Thursday, August 5, 2010

Booking It For Bikes

Jeanne Griffith of the Socorro Public Library announced the winners of bicycles being given away to the kids who read the most books for the summer reading program. She said 6,500 reading logs were turned in, representing 30,530 “books.” In the teenage category 32,040 pages were read. Ray Vandervoort of Socorro Masonic Lodge #9 was on hand to award the bikes. Pictured: (from left): Griffith; 7-11 age winner Nikia Bailey; Vandervoort; under 6 winners McKayla Fassett and Addisyn Fassett (tie). Not pictured, 12 and up winner Courtney Hidalgo.
Photo by John Larson.

Two Face Breaking, Entering Charges

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - Two area men are scheduled to make their first appearances in Magistrate Court Wednesday, Aug. 11, in connection with a breaking and entering in Magdalena.
Joshua Peralta, 19, whose address is listed as being in Alamogordo, faces five felony charges, including breaking and entering; aggravated burglary; forgery; credit card theft; and accessory to larceny.
Juan Gutierrez, 24, of Magdalena, is charged with breaking and entering; aggravated burglary; larceny; and theft of a credit card.
In the criminal complaint, Deputy Marshal Terry Flannigan said he got wind of the case when Peralta attempted to cash a $280 check at Trail’s End Market. The owner of the business became suspicious, and after checking with the family of the victim, Harmon Dawson, the Marshal’s office was called.
An investigation by Flannigan revealed that Peralta had broken into the victim’s residence and stole a book of blank checks.
“Peralta advised us that he and Juan Gutierrez had broken into Dawson’s house on July 2 by breaking out a back window,” the complaint said. “Peralta told us they took a book of checks and he took one check and Gutierrez took the rest of the book for himself.
“Peralta also advised us that Gutierrez gave him a gun that was found in the house and Peralta stated he threw it to the ground.”
The complaint said the two left the house by the side door and left it unlocked, and that no guns were taken when they left.
“Peralta stated he did not go back to the house after they left, but he was not sure if Gutierrez had [gone] back or not,” the complaint said.
Also taken from the home was a credit card, a 31 Cal Pistol Revolver 5 shot,a Ball and Cap Black Powder Western Boot Gun, a Double Barrel 20 Gauge shotgun, and a .22 Luger pistol.
Marshal Larry Cearley told the Mountain Mail another Magdalena man, Monroe Monte, was found guilty of larceny in connection with the theft on July 14 of one floor jack and one set heavy duty jumper cables from the residence of Louis Latasa. Monte was sentenced July 18 to 30 days in the Socorro County Detention Center, and ordered to pay $300 reimbursement by Magdalena Municipal Judge Robert Serna.

Firefighter Training In Full Gear

By John Larson

SOCORRO - The New Mexico Firefighters Academy in Socorro is hosting its 55th Annual Firefighters Training School this week with firefighters from 60 fire departments from around the state taking courses to improve their firefighting and rescue skills.
Director Reyes Romero said this year an emphasis will be put on training for volunteer firefighters.
He said 80 percent of all fire departments in the state are volunteer.
Although the academy holds classes year-round, the annual event encompasses more intensive training.
During the training week firefighters learn to deal with structural firefighting, which includes residential, business, and warehouse type fires.
The structural training building is made of concrete with doors and windows of steel, and is segmented to represent an apartment, a retail business, and a warehouse setting. Refrigerators, stoves, and even an elevator shaft are used to re-create the behavior or different types of blazes.
Fires are created with stacks of wooden pallets.
Romero said an instructor is present at all times, and there's at least one instructor to every five firemen during training.
“No one goes into the structure without an instructor,” Romero said.
He said firefighters have intensive training on how to deal with any type of incident, and they are graded on their actions.
He added that the firefighter enters a situation with three priorities.
“First, the safety of the firefighter, second, the rescue of victims, and third, the protection of property,” Romero said. “This applies to every situation, whether it's a structure fire, vehicle extraction, or an LPG situation.”
“If the firefighter is injured, there's no way he will be able to pull someone out of a fire, so his or her safety comes first. The protection of property always comes after the first two.”
Another part of the training area is dedicated to liquefied petroleum gas fires.
Romero said putting out an LPG fire requires teamwork and coordination.
“A fire a propane tank is particularly dangerous,” he said. “Most of those fires are from a loose valve. The goal is not to put out the fire, but to turn off the tank's valve.”
He said three firefighters must work together, two with their hoses on the 'fogger' setting to push the flame back, and the third to reach in and shut off the valve.
“The third man has only an eighth of an inch leeway between the valve and the fire,” Romero said. “That's why there had to be coordination.”
All LPG blazes require teamwork, he said.
In the case of a fire at a refinery at least three water streams are needed.
“Those are the most complicated to deal with,” he said.
Firefighters are also tested on something a little more common – vehicle crashes and the extraction of occupants.
Among other things, firefighters are graded on their technique with the equipment, teamwork, and the time it takes.
“There's something we call 'the golden hour',” one instructor said. “That's the time most crucial for the patient. It's the time it takes from when the crash is reported, to getting the team dispatched, to getting the patient transported to a trauma center. We strive to keep that time to under sixty minutes.”
The most modern cars can present a variety of dangers, and the fire academy has to keep up with the latest vehicle technology. Hybrid cars are particularly problematic in a crash.
“Hybrid cars carry up to 600 volts of electricity,” he said. “We have to know how to deal with that without frying ourselves.
“If the Jaws of Life, or other extraction tool, cuts into an electric circuit it could blow up the generator powering the tool, and at worst, electrocute the firefighter.”
An open house is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7.
Romero said the general public is invited to come to the Academy for demonstrations on firefighting techniques, “and a barbecue provided by the City of Socorro.”

Picture: A firefighter prepares to attack a car fire at the New Mexico Firefighters Training Academy Wednesday.

Photo by John Larson

Magdalena Looks At Feasibility Of Youth Council

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – A small group of concerned Magdalena students and adults met in Village Hall Saturday morning, July 31, to look at the feasibility and possibilities of a Youth Council.
Village Board Trustees Barbara Baca, Carmen Torres and Tommy Torres, Mayor Sandy Julian and Clerk Rita Broaddus discussed ideas brought up by Magdalena students Nathan Martel and Martin Harris.
Teacher Sharon Harris and resident Sayward Harris were also present.
The roundtable discussion was inspired by Senate Memorial Bill 34, which encourages communities in New Mexico to form youth advisory boards and councils at the local level.
The bill stated that there is a “need for youth to participate in the governance system of their communities on all matters affecting young people, such as building healthier communities, combating violence, conducting public forums and advising on your-appropriate substance abuse programming.”
According to the bill, the youth council would be expected to work on such issues as curfews, cruising, truancy, skateboard parks, underage drinking and “youth space” programming.
Martin Harris, a Magdalena High School sophomore, first suggested priorities for the student-run commission, including open communication between youth and school.
“Some coordinated activities for youth could include learning CPR and First Aid, basketball and pool tournaments, guitar lessons, and programs to and Juan Gutierrez had broken into Dawson’s house on July 2 by breaking out a back window,” the complaint said. “Peralta told us they took a book of checks and he took one check and Gutierrez took the rest of the book for himself.
“Peralta also advised us that Gutierrez gave him a gun that was found in the house and Peralta stated he threw it to the ground.”
The complaint said the two left the house by the side door and left it unlocked, and that no guns were taken when they left.
“Peralta stated he did not go back to the house after they left, but he was not sure if Gutierrez had [gone] back or not,” the complaint said.
Also taken from the home was a credit card, a 31 Cal Pistol Revolver 5 shot,a Ball and Cap Black Powder Western Boot Gun, a Double Barrel 20 Gauge shotgun, and a .22 Luger pistol.
Marshal Larry Cearley told the Mountain Mail another Magdalena man, Monroe Monte, was found guilty of larceny in connection with the theft on July 14 of one floor jack and one set heavy duty jumper cables from the residence of Louis Latasa. Monte was sentenced July 18 to 30 days in the Socorro County Detention Center, and ordered to pay $300 reimbursement by Magdalena Municipal Judge Robert Serna.

