Front Page

February 17, 2000

Pagosa inmate pleads guilty to assault

By Karl Isberg

A former Pagosa resident currently serving time in the Colorado Department of Corrections for a drug-related conviction entered a guilty plea on Feb. 10 to a sexual assault charge, was sentenced to five years in prison and was ordered deported to Mexico following his stay in prison.

Lorenzo Cardenas Echavarria, 41, a Mexican national born in Chihuahua, entered a guilty plea to a charge of first-degree sexual assault before 6th District Court Judge Greg Lyman, in Durango.

The incident that produced Echavarria's arrest and the sexual-assault charge occurred in Pagosa Springs on April 11, 1999. Cardenas entered the residence of a Pagosa woman uninvited, then forced himself on the victim despite her attempts to stop him. Cardenas was arrested on April 16.

Cardenas was brought from a state department of corrections facility in Cañon City to the Durango courtroom where he admitted to the assault. It was a familiar courtroom, since it was Lyman who sentenced Echavarria to a prison term following a conviction by a jury on May 26, 1999, on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Echavarria had been arrested in Pagosa Springs on Nov. 20, 1998, and was originally charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine.

According to Assistant District Attorney Craig Westberg, Echavarria will serve the sentence for his sexual-assault conviction concurrent with the sentence for his drug conviction.

Westberg said he communicated with agents of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and was told the agency will deport Echavarria to Mexico when the prison term is complete. Westberg said it is INS policy to deport foreign nationals who commit crimes in the U.S. involving drugs, guns or violence.

"Echavarria has two of three," said Westberg. "He has been convicted of two felonies - one involving drugs, the other involving violence. Once deported, if he comes back, he would commit a separate federal felony offense."

 

Funeral services Friday for Millie Putnam Chambers

Millie Putnam Chambers, beloved wife of the former Urban "Bay" Chambers, died Monday, Feb.14, 2000, in Wheat Ridge.

Mrs. Chambers was born to Harry and Alice Bishard Putnam in Fort Scott, Kan., on Oct. 9, 1905, and moved to Pagosa in 1906. After Millie married "Bay" Chambers in Pagosa Springs on Oct. 10, 1925, she made her life-time occupation for 73 years as a wife, mother and homemaker in Archuleta County. A faithful member of Community United Methodist Church and of the Rebekah Lodge No. 134, Millie loved the mountain country she lived in. She was an avid hunter, loved fishing, gardened, embroidered, made ceramics, quilted and cooked with a flair. She belonged to a snowmobile club, rifle club and the Senior Citizens Center. She was truly a child of this land.

Mrs. Chambers was preceded in death by her husband, Mr. Urban "Bay" Chambers. She is survived by her sisters, Mrs. Blanche Murray of Bayfield and Mrs. Myrtle Crowley of Leoti, Kan.; daughter and son-in-law Arlene and Bob Miller of Denver; granddaughter Georgia Schuessler of Denver; grandsons Bill Miller of Denver and Lyle Miller of Arvada; six great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.

A visitation open to the public will be at the Pagosa Funeral Options Chapel on Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at the Community United Methodist Church on Friday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Hilltop Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Lutheran Hospice Care Endowment Fund, 8300 West 38th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

 

PLPOA hires GM, welcomes Bohl aboard board

By Roy Starling

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors appointed a new director and signed an employment contract with a new general manager at their regular monthly meeting last Thursday night.

David Bohl becomes the newest member of the board, replacing former president Pat Curtis who resigned in January. President Rod Preston said Bohl was the "sole applicant" for the vacancy. Following Curtis' resignation, Preston moved into the president slot, Director John Nelson continued as vice-president, Fred Ebeling as secretary and Judy Esterly as treasurer.

The board also signed a contract with Walter Lukasik to take over as the association's general manager. Lukasik, from Lakewood, was a former employee of Colorado Management and Associates Inc., the Denver-based firm that has provided the PLPOA with a general manager and accounting services since last fall. Preston said Lukasik currently manages 10 homeowners associations in the Denver area. He'll take the reins from current PLPOA general manager Bill Watts on Feb. 22.

"We had 10 applicants for the general manager position," Preston said. "Only one of those came from the PLPOA area."

During last month's meeting, the board agreed to make the association's general manager a PLPOA employee, and Colorado Management and Associates, would in return, according to Watts, "continue to provide consulting for the general manager and the board and we'd decrease our fee substantially."

In other business Thursday:

- The board approved a survey to send to property owners, eliciting their opinions on the role they'd like to see the association's Public Safety officers play. "Whether the survey will be in the next newsletter is a little uncertain," Preston said. "It's about ready to go out. It might be in the next newsletter or when ballots are sent out for the summer (PLPOA) election." Preston said the survey is still in draft form.

- Preston said the board will be polling affected residents of Lake Forest Estates to "see whether or not they want to proceed with a survey error correction in their area. Apparently (in an earlier survey), they got one marker off and it kind of dominoed down the street, as much as 10 feet in some areas," he said. The correction would be financed by monies from the $1.2 million Fairfield Communities Inc. bankruptcy settlement fund.

 

Forecaster: It should be snowing this morning

By Roy Starling

If it's not snowing this morning, then a vigorous Pacific storm system must have chosen another route eastward.

"On Thursday morning, a winter storm system will be moving through your area," National Weather Service forecaster Chris Cuoco said. "You should have cloudy skies, a 60 percent chance of snow, with accumulations ranging from 1 to 3 inches."

Cuoco said the storm should bring "significant amounts of new snow to the mountains." The heaviest amounts should have fallen last night, but the snow should continue through today.

"Thunderstorms may develop by late Thursday which could significantly add to snowfall amounts in local areas," Cuoco said. "The storm will push east of the region by late in the day, followed by gradually improving conditions."

An update from the Weather Service late yesterday afternoon predicted that high upper-level winds would push the system through more quickly than first expected, but that Pagosa should still get "significant snow."

Today's storm, combined with the one we had Saturday, has prompted avalanche forecaster Mark Mueller to warn "locals and visitors that snow avalanches are a serious concern to all backcountry winter travelers." Mueller said current information can be obtained on the Avalanche Hotline in Durango at 247-8187. Furthermore, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center website contains daily avalanche and mountain weather forecasts and other safety information. That site can be found at www.caic.state.co.us.

As this storm moves eastward, temperatures should drop into the mid to upper 20s tonight, Cuoco said. "It should be clearing up Friday with only a slight chance of snow. The same is true for Saturday and Sunday. Lows should be between the mid 20s to the 30s with highs ranging between the 30s and mid 40s," he said.

Taking a stab at next week's forecast, Cuoco said Monday and Tuesday should be "dry and slightly warmer, but with a slight chance of rain or snow developing Tuesday night and continuing through Wednesday."

As faithful readers of the SUN will remember, the brunt of last week's storm hit Pagosa on Saturday, a day that should have been a "drying out period" between weak storms, according to the National Weather Service. What happened?

"The storm came in more quickly and was a little stronger than we anticipated and it was about 5 degrees colder than we thought it would be," Cuoco said. "In fairness, to the Weather Service," he added, "by Friday night, we were predicting a good chance of rain or snow on Saturday. And by 4 a.m. Saturday morning, we were calling for 2 to 4 inches of snow for Pagosa. So people with access to the Service would have had ample warning."

The quicker, stronger and colder storm wound up dumping 34 inches of snow on Wolf Creek Ski Area, putting the summit depth at 60 inches, the midway at 56 inches. In the valley, 6.26 inches fell, six of those on Saturday. The snow equated to .41 of an inch of moisture.

The mercury climbed to a spring-like 50 degrees Wednesday of last week, the warmest day of the week. Sunday and Monday were the coldest nights, with lows of 17.

 

EMS services expanding

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners endorsed a grant request by the local Emergency Medical Services organization Tuesday at the regular commissioner meeting. If granted, the funds will be used to improve communications equipment and train additional personnel.

The local EMS program operates as a part of the Upper San Juan Hospital District. According to Bill Bright, executive director of the Upper San Juan Hospital District, it provides 24-hour service seven days a week. Last year, the EMS made 1,000 runs. That number is expected to grow in proportion to the population growth in the area, Bright said.

The district currently operates five advanced live-support ambulances. Staffing is provided by seven full-time paid employees and 52 part-time employees who work a standby schedule. Included among the full-time employees are five paramedics and two EMT-intermediates. Included among the part-time employees are one paramedic, 11 EMT-intermediates, and 40 EMT-basics. A paramedic has at least 2,000 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, and EMT-intermediate 280 hours of classroom and clinical instruction, and an EMT-basic 140 hours of classroom and clinical instruction.

A set of protocols, or guidelines written by doctors, is followed by the local EMS during emergencies. A paramedic evaluates each scene and determines if advanced or basic life support is needed. Only a paramedic can provide advanced life support. If advanced life support is needed, a paramedic stays with the patient until the patient is delivered to a hospital or doctor. If only basic life support is needed, an EMT-intermediate or EMT-basic attends to the patient until the patient is delivered to a hospital, doctor or released.

Paramedics can perform a number of procedures, including invasive procedures, that EMT-basics are not allowed to perform. Among the invasive procedures are the installation of breathing tubes, certain intravenous processes, and electroshock therapy. EMS personnel can always contact a medical doctor by radio if that becomes necessary.

In the case of trauma victims, EMS personnel are limited to stabilization procedures. Only surgeons can perform corrective treatment for trauma. Trauma conditions are caused by injury, as opposed to heart attacks or other emergency medical conditions.

The local EMS program is applying for a $30,000 matching grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health, according to Bright. Because the grants are competitive, an endorsement letter from the county commissioners increases the chance for success. Another $30,000 has been ticketed in the EMS budget as the grant match. If the grant is not issued, the budget money allocated for the grant match will not be spent, according to Bright.

If the grant monies are received, about $40,000 of the $60,000 total will be spent to upgrade communications equipment and training equipment.

The communications equipment includes replacement of handheld radio communicators carried by field personnel, refurbishing the Oak Brush Hill transmitting station, and adding a solar-powered transmission station on Devil Mountain. The Devil Mountain station will reach parts of the county the Oak Brush Hill transmitter cannot reach.

Bright hopes to purchase equipment needed to begin a training center in Pagosa Springs. Travel costs to Cortez for training are becoming significant. Funds will also be spent to support training 20 additional EMT-basic personnel under the supervision of San Juan Vo Tech in Cortez.

The cost of training one EMT-basic is $652, plus travel costs of $200. Funding for training local EMTs come from many sources. Many pay for their own training. Others received help from the local EMT association. Local EMTs currently training to become paramedics are being helped on a 50-50 basis, 50 percent from the hospital district budget, 50 percent from the local EMT association.

This year's EMS budget anticipates revenues of $761,000 and expenses of $720,700. Revenue sources include a beginning cash balance of $82,720, $238,285 from the hospital district mill levy, $9,000 in interest earnings, $408,000 from ambulance fees, and $23,000 from specific ownership taxes. Anticipated expenditures include $243,245 for operating costs, $397,460 for salaries, and $80,000 for capital improvements.

Overseeing operation of the Upper San Juan Hospital District are an elected board of directors including Terry Windnagel, Sharon Walters, John Weiss, Scott Anderson, Ken Morrison, Bill Downey and Bob Huff.

 

Commissioners support Beanpole funding request

By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County commissioners agreed to support a Region 9 application seeking a grant to finance implementation of certain telecommunications services in southwest Colorado.

"Beanpole" refers to a Colorado House Bill known as the Beanpole Bill. The Beanpole Bill's purpose is to provide grant funds for local communities to purchase telecommunications services connecting local public offices to a central '"aggregated network access point" in each county. Presumably, private entities can join the system later.

In this part of the state, the Southwest Telecommunications Consortium has been formed among the eligible public offices in Region 9 and has appointed a steering committee to complete the application for Beanpole funds due Feb. 15.

The use of funds involves issuing a request for proposal for telecommunications services on a local and regional basis. If the grant is made, county and other consortium members will be asked to participate in a regional and a local request for proposal for telecommunications services sometime within the next few months.

Counties included in the Region 9 Economic Development District are Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan. Also included are the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribes.

Archuleta County on Tuesday agreed to endorse the grant application and become lead county in the endeavor.

Beanpole is important, according to Ed Morlan, the Region 9 executive director, because, if it works, it will enhance communications capabilities in the rural Four Corners area. More specifically, it will improve conditions for cottage industries dependent on computer information generation.

The future of such communications in this area depending on the extension of fiber-optics cables between Albuquerque and Grand Junction is threatened by a Bureau of Land Management proposal, according to Morlan.

In the past, BLM has charged a right-of-way fee based on a single fiber optic cable. In the future, they propose charging based on each of the more than 150 lines contained in a fiber-optics cable, effectively increasing the cost by at least 150 times.

In other business Tuesday:

- Concerning the emergency 9-1-1 system, cards recently installed in the computer system cost $6,432 instead of the budgeted $5,190. The overrun was created by an apparent failure to budget for installation costs billed by Nine One One Inc., the firm installing E-9-1-1 equipment in the county. The commissioners postponed paying the bill pending an explanation of the overrun.

