Thursday, February 4, 2010

Farr Chronicles The End Of The Magdalena Stock Driveway

Mountain Mail Reports

This is the final part of a three-part series resulting from an oral history interview with Catron County rancher Dave Farr conducted by the Bureau of Land Management in 2008.
As the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Homestead Act approaches, the Socorro Bureau of Land Management’s Cultural Resource Program is increasing emphasis on oral history collection, particularly as it relates to homesteading.
Farr brought in the last herd of cattle on the storied Magdalena Stock Driveway, or Magdalena Trail, in 1970. Just one of countless drives for him, this cattle drive marked the end of the 85-year history of the trail.
Collected and transcribed by Brenda Wilkinson, Archaeologist, BLM, Socorro Field Office. The following questions are asked by Wilkinson, and BLM Assistant Field Manager Mark Matthews.
Part three focuses on the trail’s end, the Magdalena stock pens, and the advent of trucking cattle.

I had heard that before World War II people were startin' to use trucks instead of the stock driveway. But then, during World War II, more people started using the Stock Driveway again because of the shortages in fuel and steel and rubber. Do you know anything about that?

Dave Farr: Well I was just in 7th, 8th grade or somethin', 6th grade, but I'm sure they did. 'Cause they couldn't get tires and gasoline, and you know, sugar, coffee.... Everything was rationed. So I'm sure they probably drove more cattle then.

Yeah, I heard that it became patriotic because you were conserving things.

Dave Farr: It might have been enforced patriotic. (laughing) It was sure trouble with tires and fuel.

Now how did they set a time, was it the distance you were driving? How did they determine the dates to receive them? If you shipped earlier the Driveway was in better shape? The cows did better?

Dave Farr: You didn't notice going in later, except after Hubbells, where it narrowed down close to Magdalena there wouldn't be no more grass than right there (pounding on the table). And that was during the drouth too. It was a mile wide, five miles wide - there was plenty of grass for everybody. But before it was fenced I guess my father had trouble finding grass - there was cattle running over it all the time. But I only went over it after it was fenced and - a lot of grass. And then it kept getting better 'cause everybody quit using it.

I heard you guys had the same date and time every year to get to Magdalena. Is that true?

Dave Farr: Yeah, for years they used the 20th, and then they switched to the 18th.

Of October?

Dave Farr: Yeah, October, so it was the 18th all the time I was ever involved. There was an agent there, a Santa Fe agent ran the whole depot you know. A real nice fella, knew what he was doin’ but boy, he had a feelin’ for alcohol. And he’d get drunk…he wouldn’t know which end was up, and we’d have to get Karen [Dave Farr’s wife] together with the cattle buyer. She’d go down to the depot and get the appropriate forms and type up all the bill of lading, where the cattle went. And year after year, as long as he was there, it all went smooth. I guess the cattle got where they were supposed to.
He’d be down there at the stockyards tryin to count ‘em, and they had to count what went in the cars. Of course he probably couldn’t count ‘em, but he damn sure couldn’t go up and do any typewritin’ stuff, so that’s a little odd, isn’t it? Well, I know what the count was for, insurance or… It was all immaterial. We had weights, counts, and everything changed hands. His count was ‘case some buyer said, well, “you lost some of my cattle” or something. So there was never any problem that way.

And then, what was it like when you got to Magdalena?

Dave Farr: It was a nightmare. (laughter) We used to have to hold - steam engines you know - and dogs a barkin’ and kids a hollerin’, and those steam engines would let off steam and turn the cows and it was a real job to get them cows up to the corral. But we always got ‘em corralled. But the cattle, they aren’t used to people or nothin’. It was really a hard job to corral ‘em.

And then just turn around and come home? Or did you stay in Magdalena for a little while?

Dave Farr: No, the usual trade in those days, the cattle were stood in the corral overnight – 12 hours - and you weighed ‘em in the mornin’, and then you waited for the train. And we loaded ‘em all on the cars, and that was all done, and hopefully you got some money. Then we thought about bringin’ our horses home, then all the cowboys were drunk, and either my brothers or I would bring the horses home, a lot of times.
They had two loading chutes, and they’d probably use ‘em both at once if you had enough help you know. And…did you ever see ‘em load those cars? Well, they had a big old ramp - width of a car - and rings in it. ‘Course the railroad car’d be that far away, and you’d have to pick this ramp up and set it there, and swing the wings in and… Well first you’d have to take crowbars and pry them doors open. All they needed was oil but, I didn’t find that out for years. I mean it took crowbars there!
Pry ‘em open, put your ramp in, swing the gates there, and had the cattle counted and bring ‘em up. And once they were all in then you’d get a four inch pipe that fit on the knobs there and keep a fightin’ cattle back in there and get your crowbars and - oh it’d take two or three minutes to close them doors. Just terrible.

One year a Santa Fe man showed up there, had squirt cans with nozzles on ‘em, and they’d just walk up and down on top of the cars and oil them rollers. Shoot, you could just pull ‘em open! And that was probably the last year or two that we ever….but just the nightmare for nothin’!

As far as when you got there, was there a certain time of day, like 6:00?

Dave Farr: Well, life isn’t simple. We’d corral these cattle and weigh ‘em about…before the sun came up. Well to move back, first, in the fall we might have yearling heifers, yearling steers, old cows. And we’d get one day out of Magdalena, we’d hold ‘em up and cut ‘em in classes of cattle, and water ‘em at Hale Well and then it’d be one man with each class of cattle. On into Magdalena, and you’d just have to find a place to turn the whole bunch loose. And everybody’d have to corral the first bunch - through all that melee - and that, that had somethin’ to do with where I was goin’ right there.
You had the three classes of cattle and each weighed separately, maybe going to different destinations, different buyers. And there’s a railroad rule imposed by, I think the federal government, that you can only haul cattle 24 hours without stopping for feed and water. Or you can sign a 36 hour release and haul ‘em for 36 hours. Well they’re so slow around Magdalena, depending on the destination, if we’d load them in the mornin’ the time started. They’re on the cars. So then, I heard - I never watched it - by the time they switched around, got down to Socorro and side tracked ‘em and all, they might have to unload ‘em in Socorro for feed - 24 hours. So, ‘cause they didn’t make connection, they were just sittin’ there waitin’ for a train from El Paso or somethin’. So that’s expensive and bad.
Cattle buyers’d get together with the agent and tell him, “When you gonna load?” “Aw, we’ll be ready at 8:00, load cattle.” Well, they may have slipped him a $20 bill and said , why don’t you load about sundown? And we’ll get out of here about 12 hours later, and I’ll make that connection in Socorro, maybe have a clear run on into Texas.
Well this is all unbeknownst to us, ‘course we want to load and go home, but they’d treat us that way and then we’d load in the dark and have to spend another night before we start back here.

Did you camp, or stay at a hotel in Magdalena?

Dave Farr: Aw, we always camped right by the cattle.

The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)

Do you remember when the CCC were out there putting in the fences and the wells?

