Thursday, April 1, 2010

Walking For Veterans

Marine veteran Richard Hunsucker is in the process of walking across the United States, and stopped in Socorro to take a breather this week. He said Tuesday his “Walk Across America’ is to raise awareness for veterans’ contributions to society, and especially to raise money for Disabled American Veterans. The walk – a planned 202 days and 2,650 miles – takes Hunsaker through eight southern tier states. Hunsucker left Jacksonville on Nov. 11, 2009 (Veterans Day), and expects to arrive in San Diego on May 31 (Memorial Day). He accompanied by a vehicle embellished with names of veterans he’s met on his journey. The public is invited to follow his progress on the Internet:

Photo by John Larson

No April Fool’s Joke: KMXQ Dark

By John Larson

SOCORRO - When listeners of Socorro’s only local radio station, 92.9 KMXQ-FM, turned on their radios Friday afternoon, Mar. 29, all they heard was static.
General Manager Virgil Vigil told the Mountain Mail the station had ceased broadcasting as of 1:38 a.m. Friday afternoon.
Vigil said the owner, Lakeshore Media in Chicago, had sold the KMXQ license to another broadcasting company, Cochise Media Licenses, based in Jackson, Wyoming.
“We were told to shut it down Friday,” Vigil said. “That’s all I can say.”
Vigil said the five other employees of the radio station were told they would no longer have a job as of Thursday, Mar. 31.
Vigil was asked by the new owner to oversee the facilities on Highway 60 until further notice.
When the station will resume broadcasting, and with what music format, is still up in the “air.”
Whether the station will continue broadcasting Warrior sports in the fall remains to be seen, Vigil said. “George Funkhouser and Manny Marquez have done a great job calling the basketball and football games all these years,” he said.
The radio was first assigned the KHBN call sign in 1985, but in 1987 the call sign was changed to KMXQ and had a country music format which continued airing until last Friday.
In addition to acquiring the broadcasting license for $60,000, Cochise Media has also applied for a construction permit. The company has not publicly announced the reason for the permit. Cochise Media is owned by Ted and Jana Tucker.
In a telephone conversation, Tucker told the Mountain Mail that decisions concerning KMXQ’s return to the airwaves, and its format, will be made as soon as negotiations with government and privates entities are finalized. “It will be at least a few weeks,” Tucker said.
Cochise Media owns several radio stations including two in New Mexico, and also in Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona. Formats for the stations vary from classic rock to Spanish.

Veguita Woman Arrested After Shooting

By John Larson

VEGUITA – Jessica Granados, 24, of Veguita was arrested Sunday, Mar. 28, after a domestic violence incident ended in a shooting.
According to a press release from New Mexico State Police, officers from the Socorro State Police office were summoned to investigate a domestic violence incident off Highway 304 in Veguita Saturday, Mar. 27, just after 9 p.m.
The victim, Jason Barraza, had reported to State Police that Granados was his girlfriend, and that she had shot him with a .22 caliber revolver. Barraza was taken to be treated at University of New Mexico Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
According to the criminal complaint filed with Magistrate Court, Socorro County Sheriff Phillip Montoya along with Deputies Larry Smith, Casey Spurgin, William Armijo, and James Nance, were first on the scene.
The report said Montoya cleared the inside of the residence in order to preserve life and ensure safety of the scene. There was no one in the home at that time, but Montoya observed “a chair broken into several pieces on the kitchen floor,” and “what appeared to be drag marks of blood in the hallway going to the rear exit of the residence.”
Officers and Agents with the State Police quickly worked to locate the suspect identified as Jessica Granados, 24, after learning of the domestic dispute she was involved in with several family members. The dispute turned into Granados obtaining a handgun and shooting her boyfriend twice and threatening to shoot Barraza’s mother before fleeing the residence.
In a statement with law enforcement officers, Barraza said he and his girlfriend, Granados, were having a birthday party at their house for one of their children. An argument in the kitchen between Barraza’s mother and Granados escalated into shoving.
Barraza stated in the report that Granados then went into a bedroom and returned brandishing the pistol, and shot him in his left hip. He fell to the kitchen floor and Granados then shot him a second time, hitting his left thigh.
After fleeing the residence with their two children, Granados learned that State Police had compiled enough facts in the case and had entered her as a wanted felon. By 3 a.m., Granados turned herself into the Los Lunas State Police office with the handgun used in the shooting. Granados was transported back to Socorro County, booked into the Socorro County Detention Center, and charged with two counts of Aggravated Battery Against a Household Member with Great Bodily Harm and one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Socorro County Under Sheriff Les Torres said Wednesday Granados has been released from custody on a $20,000 cash or surety bond.
As of press time Wednesday, Granados’ preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court has not been scheduled.

515th Battalion May Be Back In A Month’s Time

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, formerly headquartered at the National Guard Armory in Socorro may be returning home after its year’s deployment in Iraq.
This is according to an e-mail communication from commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Ken Nava at Task Force 515, Camp Bucca, Iraq.
“Our redeployment timeline still is not totally locked in stone, but we continue preparing to go home,” Nava stated.
The battalion was deployed to Iraq June 10, 2009. The City of Socorro and DAV held a Patriotic Picnic on the plaza for members of the battalion, their families, and community supporters. About 600 people crowded the plaza to give the soldiers a warm send-off.
The National Guard unit, which includes nine soldiers from Socorro, was to be overseas for one year.
Captain Jason Peete, Commander of the 919th MP Company in Belen, said in an email the battalion should be back in New Mexico in the next few weeks.
“Right now we are anticipating their return at the end of April or beginning of May timeframe,” he said. “We tentatively have a Welcome Home/Freedom Salute ceremony scheduled for May 8 at the Calvary Chapel here in Belen.”
Socorro’s DAV Commander Peter Romero said he hopes there will be an opportunity to honor the Guardsmen from Socorro, “or possibly the entire unit when they are all here for training at the armory.”
The history of the 515th CSSB had its beginnings during World War II as the 515th Coast Artillery regiment, made up of New Mexicans to defend the Philippines from Japanese aggression. Its members comprised most the Americans involved in the Bataan Death March.
To honor its heritage, Task Force 515 sponsored a Memorial Death March on Mar. 15 in Iraq. Unlike the annual event at White Sands Missile Range, which is 26.2 miles, the Camp Bucca Memorial Death March was 13 miles.

