Front Page

March 23, 2000

Pagosa Junction loses noted landmark

By John M. Motter

It was once called Gato, Pagosa Junction was, and like its namesake - the cat - it has had nine lives. Now that the Padilla family is moving out, the old river village and railroad town is empty. For the first time since 1880 and maybe earlier, Pagosa Junction has no residents. The move has moistened more than one cheek with a silent tear shed in memory of an almost forgotten past.

The Gomez Store moved from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs this past week to become part of a museum collection at the Fred Harman Art Museum. The old warehouse formerly located across the railroad tracks from the store also moved out last week and now rests on Juanita Hill on the south side of Trujillo Road overlooking the San Juan-Navajo river union at Juanita.

The Padillas are direct descendants of the pioneering Gomez family and grew to adulthood in Pagosa Junction. For the past few years, Lilliosa Padilla and son Ray have been the only residents of Pagosa Junction, kind of a life-support system for the crumbling community. Felix Gomez, Lilliosa's father, had closed the doors on the Gomez Store in 1971, leaving its contents intact. Since then, Mrs. Padilla has conducted guided tours of the historic building and its contents.

All of the Padilla buildings are on a former railroad right of way now owned by the Southern Ute Tribe. Last year the tribe decided not to renew the lease. Consequently, the Padillas have moved the store and sold the family home. Is Pagosa Junction dead, or do one or more of the nine lives remain? Only time will tell.

No one knows precisely when the first settler began house keeping at Pagosa Junction. The history of human activity along the San Juan River in the southern part of Archuleta County is shrouded in the mists of the past. Certainly it was known to the Ute and Navajo Indians prior to the coming of the white man. Hispanic explorers and traders certainly passed through more than two centuries ago.

We know the historic Dominguez-Escalante party crossed the San Juan River a few miles downstream at Carracas in 1776. We know American trappers from Taos were trapping beaver in the San Juan in the early 1820s. We know when the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad built its narrow-gauge line into the San Juan Basin, it passed through Pagosa Junction and a station house was built there in 1881.

The site was known as Gato until a branch logging railroad known as the Rio Grande, Pagosa, and Northern was built from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs in 1899-1900, one hundred years ago. We don't know why the place was named Gato. Perhaps one of the early parties there had a hair-raising encounter with a mountain lion. Mountain lions are still plentiful in the vicinity.

Pagosa Junction became the official name with the coming of the new railroad to Pagosa Springs and a post office opened in 1899. The 1899 postal application listed a population of 200. Down through the years, census reports list a population of 288 in 1910, 274 in 1920, and 447 in 1930. When the railroad connection to Pagosa Springs was stopped during the mid-1930s, Pagosa Junction began to decline.

At its zenith, the town (it never incorporated) had a lumber mill with a large payroll, a hotel, restaurant, boarding houses, stables, school, post office, at least two general stores, Catholic church, possibly a newspaper, and perhaps other businesses. Community legs cavorted and community smiles broadened at dances held in the storage building. Only the Catholic church remains and it has moved to a high hill outside of town, safe from the San Juan's recurring floods.

We catch a glimpse of Gato, before 1900, from the following 1954 news item. "The log depot at Gato, formerly Pagosa Junction, is being sold. The railroad sent a small shed as a replacement. The Gato building was the original depot constructed in Amargo in 1881 and moved to Pagosa Junction after Amargo declined (the mid 1890s). The name changed to Pagosa Junction when the connection to Pagosa Springs was built, reverted to Gato (a railroad designation) when that line closed. Trainmen used to point out numerous bullet holes in the log walls, relics of tough times at Amargo and Gato. One station agent was reported murdered in the building. The office closed a couple of years ago."

Another news item from April of 1925 reported: "A historic building in Pagosa Junction built by the government 44 years ago burned down. Col. Christy Stollsteimer, agent to the Ute Indians, used the building for administration by the Indian Agency. Later, in 1899, the building was used by the Pagosa Lumber Company as a store and office before their own buildings were erected. The building contained a huge fireplace in the center. The chimney remained after the fire."

Stopping the Pagosa Springs railroad branch during the 1930s was the beginning of the end. When the rail line to Durango stopped still later, the death knell for the town had been sounded.

The post office closed Nov. 30, 1954. In September of 1962, despite parental protests, the school closed. The earliest record we have of a school there is 1900. In September of 1962, the school had 17 students. Amy Amyx was the teacher. In August of 1963, the school building was auctioned off. In June of 1968, voting Precinct 4 including Pagosa Junction as a polling place closed. A June 1979 newspaper article reported three or four residents lived in Pagosa Junction.

Genevieve Baker Peña Gunn was born in Pagosa Junction Jan. 23, 1913. She penned the following lines in 1978.

"When I look back to my childhood, I see that we were made happy with such simple things. Going to Ignacio on the train was a once a year treat.

"Today the river has eaten away much of the town (major floods during 1911, 1927). Zabriskie's store has fallen down and most of the homesteads are deserted, but when I think of Pagosa Junction, I see it as it was 50 years ago. The school bell rings; the train moves into town; the hotel is busy. The canyon people are riding into town for Saturday shopping. (That's how we called them - the first canyon people, or the second canyon people, to indicate which canyon they lived in up or down the river). I remember the canyons and town full of life and people. To see it now, you'd think no one had ever been there."

 

Service held for Candelaria

Edward Joe Candelaria, 86, died Saturday, March 18, 2000, in Durango.

Mr. Candelaria was born April 20, 1913, in Frances.

He was a life-long resident of this area. His family homesteaded and ranched much of the Piedra River Valley. As a young man Mr. Candelaria raised sheep. He later raised cattle and was a hay farmer. Mr. Candelaria purchased additional land to ranch while his brothers were serving in World War II. An outdoorsman all his life, he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Mr. Candelaria married Priscilla Belarde on Feb. 4, 1961, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango. He was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Francisco and Elveria Candelaria; his brothers, Sam Candelaria and Victor Candelaria; and a sister, Rose Candelaria.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Priscilla Candelaria of Ignacio; his sisters, Cleo Velarde of Phoenix, Ariz., and Sadie Olguin of Tiffany; his brother, Sy Candelaria of Chimney Rock; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held for Mr. Candelaria Wednesday, March 22, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father John Bowe officiating. Interment followed at Hilltop Cemetery.

 

Modulars in Holiday Acres okay - for now

By Karl Isberg

The modular homes will remain at Holiday Acres, for now.

A Colorado Court of Appeals decision on March 16 affirmed a 1998 Sixth Judicial District Court decision concerning an ongoing legal dispute between the Holiday Acres Property Owners Association and several residents of the subdivision located south of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 84.

The legal conflict between the association and the residents began following the formation of the Holiday Acres Property Owners Association in August 1996. The association was formed pursuant to a provision in the covenants for the subdivision.

On Sept. 17, 1996, the association informed a group of homeowners in the subdivision that their double-wide mobile homes violated restrictive covenants and warned one of the defendants not to proceed with his plans to relocate a double-wide mobile home to Holiday Acres. The association then sought a mandatory injunction to force the defendants to remove their homes from their lots. The group of defendants included James, Shannon and Carl Wise, Rodney and Rebecca Cruz, Walter and Kim Moore, Charles Allen and Stephanie Martin.

Holiday Acres was created by a limited partnership involving Chuck and Phyllis Bogert. The 500-acre subdivision includes 169 lots. Covenants recorded with Archuleta County in 1974 include a paragraph amended in 1976 that prohibits trailers, camper and mobile homes from being used as permanent residences at the subdivision.

Those restrictive covenants also require that Holiday Acres approve all structures prior to construction. Phyllis Bogert, one of the general partners, as the sole member of the architectural committee at the time, interpreted the term "mobile home," in a letter to a property owner stating that double-wide modular homes were permitted in the subdivision so long as they were permanently attached to a foundation, and with tow devices and axles removed. In that same letter, Bogert stated the subdivision had "numerous homes of this type" and stated those homes "are accepted by the community." Bogert added that "in the (covenants) mention is made of no mobile homes, meaning no single-wide mobile homes."

With that information in hand in 1996 the defendants placed double-wide mobile homes on their lots. Shortly after, the property owners association sought the mandatory injunction.

In an order issued on June 17, 1998, Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Timothy Patalan concluded the term "mobile homes" as used in the covenants is not ambiguous and, as a matter of law, prohibits double-wide structures in the subdivision. Patalan, however, did not order the existing structures removed.

The case went to trial before Senior District Court Judge Al Haas in a Pagosa Springs courtroom on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, 1998. On Nov. 30, Haas denied a request by the property owners association to have the double-wide mobile homes removed. The property owners association appealed the decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals.

The three judges on the Court of Appeals first considered a contention on the part of the defendants that the term "mobile homes" is ambiguous. The court agreed with the defendants that the term "mobile homes" as used in the original and amended restrictive covenants is ambiguous as to whether it includes all types of factory-built housing.

Case law was cited in the decision, indicating a "written instrument is ambiguous when it is reasonably susceptible to more than one meaning or where there is uncertainty as to the meaning of a term." The judges noted there are "differences in the construction of trailer homes and mobile, modular, manufactured, and Department of Housing and Urban Development sanctioned, and Uniform Building Code sanctioned mobile homes." The judges also noted that "various bodies of law use the terms interchangeably."

Another major point involved in the Court of Appeals decision was "undisputed evidence" showing that a general partner (Phyllis Bogert), "cloaked with architectural review authority at the time the interpretation of the covenant was raised, clarified that 'double-wide' modular homes are permitted in Holiday Acres as long as they are permanently attached to the foundation."

Furthermore, said the Court of Appeals, testimony at the trial before Judge Haas, "revealed that many long-time residents had knowledge of permanent mobile homes within Holiday Acres. As of September 1, 1995, the county building department had records of at least five mobile home permits issued to residents of Holiday Acres. One of the Association's members testified to the effect that the building and planning department records were sparse until fourteen years earlier and that, therefore, it was possible that there were other unrecorded mobile home permits issued before that period."

The court also recognized that "the Association issued a mobile home permit to one defendant, provided he make a few exterior modifications to the home. One owner testified that she did not object to one mobile home because 'it was being installed as a modular.' And, another member of the Association resides in a mobile home herself."

Finally, the Appeals Court determined "with record support, the trial court found that, although legal building standards are higher for modular homes, there is no visible difference between the two forms of housing (modular and double-wide)."

With evidence in hand, and in light of its recognition of the ambiguity of terms, the Court of Appeals concluded "that the Association was aware of continuous and repeated variances in the application of the restrictive covenants. Likewise," wrote the judges, "we conclude that, because the Association had notice of such variances, the trial court did not err in finding that the Association unreasonably delayed seeking an injunction to enforce its remedy, assuming a remedy was necessary or available. Finally, we conclude that defendants' reliance on a general partner's approval of double-wide mobile homes, and on the fact that there were pre-existing mobile homes within Holiday Acres, was reasonable."

With that, the judgment of the Sixth Judicial District Court was affirmed.

Contacted on March 22, local attorney Gerald Sawatzky, counsel for the Holiday Acres Property Owners Association, said he anticipates the issue is not dead.

"As far as I know," said Sawatzky, "there will be further proceedings - either a petition for a rehearing, a petition for review by the Colorado Supreme Court, or both."

Counsel for the defendants, Durango attorney Duke Eggleston, was unavailable for comment.

 

March 14 record-breaking day at ski area

By Karl Isberg

A slow start to the 1999-2000 season was offset last week at Wolf Creek Ski Area when record numbers of skiers showed up during a traditional spring break holiday.

Below-average snow levels at the beginning of the season curbed the usually strong numbers at the ski area, but a good base, a significant amount of new snow, and a flood of visitors from points south of Colorado made for a boost in fortune at Wolf Creek, including a new one-day record for the spring season.

According to ski area spokesperson Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher the week of March 11 to March 19 was "the biggest of the season. We had an all-time high number of skiers at the area on Tuesday, March 14. There were 4,887 people here on that day and the day before, March 13, we had 4,732."

