Front Page

October 7, 1999

2 jailed after heist fails

By Karl Isberg

Two suspects were jailed Oct. 3 after Pagosa Springs police thwarted an attempt to rob a downtown convenience store.

Danny A. Ranes, 40, and Margie Vasquez, 28, were taken into custody outside the Midtown 66 at 7th Street and U.S. 160 as they attempted to flee the scene in a vehicle following an alleged theft police officials say the couple attempted to orchestrate with employees of the business.

Ranes and Vasquez were booked on charges of theft, conspiracy to commit theft and child abuse. The child abuse charge was pressed because the couple's one-year-old child was with them in the vehicle. Vasquez was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, the couple are suspects in a case in which a credit card was stolen from a local resident and used for purchases in Pagosa Springs and Durango. As Captain Chuck Allen of the Pagosa department worked that case and waited for records to arrive from the credit card company, he obtained information about the planned theft at the convenience store.

Volger reported that officer Tony Kop produced additional information about the intended theft and learned it would take place early Sunday morning.

Five of six department officers were involved in the apprehension of the suspects.

Volger said Kop was put inside the store. Officer George Daniels waited on foot near the store. Volger and officers Bill Rockensock and Jim Wise waited in patrol cars behind the Archuleta County Courthouse until it was determined the suspects had driven past the store to check it out and had pulled up to a window at the rear of the building. Then the officers drove to positions near the store.

"Daniels saw the exchange of money," said Volger, "and radioed that the suspects were leaving. As the suspects pulled around to the front of the building, we trapped them with our vehicles as our other officers arrived on foot. The arrests went as we planned them."

The charges against Ranes and Vasquez are Class 4 felonies, which normally entail a $10,000 bond. Volger argued that the suspects are a flight risk and Archuleta County Judge James Denvir raised the bond for each suspect to $25,000.

The investigation of the credit card case continues and other charges against Ranes and Vasquez are pending.

 

City Markets recall ground beef

By David C. Mitchell

Responding Wednesday to a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all fresh ground beef packages were removed from the shelves of the meat departments in the local Pagosa Springs and Country Center City markets.

The recall was announced after the USDA notified King Soopers and City Market officials "of the presence of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. Coli) bacteria in a sample of fresh ground beef taken from a King Soopers store."

Julie Brown, Country Center City Market assistant manager, said all packages of the ground beef were removed after the two local stores received a faxed news release Wednesday afternoon from City Market headquarters in Grand Junction.

According to the news release, neither King Soopers nor City Market officials have "received any complaints of illness related to the product." Nevertheless, the parent companies are asking customers who purchased the King Soopers ground beef carrying the "Oct. 5 sell-by date" to return the product for a full refund or replacement.

Besides announcing the discovery of the presence of e.coli in a sample taken from a King Soopers store, the release states that according to the USDA, "when ground beef is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees, the e.coli bacteria is destroyed" and the cooked meat is safe to eat.

  

County looks at growth issues

By John M. Motter

The county commissioners dealt with two issues related to growth while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

On the first issue, the commissioners agreed to become the lead agency promoting a corridor study in cooperation with the town and with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. On the second issue, the commissioners listened to a preliminary report assessing future county building needs.

What started out as a corridor study along U.S. 160 has expanded into a "Vision Plan" designed to measure and analyze growth patterns throughout the county.

"It will take about nine months," said County Manager Dennis Hunt. "We'll try to measure where growth has taken place and the kinds of growth. We'll do some of the work ourselves and we'll hire outside contractors for other portions of the work."

The study will also attempt to acquire community input in order to gauge community attitudes and needs concerning growth.

To finance the study, the county is contributing $7,000, the town $7,000 and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $14,000.

County building needs

Concerning building needs, the county heard a preliminary report from Nick Kollios, project manager for Daniel C. Smith and Associates. That firm has been hired by the county to develop a facilities master plan.

Kollios' approach has been to assess county staffing levels over the past 10 years. Armed with that knowledge, the researchers then predict county staffing needs from now until the year 2020. Finally, since they know how many people the county will employ, the firm projects the extent and makeup of buildings needed.

"We would like to think when we make a building recommendation, that the building would serve the county for at least 40 years after it is constructed," Kollios said.

Based on comparison of county employment numbers over the past 10 years with county population growth over the same time reference, the county is falling behind, according to Kollios.

"During the last 10 years the county population has grown 78 percent," Kollios said, "while the work force has grown by 33 percent."

By the year 2020, the county population should approach 20,000, according to Kollios. The county work force should increase by the same ratio, approximately double. That would mean increasing from the present staff level of about 89 full time employees to almost 180 employees. Much of that increase should come within the sheriff's department.

No final recommendations have been developed concerning buildings. With perhaps $2 million in repairs and modifications, the present courthouse could serve as a law enforcement, jail and court facility, Kollios said.

The judicial system will require three courtrooms and an attendant increase in support rooms. The jail will need twice its present capacity.

"Right now it looks like the present building will meet the needs for law enforcement, jail and judicial services," Kollios said. "An additional building will be required for other county offices."

The county has purchased land on the east side of Hot Springs Boulevard near Apache Street near the proposed municipal building site.

Kollios will present the commissioners with a space-needs analysis and alternative solutions at the Nov. 8 commissioner meeting.

  

Diversion problem slows Blanco to a trickle

By Karl Isberg

Many residents living near the Blanco River in the southeastern section of Archuleta County noticed a dramatic decrease in the flow of water in the river on Sept. 26.

The change in the amount of water flowing through the river channel began at approximately 4:30 p.m., and some observers related stories of a river with no perceptible flow during the evening hours.

That situation did not change until the morning of Sept. 27 when water again made its way down the river from the diversion dam.

Bruce Whitehead, Durango-based assistant division engineer for the Colorado Water Resources Division, said he and his fellow employees at the division "do not know exactly what happened. All we know," he said, "is that there was some kind of problem with the (Blanco River) diversion tunnel and the water went into the tunnel and down to New Mexico instead of into the river. One of our local commissioners notified the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the diversion project out of New Mexico."

According to Isidoro Manzanares of the Bureau of Reclamation office at Chama, N.M., bureau personnel were already aware a problem existed by the time the word arrived from Colorado.

"The only thing that happened," reported Manzanares, "is we had a short of some kind at the tunnel gate. It was an electrical problem. We told the gate (by remote control) to open and it went to the very top. It broke cables and the gate came down and closed. Fortunately, there was a pipe beneath the gate and some water continued to get through to the river. The river was never completely cut off. There was still three or four cubic feet per second going into the river. We had a Water Technician close the tunnel gates and put water over the spillway until the broken cables were fixed. We had the normal 22 to 24 (cfs) back in the river by 8 a.m. the next morning."

 

Hispanic students make big strides in CSAP tests

By Roy Starling

Pagosa Springs Elementary School Principal Cyndy Secrist found some good news when the Colorado Student Assessment Program scores for fourth-grade reading and writing arrived last week.

"The most exciting news was the progress our Hispanic students have made since 1997," Secrist said. "In '97, 26 percent of the Hispanic fourth graders in the district scored at the unsatisfactory level. This year, that number dropped to 5 percent."

Hispanic students scoring at the partially proficient level dropped from 48 percent to 37 percent since 1997, while those at proficient or above leapt from 26 percent to 53 percent.

Secrist is also pleased to see unsatisfactory performances shrinking with each passing year.

"One of the goals we have with our accountability committee is to reduce the number of students performing at the unsatisfactory level, and I think we've done an excellent job in that department," Secrist said.

Secrist pointed out that in 1997, 33 percent of the district's fourth graders scored at the unsatisfactory level on the writing test. In 1998, that number dropped to 25 percent. On the 1999 test, taken last March, only 15 percent performed at that level.

The results from the reading test were even better. In 1997, 14 percent of district fourth graders read at an unsatisfactory level. Only 5 percent scored at that level in 1998, and that number is down to 3 percent.

"This is a significant decrease in students performing at the unsatisfactory level," Secrist said. "We're doing what the state is asking in terms of reducing unsatisfactory performances and we're going to continue that, and now we need to look at our partially proficient group and boost them up to proficient, while continuing to decrease the numbers at the unsatisfactory level."

District fourth-graders scoring at the proficient or above level in reading dropped from 62 percent in 1998 to 54 percent in 1999. On the state level, those reading at proficient or above increased slightly, from 57 to 59 percent.

In writing, district students made a little progress while students statewide lost ground. In 1998, 21 percent of local fourth graders were at proficient or above, while 24 percent reached that level this year. Statewide, the number dropped from 36 to 34 percent.

On the third-grade reading test, 75 percent of the district's students finished at proficient or above, compared to 67 percent statewide.

Local seventh graders had their first shot at the CSAP reading and writing tests. In reading, 43 percent scored at proficient or above, compared to 56 percent statewide. In writing, 37 percent made that cutoff, compared to 41 percent statewide.

Junior high Principal Larry Lister looks at the CSAP scores as "just one more measurement of progress. We have several of our own, including student portfolios and other standardized tests."

Lister said the school's "number one goal is now to improve our scores on the CSAP reading and writing tests. We'd like to move some of our near-proficient students up to the next level."

To help achieve those goals, Lister said, "We've started a whole program for recovering readers, to bring students back to reading and to really challenge them. Also, we'll teach reading and writing skills across the curriculum, in every discipline. Improving these skills can't just be up to reading and writing teachers."

 

Program honors Jasmine Lee

By David C. Mitchell

The National Achievement Scholarship program has cited a Pagosa Springs High School senior as one of more than 3,300 Achievement Program participants it is commending to U.S. colleges and universities.

Jasmine Lee was recognized for scoring in the top 5 percent of over 100,000 Black American students who requested consideration in the year 2000 Achievement Program when they took their Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last fall.

Achievement Program officials notified high school counselor Mark Thompson that Lee is "being commended to about 1,600 of the nation's four-year colleges and universities" with the hope that the recognition will enhance Lee's opportunity to further her education after graduating from Pagosa Springs High School.

The 25-year-old National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately-financed academic competition that is open only to Black American high school students. The program's annual competition is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The corporation also conducts the National Merit Program which is open to all high school students in the United States.

 

'Dutch' Crowley passes away

O.W. "Dutch" Crowley, a lifelong resident of Chromo, passed away at his home on Oct. 2, 1999.

Mr. Crowley was born in Chromo, April 26, 1909, to P.C. and Sara Crowley. He was the fourth born of six children.

He married Lenella Emily De Priest Aug. 1, 1934, in La Jara. The couple had no children of their own but loved their numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Mr. Crowley was formerly a board member of the La Plata Electric Association for several years. He was a member of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. He took great pride in his cattle and horses and won several trophies with them. He was a longtime staunch supporter of 4-H.

Mr. Crowley is preceded in death by his wife Lenella Crowley and brothers, Irvin and Everett. He is survived by two sisters, Wynona Eaklor and Iola Shahan of Chromo, and his brother, Asher Crowley of Leoti, Kan.

Services for Mr. Crowley were held south of La Jara Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the Fox Creek Branch Chapel of the Church of Latter Day Saints with Jim Horton presiding.

