Friday, June 4, 2010

Bumble Bee Landing In Socorro

A bumble bee makes a safe landing in the garden of a Socorro neighborhood this week.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Outcomes "Positve" For Alberta House

A graduation of tots and pre-schoolers was held last week at Alberta House, a part of Positive Outcomes, and named to honor Alberta Marie Jaramillo-Rivera. Prior to receiving their “diplomas” from Marguerite Casey, the children sang The Alphabet Song. The facility opened in 2007 primarily as a day care center and preschool, with Tara Jaramillo as principal. Pictured are (not in order): Early Intervention students Kyra Apache, Valaria Cheney, Everett Estrada, and Diana Trejo; and pre-school students Brian Armijo, Marissa Jacquez, Kevin McCleary, Riley Morris, and Jolena Jefferies.

Mountain Mail photo

Low Turnout At Primary Election

Mountain Mail Reports

Carlos Carrillo gained 28 percent of the vote and earned the Democratic nod in the race for Socorro County Probate Judge Tuesday night.
Carrillo received 468 votes, defeating Toby Jaramillo (349), Bill Bottorf (302), Cindy Rivera (286) and Richard Sanchez (285).
In the November election, Carrillo will take on Emma King (704), who defeated Ray Spurgin (565) in the Republican race for the probate judge seat.
County Clerk Rebecca Vega said everything went smoothly and that the election was “a lot slower than others.
“I can’t give you percentages because I am still working on it.”
In the Democratic county assessor race, Henry Jojola unseated incumbent Valentin Anaya with a 921-769 vote advantage. Jojola will run against Gayl Dorr, who ran unopposed on the Republican ticket.
Incumbent Philip Anaya (D) defeated Anthony Baca 210-176 and will face Amanda Gallegos in the county commissioner District 3 race. In the District 1 commissioner race, Michael Olguin and Pauline Jaramillo ran unopposed and will vie for the position in November.
Sheriff Philip Montoya will face Kenny Gonzales in November after Montoya easily won the Republican primary with a 1,007-291 vote advantage over Joseph Lopez.
In the statewide elections, Diane Denish and Susana Martinez will run for governor. Brian Colon and John Sanchez will run for lieutenant governor. Mary Herrera and Diana Duran will run for Secretary of State. Hector Balderas and Errol Chavez will run for state treasurer. Gary King and Matthew Chandler will run for attorney general.
Nationally, Harry Teague and Steve Pearce will run for the U.S. Representative District 2 seat.
Election results will be canvassed and certified on Friday at 10 a.m. in the County Annex Building.
All voting results can be found on

Garcia Retires After 20 Years As Socorro Girls Basketball Coach

By Nicky Romero
For the Mountain Mail

The Socorro girls basketball program has had only two coaches in the last 34 years, which speaks well to the program's consistency and success through the years. Coach Joseph Garcia has played a major part in this program since 1990. Garcia decided last week to retire as head coach after 20 years at the helm and 361 victories at the varsity level.
The Socorro basketball program is 35 years old. Joanne Davis started the program with six girls the very first year and ended with a 0-7 record. Coach Doc Stanley coached the girls the next 14 years and won 177 games.
Garcia has a total of 28 years of coaching in Socorro That includes a five-year stint at the middle-school level and three years as assistant coach at the high school.
Garcia, fondly known by some as the “Stormin Bear” never mellowed much over the years on the sidelines. To understand this nickname, all you have to do is ask rival coaches and referees that he sometime tangled with. But off the court, he was much more like a teddy bear.
“Obviously, you develop a lot of close friendships with the girls,” Garcia said. “If there is anything I'm going to miss, it's the personal relationships I had with the kids. That's been the hardest for me the last two weeks. I've been getting calls and texts from coaches around the state and old players. So that's kinda of made me feel good, but it's also made me feel sad.

“No one really knew about this coming, including my players. On the Monday that I turned the retirement letter in, I gave it to my wife Tina, who I had been hinting to the last few months, but she still didn't believe me. Twenty-eight years is a long time and next year is my last year of teaching.”
Even though he kept it a secret from his team, the current players had an inkling about his retirement from coaching.
“The way I looked at it, I didn't want to be in a lame-duck situation. I know they would have all played hard next year, but then I thought that if you don't have that one little edge over them they could be saying he's not going to be here next year anyway. I didn't want to be put in that situation.
Garcia also wanted to leave knowing the girls program was in good shape for the next head coach to take over.
“I've also wanted to get out when I thought there were a lot of kids coming back,” Garcia said. “There are nine girls returning, c-team is undefeated, eighth grade is undefeated. I didn't want to be where they said he only got out when it didn't look like he was going to have a team coming back. I also wanted to leave after coming off a 21 win season.”
“One thing that I've been real pleased with is our consistency in winning. No one can say that we weren't consistent. We averaged 18 wins a year, most of those wins coming in a 22-game schedule. And in Socorro, you don't play a lot of those games at home. We usually play two out of every three games on the road.”
Garcia's team records included nine district championships, six district runner-ups, never went to state as an “at-large” pick which he is proud of, four final fours, and two state championship runner-ups. He is also proud of having only two losing seasons in his 28 years of coaching.
Garcia could not pick a favorite team from the past, because to him they were all special. But he had to mention his very first team because of a special reason.
“I was really pleased with the very first team I had, because that was the very first year that they opened up “The Pit” for girls state basketball to play. Before that, the girls always had to play in the high school gyms in Albuquerque. So actually, we were the very first girls team to play in “The Pit”. That was special.”
Girls that played that year included his daughter, Carla Jo Garcia, Sheyna Wisdom, Lil Romero, and Melissa West, Charity Savedra, Cassandra Anaya, Irma Wagner, Melanie and Stacy Greenwood, Helen Ulibarri, and Miranda Ortega.
He is also proud of the girl's individual accomplishments thru the years: 28 girls playing in the South All-Star Game, 25 times (some multiple times) that girls made the All State Teams, and girls going to play in college and getting their degrees.
Garcia also could not pick out a favorite player, although he did have a sentimental favorite who he coached for three years in the early 90's, his daughter Carla Jo Garcia.
“I've coached hundreds of girls and they end up being almost like they're your daughters. You spend so much time with them. They have personal problems on the side. They have personal highlights. You spend a lot of time with them in the off-season too.”
There is not enough said about his unsung heroes who helped him through the years. “You also have to have a very understanding spouse. Tina missed a lot of stuff because of this, but she went to a lot of stuff without me because of this. I really appreciate all that she did. She's the one that brought up our son and daughter, Carla and Louis, because I was gone half the time.”
“All my athletic directors have always been very supportive of girls basketball. Charlie Savedra was my first one. I started with Charlie and ended with Charlie. I also had Tony Gonzales, Randy Valles, Chuck Zimmerly, and Danny Padilla. All the boy head basketball coaches since the start have been supportive and willing to share practice time and gym space with the girls.”
Last, but not least, were his loyal and hardworking assistant coaches that he really relied on and could depend on them when needed or called upon.
“To me, you are only as good as your assistant coaches and your players, obviously. The first one that spent a lot of time with me was Mario Perez. He was my assistant for 12 years. Marleen Greenwood now has been my assistant for 12 years. Greg Ezell has been with me for the last five years. Those three have been the three mainstays. They spent countless hours with me and the girls traveling to camps out-of-state and in-state. They're giving up of their time, because they don't get paid for it in the summer. That just shows their dedication to the program and to the kids.”
Garcia's main endeavors has always been teaching and coaching. But now with both of these coming to an end, he will finally take the plastic covers off his new golf set. He would like to warn everyone that he will be making his return to the golf course. He promises to follow official golf etiquitte and rules and not his own. He will continue to follow his favorite sports teams --- the Celtics, the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Lobos, and of course, the Warriors and the Lady Warriors. He also looks forward to traveling the world with his wife and spending more time with his grandkids.
“Maybe, I can be there for my grandkids, since I wasn't there half the time for my own kids. I never got to see my son play basketball in high school, because I was always out coaching my daughter. That was a trade-off. I was there with my daughter and Tina was there with Louis.”
As he fades into retirement, he remembers one of his favorite western movies and the theme song, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. It reminds him of the ups and downs of coaching. He goes on with life mostly remembering “The Good”.
Now he can take a seat in the stands at the “Warrior Dome” and cheer on his Lady Warriors who he helped to develop and hopefully he can watch them continue to grow.

