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Contrary to popular myth, don’t cancel your holiday plans

Virgil Rhodes’ name lives on in ranch’s preservation as conservation area

Estancia hold off Warriors in furious match




El Defensor Chieftain © 2012, El Defensor Chieftain


Vol. 146 • No. 96

50 cents

Wade questions Wagner Co-op District V election remains uncertified By Elva K. Österreich El Defensor Cheiftain Editor


The Wednesday Socorro Electric Cooperative meeting took on elements of a court case as acting board chairman David Wade played inquisitor by shooting questions at board member Charlie Wagner designed to imply Wagner had


First Saturday events today Recycle newspapers and aluminum cans from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the lot south of Ace Hardware. Hammel Museum Open House is 9 a.m. to noon at 600 N. Sixth St. Admission is free. Tours of the Very Large Array will be at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tours are free with no reservation required. Guided Night Sky Star Gazing begins at dark at Etscorn Observatory on the campus of New Mexico Tech for free with no reservation required.

done something improper subsequent to the Co-op’s District V election. As soon as the board went into its 5:30 p.m. session, the contention began. As the first thing on the agenda, approving the agenda, was addressed, Wagner protested an agenda item was missing. He said there should be an action item listed to allow Anne Dorough, who won the District V election, to take her seat on the board before Jan. 1 so the people of her district would be fairly represented since they currently have no representation.

County to increase employee benefits

Wade said that couldn’t be done as the election hadn’t even been certified yet. The vote to approve the agenda passed with Wagner opposing the motion. In another action item on the agenda, the co-op’s District V election, held in October, was to be certified. “Next we need to certify and report on the District V elections,” Wade said. “But first, I’m going to ask Mr. Wagner a few questions.” Wade’s first question was: “Did you in your capacity as a trustee contact the co-op’s vendor, Election Services, with-

out disclosing it to the manager or the president of the board?” “Point of order Mr. Chairman, it’s not on the agenda, sir,” Wagner replied, and refused to answer the question. After Wade pushed Wagner further to answer the question and Wagner repeated his comment, adding that Wade was out of order, Wade said they need to certify the election and if Wagner didn’t cooperate, they couldn’t. Wade repeated the question another time. n See Questions, Page 5


By Laura London El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Socorro Christmas tonight The ninth annual Luminarias on the Plaza Art Stroll is tonight at the old town plaza from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Businesses will display artwork from various artists. Refreshments will be available and there will be live music. A hay ride will tour the Christmas lights and the Socorro High School band will play in the gazebo. The Electric Light Parade begins at 6 p.m. on California Street; youth choir performs at the gazebo at 6:45; Santa arrives at 7 p.m. in the plaza; tree lighting is at 7:15.


The Socorro County Commission unanimously approved publishing the county’s revised personnel policy during its regular meeting Tuesday night, as well as had a serious discussion about employee raises. County manager Delilah Walsh said some suggestions from their employee satisfaction survey were added to the personnel policy. Also, vacation benefits were improved to be more competitive with surrounding counties and with other employers here. She said staff n See Benefits, Page 5

Board to support local boxing events By Laura London


El Defensor Chieftain Reporter



Canada Geese


Light Geese


Sandhill Cranes


Bald and Golden Eagles




American White Pelicans American Coot

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Marsh and Water Birds




Gulls and Terns


Hawks and Owls


The Socorro County Commission heard from a man who wants to bring boxing back to Socorro during its regular meeting Tuesday night. Russell Moses, owner of Boot Camp Boxing Gym, began by thanking the county for helping him with the building. He announced the boxing club has its first event at 3 p.m. this Saturday at the middle school, and the club is looking for donations. Moses said the event will cost the boxing club over $2,000. He said the club will give out belts to the young boxers and T-shirts to boxers and coaches, and sell some shirts to the public for $5. He said the club has at least 20 fights lined up with boxers from Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. n See Boxing, Page 5


Emergency management discussed by commission By Laura London


Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain

Local Girl Scouts, from left, Abby Watkins, Faith Lucero and Bailee Silva decorate a tree for The Christmas Tree Auction and Gala Dinner being held tonight at the Macey Center. The event is a fundraiser for the Socorro Good Samaritan Center and was sold out.

El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Laura London/El Defensor Chieftain

Socorro County emergency services staff check the equipment in the county’s new emergency operations center Wednesday afternoon. In front is Fred Hollis, county fire marshal and emergency services administrator, and behind him are administrative assistants Leslie Ramzel, left, and Melissa Harris.

The Socorro County Commission heard about the successful tabletop exercise held in the County Annex on Tuesday from Fred Hollis, county emergency services administrator. The tabletop was 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, and agencies reviewed their plans and procedures for responding to an emergency — in this case, a hypothetical fire starting in the mountains near Magdalena. The exercise was well attended, with all relevant local law enforcement and fire agencies represented, as well as the county, the Red Cross, Socorro General Hospital and local ham radio operators.

During the county’s regular meeting, Hollis reported 49 people attended the tabletop. He said the participants did not run into issues they couldn’t overcome, but they did discover they need a policy for signing out cots and for the animal shelter trailers. He said his department is in the process of redoing the emergency evacuation plan anyway, so those policies can easily be added in. Hollis said they had a really good, productive meeting. Commission chairman and District 4 Commissioner Daniel Monette asked if the emergency services department was looking for volunteers with large animal pens whom they could call when disaster strikes to aid large animal evacuation. n See Emergency, Page 5

El Defensor Chieftain

2 • DECEMBER 1, 2012


Socorro County Weather


Guided Night Sky Star Gazing is the first Saturday of each month beginning at dark at Etscorn Observatory on the campus of New San Miguel Parish is sponsoring The Giving Tree for the needy. Mexico Tech. It is free with no reservation required. For more inforGift tags can be picked up from the giving tree after all masses in the mation call Judy Stanley, VLA education officer, at 835-7243. San Miguel Parish Hall. Tags can also be picked up at the church office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 Recycle mixed paper, paperboard and cardboard from 8:30 to a.m. to noon. Contact Valerie Moore at 835-2026 for more information. 11:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the Plaza. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce at 835-0424. Good Samaritan Gala Benefit Dinner, is at 6 p.m. tonight at the Macey Center. There will be live music by the Good Sam Band and LIVE MUSIC silent auction. Tickets are $50 per person. Call Ryan Mertz at 4187692 for more information. Open Mic is every Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Old Town Bistro; Ninth Annual Luminarias on the Plaza Art Stroll will take place 838-3976. on Dec. 1 at the Old Town Plaza from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Businesses Doug Figgs & Mariam with Jim Jones will perform at 7:30 p.m. on will display artwork from various artists. Refreshments and music Dec. 1 at the Old Town Bistro; 838-3976. will also be apart of the event. A hay ride will tour the Christmas lights and the Socorro High School Band will play at the gazebo. Blue Monday at the Buckhorn Tavern will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3; 835-4423. Christmas Electric Light Parade on California Street Dec. 1 is at 6 p.m. To enter a float in the parade call 835-8927. Bill Hearne Trio, will perform at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Old Town Bistro; 838-3976. City of Socorro Youth Center Choir performs at the plaza Dec. 1 at 6:45 p.m. Contact 835-8927 for more information. Scott Helmer, will perform at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Old Town Bistro; 838-3976. Santa will visit the Plaza to listen to Christmas wishes 7 p.m. Dec. 1. Contact 835-8927 for more information. Open Mic is every Friday at 7 p.m. at Sofia’s Kitchen; 835-0022. Christmas Tree Lighting at the Plaza Dec. 1 will take place at 7:15 Live music/karaoke/pool tournaments are held monthly at the p.m. Contact 835-8927 for more information. Golden Spur Saloon in Magdalena. Call 854-2554 for the schedule. Author Jim Wolf will be signing his novel “Wall of Smoke” on Dec. 1 Blue Door/Pizza Rio The Pizzaria in Bosque hosts live music Fridays at the Chamber of Commerce from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Copies of the book and Saturdays at 6 p.m. 1006 Highway 116 Bosque, between Belen. can be bought at Alamo Gallery and Gifts and for $15.

RECREATION Live Christmas nativity tour of Bethlehem will be on Dec. 2 at the First Baptist Church on the corner of California and Spring streets Shared Yoga Practice is 9:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Call 835-0041 for more information. Friday at Finley Gym. All are welcome, but no child care is available. Open narcotics anonymous meeting starting Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. will For more information call Jean, 838-0511. be held every Tuesday at the DWI and Community Alternatives Socorro Tennis Association meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 building at 106 Center Socorro. Call 838-2208 for more information. p.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 a.m. at the city tenMariachi Christmas will be on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Mariachi music nis courts in Sedillo Park, including Fun Play Matches and monthly and ballet Folklorico curated by Norberta Fresquez will take place at tournaments. Email the Macey Center. Call (575) 835-5688 for tickets. The annual American Association of University Women Christmas Home Tour is Dec. 9 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the homes or at Brownbuilt Shoes and Western Wear at 111 Manzanares Avenue. The $10 donation benefits the scholarship fund. Contact Kay Krehbiel at 835-0759 or email her at kkrehbiel1@mac. com for more information. La Pastorela, will be on Dec. 9., it is an abridged version of the centuries old Spanish version of the Christmas story which is performed by children at the First Baptist Church located at 203 Spring Street at 2 p.m. Contact Sherry at 838-2111 for more information. Pastores de Belen will be Dec. 9., which is the full version of the centuries old Spanish version of the Christmas story and is performed by adults at the Historic Garcia Opera House located at on the corner of California and Abeyta Streets at 6 p.m. Contact Sherry at 838-2111 for more information.

Addictions Support Group meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Quemado. Includes AA; 773-4594. Addiction Class is held Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Fridays at 6 p.m. at The House, 105 Neal Ave., Socorro; 835-4357 Al-Anon meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at Presbyterian Church, Magdalena; Sundays, 7:30 p.m., Epiphany Episcopal Church, Socorro. The new meeting is every Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Puerto Seguro. Call 1 (888) 425-2666 or (505) 266-1900 for more information, or visit

Alcoholics Anonymous meets in Alamo Mondays at 6 p.m. at the Alamo Community Center; Magdalena, Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church; Socorro, noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays (closed meeting) at 7:30 p.m. at Epiphany Episcopal Church. Saturdays AA meets at 9 a.m. at The last day to sign up for the GED course is Dec. 7, it starts Dec. Puerto Seguro in Socorro. For AA information call 835-9785. 15. Contact Theresa Alonzo to sign up at (505) 249-8532 or 835-4768. Group bereavement support is available to anyone who needs help because of the loss of a loved one at Good Grief; 838-4098. COMMUNITY Marriage class is Mondays at 2 p.m. at The House, 105 Neal Ave., Bingo is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the DAV Hall, 200 N. Fifth St.; 835-0843. Socorro; 835-4357. El Camino Real International Heritage Center, Exit 115 off Parenting Class is Tuesdays at 2 p.m. at The House, 105 Neal Ave., Interstate 25, has free admission for New Mexico seniors 60 and over Socorro; 835-4357. on Wednesdays. Sundays all New Mexico residents are admitted free. Struggling with Addiction is Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Chapel; 838-9535. For more information, call 854-3600 or visit Free Yard Sale Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to noon at The House, Weight Watchers meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at Epiphany Episcopal Church on Leroy Street. The first meeting is free. For more Socorro, 105 Neal Ave.; 835-4357. information call Roslynn, 418-8804. ICAN Cooking is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Send calendar submissions to Deadlines Thursdays at 198 Neel Ave.; 835-0610. are Monday and Thursday at noon. Midwest CAP Food Pantry is open Wednesdays, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m., at 904 Spring St. Senior Helpings are the first Wednesday of every month. Call Florie or Virginia at 835-0899 for information.


Peace Vigil is 4:30 p.m. Friday on the Plaza. Call 835-2517 for more information. Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday to serve the homeless and in need. For more information call Duane at 835-2895. Socorro Farmers Market is Saturdays at the south side of the Finley Gym complex from 9 to 11 a.m. The market features fresh produce and more. For more information call 312-1730. Story Hour and Craft Time is 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Socorro Public Library; 835-1114. Recycle newspapers and aluminum cans from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. the first Saturday of each month at the lot south of Ace Hardware. For more information call the Chamber of Commerce at 835-0424. Hammel Museum Open House is 9 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month at 600 N. Sixth St. Admission is free. For more information call Kay at 835-1721 or Bob at 835-5325. First Saturday Tours of the Very Large Array are the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tours are free with no reservation required. For more information call Judy Stanley, VLA education officer, at 835-7243.

