Rio Grande Sun from Espanola, New Mexico on August 4, 2011 · A6
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Rio Grande Sun from Espanola, New Mexico · A6

Espanola, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 4, 2011
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T oday’s Rio Grande SUN opens a new chapter in the newspaper’s publishing history. The chapter heading might well be “An Ironic Twist.” First, a bit of history by way of background. From the first issue of the SUN in October 1956, the newspaper was printed “in house.” That is it was printed on an ancient press installed in the building on Oñate Street, onetime home of the Espanola State Bank which we converted into a newspaper office, print shop and office supply store. This press was hand fed. Someone had to stand at the feed board and insert a large sheet of newsprint into this rumbling monster, a sheet at a time. After much thumping and groaning on the part of the press and curses by the press feeder, there eventually emerged an eight-page newspaper. This procedure was endured each week until one Monday morning the young man whose task it was to feed that press walked in and announced he had a job offer in Los Alamos. If he didn’t report for work the next morning, Tuesday, he couldn’t have the job. While this struck us as a bit highhanded on the part of his future employers, one couldn’t blame the young man who would be earning substantially more than he did as a press feeder under better working conditions, (Our print shop in those days would be described as dark, grungy, dirty with limited plumbing facilities). So he was blessed and sent on his way but with no press feeder (his only replacement was the publisher who HATED feeding the press). The publisher of the Los Alamos Monitor, a daily newspaper, had a modern press; so he was called. Would he be interested in printing the Rio Grande SUN ? Indeed he was, so it was sometime in the 1970s that the SUN started being printed elsewhere and the 13-ton monster in our shop was retired. Over the years, several other printers have produced the SUN , the current firm handling the production for many years. Recently, however, facing rising prices and a quality control problem, enter the Santa Fe New Mexican , which for the past few years had expressed an interest in printing the SUN . A few weeks ago, it was finally decided the SUN had found its fifth, and hopefully final, printer, So, today’s SUN rolled off those incredible presses at the New Mexican . How ironic! After 55 years of publication, the SUN is now being printed in the plant of a newspaper whose leadership devoted the first 20 years (or more) of the SUN’s existence to putting it out of business! A bit more history here. The SUN was launched in 1956 in direct competition to the Espanola Valley News , a weekly newspaper owned and published by the New Mexican . For about 18 months the two newspapers butted heads until finally the New Mexican capitulated and sold the Valley News to the SUN which closed it down, leaving the Valley with a single newspaper. And that is when the real fun started. The loss of the Valley News apparently rankled management at the New Mexican but the “dirty tricks” that followed the demise of the Valley News were accepted as nuisances but irritants that sometimes proved costly. Additionally, there were the attempts by the New Mexican to buy the SUN , some overt, others rather devious. Over the years these incidents just seem to have become part of the SUN “story” and when the possibility of having the newspaper printed in Santa Fe was dis- cussed, they seemed to “resurface” and made the decision somewhat difficult. But hey, that was 55 years ago. Today’s management at the New Mexican has looked at the change as a sensible business decision and hasn’t any interest in any other SUN function. Consider that today’s SUN was produced in a couple of hours where if it was printed on that 8-page dinosaur (manufactured in 1904 and the last we heard was making cardboard boxes in Albuquerque) would require not hours but days. There are still some people around today who would remember that press. Louie Ulibarri for a number of years listened to that rumbling while he operated a linotype at the SUN . Lupe Archuleta started at the SUN cleaning the press and wound up retired from the New Mexican and he would remember it. Brothers Charles, Armando, Lino and Cornelio Salazar all must have a soft spot in their hearts having spent some time on it, as well as Larry Salazar (no relation to the other Salazars) now retired military. Owners Bob and Ruth Trapp certainly remember that press with mixed emotions as do their children, Julie, Braiden and James, all of whom put in their time in that grim dungeon of a print shop. We would like to have been on hand to watch the first issue of this week’s SUN roll effortlessly off those magic presses at the New Mexican , but we are on vacation, something unknown in the early days of this little family newspaper. We look forward to a successful and friendly relationship with our new printers and the SUN publisher offered just one comment: “I never thought I’d see the the day this newspaper would be printed at the Santa Fe New Mexican.” After 55 years, a guy should mellow, right? Editorials — Opinions Page A6 Rio Grande SUN Thursday, August 4, 2011 Bad Scores? Buy iPads Hope Cop Learned Editorials By Robert Trapp SUN Publisher End of Another Printing Era (USPS 466-220) AN INDEPENDENT HOME-OWNED NEWSPAPER Published Each Thursday in Española, New Mexico by the SUN COMPANY, INC. Robert Trapp—Editor and Publisher Second Class Postage Paid at PO Box 790, Española, NM 87532 Send address changes to the Rio Grande SUN, PO Box 790, Española, New Mexico 87532 • 505-753-2126 SUBSCRIPTION RATES Rio Arriba County • $22 per year, $15 for six months Elsewhere  in New Mexico $30 per year, $24 for six months Out of State • $35 per year, $28 for six months NO REFUND ON CANCELLATION Sinverguenza , colloquially someone without shame. It could perhaps describe someone who would suggest, approve and encourage an $8,000 expenditure