Frontage Road sign near Exit 242
Home owners adopt frontage road
The Sundance Mesa Homeowners Association in Placitas has adopted
the frontage road along I-25 that leads into their community.
Last spring Lynae Maxim of Placitas met with the state Department
of Transportation and organized the adoption campaign. The first
volunteer cleanup day was June 4, when twenty-five residents collected
seventy-five bags of trash. During the fall cleanup, on September
10, a gravel-truck driver gave volunteers a thumbs-up and a group
of cyclists personally thanked some workers.
The state supplies garbage bags and orange safety vests for volunteers
and makes a special pickup of the trash. The next cleanup day will
be in early 2006.
Volunteering can be a fun way to meet neighbors and maintain a
neighborhood’s natural beauty.
Bikathon Kickoff planned for Kate Nelson’s
ride for blood-cancer patients
Kate Nelson is biking 109 miles through the Arizona desert to
help people diagnosed with blood cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma,
Hodgkin’s Disease, and myeloma, which kill an average of one
person every nine minutes in America. That means 165 American lives
Research funded by the Team in Training program, sponsored by
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, has charted significant advances,
including new drugs, new treatments, and new ways of helping families
cope with devastating diagnoses.
In an effort to promote Nelson’s efforts, the Las Placitas
Association and Optimists de Sandoval are hosting a Bikathon Kickoff
on October 22, at the Piñon Café (in Homestead Village,
on Highway 165, in Placitas, three minutes east of I-25, Exit 242),
in conjunction with the annual Placitas Star Party. The Bikathon
Kickoff will begin at 6:00 p.m. There will be a cash bar and entertainment.
Kate’s ride is on November 19, in Tucson, Arizona. She commented,
“I’ll make a ridiculous bet with myself to ride farther
than I ever have—but only if it means someone else gets to
step on the path of hope.”
To that end, she is asking that you help her help others by contributing
to fighting these diseases that we can conquer. For more information
or questions, contact Elaine Sullivan, 771-1171, or Kate Nelson,
at 867-6330 or email@example.com.
El Rinconcito español
La verdad a medias es mentira verdadera. = A half truth
is a true lie.
Cada moneda tiene dos caras. = Each coin has two faces.
Buenas acciones valen más que buenas razones. =
Good actions are worth more than good reasons.
Submitted by SOS-panyol, Placitas—Spanish
instruction that focuses on oral communication skills, www.sospanyol.com.
Coronado Monument presents art workshops,
A workshop on photography will be held at the Coronado State Monument
on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. until noon. The subject
of the workshop is photography in the fall environment. Alex Sedillo,
monument employee and editorial and advertising photographer, will
lead the workshop. The fee is $20 per person.
A gourd Christmas ornament workshop will take place at the Coronado
State Monument on the same day, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participants
are invited to create ornaments from dried buffalo gourds or miniature
bottle gourds, with Native American or Hispanic motifs or designs
from their own imagination. Reservations are required and there
is a $10 fee per person for materials and paint. Class size is limited
Interested participants should contact Linda, at 821-8432, to
enroll and for further information.
Stephen Post, a project director for the Museum of New Mexico
Office of Archaeological Studies will give a talk and slide show
entitled “Behind the Palace Walls: Recent Archaeological Investigations
at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe” on Sunday, October
30, at 2:00 p.m. Space is limited. Call Katherine, at 867-6115,
to reserve a seat. Admission is $5 per person, but free to members
of the Friends of Coronado State Monument.
Coronado State Monument is located off I-25, Exit
242, west of the town of Bernalillo, on Highway 550.
Historical society to present blacksmithing
program, quilt show
Sandoval County Historical Society will meet October 2 at 3:00
p.m. at Delavy House Museum (Highway 550, west of Bernalillo, between
Coronado State Monument and the Star Casino). Gary Miller, from
Corrales, will make a presentation on the history of blacksmithing
and demonstrate blacksmithing skills and the making of iron tools.
There will also be a quilt show from the private collection of
The Albuquerque Corral of Westerners will be guests. Local writer
Don Bullis, a member of the Sandoval County Historical Society,
is president of this group.
The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will
Placitas Community Library’s temporary location
Placitas Community Library wants your design
ideas for a new facility
The final contract for the land is just about complete. All that
we are waiting for is a legal description. We will always remember
with deep appreciation those who have supported us with their contributions,
ideas, patronage, and confidence.
