Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ranchers’ Wind Farm In Its Planning Stages

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A plan is underway by local ranchers to take advantage of the windy conditions of the Plains of San Agustin to produce electricity. Mike Hernandez and Walter Olmstead are part of a cooperative made up of 14 ranchers, who have elected to let their acreage be used for a wind farm.
The goal of the San Agustin Wind Project is to install 80 to 100 foot tall towers topped by turbines which would have the potential of producing 600 megawatts of power.

Hernandez said his hope was that their properties – over 50,000 acres combined - could turn a profit, “if not with cattle, then with a wind farm – and still keep cattle.”
Hernandez believes such a massive project could also be a source of jobs.
“Walter and I were talking about this idea while fixing a fence four years ago, and thinking about what we leave behind,” he said. “The younger generation leave, and they’re gone. There’s nothing to come back to. This gives them a reason to come back here to live.
“With this new project we can maximize use of our land and at the same time offer employment for the local area,” he said. “We started working in earnest on a workable plan about one year ago.”
It is estimated that up to 200 people will be needed for the construction phase, and then about 170 for maintenance on the wind farm.
“We’re talking serious economic development,” Hernandez said.
The landowners’ cooperative, San Agustin Ranchers Co-op (STARCO), have partnered with Private Energy Systems, Inc., of Oakdale, Minnesota.
PES Project Coordinator Sherry Faust told the Mountain Mail Thursday that the company is ready to proceed with a feasibility study.
“This joint venture provides the rancher much more wherewithal in return than has been the norm for wind companies,” Faust said. “I’ve been a New Mexico ranch real estate broker for many years and ran into the problem of wind companies reaping all the rewards, and the rancher leasing his land for a pittance.
“It was this injustice that led me to join forces with Private Energy Systems which was willing to establish an equity partnership with the ranchers, giving them an ownership position and committing to the local community’s economy,” she said.
The company’s president, David Ault, said the wind farm promises to boost the economy of Socorro and Catron counties with new construction jobs, maintenance jobs, and administrative and management jobs.
“We can do something about the economic problems facing our communities with this business model and new technology solutions,” Ault said. “Our company has as one of its goals, bringing a new industry to the area in conjunction with local land owners.”
He said PES and STARCO also plan to establish a grant fund for local community high school students to earn college scholarships.
“All of this is in the planning stage. We have yet to complete project feasibility studies,” Ault said. “At this stage, we are planning a project that could well be close to a billion dollar investment.”
The Plains of San Agustin Wind Farm construction is slated to begin before the end of this year.

Pictured: Private Energy Systems Project Coordinator Sherry Faust and ranchers Mike Hernandez and Walter Olmstead dropped by the Mountain Mail to discuss plans for the San Agustin Wind Project.

Photo by John Larson

Socorro Man Arrested On Drug Charges

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A Socorro man was arrested after a raid was conducted Friday afternoon. The search warrant was executed at 3 p.m. on April 16, following an undercover operation.

Jose Mario Gonzales, 19, of Socorro, was arrested on one felony and three misdemeanor charges, including trafficking heroin, possession of medication without a prescription, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court Monday, a team of officers lead by Det. Rocky Fernandez recovered 2.7 grams of heroin, 2.5 grams of marijuana, and one hydrocodone tablet from a residence at 913 ½ B Padilla Place in Socorro.
In the complaint, Fernandez said a female at the residence, Antoinette Jaramillo, was cited for possession of marijuana, cultivating marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
“I asked if she had known what Mario was doing and she told me, yes she did but they just needed the money,” Fernandez said in the complaint.
When asked if she had a prescription for the hydrocodone, Antoinette Jaramillo said no, “she was pregnant and just smoked marijuana.”
The report stated that she said Mario Gonzales had been crushing and snorting the pills.
Drug paraphernalia seized included an electronic scale, baggies for packaging, and straws.
Det. Richard Lopez said the heroin seized would have had a street valued of between $2,800 to $3,000 if sold in “BB” form – the typical amount for one fix.
Gonzales was arraigned Monday, Apr. 19, and his preliminary hearing has been slated for Wednesday, Apr. 28 in Magistrate Court.

Pictured: Jose Mario Gonzales

Photo courtesy of Socorro Police Department

What’s Next For Co-op?

By John Severance

SOCORRO – About midway through the voting during the Socorro Electric Cooperative annual meeting at Finley Gym, trustee Luis Aguilar said, “It’s what the people want.”
Aguilar couldn’t have been more right.
The members’ voices were heard loud and clear Saturday night as in all, a record 621 people registered to vote at the meeting.
And there were many others there to pack the Finley Gym.
In fact, it was so packed the City of Socorro Fire Marshal was called in and he called for all those without orange wristbands to leave or the meeting would be shut down.
After close to 200 people left and the exit areas were cleared, the meeting continued.
Members were fed up with the status quo and they voted on bylaw changes that will change the way co-op is run.
Instead of 11 trustees, there will now be five.
Instead of two meetings a month, there will be one.
Instead of unlimited compensation for trustees, there will be a limit for $15,000 for the president and $10,000 for trustees.
Those are the highlights, but members also voted for the SEC to abide by the Open Meetings Act and Inspection of Public Records Act. They also voted in bylaw changes to patronage capital, donations, fair elections, Enchantment Magazine and how the board conducts its business.
“I feel like a million bucks,” said resident Charlene West, who spearheaded the co-op reform group.
The vote for the number of trustees set the tone for the night. With a show of hands, 388 members voted to limit the number of trustees to five while 124 requested the status quo of 11. Nineteen people voted for seven trustees and four voted for nine.
It wasn’t all about the reform group either.
Before the vote, trustee Charlie Wagner addressed the crowd and he was greeted by a number of catcalls and boos from the majority of the members.
Lorraine Woodard, a Socorro resident, walked up to Wagner when he was talking and grabbed the microphone and said, “This is a members’ meeting. This is not about you anymore. Please sit down and let us get down to business.”
And the members did exactly that.
“Democracy prevailed,” said new trustee Donald Wolberg. “It was not tidy. But everything was on the ballot and it was up to the members to choose.”

The big question, though, is when and how will these changes be implemented.
SEC attorney Dennis Francish, who conducted the meeting, told those present that the measures would not be adopted for another year because that is the next time members could approve the minutes of the meeting.
Richard Epstein, a member of the reform group, made a motion for the members to meet on June 5 to approve the minutes. But SEC bylaws state that a special meeting can only be called by the president or three trustees.
On Monday, however, Wagner wrote a letter to co-op president Paul Bustamante and Francish, requesting the propositions go into effect immediately..
In it he wrote, “The Chairman stated that none of these bylaws go into effect until the next meeting when the minutes of this meeting are approved. This is incorrect. The SEC Bylaws give no provision for when bylaw amendments go into effect. Section III Article 13 Conduct of Meetings states: “At all meetings of the members, of the Board of trustees, and any committees thereof, meeting procedures, except as provided by law or Articles of Incorporation, shall follow the parliamentary guidelines set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order”. Therefore I quote Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition, Page 578, Lines 21-24 “Time at Which a Bylaw Amendment Takes Effect - An amendment to the bylaws goes into effect immediately upon its adoption unless the motion to adopt specifies another time for its becoming effective…”
Then late Monday night, Francish emailed Wagner, saying he was mistaken and that the propositions do go into effective immediately.
A special meeting was called by the trustees for Friday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss and implement the new resolutions.

Pictured: SEC Trustee Dave Wade (right) sits with County Commissioner Philip Anaya at the annual meeting Saturday at Finley Gym.

Photo by John Severance

Fite Recalls Life On The Homestead

The following is Part 3 of an Oral History interview with homesteader Evelyn Fite. The interview was conducted by Bureau of Land Management Archaeologist Brenda Wilkinson in 2009.

As the 150th anniversary of the 1862 Homestead Act approaches, the Socorro BLM’s Cultural Resource Program is increasing emphasis on oral history collection, particularly as it relates to homesteading.

Evelyn said the Fite family came to Tularosa in the 1800s. Dean Fite’s father was Walter Lafayette Fite, and his mother was Edna Bruton. Edna was born in the New Mexcio Territory in 1911. Dean’s family moved from south Texas to the Tularosa area in the 1800s, and was originally from Tennessee.

