Thursday, July 15, 2010

Magdalena Warehouse Catches Fire

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - The northernmost area of Magdalena was shrouded in a thick haze Wednesday morning as a result of burning furniture and boxes of miscellaneous goods in a warehouse owned by businessman Nick Innerbichler.
The building, next door to the Fire Department in a back lot, was used for storage, including Ashley furniture for NDN Furniture at 703 First Street, also owned by Innerbichler.
According to Marshal Larry Cearley the fire was reported at about 2 a.m. Wednesday, July 14.
Firefighting crews from the fire departments of Hop Canyon and San Antonio assisted the Magdalena Volunteer Fire Department.
Innerbichler’s loss comes on the heels of another fire at 102 North Oak St. two months ago that destroyed a house he used for offices and storage space . Destroyed in that fire on May 10 were suits valued at $10,000, Navajo rugs valued at $12,000, weapons, and Indian jewelry, according to Innerbichler.
Total losses in the latest fire are unknown as of press time Wednesday.
Cearley said the fire was initially reported to Deputy Terry Flanagan by a neighbor at about 2 a.m.
“Terry contacted the volunteer fire department, and also the Hop Canyon Fire Department,” he said. ‘We blocked of Highway 60 at Oak Street to run hoses from the hydrant on that corner.”
In addition to furniture, a variety of miscellaneous items were stored in the building, including blankets, and a forklift.
“It has a large basement, running the length of the building, that is the biggest problem [with putting the fire out],” Cearley said. “They used both foam and water, but only 2,000 gallons of water. The plan is to let the basement burn out, and then cover the basement with foam.”
Volunteer firefighter Justin Cearley was Incident Commander.
Also on the scene early Wednesday were investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office.
“Right now it is under investigation by the Fire Marshal as a possible arson, at least there is no evidence of it being started by any natural cause,” Cearley said. “We do know it was started outside in the area of the northeast door.”
Cearley said Innerbichler was interviewed but not would release details of that interview. “He is working now with the Fire Marshal,” he said.
Responding from Socorro County Fire and Emergency Management was County Fire Marshal Fred Hollis, Mark Mercer, and Jerry Wheeler.
Wheeler said the county brought 30 buckets of foam, which they started using at 8 a.m.
“The fire was contained in the structure by noon,” Wheeler said. “Most of the firefighting was an exterior attack because of the intense blaze in the interior. We went into the structure twice, but had to back out because of the instability of the roof and floor.”He said the fire had gotten into the basement which weakened the floor “really bad.”
“We had a total of 20 people working the fire altogether, from Hop Canyon, San Antonio, and the Fire Marshal’s office,” Wheeler said. “We also had assistance from Steve Bailey of Magdalena’s public utilities, and we appreciate that, but really what we need is more volunteers … for all fire departments in the county.”
About five hours before the warehouse fire, firefighters responded to another, smaller, fire down the street in the area of the Socorro Electric Co-op property. “That fire was reported at about 9:20 p.m. and it took two hours to put it out,” Cearley said. “It was confined to a pile of boards near the transformer station and fuel tanks.”

Mountain Mail’s Response To The SEC

Editor’s Note: This is the Mountain Mail’s response to the SEC’s demand for publication of notice of suit. This is our response composed by our attorney Roscoe Woods.

Socorro Electric Cooperative
215 Manzanares Ave.
PO Box H
Socorro, NM 87801
Attn: Co-op Attorney, Dennis R. Francish & Members of the Board
Re: Pandora’s Box—The Socorro Electric Cooperative INC (SEC), vs C. West, including Member/Owners & the Mountain Mail Newspaper et al.

Be advised that this firm represents the Mountain Mail Newspaper (the “Mountain Mail”). Mr. Gary Jaramillo, General Manager and Owner of the Mountain Mail, forwarded a correspondence and “Notice of Suit” from the Co-op’s Attorney naming the Mountain Mail as a co-defendant.
Please take note that your correspondence demanding that the Mountain Mail publish the “Notice of Suit” for publication will not be accommodated. As a co-defendant, the Mountain Mail is a party to the suit, and therefore cannot achieve “service of process” amongst co-defendants. I’m not saying that publication precludes the constitutional requirement of due process of achieving notice of suit; but as a party to the action, Mountain Mail may not be able to provide service of process in this cause of action.
I mentioned the above not to discourage your efforts, but rather to encourage proper service upon Mountain Mail so that we may Answer accordingly and proceed with Counterclaims. The aforementioned is expressed with the following caveats: “never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” Origin of said quote is uncertain but an appropriate remark by one of New Mexico’s savviest politicians, the late former Governor Bruce King; and, 2) certain discovery devices may be utilized to extract information from perhaps, Officers and Board Members. Such devices may include, but not limited to, depositions, subpoenas and production of documents.
That being said, be careful what you ask for, in that you may “open a whole box of Pandoras.” Another expression used by former Governor Bruce King.
No one will benefit from this lawsuit, except for the co-op’s attorney, and it will be at the expense of its members. This suit was perpetrated by the advice and guidance of its attorney. It appears this tactic may be a “churning” of legal fees.
Perhaps it may behoove the members to see what’s in the “box.” But, one thing is for certain, whatever spews from the “box,” our community will be at odds, and an attorney will be well paid at the expense of the Co-op members. I personally do not see an “upside” to this suit. This approach is not rational, and certainly does not benefit the Members of the SEC.
If not already sought, the issues of whether a private co-op can adopt the same regulations that apply to a public entities and whether members of the press may attend board meetings may be disposed of by an advisory opinion by the State’s Attorney General. This would certainly save on time, and the amount of money that will be spent on litigation and attorney fees.
Seeking an opinion from the AG’s Office may be moot because under NMSA 1978, § 53-11-50 (2010), shareholders possess right to inspect corporate books and records. And, as it pertains to rural electric co-ops, the New Mexico Supreme Court has held that members of rural electric co-op may be granted cooperative access to documents as it pertains to LEGAL billing records. See Schein v. Northern Rio Arriba Elec. Co-op., Inc. 122 N.M. 800, 807, 932 P.2d 490, 497 (1997) (holding that access to Northern Rio Arriba Elec. Co-op.’s legal billing statements was properly granted).
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.
Awaiting proper service,
Roscoe A. Woods & Associates, LLC

