Thursday, July 29, 2010

Train Derails Near Bosque Del Apache

By John Larson

SAN ANTONIO - Nineteen railroad cars and two locomotives on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train derailed Tuesday morning which threatened to pollute wetlands at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge with fuel oil.
According to Socorro County Chief Deputy Shorty Vaiza, the train wreck happened at about 6:40 a.m. about one mile south of the Bosque’s visitor’s center.
“The train was northbound when it passed over a trestle,” Vaiza said. “The locomotive pulling the train had just passed over the bridge when it happened.”
The train consisted of 95 cars of mixed freight, en route from El Paso,Texas, to Belen.
The failure of the trestle sent 19 of the railroad cars piling one on top of another into an arroyo. Three of the cars were oil tankers, which began leaking fuel oil. The two locomotives, although derailed, were not thrown off the trackbed.
BNSF spokesman Joe Faust said the specific cause of the accident has yet to be determined.
“The three [tankers] were compromised.” Faust said. “We were able to contain the spill. The chemical poses no threat to any water source or animals or wildlife in the refuge.”
Clean-up crews included personnel from Fish and Wildlife, and they were successful in damming the fuel oil no less than 50 yards from the marshy wetland, but more work needs to be done.
Refuge manager Tom Melanson said the accident - and subsequent fuel oil spill - should not affect the Festival of the Cranes, still three months away.
“All the contaminated surface soil will have to be removed,” he said. “My biggest concern is the possibility of an underground plume forming. That would be the worst scenario from all of this.
“Luckily, the oil was not too viscous, and wasn’t leaking into the dirt rapidly,” Melanson said.
BNSF spokesman Joe Faust said the tracks were cleared as of 1 p.m. Wednesday, and the railroad will be evaluating the cars’ conditions for transportation to various locations.
“What you’ll see in the next few days or so is BNSF crews working around the cars,” Faust said. “The damaged cars are not in an area where they pose a threat to anyone working on them, or to animals or wildlife.
“Environmental remediation is going on as well,” he said.
Fuel oil is not considered as hazardous a material environmentally as other petroleum products, Faust said.
The railroad company is responsible for paying for all clean-up, according to New Mexico State Police Sgt. Jason Green, Incident Commander.

Photos by John Larson

Datil Man Accused Of Cattle Rustling

By John Severance

A Datil man is accused of stealing 200 head of cattle from an Arizona ranch and moving them across two states to Texas and then selling them.
Jason Lon Kirby, 34, was indicted by an Arizona grand jury on charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, trafficking in stolen property and two counts of theft after allegedly stealing 200 head of cattle.
According to New Mexico Livestock Inspector Tommy Padilla, Kirby was picked up in Commerce, Ga. on a warrant in early June after leaving Texas in May 2009. Kirby was arraigned June 18 in Pinal County, Arizona. There was a pretrial conference in Phoenix this week.
Padilla, who is based out of Quemado, said he had been tracking Kirby by following the whereabouts of his wife Toni, who had worked at New Mexico’s Natural Resources and Conservation Center.
“I helped Arizona. They had a warrant because 202 cattle were stolen,” Padilla said. “Basically, I did things on my end to facilitate his arrest. I had nothing to do with the arrest, but I made it easier for them to access him.
“Basically what I did was follow his wife,” Padilla said. “I put a GPS on her pickup when she lived in New Mexico. I also found out her maiden name so I tracked her on the Internet through social network sites. We found out her mom was moving to Commerce, Ga., north of Atlanta, and that is how we found him.
“I contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and they picked him up. He (Kirby) waived extradition and they brought him back to Arizona.”
Zeke Austin, special investigations supervisor for the Arizona Department of Agriculture, told the Arizona Republic said an estimated $200,000 worth of cattle were involved, he said.
According to the Republic, early last year, Kirby entered into an agreement with Platt, of the Plateau Partnership, based in northern Arizona, to care for 500 cattle on a piece of land near Superior, Ariz., Austin said. Kirby apparently was paid $10,000 up front and was to be paid $10 per animal per month in a contract that covered from January to May of last year.
Austin said the proper procedure to move cattle across state borders is to have the animals inspected by a Department of Agriculture livestock official. After the cattle are inspected for ownership, the necessary forms are issued for transport. Then the livestock owner must get the cattle inspected for health by an accredited veterinarian and have the health inspection certificate with the haulers of the cattle.
According to the Republic, Austin said 19 of the cattle were sold to a cattle owner in May 2009, and 183 of them were sold to a cattle buyer in July 2009, both sales occurring in Texas. Austin said the latter sale happened at Friona Feedyard in the Texas panhandle.
"It is illegal to buy cattle in this state without an inspection and a bill of sale," Austin said. "But these cattle were sold and purchased in Texas."
According to the Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas does not require proof of ownership to sell cattle.
The Republic reported that Platt said he got a call last summer from an employee of Kirby asking if Platt had OK'd the cattle moving to Texas.
"I didn't know anything about it, and I didn't approve the sale," Platt told the Republic. "How they were able to cross state lines is something of a mystery to us. My suspicion is that the inspector was inexperienced and was bamboozled by Kirby."
So how did Kirby get the cattle from Arizona to Texas?
Padilla has a theory.
“Arizona is pretty week when it comes to enforcement, it only has seven inspectors,” Padilla said. “They don’t have it together like New Mexico. We have 54 inspectors and we can control the movement of people transporting livestock by pulling people over and making them provide us with the proper paperwork.
“In this case, the inspector saw that the cattle belonged to Platt but Kirby was able to convince the inspector that he had the authority to transport them to Texas. The inspector never asked for a bill of sale or change of ownership.
“They loaded the cattle on the trucks and off they went. Someone dropped the ball in Arizona. It’s not that it can’t happen here but I have more faith in our system.”
Padilla said he has never seen as big an illegal transportation as the one that Kirby allegedly pulled off.
“Certainly, not on that scale,” Padilla said. “Where I lose cattle is during hunting season when hunters go in and shoot the cattle and butcher it. They will take the meat from one or two head of cattle
“Something like this has not happened in a long time. People know we are out there looking and stopping vehicles. It’s not that it can’t happen, but we slow it down a hell of a lot.”
Padilla said Friona Feedyard in Texas reimbursed Platt for the cattle with a check.
“It’s like insurance,” Padilla said. “They (Friona Feedyard) already had fed the cattle for 60 days and that is the way they wanted to go.”
Padilla said, as of now, there are no warrants yet in New Mexico for Kirby or his wife. But there likely will be one soon for Kirby.
“A gentleman approached me in Farmington last week and asked me if I knew Jason Kirby. He said he sent two horses to Datil for Kirby to ride last year and he never got the horses back,” Padilla said. “We will go after him for the horses. … We also would like to talk to his wife about the Arizona case.”
Padilla said Kirby’s wife no longer lives in Datil.
“We believe she is somewhere in Georgia along with her mother,” Padilla said.

