are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations.
Please limit your letter to approximately four hundred words. Letter
submissions are due by the twentieth of the month prior. Please
see the Contact Us page for submission
options (e-mail, web, fax, mail).
By submitting your comments to the Sandoval Signpost you
are granting us permission to reprint all or an edited portion of
letters, opinions, editorials
The Signpost welcomes letters of opinion to encourage
dialog in the community. Letters are subject to editing for length,
clarity, libel, and other considerations.
re: state representative McCoy schedules
office hours in Placitas
To Placitas residents:
As part of my effort to stay connected, keep you updated, and learn
more about your concerns and issues, I have arranged two days of
"office hours" in Placitas. When the regular legislative
session starts in January, it moves at breakneck speed, so it's
much easier to discuss and digest things prior to the session. I
also know that it's often difficult for you to travel to the Capitol
to meet with me, so I hope this will make it more convenient to
discuss those issues that matter to you.
Dates: September 23 and October 21
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Place: Placitas Fire Station
—KATHY MCCOY, STATE REPRESENTATIVE, HOUSE DISTRICT 22, P.O.
Box 1488, Cedar Crest, NM 87008, 505-281-9540
re: Martha Liebert Library rededication
What a delight it was to open up the August Signpost and read the
letter from our former librarian, Laurie Macrae. Her comments her
on the rededication of the Martha Liebert Library were very much
I am not as familiar with the circumstances surrounding the original
naming of the library, but the renaming of the new library building
was featured in the March issue of the Signpost. If I am not mistaken,
this much welcomed action would appear to have been initiated during
the last days of the outgoing administration. I also suspect it
possibly involved a measure of intervention on the part of the always
wonderful MainStreet folks—the timeline that I am suggesting
is of course due to your photo, which I believe ran on the front
page of a March issue showing the transferring of books from the
old to the new library. In this wonderful photo, the schoolchildren
from Roosevelt are pictured standing in a very long somewhat twisted
and crooked line emulating the transfer of books from the old to
the new. As I think you may recall, these events were in advance
of the mayoral election in Bernalillo. So, as to the question of
exactly who is responsible for the much awaited rededication, I
cannot say, but, more likely than not, the wonderful town-council
folks, including the former mayor, now running for probate judge,
as well as the terrific staff at MainStreet, had a fair amount of
While searching for some completely different information, I came
across a series of wonderful photos on the participation of the
Friends at the wine festivals—there were quite a few of Laurie
Macrae, Susan Macy, and others from those heady times back in the
early ‘90s—the kindness of the wine festival and MainStreet,
in letting the Friends have a booth sans cost,as a nonprofit, will
never be forgotten.
As I mentioned, it is great to read that all is well with Laurie.
And I can just imagine how pleased and proud she would be to realize
that the new planned-for building, which will house the Southwest
collection, is on target for completion in 2007-08. It will truly
be a treasure.
Lastly, I want to take special note to mention the exquisite work
of the Martha Liebert Library current librarian, Juanita Montaño,
who has done a totally awesome job in keeping the dream alive of
bringing the library to (misquoting Virginia Woolf) “a place
of its own." She indeed is to be commended on her heroic efforts.
—MARGARET PALUMBO, Placitas
re: no lights for Ranchos entry, yet
Over two years ago, long before I became president of the Ranchos
de Placitas Homeowners Association, the previous members thought
it would be great to have a sign at our entrance to let people know
where Ranchos de Placitas is!
Following a favorable vote, we hired a well-known local artist to
do an artistic, appealing sign for us. This artist lives in the
community and produced a beautiful sign in his recognizable style.
Some people like it, while others find it too "artsy."
Some would have preferred a plain, less artistic sign, not unlike
several that you see coming up Highway 165 towards our neighborhood.
But the sign appears to be doing its job—at least during daylight.
The residents voted approval for a light, believing it could prevent
possible accidents, i.e., several individuals reported near-collisions
at that corner due to overshooting the turn at night.
Based on PNM instructions, an electrical box was installed at
the cost of $1,000-plus to dues-paying residents. Following all
applicable state and county guidelines and regulations, we were
informed to our considerable dismay that we would not be allowed
to turn on our new light! Other community signs are illuminated,
as is artwork at Homesteads. Pleas with the county commissioners
and the sheriff have been to no avail, for reasons that remain a
In recent weeks, Qwest has installed a very ugly tall metal box
to the left of our entrance, with no effort to disguise it. And
to add insult to injury, with permission from PNM, they hooked up
electricity from our box! Yes, the very same box, which our home
and landowners paid for.
Now Qwest is not only using our power, but PNM said it was OK.
And the county commissioners remain intransigent as to our proposed
light. What am I missing here?
The home-owners’ board membership has said that we will
get the needed permission, but that we'll just have to go through
the "proper channels." Well, almost three years later
we still do not have our sign illuminated, and responsible officials
continue to ignore us.
—JUDITH CLYMER, PRESIDENT, RANCHOS DE PLACITAS HOME OWNERS’
re: gravel mine plans expansion
As president of Las Placitas Association in 1998, when Lafarge
applied to the Bureau of Land Management for its gravel mine on
BLM lands in Placitas, I was closely involved with the community's
efforts to prevent this grossly inappropriate land use from being
approved by BLM. We were unsuccessful in stopping the mine and as
a result, community residents contend daily with the noise, dust,
truck traffic, and all of the accompanying health, safety, and quality
of life issues.
