When John Kellogg pointed his boat toward the shore of Lake Pagosa Sunday afternoon, it was to escape the fast-approaching storms.
The lightning found him anyway.
Kellogg was struck by a lightning bolt while standing on the dock, near the spillway along Cloud Cap Avenue, talking with some friends, still holding his fishing rod. He escaped with burn marks and some soreness.
"I got lucky," he said.
EMT intermediate Mary Fletcher, one of the emergency personnel to respond to the scene, agreed.
"He was sitting on the dock when we got there," she said. Although initially he reported numbness from the waist down, it seemed to dissipate.
Fletcher said a few burns on Kellogg's wrists were the only signs of exit wounds they could find. The bolt also singed the hair on his legs, but a cardiac monitor showed no problems with his heart.
The pole, however, didn't fare so well.
"There ain't nothing but fiber left," he said.
Kellogg was transported to Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center in a private vehicle, treated and released.
Fletcher said the incident could be an example for others who believe that once off the lake, they are safe. Although the top of the dock was fiberglass, the steel supports dropped down into water, a dangerous combination in summer storms.
The Upper San Juan Hospital District has secured a quick fix for the current budget crisis.
"Yes, in fact, we can maintain the current level of services," Dick Babillis, chairman of the hospital district board and interim district manager, said with a sigh of relief.
However, when the calendar strikes November, the fix is over, unless the voters support a mill levy increase.
The short-term solution to the problem, approved by the hospital district board at a special meeting July 9, was to request a loan from the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation endowment fund. After a series of meetings and discussions with legal counsel, the foundation has agreed to assist the district in covering budget shortfalls up until the election, but as a contribution.
A loan was not an option, Babillis said, because, in this case, TABOR doesn't allow the board to enter into a multi-year loan without a vote of the people.
Instead, the foundation agreed to establish a line of credit for the district using the endowment as collateral, he said. When the district reaches the point where cash flow is unavailable, its board can apply to the foundation for a contribution to cover expenses, including "payroll and a minimum of operating expenses." In return, the district agreed to make its "best effort," Babillis said, to repay any contributions and will include a line-item for that purpose in the 2002 budget.
The board then turned its attention toward the critical November vote. Babillis presented the board, and about 10 members of the public in attendance, with a draft of talking points, including an outline of recent growth, the background of the revenue shortfall, a short-term solution and long-term plan to stabilize the problem.
Board member Bill Downey, cautioned the other board members and staff that actions regarding a political issue are regulated by state law, especially when it comes to expenditures and asked them to research the rules before attempting to promote the issue. Several board members said they hoped citizens might form an independent election committee to help spread the word in support of a levy increase.
Babillis repeated his stand from earlier meetings, encouraging people to promote the levy increase without using scare tactics such as telling the public that a no vote means no ambulance service.
The amount of a levy increase the district will request remains unknown, but the budget committee has started work on the 2002 budget, a starting point for reaching a final figure.
"When we have a definitive and defensible budget, then that will serve as a basis along with preliminary valuation figures for setting the mill levy," Babillis said.
Sue Walan, board member and budget committee chairman, said the committee had already looked at a preliminary 2002 budget for the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, including the Urgent Care Center. They were planning to meet again today to consider a preliminary budget for Emergency Medical Services. The committee's goal is to have a draft of the budget and an explanation of budget assumptions ready for discussion at the regular August board meeting.
By then, it should also be clearer how much the district can expect to reap from fee increases and other revenue-expanding efforts, such as a hike in ambulance transport rates and mileage charges, recently implemented by both the medical center and EMS staff.
Laura Rome, DMFC office administrator, said she remains optimistic about the ability of the clinic to reach the goal set by the board of increasing revenues and cutting budget items to cover $50,000 in shortfall plus a payback in tax dollars accepted from the district in 2001.
At the beginning of Tuesday night's regular meeting, Babillis cleared up a misunderstanding about the tax dollars the medical center receives from the district. At the special meeting July 9, at least two board members stated that no tax dollars had gone to the medical center this year. In reality, $52,000 in tax monies have been used to support the center in 2001, a fact reported in an earlier handout. That figure closely matched the amount of past tax support given to the medical center, setting up the confusion, he said.
