Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tax Increases Not On Horizon

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The special legislative session called by Governor Bill Richardson to solve the state’s budget shortfall – sans tax increases - should be wrapping up by the end of the week.
Socorro’s Representative in the House, Republican Don Tripp, told the Mountain Mail that although the session could go a maximum of 30 days, progress is moving quickly to take care of the $200 million deficit.
“Any kind of increases in taxes has been defeated in committee,” Tripp said. “New representatives from Albuquerque introduced bills to raise taxes, including tobacco taxes and gross receipts taxes, but under the Governor’s proclamation new tax increases or salary cuts are not allowed, but just to work with the deficit.”
Senator Howie Morales, Democrat for the 28th District, said the proclamation is too focused, and doesn’t give legislators enough leeway.
“The biggest discussion in committee has been the limited and narrow scope of the Governor’s proclamation,” Morales said. “I feel that if we’re going to address the problem in a productive manner we need to have all the options. It’s such a limited proclamation, and many bills brought forth are not germane and die in committee.”
“I thought that from the beginning,” he said. “I truly believe the legislature should have the right to discuss all resources.
Morales said the state spends $50,000 each day the legislature is in session, and he feels committees should not “spend time on bills that would be vetoed anyway.”
He said three issues in discussion in the Senate were finding non-recurring expenditures, dealing with not reducing salaries, and recurring expenses.
“We’re looking at a lot of the governor’s appointees, and about 60 vacancies that don’t have to be filled,” Morale said.
According to Tripp, members of the House are also discussing the same issue – Gov. Richardson’s appointees.
“It’s the sentiment of many of the legislators that the governor should be looking at some of his unauthorized hires,” Tripp said.
“Our big concern is that we don’t want to get the state in a position where their checks are no good,” Tripp said. “So we’re also looking at next year, and Fiscal Year 2011. If we don’t start cutting from recurring expenses, the hole will get deeper and deeper - if we use only one time, non-recurring money for the deficit.”
Tripp, a member of the Legislative Finance Committee, said the deficit could rise to $650 million by July 2010, the beginning of the next fiscal year.
“We’ve already swept $108 million from various commissions and departments, and put it into the general fund. These are funds that have built up over the years and have not been used. That bill passed the house,” he said. “This is just one time money, so it won’t help next year’s deficit.”
Tripp said education may take a small cut, but not so much as to affect the teaching of students.
“One of the positive things in education is to give teacher more time to teach than be bureaucrats. There is some extra testing that goes on that can be reduced,” he said. “It’s believed that teachers can use tests that are already part of the curriculum.”
Morales said he has conferred with Socorro and Catron superintendents, and understands the needs of the local school systems.
“I’ve been speaking with Dr. (Cheryl) Wilson and she has been very helpful in letting me know how Socorro Consolidated Schools could deal with any financial alternatives. The same goes for Mike Chambers in Magdalena and Bill Green in Quemado,” Morales said. “The support and communication has been very good.”

Councilors: Police Oversight Ordinance ‘Fair And Balanced’

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The Socorro City Council took one more step in putting into law the process for citizens to voice their concerns over police officers’ conduct.
With Mayor Dr. Ravi Bhasker absent, Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem Donald Monette said the ordinance to create A Police Oversight Commission was a long time coming. “Councilors Mary Ann Chavez-Lopez, Michael Olguin Jr., and Peter Romero have spent long hours on the wording and legality of the law,” Monette said.
City Clerk Pat Salome said a public hearing will be held before the final vote during the Nov. 16 council meeting.
“The committee has been working on this probably nine months now, looking at similar ordinances in Albuquerque, and have already had a couple of public input meetings,” Salome said.
“What we like about this is that there is confidence in both directions, where everybody feels like they have the best of both worlds,” Councilor Chuck Zimmerly said.
Salome said the ordinance was based on Standard Operating Procedures.
“This gives an opportunity for the public to have a third party review of things that occur out in the field,” Salome said. “It doesn’t take any powers away from the mayor or the police chief, but gives the public a chance to voice their concerns about the police department.
He explained that police officers are trained to follow standard operating procedures.
“This is not just about officers’ actions, but also if policies are being followed.” Salome said.
“It’s a communication tool for the department and the public,” Monette said. “This will come up for the final time not at the next meeting, but the one after that. The public hearing will be two meetings from tonight.”
In other business:
The council approved a request to lease a five-acre parcel of land in the industrial park area to Blue Collar Construction, a road paving company. “We do asphalt maintenance and repairs all over the state,” said Kim Massey-Dimshz, a partner in Blue Collar Construction. “We plan on having a building here, which will be our base of operations during the off season.” She said there would be employment opportunities for part-time and highly skilled positions with the company. Blue Collar’s Tracy Turner said the business would begin building as soon as the mayor signs the resolution. He said Chamber of Commerce Director Terry Tadano was instrumental in the move to Socorro.
Tourism Director Deborah Dean told the council that SocorroFest drew up to 2,000 people to Plaza Park. “It was a huge success,” Dean said. “We had a lot of people that came from out-of-town. I think many were spillovers from the Balloon Fiesta.”