Local Man Bound Over To District Court On Drug Charges

By John Larson

SOCORRO - A local man was bound over to District Court Thursday, May 27, on two felony charges; possession of cocaine and trafficking marijuana (his second offense).
Frank Alexander, 26, was arrested April 9 during a traffic stop on South California St.
In the criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court April 12, Socorro Police Officer Rocky Fernandez said he knew through a reliable source that Alexander had been selling narcotics from the vehicle, and a check with the National Crime Information Center showed that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Municipal Court.
After the car, with a female driver at the wheel, was pulled over Alexander consented to a search of the vehicle, which was conducted by Fernandez and Sgt. Richard Lopez.
The complaint said that a marijuana grinder was found on the right passenger seat, and an electronic digital scale along with a box of large plastic baggies, “indicative of trafficking narcotics,” was found in the center console.
When Lopez began to open zippered purse sitting on the driver’s seat, Alexander stated, “You cannot search the purse.”
The officers immediately discontinued the search and contacted the District Attorney’s office. They were instructed to seal the vehicle and get a search warrant.
Alexander was arrested and taken to the Socorro County Detention Center. The female driver of the vehicle was questioned and released.
After the car was towed to the police department, officers executed the search warrant, turning up several burnt marijuana roaches in the ash tray. In the zippered purse officers found two bricks of marijuana weighing 12 ounces. Also found were two cocaine bindles - envelopes made by folding a square piece of paper, often used for carrying powdered drugs such as cocaine; popular with drug traffickers because it requires no tape, glue or fasteners and does not leak when folded correctly.
Other items in the car included a glass pipe for smoking marijuana, a glass pipe for smoking methamphetamines, and a plastic container containing loose marijuana.
The complaint said the vehicle will be seized due to trafficking narcotics.
If convicted on both counts, Alexander faces three years on the marijuana trafficking charge and 18 months on the cocaine possession charge.
A trial date in District Judge Matt Reynolds’ courtroom has not yet been assigned.

Sets cell on fire

In the meantime, Alexander faces another charge stemming from an incident in which a fire was set in his cell Monday afternoon at about 5:30 p.m.
According to Socorro County Detention Center Director Evangel Maldonado, Alexander set fire to his blanket and some of his clothes shortly after speaking with guard Chris Zamora.
“He had been causing problems all day, trying to speak with female inmates, so we needed him locked down, and were getting ready to transfer him to the Department of Corrections in Los Lunas,” Maldonado said. “He had apparently smuggled in a lighter that was missed in a body cavity search. Chris had just finished speaking with him when he set the fire. Chris grabbed a fire extinguisher and was able to put it out.”
Maldonado said the Socorro Fire Department arrived shortly afterward and helped air out the building.
Also responding with another extinguisher was the detention center’s shift supervisor Tony Bowers.
County Manager Delilah Walsh said Bowers was to be commended.
“Tony took charge of evacuating the building and getting who needed to be locked down, locked down,” she said. “The damage was minimal, but Mr. Alexander will be charged for starting the fire, and financially charged for the expense of replacing what burned.”
Alexander is currently being held in Los Lunas.

Socorro Man, 25, Dies In City Pool

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A reckless stunt gone wrong at the city pool has cost the life of a young Socorro man.
Floyd Savedra Jr., 25, drowned Monday while trying to hold his breath under water. Socorro police Sgt. Richard Lopez said the accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. Memorial Day.
“It was closing time and the lifeguards were trying to get everybody out of the water. The day was over,” Lopez said. “Throughout the afternoon [Savedra] had been holding his breath under water, and the lifeguards had been telling him to ‘cut it out.’
“At one point he got into a verbal altercation with one of the lifeguards about it, and he continued to do it.”
He said, based on the investigation, Savedra was apparently wanting to impress his friends, showing how long he could hold his breath.
“At closing time he was in the shallow end of the pool, but swam over to the deep end and sat on the bottom,” Lopez said.
One of the lifeguards told one of Savedra’s friends to “swim down there and get him out.”
“The friend went down there and said Savedra gave him a thumbs up signal, and the friend went back up,” he said. “The lifeguard then went down to check for himself and found Savedra wasn’t moving.”
Savedra was pulled out of the water, and lifeguards immediately began performing CPR until EMTs arrived, but could not revive him.
“They got him to the hospital as fast as they could,” Lopez said.
The municipal pool is currently closed, and city officials are discussing how to prevent another accident from happening.
“One possibility is to have a police officer there for four hours each day,” Lopez said.
Funeral services will be held at San Miguel Catholic Church Saturday, June 5.