Dave Farr: Yeah, I remember watchin’ ‘em build the fence right over here. That was in the 30’s. Of course I wasn’t very big. They're still there. We're still usin' them. You came through one, right there at the sign.
You look, and probably those posts, if they haven't been replaced, they're all cut off, like they had a two man saw or something. I was too young to visit with those men. I knew men later that had jobs.
An Indian here had been on the CC job, building that fence, and he said, uh... what’d he say? He said 80 men went one day to cut posts and they brought back 79 posts 'cause one of 'em had a comic book with 'im. (laughter) But they did build a good fence.

The Last Cattle Drive

Can you tell me about the last time you used the Stock Driveway before they shut it down?

Dave Farr: Well I’d have to think, I don’t know if we would have used it in the spring or in the fall, probably in the fall. It was 1970. See, we’d always made two trips a year, steer calves in the spring and cows and heifers - other class of cattle - in the fall, but it was no different than any other trip so…

Did you know it was the last trip?

Dave Farr: Well we were gettin’ kind of anxious to use trucks ourselves. ‘Cause we’d been using trucks intermittently and….a lot easier.

Oh. OK. So it didn’t hurt your feelings when they shut it down.

Dave Farr: Well, we always liked the trip and….you could really relax and….all you had to worry about was cattle in front of you and getting there on time.

Yeah. You said you'd started truckin' some by then and it was easier?

Dave Farr: Well, my father woulda preferred drivin' 'em to Magdalena, but we didn't. We didn't moan and groan over it, it's really, kinda easier to round up the cattle, and load 'em on a truck, and, you're done. But, what's gonna happen today with this high price fuel....and no railroad?

Photos courtesy of the Farr family.

Co-op May Sue Environmental Board

By John Severance

The Socorro Electric Co-operative may be involved in a lawsuit and have quite a battle on its hands.
Co-op general manager Polo Pineda passed out an informational packet to the trustees at a Jan. 27 meeting, detailing a possible lawsuit that may be filed against New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board by three state congressmen and eight different entities including the New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Socorro Co-op is part of the NMRECA.
The lawsuit challenges the State Environmental Improvement Board’s (EIB) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico in a court in Lovington.
The EIB is considering a proposal from a New Energy Economy Petition to cap greenhouse gas emissions from certain industries in the state. If approved, the regulation would limit the statewide greenhouse gas emissions level to 25 percent below the 1990 level by 2020.
“It would be an economic disaster if this went through,” Pineda told the board.
In a series of hearings over the last year, the EIB has agreed to hear the petition and has ruled that it has jurisdiction to decide the case. Public hearings about setting a state cap on global warming pollution will begin March 1 in Santa Fe, and expert testimony will start June 16.
“The lawsuit filed has absolutely no merit,” says Dr. John Fogarty,
Executive Director of New Energy Economy. “This is like saying that a doctor doesn’t have the ability to treat asthma.”
“The EIB has the authority under existing law to implement statewide limits on global warming pollution, and we have asked them to exercise that authority in a manner consistent with the latest scientific consensus on climate change,” says Bruce Frederick, an attorney from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, which is the legal team supporting the petition.
The New Mexico based non-profit organization, New Energy Economy, filed a petition with the EIB in December 2008 asking the state to reduce emissions based on the best available science. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of more than 1,200 leading international scientists, has concluded that developed nations must reduce global warming pollution by at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid catastrophic changes, according to New Energy Economy publicist Jennifer Marshall of Santa Fe.
The cap would apply to all New Mexico entities that require an air permit from the New Mexico Environment Department . The EIB is responsible for adopting environmental regulations for New Mexico and it is made up of seven members who are appointed by Governor Bill Richardson.
According to the packet obtained by the Mountain Mail, the co-op has two avenues to
present its views to the EIB.
One is that EIB will have a public comment session March 1 in Santa Fe and the other is to write the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board.
Here are the talking points suggested to the co-op by its attorney.
•As a resident of New Mexico, I’m concerned about the impact the petition introduced by the
New Energy Economy to place authority in the hands of the Environmental Improvement Board to cap greenhouse gas emissions in the state would have on electricity costs.
• Not only does the New Mexico EIB not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions on our state, this regulation would do very little, if anything to solve a global challenge.
•This proposed regulation would exist for New Mexico businesses only, putting our large and small business at risk for leaving the state to conduct their operations in more economically friendly parts of the country.
• We need to focus on a multi-faceted approach to manage emissions, while investing in technologies that ensure affordable and reliable electricity.
• The cost of energy and goods could increase significantly in New Mexico, putting our state’s economy at a competitive disadvantage to other states.
• New Mexico’s businesses can’t afford these regulations being proposed by the New Energy Economy.
• I urge you to not move forward with the program contained in this New Energy Economy petition. In the end, it’s New Mexico businesses and consumers, who will play, while doing virtually nothing to solve a worldwide problem.

Mogollon Project Back Up And Running

Mountain Mail Reports

Drilling has begun in Mogollon by Columbus Silver Corporation, focusing on the Independence-Ida May and Anna E veins.
The drilling program commenced four weeks ago at Columbus Silver's 100 percent controlled Mogollon silver-gold project.
The Mogollon Project covers an extensive, silver-gold bearing vein field with reported historic production, largely from the Little Fanney and Last Chance mines during the period 1905 to 1925, and the Consolidated Mine from 1937 to 1942, of 15.7 million ounces silver and 327,000 ounces gold from approximately 1.7 million tons of ore.
There are two sets of veins at Mogollon, an east-west set represented by the productive Little Fanney and Last Chance veins, and a north-south set represented by the Queen vein developed in the Consolidated Mine.
The current drilling program at Mogollon will consist of 7,500-8,000 feet deep, in up to 14 diamond core holes and will test the east-west trending Independence-Ida May and Anna E veins.
The highly prospective east-west veins have near-surface characteristics similar to the historically productive Little Fanney and Last Chance veins at Mogollon but have only been explored by shallow workings.
Columbus Silver is a silver exploration and development company operating in the Western United States possessing an experienced management group with a strong background in all aspects of the acquisition, exploration, development and financing of mining projects.
Columbus Silver's project activities are managed on an exclusive basis by Cordex, owned and operated by John Livermore and Andy Wallace, who have a long and successful history of discovery and mine development in the United States.
Columbus Silver maintains active prospecting and evaluation programs and currently controls a 100 percent interest in eight silver properties in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Cottonwood Sixth Grader Repeats

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- For the second straight year, Alice Zheng, a sixth grader at Cottonwood, won the Socorro County spelling bee at the Socorro Courthouse.
Zheng won the competition by spelling “accomplice” correctly.
“It was more difficult last year,” Zheng said, “because there were more words.”

Zheng will represent Socorro in the state spelling bee in Albuquerque on March 10. Zheng said she made it through the third round last year at the state competition.
Finishing second was Sean Moore, a sixth grader at Saracino Middle School and third was Anjik Ghosh, an eighth grader at the Charter School.
Moore and Ghosh battled it out for second place and Moore prevailed when he spelled “altitude” and “evaluate” correctly. Ghosh missed on “eavesdropper.”
Zheng was the only speller of four to spell correctly in the final round as she was right on “larynx.” In that round, Moore missed on “indelible”, Barak Stephens missed on “financier” and Ghosh missed “supplement.”
In all, there were 19 rounds and moderator Chuck Zimmerly gave out 243 words to 35 different contestants from across the county.
The Socorro Electric Cooperative sponsored the spelling bee. Each of the contestants received a medal of participation. The winner received a $200 savings bond, the runnerup received a $100 savings bond and third place finisher received $75. Near the end of the competition, Zimmerly probably summed it up best when he said: “We’ve got some dynamite spellers. Let’s keep it going.”