"Is this the only group that can do the work?" Commissioner Gene Crabtree asked. "They are constantly getting more money and I don't know where it's going. It seems like it's going down a hole."

Installation work designed to upgrade 9-1-1 to E-9-1-1 began about three years ago. When E-9-1-1 is working, dispatchers answering emergency calls will be automatically able to identify the address of a caller, even if the caller stops talking for some reason during the transmission. Hindering the implementation has been the lack of accurate correlation between physical addresses and telephone numbers. That problem is being solved by satellite mapping of county roads, a process almost completed in Archuleta County.

- The commissioners approved the expenditure of about $90,000 with which to purchase a "roll-off truck." The truck will be used to carry trash containers from transfer stations to the landfill and to carry recyclable materials to Durango recycling centers. The county expects to assume management of the landfill and transfer stations either March 1 or April 1.

- The commissioners renewed an intergovernmental agreement with Hinsdale County for law enforcement and emergency services. The portion of Hinsdale County affected is north of Archuleta County and south of the Continental Divide generally including the Upper Piedra Road, Williams Creek and Weminuche areas. The Hinsdale County seat is in Lake City. To reach Lake City from this portion of the county by land vehicle, one must drive to Pagosa Springs, cross Wolf Creek Pass, drive to South Fork, Creede, and then cross Slumgullion Pass.

- The commissioners agreed to donate $200 to support an outreach program at the Colorado State Fair. All counties in the state are participating. Each will send young people to the fair with exhibits portraying products from the counties represented.

- A hotel/restaurant liquor license was renewed for the Pagosa Springs Golf Club LLC.

- The commissioners agreed to apply for grant funds to help support the county transportation system.

- No action was taken concerning a request for county assistance relevant to obtaining funding to pay for utility and road extensions at Cloman Industrial Park and Stevens Field.

 

Inside The Sun

Apaches celebrate establishment of reservation

By John M. Motter

The Jicarilla Apache Tribe celebrated Jicarilla Week Feb. 7 through Feb. 13 commemorating the establishment of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation. The reservation was created Feb. 11, 1887, by an executive order issued by President Grover Cleveland.

In his statement proclaiming the week-long celebration, tribal President Roger Vicente said: "As we enter the 21st Century and reflect upon the accomplishments of our past and present leaders who have built a strong nation for our people, we must remember these five Jicarilla Apache leaders, Santiago Largo, Huerito Mundo, Augustin Vigil, San Pablo and Juan Julian, who were the very first Jicarillas sent to Washington, D.C., in 1880 to negotiate with the U.S. government, therefore confirming the 'government to government' relationship."

Vicente continued, "Jicarilla Week is set aside to honor ourselves as Jicarilla Apaches."

The Jicarilla Apache Reservation is located in New Mexico immediately south of Archuleta County and contains about 879,000 acres. The town of Dulce is the agency headquarters. About 3,500 Jicarillas and non-native Americans live on the reservation. As with many Indian tribes, the original negotiations between the Jicarilla and the United States were made on a "nation-to-nation" basis, establishing a pattern that continues to this day.

The Jicarilla Days celebration began Feb. 11, 1987, the tribe's centennial year, with a wagon trek from Cimarron, N.M., to the reservation.

A number of community activities designed to enhance cultural awareness and encourage togetherness takes place during the celebration. Among these activities are story telling at the culture center, a tribal general assembly, a community potluck, a fashion show featuring traditional dress and a pow-wow.

Additional activities in the schools stress Jicarilla Apache culture, native dress, and native dancing.

Elementary school students were encouraged to don native dress for a judged fashion show. During the afternoon of Feb. 10, elementary students attended a pow-wow. The students and their teachers were encouraged to take part in the dancing. Leading the dancers were Candi Paiz, Miss Jicarilla, and her attendants, and veteran dancers Rod and Derwin Velarde.

The elementary school pow-wow began with a universal prayer led by Rod Velarde followed by a grand entry. Leading the grand entry were uniformed Jicarilla veterans of the Vietnam War and World War II carrying United States and New Mexico flags. Accompanying the grand entry were Native American drummers rendering special songs dedicated to the flags.

Three groups of native drummers performed for the dancing. Two of the "drums" were local, the third from Santo Domingo Pueblo. The dances reflected a variety of Native American cultures including Jicarilla, Navajo and the Oglala Lakota Sioux grass dance.

Costumes were generally traditional featuring buckskins, moccasins, beading and leather work, feather head dresses, porcupine quill work, bone necklaces and breastplates, and frontier-era dresses. Modern influences were evident by the use of plastics and synthetics, and on some of the children, Mickey Mouse pendants and renderings of other cartoon characters.

Guiding the celebration were two culture counselors. The same counselors work in the public school system teaching the Jicarillas' language and customs to students.

 

Man dies of apparent suicide

By Karl Isberg

A call from a concerned relative sent local law enforcement officers to the home of a local resident on Feb. 12 and to the discovery of the man's body &emdash; the victim of an apparent suicide.

According to Archuleta County Deputy Coroner Karn Macht, the body of John Watson Cooper, 41, was found in an auto parked at a Martinez Mountain Estates subdivision residence, west of Pagosa Springs. Macht said evidence at the scene suggested Cooper took his own life.

A call from a relative worried about Cooper's welfare resulted in a visit to the man's property by Archuleta County Sheriff's deputy Mike Blanchard. Blanchard found Cooper's body and summoned Sgt. Tim Evans and Macht to the scene.

Macht said Cooper lived alone at the residence. It appeared Cooper had died at least a week before his body was discovered, Macht said. The deputy coroner listed the cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Letters

Needs help

Dear Editor,

I need help encouraging long-time residents' participation in the vision workshops. I know many hearts ache from witnessing the rapid growth and commercialization of this very precious and delicate area. Some citizens have lived through county attempts to solicit input on growth and land use before. Many say it was a waste of time, commissioners didn't act upon their concerns, and that "this place is already ruined, so what's the point?"

The point is that even though they agonize that their past efforts (which I truly appreciate) did not result in their vision for Archuleta County, their responsibility to keep trying has not ended. They must have faith that they can still make a difference and that this time, they love this place enough to stand up and defend the aspects they care most about.

Please urge them to trust that there are many others who still value the ideal of non-commercialized rural county life where the clock still ticks slower, where people still rely on themselves for a fulfilling life, where ultimate satisfaction comes from the untouched natural beauty the Creator bestowed upon us in these glorious surroundings, and where a well-maintained dirt road is perfectly satisfactory if everyone would just slow down and remember where and why they live here.

Living here one sees numerous times where one person really makes a difference - sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes not. The fact remains that each of us impacts the future and our choice to voice our opinions, or not, in these remaining meetings can make all the difference in the world. Neither my opinion, nor their's holds any more weight than another's, but each voice that sings in unison gives strength and weight to the whole.

While it's too late to turn back time, the alarm has sounded and we can still choose to stop the clock or reset the timer. Better late than never.

If each reader would tell at least three people about the remaining workshops (see ad) and they do the same, we can spread the word to those who haven't heard about them.

As the "Northwest" steering committee member, I still need help reaching citizens on Highway 160 West from approximately Parelli's Ranch area out to the state Highway 151 to just north of Arboles. If anyone knows folks out this way, I'd sure appreciate their help informing them of the 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, workshop at Chimney Rock Restaurant.

Sincere thanks for your help,

Karen Aspin

Future plans

Dear David,

With county-wide meetings set to take public comment on future planning for Archuleta County it is important to examine how we have evolved to where we are now, over the last 10 years.

Two items have appeared in the SUN over the last two weeks that give insight as to where we have arrived. The first was John Motter's article on the increase of residential construction costs over the last year.

With the average cost of $193,000 plus, and an average of 1,700 square feet, simple division shows a cost per foot of over $110. In 1989, it was possible to have a contractor build a three-bedroom home with 1,200 to 1,400 square feet of space, for less than $60 per square foot.

It is time to look at the impact and the reasons for this cost increase.

To measure one part of the impact, ask any mortgage broker what family income would be required to qualify for a mortgage based on the current average price. Then take a poll on how many jobs in the county provide that level of income. The result will show we have effectively precluded the majority of those persons who must work for a living from the opportunity for home ownership.

The causes for this major increase in cost are many. A few we can do nothing about but there are others that have an origin in Pagosa that we need to look at. The first would seem to be the pseudo-exclusive philosophy that has guided the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association for many years. Over the last 10 years there has been a compounding of restrictions and regulations that are an invitation to increase the cost of building in Pagosa Lakes. Anyone who has been involved in the administrative procedure to get approval to build there will verify this. Also, the campaigns to increase minimum house size in several of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions has played a part too.

The reason for major concern is that most of the affordable building sites, that offer both water and sewer are located in Pagosa Lakes.

Another consideration in the cost increase is the wide resistance to more economical building materials or methods. The panic that PLPOA demonstrated when "manufactured housing" appeared in Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, other than Vista, is indicative of several things. It climaxed in PLPOA's going to court in one instance and forcing the removal of a previously ECC-approved manufactured house.

The second item from the SUN is the letter from Niel B. Doherty about promoting the use of steel framing in residential construction. He refers to a "video" comparing flame damage to both wood and steel. He fails to note the size of the beams compared. Both are the size used in institutional or commercial projects. As a result of those tests Uniform Building Codes now require steel to be "wrapped" in plaster, concrete etc. If a test were run between residential wood floor joist (engineered I joist) and steel joist, both designed for the same span, the results would show the wood joist burning.

The best idea is to use steel or some other alternative building material for less cost.

Glenn Bergmann

Nary a word

Dear Editor,

My wife and I purchased a lot in Meadows IV in October of 1999. At the same time we subscribed to the SUN. We were very fortunate to have done that since the only communications we have received from the PLPOA has been through this newspaper. There is one exception . . . we just received the invoice for our annual dues. As a result we now know that they have our current mailing address. It's interesting to note that with all the activity going on at PLPOA nary a word has been communicated to us.

Having been a board member of two previous homeowners associations I know there are association documents which must be made available to new association members. Wonder what is going on at the PLPOA? I guess we will just continue to rely on the SUN for PLPOA information.

Thank you,

Paul D. Doray

Vision goal

Dear David,

The Vision Committee has come a long way since its inception over one year ago. The goal of this committee is to obtain from the residents of this community their thoughts, concerns and ideas in an effort to develop a vision. The first step of this process was completed by means of the community survey. The next step produced a steering committee consisting of a wider representation of the county, together with bringing aboard Four Corners Planning and Design Group in an effort to produce a community plan. The third step, of course, will be to implement the plan.

The first half of this process has progressed successfully due to the grateful efforts by the Vision Committee members, steering committee members, Mike Mollica, director of county development and the editorials provided by you, David, and Kate Terry's column. I have never before seen such a group of people take a stand to foster a healthy dream for the future. The Vision Committee is especially grateful for your stand and support.

By now, I am sure everyone knows of the community plan public workshops that are in progress. For those of you who have missed the meeting in your area, please find the calendar for one of the remaining meetings in this week's issue of The Pagosa Springs SUN. I can't emphasize enough the importance of having each and everyone's voice heard at these meetings, even if it's been said one hundred times before.

Sincerely,

Tim Horning

Vision and Steering Committee

To be human

Dear Editor,

The best laid plans often fail because the importance of the human element is not accounted for. Human reaction, treatment, feelings have more to do with what can be accomplished than the quality and thoroughness of the plans in and of themselves.

In Archuleta County, we share many common values. We want physical - as well as fiscal - good health, good education for our children, good environment, good infrastructure, good feelings, and much, much more.

In order to actually realize living with all of these, each of us will have to be a part of making that difference. And, we begin with our personal selves and our well being. When we feel good about ourselves, it is reflected in the entire community. When we pick up trash as we walk down the street and all the other many little things many of us do, it brings good feelings to the community. It's these little things that begin to reflect that this is a community of caring and respect. We've made some good headway on that.

And, it extends to participating in the larger community for our whole community's good, not just for our own private agenda. You may want golf courses while I want open space and someone else wants hiking trails, horse trails and on and on. These are all good things, as long as we keep our focus at that level, we will continue to butt heads unequally (some interests have more political clout than others) and bad feelings result. And, we will have little of lasting value to show for our work. Right now we are working to lay the groundwork for this one.

We don't fare as well in our dealings with one another. We do not listen very well. And, many times, we don't treat one another very well. Perhaps we don't even notice the impact of what we say or how we say it, or what we fail to say, or our lack of understanding for another's situation because we are so caught up in our own agendas and concerns. But, it goes against our working together. How we talk and treat one another is very important to creating community. Henry James' nephew asked his uncle what he should do to be successful in his life. Henry James answered, "First, be kind. Second, be kind. Third, be kind."

I talked with the commissioners about the importance of their participating in the community plan meetings - being involved in the discussions just as are we - all working together. They were open to it and seemed to understand the importance of it, I hope they will join us in our work.

In a nutshell; If we all pull together with respect for what will work for all of us, we will find ourselves living in the Archuleta County we are all working toward. That's true community.