Because of its enterprise status, the medical center is allowed to receive a maximum of 10 percent of operating expenses in tax revenues with approval of the district board.
Babillis apologized for not clearing up the misunderstanding during the public meeting.
In a separate report, Rod Richardson, EMS operations manager, said staff on his side of the street also continued to work toward saving on operation costs for the remainder of the year. Along those lines, he said, the EMT Association board voted to refuse $3,000 in revenue from the district for employee meals, contributing it toward operating expenses and payroll instead.
Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid, said in an interview Wednesday morning, that the deadline for submitting questions in final form, in this case with the desired levy increase, to the clerk's office in time for the November election is Sep. 12, just under eight weeks away.
Three county issues joined hands this week as the board of county commissioners focused on alternatives connected with adding space for public services conducted in the courthouse.
Sales taxes, a county administrator, and the whens, hows, and how much of building a new county courthouse emerged as issues even as the commissioners listened to representatives of Carter and Burgess at a July 12 workshop. Carter and Burgess is a Denver firm providing engineering, architecture, and planning services for governmental entities.
"This was the first of many meetings we plan to hold with specialists in the field," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "Generally, it was a fact-finding session. We're studying ways to look at getting a new courthouse. The old courthouse is bulging at the seams."
The commissioners have in their library a 1999 space needs study that indicates more space will be needed soon. Especially pressing is the need for expansion of courtroom capabilities. Elected officials and department heads are also demanding additional space as the number of activities and employees expands to meet the needs of the county's fast-growing population. Lack of parking space is surfacing as an issue.
"It's a real need," Crabtree said. "I think we'll need to go out for requests for proposals within the next year."
Alden Ecker and Bill Downey, the remaining county commissioners, also agree the need is pressing.
"Considering the economy and interest rates, now is probably the best time in history for building and financing because interest rates are so low," said Ecker. "The economy probably won't stay where it is; building is likely to be more expensive in the future."
Downey agrees that now is the time to start planning for a new courthouse, but seems to adopt an unhurried approach.
"We need to be making progress, educating ourselves as to how to go about it," Downey said. "I don't know if a new building or some other course of action is the best approach. That's why we need to be studying. If we don't come up with something better in two or three years, the situation could become critical. I know we'll need a new building someday."
From the Carter-Burgess workshop, the commissioners learned that all sorts of expert help is available at all sorts of prices. Firms will undertake any portion of the project, ranging from simple planning or engineering to turning out an entire, turn-key product.
A wide range of financing alternatives were discussed, including general obligation bonds, lease purchase plans, certificates of purchase, and use revenues from a 2 percent sales tax currently collected and subject to renewal by voter approval before Jan. 1, 2003.
All of the commissioners assert they want voter approval before building a courthouse. Early estimates based on the 1999 space needs study place the cost of the new building at $7 million. Land for the purpose costing $750,000 has been purchased on Hot Springs Boulevard across the street from the recently erected town hall.
Downey said, based on what he knows now, he prefers the general obligation bond method of financing because that method involves lower interest rates and requires voter approval.
"Right now I am looking at all forms of financing and I am open to anything," Downey said.
Crabtree and Ecker lean in the direction of financing a new courthouse with a portion of county income derived from a 2 percent sales tax due for renewal by Jan. 1, 2003. Voter approval is required in order to continue the 2 percent tax. It is currently divided 50-50 with the town. The county's portion is now committed 50 percent to the general fund and 50 percent to the road and bridge capital improvement fund.
If voters approve, the commissioners are considering diverting approximately $200,000 from this source to make an annual payment on the proposed new courthouse.
"That 2 percent is committed now," Downey said, but when it expires we could put it on the ballot to change the use."
The sales tax issue can be placed on the ballot this coming November, during November of 2002, or possibly both.