Mountain Mail Welcomes New Editor In Chief

By John Severance

I’ve always wanted to do this.
I’ve always wanted to be an editor of a small weekly newspaper and run the show.
With more than 25 years of newspaper experience, working in such places as State College, Pa., Lexington, Ky., Naples, Fla., and West Palm Beach, Fla., (twice), I know how to put out a quality product. I just didn’t get the chance to call the shots.
Now I do.
But I need your help. I need you to flood my email box (mountainmaileditor@ or call the office with story and feature ideas.
If you see me, I want you to introduce yourself.
Most of my experience is in sports but I am not worried about it. Words are words.
The contents of a community newspaper should serve two purposes. Newspapers should write about the people and the issues that face them. That’s what I hope to accomplish with the Mountain Mail.
Don’t hold it against me but I am not a native New Mexican.
I grew up in Northern Virginia and my father was a foreign service officer. Growing up, we did stints in Japan and India. It was in India where I caught the journalism bug. I was instrumental in starting a middle school newspaper and my first assignment was a news conference with former presidential candidate George McGovern.
I graduated from West Springfield High School in Virginia in 1981 where I was editor of the school paper. I went to Penn State because I wanted to go to a school that had a good football team — seriously.
I finally graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism and I liked it so much in Happy Valley that I lived there for 10 more years working for a publication devoted to Penn State sports and the town newspaper called the Centre Daily Times. I guess
I moved to Florida in 1996 because I could not stand the cold and landed a job in Naples as an assistant sports editor. I worked there for three years and moved to West Palm Beach for the first of my two stints with the Palm Beach Post, which also happened to have one of the top sports sections in the country.
It was in West Palm Beach that my girlfriend and I got into the thoroughbred breeding business. We were so into it that we decided to move to Kentucky, which probably is the center of the horse racing world.
From 2003 to late 2005, we raised our horses outside of Lexington while I worked for the city newspaper. At the time, we thought our breeding business was a bust.
Early 2006, I moved back to Florida because the Post offered me more money and my girlfriend moved to Santa Fe to be with her elderly mom.
In 2008, the economic woes hit the Post and the newspaper was offering buyouts. I had always wanted to move out here so I did not hesitate.
I thought to myself that I never wanted to get back in the journalism business because I was so burned out.
But after 14 months, I knew what I wanted to do – I had to get back into journalism. I loved taking care of our horses and breeding business turned out well after about six years.
One of the horses we bred is one of the top hunter-jumpers in New Mexico and will be competing in Tucson this week. And one of the others made it to the racetrack where he turned out to be a stakes winner.
So that’s probably entirely too much information about me. What’s important now is that we can make the Mountain Mail the best newspaper it can be and be a publication that the citizens of Socorro and Catron County can be proud of.
I will eagerly be awaiting your input.

Sheriff's Blotter

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

Sept. 21
An officer was dispatched to a residence in Polvadera where a man was intoxicated. The man stated he was on house arrest and that he had consumed numerous containers of beer. He also acknowledged that he cut off the ankle bracelet that was placed on him by Probation and Parole. He was arrested and taken to the detention center.
• An officer assisted another officer at a traffic stop on NW Frontage Road at 11:50 p.m. It was learned the driver was wanted on an outstanding warrant out of Municipal Court. She was placed under arrest and transported to the Socorro County Detention Center.
Sept. 22
A man on Midway Road in Polvadera reported at 4:30 p.m. that his handgun has turned up missing. He said he had a social gathering at his house and one of the party guests remained in the residence while others were outside. He gave the name of the possible suspect, who was not located at time of report.
Sept. 23
A woman in Veguita reported at 2 p.m. that she had been burglarized and that numerous items had been stolen from her residence and a shed on the property. She and the officer followed tracks leading into the neighbor’s yard, which the woman said belonged to her sister-in-law and nephew. No one answered a knock on the door, but the officer remained in the area, eventually seeing the nephew leave the residence. When approached, the nephew tried to run away. He was stopped but denied any involvement in the burglary. The victim contacted the officer and said she did not want to pursue the case any further and did not want to file charges.
• A Bosque woman reported that a burglar entered her residence and stole prescription medication and other items. Entry was possibly made through a west side window. No suspects at time of report.
Sept. 25
A woman on Calle del Sol in Socorro reported at 11:20 a.m. that she found that someone used her debit card without her knowledge or permission to purchase equipment from Dish Network. A name was given by the victim but that person had no knowledge of the purchase and did not know the woman.
• An officer was dispatched to a verbal domestic dispute at a residence on San Lorenzo Road in Veguita at 4:05 p.m. The suspect was found to have an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She was incarcerated at Socorro County Detention Center.
Sept. 28
A Magdalena couple reported at 2 p.m. that they had opened a bank account, but when they went to make a withdrawal found that their balance was over $4,000 short. They received a record of transactions and noticed that withdrawals from their account were made over the past three months at different ATMs in the Socorro area. They stated they never received an ATM card or a PIN. The officer contacted the banks and requested photos from their ATMs. The information was forwarded to the Sheriff’s Department.
• A woman in Veguita reported at 6:15 p.m. that a neighbor’s dog came running onto her property and chased her calves. She showed photographs of the dog on the property and next to a kennel where a calf was kept. The neighbor was contacted, who said he had the dog chained up and pledged not let it get out of the yard again.
Sept. 29
While on patrol at 6:33 p.m. an officer came into contact with six individuals on a ditch bank in San Acacia. It was learned the subjects were undocumented Mexican nationals. The vehicle with them was towed and the subjects were transported away by INS officers.
• A Bosque man reported at 9:30 p.m. that a man has been missing from the residence for almost a week. He said that the man was last seen working at his job at Lowe’s grocery store in Belen. He said the man called his residence on Sept. 24. The missing man was paid on Sept. 23 and has not returned to work. His name was entered into NCIC.
Oct. 2
A Belen man reported at 10 a.m. that his tractor had been damaged by persons unknown. He stated his employees were out in one of his fields in Veguita, and a white pickup drove up. His employees greeted the occupants of the vehicle and, in return, they displayed their middle finger. The employees responded with a similar gesture, and possibly one of the pickup occupants broke the windshield of the man’s tractor with a rock. No further information was available on the pickup.

