Several Arboles residents are speaking out against methane gas well drilling, even as the Archuleta County Planning Department hones regulations designed to speed the process for obtaining a drilling permit in the county.
Methane gas wells create noise, sight and dust pollution, according to the complainants, contaminate drinking water sources, lower the water table, and reduce property values.
"We're over the hill from the drilling on dump road (CR 973)," said Sharman Alto who lives in Piedra Hills. "The drilling there is creating sleep deprivation. The gas company tells the people with land 'you'll get free gas, we'll build you a road, run a line to your house.' The truth is the gas is diluted with water and worthless and causes wear on heaters, water wells can be polluted, and the water table dropped.
"The gas company people will say anything." Alto continued, "They are incredibly greedy. There are the obvious sounds, and the not-so-obvious sounds. People, domestic animals, and wildlife are all having trouble sleeping. We can hear the wells five miles away in New Mexico. There used to be signs there warning about the wildlife habitat. Not any more."
Alto says she knows people in the area who have gas leaking into their wells so that, when they turn on a water faucet in the house, they can light the ensuing discharge with a match.
Janice Herrme in the middle of the property in order to insure privacy. They enjoyed the use of a 60 gallon per minute water well. Not any more. A methane gas well located one-eighth of a mile from their property was deepened. At that time, the Herrera well went almost dry, even though methane gas seeped from spigots in their house.
Janice says she has visited oil and gas regulators in Denver, hoping to find relief.
"They tore up our road, drove across our private property, knocked down our mail box. We got the truck numbers," Janice said. "They refuse to recognize our claims. Three different gas well owners have come and gone and they all say the other is responsible. We can't afford to hire lawyers to fight this. They just laugh at us."
"We don't own the mineral rights, but we're concerned about the gas," said an Arboles land owner who did not want a name in the paper. "I don't see the need for drilling. It used to be quiet there, but it isn't any more. The oil and gas commission limits the night-time noise level to 50 decibels. I can tell you 50 decibels of noise at night is very disturbing."
This landowner voiced concern that the gas well process damages water wells, lowers water tables, and detracts from property values.
San Juan Citizens Alliance, a Durango environmental organization, has scheduled a public meeting June 21 at 7 p.m. in the Allison Grange Hall. The meeting's purpose is to provide information to landowners and mineral owners in the area concerning oil and gas development.
"The Alliance has been involved with these issues for 15 years," said Alan Rolston, an organizer for the environmental organization. "Many of the people there know little or nothing about the oil and gas industry. We'll provide information to help them understand their rights and negotiate contracts. They need to know about surface leases and other devices they can use in dealing with the drillers."
The price paid for natural gas has been climbing, stimulating gas producers to drill in areas previously untapped. One of those areas surrounds the Arboles-Allison communities in the southwestern part of Archuleta County. The Arboles-Allison area abuts La Plata County, home to almost 3,000 wells. Ad valorem taxes on oil and gas wells finance almost half of La Plata County's budget.
Archuleta County has approved three gas drilling permits this year under a Conditional Use Permit process. The permit applicants argued that the county CPU process is unnecessarily cumbersome. The county commissioners agreed with the drillers, and instructed the county planning department to re-write the regulations. The third draft of the new regulations will be ready for review later this month. In essence, the new regulations provide for staff approval of simple drilling situations. More complicated drilling requirements will continue to go through the longer CPU process.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which has oversight of the oil and gas industry in Colorado, is drafting new language thought by some observers to shrink the amount of control counties have over oil and gas well activities.
The county planning office is studying the COGCC modifications to learn how they relate to new local rules being drafted to govern oil and gas activities. The COGCC proposal seems to say that county regulations must agree with state requirements as specified in the permit issued by the COGCC to the driller.
In the past, it has been assumed that COGCC is authorized to regulate technical aspects of oil and gas operations, such as spacing and density. Counties can enact regulations within their authority for land use planning. If operational conflicts develops between counties and the COGCC, it is assumed the state will prevail.
"The way I read it," said Archuleta County Attorney Mary Weiss concerning the COGCC changes, "if the county adopts regulations in direct conflict with the oil and gas commission, the oil and gas commission will win."
According to a 1992 Supreme Court decision Weiss said, "Counties have the ability to regulate local land use unless there is an operational conflict. Operational is not defined. We may have to wait for a lawsuit to test this before we know what we can do."
Rolston argues that county authority over local land uses has not been diminished. He argues that surface owner rights equal mineral owner rights, allowing as little damage as possible to the surface.
The Alliance is working to change oil and gas regulations at the state level, Rolston said, because current laws are antiquated and not appropriate for today's conditions. He contends that the COGCC is one-sided in favor of the oil and gas commission and is staffed with members from the oil and gas industry.
The Archuleta County Planning Commission will review the third draft of proposed oil and gas permitting regulations at its regular meeting June 27. If approved at that meeting, the proposed regulations will be forwarded to the county commissioners for adoption.
A 2001-02 operating budget of $18.83 million was approved Tuesday by the Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, after business manager Nancy Schutz outlined the various financial elements.
The budget represents an increase of $1.83 million over the one for the just concluded school year.
But, as both Schutz and outgoing Superintendent Terry Alley pointed out, there are several funding increases in store for the district in both state and federal grant programs.
In fact, Alley noted, grant funding and Title I increases will allow for hiring additional teachers at the elementary school and bring the average class size in the school under 20 for the first time in many years if enrollment forecasts for next fall are accurate.
Schutz said the budget funding will be 56 percent local and 44 percent by the state, noting the state's per-pupil funding increase and recent approval of Amendment 23 will mean income at least 5 percent higher than in any of the last 20 years.
With a stable enrollment, projected for next year at just under 1,600, the additional funds will mean more money per student.
Key expenditures anticipated include purchase of 92 additional computers for various programs in each of the district's four schools; putting cooks and food service personnel on salary with benefits, and putting bus drivers on an hourly rate rather than on a salary basis.
Specifically, the budget calls for the following (with last year's comparative figure in parentheses):
General Fund, $13,250,000 ($11,550,000); Grants Fund, $445,000 ($374,000); Capital Reserve, $1,450,000 ($1,435,800); Bond Redemption (only the high school project remains), $1,200,000 ($1,280,000); Food Service, $365,000 ($340,000); Trust/Donation, $950,000 ($900,000); Insurance Fund, $925,000 ($920,000); and Student Activity Fund, $250,000 ($220,000).
Schutz told the board all funds are in good shape but that the Insurance Fund, because of several large claims in the last two years, needs to be monitored closely to make sure it stays capable of covering claims.
The budget and appropriations ordinance were adopted on motions by directors Clifford Lucero and Carol Feazel.
With members of the board marveling over the budget's preparation and presentation, director Russ Lee as president pro tem, directed that a letter of commendation be placed in Schutz' personal file saluting her effort.
Alley supported the move, saying other districts have called her budgets "the best to be found."
"In fact," he noted, "last year when the state went to an electronic distribution of data format for school districts, hers was acknowledged to be the only one in the entire state filed correctly on the first effort."
"That shows you what a prize we have in her and her knowledge of educational financing. Thank you, Nancy."
A group of citizens waving placards demanding better roads greeted the Archuleta County commissioners in Arboles June 6.
Protesters met the commissioners as they pulled into the parking lot at the Arboles Catholic Church prepared to conduct a town hall meeting starting at 7 p.m. For several years, the commissioners have conducted periodic meetings in Arboles in order to learn what people are thinking about in the southwestern extreme of the county.
Messages such as "Archuleta County is Unfair," and "You Represent Us Too," and "Remember We Vote," and "We Pay Taxes, We Demand Good Roads" were hoisted in the parking lot and again in the meeting room in the church basement. About 30 people attended the meeting.
Most of those complaining about roads live in Piedra Hills, many along Sunset Trail. The Piedra Hills subdivision was platted during the 1960s, shortly after the construction of Navajo Lake and before state law required counties to adopt subdivision regulations. As originally built, the roads do not meet county road-building standards. The county has never accepted these roads for maintenance.
Not all of the people present complained about roads, but those who did said their roads are in deplorable condition with little or no base, no gravel, and little or no drainage.
Homeowners from Piedra Hills argue that residents living along about two and one-half miles of Sunset Trail have paid $14,000 in county road taxes over the past 40 or so years, yet receive no road maintenance. They argue the county takes care of roads in the Pagosa Springs area, but ignores its outlying residents, such as those who live in Arboles.
Alden Ecker, the county commissioner liaison to the road and bridge department, told the Piedra Hills homeowners they should form a metropolitan district to raise money for road repairs. Ecker promised county help in organizing the district. In addition, he said, once a district is formed, the county will forward to the district all applicable Highway User Tax Funds received from the state.
Both Ecker and Commissioner Bill Downey promised little immediate help from county road and bridge funds already stretched to the breaking point.
"We'll go away and study our options," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "Then we'll come back and tell you what we can do, if anything."
"We want to know when, how soon, how much - that's what we want to find out," said Audrey Combs.
"I've only seen a blade on my road once,' said Robert Walkinshaw. "My taxes are up 400 percent this year. What are we getting for the increase?"
The commissioners explained that most of the taxes on the property tax list are not collected by the county. They further explained that of the taxes collected by the county, only a small portion, 3.5 mills, is dedicated to roads. The county does not have enough money to respond to all of the requests for road maintenance it receives, they added.
"We're in the process of classifying roads right now," said Downey. "It's my idea that we only maintain arterials and main feeders, not maintain residential roads. It's possible your road will fit in that classification. We're still studying the idea."
When asked if the county might do something about maintenance before a road district is formed, Crabtree replied, "When we get back (to Pagosa Springs), we'll look at the budget and what capital projects are scheduled. Then we'll get back with you. You need help now."
The subject changed when Arboles-area resident Ken Seibel asked about the status of the Community Plan recently endorsed by the county commissioners.
"People who own open space have a lot at stake, everything to lose," said Seibel. "People who own small lots have everything to gain. I don't want to see something that will undermine land values. I'd like to form a local district so we'll have a say."
"You'll be contacted by Mike Preston," Crabtree and Ecker both promised. "He'll give you ideas and suggestions."
"Chapter 5 of the Community Plan could hurt us," Seibel said. "The Division of Wildlife is always for no growth."
Tammy McDowell again changed the subject when she asked about progress on the process of developing gas drilling regulations.
Roads in the Arboles area are already deteriorating fast from the impact of gas well drilling rigs presently in the area, McDowell said.
A rewrite of county gas well drilling regulations is in progress.
A substandard and possibly dangerous taxiway at Stevens Field has Archuleta County commissioners scratching their heads with perplexity as they search for money to finance a fix.
Lining the taxiway are 24 privately-owned hangars. The taxiway is the remnant of the original runway at the county-owned airport. Currently, it is the route used by aircraft to reach the hangers.
Soft spots allow propeller-driven craft to dip, threatening damage to propellers. Gravel and rocks on the taxiway surface can be sucked up by turbo-prop aircraft. Who knows what damage that might inflict? Could a loose rock be the cause of a turbo-prop falling from the sky?
The problem is not new. It has existed since the original runway was built circa 1964 when money was hard to find and the impact of smaller aircraft was not intense. The surface has been replaced and holes patched down through the years, but the basic problem remains: the base under the asphalt was never adequate, a great deal of flexible clay is involved, and water seeps under the pavement, wreaking havoc.
The solution to the problem, according to Alden Ecker, the county commissioner liaison for the county-owned airport, is to remove the present surface and start over. That means installing a proper rock base, stabilizing the clay, putting in a vapor barrier, adding gravel, and laying down a new asphalt surface.
With that idea in mind, Ecker said he has been studying options. Cost estimates for the repairs range from $200,000 to $500,000, a sum not appropriated or planned for in this year's budget.
A $200,000 repair might be possible if county road and bridge crews do all of the work except replacing the asphalt, and if county manpower and equipment costs are not included in the total cost. Even so, the asphalt paving must be done by an outside contractor and that could cost from $115,000 to $150,000.
Several options exist for raising the money. One option involves borrowing from Wells Fargo Bank, a choice the county made earlier this year to refinance capital equipment purchased in the past under lease purchase agreements. To raise new, unbudgeted money under this method, the county must be able to pledge some form of security or obtain voter approval. The county must also overcome hurdles connected with TABOR limits and state constraints against obligating future boards.
Other options involve dipping into reserves already under pressure from a variety of demands, including road work across the county. Removing $200,000 or so would be an intense hit on the $459,000 sitting in a General Fund uncommitted line item.
Commissioners have met with hangar owners concerning the issue. The hangar owners maintain the county is responsible since the county leases the land to the hangar owners. The hangar owners argue the county has an implicit obligation to furnish access to the hangars, an access currently threatened by the poor condition of the taxiway.
"I've looked at it," said Ecker. "Frankly, if I was a businessman with that liability I would have borrowed money to fix it. It was the consensus of the board at the workshop with the hangar owners that we must do this for the sake of safety."
Pressure exists to start the work soon because the county presently has a leased asphalt milling machine working on roads in the Fairfield Pagosa area.
"We'll have the milling machine for maybe three weeks," said Kevin Walters, the county road and bridge supervisor. "When we let it go, we probably won't be able to get it back this year. If we're going to mill the surface at the airport, we need to do it while we have this piece of equipment.
