Thursday, December 16, 2010
Fire crews were called out in Reserve to fight a fast moving fire early Tuesday, Dec. 14, that destroyed the village’s only motel, the 22-room Rode Inn. The primary blaze was battled for about six hours by 35 firefighters from seven volunteer fire departments.
A spokesperson for Reserve Fire Chief Donald Weaver said the business is believed to be a total loss.
According to the Catron County Sheriff’s office, there were no serious injuries to the nine motel occupants, although two people jumped from the second floor into a pickup truck bed.
“EMTs were on hand, and the victims were treated at the clinic. No one had to be transported to the hospital,” Undersheriff Ian Fletcher said. “The Sheriff’s office primarily worked traffic control. At first we had one lane open on Main Street, and then had to shut it down and divert traffic. At one point we shut down Bolke Street by the post office.”
Elena Gellert, owner of the Black Gold Emporium, watched the firefighting efforts from across the street.
“We opened at 6 a.m. and the fire must have started about 15 or 20 minutes before,” Gellert said. “It looked like it started in the west wing and involved the whole building pretty quickly. The entire building is gutted.”
As of Mountain Mail press time Wednesday, crews were still working on smoldering areas. “There was one room where they stored mattresses,” Gellert said.
Gellert said she and other merchants in town donated food and drinks to the emergency workers.
“This will really hurt the town, especially in the summer,” she said. “There are always tourists, hunters, travelers, those bicycle tours coming through.
“Eight people have lost their jobs, and in a town with a population of 400, it will be felt.
“Also, the motel had the only Laundromat in town. This means people will be having to drive to Cruzville, nine miles away,” Gellert said.
“It was a busy business,” Martinez said. “The loss of revenue from people staying there will be immediately be felt. They bought gas, shopped, ate at the restaurants, and went to Uncle Bill’s bar.”
Martinez said those who were staying at the motel are, as of Wednesday, still searching for lodging. “Those people don’t have a place to stay,” he said.
The Rode Inn is owned by members of the Kiehne family, which operates three other motels in Arizona.
Max Kiehne told the Mountain Mail in a telephone interview that the family was shocked to learn the building burned.
“I am very appreciative of all the efforts from the fire departments and all the fire fighters,” he said. “It was such a loss to the community, as well as our family.”
The Rode Inn started out as a six-room motel and opened in 1971 by Emil and Beverly Kiehne, according to Gary Kiehne. “A few years later it was torn down and the larger motel was built,” he said. “The rooms and service were designed to be on par with the national chains.”
He said it was too early to estimate the dollar loss, but “the insurance investigator is expected to arrive Thursday morning. The state Fire Marshal investigator is still on the scene.”
Photos courtesy of Alex Smith
Photo by John Larson
An initiative to change the state law concerning voting precincts has been put forth by a group of New Mexico county clerks, and the idea is to provide voters with one central location where to cast their votes.
Although Socorro County Clerk Rebecca Vega isn’t part of the group, she still says the proposal has merit.
“It would essentially do away with the multiple polling places, for instance, in the city of Socorro, which would be affected most,” said Vega, adding that the proposed plan would save the county a considerable amount of money.
She said that outlying polling places in the county would probably be unaffected by any changes brought forth by the group of county clerks. “But in Magdalena,” she said, “instead of two voting places there would only be one.”
The group is headed by Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who said a draft of the proposed bill will be sent to the state legislature, which convenes for a 60-day session on Jan. 18.
“The way we are envisioning the legislation is that it would be optional for each county,” said Oliver. “All the voting precincts would be combined into ‘X’ number of centralized locations. Precinct boundaries would still exist, but only for addressing purposes and vote counting.”
She added that larger cities would have several centralized voting centers, but in smaller municipalities like Socorro “only one would probably be needed. This would solve some problems voters may experience on voting day.”
The proposal has at least one ally in the state legislature. State Rep. Don Tripp (R-Socorro) said in a telephone interview that he hasn’t heard any talk about the initiative in the Roundhouse, but feels the proposal has merit.
“It sounds like a very good idea,” he said. “It would make it easier for clerks to run elections, and, of course, save the taxpayers money. It would also end disruptions at schools where people have been voting. It just makes more sense. More people are getting used to voting early and this would just continue that through Election Day.”
Vega agrees, citing confusion with residents who move from one part of town, or one part of the county, to another.
“With centralized polling places, as long as someone is a registered voter in the county, they could vote at any of the voting locations in the county,” she said. “It would, in effect, be like early voting is now.” Early voting allows anyone in the county to vote at the Socorro County Clerk’s office prior to Election Day.
Also included in the proposal is the introduction of an auto-vote system, which would print out a ballot specific to one’s precinct.
“This would save the county money by reducing the costs of Election Day,” said Vega, “like reducing the number polling place workers and saving on the cost of pre-printed ballots for each of the 26 current voting places. We would print out only what is needed.”
The pre-printed ballots cost the counties about $1 each.
It’s about two o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday in the middle of December and Socorro High School football player Ray Vaiza III is inside the weight room at New Mexico Tech.
It’s been about a month since the Warriors’ season ended catastrophically following a 63-21 loss at Albuquerque Academy in the Class 3A quarterfinals and next season won’t begin until late August, but by the way Vaiza’s been focused on lifting weights you’d think he’s preparing for a game later this week.