Photo: Alice Zheng (right) won the Socorro County spelling bee last week. Sean Moore (middle) was second and Anjik Ghosh was third.

Burglary Rate Slows In Socorro

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The rate of burglaries in Socorro has slowed, according to reports at the Socorro Police Department. In fact, there have been no reported burglaries in the past two weeks.
Officer Richard Lopez told the Mountain Mail that by the third week of January, 13 arrests have been made in connection with a series of burglaries beginning the first of the year.
“We don’t believe there was a gang, or organized burglary ring. Just guys going from one neighborhood to another,” Lopez said. “All those arrested were juveniles.”
Lopez said one suspect has an arrest warrant pending and has not been located.
“Since charging the 13 suspects we haven’t had a single burglary,” he said. “It looks like we were able to hit a note. One we arrested was linked to several of these burglaries. Once he was arrested, they stopped.”
He said he has interviewed 10 other suspects. “There will more arrests as our investigations continue,” he said.
The last burglary report in Socorro was January 22.
Lopez said it was important for victims of burglary to contact the police as soon as possible.
“We had one victim who heard someone trying to open his door at two o’clock in the morning. He opened the door and confronted the suspect, who then fled. He was able to pick the guy out of a lineup,” he said. “But he didn’t call us until eight in the morning. We learned from the suspect that if he had called us at 2 a.m. it might have prevented five more robberies that night. If we have the information we act on it. That’s our job. Call us.”
Lopez said the most common items stolen were laptops, Xbox 360s, Wii games, and firearms.
“We’re starting to crack down on those buying this stolen property,” Lopez said. “We will be prosecuting them as well as the burglary suspects. It makes it harder on the burglars to sell what they’ve stolen.”
The important thing, Lopez said, “is to either have a record of your serial numbers, or engrave items with your name.
“Always remember to lock your vehicles. Take valuables out of your vehicles at night and try to park in a lighted area,” he said.
“Also call us if you see something suspicious, like if someone is loading up stereo equipment, or something out of the ordinary in the neighborhood.”

Co-op Offers $5,000 Reward

By John Severance

SOCORRO – The Socorro Electric Cooperative along with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Co-op are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for stealing copper from power poles in the Tierra Grande area in Socorro and Valencia Counties.
Co-op general manager Polo Pineda said close to 200 poles have been vandalized in northern Socorro County. Somebody had cut the ground wire and removed the copper wire in the pole, which has a street value of $600, according to Pineda. In all, the loss to the co-op has spent $50,000 to replace the poles that had been vandalized. Pineda said the copper will be replaced by copper clad, a metal that is coated with copper, which has no street value.
“We had a couple of leads. Somebody said they saw a blue mini-van with no plates and the other saw a maroon mini van. All the authorities have been contacted.”
Richard Lopez, the engineering and operations manager at the co-op, said pole grounding is a vital part of the electric service grid. Those who are stealing the wire are putting themselves at great risk of getting electrocuted.”
“We need to have a detective run this down,” trustee Jack Bruton said.
New Mexico State Police are currently investigating the theft. If you have any information, contact New Mexico State Police or Lopez at the Socorro Electric Coop – 1-800-351-7575.
At the Jan, 27 meeting, trustee Donald Wolberg, once again, brought up conflict of interest issues in regards to co-op attorney Dennis Francish, who also represents the Continental Divide co-op.
“There are rules of professional conduct that guide us that specifically deal with conflict of interest,” Francish said.
Wolberg, though, insisted the co-op get some kind of agreement from an independent entity in regards to the attorney.
“My concern centers on potential conflicts involving both cooperatives directly or indirectly via possible projects, postures requiring the co-ops involved to be on different sides of any legal or regulatory issue; contracts with vendors or any entity which may require legal action or liabilities, and any of those legal or regulatory issues that I do not understand or know about but which may arise,” Wolberg said in an email Thursday night. “In such instances it may be required for the attorney involved to not take either side and recuse himself/herself. In this instance we would be required to contract another attorney. I am also concerned that an attorney representing more than one cooperative may/will be privy to confidential or proprietary information.
“I am making no statement regarding capabilities, qualifications, reputation, etc., but I am simply expressing concern for possible conflicts of interest that might impact the SEC. For example, my concern in this matter vanishes if the attorney decides to represent only the SEC, and decides to not represent the other cooperative. My concern also lessens if there is an available formal opinion from an external source defining the issue of conflict of interest within the context of an entity such as the SEC.”
Francish was hired last year, but Wagner pointed out the SEC did not go through its usual vetting process.
“When Joanna Aguilar was hired, there were advertisements and we looked at resumes,” Wagner said. “In this case, we didn’t do this. The decision was made by Co-op president Mr. (Paul) Bustamante.”
Wolberg also discussed the possibility of an informational meeting for members, tentatively scheduled for March 27 at the Finley Gym, pending board approval. The meeting would allow members to ask questions of the trustees as a preview for the general meeting, which will be scheduled in April.
The agenda for the informational meeting was discussed during a committee meeting Monday, consisting of Wolberg, Leo Cordova and Milton Ulibarri. The agenda will be set, pending board approval.
Wolberg also set up an email address for members to discuss issues with the co-op trustees. The email address is sectellme@ and Wolberg said he would answer every email.
In other business, the board:
• Unanimously passed a resolution that would sponsor Richard Lopez’s trip to Haiti to help build a substation in earthquake-devastated Haiti. Lopez was asked by the NRECA International and the trip would take two weeks. Originally Pineda told the board that Lopez was going to do this on his vacation time but Wolberg suggested that Lopez should go on co-op time.
“There are still many variables on this effort so I do not have a lot of the details, “ Lopez said last week. “Logistics will not be the best and the work will be hard. There are a lot of relief efforts going on and electricity as you know has grown to be a necessity for logistics itself. I have not been to Haiti, but I have helped build a substation with their neighbors in the Dominican Republic. I am really excited to go.”
• Passed a resolution that would let the co-op proceed with the four-year plan that was presented by Lopez last month.
• The co-op moved its next meeting to Feb. 9 instead of Feb. 10 because the new trustees have to travel to Atlanta for training.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

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

Dec. 2
A man on Santa Fe Lane reported at 6:40 p.m. that he had left the Alamo reservation and had left a vehicle there. He learned that the suspect, his ex-girlfriend, is trying to sell the vehicle. The officer took a report and forwarded it to Crown Point tribal police, to assist him in retrieving his vehicle.
Dec. 15
A San Antonio man reported at 8:55 p.m. that the suspect did not bring their three year old son to him at the time he had visitation with him. He stated that he has not seen his son since early November, and fears the woman will take their son out of state.
Dec. 16
A San Antonio man reported at 4:55 p.m. that he learned that his son was in the Socorro area. He had filed a report (above) in regards to the mother refusing to allow him visitation. He located his son at the home of the mother’s aunt, who was dropped off there by a male subject and not by her. The man said he would follow through with any charges in court.
Dec. 17
A man in Bosque reported at noon that he found some long strands of copper wire on the road next to his residence. It was found that unknown suspects had cut a hole in the fence and gained entry onto the property of the victim. Suspects opened an electrical panel box and removed the copper wire. Items were found at the location and brought into Sheriff’s Dept. for evidence.
A vehicle driven by a Rio Rancho woman was westbound on Highway 380 at 5:30 p.m. At mile marker 31 a deer ran out into the roadway and was struck by the vehicle, which sustained moderate damage.
Dec. 18
A vehicle driven by a Los Alamos woman was northbound on State Road 1 at 5:40 p.m. and struck a cow that was in the roadway at mile marker 47. The vehicle sustained damage and the cow was killed.
Dec. 23
A vehicle driven by an Alamogordo man was westbound on Highway 380 at 9:30 a.m. He stated that a deer jumped out into the roadway at mile marker 47. The driver swerved to avoid striking the deer and lost control of the vehicle, which exited the roadway and struck a guardrail.

