Thursday, April 15, 2010

Village Board Delays Decision On Water Flow Meter

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – The Village Board Monday night delayed making a decision on the purchase of a new master water flow meter.
Joint Utilities Director Steve Bailey had requested the purchase of a new meter - costing between $1,300 and $1,500 – because, according to him, the current master meter is so old it may be misreading the amount of water pumped from the well.
“Accurate readings can show water loss, which translates to dollars being lost,” Bailey told the board. “Water is our main business, our main source of revenue from village residents. The current meter is old, and may show [a few million gallons] low.”
Bailey said the 20 year old unit is the master water meter for measuring how much water is being pumped from the wells and going into the water tanks.
“Quality is the most important thing, and when your readings may be off as much as 50 percent, when someone has to figure out the proper dosage of chlorine, the formula for chlorine may be off,” he said. “Either over or under the safe amount is a bad thing.”
Chlorine is added to public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria that the water or its transport pipes might contain.
“The old meter has turned over five times since I’ve been here,” he said. “A meter this old will start reading low, and that’s what seems to be happening.
Bailey said that when individual water bill readings are compared with the master on what’s been pumped, “we’re seeing a loss.”
Trustee Diane Allen wondered how long it would take a new meter “to pay for itself.”
Bailey said a new meter would help in leak detection, “for example with individual residential meters. With an accurate master reading we would be able to fix the problems over time, but we need accurate and reliable measurements.”
Trustee Barbara Baca said she would like more information on the need for the expenditure, since the current meter is still working. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Baca said. “I just want to get a better understanding of the problem. I need to get a better picture in my head that it’s really needed if I’m going to approve spending this money.”
Bailey said he would be glad to enlighten the trustees on the village’s water system.
“Let me know what time is convenient for you and I will take you around and show you what we’re doing,” he said. “But not more than two at a time. More than that would be a quorum. And that’s all my truck can hold anyway.”
The board voted unanimously to table the issue.
In other business:
• Mayor Sandy Julian said there was a good chance of the village getting grant money to pave the south portion of Pine Street. “I went to the CDBG meeting in Las Vegas at the end of March and it looks good,” she said. “We will know for sure on April 22 when Rita and I go to the final meeting in Albuquerque.”
• The board rejected a request by Marshal Larry Cearley to pay $45 plus per diem and mileage for EMT Jana Harding to attend Critical Incident Management training in Albuquerque. Cearley said the training was important for the well being of fellow EMTs involved in traumatic emergencies, such as automobile accidents or other stressful calls that an EMT would experience. “At some point it’s going to affect you,” he said. He said counseling for EMTs could be provided on the scene or within two or three days afterward. Trustee Tommy Torres objected because he said it already exists. “I’ve seen it. They already have it,” he said. The motion failed for lack of a second.
• The board tabled a decision for the second meeting in a row on Trustee Diane Allen’s proposal of the establishment of a youth advisory council. She said the passage of Senate Memorial Bill 34 during the last legislative session encouraged communities to form councils that would create activities for young people. Allen said she spoke again, at Trustee Baca’s request, with Rep. Don Tripp who said that “we could set up a youth council the way we need to for our community.” She said she also approached School Superintendent Mike Chambers on the concept. Allen and Trustee Carmen Torres are both teachers at the school. “Maybe one person each from the board, the school, some of the young people should all be involved.” Allen said. “Primarily for the issues of providing activities for our youth. They would make a plan, and take part in the decision making. We would be there to guide them and to direct them.” Baca said she objected to Allen making inquiries (to the school superintendent) on her own. “I don’t like the idea of you going over and getting two, or just one of the board members to get information, where the others don’t know what’s going on,” Baca said. “[It’s like] you talked to them and left Tommy and me out.” Allen said the goal of the youth council was to be able to create options and activities for the youth in the community, and that she would go with what the board decided. Julian said she would insure that all four members of the board would be involved in the decision making. To that end, she recommended scheduling a trustee workshop to further work out further details. “Since there will be a quorum this will be a public meeting, and I’ll need 48 hours to give advance notice to the public,” Clerk Rita Broaddus said.

County Passes An Illegal Tire Dumping Ordinance

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Tires and trash were the two main topics of conversation at the Socorro County Commission meeting Tuesday night at the County Annex Building.
The commission passed an ordinance prohibiting illegal tire dumpsites, the importation of scrap tires into the county and providing for the abatement of illegal tire dumpsites.
Fire Marshal Fred Hollis and Solid Waste Authority’s Michael Jojola fully endorsed the ordinance during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Hollis was asked by county attorney Adren Nance how easy was it to put out a tire fire.
“You used the wrong word,” Hollis said. “It’s extremely difficult. Tires are made of petroleum and that is hard to put out. You can’t use water. You have to use foam. And sometimes, they just burn for years.”
Hollis said when there is a tire fire, it is considered to be a hazard response. “You bring everybody in and it gets costly,” he said.
Jojola said, “I am for this ordinance. If people from Valencia County bring tires in, we can stop them dead in their tracks.”
After public comment, the commissioners voted unanimously to pass the ordinance.
A lot of time also was spent on solid waste billing.
At the beginning of the month, solid waste bills were sent to all consumers in the county. Some, though, got more than one bill. In 2009, county manager Delilah Walsh said that 1,600 bills were left out because of Applogix software conversion issues. Those bills also were mailed out at the beginning of the month.
Commissioners, Jojola and Walsh have fielded some angry calls from consumers.
“Every household is liable for the bill,” Jojola said. “I have had some calls and I have explained to them the situation and about 95 percent were OK with it.”
In other business
• Commission chair Rosie Tripp made a plea for everybody in Socorro County to fill out their census forms. Forms can be picked up at the County Annex building and the deadline is April 19.
• The commission approved an infrastructure permitting ordinance and resolutions pertaining to copy fees, and a Pitney Bowes lease.
• Sheriff Philip Montoya said there is a deputy on duty at Socorro High School because of recent trouble.

‘T’ Mountain At Tech?

Mountain Mail Reports

One of the most prominent identifiers for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology – and possibly for the general Socorro area – is the ‘M’ painted on Socorro Peak. The ‘M’ referring to ‘mining.’
But, according to a press release from the university, consideration is underway to replace the ‘M’ with a ‘T.’ Van Romero, vice president of research and economic development at New Mexico Tech, thinks it may be time for a change.
This year marks the 100th year anniversary of the ‘M.’
“Maybe 100 years of the ‘M’ is long enough?” questioned Romero in the press release. “This is the perfect time to rally together and bring Socorro Peak into the 21st century. Since the university is associated with technology, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have a ‘T’ instead of an ‘M’?”
Romero was a student at Tech in the late 1970s, is now in charge of the ‘M.’ He approves requests to light the ‘M’ – or the ‘W’ when the high school athletic teams, the Warriors, have home games. His office is also in charge of maintenance of the ‘M’ and the site surrounding the peak.
“We’re getting ready to light the ‘M’ for the end of semester,” he said. “As I do that, I am wondering about where we go in the future. This seems like the perfect time to put a new look on Socorro Peak and change the ‘M’ to better fit New Mexico Tech culture.”