Burial followed at the Manassa Cemetery with Juston Shahan, Raymond Shahan, Ren Carbutt, Duwayne Shahan, Neil Carbutt and Kurt Cary serving as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Archuleta 4-H Council.

Program honors Jasmine Lee

By Mike Reid

District Wildlife Manager

On behalf of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, we would like to welcome all hunters to the Pagosa Springs area. We hope that you enjoy your hunt and have a good outing. We look forward to contacting many of you and visiting with you about your hunt. While deer licenses were only issued through the draw this year, elk licenses are still available at many businesses throughout the town and surrounding areas. Be sure and pick up a copy of the 1999 big game regulation brochure and please read it. It will have all of the laws and regulations that you need to be aware of and could save you problems during your hunt. Be aware that some regulations change every year.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will have a representative available at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard to assist hunters with lost hunter safety cards, lost hunting licenses, mandatory bear checks and general questions prior to and on the first day of the three rifle seasons. The representative will be at the Visitor Center from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. today and tomorrow, and from 10 a.m until 1 p.m. on Oct. 9. For the second rifle season, she will be at the Visitor Center from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. between Oct. 11 to Oct. 15, and from 10 a.m until 1 p.m. on Oct. 16. For the third rifle season, the representative will be at the Visitor Center from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. between Oct. 26 to Oct. 29, and from 10 a.m until 1 p.m. on Oct. 30. The Visitor center is located just across the bridge south of the traffic light in downtown Pagosa Springs.

1999 Deer licenses

In order to address concern about Colorado's deer herd, the Colorado Wildlife Commission last year decided to end the sale of over-the-counter deer licenses for this upcoming season. Deer licenses needed to be applied for by April 6. This requirement included archery hunters as well. With the adoption of draw-only deer licenses there should be fewer hunters afield this year.

Deer and elk forecast

Weather permitting, this should be an excellent year for deer and elk hunters. The 1998-99 winter was very mild and most of our animals came through in excellent shape. Many of our elk remained at higher elevations than usual throughout the entire winter. Even though there is concern statewide about mule deer, the deer herd in our area is in fairly good shape. We have been seeing more bucks this summer and those hunters who remembered to apply for a license should have a good opportunity to fill their tag.

Hunter education required

If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you must have a hunter education certificate with you when you purchase your license and when you are hunting in the field.

A two-day hunter education course is being offered in Pagosa Springs tonight and tomorrow. Participants must attend both classes in order to be eligible to pass the course. Tonight's class involves three hours of instructions (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). Friday's class involves eight hours of instructions (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Registration and instructions are being conducted in the meeting room in the Oak Ridge Motor Inn on Hot Springs Boulevard. The course will cost $20 per student. Contact Don Volger at 264-4151 for more information. (Colorado does accept hunter safety cards from other states.)

Season dates

This year's rifle season dates for deer and elk are as follows: first rifle season - Oct. 9-13, second rifle season - Oct. 16-27, third rifle season - Oct. 30-Nov. 7. Note: the buck deer season only runs through the first five days of the second and third rifle seasons. Bear hunters have several options. Rifle hunters who have a valid deer or elk license for the seasons listed above may purchase an over-the-counter bear license which will be valid only in the same unit, for the same time period as their deer and/or elk license. See the season participation information on page 3 of the 1999 big game brochure for more information.

Don't feed bears

Speaking of bears, there have been an exceptionally high number of bear-human conflicts in our area this summer. We are expecting a record bear harvest as many archery and muzzleloader hunters reported frequent bear sightings. Our spring weather was very cold and in numerous areas around Pagosa Springs the Gambel's oak and chokecherries were damaged by late-season frosts. While this is good news for bear hunters (since the bears will be very active in searching for food) it would mean an increased chance of bears coming into hunting camps looking for food. Please keep a clean camp with all food items stored safely away out of the reach of bears. You will also want to make sure that any animal you harvest is also kept out of the reach of foraging bears.

Antler-point restrictions

If you are hunting in Units 77, 78 or 771, which are the three units surrounding Pagosa Springs, any bull elk taken must have four or more points on one antler or a 5-inch brow tine. This includes all three rifle seasons. Buck deer taken in these units need only a 5-inch antler to be legal. There are no point restrictions on bucks in these units. If you plan on hunting in any other areas, be sure and check the regulations since other parts of the state may have different requirements.

Watch for moose

There are a few moose in the Pagosa Springs area. Please take a little extra care in determining your target so that we don't have any accidental moose kills. The difference between moose and elk are shown on page 31 of the 1999 regulation brochure.

Lynx

This past winter, the Colorado Division of Wildlife released 41 lynx into the San Juan Mountains as part of a plan to reintroduce these animals to Colorado. Lynx look similar to bobcats, but have much larger feet and more pronounced ear tufts. Please report any lynx sighting to the local Division of Wildlife office in Durango.

Maintain contact

All hunters should make sure that someone knows where they will be hunting and where their camp will be so that in the event of an emergency back home, the authorities will be able to find them to deliver a message. Also, make sure you update the information if your plans change and you go somewhere else.

If you need help

If you have questions or need clarification of the regulations, you can contact our Durango office at 247-0855. If you need a wildlife officer right away or if you want to report a wildlife violation, the quickest way in the Pagosa Springs area is to contact the Archuleta County Sheriff's Dispatch Center at 264-2131 and a dispatcher will contact an officer for you.

Small game, fur bearers

The Wildlife Commission makes a number of changes in the small game and fur bearers regulations each year. Hunters should pick up and read the 1999 Small Game brochure or contact the Division of Wildlife before hunting any small game or fur bearers. Before hunting on a small game license, hunters must call a toll-free number, (800) 938-5263, and provide their small game license number and some hunter survey information. They will then receive an authorization number which will validate their license when written on the license stamp. The purpose for this survey is to improve our small game harvest information system. Other states nationwide are also developing similar small game surveys.

Youth licenses

There are several licenses available for youths under 16 years of age. A combination small game hunting, fur bearer and fishing license is available to any youth (resident or non-resident) under 16 years of age with a hunter safety/education card. The cost for this license is $1, and a youth hunting or trapping with this license must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older who is also required to have a hunter safety/education card or be born before Jan. 1, 1949. Youths ages 12 through 15 can also purchase a reduced-cost license to hunt deer, elk and antelope in Colorado. The same hunter education and adult accompaniment requirements mentioned above also apply. The resident youth big game license cost is $10; non-resident most are $75. See page 2 of the 1999 hunting season information brochure for complete details.

We hope that all hunters have a safe and enjoyable hunt and we look forward to seeing you in the woods.

 

 

Inside The Sun
 

		

Trustees give conditional approval to new town hall

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs trustees took time at their Oct. 5 meeting to check plans for a new town hall, to be located on Hot Springs Boulevard near its junction with Apache Street.

Trustees gave their conditional approval to a site plan for the town hall and for a proposed community center and children's center to be located on a large parcel owned by the town. The plan included a tentative floor or "massing" scheme for the two-story, 13,000 square-foot town hall structure.

With the conditional approval of the site plan, town staff will proceed to the design phase of the project with the architectural firm of R. Michael Bell and Associates.

According to Town Administrator Jay Harrington, the project to construct a new town administration building is scheduled to begin with ground breaking and installation of utilities at the site next spring.

"We'll be getting comments on needs for the design plan from town officials and users of the facility," said Harrington, "and we will need to begin a search for a construction manager by December."

Construction of a new town hall will cost approximately $1,447,000 with an estimated $128-per-square-foot building cost. Town officials plan to acquire the necessary funds from sale of the existing town hall property at 5th and San Juan streets (currently appraised at $300,000), from sales tax revenues in the year of construction and from state grants.

Harrington reported town officials will attempt to secure one of those grants at a meeting in Ouray on Oct. 22. A hearing will be held on that date by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to consider a $300,000 energy impact grant request by the town.

A local group - the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition - is currently raising funds for Phase 2 construction of a community center project and for the Phase 3 construction of a children's center.

The town hall and community center complex is part of a larger project that aims to produce a corridor plan for the length of Hot Springs Boulevard.

Mark Garcia, town building department director, told trustees a meeting was held recently involving owners of properties in the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor, with a tentative land-use plan presented to those in attendance. Garcia said many of the ideas incorporated in the plan came from owners of properties located along the street.

"The idea of the corridor land-use plan was mostly well-received," said Garcia. "We're now taking more comments from property owners. The town planning commission will review information about the project and we will bring material to the trustees in November."

Harrington clarified the time frame for the development of any corridor project along Hot Springs Boulevard. "We are looking at a full build-out of whatever people decide to do, in five to 15 years," he said. "The whole idea is, as we see development in the corridor, we can coordinate it effectively, in line with a common idea. We haven't begun talking to our traffic engineer or to our civil engineer, and the corridor project is not in our short-term capital improvements plan yet."

 

About 100 Pagosans turn out to hear about candidates, issues

By John M. Motter

About 100 Pagosa residents turned out Tuesday night to hear pros and cons concerning candidates and ballot items scheduled for the Nov. 2 election.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County, the public meeting was divided into two segments. During the first hour, opposing candidates for two school board positions gave short talks and answered questions. Debates on certain ballot issues occupied the second hour.

Nan Rowe, president of the local League of Women Voters organization, chaired the meeting. Students from the Pagosa Springs alternative school watched the proceedings and helped by gathering written questions from the audience.

In the school board election, Laura Haynes is challenging incumbent Randall Davis for the District 1 position. In District 2, Kathryn Pokorney is challenging incumbent Carol Feazel. During the election, voters may vote for the candidates of choice without regard to the district designation. The district designation requires only that the candidate live in the district identified.

After making their talks, the candidates were questioned as to how they feel about standardized testing, merit pay, and on other issues. On only one question did their answers seem to differ markedly. Someone from the audience asked a question gauging candidate attitudes regarding the teaching of creationism versus the teaching of evolution.

Haynes argued in favor of allowing the teaching of creationism on a basis equal with the teaching of evolution. The other candidates argued against teaching creationism. They argued that creationism is a religious belief and religious beliefs, because they are individual and private, should be kept outside of school.

In general, all candidates favored deemphasizing standardized testing because it "puts too much pressure on teachers to teach to the tests." They argued against a merit pay system because such systems "foster competition instead of cooperation among teachers."

Most thought voluntary religious meetings on campus are okay if conducted by students, but teachers should not participate. Haynes said religious meetings on campus are okay with her, even if teachers are involved.

During the second hour, local ballot issues and one state referendum were debated, when opponents could be found.

County Commissioner Gene Crabtree and citizen Fitzhugh Havens debated a county proposal asking voters to allow the county to keep revenues in excess of TABOR limits.

Crabtree argued that the county needs the money in order to finance growth issues and that taxes will not be increased by approving this proposal. The money will be spent on roads, the planning and building departments, landfill and recycling, and zoning issues. Crabtree promised a committee would be formed to watchdog and account for the funds.

Havens argued that the TABOR bill limits to four years, the county's legal right to keep excess revues. He also argued that the county proposal is a blank check because it does not have spending limits or a time limit. Havens also argued that the present board of county commissioners may be well meaning, but nothing constrains future boards to be as well meaning. Finally, Havens called on the commissioners to "look the voters in the eye and ask for approval of a specific property tax increase."

