A letter of resignation was submitted yesterday to the county commissioners by Archuleta County Manager Dennis Hunt. The resignation will be effective as of March 23, according to the letter.
"I was surprised," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I knew he had looked around before about advancement and other opportunities. I knew he had done some interviews the past couple of weeks. He will leave a void that will be hard to fill. We'll have to do some shuffling to fill the vacancy."
Crabtree said an executive session is being called for Thursday afternoon (today) during which the commissioners will discuss their next steps.
"We'll have to see what our options are," Crabtree said. "We're going into executive session because we want to get comments from him. He will feel more free to talk in executive session.
"Personally, I'd like to see us advertise right away for a replacement," Crabtree continued, "but I haven't talked with the other board members about that. It will take time to advertise, interview, and make a selection. Meanwhile the commissioners and Kathy Wendt, administrative assistant, will have to run the county while we're looking."
Crabtree said he wished Hunt well and didn't blame him for seeking a better opportunity.
"I'm sorry to see him leave and I wish him luck," Crabtree said.
Hunt is the only manager Archuleta County has ever had, having held the office since August of 1991. He has been the county administrative officer of all administrative functions in the county, as well as budget officer. His annual salary in the 2001 budget is $61,400.
"During the next month I will perform my duties to the best of my ability," Hunt said in his resignation letter, "and it is my intent to make this transition as smooth as possible and without disruption. I intend to make myself available as much as possible during the next thirty days. Even after I depart, I will be available to answer any questions or be of assistance in any way that I can."
Hunt declined to give any reason for leaving, other than personal.
As to his replacement, Hunt advises, "Anyone who comes in here should get to know the operation of the county, the people of the county, and should come in with an open mind."
The accomplishment Hunt prizes most during his stay here is "the development of an excellent professional team."
Hunt joins a growing parade of departing county professional employees that, since the first of the year, includes Scot Ferris, planning technician; Michael Crofts, building inspector; Michael Mollica, director of county development; and Roxanna Hayes, county engineer.
DLR Group has reduced its bid for bidding and construction services in connection with planned improvements at the Pagosa Springs High School athletic fields complex, mainly by reducing the number of planned on-site visits from 12 to six.
But the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint, meeting in special session Tuesday night, was not satisfied with the total amount which included $14,870 for design activities for construction of a concessions stand, public restrooms, storage building and handicapped access walkways.
The reduced quote from the firm which designed the new high school building came after the firm was contacted by Superintendent Terry Alley following receipt of the initial bid last week. The revision kept the design factor the same, but set bidding activities at $1,650 and construction administration activities at $3,585. Cutting the number of on-site visits during construction would reduce the overall cost by $4,035.
Alley told the board Tuesday the problem is, "We don't know what the overall cost of the project will be. If, and I'm just pulling a figure out of the air, the cost comes in at $100,000, this bid for design and other activities would be 20 percent."
Director Russ Lee asked what the cost was for the expansion of the administration building and was told "a little over $80,000 (design and control fees were about 8 percent)."
Director John Forrest said, "I think the DLR bid sounds high. I wonder if there's not someone local who would be willing to tackle the job."
When Alley told the board "there are at least four architects in town who might be interested," Lee asked, "Are we on a crunch for time."
Alley said, "If we don't get started soon, we might get no bids. We need the project completed by fall. To get that, we probably need to bid it by April."
Director Randall Davis, board president, asked if it would be possible and plausible for the district to call each of the local architects and ask them if they want to bid the project.
When Alley agreed it could be done, Lee warned "we need to make sure each of them is aware of the ADA code requirements for meeting needs of the disabled.
"This shouldn't be a huge project," Forrest said. "I think our local people may jump at the chance. I'm hearing there's a slowdown here and people are looking for work."
When Directors Clifford Lucero and Carol Feazel agreed with the need to seek local quotes, the board directed Alley to contact all local architects and invite them to bid.
A later phase of the overall sports complex development project will be a 400-meter all-weather running track and field event sites, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, soccer field improvements, a north entry ticket booth and team meeting rooms.
With five applications received on Tuesday, the deadline established by the school board, Archuleta School District 50 Joint now has eight candidates from seven states for the school superintendent's post to be vacated July 1 by Terry Alley.
The board, in a special meeting Tuesday, had mixed reaction to the number of applicants. Some had expected a dozen or more and one director had expected "perhaps as many as 30."
But they were mollified when Alley told them he had talked to officials of the State School Board Association and was told "we'd be lucky to get six."
"I was told," he said, "that we used to have a shrinking pool and now the pool has evaporated."
He cited the problems encountered in nearby Alamosa.
"When they advertised they got only two responses," Alley said, "and rejected both thinking they could do better. When they readvertised, they got none and are going now with an interim administrator off staff."
On paper, Alley said, several of the applicants "look very good."
When Nancy Schutz, business manager, suggested some mail may have been delayed by the long holiday weekend, the board agreed to extend the deadline for 24 hours (5 p.m. yesterday) to allow for any late mail.
"I think, on the basis of these developments," said board President Randall Davis, "that we should feel very fortunate to have received as many prospects as we did."
Alley told the board the superintendent screening committee is "prepared to begin tomorrow reviewing the applications. They will make a recommendation to the board after their meeting March 5."
In the meantime, he said, "the board needs to verify its time line for actions, develop specific questions to ask the candidates, check references, establish interview times, structure the candidates' visits here, and determine how much funding we'll give for those visits."
In answer to a board question, Alley said, "some of the applications are quite extensive. These might take up to an hour each to read and evaluate. We'll make them available in this office to individual members of the board and the screening committee and will open extra hours if they need them."
Alley noted the screening committee came up with a list of 24 questions which it has been asked to pare down to 12-to-14, and suggested that each member of the board come in with three specific questions. Between the two groups of questions, he said, "we should be able to establish a core of 12 to 15 which can be asked of each candidate.
"Be aware," he warned board members, "that there are a number of questions we cannot ask, by law. We may not inquire about religious preference, marital status, number of children, age, ancestry, birth place, etc. Everyone who participates in any way in questioning must be aware of the banned areas and comply."
The board agreed it will schedule interviews with the top three candidates in the same week but on different days, most likely the first week in April, and agreed it will cover air fare, motel stays, meals and incidental local expenses for each candidate.
Each candidate will meet with the screening committee on the morning of their full day visit, will tour facilities and meet with staff during the day, lunching in one of the cafeterias, and will then meet with board at 4:30 p.m. for the final formal interview.
Director Carol Feazel asked, "When do we have to make a final decision?"
Alley said, "Our original target date was April 16."
"I think we can do that," Feazel said. "It may take away from our personal time, but it is a task we agreed to do and we should do it expeditiously."
In answer to a question from Director Russ Lee, Alley said the applicants are from Wisconsin, Michigan, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arizona, Kansas and Colorado. He said most of them "are not from big communities," and when asked about search team visits to the applicants' homes, he said "one day should be sufficient for each such action."
Once the field has been narrowed to the three finalists, asked Davis, "Who will go to the home towns to seek comment on the applicants?"
Alley said it should be a board decision and Lee said, "We'll have to live with the person we pick. As many board members who want to and can, should go."
Davis agreed, "The more the better."
Feazel and Director Clifford Lucero agreed that Schutz should be a part of the visiting team because of her knowledge of financial affairs in school operations. Director Jon Forrest said the search committee should also be represented. "We care what they think," he said. "They've been valuable to this process."
The board agreed and suggested committee chairman Mike Haynes would be a logical choice. Haynes was in the audience and agreed to go whenever he is needed.
When the board got into specifics on questions to be asked of the candidates, the ideas flowed freely, indicating there will be tough decisions to make when paring the list down to workable size.
Davis, for example, said, "It would be good to know their philosophies on dealing with staff, what their experiences are in dealing with boards of education, how they deal with in-school problems and financial health of their districts."
Feazel said she feels the board members should each examine all of the applicants in depth. "We may find a common thread which runs through them that we need to develop a question on," she said. "If that is the case, we need to ask it and get it answered."
She suggested the board needs to inquire about management philosophies. "Is the candidate a micro-manager or one who gives his staff a wide degree of freedom?" for example.
Lucero suggested another question should deal with the candidate's knowledge, if any, of Colorado law and the "current state of educational stress being imposed on local school districts."
"It would give us an idea whether the candidate has done any homework on the situation he or she hopes to enter," he said.
And, Lee suggested the board should determine the candidate's evaluation "of the Alfie Kohn concept we have espoused."
Several questions on the master list prepared by the search committee drew accord from board members. Some of them were:
- How would you, as the newest member of the school district's staff, encourage an already established group of professionals to implement some of your ideas? How do you envision incorporating both?
- What are your views concerning vocational education? Do you favor increasing vocational offerings or support the existing program? (Director Forrest noted the second part of the question would probably not be answered because candidates would have no knowledge of the existing local program's offerings.)
- How much freedom do you feel teachers should have in classroom operations?
- What would you see as your biggest challenge as a new superintendent?
- How much freedom do you feel principals should have in the daily operations of their schools? In what areas do you feel you should be involved?
- What will you be remembered for in your former districts?
Those, Alley said, are good starting points for formation of a specific list to be asked of every candidate.
In 45 days the questions, if everything goes right, will have been answered and there will be a replacement for Alley ready to come on board.
In a repeat of last week's meeting of county commissioners, a small group of citizens grilled the commissioners concerning recent activities that suggest violation of the state open meetings law.
The same citizens asked the same questions at the Feb. 14 commissioners meeting of Commissioners Bill Downey and Alden Ecker. Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners, was absent from the Feb. 14 meeting. Consequently, the questions this past Tuesday were directed at Crabtree.
The citizen questions were directed at the commissioners under a standing agenda item labeled public comments.
Crabtree was questioned by the citizens: 1) concerning a promise they say he made to improve communications; 2) his position during an executive session Jan. 16 when the commissioners discussed and agreed to separate the county building department from the county planning department, then appointed building inspector Michael Crofts head of the newly created department; 3) a meeting/work session on Feb. 6 not listed on any agenda with developers concerning a variance and changes in subdivision regulations; 4) and a night meeting scheduled Feb. 8 at the county fairgrounds to hear a presentation concerning Montezuma County's growth regulations.
Crabtree's answers included:
1) To improve communications with the public Crabtree advocates work sessions including the public where the commissioners sit down and throw out ideas and goals with no particular structure and without the requirement that items to be discussed be announced on any agenda. The agenda would merely announce the work session. Concerning constituents, Crabtree said he had no problem with anybody talking out on any subject. "I want to know the answers to everyone's questions," he said.
2) Crabtree said the change of the building and planning departments was made during an afternoon work session. Ecker agreed with Crabtree. Downey contradicted both by saying he thinks, but he isn't certain, the action was taken during the executive session. County Manager Dennis Hunt was not invited to speak Tuesday and did not. A week earlier he reported he had been directed during executive session by consensus of the commissioners to carry out the task. A week earlier, Ecker had said he wasn't certain, the action might have been taken during executive session or during a work session.
The building and planning department split was made, Crabtree said, because meeting with people from the building department indicated that is what they want and because a statement by Mike Mollica convinced him the planning department was overworked and would benefit by the split.
He also argued that Mollica is not a certified building inspector and should not have been supervising a certified building inspector. Ecker agreed with Crabtree and said he is sensitive to people's feelings and does not want to talk about people in public sessions.
Downey said he disagreed with the change.
No minutes of any county meeting record the actions and decisions involved in the changes to create a building department and to name a department head.
3) Crabtree explained the Feb. 6 work session with developers by saying the developers had come in a week earlier and he invited them to attend an afternoon work session. He said he didn't know which work session they would attend, didn't know they were coming to the one they did attend (on Feb. 6).
4) Concerning the Feb. 8 fairgrounds meeting, Crabtree said, "We are lucky we had to cancel because of weather." He said the meeting was called in response to a specific request from some Arboles citizens who knew of the Montezuma County plan. "I didn't see a need to throw it out to the whole community," Crabtree said. "Only a small group of people were involved. It was not a secret meeting."
Citizen Karen Aspin said that she was offended by the flyer announcing the meeting. Aspin is one of a number of citizens who have been working on a community master plan for more than a year. Aspin objected the use of the word zoning and calling the meeting a public forum on the Archuleta County Community Plan on the flyer. She said she was shocked to learn the county community plan advisory committee and the county planning staff and planning commission had not been invited.
"It was my fault," Crabtree said. "Maybe I should have opened it to the community. I'll shoulder the blame."
He admitted the public deserves advance notice of such meetings and promised, "Speaking for myself, it won't happen again."
In an item on the Tuesday agenda related to county meetings, communications, and the state open meetings law, Crabtree and Ecker argued that people differ in their interpretation of the law. They argue that actions such as splitting the planning and building departments was an administrative decision, permissible under the open meetings law. They also argue that announced work sessions are legal, even if items not listed on the agenda are discussed.
"Of course the press disagrees with us," Crabtree said. "What does the press think?" he asked.
SUN reporter John M. Motter is the press addressed by Crabtree.
"It depends on the subject matter," Motter said. "I believe any item of general interest to most of the public should be announced on an agenda. The law does allow the commissioners to get together for certain day-to-day administrative activities without an agenda."
The citizens asked Mary Weiss her opinion. Weiss is the county attorney and the only legal professional in attendance.
Weiss said it is her opinion that work sessions should be called only for specific topics and those topics should be announced in advance on an agenda. She said with a few exceptions for day-to-day administrative tasks, the law says when two or more of the three commissioners get together and discuss county business, a meeting is taking place and such a meeting requires that an agenda be posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
None of the citizens in the audience agreed with Crabtree and Ecker concerning open work sessions.
The citizens all argued that meetings will be better attended, all view points better represented, communications improved, and the interest of the public better served if work shops address specific items announced in advance on an agenda.
Concerning the open meetings laws involved, a pamphlet distributed by the Colorado Press Association and sponsored by Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, Colorado Freedom of Information Council, Colorado Press Association, and Colorado Broadcasters Association says the following:
"It is declared to be a matter of statewide concern and the policy of this state that the formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret."
Covered by the open meetings law are, "All boards, committees, commissions, authorities or other advisory, policy-making, rule-making or other formally constituted bodies and any public or private entity which has been delegated a governmental decision-making function by a body or official are included under the law."
Local public body includes all political subdivisions of the state, such as counties, cities, home rule cities, school districts, special districts, metropolitan districts, and RTD.
A meeting is any kind of gathering convened to discuss public business, in person, by telephone, electronically or other means of communication.
All meetings of a quorum or three or more members, whichever is fewer, of a local public body at which public business is discussed or formal action might be taken are open.
Public notice is to be given prior to all meetings where the adoption of any proposed policy, position, resolution, rule, regulation, or formal action occurs or at which a majority or quorum might be in attendance.
Notice must be full and timely, meaning posting a notice in a public place at least 24 hours before the meeting. Posted notices must include an agenda if at all possible.
County commissioners do not have to give 24-hour notice if two or more meet to discuss "day-to-day oversight of property or supervision of employees. Hiring or firing, building a new courthouse or buying major equipment are not oversight.
Executive sessions, that is banning the public from a meeting, are allowed only under certain narrow guidelines.