Socorro Tourism Director Deborah Dean said changing the ‘M’ would entail spending money on changing text and photographs in tourist brochures and other documents.
“It’s an image that has been a part of Socorro for a long time, the ‘M’ on the mountain,” Dean said. “For years and years people have asked, ‘what does the ‘M’ stand for? But [if this happens] will they ask what does the ‘T’ stand for?”
Random interviews with Socorro residents garnered the same general response: “don’t do it.”
“They better not do it,” a woman in Supermart parking lot said. “It’s been the ‘M’ Mountain and that’s the way it is, and I’ve lived here all my life.”
The painting of the ‘M’ on Socorro Peak is the oldest Tech tradition, dating to 1910, according to Paige Christiansen’s history of Tech, College on the Rio Grande. He wrote that the event was sporadic and unorganized until 1916 when then-President Fayette Jones organized the annual event and Paint the ‘M.’
Cash prizes were awarded to the team of two who first arrived at the ‘M’ with a 90 pound bag of lime. The event continues as a 49er’s Weekend activity, and promotes considerable spirit amongst the students.
In 2009, more than 100 people – students, faculty, alumni and community members – made the hike. Also, prizes are awarded to the first 20 students or teams of students who carry 50-pound bags of crushed marble.
Romero certainly wants to keep the traditional climb, but he feels that the mountain is ready for a facelift and a bit of modernization. He said Socorro Peak and the ‘M’ have undergone many changes over the years. Lights were added to the ‘M’ several decades ago but were not hard-wired until 2000.
A project to change the ‘M’ to a ‘T’ would also give the university an opportunity to improve access to the peak, Romero said.
“Currently, it’s very difficult to get from the parking area to the ‘M’,” he said. “It’s a pain. If we got enough of a production going, we could use that workforce to improve access so more people could enjoy Socorro Peak.”
A Facebook group, Miners Against Changing the "M" to a "T," has been formed to solicit comments on the controversy.

Voting At SEC Annual Meeting Will Be By Hand

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Electric Cooperative will hold its annual members meeting Saturday at 7 p.m. at Finley Gym and voting will be done by a show of hands. Registration begins at 5 p.m.
The annual meeting committee met Tuesday and that was its recommendation. The board, which met Wednesday night, voted 8-1 to accept the recommendation with trustee Charlie Wagner voting no.
Wagner read a statement, saying it was his opinion that the SEC Trustees had exceeded its authority and failed in its fiduciary duty to present the vote for the members. Wagner also wrote that the board failed to provide proper notice and to provide for voting members with a secret ballot on which to vote either yes or no to adopt, amend or repeal the bylaws. He also said the notice contained false or misleading comments and contrary propositions which the Board has no authority to propose.
“We need a legal opinion on this,” said trustee Don Wolberg, who spent about 15 minutes earlier in the meeting criticizing Wagner and his tactics.
“Mr Wagner’s protest is noted,” attorney Dennis Francish said.
Wolberg, then asked if anything has been done against state law.
Francish replied, “No.”
Leroy Anaya, the new head of the annual meeting committee replacing Manny Marquez who resigned effective April 1, said Robert’s Rules of Order will be followed and judges will be assisted by SEC employees. Wagner then stood up and asked the board to consider an expert in parliamentarian procedure to run the meeting, saying he had little faith in Trustee president Paul Bustamante’s ability to do just that.
“I totally object,” Wolberg said. “I resent the way Mr. Wagner uses innuendo to get his point across.”
Francish told Bustamante, “You have handled meetings regularly just fine. You don’t need a parliamentarian.”
Wagner made one last comment. “He doesn’t know parliamentarian procedure,” Wagner said of Bustamante.
“I’m not afraid of Mr. Wagner and his tactics,” Bustamante said. “Maybe we can get things done around here.”
Members will vote on resolutions involving number of trustees on the board, redistricting, compensation, term limits, voting by mail, open records, open meetings, Capital Credits and the number of meetings per month. In order for voting to take place, three percent of the membership has to go to the meeting and vote. If there is no quorum, there will be no changes to the SEC bylaws.
Reform group member Audrie Clifford handed out a petition stating the propositions passed by members of District 3 and 5 should be listed separately and presented in its entirety without Trustee comment. Clifford said there were 173 signatures.

Two Men Arrested In Amber Alert Case

By John Larson

Two Quemado men have been arrested in connection with a disappearance of a minor female in Gillette, Wyoming.
According to an Amber Alert update released Sunday, Apr. 11, Jesse E. Calhoun, 22, and his father Barry E. Calhoun, 69, had driven from Quemado to Gillette, Wyo., where they met the 14 year-old Thursday, Apr. 8.
Gillette Police Det. Sgt. Chuck Deaton said the girl’s parents reported her missing Friday morning. She was last seen at about 10 p.m. the night before.
“Through our investigation, we became aware through comments from her friends that she had been communicating with Jesse Calhoun on a social networking site on the Internet,” Deaton told the Mountain Mail. “We decided to check out the motels here and found that the two had checked into one using Barry Calhoun’s identification. The motel registration listed the men driving a white 1989 Toyota Camry with a New Mexico license plate number.”
After the original Amber Alert went out, the car was located by Trinidad, Colo. police at a motel in Trinidad, and the teenager was found safe. She was turned over to the Colorado Department of Human Services and has been returned to her family in Gillette.
Jesse Calhoun was arrested and taken into custody just after 3 a.m. by Trinidad police on a felony charge of interfering with the custody of a child. He is awaiting extradition back to Campbell County in Wyoming.
Deaton said Barry Calhoun had apparently taken a bus back to Quemado after his Camry broke down in Trinidad.
Catron County Sheriff Ian Fletcher was alerted by New Mexico State Police of Barry Calhoun’s whereabouts. He was arrested in Quemado on a fugitive warrant Sunday and taken to the jail at the Sheriff’s office in Reserve.
As of press time Wednesday, Barry Calhoun is remains incarcerated at the Catron County jail.
“Right now we’re waiting for the extradition order to come in,” Fletcher said.

Fite Recalls Marriage, The Caboose, Tokay

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.
She was interviewed by BLM Archaeologist Brenda Wilkinson in 2009. This is the second part of that interview.

Evelyn: “Well I married Dean and moved to the ranch in 1937, and we lived in a caboose down on - his father had a homestead down there by the sandhill. Even in the little caboose I had a little radio. Mr. Fite won it in a punchboard in Datil, and it had a six volt battery, and we got a little wind charger and put it up on top of the caboose. And it would blow in the wind and charge that battery and I could have radio
That was my connection with the world. It was wonderful!”