FOSTER OR ADOPT A NEW MEXICO YOUTH Name: Fred Age: 13 Gender: Male Introducing Fred, a bright, outgoing and energetic young man. When he is not playing with his electronic games or reading books, he can be found on the baseball diamond. Star Wars is a big favorite of his, and he likes to do woodworking and other craft projects. Fred is a hard one to keep up with! He prefers to make light of situations and always tries to stay positive. In the fifth grade, Fred is very bright and does well academically. Spelling and reading are the subjects he enjoys the most. He benefits from an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and counseling, which will need to continue after placement. Fred is in need of a forever family who will be supportive and encouraging. His caseworker prefers a twoparent family willing to participate in a transitional plan prior to placement, a home in which Fred would be the only child; however, all family types

Fred will be considered. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For New Mexico children, both homestudied and non-homestudied New Mexico families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so. For more information about adopting or fostering through the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, please visit or call 1-800-432-2075.

Total rainfall for 2012 through Nov. 30 is 5.96 inches. Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth Minschwaner.



Monday, Dec. 3: Water aerobics at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4: Water aerobics at 7:30 a.m., Sewing Circle, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5: Water aerobics at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6: Water aerobics at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7: Water aerobics at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8: Sandia Casino 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Monday, Dec. 3: Beef stroganoff, egg noodles, green beans, slices wheat bread and diced peaches. Tuesday, Dec. 4: Egg salad, baked potato wedges, steamed broccoli, orange and vanilla ice cream. Wednesday, Dec. 5: Meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce, dinner roll and tapioca pudding. Thursday, Dec. 6: Tuna and shells, tossed green salad with ranch dressing, crackers and sliced peaches. Friday, Dec. 7: Creole pork chop, pasta, carrots, sliced almonds and mandarin oranges.


1 E.T. carriers, theoretically 5 Fetch 10 Last letters in London 14 Calamine mineral 15 Where one’s name might go, on a form 16 “Out of Africa” author Dinesen 17 Composer Stravinsky 18 Eight is enough for one 19 Spitting sound 20 1981 Fonda/Hepburn classic 23 Mac maker 26 “I Ching” readers 27 2006 Bullock/Reeves romance 31 Back talk 32 “Hi-__, Hi-Lo” 33 Annual sports awards 37 In re 39 Designer Karan 42 Donkey’s need, in a party game 43 Low on funds 45 Winged peace symbol 47 Director Ang or Spike 48 1994 Streep/Bacon thriller 52 Sleeve opening 55 Puts in the mail 56 2004 Kevin Spacey tribute (to Bobby Darin) 60 Yankees superstar, familiarly 61 “Old MacDonald” refrain 62 New Zealander 66 Mafia boss 67 Dog’s warning 68 Michener novel, typically 69 Tinkertoy alternative 70 Playable on a VCR 71 Do, re or mi


1 Israeli submachine gun 2 Source of Eve’s leaves 3 Yoko from Tokyo

10 years ago Dec. 4, 2002

Hop Canyon to get fire department Hop Canyon, which is a small community located northeast of the Village of Magdalena, will be getting a volunteer fire department after county commissioners unanimously voted to recognize it as a legal entity at a meeting last Tuesday night. Bill Del Guidice, a resident of Hop Canyon, has been responsible for trying to get the small community its own department. He said it has been a long process and will remain as such for a while, until it can procure money for equipment. “It takes a long time. We still have to apply for grants to build a firehouse,” Del Guidice said. Besides not having a firehouse, the department does not have a fire engine either, Del Guidice said. “Somewhere in the state we’ll find a surplus fire engine,” he said.

25 years ago Dec. 3, 1987

U238 baseline tests taken Results from over a dozen samples taken to determine the amount of Uranium 238 in Socorro area water and soils are expected to reach the state Environmental Improvement Division (EID) office in midDecember. A report and analysis of the findings probably will be issued near the beginning of 1988. The study was requested by the governor’s office, accord-

4 Dead Sea find 5 Web opinion piece 6 Puerto __ 7 Part of IMF: Abbr. 8 Must 9 French sponge cake 10 Having the most pizazz 11 These, in Tijuana 12 Intimidate 13 Loses control on the ice 21 Host Conan of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” 22 Rudolph’s is red 23 Book of maps 24 Engage in an online scam 25 __-Bismol 28 Tease 29 “Evil Woman” gp. 30 Delhi tongue 34 “Going Rogue” author Sarah 35 Give way 36 Mushers’ vehicles 38 Greek __ Church 40 Oct. follower 41 D.C.’s Pennsylvania, e.g. 44 Suffix with tele- or Dance-A46 Celtic language 49 Firstborn 50 Light-sensitive eye part 51 Debilitate 52 Taken __: surprised 53 Showed again 54 Mr. Magoo, e.g. 57 Jalopy 58 Galway’s land 59 Word after “going twice ...” 63 NASDAQ debut 64 Dorothy Parker forte 65 Arctic pier material (c)2012 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

ing to Dr. Kirtland L. Jones, deputy director of the EID. The study is to determine the baseline level of U238 in water and soils in the area to check against later levels. Jones said on Tuesday that he expects the levels to be quite low.

70 years ago Dec. 3, 1942

Bakery Resumes After Blast An explosion in the City Bakery Thanksgiving morning lifted the top off the oven, blew out all the plate-glass windows and hurled them across the street and ripped off about half of the celotex ceiling, but did not injure anyone inside the building. These were Fred and Jack Grethlein and J. D. Finkbine, owners of the business; and a child. The bakery, fortunately for the community, had already delivered its Thanksgiving goodies but was unable to resume baking until this week, because of the difficulty of getting repair materials. Fred Grethlein believes that the explosion was caused by the gas under the oven going out and then accumulating in the baking chamber; he had a cigarette in his hand when he opened the door and this could have set off the explosion, he believes. The explosion occurred at about 9 a. m. The noise was heard several blocks. The building, not owned by him, carried insurance.

El Defensor Chieftain

DECEMBER 1, 2012 • 3

The Giving Tree at San Miguel By Lindsey Padilla

El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Submitted Photo

Adult actors from Belen and Socorro will perform the full-length nativity play, La Gran Pastorela, at the Garcia Opera House on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

Traditional Spanish plays return Dec. 9

Karen Bailey-Bowman El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Socorro La Pastorela, the ancient Spanish play depicting the story of simple shepherds invited by angels to visit the Christ child in Bethlehem, will be presented twice in Socorro on Dec. 9. On their way to the holy family, some shepherds fall victim to human frailties, with hilarious and instructive results. Los Pastores de Belen — “La Gran Pastorela,” the full-length version featuring adult actors from Socorro and Belen, will be performed at the Garcia Opera House at 6 p.m. The familiar Socorro version, “La Pastorela,” a bilingual production featuring local children, will show at the First Baptist Church at the corner of Spring and California streets at 2 p.m. Both events are free. Refreshments will be served after the children’s production. Starting in 1976, Socorro’s legendary music teacher Bobby Romero directed the children’s version of the play, casting the city’s entire third-grade class as angels, wise men, the holy family, various animals and many shepherds. Romero and, later, Socorro public school teacher Mayme Aragon continued the tradition until 2005. In 2007, Cottonwood Valley Charter School Spanish teacher Sherry Armijo and her husband, local district attorney Ricardo Berry, revived the children’s production, albeit on a much smaller scale. Armijo, who directs “La Pastorela,” said she moved to Socorro specifically because of the community’s dedication to the play, which she said probably arrived in the area with the early Spanish settlers. “I love the historical value of the

Karen Bailey-Bowman/El Defensor Chieftain

“La Pastorela” director Sherry Armijo (left) gives the cast some pointers during a rehearsal for the children’s version of the traditional nativity play. The performance is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Socorro.

play,” she said. “It’s been around since the 1500s.” The current production features 42 children, all of whom attend local public schools or are home schoolers. “The play is as much a cultural experience as it is religious,” she said. The whole production is a community effort, she said. Families and children find out about the play by word of mouth. Volunteers help with costuming and sets, the local Baptist church provides the venue and sound system, and local physician Dr. Eileen Comstock donates her time and expertise as music director. Guitarists George Zamora and Ricardo Berry provide instrumental backup. Producing the play, even with only about one-seventh the number of children as Romero’s cast, is exhausting, but the effort is worth it for Armijo.

Cops to Tots delivers presents By Lindsey Padilla

El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Socorro The Socorro Police Department will make sure some local children’s wishes come true this Christmas through the Cops to Tots program. The 19th annual Cops to Tots not only delivers presents to children, they deliver smiles as well. Last year, 400 children in Socorro County received gifts from Cops to Tots, said Socorro Police Department Capt. Angel Garcia. Garcia has been in charge of Cops to Tots for 13 years. The Socorro Police Department has forms available for people to submit the name of a child who may need a gift this holiday season along with their age and address, he said. Cops to Tots delivers gifts for children ages 1 to 12, and works with Children, Youth and Families and Socorro schools to find additional children who may need gifts, he said. Donations can be dropped off at the Socorro Police Department from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or given to a police officer. The gifts will be delivered to children’s homes by Santa on Dec. 20, he said. “Everything about it is a good program,” Garcia said. “Seeing their smiles, it is something I like to do.” The police department gets volunteers who help out with toy collections. People can donate toys or money. Garcia said the county and business owners made the program as successful as it is today. The Socorro Police Department will also choose one or two families in Socorro County and take them shopping for their Christmas needs, he said. Families can shop for things like shoes, socks, underwear and toys. “I am glad I can do this with all my patrol officers and detectives and with my wife and my family,” Garcia said. “We all give our time to do this, to make a difference — to put smiles on children’s faces. It makes me feel good inside.”

“I’m so happy every time I do it,” she said. “The audience response is always positive, and the parents keep sending their kids. Socorro is the only community that does a children’s version. “The play is a literary gem. It blends elements of golden age Spanish poetry and colonial New Mexico folk expressions. It’s a wonderful way to keep the Spanish language alive in New Mexico,” Armijo said. Armijo said historical records from 1886 to the 1930s show a version of the play being staged in Socorro on a regular basis every Christmas. The Knights of Columbus revived the play in 1953. Roots of the play go deep. Armijo believes elements of the play reveal possible ancient Greek origins, such as the Greek name Bartolo given to one of the shepherds and the use of a chorus to narrate the action.

Socorro The Giving Tree at San Miguel is helping out those less fortunate by offering an opportunity for people to share what they can. The Giving Tree, established in 1984, began at San Miguel School, said tree creator Valerie Moore. This is the Giving Tree’s 28th year. In the beginning, there weren’t a lot of people who provided gifts for the tree, she said. Over the years, the number of people donating has increased. The tree goes up the weekend before Thanksgiving. Moore said she started the Giving Tree because she thought about blessings in life, and wanted to share them with the less fortunate in the community. Last year, 580 gifts were distributed to agencies throughout Socorro. This year, there are 500 tags on the tree with special gift Lindsey Padilla/ El Defensor Chieftain Reporter requests. The agencies associated with the Giving Tree include The Giving Tree is located in Children Youth and Families, San Miguel’s Parish Hall. It Puerto Seguro, Birthright, El has tags with people’s names, Puente, La Vida Felicidad, submitted by several agencies Maternal Child Healthcare, in Socorro, who will receive Good Samaritan Nursing Home a special wrapped package and the literacy program, she before Christmas. said. “We are grateful to the people and the community who are generous,” Moore said. “Socorro takes care of its own.” People can take a tag off of the tree located in San Miguel’s parish hall. The Giving Tree is available after all Masses, and during the week, from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday. People bring gifts for those on the tags and place them under the tree. The gifts are then distributed to the specific agencies. Moore said the Giving Tree isn’t just for children, it’s for a lot of agencies in town and more have been added throughout the years. Most agencies request gifts for specific people, but don’t put a name publicly. Other agencies, such as Puerto Seguro, El Puente and Birthright, give the gifts to people as they come in and there are no specific names, she said. The Giving Tree helps give the community a chance to reach out to its less fortunate, she said. The agencies pick-up the gifts by Dec. 17 and the gifts are distributed by Dec. 18. The gifts are always wrapped, and the biggest agency associated with the Giving Tree is Puerto Seguro, which asks for sleeping bags, blankets and warm gloves for people, she said. “As many years as we have done it, it’s amazing how generous people are,” Moore said. “In the past, people have donated computers, TVs and bikes for kids. We appreciate everyone who contributes.” San Miguel volunteers and agency volunteers give the gifts out to people. In the past, some people have taken tags and have not brought anything back. If the requests are specific, Moore said she will try and go out and buy what the person needs. The Giving Tree also gets money donations to buy gifts. “Mostly all the time it has been wonderful and there have been no problems,” Moore said. “We thank the community for being generous year after year.”