Snow is forecast starting tonight and lasting through the weekend, according to Gary Chancy, a forecaster with the National Weather service office in Grand Junction.
"Thursday will be mostly cloudy," Chancy said. "Thursday night will become breezy with a 40 percent chance of snow. There could be rain showers early in the day changing to snow later in the evening."
The chances for snow continue tomorrow and on through Monday, Chancy said. Temperatures should drop Saturday and the chance for snow Sunday and Monday deceases.
Daytime temperatures should range from the 30s into the low 40s with nighttime lows ranging between 15 and 25.
"We've got a good, strong system coming in carrying lots of warm air," Chancy said. "It will meet the cold air later. The storm track should be directly over the Four Corners area."
Things should clear up and be dry Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, according to Chancy.
Pagosa Country received 1.25 inches of snow Feb. 14, bringing the total February snowfall to 9.25 inches, well below the long time average of 18.8 inches.
High temperatures last week ranged between 44 degrees Tuesday and 31 degrees Feb. 14, with an average high temperature of 37 degrees. The low temperature was minus five degrees recorded Feb. 15. The average low temperature for the week was 7 degrees.
The Upper San Juan Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 in the county commissioners meeting room in the county courthouse.
The agenda includes:
- Call to order and roll call
- Planning Commission's continued discussion of Draft No. 5 of the Community Plan. The Planning Commission has officially closed the public comment portion of its hearing on this item
- Consideration of Resolution No. PC 2001-01, adopting an updated Master Plan (Community Plan) for Archuleta County
- Review of the Feb. 14 Planning Commission minutes
The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association held an open town meeting for interested Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Feb. 12.
It was the second quarterly town meeting held in order to promote open and informal communication between Pagosa Lakes property owners and the Association's board of directors.
The theme for the meeting was "Parks and Recreation - Future Needs and Plans." A brief presentation was made by Doug Secrist, chairman of the Lakes Fisheries and Parks Committee. The presentation focused on the "Master Plan for Parks, Open Space, Trails, and Recreation" first proposed to the board in 1999. Approximately 45 persons attended including members of the board, Parks Committee, and representatives of Fairfield Pagosa.
Past presentations and discussions have been held on the trails component of the master plan proposal. Considerable work has already been done to implement early phases of the trails portion. Other portions of the master plan proposal include suggested needs for recreational parks and open space; these portions were the focus of this town meeting presentation.
The proposed master plan was based on a survey of the property owners. That survey and one conducted by the Recreation Center were reviewed. The plan suggests the phased acquisition of lands to be set aside for recreational use by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners. Strategies for funding the acquisitions were also proposed.
The presentation projected how population growth in Pagosa Lakes is likely to fill out existing building sites in the next 10 years and how the new population is increasingly typical in family size (average of 2.2 persons per household with a high of 2.6 persons per household in the Vista community).
Community parks and open space standards were applied in the study but were discounted by about 50 percent given the current green belt space and surrounding national forest lands. Fairfield Pagosa currently owns a bit over 1,000 acres of green belt space. However, based on a review of the suitability of these lands as parks and recreational space, only 64 acres would be considered usable.
Several community park sites were identified in the presentation. The major recommendations to the board beyond the purchase of these sites were the need for an appropriate long range vision to assure continuity of purpose, the need for a rational means for financing the purchase and development of the sites, and the need for community-wide coordination including Fairfield Pagosa, Archuleta County, and the town of Pagosa Springs.
Several property owners spoke strongly in favor of making key land acquisitions in the Hatcher Lake and Pagosa in the Pines II areas. A very common concern was how quickly suitable sites are being purchased and therefore how important it is for the PLPOA board to consider quick action on critically needed parcels.
Comments from residents in the Hatcher Lakes area confirmed the reality of "build out" of current sites, the family oriented growth in that area, and the great desire to see the board support the recommendation to purchase park land in that area.
Given the high degree of support for the concept of selective land purchases much of the discussion concerned financing strategies, not only for the purchase of land but also for its development and maintenance. The original proposals concerned only the purchase. The development cost for first class ball park or soccer fields might run as much as $100,000 per acre. There is also the issue of water rights to maintain the quality of the ground cover.
Formation of a recreation district was proposed by Director Fred Ebeling as the most effective and easily implemented funding strategies. Such a district does not pay taxes on the land whereas the PLPOA would have to pay taxes. Such a district could also be established in just a few months.
A key issue in moving quickly is to be sure the PLPOA is effectively partnering with the county in its parks and recreational planning. The comment was also made that PLPOA needs to move to develop lands it already has to support this study. That is the strategy in the Vista area where the association has land, a lake, trails, and other recreational amenities.
The main message from members of the audience was their desire to see the board put emphasis on the most critical areas in terms of population growth, build out, and family needs. That message clearly came from the Hatcher Lake community.
Another distinct message was the need for Pagosa Lakes and Fairfield Pagosa to work together to assure the best use and selective development of the appropriate green belt space to meet current and future recreational needs.
The Valentine Party for Caregivers was a fun time for all who attended. Great food, door prizes, and even a song and dance which incorporated stress reducing exercises led by this writer and Sharon Porter, left everyone with a smile on their face. Information included resources for Caregivers and the forming of a support group was discussed.
Sponsored by Perfect Circle and four Pagosa churches, the event was held at the United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall Friday, Feb. 16, to honor Caregivers who give so much of their life to those in need.
Caregivers are those, who as part of their daily life, attend to the needs of a person who is mentally, emotionally or physically disabled, including the terminally ill. There are two types of Caregivers: one is a "Personal Care Provider" whose chosen line of work is caring for the disabled and the second is the family member who cares for their loved one.
Often Caregivers' needs are overlooked, as the needs of the disabled person are so pressing. If you are interested in support for Caregivers call 731-6009 for more information.
A big thank you to all those who contributed food for the Valentine party: Jean Brooks of Mountain Christian Fellowship for the homemade bread; Nita Hietz, Bev Evans, Pat Stokes, Fern Huckins, and Peggy Case of United Methodist Church; Jane Thomason of Community Bible Church; Carol Hockala and Mosetta McGinnis of Our Savior Lutheran; Sharon Porter and Elizabeth Coleman from the Health Partnership; and City Market.
Door prizes were donated by: Health Quest; Nails by Colleen; The Spring Inn; Anna O'Reilly, CMT; Shear Talk; Mullins Barber Shop; Exclusively Elizabeth's; Headlines by Carmen; Snips; and Sharon Porter, RPP.
We thank Jann Pitcher, David Cammack, and Marvin Murphy for volunteering to be substitute Caregivers for the evening. And a big Valentine thank you to all Caregivers.
The San Juan Mountains Association will sponsor orientation in Pagosa Springs on Monday for individuals or groups interested in volunteering on public lands in Southwest Colorado.
The session is planned in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 6 to 8 p.m.
Some of the opportunities are:
- Rail Rangers - Ride the train and talk with visitors about the San Juan National Forest
- Trail Projects - There are eight trail projects around the area this summer and this would be great for groups of volunteers
- Adopt a Road - Another good one for groups. Adopt a Forest Service road and have a sign placed on the road with your groups' name
- WIS/Ghost Riders - Talk with visitors on wilderness trails while you hike or ride your horse
- Arborglyphs Documentation - Help preserve Aspen tree carvings.
They showed their age as they were paraded for their final appearance Sunday.
Tattered and soiled, they gave evidence of having fulfilled the role they were designed to play.
They were a family of ensigns, symbols of a nation's freedom.
Twenty American flags, ranging from 3 inches by 5 inches to 5 by 14 feet, were given their final salute and then dispatched to their final rest in a cloud of smoke.
The official flag disposal ceremony was conducted at 2 p.m. by members of Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 on the soggy, mucky post parking lot under a warm sun with a cool breeze blowing.
After each flag was formally inspected by a Legion officer, the post commander asked each of the inspectors for their decision and recommendation.
Saying the flags had flown proudly above both private and official sites and had served their nation well, the officers recommended they be burned in accordance with formal flag destruction procedure.
The short ceremony drew only a few civilians, most relatives of the Legion participants, but that could not detract from the somber moment in which the flags were doused - one by one - with an accelerant, lighted afire, and deposited in a barrel to burn out their final appearance.
By Legion action, each of the flags was accorded the same ceremonial finish, no matter what its size nor the location of its former display.
In 20 minutes it was over.
Fitting time for 20 flags which had flown majestically over sites in Pagosa Springs and environs subjecting their stripes and stars to all the elements while continuing the formal duties of The Star Spangled Banner.
Sales tax collections in Archuleta County for January 2001 amounted to $399,650, 6.54 percent higher than the amount collected for January last year.
The county commissioners attributed the increase to increased tourist activity attracted because this year's snowfall is greater than that of last year. Last year's January sales tax collections were down almost 3 percent from the previous year, a shrinkage attributed to light snowfall resulting in fewer winter tourists.
Sales taxes are levied county wide, but divided evenly between the town and the county. The town's portion is used for capital improvements. The county's portion is divided equally between the general fund and the road improvement fund.
The county has budgeted $2,267,190 in estimated revenues from sales taxes for the 2001 budget, one-half of the anticipated sales tax collections.
Last year, $4,588,855 in sales taxes were collected in the county. The biggest months for sales tax collections last year were July with $530,345, October with $487,080, September with $453,050, August with $444,685, and November with $429,920.
A 6.9 percent sales tax is levied on most retail sales in the county, 4 percent divided between the town and county, and 2.9 percent to the state. (The 2.9 percent state sales tax went into effect Jan. 1, 2001; prior to that the state sales tax was set at 3 percent.)
For those 18 years and older the 9Healthfair is a win win situation for residents of Pagosa and those who attend from outlying areas. Where else can you go and get free screenings by professionals, blood work and colorectal kits for a nominal fee.
The 9Healthfair is a program of Nine Health Services Inc., a nonprofit organization endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society. The mission on Nine Health Services Inc., is to promote health awareness and encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health.
Our 9Healthfair is scheduled for Saturday, April 7, at Pagosa Springs High School. The hours will be 8 a.m. to noon. The doors will open at 8 a.m. and will close at noon. Volunteers will not leave until the last participant has left. Persons who arrive late, but before noon, will be provided the full services of the Healthfair.
The Pagosa Springs core group of volunteers currently are busy attending meetings, doing leg and phone work to make the Pagosa 9Healthfair the very best that it can be. You can help as both medical and non-medical volunteers are still needed. In the medical arena, organizers are trying to locate a podiatrist, a nurse or doctor to do lung function, a trained professional(s) to do skin cancer screening, and medical personnel for prostate/testicular screenings. If you know of a doctor, please ask if he/she is interested in volunteering so that we can get the applicable paperwork in to Denver. Medical personnel are also needed for breast exams and summary and referral, blood pressure and phlebotomy. Interested parties should contact Kathy Conway at 264-6303 or Lili Pearson at 731-5159.
The Pagosa 9Healthfair organizers are also seeking volunteers in the non-medical arena. Interested individuals should contact Mercy Korsgren at 731-2855 or Pearson at 731-5159. Persons who are interested in conducting a learning center should contact either Korsgren at 731-2855 or Pearson at 731-5159.
The dates of other 9Healthfairs in the area are Ignacio, March 31; Bayfield, April 14 and Durango, April 21.
Besides the free screenings provided at the 9Healthfair, an extensive and optional blood chemistry analysis, including a coronary risk ratio and TSH (thyroid), is available for only $25. A 12-hour fast is required for accurate results. Drinking water during the fast is encouraged; coffee and tea are all right as long as they are plain, no sweeteners or cream. Continue to take prescribed medications. Diabetics should not fast. Also, men 40 years of age and over may take advantage of the prostate cancer screening, PSA, through the blood chemistry panel for a nominal fee of $20. Colorectal testing kits are $5.
Loose fitting shirts and blouses that easily expose the upper arm for testing blood pressure and blood chemistry are highly recommended.
Please know that if you would like to volunteer 9Healthfair organizers would like to hear from you.
Hunter education classes: March 12, 14, 16 and 17, 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. (Students must attend each session. Location: Extension building, Archuleta County Fair Grounds on U.S. 84 and Mill Creek Road.
This course will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
All programs, services and activities of the Colorado Division of Wildlife are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need an accommodation due to a disability, please contact Mike Reid or Doug Purcell at 264-2131, or Don Volger at 264-4151. To assure that the Division of Wildlife can meet your needs, please notify Mike, Doug or Don of your request at least seven (7) business days before class starts on March 12.
Class size will not be limited and no preregistration is required unless you need accommodations due to a disability.
This course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Wolf Creek Ski Area on Sunday held the fifth race of its 2000-01 Fun Race Series. The all-comers races attracted 79 area and out-of-state skiers over the Presidents Day holiday weekend.
In the girls' and women's races, Lucy Redd won the girls' 6-to-8-year-old race with a time of 55.19 seconds.
Brianna Plaza won the girls' 12-to-14 race with a time of 38.60. Sarah Harris of Dallas placed second with a 40.85.
Alexis Loewen of Pagosa Springs posted the day's fastest time in the women's division as she won first place in the girls' 15-to-17 race with a time of 28.10 seconds.
Lori Granger of Kansas won the women's 31-to-35 division with a time of 50.67. Lilly Fair of Pagosa Springs placed second at 2 minutes, 13 seconds.
Linda Redick of Oklahoma won the women's 36-to-40 division with a time of 39.20. Regina Miller of Oklahoma placed second at 42.23. Vanessa Nash of Frisco finished in third place with a 43.71.
Cynthia Florimont of Florida, for the second week in a row, won the women's 41-to-50 race with a time of 29.94 seconds. Kate Harris of Dallas was second with a 41.90. Bernie Redd of Pagosa Springs finished third at 65 seconds flat.
Men's race results
Kurtis Eggleston of Durango won the boy's 3-to-5-year-old race with a time of 36.37 seconds.
Kaleb Redick of Oklahoma won the boys' 6-to-8 race in 56.67 seconds. Addison Martel of Oklahoma placed second at 59.06.
Avery Neal of Los Alamos, N.M., won first place in the boys' 9-to-11 race with a time of 34.78 seconds. Patrick Donohoe of Los Alamos placed second at 35.30. Jonathan Plaza of Tucson was third at 38.15.
Nathan Redick of Oklahoma won the boys 12-to-14 race with a time of 36.51. Mike Stobie of Albuquerque was second at 39.65.
Matt Vereck of Los Lunas, N.M., won first place in the boys' 15-to-17 division in 29.58 seconds. Kyle Taylor of Castle Rock was second at 30.41. Javier Creixerr of Chile placed third with a time of 31.09 seconds.
Cole Roman of Texas posted the day's fastest time overall as he took first place in the boys' 18-to-20 division in 27.28 seconds. Jatzen Louder of Hereford, Texas, was second at 34.38. Kyan Conklin of Dallas placed third with a time of 35.97 seconds.
Dirk Kesther won the men's 21-to-25 race with a time of 30.34. Nichol Monaghan of Houston placed second with a 35.76.
Nate Wiesz of Pagosa Springs won the men's 31-to-35 race with a time of 31.90. Jeff Baum of Dallas placed second with a a 32.09. John Trambley of Albuquerque finished third at 33.24.
