Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trinty Site Open House

A Japanese film crew interviewed visitors to the Trinity Site during Saturday’s open house. Japan Broadcasting Company producer Yuichiro Ando said the interviews were for a documentary for Japanese television. When Mountain Mail reporter John Larson asked the crew for an interview for the newspaper, Ando instead asked Larson for an on-camera interview. The open house attracted 3,735 visitors in the six hours it was open to the public Saturday. A spokesperson at White Sands Missile Range said the attendance was about 300 more than last October’s open house. The site of history’s first nuclear explosion is open to the public only two days each year.

Photo by John Larson

Trinty Site Open House

Highway 60 Wreck

An accident on Highway 60, ten miles west of Magdalena sent five people to the hospital last Friday morning. Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley said Eric Kern, an outfitter from Silver City, was eastbound and making a left hand turn at mile marker 101, when he was rear ended by pickup driven by Valentine A. Baca from Springerville. In the police report Baca said “we were coming along at a pretty good clip when I saw him turning with his signal right in front of me. There was nothing I could do.” Two passengers in the Baca vehicle and one in Kern’s vehicle were also injured. Pictured: Baca’s 2002 Dodge pickup.

Photo courtesy of Marshal Larry Cearley.

Highway 60 Wreck

Marquez Resigns SEC Trustee Post

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- Manny Marquez, who has been on the Socorro Electric Cooperative Board for 28 years, has resigned his position effective April 1.
Marquez said he submitted his resignation “three or four weeks ago” and that he resigned for personal reasons.

“It’s something I had to do and I rather not talk about it,” Marquez told the Mountain Mail on Tuesday. “Something came up and I figured I better get off the board. That’s about it.”
Marquez said when he initially submitted his resignation his fellow board members tried to talk him out of it.
Marquez also was the SEC's representative to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He also was the chairman of the wage and annual meeting committees and served on the safety, and by-law committees.
According to the SEC bylaws, the Board of Trustees shall hold a special district meeting within 90 days for that district to elect a trustee to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term so long as the remainder of the term is at least one year.
Marquez has more than two years remaining in his term.
On April 17, the co-op will hold its annual membership meeting at 7 p.m. at the Finley Gym. One of the items on the ballot is the number of trustees that will run the co-op. Members will have four choices. They can keep the status quo of 11, they can choose a member-sponsored resolution of five or they can choose board-sponsored resolutions of seven or nine.
Marquez represented District III and was one of six trustees that represent Socorro.
For years, Marquez and George Funkhouser were on KMXQ, calling Socorro football and basketball games. But the radio station was sold from Lake Shore Media in Chicago to Cochise Media Licenses in Jackson, Wyo.
The station has been off the air since 1:38 p.m. on March 26.
Marquez said he has not heard about when the station might return to the airwaves.
“They sold it,” Marquez said. “I’m not sure what is going on.”

Socorro, Catron Lag Behind In Census Return

By John Larson

SOCORRO - New Mexico lags behind the national average for census participation, with a 54 percent return rate for census forms, as of Wednesday. The national average is 63 percent.
According to the web site, Socorro County lags even further behind with 42 percent. Magdalena is even lower with 38 percent. The City of Socorro is at 47 percent.
The worst participation in the state as of April 6, is Catron County with 19 percent. The Village of Reserve is 26 percent.
New Mexico’s highest participation rate is Los Alamos County with 72 percent.
Tom Cheyoga, Census Bureau official from Las Cruces, said participation in the census is crucial for the welfare of the county, the state, and the nation.
“For every person counted it means money coming to the community,” Chegoya said. “Funding for infrastructure, education, affordable housing, and more. It means money that should come here, where you live.
“This year is one of the critical tests in our nation’s history, given the recession and current state of our economy,” he said.
Chegoya said the 2010 census questionnaire is simplified compared with the 2000 Census, and “does not care about some of the detailed information that has been asked previously.
“There’s only 10 questions. All the information collected is strictly confidential. That’s the law,” he said. “It can’t be shared with any other governmental agency, even Homeland Security, for example. It’s only about the count.”

Tech Tuition Likely To Increase 8-9 Percent

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO – New Mexico Tech President Dan Lopez expects to see slightly higher enrollments at the university in the next two to three years. This, in light of a probable tuition increase of 8 to 9 percent, which translates to $207 per semester for in-state undergraduates, and $610 for non-residents.
According to Lopez’ report last week to the Board of Regents, Tech has already received 247 paid applications for the fall semester, compared with 161 paid applicants at the same time in 2009.
“We have incredible growth and the pattern continues,” Lopez said at the Mar. 30 meeting.
“Normally, that’s great, but we have 11 frozen [faculty] positions and three more who are retiring. It’s beginning to put a strain on faculty to offer the classes to accommodate the students.”
Because of state funding cuts, incoming students – and continuing students – will be spending more for tuition beginning next fall. Lopez said the state’s funding formula assumes that each university will increase tuition by at least 5 percent.
“The only way we can make it up is to go to the students ask them to make up the five percent,” Lopez said. “But because of the other cuts, including those to special projects, we will have to raise it another three to four percent.”
Lopez said the university will still have the lowest tuition of all research institutions in New Mexico, “and are among the best tuition rates in the Rocky Mountain west,” and substantially lower in the entire west.
“For example, in November University of California Board of Regents raised tuition rates by 32 percent,” he said.
He said the tuition rate increases will not affect students on lottery scholarships.
Regent Richard Carpenter said that the university can expect to see increased enrollment for the next couple years, particularly if the national economy stays in the doldrums.
Carpenter pointed out that UNM is considering tightening admission standards and asked if New Mexico Tech should consider changing its admission standards. Carpenter also said Tech could improve its retention rates by examining admissions.
Lopez said he is willing to launch an effort to study Tech’s admission standards; he said, however, that incoming Tech students already have a relatively high average GPA, which is the best indicator of persistence. He also said that retention issues are typically related to individual behavior – like going to class and completing assignments.

Fite Recalls Family Ranch Operations

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. This interview with Socorro resident Evelyn Fite is a part of that effort.

After years of struggle, a homestead claim eventually resulted in the development of a large ranch for Dean and Evelyn Fite. A 640 acre homestead claim under the Enlarged Stock Raising Homestead Act enabled the Fites to develop a large ranch by establishing a basewater and gaining leasing preference on adjacent public lands after the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act. They did without a lot in the early years, saving up to buy more private land as it became available. Early on, Evelyn wanted to build a house, but Dean told her “you can’t make any money with a house.” So they bought more cattle, and eventually more land.
Evelyn and Dean lived in a train car at what is now called the #3 water, located approximately 14 miles south of the (now) Fite Ranch Bed & Breakfast. The current ranch headquarters is located at the old coal-mining town of Tokay. Dean and Evelyn ranched cattle here until his death in 1987. Still branding the cattle with F I T, the brand that Dean’s grandfather had used, Evelyn Fite continued the Fite Ranch operations until she sold it in 2002, after 64 years.

She was interviewed by BLM Archaeologist Brenda Wilkinson in 2009.