viewpoints El Defensor Chieftain

4 • DECEMBER 1, 2012

The mind, the toolbox

It’s always nice to have that one tool in your toolbox you’ve used so often you’ve worn comfortable grooves into the handle. When a task requires you use it, you’re relieved – the burden the task presented grows just a little milder. Indeed, tasks which can be dealt with using such a familiar approach can almost be a pleasure. Any task which doesn’t require the familiar tool is just a little more irritating. And that’s when you really wish you had that familiar handle, that well-known balance. Because the proper tool slips out of your hand, or jerks and damages what you’re working on, or it just breaks. Now you really wish you could have used your favorite tool. That would have Griffin Swartzell made everything go just right. So you pull it out of the box, grip slipping right into place like hand and handle were made to fit each other. You go to work, expecting success, comfortable and confident. That’s when you realize you’re trying to take a hex nut out with a hammer, and you wonder exactly what you were thinking and where your life went so, so wrong. Psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” Maslow was talking about the mind and human thought processes, as psychologists sometimes do. One thought process, one approach to problems, can get so comfortable you forget your brain can do a million other things, at least some of which could be more appropriate for the situation. You can grow to have difficulty adapting and changing up thought processes to meet different challenges. You slip into a groove in your thinking and don’t want to leave. Everyone does it. Working-class people do it – they call it “being practical,” while ignoring other practical options. Academics do it – they call it “being logical,” though it’s only one logical process. I do it. You do it too. And why not? Routine is comfortable and confidence feels good. The inverse is true too; the strange and unknown are uncomfortable and sometimes scary. Actually, it’s really bothersome when academics fall prey to this thinking rut. Higher education is supposed to be a place where more advanced and creative solutions are not merely encouraged but demanded. And yet I see so many people developing their thought processes to be more and more fancy and specialized hammers. Yeah, sure, the claw can fit into a flat-head screw, and that other bit could probably loosen a bolt with a little muscle, but it’s still a hammer, and you’ve got a screwdriver and a wrench right there. A thinking brain is a complex thing capable of solving a huge array of problems in a huge variety of ways. The brain is a toolbox full of tools with adjustable fittings and boxes of different attachments for everything – the sort of toolbox even professionals dream of. Sure, it’s so disorganized there’s an academic field and a handful of professions dedicated to figuring out where everything has gotten to. But enough of the parts are there and can be found with a little searching that it’s easy to come up with a couple of solutions to any given problem and maybe even find a dozen or so useful combinations that, with a little tweaking, can solve a wide array of problems in different ways. Keep that in mind next time you find yourself banging your head against a hard task and getting nowhere. Your head’s a toolbox, not a hammer. And if you can’t find the right fitting in your toolbox, you can always see if someone else has something that will work.

Off the Easel

It’s All Geek To Me

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed on the Viewpoints page(s) are not necessarily those of El Defensor Chieftain.

El Defensor Chieftain T.H. Lang President

David B. Puddu

Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer

200 Winkler St., Socorro, nM 87801 Telephone: 575-835-0520 • Fax: 575-835-1837 E-mail:• On the web at: Reprint of this masthead prohibited. Member of the National Newspaper Association, Newspaper Association of America, Inland Press Association and the New Mexico Press Association Departments Elva K. Österreich. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Melissa Montoya . . . . . . . . . Business Manager Rebecca Apodaca . . . . . . Production Manager Jonathan Miller . . . . . . . . . . . Sports Reporter Lindsey Padilla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporter Karen Bailey-Bowman . . . . . . . . . . . Reporter Laura London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporter Desiree Herndon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising Trish Aragon . . . . . . . Administrative Assistant Paul Ulibarri Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution El Defensor Chieftain (ISSN 0011-7633) is published semi-weekly by Number Nine Media, Inc. at 200 Winkler St., Socorro, NM 87801. Periodicals postage rate paid at Socorro, NM 87801-9998. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: El Defensor Chieftain at 200 Winkler Street, Socorro, NM 87801-9998. Subscription rates in Socorro and Catron Counties: 2 years, $46; 1 year, $28; 6 months, $16; 3 months, $12. Elsewhere: 2 years, $60; 1 year, $38; 6 months, $22; 3 months, $16.

All advertising copy and artwork, news stories and photographs appearing in El Defensor Chieftain are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission of the publisher or editor. Management reserves the right to reject advertising or news copy considered objectionable. Liability for any error in advertising is limited to the value of the actual space in which the error occurs and will be satisfied by correction in the next issue. Errors of fact or erroneous reflection upon the character, standing or reputation of any individual, firm or corporation appearing in this newspaper will be corrected upon being brought to the attention of the publisher or editor.

El Defensor Chieftain welcomes and encourages original letters to the editor, especially on local topics and issues. Shorter letters, about 350 words, are preferred. Letters must be signed and include the writer’s address and telephone number (street address and phone number won’t be published). No letter will be published without the writer’s name. Letters may be edited for length, spelling, grammar and legal considerations, but in all cases the writer’s intent will be maintained. Qualified individuals wishing to directly reply to an El Defensor Chieftain editorial or column are invited to contact the editor to discuss writing an opinion piece, guest editorial or guest column.

Letters to the Editor Phillips left out things in response Editor: On Nov. 21 Mr. Fred Phillips responded to my Nickle. I appreciate the time that Mr. Phillips took to do so. I also appreciate that he delineated, better than I have, how deeply embedded the tentacles of government intervention and intrusion have become in our daily lives. Mr. Phillips obviously sees this as a boon. My cynicism tells me that anything government gives it can take away. It can also demand our obedience by just threatening to take it away. However, certain things were left off of his list. Harry Bradford, of the Huffington Post, writes about the 42.2 million Americans who are on food stamps — an increase of 70 percent a year, on average, since 2007. The work requirement in the welfare reform that was signed into law by President Clinton was gutted by a President Obama executive order. Add in the public sector union pension plans that were bailed out by the stimulus in 2009, and the cynic in me sees a purchased constituency. There is one area that Mr. Phillips and I are similar: we don’t have the skill set and the tenacity to become extremely successful entrepreneurs. However, I celebrate and applaud their success and pragmatism to see the real world around them and use the resources available to them to provide their goods or services. He on the other hand appears to have succumbed to the greeneyed monster and wants some of their pie. Mr. Phillips also claims that I am unable to render an opinion on this matter if I have ever received any government benefit. To use his logic, that felon who took a break from his incarceration and came to my high school assembly was a hypocrite for telling me to behave and avoid jail. The roofer with the flat thumbs was a hypocrite for showing me the proper way to hold a nail. The former teenage mother is a hypocrite for advocating abstinence to her daughters. Your right to comment on any and every issue is ensured by military men and women who are a long way from home, protecting our way of life and enjoying the largess of the American citizen. I have to ask, if they disagree with you, will you deny them their opinion too? Gene Brown

Responding to two letters Editor: Mr. Sichler’s letter to the editor “Wheelock voice offends reader” in response to one of your columnists, Mr. Wheelock, struck a disappointing yet familiar chord in today’s discourse on political opinion. It was neither addressed to Mr. Wheelock directly nor did it manage to elevate the discussion that (I believe) the Pencil Warrior intended. Instead the letter came across as a direct appeal to the editor to censor an individual’s opinion. In these irrational times of partisan politics, let us not forget the sentiments from a more enlightened period, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death our right to say it.” In response to Gene Brown’s latest tirade directed against the 47 percenters; here’s my nickel. How Mr. Brown connects the dots between teenage mothers/fathers and

their children as hopeless future cases for a college education is beyond me. In his eyes, are their destinations so clearly pidgeonholed to handyman career opportunities? Not a thing wrong with such careers, but let’s not fast-track students’ choices in a Hauptschule fashion based on the age of their parents or the number of school days absent. Persuasive essay writing such as his would not make it past student peer review much less the instructor in any composition course (college or high school). Here are a few pointers: Writers can appeal to logic when writing to persuade using the appeal known as logos. This appeal is manifested in the supporting statements for the writer’s claim. In most cases, a successful appeal to logos requires tangible evidence. Mr. Brown, if you did indeed obtain a degree from a 4-year college (a certificate you seem too willing to deny the offspring of teenage parents), you were either truant for class on literary and critical writing, or simply didn’t get your nickel’s worth. Michael Heagy Socorro

DAV grateful for all the help Editor: The Disabled American Veterans and the Disabled American Veteran Auxiliary wish to take this time to thank all the wonderful donors (food and monetary), servers, prep workers and cooks that made our community Thanksgiving meal a true success. We were able to serve over 480 meals and enjoy the companionship of the day. We hope to do the same again for our Christmas meal with your help from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 22. May we all be blessed this Holiday season. Vidal C. Moya Commander Socorro DAV Joe C. Montoya Chap. 24.

Co-op members investigate Editor: In the weeks since the District 4 election, Gayl Dorr and I have been looking into the procedures that were in place for that vote. There seems to be a wide assortment of problems. Earlier this year, when the members were divided into five districts, each district was to be just under 2,000 voters. The coop’s own website lists District 4 as having 1,993 members. Since mail-in ballots are not permitted, a post card mailing was done by Survey and Balloting Systems, a third party, neutral firm. They worked from a list provided by the co-op. Only 1,648 names were given to them, according to their sworn count. Previously, Gayl Dorr had asked for a list of District 4 members and was given a list with 1,605 names (no addresses). The voting sign-in books at the meeting on Oct. 6 had more than 2,600 listings. Many of these were duplicates, such as Fish and Wildlife, BLM or other government groups. Even allowing for this, and members moving etc., the wide disparity in voter numbers made it worth a careful examination of all the signatures.

We found more problems. At least one signature and address was for a property outside of District 4. Several voters voted for their residence but were also given a second vote for a security light or a pump. Under current bylaws this is not allowed. There are also examples of proxy voting, someone else voting for a person who did not attend. This is also not allowed under the bylaws. There are places where a person voted but were not required to sign the voter role. A few of the business votes, within the city limits, are not backed up by a city business license. Some even seem to be imaginary, yet they voted. The mail-in ballots for businesses did not include any instructions for sending an affidavit, while in person business voters were given one to sign. With all these irregularities, a full audit of this close election is appropriate. As the contract with Survey and Balloting Systems says they cannot be held liable since they can only work with the information they are given. The number of these discrepancies makes the results suspect. To resolve this situation the election should be overturned and the member owners given an opportunity for a fair and honest vote. Marie Watkins, San Antonio

Information requests ignored Editor: Recently we received a flyer from the Socorro Electric Cooperative. It was their attempt to gather information. Ten thousand were mailed at a cost of $7,000. Out of the 10,000 only 49 were returned, so the cost per flyer would be $140 each. With so little response, what information can they ascertain? We have repeatedly asked for information about the SEC spending practices but have been road blocked or flat denied, their reasoning being it costs money. The board recently passed a ruling that if you go in and ask for information it will cost you $1 per copy. The Chieftain was asked to pay close to $100 for public information that is made available for free at meetings of the Socorro County Commission, City Council, etc. This is beyond highway robbery, it is an attempt to discourage anyone from looking into the matters of the member owned S.E.C. Prior to all of this, I had asked the general manager to see about putting everyone’s district on the light bill — that way folks would know who to vote for and what district they were in. I was informed that it cost too much money for the software. Do you imagine it costs more than $7,000? Also, FYI, at the last SEC meeting our new board member from Catron County was in the audience. Mr. Wagner asked if she could be seated on the board immediately. Catron has not had representation since April when we went to a five-member board. The board’s response was a resounding “no” and they also declined to certify the District 5 election even though they had the election summary, the official results and media breakdown. Even with all the media coverage and court intervention, the SEC board is still not complying and just being a bunch of thugs. Hope to see you at our next SEC meeting. Charlene West Lemitar

El Defensor Chieftain

Keep the heat on this winter Program helps low income families facing utility cut offs Karen Bailey-Bowman El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Socorro Families struggling to pay winter heating bills can get help from New Mexico’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, according to Melissa Amaro, collections clerk at the Socorro Electric Cooperative office. Qualifying low-income families whose current accounts are paid in full can apply for a moratorium on heating bills from now until March 15, Amaro said. This help applies to whatever heating source the family

depends on — electricity, propane, firewood, wood pellets or natural gas. In order to qualify for the program, people have to meet certain income and household criteria. Application forms can be obtained from the New Mexico Human Services Department office at 1014 N. California St. Amaro can help people fill out the forms at the SEC office, or they can go see Flora Baca at the Mid-west Community Action Program office on Spring Street. Baca can be reached at 835-0899. People whose utilities have already been disconnected or who are almost out of firewood, wood pellets or propane should contact the Human Services Department to find out if they are eligible for Crisis LIHEAP help. For more information on LIHEAP, call the SEC office at 8350560 and ask for Melissa Amaro, or call the Human Services Department at 835-0342.

