Front Page
March 1, 2001
Ladies, Pirates both in Sweet 16

By Richard Walter

They got half of the equation correct but Pagosa's high school basketball teams will not get equal time at home for regional tournament competition. And, they'll split hometown allegiance because both will play Saturday.

The Lady Pirates swept aside Bayfield in the district tournament at Bayfield Friday then parlayed a spirited offensive comeback with an impenetrable second half defensive wall to snatch the district tournament title from Centauri's Lady Falcons Saturday night.

The Pirates, after turning in their most dominating performance of the season with a Friday night victory over Ignacio, one of the two teams to beat them during the regular league season, came up flat against the other team to beat them - Centauri - and fell by two points in overtime when a last second shot went in after the buzzer had sounded.

As a reward for their efforts, the Lady Pirates, who had been guaranteed a regional berth by winning the league title outright, get to host a regional playoff at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against the Roaring Fork Rams from Carbondale and the Western Slope League.

The Lady Pirates, number three seed for regionals, take a 19-2 record into the game against the number 14 seeded Rams who come in with a 16-6 season record.

Centauri's Lady Falcons, with a 16-5 record after the loss to Pagosa Springs, drew the number 13 seed and will face number four Basalt (21-1) at Basalt. Centauri's boys (15-6) drew the number five seed and will host Holy Family of Bloomfield (14-7) in La Jara.

In the girls' tournament, Denver Christian (21-1) drew the number one seed and will face Gunnison (12-10), a team defeated by Pagosa's Lady Pirates in the Black Canyon Invitational in Montrose prior to the start of regular season play.

The number two seed in girls' play is Eaton (19-2) hosting Burlington (15-7); then come Pagosa Springs and Basalt. Colorado Springs Christian (18-3) is seeded number five and hosts Faith Christian (19-3); Estes Park (21-1) draws the number six slot and hosts La Junta (17-4); Lamar (13-8) is number seven and hosting Machebeuf (18-4) and Platte Valley (18-4) is in the number eight spot hosting Florence (18-4).

Roaring Fork comes to town after a sparkling season comeback in which they experienced an early four-game losing streak and then the suspension of 23 students, including several players, for the last two regular season games and for the district tournament. The suspension ended with the district tournament.

For the final two games, in the tournament, the Rams dressed only seven players.

As far as common opponents are concerned, both Roaring Fork and Pagosa have played and defeated Olathe and Gunnison. Pagosa downed Olathe 42-30 and the Rams beat them 63-50. Pagosa defeated Gunnison 51-35 and the Rams downed them 39-37.

The Rams' attack is built around 6-foot-3 senior center Ren Udall who is averaging just over 18 points per game and had 27 against Aspen in the district tournament.

They feature two guards adept at the 3-point shot, one junior Emily Markham, daughter of coach Joe Markham, and the other 5-foot-11 freshman Autumn Caughern who started her first varsity games in January and scored 24 and 20 points respectively in them. Markham is the acknowledge playmaker and is regarded as an accurate passer and key when they go to possession basketball.

After the suspensions, it is not yet known who the Rams' other starters will be but observers say Udall's freshman sister, Tarn, played well during the suspensions and was strong on the boards. The team suits two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen when all are well - and eligible.

Roaring Fork's losses have been to Glenwood Springs, West Grand, Moffat County of Craig, Conifer and to Basalt twice.

The Pirates, who finished tied with Centauri for the league title, will have to go on the road to face the Rye Thunderbolts from the Southern League. Rye, with a 16-5 record, hosts that 7 p.m. game as the number six seed and Pagosa comes in as the 11th seed.

On the boys' side of the ledger, Colorado Springs Christian (20-2) is number one, playing Trinidad (12-10); Weld Central (19-3) is number two, hosting Kent Denver (12-11); number three Denver Christian (18-4) hosts Aspen (16-5); Platte Valley (17-4) is number four and hosting Eagle Valley (11-11); then come Centauri and Rye. Gunnison (15-7) at number seven hosts Eaton (18-4); and Buena Vista (21-1) rounds out the top seeds at number eight, hosting Roosevelt (18-4).

On the boys' tournament trail, the Pirates' opponent got to the regional on the strength of a league championship tie with La Junta and won the title outright on tie-breaker statistics. La Junta was upset in the district tournament by Trinidad which then lost to Rye.

Rye and Pagosa Springs had one common opponent during the season - Monte Vista. Pagosa defeated the San Luis Valley Pirates twice, but Rye lost to Monte 65-62. It should be noted that Monte and Pagosa were the only teams to beat district tournament champion Centauri during the regular season.

Rye likes to run a motion offense, cutting off screens when the opponent goes to man defense and overloading sections when the foe goes to zone. They have only three seniors and suit eight players who are six feet tall or better, compared to Pagosa's four seniors and five players standing over six feet.

Search for new administrator gets underway
By John M. Motter

The search for a new county manager began Monday when the Archuleta County commissioners conducted a workshop to discuss a job description for the position.

Current county manager Dennis Hunt resigned Feb. 21. He has agreed to stay on 30 days from that date while Archuleta County searches for a replacement.

The first reaction to Hunt's resignation by Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of Archuleta County Commissioners, was to schedule an executive session Feb. 22 to "see what our options are" and "to get comments from him (Dennis)."

An agenda was published announcing the Feb. 22 meeting as an executive session for personnel reasons.

Crabtree opened the Feb. 22 meeting by asking for a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Commissioner Bill Downey asked for a more specific definition of the purpose of the meeting.

Crabtree replied that the intent was to discuss with the county manager (Dennis Hunt) his departure and to get feedback on "how he thinks we should look at and advertise this position."

"If we're talking qualifications, we don't seem to need an executive session," Downey said. "It does not fit into that category."

It can also serve as an exit interview, Crabtree said.

That could be appropriate, Downey said, depending on his (Hunt's) wants.

"It's up to Dennis," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "We may not need an executive session."

"If it's an exit interview, I appreciate that, but I'd just as soon it not be in executive session," Hunt said.

Since the meeting agenda announced only an executive session and that session was canceled, then no topic for a meeting remained, according to Mary Weiss, the county attorney. She recommended rescheduling the discussion for a public meeting.

When asked by Downey if it was inappropriate to conduct the meeting as a public meeting because it was not so noted on an agenda, Weiss said yes, that it is her belief that if the law says the subject of a meeting is known, an agenda is required.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to adjourn the existing meeting and schedule a public meeting on the same subject matter. The public meeting was conducted Monday.

At Monday's public meeting, the commissioners agreed to advertise for Hunt's replacement using a job description drafted by Hunt. The job description generally describes the position as a CEO position, meaning the person hired will be authorized to make decisions connected with day-to-day administrative duties in the county, just as Hunt has done.

Some discussion was held concerning whether the position title should be Manager or Administrator. General agreement was reached that the title should be Administrator.

Concerning pay scale, it was agreed to advertise a salary range between $50,000 and $65,000. Hunt's 2001 salary is $61,400.

Concerning the job description, talk centered on whether the newly-hired person should be an actual CEO handling day-to-day activities or merely report to the commissioners and let the commissioners make decisions. General agreement favored the CEO approach, but Crabtree and Ecker repeatedly insisted that the administrator should keep the commissioners informed.

A requirement was added to the job description requiring the new county administrator to have grant writing expertise. The grant writing requirement was based on a wish expressed by Crabtree.

Crabtree expressed the opinion that the commissioners should sit in on the hiring of key personnel. After much discussion, it was agreed that a hiring committee should be appointed, including one commissioner who reports to the other commissioners. It was agreed the committee will be used for hiring department heads, avoiding the label of key personnel. A committee to select a new county manager has not been appointed.

After noting that considerable time might elapse before Hunt's replacement is hired, Crabtree described how he sees the county operating during the interim.

He advocated dividing county functions among the three commissioners. Each commissioner would gather operating data from his area of responsibility, then report to the other commissioners. Group decisions would then be made.

Crabtree recommended changing Administrative Assistant Kathy Wendt's responsibilities by eliminating some tasks and adding others, making her a sort of liaison between the various county departments and the commissioners. Duties given up by Wendt will be added to an existing clerical position. The salary for the beefed-up clerical position will range from $22,000 to $25,000 a year depending upon the qualifications of the person hired.

It was agreed to advertise for a replacement in The Pagosa Springs SUN, the Durango Herald, on Colorado Counties Inc.'s website Job Board, and in a National Association of Counties publication.

Downey noted it is his desire to advertise for and hire a replacement as soon as possible in order to minimize the time during which the county will be without a manager.

"I don't think the other commissioners are as anxious as I am to hire a replacement promptly," Downey noted.

Crabtree and Ecker said they don't want to rush into anything; they want to take enough time to make sure the right person with the right credentials is hired.

Concerning the Colorado open meetings law as it relates to executive sessions, a summarizing pamphlet endorsed by Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar, Colorado Freedom of Information Council., Colorado Press Association, and Colorado Broadcasters Association makes several relevant points.

The rules governing state bodies and school districts may differ from the following rules, which apply to local public bodies.

Executive sessions are limited to:

- Matters which state or federal law require be kept confidential, including confidential records. A local public body, as opposed to a state body, must give a special citation of the statute or rules which apply.

- Security arrangements

- Property matters meaning to purchase, acquire, lease, transfer or sell any real, personal, or other property interest. A closed door session cannot be held to conceal the fact that a member has a personal interest in the transaction.

- Attorney conference may be held to receive legal advice from an attorney present on specific legal questions. An attorney being present does not justify an executive session nor does 'legal questions' as a topic if the body's attorney is not present.

- Negotiations may be in executive session to determine positions on matters that may be subject to negotiations, to develop strategy, and to instruct negotiators.

- Personnel meetings may be closed except if individuals ask that they be open.

- No adoption of any rule, regulation, policy, position, or formal action shall occur at any meeting closed to the public.

- Executive search - The initial meeting will be open to establish job search goals, including writing of job description, deadline for applications, requirements, selection of procedures, and time frame for selection of local and state chief executive officer. A list of finalists must be made public at least 14 days prior to appointment. No prior offer of employment can be made. Executive sessions may be held by the search committee.

- Any citizen can ask the court to issue an injunction to enforce the law. If the citizen wins, the court is required to award the citizen costs and reasonable attorney fees. If the public body wins, the court can award costs and fees to the public body if the suit is perceived as frivolous or groundless.

The above is far from a complete rendering of the Colorado Open Meetings Law. For a complete reading of the Colorado open meetings law, refer to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-6-401 plus others.

Oil, gas exploration forum scheduled March 7
By John M. Motter

Persons with questions about oil and gas exploration in Archuleta County should get answers at a public forum March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Archuleta County Extension Building.

Morris Bell of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will present information concerning oil and gas exploration in Archuleta County. Bell has been invited to speak locally by the Archuleta County commissioners.

Bell is coming because the commissioners expect oil and gas exploration activity in Archuleta County to increase, following a pattern already taking place in La Plata County immediately west of Archuleta County.

Historically, oil and gas has been produced in Archuleta County in the Gramps Field located at the upper end of the Navajo River Basin, and in the western part of the county in the Allison-Arboles area. Rising gas prices are said to be fueling a new interest in oil and gas exploration, particularly in gas.

Drillers hoping to drill wells near Arboles recently asked the county commissioners to waive existing county regulations governing well drilling. Their goal was to shorten the time required to obtain a permit. Currently, drillers are required to obtain a conditional use permit through the county planning office. The process could involve several weeks, a time span the driller's objected to.

The commissioners did not grant a waiver because existing local regulations do not permit it. County planning staff was asked to prepare an alternative process to the conditional use permit. The new process could involve planning staff approval of simple drilling projects anticipating only a well and access road. More complicated projects involving multiple wells with provision for storage and collection will likely be governed by the more lengthy process. So far, the county has adopted no new regulations relevant to the oil and gas industry.

Factors determining the choice of process required of drillers revolve around the surface and environmental impacts the projects generate and the cost of remedial measures needed to mitigate those impacts in order to maintain an acceptable level of environmental and aesthetic protection.

Taxes on the oil and gas industry provide a considerable proportion of La Plata County's income. At the same time, many conflicts have surfaced in connection with this industry. Among those conflicts are definitions of the rights land owners versus the rights of those who own mineral rights beneath the land.

Winter beginning to look 'the way it used to be'
By John M. Motter

Snow continues to pile up in Pagosa Country, approaching depths acknowledged by old-timers as "the way it used to be."

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 10 and one-half feet of powder and packed powder standing at the 11,000-foot summit of their resort. Of that amount, 42 inches fell this past week, 24 inches during the last 48 hours, and seven inches during the last 24 hours. The Wolf Creek report is based on readings made at 6:30 yesterday morning.

For the season, Wolf Creek is reporting 28.91 feet of snowfall with more to come.

Pagosa Springs received 4.5 inches of snow Monday and more is expected today and through the coming week, according to Dan Cuevas, a forecaster from the National Weather Service Grand Junction office.

A series of Pacific storms carrying snow will move through the area about one every 48 hours through the coming week, Cuevas said.

