Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Big Test Awaits Warriors

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Socorro football coach Damien Ocampo said he and his Warriors learned a valuable lesson last year.
“Last year, we were good,” Ocampo said after practice Nov. 23 in preparation for the Nov. 28 Class AAA semifinal clash with Raton at home. “We were a good solid team and we ran into St. Michael’s.
“You know what the difference in the game was? St. Michael’s had a whole new offense that we were not prepared for. It taught us a lesson. Be prepared for everything.”
And that’s the mindset that Ocampo and the third-seeded Warriors (8-3), who are coming off a 7-3 victory against Las Vegas-Robertson, have for Raton on Saturday.
The second-seeded Tigers (10-1) run a spread offense, operated by quarterback Dustin Walton, who is being recruited by Division I schools.
Raton also features a pair of speedy running backs in Malachi Morphew and Matthew Mendez.
Morphew scored three times in the 35-28 victory against St. Michael’s on Nov. 21, including a 79-yard touchdown pass from Dustin Walton on a flea-flicker. Mendez, meanwhile, ran for 108 yards.
“Malachi Morphew, I think he has about 19 or 20 touchdowns for us now this year,” Raton coach Brock Walton told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “He is the best player in the state that nobody knows about and we like it that way.”
Once again, it will be up to the Socorro defense to try and stop Raton.
But Ocampo knows the offense has to do its part as well.
“We have to score with them to stay in the game,” Ocampo said. “They have everything. Their offense is more complex than most colleges that run the spread. They are well-rounded on offense and defense. They might be darn near impossible to stop. Fans that come to the game are going to see an exciting brand of football.”
People, though, have been underestimating Socorro all year and that’s the way Ocampo likes it.
He is proud of what his team has accomplished so far and he is especially proud of the way the community has backed the Warriors, who stymied Robertson time and time again in the state quarterfinal game.
“These kids are really working hard and we’ve got some great football players,” Ocampo said. “We hang our hat on hard work. We have good numbers on the team and it takes a special person to play football at Socorro. We ask a lot out of them.
“To be in this situation is pretty special for the team and the community.”
Ocampo said the Warriors last made it to the final four in 2006. And Socorro last won a state title in 1977.
The Warriors have been battling injuries all season but they have kept battling.
“What was our record,” Ocampo asked the reporter.
The reporter replied: “8-3.”
Ocampo said: “You know we only had two guys on offense who have started in every game and only three guys on defense that have started in every game. We have been the walking wounded since the first week but we keep battling and I am so proud of them for overcoming all thse obstacles. We were picked to finish third in our district and now we are in the final four in the state.”
Socorro finished 3-0 in district play and it marked just the second time in school history that the Warriors had been undefeated in district play for two years in a row. The last time came in 1996 and 1997.
And guess who the quarterback was?
But now Ocampo is the coach and what does he think of his Warriors’ chances?
“I like to think if we play well, we have a shot.”
And that’s all you can ask.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo.The Socorro defense comes up big against Las Vegas-Robertson.

Holiday Festivities Abound In Socorro

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The City of Socorro is kicking off the holiday season this Saturday with three events geared toward the family – a posole cook-off, a tortilla making contest, and the popular Candy Cane Electric Light Parade.
For those who will be at Warrior Stadium to see Socorro play Raton in the state semifinals will still have time to take part in the day’s activities in town.
The annual Posole Cook-Off runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tourism Director Deborah Dean said the posole will be cooked on site in the tent on the Socorro Plaza. There are two categories: Traditional (with pork) and non-traditional (with green chile, chicken or other ingredients). There will be cash prizes of $200, $100, and $50.
“The public will be able to purchase five tickets for five samples for $5 following the parade to sample the posole,” Dean said. “They will also receive one special ticket to deposit in a jar at each table for the parade’s People’s Choice Award. “
The City is also sponsoring a new tortilla making contest to be held in conjunction with the Posole Cook-off, Dean said.
“The contest will begin at 1 p.m. in the tent on the Socorro Plaza, and awards will be given to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners.
“This is expected to be a fun event with contestants working in teams of two or three people and will be judged in the three categories,” she said.
The categories are quickest Time; quality of tortillas (all the same size, same thickness, and consistently round) and taste. There is a $5 entry fee per team.
The big finale to the day is the Christmas Candy Cane Electric Light Parade.
“Locals come out in all their colors and lights to the most exciting parade of the year,” Dean said.
This year's theme is “Tinsel Town.”
Parade entrants will begin assembling at 5 p.m. at Sedillo Park. The parade starts at 6 p.m. at Francisco de Avondo and will end at the Plaza.
Dean encouraged everyone to sample the posole at the Plaza Social following the parade.
“This gives people a chance to visit with Santa Claus, and then get to go in and enjoy posole and vote for the parade Peoples Choice Award,” she said.
Other parade awards include Best Presentation Of The Theme "Tinsel Town”; and Best Illuminated (Best Use Of Lights).
In conjunction with the City’s events, the Capitol Bar is holding its Fourth Annual Toy Run. Businesses are donating gift certificates that will be given away.
Bikers from Socorro and the surrounding area will leave the Cap at 1 p.m. and ride to the Golden Spur in Magdalena, returning to Socorro at 4 p.m., where they will be available to have children get a picture taken with Santa – possibly on a Harley.
A mariachi band will also be performing inside beginning at 5 p.m. Admission to the Capitol Bar during the event is $5, or a toy.
The bikers will then take part in the parade. Last year 22 bikers participated in this event that collects toys for the various organizations in town.
Next Friday will be the annual Luminarias on the Plaza, the Art Crawl, and the lighting of the community Christmas tree.

Tech Student Knows All About Big Cats

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The care of injured and sick bobcats and tigers was the topic of discussion in a seminar given by New Mexico Tech biology student Candace Cotter Monday, Nov. 16.
The seminar in Jones Annex was titled “Bob the Blind Bobcat,” and detailed what Cotter had learned about big cats in captivity.
Cotter, a 2007 Socorro High School graduate, spent part of August and September as an intern at Tiger Creek Wildlife refuge in Tyler, Texas. In May and June that she spent several weeks at a monkey sanctuary in South Africa.
“Some people call me that crazy cat lady around here,” she said.
Cotter feels her studies in genetics in the Biology Department at Tech provides a good foundation for her work with animals.
“I began considering going on to a veterinary school after I graduate from Tech,” Cotter said. “My major here is Biology, which is a good route for that. I found out about the internship at Tiger Creek and applied for it last spring.”
Cotter said most big cats in captivity are in private homes and, through ignorance or indifference, end up being mistreated.
“People want cubs because they are cute, but after a few months they get too big and aren’t cute anymore and people want to get rid of them,” Cotter said. “Two of the tigers I worked with at Tiger Creek were once owned by Michael Jackson. They called and said they were bringing them because he didn’t want them anymore.”
She said there is big demand worldwide for black market cats, strongly suggests against private ownership. “What happens is that most cats in private homes are improperly documented, and most owners have no idea how to take care of them if they are injured or become sick,” Cotter said. “In some states it is not legal to have a big cat as a house pet and people won’t take them to a vet.”
She said she help treat cats with diverse medical conditions, both congenital and human caused. Some of the privately owned cats suffered from malnutrition, scarring on paws from concrete floors, and general abuse. She said she cared for a bobcat at Tiger Creek with a spinal cord injury that “had been a housecat for several years,” and a three legged cougar that had its leg shattered from a dart gun.”
“Inbreeding, which is common with cats being sold to private owners, is a big cause of medical problems,” Cotter said. “We had cats with severe hip dysplasia, crossed eyes, weak immune systems, abnormalities, and birth defects.”
“There are only two to three thousand tigers left in the wild today,” she said. “One reason is that they are losing their habitat because of human population increase. Another reason is the poaching of tigers for their skins, and medicinal concoctions.”
She said a common misconception is that big cats are quick to attack. “They never attack out of aggression. As much as people fear tigers, tigers have fear for themselves,” Cotter said. “They will attack out of protection. Protection for their cubs, for example.”
She said cats like to wrestle around with each other, and will do that with a human.
“Play is important, and people will mistake play behavior for an attack,” Cotter said.
Part of her responsibilities at the refuge was feeding the cats.
“In the wild a tiger will eat up to 80 pounds at one time, then eat again in two days or so,” she said. “We fed them 10 to 20 pounds twice a day, so their eating is more regular.”