Evelyn: “Both the Bruton family (Dean Fite’s mother’s side of the family) and the Fite side came from Texas, big families. And Jack Bruton lives out at Agustin, he’s one of the descendants, he was Dean’s cousin.”
Evelyn: “They came on horseback and with wagons, brought cattle. They pioneered this country. I think it was after the Civil War, a lot of ‘em moved out - all the turmoil. And they needed more country. And the Fites were kind of gypsies anyhow. They liked to see more country, and so did the Brutons. They were the kind of people who like to have big country, pioneers. Years later Mr. Fite worked on ranches and raised his family. He was a good cowboy. And he worked for wealthy ranchers that came in from the east and bought big ranches out here and didn’t know anything about ranching. He worked for them. And that’s where he raised his family. And the kids grew up, and he finally went over there and homesteaded the place and they had their own ranch. There was no Bureau of Land Management, and there were no fences, so it was all open range. And there were sheep ranchers, and people abusing the country, sheep would keep eating it up, and there were a lot of horses. And nobody ever sold an old cow - they just sold the calves - they weren’t worth much. Old cows were - they didn’t have anything to do with ‘em. They just let ‘em die, get old and die. But the cattle all ran together, and they’d water - if it rained you know - all go to these water holes. And then whoever had cattle had to go there when that water dried, and get their cattle and bring them home. And if you didn’t go get yours, somebody else would. So it was a real, wide open country, and a lot of rustling of cattle and, a lot of action. And a very hard living. But our first problem was - when I married Dean in 1937 and we were having land trials - establishing boundaries, and over at the county seat you went and you got land awarded to you according to water you had developed. So it was…that was how they established boundaries. And if you were a good politician you… Always was politics involved, always.”

Wilkerson asked about the Trinity Site and the atomic bomb test.

Evelyn: “I wasn’t home. I was in Nevada visiting. But my father-in-law was at the house. We lived in a little shack, that was before we bought Tokay. And he was at the house and the light woke him up, but the sound didn’t because it kind of went up and over. You know how sound goes. So where he was, he said he don’t remember the sound, but the light - that bright light woke him up. But we were in Nevada and we heard about it. But we knew something was going on over there because there’d been lots of action, and a lot of cars going. They’d go to Logan there, and evacuated a bunch of ranchers and there was a big fight over the land you know. The government just came and took it. War time.”
Evelyn: “On the news it said - well it was all real top secret. People in town didn’t really accept that, you know. We had all the big shots at Tech that worked with it, and they knew about it. They were there when it happened. But the average person didn’t know about it, they’d just know there was something - there was a lot of action out there. Dean and I unloaded a bunch of cattle. We had a bunch of cattle down at Black Lake and we brought ‘em up and we unloaded ‘em at Lava, and Lava’s just a switch down on well, it’s where the Armendaris is now. And we unloaded those cattle there and they had built a road, just bladed it, from that switch down by Black Mesa - you know that area - all the way to Trinity Site. And we didn’t know what it was, we had no idea. But we followed that bladed - they just knocked the cactus over, and the yuccas, and made it wide enough to bring that… You remember pictures of that big trailer with one tire right beside the other? And it had that big heavy iron thing in it? The tractors, they took it all the way across there to Trinity Site. And that’s where they dropped that first atomic device. And they had bunkers over there where you could - cement bunkers - where they could get in, and they had telephone lines on poles about, I guess maybe ten feet high, or eight feet. They were not very high, you couldn’t ride a horse under ‘em.”
Evelyn: “It wasn’t much of a crater. Everybody did - all the kids, all the boys around the ranch that rode horseback went over there to see what…. ‘Course we wanted to see what went on. We took those cattle across that bombing range, and it was top secret, and we crossed the highway twice and nobody saw us. And you can tell when cattle cross a road, you know they drag weeds and make tracks, and pee and potty…..they never saw us. We’d see cars coming and we’d just be still, and they never looked to the right or the left, they just looked down the road.”
Evelyn: “It (the crater) was just kind of a disturbance in the sand. It was a bunch of twisted iron, ‘cause they had a tower and it, you know, blew it to pieces. And there were chunks of iron that blew off in the distance, big, big chunks, like that one down the park? But we had a piece at the ranch that Dean brought home and those kids all gathered that green glass you know, that melted, and had it in their pockets, and took it home, put it on the mantle. Now this supposed to’ve been radioactive and kill you and make you sterile - they all managed to raise families.”
Evelyn: “We weren’t supposed to be over there. Yeah, there were pieces of it - some pieces big as this, melted, melted, sand, green. It was green. I went to Trinity site oh, about 4 or 5 years ago and, course everything’s gone, and they’ve got all that fence around there and they have all that big bruja about it. And I saw this man on his hands and knees and he had a little piece of this, Trinitite they call it, and he was telling these people how very dangerous it was, and I just leaned over and watched him tell that story and I thought, oh well, don’t believe it’s all that lethal. Anyhow, it was quite a commotion. We had no IDEA what it was the beginning of…. See they developed it at Los Alamos, and they kept saying on the radio that it was Los Alamos. Well we didn’t know where Los Alamos was - it was kind of like a hidden city up there. I went up there sometimes after that, and you know - tight security to get in there and out of there.”
Evelyn: “And anyhow, we brought our cattle and we were gonna put ‘em over there, we’d run out of a place to put cattle so there was a big dirt tank over there with water, and Dean said - he always had these good ideas - so we were taking those cattle and we’d been driving for three days, and two days without water. The third day we penned ‘em at his corral and Dean says, I’ll go see what it looks like ahead, so he rode on ahead and he came back. He said ‘We gotta go back, we can’t take ‘em up there.’ I wanted to kill him. I was so tired. We’d been sleeping on the ground, we didn’t have anything to eat because we couldn’t get to town to buy the groceries, and, UGH. So we finally got the cattle that we had, we turned ‘em, and in two days we’d taken ‘em to the old homestead - on December the 23rd. We kept ‘em there ‘til May and then we - there were too many cattle there for the area. We’d put ‘em there with Mr. Fite’s cattle. There were too many cattle so we gathered ‘em and we took ‘em to Colorado. And they did wonderful. The prices started going up, the cattle started getting more costly, and it rained in Colorado and we had these cattle.
Mostly went on trains, shipped ‘em from San Antonio. They had a shipping pen there. And then we made some money. The first money we’d ever really made, and I wanted to build a house. Dean said, ‘Well you can’t make any money with a house’, so what he did was take that money and borrow a bunch more and bought a bunch more cattle and we took ‘em back and put ‘em on winter pasture up there. Then we got in a snowstorm that got this deep, higher than the second wire on a barbed wire fence, and we had cattle all over the country - no fences to hold ‘em - going with the storm. It was a wreck. Cold, Dean had no help, it was wartime, we had no cowboys. And we made money after all that, ‘cause only way we did was the prices kept goin’ up.”

A “Catch Wellness and Nutrition Relay For Life Day” was held Friday, Apr. 9, at Zimmerly Elementary School. Students participated in activities ranging from a Ronald McDonald Nutrition Show to Jump Rope, Hula Hoops, Kick Ball, a Volleyball Tournament, and many others. Students have been sponsoring fundraisers since January, and they hope to donate $1,500 to Relay For Life, May 1-2 at Clarke Field. A highlight of the day was a walk around the school grounds by the entire student body behind a Relay For Life banner. Pictured: Cancer survivor Trisha Woods helps hold the banner with students Melissa Cutchall, Autumn Goranson, Emerald Goranson, Joel Green, and Isaish Baca.

Photo by John Larson

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 was held April 16, at Steadman-Hall Funeral Rev. Bob Farmer officiating. In Lieu of flowers, family asks that donations be made to the Leukemia 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.

