Friday, April 30, 2010

Funeral Home Changes Hands

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Families in need of funeral services will now be seeing a new face at the corner of Garfield and Grant streets. David Hall, longtime owner and operator of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, has turned the keys over to Daniels Family Funeral Services.
Terry Dise, who has been in the funeral service business for many years, is handling arrangements as of Monday, Apr. 26, for the Socorro funeral home.

Daniels Family Funeral Services, owned by Kevin Daniels and his wife, is based in Albuquerque, and since 2003 has expanded to 15 funeral homes across New Mexico. The firm also sees over four cemeteries, three crematoriums, and a monument company.
“This is a family business, and has a long history of managing funeral services,” Daniels said. “We have learned how to provide exceptional service to every single family on one of their most difficult days of their lives. We are grateful to have formed personal relationships with the families we’ve met and helped through a tough period.”
Besides overseeing the largest funeral service organization in New Mexico, Daniels is also president of the International Cemetery and Funeral Association. He is also involved in community services, and dedicated to such organizations as the United Way of Central New Mexico, Catholic Charities, and also serves on the board of directors of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation, where he and his wife are founding members of the Herencia Circle.
Daniels said staffing at the funeral home will not change. “Everyone here is very enthusiastic, and will continue the same level of service,” he said.
Manager Terry Dise has been in the profession 26 years, and looks forward to settling in Socorro.
“This is a friendly community, and David [Hall] has been helpful in getting me acquainted with the area,” Dise said. “I’m proud to working with Daniels Family Funeral Services.
“Their, and my, ultimate goal is to serve families who have lost their loved ones and make them know that loved one is most important person in the entire county on that day.”
The funeral home opened in 1956. David Hall jacquired the business in 1983. It became Steadman-Hall in 1990.
Hall said he had been thinking about selling the establishment for the past year.
“I’ve been doing this for 26 years, but decided I needed to spend more time with my family,” Hall said. “I feel fortunate to have served the needs of the families of Socorro and Catron counties, and when I decided to retire from the business I looked long and hard at who could best carry on the reputation and level of caring we’ve tried to maintain. Kevin Daniels and his wife were the perfect fit.”
He said he feels good about turning the operation of the funeral home over to Dise.

Picture: David Hall (right) congratulates Terry Dise on being the new manager.

Photo by John Larson

Walking For Heart Association

At age 59, Mycle (pronounced ‘Michael’) Brandy is the survivor of six strokes, and is walking cross country –from Newport Beach, Calif. to Washington - in support of the American Heart/Stroke Associations. He started walking Feb. 14 from Newport Beach, Calif. and will end his journey Oct. 10 at the Lincoln Memorial. 800 miles into his journey Mycle stopped in Socorro Wednesday, and visited with personnel at Socorro General Hospital. “I want to let people know about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, and that just because you’ve had a stroke it’s not the end of everything,” Mycle said. “I had my sixth stroke in 2002, but I was able to run the Boston Marathon in 2007, something I never thought I could do.” He said people can follow his progress, and find out how to make a donation to the American Heart Association on his Facebook page: Walking Across America With Mycle Brandy.

John Larson/Mountain Mail photo

Mag Mayor Wants Weed Burning Day

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - Mayor Sandy Julian has declared May 29 as a day Magdalena residents will be able to burn off weeds on their property.
“There are a lot of people in town who want to clean their yards,” Julian said at Monday night’s Village Board of Trustees meeting. “I want to allow one day for weed burning in the village. It cannot be done if it is windy, and the fire department must be notified. People should use common sense when doing it.”
Volunteer fire chief Arthur Rauschenberg said it was mandatory that safety precautions be followed.
“People should be required to have a water hose and shovel, and they will have to initiate the burn long before sunset, so it will completely be out by dark,” Rauschenberg said.
Julian said the burning of tires or other debris will not be allowed.
“We don’t want to see a big bonfire either. Only vegetation,” she said. “Notify the village fire department you will be burning weeds, have a hose and shovel ready. If you don’t you will be fined.
“I think they’ll be careful. It just requires a little common sense,” Julian said. “We’re going to try it and see how it goes.”
The council approved Saturday, May 29, as the day burning of yards will be allowed.

In other business:
• Julian confirmed that the village will be getting $450,000 in federal funds for the paving of the southern portion of Pine Street. According to Village Clerk Rita Broaddus, work on the project is expected to commence within the next few weeks. “Once we get the grant agreement from the DFA (Department of Finance and Administration) we can start putting out a request for proposals for the engineering work,” she said. “The paving is expected to run from Fourth Street to at least Eighth, and maybe to the end, depending on when the money runs out.” Julian commended Broaddus for taking care of the CDBG grant application.
• Julian said she was concerned about overtime pay at the Marshal’s office, and scheduled a meeting Friday morning with Marshal Larry Cearley and board Trustee Tommy Torres to discuss ways to reduce overtime hours and still maintain sufficient law enforcement.
• Trustee Barbara Baca commended the Magdalena High School cheerleaders for taking third place in the state’s recent Spirit competition. “We’re very proud of them, and it was an honor for Larry Cearley to give them a police escort through town,” Baca said.

Co-op Trustees Not Leaving Anytime Soon

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- Although it didn’t have to, the Socorro Electric Cooperative board acknowledged the bylaw changes made by its members during a special meeting Friday night.
Through the objections of trustee Charlie Wagner, who said it was not necessary because the propositions went into effect immediately, Donald Wolberg insisted the board acknowledge the changes.
After the board passed the changes, Wolberg asked attorney Dennis Francish about legal ramifications of the bylaw changes.
“Sure, we have problems,” Francish said.
Most of the resolutions went into effect right away, but others were going to take time to implement.
Francish said that since the annual meeting was conducted under Robert’s Rules of Order, there was a question about how to reduce the number of trustees in a timely fashion. Citing New Mexico Statute 53-8-18, Francish said that state law says incumbent trustees can serve out their terms.
“You can not trump state law,” said Francish, who added that state law takes precedent over Robert’s Rules of Order.
Wolberg, though, asked for an establishment of a redistricting committee, but Trustee president Paul Bustamante said that would be addressed at Wednesday’s meeting, which occurred after the Mountain Mail went to press.
Francish said there was no need to rush about redistricting because “we have 11 trustees that were elected in the districts that presently exist today.”
The main discussion, though, centered around the number of trustees with the new bylaw changes.
Francish has said in the past he has been worried about lawsuits if the members had decided to reduce the number of trustees.
But Wolberg had a novel idea.
He suggested that the entire board do the noble thing and resign and that way it removes the potential of legal action. When the redistricting is done, new elections can be held.
Francish responded by saying, “We have time to think about that.”
After the board acknowledged the resolutions passed by the members, Wolberg made a number of other proposals.
Wolberg proposed that all travel be approved by the board.
Wagner said, “I oppose that because we already have limitations of $10,000 and it’s up to us how we spend the money.”
Wolberg and Wagner continued to argue over the “complexity” of the resolution.
Wagner said, “Complexity is the eye of the beholder.”
The two continued to bicker and one of the audience members called Wolberg an expletive.
Trustees Milton Ulibarri and Dave Wade stared down and scolded the audience member, who was not asked to leave.
The motion passed 8-1 with Wagner objecting.
Wolberg also proposed that trustees get paid in 12 equal installments but after further discussion, he withdrew the motion.
Francish then took over and gave his opinion on the various propositions, including giving support to one of the propositions on the ballot that was soundly defeated at the annual meeting. The proposition was about how members and media are welcome in the first part of the meeting but must leave when the board starts the business portion of the meeting.
“This is a private company and the board has to conduct its business without interruption from the members,” he said.
Wagner voiced his objection, but it didn’t really matter because the resolution did not pass.
Eventually, Bustamante asked for a motion to adjourn and there were two motions, much to the dismay of Wagner, who said he had a list of concerns that had not been addressed yet.
Bustamante told him his concerns would be addressed at the next meeting.
Here are the propositions passed by the members and acknowledged by the board Friday night.
* Five trustees.
* Five representative voting districts of equal population
• Trustees can only serve two straight terms
• Expenses by trustees are limited to $10,000 per year and $15,000 to the president.
• One meeting per month.
• The board shall guarantee transparency of action with open access to SEC books, records and audits.
• Will be notified of their Patronage Capital annually.
• The members can vote at annual meetings by mail and election administration will be run by a third party accounting firm.
• The Trustees are restricted from making contributions to adult or civic organizations and contributions can only be made to student scholarships.
• Meetings shall be open and all members must be permitted to attend and time shall be made available for them to address the board.
• The Trustees shall voluntarily agree to abide by the New Mexico Open Meetings Act and Inspection of Public Records Act.