A 30-percent chance for rain or snow exists today, according to Cuevas, with chances for snow tapering off tonight. Tomorrow, Pagosa Country should experience decreasing cloudiness. Temperatures today and tomorrow should range from highs in the 40s down to lows in the 20s.

By Saturday, another system will move in bringing cloudy skies and a chance for more rain or snow showers, Cuevas said. Following the same pattern, Sunday should be dry, Monday wet, and Tuesday dry.

February snowfall in town, aided by the six inches that fell this week, totals 15.25 inches through Feb. 27. February's average snowfall since 1938 is 18.8 inches, according to records maintained by the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The heaviest February snowfall of record was 61 inches during 1969.

High temperatures last week ranged between 48 degrees Feb. 21 and 33 degrees Monday, with an average high of 40 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 12 degrees Feb. 23 and 17 degrees Monday. The average low temperature was 15 degrees.

The coldest February reading captured in Pagosa Springs since 1938 was minus 46 degrees Feb. 1, 1951. Since 1938, the February thermometer has dropped below minus 40 degrees once, below minus 30 degrees twice, and below minus 20 degrees 18 times.

Superintendent screening panel examining 14 applications
By Richard Walter

By Monday night, the superintendent search committee for Archuleta County School District 50 Joint will have finished screening the 14 applicants for the school superintendent's post.

A 24-hour extension of the final application deadline, approved by the school board last week, meant six additional candidates' formal bids for the job were in on time. The deadline was extended because of the President's Day holiday Feb. 19 for the postal service.

The citizen group will make a recommendation to the school board as to which candidates it feels should be the three finalists.

School board members will have reviewed the applications submitted and expect to name finalists at the board's March 13 meeting.

Once the finalists are named, the district will release the names and some biographical data to the public.

Still to be decided are the specific questions which will be asked of each of the finalists when they visit the community. The search committee is paring its list of 25 down to 12 to 15 and each board member was asked to submit three specific questions they'd like answered.

The board will determine the final 12 to 15 questions from both lists and will be specific in wording as they talk to each candidate.

The number one finalist, after on-site interviews and tours of the community and school facilities, will be notified by April 15. In the meantime, board members, search committee chairman Mike Haynes and other officials will visit the finalist's current town to interview residents on their opinions of the person selected.

Final contract details will be negotiable with a base salary set at $80,000 for the superintendent's job being vacated by Terry Alley on July 1.

Inside The Sun
5th grade quilts going to State Legislature
By Richard Walter

Four quilts produced in recent years by Mary Kurt-Mason's fifth graders in Pagosa Springs Intermediate School are going on display for three months in the Colorado State Legislature.

The students were notified Wednesday that their quilts had been selected to hang in a special show presented by the Colorado Council on the Arts.

From March 11 through May 11 the quilts, entitled Blast Off, Stampede of Stars, No Worries Mates!, and African Stories, will be on display in the Joint Budget Committee Hearing Room in the Legislative Services Building, 200 East 14th St., Denver.

Mrs. Kurt-Mason works the quilt-making idea into specific study programs. No Worries, Mates!, for example, was done during a study of Australia. African Stories is self-explanatory; Stampede of Stars was done while studying heavenly bodies, and Blast Off during a look at space exploration.

On each quilt, each student involved designed and sewed his or her own quilt block to be part of the overall presentation.

Each of the special quilts has been an award winner.

The African Studies entry, done by the fifth-grade class of 1998-99, was grand champion, first place and Colorado Quilting Council Award of Excellence Winner at the Archuleta County Fair for 2000.

Class members were Emilie Schur, Charmaine Talbot, Emmy Smith, Rebecca Goodrich, Averey Johnson, Cody Pack, Jim Guyton, Brea Thompson, Alisha Sellers, Brandy Logan, Josh Mills, Emily Buikema, Daniel Aupperle, Derrick Monks, Kelly Freudenberger, Beth Lujan, Jonathan Alger, Makayla Voorhis, Roxanne Lattin, Justin Moore, Michael Joy, Matt Nobles, Collin Smith, and Efrain Marinelarena.

The No Worries entry was first place and champion/honorable mention in the Archuleta County Fair of 2000.

Working on it were Gunnar Hill, Christian Theys, Jonathan Cartrette, Justin Tatum, Claire Versaw, Katrina Reese, Hayley Goodman, Jenny Tothe, Ryan Montroy, Phillip Romine, Tad Beavers, John-David Heinrich, Lyndsey Mackey, Mellisa McGregor, Katelynn Little, Brittany Bryson, Teresa Silva, Laurel Reinhardt, Saber Hutcherson, Josh Stuckwish, James Martinez, Jessica Lynch, Iris Frye, and Corey Goodrich. They were assisted by Peter Dach and Jacques Sarnow.

Blast Off, constructed by Mrs. Kurt-Mason's class of 1993-94, was first place winner at the Archuleta County Fair in 1994.

Students who worked on it were Adrienne Crider, Cody Dean, Elis Eaklor, Rebecca Jackson, Albert Martinez, Audrey McBride, Shane Parker, Tony Rivera, September O'Cana, Merenda Romine, Ryan Souza, Nathan Stretton, Thomas Thomas, Kyle Levitan, Erin Lister, Angie Lucas, Christine Martin, Kelli Patterson, Kes Pena, Chris Read and Darin Richey.

The final entry, Stampede of Stars, was first place among hand and machine quilted entries, in the 1996 Archuleta County Fair.

Students involved in the project called themselves the D.R.T."s (Daring Radical Team-sters).

They included Jason Chavez, Matthew Lattin, Jesse Trujillo, Jeremy Hill, John Kyriacou, Caleb Bergon, Ceth Carnley, Brandon Rosgen, Erin Prokop, Melissa Carothers, Jordan Rea, Travis Reid, Michael Dach, Jared Payne, Sean Connell, Sheena Dietrich, Darien Lujan, Sara Riley, Billy Roeder, Ashley Snow, Kyle Frye, Matthew Mesker, Travis Blesi, Zeb Gill, Ashley Wagle and Jayme Lee.

Mrs. Kurt-Mason said anyone wanting more information about visiting the JBC hearing room to see the display should contact Linda Bell at (303) 866-2587.

County studying budget brochure
By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County Commissioners are studying the idea of authorizing a brochure explaining the county budget and providing other information about the county and the county government.

A brochure published by La Plata County explaining that county's budget triggered the local search for a similar product.

At the regular commissioner meeting Tuesday, Norm Frazier of Frazier and Associates of Pagosa Springs, submitted a proposal. After listening to Frazier, the commissioners agreed that Frazier should prepare and submit a draft. Frazier estimated the county cost for a 25-page brochure with a color cover at about $4,100.

Frazier suggested the brochure be in a conversational tone, contain graphical budget information, break down statistics into such things as cost-per-mile, explain departmental budgets along with facts about departments, contain a brief county history, make three-year growth comparisons, and contain a message from the commissioners.

"This will give people tight, concise information with a good perspective," Frazier said. "It will make it easy for you to talk with your constituents. You and department heads can show your accomplishments."

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

- Appointed Lynn C. Shirk and E. Blair Timmerman to the 15-member county fair board, bringing the number of appointees to that board to 13

- Waived half the county dump fees normally charged for disposing of debris resulting from the burning of a mobile home in Chimney Rock. This practice is consistent with past county practice.

- Approved a special event liquor permit for the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club which is conducting Pagosa Springs Casino Night March 17 at the Ridgeview Mall. County planning staff had approved the application. Commissioner Alden Ecker and Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Gene Crabtree assured Downey that the mall owner promised them to correct a problem with the parking lot lights before the event takes place. The planning department requires the lights to point down, so the glare will not be bothersome to residents and motorists off of the property.

- Approved a hotel/restaurant liquor license renewal for Pagosa Springs Valley Golf Club LLC.

- Did not act on a request by Marvin Smith and San Juan County, Utah Commissioner Bill Redd that Archuleta County join in a legal effort connected with challenges to U.S. Forest Service ownership of certain roads.

- Listened to a progress report given by Kevin Walters, the county road and bridge director.

Humane Society, county differ on funding
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's contribution to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is being negotiated with representatives of the Humane Society.

Negotiators are attempting to resolve the difference between the $42,500 the Society requested from the county for the 2001 budget and the $34,000 already budgeted by the county commissioners.

Concerns expressed by the commissioners center around the methodology used by the Humane Society to arrive at the budget request. That methodology involved calculation of an operations and maintenance budget, then assigning a proportion of that budget to the county. The Society estimates it will handle 281 dogs for the county based on Year 2000 experience.

The county insists that Humane Society calculations begin with the cost per day, per dog.

"I don't want to be a Scrooge," said Commissioner Bill Downey, "but I calculate, based on a 10-day stay and using your numbers, it will cost us $15.20 per day per dog. Based on a five-day stay, that number doubles to $30.40 per day per dog. I can tell you I board my dog and get very good service for $10 a day with the profit-making folks."

"We do a health exam, temperament evaluation, compatibility test, and may have to provide medicine," said Mary Jo Coulehan of the Humane Society. "Those people in private business check to see if your dog is vaccinated. They can refuse to accept dogs because of poor health conditions. We cannot. They also provide grooming to improve their profitability."

Humane Society expenses, such as maintaining a building, staff, heat, and other fixed expenses continue even if no dogs are housed, Coulehan said.

Coulehan promised to rework the Humane Society's proposal based on the county's concerns and to consider billing the county on a per-dog basis.

On a related issue, Downey pointed out that the county is considering adopting stray dog legislation and hiring an animal control officer some time this year. When that happens, the number of dogs chargeable to the county could greatly increase, Downey added.

Currently, all dogs picked up in town or by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owner's Association are taken to the Humane Society.

The town contributes to the Human Society operating and maintenance budget. The PLPOA contributes to a specific Humane Society spaying and neutering program. The Humane Society augments its budget through contributions and fund-raisers.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation sets Banquet

The San Juan Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold its annual Big Game Banquet and Auction March 10, at the Archuleta County Fair Building.

A fundraising auction begins at 7 p.m. featuring the work of fine artists, a Liberty gun safe, a flyfishing trip for two, a pig hunt, and other top-quality items. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Elk Foundation programs and habitat projects.

The social hour will begin at 4 p.m. followed by the banquet at 6:30, said committee chairman Todd House.

Tickets for the banquet are $55 each or $70 per couple. The purchase will include a one-year Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation membership and subscription to Bugle magazine.

The Foundation has participated locally in a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service on projects aimed at improving winter big game forage and other wildlife habitat through prescribed burning.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is an international, non-profit wildlife organization dedicated to the conservation of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The organization currently has over 100,000 members.

The Foundation funds wildlife and habitat conservation projects in the United States and Canada. These include management related research, elk transplants into areas of suitable habitat, habitat acquisitions, habitat improvement projects and conservation education programs. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation also publishes Bugle, the only major publication devoted exclusively to elk.

For reservations or additional information about the banquet, contact House at 731-2735.

Letters
Gas drilling

Dear Editor,

There hasn't been much news about the gas drilling in Arboles lately, but it's still very much in progress.

We, as land owners, have received two letters from the Finney Land Co., an oil and gas consulting agent for Petrox Resources, informing us that they have applied for a conditional-use permit with Archuleta County to drill not two wells as reported, but three wells, two of which are adjacent to our property.

I have talked with the county commissioners, Rep. Mark Larson, Sen. Dyer, Michail Finney, the San Juan Citizens Alliance and many others concerning questions they could not answer. Morris Bell, a representative from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has agreed to come to a public meeting March 7 at 7 p.m. at the Archuleta County Extension Building.

I urge all concerned and interested citizens of the county to come and start getting informed on this issue.

Wendy Adams

Time out

Dear Editor,

Time Out! May I suggest that when citizens start feeling their blood boil as they read about local current events, they stop, take a deep breath, and resist jumping to conclusions.

Our county commissioners brought scrutiny upon themselves through their recent actions. For anyone to insinuate that it's anyone else's fault is absurd. While I hate to lump all commissioners together in that statement, should anyone resent this association, he should probably insist upon responsible conduct by his fellow members.

In fairness to Commissioner Ecker regarding his quoted statement, "I have some problems with the open meetings law" - you had to have been there. His statement was made in the context of his related experience of lost opportunities to learn what's going on in the community, for example when he attempted to join an unposted meeting with one commissioner already in attendance. Ecker's attendance would have constituted a quorum. Downey pointed this out to Ecker as he entered the room, and Ecker left upon notification that he shouldn't be there. He followed the rules; he just didn't like them. I actually heard him say, "The rules, are the rules." I believe, in this instance, Ecker was sincerely disappointed that he couldn't go to that meeting.

Ecker's example makes me realize that citizen awareness and understanding of the rules is also of utmost importance. If everyone knows what the rules are, there's less chance commissioners will break them. I definitely understand why these rules exist, but I admit I've never worked in a job where team members had these kinds of limitations, so I can see that this does not readily foster good teamwork and communication. Even e-mail communication among board members is subject to open meeting laws.

I do not excuse the board for many of their recent actions. However, I personally believe if there are any questions regarding whether the board is acting responsibly, with absolute integrity, or with the overall community's best interest at hand, it is our duty as citizens to insist on honest answers so we can get to the truth of these matters. We cannot rely fully on weekly news reports; we must take some of the responsibility upon ourselves. Citizen participation will raise the bar in professionalism and accountability for both government and the press.

