In the Rearview

Looking back: 10, 25, 50 years ago – November 29

Smith's gets gas, graffiti artist sparks judge's ire, Centinel Bank approved

By Mary Beth Libbey
forum@taosnews.com
Posted 11/28/18

- 10 YEARS AGO -'Smith's new gas station ignites competitive prices'By Patricia ChambersNov. 26, 2008Ten years ago, Smith's supermarket opened its gas station in Taos and consumers were happy about …

You have exceeded your story limit for this 30-day period.

Please log in to continue

Log in
In the Rearview

Looking back: 10, 25, 50 years ago – November 29

Smith's gets gas, graffiti artist sparks judge's ire, Centinel Bank approved

Posted

- 10 YEARS AGO - 'Smith's new gas station ignites competitive prices', By Patricia Chambers, Nov. 26, 2008

Ten years ago, Smith's supermarket opened its gas station in Taos and consumers were happy about the prices and the competition to Polk Oil, which owned most of the other stations in town.

People must have changed their minds. Two years earlier the station's construction was blocked by the planning and zoning commission. Smith's had to appeal to the town council, and only then did it passed by one vote.

Serendipitously, the price of gas fell that week from to $1.91 for a gallon of regular. A month ago the price was $3.59. Smith's must have really looked cheap.

Not that Smith's caused the cascading oil prices in 2008. Most industry observers at the time said the drop was due to slacking demand in an economy that was in free fall recession mode, which in turn was due to the Wall Street shenanigans with the mortgage market. In fact, the year's gas prices were some of the most volatile on record, in part driven by even more Wall Street fun and games: speculation on oil futures.

In any event, the station at the corner of Paseo del Sur and Siler was full of happy customers. Several told reporter Patricia Chambers that they hadn't filled their tanks in months. "I like the price. Competition is good. At least there is one station not owned by Polk," said Al Tobias of Arroyo Hondo.

- 25 YEARS AGO - 'Graffiti 'artist' draws 90 days in jail',By Mike Stauffer, Nov. 24, 1993

The judge threw the book at 23-year-old Charles Atwater this week for drawing words and images on walls around town. The "it was art" argument fell on Taos municipal judge Richard Chavez's deaf ears.

Atwater was sentenced to 90 days in jail, a $311 fine, plus restitution to the property owners involved and 24 months probation for eight counts of criminal damage to property, or graffiti vandalism. "Don't even think about violating your probation, Mr. Atwater," Chavez told him. "I"m pissed off at you for what you did. Don't try me."

Atwater was arrested Nov. 15 by officer Paul Castillo after allegedly writing graffiti on the stall wall in the men's bathroom at McDonald's. The police report said that Atwater then confessed to marking walls at several locations throughout downtown Taos and took police to see his handiwork.

He wrote the words "rage" and "hemp" were included in his drawings. He said he did it "because of boredom in Taos."

Chavez also sentenced him to visiting schools and explaining to students what's wrong with graffiti. "You are a bad influence on the children of the town and I want them to know who you are."

Atwater said "he was scared" and worried about losing his job while in jail. Police Chief Neil Curran told The Taos News that Atwater was not a member of a gang but knew the names of other graffiti artists "who were under investigation."

- 50 YEARS AGO - 'New bank OK'd', Staff report, Nov. 28, 1968

Centinel Bank announced its state charter had been approved. The writer called it "the biggest obstacle out of the way" for the nine organizers of what would become Taos' newest bank.

The bank's articles of incorporation had been approved the week before by the state Commissioner of Banking and had been forwarded to the State Corporation Commission. Named as organizers were Edwin Lineberry, Rumaldo Garcia, Luiz Martinez, Dr. Albert M. Rosen and Edward Bewley of Taos; plus Don Ambrose, El Prado; Raymond B. Lopez, Albuquerque; Arthur Ortiz, Santa Fe; and Rudy Gallegos, Amalia.

Interestingly, the person most associated with Centinel's founding, Eliu E. Romero, was identified only as agent, general counsel and a stockholder.

The bank's capital structure called for $350,000, and Romero told the reporter that at the time 293 subscribers had signed on for the 10,000 shares at $35 a share. The payment for the stock subscribers was due by Dec. 19. All the bank needed after that was to prove it had acquired insurance of deposits from federal banking authorities.

Things must have worked out. Centinel Bank has two branches and held about $231 million in assets as of December 2017.

Comments


Private mode detected!

In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.