Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mountain Mail Returns

By John Larson
SOCORRO – 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 remains 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.” 
“Our primary focus will be to expand on the great community style that has always made the Mountain Mail a local favorite,” Jaramillo said. “We’re absolutely positive that this newspaper is the premiere genuine article when it comes to community newspapers in New Mexico. Its history and the many years of hard work and love put into it by previous owners, and wonderful dedicated employees, is why we are so very proud to have the privilege of keeping the Mountain Mail torch lit for all of the loyal supporters in Socorro and Catron counties.”
He said nearly all the popular features and columns will continue, with some possible new additions, geared specifically to the Socorro region.
“We are very interested in adding a Spanish language section as soon as possible and believe it will be a popular addition,” Jaramillo said. “We’ll also be adding a weekly television guide for our specific area, along with a column from award winning journalist and columnist M.J. Wilde, offering a light-hearted view and critique of movies and television shows.”
Jaramillo said another goal is to expand coverage on “local family life stories, experiences, adventures, and accomplishments from every walk of life in the wonderful communities that make the Mountain Mail a part of their lives.”
“Our philosophy is that if you keep things simple – honest – and always keep your word, everything seems to fall into place quite nicely,” Jaramillo said. “Any and all ideas from readers will be greatly appreciated and we would love to hear from our loyal readers any time. We’re so very happy to be your new newspaper neighbors.”
All previous subscribers will be credited for any issues missed and all paid subscriptions will be honored.
The newspaper, originally known as the Magdalena Mountain Mail, was first published in 1980. Valley Independent Publishing purchased the newspaper in 2002.
The new telephone number for the Mountain Mail is 575-838-5555. The fax number is 838-2808.

Challengers Sweep Electric Co-op Voting In Socorro

By John Larson
SOCORRO – 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 longtime 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.
“As the results were announced, the crowded meeting hall started screaming and made enough noise to rock the building,” co-op member Charlene Wagner said.

Position 1
Don Wolberg 303
Harold Baca 278

Position 2
Priscilla Mauldin 347
Juan Gonzales 234

Position 3
Luis Aguilar 319
Herman Romero 267

District V will be holding an election of one board member Saturday, Oct. 10, in Magdalena in the Parish Hall of St. Mary Magdalena Church.
District V covers the largest area served by Socorro Electric Cooperative including Magdalena, Datil, Pie Town, Quemado, and Fence Lake, and is represented by two trustees – Jack Bruton of Datil and Charlie Wagner of Magdalena.
Wagner will be running for re-election against Godin “Dean” Otero of Magdalena, and Clark Bishop of Datil. Bruton’s seat is not up for election.
Saturday’s election starts at 4 p.m., with registration and voting, followed by a business meeting at 7 p.m.

Councilor Injured In Traffic Wreck

By John Larson
SOCORRO – Socorro City Councilor Gordy Hicks is under observation at UNM Hospital after suffering a broken leg and ribs in a traffic accident at the intersection of Frontage Road and Memory Lane Monday morning.
Hicks, riding his 2007 Yamaha Star motorcycle, was struck by a car driven by Shawn Gonzales, 19, of Socorro, who was cited for failure to yield.
Det. Richard Lopez of the Socorro City Police said Hicks was southbound on Frontage Road at about 10 a.m.
Hicks was turning from Frontage Road onto Memory Lane, which is a hairpin curve. Gonzales was traveling south on Memory Lane and apparently did not see Gordy making the left turn. He passed through the stop sign and hit the motorcycle, Lopez said.
The accident was just a few yards from Hicks’ home and business.
Mayor Dr. Ravi Bhasker made the announcement at Monday night’s City Council meeting, and all councilors voiced their concern.
“He’s had a rough six months and we’re praying that he heals up and comes back quickly,” he said.

Catron County Heliport Opens With Magnificent Celebration

By Anne Sullivan
For the Mountain Mail
The grand opening of the Catron County Heliport at mile marker 46 on Highway 60 between Quemado and Pie Town was indeed grand. Tuesday, Oct. 6, was cloudy and gray but neither light winds nor a few drops of rain daunted spirits or appetites of the many people who came to celebrate the occasion.
The heliport, which seemed to appear mysteriously at the side of the road and grow overnight, is one of five in New Mexico, built primarily to accommodate the many helicopter landings that might be required should a major disaster occur in the area.
Catron County Manager Bill Aymar explained the heliport’s beginnings: “Richard Allison from the Department of Transportation called and he and I discussed the need for it. The land, approximately four acres, came from the State Land Office and now it belongs to Catron County on a long-time lease. The State of New Mexico through the Department of Transportation – Aviation Divi-sion paid for the heliport.”
Cheryl Holliday, Quemado Emergency Medical Service director for the past 11 years and an ememgency medical technician for 21 years and one of the organizers of the opening events, said, “We tried to get everybody here who could be involved in a large-scale disaster: the Forest Service, Highway Department, Northern Catron County EMS and Fire Departments, Law Enforcement and Disaster Relief as well as the crew of a PHI Air Medical helicopter.”
The heliport will also be used in the transport of seriously ill or injured patients. Up until now many such patients are either transported by Quemado or Pie Town ambulances to Datil where the helicopters land in front of the firehouse or the helicopters land directly on Highway 60.
“We’ll be doing some trainings here on the safe loading of patients into helicopters,” Holliday said. “We’re so happy to have this facility after 20 years of loading in the middle of the road.”
Jerry Armstrong, Quemado fire chief and long time ambulance driver (although he rarely drives the ambulance these days so busy is he with the Fire Department and his work at J and Y Garage in Quemado) echoed Cheryl Holliday’s sentiments: “It’s a tremendous blessing to have a safe place to land a helicopter. They’ve been landing on Highway 60 blocking the traffic for hours and you never know when a semi is going to come blasting through.”
Cyndi Lee, Pie Town’s EMS Chief and instructor for the northern part of the county, said, “I just hope and pray that we never have to use it for a disaster.”
Chuck Anderson, pilot of the PHI Air Medical Astar helicopter, which landed perfectly on its H marks on the helipad, said, “It’s a great pad. It’s got pilot-controlled lighting and you could put three or four helicopters here.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included Catron County Commissioner Allen Lambert, Catron County Fire Marshal Zina McGuire and Chuck Spencer, in charge of New Mexico business operations for PHI Air Medical.
Fire and EMS departments from Quemado, Ouemado Lake, Pie Town, Wild Horse and Datil, the Forest Service and the Baptist Disaster Relief workers from across the state had their photos taken in front of the helicopter. Then, Ira Shelton, pastor and ambulance driver, gave his own blessing since he said he couldn’t find any blessing for a helicopter pad in the Bible.
Then it was time to eat. The hamburgers grilled by the Baptist Disaster Relief people were excellent as was all the food from the kitchens of the various Fire and EMS Department members.
Lorna Goforth, long time member of Quemado’s EMS and Fire Departments, constructed an enormous fabulous cake-helipad complete with toy helicopter and ambulances. What’s more, it tasted really good.
Between bites, Catron County Undersheriff Ian Fletcher summed up the occasion with, “It’s great. It’s an excellent thing to have this resource up here.”
“All we need now,” said Cheryl Holliday wistfully, “is a bathroom.”

