Thursday, October 14, 2010

California Police Dogs Get Help From Socorro

By Rebecca Rose

SOCORRO – A woman from Socorro has once again made it possible to keep police dogs safe on the job.  Two dogs in Hemet, CA are the latest to receive armored vest from Susie Jean and Vest ‘N.D.P organization.
The new body armor will be used by K-9s “Fritts” and “Rosco.” Derek Maddox, Rosco’s handler, applied for the vest donations from Jean several months ago.  “Without a doubt, our K-9 partners obediently risk their lives every day to keep us out of harms way,” Maddox said, “The least we can do is try to protect them with the latest and best technology offered.”
Jean started the program in July 2002, moved by a news story about a police dog killed on duty.  Since then, Vest ‘N P.D.P. has donated 554 vests to police units throughout the country.
Armored vests can cost upwards of $1,500, and are designed to resist gunshots and knives. Tight departmental budgets often make it difficult for police to purchase them. 
Tough economic times have also meant a drop in donations. Jean relies completely on individual donations from the general public who call in, write or donate through the website. (the organization has never held a fundraiser).    Despite the downturn in funding, demand from officers seeking to protect their K-9 partners is still high.
“Police dogs don’t know we’re in a bad economy,” Jean noted.
Currently, she is working with State Representative Don Tripp to promote a bill which would make it mandatory for police departments in New Mexico to provide vests to all working dogs that are put in harm’s way.  Bill456 recently passed the House of Representatives, and now moves to the Senate.  Jean says her dream is to have a national law requiring the same.
Donations to Vest ‘N P.D.P. can be made online at or by calling 575-838-1772.

Trapping Ban Set To Take Effect

By Rebecca Rose

SANTA FE - A six-month trapping ban will go into effect on Nov. 1, part of an effort to protect Mexican Grey Wolves.  The ban is a result of an executive order from Governor Bill Richardson issued on July 1 of this year.  
Richardson ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to prohibit trapping for at least six months, while they conduct a study to how trapping  impacts resettled wolves. According to Dan Williams of NMDGF, “It’s an effort to protect Mexican Grey Wolves.  The department will assess the risks the exact risks trapping poses to the survival of the wolf population.”
The ban applies primarily to the Blue Range Recovery Area in the Southwest part of New Mexico. Williams also points out that the order does not apply to all of the selected region.“The ban won’t apply to any of the private land.” he said.
Richardson stated he was enacting the ban to “increase the likelihood for the wolves to survive and flourish”. The wolves were reintroduced to portions of the Gila and Apache National Forests 12 years ago as part of a program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
Alarie Ray-Garcia, Communications director, explained the Governor’s reasoning for the ban.  “The goal was to restore at least 100 free-roaming Mexican Gray Wolves by 2005, but the population has not grown as planned,” Ray-Garcia said, “Today only 39 of them are surviving in the wild.  Trapping and snaring that occurs within the recovery area may well be negatively impacting the animal’s recovery.”
Opponents of the ban question its purpose. Laura Schneberger, President of the Gila Livestock Growers Association, questions the . “How are you supposed to study the impacts of trapping on Mexican wolves if you ban trapping for a minimum of 6 months?  How is the area supposed to deal with the rabies outbreak if our trappers are no longer identifying hot spots and reporting them?”, she stated. Schneberger also expressed doubt as to whether the majority of the traps where Mexican wolves were being caught in were government or private owned.
Governor Richardson’s Executive Order marks the first times a temporary ban on trapping and snaring has been issued by Executive Order in New Mexico.
In his statement, Richardson emphasized his belief that the traps and snares harm efforts to reintroduce the wolves tot their native habitats.  “The indiscriminate traps and snares in the Recovery Area are harming efforts to reintroduce the Mexican Gray Wolf to its native habitat,” the Governor said, “I am ordering this temporary ban to protect the wolves and increase the likelihood for the wolves to survive and flourish.”
“Afterwards, we expect the Department will pursue appropriate regulations to again allow trapping within the recovery area in the Gila and Apache national Forests only by use of traps and snares that pose minimal risk of harm or injury to these endangered animals,” Ray-Garcia said.
The governor’s study also directs the Department of Tourism to conduct a study on wolf related eco-tourism and possible economic benefits to the State.
In related news, hunter education classes are now available online.  Young hunters can now register for mandatory education classes through the Internet, using the Department of Game and Fish’s new program.   All that is required is a customer identification number, the same number used to purchase hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.   Identification numbers are free, and are obtained through the Department’s website,, which also has a detailed list of classes available online.   
New Mexico requires persons under 18 to complete mandatory hunter education programs in order to apply for certain types of hunting permits and licenses.   
Interested students can call the Hunter Education Program at (505) 222-4731.
A comprehensive guide to the trapping ban is available at the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s website.

“Refuge Day” at Sevilleta

By John Larson and Rebecca Rose

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge will host their annual “Refuge Day” this Saturday, Oct. 16.    The open house event features guided tours of the refuge, educational exhibits, activities for children and presentations with live animals.
Jeannine Kimble, Park Ranger with Sevilleta, said this year there are some changes. “Open House was done for about 10-12 years.  It was done in conjuction with La Joya, to bring people to Sevilletta. This year we are calling it “Refuge Day”.   There is no separate open house at La Joya this year.
Located just north of Socorro, Sevilleta is home to a rich and diverse ecosystem, reserved primarily for research.  Much of the refuge is closed to the general public for recreational use. But once a year, the park hosts a unique open house event, a chance for visitors to learn about the park’s unique habitat and wildlife.
The event includes special guided tours, hosted by conservation and wildlife experts, who are available to give their special insight during   presentations on the refuge.
Kimble said the goal is to get people to the refuge to learn more about it.  “Our main purpose is to educate people on the national wildlife refuge system.”, The event coincides with U.S. Fish and Game’s annual “Wildlife Refuge Awareness Week”, which seeks to inform the public at large about refuges.  “There are 150 across the United States. We want people to know we are here and what we offer. And they can explore the refuge, too.” said Kimble.
According to Kimble, the event is ideal for families and children. “This is a family friendly event. We have many activities for kids, and things that are geared for the whole family.” Events include a wildlife ID and tracking activity, , snake consever society. 2 mile trails that families can go explore.
“The best part of this day is seeing the diversity of Sevilleta,” said Kimble. “We have over 240,000 acres here, and seven different biomes. It’s a great opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes at Sevilletta.
The land that makes up the Sevilleta refuge has a long history.  A Spanish military outpost in the 1500s  and a cattle ranch in the early 1900s, the land was converted to a wildlife refuge in the 1960s by the family that owned it. The Campbell family established a foundation to maintain the land as a natural ecosystem.  The Foundation allowed for portions of the land to be used for educational and research purposes as well.  In 1973, the land was donated to the Nature Conservancy, which transferred the land to US Fish & Wildlife Service.  The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge was established shortly thereafter, and has been a prominent part of Socorro County ever since.
Registration for “Refuge Day” is required, at a cost of $10.00 per person.   Spots on all of the tours are limited, so reservations are strongly suggested.  Visitors can register online at  or by calling 505-864-4021.
 “Come prepared to have fun and learn about the refuge system.” said Kimble.