Lopez: Haiti Devastation Overwhelming

Mountain Mail Reports

When the 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti in January, Richard Lopez, the engineering and operations manager for the Socorro Electric Cooperative, knew he probably was going to be on an airplane soon.
For the past 20 years, Lopez has been on multiple trips for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International Foundation, working in various areas that have been devastated by natural disasters.
In Haiti, Lopez worked with NRECA Haiti project manager Myk Manon and Lopez was told “to bring my hardhat, gloves, boots, safety glasses and expect just about anything. So that’s what I did.”
Lopez, though, was surprised about he felt when his plane landed in Port-Au-Prince back in late February.
“I just felt numb,” Lopez said. “The devastation was overwhelming.”
And so what did Lopez do while he was in Haiti?
“The scope of work included anything and everything from working with the Dominican Republic line crew in a bucket truck to working with the Haitian crews to being an adviser and also to coordinate the energizing of these facilities.”
Lopez was scheduled to be in Haiti for two weeks and he set some lofty goals.
“When I got there, there were about 25 percent of the distribution system that had been energized partially, and I thought, well, if we can get to 50 percent, I would be happy.
“When I left, we had partially energized 24 of the 33 circuits or about 65 percent of what could be served.”
Lopez helped the factory complex, the textile export and the industrial load get back online.
“It wasn’t me that did it,” Lopez said. “It was the actual Haitian crews.”
On one of the last days, Lopez was in Haiti. It was then that Lopez realized why he was there.
“We had just reenergized the last circuit and they had just finished trimming some trees to get the line off and they called for the power to come on.
“The power came on and I heard this girl scream and I looked over and she is singing and dancing on her patio. She was really happy. She had been without power for 52 days.”
With his work done in Haiti, Lopez headed back to Socorro on March 9 and resumed his usual routine.
Lopez, though, would like nothing better than to go on another adventure.
“If NRECA feels the need for someone with my abilities, I would love to provide it,” Lopez said.

Picture: A Haitian worker restores power to one of the lines.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lopez

Shotguns Stolen From Marshal’s Office

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Marshal Larry Cearley sought, and got, approval from the Magdalena Village Board last week to purchase four 12 gauge shotguns that were stolen from the Marshal’s office on March 8.
According to an incident report from the New Mexico State Police, the Marshal’s office at 106 S. Main Street was broken into between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The front door was damaged with what appeared to be a crowbar.
The report said three Reming-ton 12 gauge shotguns were missing, as well as a Winchester 12 gauge shot gun. Total value of the four firearms was $3,500.
State Police Officer Nathan Barton is in charge of the high priority investigation.
“When any law enforcement office is broken into, it’s always a high priority,” Cearley said.
The Village Board also approved Cearley’s request for two metal outside doors (front and back), and a gun safe.
Cearley was also given authorization to install steel bars on the office’s two front picture windows, and a smaller window on the back of the building, as well as surveillance cameras.
“We’re generally beefing up security,” he said. “[The village] wanted to keep it looking like a traditional western Marshal’s office, but we need to make these changes.”
Cearley said the money for the expenditures will come from the Law Enforcement Protection Grant, and not from the Village’s general fund.
The building also houses Magdalena’s Municipal Court.
The stolen weapons were entered by the State Police into the National Crime Information Center database.

OBITUARY: Robert Lee Irelan

Robert Lee Irelan
Jan. 23, 1935-March 25, 2010

Robert Lee Irelan, 75, passed away Thursday, March 25, 2010 in Albuquerque. Robert was born on January 23,1935 to Archie and Ann (Pettigrew) Irelan in La Junta, Colo.
He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Tammy Irelan of Socorro; his son, Monty Irelan of Radium Springs, NM; his daughters, Dana Knight and husband, Larry of Mesilla Park, NM; and Pam Irelan also of Radium Springs; his grandchildren, Stephanie Liesner and husband, Leighton; Kelly Knight; Seth Knight and wife, Rachel; Elizabeth Gerard and husband, Sam; Taylor Irelan; and Mason Williams; his great grandchildren, Cole Liesner; Katelyn Liesner; and Lacey Knight; sisters in law, Susan Miller and husband, Michael; and Debra Treder and husband, Hilliard; brother in law, Rudy Treder; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Archie and Ann Irelan; and his brother Carl Irelan.
Robert retired from MIT Lincoln Lab.
He was an Eagle Scout, member of Koshare, and in the first graduating class of Los Alamos High. He attended New Mexico A&M (now NMSU) and ASU. Robert proudly served in Vietnam in the 1st Cav. He traveled the world and had many humorous adventures with his family and friends. He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
Funeral Services were held Sunday, March 28, 2010 at Steadman-Hall Funeral Home in Socorro, at 2:00PM. Burial took place in the Socorro Cemetery. Pallbearers were Monty Irelan, Larry Knight, Seth Knight, Sam Gerard, Gus Woods, and Johnny Woods.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a local food bank. Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Sinforosa B. “Rose” Valencia

Sinforosa B. “Rose” Valencia
Aug. 21, 1914-March 24, 2010

Sinforosa B. "Rose" Valencia, 95, passed away Wednesday, March 24, 2010 in Socorro. Rose was born on August 21,1914 in San Pedro to Amarante and Mariana (Saavedra) Baca.
She is survived by her son, Tony Valencia Jr. and wife, Lorraine of Socorro; Daughters, Isabel Savedra and husband Ruben; Frances Cases and husband Paul; and Maryann Aragon and husband Ray, also all of Socorro; her 11 grandchildren, Charlie Savedra, Cindy Griego, Yvette Cases Brohmer, Darryl Cases, Tanya Pyke, Melissa Adams, Tony Valencia III, Eric Valencia, Raeanne Armijo, Kimberly Aragon, and Ray Aragon Jr., 28 great grandchildren and 9 great great grandchildren.
Rose was an avid bowler. She worked at New Mexico Tech and the State Sanaitarian. Rose was an Avon Representative for years.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Tony Valencia Sr., her brother, Sam Baca, her three sisters, Elisa Cordova, Viviana Gonzales, and Esther Baca, and her granddaughter, Kimberly Cases. A Rosary was recited on Friday, March 26, 2010 at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro and a Mass of Resurrection followed with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Burial took place in the San Miguel Cemetery. Pallbearers are Charlie Savedra, Darryl Cases, Tony Valencia III, Eric Valencia, Ray Aragon Jr, and Alex Cases. Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801, (575) 835-1530.