Photo: Candace Cotter at Tiger Creek Wildlife refuge with Piffer as the tiger was getting an upper GI for his digestive problems. Cotter feels her studies in genetics provides a good foundation for her work with animals especially the big cats.
Courtesy of Candace Cotter


Scientists Resume Tapping Into ‘M’ Mountain Reservoir

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Geoscientists at New Mexico Tech are to resume a project that was put on hold in 2006 to tap into a reservoir of hot water deep beneath the base of ‘M’ Mountain.
The project was first funded five years ago.
In 2004, the late Tech geochemistry professor David Norman and geophysics professor Harold J. Tobin were jointly awarded a $503,172 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Resource Exploration and Definition (GRED) III program. The purpose was to conduct research and exploratory drilling to accurately evaluate the geothermal potential in the previously designated “Known Geothermal Resource Area,” which surrounds ‘M’ Mountain.
After months of boring several exploratory sites along the base of ‘M’ Mountain, technicians began drilling in earnest Nov. 17, 2006 in a search for hot water.
The drilling operation ran into problems before reaching the 200 foot level in December, 2006, and the scientists spent the next several months solving those problems.
Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Mark Person, who is leading the operation, said there is conclusive evidence that the project could provide reliable source of geothermal energy – in the form of extremely hot water - that would provide the university with an efficient, inexpensive heating and cooling system.
He said he is looking for water temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 degrees centigrade (140 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit).
“Chemical geothermometers indicate a range of 50 to 113 degrees centigrade [122 to 235 Fahrenheit] at the fifteen hundred foot level,” Person said.
Person is working closely with James C. Witcher of Witcher and Associates, a geothermal consulting firm in Las Cruces.
“Water heated by geothermal waters through a heat exchanger would circulate around campus through a pre-existing hot-water loop, providing space heating for most of the university’s buildings,” Person said. “This would require geothermal waters of at least 150 degree Fahrenheit.”
The super-heated water can be used to power turbines.
A site was chosen above a large fracture on the front of ‘M’ Mountain several hundred feet above Socorro. The light generated by powerful halogen lamps can be seen every night in Socorro as the drilling goes on night and day.
According to a press release, as ground water seeps into the earth on the San Agustin Plains surrounding Magdalena, the water descends as far as three kilometers below the surface – and heating up as it descends. Distinct geologic formations beneath ‘M’ Mountain push the heated water back toward the surface.
“We’re drilling on the bull’s eye of a heat flow anomaly at Woods Tunnel,” Person said in the release. “It’s really exciting. A lot of faculty members are donating some of their time to this project because we believe in helping New Mexico Tech ‘go green.’ Plus, we can save the university – and the state – about $800,000 in cost every year.”
The new federal appropriation will pay for the infrastructure (pipes, pumps and heat exchangers) to transport the hot water 2.1 miles from the base of the mountain to the heat exchanger at Facilities Management.
Person said this phase of the project is exciting; the drilling will answer many questions about the potential for geothermal energy. At 300 feet, the drillers have encountered fractured rock and the well is producing 1,000 gallons per minute. Person said the project’s success depends in large part on finding similarly fractured rock at deeper depths. Fractured rock allows heated water to easily flow to the well consistently over time.
“Fractured rock makes it hard to drill,” Person said. “But it’s what we want to see.”

New Mexico Tech biology student Sean Chester accepts a donation to the Tri-Beta sponsored food drive Tuesday in the Atrium at Fidel Center. Chester said all non-perishable donations will be turned over to The Storehouse in Socorro to help that agency keep up with the heavy demand for food this time of year.

Photo by John Larson

Village May Apply For Block Grant

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – The Village Board of Trustees Monday night moved forward on a plan to apply for a grant to pave the southern portion of Pine Street.
In discussing the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan (ICIP) for next year, two of the top three items fall under the state legislature for funding; the Municipal Complex Phase II, and improvements on the community center at the rodeo grounds.
“Those are pretty much out of the question, since the governor has frozen all projects,” Mayor Jim Wolfe said. “The one item we might get money for is the paving of Pine Street.”
The $450,000 project would be funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), if approved by that federal agency.
Village Clerk Rita Broaddus said the application must be submitted by Dec. 15.
“This means the board will have to have two public hearings before final approval by the Board,” she explained. “The South Central Council of Governments did not let us know until last week that we would qualify for a new CDBG grant, which is why we have so little time. Normally we would start the process in September or October.”
The purpose of the South Central Council of Governments is to assist local governments in applying for grants, which includes the timely scheduling of public hearings.
“We haven’t heard from the COG people. They’re the ones who are supposed to help us get grants,” she said.
Broaddus said she will try to schedule two special public hearings for the next couple of weeks, and that public notices will be posted announcing the hearings.
Mayor Jim Wolfe proposed that the two hearings could be held in two days.
“Have one at night and one during the day,” Wolfe said. “If we can get everything done before the 15th of December we should have a good chance of getting this. It basically is a shovel ready project.”
Trustee Jack Fairweather said that although the time is tight, “I think we should give it a shot.”
The project would pave Pine from Fourth Street down to the dorms, Broaddus said.

In other business:

The Board passed the municipal election resolution. Election day will be Mar. 2, 2010, when voters will choose two Trustees and Mayor. All three positions are for four year terms. Voting will be held at the Fire Station. Those wishing to run for any of the positions must file their candidacy at Village Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

With one dissenting vote from Fairweather, the Board approved the naming of Arthur Rauschenberg to be the next Fire Chief. Current Chief Tim O’Neill indicated to the board via email that he must step down because of several out of town commitments. Fairweather said that his no vote did not “in any way” reflect his support for Rauschenberg, but that he had a problem with naming a new chief without a formal resignation from O’Neill.

Marshal Larry Cearley requested that the board approve the sale of three police cars. The board approved the sale of the vehicles, which will go out for bid - an $800 minimum bid for the 2001 Crown Victoria; A $1,000 minimum bid for the 2003 Ford Expedition (involved in a rollover); and a $900 bid for the 2000 4WD Ford Explorer.

EDITORIAL: Support Your Warriors Saturday Afternoon

By John Severance, Editor

Nothing unites a community like a high school football team playing in the state playoffs. And you know it’s a big game when you are playing on Thanksgiving weekend.
I have only been here for about a month, but I can tell the community of Socorro does need not any help in supporting its Warriors.
So when Socorro takes the field at 1 p.m. Saturday against Raton in the Class AAA state semifinals at Warrior Stadium, go to the game, have fun and root on your team.
Declamation proclamation
I had the pleasure of attending the declamation by Socorro elementary school students last week.
I have nothing but admiration for those children who spent probably countless hours memorizing those poems and then reciting them without any cue cards in front of a big audience.
The top three finishers in four different categories – humorous prose and poetry, and serious prose and poetry – will compete with the winners from Magdalena on Dec. 3 at the Consolidated Schools Central Office in Socorro.
Happy Turkey Day
I’ll be the first to admit that it has been a rough year. I found out firsthand what it was like to be unemployed after spending more than 25 years in the newspaper experience on the East Coast.
In a way, the break was good because I was able to clear my head and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
But it also was completely stressful and I am sure there are some of you out there who know what I am talking about.
So the first thank you has to go to Gary for giving me a job.
I would like to send out Thanksgiving wishes to all of our devoted readers and advertisers. Without you, there would not be a Mountain Mail. Best wishes also go out to my colleagues here and my hard-working contributors out in Catron County. A special thanks go out to my longtime girlfriend Jill in Santa Fe, my dad and stepmom in Maine, my sister in Baltimore and the Nances out at the Field Ranch.
Happy Thanksgiving.
John Severance can be reached at 575 838-5555 or you can email him at

LETTER: Glad You’re Back

To the editor:
I am very pleased that you are keeping the Mountain Mail alive. There are times when it is important to have a local news source. But even when nothing important is happening, I enjoy the community news “features” on interesting people and worthwhile activities. I also am pleased to see Anne Sullivan’s “Sylvia” column continue.
With all the best wishes for your continued endeavors.

Uncle River
Pie Town

LETTER: Questioning The Socorro Co-op

To the editor
Question: Why should the Socorro Electric Cooperative (that word cooperative is quite a joke) meet twice a month to accomplish nothing? Shouldn’t one be sufficient?
Question: The Christmas party the board is planning for itself: Is my money paying for that, open bar and all, and I’m not invited?
Question: Why aren’t the newly elected board members allowed to take their positions on the board immediately, responding to the will of the electorate, rather than having to wait until January.
Question: Why do we accept such irrational behavior?

Ruth White

LETTER: Board Needs To Be Watched

To the editor
My husband and I were absolutely thrilled to read your opinion piece about SEC in last week's paper. It had looked to us as though neither paper was reporting on the true state of affairs for fear of offending the Co-op, and never receiving any more advertising dollars. They seem to have it pretty well established that you're not going to receive any more any way. Why should they need to advertise at all? It isn't like they have any competition.
But you are oh, so right that the board needs to be watched. I have attended several meetings, and the behavior of this board is appalling.
Thanks for attending the meetings, and thanks for caring.
See you there!
Audrie Clifford

