Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowman On The Plaza

Amber and Brittany Nash of Socorro show off their snowman on the Plaza Wednesday Dec. 30. About two inches of the white stuff fell on the area which melted off early in the afternoon.

Photo by John Severance

OBITUARY: Dale Smith

Dale Smith
May 4, 1935 – Dec. 24, 2009

Dale M. Smith, 74, passed away Christmas Eve morning in Socorro, New Mexico, after a short bout with pneumonia. He was born in Albert City, Iowa, on May 4, 1935.
Dale was preceded in death by his father, Harold T. Smith; his mother, Edith Smith; and his brother, Harold Smith Jr.
Dale is survived by his wife of 23 years, Nancy; and son Will Smith, both of Lemitar.
Other survivors include two sons: Mark Smith and wife Debbie of San Antonio, Tex., and Gary Smith and wife Michelle of Omaha, Neb.; Four daughters: Laureen Stephenson of Council Bluffs, Ia., Dawn Cunningham and husband Paul of Omaha, Karen Curtis and husband Kevin of Lincoln, Ia., and Jackie Clark and husband Michael of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by four sisters: Carol Dyer and husband Duane of Upland, Calif., Shirley Samuels of Vallejo, Calif., Evelyn Waltenbaugh and husband Gary of Portland, Ore., and Lilly Watters and husband Curt of Santa Rosa, Calif.;
Stepchildren Rheinhold Schmitt and wife Heather of Latrobe, Penn., and Shiloh Schmitt of Greensburg, Penn.; and three grand-stepchildren.
Dale was a career serviceman in the United States Air Force, and retired after 27½ years as a Senior Master Sergeant. He served in Vietnam at Pleiku Air Base as a radio specialist.
Dale spent the last six years employed by the Mountain Mail, driving to Albuquerque every week to pick up the week’s newspaper at the printer, and bring it back to Socorro. He also delivered the paper to various locations in Socorro.
He was known by all who knew him as a warm and good-natured friend, ready to laugh and tell stories.
Dale was an avid collector of classic Hudson automobiles, and drove his ’52 Hudson in parades in Socorro and Magdalena.
He was a member of the Hudson-Essex-Terraplane national car club in the Zia Chapter, based in Albuquerque, and the Western Reserve Chapter in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
He was also a member of the Socorro Old Car Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, DAV, Retired Enlisted Association, and the Air Force Association.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Socorro. Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home in Socorro. The family asks that donations be made to the American Cancer Society

Magdalena Senior Center

Vivian Torres, Rosemary Wilburn, Benny Zamora and Arthur Cisneros of the Magdalena Senior Center enjoy some holiday cake courtesy of the Mountain Mail. Paul Gutierrez recently donated $500 to the center. Gutierrez, a Magdalena native, is the New Mexico state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Programs and the director of the association of counties.

OBITUARY: Bernold Henderson

Bernold Henderson
Feb. 14, 1929 – Dec. 21, 2009

Bernold J. "Bern" Henderson, 80, passed away On Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, in Truth Or Consequences. Bern was born in Dusty, on Feb. 14, 1929, to Bart L. and Rachel E. (Ramsey) Henderson. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Carlota (Sanchez) Henderson of Magdalena; son, T.J. Henderson of Grove City, Ohio; daughters, Terrie L. Romer of Las Cruces; and Rachel I. Buford of College Station, Texas; grandchildren, J.T. Buford; Christina I. Henderson- Jimenez; Velinda Henderson- Armijo Gonzales; 2nd Lt. B.J. Buford;Trinitty Dawn Henderson; and Cindy Mae Henderson; great grandchildren, K-Von Armijo-Jimenez; Antonio (AC) Gonzales; Zackery (ZZ) Gonzales, Anissa Denae (AD) Gonzales; and Kaya Armijo-Jimenez.
Bern served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attended New Mexico Tech, and later worked as a Maintenance Super-visor for the state highway department for 23 years. He was also a Rancher.
Bern was a member of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. He cooked BBQ for the church for 11 years and also for Old Timers in which he was a life member. He was also a life member of DAV, VFW, and American Legion. Bern was in a band and played for many functions. He was proficient with 11 different instruments. Bern loved to sing, play his fiddle and banjo, hunt, and cook.
A Rosary was recited Saturday, Dec. 26, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Magdalena with a Communion Service following with Deacon Nick Keller . Burial was in the Magdalena Cemetery. Cremation arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home in Socorro.

Electric Co-op Unveils A New Four-Year Plan

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- Richard Lopez, the engineering head and operations manager for the Socorro Electric Cooperative, along with Randall Shaw of SGS Engineering, unveiled a four-year plan for the cooperative at the Board of Trustees meeting Monday night.
“We spend money to save money,” Lopez told the trustees during a Dec. 28 meeting.
Among the highlights:
• The five-year average for system losses was 8.5 percent. The recommended Rural Utility Service guideline is 8.4 percent for a system this size.
• Power outages were 237.32 minutes per customer per year. RUSe guidelines call for 300 minutes per customer per year, according to Lopez.
• In 2007, there were 8.61 percent in losses and there is a projection for 7.9 percent for 2013 if there had been no system improvements. With the proposed improvements, those losses could be 7 percent, according to Lopez.
• The co-op is taking bids for a Quemado Substation that would involve 16 miles of transmission line from Springerville, Ariz., to the New Mexico border and then 33 miles of line to the proposed substation, Lopez said.
“If all goes well, we should be in operation by the fourth quarter of 2010,” Lopez said.
• With the proposed Quemado substation and all the improvements to the system, Lopez said the projected system load would be at 49.6 percent.
“If we didn’t do any work in the next four years, we would be at the high end of our capacity,” he said.
• Lopez and his crew continually monitor the electric poles owned by the co-op. The average life span of a light pole is 35 years but with the continued maintenance the pole has additional lifespan of 10 to 15 years. “With those winds we had earlier this month, we might have lost 20 to 25 poles if we had not done that maintenance,” he said.
• The growth rate for 2008 was 1.27 percent after it was 7.86 percent. Lopez attributed the drop to the economy and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita which escalated the cost of equipment and poles.

The co-op also announced the hiring of attorney Dennis Francis, who previously worked for the co-op between 2001-2005. And contrary to previous reports, co-op president Paul Bustamante said Francis will deal with all legal matters and the organization had just one attorney and not three.
“We wanted an attorney to attend all the meetings,” Bustamante said.
In the Nov. 16 minutes, though, a motion was made and passed to employ Joanne Aguilar to counsel the SEC on issues involving contracts, employment and regulatory matters and a second motion was made and passed to utilize the services of Paul Kennedy for matters involving redistricting, bylaw and policy issues.
Wagner said nothing has come up before the board that would involve the termination of Aguilar’s and Kennedy’s services.
Wagner also asked if Aguilar and Kennedy were on retainer. Bustamante said they were not.
The board also heard a presentation from Michael Olguin of Socorro about insurance and after a motion from District V Trustee Charlie Wagner that was seconded by Milton Ulibarri, Olguin was hired to be the agent of record for the co-op.
The AON group previously consulted the co-op on its insurance issues.
During the two-hour meeting, the co-op also went into executive session at the request of accountant Kathy Torres.
Torres said she was part of a teleconference on Dec. 18 to discuss IRS Form 990. After saying who was at the meeting, she requested the co-op go into executive session with a complaint about Wagner.
The motion was passed.
Then trustee Milton Ulibarri made a motion that the people who were asked to leave should go all the way outside (to the freezing cold) and not wait in the anteroom adjacent to the Board chamber.
As members and the media left, Bustamante asked that the three incoming trustees Donald Wollberg, Priscilla Mauldin and Luis Aguilar stay.
But two minutes later, all three newly elected trustees were standing outside.
“They changed their mind,” Wollberg said.
After 20 minutes, the board reopened the meeting with no discussion of the sex discrimination charge against Wagner.
The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12, when the three new trustees will be sworn in.

City Council Sets Fee For Water Connection Hookups

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The Socorro City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance raising water connection rates. The law sets the fees for both residential and business hookups.
The fee for a standard residential water connection will be the cost of materials and labor, plus 20 percent.
For a commercial connection, the fee will be the cost of materials and labor, plus $200.
The cost of asphalt, concrete cuts, and dewatering, if needed, also will be charged.
In a public hearing held before the vote, there were no comments from the public.
The council heard a first reading for an ordinance that will require home owners on Harold Drive, and Chaparral Loop to hook up to the city’s sewer lines. The ordinance states that if homeowners outside the city limits sign up within the next 12 months, the cost to them will be $280. After the first year, they must pay $1,000 for a connection.
For homeowners inside the city limits, the cost will be $280 during the first year; $600 the second year; and $1,000 after that.
The goal of the administration and council is that all residences and businesses within 100 feet of sewer lines to be on the wastewater system.
In other business:
The Council passed an ordinance to approved a bond measure to help pay for a wastewater project. The total cost of the project is $1.2 million. The city’s matching amount is $132,000, which will be fulfilled after 40 monthly payments of $5,400.

Christmas Food Drive

Bags were set up for the Toby Jaramillo Food Drive that was on Dec. 23 at the San Miguel Parish Center.

Photo by John Severance

2009: Co-op Elections; Warriors

by John Severance

2009 was quite a year and probably one Mountain Mail readers will not forget for a long time.
The Mountain Mail staff completed an informal survey and came up with the top stories of the year.
The top five stories were:

1. Three District III incumbents getting voted out of the Socorro Electric Co-op Board elections.
2. The Socorro High School football team advancing to the state final.
3. The Mountain Mail folding but not for long.
4. Heroin/drug overdoses in Socorro and Magdalena.
5. National Guard Deployment to Iraq.