Bill Campbell of Austin, Texas, won first place in the men's 36-to-40 age bracket with a time of 29.73 seconds. Charles Newane of Texas placed second with a 31.48. Gary Smith of Albuquerque placed third with a 31.96.
Paul Grovenor of Albuquerque won first place in the men's 41-to-50 age bracket with a time of 28.63. Jeff Thurston of Santa Fe placed second at 30.66. Alan Harris of Dallas finished third at 33.32.
Duncan Cullman of South Fork won the men's 51-to-60 division with a time of 27.36. Wayne Harley placed second at 27.60. Mike Evans took third place with a 28.28
Sam Selters of Center won the men's 61-and-over race with a 28.86. Bryant Lemon of Albuquerque finished in second place with a time of 29.19. Walter Florimont of Florida placed third with a time of 33.80 seconds.
Wolf Creek Ski Area will host its annual Mardi Gras race on Saturday, Feb. 24. The free registration for the all-comers races will be conducted in the Base Camp Lodge from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. The races will get underway at the starting gate on Lower Charisma Trail at 10:30 a.m.
The Mardi Gras race is open to snowriders of all skill levels.
Directors of Archuleta County School District 50 Joint got an update last week on the status of Archuleta Scholarships in Escrow, a fund operative in one form or another since 1970 to help students meet college tuition expenses.
Nancy Schutz, school district business manager, distributed to board members a number of graphics to indicate how the fund has grown over the years after a slump in the mid-1990s marked by a donation low of $2,990 in 1997.
It was at that point, she said, that county Realtors stepped in to help subsidize the fund. The following year donations went up to $18,300, dropped slightly in 1999 to $17,185, and rebounded in 2000.
Since 1998, most local Realtors have contributed $10 to the fund for each transaction they close. Last year county title companies decided to match the Realtor donations and the result was a record year for the fund with $18,425 in contributions, including nearly $6,000 from Colorado Land Co. alone.
The fund was seeded originally by 60 percent of a $600,000 bequest from longtime county landowner Whitney Newton Jr., scion of a prominent Colorado business family which moved to the state in the 1870s. The other 40 percent went to a similar program for the Creede schools.
The donor was owner of the Newton Ranches on both the East and West Forks of the San Juan River, an officer of Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs and First National Bank of Denver and Pueblo, a veteran of both World War I and World War II, a principal in Pagosa Lumber Co. and was once an Archuleta County commissioner.
Prior to his death he had provided a scholarship annually to a deserving Pagosa Springs youngster. His wife, Barbara, kept up that scholarship.
The fund was to be deposited to draw the highest available interest which would fund the scholarship. As the area grew, and the number of students increased, the number qualifying for financial aid also increased.
The sitting county commissioners - Mamie Lynch, Bob Formwalt and Jerry Martinez - were named to administer the fund. Their decision on how best to use the monies led to the school district taking over and creation of the interest bearing escrow account from which qualifying students could be awarded assistance scholarships toward their post high school tuition.
Mrs. Newton died in 1989, the estate was settled in 1991, and the commissioners, because the county was no longer the controlling agency for public schools adopted a resolution passing the bequest on to the school district which operates the fund today.
To qualify, as the fund is currently managed, a student earns a specific number of points for each A and B grade received in high school, with the total number of points received corresponding to a specific amount of aid available. Each student qualified must apply for the scholarship funds. The student has five years to use the money.
Schutz said there has been no year in which all the earned funding has been used. Some students who qualify choose not to go on to college. Others drop out after one or two years and thus forfeit the balance for which they were eligible.
Over the 11 years the escrow has been in existence, it has earned $291,890 including both accrued interest and contributions. The average earned per student assisted, ranged from a high of $425 for 62 students served in 1992 to a low of $251 per student for 64 applicants in 1990. In 2000, the amount earned was $301 per each of 117 students eligible. The 11-year average is $338 per student served.
Current school board Director Russ Lee has been chairman of the committee since its inception as an independent group in 1990.
As of Dec. 31, 2000, the fund, audited by Michael Branch, had assets, including checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit, totaling $200,912 and had commitments to scholarships from the classes of 1996 ($9,260), 1997 ($11,223), 1998 ($12,370), 1999 ($18,246) and 2000 ($19,810). Thus, total liabilities added up to $70,909.
Pagosa Springs High School students competed in the FBLA District Conference in Alamosa Feb. 6. Forty-five students piled onto the bus in the early morning hours to make the trip. At the conference, 16 schools were represented. Competition in a variety of business events is held at this annual conference. Many young people from our local FBLA chapter were recognized for the events they participated in.
A student or team must place in the top 10 of their event to be recognized in the awards ceremony. The top five places in individual events and top two in the team events automatically qualify for the FBLA State Leadership Conference that will be held in Vail later this year. Four FBLA members who did not qualify will also be allowed to attend the conference based on their extra effort in FBLA throughout the year.
Members of the Pagosa Springs FBLA Chapter consistently do well in the district competition. FBLA sponsors Dorothy Christine and Lisa Hudson aid members in practicing their events through the year. Twenty-six members of the chapter were recognized at the awards ceremony and 12 qualified for the state conference.
Those who qualified for state include the following: Kelly Kay, first place, business procedures; Ben Marshall, second place, accounting II; Ethan Sanford, second place, impromptu speaking; Ross Wagle, third place, impromptu speaking; Ryan Beavers, third place, international business; Jennifer Nelson, third place, outstanding business student; Justin Caler, third place, public speaking II; Ashley Gronewoller, fourth place, impromptu speaking; Matt Ford, fourth place, technology concepts; Drisa Carrizo, fifth place, accounting II; Melissa Diller, fifth place, business communication; and Tiffany Diller, fifth place, word processing II.
Others who were recognized at the district conference include: Gretchen Bergon, Jennifer Gross and Kelli Patterson, fourth place, entrepreneurship; Ross Wagle, fourth place, scrapbook; Chelsea Sanchez, sixth place, accounting II; Katie Lancing, sixth place, computer applications; Michelle Ferguson, seventh place, accounting II; Gretchen Bergon, seventh place, marketing; Justin Smith, eighth place, business math; Cassie Pfeifle, eighth place, computer applications; Marisol Villalobos, eighth place, introduction to business; Keith Frank, eighth place, word processing I; Somer Evans, ninth place, introduction to business; and Joetta Martinez, 10th place, public speaking II.
Pagosa students did well this year at the district conference and hope to do well at the state conference as well.
No end to attacks
Does all this commissioner- bashing sound familiar? Smells like the tactics of one recently-defeated commissioner candidate. There is no end to the vicious, underhanded attacks that she will continue to launch against anyone who does not agree with her and/or defeats her scheming, behind-the scenes plans.
Those Pagosa Lakes Property Owners who were, unfortunately, victims of her vile tactics for three long years will recognize these actions and should be aware of the relentless campaign which is being launched against the current commissioners. These methods were planned from the beginning of her defeat and will continue to be an endless display of her reprehensible, iniquitous practices.
In reference to more roads in the forest so disabled people can use them. Nonsense. I am physically disabled and I have had no problems using the forest for the past 23 years. I have been to places on crutches such as Opal Lake and Red Lake. I have walked the many old logging roads in our county and been to places that most other people in the county have never seen. Yet, to make these trails accessible to wheelchair is absurd. There are some places the wheel just does not belong.
More roads in our forest is the last thing we need and doing away with a few of the current roads is a good thing for the health of our forest and future generations. More roads only means more poaching and encroachment on our fragile forest. With literally hundreds of miles of logging roads and railroad spurs in our forests we do not need more. It is time to say enough road building in our forest.
Accessibility for the disabled to Pagosa hot springs would be nice as we have healing waters to everyone except people in wheelchairs.
Dear Pagosa Springs,
Many of you are now aware of the soliciting and passing out of literature near the grounds of the intermediate and junior high schools. In response to Richard Walter's article in last week's paper, I'd like to complement the wonderful, and very moving, story. Here is what I would like to add:
I am an eighth grader at the junior high. On Friday, Jan. 26, I happened to have gotten a ride from a parent, so I, myself, wasn't approached. But my friends were and I have formulated a story and an opinion. On this particular Friday, men dressed in black and white dress suits and carrying large boxes and stacks of books stationed themselves at every entrance to the school, except for the front doors. These books they were handing out were small copies of the New Testament. Any child that walked by was given a copy, sometimes rudely. If the child refused, they were questioned. No parent or adult was given a book. In fact these men were, seemingly deliberately, avoiding asking permission to preach to the children.
I am not a very religious person. I do not go to church, and don't care to. But I respect those who do and I leave their beliefs alone. I have been told that God loves everyone and Jesus loves me no matter what. I have also been told that if I didn't devote my life to him I would be banished to hell forever. Now, I don't care what religion you are, or what you believe in. Telling someone that they are going to be punished that severely just for believing something different than you is wrong. If the Bible is true and God loves everyone, why would he throw us in hell for believing something different? It is not what was being handed out that is a threat to us as students and children. It is how it was being done.
Why couldn't these strangers handle asking parents? Why did they avoid contact with them? And why did they use a supposedly "safe" school setting? They could have gone to any public place, the City Market, the library, anywhere they knew kids would be.
But they chose to take advantage of the junior high and intermediate schools. At the elementary and high schools, any such action would be illegal. To get near enough to the school to approach the children you would have to be on school grounds. The sidewalks around the junior high and the area in which the buses park is public property. Therefore, unfortunately, anyone has a right to pass out anything they want to anyone they want. These men may be within the law, but the way they were targeting and approaching only children is wrong. I had always felt that I was perfectly safe from religious prosecution at school.
And if people can get away with religion, what next? Pornography? Racism? We have a right to be safe at our school and what did the administration do about it? As far as I know, nothing was done to prevent these men from coming and pressuring us on our way to the buses.
The school board was notified before the day of the actual soliciting, and the Bibles were still allowed within 10 feet of the school. This is a matter of the children's safety and confidence at school.
It concerns the whole community, not just a few students and parents. Something needs to be done to prevent further attempts at pressuring the students and to ensure our safety in the future.
A concerned student
When I read the article titled "Town sets hearing on geothermal rate increase" (SUN, Feb. 15) I was stunned by the argument that the town should set its geothermal energy rate based on Citizens Utilities' price for natural gas. As a regulated utility, Citizens must prepare a rate case for review by the public utilities commission. In this rate case submission, Citizens must justify its rate proposal based on the market price of natural gas, capital and operating costs for its delivery infrastructure, and a regulated rate of return for its investors.
While I realize that the town currently operates the Geothermal Heating District at a loss, geothermal energy rates should be based on an analysis of our true costs performed under reasonable accounting practices.
Other than being a whipping boy for the town's proposed rate increase, Citizen's Utilities' natural gas rate has no relationship to the cost of geothermal heating in Pagosa Springs.
H. Pat Artis
Moved by photo
Regarding the old photo of the dead man: I was so moved by the photo in the "Who . . . Where. . . When?" section of the Feb. 15 Preview. It gives me goosebumps knowing I live in a community that can in fact take care of its own.
I think we ought to make a 10-by-20 glossy of that dude swinging from the tree and put it there on Main Street next to the Irish Rose where that Indian Choo Choo thing is now. It would warn visitors entering Pagosa that we are indeed law-abiding citizens here. Maybe we also ought to have a "Hall of Fame" board as well, displaying our local clan members.
I have really become a big fan of John Motter's historical pieces. To realize the wealth of history in Archuleta County is a real treat, especially that of the railroad.
A lot of the old railroad grades, ties, bridges, etc., are still visible around the county. For instance, part of the old Pagosa Junction line that ran along Stollsteimer Creek can be traced right down the hill from our home.
In the wee hours one morning last week, I was awakened by our two golden retrievers. I slipped on my boots and robe and went out onto the deck to see what was the matter. The full moon was peeking through the clouds and strangely illuminating Chimney Rock to the west. The fresh snow was glittering and there was absolute silence.
Suddenly, the calm was broken by the sharp, distinct whistle of an old steam locomotive. I felt goose-bumps rising as the sound reverberated down the valley and dissipated. The moon disappeared behind the snow clouds and I stumbled back to bed (knowing not to wake my wife with my crazy "ghost train" story).
That's the last time I read one of John Motter's articles right before bed.
I thought the people of Pagosa were honest but I've experienced otherwise. On Friday, Feb. 16, a lady was seen leaving the Pagosa Lodge Lounge with my CDs. Please return them immediately, no questions asked.
The Lounge is closed until 4 p.m. so you will have plenty of time to go in and leave them without being noticed. Please save me the trouble of having to file charges.
It is the mission of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council to help ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts. With the gallery in Town Park PSAC offers a venue for artists to share their work and give the community and its visitors the benefits art has on the human spirit. There are 16 time slots with time for annual shows such as the high school art exhibit, which is May 17-30 this year.
There are seven divisions of PSAC: Music Boosters, Pagosa Players Family Theatre, Whistle Pig Folk Night, Chimney Rock Connection, Pagosa Players and Kings Men Theatre Troupe, San Juan Festival Ballet and Angel Box Painters. All of these divisions contribute to the overall mission of PSAC.
There are seven standing committees of PSAC: arts events, exhibits, organization/operations, public relations, fund raising, membership and education. All of these standing committees have subcommittees which involve many different aspects of our "little gallery in the park."
It has been my pleasure to be a part of the PSAC board for five years and president for the past three years. I wish to show my appreciation to this community for making the experience rewarding. As my term expires I will continue to support the PSAC, through standing committees I currently participate in.
The organization requires people. I want to make an appeal to this community to become involved in it. It requires teams of people working together toward common goals and vision. I encourage families to work together, to play together and to create together. Art has so much to offer. I hope that your readers will consider becoming a member of PSAC and becoming involved in a positive way to make this great place, greater.
Thank you friends and family, thank you for your support and encouragement. Thanks to my friends on the PSAC board, you are appreciated by this community more than you know. Thank you to all the current members of PSAC for your support.
Outgoing president PSAC
Letter of the law
Commissioner Alden Ecker's "problems with the open meeting law" (SUN, Feb. 15) may be a problem for him, but it is a law, a law neither he nor the other members of the commission can ignore at their discretion. The job of a publicly-elected official often presents that official with inconvenient and difficult circumstances by which he or she must abide. It's part of the job for all elected officials. If that is too difficult for Commissioner Ecker or other members of the Archuleta County commission, they should not have run for office to begin with.
In the meantime, it is Commissioner Ecker's responsibility to follow the letter of the law whether he has a problem with it or not.
Also, now that you are charging as much as the Durango Herald, Denver Post, even USA Today, "Whaddaya think" about adding a crossword puzzle and maybe another cartoon, even "JUMBLES" to help justify your pricey price?
This is in addition to Curt Raymond's letter in the Feb. 8 edition of the SUN regarding the proposed golf course at Piano Creek.
A friend of mine in Kansas City, Mo., who had been in ill health, retired. He didn't want to remain inactive so he got a part time position with a golf course - grooming. This was a pleasure because he had enjoyed playing for many years.
Over a period of time, he became ill again and his doctor suggested that he resign from the job because the chemicals used in the maintenance of the golf course were making him ill.
And the authorities of the Piano Creek project have not denied that this will be an ongoing situation with the development of a golf course.
And think of the proximity to the San Juan River.
Is the quote you put in the paper from Alden Ecker correct? " 'I have some problems with the open meetings law,' Ecker said."