Co-op To Proceed With Lawsuit

By John Severance

SOCORRO – There was talk that the Socorro Electric Cooperative board members were going to drop their lawsuit against the members.
It didn’t happen Wednesday night.
After a lengthy executive session, the board adjourned the meeting after discussing personnel and legal matters.
The co-op did not follow the Open Meetings Act when it adjourned as it did not say what was decided in executive session.
But it was clear after talking to Trustee president Paul Bustamante in the co-op parking lot, the lawsuit will proceed.
“Nothing was done,” Bustamante said. “The attorney (Dennis Francish) has to respond to the counter claims. There are one or two that want to change the venue from Valencia County.”
In the past week, three counter claims have been filed against the co-op, including lawyers for defendant Charlene West, Socorro attorneys Tom Fitch and Polly Ann Tausch and member-owner Alvin Hickox of San Antonio. See story on page 5.
When asked if the co-op would have withdrawn the lawsuit had there not been any counter claims,
Bustamante did not answer the question. He said, “we want to go through the mediation process.”
After the meeting when asked if it was discussed dropping the lawsuit, trustee Charlie Wagner said, “you can’t find out from me.”
Francish filed suit against unnamed members, the Mountain Mail, Charlene West et. al. a couple of weeks ago to test three bylaw amendments that were passed by members on April 17.
For the most part, Wednesday’s meeting was civil for co-op standards.
Some of the highlights:
• Trustee Milton Ulibarri made a motion that the the board file a restraining order against member-owner James Padilla of San Antonio. He allegedly said at last month’s abbreviated meeting that he allegedly said, “I’d like to take a 2x4 to all their heads.” The motion was seconded and the vote was 3-2 in favor of the motion. But Francish said a majority of the trustees did not vote so the motion failed.
• Former trustee Juan Gonzales stood up and spoke during the public input session. “They don’t own this co-op,” Gonzales said referring to the members in attendance. “You (the board) own this co-op. You guys have the responsibility to run this co-op because they elected you.”
Gonzales went on to say, “No one should be here when you guys conduct your business. I can leave here so you can. This is your co-op.”
When Gonzales said he was going to leave, a woman in the audience said, “that’s a good idea.” Gonzales stayed for the whole meeting.
• Bustamanate, at least, still has his sense of humor, saying, “at least, we got through a whole meeting.”
• Member-owner James Cherry of Magdalena was undisturbed Wednesday night as he videotaped the entire meeting. Trustees took exception last month.

Rancher Saves Socorro Woman’s Dog

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Thanks to a good deed by a local rancher, a Socorro woman who thought she had lost him forever, now has her dog, Dundee, back home safe and sound.
Dundee’s story involves two tales – one from Socorro police, and the other from the rancher.
Tuesday, July 20, New Mexico Tech researcher Elizabeth Larkin tied up her dog outside Wal-Mart while she ran inside to pick up a prescription.
“A man sitting on the bench said he would watch the dog for me if I paid him,” Larkin said. “I told him no thanks, I’ll only be inside for five minutes.”
When she came back out five minutes later, her dog, Dundee, was gone. She believed the man had taken the dog.
Larkin reported the theft to Socorro police, who viewed the security camera video which showed a man taking the dog. Officer Luis Chavez was able to identify the suspect as Monroe Monte, of the Alamo Navajo Reservation.
In his report, Chavez said he met with Monte the next day, Wednesday, and asked him if he had taken the dog.
Monte said he “had taken the dog but the owner told him to take the dog,” and that the dog was in Alamo. The officer told Monte that he would not be charged with larceny if he brought the dog back.
In reality, Monte had sold the dog for $20 in Magdalena the day before.
On Tuesday, Socorro County rancher Travis Lewis was leaving Socorro on his way back to the Martin Ranch heading west on Highway 60 when he noticed what he described as an “obviously intoxicated” man hitchhiking toward Magdalena with a dog on a leash.
He said he considered stopping to give the man a lift but decided against it.
“We were passing through Magdalena, and I guess he had gotten a ride because we saw the same guy with the dog on a leash at the Golden Spur,” Lewis said. “There was something not right about the man having this particular dog because the dog seemed very uncomfortable. It didn’t seem right and the animal was not happy at all.”
Rather than get into a conflict over challenging the man’s ownership of the dog, Lewis said to him, “That’s a nice dog you have there.”
The man [Monte] then offered to sell the dog for $50. “I told him I couldn’t afford that,” Lewis said.
The man then said he would take $25 for the dog, but Lewis said, “I don’t have that much on me, but I’ll give you $20.”
Lewis then took the dog back to his ranch north of Magdalena, and that evening he noticed a tag on the dog’s collar. Larkin’s telephone number was on the tag.
He called her and said, “I think I’ve got your dog,” and he related the story of how he got the dog from the man.
He brought the dog back to Socorro the next day, Wednesday.
Lewis was offered $20 as a reward, which he refused. “I’m just glad we could get the dog back,” Lewis said.
Dundee was back home after a whirlwind trip which began outside Wal-Mart.
Monte was charged with larceny, and a non-traffic citation was filed Monday, July 26, with Magistrate Court.

Photo by John Larson

Hungry Bear

A curious bear peeks through a window at the home of Jack and Janice Brunacini in Magdalena. The picture was taken on Janice’s cell phone three weeks ago. Brunacini does not believe this was the bear that had to be put down.

Photo courtesy of Janice Brunacini

Cottonwood Gulch Dries Out

A group of girls from the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation in Thoreau used the Plaza area of Socorro to dry out their tents and camping gear Monday after “getting drenched” in the San Mateo Mountains, according to leader Ellen Madden. The group is part of the 2010 Cottonwood Gulch Summer Expeditions. She said the two day rain saturated their gear, and they needed to dry out before going to their next campsite - Water Canyon.

