Sandoval Signpost
An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
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c. Rudi Klimpert

Kyla Elder

Photo caption: Kyla Elder, 2012 Sandoval County Fair and Rodeo Queen

4-H youth top records at county fair

—Steve M. Lucero

Approximately 3,300 people attended the Sandoval County Fair this year. Kyla Elder was crowned the 2012 Sandoval County Fair and Rodeo Queen, and Stephanie Trambley, Fair Board Secretary, was awarded “Outstanding Service” for all her hard work and fund raising efforts.

The Sandoval County 4-H Jr. Livestock Show set a new sales record of $59,500.00. This year’s event was an enormous success with ninety-two 4-H youth exhibiting over 188 small animal and livestock to help fund their future interests, college or career.

Throughout the fair, the values and learning opportunities 4-H offers are emphasized which triggers awareness to other youth. Sandoval County 4-H is growing and encourages new leaders and members to join the program at all levels.

For more information on the Sandoval County 4-H Program, contact the New Mexico State University Sandoval County Cooperative Extension office at (505) 867-2582.

Recession tough on kids

—Sharon Kayne

Recent data confirms that the current recession has had a negative impact on America’s children, and New Mexico’s kids are no exception. Across the country—and here in New Mexico—the percentage of children living in poverty and in single-parent households has risen. Since 2007, 17,000 New Mexican children have been affected by foreclosure, and the unemployment rate for parents has tripled. This effectively erases the economic gains made since the late 1990s.

These are the conclusions of the 2011 Kids Count Data Book, a report released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report ranks states based on ten indicators of child well-being—such as the rates of child poverty, infant mortality, and teen births, among others. This year’s report also includes new data reflecting the effects of the recession on children. For a second year in a row, New Mexico ranks 46th—meaning only four other states did worse.

The Kids Count Data Book suggests a two-generation approach to improving child well-being across the country: help parents put their families on a path to economic success, while enhancing children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development from birth by investing in health and early childhood care and education programs.

“Child poverty is, in many ways, a bellwether for the well-being of society as a whole,” said Christine Hollis, NM Kids Count Program Director. “Research has shown us, time and again, that children who grow up in poverty face greater challenges to becoming successful adults, able to make a contribution to the community. Due to the disadvantages they face, they are less likely to do well in school, which does not bode well for our future workforce. With fully one-quarter of New Mexico’s children at risk, we have to ask ourselves, what kind of future quality of life we can all expect if we do not intervene,” she added.

The report does have some good news for New Mexico, however. Even though the percentage of New Mexico children affected by foreclosure has doubled from 2007 to 2009, our foreclosure rate (3.2%) is still lower than the national average (5.5%).

An embargoed version of the Kids Count report, and the New Mexico fact sheet, are available online at

Placitas Community Library announces Fall events, fiesta, and classes

—Placitas Community Library

The Placitas Community Library is staffed by many wonderful volunteers. In order to maintain our current hours, we are in need of more energetic, friendly Placiteños to join our ranks—mostly to cover the front desk. We will provide training for shelf reading, fundraising, and cataloging. Volunteers can give as little as four hours a month. We also need volunteers to form a crew to make sure that all the building’s systems—lights, heating, cooling, security—are in good working order. Applicants can call 867-3355, stop by the library, or visit for further information.

The Placitas Community Library Fall Fiesta is on Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. Festivities will include the Art Rediscovered silent auction of selected works donated by local artists and from private collections. (Deadline to donate is September 15—contact Pam Buethe at 977-7559). At the Fiesta, square and line dancing will be led by Placitas’s own Richard and Leslye Lane, who are well-known across the Southwest as square dance callers. Richard and Leslye will bring a “square” of dancers to perform and then get us all out dancing up a storm. Tickets are $30 per person and include a light dinner of fabulous skewered treats to delight the vegetarian and carnivore alike, as well as beer, wine, soft drinks, dessert, and coffee. We will be selecting the winning raffle ticket for the gorgeous quilt currently on display at the Library. Raffle tickets are now on sale at the Library or through Pam Buethe at 977-7559.

This fall there will be more educational and entertaining reading programs for children. The Pre-K Story Hour will be held on Thursday, September 8 and 22 at 10:00 a.m., and the Bilingual Story Hour is Tuesday, September 13 at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; we will have our own pre-balloon fiesta party for children with stories, balloons, crafts, and refreshments. Our special guest, Mary Octette, the balloongineer, who performs every other Thursday evening at the Flying Star Café in Bernalillo, will entertain the children with stories of adventure and teach them how to make great shapes with balloons. Visit our website for flyers on all of our programs.