OPINION: Giving Thanks And The High Cost Of Denial

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Here we are giving thanks again and preparing to celebrate the other grand holidays before us. Personally, I love it, and I don’t deny the pain and suffering that often comes with it.
Churchill said of us, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing-after they have tried everything else.” That’s a left handed compliment if ever there was one. Winston Churchill was speaking of our delay in joining the fight against Hitler, I’m assuming.
I read this quote a few months ago and can’t get it out of my mind. The list of important areas in our lives where we “keep trying everything else first” seems to get longer and longer. The never ending “honey do” list. Each area a challenge, but the piling up of the unattended to, might just crush US.
Steve Kroft did a segment on 60 Minutes about the high cost of dying. The first point made, we are often in denial about dying. We do die, will die, all of us. Testing, treatment, hospital and ICU-stay for terminal patients cost $50 billion a year. Up to $10,000 a day maintaining someone in ICU. Medicare, insurance companies will pay until we are broke. I mean the USA broke, not just you. (Take a look,
I am a grandma, and I know there will be a day when enough is enough. I’m not a stupid grandma.
Hospitals are making the last days of many people miserable and degraded. Your only hope now to save your family some money and your self some peace and dignity is a living will.
While all this is going on, some people (now they say 30 million) can’t get in the door. Children, young people, experienced workers can’t get in the health care door. People who have a life yet to live don’t get treatment and almost 90 year old women, who are dying, get pap smears.
All I want for the holidays is for “right to life” to mean something beyond self-right, self-might, and anger.
Do you see “right to life” demonstrations in front of home where a spouse or child is being beaten? Stopping a war for profit? Getting the spouse of a small new business owner health care?
Don’t we have the right also to die without every part of our body being twisted and pumped for every last ounce of profit?
Double checking my Churchill quote, I found lots of goodies that were new to me. Please think of these quotes as holiday party favors from me.
Here’s one for our Congressman, Harry Teague. He recently voted against the health care bill. “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.” Just who was the Congressman representing in that vote?
More goodies from the tough Englishman. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on.” So hard to choose. Well, let’s give it to “there is no global warming” crowd and the “we are entitled to all resources” group.
Hundreds of icebergs are floating north from the Antarctic. A warning has gone out to shipping vessels in the southern seas especially around New Zealand.
Hey, a new industry for New Mexico, wrangle a few ice bergs and sell the water, at gourmet prices, to Texas. We’re so clever we wouldn’t sell the water right from beneath us. That would be Homeland Insecurity.
There is only one thing more cuddly then fleece from Red China, that’s denial.
Giving thanks and affection to Magdalena and Neighbors, one more quote from Churchill: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is what it takes to sit down and listen.” Have great holidays, be brave and do the right thing.

Jobey Miller of Socorro (second from right) was the latest graduate from Socorro County Drug Court Thursday, Nov. 19. With Miller are therapist Athena Gassoumis, who is holding Miller’s daughter Stevie Romero, and Seventh Judicial District Judge Matt Reynolds. The county started the program that gives former substance abusers a new lease on life. Reynolds told Miller during the ceremony: “You have been a model student for everybody who is in drug court.” Miller says she takes it one day at a time. “I feel rich in my heart and I just want to thank everybody for believing in me.”

Photo by John Severance

OPINION: Not Too Late to Join the Decolonization Movement

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

I can’t recall just now if it was for a recent birthday or as a Christmas gift that my sister gave me a tee shirt created by the legal advocacy organization Native American Rights Fund. Emblazoned across the front of the red shirt in the familiar white Coca-Cola script is the message “Fighting Colonialism at Home,” with NARF’s name beneath.
On days I wear this shirt I invariably receive compliments and knowing nods of approval from at least a few non-native folks. There are many immigrant descendants who sympathize, on one level or another, with the "plight of the red man."
Well, you can save your tears. We are all colonized now.
We live in a time when something formerly as personal as our clothing is routinely exploited as just another space for commercial promotion.
Yet turnabout is fair play.
To me the NARF shirt is not only a protest against U.S. government policies that have devastated indigenous cultures but also a general warning against a devalued kind of thinking that is preventing us - all of us – from finding solutions to our most pressing challenges.
While the mental image most contemporary non-indigenous people carry in their minds about the subjugation and control of native tribes may be dominated by epidemic disease, military operations, and unjust treaties, an equally powerful “civilizing” force has been the replacement of indigenous ways with those of the dispossessors.
The Indians not only had to be disarmed and separated from their land, but their languages, economies, and family structures, their foods, songs, symbols, and most of all their values, had to be supplanted by cultural artifacts of their oppressors, such as individualism, private property, wealth accumulation, constitutional governments, and proselytizing religions.
Academics may refer to this process as cultural imperialism; those who deal in raw power prefer to call it “soft power,” or “the battle for hearts and minds.” To a rising tide in Indian Country, it’s colonization of the mind. Over the centuries the response to cultural imperialism among Indian people has ranged from naïve acceptance to selective adoption to organized efforts to decolonize.
Although the results are yet to be determined, efforts to colonize the mind of so-called mainstream America are well under way. An intense struggle rages beneath most people’s radar.
The destruction of a nation bristling with arms can only come from within as propaganda, enabled by shallow thinking, is elevated to the level of acceptability by corporate operatives, religious zealots, and bigots. In such a world, thinking and acting are left to experts, who might tell us that sacrificing a vast number of our children and a major portion of our resources on behalf of an uncooperative tyrant halfway across the world, who himself knows better than to mock history in pursuit of an ill-defined outcome, is the only option. From this kind of fantasy it is an easy jump to believe predatory banking is the proper foundation of a prosperous national future, vast disparities between rich and poor is natural and just, worldwide leadership in incarceration rates is cause to feel secure, even though the folks on the next continent – or street – are out to get ya.
The antidote to this kind of propaganda is critical thinking. If you know someone who professes that “environmentalists are in it for the money” you can bet he or she has yet to learn how to think critically.
A critical thinker, according to City University of New York’s Ira Shor in Empowering Education, is able to “go beneath surface meaning, first impressions, dominant myths, official pronouncements, traditional clichés, received wisdom, and mere opinions” in search of deeper and more accurate truths. Critical thinking makes us aware there are usually ignored or suppressed opinions in any discussion, and demands that we “dig a little deeper” to uncover and honestly consider these facts or points of view.
Critical thinking requires humility and a realization of the need to continue learning in order to offer one’s best contribution. It is fostered by effort, not convenience; cooperation, not competition; discussion, not isolation; honesty, not pride; challenge, not entertainment.
In each instance we run a collective risk today of too much of the latter and not enough of the former. Although I can only claim beginner status as a critical thinker, I fear that history may one day record that while our civilization burned, we texted.
The most insidious forms of colonization are those that remove us from our connection with nature. The revitalization efforts being carried out today by most Indian nations include strong components aimed at reestablishing links to lands and traditional methods damaged or broken by the forces of cultural imperialism.
We should be so smart. It is an accepted fact that when a living species, which is what we are, loses its ability to interact sustainably with its environment, there’s going to be trouble – big trouble.
Most people would allow that suicide is a form of madness. Still, the countless messages urging us to submerge ourselves in a human made world keep coming. Who’s in charge? You are.
Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, holds a history degree from the University of New Mexico. Contact him at Mr. Wheelock’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the Mountain Mail.

Warriors Didn’t Back Down A Bit

By Gary Jaramillo

Although the Warriors were absolutely, positively not supposed to win on Saturday, I had a feeling from first sunlight that something special was going to happen at Eddie Castaneda Warrior football field. Some years ago another team (Academy), complained that Socorro had no business being on the same field with them. Robertson fans and players have been saying the same thing for the past two weeks.
Well back in 1977, Socorro won that game against Academy, and the state championship trophy along with it.
I had the pleasure of walking the sidelines, taking photos and sharing in the raw emotion of the battle this time around.
It was truly an adventure. I was in choir and band in high school and never had the chance to feel the electricity on the sidelines of a truly epic defensive battle and challenge of athletic skill, wit and heart. Both teams gave their very last of what they had in each and every play from scrimmage.
On this day, the battle bruised and injured Warriors were the No. 3 seed and Robertson was the No. 6 seed. One couldn’t possibly believe that Socorro was the higher seed from all of the press and talk coming from Las Vegas. Evidently, the Warriors weren’t supposed to deserve their third seed position and the majority from up north even said the Warriors didn’t even deserve to be on the same playing field as Robertson. Sounded way to familiar to me. Well, as an old fella once told me, “that’s exactly why they play the games.’’ And boy, did the Warriors play.
On this game day, every Socorroan was united and stood behind the battle-tested and many times thought of “not a chance Warriors” and believed together that it could happen. I could see the difference in the boys’ eyes that I talk to every day in town. The boys who had the uniforms on this day were not the same. Saturday was theirs.
Socorro couldn’t get anything going in the first quarter, and any time the Warriors began to build steam, a miscue penalty or missed third-down opportunity would kill their drives on the ground or in the air, but they managed to keep Robertson at bay with an unforgiving defense.
In the waning minutes of the second quarter, the Warriors sent a clear message as QB Zach Esquivel and company pushed one down their throats and into the end zone for the first and only touchdown of the game.
The cool breezes played no large part in the game in the first half as Robertson mounted a long drive of its own and with little time left before half, had to settle for a field goal from about 40 yards out. Esquivel threw an interception on the next possession, but the Warriors held Robertson at bay and it was 7-3 at halftime.
In the second half, both teams had their chances and some really great plays from scrimmage, but it seemed every time one of them was ready to break free and open up the scoring, the others defense came up with a play to stymie any progress made. The third quarter went by fast, but the penalties, miscues and solid tackling continued on both sides of the ball. Socorro’s efforts in each and every play included each and every player.
I thought to myself several times during the fourth quarter that surely after a turnover or punt brought about by a mistake or the failure to gain another first down, the Warriors couldn’t possibly keep Robertson from finally breaking a big play and changing the momentum for good.
But each and every time I had the thought, the Warriors found yet another level of play and rose to the occasion in each situation and completely stopped Robertson again and again.
I watched as Ocampo and his assistants yelled out plays and words of encouragement and kept the team in a sort of controlled chaotic deliberate mode.
Ocampo’s kids never lost sight of him on the sidelines. Never. After every play, they all looked to the coach on the sidelines and listened and then turned back to one another and made sure everything was right for the very next play.
Then all at once, the breakneck speed tackling and sprinting came to a sudden halt. Robertson had run out of timeouts and suddenly their fans’ taunts and loud insults went completely silent.
I watched Ocampo, his kids and the other coaches look into each others eyes in a sort of slow motion snapshot like way that really only took seconds, and not a word had to be said between any of them. Winning is sweeter when it’s done as gentlemen.
I saw a slight smile in the corner of Ocampo’s mouth and tears well up in his eyes as he looked away from the field and to the ground for a moment while his quarterback grabbed the final snap from his center and dropped onto his knee to end the game.
The most impressive thing about the afternoon is that I saw what it takes to be a team of men who are called boys most of the time. I watched what it takes to be the coaches during an unbelievably stressful and hard struggle on the field. I thought of the many hours of hard stressful practice all season long. And I witnessed the friendship, trust, will and heart of 63 players, coaches, managers and trainers all became one (1) on a warm Saturday afternoon in our/my hometown in November. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only number that counts.
This holiday season will surely be an extra special time for all of us to give thanks for the wonderful opportunities and those special moments and people we all take for granted much too often. The Warriors are playing this Saturday. Bundle up and come and share in the Socorro Families history.
I’ll be there to see our Warriors play Raton on Saturday. I hope everyone will stop what they are doing on Saturday and be part of the ONE when the game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Eddie Castaneda Warrior Football Stadium.