Evelyn: “To me, I wouldn’t even consider, building, living, any where that there wasn’t decent water. I lived with all that - not having water, it’s awful. It was just awful to do laundry. We caught cistern water, you bet. I drank cistern water. We had an old barn when we lived at the caboose and that’s all the drinking water we had, was what we caught off the roof of the barn. And we had a pit in the ground, caught it off the roof and it ran down into that concrete. Before I was married Dean dug a hole and plastered it and covered it, caught rain water. And you had to be very careful with it. It didn’t rain that much. But it was wonderful. But most of the ranchers in that country used cistern water, ‘cause the water’s so bad. But now they got water softeners and things like that. But still, the water on the ranch is terrible, except for that one well at the house and that well under the hill there on the highway. He has that good water. That’s the only good water I know from there to El Paso. It’s terrible water!”

Evelyn: “Well it (Tokay) had, you know - in the 1800s and the twenties there were about 3,000 people lived out there. Because there was Tokay and Carthage and Farley, and they lived in those little canyons, and all mined coal. Then out on the open flat country were ranches. But Tokay was a big coal mining operation. And those mines were operated before we even became a state. And they were underground mines and small - and these Mexican men would have to go down and bend down to go in there and it was dangerous mining, ‘cause it was small veins and they had to tunnel down, way down in there. And it was the coal that they used for smelters. And there was a railroad up there and they hauled coal to El Paso to the smelter, and they used that coal in Socorro to heat the public buildings. All the public buildings, the courthouse and the schoolhouses and Tech. were heated with that coal from Tokay. And it was real black, smoky. You’d see it run down the adobe walls. It was ugly.
And the people that ran that mine then was B. H. Kinney. And they had a brick plant in Albuquerque, and they hauled this coal to Albuquerque. They were still hauling coal to make bricks. Anyway, Tokay was pretty busy in the early - all the twenties and much of the thirties. And then in 1948 they were totally closed down and we bought the area. In 1948 we moved to Tokay. In 1948 we bought the old Kinney house. Mr. and Mrs. Kinney lived there and that’s where their children were born. They had four boys. They still have a Kinney brick plant in Albuquerque.”

Evelyn: “There was a company store and a school. There were several houses, rows of houses. And then under the hill they had a little - there’s just nothing but ruins there when I went there. But Tokay still had several houses there. And that long concrete house was a rooming house that we used mainly for storage and things, because it was just a concrete - 16 rooms with 16 windows and a chimney outlet in every fourth room. That’s the building that’s the Bed and Breakfast now. When I first heard about it they said it had bachelor guys, they had one room with one faucet in it, and that the end room they had a place where they could take baths. So I think it probably was a rooming house.”

Evelyn: “Anyhow, we moved to Tokay and had good, nice soft, water. And I had trees, and I could have a garden, and I had chickens and a milk cow, and…. And we had a little more country, so we could buy more cattle and….. We had to have more country so we could make a living. So that’s how we spent our lifetime, getting little pieces of land together and trying to create a big enough area to raise cattle. Then we leased the Fish and Wildlife for several years and we had lots of cattle on the river. But years later they fenced it, decided they didn’t want cattle down there. Then we had to cut down. And ultimately we lived there ‘til Dean died (Tokay). It was 22 years ago.
He was buried twenty two years ago the day before yesterday [1987]…. But he was born and raised in this country. Worked on ranches and did…..they’re an old family. They were here in the 1800s.”

Next week part three of the Evelyn Fite Oral History.

Street Fight

Officers from the Socorro Police Department and County Sheriff’s Department responded to a fight between four men Wednesday at about 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of El Camino Plaza on California Street. The Mountain Mail was on the scene and spoke with the owner of Tom’s Barber Shop, who said the altercation began when one of the men spit in the face of another in the barber shop. After they left the business, the men paired off and two of them took their fight into the southbound lane of California, forcing drivers to veer around them before police arrived, Tom Sarate said. As of press time Wednesday, the names of the subjects had not been released.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Street Fight

OBITUARY: Tom Cassady

Tom Cassady
Jan. 25, 1972-April 7, 2010

Tom “Butch” Cassady was born on Jan. 25, 1972 in Socorro. After finishing high school in Tucumcari, he joined the Navy. Tom enjoyed his time in the Navy, where he worked as a Jet Engine Mechanic on F-18 jets. After leaving the Navy in 1999, Tom continued his career as an Aviation Mechanic working on helicopters for Turbomeca. Later, he returned to working on F-18 and F-135 jets in Civil Service.
When not at work, Tom loved spending time with his “girls” - Patty, Ciera, Hunter and Bryar. He was an avid duck hunter and was always on the look out for unique items to add to his dragon, kachina, knife and gun collections. Tom was also a student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and competed in tournaments. After valiantly battling cancer for more than a year, Tom took his final walk home on the morning of April 7, 2010.
Tom is survived by his wife Patty, daughters Ciera, Hunter and Bryar, his mother Millie “Hanna” Bauler, his sister Jeanie Cooper and his nieces and nephews Greg Tacker, Hanna Cooper, Meghan Tacker, Jake Thissen, and Cole Knutson.
A celebration of his life took place on April 11, 2010 at the First United Methodist Church, Azle, Texas.

OBITUARY: Nelson Michael Zamora

Nelson Michael Zamora
Oct. 29-1960-April 10, 2010

Nelson Michael Zamora, 49, passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2010, in Socorro. Nelson was born in Albuquerque, on October 28, 1960. He is survived by his mother, Vivian (Aragon) Armijo and step-father, Bennie Armijo of Socorro; his sister, Josie Pino and partner, Ruben Padilla,also of Socorro; niece, Miranda Martinez; nephew, Andrew Martinez Jr.; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Nelson was very proud of being on the 1977 Socorro Warrior State Champion Football Team and still was a dedicated Socorro Warrior fan of all sports. He was an avid Chicago Bears fan.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Juan and Juanita Aragon, and his niece Pamela Martinez.
A Rosary will be recited at San Miguel Catholic Chuch in Socorro, on Saturday, April 17, 2010, at 10 a.m. with a Communion Service immediately following with Deacon Mike Ybarra officiating. Inurnment will take place in the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery in Socorro. Pallbearers are Josie Pino, Mikayla Craddick, and Alisha Pino-Lucero.
Honorary Pallbearers are Edmundo Soto Jr., Willie Lucero, Valentin Anaya Jr., Daniel Chavez, Ruben Padilla, Andrew Martinez Jr., Rob Lopez, Lawrence Valenzuela Jr., and David Chavez.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Eluvie T. Peralta

