2015-01-28, Phil King, NMSU Civil Engineering

Past-president Ana Mangino energetically rang the bell at 12:13 pm calling the meeting to order and offered The Peace Prayer as an invocation.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ana.  Michele Murphy led us in a lively rendition of “Take Me Out to the BOWL Game”.  As a native of Seattle, Michele was “root, root, rooting” for the Seahawks but one very loud Patriot’s fan made is clear there were split loyalties amongst our Rotary membership!

Due to our jam-packed agenda for this day, our normally lively meet and greet was a mere wave.

Samantha Perez & Kathryn DicksonWe did not have any visiting Rotarians this week but we did have many guests – Bill Brogan was accompanied by “his reason for getting up every morning”, his wife, Julia; Dinus Briggs brought his wife, June; Christopher Dulany introduced us to his former intern and the current ASNMSU President, Wesley Jackson; and student guest Katheryn Dickson introduced her mother, Kerry Huffman.

Since this was the last meeting of the month, two of our student guests presented their autobiographical speeches (pictured right).  Katheryn Dickson shared that she intends to attend NMSU with a leaning toward forestry.  The person that made the largest impact on her life, so far, was her eighth grade English teacher who instilled an awareness of thinking outside the box toward her academics.  Samantha Perez also shared that she intends to attend NMSU with a leaning toward engineering or psychology.  The person most influential in her life is her father, who has shared with her the need to give back to the community, especially those less fortunate.  Both student guests shared that they believe the act of service benefits both the giver and the receiver.  Both autobiographic speeches were excellent and it was enjoyable to meet them both.

Business and announcements –

  • Please sign the get well card for Elaine Szalay.
  • Please sign the sympathy card for George and Kaye Miller on the death of their son, Patrick.
  • Rio Grande Academy is on-going in both El Paso and Alamogordo.
  • Four-Way Essay Contest on February 10, 2015 beginning at 5:30pm (Branigan Library)
  • Picacho Middle School project – meet at the school office at 7:55am on Feburary 2, 2015
  • Buddy Ritter’s book “Mesilla Comes Alive” is available for $15 (black and white) or $30 (color).  Buddy had some on hand for purchase.

Dinus Briggs introduced our newest member to be inducted, Bill Brogan.  Bill may be new to our Rotary club but he is definitely not new to Rotary.  Due to several moves with his career, Bill has been a member of five different Rotary clubs.  We are sure happy to welcome him to our lively crew.

Happy dollars! – John Hernandez is mighty glad to be at the meeting and glad to report on the recovery of Elaine Szalay!  Mary Ellen McKay was happy to announce that the much anticipated wedding of her granddaughter in Florida was a huge success and not nearly as dysfunctional as expected!  John Pickett reported that Paulina Salopek is still in Dallas but that she sends her best wishes and is doing well. Bill Wheeler had a happy dollar for the 53 years of marriage he and his wife celebrated last week.  Wow, Bill, that is really a blessing!  Bill Brogan had $10 happy dollars to be back in Rotary.   Janet Green had a happy dollar to announce that she had been chosen the District VII member of the Governor’s Economic Development Commission.

NMSU Engineering LogoThe Program

Described as “Dr. Doom”, Gary Esslinger introduced Dr. J. Phil King as our meeting’s speaker.  Dr. King is a professor of Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University, a  consultant for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District and expert witness in EBID’s many trials and tribulations on farm delivery and crop irrigation requirements. 

Gary Esslinger & Phil King“Why should we be interested?” he asked.  We should be interested in irrigation issues because irrigation is the largest user of water in this area.  Up to 90% of our water is used for irrigation in southern New Mexico.  Not only is irrigation water from the Rio Grande important but groundwater from wells is also a very important component.  Groundwater, however, varies in its quality and quantity.  Dr. King described, through easy to understand graphics, the way water makes its way into the fields and then what happens when the water seeps back into the ground or runs off.  The largest source of recharge to ground water is canal seepage. The second largest source is field drainage.

How do those in charge of water irrigation plan for the next irrigation season?  Dr. King described meteorological ways to watch for water from storms including El Nino conditions.

Pecans orchards and wheat crops require the most water per acre with cotton, onion, and chile using the least amount of water per acre.

Thank you to Howard Ness and Gary Esslinger for bringing us stimulating and enlightening speakers this January.  We are looking forward to what February speakers bring.

After the Program

The winner of the 50/50 raffle was Lya Jordan.  The fines and happy dollars generated $81 for the El Caldito Soup Kitchen.

Remember that next week’s program is brought to us by Michele Murphy, February program chair.  The speaker is Dr. Dan Dugas, NMSU geography professor.

The meeting ended with the Four-Way test led by Ana Mangino. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Julia Brogan

Bill Brogan

June Briggs

Dinus Briggs

Wesley Jackson

Christopher Dulany

Kerry Huffman

Kathryn Dickson

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club



Student Guests



Kathryn Dickson

Las Cruces

Samantha Perez








Club Anniversaries-February

Member Club Anniversary Tenure
Steve Loman February 1 39 years
Elaine Szalay February 1 27 years
Barbara Rose Farber February 7 8 years
Blaine Goss February 9 15 years
Mel Parish February 9 10 years
Les Smith February 18 12 years
Henry Broekhoff February 20 7 years

Submitted by Kristi GranadosKristi Granados