The SUN's report that I objected to - and to the use of the word "zoning" - also needs clarification. I expressed my amazement that what might have been the first county meeting to actually feature zoning as the topic was not better advertised to invite all folks to participate, given the criticism by some of the inadequacy of recent ad campaigns.

What we need now is civilized participation in the process. Hopefully, this will result in more civilized government representation. I feel that good communication can help foster peace and understanding. Let's pull together as a community and work through our many challenges with dignity, clarity, and a positive outlook.

Sincerely,

Karen Aspin

 

Free speech abused

Dear Editor,

When I read Ms. Adler's letter in the Feb. 22 Pagosa SUN, it appeared to be not only an abuse of the right of free speech, it was ill conceived, misdirected and mean spirited. Then something I read recently occurred to me. The suggestion was made that malice should not be attributed when ignorance will fit as well.

Glenn Bergmann

 

Get a life

Dear Editor,

I have been working very hard on keeping my opinions to myself, especially when they aren't asked for, but I have to reply to the letter written by Mojie Adler which was published in last week's SUN. It was headed "No end to attacks." That says it all.

Dear, dear Mojie, you're up on your war horse again, charging off to save us all from the nefarious schemes of - who? You see, Mojie, it's not cool to attack someone, or to condemn by innuendo, without naming your target. When you do that, it tends to make people question the reasons for your opinions, and it certainly doesn't add to your credibility, or your sense of integrity.

A letter to the editor should not be used to further a personal vendetta. It should make a specific point. In my case, my point is this: Mojie, get a life.

Dahrl Henley

 

Wrong project

Dear David,

People of Pagosa Springs, the development of the Piano Creek Ranch on the San Juan River, source of our drinking water, in the middle of hundreds of thousands of acres of national forest, should be absolutely unacceptable to us. For Piano Creek Ranch to dredge the river and fill the wetlands so they can build a golf course, with the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and leach sewage for scores of homes is not a good idea.

Some people in Pagosa argue that Piano Creek Ranch is private property and the owners can do as they please. How would you react to me buying land next to you and putting in a commercial hog farm (a business I previously owned)? Or perhaps a dog kennel or motocross course or a shooting range? What people do with their private property very often affects their neighbors.

Think again about Piano Creek Ranch and ask yourself if what they do on their private property couldn't affect us or our children?

The least we can do is get off our backsides, find out more about this controversial project, write letters, make a phone call, go to a meeting, do something to protect the future of Pagosa.

Who is Paul Lerno? He is an ultra-conservative Republican, a member of no environmental group, an owner of a small cattle ranch near Allison, and one who believes Piano Creek Ranch is the wrong project in the wrong place. Write to Mike Walsh, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1325 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-2922, and hopefully express your concerns about this project at the head waters of the San Juan River.

Paul Lerno

 

Stop the dredging

Dear Editor,

Reference Public Notice No. 200175008, Piano Creek Ranch Wetlands dredging permit.

Dredge, fill and build is destruction of a wetlands no matter where its location. Do not permit this folks. Write to the Army Corps of Engineers and give your input now.

Write to: Colonel Walsh, Sacramento District Eng., U.S. Army Corp. of Eng., 1325 J. Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-2922 or e-mail mwalshspk.vsace.army.mil.

Twenty years ago I aided the city council in Sabastopol, Ca. to stop similar destruction to the Paguna De Santa Rosa, a major tributary to the Russian River. Fifteen years of struggle and the dredge, fill, and build was stopped on this wetlands water shed.

To read that such a possibility might occur on the East Fork, is like stepping back into the dark ages.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

 

Good old boys

Dear Editor,

The front-page lead story in the Feb. 2 SUN, "Hunt resigns as county manager," by John Motter and the contained Gene Crabtree quotes were reminiscent to say the least.

I can "recall" in the past Mr. Crabtree's quotes on this subject were "I don't think we really need a county manager." Now Crabtree says, "Dennis Hunt will leave a void that will be hard to fill. We'll have to do some shuffling to fill the vacancy."

Well, Mr. Crabtree: I sincerely hope the outline is for you and your compadres to fill that void. The good old boys could easily shuffle right in and occupy the vacancy saving the county at least 70K-plus in process; which was Hunt's yearly salary with perks, if not higher. Why, you could even discuss some of those concepts in a "public forum." Now that would be a novel scenario.

There are counties in northern Colorado that have five commissioners serving in excess of 500,000 residents and they have no county manager. So why can't the "three amigos" run a county of 10,000 when each commissioner draws almost 42K a year plus very healthy perks? That accomplishment alone could do wonders for a reputation. And though a reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but folks will always keep their eyes glued on the spot where the crack was.

So you've got "the gavel" Mr. Crabtree. Now, let's see some inspirational "banging" leadership! Show me my heavy tax burden is working. It's really not this Polish Crayola's nature to relish being ripped off, especially when green is getting so hard to come by.

Just shuffling,

Jim Sawicki

 

Road woes

Dear Editor,

I trust the real estate and construction communities are working behind the scenes to resolve the Pagosa Lakes road maintenance problems. I would hate to try to sell a house situated on some of these roads.

Sincerely,

John Spradley

 

County Home Rule

Dear Editor,

About 12 or 13 years ago we tried to put through county Home Rule to replace our three-commissioner political structure that was seen as too expensive and not adequately representative of the different interests in the changing times. The concept honchoed by Bob Hand was too new to voters; we were inadequate in educating them and it was voted down.

Our current same system is no longer viable and we are a far more dynamic community with greater concern for our future than in the past when growth was not a factor and our population static.

It is our hope that the SUN will consider publishing a series of articles on county Home Rule so voters can form an opinion and hopefully get it on the ballot in the best possible time. As you know, five key people have resigned from the county in the very recent past. We need a solution to this serious deficiency in governing.

Lee Sterling

Obituaries
Glorifica Montoya

Local residents were saddened to learn that lifelong resident Glorifica Montoya died at Mercy Medical Center Feb. 22, 2001. She was 85 years old.

Glorifica was born in 1916 in Pagosa Springs to Jose Elisandro and Rafelita Martinez. On Jan. 25, 1940, she married Jose Eugenio Montoya in Lumberton, N.M. Glorifica was a mother and housewife.

Glorifica is preceded in death by her husband, Jose Eugenio Montoya; her sons, Jose Elisandro Martinez, Eugenio Montoya, Jr. and Leonard James Montoya; and her daughter, Dolores Ann Montoya.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Floyd Levie and Terrie Maestas of Farmington, N.M.; her daughter and son-in-law, Louis and Servelia Trujillo of Arboles; her son, John H. Montoya of Pagosa Springs; her daughter and son-in-law, Vicente and Norma Duran of Pagosa Springs; her daughter and son-in-law, Delfin and Rosie Griego of Pagosa Springs; her daughter, Ruthie Salinas of Pagosa Springs; her son and daughter-in-law, Levi and Ruthie Montoya of Pagosa Springs; her step-daughter-in-law, Bessie Montoya of Pagosa Springs; her step-daughter, Alice Young of Pagosa Springs; her sister, Elisa Martin of Albuquerque, N.M.; and her brother, Juan Garcia of Albuquerque, N.M. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Services were held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Recitation of the Rosary was at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10 a.m. Feb. 26. Both services were officiated by Father John Bowe. Glorifica was laid to rest at Hilltop Cemetery.

People
Profile

Morna Trowbridge

Office Manager

Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce

 

Where were you born and raised?

"I was born in Wellington, Kansas. I was raised in Wichita, Kansas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma."

 

Where were you educated?

"I graduated from Union High School in Tulsa. I went to Tulsa Junior Medical College taking courses in medical assistance and medical transcription. I took courses at the University of Texas at Houston and those courses were related to the administrative side of the medical field. I was also certified as a chiropractic assistant in Texas."

 

When did you move to Pagosa country?

"My husband moved here in October of 1998. My son and I moved here in December, 1998."

 

Tell us about your domestic situation.

"My husband Doug and I have a son Nathan, who is 10."

 

What work experience did you have before your employment by the Chamber of Commerce.?

"I worked at two major medical schools: the University of Tulsa Medical College and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where I worked as an executive assistant in Academic Medicine. I worked as a medical assistant for two surgeons and two chiropractors in Houston. In Aurora, I worked in the front office for a national recruiting service and I worked for the American Cancer Society."

 

What do you like best about your work?

"I like working with Chamber members, Diplomats and members of our board of directors. And I enjoy working with all our visitors."

 

What do you like least about your job?

"Answering the same question for the hundredth time in one day. But, you have to remember its the first time that particular person has asked that question."

Sports Page
Ladies notch sixth consecutive district title
By Richard Walter

Pagosa's Lady Pirates defeated Centauri twice during the regular season en route to an undefeated league slate. The average margin of victory was four and a half points.

In a spirited district tournament championship clash Saturday, the margin grew. Pagosa defeated the Lady Falcons 44-33 to claim the title and the right to host a regional tournament game in the opening round of state playoffs. They'll face Roaring Fork High School of Carbondale in Pagosa Saturday.

With junior forward Katie Lancing hitting the game's first seven points on two traditional field goals and a trey, there was early indication the Lady Pirates might run away from their San Luis Valley challengers.

But, true to Pagosa-Centauri tradition, the Lady Falcons came storming back. With the McCarrolls, Cindy and Erin, each hitting from inside and sharpshooting guard Sara Reynolds hitting a deuce and free throw to go with two charity tosses by Breann Richardson, the La Jara entry cut the margin to 12-9 at the end of the quarter.

The Lady Pirates' other points in the period were a long trey by senior guard Meigan Canty and two free throws by senior forward Tiffanie Hamilton.

The biggest key to the period, however, came when Pagosa's junior center Ashley Gronewoller picked up two early fouls, setting the stage for a Centauri comeback and tense moments for Pagosa in the second period.

With the score still knotted at 12-9, Gronewoller picked up her third foul with 6:43 left in the half and Centauri immediately took advantage.

The Lady Falcons went on a 15-7 run paced by a pair of treys from Reynolds, four points from Erin McCarroll and three from Cindy McCarroll to wipe out the early Pagosa lead and build a 24-19 halftime margin.

The only saving grace for the Pirates in the period was senior guard Andrea Ash hitting five of her seven game points on a field goal and a trey and sophomore guard Shannon Walkup adding a pair of free throws.

Those markers kept Pagosa close enough to mount a comeback - and what a comeback it was.

With Gronewoller back in the lineup to start the half and the ringing of coach Karen Wells' halftime challenge for them to live up to their reputation, the Pagosans got an early start on a driving layup by Lancing to cut the lead to three. Gronewoller was fouled by Cindy McCarroll and hit two from the line to cut the lead to one.

Hamilton stole the ensuing Centauri inbound pass, was fouled by Bethann Carleo, and converted both foul shots with 4:39 remaining in the quarter to give Pagosa the lead.

Erin McCarroll answered with what was to become her final score of the game and Centauri had the lead back by one. The see-saw continued when Gronewoller scored inside to give Pagosa a 27-26 lead. Then Krystle Cantu scored her only points of the game to return the lead to Centauri.

Hamilton took the lead right back for Pagosa, scoring on an assist by Walkup, and Ash tickled the nets with a 14-foot jumper to put Pagosa up 33-28 with 28 seconds left in the period. With seven-tenths of a second left in the period, Lancing scored again to hike the lead to 35-28.

Gronewoller opened the fourth period with one of her four second half field goals and stretched the Pagosa lead to seven. Moments later Lancing scored on an assist from Ash to stretch the margin to nine.

It was all over but the shouting, with Cindy McCarroll getting the final five points of the game for Centauri, the only Lady Falcon points of the period.

With Pagosa cashing three of five from the foul line as time wound down, Centauri was unable to even come close to mounting another comeback. Some Lady Falcon fans in the stands felt the Centauri girls just ran out of steam after playing a nailbiter with Ignacio the night before, having to come back from a last minute tie to win.

For Pagosa, the victory hiked their season record to 19-2, both losses coming in pre-season tournaments to Class 4-A Montrose.

Team effort is the best way to describe the Pagosa victory. Each of seven Lady Pirates seeing action stepped up with a key performance at a critical moment in the game.

First it was Lancing getting the Pagosans off to a quick start, then Ash with her second quarter performance keeping the Lady Pirates close. Gronewoller came on strong when she returned in the second half with eight of her 10 game points. Hamilton got four points and five of her nine rebounds during the third quarter comeback. Canty had two assists and two steals, all in the second half, and Ash, Canty, Walkup and Amber Mesker all turned in stalwart defensive performances which kept Centauri's guards off the scoreboard for the full second half.

Pagosa shot 15 of 31 from the field, including two of five from 3-point range, for a shooting percentage of .483, and shot 11 of 16 from the charity stripe for a .687 percentage.

But perhaps even more impressive was the Lady Pirates' 33-17 edge in rebounds, paced by Lancing's 13, including 10 on the defensive end. Hamilton had nine, five defensive, Gronewoller turned in seven, four of them offensive. Walkup had two and Ash and Canty each added one.

