Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hard At Work

One student does some homework with a friend as they wait for the morning school bus on Franklin Street in Socorro this week.

Mountain Mail photo

Co-op Votes To Drop Suit Against Members

By John Severance

SOCORRO -- The Socorro Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees voted 5-2 Tuesday night to drop the lawsuit it brought upon the unnamed members of the co-op, Charlene West and the Mountain Mail et. al.
Whether the lawsuit will be dropped, though, is another story.
With a plethora of counterclaims, co-op attorney Dennis Francish said after the meeting, “we can’t dismiss the suit. It’s up to a judge. It could go or it could stay.”
Mountain Mail attorney Roscoe A. Woods said, “The co-op can drop the lawsuit but it will still have to contend with those lawsuits filed against it.”
Trustees Prescilla Mauldin and Charlie Wagner voted against dropping the suit.
The co-op filed suit to test three bylaw amendments that were passed by members at the April 17 general meeting.
The bylaw amendments will require the SEC to:
1. Abide by the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act and the New Mexico Open Meetings Act;
2. Permit the press and the members to participate in and be present during regular and special Board of Trustee meetings.
3. Guarantee transparency of actions with open access to SEC books, records, audits to members for a proper non-commercial purpose except those which would violate the Privacy Acts.
It also was announced after a lengthy executive session that employees Polo Pineda and Kathy Torres had been terminated.
Pineda and Torres were placed on unpaid leave last week after trustee president Paul Bustamante said the board discovered that money had been missing.
According to Bustamante, who said the money missing was around $35,000, said Pineda and Torres claimed they thought the money had been paid back with their 401-K Bustamante said the money was paid back a few months ago, “but we just need to find receipts.”
The vote to terminate Pineda and Torres was 6-1 with trustee Charlie Wagner abstaining.
“I think it might be premature,” Wagner said. “We have to make sure we have irrefutable evidence. If we don’t, they can come back and sue the co-op.”
All of this came on the heels of Wagner filing a counterclaim against the co-op in a suit filed Tuesday against all co-op trustees and four former trustees – Juan Gonzales, Herman Romero, Manny Marquez and Harold Baca and the former general manager Pineda.
In a 31-page suit, Wagner said present and former trustees have breached their fiduciary duties in the management of the SEC, maintained a system of grossly unequal election districts contrary to the bylaws, imposed and maintained restrictions on voting and breached their fiduciary duties in the accounting for and the management.
In addition, Wagner claims there has been a breach of fiduciary duties with excessive compensation, a breach of their contractual obligations to the Class, violation of contractual obligations of the Rural Cooperative Act.
Wagner also claims they breached their duties by voting on charitable contributions when a trustee may have a direct or indirect interest, manipulating quorum calls, engaging in wasteful spending, abusing the per diem and travel expense reimbursement system by failing to insure accountability and transparency for the board’s activity.
The suit was submitted by Ikard Wynne LLP of Austin, Texas and the law offices of Deschamps and Kortemeier in Socorro.
Lead attorney William Ikard represented plaintiffs in a suit that won a $23 million settlement against Pedernales Electric Cooperative in 2009 in Texas. The judgment led to an overhaul of the Pedernales board and top management and changed the way the co-op did its business.
After the meeting, Trustee president Paul Bustamante said, “Charlie has to decide whether he is going to be a trustee or a reformist. He is going to have to leave the room if the discussion of litigation comes up. He has to decide where he wants to stand.”
Wednesday night’s meeting actually was quite congenial for co-op standards. Wagner made motions and they were seconded and trustees voted to pass them.
In the week leading up to the meeting, the inquiry committee, led by Don Wolberg, had met on two different occasions and spent countless hours going over co-op records.
On Sunday, though, Wolberg received an email from Bustamante, saying the trustee president was going to disband the committee on Wednesday. A meeting had been scheduled for Monday but it was canceled.
Bustamante said he had plans to disband the committee. In an email to Wolberg, Bustamante wrote, “there has been some concern from some of the trustees in your handling of the Inquiry Committee and Luis (Aguilar) spending too much time in the Engineering Dept. also tying up the employees’ time, not informing the committee members on your meetings or the board of your findings.
“They are becoming annoyed and feel you are over controlling and not following board instructions. At Wednesday's meeting, my intentions are to dissolve the committee.”
Wolberg responded in an email by saying, “To look for excuses to stop asking questions about SEC finances and operations is very foolish and will certainly not be greeted with enthusiasm by SEC members or the press. Of course, meetings have been preceded by many hours of inquiry to see where we needed to go and what records we could obtain, as well as who on the staff could provide information needed. ...
“Unfortunately, the work of the Committee has barely begun and numerous and possibly actionable matters have surfaced that need to be pursued. We are not close to a final report but do have matters that need to be further investigated, as you and other Trustees must know. I am less concerned about the desire of trustees to make it all go away than on getting the job done.”
Interestingly enough, the subject of the inquiry meeting was not brought up at Wednesday’s meeting. Bustamante said, “We were gong to talk about it in the meeting but we didn’t.”

Mayor Wants To Cut Library Hours In Magdalena

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Mayor Sandy Julian is wanting to cut the hours of operation for the Magdalena Public Library beginning in the fall. She made the announcement at Monday night’s Village Board meeting.
“I’m sure a lot of people will not be happy about the hours and the days, but these utility bills are killing us,” Julian said. “In the wintertime, I want to cut back on the library hours because of the expense to keep the library warm.”
She said that since Village Hall has moved into a new building and the library has taken over the entire Santa Fe depot there are more rooms to heat.
“We need to do this to save fuel,” Julian said. “We will talk with (librarian) Lucy (Pino) about how to go about it. It will be on the next meeting’s agenda.”
According to Lucy Pino, the library is open 40 hours a week that vary through the week.
“We have scheduled the hours to when people are most likely to use it,” Pino told the Mountain Mail. “We’re open in the evening on Wednesdays and Thursdays to accommodate the school children.”
She said the mayor has not spoken to her about the issue of heating expenses, but hopes something can be worked out to keep operating on the same schedule through the winter months.
“We have a lot support from the community, and have a good library board,” Pino said. “Our volunteers have been very good at working on the upkeep of the library, but it can get cold in here on some days.”
She said a reduction in hours may affect support or funding from the New Mexico State Library and other sources.
Mayor Julian will bring the matter before the Village Board at the next meeting, Sept. 13.