Village Recognizes Broaddus

By John Larson

MAGDALENA –Village Clerk Rita Broaddus, MMC, was recognized at the Mar. 22 Board of Trustees meeting for being nominated to be Vice President of the New Mexico Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association.
Broaddus said she joined the organization (a subsection of the New Mexico Municipal League) when she became village clerk 16 years ago.
“This is exciting,” Broaddus said. “We have our clerks association meeting April 14th through the 16th. That’s when the slate of officers will be presented for the members to vote on.”
The association includes 102 municipalities across the state, and has 157 members, including clerks, deputy clerks, and finance officers.
Broaddus is more than qualified. She earned her Master Municipal Clerk certification in November, 2009, an accomplishment not attempted by most New Mexico municipal clerks.
“There are only about 20 Master Clerks in the state,” she said. “I started my Master’s training in 2000. It’s a tough course, requiring more training and education.”
She said the association’s policy is to move the Vice-President into the President’s position after serving two years.
“They move you up the slate,” Broaddus said. “I will become president-elect and then become President. I will be proud to represent the people and government of the village.”
She also voiced her appreciation for the support of Mayor Sandy Julian and former mayor, Jim Wolfe.
Magdalena’s Deputy Clerk Carleen Gomez is a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC).

Pictured: (left) Broaddus takes the oath from Municipal Judge Robert Serna.
(Right) Serna swears in Marshal Larry Cearley and Deputies Ed Sweeney, Manuel Monte, and Terry Flannigan.

Photos by Gary Jaramillo

OPINION: Greed Is (Not So) Good

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

"The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.”
-Charles Kuralt, American radio and television Corres-pondent and Journalist, 1934-1997.
Way back in ancient times (pre 1980), greed, along with its cousins wrath, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony were considered to be the seven deadly sins. Today, however, they are all featured and glorified on just about every network and cable channel (except perhaps PBS and LINK).
It was Gordon Gekko (not to be confused with Martin Gecko from the Geico ads who wants to save you money), Michael Douglas’ character from the 1987 movie Wall Street, who blatantly spoke the phrase “greed is good.” So popular was this movie that Oliver Stone could not resist making a sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, to be released in September of this year.
So, “just what’s wrong with greed,” you might ask. Is it not one of the major motivating forces behind our Capitalist Economy? Well, in a word, in today’s world, “Yes.” Today, it all seems to boil down to a question of the degree of greed that is inflicted upon us. When does “Maximizing Profits” cross the boundary between good business sense and ruthless “bottom line ism?” When is it OK to shut down US manufacturing plants in favor of cheaper Mexican or overseas facilities? Will all of that water to the west of us in the San Augustin Basin go to any useful purpose other than to enrich the coffers of one Bruno Modena? When will he stop pumping? When ALL the water is gone? When will we stop having to deal with cutbacks in jobs, in schools, in healthcare, in social programs? When ALL of our money and resources are gone?
The rapidly expanding inequity of wealth and power in this country is enough to make our collective heads spin. The richest 1% of Americans now hold more than $2 trillion in wealth more than the bottom 90% of us combined. Meanwhile, we’re all trying to figure out how to keep our schools, our roads and our social programs from tanking.
Here’s a resource that might prove enlightening on this subject: Sam Pizzigati’s book Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our Lives. It has gone on my “absolutely must read next list.” There simply must be a more equitable and democratic way to restructure the American Workforce. One solution that Pizzigati offers is that of a “maximum wage” cap on an individual’s annual income that would go up if and only if the minimum wage rose first.
Michael Moore also hints at solutions to this problem in Capitalism: A Love Story. He shows us several companies that are operating in a cooperative, democratic framework, where the CEO and the line worker get roughly equal pay and an equal vote in the operation of the business.
In earlier films, Michael freely admits that his viewpoints evolved from his early Catholic teachings encouraging the creation of an economically and socially just democracy. This is not the ugly word “Socialism” that the Tea-party attendees are bantering about, but a sustainable, more humane way to “do business” without degrading the worker or harming the Earth.
Personal greed is also a study with much fruit to bear. We all have our own personal over attachments to material things and pleasures. My personal weaknesses are Pistachios, books, rusty bits, green chili cheese bagels and clutter. How can we find the proper balance of providing what our inner-selves need and avoiding the selfish drive to attain more than is good for us?
Books about these and other questions can be found at the Magdalena Public Library. The Library will be celebrating Library Day on Saturday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come, enjoy food, friends, books, videos and public access computers. If we don’t have the book that you’re looking for, we’ll order it for you. Satisfaction guaranteed! Does it get any better than that?
Yes, it does! The Magdalena Eggsibition opens this Saturday, April 3 from 2 - 4 p.m. The show will run through the month of April at the Bear Mountain Gallery, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Come see ways to decorate an egg that you’ve never dreamed of!

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

Magdalena Fire Dept. Contains Small Wildfire

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – A quick response by the Magdalena Fire Dept., along with the Hop Canyon Fire Dept. prevented a small wildland fire from spreading Friday afternoon. The fire was contained along a 40 foot stretch on the east side of Highway 169, about one and a half miles north of Magdalena.
Magdalena Fire Chief Arthur Rauschenberg said the fire was possibly started by a tossed cigarette. He said the call came it at 12:20 p.m. by a passerby.
“Someone driving by had a shovel and tried to help contain it,” Rauschenberg said. “There also was a woman who had a case of bottled water, and she stopped and was pouring water on it.”
The Magdalena Fire Department responded with a brush truck and pumper, and Hop Canyon volunteers arrived with one pumper.
Village Deputy Marshal Ed Sweeney and two U.S. Forest Service personnel were assisting, Rauschenberg said.
“This could have really spread quickly, with the winds so high,” he said. “It could have been acres and acres, but it was out by one o’clock, and had burned less than one acre. I think we were extremely fortunate.”
Rauschenberg said residents should start becoming aware of the danger of fires getting out of control during windy and dry conditions.
“Be extra careful when burning trash at your house and burning off fields,” he said.
High winds and dry grass fueled several wildfires across the state.
Last Friday, Mar. 26, firefighters battled four other wildland fires: the Brewer Fire in Capitan; the Buckhorn Fire near Hondo; the March Wind Fire near Buckeye between Hobbs and Lovington; and an unnamed fire in Chaves County 20 miles north of Roswell.
Also on Friday, Socorro County Deputy Fire Marshal Jerry Wheeler and firefighters from Abeytas Fire Department put out a small fire in La Joya.
Coincidently, Governor Bill Richardson has proclaimed this week as Wildfire Awareness Week.
According to the Governor’s press release, in the first three months of 2010 New Mexico has had more than 60 wildfires that burned approximately 11,000 acres, a significant decrease from last year at this time when there were 264 fires that burned 63,589 acres.
“Wildfire can occur in New Mexico at any time during the year, depending on conditions,” Deputy State Forester Tony Delfin said in the release. “We must think smart and not let wildfires start.”
Fire officials also expect the potential for fires along the Rio Grande Valley to increase in Bosque areas as the drier spring and summer months progress.
Wheeler said the potential for wildfires could be higher in the next few days.
“We’re keeping track of what the weather bureau is telling us, and right now we are in a critical period,” Wheeler said. “With winds predicted to continue through Easter weekend and humidity around 15 percent, we’d like to remind people to be extra careful.”

