Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tech Ducks

One of the duck ponds near the New Mexico Tech golf course on Wednesday afternoon.

Mountain Mail photo

Socorro Woman Murdered


John J. Hayden made his first appearance in Socorro's Magistrate Court, Thursday, June 10, where Judge Jim Naranjo set bond at $750,000, cash only. Hayden asked for a public defender. His plea of not guilty was not accepted. Hayden is currently being held at the Socorro County Detention Center. The date for his arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

By John Larson

SOCORRO – A local woman has been found deceased in the trunk of a car parked under a bridge off Chaparral Road early Wednesday, June 8.
According to the Department of Safety’s Director of Communications Peter Olson, the victim was identified as Theresa Saiz-Chavez, of Socorro. It is being investigated as a homicide.
Late Wednesday night, John J. Hayden, 56, was arrested and charged with an open count of murder, kidnapping, and battery on a household member. He is being held with no bond.
Late Tuesday evening State Police, Socorro County Sheriff’s Office and Socorro Police Department were dispatched to a “shots fired” call, Olson said.
“While law enforcement personnel were searching for the suspect’s vehicle, a different vehicle was located parked under a flood control bridge off Chaparral,” Olson said. “The victim’s body was discovered in the trunk of the car.”He said the body in the trunk showed signs of heat exposure.
State Police believe the death of Saiz-Chavez was not related to the shots fired call.
State Police Investigations Bureau with the assistance of the Socorro Police Department processed the crime scene.
As of press time, the cause of death had not been released.

Pictures: (top) Theresa Saiz-Chavez. Courtesy KRQE.
(bottom) The bridge off Chaparral Rd where the car was discovered. Mountain Mail photo.


Lemitar Cockfighting Event Interrupted

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Seven years after the last legally recognized cockfighting arena in Socorro County was destroyed by fire, a County Sheriff’s deputy, with assistance from a State Police officer, stopped a clandestine cockfighting event in Lemitar Sunday, May 30.
“I saw people running out of the building in all directions. Flying out like a bunch of birds,” Deputy Joseph Tafoya said.
Tafoya and State Police Officer Greg Valentino were the only law enforcement officers available at the time to answer the call shortly after noon from a woman who reported that she witnessed dead roosters in the front yard of a residence on Elder Lane in Lemitar.
“It was an anonymous call into dispatch,” Tafoya said. “She said there were several vehicles, maybe 12 to 15, at the residence, and that there appeared to be a cockfight in progress. You can’t miss it.”

Tafoya said the first offense for cockfighting is a petty misdemeanor, which carries a fine of between $25 and $100. Unlike dog fighting, spectators are not charged.
“Officer Valentino and I arrived at the property - which included a trailer, a work shed, a bigger house and a large garage - and we split up, he went one way and I went around the other way,” he said. “I heard Greg saying ‘don’t move, stay right there,’ and came around the corner. That’s when the people came running out in all directions, out toward the ditch banks. Four people stayed put; three spectators and the property owner.”
He said he said he noticed in the backyard one rooster dead, two others injured and other roosters running around loose on the property.
“Both the injured birds had the metal spurs attached, along with the boot,” Tafoya said.
The property owner told Tafoya that he had just arrived prior to the officers’ arrival, and said “he was called by another friend who said friends of his were in town and looking for a place to fight the roosters.
“The owner said he didn’t want that to happen on his property, but it had already started. That’s when we showed up,” Tafoya said. “The three spectators said they didn’t know who the people were, other than [the other people] were the owners of the roosters and were from Belen.”
Tafoya said no one was charged at the May 30 incident in Lemitar, but the surviving roosters have been taken in by a woman in Polvadera.
“The roosters have been classified as abandoned property,” he said. “The county may have to advertise them as such, and we’ll see if the rightful owners of the roosters come to claim their property.”
Which is doubtful.

Since March, 2007, cockfighting has been banned in New Mexico, although it is not a crime to own, breed and sell fighting roosters.
When Gov. Bill Richardson signed the law outlawing cockfighting, it had been a thriving business in Luis Lopez.
At least up until May, 2003, when the Gentlemen’s Arena Game Club, operated by Louisa Lopez and Richard Lopez Sr. on Farm-Market road was burned to the ground by an arsonist. The perpetrator was never discovered.
That same year the New Mexico legislature was to decide on a bill banning cockfighting and imposing an 18 month prison sentence on those poultry fanciers convicted of the crime and sentiments on both sides of the issue ran high.
After the fire the Lopezes constructed a new building on the site, and opened it as a dance hall.
In earlier times legal cockfighting arenas could be found in Magdalena, San Antonio, and Lemitar, as well as Luis Lopez.
A major cockfighting operation in Chaparral was broken up in 2009, resulting the recovery of about 1,000 fighting roosters.

Pictures: (top) The evidence picked up by the authorities in Lemitar. (bottom) In May of 2003, the Gentlemen’s Arena Game Club, operated by Louisa and Richard Lopez Sr., was destroyed by fire and the arsonist was never caught.

Mountain Mail file photo

Local Man To Be Tried After Supreme Court Overturns Ruling

By John Larson

SOCORRO –A years-old felony case will be back on the District Court docket, thanks to a recent ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court. The ruling concerned a question with a change in the statute of limitations for violent crimes.
In June, 2005, Nicholas Morales, now 68, was arrested on five counts of sexual molestation of a young girl which occurred between 1978 and 1985, beginning when the victim was about four years old.
According to the 2005 arrest warrant, Morales “admitted to having sexual penetration with the victim on five occasions when she was between the ages of four to seven years old.”
Before going to trial, the case was thrown out by the New Mexico Court of Appeals, which ruled that the crime had fallen outside of the statute of limitations – 15 years for class I felonies.
But last Friday, June 4, the state’s Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals ruling. The high court ruled that when the legislature removed the statute of limitations for violent crimes in 1997, the alleged incidences involving Morales still lay within the 15 year statute.
The victim, Tanya – the Mountain Mail will only print her first name – reported in May, 2005, that she was the victim of periodic rape by a relative over a seven year period, when she was aged 3 ½ to 10.
In a KRQE News 13 television interview in February, Tanya said, "I will not own the shame of what he did to me. He robbed me of my childhood. He silenced me at a very young age. He was put in a position to protect and he violated that."
District Attorney Clint Wellborn told the Mountain Mail he was gratified to learn of the Supreme Court’s decision.
“It was the right decision, and one we always had planned on. There were people concerned that it would not be pursued, but it was a long process and we were appealing the Court of Appeals ruling all along,” Wellborn said. “We knew we had a legitimate argument which was worth pursuing up to the Supreme Court.”
Socorro Police Sgt. Richard Lopez said the department has been safe-keeping all physical evidence in the case.
“We’ve been waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision on this, so all we have to do now is bring it out from where it’s been kept,” Lopez said.
This includes all documents and videos of interviews. Also all witnesses will be contacted, including former Chief of Police Lawrence Romero, who was a detective at the time and the investigating officer.
Wellborn said the original prosecutor, Stacey Ward, no longer works in the D.A.’s office, and has assigned Assistant District Attorney Regina Ryanczak to be prosecutor.

