Sandoval Signpost


An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988

Signpost  cartoon c. Barb Belknap

One thousand gallons of H2O for 10 dollars

—Peter Wells

As of August 20, individuals are able to set up accounts and access water from the city’s new bulk fill station located at the corner of 21st Street NW and Northern Boulevard. The cost per one thousand gallons is ten dollars.

To use the station, an individual must establish an account and prepay for water at the city’s Utility Services Division offices located on the second floor of Rio Rancho City Hall, 3200 Civic Center Circle, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Payment methods accepted include cash, check, and credit card (Master Card, Visa, Discover, or American Express). There are no residency restrictions to use the station.

Once an individual has established a prepaid account, they will be able to go to the station and use their unique account/pin number to fill their water containers. Users will be able to access water at the station 24 hours a day. Once a user has accessed all the water they have paid for in advance, additional water and access to the station can be prepaid for at City Hall.

The station, which makes water available for potable domestic use and construction purposes, was constructed to help address issues of:

  • Water theft from hydrants
  • Those unlawfully selling water at inflated prices to consumers
  • Make access to water more convenient for those lacking waterlines for regular city water service

The cost to build the station was approximately $192,000 and was funded from the city’s utilities operations fund, environmental gross receipts tax, water impact fees, and utility bond proceeds.

For more information, call the Utility Services Division at 891-5020, or visit the city’s website at

West Nile Virus in area

—New Mexico Department of Health

West Nile Virus State health officials have confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus this year. New Mexico has reported four human cases of West Nile virus infection in 2012—one in a resident from Bernalillo County, one in a resident from San Miguel County, one in a resident from Curry County, and one in a resident from Doña Ana County.

New Mexico has reported the presence of mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus from Bernalillo and Sandoval counties in 2012, and six confirmed cases of West Nile virus in horses; one from Santa Fe County, one from Socorro County, two from Lea County, and two from Doña Ana County.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that was first seen in North America in 1999. The most serious manifestation of West Nile Virus infection is fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans and horses, as well as mortality in certain domestic and wild birds. Cases of West Nile Virus in New Mexico have occurred every year since 2003, though decreasing numbers of cases have been reported, from 209 in 2003, 88 in 2004, 33 in 2005, and eight human cases in 2006. The number of cases increased to sixty in 2007. West Nile Virus infections in humans occur seasonally, with the peak of cases in late summer and early fall.

The risk of acquiring West Nile Virus can be reduced by:

  • Using insect repellent
  • Reducing the amount of time spent outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Having screens on your doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out
  • Emptying or eliminating water holding containers (where mosquitoes lay their eggs), such as tires, flower pots, and buckets

For the latest information regarding West Nile Virus, call the Epidemiology and Response Division at (505) 827-0006, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Job fair for health care professionals

At a time when health care provider shortages continue throughout New Mexico, the UNM Health Sciences Center (HSC) is sponsoring an annual Job Fair on September 6, held on the HSC Plaza, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (In the event of bad weather, it will be moved to the Domenici Center for Education at 1001 Stanford NE).

The Job Fair is open to all current physicians, family nurse practitioners, midwives, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, dieticians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dentists, dental hygienists, Medical Lab and Radiology technicians, EMS, and students from any New Mexico educational institution. The fair’s overall goal is to recruit and retain Health Professionals in New Mexico communities.

For more information, contact Amy Clithero at

Sandoval County Extension Office’s HOMEscape Solutions facilitators (l. to. r.) Cathryne Richards, Darlene Bassett, and Denise Davis

HOMEscape Solutions helps homeowners grow healthy gardens

—Cathryne Richards

“HOMEscape Solutions is a support group for Homeowner Gardeners who have dreams; it is a five-week workshop in which participants will complete a total landscape project plan.

HOMEscape Solutions will be presented in Sandoval County this September and October by Master Gardeners Darlene Bassett, Denise Davis, and Cathryne Richards. This class is designed for both new Master Gardeners and homeowners who want more information about solving landscaping challenges. We want to provide the tools to make your HOMEscape possible.