Deputy hired

On the advice of the mayor, the board approved the hiring of Jesse L. White of Datil for full time Deputy Marshal. Julian said all three applicants for the job were qualified, but White had the edge because he was already a certified law enforcement officer. Trustee Barbara Baca said she was very impressed with all of the applicants. “Any one of these people could fill this position,” Baca said. “But the other two are not certified and the village would have to pay for them to attend the Police Academy.”
The board voted unanimously to hire White, but not before the first motion to approve his hiring died for lack of a second. Clerk Rita Broaddus reminded the board that the advertisement for the opening stated that law enforcement certification was preferred, and after another motion was made, White was approved.
White has 13 years experience in law enforcement in Deming and Luna County and told the Mountain Mail said he was looking forward to working in the Marshal’s office.
“It is a good opportunity for me,” White said. He relocated from Datil to Magdalena Wednesday.
In other action:
• The board approved the installation of a street light in the alley between Winston’s service station on First Street. Other side of Richard Torres’ building.
• The board voted spend $500 to renew the village’s annual membership with the South Central Council of Governments, and approved a professional services contract with the SCCOG to administer the Pine Street project for a fee of $13,500. The fee will come out of the Community Development Block Grant, Broaddus said. “They will be involved with the Pine Street project from beginning to end,” she said. “But the timetable for the actual paving of Pine may be affected by the weather.”
• The board approved the final draft of the Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2012-2016. The top three most important projects in the ICIP are well improvements ($140,000), development of a recreation facility ($250,000), and expansion of the health clinic building ($100,000). The ICIP will be submitted for consideration by the legislature in January.
• In her mayor’s report, Julian said she attended a meeting at Village Hall with Tim Hagaman from the state’s Economic Development Department about the opening of Family Dollar. According to Julian, the meeting was called by several community members to express their concern over the future of the locally owned grocery store. “Some people were upset about [Family Dollar] being here, but all we did was just talk,” Julian said. “We didn’t have any decision making on it. Some were concerned that [Trail’s End] would be closing down, and they just talked about how they felt about it.”
• Magdalena High School student Martin Harris gave a report on his presentation at the Socorro County Commission to use the former Senior Citizen’s Center building for youth activities. “We were told we would have to come up with a grant or something for utilities and things like that,” Martin said. “I will talk to Terry James, the school’s grant writer about it.” Julian and Trustee Diane Allen also appeared that the Aug. 10 commission meeting. Martin also said he has prepared a survey questionnaire for 8th through 12th graders, to further define the needs of Magdalena’s youth. Trustee Diane Allen said that the Senate Memorial Bill (SM-34) passed in the last legislative session specified that the purpose of a youth council was for students to learn how to self govern. “That’s the primary purpose for this youth council. Teaching them leadership,” Allen said. “I want to emphasize that it’s to be run by them, for them. We are here to assist but they will make decisions on how to run it.”
• The board approved the spending of $250 to support Alamo’s Red Ribbon runners. The 19th Annual Multi-Cultural Red Ribbon Relay Run will be Sept. 14-17. According to organizers, runners from Alamo will begin their run at sunrise on Sept. 14 and be joined by Magdalena and Socorro runners, arriving at the Socorro plaza by the end of the day. On Sept. 15, they will run to Bernardo. On Sept. 16 runners will join others from Isleta Pueblo, ending up in Albuquerque at Bataan Park. On Sept. 17 they will run from Bataan Park to the New Mexico State Fair. Magdalena’s contribution will go toward serving lunch to the runners on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Socorro Community Kitchen Up and Running

By John Larson

SOCORRO -- The Community Kitchen in Finley Gym has been up and operating for a couple of months, and Al Smoake of A&J Family Farms said those using it are happy with the facility.
“Things are going very, very well,” said Smoake, who oversees management of the kitchen. “We use it on a regular basis for our jellies. John Morrison is baking bread for the Farmers Market, and this last weekend it was rented by the Storehouse to make burritos for the community yard sale.
“We were checking with some of them and they said it is so nice to have an upscale kitchen in this community.”
He said a Girl Scout group and a 4-H group is also using it, and another resident is using it for processing and packaging chile. “We also have people wanting to start a catering business,” Smoake said rules concerning the usage of the kitchen were finalized at a meeting earlier this month.
“We do not allow deep frying because of grease and safety issues. But you can pan fry things.”
“The only limitations we have are because we don’t have a lot of equipment yet,” he said.
Other rules involve the pricing and fee schedules.
“There will be certain fees and permits needed before you can use the facility. You just can’t go in and cook something that tastes good,” Smoake said. “Originally we thought it could be used for people with home-based permits.”
To use the kitchen a person needs to be a member, which is $25 per year, and there are hourly fees.
“The hourly fee depends on how many hours it will be used. $4 per hour, or $2 an hour for six hours, and $20 for a full day. Compare that with a commercial kitchen in Albuquerque which is about $13 an hour,” he said.
“It’s best if they talk with me first to find out how to go about getting the permits. A lot depends on what they want to do,” he said. “If they’re going to sell something they must go through the state Environmental Department.”
“If it’s for a personal use, then a different kind of scale.”
The application for membership includes a $100 cleaning and key deposit.
“For processing food the permit issued by the New Mexico Environmental Department is $200 per year. The inspector, Jerry Ford, will come in and inspect while you are cooking or preparing your food,” Smoake said. “He stayed with us about four or five hours while we were using the kitchen. He’s good about working with people.”
He said the costs can be reduced if people applied as a group.
“Say, if a group of people get together and form a corporation or LCC, his would several people to use it,” Smoake said. “If you wanted to bake fruit pies and a neighbor wanted to make salsa, and somebody else wanted to can vegetables they can form a corporation, which would make it less expensive on each person.”
Temporary permits are available for those who do not use the kitchen regularly.
“With a temporary permit there is no charge. For example the Storehouse used a temporary permit,” Smoake said. “The same goes for Girl Scouts who came in to make dinner for their families. No charge.”
He said a minimum of $300,000 product liability insurance policy is also required for food processing.

Socorro High Football Team Opens Friday Night At Home

By John Severance

SOCORRO – For the Socorro Warriors, it’s game time.
On Friday night, the Warriors, who made it all the way to the state championship game before falling to Lovington, will begin the season at home against West Las Vegas at 7 p.m.
“The kids have put in time and a lot of hard work and they are going to do their best to build on our success,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said Tuesday.
The biggest question marks for the Warriors will be along the offensive and defensive lines.
“They just need to play together and come together as a unit,” Ocampo said. “We have a lot of talent. We just need to gel.”
As for the skill players, Ocampo said, “We have some experienced kids back. We will need to get some solid play from them.”
On offense, the Warriors will be counting on senior Zach Esquivel at quarterback. Esquivel took over for the injured Ryan Romero last year and led the Warriors through their playoff run.
Backing up Esquivel will be Ibrahim Maiga. Ray Vaiza was supposed to see some time at quarterback but he got hurt in the Academy scrimmage last week and will be out for a couple of weeks, Ocampo said.
The Socorro coach said the Warriors are deep at running back with James Thornton, Aaron McDaniel, and fullbacks Joshua and Leonard Padilla.
“We will also use James Thornton as a wide receiver, he will be a slash player for us,” Ocampo said.
At wide receiver, the Warriors will be using Adrian Miranda, Maiga, Thornton, Matthew Lopez, Jorge Rivas and Jared Marquez. The tight end position will be solidified with Sam Hale.
As for the offensive line, Ocampo said, “We have eight guys who we are confident in.”
Ocampo said the Warriors will play a 3-4 scheme.
“In the Academy scrimmage, we made a lot of mistakes on defense. The best thing about playing Academy is that they really exploit your weaknesses. They start school later so they have two weeks of two-a-day practices. We only have two days of a two-a-days. Our guys just need to get in better shape.
“On defense, we gave up too many big plays against Academy. But the kids are working hard and they are only going to get better.
“This is one of the hardest working teasms that I have had since I have been coach. If we continue to work hard, this team has a bright future.”
But on Friday, the Warriors get their start on the season against West Las Vegas.
Ocampo said he was able to scout West Las Vegas last week.
“They return seven players on both side of the ball,” Ocampo said. “They have an excellent running back. They are also physical on defense and they really fly around.”

Community College Grads

The people in the picture are from left to right: Debbie Williams-Baker, Instructor Delilah Walsh, Patricia Romero, Larissa Sena, Veronica Tafoya, Patricia Moya, Vicky Gonzales, Celeste Griego, Michelle Gonzales, Lisa Pacheco, Yvonne Murillo, Shannon Griego, and Patrick Tafoya. Not pictured are instructors Barbara Romero and Anna Gallegos and students Cindy Lam, Janelle Apache, Angelica Billie, Pritha Gosh, Rachel Lucero, Linda Mares, Gina Mora, and Tasha Chavez.
Walsh said, “We had 21 students graduated from the Administrative Assistant Certification Program at New Mexico Tech.”

