Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Around Town

Photo credit: Bill Diven
Ernest Griego (left) and Angel Melendez deploy a large banner in front of Bernalillo Public Schools headquarters supporting Carpenters Local 1505's grievance against a contractor helping to build the new Bernalillo High School.

Union takes grievance to Bernalillo street

Signpost Staff

A labor dispute between the carpenter’s union and an Albuquerque contractor has landed on the doorstep of the Bernalillo Public Schools.

Carpenters Local 1505 in Albuquerque is upset with the hiring of Commercial Enterprises, Inc., also from Albuquerque, as a subcontractor on the new $38 million dollar Bernalillo High School. The project began in March and is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete.

As part of the dispute, pickets hired by the union daily unfurled a banner saying, “Shame on Bernalillo Public Schools” outside the school offices on Camino del Pueblo. A smaller banner notes the dispute is between the union and Commercial Enterprises and does not involve the school district directly.

According to a union flier, the picketers pass out, “Commercial Enterprises does not meet area labor standards for all their carpenter craft workers, including fully paying for family health benefits and pension(s).” The flier also criticizes the school district.

Additional details are not available, as neither the union nor Commercial Enterprises President Barry Eccher returned calls asking for comment. School officials also did not respond.

The union is known for protests around Albuquerque, using a similar banner and passing out fliers with approximately the same language.

Commercial Enterprises is listed online as a drywall, ceiling, and stucco contractor. HB Construction of Albuquerque is the prime contractor on the project.

Lightning sparks fire as county lifts burning ban

Signpost Staff

Summer rains dampening Sandoval County brought both an end to the ban on open burning and a lightning-caused forest fire in the Jemez Mountains.

The Sandoval County Fire Department lifted the ban effective August 15, although established rules and safety precautions remain in place. That includes requesting a burn permit from the county fire marshal, only burning between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and limiting the size of the burn pile.

Other requirements and precautions, like burning in a cleared space with water nearby are detailed on the fire department’s Open Burning page at Permits can be requested by calling 867-4581 or 1-800-898-2876.

Burning is limited to vegetation, brush, and agricultural debris on the person’s property. Burning household and other trash remains illegal under state law.

 “With the recent rainfall amounts in the state, the risk for an uncontrolled wildfire has dropped significantly,” Sandoval County Fire Chief James Maxon said.

Which is not to say there is zero chance for wildfires. The Santa Fe National Forest reports a lightning strike ignited was is being called the Pino Fire. First reported on August 13, by August 21 it had spread across 83 acres.

The fire is about six miles east of Jemez Springs and south of Forest Road 270BC in an area designated for a future prescribed burn.

“The fire is being managed for resource benefit,” according to a statement on the forest website. “The fire is allowed to burn naturally and selectively with site specific hand ignitions to manage the rate and direction of fire spread. Managed fires are only allowed within certain specific parameters and conditions allowing fire managers and crews to be proactive.”

Smoke has been visible rising from the forest and then settling into low areas at night.

Corrales Historical Society Speaker Series 2014

On September 11, at 7:00 p.m., Clifford Pedroncelli, Nora Sherzinger, and other members of the Class of 1956 will share their memories during a panel discussion of Sandoval School and its students, teachers, and staff for the Corrales Historical Society Speaker Series September program.

Corrales has had a school in the same location since 1925, when a four-room building was erected on the location where Corrales Elementary now stands. That was Sandoval School, which was managed by Sandoval County. Over time, more rooms were added to the building, including a gymnasium. Eventually, it was turned over to Albuquerque Public Schools. Throughout the years, as the school grew and changed, Corrales students were educated from Kindergarten through eighth grade, and memories were made.

This event is to be held at Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road, across from Casa San Ysidro. It is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

How to live a healthy life

The Placitas Community Library will host a presentation on September 6 by Mel and Mercia Bailey on “How to Live a Healthy Life.” It begins at 2:00 p.m., and will be held in the library’s Collin Meeting Room. Mel and Mercia have both had serious health problems and have made deliberate changes in the way they eat. The presentation will include a sample of their new favorite casserole. The public is invited, and there is no fee for the event.

The Baileys moved to Placitas six years ago. Mercia is retired from the interior design field, and she also taught interior design. She is currently studying to be a market trader. Mel is Global Director of Quality for Flextronics.

They began a journey towards living a healthier life three years ago after watching a documentary recommended by their medical doctor. Mercia has had health challenges all her life but their decision to become more concerned with their nutrition became more focused after two severe health issues for Mel that led to his being off work for three months. They really started to question their eating habits and attitudes toward being healthy. They have educated themselves through reading and documentaries. They recently went on a holistic cruise that focused on nutrition as it relates to health. They want to share their journey with others to encourage people to open up to all the different ways to live.

The Placitas Community Library is at 453 Highway 165. For more information, visit, or call 867-3355.

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