Librarian Lenore Bright argued in favor of a library district proposal to retain excess revenues so "we can buy more books and do the other things a recent poll shows the citizens of Archuleta County want us to do."

No one opposed the library proposal.

Dick Mosely presented the arguments favoring expansion of Pagosa Fire Protection District territory north of the present Fairfield Pagosa boundary. No one argued against Mosely.

Jay Harrington, the town manager, argued in favor of allowing the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District to retain grants in excess of TABOR limits. No one opposed the sanitation district's proposal.

Jasper Welch argued in favor of a statewide referendum allowing the state to borrow against future federal highway receipts in order to speed up the completion of 28 state highway construction projects. No one argued against Welch.

 

Parent-teacher conferences scheduled for next Thursday

By Roy Starling

Thursday, Oct. 14, is the day for parent-teacher conferences in School District 50 Joint. There will be no classes on Friday, Oct. 15, a teacher in-service day.

At the high school, the conferences will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the commons area. "Preferably, parents can get there before 5:30 so they'll have enough time to see all four of their students' teachers," high school principal Bill Esterbrook said.

"We're asking that every parent come to the conferences," Esterbrook said. "It's very important that they be there. We believe that communication between the home and the school is the foundation of success. It's real important for parents to hear about what their students are doing well and to see where they could be doing some things a little differently."

Esterbrook said the high school conferences will use "an arena method. The parents get their students' schedules when they come through the door and they're directed to the appropriate teachers. They'll all be right there in the commons area with their names on their tables."

Junior high conferences will also be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. "Each junior high student is assigned an advisor, and that advisor will contact the parents to schedule a 15-minute appointment," junior high secretary Cheryl Bogert said. "If parents don't receive a call for an appointment, they should call the school (264-2794) and make one."

Bogert said junior high students will be dismissed at noon before lunch on the day of the conferences.

Intermediate and elementary school conferences will be held in the classrooms of the individual teachers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 14.

 

Editorials

A comrade's view

Pagosans can experience a Norman Rockwell moment Tuesday night thanks to the League of Women Voters Chapter of Archuleta County. Whereas "The League" is hosting a public forum in the county fair building, folks in Vermont conducted annual town meetings such as the one Rockwell depicted in one of his noted patriotic paintings.

New Englanders offered any citizens 18 years or older an opportunity to express their opinions, make decisions and vote in local elections at their town meetings.

In keeping with the purpose of the League of Women Voters, Tuesday's forum aims to promote "informed participation of citizens in government by providing non-partisan educational information on topics of public concern . . . ."

With the county's ever-increasing population, more folks are interested in raising questions and exchanging opinions with local candidates or elected officials. These opportunities will be available from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. during the "meet the candidates" segment of the forum. From then until 9:30 p.m., the candidates will have an opportunity to explain why they want to be, and why in their opinion they should be, elected to serve on the school board. Also, supporting and opposing presentations will be made on the statewide referendum question and the local questions that will appear on the November 2 ballot. A moderator will then conduct the question-and-answer segment of the forum.

Rockwell's neighbors in Vermont never expected to appear in a painting when they attended a certain town meeting years ago, nor should you. But attending the League's forum should give you a clearer picture about the candidates and issues on the ballot.

Guest editorial By Rick Bragg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

It's National Newspaper Week

Dear Folks,

Unless you are familiar with the National Newspaper Association, you probably are unaware that this is National Newspaper Week.

It's the time of year that the National Newspaper Association sends special guest editorials, public service ads and editorial cartoons to its members.

You might not think much of Rick Bragg's guest editorial that's to the left of this space, but I enjoyed it.

Due to space limitations, I edited out some his comments. But his main thoughts and theme appear pretty much in tact.

It's not that I relate to his thoughts because of similar experiences, common goals and professional training. I became a member of the press by buying my way in.

Bragg admits he's not in the media. No, he's a member of the press because he worked his way into the newspaper profession. He has always been a writer. And he loves it.

I'm not in the media. I'm more on the edge of being medium. And I have always been a reader.

Whereas Rick Bragg grew up being a newspaper writer, I grew up as a newspaper reader. I'm an experience reader and an aspiring writer.

I read with the awareness that newspapers main purpose is to inform the public. Equally important is staying in business.

I'm still a newspaper reader at heart. One of the pleasures of being an editor is being able to read the news before the readers do.

It matters not whether its about the schools, town, county, national forests, sports, weather, police blotter, letters, engagements, weddings, births anniversaries or funerals; the news is about many different people. And their stories make for interesting reading.

It's impossible to be around the newspaper business very long without developing an appreciation for folks who regard a hometown newspaper as being a public trust rather than a means of profit.

My early experiences taught me that as far as the IRS is concerned, it's more advantageous to not make a profit. It was one of the many things I've learned from experience. It's also one of the many things that I don't understand.

So I never had the nerve to learn how many years you could go without making a profit and yet still remain in business.

That's why I try to stay out the way of the members of the SUN's advertising staff. They don't report the news or write editorials. And those of us who report the news and write editorials don't sell advertising.

It's a system that has worked for us for a number of years. It's kept us in business, yet made some folks unhappy.

Advertisements, especially those in the Denver dailies, have made me word conscious. They love the words "save" or "savings".

The only way to save money is to invest it into some form of insured interest-bearing savings account. Paying less than the original price for an item is not saving, it's spending less.

Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David

 25 years ago

Odd Fellows work on cemetery

Taken from SUN files

of Oct. 10, 1974

A group of Odd Fellows met at Hilltop Cemetery Saturday to work on an improvement project. A new fence is being constructed along the north and west boundaries of the cemetery. The town is furnishing the materials and the Odd Fellows and other public spirited citizens are doing the work.

Mary Richards, a junior at Pagosa Springs High School, was elected to the office of secretary-treasurer for the Western Colorado Student Council Association last Monday in Durango. The purpose of the association is to exchange different ideas between the 47 schools on the Western Slope and to further improve the student councils and to promote a genuine school spirit and cooperation between all of the schools. Mary is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Richards.

Oiling of the Stevens Field landing strip is nearing completion and should be done by the first of the week. When completed the strip will have approximately three inches of asphalt mat that will be 6,000-feet long and more than 60-feet wide. This will give the county a first-class landing facility.

The town board will consider final adoption of it 1975 budget at a special meeting Oct. 15. While the total amount of the budget is down slightly it is proposed that the mill levy will go from 9.50 mills to 11.50 mills. The increase is due to the loss of revenue sharing funds for 1975.

 

Legacies
By Shari Pierce

Development of downtown business district

Lewis Street. A major street in our town's business district. But how did it get it's name? Fort Lewis? Or Abner J. Lewis? Lewis was instrumental in the development of our downtown business district.

A.J. Lewis was born in 1847, in Indiana. In his early years, he learned the art of drumming. He moved with his parents, George and Mary, to Kansas. Lewis began learning the trades of baker and barber at the age of 19.

In 1873, Lewis moved to Colorado. After brief stays in Pueblo and Black Hawk, he settled in Del Norte when that town was in its earliest days.

Business opportunities drew him to this area in 1878. That was the year Fort Lewis was established in Pagosa to protect early settlers.

According to the Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado, published in 1899, Lewis built a house here in 1886. He opened a barbershop in the front portion of it. That building was destroyed by fire in 1894 and rebuilt the following year.

The Record was full of biographies of people instrumental in Colorado's development, past and present. It gave Lewis credit for establishing a "substantial business block in the center of the town." There he opened a meat market on Pagosa Street which he ran for a year before selling out. He sold the building in 1899. It later served as the town hall. He is given credit for promoting the growth of Pagosa Springs and "erected three of the main business blocks" in addition to his own home.

The Record described Lewis's character - "Upon all questions affecting the public welfare Mr. Lewis has had the courage of his opinions, which he has expressed openly, fearing neither friend or foe. While he usually votes the Democratic ticket, he is not bound by party ties, but in local elections votes for the best man. For several years he served as town trustee. In 1894 he was elected mayor, which position he has since held, by re-election each year. He has refused nomination for county offices, believing he could serve his town and his fellow-citizens more efficiently by taking no part in county work . . . In the course of his life he has met with many obstacles and has had much that would have discouraged a man of less determination of character, but he has persevered, and through intelligent, honest labor, has attained a fair degree of success."

A.J. Lewis left Pagosa Springs about 1904.

 

Community News
Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Some background information on Gershwin revue

"S'Wonderful" a tribute to the music of George Gershwin, is the coming Pagosa Springs Music Booster's production to be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 and 16 at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Moonlight Books and The Wild Hare. By purchasing your tickets at these stores, you get a reserved seat.

It certainly isn't any secret to locals that Pagosa Springs is full of talented people, but, just the same, this continuing wealth of talent amazes us. It's an over-used expression, but it fits, that "people came out of the woods" when notices of up-and-coming Music Booster productions are advertised. And putting together "S'Wonderful" was no exception.

Some 35 or so people will appear in "S'Wonderful." The very talented and versatile Kathy Isberg and Jo Ann Laird are co-directors. John Graves is the principal pianist who also helped write the script. When the call went out and the people auditioned, the show was written around the talents of those who showed.

Last year was Gershwin's 100th birthday. He was born in Brooklyn in 1898 and settled down to seriously study music when he was thirteen. He was hired by a music firm, composed some songs (and sold them to another firm), and gradually built a reputation as a song writer.

To quote Paul Grabbe in "The Story of One Hundred Symphonic Favorites," Gershwin's music has the driving nervous energy and excitement of the jazz age. Yet it is distinguishable from all other jazz in that it bears the stamp of a sensitive musical personality sufficiently unique to reach beyond the world of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley."

And how it did reach, from his "Rhapsody in Blue" first heard at a Paul Whiteman concert for piano and orchestra in New York in 1924, to his brilliant folk opera "Porgy and Bess" presented by the New York Theatre Guild in 1935. "Rhapsody" was written in a little over three weeks. It was a hit and brought him a commission from the New York Symphony Society.

Harvey Schwartz says about Gershwin, "He made elegant use of the Major seventh in a jazz sense." This was his reply to me when I told him that I (not a music major, who took one course in college harmony for the fun of it) remember Gershwin's use of the Major seventh and identify his music because of it.

Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing" received the Pulitzer Prize in 1931. He also wrote symphonic works. Ferde Grofé who did arranging for Gershwin considered Gershwin's "Concerto in F Major". (written for piano and orchestra) "The most important piano opus in that form ever to come from the pen of an American composer."

Gershwin is probably our most famous composer because he blended the jazz idiom with symphonic works. The German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche said, "Without music, life would be in error." To this we can say "Amen" and be thankful for George Gershwin and his music.

Gershwin died in 1937 at the age of 38. He was not really appreciated until after his death.

Sports swap

The third annual Ski and Sports Swap sponsored by the San Juan Outdoor Club will be held Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension Building.

Booth rent is $20 for members or non-profit organizations, and $25 for non-members. A $5 cleanup fee is required. Only one fee is required even though more than one booth is rented. The club will keep ten percent of all sales over $1,000. Vendors are to set up between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday or at 7:30 a.m.Saturday morning before the doors open.