No vote by the board of county commissioners to undertake this project has been made in a public meeting.
Pagosa Springs Intermediate School has a new "conditional" principal today and the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint has transferred a number of personnel to additional duties.
Named to the principal post to replace the retiring Butch Madrid was Mark DeVoti, until now the director of Archuleta County High School. DeVoti was the unanimous choice of the administration's search committee.
The "conditional" tag came with reference to the appointee's lack of a current Colorado school administrator's license.
Superintendent Terry Alley said DeVoti is enrolling in summer courses to work toward the licensing and that it will probably take two years for him to achieve the desired level. He said DeVoti has six years experience as an alternative school director, including four years here.
The board unanimously approved the appointment, following director Carol Feazel's motion to allow DeVoti three years to become licensed (granting additional time should courses not be available or emergency situations preclude his participation.)
At the same time, director Russ Lee, acting as president pro tem, said he wants future committee searches to remain more secret.
"I've been hearing from everyone about our hiring Mr. DeVoti," he said, "and I've been telling them 'It's news to me. I haven't voted on it.'"
DeVoti's contract will take effect Aug. 9 "and that's when he'll be considered hired," Lee said.
In other personnel actions, the board accepted the resignation of Sue Anderson as intermediate and junior high music teacher; transferred Cindy Hamilton from junior high language arts teacher to junior high librarian; transferred Kim Forrest from elementary teacher aide to junior high secretary; named Rick Schur junior high cross country coach; and granted intermediate school special education aide Joyce Bodewig a one-year leave of absence.
Directors also adopted an administration-recommended Fair Share Policy which lets the district comply with new state law and makes some fringe benefits available to personnel other than those under contract.
Included will be eligibility for the district's $300 wellness benefit, a once-a-year stipend for emergency medical services such as health checkups, eyeglass examinations or other services not covered by insurance.
The policy actually had been adopted several years ago, but a breakdown in bookkeeping kept it from being properly recorded on all policies in effect. The formal adoption means all part-time personnel have access to a care level.
The policy change also allows cooks and bus drivers to draw pay for up to 5 days of unused leave per year at a 4-hour rate for each day.
And, the board agreed its current 21-cent per mile travel allowance is inadequate (It has actually been paying 28 cents per mile) and agreed to enact a reimbursement equivalent to the IRS approved standard (now 34 cents per mile but expected to rise with next year's tax booklets).
Lee said the area Board of Cooperative Services, on which he is Pagosa's representative, has recently approved a similar mileage change and also noted BOCS has agreed salary adjustments are necessary.
Pagosa's share of the increased cost (five school districts are involved) will be about $6,000 he said.
Culminating what he said was a 7-year study, Bill Esterbrook, Pagosa Springs High School Principal, recommended a new grading format Tuesday for students in the school.
"Even before we got into the Alfie Kohn mindset," Esterbrook said, "we (the staff) were convinced we should be emphasizing learning over grades. Kids who struggle the first two years often come back to become good students in the final two years of high school."
"If their grade point average includes an F and a B they can't get into college. We're recommending that we drop the F and D grades and recognize only competency in subject, "he told the Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
He said it was the decision of the building council at the high school that a failing grade on a student transcript should be replaced with a notation reflecting the student's "highest level of competency."
He said many American colleges already accept "level of competency' statements in lieu of actual grades. "They will take from the school what we give them," he said.
He said the unanimous consensus of the staff was to remove failing grades from transcripts. "There was also a 16-11 vote against putting an asterisk on the transcript and explaining it was in lieu of a letter grade."
Director Carol Feazel said she favors the idea but was curious why some wanted the asterisk. "What would it prove? What did the staff who voted for it feel it would mean?
Esterbrook said it was their belief any college considering a Pagosa student should know the full story.
The question will be on the agenda for consideration next month.
Continuing the look at student eligibility, athletic director Kahle Charles introduced a proposed new high school athletic handbook noting some sports have been added since the last book was published and that the number of games allowed has also increased.
Eligibility to participate is a key element, he said, and training rules say "sports participation is a privilege, not a right."
"We have found," he said, "that the best dropout prevention program we can provide is athletics.
"We believe the student should be given a chance to make up for a mistake," he said.
"We believe a weekly scholastic eligibility qualification is the way to go. The student has a week to make up a class deficit. Parents are notified and other departments and myself are involved in making sure the student understands classroom work must improve or he or she will lose eligibility."
"Every athletic participant," he said, must carry 2.5 credits per semester (four classes if an underclassman or three if a senior). We believe a student getting an F in a course should have an opportunity to make it up while still participating - if his overall average is acceptable."
Consistent failure in a class, he said, "will mean ineligibility for the balance of the season. It's a means of keeping a student interested in both his sports activity and his classroom activity," Charles said.
Charges are pending against the driver of a 1994 Mercury Tracer totaled in an accident that sent two teenagers and three children to the hospital late Tuesday morning.
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Chris Balenti said 17-year-old Michele Peña of Pagosa Springs was driving eastbound on County Road 500, about one mile east of U.S. 151, when she lost control. The Tracer left the road and broadsided a tree on the driver's side around 11:45 a.m.
Two occupants, Peña and her 18-month-old son, Jeremie, who was riding in the middle of the back seat, were airlifted to Saint Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe about 5 p.m. after being first transported to Mercy Medical Center, Balenti said. Both had to be extricated from the car by medical personnel because of head injuries.
Michele Peña suffered multiple skull fractures and her son had a concussion, Balenti said. The other three victims were treated for cuts and bruises at the hospital in Durango.
Another Pagosa Springs resident, 20-month-old Lorraine Valencia, was riding in the back seat on the passenger side. She was the only one wearing a seat belt and received minor injuries. Jeremie Peña was in a booster seat, but had no child restraint system.
The front-seat passenger, Chantell Peña, 16, of Ignacio, had cuts on her face and left hand, the state trooper said. She was treated and released.
Samantha Maez, 8, of Ignacio, was riding in the seat behind the driver, the side that broadsided the tree. She suffered a forehead laceration that required surgery.
High speed may have been a factor, Balenti said. Neither alcohol nor drug use was suspected.
Archuleta County's ultimate destination, east or west of the Great Divide, may have been settled yesterday at a meeting of the state General Assembly Redistricting Commission.
Redistricting across the state is required because of population gains and shifts documented in the 2000 census. One effect of the required realignment is reshaping Colorado House District 59, currently represented by Republican Mark Larson of Cortez.
Because of the census, the 59th District must relinquish 2,917 voters in order to be equitably balanced with other House districts, Larson said.
Several redistricting plans have been proposed. One proposal would move Archuleta County out of District 59 and across the Continental Divide into the San Luis Valley.
Larson has offered an alternative which would retain Archuleta County's historic alignment with La Plata and San Juan counties, and a portion of Montezuma County. Archuleta County's commissioners have submitted a letter to the redistricting commission endorsing Larson's proposal.
"It appears that the commission will adopt Larson's plan," a member of the commission staff said Tuesday. "They're meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) concerning Western Slope districts and this subject should come up. They have to look at the state region by region. After finishing the Western Slope, they will look at the Eastern Slope. Decisions concerning the Western Slope might be affected by later decisions about the Eastern Slope. I believe two of the commission members are fully in agreement with Larson and will support his proposal."
Even if the commission recommends retaining Archuleta County's current alignment, the commission does not have final say on the issue. The commission's recommendations are forwarded to the Colorado Supreme Court. That body does have final say.
District 59 currently contains Archuleta County, La Plata County, San Juan County, and the six southern-most precincts of Montezuma County. The northern portion of Montezuma County is in District 58. Larson suggests shifting the line in Montezuma County separating Districts 58 and 59 south, thereby placing more of the county in District 58.
Such a shift will protect the historic alignment among Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs, Ignacio, Durango and La Plata County, Silverton and San Juan County, Mancos, and Cortez.
Larson argues that the natural barrier created by the Continental Divide has always separated, and will continue to separate, Archuleta County from the San Luis Valley. He also argues that historic bonds nurtured through common utilities and other endeavors forge a link that should be retained in the 59th District.
Within Archuleta County, the county planning office is studying census data to determine if changes are needed in county voting precincts or in commissioner districts. No decisions have been reached. The planning office has until August to file any complaints with the U.S. Bureau of Census if it believes census data is incorrect.
June Madrid, County Clerk and the county election official, has suggested to the county commissioners that boundaries for the three commissioner precincts need to be reassessed, since the population among commissioner districts is out of balance. Based on results of the latest election, Commissioner District 1 had 2,450 active voters, District 2 had 3,312, and District 3 had 2,143.
District 1 in the northwestern part of the county is represented by Bill Downey, District 2 in the southwestern part of the county by Alden Ecker, and District 3 in the eastern part of the county by Gene Crabtree.
Other redistricting issues across the state revolve around federal offices. Because of growth, the state is entitled to an additional representative district for the U.S. House of Representatives. That is the issue on which state Republican and Democratic legislators have failed to reach agreement. Republicans have asked Gov. Owens to call a special session to decide the issue. Democrats are suing to have the issue decided by the Denver District Court. Owens has asked both parties to provide evidence that agreement is possible before calling legislators back to Denver for special session.
A new District Safe Schools Plan, a 30-page document designed to make sure students are free from threat, was adopted Tuesday by the Board of Education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
Superintendent Terry Alley told the board the district's accountability committee formulated the plan to meet new state codes.
Many portions already were school policy, but a section was added on employee and volunteer screening which includes background checks on any person who is not regularly employed by the district but is in a position where, at times, he or she could be alone with students.
There is no fingerprinting involved, Alley said, but research indicated the sheriff's office can conduct a background check by special form and get an answer within 24 hours.
Connecting with a child registry through the sheriff, he said, will give data on any listing involving a report of child abuse at any place in the nation. Fee for the report service is $10 per person.
Alley said there are only about a dozen volunteers in the district who might conceivably be alone with students.
All volunteers will be required to fill out the special forms and each building principal will be responsible for making sure it is done.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
- Delayed approval until next month of a joint agreement with the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District for use of river water to irrigate school athletic fields. PAWS estimated the cost for the project at $37,000 to be split three ways. The project would be completed by October, 2002, or be voided. PAWS estimated treated water use would cost $35,478 annually if continued and metered. The school board delayed approval pending clarification of whether the town will pay for water used during summer months on the athletic fields south of the high school. The plan calls for diversion of two cubic feet per second of river water for town, school and PAWS use
- Approved a technical standards policy which puts all schools in the district in the same game with reference to computer supplies and techniques with a program adaptable to any grade level
- Heard director Clifford Lucero again call for action to clean up district-owned property in Vista subdivision. "We were promised by Tom Fletcher last fall that the used tires and garbage remaining from use of the land as a midget car track would be cleaned up. It isn't. It is a disgrace to the district." Alley said he would contact Fletcher again and demand action
- Heard director Russ Lee ask that "the transportation director post be put on the agenda for discussion next month. I'm getting all kinds of complaints" he said.
The move to the new Town Hall is on.
Today, town staff and employees of Archuleta County Social Services will be working to tape up the last of the boxes, mark the furniture making the trek and dismantle the end of the cords and keyboards. They are also being trained on a new phone system.
Friday, everything and everyone heads to the new digs at 551 Hot Springs Boulevard where the last-minute finishing touches were being put on this week.
Contractors worked to lay carpet, add stair railings, and finish some concrete work on the $2.1 million structure. Sawdust flew in the Municipal Court chambers as carpenters added decorative wood trim. Landscaping flora and fauna, including one banana tree, arrived on site.
Tuesday and Wednesday, some new furniture, all ergonomically correct, was assembled for the town staff. Desks, tables and bookcases came through the door in boxes and began to fill up the sparkling office spaces in the 13,020 square-foot structure.
Chairs for visitors, court, conference rooms and offices also moved in, over 100 in all.
Some of the public will have a chance at a first peak inside on Saturday following the Community Center groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. Town Administrator Jay Harrington said at least the first floor would be open for a short tour immediately following the ceremony. After that, the building will be closed again for unpacking.
Official business on Hot Springs Boulevard begins Monday. Phone service is scheduled to transfer then and Municipal Court will be in session. The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees will hold its first public hearing, on three proposed annexations, there on June 26. The trustees' first regular meeting is set for July 3. The Town Hall number, 264-4151, remains the same.
The Second Box Fire continues to burn slowly above the Piedra River one mile east of Hunter Camp in a remote portion of San Juan National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.
This lightning-caused fire began May 25 and has since grown to an estimated 100 to 150 acres. Early estimates projected the size to be much larger, approximately 300 acres.
The low-intensity fire has been burning underneath stands of mature ponderosa pine and white fir. As a ground fire, it is consuming mostly pine needles and other dead and downed materials. The fire burned actively weekend before last, scorching portions of the existing stands, but few trees were killed. Since then, it has continued to burn slowly under pine stands that reach into stands of aspen. The fire has not burned into the aspen, because of the high moisture content of the aspen ecosystems.
Smoke that was initially noticed in the O'Neal Park and Pagosa Springs areas has dispersed and not been noticed since the fire's start.
Following direction in the U.S. Forest Service National Fire Plan, local managers decided not to suppress this remote, low-intensity, high-elevation fire, but to manage it for resource benefits.
