March 25, 2005
Dear Subscriber:

News journalism has changed dramatically in the past 30 years
and not, in my opinion, for the better.

What bothers me is I'm not sure there's any way back to the days
when news writers and reporters reported the news and left the
biased commentary to those assigned to giving their opinions.

Andy Rooney is sometimes funny, often pompous and consistently
annoying, but that's his job on "60 minutes" and he does it

The jobs of the other reporters on that show are to gather the
news and report it. It seems, though, that there's more and
more Rooney in what is supposed to be the regular news on that
show and just about all the other news shows that are a part of
the TV blur.

Here's a hypothetical example: Dog bites mailman.

A legitimate news report of the incident would be:

---Lawrence Dilford, a local mailman, told police he was bitten
on the leg by a dog while he was delivering mail on Elm

Nowadays, the same incident is likely to be reported thusly:

---Are many dog owners in this community ignoring the leash law?
That is likely the opinion of Lawrence Dilford, a local mailman
who was going about his mail delivery duties in this morning's
sunrise mist along the willowy green of Elm Street when a dog
viciously bit him on the leg.---

The first writer reported the facts as he knew them. The
second reporter gave us his opinion, favored us with a little
poetry and was judge and jury and gave us an unsolicited
psychological profile with regard to the dog. Somewhere in
there, he told us the mailman got bitten. The facts of the
story were almost lost in the writer's jumping to at least
three conclusions in one paragraph in his quest for some kind
of creativity award.

There's nothing creative about writing an accurate news story.
Creativity and accurate news reporting meld like oil and water.
I used to be a news writer. I know how tempting it was to
inject my personal biases and flowery descriptions into a story.

I was often saved by an editor who would hand the story back to
me with so many red marks on it that it looked like a chicken
with bloody feet had done the cha cha.

He would say something condescending (in those days I think news
editors had to pass a condescension course in college) like
"Nice try, Shakespeare. Now write me a NEWS story."

I guess my assumption is we still have some talented news
writers out there, but it seems the editors, those people whose
job it is to guide and direct the talent, are taking way too
many three martini lunches.

News rooms at radio stations have practically disappeared. For
economics reasons, they rely on networks to carry the news
water for them. Even at those stations where they still gather
and report the news, the news announcer is often the writer and
the editor, too. The fox guarding the henhouse. It's the same
with many smaller newspapers. The result is the listener or
reader is left trying to separate the facts from the bias.

Have you ever noticed the word "bias" starts with a B and ends
with an S?

In a recent survey, the majority of college journalism students
said they chose that profession because they "wanted to make a

Wrong answer, Shakespeare.

News writers and reporters are supposed to write accurate
accounts of the news. It is up to the people and events they
write about and the public's reaction to the facts to make the

Please, Mr. or Ms. reporter person. Just give me the facts.
I know it's popular among many in today's Fifth Estate to tell
us what the news means, but I'll do my own thinking if you
don't mind.

Don Vanlandingham

Low, 24 degrees at 6:36am Tuesday (3-22). High 50 at 2:26pm
Wednesday (3-23).

Annual precipitation since Jan. 1, 6.76 inches.

Up to the minute Cloudcroft weather is available to the world
on Cloudcroft.com 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's free.
I told Peggy I was under a deadline and didn't have a good
picture. She said "take a picture of supper". The pork chops
were great.


A hotly contested bond election for a new library in Alamogordo
was defeated by voters on Tuesday (3-15).
Serving the Sacramento Mountain area for over 5 years, including
Cloudcroft, High Rolls, and Laborcita Canyon. From townhomes to
log homes, part-time to full-time residences, building lots to
acreage, it´s easier than you think to get into the home of your
dreams and I´d like to help! For the most current real estate
information, call toll free: (877) 430-0664/locally: 430-0664 or
email michelle@michellemeyn.com for a free relocation package
(no obligation!). "Ich spreche deutsch." Member Association of
Realtors and Multiple Listing Service.

For more information, see the link to my web site on the Real
Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:




Q - Lots of moisture this winter in the mountains. Is the
drought considered over?

A - No, but springs in the area that had dried up are flowing
again and the forest service is breathing easier as they look
forward to the fire season.

The drought condition is based upon the amount of moisture at
certain depths in the forest floor. While things have gotten
much better, the "experts" are saying the drought conditions
still exist.
March 26 -- Easter Egg hunt. Cloudcroft.

March 26 -- Easter Bonnet parade. Cloudcroft. 2pm.

May 6-7 -- 2005 Organ Mountain Film Festival. New Mexico Farm
and Ranch Heritage Museum. 4100 Dripping Springs, Las Cruces.

May 7 -- Old Timer's reunion. Cloudcroft.

May 28, 29 -- Mayfest. Cloudcroft.

June 17, 18, 19 -- Western Roundup. Cloudcroft.

