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Around Town

The effect libraries have...

The Placitas Community Library (PLC) is hosting its third “Books on the Bosque,” to be held Sunday, September 26, at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort. The dinner, with live and silent auctions, is hosted by the Friends of the Placitas Community Library to raise funds for supporting library operations.

Jerry Westenhaver, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, Placitas resident, and library patron, commented on the importance that libraries had on his upbringing in Washington State: “I got my first library card when I was eight and loved reading the Hardy Boys growing up. We move a lot, and one of the first things my wife Leatrice and I do when we move into a new community is go to the library and get a library card.” Jerry reads as much as he can, though his choice of topics has changed. Reading history is very important to him. “You can’t understand the present if you don’t understand the past,” he said.

Jerry’s love of books and their importance is just one example why the Friends of the Library hosts its “Books on the Bosque” event. It is an opportunity for the entire community to help the library purchase books, offer summer reading programs, provide children’s programs, offer adult learning opportunities, and just “keep the doors open.”

You can be part of this important event!!

How many of you wish you had a piece of artwork by Susan Jordan?

Who loves Navajo rugs?

Would a week in San Miguel de Allende interest you?

What about a ride in a military aircraft that does acrobatics?

These are all possibilities for you at “Books on the Bosque.”

Rocky Durham, culinary director of the Santa Fe School of Cooking, will again be our auctioneer. He, with the help of many, raised over $40,000 in the auction held in September 2008. His love of libraries and children is clearly evident during his auctioneering. This event is one of a kind for the Placitas community and a “must attend occasion.”

The live auction includes: a Two Grey Hills rug by a 76-year-old weaver who has been weaving rugs since she was 10; seven nights/six days at a Winter Park, Colorado condo; a weekend Southwest cooking class with local chef, Jane Butel of Corrales; a natural clay pot by Les Namingha; a one week stay in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; an ancient Chaco culture olla pot reproduction by Bill Freeman; original clay art by Laguna artist Andrew Rodriguez; an original art gourd by Susan Jordan; and a squash blossom necklace by Yazzie. 

Silent auction items will include restaurant and lodging certificates, catered dinners, a ride in a AT-6 Texan WWII-era aircraft, an H1 Hummer/Jeep off-road adventure to the Jemez with a gourmet lunch, a signed Lobo team basketball, many local artists‘ original works, and health and beauty items.  Too many things to list here, but all the information will be available on the library Web site by mid- September. 

The Placitas Community Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and must raise all it’s operational funds. We do receive some funding from our annual membership drive, local organizations, and grants, but the “Books on the Bosque” dinner and auction is by far the largest source of operational funds.  

For tickets or more information, contact Pam Buethe at (505) 771-8941 or

Bernalillo to hold first Town Hall meeting

On September 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the OLOS Social Center, community members are encouraged to participate in Bernalillo’s first Town Hall meeting.

If you are tired of getting secondhand information or have questions, this is the forum to get everything firsthand. The mayor and council will be presenting information on issues affecting the community.

Some of the topics will include:

  • Water quality issues
  • Camino del Pueblo construction
  • Don Thomas construction
  • Town of Bernalillo budget status
  • Town ordinance review
  • Water system improvements
  • Zoning violations
  • Water department amnesty program

Matt and Jean DiGregory

The Range to host sixth annual movie night

The Range Café will host the Sixth Annual Jean DiGregory Outdoor Movie Night at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Loretto Park in Bernalillo. The free event will feature a family friendly movie, popcorn, and lemonade, among other refreshments, and provide a time to mingle with neighbors. Bring your own chair or blanket to sit on the grass.

The movie night was created by friends Jean DiGregory and Nancy Flint, with the Willett-Gies family, in a Bernalillo backyard. “Our goal was to provide a community celebration for the whole family and create a reason for people to hang out with their neighbors,” Flint explained. “The idea took off, and here we are on year six.”

Flint is coordinating this year’s details, and the movie title is top secret—but guaranteed to be loved by all. 

There is plenty of parking at the park, which is across the street from the El Zócalo Historic Convent Event Center at 264 S. Camino del Pueblo. In the event of rain, come to the park, and an alternative site will be announced. For more information, call (505) 764-4444, ext. 226.

c. Novella Harrison King

The Placitas History Project is trying to identify this scene. “Wintertime in Placitas,” an original piece of art by artist Novella Harrison King.

Earthships, yurts, hogans, adobes, “The Rainbow House”

These are some of the popular icons the Placitas History Project (PHP) plans to investigate as it begins its inquiries into the varied history of the greater Placitas community.