Magdalena’s Fire Chief, Deputy Resign Posts

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Mayor Sandy Julian announced the resignation of two village officials at Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting.
Volunteer Fire Chief Art Rauschenberg turned in his resignation Tuesday, July 6. Julian named Donna Dawson as interim fire chief.
Deputy Marshal Ed Sweeney also submitted his resignation. A second deputy, Brad Welton, also turned in his notice. Saturday was his last day on the job.
“When I got the letter of resignation from Ed Sweeney, I said I will not accept it. But I will have to. We’re losing a very good officer and I am sorry,” Julian said. “I did not ask for his resignation. For either Ed or Brad. It hurts me to lose good officers. I accept this with a very heavy heart.”
Each of the four trustees expressed their appreciation for Sweeney’s job performance.
“With deep regret we let you go,” Trustee Barbara Baca said.
“It’s just too bad that we can’t keep people around,” Trustee Tommy Torres said.
Sweeney said his tenure as deputy was a satisfying experience.
“I had other people come up to and express their appreciation,” Sweeney said. “When I look back on my life this will be one of my best experiences. And Mayor, you did not push me out.”
He said he’s not moving away, and will still “be around.”
Julian said she was aware of rumors in the village that she was “cleaning house.”
“It’s not true that this new administration came in and started getting rid of people. Not true,” she said. “I accept this with a heavy heart.”
Trustee Diane Allen indicated she had heard various rumors about why people were resigning.
“To me it is very, very curious about the talk and rumors around town,” Allen said. “It’s hard to see what [they] believed to be true.”
Sweeney will keep his position as Emergency Services Coordinator.
Julian reported that she would be having an informal meeting with a potential candidate for the deputy’s position.
“Thursday I’ll be meeting with someone. It will be strictly informal. I want a lady police officer. She is from Tome and has a very good resume. I just want to find out things about her. I will interview her and feel her out,” Julian said. “I will report to the board what Larry and I will be doing.
“We won’t be getting Manuel [Monte] back from the academy until late August,” she said.
In other business:
• The board began the process for requesting funding in the 2011-2012 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP). “It’s like our wish-list for village improvements,” Clerk Rita Broaddus said. “The money comes from either the state, in the form of legislative grants, or the federal government, through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).” The board decided that the top priority was $180,000 for water system telemetry and completion of a back-up well, the so-called Trujillo Well #2. The second most important need was $285,000 for improvements to the community center and development of a recreation facility center for the village’s youth. The third priority was $100,000 to add a 20’ x 20’ meeting room to the Magdalena Area Medical Center. The paving of South Main Street was moved to the 2013 funding request. Broaddus said another public hearing will be held on the ICIP. “If anyone has other ideas for the list, they can come and discuss it during the public hearing,” Broaddus said. “Nothing is written in stone at this point.”
• A workshop to discuss formation and operation of a Youth Council was scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, July 31.
• Julian reported that the “asphalt plant” at the rodeo grounds will remain there for one more month.
• The board approved the naming of Julian to be Magdalena’s voting delegate at the New Mexico Municipal League’s Annual Conference in Santa Fe, Sept. 2.

Veguita Residents Aid Sheriff’s Dept. With Three Arrests

By John Larson

VEGUITA - Two men were bound over to District Court on larceny, burglary, and trespassing charges Thursday, July 8, in connection with a break-in in Veguita one week before.
Gregory Christenson, 34, was charged with larceny, burglary and criminal trespassing.
Robert Hinton, 46, was charged with larceny, burglary, criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, breaking and entering, and criminal damage.
According to the criminal complaint, Socorro County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched on Wednesday, June 30, to a residence on Monterey in Veguita on a burglary in progress call.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Shorty Vaiza immediately learned from a witness on his arrival that there were three suspects; two men and one woman.
“People came out of their houses,” Vaiza said. “It was good to see people not afraid to give information that helped us apprehend the suspects.”
One witness said a man was hiding under a pickup and the other two suspects were possibly in a mobile home on the property.
Vaiza said he was able to remove Christenson from under the truck, and learned that he had been seen placing the stolen items into the back of a pickup with the other two assisting him.
The complaint said that when asked, Christenson did not know the name of the property owner, and did not have permission to on the property or to take any items from the property. A check also showed that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Vaiza said he was told by people in the neighborhood that the other two suspects - Hinton and a female - ran off when they saw the Sheriff’s Department vehicle arrive, and that they headed west across other properties.
Vaiza caught up with Hinton and the female suspect on Adobe Road and told them he would have to detain and question them. On hearing that, Hinton took off running from the Adobe property to a residence on Badger Lane.
Hinton “ran up to a door at this residence and kicked the door open, causing damage to the door and door frame,” the complaint said.
The owner of the residence reported that when Hinton saw her, he ran across Badger Lane and into an arroyo. He was apprehended in the arroyo and place under arrest.
A date for arraignment in District Court has not been set.
The case against the female involved was discharged by Judge Jim Naranjo for lack of evidence against her.

Volleyball Camps

Lady Warrior Volleyball open gym starts on Thursday July 15 from 4-6 p.m. at Socorro High School. A fundamental camp will start Friday July 16 and finish on Sunday. All 10th-12th grade players will take part from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and sixth to ninth grade players from 2-4 p.m. All players will report on Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost is $30 for the morning session and $20 for the afternoon session
. For any further information contact Marleen Greenwood at 835-8131.
• The New Mexico Tech women’s volleyball club is hosting a two-day volleyball camp for high school and middle school volleyball players.
The camp is 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, July 21 and 22, at the New Mexico Tech gym. The Tech Tonics club members and coaches will conduct several workshops.
Participants will learn and improve their skills in passing, serving, hitting, setting, blocking and digging.
The camp is $30 for both days. To register, contact Chelsea Buffington at cbuffington@ or 575-835-5780.

STARCO Receives County Support

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The San Agustin Ranchers Cooperative Association (STARCO) received a letter of support from the County Commission Tuesday night. That’s important, STARCO attorney Roscoe Woods said, because he will be speaking to state and federal officials as well as potential developers.
STARCO’s initiative is to develop a wind farm in and around the Plains of San Agustin and near Magdalena. “We believe the area is ideal for a wind farm,” Woods said.
Woods said so far 12 ranchers with close to 10,000 acres are taking part.
Commissioner Juan Gutierrez initially balked at giving his support, but Woods said he just needed a letter to support the initiative and there was no financial obligation to the county.
Woods said eventually the project would bring jobs to the area.
The commissioners voted 4-1 to give support to the cooperative with R.J. Griego voting no. “I’d like to think about it some more,” Griego said.
In other business:
• The Commission passed resolutions in regards to an attorney services contract, city MOAs (Veteran’s Park and Amubulance and Detention Fund exchange), the sale of general obligation funds that will save the county about $72,000, NMTRD delinquency listing of property through 2007 and the Board of Finance Delegation of Authority of Investments.
•Appointed Mark Mercer as active chief of the Midway Fire District while Michael Lucero recovers from emergency surgery.
• Tripp commended the county investigation into the arrest of detention center employee Juan Acosta, who allegedly brought contraband into the jail to give to an inmate. Acosta of San Antonio was charged with two felonies and was being held in the Sierra County Detention Center.
• Richard “Arf” Epstein, speaking on behalf of the Socorro Peace Vigil, read a letter detailing how much federal money was spent on the military and that it spends more in one hour than all the PILT funds disbursed New Mexico this year. He urged the commission to contact Socorro’s federal representatives in Washington. “Security starts here with funding for the Sheriff’s Department, for ambulance services, for fire departments, for roads and bridges, for mental health for food and shelter for our poor,” Epstein said.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

The following items were collected from reports at the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department.

May 18
A complainant in Veguita reported at 5 p.m. that an unknown suspect entered a mobile home used for storage and took items from therein. He stated that a craftsman tool box and tools were taken. The suspects also entered a semi-trailer also used for storage and took a weapon that was stored there. The complainant gave the name of a possible suspect.

May 19
A La Joya man reported at 7 p.m. that a man from Los Lunas has violated the agreement set forth by the La Joya Acequia Commission. He irrigated his three parcels of land and left the water unattended, causing his neighbors’ fields to become flooded. The Commission will be imposing fines and further civil proceedings.

