The Northside Signpost Web Edition

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Click Here To submit a letter or a response to the Gauntlet.

re: Intel’s water consumption

We had to chuckle at the recent public-service announcement on our public TV station sternly announcing “Condition Extreme—Drought in New Mexico . . . sponsored by Intel Corporation.” This is like Dracula sponsoring a blood drive! Intel has done such a spectacular public relations job that probably very few people are aware that Intel uses almost four million gallons of water each day. That comes out to almost 1.5 billion gallons of water each and every year out of our declining aquifer. And despite the rumor that the waste water is then used somehow to “recharge” the aquifer, it is actually pumped far downstream to the wastewater treatment plant near Isleta. Hmmm.

The truly staggering hypocrisy is that Intel could really and truly conserve the water it uses by about 90 percent by adopting the new clean technology developed at Los Alamos Labs last year. Here’s a quote published in the Corrales Comment from Fred Marsh, retired Los Alamos chemist, who has made a study of Intel for the past few years: “Los Alamos National Laboratories has developed a clean microchip manufacturing process that offers many advantages for Intel. In addition to being faster, cheaper, cleaner, and safer, the Los Alamos process produces virtually zero hazardous waste. . . . Still another advantage of the Los Alamos process is that it could decrease Intel’s current four-million-gallon daily consumption of our precious water by as much as 90%. Yet the cost of installing this new process is estimated to be only one-tenth of onepercent of what Intel is paying for its current expansion. Amazingly, Intel has refused the repeated efforts of Craig Taylor, the Los Alamos developer, to even discuss this new process.”

Amazing, indeed. Aren’t we all just really sick of these corporate snow jobs? As Fred Marsh concluded, “If Intel has any interest in becoming the good neighbor it claims to be, it would eagerly adopt this superior new Los Alamos technology as a win-win solution to the air pollution problem, while conserving most of the water it now wastes.”

Barbara Rockwell


Editor’s follow-up to Barbara Rockwell’s letter to the Signpost Gauntlet regarding Intel

    Intel spokesman Terry McDermott said that Intel spends over $4 billion every year on research and development. Because of proprietary interests, they don’t generally reveal their findings. He said that much of the investment in R and D is spent on finding ways to make the production process more “environmentally sound and cost effective.” McDermott said that Intel has been looking into Craig Taylor’s research in cooperation with Los Alamos National Laboratory for several years. He said that it is no “silver bullet.”

    Responding to allegations of wasting water, McDermott said that Intel’s water is pumped from 2,000 feet and that testing required by the State Engineer’s Office showed that this pumping did not affect the shallower wells in Corrales. He said that Intel has won several awards for the quality of water delivered to the waste treatment plant and that this water helps meet the interstate compact for downstream delivery.


re: conserving water

In times of drought, talk rightfully turns to ways to conserve water. There are two very effective ways to conserve water that do not alter your lifestyle: low-flow shower heads and low-flow toilets.

The average toilet uses about five gallons of water per flush. A low-flow toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush. Let’s say you flush your toilet ten times a day. That’s fifty gallons versus sixteen gallons of water or a savings of thirty-four gallons of water per day.

The most common argument against low-flow toilets is they’re not as efficient as a five-gallon toilet. With some brands this is true. Many users wind up flushing twice (3.2 gallons versus five gallons—still a modest savings).

But all low-flow toilets are not alike. I can only speak from personal experience, but our two Toto brand low-flow toilets have never failed. Not even once. Honest! And assuming the ten-flush-per-day average, we’re saving 12,410 gallons a year. In many areas the water utility company may rebate part of the price of the new toilet. And haul away your old toilet free.

The population of Albuquerque is roughly half a million. If half of these people switched to low-flow toilets using the ten-flush-per-day number. . . Well, my calculator can’t process such a large number. But I know it would be enough to water several golf courses. But I’ll save that issue for another letter.

Gary W. Priester
Ranchos de Placitas


re: tragedy in Placitas

[See Crash kills Placitas woman for more infomation]

On Thursday evening, August 15, I was in a major traffic jam/stoppage on Highway 165 in the village of Placitas. There had been an accident on the road, and all of us hoped and prayed that it wasn’t serious. As most people know now, it was serious and tragic beyond comprehension. As the traffic was allowed to move again, I drove past two totally destroyed vehicles and heard that a young Placitas woman had been killed in a senseless crash.

Danielle Romero, only eighteen years old, was driving her car west toward Bernalillo when she was hit by a truck driven by a woman from the Shiprock area. The oncoming car had swerved over the centerline, and Danielle didn’t have a chance. I’m writing this just a few days after the accident, so I don’t know if this was a DWI situation. However, per the Albuquerque Journal, the Shiprock car was being driven erratically in Placitas, and the driver had changed directions several times.

What a senseless tragedy. What a waste! How many times in the last year have we heard about cars swerving all over the road by impaired drivers? As I say, I don’t know the particulars of this case, but if it’s another example of someone driving under the influence, we’ve all got to protest to make sure these menaces—these potential killers—are not behind the wheel anymore. If it means getting tougher with our laws, getting better judges, stiffer sentences, impounding vehicles, let’s do it. Let’s stop allowing these murderers to get back on the road. Call your local politicians and tell them you’re sick and tired of seeing these types of accidents happen on our roads, and they’d better do something about it today.

