Friday, November 13, 2009
A couple in Polvadera reported that they had been victims of fraud. The woman said that she received charges from Fed Ex and UPS for packages sent to a different person throughout the country. They did not have Fed Ex account and had not sent any packages through UPS. A package that was returned to them contained a cashier’s check which was bogus. Another check was made out to the man, which was also bogus. The officer contacted the organizations from which the checks were written, and found they also have an ongoing investigation. The victims were reimbursed by the shipping companies.
A man from Grants was driving north on Interstate 25 when he fell asleep at 12:35 a.m. and lost control. His vehicle, which was pulling a camper trailer, exited the roadway at mile marker 138 and rolled over three times. A passenger was trapped and had to be extracted by EMTs and taken to Socorro General. The driver was cited.
A man in Lemitar reported at 10:30 a.m. that someone forced entry into his home, damaging the front door, and stole items from the residence. The officer was contacted by the Belen Police Department who recovered an item that had been taken from the home. The victim offered the name of a possible suspect.
A complainant reported at 3 p.m. that a man came to her place in Veguita and started removing parts from a meter breaker box. He took breakers and damaged the meter receptacle. A deputy met with the suspect and some items were returned, but the damage was never repaired. The suspect has called the woman and has harassed her. The suspect may have moved out of the area by now.
A Socorro woman reported at 4 p.m. that someone stole her laptop and some jewelry from her workplace at the courthouse. She stated that the office is always secure or occupied. No suspects at time of report.
In response to a DWI hotline tip, an officer was dispatched at 11:15 p.m. to the parking area of the Roadrunner truck stop in Lemitar. The suspect driver, from Bluewater, New Mexico, was sitting in his vehicle with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. A firearm was noticed in the passenger rear seat. An odor of alcohol was detected on the driver, and he was given and failed field sobriety tests. He was arrested and taken transported to the Socorro County Detention Center.
A driver from Albuquerque was pulled over at 12:21 a.m. for speeding on Interstate 25 at mile marker 167. He could not produce a valid driver’s license, and a check showed it had been suspended/revoked with an arrest clause. He was arrested and taken to the county jail. He also had no car insurance.
An officer met with the parents of a friend of a juvenile victim at noon over a text message sent to their daughter by the victim. The text indicated that the girl was being battered and that a man was trying to have sex with her. The incident was reported to CYFD.
An officer was dispatched at 11 p.m. to Kuntz Road in Veguita on a report of shots fired. It was learned that the suspect was discharging his weapon into the air, and that this is not the first time for this type of incident. A search for the suspect proved unsuccessful, but his license plate number was given by one of the neighbors. A check on the plate came back with the name of the suspect, who is to be charged with negligent use of a weapon.
Three vehicles were traveling north on Interstate 25 at 8 p.m. when, at mile marker 145 what was described as a “black object” in the roadway caused all three vehicles to suffer damage. All had to be towed from the scene.
An officer was dispatched at 2 p.m. to meet with man #1 who wanted to report that he had run over a dog o Chaparral Drive. The officer was also told that man #2 on Chaparral wanted to report his dog being run over. Man #2 stated that the two men were having an ongoing feud and felt that man #1 ran over his dog on purpose. It was learned that the dog was running loose and in the roadway and not in its yard. The dog had a minor cut and was fine. The man #1 stated that the dog ran out into the road and he tried to avoid hitting the dog but could not. Man #2 was advised that there was a leash law.
A vehicle was westbound on State Road 380 at 11:30 p.m. when the driver came upon a rainstorm. He lost control of the vehicle and struck the side road railing causing damage to his vehicle. It was towed form the scene.
A man on Pueblitos Road reported at 6 p.m. that someone got into his 1990 Ford pickup through a window and stole prescription pills, a radar detector, CDs, and a trailer draw bar with ball. No suspects at the time.
MAGDALENA - An Arizona woman traveling with her boyfriend through Magdalena has been charged with three felonies after trying to pass a counterfeit bill at the DNN Gas and Convenience store Thursday.
Denice Idel Mullican, 46, of Tucson, Ariz. was arraigned in Magistrate Court Friday on possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. She is being held at the Socorro County Detention Center, and has been denied bail as a flight risk. Mullican has not yet been charged on possession of the counterfeit money.
On Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4:16 p.m. Marshal Larry Cearley was called to the Conoco Station on First St., on the report of a woman who had given the owner, Nick Innerbichler, a $50 bill that was possibly counterfeit.
In the arrest affidavitt, Cearley said that Mullican claimed to have received the bill from a store in Arizona where she purchased two shirts.
With Mullican was her boyfriend, Gary Michael Strouse, 36, also of Tucson, who was driving the white 1989 Ford F-150.
Cearley asked the suspects to follow him to the Marshal’s Office to write a voluntary statement as to where the counterfeit bill came from.
After obtaining consent from both suspects, Deputy Ed Sweeney conducted a search of the pickup at the Marshal’s Office, with Deputy Terry Flannigan assisting.
Mullican stated she had a small amout on marijuana inside a plastic capsule from a vending machine in a carry-on bag and a marijuana pipe was found in her purse.
Sweeney also found a needle with clear liquid, in a pillow in the back seat of the pickup. Mullican admitted she had more hidden in the back of the truck inside a zipper case.
Sweeney found the zipper case, along with a spring loaded eyeglass case, which contained three needles with clear fluid, under the spare tire in the truck bed. A fishing fly case contained four white colored rocks and a small tin with residue. Mullican stated it was meth and that she needed it.
A $100 bill was found inside Mullican’s jacket pocket which she said was given to her by a friend who asked her to get rid of. It was also counterfeit.
Inside the pickup’s cab four computers and two card readers were found.
A bag with jewels was also discovered inside one of the carry-on bags. The jewels were diamonds, saphires, rubies and emeralds.
Deputies also found a large amount of credit card numbers, note books with numbers, six cell phones, identifications including photographs of elderly people, and tools which are consistent with the use in burglaries.
According to Cearley, the evidence was turned over to an agent of the U.S. Secret Service.
Strouse was questioned and released, although the case is still open, and further charges are pending.
By John Larson
SAN ANTONIO – Socorro County’s biggest event of the year, the Festival of the Cranes begins next week, and organizers report advance registrations are topping last year.