A man in San Antonio reported at 8:55 p.m. that he had received a phone call from a Socorro man, who threatened him and called him names. The victim had the conversation written down and gave it to the deputy, who contacted the suspect. The suspect stated that he did not remember calling the victim. He was advised not to call the victim anymore.

May 20
A Luis Lopez man reported at 8 a.m. that someone threw a rock at his residence on highway 1 and broke a window on the southwest corner. Both the window and screen were damaged and numerous rocks were located under the damaged window. The rocks had been used for landscaping.

A woman in Veguita reported at 9 p.m. that she was walking along the ditch bank when she saw a man on the roof of an abandoned trailer. She stated that she asked him what he was doing and the man dropped an air conditioner from the roof and left in a white pickup. She was unable to get a license plate number.

May 24
An officer was dispatched at 1:10 p.m. to a residence in Lemitar where a house had been burglarized, and a vehicle was seen leaving the property. A witness was able to get a license plate number and the direction of travel. The plate and vehicle description was given to all officers on duty and areas north of Socorro. The vehicle was pulled over in Belen and all the stolen items were recovered. A man from Belen was placed under arrest and a criminal complaint was field on a second suspect, a woman from Belen. Her preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court is July 28. The man has been bound over to District Court.

An officer pulled over a vehicle at 6:30 p.m. for a traffic violation on Escobar in Veguita, and a check showed the driver had outstanding warrants for his arrest. He was transported to the Socorro County Detention Center.

May 25
An officer pulled over a vehicle at 5:20 p.m. at mile marker 163 on Interstate 25 for speeding and passing on the right. It was learned the Santa Fe driver had a suspended or revoked driver’s license with an arrest clause. He was arrested.

An officer pulled over a vehicle going northbound at mile marker 177 on Interstate 25 at 9:47 p.m. The vehicle was traveling at a slow rate of speed and the driver was unable to maintain his lane, crossing over the center line. A strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was noticed emitting from the vehicle, and the Magdalena driver was given field sobriety tests, which he failed. Also in the vehicle were open containers and a weapon. The suspect, who had no insurance, no registration, and a suspended/revoked driver’s license, was taken to the Police Department for a breath test and then to jail.

May 27
A woman on Chaparral Loop reported at 3:40 p.m. that while she was away from her residence for a few days her home had been broken into and burglarized. Numerous items were taken including audio/visual components. No suspects at time of report.

Magdalena Marshal's Blotter

Information for the following items was provided by the Magdalena Marshal's office.

July 3
An officer was called at 8:48 p.m. to a domestic violence incident in progress in the Golden West Subdivision. A report was filed. No charges were filed in this case.

July 4
An officer stopped a vehicle at 1:12 a.m. at First and Spruce for a traffic violation. The subject was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant from Cibola County for defacing tombstones. He was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.

July 5
An officer assisted the Magdalena Fire Department at 5:15 p.m. on a grass and lumber fire at the old stock pens, and the fuel bulk plant. The fire was believed to be caused by fireworks.

An officer assisted Magdalena EMS with an intoxicated subject behind the Wells Fargo Bank at 6 p.m. The subject was transported to Socorro General Hospital.

An officer took a report at 7:15 p.m. of a residential burglary on Main Street. The suspect entered an unlocked window and stole change and blank checks.

July 6
An officer was called to a local business where a subject was trying o cash a check. The cashier noticed that the check was written on a person that was visiting in Michigan. The officer took the subject to the Magdalena Marshal’s office where he was questioned. He admitted to two burglaries, including the burglary on Main Street. He was taken to Mesilla Valley Hospital for heroin treatment. Charges has been filed.

July 7
An officer stopped a vehicle at noon on Highway 60 at mile marker 112, where a passenger was identified as being wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant from Socorro Magistrate Court. The subject was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.,p>An officer stopped a vehicle at 2 p.m. after the driver was reported as being intoxicated. The driver was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant and charged with driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

July 8
An officer stopped a vehicle at 6:30 p.m. for a traffic violation on First Street. The driver was taken into custody for not being legal in the United States and turned over to the Border Patrol.

July 9-11
During the Old Timers Reunion nine subjects were arrested on various charges, including arrest warrants, being intoxicated, and driving on suspended or revoked driver’s licenses.

Spa At Best Western Hotel Reopens

By John Severance

The spa at the Socorro Best Western Inn and Suites was reopened July 6 after being closed for close to two months by the State Environmental and Health Departments.
The two state agencies investigated the pool and spa because two people from South Carolina, who stayed at the hotel, were infected with Legionnaires Disease.
The final report issued by investigator Chad Smelser of the Health Department said the hotel, owned by Ravi Bhasker, was the likely source of the outbreak although the mayor and his consultant (Evidence Based Solutions out of Chicago) have maintained that is not the case. In June, the state environmental department tested the pool and the spa and allowed the pool to reopen. The spa remained close because it fell short under the bromine parameters.
“We inspected the Best Western Spa again on July 6 and a permit was issued,” said Marissa Bardino, the communications director for the New Mexico State Environmental Department. “The free available bromine (FAB) was 4.5 parts per million and the total bromine was 5.625 ppm, within the guidelines (between 4 and 6 ppm) provided by their consultant.”

Birth Announcments

• A boy was born to Tessa Moran of Socorro on May 28 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Shantel Edmonds of Socorro on June 1 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Kim and Sam Fairbanks of Socorro on May 24 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Taylor Williams and Teran Garden-Phillips of Socorro on May 25 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Natasha Chavez of Socorro on May 27 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Joyce and Scott Brownlow of Socorro March 21 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Berzanna Secatera of Socorro on March 24 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Desiree Jaramillo of Socorro on March 15 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Rachel Sandoval of Alamo on March 17 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Bethany Martinez of Socorro on March 15 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Alicia Lopez of Socorro on April 24 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Cherokee Ganadonegro of Alamo on April 22 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Jodi Romero of Socorro on April 21.
• A girl was born to Janel Ganadonegro on April 20 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Clarissa and Jamie Guerro of Socorro on April 19 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Amy and Ryan Aeby of Socorro on April 13.
• A boy was born to Jody Roene Fuller of Socorro on April 17 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Amberlena Martinez of Socorro on May 5.
• A boy was born to Lynette Marie Jojola on May 3 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Veronica Maria Soto-Paz of Socorro on July 4 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A boy was born to Alejandra and James Wernicke of Socrro on June 29 at Socorro General Hospital.
• A girl was born to Barbie Padilla and Santiago Prieto of Socorro on July 2 at Socorro General Hospital.