BLM announces free-fee days El Defensor Chieftain Report The Bureau of Land Management will waive recreation-related fees in 2013 for visitors to the BLM’s National System of Public Lands on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day; and Nov. 9-11,Veterans Day weekend. These fee-free days also include areas managed within the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. The fee-free requirement only applies to standard amenity fees,

such as individual day-use fees. Other fees, such as those for group day use, overnight camping and cabin rentals, will remain in effect. New Mexico fee-free sites include: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River which includes Wild Rivers and Orilla Verde Recreation Areas, Santa Cruz Lake, Valley of Fires Recreation Area, Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, Aguirre Spring Recreation Site and Dripping Springs Natural Area. For more information, please visit BLM’s website at: www.blm. gov/wo/st/en/prog/Recreation/BLM_Fee_Free_Days.html.

Benefits: County employee policy updated Continued from Page 1 also closed some loopholes and updated the personnel policy to bring it into compliance with federal employment laws that have changed since 2005, when the personnel policy was made. District 5 Commissioner Juan Gutierrez asked if the county has to publish the whole thing; it’s over 100 pages. County attorney Adren Nance said publishing the title and general summary of the policy will suffice. That will give everyone an opportunity to be aware of it and come in to the clerk’s office to review the whole thing if they like. Walsh said the commission should wait longer than 30 days before taking action on the policy because they need people to read it beforehand and make comments. She said that should be reasonable, considering this is the first revision in seven years. During Walsh’s manager’s report later in the meeting, she told the commission the county needs a compensation plan. The first step to building that would be a compensation study, which would look at job duties and job descriptions in the whole county government; examine market rates of pay for similar positions in surrounding areas and make a recommendation. Walsh said if the county goes “the whole route” — including developing a policy, compensation plans and salary scales, as well as redoing job descriptions and the classification system — the cost could run $30,000 to $40,000. However, she estimated a compensation study with recommenda-

tions alone, with Walsh taking the next year to do the rest of the work and create a whole plan, would run $12,000 to $18,000. “It is a big investment,” Walsh said. “But what this does is we would put every single employee exactly where they need to be for pay.” Walsh said she already knows the county can’t afford to compensate employees at 100 percent of what the recommendation will be, but they can get everyone to 90 percent and phase that into fiscal years as money becomes available. She said most county employees now make about 87 to 90 percent of what they should make — but when it comes to the detention center and the senior center, the percentage is much lower. Walsh said she wants to do the compensation study in order to get a good compensation plan in place, ensure fairness throughout the entire county and develop a good system that can evolve with the county’s needs. “When you think about it, more than half of our budget is wages,” Walsh said. “And so we’re committing half of our $14 million total budget for the year — half of it’s wages and we’re kind of willy-nilly everywhere. “If it’s half our budget, we should know what we’re doing — down to the penny. And we should be doing it right — down to the penny.” Walsh said although the county would have to pay for the study out of its reserves because it doesn’t have capital outlay money for the purpose, the county needs to have something in place by the time they start budget planning in March. She said she wasn’t asking for anything at this time because she is still checking prices, but she wanted the

commission to know about it now. “We need to get there. We need to be there,” Walsh said. “This is our last big policy change that we need to implement.” Gutierrez said when he looked over the pay scale recently, he noticed a lot of discrepancies. He noted some employees who have been working for the county three years make more than others who have been working there 13 years. He said this can cause problems when people find out what others make. “I think we need something where we can back our word on why certain persons are getting more than others,” Gutierrez said. Walsh agreed, saying that especially comes into play when different certification requirements are involved. Walsh said the big problem is departments give raises on a per-budget basis, not according to a good classification system that makes sense to everyone. Raises are generally granted according to whether a department can cut its budget somewhere else, not according to the merits of the employees. “If you can cut your budget, you can give your staff a raise,” Walsh said. “If you can’t cut your budget, you’re out of luck. That’s how we’ve been dealing with it and trying to keep everybody.” She said, for example, the solid waste department never does well with its budget because landfill fees go up every year. “So it’s impossible for them to get new trucks and raises and things like that if we keep operating the way we are today,” Walsh said.

Questions: Co-op attorney suggests motion Continued from Page 1 The people in the audience were talking quietly among themselves as they discussed what was happening, and board member Don Walberg suggested if they couldn’t be quiet they should be thrown out. Wagner suggested the questions be written out and placed on the next agenda. Wade continued asking questions, implying more and more serious charges as he went along. Each time Wagner refused to respond, Wade would make comments in an attempt to get Wagner to answer, such as, “You do hear me don’t you? You understand what I am saying?” There were 11 questions, the last one being: “Are you aware that trustees are not to receive any personal benefit from any co-op member?” Wolberg read a line from an email allegedly sent from Wagner to the election services vendor, “Want to make sure your firm gets the job again for the District 2 and 3 elections in 2013,” Wolberg read.

But even the alleged email, provided by board members, attributes the suggestion to the Reform Committee, not to Wagner, as Wolberg implied. “There are egregious violations of self-dealing and policy,” Wolberg said and called Wagner an anathema to all the co-ops in the state. Co-op attorney Lorna Wiggins suggested the board hire independent counsel to look into allegations against Wagner. “Go ahead and make up all the stuff you want to,” Wagner said. “I’ll listen.” Wiggins recommended a motion for an independent lawyer to be hired to investigate allegations against Wagner. Wolberg made a motion to hire appropriate independent counsel to investigate the issues involving Wagner, but Wiggins suggested a different wording for the motion and Wolberg amended his motion to Wiggins’ suggested wording. “The motion is to authorize me to make a suggestion and bring it back to the board in the

December meeting,” Wiggins said. The board passed the motion with everyone voting “aye” except Wagner who voted “nay.” Wagner requested a roll call vote, which Wade denied until Wagner pointed out that according to Robert’s Rules of Order, if a roll call is requested by a board


There will be a meeting of the City of Socorro Police Oversight Commission on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers (111 School of Mines Road). The public is invited to attend. A copy of the agenda is available at City Hall. For more information, please contact Pat Salome, City Clerk, at 575-835-0240.

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member, it has to be done. “To show I’m a better man than you are, OK,” Wade replied. After the vote, Wade said he is going to hold off on making the election certification until the meeting in December. There was no vote held to table the action and no vote on the certification of the elections.


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Emergency: Planning Continued from Page 1 Hollis said his department is in the process of buying materials to set up pens for large animals, and will have enough materials to set up 10 horse pens. He said they also have smaller cages for dogs and cats, “and all the buckets and poopy scoops.” Monette said he has some room to accommodate evacuated horses if it is needed. During an interview Wednesday, Hollis showed the county’s brand new emergency operations center, also located in the County Annex. The EOC has eight computer terminals and telephones, and two chairs at each desk, to accommodate all the emergency personnel who would need to direct emergency operations from there. Hollis explained the terminals will be set up in an emergency for each department that needs to be there — city police, county sheriff, fire departments or others, depending on the nature of the emergency. He said the terminals can pull up any emergency plan in the system, which tells the operators step by step how to proceed during an emergency so a new person can conceivably function just as well in the EOC as an experienced person. Hollis said all the terminals are connected to the county server so anybody can pull up anything they need from inside the EOC. Emergency personnel can just go to the EOC and don’t have to bring things with them. Hollis said they are just finishing the EOC now; the final touch needed is the projector, which will be set up to display anything at any terminal that a person needs to show to the whole room. It will project a large image of the terminal view on a pull-down screen for all to see. At the back of the room are glass doors separating it from another small area, the communications room. Hollis explained the communications room will be used for the EOC’s communications during an emergency and includes a full range of radio equipment — ham, UHF and VHF.

Boxing: Brings visitors Continued from Page 1 Moses introduced some youth from the boxing club, ages 8 to 13, who came along with him to the commission meeting and will compete at Saturday’s event. He added more boxing students who were not at the meeting will compete as well. Moses asked the county to donate some funds to help the boxing club. Adren Nance, legal counsel for the county, said state statute precludes the county from making donations to a private entity. “I hate to be the bad guy in something like this,” Nance said. Chairman and District 4 Commissioner Daniel Monette asked if the county could mark it down as advertising. Nance said it could count as advertising if the money came from certain funds, like the lodger’s tax fund. County manager Delilah Walsh said for lodger’s tax funds, the county has to go through the lodger’s tax committee so it’s not something the commission can direct. “I think if it’s advertising, isn’t that a different story?” Walsh asked. Nance said if the county can articulate the benefit it is receiving, then they can do it. “Well, it’s going to help our lodger’s tax,” Monette said. “That’s a benefit,” Walsh said. “You could do it as advertising if you’re trying to invite people into the community.” Walsh said the county doesn’t budget for advertising very much, but she could easily find $500 in the county’s budget for it. However, she said $1,000 or more would be difficult to come up with. Moses said anything would help the boxing club. The commission unanimously passed a motion to spend $500 on advertising. District 2 Commissioner Rumaldo Griego indicated a specific audience member at the meeting and said she would donate to the club. He added he would also make a personal donation in honor of his parents. Moses thanked Griego and the County Commission, and invited everyone to come to the event. “Socorro used to be in boxing pretty big, from what I understand,” Moses said, “and I’m bringing it back, and I’m bringing it back in a positive way.”

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El Defensor Chieftain

6 • DECEMBER 1, 2012

New Mexico books to treasure

Last year about this time, I did a column on recently published New Mexico books, easily overlooked yet worthy of Christmas gifting. It was my first effort in that line, but a warm response from readers has prompted me to make another go of it. The leadoff book on my new list is “Santa Fe, 400 Years, 400 Questions,” edited by Elizabeth West (Sunstone Press, hardback $40, soft cover $30). It honors the 400th anniversary of the capital’s founding in 1610, although not published until 2012. Framework for the text is provided by 400 questions that originally appeared daily in the Santa Fe New Mexican, each followed by an expanded or sometimes revised answer. The questions deal with history and contemporary culture. A lot of fascinating material is shoehorned into this hefty volume of almost 400 pages, which includes a wealth of early photographs, maps and images by 20th century artist Harold E. West. In it I found much history that was new to me. Jumping to the lower end of the state, I can recommend Rick Hendricks’ “The Casads, A Pioneer Family of the Mesilla Valley” (Rio Grande Books, soft cover, $17.95). Here is one of the few detailed accounts of an

early American promoter in that quarter of the New Mexico Territory. Thomas Casad and his family while traveling eastward from California, became stranded in the Mesilla Valley two days before Christmas 1874. By the time of his Marc Simmons death 11 years later, he had become an outstanding agriculturist and dairyman of the area, and the first to introduce modern farming equipment. Casad built grist mills, invested in mining and became one of the editors of the Mesilla Valley Independent newspaper, along with famed political figure Albert J. Fountain. This book offers up a revealing glimpse into our 19th century economic history. Author Hendricks, incidentally, at present is the New Mexico State historian. Carol P. Decker’s “The Great Pecos Mission, 1540-2000” (Sunstone Press, soft cover, $12.95) gives us an easy-to-read historical introduction to perhaps the state’s most frequently visited ruined Pueblo church, 20 miles east of Santa Fe.

New Mexico Scrapbook

Early day Spaniards described Pecos as “the biggest and most prominent pueblo we have encountered.” Its story is studied with episodes of high dreams and tragedy. Quite intriguing is Decker’s final chapter, “Return of the Ancestors.” It tells of 200 human skeletons that archeologists prior to 1930 removed from Pecos graves and sent to Harvard University. These were returned in 1999 to New Mexico and reburied in protected ground within what is today the Pecos National Historical Park. Historic Fort Stanton, located in Lincoln County, is one of those gems that lends substance to the claim that “New Mexico remains a place where the past still counts.” The county is best known, of course, as the theater in which that grisly war starring Billy the Kid was played out. Fort Stanton, established in 1853, is remembered for its role in the conflict, but also for much else. The chief mission of the fort was to control the neighboring Mescalero Apaches. After abandonment as a military post in 1896

buildings were transferred to the Public Health Service to become the country’s first tuberculosis sanatorium. Lincoln County historian/author Lynda A. Sanchez has summed up the entire story in her book “Fort Stanton, An Illustrated History” (privately printed, stiff covers, $48, available on By letter she tells me that orders placed directly by her phone at (575) 653-4821 will receive a significant discount. This oversize volume is replete with color photographs and historical images. The last title on my list is also my top choice for the year: David V. Holtby, “Forty-Seventh Star, New Mexico’s Struggle for Statehood” (University of Oklahoma Press, hard cover, $29.95). It demonstrates how corruption, cronyism and bitterly partisan politics prevented New Mexico from achieving statehood for a total of 64 years. Richly textured and full of surprises, this book is beautifully written, informative and as reliable as you can find. Anyone wishing to delve below the surface of New Mexico’s history will find rewards aplenty in “Forty-Seventh Star.”