Courtesy photo

OBITUARY: Pauline R. Bare

Pauline R. Bare
Jan. 14, 1927-Aug. 16, 2010

Pauline R. Bare, 83 of Socorro, passed away on Monday August 16, 2010. She was born on January 14, 1927 in Canyon City, Colo. to Marvin and Katherine Russell. Pauline is preceded in death by her parents and loving husband Clarence (Yogi) Bare, her brothers, Wallace and Allen and sisters, Edith and Vernie.
She is survived by brothers Willis, Leroy and Charles as well as her twin sister Vivian Maxine Gaskins. Pauline is also survived by daughters, Eileen Schwettmann and husband, Bill of Espanola, NM, Nancy Jaramillo and husband Frank of Socorro.
Pauline was blessed with five grandchildren, John Jaramillo, Tara Jaramillo, Elizabeth Payne, Sally and Will Schwettman. She had nine great grandchildren.
Working as a nurse, Pauline began her career in Walla Walla, Washington, moving to Socorro, Las Cruces, St. Louis, Missouri, and finally, retiring from Memorial General Hospital in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Pauline has lived in Socorro, New Mexico for the past ten years where she could be close to her daughters and grandchildren. She has also shared a home with her twin for the past five years.
A graveside service will be at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery at 10:00 am. Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001. To sign the local online guest book or send condolences go to

OBITUARY: Louis Abner "Sam" Porter

Louis Abner “Sam” Porter passed away peacefully, August 21 in Mesa, Ariz. He is survived by his daughter Barbara Schultz, of Apache Junction; his sons Kenneth, of Casa Grande; Preston, of Coolidge; Louis, of Apache Junction; nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; his sister Alice Dyer, of Eager; his brothers David, of Show Low; and Melvin, of Sun City; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers Horace, Preston, and Eugene; and by his sister Annie Locket McMahan.
Louis was born in 1921 in Apache Creek to Joseph Baxter Porter and Emily Locket Gambel Porter, where he worked on the family’s farm and ranch, and attended high school in nearby Reserve. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps during World War II, and eventually became a flight trainer, stationed mostly at airfields in Texas. He earned a baccalaureate and a masters degree from Oklahoma State University, and was a well respected and innovative educator for more than thirty years. He taught at Reserve High School from 1953-62, and founded the school’s agriculture department and Future Farmers of America chapter. He moved to Tularosa in 1962 where he taught at Tularosa High School and also founded that school’s agriculture department and FFA chapter.
He moved to Magdalena in 1971 where he served as high school principal until 1975. He also taught special education at Mary C. O’Brien School, in Pinal County, Ariz. In 1980 he moved to Young, Arizona where he founded that school’s agriculture department and FFA chapter. He then returned to the Valley and taught at Phoenix Indian School from 1982-86. He lived in Florence, Arizona from 1998-2004.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, August 31, at 10 a.m., at Mountain View Mortuary, 7900 E. Main Street, in Mesa. Services will also be held at Reserve Presbyterian Church in Reserve, New Mexico, on Wednesday, September 1, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at the Apache Creek Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Southwest, 450 N. Dobson Rd., Ste. 108, Mesa, AZ, 85201. Donations can be made to the Reserve Senior Center, Reserve, NM, 87830.

OBITUARY: Susie Rodriguez

Susie Rodriguez
Oct. 15, 1909-Aug. 20, 2010

Susie Rodriguez, 100, a resident of Quemado, New Mexico passed away August 20, 2010 at her residence.She was born in Quemado on October 15, 1909, the daughter of Candelario and Francisquita Chavez.
Susie loved to crochet, do arts and crafts, and garden. She was very religious, a devout Catholic, and a great neighbor often helping many people.
She is survived by daughters Paublita Castillo, Quemado, Soledad Schiffman, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Anastacia Gutierrez, Quemado; sons Romy Rodriguez, Farmington, New Mexico, Celso Rodriguez, Farmington, A. C. Rodriguez, Bayard, New Mexico, and Rueben Rodriguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico; 22 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 19 great-great-grandchildren.
Susie is preceded in death by her parents, husband Ramon Rodriguez, adopted son Herman Rodriguez, son Albert Rodriguez, and daughter Angelina Rodriguez.
A Rosary was held Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Quemado, New Mexico. Funeral Mass was Thursday, August 26, at Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Quemado. Interment will follow at the Sacred Heart Cemetery, Quemado, New Mexico.
Burnham Mortuary, Eagar, handled arrangements. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.

OBITUARY: David Baca

David Baca
July 31, 1941-Aug. 17, 2010

David Baca, 69, passed away Tuesday, August 17, 2010 in Albuquerque. David was born on July 31, 1941 to Vivian and Sinforosa (Madril) Baca in Socorro.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Celina (Griego) Baca of Socorro; his devoted children, Melissa D. Collins and husband, Joe David of El Paso; Jessica N. Huffer and husband, Keith of Littleton, Colo.; David “Pelon” Baca Jr. and wife, Theresa of Socorro; and James Michael Baca and wife, Judy of Mesa, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Jasmine; Adam; Ashley; and Breanna; 1 great grandchild, Cadence Xavier; 2 step-grandchildren, Delicia; and Shelia; his brothers, Fred Mata; Mike Mata and wife Frances; James Mata and wife Patsy; and Dan Baca and wife, Elda; his nephew, Oliver Pena and wife Carol; and several Cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
David was a lifelong resident of Socorro. He was the owner and operator of the Mountain View Bar in Lemitar for over 20 years, starting in 1988. David enjoyed hunting, camping, baseball, and football.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Rose Anne Baca-Montano; and one grandson, Richard A. Montano. A Memorial Communion Service will be held on Monday, August 23, 2010 at the San Miguel Catholic Church, Parish Hall in Socorro at 11:00 a.m. with Deacon Mike Ybarra officiating.
Honorary Pallbearers are Adam Baca, David Avalos, Ryan Lopez Jr., Louie Torres, Sean Smith, Tomas Smith, Alan Brawley, Louis A. Vega, and Bernie Romero. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to Socorro High School Football Team: SHS Warrior Football Booster Club, 1118 Hope Farm Road, Socorro, NM 87801.
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: Raymond P. Vallejos

Raymond P. Vallejos
May 7, 1924-Aug. 21, 2010

Raymond P. Vallejos, 86, passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Albuquerque. Ramon was born on May 7, 1924 to Andres and Vivianita (Padilla) Vallejos in Socorro.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and two grandsons, Jeffery Scott Pineda, and Joshua Patrick Vallejos. Ramon is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Seferina, “Sefie” (Gallegos) Vallejos of Socorro; his ten devoted children; Dorothy Gonzales and husband Ernest; Patrick Vallejos and wife Irene, Betty Vallejos; Georgia Magoffe, Liz Vallejos and husband Steve; Mona Ross and husband Carl; Eric Vallejos and wife Chavela; Melissa Pineda and husband Jeff; Raymond Vallejos; and Tina Vallejos. He is also survived by seventeen grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild.
A rosary was recited on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the San Miguel Catholic Church in Parish Hall in Socorro. A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated at the San Miguel Catholic Church in Parish Hall with Father Leo Gomez as Celebrant. Burial with full Military Honors will take place in the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. in Santa Fe.
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.