OBITUARY: Dorothy Jean Jennings

Dorothy Jean Jennings
May 26, 1922-April 14, 2010

Dorothy Jean Jennings passed away on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 in Albuquerque after a short illness. She was born in Cumby, TX on May 26, 1922 to Jess and Ethel (Gaines) Easley.
She spent her childhood in Claunch and came to Socorro in 1936. She married Gerald Dee Jennings in 1938 and had two sons, Terry L. and Jerry R. Jennings.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband, Gerald in 1997; her brother, Glen Easley; and sister, Doris Finch Boyd.
She is survived by her sons, Terry L. and wife, Beth of Socorro; and Jerry R. and wife, Patti of Salt Lake, UT; her brother, Jess Easley Jr. of Socorro; sister, Bobbie Hightower of Winston Salem, NC; seven grandchildren: Don Jennings of Las Vegas, NV; Robin Fine and husband, Fred of Las Vegas, NV; Kirk Jennings and wife, Loren of Park City, UT; Traci Kenyon and husband, Steve of Salt Lake, UT; Sherri Prather of Socorro; Donna Martinez and husband, Benny of Corpus Christi, TX; and Robin Stendel of Albuquerque; 15 great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service was held Monday at Steadman-Hall Funeral Home in Socorro with Rev. Paul Holt Officiating.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Emily Fraissinet D’Agostino

Emily Fraissinet D’Agostino
Oct. 29, 1912-April 18, 2010

Emily Fraissinet D’Agostino, 97, a lifelong resident of New Mexico, died on Sunday, April 18, 2010 in Portales following an illness.
Emily was born October 29, 1912 in Socorro to the late Paul Jean and Josephina (Pino) Fraissinet.
Emily was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Carl, who died in 2007.
She is survived by her three sons: Carl J. D’Agostino Jr. and wife Evelyn of Orangevale, Calif.; James P. D’Agostino and wife Bernice of Portales and Paul R. D’Agostino and wife, Alice of Albuquerque; 13 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and eight great great grandchildren; brother-in-law Rev. Fr. Joseph P D’Agostino of New York; sister-in-law Helen O’Brien and husband Joe of Virginia; two nephews Jean Fraissinet of Socorro and Delbert Fraissinet of Bosque Farms.
It was in 1933 while she was singing in the church choir that she first saw a young man that would end up being the love of her life. Emily was a devout Catholic and sang in the choir for most of her life. Carl and Emily lived in Socorro until 1993 when they moved to Albuquerque. In March 2007, they moved to Portales to live with James and Bernice.
The family would like to express their sincere thanks to Dr. Wofford and also the entire staff of The Beehive for their care and support of Emily.
A viewing and visitation was held Wednesday at Steadman-Hall Funeral Home in Socorro. A rosary was recited at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro on Wednesday. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday with Deacon Nick Keller as celebrant. Interment followed in the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery with her grandsons: Carl III, Mike, Steve, Mark, Anthony, Tim and Paul and nephews Jean and Delbert serving as casketbearers.
Arrangements were under the care and direction of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM, 87801. (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Edward L. Romero

Edward L. Romero
Sept. 16, 1957-April 15, 2010

Edward L. Romero passed away Thursday April 15, 2010 in Albuquerque. Edward was born September 16, 1957 in Socorro.
He proudly served in the U.S. Army.
Edward is preceded in death by his mother, Felicita Leyba, his four brothers Patricio, Alejandro, Guadalupe and Joe and his sisters Helen Romero and Erlinda Aragon. He is survived by his brothers George of Socorro, Albert of Showlow, Ariz.; Henry of Polvadera; Billy of Socorro; and Johnny also of Socorro; his sister, Christine Archibeque and husband Albert of Albuquerque; special companion Doug Simon of Albuquerque and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at the San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday at 9 a.m. at the San Miguel Church with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant.
Burial will take place in the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers are Albert Romero, Ray Aragon, Lawrence Romero, Alex Robert Romero and Manuel L. Romero.
Cremation arrangements are under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM, 87801. (575) 835-1530.

EDITORIAL: Now It’s Time For The Co-op To Start Over

Just Thinking Out Loud...
By John Severance and Gary Jaramillo

The members have spoken and now it’s time to sort it all out.
But more importantly, it’s time for everybody to get along.
The members made it clear Saturday night during the Socorro Electric Cooperative annual meeting they wanted to change and were sick and tired of the status quo.
And that’s what they got.
With the bylaws going into effect immediately, the trustees will meet Friday to figure out what to do next.
How are they going to get down to five trustees?
How are they going to redistrict?
How are they going to run their business with a $10,000 spending limit after having an open checkbook for so many years?
Members also voted on term limits, meaning six of the board members already have served more than two.
Are they the first to go?
Anyway, here are some ideas. They don’t exactly follow the bylaws but they make a lot of economic sense.
The county paid more than $300,000 when it changed its districts in the early 2000s.
The co-op could follow the county blueprint when it comes to redistricting adding in Catron County to the west and Valencia County up to Belen in the north.
This next idea is way out there but it does make sense even though it’s not fair to the four trustees who still have terms to fill out.
The members voted for the co-op to be run by five trustees.
Simple enough.
Hold an election in 60 to 90 days and anybody, who is a co-op member-owner can run for office.
As far as the election is concerned, voting can take place at precincts in the coverage area and voters can pick their five favorite candidates.
The five with the most votes wins. They will run the co-op and in order to get adequate representation, the co-op can move its meetings around Socorro and Catron Counties so all members can have a chance to express their views.
The most important thing, though, is that this is a chance for fresh start.
And everybody should take advantage of it and do their absolute best to get along.
Let's not forget that all of this began with questions of money and how it was being spent. If we skip re-districting, call a quick meeting and elect new trustees (who will oversee ALL established districts), then we can start the healing and transparency everyone so badly wanted - and save a ton of money in the process.
It doesn't have to be complicated - and all of us here at the Mountain Mail hope that those involved work together to make it as simple and as quick as possible -for everyone's sanity.


• In the Reserve election story on page 8, Village clerk Kathy Harris, County Clerk Sharon Armijo and Judge Clayton Atwood canvassed the election. The election board was not present at the canvass.

• On page three, Tom Cassady’s name was misspelled in the obituary and the wrong photo was run. The correct obituary and photo appear on page three of this issue.

OPINION: Plenty of Adventures on Earth and Stargate Universe

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

We all have a Stargate, a pathway to the universe. The Stargate term started with a movie and later television programs. Through the media Stargate, people travel to other worlds and behave much as we do on this planet, aggressively.
All of us have a “Stargate”. We each have a mind, reasoning, intuition and imagination. We all have a Universe to attend to and be attended by. This University, our “Stargate”, our invitation to explore is always available to you.
By two years old we have experienced many teachings and usually our first conclusion is that it is good to be boss. The “terrible twos” are when parents hear back all the No and Yeses they have ever spoken. By three there is a surge of curiosity. Why this, why that, what’s this and how come is often repeated. By five we have a list of things we can’t do and then we go to school. Already many of us are in trouble. On one hand we are probably as “socialized” as we will ever be and on the other we have lost a great deal of personal confidence.
This is not neglect or abuse necessarily, it is just how we prepare children to be people we can live with. Abuse can even alter the two year old, they may be too afraid to even think of being boss, or at three to ask a question and by five socializing and learning may be major problems.
All of us have a way back, a stargate. We have to find and see it and we have to have the courage to walk trough. It is always there, your gateway, your path to anywhere and any thing. There are no age limits, any one can “travel”. It doesn’t take money, power or super brains to go anywhere in the Universe you want to go. All it takes is your curiosity, your intention.
Once you’ve mastered reading on any level you are free to develop your genius. Yes, you really are. You are a genius and you are free (at least somewhat free). The wonderful thing about this mind travel is that no one will be grading you. Your progress is as assured as your interest.
If reading or spelling is a problem, play with the dictionary or word books, even picture books. Your very first trip is learning to read? I doubt it. First you learn to notice. You listen, feel, smell and watch and you remember. One way or another you were built for great adventures.
Have you already said, “oh, I can’t”? Think of your own judgments, your own grading system as your street clothes. “Oh, I can’t” is something you put on because somewhere sometime someone told you so. That’s social thinking, your street clothes. If you want to explore, yes you can.
Some psychologists think fear is the basic emotion. That all emotions come from that. Every thing we do, all we seek comes from fear they tell us, even seeking love. Dr. Wayne Dyer feels the basic emotions are love and fear. He argues you can’t fear and truly love. This is a subject for exploration. You don’t even have to read about it (but you can).
Don’t let fear and excuses keep you from your adventures. You can explore anything.
If you read one to three books on a subject it is like taking a college course. Read 15 or more books on a subject and you’ve taken a college minor. Read 20 or more and you’ve made a major study. Combine it with your own focus, meditations, observations, hands on experience and you are going somewhere.
Anyone can go to their personal University. Libraries and interlibrary loans are portals. You won’t get a degree saying you are a professional this or that but you won’t have to worry that you won’t get a job in that field either. You can mix your studies as you like. You can stop when you know what you want to know.
Warning: your IQ will get higher.
In Magdalena we have an opportunity to explore Water. There will be an Adult reading program as well as a children’s reading program on this important and basic subject. Ask about it at our library. You can start reading now but don’t miss the events this summer.
Today is Earth Day or Home Day, depending on how realistic you are. Take time to explore this earth, nothing supports you better.