Photo by John Larson

Vince Barela Accepts Plea Deal From Prosecutors

By John Larson

SOCORRO – Two years after his arrest on three felonies, including murder, the case against Vince Barela is coming to a close.
Barela, 37, was bound over to District Court earlier this year on three charges – murder, aggravated assault on a household member, and tampering with evidence - stemming from the death of a Socorro woman, Eileen Gabaldon.
At a hearing before Judge Kevin Sweazea Tuesday, Barela agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty of a single charge of second degree murder, rather than face a jury trial on the three charges.
Gabaldon had been severely beaten at her residence on Sixth Street in Feb. 2008 and died at University of New Mexico Hospital three days later.
An autopsy report revealed she had received extensive blunt trauma to the head causing facial fractures, deep bruising to the skin and bleeding to the brain. She also had second and first degree burns on her torso and several broken ribs.
The report also said Gabaldon had first and second degree burns on her abdomen and chest.
After an investigation by Socorro police officer Richard Lopez, Barela was arrested Feb. 13, 2008.
With the guilty plea, Barela faces a possible 15 years in the state penitentiary.
District Attorney Clint Wellborn said he felt the decision was fair and that justice was being served.
Sweazea will decide on Barela’s sentence at a later date.
“Barela will be sent for a 60 day diagnostic, and he will be sentenced after that,” Wellborn said.

OBITUARY: Donald Floyd Drake

Donald Floyd Drake
(July 31, 1922-July 21, 2010)

Donald Floyd Drake, 87, passed away Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Truth or Consequences, NM. Donald was born on July 31, 1922 to Clarence Floyd and Mildred (Lamoreaux) Drake in Fredonia, KS.
He is survived by his son, Clarence “Buddy” Drake of San Antonio, NM; daughters, Vicki Leis and husband, Ron of Garden Plain, KS; Judy Kiechlin and husband, Kevin of Colorado Springs, CO; and Shari Drake of San Antonio, NM; step-sons, Steve Brannan of Eunice, NM; Joe Dean Brannan of Florida; and Rick Brannan of Aztec, NM; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Donald was a resident of San Antonio since 1967, after moving from Belen, NM. He was an avid gardrner and loved the outdoors. Donald was a proud Veteran of WWII, serving with the US Army Air Corps.
Donald was preceded in death by his wife, Jo M. Drake, May of 2008 and a daughter, Donna Frary, July of 2008. A Memorial Service will be on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at Daniels Family Funeral Services Chapel with Mr. Steve Brannan officiating. The family has requested that any memorial contributions be made to the New Mexico State Veterans Home, 992 S. Broadway, Truth or Consequences, NM 87901.
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: Bennie Uranga

Bennie Uranga
(Feb. 20, 1929-July 21, 2010)

Bennie Uranga, 81, passed away on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at her home in Magdalena, NM. Bennie was born on February 20, 1929 in Magdalena to Vincente and Cruzita (Baca) Peralta.
She is survived by her loving son, Robert J. Peralta of Magdalena; her grandchildren, Jerome Peralta; Alyssa Roacho; and Ashley Peralta; her great grandchildren, Julian; Jasmine; Isaac; Damien; and Juan; her sisters, Juanita Peralta; and Mary Driggers; her brothers, Palcido Peralta and wife, Della; Salomon Peralta and wife, Xelma; and Herman Peralta and wife, Pauline; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Bennie was a devoted member of St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Greg Uranga and her parents, Vicente and Cruzita Peralta.
A Rosary was recited on Monday, July 26, 2010 at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated immediately following the Rosary with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Burial took place at the Magdalena Cemetery. Pallbearers were Luis Roacho, Fred Sanchez, Dante Berry, Lawrence Aragon, and Phillip Sanchez.
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

Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The man charged with being responsible for the death of Theresa Saiz-Chavez, was arraigned in District Court Tuesday, July 27.
John Hayden of Socorro pleaded not guilty before Judge Kevin Sweazea in a courtroom packed with over 60 people, including family members of Saiz-Chavez.
Defense attorney Lee Deschamps asked that Hayden’s bond be reduced to $25,000, but Sweazea ruled that bond will remain at $750,000.
A trial date is still weeks, if not months away, according to District Attorney Clint Wellborn.
“We are still collecting evidence and State Police investigators are still interviewing people, so it’s hard to say when we’ll go to trial because of the complexity of the case,” Wellborn said.
He also said that since the Supreme Court struck down the “six month rule,” the case could go to trial much later than expected.
Charges against Hayden – murder in the first degree, kidnapping, and aggravated battery – stem from an incident on June 8 under a bridge in a diversion channel on the north end of Chaparral Drive.
The body of Saiz-Chavez was discovered by police on June 9 in the trunk of her car parked under the bridge. Evidence presented by law enforcement officials at Hayden’s preliminary hearing in June included Hayden’s statements from interviews with state police, a recording of a 911 call made by Saiz-Chavez from the trunk of her car, and physical evidence from the ditch bank road leading to the bridge.
Wellborn said the prosecution will provide a jury with evidence that implicates Hayden, and will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hayden pushed the victim into the trunk of her car.

EDITORIAL: State Livestock Board Keeps Rustlers At Bay

Just Thinking Out Loud
By John Severance

Cattle rustling seems to have made a comeback, according to numerous publications.
In these tough economic times, though, cattle thieves prey on some ranchers, who are desperate for a payoff.
Of course now, rustlers use trailers for their heists.
Here are some tips for cattlemen from a variety of sources.
• Visit cattle every day and count heads.
• Take time to inspect the outside fence.
• Report suspicious vehicles.
• Know local law enforcement officers and their telephone numbers.
• If possible, keep calves away from road access.
Getting away with cattle rustling, though, is difficult in New Mexico.
According to livestock inspector Tommy Padilla, there are 54 inspectors in the state, compared to just seven in Arizona. And Texas does not require proof of ownership to sell cattle.
“It’s a lot smaller world with a computer,” Padilla said. “When the livestock board started in 1877, they could not envision me tracking people on computer.
“We do a lot of road stops and we have the ability to stop vehicles that are transporting livestock.”
Padilla finds it hard to believe that Texas has such lax enforcement.
“They are the biggest cattle and livestock producers in the country but they have a very poor inspection system,” Padilla said. “You just have to take cattle to a ring to sell theim. You just have to give a description.
The best thing, Padilla said, is to make sure the cattle is branded.

Movie reviews

Beginning in August, the Mountain Mail will begin a new feature … movie reviews.
Jonathan Paul Lindsey, who was born in Socorro in 1982 and a 2001 graduate of Socorro High, describes himself as a movie fanatic for many years ever since the age of 3.
Here is his biography:
“I've traveled to a few European countries when my Dad was working for McDonnell-Douglas Airplane company such as Great Britain, Italy and Germany. However, It wasn't until 1986 when I was turning 4 that me and my family returned to the United States and settled down in St. Louis for 2 years. In May of 1989, me and my mom Arlene Lindsey and brothers Neil and Mark moved to Socorro New Mexico where my Grandparents lived.
“I graduated from Socorro High back in 2001. I'm currently employed at Smith's Grocery Store and my hobbies are writing, exercising, collecting, playing games and reading. I've been a movie fanatic for many years, ever since the age of 3 watching movies like Star Wars, Wizard of Oz and The Dark Crystal I've felt a love for cinema. Seeing the theatrical re-issue of Ghostbusters back in 1985 when I lived in Italy was a treat as I've been obsessed with movies since then and that was the moment that inspired my dream of being a critic, actor or even writer for films. My grandparents Lena and Paul Anaya are two special people to me. They, along with my mother , step father Tony and brothers support me in pursuing my lifelong dream to be a movie critic.”

