Friday, September 24, 2010

Co-op Hires BKD Firm To Look At Books

By John Severance

BKD LLP out of Springfield, Mo., is coming to town to look at the accounting books of the Socorro Electric Cooperative next Tuesday.
The co-op board, at a meeting that lasted more than four hours, accepted a letter of engagement from the accounting firm Wednesday night.
The contract states that BKD will look at the books from January 2008 to August 2010, interim general manager Richard Lopez said.
Lopez told the board that BKD required a $19,000 deposit and would do up to $38,000 worth of work.
Trustee Charlie Wagner, though, asked if the BKD needed to do some more digging, it could come back before the board for more funds. Wagner was assured that was part of the contract.
“We absolutely need to do this,” trustee Donald Wolberg said.
And the motion passed unaninimously.
While the approval of the BKD audit was noteworthy, there was other stunning news.
Catt Cobb, a rate analyst for SGS Engineering, told the trustees that while doing some preliminary work on a rate study, she found out that the co-op has been overcharging consumers over the past five years.
“The debt cost was not changed over the past five years,” Cobb said. “About $1.75 million had been collected from consumers that should not have been collected. The money has to be refunded to the consumers.”
Cobb and Lopez were in Santa Fe earlier Tuesday to meet with the Public Regulation Commission to discuss the problem.
It was decided that Lopez has to write a letter to RUS in Washington to say it needs $1.75 million from its margin to refund to customers. It’s unsure what the refund would be to consumers.
In the letter, though, Lopez also has to say that the co-op is in the midst of a rate study. And raising the rates will be a reality because the co-op has a negative margin and it is in danger of defaulting in its mortgage to the RUS. If the co-op defaults on the mortgage, the federal government takes over the co-op. RUS’ Larry McGraw says raising the rates likely will assure the co-op of making its margins for this year.

Fly-In To Attract Hundreds

By John Larson

SOCORRO – The Socorro Municipal Airport will be the setting for the third annual ‘M’ Mountain Fly-In and Aviation day this Saturday, Sept. 25. Hundreds of people from Socorro and the surrounding area are expected to attend. Last year. the show attracted close to 600 attendees.
A wide assortment of aircraft will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but visitors may want to make sure they are on the scene at 2 p.m. “The United States Air Force is bringing down an Osprey tilt rotor aircraft,” said Dave Finley of the Civil Air Patrol. “It has two engines that can be tilted straight upfor take-off, and then level for flying. It will leave around 2 p.m. and will be very exciting for the kids to see. It may also do a fly-over.”
 Another special event will happen at 8 a.m. when the first 10 people to sign up will get a free ride in a Remo Spirit aircraft.
Laura Haines, aviation consultant and pilot, has been involved with the yearly event since its inception in 2008.
“We’ll have pilots and planes from all over the state and some from surrounding states,” she said. “The vast majority will be civilian planes, but there will be a World War II vintage military plane, a T-6 Texan trainer. It can do aerobics, fly in and fly out, and will be making a low pass over the runway with a smoke generator.
“There will be a huge variety of planes to look at, vintage to homebuilt,” she said. “These people have put in a tremendous amount of work into their planes, especially the homebuilt full-sized planes and have huge pride in what they’ve built – some from kits and some from working from plans and collecting parts.”
Other aircraft include motorized gliders, commonly known as “trikes.”
“They’re like a hang glider with an engine,” Haines said. “A group of them will come in flying in formation.
“I also understand a medi-vac helicopter from PHI will be on display, too.”
At 10 a.m. up to five skydivers from a skydiving club in Belen will be making a jump.
“Bob Martin of KRQE will be flying the jump plane,” Haines said.
A $5 pancake breakfast provided by the Socorro Chile Proppers will start the day at 7 a.m. The Chile Proppers will also be cooking green chile cheeseburgers for lunch. Lunch is $5.
“Vendors selling jewelry, t-shirts and aviation memorabilia will be on hand, as well as Bill Marcy’s ‘Kiddy Hawk’ ride for the kids,” she said.
The airport’s neighbor, the Socorro Animal Shelter, will have a pet parade and adopt-a-thon throughout the day.
The Socorro chapter of the DAV will open activities with a color guard ceremony.
According to the ‘M’ Mountain Fly-In’s Facebook page, Socorro's airport history goes back nearly eight decades: A “Socorro Muni” with four dirt runways was listed in 1931. This field was 2.5 miles north of town, not the current location.By 1934, Socorro Municipal was listed in the current location south of town, with two dirt runways.
In 1941, the designation changed to "Socorro CAA 16." Both the 1941 listing and one for 1938 show three dirt runways. Listings for 1943 and 1944 show "Socorro (Aux)#4" at the current location, with two "hard" runways. The designation changed back to "Socorro Municipal" in 1945 with the end of World War II.
On May 19, 1938, pioneering female pilot Harriet Davidson, who had taken her flying lessons from Bill Cutter in Albuquerque, flew the first bag of airmail from Albuquerque to Socorro. This reportedly was a big event in town, with schools being dismissed and a large crowd gathering to see the plane.
Local residents recount seeing USAAF B-24s practicing touch-and-goes at Socorro's airport during WWII.Sometime during the 1960s, two B-36s, the giant bombers with six piston engines and four jet engines, reportedly landed at Socorro Municipal, enroute to the NM Tech boneyard. According to local residents, the wings were cut off these planes and the fuselages towed through town to NM Tech. These would be the largest planes ever to land at Socorro.


Gunslingers Shoot ‘Em Up

By Nathalie Nance

There was a cloud of gun smoke and constant gunfire by Old Magdalena last weekend, when 82 shooters, both men, women and youngsters, competed in the New Mexico State Championship Cowboy Action Shooting, hosted by the Magdalena Trail Drivers.
Twelve different so-called stages, like a saloon, bank and a dance hall, had been built for the purpose, to mimic a western town circa 1880’s. The shoots were acted out as scenarios familiar from western movies. What else do you do in a saloon, but shoot it up? All the shooters were carefully turned out to fit the bill, and sported names like Lawless Lori Sue, Dusty Dawg, Dollar Bill and Sassy Swede. They use live ammunition in their single action revolvers, lever action rifles and old style shotguns.
“In Cowboy Action Shooting, we’re in the entertainment business. It’s a fantasy, and just as much about having a good time as about competing,” said Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) co-founder Tex.
“We say that we’re all helping Roy, Gene and Hoppy to make the world safe for Godfearin’ families,” he added with a wink.
When prompted, he admitted his real name is Don Ormand, of Albuquerque, “but everyone knows me as Tex.”
“Typically you join because you are fascinated with the shooting. Then you get into the western lifestyle, cowboys and history and start working on costumes and to travel,” said Tex, who next hopes to go to Poland for the European Championships, Days of Truth.
Two travelers were the British competitors, Hugh Owl and Little Hoot, a.k.a. Keith and Jane Howell, who came from Dorset to Magdalena to participate for the third time.
“This is one of our favorite competitions,” they said.
They also came to see friends in Albuquerque and to visit the area.
“It’s like a bug,” said Major Frank Morgan (a.k.a. Glen Rose) from Texas about the Cowboy Action Shooting. “And we try to get everyone, even spectators, to participate, at least for one stage.”
There were many prominent local shooters as well.
For instance, Half-a-Hand Henri, who some might know as Heather Kresser, of Magdalena. She has done Cowboy Action Shooting since 1995.
“I love the people, traveling and, of course, the competition. My husband says I do very well for a girl and then I say he is doing well for an old fart,” she said and laughed, before trotting off on her signature bare feet to another stage.
As the weekend came to a close it turned out that she had done very well for a girl, indeed. Half-a-Hand Henri became the 2010 SASS New Mexico State Cowboy Action Shooting Champion in the ladies’ category, while the winner in the men’s category was Bogus Bill, a.k.a. Travis Boguss of Albuquerque.

Magdalena Library Board Discusses Opening

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – Mayor pro tem Diane Allen and Trustee Tommy Torres met with the Magdalena Library Board Wednesday afternoon to discuss filling the librarian position in the wake of Lucy Pino’s resignation last week.
Library Board director Donald Wiltshire told the Mountain Mail that the process may take up to three months.
“The three months includes familiarizing and training the new person once he or she is hired,” Wiltshire said. “The first step is to post the position opening, and then the reviewing of the applicants. The new director will then be trained.”
Wiltshire said it will take about a week for him to prepare a job description.
“The job entails a lot,” he said. “It takes in not only being librarian, but also Boxcar Museum curator. The person will also be writing grants, being familiar with the Inter-Library Loan system, assisting people with computer usage and training for adults as well as kids, and all the other library services.
“And basically getting familiar with what people want to read. Recommending and ordering books.”
Wiltshire said the librarian also conducts tours of the library and Boxcar Museum for tourists and visitors to the village.
“The complete job description should be posted in about a week,” he said.
In the meantime, Wiltshire will share interim librarian duties with Annie Danielson.
A discussion was also held concerning weatherization of the building, the historic Santa Fe depot.
Susan Schuhardt of Friends of the Library said members of that group will focus on putting up the storm windows, tacking down siding on the west side of the building, cleaning the gutters, and contacting the propane supplier for advise on other needed repairs.