Evelyn Fite was born Evelyn Agnes Galonzowfski in 1918 in Outlook, Saskatchewan, Canada. Her grandparents had moved there in 1904 from southern Russia. They were wheat farmers of German origin, and moved to Canada to farm wheat. At that time Evelyn’s mother, Emma (nee Brown), was 9 years old. She grew up, married Herman Galonzowfski and gave birth to Evelyn in Canada.

Evelyn: “My dad worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. So we never lived on a farm. ‘Til we came to California; we had a farm there, but it was a peach orchard farm. And we had chickens, sold freshly laid eggs. Then we sold that and went to Oregon and he worked in the lumber mills. Depression came along…lots of things changed. So he worked in the lumber mills there, and then we came to New Mexico. We were very young when all that took place”

After living in California and Oregon, the family moved to New Mexico in 1928. They moved to Santa Rita, a mining town near Silver City. The depression hit, and Evelyn’s father left her mother; left her with three children, no house, no car, no job and no formal education.

Evelyn: “So we spent our life, our next 7 or 8 years, struggling to exist over there and trying to get enough money together to eat, you know. My mother worked taking care of a sick lady, and then she did housework for people - for teachers and for the mine bosses. There were several little mines around, and so there were different little areas around there. So we moved around and scratched out a living. Then later years we moved; she got a job at Rosedale.”

Evelyn’s mother ran the boarding house at Rosedale.

Evelyn: “And my sister and I were like 14, 15, 16 along those years. Nineteen thirty three [to] thirty four, something like that. And we worked in the dining room and we got paid! We got a paycheck! So we had board, we had a little house to live in, and we had our board and room there. So from there things started getting a little bit better.”

Ervin, Evelyn’s brother, worked in the assay office for two years, making two dollars a day. He was the assistant to assayer Johnny Kinds, and when Kinds left, Ervin got the job.

Ervin: “But you had to weigh all those samples you know, and all little tiny balances, and just had little wires and counterbalances , very delicate stuff to weigh, and keep track of the gold and silver. Thirty four, yeah, she first heard about it, asked him if they needed a cook up there. He said, ‘We sure do,’ so she jumped in the car with him and went to Rosedale and left us kids. And Lewis and I were still going to elementary school, and Evelyn stayed with us, kept us together. And summer of ’35 we all went to Rosedale, and all went to work. Boy, that was like….Christmas! ‘Cause before that we were living on a dollar a day, sometimes. My mother made a dollar a day, if she had a job.”

Evelyn: “Well, my mother cooked in the cookhouse for a couple a years and then they decided that her grocery bill was too high, so they let her go. So we went to Magdalena and opened a little restaurant, and then two months later they came and said: ‘You’ve gotta come back! All the miners are leaving - we can’t find a cook…’ If you don’t feed men, they don’t work. In mining camps and in cow camps it was important to feed well. So she went back. And I had dropped out of high school, and I went back to school in Magdalena, and took two years of school in one year and graduated from high school, walked out the door and married Dean and moved to the ranch.”


Evelyn: “When we lived in Santa Rita and we were going to school they had company stores and company schools, and this was the depression. And they had an excellent school. Because it was not a State school, and the company hired these teachers - and they had good teachers - and I didn’t even realize it. Until I went to high school in Hurley, that little tiny high school, and we had good teachers.

“Well I dropped out my third year and went to work, then I went back to high school in Magdalena. It was appalling. It was pathetic. I took two years high school in one year, and I hardly ever had to study. ‘Cause I already knew all that stuff. Those poor kids had no education…. And of course, I was just lucky. I got to thinking I was pretty smart when I got to high school. And I was a valedictorian. And I was too busy lookin’ out the window for …. when Dean was going to show up.
“[Dean’s mother] taught school at Rosedale, before Rosedale was Rosedale. There was just a …. see it had been a mining town, and then it closed up, but there was a building there and she lived on a ranch not far from there, and had four children. And her husband worked for Mr. Reinhardt who was a millionaire from Oklahoma. And he needed somebody to run his ranch, so Mr. Fite had that job. And Mrs. Fite had these four children and she taught school at Rosedale.
“She would take her Model T Ford and pick up her four…. She had three school age children and one was too young to go to school, so she’d leave her at another ranch house. She’d pick up their older kids and she’d have school in this little school house. And she would cook a pot of beans or make a beef stew, and they had a big wood stove and she’d put it up on top of that. And taught ‘em to read and write and do their arithmetic.
“Well the reason I didn’t continue my education, I had enough trouble getting through high school. Dean was sitting there with the motor running wanting to get married. So that’s when I moved to the ranch, the next day after I finished high school. See, that’s when I enrolled in ranching 101 - and studied it for 67 years and never graduated. I had the college of hard knocks. I had a college of learning at the ranch. I guarantee you, that was a whole different world. It was depression times and people had a tough time. During the drouth you know, and then they drafted all the cowboys, and we had rationing and all that - gasoline rationing and tires.”

Next week: Part 2 of the Evelyn Fite Oral History.

(top) Evelyn Fite at her home in Socorro. Photo by John Larson.
(bottom): Evelyn: “And there I am, look at that, funny little picture. I was 19 years old in this picture. You can see there’s not a blade of grass. There’s an old skinny cow standing there. That’s where I lived. That’s the caboose. We lived in that caboose, and then we bought some more land and lived up above Tokay, and then we bought Tokay after the mines closed. We bought that land there.” Photo courtesy of Evelyn Fite


Magdalena Mountain Mail Publisher Knew Her People

By John Larson

SOCORRO - First published on Thursday, Apr. 5, 1888, the Magdalena Mountain Mail saw its heyday when it was reprised in 1980 by Jacky Barrington.
The original Magdalena Mountain Mail was published by brothers Whitmore and Co., serving “Magdalena, Kelly and Socorro County.”
In its first issue, the newspaper explained that the presence of advertisements was because “it is a business venture,” serving the interests of the mining and cattle industries. It said “the Mail will be primarily a local paper, a chronicler of local history and the advocate of such matters as will tend to the material up-building of the section.”
The Apr. 5, 1888 front page stated that “Socorro County is one of the largest, wealthiest and most important counties in the Territory.”
In Nov. 1980, Jacky Barrington revived the publication, writing that “in 1980 Magdalena is again a busy place. Have you tried to cross Highway 60 at 4 p.m.?”
The editorial goes on to say that she will continue to emphasize local Magdalena news.