Letters To Myscie: A Western Love Story By Suzanne E. Smith

First of a series

Letters to Myscie, A Western Love Story is also a story of the love of the west. Not all of us are from this area. My great grandparents certainly weren’t. They were Yankees; “Northerners” unaccustomed to the ways of the west, and specifically the southwest. Love brought them here, and kept them here.
It was quite a few years ago that I started this project. I have had several kind and intelligent persons read it over. It has been reviewed and edited, marked up, and changes suggested, until I almost felt defeated by my own creation. However, for the last decade, I have been living in the home of my great grandparents, and I feel that I have genuiely become a part of their past lives, as they have my present. I thank the Mountain Mail for providing me the opportunity to share this fun story with you.
Suzanne E. Smith

Chapter 1
The West is always referred to as having been “won”. Conrad Hilton, who comes from our area, remembered a little poem to inspire him all of his life, of which the last line reads, "A man who wins, is a man who tries". Those who remembered J.E. Smith had recalled that he was "loved, hated, feared and revered; respected" In traceing his life, I have found that the western frontier country made him a little “hard” by the time he died in 1935. Oh, but as a young man, what spirit and grace didn't give to him, "trying" certainly did.
Joseph Edward Smith was born in Abington, Massachusetts on September 27, 1858. Ten years before his birth, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, and New Mexico became a U.S. Territory. The treaty guaranteed to Mexican inhabitants, preservation of the land, their customs, culture and many freedoms. But as with many U.S. Treaties, a promise made was not always a promise kept.
The conflict with, and hatred of, the “Americans” who intruded would have softened some by the time “Joe” arrived in New Mexico in 1883. As a child growing up on the Eastern coast, I am sure he had no idea that the Spanish West would eventually impact his life.
We don't have a lot of information about his childhood, and with his children all gone now, it is his grandchildren, and memoirs of his son Avery that provide some detail. Avery very thoroughly traced the Smith family tree back to the pilgrims; English decent, both sides.
Knowing your “roots” is wonderful, but thanks to the “love of a woman” we have been given a personal account of daily activities, feelings, desires, and dreams of people long passed, in a time when an important part of America was being settled.
J.E. worked for a Boston newspaper after high school in '76. He was an educated man (two years at M.I.T. from '77-'79), and apparently intelligent. During the time he studied Engineering, New Mexico was becoming a territory of adventure. Hostile Indian raids had been curtailed, allowing natives and new comers alike, a chance to finally settle into agriculture and commerce. Spanish settlements began to dot the landscape, as the people now felt safe and permanent, knowing they no longer would have to flee from their homes and Ranchos. The wealth of minerals had been discovered, and the Land Offices were doing a booming business. Soon would come the railroad, leading to a whole new relm of possiblities.
In 1879, J.E. Smith’s father’s business failed and he was forced to drop out of college. He ventured west to the Chicago area, and worked as a photographer for two years after that.
His work was portraiture mostly, but he also traveled to photograph special events. It was on one of those occasions that J.E. Smith met and became interested in a “special” girl.Mary Ann Elizabeth "Myscie" (pronounced Missie) was born in Darlington Wisconsin on January 8, 1863, and lived there until she came west. Through the love letters saved by her, we are able to become personally acquainted with a devoted and courageous young man, in love with an equally fine woman, and the New Mexico Territory!

Wednesday Evening 8:30
Jan 3rd, '83
Dear Myscie,
Last evening after I left you at the door I came directly here to the gallery and sat myself about writing you a long letter. This morning I took the same letter tore open the envelope, read over, and then put it in the stove, while tonight I find myself doing a similar act as last evening with possibly a sequel to follow it, like the previous.
I am home sick to-night Myscie! and I must do something to put away the "don't care" and selfish feeling that has come over me since tea time---I could find no better mood than that of writing--and no better drift than to talk to you for a little while for you have been in my thoughts all day long. Will, Jule, and Mr. Langford have all gone up to Mrs. Deckers this evening so you see, I have no one to disturb me in my “blues” at all.
Supper over I sat down and visited with Mrs. Hopkins for a little while after they had all gone-but this did not content me somehow. I felt so uneasy all the while so about 8:00- I put on my coat and started off. As I came by the house I could hear you playing on the piano-I stoped,[sic] leaned over the fence and listened to you. I could see you playing -could see someone standing by you. Oh how I fought with myself to go in-------Then someone, I could hear coming down the side-walk, reminded me that I had best be moving on before they came too near, and I started off over here to this old, dreary, lonesome hole that I see enough of in day-time without seeking its shelter for consolation and comfort evenings.
After getting warm I started on this letter -with nothing to say-no point in view and no special thing to say-just simply to be talking to you. How I wish I was visiting with you Myscie in that nice cosy[sic] and warm library room over there at the house, instead of here; there in the big chair reading to you or drawn up to the bright fire visiting & talking with you. What really truly happy evenings I have passed there.
Such volumes of things are running through my mind. Oh! dear; I can't write--I can't think-I can't-------I am going to stop Myscie. If I ever send you this letter, burn it up after reading –
but probably it will share the same fate as last night-
Your loving friend "Joe" Good night.
Myscie and Joe were avid “church goers”, and Myscie was musically inclined. Later in life they would donate land and other items to Churches in Socorro. In Darlington, Myscie was the pianist for the choir of the Methodist Epiphany Church. She also had a burning desire to study music at one of the great schools in the east.
Jan-6-83 Saturday Evening 8 ock

Dear Myscie,
I am not feeling well at all this evening, and if I am feeling no better to-morrow forenoon I will not be at church in the morning. I will try and come in the evening if I feel half decent. The choir will get on very well without me---I guess you must do for both of us, Myscie. Have them sing just which anthem you think they can do best in the morning and charge them to be sure and come to the church at six o'ck Sunday Evening to reherse[sic]. I will be there I think and will call for you if you go Myscie, I want to spend the evening with you, Sunday Evening after church, may I? If I see you at church, answer me there if you do not see me, or have askt[sic] to answer me before then. Hoping everything will go off smoothly in the morning. I will trust it all to you. How much I would like to see you Myscie just at this minute---Good night xxxx, I must carry this down to James now.
Your true friend, Joe.

For nearly two months, J.E. Smith courted Myscie Driver. His “friendly” letters changed in nature by the time he left for the New Mexico Territory. Accom-panied by Myscie's cousin Jim Leighton, his great adventure begins and the letters take on a more serious tone. It is almost embarrassing to read the letters, because of the passion.
Certainly, feelings held by two people in love is a private thing, but because the letters are more like a continuing saga full of history, they must be shared. Truly, the uncertainties of the journey, the outcome of his arrival, and the test of time were determining factors in how this story unfolds.

Join us next week, as Joe and Jim travel by train to Socorro.

Letter to Myscie, a Western Love Story written by Suzanne Smith, All rights reserved.

Chamber Exhibit

Bonnie Reiter poses with an exhibit featuring lobby boards from 10 past productions of Socorro Community Theater. It is the August exhibit at the Socorro Chamber of Commerce. The boards – created by Karin Forte – feature photographs of cast members from plays such as Noises Off, The Mousetrap, Moon Over Buffalo, Fools, Rumours, The Foreigner, Red Herring, The Importance of Being Ernest, and Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue Meet the Dirty Dan Gang. Auditions for the next production, The Odd Couple, are scheduled for Aug. 30-31 at Garcia Opera House. Bonnie Reiter of Socorro Community Theater.
Photo by John Larson

Mexican Gray Wolf May Be Reclassified

Mountain Mail reports

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering reclassifying the Mexican gray wolf to protect its endangered species classification. Currently, the Mexican gray wolf is listed as endangered within a broader species-level listing of gray wolves.
Based on the review of petitions from the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and The Rewilding Institute, asking the agency to list the Mexican wolf as an endangered subspecies and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, it was determined the petitions present substantial scientific or commercial information and that petitioned action warrants further review.
If the Mexican wolf is reclassified as an endangered subspecies it would remain protected under the Endangered Species Act regardless of any changes to the listing status of the other gray wolves in the rest of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tom Buckley said the current 10(j) population in the Gila will remain listed as experimental, nonessential, while the Service conducts a status review, and “the Mexican wolf would remain protected as an endangered species.
“The exception would be any wolf that may wander in from Mexico or other areas into the [Gila] recovery area,” Buckley said.
“We are requesting all existing scientific and commercial data and other information regarding the Mexican wolf,” he said. “All information must be received by the agency on or before October 4, 2010.”
Based on the status review, the Service will issue a 12-month finding on the petitions, which will address whether the petitioned action is warranted.