Already the 17-year-old junior has done arm curls, bench presses and leg squats, and now he’s taking a breather in order to talk to a reporter, but he’s got a busy schedule this afternoon. In a few minutes he’ll be going outside to the athletic field to run through some drills with his friend and Socorro High football teammate Chandler Benavidez. And there’s a good reason for all this urgency. The 5-foot-10 quarterback-slash-defensive back-slash-kick returner-slash-punter has been invited to participate at the National Underclassmen Combine in Charleston, S.C., later this month.
Challenging hurdles still lie ahead, though. Not the combine testing, which will include a 40-yard dash, shuttle run, broad jump, bench press, vertical jump, and a seven-on-seven tournament, but rather the logistics of just getting to South Carolina. The NUC event doesn’t provide invitees with travel expenses, so Vaiza and his father, Ray Vaiza Jr., are hosting a raffle and an enchilada dinner from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Friday (Dec. 17) at the DAV Hall to raise some money for the trip to the east coast. For more information on the fundraiser, call 575-418-0156.
The National Underclassmen Combine bills itself as being the longest running underclassmen event and the most respected combine and football camp in the country. And although there are other recruitment combines for collegiate prospects, Vaiza isn’t taking his invite to the NUC lightly. Playing for a small high school like Socorro in a small state like New Mexico, he knows that this event will be one of a few chances he’ll have to show scouts from some of the best college football programs in the country that in spite of his diminutive size – he wants to play quarterback and college quarterbacks shorter than 6 feet are rare – he has the talent play at a Division II or Division I school.
Vaiza says that his dream has always been to play for the University of Texas, which boasts one of the top college football programs in the country and has sent many of its players into the National Football League. But he’s realistic that because of his lack of height, his goal of playing for a school like Texas, or any Division I program for that matter, might not come to fruition. He’s so far garnered letters of recognition from a few college programs such as Texas A&M (Division I), Eastern New Mexico (Division II), and New Mexico Military Institute (Junior College).
Vaiza is the first player from Socorro to be invited to the National Underclassmen Combine, and only one of a few from New Mexico that received an invitation to the event for this year. “I’m very excited,” he says, “It’s a chance to not only represent the southwest and New Mexico, but to represent Socorro.”
Vaiza found out the night of the Warriors’ loss at Academy that he was invited to the combine. His father, Ray Vaiza Jr., received the invitation via e-mail about a week before, and withheld the information from his son because he wanted to wait for the right moment when to present the news. “I don’t like losing,” says Vaiza, “but getting the invite made me feel a little better.”
Vaiza first started playing football at age five, suiting up for a local flag football team, and has competed in organized football every year since. He even played football during his 8th grade year in Tifton, Ga., about 180 miles south of Atlanta. He and his family lived there for about seven months, the only time he’s ever lived away from Socorro. In Tifton, Vaiza’s coaches weren’t so welcoming at first, insisting that he should be playing soccer instead of football. Vaiza says the coaches in Tifton probably thought that way because he was from New Mexico.
In addition to football, Vaiza has participated in martial arts such as jujitsu and kick boxing, the latter in which he’s compiled an amateur record of 24-5. He’s scheduled to make his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in February. He also played basketball his freshmen and sophomore years at Socorro. He was the leading scorer on a freshman squad that finished 18-2. He made six appearances as a member of the varsity team his sophomore year. And though Vaiza isn’t playing basketball this season, he hasn’t decided whether or not to play basketball his senior season.
We’re outside on the athletic field at Tech and Vaiza has just put on his football cleats. His friend Chandler Benavidez arrives a few minutes later. While the two Socorro football teammates begin to toss a football around, the attention shifts toward Ray Vaiza Jr., who’s a noteworthy individual in his own right, and after a few minutes conversation with him you can understand why he’s pushing his son toward attending the NUC and making sure they have the means to get there.
Ray Vaiza Jr. has raised Ray Vaiza III, along with two younger children, pretty much by himself since Ray III was two. A former basketball player who sustained a career-ending ACL injury in high school, Ray Jr.’s athletic outlet for the past decade or so has been mixed martial arts and cage fighting. He also commutes from Socorro to Rio Rancho for work five days per week. He says he doesn’t mind the more than 130-mile roundtrip commute each day and the thought of moving his family closer to where he works is not an option because he would like to see his son finish out his high school career at Socorro. After that, though, he will base his decision on where Ray III ends up after Socorro.
Ray Vaiza III is done tossing the football around with his friend, Chandler, and is now ready to show off his arm strength. His father says that he can toss the ball at least 60 yards, and on a few throws this afternoon it is estimated that Vaiza either matches or exceeds that distance.
During his sophomore season on the junior varsity, Vaiza accounted for 20 touchdowns (both passing and rushing), threw for more than 500 yards, and rushed for 800 yards. This past season he played behind senior Zach Esquivel on the depth chart at quarterback. In his first season on varsity, he played defensive back and compiled some modest statistics – more than 50 tackles, three interceptions, eight pass break-ups, and one touchdown.
Kyle Henderson, who for the past six years has run the website NMpreps.com, which has Vaiza ranked No. 95 in the state as far as skills players are concerned, says that Vaiza is decent a underclassmen prospect and that the invitation to the NUC is a good opportunity for him to showcase his talent to not only Division I schools but to smaller Division II and III programs as well. “He’s the kind of athlete who can get things done,” said Henderson, who added that he thinks Vaiza would fit better at a smaller school like NMMI because of a lack of size, especially if Vaiza wishes to play quarterback, though says that Vaiza projects better as a defensive back.
“A lot coaches say that I should play defensive back,” says Vaiza. “If I can’t play quarterback in college, that’s okay. I played strong safety this past season, and it was fun. I like the contact, I like to hit.”