EDITORIAL: Are All Socorro Hotels Created Equal?

By John Severance, Editor
and Gary Jaramillo, Publisher

Are we all in this together or not?
These tough economic times have devastated a lot of residents and businesses in Socorro.
Hotels have been hit especially hard. From what I have heard, there are obviously other people concerned by virtue of feedback and letters to the editor we have received.
Hotel owners have been told it’s up to the individual emergency first responder where he or she stays while taking courses at New Mexico Tech’s EMRTC.
That’s fine. I’m all for everybody making their own decisions.
But in this tough climate, shouldn’t the two most powerful people in Socorro – Tech president Daniel Lopez and mayor Ravi Bhasker – step in?
The majority of the emergency first responders that come to Socorro stay in the Holiday Inn Express and Best Western, which also happen to be owned by the mayor. All Socorro hotel owners pay the same taxes and franchise fees. Isn’t it the responsibility of the mayor to make sure that everybody shares the wealth?
What if Lopez and Bhasker set a rotation system so everybody gets a share of the pie? In today’s climate, that seems fair.

Term Limits?

I realize that in America anyone can run for office. The goal and hope that voters have however, is that there is a solid qualified group of men and women to choose from after filing day. I believe that everyone running in this municipal election are good people, but I don’t believe that many of them should have filed “yet again”, judging from their past history of consistently garnering less than 200 votes and much less than that each and every time they’ve run, and run, and run and run.
I do believe that most people in Socorro just throw their arms up in the air and laugh, when in fact this is not supposed to be a laughing matter. All elections are a serious part of our lives, and those who perpetually run for office “just cause they can”, with the same results year after year are hurting the process and perhaps keeping other candidates who might just be great elected officials, out of the mix in local politics.
I think it’s time our city leaders work on some sort of qualification resolution for perspective Mayor and Councilor candidates in the future. It’s not taking away one’s right to have to qualify to be a councilor or the mayor, it’s simply setting a standard for those who would be elected to those positions.
I also think it’s time for everyone in Socorro to have the opportunity to vote in referendum on term limits for the Mayor and Council positions. As we’ve all witnessed in past months and years, the problem (even in Washington) of elected officials being in their position for too long can be very dangerous and actually turn new young prospective candidates away from the process of running for office and bringing new blood and ideas into the realm of politics.
Elected officials who have been in office for decades are greedy and dismissive of the thought that someone else just might have a new and better idea for the future of Socorro. This problem of elected officials being in office in Socorro for much too long is caused by the complacency of the voters in Socorro. Voters need to speak their minds at meetings and in the media about this very important issue.
If you want new blood and different thought that will help Socorro grow in wonderful new directions, open your mouth and vote your conscience each and every time the elections roll around. This question of term limits should have been put up for referendum long ago by the City of Socorro and should be put to the people in the next city election. Officials are elected to serve for a time and move on, not move in.

OPINION: Supreme Court: Dismantling Democracy In Black Robes

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

For the last few weeks, some of us have had out attention focused on the horrors taking place in Haiti. Help has arrived, sometimes not soon enough, sometimes just not enough. Now folks have started talking about “helping” to rebuild Haiti and into whose image it should be rebuilt.
While all of this was taking place, the nine US Supreme Court Justices slipped into their black robes and got up-to-no-good. It started out innocently enough: the Supreme Court was asked to rule on the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Citizens United had produced an anti-Hillary Clinton documentary: Hillary, the Woman (which I have not seen yet). The FEC was seeking restrictions on such campaign advertising through the McCain-Feingold Act. The President of Citizens United, David Bossie, it turns out, is the same guy who spent all that time trying to impeach President Bill Clinton.
Now, I have absolutely NO background in Law, and reading the decision left me needing
a shower, kind of like reading the explanation for line 37 on your Federal Tax Form. If you’re still game, all 183 pages of it can be found at
The conservative majority’s 5-4 ruling overturned more than100 years of legal precedent for restrictions on corporate funding of political candidates. Leading the way was Chief Justice John Roberts with Justices Samuel Alito (both President George W. Bush appointees), Clarence Thomas (appointed by President George H. Bush), Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy (both appointed by President Reagan).
This decision was arrived at through the misguided idea (or perhaps the more lucrative idea) that corporations are “real persons,” entitled to the First Amendment rights of Free Speech. “Free Speech” in this case meaning “campaign contributions.”
The “Dissent” or “Minority Report” (which Tom Cruise has taught us to always pay special attention to) was written by Justice John Paul Stevens (appointed by President Ford). The other three “centrist justices” (there are no liberals on this court) are Justices Ruth Ginsburg, Steven Breyer (both appointed by President Clinton) and Sonia Sotomayor (appointed by President Obama). The dissent starts on page 88 of your pdf format. Even with all of the footnotes, section number references and “wherases” it’s pretty scary reading. The preliminary discussion must have been quite a spectacle, considering the political and family allegiances. I wonder if coffee and grapes were served.
President Obama summed it up fairly well when he said: "With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that, I believe, will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.”
"I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems."
Well, it just so happens that such a bill has been languishing in the House and Senate, S.752 and H.R.1826. They are called The Fair Election Now Act. They provide for public financing of congressional campaigns. is urging us to contact Representative Harry Teague at (202) 225-2365 and ask him to help pass this bill.
And, as chance would have it, Dan Armijo, the local “ears” for Harry Teague, will be at the Magdalena Public Library on Feb. 10 from 8:00 a.m. till 2p.m. Come, express your concern over this issue, Health Care Reform, our local “water-grab” issue, the economy, unemployment, in-creased cattle taxes or any other thing that’s bothering you. It’s time to take back our country from those who want only to extract more “taxes” from us in the form of “purchase prices.”
Like Thomas Jefferson said in a letter to Tom Logan, Nov. 12, 1816:
“I hope we shall . . . crush in [its] birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

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

OPINION: Is This The ‘Rainy Day’ That New Mexico Has Been Saving For?