OPINION: Nothing Like The Farmer’s Market

Just thinking Out Loud...
By Gary Jaramillo

On Tuesday night, I happened to be going to the post office after we closed the Mountain Mail for the day and noticed a really big crowd at the Farmer’s Market on the plaza.
It was kind of this instantaneous feeling of small town America together in the shade enjoying the conversation and opportunity to buy goods from friends and neighbors. Everything that was on the plaza for sale looked to be of the highest quality and everyone was in a really neat mood. I had to run back to the office and grab my camera.
You see, it’s the small things that make all the difference in our lives as a little community. So many people willing to help one another and volunteer and make life long friendships.
The tomatoes and carrots and other fine things that are sold in the plaza on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings are just some of the wonderful things that bring us all together. I have to say, it was a very festive mood. Kind of like a mini fiesta of sorts.
It gave me a warm feeling and was one of those special moments in my life where everything was perfect. If only the world could come to our little farmers market for a half hour – perhaps all would be well across the globe? Oh well, a guy can dream.
All I know is how very special it felt to see my friends and neighbors (some who I haven’t met yet) having a wonderful evening shopping and talking and laughing while keeping an eye on the little ones playing and running round in the cool evening grass.
For a moment I was back in 1965 walking with my grandparents in the park during Fiestas. I even had a millisecond there where I could honestly smell some of the old smells, and hear some of the old sounds from my childhood days. What wonder and simplicity back then. But, I can truly say without any hesitance that last night in the here and now, my feelings were just as strong in my heart and mind as they were back in 1965. Thank God for people who are thoughtful enough and work hard to grow everything and make the Farmer’s Market and other local events something we can all enjoy. And thank God for all of those wonderful earth grown goodies for us to buy and cook up back at the house.
I had one of those moments at the plaza yesterday that I seem to cherish more and more as I grow older. I think we all do, and that’s such a great gift. To remember smells, sounds, voices and fabulous times in our lives, and to somehow connect them with the joys we feel from time to time in the present, is just too neat.
I think any reason to get people together in the plaza is cool – but the Farmer’s Market is really hard to beat. The harvest is not out in the garden and fields - it’s at the plaza where neighbors are picking new friends from a great crop. By the way – my favorite veggie is Steamed Brussel Sprouts with butter, pepper and a touch of garlic. Oh man ….. I just drooled on my VB and N keys. If you miss the Farmer’s Market on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings you’re depriving yourself of a really wonderful time – with some really wonderful people.
Here’s one of my recipes : Cut up two nice sized Yellow Squash, add them to sautéed onions and a teaspoon of garlic, a little salt and pepper, then add a half cup fresh green Chile (of your “heat” liking) – add ¼ cup water and mix – cover for 8 minutes under medium heat – then let sit for 10 minutes. You’re done. Crisp a tortilla on the stove - then serve some up and wrap into that tortilla and sit there and enjoy heaven on earth.
Really!! Total Heaven on Earth. Tah Dah! Dang – more drool!

OPINION: All About Unconditional Love

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Old Timers in Magdalena this year reminded me how glad I am to live in this small village. I’m glad we are between our bigger “sister” Socorro and our even more country “brother” Datil and that we have many “cousins” further out. I love it all, unconditionally.
Warren Buffet made “internet” news recently with statements of “his best advice.” It surprised many that it had nothing to do with money. He spoke of “unconditional love”. He elaborated, “there is no power on earth like unconditional love.” He suggested that if we offered our children, from an early age, unconditional love, they would be equipped to handle all that life offers and to survive all the challenges.
Unconditional love is not love without critique, direction or safety instruction. It is love for who you are, because you are. When love is quantifiable, qualifiable or dependent on tasks and achievements, it makes an object of the loved one. It diminishes both the lover and the loved.
Unconditional love does wonders for the “lover” as well. It heals all kinds of old wounds and bad habits. Loving unconditionally provides a great support. Suddenly you have a reason to be, probably more then a little to do, and a path to travel. You don’t need a family to work the magic of unconditional love. Love an animal, a friend, a village or your world unconditionally and you confirm your own value and loveable self.
If all of New Mexico’s political leader’s loved this state they wouldn’t allow water speculation. If any of them loved our state, they wouldn’t allow that in thirty years we may be totally dry. New Mexico is not an object to be plundered. New Mexico is a home to love.
Loving unconditionally is about caring, valuing. It helps you think better. It helps you think about being responsible. Taking personal responsibility is the key to independence and freedom. The key to loving unconditionally is awareness. An intense here and now awareness is the kind that slows or stops time itself and is a giant step away from ego.
It is that step away from ego that politicians have such a hard time with. Leaving us without glorious leadership, or even respectable leadership.
In the middle of the last century “ego” became a goal in itself. We were told we needed a good, strong ego. If we critiqued ourselves we were weak. From the late 50's to the 90's we developed a culture of me, myself and I ... a culture of ego adoration. And the others, any other was on their own, or could be damned. Unless of course the other served the needs of our ego.
Divorce rates soared, children had to raise themselves and shopping became the favorite ego past-time. Realtors started selling price tags instead of homes and businesses. Greed is the favorite activity of ego. Work and production became devalued. Stress became a major cause of disease.
Our country which had been a great mentor, a goal to achieve and much beloved by people of the world has been hit by “ego” quest. We have developed and enacted a covert and open foreign policy that put us in this “terrorists watch” century. By covert I mean U.S. citizens are kept in the dark as much as possible.
For example, we are to believe and are told we support democracy everywhere while we have no trouble taking one out (like in Guatemala) for the benefit of big business (like United Fruit). Covert action doesn’t mean keeping it secret from the victims.
“Covert” means keeping it a secret from you. The “spin” is that they are jealous of us. What if they just love their land, their people, their families, their work, their lives unconditionally? If we loved our Democratic Republic unconditionally, we might respect others. If we have to “have it all,” expect some terror.
For the love of ego we walk the earth blind. Ego is the trickster, the liar.
The Hurt Locker, a movie by director Kathyrn Bigalow, is a teaching film about warriors and war. It addresses the confusion about “awareness”. No matter how dangerous a situation is, being totally aware, totally here and now is a high like no other. It’s fully being alive even if you may die immediately.
Awareness is fully being alive everyday. Her hero had a chance to be totally aware of the wonder of his own son, to love unconditionally, and do his job as a father. He didn’t know how. He was clueless about unconditional love. We’re making professional barbarians.
No yellow ribbon, I’m wrapping my tree with unconditional love.

We love Old Timers and the Fiesta, unconditionally, BUT I hear it’s time for a critique. I’ll protect identities. Write me or call 854-3370.

OPINION: Can We Talk About The Heartbreak of Workplace Deaths?