Watch For Meteor Shower Next Week

August Skies
By Jon Spargo
New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club

Before we dive into the planet parade I thought I’d spend time talking about the Perseid Meteor Shower. This year’s shower will take place on the 11th through the 13th and we will have excellent viewing conditions since there will be no moonlight to interfere.
The Perseid shower usually lasts for several days. This year the peak is predicted to occur in the early morning hours of the night of the 12th-13th. The best viewing time will be from about 11 pm on the 12th until sunrise on the 13th. However, the predicted peak should not be set in stone, as the nights before and after the peak may also produce some decent numbers of meteors.
If you are lucky enough to find a really dark site you may be able to see as many as 100 meteors per hour during the peak. The best way to watch is from a reclining chair and by looking straight up or toward the northeast along the radiant from which the meteors will come. In other words, find the darkest patch of sky and stare at it! If you are in a cool place remember to have some warm clothes. If in a ‘buggy’ place, don’t forget insect repellant!
Our planetary gathering in the west will continue during most of the month with some interesting combinations of positions. As the month progresses they’ll draw closer to the western horizon and disappear in the sunset afterglow.
Venus will continue to outshine everybody and actually brighten a bit reaching magnitude -4.6 by the end of the month. Mercury will also be barely visible from the 1st through the middle of the month. However it will spend most of that time very close to the western horizon and hard to find by naked eye. Binoculars will be the preferred way to find this tiny planet.
Saturn and Mars begin the month shining above and to the left of Venus. As the month progresses Venus will pass below both of these planets and by the 31st Venus will be within 1 degree of the bright star Spica (in Virgo) and Spica, Mars and Venus should form a new grouping that should last into September.
Jupiter and Uranus will rise together at about 10:30 p.m. daylight time at the beginning of the month and by 8:30 p.m. at the end of the month. During this time the gap between Jupiter and Uranus will close to less than two degrees. If you look just west of Jupiter with a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars, you should be able to pick out the tiny blue orb of Uranus. At magnitude -2.9 Jupiter will be a very fine sight to behold in a small telescope.

OBITUARY: Ethyle May (Beattie) Farnum

Ethyle May (Beattie) Farnum
April 16, 1918-July 30, 2010

Ethyle May (Beattie) Farnum, 92, passed away on Friday, July 30, 2010 in Albuquerque, NM. Ethyle was born on April 16, 1918 in Greenwich, NY to Madison Stewart and Phoebe Alvira (Brown) Beattie.
She is survived by her loving sons, Ralph E. Farnum III of Albuquerque; David J. Farnum and wife, Cathy also of Albuquerque; and Robert A. Farnum and companion Lisa Arnold of Socorro.
Ethyle grew up in Salem, NY and was a resident of Socorro since 1989, after moving from Bennington, VT. She was a member of Socorro Garden Club and also a lifetime member of Mayflower Society. She was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Socorro and of the Socorro General Hospital Auxiliary.
Ethyle was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ralph E. Farnum Jr., whom she married on June 12, 1948 in Glens Falls, NY. He preceded her in death on September 24, 2003 after 54 years of marriage; Ethyle is also preceded by her loving parents, and her sister, Marion Grace Beattie.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the Daniels Family Funeral Services Chapel in Socorro, NM with Pastor Erwin de Graaff officiating. Interment will take place in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Enfield, NH at a later date.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Socorro General Hospital Chapel Fund or Charity of Choice. Those who wish to send condolences may do so at Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM 87801, (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: Robert A. Torres

Robert A. Torres
Sept. 14, 1925-Aug. 1, 2010

Robert A. Torres, 84, passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2010, at his home in Socorro, NM. Robert was born on September 14, 1925 in Socorro to Eduardo and Luicita (Avila) Torres.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Evangeline “Vangie” (Baca) Torres of Socorro, married June 1, 1951 in Truth or Consequences, NM; his devoted children, Rodney W. Torres of Socorro; Ronaele W. Mata of Socorro; and Roslyn W. Gifford of Hackette Town, NJ; Five loving grandchildren, Brandy Demark and husband, Brent; Danielle Briseno; Robert Mata; Eloisa Romero and husband, Jason; and Felicia Casendino and husband Robert; 4 great grandchildren, Lexington Demark; Shannon Briseno; Taylei Romero; and Kelly Briseno; and many nieces and nephews.
Robert was a lifetime resident of Socorro. He was a proud Veteran of World War II serving with the US Navy and was a Public Educator for Socorro Consolidated Schools for 38 years. Robert was a devoted member of the Harwood Methodist Church in Socorro, past president of the Anti-Baca Club, and American Legion Armijo Post 64.
Robert was preceded in death by his beloved sisters, Josie; Adelina; Tommy; and Maria. A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 3 p­.m. at the Harwood Methodist Church in Socorro, NM with Pastor Raquel Mull and Mr. Allen Bell officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that any memorial contributions be made to Harwood Methodist Church, c/o Wells Fargo Bank. 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: Deborah Lear

Deborah Lear
Aug. 29, 1940-July 29, 2010

Deborah Lear, 69, passed away just after midnight Wednesday, July 28, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Deborah was born on August 29, 1940, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she lived for most of her life. Deborah and husband Jim also lived in Magdalena for part of each year to spend time with their grandchildren and were privileged to make numerous good friends in the community. Jim will relocate to Magdalena permanently in the near future.
Deborah is survived by her devoted husband of 48 years, James (Jim); son James Charles of New York; daughter Anna and beloved grandchildren Lazarus and Magdalene (Sanchez) of Magdalena; sisters Carol Myers and Judy Abel of Pennsylvania; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
We all treasured her sharp wit, wisdom, and warmth, and the numerous paintings and other beautiful artworks she left us will continue to remind us of her creative spirit.
A private family service was held Saturday, July 31, 2010, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Those who wish to send condolences to the family may address them to Anna Lear, PO Box 1312, Magdalena, NM 87825.

Socorro City Police Blotter

The following information was taken from reports at the Socorro City Police Department.

April 27
The suspect and the victim were arguing at 9:30 p.m. at a residence in the 700 block of Highway 60. The victim said the suspect punched him in the nose and then poked him in the shoulder with a small pocket knife. The two were separated and the victim – who had no visible wounds - left the home.

May 1
A highly intoxicated man was bothering people in the 500 block of Manzanares at 7:30 p.m. Officers advised him several times to leave the area, but he refused and then decided to challenge the officers to a physical fight. He was arrested and incarcerated at Socorro County Detention Center.

May 3
The victim said she left her cell phone somewhere, and it was found at 8 p.m. by somebody who was not willing to return it. The phone’s value was $100.

May 4
A man reported at 8:15 p.m. that he arrived at a residence on Park Avenue to pick up a woman. The suspect exited the home and began punching him through the car window. When he tried to exit the car the suspect wouldn’t let him get out. He pushed his way out when the suspect began using a razor knife to cut him several times. He was able to leave the scene to be treated at the hospital. The suspect was located by another officer and confessed.