Christmas Tree Lighting Scheduled For Dec. 2

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Christmas Tree Lighting in Quemado is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec 2 at the old Ag County Propane site. The festivities start at 6 p.m.
The Quemado Senior Center will have a bake sale and the students of the Mohave Academy will have hot dogs. Santa will arrive on a Quemado Fire Department truck and will hand out gifts to the children. The evening ends with a bonfire and marshmallow roast. Bring your stick for roasting and the QFD provides the marshmallows. The tree will be decorated on Monday, Nov 30 at 11 a.m. if anyone would like to help. For more information, please call Kim Carr at 773-4646.
Pool Tournament
Quemado Senior Center will hold a pool tournament on Tuesday, Dec 1 and the van to Gallup on Wednesday, Dec 2 leaves at 8 a.m. If you are going to Gallup, please call the center at 773-4820 by Monday, Nov 30 with your reservation. The senior center is having a bake sale at the Christmas tree lighting so all types of baked goods are needed. Please bring those to the center by 4 p.m. on the 2nd. If you can’t make it to the center in time, just bring them to the tree lighting party. In need of handmade gifts for the holidays, the twin size blue quilt is still for sale plus other wonderful items.
Prescribed Burn
Forest Service 60 acre prescribed Burn off Hwy 32 by mile marker 23 will be taking place on Monday, Nov 30 if weather conditions allow. The area follows County Road 21 toward the Armijo Springs Campground. If you have questions or want the exact area of the burn, please call the Quemado Ranger Station at 773-4678
Busy Week Ahead
Quemado Basketball teams have a busy weekend. Boys play in the Cliff tournament and the Girls Junior Varsity and Varsity have three home games; Thursday 3rd at 5 p.m. against Ramah, Friday 4th at 5 p.m. against Pine Hill and Saturday at 4 p.m. against Round Valley.
Reserve Craft Show
Reserve Craft Show will be held Saturday, Dec 5th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community Center. There will be over 30 artists and crafter set up to sell their items such as handmade leather crafts, jewelry, paintings, candles, knives and more. The food is provided by Rusty Roof BBQ. There will be activities for children through out the day.
Santa will be there from 1 to 3 p.m. to hand out gifts to the children. Linda Aragon will be available to take a picture of the children with Santa Claus.

OPINION: When It Comes To Snoozing, Sylvia Certainly Sticks To It

By Anne Sullivan

The day was cold and I was nestled in my comfortable chair reading and dozing. Sylvia was snoring softly in her bed by the TV and, for once, not even a mouse was stirring. A scream aroused me with a start and I awoke to see a shivering Sylvia beside me. She appeared to be wearing her bed.
“%##!$,” she shrieked. “Get me out of this! It’s got ahold of me! Get it off me!”
“Calm down, Sylvia,” I said when I could get a word in edgewise. “What have you done to yourself?”
“I haven’t done anything to myself,” she yelled. “It attacked me! I was minding my own business, enjoying my dream and – and –“ Sobs smothered the rest of the sentence.
“Stand still, Sylvia,” I said, unwrapping myself from my heated throw and rising from my chair. “Let me see what the trouble is.”
A few more ill-chosen cusswords issued from her mouth before I caught hold of her to investigate the matter.
“I see what you’ve done, Sylvia,” I said with extreme calm while smothering a laugh. “You’re caught in a sticky trap.”
“It’s supposed to catch mice, not me,” she sobbed. “You shouldn’t have put it so close to my bed.”
“You’re right. I’m very sorry. You poor baby,” I said, patting her head. “Now, be still and let me get it off you.”
“Careful! That’s my hair you’re so cavalierly tearing out.”
“The only way to get it off you is to pull. I’m so sorry. Now grit your teeth and be brave.”
“Owww. It’s not fair. I was having a nice dream for once. Owwww.”
“Do be still so I can grab it and pull.” In the minisecond that she stayed still, I managed to pull half of the trap off, after which I had to detach that half from my hand.
“Now we’re really getting somewhere,” I said as cheerily as I could manage under the dire circumstances.
“You’ve no idea how bad that hurt,” Sylvia cried. “It’s not fair. The mice cause all the trouble and I get caught.”
I pulled and tugged with all my might which released her from her bed.
“!!#&%#!” Sylvia bellowed.
“Where did you learn such language, young lady?”
“It wasn’t from the mice or Gordo,” she replied. “So I guess it must have been you.”
I ignored the insult, saying only, “We’re almost done. There’s just a little bit on your paw now.” I grabbed the remains of the trap and pulled at the same time Sylvia jerked away.
Finally Sylvia was a free dog again. She gave me a thank-you lick and said, “Now I know how those prisoners in Abu Ghraib felt. I’m glad we’re banning torture again. It’s not nice.”
“You’re right,” I agreed. “It’s not nice at all.”
“It would be even nicer if we didn’t have any more wars to worry about,” Sylvia said. “Was there ever such a time?”
“Not for very long. Not in my lifetime.”
“Your lifetime.” Sylvia gave a long whistle. “That’s almost forever, isn’t it?”
“Very close to forever,” I said. “Let me count the wars: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, Desert Storm, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“That’s nine. Are you sure you haven’t forgotten anything? In the Middle East or Africa?”
“Not sure at all. It seems like there’s something somewhere all the time.”
“You’d think people could do better than this,” Sylvia said with pauses for thought and scratching. “Nobody seems to like war, do they?”
“I shouldn’t think so.”
“I’m just thankful I don’t have to go to some boiling hot country and fight. And we all ought to be thankful that we have our armed forces to do the fighting for us.” Once more Sylvia mounted her imaginary soapbox to declaim, “This is Thanksgiving week and we have much to be thankful for. We all owe every serviceman or woman and veteran our thanks for everything they’ve done. And we should never forget it and never never forget them.”

Magdalena Marshal's Blotter

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

Nov. 15
An officer was called at 6:30 p.m. to a residence located on Main Street where a male subject was passed out in the driveway. The man was trying to break into the residence but by the time the Marshal’s deputy arrived the subject was flat on the ground. An ambulance was called to the residence and the subject was taken to Socorro General Hospital. Charges have been filed in Magistrate Court.
Nov. 16
Officers were called at 5:40 p.m. to a roll-over accident on Highway 107 about one mile south of the village. The driver was arrested for DWI, and he refused any tests. The driver claimed he was driving about 90 miles per hour when he lost control of his vehicle causing it to flip twice.
Nov. 20
Officers were called at 1:10 a.m. to a drinking establishment on First Street in Magdalena where seven people were involved in a fight. Five of the party left the scene and were pulled over in Socorro by Socorro Police. A report was taken and three people at the bar were questioned, including the bartender. Charges may be pending.
An officer was called at 11 a.m. to a residence near mile marker 112 on Highway 60 where a child and her mother were fighting. Children Youth and Families were contacted and the child was removed from the residence and placed in a safe home.
Nov. 23
Officers, assisted by New Mexico State Corrections and school personnel, conducted a search for controlled substances at 10 a.m. at Magdalena Schools. The building and parking lot was included in the search