Photo by Patrick Jason Rodriguez
Judge Albert J. Mitchell set a schedule in a case involving the Socorro Electric Cooperative and its member-owners during a status hearing in district court on Tuesday (Dec. 13) in Los Lunas.
The co-op’s attorneys originally filed the lawsuit in June in an attempt to prevent three new bylaws that were passed by member-owners at the annual meeting in April.
Though the co-op’s attorneys later filed a motion to dismiss the case, Mitchell said he wouldn’t allow that.
The bylaws in question are:
• Call for the board to voluntarily follow the Open Meetings Act and Inspection of Public Records Act
• Allow members access to co-op books, records and audits, with the exception of records protected by the Privacy Act
• Allow members and the press to attend co-op board meetings and that a portion of the meeting is set aside for public comment. In addition, announcements of meetings are to be made in billing statements and advertised in local newspapers
Mitchell requested that all attorneys involved file briefs on the matter before the end of this month.
New Mexico Tech
New Mexico Tech lost a dear and beloved professor on Saturday, Dec. 11, when Dr. Osman T. Inal passed away at his home after a long battle with illness. He was 70.
“Dr. Inal was not only a superb teacher, but an outstanding researcher and a close personal friend,” New Mexico Tech President Dr. Daniel H. López said. “The entire New Mexico Tech community is saddened by his death and he will be sorely missed.”
Dr. Inal joined the faculty at Tech in 1972 as an associate professor of materials engineering, and earned full professorship in 1980. He added the title of associate vice president and dean of engineering in 2001. He also served as department chair for more than 15 years.
He was a prolific researcher, and authored or co-authored more than 230 publications. He advised 40 master’s students and 18 doctoral students during his time at Tech.
“Osman’s enthusiasm for working with students and guiding them from undergraduate through postgraduate work was unmatched,” López said. “His dedication not only to students, but to this institution was total, deep and unabiding. Our farewells go to our great friend.”
A native of Turkey, Dr. Inal is survived by his wife, Serife, their daughter, Nazli, his siblings and nieces and nephews. As of Monday, Dec. 13, no services have been planned.
Osman Tugay Inal was born on Feb. 29, 1940, in Turkey. He was especially proud of having a birthday on Leap Day. On his most recent birthday in 2008, he accentuated the fact that he was celebrating his 17th birthday.
Dr. Inal earned his first bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He then earned three degrees in metallurgical engineering from Columbia University: a bachelor’s degree in 1964; a master’s degree in 1965; and his doctorate in 1969. After working three years in Southern California, he joined the Tech faculty in 1972.
“Dr. Inal’s profession and career at New Mexico Tech was a huge part of his life,” said his fellow professor in materials Dr. Paul Fuierer. “His unique personality is legendary among students. As longtime chair of the Materials Engineering Department, Osman’s legacy will last for years to come.”
Dr. Inal’s specialties included explosive welding and forming, polycrystalline intermetallics, plasma and laser surface modification and the development of reactive solders and braze alloys.
Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld, another colleague at Tech, said Dr. Inal cared deeply about his students’ success and that he lived to teach. He was teaching classes this semester and planned on teaching classes again next semester, she said.
“He was a strong promoter of New Mexico Tech and an excellent recruiter,” she said. “Everyone knew of Dr. Inal’s cantankerous personality, but he did a lot for materials engineering at New Mexico Tech and he did a lot for New Mexico Tech in general.”
Dr. Inal and his wife always helped international students at Tech, welcoming them into their home and treating them like family.
“He was a deeply sensitive guy,” said Dr. Peter Gerity, vice president of academic affairs. “He and his family took in every international student who came to Tech. He gave selflessly to helping them financially and with culturalization to the United States. He was a deeply caring person for students. This is a loss of a good friend to New Mexico Tech – a loyal and dear friend in every way possible.”
Over the years, Dr. Inal established a pipeline of Turkish students who came to Tech, including several of his nephews. He was also an effective recruiter domestically.
“He’s well known and has many friends throughout the United States,” Hirschfeld said. “He’s closely related to many researchers at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Many of his students have gone on to very prestigious positions.”
He was an active member in many professional and academic societies and regularly volunteered for service to New Mexico Tech, professional societies and government committees.
Dr. Inal won the university’s Distinguished Researcher Award at Tech in 1989. From the Alumni Association, he won the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2001 – the same year he was inducted as a Fellow in ASM International, the largest materials professional organization. Hirschfeld said Inal’s fellowship with ASM was an elite post and a crowning achievement for his career.
Dr. Gerity said Dr. Inal’s research is recognized and cited worldwide. He was continuously invited to deliver keynote addresses at international conferences throughout his career, he said.
Dr. López said, “As Adlai Stephenson said on the occasion of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death, ‘We will mourn his death until the time of ours.’”.
Photo by John Larson
Photo by John Larson
Dyer was born on June 5, 1921 in Honey Grove, TX. to EP and Mary (Jackson) Forbus.
He is survived by his loving wife, Irene Forbus of Socorro; and his devoted daughters, Barbara Forbus of Socorro; and Darla G. Bryson also of Socorro.
Dyer was a Socorro resident since 1961 after moving from Capitan, NM.
He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, and five sisters. A Graveside Funeral Service will be held Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm at the Village of Capitan Cemetery. Those who wish to send condolences may do so at www.danielsfuneral.com. Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801 (575) 835-1530.
Albert was born August 7, 1950 in Magdalena, NM to Jose and Teresa (Marquez) Benavidez.