Attorney To Challenge Three Amendments

By John Severance

Socorro Electric Cooperative attorney Dennis Francish wants to go to court to determine which, if three bylaw amendments adopted by the members at the annual meeting in April can be challenged.
Francish drafted a letter
to Trustee president Paul Bustamante and the other trustees Wednesday night and he wanted to test the following:
• The open meetings act and inspection of public records act. Francish says it is unworkable and provides a hardship for the corporation.
• The guarantee of transparency of actions with open access to SEC books, records and audits to members for a proper, non-commercial purpose with the exception of those records which would violate the Privacy Act. Francish says this is illegal and a abuse of the membership’s rights and it is harmful to the corporation.
• Board meetings being open to member/owners being open to member/owners and representatives of the press with timely notice of the meeting advertised in monthly bill mailings and local newspapers. A section of the meeting agenda shall be reserved for member participation during which member/owners may address the Board without prior approval of the Board. Francish claims this is unreasonable with the corporation’s operations and capacity to function properly.
Francish then addressed the members in the audience, "All you people in the audience are just wanabees. You come to these meeting because you would like to be trustees - well run for a trustee seat."
Not surprisingly, the board voted to allow Francish to proceed and file the necessary paperwork to take this to court.

OBITUARY: Elma Louise Ewing

Elma Louise Ewing
Jan. 7, 1933-May 27, 2010

Elma Louise Ewing, age 77, died on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at the Vista Care Hospice in Albuquerque, NM.Elma was born January 7, 1933 in Palmyra, NE to the late Arthur and Frieda Ransford.
She spent her childhood in Napa, CA and on February 24, 1952 she married Floyd Raymond Ewing.
Elma received her undergraduate and graduate teaching degrees from New Mexico State University. She taught elementary school and special education at several schools in Las Cruces and at White Sands Missile Range for 20 years.
She retired in 1989 and then moved to Socorro, NM in 1996.
Elma was a member of the Good Sam Club of New Mexico, The M-Mt Sams of Soccoro and Dona Ana Peppers.
Elma and her husband Floyd were the Assistant State Directors for the southwest chapters of the Good Sam Club. Elma was a member of First Baptist Church in Socorro.
Survivors include her husband Floyd, sons Eldon Ewing and his wife Martha of El Paso, TX, David Ewing and his wife Kathy of Cheyenne, WY, daughters Diane Peebles and her husband Henry of Albuquerque, NM, Jeanne Poling of Golden, CO, and her brother Robert Ransford of Gold Beach, OR . In addition, Elma is survived by seven grandchildren Services were Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at the First Baptist Church, 203 Spring Street, Socorro, NM. Relatives and friends are welcome to stay for the reception after the services.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ( or call 1-888-773-9958).Thanks to the M-Mt Sams of Soccoro and the First Baptist Church in Socorro for their help and support.Those who wish to send condolences may do so at Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801, (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Robert G. Stidstone

Robert G. Stidstone
Nov. 20, 1927-June 1, 2010

Robert G. Stidstone, 82, passed away, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Albuquerque, NM. Robert was born on November 20, 1927, to Wilfred L. and Marion (Popp) Stidstone in Boston, MA.
He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Patricia A. (Addoms) Stidstone of Socorro; his children, Robert Stidstone Jr. of RI; Matthew Stidstone and wife Debbie of MA; Patricia Uher and husband, Bill of Albuquerque, NM; and Thomas A. Stidstone and wife Sadie of Socorro, NM; 3 Grandchildren, Ashley; Kirsten; and Samantha; and 3 great grandchildren, Jayen; Julianne; and Jaelynn;. Robert was preceded in death by his sisters, Barbara Crowner; and Beverly Tilden; and brother, Wilfred Stidstone.
He was a resident of Socorro for over 30 years. Robert was a proud Veteran of WWII, serving with the Merchant Marines.
He retired from NRAO after 20 years.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 11:00 am at Daniels Family Funeral Services in Socorro. For those that wish to make memorial contributions may do so at New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranches, 6209 Hendrix Road, NE, 2nd floor, Albuquerque, NM 87110.
Those who wish to send condolences may do so at Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801, (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Floyd Anthony Savedra Jr.

Floyd Anthony Savedra Jr.
May 21, 1985-May 30, 2010

Floyd Anthony Savedra Jr., 25, passed away on Monday, May 31, 2010, in Socorro, NM. Floyd was born on May 21, 1985 in Socorro, NM, to Floyd A. and Margaret S. (Zamora) Savedra.
He is survived by his dedicated and loving parents, Floyd and Margaret of Socorro; His son, Floyd Anthony Savedra III ”Faster” of Socorro; his step children, Morayma Martinez of Socorro; and David Torres of Socorro; His companion, April Contreras of Socorro; one sister, Felicia N. Savedra and companion, Frankie Torres of Socorro; his paternal grandparents, Edward and Martha Savedra of Socorro; maternal grandparents, Jimmy and Barbara Zamora of Luis Lopez; his maternal great grandmother, Lillie Gonzales of Socorro; his niece, Nevaeh Torres of Socorro and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Floyd was a lifelong resident of Socorro. He graduated from Socorro High in 2003. Floyd was currently employed as a cement finisher with the family business, Edwards Construction.
A Rosary will be recited on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 9:30 am at the San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro. A Mass of Resurrection will follow at 10:00 am with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Burial will take place in the Luis Lopez Cemetery. Those who wish to send condolences may do so at Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 8780 835-1530

OBITUARY: Wynona Edith Morris

Wynona Edith Morris went home to be with her savior May 27, 2010 in McAllen, Texas . Wynona Morris was born Jube 28, 1947, the only child of John R. Worthington and Mona E. Worthington in Ft. Worth Texas .
The family moved to New Mexico to start a business in 1955. She was a wonderful woman and lived a very interesting life. Ms. Morris traveled a great deal with her jobs and different embassies including Cypress and Moscow . She worked at White Sands Missile Range before going over seas for other contractors. She worked for the New Mexico Tech campus police for seven years before she became disabled. She came to live in the Valley with her daughter and family almost a year ago where she was very happy.
She is survived by a daughter, Kimberly Underwood, son in law, Rycke J. Underwood, five grandchildren, Misty Wappenik, Chelsea Barrick, Rycke Underwood V, Cheyenne Underwood and Cherokee Underwood. She is also survived by four great grandchildren, Laken Rye, Caden Barrick, Miley Barrick and Rycke Underwood VII. She is preceded in death by her parents John and Mona Worthington.
A memorial was held Saturday, May 29 at First Baptist Church of San Juan. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Charity Rescue Mission, 120 Lyon St, Mercedes, TX, 78570. Those who wish to send condolences may do so at Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801, (575) 835-1530.