Lauren Huddleston

Gaining compliance

Dear Editor,

As the "convicted criminal" mentioned in John Motter's article titled "Private property debate sparked by conviction" of Feb. 10, 2000, I would like to add some information.

The Forest Service demanded I sign an easement contract, pay a fee and acquire a permit to travel to and from my home, located off Turkey Springs Road. Although I paid the fee, I refused to sign their contract as it offered me nothing but increased liability in exchange for a right I already enjoyed, namely unencumbered access to my property.

The U.S. Forest Service was not satisfied with merely being paid. The contract was extremely important to them, so important that this is what the government was "forced" to do to gain my compliance:

- Charge me criminally for three counts of driving home without a permit

- Mount surveillance cameras to "catch" me in the act of driving home

- Try me under "special maritime and territorial jurisdiction" (military law)

- Strip me of all my constitutional rights in court, including my right to court appointed counsel, trial by jury and a speedy trial

- Change the penalty of $500 per count allowable by statute to $5,000 per count

- Threaten me with imprisonment throughout the proceedings with no counsel present

- Issue a bench warrant for my arrest based on the U.S. Attorney's false testimony in court

- Attempt to disenfranchise me of my appeal rights based on the fraudulently obtained bench warrant

- Place me on criminal probation for one year which, among other abuses, stripped me of the right to bear arms and allowed trespass and entry to my property without warrant

- Deny me access to my home for more than a year on the pretense that I would be committing a crime to drive home without signing a contract and thereby violating the terms of my probation

- Threaten to appoint a conservator to sign the contract for me if I continued my refusal

- Place two $5,000 liens against me under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

For the act of driving to and from my home I was brutally treated as if I were a dangerous felon, stripped of my liberty without just cause and my property without just compensation. I was forced into contract, risking imprisonment or worse if I failed to obey.

The minor details that the road in question is an unrestricted Archuleta County road leading to a U.S. Land Patented homestead property did not stop the U.S. Forest Service in their ruthless pursuit of a coerced signature of a contract I had no legal obligation to sign. Section 701(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, under which Act I was tried and convicted, states the following: "Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed as terminating any valid lease, permit, patent, right-of-way, or other land use right or authorization existing on the date of the approval of this Act [Oct. 21, 1976]."

Pay attention to this case, Archuleta County. Your property and your liberty may hinge on it. You may soon find out why this contract was so important to the U.S. Forest Service and you may not like the answer.

Diana Luppi

Mesa, Ariz.

PLPOA

Dear Editor,

Well, we had one resignation from the PLPOA board about three weeks ago and I think we should have more. In fact what we really need is for all of the registered Colorado voters who own property in the Pagosa Lakes area to band together and vote this organization out.

Now as for the letter by Julie Page on Feb. 3, 2000, stating that my comments were trite in reference to the officers eating donuts. You seem to miss the point, which is they are not doing the job that the property owners wish them to do which is patrolling the subdivisions. Their organization is managed by Tanya Rodgers last time I heard and maybe it needs to be taken away from her and given to someone who can direct the officers in performing their duties in the way the organization was meant. Society labeled the police as donut eaters when they were not protecting the people, so get over it. Most departments have physical requirements in order for their officers to perform at their peak. Do we?

Randall Mettscher

Action louder

Dear Editor,

It seems like we're in the "I'll do this if elected" mode again in this country, so leave it to local citizens to take action now and not if. . . .

Pagosa's own Wildflour Bakery and Durango-based Kangaroo Express have begun a "sharing of the bounty" by distributing excess bakery goods to the Volunteers of America shelter in Durango.

Every Monday morning, J.J., Kevin, and Pete of Wildflour collect their goodies into a large container to await the morning pickup by a Kangaroo Express driver, who upon returning to Durango, drops it off at the homeless shelter. J.J. says it is a great way for Wildflour to share its excess goods, while Deanna Devereaux, program manager at the shelter, looks forward to incorporating the baked goods into their menu.

This sharing of course, is facilitated by Kangaroo Express. Lise MacNinch, president of Kangaroo Express, thinks it is a wonderful idea that benefits both communities and folks that use the shelter.

This letter is not intended to "Toot" anyones' horn specifically, but maybe just to "Toot" our own collective horn. All the people and organizations that, everyday, do great work, be it sharing the bounty, sharing time, knowledge, experience, and love, understand that thought is completed by action.

So, for one, I'd like to thank all who understand "Action is still louder than words."

Sharing the Good Life,

Richard Miller

Voting opportunity

Dear Editor,

The board of directors of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association apparently went through a time when community involvement was minimal. Certainly with good intentions, the board then took it upon themselves to pursue the development of a metropolitan district. Months later they presented that major decision to the community as if there was no choice and no alternative.

Significant funds had already been spent on legal fees before most homeowners were even aware of the issue. The board either gave up on, overlooked or chose to ignore the possibility that this community of smart, effective people might put their heads together and come up with a better and less expensive solution.

To date, more than 45 property owners, 25 percent of the community, have petitioned for the opportunity to vote on the further pursuit of the metro district and its rapidly accumulating cost. These people are not saying how they will vote, they are merely saying that they want the opportunity to vote.

We remain optimistic that the board will acknowledge the competence and intelligence of the community and support a Loma Linda ballot on the issue. Democracy has a pretty good track record in this country.

Ed Snyder

Show love today

Dear David,

After the passing of several precious people from our community recently, we are all acutely reminded of the beauty and fragility of life, and the preciousness of each day we are blessed with.

May we honor these people, and life itself by being even more conscious of all of our gifts. May we be aware of the importance of our loved ones' roles in our lives while they are still here, and let them know how much they are appreciated. May we never be too busy, to angry, or too proud to express our love.

Thank you,

Connie Wienpahl

 

Obituaries

John W. Cooper

John Watson Cooper died at his home in Pagosa Springs, on Jan. 27, 2000.

Mr. Cooper was born to Warren and Margaret Cooper in Denver on July 10, 1959. He is survived by his sister, Perri Brabec of Golden.

Memorial services will be held at the Mile-High Church located at 9079 West Alameda Avenue in Denver on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 10 a.m. A celebrative luncheon will follow.

Samuel F. Hill Jr.

Sam F. Hill Jr., a former resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away in Tucson, Ariz., on Feb. 10, 2000, at 1:14 a.m., following a short hospital stay.

Mr. Hill was born Oct. 29, 1927, in Magna, Utah.

Remembered by his family as being a loving parent and grandparent, Mr. Hill was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed fishing and camping with his family, teaching them love of nature and respect for the environment. His hobbies included woodworking, writing and helping others.

Counted among his numerous accomplishments were service in the United States Navy 1944-1946 and graduation from the University of Utah School of Journalism. His broadcast career began in Salt Lake City with KSL-TV and subsequent positions with CBS-TV in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Trying his hand at industry he brought about the successful renovation and sale of the Western Iron and Foundry Co., Inc. in Wichita, Kan. Moving into entrepreneurship, he started his own corporation in Pagosa Springs, building a real estate career and improving a sanitation company which was subsequently purchased by Waste Management of Arizona. Following this he moved his family to Tucson where he was involved in real estate until his death.

Mr. Hill is survived by his wife of 44 years, Sheila Hill; sons, Samuel K. and Joseph E. Hill; daughter, Katherine Marie Nye; four sisters, LaRee Phereson, Maxine Newton, Valoy Bagley all of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Gwen Pouillon of Tualatin, Ore.; and nine grandchildren.

Services were held Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2000, at Our Mother of Sorrows Church, 1800 South Kolb Road, in Tucson.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to The Blake Foundation, (for their caring work with the developmentally disabled) 6107 E. Grant Rd., Tucson, AZ 85712.

 

People

 

Pfc. Kelley

Pfc. Chuck Kelley of Pagosa Springs graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp on Feb. 4, 2000, after 13 weeks of training in San Diego, Calif. He will continue his training with five weeks at Camp Pendleton, Calif., for the Corps' school of infantry, then on to military occupational specialty-security forces training for six weeks in Chesapeake, Va.

A 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Kelley is the son of Leon and Donna Kelley.

Chavez

Amador "Max" Chavez, a native of Pagosa Junction, was honored during a dinner-dance retirement program on Jan. 15 by elected officials of the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, state of California and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union.

Special music for the program was provided by Jeremy Lombardo and Chavez's son-in-law Dave Lombardo, a world-reknowned drummer.

Chavez, 65, during his 42-year membership in the union served as shop steward, recording secretary on his local's executive board as well as elected positions of responsibility for the district and grand lodges of the California Conference of Machinists.

During his years as a member of his union's local district lodge, Chavez at different times held the elected positions of secretary-treasurer, organizer, business representative and directing business representative. During his tenure on the executive board of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union's state conference, Chavez at varying times served as president as well as secretary of the organization's machine manufacturing committee, organizing committee and education committee. Chavez owns property in Archuleta County that is part of the Chavez Ranch in the Pagosa Junction area.

 

Sports Page
 

Seven grapplers head to state

By Karl Isberg

Up to Feb. 12 it was a lackluster wrestling season for the Pagosa Springs Pirates, with as many low points as high, and a string of weeks when the proverbial "next level" remained to be attained.

The season turned into a waiting game. When would a team that looked so talented on paper realize its potential on the mats? As the regular season schedule ended, the question loomed larger.

At the Intermountain League tournament on Feb. 5, where the Pirates expected to finish at the front of the pack, the train derailed and disappointment ruled the day. The Pirates were expected to make a run for the title, but finished fourth behind Ignacio, Centauri and Monte Vista. The finish was unacceptable to coaches and athletes alike; the wrestlers and coach Dan Janowsky and his assistants struggled to understand the dismal showing.

A regional tournament loomed on the horizon, featuring stiff competition and a do-or-die situation for individual wrestlers: at regionals, an athlete finishes among the top four in his weight class and advances to the state tournament, or his season is over.

What do you do if you are a Pirate wrestler?

First, you bond with your teammates, you set your goals, and as a group you rise to the occasion and succeed at the regional event.

Second - if you are one of seven Pirates - you finish well enough at regionals to extend your wrestling season one more week, with a trip to Denver and the Colorado Class 3A State Championship Tournament.

The "next level" had been reached.

On Feb. 12, after the dust cleared at the regional tournament in La Jara, the Pirates were in second place in the team standings, ahead of their IML rivals. Pagosa finished with 174 1/2 points, behind Lamar with a winning total of 246 points, but a comfortable distance ahead of Rocky Ford (149 points). The nearest IML team in the standings was Monte Vista, which finished fourth with 145 1/2 points.

The Pirates qualified seven wrestlers for state, with two regional champions, one second-place finisher, two wrestlers in third place and two wrestlers in fourth in their weight classes.

Regional champs

If there is any wrestler on the 1999-2000 team who made continuous and visible improvement, it is senior Kraig Candelaria. The Pirates' 160-pounder wrestled smarter and more effectively with each outing during the last half of the season and peaked at just the right moment, winning the regional title

Candelaria began his run to the championship with a first-round bye.

Adrian Paulman of Salida got the first takedown in Candelaria's second-round match, but Candelaria nullified the advantage with a reversal. The Pirate got two back points and the Spartan fashioned an escape; Candelaria was ahead 4-3 after one period. He remained one point ahead, 8-7, after two periods. The wrestlers exchanged points in fast and furious fashion in the last period of the match, with Candelaria winning a 16-14 decision.

Candelaria had a close battle with a Centauri wrestler in the championship bracket semifinal. The Pirate and George Cortez were scoreless at the end of one period. Candelaria used a takedown and two escapes to forge a 4-3 lead after two periods. Cortez escaped at the start of the final period to tie the score, but Candelaria nailed another takedown to go ahead 6-4. Cortez scored a final point with an escape, but the effort was not enough to prevent Candelaria from earning the 6-5 decision.

Facing Kevin Smotherman of Lamar in the tourney final, Candelaria got a takedown to score the only points in the first period. In the second period, Candelaria extended his lead to 9-4 with an escape, a reversal, two points on a near-fall, and a takedown. The Pirate put four more points on the scoreboard with two takedowns in the final period to win the match and the championship, 13-7.

"Kraig executed his plan," said Janowsky. "He didn't panic and his defensive skills were really good. Some guys got in on takedowns, but couldn't score on Kraig; other guys just couldn't get in on him. He did a great job."

Shane Prunty took the title in the heavyweight division, avenging earlier losses to several wrestlers.

Prunty made short work of Rye's Logan Selvege, taking him down and pinning him in the first period.

Next on the agenda was Jason Schneider of Monte Vista. The Monte wrestler beat Prunty at the IML tourney by a score of 7-0, but at the regional match the wrestlers went scoreless through the first two periods. In the final period of the match, Prunty took Schneider down for two points, then scored three back points to win the match, 5-0.

A semifinal match pitted the Pirate against Kyle Olvera, of Lamar. Prunty started the scoring with a takedown for two points, and Olvera escaped to cut Prunty's lead to 2-1 at the end of the first period. An escape by Olvera provided the only score in the second period and the wrestlers entered the last period deadlocked at 2-2. Prunty escaped to start the period, going ahead 3-2, then took Olvera down to win the match with a 5-2 decision.