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

Two hundred thousand deaths. That is how many workplace deaths have occurred since the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created 32 years ago. When the heartbreak and economic impact of losing a husband, father, brother, son or daughter are added in, the resulting misery is obvious. However, according to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) report of that number of fatalities OSHA referred only 151 to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Of those, only eight resulted in convictions and prison sentences for company officials.
Forty names could be added to that number; the 29 miners who died in the Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia and the 11 oil workers who perished when BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast causing the worst oil spill in this country’s history.
So, as mentioned above, out of 200,000 workplace deaths over 32 years, why have only 151 been investigated with only 8 prosecutions? Politics. Lobbyists and the political muscle of their corporate bosses. Government officials are reluctant to take on the kind of power global corporatists have today. Not many corporate criminal prosecutions result in any meaningful action or results. However, there is precedent for that kind of public interest prosecution … not to mention action which serves justice. Perhaps Attorney General Eric Holder had that in mind when he announced an investigation into health and safety practices on the BP leased oil rig. He should also pay serious attention to public calls for investigation into Massey Energy and it chief mouthpiece, CEO Don Blankenship.
In 1978, an Indiana grand jury indicted the Ford Motor Company after a tragic highway accident claimed the lives of three teenage girls. They were driving a Ford Pinto when another car hit them from behind. The Pinto burst into flames and the girls died. The grand jury indicted Ford Motor Company for reckless homicide as the manufacturer and seller of the Ford Pinto with an unsafe fuel tank. Although Ford was ultimately acquitted, the importance of the case - from a precedent setting standpoint - is that in cases involving human health and safety, corporations and their executives could be subject to federal investigation as well as being answerable in state courts.
According to “Corporate Crime Reporter” editor Russell Mokhiber, there is a push in West Virginia to prosecute Massey Energy for manslaughter. The prosecuting attorney for Raleigh County where the mine is located has said she would press such a charge “if there is evidence to support a homicide prosecution.”
Under the leadership of CEO Blankenship the Upper Big Branch mine had been cited 1,300 times for violations since 2005, 50 times in March. Many of those safety citations were for poor ventilation, the apparent cause of the deadly disaster. There is evidence, too, that Blankenship, in a 2005 memo to deep mine officials ordered that miners not be assigned to any job except “running coal” and that included any safety measures. Shortly after that a fire broke out at a Massey mine that killed two men and resulted in a 2.5 million dollar fine for the company. A federal investigation of possible bribery of safety inspectors is ongoing.
Why isn’t someone on trial right now in at least one of these disasters? Politics. Lobbyists and the political muscle of their global corporate bosses. Fear on the part of elected officials of losing important sources of largess, timidity on the part of those same officials.
The only thing that will overcome those kind of obstacles is action on the part of an outraged public. At a website called “” citizens can sign a petition to West Virginia authorities. Maybe, in the near future there will be a “” website,too.

Always Open To Constituent Concerns

Guest Commentary
By Delilah Walsh

Editor’s note: Delilah Walsh is the Socorro County manager and she is responding to a letter by Tom Kimball of Veguita that was printed in last week’s Mountain Mail.

On June 8th, I brought a discussion item to the commission in order for there to be a dialogue on the topic of the County vacating county roads that do not physically exist, particularly in the area of Rio Grande Estates in Socorro County. These roads were either never built by the original developer or never properly constructed and residents were left with open land and no roads.
The challenge is this: how do we provide the most services to the most residents with a very limited budget in our predominantly-rural county? Vacation of roads that do not physically exist was one suggestion for discussion. Such action would allow our staff and road department to develop better maps and road management plans for the area. The downside however is that the County would lose any future claims and access to those roads.
During that discussion, the Board of County Commissioners stated that they would rather commit resources to the roads we currently maintain in Rio Grande Estates and try to meet the signage needs as best we can within our limited budget.
As a rural County, we are very much aware of the need for road signs and road maintenance in several areas in order to best meet the needs of our residents. The Board of County Commissioners even passed a resolution at their June 22 meeting, requiring employees to report missing or damaged road signs should they notice the need in any area of the County and establishing a system for citizens to report damaged or missing road signs (I plan to add this to our website).
In May, following a phone call and request for street signs from a constituent in Rio Grande Estates, I met with our road department staff who committed to working with the manager’s office to order and install road signs at the beginning of our new fiscal year when we would have funds available in the new budget. We have ordered those supplies and have been printing signs to meet these early requests made by constituents. It was this action that led me to explore how the County has addressed roads that do not physically exist.
In spite of Mr. Kimball’s assertion that you can find any parcel of the Rio Grande Estates subdivision using a system of pipes and survey markers, it is a simple fact that many roads were never built on these easements. That you need a map, pipes and survey markers to find an easement demonstrates that although a road may legally exist in the clerk’s office, it does not physically exist on the ground. Ariel photographs of the area demonstrate how some residents have even created their own roads by driving the easiest path to their home.
It has been the focus of this administration and this office to correct several issues of the past in the northern part of our County, particularly in Rio Grande Estates; from illegal tire dumps to poor signage. Quite frankly, correcting 40-year-old problems in less than 18 months is an accomplishment that should be heralded rather than condemned.
Mr. Kimball’s accusation of tiring of complaints is baseless and unwarranted. My office is always receptive to constituent concerns and complaints. Due to our limited funds, it may take us some time to implement correction and action, but we are committed to addressing all issues.
Further, my office will continue to explore solutions that meet and address the needs of County residents as a whole and not only the financial advantages of a few speculators in Rio Grande Estates. If this includes vacation of roads that do not physically exist, we will discuss those options as we will discuss all options, with input from residents.
I hope that Mr. Kimball can understand that open dialogue about such topics is the only way a community can work out the best way to protect citizen with serious problems. Problems caused by unscrupulous land developers -not the County. Those developers long ago returned back East with their profits leaving the County to solve the problems they created – we will continue to work to solve those problems. I welcome Mr. Kimball’s comments as we welcome the comments and suggestions of all residents. However, threat of lawsuits only stifles dialogue and impedes the County’s ability to help our residents; our citizens need solutions not threats.

Socorro’s Cases Elected Judges President

Socorro Municipal Judge Frances Cases was elected President of the New Mexico Municipal Judges Association on June 24 during the Association’s 2010 Professional Development Conference in Albuquerque. She will serve in that capacity until June, 2011.
Las Cruces Presiding Municipal Judge Melissa Miller-Byrnes was elected First Vice President and Carlsbad Municipal Judge David Redford was elected Second Vice President.
Cases has been the Municipal Judge in Socorro since 1995. She previously served on the Socorro City Council from 1976 to 1986 and was Mayor Pro Tem from 1984 to 1986. She is a member of the Board of Good Samaritan Nursing Home, a member of the San Miguel Choir and served as chairman of the San Miguel Parish entertainment committee, planning committee member and chairman for the San Miguel Fiesta. She is also a member of the Association’s Automation and Education Committees.
“I want to install professionalism both on and off the bench,” Cases said. “I am constantly reminded of the oath of office a judge takes when sworn in. I want to work for uniformity and for working together in my court.”
The New Mexico Municipal Judges Association is a subsection of the New Mexico Municipal League, a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing all incorporated municipalities in New Mexico.

LETTER: PNM Alternative

To the editor"
Preamble to SEC By-Laws: “It shall be the aim of the Socorro Electric Cooperative, Inc. to make electric energy available to its members at the lowest cost consistent with sound economy and good management”.
Ah! A good phrase, “lowest cost consistent with sound economy and good management.” I think that the SEC law suit filed in Valencia County Wednesday against SEC members violates SEC’s basic aim and should be grounds to remove, for cause, those Trustees who voted for same.
On the other maybe we member owners should sell our Electric Cooperative, lock, stock and barrel, to PNM receiving PNM Stock in payment. I would much rather be a satisfied PNM stockholder customer than an irritated put upon SEC owner member.

Alvin B. Hickox
San Antonio N.M.