Magdalena Samaritan Center volunteers were honored last Saturday at a party hosted by the center’s board members. Board President Kelly Barnitz said up to 50 people have contributed their time, energy, and money to keep the charitable organization going. “The need is growing, but the volunteer base is growing, too, as more people become more aware,” Barnitz said. “We currently distribute 72 boxes of food twice a month to the neediest families, and give out about 100 boxes of food at the store location.” The Volunteer Appreciation Day is held once a year. Pictured (from left): Eunice Augustus, Preston Augustus, Barnitz, and Carmen Roa.

Socorro Police Make Arrest Following Drug Raid

By John Larson
Socorro police were successful in a drug raid on a private home Saturday morning.
Detective Richard Lopez said the raid at an apartment at 421 Bullock was a result of an ongoing investigation involving controlled buys and surveillance by undercover officers.
“This was the second time we’ve conducted a search warrant at the residence,” Lopez said.
Arrested for trafficking methamphetamine was Geri Lynn Jojola, 25.
According to the criminal complaint, Jojola was staying at the apartment of Angelica Vega, who was also a suspect in the investigation.
Lopez and other officers executed the search warrant at 5 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.
Jojola was found in the bedroom and was ordered to the floor, the report stated. As she moved to the floor, Lopez noted a large amount of cash fall out of a sweater pocket. A plastic baggie contained a rock crystalline-like substance also fell to the floor as she stood up.
The apartment was searched and an additional amount of methamphetamine was found in a dresser drawer. A field test at the Police Department verified that the substance was methamphetamine.
The meth and $970 in cash were locked into the evidence room, and Jojola was incarcerated at the Socorro County Detention Center. Jojola was arraigned in Magistrate Court Monday. The preliminary hearing has not been scheduled.
Vega was arrested Sept. 1 at the same residence, and charged with possession of both methamphetamine and marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and child endangerment.
Vega’s preliminary hearing In Magistrate Court scheduled for Wednesday was continued on a request from Vega’s attorney, Katherine Renee Riley.

Trinity Site Time Capsule Opening Disappointing

First person
By Ben Moffett

Trinity Site’s autumn open house Saturday drew an appreciative crowd as usual, this one estimated by the White Sands Missile Range public affairs office to be 3,400 – about the usual size.
Those who were on hand expecting to see the opening of the time capsule that was buried 25 years ago, Nov. 24, 1984, to dedicate the restored McDonald Ranch House, were likely disappointed. I know I was, having attended the capsule ceremony not only to view the McDonald House as it originally looked, but to help publicize it for my employer at that time, the National Park Service.
The public affairs office at WSMR said Saturday that a few pieces such as photos from the buried briefcase enclosed in a steel box were posted at the ranch house, but most of the material, including “paperwork surrounding restoration efforts and memos passed back and forth between agencies” were not posted because of time constraints and logistical problems related to their safety. Neither were the scrolls that contained the signature and/or messages of 1984 visitors posted. All will eventually be on display at the WSMR Museum’s Trinity Site exhibition, which unlike the McDonald House, is open seven days a week.
The ranch house, where the core of the bomb was assembled, was in tatters after the July 16, 1945, pre-dawn explosion of the world’s first nuclear device. The National Park Service was the primary contributor to the restoration effort, but the man who made it happen was Gen. Niles J. Fulwyler, WSMR commander, now retired, who had a passion for history.
Public Affairs officer Lisa Blevins Tuesday was good enough to provide me by telephone with the capsule comments left by Fulwyler. His note in the capsule read “(t)his has been a work of love. I hope you who are here 25 years from now enjoy what we have done. Be sure to take care of our heritage. It belongs to all of America.”
My own comment was forgettable. In fact I forgot what I had written, and was again disappointed when Blevins read it back to me. It said “I was born at nearby San Antonio and lived there when the bomb was exploded. I plan to be back for the ceremony in 25 years. Great work.” I suspect that my low profile message had to do with my not wishing to rock any boats as an employee of the cooperating agency, the park service.
The National Park Service task was to return the house to its pre-explosion 1945 condition, and according to a White Sands Missile Range biography of Fulwyler “set the stage for more frequent Trinity Site Open Houses.”
The restored house certainly added to the flavor of the Trinity Site visitor, who suddenly was able to not only learn about World War II and nuclear history but study the livestyles of ranchers on the isolated section of the northernmost stretch of Chihuahuan Desert. It was in private hands until the military bought it out, but virtually unpopulated..
Such historic items as a cistern and an a windmill-fed swimming pool at the ranch house help today’s visitors understand time and distance in the area. A crudely painted sign on the door, asking scientists who were assembling the core to “wipe your feet” before entering. Today it draws guffaws among visitors who are aware of the degree of cleanliness required in “clean rooms” of computer chip manufacturers and other high tech ventures.
White Sands Missile Range Museum director and curator Darren Court said it will be a month or more before the contents of the capsule will be available for viewing in the expanded Trinity Site space. “We’ll have the original documents in a case, and a text panel to explain the restoration and why it was done,” Court said.
I am very glad to be able to write this story. I was 45 years old on the day I signed the scroll and didn’t know if I would make it to 70, which I did in September. And I remain proud to tell anyone who will listen that I am a native of San Antonio, and one of the closest persons to the blast that brought the world into the atomic age, ended World War II, and today remains a force for good and evil that lights up the front page of newspapers on a daily basis.

