Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Community Bits

Balloon Fiesta Express—Park and Ride 2010

The Balloon Fiesta starts Saturday, October 2 and ends on Sunday, October 10. There will be no Park & Ride service on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. There will be plenty of parking available at Balloon Fiesta Park, and traffic should be light for these sessions.

For Thursday through Sunday, there will be transportation to and from the balloon fiesta from the following locations:

East Side

  • Hoffmantown Church, 8888 Harper Drive NE. Park in the northeast lot only.
  • Cliff’s Amusement Park, 4800 Osuna Road NE, near San Mateo and I-25.
  • Coronado Mall, 6600 Menaul Boulevard NE. Park in the southwest corner near San Pedro.

West Side

  • Intel (southern parking lot), Highway 528/Rio Rancho Boulevard. Enter the Park & Ride lot at either Westside Boulevard or 21st Street, and follow the signs.
  • Sagebrush Community Church, 6440 Coors Boulevard NW. No Park & Ride service at the church Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings.
  • Sandia Area Federal Credit Union, 6410 Coors Boulevard NW, just west of Sagebrush Community Church, will provide Saturday evening and Sunday morning Park & Ride parking.
  • Santa Ana Star Casino, 54 Jemez Canyon Dam Road, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM (intersection of NM Hwy 550 and NM Hwy 529 in Bernalillo).

Ride times are:

  • October 2 and 3: 4:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 to 10:00 p.m.
  • October 7 and 8: 5:00 to 11:00 a.m. (Buses will run to Balloon Fiesta Park every ½ hour or as they become full.) and 3:30 to 10:00 p.m. (full service)
  • October 9: 4:30 to 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 to 10:00 p.m.
  • October 10: 4:30 to 11:00 a.m.

The last buses depart from the remote lots at 7:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. sharp! The last buses depart from Balloon Fiesta Park at 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. If riders are still present at the park after 11:00 p.m., the buses will continue to run.

Ticket prices for round trips, which include admission to the park, are:

  • Internet only (; up to 12:00 prior to your ride to the park): Adults (13-61), $10; Seniors (62 and older), $10; Children (6-12), $5; and Children (5 and under), Free. For telephone orders, call (505) 821-1000.
  • Remote lots and Balloon Fiesta Park via Park & Ride: Adults (13-61), $15; Seniors (62 and older), $10; Children (6-12), $5; and Children (5 and under), Free.

For information, call (505) 821-1000 or (888) 422-7277.

Hand shearing, team spinning, and style shows headline 27th Annual Taos Wool Festival

Sheep, yak, rabbit, goats, alpacas, lamas, and even baby bison are just some of the critters that produce the fiber that will be on display at this year’s Taos Wool Festival, held October 2 and 3 in Taos, New Mexico. The 27th annual festival will host 68 vendors showcasing regional fibers, art, and accessories. Four thousand to 5,000 visitors from the United States and overseas are expected to attend the free event in Taos’ Kit Carson Park.

“Anything that produces fiber fits the bill,” says Ruth Baldwin, president of the Mountain and Valley Wool Association, the organization that produces the event. Workshops will run from September 26 to October 7 and include instruction in spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, felting, dyeing, and other topics.

For the full line up of events, visit “Wear layers,” Baldwin says. “The festival goes on rain or shine, and being it’s the beginning of October, it’s definitely an excellent time to wear wool.”

Abused children to lose 14.5% of their “voices”: Sandoval County CASA suffers heavy cuts in funding.

Last year, New Mexico’s foster care system served approximately 3,000 abused and neglected children. Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs across New Mexico provided trained, supervised community volunteer support for 2,091 of those children. New Mexico’s 16 CASA programs have been shocked by a recent 14.5 percent reduction in this current year’s funding, and that reduction will continue into next year unless legislative action is taken.

CASA advocates are community volunteers who are appointed to child abuse and neglect cases by a judge. These volunteers gather information about the cases and needs of the children involved and report back to the judge. The advocates make sure that the abuse and neglect the children originally suffered at home does not continue at the hands of the system.

Effective September 1 of this year, Governor Richardson required all state agencies to cut their programs by 3.2 percent. State funding to CASA is a subprogram of the Judiciary’s Special Court Services program, which includes CASA and five other subprograms. The judiciary chose to take the entire cut out of only two of the six subprograms in Special Court Services. CASA bore 74% of the total dollar amount cut. Four programs had no budget reductions. In all, state funding support for CASA has been cut more than 21% in the last two years.

These deep cuts in funding mean fewer CASA advocates assigned to children, fewer training opportunities, less courtroom representation, reduced operating hours, and staff reductions. If funding cuts continue next fiscal year, Sandoval County CASA may be forced to shut down, meaning that fewer abused and neglected children would have an independent, highly trained advocate speaking only for their best interests in court.

For more information about the impact of these cuts on CASA in Sandoval County or to offer your much needed financial support, contact Executive Director Tammy L. Hanks, Ph.D. at (505) 720-7030, or e-mail

Firewood available to the public in the southwest Jemez Mountains

The Santa Fe National Forest has begun issuing wood permits for dead and down firewood on National Forest land and portions of the Valles Caldera National Preserve within the southwest Jemez Mountains. The wood can be accessed from NM 4 between the Banco Bonito staging area and Jemez Falls Campground.