May 6
A suspect admitted to police at 12:05 p.m. to breaking into a residence in the 1600 block of El Camino Real, taking several items in value of over $1,000 and damaging more than $1,000 in property. Also taken was a replica Smith & Wesson. He said he was intoxicated at the time he broke into the woman’s home. Some of her property was recovered.
A man in the 1200 block of Main Street reported at 7:16 p.m. the suspect was calling him on the phone and harassing him and his daughter. The officer met with the suspect, who was highly intoxicated. When she was told to stop calling, she became disorderly.

May 7
A vehicle was pulled over at 12:07 a.m. for a lane violation at California and Otero. The driver admitted to drinking alcohol and failed a field sobriety test. Intoxilyzer results showed a .11 blood alcohol content. He was arrested and booked at the detention center. During an inventory of his property drug paraphernalia was found and he was also charged with that. Evidence was logged at Police Department.
A complainant in the 900 block of Padilla reported at 11:25 a.m. that the female suspect would not stay away from her residence. The other woman was located and advised to stay away from the residence until a civil matter was resolved.
A victim in the 500 block of California reported at 4:30 p.m. that a window to the residence was broken. No leads to any suspect at time of report. Estimated cost of damage is $100.

EDITORIAL: Back To School Party Was A Huge Success

Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo

The staff and management of the Mountain Mail would like to thank all of the wonderful people who made our first annual Back to School Party such a great success. Everyone jumped at the chance to help at the party itself by cooking, serving food, picking up the grounds during and after the party, watching and chaperoning the kids in the jumpers provided by James and Amanda Gallegos and family.
Randy’s Ace let us use a much needed commercial fan to keep our cooks cool during the party. Gambles True Value let us use a very nice freezer to store our Ice Cream during the day’s festivities.
Anna Lund (owner of the San Antonio General Store) generously ordered and stored the ice cream for us until Party Day. Peter and Shelly Rice were the hit of the party when they arrived in their fabulous clown costumes as they proceeded to make balloon shaped animals and play with the children and compete in our party games. Kathleen Ocampo and Antoinette Shiells really made the kids day by working their great face painting magic all day long.
Carlitos and Amanda Vega and girls set up their family professional sound system and provided wonderful music from all genres and eras for everyone to enjoy while Socorro’s super Firefighter-EMTs shared in the fun by volunteering to set up hoses and wet the children down out on the field for a nice cooling off session. They also helped with storage at Station 3 and were instrumental in helping with the clean up at the end of the day.
All of the parents and adults at the party really got involved and made the day all about the kids. There were plenty of water guns, beach balls, bubble guns, water sprinklers, jump ropes, Frisbees and tons of other toys that the kids took home with them at the end of the day.
Noah Jaramillo and Cleto Vasquez cooked up a ton of super delicious hamburgers and hot dogs. A group of moms set up the ice cream counter and kids had their fill of many different flavors of the
yummy stuff. Anthony Peralta’s and Andy Sanchez’s families helped with tent set up and clean up on Friday and Sunday. Our staff could never name all of the great parents and neighbors who helped with the party – but we do know that they’ll all be back with us again next year to make it even more wonderful.
We thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts – and for the kids who had their day in the sun before school begins next week.
Positive Outcomes donated 60 cases of Soft Drinks to the party and some of their employees were there to help with every aspect of the party.
We were saved in the last minutes of planning on Friday by the Don Tripp family who so graciously donated the large tent that we so desperately needed to provide shade for the children.
The mayor and city declined to set up the tent for the kids. It was the only low point in planning what turned out to be a wonderful day for Socorro’s School kids. It’s puzzling how the administration and Councilors could not see their way clear to set up the publicly owned tent to shade our children in what has turned out to be one of the hottest Julys in years, but have absolutely no problem setting the very same tent up in the plaza a few times a year for adult liquor parties.
We’re hoping that will change at our 2nd annual Back to School Party for our kids.

OPINION: Paying The Piper

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

I remember, for all of my life, listening to the sounds of “the Piper.” I was told that life in the future would be glorious: unlimited, affordable energy to help us do all of the work that we had to do; plentiful, durable plastics that could be molded into anything we could imagine; cars that could float and auto-pilot us to any place we wished; sleek, stylish cities of glass; and appliances, oh, the futuristic appliances that would fix our food at the touch of a button.
I’m old enough to remember all of those strange Westinghouse and Maytag ads for refrigerators, dishwashers and toasters that were actually being fondled by their new, meticulously bouffanted owners.
Black or white cotton gloves (depending on the season) were an added bit of kinkiness. Auto ads followed the same quirky format. The Monsanto House of the Future which premiered at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1957 was another concept that gave me pause. I wanted to believe, but some feeling in the pit of my stomach was screaming “Danger!”
Well, the joyride is over. The days of cheap energy are no more. We’re all fumbling in our collective pockets to find the cash to pay the Piper. He won’t take credit and he certainly will not accept credit swap derivatives. The thriving economy and the huge population that cheap oil supported are soon to end.
Plastics and fertilizer, which are made from oil, will soon be relics of the past. Not that I’m that fond of chemical fertilizers; composted coffee grounds, banana peals, horse manure and weeds seem to make suitable food for plants, especially in our top-soilless community. And you already know how I’m beginning to feel about disposable plastics.
It’s one thing for an individual person to face the consequences of their actions. It’s quite another thing for a society to face the fact that our collective amnesia has brought us to the brink of destruction.
Just in the span of my lifetime, we have managed to ravenously consume well over half of the oil that the Earth has made available to us through billions of years of effort. No thought of the future; just drill, consume, enjoy, forget, then drill some more. No need to worry about the needs of future generations.
For those of you who are willing to find out more, I recommend the documentary by Chris Smith, Collapse. It features Michael Ruppert talking about the peak-oil pickle that we’re in. At one point, he brings up the five stages of grief (over our vanishing oil supply): denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Notice the first two stages that a lot of people now-a-days seem to be stuck in. They seem to think that peak-oil along with the resulting climate-change are all conspiracy theories designed by us eco-nuts. Oh, well. Guess I’ll be hearing from some of them soon.
There are so many consequences that we are facing now or will in the near future. One of them is the effect of all of those millions of gallons of dispersant that was mixed with the oil in the Gulf to make it “go away”. Was that really such a good idea? The oil, now in the form of billions of tiny droplets, along with all of that neurotoxin, Corexit are headed into the Atlantic. “Bon appetite” England!
Wouldn’t it be really great if we could just sit down and honestly discuss the consequences of our intended actions before hand? I’m talking about consequences to individual humans and the Earth, not the greedy, profit margin, what the market will bear, our corporate image consequences.
For example, what will the long-range effects to the Earth be, of using geothermal energy. Should we not stop to think about the consequences of these actions before running headlong into another orgy of “business as usual”?
For those of you who want to find out more about the consequences of the water-crisis that we’re up against, might I recommend our bi-weekly Water Meeting at the Magdalena Public Library. The next meeting will be Wednesday, August 11 at 7:00 pm. The featured speaker will be Jack Loeffler, from the Chautauqua group, presenting: Thinking Like a Watershed.
We will explore the watersheds of the arid west and consider them as being a common for the benefit of all. In a recent e-mail he said to me “I’m ardently opposed to turning watersheds and habitat into money.”
I’m looking forward to this one! This program is being funded by the New Mexico Humanities Council and the Friends of the Library.

