Sandoval Signpost


An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
  The Gauntlet

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letters, opinions, editorials

Signpost welcomes letters of all opinions. Letters are subject to editing for length, clarity, libel, and other considerations. Anonymous pen name letters will not be published. Attach your name and contact information. Send to: Signpost, P. O. Box 889, Placitas, NM, 87043 or

re: ‘Our Lady of the Open Road’ suffers injury

My mom aka "Our Lady of the Open Road" suffered a severe hamstring tear while attempting to water ski on a family vacation in Minnesota. My husband said it best when he called her a "beast," and said that that is what makes her awesome, the fact that she wanted to try and ski at 65 years old. As you know, she has many fans, and she just wanted to send them a little note letting them know that she will be unable to run for at least a month or two. Knowing my mom, she will be back running stronger and better than ever soon. In the meantime, she would appreciate any support and prayers people are willing to give. 

—Lisa Richard, Placitas

re: Fire safety in the community?

August 23, 2017—It been a little over a year since our home burned to the ground in Placitas Trails on July 11, 2016. As we mark the anniversary of this event, we remember the kindness and support of our friends and neighbors here in Placitas. Even more remarkable was the outreach by total strangers that we experienced during that chaotic time in our lives. We are taking this opportunity to thank all of you for your support over this past year as well as your good thoughts and wishes for the life we will begin in our new home within the next few weeks.

As we reflect on our house fire, and embark on life in our new home, some concerns have surfaced. While we appreciate the speedy response of the Sandoval County Fire Department as well as other fire departments that responded to our fire, our concerns now lie with the future safety of all of us in this community. Some questions linger. Were the fire department response teams prepared? Could they have been better trained? What was their back-up plan? Why did the water lines fail to deliver much needed water to our fire? Why was more of our property not saved at the time of the fire? And, most importantly, has the Placitas community outgrown the ability of the local Fire Department to protect it? These and other questions weighed heavily on our minds as we learned of a recent fire that consumed still another home in the village within the last few weeks.

We are rebuilding in Placitas because we love the area, we have developed deep and lasting friendships here and because we have history in this beautiful community. That said, how do we protect ours and our neighbors’ homes in the future? We feel that the time has come for an evaluation of our community fire department resources and our fire department’s preparation and training to protect the many people, including us, who pay taxes for that protection and who live in this ever growing community.

Our call to action will not end with this letter. We plan to meet and speak with as many residents as possible so that this issue can be adequately addressed and awareness in the community can be raised. The value of our fire department services are important to all of us and we all deserve the highest quality protection of our lives and property.

Respectfully, —Christine and Robert Becker, Placitas

Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association report (ES-CA)

~Chris Daul, ES-CA

The Eastern Sandoval Citizens Association (ES-CA) thanks Dick Ulmer and Steve Vaughan for their tireless work and efforts in crafting a resolution to the Vulcan Mining suit. The settlement provides a certainty to the matter and allows the community to move forward. ES-CA also thanks all of the residents that attended meetings, wrote letters and helped in the process with both their time and resources.

While one issue is resolved, we still face a number of other ones, including oil and gas drilling in Sandoval County and the future use of the BLM Buffalo Tract of land to our north.

ES-CA, in conjunction with a number of other groups and individuals, is promoting a comprehensive ordinance to regulate oil and gas drilling in the County. There is no ordinance in place at this time, and the activity is permitted on private land through the process of a special use variance that must ultimately be approved by the County Commission. ES-CA supports the adoption of an ordinance that would be similar to the current ordinance regulating sand and gravel mining, where it is a special use with specific requirements stated in the law.

The County Commission will make the final decision on how to proceed so it is important that we express our view to them as well as to the Planning and Zoning Commission. It is important to note that ES-CA is not opposed to all oil and gas drilling in the County. It is an important part of the economy in the northwest area of Sandoval County. ES-CA believes that this type of activity should receive at least the same level of regulation as sand and gravel mining, since its impact will affect hundreds of thousands of people, water supplies, and the general health and welfare of residents.

Concerning the BLM land, the ES-CA and Las Placitas Association presidents recently met with BLM State officials to discuss the future of the Buffalo Tract. BLM would not state what the Resource Management Plan (RMP) contains, but they did note that the community’s comments, about providing recreational uses, have been heard by the agency. They stated that the RMP should be released later this fall. Once it is released, there is a thirty-day comment period and a sixty-day review period for the Governor. ES-CA and LPA are prepared to send notice to all residents as soon as the RMP is released and we will comment as well.

The next ES-CA Board meeting will be on September 11, instead of September 4 (due to Labor Day). The meeting will be at the Placitas Fire Station on Route 165, beginning at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

In addition, ES-CA will be holding its Annual Meeting on September 23, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Anasazi Winery in Placitas. Sandoval County Manager Diane Maes is our invited speaker. In addition, ES-CA officials will report on major topics affecting the Placitas area and answer questions. All are welcome to attend.
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