It’s time to get ready for the Herculean task of designing
and planning this new library. Now is your chance to dream big.
Take a walk around the property and get the feel for the lay of
the land. The sixteen acres stretch from the fire station west to
the fence where a new house is being built, reaching north to the
far arroyo that separates this parcel from the housing development
and the towering hills beyond. Somewhere within this area, four
acres will be designated for the library. Coming soon, something
to mark the spot where the library will be located.
If you want to have some fun, draw up a sketch and send in your
design to Sue Strasia, 546 Highway 165, Placitas, New Mexico 87943.
You are limited only by your imagination. We want everybody’s
thoughts and ideas, so get out that graph paper and crayons and
send in your designs.
Las Placitas Association has added a gorgeous new poster to their
Watershed Collection housed at the library. These documents have
been selected to provide the technical and administrative background
for the Las Huertas Watershed Project, and to provide resources
for those seeking to learn more about various aspects of the Las
Huertas Watershed and watershed restoration.
A note from vice president Anne Frost. The much loved former Placitan
and columnist for the Signpost, Carl Hertel, left instructions for
his book collection to be donated to the Placitas Community Library.
As Carl was a personal friend, this news brought tears and warm
memories of long talks about books and ideas. We are most grateful
for this donation and will add bookplates to the titles so future
readers will know from whence they came. Thanks, Carl, for all you
were in life and the legacy you leave in our hearts and minds.
On October 4, at 7:00 p.m., at Hacienda de Placitas (491 Highway
165) we will present "Traveling By the Seat of Your Pants."
Dr. Eddie Dry, retired UNM professor of tourism, will share tips
on independent travel. Learn how to safely leave the tours and reservations
behind and venture out with your Lonely Planet Guide. Find out how
to connect with other travelers and locals to enrich your experience.
On October 30, Halloween will be celebrated from 2:00 to 4:00
p.m. at the library. Young and old alike are invited to join us
(in costume) for ghost stories and other ghoulish fun.
On November 3, 7:00 p.m., Charlie Christmann returns to the library
for a look at our gorgeous night sky as we approach the solstice.
This time it will be dark, so we may have a telescope or two.
Library hours are Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m., and Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Join us on Sundays
from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for coffee, sweets, and conversation.
By the time these railroad men posed with their
brand-new steam locomotive, in 1893, Bernalillo was just another
rural stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Bernalillo
had missed its opportunity, and Albuquerque was on its way to become
a regional railroad center.
Historical quirks steered rail center away
But for the quirks of history, Bernalillo would be a major railroad
center with a direct route to California, historian Vernon Glover
told the Sandoval County Historical Society.
The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway seriously considered
Bernalillo for major facilities later located in Albuquerque, Glover
said. But AT&SF chief engineer Albert Alonzo Robinson left Bernalillo
in frustration after failed negotiations with Francisco Perea and
Don Jose Leandro Perea, he said.
“The Pereas essentially refused to deal with the railroad
by asking an exorbitant fee for land in the valley,” he said.
“Essentially they didn't want to sell.”
Glover said his research into Robinson, who oversaw construction
of the AT&SF, has yet to find documentation for the story. Instead
it was written and published in 1922 by Nathan Bibo who said the
episode occurred in 1878.
Glover said he believe Bibo's account is accurate although his
own research puts the negotiations in February 1880.
Bernalillo's chance at railroad glory came when Robinson and the
AT&SF assumed the work and federal land grants of the Atlantic
and Pacific Railroad with its charter to build to California. Robinson's
surveyors located a likely route branching off the main line near
Algodones leading up the Jemez River and around the San Mateo Mountains
toward the present-day city of Gallup.
The surveyors also worked out lines west from Albuquerque and
During his 40 years of railroad research, Glover located an 1880
letter from Robinson to AT&SF president Thomas Nickerson explaining
his decision to base the A&P in Albuquerque while starting its
track in Isleta. By using the 11 miles of AT&SF track and its
Rio Grande bridge to Isleta, the A&P would save $160,000 in
construction costs and avoid drifting sand west of Albuquerque,
He rejected the line from near Algodones because of steeper grades
and increased construction costs but made no mention of his dealings
with the Pereas, Glover said.