The Blotter Socorro County Sheriff’s Office

Oct. 27

April 27

• A deputy met with another sheriff’s deputy, who was conducting an investigation in conjunction with an investigator working for the Recording Industry Association of America. Three suspects — a Socorro man, a Rio Rancho man and an Albuquerque woman — were selling counterfeit or pirated music discs and DVD movies at the flea market in Socorro on the 200 block of California Street. Purchases were made by the investigator at different times of day on April 27. CDs and DVDs were seized, and a request for destruction of these items was made to the courts.

• A deputy assisted a Bureau of Land Management ranger with the arrest of a Santa Fe man for resisting/evading an officer in the area of Quebradas Road, Escondida. The deputy transported the suspect to the sheriff’s department, where he was processed prior to incarceration.

Nov. 13

• A deputy arrested a Veguita man about 8:29 p.m. on two warrants and transported him to the detention center.

• A deputy met with a resident of the 200 block of Fifth Street, who said he wanted to turn himself in because he had a warrant for his arrest. The deputy confirmed the warrant and arrested the man. • A deputy assisting the DWI Compliance Office was advised a resident of the 200 block of Mesquite had a warrant for his arrest. The deputy confirmed the warrant and arrested the suspect.

Nov. 12

Nov. 14

Nov. 10

• A deputy was dispatched to the area of state Highway 304 and U.S. 60 in reference to a vehicle fire. The deputy learned that a body was found at the scene and assisted the crime lab with road security.

• A deputy arrested a Lemitar man on a warrant about 8:07 p.m. at Isidro Baca Park.

Nov. 16

• A deputy pulled over a vehicle on Interstate 25 about

3:01 p.m. for a traffic violation. The deputy learned the driver, an Albuquerque woman, was driving on a suspended license and that she had a warrant for her arrest. The deputy arrested the woman and transported her to the sheriff’s department for processing, but she was able to bond out on the warrant. She was issued a citation for the traffic violation.

Nov. 17

• A deputy was dispatched to the 4300 block of Chaparral, Socorro, about 12:30 p.m. and met with a woman who reported the 91-year-old resident of the home was unresponsive. EMTs were called but the man had no signs of life. The Office of the Medical Investigator was called and the man was pronounced dead.

Nov. 19

• Two vehicles driven by Albuquerque men were traveling southbound on Interstate 25. One vehicle was carrying a piece of equipment used to separate rock. The other vehicle was passing it when the first vehicle hit a bump, which dislodged gravel and small rocks, which struck the grill and windshield of the passing vehicle. The company that owns the first vehicle agreed to repair any damage. There were no injuries and no enforcement action was taken. • A deputy assisting the DWI Compliance Office learned an Alamo man had an outstanding arrest warrant. The deputy confirmed the warrant and arrested the man. • A deputy was dispatched to Socorro Magistrate Court about 9:30 a.m. and arrested a suspect,

a Los Lunas man, on an outstanding warrant. • A deputy assisting the DWI Compliance Office learned a resident of the 900 block of Sean Street had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The deputy confirmed the warrant and arrested the man.

Nov. 20

• A deputy was dispatched to Monterey Road in Veguita about 8:25 a.m. for an animal attack and met with the victim, who said her neighbor’s dog went into her yard and attacked her. She had dog bites on both hands and forearms, and her injuries were treated in Belen. The deputy attempted to contact the neighbor, the dog’s owner, but had no contact. The neighbor was cited into Magistrate Court.


SARATE – Frances Sarate, 84, passed away peacefully in her home Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. She was born in Socorro on April 6, 1928, to Valentine and Josefita (Gonzales) Barela. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 52 years, Juan Sarate; her brothers Juan Barela, Joe Jojola, Emilio Jojola, Henry Jojola Sr. and one childhood brother; and

her sisters Lena Silva and one childhood sister. Frances was a life-long resident of Socorro. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren meant everything to her. She always tried to find ways to be a blessing to those she loved. Frances enjoyed cooking, crocheting, sewing and reading the newspaper. She valued hard work and retired from the position of head cook with Socorro Consolidated Schools after 35 years of service. She enjoyed her morning cup of coffee and toast with jelly. She looked forward to the daily phone calls that she made or received from family members. She was a beautiful lady who put others before herself. She is loved and will be missed dearly. She is at

home in heaven now with her savior Jesus Christ. Frances is survived by her daughters Irene Duran and husband, Tony, and Patty Torres and husband, David; three grandchildren, Melanie Sanchez, David Torres Jr. and Caitlin Duran; seven great-grandchildren, Logan, Shianne and Brodyn Sanchez, David Torres III,Marcos and Jeremiah Torres and Damion Gutierrez; and many other loving family members. A holy rosary was recited Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, at 10 a.m. at San Miguel Church, followed by a communion service at 10:30 a.m.

with Deacon Nick Keller officiating. Interment took place at San Miguel Cemetery. Pallbearers were Raymond Jojola, Henry Jojola, Miguel Rosales, Gilbert Gonzales, Gilbert Anaya and David Torres Jr. Honorary pallbearers were her great-grandchildren. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www. Frances’ care has been entrusted to: Daniels Family Funeral Services 309 Garfield St. Socorro, NM 87801 835-1530

The City of Socorro will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 111 School of Mines Rd.

AGENDA 1. Roll Call 2. Pledge of Allegiance 3. Approval of December 3, 2012 City Council Agenda 4. Consideration of Minutes a. November 19, 2012 5. Public Forum 6. Discussion & Deliberation a. Resolution No. 12-12-03 – Amendment to the Personnel Manual – Weather – Related Leave 7. Committee Reports 8. New Business 9. Old Business 10. Executive Session (NMSA 197810-15-1) a. Personnel Matters b. Legal Matters c. Reporting Out of Executive Session 11. Mayor’s Report a. Reporting on Personnel Changes b. Business Registrations c. Announcement - Next City Council Meeting Date & Time - Monday, December 17, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. 12. Adjournment

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COORDINATED Home Health Care is seeking a branch supervisor with great organizational and interpersonal skills for our Socorro area. Responsibilities include staff & client supervision, hiring and training; regulation compliance, community outreach and computer skills. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, some college preferred. CASA Court Appointed Specisupervisory and al Advocates seeking 12-15hrs Previous weekly county coordinator, home health care experience oversee volunteers working preferred. Position is part time; with childrens court. Send in- with the potential to transition quiries to: PO Box 293 T or C, to full time. To apply send resume and cover letter to NM 87901 or Jinni 418-8748. EOE

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El Defensor Chieftain

DECEMBER 2012 -•1 7 December 1, 1, 2012

1190 Merchandise-Misc.

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MOBILE home for rent: 2bdrm, 2ba., wood heater. $430 month, water pd. Polvadera Heights. 575-517-7451.

1675 Rentals to Share Roomate wanted. Home location: 311 Hilltop, near the Shell Station. Inquire at 575-4181396.

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2180 Farms/Ranches DO YOU OWN WATER RIGHTS ? We research and declare water rights in Valencia and Socorro Counties. We also help find buyers and sellers. If you have water rights, or think you have water rights, or just don’t know, please contact us.

WATER BANK 505-843-7643 2205 Lots, Acreage-Res. STEAL MY 20 ACRES near Ruidoso, $29,900. Municipal water, maintained roads and electric. Won’t last at this price! Call NMRS 866-906-2857


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2 BDRM, 1 BA Mobile Home in San Acacia, $550 month, $400 deposit, all utilities included. Call Mike at 575-740-8417. 3BDRM, 1 ba. in San Acacia. $600 pmoth, $400 deposit, utilities included. Call Mike 575740-8417. RV spaces for rent.

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Jim Ruff and Mary Ruff have been appointed Co-Personal Representatives of this estate. All persons having claims against this estate are required to present their claims within two months after the date of the first publication of this Notice or the claims will be forever barred. Claims must be either presented to the undersigned Co-Personal Representatives, c/o Virtue Najjar & Brown, PC, 600 Central Avenue, S.E., Suite 203, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, or filed with the Seventh Judicial District Court. DATED: November 28, 2012. s/Jim Ruff JIM RUFF, Co-Personal Representative And /s/Mary Ruff MARY RUFF, Co-Personal Representative c/o Virtue Najjar & Brown, PC 600 Central Avenue, S.E., Suite 203 Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102 (505) 352-1614 Published on December 01 and 08, 2012 STATE ENGINEER OFFICE NOTICE is hereby given that on September 17, 2012, completed on October 25, 2012, Lon E. Strombeck, PO Box 314, Reserve, New Mexico 87830, and Loren R. and/or Debra J. Cushman, PO Box 835, Reserve, New Mexico


, , 87830, filed application GSF3864-1 into GSF-3768 with the STATE ENGINEER for permit to change point of diversion and place of use in the Gila-San Francisco Stream System, to change from well GSF-3864, located on Lot 13, Section 2, Township 6 south, Rance 18 West, N.M.P.M. for an amount of water not to exceed 27.0 acre-feet per acre delivered at the farm headgate or at the well as the case may be in any period of 10 consecutive years and not to exceed 3.5 acre-feet per acre delivered at the farm headgate or at the well as the case may be in any 1.0 year for domestic, stock, and watering of lawn, garden and tree purposes on 0.25 acres of land located on Lot 13, Section 2 Township 6 South, Range 18 West, N.M.P.M., and commence the use of existing well GSF-3768, located in the SE 1/4 of Lot 7, Section 2, Township 6 South, Range 18 West, N.M.P.M., at a latitude of 33deg 49’4.75" north and a longitude of 108deg 40’8.90" west, the average yearly diversion shall not exceed 0.675 acre-feet measured at the well for domestic, stock, and noncommercial lawn, garden and tree purposes on 0.25 N.M.P.M., This porperty is located in the vicinity of Cruzville, New Mexico in Catron County. Any person, firm or corporation or other entity having standing to file objections or protests shall do so in writing (objection must be legible, signed, and include the writer’s complete name, phone number and mailing address). The objection to the approval of the application must be based on: (1) Impairment; if impairment, you must specifically identify your water rights; and/or (2) Public Welfare/Conservation of Water; if public welfare or conservation of water within the state of New Mexico, you must show how you will be substantially and specifically affected. The written protest must be filed, in triplicate, with the State Engineer, P.O. Box 844, Deming, NM 88031, within ten (10) days after the date of the last publication of this Notice. Facsimilies will be accepted as a valid protest as long as the hard copy is handdelivered or mailed and postmarked within 24-hours of the facsimile. Mailing postmark will be used to validate the 24-hour period. Protests can be faxed to the OSE at 575-546-2290. If no valid protest or objection is filed, the State Engineer will evaluate the application in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 72 NMSA 1978. Published on November 17, 24 and December 01, 2012

Relatos del Pasado STORIES OF THE PAST

El Defensor Chieftain • December 1, 2012 • 8

the orderly societies, masterful building techniques, irrigated fields, and the understanding of mathematics and astronomy. Yet, the Spaniards continued to call the people of these flourishing civilizations Indians as well.

The azTeC emPire

Courtesy of Maya Archaeology

The famous Mayan calendar is a giant circular stone that completes a cycle every 5,125 years. The cycle ends Dec. 21, 2012, and another Mayan “long count” cycle begins.

By Paul Harden

For El Defensor Chieftain

By now, people the world over have heard Dec. 21, 2012, marks the end of the Mayan calendar. Over the past 20 years, this uninteresting fact has exploded into a host of doomsday and end-of-theworld predictions — but not by the Mayans. The Maya and Aztecs were well developed civilizations throughout Mexico and Central America when the Spaniards arrived in 1519. The Inca were another expansive empire. The Aztecs, Maya, and Inca are often confused. They were three separate civilizations, although they shared many common traits and cultural practices. The Aztecs and Maya occupied Mexico and Central America. The Inca lived in South America. All three empires existed at the same time. Rather than worrying about whether the world will come to an end in three weeks, these indigenous people should be respected for their advanced civilizations and the influence they brought to the Americas — including to the people of New Mexico.