October Skies: Meteor Shower, Planets, Annual Star Party

By Jon Spargo
New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club

Brilliant Jupiter, shining at magnitude -2.6, will be at its highest point in the south just after dark. Well placed for optimum viewing through binoculars or a small telescope, its 4 Galilean moons and atmospheric bands should be a real treat for early evening viewing.
Saturn reappears in the morning sky this month. On October 13 it will pass a scant ½ degree north of Venus which will be at least 100 times brighter than the ringed planet. Although Saturn’s rings are still nearly edge on it will be hard to see them with the planet just above the horizon. By the end of the month Saturn will manage to climb to almost 20 degrees above the horizon.
Mercury will also make an early morning appearance during the first half of the month. On October 6 about 45 minutes before sunrise look for it slightly to the left and about 6 degrees below Venus.
Mars rises around midnight and its tiny orange-red disk is starting to grow larger as the Earth begins to catch up to Mars. It can be found in the constellation Gemini about 6 degrees from the bright star Pollux. As the month progresses Mars begins an eastward migration among the stars and will be found near the center of M44, the famous “Beehive Cluster” on Halloween night!
The moon was full October 4, last quarter on October 11, new on October 18 and 1st quarter on October 25. The full moon on October 4 will be this year’s “Harvest Moon” which is defined as the full moon closest to the September equinox. On October 16 a waning crescent moon will be about 6 degrees to the right of Venus about 45 minutes before sunrise.
Using the moon as your guide on this date will net you three planets with Saturn being about 3 degrees above Venus and Mercury about 8 degrees below Venus. On October 26 a waxing gibbous moon will be about 4 degrees above and the right of Jupiter.
The period of October 17 through the 25 will bring the Orionid Meteor Shower. This shower is the result of the passage of Halley’s Comet.
Even though the comet has a 76 year period the shower seems to have a peak about every 12 years. 2009 could be a good year with the peak on the night of October 20-21. This year the moon will not be a factor and rates of up to 30 meteors per hour could be visible as you look to the east between midnight and dawn.
October also brings the Enchanted Skies Star Party to Socorro. This year the event is from October 14 to 17. This year’s exciting lineup of speakers and workshops feature a keynote address by astronomer and astronaut Dr. John Grunsfeld. A veteran of five space shuttle flights Grunsfeld’s latest was his third and final flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope. The mission was a huge success as judged by recent Hubble images released by NASA. The new camera is revealing details never before seen. His address promises to be an exciting one as he will talk and show fabulous pictures about the mission.
The keynote address will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, in the third floor ballroom of the Fidel Student Center on the New Mexico Tech Campus. The event is free to the public but come early to get a good seat! Star Party T-shirts will be available and you just might get an astronaut’s autograph on one! For more information about the Enchanted Skies Star Party go to or call the Socorro Tourism Office at 835-8927.

Local Newspapers Vital To Community

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

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

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

Traffic Stop Reveal 648 Lbs Of Pot

By John Larson
MAGDALENA – A tip from the Arizona Highway Patrol resulted in the seizure in Magdalena last week of 648 pounds of marijuana valued at $975,000.
According to a report by Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley, the semi was carrying the 24 plastic wrapped bundles of marijuana in a section of the tractor-trailer hidden behind several pallets of pistachios.
Cearley’s report stated that the Arizona agency had contacted New Mexico State Police to be on the look out for the white Freightliner headed east on Highway 60.
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the truck was pulled over at about 6 p.m. at mile marker 114 east of Magdalena.
The driver, Lincoln A. Kelly, gave Cearley and State Police Officer Steve Carter permission to search the trailer, which contained pallets of pistachios “on the floor one [pallet] high six feet from the door to the middle of the trailer where it was stacked two high.”
The report stated that Cearley and Carter “counted the trailer partitions indicating there was about 10 feet in the front of the trailer that was either empty or had some boxes we could not see.”
Carter crawled to the top of the two stacked pallets and discovered 10 cardboard boxes, the report said. Packed inside those boxes were the plastic bundles containing marijuana.
Kelly was arrested and charged with possession more than 100 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute – a second degree felony.
If convicted of the charge Kelly could face up to nine years in the prison. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10 in Socorro Magistrate Court.