Life As A Homesteader Suited Evelyn Fite Just Fine

The following is Part 4 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.


“Well, Magdalena was a mining town and a ranch town and a frontier town - end of the railroad. They used to bring cattle in from all over. See, that was the closest shipping point. Holbrook was the next one - Arizona. So you had to take the cattle either from The Divide this way, or even beyond the Divide you had to bring ‘em to Magdalena or take ‘em to Holbrook. ‘Cause there were no trucks hauling in those days, so they drove the cattle to the railroad point. And Magdalena was real exciting during shipping season, there’d be big herds of cattle out there, out on the hillsides, waiting their turn to get in the corrals and get on the train and get shipped. And there were bars - more bars than grocery stores, and four hotels. And Kelly was wide open - they were shipping ore out of there, and the mines closed down and the shipping started dwindling. When trucks came into being people quit, you know, driving cattle that far.”


“Well, I’ll tell ya, I met my husband at a dance hall. They had an old dance hall, dairy, up by this side by Magdalena, and they would clear the barn out and have dances on Saturday nights, so we’d come from Rosedale. That’s the only place we could come to dance, and people from all around, and that’s where I met my first cowboys. And I met Dean there, and we called it the Cow Chip Ballroom. It’s all just ruins (now). Oh it was wild. This one lady had a whorehouse out on the hillside and the cowboys would go out there, and Dean’s dad was - it would make him so mad when the cowboys would go out there, he just thought that was terrible. He was kind of a - he was pretty straight laced. I never even really knew where it was. It wasn’t my time.”

Evelyn: “There were a lot of homesteaders lived there, between here and Magdalena. People homesteaded that country in the ‘30s. And they homesteaded that country around Bingham at the same time. They came west where they drouthed out and everything - starved out. Moved, came there and tried to make it--there was no water you know. The story of those homesteaders is pretty grim. Lola McWhorter can tell you, she’s still here. She can tell you - her parents homesteaded in Pie Town. She can sure tell you about it ‘cause they - it was about as tough as it can get.”


“Well Bingham - it was just a filling station on the highway between Carrizozo and San Antonio. The old highway (380), was not where it is now. And Harold Dean had a filling station there, and a few little groceries. And they had a schoolhouse. A few of those homesteaders were still there and they had kids, so they had two teachers. And they had two or three little rooms that. Dean’s cousin taught school there and two of her nephews went to school there, and she’d take ‘em up there and they’d stay during the week and come home on weekends. The rest of ‘em came every day because they lived closer. That’s where we had our dances, at the schoolhouse. We’d fire up that gas lantern and get the food and the fiddle and the guitar and away we’d go! Oh, about once every two or three months. But those dances, I had never been to a cowboy dance, so I had a fine time. The ladies would all pack lunches, bake cakes you know, and make sandwiches. And then they’d go - they had a little place where they fed the kids, and we had coffee. And we’d break dancing around twelve, one o’clock, and go eat cake and sandwiches, and everybody brought the kids too you know. Some of ‘em stood out by the cars and drank, and got in fights and things, oh yes. And then we’d dance ‘til daylight. Oh man. You’d be so pooped out it would take you three days to get over it.”

Evelyn: “I guess Wrye, that boy, it’s the son, how old is he? They were homesteaders that came in there and bought some land and stayed. The ones that stayed, they got enough land together to have a ranch. They had one boy, and he was Willie Wrye and I’ve forgotten what her name was. And that’s probably the boy, and he’d be, oh, in his late sixties…”
According to Bill Wrye, the old 380 Highway, was built by the WPA and went from Old Bingham west to the current Mark McKinley’s place, and then it tied in to modern 380. It went east from Bingham through Hoot Owl Canyon and across Iron Mine Ridge.

Evelyn: “Yeah, it went a little different route. When you leave San Antonio, after about six miles it left and then went up and went around through those hills. That’s where it was when I went to the ranch. You can see signs of it. Where you turn in to the Fite Ranch, if you’ll look off to the left, up a little canyon there, there used to be a quarry there, they quarried up that stone. See, the CCC camp came in 1938.”

The CCC, Neighbors and Land Deals

“Nineteen thirty eight, they had a CCC camp at Tokay. Oh yeah. Naturally, they had that terrible water. There was a halfway decent well there, but they needed a well. So they had this man drilling this well, and Dean had worked for a well driller so he was helping him drill this well. It’s just east of the house. And they got some water. And they looked down, and they had a mirror, and they looked down and they saw this water coming out, so they put a cable and a stick of dynamite on it, blew it out, got a good stream of water. So then they went ahead and developed that water, for the CCC camp. And boy, that’s why I wanted to buy Tokay. They (the CCC) did a lot of things. There’s still evidence of what they did. They did a lot of erosion work out in those hills. Have you been through that road from where Tokay goes through and catches the road to Stallion? You go across the house and you can come out, you hit the paved road that goes to Stallion. Well see, I lived above on that road, in a little adobe house we bought from a man. Piece of ranch country, so we joined - our fence was right down there. And when Dean developed that well, it was wonderful. And it’s up on a ridge, you would not think there’d be - you know there’s a great big canyon not far from there, and you’d think if that big stream of water was there it’d be in that canyon.”

Evelyn talks about the CCC camps in next week’s Mountain Mail.