Open House Scheduled For Catron County Wellness Center

Special to the Mountain Mail

Excitement is growing about the first ever Catron County natural wellness center, located at the rear of the Frisco Lodging motel Southeast of Reserve.
On Saturday, June 12 at 2 p.m., there will be an open house featuring music and snacks, herbal teas and gourmet coffee, and opportunity to get familiar with the facility and get to know the practitioners.
Featured will be the local herbalist Kiva Rose, known for her effective use of regionally
available native plants in the treatment of various health problems and imbalances. Her Medicine Woman Herbal Clinic will begin serving clients there each and every Wednesday, with personal wellness consultations.
Also likely to attend this event will be Kristen Ehrlich, the resident certified massage therapist, providing pleasurable treatments that not only ease aches and aid relaxation, but also support the body’s own healing processes.
Frisco Lodging & Wellness Center is the vision of Jennifer Swenson, longtime proprietor of the gourmet Adobe Cafe. Her interest in contributing the health and well being of the community, inspired her to dedicate one of her buildings to this purpose, an attractively decorated space set back from the road and affording privacy for consultations and treatments
For information on Herbal Consultations, call and leave your number at: 575-519-1669. For info and directions to the Wellness Center, call: 575-533-6600.

EDITORIAL: ‘Wanabees’ Statement An Absolute Insult to Members

By John Severance
Mountain Mail editor

It’s been a week and I’m still trying to digest what happened at the latest Socorro Electric Cooperative board meeting.
The first thing on my mind is what are these guys hiding?
I’m still stunned about a particular comment made by co-op attorney Dennis Francish.
It was bad enough that the trustees allowed Francish to file paperwork fighting the legality of three bylaw amendments passed overwhelmingly by the members at their annual meeting in April.
One of the bylaws concerned the open meetings act and the inspection of public records act. The co-op board members and their attorney would have been well served to attend the attorney general’s seminar in Socorro last week on those two particular topics. Kudos, though, have to be given to Charlie Wagner and Prescilla Mauldin for attending the seminars.
But I digress.
Near the end of the meeting last Wednesday night, Francish had the gall to say while addressing the members in attendance, “All you people in the audience are just wanabees. You come to these meetings because you want to be trustees - well run for a trustee seat."
Are you kidding me?
That’s the last thing members want. They do not attend co-op meetings because they want to be trustees. They go because they want change and they want to see the bylaws they adopted be implemented immediately.
What he said was absolutely reprehensible and insulting and he should have been censured by the trustees. But that’s not going to happen.
With what has transpired in the past month and in fact the past five months, it’s very apparent that Francish represents the trustees and not the whole cooperative.
But here is the real disturbing part.
Francish would like nothing more than to see this whole co-op mess play out in court.
The longer it stays in court, the more he gets paid.
And what’s most insulting?
His fee gets paid by the members.
Any attorney, who makes a comment like Francish did, is just a plain old “has been.”
It’s clear as crystal that this guy has absolutely no concept of just how serious this whole mess is going to get, yet he keeps telling the trustees what they want to hear and keeps insulting the member-owners.

Time To Recall?

Well apparently, the members are finally mad enough and they are going to take some action.
First off, it’s surprising a class action suit has not been filed yet against the board.
Secondly, plans for a recall election just now are finally getting underway.
I have to say it’s about time.
On Wednesday night at the Socorro Library, members, organized by Lemitar resident Charlene West, held an organizational meeting to recall the trustees, who are refusing to put the propositions passed at the annual meeting into effect.

OPINION: Awareness, The Key To Life

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Each Memorial Day we remember those who lived and loved who are no longer with us. We remember veterans of wars who could still be with us but are not. We remember all who have come and gone from our homes and our lives. In New Mexico we give this nod of respect, two or three times a year.
The Day of the Dead, ends the growing season as Memorial Day begins it. Then there is Veterans day. During these times we stay linked in our humanity. We are aware of our vulnerability.
Alert awareness or as some say today, being in the “Now” has always been the key to staying alive. Life can be lost by uncontrollable circumstances, true enough, but it’s success is mostly secured by being aware of one’s surroundings.
Water is life as we know it; it is mother’s milk to all living things. The conditions surrounding water are dangerous to ignore. Ignorance, stupidity is the opposite of alert awareness. To ignore is to be unaware by choice. This “vulnerability” is suicidal.
At the yearly meeting of the San Augustin Plains Water Coalition one candidate for land commissioner said that land commissioners aren’t really connected to water issues. Obviously this candidate knew little or nothing of water sheds. There he was just a few miles from the Continental Divide.
The Great Sahara was once a land of virgin forests and great grass lands. It became the massive life eating desert long before aquifers were even known about. Over grazing and bad farming stripped the land of the means to hold water. For hundreds and hundreds of years the wind blew sand against grasslands burying more and more of Africa. The aquifers were untouched.
At our house as in much of Magdalena we support the Water Coalition’s battle against the greed of multinationals. Too bad our state is not on our side. How can any candidate, any party say they care about New Mexico and not care about water issues?
State and federal candidates still want our support (for as long as we can live here).
Have you become “aware” as I have, that supporting political hopefuls is getting pretty ironic? “Of, By and For” the people is a dark joke. The parties want your donations to support rich candidates to get jobs in Washington, paid for by US, to accept lobbyist benefits and bail out multinationals.
Politics is a popularity contest for mere millionaires who wish to move from “Squire” (S. Pearce and H. Teague) to Lord. If Richardson can influence movie casting in New Mexico these, “Squires” would be well cast. They vary on style but neither would be out of place in 17th century England. Could we film that here?
Our rebels of independence KNEW the rich and powerful would take over our country unless we remained aware and alert.
Human nature hasn’t changed. The popularity of propaganda, advertisement has grown to cloak the real invasion and coup.
Richardson disappointed everyone because he became an indifferent despot and he worked for multinationals. Those running now may or may not become despots. They will work for multinationals, in your “best” interest of course.
Has any one said “water” is out biggest issue?
In Feudal times, the “kings” required the “lords” and “squires” to take care of the people. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t. So a lot of people came to this land. “Kings” of industry (US Steel) doesn’t mean much today. Multinationals (especially the banks) decided we the people don’t “do” industry.
Multinational’s are the biggest empires in human history. They make the world’s weapons and now they rule space travel. They decide if you can grow a business or remodel, repair your house. They decide if you have food, air and water. They decide on the quality of those things.
If you are not “aware” of who is running this country then words like Supreme Court rulings and Gulf drilling, theory and practice, won’t mean much to you. Congress (not Obama) wrote a 2000 page bill on health care to keep Health Care Providers on the multinational level; and your family dependent.
Do you see the cattle on the plains east and west of Magdalena? Do you see the bare spots that have no grass at all? Soon, with our winds, you may not. In the east it’s called a white out, it’s snow, water. Here it is a brown out, it’s sand.
Grass cleans air and holds water, feed’s cattle. It’s vital.
Ask your dog what time it is. The answer is always NOW. Maybe WE can learn new tricks.
GRIZZ event, folk music at Bear Mountain Café, June 19th.
Mag. Arts weekend June 5th and 6th.
With air and water available, life gets interesting. Enjoy!