Pre-Columbian PeoPle

The pre-Columbian era simply means before Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World about A.D. 1500. In spite of what history books say, there is little evidence that Columbus actually stepped foot on what is now the North American continent. Instead, he explored the lands and native peoples of the Caribbean Islands and Cuba, and thus missing Florida by 90 miles. Columbus thought he had found India. He called the native people “Indians,” which sort of proves he was lost. The Indians he encountered lived a rather barbaric life in grass huts, compared to the

majestic cities of Europe. Due to this contrast, Columbus reported the Indians to be a very primitive, uneducated and savage people. This attitude quickly changed when Hernan Cortez landed on the Yucatan Peninsula, in 1519. Pushing inland, he traveled through the impressive Mayan cities of Ixhuacán, Xocotla, and Ixtacamaxtitlan located deep in the Yucatan jungle. The Maya lived in substantial stone dwellings with temples and other beautifully built structures that matched the skills of European masons and stonecutters. Continuing inland, Cortez was led to Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire — today’s Mexico City. Cortez saw an even more majestic city with enormous stone temples and olympian-sized pyramids. Governed by King Moctezuma II, the Aztecs lived an orderly life with plenty of food. Their luscious fields, irrigated with canals and viaducts, were a sight to see. When Cortez arrived in Mexico, it is believed there were more than 20 million Aztecs and Mayans, with more than 200,000 living in Tenochtitlán. Compare this to Europe’s largest city, Paris, France, with a population of 185,000. Tenochtitlán surpassed even the largest cities in Europe at the time. The mysteries of the New World did not stop at Tenochtitlán. Over the next 80 years, Spanish explorers ventured into New Mexico to find yet other developed cultures of people living in orderly towns and cities called pueblos. Following the Rio Grande, the first inhabited pueblos were found in today’s Socorro County — the Piro nation. The Spaniards did not consider the people of Central America, Mexico or New Mexico to be primitive, uneducated savages like those of the Caribbean Islands. They were impressed with

Courtesy of Meso American Studies

The pyramid at Chichen Itza is one of many temples built by the Maya.

The Maya and Aztecs were two different civilizations, though very similar. Like most ancient tribes in the Americas, they began as small hunter-gatherer groups. By A.D. 1200, the Aztecs had congregated in the Valley of Mexico and settled near Lake Texcoco and began living in small villages. In 1325, the Aztecs established the city of Tenochtitlán on an island in Lake Texcoco. During the rainy season, the lake would often flood the city. The Aztecs responded by building an elaborate system of canals, levies and causeways. This was the beginning of a great city. In 1376, the Aztecs selected Acamapichitli to be their Huey Tlatcani, the first emperor or king over the Aztec empire. All of the Aztec kings who followed were descendents. Acamapichitli ordered the construction of a huge pyramid to serve as a religious temple. By 1487, it had been enlarged 11 times until it towered over the entire city. The Aztecs matured into accomplished engineers, mathematicians and astronomers. They held political and military control over much of Mexico until their empire was crushed by the Spaniards in 1521. Life was not rosy, either. Aztec leaders seemed to always be at war with neighboring tribes and villages. Those who were conquered served as slaves or were used for human sacrifice. The Aztecs, Maya and Incas all practiced some level of human sacrifice to appease the gods. The Aztecs took the practice to unprecedented levels, often sacrificing more than 1,000 people in a single religious ceremony.

arrival of The SPaniardS

Hernan Cortez landed on Yucatan Peninsula on Good Friday, in 1519, and made his way to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán. Cortez was so impressed with the Aztec city and the miles of canals, he compared it to Istanbul, Turkey, or Venice, Italy. King Moctezuma II presented gifts of gold and other precious items to the arriving Spaniards. Bad move, since all Spanish explorers at this time were hungry for gold. Cortez and about 400 soldiers attempted to capture Tenochtitlán, the gold, and the 200,000 citizens. Another bad move. After a bloody battle, Cortez and the remnants of his army fled through the jungles back to their ships at Yucatan. Undaunted by a mere defeat, Cortez returned in 1521. This time, he was able to recruit thousands of native people that had become enemies of the harsh Aztec rule. Arriving at Tenochtitlán, Cortez and Moctezuma II met and almost became friends. Cortez, his soldiers, and the native allies were invited to stay in one of the palaces. To thank the friendly Aztecs, Cortez kidnapped Moctezuma to topple his control, and the Aztec capital. Tenochtitlán surrendered to the Spaniards. The rest of Mexico quickly fell. Cortez then ordered a complete destruction of one of the world’s most majestic cities. Everything was leveled to the ground and Cortez later killed Moctezuma. Cortez forced thousands of Aztecs to build a new Spanish-style city on top of the rubble of their beloved Tenochtitlán. He called his new outpost Mexico City, which served as the capital of “New Spain” for the next 300 years, and remains as the current capital of Mexico. The senseless destruction of the Aztec capital was so complete, very little of the original Tenochtitlán survives to this day. Remnants of the

long-gone great pyramids were recently discovered in 1978. This has been a major archaeological project ever since to excavate as much of the pyramids as possible. Hopefully one day, the pyramids will stand again to serve as a lasting reminder of the once great Aztec empire and her people.

azTeC Calendar

The Aztecs developed a calendar — in fact, two of them. One was the solar calendar called the xiuhpohualli. The Aztec year was divided into 18 months of 20 days each, with a special five-day festival period added on for the proper 365 days in the solar year. This calendar was used to determine the seasons, times for planting and harvesting, planning festivities, and other events. The Aztec solar calendar was carved into a circular stone and called the “calendar round.” At the center was an image of the sun god, surrounded by the symbols of the 20-day months and other lunar and planetary movements. Although it appears simplistic and crude, it has accurately predicted eclipses and the return of certain comets for centuries. The Maya improved on this calendar in later years. The Aztecs also had a religious calendar that was 260 days in length, which was used to worship the gods and for determining religious events, birthdays and ceremonies. Now this gets a bit complicated. This calendar consisted of 20 “day signs,” each representing one of their gods, named after animals, such as a jaguar or rabbit. Simultaneously, another day calendar marched off a 13-day month, numbered 1-13. These two calendars ran side-by-side, and repeated every 260 days. Typical dates could then be “3 jaguar” or “7 rabbit.” If you were born on 7 rabbit, that became your name. I don’t know how they handled twins. Both the solar and religious calendars were used together. It took 52 years for the two calendars to once again have the same date to start the cycle over again. On the last day of the 52-year cycle, the high Aztec priest would see if the Pleiades constellation would rise in the night sky — indicating the gods allowed the world to continue for another 52 years. The following day, a huge “new creation” ceremony was held in which numerous sacrifices (yes, human sacrifices) were offered to the gods for allowing their life to continue for another 52 years. Surviving Aztec texts explain that human sacrifices consisted of ripping the heart out of live victims, often after first cutting off their limbs to prevent a struggle. The still beating heart was then offered to the gods to symbolize life. Thousands of people were sacrificed during such special occasions. And, indeed, piles of bones from these severed limbs have been excavated at Aztec temples. Our calendar, marking off 365 days from January to December, seems so much simpler — and far less bloody.

The azTeC language

The Aztec language was called N’ahuatl. The Mayan dialects were similar. Instead of having an alphabet, they used hundreds of symbols (or glyphs) to represent nouns and verbs. A string of these glyphs formed sentences. Only scribes and priests knew the written language, and it was they who recorded their history and stories on the walls of their temples, and in books called Codices. The Spanish ordered the destruction of the Aztec writings to promote the Spanish language and to minimize the role of the Aztec priests and scribes. Much of their written history was destroyed. The written language would be lost today were it not for the efforts of a Franciscan priest named n See History, Page 9

Courtesy of Maya Pauahtun

The written language of the Aztecs and Maya adorn the walls of their temples and still tell a story about these ancient civilizations.

El Defensor Chieftain

DECEMBER 1, 2012 • 9

Courtesy of El Traje y El Mundo

ABOVE: More than 7 million Maya still live in the ancient homeland of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Courtesy of Meso American Studies

LEFT: The great pyramid of Tenochtitlán was found under an old church in 1978. It is still being excavated today.

History: Maya Continued from Page 8 Bernardino de Sahagún. He learned the N’ahuatl spoken language and recorded 2,400 pages, organized into 12 books, called the Codex Florentino. It was written in Spanish, N’ahuatl, and more than 2,000 Aztec glyphs. He wrote his books, starting in 1545, until his death in 1590. These books have been used by archaeologists and linguists ever since to translate the Aztec written language.

The Inca empIre

Far to the south, the Inca lived along the west coast of South America from Peru to Chile. Many of their cities were built high in the Andes Mountains. Like the Aztecs, their expansive empire was ruled by a central government and a single king. In 1533, Spanish invaders, led by Francisco Pizarro, discovered the Inca. Killing their single king allowed Pizarro to quickly crush the empire in the name of Spain. The Inca had no written language. For this reason, the least is known about their history and people. Unlike Aztec or Mayan temples and buildings, filled with glyphs telling the importance of the building, who was the king at the time, or history, the Incan temples and structures contain almost no symbols. Their large cities — often built on almost inaccessible mountain tops of the Andes — and why they were abandoned, remain a mystery to this day. The Inca are known for their intricate masonry skills, though it is still not known how they cut the massive stones with such accuracy and transported them to remote places (such as Machu Picchu) deep in the rugged mountains of Peru. The Incan cities were all connected with an elaborate network of footpaths through the Andes Mountains and across arid deserts. The Inca were skillful potters, wove fine and colorful fabrics, and are known for their beautiful gold jewelry. Most of today’s Inca live in Peru and Bolivia.

The mayan empIre

The Mayan civilization lived south of the Aztecs in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. They were cultivating crops as early as 1800 B.C. The Mayan empire peaked with 40 cities, some of which had populations exceeding 50,000 people, and a total population of about 5 million people. The Maya were accomplished astronomers and mathematicians for their time. They could predict eclipses, periodic comets and other astronomical events. They had a complex social structure and built elaborate temples and pyramids — many of which still stand to this day. Others remain hidden and unexcavated deep in the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula The Maya also had excellent medical practices. Shamans, or medicine men, acted as a medium between the physical and spiritual worlds. Even

Courtesy of Ministry Cusco

The precisely cut stones of the Inca fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How the huge stones were cut so accurately remains a mystery. today, the shamans practice a unique blend of sorcery, religion and medicine. It is known that the ancient Maya sutured wounds with human hair, splinted fractured bones, and even filled teeth with iron pyrite, jade or turquoise. The shamans encouraged the Maya to regularly take sweat baths for cleanliness and spiritual purification. Excavations of their cities reveal many ancient saunas. Unlike the Aztecs, who built their cities near lakes and rivers for irrigation, the Mayan cities were built deep inside the rain forests of Central America, where natural wildlife and edible vegetation was plentiful and easy to cultivate. The Mayan empire peaked around A.D. 900, and then their cities went into an unexplained rapid decline. This remains a mystery to this day. Many of the Mayan cities, such as Copán, were abandoned during this period. Proposed theories include everything from a prolonged drought, political upheaval, some natural disaster, disease to an agricultural collapse. When the Spaniards arrived in the 1500s, the empire was again on the rise. The Mayan Empire did not have a single ruler or a central government. With most of their cities located deep in the Yucatan jungles, and virtually inaccessible, each city had their own king. There were dozens of Mayan kings serving at any given time. This non-centralized government made the Maya a formidable empire to conquer by the Spaniards. Cortez was the first to attack and demand the surrender of Mayan cities, in 1521, when he wasn’t busy destroying the Aztecs. The Spaniards had to conquer the empire city by city, which took more than 150 years to accomplish. The last city to fall was Taj Peten. It was located on an island on Lake Itza, deep in the Guatemalan jungle and extremely difficult to reach. It took an attack by thousands of Spanish soldiers and subjects to finally conquer the city. Canék, the last of the Mayan kings, finally

surrendered to Spanish control in 1697. The Mayan people are not extinct. More than 7 million Maya still live in their ancestral lands and have maintained much of their culture and heritage. Most speak Spanish in addition to their native Mayan language.