He is survived by his loving mother, Teresa; his devoted children, Teresa Mann and husband, Brian; Alberta Benavidez; Angel Benavidez; and Juan Benavidez; seven grandchildren, Nicole; Destiny; Adrianna; Kaya; Joseph; Julian; and Amanda; his brothers, Tony Benavidez; Joe Benavidez; and Donnie Woodard; his sisters, Ana Acosta; and Brenda Adams; and many nieces and nephews.
Albert was a Socorro resident since 2003.
He was preceded in death by his father, his wife, Hilde Benavidez, one grandson, Juan Benavidez, his brothers, Ray Benavidez, and Thomas Gonzales, and one sister, Rosella Moya. Cremation has taken place but no formal services have been arranged at this time. Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM, 87801 (575) 835-1530.
By Margaret Wiltshire
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa. If she’s not out shopping, then she’s in the kitchen (where you should be). Things change but they don’t change. Most of the Grandmas and Great Grandmas in this country should have earned a gold watch by now. Most have spent more than 30 years making Christmas happen. Supporting the family and supporting the economy. Who do you think put the green in Black Friday anyway?
During these last thirty to sixty years, most white women worked at the bottom of the wage scale. Women of color worked for even less. Every year they found a way to make Christmas happen. They cleaned house, cooked, decorated and taught children to read.
No gold watch for them, just social security. Very little social security at that. No one gives out the statistics on how many women now are trying to live on fewer than $750 per month. That’s 750 minus more than a hundred per month for Medicare.
These women who made our economy work for the last 60 years did so in a variety of ways. One, they were cheap intelligent labor. Two, they bought things and used services. Three they worked for free raising families and in community service. In every way they are this country’s Santa.
So what did they get for Christmas? No increase in Social Security. The consumer price index didn’t rise.
Food prices are the same, right? Medicine is really cheap, right? If she’s been living and working on a tight budget, using the same car, the same appliances, the same clothes for the past 10 years or more, the replacement price she will encounter will be feasible, right? Rent, mortgage interest rates, heating, and lighting are some of the many, many things that haven’t gone up, right?
Grandma will probably find a way to do Christmas with or without the help of government.
Grandma is not the only American that our government doesn’t care about this Christmas. If you ran out of unemployment benefits a while ago, are running out of them now, or you put your health on the line cleaning up after Sept. 11, the government doesn’t care. Well, really they do, let me explain.
It’s a bipartisan movement. The Republicans are playing the abusive terrorists holding these groups hostage, and the Democrats are playing the battered spouse who won’t press charges. See, bipartisan all the way. If you say it’s wrong, they’ll call you a terrorist; and with the Patriot Act and the Obama embellishments on the Patriot Act, they can.
George Washington knew that anyone who could justify torture could justify anything. He advised we not go there. We’re there.
Here’s the really fun part. Washington says if you don’t see the value in this bipartisan movement, it’s because you are too partisan.
In the early November election we’re partisan, but in December we’re bipartisan. Get it?
The reality is that no one in Washington cares if you are a Democrat or a Republican beyond elections. Grandma, Grandpa, Sept. 11 workers, and the unemployed are Republicans and Democrats. Washington serves the “Devil” Red China and the “God” Multi-national Corporate Empire. They do it for “Glory and Gold”.
Before the Supreme Court caved, this might have been called kick-backs. Since the Supreme Court decided we don’t have illegal elections and Multi-national Corporations are citizens, everything is cool. For millions of households this winter it will be down right icy.
Why was the tax break cut off point $250,000 per year? It opened the door for screaming about small business. Loud objections and platitudes are about all small business will ever get. Why didn’t they, say, tax those earning more than a million dollars? Or even, let’s tax those who receive more than a million dollars in Christmas bonuses? Or why don’t we tax those who will save enough in taxes to buy a jet (and avoid being frisked at the air port; Grandma will be frisked)?
Do we have to take money from Grandpa and Grandma? They have paid more to the government than any generation.
It’s no secret war is not making us rich. Or even solvent. The Taliban will never be able to hurt us like our own government can. War is killing our kids by the thousands. No health care for decades killed millions, and more will die this winter. I want our kids home for Christmas, that’s homeland security. Washington can stay in Washington.
Don’t let the people in the black hats get you down, you are what America is about.
My Grandma’s Christmas Treat: Slice open pitted dates, fill with a mixture of peanut butter and honey, close date, and roll in cinnamon and sugar. She also filled dates with cream cheese or goat’s milk cheese.
By Patrick Jason Rodriguez
I wasn’t much of a reader of books between the ages of five and 17. In fact, I wasn’t much of a reader before the age of five, either. Seriously, though, it wasn’t until I reached college that I developed my current love for literature.
My favorite venue to read books has always been a bookstore, both the corporate chains and independently owned ones. I apologize if that means I have let some of you down. And that isn’t a knock on libraries, of course. My preference for bookstores has to do with these establishments allowing me to drink coffee, read a newspaper from Burlington, Vt., online, and use my mobile phone to make a call while simultaneously perusing some sort of novel (I rarely read non-fiction nowadays). There aren’t many public librarians around that don’t frown upon such activities when you’re inside a library, and I would like to see it kept that way.
Like I said, I’m not putting down libraries when I say that I prefer to read books elsewhere, or when I mention the advantages of living in the 21st century while patronizing bookstores, especially the corporate chains. Quite the contrary. I like that some many public libraries do not reek of coffee and blare saccharine pop music at an uncompromising volume. There’s indeed something wonderful about the smell of books and serenity of no music. Not even classical music, which I don’t like anyway.