When Prunty faced Eddie Chacon of Centauri at the IML tournament, the Pirate had a 5-1 lead but lost by a pin to the Falcon. At the regional tournament, neither wrestler scored in the opening period of the match. Chacon scored a single point with an escape at the start of the second period, but Prunty went ahead 2-1 when he took the Falcon down. Prunty escaped to start the third period, took Chacon down and pinned the Falcon to end the match.

"Shane won four matches," said Janowsky, of the Pirate veteran, "and he got two pins and two decisions. He avenged two losses. He was relaxed and he wasn't afraid to attack. He got a number of double-leg tackle takedowns."

Second place

Senior George Kyriacou will make a return trip to the state tourney after a second-place finish at 215 pounds at the regional competition.

Kyriacou began the trek to second place with a bye. The Pirate faced John Marshall of Pueblo West in the second round and got a 2-0 first-period lead with a takedown. Kyriacou took Marshal down and pinned him in the second period.

Adam Trainer of La Junta was the Pirate's next opponent, and their semifinal match was a close one. Kyriacou was ahead 5-0 after one period but the Tiger closed the gap to 6-3 at the end of two periods. Kyriacou held on to win with a 9-7 decision.

In his final match, against Alan Palmer of Lamar, Kyriacou lost when he was pinned in the opening period.

"George had a good tournament," said Janowsky. "He lost to Palmer, who finished third at state at 189 pounds last year. I hope George gets another shot at the guy."

Third place

Josh Trujillo (145 pounds) and Clint Shaw (189 pounds) captured third place in their respective weight classes.

Trujillo started the tournament in spectacular fashion, crafting a 17-0 technical fall over a Monte Vista wrestler. He continued with a strong performance against an opponent from Pueblo West, earning a 13-3 major decision. Trujillo lost a 12-5 decision to Cameron Davidson in the semifinal match and dropped to the consolation bracket where a 3-1 win over Del Norte's Devin Haynie put the Pirate in the fight for third place. Trujillo took third with an 11-5 decision over Vince Ortiz of Trinidad.

"Josh started off good," said Janowsky, "but he knows he didn't have his best performance. He's capable of scoring a lot of points at the state tournament."

Shaw entered the competition at 189 pounds despite weighing approximately 170 pounds, but the disadvantage in size made little difference to the junior.

Following a first-round bye, Shaw nailed a 9-3 win over Nathan Roberts of Monte Vista - a week after Roberts pinned the Pirate at the IML tournament. A 12-9 loss to Eric Duran of Pueblo West put Shaw in the consolation bracket. The Pirate earned the right to wrestle for third place when he pinned Valentin Perez of Rocky Ford in the third period. Shaw ended his tournament with a 6-4 decision over Brandon Erchull of Buena Vista.

According to Janowsky, "The difference for Clint is that he was competitive. He wasn't just looking for a pin; he was trying to win matches keeping the scoreboard in mind, not wasting himself in the first period of his matches."

Other qualifiers

The other Pirates earning a trip to Denver were Daniel Martinez (140 pounds) and Josh Richardson (171 pounds).

Martinez, a senior, fought six matches on his way to fourth place at regionals. Martinez pinned Jared Davis of Rye to start the tournament then lost a 10-3 decision to George Marquez of Las Animas. The Pirate pinned Brandon Rosenhoover of Centauri then earned a 3-2 decision over Daniel Alire of Buena Vista. An 8-6 decision over Brian Hall of Lamar moved Martinez to the match for third place, which he lost to Marquez of Las Animas.

"Daniel fought in a very tough weight class at the tournament," said Janowsky. "It will be a tough group at Denver."

Richardson began his matches with a first-period pin of James Payne of Trinidad. In his second match, the Pirate junior earned a 16-2 major decision over Brian Sack of Salida, then lost to Joe Cedeno of Lamar. Richardson hammered Nathan Zamora of Monte Vista, pinning him in the first round, then lost a 4-3 decision to a Buena Vista wrestler to finish in fourth place.

"There's plenty of room for Josh to perform well at Denver this week," said Janowsky.

Pirates' points

While they were unable to finish in the top four places in their weight classes, several Pirates finished in fifth place at the regional tournament and earned valuable team points.

Freshman Mike Maestas won three of six matches at 112 pounds to earn fifth place. Maestas won one match with a pin and another with a major decision.

Anthony Maestas was fifth at 119 pounds. The Pirate junior was 4-2, with a pin and a technical fall to his credit.

Keith Candelaria finished his Pirate wrestling career with fifth place at 152 pounds. He posted a 4-2 record at the tournament with a fall to his credit.

Cameron Cundiff (125 pounds), Zeb Gill (130 pounds) and Nate Stretton (135 pounds) all fought matches at the tournament and gained valuable experience for upcoming seasons.

Pepsi Center

The state tournament moves to a new location this season, departing the confines of the defunct McNichols Arena for the new Pepsi Center.

Janowsky and his assistants David Hamilton, Myron Stretton and David Lucero left for Denver with the Pirate wrestlers Wednesday morning with a workout planned at a Denver-area high school in the afternoon.

Action in the first round of Class 3A competition begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Class 3A matches start at 10 a.m. on Friday with additional rounds planned at 5:45 and 7 p.m.

On Saturday, 3A matches begin at 11 a.m. with battles for fifth place and third place at 2 p.m. The finals will be held at 6:30 p.m.

 

Weekend sweep assures Pirates of regional berth

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs captured the Intermountain League title this past weekend by sweeping Monte Vista 62-54 Friday night and Del Norte 48-40 Saturday night. The wins give the Pirates a perfect 9-0 IML record with one game remaining.

Monte Vista is the closest Pagosa challenger. Monte Vista has two IML losses, both to Pagosa Springs, and one game left on their schedule.

Pagosa also has one game remaining, an encounter with the Ignacio Bobcats tonight in the Ignacio gym. Game time is 5 p.m.

Post season play

The weekend victories guarantee the Pirates a game in the state regional playoffs March 4, regardless of whether they win or lose at Ignacio, or how they do at the district tournament Feb. 25 and 26.

Pagosa Springs will be seeded first in the district tournament and Monte Vista second. The tournament will be played at Centauri Feb. 25 and 26 with game times to be announced. Pagosa plays an as-yet-to-be-determined fourth-place team Feb. 25. On the same night, Monte plays an as-yet-to-be-determined third-place team. On Feb. 26, the two winners of the Feb. 25 games play for the tournament championship.

The winner of the district tournament will be the top IML representative in regional play. Having won the league championship outright, Pagosa is guaranteed to be at least the second-place team from the IML in the regional tournament, even if Pagosa loses its first-round game the night of Feb. 25. If Pagosa wins the district tournament, it will be the top IML seed in regional play and will be a host team in the regional playoffs.

A decision on the regional matchups will not be made until after tonight's games, according to Kahle Charles, Pagosa Springs High School athletic director. A seeding committee matches the final 16 Class 3A teams that reach the regional round according to a complicated formula. Teams seeded first play teams seeded second from other leagues.

The third- and fourth-place district tournament teams will be determined by a playoff game next week involving the third- through sixth-place IML teams. The third-place team plays the sixth-place team and the fourth-place team plays the fifth-place team.

The only district tournament certainty before the conclusion of IML play this week is that Pagosa Springs is seeded first, Monte Vista is seeded second and Ignacio is seeded sixth. Centauri, Del Norte and Bayfield are in a dog fight to be the third and fourth seeds in the tournament.

Pagosa Springs at Ignacio

Pagosa ends IML play tonight against Ignacio. The IML season started for the Pirates with a hard fought, 61-54 victory over the Bobcats in the Pirates gym. Since then Pagosa has won all of its IML games, Ignacio lost all of its. Pagosa would like to end the IML season with a perfect 10-0 record. Ignacio would like to win at least once and who better to beat than the league champions?

"It's tough to go through the IML unbeaten," said Kyle Canty, the Pagosa coach. "The league is well balanced. No one is a sure winner. Against Ignacio, it doesn't matter what we've done or they've done in the past. They won't be intimidated. Their record doesn't indicate how good they really are. It's going to be a game."

Game time is 5 p.m.

Pagosa 62, Monte 54

Monte Vista, the Pirates from the San Luis Valley, came into Pagosa Springs Friday night with a single purpose: they wanted to avenge their lone IML loss, a 69-52 thrashing they received from Pagosa Springs Jan. 22 in Monte Vista.

For awhile, it looked like Monte might succeed. After Pagosa's Micah Maberry opened scoring with a jumper from the top of the key, Monte moved out to a slim lead. Midway through the quarter Pagosa's Charles Rand connected on the second of two treys launched over the Monte zone defense to give Pagosa a 10-8 lead. A trey at the buzzer gave Monte a 13-12 lead.

Monte applied its famed pressing defense early in the second period, forced some Pagosa turnovers, and left the floor at halftime leading 30-21. Rand topped Pagosa scoring during the first half with three 3-pointers and a field goal for 11 points.

During the halftime intermission, Canty talked to his team about playing tighter defense.

"I don't think our boys were worried," Canty said.

When Pagosa came out gunning in the third quarter and shot down the Monte lead from nine points to three points, Monte seemed to get worried. With about a minute left in the quarter, Maberry pumped in a trey from the right side of the arc as Pagosa took the lead, 37-36. The quarter ended with a 37-37 tie. Pagosa had outscored Monte 16-7 during the quarter.

Monte proved it wasn't dead yet and built a five-point, 42-37 lead early in the final period. Just when the visitors seemed to take control of the game, Rand connected on another trey. On the Pirates next trip down the court, Rand was fouled while missing on a 3-pointer. Rand went to the line and sank all three free throws. The six-point turn around put Pagosa on top 43-42, owning a lead it would not surrender.

Tyrel Ross added to the Pagosa surge when he stole a Monte pass, fired a cross-court outlet pass to Rand. Rand fielded the ball in mid-air whipped the ball up court on a fast break to Lonnie Lucero who dropped in a Pagosa-pleasing layup. Soon after Rand hit two more free throws, and Pagosa's lead stretched to 47-42. Ross sank a 3-pointer, Goodenberger put in a deuce sweetened by a free throw and Pagosa's lead jumped to 52-45 with 2:34 left in the game.

At that point Monte lost its cool and two Monte fans were removed from the building by Pagosa police Chief Donny Volger. Monte coach James Canaday drew a technical, a Monte player was called for a technical, and Rand mopped up at the free throw line by hitting 12 of 13 fourth-period attempts. For the game Rand added up 31 points with five treys, two field goals, and the 12 free throws.

Pagosa won the final period scoring duel 25-17.

"It was Rand's best game of the year," Canty said. "I know he scored a lot, but he also played good defense and passed to the open man."

Trailing Rand in the scoring column were Maberry with 7 points, Goodenberger and Ross with 6 points each, Lucero with 5 points, Daniel Crenshaw with 4 points, and Clinton Lister with 3 points. Pagosa trailed Monte in field goals 18-10, led in treys 8 to 5, and lead in free throws 18-3. Pagosa shot 41.7 percent with 10 of 24 field goal attempts, 40 percent with 8 of 20 three-point attempts, and 78.3 percent with 18 of 23 free throws.

Goodenberger was tops in rebounds with six, Clinton Lister blocked a shot, Crenshaw made the only assist, and Goodenberger and Rand each made three steals. Pagosa committed five turnovers.

Pagosa 48, Del Norte 40

First-quarter scoring against Del Norte started at a snail's pace and didn't get much better. Both teams seemed content to concentrate on defense. By the end of the first period the Tigers were on top 7-6. Pagosa's scoring was split between Maberry's field goal plus a free throw and Ross's trey.

Del Norte's sagging defense caused Pagosa problems early in the game. Plus, both teams were tired, according to Canty. Del Norte had lost a tough game to Bayfield Saturday night while Pagosa was winning a tough game from Monte Vista.

Tired or not, Rand got his radar zeroed in during the second quarter. With less than two minutes left in the quarter, the two teams were tied 15-15. Rand bombed from outside with a trey. Crenshaw popped in a field goal. Rand sank two more treys, a field goal, and a free throw before the halftime buzzer sounded with Rand scoring 14 points during the second period. The halftime score was 27-19, and the Tigers were in a hole they'd never climb out of.

The remainder of the game was close. Pagosa won the third quarter 14-13, Del Norte the final quarter 8-7.

Rand paced the Pirates scoring with 20 points, including five treys. Maberry added 8 points, Lucero 7 points, Goodenberger and Lister 4 points each, Ross 3 points, and Crenshaw 2 points.

The Pirates hit 55 percent of their field goals, 11 for 20; 35 percent of their 3-point attempts, 7 for 20; and 45 percent of their free throws, 5 for 11. They sank 11 field goals to 15 for Del Norte, seven treys to one for Del Norte, and five free throws to eight for Del Norte.

Goodenberger's 11 rebounds topped Pagosa in that department. Goodenberger and Crenshaw each blocked a Tiger shot. Ross turned in four assists. Maberry and Rand each had two steals. Pagosa committed 11 turnovers.