‘Moving Slowly’ On Lemitar Church

By John Severance

LEMITAR – It has been more than two weeks since one of the walls collapsed at the La Sagrada Familia in Lemitar.
On Tuesday, Father Andy Pavlak gave this assessment of the church.
“We are moving slowly,” he said. “At this point, there has been a great deal of stabilization work done to the roof and the rear of the west wall. The stained glass window was removed from that portion of the church to protect it just in case there was any more wall failure. Debris has been removed but there is still a lot more to go. As areas are accessible (debris removed) more stabilization occurs.”
Pavlak said the Lemitar parishioners still are in shock about the collapsed wall.
“Mostly shock and sadness, that has been about it,” Pavlak said. “We have gotten calls from all over the country.
“I heard from one of the original Sanchez family members, who built the church. Her name is Margaret Sanchez Cafarelli and she is 90 years young and lives in Tempe, Arizona.”
Pavlak said on Saturday July 17, a mass will be held in Lemitar in the fields in front of the church at 7 p.m.
“We hope to have a goodly sized crowd and lots of donors present to assist with offsetting the costs. No word has yet been received from the insurance company,” Pavlak said.
Pavlak said adobe specialist Antonio Martinez of Santa Fe was at San Miguel on Monday and he took some samples of the adobes from Socorro, Polvadera and San Lorenzo.
“It appears from a quick review of the adobe samples that the north wall of San Miguel has some moisture issues and will need some attention in the not-too-distant future. This is critical,” Pavlak said.
On Aug. 14, Martinez will be back in the area to instruct and guide workers in some tasks needed to address this issue, Pavlak said.
“Workers will be needed to address things that could possibly include: pulling up the carpeting, cutting air vents into the floor, cutting 2-3 foot squares into the plaster walls in the interior and exterior to allow the adobes to breathe and dry naturally,” Pavlak said.
Pavlak said there are a number of factors as to why there is so much moisture in the adobe foundation.
Plasters have been used since the 1950s and the adobes have become victim of the inability to have the cement/silicon products breathe and dry naturally.
“Now, the new plasters hide any adobe damage until, unfortunately, it is often too late,” Pavlak said. “In many cases, what ends up happening with the non-breathing plasters is the adobes deteriorate over years and years of moisture and the adobes turn to powder. Mud-based or gypsum based or lime based plasters that allow adobes to breathe and dry naturally are the only ones that truly ought to be used on these historic structures.
“The problem is, regular maintenance and education on how to use these older materials often is more work than communities want to do. The advent of the cement-silicon based products seemed to be a way to making life easier. Truly, it did for a time and now we have to live with the consequences of those years of ease.
”Also, cement parking lots, asphalt products and similar kinds of things trap water that travels around these structures. When any water comes in the form of rain or well-intentioned gardeners that have things planted too close to the churches, water can seep into the ground, and wick up wherever nature allows it
“Now that we have more information on the technology and the way it affects the old structures, we have to move to save these to the best of our ability.”

County Adapts To PILT Shortfall

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- At a workshop Thursday at the County Annex Building, county manager Delilah Walsh unveiled a tentative list of budget cuts to account for the $500,000 shortfall in PILT money.
Socorro County was earmarked to receive $1.5 million in PILT money, but after a recalculation, it only received $1 million.
Finance director Roberta Smith made $295,000 worth of cuts with the hardest hit being the commission, the detention center and the clerk’s office.
Walsh presented the cuts to the commissioners at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The biggest cuts in the commission budget will come from capital outlay, which means $65,000 will not be used to repair any county buildings. In addition, $25,850 were cut in appropriations, which go to such organizations as Puerto Seguro and the bookmobile. Also cut was a $68,000 subsidy to the detention center.
Walsh said the detention center has five open positions and two will always be open.
“We have such a high turnover rate and we don’t have any applicants,” Walsh said.
The clerk’s office had $40,000 trimmed from its budget.
“My only concern is that it is not taken on a permanent basis,” county clerk Rebecca Vega said. “We need that money to run our elections.”
Walsh assured Vega that money would be there for elections.
Walsh told all department heads if they can not handle the cuts to let her office and Smith’s office know
All departments had their raises cut. The sheriff’s department lost one-half of a position.
Walsh said funds used by the emergency management and DWI departments are safe because they come from different sources.
Overall, Walsh said, “It’s gonna hurt. You guys were all lean and the only fat was personnel. I don’t believe in furloughs either.
“We are the lowest paid county in the state. But there are going to be no furloughs or layoffs. If we have layoffs, it would have a demoralizing effect on the community.”
With the cuts, the county still has a shortfall of about $200,000.
“Our reserves can handle that for one more year,” Walsh said.
Walsh said the county also make up the difference if there is an increase in property tax revenue or gross receipts go up.
Another way to make up the difference would be to cut down on expenses, so there was a discussion about possibly going to four 10-hour days. That would not affect the sheriff’s department, the detention center or the senior center.
Walsh said if the county went to the four 10-hour days, that would help bring down the cost of utilities, which run the county around $90,000 per year.
“We need to get employees more aware to turn off lights and don’t leave equipment on all night,” Walsh said.
It also was brought up that the county had not had a tax sale in 15 years. The commission drafted a resolution a couple months ago that would urge the state taxation and revenue department to hold such a sale.
“If we had a tax sale, we would be fine.”
There were a lot of glum faces, but assessor Val Anaya complimented Walsh near the end of the hour meeting.
“I have to commend you,” Anaya said. “You saw there was a potential train wreck and you are taking measures to correct it.”
The commissioners were impressed as well.
“I am amazed you could make the $295,000 in cuts and still keep jobs,” R.J. Griego said. “I want to say thank you to all the departments who have accepted the cuts.”
Chair Rosie Tripp said, “A lot of credit goes to the department heads. At least, we were not laying off anybody.”

Sylvia Employs Gordo To Type Autobiography

By Anne Sullivan

During the ensuing week Sylvia continued her computer lessons with Gordo and soon Gordo was turning on The Computer by himself and the day finally came when Gordo actually started typing the treasured manuscript.
Sylvia was now free to spend the entire day writing her autobiography. She filled my last spiral notebook and was now making swift inroads into my computer paper. The pages were now stacked up in three 18-inch piles which made passage across the living room difficult.
“Don’t worry about it, boss,” Sylvia raised her head to say after I nearly stumbled into the pile closest to my comfortable chair. “Gordo will type this in no time. I reckon he’ll finish one of these piles a week. Then, as soon as I finish the first draft, I can start on the rewrites. After that it will be up to you to keep your end of the bargain and get my autobiography published.”
Oh, dear. This was a major worry. I couldn’t visualize the Mountain Mail publishing this voluminous manuscript. Yet, where else would I send it? I wasn’t about to bankroll Sylvia to self-publish. I decided to take a nap and think about it some other time.
The daily routine of Sylvia writing page after page and Gordo typing page after page went on for what seemed like an eternity but the calendar showed that only thirteen days had passed. Gordo, on his part, typed a page, crumpled the finished page up and tossed it into the waste basket. Most of the time he missed and I picked up the little balls of paper each night and every few days took a huge bag to the dump.
Thirteen days of this frenzied work and Gordo began to crumple himself. He complained that his paws were sore. Finally he revolted altogether, turned off The Computer and pushed the screen door open by himself, so anxious was he to get out.
Sylvia shouted after him, “Come back here immediately or I’ll dock your pay!”
“I didn’t know you’d paid him,” I said.
“I haven’t yet and if this revolting revolt continues, I won’t pay him at all.”
“What have you got to pay him with? I haven’t noticed you earning any money.”
“I will, I will. When you get my autobiography published, I’ll not only have loads of money, a million or more, but I’ll be famous as well and have all sorts of TV appearances and book signings to attend. I’ll be able to give Gordo $50 or even $75 out of my earnings. It all depends on the deal you get me.”
“I’m not your agent,” I protested.
“We made a deal,” she yelled at me before going to the door to screech at Gordo, “Come back here, you lazy cat! “
Gordo didn’t appear to pay any attention as he stalked up canyon and then raced up a tree.
Sylvia did her stalking into The Computer Room, muttering, “It’s just as I thought. I have to do everything myself.” She sat at The Computer and began clicking away, still muttering, “Who needs that dumb old cat anyway? I should have known better than to hire an undocumented alien. I can do the rewrites without him. I’ll dock his pay for sure. He must be almost finished with the typing by now anyway…” The mumbles stopped there and what emanated from her mouth then cannot be printed in a family newspaper.
Sylvia jumped up from The Computer, so suddenly that she knocked over the chair, and ran out of the house, almost going through the screen door which wisely gave way. She stood on the porch, shaking her paw and shouting up at Gordo in his tree. He seemed unconcerned by her imprecations.
“I need to get at the book you typed!” she hollered. “But I can’t find it anywhere. What did you save it under?”
“Gordo perked up, looking puzzled. “Save it? Was I supposed to save it?”
Oh dear, oh dear.