Now we have been informed of Lafarge's intention to apply for
yet another and much larger mine in Placitas. In what appears to
be a case of déjà vu all over again, the community
once again finds itself in a face-off with this wealthy multinational
Yet this time, we approach the contest a little wiser, with a
better understanding of the NEPA process, and with far greater insight
into the formidable foe we face. As history has demonstrated, Lafarge
is no friend to this community and will doggedly pursue its plans
for a new mine unencumbered by past promises, formal agreements,
I take this opportunity to remind the community of Lafarge's history
of broken promises and reprehensible tactics so that we may prepare
ourselves in the event that history repeats itself this time around.
Four administrative appeals were filed against BLM's decision
to allow the mine—two by local residents, one by LPA, and
one by the City of Albuquerque, who owns the Placitas Open Space.
The City later dropped its appeal after a settlement agreement was
reached with BLM and Lafarge. In exchange for dropping its appeal,
Lafarge agreed to pay the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division
$30,000 a year (or five cents per ton) to be used for the management
of the Placitas Open Space. After three years, Lafarge stopped making
the payments, claiming that the agreement had “outlived its
usefulness” (letter from David Plummer, Lafarge, to Steve
Anderson, BLM, dated May 13, 2002). In the settlement agreement,
Lafarge also promised not to apply for any more mining leases “near
the Placitas Open Space.” So much for promises and agreements.
The environmental-assessment document submitted by LaFarge for
the 1998 mine application followed the protocol recommended by the
BLM in its NEPA Handbook, with one conspicuous modification. The
section that should have been entitled “Conformity to Statues,
Regulations, and Other Plans” was omitted. There was no mention
made of the fact that mining in Placitas does not conform with local
The Resource Management Plan for the BLM holdings in Placitas,
which was adopted twenty years ago, when the total population of
Placitas was less than two thousand, allows for mining. As such,
BLM cannot easily reject a reasonable application for mining, just
as a city cannot reject a reasonable application from a developer
to build homes in an area zoned for residential housing. It is therefore
important that we seek a moratorium on further mining until BLM
can revise its outdated plan. If you haven't already done so, please
sign the petition for a moratorium, which will then go to our congressional
delegation, who can make it happen. Copies of the petition are available
online at www.lasplacitas.org.
—JUDITH HENDRY, Placitas
re: SAD in Placitas
Regarding the letter by the Lands End wearing easterner Herb who
is lamenting the rain drops on his trousers [August, 2006, Signpost].
If this wasn't sent tongue-in-cheek Please please leave! Go back
to your beautiful east coast where God never rains on your beautiful
parade. Why in the world would an elitist snob move to the desert
and complain about the weather? I suppose you have to be an elitist
snob to understand. I don't, thank God. Perhaps Herb should put
on a tank-top and a pair of cut-off jeans, grab his apricot colored
poodle and go down to one of the arroyos and watch a scene we Placitas
residents haven't seen in years... "Water"! Good luck,
Herb, and good riddance!
[Editor’s note: Herb's coping skills were
also severely challenged by the drought, evident in this following
letter he submitted to the Signpost in June.]
Greetings old friends back East:
The New Mexico drought is, I fear, posing new dangers. The rabbits
are now eating virtually anything to survive—things they've
not eaten before—as their favorite wild plants aren't available
or contain no moisture. I have reasons to believe they have abandoned
their traditional vegetarian habits and become carnivores—tens
of thousands of little bucked tooth flesh-eaters in our midst. And
breeding like rabbits.
As I write this, there are about a dozen cottontails looking in
my window, staring at me in a way that could only be called menacing.
Just yesterday, I discovered a body on my favorite hiking trail,
horribly mutilated by thousands of little buck toothed bite marks
and drained of virtually all fluids. There were huge numbers of
Thumper-like tracks in what was apparently the killing zone. Despite
my arguments, the local sheriff's department has ruled the death
a suicide. I believe, however, it was a fatal, catastrophic nibbling
by cottontails and possibly by the far larger, even fiercer jackrabbits.
To be killed out on the trail by a mountain lion or by a huge
black bear has a tiny bit of glamour and charm to it, especially
if I am able to strangle the big beast(s) with my bare hands despite
suffering the deeply unpleasant process of disembowelment. That
would be swell tombstone material and the stuff of legends. But
to be nibbled to death by rabbits is lacking, I think, in drama
and heroism and I am seeking to avoid such an ignominious end.
My spouse says I'm paranoid. I reply, predictably, that that doesn't
mean I'm not being stalked by cottontails. We simply don't venture
out after dusk, and I always carry a club and/or machete.
Uh oh. The doorbell just rang. I suppose it could be the UPS man
with another QVC delivery. On the other hand, it could be a vertical
daisy chain of bunny rabbits astride one another's little shoulders,
pressing the bell and hoping to force entry and eat us to the bone.
After all, what am I other than a [handsome] mobile, highly nutritious
meaty bag of body fluids? But don't worry. I'll be careful. I'm
Do you have such a problem back east? I'd appreciate any advice
or observations. Be very careful.
PS. Have also noticed many birds with hacking
coughs, chills and runny beaks and all wrapped in tiny blankets
even in the heat of the day. This seems to be particularly prevalent
amongst the Chicadees, Ravens and the Mountain Blue Birds. ... Could
it be......? Gawd, let's hope not.