If so, I am truly disturbed. County commissioners are elected to make sure that the laws - old and new - are followed and implemented in a legal, non-partisan and non-biased manner. Obviously, this has not been occurring as seen in the reports of your newspaper over the last 3-4 issues. From nepotism with land transits, to road maintenance, to oil and gas permits, these guys are unbelievable. I knew we were in for a bad four years when two of them got elected with a minority of a minority; but little did I know how bad and how soon.
But this last statement of Mr. Ecker is appalling. Not only does he ignore the law, he blatantly and openly says he doesn't want to follow the law.
This is so Clintonesque.
Thank God the law is in place and we have a newspaper that will point out each time he breaks the law.
This law was written for people exactly like him - and his two compadres.
Editor's note: The quote is correct
Soon to be released
I would like to submit these lyrics of my song, "Recall":
Here's a little story about commissioner A and commissioner B/ and their closed door sessions that shape our destiny./ "A kind of think tank during which no decisions were made" or really a ploy to keep the public in the shade./
We are the good ole' boys! We have the final say!/ Shucks! . . . It's a bumpkin little town, turn your heads the other way./ It was good enough for our daddy's. It's worked for us, too!/ How dare you breach our legacy with your multi-sided views./
The gas companies are your friends, we've always told you so/. . . They shouldn't have to follow silly laws. . . drill away. . . Tally Ho!/ Noise and contaminated water are just imaginary things./ Go back to your TVs. . . We'll be your brains./
We answer to "The Great Developer," God is just our friend./ We pray for record building starts, means don't justify ends./ Personal interests are our main concern./ Take your public opinion and shove it and let us finish our terms.
David L. Snyder
Stuck in the mud
Read the front page article "Commissioners study changing subdivision codes." Concur, something has to be done. We have been stuck in the mud at Loma Linda since we obtained a building permit in 1999.
How long does it take the developer to put stone on the road and make it passable? Last fall, the Waste Management truck got stuck in the mud and had to be towed out.
When it rains, or when the snow melts it is impossible for even a 4-wheel drive vehicle to move.
Talamante rites held
Sarah Jane "Patsy" Talamante, a longtime resident of Edith, passed away Sunday, Feb. 18, 2001.
Mrs. Talamante was originally from Larne, Northern Ireland. Her husband of 50 years Feliciano, brought Sarah to the U.S. as his war bride. They shared a wonderful life on the ranch with their ten children.
She is preceded in death by husband, Feliciano; a son, Phillip; two brothers, Robert Campbell and Abey Campbell; and a sister, Roseann Montgomery, overseas.
Mrs. Talamante is survived by her children, Bernard Talamante of Edith; Frances Talamante of Pueblo; Barbara Baugh and husband Gene of Pueblo; Frank Talamante Jr. and wife Bernadette of Chama, N.M.; Ray Talamante and wife Mary of Lumberton, N.M.; Marlon Talamante and wife Becky of Tierra Amarilla, N.M.; Marilyn Coen and husband Everett of Pagosa Springs; Johnny Talamante and wife Kristelle of Edith; and Roseann Talamante and David Montoya of Santa Fe, N.M.; 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by an aunt, Rosie O'Connor, in Ireland; a brother, Robert Campbell in Wales; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins in the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Talamante will be missed for her kindness and the joy that she brought to so many.
Services were held Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2001.
Joshua D. Hughes
Joshua David Hughes, age 29, drowned Jan. 18, 2001. A former resident of Pagosa Springs, Hughes lived for almost three years in Galveston, Texas, while undergoing treatment for a bipolar disorder.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 at Pagosa Bible Church which meets in the multipurpose room of Pagosa Springs Elementary School.
Hughes was born July 10, 1971, in Omak, Wash. He attended elementary and junior high schools in Pagosa Springs. He graduated from St. Stephen's Episcopal Preparatory High School in Austin, Texas; attended 2 1/2 years at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.; earned a BA in communications from Ft. Lewis College; and pursued 2 1/2 years of pre-med studies at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. He excelled in all academic endeavors and spoke three languages.
He considered highlights of his life to be an autumn 2000 bicycle ride from Houston to Dallas raising funds for AIDS victims; and a two-week holiday trip in December 2000 to Milan, Italy, with his girlfriend Dr. Giulia Ottaviani's family. But above all, his entire life was dedicated to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his mother Kay Taylor Burnett of League City, Texas; his father Peter Hughes of Pagosa Springs; two sisters; two brothers and three nephews.
The children's art education classroom at The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake (directly across from NASA Johnson Space Center) in Texas has been named "Joshua's Room" in honor of young Hughes. The arts center is a nonprofit organization where his mother is executive director and where Joshua worked in the coffee shop while scheduling spring 2001 graduate classes at the University of Houston at Clear Lake.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be sent to: TAACCL - Joshua's Room; 2000 NASA Road 1; Nassau Bay, TX 77058.
Mr. and Mrs. Gene Tautges of Pagosa Springs are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter Holly Marie to Tucker Black. Tucker is the son of Norm and Glee Black of Littleton. A May 19, 2001, wedding is planned at Our Father Lutheran Church in Littleton.
It was a positive end to a difficult season.
A standard-setting performance by Pirate freshman Michael Martinez and excellent outings by senior Josh Richardson and junior Luke Boilini, put a bright capstone on a rebuilding year for the Pagosa program and indicated a bright future ahead.
With his fourth-place finish at 103 pounds, Martinez became the first Pirate freshman to advance that far in Class 3A state tournament competition.
Martinez began his trek to the heights with a match against Luis Meza, a tested senior from Hotchkiss.
Ahead 2-0 with a first-period takedown, Martinez saw his lead dwindle when Meza fashioned an escape at the outset of the second period. Another takedown put Martinez up 4-1 at the end of the second period. The third period belonged to the Pirate: Martinez took Meza down three times and earned an impressive 10-3 decision.
Meza was noted as a master of the cradle, but Martinez refused to give him a chance to apply his signature hold. Martinez countered Meza's shots and converted the counters into takedowns. With his win, the Pirate was the sole freshman to advance out of the first round of Class 3A 103-pound action.
Neil Samples, a sophomore from Brush, was next up in the championship quarterfinals.
If a fan saw only one match in the three days of wrestling, the 2-1 win by Martinez made the price of admission worthwhile.
Both wrestlers battled on their feet through the first two periods of the match, each athlete attempting shots and each wrestler rebuffing the moves. Both had chances to score, both failed.
Samples started the final period of the match in the down position and, on instructions from coach Dan Janowsky, Martinez allowed the Beetdigger to escape and take a 1-0 lead.
Samples consistently backed away from Martinez, eating away at the two-minute period without drawing a penalty point for stalling. Martinez continued to press his attack on the retreating Samples, but could not score.
The wrestlers went out of bounds with three seconds left on the clock. Martinez had one chance to score. The Pirate nailed a single-leg takedown and, as the referee's hand went in the air to signal the two-point score, the buzzer sounded to end the match.
In the championship bracket semifinal, Martinez ran into Dustin Heffelman of Erie. The two fighters battled on their feet through a scoreless first period.
Heffelman chose the down position to begin the second period and Martinez allowed him to score with an escape. The strategy worked as the Pirate took Heffelman down. Martinez used the same strategy again, but this time it backfired: Heffelman scored the next takedown and had a 4-2 lead at period's end.
Martinez closed the gap to 4-3 with an escape at the start of the third period but the Erie wrestler - who went on to finish second in the division - secured a 6-3 decision with a takedown.
The loss put Martinez into the consolation semifinal against Meza of Hotchkiss.
Any doubts about the Pirate's opening match victory over Meza were quashed when Martinez produced a 5-3 decision, breaking a 1-1 tie with two takedowns in the third period.
The match for third place against Trent Randall of Meeker was close through two periods, with Randall - one of the two top-seeded wrestlers in the division - holding a 5-3 advantage. The third period belonged to the Cowboy who took Martinez down twice before winning with a fall five minutes and eight seconds into the match.
Janowsky was effusive in his praise of his young medalist.
"Michael's style and energy created a stir among the coaches at the arena," said Janowsky. "He stunned people with his first-round win over the Hotchkiss senior; the guy was a medalist last year and beating him 10-3 got people's attention. When he met the guy again the score was closer, but I think Michael was actually more dominating - he determined the way the match was going to be wrestled. Meza came out to settle the score, but Michael was the more aggressive wrestler; he got more leg attacks and he ended any speculation about his first win being lucky."
The coach was as excited by his athlete's 2-1 win over Samples of Brush as any spectator at the Pepsi Center.
"That only happens when you're pushing the pace," said Janowsky. "The fact Michael would not let that guy rest was a major factor in the win. The guy got fatigued and with three seconds left he made a mistake. In a way, the same situation was there in the match Michael lost to the kid from Meeker. That kid was tired. Michael pushed the pace and the kid was starting to feel it. I can imagine he doesn't want to see Michael next year."
The fourth-place finish is a great achievement, said the coach. "I added it up and, among 224 total wrestlers at the 3A tournament, there were only 13 freshman. Only two of those freshmen medaled (first through sixth place). In what other sport could a hundred-pound freshman get any attention at all? This sport is open to anyone and the little guy, the young guy, has an equal shot. Not many of those young guys succeed and I don't think I've ever had an athlete wrestle with more passion than Michael."
Richardson (189 pounds) and Boilini (215 pounds) each won a match at the state tournament.
Richardson's performance at the Pepsi Center was the finest of his Pirate career.
After nearly a full season at 171 pounds Richardson moved up to 189 pounds for the regional tournament. His regional results qualified him for 189 pounds at state and he went onto the mat against opponents who had a significant weight advantage. Richardson did the best technical work of his career and fought with great composure and character.
The Pirate senior forged his tournament victory in the first round of competition, against George Mazzuca of Highland.
Richardson got a first-period takedown and followed with a 3-point near-fall.
Ahead 5-0, Richardson started the second period in the down position and got a point with an escape. Another takedown served warning to Mazzuca; the Huskie went into a defensive mode and was assessed a penalty point for stalling.
With another penalty point - for an illegal hold - Richardson was ahead 10-0 before Mazzuca was able to score two points with a takedown. The momentum was cut short, however, when Richardson escaped then put another two points on the scoreboard with a takedown to end the match with a 13-2 major decision.
"It was a gamble putting Josh up to 189," Janowsky said. "But, I'd do it again. He was up four points on the eventual champ (in a quarterfinal match against Brandon Pritchard of Manitou Springs) with one minute left. I thought he wrestled very well. he was close to medaling - very, very close. Josh has come a long way as a wrestler and as a sportsman."
Boilini managed his victory at 215 pounds against Geoffery Kruger of Colorado Springs Christian. The match was a tight affair, with no scoring in the first two periods. Boilini rode Kruger throughout the second period but was unable to turn him for points.
Boilini started the final period in the down position and reversed Kruger for two points. An escape by Kruger with 16 seconds left was too little too late: the Pirate had his first-ever state tourney win, 2-1.
"Luke went down swinging," said his coach. "He got himself into trouble in his last match against Casey Gillette of Estes Park, but he righted himself and he pushed the guy to the end."
Janowsky looks ahead to next year with more than a measure of optimism.
"You look at next year," he said, "and we've now got a guy in the lower weights who defines how you want people to wrestle. Michael gets everybody going and the whole team has to copy the way he does it. Our team is basically intact for next year (Richardson was the only senior on this year's squad), really for the next two years.
"This was one of only two years since I took over as head coach when I didn't have a state placer in the practice room. We'll have a placer in the room next year. And, when I think back, the last rebuilding year we experienced we took only two wrestlers to state; the next year we won the regional title.
"We made steady improvement this year and it paid off at the end. I'm well satisfied that we tried our hardest and didn't take the easy route. We tried to get kids to state and get as far as we could, and we can accept the results. There were areas we set out to improve this year, and we made dramatic improvements. Now, we can concentrate on putting the finishing touches on an exciting style of wrestling."
Riding the momentum of an undefeated Intermountain League regular season, Pagosa's Lady Pirates go into this week's district tournament in Bayfield with the No. 1 seed, an 11-game winning streak and a regional playoff appearance assured.
The Pagosans cemented their perfect league record at home Friday night with a 69-30 victory over Monte Vista.
Then they had to wait until Wednesday to find out who their opponent will be in the first round of the district playoff Friday in Bayfield. That foe was determined Tuesday night in a pig tail game which saw Bayfield defeating Monte Vista 45-38 for the No. 4 seed.
Pagosa will play Bayfield at 3:30 p.m. Friday with the winner advancing to the 5:30 p.m. championship game Saturday against the winner of the lower bracket matchup between second seeded Centauri and third seeded Ignacio.
In last Friday's clash of Lady Pirates (both Pagosa and Monte Vista have the same mascot name) Pagosa parlayed a sticky defense, an overwhelming height advantage and a blistering shooting percentage into victory, cementing an 8-0 Intermountain League mark and putting its pre-tournament record at 17-2.
The four seniors who have acted as co-captains all season, regular starters Meigan Canty and Andrea Ash at guard positions, Tiffanie Hamilton at power forward, and reserve guard Amber Mesker were given starts in their final regular season home game and each contributed to the overall team success.
Their performances keyed an offense that Monte Vista could find no way to stop, one which scored almost at will, shooting from both long range and off the boards.
Statistically, the game was the Ashley Gronewoller show. The 6-foot-3 junior center poured in a season high 28 points on 13 of 16 shooting from the field and added a pair from the foul line. She also had 14 rebounds, seven at each end, turned in four blocked shots, had two steals, and added an assist.
And, one fan quipped, her performance was so dominant that she might also have been sweeping the floor and serving treats from the concession stand.
Canty chipped in with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field and she, too, was 2-for-2 from the foul stripe. Her running mate, Ash, chipped in with eight points on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor. Ash had two steals and Canty one while Canty had four assists and five rebounds.
Hamilton, who recorded her average seven rebounds per game, four on the defensive end, contributed 10 points to the cause, shooting 4-for-4 from the floor including two treys, her first from outside the 3-point circle this season. The team leader in assists for the season added five more in this game, blocked a shot and had two steals.
Junior forward Katie Lancing had six points, shooting 1-for-5 from the floor and going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. She also had seven rebounds, five at the defensive end, a blocked shot, two steals and four assists.
Sophomore guard Shannon Walkup added four points on 1-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 at the line. She had two rebounds, a steal and three assists. Mesker had two points on 1-of-2 from the floor and added two steals and three assists. Juniors Carlena Lungstrum and Tasha Andrews also saw action but did not score.
From the fan's point of view, the contest may have lost interest - except for how many points Gronewoller might score - when Pagosa ran out to a 15-4 first quarter lead and then stretched it to 39-13 at halftime with a 24-point second quarter blitz. Gronewoller had 17 first half points.
Monte Vista, on two field goals and three free throws actually outscored Pagosa in the third period, 7-6, as Pagosa's reserves played a good portion of the period. The fourth quarter, however, was a repeat of the second with another 24-point outburst by Pagosa while Monte Vista tallied 10.
That left the final score at 69-30, a mark not completely indicative of the Pagosa Lady Pirates dominance.
Their six blocked shots were a season high for the team, which also record 13 steals and 19 assists and outrebounded their San Luis Valley namesakes 38-11.