Lancing paced the scoring with 14, Gronewoller had 12, Ash 7, Hamilton 6, Canty 4, and Walkup 2.

Cindy McCarroll had 10 for Centauri, including one trey and 3 of 5 from the foul line. Sara Reynolds had 9, including the two second quarter treys (she did not score in the second half). Erin McCarroll chipped in with eight (only two in the second half); senior guard Nicolle Espinoza had two points on free throws but was 0 for 7 from the floor against Pagosa's tight defense; Richardson had the two second period free throws, and Krystle Cantu had a third quarter field goal.

Then came the celebration, shouts of joy on the Pagosa side of the scoring table and some tears but polite applause from the Centauri side. Both teams advance to regional play this week.

After early surge, Ladies coast over Bayfield
By Richard Walter

Pagosa's Lady Pirates opened their drive for a sweep of Intermountain League laurels Friday with a convincing 46-31 victory over the Bayfield Lady Wolverines, hosts for the district tournament.

It was the third defeat of the year for the Wolverines at the hands of the Pagosa Ladies and set the stage for a Saturday rematch with the Centauri Lady Falcons, the second seed in the tournament on the basis of their second place finish in the league behind Pagosa.

The Lady Pirates, fresh off a season ending sweep of Ignacio and Monte Vista and sporting a 17-2 season mark, were never really tested by Bayfield, running out to an 19-4 first quarter lead and erecting an iron wall defense.

The rest was soon to be history as Pagosa ran reserves into the game early and had a 30-12 lead by halftime.

Paving the way for the early blitz was 6-foot-3 Pagosa junior center Ashley Gronewoller with 10 first quarter points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 6-foot-1 junior forward Katie Lancing who scored on her first two field goal attempts for four first quarter points.

Also contributing to the early Pagosa surge were senior guard Meigan Canty with the first of her three treys for the game and a field goal and three first quarter rebounds; sophomore guard Shannon Walkup with an assist, two steals and one field goal; senior guard Andrea Ash with her only field goal of the game; and senior guard Amber Mesker who scored a field goal and had two steals coming off the bench in the second quarter. Junior forward Nicole Buckley added a pair of second quarter points on two of two from the line.

So suffocating was the Lady Pirate defense that Bayfield did not score - in fact did not have a field goal attempt - in the first 2 minutes, 46 seconds. Lady Wolverine sophomore guard Ashley Hahn broke the drought with a short jumper and, after Gronewoller hit her fifth field goal of the period, Bayfield senior forward Becky Evers converted a driving layup to the offhand.

Bayfield had only one other field goal attempt in the opening quarter, an air ball three-point try from junior guard Michelle Miller.

The Wolverines opened the second period with a score by 5-foot-10 sophomore center Kimberly Piccoli. It turned out to be her only field goal of the game.

Gronewoller added a pair for Pagosa and was fouled on the shot. She converted the free throw. Miller scored her only field goal of the game on the next play and moments later senior forward Lindsay Dallison scored for Bayfield.

Pagosa's 11 second quarter points offset Bayfield's eight and then the Lady Pirate defense went back to work, shutting down the Wolverine attack totally in the third quarter, allowing Bayfield only one field goal, by Amy Young, and 3 of 5 from the foul line.

Gronewoller had three in the period, Canty hit the second of three treys, Lancing a free throw and Walkup another field goal.

With reserves in most of the fourth quarter, Pagosa got three more points each from Canty and Gronewoller and a free throw from junior guard Joetta Martinez.

Bayfield, meanwhile, taking advantage of Pagosa's starters being on the bench, outscored the Pirates 14-7 in the final stanza but it was far too little and much too late.

While the Lady Pirates were dominating defensively, their offense, percentagewise, was the least effective of the year. They shot only 18 of 51 from the floor - including three of eight three-point tries - for a shooting percentage of .352. They were 7 of 12 from the free throw line for a .583 percentage.

Gronewoller had four blocked shots, Hamilton two and Lancing one. Lancing led in assists with five. She and Walkup each had three steals. Lancing also led in rebounds with nine, seven at the defensive end. Gronewoller had eight, five defensive, and Hamilton had six, four defensive.

Scoring was paced by Gronewoller with 19, Canty with 9, Lancing 5, Walkup 4, Ash, Hamilton, Buckley and Mesker each with 2 and Martinez with 1.

Pirates face Rye in Sweet 16 regional
By John M. Motter

Pagosa's Pirates have reached the elevated ranks of the Sweet Sixteen among Colorado 3A basketball schools for the second year in a row.

As a reward for capturing second in the Intermountain League District 1 tournament this past weekend, the Pirates play Rye Saturday in the regional round of the state 3A basketball playoffs. By beating Rye, Pagosa can advance to the Final Eight with a chance to win their first state championship since 1960.

The Pirates earned the right to play Rye by bombing Ignacio 74-43 Friday in the first round of the district tournament at Bayfield.

Saturday, Pagosa grappled with the Centauri Falcons in the championship game - an ugly, bitter, defensive struggle. Centauri reached the championship game by besting Monte Vista Friday night.

The tournament championship and the right to be seeded number one from the IML came down to the final minute of a four-minute overtime with the score tied 38-38. In a case of he who shoots last wins, Centauri's Michael Brady put up a short jumper with four seconds left to give the Falcons the championship, 42-40.

Coach Joe Hunt's Falcons are seeded fifth in regional action as they host 12th-seeded Holy Family. Pagosa enters the regionals seeded 11th in the state. Rye, Pagosa's regional host, is seeded sixth.

Pagosa Springs 74, Ignacio 43

In a game they had to win to advance to the regional playoffs, Pagosa out-ran Ignacio in what may have been the Pirate's finest offensive show of the year.

Daniel Crenshaw held the hot hand early on, pacing the Pirates to a 20-9 first quarter lead. After Crenshaw opened scoring with a trey, the rivals traded baskets until midway through the first period when Pirate Coach Kyle Canty had his boys start pressing. Pagosa ended the quarter by outscoring Ignacio 16-6, scoring repeatedly off of turnovers.

Darin Lister hit the first bucket of the second period. Then the Pirates ran up 12 unanswered points over the next four minutes before Ignacio scored again. Pagosa left the floor at halftime leading 40-26.

The scoring pace slowed during the third period, but Pagosa continued to stretch their lead. When the period ended, Pagosa was on top 56-33. Ignacio didn't score again until almost half of the final period was over.

"We scored a lot on turnovers against Ignacio," Canty said.

Four Pirates reached double figures topped by Crenshaw with 18 points. Following Crenshaw were Tyrel Ross with 15, Brandon Charles with 14, and Micah Maberry with 12. Adding to the Pirate total were Jason Schutz with eight points, David Goodenberger with three points, and Darin Lister and Chris Rivas with two points each. Pagosa made 25 of 36 two-point attempts for a 69.4 shooting percentage, three for five from three-point range for a 60 percent shooting percentage, and 15 of 25 from the foul line for 60-percent shooting.

Ross turned in seven rebounds, one assist, and three steals. Goodenberger turned in six rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Crenshaw had one rebound, one blocked shot, two assists, and five steals. Brandon Charles had two assists and five steals. Pagosa committed nine turnovers.

Centauri 42, Pagosa 40

As well as Pagosa shot against Ignacio, that's how bad they shot against Centauri. From two-point range, Pagosa made 13 of 31 attempts, a 41.9 shooting percentage. From three-point range Pagosa made four of 12 attempts, 33-percent shooting. It seems every time a Pagosa cager lined up a shot, a Centauri hand was in the way.

"They beat us at our own game," Canty said. "We are a ball control team. In the second half, they did a better job of taking care of the ball than we did."

The game started in a ho-hum fashion with each squad scrambling to keep its opponent from getting a clear shot at the basket. Finally, with almost four minutes of the first period gone, Maberry put in a jumper to give Pagosa a 2-0 lead. Seconds later, Crenshaw gave Pagosa a 4-0 lead.

Before the quarter ended, Ross added a free throw for Pagosa. Meanwhile, Centauri picked up seven points and the quarter closed with the Falcons on top 7-5.

During the second quarter, Centauri edged to the front. With only a minute left, the Falcons owned a 17-11 lead. Then Schutz hit a deuce and Crenshaw a trey for Pagosa, narrowing the halftime difference to Centauri 17, Pagosa 16.

Pagosa's Goodenberger opened the second half by adding seven unanswered points to the Pirate total. Within three minutes, Pagosa had built a 23-17 lead and seemed to be on its way to victory. Centauri fought back and with John Jordan's bucket at the buzzer knotted the score at 25-25.

Only eight minutes of the season remained to learn whether Pagosa or Centauri would be the IML champion.

Pagosa inbounded the ball to launch the final session. Crenshaw and Schutz tallied to give Pagosa a 30-26 lead. Once again, it looked as if the Pirates had found the right combination. Then, with 3:25 remaining in the game, Maberry fouled out. Maberry has been Pagosa's leading scorer for the season.

As the final minutes ticked off of the clock, Centauri again edged back into the game. Derrik Brady hit a field goal to narrow Pagosa's lead to 30-28 with almost three minutes on the clock. Crenshaw hit a free throw to put Pagosa up by three, then Charles stole the ball from Centauri and canned a layup to put Pagosa up 33-28 with only 2:23 remaining.

Centauri's Ryan Sutherland was up to the challenge. Sutherland hit a field goal with 2:10 left to trim Pagosa's lead to 33-30, then sank a pair of free throws to make the margin an even closer 33-32 with about 1:52 remaining.

Pagosa called a time out. The entire season seemed to balance on a mere two minutes. Centauri's Brady took advantage of a free throw opportunity to even the score at 33-33 with 1:12 left. The Falcon's called two time outs to set up scoring plays that were frustrated by the Pirate defense. Finally, with a little over two seconds remaining, Pagosa stole a Falcon pass and Canty called a time out. This time it was Pagosa's chance to set up a scoring play. The final buzzer sounded as Charles' three-point try bounced off of the rim.

Now the season had been extended to four minutes, the length of overtime. Goodenberger opened the overtime stanza with two points, putting Pagosa on top 35-33. Michael Brady answered with a three-point bomb to give Centauri a 36-35 edge with 2:30 on the clock. Charles' three pointer following a steal gave Pagosa a 38-36 lead.

Then, with 1:03 remaining, Crenshaw left the game with five fouls. He was Pagosa's leading scorer for the game with 11 points. Sutherland made both free throw opportunities from Crenshaw's exit foul to tie the score at 38-38. McCarroll hit a pair of free throws putting Centauri up 40-38. Schutz answered for Pagosa by driving through an umbrella of upraised Centauri hands to tie the score at 40-40 with 28 seconds left in the game and the season.

Only 4 seconds showed on the clock as Falcon Michael Brady put up a short jumper giving Centauri a 42-40 lead. Lister's banker from the right side went in just a breath after the final buzzer sounded. Centauri was the IML champion, Pagosa Springs the runnerup. Both teams were bound for the regional playoff round.

Crenshaw led all Pagosa scoring with 11 points, followed by Goodenberger with nine points, Schutz with six points, Ross and Charles with five points, and Maberry with four points.

Goodenberger pulled down 13 rebounds, blocked one shot, made two assists, and made a steal. Ross had six rebounds, one blocked shot, two assists, and one steal. Crenshaw had two rebounds, one blocked shot, four assists, and one steal. Pagosa committed 16 turnovers.

Rye

Rye and Pagosa Springs may be mirror-image teams. Rye coach Jim Hale, in his third season, likes to run a motion offense using screens against a man to man defense. Against zone defenses he attempts to flood and overload the zones.

The purple and white Rye Thunderbolts play in the Southern League, along with La Junta, Trinidad, Rocky Ford, Las Animas, and Lamar. School enrollment is estimated at 275. Hale is in his third season as head coach. Rye's 2001 record is 16-5 overall, 7-1 in the Southern League.

Strong tradition motivates the Thunderbolts. In 1956 they were the state C champions, in 1982 the state A-1 champions, and in 1991 and 1993, the state 2A champions.

Pagosa and Rye have played one common opponent this season, Monte Vista. Monte defeated Rye 65-62 at Rye. Pagosa topped Monte 59-45 in their first league game, 52-29 in their second league game.

Rye's Chris McGrath, a 6-foot-6 junior, is the inside go-to man. Jon Vandermark, a 6-foot senior is the enforcer, the tough guy on defense who will draw Pagosa's top offensive player, according to Arnold Swift, the school's athletic director and former basketball coach. The leading scorers for Rye include 6-foot-1 junior Mike Stanifer, Vandermark, 6-foot-1 senior Josh Ragan, and 5-foot-8 sophomore Steve Kirkendall.

The Rye squad contains three seniors, six juniors, and three sophomores.

Pagosa will counter with seniors Daniel Crenshaw, David Gooden-berger, Micah Maberry, and Tyrel Ross; juniors Darin Lister and Ethan Sanford, and sophomores Brandon Charles, Todd Mees, Chris Rivas, and Jason Schutz.

Action at Rye begins at 7 p.m.