And, if you are aware of any situation where a drinking- or drug-impaired associate, friend, or relative is driving—and if you are not stopping them yourself—you are part of the problem. I didn’t know Ms. Romero, but all of us in the Placitas-Bernalillo area lost something on Thursday.

Gary Libman


re: Sasha and Daisy find new home

Thank you! Watermelon Mountain Ranch is happy to announce that the dogs Sasha and Daisy advertised in last month’s Signpost were adopted by a loving family with four acres of land. We gave their photos and the Signpost piece to Steve Stucker, who advertised them on Channel 4. We had five families wanting them! We wish to thank everyone who helped out in getting these wonderful animals adopted out together.

Sophia DiClemente
Watermelon Mountain Ranch


re: Yorkie attacked

I wanted to share a recent experience so no other resident has to go through the fear and turmoil we recently did.

On July 26, my little Yorkie, “Coco,” jumped the courtyard fence and headed for his great adventure. Once I realized he’d escaped, I began peering down at the arroyos by the house to see if I could spot him. I didn’t see him, but I did see a very big, healthy coyote staring up at me. My only hope was that Coco hadn't seen the coyote, since Coco believes that every living being was put on this earth to play with him.

I started walking up the driveway hoping I could see Coco exploring. Not seeing anything, I turned to come back to the house and found him curled up by the garage door. He didn’t seem quite right, but I was so glad to see him, I didn't give it much thought. Since he wasn’t coming when I called, I went to pick him up. He gave a yelp of pain and my hand came away with his blood on it. Unfortunately, he and the coyote had met.

I was able to get Coco to the emergency vet in Albuquerque. He was in shock, but very, very lucky. His wounds were superficial and he came home a couple of days later, bruised and in much pain, but on the way to recovery.

This experience finds me needing to remind others whose pets are family members and mean the world to them. We share this wonderful place with coyotes, owls, snakes, and other wild creatures that call it their home as well. This wildlife is what makes living in Placitas so unique and wonderful.

So, if your dog or cat tends to roam, or even if your dog stays within an electronic fence, please keep their safety in mind. We owe it to our pets keep them safe and to be mindful of the other creatures we share Placitas with.

Donna Hansen
La Mesa


re: “raid” on Placitas Animal Rescue

After reading the articles in the Albuquerque Journal and Northside Signpost about the attempted closure and clandestine raid on Placitas Animal Rescue (PAR), I would like to vent. I am very disappointed in our County and very angry. I have been a resident of Placitas since before it was “fashionable” to live here. Through those years, I have come to appreciate the service which PAR provides. I have not only adopted a number of wonderful dogs from PAR, but have been responsible for many (and I mean many) rescues wherein I either brought PAR abandoned dogs or PAR came to the rescue. When I was involved in the rescues, I witnessed a gifted (with regard to doing a resuce) and kind hearted person effect a rescue. When I was able to get the dog in my vehicle, I took it to PAR. When I visited the PAR, not only was I impressed with the cleanliness, but there was a charisma about the place and all of the critters appeared to be very happy. Many other shelters have been closed down due to unsanitary conditions. PAR dogs were well cared for.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out the “Why” of this. PAR had been the only game in town until Sandoval County announced it was going to do a shelter. (I am aware that Watermelon Ranch now has a presence, but this was apparently only after the County’s decision). Why did they not select PAR to do the shelter?

The only thing that I can figure out (and I hope I am incorrect) is that Mr. Miles is politically active, a critic of many of the Sandoval County officials, and has hit a hot button or two. Freedom of expression is one of our fundamental rights, I do believe. Was this a way to try and silence him? I certainly hope I am wrong. This country needs people like Mr. Miles to speak their mind and question things. His right to dissent should be respected even though one may disagree with him.

Since the day of the raid, I have spotted at least three dogs along the road that appeared to be abandoned but could not pick them [up] because there was nowhere to take them. If no one rescues them, they will become either roadkill or coyote bait. . . That is a sad ending for any pet whose owner has already disposed of it like trash at the local dump. I hope that PAR wins its appeal and soon, because the abandoned and unwanted pets need to have PAR back up and running.

Thank you.

Jennifer Chadwell-Feld


Editor’s follow-up to Jennifer Chadwell-Feld’s letter to the Signpost Gauntlet

    Sandoval County spokesman Gayland Bryant said,

    “This has never been an issue about animals; it’s about the law. It’s important to realize that this action is the end result of a lawsuit filed by Gary Miles and Patience O’Dowd. The decision handed down was obeyed and enforced by county officials. Sandoval County had taken measures to assure the safety and well-being of the animals at the shelter. Fortunately Gary had obeyed the court order and had removed the animals prior to the county’s having to take action and enforce the will of the court.”

    Watermelon Mountain Ranch is a private organization not affiliated with Sandoval County.





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