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

OPINION: Native – U.S. History Can Inform Modern Attitudes on Property

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

On our first hike into Waterdog Lake in the Uncompahgre National Forest, Joanne and I missed the small sign designating the makeshift parking area near the trailhead on the outskirts of Lake City, Colorado. Some parked cars obscured the sign and we ended up having to turn around in the paved driveway of the expensive home carved into the top of the hill where the trail actually begins. This prompted the emergence onto the balcony of an older woman who took a distinctly hostile approach, as if we were barbarians coming to invade her sacred space.
To my question of where we should park, the woman roared, “This is ALL private property, all the way down to the bottom. PRIVATE PROPERTY.” I got the message right away and prepared to leave, but she continued her rant.
I generally avoid confrontation, yet this woman’s behavior not only went way beyond what was required for the situation, but also betrayed a type of arrogance I find abhorrently common in too many contemporary Americans. My response was to call back, loudly enough for her to hear over her ongoing monologue: “This land was stolen from the Indians. Think about it!”
That touched a nerve. After calling me an A-- h--- and once again invoking the supremacy of private property she stormed back past the American flag waving from the balcony to call the deputy (who turned out to be much more courteous; he’d been through this before).
Along the long and difficult trail I thought about the woman’s attitude, and about my own reaction. I considered that while most US citizens are on record as having a poor sense of history in general, non-indigenous residents have an especially abysmal grasp of the stories, and therefore the true nature, of their surroundings.
I’m fairly certain the white lady on the balcony doesn’t know the beautiful mountains that have attracted people like her were, for many times longer than the period of European-American settlement, inhabited by small bands of a people with far different attitudes about the land she now occupies. For that matter, I wonder how many people know the Uncompahgre National Forest that preserves these lands from rampant development is named for a subgroup of these people? I’ll admit I didn’t; one has to dig through the layers of a conquering civilization to learn such things. Now known generally as Utes, these folks moved cyclically from mountain to valley to take advantage of what the seasons offered, from the plentiful game which once populated the mountains, to the roots, berries, and fruits which grew wild, to crops they planted themselves.
Others came to covet these lands. As in so many other areas of what became the Western United States, the discovery of a limited amount of gold was hyped into a bubble by greedy profiteers, causing mass waves of would-be miners to swarm into the mountain valleys, stripping, polluting, and bullying everywhere they went. By terms of an 1849 treaty (a legal term used to legitimate coercion) “signed” by a few designated Utes these invasions were illegal. But rather than enforce the law in the face of ever-escalating encroachments, the official choice was to “renegotiate” terms through a string of subsequent treaties that slashed lands available to the Utes in Colorado from 15 million acres in 1949 to complete removal to Utah or southwest Colorado of most of the bands by 1880. The official term “removal” is also used to describe what one does with garbage.
All along the way, “solemn vows” were made to the effect that “this time we really mean it.” Yet as honest students of U.S. history know, when the spirit of the law encountered expediency, the former gave way. Thus was perpetuated the long tradition of abrogation by the United States of treaties, all the way to the present (as with the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia, scrapped by George W Bush in 2002).
This part of the story is not news, yet it bears repeating in mainstream media precisely because it is usually ignored. This kind of willful ignorance enables the self-centered sense of entitlement displayed our flag-waving lady on the balcony, a class-based attitude dangerously out of tune with the requirements of a healthy, shared society.
Beyond questions of fidelity to their own legal framework with regard to other peoples are European-American traditions of property. Should private ownership continue to bestow unaccountable rights to destroy and divide?
I am reminded of a sign I encountered at the boundary of a farm containing a wonderfully fertile spring creek outside Bozeman, Montana. The wording read to the effect: “Please sign the register. If you are a landowner who does not permit access onto your property, you are not welcome to fish here.”
My purpose here is not to advance wholesale abandonment of our laws on property, but rather to encourage evaluation of our attitudes about them. I wonder: if we give it some serious consideration, could we do better than a system which institutionalizes exclusion, destruction, and class distinctions?

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

LETTER: On Politics

To the editor:
One of the most popular antics of any incumbent is a long and seemingly spontaneous chant of “four more years.” It paints a picture of a retiring and humble public servant respectfully accepting the accolades of his supporters.
Technically Diane Denish is not the incumbent governor. However, if anyone believes that she represents anything other than what we have had for the last eight years, then he has completely ignored life’s lessons.
For the last eight years her teacher and mentor has been Bill Richardson, and together they have led New Mexico to the edge of a financial and ethical abyss. Life teaches us that she can only offer us more of the same. A protégé has to emulate her mentor; she has no choice!
On the other hand, Susana Martinez has been prosecuting and jailing criminals and corrupt elected officials for the last fourteen years. Life teaches us that practicing a skill well for a long period of time makes us much better at it later.
As the District Attorney of Dona Ana County, Susana is the mentor.
Life also teaches us, fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us. You and I can’t afford four more years of Bill Richardson, but that is what we are offered by Ms. Denish.
What we can afford is a woman who understands the letter and the spirit of the law. There are some top New Mexico politicians who probably need to be in jail. There is only one candidate whose history and resume boasts that accomplishment.
The lessons of life, if we care to learn from them, make this an easy choice.
That’s my nickle

Gene Brown

LETTER: Peace Vigil

To the editor:
Terrorism: use of terror and violence to intimidate a civilian population for political end
Hiroshima, August 6, 1945: destruction by atomic bomb of an entire city of civilians for the political end of forcing Japan not just to surrender but to surrender unconditionally.
August 6, 1945, the day of infamy of the United States. Compounded on Aug. 9 by the destruction by atomic bomb of Nagasaki because the Japanese has not immediately surrendered.
War is terrorism with a bigger budget.
Join us this Friday, Aug. 6 on the Plaza at 4:30 p.m. to commemorate the shame our country has done and to say "Never again". Weapons of mass destruction must be eliminated from the United States. "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Richard L. "Arf" Epstein
Socorro Peace Vigil

Valencia Judge Recused In Co-op Lawsuit

By John Severance

The legal wrangling is underway in the Socorro Electric Cooperative’s lawsuit against Charlene West, the member-owners, the Mountain Mail et. al.
In the past week, attorney Lee Deschamps, on the behalf of West, recused Valencia County judge John W. Pope on July 28. The new presiding judge is William Sanchez.
That left the change of venue hearing on Aug. 10 in limbo at the Valencia County Courthouse in Los Lunas. Socorro attorneys Thomas A. Fitch and Polly Ann Tausch had filed a motion to request a change of venue and that was scheduled for Aug. 10 and Pope was to hear the case.
When asked if the hearing was still on, Fitch said, “I don’t know.”
Deschamps, meanwhile, made an entry of appearance and answered for West of Lemitar. Deschamps also made an entry of appearance for Charlie and Charlene Wagner of Magdalena and Alvin Hickox of San Antonio. Hickox filed a motion on his own last week.
Socorro attorney John Gerbracht made a limited entry of appearance and made a motion to quash the service by publication.
Gerbracht wrote the co-op’s motion for order for service of process was deficient in two areas. The motion was not signed by the plaintiff’s attorney and no copy of the proposed Notice of Publication was attached.
Gerbracht also wrote the order for service of process by publication in a newspaper is deficient in that it does not direct publication in the county where the action is pending. The newspaper notice did not contain the name of each defendant.

• Doug May of Socorro submitted a resolution to the co-op, regarding the Inspection of Public Records Acts and The Open Meetings Act. He wants both to be included in the bylaws of the SEC, excluding those sentences dealing with enforcement and penalties, and finally, be it.
In an email, May wrote, “Is this resolution necessary? Probably not, but it is an attempt to focus the trustees' attention on it and possibly to secure a greater degree of compliance with it.”
Trustee Leroy Anaya read May’s resolution in its entirety.
Trustee Charlie Wagner said the resolution was unnecessary because he said the co-op already is supposed to be under the auspices of the OMA. “This is already a bylaw,” Wagner said.
•The next regularly scheduled meeting for the SEC board will be Aug. 25. There also will be a special meeting, regarding the audit on Aug. 26.
Wagner insisted the meeting’s agenda has to be modeled after the Open Meetings Act. “If you don’t follow this, the meeting will not be valid.”
If the co-op follows the OMA, that means the agenda has to be available to the public 24 hours before the meeting, Wagner said. “You have to follow the bylaws. You don’t have a choice.”
One of the other items Wagner wanted on the agenda was an anti-fraud policy. “We have never had one and our auditors have made a recommendation that we make one,” he said.
• The other person besides Juan Gonzales, who spoke during the public input session, was member Marie Watkins, who questioned the high rate of loans (every three or four years) and the long pay-off terms (30 years). General manager Polo Pineda said he would look into the debt limit of the co-op.
• The Board voted to purchase 16 defribillators for $1,345 including training of all SEC personnel.