The Right Emphasis
By Doug May

There is no doubt that the State’s budget shortfall of nearly $600 million is a big, big problem. I am sure that our legislators might even say that is an understatement. They have been wrestling with it for weeks.
So it not surprising that someone would suggest that the State’s “rainy-day” funds, that is the Land Grant Permanent Fund and the Severance Tax Permanent Fund, could come to the rescue. Money would not be taken out of these funds, but Senator Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, (D-Belen) proposes that they would be used as collateral for the issuing of $500 million in bonds.
Assuming that this might be legal, future budgets would then have to include repayments with interest. This would add to the problem and pass it on.
If we don’t reduce our budget spending now we will hand to future legislators an even bigger problem. All indicators are that there will be sizable federal taxes, putting even greater strain on our economy in the future. Now is the time to cut spending and reduce the size of state government.
The Governor has suggested a “temporary” increase in the gross receipts tax. We pay this tax every time we buy something and when we receive a service. Yes, that adds to our cost of health care. This would further burden business in New Mexico even more. What we need is a “temporary” decrease in the number of state employees. We do not have to fill all the vacancies when they come up. We need to challenge the assumption that this bloated budget problem constitutes a “rainy-day” situation. Haiti is suffering a “rainy-day” situation.
That earthquake was not the result of anything they had done. There was no way they could have avoided it. It is a real emergency. Our situation here is man-made. And it can be solved by tightening our belt and going without some things for a while.
Maybe the RailRunner could be put on the side track for ten years. By then the population growth might make it more feasible. After all we are not on the main line between Washington and Boston. There are some things that contributed to our financial problems that we in New Mexico did not cause.
But we did impose punitive regulations on gas and oil drilling that caused these companies and jobs to go out of state. We lost jobs and reduced our tax revenues. If we impose emission caps on our power plants and automobiles we will further burden our economy.
Green power is more costly and we will all pay for it in increased utility bills and taxes. When the state gives an incentive for someone to put solar panels on their house all the tax payers pay for that. We all hope that some day the cost will come down, but it is not here yet. The New Mexico Solar Energy Association reports the cost of “Photovoltaics (home solar electricity): 19-25 cents/kwh - twice to three time the cost of grid power.” At this time we cannot afford the luxury of subsidizing green power. It is taking too much green out of our pockets. The time is coming when green power will be more affordable.
The governor needs to get serious about the problem. He offers to consolidate agencies to save $6.79 million and spends many times that on the motion picture industry. The best “rainy-day” solution is to tighten our belts, reduce spending and eliminate gross receipts taxes on medical care and service businesses. Don’t touch our “rainy-day” funds.

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

OPINION: SCOTUS Decision Pours Fuel on Fire

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

For weeks the prospect hung over the land, like a shadow on an x-ray. We knew it was coming, or at least some of us did, yet when the Supreme Court of the United States went far out of its way on Jan. 21 to strike down limits on corporate spending in elections, a shock wave went through the nation. The Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission has brought forth a torrent of news stories and accompanying opinions from every quarter, alternately praising the ruling as a watershed upholding of free speech or condemning it as another step in an historical march toward absolute corporate rule. Following the latest legal battle pitting real people against vast accumulations of money, citizens once again find themselves on the defensive in an undeclared war to define themselves as the sole selectors of their government.
By ruling unconstitutional previous legal precedents banning unlimited political spending straight from corporate (or on a far smaller scale, union) treasuries the court's five-member majority has revealed its blatantly activist nature. Nominated for the Chief Justice position in 2005 by George W. Bush, John Roberts assured Congress during his confirmation hearing he would not be an "activist" jurist: "I do think that it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent. Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and evenhandedness." Yet in Citizens United versus FEC, a case originally argued on the narrow question of whether a standing law (McCain-Feingold) limiting corporate-funded "electioneering communications" should be applied to a movie critical of Hillary Clinton, Roberts and his clique on the Court chose to attack the very constitutionality of any such legal restrictions.
In light of Citizens United, the highest court in the country, formerly understood as being controlled by the votes of a narrow conservative majority, must now be seen as radically in favor of property over people. By allowing the amounts of money only major corporations can throw into elections to that already funneled by political action committees, election messages contrary to a corporate agenda will become undetectable.
The usual suspects comprise the chorus of apologists for the Court's action - the Republican Party, the Wall Street Journal, the American Enterprise Institute, a raft of media “experts” - and of course, all large corporations. In truly remarkable fashion, after decades of assault on subversive college professors, public funding for indecent art, and taxpayer-funded commie broadcasting, the various components of the right have simultaneously been born again into the light of the First Amendment. It’s nothing short of anti-American, the gymnasts of logic proclaim, to deny these people (meaning corporations) the right to express themselves as they choose. Other collaborators imply, a little more money in the process won’t do any harm. Right.
It was left to the dissenting justices, including Justices John Paul Stevens and the Court’s newest member, Sonia Sotomayor, to get to the fundamental principle. Their objection to the monumental boon to corporate power embodied in the majority opinion seemingly represented the only shred of common sense to creep into chambers. Opined Sotomayor: “there could be an argument made that that was the Court's error to start with, not Austin or McConnell (earlier limits on corporate influence), but the fact that the Court imbued a creature of State law with human characteristics.” Stevens, writing in the dissenting opinion: “they (corporations) are not themselves members of 'We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."
The key issue in Citizens United versus FEC is indeed corporate personhood, the legal fiction that endows these “creatures of State law” with constitutional rights. This moment offers a rare chance to right a fundamental wrong in our society, if we are willing to seize it. The website represents a coalition of citizens and groups, like, of people determined to take action by amending the Constitution to bring corporations to heel in their rightful function as limited tools for human use:
SECTION 1. The U.S. Constitution protects only the rights of living human beings.
SECTION 2. Corporations and other institutions granted the privilege to exist shall be subordinate to any and all laws enacted by citizens and their elected governments.
SECTION 3. Corporations and other for-profit institutions are prohibited from attempting to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or government policy through the use of aggregate resources or by rewarding or repaying employees or directors to exert such influence.
This is a dialog only real people should have the right to engage in. Ironically the stiffest test to taking back our government will come in resisting the existing power of corporations to marginalize, discredit, and intimidate those who carry the message. Yet as the destructive influence of corporate power is laid bare in the faltering health of our people, an economy too indebted to succeed, continual wars for empire, and a planet growing too hot to survive, we cannot afford not to try.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, is a former intern for Contact him at Mr. Wheelock’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the Mountain Mail.

LETTER: ‘Socialistic?’

To the editor:
I read with frustration a recent letter describing federal health care legislation as “socialistic.” Que lastima, forgive him Lord, for he knows naught what he speaks.
Socialism, per se, has existed in the U.S. since before 1776, with formation of the colonial state militias. Before 1800, Alexander Hamilton is credited with initiating the Federal Reserve banking system, which now protects our savings when banks fail. Both are socialistic.
Folks, the following are a few examples of existing socialism we cannot do without: electric co-op, garbage pick-up, sewage and water systems, public schools, police, health inspections, post office, military, unemployment compensation, Social Security, Medicare, more and more.
FYI, “capitalism” is trickle down economics, Republican right wing, business first; whereas “socialism” is trickle up economics, Democrat left wing, people first.
Please ignore the political kaka de toro and always [know] what’s best for the disadvantaged because after all little children need food, clothing, shelter, love and medical care don’t they?
In closing let me add this: our United States of America is the only western industrialized nation of the world without universal health insurance for all its citizens.