Tech Miners To Take Center Stage

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Socorro loves its parades, and this weekend New Mexico Tech students get their turn again by hosting the 49ers Parade as part of the annual 49ers Celebration and Alumni Homecoming.
The parade’s theme is “NMT Superstar!” and features entries from civic groups, organizations, and businesses both local and statewide. This year’s Grand Marshals are Dr. Eileen Comstock and Warren Marts.
Eileen and Warren, both New Mexico Tech alumni, are a couple well-known to Socorro audiences as supporters of New Mexico Tech’s Music Program and participants in Tech musical activities. Comstock directed Fiddler on the Roof and her husband directed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Over the years, they have sung in choruses and played in orchestras on countless occasions.
Comstock also directs the Socorro Community Concert Band, which has occasionally been offered as a Tech Community College Class.  Most recently, they contributed to a fund to purchase a piano for the music program.
According to organizers, 49ers weekend is a School of Mines tradition in Socorro going back at least 70 years.
The three-day celebration focuses on activities primarily for returning alumni and current students, but there are a few events open to the public.
At 4:30 p.m. Friday, the current Pygmies take on the “Ancestors” in the Black and Blue Rugby Match on the Tech Athletic Field. Following the match is the annual Rugby Football Club dinner at the Capitol Bar at 6:30 p.m. Contact Coach Dave Wheelock for reservations at 835-5854.
Following the parade on Saturday is the annual soccer game pitting the current Miners against Miners alumni at 2 p.m. on the athletic field.
A discussion on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in the third-floor ballroom of Joseph A. Fidel Center. Author of the book 9/11: Blueprint for Truth, The Architecture of Destruction, Richard Gage of the American Institute of Architects, and Kathleen McGrade, a 1979 alumna in metallurgical engineering with give the 30-minute presentation.
David Thomas, class of ‘77, ‘79, and ‘80, will give a 30-minute response. Both talks will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.
For the industrious - and physically fit - the ‘M’ Mountain Run to “Paint the M” is Sunday morning. Runners are to meet in the ERMTC parking lot at 9 a.m. Registration is required by noon Friday in Brown Hall’s room 200 or by email to The first 20 people or teams to reach the M with a bag of lime wins $50. Anyone 18 and older may take part in the run, but to qualify for a prize, the participant must be enrolled as an New Mexico Tech student in good standing. Hamburgers and soft drinks will be served at the top of the mountain.
Wrapping each day of events is one of the most popular parties of the year – the original Vigilante Band playing Thursday through Saturday nights at the Capitol Bar.
The Vigilantes was formed in 1975 by seven New Mexico Tech students, and reforms every year for the 49ers celebration.
Vigilantes will play from 9 p.m. till “late,” at the Cap.
The city’s tourism director, Deborah Dean, said Socorro Transportation will be offering free rides within the city limits during 49ers Weekend on Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. 
The van will stop at the Plaza at 10 p.m., then at Ranchers and along California Street at 10:30 p.m. and will continue these half hour stops until 2 a.m.
“So please designate a driver or let us drive you home,” Dean said.

New Mexico Tech President Dan Lopez speaks before the crowd attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new addition to the John M. and Esther L. Kelly Building on Olive Lane. Lopez said the addition adds badly needed laboratory and office space for the Petroleum Recovery and Research Center (PRRC). Tech Regent Ann Murphy Daily and Chamber of Commerce Director Terry Tadano also made remarks. The Center has more than $10 million in current research projects, plus the 10 year, $160 million carbon sequestration project. New Mexico Tech is the lead agency in the Southwest Consortium for Carbon Sequestration.
Photo by John Larson

OPINION: Trying To Pull Back The Curtain of Time

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

I’ve been working my way through the Dark Mountain Project’s suggested reading list. This is a group of writers in England who are trying to “question the stories that underpin our failing civilization, to craft new ones for the age ahead and to write clearly and honestly about our true place in the world.
One book in particular has struck a cord with me: Thursbitch by Alan Garner. It’s a fairly light, science-fiction type book that has two groups of people, one present day, one distant past, dealing with the Mythos of a section of land in England. The distant past (or is it distant future?) group builds its society, rituals and lives around the inherent “story of the land.” The present day people, for the most part, tend to ignore what the earth is telling them.
That got me thinking of the story of OUR land. Stroll on up to the mountains around here and read part of the story for yourselves. Bands of limestone from an inland sea-bed, sandstone, shale, lava, all laid down one on top of the other, on up to our layer which will include plastic water bottles and beer cans.
The story of our land would also include the giant predators of the past, herds of Buffalo, the Ancient Ones and the not-so-ancient ones. Listen, look, feel and learn. The Earth never stops telling us its story. The Earth’s story also includes chapters on “eating to survive.” Some animals sip nectar, some munch on leaves or grass, while others eat those lower on the food chain.
Humans also fall somewhere in-between as sippers, browsers or carnivores. Where are you on the food chain?
Like it or not, WE are about to be devoured by the San Augustin Ranch LLC. They have decided that they have the right to drink up ALL of the water in these here parts. Circle Nov. 10 on your calendars.
The Bear Mountain Café in Magdalena will host a potluck at 6:00 p.m.. and an informative meeting at 7:00 to discuss this imminent danger. Tentative speakers include State Representative Don Tripp, State Senator Howie Morales, Hydrologist Frank Titus and Attorney Bruce Frederick.
This same situation is being repeated around the world as corporations are preparing to gobble up the resources which constitute the “commons” for local communities. Eat or be eaten. Fight for the environment in our little corner of the World!
Find more stories of our Earth at the newly expanded Magdalena Public Library. Stories of our Southwest are now housed in the former Village Trustee’s room, the passenger waiting room of the old Santa Fe Railroad depot. An Open House is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24th.
Come visit and find the stories of our Earth that interest you.
And finally, if you love animals, whether they be sippers, browsers or carnivores, stop by the Friends of Animals Bake Sale booth at the Magdalena Schools’ Halloween Carnival. It will be held in the new gym on Thursday, Oct.29 from 4-7 p.m.
It also will be a good opportunity to find out what stories of our Earth our children are being told.
As always, if you have any comments? Problems? Solutions? Up coming Events? Issues? Contact me at or (575) 854-3370.