Landmark Play Comes To Socorro For One Night Only

By Rebecca Rose

A new play based on the acclaimed novel “Bless Me Ultima” debuts for one night only at the Macey Center on Saturday, Oct. 16, as part of New Mexico Tech’s ongoing “Performing Arts Series”.
The play is based on the 1972 book of the same name by Rudolfo Anaya.  It follows the story of Antonio Marez, and Ultima, a healer who comes to live with his family.  Ultima struggles to stop the witchcraft masterminded by the three daughters of the central villain, Tenorio.  Set in Guadalupe, New Mexico at the start of WWI, the novel deals with strong themes concerning evil, justice and the nature of God.  As young Tony witnesses several deaths, he must confront his own religious and moral issues.
 A vivid blend of puppetry, music, video and dance.  The cast is comprised of nearly 30 actors ranging in age from 11 to 70. Produced by the Vortex Theatre in partnership with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the play comes to Socorro in the midst of a two-month Southwest tour. The play is directed by Valli Marie Rivera, who previously helmed the productions Lorca in a Green Dress and La Casa Azul.
Anaya himself wrote the stage adaptation, and worked closely with Vortex Theater members to shape the script.  Rivera fondly recalls working with the legendary author.
“He was having a blast.” She said. “He was very open, very giving and very generous.  We understand each other perfectly, him and I.  We speak same language, artistically.”
Angelo Jaramillo plays “The Author”, a character that represents Tony later in his life.   “To play the author is a great honor.” Jaramillo said.   Like the director, Jaramillo has a strong admiration for Anaya.  “He’s very intelligent, very astute. He’s a great voice for Chicano people, and we’re honored to still have him alive as a living legend we can still consult with.”  
Starring as Ultima is Juanita Sena-Shannon, who thinks the subject matter will have strong appeal for Soccoroans.  “I believe that the folks of Socorro will relate to many elements of Mr. Anaya's play,” she said. “You live among beautiful hills where, as Ultima says, ‘nature is alive’.  Your wilderness and bosques are endless with spiritualism bringing peace and wonder.”
 “It is a genuine New Mexican story, yet universal in its appeal,” said Rivera. “It shows how we are all different, be we are all connected. It gives merit to our ancestors, to all of the many different cultures that make up New Mexico.”  
Anaya’s controversial depiction of religion has often made his work a target for censorship, with the book frequently ranking high on the top 100 list of banned novels of all time.  But Sena-Shannon thinks the debate is misguided.  “I believe the controversy about Mr. Anaya's story resulted from misunderstandings about the basic battle between good and evil.  Ultima's power comes directly through her faith in God and prayer.”
Much of the story revolves around Tony trying to reconcile Native American beliefs with traditional Catholicism.  Rivera points out that the heart of the subject matter is about openness and unity, not religious discord. “It is the story of this boy trying to understand differences between different cultures and people. Trying to understand himself, where he should go, what he should accept,” she said. “It gives voice to all different beliefs. If you have an open heart, we would be in a better place. I think that’s his story, and for us that’s the most important part of the story.”
Jaramillo said that the play takes a subversive, yet gentle approach in its critique of Catholicism “What’s brilliant about Anaya is that he really explores the question of what is Faith, what is God. He highlights the realities of how we grow up in that institution.  It’s profound in it’s questioning of that.”
The play runs in Socorro for one night only, at the Macey Center on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30. Tickets are $14 for adults, ($12 for senior citizens 65 and over), and $12 for youths (17 and under), with a $2 DISCOUNT if purchased by 5:00pm the day before the show.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at NM Tech Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes & Western Wear, and Sofia’s Kitchen. Admission is free to full-time New Mexico Tech students and pick up their tickets in advance at the Tech Bookstore. 
The Tech Club-Club Macey (TCCM) will hold a New Mexico-themed mixer  from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. before the event, complete with a homemade salsa contest open to all attendees.  TCCM is open for anyone over 21. There is a $5 charge for non-members.
For further information about the Socorro show, contact Tech’s Performing Art Series at 575-835-5688.

Photo courtesy of the Vortex Theater

Mag Seeks New Librarian

By Rebecca Rose

Magdalena Village’s Board of Trustees met Monday Oct 11, and approved the start of the hiring process for a new librarian.  The deadline to apply for the position is Oct. 29.   The job also entails overseeing operations at the nearby Boxcar Museum. 
Other Agenda Items:
• Mayor’s Report  Mayor Sandy Julian discussed the possible sale of the Senior Center to the Village by the County.    Julian urged the Board to consider the sale if it is offered to them.
•EMS and Fire Report  Magdalena’s EMS crew added another EMT Basic to their roster. 
•Joint Utility Steven Bailey reported that they were working on adding a water tank to a transfer station. In addition, he stated that FEMA was working with the village to continue to assess the roads in terms of flooding issues.
•Marshall’s Report Marshal Larry Cearley requested funds to purchase ammunition to qualify himself and his deputies, for $296.25. In addition, he asked the village to approve purchase of glow sticks in the ammmount of $227.52.  Marshall Cearley explained that the sticks are provided to children during Halloween, as part of a safety effort.  The Board approved the Marshall’s office to pay for expedited shipping, to ensure that the sticks are delivered before Oct. 31.  The sticks are also used at traffic accidents. 

Contracts Awarded to Safeguard Socorro County Mines

Mountain Mail Reports

SOCORRO – Earlier this week, the Mining and Minerals Division awarded contracts to several construction companies to safeguard mines across the state, including 9 in Socorro County.
“These projects will help ensure the safety of visitors to the area and preserve the integrity of historic mining districts,” said Bill Brancard, Director of the Mining and Minerals Division.
$88,608 was awarded to the St. Cloud Mining Company in Winston to work on the Socorro mines.  The contract also specifies the closure of an opening to protect a bat habitat underground.  The mines in Socorro produced manganese for the Strategic Stockpiling Program during the 1950s and 1960s.
New Mexico’s Abandoned Mine Land Program works across the state to identify dangerous abandoned mine areas and to abate the hazards. There are over 15,000 mine hazards that need safeguarding, according to the Mining and Minerals Division.   coal production. Since 1981, the program has closed nearly 4,000 mine openings, identified as hazardous or dangerous to visitors.