A fire-use management team was brought in on June 2 to develop a management plan specifically for the Second Box Fire. This team consists of nine individuals with specialized skills in fire behavior and fire management. With assistance from local managers, the fire use management team has been collecting data about the fire, weather patterns, potential fuel sources, smoke dispersal and the terrain in which the fire is burning, to produce a long-term management plan with specific resource objectives.
The fire will continue to be managed in this manner until established objectives are met or until the fire behavior changes and warrants suppression efforts.
For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District, 264-2268.
A Pagosa Springs women injured while horseback riding in the backcountry was rescued by Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team members Sunday.
Archuleta County Sheriff's Deputy Karn Macht said Amanda Armijo broke her hip after being thrown from the horse and tumbling down a hill.
According to department reports, Armijo was riding with a companion on Anderson Trail off Fourmile Road when the horse slipped or fell in some snow, throwing her. The horse was not injured.
Search and Rescue teams were notified after Armijo's companion rode out and found someone with a cell phone, Macht said.
Wind gusts of up to 30 miles an hour and ground cover prevented the Air Care helicopter from landing at the site of the injury, Macht said. About 12 members of the Search and Rescue team went back on Anderson Trail to extricate the victim. Another three team members stayed at the trailhead to coordinate the rescue.
Armijo was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango by ambulance. According to a Mercy spokesman, she sustained a broken and dislocated right hip and was listed in fair condition Wednesday.
Residents and non-residents planning on hunting Colorado this year can check to see if they were successful in drawing their big game license by using the Internet.
Each year, Colorado's big game hunters can apply for a license in game management units where hunting for certain big game species is limited. The hunters submit their requests and license fee for the game management unit and species of animal they would like.
Applications are due by the first Tuesday in April each year. This year's drawings have been completed, and hunters can now find the results by looking on the Division's web site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/database.
Personal records are accessed by entering a conservation certificate number or last name, date of birth and zip code. The records will show whether the applicant was successful, how many preference points they have, and for which species.
Jeanette Scherbarth, customer service representative for the division, said accessing the information on the Internet is the most efficient way for license buyers to discover how they fared in the draw.
"It is really a great tool," Scherbarth said. "As long as there aren't any questions, they don't have to call in and it saves them a lot of time."
The records on the Internet go back three years. License buyers can also print out the information allowing them to have a record of their preference points.
Currently the results for the elk, deer, antelope, bear, moose, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep and mountain goat can be viewed using the Internet. Leftover licenses are scheduled to be posted at the end of July.
For questions on the Division web site or the license drawing process license buyers can call (303) 297-1192, or simply go to http://wildlife.state.co.us. This message can be found online at http://www.dnr.state.co.us/cdnr_news/wildlife/200161115136.html.
Several special programs will be offered at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area during coming weeks, including backcountry hikes, Summer Solstice Sunrise Program, Full Moon Program and Nature Photography Workshop.
Hikes into varied backcountry archaeological sites are set for June 15, 19 and 26. These hikes range from two to six miles in length and enter into some beautiful and unique country. The sites visited are in areas not normally open to visitation. In addition to these hikes, a July 6 wildflower hike will cover the best areas for blooms around Chimney Rock. All hikes begin at 9 a.m. Reservations are recommended. Cost is $15 per person.
A Summer Solstice Sunrise Program will be offered June 21. The program will include a short hike to an archaeological site that may have been used for solstice observations by Chimney Rock's inhabitants 900 years ago. Meet at the gate to Chimney Rock between 4:30-5 a.m. for the spectacular sunrise hike and presentation on ancient astronomy. Cost is $7.50 per person.
A Full Moon Program will be offered July 5. The program includes hiking up to the Great House Pueblo just before sunset and then a presentation on the archaeoastronomy of the site will be given as the full moon rises over the San Juan Mountains. Advanced reservations are required. Cost is $7.50 per person.
A Nature Photography Workshop will be presented July 7 by photographer Bruce Andersen during the "magic hour" light conditions of sunset at Chimney Rock.
These special programs are sponsored by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program of the Pagosa Springs Chapter of the San Juan Mountains Association.
To make reservations for any of these programs, call 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily.
I hope you haven't been psychologically scarred by Mojie Adler's "proclamation" in last week's Sun. Karl, don't take the abuse personally; she is just continuing a sour grapes attitude that has eaten her alive ever since the July 1998 election.
I was one of the so called "dissidents-in-charge" after that election. Our main objective was to do away with the "Kingdom on the Hill" concept that permeated the old PLPOA Guard. I, along with the other "inmates in the asylum," did just that.
A comment about the delusion concerning the disbanded PSO: I've heard "the sky's falling" paranoia of, in Mojie's words, "the perilous position of vulnerability to break-ins, speeders, widespread illegal drug trade, and delay in reaching victims of accidents" ever since the idea of dissolving the PSO came up. My question is, when is Pandora's Box going to open? To be honest, since the PSO ceased to exist, I've lived in fear for my safety, and even my life. Gracious sakes, the crime rate has sky-rocketed. It isn't safe to go out after dark to walk the dog without fear of being robbed, raped, or murdered. As far as accident victims, I'd rather trained, full-time EMS personnel administer to me than a "cowboy" with a 38 strapped to his or her waist who's only experience is reviving CPR dummies. I think our 24-hour EMS personnel do an admirable job; I'm secure in the thought they know their way around the neighborhood.
As to the comment about when two of the current members of the board were appointed, not elected, the number of hecklers and organized protesters in the audience at meetings "magically disappeared," all I can say is, "how soon our selective memory fails us." At most board meetings I sat on, there was one "sour grapes" heckler at almost every meeting, sitting on the front row. Out of courtesy I won't mention her name, but I'll give you three guesses who she was.
I'm proud the current PLPOA Board is functioning as effectively as it is. I think the whole association is benefiting as a result. I wish the board I sat on for a short while, before I became disillusioned, had functioned as cohesively as this one, and I'll take my share of the blame for the uncohesiveness that existed. It was, to say the least, a very trying time of change and redirection. Kudos to the current board, and the administration as well.
As for the continuing "dissenters" and current "saber rattlers," just one thought: In college, when I played football at OU under Coach Bud, we kicked some rear ends on a regular basis. In a 50 to 0 game, you'd always have some "mouthers" and "jawers" on the losing team who wanted to talk trash. The best thing to do was smile and point to the scoreboard. Look at the scoreboard from the game in July 1998, Mojie, and get on with your life.
Dr. Roy K. Boutwell
Outlook on letters
I wasn't able to read the May 31 edition of the SUN until Tuesday evening, having just returned from almost a week in Denver, but I want to comment on two items in the Letters column which really struck me.
The first was the letter from Tom Cruse regarding his feelings about an article the previous week pertaining to changes growth has made to this community. The problem, as I see it, is population and the pressures it exerts everywhere. In my lifetime I have seen the population of this nation more than double without the addition of one square foot to our geography. Much of this resulted from the success of the medical community simply keeping more people alive. Having been a registered pharmacist for more than 40 years, I feel partly responsible for this but do not apologize to those who feel inconvenienced by it.
To the absurdity, that this success could be regarded almost as a curse, Cruse countered with an equally absurd solution: to put up walls. I believe (I hope) he offers his suggestion tongue-in-cheek. From Jericho to China walls never held very long.
The second letter was certainly not written tongue-in-cheek, but full of vitriol and unwarranted meanness. I had often read Jim Sawicki's letters in he SUN and passed them off as some old f-t's way of letting off steam, or whatever. But after reading this last letter I was forced to look upon him very differently and concluded that this poor fellow is afflicted with a fictitious condition which medical science is neither able to cure or even ameliorate: optorectalitis. This syndrome is characterized by the mysterious transfer of impulses from the rectal area to the optic nerve. One can only imagine the outlook on life such people have.
Here truly, then, would be a case for prayer groups.
I live on a county maintained road (Prospect) which is in bad need of repair. I'm wondering just how long it would take for someone down at the courthouse to realize that I was breaking the law if I blocked our street with my vehicle saying I would not move it until our road was repaired. Someone would surely be smart enough to have my vehicle towed away - at my expense. Only in my wildest dreams can I see road repair men rushing out to repair my road immediately, even leaving the job they were on. Dream on.
Thanks go out to the current board of county commissioners for some terrific comic relief over the last several months - the Three stooges reincarnated into new episodes of I Love Lucy. Great.
The article with Richard Walter's by-line about the PLPOA June 4 town meeting could give Pagosa Lakes residents an erroneous impression of the Environmental Control Committee (ECC) and the Department of Covenant Compliance (DCC) activities. The theme of that meeting was "administration of the Declaration of Restrictions (Covenants) and the Neighborhood Regulations - Code of Enforcement (Regs)." Those are enforced by the DCC, not by the ECC. Margaret Gallegos is the DCC manager but is not a member of the ECC nor is there any ECC enforcement office.
The 3-member Environmental Control Committee (not commission) is created by the Declaration of Restrictions and is given authority to approve or disapprove the exterior appearance of proposed structural improvements on lots. It is also given authority to allow certain specific variances from Declaration requirements. The ECC has no authority for enforcement or to access fines or penalties for violations. Violation notices are issued by the DCC. Other than to appoint ECC members, the PLPOA Board of Directors has no authority over the ECC. Craig Givens is a member of the ECC - a volunteer, not paid staff.
Complaints from residents go to the DCC not the ECC. An alleged violator of the Covenants or Regs is issued a violation notice. These can result from resident complaints or DCC field inspectors. By Colorado law, an opportunity for a hearing must be given the alleged violator before a fine or penalty can be assessed. The hearing is done by an independent Hearing Panel, not the DCC or ECC or any "commission." The alleged violator and any complaining property owner and the DCC people can give testimony, after which the Panel makes a decision as to whether or not a fine or penalty shall be assessed. There is no provision for any appeal from the decision of the Hearing Panel.
The article noted a concern that some builders start projects without ECC approval and a PLPOA permit, even knowing the permit fee would be doubled if they're caught. However, doubled permit fee in such a case is not a provision of PLPOA Reg. Actually it was explained that a double fee provision of the Uniform Building Code (which is not applicable for PLPOA permits). The inference was that such penalty might be a helpful enforcement tool that maybe we should incorporate into PLPOA Regs.
It would be appreciated if you would publish this corrective information so that Pagosa Lakes residents would not be misled about how Covenants and Regs are enforced.
Fred A. Ebeling
Legion of angels
On June 4, when the wind was blowing hardest, human error caused a ground fire to erupt on our four acres in Aspen Springs and away it went through the dead pine needles and brush.
I called 911 and within a very short time Tony Stevens came driving in on a backhoe from the metro. He went right to work and within minutes five pieces of equipment were in our drive manned by nine other volunteers: John Brundard, Roy Stevens, Duwayn Ramey, David Hartman, Greg Oertel, David Vega, David Durfee, Tom Torrey and assistant fire chief Manny Trujillo. What a job they did. Lots of digging, chopping, sawing and spraying went on. These men join my legion of angels along with Tina Graham and her home health nurses.
Thank you so much.
What a shock to pick up the SUN June 7 to see my husband, Ike Oldham, accused of blocking County Road 326 by means of an act of terrorism.
Ike and others were told mag chloride would be applied to the road in the subdivision where we live. He flagged down a maintainer, bodily, not by blocking the road with his truck. He asked the county worker if they were going to spray the subdivision where we live and he was told that they were not. He ask the maintainer operator if he would radio someone in the shop. The operator radioed the shop and the shop contacted one of the commissioners. From that point on the communication went bad. Some ask why could this have not waited for another day? Simply because of the distance of moving equipment out and bringing it back in.
Walters said, "The man on the Blanco shut us down because he wanted his road sprayed."
When Commissioner Crabtree arrived where Ike was waiting for him by the side of the road he got into the truck with Crabtree and in Crabtree's words, "We went down the road to where the road and bridge crew were working." No one had been stopped from working and no one was in the middle of the road blocking traffic. There was certainly no act of terrorism.
Walters stated that the section of road in question is not up to county standards. The road was excepted as a county road in 1980. It has been debated for twenty years as to what level of maintenance the county will perform. In the meantime that section has become in Walters words, "Unimproved, substandard and basically river run rock." That's what happens when it takes twenty years to decide on the level of maintenance to perform.
We know that mag chloride was applied to this subdivision last year and cannot understand why Walters does not think that we can tell the difference in water and mag chloride.
The article in the paper on June 7 has caused other responses to the act of terrorism. One of them is a Letter to the Editor, which was very upsetting. No "Jack." You do not know anything about Oldham but your article really hit on the saddest day of our life. Oldham came upon the body of a dead man on this dusty road. It was the body of our 17-year-old son. One of the most precious gifts God can give is the gift of life. We cherish life and will never forget the immense sadness the event of his death caused. Why would Ike even think of causing that kind of sadness in someone else's life? Never, regardless of the circumstances and certainly not over mag chloride.
We have lived in this community over 25 years. It is too bad that such a terrible choice of words were chosen to describe the situation.
Ike and Sharron
Oldham and family
'Tis a shame but seemingly it is human nature for most of us poor mortals to periodically experience "foot and mouth disease." If we would warm up our brains half as long as we warm up our vehicles prior to putting either into gear, this would be a much more tolerant community.
Elected leaders should establish the example, not become the example to be avoided.
The alleged "Upper Blanco Terrorist" is in reality a hard working, God fearing individual who has gone the extra mile for his neighbors on numerous occasions. We are proud to say that we consider Ike Oldham a good friend and neighbor.
Jim and Cynthia Peironnet
Follow me, Pagosa
Last night in a fit of insomnia, I was fortunate enough to see a film, Follow Me Boys, that I had never seen before. A story of a man who decided he needed some roots. With little thought, he stepped off the bus he was riding to Chicago, and decided to settle in the small town of Hickory (much like Pagosa Springs). He took the first job he saw (a storekeeper) and decided to get to know the town. One of his first encounters was a lovely young lady whom immediately caught his interest.
While attending the first town meeting, the town brought up the issue of some of the town boys being a nuisance. Trying to impress the young lady, he volunteered to become the scout leader. Life goes by, he marries the young lady, they settle down, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer are overtaken by his dedication to leading these boys to become honorable young men. The movie ends and all problems of the past are solved, and everyone lives happily ever after.
As I was driving to work this morning, it struck me that Pagosa Springs is the modern day Hickory (really not much different than that town of 60 years ago). Our quaint little town where there is beauty all around. A place where people really care. I came here by default, only here to work for my mom for about a month until I moved on to a larger town and finished college. But as I continued to live here, I was lucky enough to meet my husband, we bought a house, and I became a mother of sorts (stepmother) to a great kid. We now have roots here in Pagosa. I've learned more and received more living here than any college degree could have given me (but it's still my dream to finish).
I know our little town is having growing pains, and some people may be here for all the wrong reasons, but just think of the great people coming here to start roots. People that can be leaders to our children, leaders of our community, good friends and folks that are just plain great.
Follow me Pagosa, lets welcome these people to our community and all that it has to offer. We just might be surprised at what we will find.
Hoping for some sleep tonight,
RE: Revival of the BDA (Brain Dead Association) of Archuleta County.
Our Motto: Dumb you can fix, but Stupid is forever!
The Directors of BDA Selection Committee soundly criticized me for not calling a meeting these last two years. I had to remind these nitwits that until now, we didn't have any person or any organization stupid enough to consider. As we know, we now have a wide open field and so we will select our candidate or candidates by the end of this month.
The rules of selection have changed - I'm sick and tired of defending my educated selections of the past by various real estate sales people, Town cops, Pagosa Sun lackeys, restaurant wait people, and Sheriff deputies of which there are very few normal types, and a large number of members of the Senior Center, all employees of City Market, but none, I am pleased to say, of our valiant long suffering gasoline purveyors, my Icons. No house of worship has abandoned their vows of love to openly express their true feeling and should be commended; except the Unitarians, and we all know what they are.
But, I digress.
All are invited to e-mail the name of the individual or associated individuals you determine are entitled to the dishonor to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As you rightly surmise, Jim, by devious, sneaky, mean methods has filched my honored position of Chief Offender of DBA and this is my final and grandest effort on behalf of the long suffering Archuletans by making the selection even more honest than any thing Jim will ever do. An aside: Sharon Sawicki, being married to James and making him change his socks and take showers during the hot months should be compared to Mother Teresa.
Here are the selection criteria:
1. Any citizen or associated citizens residing in the county.
2. If you care to choose more than one county official, they must be in the same desk cluster.
3. You cannot select any member of Rio Jazz, although I'd like to get back at D.C. He is not stupid. Arrogant, but not stupid - and an amazing percussionist.
I promise never to write a letter of more than 50 words again.
(Only cowards would select me.)
Are you or your readers concerned about what is going on now in our county? Do we have the leadership that we want? Is the process working? Is there a process?
There are many unanswered questions, but it is obvious to me that the answers lie in more citizen involvement. There is going to be an open, non-partisan, public workshop on the evening of Monday, June 25, at the Extension Building.
At this time concerned citizens can share their concerns and work together to determine what can be done to solve our community problems. It would be nice to have folks from all parts of the county and all walks of life attend this meeting. Please attend, spread the word, and please report it in your paper.
Lynda Van Patter
Editor's note: Many readers of the SUN were born and raised here. Many of our readers have lived here for 30, 40, 50 years and many, if not most of those readers have exhibited their concerns by involving themselves in the political, economic, spiritual and cultural aspects of the community. The SUN has covered local events, with great concern, for 92 years. Thank you for asking.
I have just had a telephone conversation with Alden Ecker, and I am pleased with Alden's attention to our taxiway problem. He has assured me that the commissioners are addressing the problem, and we will receive a new taxiway at Steven's Field.
We must push for a timely solution to this problem. The taxiway cannot go through another winter, and I am certain all of you are aware of that. Time is of the essence that serious aircraft damage is avoided.
It goes without saying that money is the greatest problem in getting immediate construction started. We should ask the commissioners to put other projects on hold in order to complete this one, since this is long overdue and should be completed posthaste.
Most of all, I want you to know that Alden seems to be interested and willing to champion our cause. With Alden's leadership, and our desperation, we should see a new taxiway under construction very soon.
Please keep your efforts alive and active. We will not be happy until we feel the airport is safe once again.
Lewis M. Webb
Christopher Lee Anderson of Denver died June 2 after being struck by lightning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 30.
The son of Steven Allen Anderson and Mimi Howard Anderson, and the grandson of Barbara and Cecil Tackett of Pagosa Springs, Christopher was born Aug. 2, 1970 in Boulder.
A 1989 graduate of Fairview High School, Anderson earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1997 from Metropolitan State College in Denver.
Christopher worked as a police and courts reporter at the Daily Camera in Boulder, and lived in Boulder and until moving to Denver in 1989.
He received numerous awards from the Colorado Society of Professional Journalists and the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters.
Christopher sent two stories to the Pagosa Springs SUN from the Colorado Capitol beat while he was a student and they were his first work as a paid journalist.
He is preceded in death by his father, Steven Allen Anderson, and grandfathers Reginald Howard and Race Anderson.
A service where friends and family shared stories and remembrances was held June 8, at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder.
Contributions in Christopher's name may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
Bay and Peg Forrest of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their son, Adam, to Cherissa Lynn Galster, daughter of Glen and Laurie Galster of Payson, Ariz.
The couple plans to marry Aug. 4 in Phoenix. Following their honeymoon they will reside in Phoenix where Adam will complete his senior year at Grand Canyon University in Elementary Education.
Keith and Diane Rima, formerly of Pagosa Springs, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Abby, to Derek Stoltzfus of Pennsylvania.
The couple met at Youth With A Mission in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. A Hawaiian sunset wedding is planned for Aug. 11. Abby and Derek will make their home in Pennsylvania, then return to serve full time with YWAM.
The following Pagosa Springs High School seniors earned a 4.0 grade point average during the just-complete semester: Andrea Ash, Gretchen Bergon, Meigan Canty, Daniel Crenshaw, Tara Franklin, Tiffanie Hamilton, Valerie Lucas, Kellilyn Patterson, Joshua Postolese, Patrick Riley, Annah Rolig, Tyrel Ross, Garret Tomforde, Ashleigh Corell, Seth Wilsey, Andrea Firth, Clarance Espinosa, Theresa Hostetter, and Catherine Tharpe.
Seniors Tiffany Diller, Makina Gill, David Goodenberger, Nathan Kay, Hope Koppelman, Micah Maberry, Audrey McBride, Amber Mesker, Jennifer Nelson, Susie (Maria) Nevarez, Garrett Paul, Mike Pierce, Joshua Richardson, Tony Rivera, Christopher White, Travis Laverty and Monique Martinez earned 3.67 averages.
September O'Cana earned a 3.50 average.
Christina Carrell, William Clark, Chris Edwards, Jessica Espinosa, Josh Johnson, Dominique Lucero, Twyne Regester, Marisol Villalobos, Tyler Perry, Bethina Gustafson, and Jasimine Richey completed a 3.33 average.
Juniors earning a 4.0 grade point average were Ashley Gronewoller, Heather Beye, Jeffrey Johnson, Ross Wagle, Angelica Rivas, Lori Whitbred, Matthew Ford, Adam Timmerman, Hank Wills, Katie Lancing, Kari Eden, Michael Martinez, Bryce Paul, Kelly Kay, Amy Moore, Josiah Payne, Callie Smock, Ethan Sanford, Tiffany Thompson, Trent Sanders, Dorothy Brinton, Todd Henry, Alysha Ranson and Justin Caler.
Juniors Cord Ross, Michelle Ferguson, Kerilyn Frank, Alina Mendoza, Aaron Perez, Trevor Peterson, Joetta Martinez, Rachel Montoya-Vald, Aubrey Volger, Luke Boilini, Keith Frank, Shalaina Hamblin, Kristy Palmer, Amie Smith, Deborah Meyer, Joy Sanders, Dustin Spencer, Hillary Wienpahl, Ryan Beavers and Emily Nail compiled a 3.75 average.
Emily Finney earned a 3.65 average.
Cassie Pfeifle, Jimmy Iverson, Desiree Davis, Caleb Mellette, Mollie McGrath, Michele Barcus, Carlena Lungstrum, Jenelle Newberg, Nicole Buckley, Michelle Chavez and Darin Lister finished the semester with a 3.25 average.
Sophomores earning a 4.0 grade point average included Jeremy Oertel, Jessica Buikema, Drisa Carrizo, Jared Lincoln, Ashley Wagle, Todd Mees, Clay Pruitt, Justin Smith, Amanda Snyder, Kira Lekos, Zachary Hannay, Holly Gustafson, Jolyn Rader and Stephanie (Bliss) Gordon.
Susie Rivas, Zeb Gill, Maribel Cobos, Sky Fehrenbacher, Meagan Hilsabeck, Clayton Mastin, Terry McAlister, Jason Schutz, Katie Bliss, Sarah Smith, Brandon Charles, Jamie Turner, Sara Aupperle, Marylou Villalobos, Kimberly Hitchcox and Justin Bloomquist compiled a 3.75 average.
Lee Ann Foutz, Jeremy Marquez, Amanda McCain, Brandon Rosgen, Mylinda Blankenship and Andrew Knaggs had a 3.50 average.
Travis Blesi, Tricia Lucero, Jordon Kurt-Mason, Stacey Smith, Amber Beye and David Houle completed a 3.25 average.
The following freshmen earned a 4.0 grade point average: Jenna Finney, Drew (Lee) Fisher, Sierra Fleenor, Krystle Franklin, Aaron Hamilton, Daniel McGinnis, Randi Pierce, Leslie Shepard, Christa Valdez, Ryan Wienpahl, Ashli Winter, David Kern, Ben Marshall, Melissa Wollenweber, Kyle Sanders, Kevin Muirhead and Christopher Arrigo.
Anna Bishop, Monica Fehrenbach, Clinton McKnight, Ty Peterson, Michael Quintana, Jessica Stevens, Amy Tautges, Jon Howison, Ty Faber, Somer Evans and Malonie Thull earned a 3.75 average.
Lauren Felts earned a 3.67 average.
Melissa Diller, Jeremy Gallegos, Kelly Johnson, Abigail Lucero, Drew Mitchell, Erin Whitbred, Lauren Caves and Hannah Lloyd finished the semester with a 3.50 average.
Roxanna Day, Matthew Lattin, Angelina (Kilina) Martinez, Cayce Brown and David (Luke) Brinton earned a 3.25 average.
A Skins Game, made popular by the TV golf show of the same name, was the format for the Men's Golf League June 6.
A "skin" is won by posting a net score on a hole which is lower than any other golfer's score on that hole. With 37 competitors, winning a skin is a very difficult thing to do. However, six golfers shot a combination of one birdie (one under par), four eagles (two under par) and one amazing double-eagle (three under par) to win skins in the competition. Mark Mesker's double-eagle was the score of the day, with Dean Gray, Kim Winston, Ben Lynch and Jon Bower recording eagles, and Gene Johnson notching a birdie to round out the winning scores.
Awards were also given for closest to the pin on each of the four par-three holes. Rick Taylor, Lee Smart, Mike Giordano and Troy Persson each bested the field on one par-three hole.
The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon before each play.
Community Center groundbreaking Sat.
Please join us Saturday for a momentous occasion in Pagosa history - the groundbreaking for the long-awaited, much-anticipated Pagosa Springs Community Center.
I have been a part of the Community Center team from its inception and can't believe that we have arrived, certainly in large measure due to Ross Aragon's vision and tenacity.
I remember thinking at the first meeting years ago, "Wow, this will never happen in my lifetime," and I am delighted to say that I was dead wrong. Plan to be there with us to break ground for this new facility and, as a bonus, you will be able to tour the newly constructed and perfectly charming Town Hall.
Festivities begin at 9 a.m. on Hot Springs Boulevard just north of the new Town Hall building, so plan to join us for some Pagosa historymaking and refreshments.
Last Friday a few of us spent the morning planting several different varieties of marigolds in the downtown planters to hopefully add a touch of summer color and enhance the existing beauty of our fair town.