Write Wshireoldadobe@ Margaret’s views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

OPINION: It’s Best To Keep A Watchful Eye On The Government

Leftish Drivel
By Paul Krza

One the five Republicans running for governor blew through Socorro the other day, stopping long enough to complain about -- what else? -- government.
“Government should be a partner or advocate for industry, not an adversary,” says Doug Turner, PR guy turned politician, offering the let’s-get-in-bed-together approach.
Another GOP-Gov wanna-be, ex-military man Allen Weh, preaches that we need to “get government out of the way of private business” and “reduce unnecessary regulations.”
And teafolk were out in the streets at tax time, not liking government at all -- can’t we just make it disappear?
My first reaction to all of this was to think of Francesca, my two-year-old granddaughter, when she imitates her mother’s cellphone talk -- “Blah, blah, blah ...”
On the other hand, you have to take this persistent party-line poop on government seriously. And that’s their simple(ton) solution to our economic woes: Just mow down those “burdensome” regulations and get out of the way. “Bidness” will bring us jobs and prosperity, if only unleashed.
It’s interesting, coincidental and instructive -- that in the midst of all this anti-government talk, in West Virginia, 29 coal miners got gassed to death in what looks like an unsafe industry mine. I relate to these mine tragedies because that’s where my father and his father worked -- deep inside cold, musty and dangerous tunnels.
My grandfather died before I could hear him talk about mining, and I only remember only bits and pieces about my father’s underground experience. But one thing I distinctly recall is that he NEVER said something like, “gosh, if the government would just stop leaning on the company, we could get a hell of a lot more coal out of the mine.”
One word sticks in my memory that I heard him utter often when he talked to my mother about his day’s work: “Pusher.” Down in the mines, the company posted company people whose sole job was to keep up the pace, literally “pushing” the workers, making sure they weren’t sitting on their asses rather than digging the maximum amount of coal.
Government? Well, there was the state mine inspector, but as I remember, my father and others scoffed at him, an apparent company-sympathetic toady who most often looked the other way. Understandable in Wyoming back then (and now), an outback rural state like New Mexico, hungry for industry and revenue.
The feds? Not that I heard about, until decades later, when I began reporting about the mining industry. The only equalizing force back in my father’s day was the union, and it did what it could, up against the coal barons.
Predictably, bodies piled up in the mines, both from the immediate, West Virginia-like blasts, and from longer-term maladies like “black lung” that killed scores of retirees. Congress increasingly got involved with making mines safer beginning in the 1970s, but by the time George W. Bush became president, enforcement again took a back seat to production.
Light on regulation? A bunch of mining deaths? A link? What do you think?
Oh, this just in! “Government” is really Us -- you, me and our neighbors. We agree to do certain stuff collectively, things that individually we wouldn’t have power to accomplish. Like making sure that when we mine coal, we put safety above profits.
So, to quote another granddaughter, five-year-old Ceci, when asked what she would like to do the other day, says, “what are my options?”
If you follow the shrink-goverment, “partner” line put out by Turner, Weh and the Republican gang, life will be better: For business and corporations, that is. For most folks, the worker bees, not so much.
As for government helping business -- this, also just in! That’s what New Mexico has been doing for years, with mixed success. The Spaceport verdict is still out, but our deal with moviemakers seems to be working.
But the state (“we”) also lost millions when Eclipse Aviation went under, and we’ve been burned by the solar sector (we get detoured daily by one failed venture just off I-25 at Belen.)
Yet another option: Government control of key sectors, like finance.
When Obama was faced last year with a damned-If-you-do, damned-If-you-don’t choice in dealing with banks, he folded, mainly because he was getting so much flak about creeping “socialism.”
We need a financial system to deal with transactions and money. That’s all part of what we call “doing business.” But do we have to have a bunch of well-heeled Wall Street wheeler-dealers running it and making tons of money by playing the angles?
Bottom line: Government is not bad, and yes, it has a watchdog role. And we have to keep an eye on and participate in government to make sure it stays good.

LETTER: Accountable Co-op Board

To the editor,
I attended the annual Members Meeting of the Socorro Electric Co-operative on Saturday
April 17. I have also attended several Labor Union National Conventions.
After the President of the Co-op displayed his inability to conduct the meeting, he turned the gavel over to, I believe, the Co-op Lawyer. This change brought an overbearing attitude and blatant bullying from the Chair that would have made many Labor Leaders blush.
Then, as first one and then another of the trustee’s carefully crafted pillars of misdirection, deception, and obfuscation started to crumble, his attitude started to change and the acrimony from the podium abated. As their edifice of cronyism turned to rubble, he started making accurate decisions and made a cynical attempt at a kiss and make up. He praised us and thanked us for participating in “democracy in action.”
Without question, Americans of every stripe are recognizing that governing bodies should be accountable and receptive to their members or constituents. The days of playing on our dime are drawing to a close.
Citizens understand that phrases like “The Co-op will pay for it” or “It is just government money” really mean, WE are paying for it!!!
For too long, incumbents at every level of government have become secure and calloused in their perception of their warranting of perks.
Hopefully, this demonstration of determined activism in Socorro will continue and even snowball through November. We need to get rid of a lot of incumbents, and their protégés.
To my fellow intrepid Co-op members, our job is not finished. What we witnessed at that meeting was an emperor not willing to cede his empire!! They will not go quietly into the night. We will have to be ever vigilant until they accept our decisions!!
That’s my nickel.

Gene Brown

LETTER: For A Safe Prom

To the editor,
For the fourth consecutive year the Socorro County DWI Program will be raising the awareness of the deadly consequences underage drinking can cause.
This year, the Socorro County DWI Program agreed to sponsor the DJ services for the PROM dance & provide an after PROM activity. We will be offering free breakfast from 12:15 to 2:00am at Denny’s restaurant in Socorro for all PROM attendees. The students will be given a “ticket” for the breakfast at the dance and will need to provide a breath sample proving to be alcohol free at the dance and upon arrival at Denny’s. The DWI Program is hoping that our efforts will continue to persuade the Socorro High students in making positive decisions about alcohol & drug use. The Socorro County Sheriff’s Department will be assisting with the after prom activities.
We plan on presenting a video and short presentation on the deadly consequences of DRUNK DRIVING and UNDERAGE DRINKING during this week of scheduled PROM events.
We have the best students in Socorro County let’s make sure they have a safe and memorable PROM night!
If you would like more information please contact me at 575-838-2208.

Theresa Rivera-Rosales

LETTER: Opposed To A "T"

To the editor
I am writing in response to articles about M mountain's proposed name change. I certainly hope that Dr Van Romero will reconsider his idea of changing the "M" to a "T" (for Technology) on Socorro's landmark mountain. While I am a fan of technology, I am opposed to renaming Socorro's mountain. I am a Socorro native who has worked for IBM in California, Arizona, and New York. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I can now move back to Socorro and work remotely for IBM (with occasional trips to New York on business). This will allow me to be near my family, visit the Bosque del Apache, hike the surrounding mountains, and enjoy the cultural events and continuing education offered by NMT.
Technology has afforded me this opportunity, so as you can well imagine, I'm someone very much in favor of technology. I'm also someone very much opposed to changing "M Mountain" to "T Mountain." There are sentimental reasons to keep the "M" as well as logical reasons.
Along with other Socorro natives, I grew up looking up at that M, as it's clearly visible from my parents' backyard. It's a part of Socorro's mining history and a part of my personal history. I hiked in its foothills, and could see it from Tech where I participated in the Socorro Swim Team throughout my youth. I have fond memories of seeing the "M" illuminated around Christmastime, and occasionally turned upside down and temporarily changed to a lighted "W" before Socorro Warriors games. I believe that the first time that this illumination occurred was when I was in high school; if memory serves me, Rob Sanford and his dad (who taught at NMT) convinced the powers there to light the mountain when Socorro High's Warriors went to the state football championship in 1976 and again in 1977. From there, it became a tradition. The lights only temporarily changed the M to a W though; we always knew we'd wake up to our M the next day.
There are also logical reasons to keep the "M." Changing the "M" to a "T" will cost many Socorro businesses and government agencies funds to change business names,
Dr. Romero's ideas to improve access to the peak are laudable; however that could be done without changing the mountain's 100-year-old tradition as "M Mountain."
I am active on Facebook, and have been glad to see that many Tech students and alumni, Tech faculty, and Socorro natives are invested in fighting the idea of changing the "M" to a "T."
If Dr. Romero is truly considering changing Socorro Mountain's "M" to a "T," I hope this decision will be made collaboratively and wisely. The best decisions are made using both logic and emotional intelligence.