At its second general meeting on August 26 at the new Placitas Community Library, PHP initiated its first two inquiries: “History of Placitas in the 1960s and 1970s” and “Popular Culture.“ Chaired by Tony Hull, “the 60s and 70s” group will identify and locate places in Placitas such as the location where 60s singer and blues guitarist B.B. King arrived by helicopter for a concert that reportedly saw cars bumper-to-bumper along the length of Camino de las Huertas (Placitas’ little Woodstock?). And it will delve into the “journals” of Ulysses S. Grant, a controversial Placitas character who reportedly died a violent death in Montana. Chair Judy Gajkowski’s “Popular Culture” group will investigate how artists have portrayed our community in such diverse disciplines as painting, photography, sculpture, poetry, and architecture.

In a brief “training session,” Ann Massmann of the Zimmermann Library at the University of New Mexico presented a  program and discussion of how library and newspaper “morgue” files research might be used by PHP members to inquiry into community history. Karen Serio, a professional archaeologist and researcher, reported on her visit to the Zimmermann to review back issues of New Mexico Magazine for articles about Placitas.

Several individuals at the meeting participated in a “show & tell” session. Nick Baldonado, born and raised in Placitas Village, showed the group a 1950-60s reproduction of an original oil painting titled Winter-time in Placitas by Novella Harrison King. Baldonado believes the painting shows the Village either on Camino del Campo Santo or Camino de la Ciruela. The exact date and location and information about the artist is unknown, but will become part of the “Popular Culture” inquiry.

Additional Placitas-related topics for investigation by the history project were discussed. Bob Gajkowski will begin looking into an aerial map analysis of Placitas Village and the surrounding areas, utilizing aerial surveys provided by Sandoval County. Identification of buildings shown on the surveys followed by “on the ground” photography and GPS mapping and interviews concerning the locations will try to document families and events that have contributed to our community’s past.

If you are interested in joining the “60s & 70s,” the “Popular Culture,” or the “Aerial Analysis” group or have a particular topic in Placitas’ past that you would like “to dig into and get your hands dirty” working with others who share that same interest, please stop by and visit.

The next meeting of the PHP will be Thursday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Collin Meeting Room at the Placitas Community Library. Join us!

If you have questions about the Placitas History Project, call Bob Gajkowski at (505) 771-0253.

New Mexico Open

Golf fans celebrate as Santa Ana hosts the 56th Annual New Mexico Open

The state’s largest championship golf tournament returns to the award-winning golf clubs of Santa Ana and Twin Warriors in September, where more than 150 elite golfers from all over the country will meet up for the 2010 Championship.

Considered one of the top 10 prizes for a state open golf tournament, the Santa Ana Star Casino New Mexico Open’s purse is $100,000 with an estimated $15,000 awarded to the winner. “We are honored to have the New Mexico Open return to Santa Ana Golf Club and Twin Warriors Golf Club this year,” said Roger Martinez, director of golf at Santa Ana Golf, Inc. “As we expect the nation’s top professionals and amateurs to come to New Mexico and compete in the open, we plan to narrow the fairways in the landing zones, thicken the rough around greens, and increase the speed of the greens to make the 54-hole tournament more challenging and exciting than in past years while testing the skills of the area’s top professionals.” 

“The New Mexico Open is considered one of the best golf courses in the country by Golf magazine and provides competitive championship tournament play for professional and amateurs at all levels,” said John Speary, executive director of Sun Country Section PGA. “The nationally-televised PGA Professional National Championship was played Santa Ana Golf Club and Twin Warriors Golf Club last year, and we expect an even more exciting New Mexico Open this year as the event attracts some of the best golfers from throughout the United States.”

The Open, New Mexico’s most storied golf tournament, dates back to 1954 when amateur Billy Moya took home the first title. Since then, two more amateurs and a host of professionals have added their name to the trophy alongside names like Notah Begay, Paul Stankowski and the legendary Lee Trevino. Several New Mexico Open winners like the previous three mentioned have gone on to win on the PGA Tour. Others include Tommy Armour III, Tom and Curt Byrum and Kent Jones to name a few.

Practice rounds will begin on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:30 a.m. and eight spots for the tournament will be left open for “Last Chance” qualifiers that day. The Jack Hardwick Memorial Charity Pro-Am takes place on Wednesday, September 15. Ninety professionals and amateurs will play in the double shotgun-style tournament with the goal of raising money for Special Olympics of New Mexico, Corky Clark Foundation, and the Sun Country Junior Golf Foundation. The Santa Ana Star Casino New Mexico Open will commence on September 16 with the first tee-off at 7:30 a.m. and the tournament lasts until Saturday, September 18.

Since 2000, the New Mexico Open has donated its net proceeds to the Children’s Hospital at the University of New Mexico Pediatric Care Unit, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of New Mexico and the Sun Country Junior Golf Foundation. In that time, the tournament and its Celebrity Pro-Am have been able to generate approximately $150,000 for charity.

For more information on the New Mexico Open, the Jack Hardwick Memorial Pro-Am and/or sponsorships, please contact the Sun Country PGA Section at (505) 897-0864 or online at






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