Charlie Hartwell

LETTER: Help In Datil

To the editor:
Everyone around here has said that the amount of snowfall is really quite unusual this year. What I have found unusual is the amount of help and reaching out people have done here in Sugarloaf. I am originally from New Jersey, where people don’t know their neighbors very well, nor do they check on people.
There were only two days last week that gave us the opportunity to get to Socorro for necessities. We thought we could get out on Tuesday but the snow was too deep, my car is a Toyota Corolla, and the SUV’s battery was dead. Our neighbor made it out and brought back groceries for us. Then the next day he brought his tractor over and plowed the drive, then lent us a charger to charge the battery so we could get to Socorro ourselves.
Maybe this isn’t news in the vein that usually makes news but I appreciate all of the friendly, caring, and wonderful people I have met in Datil, especially Sugarloaf. When I describe what life is like out here to my friends and family back east they cannot understand the beauty of this place, and considerate nature of the community. Small things make a world of difference daily, whether it is the joke I hear at the post office or the friendliness at the new cafĂ© where they know our names, I deeply appreciate and express gratitude for being able to live here.

Shirley Edmonson


To the editor:
Congratulations on finding such an entertaining new columnist as Paul Krza. His article "Finding Out the Cold Hard Truth" was entertaining and funny. I'll look forward to reading his material again.
Incidentally, Paul, how about a story about yourself --- beginning with how to pronounce your name. I'm sure we'd all love to know.
The Mountain Mail gets better all the time.

Keep it up.
Audrie Clifford

LETTER: Looking For Help

To the editor:
We are writing about the cows that have been killed and maimed in the Rio Grande Estates on Hwy 60 East.
This has been happening for several years. When it’s not the people killing the cows, it’s the dogs.
We have called the Sheriff’s Office on several occasions. There are several cases pending which have not been followed up by either by the Sheriff’s Office or the District Attorney’s office.
One blames the other. It goes back and forth between the two offices. One claims it does not have the reports.
The sheriff’s office says it needs more evidence. We don’t know what else we can give them. We have several witnesses on different cases but they still say there is not enough evidence.
It takes them forever to follow up on anything. I don’t want to blame the whole Sheriff’s Department. Those deputies know who they are.
All we get from the DA and Sheriff’s Department is that they don’t have enough evidence. We have given them photos, witnesses, suspects, still nothing.

The Barela family
La Joya

LETTER: Nice profit?

Dear Editor,
Well, we guess the two vehicles bid on by Vince De Marco of Magdalena were NEVER intended for Fur & Feather. Word around is that the big vehicle was sold for a handsome profit. There is nothing illegal about selling something for a nice profit. However, it is not princely to dupe people into thinking one is a magnanimous donor to a local charity group.
The happy news is that the good people of Magdalena are working in something special for FFAA. We hope it comes to fruition, and we will be most grateful.

Jae Senych, Treasurer FFAA

Lady Warriors Romp

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES -- The fourth-ranked Socorro Lady Warriors (16-5, 1-0) traveled to No. 10 Hot Springs (10-10, 0-1) for its district opener and came away with a 63-41 victory Tuesday, Feb 2.
Socorro coach Joseph Garcia was concerned going into the district matchup.
“This is a good team and they’re ranked. I don’t remember the last time they were ranked. They beat Deming bad earlier in the year and lost to undefeated Cliff by only four points.
Socorro got off to 12-4 start with senior Roxanne Silva providing nine points. Kianna Gonzalez added a three-pointer. With Socorro playing a full-court trap defense, Hot Springs scored its first points with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Hot Springs scored six straight points, but Socorro point guard Tristen Peralta drove the lane for a layup as the first-quarter buzzer sounded to give the Warriors a 16-10 lead.

In the second quarter, Hot Springs still tried to defend Socorro with its man-ot-man defense, but to little avail. Socorro’s defense began to wear down Hot Springs, forcing numerous turnovers and steals for easy layups. Silva poured in 20 points to help the Lady Warriors to a 31-19 halftime lead.
Socorro extended its margin in the third quarter. Midway through the quarter, Jaden Jones, Samantha Sedillo, Jones and Jasmyn Jaramillo scored on consecutive layups to help the Lady Warriors to a 49-28 lead.
Garcia, though, was not pleased because his team had some ballhandling problems.
“We had not been turning it over since earlier in the year,” Garcia said. “It cost us in some games. That’s something we will work hard on tomorrow in practice.
“A win is a win. In district, this is a good way to start. Friday, we go to Cobre. There’s one we can’t stumble on either. We’ll be prepared for that.”
Hot Springs coach Walt Sanchez wasn’t too happy either.
“It’s a situation where they were not ready to play and Socorro did a heck of a job. Garcia always has his team ready to play. I can’t speak enough about Silva.
“ I don’t know if there’s anyone on our boys club that can guard her. She’s a special player and gave us headaches. She’s just tough and gave us a lot of problems. Socorro’s defensive pressure gave us a lot of problems too.”
Silva finished with 32 points, Jones added 10, Brittany McDaniel added eight points and Samantha Sedillo had six. Sam Trujillo had 14 for Hot Springs. Socorro will be at Cobre Friday and will return home Tuesday to play Hatch Valley.

Photo: The Socorro girls basketball tean had no problem winning its district opener at Hot Springs. (Pictured: Socorro junior Samantha Sedillo)

Socorro Boys End Six-Game Losing Streak By Beating Hot Springs

By Michael Olguin Jr.
For the Mountain Mail

SOCORRO -- Coach Lawrence Baca has been optimistic about the young Socorro boys basketball team as of late, even with a six-game losing streak heading into their first district 3-3A matchup Tuesday night.
Socorro snapped its losing streak against the Hot Springs Tigers Tuesday night with a 79-53 win. Last Friday, the Warriors fell to the Valencia Jaguars, 57-51, followed by a 75-63 Saturday night loss to the Belen Eagles
“It does feel good to get back in the winning column,” Baca said. “The regular season was tough and it was good preparation for the remainder of the season,”
Socorro will continue their pursuit of a district championship on Friday, Feb. 5 when it hosts the winless Cobre Indians in the Warrior Dome. The Warriors will then hit the road to Hatch Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 9 to take on the Bears.
The Warriors look to be the odds-on favorites in District 3. District 3-3A has a combined 19-47 record this season including the Warriors’ 7-13 record. Heading into Tuesday night’s game, the Tigers (8-11) had the best overall record in the district, but the Warriors showed they were the better team.
“I don’t think it is going to be any where near as tough as our regular season schedule,” Baca said of District 3-3A play. “We still need to stay focused and do our thing. We can’t have any lapses and we need to do what we need to do to get ready for the post season.”
Tuesday night the Warriors handled the Tigers with ease. Socorro jumped out to an early first quarter lead and never trailed. Socorro led 36-23 at halftime. With the Warriors up 74-41 in the fourth quarter, Baca rested his starters and allowed every Warrior player to see playing time.
Junior Jared Marquez had 20 points followed by senior Erik Garcia with 19.
Friday night, former head coach Dominick Romero paid a visit to the Warrior Dome where he was able to turn a struggling Warrior program into district champions. Both Baca and JV coach Robert Mata were picked by Romero to assist him during his four-year stay in Socorro.
“It was a good experience, I have a lot of respect for him (Romero), I have learned a lot from him and he got me into coaching,” Baca said of Romero. “It was kind of weird because we use a lot of the same stuff he used in Socorro.”
“I think we are two evenly matched teams and that Socorro has a solid team this year,” said Romero. “They will do well in district and make another deep run at state.”
The game was a close back-and-forth game with the Warriors having a 27-26 halftime lead.
The Jaguars (7-14) took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors by eight.
Valencia maintained control in the fourth quarter giving the Warriors their fifth straight loss.
Garcia led the Warriors with 13 points and five assists. Senior Andrew Contreras contributed 12 points and seven rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor. Junior Zach Esquivel rounded of the Warrior scoring with 10 points. The Jaguar defense was able to hold leading scorer Marquez to just 5 points.
The Belen-Socorro rivalry has been ongoing for decades and has included many heated, close battles in almost every sport. Saturday night was no exception. The Warriors looked to have an early advantage in the first quarter taking an early 19-15 first quarter lead behind three, three-pointed from Marquez.
Belen countered, going on an 11-2 run to take a 26-21 lead in the second quarter. Three more three-pointers by Marquez gave the Warriors the lead once again at 30-28.
The Eagles went an anther 10-0 run, this time giving them the lead for good. Belen led the rest of the game and took a 75-63 win.
“This was another one of the close competitive games and we just came out on the short end of the stick,” said Baca.
Marquez led the Warriors with 18 points followed by Esquivel with 12 and Contreras had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Magdalena Girls Remain Unbeaten, Rolls Past Menaul