OPINION: Oh Goodness Gracious

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

“Goodness gracious” That’s what my Grandma use to say. If something was really outrageous she’d add “Land sakes alive”. To this day I have no idea what that really means.
I still love and repeat some of the language used by the generation born around 1900. They were the spunky ones that got us through World War One and the great depression. Most of them are memories now. Those who remember them are getting older.
Much of Magdalena was built at that time, including my old adobe. This year we will be celebrating a dozen years in our old adobe and in Magdalena. This is where we found home, and it is good.
Some people are saying that Old Timers is getting old and stale. This is just the time then to give it new life.
The “shoot out” was a fun new addition this year. Story Telling didn’t happen again and was much missed. Story Telling is so popular we could use back ups. We may need some young blood to learn the old stories. That can happen with books and materials from our library. In fact, a young “cowboy”, “cowgirl”, or “gold miner” could present the stories as if then, was now.
Many committed to the Fiesta didn’t get to do Old Timers, those committed to Old Timer events didn’t get to the Fiesta. We are not over loaded with social and community events here and many people feel it would be nice to be able to do both on different weekends.
Old Timers overshadows the 4th of July here in the village and a nice community potluck on that weekend has been suggested by many.
You can age yourself thinking it is all a hassle or give yourself new life, some fun, and happiness by getting involved. We can have more events in more places throughout the village. Most of all, people come to enjoy the history of our area. Also Magdalena’s connectedness to other parts of the county, Catron County and Alamo Reservation. We all can add to our visitor’s pleasure (and our own) by listening to their stories about why they are visiting us. It’s fun, it’s friendly and it is good business.
I am waiting on Winston’s to save my old car, I know they can, then I will go out and about (including the Village Hall) to see how I can help.
Magdalena has something good to share. Magdalena does share. Oh my goodness, you make a great home.
Sometimes in this column, I feel I’m sharing my own “old timer” stories, my autobiography. Yes, I sometimes ask myself where do I get off doing such a thing. I’m an ordinary person and like many of you I don’t feel the world is banging down my door for my story.
Our stories make us who we are. Living now makes it all worth while. I’ve learned that life is hard, everywhere for everyone. That’s universal. Sharing makes survival possible.
There are no self made people; there are people who don’t credit the help they have received.
The buzz lately has been about racism. Are we going to fall into the pit of darkness that Nazi Germany and South Africa fell into?
It wasn’t socialism that was the operative word when Hitler took over Germany, it was the hate. There were fine Germans who were not a part of his hate clan as there were fine people who were not a part of Apartheid in South Africa. In both places, people ended up hating or fearing the hate.
Could it happen here? Yes it could. The basis of bigotry is self-pity. Since I haven’t yet met a bigot that didn’t feel self-pity, resentment this is my theory.
Like all bullies, bigots are afraid. What they are really afraid of is a lack of importance. That’s the first lie, for they are as important as anyone else. Resentment about their lack of importance leads to hate, both personal self hate and certainly hate to be directed outward.
For hate and anger are very uncomfortable. It’s a real danger. It raises blood pressure and strains the body. Buried, it can become depression, another life bleeding condition. It is devastating in interpersonal relationships unless you join another hater, then more haters. Enough haters together and it’s a team, even “fun”.
It is never fun. Oh, goodness gracious, land sakes alive, do I have a story for you. I’ve hated bigots, generalize my hate to a whole southern state. But I got over it. Why and how, next time.
The Garden Club is in full swing. Last Saturday of month, 2 p.m. at the Library.
Eat Well! Farmer’s Market at Pepper’s 4 to 6 p.m.
Thank you Magdalena for teaching me about fried squash, onions, garlic, corn, roasted green chillies and cheese. Yum.

Comments? Write

OPINION: It’s Time For A Much More Humane Immigration Policy

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

Citizens of Mexico, especially poor people living along the U.S./Mexico border, take for granted that if they are picked up by local, state or federal Mexican police agents they will be abused, extorted and, depending upon what the police have decided to charge them with, tortured.
The very poorest of those people, the homeless, jobless, hungry, who try to cross into the U.S. have found the same uncaring, brutal, attitude among officers of the U.S. Border Patrol and guards and agents of ICE…Immigration and Customs Enforcement….in detention centers where they are dumped after being apprehended. If they have anything of value they will probably lose it, if they complain of illness, injury or mistreatment they will be, at the least, ignored or in many reported instances, physically abused.
According to polls taken in Arizona and around the county concerning public attitudes toward Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law, soon to take effect….a majority of people simply don’t care about the fate of “illegal” migrants and immigrants. But some people do care. They continue to document and report abuses experienced in detention by deported people. The following interviews took place June 14-18,2010 with deportees arriving in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Hopefully, these and hundreds of such reports will, in time, convince both countries that a realistic and humane immigration policy is long overdue, despite the fear tactics built into the issue by the radical right, racists and Fox News right wing propagandists.
A 47 year old man from Nayarit walked in the desert for three days, he had severely blistered feet when taken into custody. As the interview was being conducted he was being treated by a volunteer EMT. He said he was held in a Border Patrol detention center near Why, Arizona and requested medical aid for his feet. He was told “later” and was then held for two days without receiving any treatment. This man reported that upon arriving at the detention center near Why agents went through his belongings and those of other detainees and specifically disposed of all identification, any cell phones and lists of phone numbers.
He reported that songs known as “migracorridos) (morbid story songs of deaths in the desert) were played at high volume 24 hours a day; and that every two hours guards would come in shouting at the detainees and require them to line up for inspection. He said some detainees were suffering from sleep deprivation and the extremely cold temperatures maintained in their cells blocks. They were always refused blankets.
In an interview June 17 a man and a woman from Mexico City who had been held in a Border Patrol detention center in Tucson reported they had a witnessed a young man being beaten by agents.
They said the young man had been near the women’s cell talking with his wife. A Border Patrol agent shouted at him, he could not speak English and did not answer . Two agents grabbed him and held him while a third agent kicked and beat him. This couple also reported that their quarters were kept extremely cold and guards refused to give the detainees blankets.
This next report seems to indicate that in Maricopa County (Phoenix) some Sheriff’s deputies find money just waiting to be taken. In an interview June 18 a 35 year old man from Tempe reported he was stopped by a Maricopa County deputy sheriff about 11 p.m. May 9 while driving near Casa Grande. He was accused of being a drug trafficker, beaten around the head and ordered to surrender all his money. He gave up, he said, $1200. He never saw it again although he reported what had happened to other officers while in detention in Tempe. They did nothing. He was never charged, although held until being deported to Nogales on May 28th.
Do you think something just may have gone very, very wrong with American values? We have been told, over and over, (haven’t we,?) these kinds of things just don’t, can’t, happen in America.
Yeah! Right!…as they say.