The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge has been home to the festival since 1991, when the newly formed Friends of the Bosque formed a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the City of Socorro. Friends of the Bosque president Paul White said snow geese are arriving from the north daily.
“You can look out over a sea of white and the thrill of watching them all take to the air,” he said. “The count of sandhill cranes is also steadily rising, and there are plenty of viewing areas for the morning lift-offs.”
White said people travel from all over the country to experience the crane fly-outs and fly-ins. “The registrations are ahead of this time last years, and we’re delighted that so many will be participating at a time when people might be tempted to cut back a little,” White said. “That they are staying in New Mexico. Experiencing the wonders we have at home.”
The festival begins next Tuesday and runs for six days, with workshops, hikes, seminars, and other events both at the Refuge and at New Mexico Tech. “We’re delighted that there’s so much interest in a place as magical as the Refuge,” he said.
The Refuge is 57,191 acres located along the Rio Grande at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bosque del Apache is an important link in the more than 500 refuges in North America.
The goal of refuge management is to provide habitat and protection for migratory birds and endangered species and provide the public with a high quality wildlife and educational experience.
MAGDALENA – The state’s budget shortfall is being felt on the local level, Clerk Rita Broaddus told the Magdalena Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday night.
Broaddus said she received official notice confirming that all capital outlay projects have been put on hold.
“I spoke with a budget analyst with the DFA [Department of Finance and Administration] today and she indicated that were going to have to do some tightening and adjust in budget or we’ll be in bad shape,” Broaddus said. “The village operates on the gross receipts tax – the marshal’s office, the judge and municipal court, utilities, streetlights, all those things – and our gross receipt tax is just whittling down.”
She said that in first quarter of the fiscal year the GRT was down 11 percent, while expenses have risen two percent.
“The fire department, including EMS, is not affected by this. They get a specified amount at the first of the year,” Broadus said. “We will have to adjust the village budget to take into account the deficit in money coming into the general fund, and try to get everybody on board that we need to cut back on expenses at least 10 percent.”
She said all village department heads should think about where money can be saved.
“It will be important to basically not to purchase anything that’s not absolutely necessary,” Broaddus said.
She said a meeting will be held next week with Marshal Larry Cearley, Judge Robert Serna, Joint Utilities Director Steve Bailey, and Deputy Clerk Carleen Gomez “to look a budget to see where we can tighten things up.”
In other business:
• Mayor Jim Wolfe said he has gotten word that FEMA will be using a photographic map and topographical information “to move ahead with its flood plain study and drainage management plan. It’s a pretty comprehensive study.” He said the purpose was to provide flood insurance for people inside the flood plain, at a cheaper rate.
• The board voted to table the first reading of an ordinance to vacate a portion of 12th Street.
• The board approved a request by Cearley to spend $3,000 for EMT training for three new EMS volunteers.
• The board approved the expenditure of $1,909 from the Lodger’s Tax fund to advertise the village in the travel publication Old West Trails.
VEGUITA -- The citizens of Northern Socorro County came out in full force Tuesday night and safe to say, most of them left pretty happy.
With a standing-room only crowd at the Northern Socorro Senior Center looking on, the Socorro County Commission approved Ordinance 2009-09, which was an abatement ordinance. The vote was close with Daniel Monette, Rumaldo Griego and Phillip Anaya voting for it and Rosalind Tripp and Juan Jose Gutierrez voting against it.
After the vote, almost everybody stood up and cheered.
The ordinance addressed the problem of abandoned and substandard mobile and manufactured homes in Socorro County.
Residents detailed their stories to the commissioners about the abandoned mobile homes. They said drug dealers are moving into the area, children are playing in the abandoned structures and gang members are setting fire to the abandoned homes as well.
“It sounds like a horror story but we live it every day,” resident Gwynanne Walker told the commissioners.
The sticking point, not surprisingly, was funding.
“It’s a much-needed ordinance and I like it,” Tripp said. “But in all good conscience, I can’t vote for it. I look at it as an unmandated ordinance. We don’t have the funding.”
“Where are we going to start?” Gutierrez said. “If you start up here, they are going to jump on me out west. … It’s a good ordinance. I will vote for it as soon as we get the funding.”
County manager Delilah Walsh said: “I have reviewed the ordinance and I do feel it meets a need in Socorro County. It is well written and an excellent process. However, my concern is that we do not have funding available to meet the requirements to implement this ordinance. The Fire Marshall’s office has also reviewed the ordinance and recognizes that they can perform the duties called for in the ordinance, but it would require more staffing. We did not budget for staffing in the fiscal year of 2009-10.”
Walsh said an abatement would cost the county between $5,000 and $7,000 per structure.
The three commissioners, who voted for the ordinance, stressed they would take baby steps in working with the ordinance.
The ordinance will take effect on Dec. 12. Monette said it probably will take six to seven months to come up with the rules and regulations to enforce the ordinance. And in the meantime, he said budget meetings for the next fiscal year will be held in March and Walsh also can work on coming up with the grant money to pay for the project.
“It will be a year before anything happens,” Monette said after the meeting. “It will take six to 12 months to come up with the regulations. But I am hoping they can go out and start to red flag some of these places.
“It’s a mess up here. There are rodents, meth labs, tire dumps, you name it. We have to do something.”
“We need something like this in place,” Anaya said. “These are baby steps for us. But I want to thank you people for coming out because you are truly taking some big steps.”
Griego said: “We have to take baby steps and start with the abandoned trailers and once we get some money, we can take those baby steps. Maybe in seven or eight years, we will have the county that we had 20 to 30 years ago.”
Enforcement will lie with the county fire marshal and the sheriff’s office.
“I have no inspectors in my office,” fire marshal Fred Hollis said. “I think it’s a great ordinance and one of these days, we will get some funding and we can do something about this. It’s good, and it’s needed. We need to find money to support the ordinance and it will be a tough ordinance to enforce.”
Later while giving his department news to the commission and most of the crowd had left, Hollis said, “Thank you for passing this ordinance. People are going to get mad because we can’t enforce this ordinance and they are going to throw rocks at me. I’m a big target.”
Sheriff Philip Montoya also was on hand and he said that he has four openings for deputy positions.
“I think it’s something that is needed. We just have to find a way to fund it,” Montoya said.
After the commission finished with their regular business, it went into executive session for about a minute to discuss the union arbitration decision and a collective bargaining agreement.