Back Yard Food Gardening Project Launched

Mountain Mail reports

The Magdalena Samaritan Center launched a small pilot program of “Back Yard Food Gardening” in an effort to promote “Self Sufficiency, Sustainability and Healthy Foods” to the community. The program consists of two workshops taught by Tom Dean of the Socorro County Extension Center and were held at Magdalena Feed Company.
In the first workshop participants built 4 x 4 foot garden boxes large enough to grow everything needed to make a healthy salad. In the second workshop participants learned about soil, planting and how to extend the growing season by using a plastic tent around the garden box. There were 10 participants and all will report back to the Samaritan Center as to the success of their gardening experiences.
All the materials for the workshop were donated by area businesses including Raks, Wal-Mart, Alamo Plumbing and Trails End Market.
The Magdalena Samaritan Center, a non profit organization, currently distributes food to 75 families from Magdalena and surrounding area as well as operating its Thrift Shop. The food is donated through Road Runner Food Bank. Additional food is purchased by the center with funds contributed by the Friends of the Samaritan Center, who make a $10 per month donation. Funds are also raised by bake sales, especially the Annual Thanksgiving Pot Holders and Pies event.
The center is run by a team of dedicated volunteers. Many of the recipients also volunteer.
“It has really become about families helping families especially on our food distribution days. Everyone who is physically able pitches in,” volunteer Catherine DeMaria said. “It’s just another example of Magdalena taking care of its own.”

Pictured: Volunteers pitch in to construct 10 “grow boxes” at Magdalena Feed Company. The Garden Grow Box Project is an effort to promote the growing of one’s own vegetables and greens, and is to benefit the clients of the Magdalena Samaritan Center.

Photo by Makeyen DeMaria-Gassoumis

Magdalena Marshal's Blotter

Information for the following items was provided by the Magdalena Marshal's office.

Mar. 25
An officer stopped a vehicle at 1:24 a.m. on Highway 107 and arrested a female for DWI. She blew a .10 blood alcohol level.

Mar. 28
Officers were called at midnight to mile marker 117 on Highway 60 where a vehicle struck an elk. The elk was put down by the officers. There were no injuries and the vehicle was towed.

Apr. 2
Officers were called at 10 a.m. to a two vehicle accident at mile marker 101 on Highway 60. Upon arrival ambulances and a fire truck were called to assist. Five people were injured and transported to Socorro General Hospital for treatment. While one vehicle was turning off the roadway, another vehicle came up from behind and struck the turning vehicle causing the accident.

Officers, with assistance from New Mexico State Police, set up a checkpoint at 3 p.m. on Highway 60, west of Magdalena. 318 vehicles were checked. 16 citations were issued for minor traffic violations. Two persons were arrested on outstanding arrest warrants.

An officer spotted a subject at 7 p.m. walking on Spruce Street who was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant from Valencia County. The subject was arrested and taken to the Socorro County Detention center.

Apr. 5
An officer was called at 3:15 p.m. to the Market Place where a shoplifting had occurred. The merchandise was sold at another local business. The suspect has been charged with the crime.

Apr. 9
A checkpoint was set up at 3 p.m. on Highway 60 at mile marker 111 by the Marshal’s office. 259 vehicles were checked. 11 citations were issued. Five persons were arrested and turned over to U.S. Border Patrol.

Apr. 10
Officers set up a checkpoint at mile marker 112 on Highway 60 at 3 p.m. 182 vehicles were checked. Nine citations were issued. One person was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Socorro Magistrate Court.

Apr. 15
An officer took a report at 11:30 a.m. of a possible arson case on South Main St. The case was closed when it was discovered a burnt sheet had blown into the yard of the complainant.

Apr. 16
An officer stopped a subject at 3:01 p.m. who was wanted on three outstanding warrants from Socorro Magistrate Court. The subject was taken to the Socorro County Detention Center.

Apr. 18
An officer was called at 3 a.m. to a residence on South Chestnut on a domestic. Upon arrival the officers questioned a male and female. Alcohol was an issue. The case is pending.

An officer was called at 9:43 a.m. to assist the Magdalena EMS on Elm Street. Upon arrival the deputy contacted the Office of Medical Investigator for a 91 year-old female. A report was filed.

Apr. 19
An officer stopped a vehicle at 7:30 p.m. for weaving at Highway 60 and Kelly Road. The driver was arrested for DWI and charged with roadways in traffic. A blood test was taken from the driver due to narcotics use.

Apr. 26
An officer was called at 1:30 p.m. to the Eagle Nest RV Park on a report of criminal damage to property. A report was taken and charges are pending.

OBITUARY: Rosa P. Jaramillo

Rosa P. Jaramillo
Dec. 9, 1931-April 23, 2010

Rosa P. Jaramillo, 78, passed away on Friday April 23 in Albuquerque. Rosa was born Dec. 9, 1931 in Belen to Frank C. and Clara (Pena) Jaramillo.
She is survived by her brother, Emilio P. Jaramillo of Carson City, CA.; and sisters Helen Castillo of Albuquerque; and Priscilla Armijo of Albuquerque and numerous nieces and nephews.
Rosa is preceded in death by her brothers, Filmon Jaramillo and Raymond Jaramillo and sister Clarita Ortiz.
A rosary was recited on Tuesday at San Miguel Church in Socorro and a Mass of Resurrection immediately followed with Father Andy Pavlak as celebrant. Burial took place in the San Miguel Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers were PJ Jaramillo, Alejandro Jaramillo, Frank Jaramillo, Robert Jaramillo, Robert Jaramillo, Jr., and Johnny Armijo.
Arrangements were under the care of Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM, 87801. (575) 835-1530.

California Man Arrested For Driving A Stolen Vehicle

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - A California man learned last Friday in Magdalena that drawing too much attention to himself could get him arrested, especially since he was driving a stolen car.
According to a Marshal’s Office Incident Report, Deputy Brad Welton was called to Trail’s End Market at 6:40 p.m. on a report of a suspicious person roaming about outside the store asking people for money.
Welton was initially unable to locate the suspect, later learned to be a Christopher K. Kimble, 30, of Sacramento, Calif., but did notice a white four-door Dodge sedan with no license plate parked and locked on South Ash Street about 200 yards around the corner from the market.
After a security check of other businesses in the area, Welton noticed the same vehicle parked at one of the gas pumps at the Conoco service station, although all of the pumps were clearly bagged over indicating they were out of commission.
The criminal complaint said that a man matching the description of the reported suspicious person was seen walking away from the vehicle. On questioning, the man identified himself as Kimble, and told Welton that he had just purchased the car several days ago with a $400 down payment to someone named Pedro in California. He had no driver’s license or registration, but instead produced a high school freshman ID card. He also produced a Mastercard debit card, which had not been signed, nor had a name on it.
A check with NCIC showed the car had been stolen from a used car lot in Glendale, Ariz., and a Mastercard representative said the debit card had been reported stolen.
Kimble was arrested and transported to the Socorro County Detention Center. The car was impounded and the owner of the used car lot in Glendale said the car was valued at $8,500.
Kimble waived his preliminary hearing and was bound over to district court Wednesday. He will be extradited back to Arizona, according to marshal Lary Cearly.

EDITORIAL: Time To Take Care Of Those Who Take Care of Us

By John Severance, Editor
and Gary Jaramillo, Publisher

It’s hard to understand why here in Socorro, the ones we call on first to save our lives, struggle to make ends meet in their personal family lives every day because of deplorable overall compensation for the work they do.
Emergency personnel are expected to continue rigorous update training, perform numerous other taxing duties each shift, then pile the liability of mandatory added medical knowledge on their shoulders in the back of a moving ambulance or in the middle of a super dangerous fire situation, and then be expected to stay quiet and content with minimum wage salaries that add insult to their own injury. Unfortunately, it’s a long time common problem within the City of Socorro system – and every department within that system is facing the same problem.
What is the answer to city employee’s insurance rates climbing even higher, which drags their salaries even lower, while at the same time, some elected officials insist on healthy raises for themselves.
Are things upside down and backward in city hall? Should full time city employees from every department be struggling? Has the same statewide double-dipping plague infiltrated our city, causing a bottleneck effect and kept other employees from moving up to the positions they now deserve?
Could this be why Socorro loses experienced employees to other city governments and agencies? Is the economic downturn just a great excuse for what just might be bad management? Have some elected officials forgotten that they work for city employees and all of us out here?
We’ll look into why so many full time employees easily qualify, and are forced to seek out government assistance in an upcoming issue, ”Is Socorro broken?”

