The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


How plants arrived in NM from Spain

As part of the Sigma Xi Public Talks, the Science and Society Lecture Series will present "Apples, Coriander, and Watermelons: Spanish Plantways to New Mexico" on Thursday, October 21.

The talk by Bill Dunmire, of Placitas, who has written a book by the same name, will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the University of New Mexico Conference Center, 1634 University Boulevard NE.

Free parking is available in the well-lit attached parking lot. Refreshments will be served at 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Professor Harjit S. Ahluwalia at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, 277-2941 or


BBQ dinner will help fund church expansion

Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, in Placitas village, will be holding a barbeque dinner, La Fiesta para el Milagro, at the church on Saturday, October 16 between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. There will be live entertainment throughout the afternoon by the local band Cheap and Easy. The cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children (ages five through twelve). Children younger than five will be admitted free of charge. Proceeds from the dinner will be applied to the cost of constructing an addition to the church. Construction started in mid-September and will be completed by April 2005.

The church serves an important secular role in the Placitas community in addition to its primary function as a house of worship. It is the venue for the Placitas Artists Series concerts and art exhibits, which draw audiences from throughout the Albuquerque metropolitan area and beyond. It is the meeting place for many Placitas-area homeowners’ associations and other civic groups. It has long been the meeting place for the local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. And it has long been the home of Mother’s Day Out, a community child-care program for children eighteen months to five years old.

The expanded facilities in the new church addition will better serve the needs of these community users and may attract new user groups who found the present church building inadequate or unappealing. The enlarged meeting hall and exhibit space, the improved bathroom facilities, and the modernized kitchen will add ambiance, comfort, and flexibility for community functions of many kinds.


El Zócalo cleanup complies with terms of renovation grant

Bill Diven

Clearing the land at El Zócalo in Bernalillo does not violate terms of a federal grant for renovating the historic property, according to a Sandoval County official.

County tourism and economic development director Donna Wylie said officials of the State Historic Preservation Office made that determination after meeting with the county and its architect. Bernalillo town officials had raised questions about grant requirements after the county cleared an orchard and shade trees from the property.

The county said it was removing dead and dying trees, while the former owner said the orchard was alive and well when he sold the property.

“We are in complete compliance,” Wylie told the Signpost. She said the cleanup touched off the furor because it was the first evidence that work is beginning.

Bernalillo community development director Maria Rinaldi said lack of communication between the county and town also contributed. A last-minute fax inviting her to the state-county meeting reached her after the meeting was over, she added.

Wylie said she plans another session for town officials to meet the county's architect and go over plans for the renovation.

The county purchased the three-acre property on Camino del Pueblo south of U.S. 550 last year intending to convert the former convent, school, shop, and barn to public uses. Dating to the 1800s, the site was home to the Sisters of Loretto convent, Our Lady of Sorrows high school, and extensive orchards.

While it is now county property, it sits at the north end of the Bernalillo historic district and within the town's MainStreet program jurisdiction.

Wylie said the county expects to solicit bids in December for the first phase of the project, a $1 million renovation of the school and convent. The work includes roofing, wiring, disability access, and adding an elevator to the two-story school.

A woodworking business will continue to rent the shop building, and the barn is considered fragile, Wylie said. The county has sketches for those buildings but lacks the money to design and fund that phase of the project, she added.

Fall ©2004 Rudi Klimpert


El Rinconcito español


Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.

(Tell me with whom you walk and I’ll tell you who you are. “Birds of a feather flock together.”)

La vida es como un espejo, te sonrie si la miras sonriendo.

(Life is like a mirror, it smiles at you if it sees you smiling. “Laugh and the world laughs with you.”)

Obras vea yo; palabras, no.

(Works, I see; words, no. “Actions speak louder than words.”)

Submitted by SOS-panyol—Spanish instruction that focuses on

oral communication skills.


Santa Ana group joins largest-ever international indigenous gathering

 On September 21, at 9:00 a.m., Americans for Indian Opportunity convened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., with tens of thousands of people from every corner of the Western Hemisphere representing tribal nations and indigenous communities to celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in a Native Nations Procession. The event hosted the largest gathering of indigenous peoples in modern history.

LaDonna Harris, president of AIO, led AIO’s eighty-four-member delegation in the Native Nations Procession. The AIO delegation consisted of the Ambassador Alliance, an unprecedented national network of 150 emerging Native American leaders who participated in AIO’s Ambassadors Program. The alliance represented more than a hundred different tribes and thirty-three states, all wearing beautiful and colorful traditional attire.

A group of Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, joined the AIO delegation to showcase the most recent global initiative with indigenous communities around the world.

“The opening of NMAI is truly a gift to the world because it showcases the tremendous contributions indigenous peoples have made to this country and the world. I am proud and honored to lead AIO in the Native Nations Procession,” said Harris.

Americans for Indian Opportunity, a national nonprofit organization based on the Santa Ana Pueblo reservation, catalyzes and facilitates culturally appropriate community building and empowerment initiatives for Native people. For more information, visit


Circus Chimera changes venue to Sundt Park

The location of the Circus Chimera performances in Rio Rancho on September 30 and October 1, 2, and 3 has been changed to Sundt Park, adjacent to the Rio Rancho Boys and Girls Club off Highway 528. Tickets and discount coupons will be available from Family-To-Family Home Furnishings (891-2799), Hot Tamales Restaurant (962-0123), and Raley’s Super-markets in Rio Rancho (891-4095, 771-7082); B & G Office Supply in Bernalillo (867-8222); and Bunkhouse Furniture in Corrales (898-7877); or by calling Circus Chimera at 1-888-663-7464 for reserved seating.

Proceeds from advance ticket sales will benefit Family-to-Family Home Furnishings, a new charitable nonprofit organization in Rio Rancho.






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