Co-op Talks To Community Leaders

By John Severance

The Socorro Electric Cooperative gave local businesses, school administrators and government officials a heads up last week.
The beleaguered co-op said it was going to raise its rates, possibly by February of next year, interim manager Richard Lopez said.
How big an increase?
The co-op does not know yet, but Lopez said the increase should be known in November of December after a study is done by Catt Cobb, a rate analyst for SGS Engineering.
 Lopez told the audience that the co-op missed its margins last year by $410,000. And this year, the co-op is negative in its margins and it could get worse with impending litigation expenses.
 The news of the rate increase did not sit well with mayor Ravi Bhasker, who wanted to know about the breakdown of city and county taxes as well as the franchise fees for his hotels.
The mayor also wanted to know why the co-op never offered the city a better rate for electricity during off-peak hours.
“Your business has to be accountable and I just don’t see it,” Bhasker said.
Socorro Consolidated Schools superietendent Cheryl Wilson and her counterpart at Magdalena Mike Chambers said they have absorbed budget cuts the past two years and they didn’t know how much more they could cut if there was going to be an increase in electricity rates.
Wilson summed it best when she said, “I don’t have the ability to raise the cost of public education.”
County manager Delilah Walsh also did not have much empathy when she asked what the co-op was doing to shave costs.
Lopez answered that the co-op was going to refinance some of its debts and that the trustees had a cap placed on their expenses. Last year, the co-op board had expenses of close $480,000, which exceeded what the co-op’s negative margins were.
Lopez said the co-op owed close to $30 million to RUS and Cobb said if the co-op could not make its mortgage payments, the co-op would be taken over by the federal government.
“And if that happens, the rates are going to go up even more,” Cobb said.

OBITUARY: Floyd Raymond Ewing

Floyd Raymond Ewing 
(Feb. 5, 1929-Sept. 20, 2010)

Floyd Raymond Ewing, age 81, died on Monday, September 20, 2010, at Presbyterian Kaseman Hospice in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Floyd was born February 5, 1929, in Casper, Wyoming to the late parents Ralph and Hulda Ewing.  Floyd spent his childhood in Colorado and Wyoming, and on February 24, 1952, he married Elma Louise Ransford.  Floyd served in the Navy, and went to work for Packard Bell in California after his service.  Floyd continued his career as an electrical test engineer for Vought Corporation in Florida, California, and New Mexico.  He lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, from 1964 to 1996, and worked at White Sands Missile Range for Vought Corporation for over 30 years.  He retired in 1989, and then moved to Socorro, New Mexico, in 1996.  Floyd was a member of the Good Sam Club of New Mexico, the M-Mountain Sams of Soccoro and the Dona Ana Peppers of Las Cruces.  Floyd and his late wife Elma were the Assistant State Directors for the southwest chapters of the Good Sam Club.  Floyd was a member of the First Baptist Church in Socorro.  Survivors include his sons, Eldon Ewing and his wife Martha of El Paso, TX, David Ewing and his wife Kathy of Cheyenne, WY; his daughters, Diane Peebles and her husband Henry of Albuquerque, NM, Jeanne Poling of Golden, CO; his brothers Richard Ewing of Whitewater, CO, Robert Ewing of Coeur d'Alene, ID, Danny Ewing of Alvin, TX; and his sisters Loretta Ham of Kent,WA, and Esther Nouwens of Port Orford, OR.  In addition, Floyd is survived by seven grandchildren.  Services will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 25, 2010, at the First Baptist Church, 203 Spring Street, Socorro, NM.  Relatives and friends are welcome to stay for the reception after the services.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at  Thanks to the M Mountain Sams of Soccoro and the First Baptist Church in Socorro for their help and support.  Those who wish to send condolences may do so at www. Services have been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services, 309 Garfield, Socorro, NM  87801, (575) 835-1530.

OBITUARY: James E. Scartaccini

James E. Scartaccini(May 7, 1950-Sept. 17, 2010)

James E Scartaccini was in an auto accident on Wednesday, September 15 and passed away on Friday, September 17.  James was born in Magdalena, NM on May 7, 1950 to Eugene and Ardell (Burkhart) Scartaccini.  He was raised in Magdalena and Golden, NM and went to high school in Moriarty, NM where he played football and was active in FFA. James’ father and uncles were silver and gold miners in Kelly, Magdalena and Golden, NM.   James grew up working in those mines from when he was just a small boy.  He collected mineral specimens as a boy and sold them to tourists in his mother’s antique shop.  Geology and mineralogy were precious subjects to him. He was highly knowledgeable in these areas. James moved his family to Gila in 1982.  Over the years he was active in mining in Southwest New Mexico and in northern Mexico.  He worked in developing and promoting many mining operations in this area.  Most recently, he was working on three mining projects that were very dear to him, The Royal John Mine, The Alhambra Mine in Grant County, and the Lone Pine Mine in Catron County. James was also a master diesel mechanic and had a used equipment sales business, Gila Equipment and Mining with his partner of 34 years.  He enjoyed buying older loaders, dozers and other equipment; repairing and then selling them.  He also enjoyed collecting antiques. James is survived by his mother, Ardell, of T or C, his siblings, Walter Scartaccini of Irvine CA, Eugene of Cliff, NM, and Genna of T or C.  He is also survived by his children: Travis Eugene Scartaccini and Donald W. Anderson of Silver City, Grace Scartaccini Runyan of Auburn WA and Tyler Chavez of Magdalena, his grandchildren Antoinette (Toni) Buster, of Ft Hood TX, Jacob Scartaccini of Las Cruces, Travis Scartaccini Jr.,  and Emma Scartaccini of Silver City. He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene Scartaccini, and his son James Michael Scartaccini. James loved his many friends and business associates.  He was loved by them and will be sorely missed. The memorial was at Terrazas Funeral Chapel Wednesday.

OBITUARY: Tasha Otero

Tasha Otero
(July 17, 1991-Sept. 21, 2010)

Tasha Otero, 19, passed away on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in Albuquerque, NM. Tasha was born on July 17, 1991 to Albert Roy Otero and Jenny Lopez in Albuque-rque, NM. She is survived by her precious little girl, Tianna Lyana Perez; her devoted mother, Jenny Lopez of Polvadera; her devoted father, Albert Roy Otero of Polvadera; her loving brothers, Jason Otero of Magdalena; Albert Otero Jr. of Polvadera; and Isaiah Baca of Polvadera; her loving sisters, Christina Otero of Albuquerque; and Ashley Stidstone and husband, Zeke Tafoya of Socorro; her grandmother, Dolores Lopez of Luis Lopez; and  grandfather, Gabriel Padilla of Polvadera; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Tasha was preceded in death by her grandfather, Joe Lopez; and her grandmother, Libby Padilla. Tasha was a lifelong resident of Socorro. A Rosary will be recited on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 9:30 am followed by A Mass of Resurrection  at 10:00 am  at San Miguel Catholic Church with Father Andy Pavlak as Celebrant. Burial will take place in the Luis Lopez Cemetery. Pallbearers are Joe Lopez, Jerry Lopez, Pete Lopez, Donald Padilla, Chris Perez, and Kyle Phillips. 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

Newsweek Ranks Tech In Top 10

By John Larson

SOCORRO - New Mexico Tech is the nation’s tenth most desirable rural school of higher education, according to Newsweek magazine. The Socorro university is regarded as one the best technical schools in the United States, and is the only public school on the list, sharing the top 10 with the likes of nationally known colleges Dartmouth, Amherst and Bowdoin.
Tech has also made a strong showing in Newsweek’s 25 Most Desirable Small Schools, coming in at number 19 in the nation. Private schools also dominate that list, with New Mexico Tech being the sole public school.
Tech President Dan Lopez said he was appreciative of the acknowledgment.
“We are gratified to see this recognition of our dedicated faculty and staff who work hard to make sure New Mexico Tech is a great school,” Lopez said. “Being ranked by Newsweek is more than just invaluable exposure. These lists show that our instruction is second-to-none and that a degree from Tech is a valuable commodity.”
He said the publicity could benefit the university in several ways.
“It is helpful all the way around. Not only could it help enrollment, but it looks good for our sponsors of every type and description,” Lopez said. “This would be in the area of research for private companies, as well as  grants from the National Science Foundation, and various federal programs.”
The education company Kaplin conducted the research for Newsweek’s desirability rankings, which are based on admissions, test scores, endowment, student-to-faculty ratio, retention, as well as climate and the quality of facilities, housing, and dining.
According to a press release from New Mexico Tech, the “Most Desirable Small Schools” list was designed to target the universities that produce the world's best minds. This ranking was based on data about which universities' graduates go on to become Nobel laureates, MacArthur "geniuses," or Guggenheim fellows, Rhodes Scholars, Fulbright Fellows and other top-notch scholars.
“If New Mexico Tech qualifies for one national ranking, that’s a feather in our cap,” Lopez said. “The fact that Tech is included in every major national ranking just shows the quality of education students receive here and the high caliber of our faculty.”