The mayan calendar

We think of time as linear. That is, it goes on and on and on. The Aztecs and Maya thought of time as a cycle — repeating every so often. After all, crops grew and came to harvest in cycles. Women got pregnant and gave birth in a known cycle. Mixed with religion, the Maya believed the gods blessed them in cycles. They simply saw time, and life, as repeating cycles. This is why their calendars are round. The early astronomers also saw cycles. They saw that the shortest day of the year — the winter solstice — occurs each Dec. 21, as we reckon time and dates. The winter solstice was important to most indigenous people in the Americas, including the pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Slots and windows at Chaco Canyon, for example, were built such that the sun shone through the openings only on the day of the winter solstice. It signified the end of one year and the beginning of the next. These ancients also saw that the path of the sun followed the plane of the milky way on the very same day. They also noted that the full moon nearest the winter solstice rises on the Milky Way every 19 years, another one of their cyclic calendars. For these reasons, the Dec. 21st winter solstice had a special significance to these early people, including the Maya. It’s no surprise then that the Mayan calendar also ends on Dec. 21, the end of the Mayan year, and winter solstice. The date has no significance except to mark the end of one solar year and the beginning of the next. The Mayan calendar is similar to the Aztec calendar in that it consists of several calendars of

different time cycles all running concurrently and repeating. The three Aztec calendars repeat every 52 years. The four Mayan calendars repeat every 5,125 years, which is also called the “long count.” The Maya believe the gods created them in 3114 B.C. Jumping ahead 5,125 years, the Mayan long count calendar ends, and lines up with the other three cyclic calendars, on Dec. 21, 2012. Then, the calendar cycles start all over again for another 5,125-year cycle — much like an automobile odometer turning over to all zeroes at 100,000 miles. It simply starts counting again. Our own calendar ends each year on Dec. 31, and starts over again on Jan. 1 — year after year. It means nothing, except maybe a New Year’s party with family and friends. Hardly the end of the world, unless you partied a bit too much. The Mayan mathematicians and astronomers left written records predicting solar eclipses and the appearance of periodic comets with stunning accuracy. However, in spite of numerous claims made over the past few years, the Maya never left a prediction regarding Dec. 21, 2012, or a doomsday, the end of the world, or any other catastrophic event. So who started all of this Dec. 21 end-of-theworld stuff? It was a New Age religionist named José Argüelles. He wrote a book entitled “The Mayan Factor” in 1987, where he claimed there must be some significance when the current cycle ends in 2012. Since the Maya refer to the 5,125year cycle as the long “creation cycle,” he somehow surmised that 2012 would be the end of the present creation. Since then, it has morphed into predicting some earth-ending, cataclysmic event — such as a global earthquake, a killer solar flare, or the return of some unpleasant alien race. Today, astronomers and scientists can predict eclipses, certain comets, and the phases of the moon as did the Mayan astronomers. Why? Because these phenomenon occur in regular cycles, just as the Maya noted on their calendars. However, today’s scientists, with all their modern technology and instruments, still cannot predict when an earthquake will strike, or a solar flare will erupt, or when a volcano will blow its top. Neither could the Maya. These are random events. They do not occur with any known regular cycle. Therefore, claiming that the Mayan calendar predicts an end-of-the-world earthquake, solar flare or other event is pure fiction. Such natural events, often causing death and destruction, occur all the time — many times each year. There’s even a good chance that some natural event might occur on Dec. 21, due to probability — not the Mayan calendar. The Aztec and Mayan empires were once one of the leading civilizations on planet earth until they were destroyed by the Spaniards, almost to the point of extinction. In less than 100 years, 80 percent of their people perished from warfare and European diseases. How could they suffer a worse fate than that? Today, the Mayan people insist their calendar predicts nothing for Dec. 21. I think I’ll listen to them. In the slim chance I am wrong, please don’t pick on me on Dec. 22.

10 • DECEMBER 1, 2012

El Defensor Chieftain

Rhodes family creates conservation legacy 500 acres of Rhodes Ranch to be preserved for wildlife, native vegetation Karen Bailey-Bowman El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Bosquecito When Virgil Rhodes was hospitalized in 2005, weakened by pneumonia, the retired state senator from Corrales was still fretting about the fate of his beloved ranch on the Rio Grande south of Socorro, his daughter Doris recalls. “My dad agonized about what to do with the property,” she said. Rhodes had bought the property east of the river and north of Highway 380 in 1979, and had lived there for awhile until a back injury forced him to move back to the Albuquerque area in 1984, she said. Even though he wasn’t a conservationist per se, he had a rancher’s love of the land. He knew the salt cedars encroaching on the flood plain acreage were bad for the ecosystem, and before his injury, he had taken a backhoe and removed some of the invasive exotic trees himself. Then in 2003 he found out about the government-funded salt cedar eradication program, and agreed to have the trees sprayed with herbicides. In the meantime, his efforts to find buyers who would agree to keep the ranch intact failed; the ranch just wasn’t productive enough — the Bureau of Land Management would allow only 26 cows to graze on the ranch’s 4,400 acres of desert upland. New Mexico Fish and Game Department stepped in with an offer to buy the ranch as a hunting and fishing preserve. The Rhodes father and daughter were also discussing possible habitat restoration projects with Gina Dello Russo, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge biologist and technical adviser to the local Save Our Bosque Task Force, a non-profit corporation formed in 1994 to preserve the riparian habitat along the Rio Grande in Socorro County. The family decided to begin restoring the bosque habitat. Before his illness, the idea of putting a conservation easement on the 500 acres in the flood plain had also been mentioned by Dello Russo, but the Rhodes patriarch had not agreed to it. That’s where things stood when he died suddenly in the hospital in 2005. “Before he died, he told me ‘If something happens to me, sell the land to Game and Fish for the price I am asking,’” Doris said. She hadn’t given the property much thought, but in February 2005, she went to inspect the ranch. “It had rained, and geese had come in to rest in a pond,” she recalls. “The land spoke to me — it was an epiphany. I knew I couldn’t go through with a quick sale.” Doris needed more time to think. Her father had wanted the ranch to stay in the family, but the land did not have the capacity to generate the income needed to maintain it in the way she knew her father would want. Then in 2006, a wildfire burned the property. Between 2008 and 2011, the SOBTS obtained

Karen Bailey-Bowman/El Defensor Chieftain

Salt cedar removal on the restored north section, at right, of the Rhodes Ranch wetland project has promoted the growth of a more open grass meadow, reducing the risk of fire damage to cottonwoods. Because of the high resin content in the leaves, salt cedars burn at extremely high temperatures which kills mature cottonwood trees, as happened during the lightning-caused fire at this location in 2006. Restoration of the south section, on left, is scheduled for 2013. grants from different federal agencies to fund restoration work on the property, Dello Russo said. Salt cedars were uprooted and ground up for mulch, and native plants such as cottonwoods, black willows and the endangered Pecos sunflowers were established. Doris made up her mind, deciding to go forward with the easement instead of selling the property outright. Work began on the paperwork for a conservation easement to be placed on the property. “The easement was perfect: we didn’t have to sell the land,” she said. “We could sell the easement which would generate some revenue, and still have the property and protect the land.” A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a land owner and a land preservation trust or governmental entity to restrict development or use on the land in order to protect its conservation value, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. Conservation easements can be donated or they can be sold. The landowner maintains ownership of the land, and also benefits from tax advantages. In 2012, the sale of the easement on 350 acres was finalized with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resource

Conservation Service Wetland Reserve Program. Doris reports the contract for a second easement has just been signed to protect an additional 170 acres south of the initial easement. About $288,000 in NRCS funding has been awarded for restoration of the second parcel. Work will begin in 2013. “Now the land will be protected from development in perpetuity,” Dello Russo said. “Follow-up restoration will further improve native habitat. And keeping an open floodplain really protects all Socorro valley residents because, when the river floods, and even in times of drought there are floods, the river has a place to go without breaking a levee or flooding houses.” The ranch provides a valuable asset that is in short supply along the Rio Grande — undeveloped wetland. “The property is one of the last three wetlands in the entire San Acacia reach (San Acacia Diversion Dam to San Marcial Railroad Bridge),” Dello Russo said. “Because of the limited wetlands, and because of the benefit to wildlife of an large, open bosque habitat, the SOBTF ranked this property as a priority.” Removal of the thick stands of salt cedar also protects adjacent homeowners and the native cot-

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tonwood forest from the risk of wildfire, Dello Russo said. Doris said her family is very pleased with the results. “The land now looks the way my father would want it to,” she said. “It’s been an extremely complicated process for me, but it has come together in a wonderful way. We’ve been able to get a some money from selling the easement, but more importantly we’ve protected a really critical property along the Rio Grande. “We have a critical mass of people in the Socorro valley willing to restore their (flood plain) land, willing to create habitat, willing to create easements. I think that’s something very unique in our state, and I credit the SOBTF. Were it not for the task force, the restoration program at our ranch would never have gotten off the ground.” Virgil Rhodes grew up on a cotton farm near Lubbock, Texas, and operated cotton farms in Texas until asthma forced him to quit. He moved his family to the Albuquerque area, where he worked as a contractor and real estate agent. From 1992 to 1996, the Republican businessman served as state senator, representing Sandoval County and parts of the greater Albuquerque metro area.


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El Defensor Chieftain

DECEMBER 1, 2012 • 11

Spoiles: Warriors push back, but miss

Hardwood: Girls take it

Continued from Page 12

Continued from Page 12 into the fourth. It looked grim for Socorro, but a quick glance at both teams’ rosters might give the impression the Lady Warriors should be able to stay collected, even with their backs up against the wall. The Belen lineup includes only four upperclassmen, two seniors and two juniors, while Socorro’s boasts six seniors alone, along with three juniors. If they were feeling any pressure being down 38-29 after three quarters, their experience suggests they shouldn’t have been. The way they played in Tuesday’s fourth quarter, the facts revel they weren’t. Socorro senior forward Bryahna Baca scored six of her team’s next seven points and the defense went into lockdown and the Lady Warriors pulled to within two, 38-36, with just more than five minutes remaining in the game. With 4 minutes and 59 seconds left, disaster struck for Belen when Forde, it’s sophomore standout, fouled out of the game. At that point she had scored 27 of her team’s 38 points, but Socorro had been attacking her offensively all game long. “That’s what we say. Take it to them, take it to them, take it to them,” Greenwood said. “Their number 33 is a dominant player and we knew we had to get her in foul trouble. The only way we could do that was to go at her.” With just fewer than four minutes remaining Socorro had gone on a 13-3 run to take a 42-41 lead, then extended it’s lead to four points after senior guard Ashton Monette hit her second three-point shot of the night. With 51 seconds remaining in the contest Baca all but sealed the Socorro victory with a layup, and the Lady Warriors hit their remaining two free-throw attempts to hammer in the final nail. Socorro outscored Belen 24-8 in the final quarter and 31-19 overall in the second half. Baca finished with 19 points, while Chavez scored 13 and Monette, six. Senior point guard Amanda Saenz had five points, and Madeline Chavez and Maria Alderete added four and two points, respectively. Even though the Lady Warriors are probably more adept at handling difficult in-game situations and might have been expecting a win against a talented but very young Belen squad, it’s always great to start the season out with a win. Especially against a proximal rival. “We’ve always played Belen the first game of the season, so it’s more tradition than anything. I think it’s more of a pride thing than worrying if they’re a 3A or 4A school,” Greenwood said. “We’re older as far as experience and class is concerned. I expect them to come through, and I think they showed a lot of composure, especially going into the fourth quarter when we were down by nine. They stepped and I think they handled themselves real, real well.” The Lady Warriors, 1-0 as of Nov. 29, will return to the hardwood on Dec. 4 when they play host to Pojoaque Valley. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Socorro High School.



Scores and schedule

Tuesday, Nov. 20 Boys basketball Quemado 64, Gallup Catholic 12

Upcoming Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 1 Boys basketball Socorro at Belen - 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 27 Girls basketball Socorro 52, Belen 64

Girls Basketball Socorro at Quemado (JV, C-team) - 2 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 29 Boys basketball Estancia 61, Socorro 54 Ramah 53, Quemado 46

Boxing Desert Duke Out at Sarracino Middle School - 2 p.m.