to purchase iPads for principals in the Española School District so that they may better evaluate the teachers toiling under them. Add to that cost approximately $3,250 for software that makes evaluating teachers so much easier and increases communication in the upper echelons of the school administration, administrators say. Icing on the proverbial cake: two days of training so the principals will know what to look for when evaluating teachers. By the way, the software will run fine on their existing lap tops. Spending that kind of money for such a wasteful toy is a slap in the face of taxpayers but what’s worse is the lazy justification tossed at the people who pay the bills. We’re all for technology. It’s helped us get better, faster and more accurate at a lot of things. It’s hard to imagine printing 1,297 subscription labels by hand or typewriter. The Rio Grande SUN has come light years in the last two decades to a point we send electronic pages to a printer miles away and we’re provided a printed product within hours off a press that is fed images through computer hardware and software. But before we can use that fancy equipment people have to know how to write, add numbers, enter addresses, follow simple procedures. That’s what is lacking in the District’s system right now. The simple task is getting the principal to go into the classroom and observe the teacher to the best of his or her ability. At that point observer effect enters the equation whereby while a teacher is being observed by his boss, guess what? He’ll perform to the absolute best of his ability. Principals will not be evaluating teachers on the days students are watching movies. Mountain View and Chimayó Elementary principal Arthur Salazar praised the innovation, stating it would create more comprehensive reports. Not if the principals don’t go into the classrooms regularly, fill out reports correctly and submit them in a timely manner. This comes down to the exact quality most needed in a principal: management. That’s a big term encompassing many traits. One of those traits is the ability to appraise, correct and encourage a subordinate to improve. Some can’t. They need to be moved along. An iPad won’t help with any of that. Probably the most effective tool to evaluate teachers and properly record findings is the very thing Salazar dislikes: pencil and paper. Instead of working through a matrix of numbers and scores as software will surely do, how about a simple note on a piece of paper that the teacher has great rapport with the children, or she couldn’t help Johnny sound out a word or add two numbers. iPads and software remove the human element of teaching and that’s where the line can be drawn between success and failure. When administrators purchase hardware and software in these financial times, they have no shame. It doesn’t matter from whence the funding came. It demonstrates improper priorities. When they want to boil down teacher evaluations to filling out software matrixes they’ve dehumanized all of us just a little bit and teachers a little bit more. Dogs are people too. At lease they have certain rights under our laws and for the most part are protected by animal cruelty regulations. Not so in Española, if you look at the animal cruelty case against Española city cop George Martinez, which was dropped in magistrate court because Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Deputy Cindy Quintana didn’t show up to testify against Martinez. Ah, the blue line. The charges against our city cop were brought when he delivered a 7-year-old Australian shepherd March 24 to the Española Valley Humane Society’s shelter. The dog had a few inches of one of its legs exposed to the bone. The story Martinez gave to shelter personnel changed from when he dropped the dog off to when he was contacted by deputy Quintana. It started out he was rehabbing the dog for several weeks after it was hit by a car. Then it was he’d had the dog a few days and surrendered it to the shelter so they could care for it. Cruelty to animals is viewed very differently in rural areas, especially Rio Arriba County. While most of us have evolved to caring human beings who understand an animal’s plight as one it can’t change on its own, others just see a suffering animal as normal. Some think it’s fine to leave a litter of kittens on the side of the road and let nature take its course. Drowning puppies is also okay with some. Those who disagree are just sissies and should get over it. They’re just dogs and cats. Over the last three decades the treatment of animals has become more of an issue and we’ve tried to take our humanity in our hands when we see someone mistreating a “living being,” as shelter volunteer coordinator Nina Chiotasso put it, and doing something about it. And if we’re to keep our humanity, we must treat better those animals we deem to be of a lesser worth than our own. We’ve got the big brains, opposing thumbs. We have the power to treat animals better. Other animals do not. Actually, given the opportunity a lot of them eat each other. It’s not really necessary that city cop Martinez be put in stocks and publicly flogged. Surely there are some out there who would get in that cue. It’s more necessary that his behavior be brought to light, he learn that what he did was wrong and that possibly some other folks who think it’s alright to mistreat animals, learn a lesson along with our city cop. A bonus lesson for shelter folks and animal rights people is to know that when a city cop mistreats an animal, don’t count on the animal control officers or sheriff’s deputies to prosecute him properly. Their allegiance is to the cop, not the dog. They’re just not going to cross that line. (SUN Filefoto) Rio Grande SUN Publisher Robert Trapp  tries to decide if he's really going to miss his 1904 Miehle flatbed press. He had a  love/hate relationship with it from its installation in 1956 until it was sold to a cardboard box manufacturer in Belen in 1981.  This shot is the old office on Oñate Street where Cook's garden center now sits.

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