Ruth qualifies for Special Olympics

Steve Ruth is one of 20 Special Olympics Colorado athletes going to the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Anchorage, March 4-11.

Steve is a 30-year-old snowshoer from Durango. He is a member of the U.S.A. snowshoeing team and will compete in the 200 meter, 400 m., and 800 m. events. Steve has participated in Special Olympics for many years in a variety of sports including power lifting, bowling, basketball, softball, snowshoeing and swimming.

Steve attended grade school and his early years of high school in Pagosa Springs before transferring and graduating from Durango High School. Steve is very proud of his job as a floor maintenance worker at Wal-Mart in Durango. In addition to his dedication to Special Olympics, Steve enjoys music, movies and the great outdoors.

Steve is the son of Don and Kathy Ruth of Pagosa Springs.

The 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games will have 2,750 athletes from around the world. Athletes from 80 nations will compete in alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, floor hockey, figure skating, snowshoeing and speed skating.

As a member of the U.S.A. team, Steve is required to train at home with his local team and participate in area and state winter competitions. Each athlete must have the ability to adhere to the Special Olympics Colorado Code of Conduct at all times and have the ability to represent Special Olympics Colorado in a positive manner at all times.

Pagosa gymnast a medalist

Pagosa gymnast, Janna Henry, captured an award for the Pagosa Gymnastics Club, performing at Optional Level 7 at the annual Grand Junction Invitational Feb. 24 and 25.

Henry, 14, received an 18th- place all-around medal, displaying the skills necessary to compete at this level.

At levels seven through 10, gymnasts are allowed to choreograph their own routines, whereas routines at levels four through six are created by the United States Gymnastics Federation. Henry reached Level 7 after eight years in gymnastics, becoming the first member of the Pagosa Gymnastics Club to compete at that level.

Twelve teams participated in the two-day event, including 42 girls in Henry's session.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Winterfolk music delights its Pagosa audiences

Sincere congratulations to Crista Munro and Dan Appenzeller for a splendid Winterfolk Music Festival.

I truly enjoyed the renderings of the exquisitely talented musicians who graced the stage at the high school Saturday and Sunday. I confess I have been one of those who has said from time to time that folk music really wasn't "my kind of music" - whatever that means. I am officially retracting that statement after this weekend and strongly encourage others to reconsider their positions on folk music.

Maybe it was the extremely intimate atmosphere created by the lighting (the Hagemans were awesome) and sound in the auditorium, but I felt an instant rapport with those on stage and a real appreciation for the personal stories they shared through their music. Some were very funny, some sad and poignant, and some downright heartbreaking and personal. I wanted to invite the artists into my home to tell me more.

The high point for me (and I suspect for many others) was the performance of Eddie from Ohio, a familiar group to those who originally fell in love with them up on Reservoir Hill during the Four Corners Folk Festival. The love affair is mutual, which was made clear by their enthusiasm for Pagosa Springs and the people who live here. They gave an amazingly energetic, fabulous performance and spent far more than their allotted time on stage - to the complete delight of the adoring audience. It was one of those times that one was ever so happy to have been there.

We hope that next year (and I, for one, certainly hope there will be many more years) we can fill every seat in the auditorium for this event. I am grateful to Crista and Dan for their vision and for the courage it took to produce a two-day event in the dead of winter. Thanks for all the hard work and for bringing such a great group of artists to Pagosa.

Heads up

It's early yet, but we want to let you know that this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade will be held March 16 beginning at 4 p.m. on Sixth Street.

As always, the registration fee will be $3.17, and we will line up on Sixth Street beginning 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 one 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.

Casino Royale

If you haven't been approached by a Rotarian yet, you can bet your bottom dollar that it won't be long before it happens.

Pagosa Springs Rotary Club will present its annual Casino Royale - The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs - March 17, 6 p.m. to midnight, at the Ridgeview Mall.

One of the cool things about this evening is that, if you are so inclined, this is one of those rare opportunities in Pagosa to wear sequins, tiaras, velvet, long gloves and the like. 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 including 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.

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. Call us with questions at 264-2360.

Membership

This is a real red-letter week for membership with nine new members and 14 renewals to welcome. We certainly enjoy this part of our job and thank all of you for keeping us busy in this area.

Our first new member this week is Landa Roon, who brings us Peak Performance Consulting, located in Landa's home. Landa offers consulting and training services for organizations and individuals. She can also help you with performance and behavioral assessments, coaching, team building, and management and individual development. Her rates are very reasonable, and she invites you to give her a call at 264-0097.

Our neighbor in Chama, Dianne Burnside, joins us next with Burnside Realty. Dianne can offer you northern New Mexico land, Real Log Homes, stream front and southern San Juan mountain properties. Ranches and remote parcels are in her repertoire as well. Please give her a call at (505) 756-2291 for more information about Burnside Realty.

Welcome to Rick Bjugan who joins us with Snowy Peaks, CAD, located at 6203 Colo. 151. Rick offers architectural design services for custom homes utilizing AutoCAD and 3-D visual views. He welcomes the opportunity to assist you in designing your home with you in mind. Give him a call at 883-3030 to learn more about Snow Peaks. We thank Gary Weger for recruiting Rick, and will be delighted to send Gary a free SunDowner pass for his efforts.

We're very happy to welcome our old pal Robbie Pepper as a Real Estate Associate with Jim Smith Realty located at 445 Pagosa Street. Robbie can offer you experience in homes, land, commercial properties and timeshares. Skillful negotiation has made him one of the top realtors here in Pagosa in total number of transactions closed. To learn more, please give Robbie a call at 264-3207.

Paulette A. Costanza joins us next with Mountain Rose Therapeutics located right here in Pagosa Springs. Paulette is a certified herbalist and massage therapist providing herbal consultations, products and classes. She is also experienced in professional massage therapy treating conditions ranging from stress to injury. Please give her a call at 731-9535 to learn more about her services.

Welcome to Dan Johnston who brings us Cameron Communications located in the Mountain View Plaza on Put Hill at 2035 U.S. 160 west, Suite 111. Dan offers Verizon Wireless sales and equipment providing cellular service throughout the United States. Cameron Communications is committed to providing the best customer service available in Pagosa Springs. To speak to Dan about these services, please call 731-6126.

Leave it to a Chamber board director to introduce a brand-spanking new business category to our directory. Mark DeVoti is the director in question here, and he joins us as a singer/guitarist/entertainer. Mark brings 20-years experience entertaining private parties with both kinds of music - country and western. (He just couldn't understand why we didn't get that joke!) He can also handle easy-listening, folk and oldies, and encourages audience participation. Some of his work is original, and he's always happy to respond to requests. (Mark was the lovely Dolly Parton-like blonde who appeared with Will Spears in the recent Follies, by the way.) Give him a call at 731-3621 to employ his services for your party, wedding, etc.

Our third new business to employ "Peak" in its name this week is Peak Physical Therapy, Inc. located at 190 Talisman Drive, Unit D4 with Lisa Raymond as the contact person. PPT is the only locally-owned private practice clinic serving the Archuleta County community. Their specialties include pre/post surgical rehabilitation, back/neck care, women's health, pool, sports injuries and orthopedics. To learn more about Peak Physical Therapy, please call 731-1888. Chamber Board President, Ken Harms, is responsible for recruiting Lisa, for which he will receive a free SunDowner and our eternal gratitude.

We next welcome Tim Miller with Timothy Miller Custom Homes, Inc. located here in Pagosa Springs. Tim offers quality and service he is proud to put his name on. His quality custom homes are built from your plan, or you can choose one of his. You can give him a call at 731-1106 to discuss plans for that dream home of yours. We thank Doug Shultz for recruiting Tim and will cheerfully reward him with a free SunDowner pass.

Our 14 renewals this week include Marguerite Seavy with Mountain Greenery; David Petitt with Tara Mandala; April Bergman with Curves for Women; Reverend Louis M. Day with Pagosa Funeral Options; John and Carol Frakes with Eagle Eye Inspection Service; Harold Walter with Walter Body Shop, Inc. (Hal joined for two years - whatta guy!); Kathryn Cole with Crazy for Beads; Linda Lee and Tom Hayes with Daylight Donuts and Cafe; Debi Hilsabeck with United People Help Ministry and UPHM Ministry Building; Mark Stauth with Bear Creek Saloon; Cathe Kropp with the Silver Mine Country Company; Debra Stowe with Great Divide Title Company; and last but definitely not least, Joe Bob and Donna Leake with Bear Claw Enterprises. Many thanks to each and every one for the renewed support.

Movin' along

Our congratulations go out to our good friend, Michael DeWinter, on the recent purchase of The Primrose Florist. As of today, Michael invites you to visit him at his new location at 565 Village Drive in the Mountain Run Shopping Center at the corner of U.S. 160 and Pinon Causeway. Look for the new name as well - The Plaid Pony Gifts and Flowers. Michael can always be counted on for first-class work on anything he touches, so I am most anxious to see his new endeavor. Congrats and best of luck, Michael.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Many celebrated birthdays in February

A couple of our sweet ladies celebrated birthdays last week - Adelina Lovato on Feb. 21 and Clara Kelly on Feb. 22. Adelina's daughter and granddaughter, Janene and Michelle Lovato, ate with us on Wednesday to take part in honoring Adelina.

On Friday we celebrated all the birthdays for the month of February. We honored Bobby Risinger, Jimmie and Vernon Day, Carolyn Hansen, Phil Heitz, Willie Trujillo, Kathleen McCulloch, and Mary Standefer. We were happy to have Beverly Arendale and Vic White join us for the celebration. We hope all these special folks had wonderful birthdays.

Prayers are requested for a couple of our seniors - Carlo Carrannante and his wife, Lee. Carlo is hospitalized in Durango with complications from diabetes, and Lee is currently residing in the nursing home at Mancos. Since Carlo is the primary caregiver for Lee, this is especially difficult for both of them.

We were sad to learn that Glorifica Montoya, one of our shut-ins, passed away. Funeral services were held on Monday at the Catholic church. Her family will be in our prayers.

Another of our couples was in an accident in Durango on Thursday - Louise and Kurt Diedring. Please keep them in your prayers, too.

We honor Ingrid Leppitsch as our Senior of the Week! Ingrid and Sepp are long-time members of our group and we are happy to have them back with us after some unfortunate health problems.

Bill Bright and Laura Rome spoke to us Friday about medical services and urgent care offered on weekends at Mary Fisher Clinic as well as sliding scale fees for those unable to pay full fees. The urgent care facility is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and is set up for walk-ins (no weekend appointments may be made during the week). The sliding fee scale is based on ability to pay - up to a 50-percent reduction depending on income and number of persons in the home. Applications must be filled out in advance so they can be approved prior to the applicant needing care. Applications may be obtained from Musetta at the Center. This will mainly benefit Medicare recipients.

On Feb. 28, the Future Business Mens League of America offered their services to help clean and fix up our Center. Thanks to these young people! We are always appreciative of help donated to improve our facilities.

Rosemary LaVigre is welcomed as a new member this week. We are happy to have you join us Rosemary.

A big thank you to Carol Martin for her donation of ceramics, paints and brushes for our Center. Hopefully we can have some afternoon work sessions soon to instruct our folks in this wonderful hobby.

The Senior Center needs a couple of nice chairs for our front room. If anyone has chairs to donate, please contact Musetta at 264-2167. Unfortunately, our current chairs are no longer usable.

Curves for Women is participating in a National Food Drive to supplement local food banks and Casa De Los Arcos Senior Housing. Non-perishable food items may be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce or at Curves for Women. If you have questions, please call Curves at 731-0333 or the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360.

Betty Willett at the American Legion is requesting donations of cookies, which will be taken to the Veterans Home in Alamosa.

Our shopping trip to Durango on March 1 has been canceled. The trips scheduled for March 15 and 29 should go as planned if enough folks sign up. Please contact Payge at 264-2250 to sign up.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Stinging creatures becoming less rare

I'm always envious of people who tell me they regularly sleep in until 7 or 8 in the morning. Regularly! I count it a rare day if we're still in bed at 6. But it's getting easier now that the sun rises around that time.

The other morning Hotshot stumbled down the hallway in the 5 a.m. gloom. A few minutes later he came back and fell back into bed.

"I'm having a very strange event," he told me. "There's an excruciating pain in my toes."

I looked at his foot. Saw nothing. Maybe, just maybe, a middle toe was swelling, a tiny bit. But it must have been something; the poor guy was writhing in pain.

"It started all of a sudden," he said. "Like maybe something bit me." I went down the hall myself and saw, on the floor, also writhing in pain, a wasp.

A wasp. In our house!

We get them in the summer, but this was February. Isn't it enough to deal with cold and snow and muddy roads? Why can't these creatures wait until spring to wake up?

When we lived in Texas, we met a lot of unfriendly insects. Fire ants. Scorpions. Lots of things with sharp spines to sting the unwary.

My favorite was a Mexican centipede that occasionally showed up. About 6-inches long, as big around as your finger, with body segments of a hard shiny black. At one end the head and a pair of stingers were bright orange.

The tail end, with another pair of stingers, was yellow. Or maybe the colors were the other way around.

