The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Community Bits

Placitas Artists Series presents September visual arts show and concert

The Placitas Artists Series will present artists Janet Shaw Amtmann, David W. Cramer, Susan Jordan, and Vera Russell throughout the month of September at Las Placitas Presbyterian Church. The church is located six miles east of I-25 on NM 165 (off exit 242).

Janet Shaw Amtmann paints the natural world of New Mexico, and the majority of her work is done in soft pastel. “Because I was originally an oil painter, I apply my pastels as if they were brushes, creating an impression of the day’s weather, light, and sounds.” Nature photographer David W. Cramer focuses his interest on scenic views and wildlife, particularly in the southwest. “The goal of my photography is to record the interplay of culture, nature, and sunlight in natural and brilliant color.” Gourd artist Susan Jordan dabbled in art but found her true artistic passion after she moved to New Mexico. Jordan notes, “A gourd is a gift from the earth, and each gourd is unique.” Vera Russell paints predominantly with oil, but also with pastels and watercolor. Vera tries to “capture the ordinary in an extraordinary moment… I preserve little things for others to enjoy, in case they didn’t have time to notice.”

A reception for the artists will be held at 1:30 p.m. on September 14, prior to a concert by Montana Skies. For information, call 867-8080 or visit

Sandoval Senior Connection seeks peer counselors

The Sandoval Senior Connection is a service program in Sandoval County, looking for seniors ages fifty-five and older to visit with others their same age. A twenty-six-hour training session will begin on September 16, with sessions to be held at different sites in Sandoval County on Tuesday or Friday mornings until mid-October. Volunteers are asked for a commitment of two to three hours per week after completing their training.

Following training, counselors are usually assigned one client to visit on a weekly basis. Counselors assist with issues of stress, depression, loneliness, health problems, and lifestyle changes. As the peer counselor volunteers will learn, the power of active listening is not to be underestimated in helping people to cope with these and other issues.

A free, no-obligation informational luncheon for prospective volunteers will be held September 11 and 12 at 12:00 p.m. Interested seniors should call Cindy Anderson, Program Manager, or Samantha Apodaca, Administrative Assistant, at 243-2551, or email or for information on the training, the program, or the luncheon.

Trivia: New Mexico things

Well, we are familiar enough by now, with the yucca and the bizcochito and, of course, the Official Question (how many other states have an Official Question, I wonder?), but here are some new things to ponder:

• Did you know that the salute to the state flag equates the flag with the Zia symbol (are the Indians still pursuing their lawsuit to recover rights to that symbol?)

• And that the official salute, like the poems, is in Spanish as well as English in the statutes?

• The yucca flower is adopted as the official flower of New Mexico.

• The chaparral bird, commonly called roadrunner, is adopted as the official bird of New Mexico.

• The nut pine or piñon tree, scientifically known as pinus edulis, is adopted as the official tree of New Mexico.

• The native New Mexico cutthroat trout is adopted as the official fish of New Mexico.

• The native New Mexico black bear is adopted as the official animal of New Mexico.

• The chile, the Spanish adaptation of the chilli, and the pinto bean, commonly known as the frijol, are adopted as the official vegetables of New Mexico.

• The turquoise is adopted as the official gem of New Mexico.

• The blue grama grass, scientifically known as bouteloua gracillis, is adopted as the official grass of New Mexico.

• The coelophysis is adopted as the official fossil of New Mexico.

• The bizcochito is adopted as the official cookie of New Mexico.

• The tarantula hawk wasp, scientifically known as pepsis formosa, is adopted as the official insect of New Mexico.

• "Red or green?" is adopted as the official question of New Mexico.

• State song: written by Elizabeth Garrett:

"O, Fair New Mexico"

Under a sky of azure, where balmy breezes blow;
Kissed by the golden sunshine, is Nuevo Mejico.
Home of the Montezuma, with fiery heart aglow,
State of the deeds historic, is Nuevo Mejico.


O, fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so
Our hearts with pride o'erflow, no matter where
we go,
O, fair New Mexico, we love, we love you so,
The grandest state to know, New Mexico.
Rugged and high sierras, with deep canyons below;
Dotted with fertile valleys, is Nuevo Mejico.
Fields full of sweet alfalfa, richest perfumes bestow,
State of apple blossoms, is Nuevo Mejico.


Days that are full of heart-dreams, nights when the moon hangs low;
Beaming its benediction, o'er Nuevo Mejico.
Land with its bright manana, coming through weal and woe;
State of our esperanza, is Nuevo Mejico.





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