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

OPINION: Can We Talk More About Immigration Standards?

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” United States Declaration of Independence, 1776
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in the spirit of brotherhood.” Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” Jesus Sermon on the Mount,
Matthew 7:12 Holy Bible Revised Standard Version
The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant workers and their Families was ratified and adopted by the United Nations in 1990. It has been in force since 2003. It sets forth certain basic human rights of migrants and their families, including the right to life, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treat or punishment, and the right of privacy and property among others, irrespective of the migrant’s legal status.
The United States and Britain refused to sign this convention. The two countries are, however, signatories to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On any given day, there are more than 30,000 immigrants in detention in the US. Amnesty International’s latest report on immigration detention includes the following findings, all of them researched and found to be factual. The United States detains asylum seekers and other migrants it deems “illegal” who are survivors of torture and human trafficking. It also detains lawful permanent residents and the parents of U,S, citizen children. Immigrants can be detained for months and even years without any form of meaningful individualized review of whether their detention is necessary. The U.S. contracts with 350 state and county criminal jails to house approximately 67% of all immigrants in detention; non-compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement standards concerning health, sanitation, and safety is rife, 74 people have died while in detention in recent years; oversight and accountability for abuse or neglect of persons in detention is practically non-existent.
Along the US/Mexican border in Arizona volunteers with migrant support organizations collect accounts every day and night of the treatment, good and bad, of migrants taken into custody by the U.S. Border Patrol and detained by the ICE in centers in Nogales and Douglas, Arizona. They usually hear these stories while providing medical treatment and food and water. They treat wounds, broken bones, sprained ankles, injuries suffered in accidents or assaults, and dehydration. Border Patrol and ICE officers usually ignore these things.
On April 24 a young man from Oaxaca, Mexico was picked up in the desert. This was his first attempt to enter the U.S. He had nothing, there was no work for him in home village, he needed to work. A guard asked him how many people were with him. When he replied, It is just us”, the guard struck him in the face with a flashlight, knocking him to the ground. He was held for two days at small site in the desert. He was never told where he was being taken or to where he would be deported. He received no treatment for the wounds to his face or his blistered feet until volunteers provided it when he arrived at the detention center.
In April a man was picked up in the desert and was told if he signed a voluntary deportation order he would be released in two days. He was taken to Tucson and held for 15 days. When he askedwhy he was told he would be held for 8 more days. He was. Finally he was taken to Nogales where he told his story.
When another man tried to intervene when guards were teasing detained people by throwing food at them he was handcuffed, placed in a small dark cell where the temperature was held at freezing and left there, handcuffed and barefoot, for ten hours.
People leave Mexico, Guatemala and other points south because they have lost everything, if they ever had anything, there is no work, their small farms are foreclosed, and they are starving. They walk for days on end, are sometimes robbed by bandits, especially in our border country. They are not always mistreated when apprehended, but often enough that authorities admit there are problems from the time the migrants are captured to the period they are in detention. Families are split up, children deported in one direction, parents in another, young girls and women are targets for inappropriate attention from officers and guards, medical needs are ignored, people are packed into holding cells without regard to sanitation, the need for water or sleeping space.
Life, Liberty, Pursuit of happiness? Don’t complain. As many detainees in our border have been told, “Callarse la boca!” (Shut your mouth!”) “You have no rights! You’re illegal!”

Jack Fairweather’s views are not necessarily those of the Mountain Mail.

LETTER: Rancher Questions Discrimnation

To the editor:
This letter concerns the article in the Mountain Mail on May 27, 2010.
I’ve lived and been a rancher in this county all my life. Many years ago in school and elsewhere the Hispanics were called Mexican and we were Anglos. After all these people were, as this country was, Mexico at one time. Some of them had some Spanish blood in them. All of a sudden they wanted to be called Mexican-American. Then it was Spanish-American, some Latino American, later Chicano and now Hispanic.
So now Charlie Wagner who is a SEC board member is being charged with discrimination by the Hispanic people.
Who is being discriminated against?
Check all the SEC workers and elected offices in Socorro County. If they are not 95 percent Hispanic names I’m mistaken.
There is nothing wrong with this, but I wonder which nationality is being discriminated against.
Charlie Wagner is just trying to carry out the wishes of the membership - and to stop all the freebies and payments that have been going on for years - to make our electric bills cheaper.
Donald Wolberg ran for the board with the same thoughts Charlie had. At least he told us that, but as soon as he got in, his stripes have changed and he seems to be working against the members.
I really don’t know for sure what the Mexican, Spanish, Latino, Mexican-American or Hispanic should be called.
Felix Martinez was an old time cowboy and a good one. We were drinking coffee one day and I asked him what in heck a Chicano was. His reply was, “I was born a Mexican am still a damn Mexican, and am proud of it. A Chicano was a low class Mexican.”
So you figure it out.
Before this letter I had more Hispanic friends and than Anglo. Maybe I still have.

Tom Kelly
Water Canyon


LETTER: Question About Discrimination

To the editor
Are Hispanic people the only ones who are not allowed to be insulted as alleged re: Charlie Wagner’s comments as purported by “Pablo” Martinez, director of LULAC, and condemned by the SEC board of directors?
I, and the other 16 member-owners who attended the Wednesday SEC meeting, were insulted by the board’s lawyer, Dennis Francish (whose salary is paid by the member owners) by being referred to as “wannabes who want to be involved but can’t get elected (to the board)” Does he infer we are stupid, inept or – what?
Mr. Francish owes us an apology for his disrespect; the board should have reacted to his negative, slanderous statement by censoring his remarks. By letting his statement go unchallenged, they are accepting the rude statement that characterizes us unfairly.
The member-owners are frustrated at the negative dismissal and total lack of acceptance of our overwhelming vote to make changes to the SEC board and the way it conducts itself. That does not qualify us as “wannabes.”
We have been discriminated against and are owed an apology.