Deborah Caldwell

State To Look At Mine Safety

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The recent Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia on April 5 in which 29 miners died from a methane gas explosion, has brought attention to mine safety and design, and the New Mexico Bureau of Mine Safety in Socorro will be focusing on those issues at its annual conference May 3-5 at Macey Center.
Mine design and safety is also a major course of study at New Mexico Tech, according to its Department of Mining Engineering. Chair of the department Professor Navid Mojtabai said the design of a mine is one of the keys to mining safety.
“We have major course - a six credit course – on different mine systems. With every design concept we seriously talk about safety, and stability,” Mojtabai said. “Our courses cover underground and surface mining, but the stability issues are with underground.”
He said the most important issue in coal mining is ventilation, and the danger of build up of methane gas.
“Methane is common in coal mines, found naturally in coal seams,” Mojtabai said. “It is trapped in pockets, and as you excavate these will be released. To control it they have to relieve these pockets and bring in a sufficient amount of air.
“If you allow it to accumulate you run the risk of having an explosion,” he said. “There’s always a risk and that’s because there are uncertainties. There are minimums for the quantity of air, and the engineer can measure the concentrate of any gases and continually survey of the ventilation on a regular basis.”
[In West Virginia] they allowed methane to accumulate in certain areas,” Mojtabai said.
State Mine Inspector Terence Foreback made an in-depth inspection of San Juan coal mine in Farmington two weeks ago.
“All mining operations are inherently dangerous,” Foreback said in a press release. “State safety regulations are designed to protect miners, but owners, operators and the miners who work the mines must also make safety a priority.”
Foreback noted major differences between New Mexico’s San Juan Coal Company’s underground coal mine and West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine. Two of the major differences are monitoring and the ability to neutralize potentially explosive mine gases in mined-out areas. The San Juan Coal Company Mine is the only mine in the United States that utilizes a monitoring and neutralization system in abandoned areas. Another difference is the San Juan Mine refuge chambers near the working face already have a borehole established to the surface for communication, fresh air, food and water. There was no communication between the refuge chamber and the surface at the Upper Big Branch Mine, which required drilling a hole from the surface.
New Mexico ranks among the top 10 coal mining states, with operations in the Grants, Gallup and Farmington.
“Compared to other countries the U.S. has far better regulations,” Mojtabai said. “We are still mining more and more, and exposing the miners to more risk, but underground mining is not in the top ten of most hazardous jobs, as far as fatal accidents are concerned.”
Mojtabai said the demand for mining engineers is indicative of the continued need for not only coal, but ore of all types.
“We see an increasing number of applicants coming in and students graduating. The job market in mining is very strong,” he said. “In fact, the number of new graduates in mining is low compared with the needs in industry.”

Socorro Softball Team Bounces Back To Rout Hot Springs 14-4

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

The Socorro softball team (9-9, 1-2) broke a three game losing streak and won its first district game 14-4 against the Hot Springs Lady Tigers (0-15, 0-3) on Tuesday, April 20.
Coach Gary Apodaca said, “I'm enjoying the win, but we didn't win with authority. With the talent we have right now, we should be able to beat a team like this hands down without them scoring any runs, without steals, without mental errors.”
The game went five innings shortened by the 10-run rule. Socorro scored eight runs in the first inning, aided by nine walks. Kristen Gonzales singled to right field and brought in the first run of the game. Brittany McDaniel then had two RBI, one on a wild pitch and the other on a sacrifice to leftfield.
Still in the first and two out, Socorro had the bases loaded and Maureen Trujillo hit a fly ball to center field that was dropped. The drop scored three unearned runs for a 7-0 lead. Trujillo later scored on a wild pitch giving Socorro a huge 8-0 lead.
Pitcher Trujillo kept Hot Springs' batters in check with five strikeouts and was helped by the defense behind her. Hot Springs managed to score two runs in the second inning and one run each in the fourth and fifth innings. Catcher Amberli Benavidez had a good game by keeping runners on base and threw out two runners.
The Lady Warriors finished off Hot Springs in the fifth by scoring four runs. Vanessa Jojola reached first on a single and Gonzales walked. McDaniel got credit for the two RBI on two wild pitches and eventually walked. Gino Rico hit a single to left field and scored McDaniel. Danielle Valadez beat out an infield hit and brought in Rico for the winning run.
Socorro lost 26-25 to the host Hatch Valley Lady Bears on Friday, April 16. They scored a total of 16 runs in two separate innings and still came up short.
Socorro fell behind after two innings by the score of 6-5. Socorro came back and scored eight runs in the top of the third. Hatch (9-3, 2-0) matched them with eight runs of their own in the bottom of the third and still leading by one run.
Socorro kept battling back the whole game trying to stay close to pick up their first district win. It came down to the seventh inning when Socorro came back from a 22-17 deficit.
The Lady Warriors scored eight more runs for a 25-22 lead. But in the bottom of the inning, Hatch scored four runs for the win. Hatch's Shelbey Carson hit deep to the right-center field gap to score two RBI and the winning run.
Maureen Trujillo led Socorro in hitting with five singles. Vanessa Jojola went 3 for 4 with three singles. Brittany McDaniel hit 3 singles and was 3 for 6. Gina Rico went 3 for 5 with a double and 2 singles. Chantilly Gallegos hit three singles and was 3 for 5. Kristen Gonzales was a perfect 2 for 2, with 2 singles.
Socorro's next game is against Cobre Fridy, starting at 4 p.m.

Pictured: Socorro’s Vanessa Jojola is forced out at second base Tuesday at Hot Springs, but the Warriors still had no problem rolling to the victory.

Photo by John Severance

Warriors’ Baseball Team Rolls To Win

Mountain Mail Reports

Socorro baseball coach Alan Edmonson thinks his team may be turning the corner.
The Warriors rebounded from a 9-3 loss to district power Cobre by winning at Hot Springs 16-4 on Tuesday.
Against Hot Springs, Charlie Savedra connected on a three-run homer and Freddie Martinez added a solo shot.
“Overall, we hit better than we had all year,” Edmonson said. “The team we expected to have showed up yesterday.”
Edmonson also was pleased with the pitching performance of Justus Jaramillo, who shut down Hot Springs.
“He tried some different things and made some adjustments,” Edmonson said. “He had not been throwing that well but I am really proud of him.”
Edmonson said the loss to Cobre was closer than the score indicated.
“We were leading 2-0 in the third inning and we made an error that led to four runs,” Edmonson said.
The Warriors (9-10, 2-1) will host Cobre, which has played in the past three state title games, on Friday for a doubleheader at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
“We have no choice we have to win both if we want to have any chance at winning district,” Edmonson said.
The Socorro baseball coach also is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“I am pleased that kids are starting to make adjustments and they need to be more coachable and they have done that,” Edmonson said. “I have seen improvement in our play.
“I would rather have a terrible record and peak at the end of the season than have a great record and not playing our best baseball.”

Socorro Golfers Finish Fifth Overall In Roswell Tournament

Mountain Mail Reports

The Socorro boys golf team finished in 2nd place among six other 3A teams in the Roswell Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, April 19 and 20. Overall, the team finished in fifth place competing against 20 teams, including 4A and 5A teams.
Coach Russ Moore said, “I am very proud of the boys. They are improving at each tournament. We hope to continue to improve to contend for the state title.”
The team is now picking up extra legs as they picked up their 4th and 5th legs at the tournament. On Monday, they picked up a leg at the NM Military Institute Course with a score of 317. On Tuesday, they played at the Springs River Course and picked up the other with a score of 308.
Among the 3A teams, Lovington shot a two day team total of 598 to finish in first place. Socorro shot a 626 for their second place spot. Hope Christian finished two strokes behind shooting a 628.The overall tournament winner was Class 4A Roswell Goddard who beat out Lovington by four strokes with a 594.
Individually, Willie Schaffer led the way with a 76 and a 72 for a two day total of 148. He was able to pick up his 3rd and 4th individual state legs. Ryan Romero shot an 80 and a 73 for his total of 153.
Romero picked up his fourth leg of the season. Nathan Vega shot a 162 (83-79). Joe Carilli shot a 163 (78-85). Randall Romero was next with a 176 (89 -87).
“I'm especially proud of Willie Schaffer and Ryan Romero with their constant and steady improvement throughout the season”, said Coach Moore.
Socorro travels on Thursday, April 22nd to play in the Deming Invitational.
They finish their regular season on Monday, April 26th hosting the 3A Invitational. The seven boys teams that have qualified for state will play at the NM Tech Course as a preview to the state tournament.
Socorro Track
The Socorro boys and girls track and field teams will host a meet Friday at the newly renovated track at Warrior Stadium.

