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letters, opinions, editorials

Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association

—Chris Daul

The Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) held its General Meeting on August 2 at the Anasazi Winery. A number of issues were discussed, including: (1) the Pipeline Expansion; (2) Fisher Sand and Gravel; (3) Gravel Mining and Zoning; (4) The I 25 Interchange; and, (5) Disposition of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. The last issue brought forth much discussion by the Board and audience members. A number of proposed uses and prohibitions were discussed. Most people at the meeting were opposed to any type of mining or drilling on the land. ES-CA is conducting a survey of its members, asking which uses are supported and which are opposed. All residents are encouraged to make their opinions known.

Ed Majka noted that he had met with representatives of Fisher Sand and Gravel and that they will be submitting a new application to the Town of Bernalillo for annexation. Within their submission, they will be asking for the right to mine gravel on the site. ES-CA has been working with Bernalillo on this issue and will notify residents as soon as an application is submitted. This site is currently under the jurisdiction of Sandoval County and is required to be restored. ES-CA does not believe that there should be any long-term mining operation on this site and will continue to monitor this issue and act to insure that residents are not subjected to any more long-term mining in the area.

ES-CA is also continuing to work on the LaFarge mining issue through the Land Use Protection Trust. The Trust has retained a land use attorney and they are examining options, including intervening in the current lawsuit by the County against LaFarge. This issue goes beyond LaFarge and concerns the larger issue of enforcement of zoning laws in the County. ES-CA is dedicated to fighting to protect our water supply, our land values and our community as a whole. Gravel mining is not a permitted use and is a resource draining operation. Mining uses an extraordinary amount of water, creates dust and air pollution, and negatively affects property values.

ES-CA is co-sponsoring a Candidates’ Forum, along with the Placitas Library Association, on September 20, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Placitas Community Center. Candidates for Sandoval County Assessor, Sheriff, and Commissioner (District 1) and for State Representative (District 22) will be attending. They will each make a presentation and then answer questions from the audience. All residents are encouraged to attend.

The next Board meeting of ES-CA will be held on September 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at La Puerta Realty on Rt. 165. All are welcome to attend.

re: fun at the labyrinth

A couple of months ago, I led about twenty kids and moms through the labyrinth at the Placitas Community Library as part of its Summer Children’s Program. It was a lot of fun, and I learned much from what the kids did—and what I myself did. First, we all sat down inside the library and I got out some handheld finger labyrinths made of fired clay, which gave all the kids a chance to run their fingers along a “path” to understand the pattern. We talked about the differences between labyrinths and mazes, and then went outside.

The sunny but cool weather, along with the kids, moms, and labyrinth, all conspired to make a most delightful time. There was high adventure as I led everyone into the labyrinth. After a couple turns of walking at a good clip and then more slowly, with the group behind me, I asked a young lady to jump ahead and lead us, as she had walked the labyrinth several times before. I dropped out and went to the central stone benches. When we all got there, everybody jabbered and jabbered in excitement and then we got quiet. I asked if anyone wanted to say anything about walking the labyrinth and some did.

Then I throat sang, just a little bit, and everybody got quiet. I explained that walking the labyrinth was kind of weird and new to us. Not everybody walks a labyrinth and few libraries have one. Well, I said, throat singing comes from southern Siberia and not many people do that in Placitas, and it is kind of weird-sounding, like the labyrinth is kind of weird-walking. Not everybody does it, but we can choose to do weird things like labyrinth walking and throat singing if we want to do them, and we don’t have to be like everybody else.

Then we started walking out of the labyrinth, with a cloud of joy wafting through us all. I started boinking the shoulders of kids with my fingers as they went by, and lots of folks started boinking each other like that, too. And then we were all outside of the labyrinth, and we went our separate ways, after having some serious fun. Much thanks to everybody who helped build our Library’s labyrinth, so we can all have moments like this.

—Michael Crofoot, Placitas

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