Ruth White


LETTER: Open Letter To Attorney General Gary King

Dear Mr. King
Thank you, your staff of lawyers, and Sarah Welsh of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government for coming to Socorro on May 27 to discuss and explain the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records act (the Sunshine Laws). Your meeting made it very clear that the proposition passed by District 3 on Octobevr 2, 2009 and full membership at the April 17 Annual Meeting of the SEC, “The SEC Board of Trustees shall voluntarily agree to a bide by the New Mexico Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act.,” Is workable, legal and reasonable and went into effect on April 17, 2010.
Trustees Mauldin and Wagner along with several members of the SEC and the press clearly heard that other nongovernmental and/or nonprofit agencies have voluntarily placed themselves under the “Sunshine Laws” and abide by them. The copies of “Open Meetings Act: Compliance Guide” and “Inspection of Public Records Acot Compliance Guide” handed out at the meeting makes other issues very clear. According to 10-15-3. Invalid Actions: Standing, the fact that the SEC has held meetings and taken lots of actionwithout adhering to the “Open Meeting Act” makes those meetings and actions invalid. The remedy in this case calls for provisions of the OMA to be enforced by the attorney general or by the district attorney in the county of jurisdiction or for an individual to apply for enforcement through the district courts.
As a member of the SEC, I ask that your office enforce the provisions under 10-15-3 and make it clear to the Board of Trustees and Attorney Dennis Francish that their actions are illegal until they comply with the Sunshine Laws. The members of the Socorro Electric Cooperative need relief from the delays and distortions that are adversely affecting our rights.

Charlene West


LETTER: Keeping Socorro Beautiful

To the editor:
On the Socorro Plaza, in front of Sundance Gift Store, on the sidewalk, there are large flower pots with flowers and plants in them to help keep the Plaza looking nice.
The people of Socorro and Socorro visitors enjoy them also. We want to make Socorro proud and someone else must like the pots and flowers as they keep going away! Please leave them where they belong so we can take care of them so everyone can enjoy the flowers and plants! The city is making the Plaza beautiful and we would like to do our part in keeping Socorro beautiful around the Plaza.

Don and MiRan Brown
Sundance Gifts


‘Rev. Ed’ Retires

By John Larson

SOCORRO - A much-loved “goodwill ambassador” at the Good Samaritan center On Highway 60 has retired.
“Rev. Ed” Adams turned in his signature black hat Thursday, May 27, at a short ceremony prior to the start of Good Sam’s annual Volunteer Carnival. Adams has been visiting Good Sam’s for 25 years, ever since he retired from Socorro Consolidated Schools as the librarian at Socorro High School in May, 1985.
Adams originally served as Chaplain for 10 years, and for the last 15 years his weekly visits included a devotional, then entertaining the residents with his guitar, “playing them a little country music every Thursday.”
He has occasionally been accompanied musically by George Murillo, Jim Ruff, and George Shoemaker.
“It’s doing something people need,” Adams said. “It’s a real joy, providing ministry to these people. It’s the most rewarding thing you can do.
“I may stop in every now and then to say hello, but not on a
regular basis.”
According to “Rev. Ed” he has been involved with church work for many years.
“I’ve pastored little churches here and there,” he said. “San Antonio’s First Baptist Church, Mesquite Baptist and Hill Baptist in Belen, and of course Magdalena.”
Adams is Pastor Emeritus at the First Baptist Church in Magdalena, and is currently an interim pastor at the First Christian Church in Truth or Consequences. “I moved to T or C in 2002, and they needed somebody and asked me to fill in as pastor for a couple of weeks. That was two years ago.”
After graduating from Belen High School in 1943, Adams spent 10 years as a farmer and rancher before relocating to Alamogordo to work in the post office.
“It was there I got my degree in language arts and my teaching degree,” Adams said.
He also spent time with the Home Mission Field in Dayton, Ohio, building churches.
“The Lord seems to send me in these directions,” Adams said. “I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”

Picture: Michelle Apodaca holds up the signature black hat donated by “Reverend Ed” Adams at a ceremony honoring his 25 years of ministering at Good Sam’s.

Photo by John Larson

Memorial Day 2010

The Memorial Day observance at Isidro Baca Park drew an estimated crowd of 100, who heard remarks by Peter Romero, paying respect to women in the armed forces. The prayer was delivered by Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Phil Preston. The National Anthem was performed by Elizabeth Barteau and Elizabeth Smoake.

Left, guest speaker John Larson speaks on the importance of respecting the fallen.

Photo by Vanessa Quinones

Remarks By John Larson On Memorial Day

From what I understand, the first Memorial Day in 1868 was to honor those soldiers who died in the Civil War, both Union and Confederate. It was looked on as a day of American reconciliation. For both sides were fighting for different aspects of our American principles.
So, I ask myself what Memorial Day means to me. I can only speak from my own experience – not from movies or books, but from people I knew that are now dead.
It means mission accomplished. By saying that, I mean these fallen men - and women - fulfilled their mission when their lives were cut short.
Their first mission was to serve their country, whether voluntarily enlisting or being called up – as in past conflicts. To fulfill a responsibility with which most countrymen are not faced. Those who go down to the enlistment office to sign up may feel a strong sense of moral obligation – to fight the good fight - or patriotism - or may be simply looking for an adventure – to be part of something bigger than he or she.
Those who were “called up” were no less. They perform their job conscientiously and carry out their duties honorably and professionally. Like those who enlisted, they are trained well - and together they become like a flaming sword for what is right and what our nation stands for.
Their other mission was that for which they were trained – to follow the orders of their superiors. Throughout the years, from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of Guadalcanal to the Korean peninsula to the foot trails of Vietnam to the villages of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan – they carry out their assignment. For far too many, their lives were cut short in doing so. But the fact that they consciously put themselves in harm’s way – says to me – they were successful. They performed their duty. And I honor those countrymen of mine for putting our ideals – our freedoms – the defense of our families and communities - above their own lives.
I have no higher respect than for those men and women who know what it’s like to be in service to our nation – us – and have sober reverence for those whose very lives were ended serving the United States of America – that’s you and me.
And to those currently serving – I salute you.


Memorial Day 2010

Many of Socorro’s veterans pose for a group shot. After the ceremony everyone was invited to the DAV for hamburgers and brats. Between 300 and 400 meals were served by volunteers. DAV Commander Paul Drake thanked those who attended.

Photo by Nicky Romero

Memorial Day 2010

The program included the playing of Amazing Grace by piper and minister Bob Farmer.

Photo by Nicky Romero

Memorial Day 2010

Ann Baca, the sister of Isidro Baca, who was killed in Vietnam, lays a wreath at the foot of the monument at Isidro Baca Park.