Cyber Monday More My Style

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Originally, September 24, 1869 was deemed Black Friday; a day of stock market catastrophe. More recently the term Black Friday originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic in the city on that day.
Merchants and the media use it now nationwide to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers go from being in the red; i.e., posting a loss on the books to being in the black; i.e. or turning a profit for the year.
Also the term Cyber Monday, a neologism invented by the National Retail Federation's division, refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday, which unofficially marks the beginning of the Christmas online shopping season.
For me I think old fashioned and Black Friday is a negative, although then I join the masses and I am a new age Cyber Monday shopper. It is definitely more my style; no crowds, no selfish pushing and shoving grabbing for that last item on sale and no trying to find a parking place.
Whatever your preference, I wish you the best as this holiday season officially comes into its frenzy and send good thoughts allowing peace and simple pleasures to dominate your holiday season.
Community Center
The annual Lunatic Stitchers and Crafters Christmas project party will be held Dec. 4. This used to be an all-nighter, but there will be just as much food and fun in an evening as ever and a great tradition that is enjoyed by many.
Fire Department Open House
The first Luna Volunteer and Ambulance Association station open house last Saturday afternoon was a great success with over 50 in attendance. Each Luna family that came out received a free smoke alarm for their homes and drawings were held for three fire extinguishers. Separate workshops were set up to present various information on safety checkpoints in the home. Children were given the opportunity to put on turn-out gear and pose for photos on the truck. One station provided a coloring contest for the children along with fire information videos and cartoons. Our EMT's offered blood pressure and glucose checks in the new ambulance. Everyone attending was treated to a free grilled hamburger and hot dog dinner.
Fire Fighter Training
Our fire department is working hard to build a stronger trained unit and we have five personnel that just received training certificates in propane fires, flash-over situations and smoke safety. They are Moises Baca, Daniel Fisher, Daniel Harris, Raean Harris and Fire Chief Charles Moyers. The next classes being offered to members are Basic Wildland Fire Training and Advanced Wildland Training in January.
Preparedness Corner
What's a holiday party or even the traditional Christmas morning scene itself without a beautifully decorated tree? If your household, as those of more than 33 million other American homes, includes a natural tree in its festivities, take to heart the sales person's suggestion — “Keep the tree watered.” That's good advice and not just to create a fragrant indoor winter wonderland atmosphere. Christmas trees account for 200 fires annually, resulting in 6 deaths, 25 injuries and more than $6 million in property damage. Typically shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. Well-watered trees are not a problem. Dry and neglected trees can be. Visit the U.S. Fire Administrations FEMA Website for more tips and information.
Quote of the Week
“Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”
~Author Unknown


Presidential Chamber Series Concert Set For Monday

Mountain Mail reports

SOCORRO -- Trios for an unusual combination of instruments – clarinet, piano and viola – are featured in the second concert in the Presidential Chamber Music Series at New Mexico Tech. The concert is on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Macey Center. Thanks to support by Dr. Daniel H. López, president of New Mexico Tech, the concert series is free and open to the public.
The series is part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series. Future concerts are set for Feb. 1 and March 22.
On the program are works by Robert Schumann, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,George Gershwin, and German composer Max Bruch.
Willy Sucre, organizer and violist of the chamber music series, is joined by Mindy Sampson on piano and Lori Lovato on clarinet. Sucre is a violist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and plays widely with chamber music groups around New Mexico.
Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen: Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano. Op. 132 “Fairy Tales” is a charming four-movement piece written in 1853, the last year of his working life. With the clarinet the dominant instrument, these four “Fairy Tales” have a dream-like mood, an intertwining of the real and the imaginary, and the special qualities of all the instruments are perfectly caught.
Mozart’s Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano in E Flat Major, K. 498 is fancifully subtitled “Kegelstatt” (“Skittles”), because presum­ably it was written while Mozart was playing skittles (similar to bowling) with his friend, clarinet virtuoso Anton Stadler.
If this story is true, nothing in the music betrays the place of its composi­tion.
The trio’s unusual instrumentation was probably chosen for the use of his favorite piano student Franziska von Jacquin, Stadler, and Mozart himself playing viola.
Gershwin’s Three Preludes for Clarinet and Piano are short piano pieces that were first performed by the composer at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1926. Each prelude is an example of early 20th century American classical music, as influenced by jazz.
Gershwin originally planned to compose twenty four preludes, but this number reduced to five in publc performance, and only three were published in 1926. The pieces have been arranged for solo instruments and piano.

Students in the Chemical Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech collected toys and money for Toy For Tots at Fidel Center and Wal-Mart last week. About 30 students are involved in the effort to bring a nicer Christmas to needy children. The next collection dates will be Nov. 28-29 at Wal-Mart. Manning the booth at Fidel Center Friday were freshmen Kelsey Frazzini (left) and Amanda Gomez.

Photo by John Larson

Co-op to schedule meetings to educate public on issues

By John Severance
SOCORRO -- The day, time and place have yet to be determined, but the Socorro Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees wants to educate its members about the resolutions they have passed this year.
“We want to have an informational meeting prior to the general meeting (scheduled for April or May) to educate members on resolutions passed in the past year,” said Board of Trustees president Paul Bustamante.
Donald Wolberg, who was elected to the board in October and will begin his term Jan. 1, said: “There is no ulterior motive. Communication takes care of a lot of problems..”
Tom Frank and Jan Gibson of the AON Corporation, who Gibson said is a consulting firm for the co-op, were in attendance to discuss health insurance for the trustees and the employees.
Frank urged the co-op to go on a stand-alone basis. If they renewed the plan as is, there would be an 18 percent increase of $136,000, Frank said. If they go with the stand-alone plan, which would be Presbyterian, it would be a 4.2 percent increase of $31,000, Frank said.
The co-op pays for 12 individuals’ and 36 families’ health insurance, which includes employees and board trustee members.
Trustee Charlie Wagner asked how much time does the co-op have to get another bid?
Gibson responded by saying the drop dead date was Dec. 12. She also said the co-op can enroll in the plan and cancel within 30 days if it finds another service.
“I will not be here after Dec. 31 but I make a motion to accept Presbyterian,” trustee Juan Gonzales said. “This is a valuable thing for employees and members are the ones who voted to give this to the trustees and employees.”
Wagner asked to amend the motion and check with the NRECA (National Rural Electric Co-operative Association) about another bid. His concern was that this was the first time he and the trustees had a chance to go over the insurance figures.
“We were under negotiations to stay in the pool,” said Socorro Electric Cooperative General Manager Leopoldo Pineda Jr. “It was on the agenda so the trustees knew it was coming up. We got a real good rate. The insurance is always up for renewal at this time of year.”
The trustees voted to accept the Presbyterian insurance plan 10-1 with Wagner casting the lone no vote.

Coinciding with the return of wintering birds at Bosque del Apache and the Festival of the Cranes, in Socorro, the 12th Annual Festival of the Crayons, courtesy of Becky Titus and her Prisma Light studio, opened Monday at its usual spot on School of Mines Road. The crayons will be up through November 28.

Photo by John Larson

Ruckus Raised At Co-op

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Police Department made yet another appearance at the Socorro Electric Cooperative meeting Monday, Nov. 16.
District V Trustee Charlie Wagner filed the complaint after the meeting was over.
According to the police report, Wagner said, while the co-op was in executive session, the suspect grabbed his leg and threatened to beat him up. The report said the suspect stated Wagner sat next to him in the meeting and that Wagner turned his chair around and while doing so he struck the suspect’s legs. The complaint stated that the suspect then touched Wagner’s legs and told him to turn back around and to stop kicking him.
An officer met with witnesses, who gave the same statement as the suspect reported. A full police report was not available at press time.
Just in the past three months, the police have been called three times during co-op meetings.
On Aug. 27, officers were called to the scene after five SEC member-owners became upset that they were not given the opportunity to listen to a presentation regarding the co-op's 2008-2009 audit.
On Oct. 28, member-owner Charlene West of Lemitar allegedly placed grapes in front of trustee Juan Gonzales and Gonzales allegedly responded by throwing the grapes back at West.
Police were then called and trustees claimed West had violated a restraining order against her. West’s court date is set for Dec. 3.
The co-op board, meanwhile, passed a motion that would bar West from attending board meetings. “Mrs. West violated the restraining order and I am making a motion not to allow her at future meetings,” trustee Milton Ulibarri said. The motion was seconded by Manny Marquez, but trustee Herman Romero questioned the legality of the motion and was assured by attorney Joanne Aguilar that the Board could bar her from attendance.
“I question the rights of membership,” trustee Charlie Wagner said.
Vice President Harold Baca, who presided over the meeting, said: “There are rights for the board too.”
When contacted Tuesday, West said: “They have violated my constitutional rights and I don’t think they have the right to do that. It’s a personal vendetta. It’s ridiculous.”
The Christmas party was brought up and the board members voted to continue to hold an open bar. There was talk of drink tickets but that was shot down. Wagner wanted to know how much the Christmas party would cost and no one knew how much it would be. Wagner also brought up drunk driving and liability issues. “We always make arrangements to drive people home,” Marquez said.
After 30 minutes, the board moved to executive session at Aguilar’s request.

