Thursday, October 8, 2009

Local Newspapers Vital To Community

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

A Truly Free Press
It’s an honor to be back, writing under the banner of a hometown, locally owned paper. The Mountain Mail is one of the very few voices of Socorro and Catron Counties. Here we can discuss news, issues and events of importance to our corner of New Mexico. There is no “Media Giant” like Time-Warner, Gannett or Hearst looking over our shoulders to make sure that we are “in-line” with the “Corporate Agenda.”
There are issues to be discussed and battles to be fought in the near future that will impact our very survival in this area of our fragile Earth. I will never tell you what to think. All comments and suggestions are welcome so that we might honestly discuss how to proceed in the face of those who would just as soon trash our little corner of the world.
One such issue is the “water grab” out at the San Augustin Ranch LLC. The “plan” is to drain the San Augustin aquifer and give our water to Texas. This would allow Santa Fe and Albuquerque to drink a little deeper from the Rio Grande. There has been a tentative date set for an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Bear Mountain Café in Magdalena. The traditional pre-meeting pot-luck will start at 6 p.m. The meeting will have a “panel-discussion” format. Hopefully we will have state Rep. Don Tripp, attorney Bruce Frederick from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and a hydrologist as panelists.
This is a very real threat that will simply not go away by itself. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to learn about this issue. When the time comes, we will fight for our water rights and for the water right beneath our feet. A new wrinkle in all of this is US Senate Bill 787, called the “Clean Water Restoration Act.” Is it designed to protect our nation’s waters or simply to give the Government (Big Business?) jurisdiction over our water rights? Read the bill at thomas. z?c111:s.787 and decide for yourselves.
Another date to mark on your calendars is the Socorro Electric Cooperative, District 5 election this from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, at the St. Mary Parish Hall on Spruce and Second Street in Magdalena. A meeting will follow at 7 p.m. This is, after all, your co-op and unlike a “Big Business,” you have a voice in how it is run.
The Magdalena Samaritan Center is continuing its Commodities Distribution on the second Monday and the last Friday of every month in the Community Center at the Magdalena Rodeo Grounds. Please bring your own boxes. Volunteers with wheel barrows or strong backs are also needed to help carry boxes to cars. If interested, please call Carman Roa at 854-2585.
The Magdalena Public Library will be having its Grand Opening - Open House at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Come experience the difference that a few hundred more square feet can make. There’s actually room to read, browse the collections and check out a book at the old train ticket window. Food, fun and books will be available.
Stock up on goodies at the Friends of Animals Bake Sale booth at the Magdalena Schools Halloween Carnival in the New Gym from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29.
Following the “Health Care for All Circus”? Check out to see who is lobbying for/against your favorite health reform bill or any bill for that matter. It makes you wonder, when Big Business cash donations speak louder than the needs of the American Citizen.
Finally, does anyone have a small, unused or inexpensive wood stove suitable for a mobile home? We have received this request and will be happy to pass on any information.
As always, if you have any Comments? Problems? Solutions? Up coming Events? Issues? Contact me at or (575) 854-3370.

Don Wiltshire lives and writes in Magdalena. His opinions do not necessarily represent the Mountain Mail.

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