Grand Opening For Mary Mac’s

By Anne Sullivan

Owner Ann Fillion and her husband, Parker announce with pride the Grand Opening of Mary Mac’s Café and Gift Shop on Saturday, October 16th from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Named after Ann’s mother, Mary McIntyre, Mary Mac’s is located just east of Datil between mile markers 77 and 78 on U.S. 60.
“We’ll be having prizes and drawings all day,” says Ann Fillion. “Fur and Feather will hold an Adopt A-Thon. We’ll do face painting for children. Chris Hostetler will provide mule and buggy rides with photos. And there will be music.”
Other special attractions for the Grand Opening include an Arts and Craft Show on the second floor of the building from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Pat Beasley, author of ‘The Tears I Couldn’t Cry,’ will do a book signing and Ann Boulden will present a painting demonstration.
Among the Crafters are: Karen DeRusha – wind chimes and other handcrafted items; Suzan MacKenzie’s leatherworks; Katherina McWhorter’s quilted gifts; Bob Meyer – hand-carved rifle stocks and handmade knives; Barbara Owens – handcrafted items; Laurie Pohl – dried flower holiday decorations; Linda Ravert - handcrafted jewelry and quilts; Debbie Smith – herbs and lotions; Fran Verheyen - knitted hats, scarves; and quilling. The Friends of Baldwin Cabin Public Library will also be selling books.
Mary Mac’s is open every day except Tuesday with daily specials and breakfast served all day. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on Friday and Saturday when full dinners are served until 8 p.m. Sunday Ann sleeps in and opens at 9 a.m.
“I love food,” Ann says. You can see and taste this love in her quiches, salads, pies, cakes, omelets and everything she cooks. A favorite is The Parker Omelet of steak Asada, sautéed vegetables and cheese. The most-talked-about dessert is her Carmel Bread Pudding. Other local favorites include the bacon cheddar burger, mushroom burger, Asian chicken salad, chipotle chicken wrap, the Kayla cake, a yellow cake with raspberry filling and chocolate icing (to die for) and the fresh ground Patriot coffee. My own personal choices are the quiche, the chocolate cake, the Catron Crunch Salad or any of the daily soups. Mary Mac’s now has sugar-free items and will soon have gluten-free.
The ambiance is warm and friendly. In addition to the attractive main dining room, the Rock Room seating 25 is available for meetings and other occasions.
The Gift Shop sells art, jewelry, tee shirts, handmade cards, handwoven goods, birdhouses, all from local crafters plus gently used books.
“I want Mary Mac’s to be a place to come to,” says Ann Fillion. “Not a place to go to. A place to come to.”
It is.

Smith’s Grocery Close To Labor Deal With Union

By Rebecca Rose

A tentative labor agreement between Smith’s Grocery and the union leadership representing employees was reached on Oct. 5.  The fate of that agreement is now in the hands of union workers statewide, who will vote to accept or reject the offer.
On Friday, Oct. 8, workers at the Socorro Smith’s store voted overwhelmingly to accept the new agreement. The voting now moves to stores in other parts of the state, including Albuquerque and Farmington. The final vote will take place on Friday, Oct. 15.
The deal was reached after nearly six months of negotiations. Key points include better wages, improved retirement options, changes to working conditions and a stop to employee-paid increases in health care coverage.
According to Greg Frazier, President of United Food Commercial Workers Local 1564, the union is pleased with the outcome of the negations.  “While you never get everything you want in bargaining, this agreement is very fair.”, Frazier said in an interview with Mountain Mail on Tuesday.  “It was a long, hard process. We were battling corporate greed.” 
Frazier cited Smith’s parent company Kroger’s recent success in collective bargaining agreements.  “They’ve done very well on a national level.  But in the end, the workers here in New Mexico were able to secure a good agreement.” 
Smith's has 26 supermarkets in New Mexico and employs over 2,400 people across the state. In Socorro, the store is one of the town’s biggest employers. “We have approximately between 65-68 employees; probably about 40-50% are full time,” said Scott Jameson, Store Manager at the Smith’s Grocery Store on California. “All of them except two are union members.”
The union will reveal their final decision in mid-October, after all of the voting is complete.

FEMA Warns Of Texting Scam

Mountain Mail Reports

Fake text messages are being sent to flood victims in New Mexico and other states, according to a warning issued this week by the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) .
According to FEMA and the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), the texts tell recipients that they have an important message from FEMA, and instructs them to push star on their phones to retrieve it. Pushing the star button automatically enrolls them in a monthly subscription of $9.99, and offers no direct services from FEMA.
FEMA stated that these messages are not being sent by FEMA, and that FEMA never charges citizens for response or recovery services.  They ask that anyone who has received questionable messages to report them immediately to the consumer protection agencies or to the Department of Homeland Security at 800-323-8603. 

Body of Mutilated Horse Found In Socorro

By Rebecca Rose

VEGUITA – A pregnant horse was shot and mutilated by a state livestock inspector on Saturday night.  The horse belonged to Socorro County resident Gilbert Barela who, along with members of his family, discovered the animal’s dismembered body on near Highway 60 later that weekend.
Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Oct. 9, State Police alerted local authorities that a horse was trapped in a cattle guard off of Highway 60.  Socorro County Sheriff’s Deputy Ed Sweeney arrived on the scene first, followed shortly afterwards by New Mexico Livestock Inspector Bea Bell. 
“The first thing I saw was horse laying in cattle guard, throwing her head on pavement because she was not able to get up.”
Three of the mare’s limbs were stuck in the guard, and according to Bell, had fallen all the way through.  The front leg was also broken, and the horse was bleeding from its nostrils. “It could not get up. It could not do anything but thrash it’s head on the ground.” she said.
Within less than three minutes, she decided the animal needed to be euthanized. Officers with New Mexico Livestock Board have the authority to euthanize an animal if they believe it is the best option.
Bell deemed the dead animal to be a traffic safety hazard, and then made the decision to sever the limbs, in order to move it to a safer location. 
For the next five hours, both Sweeney and Bell worked to free the animal’s body from the grate. 
“We initially tried to remove her from cattle guard.  But we just could not get her out. We tried everything.  The only way to remove to her from the cattle guard was to dismember the legs.”  
Sunday morning, the Barela family made a gruesome discovery, when they found the body of the horse. 
“We saw this mare by the cattle guard, with three of the legs cut off.” said Barela. “We saw legs inside the cattle guard.  We thought someone had killed her, or hit her. We didn’t know who did it.”
“It was terrible.  To see something like that, a horse with no legs.” he said.
Barela and his family left the body, and continued with their work. They went back later to take photos. He said he did not learn how the mare ended up like that until he spoke to Deputy Sweeney. Barela then contacted the media in Albuquerque to report what had happened.
Barela objected to the inspector’s decision to euthanize the horse, and stated that they done more to contact him when they found the horse.  “It was our responsibility.  We would have shot her. They took it upon themselves. She should have called me. We could have been there in 10 or 15 minutes.”
Bell said she made an attempt to locate the owner by matching the brand to the Livestock Commission’s brand book, a detailed record of area cattlemen and their signature brands. She said the brand appeared distorted.  “We tried to verify ownership. I looked at my Brand book, but it did not match anything. So I couldn’t call anybody. At that point in time there was no other alternative but to leave her there.”
Barela disputed the claim about the brand being distorted. “The brand was very clear to me. I had just branded this mare about a month ago.”
Bell said she would have called Barela if she had recognized the brand. 
When asked why she left the horse’s body on the side of the road, Bell pointed to timing and logistical issues.  “It was very late.  The County does not have 24 hour people on call for things like this.  Their budgets are restricted.  And this was Sunday, a day they don’t normally work and Monday was a Holiday.”  Barela stated he did not feel responsible for disposing of the carcass. “We told them, we didn’t do this.  You need to take care of it.”
Socorro County officials removed the body, and Barela stated he has not been contacted by anyone regarding the removal.
“I really feel for the Barelas. It’s hard to lose an animal.” said Bell. “They have my empathy. It’s unfortunate, but it happens to livestock on the range. As long as you let animals run at large, where there are dogs and coyotes, that can chase them, cause them to get in harm’s way, this kind of thing can happen.”
Barela said that dogs could have been chasing the horse, who was not fenced in.  “It’s open range, out there. Lots of people have their cattle roam free there.”