The commissioners came back out and immediately went back into general session and passed the collective bargaining agreement with the NMCPSO/CWA Local 7911/SSDA, which is the union representing the sheriff deputies association.
“This was the county’s last offer and the arbitrator accepted the offer in full,” said Walsh.
Negotiations had been going on for the past two or so years.
Among the highlights of the agreement:
• Article 2 B – “If the bargaining unit is below eight (8) employees or fails to have a majority membership, the County will cease fair share deductions.”
• Article Section 20 – overtime calculation has been returned FLSA statndard which is hours worked count for overtime. “Vacation or Compensatory time is not time worked and shall not be counted as time worked for the purpose of overtime calculation.”
• Every bargaining unit employee got at least a dollar per hour raise or more.
In other business, the commission:
* Considered publication of a Community Development Ordinance.
* Approved Resolution 2009-72, which is a timekeeping policy.
* Approved a retail advertising agreement with the El Defensor Chieftain.
* Approved JPA with EMNRD, which involved wildland fire protection and suppression.
* Approved a grant agreement with the NMDHS&EM, which would buy emergency generators for the Alamo,
* Approved a MOA with FEMA and a MOU with the USDA Forest Service Service.
* A motion did not carry that would have considered a sponsorship request for $500 to the Merry-Achi Christmas.
* Appointed Monette to the RPO Policy Committee and Walsh will be the alternate.
The San Agustin Water Coalition hosted an informational meeting for the public Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Magdalena Public Library. Speakers Bruce Frederick, attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (left) and groundwater hydrologist Frank Titus spoke on the delicate hydrogeology of the San Agustin Plains. Titus, a former New Mexico Tech professor, spelled out the possible environmental damage to the southwestern portion of the state should the water grab proposed San Augustin Ranch LLC – owned by Italian businessman Bruno Modena - be approved by John D’Antonio, the State Engineer. The meeting was attended by 45 residents from Magdalena and Catron County.
An officer stopped a pickup with no headlights on at 7:15 p.m. on Highway 107 at mile marker 38. The driver was arrested for DWI offense number three, and blew a .12 blood alcohol content (BAC) level. The suspect was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
A driver with Colorado plates was stopped at 7:55 p.m. for speeding on First Street. He stated that he had consumed 10 beers and had eaten dinner while traveling on Interstate 25 and Highway 60. It was his first DWI, and he was transported to the detention center in Socorro.
An officer stopped a subject at 9:23 p.m. in the alley between First and Second streets who was reported by someone to be intoxicated. He was arrested for DWI and taken to the Marshal’s office where he blew a .24 BAC level. Then he was hauled off to jail.
An officer answered a report at 5 p.m. of an intoxicated subject at Fourth and Spruce streets. The subject was stopped, and it was learned he was wanted by Border Patrol officers. He was charged with public nuisance and for being intoxicated. He was transported to the county jail.
A vehicle was stopped at 11:20 a.m. for going 38 in a 30 mile zone near the corner of First and Cedar. The driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Magistrate Court. And cited for speeding.
An officer spotted a vehicle at 1:18 a.m. parked on Spruce Street with its headlights on. Upon investigating the officer found an intoxicated male driver behind the wheel. He was taken to the Marshal’s Office where he blew a .10 BAC level. He was then taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
While conducting a checkpoint at 3:39 p.m. and officer arrested a man for DWI. He was taken to the Marshal’s Office and blew a .13 BAC level. He was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
An officer pulled over a vehicle at 8:35 p.m. on Kelly Road after he was almost struck by the vehicle. The driver was arrested for DWI and taken to the Marshal’s Office where he blew a .15 BAC level. He was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
by Dave Wheelock
Even as recent announcements proclaimed the technical end of the Great Recession for Wall Street, the rate of unemployment in the United States passed the 10 percent mark, reflecting a level of misery our local California Street had not borne since 1983.
Even as they scramble to save their jobs, their homes, and their health in a new reality, it’s a safe bet millions of Americans don’t honestly know what hit them this past year. Enter Thomas Greene and his merry men, the latest champions of the people’s business.
Without a thorough and truthful finding of the whats-whos-whens-wheres-whys and hows surrounding this past year of woe, we will remain helpless to prevent future economic catastrophes, warnings of which are already beginning to surface in the business press.
And for those with an understanding that “something is very rotten in Denmark,” this nation’s spirit – let alone its economy - will have taken a hit from which it may not recover.
The last president, who presided happily over the final sacking of Wall Street, used vague and hollow language to cover his backside until he could scurry out of town: “We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.”
A patch of bad luck I guess, heh heh.
Make no mistake about it, this was a crime.
In fact, it was a crime wave, arguably the biggest in all of white-collar crime wave history. And that’s saying something.
The last time something like this happened, the American people put two and two together and pressured President Herbert Hoover to appoint an investigatory commission that came to be known by the name of its chief counsel, Ferdinand Pecora.
The investigation into the 1929 crash of Wall Street proceeded from April 1932 until Pecora submitted his findings in May 1934. Equipped with full power to compel records and testimony from anyone it chose, the Pecora Commission provided the reading public with frequent fireworks, such as the confession under oath by J.P. Morgan and other Wall Street titans that they had not paid a dime in income taxes for two years.
The Pecora Commission contributed specific information about systematic corruption in the stock market, showing how those at the top took full advantage of the hidden nature of their transactions.
“Had there been full disclosure of what was being done in furtherance of these schemes, they could not long have survived the fierce light of publicity and criticism. Legal chicanery and pitch darkness were the banker's stoutest allies" Pecora wrote in his memoir, Wall Street Under Oath.
Materially, the Pecora Commissioned supplied the political will for the birth of the banksters’ worst nightmare: major legislation such as the Glass-Steagall Banking Act to separate commercial and investment banking, the Securities Act to set penalties for filing false information about stock offerings, and the Securities Exchange Act, which formed the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate the stock exchanges.
It is instructive to consider that financial lobbyists and like-minded members of Congress have attacked, weakened, and in the case of Glass-Steagall, abolished all of this controlling legislation in the decades since the 1930s.
On May 20, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into creation the Financial Crisis Investigation Commission, with a final report to Congress due on December 15, 2010.