OPINION: This Budget Item Always Seems To Be Off the Table

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

“The statesman who yields to war fever is no longer the master of policy but the slave to unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.”
– Winston Churchill

“In the world we have entered the only path to safety is the path to action.”
– George W. Bush

As U.S. citizens labor to get their 2009 tax returns finished and posted by the April 15 deadline, solutions to the most pressing dilemmas of our economically crippled society are largely drowned out in corporate media by the Republic mantra of small government and (since their fall) limited spending.
Meanwhile the proposed spending freeze advertised by the Administration of Change is carefully phrased as "non-security discretionary spending," allowing a call for roughly the same amount of military expenditures as the rest of the world’s nations combined. In the United States, military expenditures equal about 50% of all federal discretionary spending. At around $741.2 billion, the defense appropriations bill poised for passage next fall provides for more military spending than in any single year since World War II.
For those of you keeping score at home that’s about $2,400 for each man, woman, or child.
Setting aside wearisome ideological battles over the proper role of government in society, a lunar visitor would surely be amazed at how rarely the connection is made between stretched budgets and our bloated military spending.
The American devotion to war (the term “defense spending” fails to adequately describe where our tax dollars go) is deeply ingrained, far beyond the level of need. The recent nuclear reduction treaty agreed to by the U.S. and Russian governments calls for a cut in the number of missiles stockpiled by each nation during the Cold War. If ratified the treaty would leave each country with a paltry supply of 1,500 warheads to defend itself against the other. What ever became of the so-called Peace Dividend promised by Ronald Reagan’s claimed victory over the Soviet Union?
According to non-profit economics publisher Dollars and Sense, each $1 billion spent by the Pentagon produces about 11,600 military jobs, while the same amount invested in an urgently-needed new clean energy sector would net 17,000. $1 billion applied to health care would equal 20,000 jobs, and the same amount put to use in public education, 29,000.
Many readers are aware of the prescient warning contained in the 1960 farewell speech of President and former 5-star general Dwight Eisenhower. “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
Sadly, Ike was right, and we didn’t listen. Rather than directing the nation’s wealth toward yawning crises at home, we are on course to continue squandering our collective future on the fortunes of war.
The National Security Council report handed President Truman in 1950, dubbed NSC-68, defined the threat of Soviet communism in terms starkly apocalyptic for a government document. “With the development of increasingly terrifying weapons of mass destruction, every individual faces the ever-present possibility of annihilation should the conflict enter the phase of total war.” Among NSC-68’s more clairvoyant prescriptions: “A large measure of sacrifice and discipline will be demanded of the American people. They will be asked to give up some of the benefits which they have come to associate with their freedoms.” With Truman’s signature on the document, the well-known power of fear to captivate a population was renewed as official (though classified) policy.
Presidents ever since have found it that much easier to govern. When insistence on social or economic justice gets uncomfortable at home, there are always plenty of trouble spots in the world where national attention can be shifted (sans Africa). This course has the added benefit of serving the insatiable demands of the military-industrial complex - a subject seemingly immune to the prying eyes and ears of American journalism.
The latest version of this tragic strategy is the Quadrennial Defense Review of 2006, which declared future wars will be against those “who seek to destroy our free way of life.” The so-called “Long War” of the Pentagon “may well be fought in dozens of countries simultaneously and for many years to come.” We’d best pack a lunch.
PhilosopherReinhold Niebuhr, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, wrote “To the end of history, social orders will probably destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible.” A country’s embrace of false exceptionalism cannot end well.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, holds a history degree from the University of New Mexico. Reach him at Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

Trinity Site Atomic Blast Rocked The Seismographs

Guest Commentary
By David Medcalf

The world's first atomic bomb was exploded July 16, 1945 at the Trinity Site, on the White Sands Proving Ground (now White Sands Missile Range), 37 miles southeast of Socorro.
When the bomb exploded at approximately 5:30 a.m. MWT (Mountain War Time), the light given off was so bright it could be seen 250 miles away.
Sound waves from the blast could be heard 50 miles away. Manhattan Project scientists had an array of instruments recording the event, including high-speed cameras and radiation detectors, but another group of scientists was watching the phenomenon as well.
Harvard professor L. Don Leet was an expert at recording seismic waves from explosions and was brought to the Trinity site to record "explosion tests." For security reasons, he wasn't told what he was really supposed to measure until after he arrived in New Mexico. Leet set up a portable seismograph of his own design at San Antonio, 30 miles from Trinity. The machine's recording of the atomic blast exhibited evidence of a new type of earth motion that was later dubbed a "hydrodynamic wave." The graph also confirmed the existence of a so-called "coupled wave" which had been recorded only once before. In a 1946 paper, Leet was to write that from the test ". . . one of the most important records of earth motion in the history of seismology was obtained."
But seismologists farther afield detected the strange event as well. Seismographs at Tucson, operated by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and at the California Institute of Technolo-gy's geophysical observatories at Palomar and Riverside, logged the episode. Using these recordings, Caltech seismologist Beno Gutenberg was able to determine the time of the detonation as 5 hours, 29 minutes, 21 seconds MWT with an error of no more than 2 seconds. This turned out to be particularly helpful because the precision timing equipment at the Trinity site had failed, leaving the time of the blast uncertain by plus or minus 15 seconds.
Gutenberg was also able to measure low frequency sound waves from the explosion using microbarographs.
The Trinity Site will be open to the public this Saturday, April 3.
Further information is available at the White Sands web site.

Medcalf is a biologist at New Mexico Tech.