EDITORIAL: Be One Of“The People That I Meet”

By Rebecca Rose
Mountain Mail Editor

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of covering Alamo Days at Alamo Navajo Reservation, along with Mountain Mail correspondent Nathalie Nance. It was one of the most beautiful days I can recall in my life.  The air smelled like chile and wood fires; the sky was an almost sapphire blue.  Later on in the weekend, I ventured to the Plaza for SocorroFest, and spent the day shopping and walking with my dog, Charlie.  
Then something happened that sort of surprised me.  People were approaching me, who already knew me, and had taken the time to learn who I was.  They wanted to ask how I was enjoying Socorro, how I was finding my way around the community, and what kinds of things I was doing with my free time. (Mostly I spend my time trying to teach Charlie that I cannot run 50mph behind him whenever he spots a squirrel).  Most surprisingly, people wanted to know more about me.
I want to return the gesture.
This week, I spoke at great length to the actors and director of “Bless Me, Ultima”, a play that depicts the changing landscape of New Mexico during a pivotal time in history. Almost everyone from the cast as unanimous in their admiration for how Rudolph Anaya had managed to perfectly capture a picture of a time and place that quite simply no longer exists.  Then, just yesterday morning, I got an email from a researcher in Seattle, WA, trying to locate a story about an unsolved crime from over a hundred years ago. He wanted to have a chance to look at our archives, to unlock a mystery
Our paper serves not just as a way of getting the news to the citizens of Catron and Socorro Counties. It’s also a valuable record of the town, its unique culture and history. As journalists, writers and publishers, we have a responsibility to help preserve that. 
Starting next week, every issue will feature “People I Meet”, a chronicle of the residents (and visitors) I am fortunate enough to come in contact with here in Socorro. The stories will be short and sweet, and always feature a photo.  I want to know the people are who I see everyday, working in businesses or government offices, or shopping in the plaza. I want to know where they come from, and best of all, what they like about being in Socorro. 
So if you see me out and about in town, looking like I’m lost or being dragged at breakneck speeds by a large black dog, please stop and say hi. 
I promise, Charlie does not bite. 

OPINION: Saving Our Community, One Step At A Time

Magdalena Potluck
By Don Wilshire

The plain and simple truth of the “water grab” issue without all of the legal and political frills goes something like this:
Picture, if you will, the completed army of 37 water wells with 20 inch casings poised on the San Augustin Plains Ranch, ready to start pumping water from a depth of 3,500 feet.  The switch is flipped on and in the first hour nearly 2 million gallons of water are sent rushing down a huge pipeline next to Rt. 60 to be dumped into the Rio Grande.  This water was under the Ranch and Bruno Modena can do anything he wants to with it.  It’s still a free country, even for an Italian businessman.
After the first hour, however, Bruno starts taking water that does not belong to him.  After a week’s worth of pumping, Carol and Ray Pittman’s well goes dry.  After a month, the residents of Datil must start trucking in their water.  After a year, the municipal well for Magdalena dries up.
This water is not his to take.  It is also not  the State Engineer’s water to give away.  It belongs to the residents of Catron and western Socorro Counties.  It belongs to the Elk and the Antelope and the Cedars and the Junipers.  It belongs to Alamosa Creek and the Gila River.  It belongs to the Earth.
To put the matter more bluntly; after the first hour, Mr, Modena stops exercising his right to pump water and starts stealing  our water, our livelihoods, our communities and our lives.
Plan on attending the State Engineer’s scheduling conference on Tuesday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m. in the Macey Center on the New Mexico Tech campus.  The only things that will be officially decided are when and where the hearing will be held, and who will get to speak and when.  It will be good, though,  to meet all of the other protestors and supporters.  Bruno himself might put in an appearance!
Make no mistake about it; This is not  the way to “augment” the State’s water supply.  The legal-speak may refer to it as “appropriation” or an “exercising of senior water rights.”  It’s still just water stealing to me.  This could turn out to be a landmark case in the decision of future “water-grabs.”  Don Tripp has warned us that this situation will come up again and again.  Get involved in supporting the official water protestors in this case.  Without water, our time here will soon come to an end.
 Another way you can help save our community is to support the efforts, now underway, to establish permanent, reliable and convenient ways for all of us to recycle most of the stuff that will end up in our overflowing “land fills”.  Socorro County is considering applying for a substantial grant, hosted by the New Mexico Recycling Coalition (NMRC).  This grant would establish Socorro as a recycling “hub” with drop-off trailers situated in the “boonies” like Magdalena and Datil.  Please write or call the Socorro County Manager’s office and encourage them to apply for these grants: Delilah Walsh, Socorro County Manager, 210 Park Street, Socorro, New Mexico, 87801, (575) 835-0589.
To learn more about these grants, visit .  The website is filled with lots of useful information and links to download recycling signs and labels to ease you into the habit of recycling.  It’s way past time that we started reusing all of that throw-away-stuff, except of course, those gallon milk and water jugs that I will take and paint up for the Water Grab Protest Art Piece.
At our last “Water” Meeting, Margreet Jenness, our resident nurse practitioner, led us through the symptoms, treatments and prevention of dehydration.  The signs of dehydration include dizziness, irritability, headaches, heartburn, concentrated urine, leg cramps, urinary tract infections and water retention.  The remedy?  Drink more water!  From 6 to 8 glasses a day.  Your food can account for about 4 of those glasses.  So after each meal, enjoy a nice big glass of water while we still have access to it.
We have no speakers scheduled for the next few water meetings.   The next scheduled meeting is November 17, when Frank Titus will discuss  the hydrology of the San Augustin Plains.  Until then, I’ll give you a topic; discuss amongst yourselves.
I have received a thoughtful response from a reader in Pie Town who is simply not convinced that the Twin Towers collapsed due to faulty construction techniques.  He points out that the ten seconds of “free fall” collapse shows absolutely no resistance from the steel spine of 47 box columns which were anchored to the bedrock at the bottom of the 7 story basements.  More stuff to ponder and wonder about.