EDITORIAL: Stop The Bleeding

Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo

Okay folks, here it is.  I’m up to here, as I’m sure everyone is, with this ongoing cheap little game the SEC board is playing.  There is a really quick way to sweep this sick game in to the disposal once and for all and avoid all of the lawsuits and courtrooms, and every other dirty little hide n go seek game that is going on in trusteeland.  We want a recall of ALL of the board members.
 That’s right.
 No more wasting time, paper, ink or brain cells on these people who don’t have a clue as to what their jobs are and are determined to cover up all of the stink bombs they’ve built in the back room somewhere.  I honestly think it’s because so much junk has been done and hidden, that none of them are quite sure where they put it – and they’re scared to death.  When do elected and appointed officials start protecting us and helping us guys?  I’m bone weary over this kind of self serving junk already.
Not one tenured trustee has stood up and condemned what is going on in all this time.  Silence can be just as damaging as bad actions, and it lends itself to condoning bad actions taken by fellow trustees. 
The Mountain Mail is being sued by these embarrassing dolts and the whole of us have been treated like strangers and people who have absolutely no say in their own futures!
I’m done – the Mountain Mail is done – and I hope all of our readers and the readers of the Defensor Chieftain are done with this freakish nightmare as well.  The D.A. is not going to do a damn thing because that would entail some work.  He says, “as far as I know, a crime has not been committed”?
They just fired two top employees for “alleged illegal stuff Clint!”
 He also said, “it’s a company matter, and they are dealing with it,” Holy Smokes!  He can see the mushroom cloud from his office but refuses to budge.  The more things change, the more the D.A. stays the same.  It’s sickening. 
What - does everything have to be brought to this guy on a silver platter already investigated and tried, so all he has to do is copy and paste, before he’ll do anything?
That’s nothing but plain laziness, and I don’t want to hear, “we are short handed”.  That’s a lot of bull!  Which is it Clint?  No crime has been committed or we’re short handed???
If there are 5 people out there who are truly willing to sit on the SEC board to replace the current knuckle heads and let the forensic auditors do a FULL AUDIT and force the D.A. to do a FULL investigation without another goofy self appointed board committee telling them where and when they can look, call the Mountain Mail Newspaper or come in and give us your names.  It’s time for a recall.
 No more baloney folks!
 Someone’s got to take the lead and it doesn’t look like anyone is really serious about finishing this thing once and for all.  Forget the lawsuits, lies and questionable lawyers looking for a bucket of public money for their trouble. The idiotic antics stop now!  This SEC Board’s time is up and it’s our duty to sweep them out the front door.  NOW!
Pursuant to Article 5 – Section 5 of the SEC By-Laws: Any member may bring charges against a trustee of his or her district and, by filing with the Secretary such charges in writing together with a petition signed by at least 10% of the members of the trustees district, may request the removal of such trustee by reason thereof.  
There is nothing to be afraid of neighbors.  These guys aren’t scary.  They don’t have any special powers (other than convincingly acting the fool at a moment’s notice).
So ….All trustees may be removed by virtue of recall pretty quickly and without a lot mud slinging, and can be replaced at the very same time by others who are willing to step in until the next election.  I just know that won’t be a problem. Is there is anyone out there that doesn’t know that our rates will skyrocket once this mess hits the courtroom?  We’ve got to stop it now!  This minute folks!  Grab your broom and let’s get to sweeping.
Call 575-838-5555 and let us know if you are interested in serving as a replacement in the recall of your district trustee representative.  If you are interested in spearheading your petition for your district, let us know immediately.  It shouldn’t be a problem to get 10% in each district really quick.  It’s time to put up or shut up.
 You want change?  Well, here’s your opportunity.  Enough is enough!   We act now – and we act as one!


Staff Sergeant Melissa Kass was misidentified in a story on the front page of last week’s Mountain Mail. And Dave Wheelock wrote the column on page 4 last week and not Jack Fairweather.

OPINION: Comedians Finally Take It Down A Notch

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

From the Comedy Channel,  Jon Stewart of the Daily Show is calling for yet another, “Of, By and For the People” March on Washington.  On 10/30/10, the Rally to Restore Sanity will be held at the Washington Monument.  It will face the immediate challenge of Stephen Colbert, also of the Comedy Channel, who will on that day be holding his March to Keep Fear Alive, same time, same place.
Is the Comedy Channel taking on the Fox News and Glen Beck?  Or is this merely a moment of comic relief in tense and trying times?  One way or another many of us meaning US(of A) have been losing our cool, our objectivity and our peace of mind.
I believe one can have peace of mind in the most trying of times.  Before I heard about this event in Washington on 10/30/10, I had planned to write about the concepts that help me adjust after losing my cool.  I’m admitting that I find some truth in every political direction but it is always floating in a soup of fables with labels.
My relief comes from the Ruiz family writing on Toltec wisdom.  The Four Agreements and The Fifth Agreement are books that challenge the mind and spirit.  In these writings, I find  perspective.
I find some Conservative ideals good but they tend to get dressed up in something like the “Emperor’s New Clothes”.  In other words, they believe in Santa Claus and are not very picky about who plays Santa.  I find Liberals usually get better info and research but tend not to “do” anything but dress in intellectual snobbery.  They are also counting on Santa.
Our big problem is we all believe in Santa but we forget WHO Santa is.  It is time to pat ourselves on the back.  Also, look in the mirror to see who is going to solve problems.
Like many of you, I react to what I see and hear on the news and even in my village.  Sometimes I have felt like I’ve been in a vise.  Let me share an example.
 At one point in the 2008 campaign, a woman very active in the democratic party was in my front yard.  I told her democratic candidates needed to do something about the rape of our aquifers, that this was a serious environmental issue for NM, all of NM, regardless of party.  She said they’d look into it.  Then just before leaving she said to me, really what do we care what happens to a few republican ranchers on the San Augustin plains.  And she swept from my yard.
This has sat undigested in me for years now.  I do care what happens to a few republican ranchers out on the San Augustin plains.  More than that, what happens out there will effect this whole quarter of the state and eventually the whole of the state.          That’s only half the vise.
In Datil, while attending the annual Water Coalition Meeting, I overheard a few republican ranchers talking about how they didn’t want any tree-hugging environmentalists messing with this issue.  And for the liberals....blah, blah, blah.   Ouch!!
Okay Santa who do you think has been good or bad?
The reality, their political Santas don’t care about New Mexico.  To care about NM is to care about water, the real realities of water.  The state has assumed ownership of what is really the earth’s crust.  Leave the aquifers for the earth and we haven’t got a major problem.  We have water problems but nothing a little hard work, and less greed,  couldn’t fix.
So many political and industrial folk feel justified in taking all of the earth’s crust that they justify each other.  This thinking comes with a price tag, a huge price tag but now, they think it’s a steal.  Yes, but what they are stealing is the future.
I’m not an environmentalist.  I am of an old fashion kind of conservative stock who can see that if you use it all up, it’s gone.  If you ruin it, it’s gone.  If you waste it, it’s gone.  What ever structure I’m living in, the earth is home.  Didn’t everybody get a program when they came in?
As a conservative, I didn’t find someone to represent me, as a liberal, no one represents me.  I even found that I don’t always represent myself well.  I have found that I have value, and I can see the value in you.
If Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert want us to take it down a notch, be reasonable and have some fun, that might be a great idea.  Like an old fashion 4th of July.  When we thought that all attending were one of US (of A), no matter where they got their news.

Comments? Contact Margaret at

OPINION: Poverty A Much Bigger Problem Than We All Think

Can We Talk?
By Jack Fairweather

For the majority of the so-called American middle class it is not going to be okay.  For the working poor, the unemployed and under employed, it certainly is not going to be okay. For other, believers and supporters of the corporate state…well, they’ll be okay…for awhile.
Daily, weekly, monthly we are treated to conflicting reports of the state of our economy and society.  We are told there are 13 million children in the United States who live in poverty, we are told that now…as far as the U.S. Census is concerned…1 in every 7 Americans is in poverty.
Given the thousands who were not accessible to the Census the number is probably closer to 1 in 5 or 6.  But, don’t worry we are assured it’s going to be okay.  Not hardly.
The signs are all around us…we don’t have demagogues and charlatans of the types that arose in the 1920’s and 30’s to offer visions of America’s potential greatness and world leadership.  We have the Tea Party. We have Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  At some level even those people realize that the empire is dying, the economy is close to, or has, collapsed.  A period of precarious social instability is on the horizon.  The country’s leadership, President Obama among them, are only mortal.  They can only wave their swords and send their military against a tidal wave of global instability that cannot be stopped. 
Certainly not by the corporate state  America has become.  They will continue to throw trillions of dollars at the economic and social problems…although the social problems are far down on their list of things to be done.  That list is controlled and written by the global corporations and banks that enjoy the major benefits of “stimulus” and “bail outs”.
How will the people cope with such a decline?  Some, no doubt, will continue to cling to the dreams of a superpower and a glorious imperial tomorrow, others, we can hope a majority, will take individual and collective responsibility and face up to the new reality of stark limitations.  Will the people listen to those who are stable and rational, who speak of a need for a new simplicity in lifestyle and sense of being a nation that leads through a truthful and transparent example of concern for human rights and providing the basic needs of all its people?  That will require a radical change in our system to one of defiance of the corporate state, protection of the ordinary citizen and fostering the common good.  The alternative is to put in place the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance capability to crush all dissent.
The passivity of Americans in this time stands in sharp contrast to the actions of workers and the poor, joined by students, educators and others, in street protests and strikes in France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland.  In those places people of all political persuasions, and none at all, are trying to bring sanity into their governments.  Again, we have the Tea Party, and ranters like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, people who, when you read between the lines of their rhetoric, would turn the clock back to a time when Wall Street, the banks and corporations had their way with the people and their money without any regulation or other obstacle.  A time when the common people “knew their place and stayed in it.”  Well, that’s still pretty much the case. 
“Democracy Incorporated” is the title of a book written by Sheldon S. Wolin, a retired professor of political philosophy at the University of California and Princeton.
In this book, which award winning journalist Chris Hedges calls “one of the most important and prescient critiques to date of the American political system” Wolin coins the phrase “inverted totalitarianism” to describe this countries system of power.  More on that in a column next month.

LETTER: Pie Festival A Success

To The editor
The 30th Annual Pie Festival was a grand event. Some say the best yet. Hard work and lots of fun did it again. It was a happy day, good food, and lots of vender booths 57 enough to suit your every need.
I’ve been told from people who were able to move about the fair grounds that we had over 1300 visitors. The festival seems to attract a couple hundred more each year. Pie Town sold over 2,632 slices of pie including the 2 Cafés. Cathy Bissey had her hands full with 74 entries in the pie-baking contest. Later Cathy was surprised with given the honor of being chosen the Queen of The Pie Town Festival 2010.
Now a list of most of those who volunteered their time, your always going to miss someone. So please don’t be offended.
John Hanrahan, Terry Noble, Karla Noble, Ken Bostick, Sharon Bostick, Nita Larronde, Tony Shannon, Joan Shannon, David Esser, Jeanmarie Esser, Karen Bingham, Cathy Bissey, Mary Biship, Charlotte Campball, Pat Smith, Beverly Loude’, Steve Kotales, Cathy Accord, Gary Accord, Uncle River, Marjorie Jensen, Megan Bortasevich, Michelle Wegner, Betsy Pfeiffer, Tom Pfeiffer, Bryce Pfeiffer, Terri Brown, David Brown, Debby Caraway, Carol McKee, Abarm Gutierrez, Will Chavez, Sue Bolander, Bob McClellan, Allan Lambert, Timber McPhaul, Thelma McKee, Margaret Walker, Dave Williams, Tony Parker, Jack Stocker, Norman, Daily Pie Café, Pie-O-Neer café, Top of The World Store, All the Men and Woman who helped roll and make pies Sept. 9th, Ruth Hanrahan.