The spring break rush began on March 11, when 1,934 people bought lift tickets at Wolf Creek. On Sunday, 3,481 skiers were on the slopes and the record days of Monday and Tuesday followed. A third consecutive day of more than 4,000 skiers (4,021) occurred on Wednesday, March 15. On Thursday, the numbers began to taper off, with 3,326 tickets sold. There were 2,331 skiers at the area on March 17, 1,682 on March 18 and 1,253 on March 19. The current week began with 1,205 lift tickets sold on March 20.

Regarding the all-time record set on March 14, Haidorfer-Pitcher said "The same week last year, our biggest days were 4,517 on March 15 and 4,625 on March 16. While we broke the record for a day, the week was pretty much to pattern. We're hoping we run 1,000 to 1,500 skiers every day for the next couple of weeks."

Haidorfer-Pitcher reminded skiers that the area has extended its season. "We are staying open until April 23 this year," she said. "We had set a tentative closing date of April 16, but we will stay open until Easter." Wolf Creek has gone back to its regular 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. lift operation schedule after a change for the peak spring break crowds last week.

With the latest storms, Haidorfer-Pitcher reported "great snow" at Wolf Creek. The area reported a summit snow depth of 95 inches on March 22, with a midway depth of 87 inches. Twenty-one inches of new snow fell on the slopes from March 15 to March 22, including 17 inches of new snow on March 20 and 21. The new snow has increased the ski area's snow depth to a point comparable to 1999 levels at the same time of the year.

 

Police department activity declines slightly

By Karl Isberg

In 1999, for the first time in 10 years, there was no general increase in law enforcement activity by members of the Pagosa Springs Police Department when statistics are compared to those from the previous year.

Figures released last week by the department show a slight decrease in overall activity in 1999. Some specific activity categories, however, show an increase over the 1998 level.

Pagosa Springs officers logged 13,228 duty hours in 1999, compared to 13,482 hours in 1998. Of those hours in 1999, 7,646 were spent on patrol - an increase over the 1998 figure of 6,842 hours.

There were fewer dispatched calls in 1999 (1,948) than in 1998 when there were 1,960 calls dispatched to officers. The officers performed 3,226 "on-sight" calls in 1999, up from the 1998 total of 2,105.

If there was an incident category that showed consistent increases in numbers from 1998 to 1999 it was the category including traffic offenses, traffic accidents and traffic control.

Reports in 1998 on motor vehicle accidents with injuries or damage exceeding $1,000 totaled 85, with 103 such reports written in 1999. There were 42 reports on motor vehicle accidents with less than $1,000 damage written in 1998, compared to 44 in 1999. Among the motor vehicle accidents in 1998, 37 involved injury or death. In 1999, the number of motor vehicle accidents involving injury or death was 46.

Town police made considerably more traffic stops in 1999; the 2,742 stops far exceeded the 1,545 stops made the previous year. There were 214 parking tickets issued in 1999 and 288 parking tickets given out in 1998.

Figures related to criminal activity declined in many categories in 1999, but departmental efficiency in dealing with the offenses increased.

Town police made 21 felony arrests in 1999. There were 34 felony arrests made in 1998. Misdemeanor arrests in 1999 totaled 195, compared to 197 in 1998.

Eight juvenile suspects were apprehended in conjunction with felonies in 1999, compared to five in 1998. The figure of 56 juvenile misdemeanor apprehensions in 1999 was down from 78 in 1998.

Department figures show 834 reports generated by Pagosa Springs officers in 1999. In 1998, the officers generated 890 reports.

Of the 834 reports in 1999, 83 related to felonies and 496 to misdemeanors. In 1998, there were 142 felony reports and 520 misdemeanor reports written by officers.

Alcohol or drug use played a part in 141 of the incidents in 1998. In 1999, that number went down to 119.

In 1998, town police logged 16 incidents involving weapons. There were 15 cases involving weapons in 1999. Domestic violence played a part in 17 incidents in 1998 and in 16 incidents in 1999.

In 1998, there was a total of 620 criminal cases handled by town officers and the department closed 418 of those cases for a 67 percent closure rate.

In 1999, officers handled 515 criminal cases and closed 401 cases for a 78 percent closure rate.

 

County, PLPOA agree on law enforcement

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association are bosom buddies again, at least when it comes to providing law enforcement in the subdivisions west of Pagosa Springs represented by the PLPOA.

At a county commissioner meeting Tuesday afternoon, two commissioners voted for an agreement between the two entities, one voted against. Favoring the agreement were Bill Downey and Ken Fox.

Opposing was Gene Crabtree, who explained his vote by saying law enforcement provision is the responsibility of the sheriff and should not result in double taxation in any given area. Crabtree said the agreement creates double taxation for the property owners involved.

Downey and Fox argue that the proposal is legal and if the people in that area are willing to pay for more law enforcement than the sheriff can provide through the county budget, they are entitled to have more law enforcement.

Agreement between the two entities was reached Tuesday afternoon calling for the county sheriff to supply at least four officers to the area, not less than 20 hours a day, and not less than seven days a week. In addition, the sheriff will provide supervision for those deputies, and certain reports to the PLPOA.

In exchange, the PLPOA will pay the county not more than $160,000 a year to cover salaries, benefits, and other expenses; provide vehicles for the four deputies at a cost of $1 a year; and provide office space and a clerk for up to 20 hours a week.

Drafted by County Attorney Mary Weiss, the contract is good until the end of this year.

The issue surfaced last fall when members of the PLPOA approached the county, saying they suspected the existing arrangement between the county and the PLPOA regarding operation of the PLPOA's Public Services Office might not meet the requirements of Colorado law. They proposed a new contract with the county at that time. County officials postponed action, saying they needed time to study the issue.

During December, Undersheriff Russell Hebert suspended the ability of PSO officers to perform acts of criminal law enforcement except when under direct supervision of a deputy specified by the county sheriff.

The question being researched, in general, was: Does a Colorado county have a legal right to provide law enforcement services for a private entity if that entity has any control over the services provided?

Another way to look at the question is: Can a Colorado governmental entity pass on certain privileges and obligations bestowed on government entities to a private entity?

"The answer to the question concerning Archuleta County entering a contract with a private entity is what I have been looking for," said Weiss. "I'm convinced this contract meets the requirements of Colorado law. My concern was with the ability of the PLPOA to control specific, day-to-day activities, of the officers, not with the larger questions of requiring a given number of officers in the area for a specified number of hours."

In the meantime, earlier this month, four of seven PLPOA board members voted to disband the PSO March 31 if an agreement was not reached with the county before that time.

The threat of joblessness for current PSO employees was been avoided by the Tuesday agreement. Since the contract is scheduled to begin April 1, it is assumed that current PSO officers will be terminated by the PLPOA on that date, and hired by the Archuleta County Sheriff on the same date.

 

Inside The Sun
Had enough of this snow?

By John M. Motter

Last week, 14-1/2 inches of snow fell in town, enough snow to make every winter lover happy. On Thursday, 4-1/2 inches were recorded, another 3 inches on Monday, and 7 more inches on Tuesday.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 21 inches of snow during the past week. Snow depths up there have reached a respectable 95 inches at the summit and 87 inches at midway.

Temperatures this past week ranged from a high of 52 degrees March 15 to a low of 14 degrees Sunday night. The average high was 44 degrees, the average low 24 degrees. Below freezing temperatures were recorded every day except Tuesday, when the low was 35 degrees.

A clearing trend is expected today with partly cloudy skies and temperatures peaking in the mid-50s, according to Paul Frisbie, a National Weather Service forecaster in Grand Junction. Friday and Saturday should be dry. By Sunday, Pagosa Country should experience increasing cloudiness. Early Monday there is a chance for snow and rain showers as a new storm front enters the area.

Temperatures through the next week should range from highs in the mid-50s to lows in the mid-20s.

Last week's snow total contained 1.76 inches of precipitation, a higher than usual ratio of snow depth to water content.

"At 32 degrees, the usual ratio is 10 inches of snow for one inch of water," Frisbie said. "Your ratio is a little higher, but not unusual during the spring when temperatures tend to be warmer and rain is often mixed in with the snow."

Total March snowfall for the Year 2000 has reached 22.25 inches March 21. The historic average snowfall for March is 16.8 inches. In March of 1975, a record 47 inches of snow were measured in town. The monthly precipitation total this year is 3.12 inches, almost double the long-time average of 1.61 inches. The most precipitation ever recorded during March was the 4.69 inches measured in 1995.

Normally, snow and rain totals decrease and temperatures inch upward as Pagosa Country moves into spring and April. April snowfall averages 5.5 inches, May snowfall 1.21 inches. Last year, however, 35.6 inches of snow fell during April and another 6.2 inches during May. May 3's snowfall was the last of the 1999 spring season.

 

150 hear about election-year issues at forum

By John M. Motter

A crowd of about 150 persons filling all of the seats at the county extension building Monday participated in a three-part forum designed around election-year issues in Archuleta County.

Conducted by the League of Women Voters, the program included an explanation of the county caucus process by Patrick Ullrich, a statement and question and answer session with nine county commissioner hopefuls, and an explanation by Trustee Darrel Cotton of the Pagosa Springs Town Board of the town's sales tax ballot proposal.

Emcee for the program was the League's Windsor Chacey. Chacey explained the ground rules for the evening's activities, and read the questions.

Ullrich, also a member of the League, explained that there are two ways for prospective county office candidates to get their names placed on the August primary ballot. The more usual method is through the party caucus process. Another approach is through a petition process. Ullrich did not explain the petition process.

Party caucuses will be held in each voting precinct April 11. At the caucuses, delegates and alternates are chosen for the party's county assembly. The number of delegates chosen varies from precinct to precinct. At the county assembly, delegates chosen at the caucuses vote for names to be placed on the primary ballot as candidates. To be placed on the ballot, a prospective candidate must receive at least 30 percent of the delegate vote at the party's county assembly. The name of more than one candidate can be placed on the party's primary ballot.

During the second part of the program, the nine county commissioner hopefuls lined a table in front of the audience, sitting behind name plates.

Each candidate was permitted a three-minute opening statement. The prospective candidates are Mike Branch, Bill Downey, Patrick Horning, Nan Rowe, Alden Ecker, John Feazel, Ken Fox, Ralph Goulds and Jim Willingham.

Following the opening statements, the League asked each prospective candidate the same question concerning county roads. In a shortened version, the question asked: Because voters have allowed the county to retain excess revenues, will you (each candidate) commit to the maintenance of roads repaired at a great deal of expense to the county?

After the prospective candidates provided a range of answers to the League's question, questions were accepted from the audience. Some of these questions were directed to specific candidates, others to all of the candidates. Following the audience question period, each candidate was permitted a one-minute summary statement.

Trustee Cotton presented the evening's final activity, an explanation of the town's decision to place a sales tax issue on the ballot.

According to Cotton, the town and county share equally a 4 percent sales tax.

"We are pleased with the present situation," Cotton said.

However, the present situation is threatened by a lawsuit brought by certain groups in the county asking that the sales tax be divided, three parts going to the county, one part going to the town, instead of the 50-50 split, according to Cotton. If that happens, the town will lose a great deal of income, a loss it can't afford. The town and county are united in opposing the lawsuit.

To prevent that loss from happening, the town is asking town voters to permit a 3 percent sales tax in town, if the lawsuit continues through the Colorado Supreme Court and the finding changes the current formula. The lawsuit has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The appellants are waiting to learn if the Supreme Court decides to hear the issue.

The proposed change will be levied only if the original formula is disturbed and will not result in more sales taxes being levied than are being levied now, according to Cotton.

The sales tax proposal will be on the May 2 town ballot, along with the names of candidates for town board openings.

 

Registration time for summer camp

By Brian Gronewoller

Joe Odhiambo, the world record holder for dribbling five basketballs continuously for one minute, will once again be at the Power House Basketball camp this July 23 through 27. Early registration deadline is April 7.