Other stories that garnered strong consideration were the Magdalena girls basketball team advancing to the state final, the opening of the Alamo Mini-Mart, the Bataan Death March Veterans Reunion, the stranded Albuquerque television crew in the San Mateo Mountains and the pay raises for Socorro’s Mayor and City Councilors.
Here is a brief recap of the top five stories.

Socorro Co-op Elections
In the Oct. 8 issue, all three reform candidates were victorious in the Socorro Electric Cooperative’s District III election in Socorro on Saturday night. Running for re-election were long time board members Harold Baca, Juan Gonzales and Herman Romero. Donald Wolberg, Priscilla Mauldin and Luis Aguilar won four-year terms on the board.
Mauldin had the widest margin with 59 percent of the vote in her race with Gonzales, who had served as co-op trustee for nine terms. District III covers the city of Socorro, and is represented by six SEC Board members.

Socorro football
In the Dec. 10 issue, the Warriors did all they could Saturday Dec. 2 in the state championship game against Lovington. It just wasn’t quite enough as Lovington escaped with a 28-21 victory to claim its 16th Class AAA state title.
“I am proud of the kids,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said. “They played with a lot of effort and passion. They played hard and that was our goal. We just made too many mistakes to be a good team like that. People thought it was not going to be close.”
But it was -- it was extremely close. Check out the stats: Lovington held a 357-341 advantage in yards and a 17-16 margin in first downs. The key for the Warriors is that they were able to run the football as they gained 326 yards on the ground. “We got in a groove on offense,” Ocampo said. “We did a good job blocking up front and our running backs ran really hard.” The team had the total support of the community and brought Socorro together.

Mountain Mail
Also in the Oct. 8 issue, three weeks after announcing it was closing its doors, the Mountain Mail newspaper is resuming publication – under new local management and ownership. Jaracienda LLC, of Socorro, purchased the newspaper as a subsidiary after publisher Thomas Guengerich ceased publication.
Guengerich cited in the Sept. 10 issue that advertising had fallen, even though readership remained strong. Jaracienda LLC is owned by the family of Socorro’s Tony Jaramillo.
Overseeing the day to day operations as business manager and general public relations will be Gary Jaramillo, who said, “We are committed to continue the fair, impartial and factual reporting that has earned the Mountain Mail its respect among readers.”

Heroin/Drug overdoses
This issue was the most tragic of 2009. There were numerous heroin and other drug busts, and two young people died because of overdoses.
It’s still a huge problem and one that is not easily solved.

National Guard Deployment
A crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered at Socorro’s Plaza Park on June 10, to meet and show support for members of the 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, formerly headquartered at the National Guard Armory on Highway 60.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter Commander Peter Romero opened the program from the park’s gazebo by directing the 515th’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ken Nava, to “bring in your troops.”
Led by SSgt. Pedro Guerrero and Spc. Gilbert Murrillo, carrying the battalion’s battle flag and guidon, the soldiers marched between lines of residents displaying homemade signs of support and holding up small American flags.

OBITUARY: Andres Vallejos

Andres Vallejos
Oct. 11, 1928 – Dec. 26, 2009

Andres Vallejos, 81, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 26, at home in Socorro. Andres was born to Andres L. Vallejos Sr. and Vivianita (Padilla) Vallejos in Polvadera, on Oct. 11, 1928.
Andres worked as a Mining Supervisor with Southwest American Minerals until he retired. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Orfelita"Fela" Vallejos of Socorro; sons, Mike L. Vallejos and wife, Marie Valles of Socorro; and Tony D. Vallejos of San Francisco, Calif.; daughters, Charlene V. Montoya and husband, Lonnie of Polvadera; Berlinda A. Vallejos and husband, William Dias of Las Vegas, Nev.; and Cora J. Tracy and husband, John also of Las Vegas; brothers, Raymond Vallejos and wife, Sefie of Socorro; Johnny Vallejos of Socorro; Manuel Vallejos of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; and Jimmy Vallejos and wife, Mary also of Socorro; sisters, Christina Garcia and husband, Joe of Taos; Susie Clubb of Kansas; and Della Celetano and husband, Joe of Riverside, Calif.; sister-in-law, Lupe Vallejos; 17 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Andres is preceded in death by sons, Jerry Vallejos; Ronnie Vallejos; and Andy Vallejos III; daughter, Cora Jean Vallejos; brother, Isidro Vallejos; and sister, Josie Healy.
A Communion Mass is being celebrated on Thursday, December 31 at 11 a.m. at San Lorenzo Catholic Church in Polvadera with Deacon Mike Ybarra officiating.
Burial will take place in the Polvadera Cemetery. Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, Socorro.


Mrs. Finch, 81, a long time resident of Luna, Reserve and Silver City, passed away Monday, Dec. 14, 2009, in Redmond, Wash. , after a long battle with cancer.
She is survived by daughter Norma and husband, Leonard Emerson, and daughter Barbara and husband, Ricky Durham of Washington, daughter Brenda and husband, Robert Stabler of Kansas; and son, Roy Finch and wife, Donna of Texas; nine grandchildren: Terzah and husband Randy Farley of Texas, Donna and husband Matt Landes, Carol and husband Aaron Barnett and Christina Stabler all of Kansas, Sean and Rachel Durham of Washington, Matthew Maul, Amy and husband Michael Henderson of Texas, and Sarah Maul of Kentucky; Five great grandchildren in Kansas and five in Texas. Three Sister-in-laws: Jewell Derrick and Velma Russell of New Mexico and Josephine Skaggs of Texas; very dear cousins, Ramah and husband Johnnie Shaw of Nevada, Mary Pat Lansing and her brother Paul Lansing and wife Brownie of Arizona, Annell and husband Jim Bacon of Oregon, and numerous nieces, nephews, and too many dear friends to list here.
She was an active member of the Church of Christ in Reserve, and loved to study the Bible. She worked alongside her husband in the mines, operating a hoist, on the property they leased in Piños Altos.
She was an organizer and was always working to make her home more livable. She loved working with tools for carpentry projects and learned to work on vehicles when needed. She liked hunting for rocks and pine nuts with her mother and grandmother. She learned to use a chain saw from her husband and would gather her own firewood.
She enjoyed music and especially enjoyed traveling. She appreciated all types of scenery and would take many pictures. She was a genealogy expert for her family and her husband’s and created photo albums for each ancestral line for any family member who wanted one.
She enjoyed working with her two computers and would play solitaire for many hours and kept the ‘books’ for her congregation.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John J. Finch, mother, Mildred McAllister and son, Stanley Finch. Memorial services in Reserve will be set at a later date. She will be buried next to her husband and son in the Reserve Cemetery. Honorary pall bearers will be: Van Coleman and Jeff Turner of Silver City, Tom Caddel of Santa Clara, Charlie McCarty, Dave Land, Rick Johnson and Earl Pitt of Reserve, Mark White, and Tom Collins of Arizona and Edwin Carlisle of Texas.

OPINION: A Look On The Bright Side

Magdalena Potluck
by Don Wiltshire

I’m often accused of being just too up-beat, too positive and just too darn happy. I never saw the point in hanging around a situation that was negative, stressful or, heaven forbid, “awkward.” So, I set about to write a new year’s column that would bring a ray of hope and encouragement to those of us living in the high desert plains. My train-wreck of thought started out something like this:
The Ultra-Rich CEO’s of the now Multi-National Corporations have seen fit, in their infinite wisdom, to relocate all of our manufacturing jobs to countries other than ours. It just makes common sense: cheaper labor + fewer emission standards = cheaper product production costs = higher profit margins.
This, of course, translates into lower prices for us, back here in the USA: “Save Money, Live Better.” There is one small flaw in this way of thinking: without jobs, how can we afford all of this stuff?
The big, really creative corporations can wave their magic wands and actually “create” vast sums of money. “Quantitative easing”, “derivatives” and “speculative trading” are some of the magic words used with the wands (think Enron).
You and I, having no wands or magic words, are stuck making our dollars the old fashioned way: one-at-a-time.
I’m so old now that I can remember when the USA used to produce lots of good stuff: textiles, clothing, shoes, electronic gear, even light bulbs. Just about the only things that we seem to be exporting now are military armaments and soy beans.
Looking for “good news” to ring in the new year, I stumbled upon which ranks countries by many categories. That site gets most of its information from (believe it or not) the CIA World Factbook (more of your tax dollars at work). There is a wealth of information here. Shop around; I’m sure you can find information that will curl your toenails and keep you up long into the night. Some of their ranking methods are strange and unexplained but let’s, for now, take them at face value:
For example, even though we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, in a 1997 study “Health Performance” we’re ranked # 72, right down there with Argentina and Bhutan. Top honors go to Ornan (where the hell is Ornan?), Malta, Italy and France. Cuba clocks in at No. 36. One can only hope that the Senate/House “compromise” Health Bill will boost our ratings a smidgen.
Our prison population tops the charts at 2,186,230. That’s 738 people behind bars for every 100,000 of us. China comes in at No. 87 with only 1,548,498 people locked up. That represents only 118 for every 100,000 Chinese citizens. The least incarcerated rate goes to Nepal ranked at # 155 with only 26 “baddies” per 100,000 Nepalize.
It’s no surprise that the US ranks No. 1 in a 1993 study of “Gun Ownership” with 39 percent of our households owning a firearm. The Netherlands was the lowest in this study with only 1.9 percent of their population packing heat.
May I have the envelope please with the 2007 Global Peace Index? That category ranks countries who are “most at peace or driving for peace.” And we clock in at: No. 96, right between Iran and Yemen! Top honors went to Norway, New Zealand and Denmark.
As far as “Privacy” goes, if you scroll down 38 countries on the list, you’ll find us tied with Thailand for the No. 13 slot.
It’s not always good to be at the top of a list. In the 2009 “Unemployment” category, Nauru, Liberia and Zimbabwe take top honors with 80 – 90 percent of their population unemployed. The US ranks No. 71 at 7.2 percent (seems low, doesn’t it?) right there between Pakistan and Armenia. Monaco and Andorra tied for the 122nd slot at 0 percent unemployment.
So where is all of this “good news” that I promised? Well, here in Socorro and Catron Counties, we don’t have religious wars or race riots, we’re not worried about rising sea levels and we pretty much do what we want.
We don’t think much about terrorism except when UNM stages a training exercise in our back alleys. We can fairly well take care of ourselves, grow our own food, create our own jobs and ignore the rest of this crazy world. Leave us alone, don’t take our water, don’t raise our taxes and we’ll get along just fine.