The High Road?

The Socorro Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees still have an opportunity to do right by its members.
The tone of Friday night’s meeting was anything but that as attorney Dennis Francish said there was no hurry to implement the reduction of trustees or redistricting because state law trumps Robert’s Rules Of Order.
The members, though, have spoken. And their wishes should be granted.
The co-op board should do everything it can to take the high road. Unfortunately, that might be too much to ask.

Tough Task

The Sun Zia Southwest Transmission Project held a scoping meeting in Socorro Tuesday and it displayed the different routes it was contemplating to the public for a line that started near Corona in Lincoln County and weaved its way through Socorro County and then eventually ended up at Casa Grande, Ariz.
Routes being considered included northern routes that would go through the Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge, another that would go near San Antonio, another that bordered that White Sands Missile Range and even another that goes by the City of Socorro.
The project managers and the environmental groups have a tough task because whatever they decide, somebody is not going to be happy.
The Fish and Wildlife people have a beef, so does the military and so does the general public. In fact, so does everybody.
It’s going to be another six months or so until a decision is made but the BLM still is soliciting public comment on the study area but that ends on June 10. Check the BLM website for more details.

OPINION: More Musings About The Socorro Electric Cooperative

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

Democracy is alive and well in Socorro and Catron Counties. The Socorro Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting was a fine example. This entire reform movement can, and has been, dismissed by some as just so much brew-ha; but consider for a moment, the alternatives. A privately owned corporation needs to entice its CEO and chief executives with attractive salaries, lucrative bonuses and exquisite stock options. The shareholders need to be richly rewarded with ever increasing dividends and skyrocketing share values. Where does all of this cash come from? It comes right out of our pockets, from the rates that we would be asked to pay, should our electric service become privatized. No quibbling. End of discussion.
We are very fortunate to be part of the Tri-State Electric Cooperative. This is one of the best examples of how our economy CAN work; not for the enrichment of the few but to provide those goods and services that we need for survival. All that it takes on our part is a little bit of involvement. Indeed, over 6% of the Socorro Electric Co-op members did get involved at the annual meeting.
Changes were made to the by-laws and our needs and concerns will now be more proportionately addressed. The now, only five Trustees, will be only fairly compensated for the time it takes them to address our concerns at their now monthly meetings. The meetings will be open and we will be notified on a yearly basis as to our Capital Credits.
Using the SEC as a model of how our economy COULD work, we find ourselves looking at a way out of the dreadful financial hole that we’ve managed to dig for ourselves. There are many movements and experiments taking place now that put US in control of our financial affairs; cooperatives, employee owned and administered companies and governmental or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). These are all designed to take the “Capital” out of Capitalism.
When it comes to providing the basic necessities for human and spiritual survival, there is no need to invoke the specters of profit, greed and shareholder return. All of the basic goods and services for the well-being of humankind could and should be provided by one or another of these not-for-profit groups. These would include basic food and water, basic shelter and clothing, basic healthcare and an opportunity for all to do meaningful work or services and to receive fair and just compensation for the same.
These would NOT include lobster thermidor, castles with moats, Armani handbags, face-lifts or tummy-tucks or lucrative CEO positions. These can and should be provided for by the private sector, involving just as much profit as the markets will allow.
I know, this is starting to sound like some sort of socialist manifesto but just where can we go from here? Everything that we need to sustain life is being privatized out from under us and the costs for these goods and services are becoming out of reach for all but the privileged few. This financial turn-around will not happen overnight and it will certainly not happen without our involvement.
It’s delightful to see so much of Magdalena already headed in this direction. We’ve got The Samaritan Center Thrift Shop, Farmer’s Markets, local “Mom & Pop” restaurants and businesses, participatory Village Government, food cooperatives and food sharing. These endeavors are helping to provide the essentials of life with a minimum of profit motive thanks, in part to a great number of volunteer and non-paid hours of hard work. It seems to be “the right thing to do.” Contrast this with Family Dollar’s CEO Howard Levine’s compensation in salary, bonus, stock and stock options last year of $5,612,726; or the Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke taking home $1.2 million in salary and $12.7 million in stock awards; or Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf’s award of $21.3 million in compensation last year.
Further musings on these and similar topics can be found in Sam Pizzigati’s hefty book Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality That Limits Our Lives, and in Raj Patel’s new book The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy.
Take a break from changing the world next Monday, May 3, at 2 p.m. in the Magdalena Senior Center to elect a new Queen for the Magdalena Old Timer’s Celebration. She will receive a yearly compensation of $0. It’s good to be Queen. It will not be perhaps, quite as contentious as the SEC meeting and dessert will be served and/or shared and/or thrown.

If you have any comments, problems, solutions, upcoming events or Capital Credit notifications, contact me at .

OPINION: The Stage is Set for Another Disappointing ‘Reform’

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

Now that the President and his party have declared victory in the conflict over health care reform, I am reminded of the advice purportedly given by a Vermont senator to then-President Richard Nixon as the likelihood of a military failure in Vietnam became increasingly clear: “Declare victory and leave.” And behold, with both health care and in Southeast Asia that is fundamentally what happened.
Long before Obama’s 15 seconds of triumph, the corporations who profit from health care in the United States – the largest and virtually only economy on earth where levels of health are determined by profit margins – had gotten what they needed to maintain business mostly as usual: 32 million new customers, and all the cash they’ll need to yet again develop strategies to pervert the intentions of the law. While I can’t claim authority as a political strategist, I’m pretty sure the path to a more just and sane society won’t come by strengthening the predators on the other side.
Throughout the health care episode the American people were treated by the news media as children incapable of grasping the mechanics of anything more complex than a soap opera or NASCAR race. Instead of frank and ongoing discussion of the incredible amount of money being showered on Congress by the rulers/referees of health; instead of professional follow ups on Congressional testimonies of industry insiders outlining systemic fraud and corruption; instead of a national debate focused on the principle of health care for profit, we got a running commentary that treated murderous corporations as respected parties in a two-sided debate.
Now that Democrats have declared victory, it ironically may be easier for them to turn to the next crisis, rather than watch the oncoming destruction of their hard-won “reform.” I hope I am wrong. Perhaps true reformers will be able to retain the strength of outrage long enough to bring on additional reforms (perhaps in the individual states) that will give deadbeat companies the choice Medicare for All would have - provide a public good or hit the road.
As the prez turns his attention to reform of the finance “industry,” it’s déjà vu all over again. I’m not talking about a short-sighted, integrity-compromised Democratic Party versus the spectacularly sold out Republicans. No, this struggle, like the last, is between a few free-market capitalists and the rest of the world. The same deep thinkers that assured us that billionaire health care industry CEOs were the best agents of change are now telling us the Wall Street banksters, if left alone, will do what’s best for our economy.
Figures who made their fame through a “free market” laissez faire ideology proven mercilessly wrong by real world events have not only been invited to operate the levers of government economic policy, but continue to be lent legitimacy by a subservient press terrified of losing “access” to their walking meal tickets in government. Case in point: Obama’s Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan, presumably the nation’s top bank regulator, was for 12 years before his 2005 appointment by George Bush a lobbyist for the banking industry. The other day Dugan went before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, charged with investigating the causes of the financial meltdown, and basically lied his ass off. "We made very clear that predatory lending . . . was not something we would tolerate," Dugan said. "Honestly, those practices never really took root." Not only did members of the commission allow this ridiculous pronouncement to go unchallenged, but no one bothered to ask Dugan anything about his lobbying background, nor why his public positions so often mirror that of the biggest banks.
While elected officials and those who should be informing the people about what’s happening to their country go along with this charade, the stakes in this fiasco could hardly be higher. On one level, the jobs, homes, future security, and mental and physical health of millions have already been destroyed by an ongoing economic crisis which is likely to worsen as another wave of mortgages adjust to higher rates. On an even wider scale, this emergency couldn’t come at a worse time, as we engage in two massively expensive wars while facing the necessity of diverting capital to deal with climate change and the conversion to a post-carbon infrastructure.
The biggest loss of all in this slow-motion train wreck may be our national morale. Only a few years ago most Americans would have told you they lived in a participatory democracy. Now, even as the folly of free market fundamentalism lies bare, we find we may have left it too late to ask the hard questions about the odds of a corporatist state giving a damn about human beings. If nothing else was learned from the health care debacle, may it be that it was government intervention, not industry promises, that was able to make even a dent in the wall.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, is a collegiate sports administrator and coach. His history degree is from the University of New Mexico. Reach him at davewheelock@ Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail.

