young boy dealing with other children making fun of him at school.  Lisa’s work as a counselor for the Albuquerque Public Schools inspired her to write this book to help children deal with difficult emotions such as bullying. The book is for readers in grades 1-5. Lisa will be assisted by two local artists, Geri Verble and Sonya Coppo. All three women are members of the Creative Spirits of Placitas, whose goal is to introduce various art forms to children and inspire them to read and create.

Are your kids ready for a cell phone?

—Jason Alderman

If your preteen child hasn’t hit you up yet for a cell phone, you’re among a rare breed indeed. Studies have found that roughly 70 percent of 11- to 14-year-olds now use cell phones. Closer to home, our 10-year-old has been hounding my wife and me for months to get his own phone.

My initial reaction was, “No way.” But upon investigation, I see why many parents eventually give in. Here are a few pros and cons for giving your preteen a phone and some safeguards you can take:

  • Safety. Anyone who’s ever had a flat tire or gotten lost can attest to cell phones’ safety advantages. On the flip side, unless you install parental controls, your child could access inappropriate content or be more vulnerable to bullying and predatory behavior.
  • Expense. Cell phone use, including calls, text messaging, Web browsing, and application downloads, can be wildly expensive. You have two payment options:
  • Prepaid plan—buy minutes “pay-as-you-go.” Plans vary widely in terms of fees and per-minute calling and text rates. Advantages: No locked-in service contract; you know exactly how many minutes they’re using. Disadvantages: Parental controls usually don’t apply; phones more expensive than under a service contract plan.
  • Family plan—sometimes it’s cheaper to add a phone to your existing plan. Some plans allow unlimited calls/texts between friends and family or those using the same carrier. Advantages: Generally cheaper if your kids make lots of calls/texts; most allow parental controls. Disadvantages: Parental controls may cost extra; some plans don’t allow usage caps, so undisciplined kids may rack up large bills; you’re tied to a service contract.
  • Parental controls. One of the best ways to protect your kids is to subscribe to your carrier’s parental controls plan. Plan features vary widely, but look for these when comparison shopping:

* Cost (free to $4.99 a month).
* Ability to cap phone minutes and text messages.
* Allow emergency calls, even if over monthly usage allowance.
* Cap and/or block entertainment downloads (costly/inappropriate ringtones, music, video, etc.)
* Block mature content Web sites from Internet-enabled phones.
* Restrict time-of-day usage (e.g., block during school hours or after bedtime).
* Block calls/texts from specific or unknown numbers (helps prevent stalking, bullying, and inappropriate contact).
* Track your child’s physical location (requires GPS-enabled phone and typically costs $5 to $10 a month).

Parental control programs generally are not available with prepaid plans. And since no filtering tool is completely foolproof, it’s important to regularly discuss safety issues with your kids. Make sure they’re comfortable coming to you with any questions or details of inappropriate contact they’ve received.

Not every child is ready for cell phone responsibilities. Set ground rules, and be prepared to withhold privileges if they cross boundaries, such as not abiding school regulations, exceeding curfews or usage limits, using the phone to bully others, repeatedly losing or damaging the phone, etc. And make sure they kick in part of their allowance to help pay.

With my son, it’s not a question of “if” but instead of “when.” And when the time is right, he’ll bear the costs of the handset and adding a line to our family plan. This, of course, will allow him to hound me remotely for the latest must-have item.

Placitas Community Library calls for teen advice

If you are in high school or middle school, the Placitas Community Library needs your advice. The library wants to offer the materials YOU would like to use. We need your help to choose new graphic novels, manga, anime, movies, music, and audio books for our collection. We would also like to share with you some of the new databases that you can access from home with your cool new library card! Join us at the library Saturday, March 12 at 12:30 p.m. for an open discussion and pizza. If you have time to stick around, we will be showing a way cool movie at 2 p.m. (Call the library at 867-3355 to discover the title.) Everyone is invited to the movie. Movies at the Placitas Community Library are made possible by a generous donation from Matt DiGregory and the Range Café.





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