Eluvie T. Peralta
Sept. 18, 1928-April 12, 2010

Eluvie T. (Louie) Peralta, 81, passed away on Monday, April 12, 2010 at home in Socorro.
Louie was born in La Joya, on September 18, 1928 to Cornelio and Paublita (Tafoya) Peralta. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Virginia (Torres) Peralta of Socorro; his sons, James L. Peralta and wife, Andrea of Socorro; Norbert Peralta and wife, Isabel of Socorro; Ruben Peralta and wife, Lisa also of Socorro; and Richard A. Peralta and wife, Jenna of Espanola; his daughter, Concie Buck and husband, Philip of Parker, CO; his sisters, Vitalia Peralta of Socorro; and Lorraine Peralta of Socorro; and his grandchildren, Sharon Buck; Jack Buck; Jerryk Jacquez-Jaramillo;Julia Ann Aguilar and husband, Steven; Stephanie Vega and husband, Mark; Norbert Peralta Jr. and wife, Rachel; James Peralta Jr.; Jetty Sears; Jeremy Peralta and wife, Kimberly; Aubrey Peralta; Sandra Gonzales and husband, Dwayne; Tiffany Peralta; and Tristen Peralta; and his 8 great grandchildren.
Louie was a cook at NM Tech for 17 years and also worked for the City of Socorro for 33 years.
Louie is preceded in death by daughter, Julia Ann Peralta; his brother, Theodoro Peralta; and his sisters, Valentina Burke, and Rosela Peralta.
A Visitation was held at Steadman-Hall Funeral Home on Apr. 14. A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, April 16, 2010 at 9 a.m., at San Miguel Catholic Church with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Burial will take place in the San Miguel Cemetery. Pallbearers are Jeremy Peralta, James Peralta Jr., Jack Buck, Norbert Peralta Jr., Albert Savedra; and Benny Anaya.
Honorary Pallbearers are Jaryrn Gonzales, Steven Aguilar, and Mark Vega.
Arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Craig Alan Butler

Craig Alan Butler
May 28, 1962-April 13, 2010

Craig Alan Butler,47, passed away at home on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, in Socorro. Craig was born on May 28, 1962 in Los Alamos to Thomas Daniel and Jean (Sanchez) Butler. He is survived by loving wife, Kelly D. Butler of Socorro; step sons, Logan Winn; and Sam Winn; father, Thomas Butler of Los Alamos; brother, Brent M. Butler and wife, Lora of Los Alamos;sister, Janet L. Damitz and husband, Bruce of AZ; parents-in-law, Phil and Patty McLain of Socorro; nephew, Michael (Trey) Clancy; and niece, Zoe Butler.
Craig graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1980 and then attended Eastern and NM State Universities. He was an avid golfer. Craig cherished his niece, Zoe.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, April 16, 2010 at Steadman-Hall Funeral Home at 2:00 pm with Rev. Bob Farmer officiating. In Lieu of flowers, family asks that donations be made to the Lukemia and Lymphoma Research. A Memorial Service will be held in Los Alamos at a future date.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801. (575)835-1530.

OPINION: A Look Behind The Scenes At The Grizz And SEC

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

There are two items in my “Absolute Must Do” list for this weekend. One is the Yard Sale to benefit The Grizz Project on Friday and Saturday, April 16 - 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the parking lot next to the Golden Spur Saloon on Highway 60 in Magdalena. I’ll even part with some of my treasured “rusty bits” for this one. The other is the Annual Meeting of the Socorro Electric Cooperative on Saturday, April 17 with voting starting at 5 p.m. and the meeting at 7 p.m. in the Finley Gym in Socorro.
Let’s take a look at the thinking that went on “behind the curtain” before these two events came to our attention. The Grizz Project is the brain child of Marguerite Sweeney. It’s named after her all-time favorite dog. Grizz is dedicating itself to relieving the suffering of animals and to furthering the humane treatment of animals in and around Magdalena. “Animals”, for the moment includes dogs, cats and horses. I’m sure other animals will follow.
There is a wide spectrum of attitudes toward animals in this area, ranging from appreciating animals as “part of the family” and all of the creatures that make up our environment, to the legitimate use of animals as food, to kids who see animals as nothing more than moving shooting targets. We seem to range from bunny huggers to dog kickers, from ravenous carnivores to mild mannered vegetarians. We all find ourselves somewhere on this continuum, and an occasional “reality check” can be a good thing. I for one, have come to respect the full range of emotional intelligence that our canine, feline and equine friends can exhibit.
Magdalena seems to be a popular spot to “drop off” animals that are unwanted. My own dog, Abby was one of those drop-offs. I was lucky that she chose to follow me home and she’s been a loyal friend ever since. Other drop-offs and some dogs that “get loose” can be of questionable “friendliness”. Some are outright dangerous, yet I have rarely met a dog that couldn’t be reasoned with or at least “shouted down”. If you encounter such an animal, contact the Marshal’s office at 854-2493. It can be sheltered and cared for at the improved pens in the rodeo grounds. This was one of Grizz’s first projects.
Grizz hopes to raise funds for the neutering and spaying of animals and to place unwanted pets in good homes. Without this effort, Magdalena could (and has in the past) become over-run with feral dogs and cats. The Grizz Project also hopes to offer assistance to individuals to help them to keep and to provide for their pets. Intervention, education and foster care programs are also in the works. Pets looking for homes in the Magdalena area are posted at . Contact Grizz at (505) 206-3565. A Pancake Breakfast fund-raiser is being planned for May. I’ll keep you posted. It’s a wonderful thing to have a group of people working together in this area to this end; many kudos and continued success.
Another group of people who are working for the common good (although this might be a bit of a stretch) is the Socorro Electric Cooperative. It is, as it’s name implies, a cooperative, not-for-profit organization with the purpose of providing electric power to its “members”. Electric power is purchased from a variety of vendors and supplied to us through a distribution grid, built and maintained by a staff of 38 employees. A Board of Directors of 11 members, at a cost of nearly half a million dollars seems to be a bit excessive to “direct” this operation. This matter and other overdue changes to the by-laws are to be voted on by the members (us) at the annual meeting this Saturday at the Finley Gym in Socorro.
We are in a unique situation here in New Mexico with our Electric Co-op. Many US residents are at the mercy of privately owned for-profit electric corporations. Consider for a moment, the reign of terror that was Enron: for the Greater Greed rather than for the Greater Good. This is why Dennis Kucinich (yes, that progressive, socialist do-gooder), back when he was the Mayor of Cleveland, fought tooth and nail to keep the Cleveland Electric Company (Municipal Light) a publicly owned utility. I watched this case closely back when I was still a Cleveland boy; that’s why I’m a bit strange; perhaps it was the water. This is YOUR Co-op and YOU have a say in how it’s run. Come, experience Demo-cracy at its finest.

If you have any comments, problems, solutions, upcoming events or body armor for the SEC meeting, contact me at .