Monte Vista was led in scoring by 5-foot-1 sophomore guard Jen Cisneros who had eight points, all in the second quarter, six of them coming on a pair of long treys. Angela Santistevan, a 5-foot-9 junior, chipped in with five, including 3-of -6 from the line; Abby Jardon, a 5-foot-4 junior and Heather Sims, a 5-foot-7 senior had four apiece; 5-foot-6 sophomore Amanda Miles scored three; and starters Jessica Javalera and Michelle Keck each had two.
Coach Karen Wells said capturing another league title was a step forward, "But we're not done yet. We have a district tournament to play and if we want to host a regional game, we need to win there, too.
"And we are aiming to go to state competition from the regionals," she said. " We will practice this week as if we were starting a new season."
For the season to date unofficial team leaders, based on SUN statistics, were Hamilton in assists, with 68; Lancing in steals, with 69; Gronewoller in field goal percentage (.671) and rebounds (177, while Lancing had 151 and Hamilton 144); Lancing in total points (305) and points per game (16.05). Only three players finished in triple figures in points scored: Gronewoller (297), Lancing (305) and Canty (112). Gronewoller was far and away the leader in blocked shots with 45. Hamilton had 12, Lancing nine, Walkup four, Canty two and Joetta Martinez one.
Following the top three in scoring were Hamilton (90), Walkup (70), Ash (41), Buckley (15), Mesker (14), Lungstrum (13), Andrews (4) and Martinez (1).
As a team, the Ladies hit 400 of 760 attempts from the floor on the season, a team percentage of .527. From the foul line, Pagosa connected on 194 of 331 attempts for a percentage of .586. From 3-point range, the Ladies were 11 of 25 for 44 percent. They grabbed 629 rebounds, an average of 33.1 per game, and were outrebounded only once, a 24-23 deficit at Centauri. Finally, the Ladies recorded 321 turnovers in 19 games, an average of 22.2 per game, but a statistic which has been dropping rapidly in the last third of the season.
Pagosa plays Ignacio at Bayfield tomorrow night in a do or die district tournament game to decide which team from the Intermountain League advances to the regional tournament March 3.
Centauri plays Monte Vista in a companion game tomorrow night. Winners of the two games advance to the district tournament championship game Saturday night in Bayfield, but more importantly both teams also advance to the regional playoffs. Friday night's losers go home to dream about what might have been.
There is an advantage to winning the Saturday night game. The team which wins the district championship Saturday night plays the March 3 regional game at home. The team losing Saturday night and therefore finishing second must go on the road for the regional game.
Pagosa and Centauri finished the regular IML season tied for first place with 6-2 records, including splitting the two games with each other. Centauri's second loss was to Monte Vista, Pagosa's second loss to Ignacio.
Monte Vista finished third in the IML with a 4-4 record, followed by Ignacio and Bayfield at 2-6 each. Ignacio bested Bayfield Tuesday in a pig tail game allowing the Bobcats to play as the fourth seeded team Friday night in the district tournament at Bayfield. Bayfield's season is over.
Because no team won the IML outright during the regular season, both teams advancing to the regional tournament will be selected at the district tournament starting tomorrow night in Bayfield. That means the winners of the Friday night games advance, the losers go home.
No. 1 seed Pagosa and No. 4 seed Ignacio square off at 5 p.m. in the Bayfield gym. No. 2 seed Centauri and No. 3 seed Monte Vista face off at 8 p.m. Friday's winners tangle at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The winner will be crowned district tournament champion.
"It's very exciting to play in the tournament," said Kyle Canty, the Pirates coach. "We have to increase our intensity for the tournament. This is a brand new season. We have to play very, very good defense."
Everyone is healthy for the tournament, even though David Goodenberger's hand will still be taped and the motion somewhat restricted. Goodenberger hurt his right thumb during the second Bayfield game and sat out most of that game. He has played in the three games since then.
Pagosa 67, Ignacio 57
Pagosa stayed home last Thursday to avenge an earlier 51-50 loss to the Bobcats in Ignacio. The game was as physically agressive as the first game. This time the Bobcats paid the penalty for their roughness by sending the Pirates to the charity stripe 28 times for 19 points. Two Bobcats fouled out and a third picked up four fouls. Pagosa was whistled for 20 infractions, Ignacio for 22 infractions.
Seconds after the game started Micah Maberry drove the lane to give Pagosa a two-point lead. No one scored for a couple of minutes until Maberry feathered in a turn-around jumper from the top of the key to put the Pirates up 4-0 with 5:30 remaining in the opening period. Ignacio's Chris Phillips popped a trey, then the teams traded baskets until with 2:40 left in the period and leading 10-8, the Pirates rang up eight straight unanswered points. The period ended with Pagosa on top 18-10. By the end of the first period, Pagosa had been called for eight fouls, Ignacio four fouls.
Pagosa's defense took over in the second period. With six and one-half minutes remaining Pagosa's lead was only 18-15. Ignacio did not score again until Phillips converted a pair of free throws with only 29 seconds left in the half. In the meantime, Tyrel Ross, Maberry, Jason Schutz, David Goodenberger, and Darin Lister stretched the Pirates' lead to 33-15 before four points by Phillips closed the first half.
Pagosa's Maberry and Ignacio's Laramie Miller traded buckets to open the second half before the Pirates again clamped a defensive vise on the Ignacio offense. This time Ignacio didn't score for three minutes while Ross tickled the twine for seven straight unanswered points giving Pagosa a 42-21 lead with half of the third period gone. By the end of the period, Pagosa was on top 49-33.
The final period was a free scoring affair with Pagosa adding 18 points, Ignacio 14 points.
Ross, despite leaving the game during the second period with a cut lip after being slammed to the floor while attempting a layup, topped Pagosa scoring with 20 points. He returned to action with a clean jersey just minutes after getting slammed. Trailing Ross in scoring were Maberry with 13 points, Schutz and Brandon Charles with nine points each, Goodenberger and Crenshaw with six points each, and Darin Lister with four points.
Goodenberger and Crenshaw topped Pagosa rebounding with seven each. Goodenberger had four assists to lead in that department while Crenshaw led in steals with four. Crenshaw also had three blocked shots. Pagosa committed five turnovers.
Pagosa successfully converted 24 of 56 shot attempts from 2-point range for a 42.9 shooting percentage. The Pirates missed all of their four 3-point attempts, but shot at a 67.9 percent rate at the free throw line by converting 19 of 28 attempts.
Pagosa 52, Monte 29
Pagosa dictated the pace and the outcome Friday night in the battle of Pirates, black and gold Pirates from Pagosa Springs and green and yellow Pirates from Monte Vista.
Coach Canty had said of his Pagosa team, "We have to make our half-court offense work against Monte. At the same time, we have to successfully attack their full court defensive pressure. The key is not to let them get us into a running game."
Whatever Pagosa did Friday night worked, including turning the tables on Monte by scoring against the Monte press, several times on fast break opportunities.
The game started slowly, but Pagosa enjoyed a 6-2 lead with about half of the first quarter gone. Monte called a time out at that point, but it didn't work. Through the remainder of the period Pagosa rang up 10 points to two for the green and yellow. By the end of the first period Pagosa was out in front 16-6. From that point, the Pagosa cagers never looked back. By halftime they had piled up a 31-14 lead. The only shots Monte got were from 3-point range and those were contested.
Pagosa lost a little ground during a slow third period by being outscored 8-7, then pulled away to win the final period 14-9.
Maberry led Pagosa scoring with 12 points, followed by Ross with 10 points, Crenshaw with nine points, Goodenberger and Charles with six points each, Schutz with four points, and Rivas with three points.
Goodenberger was Pagosa's top rebounder with 12 boards, 10 of them on the defensive end of the court. Schutz turned in two blocks, Crenshaw three steals, and Goodenberger five assists. Pagosa committed 14 turnovers.
Concerning shooting percentages, Pagosa converted 21 of 40 attempts from 2-point range for 52 percent, 2 for 6 from 3-point range for 33 percent, and 4 for 9 from the free throw lane for 44 percent.
"I am proud of the way we played this past weekend," Canty said. "The seniors really showed leadership. And the three guards, Darin, Brandon, and Chris played very well. We made their guards look bad and they are good guards."
Pagosa finished the regular season with a 13-6 won-lost record. Canty is 54-24 counting regular season and post season games starting with the 1997-1998 season.
Any fears that Pagosa's Lady Pirates might suffer a letdown against Ignacio Friday after their emotional showdown victory over Centauri Feb. 9 were quickly erased.
The homestanding Ladies turned a sluggish first quarter into a 26-15 halftime lead and then never looked back en route to a 58-27 victory over the Lady Bobcats.
It was Pagosa's second league victory of the season over Ignacio, having defeated the Bobcats 51-36 Jan. 25 in Ignacio. The win kept Pagosa undefeated in league action at 7-0 and moved their season record to 16-2.
And it wasn't just the usual prolific scorers showing the way for the home team. Seven Lady Pirates cashed into the scoring charts with 6-foot-1 junior forward Katie Lancing leading the way with 19.
She was followed by 6-foot-3 junior center Ashley Gronewoller with 16, senior guard Andrea Ash - in her best scoring performance of the year - with nine, senior guard Meigan Canty and senior forward Tiffanie Hamilton with five each, senior guard Amber Mesker with two and junior forward Nicole Buckley with two.
The Lady Pirates outrebounded their foes 34-14, leaving little doubt as to who controlled the ball for most of the game. Gronewoller led the way on the boards with nine, five defensive. Hamilton chipped in with eight, five defensive and Lancing had seven, five defensive. Others hitting the boards were Buckley with five, four defensive, Shannon Walkup with one at each end and Mesker, Andrews and Ash each with one defensive board.
Pagosa was 21 of 43 (a .488 percentage) from the field, including 1 of 5 (by Ash) in 3-point attempts, and hit 13 of 18 from the free throw line for a .722 shooting percentage.
The game opened with Pagosa controlling the tip, Lancing driving the lane and dishing to Canty for two points. Nearly a minute later Arla Velasquez answered with a pair for Ignacio and the game was tied. It stayed that way for almost two minutes before Gronewoller snared the rebound of a shot by Ash and scored to hike the lead to 4-2.
When Hamilton scored from the right corner, Pagosa was up 6-2 and then Gronewoller was fouled shooting and added a pair of free throws for an 8-2 edge. Until Julia Valdez scored with seconds in the first quarter remaining for Ignacio, the game was a series of missed shots and turnovers.
The best was yet to come. Pagosa opened the second period with a soft 12-foot jumper from Ash for a pair, followed by a matching jumper from Hamilton to stretch the lead to 12-4. Roegena Thompson hit a layup and followed it with a long trey to cut the Pagosa margin to 12-9. Velasquez cut the lead to 12-11 and when Crystal Young scored inside, Ignacio had its first - and briefly only - lead of the game.
With Ash hitting another jumper from the opposite side, Pagosa recaptured the lead and then went on a tear with Gronewoller hitting inside and adding a pair from the free throw line and Lancing scoring a pair of field goals and adding four of six from the line in the period.
By then the writing was on the wall for Ignacio.
Ash missed a trey to open the second half and Ignacio rebounded and started down court. Lancing had other ideas. She stole the ball from Katie Whiteskunk and scored. Canty fouled Thompson who hit the front end of a one-and-one but missed the second.
With Lancing rebounding the shot, Canty broke right as Gronewoller headed down the lane. Lancing hit Canty in stride and she, in turn, fed Gronewoller who missed her first shot but rebounded it and scored. Samantha Kenner replied with a whirling drive for a left hand layup and Ignacio's scoring for the half was done.
Not so for the Lady Pirates. Lancing scored again on a drive to her left, was fouled on the play and hit the charity toss. Seconds later she stole the ball again and again fed Canty for a pair. Gronewoller closed the period with a page 2 legacies
page 2 legacies
layup and Pagosa was up by 22 at 44-22.
The fourth quarter turned into a display of Pagosa defensive dominance, with Ignacio able to manage only five shots from the floor, all contested, and none successful. The Lady Bobcats scored only five points in the period, hitting 5 of 7 from the foul line.
Meanwhile, Pagosa got single field goals from Canty, Gronewoller, Lancing and Mesker, two free throw conversions each by Lancing and Buckley and one each from Canty and Hamilton as the Lady Pirates coasted to a 58-27 final.
A key to any game success is the assist factor and Pagosa had 14 in this one, led by Walkup's four (in only nine minutes floor time). Canty added three. Hamilton, Gronewoller and Lancing each had a pair and Ash one. Gronewoller had the game's only blocked shot, stuffing a driving attempt by Kenner and recovering the ball herself.
Coach Karen Wells, who has been urging her guards to shoot more in order to draw out the defense and open up passing lanes, was pleased with the 21 shots taken by the four players who saw action in the guard positions, a total three times what they've been averaging recently.
"We only hit seven of them," Wells said, "but they forced Ignacio to come out of a sagging defense against Katie and Ashley that meant more opportunities arising inside."
Another key factor in the game is that sharpshooting Ignacio guard Katie Whiteskunk was limited to only three field goal attempts and hit none of them. She converted her only two free throws of the game late in the fourth period when the game already was out of hand for her team.
Ignacio was paced by Velasquez with seven points, Thompson with six, Young, Valdez and Kenner with four apiece and Whiteskunk's two. The Lady Bobcats hit only 10 of 31 shots from the floor for a shooting percentage of .322.
Practice got underway Wednesday for the 2001 entry of the Pagosa Springs High School Ladies soccer team.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said he expects 30 girls to be vying for spots on the varsity and junior varsity and C-Team rosters when the season opens March 10 with scrimmages against Cortez, Glenwood Springs and Bayfield at Cortez.
The first home game (weather permitting) will be March 16 against Ridgway.
Kurt-Mason notes the team lost only one player from last year, senior striker Ashlee Johnson, and that the team's three players selected for all-conference honors - senior Jennifer Gross, junior Alysha Ranson and sophomore Meagan Hilsabeck - all were underclassmen and should form a formidable base for this year's squad.
Also returning are senior Tiffany Diller, juniors Cassie Pfiefle and Carlena Lungstrum and Kelli Paterson, Heather Beye, Lori Whitbred, Lindsay Schmidt and sophomores Sara Aupperle, Tricia Lucero and Amber Beye, who all had quality performances last year.
Veteran goal keeper Ashley Gronewoller and right striker Aubrey Volger, both juniors, have not committed to playing this year, both indicating they may switch to track this spring.
The Ladies, who went 6-5-2 last season, including a 2-1 loss to Ouray in the district tournament held here, anticipate finishing much higher in the standings this year.
The balance of the Pagosa schedule includes home games against Telluride March 17, Bayfield April 7, Ignacio April 13 and Center April 17; and road games against Durango junior varsity March 20, Center April 3, Telluride April 6, Ridgway April 14, Montezuma/Cortez April 21, Ignacio April 26 and Bayfield April 27.
In a change from past procedure, the regional tournament will be staged on May 1 and May 5 instead of forcing teams to play two games in one day as was the case last year when the Pagosa boys ousted Bayfield in a shootout following a double overtime; but little energy was left when they had to play Center for the district title 15 minutes later.
