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An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

Community Bits

The Placitas Elementary School Ag Club celebrated Earth Day

The Placitas Elementary School Ag Club celebrated Earth Day by drawing on recyclable shopping bags and donating them to the Merc, the Placitas Mini Mart, and Anasazi Winery to pass out to their customers. They also planted two trees and plants that were donated to them by the Forest Service in the school’s courtyard.

Placitas Library to receive state funds for building

Anne Grey Frost
Placitas Community Library

The board of the Placitas Library, as well as the volunteers and community as a whole, wishes to thank Senator Kent Cravens and Representative Kathy McCoy for carrying legislation in the 2005 session to secure funding for the fiscal year 2006 Placitas Community Library Building Fund. Through their efforts and the additional support of Senator Sue Wilson Beffort and Representative Roger Madalena we have been promised $50,000. It is our understanding that Governor Bill Richardson has signed our bill. We will be requesting general community input later, in the design phase of this project. Certified architects and any community members wishing to work with the Site Development Committee are encouraged to contact Sue Strasia at 867-0026 or Many thanks to Pepi Strahl, Tom Ashe, our fabulous volunteers, and the board for getting us this far!

Beginning in June, the library will host a series of Placitas Talks on the first Thursday of each month. These will cover a wide variety of topics, such as birdscaping, ham radios, astronomy, genealogy, local history, and book discussions. Watch the community bulletin board at for additional information.

We will join the Albuquerque community in reading A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernst Gaines.

Thanks so much to all the participating families and the readers in the Saturday Story Hour. The board would especially like to thank Margaret Palumbo for her energy and attitude in coordinating it all. We are reevaluating our children's offerings to be sure they meet your desires. Since Saturday mornings seem to be a very busy time for families, we are putting our story hour on an extended hiatus as of April 30. As an alternative, we are considering a two-hour reading program on Friday mornings and would appreciate your input and suggestions.

  • Would you be interested in a free, drop-in, weekly literacy opportunity at the library?
  • Is Friday a good day for this? In the summer? All year? Better day?
  • What age children would you hope we could serve in this program?
  • What other types of children's programming would you like to see?
  • Are you able to volunteer some time to make this successful?

Contact us with your thoughts at, call us at 867-3355 or 867-5340, or drop by the library for a visit.

  • Library hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Don, Donuts, and the Times. Stop by for a chat.
  • First Thursday Placitas Talks: June 2, Book Discussion. 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.


Spring runoff promises high flows on Rio Chama, Rio Grande

An average streamflow forecast of 152 percent at Otowi Bridge (near Española) and recent warm weather have produced early and bountiful spring runoff conditions this year, which is great news for farmers and recreational enthusiasts.

State Engineer John D’Antonio said that the state’s river and reservoir managers will be working in cooperation to manage snowmelt runoff inflows safely and quickly. “Although river flows on the main stem of the Rio Grande due to snowmelt are anticipated to double between now and May, we are confident that the water can be safely managed to control the risk of flooding,” he said. “The good news is that it will be the best year in the past ten years for people who enjoy canoeing and river rafting. However, people who live in the Rio Grande Valley will see higher than normal flows, and should taker proper precautions when walking, picnicking, or working in the bosque near the river.”

As runoff inflows increase, the Army Corps of Engineers will slowly raise combined releases from Cochiti and Jemez Canyon Reservoirs, peaking at safe channel capacity of seven thousand cubic feet per second (at the Albuquerque streamgage), in an effort to reduce the potential for flood damage. Peak flows above and below Cochiti Lake are expected towards the end of May.

People living on the Rio Chama below Abiquiu Reservoir will see flows of eighteen hundred cubic feet per second, which equals the safe channel-capacity release from the reservoir. These peak releases began on April 18 as the Corps restrains significantly larger inflows beginning to arrive.

“Our release from Abiquiu will continue at the safe channel capacity probably for several weeks, and we will be regularly monitoring the river and weather conditions during that time period,” said Mark Yuska, of the Army Corps of Engineers. “Rio Chama irrigators are encouraged to place sandbags at their headgates to reduce the potential for overtopping, as a precaution.”

For more information on spring runoff conditions, contact Mark Yuska at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District Office at 505-342-3608.

The Office of the State Engineer is charged with administering the state’s water resources. The State Engineer has power over the supervision, measurement, appropriation, and distribution of all surface and groundwater in New Mexico, including streams and rivers that cross state boundaries. The State Engineer is also Secretary of the Interstate Stream Commission and oversees its staff.

The Interstate Stream commission is charged with separate duties, including protecting New Mexico’s right to water under eight interstate stream compacts, ensuring the state complies with each of those compacts, as well as water planning.


Governor Richardson honored by conservation group

National Wildlife Federation

The nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting wildlife has honored Governor Bill Richardson with its annual National Conservation Achievement Award

Since he first entered the national political arena, Richardson has been a leader on conservation issues. During the Clinton Administration, as U.S. Energy Secretary, he adopted a strong rule for air-conditioner efficiency equivalent to removing more than one million cars from the road. Despite three years of legal challenges by the subsequent administration, this rule remains in effect today.

Since Richardson's election to governor in 2002, much of his policy has focused on conservation issues. He has worked closely with New Mexico's wildlife conservation community and the National Wildlife Federation to enhance habitat, increase access to wilderness areas, and improve hunting and fishing rules in the state.

He led the Western Governors' Association to adopt a new clean-energy policy calling for thirty thousand megawatts of clean energy by 2015 and 20 percent energy efficiency by 2020.

Richardson has led the fight to protect America's roadless areas, opposing the Bush Administration's proposal to roll back the Clinton Administration rule protecting 1.6 million acres of wilderness.

He supported ranchers and sportsmen opposed to oil and gas leasing in sensitive wild lands such as New Mexico's Valle Vidal, and fought to conserve Otero Mesa, the last remnant of the Chihuahuan Desert.

Richardson was the only governor to sign onto a national challenge to the Bush Administration's New Source Review rule proposed to relax air-pollution cleanup requirements for power plants.


Lecture series on democracy and ethics

On May 1 at 3:00 p.m., John Riker, Ph.D., will speak on "Democracy and Ethics: What it Means to Have a Life." John Riker is a professor of philosophy at Colorado College and the author of three books: The Art of Ethical Thinking (1977), Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the Psyche (1991), and Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious (1997). The talk will be followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public at Simms Auditorium, Albuquerque Academy, 6400 Wyoming Boulevard NE.

For further information, e-mail or call Peg Conn,, (505) 858-8858.






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