It looked like a plastic toy, something made by Fisher-Price in a nightmare world. I'll bet the sting was a nightmare too.

We had scorpions in our house the first year we lived there. Apparently they hang around lumber yards and lay eggs on the boards. When your brand-new house warms up in the summer, the eggs hatch. Here come the kids, looking for whatever it is that scorpions look for.

We had scorpions in the ceiling light fixtures, scorpions stumbling across the floors.

We didn't walk around barefoot. Like cowboys on a trail drive, we shook out our boots - well, actually our slippers - each morning before we slipped our feet into them.

One afternoon I opened the front door to go get the mail, and a scorpion walked in like an invited guest. Like he'd come for tea and chitchat. Sort of, "Oh, what a nice house you have." It was a short visit.

Outdoors we dealt with fire ants. There were usually two or three mounds in our yard, so when you mowed the lawn (on foot) you had to step lively after you whacked one of them and set all the little ants scurrying around.

Now you people who've lived in Texas or in the South alongside the fire ants already know this, but we learned the hard way that these little red critters crawl over your sneakers and up your legs until their numbers reach some critical mass, and then the word goes out-Sting! You don't feel the preliminary climbing, but you sure know when they all bite at once.

On backpack trips to the state parks we were vigilant against ticks. Chiggers were another matter, since you couldn't see the little critters. You didn't know you were bitten until the next day, when those little red itchy spots developed.

Of course we had wasps in Texas. Around our house were the relatively benign mud daubers, which built nests under the eaves. Sometimes we encountered fiercer ones, usually away from home.

Like the time we went cedar chopping. Cedar, really a kind of juniper, is regarded as a weed in south Texas. In the winter it releases a fine pollen, so fine that many otherwise healthy people develop an allergy to it. "Cedar fever" is marked by runny nose, scratchy throat, watery eyes. It can last for weeks, and it comes and goes with the pollen count.

Around San Antonio, the cedar pollen count is a regular feature of the weather report, like wind chill in Chicago.

Cedar grows among the live oak mottes. Live oaks are good, cedars bad. So a lot of energy gets vested in chopping out the fast-growing young cedars, so they won't compete with the oaks for water and nutrients.

Always on the lookout for service projects for the Explorer Scout post we advised, we lined up a job at a local state park, one with a river running through the middle. We'd chop cedar in the morning and cool off in the river in the afternoon. Work and fun.

So there we were in the area the ranger sent us to, busy with our hand axes and small saws, cutting and hacking and digging roots. Dusty and dirty. Sweat streaming down, burning our eyes. Asking each other from time to time, "Are we having fun yet?"

Suddenly I felt a sharp burning pain on my bare leg. Even as I looked down at the black hornet there, he stung a second time. And there were several more hornets on my arm and legs, all busy stinging away. I had blundered into a nest, and the inhabitants were expressing their disapproval.

I leaped out of that clump of cedar brush and oak sapling, jumping and brushing my hands rapidly up and down my legs, like someone afflicted with the medieval St. Vitus' Dance. Oh, and yelling too.

I mean, it's one thing to be stoic, but that HURT.

One of the perks of living and hiking here in Pagosa Country is the scarcity of stinging and biting critters. We're not supposed to have to deal with them.

So when Hotshot gets attacked by a wasp, in his own home, that's more than pain. It's offensive. It's a declaration of war.

I'm calling the exterminators.

Correction:

A reader said the numbers in my last cancer column didn't add up and I might want to re-examine them. He's right.

I should have said that statistically, in five years, with no treatment, 25 (or more) of us would have a recurrence. With tamoxifen and radiation 15 of us would have a recurrence (85 still cancer-free), and if you include chemotherapy 12 would have a recurrence (88 would be "okay").

I got it backwards and so did my proof reader, who prides himself on his understanding of statistics. The bottom line - 3 percent helped by chemo - is still the same. I'm taking the risk that I'm one of the other 97 percent.

I apologize for the confusion.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Good response prompts second swimming session

The Recreation Center has had such good response to its swim lessons that it is gearing up to offer another eight-lesson session starting March 6.

Classes will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays through March 29. Sessions for Shrimp (school age level 1) will be from 6 to 6:30 p.m.; followed by Tadpoles (preschool level 1) from 6:30 to 7 p.m.; Minnows (preschool level 2) from 7 to 7:30 p.m.; and Perch (school age level 2) from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Please call the recreation center at 731-2051 for class descriptions and registration information. Swim instructor Steve Elges makes the lessons interesting for the little ones by incorporating games and swim aids in each session.

Pagosa Lakes fishing permits for the 2001-2002 season will go on sale today instead of April, and will be valid through Feb. 28, 2002.

If you already have a season permit for 2000-2001, your permit will be valid until March 31, as printed on the permit. Starting in 2002, the annual fishing season dates will be from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2003 and henceforth will remain so until further changes by the board of directors.

Why are these changes being made? First, to synchronize the Pagosa Lakes fishing season with that of the state to eliminate some of the confusion that has been occurring. Second, to make permits available earlier in the year so folks are able to fish as soon as the ice comes off of the lakes, usually in March.

Sales of fishing permits will be available from a number of different locations. In addition to the recreation center, the PLPOA administrative office on Port Avenue in the Vista subdivision will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist with the sales of fishing permits. To provide an opportunity for out-of-town property owners to conveniently purchase a permit, a mail-in application form was included in the latest PLPOA newsletter. Simply fill out the form and submit it with your check and the permit will be sent through the mail.

The 2001 annual fishing season in Pagosa Lakes is gearing up to be an exciting one. With lots of snow pack in the high country we should be in good shape as far as water supply for the lakes this year. Another factor that is going to help immensely is the fact that Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation is nearing completion of a new water treatment plant and a San Juan River pipeline project. This is going to take most of the water-use pressure off Hatcher Lake and hopefully end the days when this lake is drawn to extremely low levels in order to supply potable water to Pagosa Lakes residents.

Larry Lynch, with the help and support of a hardworking Lakes, Fisheries and Parks committee has been planning new programs for this season. In addition to the annual kid's fishing derby in June, an adult Pagosa Lakes fishing tournament will be held with the date to be announced later. For beginning anglers, "How to Fish" brochures will provide tips on hot spots and hot baits. Be on the lookout for announcements.

A new fishing pier will be installed at the dam at Lake Forest this summer, part of a board-approved capital improvement budget for year 2001. The pier will be similar to existing piers at Lake Pagosa and Hatcher Lake. The new pier, along with the parking area constructed just off of the backside of the dam last year, should make a very nice amenity for Lake Forest anglers.

San Juan Outdoor Club is sponsoring a cross-country ski outing to Vallecito Lake Saturday. Led by Gale Tuggle, the outing will return to Pagosa at approximately 2 p.m. Both classical and ski-skating are available as the tracks are set for both. If you wish to snowshoe instead, that will be just fine.

The plan is to meet at the Pie Shoppe on North Pagosa Boulevard at 9 a.m. for breakfast or coffee, then caravan to Vallecito Lake. Please bring your own ski equipment, drinking water and snacks. For more information, call Gale at 731-9489.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Read with a child and salute Dr. Seuss

Welcome to "Seussville."

Cathne Holt called to remind us that local elementary school students will be joining millions of other children across the nation tomorrow, celebrating Dr. Seuss' 97th birthday. Activities will be going on all day long starting with a green eggs and ham breakfast.

In conjunction with the birthday celebration, our community has been issued a challenge by the National Education Association to get as many citizens as possible to promise to read at least one-half hour with a child. Pick a child, cuddle up for a good read, and don't forget to say "happy birthday" to Doctor Seuss.

All of our Dr. Seuss books are checked out so we know there's a lot of reading going on - and that's the way we like it.

Garage sale

Spring is just a few weeks away.

I trust your closets are clean and you have plans to sell all of your goodies at the Friends Indoor Garage Sale on Saint Patrick's Day morning. Looking at the calendar, there are many activities going on that day. Get a quick start at the sale from 8 a.m. to noon, and get ready for Rotary's Casino Royale that night. We have some booths left. Call the library at 264-2209 for more information.

New book

Margaret Wilson donated "Coping with Lymphedema," by Joan Swirsky and Diane Sackett Nannery. This swelling can become a chronic disorder for both men and women. We think of it most often connected with breast cancer. Margaret wanted to share this important book with our patrons. She recommends it highly.

The library will have a booth at the upcoming 9Health Fair displaying the many excellent resources we have on medical issues. This noteworthy book will be one of them.

Meet legislators day

The Christian Home Educators of Colorado are sponsoring a "Meet Your Legislator Day" March 29. The Western Slope Conference will be April 20-21. Then, the Annual State Conference will be June 21-23 in Denver. Ask for information these activities at the desk.

E-mergency

According to an article in Four Corners Business Journal, the segment of the U.S. Population between the ages of 10 and 17 now are called Generation "Y." They will spend close to a third of their lives (23 years, two months) on the Internet, and two-thirds of that generation will meet their future mates on-line.

The article went on to say that the Internet has crept into every part of our lives, and instead of ignoring or avoiding it, parents and managers need to embrace the situation or become casualties as we are passed by.

We have a copy of this article if you are interested in any more statistics on Generation Y. The article by Michael Fortino also has some suggestions of things families can do to balance this social "E-mergency" caused by Internet use and misuse.

Volunteers

We have a wonderful group of volunteers who help us run the library. We are always looking for new people who want to join our group.

The major job volunteers do for us is shelving books and keeping the collection in good shape. Our current volunteers donate enough hours to make up for more than a full-time position. This helps in getting grants and, in general, allows regular staff to get much more done in other areas.

If you would like to be part of this special team, call 264-2209.

Donations

Thank you for financial help from Ralph and Genevieve Phelps in memory of Mary Cloman; Carl R. Jolliff in memory of Dr. Connell Marsh.

Thanks for materials from Bob Howard, Jamie Forest, Mari Khoury, Dick Hillyer, Ruby Honan, Marty Capling, Evelyn Kantas, Mike Greene, Margaret Wilson, Kay Grams, Bill Reardon, the American Legion, Phyllis Decker, Sue Davis, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Dawnie Hayden, and Leo and Victoria Landon.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Pretenders plan 'warped trip through universe'

Thanks to Addie Greer for providing this write-up about the Pagosa Pretender's up-and-coming show to be held on two weekends in March.

"The Pagosa Pretenders' Family Theater is flying off into space with their seventh and upcoming production, "2001: A Space Oddity" and you are invited to join it on this 'warped trip through the universe.'

"The show will run March 9-10 and March 16-17. Shows all begin at 7 p.m. at the High School Auditorium.

"Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door and are priced at $5.50 for adults or $3 for children and seniors.

"Attending shows gives the benefit of good laughs, a unique experience with theater and an enjoyable way to support the arts in Pagosa Springs and the youth in our community, too.

"As you know by now, the Pretenders' have their own way of doing things; it's not your average theater troupe. Their methods allow the youngest children to participate. Even those who desire no lines find a place on stage. Entire families get involved because all the positions, from publicity to design, are filled by volunteers.

"The cast and crew of well over 70 Pagosans, some past 'Pretenders' and some new, have been busy practicing dance steps, rehearsing lines and working on creating some strange and original costumes for your entertainment.

"It takes a huge effort and no one knows this better than Susan Garman and her family. Garman has directed the last two Pretenders shows and starred in the one before that. She has direct experience in every aspect of theater, and her vision and ability to put it all together are astounding. Every member of the Garman family contributes to each production; and many details come alive because of their talent and hard work.

"Set your speed at 'Mach 4' and your coordinates for PSHS Auditorium and beam down for a fabulous romp through space with music at the Pagosa Pretenders pretend a different sort of reality in 2001."

Around town

The annual Upper San Juan Hospital District awards banquet was held at Vista Clubhouse last Saturday evening. The Chairman's Award was given to Ruth Vance "for dedication to Mary Fisher Medical Clinic and extraordinary patient care."

Dick Balboa is the new president of USJHD.

The Bill Moyer's series on end-of-life choices is worth all the effort it takes to attend the sessions. They are free.

The series is hosted by Pagosa Springs Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Mercy Home Health/Hospice, Southwest Colorado Mental Health, and the Pagosa Springs Health Partnership.

For information about the series, call Marilyn Moorhead at 731-2323.

Fun on the run

It used to be only death and taxes were inevitable. Now, of course, there's shipping and handling.

Veterans Corner
by Mike Diver

Women have served since nation's inception

March has been designated National Women's History Month.

It is about highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout our history, while recognizing the equally significant obstacles they had to overcome along the way. For me, it is about the women who bravely fought for our country both in and out of uniform.

The history of American women in the military goes back to the Revolutionary War where women served as nurses, made bullets for soldiers, and even disguised themselves as men so they could fight for independence. As time went on, the military role of women expanded to include espionage, aviation, all aspects of the medical profession, and virtually all military specialties short of direct combat.

Today there are 195,000 American women in uniform and two million women veterans with service ranging from World War I to Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Over 2,000 women have died in service to their country and from the Civil War to the Persian Gulf, many have been forced to endure the hardships of wartime prisoner of war camps.