Contact Don Wiltshire at

OPINION: Does Conscience Still Count in the Post-9/11 World?

The Pencil Warrior
By Dave Wheelock

I wish I could say that as a teenager in the late 1960s and early 1970s I was transfixed by events that have since assumed legendary status in the national consciousness: the so-called counterculture of the hippies, the horrific arc of the war in Vietnam and the ongoing struggle for human rights at home, and the humiliation and fall of a president. But while I dug the music (and still do) and managed to stay out of trouble (mostly), I only dimly perceived the drama and significance of Daniel Ellsberg’s public disclosure in 1971 of a 7,000-page “top secret” Department of Defense study entitled “United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense.” Fortunately filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith have come to the rescue of others who missed, or were not yet around to experience, Ellsberg’s decision to act upon information that exposed a bloody trail of lies and deception running counter to many years of government pronouncements about Vietnam.
Sworn to unquestionably serve his government, the former Marine could have kept his mouth shut like the other intelligence analysts around him who knew their silence prolonged the war. Yet as Ehrlich and Goldsmith reveal in their film “The Most Dangerous Man in America” Ellsberg had the counsel of a strong partner in making his fateful decision: his wife Patricia. “I felt that as an American citizen, as a responsible citizen, I could no longer cooperate in concealing this information from the American public” Ellsberg said of his decision to provide copies of the Papers to major newspapers and members of Congress, disclosures that eventually led to the resignation of by-then President Nixon and the turning of national opinion against the pointless bloodletting in Southeast Asia. 
Ellsberg’s story reminds us of other dirty, not-so-little secrets we’ve been told, and raises (or should, anyway) some troubling questions about our own presumptions of national security. Is there a distinction to be made between the defense of our citizens and the preservation of the acting administration, and if so, how do we know when the boundary has been crossed? What is the proper role of news organizations in determining and communicating the facts, and how well are we being served today? The facts of history show coups, assassinations, kidnappings, and colonization have taken place in our names; does our security not come with a moral imperative to ensure we as a nation deserve protecting?
The story of the Pentagon Papers also points out the deep divisions that remain in the United States. Writes Mike from Chicago in an online discussion: “I am tired of the beatification of the anti-war movement and their players. This guy leaked thousands of pages of classified information . . . he should have been shot, not idolized. In 1971, the United States was in position to win the war in Viet Nam despite the (sic) having their hands tied by their government and the undermining politicization and media adulation of the anti-war movement.”
In some sectors, including those posing as “news” organizations, Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North, deeply implicated and even convicted of crimes related to illegal arms and drug smuggling, remains a hero in the defense of our country. I suppose North also had the strength of his convictions, in his own way. 
But chalk one up for the true underdogs, those without friends in that Shining City Upon a Hill (who can get you off scot free). A most miraculous feature of Ellsberg’s story may be that he got away with it, albeit on a technicality. 
So did the New York Times and Washington Post, but only after their right to publish had been silenced for fifteen days by a government injunction. The case rose all the way to the Supreme Court in a matter of weeks, where the newspapers’ First Amendment rights were only thinly verified.
I wonder if Bradley Manning will be so fortunate. The 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist is imprisoned in Kuwait, facing charges he leaked State Department cables related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks, an international organization that publishes, online and anonymously, submissions of otherwise unavailable documents. “Inconveniently” those documents have included video images of the grisly massacre by a helicopter gunship of unarmed Iraqi civilians.
Already American “news services,” against the international grain, have overwhelmingly chosen to ignore fundamental questions of foreign policy in favor of speculation about what should be done about WikiLeaks.
In a world widely proclaimed as new (read “fearful”) since the attacks of September 11, 2001, American justice seems to have shed some of its celebrated blindness, at least toward some. We cannot know the guilt or innocence of Pvt. Manning until he stands trial – or at least we’re not supposed to. At any rate the odds against a court martial weighing questions of moral responsibility seem pretty long.

Dave Wheelock, a member of the Oneida Nation, holds a history degree from the University of New Mexico . Mr. Wheelock's views do not necessarily represent those of the Mountain Mail. Reach him at

Bosque Hosts Radio Event

By Rebecca Rose

SOCORRO - The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge will host a local ham radio operators on Friday Oct. 15 and Saturday, Oct. 16.  The public will have a chance to participate in radio broadcasts with operators from around the world.
The Socorro Amateur Radio Association (SARA) will host the event at Bosque, originating their broadcast from a mobile unit in the park.  SARA operators will demonstrate “CQ” calls (which means  “Any station, please call me”), an open invitation for ham radio operators worldwide to join in on an open dialog about Bosque and wildlife it houses.  Loud speakers will broadcast the conversations throughout the day, and visitors will get a chance to join in the discussions. 
Jim Lommen, treasurer of SARA, said the purpose of the event is education. “We try to promote the amateur radio to wildlife enthusiasts, and we promote the refuge to the hams.  We talk about it and encourage them to visit.” 
According to Lommen, the event has grown since its original inception.  “Five years ago, a radio operator set up a demonstration in a park in Wisconsin during National Wildlife Refuge Awareness Week. Now, 10-12 refuges put a station on the air during NWR Week.”
Joining the event will be several Cottonwood Valley Charter School students, who received training from SARA members and got their ham operators license last summer.  Lommen said there is growing interest in amateur radio, a hobby that has a strong following in Socorro.  “There was a class that John Spargo held at the school last year, and three students got their entry level license.  Two are back this year to get certified at the next level, plus he has three new entry level students.”
The Socorro Amateur Radio Association, which was originated in the 1970s, features a thriving membership of avid radio enthusiasts in the region. It is available and assist search and rescue operations and other disasters.   
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was created by President Franlin D. Roosevelt in 1939, as a sanctuary for migratory waterfowl, including Sandhill Cranes, some 10,000 of which now call the park home.  The park hosts up to 160,000 visitors each year throughout its 90-square-miles.  

