The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Joseph Moreno

Joseph Moreno

Moreno honored at college

Joseph Moreno, son of Benny and Cordy Moreno of Bernalillo, graduated from Colorado College in May with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences/Southwest studies. At CC’s annual honors convocation, he was awarded the Joel P. Benezet Academic Excellence Award for Southwest Studies.

Moreno also received the Student Faculty Collaborative Grant and the Joel P. Benezet Research Grant to conduct research for his thesis on the Matachines Dance of Bernalillo. While at Colorado College, Moreno was cochair of SOMOS, the Hispanic student union, and worked as an intern for the college admissions office. Moreno graduated from Bernalillo High School in 2001.

Placitas charter school to conduct new demographic survey

In 2004, residents of Placitas responded to a survey about school choice. They were asked about the need for additional educational facilities in this area. The survey indicated a positive interest in and a need for a middle school.

Following the original survey, a school planning group obtained approval in November 2004 to open Village Academy Charter School, serving kindergarten through eighth grade.

The school was unable to open this year due to problems in finding adequate facilities.

However, the dream of a middle school will be closer to closer to reality in 2006, with Village Academy’s revised plan to serve grades six through eight. Charter school representatives are exploring several new opportunities for locating Village Academy, but need critical, updated demographic data for effective facilities and operations planning. Therefore, the governance council will conduct a formal survey in early October and compile responses by mid-month, to be followed by a work session. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the charter school’s public meetings to obtain information and offer their suggestions.

The regular public meeting will be held October 5 at San Antonio Mission, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Work sessions, also open to the public, are held, as needed, on alternate Wednesdays at the same location.

If you would like to receive information about student participation, the academic program, and how VACS can address your child's needs, write to Village Academy Charter School, P.O. Box 1247, Placitas, NM 87043-1247 or e-mail

Carroll Elementary awarded $32,500 technology grant

The Beaumont Foundation of America recently announced Carroll Elementary School will receive state-of-the-art wireless technology equipment valued at approximately $32,500. The award is one of more than 170 school grants made by BFA this year: a donation of more than thirty-seven hundred Internet-enabled laptop computers valued at more than $8 million. For more information, contact the Beaumont Foundation of America at or (866) 546-2667.

UNM sophomore retention rate up

Nearly 76 percent of the students who enrolled as freshmen at the University of New Mexico last fall returned this year. Retaining students who initially enroll at UNM is one of the goals of President Louis Caldera.

This fall 3,095 freshmen are attending UNM, another record-breaking number.

The single largest feeder high school this year is Rio Rancho High, in Sandoval County, with 213 freshmen at UNM.

Overall, the main-campus enrollment is stable. There are 26,280 students attending classes on the main campus this year, down just .22 percent from fall 2004. Statewide, including the branch campuses, 32,915 students are attending classes at UNM this fall, a decline of 1.05 percent.

The largest jump in enrollment numbers came at the UNM Taos branch campus, which increased by 16.59 percent, while the Los Alamos branch campus saw an enrollment decline of 17.46 percent.

The number of female students continues to grow more quickly than the number of male students, with 10,730 female undergraduate students on campus this fall, and 7,657 male students.

Detailed statistics on student enrollment at UNM can be found at

Volunteer English tutors needed

ReadWest needs volunteers to provide free English tutoring to adults. Volunteers must commit two hours per week to tutoring individuals or small groups.

Orientation and preregistration will be held Wednesday, October 26, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Two Saturday training sessions—October 29 and November 5, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.—are also required.

Training is provided by the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy and is held at ReadWest, 2009 Grande Boulevard (across from Haynes Park in the back of the Rio Rancho Jewish Center building), in Rio Rancho.

For more information, call Susan Markin-Ryerson, at 892-1131 or contact

Kindergarten literacy program looking for volunteers

The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, along with Albuquerque Public Schools, is kicking off a drive to find seven hundred volunteers to teach Albuquerque kindergartners how to read.

The Albuquerque Reads program has shown impressive results. In its second year, the program worked with three Title I APS elementary schools. At the beginning of the last school year, only 3 percent of students enrolled in the Albuquerque Reads program were reading at or above grade level. Just nine months later, 72 percent were reading at or above grade level, and 21 percent were reading almost at grade level.