Photo by Vanessa Quinones

Memorial Day 2010

The DAV color guard executed three rifle volleys Monday. From left: Frank Torres, Tom Delahanty, Vidal Moya, David Zamora and Leonard Clapes.

Photo by Nicky Romero

New Store Opens In Quemado

By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

QUEMADO -- Owners Tommy and Joy Padilla have opened the doors to Rito Quemado on Friday, May 28, 2010.
Quemado's new convenience store and gas station is located off Highway 60 in the middle of town. The project has been in the making for over three years with it ups and downs.
The Padillas had help from their sons Jared and Kriston Padilla who own and operate A-3 Demolition in Queen Creek, Ariz.

“It was Jared and Kriston who got the site cleaned up and ready,” Tommy said.
Their daughter Dr. Stephanie Padilla, an OBGYN with Lovelace Women Center in Albuquerque came down and assisted when she was able. When asked why a convenience store, both Joy and Tommy agreed it was “something needed in town and we felt it would do good.”
Why the name Rito Quemado?
The Padilla family goes back a ways in Quemado history. Tommy was born and raised in the area. Steve and Placy Padilla are Tommy's parents and still very active in the community. The store name blends some old and some new. The original Indian settlement site was at the base of Rito Hill about four miles east of the current Quemado and back to the north. El Rito means little river or creek. According to Tommy, this is where an area was cleared “burned” of brush so that animals could be easily hunted for food.
Paul Templeton, a very familiar face in Quemado, will manage the store with about four other employees.
“I am very excited and hope everyone comes to see us,” Paul said of the opening.
”We are planning a special grand opening on the 4th of July,” Tommy said.
The gas station/store carries a full selection of fuels, convenience foods, fresh produce, dairy and everyday staples. You will now be able to purchase lottery tickets and scratchers in Quemado.
The store will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The gas pumps will be available 24 hours a day. The store phone number is 575 773-4664.

Grizz Project To Present Benefit Concert

Mountain Mail Reports

The Grizz Project of Magdalena Aiding Animals, Inc. is presenting a benefit concert by folk singer Mac Johnson, Saturday, June 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Bear Mountain Coffee House in Magdalena.
Mac Johnson first began playing the guitar at age 11. His grandfather, who played on the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930’s, helped Mac pick out his first guitar and taught him to chord, pick and sing. Since then, Mac has been playing folk, cowboy and country music, as well as performing in staged productions and Country Gospel programs in various cities in Nevada.
Cash donations accepted in lieu of a concert cover charge will benefit The Grizz Project, a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to relieving suffering and furthering the humane treatment of animals, most specifically, dogs, cats and horses, living in and around the Village of Magdalena.
Bear Mountain Coffee House and Art Gallery is located at 902 West First Street (Highway 60) in Magdalena.

Memorial Day Had Something For Just About Everybody

Luna News
By Kay Mindar

Memorial Day is unofficially the beginning of the summer and tourist season and here in Luna we saw many in and around town that were enjoying the beautiful weather.
There was something for everyone here and in surrounding areas with craft and rummage sales, vintage car shows, motorcycle riders and bicycle groups. Extended families and friends enjoyed the sunshine and scenery. The Luna cemetery benefited by the many visitors who came to town to decorate the graves of servicemen and ancestors.

A memorial service was held Monday for Merle Reynolds. Family and friends gathered at the Luna Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to pay their respects. Merle was the son of Harry and “Lottie” Reynolds.

The tourist months bring many visitors from Eastern Europe to Luna to take pictures. Why? Apparently our own Luna Service Station is world famous and they just have to get a photo of the sign and building. In searching we could not find a specific reference on travel sites, although at you will see wonderful pictures in Linda Aragon’s Guide to Southwest New Mexico.

Big changes are being made for the Luna Park in their new location at the Community Center. At 9 a.m. the next two Saturdays are being set aside as community work days to set up equipment and prepare the grounds. There will also be a 50/50 raffle held to boost the Park’s funds so watch for upcoming ticket sales.

This year’s Independence Day celebration will be held Saturday July 3 at the community center and new park.

In preparation for this summer festivities, many thanks go out to LaVor and Myrna Nikolaus for their service in mowing the grass and weeds around the old church.

Many in Luna have noticed a change in their cell phone reception in the past week; some nearly jumping out of their skin when their pockets start singing ringtones and others are enjoying a long awaited signal where before there was only dead air space. We have to admit there are some of us who liked being able to say we were out of area and had to turn ourselves off from 24/7 calls and text messages. The specific information on the tower is still vague. If you are experiencing difficulties in programming your cell phone you are encouraged to call your wireless provider for help.

Mark your calendars for the second annual Preparedness Fair 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center across the street from Basha’s in Eagar, Arizona. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. There will be over 50 booths with a wealth of information, hands on demos and mini classes. Also a U. of A. extension office representative will be on hand to test the gauges on pressure cookers for accuracy.

It is never too late to start; Project Noah flyers are still available by sending a legal envelope with double postage to P.O. Box 42 Luna, NM 87824.

Quote of the week:
“You might as well fall flat on your face as you lean over too far backward."
~James Thurber


All Dogs, Including Sylvia, Just Gotta Bark

By Anne Sullivan

“Now, Sylvia,” I said yesterday as we took our morning walk to gather pine cones and branches for the coming winter’s fires. Winter was sure to start with a snowstorm right after Labor Day and Boy Scouts aren’t the only ones who believe in being prepared. “What on earth were you barking about all night long? I barely got an hour’s sleep.”
“Surely you exaggerate,” she said. “However, since you ask, I really can’t remember exactly what it was all about. I’m very tired. You have no idea how exhausting it is to bark for hours. Not every one could do it. I do know it was something important, something very suspicious, something vital to our survival. Probably something big was about to attack us.”
“I see,” I said through gritted teeth. “I guess I owe you a vote of thanks for saving us.”
“It was nothing, boss,” she said with undue cheer. “I’d do it for you anytime.”
We trudged on through the ponderosas as I slipped the pine cones Sylvia brought to me into a garbage bag.
“How many dogs write poetry?” Sylvia asked out of the blue.
“I don’t know. Surely some,” I replied. “There are more dogs than you could shake a stick at writing books these days.”
“Hmm,” muttered Sylvia who was surprisingly silent the rest of our walk.
When we were back home Sylvia asked for pen and paper. When delivered, she disappeared into her house on the porch for quite some time.
An hour or thereabouts passed before Sylvia entered the world again, the paper clutched in her teeth. She deposited this in my lap saying only “Here.”
And this is what she wrote:

I’ve gotta bark.
What a lark.
Bark, bark.