Consignments will be accepted. Unsold items are to be picked up that day between 1:30 and 4 p.m. If not picked up and no arrangements have been made, they will be donated to the Humane Society Pack Rack thrift store. The club keeps 20 percent of any sale. Consignment items should be dropped off Friday afternoon between 4 and 6 p.m.

Notice

If you are a member of any patriotic society as Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Magna Carta Dames, or similar organizations, please call Patty Sterling 731-5213 or Kate Terry 264-2529.

Fun on the run

This is National Newspaper Week and what better time to run these newspaper bloopers than now. (Of course they did not appear in the Pagosa Springs SUN!)

Amana washer $100. Owned by clean bachelor who seldom washes.

Snow blower for sale. . .only used on snowy days.

Free puppies. . .part German Shepherd, part dog.

Cows, calves never bred. . .also one gay bull for sale.

Free puppies: Half Cocker Spaniel - Half Sneaky Neighbor Dog.

Free Yorkshire Terrier. 8 years old. Unpleasant little dog.

German Shepherd. 85 pounds, neutered, speaks German. Free.

Free 1 can Pork and Beans with purchase of 3-bedroom, 2-bath home.

For sale: Lee Majors (6 million dollar man): $50.

Nordic Track $300. Hardly used. Call Chubby.

Found: Dirty white dog. . .looks like a rat. . .been out awhile. . .better be a reward.

Hummels: Largest selection ever - "If it's in stock, we have it!"

Georgia Peaches, California grown, 89 cents lb.

Nice parachute: Never opened, used once, slightly stained.

American Flag: 60 stars, pole included. $100.

Tired of working for only $9.75 an hour? We offer profit sharing and flexible hours. Starting pay: $7 to $9 per hour.

Notice: To person or persons who took the large pumpkin on Highway 87. Please return pumpkin and be checked. Pumpkin may be radioactive. All other plants in the vicinity are dead.

Joining nudist colony, must sell washer and dryer. $300.

Lawyer says client not that guilty.

Fully Cooked Boneless Smoked Man: $2.09 lb.

 

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Start appreciating volunteers now

Eight, count 'em, eight new members to introduce to you this week and a hefty number of renewals. If you haven't sent in your renewal form, please do so pronto so we won't have to send you a reminder. We've had the best response this year than ever before and are so grateful to all of you for your continued confidence and support.

Sally Theesfeld joins us with The Daily Scoop located at the River Center. Sally specializes in espresso, ice cream, fine coffees, cappuccinos, lattes and mochas. She also has hard ice cream with numerous flavors to choose from as well as addictive espresso shakes and old fashioned ice cream sodas. (Excuse me while I run down to the River Center to indulge in everything on the menu.) She also has hot chocolate and Italian sodas on her scrumptious menu. You can reach Sally at 264-2990 if you would like more information about The Daily Scoop. Don and Mary McKeehan will receive a free SunDowner for their recruitment efforts on this one.

Rust Eddy and Sheryl Scales join us next with Deercrest, a cozy home with national forest in the back yard along with exceptional mountain and wildlife viewing. This home sleeps twelve, offers a rock fireplace, satellite, VCR and is well located just 16 miles from Wolf Creek. You can learn more about booking Deercrest through Pagosa Central Reservations at 731-2215. Thanks to Laura Daniels at Pagosa Central Reservations for recruitment of this business and a free SunDowner coupon will be headed Laura's way to express our gratitude.

Our old friends, Crista Munro and Dan Appenzeller, who also bring us the fabulous Four Corners Folk Festival, join us next with Pagosa Graphics and Signs. They have taken over Bill Hudson's business since Bill left town and have already created two beautiful banners for the Chamber as well as all the banners for the recent balloon rally. If you saw the banners, you can clearly see the quality of their work. This is a full-service sign shop offering wood, metal or plastic signs, banners, magnetics, vehicle/glass lettering and custom graphic design. If you would like prompt, professional service, please give Crista and Dan a call at 731-9983.

Doug Lattin joins us next with DNK Auto and Truck Repair located at 163 Goldmine Drive, just west of Ace Hardware. Doug offers Pagosa's only full-service auto and truck repair. DNK also offers tire sales, front-end alignment, computer diagnostics, electrical, quick lube and more. To learn more about DNK Auto and Truck Repair, call 264-1270. HRH Lee Sterling is credited with this recruitment and will receive a free SunDowner as a result.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service joins us this week with Delia Fusco at the helm. Delia can help you with credit counseling, debt management programs and financial education. I, for one, could use a lengthy course in financial education. Delia is located at 295 B. Girard in Durango and can be contacted by phone at 247-1403.

Our friend, Zach Nelson (a.k.a. Darth Vader) joins us with a new business this week and appears on our renewal list as well. His new business, located at 543 Park Avenue number 7, Blood of the Lamb Christian Counseling, offers Christian psychology and biblical counseling services. Zach counsels adults and teens in various stages of emotional growth and development to include bipolar affective disorder, depression and schizophrenia. If you would like to chat with Zach about these services, please call him at 731-3300.

Next on our list of new members is Joy Downing with Joy's Natural Foods located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, Suite T, behind the Hogs Breath. Those of you who have been in Pagosa for awhile know that Joy was located in the River Center for quite some time, but has recently relocated to her new place at Navajo Trail. Joy specializes in organic produce, natural meats, bulk flours and grains, bulk herbs and spices, vitamins and supplements, organic and natural groceries, frozen foods and dairy and non-dairy products. We're happy to have Joy with us and encourage you to call her at 731-1500. We thank Diplomat Jean Sanft for recruiting Joy and will send off a free SunDowner certificate promptly.

Our last, but certainly not least, new members this week are Lori Salisbury-Bloomquist and Ron Bloomquist with Lori Salisbury Gallery and Framing located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, Suite LS, real close to Joy's Natural Foods, obviously. Lori offers wildlife art that tells a story. The beauty and detail of Lori's art sets an incomparable standard in both the art and the quality custom framing she offers. Please give her a call at 731-1230 to inquire about all she offers. We thank each and every one of our new members and warmly welcome them to the Chamber family.

Renewals

We have 34 renewals to welcome this week and are grateful to each and every one of them. Our gratitude to the following folks for their continued support: Lyn and Ralph with both Subway stores, one downtown and one at the City Market Center; Lisa Moran with Silver Wolf Traders; Steve Rogan with Summit Lending; Jean Bruscia with the American Cancer Society; Zach Nelson with the Pagosa Players and the King's Men; April L. Matthews with Colorado Skies; Georgia Dick with Pagosa WorldWide; Bob Eggleston with Vectra Bank Colorado; Kathryn Heilhecker with Jafra Cosmetics International; Molly Manzanares with Tierra Wools; Grace H. Simons with Snowbird; Lou Poma with Big O Tires; Crista Munro with FolkWest Inc.; Mike Marchand with Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures; Liz Marchand with Allstate Insurance/The Marchand Agency; Andrea Postolese with the Irish Rose Restaurant; John Weiss with Navajo State Park; Phillip McClendon with McClendon & Lynch, Certified Public Accountants; Scott Allen with Mountain Snapshots; Bob Bigelow with Southwest Land Alliance; Tim Dippel with Tim Dippel & Co., Inc.; Troy Ross with Troy Ross Construction, LLC; Mary Marugg with Sonlight Christian Camp; James Huang with Hunan Chinese Restaurant; Archie MacMillan with Archie MacMillan Consulting, Inc.; Kathey Fitz with High Country Lodge; Dave Smith with Boot Hill Tack and Feed; Udgar Parsons with Growing Spaces; Harold Slavinski with Custom Craftsmen; Krista Baxley with The Greenhouse Restaurant and Bar; Judy James with the Methodist Church Thrift Shop; The "Rev" Mary and Poor Don McKeehan with Old West Press; and Kimberly Rosman with Felicity's. Okay, now you're allowed to take a break before we proceed with other business.

Whoops

Doggone it, no matter how hard I try, I manage to goof in a big way every now and then, and more often than I like. I especially hate it when it concerns a member, but goof I did, and I'm here to apologize. When I welcomed new members Carol and Richard Bracken in the Sept. 23 column, I misspelled the name of their business. Now, that's a whopper of a mistake. The correct name of the business is ORION Homes, and Richard Bracken can be reached at 731-2243 to discuss your custom home building needs or remodeling plans. I apologize, Carol and Richard.

Pace helpers

We received some much-appreciated volunteer help from the PACE group of home-schooled teens, and I would like to thank them ever so much. We can always use extra hands here at the Chamber, so we sincerely thank the following: Lauren McIntyre, Heather Lokey, Aimee Melendy, David Lokey, Bliss Gordon, Hannah Shetler, Shyamala Schmidt, Miriam Coray, Darin Richey, Michelle Brueckner, Reuben Coray and Micah Maberry.

Volunteer appreciation

Just a heads-up to all local organizations, non-profits and generally anyone who has those priceless volunteers donating their precious time and talents to your organization or business: Pagosa's official Volunteer Appreciation Week will be Oct. 25 through Oct. 29. We will honor our Chamber Diplomats at an appreciation luncheon on Oct. 20 and encourage everyone to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their volunteers in some way during the following week. It certainly doesn't need to be a luncheon or anything grand, but some small acknowledgment would be a good thing. Our volunteer Diplomats at the Visitor Center literally allow us to keep our doors open; we couldn't begin to keep this Visitor Center running seven days a week during the summer without them. They also cover the weekends during the winter and perform a cajillion tasks for us during their shifts. Have you hugged your volunteers lately?

Grand Opening

Don't forget the Grand Opening of the new Bank of the San Juans tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at their new location on Hot Springs Boulevard across from the post office. You will be delighted to know that this is a free party. Love those freebies! You will be treated to barbecue and live music from local group, The Regals. Great door prizes range from a night on the town to coveted Broncos tickets, and you may purchase chances for these prizes for $10. Proceeds from the Bank of the San Juans' Grand Opening Raffle will benefit the Archuleta County Education Center.

New addition

Massage at the Springs invites you to experience the latest addition to its menu of services. Premiering this month is La Stone Therapy, the original hot stone massage. This work incorporates the use of hot/cold smooth, oiled stones into a classic full-body massage. The penetrating heat/cold combine with the pressure of the stones and the skilled hands of the therapist to deeply relax the body and spirit. Take advantage of this new service to indulge yourself or someone you love. Call Joan at 264-6620 to make an appointment.

 

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

San Juan Outdoor Club prepares for sports swap

The third annual Ski and Sports Swap, organized by the San Juan Outdoor Club, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the county fair building. This flea-market style event is a good opportunity for someone to unload their old sports equipment, and for others to acquire used equipment at a low price. San Juan Outdoor Club members and other non-profits can rent space for $20. Businesses will pay $25, plus 10 percent of sales over $100. Participating organizations and businesses to date include Bike and Glide, Bubba's Boards, Juan's Mountain Sports, Pagosa Amateur Hockey Club, Pagosa Area Trails Council, Performance Sports, Purgatory Ski Rentals, San Juan Outdoor Club (consignments), Switchback Mountain Gear and Apparel, Wolf Creek Backcountry. Only a few spaces are left and anyone interested is encouraged to call Bill Sayre at 264-5754 right away. However, if you do not have enough items to justify your own table, you may place your items on consignment with SJOC. The club will keep 20 percent of the sale of each item. Equipment for consignment needs to be dropped off the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 29, between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Unsold items will need to be picked up on Saturday, between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Items left after Saturday will be donated to the Humane Society Pack Rack Thrift Store. Vendors will set up from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday or at 7 a.m. on Saturday before the doors open and the bargain hunters arrive.