Defense was a big part of the Pagosa victory. Del Norte's two leading scorers, Jake Evig and Josh Stevenson were held to 15 and four points respectively.

 

Ladies prevail, but Monte puts up a fight

By Roy Starling

After jumping out to an 18-7 first-quarter lead over Monte Vista's Lady Pirates Friday night, it might have appeared that Pagosa's Ladies spent the rest of the game struggling against an inferior opponent before finally winning 44-26.

But that might not be the whole story. On the next night, Monte's girls showed they had come a long way since Pagosa hammered them 49-20 on their home court last month: They surprised the visiting Ignacio Ladycats 49-44 and, in the process, moved into a tie with Ignacio for third place in the Intermountain League.

The Ladies' win, on the other hand, kept their hopes alive for a No. 1 seed in the IML District Tournament next weekend (Feb. 25 and 26) in La Jara.

In the first period against Monte, Ashley Gronewoller and Mandy Forrest scored six points each to help the Ladies overcome some cold shooting and a half dozen turnovers.

Gronewoller kick-started the Pagosa offensive machine with an easy basket on the girls' first possession, scoring on a dish from Forrest. Monte post Kiley Schmeir, held to two points in the teams' first meeting, then scored in the lane to tie it up. Pagosa came right back when Forrest took a pass from Gronewoller and cashed in on a left-handed layup.

After a lull in the action, Gronewoller was called for a foul, on a late whistle, on Schmeir, and the 5-foot-10 senior sank 1 of 2 from the line. Unfortunately, Gronewoller remained the object of the officials' attention throughout the game and played sparingly, fouling out with 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining in the contest.

After Schmeir's free throw, Janae Esterbrook worked herself free for a 12-foot jumper, putting the Ladies up 8-3. A Monte turnover forced by Meigan Canty's heads-up defensive play resulted in a Forrest baseline jumper with 3:34 remaining in the quarter. Then sophomore Katie Lancing executed another of her "steal and go coast-to-coast" maneuvers to put Pagosa up 12-3. A blowout seemed to be in the making.

Monte's senior wing Stephanie Schaefer, however, stopped the Pagosa run with a layup on a fast break at the 2:40 mark. The Ladies came back with another Forrest-to-Gronewoller deuce at 1:55, but Schaefer answered with a jump shot from 15 feet.

In the final 1:15 of the quarter, Pagosa padded its lead with two free throws from Lancing and a basket from Forrest off a Canty assist. The good news: The Ladies led 18-7 at the buzzer. The bad news: Gronewoller, one of the team's most prolific scorers and rebounders, got called for her third foul - a very subtle one - with :46 remaining, prompting the Ladies' fans to fill the gym with a chorus of boos.

'D' to rescue

Pagosa would go the first four and a half minutes of the second quarter without putting any wear and tear on the nets. Fortunately, the Ladies' defense kept Monte's shooters off balance, holding the visitors to a paltry three points in the period.

The Lady Pirates finally got on the board in the second when Lancing once again swiped a pass on the defensive end, then went the distance for a layup at 3:34. Esterbrook pushed the score to 22-10 when she stepped past her defender and nailed a 10-footer. After a Monte turnover, Forrest cut to the basket, took a needle-threading feed from Canty, and dropped it in. Lancing finished up the Ladies' scoring for the half when she was fouled in the act of rebounding and then made both shots from the line. Pagosa led 26-10.

Sluggish second half

The second half was not a work of art on either team's part. The Ladies were outscored 8-6 in the third, with Gronewoller getting four of those points before picking up her fourth foul. The girls got good looks at the basket during the period but had little luck in actually putting the ball into it.

Forrest provided Pagosa a little breathing room when she opened the final period with a score from a Lancing pass, was fouled while shooting and then sank the free throw. Schmeir answered with a soft shot from five feet, but on the Ladies' next possession Esterbrook improvised on the baseline and put her team up 37-20.

Schmeir retaliated by putting up four quick points, getting Monte's Lady Pirates within 13, as close they would come. At 5:15, Forrest would score off a pass looped into the post by Esterbrook. The Ladies stalled for the next three minutes before Esterbrook hit the Lady Pirates' final field goal, an 8-footer made possible by a Lancing pass. Lancing's free throws in the final seconds capped the evening's offensive show, and the Ladies walked away with a 44-26 win.

Forrest was Pagosa's top scorer with 13, and she contributed four assists and nine rebounds. Lancing followed with 12 points - including 6 for 6 from the foul line - and 10 rebounds. Gronewoller had 10 points and six rebounds, while Esterbrook added nine points and five rebounds. Canty led the team with three steals and dished out three assists.

The Ladies shot 42 percent (18 of 43) from the floor and 57 percent (8 of 14) from the line.

Schmeir led the visitors with 12 points.

Lady Pirates topple Tigers, face Landycats tonight

By Roy Starling

The Lady Pirates closed out the home portion of their season Saturday night, romping past Del Norte's de-clawed and de-fanged Lady Tigers 57-28. The win gave Pagosa an 8-1 record in the Intermountain League and a 14-4 mark overall.

Now all the Ladies have to do is defeat the Ignacio Ladycats tonight in Ignacio and they'll take a No. 1 seed into the IML District tournament to be held Feb. 25 and 26 in La Jara. That probably translates into a first-round game against either Monte Vista or Ignacio and, getting past that, a championship rematch with the Centauri Lady Falcons right smack in the middle of Centauri's backyard.

The Ladies will need to either win the tournament or finish second to qualify for a regional berth the following weekend. Winning it, of course, would increase their chances of hosting the regional.

But first things first. Tonight they'll face a Ladycat squad that loves to run, loves to press and loves to play man-to-man (or girl-to-girl) defense. Bring it on, says Pagosa coach Karen Wells.

"This time we have a new press break," she said. "We keep making adjustments, both to our offense and our defense. We're definitely not the same team they played the first time." That first time was back on Jan. 13, and the Ladies recovered from a sloppy first half to win 52-39. Tonight's game begins at 5.

Saturday night Del Norte didn't bring very impressive credentials to the high school gym: They were resting comfortably at the very bottom of the IML standings. At game's end, they were resting there still.

The Ladies didn't exactly break the Tigers' spirits in the first quarter but they did manage to grab a 10-4 lead, getting close-range baskets from Mandy Forrest and Katie Lancing and a fast-break layup from Janae Esterbrook, courtesy of a Bonnie O'Brien feed.

The second quarter was a different story. After Del Norte freshman Lacey Nobles scored in the lane to open the period, the Lady Pirates went on a 19-2 rampage and took a 31-10 lead into the locker room at intermission.

Ashley Gronewoller got the romp underway when she scored under the basket from a Forrest pass. Soon afterwards, Esterbrook took a pass from Meigan Canty and downed a mid-range jumper. On the Ladies' next possession Forrest was the beneficiary of a Canty feed and she kissed the ball off the glass for a 16-6 Pagosa lead.

Mika Gallegos interrupted the party by sinking 2 of 3 free throws after she was fouled attempting a trey with 3 minutes, 16 seconds remaining in the half. But at 2:40 the Ladies' offense went back to work. Esterbrook took a skip pass from Forrest and connected from 15 feet, then 30 seconds later Forrest baffled the Del Norte zone and gave future opposing coaches something to think about when she hit a 3-pointer from the right side.

Gronewoller then reeled off six straight points, scoring on a putback, an assist from Esterbrook and an assist from Forrest. O'Brien capped the surge by scoring on a break after being hit in the hands by a pass from Forrest. During the quarter, Gronewoller scored 10 points, and Forrest handed out five assists.

Basketball life returned to normal in the third period. The Ladies scored the first six points, then pretty much marched in place as the Lady Tigers played a belated game of catch-up. Heading into the final quarter, the score stood at 38-14.

In the fourth, the Lady Tigers doubled their scoring total, but not their pleasure. Pagosa outscored them 19-14 to secure a 57-28 win.

The Lady Pirates' offensive fury was fueled by a Forrest fire. The senior post poured in 16 points, dished out a career-high eight assists, pulled down 11 rebounds and tied O'Brien for the team lead in steals with three.

Gronewoller chipped in with 15 points and six boards, while Esterbrook wound up with 12 points. Lancing had six points and 10 rebounds. Canty handed out four assists, while O'Brien and Lancing had three each.

The Ladies had one of their better shooting nights, hitting 24 of 50 from the floor for 48 percent. They had only six attempts from the line and they made four of those.

But perhaps the statistic that pleased coach Wells most was in the turnover column. The team's primary perimeter players - Canty, Esterbrook and O'Brien - had only three turnovers among them, and Canty came out of the game with a big "0" in that department.

 

Community News

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Pi Beta Phi Alumnae club forming

As the Music Boosters say: "Expect to be entertained and expect the unexpected" - with the fine entertainment they are providing for the evenings of Feb. 25 and 26 at the high school auditorium.

They call the program "Pianorama!"- a good name for the benefit. The money will go to help pay for the new conservatory grand piano at Pagosa Springs High School.

The program is loaded with talent: Father John Bowe, Harvey Schwartz, John Graves, Mark DeVoti, Joan Hageman, Lisa Hartley, Debbie Tucker, Bob and Diane Outerbridge, Lee Bartley, Danny Appenzeller, concert pianist Lawrence Nass, and a Jazz combo. (And who knows, there might be others!) With all this bunch, people for sure will be entertained.

The program starts at 7:30 p.m. (but the doors open at 6:30). Tickets for reserved seating are available at Moonlight Books: $10 for adults and $5 for students and children.

Stargazing 2000

Are you a star gazer?

Last week, Peggy Bergon hosted Gail Hershey's fourth-grade "enrichment program" with a Stargazing 2000 Evening. There were about 25 people - kids and a few parents - who sat around a campfire. For preparation they had studied star charts and mythology. It was a good evening and Peggy intends to do this again.

Pi Beta Phi

Attention alumnae of Pi Beta Phi fraternity. An alumnae club is forming. Charter meeting is on Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m. For information call Lisa at 264-2730 or Jennifer at 731-3113.

Doggone it!

Sisson Library is now getting the Christian Science Monitor, one of the most accurately reported newspapers in the country. This item in the Feb. 8 issue is too good to not pass on to you, the reader. Its heading is "Maybe it wanted company."

With only the howling of a dog audible over the phone, rescue crews raced to the scene of an emergency 911 call in Sabrze, Poland, assuming the worst. But on reaching the dwelling, they found - not a person too weak to say anything - only the dog. It had been left alone by its owner, and, authorities theorized, must have knocked the receiver off the hook and accidentally stepped on the key-pad with a paw.

And this incident happened last week in my home town. A young man apparently missed a turn in the road and ended up in a deep ravine. He got out of his truck but couldn't get up the steep incline. Both legs were broken and he suffered other injuries. A collie discovered him and spent a part of the night snuggled against him, keeping him warm in the sub-zero weather. The man called the dog "Lassie" and the next morning told it to go for help. The blood covered collie barked and paced at the side of the road attracting a neighbor's attention to look into the ravine. This young man gives the collie full credit for saving his life.

To sum up these stories maybe this observation once made by Mark Twain could apply: "If you entered heaven by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

Fun on the Run

Once there was a millionaire who collected live alligators and kept them in a pool in back of his mansion. The millionaire also had a beautiful daughter who was single.

One day he decided to throw a huge party, and during the party he announced, "My dear guests, I have a proposition to every man here. I will give one million dollars or the hand of my daughter in marriage to the man who can swim across this pool full of alligators and emerge unharmed."

As soon as he had finished his last word, there was the sound of a large splash. There was one guy in the pool swimming with all his might. The crowd cheered him on as he kept stroking. Finally, he made it to the other side unharmed. The millionaire was impressed.

He said, "My boy, that was incredible. Fantastic. I didn't think it could be done. Well, I must keep my end of the bargain. Which do you want? To marry my daughter or collect the one million dollars?

The guy said, "Listen, I don't want your money. I don't want your daughter. I want the person who pushed me in the water!"

 

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

You could be exit poll interviewer

One new member to introduce to you this week and three renewals. We're always happy to share this kind of good news with you and shall do just that right now.

Our new member is Dr. Bradley Storks who brings us the Holistic Health Ranch, LLC, located at 925 South Broadway, Suite 152, in Cortez. Dr. Storks offers chiropractic neurology, orthopedics, nutrition, physical therapy as well as the biological assessment of blood, saliva and urine to evaluate body syndromes for toxins, chronic pain and illness. Dr. Storks also offers years of experience with professional athletes, acupuncture and auriculotherapy. Arrangements can be made for in-home consultation/treatments or you can call (970) 564-8533 for an in-office consultation.

Renewals

Our renewals this week include Marie Gillingham with Waste Management; Valerie Green with Canyon Crest Lodge; and Harry Landers with Wildhorse Outfitters, Inc. Thank you one and all.

Terri

We once again want to express our profound sympathy to Terry Smith, Grace, Max, Quinn, and the Estep family for their recent loss of Terri Lynn. Joan Rohwer, Connie Wienpahl, Gail Hershey, John Graves, family members and other close friends are to be commended for the beautiful memorial service held last Friday on Reservoir Hill. It was a touching, loving celebration of Terri's life and a fitting tribute to the great gift she shared throughout her life with all who loved her so much. Terri clearly left this world a better place, and she will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.