OPINION: Major General Butler Finally Comes In From The Cold

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

It seems that for every voice raised in our country these days warning of the futility and folly of war, a hundred others echo through the media of culture, extolling not only war’s virtues but especially its necessity and utter inevitability. On the moral front of war, the debate is at an impasse.
Enter Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, U.S. Marine Corps, aka “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye,” who became one of a handful of soldiers to be awarded this country’s highest honor for bravery in combat, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for two separate actions. Born in a Philadelphia suburb in 1881, Butler was one of those who lied about his 16 years to enlist in the Marines during the Spanish American War. He went on to serve in the Philippines, China, Central America, the Caribbean, and France. At the time of his death in 1940, Butler’s 34-year military career had made him the most decorated U.S. Marine in history. Yet maddeningly for some, Major General Smedley Butler, USMC became Smedley Butler, Citizen, the fiercest and most credible whistleblower the industrial-military complex has ever hated.
Four years after retiring from the Marines in 1931, Butler’s book War is a Racket appeared. A short work deep in content, it can be found in its entirety through a simple internet search. Butler’s thesis was as straightforward as the chapter titles: 1) War is a Racket; 2) Who Makes the Profits? 3) Who Pays the Bills? 4) How to smash this racket! and 5) To Hell with War!
Some choice excerpts: "War is a racket. It always has been. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many."
As for who makes the profits: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers . . . I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.”
The names have changed - to Halliburton/KBR, Veritas, SAIC, Lockheed Martin, Fluor, General Electric, Honeywell, etc. - but the game remains the same. Besides the trillions of dollars in contracts legally earned by “defense” related companies, most of these high-flying profiteers are among the top 100 corporations listed as alleged or admitted cheats on the Project on Government Oversight’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (see, usually for multiple episodes.
As he crisscrossed the nation speaking to large audiences, Butler reminded them of who paid the bills: the taxpayer, certainly, but also the young men and civilians who were killed, maimed, and driven insane to protect and expand the profits of others back home.
General Butler had seen it all, and Citizen Butler recommended removing war’s chief incentive, profit. He advocated universal wage limits in threatening times - for bankers, munitions manufacturers, generals, everyone to that of the average soldier, at that time thirty dollars a month. He also suggested a limited plebiscite on the decision to go to war, a vote in which only those who would fight would be allowed to vote. Lastly, Butler called for a return to truly defensive deployments for American forces (today the U.S maintains more than 700 military outposts in over 150 otherwise sovereign nations).
If Smedley Butler’s recommendations seem quaint or hopelessly idealistic, perhaps it’s because we have become so familiar with, so conditioned by the drumbeat of war. Perhaps it’s because we live in a time when the most crucial of our constant wars (so we are told) is placed in the charge of a man widely acknowledged to have lied about the death of a famous athlete under his command for propaganda purposes and covered up prisoner abuse for which, in the words of one perpetrator, “written authorizations were required . . . indicating that the use of these tactics was approved up the chain of command.”
Military enablers of U.S. business interests constantly stress the honor of their profession. I wonder when we will be seeing the honest testimony of men like General Stanley McChrystal.

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

LETTER: Census Question

To the editor,
You reported in a recent article that Catron County had the lowest percentage of census returns. In the later part of March I called the census field office phone number that you had previously published because we did not receive a delivered form. We still did not get one.
After repeated callings, the office said they would mail one out to me. I still have not received a census form. I am beginning to think that they do not want us to fill one out. But in the end, the results will show the county at an alarming low return and blame us, the residences of Catron County, for not turning in a census form.

Ernest Leschner


To the editor:
Now what? Last year, SEC members were denied the right to vote and even to have a meeting. Is it the board’s goal to do the same thing this year at the April 17 meeting?
Didn’t we elect some new members who were supposed to better represent us? I know they are a minority but they don’t seem to be trying to correct ANY of the problems. In fact, they have made a new set of problems: adding board proposals which oppose the wishes of the membership. (Why is the board even making proposals? Isn’t that the prerogative of members?)
Now it is almost impossible to vote on the proposals. I think we all realize the plan is to scuttle member voting and it looks like they may be successful once more. Are they really so brazen? I think the answer to that is “yes”.

Barbara Moore

LETTER: In Favor Of Paper Ballots

To the editor
When we attended the informational meeting in Quemado on April 8th, we were told that voting at the Annual Meeting on April 17th could not be done by machine. It appears that the machines cannot handle the multiple options for many of the proposed resolutions. It is also our understanding that the most important vote of the Coop in many years might be done by voice or a show of hands instead of a paper ballot.
This is a concern for a couple of reasons. First, it means that all attendees must remain until the voting is complete and verified. This could place a undue hardship on those attending from outlying areas. Secondly, there will be no audit trail in case any of the results are contested.
Even if the ballots must be counted by hand, we feel that a paper ballot is absolutely necessary.

Jim & Anne Dorough
Pie Town, NM

LETTER: Save $300,000

To the Editor,
Open letter to everyone who uses electricity. As we approach the Co-Op meeting this Saturday night, I think everybody needs to take the time to attend. This is a very rare opportunity to put real democracy into practice. If you pay a Co-Op bill you are an owner and have the right to vote. The big thing about this vote is that you have the opportunity to cut your electric bill by about $300,000.00. That should get everyone's attention.
Can you remember any time in your life when you had the chance to cut away over half of your government's spending on itself? Well, folks, that is what you get Saturday night at Finley Gym. There is an amendment to cut the number of trustees from 11 to 5. That is where the $300,000.00 comes into play. Think about it, when was the last time you called your Co-Op trustee. For that matter do you even know who it is or what purpose they serve? I don't. I do know that Socorro makes the front page of the Journal as the highest paid Co-Op board in the state! Forgetting, (if you can) that we end up sending them on vacations for 'meetings' and providing them with insurance benefits, why would we ever need 11 of them?
This meeting may be crowded (I hope so) and it may be inconvenient, but this is the time to strike a blow for freedom from waste. Give the money to the workers if you want but let's cut the pork. Go to the meeting, let your voice be heard. Create some real change!

Rick Coddington

LETTER: Public Safety

To The Editor:
As a representative of Probation Parole and Community Supervision Officers, of the Seventh Judicial District, I would like to take advantage of ‘National Public Safety Telecommunications Week’, April 11-17, 2010 to say “Thank you” to the professionals whose decision-making and communications skills often make a life-saving difference in an emergency situation.
Probation Parole and Community Supervision Offi-cers, along with various agencies within the City and County of Socorro, recognize the hard working, dedicated individuals who perform the job duties of the telecommunicator-the voice on the 9-1-1 telephone line, and the radio that provides guidance, comfort, and instructions to those in need. We thank you for the hard work, the long hours, weekends, and holidays you work to ensure police, fire, and medical assistance can be provided to the citizen’s you serve.
On behalf of a grateful community, I thank you for helping to make the community a better place to live and work. As we honor you during this ‘National Public Safety Telecommunicat-ions Week,” I wish each and every one of you the very best.

Hilario J. Bernal
Juvenile Probation Parole Officer
American Probation Parole Officer Association

LETTER: Thank You

To the editor:
Thank you for your concern and caring. Your words, thoughts and prayers are comforting.