Be On the Lookout For Bears, Cougars In Mountains

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Two reports from Santa Fe this week have to do with cougars and bears in rural and mountainous areas.
Governor Richardson signed a proclamation declaring June 12 “Cougar Smart New Mexico Day,” alerting hikers, bikers and other outdoor recreationists that New Mexico is cougar country, and encouraging them to stay aware of their surroundings.
“New Mexico is cougar country,” the governor said in a press release. “As people get outdoors and enjoy the state’s wildlife and wildlands heritage, they need to stay alert to the possibility that cougars and bears share those lands. While cougar attacks are extremely rare, following a few simple steps can help people cut their risk.”
“Cougar attacks are extremely rare,” said Tod Stevenson, director of the Department of Game and Fish. “Recreationists should know that it’s a remote possibility, but it can happen and the results can be terrible”
Game and Fish is also warning hikers and campers that hotter than normal temperatures bring the possibility of encountering bears in campgrounds, picnic areas and communities near mountains.
According to a separate press release from Game and Fish, bear sightings have risen in the East Mountains near Albuquerque.
“Tuesday, May 8, Conservation Officer Mike Ahlm responded to his eleventh bear call in two days in that area,” the press release said. “He had just finished collecting a road-killed bear on Interstate 40. A week earlier, he had to kill an aggressive bear that was terrorizing a picnic area.”
"There were indications that that bear was being fed by people, and that's usually a death sentence for bears," Ahlm said. "If I find out you've been feeding bears, I will prosecute you." The fine for anyone who intentionally or unintentionally feeds a bear that becomes a nuisance is $500.
Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley said although visitations by bears are not frequent, a occasional bear sighting in the village is not unusual.
“Bears come down, mostly looking for water. Residents must be cautious and make sure their garbage is secured in their trash bins,” Cearley said. “They’re also attracted by dog food or anything else that’s been left outside. If you see one, call us immediately.”
In 2007, a 150 pound black bear was killed when it climbed a utility pole near the Spears Well, causing a partial blackout in the village and Hop Canyon.
In 2006, the area around Quemado Lake, including all campgrounds, was closed by Gila National Forest because of an increase in bear activity.
Fish and Game offers advice on encountering a bear or cougar:
• Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear, but avoid direct eye contact, as that may be considered a threat.
• If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there.
• Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don't run.
• Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn't feel threatened or trapped. If you are on a trail, step off on the downhill side and slowly move away.
• Carry a walking stick and use it to fight back in the rare event that an encounter with a cougar becomes an attack.
• If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear's nose and eyes.

OBITUARY: Perfilia Padilla

Perfilia Padilla
April 30, 1922-June 3, 2010

Perfilia Padilla, age 88, beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 3, 2010, while surrounded by her loving family.
Perfilia was a long time resident of Socorro, but for the last year had been living in Albuquerque with her daughter due to failing health. Perfilia was born in Quemado on April 30, 1922. At the age of six she lost her father and an aunt in a boating accident in a small lake near Quemado. She was raised by her mother and her grandmother.
She attended Mt. Carmel School in Socorro and St. Vincent Academy in Albuquerque. She also attended a Catholic University in Ohio.
After WWII she married Seles Padilla Sr. They began their careers teaching at a small school in San Mateo. After two years they moved to Polvadera, where they raised their family. Perfilia never lost her love for teaching and at the age of 53 received her degree in elementary education from NMIMT. She then began teaching again at Torres Elementary until her retirement.
Perfilia is survived by her children, Seles Padilla Jr. and wife Margaret from Socorro; Mary Ellen Chavez and husband, Stanley from Albuquerque; and Larry Padilla and wife, Jun Fang from Los Lunas, NM. In addition, she is survived by 10 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, and many niece, nephews, and cousins. She is also survived by a sister, Alice Martinez and husband, Robert from Socorro, and sisters-in-law, Lillie Apodaca from Polvadera,NM; and Susie Padilla from Socorro. She is preceded in death by her husband, Seles Padilla Sr., and sister Lupe Vallejos.
Funeral services will be on Monday, June 7, 2010, at San Miguel Catholic Church in Socorro with a rosary recited at 8:30 a.m. and a Mass immediately following. Interment will be at San Lorenzo Cemetery in Polvadera. 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: Florence Chrisco Kottlowski

Florence Chrisco Kottlowski
July 12,1924-May 30, 2010

Florence Chrisco Kottlowski joined her late husband, Frank, on Sunday, May 30, 2010. She had been under hospice care. Her family wishes to thank all care givers for their wonderful care of her during these past few months.
She was born on July 12, 1924, in Walla Walla, Washington. She met her husband Frank during WWII and they married in 1945. They were married for 55 years. Socorro was her home for most of her life. Her cremains will be intered with Frank at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe.
She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Ewbank, and sister-in-law, Cissie Chrisco. She leaves behind her three daughters, Karen Harvey, Jan Wallace, and Dianna Shoderbek.
She was especially fond of her sons-in-law, Albert Harvey; and David Schoderbek; but reserved a special place for her grandchildren, Adam Harvey (Angie); Benjamin Harvey (Stacy); Zachariah Wallace (Tanya); Donald Schoderbek (fiancé, Maddie); and Florence Schoderbek; as well as her great grandchildren, Rick; Kate; Frank; and Olivia.
She was a lifelong volunteer in the public schools and she helped start a local thrift store in the 1970’s. She spent many happy Tuesdays working there. It is thriving today. She also loved to plant things and her yard is filled with several different kinds of fruit trees, flowers, vegetables, and herbs. She was a kind, gentle, generous soul and will be missed, especially her quiet sense of humor and her lively political debates.
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: Alan K. Bowlby

Alan K. Bowlby
Jan. 6, 1931-May 31, 2010

Alan K. Bowlby, 79, died Monday, May 31, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. He was born January 6, 1931 in Washington, New Jersey to Herbert Bowlby and Gladys Rush Bowlby.
Alan served in the United States Navy, National Guard and United States Air Force. and worked in the auto parts industry. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling and being with his family.
Alan is survived by his wife Earlene Bowlby, Quemado; son Alan Bowlby, Jr., Phoenix; daughters Jennifer Dickman, Yuma; Susan McGovern, Phoenix; sister Alice Ceddia, Hackettstown, New Jersey; 16 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Gerri Lynn Bowlby.
A Funeral Service will be held Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Quemado. Interment will follow the Services at the Quemado Cemetery.
To leave an online condolence, please visit
Burnham Mortuary, Eagar, handled arrangements.

OBITUARY: Linda Marie Platt

Linda Marie Platt
April 17, 1947-June 4, 2010

Linda Marie Platt (nee Roath) completed her earthly journey on Friday, June 4, 2010, after a brief illness.
She was born to Archie J. and Jean F. Roath on April 17, 1947 in Buffalo, Wyo. She is survived by her husband of 36 years, Thomas Gregory (Greg) Platt of Socorro; sons David Goeffrey Platt of Chicago, Ill.; and Thomas Glenford Platt and wife Stephanie of Annapolis, Maryland; and daughter Ella Jean Musser and husband Fritz of Edgewater Maryland; brother Jack L. Roath of Canon City, Colo..; sister Gwendolyn M. Roath of Socorro; six grandchildren, extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, David Tyler.
Linda graduated from Lovington high school in 1965 and attended the University of New Mexico. Wherever Linda lived – New Mexico, Greencastle, Ind., Puerto Rico; Plano, Tex.; Anapolis, Md., and Socorro – she made friends with her big smile, easy laugh and her caring and compassionate ways.
She was an active member of the Baha’i Faith and was a trained teacher for children and adults in Baha’i education. A highlight for her was a pilgrimage in the late 1980s to the Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel.
She worked closely with her husband in his computer business in Texas and later worked as phlebotomist and office manager for doctors in Maryland. After moving to Socorro in 2000 to be closer to her family, Linda worked first at the Bhasker Clinic and then the Socorro PMS Community Clinic.
Linda opened her heart and home to numerous people over the years including troubled teens seeking a stable environment, which led to those teens and her own to dub their home “The Refugee Center”.
“She was always encouraging other people and giving them solace,” said her husband, noting her loving ways and quiet certitude.
She maintained a life-long association with members of her high school Girl Scout troop; and friendships formed in her early college years.
She loved reading, studying history and was an avid amateur photographer. She was also a member of the Fiber Arts Guild and the Friends of the Bosque del Apache NWR.
A memorial celebration of her life was held on Wednesday, June 9, 2010,at the Casa Blanca Bed and Breakfast, San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HHC/Hospice, P.O. Box 1009, Socorro, NM 87801 or the American Cancer Society.