The smell of books was one of the first things that I noticed upon entering the Socorro Public Library on Tuesday night. It was the library’s 86th birthday, and there was a celebration going on, including music and refreshments. It was also my first time inside this particular library. The other thing was how organized everything seemed.
Despite it being after hours, I was allowed a few minutes to snoop around the shelves, and so I went right away for the fiction area. I have always done this one test where when I enter a public library for the first time I check to see if there are any books written my favorite, P.G. Wodehouse, available on the shelves. I wasn’t disappointed, as I counted a grand total of five books written by the greatest comic writer in the English language. One of these days I am going to check out a copy of “The World of Jeeves”.
A few minutes later I was sitting down waiting for the entertainment to begin. The singing group Las Cantantes and the musical duo of Toby and Ermie Jaramillo performed well. Afterward, those in the audience were allowed to sing along to holiday classics, and I joined in even though I’m not much of a singer and normally I would rather be rebuked by a librarian than sing in public.
A woman on Proto reported at 1:12 p.m. that the suspect was highly intoxicated and became violent, destroying several items in the house. She was afraid for her safety and was arrested and booked.
An officer was dispatched at 1:20 a.m. to Walmart on a shoplifting report. The suspect was shoplifting alcohol with a 13 year-old juvenile. The suspect, who was identified on video, fled in a vehicle.
A man reported at 4 p.m. that a dog bit him on the leg while he was riding a bicycle on Cuba Rd. The office noted the dog bite. The dog’s owner was not located at the time of the report.
A vehicle was stopped at 10:30 p.m. for a traffic violation on Leroy. After being given consent to search the car, the officer located several items of drug paraphernalia. The driver was cited into court.
A suspect was discovered shoplifting at 2:20 a.m. at Walmart and detained by the staff. The subject was cited into court and released.
A woman on Channel Rd. reported at 8 a.m. that the suspect has been harassing her over the woman’s dogs killing the suspect’s chickens. No contact with suspect at time of report.
A complainant at a residence on Arroyo Dr. reported at 7:50 p.m. that the suspect struck the victim with a TV remote and also struck victim 2. He was cited into court.
A complainant reported at 9 p.m. that a man came to her house on Judith Ct. asking for another female. She stated that she did not know who he was talking about. The man then became angry and attacked her, knocking her unconscious. She described him as Hispanic with a mustache and driving a yellow pickup with a black stripe.
An officer responded at 8 p.m. to a complaint of loud noise in the 400 block of Eaton. When meeting with the suspect the officer smelled marijuana coming from the residence through the open door. The suspect turned over a pipe and small amount of marijuana to the officer. He was cited into court.
A woman at a residence in the 500 block of Highway 60 reported at 10:35 p.m. that a man battered her and broke out a window on her vehicle. She had signs of being battered. The suspect was arrested and booked into county jail. He also a pipe used to smoke marijuana on his person.
A vehicle was pulled over at 2:28 a.m. for a traffic violation in Fatima Trailer Park. The driver was given, and failed field sobriety tests. Intoxilyzer 8000 breath samples were .09 and .09 blood alcohol content. The driver was booked into county jail for DWI.
A woman on Fatima reported at 9 a.m. that a TV had been stolen from her residence. Entry into the home was through an unsecured window. No leads to any suspect at time of report.
Information for the following items was provided by the Magdalena Marshal's office.
An officer located a subject at 4 p.m. near Wells Fargo Bank who was wanted on an outstanding warrant from the Magdalena Court. The subject was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center where he bonded out.
An officer arrested a male subject at 2:50 p.m. on Highway 169 for driving on a suspended license after he was stopped for illegal wood. He was charged with the crimes and taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
An officer stopped a vehicle at 1:25 p.m. on Highway 60 where the driver was found to be driving on a suspended license. The driver also had an illegal load of wood which was confiscated by U.S. Forest Service officers. The vehicle was impounded and the subject was charged with the crimes.
An officer took a report at 5:45 p.m. of a two vehicle crash on First Street. One person was charged in the accident.
An officer arrested a minor male subject at 4 p.m. for alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and disorderly conduct on Highway 169, where there was a party involving several subjects. With assistance from a BLM officer and a U.S. Forest Service officer, four more subjects were arrested for crimes from ranging from Probation and Parole violations to drug and alcohol charges. A female was transported by ambulance from alcohol use. Charges are pending on all subjects.
An officer was called to the Family Dollar where a male subject was caught shoplifting. The subject was charged through Juvenile Probation and Parole.
An officer was called at 2:30 p.m. to a residence where a domestic was occurring. The female was taken out of the home for her safety. She was directed to El Puente in Socorro for assistance in her case.
An officer was called at 2:25 p.m. to the local market for a two vehicle crash. A report was taken.
An officer arrested a male subject at 4:40 p.m. after he was stopped by a U.S. Forest Service officer while driving on a suspended or revoked license. He was booked into the Socorro County Detention Center.
By Nancy Newberry
Transport yourself 6,000 miles due east, and where are you? You’re in the heart of Sicily. Or, you could save the trip, and walk right into Italian Buffet Fridays at the High Country Lodge in Magdalena. A little Mario Lanza coming through the speakers and the heady aroma of marinara simmering on the stove takes you deep into an Italian country kitchen, but here everyone knows your name, and you didn’t have to suffer from a Transportation Security Administration pat-down.