The Robert L. Irelan Family

Young Steers Struggle On Diamond

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

The Magdalena Steers Baseball Team lost three games in the span of three days last week as it fell to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in district play.
Midway through the season, Magdalena's coach Manuel Martinez is not having the kind of season that he had hoped from his squad.
“The team still has a lot of learning to do,” Martinez said. “They're trying and working hard. They've shown some improvement since the beginning of the season and that's a plus. They're coming along.”
Last Thursday, Magdalena traveled to play district opponent Estancia (9-2, 2-0) and lost 14-3. The Steers jumped on Estancia in the first inning 3-0. Senior Ryan Alguirre hit a 3-run homerun to left-center field. Magdalena could not produce any more runs after this, even though they had bases loaded twice in the later innings.
Ryan Alguirre pitched the first four innings. Bryce Milligan came in to relieve in the fifth inning.
Magdalena then hosted Gallup-Catholic (6-4, 1-0) for two non-district games on Saturday.
In the first game, Magdalena could not get anything going as Gallup-Catholic's junior pitcher Ryan Nichols threw a five inning no-hitter and won 19-0.
Martinez said, “This was the best pitcher that we've faced all year.”
In the second game, the Steers did not fare much better, losing 23-13 in seven innings.
Magdalena hosted Estancia for one district game Thursday starting at 4 p.m.

Pictured: The Warriors greet teammate Freddie Martinez, who hit a grand slam in the third inning of Socorro’s 17-3 victory against Hatch on Tuesday. The win was big for Socorro because it ended a seven-game losing streak and the game also was the district opener. The Warriors improved to 8-10 and they will travel on Friday to face district opponent Cobre.

Photo by John Severance

Warriors’ Golfers Earn Bid To State

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

In the past week, the Socorro boys golf team has been busy.
But it's been well worth it as the Warriors picked up all three legs toward state qualfiication.
On April 8, the Warriors placed first in the Hot Springs Invitational on Thursday, April 8, beating Class 4A Silver City by 10 strokes. The Warriors won their third tournament of the year in earning their first leg.
“This was a big, big hump for us to get over,” Socorro coach Russ Moore said. “Normally, we're a pretty slow starting team and there were a few physical ailments that didn't allow us to do as well earlier in the year. All of a sudden, they break through yesterday with a big win and a good leg.”
Moore was also pleased with the individual scores. Senior Ryan Romero shot a 79 and got his first individual leg. He has qualified for state ever since he was in ninth grade. Nathan Vega and Willie Schaffer both shot 81's. Both players had opportunities to pick up a leg, but just fell short. Rounding out the top four on the team was Joe Carilli who shot an 86. Randall Romero shot a 94.
“We had some difficulty putting down there,” Moore said.
“Or else, I would have seen all three boys getting their individual legs and the scores being much better for each of the boys.”
Socorro beat out seven other teams in the tournament, four of them being Class 4A teams. Socorro shot a tournament best of 327. Other team scores were as follows: Silver City (337), Mesilla Valley (347), Hot Springs (358), Onate (364), Las Cruces (370), and Las Cruces Mayfield (372).
Socorro traveled to Ruidoso on Monday and Tuesday to play in the Leroy Gooch Classic Tournament. Playing against 18 other teams, Socorro finished in third place in the two-day tourney. The team also picked up their second and third legs and gave them a qualifying spot for the state meet.
Moore said, “I'm proud of them and that they're continually improving over the season. It shows that we can compete against teams like Lovington and St. Michael's. ”
Ryan Romero picked up his second and third leg at the tourney. This gives Romero his fifth straight individual trip to state. Schaffer picked up his first and second state legs in the tourney and is hoping to pick up his final leg on Monday or Tuesday at Roswell.
On Monday, the Warriors played their first round at the Alto Lakes Country Club. The team posted a 317 and tied with Lovington. This put them ten strokes behind the first place team St. Michael's.
The first round individual scores were as follows: Ryan Romero (75), Willie Schaffer (76), Nathan Vega (79), Randall Romero (87), and Joe Carilli (88).
On Tuesday, Socorro team posted a 310 for a 610 overall score for the tourney. This was good enough for a third place finish.
St. Michaels won the tournament with a two day best of 606. Lovington finished second with a 610.
Individually, Socorro's scores were Willie Schaffer (73), Ryan Romero (75), Nathan Vega (81), Joe Carilli (81), and Randall Romero (86).

Pictured: The Socorro boys golf team celebrates its victory at the Hot Springs Invitational last week.

Photo by Herman Romero

Lady Warriors Fall To Powerful Cobre

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

The Socorro High School Softball Team (8-8, 0-1) dropped its first district game 13-2 to the second-ranked Cobre Lady Indians at home Tuesday.
Hard-hitting Cobre (12-4, 1-0) opened the game by scoring three runs in the first inning, two runs in the third, and four more runs in the fourth. This gave them a 9-0 lead before Socorro got on the scoreboard.
Coach Gary Apodaca said, “We started off real slow again. A lot of it had to do with errors, they just kill us. We had problems hitting the ball the first three innings and once we got a beat on the ball, they changed pitchers.
“We kept hitting the ball, but they just kept making some good defensive catches out there. We had ruuners on bases several times, but we just couldn't get them around. We also made a few base running errors.”
Socorro finally got two runs on the scoreboard in the fourth. They starting hitting Cobre's starting pitcher Jenisha Gomez who had kept Socorro hitters scoreless for the first three innings.
Brittney McDaniel walked and Gina Rico singled to centerfield. McDaniel scored on a double steal and on a throwing error on the second baseman. Chantilly Gallegos reached first on an error and scored Rico for another unearned run.
Cobre's relief pitcher Alyssia Rascon came into the game in the middle of the fourth. She held Socorro scoreless in the last three innings.
Cobre capped off its scoring with four more runs in the seventh, three of them coming on a three-run home run by catcher Brittany Madrid.
“Maureen Trujillo pitched a decent game”, said Apodaca “There was some hits out there, but the defense needs to pick it up and help her out.”

Plans Underway For New Youth Football League

Socorro Schools football coaches and the cty are beginning a summer football league for children (boys and girls) and their families who are interested in participating.
And from the looks of the kids and the numbers at last week’s special introductory football try-outs, it will be a great success.
Coach Louie Laborin and his family, who are back in Socorro after living and working in Animas, will take charge of the program along with other coaches from Socorro High and hope to have help from volunteer parents and player families.
This inaugural year will have a short season that will last into May, culminating in a Super Bowl at Warrior Stadium at the end of the season. There will be an 8, 9, and 10 year old league and an 11, 12 and 13 year old league. Multiple games will be played at Clark Field on Tuesdays afternoons at 5:30 and 9 Saturday mornings. Laborin says that they will be concentrating on sportsmanship, basic fundamentals, and having fun.
Laborin is asking for volunteer coaches for the many teams that will be playing in this first season. Some of the High School players will be helping as assistant coaches to those interested in coaching a team. Anyone who is interested in volunteering, whether you’re a parent or not – call Laborin at 575-642-4477.

Pictured: Youngsters work out during tryouts for a new summer football league beginning April 21st at Clark Field.