EDITORIAL: More Thinking Needs To Be Done for Socorro’s Community Kitchen

Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo

It’s a real shame that the Community Kitchen has turned out to be the exact opposite of what it should have been.
And that is, a place that everyone could afford to use in order to bake and cook wonderful things that they could sell for others’ enjoyment and also help feed their families by their labor and earnings in using the neat little Community Kitchen.
Turns out so far that this so-called Community Kitchen is only for those that can afford cooking there and really don’t need any kind of help making ends meet in the first place.
The fees are ridiculous and quite totally out of the reach of those who desperately need a place like the kitchen to sell their baked or cooked goods to make that extra money to help themselves and their families, and maybe build enough business to open their own establishment in the future.
Perhaps those advertising this kitchen that everyone was supposed to use to cook in and actually have a way to bring a little more income in, should have waited before announcing that it would indeed be available to everyone.
The only people qualified to use the kitchen are those who have no problem coming up with anywhere between $350 or more, plus extra ridiculous hourly rates and fees.
My only question would be – if the kitchen has already been licensed by the state food service offices, why should the participants of the program be forced to fill out tons of unnecessary applications when they are not owners, but simply potential users of the kitchen already licensed by the state to bake, cook, serve and sell food?
And to top it all off, users of the kitchen are expected to buy a $300,000 liability insurance policy and apply for a $200 New Mexico State Food Service Establishment License. And why would the renters of the kitchen be charged by the hour to cook and store things over night, and then add insult to injury and make them pay other membership fees to the Farmers Market.
A key and cleaning deposit along with a $25 city business license, okay, but I have a feeling that the people who had this great idea in the first place just got plain run over by others who didn’t really think this thing through all the way.
When you leave the majority of people out who really and truly do need something like this kitchen, but can’t afford it, it’s just another lost cause with all kinds of potential slowly running down the kitchen sink drain.
Bottom line? This great but inaccessible community kitchen should be used by everyone who needs it, and no one should be purposely or inadvertently discriminated against because they can’t afford to do what others with money can easily accomplish. It just sends the wrong message when anyone is left out of the equation because of cost, and at the current prices, it’s simply impossible for anyone who really needs it, to ever use it.
I’m no scholar folks, but I’ll bet that 97 percent of my neighbors in Socorro could’ve come up with a better way of working this community kitchen idea out while standing on their heads. It’s an absolutely wonderful idea with unlimited potential, but it will never work for everyone, if everyone is not included in its future plans.
I want to congratulate Manager Al Smoake and everyone else for their hard work and hope that the reasons for this kitchen are revisited and changes are made to really and truly include everyone who can make it become something very special, without money being it’s only driving force.
Wouldn’t it be super if there was a much lower price to participate in the kitchen for those with growing culinary aspirations and those with expertise? Please, powers that be – ya gotta re-think this thing.

OPINION: Alice, I’m Having A Dream Too

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Alice in Wonderland both fascinated me as a child and scared me. I’m living in a dream world, so the Toltecs and Aborigines would call it, that is not fascinating. For many indigenous people the world as presented by mankind, or man-unkind is a dream world.
What people are not “indigenous”? Who hasn’t fought for territory, who hasn’t migrated at one time or another? Humans are an earth animal so we are all indigenous aren’t we? No, not so. Indigenous people know they belong to the earth, the earth doesn’t belong to humans. Manifest destiny people are not indigenous.
Aquifer water, common wealth or common disaster? Democrats and Republicans alike are selling our water to multinationals as if it were pinto beans.
Reality, you can’t grow beans without water. You also can’t bring industry to an area without a stable water supply. New Mexico you are being sold “down the river”, in “Grande” style. Draining aquifers, global warming, in thirty years no one will want to be Governor of this state.
They are hiding the truth as much as they can. Hoping their retirement accounts and their personal water rights will be safely taken care of. Their excuse, the water we owe Texas. They might as well give us to Texas now. In thirty years or so New Mexico won’t be worth a bag of beans.
In my dream Sarah Palin is the Queen of Hearts, babe that she is. Off with their heads is still the main line. Those of you in your 80s or who remember WWII will remember Tokyo Rose. Tokyo Rose, with a very sweet voice, took a little bit of truth, embellished it with lots of lies and tried to demoralize our troops over the radio. Sarah wants you to feel sorry for yourselves so you will hate who she wants you to hate and ignore anyone with information that might help you out.
Ms. Alaska wouldn’t know a founding father from the knave of hearts. One example, many of the founding fathers were Unitarians, they questioned the trinity. The first Unitarian Church in Boston is one of the oldest churches in the country. Reading the letters and diaries of other founding fathers you will find most did not enjoy going to church any more then Sarah Palin’s fans do. Separating Church and State, religious freedom was their idea. They died wearing those boots.
No matter how many wives drag their husbands to church or what century they did that in, that’s the usual reality. I have never seen proof that any man or woman that didn’t want to go to church was a bad person.
I used the Momma Bear bit with my kids. A combination of wanting them safe and also, unfortunately, to have them turn out as I hoped. I have grown up since then. Believe they are good; and magically, they are. Or if they stop believing they are bad because someone said so, they will also do okay.
As a “momma bear” it has never been my desire to make polar bears, or any other bears, extinct. Like Tokyo Rose, Sarah can do theater of the absurd. My gut tells me, Sarah is not an indigenous kind of gal.
She couldn’t take the heat and finish her job as governor; that would mean taking responsibility for her actions. Individually, bullies are gutless. She is great at telling stories. We laughed at the German and Japanese propaganda machine, it’s not as funny closer to home. However, it is absurd.
Something not funny. Did you like watching our Coast Guard work for BP? While “White” people want to compete with “Hispanic” people for greatest population growth, we allowed a major food source compromised seriously, if not completely. Not indigenous, not too bright. Unfortunately, the poison did disperse the oil and now these poisons are climbing the food chain. Everybody’s kids will suffer.
Propaganda is not funny. It isn’t useful. While Republicans were trying to get you irate over President Bill Clinton’s sad sex life, his trade policies were killing off our manufacturing future.
Grow up, pay attention.
9/11 we lost 3,000, two wars, many more. The weapons of mass destruction were ours. The war profits are going to the multinational empire, the bill goes to you. This put you in bed with Red China. Don’t give me this anti-communist crap. It hasn’t bothered any Republican or Democrat since Richard Nixon. Now the clean up heroes of 9/11 are sick and dying. That’s okay with Republicans and Democrats, untaxed profits go to multinationals.
Disgusting? It’s “revolt-ing.”
Give a good job to our returning Vets. Vets for Congress; it’s good pay, great benefits and all the bribes anyone could dream up.
First Amendment covers you too.

Comments? Write

OPINION: Most Of The Time It Is Always About The Water

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

Water. When we have it we take it for granted. When we turn on the tap and nothing flows out….Whoa! We run to the telephone or grab for the cell phone. Somebody help!
Water. Latin American historian and author Eduardo Galeano recalls a version of Genesis that circulates by word of mouth on Columbia’s Pacific coast. At the beginning of time the ant’s waist was not narrow. The ant was round and filled with water.
It seems God had forgotten to water the earth. Realizing his mistake, God asked the ant for help. The ant refused.
So, God’s fingers pinched his belly. Thus were born all the rivers and the seven seas. Plenty of water. Life giving. Life sustaining. Free for all creation.
Time passed. Some of creation’s creatures became arrogant, greedy and humans came to believe they could own the earth and utilize it resources for selfish purposes.
At the end of the twentieth century a water war broke out in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Like the ant, a much larger entity, created by humans, wanted the area’s water for itself. The U.S. company Bechtel took over the water system and tripled the rates overnight. Indigenous people marched in from the valleys and blockaded the city. City people rebelled, raising barricades and burning water bills in a huge bonfire in the Plaza de Armas.
As usual, the Bolivian government in power at the time, responded with bullets. There was a state of siege, people were killed and imprisoned, but the uprising continued for two months until the people of Cochabamba won back their right to the liquid that nourishes their bodies and sustains their crops.
Elsewhere in Bolivia, however, the powers of the time gave in to pirates and allowed a French company, Suez, to take over the water system in La Paz. Rates went sky high and hardly anyone could afford to turn on the tap.
Not until the 21st century did the situation improve when a new government came into power on the shoulders of the indigenous and poor people and water was again affordable. Now, however, nature has shown there is a limit to it’s bounty. The glaciers which have provided water for centuries to some areas of Bolivia are receding and there is no longer the steady supply of melting water to supply poor villages.
In the meantime, water has become the target of speculation everywhere…even in Socorro and Catron counties where the absentee owner of San Augustin Ranch LLC, Italian businessman Bruno Modena, wants to pump the San Augustin plains aquifer dry and sell the water back to state entities.
The people of the wide area involved, ranchers, farmers, and people in villages and towns which would be impacted by the water grab have joined together to legally block the effort. So far, they have received little real support from state officials who, seemingly, are not sure just what they can do to protect the resource needed to sustain the livelihoods of those who would experience the greatest loss.
As always, it will be only through the efforts of the common people that the stand off will be decided; the people and their right to natural resources or the would be Water Lords who desire only to profit at the expense of others.