Allen White Joins Mountain Mail

By John Larson
SOCORRO – Taking over as Sales Manager at the Mountain Mail is Allen White, a native New Mexican, originally from Dexter, and currently residing in Los Lunas.
White said he has high expectations for the success of the newspaper, and in the past three days has been busy meeting as many people in the community as possible.
“I have enjoyed meeting the people of Socorro,” White said. “I have not met one person yet that I did not like. They’ve all been very nice and accepting – and very helpful.”
Most recently White was employed by the New Mexico Department of Health in Los Lunas, working with disabled people.
He was educated at Southwestern Assembly of God College in Waxahachie, Texas, and his background includes working in youth ministry, stand-up comedy, and writing for children.
White, and his wife of 11 years, Tracy, have two children – Gavin, 9, and Jaelynn, 5.
Tracy White is a school teacher at Belen Middle School.
White said he enjoys working with the staff of the Mountain Mail.
“Everyone is very enthusiastic,” he said. “This is what I love to do, and I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me.”

OPINION: Sylvia Finds A Dangerous Undercover Job For Gordo

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia scratched on the screen door indicating a desire for her mid-afternoon biscuit. When I opened the door, she drooped in, wandering slowly over to the kitchen.
“How did it go?” I asked, half-afraid to hear the answer.
“Touch and go,” Sylvia said, sitting down in front of her dish. “Today was my day to talk to all the Swingle Canyon mice to recruit them as wagon pullers. Well, less than 50 percent of them came to the meeting. It’s very discouraging.”
“I’ll bet it is. Why did so many of them stay away?”
“Their children wouldn’t let them come. They were afraid my talk was going to be political.”
“That’s a doggone shame. Don’t they realize you intended to pay for labor?”
“They scarcely gave me a chance to explain my case. I intended to tell them about the virtues of honest labor. They squeaked me down.”
“How awful,” I commiserated. “Did any of the mice sign up?”
“A few really old ones did. They remember the old days and the depression, when having a job was really important but the younger adults are so used to having everything handed to them by the government that they turned up their noses at the idea of doing honest work and –“
“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “What government subsidizes them? Surely not the Swingle Canyon Big Three government.”
“Oh, no. RingWorm, Gordo and me, we don’t support them.”
“And I,” I corrected.
“Oh, I didn’t know you wanted to join us.”
“No, no. I’m trying to correct your grammar.”
“Oh, well, as I was saying, the mice have their own form of government. They have a kind of Congress that squabbles constantly, so much so that they’re unable to get anything done. They have no infrastructure. That’s why they’re forced to enter our structures for shelter and food.”
“I’m not forcing them to enter our structure in any way,” I said through gritted teeth. “Don’t they see that they’re fighting a losing battle – at least I hope that’s the case. I killed three in one day with the sticky traps and goodness only knows how many have succumbed to DeCon. At this rate they should be gone soon.”
“Don’t be too sure. They have unlimited reinforcements and they’re kind of like the Taliban in that they’re extremely brave and they’ll stop at nothing.”
“I suppose that’s why they’re picking on our family. They have no respect for females.”
“I suppose so,” Sylvia said. “I wonder…”
“Wonder what?” I asked, handing her a Meaty Bone biscuit.
“Maybe Gordo could do something. He’s our only male,” she said, chomping on her biscuit.
“Yes, but he’s crazed.”
“That might be just what they’d like,” she pointed out. “If Gordo could infiltrate their ranks, he could sway them to see things our way so that they’re bound to report for work in huge numbers.”
“You’ll need huge numbers of mice to pull that wagon, especially when it’s full of all the gold you find. That is, if you find any gold at all.”
“Of course there’s gold and of course we’ll find it. Gordo will work wonders with the mice.”
“But Gordo’s a cat. A large cat. Don’t you think the mice will notice?”
Sylvia was not to be deterred. “We’ll have to disguise him as a mouse, that’s all. His size is bound to impress them.”
“Do you really think he’ll accept such a dangerous mission?”
“He’s sure to,” said Sylvia. “He’s got all the qualifications of stupidity.”

Warriors 4-2 After 17-14 Win

By Polo C’ de Baca
For the Mountain Mail

The Warrior football team defeated Santa Teresa 17-14 on the road on Friday.
Socorro (4-2) will host Robertson (3-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. Robertson defeated Raton who defeated Socorro 27-19 in early September.
Socorro led 14-0 to begin the game. Santa Teresa scored a touchdown in the second quarter and Socorro led 17-7 at the half.
Socorro’s first touchdown was scored by Jose Alvarado scored on a 10 yard run to the outside. Zach Binger kicked the point after and Socorro led 7-0. Quarterback Ryan Romero kept the ball, ran up the middle for about 10 yards for Socorro’s next touchdown. Binger added the extra point then kicked a field goal from 30 yards for Socorro’s 17 points. St. Teresa scored their next touchdown and extra point in the third quarter.
Assistant Jim McBride who coach’s special teams and linebackers said that Socorro had three injured players going into the game. Three more were injured during the game. The injuries gave their substitutes an opportunity to step up and shine which he said they did.