Ominously, where the Pecora Commission was allowed over two years to make its report, it has taken until this fall just to appoint commissioners and organize a staff under the direction of Thomas Greene, a veteran of the California Attorney General’s office.
It remains to be seen whether Greene and Co. can navigate the intense pushback he will encounter if the trail leads to very high places and – you heard it here first - it most assuredly will.
This will also be yet another defining test for the new president. One needs look no further than his own financial team, including Obama's chief economic adviser and the secretaries of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank, to find major players in the Wall Street scam that has cost us so dearly.
Citizens have a right to demand a complete reform of the system that is so obviously broken.
As I write, the exact same “too big to fail” bankers go merrily on their way, utilizing the same derivatives, the same credit default swaps, insider information, campaign donations, lobbying firms, and above all, secrecy - that landed us where we are today.
Just as the crusaders of the free market tore down protections against their greed, so must we expose and destroy forever their tools of deceit and ruin.
Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation living in Socorro, suggests a look at NewDeal20.org. Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.
by Margaret Wiltshire
This is a version of a Pennsylvania Dutch (German-American) folk wisdom. It’s similar to the carpenter’s “measure twice, cut once”. Things done in a hurry often need to be redone. When I was young enough for quickness, I resented being reminded of this. I’m much slower today, use to being behind in my efforts. Now I think it is a fine piece of wisdom.
One thing I noticed and still value about this expression, besides the “cute” misuse of the language, is the responsibility taking. It doesn’t say, you hurry, and you’ll mess up and that makes you a blah, blah, blah...
It has empathy. Anyone who hurries may mess up, just like I do, and I wish better for you. The hurrier I go, the behinder I get (I hope we do better). It’s firm, inclusive, and not abusive.
Believe me, if you heard this in the Pennsylvania and Upstate New York dairy farming country, it is a serious suggestion.
In this modern American country we get our folk wisdom from many different cultures. We pick up meaningful oral wisdom, or not wisdom, from movies, books, tv and among our friends and family.
“Use the force”, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”, “Can’t we all just get along” , “Be Good” and “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.” There was “where’s the beef?” and now we will probably be hearing “My name is ram and my tank’s full.” Don’t forget, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.” So it goes.
We are a complex society, with a sense of humor.
These “folk” sayings often put a smile on our faces. Yet we often use them with a greater, deeper meaning. If it is written by an Ad person or a film script writer, it doesn’t matter.
When we the people choose them, repeat them, they become our folk wisdom and cultural statements.
Sometimes however, things just “stick in my crawl” and are “hard to swallow” , “gag me with a spoon” and I just want to “spit it back out”. Or I just “can’t digest it.”
More folk wisdom.
“Trust your gut.” “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” “Take it with a grain of salt.”
It doesn’t always “ring true” that we in the United States want “liberty and justice for all”.
As a people, we always want to make things better, or as GE once said, “Bring Good Things to Life”. Something we all seem to have in common, we want life to be good. When it is not, we want to say something about it.
Before life was a box of chocolates, life was a jigsaw puzzle. Where that came from was before my time. As a kid, I thought life was meant to be a box of chocolates. The jigsaw puzzle thing didn’t mean much to me. How things change.
The bad news is life is like a box of chocolates and many of us have had too many.
The good news is life is a jigsaw puzzle. We are each one piece of many. When we are connected, as we are meant to be, we are whole.
By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail
SOCORRO – There is nothing more satisfying for the Socorro football team seniors than ending their regular season with a resounding victory.
The Warriors accomplished that with a 28-14 win against Cobre Nov. 6 and the news got even better on Nov. 7.
Socorro received a No. 3 seed in the New Mexico State AAA playoffs and it will host either Robertson or Cobre on Nov. 20 or Nov. 21 in a second-round matchup.
“We beat Cobre but we lost to Robertson so we have a tough task ahead of us,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said. “Cobre is getting back its starting quarterback, defensive end and tight end. So Robertson, I hope, doesn’t think it has an easy game.
“Cobre is a tough ball club. We will see what happens with that game. We will have the winner of it. You know we have to be ready. If we want to keep playing, we have to be ready.”
Socorro’s defense set the tone early when Jared Marquez intercepted a flea-flicker pass just 45 seconds into the game.
On the Warriors’ first play from scrimmage, James Thorton scored on a 52-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors’ defense came up big on Cobre’s next possession when Ibrahim Maiga came up with an interception. Socorro took advantage of the good field position and scored on a touchdown pass from Zach Esquivel to Jose Alvarado for a 14-0 lead.
Late in the second quarter, the Warriors added to their lead when Esquivel completed a 35-yard pass to Marquez for a 21-0 cushion at halftime.
Cobre stopped Socorro on the first possession of the second half and it mounted a 54-yard scoring drive, culminated by a touchdown pass from Dominick Duran to Levi Helton.
Socorro, though, had an answer when Esquivel threw his third touchdown pass of the night to Charlie Savedra with 28 seconds left in the third quarter. Zach Binger added his fourth extra point for a 28-6 lead.
Cobre cut the margin when quarterback Tre Sanchez threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Nick Madrid. The two point conversion was good and Cobre trailed 28-14 with nine minutes left.
Cobre’s defense came up with an interception but then the Warriors rose to the occasion.
On a third-down and 10 play, senior David Chavez sacked Sanchez for a 7-yard loss. And then Socorro’s defense stopped Cobre on downs.
The Warriors, who finished district play undefeated for the second time in school history, ran out the clock and the celebration was on.
According to Ocampo, it is the second time in school history that the Warriors have finished district play undefeated two years in a row.
The last time Socorro accomplished the feat was in 1996-97.
In those years, Ocampo was the starting quarterback, Coach Steven Aguilar was on the defensive line, and the coaches were Joe Gonzales, Chuck Zimmerly and Greg Ezell.
By John Severance
ALBUQUERQUE -- Socorro girls soccer coach Mitch Carrejo gathered his team after the Lady Warriors fell 5-1 to Hope Christian Nov. 5 in the quarterfinals of the state championships.
And understandably, it was a quiet bunch.
Hope Christian stunned Socorro with the first of three goals by Devin Hart just four minutes in when she blasted a shot that found the back of the net.
“After we gave away that breakaway, we walked through the rest of the half,” Carrejo said. “We had not given up a goal in so long and then we allowed an easy one and it kind of shellshocked us.”