SunDowner

Wow, the time has flown by since our big Mardi Gras party, and it's time for another SunDowner. This month's social will be held at the Piano Creek Ranch offices at 468 Lewis Street from 5 to 7 p.m. next Wednesday evening. If you have not seen the offices since the renovation, you will be blown away with the beautiful job they have done. The invitations will go out the end of the week, and everyone is invited to attend. As always, there will be lots 'n lots of great food and a variety of libations - all included in the $5 donation at the door. Plan to join us on Feb. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Piano Creek Ranch offices. We'll be there with bells on.

Inserts

Please remember to bring us your inserts for the quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué, by Friday, Feb. 25. Just bring in 700 flyers and $30, and we will collate and mail them sometime the first week of March. It's a dandy way to get the word out to all chamber members for very little money. If you have questions, please give us a call at 264-2360.

Poll position

If anyone out there is interested in a one-day gig as an exit poll interviewer here in Pagosa, I have just the number for you. The Voter News Service is looking for folks to work from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (approximately) on March 10 and will pay said individuals $150 for the day. No experience is necessary for this Election Day assignment. The candidates will be required to read a 20-page manual on exit poll interviewing, participate in a 20-minute toll-free telephone training session and participate in a 5-minute rehearsal call that takes place a week prior to the day of the election. These interviewers will pass out self-administered questionnaires to voters as they enter the polls. The results are tabulated and phoned into VNS periodically throughout the event. If you are interested, please call Molly Wagner at Voter News Service, 1-800-330-8683, for more information.

Pagosa Pretenders

In their sixth year, the Pagosa Pretenders' Family Theatre, is now working on their sixth production inspired by the timeless tales of the 1001 Arabian Nights. The large cast of 78 includes a wide range of ages breathing life into the stories of Sinbad, Ali Baba and Aladdin.

Addie Greer and director Susan Garman encourage families to attend for both educational and entertainment benefits. They are hopeful that four shows presented over two weekends will allow more folks to enjoy the music, dance and fun of this family-oriented production presented at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

Tickets are available for March 10, 11, 17 and 18 performances at the Sisson Library, Moonlight Books, Wild Hare Gifts and the Arts Council. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for children and seniors, and kiddoes three and under are free. For information, please call Addie at 264-4596 or Susan at 731-2485.

 

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Wisdom from Terri Smith: Turn and face the bear

Terri Lynn Smith took me on mountain-bike rides in the early days of data gathering for her Pagosa Area Trail book - a comprehensive mountain-bike trails guide which she authored. She introduced me to some of the most beautiful places in this county. We were chased by cows, pretended to being chased by bears but mostly we chased our dream of using the mountain bike as a tool to access the awesome playground that nature has provided.

During one of our make-belief escape from a make-belief chasing bear up in Chris Mountain, I asked Terri, "What do you think we should do in a real situation?" Terri said, "I would turn and face the bear and put the bike between us."

When death comes to a friend that is so close to your age, we are suddenly fearful that we too may not grow old with our grandchildren. I will have to keep reminding myself to face that bear of fear. "Turn and face the bear," Terri said. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Tuesday morning when Doug Call told me about the proposed construction of a new trail on Reservoir Hill in Terri's honor I was really pleased. Death ends a life, not a relationship, not the energy that Terri had put into making mountain-biking an enjoyable experience for others. When Terri departed this mortal existence a giant transference of energy between her and those who love her took place.

Work day for the Terri Lynn Smith Trail on top of Reservoir Hill, below the radio towers, is scheduled for June 10. The trail will allow hikers and bikers a beautiful panoramic view of Pagosa Springs. A bench has already been donated in Terri's name and a plaque will be posted on the trail.

Wolf Creek Wheel Club of which Terri was an active member, will take on the updating of her Pagosa Area Trail book. Terri was in the process of updating the book. If you have any further ideas and wish to share them, please contact Doug Call at 264-4151. More details on the June 10 trail work-day will be released in this publication at a later date.

Terri Lynn, you live on - in the hearts of everyone you touched and nurtured while you were here.

 

Education News

By Tom Steen

GED test available in Pagosa

Another first for Pagosa. The Education Center arranged to have GED testing personnel come to Pagosa and administer a GED test last Saturday. In the past, our students have always had to commute to Durango or elsewhere to attend the test.

Attention home-school students and others who may be interested: Another test is scheduled in Pagosa on April 29. Study classes and tutoring support to help prepare for the test is offered free at the Education Center from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday night. Stop by or call 264-2835.

Eight students took the GED test last Saturday. Early indications are that all eight passed. This will make 34 of our students who have passed the GED test during the past year. In 1999 the Education Center has provided tutorial support for 109 home-school students, early leavers from high school preparing for the GED, or others studying for the GED or taking high school courses through Internet or other distance learning avenues.

What are the GED tests? The GED tests measure the major academic skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. They provide an opportunity for persons who have not graduated from high school to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

What subjects are tested? The GED tests measure competency in five subject areas: writing skills, social studies, science, interpreting literature and art, and mathematics.

Who is eligible to take the GED test? The GED test may be administered to residents of Colorado, adults who are 17 years of age or older. Note: GED candidates may take the test when they are 16 years old if they receive an age waiver from the Colorado Department of Education. An age waiver is granted only with documentation that the post-secondary education program a person plans to attend requires a high school or a GED diploma.

What are the score requirements for a GED diploma? The GED diploma is awarded when a candidate receives a score of at least 40 on each of the five tests and an average score of 45 (or 225 total points) on all five tests. When scores fall below these standards, candidates may retest on a different form of the test without a waiting period. The number of times a candidate can retest is limited by the number of forms of the tests. The usual limitation is three different test forms in each subject area during the year.

What do scores mean? The following statements describe the significance of GED scores. The score scales for the GED tests are referenced to the performance on the same tests of graduating high school seniors. To ensure that scores reflect the performance of contemporary high school seniors, the tests are periodically checked.Scores range from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 80 points. Only an estimated 67 percent of high school graduates would pass the GED test at the minimum scores of 40 on each test and an average of 45 (225 total points) on all five tests according to the 1996 Norming Study.

Are testing accommodations available for people with special needs? Adult learners with special needs who can document that they are capable of passing the GED tests but are prevented from doing so because of a disabling condition may apply for special testing accommodations. Candidates with learning or physical disabilities may request modifications of standard testing conditions based on documented special needs. Modifications include extended testing time, assistance from a scribe, use of a calculator, testing in a private room and/or frequent supervised breaks. Special editions of English language tests are also available in audio cassette, Braille, and large print formats when need is documented.

How are GED test scores related to rank-in-class? Grade point average cannot be determined from GED test scores. However, GED percentile ranks can be viewed as approximate "class rank."

Can GED test scores be used for college admissions? Nearly all United States colleges and universities accept the GED diploma as a high school equivalency credential. GED tests cannot be used as a substitute for placement or admissions tests.

 

Library News

by Lenore Bright

Believe it: Teens still reading

We are always relieved when we find good evidence that shows our children are still reading.

In spite of the predictions that we are raising a nation of illiterate automatons, I still have faith in our youth. And I'm always cheered when I find evidence to support that faith.

Teens still enjoy reading for fun according to a recent survey. A total of 3,072 young adults responded: 59 percent were girls, 41 percent boys. The survey revealed 72 percent of young adults read for fun. They all said they would read more if they had the time.

Favorites are still literary classics such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Catcher in the Rye." Others included "The Giver," and " Bridge to Terabithia." Mysteries were the most popular type of books followed by adventure, horror and true stories. The new Harry Potter series was very popular.

When they were not reading books, 66 percent of those polled read magazines, and 59 percent read newspapers; 48 percent reported they even read the back of cereal boxes. Of the girls, 77 percent read fashion and beauty magazines. Nearly half the boys read about video games, and 24 percent read computer/electronic manuals.

More than 60 percent were regularly encouraged to read and 80 percent were read aloud to as children most of the time. Girls showed more enthusiasm and interest in reading for fun. Boys reported they were more likely to read to learn.

Thirty-six percent of girls and 24 percent of boys talked to friends about books. Fewer talked to their parents. Research shows that the act of talking about books is linked with higher reading scores.

The survey was done by the Young Adult Library Services Association during Teen Reading Week. We thank the Colorado Central System for sharing this information.

College aid

If you have good readers at home, did you know the U.S. Department of Education provides $50 billion dollars in student aid every year? They help 8.2 million students attend post-secondary schools every year. Middle-income and working families should consider applying for aid and new tax credits. Ask at the desk for information about how to get in touch with the funding agencies.

Home school

The Western Colorado Home educators Conference will meet in Grand Junction, April 28 to April 29. The theme is "Building for Tomorrow." The Christian Home Educators of Colorado put on this conference. We have a brochure you may copy.

Holiday

The library will be closed Monday, Feb. 21, for Presidents Day.

Donations

Thanks for materials from Jim and Joanne Haliday in memory of Grace Rader, Evelyn Kantas, Trace Gross, Joan Hebert, Karen Greco, Mary Lou Sprowle, Don Nicholls, Carla Lyon, Bob Six, Cathy Dodt-Ellis, Tom and Bev Evans, Billie Riggs, Frank and Rita Slowen, Lloyd Barnett, April Matthews, Dean Cox, Virginia McGuffee, Meryle Backus, Patty Sterling and George Love.

 

Arts Line

By Bill Hudson

Pretenders preparing 'Arabian Nights'

Well, it's nearly a year since I've had the honor of writing one of these Artsline columns. Late last winter, I decided that Pagosa was getting too big too fast, and I figured it was time for me to find a town with the slow, relaxed pace of life that used to be here in Pagosa Country. My wife Clarissa reluctantly agreed to move and we settled in a small town about five hours north of here, named Paonia. It was, in many ways, a lovely little place, and we found a beautiful old apartment right in the center of town, directly above the Blue Center for the Arts. However, for this reason and that reason, we decided to move back to Pagosa last December, and now I find myself once again composing a monthly Artsline column about the blossoming arts scene in our fair community.

I thought I might, though, take a couple of paragraphs and tell you about the Blue Sage Center for the Arts in Paonia. The Center is run by a volunteer board of directors, and up until this past December, had been renting a large building on Paonia's Grand Ave. where local folks could offer arts, dance and exercise classes, and put on small plays and other performances, for a nominal fee.

About a year ago, however, the board decided that they would like to purchase the building as their permanent home, and in one year's time, managed to raise $230,000 in grants and local donations, and now find themselves out of the rental game and as proud owners of a fine old building dedicated to the arts.

I must admit, I thought the board was crazy to even imagine raising that amount of money in a town of 1,500 people. But they did it, by golly: $230,000. . . that is a good chunk of change, and more than half of it was donated by local folks who wanted the arts to thrive in Paonia. For me, it was a good lesson in how much a group of dedicated volunteers can accomplish in a year, when they put their minds to it.

'Arabian Nights'

Speaking of a dedicated group of volunteers, the Pretenders Family Theater is back at work this winter, creating another original play with a large cast of children and adults. This year's production is based on the book "Tales from the Arabian Nights," translated by Richard Burton (not the actor), and thus have elegantly titled their new play "Arabian Nights." For those of you who might have forgotten the plot of the story, let me simply say that a young Arabian woman saves her own life (and probably the lives of all the other young women in the kingdom) by telling a string of outlandish but highly entertaining stories that convince the king to spare her life. If you have seen any of the Pretenders' past productions, you can imagine how this story might turn out in their slightly zany hands.

Once again, the group is creating their play without the use of a script, and is making up the scenes using various improvisational techniques. According to past reports from cast members, this process of "really making up our own play" has always been one of the highlights of the theatrical experience for the Pretenders' notoriously young cast. Although I must say that the cast has really matured and grown over the past six years, many of the actors from the Pretenders' first productions back in the mid-90s are still involved in the group and they are now taller than me.

The show is being directed by Susan Garman, who directed last year's "Wizard of Oz," and the producer is long-time Pretender Addie Greer. The cast for this production, about 80 people ranging in age from 5 years to 60 years old, has been rehearsing at the Pagosa Junior High School for the past month, preparing for performances at the Pagosa Springs High School on March 10, 11, 17 and 18. Mark those dates on your calendar, theater buffs!

Coffey show

The PSAC Arts Center/Gallery is kicking off its annual round of art exhibits with a show of realistic artwork featuring Ignacio resident Greg Coffey. According to Greg's news release, he has been focusing on the art of watercolor for the past 26 years, although he also works in acrylics, pencil and pen and ink. He paints mainly mountain scenes, wildlife and old buildings, and attempts to maintain a high degree of transparency in his watercolors by keeping his use of white pigment to a bare minimum. He finds this quest for color purity to be challenging, but well worth the extra effort.

Greg has shown in several local art shows, some of them juried, and in galleries, and has his work in private collections across the United States. He also teaches watercolor classes and gives demonstrations in high schools in hope of inspiring other young artists to "enjoy the challenge of watercolor as I have."