Look For Comet McNaught In The June Skies

June Skies
By Jon Spargo
Tech Astronomy Club

June will be a busy month for sky watchers. A couple of events will require binoculars or a small telescope but will be worth the effort. The first is the appearance of Comet McNaught. This object became visible during the early morning hours beginning around June 1 as it makes its way through the constellations of Andromeda, Perseus and Auriga.
The best viewing will be mid month as it passes through Perseus.
If it follows predicted magnitudes it should begin the month at magnitude 8 and brighten one or two magnitudes by the middle of the month. Its path will begin low in the east and move toward the northeast. A detailed finder chart can be found in the June issue of Sky & Telescope Magazine. An on-line search might also lead you to a finder chart.
Venus will continue to dazzle us in the early evening hours. On the evening of June 11 about an hour after sunset, Venus and the bright stars Pollux and Castor, in Gemini, will form a virtual straight line. Another great sight, for those who have binoculars, will be on the evenings of June 19-20. At that time Venus will be less than one degree from M44, the famous Beehive star cluster.
Mars will spend most of the month hanging out in Leo, “The Lion.” On June 5- 6 Mars was found less than one degree from the bright star Regulus which is the last star or at the base of the handle of the “Sickle of Leo.” Some folks refer to this grouping as looking like a backwards question mark.
Saturn appears slightly dimmer this month as the Earth is steadily pulling away from the ringed planet. As the month progresses the rings will begin to open up a bit which is another artifact of the Earth’s changing position with relation to Saturn. During May the rings closed to 1.7 degrees and appeared nearly edge on. We won’t see the rings this thin again until 2024.
Jupiter will be an early morning target for planet watchers. A bonus this month is a conjunction with the planet Uranus. Through June 16 the two planets will be within one degree of each other.
The Moon will be new on June 12, 1st quarter on June 19, and full on June 26.
On June 14, looking west-northwest about an hour after sunset, the crescent Moon will be just below and to the left of Venus.
There will also be a partial eclipse of the Moon in the early morning hours of the night of June 25-26. Unfortunately, this eclipse will only be partially visible to folks in the western half of the U.S. Those in Hawaii should have a grand view of the entire event. The partial eclipse will begin at 4:17 a.m. MDT and 3:17 PDT.

County Takes Another Look at Sun Zia Lines

By John Severance

SOCORRO –Eastern Socorro County ranchers paid a visit to the commissioners Tuesday night and they were not happy.
On the agenda was a resolution that the Commission would only approve routes for the Sun Zia project that would traverse the Rio Grande River in the vicinity of Arrey and traveling northerly and parallel to the western boundary of the White Sands Missile Range.
The ranchers, though, led by Land Use Commssioner John Banks and resident John Saiz, said that route would be going through their property. They were not too happy about it.
“I urge you to look at this closely and preserve our open spaces,” Banks told the commissioners.
“They are powerful and they make big bucks,” Saiss said of Sun Zia. “Now what are we going to do about it? Instead of them telling us what to do. We should be telling them what to do. We should set up a criteria requirement for them. That is what other states do. We just heard about this in the last two or three weeks. As you can probably tell, I’m against the line.”
Another resident told the commission, “I don’t envy you in the decision you have to make.”
Sun Zia project manager Tom Waray said, “There seems to be an air of finality in here and I don’t understand it. You don’t have to do anything. I still don’t know what the route is going to be.”
The date for BLM’s deadline for comments on the Sun Zia project was June 10, but county manager Delilah Walsh said the BLM would accept comments after that date. The commissioners, meanwhile, were in a quandary and vice chair Danny Monette finally made a motion to table the voting on the resolution so he could talk to some more people.
After about 20 minutes of more discussion, commissioner Philip Anaya finally said he would second the motion. The commissioners then voted unanimously to table the resolution until its next meeting on June 22.
In other business:
• The Commission approved a contract with Dona Ana County in regards to compensation and medical care for inmates staying at their detention facility.
• The Commission appointed Celeste Griego, Les Torres, Evangel Maldonado, John DeCosta, Viola Montoya, Lewis Auerbach, Ray Padilla, David Naranjo, Jerry Wheeler, Zabrina Montoya and Theresa Rosales to the Loss Prevention Committee.
• The Commission awarded a bid to Don Chalmers Ford for $52,854 to purchase two 4x4 four-door pickups. The bid was $10,000 lower than the one offered by Monette Ford. Monette recused himself.
• The Commission appointed a committee to monitor an election for the adoption of the municipal police member coverage Plan 5. Appointed to the committee were Debbie Wiliams-Baker, Celeste Griego and Jennifer Amato. The election will be June 28 at the county manager’s office.

Bataan Farewell

Mountain Mail General Manager Gary Jaramillo attended the last conference of the Survivors of the Bataan Death March, June 5, and performed for the group, including singing God Bless America and shared time with family friend and keynote speaker Lieutenant General Ed Baca.

Courtesy photo

EDITORIAL: Keep The Sun Zia Lines Out Of Socorro County

By John Severance, Editor
and Gary Jaramillo, Publisher

What to do with the Sun Zia Transmission Line Project?
I say send the lines east of the White Sands Missile Range and leave Socorro County alone.
I’m still wondering what Socorro County is getting out of the deal. From what I have gathered, not much.
Sun Zia project manager Tom Wray told the commissioners that the county has an abundance of geothermal resources and in order for it to be developed it needs transmission lines.
Nice try. I don’t think anybody is in any hurry around here to develop our geothermal resources.
Co-op update
It was disappointing to hear that the members are backing down on their thoughts of calling for a recall of the Socorro Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees.
From what I have heard, they don’t have to have done anything criminal to be recalled.
It’s this simple.
The board should serve at the behest of its members.
We all know that does not happen around here.
This board serves at the behest of itself because it’s probably hiding something.
Now, is the time to do something and not waste any more time.
Sure, it can call a special meeting and tweak the bylaws to make them read more legal. But don’t go out and get 1,000 signatures. The bylaw states that any three trustees can call for one and I know the members can count on at least three and possibly four for that to happen. As former Washington Redskins coach George Allen once said back in the 1970s, “The Future Is Now.”

Crying shame

It’s just a crying shame that in our little corner of the world – people actually kill other people. We have to keep believing that when we wake up each morning to go to work or clean house or go shopping, that we’ll be safe. We just have to, but unfortunately the fact is that there are those out there among us who have too much anger or too many bad experiences in their heads and at some point they are going to do something very bad.
It’s just a matter of being in the wrong relationship or wrong place at the worst of times for that person who is going to kill.
We raise our children to respect other’s space and lives and always do the right thing. Who knows what goes wrong when someone just can’t cope any longer and changes from that nice, calm great guy or girl next door that we think the world of?
It’s heartbreaking that from time to time we lose one of our neighbors and dear friends to a senseless violent act of rage or momentary insanity. Not in Socorro. Not here. We all have our disagreements and battles, but we’ve all shown time and time again that when push comes to shove, we’d do anything in our power to protect those who we really aren’t that fond of personally. That’s Socorro. That’s who we are.
All across America, little towns just like ours feel the hurt of unnecessary acts of violence, and the sorrow of loss that comes with it. We never believe it can happen here, yet every time it does we’re all stunned. Keep teaching your children about the dangers that lurk among us. It can happen to the smartest of us because we all want to believe in the good that might exist in the people we befriend. Let’s all pray for the family and our loss of another beautiful hometown girl who did nothing other than trust and care.

