The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988


Kiva at Coronado Monument

Kiva at Coronado State Monument closes for a year’s repair

Historic kiva closes for restoration

On Tuesday, October 2, a forty-by-forty-foot tent was placed over the historic Painted Kiva at the Coronado State Monument in Bernalillo. Over the years, a countless number of visitors have climbed the spruce wood ladder down into the kiva and marveled at the frescoes painted there in 1938 by Zia Pueblo artist Ma Pe Wi.

The adobe structure’s rapid deterioration led the project’s consulting architect, Lee Gamelsky of Albuquerque, to recommend its immediate closure and installation of the tent. Protected now from the elements, contractors will remove the existing roof as well as stabilize and remove Ma Pe Wi’s frescoes. The west and southern walls of the kiva will also be replaced. Once the structure is restored, the walls will be re-plastered, the frescoes restored, and the kiva will be reopened to the public. This process may require as much as a year of careful work, during which time the kiva will be closed to the public.

Despite the kiva’s closure, Coronado State Monument remains open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays when it is closed. Admission is $3 for adults; children under seventeen are free.

For further information, contact the monument’s manager at (505) 867-5351.

Friends of Coronado State Monument sponsor events

On November 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Friends of Coronado State Monument (FCSM) will sponsor a wreath-making workshop on the portal at Coronado State Monument, west of Bernalillo on Highway 550. Using Indian corn, raffia, buffalo gourds, pine cones, chile, paint, and other embellishments along with a large green wreath, you can create a one-of-a kind creation perfect for your home or as a gift. Bring your imagination and, if you wish, a sack lunch. The cost is $20 per person, which includes the workshop fee plus any and all supplies needed to make and decorate one wreath. Space is limited, so for reservations call Linda at 821-8432 after 6:00 p.m. or email before November 8.

On November 18 at 2:00 p.m., FCSM will sponsor a presentation by Dr. Florence Weinberg about the little-known “Chamuscado Expedition (1581-1582)” to what is now central New Mexico. Dr. Weinberg is Professor Emeritus of French and Spanish Literature and has authored four scholarly books and numerous articles on the Spanish and French Renaissance and, since her retirement, has written seven historical novels. Her interest in the Chamuscado Expedition led to her recently published historical novel The Seven Cities of Mud, released in September 2007.

The program will be held at the Sandoval County Historical Society’s DeLavy House, located on Edmond Road in Bernalillo. To reach DeLavy House, take Highway 550, slightly west of Coronado State Monument, turn north on the west edge of the Phillips 66 Gas Station and Smoke Shop onto a dirt road (this is Edmond Road). Follow the road to its end. Signs will be posted. For reservations, call Gordon Forbes at 771-3464 or email your reservation to Admission is $5 per person, and is free to members of FCSM.

Signpost Cartoon, c. Rudi Klimpert

County line


Voters in a large portion of southern Sandoval County have a unique opportunity in the next few weeks to enhance the economic prospects and quality of life of our area for decades to come by expanding the district of Central New Mexico Community College.

Northern Rio Rancho voters will likely cast the deciding votes on whether CNM’s taxing district will be expanded to include all of Rio Rancho. Currently, Corrales and the southern portion of Rio Rancho are the only areas in Sandoval County in CNM’s district, which also includes all of Albuquerque.

Rio Rancho residents in the area generally north of Northern Boulevard are currently outside of the CNM district. Through the special election, northern Rio Rancho residents will have to approve an additional property tax of about $119 for a home with an assessed valuation of $100,000. Homeowners currently in the CNM district—generally defined as being south of Northern Boulevard—already pay the tax.

The election is being conducted through mail-in ballots for the two separate groups of voters—those already in CNM’s district and those residing outside the district. Both sets of voters must approve the expansion in order for the district to be enlarged.

Mail-in ballots should start arriving at homes in a matter of days. To be counted, the ballots must be received by the County Clerk’s office by no later than November 15.

If voters agree to expand CNM’s district, the state’s leading community college already has forty acres of land adjacent to the Rio Rancho City Center and $20 million in financing to begin building the first phase of a proposed new CNM campus in Rio Rancho.

A CNM campus in Rio Rancho will provide a significant economic boost to all of Sandoval County, along with a convenient and high-quality option for residents to enhance their lives and job prospects through education. A resolution expressing formal support of the expansion will be considered by the County Commission during our next regularly-scheduled meeting on November 1.

CNM is committed to placing a strong emphasis on providing associate’s degrees, occupational courses, workforce training, skill development, and the first two years of a bachelor’s degree to meet the growing need for comprehensive higher education options in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County.

In addition to providing gasoline-savings and an easy-to-reach location for county residents, CNM’s Rio Rancho campus will offer programs tailored to specifically fit the needs of our communities. CNM—the second-largest postsecondary institution in our state – is recognized for its ability to quickly respond to local economic needs by developing degree and certificate programs that support the workforce needs of growing businesses and industries.