"If it failed this year, we'd have another chance next year," Ecker said. "If we wait until next year and it fails, that's it. The county really needs that money."
Staging the election this fall has an up-side and a down-side, according to Downey. The up-side is if voters turn it down this year, there is still next year, Downey said. "At the same time, if voters reject it this year and we put on the ballot again, voters might say, 'What part of no don't you understand?'"
Crabtree sees the sales tax as a good way to finance the contemplated building because it "doesn't increase taxes."
"How to build this and not increase taxes is the key," Crabtree said. "Basically, we would re-word the proposal on the ballot to designate some of the revenue for a courthouse and the rest for county roads. If we could have something new without raising taxes, I'd be in favor of that," Crabtree said.
Both Crabtree and Ecker agree with Downey that the issue of building and financing a courthouse should be put before the voters. A vote on the sales tax would meet that requirement, they say.
A workshop is scheduled July 26 to discuss placing the sales tax issue on the ballot and consider how that relates to building a new county courthouse.
Each of the commissioners stresses that planning for construction of a courthouse is in the earliest stages. Decisions remain on how big, how much money, and how the money will be repaid.
If a portion of the 2 percent sales tax is dedicated to that purpose, the decision must be made in time to place the issue on the November General Election Ballot.
Finally, Crabtree says he now believes the county should hire a new administrator, replacing former County Manager Dennis Hunt who resigned in February.
"We need to hire an administrator in time to take part in the process of deciding how to go about building a new courthouse," Crabtree said. "In the past I have delayed hiring an administrator because I wanted us (the three commissioners) to have time to learn how all of the county departments work. I thought that would help us do our job better. I also thought it would help us learn what to look for in a new administrator. I have a good idea what we need now, and I am ready to move ahead with the hiring process."
Cyndy Secrist will meet with her staff for the last time from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Secrist, who resigned as Pagosa Springs Elementary School principal earlier this summer because her husband was transferred to a new job near Eagle, will be feted by the school staff in Town Park.
A staff representative said they all appreciate the dedication and leadership Secrist has shown in her nine years here and want her to know how much she'll be missed.
They invite the public, too, to stop by and offer Secrist best wishes as the family enters a new phase.
The Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint has a special meeting scheduled at 5 p.m. today in which it is hoped a replacement for Secrist can be named.
The same session will, administrators hope, deal with teaching vacancies throughout the district and receipt of bids and possible contract awards for work planned at Golden Peaks Stadium.
That project, including two access ramps for the handicapped, a new ticket booth, and a new concession-restroom building, had been expected to be well underway by now. However, initial bids for the project far exceeded estimates and architect Julia Donoho was directed to scale down the plan and seek new bids.
As a result, the structure will not be ready for this football season as had originally been expected.
This is the first phase of a long-range project which will include upgrading track facilities to competition status and redoing the soccer field to remove a four-foot drop-off and make it available for league competition.
That will free some of the wear and tear on the existing football field which is currently being used for both boys and girls soccer and some training for track events in addition to use for football. Football practice is conducted on the outfield of one of the softball diamonds in the adjacent Sports Complex.
In the childcare business, the rewards are a youngster's giggle, warm hugs and sticky-faced smiles. For a dedicated few, the outpouring of unconditional love from the children is enough.
For others, the challenges of running a home-based business, coping with parents, finding and maintaining employees or working extra hours shopping for groceries, completing paperwork or balancing the books every week is just too much.
Here in Pagosa Springs, at a time when 2000 census figures estimate that over 500 children in the community are under age five and, according to a 2000 report by Operation Healthy Communities, licensed day-care provides between 150 and 200 slots annually, the number of dedicated few is in need of a growth spurt.
As of May, a total of 17 licensed childcare providers, including both large centers and in-home care, existed in Archuleta County. Within the last year, three new licensed childcare facilities have opened, Heidi Mar-tinez, a case worker with Social Services, said. At the same time, a pair closed their doors and funding available for start-up costs vanished when a grant was denied this summer.
"Last year every licensed person got money, but this year we didn't get the grant," Martinez said.