OPINION: ‘Last Call’ For Water Grab

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

Yes folks, it’s the last call for all of you formal protesters of the “water grab” to get your checks for $25 into the State Engineer’s Office before the June 28th deadline. It’s too late to become a formal protester at this point, but we need all of the support, moral and otherwise that we can get. Our water belongs to ALL of us! This $25 “hearing fee” seems a bit bizarre to me and people that I’ve talked to in a supposedly “free country.” It will, in effect, keep us in “good standing” with the Litigation Office, so that they might take our protests “seriously.” It’s one thing to send in a protest letter; it’s quite another to cough up $25 for the privilege of “speaking”, whether you choose to speak or not. For those of us who are being represented collectively by an attorney, our collective $25s will put more “weight” behind his or her testimony. Money talks.
For those of you with limited economic means, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed about in these outlandish economic times, there is help available. Please contact Danielle Fitzpatrick at 854-3310. This is what we’ve been fund-raising for. More funds will be needed when the formal hearing starts, whether it be for transportation or for maintaining the “tent city” on the nicely watered lawns of the Litigation Unit in Santa Fe. If we go the “teleconference route,” funds will be needed to set up computer & web-cam centers out here in the boonies.
Although I’m certainly not one to advocate civil-disobedience (heh-heh), I do enjoy a good dose of conceptual art. Remember all of those wonderful installations by Christo and Jeanne-Claude? They all overcame nearly impossible structural and environmental problems. They all made us stop and experience them. Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76: eighteen feet high and 24.5 miles long; Valley Curtain in Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72: 1,250 feet wide and 182 feet high (it was ripped to shreds by a 60 mph wind 28 hours after completion); and The Wall - 13,000 Oil Barrels in the Gasometer, Oberhausen, Germany 1999. It stood 85 feet tall, 223 feet wide with a depth of 24 feet. Ironically, this is the amount of oil that is “leaking” into the Gulf of Mexico every two days.
Picture, if you will, gallon milk or water jugs, spray painted red and hanging on the front fence of the San Augustin Ranch LLC. We could start small, representing the number of gallons of water that would be removed from our common aquifer every second. Let’s see, 17.5 billion gallons every year divided by 31,556,926 seconds in a year equals 554.5 gallon jugs. It’s do-able! What a photo-op to make our point! By the way, if it ever gets that far, the pipe to carry that much water from the plains, over the hill west of Magdalena, then down Rt. 60 to the Rio Grande, at a rate of 36 inches per second, would have to be 5.6 feet in diameter.
As you watch the oil spewing up from the Gulf floor, it is the same amount per day of water that would be ripped from our aquifer in 6 ½ minutes! And all for what? So that the housing developments in Albuquerque and Santa Fe might expand unabated? So that the well-off might continue to fill their swimming pools in these same areas? Go ahead, use Google Earth to scope out the luxurious backyard pools in that region. Don’t be shy; this is the same technique that’s being used now in Greece to spot and slap “luxury taxes” on those same pools: just another austerity measure being used on a country that couldn’t keep its corporate borrowing under control (sound familiar?).
In order that we might be better prepared for the upcoming hearing with the State Engineer, The Magdalena Public Library and the Friends of the Library have scheduled a speaker on Wednesday, June 16 at 7:00 pm. in the Library meeting room. Denise Fort, Professor of Law, at UNM will present Water Marketing in the West: A Legal Perspective. A student of Prof, Fort’s has written a paper on the attempted “water grab” by the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC, so she will be well aware of our dire situation. Bring your questions.
Be sure to keep plenty of water available for both you and your pets in these incredibly hot days. The GRIZZ Project is contributing a valuable group of programs on animal care for our youth. Check out the schedule at the Magdalena Public Library Summer Reading Program, weekdays at 10 a.m.

If you have any comments, problems, solutions, upcoming events or Empty Milk Jugs, contact me at

OPINION: In Wildness Is The Salvation of the World We Live In

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

The following essay is the opinion of the author and does not reflect that of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance or its members.
My first act as a brand new board member of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance was to offer a brief self-introduction to my 14 new colleagues at our recent meeting. As expected it was a fairly humbling experience to throw in with a crew bristling with advanced degrees and career experience in biology, earth sciences, finance and economics, educational outreach, nonprofit organizing and fundraising, etc. etc.
How can a small college sports administrator and rugby coach with a mere bachelor’s degree in history help such a highly qualified group guide “the protection, restoration, and continued enjoyment of New Mexico ’s wildlands and Wilderness areas?”
Presumably some of the sitting board members had read an installment or two of this column, and thought they detected something of value. Not that the need to protect and restore wild places has been an obvious thread throughout 132 issues of The Pencil Warrior. Instead I look back through the PW archives to find most pieces concerned with the issues of Homo sapiens: the struggle for an equitable share of one’s labors, trustworthy public information, fair and responsive government, universal access to quality education and health care, and so on.
Yet perhaps somewhere between the lines of these biweekly attempts to point readers to the underlying roots of the troubles growing in so many aspects of their lives, these good people had made the connection I always intended to be there.
I realize the platitude “all things are connected” has probably become so passĂ© as to have lost its meaning for most people. Yet if any belief has inspired and informed this column it’s this corny-sounding truism.
As far back as I can remember I’ve judged quality and beauty in terms of place, particularly wild places. As a kid growing up in a Midwestern town surrounded by corn and wheat fields girded by straight blacktop roads, the rare event of wading up an unspoiled stream in Idaho was an epiphany. What made it so was the absence, other than the nearby dirt road, of any signs of human activity.
Only nature was at work here: trout seemingly suspended in water so clear as to be nearly invisible, smooth stones of endless colors lining a stream bed free of silt, the mountains green all around. This was a place of consummate beauty and quality, precisely because the biological processes at work there ensured that nothing went to waste. This place, and others like it since, have been my standard of quality and beauty, something too precious to lose.
To this day I find it difficult to accept the casual alteration or abuse of wild places. Whether a place fits my preconceived concept of beauty or not, I know if nature still reigns there, something vital is lost in its transformation. In traditional native communities building projects, even on apparently “empty” land, don’t commence without a shared pause to show respect for the land and all its residents; human and animal, past and present.
There is, or at least there should be, a connection between these ancient and ongoing traditions of respect and this confusing, destructive, and seemingly suicidal society about which I find myself compelled to write. “What we do to the land, we do to ourselves” is another proverb with literal meaning. What it suggests is that in the absence of respect for the earth, we find it easy to disrespect ourselves and each other. The ability to kill or maim nature without feeling increases the prospects of doing the same to members of our own species. Until we learn as a society to voluntarily respect the earth and ourselves, designated wilderness, “where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man” (1964 Wilderness Act) remains of our highest form of protection for the few remaining perfect places. It is not coincidence that people who visit these places experience feelings of peace.
One last maxim before I close. I read somewhere that “things that cannot last, don’t.” Within this simple adage lies a fundamental truth and signal for our times.
The so-called “free market” ideologues that have seized power in our country (and not coincidentally the world) these past three decades have unleashed not only a cruel exploitation and oppression of the actual majority - indigenous people and minorities, wage earners, the young, infirm, and elderly – but also the relentless plunder of the earth’s remaining wild places. “All things are connected.”
We need to recognize that this system of worldwide exploitation - “a thing that cannot last”- is on its way down, not up. The landing may be softened somewhat through the actions of citizens, or things may descend into chaos. If we are to escape obsolescence, those of us hoping “to protect, restore, and continue to enjoy New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas” would be well-advised to put some energy into helping shape the fundamental changes to come.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, lives and works in Socorro. Contact him at Mr. Wheelock’s views are not necessarily those of the Mountain Mail.