Trucker Caught With Pot Headed To District Court

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The preliminary hearing for Lincoln A. Kelly, arrested Sept. 29 in Magdalena for transporting almost $1 million worth of marijuana in a semi, was held Wednesday in Magistrate Court. Judge Jim Naranjo bound the case over to District Court.
Deputy District Attorney Ricardo Perry is prosecuting the case. Kelly was arrested by after being notified by Arizona Highway Patrol to be on the look out for the White Freightliner semi following a lead car, a 2000 Mercedes Benz. The semi was pulled over on Highway 60 in Magdalena. The bundles of marijuana were found behind several pallets of pistachios.
Marshal Larry Cearley learned that the 648 pounds of pot was being transported to New Jersey and New York.
The driver of the lead car, Derrick A. Singh of Ft. Lauder-dale, Fla., and recently released from the Arizona Corrections Dept. for money laundering and controlled substance charges, was questioned and released by New Mexico State Police.
Kelly faces one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute (more than 100 pounds), a class three felony. If convicted he could be spending the next three years in prison.

Troupe Celebrates Dia de Los Muertos

Come celebrate Dia de los Muertos with New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series on Thursday, Oct. 29. 
The Day of the Dead festivities start Thursday at noon when there will be arts and crafts workshops for families to enjoy on the school holiday.
From noon to 3 p.m., the community is invited to Macey Center for an afternoon of fun activities led by arts educators from the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Families may create traditional arts and crafts, learn about the history of the holiday, be creative at hands-on art stations, and view ofrendas by artists, honoring families and individuals. A video on the history of the Day of the Dead may also be viewed. The workshop is free, but an RSVP is required at 835-5688 or
Next, from 5 to 7 p.m., Tech Club-Club Macey members will enjoy a social gathering, featuring snacks of posole, natillas (Mexican pudding) and seven-layer dip. The video on the history of Day of the Dead will also be shown.  Tech Club-Club Macey is a social club for people 21 and over.  There is a $5 cover charge if you are not a member.
A performance by Sol y Canto is at 7:30 p.m. on Macey’s main stage. Sponsored by the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the concert is only $6 for adults and free for ages 17 and under.
Sol y Canto is a Pan-Latin ensemble led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer and bongo player Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and composer Brian Amador. The nationally-touring and Boston Music Award winning band is known for making their music accessible to Spanish and non-Spanish speaking audiences of all ages.
Featuring Rosi’s crystalline voice, Brian’s lush Spanish guitar, and virtuoso musicians from Uruguay, Perú, Panamá and Argentina on piano, winds, bass, and percussion, the sextet has established a reputation for their quirky original compositions that address matters of the heart, social and global aspiration, and for their unique and driving interpretations of contemporary Latin music.  
Since 1994, Sol y Canto has brought audiences to their feet from the Kennedy Center to the White House, the California World Music Festival to Boston’s Symphony Hall, Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Boston Globe hails them “sublime ambassadors of the Pan-Latin tradition” and their many accolades include Best of Boston for Latin rhythms by Boston Magazine and Outstanding Latin Act by the Boston Music Awards.
Canto y Sol’s newest release (a Parents Choice Award winner), Twice as Many Friends/El Doble de Amigos, features a fun and celebratory collection of bilingual children’s songs for singing, dancing and learning.  
Tickets for the concert are $6 for adults and free for youths 17 and under.  Tickets are available at the door or in advance at NM Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Western Wear, Sofia’s Kitchen, and Video Shack. 
Admission is free to full-time New Mexico Tech students – those taking at least six hours and showing a valid ID. Students should pick up their tickets in advance at the Tech Bookstore.

Marshal's Blotter

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

Sept. 29
Officers from Magdalena and New Mexico State Police pulled over at 6:50 p.m. a semi at mile marker 114 after receiving a tip the truck had drugs inside the trailer. The driver was arrested with 648 pounds of marijuana.
Sept. 30
An officer took a report at 4:50 p.m. where a dish was stolen from a residence on Pine Street. Dish Network was contacted. The case is open pending leads.
Oct. 3
• An officer stopped a vehicle on Highway 169 at 6:50 p.m. where the driver was arrested for DWI. A passenger in the vehicle was arrested on an outstanding warrant from the Magdalena Municipal Court.
• Officers were called at 10 p.m. to a residence on North Chestnut. A male subject was passed out on the front porch. He was arrested on five outstanding arrest warrants from Magdalena Municipal Court and Socorro Magistrate Court.
Oct. 6
An officer assisted at 9 a.m. in apprehending a fugitive in Texas for murder. The female suspect was tracked with the help from a county deputy from Tom Green County, Texas.
Oct. 8
An officer was called at 10:45 a.m. to the Magdalena Schools where two females had marijuana in their possession. The two juveniles were released to their parents and the case was turned over to Juvenile Probation and Parole and suspended from school pending a hearing.
• An officer was called at 1:40 p.m. to mile marker 0.5 on Highway 169 where a male subject was passed out and intoxicated. The subject was taken to the Socorro County Jail after he was released from Socorro General Hospital. He was charged with Public Nuisance.
• An officer took a report where a male subject was struck in the head with a blunt instrument. The victim is currently in a coma and his right side is paralyzed. The case is open pending further leads.

Oct. 9
An officer was called at 10 p.m. to a residence on Tenth Street which was on fire. The fire consumed a van, two trucks, a motor home and a trailer. The fire was arson and is currently being investigated
Oct. 10
An officer assisted the Magdalena fire Department in a brush fire behind the Wells Fargo Bank at 1:30 p.m. The fire was human caused and was put out after a quick response.
• Officers were called at 2:30 p.m. to a residence on Kelly Road where a male and female was involved in a domestic battery. The two were separated and charges are pending.
• Officers from Magdalena, New Mexico State Police, and New Mexico Game and Fish began a check point at 4 p.m. on Highway 60 at mile maker 112. 237 vehicles were checked in three hours and 30 citations were issued for traffic violations and illegal wood.
• Officers were called at 6:30 p.m. to the old airport where two people were shooting at deer out of season. A reward is being offered in connection with the crime.

Oct. 13
Officers found two females that ditched school. One female ran from officers and was apprehended at about 3:45 p.m. This is the same female that ran away from home and spent the night near the Marshal’s Office on the roof.