Winterfolk fest designed to beat the blahs
This is the weekend, and I hope you have your tickets for this first-time event - the WinterFolk Music Festival, brought to you by the same folks who created the Four Corners Folk Festival.
Crista Munro and Dan Appenzeller came up with an idea that might just beat the late-winter blahs and give our economy a little boost and thus, WinterFolk Music Festival. The fun begins Saturday at 3 p.m. at the high school auditorium with a fabulous lineup including Sally Barris, Chuck Brodsky, Pierce Pettis and Lucy Kaplansky after which there will be a dinner break until 9 p.m. when our old pals, Eddie from Ohio, will take the stage and rock our worlds.
Sunday fun begins at 1 p.m. featuring Barbara Kessler and Kelly Joe Phelps with a break around 3 p.m. The evening performances will commence at 5 p.m. with Susan Werner followed by headliners Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott. Basically, it's a folk music bonanza with music to please every ear. Tickets are available at Moonlight Books. I wouldn't be surprised if this event sells out, so I would suggest you act quickly.
It's early yet, but we do want to let you know that this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held March 16 beginning at 4 p.m. As always, the registration fee will be $3.17, and we will line up on Sixth Street at 3:17 p.m. Sometimes we're so doggoned clever I can hardly stand it.
Registration forms will be available at the Visitor Center, and cash prizes will be awarded for the Best Float, the Most Green Costume and the Most Bizarre Costume. This is strictly for fun, and we always have a grand time with all the kids, animals and weirdness that we have come to expect. Call us at 264-2360 with questions or just come in and pick up your form.
Looking ahead further, the Rotary Club will present its second annual Casino Royale, The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs, March 17 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Ridgeview Mall. Those of us who attended last year will remember that it is indeed a wonderful party and a prima opportunity to dress to the nines if one so chooses, with black tie optional for the evening.
Pagosa's very own Rio Jazz will be there to entertain us as well as The Jeff Solon Big Band with its 1940s swing sound. There will be dance contests, funny money gambling, blackjack, craps, bingo, roulette, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and a Texas beer garden.
Also included will be a grand prize drawing at 11 p.m. for a trip to Las Vegas for up to one week's stay at a Fairfield timeshare located behind the MGM Grand Hotel. The prize also includes round-trip airfare from Albuquerque and $250 spending money. Sweet.
There will be 20 silent auction items worth over $100 each, and you can use your gambling winnings to buy tickets for a chance to win these items. All in all, sounds like a great way to spend an evening, so don't miss out on this one. Tickets are available right now at the Chamber and at the Durango Wells Fargo Bank. Call us with questions at 264-2360.
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 do 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 here at the Chamber by Feb. 28, and call Morna 264-2360 for more information.
We're delighted to welcome two new members this week as well as 10 renewals. There are very few things we enjoy more than acknowledging those who support our Chamber and all we do.
Welcome to Donald J. Loff, Senior Vice President, Investments, Paine Webber, Inc. with head offices located in Princeton, New Jersey. Paine Webber offers investment advisory services, including financial and estate planning, insurance and professionally managed asset allocation programs including mutual funds and annuities. For more information about how Paine Webber, Inc. can help you, please give Donald a call locally at 731-0562.
Nikki R. Little is our next new member and comes on board as a Real Estate Associate, Member with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group, located at 2383 U.S. 160, west. Nikki is a real estate broker serving southwest Colorado with all types of property. Doing a "little" more for you. You can give her a call at 731-2000 or 800-888-5755.
Our renewals this week include Tim Smedes with The Magic Touch Tree Service; Bob Scott with Edward Jones Investments; Earl Eckert with Interspace Airport Advertising located in Allentown, PA; Sharon Hermes with Durango Herald; Charlie Martinez with Four Corners Materials Pagosa; Jody Unger with Design-A-Sign (Jody and Rick will be moving as of March 1, so look for their new location); Denny Barber with Hogs Breath Saloon; Jim and Lynnzie Sutton with ECKANKAR, Colorado Satsang Society; Ridgeview Mall; and Lucy Gonzales with the Pagosa Fiesta 2001.
Many thanks to you all for your continued support.
Donations thrill our members
Once again we have been recipients of generous donations. A big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hubbard for the boxes of craft items. Our seniors will really enjoy using everything. And a special thanks to Eve Kirton for the beautiful poinsettias donated to the Center. We had a drawing for lucky recipients of the flowers - there were some mighty happy winners.
The Valentine party was outstanding - lots of cards, candy, etc., plus special cupcakes donated by our kitchen crew, Barbara Brashar donated a beautiful candy basket, Louise and Kurt Diedring donated homemade fruit turnovers, and Eva Darmopray crocheted red and white heart pins for everyone. Thanks so much to everyone who helped make the day very special. John Larson and Carolyn Hansen won the door prizes.
There were only 14 people who attended the Valentine dance-potluck on Wednesday evening but those of us there enjoyed delicious food, including special desserts, and a few of us did a little two-stepping (we were too full to do much dancing). We are so appreciative of Payge and Joe Ferreira for setting up, furnishing the CD-tape player and playing the music, and cleaning up afterwards.
On Tuesday we were happy to have Chrissy Karas, Jennel Karas, and Sierra Karas (all relatives of Eva Darmopray) visit us for lunch. Wednesday we welcomed back Helen Girardin, Inez Seavy, and Elizabeth Belmear. It was nice to have them join us again. We hope you folks will come again soon.
The list of businesses honoring Senior Citizen membership cards is growing: Fred Harman Museum will give a $1 discount on admission; the Emporium will give a 10 percent discount; Methodist Thrift Shop will give a 10 percent discount on items over $10 and Pagosa Pet Parlor and Palace will donate one night of free boarding for the member's pet. We really appreciate all of the businesses who honor our cards.
Those who desire help preparing their tax returns, remember to contact Payge at the Center (264-2167) for an appointment with the AARP representative.
Don't horses feel the cold the way we do?
One of the neat things about all this snow is checking out the tracks that various creatures leave. For instance, after the last big storm, we saw a line of tiny footprints crossing the snow near the corner of the porch. I guess a mouse lives there.
My friend Ann tells me she saw similar tiny tracks that meandered across the snow and then abruptly stopped. No hole in the snow. Nothing. Just another of nature's little stories, the kind you'd probably rather not think about.
Off the back porch some other animal had emerged and climbed the snow bank. I haven't a clue what kind. Except that it was bigger than a mouse and smaller than an elk.
In December we had a little group of elk hanging around the old S Bar S place. Our own resident herd. At least they wandered back and forth across our little pocito ranchito. We know this because we saw the tracks each morning, although we seldom saw the elk themselves. We traced their meanderings from one ridge to another and noted where they paused to browse under the juniper.
Last April Hotshot and Buck and I snowshoed up the Forest Service road at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. It was the morning after the last big snow. We had already retired our skis for the season, and off in the distance we could hear the end-of-the-season skiers whooping it up.
Over on our side of the Pass the land was hushed; no one had been there but us. Us and the lynx. It was also just after one of the lynx releases in that area. As the road zigzagged back and forth up the hill, we saw the tracks several times. Large furry cat prints that barely sank into the snow at all.
I know that people in my part of Pagosa have seen mountain lions, and on my walks I look for any prints that might have been made by a big cat. No luck so far. Just people and dogs and the occasional horse.
In the snow-covered pastures between here and Durango, you can see footprints of elk and deer and horse. At a distance they all look about the same. Stands to reason, since they're all large quadrupeds. But the deer and elk tracks go up to a fence and continue right on, as though those strands of wire weren't even there. Of course, what do I know about tracks. Maybe those are made by coyotes.
In fact, at the rate the snow is accumulating, some fences soon won't be there. The tops of the posts will soon be just a row of little snow-capped stumps.
If you've ever wondered what horses do all day, just look at their tracks in the pastures. They're all over the place, along the fence, making big circles in the middle, or hanging out where the rancher puts down the hay.
I've been watching the horses a lot this winter. With those thick, shaggy winter coats they look like primitive drawings. Like ancient paintings on the rocky wall of some cave in France.
I love the way they stand so patiently, waiting out the storm, waiting to warm up in the mornings, waiting for hay, waiting for spring.
They're outdoors all winter. Don't they feel the cold? Don't their feet get so cold that they just wish someone would take them into the barn and wrap up those frigid tootsies?
They scrape snow off some dried dead-looking grass and chew on it. Don't those rubbery lips get numb?
Worrying about horses in winter, I started asking questions of horse people. This was not a scientific survey, more like conversation over the lunchtime peanut butter sandwiches at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Carmen, who has several horses, told me, "As long as they don't get wet, they can tolerate the cold down to minus 10 or colder. When it warms up to about 30 degrees, my horses start sweating." I have to believe her, since she's the one close to the animals.
"What about their feet?" I asked several people. "Do you keep the shoes on them all winter?" And here's what I learned.
A lot of people pull the horseshoes off for the winter. First of all, it's good for their feet to have a little barefoot time. Well, I can sure appreciate that, although I prefer my barefoot time in the summer.
Second, horses' feet are actually warm, and while they're standing around the hooves can melt the snow just enough to let a ball of ice form on the underside of the hoof.
Sometimes you see them teetering along on these balls of ice, which are about the size of tennis balls. Some people keep a hammer handy to knock the ice off the horses' feet, especially if they're going to bring the horse into a barn where it might slip on the flooring.
If you want, you can put special shoes on them, with pads across the bottom of the feet, to keep this ice ball from building up.
Someone told me that he pulled his horses' shoes off in the winter so that if it got really cold the metal shoes wouldn't freeze to the ground. You know, like those old stories about little kids licking the pump handle in the school yard and getting a tongue frozen to the metal. Ouch!
I had trouble imagining a 1,000 pound animal, immobilized, with its feet stuck fast in frozen stable muck. So I called up my friend John, who used to work a lot with horses.
"Oh, sure," he said, when I asked him if a shod horse could freeze tight to the ground. "Back when I was doing a lot of outfitting, up in Montana where it got to be 15 below at night, that used to happen pretty regularly."
"Really?" I exclaimed.
"Yeah, we always carried a big spatula with us, just to free them up." And then he broke out laughing, unable to keep the joke going.
So folks, those horses you see out in the snow, even lying down in it, aren't suffering at all. In fact on a warm sunny day, the cool white stuff may feel good to them. And their feet are just fine.
I'm relieved to know that.
Rotarians get views on exercise, health
At the first meeting for the year 2001, our local Rotary Club invited me to speak on exercise, health and the recreation center. I was encouraged by some in the audience to turn some of the material presented into a column for the newspaper. Since news for my column is extremely scarce this week, I've decided to summarize the January talk into a short article.
We are living at a remarkable time in history. Medical researchers are expanding our knowledge of the aging process and, at the same time, dispelling many of its myths. We now know that many of the problems and diseases that were once thought to be an inevitable part of aging are primarily due to either poor eating habits or physical inactivity - personal habits that are under our control.
You may not want to hear it again, but you know it's true: "Eat lots of fruits and veggies, avoid fats, cut back on calories, and exercise." Exercise is the key to a healthy and rewarding old age. An unused engine rusts. A still stream stagnates. An untended garden tangles. Much of what we pass as age is disuse. There is no drug that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime program of physical exercise.
Researchers are finding increasing evidence that the two best antidotes to aging are diet and exercise - and that it is never too late to start with weight training to build muscle mass, aerobic exercise for overall conditioning, and a diet low in calories and high in fruits and vegetables, you may add not just more life to your years, but more years to your life. The younger population in this county should be worrying. They might have to be financing the social security of a whole bunch of baby boomers who will vibrantly live to a ripe old age.
Some of you are already pursuing a consistent exercise program. I see many of you at the Recreation Center, out on the roads walking or running, or up at the ski area. The options available to us are plentiful.
The Recreation Center, in its 14th year of operation, is equipped to meet the challenge of helping people achieve their individual fitness goals. We have trained exercise professionals who are equipped to work with people of all levels.
These days, fitness clubs aren't just the chrome and spandex palaces we saw in the eighties. Pagosans in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s join the Recreation Center along with those in their 20s and 30s. Now that the American Heart Association has pointed out how helpful regular exercise programs are in preventing the onset and recurrence of heart disease, we're seeing more people referred to the Recreation Center by their physicians. We welcome the diversity of membership and want to be supportive however we can.
Some local businesses have chosen to buy memberships for their staff - believing that it will pay off in the long run with improved employee health and alertness.
I approached one of our larger local businesses and asked if they wanted to buy Rec Center memberships for their employees. The human resources manager replied, "Oh, our employees don't need a fitness program. They are routinely jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, beating around the bush, running down the boss, going around in circles, dragging their feet, dodging responsibility, passing the buck, climbing the corporate ladder, wading through paperwork, pulling strings, throwing their weight around, stretching the truth, bending the rules, stabbing others in their backs and pushing their luck."
I've been asked often about the issue of weight loss and weight control. I am no dietitian and I am wary of special diets. My belief is that lasting weight loss is best achieved slowly, over a period of a year or more, by consuming just a few hundred fewer calories than your body uses each day. It results from a permanent eating and exercise management plan, not a diet that you go on and go off. A healthy diet is low in fat but rich in essential nutrients. Combine that with at least 45 minutes of exercise a day. Once you have adopted lifelong healthful behaviors, weight control takes care of itself.
What was probably most meaningful to Rotarians at that January meeting was the fact that many in the room stood up to testify how exercise has positively impacted them. They made my spiel convincing and compelling. You'll have to understand that the bad joke circulating around the service clubs circuit goes something like this: "How can you tell where the Rotary Club meets? You look for the wheelchairs parked outside the room." Are Rotarians committed to dispelling that image?
Get ready! Friends indoor sale nears
Get a start on spring cleaning, sort out those cupboards and closets, and rent a booth at the annual Friends of the Library Indoor Garage Sale and flea market coming up March 17.
This is an easy way to make a few dollars and get out of the house for a morning of visiting and bartering. You get to keep your profits.
Doors will be open from 8 until noon. Only booth holders will be allowed in before 8 a.m. Space is limited, and on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up a reservation form at the library.
The cost of a booth space is $15. Double space is available. Booth fees go to support library programs.
Call 264-2209 for more information.
Reuters reports that three of five Americans now have access to the Internet at home or at work. There are 41 million people connected at work, 162 million connected at home, and 35 million connected at both locations.
A new TV commercial touts an Internet program that lets you mouse-click on any word to get information about that specific word. According to an article in Newsweek, your choice of words can be used to profile you, your habits, and much more that you may not wish to share with the world. All of your personal information may be sold to commercial vendors.
Privacy issues connected with the Internet are quickly becoming problems that must be settled legally. Many companies are creating what we could call "spyware." The company can collect all types of information about your viewing habits on-line. These companies try to tell you that your privacy will not be jeopardized, but don't be fooled. We need to be assured that our personal information cannot be shared without our explicit agreement. In the meantime - be aware, and beware.
Ask for a copy of the article: "Is it Software? or Spyware?" at the desk.
Birds and Blooms magazine sent us the "Birdscaping Handbook: Easy Steps for Attracting Your Favorite Birds." This little publication gives more than 100 creative ways to welcome birds to your yard.
It also gives birdhouse building guidelines for sixteen varieties of birds; and a list of favorite foods for 43 varieties. "Birds and Blooms" is also one of the many helpful magazines we take.