Court Filings Line Up Against Electric Co-op

By John Severance

SOCORRO – The first legal salvo has been fired back at the Socorro Electric Cooperative on July 22.
Member-owner Alvin Hickox of San Antonio filed suit in the County of Valencia Thirteenth Judicial District in Los Lunas in response to the suit filed by the co-op against all members, Charlene West and the Mountain Mail et. al.
The co-op filed suit to test three bylaw amendments passed by members at the April 17 meeting.
In his “prayer for relief,” Hickox asked that the bylaw changes be enacted immediately, the majority of the plaintiff trustees be required to pay all costs and the plaintiff suit takes nothing from any defendant.
In addition, Hickox wants a team of auditor investigators to examine all co-op transactions involving money or goods paid back to January 1987, which is the year Hickox became a co-op member.
He also wants a judgment ordering the co-op to pay the cost of the ordered audit inquiry and the trustees to pay for the defendant cross complainant costs.
Hickox stopped in the Mountain Mail office to play a cell phone message from Francish, The co-op attorney wanted Hickox to call him back and said the co-op would drop its suit if Hickox dropped his counter-claim.
“I’m not dismissing my suit,” he said.
So why did Hickox file suit?
“My answer is my history,” he said. “It is what I do. The gist of the matter is that I am a retired detective from Los Angeles County. My forte was major fraud. And that lawsuit was a fraud. I don’t like what I see.
Hickox also will be asking for all the co-op trustees to resign.
“We need a clean sweep,” he said.
Hickox’s suit was just the first of the filings.
Charlene West said her attorneys Lee Deschamps and Stephen Kortemeier have filed for a change of venue back to Socorro on July 23
“I am just doing what they tell me,” West said. “So far they are not telling me much.
“This is the second time the board has taken me to court. They filed in Los Lunas and my attorneys want to bring it back to Socorro where the first suit was filed. I’m just a peon.”
The co-op and West also are going back to court on Sept. 9. The co-op wants the court to issue a permanent restraining order.
Judge Matt Reynolds heard the original hearings and issued a temporary order, banning West from meetings.
According to the NM Courts website, as of now, there is no judge for the case.
Reynolds, Edmund Kase and Kevin Sweazea have all recused themselves in the past two weeks.
Also filing suit on July 23 were Socorro attorneys Polly Ann Tausch and Thomas G. Fitch, who also want the case to be sent back to Socorro.
In their motion, Fitch and Tausch claim the Valencia County court lacks jurisdiction over the “unnamed member/owners.” They also claim the venue within the County of Valencia is improper, the process and service of process are insufficient and the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Fitch and Tausch write only a small percentage of co-op members live in Valencia County and no named defendant in the co-op lawsuit is a resident of Valencia County.
When the SEC filed its complaint, its motion wanted to obtain service of process by publication on named member/owners. Fitch and Tausch write that the SEC meant to say “unnamed member/owners) and thereupon obtain an ex-parte order from the court allowing service of process by publication on all named member owners.
Fitch and Tausch said the process was insufficient because it did not comply with Rule 1-00K(2) NMRA which requires that the “names of each of the defendants against whom service by publication is sought” be set forth.
The two Socorro attorneys made two other arguments about service of process and because of that insufficiency of process and service of process, the Valencia court lacks jurisdiction over the “unnamed member-owners.”
A hearing has been scheduled regarding Fitch and Tausch’s motion for 9:30 a.m. Aug. 10 at the Valencia County Courthouse in Los Lunas to discuss Tausch’s and Fitch’s motion in front of judge John W. Pope.


To the editor:
One would hope that the trustees of SEC who are responsible for this mess (and it’s not ALL of them) will come to their senses, stop listening to Attorney Francish, and end it NOW! Maybe they still have a chance to avoid one or more class action suits being filed against them. I know there are judges who do not judge well but it is highly unlikely that they could win this one.
The members, not the trustees own the co-op and have the right to amend their own bylaws. The attorney should at the least be reprimanded and made to repay the co-op his illegally gotten gains. By rights, those trustees who have spent so much of our money on this foolishness, should also be required to repay the co-op. Additionally they would need to immediately implement the bylaws voted for by the members. That would be the intelligent thing to do.
If this is revenge against the members, they should know that the results are not likely to be what they are anticipating.

Barbara Moore

LETTER: Burrito Response

To the editor:
What is reprehensible is the fact that people shoot their mouths off without pre-checking the facts. Ms. Sylvia Troy in a letter to the editor in the Mountain Mail slandered Mr. Nick Innerbichler regarding the sale of burritos to the Village for the firefighters battling the fire at his warehouse in Magdalena.
The truth is that Mr. Innerbichler was not aware of the request made to me by the Mayor Sandy Julian regarding the aforementioned sale, which was handled by me in coordination with the mayor and a clerk of the village.
Next fact payment was not demanded by Mr. Innerbichler, the Mayor asked me to get the burritos to the firefighters, and to present the Village Office with the necessary invoicing for payment, which I did.
The fact is that someone in the Village Business Office provided data to a non Village office employee (Ms. Sylvia Troy) in violation of the rights of privacy of a Village business, whoever divulged this information should be severely reprimanded.

Dolores Martinez

Socorro Man Arrested On Burglary Charges

By John Larson

SOCORRO - A Socorro man caught by city police Sunday in possession of stolen laptops, books, and money was arraigned before Magistrate Judge Jim Naranjo Tuesday.
Anthony Padilla, 37, was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor in connection with a burglary at the CPA firm Penner & Associates on Fifth Street.
A police report filed by Officer Gilbert Gonzales said Padilla was seen carrying two black bags and a tan metal box across California Street toward Baca Street. Gonzales stated in the report that he had prior knowledge that Padilla was wanted for questioning on a burglary that had occurred the weekend before. Padilla said the black cases held his laptop and legal papers, and the tan metal box held his medication.
In the course of Gonzales’s investigation, a witness in the area told him that he recognized Padilla as a man who was seen peering under a tarp on a red pickup truck. He said he had seen Padilla removing two gray plastic containers.
The witness said he also saw Padilla in the passenger side of the pickup in the toolbox.
The owner of the red pickup truck confirmed to Gonzales that he had not given Padilla permission to go through his property in the back of his truck.
The victim also said he was missing two large plastic crates of books from the bed of the truck, one which contained 39 hardback books valued at about $50 each. He said there were about 40 VHS tapes on the passenger’s side of the bed, that were now missing, as well as an RCA camcorder and VCR.
The items were connected to a break-in at the CPA firm Penner & Associates, where a tan metal box containing petty cash was also missing.
Evidence collected included two laptops in black bags marked “Penner & Associates,” a tan metal cash box, and photographs of shoes on an outside door that showed signs of damage.
Padilla was incarcerated at the Socorro County Detention Center. Bond was set at $55,000, cash or surety.