Fundraiser At Eagles Club

Kyra Walsh of Socorro sells baked goods Friday, June 4, during an enchilada dinner fundraiser at the Eagles. The fundraiser was to help with medical expenses for Logan Winn, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Logan is the son of Kelly McLain, who is an engineer at EMRTC.

Photo by John Larson


To the editor,
Thanks for the article about Reverend Ed Adams' retirement after 25 years of volunteer service at Good Samaritan nursing home.
In the article, you mention some, but not all, of the folks who have played with Ed through the years. Please allow me to name the rest of the the 'Good Sam Band'.
Ed's wife, Pat, did double duty singing in the band and chauffeuring to and from T or C every Thursday.
John Jewett plays drums and has been in the band longer than anyone except Ed.
Roger Adams, Ed's son, plays banjo and guitar and sings. He has been entrusted with keeping it going now that Ed has retired.
Shirley Coursey plays mandolin and guitar and adds stirring vocal harmonies. She has played with Ed for many years.
Ted McVey plays guitar and sings. He knows nearly as many spirituals as Ed, and that's a lot!
Mary Templeton gives up her lunch hour every Thursday to play mandolin and keep the bass player honest.
And Tim Hankins plays banjo and sings.
Other folks have joined us occasionally, but those mentioned above (and myself) are the ones who come every week.
It won't be the same now that Ed and Pat have retired, but we'll do our best to carry on the tradition Ed Adams started 25 years ago.

Jim Ruff


LETTER: Pool Tragedy

To the editor,
It is strange to me how when I read the June 3 article of Floyd Savedra Jr. drowning at our city pool in the El Defensor Chieftain, the story has changed in the Mountain Mail. In the Mountain Mail, it mentions a verbal altercation between Floyd Savedra Jr. and a lifeguard about Floyd holding his breath underwater and not coming up?
Moreoever, since when do lifeguards ask someone else to go check on a swimmer who is under water and not coming up? Is it not their job to go check themselves?
In addition, again no lifeguard went in to get Floyd out of the water. It took his friend having to go in for him before any lifeguard assisted. What is worse is the lifeguard that was trying to do CPR was inexperienced to perform CP and asked someone else for help.
Having a police officer on duty at the pool I do not believe is the answer to my questions. They should have been more responsible in their actions.
The city pool is supposed to be a safe place, not a place where the people who are supposed to make sure nothing happens to us have no authority or knowledge of how to save someone. Having a police officer there is not going to change the fact that if someone is drowning or going to know how to save someone. I think the city pool is just trying to avoid taking responsibility for its actions. If anything the city pool owes the family of Floyd Savedra Jr. an apology for their irresponsibility.

Palma Contreras


Socorro Youth Theater Debuts Next Weekend

Mountain Mail reports

Socorro Community Youth Theater debuts with a tall tale at Garcia Opera House, Friday and Saturday, June 18-19.
Socorro Community Theater’s latest play, “Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue Meet the Dirty Dan Gang,” promises to be a belly-full of laughs – delivered by pint-sized actors.
“We are excited to introduce the new Socorro Community Youth Theater,” Karin Fort said. “There are many talented youngsters in Socorro who love performing. Theater is a great creative outlet that develops confidence, discipline and teamwork. It’s also lots of fun.”
The play is an old fashioned melodrama where the good guys (and gals) are larger-than-life “good” and the bad guys are bumbling “bad” and down right dirty. There will be plenty of opportunity for the audience to add their two-cents worth of cheers and jeers. Performances are at 7 p.m., June 18, and 1 p.m., June 19. All seats are just $3, or free for a donation to the Socorro Storehouse.
For the “Dirty Dan Gang Soap Drive,” the Storehouse is looking for bar soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent. A member from the Storehouse will be on hand to accept donations. Non-perishable food items are also welcome.
The play opens in Prairie Dog, a dusty town in the old West, where a line keeps a tentative truce between the good guys and the bad. On the bad side of town is the Rattlesnake Hotel run by local Sheriff Lily Grouch (Ashlea Steele). Holed up in the hotel is the Dirty Dan Gang and the never-grew-up leader Dirty Dan (Joee Perryman), who wants Granny (Katrine Hareland) to give up her home.
The gang – including Fleas (Colin Huber) and Boots (Megan Johnston) – devise all sorts of devious tricks to get the property. But Granny has called for her granddaughter, Slue-Foot Sue (Lorna Green), who gets back-up from Pecos Bill (John Carilli).
Add the half-pint sized School M’arm (Miceta Gallegos), a talking coyote (Maria Carilli), an old timer (Brandon Steele), and various other characters, and you have the makings for a walloping good evening of fun.
Other cast members are: Eva Domschot (Widow Quakenbush), Brianna Chavez (Conchita/Mrs. Goodnew), ) Emmie Domschot (Becky), Samantha Hurtgen (Blue Duck), and school children Julie Hurtgen, Caylah Roath Huber and Emerald Huber.
“I love working with kids,” director Darlene Torres said. “It’s refreshing. They learn their lines quickly and they’re respectful. It’s really turning out neat.”
Torres has appeared in about a dozen plays and musicals and is branching out into directing. “I just felt like it was time for a new crop of actors, to introduce theater to the youth and to generate interest from other Socorro kids for theater in the future,” she said.
SCT is looking for adults interested in helping to develop the Youth Theater. For more information about SCT or Socorro Community Youth Theater, call Karin Fort at 838-0379; or visit

Angels In The Sun

Is everything going good in your home? Gas working on the stove and in the water heater? Plenty of water for washing and showering? Trash picked up okay on trash day?
Toilets sewer system doing its job for your home? Streets clear of trash and holes?
Ever think of how the creature comforts we take for granted each day are made availabl to us and our children? Ever even think of those men who are out in this 100 degree weather working to keep all of those things moving along consistently every day of the year? We do.
When we are in our homes watching television or enjoying each other and all of those comforts we use 24/7, there are city employees standing on hot pavement drilling to repair or replace pipes that must be fixed, or cutting the grass in our parks so we can enjoy them in the evening hours, when it’s cool, or shoveling hot mix into pot holes on the already baking streets of Socorro, or cutting weeds in the stifling temperatures of summer.
They get up every morning and put on their thick denim shirts and pants along with heavy boots and caps and go out into what 99.9 percent of us would never go out into if we had the choice. But, they have no choice. It’s their job and they must resign themselves each morning to the fact that that’s just life. They are very special people indeed.
It’s a tough job and Thank God that there are men who are strong enough and willing to do what is the hardest work of the summer. City crews don’t ever get the thanks they deserve for doing all of the many great things they do for the rest of us. They prepare all of the venues for every event in town, they repair anything that has to be repaired, no matter the temperature or time of day or night. Everyone else always gets the thanks for showing up and just being at an event that was custom made by City Workers.
When you see those guys out there in the sun doing there jobs – thank them. Bring them a cold bottled water or a bag of ice for their water can. Let them know that you’re forever thankful for their hard work.
Tell them that you know that they are the reason why you can enjoy the cool comforts of your home with your family because everything is running as it should – thanks to them. The Mountain Mail is taking donations from anyone who would like to donate toward buying 10 by 10 foot quick pop-up shade covers for the crews who are out doing stationary work in and on the streets of Socorro.
We’re also taking donations for “cool gear” which are vests that can be dunked in water and then worn for up to 8 hours and stay cool the whole time. With the donation money, we are also going to buy “head gear” which are 4X4 inch pad that are dunked in water and then squeezed out and placed inside ball caps or hard hats and keep the employee’s head cool for up to 8 hours.
There are also “cool gear” wrist bands that can bring the entire body temperature down to a safe healthy range while working in extremely hot conditions. If you’re interested in donating, drop by Your Mountain Mail Newspaper to make your donation or just call 838-5555 and we’ll come by your place to pick up your donation.
Our city employees work so very hard each and every day and we need to let them know how much we appreciate their hard work. Their families lend them to us every day so that we can have more comfortable and safe lives in this wonderful little town. Let’s let them know that we are grateful for their sacrifices and their love for all of us. They have the absolute hardest jobs working out in the ridiculously hot summer sun. Join the Mountain Mail Staff in showing them that we are behind them 100 percent all year ‘round.

