January 30, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

Last week I bragged about having fixed my old refrigerator.

Sadly, after a feverish attempt to find and correct recurring
problems and after consulting with some of the best minds in the
fridge repair business, I finally had to acknowledge that the
problem was beyond my capabilities. When the bologna started
turning green we decided to buy a new fridge.

The good news is the new fridge should last a lifetime.

The not so good news is I'm old enough to expect a fridge to
last longer than I do.


I slipped out of the mountains this week for another trip to
Lubbock. As usual I couldn't wait to return, but as I drove
down US 82 back to the summit Saturday morning listening
to Click and Clack (The Tappet Brothers) on Public Radio I
began asking myself some questions. Among them: Why do
these mountains draw me back so strongly after a short time
away?...and Why am I listening to Click and Clack when there's
a perfectly good Doobie Brothers tape in the console?

I recalled the night before. Watching the sky over Lubbock
and seeing one star. I thought to myself how there are blankets
of stars in the clear Cloudcroft sky.

The winter wind in West Texas cuts like a knife. There's
wind in Cloudcroft, but it's not nearly so mean. Maybe it's
because the trees are like a good defensive line in football.
The wind in the Sacramentos will bend you, but it will not
break you.

I realized how much my attitudes had changed in the past 10
years since I left West Texas and moved to God's Country.

Driving along, I saw a huge pile of gravel next to the road
near the Carlsbad turn-off.

Ten years ago I would have thought the highway department was
getting ready to do some road improvement and traffic would be
compromised for months.

Now I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if I had a big dump
truck, a front-end loader and it was dark.


Thanks to Arlan Ponder for the Cloudcroft village council
report. This will be a regular monthly feature in The


I fixed the clothes dryer today. It was making an awful noise.
Now it purrs. I needed a successful repair job. My self
confidence was a little bruised after the fridge died.

Don Vanlandingham

Sunday and Monday snows with accumulations of around 7 inches.
Sunshine and cold after that. Highs in the low-40s. Lows in
the mid-teens.
Starting about 6pm January 24, we began to be inundated by
bounced SPAM emails. In the next 24-hour period, we received
over 20,000 bounced SPAM emails. We are still getting at least
5,000 a day.

What caused all of these returned emails?

A spammer trying to sell a popular blue pill used our email 
address in the "Reply To" and "From" fields of his SPAM. I
estimate that he may well have sent out over a million SPAM 
emails using our email address.

This kind of low-life spammer doesn't use his own email address
in his SPAM because he doesn't want the bounced emails to come
back to him. And he doesn't want you to reply to his SPAM. He
just wants you to click on a link in the email and go to his
web site. These web sites are located in places like Russia or 
Poland where they are outside of the reach of US law.

Using our email address in these SPAMS is a form of identity
theft. Because it looks like we are sending SPAMS, our domain 
name has now been added to hundreds of anti-SPAM lists all over
the world. We will never be able to get our domain name removed
from all these lists.

By this easy act of identity theft, a spammer greatly harms the
value of a domain name and any business dependent on that name.

Just dealing with the immense volume of bounced SPAM has been
a technical challenge.

Bounced emails don't just disappear into thin air. Every email
sent off into cyberspace must eventually end up on some hard
drive on some computer somewhere. If you are using a SPAM FILTER
or BLOCKER on your email account, the SPAM that your FILTER
rejects must still go somewhere. That "somewhere" is the hard
drive(s) of the server hosting your email account.

If we had permitted all of these bounced emails to build up on
our server, it would have filled it up. It took a lot of effort
to deal with this problem, and that is another cost of this
identity theft.

REMEMBER: If you get a SPAM email that looks like it is from
us, IT IS NOT. We do not send out SPAM, nor do we ever let
anyone else see our mailing list. The "From" and "Reply To"
fields in an email are easily faked by spammers and can NEVER


Now a few words about what this means for you. Because we get
email all the time from people who have not written us before,
we cannot use a SPAM FILTER that just lists the email addresses
that we accept email from.

Even without these bounced emails, we are getting over 5,000
SPAMS a day. This makes it impossible for us to find your
emails in this ocean of SPAM unless you follow these very
specific rules:

1. If you have a letter to the Newsletter or any comment that
you want us to see, you MUST put "CC-Editor" in the Subject
line. Any emails without this phrase in the subject line will
not be read.

2. If you want to unsubscribe to the Newsletter, you MUST put
"unsubscribe" in the Subject line or your email will not be
processed as an unsubscribe request.


By Arlan Ponder. Cloudcroft Mountain Monthly.

January's Village Council meeting also featured an Otero County
Commissioners meeting.