Youth Council Planning Meeting Scheduled

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - A planning session for a proposed Magdalena Youth Council is scheduled for this Saturday, July 31, at 9 a.m. Village Board Trustee Diane Allen said the meeting will be an informal gathering of mainly students and community members.
“It is basically a planning meeting, and we hope to be getting input from not only concerned community members, but also from school personnel, and especially students who are willing to take an active part in the youth council,” Allen said. “From the Village’s standpoint we will assist in any way we can.
“It’s everybody coming together for the good of the youth,” she said. “But it is definitely going to be their council.”
The impetus behind the meeting is Senate Memorial Bill 34 “Local Government Youth Councils,” passed during the last legislative session.
“Representative Don Tripp is supporting us on this, and he knows of other communities who have supported their own youth councils,” Allen said.
She said the councils could be a good source for organizing a council, but “this one will be designed specifically for Magdalena.”
“I encourage any member of the community interested in the youth, and interested in getting projects going for them to come to the meeting. Bring your ideas and suggestions,” she said.
The meeting will be held in Village Hall at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Mag Interviewing Law Enforcement Officers

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Law enforcement officers are in short supply in the Village of Magdalena since the resignation of two deputies three weeks ago.
According to Mayor Sandy Julian at Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting one candidate for a deputy position has been informally interviewed but no decision has been made.
“We want to see how many other applications we get, and then the trustees will go over the applications,” Julian said. “Then [Marshal] Larry [Cearley] and I will conduct the interviews.”
In the meantime, the Village Clerk’s office has been giving out forms and has received four completed applications. Deputy Village Clerk Carlene Gomez said the village office will be accepting applications through Monday, Aug. 9.
In other business, the Board discussed the Infrastructure Capital Improvements Plan in a public hearing.
The top three priorities remained unchanged: a backup for the Trujillo well at $140,000; development of a village recreation facility at $250,000; and expansion of the health clinic at $100,000.
Other options for funding requests include the paving of Main south of Fourth Street, a lift station in the area of Tenth Street, the paving of Second Street, a new library as part of the municipal complex, and renovations to convert the train depot into a museum.
The building housed village government offices for many years, and is now the Magdalena Public Library.
Clerk Rita Broaddus said the Magdalena train depot is one of the very few in the country that is actually being used as a public facility.
A second public hearing will be held before final approval of the ICIP.

Chefs, Cooks Take Advantage of Community Kitchen

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Amateur chefs, professional cooks and just about anybody who wants to earn a little money selling prepared food can now take advantage of the Socorro Community Kitchen, an approved commercial kitchen in the Finley Gym building.
The kitchen opened last month with the help of a $33,000 USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant. State Director Terry Brunner toured the facility last Friday, July 23.
“Most of the money was used to purchase and install an exhaust hood and automatic fire suppression system for the range,” Brunner said. “It also allowed for the purchase of tables, a refrigerator, range oven and a dough mixer.”
Two local businesses are already using the facility, which is in the same room as “the woodworking classroom of Mr. Hollinger and Robert Griego” when it was Socorro High School.
Al and Jane Smoake of A&J Family Farms already use the kitchen to create their jams and jellies which are sold at the Farmer’s Market.
Baker John Morrison has been baking his breads for selling at the Farmer’s Market.
Caterer Julie Green of Green’s Kitchen plans to make heavy use of the commercial kitchen for catering jobs.
“When I first heard of it I said ‘I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Green said. “This will be a another step toward getting our business going.”
Chamber of Commerce Director Terry Tadano foresees several formerly home-based food businesses taking advantage of the kitchen.
“We’re having a meeting in the next week or so to iron out basic rules for using the kitchen,”
Tadano said. “Our goal is to make [the rules] easier for the community to use the kitchen.
“This will be a boon for smaller Mom and Pop businesses.”
In addition, a group of 4-H kids has been using the kitchen this week for the Stitch And Spoon program organized by Theresa Dean of the County Extension Office.
Dean said the 15 4-H’ers are learning the basics of both cooking and sewing.
“They’re learning about the proper handling of food, safety in the kitchen, and baking techniques and tricks. They also are repsonsible for making their lunch,” Dean said. “On the sewing end of it, they are learning the parts of a sewing machine and basic practices of sewing. They’ll be making their own tote bag.”

Pictures: (top) Pictured (not in order): Nadya Romero, Madeline Stuteville, Teghan Gonzales, Samantha Maldonado, and Marinarae Rosales.

(bottom) Rosie Tripp helps budding seamstresses McKenna Gonzales (left) and Emily Stuteville on using a sewing machine to make a totebag.

Photos by John Larson

News From Reserve

By Richard Torres

Adam Riddle is the new D.W.I. Prevention Specialist for Catron County. He was raised in Reserve, graduated from a two year college in Dallas and is married to Danielle. “I am glad to be back home. Working with kids is what I enjoy doing. My message to the students of our community is one of support. We care about you, and we will give you as many opportunities to succeed as we can,” Adam said.

• “Elk burgers are back!” Marianne said. She and her husband Aaron operate Ella’s CafĂ© in Reserve. A popular seasonal menu item, the elk burger can be ordered with a variety of toppings. Also added to the menu is pizza, and fresh baked pies are available to order.

• The 70th Annual Montosa Camp Meeting will be held July 28--Aug. 1. This is a Christian camping experience for the whole family. There is ample space for RVs, tents or bedrolls. Bath and shower facilities are available. Three chuck wagon style meals will be served daily.