Luna Rodeo Scheduled For July 24

Mountain Mail Reports

They call it the Best Little Rodeo in the West.
The Luna Rodeo will be held on July 24 and there promises to be fun for everybody.
Action starts at 9 a.m. with a slack barrel race. At 10 a.m., the parade will be held, and at 11 a.m., there will be a slack team roping event.
Lunch will be served at noon with a barbeque at the Community Center.
At 1 p.m., cowboys and cowgirls will line up for the main event – the rodeo. Considered home of the famous wild cow ride, there also will be bull riding, calf roping, bareback and saddlebronc, breakaway roping, barrel racing, team roping, steer riding, calf riding, mutton busting. There also will be an egg toss and calf scramble.
A western dance will be held at 8 p.m. and music will be provided by “Bobby and the Buckers.”
Susan Ley, Susan Erb, Myrna and Lavar Nikolaus, Jeanette Jackson and Jim Williams finished painting all the old bleachers on the west side Monday. Besides those, there are 12 new sets on the east side that were bought last year. Henry Zamora, Pascual Trujillo, Lloyd Jackson, Jim Williams, Pat Morrison and Richard Ley worked on getting them all set up. The Luna Pioneer Rodeo Association board members are: Lloyd Jackson, Pascual and Becky Trujillo, Henry Zamora, Janice Kiehne, Louise and Dan Estrada, Corwin Hulsey and Susan Ley.
For more information, call 575 547-2176 or 547-2144, check or

Quemado: Women’s Fellowship Luncheon

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Women's Fellowship Luncheon will be held Tuesday, July 20 at noon in the Cowboy Church located off Highway 32 near Quemado. All women are invited to come share in this special time.
The Men's Fellowship Breakfast will take place on Saturday, July 24 at 10 a.m.

Quemado Senior Center Activities for the week: Pool on Tuesday, July 20, quilting and bingo on Thursday. Lunch menu: Monday – sausage pizza, Tuesday – chicken tenders, Wednesday – rolled green enchilada, Thursday – fish platter and Friday – BBQ chicken and scalloped potatoes. All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

Good Luck to all the Catron County 4H Seniors who are in Las Cruces attending the State 4H Conference.

July 4th Results: The Independence Day Parade had twenty nine entries.
The judges presented each of the following parade winners with $50:
Category 1 Animals: Chris Hostler (entry #14) matched pair of mules,
Category 2 Floats: Quemado Senior Center (entry #5),
Category 3 Cars/Trucks: US Forest Service (entry #4) with Smokey the Bear,
Category 4 Kids/Other: Truckin' USA (entry #7) driven by Tanner.
The Grand Champion winner the High Plains Outlaws entry won a cash prize of $100.00.

The 5th Annual Freedom Shoot had 18 participants with many shooting in all four shooting settings - F-class/10, a centerfire prone precision rifle, Practical Pistol, Precision Pistol, and a Rimfire Rifle. Ron Trover of Pie Town bested everyone in F-class/10 with a 191-4X out of a possible 210. Carlton Armstrong came in second with a 187. In Practical Pistol, Doug Marable of Quemado came in first with an 85 and Nicole Martin of Quemado came in second with an 80. This was Nicole's first experience in Practical Pistol. In the youth category, Nicole as well won the "Flip'n Rimfire" rifle course and Cody Colbert from Lubbock, Texas, grandson of Dan and Cyndi Lee of Pie Town, came in second. Cody as well shot all four courses coming in fourth in Practical Pistol. Precision Pistol won by Greg Sheahan from Phoenix, Az., with Jim Hart of Quemado second.

Jaramillo Horseshoe Tournament Results

The Dan Jaramillo Memorial Tournament of Horseshoes at Sedillo Park was held Saturday, July 10, and a total of 30 pitchers competed. Contestants came from as far away as Crown Point and Yah Ta Hey. Others came from Deming, Springer, Belen, Albuquerque,Roswell, Reserve, Mountainair, Bosque Farms, Pinedale and Socorro.
Final standings: ‘A’ Class
First place and Tournament of Champions - Leonard Platero of Newcomb, New Mex. (62.5 percent).
Second place - Bergin Riddle, Reserve (56.5 percent)
Third place - Ken Jones, Albuquerque (53 percent)
‘B’ Class
First place – Lynn Platero, Crown Point (47.2 percent)
Second place – Daniel Martin, Pinedale (47 percent)
Third place – Emerson Martin, Yah Ta Hey (38.7 percent)
‘C’ Class
First place – Jeff Carey, Roswell (27.5 percent)
Second place – Randy Priddy, Bosque Farms (24.7 percent)
Third place – Melvin Cole, Socorro (30 percent)
‘D’ Class
First place – Leithan Platero, Crown Point (23.5 percent)
Second place – Ron Sanchez, Albuquerque (23 percent)
Third place – Shirley Chavez, Albuquerque (10.5 percent)
The state Horseshoe Tour-nament will be held in September at Sedillo Park.