CNM already is the biggest supplier and trainer of employees for the burgeoning aviation and film industries and its reputation as a strong ally for business and industry will make CNM a valuable selling point in our county’s efforts to attract businesses and industries to our area.

A successful election will also set in motion the broader higher education plans for Rio Rancho and Sandoval County. CNM and the University of New Mexico are working together on ambitious plans that would allow students to access the best of both institutions at one Rio Rancho joint-use campus location. UNM owns land adjacent to the CNM property.

While a long list of statistics shows the many ways CNM is working on behalf of residents, perhaps the clearest indication of CNM’s value to our area is seen daily in the paychecks of the thousands of CNM graduates who work in Sandoval County.

For more information on the election, go to

Questions or comments for Commissioner Leonard can be mailed to him c/o Sandoval County Administrative Offices, PO Box 40, Bernalillo, NM 87004.

All Indian Pueblo Council launches website

The All Indian Pueblo Council (AIPC), the oldest tribal advocacy organization in the country, is utilizing modern technology to strengthen its outreach efforts. Readers may log on to to view AIPC’s new website.

“We are taught by our elders that dialogue about important matters should be done in person. I agree with that perspective and believe it is the most effective means of communication. We want this website to be a tool for Pueblo Country to disseminate timely and critical information, but it will not substitute for AIPC’s regular meetings with Pueblo leaders,” said AIPC Chairman Joe Garcia.

AIPC represents the nineteen Pueblo Governors of New Mexico, including the Pueblos of Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia, and Zuni. The offices of the All Indian Pueblo Council are located at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104.

El Rinconcito español

Adonde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina.
Where the heart leans, the foot walks.

La vida es corta y pasarla alegre, es lo que importa.
Life is short and to live it with joy is the important thing.

El avaricioso nunca está contento.
The greedy one is never contented.

Submitted by, Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication skills.

Bernalillo resident Gadzia: creating healthy environments locally and worldwide

Bernalillo resident Kirk Gadzia will lead a workshop on the “Ten Principles of Creating a Healthy Environment” on Saturday, November 3 at 3:45 p.m. as part of Holistic Management International (HMI)’s International Gathering, “From The Ground Up: Practical Solutions to Complex Problems.” The conference runs from Thursday, November 1 through Sunday, November 4 at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, located at 800 Rio Grande Boulevard NW in Albuquerque. Three- to four-hundred attendees from around the world are expected.

HMI, an Albuquerque-based international nonprofit founded in 1984, works on four continents with rural communities and stewards of large land holdings (farmers, ranchers, government agencies, environmental advocacy groups, and others) to restore their lands to health, productivity, and profitability. Worldwide, thirty million acres are currently under holistic management.

“From the Ground Up” will feature keynote addresses by noted grass farmer Joel Salatin, animal and autism expert Dr. Temple Grandin, Air America Radio broadcaster Thom Hartmann, and HMI founder Allan Savory. In addition to the keynotes, there are more than thirty round table discussions, educational workshops, a children’s program and a Certified HMI Educator track—with international experts on soil health and desertification, sustainable farming and grazing, animal behavior, and global warming.

The ten principles of holistic management are the essence of and essential to its successful practice. Gadzia will illustrate the principles with examples from his own experiences in many different environments.

Gadzia owns and operates Resource Management Services, LLC, a training and consulting firm based in Bernalillo. The focus of his work is based on the holistic management approach to agriculture and life. In this process, a “holistic goal” drives the decisions that lead toward creating both a rewarding life and profitability derived from the health of the land. The model for making this work is mimicking natural systems and balancing one’s lifestyle with realizing long- and short-term goals.

Gadzia has extensive international experience consulting with many agricultural operations throughout the United States and overseas. He also provides customized training and consulting to a wide variety of public and private business and conservation organizations. He is co-author of the National Academy of Science’s 1994 publication, “Rangeland Health,” and is working to improve rangeland health monitoring techniques in a wide variety of environments.

For more information about HMI or the international gathering, call HMI at (505) 842-5252 or visit:

New wildflower book released by Placitas author William W. Dunmire

Mountain Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies: Revealing Their Natural History, co-authored by Carolyn Dodson of Albuquerque and William W. Dunmire of Placitas, has just been released by the University of New Mexico Press. Covering the Sandia and Jemez Mountains and north to Wyoming, the book is filled with color photos and line drawings.

More than a field guide, the book offers cultural and botanical essays with fascinating facts about seventy-five species of wildflowers, including strategies for survival, plant evolution, origins of plant names, family characteristics, and their role in human history.

Dunmire will be signing his book at the Anasazi Fields Winery during the Placitas Holiday Sale on November 17 and 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.





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