Mountain Mail photo

Reserve Election Contested

By John Severance

RESERVE - A losing candidate in Reserve’s last municipal election is filing a complaint against the person who defeated him.
M. Keith Riddle narrowly defeated Robert Caylor by one vote, and Caylor is challenging the validity of the results, claiming that a lax voter policy corrupted the vote.
The Village of Reserve held its municipal election March 2 and certified the results two days later. Edward T. Romero and M. Keith Riddle secured the two Village Trustee spots with 99 and 91 votes respectively. Robert Caylor finished with 90 and Richard Torres had 87.
Caylor filed the complaint against Riddle in district court last week. The date on the filing was April 7, which was after the 30-day deadline that the election was certified. But Caylor’s attorney Sherry Tippett said Romero, who also is contesting the election, was not sworn in until March 8.
Village clerk Kathy Harris said the election results were certified on March 4. On election night March 2, Harris said the election board counted the results three times and got three different results.
Riddle then suggested they count again and on the fourth time, the results matched one of the three other counts. In the complaint, Caylor claimed that he asked for recount, but Harris and Riddle said that did not happen.
Caylor, though, insisted he did ask for a recount.
When he was asked by the Mountain Mail if he asked for a recount, he said, “Yes sir. There were four recounts that night.”
When Harris, Judge Clayton Atwood and the election board consisting of Virginia Hickman, Esther Minkler and Patsy Tafoya met to canvass the election and certify the results March 4, the vote tallies matched what they came up with on the final count on March 2.
In the complaint submitted to the Seventh Judicial District Court on April 7, Caylor requested an order to preserve and recount the votes for the election, to impound the ballots to nullify the votes of 12 non-residents and the vote of another resident, who he said was “incompetent to vote.” He also requested the election results be set aside and place him in possession of the contested office.
“I don’t want to say too much,” Riddle said. “The bottom line is that Bob is a sore loser and he doesn’t like losing by one vote. I would not like losing by one vote either, but I would not challenge the election.
“His main complaint is that people who don’t live in the Village were able to vote. I used to work in the clerk’s office and this happens all the time.”
“The count is not the issue,” said Caylor, who accused some Village officials of soliciting votes from outside the precinct. “The other issue is there were illegal votes in the election.”
The suit also alleges that a request was made to provide challengers and watchers at the election, which was denied by Riddle in his capacity as Village Councilman and other Village officials. Caylor also has requested an investigation of any election violations by the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office several times, but no investigation has been conducted.
On April 13, the Village Board passed a motion 3-2 to direct Village Attorney William Perkins to intervene in a petition to contest election. Romero and Eddie Varela voted no while trustees Wilford Estrada and Riddle voted yes. Mayor Connie Wehrheim broke the deadlock, voting yes, and the motion passed.

Editor’s note: The Mountain Mail will take an indepth look at the Reserve election in next week’s issue.

Seasons’ Change Brings Life Back To Valley

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Here in the Luna Valley, you can count on a few things to really signal the change of the seasons. While we are still waking to below freezing temperatures; the windy season is in full swing and drying us out quickly. Also Evelyn Hulsey’s garden is plowed waiting for her arrival home again and the first hummingbirds will be here like clockwork this weekend.

Luna Community Center

Our Community Center has been busy with a little of everything the past couple of weeks.
The Lunatic Stitchers held another “overnighter”. As always there was plenty of good food and friends to share in their work. The women got a great start on this year’s raffle quilt blocks. For 2010 the annual quilt will use the “Eureka” pattern. As soon as the tickets go on sale this beautiful quilt will be readied and will be displayed throughout the area. Contact any Lunatic Stitcher for more information.
There will be four community rummage sales this year. They are scheduled to be held on Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July Holiday weekend, Labor Day weekend and in a final year end event, the first weekend of November, just before the holidays. Be sure to reserve your table with Diana Moyers.

The Luna Park will be moved from the fire station to the community center soon. Please contact a member of the fire department, ambulance or community center if you can offer your help.

The first Rodeo committee meeting was held last Monday night at Susie Ley’s home. If you can help this year please contact someone on the committee; it takes volunteers to put on the array of annual events that are planned.

The Luna Valley 4-H held their annual elections this week and are preparing for the rabies clinic and bake sale April 23. Watch for more information on exact time and place on the bulletin boards in town or contact Joyce Laney.

Morning Walk

For a brisk morning walk in the sunshine, many women in Luna are meeting at the community center at 9 a.m. each Monday through Saturday. All are welcome.

Community Wishes

We send our wishes of quick healing and strength again to the Hulsey family after hearing news of LeAnn (Hulsey) Wilkerson’s recent horse accident.

Preparedness Corner

Some wonderful websites to help you in your preparedness goals are only a click away. Visit and on the left hand side of the screen you will see a food calculator; here is where you can put in your family information and it will help you to see just what amounts of different items you should set goals to have in your storage.

Family history

Here is another reminder to share all that you have with your extended family. Always add details to your research and your “storytelling” of your ancestors for future generations to really know and relate to you and to them.

Quote of the week:
“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.”
~Bill Cosby


Sylvia Fights Change With Ridiculous Rhyme

By Anne Sullivan

“I can’t stand it!” Sylvia yelled, kicking her dish across the porch.
Noticing that she’d taken care to empty her dish of kibble before she kicked it, I didn’t stir from my seat on the porch bench, but asked, “Now what’s the matter?”
“Change! I can’t stand change!” she shrieked.
“I’m not much on change either,” I said, “but it seems to happen anyway. It’s a natural part of life.”
“It’s not fair! Every time I get to know and like someone, they move. I just can’t stand it!”
“Who’s moving now?”
“Jackie Kraft, that’s who. She’s already sold her house and she’s almost on her way out of Socorro. I can’t deal with it. She’s the only person in the whole wide world who gave RingWorm, Gordo and me baskets from APAS for Christmas every year without fail.”
“I give you Christmas presents and so do other people.”
“That’s true but not whole big baskets full of all the best things to eat.” Sylvia salivated at the memory. “And not every year. Jackie is the best.”
“That’s definitely true. Besides everything she’s done for APAS and Good Sam she always donates to Baldwin Cabin Public Library, too. The whole community of Socorro and Catron County will miss her.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever recover,” Sylvia said, flopping down. “If she’s leaving right away, I don’t even have time to make her a present. It’s really not fair.”
“Maybe you could write her a nice poem as a goodbye present,” I suggested.
“I”ll try,” she sniffed. “But I’m too overwrought to be much of a poet.”
I went inside to fetch pen and paper for her. Returning, I laid them on the porch floor for her and went back to my book.
An hour passed during which Sylvia wrote and crossed out and wrote again and groaned and wrote and sucked the pen and finally, spoke the magic words, “I’m finished.”
And this is what she wrote:
Dear Jackie Kraft,
It’s hard
To be a bard,
When my heart is breaking.
My heart you are taking.
Because you are leaving
I am grieving.