Ruth Hanrahan
Pie Town

LETTER: Puerto Seguro Update

From the Director of Puerto Seguro
As you know, Puerto Seguro has been awarded a sum of financial help through the county. Unfortunately, this sum has been reduced by one half.
We at Puerto Seguro attempt to budget wisely, and to insure that our finances are sufficient to assist people in need.  This is very difficult when we face financial cuts, as it removes our ability to care for the homeless and people in need in a manner that will help sustain them during hard times. We offer this service, as well as referrals, to help people better their lives, and become self-sufficient. We also help those who have been thrown into a turmoil due to tragic events in their lives.
Over the past month we have assisted two displaced families who have lost their homes due to economic hardship. We have assisted one of these families with employment referrals, and they are on the right path. This will take some time and effort on their part, but this situation looks promising. The other family has been able to apply for SSI assistance and get their children enrolled in the public school system. We have been blessed to provide them with temporary housing and clothing, and they also seem to be headed on the right track.
We had an unfortunate case a couple weeks ago, where a young woman needed transportation to her family home in Louisiana. She was here in New Mexico with her fiancee, and he took his life while she was present. Totally devastated, she contacted her brother, who in turn contacted us. We put this young lady in a hotel for four nights, and purchased a one way airline ticket to Louisiana for her.
These are the types of situations that we deal with on a daily basis, and without support, these people would be in a state of hopelessness. This causes bad choices and possibly anti-social behavior.
I, for one, am so glad that we're here and so grateful for people who are willing to help finance our mission. My concern at this time, is a rough and cold winter, and the lack of resources to help people through it.
Thank you for all you do.

Duane Baker, Director
Puerto Seguro Inc.

LETTER: Puerto Seguro Donations

To the editor
Puerto Seguro provides help to not only the homeless but all those who are in need in our community.  It provides meals, food packages, a place to shower and do laundry, connections with social services, and in cases of dire need it arranges for shelter for folks in local motels.  It's not only a safe harbor, it's a place of hope for those who are almost without hope in our community.
Puerto Seguro has always had a very small budget, but the County Commission had to cut $3,000 of funding for it.  It has to face the coming cold months that start very soon with even less for those who have so little.
Those of us in the Peace Vigil have raised $635 for Puerto Seguro and are continuing to raise more.  We challenge other organizations and groups of employees at any business to meet or better our donation.
You can drop off a donation at Sundance Gifts on the Plaza, or contact Duane Baker at Puerto Seguro when you've got several donations you want to give as a group.  All donations are tax-deductible.
Everyone is stressed in these bad times.  But those who have so little have even less now.

Arf Epstein

Santa Teresa Spoils Warriors’ Homecoming

By Nicky Romero

SOCORRO -- The Socorro High School football team experienced its first taste of defeat this season, falling 36-26 to Class 4A opponent the Santa Teresa Desert Warriors Friday during its homecoming game.
Socorro was ranked as high as number three in Class 3A in the KOB-TV polls.  Their record now stands at 3-1 overall.  Santa Teresa evened their record to 2-2.
“Santa Teresa is a real good ball club,” Coach Damian Ocampo said.  “I'm glad we got to play them.  We knew that they were going to be every bit as physical and talented as they were.
    “I  think we're right there.  I think we're one of the elite teams in 3A.  I think we need to be ready to fight through adversity a little bit quicker.  We lost two of our starters (Sam Hale and Matthew Lopez), all-district players, in the first drive of the game.  And we lost one of our starters before the game even started, slipping in the hallway and hitting his head on the wall.” 
Santa Teresa led from start to finish, scoring the first 16 points of the game.
On their second drive of the game and 2:46 in the first quarter, three year starting quarterback Joshua Ramirez threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to his wide receiver Keith Harding, capping an 82-yard drive.The extra point was good for a 7-0 lead.
With 2:31 left in the first, Socorro fumbled and linebacker Eli Esparza recovered at the Warrior 33 yard line. Taking advantage of the good field position and a minute gone in the second quarter, Santa Teresa's kicker Edwin Gallardo kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.
Santa Teresa upped its lead to 16-0 when Ramirez threw a TD pass to Mark Martinez with 3:22 left until halftime.
“We had some blown coverages where we just handed them two touchdowns,”  Ocampo said.  “It's not something that we usually do.  We have a very veteran and smart secondary, but it happens sometimes.  We just made some mental mistakes.”
Socorro finally got into the end zone with 1:18 left in the first half.  The Warriors capped off an 80-yard drive with Esquivel keeping the ball for an 18-yard touchdown run.  The extra point run was unsuccessful. 
Socorro closed the first half in a flurry.  Esquivel intercepted the ball and returned it to the 50, with only 16 seconds on the clock.  On the first play, Esquivel handed off to running back James Thornton, who cutback left across the grain for a 50 yard touchdown and only four seconds left.  The extra point field goal snap was fumbled and was no good as the Warriors trailed 16-12 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Santa Teresa increased its lead to 23-12, courtesy of  Ramirez's keeper up the middle from the three and using over six minutes of the clock.
The Warriors got the points back with 2:14 left in the third.  Esquivel threw a 52- yard touchdown pass to Ibrahim Maiga.  The extra point run for two was good by Thornton and now only a 23-20 deficit.
Thanks to a great defensive stand early in the fourth quarter, Socorro got the ball back on its own 25 yard line. Socorro drove down the field but on  third and six at Santa Teresa's 33, Esquivel threw an interception, which was returned to the 45.
Seven plays later, Santa Teresa scored on another Ramirez keeper up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown.  The extra point kick was good for  a 30-20 lead, with only 5:58 left in the game.  But the Warriors did not give up.
Starting on its own 26, Socorro finished an eight-play drive with an end around handoff to Maiga for a one yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion failed. The touchdown drive was aided by a dump pass to Thornton for 33 yards and a pass to Marquez for 18 yards.  A six-yard run by Jorge Rivas contributed to the drive.  With 3: 28 left, Socorro trailed by four points.
The Warriors tried an onside kick that rolled only eight yards. Santa Teresa had the ball on Socorro's 48. Five plays later, Ramirez scored on a 15-yard run for a 36-26 lead,
“We have to be ready to fight thru adversity,” said Ocampo.  “We kind of ran a little thin and ran out of guys, but we kept fighting.  I was proud of the kids for that.”
Socorro is hoping to bounce back with a victory on Saturday at Pojoaque (2-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“It's football and we've got to bounce back.  If you don't bounce back, it's going to be a long season.  I'm confident we're going to be fine.  The big thing is we need to get healthy.”

New Mexico Tech Teams Register Wins in Tripleheader

Mountain Mail Reports

New Mexico Tech's sports tripleheader went off in grand fashion Saturday as the women's soccer, men's soccer, and men's rugby clubs all registered victories. It was the first day in school history the three clubs had all been in action on their home pitches. 
The Minerettes kicked off the action at 10:00, paired against United World College of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The visitors proved no match for the steadily improving Tech women, who dominated from the get-go on their way to a 9-0 rout.
Getting in on the scoring feast were Amy Reed, Megan Roseborough, Naomi Sasso, Claire Honeyfield, and Jacqui Wise.
The Minerettes carried the flame to Albuquerque the following day, where they blitzed the Godzilla team 11-0 in a regularly-scheduled Albuquerque Soccer League match. Tech's women roundballers now stand 3-0 for the young season.
Things went only slightly better for the UWC men in the men's showdown at high noon, as the Miners ran roughshod over their UWC opponents by a 5-2 score. The visitors kept it close for the first 35 minutes, until the Miners' Robert Hernandez neatly slipped a goal past the keeper into the far post.
 Hernandez's goal ignited Tech's attack and for the remainder of the first half and ten minutes into the second, the Miners scored three more goals to UWC's one. Each team added one more goal over the remainder of the match to account for the final margin. Hernandez and Mahmood Shittu each bagged two goals while Calvin Santisteven chipped in another.
The Miners, who scored an historic 5-2 home victory over New Mexico State University on September 5, will carry their 2-2 season record to Tucson and Phoenix next weekend for a challenging weekend of soccer against the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.
In the day's concluding contest, the Pygmies of the NMT Rugby Club battled through temperatures in the 90s for a come from behind 34-22 victory over the Clovis Nomads.
Clovis led all the way up to the 70th minute, when Brock Romero scooped up a tipped ball and touched down a five-point try which when converted by Dustin Webb put Tech in front 22-17. The Nomads stormed back within two minutes to tie the match, but young legs and a deep bench won out in the end as the Pygmies put two more tries on the board in the final eight minutes.
Tech's five tries were scored by James Fallt, Isaiah Sanchez, Romero, Dustin Webb, and Jacob Smith. Royce Beaudry notched a three-point penalty kick while Webb kicked two conversions and Fallt one.
After three weekends of play including one tournament, the Pygmies' record stands at 2 wins and 3 losses. A change of dates for the 30th Annual Northern Arizona Tens tournament, now set for October 9-10, suggests Tech's ruggers may need to rely on intrasquad competition for improvement in the interim.
The Pygmies are defending NA 10s collegiate champions.

Quemado: Pancake Breakfast

Quemado News
By Debbie Leschner

The Quemado Food Pantry will be on Friday, October 1 at the Community Center sponsored by the Datil community Presbyterian Church. 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 your own containers! Ice chests are recommended for frozen and refrigerated foods. There will be a food distribution the first Friday of every month at 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.