Pictures: (top) City workers Andrew Lucero and Oscar Acosta and (bottom) Jeremy Montano, Chick Griego and Earl Monte get their work done despite the oppressive conditions.

Mountain Mail photo

Pino Mud Bog At Alamo Draws A Big Crowd

By Nathalie Nance

The 12th annual Pino Family Reunion at Alamo was held last week and included a number of activities: camp meetings, contests, cookouts, parties and dinners.
The event has grown over the years from a small gathering of the members of the Pino family to a veritable fiesta attended by people from the whole Alamo community and beyond.
“We started out just a small group, but it has really grown,” said Jackson Pino, who is acting as president of the Pino family members who arrange the reunion. “We are trying to come up with new activities all the time. Next year maybe we will have a horse race too.”
Consequently this year’s agenda featured a popular novelty: mud bogging. A couple hundred showed up on Saturday morning to watch as the contestants, from both Alamo and around the state, tried to maneuver their trucks in the mud.
Depending on their vehicle, they entered in one of four different categories: stock, pro-stock, modified or pro-modified.
Some made it across at record speed, while others plunged in and got stuck right away. Ira Pino Sr. and Gilbert Pino, who were mainly responsible for this event, were happy with the turnout and that everything ran smoothly.
“Safety was our main concern,” said Ira Pino Sr.
The results are as follows:

1st Fred Tasoye, La Joya 6,88/6,47
2nd Danny Apachito, Alamo 7,88/18,2

1st Joseph Dare, La Joya 7,69/5,29

1st Joseph Scates, Socorro 11,72/10,22

Photo by Nathalie Nance

Socorro Open Begins Thursday

Mountain Mail Reports

More than 70 professional golfers will compete for $36,650 in prize money at the Socorro Open beginning Thursday.
The pro field is headlined by three-time Socorro champion Miguel Griego and other former winners Larry Mackin of Tucson, Joe Huber of Show Low, Ariz., and Scott Gates of Albuquerque.
Two recent graduates of UNM will be making their professional debut: Nick Geyer, who is a two-time winner of the amateur championship at the Socorro Open, and Brandon Putnam. New Mexico State University will be represented by Travis Reed and the Aggie golf coach Scott Lieberwirth.
Play kicked off Wednesday with the pro-am, and the Socorro Open starts Thursday. Profess-ionals and six flights of amateurs will play 54 holes, with Saturday’s final round determining the winner. The senior pro event will be 36 holes, with the champion crowned after Friday’s round.
The favorite to win the amateur championship flight is Anton Salome of Socorro. He will face stiff competition from Ntegwa Mukosa of NMSU and Zach Fullerton of New Mexico Junior College .
Mark Pelletier of El Paso will be defending his senior professional title. Past champions in the senior professional field include Larry Mackin, Joe Huber, Tom Storey, Jack Slayton, Bob Gaona and Carlton Blewett.
Tournament director and Socorro head professional Russ Moore said he’s pleased with the large field for the tourney. The event was condensed from seven days to four days to accommodate the players traveling.
Also on Saturday is the Elfego Baca Shootout, the world-famous one-hole, three-mile golf tourney. The event, which is featured in Rick Reilly’s most recent book, “Sports From Hell,” starts at the top of ‘M’ Mountain, with the lone hole at EMRTC.

Reserve: No Certification Dates Found

By John Severance

A hearing at the Catron County Courthouse June 2 on the Reserve election suit between Robert Caylor and Keith Riddle found that there were no certification dates on any of the documents presented, which means the suit will proceed.
Village attorney William Perkins had made a motion to throw the suit out, because he said Caylor and his attorney Sherry Tippett missed the deadline in filing a contest to the election.
“The judge (Matthew Reynolds) ordered them to go back and produce the evidence that he (Riddle) was certified on the fifth (of March),” Caylor said. “They can’t prove it. There are no dates on the certification. His claim that we were late in filing is invalid.”
Village clerk Kathaleen Harris said, “Mr. Caylor did file late. … As far as the certification dates, I didn’t put a date on it. It just escaped me.”
Riddle was sworn in on March 5 at the Village Board meeting by Harris and Edward Romero was sworn in on March 8 by Judge Clayton Atwood.
Riddle refused to comment.
The election took place on March 2 and the results had Riddle beating Caylor by one vote for the final trustee seat on the Village Board.
Caylor and Tippett filed suit on April 8. In his suit, Caylor named 12 people who he claims were not eligible to vote in the March 2 election.
Reynolds also ordered Riddle to get his own attorney and that he has 10 days to come up with proof in answering why he should not be found in default of not answering the suit.
Riddle likely was under the impression that he was being represented by Village attorney William Perkins. But that was not the case.
“He did not answer the petition on the suit,” Caylor said. “Perkins had to answer for the Village and Perkins was only representing the Village and not Keith, Keith has to answer why he should not be found in default for not answering the suit. …” Perkins said he could understand why there was a misunderstanding
“We have evidence that shows no certification date. The court will have to then legally rule they have jurisdiction over the case and since they have jurisdiction over the case they will deny Perkins’ request to throw the suit out.
“The judge can make a summary judgment and grant the default. He did say he wanted this thing to go forward. He found it very interesting how the law was interpreted,” Caylor continued.
“Reynolds said if you live outside the village and do not own property in the Village, you can not vote in the Village election and if you knowingly do so it is a fourth degree felony, 18 months in jail and probation. You can not vote again until probation has been lifted.”
And as far as the intent to return clause in the election code?
Caylor said, “The judge said there is nothing to come back to if you don’t own property. Even if you have property and leave for a long period of time and then come back that does not give you the right to vote. That was not the intent of the return clause. It was for short term only.”

Baseball All-Stars Try To Beat Heat

By Nicky Romero

The NM North-South 1A-2A Baseball All-Stars played a three-game series on June 4-5 at the Socorro High School baseball field. The quality of play was high, almost as high as the temperature of 106 degrees on Saturday afternoon. It didn't seem to bother the players, who enjoyed the camaraderie and fun of just playing baseball again. Most of them for the last time.
The South All-Stars, coached by Socorro's Alan Edmonson, swept the North All-Stars in the two-day triple header. Tucumcari's Tony Alarcon coached the North.
“It was a great time, with a great group of kids,” Edmonson said. “They played together and had a lot of fun and played some good baseball. All three games were good games. It's kind of refreshing to see these kids with great attitudes and high aspirations for life. I really enjoyed it.”
The South was well represented by two of Magdalena's best - Seniors Ryan Alguirre and Bryce Milligan.
The sweep of the North wasn't easy. On Friday, the South defeated the North 7-6.
The winning run coming in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. Texico's Seth Bailey hit a double to bring in the winning run from third base. Tularosa's pitcher Joe Silva was credited with the win.
On Saturday morning, the South won the second game by the score of 11-6.
Pitcher Shane Thomas of Eunice got the win. Alguirre was the starting catcher for the South. He hit a single in the second inning and brought in two RBIs. He later hit a double in the seventh to bring in another RBI. Milligan started in right field. He walked in the second inning and got on base with a single in the fourth.
The South completed their dominance of the North on Saturday afternoon by winning 12-9. The winning pitcher was multitalented Seth Bailey. In the top of the sixth, the North led 9-8. But in the bottom of the sixth, the South took command with four runs scored for the win. Alguirre helped put the game away in the seventh by making a home run saving catch at the left field fence for the first out.
Magdalena's Milligan said, “It was great fun and a really good experience. I really liked it. Our team was really fun and nice guys. We were all pretty happy about the three game sweep. That's all we've been talking about all week.”
Teammate Alguirre added, “We had a blast. We had fun with the coaches and players. We got to know and play with some of the best players around the state. The sweep was awesome.”
3A Game This Weekend
The NM 3A North-South Baseball All-Stars take over the spotlight this week in Socorro. The first game will be played on Friday, June 11, starting at 6 p.m. On Saturday, June 12, the second game of the series will be played at 10 a.m. and the last game at 1 p.m.
The South will again be coached by Socorro's Edmonson. The South team will have three SHS Warriors on the team - seniors Justus Jaramillo, Charlie Savedra, and Irving Gomez