Mountain Mail Files Motion To Drop Lawsuit

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Through its attorney Roscoe A. Woods, the Mountain Mail filed a motion to have the Socorro Electric Cooperative lawsuit dismissed against the unnamed members, Charlene West, the Mountain Mail et. al.
In his complaint filed Aug. 22 in Thirteenth Judicial District Court in Valencia County, Woods writes the suit should be dropped because the co-op attorney Dennis Francish failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Woods cites the New Mexico Rural Cooperative Act, saying bylaws shall be adopted, amended or repealed by the majority of the members present at any regular annual meeting or special meeting called for that purpose with a quorum present. Two other sections of the law say that bylaws can be adopted, amended or repealed consistent with the Rural Electric Cooperative Act. And a cooperative shall have the power to “transact any lawful business in aid of governmental policy.
Woods points out the SEC held its annual meeting on April 17 and members voted to enact several bylaw changes.
Francish, meanwhile, filed a suit on behalf of the co-op trustees to test three of those amendments.
1. Abide by the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act and the New Mexico Open Meetings Act;
2. Permit the press and the members to participate in and be present during regular and special Board of Trustee meetings.
3. Guarantee transparency of actions with open access to SEC books, records, audits to members for a proper non-commercial purpose except those which would violate the Privacy Acts.
Woods also cited the 1997 case Schein v. Northern Arriba Electric Cooperative in which the Supreme Court addressed the issue of what constituted improper purpose in requesting corporate information.
Schein, a newspaper reporter and a member of the Northern Arriba co-op, requested different types of information. And the co-op refused.
The case went all the way to the State Supreme Court which ruled that “in New Mexico, shareholders have the right to inspect, at reasonable times and places, a corporation’s books and records for proper purses.
“And this right generally extends to members of nonstick, nonprofit corporations.”
In addition, Woods writes the Mountain Mail is entitled to reasonable attorney fees “for maintaining its opposition in this frivolous cause of action.”
Woods also claims the venue within Valencia County 13th Judicial District is improper because the Mountain Mail’s principal place of business is within Socorro County and the co-op’s principal office and place of business are also within Socorro County. Woods also argues that the Valencia County court lacks jurisdiction over the Mountain Mail.

County Passes Mobile Home Ordinance

By John Severance

The Socorro County Board of Commissioners passed a mobile home movement ordinance Tuesday night
The ordinance should provide a method of rhe assessor’s office to collect property taxes on mobile homes within jurisdiction of the county. The ordinance applies to all streets, highways, county roads and public roads within the boundaries of the county.
“This ordinace is important,” said David Naranjo of the assessors office. “We need this to be able to do our job and have this ordinance in place. It brings mobile homes on to the tax rolls.
Vice chair Danny Monette said, “I think it’s a great idea.”
Chairwoman Rosie Tripp said, “This is something the county has needed for a long time.”
The other big news was that roads superintendent Marty Greenwood met with FEMA officials this week after the state declared the county a disaster area because of the flash floods in the past month that washed out numerous roads.
“They looked at part of the roads and came up with $950,000 and they said that is enough for them to open the door,” Greenwood said.
The roads declared to FEMA, were county roads 63, 127, 131, 129, 147, 152, 179, 153, 135, 67, Riley Road, 69 and 98,
“They don’t believe in putting on band-aids,” Greenwood said. “They will fix the roads where they will be fixed right.
“We have spent $55,000 just to get the roads passable and we still have quite a few roads to work on.”
Greenwood said it will be two more weeks until he hears back from FEMA and another six weeks until they send people back to Socorro County. FEMA would pay for 75 percent of the cost to get the roads fixed, the state would pay 18 percent and the county would be billed for seven percent.
“That’s a good deal anyway you look at it,” said commissioner R.J. Griego.

‘Celebrating The Youth...’

Mountain Mail Reports

According to its web site, the 55th Catron County Fair is touting itself as “celebrating the youth of our county.”
And the fair to be held at the Catron County Fairgrounds in Reserve will be doing exactly that with a variety of activities for children of the community.
“We are very excited about the variety of venues for the Catron County Fair,” fair coordinator Lisa Way said.
With an increase of 40 vendors, there is sure to be something for everybody over the five day event.
“There will be funnel cakes, smoothies, fry bread, nachos, curly fries, barbeque, and many other foods for sale. Vendors will be inside one building and around the fairgrounds. Exhibits, such as crafts, 4H, horticulture, art clothing, fiber arts, and processed/preserved foods will be in the new building. We even have a mechanical bull this year,” Way said.
The fair began Wednesday and runs through Sunday.
Other events scheduled include a Western Dance, Pancake Breakfast, Barbecue, Enchilada Dinner, Junior Livestock Sale, NMRA Rodeo, Junior Rodeo, and a Team Roping Event.
For more information, go to for a fair book, complete schedule and information.
“Bring the family and have a fun-field day at the fair,” Way said.
Organizers are still looking for donors for the fair. They are urging area businesses to advertise with arena signs, event sponsorship and entry gate sponsorship.
The board of directors are: Bobby Salvo, President, Supt. Jr. rodeo, and Arena Activities
Carl Livingston, Vice Pres-ident, Supt. BBQ and Pancake Breakfast, Building and Grounds, Poultry and Rabbits
David Estrada, Treasurer, Supt. Finance and BBQ
Vernice Mayhill, Secretary, Supt. Horse Show
John Cauzza, Supt. Fundrais-ing, Advertising, Beef
Jackie Atwood, Supt. Live-stock Show and Sale, Arena Activities
Sylvia Hall, Supt. Exhibit Building
Don Gatlin, Supt. Livestock Show and Sale, Arena Activities
Tim Klumker, Supt. BBQ
Debbie Laney, Supt. Goats
Kathleen Schuster, Supt. BBQ, Sale
Anita Hand, Supt. BBQ, Fundraising, Advertising
Rick Williams, Supt. Swine, Livestock Show and Sale
Kay Peterson, Supt. Sale
Byron Frederick, Supt. Sheep, Sale

Richard Torres contributed to this report.

Get Ready For Next Week’s Catron County Gun Show

Submitted To The Mountain Mail

Get ready to get your “goin’ to town” boots on, and gather with your neighbors from all over Catron County and the surrounding region, from Silver City and ShowLow to Sororro and Magdalena for the exciting annual Catron County Gun Show, first weekend of September.
Far more than just an opportunity to buy and sell, it’s where folks go to make trades and catch up with old friends, to talk about local issues and share secret hunting tricks.
One need not even be a gun fancier to enjoy this beloved family experience, the tables of jewelry and down-home crafts, and all the good “fixin’s” to eat. No wonder it’s held at the Catron County Fairgounds, given that it is the most popular public event hereabouts besides the big fair and rodeo!
Stanley Radvillas and the Catron County Sportsman’s Association put a lot of work into making sure it’s a successful, fun event at the tail end every Summer. All proceeds go to the club, and to maintenance and improvement of the Marden Radvillas gun range, one of the finest such ranges anywhere, and made available to the public free of charge.
As usual, the show is attracting private collectors and other sellers from the 4 state area, who will be bringing with them every manner of hunting and plinking rifle, handguns for sport and defense, archery equipment and in-line black powder rifles, knives and holsters, and a wide assortment of hard to find ammunition and gun parts. Whether your interest is in finding a genuine antique cowboy Colt revolver or a .45 compact, you are likely to find it here.
Come early and stay the day. Break out your tired-of-the-closet items to try and barter.
Stimulate the local economy, enjoy good company, and maybe find that special something you’ve so long been looking for at the Catron County Gun Show, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5 in Reserve.