Chef Michael DeMaria now heads the kitchen at the High Country, and he’s bringing in a new game. He’s been cooking for 27 years in New York and New Jersey. He started as a kid plating salads, always watching what the sous chef was doing, what the chef was doing. The appetizer chef left; he moved up, and within six months, Michael was head chef at age 19, serving about 400 dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. He’s worked in Manhattan’s Little Italy; in Chambersburg, Trenton, N.J., where busy Decembers saw him serving as many as 2,500 people per day. For Michael, cooking is a pure pleasure, and he loves it: It’s all “about the creativity and making people happy with the food,” he says.
And his plans don’t stop with Italian Fridays. On Saturdays, prime rib joins other specials on the menu, and limited room service for guests at the lodge is in the works. On Tuesdays, he’ll have Chris Pino preparing Mexican dishes, and soon to come are Pizza Wednesdays, accompanied by calzones, hoagies, and even a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. A catering menu is in development, and if you need a gallon of chili or a big batch of meatballs for a party, all you need to do is call. Daily lunch specials and an expanded breakfast menu have already begun.
Everything is made fresh and healthy, with all sauces from scratch – you won’t see packages in this kitchen. Friday’s menu always includes dishes on the lighter side and vegetarian selections, and will be different every week. I have the scoop on this Friday’s menu, and I’ll share it with you: appetizers include pepperoni and cheese stuffed bread, olive salad, tomato and onion salad; featured mains will be eggplant parmesan, roast pork with port wine sauce, rigatoni with vodka sauce, and sausage with peppers and onions. Sides of string beans marinara and garlic parmesan mashers will make it hard to leave room for dessert…will it be cannoli? Zabaglione? Dessert is still a secret. My lips are sealed. Don’t even think of trying to bribe me with ricotta cheesecake.
I was in the kitchen with Mike last Friday, taking his calm, quiet direction, chopping peppers, onions, and potatoes; plating a fragile rum cake with homemade whipped cream. The week’s menu featured a surprising side dish made of cooked romaine lettuce, seasoned with garlic, salt, and pepper, and with a slight sweet note provide by raisins. Though we think of lettuce as for salad only, it is delicious and sturdy when cooked. This dish was a happy accident some years ago: the New Jersey restaurant was so busy that they ran out of every vegetable, and the only thing Mike had left in the kitchen was romaine lettuce. Into the pot it went, and people loved it. Mike never uses recipes – all these dishes come straight from memory – but I watched these vegetables come off the line, and created these recipes so that you can try some Italian at home.
Michael has been in Magdalena just more than a year, when he joined his sister Catherine of Magdalena Feed Company. So he’s still kind of the new guy in town. When you come on down to the High Country, do say hi to Mike and tell him what you think – he’s the gentle guy in the white coat who really wants you to love the food.
Details: The High Country Lodge is located on Highway 60, just west of Kelly Road, in Magdalena, and open for breakfast and lunch daily. Dinner is served between 5 and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The all you can eat Italian buffet each Friday is $12.95.
Lettuce Entertain You Italian Style
Salad no more, romaine lettuce cooks into a quick, sweet-savory side dish. Any sturdy lettuce with flavor will give you a great result: I tested it with red-tipped leaf lettuce, and it performed beautifully.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
1 large head Romaine lettuce or red leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup raisins
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the Romaine lettuce, and cook for 1 minute. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the Romaine, garlic, red pepper flakes, and raisins. Cook and stir until the Romaine is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Michael’s Roman Rosemary Roasters
Savor these tasty little red potatoes, seasoned just right and roasted to perfection with crispy skins and tender flaky centers.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
1 ½ pounds small red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss potatoes in a large bowl with the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer in a baking pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 35 minutes.
Nancy Newberry arrived in Magdalena from Seattle about a year ago, where her DIY food exploits are, while not quite legendary, pretty daring. She has worked in coffee shops and deli kitchens, cooked for camps and field trips, and worked as a site producer for the #1 Food and Entertainment website on the web, Allrecipes.com.
By Anne Sullivan
As soon as I opened the front door Sylvia, eager for dinner, rushed in only to be halted by a stack of boxes.
“Don’t knock those over,” I ordered. “Can’t you be careful?”
“Can’t you be agreeable?” Sylvia responded as she threaded her way around the boxes by going under the table which was overflowing with incoming and outgoing Christmas cards, letters and bills. “The closer it gets to Christmas, the worse it gets in this house,” she complained at the top of her lungs. “I can’t wait until December 26th.”
“Are you still in the throes of Christmas depression?” I asked.
“What? Please repeat.” Sylvia cried. “I can’t hear anything with that Christmas music blaring from the TV.”
“Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a Great Performance Christmas Concert on PBS.”
“I’d appreciate it much more if you turned it down – about 20 decibels – whatever they are. And yes, since you inquire, I’m still depressed about Christmas. After all, I am an orphan. I have no family.”
“You have me. And Gordo.”
“Yes, I do,” she said after consideration, “but at this time last year I had RingWorm and Brandy as well. That’s another thing I feel sad about. Our family is shrinking.”
“I know. I felt very sad when RingWorm disappeared but I learned it’s often what cats do when they get ready to die.”
“But RingWorm was my special friend,” Sylvia said with the usual tear in her eye. “She was the one who taught me the ropes when I came here to Swingle Canyon. And then Brandy departed from this world just after New Year’s Day. She didn’t like me much but she was still family.”
“That horse didn’t like anybody very much,” I said, “but, as you say, she was family.”
“Do you suppose that was because she didn’t like herself?”
“I imagine that could have been the reason.”