I want to thank Doug Call and his crew for preparing the boxes for us and taking such good care of the parks, lawns and the town in general on a regular basis. I also want to thank the wonderful volunteers who made it possible for us to once again complete the planting in record time. Shari Gustafson was especially helpful in organizing the mighty little band by making calls to those who have helped in the past. So, our thanks go out to Shari, Ray Pack, Susan Kanyur, Judy Galles and Lynn Harvey for spending a very warm morning digging in the soil and making Pagosa an even prettier place to live.
I will go on record once again telling the world that we couldn't possibly get by without the help of our volunteers and friends at the Chamber.
While we're in the grateful mode, I want to thank Mike Ferrell of Rocky Mountain Maintenance for coming to our rescue once again. We had been experiencing some really frustrating problems with the lock on the back door and had tried repeatedly to fix it with no success. All it took was a call to Mike who immediately diagnosed the problem and fixed the blasted thing in no time at all. It's not the first time Mike has helped us out, and we are grateful to him for his thoughtfulness and membership.
The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club invites you to "become part of the tradition" by participating in the 21st annual Pagosa Fiesta Parade Saturday, at 10 a.m. This year's theme is "Fiesta de Colores" -Fiesta of Colors - which has the potential for providing the most colorful parade on record. The parade will begin on 8th Street and end on 2nd Street, and line assignments will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to the most colorful entries, and entry forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery. The entry fee is $5, and the deadline for entering is no later than 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Be creative, have fun and become a part of this wonderful Pagosa tradition. If you choose not to be a part of the parade, come on out to be an active spectator and supporter.
We weren't given much lead time on this one, but I do want to encourage you to call right away and make an appointment with Jim Reser who will be here tomorrow to offer our members free business counseling.
Jim is the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College and comes to Pagosa on a regular basis to offer our members advice and counseling on all business questions. He will help you put together a business plan or revise an existing plan or simply answer any of your questions about your potential or existing business. Just give Doug a call at 264-2360 to make an appointment with Jim.
Please mark your calendars for June 22, to attend the Grand Opening of the Red Lion Inn & Suites Pagosa Springs from 5-7 p.m. Formerly the Pagosa Inn & Suites, the 97-room property is located at 519 Village Drive. Russ Willstead is General Manager of this newest member of the Red Lion and Hilton family hotels and is very excited about bringing "a well-known brand reputation and a dynamic worldwide sales and marketing infrastructure" to attract more tourism business to the Pagosa Springs area.
Red Ryder Roundup
Our current newsletter contained the wrong times for the July 4 Red Ryder rodeo, and we want to correct that right now. The 52nd Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo will be held at the Archuleta County Fair Grounds July 4 at 2 p.m. and on July 5 and 6 at 6 p.m. The information given to us originally was incorrect, but we have corrected our Calendar of Events and the Web site, and the poster coming out soon will have the right info.
The Pagosa Youth Foundation/Spitfire Creek Ranch is proud to announce their second annual Fund Raising event and Open House at the Spitfire Creek Ranch June 30.
The Pagosa Youth Foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a non-profit 501-C3 for the education, vocational training and counseling of Colorado youth. Spitfire Creek Ranch works to provide at-risk youth and individuals with special needs with leadership, discipline, responsibility and positive life skills. Through a structured program using horses, mentors, counselors and horse professionals in a proven therapeutic setting, the equine-assisted growth and learning technique is utilized. If you would like to donate items or services, please call Debra Ewing at 731-9110 or Larry Bass at 731-5660. Your help will make a difference so please plan to join the PYF at the auction June 30.
Don't forget to pick up your registration form for the Rotary Club July 4 Parade, "Land That I Love."
We have the forms at the Visitor Center and encourage you to pick them up because there are a couple of changes this year. The biggest of said changes is that the registration and staging area have been relocated to the high school parking lot to alleviate the crowding at the corner of 8th Street. Registration is at 9 a.m. so that the parade will be lined up and ready to roll promptly at 10 a.m. You will be asked to enter the lower driveway into the high school lot from 5th Street, and from there a Rotarian will get you registered and lined up.
There will be cash prizes as always in three categories plus a special new award this year for the Most Patriotic. This new award is not limited to any category, so the sky's the limit on your creativity. Please call 731-9279 evenings or weekends for more information.
I am pleased to announce one new member this week and six renewals. We simply love this particular type of paperwork.
Our new member this week I am especially pleased to welcome because I have nagged him more than once about membership, and he has been a very good sport about said nagging. He recently succumbed, and I am happy to welcome Robin K. Auld, Attorney, to the fold. Robin's office is located at 175 First Street, and he offers a general litigation practice with an emphasis on criminal defense, DUI/traffic and personal injury. Please give his a call at 264-4411 to learn more.
Our renewals this week include Ena Shipman with Rocky Mountain Window and Door; Sue Gast with Bank of the San Juans; Dawn Ross with Buckskin Towing and Repair, LLC; Maurice (Mo-Reese) Woodruff with Woodruff Enterprises; Cindy LeVrier with Clear Channel Communications in Durango; and Associate Members, Kenneth W. and Vickie Ceradsky. Thanks to all for your continued support - we appreciate it.
Gorgeous weather great food, special guests for picnic
Our first picnic of the year was Friday - what a gorgeous day!
The weather and the food was perfect. Our great cooks prepared barbecued pork chops, baked beans, potato salad, cantaloupe and cake. It was delicious.
Fifty-five folks enjoyed the meal. We were happy to have David Mitchell, Carlo and Lee Carrannante, Silva Rayburn, Lee Hill, Edith Dame, Ingrid St. Laurent, Glenn and Gloria Vanderweele, Susan Stofer, Rich and Jan Harris, Josh Ulery, and Selena Chacon and her children join us. There will be another picnic coming soon. Be sure and watch for the date. We were also happy to welcome back Pat and Hannah Foster on Monday.
Twelve members of our group traveled to Durango on Saturday night to attend the wonderful "Harmony Avenue and Park Place" performance featuring barbershop singers.
Included in the performance were the Durango-Farmington Chorus, the Women's Prerogative, the Durango Junction Quartet, the Durango Children's Chorale, the Men of Achord (from Dove Creek), and the guest quartet Distinction, winners of the Rocky Mountain District Quartet championship on Oct. 6, 2000 (their first competition). If you have an opportunity to attend performances of any of these groups, it is certainly a treat.
On July 21 at 7 p.m. the Silverton Barbershop Music Festival will take place at the Silverton High School gym. It is free. There will be a street fair, art sale, and other fun events for the whole family during the day sponsored by the Silverton Arts Council.
Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. has purchased a cross-shredder which is available at the center for use by our members. Many folks receive mail or have personal papers that should not be disposed of in the garbage because of credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account information, addresses and phone numbers, etc. that can be used by unscrupulous persons for identity theft. If you don't own a shredder, please bring them to the center and shred them so important information is safeguarded.
Senior of the Week is Cindy Gustafson. Congratulations, Cindy!
A couple of our members have been ill and unable to attend our activities. We miss Mary Lucero and Glen Kinum and hope they will be able to join us again soon. Mary is at Pine Ridge recuperating from health problems. I am sure she would enjoy visits from her many friends in the area.
Cindy and Musetta have planned lots of fun activities for the summer. We hope everyone will obtain one of our calendars (available at the front desk at the center) so they can keep up with what is coming up.
Don't forget, there will be a flower-arranging class at the center June 19 at 9:30 a.m., at a minimal cost of $2 per person. Some supplies will be furnished. We really appreciate the folks at the Plaid Pony for providing these classes.
One thing planned for July 12 is the rafting trip. Several of us went on last year's trip and had a ball, so this is something to look forward to. The cost will be $24 per person (for two hours of rafting) plus transportation. Also upcoming will be a trip to Creede to attend the Creede Repertory Theater.
Seniors, don't forget that we will be having a picnic on July 4, it will take place in front of the Casa de los Arcos building across from the senior center at 6:30 p.m. From this vantage point we will be able to enjoy the city fireworks display, which will originate from the sports area near the high school. Hot dogs, tea, and lemonade will be furnished. Attendees can bring pot luck items, dessert, chips, etc., to go with this if they desire.
Opportunities plentiful for Pagosans seeking to learn
Local musicians Paul and Carla Roberts are offering a folkloric apprenticeship to locals.
This six-week apprenticeship program to explore international music and dance is open to people of all ages. Participants in the folkloric apprenticeship program will have a chance to perform with the Roberts' in their exciting show, "A World of Music," which is coming to the Ridgeview Mall in July. This apprenticeship is sponsored by Whistle Pig, a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For further information, call 731-3117.
Opportunities are plentiful in Pagosa for those seeking to learn. Richard and Debbee Love teach dancing at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. "Simply Ballroom" classes are not limited to traditional ballroom dances. This summer's classes will include Salsa, Mambo and Merengue. Please call the Loves for a detailed class schedule 731-4917.
Molly Enright is teaching an energetic exercise class every Saturday morning, 9 to 10 a.m. at the recreation center. This is a water aerobics class for those seeking to improve heart health, body toning and weight control. The class is free to recreation center members.
Big news for golfers. Pagosa Springs Rotary Club's Chuck Dorman Memorial Golf Tournament, scheduled for June 30, is stirring up some big interest. Don't be left out when local and neighboring golfers compete for the $5,000 hole-in-one prize. Here's the skinny: a shotgun start for the men's and women's flight will start the $2,750 purse tournament at 9 a.m. (purse based on a minimum of 100 golfers entering tournament). The $35 entry fee and $35 golf fee will provide a golf cart for each twosome, lunch, coffee, donuts and what ever else golfers like to eat and drink. A certified handicap will be required on or before the June 25 entry deadline. Golfers may register for the tournament at Pagosa Springs Golf Club or by phoning the pro shop at 731-4755.
You are invited to a PLPOA newsletter social to be held June 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. This will be a 18,000 piece mailing which includes the annual election ballot. Lots of volunteers will be needed. Please help. Coffee, juice, donuts and gratitude will be your payment.
The PLPOA will hold the annual Kid's Fishing Derby June 22 at 9 a.m. The fishing derby will be held at Hatcher Lake near the east boat ramp and jetty area. The derby is free and open to the public. Children 16 and under are eligible. Prizes will include rods, reels, tackle boxes and lures. Every child will receive a prize. Categories include: largest fish, most fish, smallest fish, and first fish caught in four age brackets. Lunch will be provided. Please call the PLPOA administration office or the recreation center for more details.
New law will help stop the telemarketers
The Governor just signed a law to help all of us get rid of telemarketers.
The state sent us the following message: "Here is the Web site to sign up for the Colorado No-Call List: http://www.coloradonocall.org/
There is no promotional budget to encourage people to sign up. We depend on people like you to help publicize the list.
Please note this only applies to Colorado residents. You can help spread the word by forwarding the Web site to friends, family and others. Please help empower Coloradoans to protect their personal privacy.
We're underway. Come in and sign up children of all ages to take advantage of our many fun events. Story time will be Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. Sign up for all of the other activities anytime during the next six weeks. Thanks to Cathy and her committee for all of the work they've done getting ready for this annual program.
The program runs through July 21, with the final party in the park July 25.
We offer Internet access during business hours to patrons over 18 on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents must accompany anyone under 18.
There is no charge for the use of the equipment other than printing costs of 15 cents per page. The patron must know how to use the service, and any abuse will result in the loss of this privilege.
Friends of Sid and Phyllis Martin will be pleased to hear that President Bush nominated Robert S. Martin as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The nomination has been forwarded to the Senate for approval. Martin is Sid's son.
Dr. Martin is Director of the School of Library and Information Sciences at Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas. He has served as the Texas State Librarian, and was Associate Dean at Louisiana State University. The library profession is fortunate to have Dr. Martin representing it. We trust he will have the president's ear.
The Colorado Business Review from the University of Colorado has some interesting issues on the opportunities for building markets with the "Colorado Environmental Business Alliance."
Businesses will be rewarded for more environmentally sustainable activities. Countries are implementing responsibility laws that require manufacturers to take back their products after their useful life. Volkswagen and other auto manufacturers are redesigning their cars for disassembly and recycling.
While most American consumers remain unconcerned about the "green" attributes of products; they are becoming increasingly concerned about how those products impact their lives. The past decade has shown that the average consumer will not pay extra for a product that is less harmful to the environment, but will pay extra for products that have fewer negative impacts on them or their family.
For more on this subject, you may have a free copy of the CU newsletter.
We have the latest list of the rare and out-of-print bookstores in the region put out by the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association. You may have a free copy.
We're running out of room, folks. Something has to go.
We are in the business of stimulating the imagination and attempting to challenge your brain power. Reading books and listening to audio tapes accomplishes that much better than watching television or videos.
We have never purchased videos and have relied on donations in the past. We will keep some educational ones, but we've donated most to Pine Ridge Extended Care, and the schools, and will continue to do so. We thank you all for your past interest and support.
Thanks for financial help from JoAnne Robertson.
Thanks for materials from Joan Hebert, Carolyn Hansen, John Farnsworth, Michelle Turolla, Mo Covell, Kate Terry, Sandy Kobrock, Carol and Richard Quillin, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Ideas to ease the way through education
This column is for the graduate.
Now that high school is over, some of you will be headed for college, and the purpose of this column is to pass on to you a few suggestions that possibly no one else has made. But they are not necessarily restricted to the college bound, for they can be used by anyone. Read on.
First, "The Elements of Style," by William Strunk and E.B. White is one of the most important books you can own. It is at the top of every recommended book list. Get a copy. Read it. Study it. And do so before you get to college so that you are ready for all the nonfiction writing that will be required. One of the biggest complaints by college professors is that incoming freshmen cannot write.
Another valuable reference is "Woe is I" by Patricia T. O'Conner. She has taught classes for journalists who write for the New York Times (where she has worked.) And, while you are at it, read William Zinsser's "On Writing Well." Sisson Library has a copy, or get your own copy. The subtitle of his book is "The Classic Guide to Nonfiction Writing." And it is just that.
Second, CLEP is the anagram for College Level Examination Program. A person can take an exam in a subject and if he or she passes it will not have to take the class. This is called "clepping."
Third, don't be afraid to ask questions. That's what a college is for, to help you get an education, so when you don't know then ask.
Fourth, you have opinions. Yes, you do! Treat them with respect.
Fifth, thank people. Write a thank-you to the person (persons) who awarded you a scholarship. A few years ago a girl I knew was awarded a four-year scholarship to Colorado School of Mines when she graduated from Pagosa Springs High School. Every year she was at CSM, she wrote the regents a letter telling them what she was taking and the grades she was making. Her engineering course was for five years. The regents awarded her a scholarship for the fifth year. It was a matter of courtesy and consideration and she was rewarded for it. Let people know that you appreciate them. It leaves a "good taste in your mouth" as well.
These suggestions are just that, suggestions. They are to help ease the way for you. But, don't forget to "follow your dream" whatever it may be. This thought is certainly not original with me; I'll wager that this was the theme of many commencement speakers this year. Twenty-five percent of them maybe. And the most important thing of all is to keep a sense of humor.
Fun on the Run
Judge not ...
A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial - a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"
She replied, "Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."
At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench.
In a very quite voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be jailed for contempt!"
Lucky kid's Father's Day salute to great Dad
I was five years old when my parents met on a New Year's Eve blind date. They were married six months later. I was a flower girl, part of the wedding party.
My first father had been killed in a plane crash during the first months of World War II and I never knew him.
To finally have a father was great. I got a whole new set of relatives, grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles. Now I was like the other kids, except that I had three grandmothers.
My dad grew up near Atlanta, Georgia. His first job was for the Associated Press. He was probably about 20 years old when the AP offered him a chance at one of two possible out-of-town jobs, either in Ohio or in California. He jumped at the chance to go to California "on their nickel" because it was farther away.
While he was in California the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he went to war as a photographer for Yank Magazine. He was shipped off to Fiji and other parts of the South Pacific.
The war didn't last a long time for my dad. The ship on which he was headed for action at Guadalcanal was struck by a Kamikaze pilot and he was wounded in the leg. At first he didn't know he'd been hit; he kept on taking pictures while blood ran down his leg and filled his shoe. That ended his time in the service.
After a long convalescence he joined the staff of the Oakland (California) Tribune newspaper. He worked for the Tribune for over 40 years and was the chief photographer before his retirement.
During that time he photographed every major world figure who came to San Francisco: political leaders, sports heroes, movie stars, you name it. My dad shot’ them all.
Forty years is a long time in one place. His work also captured the history and the changes of the San Francisco Bay Area.
His best pictures were of just average people. While covering ball games he'd turn his camera toward the crowd and catch their reactions, their faces delighted or sad.
During the civil rights struggles and the college student riots of the 60s and 70s my dad took the requisite photos of marching troops and angry citizens. But he also captured little moments, like a flirtatious interaction between a policeman with riot helmet and a college student carrying daisies.
My favorite pictures were of little kids interacting with animals, every kind from kittens to llamas. Their expressions, amazed or crying or laughing, still delight.
My dad was incredibly curious about other people and how they lived their lives. He also had a lot of patience, a necessary trait for a photographer. And he had an eye. He noticed things around him all the time. "Look at that," was a constant exhortation. And out would come the camera, to document some new thing, ordinary and wonderful all at the same time: decorated mail boxes, a dog in a bicycle basket, kids playing in a sprinkler.
Perhaps his constant awareness rubbed off; I'd like to think that the reason I notice the world around me is due to my dad's influence.
Now, it's not always easy being a photographer's only child. If we were on a trip, and there was beautiful scenery to shoot, say, the Tetons, or a famous monument like the Lincoln Memorial, my dad wanted people in the foreground.
"Look like you're walking toward me," he'd instruct. "Pretend you're talking." "Smile." "Pull in your stomach." And my favorite, "Don't stand with your knees back; you look like a horse out in the field." For a chubby child, these moments of keeping up with the background, trying to look animated and attractive, could be tough.
Newspaper staff on a big city daily worked irregular shifts, usually changing every couple of weeks. There were weeks when my dad left for work in the afternoon and came home again after I was asleep. Other times he'd be sleeping in the afternoon, preparing for another all-night shift.
If he had a feature assignment or a free-lance job, I often went along. The location might be backstage at a little theater. Or a private home filled with trained cats and their high wires and ladders. The circus and the rodeo.
The Tribune photographers traded shifts and covered for each other. My dad regularly built up credit by working extra shifts. Every year, while the other photographers covered his shifts in return, we'd load up the car and head across the country. By age 15, I could boast that I had seen the capitol of every single state. (And then along came Alaska and Hawaii.)
My dad taught me to look through a viewfinder and frame a picture. He taught me how to swing a hammer and wield a saw. He taught me how to drive, although I am sure he would rather have been someplace else.
He gave me a powerful example of patience and tolerance. He was one of the kindest men I've ever known. He accepted all people at face value, openly and without suspicion. He looked only for the good.
I was a lucky kid. I had a great dad.
Pending Act would improve veteran's benefits
The Veteran's Opportunities Act of 2001, recently introduced in congress, includes improvements to the burial, disability, pension and education benefits for veterans.
The legislation would:
- Increase the automobile and adaptive equipment grant for severely disabled veterans from $8,000 to $9,000
- Increase the grant for specially adapted housing for severely disabled veterans from $43,000 to $48,000, and increase the amount for less severely disabled veterans from $8,250 to $9,250
- Increase the burial and funeral allowance made to the family of veterans who die from service-connected causes from $2,500 to $3,000, increase the burial and funeral allowances for non-service connected veterans from $300 to $500, and increase the burial plot allowances from $150 to $300
- Expand the Service members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program to include spouse and children. Spousal coverage will not exceed $100,000; child coverage would be $10,000. Upon termination of SGLI, the spouse's policy could be converted to a private policy
- Make the effective date of an increase from $200,000 to $250,000 in the maximum SGLI benefit proved for in Public Law 106-419 retroactive to October 1, 2000, for a service member who died in the performance of duty and had the maximum amount of insurance in force
- Increase from $2,000 to $3,400 the maximum allowable annual SROTC award for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill (educational benefit program)
- Expand VA's work-study program for veterans to include working in their major academic discipline, working in state veterans homes, and helping State Approving Agencies with outreach efforts
- Provide for inclusion of certain private technology entitles in the definition of education institution
- Allow the disabled spouse or surviving spouse of a severely disabled service-connected veteran to receive special restorative training
- Permit veterans to use VA education assistance benefits for a certificate program offered by an accredited institution of higher learning by way of independent study
- Provide VA the authority to maintain transition assistance offices overseas
- Extend the time that pre-separation counseling is available to service members leaving the service to as early as 12 months before discharge, and 24 months prior to discharge for military retirees
- Improve education and training outreach service by requiring each State Approving Agency to conduct outreach program and provide services to eligible veterans and dependents about state and federal education and training benefits
- For purposes of VA's outreach programs, defines an eligible dependent as the spouse, surviving spouse, child or dependent parent of a service member or veteran. Require VA to ensure that eligible dependents are made aware of VA's services through media and veterans publications
- Requires VA to provide to the veteran or eligible dependent information concerning VA benefits and services whenever that person first applies for any benefit.
The amount payable for these benefits has remained constant for many years in spite of inflation. The purchasing power associated with these provisions still is limited and the provisions are a starting point for further improvements, according to the introducing congressman.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the measure unanimously earlier this year by a vote of 417 to 0.
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is email@example.com. 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.
Astros girls' fast pitch team ends season June 23
The two girls fast pitch teams, Red Sox and the Astros, continue with their schedules. Both teams played last week, but both lost both games. The Red Sox lost a double header Sunday to Durango Devils 20-10 then again to the Av's 20-10. Both team's seasons end this month. The Astros will end their season with a tournament in Bayfield starting June 23.
The two senior league baseball teams were in action last weekend: the A's played in Durango and the Pirates played Wednesday at home against Bayfield. The teams played each other last Monday.
The A's game scheduled for last Sunday was rescheduled to June 24. The next home game for the Pirates will be Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Durango's American Electric team.
The Town Park Fun program is limited to 21 participants.
Currently there are 19 youngsters registered. To remain at Park Fun and "keep your spot" in the program, parents need to pay for a week's registration by the Friday before. Participants will be taken on a first-come basis and payment for a week of Park Fun will hold your child's spot in the program.
Youth fishing day
On Saturday, a free day of fishing for youngsters 15 and under will be held in conjunction with the Division of Wildlife and the Town of Pagosa Springs.
The event will start at 9 a.m. and continue until noon, when the Town will offer free lunch for all attending. A free rod and reel will be provided along with bait for youngsters to catch fish.
For more information, contact Town Hall at 264-4151.
Pagosa Portrait Project show opens tonight
"Pagosa Portrait Project," an oil on board exhibit by Clare Burns, opens tonight with a reception from 5-7 p.m. at the PSAC Gallery at Town Park.
Clare says this exhibit embodies everything she loves - people, painting and Pagosa Springs. The Pagosa Portrait Project is a series of portraits of people who she feels add to the flavor of our town through "charity, dedication, history, or so much darn personality that they're notorious."
The show runs tonight through June 26. All portraits will be on auction beginning tonight with the closing bids collected at the June 27 SunDowner hosted by PSAC and held at the gallery in Town Park.
Don't miss this chance to meet the artist and see her special interpretation of some well known folks. As always, refreshments will be served.
Two slots for exhibits at the gallery at Town Park remain open. The first, July 12-25, has just become available due to a cancellation in the schedule. The other slot is Sept. 6-19.
Anyone interested in filling either of these exhibit times, call Joanne at the gallery, 264-2050.
An exciting new Whistle Pig performing apprenticeship program, open to all ages, is being offered this summer by local musicians Paul and Carla Roberts.
The Roberts' have many years of experience as performers and music educators.
Anyone wishing to develop talents in the folkloric performing arts is invited to sign up for the six-week free apprenticeship which starts June 19. An on-going focus on groups in singing, dancing, music making and costume design will last throughout the program.
Participants will have the wonderful opportunity to perform in a concert - "A World of Music" - featuring multicultural music and dance. The concert will be held in July.
For additional information call Paul Roberts at 731-1117. Whistle Pig is a division of PSAC .
Relay for Life
There's still time to join the Arts Council team for the annual Relay for Life, July 27 and 28 in Town Park. PSAC is looking for people to donate walking time and/or support.
For more details, call Joanne at 264-5020.
Pagosa Fiesta 2001, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club and the PSAC, is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Town Park. The event features lots of entertainment including open mic, arts and crafts, and booths with a wide variety of delicious foods.
PSAC is looking for silent auction items such as quality art or gift certificates to be donated for our June 27 SunDowner. Anyone with a donation should call PSAC President Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113 or Joanne at 264-5020.
Would the person who donated a Harold Larson or Lois Silver print to the PSAC Garage Sale at the end of March, please contact Joanne at 264-5020.
Any writer interested in writing the Arts Line column in those months with five weeks should call Joanne at the gallery. A volunteer to do publicity once in a while is also needed.
Stop by the gallery soon and fill out a PSAC membership form to start receiving discounts. Individual memberships are only $20 per year and family, $30.
PSAC is looking for businesses interested in sponsoring the quarterly newsletter, the Petroglyph. Your tax free donation of $200-300 will help the arts council pay for production and mailing of the newsletter. Business sponsors will have the option of inserting a flyer into the newsletter and will receive a public "thank you" in the Arts Line column and the Petroglyph. If you're interested, contact Joanne at 264-5020 or Jennifer at 731-3113.
Viva la Fiesta
As Pagosa Country grows and changes, we are bombarded with an array of "first annual" parades, celebrations, festivals, fundraisers. It seems new events take place every weekend - many of them entertaining, but many unfamiliar, oddly out of place with area history.
This weekend, however, one of the mainstays of traditional Pagosa takes place and it is a celebration worth attending.
For 21 years, people have gathered at Town Park and other locations on a summer weekend to recognize and celebrate Pagosa Country's Hispanic heritage.
The presence of Hispanic culture and the key contribution by Hispanic-surnamed people to this part of the country is essential and longstanding. This is at the core of our history here. To understand Pagosa, you must understand this tradition.
Begin, if you will, with the obvious - the name of our county.
When the county was created, it took its name from Jose Manuel Archuleta.
The Don's ancestors live here today; the Hispanic tradition goes back, in legend, more than three centuries, and in terms of verified history to 1765 when Spanish explorers scouted a land now crisscrossed by roads and highways, occupied by homes and commercial establishments.
As settlers, Hispanic pioneers came to the area in the 1870s, farming, ranching, raising sheep and cattle.