The Library is offering a continuing series of four classes for beginners on Genealogy led by Jodie Streit, a member of the Albuquerque Genealogical Society. The first session was held in August. The next three classes will be held on September 9, October 14 and November 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to cover the tools that are available at the library (HeritageQuest and and how to search for individuals in census records, military records, Civil War records, immigration and burial records, and much more. There is still space available in these classes, and another series of classes planned for next year. Call 867-3355 to reserve a space. There is a $10 materials fee.

On Sunday, September 25, at 2:00 p.m., the Placitas Community Library will present Josh Fox’s film, Gasland. A discussion led by retired Geology Professor and Library volunteer Kathy Kitts will follow. The filmmakers traveled to 34 states—including New Mexico—and talked to dozens of property owners and environmental experts on the under-reported menace of fracking and the truth about the dangers of natural gas. Gasland was an official selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.”

Placitas Library September Calendar:

  • Wednesday, September 7, 14, 21 and 28: Veggies for sale to support the library. 1:30-5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 8: Pre-K story hour. 10:00 a.m.
  • Friday, September 9: How to do your Family Genealogy. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Monday September 11: PCL book group #1. 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 13: Bilingual story hour. 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 14: The Third Rail book group (open to new members). 3:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 16: Movie night. 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 17: Children’s pre-Balloon Fiesta with Mary O’Nette, the balloongineer extraordinaire. 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, September 20: Kid’s book club. 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 22: Pre-K story hour. 10:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, September 22: Placitas History Project (all welcome). 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 23: Art reception for Sonya Coppo and Anna Goodridge. 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 24: Home composting with the master gardeners. 10:00 a.m.
  • Sunday, September 25: Gasland: video presentation on the benefits and dangers of fracking for natural gas. 2:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 28: Congressman Martin Heinrich’s office hours—your chance to speak, one on one, with Rep. Heinrich’s aide about your concerns. 1:00–2:30 p.m.

Teen Activities

  • September 3: Chess club (all ages welcome). 1:00 p.m.
  • September 17: TAG-Teen advisory group. 1:30 p.m.
  • September 30: Game night—XBox and Yu Gi Oh. (Bring your own controller). 7:00-9:00 p.m.

For more information, stop by the library, call 867-3355, or visit

Esther Bone Library presents free September events

  • September 13: The Watermelon Mountain Jug Band will perform a rollicking evening of jug band and bluegrass music with washboard, jug, kazoo, spoons, guitar, and bass.
  • September 15: Ben Vova, Melinda Snodgrass, and Walter Jon Williams will discuss their thoughts on writing science fiction and fantasy and have a book signing.
  • September 22: Former National Football League great, Lionel Taylor, will be interviewed live by Rio Rancho Observer sports editor, Gary Herron.
  • September 27: Peter Chase, musician and music historian, will present a multi-media presentation on The Kinks, one of the original British Invasion bands from the mid 1960s.

All events begin at 6:30 p.m. Prior registration is not required. Esther Bone Memorial Library is located at 950 Pinetree Rd. SE in Rio Rancho. Call 891-5012 and select option 3 for directions or further information.

New Saturday and Sunday Rail Runner schedule begins

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express will be implementing a new weekday train schedule beginning Monday, August 29. The new schedule includes a new stop at the Sandia Pueblo Rail Runner station, between the Los Ranchos/Journal Center and the Downtown Bernalillo stations. A new weekend schedule is set to go into effect beginning September 10th.

“As part of our review of the commuter rail system operations, we identified areas where we can make adjustments and improvements to our schedule,” says Dewey Cave, Executive Director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments. “This new weekday schedule will continue to provide efficient Rail Runner service while helping us meet the parameters of our fiscal operating budget.”

New Weekday Rail Runner Schedule as of August 29: a couple of the early morning train runs will be replaced with bus service. Meanwhile, times for mid-day trains will be adjusted to accommodate lunchtime crowds to Santa Fe, so that passengers can make an earlier return. The last two southbound trains from Santa Fe will be consolidated into one train departing at 9:00 p.m.

New Weekend Rail Runner Schedule as of September 10: a new Saturday and Sunday Rail Runner schedule will begin the weekend of September 10, and remain in effect through the end of October (a special schedule will be in effect for the NM Wine Festival during Labor Day Weekend). Beginning Saturday, November 5, a new weekend schedule will be implemented for the winter.

To see the full details on all of the schedule changes, visit or contact Augusta Meyers, Mid-Region Council of Governments at (505) 239-8612,

Save your used sporting equipment for a good cause

—Elise Van Arsdale, Las Placitas Association

Don’t throw away your old sports gear! Donate or sell your unused or reasonably used sport’s gear to help a good local cause. From November 29 to November 30, members of Las Placitas Association and Pathways (WCNM) will sell your equipment at the Merc in Placitas, with proceeds going to benefit both organizations. You may determine a price or donate the items. Watch for drop-off specifics and further details in the October Signpost.




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