Magdalena "Steerleaders" Do Well At Santa Ana

The Magdalena High School cheerleading team captured third place in the Spirit State Championship at Santa Ana Star Center Saturday. The team’s combined score was 383. Coach Jennifer Armstrong said the 18 member team put in about four months work into their four minutes worth of routines. “They did fantabulous. We presented a championship performance,” Armstrong said. “They were the winners as far as I was concerned. I couldn’t have asked better of them.” She also applauded assistant coaches Chris Smith and JoAnn Jones for their work with the team throughout the year. Armstrong said next season cheerleading would be categorized as a school sport. “It will be tough, but we have time to grow,” she said. Pictured: The Magdalena “Steerleaders” pose on a stairwell at Santa Ana Star Center.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Armstrong

Steers Drop Doubleheader To Socorro JV

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

The Magdalena baseball (1-10, 0-5) was swept in a doubleheader against the Socorro JV 12-10 and 14-3 on Monday, April 19.
In the doubleheader that lasted six and one-half hours, Magdalena and Socorro went 12 full innings in the first game before anything was decided. In the first game, Magdalena's Ryan Alguirre pitched the first eight innings and left with an 8-8 tie. Alguirre also batted 4 for 5 and hit for a triple. Dylan Julian pitched the last four innings and got the loss.
Magdalena batters struck out 21 times and 12 of those went down looking.
Magdalena's Coach Manuel Martinez said, “The kids kept coming back and would tie the game. We left twelve runners on base. We just couldn't get the key hit to bring the runners around. We played good defense and it continues to improve.”
Freshman Ignacio Chavez started the game for Socorro and pitched six and a half innings. Eighth grader Ethan Smith came in for relief and pitched all the way thru the twelfth inning.
Socorro's Coach Kenny Gonzales said, “ In the top of the twelfth inning, we had some key hits. It was tied 10-10 when Tyler Zuni and Jordan Wheeler came up with some big hits. Tyler hit a triple and knocked in the two runs.”
In the second game, Magdalena had only three hits. They struck out ten times and left eight runners on base. Starting pitcher Bryce Milligan got the loss in the ten-run rule shortened five inning game.
Magdalena was missing two starters, so senior Miranda Secatero played her first varsity game. Secatero, the only girl on the team, started at second base and was fully prepared to play as she cleanly fielded a ball and threw out the advancing runner at second. She also reached base twice on walks and struck out once.
Socorro started sophomore and lefty pitcher Charles Peralta. In the top of the fifth, Socorro was up 8-3 and increased the lead by scoring six more runs.
Gonzales summed it up, “My boys played great in the two games, . Sam Boykin, a freshman catcher, probably had his best game. He went 7 for 7 at the plate in the first game and was one of the key hitters and brought in a lot of runs to help us win the game.”
Mag Falls To Estancia
The Magdalena Steers Baseball Team hosted and lost another district game to seventh-ranked Estancia 8-0 Thursday. Estancia (12-2, 3-0) extended their winning streak to 12 games.
Coach Manuel Martinez said, “We just couldn't put the bat on the ball. We've been playing better defense since the beginning of the season. Our defense is picking up, but we also have to concentrate on our bats and moving runners around.”

Pygmies Fall To Clovis

Mountain Mail Reports

The Clovis Nomads Rugby Club defended their turf against the first-ever invasion from a New Mexico Tech team Saturday April 11 as they won 24-12.
After seven minutes Sam Calvillo of the Nomads caught the Pygmies napping by running up the short side of the field from the back of a standing maul. Fullback Isaiah Sanchez made a covering tackle for Tech but the Nomad overload was too great and after a brief interchange of passes Calvillo dove over the try line for five points. The two-point conversion kick attempt was unsuccessful.
During the remainder of the first half Vinny Comerford, a native of Dunhill, Ireland, managed two penalty kicks to add six more points to the Nomads' total, before his team was penalized close to their own line with seconds left in the half. With the offending team backed up to their own try line, Tech captain Royce Beaudry gave the ball to flanker Joe Tyson who banged his way home near the goalposts. Dustin Webb's conversion was good for an 11-7 Clovis lead at the half.
NMT kicked off the second half and Clovis went to work on the game's brightest attacking move. The Nomads maintained possession through several tackles and then moved the ball wide to speedy wing Joe Stevens who evaded one tackle to score in the corner for 16 - 7 lead.
Midway through the half, a Tech player committed a penalty near his own line and Clovis opted to boot-tap the ball and run. Again Sam Calvillo surged through tacklers to put the Nomads clear 21 - 7. With ten minutes remaining and few signs of a Pygmy rally, Comerford added his third penalty kick to further dampen Tech spirits at 24 -7.
Five minutes from full time the Pygmies were offered a consolation when a Clovis runner dropped the ball in front of Beaudry. Tech's always-competitive flyhalf alertly kicked the ball forward and won the race to collect the try that went unconverted.
Joe Tyson was recognized by his teammates as Tech's Man of the Match. The team will host the annual Socorro Challenge Tens Tournament April 24.

Lady Warriors Place 2nd At Roswell

Mountain Mail Reports

The Socorro girls golf team finished second out of 17 teamsin the Roswell Tournament Monday and Tuesday at the New Mexico Military Institute.
The Warriors finished behind Class 4A Deming.
Kristen Cline finished third individually with scores of 80-80-160. Shania Berger (84-78), Brittany Webb (88-84), Theresa Chavez (98-98) and Mirjana Gacanic (121-104) rounded out the scoring.
“Shania had her lowest round of the year at NMMI,” Stanley said, “She played solid and hit the ball well. Theresa broke 100 for the first time in her career (both courses!). I was very proud of all of my golfers.
“The first day at Spring River was cold and overcast all day. They hung in there and played well. We still need to work on our short game (of course). The second day the conditions were great. Girls played more like they should.”
The Lady Warriors travel to Deming on Thursday.

Sheriff’s Office Has Busy Weekend

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The Socorro County Sheriff’s Department arrested three men for aggravated assault on a peace officer in two separate incidents over the weekend. Deputy Casey Spurgin was involved in both incidents.
In the first incident, two men were arrested in connection with a shooting in Veguita Saturday night in which Spurgin narrowly missed being shot.
Russell E. Werner, 29, of Albuquerque, has been charged with six felonies; use of a deadly weapon against a peace officer, aggravated assault on a peace officer, aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer, shooting from or at a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, and tampering with evidence. He was also charged with reckless driving, a petty misdemeanor.
Tino Raul Garcia, 19, of Veguita, has been charged with three felonies; harboring or aiding a felon, resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, and tampering with evidence.
In a criminal complaint submitted to Magistrate Court, Socorro Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Spurgin reported that he was assisting New Mexico State Police on a possible stolen vehicle report at about 9:45 p.m. when he heard gunshots coming from a residence on Abo Loop. While en route he was dispatched by radio to an address on Adobe Road, where he was informed by the resident that the shots came from a late model white Ford Bronco.
The officer located several .223 rifle casings in the middle of the road about 100 feet from the residence, and then headed in the direction from which the shots came, but could not locate anyone.
While sitting in the patrol car, Spurgin heard a few more shots and “a whistling noise by my head,” believed to be bullets flying close to his head.
The complaint states that Spurgin then cruised Pinto and Adobe roads looking for any signs of someone with a rifle.
On Wheeler Road he made contact with the Bronco, which fled from the officer. Spurgin then gave chase with lights and siren. While in pursuit of the vehicle, Spurgin noticed “two to three reddish orange flashes coming from the driver’s side of the vehicle, and said the flashes were consistent with a muzzle flash.
Spurgin, along with deputies Chris Pino and William Armijo and a State Police officer, located the vehicle in an arroyo, abandoned.
The officers followed shoe prints from the vehicle to a residence at 27 Adobe Road. A woman at the address said no one was else was in her home, but that the person driving the Bronco was Russell E. Werner. She stated that Werner had been shooting from the residence earlier.
While officers were conducting the interview, her boyfriend, Tino Raul Garcia, arrived at the residence and said he was in the Ford Bronco.
Tino Garcia “informed me that they had both left the Ford Bronco and came to his house where Russell Werner’s mother picked them up and gave them a ride to an Allsup’s in Belen,” the complaint said. Werner then stayed in Belen and was picked up by a friend.
Tino Garcia also said Werner had taken the weapon with him, but while being transported to the Socorro County Detention Center, Garcia admitted to Spurgin that the weapon was “stashed at his house.”
Spurgin then turned around and went back the house, and found that the AR-15 had been hidden in a vent on the roof.
An NCIC check showed that the rifle had been reported stolen in June, 2009.
The next day, Sunday, Apr. 18, Werner turned himself in to State Police.
In the criminal complaint Werner said that he did not remember anything because he had been drinking heavily and used methamphetamines Saturday. “He stated that he ran from police because it was his instinct,” the complaint said.
But “he stated he remembered running from the police on foot from the Ford Bronco,” and that he had been driving that night.
Werner and Garcia were both arraigned Monday, Apr. 19, and their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, Apr. 28 in Magistrate Court.