Early Intervention Program Holds Its Graduation At Sedillo Park

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO -- There were a lot of smiling faces on kids and parents a like as 27 3-year-olds graduated Friday night at Sedillo Park.
The 3-year-olds and their families had taken part in Socorro County’s Early Childhood Evaluation Program (ECEP) provides evaluations for children ages birth to three living in New Mexico. ECEP addresses concerns regarding developmental delay, complex medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, behavioral/regulatory issues, and other specialized evaluation questions for very young children.
“Our program is funded through the State Health Department and we provide early intervention services for children, who have disabilities or are at risk for those kinds of things,” said Kent Howell, the early intervention coordinator. “The earlier you start with kids, the better the chance they will be more successful when they get to school. That is what we are all about.”
For more than 20 years, ECEP has collaborated with families and community providers statewide to evaluate children ages birth to three with complex developmental and/or medical issues. In addition our evaluation service, ECEP provides support and technical assistance to the NM FIT Early Intervention (EI) providers.
An evaluation service is available statewide and uses a team approach to address concerns related to developmental delay, complex medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, behavioral/regulatory issues, and other specialized evaluation questions for children ages birth to three.
“We work with the kids and their families in therapy,” Howell said. “A lot of it is play therapy. We have occupational therapists, nurses and nutritional specialists. A lot of it is in-home services with the families. We give parents direction and give them the best practices to help their kids defelop or catch up in whatever they skills they want.”
Socorro County’s program includes children from Alamo, Magdalena and Veguita.
“This is the second biggest county in the state so we do a lot of driving,” Howell said. “We also share specialists with Home Health.”
But Friday night, it was all about the newest graduates.
“Every year, we have a graduation,” Howell said. “We give our certificates to award kids who will be transitioning into the school system.
Not only did the children receive their certificates, there also was a cookout and some cake.
“It’s a family get-together and we celebrate the children that are moving on,” Howell said.

Laborin Named New Girls Volleyball Coach At Socorro

By John Severance

SOCORRO – New Socorro girls volleyball coach Melissa Laborin has been in town for three weeks and could not be happier with the welcome she has received.
“It’s been very welcoming,” Laborin said Tuesday. “They have welcomed me with open arms and it is very familyish. Everybody helps everybody out.”
And she likes what she sees from her Lady Warriors, who recently went to Truth or Consequences for an informal scrimmage.
“There were supposed to be eight teams there but it was just us and T or C,” she said. “We played eight games and my girls dominated and that’s a good thing.”
Laborin was all set to begin her fourth season as head coach at Valley Union High School in Elfrida, a Class A team near Douglas, Ariz.
“It would have been my fourth year and I built the program up. All the freshmen were going to be seniors but my teaching position was not secure in Arizona,” said Laborin, whose brother Louie is an assistant football coach at Socorro High.
“What brought me here was a teaching job.”
Laborin will work at Socorro High in a “Gear Up” position, which focuses on juniors and helps them out to different colleges or post-secondary opportunities.
Laborin was in Animas up until her sophomore year but her parents moved to Douglas for her junior and senior year of high school. Laborin received a volleyball scholarship to attend Cochise College.
”I finished out and got into coaching,” she said.
The first official practice for the Lady Warriors will be Aug. 9 and Laborin said tryouts will be held then.
Socorro opens its season on Aug. 20 at the Magdalena Invitational.
And what are Laborin’s expectations?
“They are very high,” Laborin said. “I’ve gotten to know the girls and I have been working with them for three weeks. My expectations can met easily.
“They work hard. They are coachable. Good things can happen.”

High Expectations At Reserve

By John Severance

RESERVE – Coach Don Cole said the Reserve football team had its first open voluntary gym workout Monday and he liked what he saw.
“I am looking at high expectations and we have a lot of starters back especially at key positions,” Cole said. “It depends what happens at quarterback and what player will develop into that position.
“They had a good attitude yesterday and I was pretty pleased. Things are looking up right now.”
Cole said he had 24 players showed up on Monday.
Top returnees include Adam Fisher, Trevor Kaber, Tanner Lingsdorf, Dylan Stephenson and Patrick Lucero.
“We have a lot of returning starters back on the line,” Cole said. “Underclassmen should help us a lot. We should be all right if everybody comes out and stays healthy.”
The first official workout for the Mountaineers will be Aug. 9. Reserve will scrimmage Duncan, Ariz., at home on Aug. 21 and will play its first game at Menaul on Aug. 27.
Reserve finished 7-3 last season and it will be in the same district as Animas and Mountainair. Magdalena played in the district last year but it moved up to Class AA and it’s still looking for a football coach as of Tuesday.

State Runner-up Warriors Open Football Camp On Aug. 9

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Four starters are back on offense and four are back on defense.
Coach Damien Ocampo, though, has that Warrior mentality and he is hoping to instill that in his players.
“We can be one of the top five teams in AAA in New Mexico,” Ocampo said. “But we just have so many question marks.”
The Warriors, who have been lifting and attending camps during the summer, will open camp at midnight on Aug. 9. Ocampo said there will be a scrimmage the following week at home against Academy and the Warriors open the season at home on Aug. 27 against West Las Vegas.
Socorro is coming off a magical 9-4 season where it won its second straight district championship and rode the momentum of two home playoff wins against Robertson and Raton into the state title against perennial power Lovington.
The Warriors gave Lovington all it could handle, but they gave up a touchdown in the final three minutes and fell 28-21.
On offense, the Warriors averaged 24.8 points per game and on defense, they gave up 19.1.
Offensively, the Warriors return quarterback Zach Esquivel, who led them on their playoff run before injuring his shoulder in the state title game. Esquivel is back and healthy, having played on the basketball team.
Also returning will be receiver/running back James Thornton, tight end Sam Hale, and receiver Ibrahim Maiga.
Heading the defense will be linebacker Matthew Lopez.
“He is as good as they come at the AAA level at linebacker,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo’s biggest concern, though, are his offensive and defensive lines.
Candidates for the lines include Bryce Sandoval, Julio Estrada, Abran Sarate, Leon Guerrero, Isaac Chavez, Aaron McDaniel and Jeremiah Farmer,
In all, Ocampo is hoping to have 55 to 60 players out for football. “We have to do some recruiting in our freshman class,” he said.
Ocampo, though, is optimistic the Warriors can have a good season.
“It is going to be tough especially in AAA,” Ocampo said. “We have to keep people healthy but we are also going to get after it. In the first part of camp, we will working on our base offense and base defense.
“We have so many young guys and along the lines it’s going to take time for them to come together as a unit.
“Football is the ultimate team game. You are only as strong as you weakest link. These are the most question marks we have ever had. But we also have kids who want to work hard and improve.”
A complete preview of the Warriors will appear in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Mail.

Rain Doesn’t Dampen Luna Rodeo

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

Once again the annual Luna 24th of July Pioneer Celebration was a huge success. Even with non-stop monsoon rains the events went on without a hitch.
Friday evening’s annual Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Luna Ward Street Fair was well attended and very fun, with something for all ages. There was a pie eating contest, a watermelon eating contest, face painting for the children, a dunking booth and musical entertainment.Saturday morning began with a grand parade on Highway 180 with plenty of entries including Grace Derrick as this year’s Grand Marshalette; families and local youth dressed in pioneer clothing representing their pioneer ancestry with covered wagons and westward handcart companies.
Even in the rains the rodeo went from early morning barrel racing to children’s “mutton busting” and the Luna signature “wild cow ride” finale.
The night ended with a live band and dance at the Luna Community Center.
Sunday, after community volunteers cleaned up the Forest amid the aftermath, much needed naps were enjoyed by those who worked so hard in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Until next year. Luna breathes a sigh of satisfaction and relief of an event well done. Thanks to all who work so diligently each year.

Luna Community News is far too important to let disappear but sometimes life has a way of making you take a break even if you are not prepared. I wish to thank so many who showed their love, help and concerns during my recent health trials. Luna news is an important part of who we as a small town community are and it’s nice to get back on track reporting our news and events.