“What an unhappy way to be,” said Sylvia. “And for 33 years. It’s all so sad. I can’t bear it. There’s too much sadness to think about at this time of year. It doesn’t make sense when you have people greeting each other with ‘Merry Christmas’, singing carols ordering Joy to the World and insisting that I have a happy New Year whether I like it or not.”
“You must get ahold of yourself and chase all those blues away.”
“Thank you, Bing Crosby,” Sylvia muttered.
“What I mean is you must stop mourning what or who you don’t have, but rejoice in everything you do have. It might help if you could keep yourself busy doing things for others.”
“Like presents, I suppose. I notice you’re awfully busy with presents this Christmas season.
You’re so busy wrapping presents for all those people that you don’t have time to go for a walk with me. No wonder I feel sad.”
“It is a very busy time,” I tried to defend myself.
“I don’t see any presents for me,” Sylvia said after thoroughly smelling and pawing at all the papers and boxes on the floor.
“It’s very difficult to find a present for you. You don’t play with toys anymore and I can’t imagine you wearing a sweater.”
“Heaven forbid. Promise you won’t knit anything for me.”
“No jaunty little cap with holes for your ears?”
Those ears perked up in terror. “Oh, dear. You’re not knitting me something as a surprise, are you? I’ll leave you if you do that. If you want to give me something, anything in the food department is a good choice.”
“Even something I bake myself?”
“A not-so-good second choice.”
By Debbie Leschner
A Christmas Cantata, the Journey of Christmas, performance will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 19, inside the Quemado school gym. A community choir of 40 voices, directed by Jerry Armstrong, will sing and tell the story of the journeys made at Christmas. Richard Parker is the sound technician. Come share an evening with friends and family to celebrate the reason for Christmas.
Quemado Schools Elementary Christmas Program will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, inside the school gym. It is a Readers Theater with the subject being Christmas Carols. The presenters are the kindergarten through sixth grade classes. Mrs. Lynn Boe is the coordinator of the program. Who else but our very own area children can be sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit?
Toys for Tots Christmas Drive is being sponsored by the Western New Mexico Veterans Group of Quemado and the group led by Tony and Joan Shannon of Pie Town. This is the fourth consecutive of the toy and food drive. Last year, more than 50 local families were helped. This is a way for the community to help provide the children and families in our immediate area. Donations of food for food baskets, unwrapped toys, warm clothing such as coats, scarves, mittens and other items will be accepted. In Quemado, donations may be dropped off at the County Store and Rito Quemado Store. For Pie Town area donations, items may be dropped off at the Top of the World Store. All donations need to be dropped off before Saturday, Dec. 18. Santa Claus will be at the Veteran’s Hall to visit with the children between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22. For more information, please call the Shannons at 575-772-2528, or Rick and Sonja Sharp at 575-773-4350.
Christmas Services this year are as follows: Cowboy Church will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22. First Baptist Church will have a Candlelight service at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24. The Catholic Church will have a noon mass on Saturday, Dec 25.
Town’s Christmas Tree is lit and shines brilliantly as you drive through town at night. For those of you who missed it, there was a wonderful bonfire for roasting marshmallows while Santa presented the children with gifts, followed by caroling and some terrific refreshments. Thanks to the Quemado Fire Department for the refreshments and transporting Santa Claus, the Mojave Academy for the hot dogs, and the wonderful Christmas carols.
Quemado Senior Center pool tournament on Tuesday, Dec 21. The Center will be closed on Thursday and Friday (Dec. 23 and 24) for the Christmas holiday. Lunch for Monday – hamburger gravy over biscuits; Tuesday – pork ribs; and Wednesday – cook’s choice. All seniors are welcome. For more information, please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.
Quemado Schools will have dismissal at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, with Winter Break happening from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2.
Basketball games for the week: Saturday, Dec. 18, is Homecoming Day and begins with the Boys and Girls Junior High playing at home against Cliff at 10 a.m. Boys and Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity teams play against Mountainair at 2 p.m. The day ends with the Homecoming dance, from 8 to 11 p.m. The Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity play an away game at Magdalena at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec 21.
By Kaye Mindar
Ann Snyder is doing much better now in time for the Holidays and family after her latest fall in October. The Snyder family wishes to thank all who have helped with care and with prayers sent their way.
There are many others in our community who need your well wishes and time, especially at this time of year and as the season turns colder here in the Luna valley.
Dan and Kaye Mindar welcomed a new granddaughter on Dec. 4. Joe and Kendall Mindar of Springerville, Ariz., welcomed Aphton Bale Mindar to their brood.
Luna Volunteer Fire Department
Luna Fire District training meeting was postponed until Saturday. All members are needed to attend and there is a dire need for recruitment of new members in every capacity of service in the department. Please Contact Fire Chief Eugene Snyder for more information. Our fire department is working closely with the county to provide training for department members for them to become increasingly knowledgeable and proficient in the areas of public education, fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, rescue and other related activities. It is their mission in the coming year to provide members with the necessary equipment and supplies to safely perform their duties. New goals are being set are to develop and provide educational programs to teach our community the services that can be provided by this department; promoting the deterrence of fire through proactive measures vs. reactive service and to encourage fire safe and fire smart activities. Goals of our members to reach firefighter I level certification are a top priority. Luna is working hard to invest in its members and the rewards are ours as a community. Saturday’s training will be driver’s training and certification.
Luna Community Center
Southwest Shooting Authority who has recently moved into the Luna area is sponsoring a disaster preparedness seminar to be held at the Community Center lasting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11. Please contact Cope Reynolds for more information. There are only 150 slots available to attend this event. Concessions will be available during the day-long seminar. Be sure to visit their web site at southwestshootingauthority.com for more information and to see the many other services they provide.