Quemado Schools: Congratulations to Garret Williams who placed third in the NM State Fair with his animal. The volley ball game for Saturday, Sept 25 against Santa Fe has been canceled, On Friday, October 1 at 1 p.m, the Junior High and Junior Varsity teams play at Reserve. On Saturday Oct 2, the Varsity and Junior Varsity volleyball games will be played away against Victory Christian.

Quemado Senior Center Activities for the week: Pool Tournament on Tuesday, walking with seniors video exercise on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with bingo and quilting on Thursday. Lunch for Monday – chicken strips, Tuesday – pizza, Wednesday – pigs in a blanket, Thursday – roast beef.
All seniors are welcome. Please call the center at 773-4820 before 9 a.m. to make your lunch reservations.

Western New Mexico Veterans Group will have an All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast followed by Bingo on Saturday, September 25 at the Quemado Catholic Church Hall. Breakfast is served from 9 to 11 a.m. An early bird Bingo will start at noon with regular games starting around 1 p.m.

Quemado Turkey Shoot was a fun day for all who participated. Special thanks to Range Master Steve Harms. Results are as follows: Target Rifle category- 1st Glen Reagan, 2nd Doug Marable; 22 category- 1st Howard Pudilla, 2nd Billy John, 3rd Doug Marable; Black Powder category- 1st Steve Candelaria, 2nd Steve Candelaria, 3rd Byron Peterson; Big Game Rifle category - 1st Glen Reagan, 2nd Doug Marable, 3rd Paul Walker.

Alamo: Cell Service Coming Soon

By Nathalie Nance
and Gary Jaramillo

An area close to the center of the Alamo community is currently being prepared for the construction of a cell phone tower. The tower might already be up and running by the end of the month, according to Chapter Vice President, Annabell Pino. However, the current site might just be temporary.
“We are still waiting for the readings. We need to do more testing to see how it works and how many users can get service there,” said Pino. “In about six months we will know if that site will be permanent or if the tower will be in any of the other areas we have looked at. We chose this site because it is close to the center with the school and everything, where there are a lot of users.”
The initial estimate is that a three mile radius around the tower will have service, but the final testing will tell how big the area really is.
The tower is built by Comnet and it is a so-called roaming tower. That means all calls, no matter what your cell service is, will be connected through Comnet. It will only work for users with regular phone plans, not with prepaid plans, like Tracphone. However, some people say those work too, at least in some places, but there is no guarantee.
“We’re so distant. If we could get a company like Verizon or AT&T out here eventually depends on how many users there are and what is cost effective, but we keep reminding them that we do exist out here,” said Pino.
The process to get the tower built started in 2009 and was initiated by Alamo Chapter officials. A request from the start has been that 911 should always work, regardless of which cell service provider you have. In order for 911 to work all physical addresses also need to be verified.
“We want to make sure people here are safe,” said Pino.
Red Ribbon
The 19th Annual Red Ribbon Run to Socorro ended at Clarke Field last week with a Pizza and Soda party for the participating runners and sponsors.
 Janice Henderson, prevention specialist and Red Ribbon Run coordinator has been involved with the run for the last 6 years and explained that the idea from the inception of the run was to help kids overcome negative things in their lives and stay away from drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse violence, and build a strong and responsible life for themselves and their families.  “The run is growing larger and larger every year”, Henderson said.
Mr. Raymond Apachito Sr. was along for the run and was very happy with the outcome of the run and told the Mountain Mail that he has been involved with the run for the better part of it’s 19 year history.   Socorro County Deputy Shorty Vaiza has run in all but one Red Ribbon event as well.  He said, “when it first started, it was called the Drug Free Run and was changed sometime later.”  “The best part about it, is that it’s still going strong.” 

Publishing Is What Dreams Are Made Of, Says Sylvia

By Anne Sullivan

“I did it. I finished my column,” said Sylvia. “Now may I have my breakfast, please, ma’am?”
“Certainly, my dear doggie. Your breakfast awaits. If there is anything else you would like, please don’t hesitate to speak up. I would be only too happy to get it for you,” SHE said with proper humility.
Sylvia ate her breakfast, enjoying every bite of the delicious kibble and feeling properly
grateful. “That was an excellent breakfast,” Sylvia said. “I loved every bit of it. You prepared all my favorite things. Thank you ever so much for your kindness and generosity.”
“Would you like to rest your weary head now, dear Sylvia?” SHE asked.
“Oh, yes, I would. Thank you so much for thinking of it,” Sylvia said. “But I must go outside first. I can’t wait to go outdoors. It is so beautiful this nice fall day. I love the sight of the Mountain Asters and the Rabbit Brush. Their colors are so complementary. This time of year is truly glorious. Would you like me to pick some wildflowers for you to enjoy?”
“No, thank you, my dear sweet dog,” SHE said. “You are too, too kind. You spoil me. I don’t want you to exert yourself too much. So that you can keep up your strength, I will have another good meal for you in an hour. It will be steak. I know how much you like steak. I was going to cook it for my dinner but you are so wonderful, you shall have it all. Meanwhile, since you mean so much to me, here are ten doggie biscuits, your favorite kind.”
As Sylvia licked her lips with anticipation, a loud clap of thunder echoed across the canyon.
“Uh, uh,” muttered Sylvia, shaking her head. “Where’s my steak?”
“Steak?” I said. “No steak here. We haven’t had steak for weeks. I’ll get your kibble soon. Wake up, Sylvia, and make yourself useful. Get out of bed, you lazy dog, and go find Gordo. He hasn’t got the sense to come in out of the rain. It’s going to pour any minute. And you can’t sleep all day.”
“I’m only sleeping because I can’t face life,” Sylvia said. “Since My Rejection life hasn’t been worth living. I don’t know how I’m going to get my mystery book published.”
“How about rewriting it and making it more of a book than a short story or, conversely, making it a short story by cutting out the chapters and having a proper beginning, middle and end,” I suggested.
“Oh, I couldn’t rewrite. Just writing it the first time took everything out of me.” Her head drooped. “My life’s blood is down the drain.”
I sighed and said, “Since you refuse to rewrite, there’s only one way I see that you can get it published.”
“What’s that?”
“Self-publish? What’s that?”
“You are the publisher. You have to do the artwork, edit all the writing, correct all the galleys, everything. There’s a company that does the actual printing. You order the number of copies you want. And you do all the publicity, all the distributing and all the selling.”
“In other words, I’d be the big boss.”
“Yes, pretty much. There’s one catch, though.”
“You have to pay for the published copies.”
“How much?”
“I’m not sure. It depends on how many copies you order. The books might cost four or five dollars each and there’s probably a minimum number of copies you have to order.”
Sylvia groaned. “I should have known there’d be a catch somewhere. How am I ever going to get that kind of money? It took me ages just to pay you back for the postage.”
“We’ll have to think about that.”
After two and one half minutes Sylvia spoke once more, “I’ve thought. You could give me the money to get my book published. After all, I’m your dog. You’re my mother. That’s what parents are for.”
“Think again,” I said.

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

Part 8 of a Series
Letters to Myscie is a true story.  It reveals to us a “yankee’s” view of the area and the times, and the impact it had on new comers.
Suzanne E. Smith

Monday evening
My dear Myscie
Everybody has gone, all are away and I am here alone.  Mrs. Phelps gives a party this evening- a musical party and each one of her guests who sing or play are expected to furnish one piece, which they may or may not be called upon to give.  Ed, Bell and Minnie all three have pieces to sing.  I wish you were here to go with them Myscie.  No! I don't either- I wish you were here, but wouldn't have you go off with them tonight if I knew myself...Let me see where did I leave off last night.  After my supper I layed down on the lounge and took a little nap.  When I awoke Minnie was sitting beside me and asked me if I didn't want her to read to me a little while.  I told her yes.  I should be delighted to have her do so. The name is "Barington's Fate"  It is one of the No Name Series; perhaps you have read it.
     It is pretty good; we have not finished it by a long way yet, though Min read until after ten o'clock already.  I had a fair nights rest and think on the whole I am feeling quite a little better; but it is quite a little too.
     For this time I thought I would try and see if I could get along just as well with out taking anymore morphine.  It wasn't more than an hour or so before I was suffering very bad, so I went and got some more morphine from Geo.  It 's nice to have a druggist in the family.  About 5 o'ck Sallie and I started up across the Plaza to go up Death Alley and steal some pear and peach blossoms to wear this evening.  We had lots of fun and succeeded in the securing of a lot of very nice blooms.  As we came back across the Plaza we saw them arresting a man for pulling his revolver and shooting a man's dog.  Ray wanted me to hurry for fear they would arrest us for stealing some blossoms.
The orchards were just lovely this afternoon.  I will send you some of the blossoms. The pear blossoms Myscie come off from the oldest and largest pear tree in New Mexico.  The tree belongs to Mrs. Robinson I believe.  This is a fact.  Dear Myscie, can't you write to me oftener[sic] than you have been writing to me?  Here I have been this long long week past; watching and expecting every morning to find a letter from you.
The first letter I received from you was dated Feb. the 27th.  The second Mar 1st.  The third Mar 10th.  The fourth Mar 13th and now dear Myscie it is the 26th and almost the 27th.
It would seem that he doesn’t know what day it is, as he has already dated a previous entry, several days ago as the 29th.  One can only suppose that the days on morphine had slipped by him somehow.
Why? Dear Myscie.  Why don't I hear from you?  I have been thinking about you a lot the past week.  I have been thinking over the last two letters you wrote me.  I have them right here and I have just read them over again.  Oh dear I don't believe I will write more tonight Myscie.  My head feels very bad, so I guess I will go to my room and go to bed and leave this so Geo can take it up to the office with him when he comes in with Bell.  Give my love to all who may inquire after me.  I hope by the time you receive this letter I may be very much better and will be able to write a better hand than  I have here, but my hand is so weak Myscie somehow I can't do any better.
Good night my dear dear girl
be true to me and you should never never be sorry  Myscie.
Your ever true and loving Joe

From the center of Socorro, the Rio Grande is about two miles east.  Called the “ribbon of life” because it is one of the major sources of water in the state, and runs through the center.  After the turn of the century, dams would be built which would allow storage, but until that time, the river was uncontrolled, making it undependable, and sometimes inconsiderate.  The river ran “unchecked” much of the time, but was incredibly dry different times of the year.  In a local printing of  News Notes the Prospector,  humorously reported that “The most industrious man known of in New Mexico is the man who ran the ferry at Socorro last summer.  He was continually at work digging out the bed of the river to make it deep enough to run his boat.”  Those who had crossed the rivers in the East probably scoffed at the big river called Rio Grande.