The concept for the class was first developed by these three Master Gardeners who wanted to provide more “nuts ‘n bolts” on how to develop properties here in Sandoval County. Darlene has taught the Landscaping Class for Southwest Homeowners Gardening Class, Gardening with the Masters and for past training classes over the last ten years.

Cathryne said she personally took the Master Gardener Training to learn how to deal with the Placitas soil, water, and native plants. She also has attended the Xeriscape Conference for the last six years, in addition to other continuing education courses in order to find out what to do with her sloped, rocky, wind-swept lot.

Denise has had various experiences in developing “open-spaces” and public landscaping projects in Utah were she lived for 12 years. Her last project was the Ogden River Parkway. She was responsible for coordination of the Southwest Homeowners programs for the past two years.

Together they have come up with a curriculum that will create a forum and support group for Masters Gardeners and homeowners to work together in teams to produce their dream landscapes and turn ideas into reality in their own outdoor rooms. The idea is to provide on-going support groups, feedback, and assistance in developing the HOMEscape of your dreams.

The class will be held on Thursdays, starting September 13 and is a five-week commitment. It will be held at the Sandoval County Extension Office, in Bernalillo, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The course fee is sixty dollars, which includes a complete materials kit. To sign up for your spot call 867-2582. Attendance is limited to the twenty people and is first-come, first-served.

Gardening with the Masters

Gardening with the Masters classes will begin in October. All classes are free and will be held at the Meadowlark Senior Center, 4330 Meadowlark Lane in Rio Rancho, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on the dates listed below. For information on the programs contact Sandoval County Extension at 867-2582.

On October 2, the topic is “Food Preservation” by instructor Nicole Lujan.

On November 6, “Home Composting” is presented by Patricia Barger as instructor. For information on this lecture contact John Zarola, Veteran Sandoval County Master Gardener at 867-2582.

On December 2, “Growing Roses” is the topic with Carol Marr and Maryellen Sherman as instructors.

On February 5, 2013, the first class will be entitled “Growing Tomatoes,” with Sam Thompson and Therese Barts as instructors.

On March 5, 2013, the topic will be “An Introduction to Bee Keeping” with Chris Behl, Veteran Master Gardener and Bee Keeper as instructor.

On April 2, 2013, Cande Lewis will discuss “Picking the Correct Plant for New Mexico.”

On May 7, 2013 will be an “Introduction to Permaculture” by Michael Reed.

And on June 4, 2013, Barbara Russell will discuss “Pruning.”

Mark your calendar and start gardening.

Corrales Harvest Festival returns

The 27th annual Corrales Harvest Festival will be held September 29 and 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day throughout Corrales.

Saturday morning kickoff will be the Pet Parade. Registration and assembly begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Corrales Recreation Center. Judging will be from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., and at 9:30 a.m. the parade will begin. For complete information about the festival and to purchase tickets, visit: or call 349-3809.

Book signings for new medical thriller, Coming Flu

Bernalillo’s Janet L. Greger’s new medical thriller, Coming Flu asks the question: what would happen if an uncontrollable flu epidemic hit New Mexico? Sara Almquist, a medical epidemiologist, resident of a small walled community near Albuquerque and central character of the story, pries into her neighbors’ lives looking for ways to stop this epidemic that has already killed over two hundred. Perhaps she snoops too much when she discovers a neighbor who is a drug kingpin wanted for murder in Albuquerque.

Coming Flu is an example of a new genre of literature, known as Lab Lit or Science in Fiction. Greger will sign her book and speak on “Science in Fiction” and "Making Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak Real" on September 22, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the East Mountain Library, in Tijeras, NM, and again on September 29, from 2:30 to 3:30 at Page One Books, 11018 Montgomery NE, in Albuquerque. For further information, visit:

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