Another wave of settlers arrived to work with the railroads and with them came businessmen and political leaders. Soon, many workers were involved with the lumber industry.
In 1885, the first three-person board of county commissioners for Archuleta County included two Hispanic political leaders. The political and legal foundation of early life in Pagosa Country was put in place and administered by these individuals.
Over the years, the contribution has continued and expanded - the richness manifest in politics, business, education, law enforcement, community and religious affairs.
Pagosa Fiesta recognizes all of this and more.
Tomorrow night, a concert will take place at the high school auditorium. Part of the entertainment will be provided by local talent.
Saturday, Fiesta emerges in full flower, beginning with the 10 a.m. parade down San Juan and Pagosa Streets. The parade theme this year is "Fiesta de Colores" an apt name for a tradition as colorful and bountiful as this. The Grand Marshal is outgoing Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club President Lucy Gonzales. Lucy has given of her time and energy since the inception of the Fiesta 21 years ago and she is at the heart of the event.
Activities then shift to Town Park for a day-long, free celebration. From Father John Bowe's blessing, the Fiesta moves ahead with music, magic, dancing, great food. Award-winning singer and guitarist Marisol Flores is the headline act. Groupo Sensacion, from Durango will provide music that is sure to have people on their feet, dancing in front of the park gazebo. Baile-Espanol de Santa Fe returns to the Fiesta, with colorfully-costumed dancers performing traditional dances.
The park is crowded with families and friends. Pagosa's history is embodied in the generations that gather for the event.
At 8 p.m. Fiesta concludes with the annual Fiesta Dance. This year, the dance takes place at Timbers of Pagosa. Groupo Sensacion provides the music.
Beyond the exuberance of the celebration is another goal of Pagosa Fiesta - the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club's efforts on behalf of its scholarship fund. Every year, the club awards scholarships to deserving graduates of Pagosa schools. Proceeds from the dance will add to the scholarship fund, as will proceeds from ticket sales for a Fiesta day raffle.
Take advantage of this celebration of the essence of Pagosa Country. Learn, enjoy, contribute.
¡Viva la fiesta y la tradicion!
Dealing with weeds in our gardens
I don't envy Karl this week. He has to get this week's edition out without having any commissioners' meeting to report. The absence of their nonsense led me to rethink this week's column.
For the past few weeks I've been trying to keep my mind off the magnesium chloride episodes. It's obvious the chemical dust retardant road material binder isn't working. One of the latest applications of mag chloride stirred up more dust than it retarded. That's not to say that there is an absence of retardation in the county.
With no county commissioners meeting Tuesday, I started thinking about something besides county problems. For some reason crabgrass was the first thing to pop into my mind.
At first that bothered me. Then I remembered that I've spent the past few weekends helping Cynthia establish a new vegetable garden. There were the rocks - aka mini boulders - that we hauled home and unloaded to form the outline of the newest berm. Then we moved the rocks to a different location and rearranged them. This was followed by the spreading of mulch. The loading, unloading and spreading of peat moss, compost and manure. The extraction of the cedar fence posts. Digging new post holes in order to relocate the old fence to a new location. Oh, and the crabgrass. I guess that's how "crab" weeded its way into my keyboard.
At first I thought the term crabgrass was nothing more than a slang term coined by disgruntled farmers or gardeners. However, the dictionary confirmed "crabgrass" is an actual word. Some books at the Ruby Sisson Library agreed that there are three forms of crabgrass - large, silver and smooth. According to one source, silver crabgrass is also known as goosegrass. It's up to you to decide which type is invading your territory.
A book written by Whitney Cranshaw, "Pests of the West," provided some interesting information. Another book, "Rocky Mountain Horticulture" by George Kelly agreed with the information contained in Pests of the West. It was encouraging that the story on crabgrass was consistent from book to book. (Nothing is more perplexing for a reporter than to have information or stories change from week to week or meeting to meeting.)
According to Whitney Cranshaw, ". . . crabgrass can spread rapidly, removing water and nutrients used by (or budgeted for) other plants. . . ."
Evidently the best control for crabgrass is prevention, but as George Kelly stated about the opportunistic crabgrass, "Weeds we have always had with us . . . It is natural for weeds to come up in vacant places. . . ." (It made me miss former Commissioner Bob Formwalt who chose to not seek re-election and in effect vacated his seat.)
Mechanical controls such as mulching (blocking the light source), hoeing or cultivating (plowing under) were recommended as means of controlling crabgrass. Though time consuming and labor intensive, the mechanical controls were more preferable than using chemical controls.
I'm encouraged that the county commissioners will return to their regular meeting schedule next week. By then gardening should be the least of my worries and my mind will be thousands of miles away from crabgrass.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David.
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of June 13, 1901
The Pagosa & Northern changes time next Monday. From that date the train will lay over at night in Pagosa. Leaving here at 9 o'clock in the morning, making connections with the trains on the D.&R.G.
A. Lewis informed us Tuesday morning that the peculiar way the clouds looked was a good indication that we were through with the windy season. Maybe so, but guess not.
Some of the boys have been circulating a 4th of July subscription paper among our merchants the past few days. People are enthusiastic and the present indications are the celebration this year will far excel all previous efforts in this line heretofore held in this part of the San Juan.
Hereafter our tonsorial artists will charge twenty-five cents for a shave.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 11, 1926
The first cars to cross the Wolf Creek Pass reached Pagosa Springs late this afternoon from Del Norte. There were three in number and the pass is reported in fair condition, with some mud and snow to contend with.
Whereas, it should behoove each resident and property owner of Pagosa Springs to safeguard his personal health, as well as of the public in general; and whereas, with the arrival of the tourist season, it is to our interest to present a neat and pleasing appearance to the stranger within our gates; I, S.H. Dickerson, Mayor of the town of Pagosa Springs do hereby proclaim Thursday, June 17th, as Annual Clean-Up Day, at which time all residents are hereby notified to make a thorough clean-up of their premises and the streets and alleys adjoining.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 15, 1951
Archuleta County is now among those designated as areas where farmers and stockmen are now eligible for disaster loans under the Disaster program of the Farmers Home Administration. The designation was made because of losses sustained by operators thru drought and insect infestation in 1950 and 1951.
The annual meeting and election of officers held in conjunction with a machinery and farm demonstration held at the Chas. Pargin ranch last Saturday was a big success.
The Lions Club is just finishing a highly successful year under the presidency of Loren Snook. It has just recently completed the purchase of the community resuscitator, in cooperation with various other civic groups of the county.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 10, 1976
Moans and groans, and cries of outrage were numerous this past week when notices of valuation went out from the county assessor's office. The valuations set on property as a result of a property reappraisal were in almost every instance higher than last year. The reappraisal and revaluation were the result of a regulation issued by the Board of Equalization this past year. The reappraisal was, in effect, to list all property within the county at as near market price as was possible.
Traffic on the downtown parking fill will soon go to one way only. Signs are to be erected at both ends of the parking area to designate the direction. This action is being taken to make the parking area more efficient and to decrease the possibility of traffic accidents at entrance and exits.
Cornering the market in creeping vetch
My mother had what oldtimers routinely called a green thumb.
She could plant almost anything in the yard and make it grow.
I'm not sure which of them was the key one, but whatever it was seems to have departed when she passed to the eternal flower bed just over four years ago.
Was it the coffee grounds routinely dumped in the flower beds? The laundry day wash water drained into the yard? The fruit and vegetable peels and stalks which were left to rot into the soil?
Mother used all those methods, along with some hearty ambition with a shortened shovel to match her height. She harvested all kinds of flowers from the yard and the grass never seemed to have a weed in its smooth, green tableau.
I, on the other hand, seem to have a brown thumb.
The same yard seems to have gone fallow.
I use all kinds of weed killer and plant growth enhancer, but it is a struggle to raise more grass than dandelions, more flowers than vigorous weeds.
There are unique spots in the lawn which no one can explain. For example, the four-foot circle about 12 inches wide in which nothing other than what we call buffalo grass will grow, and it only sparsely.
Nearby there is a 4-by-6 foot area which is resistant to almost any growth, including weeds. I've dug it out down to a depth of 10 inches. Put in peat moss, top soil and a 2-inch layer of black dirt. I've raked and spaded. I've purchased the number one grass seed firm's expensive "grow anywhere" grass seed and carefully followed the planting instructions.
No quitter, I've actually done that three times in the last three years. To date, not a single blade of that "grow anywhere" stuff has grown anywhere.
I have two beautiful peonies in the yard. They grow green and bushy, robust and healthy. They form dozens of buds every year, sometimes almost bending the sturdy branches to the ground. But seldom do the buds ever open.
I've applied special fertilizers designed just for peonies. I've tried suggestions from others to water less to allow more ant population to inhabit the plants and thus pollinate the buds; and other suggestions to water more to help the plants establish deeper roots.
Still, the buds refuse, for the most part, to open.
In some parts of the yard pansies will grow and bloom profusely. In other parts receiving exactly the same treatment, they will die to the ground within days of being planted. Petunias will sometimes grow where the pansies won't, but won't grow where the nasturtiums will.
This year, I thought, I'd be ahead of the game. I spaded up the flower beds around the entire perimeter of the yard. I applied soil enhancement early and then topped off everything with a healthy layer of top soil.
And I waited to plant, like the oldtimers say, until the Memorial Day weekend. I went whole hog with the flowers - seven flats carefully put into my prize new soil.
The result? Mixed.
Within 48 hours at least a dozen of the plants were dead. Others, despite prolific watering, were withering and fighting for life. Today there are dead plants next to thriving ones. Withered snapdragons next to finely blooming poppies. Dead pansies next to a runaway Missouri primrose.
Who can explain why one thing grows and another does not?
People always admired the yard when mother was in her gardening prime. She never grew vegetables, but her flowers were renowned. Many a flower bed in town got its start with cuttings or seeds harvested from hers.
She could plant a packet of seeds and get hundreds of blooms.
I can plant hundreds of seeds and get nothing.
I have threatened to turn the entire yard into a rock garden - painted green. But I fear I'd then have to harvest the weeds from every tiny crack between the stones.
I do, it seems, have the knack of growing thriving crops of nearly every kind of weed known to Pagosa Country. I don't even have to nourish them. They seem to admire and thrive on the various forms and strengths of weed killer I've applied.
Perhaps most illustrative of my ineptitude as a flower gardener was my experience with the gladiolus bulbs.
Planted three years ago, they bloomed profusely. At last, I thought, I've found a plant which will grow for me. Following the bulb dealer's instructions, after the first year, I trimmed the stalks back to an inch above ground level before winter and then covered the entire bed with two inches of peat moss as a protectant against the ravages of winter.
The next year, only five of the 40 plants in the bed came up. They were scraggly and never bloomed. I dug up the bulbs that fall and kept them stored through the winter in a dark place as suggested by the producer. Replanted in the spring, they were supposed to return to their full glory in the third year.
What did I get? Nothing.
Finally I dug up the bed and found, to my dismay, every single bulb was missing and there was an underground network of pathways which gave every indication of a skunk family having sustained itself on the delicious bulbs that wouldn't grow.
I dug it all up and planted a variety of seeds, carefully following the envelope instructions for each type. The next morning I found a mixed flock of crows and magpies feeding greedily on my carefully sown flower bed.
I tried planting some vegetable seeds in another bed and have yet to see even a hint of growth of anything except the weed mother used to call creeping vetch. And creep, it does, into, over and around anything in its way.
I suspect I could corner the market on creeping vetch sales - if anyone were actually intent on growing it.
Hey! Maybe I should just plant the vexing vetch in all the spots where nothing else will grow.
At least then I might have a hint of green in my brown.
Farrow history parallels settling of West
I noted with sadness this past week, the passing of Wayne Farrow. His death removes a marker from the chronicles of Pagosa Country history. Indeed, the Farrow family history parallels the history of the West, complete with bloody, post-Civil War Kansas, the '49er, the '59er, and the San Juan gold rushes, cowboying, and roots planted during the first settlement of Pagosa Country.
I have eaten at the Farrow table and enjoyed the privilege of knowing three generations of Farrows. Wayne was certainly a beloved son, husband, father and friend, but for me as a historian he was more. Wayne had forgotten more about Pagosa Country history, particularly in the Piedra area, than anyone else will ever know. I interviewed him at least three times and left each time wishing I had more time and more pertinent questions.
Once I noted a fruit tree near the entrance to First Notch Road, just up U.S. 160 from Wayne's house. There was no house near the tree. I was puzzled because a fruit tree usually means a residence. I asked Wayne and he immediately told me that so and so had lived there, but was long gone.
A little background information might help set the stage before I report from a written Farrow family history Alan Farrow, Wayne's son, was kind enough to let me read. When we talk about Farrows living on the Piedra, we're talking about that general area where U.S. 160 crosses the Piedra River on its way to Durango. The area sometimes includes land as far as the Chimney Rock store to the east and Yellowjacket Pass to the west. Sometimes it is also referred to as the Chimney Rock area. In any case, if you say over on the Piedra, any oldtimer knows where you mean.
From earliest recorded history, a road has crossed the Piedra River near the Farrow residence and meandered westerly up Yellowjacket Creek. When Pagosa Country was being settled miners, soldiers and Indians, stage coaches, and nearly everyone going west passed through that point.