A Landscape Comes To Life

By Rebecca Rose

A new book, detailing the landscape of New Mexico is surprise hit for the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and  Mineral Resources.
The Geology Of Northern New Mexico’s Parks, Monuments and Public Lands celebrates the beauty of the landscape and the science that helped created it. The book, a collaboration five years in the making, involving dozens of scientific experts, photographers, cartographers, graphic designers and more, was released earlier this year, as part of NMBGMR’s publication’s program.
But what has the halls of Tech buzzing, is not the outstanding academic effort the team has achieved. It’s how the general public has taken an interest in their book. Sales  have climbed, providing  pleasant surprise for the staff in the halls of the NMBGMR’s office at Tech.
One who is not surprised is the book’s editor, Greer Price.
“I think a lot of the people who are buying it have never had a geology class in their life.” Price said, in an interview with Mountain Mial. “ It was written for the non-geologist, the person who has a love of the landscape and how it came to be. They’re just people who see it and think it’s pretty neat.” 
The book was an important project for both Price and Peter Schol, head of the Bureau, located at Tech.  “Outreach has always been part of our mission. A big part of that s our publishing program.”
At his artifact filled office at Tech, Price’s love of geology and the landscape that it shapes is evident, as is his passion for translating that love to a science-weary public.
For Price and the publications department, geology is less about the science of rocks and more about an understanding of the nuanced relationship between landscape and society.
“If you love the landscape, then an understanding of how that landscape came to be is very natural. That’s what we tried to do with this book. People already come to New Mexico because they love the land, they love the scenery, they love the way it looks. I think it’s a natural next step for them to have a curiosity about it.”
Price guided the collaboration and overall direction, working with some of the top researchers in the field. In all, over 15 scientists and researchers contributed for chapters on various regions of Northern New Mexico.  Each chapter details a specific regional setting:  Colorado Plateau, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Rio Grande Rift, Jemez Mountains and Valles Caldera, and the Great Plains.
The final outcome represents a unique accomplishment for such complex material:  A book that can double as a text book and a layman’s guide, written in a subtle technical language that embraces a scientist’s keen eye for detail and a backpacker’s wide-eyed gaze.
  Price has a keen knack for understanding how to make complex scientific material more tangible to a modern day audience .  In a world where information downloads to the palm of a hand faster than the blink of an eye, it’s hard to imagine how to keep an audience interested in something as finite as geology, a science quite literally rooted in an understanding of processes that take billions of years.  But rather than being daunted by the spectre of modern technology, Price was inspired.
“Audiences are more sophisticated than they used to be. The things that we could get away with in the 50s and 60s just don’t fly.”  he said. “You’ve really got to engage them.  They demand more sophisticated graphics, they demand a more sophisiticated look and design and accessibility.”
That attention to the detail of aesthetic is immediately apparent in the look and feel of the book.   Coming in at just under 400 pages, the book is filled with striking photorgraphs, taken by some of the world’s most renowed photographers.  Adriel Heisey, George Huey, William Stone and Laurence Parent and many more all contributed shots to the work.
“We used photographs to illustrate to people what they’re actually seeing, so that if you  go to the parks, this book will help you and give you a feel for it.  And if you’ve never been, this book, we hope, will attract you to those places.”
“The best part is that everything is so accessible,” he said. “You don’t even have to leave paved road.”

“The Geology Of Northern New Mexico’s Parks, Monuments and Public Lands” is available online at,  by calling 575-835-5490 or at the Bureau of Geology Publications Store, located on the New Mexico Tech campus.


Quemado: Veteran’s Session

Quemado Connection
By Debbie Leschner

New Mexico State Veterans' Service Officer Reggie Price will hold a Veteran's Session on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 10 a.m. to about noon. The session will be held in the Quemado Veterans Hall located at the corner of Baca and Church Street. All veterans and their families are encouraged to attend. Mr. Price will cover such topics as state and federal benefits, burial and survivor benefits. Please bring a copy of your DD214 and any other related paper work you may have. He will also be available on Friday, the 22nd for one on one appointments to help with claims or appeals. To set up an appointment or for more information, please call Mr. Price at 575 538-2377 or Commander Rick Sharp at 575 773-4350.

Quemado Road Project
It has been about 15 years since the roads in Quemado have been redone. A three person county road crew from the Quemado Maintenance Yard and County Commissioner, Allen Lambert spend about 10 days doing the prep work and getting the roads ready to be chip sealed. The project covers the 2.1 miles of paved streets in Quemado. Bids to do the chip seal work were advertized with an October 12 closing date. The last portion of the project will be to fog seal the surface. The fog seal is an emulsion spray that penetrates the chip seal to allow the road to wear longer. The funding for the project came from a portion of monies in the Secure Rural School Act that were for county road maintenance. “There are 950 miles of dirt roads and 2.1 miles of paved county roads in inventory” said Catron County Manager Bill Aymar. The estimated cost of the work is about $150,000. “This is a very cheap cost because the county did the prep work” remarked Mr. Lambert, commissioner for the Quemado area. He also hopes that the work would be completed before October 25 if all goes well.

Luna: 12 Weeks To New Year

Luna News
By Debbie Leschner

Most all of us are familiar with the Christmas Carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”. As is my usual self, I have thought of an idea just a little late. All is not lost and I would like to adapt a new paragraph to the Luna Community News introducing a segment of small goals we can each achieve for a better tomorrow we will call “The 12 Weeks to the New Year”. Beginning this week I will introduce a new concept in each column that you may adjust to your individual circumstances to be sure that 2012 will be your happiest year ever no matter what life hands you.
Week 1: prepare a notebook, scrapbook or journal that will help you to identify the blessings that you have and begin believing in yourself that there are wonderful things waiting in your future. It’s as simple as that, you have taken control and you are on your way.

Fire Department
October 3 through 9 was National Fire Prevention week. The theme sponsored nationally was “Smoke alarms, a sound you can live with”. Luna Volunteer Fire District opened their doors last Saturday to the public for information and a cook out. Though the public participation numbers were small, the afternoon hosted a nice social for fire district members and plans are already underway for next year’s event which will be held October 9 through 15.  Remember to check the batteries in you smoke detectors and clean chimney and ash trays to prepare for the coming months of winter.

Sam and Kami Nicolds have been blessed with a healthy baby boy born on October 3 which is also his Grandmother Alberta’s birthday. Congratulations and best wishes to all the family.

Catron County Community Advisory Board
There will be a brochure titled “Initiative for Health and Wellness” which will soon be mailed to all residence of Catron County. Special thanks go to Keith Spiller who has worked so tirelessly to develop the final copy. This is a very informative information packet and is worth your time and effort in understanding. A similar initiative was recently adopted in the Datil area.