Colorado Homes & Lifestyle, features bathrooms this month. Sports Illustrated, and Scientific American span the wide range of publications among the 60 titles we carry. Most magazines may be checked out.
Thanks to the following for materials: Lorraine Scott, Mary Lou Bartolomei, Dick Van Fossen, Lois Mees, Sharee Grazda, Susan Durkee and Jerry Dermody.
Pupils who 'make good' stir fond memories
It's always a good feeling for me to see someone I've taught "make good" - an understatement when you realize that I'm talking about Michael Waltrip who has just won the Daytona 500, the biggie in stock car racing, a sports event comparable to the Super Bowl.
The Waltrips are from Owensboro in Daviess County, Kentucky, where I lived for 27 years before coming to Pagosa Springs. While there I taught third and fourth grades and special education classes, but mostly physical education in junior and elementary schools. When I quit, I was asked to sub in the county for special education, English and gym. This was when I taught Mike in a TV class.
At the time Mike was full of spunk and of himself. I was warned that he was in the class and when he came swaggering in he said, "Mrs. Beesley (my name then), I am Mike Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip's brother."
"Oh, I'm so glad to know you" I said, "I know some of the family." This drew him into a conversation and he calmed down real quick and we parted friends.
I'd taught Darrell's sister-in-law for two years in junior high. She was the reason that I'd never get contacts because we spent half the gym class looking for hers.
That's just an aside for she was a cute gal and a sweetheart.
Now Darrell has retired from racing and is announcing races. He was some excited announcer Sunday while watching his brother Michael win the Winston Cup.
But there were others I taught who were in the public's eye. Frankie Ballard pitched for the Atlanta Braves for eight years. I taught Frankie in the third grade. There were certain letters he couldn't sound, but I taught speech along with everything else and so worked with Frankie. To this day he will tell you that I taught him to talk and gives an animated description of how he felt when he first pronounced a certain letter (that I can't recall) and ran all the way home with the candy that I gave him as a reward. His mother made spaghetti for supper - his favorite.
Army Armstrong was another third-grade student. He announces the swamp buggy races. I saw him on TNN just by chance a few years ago.
Two students from junior high school made Miss Kentucky and one was a runner-up.
Our schools were very good and still are. The county's high school has made national TV and in the county's elementary schools Spanish and piano are required subjects.
One incident that had nothing to do with my teaching was this: I was called to sub and part of the assignment was to test a girls' tumbling class. They were very good. All made A's in beginning, intermediate and advanced stunts, and this disturbed me for I kept wondering "what did the teacher do to get such perfection?" The next day I got my answer. The girls were the cheering squad that had won the national cheering squad award for that year. And then I remembered the front page of the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer when this happened. The headline was big as was the picture.
We had many students go into science. One in particular I remember was a beautiful little girl I taught in the third grade who jammed her desk so full it drove me nuts. Anyway, one time when everyone was doing seat work and the room was silent, I looked up and there she was sitting on the floor pulling everything out of her desk. She'd finished the seat work and needed something to do.
My rule was to leave desks straight on Friday, and it was Friday. Years later after she got a doctorate in some kind of science and was teaching in college, her mother and I were recalling the above incident and her mother said, "I didn't think she'd finish high school."
To sum up this remembrance sheet I want to say "Good for Michael and all the other great kids I taught."
Fun on the run
When your dreams turn to dust, it's time to vacuum.
Venture proposes eye tests for diabetics
The Health Care Financing Administration, in collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association, has initiated a national program for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes to encourage them to get their eyes examined.
Under the initiative, beneficiaries age 65 and older who have diabetes and haven't had a medical eye exam in the past three years, will be matched with a volunteer ophthalmologist in the area. They'll receive a free comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of follow-up care for any condition diagnosed at the initial exam. To get the name of an ophthalmologist participating in the EyeCare America National Eye Care Project® in our specific area, call the 24 hour toll-free number at 1-800-222-3937.
Beneficiaries can also call the American Optometric Association's Diabetes Hot Line at 1-800-262-3947, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, to be matched with an optometrist in our area who will perform an eye exam and arrange for subsequent care.
Depending on financial need, the optometrist may waive the Medicare deductible and co-payment for this service. While this information applies to all Medicare eligible seniors, it is a significant opportunity for many veteran's in the County to seek much needed care. (source: The Retired Officer's Association weekly newsletter)
On a related issue, Vietnam veterans should remember that Type II Diabetes is now presumed to be service connected based on service in Southeast Asia during the late 1960s and early 1970s. With service connection, veterans are entitled to free medical care, prescriptions and travel for the disease, and may be entitled to monthly disability compensation based on an evaluation by the Veterans Administration.
The Veterans Service Office will be closed Feb. 26 and 27. I will be attending multiple medical appointments and conducting a liaison visit to the VA Hospital in Albuquerque. Normal business hours will resume Feb. 28.
For information on your veteran 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Adult basketball swings into high gear
The adult basketball program will swing into high gear with six games per night next week, as the youth program ends. The season's second-half schedules are available at Town Hall and have been distributed at games. Three leagues - men's recreation and competitive, and a women's league - will run through the middle of March, after which a season-ending tournament will begin.
For more information contact the recreation office at 264-4151.
Youth basketball for the 7 through 10 year-olds came to an end last week. Tournaments for this age group were not held because coaches chose not to do so. The 11- and 12-year-old season will continue through next week with their tournament concluding Feb. 27.
Basketball pictures can be picked up at Pagosa Photography on San Juan Street. Call Jeff Laydon with questions at 264-3686.
A youth basketball meeting is scheduled tonight at Town Hall, 6 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to evaluate this year's program and make changes for next year. Coaches, players and parents are invited to attend.
The next Recreation Commission meeting is scheduled March 12, 6 p.m. at Town Hall. Items on the agenda will be a discussion about survey results with input from Dave Snyder and the other commission members, a youth basketball wrap-up, and information about the 2001 baseball season. All commission meetings are open to the public and pizza is served at 6 p.m.
Skating and hockey
Skating and hockey have been suspended indefinitely for the season. The River Center pond has been closed for the winter, and youth hockey practices at the South Pagosa rink, have been postponed pending colder weather.
Dental health for children is a concern
February is National Children's Dental Health Month.
Are our children suffering? After doing several interviews with KIND (Kids In Need of Dentistry) and many families, I would say yes. . . and no.
There are several insurance options for parents, but are they affordable, and do they cover dental? These are good questions and I hear them frequently.
Medicaid is a great program. It's services income eligible families and does cover dental for children. However, the nearest Medicaid provider that takes new patients is in South Fork. That makes it difficult for parents. Basically you've lost one day of pay to make the trip.
There is not a Medicaid provider in Durango or Cortez. Many families stated they had to make arrangements to make a trip to Pueblo or Denver.
There are a lot of children on the Colorado Child Health Plan Plus Insurance Plan, but it does not cover dental at this time.
Then there's the private insurance option, but how often can a family in Pagosa Springs pay monthly bills, buy groceries, put gas in the car, purchase clothing for the children, pay for school lunches, and still have money left for a $200 a month premium?
Last, but not least, we have Miles for Smiles. This is a privately funded operation administered by KIND. With help from local agencies, the Miles for Smiles Dental Van was recently made available to our community. The van serves families who fall in between Medicaid and insurance.
Since the van began serving our community, value of services is $32,777. This is the amount of money parents would have paid if their children went to the dentist. Instead, participating families paid $3,968. And, to go one step further, the patient assistant fund paid $716 of that amount.
There were 75 new patients at the Miles for Smiles Dental Clinic this year. I am impressed.
What else is Archuleta County doing to help in this fight for better oral health? Local agencies are now collaborating with our schools in conjunction with Miles for Smiles. We are implementing an educational program for students regarding preventative care for optimum oral health.
Recently Dixie Gray, Miles for Smiles regional coordinator, school to family liaison Jolyne Ihly, and school nurse Maureen Margiotta teamed up to provide 224 students, information about oral health. Miles for Smiles donated toothbrushes, dental floss, and toothpaste to second-graders, and Crest donated to first-graders. Kids said it was fun and parents said that it gave their kids inspiration to brush and floss.
On a daily basis I try to find ways to help our community and keep our children safe. Recently, as I researched resources for parents and children needing dental care, I received news regarding a Medicaid Clinic that could be set up soon at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. I was told residents of Archuleta County might not be included to receive services.
I also discovered the contract for an Alamosa clinic at Valley Wide Health is in its final stages. I contacted Mark Larson, our state representative, and he is helping me explore whether Archuleta County residents will be able to utilize the new facility.
I contacted the KIND office in Denver and they informed me they are considering whether to join forces with the new clinic. There would be a full-time KIND Dentist who would see all patients that qualified for the Miles For Smiles Program.
While we wait for services to improve we need to teach our kids the importance of brushing and flossing. We need to make sure apples and oranges replace peanut butter cups and Oreos. With enough community collaboration, we can and will make a difference.
A special weekend
The third weekend of February has been special to me since 1975. It is the weekend of the Colorado High School Activities Association's State Wrestling Championship.
The third weekend of February took on a second significance for me in 1982 when I learned it customarily is the weekend for the Colorado Press Association annual convention and awards presentation.
For a number of years I traveled to Denver and tried to cover both events. I would take notes and ask questions at the newspaper seminars in my effort to learn the newspaper journalism. I then would go across town to take notes, keep scores and take photos at the wrestling tournaments.
While I have always enjoyed the press conventions and benefited from its seminars and presentations, I seemed more at home watching the wrestling tournaments. I made new friends at the press conventions. I visited old friends at the wrestling tournaments.
The 1977 state tournament will always be special to me - the Pirates brought home their first state championship trophy - Class 2A Runner-up.
The 1983 press convention will always be special to me - The Pagosa Springs SUN brought home its first Colorado Press Association award since I had been at the SUN - Typography Layout and Design honorable mention.
The Pirates brought home another medal last weekend thanks to freshman Michael Martinez's fourth-place finish in the Class 3A 103-pound bracket.
The SUN brought home three more awards. Kim Thompson won first place in the Best Classified Advertising competition in the weekly newspapers category. It is her second such award and third overall.
Terri House won second place in the Best Advertising Promotional Series. It is her second award in this category and her 11th award overall.
Karl Isberg won honorable mention in the Best Humor Writing category. It is his fifth award in humor writing and his 10th award overall.
Whereas wrestling involves head-to-head competition and thereby eliminates the aspect of "luck" in determining an overall winner, the newspaper awards are based on the subjective decisions by a group of judges. Therefore a person might be lucky one year and happen to win a newspaper award. But when someone, such as Terri, Karl and Kim repeatedly win awards in their respective fields; it is evident they are skilled and talented rather than lucky.
This year's state tournament and press convention served as reminders of the important roles that Terri, Karl, Kim, Shari Pierce, Kanaka Perea, John Motter, Richard Walter, Ronnie Willet, Robert Penton, Todd House, April Howell and Stefanie Harville-King play in making The Pagosa Springs SUN a respected hometown newspaper. Somewhat like the winning wrestlers, their achievements are based on hard work. I'm lucky to have them on the SUN's staff.
David C. Mitchell
Restarting the learning process
It's almost been 21 years since I first visited with Glen Edmonds, editor emeritus, of the prospect of my buying the SUN from it's then new owners, Herman Riggs and Don Winter. I was concerned about the feasibility of someone who had no journalism training or experience to be responsible for producing a weekly newspaper such as the SUN.
Mr. Edmonds explained that the success of a hometown weekly newspaper is based on trust and familiarity just as much as it is dependent on a working understanding of journalism. He said that if an outsider who was experienced in journalism bought the SUN he would be able to handle the newspaper part of the operation but he would be a stranger to Pagosa and to the folks who lived here. So the new editor would have three or four years to get to know the folks in Pagosa and for them to get to know him. And a mutual trust would need to develop if the newspaper was to be successful.
He said that during the seven years I'd lived in Pagosa I had become familiar with the folks in Pagosa and they had gotten to know me; and that he thought a mutual familiarity and trust had already developed. So it would be up to me to learn all I could about the newspaper business during my first three or four years.
Twenty-one years later I'm still trying to learn.
About 10 years ago during John and Vicki Motter's Christmas vacation, John and I were discussing the demands imposed by a weekly newspaper. I asked him to let me know if he ever learned how to let go of the "tiger's tail" and not get bitten or clawed. Fortunately he never found an answer. Instead he returned to the SUN about four years ago.
It wasn't until recently that I learned the answer for my question. You look to your right and to your left to see if anyone is running alongside and going in the same direction the tiger is taking you. In my case, I noticed Terri and Karl matching me stride for stride. So I'm confidently letting them take ahold of the tiger's tail. I'll run along aside or drop behind them. It's known as drafting or as delegating responsibilities.
So if you'll read the small print in the little box in the lower left-hand corner of this page, you will read that Terri House is the assistant publisher of the SUN and Karl Isberg is the managing editor.
I'm continuing as publisher and editor but I'm asking Terri to sit in the captain's seat and Karl to be the co-pilot. I'll still be on board but will be seeing that the overhead baggage stays in the overhead racks and other odds and ends.
Other than my desire to get more rest, nothing is changing that much. During the past few years, whenever I've been gone, Terri and Karl have handled these responsibilities in a de facto type of capacity.
I don't expect Terri to be David. She does too good a job of being Terri. She will continue to head up advertising and handle managerial functions such as interviewing, hiring and firing. It's time for her to start making more of the overall business decisions.
As I did for many years, Karl now will handle both reporting and editing responsibilities. Therefore, Karl's name will appear at the bottom of next week's editorial and "Guest editorial" won't appear at the top. He is my managing editor.
I don't expect Karl to be David. I expect him to be Karl. He's somewhat a Renaissance man. I'm sort of a remnants man. I'm confident he will learn from his new responsibilities.
As for who will be David? That's my job. Somewhat like 21 years ago, it's my responsibility to learn what my new job entails.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
Sale of liquor becomes a political and moral issue
With serious political, moral and financial issues facing the town of Pagosa Springs, the saloons in town were ordered closed in March of 1913. After numerous court battles, the town was officially "dry."
Leading up to this move was an April 1910 election where citizens of Pagosa Springs voted on their "local option." They were deciding the issue of whether or not to allow the sale of liquor in the town. The election results showed the "wets" won by a majority of six.
In May, Estie Parr, on behalf of himself and others, brought suit against Mayor J.B. Patterson and Trustees Charles Day, David Kinney, Robert Howe, Leon Montroy, Sherman Jones and David Lowenstein and Town Clerk A.M. Emigh to restrain them from granting any more liquor licenses. They alleged the "wet" majority had been won fraudulently. In the complaint 18 people were named and accused of casting illegal votes for the "wets."
In turn, those people answered the complaint by naming 24 people who they alleged had cast illegal votes for the "drys."
After hearing the case, the court held that 12 people who had voted "wet" had no right to vote and that three of the "dry" votes were also illegally cast. Thus, the election results became 145 to 142 in favor of the "dry" votes.
Of course, the "wets" immediately filed for a rehearing of the decision.
After some ambitious citizens circulated a petition, it was decided to put the question to the voters again in the upcoming April 13 election.