Tom Barrington, Jacky’s son, also was part of the paper much of the time.
“One of the main reasons Jacky wanted to start the paper was because the Chieftain ignored Magdalena or Catron County news,” Barrington said. “She felt it was important for someone to report on the Village Board meetings, and news from Quemado, Reserve, Luna, and Datil.”
The publication of the newspaper with Jacky Barrington at the helm became a positive influence on the community.
Sayward Harris, proprietor of Outlaws from 1979 to 2004, said “if you wanted something done, get Jacky on it.
“She was very kind in her news articles. It’s not usual to see news people handling a news story published in a kind way,” Harris said. “When we had Outlaws, we worked together on the Chamber of Commerce. When I was on the Village Board, she helped in applying form different grants for the village.
“She knew the village. She knew her people,” Harris said.
Former Village Trustee Bill Fuller said Barrington was directly responsible for him being part of the village government. “In the privacy of my backyard I said I did not believe her reporting on the village board meetings,” Fuller said. “She somehow knew what I made that remark and told me to go a meeting. I went to a meeting. After that I said to her ‘you’re reporting is dead on’.”
Fuller then began reporting on the Village Board meetings for the Mail. “She was absolutely great to work with. Let me print whatever happened.”
Village Clerk Rita Broaddus said, “Jacky was an amazing woman and very well-traveled and independent.
“She always stopped in to Village Hall to say hello when was in town,” Broaddus said. “As a matter fact she was her right before Christmas. She looked great and was planning another cruise.”
Donna Dawson said she helped deliver papers for Jacky “for awhile,” and also did typing for the newspaper.
“She was big on giving a lot of publicity to Old Timers and helped it grow, and was a big part of getting the clinic here,” she said.
Jacky loved to travel, but even when she was away she continued publishing the Mountain Mail, from a distance.
“She was always wanting to see more of the world,” Dawson said. “She and Rudy Pina had some sort of competition on who had been to the most countries.”
Pina told the Mountain Mail he and Jacky had a friendly rivalry.
“I was always one step ahead of her,” Pina said. “One time she said she was going to Iceland. I said ‘I just back from Iceland’. “
Pina said Jacky had gone to Okinawa, and knew he had been there fighting the Japanese army in World War II. “She said it sure was different than when you were in Okinawa,” he said. “We tore it up.”
Pina said another time Jacky announced she was going to New Zealand.
“I just told her to go to the north island. It’s nicer,” he said. “She said I can’t beat you.”
“Well, she beat me up to the Pearly Gates,” Pina said.
Pina said he found out by chance how far reaching Jacky’s influence was.
“One time I was in a barber shop in Venezuela in South America, and I picked up a magazine,” he said. “I looked through it and saw an article from Magdalena by Jacky.”
The Mountain Mail has seen minor cosmetic changes in the eight years since Jacky retired from the publishing business. But the newspaper is still locally owned and strives to cover Socorro and Catron counties with a personal touch, and an eye toward helping our communities grow and thrive.

Officers On Lookout For Drug Stash Houses

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The problem of illegal drug usage – methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana - has been keeping officers of law enforcement agencies busy throughout Socorro and Catron counties. Highway 60 to the Arizona border and Interstate 25 coming up from the border with Mexico have bee popular routes for transporting large amounts of marijuana, meth, heroin, and cocaine.
But Socorro Police Detective Richard Lopez told the Mountain Mail highway stops and local dealer arrests are only two elements to decreasing the use, and sale, of illegal narcotics.
“It takes the public to help,” he said. “If it is nothing more than just reporting unusual late night activity at a house in their neighborhood. People, cars coming and going.”
Lopez said that is one indication of drug dealing.
Lopez said one trend for drug smugglers is to establish “stash houses,” where a large shipments of marijuana, heroin, and cocaine can be hidden for weeks, months, or even years.
“These people will pay a year’s rent for a house where the big shipments can be stored,” he said. “Then they will take smaller amounts form that stash to transport to other areas of the country.
Lopez said the stash houses are usually in more upscale neighborhoods. “Those less likely to have break-ins,” he said.
In one such house that had aroused suspicion, the drug dealers had dug through the concrete floor of a garage.
“They made themselves a space where they could store different packages of cocaine and other narcotics,” he said. “It was discovered when an officer noticed the screws on a heater vent in the house had the paint knocked off the screws. They removed the heater vent and found several strings marked with tags.”
The other end of the strings were tied to the separate packages under the garage.
“There was a passageway under the house the packages were pulled through,” Lopez said. “it was very elaborate.”
According to the El Paso, Texas, Police Department web site, stash house occupants tend to keep to themselves and they will not normally be visible on a daily basis; and they will not appear to hold a regular job, or have a "normal" pattern of lifestyle.
Different types of vehicles, especially vans and pickup trucks, will enter and exit the garage at different hours of the day or night. Neighbors may not see anyone at the stash house for several days or weeks and then there will be a lot of activity at the house.
The vehicles arriving at the stash house will have different license plates on them, including, Texas, New Mexico, Mexico with paper "buyer" or "dealer" tags. They may also use these license plates interchangeably with all of the vehicles.
There also may be an accumulation of advertisement material on the front door and/or trash in the home or yard.
Lopez said the problem for drug smugglers is to sneak past drug checkpoints, “but once they get north of the checkpoint zones in southern New Mexico, Texas, Arizona or California, they can take their load to any stash house, anywhere in the United States. There are no more checkpoints in the entire country.”
Lopez said curtailing illegal drug in Socorro is “an uphill battle.
“But we are not going to give up,” he said. “We are working on cases constantly. The result is to make our city, and country, a safer place.”

OBITUARY: LaVerne H. Jones

March 24, 1924-April 3, 2010

LaVerne H. Jones, 86, passed away Saturday, April 3, 2010, in Farmington, NM. LaVerne was born on March 24,1924 in Sagerton,Texas to Napoleon and Katie (McComick) Hudson. She is survived by her son, Danny Jones of Waterflow,NM; 6 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; and 4 great great grandchildren.
LaVerne is preceded in death by her husband, Merman Toll (M.T.) Jones; her son, Bobby D. Jones; and her grandson, Travis Jones.
A Graveside service will be on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 10:00 am in the Juniper Haven Cemetery in Pie Town. Pallbearers are Clifford Jones, Clay Jones, Melvin Hudson, Dwight Julian, Darrel Julian, and Buddy Graeme. Honorary Pallbearers are Tommy Simpson, Andy Hendricks, Dwayne Julian, and Joe Wilburn.
Arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801. (575) 835-1530.

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

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

Jan. 28
Two vehicles were northbound on State Road 1 at 8:30 a.m. Vehicle 1 struck vehicle 2 from behind when vehicle 2 braked. Road conditions were snow packed and icy, and when vehicle 1 tried to stop, it slid on the icy pavement and ran into vehicle 2, causing damage to both vehicles.

Feb. 26
A vehicle was northbound on Encantada in Polvadera at 5:15 p.m., traveling too fast for road conditions. The driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over onto its right side and slid, exiting the roadway and striking a Qwest phone box. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and also slid across the roadway causing injuries to his arms and face. He was transported to the hospital by a private vehicle.

Feb. 28
A man visiting form El Paso reported at 2 p.m. that he was in the Escondida bridge area participating in the Civil Way re-enactment. He stated that he lost his black powder musket somewhere during the event. He and others looked for the weapon but could not find it. He learned that a female had picked up the gun but when confronted, she denied doing so.

Mar. 2
A Socorro man reported at 6:56 p.m. that another man ran into his vehicle and had damaged the left side rear door. The victim stated that the suspect left the area on NE Frontage Rd. after striking his car with his. The officer made contact with the suspect, but did not see any visible damage to his vehicle.

A Socorro woman reported at 7:50 p.m. that she and the suspect had been in a relationship but that it had ended. He had been advised to stay away from her and from her residence, but he went to her residence anyway and argued with her. He was advised again to stay away or charges would be filed. The victim will obtain an order of protection.