If you have any Comments? Problems? Solutions? Up coming Events? Good News? Contact me at or (575) 854-3370.

EDITORIAL: Socorro Co-op Continues To Play By Own Rules

by John Severance, Editor

Monday night was further proof that the Socorro Electric Co-op board makes up its own rules as it goes along.
Roberts Rules of Order?
Apparently, the co-op has never heard of it. Well, it might have heard of it but it certainly does not abide by it.
First off, how can an accountant call for an executive session?
Well, that’s what happened Monday night when co-op accountant Kathy Torres called for it to discuss a complaint against trustee Charlie Wagner.
I can understand if the new attorney Dennis Francis had requested it, but an accountant?
Last week’s meeting also went into executive session to discuss the co-op’s attorney situation.
The co-op never called the meeting back into regular session and the media and members standing outside only knew it was over when trustee Harold Baca walked out of the building.
In most other meetings, the board makes a motion to go back into regular session. Then the chairman of the board is supposed to announce what was discussed in executive session.
After last week’s meeting, Wagner walked out and told the media that a motion had passed to hire an attorney.
That, however, was not Wagner’s duty. That should have been the duty of the president of the board.
During Monday night’s meeting, trustee president Paul Bustamante then told Wagner that he would face disciplinary action for telling the newspapers about what was discussed in executive session.
I’m thinking Wagner was just helping out the trustee president.
One other issue is troublesome.
Three new trustees – Donald Wolberg, Priscilla Mauldin and Luis Aguilar – have been treated unfairly. None of them were notified of a special meeting last week to discuss the attorney situation. And none of them were allowed to attend the last two times the board went into executive session. They were standing outside in the freezing cold with the other members and media in attendance.
One would think the board would show some common courtesy.
While on the subject of new trustees, why does it take so LONG for them to take office? They were elected back in October. The board may be wise to look into this policy but I am sure they won’t.
I could go on and on and on.
But it’s not going to matter.
The board makes up its own rules, does not follow its own bylaws and is not accountable to anybody or anything.
And that’s too bad.

Smart guy
Richard Lopez is a really smart guy. And the Socorro Electric Cooperative is very lucky to have him as an employee.
Lopez is the engineering and operations manager for the co-op and he is the one who keeps the business running on all cylinders.
Lopez is smart, though, because he totally stays out of all the turmoil that surrounds the co-op board and he is the one responsible for everybody having electricity in this area.
If the co-op had 11 people like Lopez on its board, the community would be a much happier place.

Sad loss
The Mountain Mail lost a member of its family on Dec. 24 when Dale Smith died unexpectedly because of complications rising from pneumonia.
Dale worked for the newspaper for six years as a driver. He was a great guy and our condolences go out to his family.

OPINION: A Sneak Peek Into A Possible Cheney Administration

Leftist Drivel
by Paul Krza

The year is 2013, one year into the new Cheney administration. Dick is on the radio, chatting with his most understanding pal in the media, Rush Limbaugh, about Dick’s newly launched effort to spy on and round up “dissidents” who have been out in the streets opposing health care repeal, a new draft and cuts in Social Security.
“I know this is tough,” Limbaugh says. “But with those idiots and liars out there, the last thing we want is to let them regain power.”
An unlikely fairy tale? Needless worry about the future? Perhaps, but after living with a party in power that gave us Nixon, Reagan and Bush – Watergate break-ins, lies, Iran-Contra and loads of fear – it’s a depressingly plausible scenario.
How could this happen?
One, the guys on the right and in D.C. continue to pound away on the airwaves, raising fears about communists in the government anxious to strip wealth from hard-working regular folk and hand it out to those lazy welfare-cheating bastards and illegals, all aimed at bankrupting the good ol’ USA.
And two, when the Democrats and others who in 2008 lined up behind Barack Obama stay at home next time around, dismayed that he hasn’t whipped out quick miracles to stop war, brought prosperity and fixed all the other evils that confront the country.
It’s the second element that concerns me most. The spewing and foaming right, on its own could self-destruct into its vortex of hate and intolerance. But aided and abetted by a slew of Obama no-shows, it might just develop into a viable alternative for people hungry for real action.
The time is here, I think, for some perspective. Obama is no miracle-maker – he never was. In fact, it was right-radio that tagged him as “the messiah” during the campaign. When the messiah doesn’t do miracles, then, well, he’s a failure.
And on the left, there’s understandable dismay, mostly over Obama’s disconcerting plans to escalate, rather than quickly end, the war in Afghanistan . He was a peace candidate, folks will remind us, when he ran for office.
Then there’s the economy. On the left, the worry is that he’s loaded up his economic team with too many Wall-Streeters and wheeler-dealers.
My view: Obama ain’t perfect, but he’s more than the best that we can get. He’s a smart, savvy guy who knows what’s going on and is doing what he can with what he got handed and with the world as it is, not as we would ideally like to see it. And he will be there in the coming years, in that spot of premium power, when the big deals, the major crises and the decisive decisions go down. He will be the kind of person we will be glad is in charge at those yet unknown but key times.
Perhaps we have already forgotten that sense of relief, when no longer was Bush (or Cheney) in charge. That feeling alone should pump us up for another four years with Barrack at the helm, steering us further from
the international shoot-first Bush/ Cheney doctrine and wild-eyed capitalism responsible for our economic malaise.
How likely is a Cheney run? Recently, Newsweek’s editor, Jon Meacham, was actually suggesting he should, saying it would give the country a dramatic choice between two distinct philosophies. Trouble is, we’ve already had a big dose of Dick (Cheney). Peace in our time? It’s certainly not going to happen with Cheney in the captain’s chair, that’s for sure.
No, Obama is not the lesser of two evils. And, yes, it does make a big difference who is president. So mark your calendars now: Obama in 2012.

Enchantment endearment
There’s also a load of dismay these days in New Mexico over Bill Richardson, a lot even coming from Democrats.
Well, Bill is no angel – in fact, he’s abrasive, domineering, egotistical and impatient. Still, my gut feeling is that he’s not a crook. He’s simply not the kind of guy who would steal public money, like, say, Manny Aragon.
In his zeal to get things done, people he employed may have cut corners, or worse, saw opportunities to line their pockets. If that happened, these scoundrels should be punished.
But let’s at least pause to rightfully give him big credit for the groundbreaking stuff he’s done for New Mexico – the Railrunner, Spaceport and film industry. On those counts alone, he’s a big-time history maker.
Sure, he spent some bucks, those tight-fisted Republicans whine. But like with Obama, let’s remember their last guy – Gary Johnson, a nice enough fellow with some good ideas but somebody who didn’t do much for the state.
It reminds me of the hospital in the town where I once lived. Critics complaining of lousy care were told, hey, we’re the lowest-cost hospital in the region. Translation: Cheap, and dangerous. Sometimes you have to dig deep to get things moving. Bill did, and we should thank him for it, no matter what comes down the indictment pike.

Mr. Krza's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

OPINION: How Do You Teach Resourcefulness?

The Right Emphasis
by Doug May

As we begin a new decade it is good to take a glance backward to see what lessons we learned in the past that might help us to meet the challenges of the future. We look back to an ancient era before duct tape. During the World War II, farm boys drafted into the army confirmed their worth by putting together damaged military equipment with bailing wire. Their resourcefulness surprised many and saved numerous disastrous situations.
I believe that all of us are going to need to be more resourceful in the years to come. Webster defines resourceful as being “able to deal creatively and effectively with problems, difficulties, etc.” There are very few critics of this virtue. And yet, we don’t hear talk about encouraging, praising or teaching it.
When a difficulty presents itself it seems that the tendency is to organize, protest and try to force someone else to help us. Not only is the process of organizing and protesting a drain on our resources, but it seldom brings the results we had hoped for. And even when some help does come it is often at the expense of higher taxes and more regulations. We don’t need more activists. We need common sense and resourceful people.
The proposed health care legislation is not promoting resourcefulness. It is forcing employers to pay for health care insurance. There is no value in having employers involved providing health care insurance. They should pay decent wages, but the responsibility for health care is with each individual. Then, when a worker changes jobs he does not have to worry about getting new insurance that is often hindered by preexisting conditions. We need to provide information so the individual can set up a health-savings plan and catastrophic health insurance. If he could pay cash for doctor visits and medications the cost of these services would come down dramatically.
The prevailing attitude among our political leaders is that the individual cannot take care of himself. It is true that we all need more help in doing a better job of taking care of ourselves. Maybe we should promote resourcefulness.
The government seems to be doing just the opposite. For example, many schools have a goodly number of children coming to school without having eaten breakfast. The administration feels that they would learn more if they had breakfast. So the schools provides breakfast for the children. Did it solve the problem? No, the problem is bigger than we thought, for many workers, including teachers, come to work without having eaten a good breakfast. Does it effect their ability to work or teach?
The solution is teaching families, and not all of them are poor, the importance of good nutrition. And when the income is low it becomes doubly important to be resourceful, to be “able to deal creatively and effectively with problems, difficulties, etc.” I can hear some saying, “It will never work and some people will suffer.” It is true, some will suffer. Some of the most valuable things I have learned came from the consequences of my not planning for the future. It is unfortunate that we have to learn from our mistakes. Most people learn after being arrested for DWI, unfortunately some do not. However, the efforts to reduce DWIs are helping.
How do we teach resourcefulness? First we recognize its value, we call attention to it and we praise it. And in some cases we reward it. At this point we need legislation that encourages resourcefulness. People who learn to be more resourceful are more positive and happier.