Luna was recently hit with a rash of health concerns and troubles and I apologize that I may have missed anyone in sending well wishes from all to Stan Thompson, Idonna Bradford and (me) who have recently returned home from hospital stays. Also Raean Harris and others who have had recent health issues to overcome here at home. Our true community spirit shines when there are those in need and Luna is a special mountain home to be, where there are many who are always there looking out for their neighbors in need.

Quote of the week:
“The way of the pioneer is always rough.”
~Harvey S. Firestone


Alamo Man, 91, Celebrates His Birthday In Style

By Nathalie Nance

ALAMO NAVAJO Reservation -- William J. Apachito celebrated his 91st birthday with a jackpot roping party at the Alamo UFO roping arena two weeks ago.
Not only did most of his 12 children and numerous grandchildren show up to celebrate with him, but also several roping-minded friends and their families. The Apachitos provided a big cookout, after which the roping started.
Chris Apachito was the main coordinator for the jackpot roping contest and participated in it himself as well. He also judged the kids’ dummy roping, which proved that there will be no shortage of good ropers in years to come. Augustine Apachito provided the roping steers, but couldn’t rope himself that day, because of a recent injury.
Though there was competition for the prize buckles, saddle blankets and jackets, the ropers switched horses with each other and changed the teams constantly as the event was mainly about having fun with friends and family.
“My grandfather started to put together roping here, then my father and now we do it,” said Augustine Apachito. “Besides dummy roping, we often do goat roping for the kids, too.”
The birthday boy, William Apachito, has been as a cowboy all his life, but now only rides occasionally. He has worked on the Alamo, where he was born, as well as in the Mountainair and Carrizozo areas. Once, he fell from a windmill, broke some bones and had to stay at home for a month, but other than that he seems to have been in the saddle. He often went to rodeos to rope and to ride bulls. He used to train and sell horses. He also taught his children to ride and rope, of course.
“At first he would put you on a little calf, and then they gradually got bigger and bigger,” said Augustine Apachito.
“He taught us grandchildren a lot of things, too, like how to treat animals right” said granddaughter Tia Tenorio. “I love my grandfather.”
“Yes, we want him to go on to at least 110 or 120,” said Augustine Apachito.
Roping results:
Head: 1. Brian Ganadonegro, 2. Arnold Apachito, 3. Gerald Ganadonegro, 4. Roland Mexicano. Heel: 1. Lucas Ganadonegro, 2. Pedro Apache, 3. Lester Hudson

Pictured: William J. Apachito

Photo by Nathalie Nance

Alamo Teacher Drives At Indy

Mountain Mail reports

ALAMO NAVAJO Reservation - Students of an Alamo Navajo Community School science teacher may be surprised to discover that “Mr. Beres” is also an Indianapolis race car driver.
Through a promotion from Indy Racing Experience, David Beres found himself at The Brickyard behind the wheel of an Indy Car.
“These are the cars racing on tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Long Beach, California or Watkins Glenn,” Beres said. “ They are built for one thing and one thing only, and that is speed. When you drive one of these cars you go fast. Really fast.”
Beres said he was told by the organizers to be at the speedway at 1:30 p.m., July 9, but he arrived early so he “could see what was going on, and to take advantage of being able to almost freely walk around the pit area at the Speedway.”
He was able to talk to some professional drivers, get close-up views of the cars, and “feel and hear the engines,” he said.
After a couple of hours, they called his name and the names of about 10 other persons.
“We assembled in a locker room where we put on fire suits and fire proof shoes,” Beres said. “The group then went to a classroom where we were told how to start the car, how to stop the car, what to do in case of fire, and what to do in case of a flat tire.”
The main emphasis of the lecture was safety, he said. “Drive the car, enjoy the experience, but come back in one piece is what they were saying.”
His safety instructor was retired Indy car driver Davey Hamilton.
“We all had two chances at this experience,” Beres said. “The first was to drive one of the cars, and the second was to go for a ride with a professional driver. I chose to drive the car first and went for the ride immediately after.”Beres was then given fireproof gloves, a fire proof stocking to go over his head, and a helmet.
“I felt very nervous at this point,” he said. “I thought of a quote from a professional driver: ‘When I get into the car I am getting into the jaws of a lion.’ I now saw what he meant.”
The pit crew for his car was comprised of two men checking the car – especially the tires – and two other men to help Beres get situated in the car.
“The car is built for speed first and for driver comfort second, so getting into the car is a very big job,” he said. “The first thing that you notice is that the space you will occupy is very small. In order to get in, the steering wheel is removable.
“The next thing that you notice is that you are sitting lower than the pedals. The front frame was about level with my chin. I get a good close up view of the road,” Beres said. “There was about one half inch of space between my shoulder and the cockpit, and about the same space for my helmet. The steering wheel was about three inches from my chest.”
He said the two crew men asked if he was OK. “What they were really asking me is, ‘do I want to back out and call the whole thing off’?”
He said the Indy Car seat belt system is a group of belts; two over the shoulders and one around the waist.
When the ignition switch was flipped all Beres could feel was the car vibrating
“Since I was so strapped in, I vibrated along with the car. A lead car pulled in front of me,” he said. “I was told not to pass it.
“They said do not shift and to keep the accelerator stuck to the floor board and off the brake and clutch.”
When the lead car took off, “I released the clutch and depressed the accelerator. The car is happy. It was not built to sit in the pits. It was build to go.”
The first turn at Indy was tentative, Beres said, but by the second turn he felt more confident.
“I floored the accelerator and felt myself being pushed back into the seat,” he said. “The turns are really where I felt it the most.”
To keep up with the lead car he had to go into the turns with the accelerator to the floor, and Beres said he wondered if the car would make the turn.
“The car vibrated. I am pushed sharply to the outside edge of the seat, and we made it,” he said. “We went around for three laps; two and one half miles per lap or seven and one half miles. The time goes by in a flash.”
At the end of the circuit Beres slowly returned to the pit, where the crew removed the straps.
”I couldn’t get out! My legs were Jello. I have no more strength in my arms,” he said. "I forgot to breathe in the three laps and I was suffering from oxygen deprivation.”
After the crew helped him out the crew asked him if he am ready for the ride with a professional driver. His driver was A.J. Foyt IV.
“I quickly saw that he had a much faster car. He also has the ability to shift gears,” Beres said. “We go into the turns at full throttle, and I thought we were not going to make it, but the car just turns. I remembered this is what it was made to do.”
After three laps he again needed help getting out.
“I asked how fast was I going, and was told that I was clocked at 145 miles per hour while driving and at 185 miles per hour while riding,” Beres said. “The track record is 220 miles per hour. I guess I have a new goal to shoot for.”

Substitute Teacher Orientation, Book Mobile

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

Quemado Schools will hold an orientation for anyone interested in substitute teaching for the upcoming school year. It will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 3 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

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

Quemado Senior Center Happy Belated Birthday to all the July babies; Pat Candelaria, Betty Chavez, Sara Hastetler, David Mendenhall, Marcial Montoya, Natalia Reid and Bob Smith. The center will be closed from Aug. 9-11 for spring cleaning. Lunch on Thursday is Chicken fried steak and on Friday – beef stroganoff. All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

The Trading Post is a new store located just off Highway 32 at mile marker 3 just outside of Apache Creek. It is full of gift items, furniture, home accessories and much more. “I want it to be a place where local artisans can sell their items” says owner, Bill Whalen who recently opened the store. There are new and some gently used items all at a very reasonable price. Store hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. The phone number is (575) 533 6396. New items are brought in almost every week.

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.

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

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.
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.