Other areas in Pagosa Country were referred to as down on the Navajo, or up in O'Neal Park, or West Fork or East Fork of the San Juan, or by other names. The same practice of naming areas was used by settlers heading west. They talked about going to the "San Jons," the San Juan Mountains usually meaning the Silverton area at that time; or the "Picket wire," meaning the Purgatorie River which runs through Trinidad; or "Huerfano Country," an area along the Huerfano River generally around today's Walsenberg, and so on. The Pine River Country was around today's Bayfield.
Wayne's wife Betty's family settled in Huerfano Country with the Georgia Colonists near La Veta. Leaders of the Georgia Colonists were involved in the first gold findings near Denver that led to the gold rush of 1859 and the initial Anglo settlement of Colorado. The Patterson family prominent in Silverton and Pagosa Springs history was part of the Georgia Colony, but that is another story. Today we are looking at Farrow family history as written by a member of the family.
Mason Farrow, Wayne's grandfather, was born in the blue grass part of Kentucky Nov. 10, 1826. The manuscript doesn't say if the family was part of the historic movement across Cumberland Gap so important to the history of that part of the nation, but that is a probable fact. Mason was one of nine brothers. He and brother Joe went to Kansas as young men. In Kansas, they met the Miller girls.
Martha Jane Miller had been born in Kansas March 18, 1840, an early date to be living in Kansas. In 1849, after Texas joined the Union, the Miller family moved to Texas. Mason went to California with the 1859 gold rush at Sutter's Mill. The family believes Mason had a gold claim he sold for $1,500 before returning to Oklahoma. Joe went to Texas and married Martha's sister Hattie. When Mason returned from California, he corresponded with Martha. At the age of 17, she had married Daniel Frasier, a ship's captain who died of yellow fever and was buried at sea. The couple had a son named Daniel.
Mason went to New Orleans and married Martha when Daniel was 10. Martha was one-quarter Choctaw. Her Choctaw relatives were marched by the government from the middle Mississippi River to the northwest corner of Arkansas, the original "Trail of Tears" so infamous in U.S. history. The journey started in November of 1831 during an unusually hard, cold winter. Most of the marchers were barefoot and nearly naked. Many froze to death or died of exposure as they waded through the flooded countryside. Most of the men and boys died or were killed. It is said that Mason's mother exchanged two Yankee soldiers for her son Lt. Thomas Farrow during the Civil War.
After marrying, Mason and Martha returned to Kansas and continued farming. Children were born in Kansas included Erven Mason born March 10, 1871, at Coffeeville. Western history buffs will remember that the Dalton gang received their come uppance during a bank robbery at Coffeyville.
By 1873, Lucinda May was born at Picket Wire River, Colorado. From there, the Farrows journeyed by wagon to Lake City. At Lake City, they abandoned wagons and tied their possession onto burros. Two burros were left without packs so they could carry Martha and the children. Mason and Daniel walked, leading the burros across the Continental Divide to Silverton. Mason was looking for silver.
Nevada Ann was born Aug. 5, 1875, in Silverton. Rachel, who had been born in 1868, died in 1875, the first death in Silverton according to a newspaper item in the Del Norte Prospector. Mason helped lay out the cemetery at Howardsville about six miles up the Animas River from Silverton.
The family left Silverton because Martha didn't want her children working in the mines. They settled at Pine River where Rocky Mountain Farrow was born Sept. 20, 1877, in a log cabin on the Ike Smith place about two miles north of today's Bayfield. Rocky Mountain Farrow was Wayne Farrow's dad.
In 1879, the Farrows moved to the Piedra where they purchased property from Eli Perkins. Perkins had homesteaded in 1876, but was moving on because the country was "getting too crowded." As a point of time reference for the reader, it should be noted that Fort Lewis was located in Pagosa Springs from 1878 into 1882. The stage coach road lay on the west side of Mason's field after the route crossed the river and passed the stage stop. The road continued up Yellowjacket Creek and over the pass to Pine River where it crossed the river just below the present Columbus Bridge.
The last Indian battle was fought in a field just west of Mason's place near a large rock that still marks the spot. The Farrow boys were so frightened during the battle they hid under the bed. The Farrow family has long maintained that the knife duel between Col. Albert Pfeiffer and the Navajo for ownership of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring took place at this site instead of the site bearing a marker just west of Pagosa Springs..
A son was born on the Piedra property April 3, 1879, where the family farmed until about 1904. Another son was born in Animas City (the north end of today's Durango) Feb. 6, 1881, in a small log cabin. The cabin was later moved to the corner of Main and Junction Creek where it was used as a visitor center. The building has recently been moved back to the museum grounds in old Animas City. Rocky, Myrtle, and Amy were born in the same little log cabin on the Ike Smith place about two miles north of Bayfield.
While on the farm, Mason ran cattle. He also planted an apple orchard which he irrigated from Yellowjacket Creek. Another irrigation ditch diverted water from the Piedra River. Today's highway runs through the former apple orchard. Always a prospector, Mason discovered silver in Lower Box Canyon. The silver assayed at 30 cents a ton, not enough to pay for developing a mine and shipping to the Durango smelter, so that endeavor was dropped.
During those early days, the family moved to town for three or four months during winter, the only opportunity the children had to go to school. Consequently, Rocky Mountain obtained only a third or fourth grade education, not uncommon in those days.
Mason and Martha sold their property to Rocky about 1904 and moved to Silver City, N.M. Rocky married Myrtle Bates Ethridge in 1904. She had a son, Chalmer, born in 1900. Other children born to the couple were Mason Lee, born April 13, 1905, in Bayfield; and Mabel Violet born Oct. 11, 1906, in Bayfield. Myrtle died in 1913.
Rocky married Amy Hammond Tunnell Sept. 20, 1917. She had two sons, Elton and Carroll. Children born to Rocky and Amy were Ilah Amy born June 10, 1920, in a Bayfield hotel, and Clifford Wayne born Aug. 11, 1923, in Bayfield in the Dodson house.
Rocky Mountain purchased 73 acres for $2,500 in 1912, expanding the size of the place. In 1928, he had 400 head of cattle, the most ever. He had to drive them overland to Arboles in order to ship them to market.
During the 1930s, temperatures reached 30 below zero, unusually cold for the Piedra. Water was poured on the horse's bits in order to keep the bits from sticking to the horse's mouths when they were inserted.
During another winter, about 1929 or 1930, three feet of snow dropped in for Thanksgiving. A five or six year old Wayne remembered the snow being so deep he couldn't open the door to the chicken coop.
All work on the farm at that time was done with horses. The work schedule was from sunup to sunset every day of the week. In 1936, Rocky Farrow was elected and served one term as Archuleta County Commissioner. He passed away during November of 1957. Wife Amy passed away in 1972.
Wayne and Betty remembered their parents as ordinary, hardworking people. If there was a job to be done, they did it. Amy had a large garden and canned great amounts of food. She also sewed the children's clothing.
While a youngster, Wayne attended a small country school near the farm during summer months. He later attended three years at Durango High school, then graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1941, one of a class of 31.
Wayne married Betty Denton of Bayfield in Santa Fe Nov. 22, 1946. The couple have children, Marla Jean and Alan Wayne. In 1959, Wayne and Betty moved the old house and built a new one. On Aug. 25, 1989, at the Colorado State Fair, Wayne and Betty received a Colorado Centennial Farm Program Award because the farm had been in their family at least 100 years.
Wayne took over the farm in 1946. At that time, there was still no electricity on the farm. Laundry was done with a gas-powered washing machine. Water had to be pumped from the well, heated on the stove, and poured into the machine. The clothes were agitated in the machine, run through a ringer, rinsed in clear water, run through a ringer again, then hung outside on the clothesline to dry. Electricty reached the area in 1948 or 1949.
Wayne served on the school board for many years.
Wayne spent most of his life working cattle. He represents that class of men formerly common in Pagosa Country, but now disappearing, who were as comfortable sitting a horse as most of us are spread out on the couch in front of television. He belonged to a breed of hardworking outdoorsmen no longer produced here. Pagosa Country's loss is huge.
Enrollment boom continues as school meets space needs
Numbers at Our Savior Lutheran School are up and climbing.
In 1999-00, enrollment was 60. Last year, it increased to 80, and in 2001-02 numbers are expected to reach near 100, with much of the growth happening in the lower grades.
"There are two things that draw them," Principal Dr. Al Landes said. "A Christian education and our academic standard." Small class size is another bonus.
"All our classrooms are limited to 20 except kindergarten is limited to 15," Landes said. Right now, grades K-8 have a waiting list for fall.
The enrollment boom has also meant a continuing need for more space. Two years ago, a new gymnasium opened and, starting in 2001-02, the preschool will move into a separate building. It's a challenge the school will continue to face in the future, Landes said.
"That is helped by the total dedication of the church membership to give and give," he said.
Our Savior, part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and accredited through the National Lutheran School Accreditation program, opened in 1992, and has grown to include preschool through eighth grade with full-day kindergarten. It is one of over 2,000 Lutheran schools in the country. Across the United States, the Lutheran school system serves more than 200,000 students, making it the largest Protestant Christian school system in the United States, Dr. Landes said.
Back to books
Beyond the basic subjects - English, spelling, social studies, science and math - students participate in physical education and music four days a week, Dr. Landes said.
"Music-wise, all the kids participate in the choir," Landes said. "The kids also participate in music and drama at our chapel services every Wednesday."
Those efforts are celebrated in a couple of annual performances.
"We get crowds over 300 at our Christmas Musical each year," Dr. Landes said. In May, the school produces a Spring Musical with drama, dancing and music that incorporates students from all grade levels.
Seventh grader Ashley Snyder, assistant director for the drama, "Once Upon a Parable," involving third through seventh graders, at this year's musical, said she expected it to be good, but was still nervous.
"We've never tried dancing and singing at the same time," she said.
At the junior high level, home economics and Spanish classes were added in 2000-01. Starting next year, the Spanish classes will start in third grade and continue through junior high.
"We have seen our graduates go on to Pagosa Springs High School and do very well academically and otherwise," Dr. Landes said.
In God's hands
Faith in Jesus Christ is another essential element of each day.
According to the Parent-Teacher Handbook: "Students study the Bible and worship God daily. Teachers relate Jesus Christ in all aspects of the curriculum. Teachers and students share Christian love and forgiveness."
In keeping with that goal, students participate in a daily devotional, and weekly chapel services. The full-time teachers are trained and certified by Lutheran colleges. Together, policy, training and action make for an atmosphere that is a key benefit for the teachers and the school, Landes said.
"I have the freedom to be a Christian educator," he said. "I find in the Christian atmosphere, discipline becomes easier."
Seventh grader Emily Martinez agrees.
"There's not as much cussing here, and the teachers can talk about God. When you get in a fight they sit down and talk to you," she said.
"Hardly anybody gets sent to the principal's office," Snyder said.
Besides the Lutheran-based theology, classroom structure is what most people would consider "traditional," and so are many of the school's rules.
By the rules
All new students entering Our Savior Lutheran are tested to ensure proper grade placement, and students are graded on an A through F scale with 94-100 percent an A, 87-93 percent a B, 76-86 a C, and a 70-75 a D. Scoring a 69 or less is considered an F. The Board of Education maintains sole responsibility for placement of all students.
Students at Our Savior Lutheran are served by six full-time and four part-time teachers, including the principal. The dedication of those teachers is yet another reason for the school's success, Dr. Landes said.
"Nobody here counts hours," he said. "They do whatever it takes to have each child excel. No child gets lost."
Teachers are also good at making class time fun, sixth grader Martinez said.
"There's not as many kids, and they don't get in as many fights," she added. "You can actually learn more with less people." A total of 11 students attended the 5-8th grade class in 2000-01.
Of course, other rules, like a dress code, make Our Savior Lutheran School unique in Archuleta County.
Students at Our Savior Lutheran School are required to wear a school uniform - khakis, trousers, shorts or a jumper, and the official school shirts.
According to the parent-student handbook, the school does not serve: "students with serious behavioral or emotional disorders, students who currently exhibit or have a history of chronic, willful disobedience, students symptomatic of, or diagnosed as having severe ADD or ADHD, students experiencing moderate to severe learning disabilities, students with parents unwilling to be active Learning Team members, and students with overall academic deficiencies greater than one grade level behind chronological age level" because the resources and staff are not available.
For K-8 students, classes run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, classes conclude at 1:30 p.m. The school calendar follows the District 50 public school calendar exactly to allow families with students in multiple schools to have the same days off, Landes said.
Tuition for students attending kindergarten or above costs $235 per month during the school year for non-church members. Tuition for Members of Our Savior Lutheran Church is $176 during the nine-month school year.
Coming next week: Archuleta County High School
Jack Armstrong is manager of the new hearth department at Ace Hardware.
The department offers a variety of stoves including Jotil, Osburn and Century woodstoves, Breckwell pellet stoves, Heatilator and Bis fireplaces, Heat 'n' Glow fireplaces, Hargrove gas logs, and Premiere mantles.
When complete, the department will keep more than 50 stoves in stock with 35 units and some working models on display. The department provides installation, piping, ducting and accessories.
Ace Hardware is open seven days a week. Call Armstrong at 264-4154.