In the meantime, while waiting for the new election to decide the issue, District Court Clerk Smith announced the decision had been made to close all saloons immediately.
The question had become a political and moral issue. But, it was also vital to the economy of Pagosa Springs. The town stood to lose $2,500 in revenue from the sale of liquor licenses. It would also suffer a decrease of about $1,000 in revenue from taxes. Town officials were considering a possible tax increase to make up for the lost revenues.
In the April 1, 1913, election the question put before voters was: "Shall this political subdivision, the town of Pagosa Springs, reverse the vote creating anti-saloon territory?" The drys won by the narrow margin of three votes.
Buried dog survives wreck
An Indianapolis truck driver escaped serious injury Feb. 12 when the large Mayflower moving truck he was driving plunged 220 feet over the bank on Wolf Creek Pass. A large German shepherd accompanying the driver was thought to have died after it was thrown through the front window as the vehicle plunged over the bank and was buried in the soft snow beneath the truck. However, late that evening the animal dug free from beneath the truck.
Pagosa Pirate wrestlers returned from the state tournament with a good record. Ignacio Chavez, Anthony Branson, David Rivera and Brian Shaw all won their first-round matches. Shaw, a freshman, wrestled in the 98 pound finals and finished in second place.
Chief Leonard Gallegos reported that a break-in resulting in vandalism and theft had occurred at El Centro on Feb. 14.
Local sororities honored Sweetheart Queens at a joint sorority dance and party at the Trails Clubhouse on Valentine's Day. The queens, accompanied by their husbands were: Mrs. Violet DeVore and Dick, Mrs. Alice Gibbs and Del, and Mrs. Susy Kleckner and Dennis.
No longer are there any dingbats here
Alden Ecker, the newest member of the Board of Commissioners for Archuleta County, is a man who says he is dedicated to communicating with all the people on all their concerns.
I have no doubt that is true. It is an admirable attitude to have.
But even such a lofty goal can be misinterpreted, as he pointed out last week. Citing the example of a recent meeting involving county personnel and others, a meeting that he knew Commissioner Bill Downey was to attend, he noted that if he had gone to the session his presence, along with that of Downey, would have constituted a Commission quorum. Under the states' Open Meetings Act, he noted, that would have been a violation of law because no agenda was posted for the session,
Ecker, perhaps understandably, feels a representative of the people should have a right to hear what the people have to say before he has to decide how to vote on an issue concerning them. If a group of the people invites him to speak and another commissioner is in the audience, the question of legality arises because the two constitute a majority of potential board opinion.
This is not in defense of the Open Meetings Law nor of the commissioners' interpretation thereof.
But it is interesting to note that almost everyone who reads the SUN can put a different meaning on a headline or quotation.
Ecker, himself, is a good example.
Two weeks ago, following a somewhat stormy commissioners meeting, he came in after the paper was published, pointed to the lead headline on Page 1 - "Commissioners study changing subdivision codes" - and told a staff member, "That's wrong! We didn't do that."
In his reading of the headline, he missed the word "study" and read it to mean the board had approved changing subdivision codes.
It is not an unusual mistake. Readers have - since Johanes Gutenberg invented the type mold which made newspaper publishing possible - often applied different interpretations to the words they read or have failed to read amplifying words in context.
I was once involved in a newspaper study designed to analyze public reaction to headlines. A group of 50 subscribers was recruited to read all the headlines on page one for two weeks and to analyze their meanings for the newspaper. It was expected we'd find we were sometimes unintentionally misleading readers. Instead, we found that the readers themselves had different understandings of many words.
On one occasion, 37 of the 50 who participated had different ideas about the definition of the word "jurisdiction". I didn't know there could be that many meanings, but readers believed they had found them.
The headline on a story is the means a newspaper uses to draw readers' attention to an item. It's size or placement on the page may indicate our belief that the story it tops is of greater or lesser importance to the larger proportion of our readers than other stories on the same page.
Sometimes a story's placement is predicated on its length (i.e., it just happens to fit perfectly in a given location). If a story is boxed or accompanied by a photo, it becomes part of a layout package designed to attract the reader's eye to something special and lend a degree of appeal.
A "teaser", for example, is not a scantily clad young woman enticing innocent readers. It is an invitation to view something at another location. For example, a photo caption or cutline (both are legitimate newspaper terms) may describe the action portrayed in the photo and then tell the reader to see full details on a specific page in another part of the publication.
I once tried to explain the "teaser" concept to a reader and found that was a mistake. He jumped on the term as being something akin to beating your child with a broom handle laced with spikes. "It isn't right to 'tease'," he argued. "Your story should attract the reader on its own."
We'd like to believe every reader has time to read every word on every page, but it just isn't realistic. The pace of today's world, even in Pagosa Country, has quickened to the point where many readers want to see a specific story and then read the rest of the paper at a later time. It is our intent to make sure the story each reader wants can be found with reasonable ease. "Teasers" are one way of accomplishing that.
I can't count the number of times a staff member has answered a call and heard someone saying they "want to get in a little ad."
"Classified or display?" they're asked.
"Oh . . . you know . . . one of those little blurbs, those ads that don't cost anything."
Ads that don't cost anything? They don't exist.
Ads, short for advertisements, are just that. They are paid space allotted to an advertiser to promote a product, products, specific event or idea. They are sold on a rate basis, the rate differing for the size of ad, whether color or black and white, display or classified, with graphics or without. They are not free blurbs.
And that is another word which drives newspaper people bonkers.
The friend or person the newspaper representative runs into, while working his or her beat or advertising market, asks "Can you get me a blurb on my (fill in the blank . . . scout troop, daughter's graduation from college, family reunion, engagement, birth, etc.?"
By now, we've learned to live with requests for blurbs. But, for the record, the reader should be told the difference. According to Webster, a blurb is "an advertisement or announcement, as on a book jacket, that is generally laudatory."
Please don't ask us to print a "blurb" for you. Just give us your information and let us determine if it is newsworthy (generally, it is) and we will decide where, in the flow of publishable material, it fits. It might lead to an expanded feature story on a person or event, or simply become an announcement under a LOCAL heading that describes succinctly, an accomplishment by a local resident.
Then, there is the caller who demands an editorial, or wants to know if we need an editorial writer.
We have to assume readers know an editorial is a statement of management opinion on a subject of general importance to the bulk of the newspaper's readers, or on a topic of such widespread interest that independent analysis is almost mandatory.
The caller who demands an editorial often means he simply wants a news story about a specific subject. Not knowing what to call it, he used the word "editorial" because he felt it was all-inclusive enough to get someone's attention.
We don't pretend to know all the terminology used in other professions, but we do try to keep track of that used in our own even as it changes as rapidly as modern computer technology.
If you've heard other newspaper terms that you think will impress us, like calling and asking to have a story get the "banner" or at least the "skyhead", don't bother.
Both terms have specific meanings that differ from newspaper to newspaper. Generally, the banner, or line story, is the one that gets main play on Page 1 even though it may not be the top (positionwise) story on the page. That story is called a "topper." The "skyhead", sometimes called the "leader" is seldom used, but when it does appear, it sits atop the masthead (name of newspaper) and promotes a special feature inside or extends the newspapers' specific holiday greeting.
Newspaper terminology can, as you can see, be misleading.
In the old days, a whole column could be "pied" or "type lice" could "gum up the works" so badly in the composing room that entire "galleys" would have to be "rekeyed". And, on top of that, the Monarch was acting up and "dropping letters".
At least the days are gone, I HOPE, when we had the "chase" and the "stone", when page builders used "thinnies" and "thickies" as "leads" and when "dingbats" were in common usage.
I'd hate to have to have to explain those to "inquiring minds".
The fact 50 readers can come up with at least 37 interpretations of a single common word means we have to be careful which words we choose to convey our thoughts.
Early paper touted hot springs benefits
Pagosa Country was just a youth, a teenager you might say, in April of 1890, the month Daniel Egger came to town and printed the first edition of The Pagosa Springs News.
The News was not Pagosa Springs' first newspaper, but it was the first to last for a number of years. The year before, in 1889, Frank Deathredge had published the Pagosa Springs Herald. We don't know how many issues Deathredge published or why he quit. Of Deathredge, Egger said he had gone to Canon City. We don't know if he was joking or in earnest. Old records in the court house show that Mrs. Sarah Bowling had financed the purchase of printing equipment and that Deathredge owned property on San Juan Street east of the river.
What did editor Egger find interesting enough to write about in his first issue? It must be noted that he was still forced to identify the location of businesses on the east or west side of the river. That is because, in the beginning the town and businesses of Pagosa Springs were on the east side of the river, and Fort Lewis was on the west side where the main business block is today.
Most of the Fort Lewis troops departed in 1880 but a skeleton crew remained until 1882 when the post was officially closed with orders to remove the buildings. Those orders were not followed. And so, in 1890 the fort buildings remained in place providing free lodging for newcomers. As added background material, Archuleta County was legally organized in 1885 and Pagosa Springs was not yet a town in 1890.
The first News office was located one door east of the San Juan Hotel, across the street from today's Bob Cooper residence on the east side.
A major news topic was the hoped-for removal of the Ute Indians from their Ignacio-centered reservation to a proposed reservation covering most of San Juan County, Utah, the southeastern corner of the state. The move remained a possibility until the late 1890s, before the idea died.
Egger wrote, "The News is informed that 60 families in the San Luis Valley will start for the Ute reservation as soon as the bill to remove the Utes becomes law. It is safe to predict that the population of Archuleta County a year hence, if the reservation is opened, will be double the present number of inhabitants."
The citizens of the west side, Egger reported, have built a substantial slate and stone sidewalk on Pagosa Street and to the school house (near the corner of 3rd and Lewis streets). "There will be no more wading through the mud on that side. Now if the citizens on the east side will construct a walk from the bridge to the News office, there will be no kick coming from this shop."
Citizens crossed the river from east to west and west to east on a bridge that connected the east and west branches of San Juan Street. The first bridge at that location was built by the Army to accommodate the fort. An earlier bridge spanned the river about one mile south, approximately where the sewer lagoons repose today. The older bridge was burned when the San Juan Street bridge was completed, forcing through traffic into the downtown area in order to cross the river on a bridge.
Concerning bridges, Egger noted, "A foot bridge is being built across the river from the foot of Pagosa Street to the bath house. Henry Cooper has the contract for erecting the bridge. When completed it will be a great convenience for the residents on the west side and for those invalids who board across the river."
James Gise was one of those invalids. He was superintendent of the lath department of Biggs' Chama mill. Mr. Gise was afflicted with rheumatism on his arrival three weeks earlier. After bathing in the waters of the Pagosa Hot Springs for three weeks, "he goes away without a trace of that complaint. Such cures are of common occurrence in Pagosa Springs."
Other health seekers were identified with the following items:
- Wm. Wilson, one of the cattle kings of the southwest, and family are stopping in the city at present. Mrs. Wilson's health is poorly and she hopes to derive some benefit from the springs.
- Last summer three invalid soldiers from the Home at Leavenworth, Kan., were sent to Pagosa for treatment, as an experiment. The result in all three cases was so gratifying that the authorities of the Home have decided to send from fifteen to twenty this season, and they will arrive the latter part of this month or the beginning of the next. Pagosa Springs will some day be the greatest health resort in the world. Mark the prediction.
- W.K. Bigger of Monte Vista is quartered at the San Juan. Mr. Bigger is severely afflicted with rheumatism and is bathing in the hope of getting relief.
- A. D. Garvin and David Scott of Stunner were at the Springs this past week recuperating their health. They left yesterday morning and expressed themselves as well pleased with their visit.
By 1890, businesses were in the process of moving across the river to the west side. An exception was a house being erected for Wm. Kerns. Egger noted that Kerns had just returned from Amargo with a load (on a horse-drawn wagon) of material for his new building. "Messers. Halstead and Claypool are erecting a two story frame building on the east side for Wm. Kerns. The first floor will be used for the post office and a confectionery and stationary store. The second floor will be occupied by the Kerns family as a residence."
Pagosa Springs is enjoying quite a building boom, Egger said, then he handed out advice for extending the boom.
"If the capitalists who own valuable real estate in this city would improve their lots by erecting substantial and comfortable buildings thereon, they would soon realize handsomely from their investments as good dwellings as well as business rooms are in great demand. Remove some of the old dilapidated shells and erect in their stead buildings that will be an ornament to the city."
- Mr. Wm. Holt is erecting a large two-story frame building on the west side. A part of the first floor will be a commodious store room and the rest of the building fitted for hotel purposes. The News wishes Mine Host Holt abundant success in his enterprise. (We don't know where that building was located.)
- Bowling's (H.R. and Sarah) saloon and billiard hall was opened to the public yesterday evening. Four saloons will administer to the wants of man in Pagosa Springs this summer. (We don't know where the Bowling building was, either.)
Professionals advertising in The News were: Dr. W.M. Parrish, physician and surgeon; T.F. McConvill, attorney at law; C.R. Dollarhide, attorney at law; J.E. Colton the money lender.
Other businesses included:
- Mrs. S. J. Popham millinery emporium, will be found at the old stand, second door west of the courthouse, with a full line of millinery goods consisting of hats, bonnets, flowers, feathers, gloves, handkerchiefs, neckware. Also ladies and children's hosiery, bustles and corsets, dressmaking a specialty. We know where this business was located. The Pophams owned considerable property in the community. There was also an Orange Popham. We believe one of the Popham's married a Montana man and moved to that locale. We'd be interested in learning more about this Pagosa pioneer family.
- Pagosa Springs Meat Market, Floyd Eastman proprietor, all kinds of fresh meat kept on hand.
- Pagosa Springs Bath House, M. A. Patrick, manager, baths 25 & 30 cents, The bath houses have recently been undergoing a complete renovation and bathers will find first class accommodations.
- J.V. Johnson, General Merchandise, the only first-class store in the county, goods sold cheap for cash, highest price paid for produce.
- Ruder House, A. Ruder, proprietor, This hotel is located on Pagosa Street (west side) and is first class in every respect, very convenient to the bath house, rooms large and commodious, and all located on the first floor, table supplied with the best the market can afford.
- Pagosa Saloon, Chas. Schaad, proprietor, the best wines and liquors constantly kept on hand, billiard hall in connection with the saloon, give him a call and be treated white, east side near the post office.
- San Juan Hotel, Mrs. M.M. Cade, proprietor, the oldest house in town, several new rooms on the ground floor have recently been added to this popular resort, east side near the post office.
- Pagosa Springs and Amargo Mail Express & Stage Line, leaves Pagosa Springs and Amargo daily, comfortable coaches and fast teams. F.A. Byrne, proprietor.
And in the welfare department, circa 1900: "Archuleta County has at present but one pauper to provide for, whom the county is boarding at Mrs. S. Bell's. Mr. Williams (the pauper) seems to be very particular about his bill of fare and on Monday last had a decidedly craving appetite for spring chicken. Having failed to convince Mrs. Bell that she was duty bound to furnish him with the fowl and prepare it, he seized a gun and downed one of Mrs. Bell's fattest hens which was strutting around in the yard. Two members of the board of county commissioners and the county clerk called upon the man with the insatiate appetite and informed him that the paupers of the county are supposed to be satisfied with a bill of fare equal to that of the tax payers of the county.
(See front page)