You wonder why
I’ve gotta bark.
It’s a lark.
Bark, bark.

I’ve gotta bark
Nobody knows.
It’s a dog thing.
Bark, bark.

All night long
I’ve gotta bark
As soon as it’s dark
Bark, bark.

I’ll never stop
Until I drop.
It’s a real lark.
Bark, bark.

I don’t gotta bark.
I’ve made my mark.
What a lark.
Bark, bark.

Quemado News: Rodeo Scheduled For Saturday; Senior Center Activities

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Quemado Rodeo is scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at the Heritage Arena in Quemado. The events are Mutton Busting for children 6 years and younger, Calf roping ages 7 to 9 years, Pee Wee Bull Riding ages 10 to 12, Jr. Bull Riding ages 13 to 15, Sr. Bull Riding ages 16 to 19. The action starts at 12:30 p.m. The arena is located one mile north of J and Y gas station near the Quemado gun range.

At the Quemado Senior Center, activities for the week include pool practice on Tuesday, June 8 with quilting and bingo on Thursday. Need a special gift for someone? All seniors are welcome. Call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

Quemado Schools will hold a basketball camp and skills workshop June 7 through June 11. Summer school will be held during the month of June. Call the school office for more information on these activities.

The Rural Book Mobile will be here on Tuesday, June 8 by the Quemado post office at 3:45 p.m., Other stops include the Datil post office at 1 p.m., the Pie Town post office at 2:30 p.m and the Alamo Cherry housing at 10:30 a.m.

Frozen Fruit Orders are now being taken for Summer delivery. This is an opportunity to order freshly frozen fruit from a farm the Bithell Farms in Boring Oregon. Various types of berries, cherries, peaches, apples, apricots and red rhubarb are available. You may get an order form from Janene Prudler at 575 773-4739. Order forms are due by June 27.

The Datil Food Pantry second annual fundraising auction will be on June 12 in the Datil school and Presbyterian Church parking lots. It will start around 10 a.m. and run throughout the day. For information, please call Nancy Wettach at 505-240-1271.

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

Fisher Prescribed Fire To Cover 7,000 Acres

The Cibola National Forest, Magdalena Ranger District implemented the Fisher prescribed burn Wednesday, June 2. The Fisher prescribed burn area covers approximately 7,000 acres and is about 35 miles southwest of Magdalena, in the San Mateo Mountains. Smoke can be expected for several days and will probably be visible from US Highway 60 west of Magdalena. Fire personnel will patrol for as long as necessary after ignition to ensure public safety.
Prescribed burns are designed to remove hazardous fuels from the landscape in order to reduce the intensity of a future Wildland wildfire and help restore forest and watershed health and wildlife habitat by utilizing fire in a managed environment.
During the prescribed burn additional fire vehicles will be in the area. Motorists are urged to use caution if driving in this area as visibility might be poor due to smoke.
For more information, contact the Magdalena Ranger District at 575-854-2281.

For The Love Of Dance

By Gary Jaramillo
Publisher, Mountain Mail

Some time ago Julie Cottom suffered a stroke that debilitated her and left the future unsure for the beloved local famed dance instructor and native Socorroan. The news of Julie’s stroke was a shock for all in Socorro and really hit home for many Socorroans because people were saying, “not Julie, she’s done so much for Socorro children.”
No one has ever found the answer as to why awful things happen to our most beloved, but Julie never let it get her down and continued the Cottom School of Dance, and with help from former students the school has continued on quite well.
After her mother moved away from Socorro, Julie continued to build the dance school into a permanent and important part of Socorro. Many young ladies and boys have learned specialty dancing from Julie throughout the years and all of them owe her a debt of gratitude because they didn’t only learn about dancing, but they learned etiquette, manners, respect and love for other people. Julie has also been teaching for the Socorro Consolidated Schools for some time as well.
Julie walked into the Mountain Mail this week to order an ad for her annual Dance recital this weekend, and I haven’t seen a more vibrant and hopeful beautiful young lady like Julie in sometime. She hasn’t let the stroke slow her down and plans to begin teaching full dance classes and high school english classes again very soon.
Too often we hear about medical setbacks that completely slow ones life to a crawl, but not in Julie’s case. I haven’t seen anyone so happy and ready to take on the world as my friend Julie.
If this stroke stuff thought it was going to win, it was dead wrong. Julie has it on the run and is on her way to a completely positive recovery, physically and psychologically . She’s always been one of Socorro toughest and devoted business women, and now she’s proving it with flying colors.
When she left the office, I felt good about life and the possibilities ahead. It’s obvious that Julie is now teaching something called “life lessons and how to live through the roughest of challenges with a smile.” Julie said, it’s just life and you just have to keep living it every day and never stop being positive about every part of it.
I have no doubt that Julie will be back to 100 percent in the very near future and will be continuing on with her love for dance, children and life. Now if that isn’t good news that should get everyone moving and thinking more positively about their current troubles, then I don’t know what is?
The Mountain Mail crew wishes Julie the absolute best in her recovery and the wonderful things she plans to continue with very soon. The coolest thing is that all of us will reap the benefits of her wonderful attitude and outlook on the challenges she has had to face. If all of us just give a tiny amount of the will that Julie has shown, we’ll all be just fine in the long run.
This good news is brought to you by the words: hope, hard work, love, family, friends, faith and spirit!

Wild Turkey Federation Banquet Set For June 12 In Socorro

Mountain Mail reports

The San Agustin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is holding its Fifth Annual Hunting Heritage Banquet Sunday, June 12, at Rancher’s Steakhouse.
Kevin Carson, one of the organizers, said the evening will feature games, raffles, auctions, and prizes.
“This year’s banquet will have some excellent framed art works, sculptures, jewelry, camping and hunting gear, seven guns, and hunts,” Carson said. “Most of all, lots of fun and a delicious meal.”
Door prizes will be given out through the evening.
Proceeds from the verbal and silent auctions, various raffles, and other games will go toward the conservation of the wild turkey and other wildlife and their habitats, he said.
In a press release, Chapter Chair Carlos Madril said the Hunting Heritage banquets are the means by which the National Wild Turkey Federation and its volunteers raise money for its various programs.
As a result of last year’s banquet habitat projects were implemented on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service-Magdalena Ranger District and the BLM Field Office. Other projects included the Annual JAKES Event (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship); Conservation scholarships; Turkey Hunters Care Program; and helping to fund the Socorro County 4-H chapter.
The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner being served at 7 p.m.
The cost is $40 per person, or $60 per couple. Existing members pay only $15