You are going
And I’m not knowing
If I’ll ever see you again
Or even when.
But I tend to forget
We’ve never really met.
Isn’t that sad?
It’s really too bad.

Will you come back
To see us?
Your whereabouts we
need to track
From worry to free us.
We wish you’d stay
And not go away.

We’ll never forget you.
We don’t want to let you
Get away from us
Without making a fuss.
You’ve been generous
and kind
And we’ll never find
Another like you.
Boo hoo.

So goodbye for now.
Knowing you has been a wow.


Quemado School Prom Set For April 24

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado School Prom will be on Saturday, April 24. This year’s theme is “Dance the Night Away” with a disc jockey from Socorro providing the music.

Quemado Invitational Track Meet will be on Saturday, April 24. This is a state qualifying track meet.

The Quemado Soil & Water Conservation District is sponsoring one student to Forestry Camp. They will cover the $200 camp fee. Applications are available. The camp is held June 6-11.

The Women's Fellowship Luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 20 at noon in the Cowboy Church located off Hwy 32 near Quemado.

The Quemado Senior Center Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 24 from 8 to 11 a.m. Activities for the week are Pool tournament on Tuesday, crafts on Wednesday,.quilting and bingo on Thursday and exercise class on Friday. Lunch menu for the week: Monday – chalupa, Tuesday – chicken primavera, Wednesday – beef and potatoes with red chili, Thursday – baked ham and Friday – ham and cheese sandwiches. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservation.

Child Find, a free developmental screening for children newborn to 5 years of age, will be at the Quemado High School library on Monday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Areas screened include speech, hearing, vision, growth, movement, behavior, social skills and personal skills. Participants can win a heavy-duty, all-terrain child's tricycle and other fun prizes. For more information, call Joy Padilla at 773-4700. Parents or guardian must sigh a permission to screen form.

Quemado Talent Show: It is not too late to sign up for an audition. Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. You will not want to miss this. Some of the students who will have acts in the show are Tawnee Brunson, Katie Rose Sirman, Andy Rawl, Sammantha Larisch, Bryanna Bunney & Katie Rose Sirman, Mrs. Williams’ class, Mrs. Forgue’s class, Rain Carver, Sam Eberle, Ian Kitterman, and Cory Bruton. To get more information, please call the Quemado school at 575- 773- 4645.

Datil’s New Cafe To Host Providenti Show

Mountain Mail Reports

Datil’s new Mary Mac’s CafĂ© will host Jack Providenti’s one-man show of local scenery paintings on the weekend of April 23-25.
The High Plains Art Show opens with a preview from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 23. Vocal guitarist Jim Briggs will provide music. Hors d’oeurves will be served and a dinner special plus the regular menu will be available at that time.
The Art Show will be at Mary Mac’s during regular dining hours on Saturday, April 24 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with music and specials all weekend.
Jack Providenti studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the Newark School of Fine Arts in New Jersey. He now teaches art at the Mojave Academy in Datil. You can view his paintings on and if you have questions email him at

Reserve Fundraiser

Logan Boone, 6th grade student at Reserve Elementary, is hosting a fund raiser April 23, at the Community Center in Reserve. Logan is raising monies to attend the National Young Leadership Conference to be held in Washington D.C. this summer. A yard sale will commence at 9a.m., with a Bingo starting at 4p.m. Everyone is invited. For additional information, call 575-533-6353.

Reserve Book, Bake Sale

The Reserve Public Library is having a huge book and bake sale May 1, at the library in Reserve.
The library is accepting donations of books, CD’s, and DVD’s up until April 23, event organizer Ron Smith said.
They are also accepting donated baked goods to be sold at the event. A raffle is currently being conducted for this fundraiser. The grand prize is 100 gallons of propane, donated by Ag-Country. Restaurant, gas, hair cuts, Rode Inn, Art Prints, and even a Wal-Mart $100 certificates are part of the raffle. Raffle tickets are $1. All monies raised will benefit the library. The fundraiser is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the drawing at 1 p.m. For more information, call Smith at 575-533-6831.

Muddy Day

New Mexico Tech hosted its annual Mud Bog Saturday at EMRTC.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Muddy Day

Two Arrested On Felony Gun Charges

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A case which has been under investigation by the Socorro County Sheriff’s office for three months has yielded two arrests.
Lorenzo J. Gutierrez, 29, of Magdalena, was arrested Thursday on three 4th degree felonies, including receiving stolen firearms, receiving stolen property, and conspiracy.
Robert Torres, 43, of Lemitar, turned himself in and was arrested Monday on three 4th degree felonies; receiving stolen firearms, receiving stolen property, and conspiracy. Also one misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia, and one petty misdemeanor, possession of marijuana.
Four weapons were recovered in a search of Torres’ residence Jan. 6, including a sawed off shotgun, a Marlin 30/30, a Glock 9 mm handgun, and a crossbow.
Marshal Larry Cearley said the guns had been reported stolen Dec. 3 by Nick Innerbichler and Tyler Chavez in Magdalena.
Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Pino, along with deputies Joey Tafoya, Casey McFadden, Lee Armijo, and Shorty Vaiza, conducted a search of the Torres residence on County Road 91 in Escondida.
Cearley and Marshal’s Deputy Ed Sweeney assisted in the search.
According to the criminal complaint, the crossbow was found under a bed, the sawed off shotgun was found in kitchen cabinet, the Marlin 30/30 was found under another bed, and the handgun in a drawer next to a bed.
Lorenzo Gutierrez was arraigned on the three felony counts in Magistrate Court Tuesday. Robert Torreswas arraigned Monday and released on a $10,000 cash or surety bond.

Local Students Win At State Science Fair

SOCORRO - Several Socorro students came home from the New Mexico Science and Engineering Saturday with trophies and awards.
From Socorro High School, sophomore Angelina Stanzione earned a second place award for her experiment in the Energy and Transportation category; sophomore Nicole Mortensen won the Junior Stockholm Water Award for her experiment in the Earth Science category; and senior Peter Vogel received $700 in scholarship money towards his New Mexico Tech tuition for his experiment in Computer Science.
From Sarracino Middle School, 6th grader Gabriela Perez won Honorable Mention in Health Science; 6th grader Jennifer Carmona won Honorable Mention in Computer Science; and 7th grader Camilla Aitbayev won a cash award from the New Mexico Optometric Assoc, and a cash award from the New Mexico Optics Industry Assoc. in the Earth Science category.
From Cottonwood Valley Charter School, 6th grader Anjik Ghosh won second place for his experiment, Vertical Axis Wind Turbines.

Pictured: Socorro High’s Nicole Mortensen placed second in the energy and transportation category at the state science fair at New Mexico Tech.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Democrats' Picnic

County clerk Rebecca Vega, Secretary of State Mary Herrera and Tax Assessor Val Anaya attended a Democratic fundraiser at Sedillo Park Saturday. Also attending were sheriff’s candidate Kenny Gonzales and other democratic hopefuls.

Photo By Gary Jaramillo

Democrats' Picnic