LETTER: First Board Of Socorro

To the Editor:

The staff of First Born Socorro (FBS), program of Socorro General Hospital’s Healthy Family Initiative department would like to thank the community for their generous donations to our program. The Socorro Electric Coop donated electric outlet covers to help keep small fingers out of outlets. Dr. Beers’ dentistry office donated infant toothbrushes to help keep tiny teeth clean and healthy. The Sherriff’s department has offered free gun locks to prevent tragedies in the families of gun owners. The state’s Children, Family and Youth department donated books to help instill a love of reading in our children Numerous community members have donated their gently used infant and toddler items to share with our new families. We and our clients greatly appreciate all of the help and support. If anyone is interested in donating new or gently used items to our first time parents and their children, please contact Liz or Betty at 835-8709. Thank you.

Beth Beers

LETTER: In Search of Ancestors

Dear Editor,

My name is Kent Steinke. I am doing a historical research project, and I need the help of your readers. I am looking for living family members of a man who lived in Luna , New Mexico , whose name was Clark Russell. If I have my information correct Clark Russell was born at Luna in 1930, and died at Belen, New Mexico in December of 1984.
The ancestors of Clark Russell (William H. Russell family) at one time lived in Nebraska, and were associated with my family during early (territorial) days. I am seeking out descendents of families that my pioneer ancestors knew, with the intention of interviewing them about their own family story, and accessing previously untapped private archives.
If anyone reading your newspaper knows the whereabouts of living relatives of Clark Russell they may contact me at:
5123 East Truman Road
Kansas City , Missouri 64127

LETTER: Questions For Co-op Board

To the editor:

I was unable to be at last Friday's meeting of the SEC board of Trustees, but I've been told some of the details.
Apparently, although the members voted overwhelmingly to reduce the number of Trustees to five (5), the attorney advised them that all eleven (11) could remain on the board until their terms expire. Since those resolutions that were passed are supposed to go into effect immediately, waiting two and three years for expiration of terms doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
The Board also seemed to resist the ideas of redistricting and open meetings. Do the strongly expressed wishes of the members mean nothing?
During the month of April, the Trustees met on the 14th, the 23rd, and will meet again on the 28th. These guys get $75 for every meeting they attend --- That's $225 each for the month of April where the main thing they did was to try to block the member's resolutions.
The Co-op Attorney, Mr Francish, seems strongly opposed to the presence of member-owners during the business portion of the Board meetings. Why? What does he want to hide? It is our Co-op and our business. During previous meetings, Mr Francish has stated many times that he "represents the corporation". While a corporation is recognized as a legal entity, it is still composed of people --- Does he think that means only the Board? Who represents the true owners?
As for Mr. Wolberg, who claims he did not campaign for his election to the Board, and now says that he never said he was a "reform candidate", that may be so. But is it treachery to let the reform group campaign on your behalf, pay for your newspaper advertising, and then work against them? Mr Wolberg, you should be ashamed.
I've heard much speculation about using recall as a possible way to get rid of the members who have no right to be there any longer. Does it have to come to that?

Audrie Clifford

LETTER: 515th Appreciates Packages

Dear Socorro Supporters 515
c/o Disabled American Veterans

I would like to thank you for the package you sent. My name is SSG Kass. I am a weapon specialist for TF 515. My battalion is currently in southern Iraq. While my mission occasionally calls for me to travel to other FOBs the majority of the time I stay here on Bucca and assist the other elements preparing for patrol. This means my shop is usually the last stop before a convoy leaves the wire. That’s how your gift ended up with me. You see every day I stop at the chapel and pick up a care package. I put it out at my shop for the troops to plunder through before they head out. It gives them all a chance to find entertainment, toiletries and most importantly, snacks.
I never cease enjoying the smiles on the soldiers’ faces, I wish I could share it all with you somehow. When there is time I will chat for a few minutes with them. It seems to be custom to show off to each other what was gotten. Sometimes the snacks become a meal because their mission overlapped chow hall hours. I have been told by some your boxes are their favorite part of the day. A few elements will pool toys and hard candy to toss to the local children.
You may not receive many thank-you’s, it appears to be a dying courtesy, but I wanted you to know that what you do really mean a lot to these soldiers, I have had many troops who would never receive a piece of mail if it wasn’t for the people like you. Could you imagine being away from home for an entire year and not getting one letter? Even with today’s email and phones I just don’t think the old-fashioned care package can be replaced.
What is more is your show of support. I read an article last week in which today’s troops were criticized for having it too easy. The writer remarked that previous soliders didn’t have armor. How interesting I thought. I would have liked to remind the writer that we have to carry that armor. Also we need armor because the weapons used to kill us are that much more deadly. Gone are the days of firefights and ambushes. No, today we drive around waiting to explode. We drive up and down the same roads because that is what we are told to do and the enemy knows our schedules and routes. They put out hidden bombs that just don’t hurt us but instead rip our bodies to shreds.
There is no platoon of enemy combatants to return fire on and there are no anti-aircraft guns to have bombed. There are only millions of individual people who may or may not want to kill you and a very confining set of rules of engagement. Here hesitating may kill you but not hesitating may lead to a military prison. At least that is how soldiers feel.
The good news is that Iraq is much quieter now. I truly hope and pray it will be a successful nation in which its people can have a family and raise them in peace.
So thank you for your gift. Thanks for your support and reminding us we are not forgotten. What you have done for us is priceless. I can never repay you but I will never forget you.

SSG Melissa Kass
NM National Guard

Socorro Golf Teams Get Ready For District Tournament

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

The Warriors Finish Second And the Lady Warriors Top The 3A Field.

