Sandoval Signpost


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  The Gauntlet

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letters, opinions, editorials

Signpost welcomes letters of all opinions. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations. Anonymous pen name letters will not be published. Attach your name and contact information. Send to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM, 87043 or

c. Rudi Klimpert

re: flash headlights to police?

Many motorists flash their headlights on Hwy 165 to indicate a Sheriff's vehicle with radar is up ahead. In light of some of the horror stories I have read recently of accidents and near accidents caused by drivers going too fast, passing over the double yellow line, and even passing on the S-curve, I say DON'T. These drivers, one recently heard to be drunk to the point of passing out, need to be stopped and ticketed, and if appropriate, arrested and taken off the road. If these drivers choose to recklessly endanger the lives of their neighbors, then any consequences must to be on them.

—Gary W. Priester, Ranchos de Placitas

re: “Mushroom Hills”

Fairy sticks on mushroom hills covered in dust. Brought on by musky dew. Meanwhile, Rudy the lizard was ballyhoo about having to eat the spicy toast. Down the hill close to the creek lived his jogging friend, Toes. Both wanted to play guitar for the maiden. Both fought in silence. Why?

It was said to be the hope of the tires for Rudy the lizard. The hope of the fading sunset for his friend, Toes. Then one day in the mix-up of their love for the moon maiden came Mr. Tick Tock, the clock. Mr. Clock said, “When the seasons were no longer cold nor hot, he would return again at sunrise to block the curse of forbidden love of Rudy the lizard, and his friend, Toes, for the moon maiden. The moon maiden was composed of love. Love was in her touch. Everything she touched became love.

Then one day Eufascio the red ant cursed the lot. What would happen to Rudy the lizard? What would happen to his friend, Toes? And their love for the moon maiden. There was no hope.

—Marguerite Ortega, Albuquerque

Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) report

~Chris Daul

The Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) continues to communicate and meet with Sandoval County Commission members to have the proposed oil and gas ordinance strengthened to provide protections for our health and safety. ES-CA is also committed to making the approval process an open process with notice to the public and public hearings.

The County Commission did not vote on the ordinance at their October 19 meeting due to “discrepancies” between the actual ordinance and the version that was published in the Albuquerque Journal.

Also at this meeting, Commission Chair Chapman limited public comment to one minute per speaker.  The time policy had been that members of the public would have three minutes to address the Commission about any topic. That period was recently shortened to two minutes and now has been reduced to one minute. Many members of the public objected to this limitation.

A vote on the oil and gas ordinance has been rescheduled for the November 16 meeting. All residents are encouraged to attend and attempt to make their voices heard.

At ES-CA’s annual meeting on September 23, our guest speakers were Sandoval County District 1 Commissioner James Holden-Rhodes and Sandoval County Director of Business Development Antoinette Vigil. ES-CA thanks both individuals for their attendance and presentations to the public.

ES-CA also thanks the participants of the Highway Cleanup that occurred on October 28 and thanks all the organizations and individuals in Placitas that help to keep our community clean.

The next ES-CA Board meeting is scheduled for November 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Placitas Fire Station on Route 165. All are welcome to attend.

On October 16, people rallied in front of the Public Education Department hearing, supporting the Next Generation Science Standards

State backs off controversial science standards

~Laura Paskus, NM Political Report

Hundreds of people turned out in Santa Fe on Monday, October 16, 2017, to oppose the state’s plans to enact science standards that left out facts on climate change and evolution.

Now, the head of the Public Education Department (PED) says he has reconsidered those controversial changes.

Related: Overflow crowd opposes state’s proposed science standards

Under PED’s original proposal, New Mexico would implement Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which have been developed and recommended by scientists and educators. But the department planned to adopt those standards with some key changes, including to lessons on climate change, evolution and the Earth’s geological age.

Public Education Department acting Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski didn’t attend that hearing, during which not one person gave public comment in support of the altered standards.

But on Tuesday night, Ruszkowski released a statement to the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal. Upon request, PED public information officer Lida Alikhani forwarded the statement to NM Political Report.

The New Mexico Stem-Ready Science proposal discussed this past month was built considering standards adopted in other states as well as input from New Mexicans. Many states that have adopted higher standards have made adjustments based upon input from their communities. New Mexico is no different.

Similar to the process in other states, our goal in holding a public hearing is to ensure all those who wanted to discuss these proposed standards would be heard. We have listened to the thoughtful input received and will incorporate many of the suggestions into the New Mexico Standards.

The hearing came at the end of a 30-day public comment period.

The altered science standards appear to have been controversial within the department, as well. According to a story in the Santa Fe Reporter, one person involved in writing the standards quit rather than be involved:

One year ago, [Lesley] Galyas wrote her final version of the state’s new science standards before she quit her position at the Public Education Department. She was the Math and Science Bureau director. It was all she could stomach.

“I was the only one in the building who understood the standards,” she said. “And then I had to report to my superiors and they would say, ‘Nope, you didn’t take enough out.’” Among other things, she was told to get rid of language referencing the age of the Earth and to alter references to human-caused climate change and evolution.

The bottom line for Galyas was simple: “I didn’t want my name on something that isn’t what it’s meant to be.”

NM Political Report reached out to the governor’s office for comment. We’ll update the story when we hear back from her spokesman, Joseph Cueto.

The second round of proposed standards do not appear to be the unaltered Next Generation Science Standards, but they do represent significant changes from those proposed last month.

PED’s emailed statement included some information about specific changes in the proposed standards for middle school and high school classes. It also noted that “Despite false and misleading comments to the contrary, the NM Stem-Ready Proposal mentioned evolution in several areas [in the high school standard], not just one.”

It remains to be seen how the process will move forward, but for now, many proponents of Next Generation Science Standards are happy.

“I am thrilled to hear of the changes back to original NGSS language and look forward to seeing what other changes come as a result of public comments,” said Eileen Everett, executive director of the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico. “In particular, our organization hopes to see the inclusion of the crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices of NGSS along with a thoughtful plan for implementation.”

Monday’s hearing also drew criticism. State Sen. Bill Soules, D-Las Cruces, said he would file a formal complaint that it violated the state’s Open Meetings Act because PED did not provide access to everyone who wished to attend. The large crowd meant that hundreds of people waited outside the building, where they could not listen to the hearing, before having their name called for public comment.

Peter St. Cyr, the executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, told NM Political Report on Monday that it appeared the meeting violated the state open meetings law.

More available at

[At Signpost press time, PED announced that they would adopt the Next Generation Science Standards in their entirety.]

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