Miners Finish Second In ABQ

By Dave Wheelock, Tech Rugby Coach

ALBUQUERQUE — The New Mexico Tech Rugby Club overcame four opponents in the 40th annual High Desert Classic before bowing to the Clovis Nomads in Sunday’s collegiate division championship match, 13-7. The Pygmies fell just short in their second comeback rally of the day after defeating New Mexico State University 12-10 in a collegiate semifinal nailbiter. The Nomads were competing in the nine-team collegiate division by virtue of their first-year status in the Rio Grande Rugby Union.
The Pygmies are scheduled to host the NMT alumni team, The Ancestors, at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the traditional kickoff of New Mexico Tech’s 49ers celebration.
Denver Black Ice clobbered the Atomic Sisters of Albuquerque 60-6 to win the 13-team women’s championship while Glendale, Colo., beat the University of New Mexico 40-8 for the eight-team men’s premier division title.
The Pygmies overwhelmed the Adams State College Grizzlies 36-7 in their opener Saturday morning. Center Nick Aldape and wing James Fallt each touched down twice while head captain Jay Herrera and utility back Dustin Webb also contributed a try each. Herrera connected on three of six two-point conversion kicks.
Against the Vatos Rugby Club of Las Vegas, N.M., Aldape, Webb, and wing Mason Timm reaped two tries apiece, and fullback Isaiah Sanchez chipped in one. Herrera kicked three conversions and Dustin Webb added two to complete Tech’s 45-12 win.
History was made as New Mexico Tech squared off against their first-ever Mexican opponent, Chihuahua Rugby Club, in the Saturday nightcap. Tech led 12-0 at halftime on tries by Aldape and Sanchez. In the second half, though, Matt Kretz and Graham Payne became Tech’s first forwards to score, joined by Herrera with two more tries. Herrera was two-for-six on conversion kicks.
Sunday morning, the Pygmies staged a dramatic 12-10 win against New Mexico State University in semifinal play. The Chiles led 10-nil at the half, but Royce Beaudry and Dustin Webb scored tries in the second half.
In the championship match Clovisflyhalf Andrew North had thundered two penalty kicks through the uprights for a 6-0 lead, and a strong run early in the second half by Clovis’ Dean Richards stretched the Nomads’ advantage to 13-0.
Tech finally worked the ball within range with less than 10 minutes remaining. Several battering runs were repelled by the Nomads, until finally Nick Aldape slithered over the try line with a couple of teammates in close support. Herrera’s successful conversion made it 13-7. The Pygmies almost pulled off the upset when lock Graham Payne shot through a gap, but his difficult pass to Isaiah Sanchez traveled forward, and the Nomads breathed a sigh of relief a minute later when the final whistle blew.

Pictured: New Mexico Tech freshman Enrique Koerdell is tackled by a Clovis defender after making a break Sunday in the championship match of the High Desert Classic in Albuquerque . The Nomads edged the Pygmies 13 to 7.
Photo by Dave Wheelock


Socorro volleyball team aims to turn around season

By John Severance

The Socorro High School volleyball team will break out the pink uniforms Saturday when it hosts “Big Pink.” The Warriors will meet district opponent Hatch Valley at 4 p.m.
The Warriors (7-9) will look to climb back in the district race after losing their last three, including a 3-0 defeat at Hot Springs Oct. 20.
“We have lost three straight and eight out of last 10,” Socorro coach Marleen Greenwood said. “We need to break this streak and start playing better. It’s nice we will playing at home in the second half of the district schedule.”
After hosting Hatch Valley Saturday, the Warriors will host Hot Springs on Tuesday for senior night.
“We are wearing pink uniforms Saturday for breast cancer awareness and I hope the community can come out and support that,” Greenwood said. “Tuesday night will be senior night as well.”
Socorro finishes its regular season at Cobre Oct. 29.

Injuries plague Socorro football team

By John Severance

Damian OCampo and his Socorro football coaching staff have never seen anything like it.
Injuries continue to plague the Warriors football team as it fell to perennial power Las Vegas-Robertson High (4-3) Oct. 16 to fall to 4-3 on the season.
“We got our skill players back for Robertson but then we suffered some injuries along the offensive line,” OCampo said. “I have a lot of experienced coaches on my staff and they said they have never seen so many injuries.”
Turnovers also played a role in the Socorro defeat as the Warriors suffered five turnovers. “We gave up the ball twice inside our 5-yard line,” OCampo said. “We just made too many mistakes.”
The good news for Socorro (4-3) is that the final three games of the season will determine its district standing. The Warriors will travel to Hatch Valley and Hot Springs the next two weeks and end the regular season at home against Cobre on Nov. 6.
Reserve rolls on
Reserve will look to clinch the District 2-8M football title when it plays host to Animas at 2 p.m. Friday.
The Mountaineers (7-1) are coming off a 52-6 victory against Magdalena on Oct. 16 as quarterback Nolen Snyder completed 9-of-13 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Catching TD passes were Trevor Kober, Joaquin Gutierrez, Adam Flsher and Allyn Snyder, who was also the leading rusher with 82 yards.
“The kids’ attitudes have been great,” Reserve coach Don Cole said. “I could not have asked for a better team.”

Defense carries Socorro girls soccer team

By John Severance

The Socorro girls soccer team has its eye on an eighth straight district championship. And its chances look pretty good when it hosted Ruidoso on Thursday. The only way for the Warriors to lose the title is if they lose to Ruidoso 7-0. Chances are that’s not going to happen.
The Warriors already won at Ruidoso 6-0 this season and they have given up just two goals in their past seven games.
“We have had a great season and it has been a lot of fun,” Socorro coach Mitch Carrejo said. “The work ethic and the dedication of the girls have been tremendous.”
The Warriors are coming off a 4-0 victory against Hatch Valley. The offense was provided by freshman Dezare Armijo, who tallied all four goals to give her 40 for the season.
“She started as an eighth grader and she has scored the most goals ever for Socorro,” Carrrejo said. “The next girl in 3A has something like 13 goals. She is a real good athlete, really dedicated and she is a hard worker, She does not let anybody get to her and she does not miss any practice like the rest of the girls.”
The game against Ruidoso also will serve as senior day. Carrejo said eight seniors and their parents will be honored. They include Victoria Lopez, Zakilah Dennis, Jennell Higgs, Katherine Welch, Mariah Deters, Janell Lopez, Madeline Wolberg and Nicole Engler. There is no district tournament in girls soccer so assuming the Warriors get past Ruidoso, they will await the decision of the state tournament seeding committee, which meets on Sunday. Carrejo is hoping the Warriors will get a fourth seed, which means they would get a bye into the quarterfinals. Twelve teams make the tournament, which begins Nov. 5-7 at the Albuquerque Soccer Complex.