Mercury Can Be Found In April Skies

April Skies
By Jon Spargo, Tech Astronomy Club

During April, the tiny Planet Mercury will probably put on its best show for 2010. From the 1st through the 15th it can be found about 10 degrees above the western horizon starting about one half hour after sunset. During this period, it will slowly fade from magnitude -0.9 to +1.4. By the 15th binoculars may be necessary to see it.
Brilliant Venus will be easy to spot as it blazes away at magnitude -3.9. During the first two weeks you can use Venus as a guide to finding Mercury. On the 3rd, the two planets will be separated by only 3 degrees, Mercury being a bit lower and to the right of Venus.
Mars is high overhead in the early evening and continues to fade as the Earth continues to put more distance between Mars and us. From the 16th through the 18th Mars will be just one degree north of the center of M44, the ‘Beehive Cluster.’ This will be a good time for viewing both through binoculars and small telescopes before the waxing Moon arrives in the neighborhood on the 20th and 21st.
Recently passing opposition, Saturn will be visible just about all night long for the entire month. The rings will continue to close during the month heading for a minimum of just 1.7 degrees in mid May. Because of this and the increasing distance from Earth, Saturn’s magnitude will fade slightly as the month progresses.
This month, we welcome Jupiter back to the early morning skies. You will find it low in the east about 1 hour before sunrise. By the end of the month it will rise 2 hours before sunrise making it a bit easier to find shining at magnitude -2.
The Moon will be last quarter on the 6th, new on the 14th, 1st quarter on the 21st and full on the 28th. Beginning on the 2nd about one hour before sunrise, the Moon will make yet another impressive pass through the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. On the 3rd the waning gibbous Moon will be a mere 1 degree above the bright orange star Antares which is said to be the “heart” of the scorpion. Antares is also known as the ‘rival of Mars’ because of its orange color. On the western horizon, the crescent Moon will be found just one degree above tiny Mercury on the 15th about 1 hour after sunset. On the 21st, shortly after dark, the Moon, Mars and M44 (the Beehive cluster) will form a nice little group of objects

Lady Warriors Roll On

By John Severance

SOCORRO – For the third straight tournament, the Socorro girls golf team secured a qualifying leg for state.
This time, though, the Lady Warriors did it on their home course at New Mexico Tech as they rolled to victory in the Seery Invitational.
Socorro scored 371 as a team, outdistancing Bosque School (391), Ruidoso (430), St. Michael’s (440), Ruidoso (453) and Belen (454). The qualifying score was 405, which means Bosque also earned a qualifying leg for state.
Even so Socorro coach Margaret Stanley was not satisfied and she does not expect her team to be either.
“I’m expecting a lot more from them now,” Stanley said. “I should have two girls shooting in the 70s and another in the 80s and my fourth player should be breaking 100.”
The Lady Warriors were led by medalist Kristen Cline, who shot an 84, one stroke better than Jamie Palermo of St. Michael’s. Socorro’s Shania Berger was third with an 86 folowed by Taylar Jaramillo of Belen (87) and Bella Sanchez of Bosque (88).
For Socorro, Brittani Webb added a 100 and Mirijana Gacanich had a 118.
“It was disappoint for my top three players. They have to play better,” Stanley said. “Each of the players have something to work on. With one, it’s driving. With another, it’s chipping and putting and with another, it’s course management. So we have a variety of things to work on.”
One positive for the Lady Warriors is they have qualified for state as a team and Cline and Berger have qualified individually.
“We’re in so that’s a little pressure off,” Stanley said. “We just have to get better though.”
Socorro will be back in action in Ruidoso Friday for the Great Eight Tournament.
“It’s supposed to be 43 degrees with rain and wind,” Stanley said. “It should make for a Good Friday.”

Baseball Team Looking For Answers

Mountain Mail Reports

The Socorro baseball team fell to 7-7 on the season after dropping four games in the past week.
On March 30, the Warriors traveled to perennial power Sandia Prep and dropped a doubleheader 5-4 and 11-5.
On March 26, the Warriors, playing in windy conditions, fell to Estancia 25-4 and 11-3.
“It’s been a rough stretch,” Socorro coach Alan Edmonson said. “We have played a lot of games in a short amount of time and that taxes our pitching and takes a toll on us.”
Edmonson said the Warriors played better against Sandia Prep. The Warriors gave up five runs with the four of the runners initially reaching base by a walk and the other by an error. “Our pitchers are just walking too many batters,” Edmonson said.
The Socorro coach was not about to make excuses for his team when it came to its performance against Estancia.
“Both teams had to play in that wind,” Edmonson said. “I am the last guy to make excuses for my team or myself. We just have to play better.”
Socorro will be on the road Thursday at Tularosa and will face Valencia on April 6 before starting district play the following week.

Warriors Golf Team Struggles At Seery

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

The 2010 Seery Golf Invitational team winner was St. Michael's High School, who shot 331. The tournament medalist was Lovington's Taylor Arreola, who shot a 77 for the day.
Visiting teams were from Robertson, Los Lunas, Lovington, Bosque, Belen, Hope Christian, St. Michael's, Capitan, Ruidoso, and Valencia.
The Socorro golfers did not take advantage of their own course on this beautiful and sunny day. As a team, they shot 347 and placed 4th in the invite. Freshman Willie Schaffer shot a team-best 84. Ryan Romero was right behind shooting an 86. Zane Lam had an 88. Randall Romero and Joe Carilli both posted an 89.
SHS Coach Russ Moore said, “Today we had excellent weather, one of the best days for scoring this year. Unfortunately, we probably had our worst day of the year as far as playing. We just did not perform as well as we liked to. However, we have seven other tournaments that we can play in and have an opportunity to have three legs.
“I have full faith in my team's ability to come through. Everybody has a bad day. The teams we had here today were probably the best 3A competition that we will play all year long in any tournament. The other teams didn't play as well as they wanted to either. In fact, we only had one team that picked up a leg today and that was St. Michael's and they barely picked up their leg by one stroke.
“It's early in the year and everybody's still a little bit rusty. The kids haven't been able to practice as much they want and they just don't quite have the confidence and trust in their swings right now. That is what is hurting us right now. As we keep on practicing and the weather gets better, I think we're going to come along and go a long way in the month of April.
“We have a week off to reevaluate and practice and try to get our five best players and try to get a leg.”
Behind St. Michael's first place team finish was second place Lovington, who shot a 333. Hope Christian finished in third place with a 336.
Trailing Arreola for medalist honors was St. Michael's Parker Ashton who posted an 81. Third place and fourth place finishers were Hope Christian's Tannon Davis and Austin Lopez who shot 81. Fifth place was taken by Miguel Macias of St. Michael's, who also shot an 81.
This was Lovington's Arreola second medalist win in the last two days. He hopes to keep the streak going.
Arreola said, “It was a good win. I didn't play as well as I wanted to. But I putted really good and that saved me. It's a tough golf course. You got to hit it straight, place the ball well, and got to hit it solid. Fortunately, I played well enough to recover from all that.”
The Socorro JV Team finished with a total of 378. Individual scores were as follows:
Nathan Vega (84), Robert Smith (92), Eric Mitchusson (100), Ray Chavez (102), and Bryan Melanson (109).
Socorro's next tournament will be on April 8th at the Sierra Del Rio Golf Course at the City of Elephant Butte.