Mar. 4
An officer was dispatched at 11:50 p.m. to a possible burglary in progress at a residence on Camino Sabinal in Bosque. At the scene the officer encountered the suspect, who stated that he lost the key to his gate and was trying to get onto his property. A check was made and it was learned the suspect had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was taken to the detention center.

Mar. 5
A man in Veguita reported at 2 p.m. that someone had shot dead one of the cows belonging to his nephew. The cow had been shot in the right chest area with a shotgun. No suspects at time of report.

Mar. 6
A woman was backing her car at Sixth and Abeyta and failed to see a parked vehicle. Her car struck the other one causing moderate damage to the parked vehicle’s front bumper. Her car was not damaged.

Socorro High To Have Four Compete In State Science Fair

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Some of the brightest, and youngest, scientific minds in the area will be competing for top honors this Saturday, April 10, in the state Science and Engineering Fair tournament at New Mexico Tech.
Those students who won first, second or third place in the state regional in Las Cruces last month are qualified to enter the state competition.
Socorro High School will be sending four students to the state tournament; Michelle Mora, Nicole Mortensen, Angelina Stanzione and Peter Vogel. Nicole Engler and Nicol Eslick qualified at the regional, but will not be competing in the state tournament.
In the middle school division, Sarracino has eight qualifiers; Camilla Aitbayev, Jennifer Carmona, Heather Dunn, Michael Guin, Alicia Lancaster, Gabriela Perez, and the team of Julie Aster and Charlene Gonzales.
Qualifiers from Cottonwood Valley Charter School include Paco Coursey, Sarah Frail, Anjik Ghosh, Sam Mozley, and the team of Sam Burleigh, Anthony Denton, and Ryan Hanauer.
The public is invited to view the exhibits in the Tech gymnasium from 4 - 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Winners at the state level get to compete in the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif., May 9 - 15.
In conjunction with the science fair, participants will be treated to a pizza party in Fidel’s third floor ballroom Friday at 5:30 p.m.
The university has hosted the New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair since 1953, the first year for the state competition. Its objectives are to recognize and reward excellence in science, mathematics, and engineering projects carried out by junior high and high school students from throughout the state.

Running Drives Parkview Nurse

By John Severance

SOCORRO – By day, Jan Tarr of Socorro works as the nurse at Parkview Elementary School.
When she is not working, chances are Tarr probably will be running and running and running.
“I like to be active and I don’t like to sit around,” Tarr said. “We don’t have a television set at our house. I love to run the trails around here. I like to run on Baldy Road and the Ditch Road and I like to run on Highway 60. I love the outdoors and take it all in.”
Tarr also has taken her love for running to an all new level.
Along with her husband Rick Aster, who works at New Mexico Tech, Tarr will be running in the Boston Marathon April 19.

Running, obviously, is not new to Tarr, but competing in marathons definitely is.
Tarr’s first experience with a marathon was one she would rather forget.
Last year, she decided to run in the Rio Grande Marathon in Albuquerque. She trained and she bought a watch so she could keep track of how fast she was going. She was all set.
“It was terrible,” Tarr said. “I got sick and I had to walk a large portion of the race.”
Tarr learned from that ordeal and she was not about to be deterred.
She and her husband went to Tucson a couple of months later for a marathon.
Tarr unveiled a new strategy. She threw away her watch.
“It was just making me nervous,” said Tarr, who has lived in Socorro since 1991 with her husband and two children. “I was spending more time figuring out how fast I was going and not spending enough time taking in all the sights and taking it all in.”
With no more watch, Tarr finished the Tucson race in four hours and five minutes.
What’s even more amazing is that her time of 4:05 also qualified her for the Boston Marathon.
And what was the qualifying time for Boston?
“4:05,” she laughed.
Tarr also ran marathons in Big Sur, Logan, Utah, Richmond, Va., and the Lost Dutchman in Apache Junction, Ariz.
In addition, Tarr has run in two races over the marathon distance. She competed in the 38.5-mile Hillsboro Race and the 50-kilometer Jemez Trail Run.
Tarr also has an advantage in training in Socorro which will suit her well in Boston.
The Boston Marathon is known for Heartbreak Hill, which rises 120 feet in elevation near the end of the race.
“That’s pretty funny,” Tarr said. “I run the Quebradas and I run at elevation of at least 5,000 feet.”
Tarr also has improved her speed, running the Lost Dutchman race in 3:46.
And what does she expect in Boston?
“I’ve looked at the route and I am excited to take in all the scenery and the crowds,” Tarr said. “I’m really looking forward to the experience.”
With her fast times, Tarr already has qualified for next year’s Boston Marathon as well.
And there is no doubt she will be leaving her watch behind.

Cottonwood Students Learn About Ham Radios

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A small group of students at Cottonwood Valley Charter School will be joining the global community as they become skilled as ham radio operators.
Members of the Socorro Amateur Radio Association (SARA), Jim Lommen, Vern Leavitt and Jon Spargo, installed an antenna and transceiver at teacher Kim Berlat’s classroom Tuesday, Mar. 23 for the burgeoning CVCS Ham Radio club.
Charter School students Benjamin Bohling, Frankie Carrillo, Casper Huang, Seamus Parker, and Alice Zhang, are the charter members of the charter school’s club.
Club members are currently studying to pass the FCC Element 2 exam. Once they pass their exams, a call sign can be assigned to the station.
“SARA is providing the equipment for no charge, and we provide study materials for the kids to pass the FCC license exam,” Spargo said. “They should be able to take the exam in about one month’s time.”
Spargo is part of the network of ham radio enthusiasts in Socorro who volunteer their time and equipment to be ready to assist emergency services in times of a disaster.
“At over 100 licensees, Socorro has one of the highest per capita ham radio operators of any town, anywhere,” he said. “We feel its important to encourage young people to learn what it’s all about and hopefully carry that interest into their adult lives.”

OPINION: Can We Come Back?