Truly Enjoy The County Fair

Luna News
By Kaye Mindar

This week is a busy one for many here in Luna with artwork, 4-H animals, talents to show, various projects and sales booths at the Catron County Fair in Reserve. We wish all the participants luck with their projects. The agenda is a full one so leave yourself plenty of time to truly enjoy the festivities at the fairgrounds.

Wake up Call

With winter months approaching quickly some of us in Luna had a wake-up call last Saturday morning when the power went out for about four hours. Once Navopache Electric was alerted to the situation the linemen had to come from Lakeside, Ariz. This seemed to be a practice run from Mother Nature and we are grateful that we could take stock in our preparedness. The skies were blue and the day began like any other Saturday.
With one hiccup in the lines we were quickly taking inventory. Were there were batteries in the flashlights? Water reserves for drinking and non-potable use? What about gasoline in generators and vehicles?
It was a blessing to have a short trial run at the situation before seasons change and we will be looking at more serious questions of food and heating when this happens again, because here in Luna it is a given. Is there a list of emergency contacts close by your telephone and do you have a telephone that is not cordless or needing to be charged?
Have we been the grasshopper or the ant this summer season? And the most important question in true Luna community fashion, do we have enough to help our neighbors?


Monday morning Ellen Swapp Kiehne was laid to rest; after suffering a stroke; at the Luna Cemetery near her husband Tom Lee.
Mrs. Kiehne was a direct descendant of the original Luna settlers and a household name in the history of the Luna Valley. She was appointed Postmistress in 1955 and her husband Tom owned the Luna Mercantile and Post Office for over 30 years. They were responsible for the store’s remodeling and the original Post Office boxes being brought to Luna.
Mrs. Kiehne was also the Postmistress that made history in July of 1969, when she hand stamped hundreds of letters received in Luna from all over the world to commemorate the first landing on the moon. (Luna being the Latin and Spanish name for moon) She will be missed and we wish to send all of our love to her family and extended family.

Luna Community Center

A multi-state concealed weapons class will be held September 3 and 4 at the Community Center. For Registration and added information please contact Joyce Laney by Sept. 1.

Preparedness Corner

There will only be four more canning sessions held this year at the Luna Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They are scheduled for Thur. Sept 2; Fri. Oct 1 and 29 and Friday Dec 3
2011 canning dates are to be announced.
Please contact Joyce Laney for orders and more information.


It is not too early or late to think about special holiday gifts to give this season and calendars make wonderful gifts. Not only are they easy and inexpensive to create using your computer or the services of the local copy shop. You can either make it a current family calendar to help far-flung family keep in touch with family photos, birthdays and anniversaries. Or you can create a calendar that commemorates your ancestors with old photos and your ancestor's birthdays, marriage dates, etc. Either way, now is a good time to have fun and be creative before the stress sets in.

Quote of the week

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
~Barbara Kingsolver

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Detectives Sylvia, Gordo

By Anne Sullivan

I was writing a letter (read dozing) in my comfortable chair while Sylvia seemed to be making an extraordinary amount of noise eating her breakfast in the kitchen.
A knock on the door startled (read awakened) me. It was followed by Sylvia tugging at my pants leg saying, “Open the door, please.”
Wiping sleep out of my eyes, I staggered to the door and opened it to find Gordo thrusting a paw with what looked like flowers, grass and dirt at Sylvia. Sylvia gave Gordo a short growl and hastened into the kitchen with her burden.
The ensuing crashing of pots and pans interfered with any chance of napping or finishing my letter. “What on earth are you doing, Sylvia?” I asked.
“Don’t bother me, please,” she replied. “I’m coming to the critical part now.”
“The critical part of what?”
“Write this down, please. ‘Three monkey pods pounded into flour consistency. Stir in three and a quarter cups of brown sugar. Add Coca-cola to taste.’” Her words were punctuated by distinct bangs.
After writing down her mysterious words, I again asked, “What is this for? What are you and Gordo up to?”
“We’re trying out recipes for my mystery book.”
“Oh,” I said. “You mean the book with the dog and cat detectives?”
“Of course. The prize-winning book that’s going to be on the best seller list for at least 20
weeks. The one the Baldwin Cabin Public Library will be having a Book Signing for.”
“Oh,” I said again. “That book. Have you found a publisher yet?”
“Not really. I’m almost finished with the first draft and I need the recipes to fill out the book. Plus the detectives have to solve the crime before I can write finis.”
“Have you plotted out the end?”
“Huh?” said Sylvia.
“In other words, do you know who the murderer is?”
“No, of course not. I haven’t come to the end yet. The solution has to be in the recipe.”
“But you don’t know what that is?”
“Not yet. As I said, the murderer’s identity will reveal itself in the recipe.”
“Oh,” I said, no wiser. “What are you cooking? And, mind you, you are not allowed to light the oven or any one of the burners without me standing over you.”
“That’s no problem. All my recipes will be for the microwave, like lupine soufflé and marinated junco. That was Gordo’s idea. Since he’s not allowed in the house because of your allergies, he’s furnishing the ingredients. Tomorrow we’re doing Puree de Paintbrush L’Indianne.”
“I see, and what – -“
Sylvia interrupted with desperation in her voice, “Must remember the altitude and add more monkey pod flour. Write that down, too.”
I complied and asked, “What are you working on right now?”
Sylvia’s answer was obscured by a series of serious squeaks emanating from the vicinity of the porch.
“What on earth is that?” I hollered.
“That must be the main ingredient for Canapé de Chipmunk,” Sylvia replied. “While we’re waiting for delivery would you care for a bite of Crème de Lapin Bush? It’s almost ready for tasting.”
“Not right now, thank you,” I answered. “I feel suddenly overcome by a strong desire to live until tomorrow.”

Socorro Train Show Returns

The 7th annual Toy Train Show and Swap Meet will be held in Socorro at the Best Western Hotel Convention Center on Saturday.
The Convention Center is just off I-25 Exit 150 behind McDonalds. Signs on California Street will direct attendees to parking. The show will run from 9 a.m. and will feature toy and model trains of all sizes and gauges.
The show is sponsored by the New Mexico Division of the Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS), the Socorro Train Gang model railroad club and the City of Socorro. There will be operating layouts, raffle prizes and vendors selling toy and model railroad equipment and railroad memorabilia. Raffle prizes will be drawn at 3 p.m. Admission is $1 per person and $2 per family.
There will also be tracks available to test run any model train equipment for purchase. Many of the vendors are experts in all aspects of toy train operation and model railroading and will be happy to answer any questions.
This year the show will feature several operating layouts including the return of the “Summerville & Northlands Lines” portable model railroad. Kids may try their hand at doing some operating. As well, there is a short quiz to take that, if completed, will earn attendees a 3 X 4 inch “Summerville & Northlands” sticker.
The New Mexico Division of the Toy Train Operating Society will have its modular “O” scale layout set up and running. The Socorro Train Gang model railroad club will also have its Christmas Raffle layout set up and running.
Model railroading has been called “The World’s Greatest Hobby.” Whether its running toy trains or building elaborate layouts, this is a hobby that offers something for everyone.
“Come join us and find out for yourself how much fun model railroading can be. If you have an old toy or model train set in the closet or attic and want to know if it still runs or how much it is worth, dust it off and bring it to the show,” organizer Jon Spargo said. “Some old toy train sets have become quite valuable and most can be brought back to life for the enjoyment of both big and little kids.”
For more information, phone 575-418-7534.