Socorro JV Off To 4-4 Start

The Socorro Junior Varsity Baseball Team is off to a 4-4 record this season.
Fourth year Coach Kenny Gonzalez is proud of his hard-working team.
His team split a double-header with the Magdalena varsity team on Saturday. Socorro lost the first game 8-7.
Gonzalez said, “In the last inning, it was actually very close. We had two guys on base with one out. We had a batter, Gabe Torres, a young freshmen, who hit a line drive that Bryce Milligan caught. He was able to get a double play. If that shot goes through, it will probably land up being a standup triple. Gabe's a pretty fast kid and the two guys on are fast kids. We could have won the game, but it was a great play by Milligan.
“Ignacio Chavez pitched the entire first game. He did a wonderful job on the mound.”
The Socorro JV won the shortened second game 7-6 in six innings called because of the two hour game rule.
“Actually, we scored the winning run in that last inning. All my boys did great, because we're a young JV with eighth graders and freshmen and a couple of sophomores. We're playing varsity teams. We played Pecos and Magdalena's varsity. I think our JV has an up and coming future.”
The Warriors host Magdalena Thursday.

Softball Team Struggles Against Laguna

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

SOCORRO -- The Socorro softball team was swept in a home doubleheader 8-5 and 13-10 by the Laguna Lady Hawks on March 25, dropping its record to 7-6
In the first game, Socorro jumped on Laguna in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. Gina Rico and Maureen Trujillo both hit two-run singles.
Laguna (5-5) came back in the third inning to take the lead 5-4. Pitcher Maureen Trujillo finally finished the inning with three straight groundouts.
In the fifth, Socorro tied it with a two-out double by Brittany McDaniel, who scored on a double by Rico.
Laguna scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on an unearned run. The Hawks added on two more runs in the seventh for the final 8-5 margin.
“It was very disappointing,” Socorro coach Gary Apodaca said. “Defensively and offensively, we couldn't do anything. It's like we reverted back to a team with no experience. It was a disappointing game all around.”

In the nightcap, Laguna scored five runs in the first inning. Four of the five runs scored were unearned on two Socorro throwing errors.
The Lady Warriors got one back in the first on a triple by Trujillo and a sacrifice fly by Vanessa Jojola. Laguna scored two more runs in the second on a home run for a 7-1 lead.
Socorro's bats came to life in the third and tied the game at seven. Kristen Gonzales and Courtney Edmister both hit doubles early in the inning to help score three runs. Rico hit a line drive into right, which the fielder dropped for two unearned runs. Chantilly Gallegos tied the game with a single and scoring the run from second.
Both teams battled back and forth the rest of the way. Socorro took a 9-7 lead in the fifth on singles by Amberli Benavidez, Gallegos, and Trujillo.
Laguna tied the game in the seventh on a single and two doubles. In the bottom of the inning, Socorro had a player on second base with one out and a chance to win, but she was thrown out stealing at third.
Both teams held steady in extra innings. Trujillo's pitching seemed to get stronger as the game wore on.
Socorro's defense and pitching tired in the 11th inning. Laguna scored on three consecutive singles and took a 10-9 lead. They scored three more runs on another single and a double over the head of the left fielder.
McDaniel and Rico were able to get on to start the bottom of the 11th and hoping for a comeback. Benavidez singled down the left field line to bring in the runner from second. The other runner was thrown out trying to reach third for the second out.
Socorro threatened with bases loaded, but a fly out to left ended the game.
“We played one inning that was really good,” Apodaca said. “ We had good defense and hit the ball well and got seven runs in one inning. We couldn't do much after that. ”
Socorro traveled to Estancia on Monday and won 16-9.

Picture: The Socorro softball team discusses strategy after losing the first game of a doubleheader against Laguna-Acoma last week.

Photo by John Severance

Steers Open Baseball Season With Young Team, New Coach

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

Magdalena baseball coach Manuel Martinez is preparing the team for his inaugural season. He understands the commitment and discipline it takes to make a winning team. Martinez played on the Steers' baseball team in the late 80's and helped win a state championship in 1990 and took third place in 1991.
“Basically, we have to start the season teaching the kids the fundamentals of baseball,” Martinez said. “Going back to the basics, being that they haven't played in the past. But I'm looking forward to a positive season.”
The Steers' district competition this year will be East Mountain, Estancia, and Santa Rosa, who are all 2A teams. “We have a tough district,” he said.
Martinez talked about his starting lineup.
“Ryan Alguire, a returning starter and senior, is a kid who can play pretty much play any position on the field. But we're going to concentrate on him being our catcher this year and one of our pitchers. Another starter from last year is Bryce Milligan. He will be our pitcher.
“We have an eighth grader starting as our third baseman, Malachi Bain. We have a freshman starting at shortstop, Filimon Padilla and a freshman. At second base, we have Rico Romero, a senior and a returning starter. The first baseman is freshman Dylan Julian.”
“The left fielder is Estevan Pino. The first year he's ever played and he's a junior. Center fielder is sophomore Daniel Hand, a good all-around athlete. The first time he's ever played baseball, but he's picking up the game pretty good. Our right fielder is senior Robbie Zamora and also the first time he's played baseball.”
“Helping Milligan and Alguirre in pitching, will be Dylan Julian, who will bring a southpaw presence to the team. We also have Isaac Pino, Malachi Bain, and Daniel Hand.”
“So far, all of these kids are giving me 100 percent, they're doing a good job, and I'm proud of all of these kids. Everybody's excited about the new season, especially me.”
Martinez picked up his first career win on Saturday, March 27. The Steers traveled to Socorro to play their JV team and won 8-7 in the first game and lost the second game 7-6.
Magdalena will again play a double-header against the Socorro JV on April 1.

Luna Fire Department Gets Its Training In

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Editor’s note: Beginning in this issue, Kaye Mindar’s column will appear every two weeks.

With windy season upon us in Luna, the Luna Volunteer Fire and Ambulance ask for your help in watching the weather closely as conditions change rapidly. The fire department was called into action to fight a five-acre wildfire call a couple of weeks ago.
A mock disaster training went well for the department a couple of Saturdays ago arranged by Robert Newport, Sam Harris and Fire Chief Charles Moyers; the department received hands-on training in triage and rescue behind the Luna Service station with vehicle extrication, victim triage and an after action review with a luncheon. There will be more training scheduled in the future and more departments in the county participating.

Population Increase

Luna Valley’s population of about 170 increased last Thursday by 1. Congratulations go out to Chase and Tami Quetel on the birth of their son Arthur Gage. Dad, mom and sisters are doing well as extended family also is showing great pride in their new baby boy.

Luna 4-H

The Luna Valley 4-H is working to prepare for our annual spring bake sale and rabies clinic to be held Friday April 23; time and place to be announced. The support of the community is invaluable to our 4-H and the service provided is important to our pets’ health and well being.