Socorro Netters Lose In 5 To Valencia High

By Polo C’ De Baca
For the Mountain Mail
SOCORRO – Running hot and cold on Tuesday evening the Lady Warriors volleyball team lost in five 21-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-12, 13-15 to Valencia in an exciting game that had fans sitting on the edge of their seats until the last point. This year is the first year that Valencia High School, founded three years ago, has seniors playing on their team.
Socorro (6-6) will travel to Thoreau (3-9, 0-3) on Saturday to play the Lady Hawks
In the first game Socorro led until Valencia tied the game at 12 after a six-point run. Socorro trailed at 18-19 but eventually lost 21-25. Socorro dominated completely in the second game, holding off a five point Valencia run.
Socorro’s momentum seemed to have carried over in the beginning of the third game. But after trailing 19-17 Valencia had an eight-point run and won 25-19.
Socorro dominated the fourth game again, winning 25-12.
The final game with the race to 15 points had the crowd on their feet and screaming. Socorro trailed 4-2 then led 6-4.
The game was tied at all the way up to nine when Socorro went ahead 11-9. Valencia tied the game at 11. Socorro led 13-11 when the Lady Jaguars went on a four point run to win the game and match 15-13.
“It shouldn’t have even gone five,” Socorro coach Marleen Greenwood said. “In the first game we were up 6-1.We shouldn’t have let them come back from five points down.”
“We do our best when we’re the aggressive team,” Greenwood said. “That’s something that we’ve got to do more of.”

Menaul Upsets Lady Steers In Volleyball

By Polo C’ de Baca
For the Mountain Mail
After an eight game winning streak the Magdalena volleyball team fell to Menaul on the road in four Thursday. Their scheduled home game with Gallup Catholic on Saturday wasn’t played due to a no-show by the Lady Panthers due to illness.
Magdalena (10-3, 5-1) will host To’Hajillee (5-3, 2-2) on Friday. The Lady Steers are scheduled to play at Gallup Catholic next at noon on Saturday, Oct. 17.
“Gallup Catholic has always had a good program,” Magdalena coach Liz Olney said. “They’ve always been good in volleyball but we’ve just haven’t had a chance to see them [this season]. We’re doing well. We’ve picked up our intensity. I’m happy with what we’ve accomplished but it’s kind of disappointing with Menaul. I was a let down because we’d already beat them in three [in mid-September]. We just didn’t seem ready to play.”
Olney said that during their eight-game winning streak that they were doing some good things like bringing the ball down, serving well, and the teams hitting has improved. She said the team has been practicing hard and playing hard and not backing off anymore.
“Sometimes we get a little lax in moving to the ball,” Olney said. “These are some of the things we want to work cover. We’re working on our footwork and the fundamentals.”

Socorro Boys Take Bosque To Double OT

By Polo C’ de Baca
For the Mountain Mail
On Thursday a valiant Warriors boys soccer team lost 1-0 to Bosque School in double overtime. The Bobcats (14-1) are arguably the best Class 3A soccer team, with only one loss to Class 5A La Cueva.
Socorro (4-9) hosts NMMI (2-11) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The game with Bosque was more that just a moral victory for the Warriors. After a less than shiny season the Warrior encounter with the Bobcats had Coach Chuck Ngo extremely pleased.
“After the game with Bosque I know that our team is falling in place,” Ngo said. “In the game with Bosque Prep we did what we needed to do and we played and stayed with the No. 1 team in the state. It’s the best game we’ve played all year. ... It shows we can hang in there. We can be one of the top teams in the state.”
Ngo said that his team had struggled trying to find the best rotations and combinations on the field. By trial and error it would seem that the Warriors will be going into district play at their best. Ngo said that his team has been improving all along but only by increments.

Welcome Return, Congrats, Fire Department Elections

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Being blessed enough to be given back the opportunity to write again is more than I can describe. Life had been squashing me like a cider press for a while and I sadly missed the last printed issue’s deadline for my column. Then at 8:30 pm opening my email, I was given the shocking, sad and terrible news that the Mountain Mail would be no more unless there was nothing short of a miracle to revive it.
To be sitting here preparing a column for submission again is my miracle and for that I am truly grateful. I am appreciative for all who asked what I would do now knowing I loved my job. And then tell me that they too would miss our little corner inside this small town article. In my world, if I don’t laugh I cry; so I would joke that I would probably have to find comfort in walking around the house in fuzzy slippers eating chocolate having my mid-life crisis. Thankfully God had other plans and actually my last couple of weeks has gone by quickly with major events taking place in my life and the time to enjoy why we live in Luna; rainstorms, small outdoor trips and time camping with extended family and friends who really care about me and I genuinely thank you all.
I thank the new owner of the Mountain Mail for personal contact asking me to continue my column and here is our wish for many more years to come bringing you the last of a vanishing art in small town news from our little corner of the world of the Luna Valley.
New Baby
Katy Mindar and Chris Anderson welcomed Oscar Elliot Anderson into the world in Portland, Ore., on September 11. This makes four grandchildren for Dan and me and our first grandson whom we have been able to visit and of course fall head over heels in love with this past week at their home in Portland.
Just as fun to announce as new babies are weddings and we congratulate Laci Thompson and Tanner Malherbe on their recent nuptials. Judging from the bachelorette party in Vegas, Mother Pam Thompson’s “Thanks” to family and friends and great photos, it was a wonderful event for Stan and Pam celebrating the marriage of their youngest daughter.
Lunatic Stitchers
The Annual Lunatic Stitchers quilt was raffled after Labor Day and the lucky winner was our own Carolyn Sawyer of Luna. Of Course the quilt is an absolute treasure and part of the proceeds go directly back into the Luna Community Center where the Stitchers meet weekly to work on their personal projects through the year. Not just sewing takes place each week with the Stitchers, Susan Ley brings her talents in painting to the group and recently had the perfect opportunity to travel with an extended art group to Escudilla to paint the wonderful fall colors of the mountain choosing the most perfect day enjoying blue skies and the vivid colors of the changing aspen trees.
New Town Officials
The Luna Volunteer Fire Department held elections and have nominated the following officials to lead our department into the new term under many county changes taking place that will build a stronger department. We welcome Charles Moyers: Fire Chief; Eugene Snyder: Assistant Chief; Raean Harris: Secretary; Susan Ley: Assistant Secretary; and Daniel Harris: Training Officer. Trainings are held the first Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. and business meetings are held on the Third Thursday each month.
Our Luna Community Center also held elections for their upcoming term assignments with seven board members being elected by community members into positions of specific duties. Alberta Nicolds will maintain her position as chairman. If there are any needs or concerns please contact Alberta. Community Center meetings are held the second Thursday of each month.
Genealogy Corner
We all own at least one family photo that has been passed down from generation to generation, that we stare at and ask the people in the photo, “Who are you?” while we are digging for clues we look for help in solving the mysteries that haunt our collection of old portraits and indefinable places. First look closely; what do the clothes your relatives are wearing indicate about the span of years or the country in which they lived illustrate to us? What about the photo itself, the coloring and the material used, say about the photo? Remember you are far from alone as the Internet has pages of blogs free and with subscriptions. There is also which is always changing and posting new photos and clues. Take the time to discover; the world is literally at your fingertips.
Quote of the Week
“A word to the wise isn’t necessary - it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”
– Bill Cosby