My dear dear Myscie
This has been the first real disagreeable day since I came here.  A day peculiar and a characteristic day of this part of the country; at least at this time of the year. We may have several such between now and the 1st of June.  It has been a stormy day, and yet the sun has been shining all day, so of course it was not a rain storm.  No- it has been a sand stom and wind storm.  The wind has blown just a gale all day long which has swept the sand from the valley of the Rio Grande in clouds over our city.  There is very little doing on the streets for one can scarcely stand up against the force of the winds; to say nothing of the blinding sand.  I have been up town and back twice today and I am just blown full of sand.  You can not see, when going against the wind.  I would open my eyes just the least bit, and take my bearings.  Then shut them and walk a little way and then do the same again.  I can realize now about how the sand storms, we read about all in the "great deserts", though of course this must be a very mild side of them.  The sand sifts into the house in spite of all, so that you can taste it even in the air some times, and the shelves, window sills etc are all covered.  And now, after this most disagreeable day to have every thing quiet down so, and finish up with such a lovely evening as we are having out side now; is just wonderful.  I hope we shall not have another such a day for a long time, but we musn't complain at our day and find fault, when it is the only one in 30, not to our liking.
    Myscie dear, your last letter made me glad and sad and glad again.  Could we but be together one day.  Oh My dear dear girl.  If you were only here with me just now and I could hold you in my lap and have you put your arms around my neck.  Oh so tight.  Could I but have a nice long talk with you, how happy, how much good even this would do me.  But no.  All I can do is to write, tell you how much I love you all the time, how much I miss you, how much I long to have you with me.  Myscie, do you know how bad I was feeling the morning I left your house, that Saturday morning.  Shall I ever forget it?
     Such a mixture of sadness, determination, joy & love.  I never felt so sad in all my life, so much like breaking down and still so determined not to show my feelings.
     How I longed as we stood there by the door to put my arms around you and tell you once more, before I went how dearly I loved you, how true I would be to you and that I would soon return to claim you for my own forever.  But too simply I kissed you good by without a word and came away.  I had scarcely left the door when such a feeling came over me. I never shall forget.  I could stand it no longer and for about one minute I cried as I never cried before.  I was all alone.  Jim had not yet left the door.  I could not have helped it even if there had been hundreds to have seen me. Every thing seemed to give way all at once. It was only for a moment and it did me so much good and made me feel so much better and by the time Jim had caught up with me, I was myself again.  It seemed to me I loved you so much I could not love you more, Myscie, and I determined there and then to be all that would make you happy and contented with your choice.  Those feelings of love and determination with which I left your home that morning Myscie, have never changed and never can change. Though I thought  then I could not love more, yet today you are dearer to me Myscie than ever before.  There is a feeling of contentment or something I can't explain.  I seem to see you in everything I do or undertake and it makes me so brave and willing, when I think what all I am or can do for myself.  I am doing for you also Myscie.  You shall always be happy if my love and efforts can make you so and I know they can. It seems hard that we must be so far apart so long, but we must bear it the best we can, it is for the best no doubt, and though at times it does seem as if it must not be so any longer.  
We are to lose the girls soon and our happy family will be broken up.  Minnie & Ray have had passes sent here by their cousin which must be used before May 1st, so they have decided to start the 15th of this month-that is about ten days.  Bell will go with them too, so it will leave us boys all alone.  Earl Brey comes back in a few days (Ray's gentleman) then there will be four of us. Ed and I have rented a room up town, are ready and next week are to finish it and fix it up real nice. Earl & George will probably room together and then we shall have a good quartet.
    Have I told you yet about the mexican ladies, how they smoke? It is not an uncommon thing at all .  They smoke cigarettes.  You will see them after the dances, between the dances, daintily puffing the smoke of a cigarette.  They seem to enjoy it so much too, it looks so odd.
I am beginning to learn Mexican a little- it is very much like Spanish, infact  it is Spanish corupted[sic].  It is very much harsher spoken than the Spanish.  I don't think it will be very hard to learn.  In my next letter, I will write you about the ovens and the way the Mexicans have of baking bread here. 
Did I tell you I was making a hammock?  I finished it to-night, it is a big one too-fiftten feet long and six and a half wide.  We have two now, one on each side of the house. 
Bell has just handed me a very pretty piece of poetry.  I will send it to you.  She sends her love as also do Minnie & Ray. They have all been siting here all evening.  Ed too. Minnie painting as usual, Bell reading, Ray, Ed & I are all three writing.  They are all getting ready to go to bed now and I must stop too, so good night. I will write some more to-morrow evening.       With a kiss Joe
In 1911, Ralph Emerson Twitchell, Esq., Vice-president of the New Mexico Historical Society wrote a book  entitled The Leading Facts of New Mexican History.  He reported that Socorro Peak, had at times in the past been an area of considerable mining activity, with the first prospecting about 1867.  He surmised that the  older tunnels and work  were left by the Spaniards as they moved through the country, seeking gold.  Older accounts of mining east of Socorro in the Oscura District, were estimated to be some 200 years old.  It is believed that  crude attempts to mine and smelt copper had been  undertaken to make the bells for all the churches in the middle Rio Grande valley.  Twitchell’s research  on the Torrence and Merritt mines west of Socorro revealed that their production was estimated at $760,000.00.
In the spring of “83, the New Mexican reported, “The stamp mill after a successful run of seven days has closed down for a cleaning up.  It commences on the first of April to work on Torrence ore.”  Shorlty after, the Albuquerque Journal reported “the Merritt mine is proving to be a wonderfully rich property.   Enough has been taken out by the development work alone to keep the Torrence stamp mill running constantly..”   It also reported  a “Grand Scheme” to build a narrow guage railroad from Socorro Peak to the Magdalenas considering that the landscape across that plain was a “smooth plateau”, which would allow inexpensive construction of such a project.
Socorro Peak and the foothills of the mountain were  destined to boom with activity.  The New Orleans and La Joya Smelting Company, later the Graphic Smelter had been erected in 1881.  Gustave Billings, intent on building his smelter in the same area, was fighting the “politicos” in the town, but by June of 1883 would begin working on his third fortune.
The boom in mining activity was timely for J.E. Smith’s arrival to Socorro, and although he did not complete his studies in engineering, he apparently had a good background for the technology of the mining industry.   He was  “book smart” and motivated, but  was handicapped by  his small frame, and soft upbringing.  As the account to follow will show, he was  ambitious but  had to learn the hard way that the physical work could break those who just didn’t have the right constitution.

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

All photos ©J.E. Smith
From top:
Rio Grande flood, 1884
Smoking ladies
Park House
Billings Smelter

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pot Bust Details Emerge

Mountain Mail Reports

Socorro City Police Detective Rocky Fernandez is trying to figure out if there is a connection between the two marijuana busts last week.
“It’s all identically the same stuff (the marijuana),” Fernandez said, “We are just looking at everything like financials (records) to see if there is any connection.”
More details emerged this week from one of the three marijuana busts conducted by Socorro City Police, Socorro County Sheriff’s Office with help from the National Guard. Four people were arrested and four children were taken into custody by the state after a raid at 2485 Bosquecito Road last Tuesday.
The Bosquecito Road residence is owned by Kenneth Hart, who was charged with seven felonies including possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy, cultivation, possession of paraphernalia, receiving stolen property, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit a violent felony.
Nathan Crowley was charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor, possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy, cultivation, and abandonment or abuse of a child. Greta Cederstrom was charged with three felonies including possession of a controlled substance, conspiracy, and child abuse or neglect. Adrien Moses, 21, was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, including possession with intent to distribute, conspiracy, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Deputy William Armijo wrote in a criminal complaint that he was assigned to an operation with the New Mexico National Guard to assist on the ground during surveillance flights for the illegal cultivations of marijuana. He said he was advised of a possible site by a Region 7 Task Force member on board of one of the helicopters.
At approximately 10:40 a.m. (last Tuesday) Armijo said he was advised of a possible grow site south of the village of Pueblitos. The site was directly west of a residence that contained approximately 200 plants (actually 93) that resembled marijuana.
“I was told the site had several subjects in the area that fled after the helicopter was detected,” Armijo wrote. “I was further advised of a male described as a dark haired that was shirtless running from a residence west toward another residence. I was advised that the subject alerted others in the area about the flights.”
Armijo was then advised of three subjects along with children fleeing the area in a van traveling north toward Pueblitos. Armijo pulled the van over near the intersection of Pueblitos Road and Escondida Lake Road.
“There were three adults identified as Cederstrom, Crowley and  Moses and four small children belonging to Cederstrom and Crowley,” Armijo said.
The children were placed in state custody with Children Youth and Families. Meanwhile, officers from the New Mexico State Police and City of Socorro secured the Bosquecito Road residence.
Detained at the residence was Hart, who gave permission to officers to secure the residence. Two weapons were found, including a Ruger 357 caliber, which was identified by authorities as a stolen weapon from Santa Fe County.
 Hart appeared in Magistrate Court in front of judge Jim Naranjo on Thursday morning. Crowley, Cederstrom and Moses will have a preliminary hearing on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.
Fernandez said 93 plants were eradicated from the Bosquecito Road residence and deputy Shorty Vaiza said 1,202 plants were eradicated from the site south along the Rio Grande River. Authorities said the street value of the marijuana was $6 million.