Doug May is a retired Lutheran pastor and his views do not necessarily represent the Mountain Mail.

Message To Our Mountain Mail Friends

From The Publisher

First, let all of us here at the Mountain Mail thank every business, school, residence and government office in Socorro and Catron Counties for choosing our newspaper to advertise and announce family events and important issues in your lives for the last 30 years.
We also want to thank you for buying and reading the Mountain Mail throughout the years and letting us be a part of your families.
The Mountain Mail invites all Socorro and Catron County businesses to call 575-838-5555 and ask about our low cost advertising.
We understand that times are tough and we’re all in this together. We just want all of our fellow business associates to get through this economic challenge as safely and as financially sound as possible.
We’re willing to adjust and help so that your business can continue to advertise in an affordable fashion and still continue to pay your employees and keep your business moving until we all get through these rough times.
The Mountain Mail and its staff know that advertising is an important part of doing business, and like you, we want to be able to work through this, and we promise to be by your side and help in any way we can.
We’re a local small community newspaper that really cares about our neighbors and we want to see everyone come out of the current economic situation stronger and even more determined than ever.
Our advertising prices will continue to be fair and lower than any of our competitors.
We’re a phone call away and we’re ready to stand by you and your business for as long as it takes. If you need us to come and sit with you and work on any aspect of your annual advertising ideas, we’d be honored to do that at your convenience. Together, we can work it all out, and together we’ll all be just fine.
We wish every business, their families and our neighbors from across the vast Socorro and Catron Counties A HAPPY NEW YEAR FILLED WITH GOOD HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY!
Our Mountain Mail Management and Staff.

Disillusioned By Politics

by Anne Sullivan

“Bah, humbug,” said Sylvia when I opened the door to let her in.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, shivering in the brisk air of the two-degree morning.
Sylvia didn’t answer, just scowled as she wiped her paws on the doorway rug. She shook herself spraying snow and mud across the living room , trudged to her indoor bed and plopped down.
“Whatever’s the matter?” I repeated. “Are you grouchy from eating too many Christmas sweets or because you have to make a New Year’s resolution and don’t know what?”
.”None of the above,” she replied. “I know exactly what I want to resolve.”
“And that is?”
“I resolve never to be in charge of any organization involving mice again.”
“Is it the Moushelter that’s getting you down?” I asked, sitting in my comfortable chair to await the sad tale.
“It certainly is,” she said with enormous emphasis. “Here I gave those mice the perfect home with more facilities and comforts than they ever had before and all they do is fight and complain.”
“I’m afraid that’s human, and probably mouse, nature.”
“I will never get mixed up with mice again,” Sylvia sat up in bed and declared with a resounding thump of the tail. “Out of the goodness of my heart I slaved to create superior accommodations for those rodents and it’s completely unappreciated.”
“Face it, Sylvia, your motives weren’t as pristine as you claim,” I challenged her. “You built the Moushelter to get the mice out of our house.”
“Nevertheless, I designed it and I built it and I lost a good deal of sleep in the process.” She whimpered at the memory. “The least they could do is to like it.”
“What are they complaining about?”
“Everything: the accommodations, no bus service, no comfortable chairs in the library, the lack of dairy products, the exercise room, the food, but mostly their neighbors. The Jones mice don’t like being billeted next to the Smith mice. They say the Smith babies squeak constantly. Some of the mice want a more varied diet. Some of them even miss their servings of DeCon. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Every morning they’re lined up outside my office shouting their complaints when I arrive for work.”
“What are you going to do about it?” I asked.
“I don’t know what to do short of shooting the whole lot of them. If I rule in favor of one family of mice, all the others complain loudly and vociferously. I’m just one dog. I can’t solve all their stupid problems.” With that she turned her back to me and pretended to sleep.
After a few minutes during which her sniffing disturbed my reading of the paper, I tried again, saying, “You have now discovered the first secret of leadership: to wit, you can’t solve most problems and you aren’t going to please everybody or, indeed, hardly anybody.”
“So what can I do?” she raised her head to ask. “I tell you, they’re going to drive me crazy. I can scarcely sleep at night.”
“Funny, you manage to snore a great many hours during the night. However, as far as this problem is concerned, you could suggest that the mice elect a Board of Directors and let them fight it out among themselves.”
“You mean like the electric co-op?”
“Perhaps more civilized than that.”
“Like the Senate and the House of Representatives?”
“Like that, but again, more civilized.”
“Hmm.” She considered. “Do these boards actually come together and accomplish something?”
“Sometimes,” I answered. “It can be done. At the very least, they’re out of your hair for a little while and you can have some peace. Then, when fighting amongst themselves is at its worst, you come up with the solution you favor and they’ll probably jump at it just to get it off their desks and onto yours.”
“Does President Obama know about this strategy?”
“I’ll bet almost anything he does. Just wait and see.”
Sylvia gave a long sigh and said, “I’ll give it a try. For 2010 I resolve to let things at the Moushelter take their course without interference until they come begging and then I’ll tell them I won’t help unless they promise to abide by my ruling.”
“Very good, chief. Would you like to wish a Happy New Year to Gordo and the mice and all the citizens of Catron and Socorro Counties?”
“Sure. Why not?”

Wishing Everybody A Happy New Year

Luna News
by Kaye Mindar

Amidst a daily dose of depressing news on television, searching the Internet, and sometimes among our own families, we must step back at the beginning of this New Year and reflect on how far we have actually come. Looking at the larger historical picture gives eye-opening perspectives that offer hope - and providing stronger inspiration for the new year. In these days, with all of the gloom and doom, it should be obvious that we need mega-doses of the above. We can do it.
Luna Visitors
Luna received a beautiful white Christmas this year although there were a few uninvited guests this holiday season. Temperatures reached as low as minus 10 down by the river after the skies cleared. Patti Swapp finally got her cast off which was a blessing after suffering for so long with the inconvenience. Susie Ley brought home a nasty cold from visiting family and friends in Northern New Mexico, and I spent a seven hour visit in the emergency room in Springerville, Ariz., on Saturday for a pinched nerve - only to come home to hold a grandbaby with a fever spiking.
Here in Luna, we take the good ahead of the bad and see the blessings shine forth. I believe it is in our pioneer spirit and never taking for granted the thankfulness for what we enjoy so greatly above the trials.
Holiday Travelers
After being able to visit her son for Thanksgiving, Tana Muldoon was able to spend Christmas with Ella Hutchinson. Visits far and near always mean so much. Grace Derrick was surrounded by family with children, extended grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The Richard Nicolds family had
a traditional Christmas in Snowflake, Ariz., with their daughter Rebecca, who made enough of her infamous tamales to feed the entire family. We can’t mention everyone, of course we’ll forget someone, but we hope everyone’s travels and holidays were all they hoped for and full of love, peace and safe travels.
Preparedness Corner
Besides good nutrition, regular exercise and restful sleep play major roles in naturally preventing the problem of winter infections. Don't forget the importance of healthy, normal bacteria in your digestive system. Did you know that Vitamin D3 is a very important weapon to keep in your cold-weather medicine chest? Many rely solely on vitamin C complexes, but we must not discount the benefits in D3 complexes, which include a special form of good bacteria for digestion. They are listed under probiotics and keep the immune system working at its peak, suppressing many harmful bacteria, yeast, and viruses. It seems we fight a never ending battle to stay healthy these days, and cold and flu season are once again coming into play in the months ahead.
Quote of the Week
“People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”


Trustees Select Wehrheim as Reserve Mayor

By Richard Torres
For the Mountain Mail

RESERVE -- Connie Wehrheim, Mayor Pro Tem of the Village of Reserve, was selected by the Village Trustees to be the new mayor at a special meeting held on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Wehrheim told the audience of approximately 30 citizens that she was honored to be Mayor.
Village Trustees then appointed Richard Torres as the new trustee, and as the new Mayor Pro Tem.
Both were sworn into office by Municipal Clerk Kathy Harris.
Photo: Ed Wehrheim observes as wife Connie Wehrheim is sworn in as the new Mayor of Reserve by clerk Kathy Harris.

London Frontier Theatre To Enter 15th Year

London Frontier Theatre Company has become a respected fixture in Magdalena, and will be entering its 15th year of producing original plays, performed by local residents.
Theatre Director Donna Todd has announced that for the 2010 season LFTC will do fewer plays but longer runs, giving casts and crews more rehearsal time to reach higher artisitic standards, and giving audiences not only finer productions but more performance dates on which to see them.
“This season we’ll return to Lost Wife Creek for at least two shows,” Todd said in a press release. “We – and our audiences – have missed the Aragons and the Trotters, who came to life in 2001 in The Luck of Lost Wife Creek.”
For those unfamiliar with Lost Wife Creek, the series is set in Depression-era 1930’s rural New Mexico. Roosevelt’s New Deal has begun and the cast of characters share in dreams of lost gold, stardom in “talkies,” and a Spanish land grant. The realities they face include drought, a ne’er do well son, and a decrepit old flivver. Each episode of the series is a complete play.
Todd said “we’ll also be promoting ‘Lost Wife Creek’ for public television. We believe it can, and will, find its place as a television series, and attract –as it has in our theatre over the years – a large and devoted audience.
“It’s not today’s typical TV fare, with its harking back to early live-television days,” she said. “But we believe that the humor, character development, history, and immediacy of presentation will create a following in much the way ‘Lake Woebegon’ has on radio. Viewer identification, and nostalgia for a lifestyle that, while difficult, is remembered as solid and enduring. And its extreme relevance to today’s hard times.”