Girls basketball Magdalena 45, Tularosa 39 Ramah 64, Quemado 32

Tuesday, Dec. 4 Boys Basketball Socorro at Valencia - 4 p.m. Girls basketball Socorro vs. Pojoaque - 4 p.m.

with just a little more than six minutes left in the game. As they also did for most of the evening though, when the Bears pushed, the Warriors pushed right back. Derrick Chavez came up with a huge and timely steal for his team, and Brendon Rosales was fouled on a successful put-back. He nailed the foul shot, and just like that the score was 52-46. The Warriors cut their deficit to six points again at 58-52, but with just 28 seconds left in the game, it was a tad bit too little and a tiny bit too late for Socorro. Estancia hit three free throws in the final seconds to put the kibosh on the Warriors’ season-opener. Socorro fought hard, but just couldn’t get the big bucket it was looking for over the final 90 seconds. And while there’s no such thing as a “good loss,” Socorro should be able to take a great deal of pride away from Thursday’s game. “I don’t have quitters,” Baca said. “I have a great group of kids. It was our first game of the season, so I expected a lot of mistakes. Some of the mistakes we made I thought are fixable. You can’t start off that slow. I don’t care who you’re playing. It’s tough to come back from 17 down. “But there was no quit in them.” Positives and goodwill aside though, the Warriors will have a lot to shore up in the backcourt before this afternoon’s game at Belen. They were constantly plagued by ball handling turnovers in their opener, and the Eagles’ experience at the guard position will cause them fits unless they correct some avoidable mistakes. “It’s a work in progress. Obviously we have to get stronger at guard because we had (a lot) of turnovers tonight,” Baca said. “That many turnovers, we’re not going to give ourselves a chance to win any ball game. “If we can fix our guard play and clean that up a little bit, I think we’ll be okay. As we go, our goal is to get better every game and get the experience they need.” Padilla finished the game with 15 points and Smith had 12. Rosales scored eight points, Dylan Gallegos recorded six points and Chavez scored five. Sedillo and Ortiz led the Bears with 15 points each. The Warriors and Eagles tip-off this afternoon with the junior varsity teams playing a 1 p.m., and the varsity soon after.

Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain

Socorro’s Michael Padilla goes in for a layup against Cesar Quintana of Estancia on Thursday night during the Warriors season-opener. Padilla scored 15 points in a Socorro loss.

Church Directory Socorro ServiceS Old San Miguel Mission 403 El Camino Real NW, Socorro, NM 87801 Voice: 575-835-2891 • Fax: 575-835-1620 Website: • E-Mail: Pastor: Father Andy Pavlak San Miguel Church Mass Schedule: Saturday: 5:00 p.m. Mass of Anticipation (Fulfills Sunday Obligation) Sunday: 8:00 a.m. (Bi-lingual), 10:00 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 a.m. Tuesday: 5:30 p.m.; Thursday: 5:30 p.m. (Communion Service) Mission Saturdays: 7:00 p.m. Mass of Anticipation (Fulfills Sunday Obligation) 1st San Lorenzo, Polvadera • 2nd San Antonio, Mission at Luis Lopez 3rd La Sagrada Familia, Lemitar • 4th San Jose, Luis Lopez • 5th San Antonio, Alamillo St. Mary Magdalene - Magdalena: Sunday - 12:30 p.m. St. Patrick Newman Center: 7:00 p.m. 1st Monday of the month (When Tech is in session)

Hope Lutheran Church 908 Leroy Place (Across from the NM Tech Library) Divine Service: 8:00 a.m.

St. Pauls United Methodist Church 1000 Goad Rd. (Southeast corner of NM Tech Campus) 575-835-1372 • Pastor Reuben Thomas Communion ~ First and third Sundays Worship Service ~ 10 a.m. Sunday Prayer Shawl Ministry ~ 5:30 p.m.Wednesday Bible Study ~ 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Calvary Chapel Worship, Fellowship, Bible Study Pastor Frank Rodriguez • 802 Mitchell Ave. • 575-312-9276 Sunday Service ~ 10 a.m. • Wednesday Service ~ 7 p.m.

Family Christian Center "Bringing God & People Together" Sunday 9:30 am Breakfast with Family • 10:30 am Worship Celebration Nursery (ages birth-3) • ElectriKids (ages 4-11) Wednesday 7:00 pm Family Night Nursery (ages birth-3) • Voltage Kids Club (ages 4-11) Ready Student Ministries (ages 12-18) • Adult Interactive Bible Study Call or visit website for more information about activities for Men, Women, Single Adults and Connect College Ministries (575) 835-0185 • 1016 Fowler / Highway 60 & Fowler, Socorro, NM

Socorro Unitarian Universalists A branch of First Unitarian of Albuquerque Episcopal Church Parish Hall • 908 Leroy Place Sunday Services: 4:00 p.m. Children welcome! For more information call 838-7113 or email

The Episcopal church of the Epiphany 908 Leroy Place • 835-1818 • The Rev. Woody Peabody, Vicar Sunday Worship Service (Eucharist) ~ 10 a.m. Where all are welcome! Sunday School ~ 10 a.m. Thursday Breakfast and Bible Study ~ 7 a.m.

SOCORRO BAPTIST TEMPLE Independent Baptist Church Pastor David McDaniel • 1301 South Fairgrounds Rd MBU # 2 • 835-3306 Sunday School: 10 a.m. • Sunday Worship Service: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Midweek Bible Study: Thursday 6 p.m.

First Baptist Church of Socorro We are a Southern Baptist Church 203 Spring Street • Pastor Charles Farmer Jr. • 575-835-0041 Morning Worship: 8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. Sunday School: 9:45 a.m. • Awana: Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. Evening Worship: Saturday, 6:00 p.m.

The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints El Camino Real, across from Sedillo Park • 575-835-0570 Sacrament Meeting: 9 a.m. Sunday School: 10:20 to 11:00 a.m. Priesthood/Relief Society/Young Men’s/Young Women’s/Primary: All meet 11:10 to noon All Welcome!

The House Next to Days Inn • 105 Neal Avenue, Socorro, NM 87801 • 575-835-4357 Sr. Chaplin Jerry or Sr. Chaplain Michelle Monday: 10am - Addiction Bible Study; 12 noon - Women's Healing; 6pm - Book of John Tuesday: 9:15am - Prayer, 10am - Book of Matthew; 12 noon - Parenting/Marriage/Relationships Wednesday: 10am - Bible from 30,000 feet Thursday: 10am - Foundations Friday: 8am-12pm FREE YARD SALE; 4pm - Kid's Bible Study; 6pm - Youth Group 6pm - Addiction Bible Study Weekend live service available, call for service times

First Presbyterian Church 304 McCutcheon Avenue, Socorro, NM 87801 • PO Box 1155 • 575-835-0942 • Rev. Laura Niles Finch • Rev. Jeffrey Finch Worship service & Sunday school 9:00 am childcare provided Communion is the first Sunday of the month Presbyterian Women 9:30 am is the first Friday of the month Men's Group 10:00am is the first Saturday of the month Bible Study Wednesday 6:00 pm Bible Study Thursday 10 am

Datil ServiceS Datil Baptist Church Datil • 575-772-5577 • Pastor Harold Jenkerson - 575-772-5156 All Ages Sunday School: 10:00 a.m. Worship: 11:00 a.m. Ladies Bible Study: Wednesday ~ 10:00 a.m.

MagDalena ServiceS

Magdalena Comm. Church Main St. at 4th, P.O. Box 265 Magdalena, NM • 575-854-2364 Rev. Laura Niles Finch • Rev. Jeffrey Finch Sunday Worship Service: 11:30 a.m. Communion is the first Sunday of the month Circle Meeting: 9:30 a.m. first Tuesday of the month Choir practice: 2:00 p.m. Wednesday Village Quilters: 9:30 a.m. Second and Fourth Wednesday of the month Round Up Dinner at Noon, fifth Sunday of the month Adult Bible Study: 2:30 p.m. Wednesday

Magdalena 1st Baptist Church 575-854-2389 • Kelly Road, Magdalena, NM 87801 • Pastor Paul Holt Sunday School: 10:00 a.m. Sunday Service: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7:00 p.m.

Include your Church in

El Defensor Chieftain’s Church Directory for only $2.63 per week Call 575-835-0520

sports El Defensor Chieftain

12 • DECEMBER 1, 2012


Estancia spoils season-opener Bears hold off furious Warriors rally By Jonathan Miller

El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain

Dez Armijo recently became the first female athlete from Socorro to ever be featured in Sports Illustrated. Armijo’s accomplishments on the soccer field garnered her the honor of appearing in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of the magazine, a feature Sports Illustrated has been running since 1956. Armijo scored 80 goals in two games this season to break the previous state record of 60, and she recorded a five-year career total of 235 goals to become New Mexico’s all-time leading high school scorer. Her career totals also make her the nation’s third best goal scorer in high school soccer history. Armijo appeared in the Nov. 26 edition.

Socorro The Warriors basketball team took the court for its first game of the 2012-13 season against Estancia on Thursday, and the visiting Bears did not prove to be kind guests as they beat Socorro 61-54. Estancia (1-1) opened up a 17-point thirdquarter lead and then played through several comeback attempts by the Warriors to record its first win of the season. Socorro fell to Estancia 0-1. The inexperienced Warriors had trouble finding their rhythm offensively in the first half, and a slew of Socorro turnovers turned into easy buckets for the Bears. “Right now, we don’t have much varsity basketball experience,” Warriors head coach Lawrence Baca said. “I only have a couple seniors. We’re not young age-wise or grade-wise, but varsity experience-wise, we have Michael Padilla, who probably averaged three minutes (per game) last year.” Even though both squads had issues finding the bottom of the net in the first quarter, Estancia worked its way to a 14-10 first-quarter advantage. Socorro played well defensively and junior post Ethan Smith scored six points in the opening eight minutes, but the home team notched at least six turnovers and had trouble rebounding effectively. In the second quarter the Bears opened up a 21-12 lead coming off of a bank-shot 3-pointer by Joe Luna. Then Herman Ortiz scored a 3-point play the old fashioned way, and stole the ensuing in-bounds pass to give Estancia a 29-18 lead with fewer than two minutes left in the half. Cesar Quintana sank a turnaround hook shot at the buzzer to give the Bears a 33-20 halftime advantage. Momentum was undoubtedly on Estancia’s side in the opening minutes of the third quarter,

Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain

Brandon Rosales goes up for two of his eight points against the Esatancia Bears on Thursday night at Socorro High School. The Warriors fell, 61-54.

also when they scored the first four points, and Socorro found itself in a 37-20 hole. But this is Socorro, and Warriors don’t seem to understand the word “quit.” Fueled by four straight Padilla free throws, Socorro went on a 10-2 run and pulled to within 39-30 with 3 minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the third. Then Brandon Lopez rattled in two foul shots of his own, and with 1:20 left in the quarter the Warriors were down only 40-35. But as they did for much of the night, the Bears had an answer, and Ortiz and Gabe Sedillo both converted and-1 plays over the next several minutes to help push the Estancia lead to 50-39 n See Spoils, Page 11

Lady Warriors hit the hardwood for 2012-2013 Socorro comes from behind to beat rival Belen By Jonathan Miller

El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

Socorro The Socorro Lady Warriors basketball team tipped-off the 2012-2013 season on Tuesday night, and they secured their first win of the year with an electrifying come-from-behind victory over Belen. The home team Lady Warriors used a 16-3 fourthquarter run to help them win the season-opener against their rival from up Interstate 25 after the Eagles had opened up as much as a 10-point lead. But Socorro rallied defensively in the second half in allowing Belen just 19 points, and scored 31 to secure a 53-46 win. Many of the Lady Warriors’ points came from the charity stripe as they went a combined 28-46 from the free-throw line overall, and 10-17 in the decisive fourth quarter. Socorro recorded just 11 field goals, but two of those were clutch 3-pointers in the second half.

“We knew that we were going to struggle offensively coming into this game. It’s just early in the season,” Socorro head coach Marleen Greenwood said. “As small as we are, we take a lot of outside shots and we knew it was going to be a hard time.” Both teams showed some signs of early-season rust though, and they combined for just 18 points in the first quarter in playing to a 9-9 tie. Belen got itself into early foul trouble, and just eight minutes into the game it had recorded 10 personal fouls and put Socorro in the double-bonus early. The Lady Warriors converted 17 of 24 opportunities from the foul line in the first half. In the second quarter the Eagles went on a quick spurt to take a 19-16 lead, but Theresa Chavez scored four consecutive points for Socorro on free throws to help her team regain a 20-19 advantage. Belen’s Mariah Forde reeled off seven straight points on her own however, and the Eagles took a 27-22 lead into the locker room. They kept their momentum going late into the third quarter and extended their lead to eight points when Forde nailed a 3-pointer from the baseline. Alexis Begay added a layup just before the third quarter buzzer to give Belen a 36-26 lead heading n See Hardwood Page 11

Phtos By Jonathan Miller/El Defensor Chieftain

Ashton Monette tries to shoot a jumper over the Eagle’s Kristian Sainz on Tuesday. Monette had six points, all coming off of 3-point shots.

Socorro senior forward Theresa Chavez tries to drive past Belen’s Alexis Begay on Tuesday night at the Socorro High School Gym. Chavez scored 13 points in a Lady Warriors victory.

El Defensor Chieftain, Dec. 1, 2012  

General Excellence entry Vol 146, No. 96

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