Hope Christian could not be stopped. And by the 30-minute mark, Socorro trailed 5-0.
“We weren’t aggressive,” Carrejo said. “We were a different team out there. We didn‘t come to play.”
The Lady Warriors came into the game having not given up a goal in their previous five games and only given up 21 goals the entire season.
But Socorro had no answer when the floodgates opened.
Socorro was playing on the artificial turf for the second time this season and Hope Christian took advantage of the wind to pounce on the Warriors.
“I don’t think it was the field,“ Carrejo said. “… We had a game like that against Bloomfield (4-0 loss). We just weren’t aggressive.
To Socorro’s credit, it did not give up.
The Lady Warriors got the wind in the second half and they held Hope Christian scoreless. Socorro avoided a shutout when Janell Lopez scored with about 10 minutes left.
“We played better in the second half but we were already down five goals,” Carrejo said.
The Lady Warriors set a record for most wins in a season and they will lose eight seniors. Back for Socorro, though, will be Dezare Armijo, who totaled 44 goals last season.
“We had a good year and unfortunately it ended with a loss,” Carrejo said. “All teams end their season with a loss except for the champion. We just have to learn from this.”
The Magdalena girls volleyball team swept into the state tournament by defeating Quemado Nov. 5 in three games.
The scores were 25-15, 25-13 25-18.
“We did a real good job,” Magdalena coach Liz Olney said. “We frustrated them on serving. Our hitting was not as strong, but serving scores points.”
And scoring points will be at a premium, beginning Nov. 12 when the Lady Steers will take part in pool play for the state tournament at Cleveland High School in Albuquerque. Joining Magdalena in Pool B will be Floyd, Grady and Tatum. Springer, Fort Sumner, Animas and Valley Christian will be in Pool A.
On Nov. 13, Magdalena will play a state quarterfinal game against a Pool A team at 3 p.m. at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. If the Lady Steers win, the semifinals will be at 8 p.m. And the state championship will be played at 2 p.m. on Nov. 14.
“Serving should help us overcome our nerves at the beginning,” Olney said.
It’s also going to help that Magdalena will enter pool play before entering the single-elimination tournament.
When asked if Magdalena had faced any of the state tournament teams, Olney laughed and said: “Not a one. It’s still a big stage and I think all the teams are pretty evenly matched. They are all district champions. We just have to get through the mistakes and the nervousness.
“… The less we know the better. We have to control what we do.”
By John Severance
RIO RANCHO – Socorro came away with a ninth-place finish in the girls race and a 10th in the boys race Nov. 7 at the New Mexico High School AAA State Cross country championships.
The Lady Warriors were led by freshman DaMiana Contreras, who finished 15th overall in a time of 19:53.
“All the girls ran personal bests,” Socorro coach Steven Montoya said. “And we beat the team that beat us during the regular season.”
Contreras, who was aiming for a top 20 finish, set the school record.
“I didn’t pay attention to the splits at all. I just ran as fast I could until the finish,” Contreras said.
“Everytime I saw her during the race, she was moving up,” Montoya said.
Eighth grader Dayna Guerro was 22nd overall and finished in 20:30.20.
“I felt real good,” Guerro said. “My goal was to make a PR and finish in the top 30.”
And Guerro accomplished both of her goals with ease.
Others racing for the Socorro girls team were Nikki Mortensen (55th, 21:51.35) , Kaitlin Warden (70th, 23:55.20) and Brittany Webb (73rd, 25:14.60).
Before the meet, Montoya said he was hoping for a fourth to sixth place finish for the boys team.
Even though they were 10th, Montoya seemed pleased.
“We beat both of our district rivals so that’s good.”
The Socorro boys were led by Owen Azevedo, who was 27th overall in 17: 21.20. That, too, was a school record. “I was happy with the way I ran but a little disappointed we didn’t finish better as a team,” Azevedo, a senior, said.
Other finishers for Socorro included Tim Abeyta (37th, 17:42.45), Trey Thunborg (44th, 17:54.35), Dylan Gallegos (50th, 18:03.05), Isaiah Vigil (56th, 18:20.35), Raul Contreras (66th, 18:45.70) and Sierra Cahall (81st, 20:14.85).
by Kay Mindar
As Thanksgiving draws near, I am reflective as to all that I am thankful for; of course there is the more obvious thankfulness I feel being blessed with a loving husband, my children and their families, extended family and friends, our home and our employment.
Then I will add that I am also grateful for this country and my patriotism that swells in my heart. While there have been ups and downs, it is still clear that patriotism exists in this country as a whole. The American Dream is something that exists differently for each person.
Did you know that for 68 percent of Americans living in freedom is one of the top three parts of the American dream, for 56 percent it is being able to own a home and for 47 percent it is being financially secure?
When Americans were recently polled as to what the top three symbols of the United States are, 85 percent said it is the American flag; 53 percent said one symbol is the Statue of Liberty; while 42 percent said it is the Star Spangled Banner. Also about 22 percent said the bald eagle is a great symbol; while 20 percent said the White House and 16 percent said God Bless America and the President are recognizable symbols of the United States.
When Americans hear the national anthem being played, 87 percent said they usually feel proud to be an American. I am thankful to be counted among that 87 percent with my hand placed over my heart and a prayer on my lips for all who serve and for their families.
History in the making
Did you know that the United States Capitol Christmas Tree is being cut in our own backyard? The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Alpine, Arizona Ranger District was chosen this year to supply the Nation’s Capitol their Christmas tree. To follow this historic event you can go to http://capitolchristmastree2009.org/
Ann Snyder is at home and under her daughter in law’s loving care as she recovers from her recent fall. We send well wishes and love as she continues her healing process. Carol Laney extends her love to Luna and is grateful for the many phone calls and visits that she continues to receive in Eagar, Ariz. Prayers are certainly felt in her favor.
The recent Christmas Market Place held at the Luna Community Center was a great success and a wonderful closeout for the season. The Market Place sales will begin again Memorial Day Weekend 2010. The committee would like to express their thanks to all who supported them and helped make this a great event each month through the summer and fall.
Fire Department Open House
From 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, the Luna Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Association will hold an open house with eight stations of interest and safety education.
They will be giving away one smoke detector per Luna household and there will be three separate drawings for kitchen-type fire extinguishers. For the children there will be a future fire fighters photo booth to take pictures of the children in a set of turnouts on the trucks. There also will be a free hot dog and hamburger cookout. The Ambulance Association will be set up for vitals check, blood pressure and glucose sticks for adults. We also wish Raean Harris great success with her EMT class which is being held in Reserve and appreciate her sacrifice, time and talents in adding to our community services.
In preparation for our 2010 weekly articles and canning schedules you can be checking a great web blog at http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/. There also are Smart Food Storage Tips from Real Simple® that you will very likely want to put practice right away.
These smart food storage tips are simple and will keep your food fresher for a longer time:
1. Refresh your containers; if your plastic storage containers develop a funk, fill them with warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda and let them sit overnight.
2. Don't prewash produce most vegetables should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in plastic or vented bags. Fruits, aside from berries, can be ripened at room temperature and then put in the refrigerator.
3. Seal out the air A vacuum sealer can extend the life of your produce and meats by removing oxygen and moisture—the two main causes of food spoilage and freezer burn.
4. Fill your freezer Keep your freezer 75 percent full. That way, the cold air can circulate but won't escape too quickly when you open the door.
Quote of the Week
“Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence.”
By Debbie Leschner
Quemado area artist /crafters Margot Reagan and Ernest Leschner will be participating in the Glenwood Annual Craft Sale on Saturday, Nov 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Glenwood Community Center.
Women's Fellowship Luncheon will be held Tuesday, Nov 17 at noon in the Cowboy Church located off Hwy 32 near Quemado. The luncheon will have an Italian theme with local speaker Cindy Zoller to follow.
The Quemado Senior Center Pool Tournament will take place Tuesday, Nov 17 at 8 a.m. No need to sign up, just come and play in the tournament. Lunch for the day is lasagna with salad, honey glazed carrots, wheat/garlic toast and an orange. Please call with lunch reservations by 9 a.m. Quilting, Datil senior bus and Bingo will take place as usual this week. The center phone number is 773-4820.
The Western New Mexico Veterans Group will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, Nov 19 at 6 p.m. in the Veterans' Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. This will be a Thanksgiving Potluck with the Group providing the turkey and ham. Veterans Service Officer, Reggie Price will be at the meeting to help answer questions about claims and benefits.
Price also will spend the afternoon in Reserve to help any veteran with their benefit questions. A very important item for the meeting will be the election of new officers. The Auxillary would like to remind folks to bring in their donations for the “Toys For Tots” program.
Quemado and Datil Schools will have an early release Friday, Nov 20 at 12:45 because of Parent-Teacher Conferences.
The annual Christmas Bazaar sponsored by the 4H Catron County Council will take place at 1 p.m. Friday in the school’s Old Gym Cafeteria. For more information, please call Bridget Cauzza at 773-4700.
Datil Community Food Pantry will distribute food on Friday, Nov 20. Please sign in at the Datil Community Center before 11 a.m. or at the Horse Mountain Fire Department before noon.
Odds And Ends
Quemado Commodities will be handed out on Saturday, Nov 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Center. For more information call Dorothy Kalberg at 773-4582. ... Quemado Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held at the Cowboy Church off Hwy 32 this year. Thanks go to Sacred Heart Church and its congregation for holding the dinner in their hall for the past years. Dinner will be Sunday, Nov 22 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ... Know of anything going on or a special event in a family or school, please let me know at 773-4119 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Anne Sullivan
“Any messages for me?” Sylvia asked when I let her in for breakfast.
“No, no messages for you and no messages for me,” I replied as I poured her kibble into her
“I don’t understand it,” she said between bites. “I haven’t heard a word from Washington about my trip there to solve the Health Insurance Crisis. Do you suppose they didn’t get my e-mail?”
“It’s possible. Anything can happen with an e-mail. Sent often means sent into the air never to be seen again.”
“I guess I don’t really trust e-mail,” Sylvia said, licking her now-empty dish.
“It’s wise to be suspicious,” I agreed.
“I don’t think you realize how much I really want to go,” she said, with a final vigorous lick which sent her bowl scooting across the linoleum floor.
“Why do you want to go so much?” I asked. “You hate to travel.”
“I do hate to travel but I want to make a difference. I want to help everyone -- both people and dogs and even cats. And yes, I wouldn’t mind if I got my picture in the Sunday Sage Magazine or if Brian Williams interviewed me for a segment on the NBC Nightly News.”
“Before you get interviewed you would have to have a bath and you’d need to rehearse doing an interview. We could do a trial interview now. Let’s pretend I’m Brian Williams.”
“That will be difficult but better than taking a bath.”
“Alright, Sylvia, from now on I’m Brian Williams. Good evening, Sylvia, thank you for coming to our studio in Rockefeller Center.”
Sylvia glared at me until I nudged her. “Now what do you say?” I prompted.
“I don’t have a mike.”
“Never mind the mike. Just imagine it.”
Glowering, Sylvia replied, “Good evening, Brian, it’s so nice to be here.”
“Now, Sylvia, I understand you have made a big difference to the United States and to the world and most of all to a place called Catron County. Tell us what it is you do.”
Sylvia looked blank. I said, “Go on, Sylvia, don’t be shy.”
Sylvia finally spoke albeit haltingly, “What I do is – well – I decided that people need to be happier. Like dogs, they need a few pats to keep them going. That’s in addition to food, of course. So, every time I see a person – or an animal – doing something nice, I wag my tail and then I lick them and offer them some of my kibble.”
“That’s very commendable, Sylvia,” said Brian Williams a.k.a. me. “Do you see many people doing nice things?”
“No,” she said, “I don’t see many people at all, living up here in the canyon as I do. I did see Gordo washing himself very strenuously this morning and I thought that was good. I didn’t want to lick him because he’s a cat, you know, and I might catch something horrible like HINI but I gave him some of my kibble.”
“And what did he say to that? Was he surprised?”
“I guess he was. He looked at me as though I was crazy. He started to eat the kibble but I guess he didn’t like it because he spat it out. Then a big blue jay flew over and ate the kibble and Gordo swore at it.”
“Oh, dear,” said Brian Williams. “And what did you do then?”
“I really wanted to kill that bird but I decided I had to make a difference and turn the other cheek so I gave the bird another handful of kibble. He hadn’t done anything to deserve it yet but it was a sort of payment ahead.”
“And did the bird do anything to redeem himself and be worthy of the faith and kibble you have in him?”
“No,” said Sylvia.
“Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Brian Williams with a big smile. “Now, Sylvia, to conclude our interview is there anything you’d like to say to the viewing public?”
“No,” said Sylvia.-
By Kaye Mindar
For the Mountain Mail
Reserve High School junior and senior classes learned some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. recently in a week of hands-on classes and demonstrations provided through the District Attorney’s office.
The Real Life Education for Self-Protection Empowering College Bound Teens course was developed through Clint Wellborn, the district attorney for Catron, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance counties; with the help of his assistant Keri Penner and the skills and trainings of many others this course was developed after the brutal beating, rape and murder of a local college student in Estancia in Torrance County.
Concerned for the safety of our students taking into account the ratios, chances and statistics there are concerns of our students being at a disadvantage when they leave small towns for larger life in the “real” world; this informative and openly honest program is being offered to every high school in the four counties under the D.A.’s jurisdiction and an Internet course also is being developed.
This class was recently offered at Quemado High School the first week of October and Reserve students were very anxious to be involved in the weeklong program for their first year.
During the week, the young women were taught a self defense course with Ike Ensey; investigator for the D.A.’s office as instructor and Ray Goetz from the Catron County Sheriff’s department. Not to leave the young men out, they were also instructed in behavioral issues to be more aware of the signs of abusive behavior in themselves and their partners. Another module of the program was taught by Mary Gorton; the victim’s advocate from the D.A.’s office as she educated the youth in defensive dating and abuse issues. Ian Fletcher talked about drug and alcohol awareness and Keri Penner educated the students in sexting and Internet safety issues.
On Thursday to close out the week, the students were given a D.W.I. course with the assistance of James Hammond and Justin Coburn from the New Mexico State Police, along with the Catron County Sheriff’s Department where they experienced firsthand driving a coned parking lot course wearing “impairment” glasses and taking a field sobriety test, which each student - still wearing the glasses - failed and were arrested.
One young woman asked upon being handcuffed if this was what it was really like she was quickly told, “This is as real as it gets”.
In closing remarks, Principal Cindy Shellhorn remarked to her students that she was proud of them during the program and unfortunately they must be opened to a world of un-trust and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
Ion Fletcher remarked to the students that he was amazed by their thoughtful, respectful questions and enjoyed being around them and also sharing a sense of humor along with the seriousness of the course.
Certificates of completing the course were presented and a few of the students were asked their opinion of the course.
Romelia Aragon; Horse Springs: learned the most and thought the self defense was the best part.
Victoria Delao; Reserve: learned a great deal and enjoyed the Internet awareness module.
Kayli Laney; Luna: Enjoyed the self defense portion of the classes.
Cody McCarty; Reserve: Responded that the entire week was very informative and he was grateful to have been a part of it.
Joaquin Gutierrez; Reserve: Was surprised at how much he learned in the drug and alcohol awareness class and thought it was most informative.
Nolan Snyder; Reserve: Was happy that they made learning fun and benefited from the information and hands-on awareness of the DWI course.
By Richard Torres
For the Mountain Mail
The Catron County Grassroots Mental Health Group sponsored a “Dealing with Holiday Stress" seminar at the Reserve Community Center Nov. 9.
The seminar was conducted by Silvia Madrid and Marsha Bowman of Border Area Mental Health Services. Community members attending received an information packet on this subject. Tara Kellar of the Grassroots Group stated: “In addition to sponsoring these seminars for the community, we have just completed training members for the warm line which will be instituted soon.”
For additional information, call her at 575-533-6940.
Rodeo Season Unwinds
Catron County Gymkhana Association just completed their last rodeo for the year this past weekend. In excess of one hundred 30 cowgirls/cowboys participated during the season.
“I wish to thank all the people who made this season a success,” stated Carol Livingston. She is one of the coordinators. For additional information on the upcoming season in March/April 2010, call her at 575-533-6671.
Martha and Mary Thrift Store in Apache Creek had a tremendous outpouring of love and support for their fund raiser for the Troops this past weekend.”So many volunteers made this event a success. We collected over $1,269. We would like to thank everyone who donated for this worthy cause. We will be meeting soon with the Commander of the DAV to present him with these funds,” stated Cindy Wasserburger. She assisted in coordinating this event. If anyone would like to donate, there is still time. Call her at 575-533-6917 for further information.
Bridge construction taking place in Reserve finished Nov. 11 and opened for traffic Nov. 12.
Reconstruction of the bridge involved placing five new steel beams on refurbished pylons. The expected lifespan of this bridge is fifty years plus. Work began early spring and was completed on schedule.
Game Of Life
Reserve and Quemado students, grades 7-12, will be participating in the “Game of Life” program.
This program, to be held at the old gym in Reserve on Nov.24, is sponsored by the Catron County Health Council, D.W.I., Border Area, N.M. Public Health, Sheriff Dept., Courts, and a host of other entities.
“The purpose of this program is to present the students with Life Choices and educating them on making healthy decisions,” stated Ann Mengus.
She is just one of a host of volunteers helping put this program together. More than 200 students will be participating. Students will be given cue cards denoting a Life Choice.
They then will be directed to the corresponding booth which will educate, train, and help them in reacting to that particular Life Choice.
“Life Choice booths will involve career choices, health issues, legal matters, and other circumstances these students may encounter. We are presenting these issues to these students so that they can be better prepared to make smart, informative decisions,” said Ann. For further information, call her at 575-533-6267.
SOCORRO - Cindy Rivera, director of the city’s Socorro After School Program at Finley Gym, is on a mission.
“Christmas is just around the corner and we are on a mission to send Christmas cards to all Socorro soldiers serving overseas in the military,” Rivera said. “Wal-Mart has made a generous donation of the cards, which are being written and signed by every student, school system employee and city and county worker—that’s more than 2,000 of them.”
She said the After School kids will package and address them and send them on their way.
“But we need help in finding the names and units of all the service men and women,” Rivera said. “By our count there will be about 33 Socorroans serving over the holidays, but we don’t have all the names.”
Rivera has addresses for two bases in Iraq and two in Afghanistan at which members of the Belen and Socorro National Guard units are serving.
“If anyone knows of Socorro military personnel at other locations overseas, we need their addresses,” she said. “We can also include relatives of Socorroans, even if they live in another city or state. We plan on shipping at least 10 boxes of cards by November 25.”
Contact Cindy Rivera at Finley Gym between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., or call 838-7537.
“We want every soldier from Socorro County to have Christmas cards. We expect to send the cards out right before Thanksgiving, so don’t wait,” she said. “I also want to personally thank Wal-Mart for helping us make this possible.”
Whether you’re in town for Festival of the Cranes or whether you live in Socorro, come out and enjoy gifted singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, with special guest, Ellis Paul, performing on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Macey Center.
The show is part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series.
Eliza Gilkyson is a politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter, who has become one of the most respected musicians in roots, folk and Americana circles. The Grammy-nominated artist has appeared on NPR, Austin City Limits, Mountain Stage, eTown, XM Radio, Air America Radio and has toured with Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
In February of 2003, she was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame.
In 2006, she was recognized with three Austin Music Awards and four Folk Alliance Music Awards, one of which was for “Song of the Year” for her tune “Man of God.” A scathing indictment of the Bush administration’s use of religion to manipulate the public, the song has become a political anthem to many and has received wide airplay around the world.
Recently, Eliza’s meditative tune “Requiem,” written as a prayer for those who lost lives in the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia, was recorded by the nationally recognized choral group Conspirare and was nominated for a Grammy. It was also featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
Eliza is the daughter of legendary songwriter Terry Gilkyson – member of The Brothers Four and writer of the hit, Greenfields - and grew up in Los Angeles knowing that her life would revolve around music. As a teenager, she recorded demos for her father.
“I got into it for all the wrong reasons, more as a survival tool than anything else, but it proved to serve me more than I dared to imagine,” Gilkyson said.
At the end of the 1960s, she moved to New Mexico with likeminded souls, eventually raising a family, all the while developing a loyal fan base in the Southwest and Texas. She cut numerous records including Pilgrims, released on Gold Castle Records in 1987. It was her most successful to date, but it also gave her a reputation as a new age artist due to its atmospheric nature – a brief departure from her folk-driven roots.
After a period in Europe working with Swiss composer and harpist Andreas Vollenweider, Eliza returned to the United States and released several albums to critical acclaim before signing with internationally recognized roots label Red House Records.
Eliza’s special guest for the evening, Ellis Paul, is one of the leading voices in American songwriting. He was a principal leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, creating a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990s. Paul’s charismatic, personally authentic performance style has influenced a generation of artists away from the artifice of pop, and closer towards the realness of folk. Though he remains among the most pop-friendly of today's singer-songwriters - his songs regularly appear in hit movie and TV soundtracks - he has bridged the gulf between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger more successfully than perhaps any of his songwriting peers.
New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union partners with the series to present the show.
The show also is sponsored by Blue Corn Music – the record label owned by Denby Auble, a New Mexico Tech alumnus and member of the Vigilante Band. Other local sponsors are IRIS/ PASSCAL, Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, and Howard Johnson’s of Socorro.
Before the concert, Tech Club – Club Macey holds a social in Macey from 5 to 7 p.m., with light snacks. TCCM is a social club for people 21 and over. There is a $5 cover charge if you are not a member of the club.
Tickets for the concert are $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens, and $10 for youths 17 and under. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at New Mexico Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Western Wear, Sofia’s Kitchen, and Video Shack.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
By John Larson
SAN ANTONIO - A busload of World War II veterans made a hamburger stop at the Owl Bar Café and Steakhouse Friday afternoon after getting a tour of the Trinity Site, south of Bingham.
The former GI’s were all members of the 6th Bomb Group stationed on Tinian Island, whose mission was to conduct B-29 bombing raids over Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
The Socorro DAV commander Peter Romero welcomed each person as they got off the bus, and once inside, the group was welcomed by Rep. Don Tripp.
The group, led by John Creek, whose father was a Tinian Island veteran, were treated to the world-famous Owl hamburgers.
“My purpose in this is to get – their children and now grandchildren involved. And the next generation,” Creek said.
He said it was important for people to be reminded of the reason for developing atomic bomb.
“Remember what was transpiring in the early 1940’s. Everyone thought [the bomb] was a good thing,” Creek said. “The Trinity bomb site is one of all the things that brought the war to an end. And never let it happen again.”
While feasting on Rowena Baca’s burgers in a back dining area in the Owl, several of the former airmen spoke about their time on Tinian Island and their B-29 missions.
First Lieutenant Edgar Vincent was one of the B-29 airplane commanders. He said Tinian was home to three squadrons, with 15 crews per squadron.
“Most of my missions were mining ports where material was coming into Japan,” Vincent said.
Vincent has the honor of having flown the longest B-29 mission during the war. “We flew roundtrip from North Field on Tinian to Rashin (Korea), north of Japan,” Vincent said. “It was a 19½ hour mission.”
Vincent said low level bombing ordered by General Curtis LeMay was hazardous and many B-29’s were downed by either flak, or enemy fighter planes. “After one mission the ground crew counted 141 holes in our aircraft,” he said.
First Lieutenant Warren Higgins of Chicago said the low level bombing missions over Tokyo and other cities on the Japanese mainland cost many American crewmen’s lives. “We were going in real low, about 4,000 to 5,000 feet. About one third of the bombers were lost,” Higgins said. “If the searchlights got on your plane there was not much you could do. They were bright enough to read a newspaper by in the cockpit.”
Tech Sergeant David Farquhar was a turret gunner when his B-29 was shot down over Tokyo by flak and fighter planes on May 23, 1945. He and his 10 crewmates bailed out safely and were captured.
He was a POW for about three and a half months in a prison camp. Located near the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.
“We lost 17 bombers during that mission,” Farquhar said. “We caught flak and had to jump out. Everybody on the crew made it OK, but were picked by Japanese kempeitai, or what we call MPs.”
He said the prisoners were fed only a ball of rice each day.
“My weight went from 165 to 110 while I was a POW,” Farquhar said.
Farquhar and the other POW’s were liberated in August, 1945, after nuclear weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“We actually liberated before the peace treaty was signed,” he said. “We were not supposed to be released until the peace treaty was signed, but a General there said, ‘go get ‘em,’ so we knew something had happened.”