The Commissioner's meeting allowed Cloudcroft residents to hear
several updates and receive information concerning the upcoming
decision from Congress on the possible closure of Holloman Air
Force Base.

However, the major item discussed by the Commissioners and the
Village Trustees concerned the status of Cloudcroft's EMS.

Robert Booky, who has been with the Cloudcroft EMS for over 20
years, told the group that with only one or two EMS personnel
responding to calls, the group was having trouble offering the
type of service they had in the past.

Booky said with the recent changes to the EMS training
requirements many rural EMS programs are having problems
responding to calls. He said the problem stems from the lack of
volunteers willing to complete the six months training, which
costs thousands of dollars. He added if there is more training
required by the state that many volunteer programs will
eventually be driven out of existence.

Cloudcroft is the only transporting service in the mountain area
which means any of the other volunteer EMS services must connect
with Cloudcroft EMS in order for the patient to be taken down to
the emergency room.

Alamogordo has AMR, which responds to medical pages after
Cloudcroft EMS has been paged twice, and they are a transporting
service, but the time it takes them to drive up the hill is
critical in an emergency situation.

Booky said he wanted residents to know Cloudcroft EMS was making
every effort to respond to emergency calls, but if they were not
able to respond, AMR was responding.

In the Administrator's Report Nivison updated Trustees on the
status of the water meter reading for December. He said 346
meters, which is a third of the Village meters, were read, but
there were 13 to 14 frozen water lines and numerous busted-out

The Trustees were also updated on the research going into
contracting out the police services. Nivison said two agencies
had requested copies of the budget, but he had not heard back
from them at the time of the meeting.

Unfinished Business included the status of replacing street
signs, passage of Ordinance #321-Snowmobile/ATV Operation in
Village Limits and Employee Salary Increases.

In New Business, a letter from Jim Maynard regarding the
Reading of Residential Water Meters was read and entered into
the minutes, while two license agreements were approved. The
Trustees also scheduled the mid-year budget review; appointed
the election precinct board and approved the salary for the
precinct board; and declared a water emergency and imposed water

The Village Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at
6 pm in the Council Chambers located at 201 Burro Ave.

Charming, modern, 2 bedroom, 2 bath, modified A-frame cabin on
the edge of the village. Two decks, 2 TVs, jetted tub, grill,
microwave, fireplace, propane heat, washer/dryer, spiral
staircase, cathedral ceiling. Easy access, walking distance to
shops, but private, with a nice view. Sleeps 6 comfortably;
non-smoking, but will consider pets. For rates and reservations
please call Steve at (505) 647-9778 or (505) 524-0122 or email
sklinger@zianet.com. Credit cards accepted. See the link to
our web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:


Information on the goings on in Bear Country including athletic


Q - What are the chances of snow over spring break in

A - Last week I wouldn't touch that question, but because of a
good snowfall early this week the chances are improved that
there will be at least enough snow around during spring break
for snowballs, tubing, etc. No plans for the ski area to open,
though. Warm temperatures could compromise my prediction.
Another good snowfall would solidify it. How's that for a
tap dance?
February 4 -- High Noon Book Discussion Club, Cloudcroft
Library. Noon. The book being discussed is Too Many Cooks
by Rex Stout.

February 20-22 -- Cloudcroft Mardi Gras.

May 8 -- Old Timer's Reunion

May 29, 30 -- Mayfest

June 18, 19, 20 -- Western Roundup

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art
Workshops. The Cloudcroft Art Society will not be meeting in
December or January. The next meeting will be the first Sunday
at 2pm in February.

Cox Canyon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is organizing an
auxiliary unit. If you would like to help support this group
of dedicated men and women, call 682-3084, 682-4664, 682-3719
or 682-3234.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for the good newsletter each week. I enjoy reading
it and it keeps us up to date between our visits to beautiful

However, I recently changed to a new internet server. My new
Email address is *****@*****.net but it appears the newsletter
is still being sent to my old address. Please would you change
this so that I may keep up to date with your publication. 

Thank you for the excellent job you do each week.


[We get quite a few emails like this where the writer doesn't
send us their old email address -- they only send the new one.
Obviously, if we don't know your old email address, we can't
unsubscribe it. -- Webmaster]

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for sending me your email. I really want to receive

In an effort to eliminate junk email, I am using Mail Wiper. 
Mail Wiper has placed your message safely on hold.

Please reply to this email and send it to me so I can add you
to my eMail address book and we will be able to communicate
freely from now on.


[We cannot spend our time replying to this kind of SPAM
blocking, or we would not have time to do anything else. Nor
is this a fair method of blocking SPAM. If you want our free
Newsletter, it is YOUR job to see that it gets through YOUR 
SPAM filter. -- Webmaster]

Dear Newsletter:

I was very amused to read your comments about your turntable
and old records.