The highest rank held by a woman in uniform was Lieutenant General (Three Star General) held by U.S. Army LTG Claudia Kennedy, recent Chief of Army Intelligence. The highest decoration earned by a woman was the Congressional Medal of Honor earned by Dr. Mary Walker during the Civil War when she was held for four months in a Confederate prison camp and accused of being a spy for the Union Army.

Since 1978, women have been involved in the NASA Space Program and in February 1995, Americans witnessed the first woman pilot astronaut, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins, launch at Cape Kennedy on STS-63 Discovery. In 1999, Collins became the first woman commander of a space shuttle mission on STS-93 Columbia.

From the foxholes, to the hospitals, to the cockpits, and into space, women have been part of the military since America began fighting for its independence in the 1700s. This month, we should all become more knowledgeable and reflect on the sacrifices these women have made in service to our country. If you have a female friend or relative who served in uniform, take the time to thank them for their service and encourage other young women to follow in their footsteps. Today, the opportunities for women in the military are almost unlimited - who knows what tomorrow will bring.

For information on your veteran's benefits, call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is vsoarch@pagosa.net. The office is open from 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.

Parks & Rec
by Douglas Call

Three adult basketball leagues in competition

The Adult Basketball season is now in full swing with games scheduled at 6:15, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday evenings. The season's second half schedules are available at Town Hall and have been distributed at games. The three leagues, men's recreation, men's competitive and women's league, will run through the middle of March. The women's league tournament will begin March 12, and the men's competitive and recreational tournaments will begin March 19. For more information, contact the recreation office at 264-4151.

Youth Basketball

The 11-and 12-year-old season concluded Tuesday with their tournament games. Many thanks to the dozens of volunteer coaches for their time and effort to help make this a successful season.

Haven't gotten your player's pictures yet? Pictures can be picked up at Pagosa Photography at their new location on San Juan Street. Please call Jeff Laydon with questions at 264-3686.

Park and Recreation Commission Meeting

The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Items on the agenda will include: a discussion of an abandoned tower on Reservoir Hill, a future plan for the recreation department based on the survey results, a youth basketball wrap-up and information about the 2001 baseball season. The Commission currently has a vacancy on the board. Interested people should provide a letter of interest to the Commission or attend a Commission meeting. All meetings are held at Town Hall and begin at 6 p.m.

In Sync with Isabel
by Isabel Willis

Learn heart attack's warning signs; act quickly

February was American Heart Month.

I have been reminded by several community members that all too often when somebody has a heart attack in Pagosa Springs, we know them or are related to them. I was asked to research a few areas of concern.

Heart disease affects so many lives and is our nation's number-one killer. About half of the deaths from heart disease are from heart attacks, with at least 250,000 people dying before they get to the hospital.

Many of these deaths can be prevented by acting fast.

Warning signs of a heart attack are pressure, fullness, discomfort or squeezing in the center of your chest. It lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. You might feel pain that goes to your shoulders, neck or arms. You sweat and have discomfort in your chest and feel light-headed, faint, sick to your stomach or short of breath.

If you suspect a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

Why don't people act fast enough? Half of all people having a heart attack wait more than two hours before getting help. That's like letting yourself bleed from a bad cut for two hours before stopping the bleeding and going to the doctor for stitches. If you learn the warning signs of a heart attack and get help right away, the life you save could be your own.

Some people think they might be embarrassed if they report a "false alarm." Others are so afraid of having a heart attack that they tell themselves they aren't having one. These feelings are easy to understand, but they're also very dangerous. If you or someone close to you shows signs of a heart attack, get help or go to the closest emergency facility.

In Archuleta County, EMTs are on call around the clock, seven days a week. They are highly trained and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified. After receiving an emergency call, they are on the road within one minute. Their average response time from the initial 911 call to arrival on-scene is eight minutes, with most of their calls coming from the Pagosa Springs area or Pagosa Lakes.

If a patient is having a heart attack, emergency medical responders immediately administer aspirin (if the victim has not already done so), then nitroglycerin, next an I.V. and then morphine. When they arrive at the clinic, an EKG is performed and, if necessary, a drug called Retavase is administered. This drug is often referred to as "Drano."

Heart failure means your heart isn't pumping blood as well as it should. It keeps working, but the body doesn't get all the blood and oxygen that it needs. Retavase opens up the arteries, allowing oxygen and blood to flow freely to your heart. The drug is administered under supervision of a physician, and the procedure has been very well researched.

Heart attacks are time-sensitive: the sooner you get care, the less damage to your heart. Our EMTs play a very important role in our community and their jobs are not easy. They respond to at least 80 cardiac-related calls a year; at least half of those are actual heart attacks.

How can you help the EMTs? How can you help yourself?

For starters, talk to your doctor, nurse, or health care professional - a cardiologist visits both local clinics on a monthly basis. You can also call the American Heart Association at 1-800-242-8721.

Often we are afraid to ask questions when something frightens us. I hope the information in this column has helped ease a few minds.

Donations

As always, if you are interested in donating to local families, the elderly, or disabled adults, call me and your donation will be accepted. A tax receipt will be prepared for you.

Local families have an immediate need for two crib mattresses. If you can donate these items, even if you do not have means of transportation, call me at 264-2182 ext. 212 and I will help you make arrangements.

Editorials

Oil and Gas Meeting

There will be a meeting held March 7 concerning issues related to growth and development in Archuleta County.

There is a full agenda of growth and land-use issues ahead for local elected officials and the prospect of increased gas drilling operations in the county is one item that must be considered.

Morris Bell of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will speak at the Archuleta County Fair Building March 7. Bell brings with him a wealth of knowledge about the current state of the industry and about regulatory elements that shape the behavior of the industry.

There is accelerating pressure to develop energy resources and there are significant untapped gas reserves beneath the surface of the ground in Archuleta County.

The coincidence of accelerating need and the reserves makes increased drilling activity in Archuleta County inevitable. Forces for and against drilling activity are being marshaled, characterized by conflicting motives of profit and environmental protection.

Gas wells bring profit to well operators and owners of mineral rights. Many property owners profit from production. Governmental entities can realize major tax revenues when extensive drilling takes place. The potential for profits and tax revenue exists in Archuleta County

But there is also legitimate concern about damage to the environment. In La Plata County, stories of methane-polluted water wells abound. Gas wells proposed for sites near residential areas have become the object of great concern and contention.

Some in the gas industry want regulations lessened. Some want requirements dealing with minimum spacing of wells changed to allow more wells per specified area.

La Plata County government has responded to its situation by unleashing its planning department to identify potential well sites near residential developments, and take a proactive approach to deal with problems before they erupt.

State legislators are considering bills to protect the rights of surface owners, allowing them to negotiate with oil and gas companies before wells are drilled; to allow owners of surface rights to obtain abandoned mineral rights; to require title insurance companies to notify potential buyers when mineral rights are owned by others. What are the Archuleta County Commissioners going to do?

According to Commissioner Alden Ecker, he is going to attend the March 7 meeting to gain information knowing the commissioners "have to write some new regulations. We're definitely looking for information that will allow us to prevent citizens of the county from being taken advantage of. The question is just not how much money a citizen or the county can accrue."

It is time for Archuleta County residents who want to see a reasonable balance struck between growth of the gas industry and protection of the land and personal rights to learn more about the situation as well.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell
Taking a look at our options

Dear Folks,

This has been an interesting week.

Learning how to delegate my responsibilities to someone else is the perfect tonic for cabin fever.

My first goal is to relearn the nuances of the working relationship between an editor and a managing editor. John Motter helped me as my first managing editor. I spent most of my time asking questions. Now that Karl is my managing editor I imagine I'll be busy learning how to help without hindering.

I'm sure I'll also be asking lots of questions. One of the drawbacks of being a learner is that you always have more questions than answers. But that's all right.

One of my professors in college used to say that while it was important to know the answers, it was even more important to know where the answers can be found. He placed a higher priority on knowing how to access information from the library, available resource materials or resource individuals rather than knowing all the answers. He didn't down play the accumulation of viable answers, he just strongly emphasized the importance of asking pertinent questions.

So I was surprised to read last week that Commissioner Crabtree is wanting to "know the answers to everyone's questions." I wish him good luck. With the recent resignations of the county engineer, director of county development, building inspector and county manager, the sources of reliable pertinent information are shrinking significantly.

I'll be surprised if Gene makes any connection to the numerous resignations and his amateur attempts at micro managing the professional administrators of the county's various departments.

It also was surprising to read that Gene was "surprised" that the county manager resigned. It's not surprising that he thought calling an executive session - "to see what our options are" - was a legitimate answer.

It won't be surprising if he fails to consider his reflex tendency to call executive sessions conflicts with his stated interest of improving communication with the public. Of course Gene's no stranger to conflicts of interest.

It will be interesting to see how his "give an answer now and work out the details later" approach works as he starts "some shuffling to fill the vacancy" of county engineer, building inspector, etcetera.

Knowing the consequences of years past, it will be interesting to watch as the commissioners "run the county" while they search for a "county administrator." It's not the first time for a local elected body to change a job title with the departure of a professional manager.

When the town dismissed its town manager in the early 1980s, the trustees likewise voted to do away with the position itself. After a couple of the trustees eventually tired of their efforts at managing the town, the town board created the position of "town administrator" and hired a professional .

It's good to hear that Alden Ecker admits that you can't conduct public business in the same manner you conduct your own private business. He's realizing that while it's acceptable to conduct private business in a coffee shop, that's not a good place to conduct public business. Public business has to be conducted in public or folks will start asking all kinds of questions and wanting legitimate answers.

There's another important difference between conducting private business and public business. When you're running a private business you are spending your own or someone else's private money; when you're conducting public business you're spending folks public taxes. And taxpayers consistently raise questions and demand answers when their money is involved.

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

Legacies
By Shari Pierce100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of Feb. 28, 1901

The snow is not going as fast as people think. It is, however, going rapidly about town and on the south hill slopes, but on the slopes to the north and on level ground very little difference can be seen.

Miss Helena Hersch departed for a short visit with her parents at Santa Fe Monday. Mrs. G.S. Hatcher is taking charge of the books at the store during her absence.

L.C. Patrick, of Pagosa Springs, was in Aztec Tuesday, returning from Durango to Farmington, at which latter place he is feeding his cattle this winter. Mr. Patrick is chairman of the board of commissioners of Archuleta county and one of the leading citizens of Pagosa Springs.

E.M. Taylor says he will have to feed his stock at least thirty days yet if we have no more snow.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 26, 1926

Tomorrow evening the Houser Lumber Manufacturing company is closing down the sawmill for a period of about thirty days, in order to undergo general repairs and also wait for better logging conditions. Log cutting and skidding will be continued, however.

The epidemic of influenza, colds and other sickness reached the pinnacle this week, causing a heavy decrease in school attendance and other activities in this community. So many absences at school, both pupils and teachers, led to the closing of school yesterday noon until Monday morning.

An unusually large amount of snow fell at this place during the past ten days, there being five feet at this writing.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 2, 1951

A group of local and rural residents met with the County Superintendent, officials of the local school and the school board of District 50 last Thursday night to discuss the need and possibility of a new school building in town, a new building at Pagosa Junction and remodeling of the present school building at Chromo.

The Pagosa Buccaneers ended conference play last weekend when they beat Dove Creek 49-26. Stollsteimer was high man with 15 points and LaVarta was second with 9.

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Edmonds and son were dinner guests at the Dick DeVore home Thursday evening of last week.

The Pagosa Towners travelled to Bayfield Sunday to play the return match against Bayfield and lost by two points 58-56.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 26, 1976

Two children, waiting for a school bus on U.S. 160 about 4 miles west of town, escaped serious injury last Friday when they were struck by an eastbound out-of-control vehicle. The vehicle went out of control on the icy road and slid about 240 feet on the north shoulder of the road before striking Kathy and Billy Bartholomew and knocking them about 30 feet through the air. Both suffered minor injuries.

The Pagosa Pirate ski team did very well in the state ski meet in Durango last weekend. Barbara Seielstad finished sixth in the girls slalom and 19th in the giant slalom and was named to the all-state team. In the boy's division, Kurt Laverty finished 15th in the giant slalom and eighth in the slalom and 27th in the jumping event.

Features
Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Wildlife often make Pagosa their hometown

Having wildlife in town is one of the amazing characteristics of Pagosa Springs.

Oh sure, it happens in other mountain towns too, but somehow the incidents seem of more import when they happen here.

Take, for example, the Jackisch Drug visit several years ago by a bear with a penchant for pharmaceuticals. Actually, it was just seeking the quickest pathway out of the morass of people and vehicles it had wandered into and an open door seemed like a way to get away.

The animal went out the back door as quickly as possible and when last seen was heading for what is now known as Paradise Mesa.

It provided one unexpected benefit. The bear became an advertising icon for the drug store and remains such today.

When I was a youngster living in an apartment building which no longer exists at Third and Lewis streets (directly below what is now known as Mesa Heights but was raw natural habitat then), one extremely severe winter resulted in the arrival in town of a number of deer seeking shelter and food.

One of them, an aging doe, found a nighttime nest and solace in a corner of our front porch. She showed up every night after dusk, grazed in the yard for a few moments, and then climbed the steps to the porch where she curled up for the night.