Reserve Schools
At 6 pm on October 29 reserve High School will hold its annual Fall Carnival for all to celebrate the Halloween Season.

A Recognized Local
This month Luna resident Alex Paterson has been spotlighted in the free Glenwoood Gazette Circular. Mary Alice Murphy has written a wonderful article about the years of dedication and respect that Mr. Paterson holds for the history of those who have come before him.

Preparedness Corner
Flu vaccines; either injection or nasal mist are available at drug stores and Dr’s offices and will also be available at 10 am October 21 through the Reserves Schools for younger eligible family members. This is an important protection of yourselves, your neighbors and the ones you love. Please get your vaccination as soon as possible. You cannot get the flu from the vaccine and it takes about 2 weeks to build your immunity.

Do you, your parents, or grandparents have boxes of old, dusty 35 mm slides or film negatives lying around? There are relatively inexpensive 35 mm slide and negative digital converters on the market now that make it easy to convert them to high-quality digital images with just the touch of a button. The converter scans images and also comes with photo editing software to help you crop and edit the photos, and convert negatives into positives. Plus, it's easily portable (good for a trip to Grandma's house), and plugs into the USB port of your PC or laptop for transferring scanned images.

Quote of the week:
“October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter."
~  Nova Bair

Early Voting Underway

By Rebecca Rose

Early voting has started in Socorro and Catron County.
Socorro County voters can vote at the County Clerk’s office at 200 Church Street in Socorro.  Starting Oct. 16, voters can also cast their ballots at an alternate site, located at Magdalena Senior Center.
Early voting was strong in the first day, with 43 voters arriving before noon on the first day.   “We’ve had about 800-900 total early votes in the past,” County Clerk Rebecca Vega said.  
Vega also pointed out that absentee ballots are still available.  ”The last day for the clerk to mail out absentee ballots is Oct. 29.  The last day to return them is on Election Day, November 7, by 7:00 p.m.” Her office has mailed out 335 absentee ballots so far.
In Catron County voters can vote at the County Clerk’s office, located at 101 Main St., in  Reserve from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (They do not have any alternate sites.)  According to County Clerk Sharon Armijo  “The turnout has been moderate”, said Armijo “We’ve sent out a lot of absentee ballots.” 
Early voting in both Socorro and Catron County officially ends on Saturday, Oct. 30, and both offices will offer special extended hours on that day, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
The general election is November 2.

Sylvia’s Prolific and Preposterous Correspondence

By Anne Sullivan

“Look, Sylvia, here’s another letter for you. It’s the second one this week,” I said as I dumped the day’s collection of catalogs, bills and requests for money on the table.
“It’s a good thing I now have a paperweight with my name on it. An admirer named Roger sent it to me this week and it’s not even my birthday until next month,” said Sylvia, gloating as she stroked the paperweight with her paws before putting it on top of yesterday’s and today’s letters.
“I received a paperweight from Roger, too, with my name on it,” I said. “It’s a smiley face like yours and very cheery.”
“You probably got it because you’re my mother,” Sylvia said. “Gordo got a paperweight, too. I don’t know what he’ll put under it. He doesn’t know how to read or write.”
“Perhaps you could teach him.”
“Nobody could teach him. He has the attention span of a flea. I think he’s got AHD or whatever they’re calling it these days.”
“He might grow up soon,” I said with a sigh. “Who was your letter from?”
Removing the paperweight with care, Sylvia read today’s letter and answered, “El Gato de Cruzville sent a card saying he was moving to Silver City to find me a publisher. And yesterday Pie and Buddy from Quemado wrote this:
    ‘Do not despair. Book publishers reject hundreds of stories. Some years ago
    Thomas Wolfe wrote a beautiful story. It was rejected by several Publishing
    Companies. Along came an Editor, Max Perkins, who knew a good story
    when he read one. He edited that book and it became a best seller. Thomas
    Wolfe was on his way with ‘Look Homeward Angel.’
Isn’t that a beautiful letter?”
“That’s a really nice and uplifting letter,” I agreed.
“It sure is. Buddy and Pie are very good friends even though I’ve never met them. But who was Max Perkins?”
“Maxwell Perkins was an exceptional editor, the likes of which we don’t see today. He worked for Scribner’s and edited manuscripts for Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.P. Marquand and Alan Payton as well as Thomas Wolfe. He died in 1947.”
“It’s a real shame there’s no one like him now,” said Sylvia yawning. “Oh, I’m so tired after reading all my mail. I’m just going to take a wee nap. I trust you’ll keep quiet if I lie down on the rug.”
“For sure, as long as you don’t mind a little music, your highness.”
Soon Sylvia’s snores permeated the room. After twelve minutes of this I looked up from my paper to notice that she was twitching and turning. Was she dreaming?
 “You’re Sylvia,” the man said as though it were a fact and not a question.
I stopped working on The Computer and nodded.
“What’s that you’re doing?” the man asked me. “It looks like a funny typewriter.”
“There’s nothing funny about it,” I said. “It’s very hard to do things on The Computer. Sometimes SHE cries when it won’t do what SHE wants. Nowadays you have to write everything on a computer. I have to use it to send my column in to the paper.”
“Send it?” He looked puzzled. “You don’t mail it?”
“I used to. But then SHE got The Computer. SHE hates it but I have to admit it has some virtues.”
“Hah,” he grunted. “I’ve been told you need editorial help with your book.”
“I suppose so,” I said. “I thought my book was very good but it’s been rejected.”
“Let me read it.”
“I’ll bring it up,” I said. He looked mystified. “I could print it out for you,” I offered.
In two shakes of a lamb’s tale I handed him the sheet of paper with the first chapter on it. It took him no time at all to read it. Then he crumpled the paper and said in a low voice, “That’s really terrible.”
“Terrible?” My voice trembled.
He nodded. “Really terrible. Nothing at all happens. Nothing makes me want to read any further. However, I can help you if you’re willing to work hard. You have a lot of rewriting to do.”
“Rewriting?!” I echoed.
“Yes. Now wake up. It’s time to get started.”