Doing our best to combat the flu, viruses in Luna

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Luna has been very quiet lately for the most part due to an unwelcomed visitor. Seems the seasonal viruses and flu have come to visit many homes and decided to stay awhile.
Things have not changed too much from the early days of Luna; even then the doctors available still are located in Reserve and Springerville and further. People went to them as a last resort in the early days, because of the expense and the trip time and we still are a community that relies a great deal on homemade remedies.
The early years of Luna made women into mid-wives more than any other occupation to help with childbirth and caring of the ill. Many women rose to the calling and made fine caregivers. Today, we still look out for each other. Credit can never fully be given to all whom from the beginning to now stop what they are doing and help the ailing in the Luna Valley so unselfishly.
Welcome home
We send good thoughts and prayers to Clifford Mitchell now that he is home after his heart surgery and during his recovery; also love to Lou Ann and their extended family.
Halloween activity
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Luna Ward will host an old fashioned Halloween party with finger foods, popcorn balls and a host of goodies at 6 p.m. Friday Oct. 30.
]Activities will include musical tombstones and other old-time games including face painting, pumpkin decorating contests and costume judging. Everyone is welcome and invited to attend. Please contact Idonna Bradford for more information.
Preparedness corner
This flu season (2009-2010), there are more uncertainties than usual because of the emergence of a new 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (previously called “novel H1N1” or “swine flu”) that has caused the first influenza pandemic (global outbreak of disease) in more than 40 years. Severity is uncertain. Many people do not have immune protection against this new and very different 2009 H1N1 virus. There is concern that the 2009 H1N1 virus may cause the season to be worse than a regular flu season – with a lot more people getting sick, being hospitalized than during a regular flu seasonal. For more information visit the on the web or talk to your doctor.
Remember to stay indoors for at least 24 hours if you are ill and wash your hands regularly. It is also critical that you do not touch your tear ducts or wipe your eyes if you come into contact with someone who is ill or a contaminated surface. If you suspect the flu see your doctor in the first 48 hours for special medications that may help.
Genealogy corner
With the holidays right around the corner it is time to think of unique ideas for easy and inexpensive gifts and sharing your genealogy research with family and friends can be both. A family history CD has the ability to hold large amounts of data in a small space, and include photos, sounds, scanned document images, and even video - something a printed family history just can’t equal. A digital Christmas tree ornament holds many pictures is a great way to remember those you love.
Quote of the week
“A good education is the next best thing to a pushy mother.”
~Charles M. Schulz


Quemado area gears up for Halloween carnivals

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Public Health Department will be giving flu shoots in Quemado on Monday, Oct 26 at 1 p.m. They will be at the school giving students and staff shots. From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., shots will be given at the Quemado Community Center for the rest of us. The next scheduled date is Monday, Nov. 2 from 1:30- 3:30p.m. in Reserve at the Public Health Department Office located in the clinic.
Halloween carnivals
The Quemado School Halloween Carnival will take place Wednesday, Oct 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the school. Each class will have a booth with various games and activities. The carnival tickets are 25 cents each. This is a community event with young and old dressed in costumes. … The Datil School Halloween Carnival will be held in the Datil gym on Saturday, Oct 31 beginning at 6 p.m. It is sponsored by the Booster Club with proceeds going to help with school supplies, scholarships and more. There will be bingo, a haunted house, various games and a great concession stand. This also is a community event were young and old can dress in costumes.
Quilt drawing
The Quemado Senior Center held the drawing for the queen size quilt that was hand quilted by Bonnie Armstrong, Earlene Bowlby, Betty Chavez, Tilly Chavez and Placy Padilla. The winner is Lorene Skinner of Reserve.
The Datil Seniors are joining the Quemado Seniors for a Halloween Party on Thursday, Oct 29 at 10:30 a.m.
There will be treats and a prize for the Best Dressed/Scariest Costume. Names will be drawn for the Christmas Gift Exchange by those who would like to participate. Lunch menu for the Oct. 29 is chicken and rice with broccoli, peas and carrots, roll and oatmeal cookie. Please call by 9 a.m. with your lunch reservation.
The center’s phone number is 773-4820.
Lady Eagles
Quemado finished off the regular season with a 3-2 victory against Mountainair on Oct. 17.
It also was Parents Night and a fundraising event, “Volleyball for a Cure”, which raise over $290 for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research. The Quemado teams all wore a pink ribbon in their hair. The Eagles will meet Reserve on Oct. 27 in the first round of the district playoffs. The winner of the Quemado-Reserve match will play at Animas on Oct. 29 for the district championship. Reserve finishes its regular season Oct. 22 at Animas.
Odds and ends
The following Quemado businesses will be handing out Halloween treats to any children who come dressed in costume on Saturday Oct 31: The Country Store, J and Y Auto and The Largo. … The community is saddened to see our hardware store closing its doors. We want to thank Eric Skrivseth, owner and his crew, Larry, Lori and Pat for the years of being there when we needed them. … Happy belated birthday to Susie Rodriquez who turned 100 years young. Susie’s family and friends celebrated her birthday last weekend in Quemado.
Note: Know of anything going on? Let me know! Good news can’t be shared if it is unknown. Call 773-4119 or email at