All proceeds from the ski swap will go towards the SJOC college scholarship fund, American Cancer Society and trails building and maintenance for both winter and summer recreational opportunities. The college scholarship fund is in its first year and will provide a scholarship to one Pagosa Springs graduating high school senior going into an outdoor or environmental field of studies.

Pagosa Springs Health Partnership will host a forum on alternative therapies. The public is invited to join Scott Anderson DC, Thomas Craig DC, Walt Moore DC, Norma Murphy DC, Katharine More DC and Nancy North DC, in an open discussion of chiropractic and the different alternative therapies that have been found effective in the practices of the above mentioned doctors. The forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Parish Hall. This forum is part of a series of free medical educational clinics which are brought to the public every third Thursday of the month (except in December).

The 10K Turkey Trot to benefit the Ruby M. Sisson Library will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. This "trot" can be walked or run - either way, you don't have to dress up as a turkey. The race name is a tie-in to the Thanksgiving season and prizes of turkeys are awarded to lucky walkers and runners. Turkey Trot participants will line up at the Recreation Center parking lot and do four laps around the Eagles Loft Circle and Park Avenue loop. This flat course will offer an opportunity for a good run or walk without rendering participants lifeless for the remainder of the day.

In its sixth year, this annual event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and hosted by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. There will be an entry fee for the race and lots of door prizes and post-race refreshments. The 10K walk starts at 9 a.m. and the 10K run starts at 10 a.m. Entry forms are available at the Sisson Library and the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

 

Education News
By Tom Steen

Even more info on after-school programs

After-school tutoring for intermediate and junior high school students will begin on Oct. 4.

LeeAnn Skoglund, teacher in the Pagosa Springs Intermediate School, will again coordinate this program. We will hire and train high school students to work as tutors. Pagosa Youth Force tutor applications are now being accepted at the Education Center office at 4th and Lewis streets. We also invite community adult volunteers to work with students in this and the elementary school's "After Hours" program. Please call the Education Center for additional information.

The Education Center has also added new, after-school enrichment classes for intermediate school and junior high school students. These include theater, jewelry art and swing dance. We invite and encourage private school and home school students to participate in any or all of the after-school programs.

Susan Garman will begin a Theater I class for fifth through eighth grade students on Oct. 11. This class will be held each Monday from 3:45 to 5 p.m. through Nov. 15. This six-week course will cover various theater experiences and acting techniques. Parents are invited to attend a showing of work in progress the last day of class. Tuition for this class is $20.

Lisa Brown will offer a "Jewelry Making" art class for fifth through eighth grade students beginning on Oct. 5. This class will be held each Tuesday from 3:45 to 5 p.m. through Oct. 26. Students will learn some cultural history of beads and adornment while learning basic jewelry-making techniques. Tuition is $18, and this fee includes materials.

High school students take note: Sharman Alto will offer "Swing Dance" for fifth through twelfth grade students. Students will learn East Coast and West Coast Swing Dance and they will be able to develop and expand their own style. The "Swing Dance" class will be held on Wednesdays from 3:45 to 5 p.m., beginning Oct. 6 and continuing through Oct. 27. The tuition is $15.

Attention teachers and parents of elementary school students: The Education Center's "After Hours" tutoring program begins Oct. 4 in the elementary school. This tutoring program will provide help in academic subjects to public, private and home-school students in first through fourth grades. Talented high school tutors will conduct one-on-one and small group tutoring under the guidance of a licensed teacher. Students are accepted into this program by teacher or parent referral.

Tutoring sessions are held Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Room 11 of the Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Tuition is $25 per month for one hour of tutoring 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. two to four days each week. Students may also be enrolled for a second hour of supervised activities in the "Klubroom" for an additional $15 per month. Children must be re-registered each month to remain in the program. Scholarships are available.

The Education Center will hold Klubroom activities in Room 12 of the Pagosa Springs Elementary School. The Klubroom is for students waiting for tutoring at 4:30 p.m. or who have finished their enrichment activities for the day and are waiting on parents to pick them up. A snack is served each day at 3:20 p.m. before tutoring and enrichment classes begin. Children must be currently enrolled in tutoring or enrichment classes to attend Klubroom activities.

October is Community Safety Month. Children are invited to attend safety workshops on Tuesdays, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Guest speakers and topics include Officer George Daniels (bike safety), Fire Chief Warren Grams (fire safety) and EMS Staff (first aid tips). Tuition for this series of workshops is $12.

Upcoming art classes include "Drawing and Painting" taught by Lisa Brown. This class will provide children with the opportunity to try their hands at a variety of basic drawing and painting techniques and give them the freedom to experiment in making art. Classes will be held on Mondays from Oct. 4 through Oct. 25 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuition is $15 (materials included).

"Art with Tessie Garcia." This class will enable children to experience a wide variety of art activities. Activities will change monthly. Classes will be held Wednesdays from Oct. 6 through Oct. 27 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuition will be $15 (materials included).

"Crafts From Many Cultures" with Lisa Brown. This class will expose children to a wide variety of folk art crafts from around the world, allowing them to learn the history of various cultures. Students will then use this knowledge to create two- and three-dimensional projects. Classes will be held Thursdays from Oct. 7 through Oct. 28 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuition is $15 (materials included).

Parents please note: The Education Center has a $5 annual registration fee. This fee will be added to the tuition for your first enrollment.

Enrollment for all "After Hours" Community Education Programs is held at the Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets.

You may call 264-2835 to register by phone or for more information. More program information is also available on our website: www.pagosa.k12.co.us/edcenter.

 

Library News
by Lenore Bright

Libray patrons want more open hours

Sue Tripp's design will be on the T-shirts for this year's Turkey Trot race on Nov. 13. We thank Sue for her artwork. Entry forms will be out soon.

The Friends are working on the walk/run prizes and getting sponsors for this event. It will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, and offers a full day of activities for a small fee. The proceeds help buy books.

Bazaar and raffle

November turns out to be our busiest time other than our summer reading program. We are displaying the beautiful raffle items that will be won in just a few weeks. Scotty tells me the booths are about gone for the one-day Civic Club Bazaar on Nov. 6.

Book review

We're proud of our Cathy Dodt-Ellis who is now reviewing books for the Colorado Library Association. Her latest is "U.S. Government on the Web: Getting the information you want." There's a wealth of government information available. Most of it is useful and free. Now you can find and use the information your tax dollars pay for. This timely guide organizes nearly 1,000 government web sites.

Our thanks to Cathy. She not only reviewed the book, but also donated her copy to the library.

Cathy is multi-talented and well read. Among her many other abilities, she is an archaeologist, writer, professional artist, craftsperson, quilter and, remarkably, she understands the technical end of the computers as well. We are very lucky to have her at the library.

Survey results

A consensus shows that patrons would like more open hours, and longer checkout time for books (preferably, three weeks).

A large majority want current books on many more subjects. Print materials are still number one with our patrons.

Many would like to see a building expansion program with emphasis on a larger children's area where we can do programming and activities.

The board of Trustees will have lots of planning to do after the November election.

New book

The latest Oprah's Book Club selection is Maeve Binchy's "Tara Road." We received this through a grant from Oprah and the American Library Association. We all enjoy the Binchy novels, and I'm also taken with the book cover on this one.

Education trends

There is a tendency to assume since computers are becoming such an intrinsic part of business, that all future jobs will revolve around them. Experts worry that five years from now, there will be too many computer repair people and too few technicians to repair other items. Far too few will know how to use the scientific method to solve problems. The prospect of quick wealth will lure bright students who might have become research scientists, or science teachers and professors, into joining internet ventures instead. Five years from now where will the bio-technologists be? Will the next generation develop the creative thinking needed to solve other problems? Computer science teaches skills and techniques, but not the way physics teaches critical thinking. More on this next week.

Donations

Thanks to all of you who consistently keep us in good magazines, books, and other materials: Laurie Moseley for the large print Readers Digest, and Dr. Max Forbert, Phyllis Gibson, Pris Severn, Carole Howard, Mary Lou Sprowle, William Wills, Ann Graves, Betsy Thompson and Earle Beasley.

Arts Line
By Trisha Blankenship

Three exhibitors at PSAC gallery

Still showing at the Pagosa Springs art gallery is an array of mediums and creations of three very talented artists: Danny Smith, Joseph Leal and Tom Cardin.

Danny Smith is skilled in the arts of drawing, painting, and woodcarving while Joseph Leal is a wood and metal sculpture technician. Also featured are the intriguing photographs by Tom Cardin of the Cumbres and Toltec train. Together, they kicked off their display last Thursday at their opening reception. They will continue the display of their remarkable assorted works through Oct. 13 so there is still time to drop by and view these three gentlemen's amazing accomplishments in art.

Watermedia competition

Tomorrow night is the big event! The PSAC Watermedia Competition will hold its opening reception at Moonlight Books tomorrow night from 5 to 7 p.m. You have sent us your finest watermedia works and they will now be on display at Moonlight Books through Oct. 29. You must stop by and witness the fruits of many talented artists in our community. Bring friends, neighbors, family, your pet . . . well, maybe not your pet . . . but feel free to welcome the masses to what is bound to be a pleasurable and entertaining evening.

Upcoming events

A delightful local artist will be displaying her cherished works later this month. Carol Fulenwider, a.k.a. Denny Rose, an accomplished artist in our community, will be having a show Oct. 14 through Oct. 27. Her opening reception will be on Oct. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Art Gallery. Also in the near future the Creede Repertory theater will present "The Complete History of America (Abridged)," on Oct. 15 at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Wine will be made available at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The grand production itself will start at 8. Tickets are still available at the Arts Council gallery, Moonlight Books, the library and Wolftracks bookstore. For more info, call Joanne at 264-5020.

Wanted

The PSAC is searching for a new secretary. Barbara Lincoln has served as secretary this year and we applaud her for all her efforts. Thank you very much, Barbara. If you are interested in the position or know someone who might be, please call the PSAC at 264-5020, or Jeff Laydon at 731-3686.

Christmas Shoppe

Local artists are asked to plan ahead for the upcoming Christmas Shoppe scheduled Dec. 2 to Dec. 23. Begin your creations now for this once-a-year display of unique works of art that have one common theme. Bring in samples of your work as early as this month. There are no fees. Just call Joanne at the art building at 264-5020 for more information. Remember the gallery is closed most of November.

Senior News
By Cindy Archuleta

Seniors need someone to write this column

Well here we are all missing Thelma and her Senior News column once again; so if anyone can help us out in writing the column we would surely appreciate it. As you all know we rely heavily on volunteers.

Richard Jones was the Senior of the Week for last week, and for this week we have Carolyn Hansen, congratulations to you both.

We have an organ here at the Senior Center which we would like to give away to an organization or individual who would use it. For more information please call 264-2167.

The activities for this month began with the flu shots given at the Senior Center on Oct. 6.

Lynn will be back on Oct. 13 with the chair massages. We sure did miss her.