I am a complete techno junkie - I probably couldn't drive my
truck anymore without a palmtop and a GPS receiver. Digital
audio is a big deal for me; I wouldn't be able to handle life
without my digital house and all of its gadgets.

The world marches on of course and even CD's are possibly
about to be replaced by Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio. The
fidelity improvements from CD to Super Audio CD are remarkable,
so you may have to suffer through another format switch. 

Digital houses are fun. Of course the server in the basement
sometimes turns on lights in my house for no apparent reason,
and occasionally sets off the alarm when a doe walks across
the driveway. These are minor annoyances. This digital stuff
is cool, well most of the time, well some of the time, OK it
is neat every now and then when it works....

The hilarious thing for me about all of this is that right in
the middle of my digital house is a tube amplifier and
turntable. It is not an antique but a brand new device. The
analog stuff has made a big comeback and the Russians and the
Chinese still make tubes.

Naturally, a whole industry has sprung up to supply these
things to idiots like me. Of course, being a digital geek, I
did make sure and create a way to feed MP3's from the server
in the basement to the tube amp. I fully expected to be
struck by lightening when I connected the tube amp to the
computer, but so far so good.

Peggy tapes and sands sheet rock?! Would you guys be
interested in adopting a computer nerd? 

Philip Mills
Mayhill, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Hello, I am a resident of San Antonio, Texas, my name is
Beverlee Keithly. I was reading your newsletter about some of
the council members questions about whether Cloudcroft should
grow or not grow, etc.

My husband and 2 children love the town of Cloudcroft because
it is not huge, it is quaint, and the elevation of the town
allows for great snow, when there is not a drought of course.

I got to thinking about ideas that could attract more tourists
so that your town could thrive on an income other than taxation.
Even though snow skiing is a seasonal thing, perhaps
concentrating on improving what you have, and that is the snow
ski area and inner-tubing area.

Here are some ideas, and perhaps someone has already thought
of them, but here goes:
1. Build a small condo unit near the ski area, either on it for
a ski-in and ski-out capability. Nothing fancy, but family
oriented, it could even have the adobe style with the kiva 
fireplaces, kitchens, etc.
2. Near or on the ski area, build a tavern that provides
hamburgers, pizza, etc. and a live small band on Friday and
Saturday nights, nothing wild or anything like that but bring
some culture into the town, and music is happiness to the soul,
it really is.
3. Near or on the ski slope area, have several shops built such
as art and craft type shops, snow ski apparel, ski shop.
I think that building on what you have and making it better,
even if it is a little at a time each year, would certainly
help the economy to attract families who want to be away from
the crowded ski resorts, and teach their kids how to ski.

Cloudcroft is only 13 hours from San Antonio and even if it is
just a getaway for 4 days, it would be nice to have variety, so
please consider these ideas.

Perhaps try to solicit sponsors on the internet to become

Unfortunately, it takes money to make money, sad but true. The
key would be to find investors who is willing to invest some
money. What about Ernie Blake, the man who developed Taos? Does
anyone have connections with him? Maybe this could be a new
hobby for him, Cloudcroft? You never know!
When I travel and am playing out in the snow, I like to cook my
own meals half the time, but the other half of the time, I like
to be able to sit and relax and have a meal served to me.

Lets face it I am a stay at home mom, and I get tired of cooking
all the time. The thing I have noticed is the lack of eating
places. Pizza, BBQ, Mexican Food, Italian Food, a Waffle House
would be cute, that is a chain over in East Texas continuing on
thru Florida. It is a very small restaurant and you can see the
cooks cooking your breakfast, and when the meal is ready, they
just reach right over and serve it to you in your booth, or at
the bar wherever you happen to be sitting.

Waffle House is a chain franchise, so that is an idea, people
love food and especially when they are vacationing...some
variety would go a long way.

Also, there is the idea of physical activity for the family
other than skiing, and that could be a bowling alley. Bowling
would be a year round business. Within the bowling alley could
be a little restaurant and bar. Also, Blockbuster franchise
chains are very popular, it could be a small Blockbuster like
the town. Everything could be little cafes, little video
places, little bowling allies, it would just be so inviting.
Another idea is where the ice skating rink is, that area could
be built up and have perhaps miniature golf course instead of
the Frisbee toss set up that is there.
I hope that some of these ideas will help and perhaps get the
thought process going on how to develop the town a little more.
Not like Ruidoso, it would take a long time to even get that
big, and I think one of the council members said there is no
room anyway because of the national forest, which is true.

Good luck citizens and council members, I will be praying for
you and your community to develop new strategies for attracting
visitors, Cloudcroft is truly a special place in my heart.
Beverlee Keithly
San Antonio, TX

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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