Sylvia’s Picture Is Not On The New Stamp Issue

By Anne Sullivan

““Hey, Sylvia,” I said as I got out of White Truck. “Guess what I found at the Post Office.”
”Was it a letter?” she asked, tail high and wagging. “A letter for me?”
“No, it wasn’t.” I said, sitting down on the porch bench. “It’s something even better.”
“What?” she asked as she tried to leap into my lap.
“Down,” I said automatically. “Look.” I held up a sheet of stamps. “It’s a dog and cat issue of new stamps telling patrons to support animal rescues.”
“How nice,” Sylvia said with a noticeable lack of enthusiasm as she glanced at the pictures of adorable dogs and cats eagerly awaiting adoption. The dogs looked friendly and eager while the cats looked like they were sitting for a prison photo. “Look at them,” I said as I thrust the sheet into Sylvia’s face.
Sylvia looked again and turned away to go into her house.
“What’s the matter, Sylvia? Isn’t it wonderful to have stamps honoring dogs and cats?”
“I guess,” she said, lying down with a huge sigh.
“I thought you’d be very interested,” I said. “After all, it’s a step forward for domestic animals.”
“Something’s bothering you. What is it?”
“What is it?!” she yelled. “You have to ask? If you really want to know, where’s my picture? I’ll tell you where it is. Nowhere. That’s where.”
“I’m sure they would have used your picture, Sylvia, if they knew who you were.”
“Why didn’t they know? Everyone here knows who I am. That’s not the reason they didn’t use my picture,”
“Well, what do you think is the reason?”
Sylvia bounded out of her house. “You should know. Look at the pictures on these stamps. All those happy dogs and conniving cats have something in common. They’re young. It’s a conspiracy against the aged. I’m surprised you didn’t notice it. Furthermore, you don’t seem upset after I’ve pointed it out.”
“I’ve got many things to be upset about and that doesn’t happen to be one of them.”
“That just shows how shallow and selfish you are,” said Sylvia, retreating once more into her house.
“If you truly believe that you’re a victim of age discrimination, you should fight. Prove the Postal Service wrong.”
Her head popped out of the doghouse. “Do you think I could?”
“I don’t see why not. And you’ll never know if you don’t try.”
The rest of Sylvia emerged from her house. She took a bite of her kibble and thought while chomping. With her mouth full, she said, “I’ll need a good picture. No, make that pictures. Several really good pictures. Do you think you could take them?”
“I could try. You’ll have to sit or stand still and look at the camera, though. And pretend you’re enjoying it.”
“I could do that.”
“And you’d better have a bath first. You want to be clean for a picture shoot.”
“Too cold. Maybe you could just do close-ups of my face. I would consent to washing that part of me.”
“Can you tell me what your idea is?”
“Deluge. I’m going to deluge the Postal Authorities with adorable pictures of me They’ll soon see the error of their ways. They’ll have no choice but to print a new issue of an old dog learning new tricks. They’ll make so much money on that sheet that they won’t have to cut off Saturday service.”

Quemado News: BBQ Brisket Lunch Saturday

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Annual Fiesta at the Quemado Catholic Church will be held Saturday, June 12 at noon. A BBQ Brisket lunch with all the trimmings and desert will be offered. The cost is $6 for adults and $3.50 for children. Afterward there will be a cake walk, bingo and an auction. In the auction there will be an afghan made by Carol Harris from Quemado Lakes and another donated by Betty Chavez of Pie Town. A very special cake with a picture of the church will be up for auction with many other items.

Quemado School Fire Drill will take place on Saturday, June 12 from 8-9 a.m. This is a drill and training exercise for the fire departments. Fire departments involved include Quemado, Quemado Lake, Pie Town and Red Hill.

At the Quemado Senior Center, the Gallup trip van will leave the center at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 18. Activities for the week: Pool Tournament starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15, movie and popcorn featuring Sandra Bullock in Blindside on Wednesday at 1:30 and quilting and bingo on Thursday. Lunch menu for the week: Monday – baked ham and gravy, Tuesday – tacos, Wednesday – pork chips and gravy, Thursday – fish platter and Friday – brisket and gravy. All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reser-vations and to sign up for the Gallup trip.

A Women's Fellowship Luncheon will be held Tuesday, June 15, at noon in the Cowboy Church located off Highway 32 near Quemado. All women are invited.

The Western New Mexico Veterans Group will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 17, in the Veterans' Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street in Quemado. Potluck begins at 6 p.m. with meeting to follow. All veterans are welcome to attend. Annual election of officers and July 4 events will be discussed.

The Quemado Community Equestrian Assoc. held the Youth Rodeo at the Quemado Heritage Arena on June 5. The were 46 contestants entered and over 150 spectators enjoyed an afternoon watching the young athletes compete. Prize Buckles and cash awards were awarded. Event Winners; Mutton Bustin’ - 1st Zarayah Muller, 2nd Kyson Donaldson, 3rd Seth Slaughter. Calf Riding – 1st Sullivan Jake, 2nd Jesse Andrew, 3rd (tie) Jaden Angelus and Austin Slaughter. Peewee Bullriding – 1st Cordell Lund, 2nd Luke Sullivan, 3rd Teddy Mitchell. Junior Bullriding - One Qualified Ride - Ralpf LeSueur. Senior Bullriding- One Qualified Ride, Casper Leyba.

June is Beef Month in New Mexico. Recognition, support and thanks go out to all the Catron County families that are involved with raising cattle.

Flag Day, Monday, June 14, marks the anniversary of the adoption by Congress in 1777 of the Stars and Stripes as emblem of the nation. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson, and later, in 1927, President Calvin Coolidge, suggested that June 14 be observed as Flag Day. It was not until August 3, 1949 that the National Flag Day Bill became law, giving official recognition to June 14 to celebrate the flag. So proudly fly your flag.

McDonald’s Shrek Glasses Recalled

Mountain Mail Reports

If you bought a “Shrek Forever After 3D” collectable drinking glass from McDonald’s, you are going to want to return it and get your money back.
Last week, the U.S. Con-sumer Product Safety Commiss-ion announced a voluntary recall of the product because the designs on the glasses contain cadmium. Long term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects. So far there have been no incidents or injuries because of this.
For information on how to get a refund, contact McDonald’s toll-free number at 800-244-6227 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit the website at com/glasses.
Do not go to the McDonald’s in Socorro for a refund.
The product was sold at McDonald’s restaurants in May and June and the manager at the Socorro franchise said it almost sold out with the exception of three glasses. The "Shrek Forever After 3D" collectable drinking glass are 16 ounce glasses that came in four designs, Shrek, Fiona, Puss n' Boots, and Donkey and they sold for $2 per glass.