Havill Book Signing Scheduled For Datil Library

Mountain Mail Reports

Author Steven F. Havill will do a talk and a book signing of his latest book, “Red, Green or Murder” at Datil’s Baldwin Cabin Public Library on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Havill’s popular hero, Posadas County’s former sheriff Bill Gastner and Under Sheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman once more solve a police procedural which takes place in a small town in Southwestern New Mexico. The Posadas County mysteries are very popular in Datil, an even smaller town in Southwestern New Mexico.
The next title in the Posadas series is “Double Prey”, to be released in January, 2011. “Race For the Dying”, a historical medical novel was released by St. Michael’s Press in 2009. It will be followed by a sequel, “Comes A Time For Burning”, scheduled for release in February, 2011.
Steven Havill has been writing since 1981 and full time since 2000 when he retired after 25 years of teaching secondary school in Grants and Ruidoso. He’s also worked as a reporter, editor and photographer on newspapers in New Mexico and New York.
Havill was raised in New York’s Finger Lakes region and moved to New Mexico in 1965. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico. In 2005 he received an associate’s degree in Gunsmithing. He now lives in Raton with his wife of 41 years, Kathleen.
Refreshments (sandwiches, salad and brownies) will be served. Everyone is welcome. Baldwin Cabin Public Library is located on Forest Road 100 just off Highway 60, three miles west of Datil.

Reserve Election Case Heading To An Evidentiary Hearing

By John Severance

RESERVE -- The Reserve election case is heading to an evidentiary hearing before Judge Matt Reynolds on Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. at the Catron County Courthouse.
Robert Caylor filed suit on April 8 after losing the Village of Reserve Trustee election by one vote to Keith Riddle.
In the election on March 2, Edward Romero and Riddle had 99 and 91 votes respectively while Caylor had 90. Richard Torres finished with 87.
In his suit, Caylor named 12 people who he claimed were not eligible to vote in the March 2 election.
Village attorney William Perkins had made a motion to throw the suit out, because he said Caylor and Tippett missed the deadline in filing a contest to the election.
But at a June 2 hearing, Reynolds ordered Village officials to produce the evidence that Riddle was certified on March 5. The affidavits, though, did not have any certification dates on them.
A summary judgment motion was then filed by the Village, but on July 27, Reynolds ruled the case would go forward by holding an evidentiary hearing.
“If they had won,” Tippett said, “the case would have been over.”
Reynolds wrote in his memorandum decision on July 29 that the intervenor did not provide the Court with a copy of the Certificate of Election referenced by the Certification of Qualification.
And what is to be expected on Aug. 25?
“It’s kind of like a mini-trial,” Tippett said. “After the evidentiary hearing, he can put Caylor in and take Riddle out. He can do it on the same day.”
If the judge does rule in favor of Caylor, it will be up to the district attorney to file charges if there was any wrongdoing by Village officials or the 12 residents who Caylor claimed were not eligible to vote in the election.
“All that stuff will be left up to the DA’s office,” Tippett said.
Caylor, meanwhile, said he could not be happier after hearing that Reynolds had scheduled an evidentiary hearing.
“I am elated,” Caylor said. “The Village is out of it. It’s me against Keith. The Village lost its intercession and Perkins is no longer involved,”
Caylor also is hoping this case will affect others in the future.
“I am hoping this case will be an opportunity for the state legislature to look at and change some of these laws that we have,” he said.

Seniors Shine At State Games

Eight athletes represented Socorro County in the New Mexico Senior Olympic Games held last week in Las Cruces. As a group, they participated in thirteen events and won twelve medals, 10 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. All winners qualified for the National Senior Olympic Games to be held next year in Houston, Texas.
The results for all New Mexico senior athletes can be found at
Local athletes included:
• Melvin Cole, San Antonio, Horseshoes, Gold, 65-69
• Larry Cowan, San Antonio, Horseshoes, Gold, 75-79, Archery Compound Release, Gold
• Ron Gilworth, Socorro, Golf, 70-74
• Steven Gonzales, San Antonio, Triathlon, Silver, 55-59
• Richardo Gutierrez, Socorro, Basketball Free Throws, Gold, 65-69; 3 Point Shooting, Bronze
• Michael Hawkes, San Antonio, Track 100m and 200m, Gold 50-54.
• Nick Silva, Socorro, Golf, Gold, 60-64
• Gene Steele, Socorro, Cycling 5k, 10K, 1 mile, Gold, 75-79

Good Theater In Magdalena

By Anne Sullivan

It could be today. That’s the feeling Magdalena’s London Frontier Theatre’s production of “Hard Times And Hope” evokes. No jobs, no money to spare, foreclosures; it sounds all too familiar. Faithful followers of the Lost Wife series have watched the Trotters and the Aragons of the play live through the depths of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Author Donna Todd has been recording their trials and tribulations for almost ten years. This production is a compendium of favorite scenes from the series. “About one quarter of the material is new,” says Donna Todd, who plays Gardy Trotter as well as writing and directing the production.
The vignettes are all wonderful pithy scenes, some very humorous, and they’re all well played.
The excellent music and singing of Randall Engle and Emily Johnson serve to sew the scenes together like the patchwork quilt that hangs on the Trotters’ kitchen wall. After their haunting rendition of ‘Hard Times Come Again’ at the beginning of the performance the lights come up on the kitchen where Gardy and Cass Trotter and Manny and Ruby Aragon are clustered around the staticy radio listening to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” speech at the beginning of his presidency. The closing scene returns to the radio and FDR with the “Day that will live in infamy” speech when he asks Congress “to declare a state of was between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan.”
Frank Howard, Fernando Montano and Donna Todd have donned their characters like old shoes and Joni Holt is a worthy addition as Ruby. Terry Stone is a new Mr. Gibbers while Diane Allen, Janice Brunacini and Ruth Ryan make short but meaningful appearances. Ronald Thornton does the work of three men as Stage Manager, Lighting Designer and Sound Technician. Incidentally the sound effects are great.
My only quibble is that the evening -- especially the first act -- is too long and the effect of the play would be stronger if several vignettes were omitted. It would be a tough choice as I liked them all. That said, by all means see this production. You will laugh and maybe cry, and you’ll realize that, with a little grit, ingenuity and determination, we can all survive a depression.
Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug.6 and Saturday, Aug. 7 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8.

AYP Report: Wilson Says Socorro Schools Improving

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The Adequate Yearly Progress report released Tuesday by the New Mexico Public Education Department indicated that most schools across the state are doing poorly in the areas of math and reading.
But Superintendent Cheryl Wilson said Socorro’s schools are, in fact, showing improvement.
“We are thrilled with the overall results on the AYP,” Wilson said. “Most of the schools in the district narrowly missed meeting their goals.”
For instance, San Antonio Elementary was listed as ‘not met’ (goals) only because of a drop in attendance this past school year.
“The reason is because they were hit especially hard with H1N1 flu in the fall,” Wilson said. “The figures show a huge improvement in math and reading. They had amazing results.”
She said an attendance waiver has already been accepted, and the validated AYP will reflect that when it is released September 1.
“There is an appeal process,” Wilson said.
Other schools in the district looked better in some areas.
“Midway Elementary has bounced back and forth the last three years,” she said. “This year they did great in reading , but didn't quite make it in math.”
This was the first year Parkview failed to make the AYP, “by such a small number,” Wilson said. “If two more kids in the ‘economically disadvantaged’ category had been proficient in math, and one in reading they would have made it.
“Zimmerly Elementary made huge progress this year. Before they had struggled to make the AYP,” she said.
“Each subgroup made improvements over last year, and that much growth in math. If one more student in Special Ed had passed the reading test at Zimmerly they would have made the AYP.”
Sarracino Middle School showed a small growth, “but not the kind of growth that got close to the AYP.”
Wilson pointed out that only seven middle schools in the entire state are making the AYP.
“In the majority of school districts the elementary schools and the high schools are doing well, but their middle schools are not,” she said. “It could mean the tests for the middle schools are out of sync.
“In a case like ours where we had great growth, it still wasn’t enough. We need to keep working to reach that high bar,” Wilson said. “This year there will be an extra 45 minute period of math.”
Socorro High School has failed to meet its goals in the AYP for a long time, she said. “They are making the AYP in reading, but not in math.”
As with any set of numbers, statistics can be interpreted in different ways but Wilson said the “best indication for parents is how their own children are doing.”