Quemado News: Fiesta, Food Pantry

Quemdao News
By Debbie Leschner

The annual Santo Nino Fiesta in Aragon will be held the weekend of September 4 - 5. Saturday's activities are food from noon until 6 p.m., silent auction, visperas at 7 p.m. and a dance from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30.
A live band, Prime Time, will perform featuring Baby Ralph. On Sunday, mass is at 9 a.m, food from 10 till 2 p.m, silent auction, horse shoe pitching contest at noon and bingo at 3 p.m. Lots of fun for the whole family with cake walks and games for the children.

The Quemado Food Pantry will be on Friday, Sept. 3 at the Community Center sponsored by the Datil community Presbyterian Church. Two programs run simultaneously; the federally funded Commodities and a Food Fair.
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. You will then be called in order, so prepare to wait – it is well worth it. Bring you own containers! Ice chests are recommended for frozen and refrigerated foods.

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 773-4627 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you as soon as they can.

Quemado Schools basketball season is starting with the first Varsity and Junior Varsity away game on Thursday, Sept 2 against Gallup Catholic. Good Luck Eagles !

Quemado Senior Center Happy August Birthday to Bill Armstrong, Liz Cook, Helen Hand, Elaine Smith, Lewis Sullivan and Barbara Tucker. Activities for the week include pool tournament on Tuesday, August 31, bingo and quilting on Thursday. Lunch for Monday is meatloaf with creole sauce and Tuesday – spaghetti and meat sauce. The rest of the week was unavailable at press time. All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

Activities in Reserve: American Legion Post 82 will meet on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. in the Catron County Building. A Gun Show on Sept 4 and 5 will be held at the Catron County Fair grounds.

DWI Checkpoints

The Catron County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting driver’s license, registration and sobriety checkpoints. These checkpoints will be conducted at the following locations from Sept. 1-Dec. 31.
Public roads within Big Game Management Units: Units 16A, 16C, 16D, 16E, 12, 13, 22, 23, 15.
Locations will be determined by officers for the safety of the public. Checkpoints will be conducted during the day and nighttime hours. Other law enforcement agencies may assist. Criminal and traffic laws will be enforced.

Alamo Tackles Water Issues

By Nathalie Nance

Recently Michael Hawkes and Steve Guerro of the Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc. (ANSBI) and Alamo Water User’s Association managed to secure additional grant money from the state tribal infrastructure funds to be used for maintaining and upgrading the Alamo water system.
ANSBI also contributed with $50,000 and together with saved money, in total $600,000 will be used for starting phase II of the planned repairs. While phase I focused on upgrading the well sites, pumps and electrical components, phase II will involve fixing tanks and the construction of protective fences. In the end of this month bidding will be opened and then awarded in early September for engineering firms. ANSBI executive director Michael Hawkes estimates that phase II will be done within a 60 to 90 day period. Depending on funds, next, phase III, which involves replacing old valves and repair of exposed and damaged water pipelines, will take place.
“We also need to start putting up meters to see if there is any water loss,” said Hawkes.
He thinks that the completion of phase II will permanently solve the problems that especially the so called UFO area has had with lack of water since April. The well site there is constructed for a lesser demand, but as new users have gradually been added to the water supply line water has become scarce. When the windmill supplying stock tanks blew down during windstorms in March and April it caused many households to water their livestock and orchards with well water. Moreover, the tanks have drained when pumps have shut off during lightning storms. All in all, this has often left the households on the end of the line in the UFO area completely without water.
“We had hoped to put in a water tanker from the Navajo Nation to solve the problem temporarily, but they never responded to our request,” Hawkes said.
Alternative well sites have been located in the area, but to drill new wells is not yet financially feasible. The circa twenty affected households currently have water again, but it is still being rationed.
As if this wasn’t enough, another pressing matter is the state of the Alamo waste water system.
“It is totally dysfunctional,” Hawkes said.
The input greatly exceeds the capacity, and a survey shows that 90 percent of the sewage has been lost due to leakage. It has drained into subsurface areas. So far, the waste water system has cost the Alamo 3.5 million dollars and an additional $300,000 has been earmarked to address these issues.
“At least the quality of the well water now is the best we have ever had,” Hawkes said.

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

Part 4 of a Series

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have expressed their appreciation of the publishing of this story. Last week we left Joe and Jim comfortably settled in Socorro.
Suzanne E. Smith

Socorro, New Mexico
Saturday afternoon

My Dear dear Myscie
I have just had quite an accident I have been sitting here by this open window writing to your for about an hour and a half, had your letter all laid out here on the table in front of me= and now what do you think I have done? Mr. Bass just came in for a moment so I thought I would just get up for a little while and rest and take a smoke. As I was rising from my chair I hit the table and over went my ink all over your letter. Just completely covering every sheet. I was=mad= I guess but I didn't say much for Mr. Bass laughed at me so= though I know he felt real sorry for me all the while. He says "never mind Joe= just tell her they are tear drops and send it to her".
I don't know where to begin just now Myscie! I have lost the mood some how, I was just in the mood this afternoon and had written you a good long letter= but it is so covered with ink I can't read it to copy and I can't write another like it any more.
Thus you can't sing that dear old song "Far Away" as you sang it to me one evening. (Which I never can forget.) when you do not feel in that same mood= How I love that song Myscie! And yet it isn't the song= it isn't the words that I love so either= it is the connections= the happy thoughts it brings up every time I see the piece or think of it. Oh Myscie how I wanted to come and put my arms around your neck and kiss you the night when you were singing that piece. How I wish I had you in my arms this very minute. You dear dear girl. Do you know how much I love you, how dearly, truely I love you. It seems some times Myscie when I get to thinking of you as if I could not stay away from you a whole year as if I must se you and have you with me= but I must not be so weak for I can not gain the ends I am struggling for when I give way, as I feel like doing just this minute. It makes me feel like packing up and coming right back to you Myscie but I must not feel this way. I am here for work and I will work= Myscie I could give my life for you, for you are mine, my own dear Myscie, and sometime we will be so happy.
But I must not go on in this chain. You want to know something about the country, the people. Their ways, peculiarities, the beautiful country and a thousand and one things also. I'm the first to write to you about. First= I want you to begin by making the acquaintance of our little family. Such a cosy happy family you never saw and it seems so strange to find things so home like and comfortable away down here out of the world all most. There are six of us i.e. Mr. Bass, Mr. Hoyt; Miss Bell Nash (Mr. Bass' cousin) & Miss Nina Hoyt (Mr. Hoyt's sister); Miss Ray Hoyt (Mr. Hoyt's younger sister) and myself, and such a nice family as we make! (Mr. B & Mr. H) rent a cottage here one of the prettiest in town, and the girls keep house for them. There are three of them you see (Bell, Ray & Nina) so it doesnot make the work hard for them= but just fun.
They take turns about the work and then the boys do all the hard work= that is they help them a great deal where stronger hands are needed= But to go back a little= Mr. Bass is running a Photograph Studio which occupies most of his time there= There he and Mr. Hoyt are in company running a news stand in connection with fancy articles, candies, nuts, ectc.
There they are in company in a silver mine up in the Magdalena Mts. and Mr. B. has a sheep ranch up in Kansas which he goes up to once or twice a year. Now for Mr. Hoyt= Mr. H is a druggist and is prop. of a drug store in this place also a branch store in Los Animas. Mr. H. is a young man about Mr. B's age 25 or 26 and is just one clever boy. I like him very much= Bell Nash is Mr. B's cousin and is an old school mate of mine down in Mass= she has been out here most a year, visiting with Mr. B though from appearances I should say Mr. H was reaping the pleasure of her stay and would in time, if not at present have full as much claim upon her as her cousin Ed.
Then there is Ray and Nina, Mr. H's sisters. Nina is the oldest one of the girls and has the charge of the household= She is a lively girl a perfect lady and such a beautiful disposition= we all think lots of Nina she is so kind and tries to make everything so home like for us all. I think she is older than her brother but I am not sure, I never have asked= she seems so at least; perhaps it is because she has been so unwell in the past= She came here to visit with her brother for her health and is now much better. She and her sister have been here over a year. Nina is a little grey= it seems so funny to see a young lady with her hair sprinkled with grey= probably it was from her previous ill health. She and Mr. Bass sit at the head of the table and I call them Pa & Ma. Ray is the youngest of us all and is a very pretty girl in deed. She is about 19 I think, and is quite an accomplished young lady. Ray and I sit together at the table and last evening I finished up a letter for her to her gentleman who is now east somewhere but who will return here some time during the spring. When she asked me to write in the letter she made me think it was to some young lady and then after I had written she told me it was to a young gentleman and then didn't they all have the laugh on me good= And this is our jolly six= Ed= Geo= Bell= Nina= Ray & Joe. Don't you think we have a nice little family Myscie? Oh how I wish you were one of us and that "we were seven" instead of six.
And now you know them all and they know you too. You ask me how Myscie? They saw your picture and I could not tell a lie and besides Ed gave it all away before I could say anything anyway that is he explained perhaps better than I could myself. Here is our table[drawing]and the way we sit at our meals. The girls are splendid cooks and we live high I tell you for this country. Ed has just called me and wants me to go off with him somewhere= right away. I will not send this to-night but will wait untill to-morrow (Sunday) and then write some more.
Your loving Joe
Socorro, N.M.

