Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  Around Town

Community Fair coming to Peña Blanca

Peña Blanca is extending an invitation to residents and visitors to attend a community fair that will include a water fair and farmers market on October 1. During the 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. event, the work of artists and craftspeople will be for sale, along with food and rummage items. Information on water wells will also be available.

There is still space for other vendors at a cost of five or ten dollars if you need a table. Proceeds will benefit the community’s children at Christmas.

Details on the fair, space, and table rentals is available from Irma Gonzales at 465-2625 or Sandra Gutierrez at 465-1208. Peña Blanca is on S.R. 22, between Santo Domingo Pueblo and Cochiti Lake.

Algodones Fall Harvest & Flea Market ahead

A family-friendly event sponsored by the Algodones Neighborhood Association will take place on Saturday, September 24, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Algondones Market Outdoor Space. Jewelry, produce, plants, clothing, and other goods will be fore sale. For further information, call 867-0130 or 505-710-7426.

Friends of Coronado Historic Site Fall Lectures

On September 18, at 2:00 p.m., the Friends of Coronado Historic Site begin their Fall Lecture Series with a talk by paleo-botanist and cultural resource specialist Dr. William Whitehead, titled, “What’s for Dinner? Ancient Plant Use in New Mexico.”

Finding and identifying plant remains from archaeological sites helps us understand ancient cultures. Plant remains also allow archaeologists to understand past environments, how the landscape was used, how it has changed, and what the ancients “had for dinner.” 

Held at Sandoval County Historical Society Museum (DeLavy House, Highway 550 and Edmond Road, between IHOP and Warrior Fuel Station). Admission is five dollars; Friends of Coronado Historic Site get in free. For more info, go to

Fun fundraiser for Placitas Community Library

Join your friends for a late afternoon of food, wine, auctions, and a funny play. The Placitas Community Library will be hosting a fundraiser at Anasazi Fields Winery on September 11, at 4:00 p.m. It will begin with beverages—choose a glass of wine from local winemaker, Jim Fish, and appetizers supplied by gourmet library volunteers. While eating and drinking, there will be time to have a bidding war with your neighbors over the silent auction items, followed by a fast and furious live auction. Then have a seat and enjoy a reading of “The Love List” by the actors from the Adobe Theate—Ronda Lewis, Matt Heath, and Tim Riley. Tickets are $25 dollars and are available in person at the Library, by calling 867-3355, or online at on the How You Can Help/Fundraisers page. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. Seating is also limited.

Yates Garden

Placitas Garden Tour plans for next year’s event; save the date: May 21, 2017

The Placitas Garden Tour Committee has chosen May 21, 2017, for the Second Annual Placitas Garden Tour. Again sponsored by the Placitas Community Library and Sandoval County Master Gardeners, seven special home gardens and the orchard property at Anasazi Fields Winery will be opened to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be plein air painters painting, food trucks, beverages, snacks, and lots of information about gardening. Save the date. For more information, visit

New Bernalillo High School courtyard
Photo credit: —Bill Diven

Construction on new Bernalillo High School reaches completion

~Signpost Staff

Major construction of the new Bernalillo High School came in on time and on budget, and now it’s time to celebrate. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned during the school’s annual open house on September 6 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The last of the new buildings were finished in time for the opening of school on August 16, Bernalillo Public Schools Superintendent Allan Tapia said.

The contractor still was working through a punch list of minor issues like missing soap dispensers, tile work, and cosmetic touch-ups, he added.

“The students are in just a great place now,” Tapia continued. “The campus is nicer than most universities. The technology is amazing. It’s cutting-edge.”

There were no change orders issued during construction, and the district enjoyed a good working relationship with the project architect and prime contractor, he added.

The first phase of the $35 million project included classrooms, administrative offices, media, and a cafeteria. The phase just completed opened a new Career and Technical Education wing.

Ongoing during this school year will be the third phase: landscaping and parking lots.

Tapia also thanked taxpayers for supporting the 2013 bond issue that provided twenty million dollars for the high school, the new elementary school that’s about sixty percent done at Santo Domingo Pueblo, a new gym at Cochiti Elementary School, and district-wide technology upgrades.

A bond issue in the $18 to twenty million dollar range is expected to be on the February 17 school board election ballot. Part of that will help add classrooms at Algodones Elementary School where lack of space has fifth graders being bused to Bernalillo Elementary School for the second year.

Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites to undergo reorganization

~Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager, Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites

On July 21, the New Mexico State Personnel Office approved a reduction in force within the Department of Cultural Affairs. This reduction will affect some New Mexico Historic Site Staff and is, in many ways, part of a greater reorganization within the division of New Mexico Historic Sites, as a whole. Under the new model, Historic Sites will now be managed on a regional, rather than a site specific, level. This change should allow the sharing of staff and financial resources more effectively with the goal of greater cooperation and collaboration.

In Sandoval County, Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites will be directed by a single Regional Manager. Such a change is not without precedent. As recently as 2012, Coronado and Jemez were managed jointly during the search for a new Site Manager at Jemez. However, this time the shift will be more permanent and codified.

Both sites have been unofficially moving towards this partnership for some time. These shifts include the sale of a joint site admission ticket, combined advertising, collaboration between Coronado and Jemez Instructional Coordinators at schools and public outreach engagements, and the sharing of Rangers at both sites during seasonal events and special activities. Moreover, the two sites are linked thematically as both explore the Columbian Exchange, or interaction between Native American and European peoples during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Combined efforts will focus on tourism along the Jemez Mountains National Scenic Byway and in the surrounding communities and pueblos. This has the potential to build bigger partnerships as the two sites are managed as a cohesive unit, and creates an opportunity to build stronger alliances with our friend groups. Exact changes and details are still being worked out and may take some time to implement. However, current agreements with federally recognized Native American tribes and site-specific friend groups will not be impacted at this time. The reorganization went into effect on August 13.

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