OPINION: Sylvia makes discovery by examining gold coins

By Anne Sullivan

The rust-colored oak trees held hands across the road while leaves from the golden aspens sailed down with every breeze while Sylvia and I sat on the front porch bench watching fall happen.
“Those leaves are the very same color as our gold coins.” Sylvia pointed to the aspens shimmering and showing off in the sun.
“I wish you’d think of something other than gold for a change,” I said.
“What’s more important than gold?” Sylvia asked. “Especially after everything we’ve risked and lost.”
“It is a shame about the wagon. I don’t suppose it can be rebuilt.”
Sylvia shook her head sadly. “Totaled. Out of service forever.”
“Speaking of out of service, how’s Gordo?”
“He’s okay physically but he may have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.”
“I think he was born with that.”
“Be that as it may,” said Sylvia, “he wants to see a counselor.”
“Now where are we going to find a counselor for a cat?” I complained.
“RingWorm says she’ll do it. With all those white whiskers against her black hair, she appears very wise.”
“I guess she does but does she have the patience to deal with Gordo? A stressed Gordo at that.”
“If not, she’ll just give him one of those evil glares she gives him when he gets too near her food.”
I noticed that Sylvia was somewhat distracted during our conversation as she was fiddling with coins, gold coins, reminding me of old men who jingle coins in their pockets.
“Sylvia, stop that!” I ordered. “You’re completely mesmerized by that gold.”
“Yes, I am. It’s gold. My gold coins. I knew it was there up Swingle Canyon and it WAS there. Of course, we only found ten of these coins. There’s got to be more. If we could only get dependable help, we could dig further down.”
“Maybe you should try some larger animals since the squirrels and the mice haven’t worked out,” I suggested.
“They haven’t worked in either,” Sylvia said as she dropped one of the coins. After she picked it up, she caressed it and examined it closely, holding it up to the sunlight. “That’s funny,” she said.
“What’s funny?”
“There’s a date on this coin.”
“What is it? 1860?” I asked.
“No,” Sylvia said, sounding puzzled. “It’s 2009.”
“Are you sure?”
“Here, you look,” she said, handing the coin to me.
I squinted and looked and could see nothing. “I need a magnifying glass,” I said.
Sylvia banged into the house and returned ten seconds later with one of my many magnifying glasses. I held the magnifying glass up to the coin and squinted. “Sure enough, you’re right. It says 2009.” “How could a 2009 coin have gotten there?” Sylvia asked. “Just where we were digging.”
(How do YOU think it got there? A prize for the first person with the correct answer who writes to: Sylvia, c/o Mountain Mail, P.O. Box 62, Socorro, NM 87801).

Teddy Roosevelt manages to get all the votes at the Quemado Senior Center

By Anne Sullivan

If Theodore Roosevelt ran for election today, his campaign speech last week in Quemado would surely have won him many votes.
Powered by an overdose of energy, Randy Milligan as President Roosevelt bounded onto the floor of the Quemado Senior Center Oct. 16 to deliver acampaign speech. The time was approximately 100 years ago, a time of hope and glory for a strong America.
Dressed in his Rough Rider outfit, Roosevelt told the audience of the peace and rejuvenation he found in the West after his first wife and his mother had died on the same day; about the gentle song of the meadowlark; the thrill of shooting his first buffalo; and about his passion for protecting wildlife. He strove for protection of the wilderness for future generations.
The large and enthusiastic audience no doubt learned a lot of American History about the era when Roosevelt, the 26th President and his large family livened up the White House. As a matter of fact, he was the one who named it the White House. The question period during which audience members ask the Chautauqua performer who answers as the person he’s portraying was extended for 20 minutes as people wanted to know about President Roosevelt’s family, foreign policy, his time in New Mexico, the Bull Moose party, etc. Roosevelt left us with an apt quote for our time: “We cannot be a great nation unless we deserve to be a great nation.” Randy Milligan has the good fortune to look exactly like Teddy Roosevelt, but it was his acting that convinced and captivated the audience.
This Chautauqua performance was brought to Quemado by Northern Catron County’s Roadrunner Arts Council through the New Mexico Humanities Council.
The Senior Center made the Dinner Theatre concept a hearty reality with their delicious barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw and biscuit topped off with a wicked banana split.

Reserve Senior Selected

By Richard Torres
For the Mountain Mail
Romelia Aragon, a senior at Reserve High School, has been selected to perform with the All American Cheerleader Team, sponsored by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Selected by ability, attitude, and performance, this team is composed of students throughout the United States. This team will perform on New Years Day in London, England. Aragon is conducting a fund raiser, selling raffle tickets, to fund the trip. “My mom-Elisa, dad, family and my school has been very supportive. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me,” she said. If you would like to help Aragon by buying raffle tickets, please call 505-290-3327.
Health Committee
Catron County Grassroots Mental Health sponsored a community attended lecture in Reserve Monday. The lecture topic was mental health awareness, presented by Dr. Neil Bowan. He is the Medical Health Director of Hidalgo/Grant County. “Suffering is not necessary. Treatment for many forms of mental health issues is available,” Bowan said. Tara Kellar, President of Grassroots Mental Health, announced the recent clearing of donated land for a facility in Reserve. She stated the group is moving forward in a stated goal of providing services in their own facility for all county citizens.
Flu Clinic
Seasonal Flu Clinic in Catron County, sponsored by New Mexico Department of Health, will be administrating flu shots at the Quemado and Reserve Schools Oct. 26. Call your respective school for details. As of Tuesday, the H1NI vaccine has not arrived for distribution in Catron County.
Village Trustees
The Village of Reserve Trustees, at its monthly meeting this past Tuesday, accepted and paneled an advisory committee for drainage issues. A dozen citizens volunteered their services to work on this committee. Jon Swapp, a U.S. Census 2010 representative, gave a presentation of the upcoming Census Questionnaire to be issued April 2010. Special note: Census questionnaires will not be mailed to P.O. Boxes. This will present concerns to all of Catron County, the largest county in New Mexico. This and other concerns will be addressed at later meetings.
Soccer News
Reserve AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) will have its last matches at Reserve High School at 5 p.m. Friday. A Pot luck and awards picnic is scheduled for Oct.29th at Jake Scott Park in Reserve. The public is invited. “We had over 58 eight players, ranging in age from four to 12 years old, playing this year. They played hard and learned a lot. We encouraged everyone to come to our last games and pot luck to support our kids,” said B.B. Wickett, one of the many volunteers who made this soccer season a success.
Odds and ends
A new day care Center has opened for business in Reserve. Nanny Childcare is operated by Kate Fletcher. “We are accepting newborns thru five years old,” she said. For more information, call 575-533-6476.
Catron County Manager Bill Aymar published the first newsletter for the county. “This newsletter is intended to clarify issues and keep the citizens informed on county business,” Aymar said. The free monthly newsletter will be available throughout the county beginning in November.
Reserve School Superintendent Loren Cushman stated the IDEAL N.M. Program is doing quite well. “This program allows our students to take online classes. These classes are counted toward graduation credits. Historically small schools are limited in class offerings. IDEAL N.M. expands our student’s options,” Cushman said.
Principal Cindy Shellhorn announces the upcoming program called Operation RESPECT.” This program is sponsored and conducted by the District Attorneys Office of N.M. It is for juniors and seniors and will last for four days, will be given awareness instructions in various subject matters, including D.W.I. and self-defense,” Shellhorn said.