June 18-19 -- 2005 High Rolls Cherry Festival. 9am - 5pm. High
Rolls Community Center. Follow the highway signs to local
(weather permitting) cherries, cherry pies, over 60 arts/crafts
venders, food and drink, near-continuous local entertainment,
and children's activities. www.highrollsfestivals.com or call
(505) 682-1151. As always, parking and admission are free.

July 9 and 10 -- July Jamboree. Cloudcroft.

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 Wednesday morning.

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

For information on upcoming events at the Nivison Public
Library in Cloudcroft, contact library director Joyce Komraus.
(505) 682-1111.
Dear Newsletter:

Outstanding, Don! Truly outstanding. 
Joe Wells

Dear Newsletter:

As a former warrior who went to battle 20 years after your 
father-in-law, I want to thank you for sharing your tribute to
him. In April I will attend for the first time a reunion of
the unit I was privileged to command. Seldom have we been
honored in words. My guys live in quiet anonymity doing their
life's work. Their sacrifices and courage thirty-seven years
ago were amazing. I look forward to reuniting with my own "band
of brothers."

One of my clients from the same war of your Gerald, walked
ashore on D-Day. He has since been a leader in our community.
Most folks do not know about his exploits of years long ago.
He has honored me by sharing them with me, and has shown
interest in hearing mine. I reckon, once a warrior always one
at heart, and we are all brothers regardless of the war.

I do feel that us old geezers have an obligation to stand in
support of the young men who selflessly take up the challenges
now presented our country. We honor them as well as those who
have gone before.

General Hal Moore (of We Were Soldiers Once, And Young fame)
put it succinctly. "We should hate war--but love the warrior."

Give Gerald our thanks, and tell him to have a ball at his
reunion, as I hope to at mine.

Thanks for the article,
El Paso

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks as usual for the tears of remembrance and the joy of
life shared that your newsletter always brings ....as the son
of a father with 4 years in marines and a step dad with 26
years in USAF and two uncles and 8 years as a USAF vet myself.

Though we all gave some but none of us thankfully gave all. I
fully understand the heritage and continuum of shared service
that your article describes, and I too feel that as Voltaire
recognized, when duty whispers low thou must the youth reply
I must.

May God always bless the USA with the youth that instinctively
heeds the nations call. My dad and I have a brick at the 
memorial here in Lubbock and I hope you have arranged for your
father-in-law to have one as well. 

For when we forget the real heroes we truly will be a lost
paradise. Thanks for sharing.

Jerry McManus

Dear Newsletter:

Happy St. Paddy's and thank you for your inspiring and timely
words re: our men and women in uniform, in the armed services
of our nation. 

We all need re-reminding of how there is no such thing as an
'ordinary' day for our troops and that the sacrifices they and
their families make on a moment by moment basis we can never
repay them for.

So, getting back to old fashioned values like paying respect to
those who are in service and remembering those of years past
who've made it possible for you and I to still enjoy the
freedoms insured us by the Constitution ought to be as much a
part of our days as brushing our teeth upon arising. 

Thanks for being a unique someone who cares and gives and
etches us all about the importance of BEING community, not just
living in one. 

Still haven't made it to Cloudcroft AND look forward to that

May you and your loved ones have a safe journey to the reunion
in Las Vegas and thank your uncle and his buddies for all 
they've done and all they still represent. There are some of
us who still believe God IS blessing America and calling us to
not give up hope that somehow humanity CAN learn to live as 
family, having the occasional spat, learning from one another's
diverse points of view and growing in wisdom, acceptance and
respect for those differences, even being enriched by them.

Just know this gal appreciates all the time, effort and caring
you out into communicating with us all in cyberland. I ask for
Abundant Blessings upon you and all you hold dear.

Best wishes,
Rev. Julia McKenna Johnson,
Silver City

Dear Newsletter:

This was the best I may say. My dad too is a veteran of Korea.
Everyday I thank God for my existence. He enlisted when he was
17 and made it home to later meet my mom.
Angie G.

Dear Newsletter:

I couldn’t agree more with you about our “Hero’s”. I pray daily
for them all. I am so sick of the negativity placed on their
efforts by the news media. 

Where are the stories of all the good we are doing there? The
stories of the schools being re-opened, of people now able to
walk the streets, and most importantly the stories of the
common citizen who is now able to express their opinion in the
form of a vote. All of these are directly related to the 
sacrifice of our troops on foreign soil, each and every one of
them there for the greater good. 