Glover, author of books on logging railroads in the Jemez and
Zuni mountains, said Robinson arbitrarily decreed major stations
on the AT&SF would be 100 miles apart, the distance which at
the time represented a standard workday for train crews. So the
rail center of Sandoval County was located at Wallace, 100 miles
down the track from Las Vegas and named for then-Gov. Lew Wallace,
By 1885, Wallace boasted 38 railroad buildings including a Harvey
House and stone roundhouse for servicing steam locomotives. The
railroad, ever attuned to the politics of New Mexico Territory,
later changed the name of Wallace to Thornton, for then-Gov. William
The railroad waited for the stubborn Robinson to retire before
closing up shop in Wallace and moving most of the wooden buildings
to Albuquerque. With its last name change, Thornton became Domingo.
“Wallace was a bad fit,” Glover said. “The railroad
didn't like it.
“It was perhaps A. A. Robinson's biggest mistake,”
Little evidence of the town remains, and the stones from the roundhouse
may have been used to shore up the banks of the Rio Galisteo and
Rio Granded, he added.
Heard Around the West
—BETSY MARSTON, WRITERS ON THE RANGE
"It’s the ultimate in recycling," says Victor Bruha.
He and a friend, Daniel Hidalgo, have begun turning large mounds
of bison poop into high-quality art paper. The idea isn’t
really new: An Australian company sells kangaroo-dung paper, and
in Thailand, elephants supply the needed material in super-sized
quantities. But it took months for Hidalgo and Bruha, working in
a basement, to find the right recipe, which includes some recycled
paper from Bruha’s day job at Modern Printing in Blackfoot,
Idaho. The grassy dung is boiled for several hours to remove bacteria
and any odor. When it becomes a slurry, it’s screened in a
process much like that of traditional papermaking, says the Idaho
State Journal. One pile of bison-doo makes about twenty pieces of
delicate, finely textured paper. But the two artists don’t
stop there; when the paper dries, they add a bison-themed block
print, creating what reporter Emily Jones describes as a more unique
reminder of Yellowstone "than a T-shirt from Taiwan."
The artists’ Web site and company name is also apt: dunganddunger.net.
"Dumb and Dumber" is what two bank robbers from Australia
have been dubbed for their spectacularly bad judgment, reports The
Associated Press. While relieving Vail’s WestStar Bank of
$132,000, the 19-year-olds wore ski jackets with badges from their
jobs at a Vail ski shop. Their Aussie accents perked up the ears
of bank tellers, and they were caught when they tried unsuccessfully
to buy one-way tickets to Mexico the day after the robbery. The
Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia, found the duo sympathetic:
"Obviously, these kids are too stupid to be bad." The
men pleaded guilty and will be tried later this summer.
Racing the waters now swiftly rising behind Glen Canyon Dam, in
early June, a salvage operation found 57 boats resting in the depths
of Lake Powell or on newly exposed sandstone ledges. Salvage operator
James Cross told the Salt Lake Tribune that he was astounded by
the number of boats that had been deliberately sunk, judging from
the holes drilled in their bottoms. In some cases, he said, "people
were going too fast and hit a mountaintop. Another boat appeared
to have sunk when a four-ton rock landed on it. What happened to
those people?" Cross said a submerged aircraft could be seen
underwater, and he estimates there "may be as many as 100 sunken
craft littering the lake." Cross’ work was hurried, as
the reservoir was rising at a rate of up to two feet a day. But
before he was through, his boat, the Charity Eden, had the joy of
rescuing an exhausted but determined dog that had gone overboard
from a houseboat the day before. The dog, Rosie, was paddling madly
a half-mile from shore when picked up. It was so tired, Cross said,
it just leaned against him as if to say Thanks.
Speaking of thanks, a retired 67-year-old furniture salesman just
sent $5,000 to the town of Las Cruces, N.M., because a policeman
was kind to him 47 years ago. Robert Garrett told the Albuquerque
Journal that when he was 19, he and a friend went "bumming"
across the country, only to end up in Las Cruces, dead broke. But
instead of busting them for vagrancy, a young cop—whom Garrett
remembers as a "real little guy"—spent $3 out of
his own pocket to put the teenagers up in a hotel. "I’m
not wealthy, but I had enough," Garrett said. "I was going
to leave it in my will (to Las Cruces), and I thought ‘Why
wait until I’m dead?’" Police officers now working
for the town have yet to figure out who that generous officer was
Betsy Marston is editor of Writers on the Range,
a service of High Country News in Paonia, Colorado (firstname.lastname@example.org).