Additional Swine Flu Vaccines Are On The Way

By John Larson
SOCORRO – As the supply of flu shots are being used up in Socorro County, state officials report that more doses are on the way.
As of last week, the Department of Health has ordered 78,600 doses of novel H1N1 vaccine that will be shipped directly to healthcare providers and public health offices statewide. Both nasal and injectable vaccine has been ordered. The vaccine will arrive in stages, and the Department of Health expects to have about 1.2 million doses by the end of January 2010.
1.050 doses have been earmarked for Socorro County. Catron County will be receiving 60 doses.
Ruth Guin of the Socorro Public Health Office said the flu usually runs its course in three to five days.
“For most people just stay home and don’t go out in public. Keep your body hydrated,” Guin said. “Try and bring the fever down.”
The area schools have been seeing an increase in school absences.
Socorro Consolidated Schools Superintendent Cheryl Wilson told the Mountain Mail that the school nurses follow the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control.
“If a child has a fever of 100.4 they are sent home,” Wilson said. “Parents have already been keeping their children home who are exhibiting symptoms – a fever of 100 or higher and a cough. Right now we’re experiencing mid-winter flu absence rates. Absence rates we usually see in January.”
Wilson said the schools’ four Registered Nurses and nurses aids are tracking trends and comparing patterns with previous years.
“What the CDC figured is this; while it spreads easily it is not as dangerous as originally thought,” Wilson said. “The CDC is not recommending school closures unless we have too many staff or teachers out,”
She said if a child exhibits symptoms is kept home, a note from the family doctor will not be required.
“Doctors’ offices are already being flooded. If you’re out for any length of time a doctor’s excuse will not be required,” Wilson said. “Just keep them home until they’re fever-free.”
New Mexico Tech Public Information Officer Thom Guengerich said the emergency response team is meeting regularly to continually assess the situation.
“The university has placed dispensers of waterless hand sanitizers around campus, and has instituted policies asking employees to stay home if they believe they have the flu,” Guengerich said. “Guidelines we put into effect last spring to help stem the spread of the flu are still place. We’ve also sent letters to all students and employees detailing the best practices to minimize the spread of germs.”
An increase in traffic is being seen at New Mexico Tech’s student health center from students with flu-like symptoms.
The health department is encouraging the following people who are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from novel H1N1 to get vaccinated as soon as possible: pregnant women, household members/caretakers of infants less than six months old, children six to 59 months of age, children 5 to 18 years with certain chronic health conditions that increase their risk of complications from flu, and healthcare workers and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient care.

London Frontier Theater Presents Multimedia Play

The Ballad Of Babe and Beau opens Friday night for a return engagement at the WPA Theatre in Magdalena.
Reviewed as “a splendid multimedia production in which film, sound and acting all meld together to further the poignant story,” The Ballad of Babe and Beau tells the tale of two aging outlaws who return to the roaring cowtown they remember from their heyday in the 1890’s. However, it’s 1919 - almost 30 years later - and they find the town a dusty remnant of its rowdy past. But neither law nor time has “tamed and tidied” the larger-than-life, dare-anything pair.
The play takes a humorous and penetrating look at what creates legends. and the truth about aging. As the retired local madam says – with a knowing smile, “if you’re old; they think you can’t sin any more.”
The plot thickens when a mock holdup of an automobile by a mounted bandit is to be part of the town’s first annual “Outlaw Days” celebration. But complexities of modern life and a yen for a “last hurrah” tempt even the dour local sheriff to attempt something more authentic.
Video interweaves with stage action, carrying audiences on a journey back to a time when life and landscape seemed to stretch endlessly in an epic adventure. A reviewer said “the films evoke the times and the town and the West. The second act horse–and–car chase is positively brilliant.”
Period music is from Mont L. Laster and Friends, recorded for mid-1950s radio shows in Clarksville, Ark., shifting the mood from lively to sentimental, country to ragtime to waltz.
Actors are Frank Howard, Ruth Ryan, Donna Todd, Donald Wiltshire, and Bennie Zamora. Set/lighting is by Ronald Thornton and sound by Terry Stone. Videos were filmed and edited by Michael Mideke, who also handles the video projection. The play is written and directed by Donna Todd.
Performances are Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m., at Magdalena’s WPA Theatre, Main at 4th. Tickets are $5 at the door one hour before performance. Reservations can be made by calling 854-2519, or emailing
Further information, and a link to a preview of the show can be found at
“With the generous patronage of The Loan Fund, a supporter of non-profit and small businesses throughout New Mexico, we are able to offer a number of complimentary tickets,” Theatre Director Todd said. “Winners will be chosen at each performance, in a crazy-quilt lottery of surprise categories - a free show, gift of The Loan Fund.”
Winners will have their ticket prices refunded.

Pictured: The cast of ‘The Ballad of Babe and Beau’ during dress rehearsals. From left are Donna Todd, Ruth Ryan, Frank Howard, Don Wiltshire and Bennie Zamora.