Living in Pagosa can sometimes be a sacrifice, missing out on some of the advantages of the big city. One of those opportunities athletes from Pagosa won't have to miss out on is a top-notch basketball camp with first-class coaches from all over the U.S. The Power House Youth Center will be offering its second annual basketball camp for boys and girls in grades six to 12, July 23 through 27. Local students in these grades will receive an automatic $30 scholarship. If registered by April 7, they will receive an additional $20 discount, making their total cost only $200. This fee includes eight meals, a camp shirt, all instructions and facility use. Other scholarships and provisions are available for special circumstances. Call Brian Gronewoller at 264-4403 for more information.

Coaches for the camp include Bay Forrest (Phoenix Suns), Pete Caruso (Denver University, Denver Broncos, pro basketball player in Italy, and NCAA coach), Mike Haddow (college national champion, high school and college coach), Shonny Vanlandingham and Karen Wells (high school girls' coaches for the past three years of state tourney teams). Also returning will be Odhiambo. Odhiambo's credentials include being a Kenyan high school national shot put and discus champion, Guinness World Record holder for ball handling, world-class juggler, half-time performer for the Phoenix Suns, and author of "Triple Basketball." At last year's camp, Odhiambo put on several shows during the 5-day camp that left athletes both young and old with their mouths dropped in amazement. Not only can he dribble and juggle balls, but he also spins up to 20 balls - all at one time.

Emphasis for the 5-day camp is on providing excellent instruction in the fundamentals of offensive and defensive basketball while providing an understanding and practical application of the sport. This is all done within the context of quality character development and sportsmanship. Anyone interested in this camp can call 264-4403, or brochures are available at the Power House Youth Center. Information is also available at www.highhoops.com.

Tax collection up in Feb.

By John M. Motter

The amount of sales taxes collected in Archuleta County through February of this year is 11.79 percent higher than the amount collected through February 1999, according to a report released by Archuleta County Manager Dennis Hunt.

The county commissioners were cautioned by Hunt not to attach too much value to the numbers.

"Sales taxes received in February are up 39.41 percent over last February, but the numbers aren't any good anymore," Hunt said. "The (Colorado) Department of Revenue does not input these numbers in a timely and consistent fashion. I'm guessing some of the previous or following months might be included in the February total. The year-to-date totals are important and will be more accurate when we have about six months to average out the differences."

The report is based on information compiled by the Department of Local Affairs from monthly sales tax reports and remittances submitted by local businesses.

A 7 percent sales tax is collected on most retail items sold in Archuleta County and in Pagosa Springs. The money collected is forwarded to the Department of Local Affairs. The state skims 3 percent off the top, then returns 2 percent to Archuleta County and 2 percent to Pagosa Springs.

The town's share is dedicated to capital improvement projects. The county's share is apportioned among three funds: 40 percent for the general fund, 10 percent for the road and bridge fund, and 50 percent for the road improvement fund.

Total January 2000 sales tax receipts were reported as $375,106, 2.56 percent less than the $384,951 reported for January 1999. Total February 2000 sales tax receipts are reported as $278,651, 11.79 percent more than the $199,876 reported for February 1999. Year to date totals for the Year 2000 are $653,757, 11.79 percent more than the $584,826 collected by this time last year.

Last year was a record for sales tax collections in the county. The total reached $4,193,256, an amount divided equally between the county and the town. Consequently, from sales tax collections, the county's general fund received $838,651, the county's road and bridge fund $209,663, and the county's road improvement fund $1,048,319.

County teams up with LaPlata

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County entered a cost sharing agreement with La Plata County funding an animal damage control program to be conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Archuleta County Commissioners approved the contract at their regular meeting Tuesday.

Similar programs have existed for many years in southwestern Colorado and across the nation. In the past, stock raisers have shared the costs. This year, the two counties are sharing one-half the cost for one full-time employee and all of the costs for an additional, one-fourth time employee with the USDA. La Plata County is paying $19,305, Archuleta County $5,445.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

- Appointed Cindy Warring to the Archuleta County Fair Board, replacing Brigette Mymern

- Endorsed an application for a $36,669 Housing Preservation Grant being sought by Southwest Community Resources

- Endorsed a grant application being sought by Southwest Emergency Medical Services involving uniting certain trauma and emergency medical services activities

- Waived personal property taxes owed by Wolf Creek Industries amounting to $15,381 in principal and $13,419.99 in interest. The taxes are more than seven years past due and deemed uncollectable by the county treasurer.

- Agreed to fund certain district attorney victim's advocate activities currently funded through grants if the grants are lost

- Agreed to purchase a digital plat copier for the county clerk's office. The estimated $40,185 purchase price includes a scanner, "platter," and software. When in place, the new process will allow citizens to view plats on a computer screen and print what they view. The system will be linked to the county assessor's office, planning office, road and bridge department, and commissioners office. It is viewed as a time and space saver by County Clerk June Madrid.

- Approved an annual fire operating plan prepared by the Colorado State Forest Service

- Approved the National Weather Service's request to mount cameras on top of the county courthouse

- Endorsed an application submitted by the Conservation Fund for a GoCo grant. The application involves money used to purchase a conservation easement on Shahan properties on the Navajo River.

Pagosa Students dominate regional science fair

By Roy Starling

Pagosa Springs students walked away with most of the honors at the 42nd Annual San Juan Basin Regional Science Fair held last week at Fort Lewis College. More than 260 students from 10 southwest Colorado schools competed in the event.

Pagosa students took one-third of the awards. Only 15 projects qualified for the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, and eight of those were from Pagosa schools.

Projects at the regional fair were divided into three age divisions - sixth grade, junior division (seventh and eighth grades) and senior division (ninth through 12th grades) - and eight exhibit categories: Earth and Environment, Health and Behavior, Botany, Zoology, Engineering, Physical Science, Mathematics and Computers and team categories in each of the above.

Pagosa Springs High School senior Caleb Creel earned first-place honors in the senior Physical Science category and also won Best of Show. His project is entitled "The Fabrication, Testing and Analysis of a High Temperature Yttrium-Barium-Cupric Oxide Superconductor," but it's more complicated than that.

Creel said he chose this topic because he has "always been interested in superconductivity." A superconductor, he said, "is any compound or element that will conduct electricity without resistance, that is, with no energy loss." As part of his project, he made three superconductors with variable amounts of oxygen and ran tests to see if they superconducted differently, and they did.

Then Creel became curious about ways to determine the oxygen content of a superconductor. He checked with the folks in the Superconductivity Department of Material Science at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and they told him about an x-ray defraction machine. "That machine can do the job in about half an hour," Creel said, "but it's a multimillion-dollar machine."

In Creel's project, he discovered a cheaper way to detect a superconductor's oxygen content, but you'd need to talk to him to get the details. Creel said he received plenty of guidance from Anita Gerlach, who taught him science when he lived in Santa Fe last year, and Rich Schur, his teacher in Pagosa who sponsored his entry in the regional science fair.

Creel will now take his exhibit to Fort Collins for the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair next month.

Pagosa Junior High School will send three students to the state competition: Jessica Harms, Christena Lungstrum and Rachel Schur.

Harms finished in first place in the junior Botany division with her project entitled "Why Does Grass Grow So Sparsely in Pine Forests?" She said she "planted perennial rye grass in different conditions. One had pine needle acids, one was under a canvas that would shade sun like pine needles and one had the acid of pine needles but also had hydrated lime to counteract the acid."

Harms concluded that "tannic acid in pine needles stunts the growth of grass."

Lungstrum took second in junior Botany with her exhibit, "Can Herbs Inhibit Microbe Growth and Control the Spread of Disease?" "The herbs I tested," she said, "couldn't control the spread of the bacteria I tested them on. I tested echinacea, red clover, chamomile and borage on E.coli and bacillus subtillis."

Rachel Schur's first-place entry in the junior Health/Behavior category was "Humidifiers: Healthy or Hazardous?" She found that "using a bacteria killer with your humidifier made it healthier. When you just let it run, however, it can be hazardous, because a lot of microbes grow in humidifiers."

The junior high entries were sponsored by science teacher Cindy Nobles.

Representing Pagosa's intermediate school at the state competition will be Jake Cammack, Mitchell Martin, Matt Nobles and Emilie Schur.

Cammack's project, which won first place in Botany, turned him into a regular potato farmer. "I wanted to test different growing methods for potatoes," he said. "I wanted to find out which method produced the most and biggest potatoes." He said that working straw into the soil turned out to be the most effective method. Growing them in stacked tires, on the other hand, didn't work as well as he hoped. "They were really small and they rotted because there was too much moisture." Cammack wound up growing over 1,200 pounds of potatoes.

Martin finished in second place in the Math/Computer category with a project that focused on artificial intelligence. "I programmed a computerized car, with visual and pressure sensors, to follow 'if-then' statements and to make decisions based on input variables. If the car sensed white, then it would turn to stay on a dark track. My project linked artificial intelligence to human behavior."

Nobles caught the judges' attention with a project that examined knots as mathematical models. "I thought that adding and subtracting knots would be similar to adding and subtracting numbers," Nobles said. "I tested this by researching knots, tying knots, then adding two alternate knots together and subtracting crossings within the knots."

Nobles found that the addition of alternate knots was the same as addition of numbers, but the subtraction of crossings from knots was not the same as subtraction of numbers. As he researched his topic, Nobles also learned how knot theory is used in making medicine and in the study of DNA strands. His project won first place in the Math/Computer category.

Emilie Schur's project, which took first in the Health/Behavior category, tried to determine a connection between left- and right-brain thinking and gender. Research suggests that people with a "dominant" left-brain hemisphere tend to be linear thinkers, better at logic and math; right-brainers tend to think more in images, symbols and metaphor.

Emilie Schur tested 60 students, using a multiple-choice test and a mirror test, the latter requiring students to negotiate a maze using only a mirror. "Those who complete the mirror test quickly are more left brain," Schur explained. She found that 67 percent of the girls were "integrated," that is, combined the traits of left- and right-brain thinking, and 33 percent were right-brained. None were left-brained. As she initially suspected, "boys were more left-brained. Thirty-three percent were left-brained, 27 percent right-brained and 40 percent integrated."

Intermediate science teacher Diana Hill sponsored the sixth-grade projects.

Other Pagosa students receiving honors at the regional fair:

Sixth grade: Logan McLellan, second place, Health and Behavioral, "Massage-Heart Rate"; Josiah Burggraaf, third place, Engineering, "Bridges"; Heather Dahm and Kody Hanavan, third place, Team, "Testing SPF"; Chris Baum and Brandon Reid, honorable mention, Team, "Robotics."

Junior Division: Courtney Steen, first place, Zoology, "Caffeine's Effect on Chicken Embryo Weight"; Chris Nobles, third place, Botany, "A Study in Allelopathy in Noxious Weeds"; Kyrie Beye, honorable mention, Botany, "What Helps Roots Grow the Best?"; Hannah Kraus, Molly Kraus and Elizabeth Wellborn, second place, Team, "Brain Hemisphere Dominance by Gender and Age"; Audrey Miller and Katie Price, honorable mention, Team, "Type of Music's Effect on Egg Laying in Chickens"; Shelly Brusto, honorable mention, Physical Science, "Need for Speed: Comparison of Draw Weights on a Compound Bow."

 

Letters
Wake up

Dear David,

After reading the article in the SUN, March 2, concerning the decision by our county commissioners on the Eightmile Mesa Road settlement, I was shocked and angered.

How in good conscience could they agree to work with Mr. Fred Schmidt? First of all, the county had no business getting involved in the work. That was a project that Loma Linda (Fred Schmidt) was responsible for doing.

I read in the SUN that the county paid the cost over-run of $67,000. Well David, that is only part of the huge amount of county taxpayer dollars used to bail out Fred Schmidt and Loma Linda. What wasn't reported in the SUN were the county crews who worked one week or more installing culverts. The culverts alone cost us taxpayers about $3,137.60 (cost per J.D. Adams Culvert Company for four culverts), maybe a few dollars cheaper to the county. The county hired a track hoe and kept it approximately one week on the job for about $1,000 a day. Also, include the cost for county equipment and personnel, engineer time, etc.