In the second incident, Edwin Anthony Armijo, 46, of Polvadera, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, both third degree felonies; and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor.
In a criminal complaint filed with Magistrate Court, Deputy Spurgin stated that he and Deputy Larry Smith were dispatched to Polvadera on the report of a verbal fight. The complainant told the deputy that she was afraid she was going to be stabbed by her neighbor.
Spurgin’s report said that he then went to the residence of Edwin Armijo Sr., where a verbal confrontation took place following Spurgin’s request for him to come outside and talk. Armijo challenged Spurgin “to take that gun off and I will kick your [posterior],” the complaint said. Armijo then retreated back into his house.
Moments later Smith heard dogs barking in the backyard and went to the back of the house while Spurgin called for backup.
The complaint said that when Spurgin was on his way to the back of the house, Armijo “came out of the shadows,” and walked straight towards the officers “in an angry manner.”
When Armijo got to within five to seven feet of Spurgin he thrust a knife at the officer, the complaint said. Spurgin ordered Armijo to drop the knife.
As Spurgin began to draw his gun, Edwina Armijo stepped between the two and was able to take the knife away from Armijo.
After a brief struggle Edwin Armijo Sr. was arrested, placed in handcuffs and taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.
A preliminary hearing will be held for Edwin Armijo on Wednesday, Apr. 28, in Magistrate Court.

Secretary Of State To Look Into Contested Reserve Election

By John Severance

RESERVE - The New Mexico Secretary of State’s office has begun an investigation into the Village of Reserve election, Secretary of State Mary Herrera confirmed in an email to the Mountain Mail on Tuesday.
“There has been a complaint filed with this office and is currently under investigation,” Herrera said. “The individual who filed the complaint is Robert E.Caylor.”
On March 4, the Reserve Canvassing Board consisting of village clerk Kathaleen Harris, Magistrate Judge Clay Atwood and Catron County Clerk Sharon Armijo certified the election resuly. Edward T. Romero had 99 votes and M. Keith Riddle had 91 to secure the two Trustee spots. Caylor had 90 votes and Richard Torres finished with 87.
In his suit that was filed on April 8, Caylor named 12 people who he claimed were not eligible to vote in the March 2 election.
The suit alleges Morgan L. Cordell resides and teaches in Albuquerque and is the son of mayor Constance Wehrheim and the stepson of County Commissioner Edward Wehrheim and was coerced to vote by village officials. The suit also says Juan Perez lives seven miles from Reserve and was coerced to vote by public officials.
Lori Martinez is the treasurer and contract employee of Reserve and Catron County and husband Henry Martinez were aware they were not qualified to vote in the Village election because they lived five miles outside the village.
Other alleged nonresident voters named in the suit were Odelia Aragon, Dona Baldwin, Jennie Barreras, Sandra Bradshaw, Bryan Delgado, Pete Delgado, Lynnola Donnel and Paula Peralta.
The suit also alleges that Peggy Birmingham is incompetent to vote.
Peggy’s son, Mike Birmingham, said in a statement that “I, Mike Birmingham, son of Peggy Birmingham, am investigating legal avenues regarding hateful allegations made in Bob Caylor’s Petition to Contest the Reserve Valley Election of March 2, 2010."
Caylor and his attorney said they challenged the election results on the day of the election and also requested an investigation of these violations by the Secretary of State office several times pursuant to 83-8-6.1 of the NM Municipal Election Code.
At the Village Board meeting in April in which it decided the Village attorney should intervene, Torres made the following points before the trustees voted.
“Our right to vote is being challenged by this Petition,” Torres said. “As a voter, I find this very disturbing. The Petition names a longtime resident, a resident whom gave many years of service for the Village and County, in a mean and demeaning manner, which is unconscionable. It is the Trustees’ responsibility to protect the voting rights of its citizens.”
Caylor and Tippett, though, claim the law is clear when it comes to residency.
“The count is not the issue,” Caylor said. “The other issue is there were illegal votes in the election and village officials were soliciting votes from outside the precinct.
“The contest of the election will go to court and it’s already in court. It’s just a matter right now of giving the village attorney permission to go ahead and intervene in the contest. Basically, we want them in there. It gives us more access to the records to what happened.”
The village attorney is William Perkins, who did not return a phone call last week.
Perkins will represent Riddle in the lawsuit.
“Our attorney is going to file for dismissal,” Riddle said, “based on certification. Results were certified on March 4 and they filed on April 7.”
Tippett, though, claims that Romero, who also is contesting the election, was not sworn into office until April 8 and said there are no grounds for dismissal of the suit.
“It is a mess,” Caylor said. “When you do crooked things, it usually is a mess. They had every opportunity. We asked for a watcher and a challenger to keep them from voting. We are ready to go to court. That’s no problem. And I have no problem with intervention from the village attorney.”

Socorro County Sheriff's Blotter

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

Mar. 7
A man in Veguita reported at 1 p.m. that someone had shot one of his cows with a shotgun. The cow had wounds to the left side of its body and the right hip area, and appeared to have been killed three days prior. The officer met with neighbors in the area but they had been away from the residence for the weekend. It was stated by a neighbor that the cow was not there on Friday when they left. No suspect at time of report.

An Albuquerque woman reported at 9:55 p.m. that she was westbound on Highway 380 at mile marker 37 when she entered an area of hail and a snow packed roadway. The vehicle skidded on the icy road, exiting the roadway and ending up on its side. A passenger was transported to Socorro General Hospital in a ambulance, and the car was towed from the scene.

Mar. 8
A San Antonio woman reported at 10:30 a.m. that her dog had been missing for four days. She found out that a woman in Bosquecito had shot and killed her dog. The officer met with the suspect, who admitted to killing the dog, due to the dog attacking her turkeys. She stated that she was protecting her turkeys after the dog had entered her property.

A complainant on Farm-Market Road in Luis Lopez reported at 4 p.m. that unknown suspects damaged her fence and a corner of her house. Apparently a vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and struck the fence, knocking over a fence post and striking a corner of the residence. Occupants of the vehicle failed to report the damage to the victim or to law enforcement. No suspects at time of report.

Mar. 9
A Socorro man reported at 12:30 p.m. that he parked a county road department vehicle at his residence on Reservoir Road, and had thought he had placed the vehicle in park. While he was in the residence the vehicle rolled back and struck a telephone pole. It sustained damaged to the left side bumper and fender area. No enforcement action was taken.

Mar. 10
A complainant at the County Annex building on Neal Avenue reported at 8 a.m. that three computers had been placed into storage and now those computers, and computer servers, are missing.

A volunteer fire fighter with Veguita Fire Department reported at 6:30 p.m. that she had responded to an open pit fire on Tamarack Road with another fire fighter. She stated they arrived on the scene and advised the people that they could not have an open pit fire at this time. She stated the suspect became aggressive and tried to enter their vehicle. Both fire fighters said they felt threatened by the suspect. The suspect denied all allegations.

Mar. 11
A Socorro rancher reported at 3 p.m. that he noticed that license plate on his stock trailer was missing. He stated he did not know if it had been stolen or had fallen off.

Mar. 12
An Albuquerque man drove into a scheduled DWI checkpoint on Highway 304 at 7:43 p.m. A check showed he was driving on a suspended or revoked license with an arrest clause. He was placed under arrest and taken to the county jail.

Mar. 14
A Los Lunas man reported at 10:30 a.m. that he was riding his ATV on a ditch bank in La Joya when he came across a single strand of barbed wire stretched across the ditch bank road. The wire struck him on his chest but he was unhurt. The victim gave the name of someone who might have placed the wire there. An attempt to contact the suspect had negative results.

An officer attempted to pull over a vehicle for a traffic violation on Highway 304 at 8:55 p.m. The driver did not stop, driving into Valencia County and then went off road. The Valencia County Sheriff’s Department was contacted, and that agency found the car. It was towed, and the unidentified driver had fled on foot.