The Socorro boys golf team placed second in its own 3A Invitational at the New Mexico Tech Golf Course.
Freshman Willie Schaffer received medalist honors with a low score of 74 and earned his fifth individual leg of the year.
The Lovington Wildcats took first place in the team standings with a 315. Socorro came in next with a team score of 322. Mesilla Valley posted a 340. Hot Springs shot a 377 and Ruidoso shot a 381. Socorro gained its sixth team leg of the season.
Coach Russ Moore said, “The boys did very well. I'm very happy with Willie Schaffer. A seventy-four is a great round and being the medalist is a feather in his cap. He's been playing good all year and been doing a great job.”
“Teamwise, they got another leg. They have improved throughout the season, which is what any coach can ask. I think they're peaking at the right time. They will be ready for district next week. There's still room for improvement and I think our best scores are still ahead of us.”
Coming in next to Schaffer was Lovington's Jacob Jameson who shot a 75. Schaffer shot a 39 in the first nine and a 35 in the second and had four birdies for the day.
Ryan Romero posted a 42 in the first nine and came back strong with a 37 in the second nine. He also eaned his fifth individual leg. Rounding out the scoring for the Warriors was Nathan Vega (83), Randall Romero (86), and Joe Carilli (91).
“You also got to tip your hat to Ryan for playing his last regular season tournament at home, said Moore. He fought hard to shoot his 79. He didn't have his best stuff today, but he played well enough.”
“It's going to be a tough decision to try to see who's going to play number one now for our district tournament and our state. So, when it gets to that point, usually I just fall back on a good reliable qualifying round and have a sudden death.”
Socorro will host the 4A-AAA district tournament on Monday, May 3.

Lady Warriors Prep For District

The Socorro girls golf team got ready for Monday’s district tournament by winning the 3A Invitational a tournament April 26.
All the district competition showed up to play the New Mexico Tech course.
Kristen Cline of Socorro was the medalist of the event, shooting an 80. Teammate Shania Berger was second with an 85 and Brittani Webb was next with an 86.
“Each player had specific issues that they wanted to improve on,” Socorro coach Margaret Stanley said. “I think these three are very steady players.”
Mirjana Gacanich shot a 116 and Theresa Chavez had a 128.
“My fourth player (Chavez) struggled with her swing but her putting was good and I was proud of Mirjana of the way she hung in there and finished strong.
“We will be working hard this week working on different issues with each girl. We are all looking forward to District on Monday. The girls are feeling good about their swings and are ready to play.”
Hot Springs and Ruidoso, have full teams while Cobre, Cloudcroft and Mesilla Valley, might have some players that compete individually, Stanley said.

Socorro Drops Four District Games

By Nicky Romero
For The Mountain Mail

Despite losing four games this week, the Socorro Lady Warriors softball team still has hope that it will receive a state tournament bid in the 16-team field in May. With two remaining road games at Hot Springs on Friday, April 30, the Lady Warriors' record overall is 9-13 and 1-6 in district play.
Coach Gary Apodaca said, “They're taking 16 teams and I think we're still somewhere in the mix, hopefully. We've played a couple of teams that are ranked sixth or seventh, like Laguna and we beat them three times. That should say something for us. And most of the teams we've lost to, other than in our district, have been 4A and 5A teams. It just depends what kind of push we get from our athletic director and the committee.”
Socorro did not help their cause on Friday, April 23, at Cobre. The Lady Warriors lost a double-header against Cobre, falling 12-1 amd 11-1.
In the first game, The Lady Warriors continued to drop fly balls and kick routine ground balls. Their only run scored was in the second inning on a sacrifice by Chantilly Gallegos scoring Brittany McDaniel from third.
Cobre did most of its offensive damage by scoring five runs in the second and four runs in the fourth.

In the second game, the Lady Warriors scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Two consecutive doubles by Kristen Gonzales and Courtney Edmister scored their lone run of the game.
Cobre came back big in the bottom of the first by scoring nine runs. Socorro gave up four walks and three errors in the inning.
Socorro played its last regular season games at home against Hatch Valley on Tuesday, April 27. This was the last home game for the following seniors: Amberli Benavidez,, Jocelyn Carmona, Courtney Edmister, Kristen Gonzales, Brittany McDaniel, Gina Rico, and Maureen Trujillo.
Socorro dropped two games to Hatch, who is in second place in the district, falling 15-11 and 13-9.
“It was a disappointing two losses,” said Apodaca. “I wish we could have won one of them. Sure, we hit a few home-runs, but even at that, those home-runs didn't make the difference in the game.”
Hatch scored one run in the first inning. Socorro scored three runs of their own in the first on an RBI single by Gonzales and a two-run homer by McDaniel.
Hatch regained the lead in the third by the score of 6-3. In the bottom of the inning, Socorro tied the score with two consecutive doubles---one by McDaniel and the other by Rico.
In the fifth inning, Hatch took the lead 11-6, the last two runs were unearned coming on passed balls. They added to their lead by scoring one run in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Socorro singled five times times during their last at bat for five runs, but it wasn't enough for a victory.
In the second game, Socorro scored first on a RBI double by McDaniel.
Hatch came back to score four runs in the second inning. Socorro got a run back this inning with a RBI singles by Trujillo.
In the third, McDaniel hit her second home-run of the day to left-center field and closed the gap to 4-3.
Hatch, though, had a seven-run fifth inning to put the game away. Edminster hit a home run in the sixth inning for Socorro.
Note: SHS Senior and starting pitcher Maureen Trujillo was spotlighted on the New Mexico Overtime Sports Center website this week. She received a position rating of four stars out of five.

Navajo Weaver Makes Rugs The Old-Fashioned Way

By Nathalie Nance
For the Mountain Mail

Isabel Thomas, 74, has woven Navajo rugs for almost 70 years, as she was just four years old when she started helping her mother, Dora Pino, with cleaning and carding the wool.
Now her rugs are represented in several museums in New Mexico and all over the country, including the Smithsonian. Most of her rugs are done in the eye-dazzling style with its characteristic diamond shapes, but she has also experimented with the so called yeibechai design. The rugs are made the old-fashioned way with thicker wool, not the thinner machine-spun yarn. Thomas makes her rugs from scratch and dyes and spins the wool herself.