Water Grab Has Residents, Ranchers Ready For Fight

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Ranchers, property owners, and individuals are not ready to give up over 17 billion gallons of water every year, or 6.9 million gallons of water per day, from the aquifer under San Augustin Plains without a fight.
Such a proposed water grab by a New York based company, San Augustin Ranch LLC – owned by Italian businessman Bruno Modena – is being protested by more than 900 individuals and entities, both private and governmental.
The San Augustin Water Coalition, formed by concerned residents of the area, hosted an informational meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10. An estimated 45 people from Socorro and Catron counties crowded into the meeting room at the Magdalena Public Library to hear comments by geohydrologist Frank Pettis, and New Mexico Environmental Law Center attorney Bruce Frederick, who also has a Masters degree in hydrology from New Mexico Tech.
Moderator Don Wiltshire gave a brief summary of what’s transpired in the last two years.
He said protests began soon after a request for the permitting of 37 wells on the San Augustin plains was published in the form of a legal notice in the Mountain Mail in Nov. 2007.
The original proposal – which has since been amended - asked for permission to “divert and consumptively use 54,000 acre-feet of water yearly for domestic, livestock, irrigation, municipal, industrial, and commercial uses to include providing water to the state of New Mexico to augment its capacity to meet deliveries to the state of Texas at Elephant Butte dam and offsetting effects of ground water pumping on the Rio Grande in lieu of retirement of agriculture via a pipeline to the Rio Grande.”
Wiltshire quoted from an open letter from Rep. Don Tripp, who wrote that “there will be more amendments to the present application or new applications to keep the issue alive, while trying to tear us down and end our objections.”
Tripp stated that “we must focus on what is at stake here – our water, which is the true life-blood of our families’ futures … we must not relax our vigilance.”
Tripp stressed that the attorneys for San Augustin Ranch LLC are looking to win the legal battle through a “war of attrition.”
The initial plan was to drill 37 wells with 20 inch casings approximately 2,000 feet deep within the exterior boundaries of Catron County, Socorro County, and Augustin Plains Ranch LLC.
In response to the notice, an overflow crowd of about 300 Catron County residents attended an informational meeting at Datil Elementary School Dec. 4, 2007 night concerning the proposed 37 wells.
The proposal was amended in May, 2008, to allow the drilling to go down 3,000 feet.
In the meantime, the Office of the State Engineer, had been struggling to keep up with validating hundreds of protest letters.
After the amended proposal was filed, several hundred new protests were submitted from residents and entities in the region.
Frederick said the total number of protests is over 900.
In addition to several hundred local property owners and ranchers, the list of protesters includes the University of New Mexico, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Dept. of Game and Fish, Bureau of Land Management, Center for Biological Diversity, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Gila National Forest, Cibola National Forest, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, NRAO/Very Large Array, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission.
Locally, protesters include the Catron County Commission, Alamo Navajo Chapter, Quemado School district Magdalena Municipal Schools, Village of Magdalena, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Double H Ranch, Reserve Independent Schools, the Village of Reserve, Farm Service Agency, Socorro Electric Cooperative District V, and the Socorro Soil and Water Conservation District.
Pettis told the group that approval of the permit could have disastrous results for this region of the state, affecting not only private wells, but water levels for connecting sources, such as the Tularosa basin, which feeds the San Francisco River. The adjacent aquifer in the Gila region would also be affected.
Pettis is one of the most respected hydrologists in the state, having taught hydrogeology and geology at New Mexico Tech, and worked with the Department of Energy, the State Engineer as science advisor, and the state Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.
“I want New Mexico to grow, but to keep looking like New Mexico,” Pettis said.
Frederick said the protesters will be heard one at a time.
“This will be a lengthy process, and will take several months,” Frederick said. “I expect some protesters to drop out because they don’t want to pay the $25 fee. Maybe a third. But that still leaves with about 600.”
At the end of the meeting, a discussion was held on how to raise funds to pay the individual protesters’ fee to testify at the hearings.
Datil resident Carol Pittman said all donations are tax deductible. “Contributions should be made out to San Augustin Water Coalition,” Pittman said.
The address is San Agustin Water Coalition, P.O. Box 613, Datil, NM 87821.

Socorro Gets Funding For Dispatch Center

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The Socorro Police Department has been awarded $1.7 million for the construction of a dispatch center for the Enhanced 911 program. Police Chief George Van Winkle told the council that the new dispatch center will facilitate faster response times on emergency calls throughout the city and county.
Van Winkle said the money is needed for new and better equipment, and renovation to the police department’s dispatch center.
“It will funnel all 911 calls in the area to our system, including cell phone calls,” Van Winkle said. “Dispatchers will have more information on the screen.”
The E911 system has been mandated by the federal government to facilitate quicker response to all emergency situations.
City Clerk Pat Salome said the next step will be to set up meetings with other agencies such as the Sheriff’s Department, State Police, Magdalena Marshal’s office, and other entities.
“They will decide how each call received is coordinated with whichever agency is to be dispatched,” he said. “The purpose of system is to get the calls to the right people. We [Socorro police dispatch] will handle the calls, and pass it along, channeling them all to the right emergency department.”
In other business
• The council approved the first reading of two ordinances raising water connection fees; one for residences and the other for businesses. A second reading and public hearing will be held at the next council meeting. After a public hearing, in which there no comments or questions from the public, the council approved an ordinance creating a Police Oversight Commission. Mayor Dr. Ravi Bhasker said the next step will be to approve members to the commission, and that interested persons should contact City Hall. Clerk Pat Salome said there will be one member per each quadrant of the city.
• Councilor Donald Monette wondered about how the geothermal heating project would affect the city’s revenues. “If Tech is being heated with their own sources, this will cause our natural gas income to go down,” Monette said. Bhasker said one option for the city would be to generate its own alternative energy sources, and slowly move away from natural gas.
• A resolution authorizing the next municipal election was passed by the council. Voting day will be Mar. 2, 2010. Candidates for mayor and four city council seats must file on Jan. 5 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at City Hall.
• A discussion was held with Bobbi Jo McIntire of Socorro Mental Health who is proposing that the city be the fiscal agent for the Community Health Council. The council gave its approval to proceed, but Bhasker said further action on the matter would be an issue the council would have to discuss.

Tech Scientists, Students Discover Rio Grande Spring

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Scientists from the Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources on the New Mexico Tech campus have discovered what is believed to be the largest spring to date that feeds into the Rio Grande.
The spring is located about 11 miles below the state line with Colorado in the upper Rio Grande.
Geologist Paul Bauer and hydrogeologist Peggy Johnson have been working on a study designed to inventory and classify all springs on the upper Rio Grande.
“It’s about 80 miles of river, from the state line down to the stream gauge at Embudo,” Bauer said. “Our primary task was to determine where, how, and why this ground water reaches the river.”
“This spring is the single largest spring that we have found on our survey between the state line and Embudo gage,” Bauer said.
He said the gage (a system of measuring river flow) at the village of Embudo was the first river gage in the United States.
“John Wesley Powell of the U.S. Geological Survey set that up in 1898,” Bauer said. “He then sent all his young engineers out to other rivers in the country to with that system.”
Bauer said the single spring, in a crater at least 12 feet deep, shoots out 6,000 gallons a minute, accounting for about 10 percent of the entire river accretion - gain from springs and seeps - that occurs along that 80 mile stretch.
“Our best guess for the origin of the spring is that ground water is flowing through a collapsed lava tube,” Bauer said. “At higher river levels the spring disappears from view.”
The study by Bauer and Johnson is a continuation of their ongoing work on the geology and hydrogeology of the Taos County region.
“Last fall while working in the Ute Mountain stretch in inflatable kayaks, we floated over an amazing submerged spring, however, the river was too high to evaluate the spring,” he said. “This year we returned at very low water to check it out.”
Finding and surveying springs is challenging work in the Rio Grande gorge, as there are few roads down to the river and the trails are steep and many are primitive, he said.
“Where possible, we used inflatable kayaks to survey springs, and where that wasn’t possible due to the [turbulent] rapids, we carried our gear into the gorge and surveyed on foot,” Bauer said.
Team members Matt Martinez and Kristoph Kinzli were integral in measuring the depth and flow of the river in the spring area.
“To date, we have cataloged about 170 springs and seeps in the gorge. Most of them are small, although some are quite large, flowing at rates of several thousand gallons per minute,” Bauer said.
“One of the most surprising findings has been the large number of springs, and the variety of geologic settings that host the springs.”
Bauer is a Principal Geologist and Associate Director at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.
Peggy Johnson is Senior Hydrogeologist and Associate Director for Hydrogeologic Programs.

Photo: New Mexico Tech graduate student Kristoph Kinzli uses specialized equipment to measure the flow of water coming from the spring.

Socorro County Commission Chairman Rosie Tripp handed the keys of the Youth Center over to Mayor Dr. Ravi Bhasker, along with a plaque of appreciation, at Monday night’s council meeting. A mutual agreement reached between the county and the city now puts the building under the authority of the City of Socorro. Both Tripp and Bhasker voiced optimism over the spirit of cooperation between the city and county governments.

Photo by John Larson

OPINION: Never A Dull Moment At The Socorro Co-op

By John Severance, Editor

I went to my first Socorro Electric Cooperative meeting Monday night and I don’t even know where to start.
These meetings are normally scheduled Wednesday nights and that’s bad for us at the Mountain Mail because that is our deadline for producing that week’s newspaper.
Perhaps, they’re probably happy that we are unable to attend the majority of their meetings.
I found them to be a clandestine group, which was apt to go into executive session whenever they discussed something controversial or if they wanted to get the member-owners and press out of the board room.
I spent the first half of the deliberation outside in the cold and a sheriff deputy showed up to serve a subpoena. He was told they were in executive session so he waited around a little bit before leaving without serving the subpoena.
It was getting cold so I decided to go back inside and I sat in a chair along with five other people who were seated outside the chamber room.
The board had gone into executive session because attorney Joanna Aguilar requested it.
Soon, a voice could be heard screaming, “Get your hands off of me.”
Charlene Wagner, the wife of trustee Charlie Wagner, was next to me and she jumped out of her seat and flung the door open. A voice yelled out: “We are in executive session.”
She replied: “They are grabbing Charlie. You are in executive session while you are beating up my husband.”
Charlene Wagner called the police.
Executive session continued, and one could not help but hear them talking about a motion that would allow the attorney a six-month leave of absence with the chance of returning after that time period.
That’s just what I heard. I could be wrong because I wasn’t in the room.
Anyway, the doors opened and they said the meeting was open again.
And co-op vice president Harold Baca immediately adjourned the meeting.
Aguilar would not comment on the record about her future plans with the co-op.
Soon two Socorro police officers showed up and one talked to Wagner and the other talked to District IV Trustee Dave Wade. Wagner and Wade sit next to each other.
Then the police officers handed out sheets to co-op council members asking them if they wanted to make a statement. Some filled them out.
And in fact, I heard one of them say, “I did not see anything.”
Say what?
The co-op definitely has an old boys network mentality. I saw the same thing in Kentucky. And that’s bothersome.
They appear to want to do things their own way and they don’t want any interference from member/owners and especially not the media. They want to have their meetings twice a month and get their checks from the co-op. Sounds like a pretty good gig if nobody is bothering you.
There are plenty of co-ops out there that run efficiently and without any suggestion of corruption.
The one in Socorro, though, is not one of them.
Here is some advice for the trustees.
If you go into executive session, you would be best served to keep your voices down or move your meeting because anything that is heard or seen is fair game.
And you can be sure the Mountain Mail will be watching and listening.
John Severance can be reached at 575 838-5555 or you can email him at

OPINION: Marginalization: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

The only way that we might lose this upcoming water battle (see last week’s Mountain Mail) is to allow others to treat us as if we were marginal; peripheral, not important, non-people. It’s easy to do and it’s easy to imagine others adopting this attitude towards us. The root cause of this attitude seems, to me, to come from the “third agreement” of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. It’s the one that no one can seem to remember at the time: “Don’t Make Assumptions.”
The other three agreements in this gem of ancient Toltec wisdom are fairly straightforward: “Be Impeccable With Your Word”, “Don’t Take Anything Personally” and “Always Do Your Best.” It’s just too darn hard to “Not Make Assumptions.” It seems to be a quirk of human nature to always assume: “We’re the best,” “We deserve more than we’re getting,” “We’re more important than those other pond scum,” “We’re simply more evolved than they are.”
This attitude crops up in all countries, in all regions, in all religions, in all groups, in all families and in all individuals. Take a look at how quickly we justified the last few Wars we’ve held: “We’re making the world safe for Democracy,” “We have better uses for that oil than they do.” Look at how quickly we dismiss another group of people because their skin tone is a different hue than ours or if their religion and customs are “quaint” or “primitive.” Look at how quickly we marginalize a child who has become “cranky” or “whiney.”
This is the very problem that we face, not only with Bruno Modena, the Italian Businessman who owns the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC, but with the nice folks up north of us. They want our water so that they might “fill their pools,” “water their lush lawns,” “luxuriate in their showers” and “enjoy their magnificent fountains.”
After all, “they deserve it,” “they’ve earned it.” Oh dear, there I go again - making assumptions! Actually, the per capita / day water usage here in Magdalena is much lower than that of Santa Fe or Albuquerque and about half that of Las Vegas, Nevada, even with the Bellagio Fountains averaged in.
We understand the value of water here in our High Plains Desert. You won’t find us (too often) washing our cars, filling our pools or watering our golf courses.
The vast amount of water that lies below the San Augustin Plains should not be looked upon as a gold mine to be exploited.
It is there to support the fragile web of life in this High Plains Desert.
It is there to feed the Gila River and the Alamosa Creek. It will, if used wisely, provide the water needs of the Residents and Ranchers of this area. It is NOT there to be pumped dry for the profit of Bruno Modena.
The upcoming legal battle will take an enormous effort on our part: Contact your state and federal representatives, involve your family, neighbors and friends. Learn what you can about our water resources at the Magdalena Public Library. Become a supporting member of the San Augustin Water Coalition.
Begin our own PR campaign with the simple truth that we ARE real people, entitled to conserve the water resources that support this region. And try not to marginalize others with similar problems. There is a group of citizens in rural Nevada fighting a very similar battle to ours. The City of Las Vegas is looking to drain the groundwater in the rural communities in order to keep the city growing and the Bellagio Fountains spraying.
Marginalization; how did it come to be such a habit? It creeps into every aspect of our lives.
Help us, Don Miguel, to be better warriors, so that we might show a little more compassion to our neighbors and to all living creatures of this earth.
As always, if you have
any Comments? Problems? Solutions? Upcoming Events? Real Butter? Contact me at or (575) 854-3370.

LETTER: Glad You’re Back

To the editor:
CONGRATULATIONS TO JARACIENDA LLC on the rebirth of the Mountain Mail.
The availability of local press continues to permit spirited community discussion on matters of concern that affect us all.
Area citizens need to be aware that any possibility of corporate control can hinder effective reporting of subjects.
VIVA! Jaramillo’s and the Mountain Mail.
Subscribe Now!
Andrea Blodgett

LETTER: Hotels Want Their Fair Share

To the editor:
Monopoly is a board game in which one player tries to gather all of the wealth. That seems to be what our mayor is trying to do in real life.
Mayor Ravi Bhasker and New Mexico Tech president Daniel Lopez have an ongoing agreement to have all “First Responders” and other special guests receive their lodging at the establishments owned by Bhasker.
This “agreement” has left other hotel/motel owners in town in a state of limbo. The only time we see any of the First Responders is when there is “no room at the Inn.”
The Holiday Inn that is; or the Best Western.
As the General Manager of the Econo Lodge, I find it rather interesting that neither I nor other hotel/motel owners have been given the opportunity to receive a percentage of the economic boost that all of us need and are entitled to. Forgive me for being obvious, but it is my understanding that the job of the mayor is look out for the good of the community. It is his job to spread the wealth among the community, including providing income for the people who are the lifeblood of this community.
My name is Richard Torres and I know that I can and will provide equal, if not superior service to the First Responders. The Econo Lodge rooms are just as comfortable, the breakfast has a wide variety and is just as high quality and my staff is equally knowledgeable and attentive to guests’ needs. The rates at the Econo Lodge are lower than any of the rates at the mayor’s hotels. This is something that should be taken into consideration in these tough economic times. Each hotel/motel pay Lodger’s Taxes in this town, so why shouldn’t we benefit from the First Responders?
I may be one voice, but I believe I speak for many. The hotels/motels in this community provide many jobs that help feed many families. It is time we take a stand for what we believe in: Our Hometown. I want the mayor to know that we have had enough! We deserve our fair share!
Richard Torres
General Manager/Econo Lodge

OPINION: Can We Talk About Politics?

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

Through what passes, in this time of controlled and shallow “news and commentary” written and broadcast, we have all heard President Obama described as the 21st century’s F.D.R.
To describe him as the antithesis, the direct opposite, of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, would be more accurate.
Becoming the nation’s 32nd President in 1933, Roosevelt faced an economic depression that had forced the country to its knees. He became a charismatic folk hero because he offered himself to the American people as their leader in a fight against those he termed “economic royalists” who, he said, “had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, people’s money, other people’s labor-other people’s lives.”
He closed the banks, took the country off the gold standard and his administration’s investigations exposed the recklessness and criminality of Wall Street. Robert Fitch, author of “How Corruption Destroyed the Labor Movement and Undermined America’s Promise” says President Obama reminds him of another hero of the depression era, Lamont Cranston, “The Shadow” a popular radio detective.
Cranston used his uncanny ability to cloud men’s minds so that he seemed invisible.
Now, the President is certainly not invisible, but like Cranston he has the ability, the power, thanks to a tame mainstream media, to cloud our minds in the service of the established order.
He has embraced Wall Street and what might be called the FIRE industry,( finance, insurance, real estate and the shadow banking industry. He has, through his acceptance, if not his blessing, of global corporate capitalism, given the green light to that conglomerate of hedge funds, investment banks, private equity bankers and their like whose motto has always been profit before the common good.
Trillions of tax dollars have gone to them as “stimulus” and still they whine and ask for more. The next time you hear some pundit, right or left, pontificating about the “FDR of the 21st century” go ahead and scoff and, if you can afford the pencil and paper, or your internet account is current, send them a suggestion that they research the history books.
FDR’s fight was against finance capitalism rather than “capitalism” per se, Obama has, so far, seemed more than willing to accommodate a global corporate version of what FDR believed would undermine national governments and the rights of their citizens.
Well now, the wars? Perking right along. Plenty of blood being shed. Plenty of war profiteer dollars exchanging hands.
War plans for the future? A very influential Pentagon strategist, Dr. David Kilcullen, has testified before the Senate that Afghanistan and Pakistan will require at least two more years of “significant combat” and “hard fighting” at a cost of about $2 billion per month. Currently the cost figure is $4 billion per month.
Kilcullen is also a very important contributor to the Pentagon’s plan for a 50-year “Long War” of counterinsurgency across Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa, the Phillipines and anywhere else there seems to be a “threat”.
By the way, “significant combat” and “hard fighting” are Pentagon euphemisms for increasing American casualties during the eight year history of the war projected over the next two years.
Kilcullen and the Pentagon have not enlightened us as to how many innocent civilians and the infrastructure required for their survival will be left after two years or fifty years of “significant combat”. Oh! Almost forgot! Universal health care? No. There will not be universal health care for Americans. At this writing, the U.S. Senate has not considered a bill. And if it does, and the bill passes, it will not reflect real universal health care for all Americans. The insurance industry knows exactly where to put it’s influence, favors and dollars in Washington. It has done so.

Jack Fairweather is an educator and a trustee on the village board in Magdalena. His views do not necessairly represent the Mountain Mail.

LETTER: Homelessness Still Prevalent

As the cold wind blows across the New Mexico landscape, we see small flakes of snow appear, we scramble to bring in an arm load of firewood before it becomes too wet to burn, and before we get the wood stove lit, our furnace kicks on to remove the icy chill from inside our home.
We may have a hot cup of coffee or some other nice warming beverage while we turn on the television, curl up on the sofa, and cover up with a blanket or afghan.
Unfortunately, not all of us have these luxuries, and old man winter can be a devastating foe on these nights. The person without a home takes his or her only blanket, which is threadbare, and curls up with some cardboard or whatever they can find to insulate them from the icy ground. Hopefully, they can find a place that has an overhead cover to keep them dry, and an added bonus would be a wind break.
This is a sad situation, but it most assuredly happens every night here in our state, and all over the U.S.
About 3.5 million Americans, including 1.35 million children, have been homeless for a significant period of time.
What can we do to make things a little better for these weather hardened souls who have fallen on hard times? Perhaps we could help provide them with the necessities that they require to survive.
We at Puerto Seguro make every attempt to do this our resources are often stretched to the limit, and the quality of care we would like to provide is compromised and find ourselves short of supplies such as sleeping bags, blankets, and small tents.
We give these items to help protect our less fortunate clients from these cold winter nights, and we would like to continue to give the public the opportunity to share in this giving experience.
If you have any of these items that may be taking up space in your shed or garage, we would gladly accept them, and all donations are tax deductible.
If you would like to make a cash donation, we would be more than happy to use it to purchase the items we need to help out homeless, and families in need to stay warm through the coming months.
Thank you Socorro, and have a safe, productive, and happy winter,
Duane Baker,
Director, Puerto Seguro Inc.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

Information for the following items was provided by the Socorro County Sheriff's office.

Oct. 25
An officer was dispatched at noon to a ranch in Pueblitos on a report of damage to a residence. It was noticed that the ranch house had damage throughout, caused by weapons being discharged on the property and in the home. An old truck in the yard was also damaged by gunfire. Approximately 40 shotgun cartridges were found in and near the home. No suspects at time of the report, although footprints and tire tracks were left.

Oct. 26
A woman in San Antonio reported at 9:59 p.m. that the suspect and her juvenile daughter called her phone and left harassing and threatening messages. She had the messages saved and the officer listened to them. When interviewed, the suspect admitted to it and said she wouldn’t do it again. The woman stated that she did not want to pursue the charges unless the calls continued.

Nov. 5
A Socorro man reported at noon that he had been incarcerated, and upon returning to his residence he found that items had been taken, including a computer, web cam, headphones, a key chain with five keys, his social security card and an amount of cash. No suspects at time of report.

Nov. 11
An officer responded at 8:30 a.m. to a call from a Polvadera woman who reported a deceased person. It was learned that the deceased had numerous medical problems. OMI was called to the scene and she was pronounced.

A woman on Bosquecito Road reported at 11:45 a.m. that someone had taken three of her goats and had butchered them. She stated that three goats came up missing on Nov. 8 and on Nov. 11 one of her dogs brought a leg onto the property belonging to one of the goats. The leg had been skinned indicating that whoever took the goats had skinned and butchered them. No suspects at time of report.

Nov. 14
A San Antonio woman reported at 10 a.m. that a pickup had parked outside her property line on Bosquecito Road and occupants met with another party in the same location. She stated that she felt that persons in the vehicles included a former employee of hers. It was learned that the vehicles were from out of Socorro County and did not belong to the past employee.

An officer was at a restaurant on California Street at 11:16 p.m. when he noticed the suspect chasing another man through the parking lot, who was being battered by the suspect. The victim ran to the door of the establishment and made contact with the deputy. The suspect was told to stop, but he fled the area. Two deputy sheriffs caught up with him and when he resisted he had to be restrained. He was placed under arrest and transported to the detention center.

Nov. 16
Vehicle 2 was parked on private property on State Road 1 in San Antonio at 2 p.m. when vehicle 1 was backing up. The driver of vehicle 1 failed to see vehicle 2 and struck it while in the process of backing. Vehicle 2 sustained moderate damage to the front end, while vehicle 1 sustained slight damage to the rear end. Vehicle 2 was driven to mechanic’s shop for repairs.

Magdalena battles, falls short in state quarterfinals

By John Severance

RIO RANCHO – The Magdalena girls volleyball team did not wilt under the bright lights or on the big stage of the New Mexico State Championships Nov. 13.
The Lady Steers, though, by virtue of their 1-5 showing in pool play the day before, were matched up against the defending Class A state champion Fort Sumner in a state quarterfinal matchup.
After falling 25-13 in the first game, Magdalena played Fort Sumner tough and had some chances but it still fell 25-20 and 25-21.
“We’ve got a lot of young girls who are playing for the first time at state,” Magdalena coach Liz Olney said. “We showed we could play against the defending state champions and it was nice to see them fight until the end.”
On the day before, though, Magdalena struggled, going 1-5 in its pool. As a result, the Lady Steers finished fourth in Pool B and they had to match up against the top team in Pool A.
“We didn’t perform like we should have,” Olney said. “Nerves hurt us a little bit. We didn’t fight. We got down and we continued to play that way.”
But Friday the 13th was another day.
And Magdalena came to play.
The Lady Steers led 9-8 in the first game after a Fort Sumner miscue.
Fort Sumner got the serve back and Justyne McMath made Magdalena pay as she helped reel off 10 straight points for Fort Sumner and a 19-9 lead.
“We had two of our best passers in the back row and it was a perfect situation for us,” Olney said.
But they had a hard time dealing with McMath’s serve as Fort Sumner went on to a 25-13 victory.
In Game 2, Magdalena trailed 17-9 but rallied to get within 24-20. Leading the charge for Magdalena was senior Nicole Hardy, who battled the flu all week.
“We finally pulled it together yesterday in the last two games of pool play,” Hardy said. “I thought we did really good and I am proud of my teammates.”
In Game 3, Magdalena did its best to extend Fort Sumner to another game. A kill by Hardy and a serve by Simone Armijo got the Lady Steers to within 23-21. Fort Sumner made 24-21 and Olney called timeout.
“I told them to keep fighting and anything could happen,” Olney said.
Fort Sumner, though, clinched the match with a kill to advance. Fort Sumner made it to the state finals before losing to Tatum.
“I had picked Tatum to win it after we played them in pool play,” Olney said.
Magdalena finished with five kills and 32 digs.
“We definitely played some defense,” Olney said. “I was pleased that we were able to hang with them and compete against them.”

Stakes raised for Socorro football

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The second season begins for the Socorro High football team Nov. 21 when it hosts Las Vegas-Robertson at 2 p.m.
Robertson won the regular-season meeting between the two teams, winning 13-6 on Oct. 16.
But this time the stakes are much bigger.
“Robertson is pretty good,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said. “Even though we are the third seed, we are picked as the underdog. They already have beaten us and they maybe are a touchdown or two better than us on paper.
“They don’t have any weak spots. They play hard. They are a good football team. Defensively, they are really tough. All in all, they are a really good football team.”
Robertson, which has won eight of its past nine games, scored 34 points in the second half and advanced to the quarterfinal round when it routed Cobre 41-0 last week.
Socorro, meanwhile, has been busy practicing after earning a bye that goes with being a third seed.
And the other good thing about being a third seed means the Warriors get to play at home.
“Not many of us like to travel much,” Ocampo said. “It is nice to play at home. There are not as many distractions playing at home. I really think kids do play with more passion and desire knowing they have the backing of the community. There is definitely a 12th man.”
Socorro has not fared well in the post-season in the past 10 years, winning just two playoff games, according to Ocampo.
The Warriors last won a state championship in football in 1977.