Magdalena Talks Recycling

By John Larson

MAGDALENA - The Village Board of Trustees heard a presentation by resident Laurie Ware concerning recycling in Magdalena.
She said what is needed is a corridor of recycling along Highway 60 down to Socorro.
“There is a need to make it easier for residents to recycle typical consumer items, such as plastics, glass aluminum, paper and cardboard. All those things that we use up at home,” she said.
“Rural recycling has to be a partnership, and what is needed is volunteers. It can be self-supporting, and not something the village has to pay for. Right now I believe plastics are bringing $45 a ton, and cardboard $90 a ton,” Ware said.
David Brown of Datil, a member of the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, echoed Ware’s comment on the need for volunteers.
He said grant money from Keep New Mexico Beautiful may be a good source for support.
“What is recommended is getting a non-profit together,” Brown said. “There’s money out there for grants, but it comes down to people wanting it to happen.
“These things are not trash, but a resource we can sell. That is the goal,” he said.
Mayor Sandy Julian said the village may be able to provide a place for collection “ if the system for picking it up is already in place.”
“We don’t want to open a place first, and then nobody comes. And then the village is stuck with it,” Julian said. “Find out all you can about it, and set up a program first.”

Magdalena Librarian Resigns Post

By John Larson

MAGDALENA –  Lucy Pino, longtime Librarian for the Magdalena Public Library, has resigned. Pino, who took over as librarian in 2002, submitted her letter of resignation at Monday night’s Village Board meeting, following a statement by Mayor Sandy Julian quashing rumors that the library was closing.
“I never said I was closing the library,” Julian said, referring to the last board meeting. “Rumors were flying all over town that the mayor and the board wanted to close the library. I repeat, we are not going to close the library.”
She said her intention at the last board meeting was primarily to solicit ideas on ways to cut heating costs during the winter months, especially in the evening hours.
“I wanted to get a discussion going with the board and then meet with Lucy (Pino) and the Friends of the Library,” Julian said. “We want the library to be able to operate within the budget on heating costs. We want keep it open, and never said anything about closing it.”
Pino handed a copy of her resignation to the mayor and each trustee.
Trustee Barbara Baca and Julian both said they would not accept the resignation. Trustees Tommy Torres, Diane Allen and Carmen Torres echoed that sentiment.
“I do no want to accept this but I can’t make you work,” Julian told Pino. “So it is with great sadness, I accept it.”
Pino said she would not reconsider her decision and that she had already cleaned out her desk. “I have already made other plans,” she said.
Pino’s letter stated, in part, that she has “completed all of the goals I set for myself when I came into your employ eight years ago and know that there are many others in the community who can continue to serve the community as I have done.
“Unfortunately, I have … other commitments during the next month or so, therefore, I will not be able to provide you with two weeks notice. I have enjoyed my work here and will be sad to leave it, but I am looking forward to serving the community in other ways.”
Pino is also giving up her position as Boxcar Museum Curator.
Don Wiltshire, President of the Library Board, said the library will continue to operate normally.
“We are open on our regular schedule, and have no plans to change hours at this point,” Wiltshire said. “At this point we’re trying to put together a roster of people for a job sharing kind of approach to cover the 40 hours the library is open each week. Possibly breaking it up amongst two, three or four people.”
He said a meeting has been planned with Mayor Pro-Tem Diane Allen for next Wednesday, Sept. 22, to discuss a replacement for Pino to be presented to the village board.
In the meantime, discussions have begun on ways to lower propane usage. Wiltshire said the library building – the former Santa Fe Railroad depot – will be checked for insulation and drafts, and several volunteers have offered to help.
“I believe there are only one or two inches of insulation in the ceilings, and don’t know if the walls are insulated at all,” Wiltshire said. “In some places there are inch-and-a-half cracks where [depot loading] doors used to be. A good deal could be done with weatherization, and putting the storm windows back up.
“We’ve already had people say they would bring tools and caulking strips and things like that,” he said. “We have a lot working on that avenue.”
Trustee Barbara Baca told the Mountain Mail that Pino has “done wonders for that library and brought it from nothing to what it is today. She always had a friendly greeting when I or my grandkids have gone in there. She always went above and beyond her basic responsibilities. She brought it all together.”

Marijuana Plantations Aplenty

By John Severance

Socorro police officer Rocky Fernandez is part of the Region 7 Task Force. He and BLM ranger Mark Wheeler had just taken a class put on by the National Guard on flight reconnaissance.
On Tuesday, they were scheduled to fly up and down the Rio Grande River along with the National Guard and were supposed to go as far south as the Sierra County line.
They never made it.
They kept finding marijuana sites.
It turned out to be an extremely busy day. With assistance from the sheriff’s department and the eradication efforts of the National Guard, Fernandez found three different sites where marijuana was being grown.
“The first one we eradicated eight plants from the San Acacia area,” Fernandez said.
Then flying south from there, Fernandez and Wheeler noticed a residence on 2485 Bosquecito Road where marijuana was being grown in the backyard.
On the ground, one adult was arrested at the site while another three were arrested who left the property by van and were pulled over about a mile north down Bosquecito Road.
Sheriff Philip Montoya said  four adults were taken into custody but their names and what they were charged with were not available at press time.
In all, Montoya said 85 plants were taken from the Bosquecito Road residence.
“This stuff was prime time compared to the others we have seen,” said deputy Casey Spurgin.
The seven-acre property was covered with weeds and there were two trailers, a two-story home as well as a camper.
While Montoya was executing the search warrant on the Bosquecito Road residence, he received a call from Fernandez that there was another site further down the river.
“It was about a quarter-mile long and eight to 10 feet across,” Fernandez said.
From the road, there was a lot of underbrush and a barbed wire fence and the location was about 5 miles past a sign that read the Eva Hilton Lewis Ranch, a New Mexico Tech property.
Vaiza said Wednesday afternoon the site was at the ranch owned by Tech.
“We contacted the New Mexico Tech police and they came down and took some photos for evidence purposes,” Vaiza said
The location was about 500 yards from the road, east toward the river.
“It’s the biggest one we have taken down,” Montoya said Wednesday morning.
“We had the Road Depart-ment come in and make a road on to the site,” Montoya said. “We we’re there until about 9 last night and we took out over 500 plants in one little area.”
According to deputy Shorty Vaiza, the final total was 1,202 plants.
“We got more plants in the first bust but these weighed a lot more,” Vaiza said. “These plants were ready for harvest. They were all sagging because of the weight and the size of the buds.”
Vaiza said there was a briefing at 8 a.m. Wednesday and the National Guard crew picked up the rest of the plant and put them in the back of two county trucks. One had 800 plants and the other had 400.
The trucks made their way back to the county yard. Each of the plants was then put through a chipper supplied by the Socorro Electric Cooperative.
Vaiza said the remnants of the plants would then be bagged and held for evidence.
Also at the plantation site, there were solar panels and an underground irrigation system.
“It was all there,” Vaiza said.
Fernandez said there have been nine marijuana plantation busts this summer.
 “I’m just doing my job,” Fernandez said. “Some people just say its only marijuana. Marijuana is not legal and there is tons of marijuana being grown out there. It’s our job to get rid of it.”

Picture: Socorro police officer Rocky Fernandez and Sheriff Philip Montoya stand in a marijuana plantation near the Rio Grande.

Photo by John Severance

515th Gets Warm Welcome

By Gary Jaramillo
Sunday was a great day to be out at the Socorro Plaza enjoying and participating in the big celebration welcoming the 515th National Guard Troops back home, safe and sound.
A large crowd attended and cheered as the 515th marched into the plaza led by the color guard, Lt. Colonel Anthony Leal, Sergeant Major Albert Sanchez and Staff Sergeant Melissa Kaff as the band played patriotic songs from the Plaza Gazebo.
After coming to rest in front of the Ceremonial Gazebo, one of their own, Captain Michael Calhoon led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and then sang the National Anthem followed by Chaplain Phil Preston reciting the opening prayers.
Congressman Harold Teague and Socorro’s Mayor addressed the 515th troops and welcomed them home and thanked them for their bravery and service to their country. Staff Sergeant Melissa Kaff then read a letter to Socorroans that she had written for the ceremony. Her letter is as follows:
My guess is man has been waging war since before he emerged from the cave. There is lots to say on why nations go to war and even more on the men who send boys out to do the fighting. We could even discuss these topics in great depth, but in the end, any conclusions would not matter.
Wars will still be fought and soldiers will still die.
One might ask, why then do soldiers willingly stay in wars? Why are they will to die or watch their brothers in arms die if another war is almost inevitable for the next generation? Why don’t they just walk away? I believe there are two reasons. First, we fight for each other. That is what makes us brothers in arms. We would willingly die to keep the other alive. Second, for home. We fight for our mothers’ cooking, the local little leagues, and our favorite cashiers at the grocery store. We fight with the faith that our sacrifice will help preserve the way of life for out loved ones back home.
Now I am a bit of a nomad and I don’t have a hometown per se, but I didn’t need one because I had Socorro. I fought for the gas station I stop at every time I travel 25. For the nurses and doctors who have treated my troops at Socorro General Hospital. The receptionist at the Econo Lodge. For the person who bought my dinner at K-Bobs’, the gentlemen who bought our pizza at Pizza Hut, and the family that bought my lunch at the Chinese Buffet. I fought for all the clubs and children who sent us Christmas Cards and for California Street with all it’s people that lined up to welcome us home.
I wish there was something I could give each and every person that supported me, that became my reason, my home. Some token you could gaze upon every now and again and get the same flush of pride I get when I think of Socorro. But I can’t. All I can give is my thanks, and I do. Thank you, each and every one of you, and God Bless.
Following the ceremony, everyone was invited by Master of Ceremonies, veteran and city councilor Peter Romero to line up behind the returning troops of the 515th at the chow line and enjoy the great meal and drinks that were provided for everyone at the event.
It was a festive atmosphere with lots of hugs and thanks for our troops by everyone at the plaza. Marachi music and vocals echoed throughout the plaza and dancing was enjoyed by everyone. Photos and videos were being taken by everyone in attendance, and congratulations and laughter could be heard in every corner of our Socorro Plaza.
The day before on Saturday, Socorroans gathered to remember those lost in the 911 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City in 2001.
Those in attendance were invited by D.A.V. Master of Ceremonies Peter Romero to come up and give thanks to our local first responders, fire fighters and law enforcement agencies, or make a comment on those lost on that fateful day. The memorial was set in the late afternoon on our plaza as the sun slowly began to dip behind the M Mountain. It was surely a beautiful day to remember those who perished on September 11th almost a decade ago, and it was a very nice tribute to those who are still making sacrifices for all of us in emergency services and first responder departments in Socorro, New Mexico and across the United States.