Good Citizens Sylvia, Gordo Refuse To Be Uncounted

By Anne Sullivan

“Did you fill out your census form?” Sylvia asked. “I see you finally got one.”
“I only have it because I picked it up at the Courthouse in Reserve, that being the only place in the county, which incidentally is the largest county in the U.S., that I could find one. I was so thrilled I filled it out immediately and mailed it off that very day.”
“Things are looking up,” said Sylvia who was busy writing something.
Of course I had to ask what she was writing and Sylvia’s answer was, “I’m working on Gordo’s and my census forms now.”
“I didn’t know there were any forms for animals,” I said.
“There aren’t. I’m forced to use my considerable imagination and create them myself. When the person in charge of the Census sees this, she or he will want my forms for all the 50 states and I’ll finally be rich and famous. Fame and money can’t come too soon. I’ve waited many a year for an opportunity like this.”
We were once again on the porch enjoying the noon sun before the wind picked up so it was easy for me to lean over and see what Sylvia was writing on her census form.
And this is what I saw:
Name of 1st animal: Sylvia
Address: House on porch
City: No city, we’re in the country
County: Catron, where else would you find a dog answering the census?
State: Swingle Canyon
Race: yes and I usually win
Sex: female
Age: 12, I think
Birthday: Thanksgiving is when we celebrate if anyone remembers which is hardly ever.
Parents: Unknown, sob
Children: Alas, none. Not my fault. SHE deceived me into having an operation.
Color: rich reddish brown with a white shirt
Profession: Guard, Poet, Excavator
Employer: Mountain Mail
Place of birth: Probably Socorro
Education: School of Hard Knocks, graduated with honors
Ambition: To be Famous – not infamous, mind you – for something good and earn a lot of money so I could help Fur & Feathers and APAS. I would also like to be Highly Regarded and respected. If there was more space I would write more.
Yearly income: Wouldn’t you like to know?
“Goodness,” I said. “That’s very thorough. More about you than I care to know. But what about Gordo?”
“With Gordo dictating I’ve filled out most of his,” Sylvia said. “See.”
Name of 2nd animal: Gordo
Address: Apartment under the house, Swingle Canyon, Catron County, USA
Race: Feline
Color: Gorgeous mixture of light brown and white
Profession: Permanently Retired
Sex: I wish
Age: Two and then some
Birthday: In the early Spring, that year when there was a Spring
Place of birth: Somewhere in Datil
Parents: My mother’s name is Mange.
Education: Sylvia taught me everything I know.
Ambition: To be assured of the next meal and to have it served in my bed.
Yearly income: What’s that?

“I’ve finished,” said Sylvia. “Will you mail them for me?”
Just then the phone rang and I went inside to answer it, returning to the porch about ten minutes later. “Guess what I just heard?” I said.
“I’ll bite. What?” asked Sylvia.
“There are now census forms at Mary Mac’s café for anyone who hasn’t received them.”
“That’s good but I like my form better,” said Sylvia, having the last word as usual.

Quemado News: Talent Show, Blood Drive Scheduled

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado Talent Show will be on Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. in the old school gym. It is a fundraiser for the elementary school field trips. In addition to the talent show, there will be a silent dessert auction and concession stand. There is no fee at the door but donations will be accepted. To get more information, please call the Quemado school at 575- 773- 4645.

A Spring Blood Drive will be held from noon until 5 p.m. at the Quemado School on Tuesday, April 27.

On Wednesday, April 28 the Quemado and Datil 4, 5, and 6 graders will go to the McKeen Ranch in Alma to see what goes on at a working ranch.

Quemado will host a District Track Meet on Friday, April 30. Animas, Cliff, Quemado and Reserve schools will be participating in the meet.

Child Find, a free developmental screening for children newborn to 5 years of age, will be at the Quemado School library on Monday, April 26 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Quemado Senior Center is serving breakfast. Help the senior center by attending their Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser this Saturday, April 24 from 8 to 11 a.m. Activities for the week: Movie and popcorn on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., quilting and bingo on Thursday and exercise class on Tuesday and Friday this week. All seniors are welcome to come . Lunch menu for the week: Monday – curried chicken, Tuesday – meatloaf, Wednesday – BBQ bonanza with chicken, sausage and brisket, Thursday – spaghetti and Friday – tacos. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservation.

The Quemado Lake is full and a family fishing off the bank reports that the fish are biting. Snuffys is open on the weekends so you can stop in and get your fishing license.

A Rummage Sale, put on by the Western New Mexico Veterans Group, is held every Friday and Saturday in the Veterans' Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. This weekend is a clothing sale. All the clothes you can put in a bag for $1.
Mary and Martha's Thrift Store is open the first and third Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store is located near the corner of Highway 12 and 32 in Apache Creek next to the fire station.

The Datil Food Pantry fundraising auction will be on June 12. Items for the auction are need. Good time to think about spring cleaning and help a good cause. For information, please call Nancy Wettach at 505-240-1271.

The opening day of the weekly Datil Flea Market will be Saturday, April 24 next to Mary Mac’s Cafe just east of Datil on Highway 60.
Vendors are welcome and the table setup fee is $5 with proceeds benefiting Fur & Feather Animal Assistance. If you have items to donate, call Pat Henry at 772-5106.

Junior Ranger Day

Mountain Mail reports

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will celebrate Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 24 with an entire day of free family-friendly activities.
Stop by the Gila Visitor Center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to whirl a bull roarer or grind corn with a mano and metate. Try your hand at crafting a Mogollon-style clay pot—yours to keep no matter how it turns out.
Interested in peering into the eyes of a live owl or marveling at the talons of a hawk? Park your car at Woody’s Corral and make the short walk to Lower Scorpion Campground. Staff from Hawks Aloft, a non-profit conservation and education group will be showing off their bird ambassadors between noon and 4 p.m.
Would you know what to do if you met a bear on the trail? Join staff from the Gila National Forest at Upper Scorpion Campground between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to become bear aware. Touch a real bear hide and skull, learn how to hike and camp safely in bear country.
Drop in between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Gila Cliff Dwellings trailhead to touch real animal skulls and learn about the wildlife of the Gila Wilderness.
For further information, please contact the Gila Visitor Center at (575) 536-9461.

Enjoy A Night At The Opera

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO – The Santa Fe Opera Apprentices return to Socorro for their annual opera extravaganza on Wednesday April 28, and the show will be preceded by the annual “Night at the Opera Dinner” sponsored by Tech Club/Club Macey. The theme of the dinner is “A Taste of Italy.”
The concert is set for Macey Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The performance is part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series.
You need not attend the dinner to attend the concert.
Local sponsors of the concert are SMPC Architects.
In addition, before the concert, an art display in the lobby of Macey Center features works by people enrolled in New Mexico Tech’s Community College Fine Arts classes. Many of the works are for sale.

Energy Dept. Offering Qualified Appliance Rebates

Mountain Mail reports

More of the money from the economic stimulus bill passed by Congress last year is coming to New Mexico in the form of a $200 rebate toward replacing certain large home appliances.
The State of New Mexico's Energy Conservation and Management Division, in concert with the U.S. Department of Energy, is making $200 rebates available to New Mexico households who replace an existing refrigerator, clothes washer, or gas furnace with a new ENERGY STAR® qualified appliance. The rebates are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
All New Mexico residents who are homeowners or apartment renters are eligible (landlords are not eligible for rebates).
The $200 rebate will apply only to ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators, clothes washers, and gas furnaces that replace existing appliances purchased from New Mexico retailers and licensed heating contractors, and installed within the State of New Mexico.
Clothes washers and refrigerators must be purchased from April 22 through May 22, with the rebate application postmarked by June 30, 2010. Furnaces may be purchased and installed from April 22 through November 15, subject to the availability of funds. Purchases made prior to the official program start date are ineligible.
Rebates will be paid on a first come, first serve basis, based on the postmark date associated with a complete, signed application with all the required documentation. It is expected that the funds allocated for refrigerators and clothes washers will be obligated soon after the program is announced, so act quickly.
The total program funding is $1.6 million. When the incentive funds are exhausted, no further rebates will be paid. A portion of the available funds will be allocated to furnaces, with the balance available for clothes washers and refrigerators.
There is a limit of one rebate per appliance type per household (so one household could not get three refrigerator rebates, but one household could get one rebate relating to each type of appliance).
David Torres at Gambles True Value Hardware told the Mountain Mail his store has a select number of ENERGY STAR appliances available.
“We will have the proper paperwork for the rebates in our store as of Thursday, April 22,” Torres said.

Spelling Bee Champs

The district wide Spelling Bee was held Friday, Apr. 16, at Socorro Consolidated Schools’ central office with students from Parkview, San Antonio, Midway, and Cottonwood Valley Charter School participating. The winning word was “patient,” spelled correctly by Parkview third grader Demitia Ulibarri (left). Pictured (from left): Demitia Ulibarri, 1st place, Parkview; Deborah Portey, second place, CVCS; and Changrui Liu, third place, CVCS.

Photo by John Larson