Now I am told the job is complete, well only half the road is done. Loma Linda is supposed to complete or rebuild the whole stretch of road from Loma Linda subdivision to U.S. 84. Are our county commissioners now going to use our tax dollars to complete the project? The county is setting a precedent at taxpayers expense for all other subdivisions.

Not long ago we heard of County Road five-year plans over and over. What have we gotten? We also heard it was going to be run like a business. I see it as a business with no road improvements and a business going broke. It is very poorly managed. Wake up county commissioners. Do the job right or get out. The voters of Archuleta County need to wake up and see how their elected officials are wasting their money.

Sincerely,

Chris Chavez

Misleading

Dear David,

I don't usually comment on Mojie's inaccuracies in her letters to you, but her letter of March 16 ("Wake up call") is very misleading. She blames the demise of the Public Safety Office on the 1998 and 1999 directors. Both boards strongly supported the PSO.

The campaign to dissolve the PSO has been led by none other than a current director who served on the 1997 board with Mojie. She voted to appoint this director to the board. It has only been within the past several months that he was able to put together a crew with enough votes to destroy the organization.

Sincerely,

Pat Curtis

Concerns

Dear Editor,

Initially we just thought that the Piano Creek East Fork Development plan was another one of the many scams that we have come to see in the northern part of Archuleta County. But now it looks to us like something may actually come of it. So we wanted to tell you and your readers of our concerns.

We are the board of the San Juan River Resort Property Owners Association with at least 110 full-time residents, many part-time residents and 95 homes. We are all concerned about this development. The main worry, of course, is the one that all responsible citizens are concerned about - the ruining of beautiful mountain valley land and the destruction of animal life and migration patterns. (This may be one of the last undeveloped valleys in Archuleta County.)

But we are also worried about the river and the water. As you know, we and most all Archuleta County is downriver from this development. As part of their plan, they propose to build a golf course. Many studies have shown that golf courses are one of the biggest polluters of rivers, lakes and streams because of the tons of fertilizers and water that are used. This will effect all the water supplies of our subdivision as well as everybody else downstream (not to mention the fish and other wildlife depending on this water).

How much water will be taken from this watershed is unknown at the present time. However, whatever is taken will not flow into the San Juan River and the water supplies of the town of Pagosa Springs, ranches, and several other developments including our own.

We most certainly hope that someone (the county commissioners?) is planning a very thorough impact evaluation, which we are sure will show intense pollution and destruction not only to the East Fork Valley, but for many miles downriver.

Sincerely yours,

Jim Knoll

President POA Board

SJRR POA

Editor's note: The East Fork valley is in Mineral County.

National problem

Editor,

Pagosa Springs 33 - Del Norte 32. Pagosa Springs 33 - Monte Vista 31.

If these were basketball scores we would all go home happy but unfortunately these are the passing rates for our fifth grade math students according to a recent article in the March 3 issue of the Denver Post. In other words 67 percent of fifth grade math students in Archuleta County failed in recent statewide math testing. Doesn't look like Monte Vista or Del Norte did any better but you have to give Bayfield some credit (36 percent failure rate) - maybe it's the drinking water. Governor Bill Owens may look at these test results as "motivators rather than symptoms of failure or as a hindrance" Denver Post, March 3, but I disagree and I suspect that the current reading and writing levels aren't much better. Of course this is a national problem but that doesn't help the children here in Archuleta County.

Incidentally, who dreamed up the term "partially proficient" published in the Denver Post article to describe students who didn't pass but didn't fail as miserably on the statewide test as the lowest scoring test takers? Can you be partially pregnant? Just another sign of the times I suppose.

No other purpose in writing this letter other than to generate some community thought and discussion.

Jack Koppelman

One solution

Dear Editor,

It should be apparent our continued dependence on imported oil will lead the U.S. into a major war in the middle east.

This leaves one solution. Develop alternative energy sources.

When our political leaders are for sale, our country cannot survive for long, and our current energy problems are a case in point.

For now Mexico is about the only force that will limit the increases in fuel costs.

The more (Vice President Al) Gore has to promise to fund cancer research etc. it is just more proof that our economy is not as good as we are told.

Don Reid

Flurry of activities

Dear Editor,

Throughout most of 1999 there was a flurry of activities among city mayors, most of them liberal Democrats, to sue the manufacturers of guns. The specifics change but in general the argument has been an echo of the tobacco lawsuits filed by many states in which it declared that the tobacco industry was at fault for the ailments caused by smoking the product. There was even a suggestion that the Clinton justice department would join the growing crowd of cities hoping for financial windfall by suing gun manufacturers for costs when guns are used in a crime.

However, they have slowly discovered that there is no constitutional right to smoke, which places the ownership of guns in a slightly different category. Realizing that there is a constitutional right in America to own guns.

Secondly, the National Rifle Association and others have very effectively pointed out that the cities have not enforced the more than 22,000 laws that are aimed at the improper use of guns. In Washington, D.C., which has probably the most stringent gun laws in the nation, there is the highest homicide rate from guns in America. When crimes are committed in Washington, D.C., only one time in 1,000 are those breaking the laws prosecuted for breaking gun laws.

Lawsuits against gun manufacturers for crimes committed with firearms could easily backfire against those opening that door for lawsuits against cities for failing to enforce existing laws pertaining to firearm use. The Boston suit claims that manufacturers create a public nuisance and violate unfair business practice laws, claiming that makers have knowingly flooded the market with their products in a way that allows minors and criminals to obtain them, by exercising little control over distributors and dealers. The suit also claims that the manufacturers are liable due to their failure to install safety devices on guns.

The city of Boston and other cities attempting to sue manufacturers for their "failure to install safety devices on guns" could in turn be sued by any citizens suffering from a gun induced injury, if the city they are living in has failed to vigorously enforce the existing gun laws. While the Columbine High massacre has been a catalyst for demands to increase the number of gun laws, something like 22 gun laws were broken during the incident. When the state of Virginia began enforcing gun laws recently, it promptly cut gun deaths by half.

Apparently someone must have pointed that out to Bill Clinton. Because he has suddenly switched his gun agenda tactics and appears to have joined the NRA's demand that existing gun laws be enforced.

Personally it is difficult for me to understand why the NRA would even want to waste their time trading verbal shots with Clinton. The NRA should realize that they will never come up smelling like a rose if they get in a spraying contest with a "skunk."

Jim Sawicki

E-Mail
Success

Dear David,

With the conclusion of the Pagosa Pretenders' "Arabian Nights," I would like to graciously thank all the wonderful families who made this production possible. So many people contributed in so many ways that it is impossible to mention everyone, but every single volunteer helped make the show a success.

My sincere thanks to all who contributed to the production. Jackie Ford, Soledad Estrada-Leo and Bill Reardon were ingenious in the development of costumes, sets and props. Thanks to Sharman Alto for her creative choreography. Thank you to Melinda Baum for her musical direction, Dave Krueger for lyrics, and the wonderful musicians who added to the magic. A most appreciative thank you to Addie Greer, Gwyn Lewis and Connie Ford who always stepped in to help in any area of need from creating, to building, to crowd control.

We also thank these supportive organizations in the community, the Arts Council, Pagosa Players and King's Men, and St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for their generous donations.

And of course, thank you to all the folks who attended our shows. Your support is greatly appreciated and of the utmost importance to the cast and crew. Community support has grown steadily over the years for Pretenders and for that we are grateful. Our youth and families are gaining many positive experiences through their involvement. Thank you Pagosa for supporting Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater.

Sincerely,

Susan Garman

Extra monies

Dear Editor,

Well the county commissioners, sheriff's department and the rest of the county outside the Pagosa Lakes community made a sweet deal today at no cost to them because we as property owners of Pagosa Lakes will now pay extra monies for our so-called protection which we are entitled to through our taxes anyway.

Only one commissioner, Gene Crabtree, saw that this burden of law enforcement should be put on the county as a whole and not just one subdivision.

If you were sitting on the commission board you would take the deal too for it's no increase in the budget or taxes. After all why not take advantage of the stupidity of a seven-member board that says they speak for the membership and are more than eager to spend your money. And if they think they are going to get more for the extra monies, think again. After all we will have no control over where the officers go or their duties because the board has signed that away but yet we can pay the salaries, furnish the vehicles and equipment and provide office space at no cost to the county.

What I saw today (March 21) were smart people taking advantage of other people who actually think they won something. That's sad.

Randall Mettscher

Gun control

David,

Regarding the letter ("Two different views," Claire Goldrick) from March 16 about gun control. One side of the discussion was quoted as: "and that's why we need to get rid of handguns altogether. And don't tell me that the criminals are the only ones who'll have guns when that happens."

I certainly will not disagree with the lady. If she and those like her have their way, the criminals will not be the only ones with guns. The government will still have their guns also. Just think how much easier it would be for the FBI sharpshooters to kill women in Idaho if those same sharpshooters don't have to worry about citizens shooting back.

If the government doesn't trust me with my guns, why in the world would I trust the government with their guns?

Jim Daley

Dallas, Texas

Sports Page

March 23, 2000

Pirates begin rebuilding process

By Roy Starling

If it's springtime, it must be baseball season. And if it's baseball season, it must be time for the Pirates to go somewhere in New Mexico and play in an Arctic windstorm.

The Pirate nine, who can't catch a break from the weather, were supposed to play Bloomfield at home Saturday, but, to no one's surprise, their diamond was still in the rough from the last snow dump. Consequently, they were forced to take the trip to Bloomfield and play on a nice, dry field, in 45-degree heat with winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour.

The first pitch was thrown at 11 a.m. Just five hours later, the Pirates were boarding the bus after absorbing 14-0 and 19-7 losses at the hands of the powerful Bobcats.

The bright spot in all of this for Pirate coach Tony Scarpa is that the weather is supposed to clear for a while, meaning his team can finally practice outside and work can begin in earnest on improving the condition of the often maligned but seldom used Pagosa baseball field.

"Before the Bloomfield game, we'd had only two practices with all of our guys there," Scarpa said, "and only one of those was outside. We'll get a lot better once we actually spend some time on the field."

Even before his team hit the field for the first time this season, Scarpa knew he had some major holes to plug. Gone from last year's squad is all-state catcher and coach-on-the-field Jeff Wood. In Wood's last two seasons as a Pirate, he was among the state's leaders in batting average and home runs. His senior year, he ripped the ball at a .589 clip, had seven home runs and 10 doubles and drove in 42 runs. Those gaudy numbers actually represented a slight decline from his junior season when he hit .667 with 11 round-trippers.

Also graduated is pitching ace Jason Schofield who went 9-0 in his senior year, posting a 2.38 earned run average and striking out 90 batters in only 53 innings. The all-Intermountain League right-hander was the Pirates' top hurler from his freshman to his senior year. Schofield also swung a mean stick, hitting .444 despite a late season slump.

The Pirates also lost Ronnie Martinez, another all-IML selection, to graduation. Martinez was the Pirates' second starter on the mound, turning in some outstanding outings, and striking out 49 in 35 innings, most of those with an extraordinarily wicked curve ball. A slick-fielding shortstop with excellent range, Martinez hit .483 last season and was second to Wood with 28 hits.

All three of these Pirate grads are playing at the college level. Wood is catching for Colorado Northwestern Community College at Rangely, while both Martinez and Schofield are playing at Lamar Community College.

Meanwhile, long-time fixture at the hot corner Rusty Nabors has joined the few, the brave, the proud, i.e., the United States Marine Corps.

With this costly exodus, Scarpa must attempt to answer that age-old baseball question, "Who's on first?"

The answer is Brandon Thames, at least when he's not on the mound. The senior lefty is expected to get plenty of starts this season as Scarpa attempts to rebuild his pitching staff. Joining Thames in the parade to the hill will be sophomore Darin Lister, who saw some time in relief last season; senior Kyle Keelan; and sophomore Ronnie Janowsky.

Other possibilities, Scarpa said, are sophomore Ross Wagle and senior Clinton Lister.

The older Lister could be spread pretty thin by the end of the season. A fixture at second base last season, he may also be called upon to strap on the shin guards and take Wood's spot behind the plate. Other catcher candidates are Anthony Maestas and Brandon Charles.

The younger Lister will play at short when he's not baffling batters from the mound. He saw some time at shortstop last season and turned in some dazzling plays.

Nabors' spot at third will probably go to Janowsky, who'll move to first when Thames is on the hill. Senior Josh Trujillo will also see some time at third and will be called upon for pinch-hitting duties.

Roaming the outfield will be perennial IML base-stealing champion Lonnie Lucero, Keith and Kraig Candelaria and Nate Stretton.

Top returning hitters from last season are Thames (.438), an old-fashioned spray hitter specializing in "hitting them where they ain't"; Clinton Lister (.412), who's been known to jack one out of the park from time to time; brother Darin (.410), also an extra-base threat; Lucero (.403), who's fast enough to turn ground balls into base hits; and Keith Candelaria, whose respectable .281 average in 1999 would have been much higher without a slow start. Keith absolutely punished the high-quality pitching the Pirates faced at regionals.

"I'm expecting Keith to have a big year," Scarpa said. "He really got hot near the end of last season."

Scarpa is hoping that his seniors will pick up the reins from last year's lost leaders. That means the Candelaria brothers, Keelan, Clinton Lister, Lucero and Trujillo will need to show some maturity, help the players become a true team, and help the team stay focused during the games.

The Pirates are scheduled to return to New Mexico today, where they hope the wind has finally died down, to take on Piedra Vista in Farmington at 3:30 p.m. They are tentatively scheduled to play Gunnison in Salida this Saturday, before catching a breather during the school's spring break.

Pagosa begins its conference schedule Saturday, April 8, when the team travels to La Jara to play a doubleheader against Centauri. If spring has truly sprung by Saturday, April 15, the Pirates will host Del Norte at the Sports Complex.

 

Miners mow down Lady Pirates

By Roy Starling

For the first 16 minutes of Friday's soccer game against the Telluride Miners at Golden Peaks Stadium, the Lady Pirates had their visitors on their heels.

Even after the Miners had found a gap in the Ladies' defense and dribbled a shot in to go up 1-0 with 24 minutes remaining in the first half, the girls seemed to be in control of the game. But when Telluride scored again at 15:20, the Lady Pirates seemed to lose focus and intensity, and by game's end they were on the short end of a 5-1 score.

"Once we got behind, we buckled," Pagosa coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. "We'll learn how to play when we're behind. That sort of thing comes with experience. When Telluride's girls went up 2-0, they began to control the flow of the game. They wanted the ball a little more than we did. Sometimes it looked like we were playing in slow motion."

It sure didn't start out that way. The Lady Pirates struck first on offense three minutes into the contest when senior Ashlee Johnson blasted a long cross shot that just missed to the right, sending shockwaves through the Miners' sideline where the visitors' subs expressed their disbelief at Johnson's leg strength.

When the Miners tried to retaliate with an attack of their own, they were cut off by speedy Lady Pirate freshman Meagan Hilsabeck. "Meagan's got great vision," Kurt-Mason said. "She can read an attack and then get there in a hurry."

The next time Telluride attempted to get the ball past midfield, sophomore defender Cassie Pfiefle sent it back with authority. A minute later, at 34:20, the Ladies had the ball back in scoring position, but sophomore Aubrey Volger's cross shot wound up in the arms of the Miner keeper.

About two minutes later, the Ladies tried again. This time Jennifer Gross's bullet into the box was just snagged by the goalie. Then, when the Miners began to find their offensive rhythm, they were stopped by an Alysha Ranson clear, a Pfiefle stuff and another Ranson clear.

Ranson's last rebuff set up a looping 30-yard shot on goal by Hilsabeck, but the Miner goalie was in position to stop this one, too. With roughly 27 minutes remaining in the half, a shot from Johnson sailed over the net. Three minutes later, the Miners congregated around Pagosa goalie Amber Beye, finally nudging one into the net to take the lead, 1-0.

A few plays later, Beye made a great save on a long-distance Miner shot on goal, and the Ladies worked the ball down to the offensive end where Johnson took a hard cross shot from the right only to have it corralled by the Telluride goalie.

With 15:20 remaining in the half, the Miners changed the score and the tempo, going up 2-0 and deflating the young Lady Pirates. Seven minutes later, the visitors added another goal. Four and a half minutes later, they tacked on yet another and took a 4-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Three minutes into the second half, Johnson tried to get the Ladies back in it when one of her rockets finally found its target. But Pagosa couldn't find an offensive groove, and Telluride scored once more to win it 5-1.

"Telluride is a very good team," Kurt-Mason said. "We did a lot better against them than we did last year (when the Miners blew out the Ladies 10-0). Last year, we were still working on just throwing the ball in properly. This year, our expectations are higher."

To reach those expectations, the coach said, the team will work on execution and attitude. "For one thing, we have to start heading the ball more, especially on corner kicks. Right now, no one seems to want to do that. We also have to work on our passing speed. We're not very crisp out there."

As for attitude, Kurt-Mason said his girls need to play with more passion and more aggression, and they "definitely have to stay focused when they fall behind," and continue to play as if the score were always 0-0.

Against the Miners, Johnson had nine shots on goal, and Gross, Lindsay Schmidt and Aubrey Volger had three each. Hilsabeck had two.

There will be two new Ladies wearing black and gold the next time the team hits the field. Carlena Lungstrum is expected to add strength and speed to the midfield and Ashley Gronewoller, last year's keeper, will return for more action in front of the net.

Last Saturday, the girls were supposed to host a league game against Ouray, but the contest was postponed when the Trojan girls were unable to convince their bus driver to negotiate a blinding snowstorm on Red Mountain Pass. That game has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 22.

The Ladies next play on Thursday, April 6, when they travel to Durango to take on the junior varsity Demons.

 

Community News
Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Riverwalk mural features primitive art

The mural along the Riverwalk down behind the Riverside Restaurant was painted by Peter Merritt the summer of 1993. It was commissioned by Jan and Bob Stewart who owned the restaurant. The painting is known in the art world as a "primitive." Primitivism is a recognized art form with a long history, a style of early American artists and various European schools. It's usually works of unschooled artists. Our best known primitive artist is Grandma Moses.

Peter did his research. His characters represent people important in the early days of the Pagosa Springs area. His characters represent a Navajo family (note the blankets); a generic Ute chief astride a horse; an Anasazi family; Welch Nossaman the first Anglo settler (whose cabins kept being burned by the Indians); Capt. John N. Macomb (pronounced MAY com), whose expedition into this area is the first recorded by an Anglo; Dr. Mary Winter Fisher, the beloved Dr. Mary Fisher for whom the clinic is named; and a generic Spanish American family.

On a whimsy, Peter put Willie Smith in the hot spring. Now, the spring was (and is) too hot for anyone to survive, but Willie would have loved it. He had died only a few years before and was a friend of Peter's, and of mine, and when Peter was painting the mural he asked me it I knew who the man in the spring was, and I being dense or something said "no" but when Peter told me I was delighted, for Willie was a dear little man and a true mountain man - absolutely true to his place in society.

Peter was never happy with his Dr. Mary Fisher - always wanting to do her over. Last year he got his wish, for someone dropped off at the clinic a picture of a young Mary Fisher. Peter had his model. The mural was redone last summer.

The mural is one of my favorite things in Pagosa Springs and I've just heard of someone else who likes it. Peter had given a picture of the mural to a visiting friend and this week he received a postcard from the friend telling him that he (the friend) had shown it to a folk art writer, and the writer liked it very much. Who knows, maybe the writer will come to Pagosa and write about Peter's mural.

The Rotary's Casino Royale last Friday was a terrific success thanks to Richard Faubian who put it all together.

The Pretenders did themselves proud with their presentation of "Arabian Nights." Some more credits not mentioned in last week's Chatter need to be noted.

Sharman Alto was the choreographer. The musical director was Malinda Baum. David Krueger, with the help of Malinda, wrote the lyrics. Cary Valentine, on percussion, added the signature sound for groups and for characters such as Cyclops. Rimsky Horsakoff's music was tough to interpret.

Rehearsals for the show started in February, and practices were once a week. Susan Garman, the director, divided the group into story lines. Each practiced alone, and it was only for the last rehearsals that the whole show was put together. Participating were: Wade Fami??, the Sharps, the Greers, and the Barmans. Someone said that the community was covered with magic dust.

Fun on the run is this "new" definition. Deja Moo - I think I've heard this bull before.

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

St. Pat's parade had 20 entries

We have "super seven" new members to share with you this week and one renewal. We couldn't be more pleased to welcome these folks and, as always, thank you all for your splendid support.

Tom and Nancy Leotti join us with three businesses this week, and one can only applaud and envy this kind of energy. Wow, makes me feel so inadequate that I'm hanging on by a thread with just one job.

Midtown Service Station is the first of three located at 642 San Juan Boulevard and new home of Domino's Pizza. Midtown is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with gasoline, diesel and oil. It is also a fully stocked convenience store including groceries, snacks, beverages, Lotto and an ATM. Clean restrooms are also available. If you need to call these folks, please call 264-6135.

The Leottis second business is Conoco East Service Station located at 360 East Pagosa Street east of town near Highway 84. Gas and diesel are available 24 hours a day at the pump as well as groceries, snacks, Lotto and an ATM. The store is open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the winter, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the summer. You can call the Conoco East Service Station at 264-4740.

The Leottis have covered all their bases with the third business, Conoco West Service Station, located downtown at 635 San Juan Boulevard. This station offers not only gasoline, but also a drive-thru car wash. You will find groceries, snacks, fast foods and beverages at the convenience store as well as friendly service and clean restrooms. You can call at 264-4889.

Our next new business this week is Dilley's Guide Service located at 12285 Highway 112 in Del Norte, at the Wolf Creek Ski Ranch. Dale or Val Dilley will be your hosts for Wild West adventures in hunting, snowmobiling, pack trips, and horseback riding. You will find the snowmobiling adventures at the Spruce Lodge. At the Wolf Creek Ski Ranch, "Their business is your pleasure." You can reach these folks at (719) 657-3554.

Pete Woods joins us next with Purgatory Resort located at No. 1 Skier Place, 25 miles north of Durango on U.S. 550. Purgatory Resort offers spectacular skiing in the winter and countless summer activities to include the Alpine Slide and biking opportunities. If you have questions for Pete, you can reach him at (970) 247-9000.

Mark Mattern and Joe Tarver join us next with Domino's Pizza located in the aforementioned Midtown Phillips 66 at 642 San Juan Boulevard. These folks will deliver pizza to you, and you just need to call to confirm the delivery area. They offer large, medium and personal pan pizza with your choice of toppings. You can request delivery or come in and pick it up. Domino's Pizza is open every day and can be reached by phone at 264-6307. Mark and Joe would be happy to talk to those who might be interested in employment at Domino's, and ask those folks to call them at 759-7147.

We welcome new associate members Annalisa and Steve Hodgkins and always appreciate the support of our Associates. I point out that these folks join to simply support the collective business community through the Chamber of Commerce so it is particularly heartwarming. Thanks to all our new members.

Renewal

Thanks to renewal James Dickhoff with JJ's Upstream Restaurant, Inc. Merci, merci.

St. Pat's winners

Thanks to all the 20 entries who put on such a great show with our St. Patrick's Day Parade last Friday. I particularly love this little parade because it seems to belong to children and animals, all of whom have a ball struttin' their stuff on main street. I am grateful, indeed, for the weather that allowed us to get from beginning to end without a torrential downpour, gale-force winds or a blizzard. These conditions have been par for the course in past years, so I was beside myself with only a little breeze.

We are grateful to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council for providing our fun-loving, enthusiastic judges Jennai Bachus, Clare Burns and Jennifer Harnick. They looked mighty stylin' in the tiny little sunglasses.

Best Float honors went to the Girl Scouts; Most Green award went to Norwest Bank; and the Pagosa Pretenders won top marks for Most Bizarre Costume. Congratulations to you all, and thank you so much for your participation.

The Pagosa Pretenders also won top marks for the cutest darned kids, baskets, Cyclops and eagle in their recent production of the "Arabian Nights" with Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad and the whole gang. My hat is off to Susan Garman and Addie Greer for tackling a production with a cast that size ranging in age from the extremely young to the somewhat young. Hats off to each and every one of you who had a part in this production. It was a real treat to see the faces and hear the laughter of all the kiddoes in the audience - truly family entertainment.

Roarin' Royale

Congratulations to the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club for a fabulous party on St. Patrick's Eve at Pagosa Lodge. I don't have the exact number at my fingertips, but I feel sure that well over four hundred people must have been in attendance that night dressed to the nines and having the times of their lives. It was indeed "The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs" and represented hours and hours of time volunteered by the Rotarians. In excess of $21,000 was made that evening to donate to four very worthy causes. Superb job, Rotarians.

They're here!

Jean Poitras of Bacchus Video and TV Production, Inc. hand-delivered four hundred of the new Chamber of Commerce/Pagosa Springs Videos, so you can come and see for yourself what a beauty it is. Jean has worked hard and long to produce this video, and it is an exceptional representation of this gorgeous place in which we reside. Narration by Debbie Steele-McAlister with music and credits create a completely professional production. We have the TV/Video combination in the Boardroom for those of you who would like to view it before you purchase it. We at the Visitor Center plan to send them to relatives and friends alike to give them an insight to the "real" Pagosa Springs. We're very excited about this video and are anxious to share it with you. The videos have a 17-minute running time and are $20 each with discounts for volume purchases. Please come and see for yourselves what a lovely job Jean has done with capturing the true essence and beauty of Pagosa Springs.

Free counseling

Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be here tomorrow, March 24, to share his (free) business expertise with you. At this writing, he had one appointment left, so I would encourage you to give Morna a call at 264-2360 ASAP to secure a spot with Jim. He can help with your questions about opening a new business or create a business plan for your existing business. We encourage you to take advantage of this helpful Chamber benefit.

 

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Here's a cross-country tale for reader to finish

Fishing permits for the 2000-2001 season for Lake Hatcher, Village Lake, Lake Pagosa and Lake Forest, are available at the Recreation Center starting Saturday, April 1. All four lakes are stocked for good fishing. A huge stocking was completed last fall and an early spring stocking is scheduled for March 30 and 31. Because trout do not reproduce in our lakes, we strongly encourage the practice of careful catch and release. The annual cost to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association to stock and maintain a 12-inch trout is over $3. All anglers are urged to observe regulations for possession and size limits. Happy fishing.

Here's a tale that calls for the readers to give it an ending: man enters a 50 kilometer cross country ski race - he's flying on the surface of the snow, he's zipping by other competitors. A little before kilometer 46 he goes to pass two competitors and suddenly, for no rhyme or reason, he catches an edge, jams a ski tip into soft snow and tumbles into a neat forward roll. With all the grace and finesse of Mary Lou Retton, he lands on both skis and proceeds along the track, as if nothing has happened. That may have been the case, but at kilometer 46, one of the skis snapped into two pieces, just like a toothpick. What did the man do? Possible ending scenarios may range from the man simply collapsing in exhaustion and frustration face-first into the snow or the man hijacking the skis off the competitor he just overtook and then going on to a flamboyant finish.

This all happened to Gayle Tuggle on March 11 when he raced in the "Yellowstone Rendezvous Marathon." Being the impeccable gentleman, he did not simply give up or clobber the closest skier and make off with his skis. Gayle did try to limp along with one broken ski. Before the nasty broken ski accident occurred, Gayle was in first place in the 65-to-70 age division and third place in the 60-to-65 age division. He had completed the first lap of 25 kilometers in 1 hour, 45 minutes and was feeling very strong going into the second lap. The overall top winner, Patrick Weaver, a 30-year-old from Bend, Ore., finished in 2 hours, 24 minutes. Weaver also won the same race last year with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes - nine minutes slower - but still a phenomenal time considering the less-than-ideal snow conditions. If the race had taken place a day earlier when the surface was hard and fast, Weaver could have beaten his personal record from last year and Gayle could have avoided catching a ski tip in soft, mushy snow. Since this is a freestyle Nordic race, the skiers use skating skis and fresh wet snow makes for a very tiring workout.

Nevertheless we are proud of Gayle's courage and athletic prowess. Gayle is an accomplished Nordic skier with an impressive competitive record in British Columbia. At Yellowstone, Gayle was competing against some of our country's fastest Nordic racers and out of a field of 689 racers, Gayle was by far the most senior in the 50-kilometer event. This trip to Yellowstone had other excitement. Kurt Tuggle, Gayle's 30-year-old son, finished 18th overall. Kurt lives in Casper, Wyo. Although Dad would be far too modest to claim any credit, Kurt is very much a top-notch Nordic skier as a result of early coaching from you know who.

Gayle trains up at Wolf Creek, at the nicely groomed Nordic ski area that Todd Pitcher has so graciously maintained year after year for the enjoyment of many. In two and a half weeks, Gayle is headed to Moab, Utah, to compete in a mountain bike race. Good luck Gayle.

Come out and help with the PLPOA spring newsletter social on Monday, March 27, at 9 a.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. A free continental breakfast will be served and there will be a drawing for gift certificates.

Library News
by Lenore Bright

How about those new library hours?

Patrons like the new library hours. These hours are flexible as we are still tracking what our patrons want, but probably this will be the final set. We are changing the Saturday hours to be more helpful to both staff and patrons. Hours will now be from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Everyone likes our being open at 8:30 a.m. during the week. So here is the new working schedule: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m..; Thursday - 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Computer use

We offer Internet access on three computers. We do have strict rules about use. You must know how to use a computer: no chat rooms, no games. The equipment is strictly for legitimate reference. Children must have a parent with them or written permission. Sign up at the desk.

Payback

We have a copy of names of folks due money from the Great Colorado Payback. Ask to see it at the desk. We'll keep it on file for awhile. Do be warned that some scam artists are trying to take advantage of this activity. If you get a letter from some company offering to help you reclaim items from this list, it may be a con game. You just need to contact Mike Coffman, the State Treasurer.

We have the address.

Bird sighting

Snow for spring and our first sightings - bluebirds are here, and that means the hummers aren't far behind. What birds have you seen? Get those birdhouses cleaned out and ready.

Garage sale

Thanks to the Friends, we have close to $400 profit to go for books for summer reading. We appreciate all of the people who purchased booth space, the volunteers who worked, and all of you who participated. It is a fun way to get in the spring cleaning spirit.

Calling all cooks

We're planning our "by invitation only" cookbook sale for Sunday, April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. If you like to collect cookbooks, call and we'll put your name on the list. The books are at bargain prices but there is a special catch. If you come and buy books, you have to share the best recipes you find from the books. There are new, old, collectibles to be had.

Books for sale

This week we have a cart full of old juvenile books for sale for ten cents apiece. The cart will be in the children's room - come browse.

Genealogy

We have a fine genealogy society here in the county. Members are planning a workshop for beginners to be held on April 29. We'll tell you more as it gets closer. But for anyone thinking about getting started in this interesting subject, mark you calendars now.

Tax forms

They've dribbled in a distressful manner. Most people have had to copy what they needed. If you are putting off this chore, you might want to get in and get your copies pretty soon. You just have three weeks left.

Donations

Financial help came from Harold and Cynthia Cook in memory of Ralph "Grumpy" Flowers. Mr. Flowers was an avid railroader and spent many hours repairing and replacing parts of the Cumbres and Toltec Narrow Gauge Line. We shall use the gift to buy some railroad books.

Other gifts came from Liz and Albert Schnell in memory of Leah Walker and Darla Merrifield.

We also want to give special thanks to John Graves and the Film Society for their donation to the Friends Book Fund. We encourage all film fans to get involved with this monthly discussion group. We appreciate the financial help, and we also appreciate this kind of educational activity in our town.

Materials came from Clare Skaggs and Paula Woerner and the Second Hand Book Store; Don Arries, Jim McLaughlin, Debbie Montoya, Lolita Manring, Maxine Stephens, Lisa Jensen, John Graves, Ann and Dick Van Fossen, Evelyn Kantas, Cynthia Sharp, George Love, Al Jodoin and Carol Hakala.

 

Arts Line
By Jennifer Galesic

New group forms memory boxes

We have "super seven" new members to share with you this week and one renewal. We couldn't be more pleased to welcome these folks and, as always, thank you all for your splendid support.

Tom and Nancy Leotti join us with three businesses this week, and one can only applaud and envy this kind of energy. Wow, makes me feel so inadequate that I'm hanging on by a thread with just one job.

Midtown Service Station is the first of three located at 642 San Juan Boulevard and new home of Domino's Pizza. Midtown is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with gasoline, diesel and oil. It is also a fully stocked convenience store including groceries, snacks, beverages, Lotto and an ATM. Clean restrooms are also available. If you need to call these folks, please call 264-6135.

The Leottis second business is Conoco East Service Station located at 360 East Pagosa Street east of town near Highway 84. Gas and diesel are available 24 hours a day at the pump as well as groceries, snacks, Lotto and an ATM. The store is open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the winter, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the summer. You can call the Conoco East Service Station at 264-4740.

The Leottis have covered all their bases with the third business, Conoco West Service Station, located downtown at 635 San Juan Boulevard. This station offers not only gasoline, but also a drive-thru car wash. You will find groceries, snacks, fast foods and beverages at the convenience store as well as friendly service and clean restrooms. You can call at 264-4889.

Our next new business this week is Dilley's Guide Service located at 12285 Highway 112 in Del Norte, at the Wolf Creek Ski Ranch. Dale or Val Dilley will be your hosts for Wild West adventures in hunting, snowmobiling, pack trips, and horseback riding. You will find the snowmobiling adventures at the Spruce Lodge. At the Wolf Creek Ski Ranch, "Their business is your pleasure." You can reach these folks at (719) 657-3554.

Pete Woods joins us next with Purgatory Resort located at No. 1 Skier Place, 25 miles north of Durango on U.S. 550. Purgatory Resort offers spectacular skiing in the winter and countless summer activities to include the Alpine Slide and biking opportunities. If you have questions for Pete, you can reach him at (970) 247-9000.

Mark Mattern and Joe Tarver join us next with Domino's Pizza located in the aforementioned Midtown Phillips 66 at 642 San Juan Boulevard. These folks will deliver pizza to you, and you just need to call to confirm the delivery area. They offer large, medium and personal pan pizza with your choice of toppings. You can request delivery or come in and pick it up. Domino's Pizza is open every day and can be reached by phone at 264-6307. Mark and Joe would be happy to talk to those who might be interested in employment at Domino's, and ask those folks to call them at 759-7147.

We welcome new associate members Annalisa and Steve Hodgkins and always appreciate the support of our Associates. I point out that these folks join to simply support the collective business community through the Chamber of Commerce so it is particularly heartwarming. Thanks to all our new members.

Renewal

Thanks to renewal James Dickhoff with JJ's Upstream Restaurant, Inc. Merci, merci.

St. Pat's winners

Thanks to all the 20 entries who put on such a great show with our St. Patrick's Day Parade last Friday. I particularly love this little parade because it seems to belong to children and animals, all of whom have a ball struttin' their stuff on main street. I am grateful, indeed, for the weather that allowed us to get from beginning to end without a torrential downpour, gale-force winds or a blizzard. These conditions have been par for the course in past years, so I was beside myself with only a little breeze.

We are grateful to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council for providing our fun-loving, enthusiastic judges Jennai Bachus, Clare Burns and Jennifer Harnick. They looked mighty stylin' in the tiny little sunglasses.

Best Float honors went to the Girl Scouts; Most Green award went to Norwest Bank; and the Pagosa Pretenders won top marks for Most Bizarre Costume. Congratulations to you all, and thank you so much for your participation.

The Pagosa Pretenders also won top marks for the cutest darned kids, baskets, Cyclops and eagle in their recent production of the "Arabian Nights" with Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad and the whole gang. My hat is off to Susan Garman and Addie Greer for tackling a production with a cast that size ranging in age from the extremely young to the somewhat young. Hats off to each and every one of you who had a part in this production. It was a real treat to see the faces and hear the laughter of all the kiddoes in the audience - truly family entertainment.

Roarin' Royale

Congratulations to the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club for a fabulous party on St. Patrick's Eve at Pagosa Lodge. I don't have the exact number at my fingertips, but I feel sure that well over four hundred people must have been in attendance that night dressed to the nines and having the times of their lives. It was indeed "The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs" and represented hours and hours of time volunteered by the Rotarians. In excess of $21,000 was made that evening to donate to four very worthy causes. Superb job, Rotarians.

They're here!

Jean Poitras of Bacchus Video and TV Production, Inc. hand-delivered four hundred of the new Chamber of Commerce/Pagosa Springs Videos, so you can come and see for yourself what a beauty it is. Jean has worked hard and long to produce this video, and it is an exceptional representation of this gorgeous place in which we reside. Narration by Debbie Steele-McAlister with music and credits create a completely professional production. We have the TV/Video combination in the Boardroom for those of you who would like to view it before you purchase it. We at the Visitor Center plan to send them to relatives and friends alike to give them an insight to the "real" Pagosa Springs. We're very excited about this video and are anxious to share it with you. The videos have a 17-minute running time and are $20 each with discounts for volume purchases. Please come and see for yourselves what a lovely job Jean has done with capturing the true essence and beauty of Pagosa Springs.

Free counseling

Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be here tomorrow, March 24, to share his (free) business expertise with you. At this writing, he had one appointment left, so I would encourage you to give Morna a call at 264-2360 ASAP to secure a spot with Jim. He can help with your questions about opening a new business or create a business plan for your existing business. We encourage you to take advantage of this helpful Chamber benefit.

 

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Good news from Schoonover family

First, I must apologize for not having the Senior News article in last week's paper. We took a little vacation to visit family and friends in Oklahoma and help celebrate our oldest granddaughter's 16th birthday. It was fun but, as usual, we couldn't wait to get back to the wonderful people and beauty of Pagosa Springs.

It was wonderful news to hear from Helen Schoonover that her grandson, Mark Schoonover, received his kidney and pancreas transplant and is doing well. Helen asked me to express her appreciation for all the prayers for Mark, and would appreciate continued prayers for his full recovery.

Our guest on Friday was Clyde Bagby, who is here visiting his daughter, Christine Heinrich of the "752 Ranch." We hope Clyde will visit us again.

Several of our seniors leave today for a fun trip to Laughlin, Nev. We wish them safe traveling and an enjoyable time. Thanks to Helen Schoonover for planning and arranging this trip and to Kurt Killion for driving the bus.

For all friends/acquaintances of Helen Hart, she would certainly enjoy cards and letters of encouragement during her recuperation from several health problems (she is currently in a nursing home). Helen is 82 years young, and lived on the Blanco River for more than 25 years. I'm sure many of our old-timers know her. Please write to her at: Helen Hart, Box 305, Flora, IL 62839.

This week we honor Pat Foster as Senior of the Week. Congratulations Pat! Pat and his wife, Hannah, are very loyal members of our senior group.

Those seniors who qualify for Medicare probably realize that there were some changes beginning Jan. 1, 2000. One change which is very important is that men over age 50 who have Medicare can receive a new preventive prostate screening test once each 365 days through Medicare. This benefit pays 100 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for an annual PSA test and 80 percent of the approved amount for a digital rectal exam. Since prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, it is crucial that men take advantage of this screening.

 

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Cruse joins St. Pat's Day parade

St Patrick's Day isn't one of my "must celebrate" holidays. I'm not into green beer and "Kiss me, I'm Irish" buttons. But last Friday I did participate in the parade. On the back of a motorcycle.

There's a first time for everything.

My neighbor Jim invited me to ride on his motorcycle last fall, about the time of the Iron Horse annual get-together. Being your basic coward at heart, I said I'd think about it. Then winter came, and mud, and Jim quit roaring up and down the road. I sort of forgot about the whole idea.

So when I ran into Patsy a few days before St. Patrick's Day, she said, "Jim and I are going to ride our bikes in the parade. Want to come along?"

Well, a parade seems a safe enough way to ride a motorcycle. Parades are pretty slow, for one thing. The chances of your body, or your head, colliding with the pavement seem pretty slim. It's not such a big deal if you don't have the helmet and the leather clothes.

But the parade publicity called for wearing green. Not my favorite color. I don't even own a green article of clothing.

I expressed my concern over lack of green garments to Patsy.

"No problem. We'll put shamrocks on our cheeks," she said.

I dug around and found a green shirt of Hotshot's that would fit me. If you were outdoors last Friday, you know that the wind was fierce. I decided to wear my ski clothes so I'd be warm enough. By the time I put on the fleece pants and pullover, and then the green shirt, and the bib ski pants, and the jacket and the ski hat, it didn't matter if there was any green in there or not.

I drove into town and found the bikers. I had just parked my car at the City Market lot, when Jim rumbled past. I had to wave and shout before he recognized me in all those layers.

He turned the bike and came roaring back. "Hop on."

"How?"

He showed me where to put my feet and I straddled the seat behind him. I sat very straight, afraid that if I leaned too far to one side or the other, the motorcycle would tip over.

There was a little confusion as to where we started, and what the lineup was, but gradually every one got into their places along 6th Street. We were right behind the float with the Pagosa Pretenders in their flowing Arabian Nights costumes, veils and headdresses.

"Keep back," someone warned us, "so that people can hear the music from their float."

"What music?" hollered Jim, over the low rumble of the idling engines. We never did hear any music.

Patsy taped our entry number No. 17 to the windshield of Jim's bike. "What's that for?" he asked.

"It's in case we win a prize," she told him.

There were prizes for the greenest costume and such like. But I don't think we were in the running for any of them. The group right behind us, the large contingent of the Christian Motorcycle Association bikers, sported green pennants from their bikes. They were even preceded by a couple of boys carrying a banner with their logo. Talk about organized!

Compared to them, we were a pretty motley crew. There were four motorcycles in our entry, all Harley Davidsons. Green shamrocks stickers decorated our cheeks, our sleeves, the bike windscreens, our foreheads. Some of us wore leather chaps and jackets and gloves. Dave's jacket was the fanciest, with silver studs and lots of long fringe. None of us had a helmet. Jim's "do-rag" was a faded flag pattern. At least my ski pants were black. Maybe some person with poor sight would think they were leather.

On the other hand, the bikes were handsome. Patsy's is a pretty teal color, kind of a feminine motorcycle, if there can be such a thing,

At last the parade moved out. It's an interesting experience, to be riding in a parade and have people you know suddenly recognize you. On a motorcycle.

The bikers were just enjoying being on their bikes, I think. Our four stayed in some sort of ragged group. Every once in a while we'd rev all four engines together. The noise was deafening. The watching crowds laughed. The kids in front of us covered their ears.

People who didn't make it to the parade asked me later, "Was it a good turnout?" Hard to answer with any authority, since it's my first St. Paddy's Day parade here. Plus, did they mean the number of parade entrants or the crowds lining Main Street. So I asked Suellen at the Visitors Center for a count. Nineteen entrants participated last Friday. Compare that to the one float that participated - that's right, one!- when the Chamber started holding the parade about 7 years ago.

We moved along the parade route in fits and starts. Jim and Dave hung back until there was a gap of 100-200 feet between us and the Pretenders' float. Then they'd race forward. Lynn, who was riding behind Dave, and I would lurch and grab the jackets in front of us.

"You didn't feel the front wheel come off the ground, did you?" Jim asked me after the second of these racing starts. That was a piece of information I didn't need to hear.

After 10 minutes, Jim and Dave started saying, "These babies are getting hot. I think we need cool 'em down." So when the parade turned right at 2nd Street, we went straight.

Vrooom! On out of town, down Highway 84. We must have gone 3 miles down Highway 84 before they turned around and - Vrooom! - back we came. I had taken off my hat and sunglasses back in town, while we were still plodding along in the parade, and they were tucked away in my pocket. I didn't dare let go of the death grip I had on Jim's jacket to try and get them. Instead, I hunkered behind his back, squinting into the jet stream. And sometimes I just closed my eyes.

Back in town, he returned me to my car. "How do I get off this thing?" And he tilted it so that I could dismount. Dismount is the right image here. I hadn't felt such a stretch since the time I rode a Percheron workhorse.

At least I didn't scream. I didn't tip the bike over. I have to admit that it was kind of fun.

Maybe I'll get invited again.

Editorials
Controls can't be capricious

Archuleta County is not alone. Controlled growth, smart

growth, congestion containment, sprawl stoppage, or what

ever best describes the effort to restrict residential and commercial development is a growing concern in much of Colorado.

Some in Colorado had hoped to accomplish growth-management through new legislation. Yet Thursday of last week the Senate Agriculture Committee by a 6-1 vote plowed under House Bill 1223, the last surviving growth-control measure for this year's legislative session. It could be said the defeat resulted from the various opposing factions - Municipal League, Colorado Counties Inc., REAs, environmentalists, developers, homebuilders, Realtors , etc. - had in essence "subdivided" the bill to death in an effort to protect their special interests.

There is still hope that a comprehensive growth management piece of legislation that would concentrate power at the local level could still be developed in the state capitol, some are concerned the defeat will result in special interest groups trying to place one or more growth-control initiatives of the general ballot.

While some are wanting to control growth, others are working towards controlling those who control growth. Yes, also on March 16, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation that could significantly revise state and local zoning decisions by giving developers the right to appeal these decisions more quickly in federal court. The bill would enable developers or private property owners to bypass local authorities if they think they have been deprived the economic use of their land. They could sue in the federal court after they had appealed a local zoning decision or sought a waiver with local authorities.

Both reports show why the county commissioners must base their decisions on existing county resolutions when ruling on planned unit development proposals, or on variance requests. To let petitions or organized opposition sway them from existing county regulations or state legislation leaves the county open to charges of making capricious or arbitrary decisions.

David C. Mitchell

 

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Bigness doesn't need to be mean

Dear Folks,

It's good to read about the record number of skiers at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Wolf Creek's increasing snow depth won't come close to its record numbers of years past, but it upholds the area's trademarked claim, "The Most Snow in Colorado."

About the only positive in the negative numbers Wolf Creek experienced during the earlier holiday seasons is that it once and for all showed what an important economic factor the ski area is to Pagosa.

For some reason a lot of folks sort of take Wolf Creek for granted. They think it's making tons of money off the tourists and doing little for the locals.

After this season, I'd be surprised if any of the local businesses continue to hold that misconception.

I knew a lot of skiers were up there March 13 when I took last week's page 1 photo. But I'd never guessed there were almost 5,000 skiers on the mountain.

Two weeks ago, the "25 Years ago" column recalled that Wolf Creek Ski Area enjoyed a record season in 1974-75. The March 13, 1975, front page of the SUN reported that a record 30,000 skiers had visited Wolf Creek during the season.

It's hard to believe 25 years later, that this month Wolf Creek hosted 28,850 skiers in a 10-day period.

Pagosa's changing in so many ways.

I made a special trip to the post office the other day. I didn't want to pick up my mail. I wanted to be sure the name plate in the foyer said Pagosa Springs Post Office.

More and more it seems like I'm in Aspen, Boulder, Durango or Vail. It's not the surroundings. It's not the traffic. It's not the new stop light that's under construction. It's not the tourists. It's not all the new shops and stores.

It's the new attitude.

I still remember hearing folks talk about Hal Franklin and his desire to be "the biggest man" in Pagosa Springs.

Hal sold me my house on Fourmile Road. It seemed if Hal owned something, it had a for sale sign on it.

At that time Hal owned Pagosa Hardware. Today, it's the vacant building next to Jackisch Drug. Back then it was one of the bigger businesses in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Now it wasn't as big as Citizens Bank, Goodman's Department Store, or Hersch's Super Market, or Jackisch Drug or San Juan Supply.

Still, it did a bigger business than Mullin's Barber Shop, or the Hub, or Pagosa Hotel, or Pagosa Bar or some of the other businesses along Main Street at that time.

Pagosa Hardware was a busy spot during hunting season and the summer tourist season. And for some reason Hal evidently thought being the biggest businessman in Pagosa would be quite an accomplishment.

He someday might have reached his goal had he not been an uncureable salesman. His strength as a salesman interfered with his quest for bigness. About 26 years ago he sold his business to another Texan and moved back to Texas.

But Hal's desire for bigness differs from today's attitude of dominance and self-importance that's seeping into Pagosa.

Hal wasn't mean or vindictive. He didn't try to use his money to hurt someone else's investment.

Back then, folks in Pagosa didn't try to interfere with other folk's property. Not every neighbor liked his neighbors. There were feuds and sometime fights. But I don't remember folks being vindicative towards one another.

Yes, I miss the attitudes of the past.

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

David

 

25 years ago

Lumber mill to reopen soon

Taken from SUN files

of March 27, 1975

Company spokesmen for San Juan Lumber Co. said this week that plans are now underway to reopen the mill at Pagosa Springs. Present plans call for the mill to start operations in approximately four to six weeks from now.

Snowfall, up to 82 inches in two days, has shattered records on Wolf Creek Pass. Unofficial estimates now place total fall through this morning (Thursday) at 648 inches. The previous record was 619 inches in the winter of 1972-73. Only twice in the last 16 years has snowfall exceeded 600 inches.

EG&G, a cloud-seeding contractor, said this week that seeding operations in this area were carried out from 11 a.m. on March 21 to 9 a.m. on March 22. Eleven generators were operating from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the 21st. Seven were operating from 1:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. on the 22nd.

Acting Sheriff J.C. Woods reported four break-ins involving three unoccupied homes and an unoccupied liquor store in the Arboles area recently. The exact date of the break-ins has not been determined.

Legacies
By Shari Pierce

Whitefields open Gambles store in Pagosa

One morning last week, a gentleman stopped by the office to visit. Though I had not met him before, I had wanted to. We made arrangements to meet later in the evening. I was pleased to spend an hour or so visiting with Larry and Peggy Whitefield. Larry grew up here and filled me in on some Pagosa history I hadn't known. He also brought several photographs of early-day Pagosa that I had never seen.

Taking the information the Whitefields provided, putting it together with some I had and filling in some gaps with old newspaper articles, I've pieced together the following.

Jim and Gay Whitefield moved to Pagosa Springs in 1945 from Texas. They operated a photography shop here for some time. In December of 1945, the Whitefields purchased the West Side Grocery from Frank Brown.

The Whitefields opened Gambles in 1954. By 1956, they decided they needed more room to operate their business. The Whitefields and their attorney approached the town board in August of that year. Their plan? To ask the town to abandon the portion of 6th Street that ran between the Gambles Store and the SUN office of that time. The Whitefields offered to purchase this piece of property from the town.

A September news article announced that the Whitefields had moved their old warehouse. They moved their current building to the site of the previous warehouse. It would later be remodeled and used for a warehouse. Work had begun on preparing the site for a new building. The lot would be raised three feet to street level.

The Whitefields wasted no time in getting their new building completed. A November news article announced that Gambles would be moving into its new quarters the following week. The new building was constructed of cinder blocks with plate glass front windows.

In November 1956, the SUN reported "Their building is the newest business building in town and is a very handsome addition to the business blocks of the town. It will take some time to get everything moved and the building fully completed."

In December, the new Gambles opened. It was located in the cinder-block building at 604 San Juan Street. Today, Car Quest is housed in this building.

 

Features
Video Review
By Roy Starling

A cowboy movie for thinkers

The following kinds of people should report to the Pagosa Lodge South Face Room at 7 p.m. tomorrow night for the Pagosa Springs Film Society's showing of John Ford's "Stagecoach":

- Those who are interested in the history of American cinema. Ford made a big name for himself in the '20s making silent films, then continued to turn out great work in the '30, '40s, '50s and '60s. Some of his better known films: "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "How Green Was My Valley" (1941), "My Darling Clementine" (1946), "The Quiet Man" (1952), "The Searchers" (1956) and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962).

- Those who like westerns. Many critics and film historians consider "Stagecoach" the first "grown-up" Western, the first Western to be directed by a genuine artist. Once Ford had broken the ice with "Stagecoach," all sorts of legitimate directors tried their hands at a genre once aimed entirely at uneducated country boys - not that there's anything wrong with that.

- Those who don't like Westerns, but who appreciate intelligently made movies with a clear, interesting storyline; with a rich cast of characters who are recognizable as types but who simultaneously go beyond their types; with a structure as taut and balanced as a BB on fishing line; and with shots composed so artistically that they could be hanging on the walls of the Louvre. (Okay, maybe that last one's a slight exaggeration.)

Let me try to tell you something about this wonderful little film without giving away too much and without saying so much that there's no room left for discussion tomorrow night.

For one thing, "Stagecoach" can be enjoyed in a very simple light, that is, by just sitting back, munching your popcorn and taking in the surface details. You've got a revenge story, an attack by Geronimo, white-collar crime, a budding romance and the spectacular scenery provided by Monument Valley, four hours to our west, just north of Kayenta, Ariz.

But if you like movies that give you a little more to think about, if you like a little intellectual beef with your horse operas, "Stagecoach" has plenty of that.

"Stagecoach" has the archetypal journey, the Hero's quest, the formation of community in the face of adversity and the need for "a little Christian charity" in dire circumstances; it touts courage, compassion and forgiveness over social pedigrees and pettiness, prejudice and hypocrisy. It favors misfits and "sinners" over the respectable and seemingly righteous.

The journey, taken on a stagecoach (duh), begins in a town called Tonto (which means "foolish"). After traveling through early America's version of the heart of darkness, it will end in Lordsburg (the Lord's town?).

In journey stories, we expect the travelers, the pilgrims, to be wiser in some way at journey's end than they were at the beginning. The journey, especially in medieval stories, was seen as a metaphor for life, a time to work out one's salvation and thus be ready for the Final Destination.

So that you can be getting your scorecard ready for tomorrow night, I'll give thumbnail sketches of the stagecoach's passengers:

- Buck (Andy Devine), the squeaky-voiced driver. Cowardly lion type. Frets over the fact that his Mexican wife Julietta only feeds him frijoles and now her grandfather's moving up from Chihuahua. A buffoon who's fun for the viewing audience but gets little respect from his peers.

- Curly (George Bancroft), the sheriff, who rides shotgun. He's already a good man, so how can this journey make him better? See the movie and find out.

- Lucy Mallory (Louise Platt), a Southern lady (called "an angel in the jungle" by another character) whose goal is to find her husband in the Cavalry as soon as possible. She is a snob but almost seems to have her snobbery pressed upon her by others in awe of her social standing. Maybe she's locked in a sociological trap.

- Mr. Peacock (Donald Meek), a timid, gentle, sweet, cowardly whiskey salesman who is constantly being mistaken for a reverend. No one ever gets his name right. An inside joke: He's once called Mr. Haycock, an obvious reference to Ernest Haycox, the author of the short story upon which "Stagecoach" is based. What sort of role can such an insignificant man play in the formation and/or protection of this community?

- Dallas (Claire Trevor) a "dancer" - oh, let's be honest: She's a prostitute, for crying out loud. She's been kicked out of Tonto by the fine ladies of the Law and Order League. She seems more to be pitied than censured, as the song goes, more a victim of certain economic pressures than a loose woman. Essentially, she's the film's central character; Miss Trevor got top billing for the film, above the still unknown John Wayne.

- Dr. Josiah Boone (Thomas Mitchell), an eloquent, witty, well-read, alcoholic doctor being kicked out of Tonto by, you guessed it, the good ladies of the Law and Order League. "We are the victims of a foul disease called social prejudice," he tells Dallas as the two are ushered out of Tonto. One thing about those Tonto people: They're not afraid to cast the first stone. Mitchell, incidentally, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Stagecoach."

- Mr. Hatfield (Warning: This isn't his real name; listen carefully late in the film and you'll hear it), played by John Carradine. He's a Prodigal Son, fallen Southern aristocrat, sort of a precursor to Doc Holliday as he's depicted in "My Darling Clementine" and "Tombstone," running away from himself, shooting and gambling his life away in the West. Is there any honor in this man at all?

- Gatewood (Berton Churchill), a sleazy, dishonest banker, which in a way is a redundancy since almost all bankers in Westerns are depicted as sleazy and dishonest. These days, he'd be a cover-boy Republican, preaching about how the government has to stay out of the way of business, how what's good for business is good for the country, how this country needs a good businessman as president, and . . . excuse me, I think I'm going to be sick.

- The last guy to get on the coach is the young Ringo Kid (John Wayne, the Father of Our Country), recently escaped from prison in order to exact revenge on the dastardly Plummer brothers for killing his brother and father. Curly promptly arrests him, and from this point on we wonder how much Ringo is willing to give this community (heading into Apache country, they really need his help). What is more important to him, getting back at the Plummers or helping this little band of pilgrims make it safely to Lordsburg?

Ringo's most notable action in the movie, and maybe the most admirable, is his refusal or inability to see Dallas as an outcast. She may be the prototypical "harlot with the heart of gold," but Ringo only sees the golden heart. He insists on regarding her as "the other lady," and he treats her with all the respect due a lady, and, doggone it, he starts falling in love with this filthy, disgusting, immoral trash. Is he naive about her line of work or is he just pretending not to know?

Well, that's our stagecoach full of characters. Cramped inside the close quarters of the coach, they form a kind of microcosm of society: different people from different backgrounds with different values, agendas, motives and goals. Normally, Westerns sing the praises of rugged individuals, but Ford is more interested in how these folks break out of the isolation of individualism and give birth to Community, a place and condition marked by mutuality, caring, sharing, compassion and sacrifice. It is really fun to watch that mysterious thing (i.e., community) gradually take shape in "Stagecoach."

It's ironic, don't you think, that in the seemingly infinite vastness of Monument Valley, Ford focuses his attention and his camera on people in crowded, claustrophobic conditions - whether it's the little stagecoach or the low-ceilinged buildings of the outposts between Tonto and Lordsburg. "With all the room in the world," he seems to be saying, "we're still stuck with each other, still squeezed into that great sardine can of community with other people."

Is hell other people, as a character from a Sartre play argues, or can other people use their respective talents to create "the Lord's town"? Come to the film society gathering tomorrow night and see what Ford thinks.

And while you're there, you think it'd kill ya to throw in a couple of bucks for the Friends of the Liberry?

 

Business News
Biz Beat

Impact Printing

Rick and Donna Kiister own and operate Impact Printing and Graphics, a commercial printing business located at 301 North Pagosa Boulevard, in Units B11 and 12.

Impact Printing and Graphics provides graphic design, desktop publishing, printing, black and white and color copies. The business also produces commercial signs, including banners, truck lettering, magnetic signs and window lettering. Blueprint copying is also available.

Impact Printing and Graphics is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. The phone number is 731-3980.

 

United Loan Consultants

Steve Rogan owns and operates United Loan Consultants.

Rogan utilizes the resources of more than 80 lenders to deal with all types of loans and credit scenarios, and to provide his customers with prompt closings.

United Loan Consultants is located at 40 Emerald Place, with business hours set at the customer's convenience.

The phone number at United Loan Consultants is 731-6111.

 

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

3/8

36

23

S

4.0

.56

3/9

33

10

-

-

-

3/10

48

21

-

-

-

3/11

55

29

-

-

-

3/12

52

30

-

-

-

3/13

50

28

-

-

-

3/14

54

39

-

-

-