Warriors Garner All-State Recognition

Charlie Savedra and Allen Gonzales were named first team all-state on offense and defense by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association recently.
The Warriors were well represented as Savedra made the team as a running back and a linebacker and Allen Gonzales made the team on the offensive line and defensive line.
Andrew Contreras made first team on the offensive line and Jose Alvarado was a first-team linebacker selection.
Warriors on the second team included Alvarado at tight end/slot and kick returner, and Zach Esquivel in the secondary.
Warriors on honorable mention included Esquivel at wide receiver, James Thornton at kick returner and the secondary.
Socorro made it to the state championship game where it fell to Lovington 28-21. The Warriors finished with a 10-4 record.

Lady Warriors Win Title

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

It was early Dec. 24 when the Lady Warriors returned home to Socorro. They were an extremely tired but an excited group after capturing the three-day Ben Lujan Tournament in Pojoaque.
In the finals, Socorro defeated Class 4A and fifth-ranked Espanola 54-50 to win the title for the first time since 2005. The Lady Warriors reached the finals by routing Pojoaque 56-35 in a semifinal matchup, marking the second time in two weeks they had downed the Elkettes. In the semis, Roxanne Silva had 24 points and Kianna Gonzales added 15, with four three-pointers. Brittany McDaniel added 13 points.
In the championship game against Espanola (9-3), Socorro (6-3) got off to a slow start but still managed a 10-10 tie after the first quarter. Silva got hot in the second quarter, scoring 12 points to the lead the Lady Warriors to a 29-22 halftime margin.
“We knew we were going to get off to a slow start,” Socorro coach Joseph Garcia said, “because the girls had been at the gym since noon, eight hours waiting.”
In the third quarter, Socorro had some untimely turnovers that led to easy baskets for Espanola, which took a 38-37 lead into the fourth quarter.
Espnaola built its lead in the fourth, extending the margin to seven points with 1:47 left.
Trailing by seven, Jaden Jones grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball in with 1:28 left. Silva stole the ball and passed to Tristen Peralta, who found Samantha Sedillo for a layup.
Trailing by three points, Socorro got the ball back and Jones passed the ball to Gonzales, who hit a three-pointer with 59 seconds left. The three was Gonzales’ only points of the night and Socorro’s only three-pointer.
Socorro again regained possession and Silva put a shot that missed. Silva, though, grabbed her own rebound and scored on the putback for a 52-50 lead with 21 seconds left.
McDaniel then made a steal and passed to Sedillo for a layup with two seconds left to ice the game for the Warriors.
It was an especially sweet win for the Warriors because the game was played in front of a predominately Espanola crowd. “Our girls played real well for the whole tournament,” Garcia said.
Silva had 27 points in the title game and Jones added 13. Jones, McDaniel and Silva made the all-tournament team.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Toys From Cops To Tots

Socorro City Police delivered hundreds of toys to needy children Tuesday afternoon as part of the annual Toys From Cops To Tots campaign. Capt. Angel Garcia (right) said the department looks forward to giving back to the community every year. “We want the kids to know the police officers are here for them. All the time. Not just at Christmas,” Garcia said. “If they ever need help with any need, they shouldn’t hesitate to come to us.” Santa’s helpers also pictured (from left): Chris Carrejo, Dominique Montano, Amanda Gallegos, and Cailey Montano.

Bhasker: Socorro In Revenue Bind

By John Larson
Mountain Mail

SOCORRO - A radical drop in gross receipts tax has put the City of Socorro in a spending bind, according to comments made by Mayor Dr. Ravi Bhasker at Monday night’s city council meeting.
Bhasker said the drop was about $100,000, which the city had earmarked for retention pay for police officers, firefighters, and EMTs.
“This represents about a three million dollars drop in business,” Bhasker said. “Most comes from construction, but it also comes from retail sales.”
The proposed plan calls for adjustments in the payment of police officers, based on merit. It does not affect their basic salaries.
Merit pay will be based on time on the force, and satisfactory evaluations, and is needed to prevent a high turnover of employees, Bhasker said.
The resolution states that annual retention pay increments begin after an officer has been employed for three complete calendar years.
Those who have been on
the police force for three years
will receive an extra $50 per pay period.
After completing six years, an officer will get an extra $75 per pay period.
After completing nine years, there will be an extra $100 per pay period.
Merit pay for firefighters/ EMTs will be based on standby shift duty, certification level, and years in service. Their extra pay ranges from $120 to $180 per standby shift.
Bhasker advised the council that the resolutions not be considered until the Jan. 18 council meeting.
“I’m not opposed to the resolution, but just to making sure we have the money,” he said.
The Retention Pay resolution was based an average of GRT funds coming in December over the past five years.
“We have been very optimistic in the past,” Bhasker said. “But now we need to wait to commit ourselves until we know we have the funds.”
He said he will contact the Department of Finance and Administration. “The Tax and Revenue Department has no transparency,” Bhasker said. “We need to investigate how it dropped that much. It represents about a $3 million drop in business, sales, and construction.”
He said if “[gross receipts tax] continues to fall, I can offer some alternatives to the retention pay.”
The expected December GRT payment is from October revenues, said Councilor Donald Monette..
“What’s down is construction. Actually retail sales were up a little in October,” Monette said. “We’re now trying to get an answer from the DFA.”
Councilor Michael Olguin Jr. suggested that if the Retention Pay resolution is passed in January, that it could be worded so that the merit pay is retroactive to Jan. 1.
Other city workers receive bonus pay every year – designated salary adjustments – that is meted out over a three-month period.

Electric Co-op Hires Attorney Number Three

By John Severance
Mountain Mail

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Electric Co-op called an emergency meeting Monday night and what it discussed was not entirely clear.
Trustee president Paul Bustamante called the meeting to order and Leroy Anaya moved that the co-op go straight into executive session to discuss attorneys for the co-op. The motion was immediately seconded by Herman Romero.
Trustee Charlie Wagner said, “Can we discuss this?”
Anaya responded, “It’s a personnel matter. It’s cut and dry.”
Wagner then asked, “Do we have an attorney?”
Bustamante said, “I don’t know. That’s why we are going to executive session.”
About a dozen people left the proceeding, including three incoming Trustees who were elected in October but will not take office until Jan. 1.
People gathered outside the closed door. Then co-op general manager Polo Pineda came out the door and said, “They instructed me to tell you to go all the way outside.”
One of the trustees then yelled, “Tell them to get the hell out.”
Outside, Donald Wolberg, who will be a Trustee on Jan. 1 along with Priscilla Mauldin and Luis Aguilar, was visibly upset.
“It irritates me greatly,” Wolberg said. “This is an open personnel matter.”
Wolberg made a plea to members to attend the general meeting next year.
“The annual meeting is going to be important,” Wolberg said. “It is vital for the public to show up because there are some important resolutions that have to be discussed.”
Wolberg and the two other incoming Trustees were not informed of the meeting and have been kept in the dark about the co-op’s business.
“It’s just a matter of common courtesy,” Wolberg said.
Fifteen minutes later, trustee Harold Baca walked out of the meeting.
Wagner then came out and said, “They are supposed to tell you that they are out of executive session. They passed a motion to hire another attorney.”
When asked who it was, Wagner said, “It’s a secret.”
That means the co-op now will have the services of three attorneys.
The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 28 and the new attorney is scheduled to be present.
One mystery was solved, though. According to the minutes of the Nov. 16 meeting, the board adjourned to executive session at the request of attorney Joanne Aguilar. That was the meeting that the Socorro police were called to because of an altercation between Wagner and Wade.
When the board returned to regular session, a motion was made and seconded to employ Aguilar as counsel for the SEC on issues involving contracts, employment and regulatory matters. A motion was made and passed to utilize the services of Paul Kennedy for matters involving redistricting, bylaw and policy issues.

Two Socorroans Rope Way To $20,000

By John Larson
Mountain Mail

SOCORRO – Coming in at tenth place in the World Series of Team Roping is no easy feat, and garnered two Socorroans $20,000.
Dawn Tarpley and Leon Mounyo had an outstanding four round average of 39.03, only .04 second behind the ninth-place team.
The event was held Dec. 12 in the sports arena at South Post Casino and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
They began intensive practice sessions on their technique in October, getting ready for the competition.
“We’ve actually been practicing together for a total of about five years, on and off,” Tarpley said. “Leon is great at being both header and heeler, so he could go either way. I’m good as a header, but not a heeler.
“There’s a handicap in roping. The scale goes from one to 10, with 10 being the best and one being a novice. I am at a four level, “an upper novice,” and Leon is a six. Together we entered as a number 10 team,” she said.
Tarpley was born in Socorro, but was raised on a cattle ranch in Clayton.
After graduating from West Texas State, she worked as a scientist at Sandia Labs, but has always been involved on some level in rodeo activities except actual participation. She moved back to Socorro five years ago from Edgewood. “I didn’t start roping, or any kind of rodeoing, until I was 38 years old” she said.
Tarpley currently works at KMXQ radio, but is also known to many locals as a member of the band, The Westerners.
Mounyo has been roping as far back as he can remember while growing up on his family’s ranch in eastern Socorro County.
“[To be good at it] you have to practice a lot. You have to consider all the variables in team roping,” Mounyo said. “You have to know how your horse is working, make sure your horse in working good.”
He said during competition anything can go wrong.
“The variables include the speed of the calf. The length of its horns. Whether it’s going to the left or to the right,” Mounyo said. “We drew four good ones this time. I had a good win during the State Fair in August,” he said.
After splitting the $20,000 with Tarpley, Mounyo has brought his total winnings for 2009 to $28,000.
The team plans on qualifying for next year’s World Series of Roping. “I want to thank all of our sponsors,” Tarpley said. “Especially the Golden Spur Saloon in Magdalena. Darrel Pettis has been extra supportive of both my roping, and of my band, The Westerners.”