Greg Coffey's exhibit will open at the Arts Center/Gallery at Town Park on March 2, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and will be available for viewing through March 15.

PSAC news

Speaking of art exhibits, there are still a few slots available in this year's exhibit schedule, if you hurry. The Arts Center/Gallery hosts local artists for two-week slots, for a minimal charge, and also handles all the sales of the art during the show, charging only a small commission on sales. If this sounds interesting to you, pick up an application at Moonlight Books.

The Arts Center/Gallery also sells arts and crafts items through its Gallery Gift Shop, so if you are an artist who makes gift-type items, contact Joanne at the PSAC office, 264-5020, about having the Gift Shop carry your art.

By the way, Joanne is looking for a CD player for the Gallery, to demonstrate the CDs that are available for sale there at the Gallery Gift Shop. Anyone have an extra one lying around that they would like to donate? Call Joanne at the above number.

The Arts Center/Gallery is closed for the month of February, but starting March 2 it will be open for regular hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Seniors celebrate Valentine's Day with songs

Aren't the special holidays fun? On Friday we were treated to love songs by Carlo Carrannante. What a beautiful voice and memory of songs this gentleman has. The Seniors celebrated Valentine's Day in grand fashion with an exchange of Valentine cards, the special meal chosen by the seniors, and entertainment by Phil Janowsky. We seniors love to listen to Phil's old-time Western songs and guitar music. Thank you, Carlo and Phil.

This week's Senior of the Week is a couple, in honor of sweethearts week - congratulations to Phil and Nita Heitz.

On Wednesday, we were happy to welcome guests from Dallas, Texas, Ruby Jones and Billie Kunkle. We hope you ladies will visit us again soon. On Friday we were happy to have Sandie Million, Edith Dame, Irene Wood, Judy Martinez and Betty Lou Reid with us. Betty Lou has been ill and we have missed having her present - so glad she is feeling better.

For some time the ladies from Massage at the Springs have volunteered to give massages to the seniors about once a week (before lunch). A big thank you to these special ladies.

We are very sad to learn that one of our faithful seniors, John Acosta, passed away over the weekend. Our prayers are with his family.

We have lost track of two of our seniors - Kathy Essley and Anna Carter. If anyone knows where they can be located, please let Cindy know.

Don't forget, AARP is offering assistance in preparing income tax returns (this service is available to non-seniors, as well). The tax preparers come to the Senior Center every Friday so take advantage of this service. Even if you don't normally need to file an income tax return, you can only get the Colorado state refund if you file &endash; this could amount to a sizable amount of money, which we could all use.

Don Hurt will be teaching an AARP sponsored 55 Alive/Mature Driving course at Community United Methodist Church on March 8 and 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Don at 264-2337 for additional information and reservations. The $10 fee is usually more than offset by a reduction in automobile insurance rates (offered by most insurance companies).

 

 

Hiking with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Reservoir Hill service impresses Cruse

Last week I learned more about what it means to live in a small town.

A young (from my side of 50) woman died in her sleep, leaving her husband and three children. Her memorial service was held on top of Reservoir Hill, because she liked to ride her bike up (and down) the steep dirt roads leading to the top, and because she loved the view from the top.

I liked Terri Smith but didn't know her well. I thought after Tom and I moved here permanently that there would be time to get to know her better. Now I know more about her. She was a competitive biker and organizer of kids' gymnastics classes and a former mental health professional and active in many people's lives. Her generosity of spirit was apparent in the remarks and memories of the friends who spoke at the service.

The outpouring of love and concern and caring was tremendous. I'm told that funeral director Louis Day, who organized the logistics for the memorial service, said he'd never had so many people call up and volunteer to help in some way. People brought tons of food to the house. Someone drove to Albuquerque to pick up relatives flying in from Seattle. The road up the hill was re-graveled and graded the day before. People with four-wheel drive cars volunteered to shuttle others up the hill.

I would guess about 300 people drove or trekked or biked up the hill last Friday to stand in the cold on the snow-covered meadow. The service itself was beautiful. Friends from each of the many circles in which Terri Lynn participated spoke or read poems or sang.

Someone who raises homing pigeons had called the family at some point during the hours of planning for the service and said, "We have these birds. . ." So the flight of the dove-like birds at the end of the service was a stunning and beautiful sight.

The family had asked their church, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, to organize the pot luck reception that followed the memorial service. Unitarian Universalist is quite a mouthful and most of us call ourselves UUs for short. Our little congregation is pretty small, about 30 active members. We meet twice a month in the county extension building.

We set up the tables and supplied the paper goods and brought meat dishes and coffee, etc. We didn't know how many people to expect, just that there'd be "a lot." The SUN's front page article about Terri on Thursday contained one tiny line asking people to bring side dishes to the pot luck reception. Anxious that there be enough food, we baked extra dishes and assembled salads and ordered 150 rolls.

I have worked on a lot of meals for large groups over the years. There often seem to be two kinds of people in a buffet line. There are the ones who look over the tables and then back at the length of the line behind them, and they say to themselves, "Maybe there won't be enough food. I'd better hold back." And then there are the ones who think, "Maybe there won't be enough food. I'd better get mine while I can." And they pile their plates high.

In this case, it didn't matter. There was food and more food. It just kept coming. I think almost everyone who had been at the memorial service came to the reception, and maybe a few who didn't. We used every one of the 300 plates we'd bought and then scrounged up a few more.

After everyone had been fed, plenty of food remained. We wrapped up what the family would use and took the rest to the senior citizen center.

This outpouring of generosity, this demonstration of a community's coming together, reminds me of two stories. One, probably of Slavic origin, features three soldiers coming home from some war, who enter a village and ask for food. The villagers are afraid that they will be looted, so they hide all their food. "We have nothing," they tell the soldiers.

The soldiers say, "No matter. We have a magic stone to make soup with. It makes the best soup in the world. When it's ready, we'll share it with you." They build a big fire in the middle of the street, heat a pot of water, unwrap the stone and throw it in, and start talking about how good this soup is going to taste. One by one the villagers bring out food from hiding and add it to the pot - onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbages, parsnips, ham. By the time the soup is ready, it is indeed wonderful, and there is enough for everyone.

My favorite Biblical story is the one about feeding the multitudes who came to hear Jesus preach. At the end of the day he sends the disciples around to gather whatever food is available, and they can only come up with five loaves and seven fish. "Master," say the disciples, "there won't be enough. This is all we could get." "Yes there will," says Jesus, and he's right. The baskets are passed among the crowd, hundreds of people, and there's enough food for everyone.

I think these two stories share the same message. I think the people went to Galilee that day carrying food. They knew this was going to be a long day, and they couldn't depend on the local pita shop being open. I bet they hid the food in baskets or under their robes, so they wouldn't have to share with their neighbors. And then Jesus said, "Hey, there's plenty of food here. Look, we'll share it with you." And one by one, all the people brought out the food they had brought, and lo and behold, there was enough for all.

That's how it was in our town last week. There was an outpouring of love. There was a service that fed the spirit of all. There was enough food for all. The day was a triumph of community, and a celebration of the memory of Terri Lynn Smith.

 

Editorials

 

A wake-up call

Evidently it is already time to review the SUN's

method of handling campaign-related letters to the

editor. The local political parties have yet to hold their precinct caucuses, but it appears that this year's county-wide election is going to spill outside the standard mold.

A phone call on Tuesday served as an earlier than usual wake-up call.

Upon learning that the SUN did not make it a practice to publish unsigned letters to the editor, a lady calling from Houston asked if she could talk to the editor.

Having read the recent postings on the SUN's website, the caller said she could not believe some of the individuals who had filed petitions in hopes of being Republican candidates for the upcoming county commissioners races.

"Give me a break" was her reoccurring comment about one of the petitioners - not her request to remain anonymous. She failed to understand that anyone who has strong opinions or convictions would willingly sign a letter rather than hide behind anonymity.

Letters to the editor must be signed, and the writer's phone number attached to facilitate verification.

Letters to the editor should be 500 words or less. Whenever feasible, letters that exceed 500 words will be edited down to 500 words or less.

During an election year, letters addressing referendum questions will be published. Letters supporting or opposing individual candidates will not be published.

Experience has shown that some letter writers wait until the last Thursday prior to the Tuesday balloting to submit derogatory comments about a particular candidate; thus denying the candidate or his supporters an opportunity to respond by letter prior to the election.

Form letters provided by state or national organizations, but signed by a Pagosan, will not be published.

Letters to the editor that are mailed from outside Archuleta County will not be published unless the writer has a definite connection to Pagosa or is a subscriber to the SUN.

Rather than write letters, please attend "meet the candidates" functions. Call prospective candidates on the phone or visit with them at the post office or grocery store. The county has grown, but it's still small enough to make it easy to have personal contact with the candidates.

And if you are a prospective candidate, if you are serious, you will knock on doors or whatever is necessary to familiarize yourself with the voters.

David C. Mitchell

 

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Be sure it has been built to code

Dear Folks,

A load of dust has blown off my nostalgia shelf the past few weeks.

It started January 27 with the obituary for Mrs. Marie R. Snook.

An obituary a week later revived experiences related to the house on Fourmile Road I purchased in 1974. It was known as "The Old Snook Place." "Old" deserved heavy emphasis. A couple of old-timers said I was "crazy" to even consider buying the place.

Today, some folks find it hard to believe 17 acres and a four-bedroom house with a garage would have been listed for less than $50,000.

Had you seen the house, you would have believed it.

The house had been built to code - the "Code of the West."

According to a former county assessor, the original house's stone foundation had been laid around 1885. The first time I crawled into what had once been a root cellar, I noticed there was no sign of grout securing the stacked rocks that served as the foundation.

Skunks likewise noticed the absence of grout, usually during the winter when warm habitat was a priority.

The fireplace and chimney were built of hand-made bricks. Time has proven that the mason was a skilled craftsman.

Rather than four bedrooms, there were two bedrooms - without closets. Galvanized pipe secured to the wall served as closet rods in the downstairs bedrooms.

The prior owner had sawed an opening into the attic, nailed a stairway to the living-room's south wall and had developed two sleeping areas in the attic.

One bedroom had a window looking out onto the road. The other had a door that opened into a smaller attic. Wooden rods served as the upstairs closets.

The rafters in the attic had been spliced together to provide sufficient length.

The "garage" had once been a parlor area that formerly adjoined the kitchen. A portion of the parlor's south wall had been removed to create an opening for a Model T or Model A. A garage door had been attached. The parlor's floor joists and flooring had been removed and replaced with river rock and gravel that served as a floor for the garage.

A four-clawed iron bath tub dominated the bathroom. A wooden septic tank served as the sewer system.

The well in the pump house provided an ample supply of water . . . and minerals.

The French windows in the east wall of the living room offered a spectacular view of the San Juans. But because the windows lacked functional latches, the walls beneath and beside the windows suffered from rot.

Most of the exterior walls were insulated with chips from a saw mill.

Besides some wonderful trees, its magnificent view, convenient proximity to town and friendly neighbors, remodeling has been a constant factor with the house.

The late John Masco, a neighboring rancher from Snowball Road was the first to tell me about the house's first remodeling.

Apparently a Mr. Snook had spent one winter totally rebuilding the house. The foundation, floor, fireplace and plumbing served as constants. Using the original lumber (removing it one board at a time) and fixtures; new exterior walls and window openings were framed. Interior walls were relocated. New roofs were raised. Many of the original doors, windows and hardware were reused.

All the work was done within the shell of the original house. It was the confines of the original outside walls that led to the new roof having almost no eaves.

The family apparently moved themselves and their belongings from space to space during the winter-long process.

Mr. Masco said that when spring finally arrived, the old exterior walls and roofs were removed to reveal the future "Old Snook Place."

It took me two tries, once in 1974 and again about 12 years later, before the latest remodeling efforts became noticeable and the house became comfortable . . . and skunk proof.

Much of the original materials are still in use. And to some folks in Pagosa, it's still the Old Snook Place.

Know you are loved and please put us in your prayers.

David

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files

of Feb. 20, 1975

It was snow and more snow on Wolf Creek Pass this past week with 54 inches falling in five days. Some of the avalanche snowslides ran and the Pass was closed briefly early Monday. Highway crews on Tuesday closed the Pass for a brief time while attempts were made to bring down the biggest slide area, "160," with howitzer fire.

Bill Seielstad, owner of Hersch Supermarket and active in Archuleta County affairs, has announced his candidacy for chairman of the Colorado Republican Central Committee.

Dick DeVore, longtime chief of the volunteer fire department, was re-elected chief again this year. Chief DeVore has served in the capacity for the past 25 years. All other officers are appointed by the chief. The officers appointed at the meeting were assistant chief, Ralph "Plumber" Davis; captain, Vernon O'Neal; lieutenant, Ernest Yamaguchi; secretary, Roy Vega; treasurer, Carlos LaVarta; custodian, George Crouse; and public relations officer, Glen Edmonds.

Eighteen members of the local American Legion Post met last week to reorganize the post and to outline plans for the coming year. Carlos Trujillo was elected commander to head the post for the next year.