Mar 14='83
Wednesday Evening

My dear dear Myscie:
Why don't I hear from you? If you could only know how disappointed I have been morning after morning for it is a week ago, day before yesterday since I had even a word from you and those were such good letters Myscie and I want to thank you as much for them and for the good they have done me. Oh! Myscie they were so like you, so open and honest-and so full of love. I just love to read them over and I don't tire of them either.
We have our mail from the East each day it comes in during the night so when we get up in the morning it is all distributed and the very first thing I do before I eat my breakfast is to push off to the office and see if there is anything for me. Immagine me Myscie running over to the office with my heart in my mouth almost and then after all only to wait for another day.
It does seem as if it was a month instead of a week Myscie. But then= I haven't a word of faults Myscie for I know there is some good reason or I would have heard. All this and I only hope and expect when I do hear, you will make up for lost time.
Myscie did you receive those pictures I sent you? How do you like yours? I wish they were better and looked more like you=but=somehow they don't print and finish up as well as I had hoped they might. Then there was one of mine= made before I left C.= over a year ago= the negatives have been destroyed so this is the reason I did not have one myself. I saw this in May's (Miss Bang's) album and I asked her if she would give it to me to send to you= I will write you Myscie all about the evening I spent with May some other time, when I have more time and text to write about.
The picture of the Catholic Church which I sent you is where Jim and I went that morning to the marriage services which I wrote you about attending. The one where there are two men dangling from a tree, will show you how they punish rascals out here= I have been under that same tree more than a doz. times= it is up in what is called "death alley". Mr. Bass I believe was one of the committee that hung them and then the next morning went down and took their picture= I hope I may not share the same= One of those boys you see hanging there though is a Massachucetts boy; just the "scenery", I have that to encourage me.

There has been some speculation as to whether J.E. was involved in the Socorro Vigilantes. They were a group of “businessmen” who became intolerant with the patroń system of politics in Socorro. They believed that it wasn’t what you know, but who you know that dictated the outcome of crime and punishment. They took the law into their own hands with organization of lynch mobs and hangings as the usual procedure.. Although we will never know, various authors have reported that J.E. was involved. His association with Mr. Bass would lead one to believe that it is quite possible. If so, he never mentioned it in his letters.
Even if he had been involved, it would have been difficult for him to tell Myscie. For one thing, he had dreams of her coming west to join him. He needed her to feel secure that it was a safe place, and that he would always take care of her.
It is interesting to see the changes that evolved in J.E. Smith as revealed by his letters. He was coming to believe in the “survival of the fittest”, the strongest, the most brave.
One of the toughest groups of new comers to New Mexico was the mining fraternity. The wealth of mineral resources in the new country was probably its most attractive feature.
The mining districts of Socorro, Water Canyon, Magda-lena, Cat Mountain, Rosedale, Black Range, Cooney, Mogollon, Kelly, and the more remote sites of Oscura, San Andres, Pueblo, Gallina, and Santa Rita were all located in Socorro County.
In Magdalena, the Kelly and Graphic mines produced over $6,000,000 worth of silver and lead ore before it was found that the zinc they carried, once considered a nuisance, was a treasure of it’s own. In March of 1883, the Kelly Mine south of Magdalena, and the Torrence and Merrit Mines in Socorro were making big news.
The Black Range News out of Chloride, New Mexico had reported that the “Kelley mine has developed such richness that visitors are not allowed to go down in the mine”, and reported that there was so much interest in the Merrit Mine, expected to surpass the production at the Torrence mine, that A.D. Coon had refused an offer to sell the mine for $125,000 Mining towns were known for their lawlessness, and generally sprung up overnight, with tent structures later made permanent. Bawdy houses and saloons brought entertainment and comfort, and there was very little importance placed on religion or culture.

Pictures: (top) Socorro mining community, (middle) Kelly 1883, (bottom) hanging in Socorro's Death Alley.
All Photos ©J.E. Smith Collection
All rights reserved


Steers To Play On Saturday

By John Severance

Football is alive and well in Magdalena which makes first-year football coach Manny Marquez a happy man.
The Steers got started a little late, but they are making up for it with enthusiasm as Marquez said three more players came out this week so now the roster stands at 23.
The Steers also got their equipment this week and Marquez is happy with what he has seen so far.
“We did some tackling drills yesterday and there were some great hits,” Marquez said.
This year, the Steers will play 11-man football for the first time and they also will play as an independent, which means they will not compete in district or state play.
“A lot of teams do that when they are just getting started,” Marquez said.
The Steers also will be getting started rather quickly because their first game is Saturday at Escalante, which is up near Chama.
Marquez said he will be leaving his Socorro home at 5 a.m. in time to get on the bus at 6 a.m. for the trip north.
“They better all be there,” Marquez laughed, “or they will be left behind.
Marquez said he does not know anything about the first opponent. “But they probably don’t know anything about us either,” he said.
Marquez plans on running a wishbone offense and a 6-3-2 formation on defense.
“We will have to make adjustments to whatever they are doing,” Marquez said.

Lady Warriors Finish Fourth In Socorro Cup

The Socorro girls soccer team opened its season by finishing fourth at the Socorro Cup last weekend.
Playing without sophomore Dezirae Armijo who was the top scorer in the state last year, the Lady Warriors opened with a 3-1 loss to Grants. Then Socorro tied Valencia 3-3.
Finishing second in its pool, the Lady Warriors then lost to Alamogordo 3-1 to finish fourth in the tournament.
Offensively, the Lady Warriors were led by Angelina Stanzione, who had four goals in the tournament.
“It was a good experience for us,” Socorro coach Mitch Carrejo said. “We are really young and there are some real positives.”
Armijo injured her ankle during preseason and Carrejo was not certain if she would play this weekend at the Roswell tournament.


Area volleyball teams opened their seasons at the Magdalena tournament.
Socorro defeated Cobre and Lordsburg but lost to Mountainair. Magdalena lost to Springer and Quemado but beat Alamo.

Boys soccer

The Socorro boys soccer team opened its season with an 8-0 loss to Valencia Tuesday at home.
Socorro assistant coach Kenny Gonzales said, “They start a bunch of juniors and seniors and we only have one senior and two juniors on our team. When it got to be 4-0, we put in our substitutes to give them some playing time.”
Sophomore Johnny Carrilli, who scored both of Socorro’s goals in a scrimmage loss to Grants last week, broke and dislocated his wrist, Gonzales said.

Picture: Socorro’s Johnny Carrilli holds his broken wrist after injuring it in the season opener against Valencia.

Photo by John Severance