Local Masonic Lodge Makes $600 Donation To New Mexico Boys Ranch

By John Larson
Mountain Mail

SOCORRO – The Socorro Masonic Lodge has donated $600 to the New Mexico Boys Ranch in Bernardo.
Lodge Secretary, Gary Stendahl, said he and Representative Don Tripp presented the check to Boys Ranch Director Mike Kull at the facility Thursday, Dec. 10.
“Our lodge has tried from time to time to give money and help them out,” Stendahl said. “Money we can raise is matched by the Masonic Charities Foundation.”
“We try to real hard to be a part of the state and the local community, too,” Kull told the Mountain Mail. “Socorro is part of our community. We take the kids down there from time to time. We appreciate that support from Socorro. It means a lot to us.”
He said that Boys Ranch is not supported by the government, and relies on individual donations.
“We learned long ago that government money is very unstable money. You may get funding but that funding could be cut off,” Kull said.” The thing that makes us unique is that we don’t accept any government funding. It is supported totally by private funding.”
“We have people all the time asking us to teach them how we do that,” he said. “Rather than rely on one source of money, you could say we have thousands of sources – people, businesses, and organizations that contribute what they can. They have kept us going for 65 years.”
The ranch receives about 75 percent of its funding through individual donations, and 25 percent from civic organizations and clubs.
He said Boys Ranch provides young men with a complete education through high school, in a constructive and supportive environment.
“Most are really behind in school. We’ve also found that kids who grow up in poverty are afraid of college,” Kull said. “We have some take college courses while still in school, and as kids leave we help them get into college.”
The ranch uses a family-style living approach which helps them learn how to function as family members and develop healthy peer relationships.
“Each boy lives in a cottage with nine other boys and a married couple called Resident Advisors,” Kull said. “We don’t want anyone to replace their real families. The resident advisors are more like coaches, and take care to ensure the boys don’t worry about divided loyalties.”
“One of the biggest problems in a children’s institution like this is older kids doing something inappropriate to younger kids,” he said. “At Boys Ranch, we have a counselor the younger boys can talk to, who can take care of the situation without the older boy knowing who ‘snitched’.”
The typical resident is of junior high or high school age and lives at Boys Ranch about two and a half years, and all boys participate voluntarily.
“We have no gates. No fences. We tell them if they don’t want to come they don’t have to come,” Kull said. “If they want to come, they have to make a commitment to work on their issues.
“They are kids that for some reason cannot be at home, whether it be that their parent have been incarcerated, or there’s an alcohol or drug abuse problem at home,” he said. “A lot come to us through CYFD, which licenses us. They are recommended to us by the courts, parents, grandparents, a teacher, or church. When a child cannot live at home for whatever reason we take that child on a 24 hour basis.
“Our first goal is to get kids back home if we can,” Kull said.
Although a percentage of the alumni need additional counseling through a program in Albuquer-que, or continue on to a co-ed independent-living program at an affiliated ranch in Clovis, Kull said there are many success stories in the facility’s 65 year history.
“We had a young man who came to the ranch at five years old. He went through and graduated from high school, and continued on to college, getting his Bachelor’s degree,” he said. “He became a banker and worked for a national financial institution a number of years. Then came back, and is now president of New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation.”

Singing Principal Of The Alamo

By Nathalie Nance
For the Mountain Mail

Before you have even had a chance to get a glimpse of the man, you will probably have heard him sing, because Dr. James Garcia, the new principal of the Alamo Navajo School, is not shy to let his baritone be heard, be it in the church choir in Socorro, in the corridor at work or on the phone with a reporter. Just like in a musical, as soon as he talks about something which reminds him of a song - off he goes.
Ever since Garcia was raised by his likewise musical mother in the little, but multicultural (the neighbor was Italian, the store keeper Polish etc), coal mining town of Trinidad, Colorado, music, languages and a curiosity for different cultures have played an essential part in his life.
“If you learn the language, you learn the heart of a culture” says Garcia, and adds that he sees himself just as much as a learner as a teacher. Consequently, as soon as he started working at the Alamo in early November, Garcia also started taking classes in Diné.
“It is very musical and a beautiful language.” says Garcia enthusiastically.
His academic achievements include a doctor’s degree in Administration and he is a senior professor of English. He is a Master Teacher from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in English, social studies, modern classical languages and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). During his career he has worked with students from all over the world, but he spent many years teaching in Pecos, Española and Gallina, and he considers himself a native of the Hispanic culture of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Even so, he thinks that the Navajo and the Hispanic cultures are very closely intertwined. Besides academic leadership for the Alamo, Garcia would like to promote cultural awareness.
“I want all our kids to learn to read, to do mathematics and to learn about the world”, says Garcia, “but also to maintain their Diné self and be proud of it.”

Holidays Definitely A Time For Reflection

From The Publisher

As the year draws closer to an end, we all reflect on the wonders and sorrows that we have experienced. Some families have lost a loved one and others, many more. One neighbor may have lost a parent and some parents have lost a child.
My family lost a brother one year and a sister the next, on the same month almost to the hour. We lost our brother and sister and my parents lost two children. We’re not special, it happens to other families in bigger numbers and more frequently each year. Whether it’s one parent or both, one child or more, the devastation is complete and always the same.
When all hope seems lost, especially around this time of year when we ask why and we all grieve our lost loves, something special always happens. A tiny hand to hold or a little coo from a newborn baby seems to be the cure, at least for those more desperate moments when we are hurting the most. It seems that an instant healing in our hearts, minds and souls takes place when we hold a newborn or see that little boy or girl peek at us from around the corner, then smile and run away giggling.
As delicate as we really are deep inside, we try all year to be strong and strive to understand through our different faiths why these things happen and constantly ask for strength from whatever higher being we believe in. I believe that our answers come everyday in the form of brand new babies in each family. No matter our sorrow, no matter our doubt, the face of a sweet child in our lives seems to comfort and lighten our darkest hours.
This Christmas, and every Christmas to come, always remember those that we have lost, and those very special moments that we shared. Then, look down upon your family’s future smiling up at you. Grab them and squeeze them - and live. What an extraordinary gift!

Merry Christmas Socorro,
Gary Jaramillo

OPINION: We Are The Children

Magdalena Potluck
By Don and Margaret WIltshire

We are all the children of God, according to the child whose birthday we celebrate on the holiday called Christmas. What ever your spiritual beliefs, the child is always our salvation. Biology itself attests that having been a child and having children is important if we wish to exist at all.
Many of us are familiar with news stories of abuse, neglect and sexual assault of our young. Maybe you have wondered what is going wrong.
Was there any time in history where many children were not abused much of the time. In the western world with 2000 to 6000 so years of religious history, you might think that would be possible.
Possible maybe, but it didn’t happen. People of the bronze age thought, just like many in Soccorro County today, think they “own” their children and can do, therefore, whatever they like. Generation after generation of abuse occurs and is occurring.
Some people knew they didn’t “own” their children. Their children were a gift of life and as parents, their responsibility.
Responsibility is not ownership. Marriage licenses and birth certificates are not deeds of ownership today. Those documents today are contracts of shared responsibility, not ownership.
In this country, the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was organized before there was a formal organization to protect children. The first president of the SPCA, Henry Bergh, did play a major role in changing conditions for children. This according to the text Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect by Cynthia Crosson-Tower.
This author relates the story of a child, Mary Ellen Wilson, and even shows before and after photos of this child. Mary Ellen was the illegitimate child of a woman’s first husband. Mary Ellen continued to live with this woman when her father died and the wife remarried.
Neighbors had often seen Mary Ellen locked out of the house, shivering on the door step. What drove them to take action, were the screams coming from Mary Ellen when she was being beaten with a leather strap, inside the house. They contacted a church worker Etta Wheeler and she contacted Henry Bergh of the SPCA.
Attorney Elbridge Gerry, a friend of Bergh, prosecuted the case. The “mother” got a year of hard labor in prison. Mary Ellen was placed in the Sheltering Arms Children’s home. The before picture shows a badly bruised, skinny and sad bare foot child. The after photo is a smiling, healthy looking and well dressed child.
Elbridge Gerry, attorney, went on to help found in 1875 the SPCC, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. 1875 is not that long ago. Sexual child assault and abuse only really started to be studied in the mid 1970s.
Life is hard. That is a fact that in this country we like to ignore, until we can’t. However, life is hard, for everyone. Surviving hardship makes people stronger? Possibly.
The child that endures assault of any kind in their childhood may survive, may be stronger. However, thriving and becoming the best they could be, is much more difficult. Often such people may want, with great motivation, to make things better for their children but don’t have a clue how to do that.
We are suppose to represent our parents, our first teachers and to identify with them. All too often the abused child does.
“Spare the rod, spoil the child”, is a bronze age expression. Written when horse power meant horse power and most people walked. You’d think we’d be smarter now.
In a world where we pretend life is lollipops and roses, we often bribe our children. Now that is a spoiler. We are teaching corruption.
No matter how old and worn we become, that child we are, resides in us. Value that child, value all the children. That is your future and that is our future.

So, do you have any Comments? Problems? Solutions? Up coming Events? Cheaper Flomax? Contact me at or (575) 854-3370.