The senior bus will be making its way to Farmington, N.M., on Oct. 14 so please call or come by to sign up for the trip.

Dr. August Venderbeeck is scheduled to present a hearing loss seminar on Oct. 18 teaching our families and us how to cope with hearing loss. Please feel free to come and learn with us.

Area Agency on Aging will host the Widowed Persons Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 at Pagosa Lodge.

Nancy with the LEAP program will be our guest speaker to assist us with applications and explain to us how the heating assistance program works.

The Halloween party and costume contest will bring some color and smiles to the Senior Center on Oct. 29. Come one. Come all.

Mr. and Mrs. Kolman have left for their home in Arizona. We wish them a great winter and want to thank them for their generous donation. We appreciate everything you all do.

 

Features
Video Review
By Roy Starling

Scorsese's cowboy is a cabbie

A lone mysterious outsider rides into town. No one knows where he's from or what he's done. Sometimes, they don't even know his name. He's different. He's not like the townspeople.

He could even be a little dangerous. As Weepin' Willie said in a song, "Don't boss him, don't cross him, just leave him alone. Maybe he'll ride on again."

Much of what the loner sees in town disgusts him. He appears to see his new surroundings from a slightly superior moral plane.

At the same time, however, he envies the "normal" people with their well lit homes noisy with family and friends, their lives of routine and stability and plenty. He envies their sense of community, yet he knows he can't stay there and remain himself.

We all know this story. It's an American favorite, perhaps most often told in that truly American genre, the Western film.

For example, in John Ford's 1956 classic "The Searchers," Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) shows up unexpectedly at the home of his brother Aaron who has a wife and kids. No one knows what he's been up to the last few years, and he's certainly not going to talk about it. Even though the kids are excited about seeing Uncle Ethan, he's not completely welcome there. He's not the domestic type.

When the Comanches burn Aaron's place and capture his daughter Debbie, it's up to Ethan, the lonely outsider, to go get her back. Why? Because beneath a thin veneer of civility, he is a savage, a maddened grizzly in boots. Interestingly, once he finds Debbie, she's not eager to return to white civilization. The Comanches are her people now.

At the end of "The Searchers," we see family and friends entering a home, two by two. The camera is placed just inside the doorway, so here they come towards us as Ethan stands alone, watching. When the last one enters, Ethan turns and walks toward the horizon from which he first appeared, and the door closes, turning the screen black.

Now jump ahead 20 years in the history of cinema and 100 in the history of the country.

Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976) opens with a cloud of steam filling the screen. Through that cloud slowly cruises a yellow taxi, and out of that vehicle (or one just like it), will step Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro), a lonely stranger about whom we know only this: He's 26 and was a Marine during the Vietnam War. (Although much has been made of Bickle as Vietnam War vet, we're never told that he actually saw action in that war.)

Like Ethan, he doesn't fit in anywhere. And like Ethan, he'll try to rescue a young girl - a 12-year-old prostitute, Iris, played by Jodie Foster who, interestingly, is not eager to return to "respectable" civilization. And also like Ethan, Travis is just a whisker away (and maybe not even that much) from being a certifiable psychopath.

Travis is the classic outsider and misfit. In his diary (which we are allowed to "read" in occasional voice-overs), he refers to himself as "God's lonely man," and that's a fitting epithet. He just doesn't belong. He never connects for one moment with any other character in the film.

He'd like to, though. While he sees the streets of New York City covered with human scum that a "real rain will one day wash away," he thinks he sees purity and respectability in the figure of the white-clad Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), a campaign worker for presidential candidate Paul Palantine. With Betsy at his side, perhaps he could become like the rest of us.

But Betsy can't figure him out, either. Quoting from a Kris Kristofferson song, she tells him, "You're a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction."

That he is. He's part Norman Bates, part Lee Harvey Oswald. At times he appears to be intelligent and insightful, but at other times he's as dumb a fence post. Many viewers of "Taxi Driver" feel cheated because they never really figure out what's going on with Travis: What makes him tick (like a time bomb)? What's his problem? Why can't he find a niche to fit into?

To these questions, director Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader (who recently penned the screenplay for the excellent "Affliction") merely shrug. Who knows? Whoever really gets to know anyone? As a Tennessee Williams character once said, "We're all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life!"

What we do learn from "Taxi Driver" is that Travis's skin is not a good place to be trapped in, and his apartment's no bargain either. Unlike "The Searchers" and other Westerns that idealized and romanticized the lives of lonely men, Scorsese's film looks directly into the dark pit, the horror of loneliness.

Travis's apartment isn't a home, it's a lair. It's where he paces (even after driving a cab for 12 hours, he can't sleep), feeds himself (but with no pleasure; he doesn't even look at the food) and, eventually, prepares himself for what he believes to be his one calling in life: the assassination of Palantine. "There never has been any choice for me," he says. "My life is pointed in one direction. I can see that clearly now."

Only two objects stand out in his ratty apartment: a television and a mirror. The former helps him finish off the job of frying his brain; the latter exacerbates his terminal introversion and solipsism.

So what to make of Scorsese's urban cowboy movie, his modern-day take on the lonesome mysterious outsider misfit stranger hero?

While Travis shares the Western hero's love of guns (you could even say he has a gun fetish) and his need to take the law into his own hands and do what a man's gotta do, he comes off as a schlemiel, a clown. Real "strangers in town" are so clueless about how to behave in this alien environment that they evoke more ridicule than awe (I think of Joe Buck in "Midnight Cowboy").

Travis can't get a girlfriend (he gets close, but then takes Betsy to the wrong kind of movie), can't make friends, can't take or make a joke and can't carry out his "mission." The fact that he becomes a kind of hero is the least believable thing in the film.

Maybe the moral climate is just too darned ambiguous these days for a hero to ride into town and save anybody. And maybe someone who lives inside his own skin for too long lacks the necessary vision to become a hero.

The film as a whole is a lot of fun for a film lover or film student to watch. Scorsese and cameraman Michael Chapman pull out all the stops, making "Taxi Driver" a regular cinematic visual feast.

For instance, there are those cramped point-of-view shots from the interior of Travis's cab, a technique Scorsese admits to having stolen from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man"; there's the tracking shot from the ceiling of a room in which a bloody shootout has just taken place; there are double-exposure shots allowing us to see out the front of the cab and the view from the rearview mirror simultaneously; there's the shot from "behind" Travis's mirror while he prepares himself for a showdown: "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"

And there's Scorsese's favorite: When Travis is getting rejected by Betsy over the phone, the camera suddenly wanders away from him to the right, focusing instead on a long, empty hall. We can still hear Travis pleading, but we're looking at the hall. Why?

"Because that conversation was just too painful and embarrassing to watch," Scorsese said in an interview.

If you occasionally get a nagging feeling that you're watching a Hitchcock film, it's because the musical score is done by Bernard Hermann. That's Hermann you're hearing when you watch "North by Northwest," "Vertigo," "Psycho," "The Birds," and "Marnie."

So if you'd like to spend an evening watching a violent, innovative, intermittently brilliant study of psychosis and urban squalor, and you're a mature adult - well adjusted and all of that - with no children in the house, take a look at Scorsese's controversial New York City Western.

I watched it, and it had no ill effects on me at all.

Hey.

You talkin' to me?

Food for Thought
By Karl Isberg

'Click' helps keep things simple

The room is dark. I've got the covers pulled up to my chin, my arms are at my sides, my eyes are wide open.

I've got the old thinking cap on. I am working overtime.

This is where and when I get my best work done. Fast work. Very fast.

In my mental universe, things must happen quickly. I have an attention deficit problem: Too much thought, too much concentration, too many options, are discomfiting. I am easily distracted. I flit from idea to idea with the haste of a fruit fly in a mating frenzy.

I am an omen, a portent of things to come: a high-velocity, paper-thin consciousness operating in total darkness. My rapid-fire thought process is an example of what will soon be common to the entire species. My Teflon intellectual life is a paradigm case of what will be the norm for humankind within a generation.

As I lie awake in my little bed, I ask myself: What, beside a series of head injuries, is responsible for this incredible lack of concentration, the need to cull and compress information, to render things rapidly and ridiculously clear? This way of dealing with existence is fast becoming the way most Americans apprehend the world. Were millions of other people clobbered in the noggin by a baseball-bat-wielding Danny Freeman during a softball game at Lincoln Elementary School?

No, they were not. And yet, the average American's ability to concentrate over prolonged periods of time is eroding. The day will come in the near future when the same will be said of the citizens of Zaire, of Paraguay, of Butan. Something is responsible.

What is behind this shift in the duration, depth and quality of mental activity? I've compiled a list of possible causes, creations that have changed the temporal nature of the things that happen to us, changed the way we think.

The telephone, for example. The advent of rapid personal communications. With a single wire, a light-bearing fiber, a world is in your ear in an instant. Aunt Gladys in Davenport is no longer a week away by mail.

The airplane - a device that puts Tangier in your pocket, Beijing in your back yard. With space travel, Mars is an adjacent county.

The electric light bulb. Daylight no longer sets the timetable for enterprise. Night becomes day. More things happen, faster.

The computer. Ditch the slide rule, forget about writing that letter in long hand. Access the data, run the numbers, scan the photos, digitalize everything, everyone. Fax yourself at 56,000 Kbps. From the abacus to the gigabyte - this journey has to make a difference.

Microwave ovens. You heat barely edible food in a tenth the time it would take you to heat barely edible food in a conventional oven. An evolutionary step up from the boilin' bag.

Television. Suddenly, you are with Queen Elizabeth, Gorbachev, Bubba Clinton, Tara Lipinski. You are a party to what is happening, as it happens. You are told what is important, before it is important. Your space is flush with photons. You sit in front of a digital display as "War and Peace" is delivered by satellite in a mini-series format, with plenty of commercials to boot. It is all there, all done for you. Quickly, choppily.

Now I'm getting to the point.

Great choices I think, but there is one more: The device most responsible for shaping, then reinforcing a short attention span, for changing the manner in which people think about the stuff of life.

The remote control. A small, hand-held link to a television, a CD changer; an innocuous looking, immeasurably potent plastic object.

If you want to understand the future, if you want to know why humans of the next century will think differently, observe the remote control. The scope of its power is inversely proportional to its size.

I have meditated on the remote. I have held one in my hand, felt its transformational energy course through my fingertips, pondered its effect on personal, and collective life.

My remote has allowed me to accelerate the refinement of my teeny attention span. My remote is a parsimonious scalpel, fueled by two AA batteries, cutting every situation and every explanation short, reinventing time, rendering meaning minimal and manageable.

As part of my ongoing social research, I spend a frightful number of hours watching television. Allow me to show you what I mean about the remote. Let's examine a typical two minutes of my viewing and consider what it entails. Let's take a highly-compressed trip across a painfully thin universe. - a universe that grows thinner with each passing moment.

Click.

PBS. An disheveled gent with an untrimmed beard and baggy bib overalls is teaching me everything I need to know about growing bamboo. He is very earnest, ecosensitive.

Click.

A martial arts movie. Blow after blow is landed on vulnerable body parts. Blows that would kill an ordinary man - blows to the crotch and to the head - crash with terrible accuracy. And yet, the victim seems to be okay. No one bleeds. No one gets a hernia.