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

First, shop Magdalena now. Save some shopping with China for when you can afford to visit that country. The small businesses of Magdalena help to make us the unique village we are.
Alamo Plumbing is not just a well rounded store but Betty and Clark have been community supporters in many small ways, many big ways, many times over. They have been heroic helping individual families and organizations of our community. They are real patriots of Magdalena, of our country.
Trail’s End has been a heartbeat in Magdalena. When travel is difficult, when you’re too sick, busy or broke to travel that extra 50 plus miles, you know your family can eat, because there’s Trail’s End.
All our small businesses have had the courage to offer us something wonderful against the odds of economic numbers. That doing something good is more important than making enough money to be a small country. That’s the kind of courage you want to hang out with.
We’re told Americans can come back, we are the “come from behind” people. Three or more generations for over 60 years have sat in front of their television sets and eaten junk food. Millions of us can not recall another kind of lifestyle.
Many of us enjoyed the bounty following World War II, but never all of us. Before that we were a land of struggle. Those struggles made strong people, inventive and persevering people, curious, resourceful and bold.
We were rich in resources as well and that never hurt. Never hurt, till we became resource gluttons.
These were not all “free and equal” people but they were strong. “Unequal” included women in all of the cultures and races.
We have a generation of women today on social security based on below living wages they earned. Now these women receive below living social security. They raised families and supported others in many untold ways through out the decades. Most gave years of labor freely at home as well.
You’ve heard the military expression, “never volunteer?” Well, women tend to volunteer. Heroic, no metals and rarely a living wage.
When you speak of patriotism, speak of these women. They don’t just serve in times of war and in times of recession but they serve all the time. In all the world, women are the Right to Life.
Most women, myself included, love giving and supporting life. It is past time to support women in their choice in life. Sometimes in history people raised, educated, protected and served by women think they have the right to enslave them. You can call that b...s or you can call it treason.
When a woman and certainly when a girl child says they are not prepared to serve as mothers themselves or for any other woman, believe them. This volunteer service (almost always 30 years worth) is best done by those who are going to try to handle it. Otherwise we invite a multi-victim tragedy.
I believe it’s not bailed out banks and big business that will be getting us back on our feet. It’s US.
The people who get off the couch, away from the junk food and back into real living can save us. To come back, we need muscle. Muscle in our brains and in our bodies.
What do you remember of your life so far? The times in front of the TV set, eating junk food are easily forgotten. Most of us have lost years being passive rather then active.
In struggling countries, children often mature shortly after puberty. In our country, realistic parents hope that their children will mature between 35-40. Some never do.
In struggling countries, children do not play all the time. For them being able to do more and more “adult” work has status. This was true in the United States at one time. When we were the “coming up from behind” people.
It is not status to have the most recent and expensive electronic toy; it is a form of enslavement. It teaches indolence and entitlement. If that is your style in parenting you are really denying success in life to your child.
Can you come back? You can if you want to.

Take your family to the Eggsibition at Bear Mountain Gallery. The Grizz Project yard sale is April 16, 17 at Golden Spur parking lot from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Garden group is active again, it’s spring!

Margaret Wiltshire can be contacted at Margaret’s views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.


To the editor,
At this point it is safe to assume that Socorro Electric Cooperative’s (SEC) Board of Directors realize that their collective services are too costly in the eyes of many owner members otherwise they would not have advanced their own board-size reduction proposals … that or their proposals are cleverly designed to thwart any change. No doubt all of the “old head” Board members have come to personally depend upon the thousands of dollars that they receive each year from their tenure and have no desire to lose … but.
One question that I injected at Saturday’s Finley Gym meeting had to do with what the board members do to earn their money. I didn’t get much of an answer. And, I didn’t get much of an answer to another question involving the merits of the very reasonable appearing member proposed changes. It seems to me that if the Board members were truly concerned about their neighbors (member owners) they would be quicker to cooperate. Apparently the Board’s attitude toward member owners is, “go away, you are a fly in the ointment.”
I have been an owner member user of SEC services for 24 years. Until not so long ago when an SEC board member “hung up” on me as I was pressing an issue regarding a very costly system failure I had nothing but good to assert about the Cooperative. That good view changed.
When I exclaimed “WOW!” to the amounts listed on the SEC Board payout form that I observed in the hands of a fellow Gym meeting attendee he, the fellow attendee, added, “Yea, but did they take more under the table.” And, being a retired law officer of the major fraud variety memories of prior theft cases worked came to mind. Where people and things of value are concerned, theft is always a possibility. For sure, the Board’s apparent resistance to provide internal information to member owners fuels the fires of suspicion.
Having personal knowledge of what it takes to endeavor in the fields of electrical distribution, accounting, and fraud investigation I must wonder what education, training, and expertise those 11 nice paid board members have brought to the SEC’s management table.
Frankly, as a member owner I would like to see an honest, objective, up to date and complete audit (criminal and civil) of SEC affairs by professional auditors of the type I once associated. With a fresh start then, and only then, will my faith be restored.

Alvin B. Hickox
San Antonio, NM

LETTER;:Thank you

Dear Socorro Community,
The Girl Scouts of Socorro would like to thank you purchasing Girl Scout cookies from us. You purchased 10,300 boxes, which means that the Socorro and Magdalena Troops now have almost $5,000 for the girls to fulfill some of their dreams.
Those dreams include an overnight at the Natural History Museum, attendance at Roar & Snore (an overnight at the Albuquerque Zoo), ice skating sessions, camping trips and perhaps a trip to California for the older girls.
Thank you for your generosity.

The Girl Scouts of Socorro and Magdalena

OPINION: Obama Might As Well As Run For The Hills With Them

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

Many fairy tales and folk tales begin; “Once upon a time”. They are usually stories with some basis in fact, some fiction or “What if…” content and then, at the end an open question as to what could occur if an individual did, or did not do, something.
And so, we begin with a fact. Once upon a time an American President, in his first term in office, said, “We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob”. That President was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He made that statement in a campaign speech in 1936.
In forcefully addressing the problems besetting a nation on it’s knees, a people practically devastated by an economic depression, he had taken on the great and powerful interests aligned against those people and his policies. He called them “the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, war profiteering.”
These interests, Roosevelt said, “had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs.”
There is little doubt that the Congress Roosevelt had to deal with was as co-opted as the lobbyist-infested body of the present day. However, FDR did not offer to “hear all sides” as another first term President would in the future. Instead he threw down the gauntlet. He knew which side he was on.
Another fact, Roosevelt said, “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”
We move our tale forward now to the present day. Fact: President Barack Obama, in his first State of the Union message said “Change has not come fast enough, especially for Americans who are losing their jobs.” He could have added, and their homes, but he didn’t.
That speech came before the passage of the travesty called “Health Care Reform”….no strong public option….something the insurance giants spent millions to defeat. In that same address, he scolded his Democrat majority in Congress, saying, “People expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills.”
That is exactly what they did and this President might as well have gone with them. Instead, he decided to address the budget deficit, proposing a crippling pay-as-you go rule. He apparently has given up on ideological issues that would require more spending on programs for the jobless, the homeless, the under employed. Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote of the spending freeze (from which the Pentagon is exempted) “Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world view, and more specifically he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008.”
Other economists, James Galbraith for one, note that the only thing that is keeping us from sinking into a second Great Depression is deficit spending. The immediate threats to Americans are unemployment, foreclosure and personal bankruptcies….more than 60 percent of which come about due to staggering health care costs.
State and local governments are in deep trouble and the big entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security could come to be targets of “deficit reduction” if the President does indeed bypass Congress and create a “deficit reduction commission” by executive order, meaning the people and the Congress would have no say in its membership and responsibilities.
Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security would be inviting targets for such an unelected commission.
We come to the end of the facts at the base of this folktale. What happens as the current President’s term in office expires? Possibilities which are fiction…for now:
Power in the White House and the Congress shifts to the right. Far to the right.
The Pentagon has plenty of money. America’s military continues to attack in Iraq and Afghanistan. More and citizens of those countries turn against America. The number of terrorists and terrorist attacks increase as more people join the underground. Pakistan and Iran undergo the experience of American bombing and military presence. At the same time the number of American military and native civilian fatalities and casualties mounts. American wounded come home to discover there are fewer services available to them.
As time goes on more Americans are out of work or underemployed and certainly underpaid. Darkness descends on local and state level government and business as doors are locked and lights go out. Prices continue to rise as the availability of consumer goods decreases.
The “historic” Health Care Reform measures enacted under the last Administration become hopelessly snagged in a morass of bureaucracy and regulations. Doctors, hospitals and other health care entities opt out… premiums go up.
We can end this by noting that in most fairytales and folk tales there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is little reason that light could not illuminate a near future in which citizens, disgusted to the point of nausea, with leaders who would rather compromise with power than stand with the so-called “powerless” come together and install leaders whose true agenda includes only the good of those who provide the sweat, the blood, the tears upon which power feeds.