Lunatic Stitchers

The Lunatic Stitchers are preparing for their spring overnight crafting social. These women paint, sew and enjoy good friends and fun with their overnight socials and are a great asset to our Community Center in keeping it clean and adding to the provisions of the building that are available to all.
There are big changes on the horizon for our community center in moving the playground to the grounds and other maintenance that is being tended to.

Luna Summer Activities

With our summer season quickly approaching, the Luna Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is planning for bi-monthly activities for all who visit the area. There are many projects planned and many volunteers needed. Contact Idonna Bradford if you can help in any way.

Preparedness corner

It is time to rotate our shelves and take inventory in our emergency supplies. If you haven’t begun it is never too late and if you have begun it is never ending and is a wonderful way of life to know you are doing all that you can. Contact Joyce Laney for canning dates and order forms available. There are special shipments of fresh fruits being planned with enough participation later this season; keep an eye out for more details as they become available.

Genealogy corner

A new idea for your family reunion this summer is a large family wall chart posted for all to see. It will prove to be one of the most popular items at many family reunions as it shows all the family members and how they are related. You can start with the main ancestor and show all the cousins, aunts, and uncles and other relatives attending the reunion, and it lets you see how everyone is hooked together. You can even add pictures of family members before hand or as they attend.

Quote of the week:

“There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate.”
~Linda Grayson, "The Pickwick Papers"


Wagner To Address Members in Quemado

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

Charlie Wagner, Socorro Electric Co-op Board Trustee for our area, will speak in Quemado on Thursday, April 8. The first session will be in the Quemado Senior Center at 11 a.m; the second at 6 p.m. in the Quemado Community Center.
Wagner will discuss the proposed resolutions to be voted upon at the Annual Membership Meeting of the SEC in Socorro on April 17, 2010.
The talks will include both the member proposals passed at the District 5 and District 3 meetings in October, 2009 and the alternatives just proposed by the SEC Board. The focus will be on the member propositions with an explanation of the reason for the proposals and the effect they will have on the cost, transparency, equitable voting and districts and also the need for members to attend the Annual Meeting to vote the member propositions into the SEC By-laws. An informal question and answer period will follow.

The Quemado Senior Center Pool Tournament will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 6 with exercise class on Tuesday and Friday at 1 p.m. Along with Quilting and Bingo on Thursday, April 8, there will be an Easter Party around 10:30 a.m. with an easter egg hunt. All seniors are welcome to come and join in the activities. Call 773-4820 to make your reservations if you are having lunch. A center fundraising Bake Sale will be held on Friday, April 9 from 8:30 a.m. till sold out.

The Quemado School will have no school on Monday, April 5. Students will be at the State FFA in Las Cruces from Tuesday through Friday. A track meet will be on Friday, April 9 against Magdalena.

Thank you to the First Baptist Church and the Quemado Community Choir for an inspirational Easter Program. For those of you who missed it or would like to sing in future choirs, there will be a Christmas program and possible something this summer.

Note: Know of anything going on or a special event in a family or school, please let me know. Call 773-4119 or email at

Sylvia’s Sweet Slumber Swiftly Seems Awfully Scary

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia snored and snorted on. As she twitched and twisted in her sleep it was obvious that she was dreaming.
Sylvia was hungry. It must be the journey, she thought. I know I had breakfast with biscuits before I started the day’s digging.
Besides hunger, Sylvia felt victorious, if somewhat tired after her journey down the Great Hole. She knew she was in China, in Shanghai. Where in Shanghai, she had no idea. There seemed to be a river by the street where more people than Sylvia had ever seen before were busy heading quickly in both directions.
Strange, it was getting dark and many colored lights were coming on, all reflecting in the river, changing shape as they blinked on and off. How could it be dinnertime already?
She spied a large black dog ahead of her attached by a leash to what looked like a policeman. My mother always taught me to ask a policeman for directions if I ever got lost, she remembered. Not that she was lost but her food was.
Sylvia approached the large dog and asked, “Can you please tell me where I can get something to eat?”
The large dog had an equally large bark. “Where’s your leash? Where’s your person?” He interrogated her. “Do you have a license? What are you doing here all by yourself?”
“I’m hungry. I need chow,” said Sylvia in what she hoped was Chinese.
The big dog bared its teeth and laughed. “You don’t look like you need anything to eat. You’re fat. You need to get out and do some Tai chi.” With that, he lunged at her and broke loose from the policeman. Choosing the better part of valor, Sylvia ran. The black dog chased after her and she ran and ran until she was puffing so hard she had to stop. She looked back to see that somehow terror had made her swift and she’d managed to outrun the big dog.
She ducked into an alley. No bright lights here. She almost tripped over a bench so she decided to wait until she could see properly. She sniffed. Something was cooking. Maybe it was her dinner.
A man wearing a dirty apron and a peculiar tall hat stepped out of a door, a cigarette drooping from his lips. The light from inside made it easier to see. The man smiled at her.
Sylvia sat down and wagged her tail in her most appealing manner. The man, still smiling, motioned her inside.
Eagerly she entered a small room which she deduced was a kitchen. She inhaled cooking smells, not of anything she could recognize, but definitely food. An enormous pot of something was bubbling away on top of the stove.
The man reached down to pet her. Sylvia’s tail wagged faster and faster. Then the man hugged her. How nice. No one had hugged her since she’d left Swingle Canyon.
Suddenly the man’s arms tightened around her. The smile left his face. He picked her up – all 70 pounds of her – and with no effort at all tossed her into the soup pot on top of the stove.
Sylvia screamed as she threshed around in the hot liquid.
“Help, help”, she cried.
“What’s the matter, Sylvia?” I asked. “Did you have a bad dream?”
“Oh, oh, where am I?” she screeched.
“Silly dog, you’re in your bed. Where else would you be?”
“I was in China and I was hungry.”
“Was that why you woke up? You’ve been asleep for quite some time. You were dreaming and it must have been some dream you were having.”
“It was. I was actually in Shanghai and it was time for supper there. Speaking of supper, isn’t it time for mine?”
“Not a chance. It’s not even noon yet. I thought you were eager to do more digging in your Great Hole.”
“I think I’ll fill it in,” she said, stretching.

Gardening Lecture

Mountain Mail reports

On Friday, April 9 from 1 until 3 p.m., Pie Town gardener Judith Alley will give an adult program entitled ‘Organic Gardening in Catron County’ at Datil’s Baldwin Cabin Public Library. The program will be accompanied by a seed exchange. Don’t forget to bring your seeds to trade with others.
Judith Alley will show techniques learned in 10 years of organic gardening in Catron County, a place where every property has its own microclimate.
“It didn’t take long for me to discover that all the books I read didn’t give me enough information on gardening in our climate and altitude,” Alley says. “Our climate is so extreme I’ve had to come up with ways to fool my plants into thinking the weather is better.”
Baldwin Cabin Public Library is on FR 100 just off U.S. 60 three miles west of downtown Datil.
Everyone is invited.