Christmas Events and Services
The Alpine Presbyterian Church will be holding Christmas Eve Mass at 7 p.m., and all are invited to attend services. Flyers have been posted on the bulletin board for more information.
The Luna LDS Church is hosting the annual “Night of Sacred Music” at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. There will be special choir numbers and congregational participation. Bring your family and friends and plan on a special evening to celebrate the season.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Luna Ward is preparing to host their annual Christmas dinner and program on Friday, Dec. 17. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Please watch for more information to be posted. This is a great family activity each year bringing friends and neighbors together for the holidays.
Luna has been experiencing weather that fluctuates from the 60s in the daytime to below zero on clear nights. Prepare yourself by adding supplies to your shelves and kits, talk to your family and know how to react to different situations that might come on suddenly, be sure to check your vehicles for travel near and far and carry emergency supplies at all times, dress for the weather, layered clothing is best, and always plan for the unexpected. Remember your pets and animals need proper protection from the weather and altitude too. Have a safe season and look out for yourself, your family and your neighbors.
Quote of the week
“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”
—Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
Letters to Myscie is a true story. It reveals to us a “yankee’s” view of the area and the times, and the impact it had on new comers. —Suzanne E. Smith
A continuation of the letter from May 12, 1883
Your loving Joe
Socorro New Mexico
In my room Sunday 12 o'ck noon May 13th 1883
My dear dear Myscie
Will you tire of reading my long letters Myscie if I do write three days in succession? I hope you will not for I do not tire of writing, and I am not so happy as when I am writing or thinking of you unless it be when I am reading yours. Did Ed send you my picture during the past two weeks? You know you asked about some more in one of your letters written before I left town. I was intending to print them myself before I left, but I went so suddenly I did not have a chance and so Ed said he would print you some and sent to you after I had gone. Did he send you any? I think he must have printed some for I found one the one I have here on the table, in the show case when I came back and then one more printed when I went away. I was intending to write to mother to-day but I do not feel one bit in the mood so have given it up for to-day. At least I received a nice long letter from Mrs. Dr. Hamilton yesterday. If you see her Myscie please mention to her that I have received her letter and will answer it the first time I come in to the city again. I have no time this time for we shall start just after dinner today and it is dinner time now nearly. You may explain to her if you will please, how it is I am so far from any P.O. and then she will not think it strange at not hearing from me.
Did your mother's cactus live? They are just beginning to blossom out in the mountains and they are just beautiful. I assure you I wish I could send you some. Myscie you must not believe all you hear or all you read about the Indians out here in this country. I know the papers are full of reports and stories of the bluddy work and Eastern people think you can not safely slip out of your house down here with out being in danger of having your "scalp" lifted but believe me Myscie 9/10ths of all this talk is "bost" from beginning to end. Many of these reports are put into the papers and set in circulation for certain objects which I will explain to you some future time. When I tell you about the "Rustlers" as class dare devils who are as bad if not worse in their way than the Indians, their business is cattle stealing. To be sure, it was right in around us here where our ranches are, that the Indians did such bluddy work about one year and a half ago, but those days are all over for this section of the country and there is little or no danger from them again. So don't worry one bit Myscie for I assure you we who are here and know all about it, do not have the slightest anxiety about the matter.
It has been “rumored” that the photo of Nana was taken in the Smith Studio in the middle of the night. It makes a very good story, and if so would have been taken after 1886. Join us next week as the life of J.E. Smith as a “cowboy” unfolds even more.
Pictures (from top down): Magdalena ranch; Magdalena Mountain ranch; Nana (Warm Springs Apache leader, brother-in-law to Geronimo); J.E. Smith as cowboy.
All photos ©J.E. Smith Collection
The concert will begin with a harp solo titled A Tree in Winter performed by harpist and composer Julietta Rabens – inspired by naturalist Gene Stratton Porter who wrote:
All other trees are harps in the winter. Their trunks are the frames, their branches the strings, the winds the musicians. When the air is cold and clear, the world very white, and the harp music swelling, then the talking trees tell the strengthening, uplifting things.
Arcangelo Corelli’s most famous composition Made for the night of Christmas will be played by string orchestra with five violins (two soloists), two violas, two cellos (one soloist), string bass and harpsichord. The conductor is Andrew Saletta, director of New Mexico Tech’s orchestra.
Las Cantantes will perform Benjamin Britten carols for women’s choir and harpist. Procession is a medieval chant announcing the birth of Christ; That Yongë Child (performed by Ingrid Halverson) is a lullaby for the weeping Christ child; There is No Rose is a metaphor for Mary's womb; and This Little Babe (performed by Ingrid Halverson, Shirley Coursey and Lisa Young) portrays Christ’s battle with Satan.
The full choir will sing three carols Here We Come a Wassailing, Gabriel’s Message and Noel Noevellet composed by John Rutter for voices and small orchestra.
The full 22-piece orchestra and full choir will then perform a medley of holiday favorites: Let It Snow!, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bell Rock, Silver Bells, and Frosty the Snowman.
To finish the program, the audience will be invited to sing Christmas carols with the choir and orchestra. Everyone is invited to eat refreshments in the Parish Hall after the concert. Admission to the concert is free, and any goodwill offerings will be donated to Puerto Seguro.
Epiphany Episcopal Church is located at 908 Leroy Place in Socorro. For more information, call 575-838-7113.