Schools, Seniors, Volleyball

Quemado Connection
By Debbie Leschner

The folks of Quemado and the surrounding area wish the staff and new owners of the Mountain Mail a long and successful newspaper.
District 5 (that’s us) of the Socorro Electric Cooperative will have their meeting and election Saturday, Oct 10, at the Parish Hall in St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church on Spruce Street in Magdalena. Registration and voting begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. The meeting will follow.
Catron Supply will be sending out the True Value circulars for the months of Nov and Dec. “Look in your mail boxes” says Eric Skrivseth, owner. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
School News
Quemado School Junior and Seniors participated in the RESPECT Program this week . It is presented by the District Attorney Office and is for college bound teens. The junior and senior girls took an afternoon self-defense class as part of the program.
The volleyball team is selling chair stands, a cloth fold up seat, for $25 and stadium seats, a metal frame “lawn chair” type, for $45. The schedule for upcoming volleyball games: varsity plays Reserve Mountaineers at 4 p.m., Tuesday in Reserve. Junior high, junior varsity and varsity volleyball home games 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, against Magdalena Steers. All three teams will play a double-header at home Saturday, Oct 17. The 10 a.m. game will be against Animas Panthers and the 4 p.m. game will be against the Mountainair Mustangs. Parent’s Night will be during the late game. A special raffle will be held to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Among the many prizes will be a fleece blanket and a beautiful handmade Afghan donated by Marilyn Bunney. Tickets may be purchased at the school and you need not be present to win.
Senior Center
Quemado Senior Center dinner and entertainment fund raiser will be Friday, Oct 16. A dinner of barbecue chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, biscuit and dessert will be served at 4:30 for $6.50. A portrail of Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider and President will be performed by Randy Milligan at 6 p.m. and is free. The quilt raffle winner will be drawn during the event so hurry and get your tickets only $1 each before it is too late. The quilting group is meeting on Wednesday and Thursday. Bingo is played on Thursday starting at 12:30 p.m. The center’s phone number is 773-4820. Please call and reserve your seat for the Chicken dinner.

Western New Mexico Veterans Group will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, with a potluck dinner and meeting to follow in the Veteran’s Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. For more information, call Commander Sharp at 773-4350. The group is continuing with its rummage sales from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Friday and Saturday at the hall with the exception of the third weekend of the month.
Apples and more Apples
Forty-pound boxes of apples are available to order by calling Janene Pruder at 733-4739. Fuji and jonagold apples are $27 per box. Granny Smith, golden or red delicious and gala apples are $26 a box. The boxes are not mixed; they are all of one type of apple. Send checks to Janene Pruder, HC32 Box 705, Quemado by Oct 16. Late orders accepted. If you don’t think you can use a whole box, share with a neighbor or two. Like apples but not sure how to store, can or freeze them. Call me 773-4119. I have many tips and recipes.
News tips
Know of anything going on or a special event in a family or school, please let me know. Good news can’t be shared if it is unknown. Call 773-4119 or email at

Passerby Rescues Retiree From Ditch

By John Larson
Longtime Socorro businessman Isidro Romero, 80, is recovering after falling into a drainage ditch by Bullock Street Tuesday.
According to Det. Richard Lopez of the Socorro Police Dept., Romero and his wife, Cecilia, were walking their dogs at about 8 a.m. when one of the dogs fell into the ditch near the spillway on Bullock.
“Sidro was trying to get his dog out, and slipped into the water head first,” Lopez said. “Officers responded to the emergency call, and EMS took him to the hospital.”
Romero’s daughter, Nancy Romero, said the situation could have been much worse.
“There is a whirlpool effect at the spillway, and he couldn’t get his head above the water,” she said. “My mother rushed over and attempted to grab his feet to pull him out, so he could get his head out to breath. She tried two or three times, and she could have fallen in, too.”
Just at that moment a passerby saw what was happening and ran over to the ditch, she said.
“He helped her, and after a big struggle they both pulled him up and out,” Nancy said. “It could’ve been a double tragedy if not for the guy who helped.”
She said she did not know his name.
According to Nancy Romero, her father spent Tuesday night at Socorro General Hospital for observation.
Isidro Romero, who owned and operated Sidro’s, a muffler and wheel alignment shop on Neal St. for over 20 years, is known by many Socorroans.