Jack Fairweather lives in Magdalena and his views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.


To the editor,
The Informational meeting held March 27, introduced Trustee sponsored propositions to oppose and conflict with propositions passed by members at two district meetings in October 2009, which are to be ratified by the vote of the majority of the members present at the Annual Meeting of April 17, 2010. The actions of the members, by vote of the majority of those present, are official acts of those district meetings and are in keeping with the exclusive authority conferred upon, and reserved to the members by state law and the by laws of SEC. At the possible expense of boring your readers please allow me to point out the laws, which are: “The New Mexico Electric Cooperative Act, (62-15-7) Bylaws”, states, “The original bylaws of a cooperative shall be adopted by its board of trustees. Thereafter bylaws shall be adopted, amended or repealed by the majority of the members present at any regular annual meeting or special meeting called for that purpose, a quorum being present … and the bylaw’s Article V. Trustees, Section 1. General Powers, permits trustees to exercise all powers of the Cooperative, Except those conferred upon or reserved to the members.” By their actions, the trustees once again exceed their authority, violate the law and by laws, and show contempt for the members who elected them.
Proper cooperatives work to serve their member/owner interest. When the interest of the trustees come first and are opposed to those of the member/owners (the cooperative corporation) those trustees violate their trust. If the co-op’s attorney does not point this out to the board, perhaps a court will.

Charlie Wagner, Trustee
Socorro Electric Cooperative

LETTER: More SEC Tricks Perhaps?

Dear Editor,
This morning, we spoke to Eileen Latasa at the Socorro Electric Co-op office about the upcoming election. Mrs. Latasa confirmed a rumor that we had heard that no ballots and no voting machines would be used during the registration part of the Annual Members' Meeting as is usually the case. Instead there will be voting by a show of hands during the Business part of the meeting at 7 p.m. Who is going to count the hands?
This appears to be another trick by the Board of Trustees to dilute the vote and reject the propositions and recommendations of the member-owners. When we asked how this had come about, Mrs. Latasa informed us that the board agreed to do this at the request of Trustee Charlie Wagner. Not only does Mr. Wagner deny having made such a request, the board will never, ever go along with his wishes. He can't even get a second to his motions. He does say that he told them that the board added options, comments, and mutilation of the member propositions could not be made into a proper ballot. Most co-ops in the county do vote during the business session of member meetings but when has Socorro Electric ever done so? This change was not voted on at an open meeting of the Board of Trustees.
This last minute, unannounced change to the voting times and procedure is being done in order to create confusion and discourage members from attending and voting.
What can we do? Go to Finley Gym about 6:30 p.m. (in case they change their minds and have voting machines) register, and stay to vote the member propositions through overwhelmingly. Let your opinion be heard.

Charlene West, Lemitar
Audrie Clifford, Socorro

Preserving The Wild Horses

By John Severance

SOCORRO – For Carlos Lopopolo, it’s all about wild horses.
Lopopolo, the director of the New Mexican Horse Project, is committed to the preservation of these horses.
And with the help of
his biologist friend, Paul Polechla, a professor at the University of New Mex-ico, they are trying their best to do just that.
With the help of a $75,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Polechla wants to produce a PBS documentary, construct a traveling museum exhibit and develop a web to chronicle the Spanish wild horses in the west from 58 million years ago until now.
“Did you ever see the movie Hidalgo?” Polechla asked an audience at New Mexico Tech last week. “It’s a great movie about horses but there is not an ounce of truth to it.”
Polechla said the New Mexican Horse Project works in conjunction with the University of New Mexico Institute for Social Research, PBS, Texas A&M, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Smithsonian Institute and Cambridge University.
Lopopolo and Polechla, who have been working with the wild horses since 1999, said there will be a conference at the Seveletta Wildlife Refuge on April 17 and 18.
“With this grant, it gives us a chance to bring all the individuals throughout the world who are working on wild horse management together in one place,” Lopopolo said. “This is the first conference of its kind in the world.”
Lopopolo said the preserves are in two locations – there is a 3,000 acre parcel Quebradas in the Rio Grande Valley and the other is a 30,000 acre spot is the San Pedro Land Grant located between Tijeras and Santa Fe.
“We try to put one horse per 125 acres,” Lopopolo said. “The wild horse needs some elbow space.”
The wild horses that are in the preserve have to adhere to some strict standards, according to the New Mexican Horse Project web site.
Lopopolo said “the horses on our preserves have been scientifically and historically chosen. Our concentration is on horses designated by Doctor Gus Cothran, the foremost equine DNA specialist in the USA. Knowing that we cannot, because of financial constraints, preserve every wild horse in the west, we concentrate on finding the horses of old Spanish decent.”
The New Mexico Horse Project also works with Cambridge University on Arceo-gentic samples of bones from various sites discovered by archeologists.
“The history of the horses is then traced through validated documentation, not hearsay, to establish the second phase of the lineage. Both sides must be validated before the horses can enter our preserves,” Lopopolo said.
“They are not the only “Mustangs” but they are among the oldest proven by science and history to be of the original lineage brought back to what is now the United States after an 8,000 year absence.
The New Mexican Horse project is dedicated to the protection and preservation of these descendants of the original Spanish mustang.
“We also never sell or adopt out any of our horses, and they always remain wild and free on their land.”
Lopopolo also debunked some popular myths through the project’s research the past 10 years.
“Most people think wild horses are ferocious,” Lopopolo said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. A wild horse is more like a deer that has never been harassed. Secondly, most people think wild horses are impossible to round up. That’s not true at all. It’s easy to round them up. You have to listen to them. It’s easy to tell if they have been harassed.”
For more information on the New Mexican Horse Project, call 838-3985 or 505-417-7005 or
to attend the conference, call