Sylvia Learns About The Cumbres and Toltec Railroad

By Anne Sullivan

No one greeted me on my return from a long weekend away from Swingle Canyon. No sign of Sylvia. No Gordo sleeping in one of his inherited beds. Feeling lonely, I staggered into the house carrying five plastic bags holding treasures from Wal-Mart, Target and TJ Maxx, having seized the dentist visit to Albuquerque as a chance to shop. After six more trips, I was down to unloading the dirty laundry and towels when Sylvia emerged from the dry stream bed with wagging tail.
“About time,” I said, reaching down to pat her shaggy back.
“So where did you go, boss, and why?” she asked.
“I went to Albuquerque to the dentist and then continued on to Chama for the New Mexico Outdoor Writers and Photographers Conference,” I answered while carrying in the last load with Sylvia following me.
“Did you miss me and did you have a good time?”
“Somewhat and very good.”
“What did you do in Chama?”
“Mostly we ate. One big meal after another.”
“I like to eat,” she informed me unnecessarily. “You should have taken me with you. Why didn’t you?”
“The trip involved hours of driving and you hate to sit in a moving vehicle. Besides, I stayed at campgrounds where they take a dim view of dogs who bark all night.”
“That shows a marked lack of foresight. I should think they’d like to be warned of imminent danger.”
“Imminent, perhaps, but not imaginary. I daresay it shows good sense not to have barking dogs in a campground.”
“Did you do anything other than eat in Chama?” Sylvia was quick to change the subject.
“Yes, we rode the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.”
“You did? I thought I heard on TV that it was broken.”
“One bridge is indeed broken but that one is very close to Chama. The ride now starts or ends, depending on which way you’re going, at Cumbres Pass and is a little shorter than it was. Buses take you to or pick you up from the Pass.”
“What was the train ride like?” she asked, sitting down to scratch.
“It’s a very old train that has a steam engine from 1902 and runs on narrow gauge track. The passenger cars are replicas of the original cars of the late 1800s. The railroad reached Chama in 1880. It’s all very historical. Everything has been or is in the process of being restored. And what’s more, there’s actually a small car that follows the train to put out any live embers. It’s called a fire car and carries one man, water and a hose.”
“That sounds like fun,” she paused in scratching to remark.
“I thought so, too. Oh, and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. We started at Antonito in Colorado and went through mountains and rocks, passing by old unused bunkhouses and water towers, all to the accompaniment of different train whistles.”
“Did you get any pictures?”
“I took a bunch but I don’t think they’ll be very good. Even though we went very slowly, about 8 to 12 miles an hour, it was a very bumpy ride.”
“I like driving slowly so I’m sure I would have liked the train ride,” she insisted.
“No, you wouldn’t have. We went through several very dark tunnels. It was also a very long ride – - from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.”
“That’s a long time indeed. Didn’t you get hungry?”
“Yes, but just when I thought I couldn’t stand it anymore around 1 p.m. we reached the halfway point in Osier and got off to eat a huge meal: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a warm roll and the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten.”
“I really would have liked that.”
“You’re not allowed to eat chocolate. It’s not good for dogs.”
“That reminds me. I’m hungry. You didn’t by any chance bring some of that meal home for me, did you?”
“Sorry, no refrigeration so I was forced to eat it all myself. However, I did stop in Grants and bought you some Iams biscuits. You like them.”
“I do, but they’re not very exciting. Just the same, I’d better try them out to see that you got your money’s worth.”
After I’d handed her a biscuit, I asked, “And what did you do here while I was gone?”
“Nothing much. Slept a lot. Oh, and Gordo killed a chipmunk for you.”
“I know. I saw it on the porch when I came in.”
“You might want it for dinner.”
“Another night,” I said.

Open Junior Rodeo Returns To Quemado Next Weekend

Quemdado News
By Debbie Leschner
For the Mountain Mail

The Quemado Open Junior Rodeo will be held Saturday, Aug 7 starting at 9 a.m. and Sunday, Aug 8 at 8 a.m. at the Heritage Arena.
The event is New Mexico Junior Rodeo Association sanctioned. Anybody 19 and under may enter.
Local registration will be at the arena on Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the first full scale rodeo to be held in Quemado since 1978.
There will also be a jackpot of mixed roping and a special calf roping to benefit Kenny McClosker and his family who was injured in a bare back riding event at a rodeo in Gallisto a few weeks ago.
Cowboy Church services will be held on Sunday at 7 a.m. at the area and a Country Dance for Saturday is pending. BBQ chuck wagon will be on hand to provide food for the event. For more information, call Ricky Chavez at 505-328-1363. The arena is located 1 mile north of J and Y gas station near the Quemado gun range.
These events are coordinated by the NM Rodeo Council to the Quemado Community Equestrian Association. The associations is non profit with a goal to promote kids in the sport of rodeo and equestrian events. Admission is $5 per car load. See You There.

The American Legion Post 82 in Reserve will meet on Saturday, July 7 at 10 a.m. in the Catron County Building.

The Quemado Senior Center van will be going to Gallup on Wednesday, Aug 4. Please call by Monday if you are planning to go. All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

The Democratic Party Meeting will be Aug 7 at 1 p.m. at the Catron County Courthouse in Reserve. County and state candidates will be present to speak.

The Quemado Food Pantry will be on Friday, Aug 6 at the Community Center. The Datil community Presbyterian Church is taking over with the retirement of Dorothy Kalberg.
There will be two programs running simultaneously; the federally funded Commodities and a Food Fair. You will need to sign up again and be eligible for the commodities, please bring a form of income verification. There are no eligibility requirements for the Food Fair and you will receive about 50 pounds of food per household.
You must arrive and sign up before 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 6. You will receive a ticket and a number to get in.
Bring your own containers and ice chests are recommended for frozen and refrigerated foods. Volunteers will help to carry your food as you “shop”. There will be a food distribution the first Friday of every month at 3:30 p.m. in Quemado, along with Datil at 11 a.m., Horse Mountain at 12:30 p.m., and Pie Town at 2 p.m. You may attend any of these locations, but only one location per month. For more information, call or email Anne Schwebke at 575-772-5602 or For local contact, call the Quemado Community Center at 773-4627 and leave a message.