During the daytime, she was often seen standing high on the hill above the school.

Children in the neighborhood were thrilled to have the animal right where they could observe her.

But some began teasing her as they walked to school in the morning.

One day she had taken all the verbal torment she could and turned on them. She rambled down the stairs and with her ancient legs scrambling mightily, raced right at them.

You've never seen kids move so quickly.

They complained to the parents about the dangerous deer. The parents complained to authorities and the authorities decided the old animal was too dangerous to be allowed to remain in town.

When they tried to capture her, however, she fought back. I wasn't there, but I was told they decided on the spot that she had to be destroyed.

There are times when an animal becomes a danger to man because of surroundings. The animal is not familiar with what is man's because the animal's ancestors were there first, in most cases.

There seems to be a genetic direction finder in the wildlife makeup that brings them back to spots where their ancestors found food, drink and shelter. They are not aware they are in danger. Man likes to see them but equates their presence in civilization as a threat.

It is always a thrill to me to see the majestic elk survey his realm. Two Sundays ago, I was alerted to a herd of the animals in town. I expected to find three or four who had wandered a little too close to civilization.

Imagine my surprise when I counted 32 in the herd within about 200 feet of the nearest home. I suspect there were more of them back in the brush. They were taking advantage of newly available ground cover where only days before a pre-spring thaw there had been only ice and snow.

The southwest facing area they were grazing was privileged to get a bulk of the daytime sun.

A nearby neighbor said the elk had been visiting for two or three days, generally right at dusk. She also noted there is a flock of wild turkey which comes to the same general tract at about sunrise each day.

The following morning I checked the area and there they were. A somewhat scraggly flock to be certain - probably recovering from the ravages of a food shortage produced by a severe winter - they were grazing like mad on the grasses and weeds along the fence line of a residential street.

Others have seen bobcats and mountain lions nearly inside the town limits, an indication they'll move where the food is most likely to be. Since elk and deer are among their natural targets, it is understandable they'll go where the big herds go.

All those hunters who couldn't find a target during the hunting season would be amazed to see the animals they sought coming right into the same town they used as a base of operation to get into the high country and the supposed habitat of the "trophy kill".

Maybe that genetic link mentioned earlier tells the animals when the hunter is here - or is gone for the season.

It won't be long until another of the denizens of the animal world, one we all hate to have in our neighborhoods, makes its spring debut.

Skunks have been a blight on man's residential aspirations for years. They not only leave their telltale odor, but are noted destroyers of carefully nurtured turf and are energetic gobblers of flowers and ornamental plants.

A neighbor's dogs found one of the two-toned marauders in their yard a couple of years ago and challenged the nocturnal visitor. They were the worse for wear after the encounter, each victimized by the odorous spray.

They couldn't be allowed back in the house and had to be taken to the friendly animal beauty salon for a clean sweep for and aft. Even in the animal kingdom, it seems, there are do's and don't's one must learn.

Another problem animal for domesticated pets is the porcupine. Several have been seen in town in the last few years, but more generally, they come into contact with inquisitive pets patrolling the grounds of larger suburban properties. I've seen several dogs brought to veterinarians with the results of those encounters embedded in their faces.

The dogs defend their property but lose the battle to a slow moving but heavily armed quadruped with a vengeful manner.

The point of this animalistic nostalgia is that there is room in Pagosa Country for man and beast alike.

The wild animals are just that. They have become cognizant of man's presence and they have realized man leaves waste which can provide sustenance. But they still regard the entire area as their own natural home, handed down to them just as a grandparent passes along property to their childrens' children.

We need to co-exist. Otherwise, the members of the animal kingdom could join forces someday and easily outnumber the humans.

And then it might be homo sapiens trying to find a place to hide from the killer among them.

That is why, when we see groups of wild animals in town, we don't specify location. We want to enjoy them, not put them in danger of the poacher.

And we want to be regarded in the animal mind as no threat.

We don't want to become the human who had to be "put down' because it took away an original wildlife right.

Old Timers
By John Motter

D.L. Egger's early 'News' serves historians

When D.L. Egger arrived in Pagosa Country in April of 1890 and started the Pagosa Springs News, he performed a real service for posterity. For the first time, the events of Pagosa Country were being recorded on a weekly basis. It is almost impossible to estimate the value of that weekly record for those of us interested in the history of the area.

Prior to 1890, we have no regular record. We know New Mexico settlers visited the San Juan Valley as early as 1765 and other Hispanic visits to the valley followed. Some of those early visitors recorded what they saw and did, and others left no records. Fur trappers started visiting the valley as early as the 1820s. Fur trappers didn't write much. I know of no description of the San Juan Valley left by any trapper.

The Army's Capt. John N. Macomb visited the valley and Pagosa Springs in 1859. Macomb left a great deal of information still available in a government report. Following the discovery of gold near Silverton in 1860 and near Summitville in 1870, a number of argonauts visited the San Juans. They left a scattering of records. So did newspapers sprinkled around the Rocky Mountains, but not in the San Juans.

Then, Lake City and Silverton and Del Norte came to life, each with a newspaper and an occasional article about Pagosa Springs, even though there was still no town and no settlement near the Great Pagosa Hot Springs. Circa 1876-1878, settlement around today's Pagosa Springs began along with, in 1878, the erection of Fort Lewis in the downtown Pagosa Springs area. We catch glimpses of what was happening in Pagosa Springs during this era from official Army records and from outside newspapers. Pioneer settlers have left us a few memoirs from those very early days.

Fort Lewis came and went, Pagosa Springs was surveyed and lots sold by the U.S. Government, Archuleta County was created in 1885, and Egger started a permanent newspaper in 1890. The town of Pagosa Springs was legally organized in 1891. And so we know a lot happened locally before Egger arrived that we only learn about tangentially.

County records exist starting in 1885 and they help. Archuleta County was part of Conejos County prior to 1885 and one would think the Conejos County courthouse would have a lot of information pertinent to Pagosa Country, but it doesn't. That is because the Conejos County courthouse burned, along with most of the early records.

And so, I repeat, we are greatly indebted to Egger. Starting with the 1890 Pagosa Springs News, we have a relatively thorough weekly account of events in Pagosa Country.

What did Egger have to say during the early months of his reporting tenure?

Well, there was the Archuleta family for whom the county is named. Archuletas are numbered among the first settlers. It is said they homesteaded in the Edith area in 1876.

Newspaper item: "E.T. Walker, our lumberman, last week delivered the lumber for A.D. Archuleta's new barn (in Pagosa Springs). Mr. Archuleta is putting his property in excellent shape. The large dwelling has been handsomely papered and a bay window added on the south side, and has let the contract to L.A. Poynter to grade the lots, enclose them with a neat fence, and erect the barn."

Motter's comment: I am not certain if the Archuleta property described is the same property where the two-story brick house remains on Pagosa Street to this day between 3rd and 2nd streets. At one time, A.D. Archuleta simultaneously operated general stores in Lumberton, Edith, and Pagosa Springs.

Newspaper item: A.D. Archuleta of Amargo was in the city this week looking up a location for a tie camp. He selected one fourteen miles up the river from this place, where he will begin immediately to cut 100,000 ties for the D.& R.G. The ties will be floated down the river to the railroad. Mr. Archuleta wants 30 men at once to cut ties, and they can take contracts for any number they wish. A supply store will be put in at the camp for the cutter's convenience.

Motter's comment: A glance at a map reveals Tie Camp Creek feeding the East Fork of the San Juan River. A glance at this news item reveals the source of the name Tie Camp Creek.

Newspaper item: A number of tie cutters came up from Amargo Tuesday, and have gone up the river to the proposed camp.

Newspaper item: E.T. Walker has contract with the D.&R.G. to saw 30,000 railroad ties. He will move his sawmill further up the river where the tie timber is plenty. E.T. Walker, who grew up in Virginia and served in the Confederate Army, had one of the first lumber mills to Pagosa Country, started in 1879. It was powered by a steam boiler. Walker's ranch was located at the highways 160 and 84 intersection.

Newspaper item: The half-way house between the Springs and Amargo has been abandoned, Mr. Byrne having moved to Amargo. The trip between the two points will hereafter be made with but one stop, at Gladwyn.

Motter's comment: The halfway house formerly stood where Highway 84 passes next to the entrance to Valle Seco Road. I am told at least the foundation stones remained into the 1930s, then were used for the small check dams constructed for erosion control a little further south on Highway 84. Gladwyn was an official post office probably located in the log house now lived in by Mrs. Phyllis Bogert on the north side of the Blanco River. The stage from first Amargo, and after 1895, Lumberton, ran past Mrs. Bogert's house. That route was abandoned during the 1930s. The Bogert house is a companion to the log house visible along the west side of Highway 84 just south of the Lower Blanco Road exit. Both houses are said to have been built by members of the pioneer Chambers family at an unrecorded date. This item hints that they may have existed by 1890.

Newspaper item: Charlie Byrne (F. A. Byrne's brother) did not arrive with Saturday's mail until Sunday morning. Saturday night was very dark and he got off of the road, and turned up at John Flaugh's about midnight.

Motter's comment: We're not sure, but we think Flaugh lived on the Blanco at that time. There were several Flaugh's and some also lived in the Echo Lake area. Of course there was no Echo Lake at that time.

Newspaper item: From the postal reports as published in the Denver News we learn that the post office at Gladwyn is discontinued after April 30th and the mail goes to Cornville. Where is Cornville?

Motter's comment: I have to agree with Egger. Where is Cornville?

Newspaper item one week later: The post office department has notified the postmaster at this place to receive all books and supplies in the Gladwyn office as that office was discontinued from yesterday. We have not learned why Gladwyn is no more, and cannot perceive the motive for its abandonment as it is on the direct route between Pagosa Springs and Amargo and the delivery of the mail was no expense to that department, and the office was convenient for the settlers on the Rio Blanco, who are now 10 or 12 miles from any post office.

Motter's comment: I'd like to talk to an old timer who knows anything about Gladwyn.

Newspaper item: Louis Blank, a steady German residing on Four Mile Creek, called at the office last Saturday and deposited the necessary cash ($2) for a year's subscription. Mr. Blank is an old timer and was in Denver when he could have purchased the whole town for a song.

Motter's comment: Settlement in Denver began about 1859, long before the 1876 settlement of Pagosa Country. We'd like to know more about Blank and where and how he lived on Four Mile Creek. We mention this as illustrative of the existence of an uncounted number of folks who lived in Pagosa Country during the early days, then moved on without leaving a trace.

Newspaper item: A.J. Lewis's building at the west end of the bridge is being fitted up for a saloon. Sam Coppinger is papering the lower room and when finished will be one of the finest business rooms in town.

Motter's comment: Is this the building located on the river bank on the northeast corner of San Juan and Pagosa streets which for many years served as Town Hall? Or is it one of the false front buildings on the southeast corner of the same intersection formerly located where the Riverside Restaurant stands today? Some folks say the old town hall building had its inception as a bakery built and used by the Army during the days of Fort Lewis. I am not inclined to believe that story, but think the building was erected during the late 1880s. We do know it served as a butcher shop and saloon before the town took over. We also know it stood on public property, on a corner of Otis Park as shown in the 1883 town survey. Otis Park is the same park we still have along Hermosa Street just east of U.S. 160 and the 4th Street stoplight, you know, town park.

One of my favorite Pagosa Country places has always been Amargo. I'm not going to explain why at this time, but merely point out that there is no Amargo today. There was in 1890, even in 1880.

Newspaper item: It is reported that the town of Amargo will make extensive improvements this summer. A saw mill there is now manufacturing the lumber with which to construct the many new buildings.

Newspaper item: M.A. Lucero and Antonio Lobato, of Amargo, are registered at the Ruder House (in Pagosa Springs). Mr. Lucero will soon open a first class saloon at Amargo.

Newspaper item: Mr. H. Harpst, who was a guest at the Ruder House for several days, returned to his home at Amargo last Monday.

Amargo supports four saloons and three general stores.

Motter's comment: No comment at this time.

Referring to the Pagosa Springs Herald, possibly the first newspaper in Archuleta County we read the following items.

Newspaper advertisement: Printing outfit for sale. The printing material which was used in publishing the "Pagosa Springs Herald" is for sale at a bargain. For particulars address this office (The Pagosa Springs News).

Newspaper item copied from the Antonito Sentinel: The Pagosa Springs News, Vol. 1, No. 1, arrived at our desk this week. It is an improvement over the old Pagosa Springs Herald, published at that place last summer.

Motter: No comment.

Births

Braden Christie

Shaun and Sue Christie of Pueblo would like to announce the arrival of a new son, Braden Robert Christie, born in Pueblo on Feb. 1, 2001. The 9 lb. 4 oz. baby boy is the grandson of Joel Christie and Wanda Christie of Pagosa Springs.

Business News
Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

2/21

48

16

-

-

-

2/22

47

15

-

-

-

2/23

44

12

-

-

-

2/24

36

13

S

1.50

.21

2/25

34

14

-

-

-

2/26

33

17

S

4.50

.76

2/27

38

16

-

-

-