Consequently, most of her rugs feature a rich spectrum of warm earth tones. A brown wild nut gives a really dark brown, while the wild tea plant turns out a lighter yellowish brown. Coffee, walnut, onions and several different roots and flowers are some of the plants Thomas uses for dyeing.
“There is one flower that looks almost like the sweet potato plant, that I go down to San Antonio to pick on the side of the river,” says Thomas.
However, before the wool can be dyed and turned into soft yarn, there is the tedious and time-consuming work with cleaning the wool. It takes several rinses, a good soak and then several rinses again before it can be put out to dry in the sun.
“I use Pine-Sol, dish soap and hot, clean water and let it set for two days,” says Thomas. “When the wool is clean I hang it on a fence to dry. Every now and then I shake it a bit to make it fluffy.”
She was born and grew up on the Alamo reservation, but when Thomas was 12, she moved to Albuquerque, where she attended boarding school. When she came home during the summers, she kept helping her mother working with the wool. By then she had learned to spin. At 22, she got a job at the Magdalena boarding school dormitory and moved there. However, her mother managed to send her wool, and in the evenings, or whenever she had a little spare time, she weaved in her little room.
“That’s when I really started weaving my way”, says Thomas.
When she got married to William Thomas, he made her a loom, which she still uses. Besides hundreds of rugs over the years, she has also made saddle blankets, pillows, table runners, place mats, pillows, sash belts and chief blankets. Thomas turned to her beloved wool even for Christmas ornaments, when she made wool angels.
When Thomas is starting on a new rug, she first decides which size it is going to be, so that she knows how much yarn she will need. “I have an image in my mind”, she says as to answer the question of how she comes up with the patterns. “You can’t weave if you are too tired or in a bad mood, because then it doesn’t turn out right,” she adds.
Thomas always finishes the rugs she has started, but sometimes it has happened that she has ripped part of it up and redone it, if it didn’t turn out the way she wanted to. And sometimes she has changed the pattern, if she realized she didn’t have enough yarn in a particular color.
Now Thomas is one of the few remaining weavers in the area, who makes Navajo rugs in the truly traditional way. She taught weaving to some girls at the Magdalena dormitory, but only a few kept at it.
She also taught her daughter, Marlene Herrera, the basics. Herrera, who is the director of the Alamo Navajo Community Services, says she would very much like to take up weaving herself, but so far she hasn’t had the time to sit down. Weaving on this level is too complex to do just a little now and then. Instead, Herrera does bead work. However, she has documented the whole rug-making process on videotape.
There are no short cuts. As Herrera’s husband and Thomas’s son-in-law, Stanley Herrera puts it: “It starts with the sheep, otherwise it is not authentic.”

Sylvia And Friend Indulge In the Reversal of Species

By Anne Sullivan

“It’s so beautiful today,” said Sylvia, turning to me. She was standing on her hind legs, looking out the window onto what passed for the lawn until most of the grass washed away several summers ago.
“It’s April,” I said without enthusiasm.
“Yes,” Sylvia gushed. “Isn’t nature wonderful? Just when we thought winter was finished, we have another glorious snowstorm.”
“Bah, humbug,” I said, not looking up from my book.
“That’s the spirit. It could be Christmas. It’s a good thing you haven’t taken down the tree yet. Maybe we’ll have winter for 12 months this year.”
“It certainly feels like we will,” I said, pulling the fleece throw, the one that used to be electric until a power glitch killed it, up to my neck. “I fail to understand why you’re so cheerful about this frigid winter weather.”
“If you can’t beat it, join it, I always say,” was her answer. “Look on the positive side for once, boss. We can always use the moisture. Take your nose out of your book and gaze out the window and you can watch the grass grow.”
“I’m watching the mud grow. Last week I spent ages trying to get the mud off the undersides of both Silver Truck and White Truck and now I’ve got to do it all over again. I am not happy. I’m also dreading sloshing through the mud to find out how much butane is left in the tank, to say nothing of wondering how I’m going to pay for it all.”
“You’ve got to stop looking at the dark side of things. Buck up, boss. Think about the flowers growing.”
“I think about the flowers dying in the cold. The lilac bush looked like it was budding the other day. Now it looks like I feel.”
“I don’t see why you’re being such a grump.” Sylvia bounced down from the window and danced around the floor, shedding bits of dirt and fluff onto the rugs.
“Can’t help it. What with the wind, the rain and the snow, we haven’t been able to go for a walk for five days.”
“You may not have walked but I’ve been running all around our land every single day,” she boasted.
“And tracking mud all over the house and porch,” I complained.
“Pull yourself together and count your blessings. There should be loads of wildflowers this year and lots of tall grass.”
“Causing lots of wildfires later this summer,” I pointed out.
“I find your negative attitude hard to comprehend,” said Sylvia. “I would think that after this long winter you’d be delighted to see the Spring.”
“I would be if the Spring would stop tricking me with its here today and gone tomorrow attitude. What I really find hard to understand is your totally cheerful outlook today. It’s not like you. It’s as though some genie had replaced my dog with another.”
“Now you know how I feel, boss. You’re usually the one who cheers me up and now you’re in a complete funk. I want the old person back.”
“The Old Person is still here. The Crotchety Old Person. Maybe that’s who I am now and will be forever. You can play the laughing clown if you wish.”
“Not my job,” she protested. “What I will do is make you a nice hot cup of tea which you can drink before you take a nice hot shower. Maybe by then it will have stopped snowing and you’ll feel better about things.” Sylvia trotted off to the kitchen and turned on the electric water kettle.
“Tea and a shower might help,” I said doubtfully as I rose to join her. “I do have to wash my hair and the hot water should warm me up.”
With that every light in the house went off, taking with it every electric device including the hot water.
(The remainder of this conversation is censored due to language content.)

Quemado News: Teachers Day on Tuesday

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

Quemado Schools National Teachers Day is Tuesday, May 4. Elementary Declamation Day is Tuesday. There will be a contest where the children will read a poem or give a speech.

Please be sure to call the school at 773-4645 to sign up if you need a Sports Physical. They are scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 11.

The State Track Meet will be in Albuquerque on May 5 -6.

Quemado Senior Center wishes happy April Birthdays to Elsie Candelaria, Steve Candelaria, John Laude, Evelyn Maulpion, Walter, Mghee, Dora Ward and Bob Williams.
Activities for the week: Pool Tournament on Tuesday starting at 8 a.m., Gallup trip van leaves at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, a Mother's Day Tea at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday with quilting and bingo in the afternoon and exercise class on Friday. Please call the center at 773-4820 if you are going on the Gallup trip by Tuesday, May 4.

Sherry Robin, stylist with Hair by Joy hair salon is off Highway 32 near the Cowboy Church. Sherry has a new phone number: 505-290-6633.

Quemado Lake Fire Dept. is selling cookbooks to help raise funds for the fire department. The recipes were submitted by our very own local ladies and is nicely put together. The recipes are simple yet delicious. It would make a nice Mother's Day present. You can call Mary Griffith at 773-4951 or Nancy Campbell at 773-4849 to get a cookbook.

Note: Know of anything going on or a special event in a family or school, please let me know. Good news can't be shared if it is unknown. Call 773-4119 or email at

Senior Center To Buy Van For $4,500

By John Severance

The Socorro County Comm-ission held a rare morning meeting Tuesday so the commissioners could attend a hearing regarding the Sun Zia Transmission Project at the Socorro County Fairgrounds later in the day.
The commission passed a resolution to buy a van for the senior center for $4,500. It also passed resolutions to adopt credit card convenience fees, a collective bargaining agreement with the sheriff’s department and investment of funds with Wells Fargo Bank.
The commission also approved donation requests of $45,000 to the New Mexico State University Extension Office, $3,000 to APAS and $21,000 to the USDA Wildlife Services.
It also approved an agreement with a new financial advisor George K. Baum and also refinanced its General Obliga-tion Bond that would save $75,000 over a five-year period.
“That savings would go straight to the tax payer,” County manager Delilah Walsh said. “It’s not a lot, but it’s still important.”
The commission also scheduled a budget workshop for May 10 at 10 a.m. at the County Annex Building and the meeting is open to the public.
In the manager’s report, Walsh said she and commissioner R.J. Griego attended an informational meeting regarding a possible wind farm in the San Agustin plains. Walsh said the ranchers’ co-op along with project coordinator Sherry Faust will make a presentation to the Land Use Commission at its May meeting.
Walsh also reported that most of the tires have been cleaned up in the northern area of Socorro County and shipped to La Joya where they will be bailed and hauled away.
The next county commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 11 at the County Annex Building.