State Investigating Possible Outbreak Of Legionnaires At Mayor’s Hotel

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- Three people from South Carolina contracted Legionnaires Disease after staying in the Best Western Inn and Suites in Socorro, according to Raj Solomon, the project manager for the New Mexico Environmental Department.
Solomon also said there are four suspected cases in California and those people also stayed at the hotel.
However, whether they contracted the disease, which is a type of pneumonia, at the hotel remains to be determined.
The Best Western Hotel is owned by Socorro mayor Ravi Bhasker, also a medical doctor.
Bhasker said in an interview Wednesday, he did not think his hotel was the source.
“I have heard these people had visited other places together,” Bhasker said. “We don’t think we are the source. We closed the pool and the spa. And I am waiting on my consultant.”
Solomon said it may be possible there might be another source, but the one thing in common is that “they used the pool and spa at the hotel.
“The New Mexico Department of Health has to investigate this and since it is out of state they have to get information from the South Carolina Department of Health. We don’t have all the facts yet. It’s possible there could be another source. We just don’t know.”
The pool area and spa have been closed since May 7. A sign at the front desk said they have been closed for maintenance, but a sign in front of both pool doors said the facility had been closed by the Environmental and Health Departments.
“We worked in conjunction with the Department of Health,” Solomon said. “We took 15 water samples (back in April) and 1 of 15 was positive for Legionella, which causes Legionnaires Disease.
“The Health Department and Environmental Department jointly recommended to [the owners] that they hire an Environmental Health Consultant to sample the facility and to remediate it.”
Bhasker hired Evidenced Based Solutions, a consultant from Chicago.
EBSol retested the facility on May 26 and results should be in by the end of the week, Solomon said.
“I am waiting for my consultant to tell me what the next step is,” Bhasker said. “I am just the owner of the hotel. I will do whatever is necessary.”
EBSol president Gunner Lyslo said in a telephone interview Wednesday, “we still do not know if the hotel is the source. The preliminary data and I emphasize preliminary data (from the May 26 test) indicates the pool and spa are non detect (clean).
“The hotel ownership is committed to being proactive. We work closely with the state. What we recommend is far, far beyond what is recommended by state health officials.”
So if the people in South Carolina and California did not get infected at the hotel, where did they get sick?
“It could be anywhere,” Lyslo said. “Think about all the places that have water distribution systems. Legionella is very common organism and can colonize upward to 70 percent of all water distribution centers.”
Bhasker said he has a company on standby if the cultures come back positive for legionella.
The company would use high concentrates of chlorine (or hyperchlorination). According to Solomon, that is followed by a scrub and then the surfaces are treated with disinfectants. “It’s our validation procedure so it does not happen again.”
As for now, Bhasker said the pool and spa are being treated with their usual maintenance.
As for the people in South Carolina?
“They are doing fine,” Solomon said. “But one was in intensive care as of the last week of May. But he should be discharged by now.”
Solomon did not have any additional information on the suspected California victims.
Solomon said there have been two other Legionnaires outbreaks this year and both were in Santa Fe.
As for the Socorro outbreak?
“The three people who got sick all used the spa and that was potentially the likely source of the infection,” Solomon said. “We swabbed the rooms where the guests stayed and that was negative. There was nothing in the rooms. We narrowed it down to the spa or the pool which are both enclosed. We just asked for the pool and the spa to be closed.”
Solomon said he has had two face-to-face conversations with the owner.
“He wanted to know about what he had to do to clean up the problem,” Solomon said. “He was OK with closing the pool and the spa for however long it took to get the problem rectified. We both have the same goal which is to make it safe.
“He flew the consultant in right away. The consultant was very knowledgeable about the disease and about how it was spread and these kinds of outbreaks. It’s a work in progress.”
Solomon said when there is an outbreak there is an obligation by the owners of the establishment to immediately notify the Health and Environmental Departments. Solomon said he was unaware of any state statute that suggests the owners must notify the public.
The Legionnaires outbreak in Socorro first came to light on an Internet report out of Nashville, Ark., last month.
This came from a column from the Nashville Leader, written by its publisher Louie Graves.
“And now the scary news. I’ve told people that my trip West might be the best trip of my life. Now there’s an asterisk beside “best.”
Daughter Julie got a call, last week, from a woman at the Arkansas Department of Health who said she was calling on behalf of the New Mexico Department of Health.
“Were you in New Mexico in late April?” the ADH caller asked. Yes.
Did you spend the night in a Best Western Inn in Socorro? Yes.
Have you been to see a doctor, or have you had a bad respiratory infection? No.
The lady caller finally told Julie that some people who stayed at the motel during that time had developed Legionnaire’s Disease, a frequently-fatal pneumonia-like disease.
If you were going to come down with Legionnaire’s you would have already been hospitalized or dead, the caller said. But don’t worry, it’s usually only fatal to persons over 65.
Daughter allowed as how she was on the trip with her father, who was over 65. So she called me immediately to make sure I was still breathing.
It turns out that the persons who developed the disease had all taken advantage of the motel’s hot tub and spa facilities. We didn’t.
New Mexico had tracked Julie down because she used a credit card to pay for the motel.”
Legionnaires disease got its name in 1976 when many people who went to an American Legion convention in Philadelphia suffered from an outbreak of the disease, which is a type of pneumonia.
“We have a better handle on it,” CDC spokesperson Jeffrey Dimond said. “ Before it was a mystery, You had people from the American Legion coming down with severe respiratory problems. We had no idea what it was. Our scientists literally became disease detectives. They finally discovered what it was caused by and it was a brilliant move by our people. Now we know exactly what it is and our state departments know exactly what to do.”
According to the CDC website, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with the disease, however, many infections are not diagnosed or reported.
The symptoms of the disease are like many other forms of pneumonia. Signs include a high fever, chills and a cough. Other symptoms include muscle aches and headaches and chest x-rays are usually done to find the pneumonia caused by the bacteria. Symptoms usually start two to 14 days after being exposed.
The disease can be very serious and death can occur in five to 30 percent of the cases, but most cases can be treated with antibiotics, the CDC said.
According to the CDC website, most people exposed to the bacteria do not become ill. If you have reason to believe you were exposed to the bacteria, talk to your doctor or local health department. Be sure to mention if you have traveled in the last two weeks. A person diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease in the workplace is not a threat to others who share office space or other areas with him or her. However, if you believe that there your workplace was the source of the person's illness, contact your local health department.

Co-op Members Take Recall Off Table

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- About 20 people attended a meeting of concerned Socorro Electric Cooperative members at the Socorro Public Library Tuesday.
Organizer Charlene West said they met to discuss their options after co-op attorney Dennis Francish has advised the board to go about its business as usual and not enforce some of the amendments passed the annual meeting in April.
West and reform movement organizers had hoped to organize a recall of the trustees.
But Thaddeus Bejnar, a former state law librarian, called certain statutes and laws to the attention of those in attendance. Calling for a recall would not do any good, he said, because the trustees have not been in violation of any laws.
According to West, Bejnar said they need to organize a special meeting to make the bylaws that were passed to read legal. They need to word the amendments so when they are passed there needs to be language in those amendments for when they are to take effect.
He also said they have to be written so that objections can not “reasonably” be raised against them and so “that how and when they go into effect” is clear.
Bejnar also said he would be “happy to serve on committee. But if we need legal drafting done, we need somebody who does this for a living.”
In order to call a special meeting, petitions must be signed by 10 percent of the members. Other options to call a special meeting include a resolution called by the Board of Trustees or a written request signed by any three trustees. Francish has said the present trustees can fill out their terms and the old rules are grandfathered in. Even though members passed a $10,000 spending limit, Francish advised trustees to go about their business and spend what they need to spend.
At the last co-op meeting, Francish said he will test three bylaw amendments in court and the trustees allowed him to do so.
The three amendments he wants to test include:
• The open meetings act and inspection of public records act. Francish claims 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 claims this is illegal and an 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 argues this is unreasonable with the corporation’s operations.