Softball Team Struggles In Loss

By Nicky Romero

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Lady Warriors Softball Team (8-7) were shut out 10-0 in five innings against the Class 4A Valencia Lady Jaguars (8-4). This was Socorro's first loss by the 10- run rule this season.
The game was supposed to get the Lady Warriors ready for their first district game this Tuesday against rival Cobre.
“I expected a lot more from our varsity today,” Socorro coach Gary Apodaca said. It just didn't come through. Defensively, we made a lot of errors. Offensively, we hit the ball a little bit, but we just couldn't move people around the bases.”
Before Socorro got its first at-bat, Valencia was ahead 7-0 in the top of the first inning. Valencia began the inning with a single, the leadoff batter scored all the way from first base on a wild pitch.
Valencia scored its next two runs on errors from the second baseman and one on the shortstop. Valencia continued to get runners on base and scored four more runs on singles to the outfield.
Pitcher Maureen Trujillo finally ended the long inning by forcing a groundout to the shortstop.
Coach Apodaca said, “You can't start an inning and be down seven runs. That just puts you in a hole. You have to start off with a lot of energy and intensity and we didn't have that today. We had been off for a few days, so I thought we would be rested and ready to play. As the game went on, we had mental mistakes that just hurt us.”
In the second inning, Courtney Edmister and Brittany McDaniel began the inning with two consecutive walks. With no outs, Socorro attempted a double steal and Edmister was thrown out at third. Socorro ended the inning with McDaniel standing at second.
In the third inning, Valencia scored two more runs on throwing errors to give them a 9-0 lead. Socorro again threatened in the third with two runners on and no outs, but it was quickly squelched with three straight strikeouts by the Valencia pitcher Kylah Montano.
Valencia added their last run in the fourth inning on a triple to left field and scored quickly on a passed ball to the catcher.
Socorro then went down quietly in the fourth and fifth innings to end the game by the ten run rule.
Socorro will host a single crucial game on Tuesday against district opponent and No. 2 state-ranked Cobre (11-4) starting at 4 pm.
“If we don't pick it up, Cobre will just walk all over us” Apodaca said.
“Cobre's a tough team and mentally strong. They have the hitters and experience. We have that same type of experience, we just have to apply it on the field. Hopefully, things will turn around for us. Hopefully when we hit district next week, we'll pick it up a notch or two.”

Golfers Win Tourney By 39

By John Severance

RUIDOSO – The Socorro girls golf team braved the elements and shot a 354 to win the Great Eight Invitational Friday by 39 shots.
The Lady Warriors won their fourth leg of state and coach Margaret Stanley said Portales was the closest competition and the other four schools that participated were 4A.
“It snowed on us for a little bit…morning was cold but not too windy,” Stanley said. “Wind picked up later and clouds rolled in making the afternoon even colder.
“We definitely had some putting issues and will be working hard on our short game for the next two weeks.”
Socorro’s Kristen Cline and Shania Berger shot 82 to tie for medalist honors.
Berger then beat Cline on the first playoff hole.
Teammate Brittani Webb rebounded from last week’s 100 at the Seery at New Mexico Tech to score an 83.
Theresa Chavez shot a 107 and Mirjana Gacanich shot a 119 to round out the scoring.
Socorro will be back in action April 19 and 20 in Roswell.

Speaker Talks From Heart To Alamo Students

By Nathalie Nance
For the Mountain Mail

ALAMO -- Speaker Johan Khalilian visited several Socorro County schools last week to encourage young people to pursue their dreams and to make great choices in life. Khalilian’s
message is inspired by his own
life story, and the Mountain Mail heard him tell it with a humorous twist to middle and high school students at the Alamo Navajo School.
Khalilian, of Puerto Rican and Iranian descent, grew up in one of the gang- and drug-nfested neighborhoods in Chicago.
“You will never make it out of your environment” was the general attitude held by the teachers at his school. When Khalilian obtained a scholarship to the University of Chicago, all his student advisor said was: “You are never going to make it.”
Even so, when he was still in seventh grade, Khalilian had an epiphany. Early one morning, he came in to find one of his uncles sitting there, stinking, drunkenness seeping through his pores.
The uncle was a gang member, a drug dealer and drug user and a womanizer.
“Is this going to be my life?” Khalilian asked himself. And right there, he made a lot of decisions, and took on several commitments. He was not going to use drugs. He wasn’t going to go from one woman to another and use them, but wait to find his true love.
Khalilian has been known as an abstinence advocate, and at the Alamo school he told the story about how supermodel Tyra Banks tried to set him up for a date on her Cupid show. Khalilian played along and picked a girl and the production team sent the couple off on a first “date”.
First, though, the girl was instructed to put on a bikini underneath. Khalilian got nervous and informed the producer that he couldn’t swim. However, they were not headed for a swimming pool, but driven in a limo to the Hustler store.
True to his commitments from seventh grade, Khalilian refused to go in. End of show.
To illustrate the importance of direction in life, Khalilian asked two Alamo students, Kristen and Anthony, to each run one circle around the gym while he clocked them.
Kristen went first, cheered by her classmates, and got a good time. When it was Anthony’s turn, however, Khalilian put the blindfold on him and because of it, Anthony had a hard time to complete his round at all.
Khalilian had the Alamo students’ full attention by the time he rounded up his speech by reading a poem called “The Crazy One” dedicated to dreamers and rebels. His message of critical thinking, good choices and to take control of one’s life had hit home.

Scholarship Drives Continue Throughout Region

Mountain Mail Reports

Each year, the Rotary Club of Socorro presents a scholarship of $,2000 ($500/semester for two full years) to a Socorro High School senior. In 2009, this award was presented to, at that time, graduating senior, Sara Kitchen.
The Rotary Club of Socorro continues to support the youth of Socorro High School with the annual scholarship for a graduating senior. Funds for this scholarship primarily come from the Annual Wine Tasting Party held each April. This year’s Wine Tasting will be held on April 23, from 5-7 p.m. at Rancher’s Steakhouse. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased from any Rotary member or at the door.
Kitchen chose to study Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship at New Mexico State University to prepare her for her future aspirations. The Rotary Scholarship has assisted Kitchen in purchasing the expensive books for her coursework.
At NMSU, Kitchen focuses her time primarily on her heavy class loads, studying, and doing well in school.
Kitchen believes going to college is important and encourages any student to go to college. “It has been a great experience so far and I am looking forward to the rest of my time here.”
A Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Western New Mexico Veterans Group, is now accepting applications. The WNMVG is offering a one time scholarship to a Catron County graduation senior. This also includes home schooled teens who are completing their high school education.
The scholarship must be used for full time study at either an undergraduate college or university or an accredited technical/trade school leading to a certification or degree. The scholarship must be used in its entirety within two years of the award date.
The purpose of this scholarship is to help make the goal of the post secondary education more attainable by assisting deserving students who might not have the financial means to achieve their educational goals. Selection is based on academic promise, financial need and merit. Applicants must meet eligibility requirements and submit the completed application on or before April 20. Applications may be obtained at the High School or by calling Commander Rick Sharp - 575-773-4350.
The scholarship is funded from donations by members of the community and members of the Western New Mexico Veterans Group. A Spring Raffle is another way to help support the Scholarship Fund. Donations for tickets will be $5 each or five for $20. Prizes will include a 13 foot Radison fiberglass canoe, "custom crafted" tricolor eagle and turquoise pin, hematite bolo, acrylic painting and more.
Scholarship applications, raffle tickets, donations or for any additional information please call Sharp.