OPINION: Rugby Faces Its Brave New World

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

Rugby Union Football is getting a lot of attention these days. At least by U.S. standards. In October it was announced the popular seven-man version of rugby is to be reinstated to Olympic status in Rio de Janiero in 2016. Two weeks ago, Clint Eastwood's film Invictus, portraying Nelson Mandela's complex relationship with South African rugby during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, premiered in mainstream theaters across the U.S. And last week a Wall Street Journal article titled What Rugby Taught BofA’s Moynihan features the playing career of the former Brown and Yale man freshly appointed CEO of Bank of America. What remains to be seen is how rugby survives its current form of success.
For those of us intimately involved with rugby in the United States, such widespread exposure would seem to be a dream coming true. Ever since men’s and then women’s rugby exploded on American campuses in the 1960s and -70s after decades of hiatus, we have dreamed and strived for a time when all Americans with an appreciation of sport - whether male or female, player or spectator - would have exposure to “the game they play in heaven.” Once they did, millions of Americans would, like us, become “hooked” - if not through actually playing the game, then by its fascinating spectacle and culture.
I use the term “sport” to specify athletic endeavor with an intent beyond simply winning, what you might call an ethic. For me, rugby has always embodied both a fiercely competitive contest and the maintenance of a kind of sportsmanship arising from self-discipline and respect for one’s opponent. Indeed, a sport so largely defined by physical confrontation could only survive with this understanding, jealously guarded and passed on by elders of the sport for over 180 years.
From the origins of organized rugby among upper-class students in 1820s England, the first article in rugby union’s law book has been a declaration of strict amateurism. No one - players, coaches, officials, or even those who wrote of their exploits in the game, were allowed to accept any compensation. Undoubtedly the policy originally served upper-class gatekeepers’ desires to bar those without the luxury of leisure time, yet in more recent years it was also seen as a way to ward off the win-at-all-costs attitude that was criticized in other sports - notably Rugby League, a version that went its separate, professional, way in the 1890s.
But rugby did not exist in a vacuum. As the “free trade” economic theories of University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman gained influence in Washington and were spread throughout the world via neoliberal trade policy, powerful pressures developed for rugby to go pro. In Friedman’s brave new world, profit-taking became its own justification, and concentrated capital went on the prowl for new cash cows. As government spending for public services like local sports councils was cut around the world, athletic clubs of all stripes went on the block or passed into memory.
At the same time, top Rugby Union players began to jump ship to collect Rugby League salaries, and under-the-table payments to prevent the drain from Union increased. Finally, the all-too-obvious spectacle of “shamateurism” became too much, and Rugby Union’s international governing body officially allowed open professionalism in 1995.
Thus has modern rugby provided a unique and fascinating laboratory for the effects of professionalism on sport - for those with an eye for such things.
I played in both of rugby’s eras, taking up the oval ball in 1972 and hanging up my boots (unofficially, mind you) in 2000. While I won’t claim my playing abilities rose to a level that would warrant a salary in a major rugby country, I sampled the game in six other countries and have for eleven years been employed as a collegiate coach. Prior to this I played the American version of rugby, gridiron football, into college.
In my opinion the most corrosive effects of sports professionalism are on display in American football. At the highest level of play, the National Football League, the game has nearly ceased being sport at all, existing instead as a hyper-promoted shell for the televised marketing of consumer goods. This model, and more importantly, the win-at-all-costs business mentality that pervades it, exists with few modifications at the collegiate and even high school levels. Most sadly, it is not uncommon to witness pee wee grade players being berated by coaches and parents.
Professional rugby has begun to exhibit some of these traits, as wealthy owners and business professionals have moved in to acquire “properties” groaning under the weight of player contracts, increased travel costs, and professional staffs. Once-modest ticket prices have multiplied to a challenging level even as hallowed stadiums long associated with storied rugby clubs increasingly adopt corporate names. Injury rates have increased alarmingly due to the increased size and strength of athletes able to train full time, coupled with a new fascination with “the big hit,” imported directly from the American game. Player burnout is a major problem as owners seek to milk their “assets” for more profit.
Of all the many changes professionalism has brought to rugby, it is the attitudinal shifts which warrant closest scrutiny, since we know these are projected to younger players.
While I am not suggesting the genie of professionalism can or should be put back in rugby’s bottle, it is that institution long known as “the thinking man’s game” which offers the last best example of integrity in sport.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, coaches rugby and administers club sports at New Mexico Tech. Reach him at

Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.


Holiday Music

New Moon Gallery made a celebration out of its seasonal closing with food and entertainment Saturday, with a Winter Solstice party featuring music from Magdalena folk singer Kim Dommer. She is a therapist with a PhD in Metaphysics and Doctor of Divinity, and has been writing and performing her own songs since 1970. Dommer also is an accomplished artist who has her paintings shown in exhibits in Socorro, Albuquerque, Magdalena, Chicago, Illinois, and numerous locations in Wisconsin and Michigan. As a therapist, she has had extensive experience in enlightening and helping heal others through imagery and art by means of lecture, counsel, journey, spiritual healing and exhibit. Also pictured (far right) is Frank Titus and Fancher Gotesky.

OPINION: Why Are The Christians Celebrating?

The Right Emphasis
By Doug May

Christmas time is the most profitable business season of the year. Many stores will gross more than 25 percent of their yearly business in less than 5 weeks. How did the business world establish such a profitable bonanza?
It started many years ago with Christians celebrating in their churches and in their homes with worship, much singing, festive meals and gift giving. It was a ready made, natural situation for the businesses that gladly joined the merry making with enthusiasm. Today this commercial Christmas is understood by everyone, but few really know why the Christians are celebrating.
The celebration centers around the birth of a boy named Jesus. This boy was a descendent of an ancient king of Israel named David who reigned 1,000 years earlier. David was the greatest king of Israel, a godly man, but not without sin. Israel prospered mightily under his leadership. In the generations following his reign the nation was split by rebellion, declined and eventually was completely destroyed by foreign powers and the people taken into captivity. But God in His mercy promised to send a descendent of David whose kingdom would never end. There were numerous promises from God about the coming Messiah or Christ. From the time of Jesus’ birth until now people have celebrated the coming of Jesus as the promised Christ. The night that Jesus was born God’s message was “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” God demonstrated that He has not forgotten His people. Christians cherish God’s faithfulness and take His promises seriously.
God had told Joseph, Mary’s husband, that her son should be called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins. Sin is an offense against God and something that incurs God’s anger. To be delivered from the wrath of God is no small thing. Christians rejoice in the forgiveness Jesus earned for all people and they celebrate His coming.
Sin is more than disobedience, sin is the corruption of man’s human nature. All mankind is self-centered and desires things that are evil. Our evil desires are partially controlled by civil laws, public opinion and the Holy Spirit. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to free us from the complete control of the devil and our sinful nature. Through Christ’s forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit Christ defeats the forces that would destroy us. Although we will always struggle against temptations and evil desires Christ has insured our final victory. The gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus brings makes a person a child of God and an heir of eternal life. Physical death is not the end, but the doorway to heaven. Christians rejoice in the hope of eternal life and celebrate Jesus’ birth.
All these blessings that Jesus accomplishes for sinners are possible because Jesus is true man and true God. He had no earthly father, but Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. He has a human nature and a divine nature. Christians celebrate the incarnation of the Son of God. There is no greater event in the history of God’s creation. Jesus’ coming is a gift from God the Father and a demonstration of His love for His creation. Jesus is also called Immanuel, which means God with us.
Christians are happy to see others being kind toward one another and giving gifts, especially to those in need. But their real joy comes as they celebrate God’s mercy and love toward all mankind demonstrated by the incarnation of the Son of God.

Doug May is a retired Lutheran pastor and his views do not necessarily represent the Mountain Mail.

Sylvia Celebrates Christmas

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia dashed up the porch steps shouting, ”It’s done! It’s finished! Isn’t that wonderful!”
I opened the front door to ask, ”What’s done? And what’s wonderful?”
“The Moushelter,” said Sylvia, pushing her way into the living room, shedding snow and dirt in equal amounts on the newly-swept floor. “It’s ready for occupancy. And it’s before Christmas.”
“That is indeed wonderful news,” I acceded. “You’ve been working very hard. Now you’ll be able to relax a little before Christmas.”
“I can’t relax yet,” she cried as she raced into the kitchen. “I’ve got to get the mice resettled first.”
“How do you figure to do that?” I asked, handing her a small Iams biscuit.
“After a great deal of thought,” Sylvia began, taking a pompous stance, “I now know how to do it. It’s Christmas. We’ll invite all the mice with their belongings to the Moushelter’s Multi-Purpose room for a Christmas performance.”
“That sounds like a good idea. What’s the performance to be?”
“The Mouse King. It’s a very popular seasonal performance. You might know it as The Nutcracker.”
“Ah, yes.”
“The mice will all want to come for the performance, seeing as it’s about a mouse that’s king. We’ll have a bit of jolly cider and a Christmas dinner afterwards and they’ll be happy to stay.” She grinned at the thought. “I need to work on the apartment assignments now if you’ll lend me some paper and a pen.”
After grabbing the proffered paper and pen, Sylvia stretched out on the rug, pen in mouth, to think while I once more relaxed into the softness of my comfortable chair.
I must have dozed off for the next thing I knew, Sylvia jumped up on me, shouting, “There, it’s. done and I’m totally tired. I’ve got it all figured out and on paper. All the mice who lived in your bedroom have apartments in Pod A; those from the living room are in Pod B and those from the Guest Bedroom share Pod C with the kitchen mice. It’s all very logical. You see, they already know each other so they’ll be able to get along.”
“One hopes,” I said.
Sylvia ignored me and went on, “I must say, I’m exhausted with all this thinking. A little Christmas cheer would go a long way towards renewing my spirits.”
“I bet it would and it will come after you’ve figured out how to transport the mice from the house.”
“That’s already in the works,” Sylvia replied. “Hear that banging? That’s Gordo making a sleigh. The plan is to put all the mice and all their belongings in the sleigh on Christmas Eve and transport them up the hill to the Moushelter.”
“Who is going to pull the sleigh?” I asked with a sense of dread.
“Not you. Don’t worry. You’re too old. Brandy’s going to pull the sleigh.”
“Does she know about this?”
“Not exactly,” said Sylvia, “but she knows about the performance and the meal and she’s anxious to come to that. She told me she’s never been invited to a play before. As long as she’s going, she might as well pull a sleigh. I think she’ll enjoy it.”
“Let’s hope so. Who’s cooking the meal and what are you having?”
“Gordo and I are supervising the chef we’ve hired to cook for the Moushelter. He used to cook at a fancy restaurant in Albuquerque. The entrée will be a hearty helping of peanut butter ringed by a wreath of crackers followed by a delicate compote of American cheese. And we’ll have mulled cider to drink after the performance. We’ll have some hay for Brandy and some chocolate for you. It will be the biggest event of the year for Swingle Canyon and every mouse will be dying for an invitation. Do you know what would make it even bigger and better?”
I bit. “What?”
“If everybody who reads this column would come and have good cheer and peace with the mice and the rest of the world and celebrate Christmas and the opening of the Moushelter with us,” Sylvia said, adding, “They could bring their own food.”