Big Wins For Tech Rugby Club

By Dave Wheelock
NMT Rugby Director

The New Mexico Tech men’s Rugby Club won all three of their matches to repeat as champions of the Northern Arizona Tens Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The Pygmies defeated competitors from Northern Arizona University and Prescott, Arizona before beating parallel pool leaders Thunderbird (Phoenix) for the trophy. The Landshark Rugby Football Club of Flagstaff were staging their annual ten-man classic for the 30th consecutive year.
The ball-winning unit of five forward players, led by Socorro native James Chavez, was not as dominant as in previous years but supplied enough possession to occasionally set loose a potent backline featuring veteran players Dustin Webb, Royce Beaudry, Isaiah Sanchez, and James Fallt. The Pygmies scrambled successfully to turn away several scoring threats to preserve victory in their second and third matches.
Tech’s first Saturday match against NAU proved to be their easiest. Powerful prop James Chavez barged over the line for a short range try in the first minute and second-year center Marshal Spradley touched down a brace of five-pointers for a 21-0 halftime lead. But penalties, which would plague Techs’ efforts throughout the tournament, crept into Tech’s game in the second half and NAU was able to capitalize for an unconverted try. Isaiah Sanchez’s late intercept try closed scoring at 28-5 as Dustin Webb successfully drop-kicked all four try conversions for Tech.
An hour and a half later Tech tangled with a tough Prescott, Arizona team that managed to score three tries against Tech’s four. Again the Pygmies scored in the first minute through the talented running of flyhalf Royce Beaudry, but Prescott answered with a five-pointer on the next play. Enrique Koerdell and Webb finished good teamwork with two more first half tries for Tech, but the inability to make any conversion kicks coupled with a converted score by Prescott produced a slim 15-12 Pygmy halftime lead. Each team scored a try in a tension-filled second half, but Webb was able to connect with his kick after a try by Sanchez while Prescott’s kicker missed his attempt, and NMT advanced, 22 to 17.
 New Mexico Tech was challenged in the afternoon final by Thunderbird Rugby Club, who had dispatched Arizona State University and Tuba City. Thunderbird's tight defense limited Tech's scoring opportunities and showed the ability to move the ball effectively. Tech held a 5-0 halftime lead on a try by Isaiah Sanchez but after a spirited goal line stand by the New Mexicans Thunderbird sneaked in a try. The conversion was good and Tech trailed for the first time in three matches, 7 to 5.
Beaudry added a try in the last minute after some deft passing by his teammates to secure Tech's repeat championship by a 19 to 7 score.
New Mexico Tech will attempt to stretch their ten-man expertise to the traditional fifteen-member code this weekend in at the High Desert Classic tournament, hosted by the Albuquerque Aardvarks Rugby Club. In 2009 the Pygmies finished runners-up in the collegiate division.

Picture: The NMT Rugy Club surges to Flagstaff fourpeat.

Photo by Dave Wheelock

Tennis Open a Great Success

By Gary Jaramillo

The Ernie and Vicki Moore Tennis Tournament was held Saturday, October 9, 2010 at the City Tennis Courts. The Winners of the Women’s Open competition were Chris Pappas and Gale Jancsics with a final score of 6-2 7-6.  Pete Padilla of TorC and Andrew Romero of Albuquerque took first place in the men’s Championship over Matt Blythe and Wes Willis 6-2 6-1.  Padilla and Romero said the championship match was much closer than the final score would indicate.  “There were a lot of really close rallies and games in the championship match”, said Padilla.  “It was very competitive and a lot of fun”.
Robert Martinez who has been involved in the local Tennis Association since 1977 said the tournament was filled with great action and he is proud to be a part of the Ernie & Vicki Moore Open each year.  He said, “I’m the only surviving member of the original tennis association group here in Socorro”, and invited everyone - both young and old to join the Socorro Tennis Association and come out and play any time on the city’s new courts.  “Come on out and just ask anyone playing how to become involved or call Mr. Martinez at 835-1468 for more information.  There are groups playing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 9 am each week.  “It’s great exercise and the facilities are really nice”.

Picture: Champions: Pete Papila and Andrew Romero  Runners up:  Matt Blythe and Wes Willis.

Photo by Gary Jaramillo

Warriors Lose To Hatch

By Nicky Romero                                                                                 

The fifth-ranked Socorro Warriors football team lost their first district game against the tenth-ranked Hatch Valley Bears  on Friday. The final score was 46-34.  
 “Hatch has got a really good run game”, said Coach Damian Ocampo.  “We weren't getting to the spots we can get to.”  
The first Socorro turnover came on the opening kickoff.  Seven plays later, running back Herrera finished the short drive with a 9-yard run.  With 5:27 in the first, the Warriors got a break on a Zack Binger field goal. 
Hatch took the lead with 2:11 in the first on a six play and 85-yard drive that was finished by a 2-yard score by Herrera.  The two-point conversion was no good.
Socorro received the kickoff with good field position at their own 41-yard line, but quickly gave the ball back to Hatch on a James Thorton fumble.  Marcus Moyer recovered the ball on the 44-yard line.  Quarterback Angel kept the ball for 33 yards.  He ran it in on the next down for the touchdown with only 36 clicks left in the first and a large 20-8 lead.
The third major turnover came early in the second quarter.  Esquivel fumbled and gave the ball back to Hatch on the Warriors 45-yard line.  On third and four at the 39 yard line, Angel kept the ball and ran down the right sideline for another Bear's touchdown.
Hatch tried another onside kick, but this time the ball was recovered by Socorro's Ray Vaiza at the Warrior's forty-five.  Six plays later, the Warriors got back on the scoreboard with a 1-yard touchdown run by Thorton.  The extra point kick by Binger was good.
The Warriors last score of the half came with 1:14 on the clock. The big play coming on an  Esquivel pass to wide receiver Adrian Miranda for 20 yards. Esquivel then hit his other receiver Jared Marquez with an 11-yard touchdown pass in the end zone that ended a 77-yard drive.   Binger's kick was no good.  Socorro was able to narrow the gap to34-21. 
Hatch was not content with running the time off the clock.  Starting the drive on their own 43-yard line.  Herrera ran the ball to the 10-yard line and Angel took it in a few plays later for their final first half score with only :21 on the clock.  The Bears went into halftime leading 40-21.
“Hatch got points off all three turnovers”, said Ocampo.  “When you give a team every opportunity, it is dang near impossible to come back, especially against a team that holds onto the ball like that.”
After half-time Socorro took possession on the their own 14-yard line.  On a fourth and nine, Ibrahim Maiga caught an Esquivel pass and scampered for 19 yards to the 19-yard line.
Esquivel faked and threw a flair pass to Aaron McDaniel for an 18-yard touchdown and moved the Warriors closer to the Bears 40-28.
Hatch put away any thoughts of a Socorro comeback in the fourth quarter.  They scored their only touchdown of the second half on a 92-yard drive that was completed by a 4-yard run by Herrera with 8:37 on the clock and a 46-28 lead.
On fourth and goal from the five, Esquivel threw a pass in the end zone to Marquez for the touchdown.  Binger's extra point kick was blocked.
Socorro play the Hot Springs Tigers on Friday at Warrior Stadium at 7 pm.