Click.

Golf. Goofy hats. Out of shape middle class guys with clubs playing a game only out of shape middle class guys would call a "sport."

Click.

Bowling. Goofy shirts. Out of shape lower middle class guys with big. . .

Click.

The development of the "Supercruise" function will make our next generation of jet fighter aircraft deadlier in a dog fight. Good people will have the fastest jet. Evil people will have the slower jet. Yay for our side.

Click.

A commercial from a world where everything is tinted blue and all cars are without dents. This world exists for 15 seconds; then, it is gone.

Click.

Suzanne Somers uses the Torso Track. Suzanne is well into her 40s and look at those abs!

Click.

"Jaws and Claws." Coyotes and wounded prairie dogs. Badgers. The relentless Andes vulture; a beak that can shred the shell of a tortoise like a piece of tissue paper.

Click.

Mexican television. Cristina's Edicion Especial. Midgets do the boogaloo in a dance contest. Dance unites us all, even if we speak different languages.

Click.

Just because they possessed fabulous wealth didn't prevent the Rothchilds and Astors from being wacky, fun-loving folks. Just folks. With gigantic houses.

Click.

NASCAR. Around and around and around and around. Fast, colorful crashes. Car racing for the pro wrestling fan.

Click.

A Navy recruiting ad. Join the armed forces to earn a college degree, to sky dive in your spare time. There is no mention of war.

Click.

Trim the stems off those Shitake mushrooms. The stems are icky.

Click.

A movie about terrorists in Toronto: Mounties versus Islamic fundamentalists. The ultimate showdown in the Great North. Canadians are good. Islamic fundamentalists are evil.

Click.

A cartoon beaver watches a sunset. Animated entities enjoy the beauty of nature. They have feelings too.

Click.

Oops, the local access channel. Self-glorification with a poor soundtrack.

Click.

Spies. Can't live with them, can't live without them. Spies look so normal. They are evil, unless they are one of us.

Click.

The air core self-cooker. Throw in anything - frozen, thawed, raw. . .it doesn't matter. Three hours later, you've got the best meal you've ever eaten. Even better than the one you ate at that little restaurant tucked in the alleyway near the Louvre.

Click.

Direct from factory savings on commercial-grade trimmer mowers. Mow down young trees.

Click.

McAuliffe. Bastogne. "Nuts." Best part of WWII.

Click.

No yolk in the whites, whatever you do.

Click.

Clinton's LDL level is off the charts. The prez needs more exercise. Someone please explain that this means jogging.

Click.

Move over Lenin, we've got a real revolution on our hands. Mr. Nick is so confident about his haircare system he is willing to demonstrate it on his own long, luxurious mane. Even proles can afford the four-week haircare treatment. This is good.

Click.

Mattress City. A whole city.

Click.

Donald Duck's voice has changed. Huey, Dewey and Louie are exactly the same size they were 30 years ago.

Click.

Norwegian flat bread. Three techniques for cooking lefse. Aquavit is aged in old sherry casks sent as deck cargo from Norway to Australia and back.

Click.

Miraculous skin rejuvenator. Several doctors abandoned their practices to bring word of this non-surgical treatment to a desperate world. Why waste time saving lives?

Click.

The cockpit of the ME 109 was extremely cramped, limiting the mobility of even average-sized Luftwaffe pilots.

Click.

There is weather in Kansas, 24-hours per day. The weather is always severe; isolated, but severe.

Click.

A disheveled guy with an untrimmed beard and baggy bib overalls points to a perfect stand of bamboo.

Wow, we're back.

All that information, in two minutes. And it is just the kind of info I need. Digesting the information, in the "real time" of the remote, strengthens my new way of thinking - a cogitative style ideal for next millennium.

As I lie in the dark, I realize the remote control has allowed me to cut the learning process to a matter of milliseconds. It provides me, further, with just the right quality of information: information that suits my emotional needs in an ever-more complex world. By trimming the fat of ambiguity, the remote gives me the ability to see experience as simple, one-dimensional, direct, filled with non-threatening data. The remote is my baton and I am conducting a symphony of comfort.

My remote control is the key to a consciousness that will not, cannot, examine itself or its contents - a consciousness in which consideration of complexity or differences is a trap door leading to the ultimate, scary problem: doubt. Especially the doubt that what I see or believe might be false. If I feel the pressure of doubt, I change the idea back to something that soothes me.

If I speed past events, if data are compressed and easily entertained, I can convince myself that because I understand something, it must be true. I can believe that words written and spoken are crystal-clear clarions of fact. I can ignore the possibility that human perception is a matter of intent and interpretation. I can convince myself that an "objective" perspective, my perspective!, is real. I can ignore the notion that only one body can occupy one spot at one time, and that the way things appear depends on what spot I occupy. The weight is gone from my psychic shoulders.

The remote is the technological facilitator of a cartoon consciousness - a mode of thought that is essential in a world where social, religious, political, ethical and economic ideas are best expressed by T-shirt slogans and bumperstickers, by simple redundant slogans repeated like mantras, voiced again and again, emphatically, inflexibly, like rote lessons delivered to kindergartners; a world in which principles are superhero clear, stunningly simple.

The remote is my range finder in a horizontal world.

With my remote in hand, I am confident, untroubled by useless details and doubt.

Click.

A couple is in a television kitchen. They are talking fast, as though their time-release diet spansules have melted prematurely and kicked in a massive dose. They are putting together a breakfast casserole. Quickly.

Their creation reminds me of a classic strata. I think I'll make a strata when I emerge from the darkness of my bedroom to jet around the disc of an increasingly flat planet on the back of my remote.

I'll take the crusts off some day-old bread. I'll butter a baking dish.

I'll soak the slices of bread with milk and layer the bottom of the baking pan with slices, leaving small gaps between the slices.

Next, I'll saute some onion and mushrooms, with salt and pepper to taste. I'll use Shitake mushrooms and remove the stems. The stems are icky, you know.

I'll cook the melange until the moisture from the fungi evaporates, adding chopped garlic, chopped green chile and crumbled, cooked and drained hot Italian sausage. I'll cover the bread slices with the mix and top the mix with another layer of bread.

On top of the bread and mix I'll pour four or five beaten eggs whisked with a cup and a half of cream, salt and pepper, and minced garlic, then cover it all with a layer of shredded Cheddar cheese. I'll let the mess sit awhile then bake it at 350 until the egg mix cooks, sets, gets poofy and brown - an hour to an hour and a half. More time than I would like, but I will go back to the television and take in plenty of shallow information in the interim.

Click.

The Las Vegas Hot Dice Roller Derby team wears great outfits, but can they play fair? They are evil. The team from Florida is good.

I am going to eat some strata, then call the local nursery.

I need to find some bamboo.

Click.

Oldtimers
By John Motter

When in Archuleta County, head south

By John M. Motter

A parade of jagged peaks outlining the eastern and northern skylines defines Archuleta County for most people, especially tourists. No one denies that the view of these spectacular mountains is awesome. But, there is more, much more.

Anyone limited to experiencing the northern part of the county is coming up short, at least by half, the best half according to many locals. Everyone should visit the southern part of the county.

Southern Archuleta County is another world, distinctive in appearance and character from the northern part of the county. And now, while fall colors blaze across the mountainsides, now is a good time to visit the southern part of the county. There adventure, as well as beauty, awaits the knowing sightseer.

A nice route for visiting the southern part of the county involves driving down County Road 500, locals call it Trujillo Road, to Pagosa Junction. There the sightseer must make a decision: turn north on Cat Creek Road or continue down the San Juan River to Arboles and its juncture with the Piedra River at Navajo Lake. The Cat Creek route joins U.S. 160. There a turn to the east gets the car back to Pagosa Springs. The distance for the entire loop is a little over 50 miles and the time spent depends on the length of stops along the way. The route to Arboles is longer and connects with S.H. 151. On 151 you can turn east to Pagosa Springs or go west to Ignacio, Durango, or other points to the west.

In any case, Trujillo Road follows the San Juan River and passes through several old, almost dead, communities. At its southern extremity, the gravel road parallels the New Mexico border. Evidence of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad follows the road. Picturesque farms landscape the verdant river bottom, a reminder from the county's agricultural past. Golden-hued cottonwoods, glowing like rows of blazing torches, escort the sparkling stream through an endless array of low mountains and imposing buttes. Tilting upward mountain slopes connect the river bottom with azure skies, much like a merchant's display case. On display is a mosaic pattern of reds and coppers and golds, a virtual palette of color created by blushing oakbrush and other low growing plants.

And here is wildlife, deer and elk and bear. A fortunate guest might spot a wary mountain lioness with her cubs, or be forced to wait as a parade of wild turkeys crosses the road. And here is history, the records of generations of people who came, lived on the land, and died or moved on.

The first community reached is Trujillo, always an agricultural center and once home to a lumber mill. On the southern horizon is Montezuma Mesa and exiting to the east is a road to Coyote Park. Trujillo once boasted a general store and a school house and a church. Only the church with its attendant cemetery remains. Services are held once a month in the church.

Deserving of attention is the cemetery. Enter quietly and with respect. The people interred here have descendants remaining in the community. Notice the dates on some of the stones, symbols of pioneers born before Colorado became a state. Fathers and mothers and children are grouped together. Veterans of our nation's wars are noted. Beyond all of that, notice the love and tears and devotion evident in the self-made markers crafted of stone, wood, or metal - a craftsmanship wrought by bereft fathers or mothers or sons. Books have been written about the art on display in these cemeteries, the handiwork of former generations.

From Trujillo, one follows the river to the broad valley where it intersects with the Navajo River. A road follows the Navajo upstream to Dulce, N. M., and an old railroad water tower sits along that road. We're not following that route today.

The point where the rivers intersect is called Juanita. Like Trujillo, Juanita once had a school, church, general store, and sawmill. Unlike Trujillo, Juanita also had a railroad. This is the community where the Denver and Rio Grande entered Archuleta County on its way to Durango. And here, cattlemen and sheepmen loaded their stock aboard the train for shipment to distant markets. The church and school building remain at Juanita, but are no longer used and are in ill repair. Again a cemetery rests near the church. These cemeteries are still in use. Fresh plastic flowers adorn the graves. At more than one site, iris grow, a living memorial to the dead.

As long ago as 1776, a member of the Frs. Escalante and Domingas party noted that this valley would wonderfully serve a large population.

As one leaves Juanita in a westward direction, a railroad bridge spanning the San Juan River looms in the western end of the valley. The old bridge hangs on, even though the rails were removed long ago and it has been decades since any train's whistle echoed off of the nearby cliffs.

After crossing a small mountain range, one drops into Pagosa Junction. Visible here are numerous buildings left over from the days of the railroad, including a water tank, fuel bins, caretaker's house, and more. The Gomez Store remains as a museum, and the ruins of other buildings abound. The Catholic Church sits on a hill in the distance, the new location chosen after the flood of 1911 destroyed most of the town. The school, hotels, lumber mill, and other business buildings are gone.