Steers Follow Road Victory With Loss To Gateway

By Polo C’ de Baca
For the Mountain Mail
After a convincing road win at Floyd 34-12 on Saturday, Sept. 26, the Magdalena Steers were defeated by Gateway Christian 22-14 on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Magdalena (2-4) will host Bataan Military Academy Sea Lions (1-3) at 7 p.m. Friday.
“As far as games won this season we’ve had our ups and down,” Magdalena coach Dave Marquez said. “We’re trying to work on improving our fundamental skill every week and building the program around that. Slowly but surely we’re building up our confidence with every game. In our last two wins, we just played like a team.”
Up until the last two games Daniel Hand and Taran Rogers have been sharing the quarterback position. Hand dislocated his shoulder Friday and is done for the season according to Marquez who added that there was a possibility that he would be back for the playoffs.
“We’re coming up with some game plans for this week,” Marquez said.
Gateway led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. Magdalena scored in the second quarter on a 27 yard pass from Hand to Brice Milligan. Milligan caught a pass for a two point conversion. Gateway scored again in the third quarter and led 14-8 at the half. Gateway scored again in the third quarter putting them up 22-8. Magdalena scored before the end of the third quarter making the score 22-14.
“The fourth quarter was pretty much of a dog-fight but no one scored,” Marquez said.

Reserve Drops First Football Game

By Polo C’ de Baca
For the Mountain Mail
Reserve’s Mountaineer’s were handed their first loss of the year by a very strong Tatum football team 26-16.
Reserve (5-1) will play Academia Juarez at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, at Cobre.
Reserve is led by senior brothers Allyn and Nolen Snyder. Allyn is the starting fullback and Nolen is the quarterback. They also anchor the defense.
Reserve scored their first touchdown in the second quarter. Tatum led 12-8 at the half. Reserve scored again in the third quarter after a long drive from the 20 yard line into the end zone.
“Those were close calls, they got some breaks that we didn’t,” Cole said, “We have a chance to be district champs this year. Of course we have to get by Magdalena and Animas to do it.”
Cole said that his fan base is growing and that the team will keep working hard with their support.

‘Bully for President Teddy Roosevelt’ At Quemado Senior Center

By Anne Sullivan
For the Mountain Mail
Northern Catron County’s Roadrunner Arts Council, in conjunction with the New Mexico Humanities Council, is sponsoring Randy Milligan in a Chautauqua performance of “Theodore Roosevelt – Rough Rider President” at the Quemado Senior Center at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16.
The performance will by a dinner at 4:30 p.m. for $6.50. The performance is free.
Besides accompanying Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson on Mount Rushmore, Teddy Roosevelt is known for his charge up San Juan Hill as a Rough Rider in the Spanish American War, speaking softly and carrying a big stick, finding solace in the West after his first wife died, plus championing and creating many of our National Parks and Monuments. Becoming our 26th President in 1901 when President McKinley was assassinated, he brought six irrepressible children to the White House. A slew of biographies have been written about him. Two of them live in my house and are recommended: “Mornings on Horseback” by David McCullough and “The Roosevelt Family of Sagamore Hill” by Hermann Hagedorn.
Imminently quotable, Roosevelt said, (among other statements) “No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency” and, my favorite, “I can if I will.”
Randy Milligan delighted the audience in Quemado as Judge Roy Bean last spring and is brought back by popular demand. As a Chautauqua performer, he also plays Mark Twain. Milligan lives in Carlsbad where he keeps very busy as speech and theatre instructor at New Mexico State University and president of the Carlsbad Arts and Humanities Alliance as well as acting and directing at the Carlsbad Community Theatre. Roadrunner Arts Council and the Quemado Senior Center are pleased and honored to host his return.


By John Larson
SOCORRO – SocorroFest returns this Saturday, Oct. 10, with four music venues, arts and crafts, food vendors, a harmonica contest, spirits tents and family activities.
“SocorroFest is a delightful opportunity for the city and its people to showcase their talents and skills both to out-of-town visitors, and their own neighbors,” Dean said. “It’s going to be great, We ended up with four stages, and this year we’re starting Friday night with two great bands.”
Friday night, Darren Córdova’s mariachi band, Mariachi Calor, will accompany young mariachi singers competing for prizes starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Plaza.
Gunzawless, a group anchored by the Gonzales brothers, Socorro musicians now living in Phoenix, will take over at 8 p.m. with their Latin-funk-rock-blues sound, and winners of the 2008 Phoenix Music Awards “Instrumental Performance of the Year.”
Eight food vendors have signed up for the hungry, serving “sausage links, Indian tacos, green chile stew tacos, burgers and more,” Dean said.
The spirits tent will include wines from Deming’s St. Clair Winery, and beverages from Socorro Springs Brewing Co., Abbey Brewery in Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. from Moriarty, and Tractor Brewing Co. in Los Lunas.
About 30 arts and crafts vendors will also be stationed throughout the plaza area, offering a wide variety of creations, from jewelry to woodworking to pottery.
Sponsored by the City of Socorro and aided and abetted by a loyal cast of businesses and individuals, SocorroFest organizers pledge that this year’s celebration of all things Socorro – and New Mexico – will be the biggest and best yet.
Dean said Saturday’s festivities will begin at noon with the second annual Harmonica Contest on the City Hall stage, followed by 20 musical acts.
Suzanne Barteau, organizer of the harmonica contest, said a special tie-in this year will be a free Harmonica Workshop called “Getting on Stage with Harmonica” given by Joe Mancuso and Friends at Socorro’s historic Capitol Bar on the plaza, at 3 p.m.
“The workshop will focus on amplifiers, microphones, and different styles of harmonica playing as they relate to stage performance,” Barteau said. “Joining Joe will be harmonica teacher Brian Walker and sound technician Brian Boggs, both from Albuquerque, to make sure that every one gets some individual attention and comes away from the workshop with the kind of knowledge that can take your playing to the next level.”
Those interested in attending the harmonica workshop should contact Suzanne Barteau at (575) 835-0424 or (505) 340-4280 (cell) for more information.