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

MAGDALENA – The third-ranked Magdalena Steers (16-0, 5-0) remained undefeated by beating district foe Menaul (13-6, 3-2) 69-36 on Jan. 30.
Coach Wally Sanchez and his team were glad to get back to playing again after a number of games had been postponed or canceled recently. Sanchez felt his team being a “little bit flat.”
Magdalena opened the first quarter with balanced scoring and full-court pressing. Nicole Hardy, Camille Mansell and Kameron Armstrong contributed four points or more as Magdalena raced to a 17-5 lead.
The Lady Steers built their margin to 28-15 at halftime as Magdalena’s defense kept Menaul’s top scoring threat Haleigh Glass away from the basket and in early foul trouble.
“The first quarter we looked pretty good and then we let it go to our head,” Sanchez said. “We started getting sloppy and throwing the ball away. We started substituting. Some of the girls needed a wakeup call and they responded. The kids that went in there did a good job, even added a few extra points.”
Magdalena’s starters in the third quarter and responded too. Karly Chavez (10 points) and Nicole Hardy (eight points) led the way with their scoring and defense. The Lady Steers outscored the Lady Panthers 26-4 in the quarter to build their lead to 54-20.
Sanchez substituted freely in the fourth quarter as the Lady Steers cruised to the win.
Saanchez told his players: “In the third quarter, you play some defense and you’ll be in there until you’re tired. We stepped it up a couple of notches and took it to them.
“I got a great feel for this team. I think this team can go a long way. We’ve started in district playing pretty tough. We’ve just got to come every night to play and not get surprised by one of these other teams.”
Menaul’s first-year coach Elijah Shackelford said: “We handled their pressure better than they thought. We just didn’t have the bodies to keep up with the constant barrage of players that they sent at us. We’re a young team, so it’s a learning process.”
Shackleford commented on the rematch, which will be the last game of the regular season later this month.
“Hopefully, we’ll gain a little bit more on them. Magdalena is a quality team with a nice long tradition. We’re just trying to start and catch up with these types of teams.”
Magdalena had four players in double figures – Keanda Chavez (16 points), Hardy (14 points), Karly Chavez (11 points) and Camille Mansell (10 points).
Glass had 11 points to lead Menaul.
On Jan. 29, Magdalena defeated Ramah 79-34.
The Lady Steers will be home against Temple Baptist on Feb. 4 and against the Bosque School on Feb. 6. On Feb. 9, they will play at the Alamo Navajo School.

Steers Rebound With Victory

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

MAGDALENA – The Magdalena Steers (10-4, 4-1) dealt the Menaul Panthers (14-5, 4-1) their first district loss, winning 58-34 on Jan. 30.
The previous night, Magdalena fell to Ramah 56-55 and on Feb. 2, the Steers defeated Mountainair 54-16 in a makeup game.
In Saturday’s game against Menaul, the Steers sprinted to an 18-3 lead and never looked back. Reg Peralto led the assault with 12 points, including two threes and Ryan Alguirre hit a three-pointer as Magdalena led 23-5 after the first quarter.
Magdalena coach Jory Mirabal, obviously, was happy about the fast start.
“I thought the kids did a good job of coming out and making adjustments based on the game last night,” Mirabal said. “We had a hard loss. The kids knew better with the silly mistakes we made and tonight was evident in making those adjustments. So I give all the credit to our boys.”
Magdalena continued its tight defensive play in the second quarter, holding Menaul to five points and Peralto continued his hot shooting with seven more points as the Steers led 35-10 at halftime.
The Steers kept up the defensive pressure, holding Menaul to four points in the third quarter. Mirabal substituted freely in the fourth quarter as the Steers rolled to the win.
After the game, Mirabal said, “Tonight we played a tougher team than we played last night. We just played solid basketball. In 24 hours, we looked like a different team. Mentally, we just came in more focused.”
Mirabal liked the play of Peralto.
“Reg is a leader. When he steps up and fills that role, we’re a tough team. The other kids feed off his leadership.
Menaul coach Kelvin Scarborough, a former point guard for the New Mexico Lobos, complimented Magdalena’s play.
“They just got on us in the first half. They took us out mentally, emotionally and they were more physical and quicker to the ball,” he said. “It was an uphill battle for the rest of the game.”
Scarborough also talked about his team.
“I told them everybody’s going to have a bad game. This was our bad game and put it behind us,” Scarborough said.
“We’ll play them again on our Senior Night so that might be good because it might be for the district championship. So right now, you have to take care of your home court and they took care of their home court tonight.”
Peralto led Magdalena with 24 points and Daniel Hand and Brice Milligan added nine points each. Alguirre and Abie Pino had six points each. Jayseph Griego had 14 points to lead Menaul.
Magdalena plays Temple Baptist at home on Thursday and at the Alamo on Feb. 9.