Lemitar Man Faces Three Drug Charges

By John Larson

LEMITAR – A Lemitar man, Melicio Gonzales, 26, was arrested Friday, Apr. 23, on three drug related charges at his home in Lemitar.
Socorro Sheriff’s deputy Chris Pino said a search warrant was executed at 7:45 a.m. on Gonzales’ residence following a series of controlled buys by undercover narcotics officers.
Gonzales was given a copy of the search warrant, handcuffed, and placed in a Socorro County Sheriff’s unit during the search.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court Tuesday, Apr. 27, there was a female, Roberta Gonzales and two minor children in the residence at the time.
Pino said he was assisted by Sheriff Phillip Montoya, Chief Deputy Shorty Vaiza, and deputies James Nance and William Armijo. Officers from the Socorro Police Department also assisted.
During the search of the kitchen, Vaiza found cocaine inside a Budweiser beer can with a false top, and marijuana and rolling papers on the kitchen table.
While searching the dining room Socorro police officer Brandy Perkins found three baggies of marijuana inside a flower vase, and two more baggies of marijuana on top of a shelf.
Socorro police Detective Rocky Fernandez found more marijuana in a baggie in the refrigerator.
All baggies were individually wrapped and appeared to be packaged for sale, the complaint said.
While searching the garage Lt. Louie Chavez found inside a paint can another baggie containing a white powdery substance. It was field tested and tested positive for cocaine. Also in the garage Socorro police Detective Richard Lopez found a digital scale – the type commonly used to weight narcotics - which had a white powdery residue, plus a larger scale.
State Police Agent Nathan Barton found two counterfeit five dollar bills in the master bedroom.
Vaiza also found several different car titles in a wall safe behind a mirror in the bathroom.
The complaint stated there were 12 different types of firearms in the home, which were collected from the residence for further investigation.
“It’s normal procedure in an investigation like this to check to see if the firearms were stolen,” Pino said.
Gonzales was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine (2nd degree felony), distribution of marijuana (4th degree felony), and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). He is scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court on May 10 at 1 p.m.

Picture: Deputy Chris Pino displays some of the drugs seized at a Lemitar home last week.

Photo by John Larson

Tech Officially Raises Tuition

Mountain Mail Reports

The New Mexico Tech Board of Regents approved tuition increases and discussed the 2010-2011 budget at length during the regular meeting Tuesday, April 20.
The Board approved the administration recommendation of increases in overall tuition and all required fees for in-state undergraduates of 7.2 percent, from $2,303 to $2,470.
Total tuition and all required fees for out-of-state undergraduates will increase 7.7 percent, from $6,784 to $7,309.
In-state graduate students will see an increase of 7.3 percent. Out-of-state graduate fees will increase 7.8 percent.
“When you look at all the institutions in the Southwest, we are still among the lowest,” university President Dr. Daniel H. Lopez said.
For an in-state student who lives on campus, the total increase in all fees is 4.4 percent, or $301 per semester.
Regents had a series of questions – both general and specific – about the proposed 2010-2011 budget.
Vice President of Finance Lonnie Marquez presented a budget that included revenues of $38.9 million for Instruction and General, a cut of $1.8 million from the previous year. The total budget – including research, auxiliary services and other non-general funds – also shows a decrease. The total budget of revenues is $106.4 million, a drop of $1.6 million from the previous year.
Regent Richard Carpenter opened the discussion with a general question: Do budget cuts undercut the core mission of any programs?
“There’s no question that these cuts have an impact on these important kinds of special initiatives, like Science Fair and Science Olympiad,” Lopez said. “We can maintain without the quality suffering, but over the long haul, it will create problems”

As part of Comcast Care Days, volunteers work on the grounds of the San Miguel Church Saturday.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Frontier Theater Brings Back Lost Wife Creek

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - Donna Todd, Director of the London Frontier Theatre Co., has announced that she will be producing another play this summer in the historic WPA Gym, at the corner of Main and Fourth streets in Magdalena.
The play is called “Hard Times and Hope – The Lost Wife Creek Years.”
“It will be the return of the Lost Wife Creek series, but with a difference,” Todd said. “It will be episodic, featuring situations from the earlier plays, but it will not be scenes lifted out of the originals, generally.”
“It will span the years 1933 to 1941 – the depression and Roosevelt years up to the beginning of World War II,” she said. “Those are the years the series has covered.”
The play is set in the fictional community of Lost Wife Creek, New Mexico, located “somewhere south of Magdalena.”
Story lines revolve around two families, the Trotters - Cass and Gardy, older homesteaders, dry farming and constant bickering, and the Aragones - Manny and Ruby, their younger neighbors who have dreams of being rich and/or famous.
“A lot of people have been asking when is the next show,” she said. “A great part of the reason is a general lack of funds. It’s a reflection of the economy.”
She said the theater receives a grant from the McCune Foundation, “but that doesn’t go far enough.
“We’re still trying to secure funding for the building, and are a few thousand dollars short,” Todd said. “We could use some personal donations in any amount.
“This is really ‘hard times and hopes,’ like the next play. This will fit right in. Very similar times,” she said.
Maybe that’s the reason “a lot of people seem to like the idea of Lost Wife Creek coming back.”
Todd said musicians are also needed for the next play.
“Anybody who can do bluegrass type music, and hopefully sing,” she said. “If anyone plays a banjo, guitar, or fiddle, they can call me.”
The new Lost Wife Creek play is scheduled for the last weekend in July, with encore performances the following weekend.
Performance s are also scheduled for the first weekend in August.
“I’m glad to be back in full swing again,” Todd said.
For further information contact Donna Todd at 575-854-2519, or email
London Frontier Theatre’s website is

Pictured: The cast of a 2004 Lost Wife Creek play.

Photo by Kelly Gatlin

Reader Contribution From Magdalena

The Mountain Mail publication of the Oral History of Dave Farr generated many positive responses, including this story sent to the newspaper by Dolly Dawson of Magdalena.

This happened in the 1920’s. There was a small plane piloted by Roscoe Turner. He was having trouble with his plane and was forced to set down on George and Edith Farr’s ranch. Inside of this plane he had a cargo that needed to be attended to, because it was alive. It was a male, African lion. He had this lion on a leash all the time.
The next morning when he tried to take off with this lion on the plane it was a really hot day and there was so much density the plane wouldn’t lift off the ground with this lion in it. Roscoe Turner had Mr. and Mrs. Farr take the lion into Albuquerque to the Franciscan Hotel (which is now gone), and he would meet them there in the lobby.
The Farr’s used to tell this story many times over the years. The lion rode in the back seat of the car and kept his head on Mrs. Farr’s shoulder while riding, looking right down the road all the way to Albuquerque. When they stopped at a light, and as people walked by and looked in the car they would jump back when they saw this lion in the car.
When they led the lion into the Franciscan Hotel lobby, the people scattered, and cleared the lobby. It is said this lion is the one that became famous as MGM roaring lion logo.

Editor’s note – The lion Turner had with him was provided by one of his sponsors, the Gilmore Oil Company (later Mobil Oil), as a publicity stunt on his barnstorming tours.