Permits for five cords of dead and down firewood can be purchased for $20 at all Santa Fe National Forest offices. The following locations are closest to the firewood area: Walatowa Visitor Center, Highway 4, Jemez Pueblo, (575) 834-7235; Jemez Ranger District, 051 Woodsy Lane, Jemez Springs, (575) 829-3535; Espanola Ranger District, 1710 N. Riverside Drive, Española, (505) 753-7331; Los Alamos Satellite Office, 475 20th Street, Los Alamos, (505) 667-5120; and Supervisor’s Office, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe, (505) 438-5300.

Firewood in the area is available to the public due to recent forest thinning projects aimed to reduce hazardous fuels, provide community protection, and restore forest health. Additional firewood in the area will become available to the public in the near future once the two land managers and other collaborators begin to restore forest conditions on a landscape of approximately 210,000 acres within the southwest Jemez Mountains with funding under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP).

The Southwest Jemez Collaborative Restoration Project was among 10 nationwide projects recently selected by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for CFLRP funding. The Jemez project was selected to receive up to $40 million for 10 years of treatments aimed to restore healthy, resilient ecosystems, reduce wildfire risk, enhance fish and wildlife habitats, and maintain and improve water quality.

Restoration treatments will be done across 100,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest, much of the 89,900 acre Valles Caldera National Preserve, and more than 10,000 acres managed by Bandelier National Monument, and the Jemez and Santa Clara Pueblos. Trees will be thinned on about 90,000 acres and prescribed fire used on 76,000 acres.

The grant program, created by federal legislation sponsored last year by New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman, takes the highly successful Collaborative Forest Restoration Program approach—pioneered in New Mexico—and applies it nationally.

Other key collaborators include Bandelier National Monument, Jemez and Santa Clara Pueblos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, WildEarth Guardians and other conservation groups, New Mexico State Forestry, state departments of environment and game and fish, and local Firewise community associations.

Project Linus

Project Linus is comprised of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Volunteers and local chapters all work together to help us achieve our mission statement, which states: “First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’ Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”

Together we have distributed over three million blankets to children in need since our inception in 1995.

A new chapter has been developed in Sandoval County. Your help is needed for donations. We are looking to local businesses and members of the communities within Sandoval County for assistance. Donations needed consist of fabric, yarn, batting, sewing thread, and sewing machines.

You may have some of these items tucked away in your closet and not in use that you can donate to a good cause. You can find volunteers working on these blankets at your local senior and community centers. If you would like to be involved in volunteering your time in making blankets, please feel free to contact us as well. If you can assist with donations for this project, please contact the Placitas Community Center at (505) 867-1396 or Dottie Hu at (505) 238-1065.  

Thank you for your support in making our communities better places to live.

Bambi Wolf at Esther Bone Memorial Library

Bambi Wolf, formerly of the duo Charmed, will perform at the Esther Bone Memorial Library October 19 at 6:30 p.m. She will be accompanied by Norm Toy on an electric upright bass. Ms. Wolf plays keyboards and guitar in a blend of folk, Celtic, rock, and classical music.

No tickets or registration is required to attend. Bambi will have music CD’s for sale following the concert.

The Esther Bone Memorial Library is located at 950 Pinetree Road SE in Rio Rancho. For more information, call 891-5012, option 3.

Seven-string jazz guitarist Dan Dowling in concert at Loma Colorado Library

Seven-string jazz guitarist Dan Dowling will be in concert October 28 at the Loma Colorado Library from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Free tickets are available at the Adult Reference Desk or by calling (505) 891-5013, Ext. 3033 for information.

Have you ever heard a seven-string guitar? You will listen to an evening of jazz and blues guitar music masterfully performed on two of these instruments by veteran musician Dan Dowling. In addition to solo work, Dowling has been performing in combos ranging in size from duos to big bands for the last three decades. Dowling’s solo concert will feature a seven-string archtop guitar built by Dale Unger of American Archtop Guitars and a seven-string classical guitar built by Gary Zimnicki. The repertoire for the concert will include material from his latest CD, With Strings Attached, which includes some original compositions as well as jazz standards.

Dowling moved to Albuquerque with his family in 1957 from Tennessee. He has spent most of his time here since then, with sojourns in Los Angeles in the mid-’70s and in Nashville from 1993 to 2003. He has toured the U.S. and Canada and appeared on many festival concert stages and nightclub venues, playing his seven-string classical and archtop guitars. He was one of five finalists in the Heritage International Jazz Guitar Competition of 1996 and was named “Best Unsigned Blues Artist” in 1995 by the Nashville Music City Blues Society.

Critical praise for Dowling’s 2001 CD, Hide and Seek, includes the following: “Guitarist Dan Dowling is another underpublicized jazz stalwart... a solid soloist... nicely chosen phrases and elegant lines.” Ron Wynn of the Nashville Scene says, “His playing is tasteful, skilled, and sometimes adventurous, expressive solo playing,” and Dale Unger of American Archtop Guitars stated, “The pleasure of making guitars is hearing them played like this! Superb arrangements. Superb playing. Superb CD.”

Loma Colorado Library is located at 755 Loma Colorado Drive NE in Rio Rancho. For more information, Mr. Dowling’s Web site is





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