Catron Easter Egg Hunt Scheduled For Saturday

Mountain Mail Reports

The Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, April 3, starting at 11 a.m., at the Catron County Fairgrounds in Reserve.
Children will be divided into three different groups. Prizes will be awarded for each age group.
“We had 60 kids last year, and we look forward to having more kids this year,” said Arnold Lopez, a coordinator from the Catron County Chamber of Commerce.
Hot dogs will be served after the egg hunt. There will be an Easter Egg decorating contest. Bring your best decorated egg for judging.
“This is one way the Chamber members give back to the community for their support. We will be sponsoring a Fourth of July celebration in addition to other fun, community events. Special thanks to Debbie Boyer for all her hard work and efforts in putting together this event,” Lopez said.

Get Ready For ‘Eggsibition’ At Mag’s Bear Mountain

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – For the last 12 years around Easter time Magdalena artist Yvonne Magener has been sponsoring an egg show – an “Eggsibition” - presenting works of art on all sizes of eggs.
This weekend is the opening of this year’s show, which is held at Bear Mountain Gallery and Coffee House, 902 First Street in Magdalena, the former site of the West Bar.
Magener has been painting eggs with extravagant designs in polymer clay and resin based relief paint, reminiscent of Fabergé eggs made for Nicholas II of Russia in the 19th century, but without the jewels and precious metals.
The eggs in the Eggsibition range from chicken to goose, and even ostrich. “Each egg has been hollowed out making them very fragile,” Magener said. “They are very precious and delicate works of art.”
Media used is as varied as the artists creating them, including watercolors, acrylics, polymer clay, beaded, collaged, pen and ink, crayons, and even sand painting and weaving.

“They are all fabulous,” Magener said. “This year we’ll have at least one hundred eggs featuring incredible artwork.
“Up to 50 were created by Alamo students, and some of theirs are very artistic. They like to give them a Cougar theme,” she said.
Most of the artwork can be purchased, Magener said.
A reception will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 3, at Bear Mountain Gallery, adjacent to the coffee house.
The eggs will be on display through the month of April.

Socorro Students Take Part In Junior Duck Design Contest

Mountain Mail reports

Not all New Mexico students are preoccupied with the latest avatar sensation or with Adequate Yearly Progress scores in their school. As proof, consider that 603 students submitted original artworks depicting ducks, geese and swans of North America in the just-completed Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest in New Mexico.
The entries came from Kindergarten through 12th Grade students in 28 schools, home school programs and art studio or academy classes located across the state.
The judging was held at Bosque del Apache Tuesday, Mar. 23.
The Best of Show winner in the statewide contest is a colored pencil rendering titled “A Warm Place” of a Mottled Duck with ducklings submitted by Gadsden High School 12th Grade student Lidia Avina.

Among 13 Socorro schools entries, Cottonwood Charter School students Electra Burleigh was awarded a 2nd Place, and Samantha Hurtgen won a 3rd Place; Parkview Elementary student Markeiska Lopez received a 3rd Place award, with the others to receive Honorable Mention ribbons or Certificates of Appreciation. Honorable Mention ribbons or Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to 20 students from Datil Elementary and 13 students from San Antonio Elementary who submitted entries.
The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Contest is a nationwide art and science-based program for schools developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to teach greater awareness of our nation’s natural resources. The 603 New Mexico entries this year exceeded last year’s by 32 per cent.
“This outpouring of interest in nature’s creatures by New Mexico’s young folks is heartening, and bodes well for the success of future efforts to protect wetland habitats and waterfowl,” USFWS Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle said.
Entries were judged at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge by Jim Wolfe of the Ducks Unlimited National Conservation Program Committee and past New Mexico State Chairman of Ducks Unlimited; Skeeter Leard, award-winning artist and partner in Fullingim, Isenhouer, Leard Studios in Socorro; John Vradenburg, Senior Biologist at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge; Ken Garrahan, Chief of Visitor Services and Robert Murphy, biologist in the Migratory Birds Division at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office in Albuquerque.
The 2010 Junior Duck competition in New Mexico was sponsored by Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR, which contributed prize money for the Best of Show and 1st Place winners.
All 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention winners will be formally recognized during a special New Mexico Junior Duck Stamp Contest Awards Ceremony at the Macey Conference Center in Socorro on May 1.

Pictured: Judges for the Junior Duck Stamp Design contest (from left): Robert Murphy, Jim Wolfe, John Vradenburg; Skeeter Leard, and Ken Garrahan,

Photo by John Larson

County Adopts Internal Control Policy

By John Severance

Here are the highlights from the Socorro County Commission meeting held at the County Annex Building last week.
• The commission passed an internal control policy. Manager Delilah Walsh said the county has been lacking such a policy. “After we pass this, we will have each of our departments to adopt this and come up with their own policies,” Walsh said. “This also resolves one of our audit issues.”
• The commission adopted a resolution that said the county would oppose a proposed emissions cap. The New Energy Economy has filed a petition with the New Mexico Environment Improvement Board calling for regulations that would require regulated entinties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. The NEE has since modified its petition to make it a more gradual approach for entities to get to that point. The EIB likely will not rule for another couple of months and there also has been lawsuits filed.
• The commission passed a resolution to approve the 2010 annual certified county maintenance roads.

Wagner Gets Tri-State Clarification

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- Charlie Wagner contacted Tri State on his own and that did not sit well with the Socorro Electric Cooperative board members at its meeting Thursday night.
“You have to act as a member of the board,” attorney Dennis Francish said. “You don’t go to Tri-State and ask them if we did the right thing and air our dirty laundry. You got voted down and you have to live with it.”
“We are individuals outside of here but inside we are members of the board and it is important how we present ourselves outside the board,” trustee Donald Wolberg said.
Wagner was seeking clarification from Tri-State, regarding Leroy Anaya acting as the SEC representative and delegate to Tri-State. Wagner said there could be a possible conflict of interest regarding Anaya, who has a duty of loyalty to Tri State and serving its interest, above that of SEC’s when acting as a member of the board. Tri-State Ken Reif told Wagner in an email, “I am aware of no legal restriction on Tri-State Board members also serving as delegates to the annual meeting. Duties of loyalty can be different when individuals are serving as a Tri-State Board member as opposed to serving as a delegate to the Membership meeting. However, that kind of thing happens regularly.”