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

Memories of meeting Millie Chambers

On Tuesday of this week, I learned that Mrs. Millie Chambers had passed away. I first met her about 10 years ago when I visited her and her husband, Bay. The SUN was working on its special edition commemorating the centennial of the incorporation of the town. The Chambers family was one of 10 chosen to represent families who had resided in the county for 100 years or more. Bay and Millie were helping me with their family history.

While I was visiting, Millie showed me some of her hand work; Bay showed me his glove sewing machine and they showed me some family pictures.

Millie Putnam came to Pagosa Springs from Kansas at about five months of age with her parents Harry and Alice Putnam. This was in 1906.

Bay and Millie were married in 1925 when both were 20 years old. I found it interesting that because Millie was over 18, she did not need her parents' permission to wed. But because he was not yet 21, Bay asked his parents for their consent.

After their wedding, the young couple moved to the ranch where they worked most of their lives. The Chambers were part owners of a ranch with Bay's father, Urban. This was 8 miles south of Pagosa Springs, near the Eightmile Mesa area.

In the early 1930s, Urban and Bay Chambers sold their ranch. Bay and Millie and his parents moved to Arizona. They tried their hand at picking cotton for a living. They quickly decided this was not the best way to earn a living during the Depression. After about a year, they decided to return to Pagosa.

Upon returning to Colorado, they purchased a ranch near their original ranch. They operated this property until 1955.

The Chambers worked for Ray Macht for three years. Then they purchased a liquor store which they ran for seven years before deciding to retire.

The Chambers decided they wanted to stay near Pagosa where they had lived for so many years. They purchased a small piece of land adjoining Harry Putnam's homestead, five miles south of town. Old timers call the area Five Mile Hill. There the Chambers made their home until just a few years ago.

 

Features

Video Review

By Roy Starling

'High Noon' asks important questions

Tomorrow night the Pagosa Springs Film Society will be enjoying Fred Zinneman's "High Noon" at 7 p.m. in the South Face Room of the Pagosa Lodge. This is not a members-only deal; there are no initiation rites, no dues, no secret handshakes. Everyone is welcome. They do, however, ask that you toss a couple of bucks into the basket for the benefit of the Friends of the Library.

In honor of this august February occasion, I offer a slightly revised version of a review that first graced these pages two years before the end of the previous century. In case you're in a hurry to get to the classifieds or to one of this tabloid's other intriguing columns, here's my review in a nutshell: "High Noon" is an excellent film. You don't have to like Westerns to enjoy it. And now . . .

The actual review

Will Kane needs help and he needs it now.

A man he sent up the river for murder and who has been released by a northern jury (durn bleedin' heart yankees!) is due back in Hadleyville on the noon train. It's pretty clear he aims on wreaking havoc on the little town and filling Marshal Kane with bullet holes.

What lousy timing! The marshal (Gary Cooper) got married just an hour ago to a lovely Quaker woman, Amy, played by Grace Kelly. Out of respect for her religion's pacifism, he's turning in his tin star and heading out of town with his young bride. The new marshal will arrive in Hadleyville tomorrow.

Who is responsible for the little town's safety now? The townspeople themselves? Why, they're just a bunch of lily-livered, yellow-bellied scaredy cats, trying to stay alive just because they have wives and children. Hey, this is the Old West - there are no draft deferments.

Is Kane free to pursue a life of peace with his wife now that he is no longer obligated to protect the town? Where is the line between personal and social responsibility? Between courage and foolhardiness?

These are the questions posed by "High Noon" (1952). Even though he asks them in a Western setting, they are timeless, universal questions, and Zinneman's film might as easily have been a medieval morality play or an American short story set during the Vietnam War. So if you don't like Westerns, just ignore the hats and horses, and enjoy the way Zinneman pieces this classic together.

For example: In Westerns, the hero is frequently shot - by the camera, I mean - alone, surrounded only by wilderness. With no one there to help him, he must survive whatever savagery that's looming out there, or inside him, on his own resources. He's at home in this hostile environment. That's what makes him a Western hero.

But the best shot in "High Noon" is of Kane alone on the empty dirt streets of Hadleyville, a community, for crying out loud, where people have gathered together for their mutual safety, to use the hammer of civilization to knock the rough edges off the wilderness (and to knock its indigenous people out of it), to "build a church and a school," and all of that. In this scene, the camera is mounted on a crane and it gradually pulls away from and above Kane, higher and higher, stressing his isolation from this town he's been protecting so diligently for so many years.

Don't the townspeople owe Kane a little something?

When director Zinneman and his camera crew (headed by Floyd Crosby, father of David from Crosby, Stills and Nash, and, by extension, grandfather to Melissa Etheridge's baby) aren't following Kane around town as he attempts to recruit a posse from the faint-hearted townsfolk, they are watching a clock on the wall, time creeping in its petty pace as high noon draws ever closer, or they are showing us a long stretch of railroad track, disappearing into the horizon.

In an interview many years after the film was made, Zinneman said that as Kane's date with destiny approached, he wanted the clock to loom larger in the frame and the clock's pendulum to swing more slowly. As for the railroad tracks, Zinneman said they were a symbolic reminder of the still invisible fate quickly approaching Hadleyville - sort of like gathering storm clouds before the funnel dips to the ground.

The film also provides a remedy for those of you who are sick of not having "Don't Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" (sung by John Ritter's father Tex) running incessantly through your head. Both this song and the movie's score won Academy Awards for composer Dimitri Tiomkin. And Cooper, heroic but vulnerable as always, won a Best Actor Oscar for his work as Kane.

"High Noon" also features fine performances from young Lloyd Bridges, a young Katy Jurado, a young Harry Morgan and an aging Lon Chaney.

This remarkable film didn't exactly win unanimous praise upon its release. There were definite political overtones, for example, linked to the red-scare black listing that was going on in Tinseltown at the time. And director Howard Hawks was so put off by the film's premise of a supposedly brave lawman looking for help among the lay people (i.e., incompetent and cowardly riffraff), that he made "Rio Bravo" a few years later as a kind of corrective.

In that movie, a town's marshal, portrayed by John Wayne (the actual Father of Our Country) would never stoop to seeking assistance from weenies. I don't think "Rio Bravo" can stand up to "High Noon," but Hawks liked his film so much that he made it twice more, calling it "El Dorado" the second time around, and then "Rio Lobo."

If you have any friends, grab one or two of them tomorrow night, mosey out to the Lodge and check out Zinneman's little masterpiece. If nothing else, you'll keep me from being the only person in Pagosa humming "Don't Forsake Me, Oh My Darling."

 

Old Timers

By John M. Motter

Ties to the Hispanic frontier

"When the mayores told you to do something, you did it. If you didn't they'd tell your father and you'd be in trouble."

The speaker is Joe Martinez Jr., more accurately identified as José Elesio Martinez. The mayores are the elders, people at least five years older than yourself. When addressing elders, the polite don and doña are always used, according to Joe. His conversation is sprinkled with many primos and primas, uncles and aunts who may or may not be blood relatives.

You can find Joe at Day Lumber Company or wave as he drives by in a Day Lumber Company delivery truck. Joe is the man with the full gray beard and the friendly smile.

If you're interested in learning about Hispanic life on the New Mexico frontier, you need to talk to Joe.

"I was born at Pagosa Junction in 1939," Joe says. "I graduated from the eighth grade there."

Now 1939 is not a pioneer date, but when he was a youth Joe knew folks who were old and they remembered tales from the old days.

Brothers and sisters of Joe are Sulema (Emma), Ejenia (Jane), Kreselia (Kress), Roselbina (Rose), Demetrio (no English equivalent), Maria Elena (Lena), Martin (Martin), and Felipe (Phillip).

Joe listened to the mayores, heard the stories about life on the frontier for Hispanic settlers in Northern New Mexico. Stories about legendary ancestors making the months-long horseback trip to California and back on the Old Spanish Trail. Stories about the old ones who hauled freight from Tierra Amarilla on wooden-wheeled caretas pulled by oxen, supplies for the San Juan miners. Stories about confrontations with the U.S. Cavalry in the San Luis Valley. Joe has the cavalry officer's saddle with its brass horn to emphasize one of those confrontations.

Joe's father and grandfather were both born José Elesio Martinez, Joe's name. Born during 1910 in Canjilón near Tierra Amarilla, his father was a railroad maintenance man and worked the Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge tracks between Alamosa and Durango. The family home was about one mile west of Pagosa Junction. His foreman was Augustine Villarreal. Joe's father died in an auto accident in 1957.

The brothers and sisters of Joe's dad were Filberto, Elepito M., Toribio M., José La Luis, Fernandes, Rosa, Felipa, Alcaria, and José.

Sofia Maria Madrid, Joe's mother, was born at Carracas during 1910. Her father, Demetrio Madrid, was from the Santa Fe area, her mother, Manulita Montoya from the Conejos area. Joe's mother's brothers and sisters were Pablita, Felipe, Perfecta, Lupita, and Adolfo.

Grandfather José Elisio Martinez was born at Costilla in the San Luis Valley, as was his wife, Grandmother Maria Senida Garcia.

A few generations back, the ancestors on both sides of the family were herdsmen and livestock raisers. Grandpa Madrid's brother, Felipe Madrid, traveled to California and back on the Old Spanish Trail. The Madrids also freighted between Tierra Amarilla and Animas City in times before Pagosa Springs or Durango had been founded.

Later, after 1881 when the Denver and Rio Grande cut across Rio Arriba County in Northern New Mexico and Archuleta County in Southern Colorado, many of the men worked for the railroad. Logging and lumber mills came in with the railroad and many of the men logged or worked in mills.

Rio Arriba County stretches from Española on the south to the Colorado line on the north. During colonial times, the southern, or lower, part of the Rio Grande Valley was called Rio Abajo, the northern, or upper, part of the valley, including the Chama River Valley, was known as Rio Arriba.

Joe went to school in Pagosa Junction for eight years, graduating from the eighth grade in 1953. When he started the first grade he didn't know English. His teachers were bilingual, but they insisted that English be spoken in the classroom and refused to recognize Spanish.

His teachers at the Pagosa Junction school were Ida Chavez, Maria Cension Gomez, and Mr. Aquino Gomez. The two-room school building was located west of the Gomez store and across the bridge. Students from Carracas were bused to Pagosa Junction. Among those students was former Archuleta County Commissioner Chris Chavez. Other students at that time were Arelita Gallegos and Martha Silva Phillips.

Because his father was busy working on the railroad, Joe and his brothers and sisters took care of the family farm raising sweet corn, potatoes, pinto beans, and other vegetables.

"Gardening was kind of shared among the neighbors," Joe said. "Because of the soil or for other reasons, some families did better at growing beans and others at growing corn or some other crop. Whatever we raised best, we traded for whatever someone else raised best. Everybody had a green thumb for something different."

Pinto beans must have been one of the best crops for the Martinez family; they grew 20 or so sacks a year. When the beans were ripe, the bushes were placed on a spread-out canvas. Then someone walked on them until the bean pods separated from the branches. The branches were gathered with a pitchfork and thrown away. The pods were hit with a flail to separate the beans from the pods. A flail contained a wooden handle with a heavy piece attached to one end by means of a riveted leather strap. The heavy end piece swung freely because of the leather connecting device.

"In older times, according to my mother, they prepared an adobe threshing floor and drove oxen in a circle across the beans or whatever was being threshed," Joe said."

"I wish I had listened more to my grandmother," Joe said. "She knew how to preserve foods without refrigeration and she knew about herbs that grow in this area."

Electricity didn't reach Pagosa Junction until 1955.

Like other Hispanic families, the Martinezes kept a herd of goats or cabras. Cabrito, or kid meat, was a staple on the family table. The goat hides were dried and sold to Mr. Gomez at the Gomez Store in Pagosa Junction. Money received for the hides was saved for buying ice cream cones on June 24 when Gomez had ice cream cones for sale.

June 24, el dia de San Juan, was the big annual celebration in Pagosa Junction.

"Families came from everywhere," Joe said. "There was a dance during the day and another at night. There were special masses at the church. Everyone came home to el palomar, literally the roosting place or a gathering place for pigeons."

Joe grew up horseback, almost learning to ride before learning to walk.

"I still ride as much as I can," Joe said.

In fact, he was married and had children before buying his first car during the early 1960s.

"My brother told me 'You are a married man with responsibilities. You can't take care of your family with just a horse'," Joe recalls.

That first car was a 1952 flathead V-8 Ford, a car he still owns.

But the horseback experience has helped him earn a living hazing cattle, breaking broncos, and herding sheep in the high country.

"I learned to work cattle and sheep, things I could do to make a living here," Joe said. "I don't have any use for computers. If a job involves manual labor, I can do it."

One of Joe's first jobs was scaling logs for the lumber mill at Juanita.

"I graduated from high school in Pagosa Springs. Mrs. Sisson was my math teacher and I was good at math so scaling logs was easy," Joe says.

In those days, the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Juanita mill was owned by the Pagosa Lumber Company.

At one point in his life, Joe had a chance to move to California with relatives and "earn more money." He chose to stay and help his widowed mother.

In future weeks, we will have more stories about southern Archuleta County as seen through the eyes of Joe Martinez.