Picture: Participants take part in the Dan Jaramillo Memorial Tournament of Horseshoes at Sedillo Park Saturday.
Mountain Mail photo

Gilworth A Fixture For Anglers

By John Larson

SOCORRO - For the last 33 years, Ron Gilworth of the Socorro Bass Club has been the Master of Ceremonies at the Annual Junior Open fishing Tournament held at Elephant Butte.
“I’ve been involved with the Elephant Butte Bass Anglers for almost as long as I have with the Socorro Bass Club,” Gilworth said. “Our club in Socorro has always assisted the Junior open Tournament with bikes and trophies.
“The idea for the tournament at Elephant Butte is based around Father’s Day,” he said. “And regardless of the outcome, every child gets a gift to take home.”
“But it’s more than just getting gifts. There’ve been expensive gifts available, things like specialty rods and reels. But you’ll see kids go up there and pick out something like a small priced radio.
“What’s unique about this event is there are a lot of repeat children coming back from all over the U.S.” Gilworth said. “Those whose families have moved away from the area. They’ll come back from places like Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Salt Lake City. This year there was a child coming back for his ninth year.”
“They can keep entering up to the age of graduation from high school.”
Two of the returnees were the children of previous contestants, “kids grown up with kids,” he said.
As Vice President of the Socorro Bass Club, Gilworth encourages its members to participate in the tournament, and to promote bass fishing in general.
“Our membership supports it very well,” he said. “There’s bass fishermen from all over New Mexico, and our club is one of the most active.”
A good example of the activity of the local club comes from its success with getting the state to create a specialty fishing license plate.
An article in the July, 2010, national magazine Bass Times, cited the Socorro Bass Club as being instrumental in lobbying the 2009 state legislature to authorized the Motor Vehicle Division to issue the special bass fishing plate.
“We understand it will be coming out the first of August,” Gilworth said.
The Socorro Bass Club has been in existence for 35 years and boasts 43 current members “from all over the area,” he said. “We do different projects throughout the year like tournament fishing and involvement in conservation.
“We worked for the creation of the warm water hatchery in Santa Rosa, and worked to set black bass limits.”
The current president is Betty Arthur from Elephant Butte.

Picture: Ron Gilworth with a hopeful young fisherman, who waited to see what his final day’s catch would weight during the 33rd Annual Junior Open Tournament June 20. Gilworth again served as the event’s emcee, greeting each of the 75 young competitors and praising their efforts, and like every wise fisherman, picking up a tip or two about successful lures and techniques.

Photo courtesy of the Sierra County Sentinel

Space Camp Quite The Adventure For Alamo Student

By Nathalie Nance
For the Mountain Mail

When Alamo student Eva Padilla, 16, learned that she had been rewarded with a scholarship to go to Space Camp in Alabama for a week in early June, she got equally excited and nervous.
She had never really traveled anywhere by herself before, let alone flown across the country. Her mother, Angela Guerro, was also nervous to see Padilla off at the Albuquerque airport. However, the trip went just fine and Padilla soon overcame the initial homesickness. Despite somewhat hard and uncomfortable bunk beds in the room she shared with other participants, Padilla soon settled in on campus in Huntsville.
“Now I wouldn’t hesitate to go somewhere on my own again,” said Padilla.
The Advanced Space Academy is run by the University of Alabama, and a lucky few get to attend their popular space camp each year. While there, the participants learn about space exploration and aerospace technology as well as basic leadership skills and team building. Padilla was on the teenage team, with members not only from the United States, but also from as far away as India and China.
Every day they were given a special mission, which they had to solve together. One was to land a space shuttle on the moon, exchange an antenna on its surface and then land on Earth again without crashing (yes, it was only a simulator), another was to build a rocket from a hot dog.
“It only went about two feet,” laughed Padilla.
Besides lectures on planets and stars and safety in space, there was also time for a lot of fun.
“We played a lot of pranks on our supervisor, Kevin,” admitted Padilla.
The teammates also got to try to do moon walking and to hang from the ceiling in order to experience what it feels like to be weightless in space. A real test, however, was the six hours locked up in a space shuttle with oxygen masks.
“But I wasn’t nervous,” Padilla said.
Consequently, she passed and as part of the graduation ceremony the last day of the camp, her name tag, which on purpose had been put upside down on her coveralls, was turned around to face the right way.
Now Padilla is back from space camp with a lot of happy memories, new friends and one college credit from the University of Alabama. She is currently enrolled in the summer youth program at Alamo, where she helps with the summer food program. This fall, she will begin 10th grade and eventually she dreams of becoming a vet.
“I would like to go back to space camp and see everyone again,” says Padilla, “but I prefer to stay on Earth.”

Picture: Eva Padilla tries to do the moon walk at space camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Courtesy photo

NAPA Food Drive

Owners Frank and Lori Romero said the food drive held Friday at Scott’s Napa Auto Store was a big success. Napa also gave away prizes that afternoon and Richard Murillio won the televsion and Walt Seward won the tool box. “We want to thank the community for the support,” the Romeros said. In conjunction with the food drive, the store also held its annual tool sale. Frank Romero said close to 400 hot dogs were grilled for customers. From left to right in the photo are Jeremy Petrie, Frank Romero, Lori Romero, Brian Wheeler and Andrew Zamora.

Photo by John Severance

Mobile Mammography Van Unveiled

Mountain Mail reports

Socorro General Medical Group at Socorro General Hospital has partnered with the company High Resolution in Albuquerque and will now offer state-of-the-art digital mammography services through a mobile unit to Socorro County patients. The new mobile van replaces the analog screening mammography previously used.
The mobile mammography van includes a patient reception area and private areas for preparation and imaging. The van includes a bathroom and access for those with special needs.
“This is a significant enhancement for the hospital and in patient care for residents of Socorro County,” said Paul Wiest, Socorro General Hospital Radiology Department Manager, in a press release. “This technology and convenience is now offered locally and I think this enhancement shows the dedication and commitment Socorro General Hospital has in serving the community.”
Digital mammography provides enhanced image clarity far better than older methods. Images are transferred the same day to clinicians who can interpret and report the results to the doctor faster, which allows for the ability to screen more patients.
“It’s amazing how much faster this machine is. It will cut most, if not all exams by at least one-third to one-half the time and the clarity is outstanding,” Wiest said. “The acquisition time of the image is faster.”
The van makes it possible to offer digital mammography services semi-monthly in Socorro on the second and fourth Tuesdays. Patients will also continue to have the option to utilize digital mammography services at High Resolution in Albuquerque.
“This new technology brings superior image quality to our patients and is part of Presbyterian’s continued commitment to improve clinical quality,” Wiest said. “As we look for new and innovative ways to deliver care, this is one example of transforming the way we provide enhanced technology to better serve our patients and communities.”

Picture: Theresa, a technician for High Resolution, shows off the new examination room in the mobile mammography van.

Photo by John Larson

Catron Officers To Play In 9-1-1 Bowl

By John Larson

Two Catron County law enforcement officers will be butting heads with firefighters this Saturday, July 17, in the Second Annual “Fire Fighters vs. Law Enforcement” football game in Albuquerque – the 9-1-1 Bowl.
“This is full contact football. It’s fun to watch,” Undersheriff Ian Fletcher said. “It’s guaranteed hard hitting. Real football.”
This is the second year Fletcher and Goetz will be playing on the law enforcement team.
“Players come from all over the state, but the cops’ team is mostly from the Albuquerque Police Department,” Fletcher said. “Our team should have about 40 players.”
He said his team has been practicing for the big game for about 10 weeks.
“The purpose is a fundraiser to assist firefighters and law enforcement officers for illnesses and treatments,” Fletcher said. “Some of the money also goes to the Team Conner Cancer Foundation, and New Mexico Boys and Girls club.
“Plus as an added attraction, this year we have Houston Alexander, the mixed martial arts champion from Omaha coming in for a meet and greet,” he said.
Kick-off at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque is 6 p.m. Saturday, with tailgating starting at 3 p.m.
Ticket prices are $10 per person.