All I hear is how many of our best were killed or wounded in 
what is generally portrayed as our negative effort. I think it
is shameful that the news media is so preoccupied with their
own agenda that the truths about the wonderful things that have
been accomplished are so often overlooked. I can only ask that
you continue to remind us lest we forget those who are giving so
much for us all everyday. 
May we Never Forget, 
Kevin Haley
Abilene, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

Yes, our military men and women are heroes. 
My nephew is in Ft. Hood, Texas now and will be leaving for
Afghanistan the first week of May. He will turn 24 years old a
few days after arriving Afghanistan. We will not see him for a
year, or even longer, but he will be in our thoughts, our
hearts and our prayers each minute of the day. 
My prayer is that this war will soon be over and that all our
heroes will arrive home safely to their loved ones.
Thanks again for your newsletters. I enjoy Thursdays!
Cathy Vaughn
Friendswood, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I never had the pleasure of meeting you during my five years
on the mountain but I did meet your lovely wife, Peggy. She
gave me the internet address for Dr. Thomas’ on-line version
of his book. I read it and enjoyed it very much but through
a couple of computers, up grades and crashes, I have lost the
address. You might recover it from her and publish the link
in your newsletter, I am sure lots of folks would be
interested in reading it.
By the way, when she first told me about the book, she said
her Dad was Gerald Thomas, but that did not ring any bells.
When I went to the on-line book and saw it was the New Mexico
State University Press, bells rang big time. I lived in the
area of Las Cruces where the NMSU President’s house was
located, and, being an Alumnus, I certainly knew who Dr Thomas
Give Peggy a hug and hello for myself and my wife, Diane
Lloyd Robinson,


Dear Newsletter:

I usually look forward to the Cloudcroft Newsletter, and today
was no exception.

About three quarters of the way through it, I realized, with
mounting dread, that it was going to be yet another political
forum for George W. Bush and his policies. I don't know if you
are on some kind of a mission here or what. I just know that
you have a fairly captive audience, who probably (like me) look
forward to the pleasant comments that usually are part of the

Increasingly, your personal political agenda has eroded the 
whole tone of the letter. Maybe you can inflict your views onto
your readers and if we don't like it, we can unsubscribe. I
guess that must be your attitude; unlike a call-in radio show 
where listeners can call with their opinions, probably very few
readers will unsubscribe or write to complain about the personal
politics of the author getting in the way of the newsletter. 

When you start in, they will just hit 'delete' and hope that you
get on another track next month.

Well, I've never been one to ascribe to that philosophy although
I have been silent, I've just about had enough. To confuse 
loyalty to this country to blind loyalty to this president and
his policies is one thing; to compare the 9/11 tragedy to Pearl
Harbor is stretching it and to link it (World Trade Center) to
Iraq to justify this war is self-hypnotism. 

To inflict your personal bias onto your readers is arrogant and
self-serving. This may come as a huge shock, Don, but many
Americans, every bit as patriotic as you and Peggy, did not vote
for either 'Bush'. And increasingly, the opinion of the
population, even among Republicans, is turning against this war.

The president's popularity is slipping daily in ratings. The
alarming absence of an exit plan is increasingly evident. You
can try to compare our troops, many of them reservists, being
sent home with missing limbs, as fighting for a noble cause
against an enemy who attacked the United States (as in WWII)
but it just doesn't wash.
Unlike you, I'm not much of a writer, but there are those who
are. I hope you'll read this articulate article written by
Garrison Keillor. 
Ellen Dart 

Dear Newsletter:

Just a note that I read your ramblings (the good kind!) dated
March 18th. I want to thank you for supporting the troops. 

Yes, I'm the mother of a marine. He hasn't been to Iraq or
anywhere that has him in harm's way but it's nice to know that
there are people out there that say yes way to go for our
troops regardless. 

Thanks again and say hello to your wife and your own troop of

By the way, trying to get to Cloudcroft, sounds like a
wonderful place to live.

Phoenix, Az

Dear Newsletter:

Great piece on Peggy's dad. Having flown on and off of a "flat
top" during a different war at a different time, I really
understand his desire to meet the challenge of an unstable

I could be a little biased here, but in my books, the Navy
pilot is unsurpassed. I'm not easily impressed, but every
flight I made with one of our pilots only increased my
admiration for the skill and abilities of those guys.

As a young Naval officer assigned to a carrier operating off
Vietnam, I bunked with the air group until a stateroom became
available. Since I was a "non drinker", I was assigned the 
duty of getting our "gang" back to the ship after shore leave.

I learned a lot about those fellows during this time. Beneath 
all the bravado was a deep sense of duty and pride in what
they were doing. Every time I flew with one of them, I
reflected that I would fly behind the front seat with a
Navy pilot at any time and on any mission. I still would!

Al Cornelius

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for your weekly touch of home. I was fortunate
enough to grow up near Cloudcroft and get a wonderful break
from the bleak desert. 

I was also very fortunate to finally get back to Cloudcroft
about 2 weeks ago. My children got to see the splendor of the
mountains and finally get to play in some snow. 

I just want to thank the store owners all along the boardwalks
for putting up with me and all of my family. Even my sister
and her family (who are very different from anyone else you
would meet -- except from London, where they live). We caused
chaos everywhere we went and yet we were treated with the 
utmost care and respect. It was greatly appreciated.

Thanks for keeping this little piece of heaven on earth as
wonderful as it was when I was a kid. I hope to keep bringing
my kids back to have the same great memories that I did.

Michelle Miller
San Antonio, TX

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
You MUST put Unsubscribe in the Subject line.
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
You MUST put CC-Editor in the Subject line.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

Copyright © 2005 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter