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February 15, 2001
 

Three Pirate grapplers advance to state mats

By Karl Isberg

Pirate wrestling coach Dan Janowsky labeled last weekend's regional tournament at La Junta the season's best for his young team and three of his wrestlers earned trips to the Class 3A championships that start today at Denver.

Senior Josh Richardson will compete at Denver in the 189 pound division, following his second-place finish at the La Junta tourney. Junior Luke Boilini (215 pounds) and freshman Michael Martinez (103 pounds) will wrestle at Denver after they took third place in their divisions at the regional event.

Janowsky bumped Richardson up to 189 pounds for the regional tourney after the Pirate spent the majority of his season laboring at 171 pounds. It was a calculated move, and the move paid off.

"I just thought it was the best chance for Josh to get through regionals and I thought the same when I looked at the possible brackets for state," the coach said. "The '89s have a style Josh does well against. Everything worked out: Josh wrestled those big guys well, got second and secured a pretty good seed at state."

Richardson got off to a fast start at La Junta, drawing top-seeded Bobby Kinny of Ignacio. The Pirate built a 7-1 lead through two periods and held off Kinny for a 7-6 decision.

Next up was Dan Black of Bayfield. The Wolverine lasted 48 seconds before his shoulders hit the mat and Richardson nailed the fall.

A.J. Palmer from Salida stayed in contention for a bit more than two periods in the championship semifinal as Richardson used two takedowns, a reverse and two near-falls to forge a 10-4 advantage. The Pirate finally got a win by fall just after the start of the final period of the match.

Richardson ran into a buzzsaw in the finals when he met Bobby Martin of Lamar, one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state at 189 pounds. The Pirate got into trouble early and was pinned in the first period.

"Josh wrestled well," Janowsky said. "His semi-final match was one of the best I've seen from him. It took Josh a while to break the guy down, but Josh was in control."

Martinez began competition with an emphatic 15-3 win over Phillip Weaver of Ignacio. The Pirate put together a big third period with two takedowns and near-falls for two and three points.

Joel Polkowske of Centauri was the next opponent for Martinez and the Falcon was no stranger. The two freshmen fought twice earlier in the season, with Martinez winning each match. Centauri coaches gave their charge a different strategy at La Junta - play cautious, be defensive. Each wrestler lost a point for stalling in the first period. Martinez gave up an escape then went ahead 3-2 with a second-period takedown. Martinez escaped to start the third period then took Polkowske down to get the 6-2 decision.

David Good, of La Junta beat Martinez 7-4 to force the Pirate out of the championship bracket. Martinez fought back, pinning a Rocky Ford opponent in the second period.

In the fight for third place, Martinez saw Polkowske again. The Falcon worked the same strategy and the match stayed close. Martinez got the win with a 3-2 decision.

"Michael had a good tournament," the coach said. "He had to beat Polkowske in the quarterfinals then again for third place. The more times you see a guy, the harder it is to keep beating him. It concerned us, but Michael did it. The kid from La Junta beat Michael earlier in the year 9-3. He is a senior and a state-placer and Michael worked well in that match. I'll tell you what - third place at this regional is a real accomplishment. I'm excited by Michael's constant improvement."

Boilini drew a bye in the first round at La Junta.

Adam Seibel of Ignacio lasted 58 seconds against Boilini.

The Pirate met a rugged opponent in the semifinal and lost to Alan Palmer of Lamar in the first period.

Wrestling back into contention, Boilini fought Matt Weyers of La Junta. The Pirate got a 3-1 advantage in the first period with an escape and a takedown. Another escape and two takedowns in the second period extended the lead to 8-3. Boilini finished off Weyers with a third-period takedown, earning a 10-5 decision.

A 3-1 decision in his last match of the day gave Boilini third place and his trip to state.

"Luke started with a tough opponent right off the bat," said Janowsky, "then he wrestled the returning state champion in the semifinal. That put him in position to take on the kid from La Junta. There's a lot of pressure, wrestling the guy in front of his home crowd. When you lose in the semis, your back is against the wall. Luke showed some real presence, going with the game plan and finishing third."

State tournament action begins at 3 p.m. this afternoon at the Pepsi Center at Denver.

Martinez (30-6) faces Luis Meza, a senior from Hotchkiss with a 22-5 record.

Richardson (25-8) squares off against George Mazzuca (27-10), a freshman from Highland.

Boilini - probably the only Colorado high school athlete to compete in state golf and wrestling tournaments in the same year - takes a 24-11 record into his battle with Matt Smith (16-4), a junior from Rangely.

"Whenever you go to the state tournament," said Janowsky, "you're starting over. We take three guys and, if we end up with three medalists, we could score a lot of points and do pretty well in the standings."

Other Pirate wrestlers

Several other Pirate wrestlers scored victories at the regional tournament.

Sophomore Mike Maestas got two wins at 125 pounds. He scored an 8-0 decision in the first round of competition against Leonard Lucero of Bayfield. He got a second-period fall against an opponent from Monte Vista.

Cliff Hockett also came home with two wins. The Pirate sophomore forged a 15-9 decision in his first match, then scored a 13-3 decision over an athlete from Buena Vista.

Junior Trevor Peterson won two matches at 145 pounds at the regional tournament: a 7-5 decision over Ignacio's Peter Justensen and a win by fall over a wrestler from Bayfield.

Sophomore Cameron Cundiff scored an 8-4 decision over an opponent from Las Animas at 135 pounds.

Zeb Gill, a sophomore, won a 7-6 decision at 152 pounds.

Jordan Kurt-Mason, also a sophomore, won a 5-4 decision at 160 pounds.

"This was the best tournament we've had this year," said Janowsky. "This was our peak performance. We repeatedly reversed matches where a guy had beaten us earlier in the season. Several of our guys were 2-2 at La Junta and were one match away from going to Denver. We turned out to be far tougher than anyone imagined. I feel we closed the gap on a lot of the other teams and when people see we're bringing nearly the same team back next year, they have to be concerned. The main thing we need to do is gain strength and, if we do, we will be a formidable group to deal with."

 

Parents plead for student protection from solicitors

By Richard Walter

Distribution of religious materials to students walking on public sidewalks from schools to their buses concerns many parents in Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

A group of them, including two who had written letters to the SUN about the situation, brought their concerns to the school board Tuesday, pleading for action which would stop any solicitation of their children.

Pam Miller, Cindy Laner and supporters said the materials being distributed Jan. 26 turned out to be acceptable, but asked: "What about the next time? If these strangers can come in and distribute Bible tracts what's to prevent a pornographer or racial bigot from distributing materials to these children?"

Miller noted the children approached were, in effect, a captive audience. "They had to pass on the public sidewalk to get to their assigned buses. They had the materials, sometimes rudely, thrust into their faces and were questioned if they declined to accept."

Miller and Laner agreed they do not want their children approached by anyone handing out literature, no matter how supportive it might be. "I wasn't offered anything when I walked past," Miller told the board, "so it is obvious they were targeting the children."

She noted such actions would not be legal at the elementary or high schools because they are surrounded by school property. The intermediate and junior high schools are surrounded by public sidewalks and the buses park along the sidewalk on the south side of Lewis Street.

Miller said she had gone to Town Hall and was told any plea for "No soliciting" signs or other controls in the area would have to come from the school board. "So," she said, "we're here asking you what we can do, more importantly, what you can do, to make sure our children are safe, that they are not approached by some reproachable group on the sidewalk in view of the schools."

Superintendent Terry Alley told the parents the school district had checked the legality of the tract distributions last year and again this year and were told by legal counsel that such action is perfectly legal on public sidewalks if the childrens' movement is not hindered in any way and that no effort is made to force children to accept materials.

"Unfortunately," Alley said, "they are within their rights to do it. They don't even have to notify us though, in this case, they did call us the day before and said they were going to be here."

Randall Davis, board president, agreed the situation is tenuous. "We need to do something," he said, "but the question is what?"

Miller replied, "We need you to take the ball. We'll support you in any way possible."

Board members agreed Alley should contact Town Manager Jay Harrington and ask for municipal opinion on what, if anything, can be done.

Board director Carol Feazel seconded the questions of the parents: "What if some weird group came in passing out hate literature? What about panhandlers? Propagandists could have a field day. If it bothers our students and worries their parents we should be concerned even if, technically, it is not taking place on school property."

When one of the parents suggested signs limiting solicitation to a specific distance from the school, similar to no smoking signs now in effect, she was told the school can enforce the smoking rule with students but could not stop an adult from smoking on the public sidewalk.

Asked if the school board could ask the town to donate the sidewalk to the school district, thus giving schools control of it and a solution to the problem, Alley said the sidewalks "have been designated public property and as such can be used by anyone. Our acquiring them would not make them non-public."

Davis told the group he understands the legality question but also understands their concern. "I don't feel it is appropriate for anyone to be approaching the children between the school buildings and their buses for any purpose, public property or not.

"But," he said, "this is America and we have to abide by the law or find a way to amend it. Maybe a letter from the board saying we don't feel this is appropriate behavior would close the door to any of the 'freaky stuff' you warn about."

An unidentified parent in the audience told the board, "They see it as a loophole, and it is. We feel it comes down to solicitation of a minor. Pornography is against the law, but some pervert could be passing it out until caught.

"And what if a child disappears?" she asked. "I don't think the school wants that kind of liability, public sidewalk or not. What I'm saying is we don't want a next time - with this group or any other."

Board director Clifford Lucero told the parents and fellow board members, "I don't think any of us want this here. I think we all want all our children safe. I suggest we do whatever is necessary to accomplish that."

On his recommendation, the board agreed unanimously to have Alley contact Town officials and determine what legal action, if any, can be taken.

Alley said he'll have a report when the board meets March 13.

Laner and Miller thanked the board and then Laner added, before they departed: "When I drop my child off at the bus in the morning, I assume I'll get the child back at the same spot after school, none the worse for the day at school."

"This open solicitation of our children worries us and we believe it should worry the community," she said. "We want the children, not just ours but all of them, protected."

 

Commissioners react to charges of 'closed talks'

By John M. Motter

Two of the three Archuleta County commissioners responded to public prodding under a public comments agenda item while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

Present were Commissioners Bill Downey and Alden Ecker. Absent was Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. Tuesday Crabtree attended a recycling gathering in Denver.

Questions asked of the commissioners centered on: a workshop held Feb. 6 that was not listed on any agenda, a meeting scheduled Feb. 8 at the county fair building but canceled because of bad weather, and reasons for not including planning department staff at certain commissioners meetings.

Concerning the Feb. 7 workshop with certain developers and a bonding agent, Ecker said the commissioners are trying to use work sessions as a kind of think tank during which no decisions will be made. He said the sessions are open to the public, the commissioners have a duty to listen to the public, that there was intention to hold additional meetings at a later date on the same subject and open to the public, that some "of us" knew the meeting with the developers would happen, but he didn't know the bond agent was coming.

Downey said he knew nothing ahead of time about the work shop with the developers, and failed to recognize that the nature of the meeting required prior public notice. He said the public should cut slack for Ecker because he is a new commissioner and for County Attorney Mary Weiss because she was not present and therefore could not counsel the commissioners that the meeting violated the state open meeting law.

"We had an outside presentation from special interests," Downey said. "We discussed it with our attorney later and learned it should have been on the agenda or should not have been held. We should have involved planning staff for their valuable input. The criticism should fall on myself and Commissioner Crabtree."

Downey summarized his position by admitting a mistake had made but "we" will try not to make the same mistake again.

Ecker argued that the commissioners have an obligation to listen to anyone who comes to them. He said people have a right to talk to the commissioners without the planning commission intervening.

"I think we should want to know," he said. "I also want to know the opposite side."

Interpretation of the open meetings law is not all black and white, Ecker said, and there may be a difference of opinion between his interpretation and Downey's.

He then asserted he wants to live up to his responsibilities, that the commissioners might have made some mistakes, but "we are human."

Ecker then recited an example of another meeting involving county personnel and others, a meeting he could not attend because Downey was already there and an agenda had not been posted. If Ecker had joined Downey at the meeting, a quorum of commissioners would have been present, a violation of the state open meetings law when an agenda has not been posted.

"I have some problems with the open meetings law," Ecker said.

"We have worked out an approach to solve this problem," said Downey. "At the suggestion of the administrative assistant, we will post a weekly schedule of meetings the commissioners may attend."

Concerning the canceled meeting scheduled at the county fairgrounds Feb. 8, Karen Aspin said she was deeply hurt to learn the meeting was identified as a public forum on the Archuleta County Community Plan.

Aspin pointed out she and others had worked more than a year and attended more than 20 meetings as part of a community effort to develop a community plan.

Aspin said she was shocked and hurt to learn of the meeting and that the community plan advisory committee and county planning office had not been advised of the meeting or invited.

Downey said he did not learn of the meeting until the Tuesday or Wednesday before the (Feb. 8) Thursday meeting, and that he had nothing to do with calling it.

Ecker said he knew about the meeting 1-2-3-4 days in advance. He said the meeting was scheduled in response to a request from some folks living in Arboles who had conducted a meeting with the commissioners concerning the master plan. The meeting at Arboles was conducted at the home of Charley Stanfill following the posting of an agenda in conformity with the open meetings law. County planning staff was not invited, nor did they attend, the Arboles meeting.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- By consensus, agreed to the concept of hiring a part time Region 9 transportation planner, but deferred more concrete action until the position's cost to Archuleta County becomes known

- Postponed action on adopting the 1997 Universal Building Code until a county building inspector is hired

- Listened to an annual progress report presented by Bill Bright concerning emergency services in the county

- Accepted the resignation of Kim Moore from the Archuleta County Fair Board. A replacement will be sought

- Agreed to ask the state to appropriate $50,000 to help fund a Four Corners Interpretive Center. Utah and Arizona have already appropriated $50,000 each and New Mexico has been invited to do the same. The federal government has appropriated funding for building the center and is encouraging the four states match the federal grant

- Conducted a 1:30 p.m. work session with elected county officials

- Conducted a 3 p.m. work session reviewing the job description of the Director of County Development.

 

PLPOA, Fairfield discussing recreation dilemma

By Richard Walter

A joint meeting of representatives of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and Fairfield Pagosa has reopened previously tense lines of communication between the two groups with reference to recreational facilities.

"But," said director and recreation committee chairman Thomas Cruse, "there are no clear cut decisions to report.

"A major obstacle to any plans we have for possible expansion of the recreation center," Cruse told the PLPOA board Thursday, "has been the wild card of whether or not Fairfield Pagosa is going to develop a recreation center of their own."

Cruse told the board that he and general manager Walt Lukasik met recently with presidents of the eight Fairfield units and with the new Western Regional Property Manager for Fairfield.

"We had no specific agenda," Cruse said, "but we hoped to learn what Fairfield's plans are. There was some question whether future communications would even be worthwhile. We agreed it would be to the benefit of all to reestablish ongoing communications.

"We were advised," he said, "of issues perceived by their property owners, specifically that they are treated in our facilities as second class constituents. It is not a clear issue and its a very subjective viewpoint.

"It is obvious," Cruse said, "that Fairfield managers and their clients visiting Pagosa and using our recreation center have higher expectations than what they find."

He said the PLPOA delegation reminded Fairfield representatives "we are set up to serve many people from many different climes. We explained our staff is insufficient to provide tours and personal assistance to Fairfield visitors."

Nothing was ironed out specifically, Cruse said, "but we agreed further meetings are advisable."

He noted approximately 20 percent of PLPOA owners are required, because of original Fairfield Pagosa rules, to contribute $180 per year to a "Fairfield U.S.A." fee to Fairfield. "We asked their lead representative for an accounting of how these funds are used," he said, "and were told they didn't have an answer but would get one."

Cruse said there have been recurring rumors Fairfield is planning a recreational center of its own and that any PLPOA expansion or modification of facilities should be partially planned with that in mind.

PLPOA representatives and two Fairfield presidents were to meet again this week and discuss joint considerations.

Lukasik told the board he had just learned Fairfield is planning to build, but not a recreation center. "I'm told it will be more of an amenities center for their guests only," he said.

Cruse reminded the directors that "Fairfield Pagosa owns over 1,000 acres of the green space we have in our subdivisions. We hope the issues common to both groups will be resolved through better communication."

In a related report, Lukasik told the board the sale of fishing licenses for use on PLPOA waters will be revised this year in an effort to reduce the amount of traffic in the recreation center where they have been sold exclusively.

Toward that end, he said, an application for fishing licenses will be included in the newsletter so residents will be able to mail in requests and get their licenses back by mail. In addition, he said, "we will begin selling licenses here in the office instead of sending people over to the rec center to get them."

Lukasik said the license dates will also be changed, with any license sold at any time this year good until Feb. 28, 2002. Thereafter, all licenses will go on a calendar year basis - Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

All this is designed to cut down in-and-out traffic at the recreation center, he said.

In other action during the shortest meeting in over a year, the directors:

- Heard director Richard Manley, board president, summarize the work session held Feb. 6 with county commissioners. "We are trying," he said, "to reestablish lines of communication and trying to get a handle on how best to approach the major issues which affect the county and therefore PLPOA. It was a positive session, with both sides open to discussion." He noted the county has "acquired land out here and has some conceptual ideas for recreational development. There are no specific plans as yet, but it is something we need to be cognizant of, just as is the road classification issue."

- Learned from Lukasik that an additional $5,030 was realized on sale of used equipment as the board continues to eliminate items formerly used by the Public Safety Office. (Included were three tables, three chairs, a desk and a 1993 pickup)

- Unanimously appointed Leona F. "Pat" Payne to the Code of Enforcement Hearing Panel and named H. Jack Theisen and Raymond P. Finney as alternate members to the Environmental Control Commission

- Heard director Gerald Smith laud new county commissioner Alden Ecker, who was in the audience, for "making his end of the commission table amicable and positive." Ecker responded, "I promised I would work closely with you, and I will."

 

Hospital district's Urgent Care Center in operation

By Karl Isberg

An Urgent Care Center is open and operating seven days a week at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center on South Pagosa Boulevard.

Operated by the Upper San Juan Hospital District, the 2,800 square-foot facility is located on the south side of the medical center building.

"We opened the center in January," said hospital district director Bill Bright, "and now we have the center open on Saturdays and Sundays. It is staffed by a physician, and either a nurse or a paramedic."

The new center includes two treatment areas, with one area serving as a critical care station, a private examining room, a station for physicians and nurses, and an x-ray machine.

According to Bright, the Urgent Care Center does not take regular medical appointments. "This center," he said, "is strictly for emergency care, with patients coming to us as walk-ins or by ambulance. This center increases our ability to treat, stabilize and transport patients needing urgent care."

 

Inside The Sun
 

Town sets hearing on geothermal rate increase

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs trustees will hold a March 6 public hearing at 5 p.m. at Town Hall to consider a change in the rate structure for the town's geothermal heating system.

Town staff reviewed the current geothermal rate structure, comparing prices with local natural gas rates and is urging the trustees to approve an increase.

Pagosa Springs has traditionally based geothermal energy rates for its town-owned heating system on local natural gas rates and attempted to keep the cost of geothermal heat 30 percent below the cost of equivalent heat from natural gas.

At present, the local natural gas provider, Citizens Utilities, is requesting a third increase in natural gas prices which, if approved, will equal a total rate increase of 94.29 percent since the summer of 2000. Town geothermal rates have not increased since January 1994.

Town geothermal heat is sold per "Therm," with a Therm equal to 100,000 BTUs. The present rate is $.45 per Therm.

Converted to Therms, the current natural gas rate is $.92 per Therm. If the request for an increase is approved, the natural gas rate will rise to $1.10 per Therm. The current natural gas rate is 105 percent higher than the town geothermal heat rate. With the proposed increase, the natural gas rate will be 144 percent higher than the geothermal rate.

Town staff is proposing an increase in the geothermal energy rate to $.60 per Therm - a 33 percent increase.

The Pagosa Springs Geothermal Heating District operates in the negative and is subsidized by the town of Pagosa Springs. The system currently serves 20 customers, including Town Hall, the Archuleta County Courthouse, three public school buildings (elementary, intermediate and junior high), Community United Methodist Church and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. There are two downtown residences heated by the system.

"If this increase goes into effect, and the proposed natural gas increase is approved," said Pagosa Springs Geothermal Administrator Mark Garcia, "we will still not reach our 30 percent level relative to the price of natural gas. We will be near 45 percent less than the cost of gas. The reason we have not restructured the rate to be 30 percent less the natural gas rate is we hold out hope natural gas rates might go down in the future."

 

County seeks user taxes for 545 miles of roads

By John M. Motter

A county report identifying roads eligible for Highway User Tax Funds was submitted to the state at the end of January.

Archuleta County receives about $1.2 million each year from the state H.U.T.F. source. Each county in the state's allotment is determined from a fairly complex formula involving three tiers of funding.

This year's report identifies 545.42 miles of roads in the county eligible for H.U.T. funds. Included in that total are 179.07 miles of arterial roads and 366.35 miles of local roads.

The eligible mileage is up by 2.28 miles over last year because of the construction of certain roads within the Alpha/Rockridge Metro District and Eaton Drive in the Central Core area of Fairfield Pagosa.

Also included in the report are 210.25 miles of roads not eligible for H.U.T.F. monies. The length of non-eligible roads increased by 31.52 miles over last year due to several new roads in the Fairfield Pagosa area west of town.

Also included within the non-eligible road inventory are the 9.9 miles of roads located within the Loma Linda subdivision. Loma Linda Property Owners Association is in the process of certifying mileage in order to continue developing a metropolitan improvement district.

 

Road classification study part of PLPOA concern

By Richard Walter

Roads and their upkeep seem to have a never-ending role in deliberations of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

Thursday's meeting of the board of directors was no exception.

But it took an agenda amendment proposed by director Fred Ebeling to get the topic on the table for discussion.

Ebeling amended the agenda, with board approval, to include consideration of what charge should be given the board's Roads Committee.

In the end, it was an undecided board but one with several wishes to be examined.

Director Richard Manley, board president, noted there is an upcoming work session with the Road Committee and high on the list of considerations should be street classification.

"The county has said it will embark on a classification system and we should be doing some groundwork for recommendations to them on the classifications within our developments," he said.

Director Gerald Smith suggested the board should also take a look at reconstituting the membership of the committee, with consideration given to some who may no longer wish to serve.

Director Thomas Cruse said, "My only concern is in getting too specific at this point. I'm not sure we have a clear picture of what we would charge them with doing. We're not fully cognizant of county plans."

"I don't think the (county) commissioners will take too long to make their decision," Manley said, and Smith added, "We have a chance for a head start. Let's not lose the race."

"I think," said Ebeling, "we could at least classify all our subdivision roads within one of five specific general divisions . . . get down on paper exactly what we have and how they are used."

"Agreed," said Smith. "We can do a complete inventory. I suspect there are platted roads some of us are not even aware of."

Cruse said the board should make sure it has copies of the county report and that the county gets copies of the PLPOA study. "Commissioner (Bill) Downey has said he has some different ideas on classification than do other board members," he said. "We should be able to point out the reasons we determine specific classifications that we feel should be applicable to our roadways," Cruse said.

After the board agreed to study the issue jointly with the committee, Cruse concluded the discussion with a note of caution: "Let's not get too many of our carts before their horse," he warned.

 

Piano Creek files for wetlands dredging permit

By John M. Motter

Piano Creek Ranch has applied to the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to dredge and fill wetlands on development property located along the San Juan River East Fork.

The Army Corps of Engineers has announced that public comments concerning the proposed 404 permit will be received until Feb. 19.

The dredging and filling will take place in order to construct a golf course. The permit application will consider five alternatives ranging from doing nothing through full scale development.

Piano Creek Ranch is a member-owned pleasure resort proposed for development on private land along the San Juan East Fork. The resort will feature a lodge, cabins, golfing, fly fishing, horseback riding, camping and tenting, and other activities associated with outdoor recreation.

The development is located in Mineral County. All development plans are processed through the Mineral County Planning Office in Creede, the Mineral County seat.

Persons who wish to comment concerning the wetlands permit, reference Public Notice No. 200175008, Piano Creek Ranch, should contact: Colonel Michael J. Walsh, Sacramento District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1325 J Street, Sacramento, Calif 95814-2922, e-mail mwalsh@spk.usace.army.mil or Ken Jacobson, Chief, Southwestern Colorado Regulatory Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 402 Rood Ave. Room 142, Grand Junction, CO 81501-2563, e-mail kjacobson@spk.usace.army.mil.

 

In-house accounting system taking shape at PLPOA

By Richard Walter

The staff for the new in-house accounting department serving Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is rapidly beginning to take shape, with two new employees on board.

And, the whole system should be on line by March 1 with the accounting services contract held by Colorado Management expiring on Feb. 28.

That was part of general manager Walt Lukasik's report to the association's board of directors Feb. 8.

He told directors accounting technician Eva Iwicki had been on the job for three days and was dealing with callers who received their annual dues notices, and that accountant Ron Shatran was to start this week.

In the meantime, Lukasik said, Shatran was in Denver meeting with Colorado Management staff to get a feel for the immensity of the job ahead and the systems which will be transferred locally.

The move of accounting from the contract firm to in-house management was mandated by membership at last year's annual meeting. It was supposed to have been done by the beginning of the year but hardware delays and the forced refusal of the key accounting job by a woman whose child became seriously ill, necessitated two one-month extensions of the contract.

Lukasik also told directors the new general operating account for PLPOA is in service at Bank of Colorado but there are temporary delays in transactions because the banking facility must send all business to Durango until its new building in Pagosa Springs is completed.

He also announced the employee health insurance has been transferred to Blue Cross-Blue Shield at a saving of approximately $3,700 per month from the base quote received earlier this year from the former carrier. And that is for comparable coverage, he said.

Overall, the cost increase was about 16 percent, compared to the more than 100 percent proposed by the prior carrier.

When director Francesco Tortorici asked if the board is prepared to enforce codes which require screening and/or enclosure of propane tanks, Lukasik said there had been a resolution adopted by a prior board which stopped enforcement of that code.

"Do we now tell everyone who was advised they need not comply, as a result of that resolution, that they must now comply with what has been determined to be an erroneous decision of an earlier board?"

Tortorici said it appeared to him, "We (the former board) changed the code without having the right to do so. If it is on the books, it should be enforced.

"All new permits issued," he said, "should require screening."

"What about those told they needn't comply?" asked Lukasik. "Do we grandfather them in some way?"

Director Fred Ebeling said the problem wasn't all the fault of a former board. "State inspectors wouldn't allow any flammable materials to be used in the screening," he said. And there were specific setback requirements which required screening to be at least three feet from tanks in every direction, he said.

"That could create an outlandish appearance throughout our developments," Ebeling said. "It makes sense not to enforce the requirement. It's just not reasonable."

Tortorici responded, "Neither does it make sense to pick which codes we will and will not enforce. If they're on the books they should be enforced or stricken."

Lukasik told the directors there are several points of legality involved. "It would be time consuming to determine which owners were told they need not comply, which were done after the prior board vote, which have changed hands since the code change, etc.

"Enforcement," he said, "would be a real bugger."

Director Richard Manley, board president, said the board could not make a decision on the matter at that meeting because it was not on the agenda.

"But it is an important question which needs to be put on an agenda," Manley said. "We should get legal advice on how best to proceed and give each director now sitting a copy of the resolution which created the problem so it can be studied before action is proposed."

Ebeling argued the idea is "silly and unrealistic. I don't want to spend a bunch of money on legal advice. If the property owners want to try to enforce it themselves, let them do so."

"It is obviously not silly to some," replied Manley. "A member of this board brought it up. We need to see what the ramifications of enforcement would be. There must have been a reason for a rescinding resolution. We need compete data to study before we can act."

He agreed with a suggestion by Lukasik that the question be broached with the Environment Control Committee during an upcoming joint work session and that committee input be weighed in determining a course of action.

 

8-inch snowfall pushes snowpack to 97% of normal

By John M. Motter

Aided this past week by 8 inches of new snow in town and more to come, the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains is approaching average levels after two years of below-average buildups.

Snow fell yesterday in town and occasional snow or rain showers are expected today with greater amounts at higher elevations, according to Brian Avery, a forecaster from the Grand Junction National Weather Service office.

Starting tomorrow and lasting through Sunday, local skies will be partly cloudy but little moisture should fall, Avery said. High temperatures should be in the mid-30 degree range, low temperatures in the teens.

"An elongated low-pressure trough ranging across much of the Southwest was pulling out Wednesday night," Avery said. "A Pacific high pressure ridge was moving in behind the trough and should remain through Sunday."

Last Thursday's snowfall in town was the first for February 2001, and brought the 2001 total to 48.25 inches.

Last week's high temperature was 42 degrees Feb. 7. The average high for the week was 38 degrees. Last week's low temperature was 4 degrees Saturday. The average low for the week was 15 degrees. On Feb. 7 the high temperature was 42 degrees, the low temperature 34 degrees, the first day without a freezing temperature since the current winter season began.

The snowpack in the San Juan Basin is 97 percent of average, according to a Feb. 1 report released by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a department of the United States Department of Agriculture. There currently is more than twice the snow in the Basin than there was at this time last year.

In the San Juan Basin, January precipitation was about 10 percent above average and the water year total was 6 percent above average on Feb. 1. About 40 percent of the winter snowpack season remains.

Across the rest of Colorado, mountain snowfall was generally below average for January. The snowpack and expected spring runoff in rivers is expected to be below average in those areas.

 

Traditional dances mark Jicarilla Week celebration

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs' friends to the south, the Jicarilla Apaches, celebrated Jicarilla Week this past week in honor of the 1887 founding of their reservation.

The Jicarilla Reservation is located in Rio Arriba County, N.M., and abuts Archuleta County, on the Colorado-New Mexico border. Dulce is the reservation headquarters for about 3,000 Jicarillas. Residents of the reservation and of Archuleta County are traditional neighbors since the reservation founding.

A number of Pagosa Springs residents, including teachers and other professionals, find employment on the reservation. Some Jicarillas are employed in Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs as well.

The Jicarilla are just one of several groups of Apaches, all members of the Athabaskan language group which includes the nearby Navajo and other tribes located in northern Canada.

Before the coming of the Europeans, Jicarillas traditionally inhabited much of the northeastern corner of New Mexico and portions of southeastern Colorado. Because of their close proximity to the plains, they were buffalo hunters and adopted many of the characteristics of the Plains Indians.

The tribe is historically divided into the Llanero, or Plains group, and the Olleros, or Mountain group. To this day, tribal members conduct annual ceremonies connected with the Llanero-Ollero tradition, especially Go-ji-ya.

During Jicarilla Days, schools are closed and a variety of traditional celebrations and ceremonies take place. School children dress in traditional costumes and follow the lead of elders while performing traditional dances. Pow wow dancing is conducted in the tribal community center. The public is invited to view and take part in Jicarilla Day celebrations.

Among the activities designed to enhance the furtherance of Jicarilla culture during Jicarilla Days are story telling, a show of traditional clothing, and other community get-togethers.

At other times during the year, the public is not invited to certain ceremonies.

In recent years, the Jicarillas have become relatively wealthy and self supporting through oil and gas sales and through investments. Supportive of education, the tribe pays for the college education of any member who chooses an advanced education.

Tribal government is conducted by an elected council and president who administer tribal affairs on the 879,000-acre reservation. Regular dividends are awarded tribal members from tribal funds, not from the U.S. government.

The Jicarilla Days celebration was initiated Feb. 11, 1987, with a wagon trek from Cimarron, N.M., a former home of many of the tribe.

Between the U.S. take over of New Mexico in 1848 and the presidential proclamation creating the Jicarilla Reservation in 1887, the Jicarilla were, at various times, scattered in small bands receiving rations at Cimarron, Taos, Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla, Amargo, and Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumter.

 

Pagosa man finishes Disney Race as he nears 70

By Richard Walter

You've seen them.

Those lean, mean, road eating machines we call marathon runners.

They've trained, they've sacrificed, they've starved themselves into believing the race - 26 plus miles - is worth all the abuse to their bodies.

Few of them are senior citizens when they make their first run.

Joseph Donavan of Pagosa Springs was one of the latter.

Nearing his 70th year, Donavan says, he never was much of a runner since his high school days when he was in track.

"But I went down (to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.) last year to watch my daughter and grandson run and I got hooked," he said.

He spent the next year training for the race of his life right here in high-altitude Pagosa Country, running by himself every day, sometimes accompanied by his dogs. "It's hard to run alone and keep going," he said. "You have to create a motivation for yourself. Mine was a promise to yell my head off when (if) I crossed the finish line."

Cross it, he did. Running the 13.1-mile half marathon Jan. 7 with daughter Christine Donavan Funcik, he raised both arms in victory as they crossed the line together.

"We won't know how we did until next month," he said. "We had computer chips attached to our shoes and they will determine how we finished compared to others in our respective classes.

"But I'm sure I finished in the top 100 in my age class," he said, joking, "There were, after all, only about a hundred of us senior citizens among the nearly 18,000 persons running."

Donavan said the race started two hours before sunrise "and I ended up with a sunburn, so you can guess how long it took me."

He noted the Florida temperature at the 7 a.m. start was only 35 degrees and almost all the runners were wearing sweats or other gear over their racing togs. "When the sun rose, it warmed up in a hurry," Donavan said, "and people began peeling off outer wear they knew they were never going to get back."

"It was a sight to see - that huge pile of clothing lining the highway as we ran under an increasingly hot sun," he said.

The Disney race goes right through the theme parks and afterward, he said, "I had my wife, three children and seven grandchildren on hand for a tour of all the attractions in four theme parks."

And then, he said, "I took five days in the Bahamas."

"To relax and recuperate?" he was asked.

"No, I did some snorkeling and SCUBA diving down there," he said. "Used a different set of muscles."

He said Disney does everything right. They opened the race on a divided highway to fireworks and flashing lights with Mickey Mouse as the official starter. Half the runners were going one way on the divided route and half the other direction. "It was a fantastic sight," he said.

Each runner was allowed to choose to participate in either the half marathon or the full marathon. Full marathon finishers got a Mickey Mouse medal. Those in the half marathon who finished received a Donald Duck medal. "I'm not sure why Mickey gets priority," he said, "but Donald was good enough for me."

Asked if he would recommend it to others his age, Donavan said, "Anyone who runs at all should consider it. It is a serious challenge but completing it is one the highest highs you can feel."

There are many serious runners in the race, he said, and they and the wheelchair racers get off first. "The rest of us were grouped by what we had indicated our probable ability was in reference to our age. Most of us amateurs were just there to have a good time. But completing something like that makes the effort worthwhile."

Daughter Christine, in a letter to the SUN, said her dad did have a short-term on-line coach in South Carolina (a gentleman he met while attending the race to watch her the previous year) "but that should not detract from his accomplishment."

Her dad says the experience "was exciting, a world of fun. I wouldn't have missed a minute of it."

Letters
 

A sad day

Dear David,

It's a sad day. We read of Mike Mollica's resignation in your editorial last week. We had the privilege of working with Mike on the Vision Committee and/or Archuleta County Community Plan Steering Committee. We found Mike to be a highly qualified, bright, and honorable young man.

He did not come to this community with an axe to grind or a special interest group to represent. He was courteous to everyone who approached him and we never saw him belittle an opinion which was different from his. He worked long hours and his office door was open to all who wished to enter.

Mike made an effort to be fair to all parties concerned. He made a special point to listen to the viewpoint of developers and builders as well as the general public, the planning commission, and the county commissioners. We never once saw him lose his temper. When others around him were letting their emotions get in the way of their good sense, Mike retained his calm and brought clarity to the situation.

Mike did his best to make sure the planning rules and regulations were well written, said what they were meant to say, and did not put the county, i.e. taxpayers, in jeopardy of a lawsuit. He also did his best to make sure the existing rules and regulations were abided by. He conducted his job out in the open. He was never a part of any "secret" wheelings and dealings.

We applauded the day the powers that be hired Mike. It's a sad day to see this community lose someone of Mike's caliber.

Sincerely,

John Applegate

Karen Aspin

Mary K. Carpenter

Ron Chacey

Mary Madore

Lynda Van Patter

A shame

Dear editor,

Not all citizens in the beautiful state of Colorado are able to strap on the snowshoes or even plain shoes for a hike in the "woods."

Forest roads and logging trails give those of us who have handicaps or older persons with failing health the opportunity to still enjoy some forms of outdoor enjoyment of our surroundings. I hope the lady who calls others unable to enjoy the forest without roads, "whiners," never has to deal with confinement to a wheelchair or old age.

It would be a shame if only the young and physically fit were allowed to use what belongs to us all.

Larry Day

Three cheers

Dear editor,

Jeff Laydon has been the president of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council for the past three years, and what a job he has done. Three cheers to Jeff for making all facets of the arts viable in this community. I am sure the various programs will continue to grow, thanks to his good work.

Cindy Gustafson

Urgent

Dear Editor,

People of Pagosa Springs - urgent. Piano Creek Ranch wants to destroy the wet lands in East Fork for their private golf course. These wet lands and all wet lands are important. They clean the waters that flow through them. They prevent downstream flooding. Wildlife habitat/nurseries. Important to agricultural production. Water quality and ground water supplies are replenished.

The Army Corps of Engineers is giving you until Feb. 19 to send your comments in.

Please, for once in your life, take a stand and protect Colorado resources. E-mail to Michael J. Walsh at: mwalsh@spk.usace.army.mil and to Ken Jacobson at kjacobson@spk. usace.army.mil.

If you want more info go to webspinner@sanjuancitizens.org. In your comments use reference Public Notice number 200175008, Piano Creek Ranch. You need to ask the Army Corps of Engineers to extend public comments another 60 days and to hold public hearings in Pagosa Springs, Durango and Creede. Most Important to demand a full-fledged environmental impact statement that evaluates all of the impacts associated with this development and the entire range of impacts associated with the resort. Take a stand and protect the future for your generations to come.

Madeleine Heath

Correction

Dear editor,

Please make a correction to my letter (Not wealthy) of last week. Your office made an error in keying and the word lends a completely different meaning from my intent.

The sentence concerning road maintenance should have read, "A large portion of us retirees don't even get our roads maintained with our tax dollars" (not as it was stated "with out" tax dollars). Thanks for correcting this.

Barbara Jacobs

'News' submission

Dear David,

I've just read your editorial from Jan. 25, and I feel compelled to comment.

While I personally have no issue with the SUN's rate increase . . . business is business after all . . . I do find it curious that it appears you felt a need to justify it.

In your explanation regarding news articles and news releases, it's understandable the criteria you list as a priority for inclusion of such articles and releases.

So I ask, what criteria has failed to be met for the SUN to exclude the statewide honors received by the local high school athletes for their participation in the 2000 fall sports season?

These student-athletes bring honor and distinction to themselves, their school and their community. It's newsworthy, worth reading and certainly an inspiration, especially to younger children who are striving to reach and achieve their own goals and dreams.

These athletes were honored by The Denver Post and The Rocky Mountain News in December and their distinctions are as follows: football - Tyrel Ross, First Team All State, Post and News; Clint Shaw - Honorable Mention, Post and News. Volleyball - Katie Lancing - Second Team All State, Post and News; Tiffany Hamilton and Ashley Gronewoller - Honorable Mention, Post and News. Cross country - Aubrey Volger - Honorable Mention, Post and News. Soccer - Daniel Crenshaw - Honorable Mention, Post and News.

As this "news" submission falls under the category of letter to the editor because I'm expressing an opinion and concern, I'll let you off the hook regarding remuneration for verifiable "news" reporting.

Yours truly,

Jo Lancing

Don't need help

Dear Editor,

In regards to the "corridors and vista" issue, we are adding our opinion to the pool. Living 20 miles from Pagosa brings many joys and many inconveniences. Joys include sunrises, sunsets, lots of wildlife and an American sense of independence. Inconveniences include handling our own garbage, no fire department or police patrol, inebriated hunters shooting onto our property where grandchildren play, rafters stuck in front of our home in the summer, and gravel trucks always coming and going too fast and too often on our long ride home. While thankful for the county road maintenance workers, we receive very little else from the county as services, and that's alright with us.

Therefore, please understand, we do resent the proposition that a committee can and will tell landowners what rights they do or don't have with their own land. We carefully avoided buying property involved with a homeowners association, when we came here seven years ago, now it appears that this committee is forcing us to be involved in just that, by informing us that we must request permission, or submit plans for permission to build on property that we already own; that is not right.

The problems in Archuleta County will not be solved by the creation of another bureaucracy to make land and homeowners fit someone else's view of how people next to a river should live. We fear for the less fortunate, for the agriculture community, honestly, we fear for the old ways that got us here. We don't need the county to help us manage our land.

We know that the tourist business is very important both to Pagosa and to Archuleta County but if we try to manage all properties using just one industry as the basis for that management, are we not being so short sighted that we might cut off our nose to spite our face. Also doesn't it feel a little like legalized land fraud when a government agency tells us how and what we can do with our land?

As citizens of Colorado don't we first have an obligation to each other to treat one another with the respect due fellow citizens? We respect the land, even to the point that a ranch we own in the San Luis Valley has a Nature Conservancy Easement on it so it cannot be developed. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have learned how to "manage" our own land to the best of our abilities I say we leave the management of other peoples land to them, after all they paid for it.

Steve and Shelly Marmaduke

Lessons learned

Dear Editor,

In your "Editor's note" in response to my letter last week regarding Piano Creek Ranch's proposed golf course, you pointed out that in 1989 an environmental impact statement was approved for the East Fork Ski Area.

Thank goodness the world has changed substantially in the subsequent 12 years. In 1989, the Summitville Mine, just a few short miles over Elwood Pass from East Fork Valley, was legally operating an open pit heap leach gold mining operation, using cyanide sprayed over the top of the ore to separate out the gold. The mine was plagued with leakage problems which subsequently destroyed all aquatic life in the headwaters of the Alamosa River. The river is truly a tragic sight to behold to this day.

As many locals know, in 1992 the site was abandoned, and was quickly designated an EPA Superfund cleanup site, with $140 million budgeted for the cleanup operation.

Hopefully, we've learned some lessons since 1989, one of them being that it's not environmentally responsible nor acceptable to build a toxin-laden golf course which leaches smack-dab into the headwaters of our local river.

Fishermen should be particularly concerned about how this development would affect fishing downstream. Mayflies, caddis flies and especially stone flies are very sensitive to the types of pollutants generated by golf courses. You can expect that the fishing in the East Fork canyon will be destroyed if Piano Creek is allowed to proceed with their plans. The Piano Creek millionaires would be the most surprised, as they are being sold "trophy fishing" as part of their $750,000 package.

For more information on how you can help stop Piano Creek's golf course, see www.sanjuancitizens.org.

Sincerely,

Kurt Raymond

Take note

Dear editor,

It appears my friend Ron Levitan is still singing that staunch left song: Disarm America. As always, the arguments in his letter in the SUN of Feb. 8 are liberally weak.

If you think the citizens of Great Britain are happy being disarmed: Ron, you may want to invest in a short-wave radio and listen to BBC London. The only ones in London now who have guns are the criminals. And they are having a field day.

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton left a dangerous legacy and positioned hundreds of liberal judges across the country in eight years who do little to enforce thousands of gun laws already on the books. If the judges start enforcing those laws, you'll see a lot of crime decrease. Now, we will continue to see chaos until either those judges die or they are replaced.

Levitan will probably say that it's all another NRA myth/fabrication. But he might want to think about dissecting the results of firearm surrender in Australia. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were "forced" by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms that were destroyed by their own government, a program which cost Australia taxpayers more than $500 million.

The first year results have been tabulated. Australia wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent, assaults are up 8.6 percent, armed robberies are up 44 percent. In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

One must note that while the law-abiding citizens turned in their weapons, criminals and punks did not and still possess their guns. While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in "successfully ridding Australian society of guns."

Levitan should take note of the Australian experience and admit that it proves something. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives, property, and yes, gun control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Jim Sawicki

Appalled

Dear Editor,

As much as I enjoy knowing Gene (Crabtree) and Alden (Ecker), I am appalled at their indifference to the rules and ethics of good commissioner government in Archuleta County. They can not continue to rig meeting audience participation and conceal information from the general population of the county as well as the other commissioner.

Planning for the immediate and far future is not a simple task and conclusions reached by the planning committee and professional planner are not to be ignored. When I came to Archuleta County we were about 5,500 people with pretty much of a rural plurality and now we are about 10,000 with many problems associated with our new and wonderful diversity. We will become larger and controlling growth favoring neither rural or urban is the path to a better community.

If they persist in ignoring the entire community for the few, Mr. Jim Sawicki's solution is our only option.

I truly disliked writing this letter as my hopes for their potential had been so high.

Lee Sterling

Editor's note: There are three solutions - reversal, resignation, recall. The third is the least desirable.

Wonderful feeling

Dear David,

Please publish this letter to the Seniors at the Archuleta County Senior Center: I have worked for you just a short while and I had to let you know that just the other day, while we enjoyed lunch together, I watched the outpouring of love and care that you have for each other. As I sat and watched you, a tear came to my eye, what a wonderful feeling to be a part of your Senior Center.

Thank you for being who you are and allowing me to be a part of your lives. Please remember that Payge and I are here for you and will assist you in any we can.

With love,

Musetta Wollenweber

Archuleta County

Senior Center

 

Obituaries
 

Sharon Marler

Sharon Laurine Marler of Pagosa Springs passed away on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2001 at her home in Pagosa Springs.

Mrs. Marler was born Aug. 15, 1944, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Gilbert and Laurine Adams. She was married Nov. 29, 1992, to Rod Marler. In 1993, she moved from Lake Tahoe, Calif., to join her husband in Pagosa Springs and to support his construction business.

She loved gardening and flowers, interior decorating, cooking and entertaining. She was a business owner as well as being a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Mrs. Marler was preceded in death by her brother, Gary Adams; her stepfather, Claude Oyler, and her grandson, Dakota Lemmons. She is survived by her husband, Rod Marler of Pagosa Springs; her son and daughter-in-law Brian and Holly Fulbright and grandchild Alec Fulbright of Pagosa Springs; her son and daughter-in-law, Gilbert and Becky Fulbright and grandchildren Jessica and Jamie Fulbright of Los Osos, Calif.; her son and daughter-in-law Bill and Lisa Fulbright and grandchildren Alyse, Hailey and Garrett Fulbright of La Habra, Calif.; her daughter, Carrie Lillo and grandchildren Crystal Davis and Brent Dugan of Atascadero, Calif.; her stepson, Sean Marler and his fiance, Jessica Hughey of Grand Junction; her sisters, Donna Morales and Rhonda Norelius of Los Osos; her brother and his wife, Mike and Stephanie Adams of Long Beach, Calif.; her father and his wife, Gilbert and Dottie Adams of Lake Elsinore, Calif.; and her mother, Laurine Oyler of Sun City, Calif.

Visitation was at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the chapel at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options.

Funeral services for Mrs. Marler were on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m. in Community Bible Church with Rev. Louis Day officiating. Burial was in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

 

People
 

Engaged

Bonnie Thrasher is proud to announce the engagement of her daughter, Miss Bonnie Jeanne O'Brien to Mr. Jesse Daily Laner on Dec. 3, 2000.

Bonnie and Jesse now reside in Fairbanks, Alaska, where they both are attending University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Jesse plays point guard for the university's basketball team.

A 2004 wedding is planned as they both want to attend more college before getting married.

Parents of the bride are Bonnie Thrasher and Harvey Hufford of Pagosa Springs, and Gerry and Alicia O'Brien of El Paso, Texas. Parents of the groom are Arlie and Brian Swett of Healey, Alaska, and Cindy and John Laner of Pagosa Springs.

 

Sports Page
 

Pirates in slump, lose to Centauri, Monticello

By John M. Motter

Pagosa's Pirates hope to pick up the pace tonight and tomorrow after stumbling over the past weekend. The Pirates dropped out of the Intermountain League lead by losing in the Centauri Falcons gym 54-48 Friday night.

The Pirates lost again Saturday, this time to Monticello, Utah, 52-46 in a non-league encounter.

Around the IML

Pagosa, now 4-2 in the IML, winds down the regular IML season by playing Ignacio tonight and Monte Vista tomorrow night. Centauri, 5-2, ends its IML schedule by playing Bayfield tomorrow night. The Falcons battered Bayfield Tuesday in Bayfield 74-59, leaving the Wolverine record at 2-5.

If Pagosa and Centauri win their remaining games, they will finish the season tied for the IML crown with 6-2 records. In that case, neither team is guaranteed a post-season playoff spot. Instead, both IML playoff teams will emerge from the IML district tournament Feb. 23 and 24 at Bayfield. Obviously, Pagosa will be rooting for Bayfield to come through against Centauri.

Bayfield defeated Ignacio and Monte Vista this past week raising the Wolverines record to 2-4 and dropping Monte Vista to 3-3. Ignacio is also 2-4. Monte and Ignacio play twice this week. The IML teams are so evenly matched that, even with only two games remaining, it is almost impossible to predict all possible eventualities.

Teams are seeded one through four for the district tournament. Teams which finish fourth and fifth in the league will play Wednesday to determine which will enter the tournament seeded fourth. In the tournament, the No. 1 seeded team plays the No. 4 seeded team and the No. 2 seeded team plays the No. 3 seeded team Feb. 23. The winners play Feb. 24 for the championship. If no team wins the league title before the tournament, then both Feb. 23 winners will represent the league in the state playoffs. If one team wins the league title outright, then the Feb. 24 tournament champion will join the league champion in the state playoffs.

Centauri 54, Pagosa 48

Harried throughout the game by the Centauri full-court press, Pagosa fell 15 points behind midway through the third period, then rallied to cut the Falcon lead to four points with only 38 seconds remaining in the game. It was a case of too little, too late when Falcon Kevin McCarroll canned a pair of free throws as the clock ran out and Centauri won 54-48.

"We made too many turnovers and we missed too many layups," said Pagosa coach Kyle Canty. "Centauri should have been ahead by 30 points at the half. We were lucky to be close enough to almost come back on them."

The game started slowly with two minutes gone before Centauri's Anthony Chacon sank the second of two free throws to open scoring. About a half minute later, Pagosa's Micah Maberry connected for two to give Pagosa a 2-1 lead. Maberry's 20-points paced Pagosa for the night.

"Micah had an outstanding weekend," Canty said, "especially if you consider that he learned this week that both of his grandparents are in critical condition."

The league leaders exchanged baskets through the remainder of the first period until, with 1:45 remaining and the score tied 11-11, the Falcons ran off six straight points. The 11-11 tie was the last time during the game that Pagosa would be even with the Falcons. At the halfway mark of the second period, Centauri was on top 25-18. With 2:55 remaining in the third period, the Falcon lead had grown to 45-30.

Pagosa couldn't seem to get the ball across mid-court, let alone make a basket.

"We did a terrible job of attacking their press defense," Canty said. "We just didn't run our offense all night."

The Pirates finally started doing something right late in the third quarter. Starting with two minutes left in the third period, Daniel Crenshaw hit a deuce, Maberry made a field goal and a free throw, and Ross sank a trey to cut eight points off the Falcons lead by the time the period ended. Maberry made another bucket to open the final period giving Pagosa 10 straight points before McCarroll's field goal stretched the Falcon lead back to 47-40.

With only three minutes remaining, the Pirates made a final run, trimming the Centauri lead from 50-40 to 50-45 by the two-minute mark. As the clock wound down, Centauri's Ryan Sutherland converted a pair of free throws, Crenshaw buried a trey for Pagosa, then McCarroll converted a pair of free throws for the Falcons and the game was over.

Maberry topped Pagosa scorers with 20 points, followed by Crenshaw with 12 points, Goodenberger with eight points, Ross with six points, and Lister with two points. McCarroll threw in 20 points for Centauri.

Goodenberger and Maberry each pulled down eight rebounds to top Pagosa in that department. Maberry blocked one shot. Ross contributed seven assists and one steal, Maberry three assists and three steals. Pagosa committed 22 turnovers.

From two-point range, Pagosa converted 14 of 33 attempts for 44 percent shooting. They converted 4 of 17 three-point attempts for 23.6 percent shooting, and 8 of 10 from the foul line for 80 percent shooting.

Monticello 52, Pagosa 46

In the return engagement with Monticello, it was a case of more of Monticello junior Clint Adams than Pagosa could handle. When Pagosa tangled with the Buckeroos at the Cortez Classic Dec. 11, the 6-foot-6 Adams dropped in 23 points, but Pagosa came out on top 49-47. Saturday Adams upped his production to 30 points from all over the floor and the Buckeroos prevailed.

The Pirates took a 15-8 first quarter lead and seemed on their way to an easy victory. However, Adams took over in the second period with three treys and three deuces for 15 points. By half time, the Buckeroos were on top 27-25.

During the third period, Adams came through with six more points and teammate Ian Burtenshaw added five to stretch the Monticello lead to 43-34 by the end of the period. Maberry tallied eight fourth-quarter points for Pagosa and the Pirates led the quarter 12-9, but, as in the Centauri game, it was too little, too late.

Maberry's 17 points topped the Pirates scoring, followed by Goodenberger with 10 points, Crenshaw with eight points, Charles with three points, and Lister with two points.

Maberry's eight rebounds topped that department for Pagosa. Goodenberger provided two blocks and four steals. Ross contributed four assists. Pagosa committed nine turnovers.

From two-point range the Pirates made 17 of 36 attempts for 47 percent shooting, 2 of 5 three-point attempts for 40 percent shooting, and 6 of 9 free throw attempts for 67 percent shooting.

 

 

Ladies hold on for win in Centauri showdown

By Richard Walter

If you're a fan of girls' high school basketball and you were not in the Centauri gym in La Jara for Friday's clash between the two Intermountain League titans, you should be ashamed.

The game was billed as a showdown. The state's No. 2 ranked Class 3-A Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates against the No. 6 ranked Centauri Lady Falcons. Centauri had lost to Pagosa - 49-42 - Jan. 19 in Pagosa, playing without their all-state candidate Cindy McCarroll.

At home, where the Lady Falcons are always tough on visitors, and with Cindy back in the lineup, everyone expected a tight game. They got that and more. They got thrills, chills, spills and a battle of wills.

There was tight defense, brilliant individual offensive performances, tough defensive plays, key rebounds, a key player sidelined for over half the game with a concussion and critical errors on both sides at inopportune moments.

In the final analysis, the 47-45 Pagosa victory can be placed squarely on the lofty shoulders of 6-foot-3 junior center Ashley Gronewoller, who paced the Lady Pirates with 24 points, and the shooting at critical points in the game by 6-foot-1 junior forward Katie Lancing, who finished the game with 17 points.

The victory moves the Lady Pirates' season record to 15-2 and keeps them unblemished in Intermountain League competition heading into final season performances tonight against Ignacio and Friday against Monte Vista, both games here.

With Gronewoller controlling the opening tip, the Pagosans got on the board first when Lancing fed senior forward Tiffanie Hamilton in the corner and her pass to a breaking Gronewoller was converted for the game's first score.

Centauri's 6-foot junior center Erin McCarroll answered with a strong move inside and the score was tied at two. Then it was Centauri's long-range bomber, Sara Reynolds, taking center stage. Reynolds hit two consecutive treys to put the home team up 8-3 and send the overflow crowd into pennant fever.

But Lancing, on the ensuing play, drove the lane for two off a feed from Hamilton, was fouled by Reynolds, and calmly sank the charity toss cutting Centauri's lead to 8-6. Moments later Lancing stole the ball and led senior point guard Meigan Canty who converted a soft jumper to pull the visitors into a tie.

Erin McCarroll was fouled by Hamilton and hit 1-of-2 shots to take the lead back for Centauri. After Gronewoller blocked a shot attempt by Cindy McCarroll and came away with the ball, Erin fouled a driving Lancing who converted 1-of-2 free throws to knot the contest again with 2:48 remaining in the first period.

Reynolds converted the front end of a 1-and-1 after being fouled by Gronewoller and another McCarroll, 5-foot-6 sophomore Brittny, grabbed the rebound of the second shot and put it back up to give Centauri a 3-point lead at 12-9. Cindy McCarroll scored on the next play to hike it to 14-9 and send the home crowd into ecstasy.

Pagosa fought right back with Gronewoller scoring on an assist by Hamilton to cut it to 14-11. Hamilton then stole the inbound pass but was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer ended the first quarter with the Lady Pirates down by three.

Canty opened the second quarter with a 15-foot jumper off a feed from Lancing to cut the lead to one but Cindy McCarroll answered at the other end as the home team went back up by three.

After a Pagosa time out, Centauri's defense seemed momentarily unable to figure out the Lady Pirates' offense which suddenly had Lancing playing the wing, Hamilton posting up inside and Gronewoller moving out to a high post.

Lancing hit her second trey of the season to tie the game at 16 and Gronewoller gave Pagosa its first lead, converting an assist by senior guard Andrea Ash. Hamilton again stole the Centauri inbound pass and fed it out to Lancing for her second trey of the game and a 21-16 Pagosa lead.

Gronewoller stretched the lead to seven with 3:47 left in the period but Erin McCarroll quickly cut it back to five with a driving layup. Two quick baskets by Gronewoller, both on assists by sophomore guard Shannon Walkup, stretched the Pagosa lead to 27-19 with 53 seconds left in the half.

Centauri senior guard Nicole Espinoza then hit her only field goal of the game, a long 3-pointer to whittle the margin to five. But Lancing, driving the lane on the ensuing play was fouled and converted both free throws to give Pagosa an 18-10 quarter a 29-22 halftime lead.

After a seven-minute delay in starting the second half while officials tried to find a school janitor to clean up a soda spill directly in front of the Pagosa bench, Gronewoller stretched the lead to nine, scoring on an assist by Hamilton, and Lancing added two more, assisted by Walkup.

After Cindy McCarroll got only her second field goal of the game, Lancing was fouled by Reynolds and sank both free throws to close out her scoring for the contest at 17.

Pagosa stretched its lead to 11 when Hamilton converted her only field goal attempt of the game. But Centauri was not done. Erin McCarroll scored inside, Gronewoller added two for Pagosa, but Reynolds was fouled by Lancing and hit the front end of a 1-and-1 to cut the Pagosa lead to 39-31 with 2:14 remaining in the period.

Gronewoller scored again on another Hamilton assist but then came the tense moment for Pagosa. Walkup and Reynolds collided at mid-court and Walkup went into the floor head first.

She was assisted from the floor and found to have a concussion. She later returned to the stands with a golf ball-sized lump on her forehead and holding an ice bag to her head.

Pagosa led 41-33 at the end of the third period and the stage was set for another patented Centauri home court comeback.

Erin McCarroll opened the period with the first of her three fourth-quarter field goals. Gronewoller and Erin exchanged field goals and the Lady Pirates' lead was 43-37 with 5:23 remaining. When Erin scored again and Reynolds hit two free throws after being fouled by Canty, Pagosa's lead had been cut to two at 43-41.

Crunch time came for both teams when Centauri's senior guard Breean Richardson hit her only shot of the game right after another Gronewoller score, and it was 45-43 Pagosa with 2:39 remaining.

After a Pagosa turnover, Lancing stole a Centauri pass and fed Gronewoller who was fouled and hit 1 of 2 from the line, opening the lead back to three at 46-43. Cindy McCarroll answered with her final score of the game and the lead was back to one with 1:31 left.

Centauri was then forced to foul but had three to spare before Pagosa would go to the line. Finally, with the clock at 9.3 seconds, Gronewoller was fouled, went to the line and hit the first of two for a 47-45 lead and the clock ran out with a steal by Lancing of the final inbound pass.

It was over. The Lady Pirates had won the showdown. Centauri fans were in shock. Pagosans were whooping and hollering. Lady Pirates' coach Karen Wells stood applauding her team and savoring the key victory of the year - so far.

Afterward, Wells was full of praise for the Centauri squad which "took us right down to the wire with that never-quit attitude you always find them displaying."

She was elated, too, with the play of her own squad. "We proved what everyone knows. We are an inside team. But we can move the offense outside when we have to and keep the opponent off balance.

"I'd like us not to be quite so inside oriented," Wells said, "but you have to bend to the opponent's defense, take what they give you, and adjust to their changing patterns. Katie brought them out of their sagging defense with her two threes and that reopened the passing lanes to Ashley.

"It's a big win," she said, "but the season's not over. We still have to play Ignacio and Monte Vista and will look to build some momentum for the district tournament in Bayfield."

Statistics show Gronewoller scoring 24 to her foe, Erin McCarroll's 15 in the battle of post stalwarts. Lancing had 17 to Cindy McCarroll's six. Reynolds had 12 for Centauri, eight of those in the first period, while Canty with four and Hamilton with two were the only other scorers for the Lady Pirates.

For the first time this season, the Pagosa squad was outrebounded, 24-23. Hamilton and Gronewoller each had seven for Pagosa with Lancing adding six. Canty had two and Ash and Walkup each recorded one. For Centauri, Erin McCarroll had seven, Cindy McCarroll and Reynolds each had six while Brittny McCarroll and Nicole Espinoza each had a pair.

Hamilton paced Pagosa in assists with six. Canty had four, Walkup three and Lancing and Ash each had a pair. Lancing's four steals led the category while Gronewoller and Lancing each had two and Canty one. Gronewoller had two blocks and Hamilton one.

Pagosa's guards, Canty, Ash and Walkup, took only five shots in the game and Canty, 2 for 3 from the floor, was the only one to score.

There are no more road trips in the regular season. Pagosa fans owe it to themselves and to the team to get out and support them at home tonight and tomorrow. Junior varsity games kick off the action each day at 4 p.m.

 

For wrestling news, please see front page.

 
Community News
Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Get newsletter inserts into office by Feb. 28

Our quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communique, is scheduled to go out the first week of March, and we cordially invite you to include your insert/flyer in the mailing.

Your inclusion will reach 745 business owners and Chamber members for a mere pittance, which is most unusual in the marketing game. Most of us spend minny, minny dollars to advertise our product, services, address changes, specials, etc., so this is one of the few bargains around. I assure you.

It's very simple: you bring us 725 copies of your information and a check for $30, and we do the rest. We encourage you to use colorful paper and use both sides if you like to say as much as possible. Get your message out there for very little dough. Please have your flyers to the Chamber by Feb. 28, and call Morna at 264-2360 for more information.

Valentine dance

Even though it's two days after Valentine's Day, this is indeed an official Sweetheart Dance, so please plan to attend. The dance is being held tomorrow at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Local musicians, the Ladters, will provide the music for your dancing pleasure, and the Guadalupana Society will furnish the refreshments.

All proceeds benefit the Pagosa Fiesta scheduled for June 15 and 16 this summer. A royalty coordinator is needed this year and volunteers are always needed. The Pagosa Fiesta provides a great cultural awareness of our area as well as college scholarship funds for Pagosa High School students. Please call Lucy Gonzales at 264-4791 or Jeff Laydon at 264-3686 for more information.

Welcome

A warm Chamber of Commerce welcome goes out to George and Marcia Wakefield who have become the new owners of Copper Coin Liquor. We're happy that previous owners, Rick and Jody Unger, are staying in Pagosa with their Design-A-Sign business - we hate to lose good people. George and Marcia originally hail from Kingston, Jamaica, but have resided in Houston for the past 23 years. George is a civil engineer who worked with the City of Houston in the Housing Department and the Environmental Health Program. Marcia was a legal secretary with a firm of Fulbright and Jaworski. The Wakefields have one daughter, three sons and two grandsons, all of whom live in Houston. I met these charming people recently and encourage you to go in and welcome them to Pagosa.

Congrats

Congratulations to John Porter and John Graves on the debut of "Boom, Bust and Battle" last Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. I enjoyed it with a roomful of listeners who were obviously enthralled with the music, patter and format of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and will enthusiastically tune in to KWUF each Sunday at the same time for more. It's a delightfully personal show with anecdotes and stories from those three decades involving some very famous and not-so-famous entertainers. You are invited to send questions, comments and requests on the web at Boom, Bust and Battle.com or by mail to BB&B, P.O. Box 4039, Pagosa Springs, 81147. Just for the record, I loved the fabulous sounds of "The Hi-Lo's."

Kiosk

I announced last week that the kiosk is at long last up and running, so I will repeat that news just in case you missed it. After a long, trouble-ridden journey, it would seem the kiosk is doing what it was meant to do.

We are missing some informational lettering on the machine which, I have been assured, was mailed to me this morning. I have asked the Signature Multimedia people to write to each and every investor to let you all know exactly what the start date was for your contract. Erika said that she would indeed contact you and let you know that you were paid for eighteen months from Feb. 1.

Free series

Due to an overabundance of white stuff, the series on end-of-life choices was forced to postpone the first session, but will pick up again Feb. 22, 7 to 9 p.m. in the county commissioners room in the courthouse. This seven-part series will include viewing six one-hour segments of the Bill Moyers' videos and subsequent discussions. At the seventh session, copies of possible legal paperwork choices will be available to be filled out with suggestions and local information from hospice doctor, Pam Kircher, M.D., and local attorney, Mary Weiss, J.D. For more information, call Merilyn Moorhead at 731-2323.

Membership

We have one new business member to introduce to you this week and 10 renewals. Thank heaven, even with a normal attrition rate each month, we somehow manage to keep our membership at a better-than-ever extremely healthy level. Life is good.

We welcome Patti and Charles F. Knight who bring us Colorado Log Systems, Inc. These folks offer design, sales and manufacturing of custom log homes in 10-inch cedar. Exclusive Colorado Corner, Incense and Western Cedars. You're invited to call these folks at 800-748-1336.

Our renewals this week include Gail Hershey with Mountain Time Designs; Patsy R. Wegner, GRE, Real Estate with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group; Rebecca McCranie with Touch of the Tropics; Susan Bryson, Operations Director, San Juan Mountain Association; Marilyn Jesmer with San Juan Marina in Arboles; Kathryn Young with At Your Disposal; J.W. (Jim) Standifer with Jim's Lock and Key; Lisa Higgins with Made in Colorado Shoppe; Shawn and Heidi Frank with The Italian Kitchen; Don Jacobs with the Seventh Day Adventist Church; and Real Estate Associate members, Lynn And Doug Cook, with Four Seasons Land Company, Inc./GMAC Real Estate. We are grateful to you all for your continued support.

  

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Over 50? Western Slope Senior Games may be for you

If you are 50 or older, why not join in the celebration of fitness and fun at the 11th annual Western Slope Senior Games to be held in Montrose on Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12. You are invited to compete in as many as eight or as few as one of the following events: bowling, cross country run, 4-mile walk, rifle and pistol shoot, skeet and trapshooting, soccer kick, softball slugfest, swimming, tennis, track and field. Pagosans who have participated in the past include Bruce and Mary Muirhead, Joan and Jerry Sager and Bob Hill. For additional information and registration paper work, please contact Ming at the Recreation Center or e-mail www.visitmontrose.net. The registration deadline is May 7 but a discount is available for early bird entry by April 26. This is more than a sporting event. . . . it's also an opportunity to make new friends and set new goals.

Wolf Creek Ski Area announces its last Ladies' Day of the season on Thursday, Feb. 22. This final session will bring closure with a group photo, lots of good and fun skiing. Remember to register by 9 a.m. at the Prospector Lodge. Lessons will begin at 10 a.m.

San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its March meeting on Thursday, March 1, at 6 p.m. in the Parish Hall. This is a pot-luck meeting and the program will be on the Big Brother/Big Sister program. Following the food and program presentation, Linda and Don Dodson are back by popular demand for another heel-kicking country western dance session. The Dodsons, long-time instructors of country western dance, will introduce advanced steps to participants. If you attended the SJOC's December meeting, you already know how much fun this dancing can be. If you missed the December meeting, just come dressed for the occasion and be ready to get in line.

Mark your calender for a cross country ski outing on March 3. The trip is organized by Gale Tuggle and he's taking the group to Vallecito Lake. More details will be published in this column next week.

Did you tune in to last Saturday afternoon's Boom, Bust, and Battle? A musical trip back to the Jazz Age of the Roaring '20s, the swinging big band era that kept spirits up through the Great Depression of the '30s, and the music that built this country's morale during the war years of the '40s. From beautiful Pagosa Springs in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, your guide on this adventure into nostalgia is musician, writer, television and film producer, and retired professor of Mars Communication, John Graves. Accompanying John is wannabee singer and dancer, entrepreneur, teacher, producer, and carpet cleaner, John Porter. Besides music, there'll be fun with features like "When Dreams Come True," "Saxopoems," "Then and Now," plus contests and requests from the audience. Tune in every Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. MST on KWUF-FM, 106.3 or on the web at www.kwuf@frontier.net. The web page for Boom, Bust and Battle is: http ://boombustbattle@triped.com.

 

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Center will be closed Monday for President's Day

A reminder: The Center will be closed Monday, Feb. 19, for President's Day, which is an official holiday.

We are happy to report that Mary Lucero is recovering well from heart surgery. She is hospitalized in Albuquerque. Please keep Mary in your prayers - she has been ill for quite a while.

Friday we welcomed very special guests from Las Alamos, N.M., Angie Lind and Maxine Juppe. We were also happy to have Susan Wilson, guest of Lee and Carlo Carrannanate, and Sepp and Ingrid Leppitsch back with us. Ingrid is recovering from her broken hip - she gets around on her crutches like a pro. We hope she will have a speedy recovery.

Mary Muirhead is our Senior of the Week, one of our most faithful members. Congratulations Mary. We love you.

Dawn Rivera is a new volunteer at the Center. Thanks so much Dawn. We appreciate our volunteers!

The next two shopping trips to Durango are scheduled for March 1 and 15, so please sign up at the front desk if you are interested. The cost is $10 for members, and there must be a minimum of 10 folks signed up for the trip to go.

Those who desire help preparing their tax returns, remember to contact Payge at the Center, 264-2167 for an appointment with the AARP representative.

Cruising with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Opting for pill as breast cancer treatment

On the desk in front of me is a stack of cards sent by concerned, encouraging people. Some of them I know well and some I've never met, but they read about my cancer diagnosis through this column.

Beside my bed are books - ranging from informative to inspirational - sent by other wonderful people.

Every day someone asks how I'm doing.

And the answer is, I'm doing great. And I'm grateful that you ask.

After you have a biopsy and get diagnosed, after you hear that devastating word "malignant," what next? Well, you still need more information about your own particular tumor.

Breast cancer comes in different levels. Seventy percent of breast cancers start out in the milk ducts, and they're called ductal carcinoma in situ, meaning in place. They can grow there for years, probably. If this "precancer" is discovered on a mammogram, surgery can get it all. You can go on about your life cancer-free.

If the cancer cells grow too numerous and break out of the duct, you have an official tumor. The longer it grows undetected, the bigger the tumor. And the more treatment you need.

You can have a mastectomy. Get rid of that offending breast.

Or, you can have a lumpectomy, often called a partial mastectomy, because that's a term the insurance companies seem to be comfortable with. A lumpectomy followed by radiation gives approximately the same "cure rate" as a mastectomy.

If the tumor gets big enough, it will send out cells which can be detected in the lymph nodes under your arm. With a second incision, called an axillary dissection, they remove a bunch of lymph nodes from under your arm to examine them for cancer cells.

Instead of an axillary dissection you can have a sentinel node dissection. In this procedure dye is injected at the tumor site. The surgeon looks to see where it travels and dissects out only the one or two nodes - the sentinel nodes - that have turned blue. In Colorado this procedure is done only up in Denver. With a well-trained doctor, the sentinel node procedure is thought to be about 95-percent accurate as a predictor of whether your cancer has spread.

The size of the tumor is important in deciding treatment. Tumors are classified by stages from 1 to 4, with 1 being the smallest and 4 being the biggest. The accepted treatment with a stage 2 tumor, like mine, whether or not there's cancer in the lymph nodes, is chemotherapy to kill any cells that might be traveling around in your body. This is followed by radiation to the breast and nodes, to clean up any last cells that might be lingering there.

Finally, for those of us with tumors where the cells are sensitive to the hormone estrogen, there is Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is a hormone treatment. It binds with the estrogen receptors on cancer cells and prevents the cells from doing what they like to do, which is to divide like crazy and make tumors.

Chemotherapy is a rigorous and scary treatment. It kills the rapidly dividing cancer cells. It also knocks out your immune system. It attacks your bone marrow, which is busy making new blood cells. It often makes you sick for a day or two, although they have drugs for the nausea. The most potent chemo drug can scar your veins, and if it leaks out at the needle site it can burn skin and flesh. To prevent this, you often get a portacath implanted under your skin for the months that you get the treatment. And, most noticeably, it causes your hair to thin or fall out completely.

Then there are some effects that the doctors are just beginning to see, because many women are living longer than they used to after treatment. There's "chemo brain," which is a short-term memory loss while you're being treated and apparently also a lingering slight loss of mental facility. So slight, they say, that most women don't notice it. Another long-term effect that some people get is mild depression.

Granted, these don't happen to everyone who gets chemo. Besides, chemo kills cancer. Most of it, anyway. The fact of surviving cancer makes these long-term effects bearable.

Chemo is most dramatically effective for younger women with aggressive tumors, probably because their odds are crummy to begin with. Chemo and radiation help get them back on a par with the rest of the women.

Doctors don't talk about "survival rates." They talk about chance of recurrence. Since breast cancer is a systemic disease, recurrence can mean a new tumor in the breast or a metastatic tumor somewhere else in your body. Your lungs, your bones and your liver are breast cancer's favorite places to spread to.

For me, a woman of a certain age, chemo has diminishing returns. Here's how my oncologist explained the numbers to me.

Line up 100 women just like me, my clones if you like, with my particular cancer. In five years, with no treatment, 25 or so of us will still be cancer-free. No recurrence.

If you treat our cancer with Tamoxifen, in five years there will be 15 of us without a recurrence. If you add chemo, it will be 12 women instead of 15. That's three women out of every 100 in my situation who will be helped by chemo.

My oncologist said he didn't really recommend chemotherapy for me. If I were terrified of this cancer, if I were desperate to have any and all treatment, I'd go for the chemo. But I'm not.

If I were younger, say 45, I'd go for the chemo. If my tumor were bigger, or more aggressive, I'd go for the chemo. Grab at every chance. But for me, the numbers didn't add up to enough benefit to justify taking chemotherapy. So now I take a little white pill once a day.

I'm one of the lucky ones. Tamoxifen, which has been in clinical trials for about the last five years, will help me. In five more years there will probably be something better. Tamoxifen isn't perfect. Side effects include those of menopause, hot flashes and moodiness. (Oh, great.)

More serious possible side effects are blood clots in the legs and uterine cancer. But these aren't common. Women who take hormone replacement have the same risks, and look how many of us do that.

Taking the first pill was so anticlimactic. I'd been gearing up for chemo, which entails pre-visits and blood draws and maybe getting a port installed, and driving to the treatment center for the infusion with tapes and headphones to pass the time. I'd even gotten a really short haircut, a pre-chemo cut, to make it less drastic when my hair fell out.

I sat at the kitchen counter looking at a glass of water and a small white tablet.

"We should do something to mark the occasion," said Hotshot. We lit a candle, in a candlestick that had belonged to his mother, before she died of lung cancer. We lit sage and wafted the aromatic smoke over me and the pill.

And then I swallowed it.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Renovation, Feng Shui, entertainment featured

We just received "Renovate Your Home For Maximum Profit," by Dan Lieberman and Paul Hoffman. This guide shows you where to spend every dollar for maximum return. If you are considering renovating your real estate, this book may be the wisest first step to take.

"Space Clearing: How to Purify and Create Harmony in Your Home" by Denise Linn covers Feng Shui, and the rebirth of an ancient tradition. Linn has researched the healing traditions from cultures across the world for almost 30 years. She lived in a Zen monastery for over two years, trained with a Hawaiian Kahuna and Reiki master Hawayo Takata, studied with a Pueblo Indian medicine man and explored the traditions of her own Cherokee ancestry.

"Life, the Movie" by Neal Gabler, is a thoughtful book that suggests that entertainment has become the primary value of American life, and examines what the implications are for our public culture. Our obsessions with celebrity, gossip, scandal and real-life melodrama have united phenomena as diverse as Bill Clinton, O.J. Simpson, the Unabomber, and Elizabeth Taylor's marriages. Our hunger for entertainment and the exploitation of that hunger have combined to make everything from religion to politics into show business.

Gabler quotes Daniel Boorstin, "Americans live in a world where fantasy is more real than reality. The fabricated, the inauthentic and the theatrical are driving out the natural, the genuine and the spontaneous."

A perfect example would be "Drudge Manifesto," by the country's reigning mischief-maker. Matt Drudge is to the Internet what Rush Limbaugh is to broadcasting. The book is a hard read as he tries to put into print his media presentation. But he has changed the method of news reporting forever. His Internet site has direct links to all of the important columnists in the country.

Drudge says, "This is the most exciting moment in the history of News. Anyone from anywhere can cover anything. And send it out to everyone."

"Americana, the Great American History Quiz," is a collection of 101 provocative and mind-blowing questions on U.S. history and trivia. Kay Grams donated this book put out by the History Channel. This is a great way to test your knowledge and/or get your children involved in learning history. An example question is: During WW I, Harry Houdini taught American soldiers which of the following tricks: How to survive underwater, or how to escape from handcuffs?

Indoor garage sale

This Friends of the Library annual fundraiser is planned for Saint Patrick's Day, March 17. It is held at the Extension Building. This is a chance to buy a booth space for $15 to sell all of your castoffs and collectibles. The proceeds are yours. The booth rental is used to help with the library summer reading program. Space is limited and you can pick up an entry form at the library. This is on first-come, first-served basis.

Library closing

The Library will be closed next Monday for Presidents Day.

Donations

We thank Ronald Green for a subscription to Field and Stream magazine. Thanks for other materials from Phyllis Decker, Chris Pierce, Joan Cortright and Nicholas Afaami.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Five Special Olympic skiers qualify for state

The Pagosa Springs Special Olympic Ski Team competed Feb. 10 in regional competition at Durango Mountain Resort.

Five of the nine special athletes from Pagosa qualified for state competition at Copper Mountain Feb. 25, 26 and 27. They include Delta Buck, Susie Rivas, Teresa Morris, Josh Duffy and Patrick Waggener. Others on the team are Judy Jacobs, Frank Read, Donna Cooper and Robert Devitson.

A special thanks to Neil Nelson and Saloonatics for providing music Friday night.

Anyone wishing to become involved with Special Olympics or make a donation can contact Kathy Pokorney, P.O. Box 2172 or call 264-5113.

Around town

The Circle of Friends, a group of concerned and loving people who do things for people, had a bake sale last Saturday at City Market on the hill to benefit Cheryl Tothe, who has lung cancer. The sales were good. Many thanks to those who provided the baked goods and thanks to those who paid more than was asked.

Sometime in May the Circle will have a bake sale to benefit Debbie Swenson, a U.S. Post Office employee who just returned from a long stint in the hospital. Here again, baked goods will be needed. Call Burlinda Vorhies evenings at 883-2261 to talk about donations and to learn more about the Circle of Friends.

John and Beth Porter had an open house Sunday afternoon to celebrate the premier performance of "Boom, Bust and Battle" on KWUF FM. This show features recorded music from the 30s, 40s and 50s and is the inspiration of John Graves and John Porter. And who better to do a talk show with anecdotes about popular music than John Graves - with his musical background as a piano performer, and connection with big bands and Hollywood - and John Porter with his love for music during those times and his ability to pull it all together.

Art happenings

The Pagosa Springs Arts center will open March 8 with an exhibit by Amanda Taylor: "Color and Contrast, Animal Portraits in Oil." The open house is set for 5 p.m. PSAC has openings for exhibits. Call 264-5020 for more information. Winter hours at the gallery are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

You can mark your calendars for the Music Boosters' next show. "Fiddler on the Roof" is scheduled for the second and third weeks of September. Performances will be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with a Sunday matinee. Joan Hageman will direct. Rehearsals will start late July.

Fun on the Run

A Knight and his men returned to their castle after a long hard day of fighting. "How are you faring? asked the king. "Sire," replied the Knight, "I have been robbing and pillaging on your behalf all day, burning the towns of your enemies in the west."

"What?" shrieked the king. "I don't have any enemies to the west."

"Oh!" exclaimed the embarrassed Knight. "Well, you do now."

 

Veterans Corner

by Mike Diver

French plan 'Thank You America' program

The French Ambassador to the United States announced a new program whereby French authorities will issue a "Thank You America Certificate" to eligible World War II veterans.

The certificate is meant to express the gratitude of the French people to those soldiers who participated in the Normandy landing and in the liberation of France, on French territory and in French territorial waters and airspace, between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945. The certificate will not be issued posthumously.

The 10 Consuls General of France in the United States will issue the certificates on behalf of French authorities in coordination with State Veterans Affairs offices, Veterans Service Organizations' national and state representatives and veterans associations. The Consul General in Los Angeles is responsible for the State of Colorado.

An application form, filled out by the veteran, will be sent to State Veterans Affairs Office, Veterans Service Organizations' national and state representatives and veterans associations. They will identify eligible veterans, review and certify applications, prepare certificates and organize ceremonies to present the certificates. Since this program was just announced, application details are still being worked out. I anticipate that the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts will play a large part in the process.

I plan to review my files to identify eligible veterans; however, my records are far from complete. If you are, or you know of, a living WW II veteran who served on French soil or in French territorial waters or airspace between June 6, 1944, and May 8, 1945, please ensure there is a copy of the appropriate military discharge on file with the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office.

Alternatively, any eligible veteran will be able to apply directly to an appropriate organization to be considered for the certificate once the procedures are formally announced. This certificate is completely separate from the medal awarded last year by the Government of France for participation in the Normandy invasion. This program will reach a much larger WW II veteran population.

For information on this and other veteran's benefits, please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-Mail is vsoarch@pagosa.net. The office is open 8 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment. Bring your DD 214 (Discharge) for registration with the County, application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

 

Parks & Rec

by Douglas Call

Warm temps, wet snow close skating pond for season

The River Center Park ice skating pond is closed.

Extremely warm weather and wet snow forced the closure of the pond last week. The pond had six inches of water on the surface, making skating more like water skiing. With the heavy wet snow last Thursday the pond cannot be cleared for future skating.

Hockey games and practices at the rink are also subject to change due to weather. Call the "Hockey Hotline" at 264-5810 for an updated recorded message.

Adult basketball

There will be no town recreation basketball games Feb. 19 in observance of President's Day.

Adult basketball is underway with games Feb. 20 and 21 scheduled at 6:15, 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Schedules for games played Feb. 20 through March are available at Town Hall and at the gym.

Youth basketball will end Feb. 27, after which six games per night will be scheduled for the adult program. The leagues will run until spring break, the last week of March. For more information contact the recreation office at 264-4151.

Youth basketball

League play for two leagues wrapped up last week. The 11- and 12-year-old league continues with tournament play beginning Feb. 20. Tournament games will last until Feb. 28. Tournament schedules are available at Town Hall and the gym.

There will be a 6 p.m. season-ending coaches' meeting for all youth coaches Feb. 22 at Town Hall. All coaches are encouraged to attend to review the basketball season and contribute input for next year's season.

This Friday, the Timber Wolves and Grizzlies, Celtics and Knicks will play between the Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista boys' and girls' basketball games. These will be the final youth basketball games at the high school. Players wearing team shirts will be admitted free, parents pay $2.

Team and individual photos are available at Pagosa Photography, in downtown Pagosa Springs,

Commission meeting

The next Recreation Commission meeting is scheduled for March 12, 6 p.m. at Town Hall. At the last meeting, rentals on Reservoir Hill, youth basketball and the returned surveys were discussed. The 34-page recreation survey analysis was condensed into five pages and another summary will be presented to the commission at the next meeting. The new summary will deal with five-year goals for the recreation department. All commission meetings are open to the public and pizza is served at 6 p.m.

In Sync with Isabel

by Isabel Willis

Making auto travel safer for youngsters

This week is National Child Passenger Week.

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what Archuleta County and surrounding areas are doing to make auto travel safer for our little tykes.

Sheriff's deputies, city police, and Colorado State Patrol officers contact an alarming number of parents or guardians who fail to use car seats for their infants and toddlers.

Every day, children up to 12 years old sustain serious injuries or die in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these injuries and deaths can be avoided with the correct use of child safety seat belts.

Most child restraint laws cover babies and children up to four years of age, or 40 lbs. in weight. A third of the state laws also protect children over six years old.

The purpose of child safety seats is to reduce the number of child passengers killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes. Seats function by absorbing and safely distributing crash impact loads over the child's body while holding the child in place and preventing contact with the vehicle's interior components or ejection from the vehicle.

Many parents are unaware they are using safety restraints incorrectly (or not at all), placing their child at risk. Moreover, it is strongly advised not to buy a car seat second-hand. You do not know the history of that seat and though it may look okay, everyday wear and tear causes the plastic fibers of the seat to break down. Also remember to make sure the manufacturer sticker is on a seat so you can check it if recalls are announced.

Last year in the regional tri-county area, there were more than 204 seats checked and only three were installed correctly. Those three had previously been through a checkpoint and the owners wanted to make sure they were following proper instructions and safety techniques.

What is a checkpoint? A checkpoint is a designated area where you let technicians check for proper installation of your car seat and for restraint systems for children over 40 lbs. There is a recall list that allows technicians to look for defects in a particular seat. If a seat is confiscated, there will be seats at the checkpoint as replacements. If a motorist cannot afford a new seat, any amount they offer will be accepted. The point is to make it a safer environment for your children.

In Archuleta County, Kids In Safety Seats, otherwise known as KISS, is a community-based program designed to provide low income or financially challenged families in our area with new, low-cost Evenflo car seats for their children to use when traveling in a vehicle.

The program is also designed to train parents and guardians on the proper installation and use of child restraints. We offer free car seat safety checks and will set up free training concerning how to properly install car seats in a vehicle.

A checkpoint will take place April 3, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Seeds of Learning Family Center located across from the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

At this time, I am the only technician working in Archuleta County. However, I hope to change that with the upcoming training sessions. A Pagosa Springs training session for technicians will take place March 30. It will be held in the county commissioners' meeting room, starting at 8 a.m.

Details can be obtained by calling me at 264-2182 ext. 212.

Funds are low and there is a waiting list for people needing a new child safety seat. If you are interested in making a donation, call "In Sync with Isabel" and a tax receipt will be prepared for you.

 

Editorials
 

A weekly nightmare

Dear Editor, We haven't been receiving every issue of the SUN's Pagosa Springs newspaper. Having fallen in love with Pagosa, I especially miss it. I know you can't control the mail but is there a discrepancy on your end of the line?

Sincerely,

Paula Bain

Lynn Center, Ill.

It would be nice if Mrs. Bain's nice letter was the only one to question the erratic or at times, nonexistent delivery of the out-of-town SUNs.

As of Feb. 12, this year the SUN has received almost 60 other similar complaints from out-of-county subscribers including those in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico and Nevada.

With over 1,450 subscribers to the SUN in the out-of-county category, this is major concern.

The SUN always has enjoyed a great working relationship with the folks at the Pagosa Springs Post Office and continues to do so. The problem is not with the local post office. But as Mrs. Bain seems to understand, the folks at the local post office have no control at what happens to the SUN's "periodical newspaper" mail bags once they are trucked out of Pagosa.

Just last week, local Postmaster Richard Love, while in Denver on business, made a special trip to the main postal distribution center to try to help resolve the problem.

So it's once again time to ask out-of-county subscribers who are not receiving their SUNs in a timely (within seven or eight days after the publication date) and consistent manner; please contact the postmaster at the post office nearest to your address. Ask for a U.S. Postal Service "Publication Watch" that is coded as PS Form 3721.

If you will complete the form and then return it to your postmaster, he in turn will mail it to the SUN. Then we will complete our portion of the document, attach a duplicate of the bar-coded mailing label that our computer prints out each week with your name, address, zip code. This will enable your postmaster to track the weekly routes your SUN follows from Pagosa to your mail box for four consecutive weeks. This enables him to identify at what points in the routing process your SUN is being delayed, side tracked, lost or delivered to the wrong location - any of the above.

This process in the past has produced desirable results, even though there are no guarantees.

Mrs. Bain, thanks for writing to us from Lynn Center, Ill. Your letter was dated January 29, its envelope was postmarked February 5 at "Chad Cities IL P&DF 612." It arrived at Box 9 in Pagosa Springs on February 8.

We hope an answer can be found to the erratic delivery of the SUN to your home and those of the other subscribers.

David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Stormy day stops stormy night

Dear Folks,

Last Thursday's snowstorm won't set any records, but it was one of the best storms Pagosa has experienced in many a year.

As I was watching the storm last Thursday morning, I was hoping someone would use the storm as a justifiable reason for canceling the un-publicized public forum that was set for last Thursday night.

I had two reasons for wanting someone to cancel the meeting. One, I expected it to be one of those meetings where more heat than light was generated. Two, because Richard, John and Karl had earlier commitments or assignments - it's hard to plan ahead for a public meeting that is not announced until about 72 hours beforehand - I was to be the one to cover the meeting.

I've covered my share of somewhat similar meetings in the past, but I wasn't looking forward to this one.

Modern American politics are continuing to teach that there is no right way to do the wrong thing, and woe is the self-seeker or manipulated person who tries to do the right thing the wrong way. And you can multiply that woe by 10 if it's done the wrong way and then tried to be kept hidden from the public.

You can multiply it by 100 if you're trying to hide it in Pagosa.

Just last month the county commissioners in neighboring Hinsdale County scheduled a public meeting in the Archuleta County Courthouse. They scheduled the meeting because "they", their constituents who live in the southwest corner of Hinsdale County, wanted to hold a public hearing on land-use regulations for their section of the county.

The commissioners complied with the wishes of their constituents and publicized the time and site of the meeting a couple of weeks in advance so that folks in any and all sections of Hinsdale County could attend and participate in the public forum.

I understand one of the property owners in that section of Hinsdale County traveled all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio, in order to express his opinion and to hear that of his neighbors. It's not secret that that's why folks publicize public meetings - so folks can attend and exchange their differing opinions and concerns.

I'm uncertain as to whether the Hinsdale County commissioners have taken any action based on the information gathered at the public forum, but I would think their constituents are somewhat content knowing that folks were been made aware of the forum in plenty of time and were able to express themselves in public. I would think that the commissioners would give greater weight to the input by their constituents who actually own the property in the specific section of the county that was the focus of the meeting.

It would have been interesting to hear what opinions would have been expressed, and how they would have been expressed last Thursday night had the storm not canceled the potential stormy meeting.

Hopefully Lee Sterling won't mind me adding an editor's note to his letter this week, but about the only thing I like less than stormy meetings is the prospect of a recall election.

It's not unusual for a local politician to reverse himself rather than to let himself be manipulated.

In some regards, it would be nice if Pagosa was still a small town and that things could be done just like they'd always been done.

However, Pagosa has grown. Though it's still a good place to live, Pagosa's just too big for the good-old-boys politicing of the past.

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

David

 

Legacies

Jo Mann, a man of many occupations

When reading about Elwood Pass, Summitville or Pagosa Springs history, you'll inevitably run across the name Jo Mann. He was born around 1826, but where he was born, or anything about his life before he came to southwestern Colorado is unknown. It was rumored that he killed a man back east; he came west and changed his name to avoid capture. What we do know about Mann is that he came to this portion of Colorado in the 1870s and helped to shape the early history of the area.

Jo Mann was a man of many occupations. When we first find evidence of his activities, he was occupied in mining interests in the Elwood and Summitville mining districts along the Continental Divide northeast of Pagosa Springs. In 1874, Mann purchased part interest in a mine at Summitville. A year later, he sold his interest in another mine in the same region.

Upon the arrival of the soldiers to Pagosa Springs to form Camp Lewis, Mann was appointed a forage agent for the post. As early as July of 1878, he made trips to Del Norte to obtain supplies for the post.

By August of 1878, Jo Mann had built stables for the government and was keeping accommodations for both the officers and the general public. Mann expressed his intentions to cut four to five hundred tons of hay for the upcoming winter.

From the Aug. 17, 1878, San Juan Prospector, the Del Norte newspaper, we learn that at that time, "Business in the vicinity of Pagosa is assuming a lively appearance. A large amount of goods is being forwarded to that point. Mr. M. [Mann] during his trip out, purchased and ordered forwarded 18,000 pounds of freight and proposes to open out a regular outfitting store."

According to military records, Jo Mann delivered over 10 tons of hay and 7,456 pounds of corn to Captain Hartz at Camp Lewis in December 1878. Apparently at this point Mann ceased acting as forage agent for the post.

He did remain in the area becoming active in the cause of establishing a reliable mail route for Archuleta County. Jo Mann was friend of the Howe brothers and was present the day of the famed Montoya-Howe shooting northeast of Pagosa Springs.

At one point, Mann homesteaded on the East Fork of the San Juan and later in the Elwood area. At Elwood he built a cabin, and it was Elwood that he called home at the time of his death in August of 1912. He was buried in his garden plot hear his cabin at Elwood in a spot he had chosen several weeks prior to his death.

 

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files

of Jan. 22, 1976

Four Pirates at State meet

Taken from SUN files

of Feb. 12, 1976

Four Pagosa wrestlers are in Greeley this week for the state wrestling championships as a result of their finishes in the district qualifying tournament here last week. The four are Brian Shaw, who placed first at 98 pounds; Anthony Branson who placed second at 126 pounds; David Rivera, who placed second at 112 pounds; and Ignacio Chavez who finished fourth in the district meet.

The contract of school superintendent A.D. Hahn was extended for a year at the regular school board meeting Tuesday night. His salary was increased by 4 percent over last year to $21,178.28. This is the third one-year extension on his original three-year contract.

A former Pagosa Springs resident entered a plea of guilty Friday in district court to felonious cultivation of marijuana. Although the Colorado legislature reduced the penalties for possession of marijuana last year, it is still a felony to cultivate marijuana, to dispense more than one ounce of marijuana or to possess with the intent to dispense.

Wolf Creek Pass had 50 inches of snow in two days last week with 22 inches falling on Feb. 5 and 26 inches on Feb. 7.

 

 

Features
Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Failing litmus test for making roads safer

If you notice the state highway patrol officer paying a little more attention to driving habits these days, it isn't by accident.

The Colorado State Patrol's top man, Col. Lonnie J. Westphal, cited the need for increased focus when he addressed a recent graduating class at the CSP Academy.

His comments may go over your head as just another bunch of statistics. But they are statistics backed up by 27 years experience in the Colorado State Patrol.

Consider this remark to the rookie patrolmen:

"The CSP's primary duty and focus continues to be highway safety. Our highways are more crowded with aggressive drivers, driving faster, with little civility to fellow drivers and a staggering death toll," he said.

"Highway safety is nothing more than an oxymoron in the U.S.," Col. Westphal added.

"We (Americans) kill more than 40,000 people every year on our highways; 115 a day! Traffic crashes are the 'No. 1 Killer' of youth between the ages of 16 and 25," he continued, "and it is predicted that in five years, traffic crashes will surpass all other causes of death for all persons and take over the number one position."

Road rage is a continuing threat. Television reports showed the aftermath last week of an incident in Albuquerque. A car with bullet holes in the side, bullets deflected by skeletal steel or they could have killed or seriously wounded the passengers. The shooter's reasoning when captured: "They cut me off from the lane I wanted to enter."

Some great reason for shooting at another traveler, isn't it? It is interesting, too, that arresting officers found the shooter had three outstanding warrants for road rage actions.

You never know who or what you might meet up with on American highways.

"We cannot continue to desensitize ourselves to this carnage," said Col. Westphal.

"Our love affair with the automobile has led us down a path where highway deaths are actually an acceptable sacrifice for our 'freedom' - a 'price of doing business.'

"While we spend billions on air travel safety, ensuring the safety of childrens' toys, researching for the cure for major diseases and fighting violent crime in our country, the leading cause of 'accidental' death in America - traffic fatalities, goes largely unnoticed, or at least accepted."

"Traffic crashes," he told the new patrolmen, are not just 'unpreventable accidents.'"

When the top man in the state's top highway safety agency speaks and says we're failing the litmus test on making our roads safer, we all should listen.

When death is a constant companion on the highway, we need to be sure we are not driving carelessly, that we are watching out for the other driver, and that as the amount of traffic continues to grow everywhere, we're not thrust into a position of trying to escape the anger of a "delayed" or "cut off" driver with an "I've got to get there right now" attitude.

How often have you watched as someone came up behind you, a long line of advancing traffic forcing that driver to stay there as you drove at or slightly below the speed limit, watching for highway hazards to arise.

You saw him - or her - begin to weave in and out. You know the driver wants to pass, no matter what the speed limit, no matter what the road conditions, no matter what the consequences. They just have to get around you and place themselves one spot further up in the ribbon of steel streaming down the highway.

Finally that driver in a hurry can wait no longer. You see the car pulling out to come around you. You see the traffic coming at you. You slow, tap your brakes, ease off the roadway to give the 'gotta get there' driver room to get around and as the car passes, you notice the glare - or the grin of triumph - as the driver wheels back into the lane just in time to miss the lead car in the oncoming line.

You've managed to escape an incident of road rage but now you're feeling the anger rise in yourself. At this point you, too, need to get off the road and calm down. It will do no good to have two angry drivers on the same highway at the same time.

Col. Westphal set the tone for all drivers in Colorado when he told the academy grads they are responsible for upholding the mission of the Colorado State Patrol: "To ensure a safe and secure environment in Colorado for all persons by providing professional law enforcement through responsive, caring and dedicated service."

The same motto might well be adopted by the state's drivers: Be responsive, be caring and be dedicated to safety on the roadways.

It could mean that you stay alive.

And don't be afraid to report bad driving. You could find you've saved someone else's life by helping officers get a dangerous driver off the roads before he or she had a chance to maim or kill.

* * *

AS LONG AS we're on the subject of safer highways, it is disheartening to note that in Colorado more than half the children under 16 who died in traffic accidents last year were riding without car seats or seat belts.

That was the report from Colorado Department of Transportation as it warned drivers to make sure their children are properly protected. The occasion was a notice that this is National Child Passenger Safety Week.

Gov. Bill Owens said the state is increasing enforcement of seat belt laws, especially as they apply to children, and noted, "Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children in the United States. Show your kids you love them by buckling up every time."

The CDOT report showed 31 children died in Colorado traffic crashes last year, nine of them under age four and two of those infants not riding in car seats. Twenty two of the victims were between four and 15, with 64 percent of them unbuckled at the time of the accident.

The report said surveys indicate car seat usage in the state for children under four is 79.3 percent. Seat belt usage for children four through 15, on the other hand, is only 43.8 percent. The study was conducted for CDOT by Colorado Sate University.

Col. Westphal said, "Drivers and their passengers who are not buckled up can expect zero tolerance if they are stopped by the State Patrol."

A word of warning which we all should heed.

The pace of Pagosa Country life need not be tied to highway carnage. There is no reason for any driver to cut off another, to drive without regard to the safety of others, particularly his or her own passengers.

There is no justifiable reason to threaten the lives of persons in another vehicle simply because the driver is obeying the law.

Increased motor vehicle traffic on our roadways does not have to mean increased irritability. If you're driving fast to get somewhere on time, you probably should have allowed yourself more time to get there. Your being late is not the fault of the other drivers on the roadway.

The moral: Drive sanely and safely.

Old Timers

By John Motter

 

The last train came to take up tracks

The last train into Pagosa Springs chugged into town April 7, 1936, not that its arrival caused any joy among town residents. In fact, the train's arrival caused consternation, if not surprise.

A paragraph in the Pagosa Springs SUN reported: "The first train on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad to come into Pagosa Springs since February of 1935 arrived Tuesday. The train made the trip from Durango in three and one-half days."

The purpose of the visit was to take up the track that "has been laid since August of 1899 and to discontinue any and all rail service to our town."

"What it took months of hard work for pioneers to build will be torn down by wreckers in a few days," the SUN editor noted.

True to his newspaper calling, the editor recorded for posterity the names of the wrecking party. They were C.M. Groshart, fireman; Bert Murray, conductor; "Granny" Duxtad, head brakeman; Luke Swartout, rear brakeman; and A.C. Mclain, engine watchman. Thomas Egan, road master for the D.&R.G.W. for more than 32 years, was also in the gang.

The year 1935 was not good for many folks in the United States, let alone Pagosa Country. The Great Depression was in full stride. Newly elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal programs designed to combat the depression were the subject of much discussion in The SUN.

An advertisement in The SUN read: milk...8 cents a quart, 5 cents a pint, 30 cents a gallon in buckets, and 10 cents a gallon separated. The portion separated, cream, brought 35 cents a quart, 18 cents a pint. Churning cost 75 cents a pint. Milk delivered in the morning, P.H. Inman announced, all cows tested for T.B., and anyone with questions could call telephone No. 62.

By July of 1935, the government was talking about the San Juan-Chama diversion project with a dam and large reservoir proposed near the Whit Newton property on the East Fork of the San Juan River. The project would require 70 miles of tunnels and ditches and provide irrigation water for New Mexico.

As might be expected during a time of stress such as that created by the Great Depression, violence was a not unexpected companion of daily life.

During November, while everyone in Pagosa Springs was tripping the light fantastic at an International Order of Oddfellows dance, burglars broke into L.J. Goodman's Department Store and made off with a pair of bedroom slippers. Later that same night, the same burglars broke through a glass entrance door into Alley Hardware and made off with a pair of .22 rifles, an old shotgun, and a 30-30 rifle.

Two nights later, they pointed the barrels of their contraband at Dr. A. Miskowiec and relieved the good doctor of $3. The holdup occurred at the corner of 3rd and Pagosa Streets adjacent to the Baptist Church at about 12:30 in the morning. Miskowiec was walking to the home of an appendicitis patient he had been treating each two hours through the night.

Back to the railroad. The exit of the narrow gauge from Pagosa Springs did not occur suddenly. A lot of governmentese was required, namely permission from the Interstate Commerce Commission. Opposing the railroad's request to abandon the 31-mile line between Pagosa Junction and Pagosa Springs were the State of Colorado, the Colorado Utilities Commission, Archuleta County, and the Town of Pagosa Springs.

The beginning of the final countdown began Sept. 22, 1933, when the parent company, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad filed a brief with the Interstate Commerce Commission asking permission to abandon the line between Pagosa Junction and Pagosa Springs on the grounds that further operation of the line is a hindrance to interstate commerce.

By November, engineers were measuring and poking the line with the idea of establishing a value. At a Nov. 10, 1933, hearing in Durango, the Colorado Utilities Commission opposed abandonment.

By early 1934, the SUN noted that about $750,000 in bond interest owed by the railroad was overdue. The commission noted that in Colorado, 29 counties and 314 school districts relied on property taxes paid by the railroad for a major portion of their income. The railroad finally paid first half taxes in the second half of the year.

On Feb. 16, 1934, a federal examiner recommended abandonment of the line between Pagosa Junction and Pagosa Springs. A final decision was made Aug. 17, 1934, when the Interstate Commerce Commission allowed D&R.G.W. to abandon the route in question, pointing out that the railroad company had lost $240,000 on that route since 1926.

At about the same time, a Rio Grande Motor Way Bus made a trial run from Alamosa to Durango. The Rio Grande railroad owned about 80 percent of the stock in the bus line. The new, 180-horsepower buses would carry 21 passengers and cost $12,000 each. The bus schedule called for leaving Alamosa at 6 a.m. and arriving in Durango at 12.15. The bus would leave Durango at 3:30 p.m. and arrive in Alamosa at 9 p.m.

At first, the bus carried passengers and freight. Later, it carried freight only. The old Rio Grande freight terminal still exists in Pagosa Springs across the street from the former railroad depot. Both services are now gone, but not forgotten.

 

Births
 

Kailei Johanna Eustis

John and Gayle Eustis of Pagosa Springs are happy to announce the arrival of their daughter, Kailei Johanna Eustis who was born Jan. 25, 2001, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 19 3/4 inches.Her paternal grandparents are Jean M. Eustis and the late Richard C. Eustis of Syracuse, N.Y. Her maternal grandparents are Richard and Kay Burick of Los Alamos, N.M.

Amberly Annette Nash

Amberly Annette Nash was born on December 22, 2000, to Brynne and Chad Nash of Pagosa Springs. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 19-1/2 inches. Her proud grandparents are David and Catherine Brackhahn of Pagosa Springs and Bill and Vickye Davis of Salome, Ariz. (formerly of Pagosa Springs). She shares a birthday with her grandpa, Bill.

 

Business News

Biz Beat

Lisa Boelter, Julie Allison and Lisa Raymond are ready to help clients reach their peaks at the newly-opened Peak Physical Therapy.

Located at 190 Talisman Drive, Peak Physical Therapy offers a wide range of services, focusing on pre- and post-surgery patients, back and neck care, chronic pain management, aquatic therapy, and sports injuries.

Peak Physical therapy will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting in March. The phone number is 731-1888.

 

  

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

2/7

34

42

-

-

-

2/8

34

30

S

8.0

1.2

2/9

35

9

-

-

-

2/10

39

4

-

-

-

2/11

41

7

-

-

-

2/12

38

9

-

-

-

2/13

40

13

-

-

-