Enjoy Each Day To The Fullest

Luna News
by Kaye Mindar

I hate to confess, but this year finds me once again awake in the early hours of the morning; by the fire and Christmas tree. I suppose I would not be my mother’s daughter if I did not still have presents to sew and gifts to wrap closing in on the countdown to Christmas morning. I have been taught to enjoy each day – each moment - to its fullest, even if the dishes and laundry waits for another hour.
There is a song on the radio that harmonizes the words “A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year… I hope it’s a good one without any fear.” At first I wondered how strange to say the word “fear,” then I realized that fear is probably second only to love as the strongest of human emotion. We all have to overcome fear to ever get anything or anywhere in this life. We may never have gone on to higher education, loved, married, had children, gained a career, moved, or made any other decision without first overcoming a fear. We also may be held back by fear to forgive or ask forgiveness, to teach, to stand up for our beliefs or to allow ourselves to love life and live it to its fullest. So my holiday wish for you once again is: have a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. I hope it’s a good one, without any fear.

Christmas Dinner
Santa made it to Luna safely last Friday evening after a wonderful dinner at the Luna L.D.S. Church and greeted both children and adults with Christmas spirit and good cheer. Many thanks go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Luna Ward and to Idonna Bradford and all who helped make the evening go so well.

Food Bank Boxes
Another special recognition of thanks goes out to Keith and Jamie Spiller and Ali Gray who work so diligently each month in organizing and making sure so many families of our community have the extra food they need with commodities from the New Mexico food bank. Keith and Jamie went the extra holiday mile and delivered many boxes to homes themselves last Friday evening.

Preparedness Corner
During this holiday season please take care to remember the 10 rules of safe food handling:
• Rub-a-Dub-Dub: Always wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
• 2-Hour Rule: Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours. Do not leave them sitting out at room temperature.
• Thaw Law: Always thaw food in the refrigerator. Never defrost food at room temperature on the countertop.
• Temperature's Rising: Cook food to the proper internal temperature and check for doneness with a thermometer.
• Cutting Edge Clean: Wash cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water after food preparation, especially after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood. Sanitize cutting boards and counters with a dilute bleach solution - Add 2/3 cup bleach to a gallon of water; put in a spray bottle for easy use.
• Raw Deal: Never place food on the same plate or cutting board that previously held raw meat, poultry or seafood unless the cutting board has been thoroughly washed.
• The Eyes Have It: Use visual signs of doneness when a thermometer is not used:
Steam rises from food.
Clear juices run from meat and poultry, not pink.
Pork, veal and poultry are white inside, not pink or red.
Shellfish is opaque and fish flakes easily with a fork.
Egg yolks are firm, not runny, and egg whites are opaque.
• Bottom Line: Store raw meat, poultry and seafood tightly wrapped on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. This prevents the raw juices from dripping on other food.
•Mindful Marinating: Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not on the countertop. Discard leftover marinades that have been used with raw meat, poultry or seafood.
• Towel Turnover: Replace and wash dish towels and sponges often to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria throughout the kitchen. Use paper towels to dry washed hands after handling raw foods.

Quote of the Week
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt creep in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Reserve Mayor Resigns Post

By Richard Torres
for the Mountain Mail

RESERVE -- Village of Reserve Mayor Gregg Baca submitted his resignation to the Board of Trustees last Wednesday, Dec. 16. Citing personal reasons, his request was effective immediately. The Board of Trustees will fill this position at a special meeting to take place on Tuesday, Dec.22.
Also, a quorum of Reserve Drainage Committee members has elected Bob Caylor as spokesperson. The eleven community members of the committee will address the drainage concerns in the Village of Reserve. Caylor will then give a report to the Reserve Trustees and submit its findings to the Mayor.

Silva Breaks Scoring Mark

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

Senior Roxanne Silva became Socorro’s all-time leading scorer and broke another school mark when she scored 38 points in a 67-44 win against Taos in the first round of the Ben Lujan Tournament in Pojoaque Monday.
Silva broke the record previously held by Audra Major, who scored 2,240 points in her career. Silva also broke the school steal record which was previously held by Renee Gallegos, who had 339.
Silva added 10 rebounds and six steals in the win against Taos. Socorro played in the semifinal of the Lujan Tournament against host Pojoaque.
“The press worked good,” Socorro coach Joseph Garcia said. “Just 15 turnovers and we shot 48 percent from the field.”
Within the span of four days last week, Socorro found out how it stacked up against the top teams in Class AAA.
On Dec. 15, the Lady Warriors lost to second-ranked West Las Vegas 53-43, but on Dec. 18, Socorro, behind 35 points from Silva, rolled past defending Class AAA state champion Pojoaque 61-48 on the Elkettes’ home floor.
“Pojoaque, the last four years, has pressed us like crazy, causing havoc with us,” Garcia said. “We did it to them finally. We were pressing the heck out of them.
“Tristan Peralta made a key steal in the first quarter going in for a layup. They were flustered for most of the game. Our press worked.”
Socorro led Pojoaque 32-17 at halftime and never looked back.
The Elkettes made a run in the fourth quarter but Socorro answered with a 7-0 run to put the game away.
Silva was helped offensively by Jaden Jones, who had 10 points. All-state guard Dionne Montoya had 13 for the Elks.
“We only had 16 turnovers compared to 41 against West Las Vegas,” Garcia said. “We shot 51 percent from the field. Obviously, not turning it over and having a good shooting percentage, being aggressive the whole game were all keys to winning the game.”
Pojoaque Valley coach Lanse Carter said the Elkettes could not contain Silva.
"We had a hard time defending her," Carter told the Santa Fe New Mexican. "Unless you put more than one player on her, she's going to hurt you."

Socorro Boys Start off Season With 1-5 Record

By Michael Olguin
For the Mountain Mail

SOCORRO -- At first glance, a 1-5 start for the Socorro Warriors Boys’ basketball team might seem a little lopsided. However two losses have come against fourth and fifth ranked 4A teams and two losses came at the hands of third and fourth ranked 3A teams.
Games against quality teams may be very beneficial for the young Warriors as they progress throughout the season. Socorro has been in a situation to win in each of those games but turnovers continue to the thorn in the Warriors’ side.
Socorro lost to the third-ranked 3A St. Michael’s Horsemen on Friday night in Santa Fe followed by a loss to the fourth-ranked 4A Los Alamos Hilltoppers on Monday night in the first round of the Ben Lujan Tournament.
After the conclusion on the Ben Lujan Tournament, Socorro will kick off 2010 with six straight road games. The first game of the road trip will be against Tularosa on January 2, 2010. The Warriors will not see their home court until January 16.
In Santa Fe on Friday night, Socorro looked to have cured their turnover blues during the first half of the matchup.
Socorro was leading by seven at one point in the second quarter before the Horsemen (4-2) went on a 9-2 run to close out the half tying the game at 31.
“We were tied at halftime, we only had four turnovers in the first half,” head coach Lawrence Baca said. “Then we had 12 turnovers in the third quarter and ended up with 23 for the game.”
Those 12 turnovers in the third quarter allowed the Horsemen to go on a quick 6-0 run to start the third quarter and finished the quarter with a 10-0 run to give St. Michael’s a comfortable 52-36 lead going into the final period.
The Horsemen maintained their lead throughout the fourth quarter and went on to win 69-46.
According to Baca the Horsemen shot a remarkable 79% from the floor.
Junior Jared Marquez led the Warrior offense with 14 points followed by Junior Zach Esquivel with 13.
Monday night’s game against the Hilltoppers proved once again that the Warriors are capable of competing with some of the top teams in the state. One major challenge for the Warriors was trying to find a way to contain 6”11” Alex Kirk.
“We played a zone the whole game and put a man in front and back of him (Kirk) and held him to 19 points,” said Baca.
The Warriors were able to hold Kirk to just 6 of his 19 points in the first half which kept the Warriors within reach down 27-20 at halftime.
According to JV coach Robert Mata, the Warriors found themselves down by three points with 30 seconds left in the game and the ball for an inbounds play. Socorro ran a play which resulted in a Warrior turnover and sealed the win for the Hilltoppers 48-43.
“This was one of the best games we played so far,” said Baca. “Overall we had a good game. ”