OBITUARY: Elaine Georgina Romero

Elaine Georgina Romero
(Dec. 23, 1974-Sept. 11, 2010)

Elaine Georgina “TUTU” Romero, 35, passed away on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at her home in Socorro, NM. Elaine was born on December 23, 1974 to Ismael and Della (Vasquez) Romero in Socorro, NM. She is survived by her partner, Jobi Miller of Socorro, and 2 children, Jacob and Stevie; her loving father, Ismael Romero of Lemitar, NM; her brothers, Robert Hignight and wife, Kim; and Gilbert Romero and wife, Misty; her sisters, Linda Camazey and husband Cigi; Becky Silva and husband Ramon; and Mary Ann Silva; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Elaine is preceded in death by her beloved mother, Della Romero. Cremation has taken place and no formal services have been scheduled at this time. 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

County Approves Hospital Payment

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO – The Socorro County Commission on Tuesday night approved a payment of $161,779.09 in matching funds to the Socorro General Hospital that was requested.
County manager Delilah Walsh said the hospital would get “an additional $25,000 should more money become available after the SCP reallocation in funds.
“So, if other Counties don’t have enough funds to make the SCP matches, the state funds are reallocated to counties who do. We have enough in the hospital mill levy account to make another match should funds be reallocated and available next week.”
The commission also passed an agreement with Tyler Technologies for software for the assessor’s office.
“The commissioners asked if I had made sure that they had a compatible software module available for the Treasurer’s office too,” Walsh said. “Tyler does have such a module and when funds are available we can look at replacing her software too. Additionally, they have converted three other Counties and two off of the Applogix system so Tyler is very familiar with our current database. Lastly, we can run both software programs congruently for testing.
A number of other resolutions also were passed.
The commission approved SCOPE membership as it was submitted, three cooperative agreements with the state department of transportation were made as well as one with the USDA.
Also passed were grant agreements for a truck for the Veguita Volunteer Fire Department – the department does have matching funds available in their fire fund. The second was for equipment at Midway Volunteer Fire Department.
The county also got an additional $15,000 in capital outlay for the Socorro Senior Center and about $29,000 in NSIP funds to purchase food for the center.

EDITORIAL: Joys Of The Internet

Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo

Ahh, Internet love ….
I was watching the news this week and saw the story about 15 year old Samantha Hernandez who ran off to Brazil with a much older man that she met on the Internet. Unreal. Just ridiculous.
The parents are beside themselves with stress and the little girl says she’d rather jump off a bridge into Piranhas and Sharks before she’d go back home to her family. No Samantha, please don’t do that.
Come home in one piece sweetheart so I can throw you off the bridge into the Piranhas and Sharks right after I skin your hide with my skinny belt.
The nerve of that little girl just running off with the predator she met online. He should be brought back here and just his pinky toe held in a red ant hole somewhere. Yeah, I said it! A RED ANT HOLE!!
Teensy little red ants slowly eat his pinky toe off and he’ll never forget the horrible thing he did by taking that goofy little girl to another country with a fake passport and identification.
And can you believe - the officials in Brazil turned the girl over to the predators family for safe keeping until they decide what to do???
They already know her parents names and where they live – sooo smack her butt and put her on the very next plane out of there! Oh but noooo ….. I ….. uh …. Okay – I gotta calm down.
I’m getting a little too upset about this. Sometimes the Internet really sucks because there really isn’t a way to protect reeeally dumb little girls from believing that some scum bucket from lord knows where – really and truly loves her. Not even the child security lock thingy’s they put into computers these days work for sure.
Kids can always find a way around that pseudo security stuff. Gross lonely creeps send dorky little girls photos of a handsome devils - like me – and of course the girl falls head over heels and before you know it she’s sitting on a beach in Brazil having a Shirley Temple with Jabba the Hutaphile.
Okay, I’m done. Gotta go, my girlfriend who says she’s a 27 year old super model from the Ukraine is going to email me any minute now. Gotta go shower and change into my newest Hawaiian shirt so she gets a good look at me through the old webcam - looking super cute.
Yeah, it was love at first byte.
I almost have her convinced that I’m 27 too, and a 6’ 3” 210 lb. professional tennis player. Hey, I’m just adding a little sugar to the beef cake, not lying to her by any stretch of the imagination guys. Anyway, where was I – oh - kids are silly and jump into anything for love.
Not me.
Svetlana loves me more than any ting. She’s so cute when she says, any ting. The crazy kid is just head over heels for me. She can’t help it, I’m a catch. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with knowing you’re a beautiful man is there?
Yup, That’s my Svetlana. She says that she’s coming to meet me just as soon as I can send her $25,000 for a new outfit and a plane ticket.
Man, am I excited!

OPINION: A Celebration Of Lies

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wiltshire

Once again, the “Never Forget 9/11", also referred to as the “Patriot (Act) Day” has come and gone. Time to recall the gut-wrenching events of that day and reconsider the goat-head of 9/11 that has been festering in my brain ever since.
The first indication that anything at all was wrong was at 8:13 a.m. when the transponder on AA Flight 11 out of Boston’s Logan Airport stopped transmitting. Thirty-two minutes later Flight 11 crashed into WTC-1, the North Tower. This was the same building that I marveled at in 1972 while in NYC applying for theater work. The South Tower was just a hole in the ground then.
It was at this time that our daughter in Syracuse, New York called us in Magdalena. “Do you have your TV set on?” she said. We did and it never went off for two days.
Forty-nine minutes after the first indication of trouble, UA Flight 175, also out of Logan Airport, slams into WTC-2, the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.. There is no indication of any type of military air defense.
At 9:06, President Bush, who is reading My Pet Goat to school children in Booker Elementary School in Florida, is told of the second “attack.” There is finally an appropriate phrase to place in the empty thought balloon above his dumbfounded face. It comes form the latest Bud Light ads: “Here We Go.”
At 9:38 a.m., AA Flight 77, out of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. supposedly crashes into the outer ring of the Pentagon. The plane’s wreckage was never seen and the hole in the wall seemed impossibly small.
At 10:05, the South Tower collapses neatly into it’s own footprint, a little over an hour after being hit. This never seemed quite “right” to me. Heavily reinforced steel and concrete buildings do not simply “fall down.” This has tweaked the curiosity of many, many architects and structural engineers as well.
At 10:10 a.m., UA Flight 93, out of Newark Airport crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. There is still no evidence of any sort of Air Force defense.
At 10:28 a.m., the North Tower “falls down,” an hour and 42 minutes after being hit. For those of you who were watching, this was simply horrifying. The thought of all of those people trapped inside, trying to escape was practically unimaginable.
For the evening’s “entertainment,” at 5:20 p.m., the 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center “falls down.”
Call me a “conspiracy nut” if you will; I’ve been called worse. The whole event just seems “too smooth,” too “well staged” and too much of a “convenient truth” to me. It has conveniently justified two wars, the dismantling of our Constitutional Rights, torture, racial and religious hatred and intolerance, runaway defense spending in the name of “National Security” and now almost a Koran burning event.
For crying-out-loud, the hijackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia, yes, the same Saudi Arabia that we’re going to supply with $60 Billion worth of war planes if Congress thinks it’s OK.
The whole event has been turned into a convenient pill to be swallowed by us and our children without a moment’s thought, reflection or question.
We can’t even seem to get a health care package for Ground Zero cleanup workers through Congress. The bill would have been paid for by a tax on foreign owned businesses operating in the US. That was more than our Representatives could “afford.”
Another thing that we don’t usually think about was discussed at our last Water Meeting. Stefanie Beninato laid out the history of frantic, greedy Land Grants for us with quiet humor and a resignation that things have always been as they are today: “get it and exploit it while you can.” The Water Rights section of her program was laid out on top of this “patchwork quilt.” The final effect was rather hopeful: “nothing is written in stone.” We just might have a chance to defeat our water grabbing opponents here in South West New Mexico.
The next meeting of the Summer Reading Program for Adults on “Water” will take place on Wednesday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Magdalena Public Library. We don’t have a speaker scheduled, so I’m hunting around for an appropriate documentary to screen.
A likely candidate is Home, a breathtaking documentary by French Director, Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Glenn Close narrates this examination of our planet Earth and the havoc we are wreaking on our home as we extract the last of our oil, water and natural resources. Again, it’s a two hour film, so we will start promptly at 7:00 as the Library closes at 9:00.
Thank You Lucy, for all of your years of dedication to the Magdalena Library. You helped us to become a Real Library. Guess I had better curb my political “yap” while I temporarily cover.
If you have any comments, problems, solutions, upcoming events, Librarian Candidates or Empty Milk Jugs, contact me at