The Albuquerque Reads program begins October 3. Volunteers will be asked to:

1) Attend a three-hour training session. A number of sessions will be held from the end of August through September to best fit the volunteers’ schedules. They will be trained in an easy-to-follow curriculum, with preselected books and scheduled activities. The elementary schools participating in the Albuquerque Reads program are Atrisco Elementary, 1201 Atrisco Drive SW; Bel Air Elementary, 4725 Candelaria NE (between San Mateo and Carlisle); and Wherry Elementary, 25000 E. Kirtland Air Force Base (at the corner of Louisiana and Gibson).

2) Undergo a current background check and fingerprinting, paid for by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

During the school year, volunteers will be asked to schedule a little over an hour weekly—or a team of volunteers can join together to split the duties.

For more information, call the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce at 764-3733 or 764-3736 or log onto to download a volunteer-tutor registration brochure and enrollment form.

UNM-Los Alamos to hold Scholarship Golf Tournament in Pojoaque

In celebration of twenty-five years of service to the communities of Los Alamos, the Española Valley, and Sandoval County, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos is throwing a golf tournament. The Scholarship Golf Tournament to be held October 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at the Towa Golf Resort, in Pojoaque, will benefit the students of northern New Mexico. The event includes teams and individuals, a four-person shamble, student discounts for UNM-LA and LAPS students, goodie bags, personalized accessories, and door prizes. For more information, go to or contact Rick Goshorn, at, 505-663-3416, or 1-800-894-5919.

United Way sets fund-raising goal at “sweet sixteen”

“United Way of Central New Mexico volunteers will raise $16,161,616 from corporate and individual donors by February, 2006, to help the most vulnerable people in central New Mexico,” said David Weymouth, CEO of Talbot Financial Corporation and 2005 campaign chair for UWCNM.

“United Way is the way a community takes care of itself by helping the people living here who are least able to help themselves. This is what we have done for the residents of New Mexico since 1934. With 490 people just recently relocated here from the Gulf states disaster, the list of the most vulnerable people living in central New Mexico just got longer.”

In times of disaster, UWCNM’s role is first to help emergency organizations, like the local Red Cross and Roadrunner Food Bank, whose work revolves around food, clothing, shelter, and emergency medical needs of the victims.

United Way of Central New Mexico’s 15 percent administrative cost is funded by Corporate Cornerstone Companies. Because of this corporate support, all other donations by donors are sent, in their entirety, where the donor wants them to go. Donors can give to any nonprofit organization in the world or they can give to the Community Fund, a fund specifically for local services helping the most vulnerable people in central New Mexico.

Community Fund donations are distributed through an open, competitive process available to human-service organizations in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia counties.

UWCNM is a private, volunteer-driven, nonprofit local charity that is governed by people who live here. The money raised by United Way of Central New Mexico stays in central New Mexico, unless otherwise directed by a donor.

For more information visit www.uwcnm or call Joanne Fine, at 247-3671.

Celebration to honor Gary Dwyer

On Saturday October 8, a celebration will honor the life of the late Dr. Gary Dwyer. The esteemed superintendent of Bernalillo Public Schools died last spring. Elizabeth Dwyer, superintendent Barbara Vigil Lowder, and the Bernalillo Public School Board of Education ask friends, associates, and students to share memories of Dr. Dwyer. The celebration will take place at the Bernalillo High School football field at 9:00 a.m. Food will be provided, so the organizers ask that those planning to attend contact Virginia Montoya or Eva Sisneros by September 30, at 867-2317,, or

AG alerts New Mexicans to Internet “pharming” scams

On June 14 Attorney General Patricia Madrid cautioned New Mexico consumers who regularly use the Internet about “pharming,” a new technique identity thieves are using to steal personal information from online users.

Madrid said, “Most people have become aware of the dangers of ‘phishing,’ so-called because the scammer sends out an e-mail to ‘lure’ you into giving up your personal information. ‘Pharming,’ however, is a potentially more dangerous and sinister technique scammers are using to collect your private information because of the transparency of the scam. Whereas a ‘phishing’ scam tries to trick the user, a ‘pharming’ scam tricks the computer. There are very few signs to indicate that you are visiting a ‘pharmed’ Web site. Because of this, it’s especially disconcerting for Internet users who regularly bank or maintain their credit card accounts online.”