Landslide Lures TV Stations

By John Larson

SOCORRO - A small landslide that covered the road to the Magdalena Ridge Observatory on South Baldy Mountain created a minor media frenzy last Friday afternoon.
The site of the landslide, about two-thirds of the way up the road to the MRO, was visited by video crews from KRQE-TV, KOAT-TV, and KKOB-TV.
“It appeared that TV stations were in need of a weather related story for their newscasts,” New Mexico Tech Vice President Van Romero said. “I’m not sure how they got word of the landslide. We hadn’t released anything on it at the time.”
Romero said the rubble on the road – about 30 feet wide and up to five feet high – consisted of “good sized” rocks that had to be removed with a front loader. In the meantime, the six astronomers at the MRO were taking the matter into their own hands.
Eileen Ryan, Director of the 2.4 Meter Telescope, said the scientists walked across the rubble to a vehicle on the other side.
Two construction workers remained at the observatory.
“Bill Winn left about three minutes ahead of us, going down,” Ryan said. “He radioed back that there was a washout ahead and to be careful. By the time we got to that spot the landslide had happened.”
She said astronomer Bill Ryan was in the lead car and tried to drive over the landslide and became high centered on top.
“He got out a shovel, and we had a shovel and were able to shovel the middle portion down enough,” Ryan said. “Bill got to other side and took our vehicle back up and got a ride back down to the rubble. We ended up walking over it to get to the other side and the other vehicle.”
“It was kind of funny, there was so much publicity on it, because [things like that] are almost an everyday occurrence on the road,” she said.
Romero said the landslide was just part of having to continually perform maintenance on the seven mile mountain road.
He said New Mexico Tech’s Steve Wallace was radioed from the site to bring up a front loader to clear the road.
“The TV stations must have picked that up on the radio,” he said. “But whenever you drive up on mountain roads you know when you have heavy downpours a little of the mountain erodes. It comes with the territory,” he said. “This area was a little draw that got a heavy amount of rain in a short period of time.”
Romero returned to the landslide area Sunday to make sure the road was drivable.

Picture: MRO 2.4 meter telescope facility technician Craig Wallace-Keck stands on the landslide which prevented astronomers from driving down the mountain.

Courtesy photo

Time For ‘Hard Times And Hope’

Mountain Mail reports

London Frontier Theatre in Magdalena presents “Hard Times and Hope: the Lost Wife Creek Years.” Created from LFTC’s popular “Lost Wife Creek” series, the new play takes the Aragones and the Trotters from 1933 to 1941, the years of the Great Depression.
As the play opens, Roosevelt’s New Deal is “turning the country around,” but life is still hard in rural New Mexico. Dreams of lost gold, Spanish land grants and stardom in “talkies” vie with the realities of drought, a ne’er-do-well son, and a decrepit old flivver.
Local, national and international events are all interwoven with the daily lives, struggles, and misadventures of Manny and Ruby Aragone, Cass and Gardy Trotter.
Against a backdrop of politics and dust storms, we follow the inauguration of the New Deal, the end of Prohibition and Mr. Gibbers’ progress from bootlegger to politician, as well as the Homestead Act, the WPA Civilian Conservation Corps, and the “documenting America” photography program.
The story also touches on the building of Boulder Dam in Nevada, the rise of the mobs in Chicago, the shadow of Hitler over Europe, and the American divorcee who captured an English king.
From the “nest-egg caper” initiated by the women (with courage drawn from their heroine Eleanor Roosevelt), to Manny and Cass’s bumbled attempt to emulate Dillinger - from sister Ivy’s creative way of dealing with an abusive spouse, to the strange discovery of the origin of Lost Wife Creek - “Hard Times and Hope” is a rollicking, touching, and fondly-wry look at the gritty, personal side of a difficult, formative era of American history.
And extremely relevant today.
Live music performed by Randall Engle and Emily Johnson carries us along, from the too familiar “Hard Times” to “Frankie and Johnnie,” and other favorites, both old-timey and of the era.
Actors in “Hard Times and Hope” are Diane Allen, Janice Brunacini, Josi Holt, Frank Howard, Fernando Montano, Ruth Ryan, Terry Stone and Donna Todd. Musicians are Randall and Emily Johnson, with Nicola Maynard. Tech direction Ronald Thornton handles set, lighting, and sound.
Performances are Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31, both at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m. at Magdalena’s WPA Theatre, at Main and Fourth.
Performances will repeat next weekend, Friday and Saturday, August 6-7 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 8 at 2 p.m.

And that’s not all, a gala at the theatre on Saturday, July 31, features a display of 1930’s New Deal Art – opening at 2 p.m. and free to the public – presented by the New Deal Preservation Association, with speakers on the New Deal’s artistic heritage at 3 p.m. Visitors can look, learn, and purchase copies of this quintessentially American art/photography, as well as enjoying live music of the era. A real pit barbecue, with all the trimmings, will be available from 3 to 6 p.m., tempting the taste buds and benefitting the Steel Chicks, Magdalena’s talented young steel drum band.

London Frontier is celebrating its 15 years in Magdalena, continuing to present a wide variety of plays incorporating our vivid multi-culture and history in exciting, entertaining theatre.
This project funded in part by the McCune Charitable Foundation and Friends of the Theatre.
Tickets are $5 for adults, and $2.50 for children, available at the door an hour before performance, and by reservation at 854-2519, or Further information can be found at

Picture: (from left): Donna Todd, Frank Howard, and Fernando Montano. London Frontier is celebrating its 15 years in Magdalena, continuing to present a wide variety of plays incorporating our vivid multi-culture and history in exciting, entertaining theatre.

Courtesy photo

Come Join In the Fun

By Gary Jaramillo

Our kids will be starting another year of school – and the staff here at the Mountain Mail thought it would be a good idea to throw a little party at Sedillo Park the last weekend before they get back to their classrooms for another year of learning, life experiences and camaraderie.
We’d like to invite parents, grandparents and other family mentors from all of the schools in Socorro and Catron Counties to come out and be a part of the back to school celebration and cheer our kids on to a great school year filled with unlimited possibilities!
So - be there Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sedillo Park for some great food, Ice Cream, Fun, Music and a sense of community.
We’re all in this together, so let’s have at least one selfish day together with our wonderful kids to start the school year off great! Bring a pop up tent, chairs, or picnic blankets if you like.

Todos estan invitados a el regreso a la escuela party este sabado a las parque Sedillo aqui en Socorro.
Inicio en once de la manana -- hasta cinco de la tarde. Vengan a comer, Esuchar la musica y disfrutar de su ninos.
Triaga una tienda de sombra, sillas o mantas de picnic si lo desea.
Nos Vemos Hay!


Chile Harvest Triathlon Scheduled For Next Week

Mountain Mail Reports

The Socorro Striders And Riders will hold a youth triathlon at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6, at the New Mexico Tech Swim Center. Registration starts at 5:00 p.m. Youths born between 1995 and 2003 are eligible to race, with five different age groups and four different distances.
The main event is The Chile Harvest Triathlon scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7, at 7 a.m. at the Socorro Swim Center. Registration is $20 for individuals under 23 years old, $55 for all other individuals, and $90 for relays.
Organizers say they are quickly reaching the capacity of 360 athletes, and registration will probably close earlier than our scheduled closing date of Aug. 3.
The main race is a 400 meter swim, followed by a 20 kilometer (12.4 mile) on bike, and finishes with a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) run. It is open to individuals and relays.
Details on both races can be found at Call Matt at 838-3035 about the youth race, and Camille at (505) 350-4116 about the main race.