End Of Another Hunt Season

Mountain Mail Reports

Three weeks ago, some 30 foxhunters and hunt members met at Field Ranch, north of the Alamo, to take part in the Closing Hunt of Juan Tomas Hounds.
Foxhunting is a winter sport and in this part of the country the season runs roughly from November to mid-March. The end of the season is celebrated every year with a three-day hunting meet, which is just as much a social event. The hunts started at the kennels located at the Field Ranch, where the Nance family keeps the pack of American foxhounds.
In the West, the hounds are trained to chase coyotes, rather than foxes, but other than that foxhunting is done in the traditional English manner. Juan Tomas Hounds was founded in 1970 and has approximately a hundred members throughout the state. Every Sunday morning during hunt season they hunt different fixtures around Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The hunt is one of 171 foxhunts in the United States recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America.
"I started foxhunting to keep a friend company...and then developed a great passion for it. Nothing compares to the joy of galloping after a keen pack of hounds over the landscapes of New Mexico," said Juan Tomas Hounds member Nancy Bonadeo.

Sylvia Sings The Senseless Blues Of The Census

By Anne Sullivan

Sylvia snored and snorted on. As “What’s the matter?” Sylvia asked me for a change as I sat glowering at the TV.
“Did you hear that?” I yelled at poor Sylvia. “Matt Lauer and Maria Tellez both said that today is the last day to mail in your census form.”
“What form?” Sylvia lifted her head from her breakfast dish. “I didn’t get any form. Did you send yours in?”
“That’s just it. I didn’t get a form either,” I roared. “How am I supposed to send in a form I never received?”
“Take it easy, boss. You’ll get apoplexy, whatever that is. Didn’t the form come in the mail?”
“The forms don’t come in the mail up here anymore. Someone called a Census Worker is supposed to bring it to your house. You didn’t by any chance frighten anyone away lately, did you?”
“No, not me. I haven’t seen anybody walk or drive up here for months. Maybe that’s it. Nobody could get up here.”
“The road has been clear and dry all the way up to the house for a week during which time I’ve been filling in the ruts. And the road up to our gate has been driveable for all but the most chicken hearted most days for several weeks.”
“I don’t know, boss. You’ve never tried to hide. As far as I can see, you’ve been a good citizen. I know you pay your taxes. You’ve been howling about that for days. It’s not fair that you’ve been forgotten.”
“In the old days, a nice lady came up to the house and interviewed me,” I said. “However, I was overlooked at the last census, but someone was stationed at the firehouse to help people with the census and he gave me a form which I duly filled out. So here I am forgotten again. I guess I don’t count.”
“You count with me, boss.” Sylvia put a heavy paw on my knee. “Maybe they just can’t find you.”
“Millions of catalogs can find me every week and all sorts of requests for money find their way to Swingle Canyon every single day.”
“I’m sorry, boss. It’s not fair,” Sylvia said again. “Truth to tell, I was feeling pretty bummed out too. I’m quite prepared to fill out a form for myself and I could help Gordo, who hasn’t had my educational advantages, with his. I don’t think it’s fair that they don’t count us animal friends, but we don’t pay taxes so I suppose it’s an even trade. I do have an income but it only stretches far enough to pay for dog and cat food and treats. But you -- Miss Good Citizen -- not to count you, that’s a low blow. I think we should protest. Is there a census building close by that we could picket?”
“I don’t know where those census people hang out. If I did, I’d ask them for a form. In other words, I think picketing is not very productive.”
“What about letters of protest? We could send them to all the papers starting with The New York Times. Maybe they’d do an article, or better yet, an editorial about me. Oh, and you too, of course.”
“I have a better idea. Why don’t you write about this miscarriage of justice in your column, Sylvia?”
“Yes, that’s a good idea,” she said after suitable consideration. “I haven’t done this week’s column yet. I’ve got the perfect lead-in. How about this: Census people, listen up. Someone who wants desperately to be counted also lives with two animals – a very intelligent dog and a giddy gadabout cat. They’re all waiting to be counted. The address is Swingle Canyon, Datil, Catron County, New Mexico, USA, World, The Universe. Watch out for ruts in the road.”

Walk Across America Reaches Quemado

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

Walk Across America: Richard Hunsucker a U.S.M.C vet spent the night in Quemado and left on Monday, April 5 at 7:30 a.m. as he makes his way toward San Diego on his Walk Across America to raise awareness and funds for the Disabled American Veterans.
He is accompanied by Vincent Stickland, who follows in a car which has many veterans’ signatures written on it from their journey. Richard has walked approximately 1,900 miles with about 600 to go. Richard will end his walk on Memorial Day and may plan a return walk to Florida. You can follow the walk on his web site

Quemado Senior Center exercise class on Tuesday and Friday at 1 p.m. Along with Quilting and Bingo on Thursdays. All seniors are welcome to come and join in the activities. Lunch menu for the week: Monday – kraut dogs, Tuesday – catfish, Wednesday – chicken fried steak, Thursday – stuffed chicken breast and Friday – beef fajitas. Call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservation.

Western New Mexico Veterans Group will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, April 15 in the Veterans' Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. Potluck begins at 6 p.m. with meeting to follow. Commander Rick Sharp invites all veterans in Catron County and their families to come. The Rummage Sale which normally runs Friday and Saturday will be held on Saturday and Sunday this weekend due to the meeting. There will be a special of $ 1.00 for a bag to fill with your choice of clothes. The sale is located in the Veterans’ Hall. Proceeds go to the renovation of the hall, scholarship fund and to support veterans and their families in Catron County.

Quemado School will hold parent-teacher conferences the afternoon of Friday, April 16. A state qualifying track meet will be on Saturday, April 17 in Carrizozo.

Quemado Commodities will be Saturday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Center. For more information call Dorothy Kalberg at 773-4582.

Arts And Crafts At Pie Town Next Week

Northern Catron County is presenting its Fifth Annual Arts and Crafts Show at the Pie Town Community Center from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m on April 17. Signs will direct you to the Community Center which is south of U.S. 60 off the main drag.
There'll be something to suit everyone's fancy and everyone's wallet. It's the perfect opportunity to stock up on birthday and graduation gifts.
Among the local artists participating are: Bo and Tammy Davie - Leatherworks, braiding; Ravenworks - Linda Ravert's stunning jewelry and quilts; Suzan MacKenzie's fine leatherwork - purses, wallets; Jack Providenti’s scenic paintings; Vergie Jake – Dine Jewelry; Bolson – rustic barn wood frames and furniture; Renee Mirazo – fabrics; Kelly Gatlin’s Nature photos; Marge Jensen and Steve Kotoles – jewelry; Ruth Hanrahan's aprons and such; Ruthann Harriet’s and Judy Muncy’s clever Western-style quilts; and books by local authors Uncle River and Thea Marshall, who will also do Tarot Readings. The Friends of Baldwin Cabin Public Library will sell art books as well as used mysteries, fiction and non-fiction book.

Catron Health Fair Scheduled For April 17

Mountain Mail Reports

The 7th Annual Family health Fair is being held at the Reserve Fairgrounds April 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Parents are encouraged to bring their child’s immunization record, and enter into a drawing for a U.S. Savings Bond. Personnel form White Mountain Regional Medical Center will be on hand to check cholesterol levels. Diabetes and other screenings are provided free.
T-shirts will be given to those who “walk a mile,” and a free breakfast will be available to those who have fasted for the tests.
Haircuts and massages will also be available. Organizers say there will be something for everyone, including door prizes, fun, and games. The event is sponsored by the Catron County Health Council.