In a “pharming” scam, the user is surreptitiously redirected from a legitimate Web site to a fraudulent Web site without his or her knowledge. The fraudulent Web site, sometimes called a “spoof site,” is often difficult to differentiate from the legitimate site. This is especially problematic in the case of fraudulent credit-card or bank sites, where users are asked to enter identification and password information. The fraudulently redirected Web site collects that information and allows the scammer access to a user’s account information and, potentially, to steal that person’s identity.

“The victim of a ‘pharming’ scam often has no idea that he or she has just visited a fraudulent Web site and has given private information to a con artist,” said Madrid. “ ‘Pharming’ can be a nightmare for Internet users and a dream come true for ID thieves. I urge New Mexicans to be on the lookout for the subtle indications of a ‘pharming’ scam.”

Consumers should pay close attention to the following indications while online:

• If a site is truly “secure,” users should see a closed padlock icon in the corner of their Web browser.
• Click on the padlock icon. If the Web site is legitimate, it should display a “security certificate.” If it’s a phony Web site, the certificate will either not appear, or will be owned by an entity other than that of the Web site.
• A legitimately secure Web site will also show “HTTPS” in the browser’s address window. If the address window simply shows “HTTP,” and the Web site claims it’s secure, it could indicate that the Web site has been redirected or “pharmed.”

Some “pharming” attacks happen because of a virus that is secretly downloaded onto a user’s computer. Attorney General Madrid recommends Internet users install and keep updated antivirus and anti-spyware software running on their computers. Users of high-speed DSL or cable Internet connections are especially vulnerable to this type of attack and should install a personal firewall to prevent any viruses from being surreptitiously installed.

Madrid said, “It sounds ominous, but it’s my belief that with so many sources that have access to your personal information, you cannot be vigilant enough to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft. Please take these warnings seriously. There is no one who can protect you from Internet scams more effectively than yourself.”

Portion distortion: supersizing ourselves

Americans are eating out more and more, and leading researchers say that’s a big part of why so many of us are overweight. And the biggest part of that big part? Big portions.

When we eat out, we are usually getting a portion of food that is double, or even three or four times the size of what is considered a normal serving. Many restaurant meals contain upwards of a thousand calories!

Grocery stores, bakeries, delis, everywhere, the portions are simply ballooning. Researchers find we’re still eating the whole thing—whatever the thing—without comprehending the alarming increase in our daily caloric intake.

It’s not that restaurants and food producers are deliberately trying to make us fat. They’re just trying to protect their market share of your food dollars, and to do that, they look for ways to improve value and appeal for their consumers.

Actual food ingredients are relatively cheap, compared to packaging, labor, rent, research, marketing, lobbying, advertising, and all the other expenses of bringing you that meal or snack. So from their end, it’s good business to give you more and make you feel like you’re getting a deal.

As we get used to seeing those big portions when we eat out, we tend to recreate them in our home kitchens, so that even when we do our own cooking, we again serve ourselves more than we need. Our sense of appropriate servings has been distorted.
So, what to do? When you’re eating at home, fill the plates from the stove and bring them to the table. Repeated studies have shown that if the food is within arm’s reach, we’ll eat it. But if we’ve got to go and get it, we are less likely to take more.

And before you do go for seconds, sit a few moments and let your body catch up. It takes about 30 minutes for the hormones that signal satiety to get the message from the stomach to the brain.

When eating out, imagine that every meal you order has a notation in the menu that says “serves two.” Decide how much you want to eat at the beginning of the meal, and before you even start, put the rest in that take-home container. When you’ve had enough, stop. Being satisfied doesn’t mean feeling stuffed, and enjoying a good meal shouldn’t leave you uncomfortable afterwards.

Finally, whether you’re driving through, sitting inside, or even ordering delivery, always resist the temptation to supersize.
It may seem like a great bargain at the moment, but in the long run, you end up paying for the extra calories, not with those extra few cents, but with your health.



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