Noon – Et Alia Belly Dancers (Plaza)
Noon – Harmonica Contest (City Hall Stage)
1 p.m. – Roon. Folk rock. (Plaza)
2 p.m. – Wagogo. Zimbabwe, island, Chicano influence. (Plaza)
2:30 p.m. – Freaky Styley. Jam-based rock. (City Hall Stage)
3 p.m. – Linda and Alexis Mansell. Folk. (Stage Door Grill Patio)
3 p.m. – Harmonica Workshop with Joe Mancuso (Capitol Bar)
3:30 p.m. – Tory and Friends. Spanish. (City Hall Stage)
4 p.m. – Gunzawless. Blues, rock. (Plaza)
4 p.m. – Susie Jean and Ross. Country swing. (Stage Door Grill Patio)
4:30 p.m. – Skallywags. Classic rock. (City Hall Stage)
4:30 p.m. – Toby and Ernie Jaramillo. Spanish. (Capitol Bar)
5:30 p.m. –Doug Figgs. Country, cowboy, folk. (Stage Door Grill Patio)
5:30 p.m. – The Westerners. Country, oldies. (City Hall Stage)
5:30 p.m. – The Bernie Romero Band. Northern Mexico folk. (Capitol Bar)
6 p.m. – Albuquerque Blues Connection (Plaza)
6:30 p.m. – Remedy. Country, Spanish, rock. (City Hall Stage)
6:30 p.m. – Los Ladrones. Old time country. Spanish. (Capitol Bar)
7 p.m. – Tom “Hound Dog” Romancik. Blues. (Stage Door Grill Patio)
8 p.m. – Darren Cordova with Grupo Calor; Mariachi Calor and Dynnette Cordova (Plaza)
8 p.m. – Stage Door Jam with Huckaby Junction (Stage Door Grill Patio)
10 p.m. – Rhythm Prophets. Classic rock, blues. (Capitol Bar)

OPINION: Mountain Mail and Sylvia Rise From Ashes Like the Phoenix

By Anne Sullivan

“Sylvia, please come out of your doghouse and eat some breakfast,” I called to her the other morning.
“No, thank you,” she said without moving. “I’m not hungry.”
“You didn’t eat a thing yesterday,” I scolded. “You must be hungry.”
“No, not at all. I’ve lost my taste for life.”
“Nonsense, you can’t sulk in your doghouse forever.” I tried gentle persuasion. “Don’t you want to go up-canyon to hunt for the Lost Adams Diggings gold? I’ll go with you. We can have picnic.”
“No, there’s probably no gold anyway. No gold for me anywhere. I’m nothing. I’m a nobody,” she insisted.
“You’re Sylvia. Sylvia The Author.”
“No more. I have no column anymore. I’m no one.” The mumblings from the doghouse became less and less distinct.”
“I know you’re bummed out about the paper closing down, but you’ve got to get a hold of yourself. Everyone in Catron County and Socorro is upset about it. I’m none too happy myself.”
“You have no idea how I fee,” she cried with more emotion than she’d shown for days. “Once I was someone. Now it’s all been taken away. I’m just another dog.”
“You’re not just another dog.” I said, patting her head. “You’re my dog.”
“That won’t even get me unemployment insurance. No unemployment for dogs, that’s what they said when I tried to apply. No job, no unemployment, no dog food, no pigs’ ears.”
“Lots of people are facing unemployment these days. You’ve just got to pull yourself together and show what you’re made of.”
“Some other time,” she said, turning around in her house so that her generous rear was the only part showing.
Just then the phone rang. I raced inside to answer it. A minute later, I returned to the porch, phone in hand.
“It’s for you,” I said.
“Me?” Sylvia questioned. “Me? Nobody cares about me. Who is it?”
“He says his name is Gary Jaramillo,” I said, handing her the phone.
“This is Sylvia,” I heard her say as she squeezed her way to the back of her house so I could hear no more. After what seemed like an eternity she burst out of the doghouse shouting, “Guess what?”
Sylvia took a long breath after which the words same somersaulting out of her mouth. “Gary Jaramillo and his family just bought the paper – the Mountain Mail – and it’s going to start publishing again this week and he said, and I quote, ‘The rumors of the demise of the Mountain Mail have been greatly exaggerated,’ and they want me – me, Sylvia – to write for it and they have lots of ideas which sound good to me – and – and … ”
“What are some of their ideas?” I interrupted to ask.
“They want to make it even more of a community paper and they want to know how people felt about it closing down and about it starting up again,” Sylvia still spoke in doubletime. “That’s easy. People in Catron and Socorro counties felt terrible about the paper closing. I can’t tell you how many people spoke to me about it and they were all said. So I know that people will be absolutely delighted that the Mountain Mail rides again and that their subscriptions will be honored. And did I tell you that Mr. Jaramillo and his family want a paper with more stories about people – old people and young people and people in the middle and I hope maybe even about dogs – about what they’re doing that’s good and beneficial for others and the rest of the world. He says there’ll be more about families and the things that are important to us and the paper’s going to be longer with a Spanish section muy pronto,” Sylvia said the last in the most atrocious Spanish accent ever heard in the Rio Grande Valley. “Plus it’s going to have color pictures with all this good news.”
“That’s good news right there,” I said the second I could get a word in edgewise.
“My new friend Gary Jaramillo said, and I quote gain, ‘We’re hoping that we have a long and happy history with the people in Socorro and Catron County.”
“All right,” I said with a sigh of great joy.
“All right, indeed,” Sylvia agreed. “Now what about a picnic? I’m famished. I’ve got to keep my strength up so I can write.”