Sylvia Quibbles At State Of The Union Speech

By Anne Sullivan

““Do you think I’m fat?” Sylvia asked.
Though it was early morning, I was fully aware that this was a loaded question. As I stared at Sylvia’s rotund body stuffed into her inside dogbed, I realized that tears could well be the result of a totally honest answer.
“Why do you ask?” I played for time, hoping to distract her.
“Well,” said Sylvia, taking a deep breath, “when we were watching the President’s State of the Union Address the other night, he introduced his wife, Michelle Obama, and said she was working against obese children.”
“I think what he meant was that she was against obesity in children, not against the children themselves.”
“Oh. Well, do you think I’m fat?” Sylvia asked again, pinning me with her eyes.
“I suppose you and I could both afford to lose a pound or two,” I replied in as neutral a voice as I could muster.
“Oh, I see,” said Sylvia, plunking herself down with her back to me.
Seeking to change the subject, I asked, “Did anything else about President Obama’s speech strike you?”
“As a matter of fact, yes, something did.” She sat up and looked at me to say, “President Obama talked a lot about people, about what they had done, what they should do and how they were going to work together. BUT he never said a word about dogs. Didn’t he know that millions of dogs all over America were listening to his speech? Come to think of it, I didn’t see Bo in the audience. Wasn’t he invited?”
“I shouldn’t think so. I doubt if even Fala went to President Roosevelt’s speeches.”
“I’ll bet he went to his Fireside Chats. And what about that dog of Nixon’s? Anyhow a little thing like not being invited shouldn’t have stopped Bo. It didn’t stop that silly couple that wanted to be on a Reality show from going to the Obamas’ State Party last month. Bo could have disguised himself and gotten through security easily.”
“Maybe Bo didn’t want to hear the speech. After all, he’s just a puppy,” I pointed out. “He might have found it boring.”
“It’s never too soon to get serious about life and keep abreast of what’s going on in the world,” proclaimed Good Citizen Sylvia.
“You might tell that to Gordo,” I said, looking out the window to see my calico cat bumping in and out of snowdrifts with no visible purpose in mind.
Oddly enough Sylvia defended Gordo. “He has the disadvantage of not being allowed in the house because of your allergy so he can’t watch TV. You could, of course, fix him up with a small TV in his apartment under the house.”
“I think not. He’d probably watch junk and soap operas and then I’d have to take his TV privileges away from him.”
Sylvia was silent after this for so long I was sure she was asleep. I used the time to enjoy reading one of the books I’d received for Christmas.
Like a Jack-in-the-Box Sylvia’s head suddenly popped out of her bed. “You didn’t answer my question. Do you think I’m too fat?”
“That’s something I don’t spend much time thinking about,” I said from behind my book. “I’m much to busy for that. I need to study. I have a test in Fire Class tomorrow.”
“Coward,” whispered Sylvia, followed by, “And, now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to go out and bark.”

Quemado: Senior Center And Valentine Party

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado Senior Center Pool Tournament will be at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9 along with a “Clean The Closet” craft day. A movie with popcorn will be Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The movie is “Night in Rondanthe.”
Datil seniors will join Quemado seniors on Thursday, Feb. 11, for a Valentine Party. Quilting will still take place on Thursday. Come exercise on Fridays to a One Mile walk video. Lunch for the week will be Monday – Salsa chicken, Tuesday – Taco soup with flour tortilla, Wednesday – Chicken fried steak Thursday – Swiss steak and Friday – Bean burrito supreme with red chile. Please call the center at 773-4820 to make your reservations.
For information on the February Men's Fellowship Breakfast in the Cowboy Church off Highway 32 near Quemado , please call 773-4739.

The Quemado Homecoming celebration took place on Friday, Jan. 29, where Queen Mia Cauzza and King Manuel Garcia were crowned. Also in the royal court are Princess Arissa Klumker and Prince Garret Williams. In other school news, spring pictures will be taken on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Quemado District Basketball games will see varsity, junior varsity and girls varsity, junior varsity basketball teams playing Cliff on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 13, Quemado will play against Reserve at home at 4 p.m.
Catron County Democratic Party will be having a meeting Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m. in Reserve at the County Courthouse. For information contact Gary Clauss at 575-539-2044 or Cindy Wasserburger 575-533-6917.
Santo Nino Church will be holding their Fundraiser Bingo on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. in the Reserve Community Center. For information contact Flora Najar at 575-533- 6389.

Photo: Manuel Garcia and Mia Cauzza recently were named homecoming king and queen at Quemado High School.

Reserve Girl Captures Spelling Bee

By Richard Torres
For the Mountain Mail

The best spellers from Datil, Reserve and Quemado converged at Reserve Hill School for the Catron County Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
All competitors were between the fifth and eighth grade, and each school was represented by three students.
Representing Datil were sixth graders Gibson Johnston and Caitlynn Atwood; and fifth grader Diana Craig.
Representing Reserve were eighth graders Maryah Delgado and Bryonna Klumker; and fifth grader Tammy Menges.
Representing Quemado were seventh graders Sam Farr and Stefan Beauchmap; and sixth grader Diana Hart.
Reserve teacher Jackie Fryer served as moderator. Missy Langstorf and Becky Spurgeon, also teachers in Reserve, were judges. Rules were given to the competitors and one practice round was exercised. Eight of nine contestants spelled correctly. Each contestant had a paper and pencil to assist them.
Rounds 1 and 2 saw no eliminations. By the end of Round 3, three contestants had been eliminated. Round 4 had another casualty.
Round 5 resulted in 2 boys and 3 girls left.
The crowd was silent. Each parent, student, and guest going over each word in their mind, trying to spell the word correctly. “Apology” and “Denominator” were misspelled, and by the end of Round 8 only two contestants were left. Gibson Johnston and Bryonna Klumker were vying for top honors.
Back and forth went the words: “accomplice-supplement-fallacy-infatuation-psychoanalysis”, with Gibson and Bryonna each spelling correctly.
Round 18 saw Gibson tripping up on “labyrinth”.
Bryonna claimed the championship, successfully spelling “labyrinth” and “enfranchise.”
For third place, Diana won in the fifth round of a spell-off between she and Caitlynn Atwood.

(Photo) These are the top three spellers in the Catron County Speling Bee. From left to right: Diana Hart (third place), Gibson Johnston (second place), and Bryonna Klumker (first place).

Photo by Richard Torres

‘PHi Cares’ in Quemado Area

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

QUEMADO -- Much discussion was held during the fall of 2009 in Quemado and outlying areas about finding an affordable medivac service for residences in the area.
PHi Air Medical out of Albuquerque, Grants and Santa Fe has been the answer. Their air medical flight crews include highly trained pilots, critical care flight nurses and paramedics. The service, “PHi Cares” covers transportation from the scene of the emergency and transportation from hospital to hospital. The program works on a membership basis with an annual fee. There are two types of memberships; a family and a corporate.
The corporate annual fee is $40 per household and there is no need to have insurance to be covered under the PHi Cares program.
Several local areas have started corporate memberships through the fire departments. Red Hills group name is “Red Hill” and was formed in October 2009. The contact is Sher Brown at 773-4637.
Pie Town's group was formed in December 2009 with over 25 people initially signed up. The contact is the Emergency Medical Services at 772-2666. The group name is “Pie Town 1209.”
Quemado started their group with about 20 people in December 2009. Yvonne Armstrong at J and Y Auto is the contact person at 773-4775.
Quemado Lake area is in the process of forming their group called “Quemado Lake Area.” They hope to be up and running by late February. Contacts are Kathy Garceau or Shannon Zetich.
Anyone can still join into one of the above groups just put the group name you wish to join on the application. Need more information or an application, just call one of the contacts.
A fourth helicopter site for the state will be located in Socorro.
PHi Air Medical is in the process of getting things established and hiring staff. It is due to open late March. This is a great benefit for our area and takes a load off the first responders mind knowing a person is a member of PHi.
A person can have the option of being medivaced in case of an emergency with the concern about their health not about the money. Patrick McKenzie, a PHi Air Medical representative, is currently working with people in Apache Creek and Datil Fire Department to form a group in those areas. He would like to see communities as Magdalena and others take advantage of the program and the future Socorro helicopter site. His cell phone is 505-264-0654.