The Pagosa Junction Cemetery is located north on the east side of Cat Creek Road, perhaps a mile from the townsite. As with the cemeteries at Trujillo and Juanita, appearances are deceiving, so open the gate and enter with respect. When you leave, close the gate to keep cattle out. The cemetery is overgrown with weeds, not to mention an occasional juniper tree. Mound after mound identifies unmarked graves. Perhaps the family was too poor, or perhaps the ravages of time have destroyed the markers. Nevertheless, fresh flowers still abound, even covering overgrown sites where no markers remain. Someone still remembers and cares.

On the markers are names and dates and sometimes a thought of anguish or joy. The names are similar, a written record of the pioneers of the valleys. Most of them are Hispanic: Trujillo, Martinez, Archuleta, Chavez, Ortiz, Gomez, Lujan, Gallegos, and more and more.

The graves are more than repositories for aging bones. They are vaults from the past, keepers of the blood and sweat and tears that led a hopeful people to a new and untested land. They are monuments to the faith and perseverance that helped those people create a home in the wilderness. And they are the resting places for the ancestors of many who still live and love and work in this land, testimonies that life springs from death.

After leaving the Pagosa Junction cemetery, one travels north past Talian and Kearns and Lone Tree and Altura. The casual observer won't be able to identify the locations of these communities. Nothing remains except some hard to find cemeteries. Most of these communities boasted of schools and churches and stores and sawmills. Many existed through a couple of generations. All were inhabited by folks much like the folks moving into Pagosa Country today - folks with dreams for the future.

Cat Creek Road joins U.S. 160 near the former community of Dyke. The old, false front store that was the Dyke post office remains. But Dyke is another story for another time. Suffice it to say, a full measure of adventure awaits those who visit the southern parts of Archuleta County.

 

Music Boosters
By Roy Starling

Graves excited about Gershwin revue

By Roy Starling

John Graves has been playing piano for shows, dances and parties for almost 60 years, but he's still excited about his next project.

Graves is the musical director for "S'Wonderful," the Music Boosters' revue of the works of American composer George Gershwin, and he'll play piano with a trio that also includes Dave Krueger on bass and Cary Valentine on drums.

It's a good time to pay tribute to Gershwin, according to Graves, and he likes how the Music Boosters are doing it.

"Last year was the 100th anniversary of Gershwin's birth," he said, "and there were a lot of shows done in his honor and there was a lot of media coverage of him."

What makes Gershwin so special? "I can't think of anyone else who has such range," Graves said. "His minstrel tune 'Swanee' is about as far from his 'Rhapsody in Blue' as you can get. In Europe, Australia and all over the world, he's considered one of the most important American contributors to the music world.

"Having played all these years for dances, at bars and for private parties, I've probably had more requests for Gershwin than for anyone else."

Graves thinks young music lovers might be in for a pleasant surprise when they hear Gershwin. "Just to open up some minds (of young people) and expose them to other music, even for one night, is great," he said.

Graves fully expects the "S'Wonderful" show to do the great composer justice. "The most amazing thing about this show is the mind-boggling talent we have here in Pagosa Springs," he said. "We have about 30 people in the cast, and people are going to be amazed at the diversity of talent. The cast ranges in age from a 12-year-old tap dancer (Elizabeth Wellborn) to me, and I'm in my 70s."

During his lengthy and varied career, Graves has played as a single pianist, side man or band leader at private parties for such celebrities as Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Danny Thomas and John Wayne. So what's it like working with a small-town outfit like the Music Boosters?

"This is the first time I've worked with a committee on a creative project, and it's amazing how well they work together," he said. "I've been very impressed with the Music Boosters and how they operate. It's very refreshing."

You can see Graves and company in "S'Wonderful" Oct. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium. The doors will open at 6 p.m. for both performances.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children under 12. They can be purchased at Moonlight Books and the Wild Hare.

 

Letters
Library's request

 

Dear Dave,

We Colorado voters have a rare privilege this November (actually starting this month with early balloting) to exercise our discretion over the disposition of our tax dollars.

In 1992, Colorado voters passed the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights placing limits on taxes, revenues and debt. There is nothing wrong with the principle that tax revenue rightfully belongs to the tax payer who earned it and is merely distributed for the common good by government. Consistent with this principle is the corollary that excess tax revenues belong to the tax payers, not the government body collecting the revenues.

It is entirely appropriate, then, that our taxing bodies come back to voters when they have excess revenues and ask for permission to retain the taxpayers' money for worthwhile causes. That is why I supported, and continue to endorse the thinking behind TABOR.

One local taxing district is making such a request of us: The Upper San Juan Library District (also known as the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library). This special district provides us with exemplary services at relatively modest ad valorem taxes. It is efficiently administered by dedicated public servants. It has worthwhile uses to which to put our money. Its request, in my opinion, deserves our favorable consideration. I intend to vote yes on the library's request to retain excess revenues.

Roy D. Vega

 

Water tank

Dear Editor,

My husband, James Norris, went to work at approximately 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5. On his way to town the water tank on our trailer fell off on highway U.S. 160 between milemarker No. 133 and the new City Market. He went back immediately to look for the water tank but it was already gone.

We have contacted the sheriff's office and put it on "Trader Radio," but no one has responded.

We surely would appreciate it if anyone who saw this happen or has any information about our water tank would please call 731-3915. Please, we have a large family with little ones and are in desperate need of our tank.

Sincerely,

Joy L. Norris

E-mail
Good-bye friends

Dear Editor,

I am hoping you will print this. It seems to be the only way to say good-bye without going broke with long distance phone calls or a tremendous amount of emotion which I am lacking right now.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all you wonderful people of Pagosa Springs who have blessed my life with your friendship. I am deeply sorry that I was unable to personally say good-bye. Most of you know the story of why I left, you who don't, you're really better off.

Pagosa has somehow worked it's way under my bones. It's not Pagosa per se but the people. The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce staff, the Humane Society, the Rotary, the County Fair Board. All these people worked so hard trying to make that community the place to be.

I enjoyed socializing with all of you at the "Page" and more recently "Isabel's." I will miss the conversations and the occasional argument, it was time well spent. I hope that when I return we can get right back into it again.

So this is good-bye. Thank you all again for a wonderful three years, you will be missed far more than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

Bob Glazier

Obituaries

Charles A. Wright

Charles A. "Chuck" Wright, 73, died of a heart attack in Durango on Sunday, Oct. 3, 1999.

Mr. Wright was born Sept. 2, 1926, to John W. and Ethel C. Wright in Rattlesnake Butte, Colo. He had been a residence of that area since 1931.

Mr. Wright served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and received an honorable discharge for his service. A farmer and rancher his entire life, he was a member of the Hereford Association and the American Farm Bureau. He is remembered as having a wonderful sense of humor and as being a person who "would talk to anyone for hours."

Mr. Wright is survived by his son, Steve Wright, and his wife, Joyce of Arboles; his daughter, Jan Jackson of Albuquerque; his sisters, Nell Clark of Pagosa Springs, Marion Elwell of Rye, Eleanor Madill of Pueblo, and Maxine Kolz of Montrose; his brothers, Norman Wright of Ignacio, George Briar of Klamath Falls, Ore., and Kenneth Briar of White City, Ore.; his former wife, Lois B. Wright of Albuquerque, and two grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Harold Wright and Ralph Briar.

Services were held Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Hood Mortuary in Durango with Rev. Gerald Brush officiating. Interment followed at Greenmount Cemetery.

Donald D. Bodewig

Donald Dean Bodewig passed away at his home in Pagosa Springs on Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999.

Mr. Bodewig was born to Christopher and Nellie Engleharpt Bodewig on Dec. 14, 1928, in Emmett, Idaho.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Joyce Louise Lenderman Bodewig; daughters Theresa Crabb of Booneville, Miss., Allison Wiley of Yorba Linda, Calif., Dixi Daugaard and her husband, Adrian, of Pagosa Springs; and son Donald Bodewig Jr. and his wife, Kathy of Brea, Calif. He also is survived by his brothers Ed Bodewig of Sacramento, Calif., and John Bodewig of Vale, Ore., and sister Mary Rowe of Dayton, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service for Mr. Bodewig was held at Community United Methodist Church on Saturday, Oct. 2, with Rev. Don Ford presiding.

Funeral services for Mr. Bodewig were held in Victor Valley, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at Victor Valley Mortuary. Burial followed at Victor Valley Memorial Park.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Hospice of Mercy, 95 South Pagosa Boulevard, Suite B, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 

'Dutch' Crowley

See Frontpage.

 

Births

Kyle Dennis Garcia

Jacqueline Garcia is proud to introduce her new little brother, Kyle Dennis Garcia, born Sept. 8, 1999. He weighed 5 pounds, 12 ounces and was 18 1/4-inches long. Jean and Mark Garcia of Pagosa Springs are the proud parents.

 

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

9/22

69

45

-

-

-

9/23

64

46

R

-

.13

9/24

68

45

R

-

.38

9/25

72

35

-

-

-

9/26

74

36

-

-

-

9/27

69

25

-

-

-

9/28

58

23

-

-

-

Indian summer will be here for the weekend

By John M. Motter

Colder temperatures with a 20 to 50 percent chance of showers flashed across Pagosa Country yesterday and should continue through today. The prevailing pattern through the coming weekend, however, is for Indian Summer, according to Jerry Smith, a forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

In keeping with the weather pattern, fall colors wrap the county like an Indian blanket. Flaming golden hues reveal aspen marching up mountain slopes like parading armies carrying torches. At lower elevations, oak brush blushes in an astounding array of colors - reds, coppers, oranges and even yellows. Lining river banks throughout the county are faithful cottonwood trees, brilliantly caped like Joseph's cloak of many colors.

It will all be gone in a few weeks, this brilliant color, replaced by the bleak blacks and whites and grays of winter. Still, for a few weeks, Indian summer will reign with crisp, clear nights and cool, sunshiny days.

As October approaches, old timers shudder. They recall Oct. 5, 1911, the year of the "Big Flood." All but one bridge in the county washed out, as did many, many homes erected in apparent safety near the San Juan River bank. At its highest level, the San Juan peaked in town with waters lapping Pagosa Street opposite Goodman's Department Store. According to National Weather Service Records, 3.67 inches of rain fell Oct. 5, 1911, an all-time high for one day in Pagosa Springs. For the month of October 1911, 6.06 inches of rain fell, not a monthly record.

Meanwhile, the Autumnal Equinox arrived in Pagosa Country this year on Sept. 23. On that day, the sun is equally spaced between the equator and the North Pole. And on that day at the equator, the length of daylight and darkness are equal. Following that date and until the advent of winter during December, each day is shorter than the day before. Soon enough, Pagosans will be rising before daylight and returning home after dark.

The National Weather Service forecast for October, November and December calls for normal temperatures and precipitation in this area. The weather may be warmer and dryer to the south of us in Arizona, New Mexico, and southwest Texas, according to Smith.

Average precipitation for those three months in town is 2.03 inches during October, 1.52 inches during November, and 1.79 inches during December. Average snowfall for the same three months is 2.9 inches for October, 10.6 inches for November, and 22.2 inches for December.

The monthly mean temperatures for those months average 45.4 for October, 32.5 for November, and 22.8 for December. The maximum average mean temperature is 50.0 for October, 36.9 for November, and 31.5 for December. The minimum average mean temperature is 39.6 for October, 25.1 for November, and 14.4 for December.