Teddy Adler-Finney, executive director of Seeds of Learning, an early childhood development center in downtown Pagosa Springs, said as a provider the challenges include maintaining consistency in staff, providing continuing education opportunities for staff, finding sources of additional revenue and educating the community on the importance of quality childcare in early mental and social development.
Consistency in staff is especially critical in a childcare setting because it leads to an environment where the children can feel safe and form strong bonds with others. Constant change can lead to added stress for the children.
"Studies show within the first three years brains develop for learning," Adler-Finney said. "When you have stress, it actually slows down the brains, and the impact can stay with them for the rest of their life."
Casey Levingston, childcare director at Seeds of Learning, said even in the infant room, where the center maintains a 1-3 teacher to student ratio, lower than required by the state, the staff are teachers.
"That one-on-one care is so important so we can provide sensory opportunities that you wouldn't be able to if we had higher numbers," she said.
But providing consistency in staff requires paying a just wage for teachers who have a strong educational background in early childhood development, Adler-Finney said. That means breaking down the misconception that childcare providers are merely "babysitters."
"Reducing turnover has really been our emphasis this year," she said. "We started with health benefits for full-time employees and raising wages."
Start-up funds, when available, help with initial costs, but aren't enough, she said. To help supplement income without continuously burdening parents with higher charges she applies for about 10 grants annually, both large and small, for new equipment and toys.
For instance, she said, recently the center purchased a $1,300 climbing unit. Installation was donated by local volunteers, saving about half on costs. Of course, surfacing under the equipment is also necessary to meet safety standards. Those surfacing materials will cost about $4,000 and must be shipped from Denver. Adler-Finney said grants and volunteer hours to cover that expense are in the works.
Currently, she said, the center is looking for ways to expand its services to help fill some of the community need, but that will require a capital campaign.
An in-home center faces an even steeper climb with fewer sources of grant money, state or federal help available. Shonda Martinez, Judy Graham and Marie Lattin, who have 45 years of combined licensed in-home childcare experience in Pagosa Springs, all said running an in-home business requires sacrifices of time and family.
Graham, a local provider in the area for the last 25 years, identified three reasons for the fluctuations in number of licensed childcare facilities in the area. First, married in-home providers must have a husband to support them, someone willing to allow a business in their home, a business that can take 50 or 60 hours a week of their spouse's time. Second, it can be difficult on the provider's own children, who must find a way to share their mom and their toys, with others. Third, it's not an easy job.
"Daycare is a very busy, stressful job," she said. Five days a week, she works from around 6:20 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. caring for other people's children.
Shonda Martinez who has operated a licensed in-home childcare center in Pagosa Springs since 1993, said in-home providers must also keep track of growing amounts of paperwork.
"I feel like I'm trying to do my job with the kids, but I spend my free time catching up on paperwork."
As an example, in the beginning, Martinez said, the contract she asked parents to sign was just two pages long, now it's a dozen pages.
"The state has you put some things in to protect yourself," she said. "As I go, the state will come up with a few things, and I will come up with a few things."
Keeping open lines of communication with parents, especially when it comes to payment is equally important, Martinez said.
Although she praised her current group of parents for prompt payment, she said in the past a few seemed to put childcare last on the list of bills to pay. Even when Martinez raised rates to help her break even, some people complained.
"I had parents pull out," she said.
"The biggest challenge we face is helping parents who are financially strapped," Graham said. "The money is secondary."
Lattin agreed that most parents are great about paying for childcare.
"I've had a couple that were pickles," she said. In one case, a family still owes her $350 dating back to May 2000. Another case involving $90 has never been paid.
Still, the early childhood profession has changed, and for the better in the last 25 years, Graham said.
"The money is certainly twice as good," she said. A quarter of a century ago, she charged about $7 a day; now, that number has gone up to about $16 per day.
Respect for the childcare profession has also grown.
"The knowledge has spread as far as what daycare providers do," she said. "It's become more of a profession rather than a hobby-type thing."
All three in-home providers interviewed for the article spent time each day working with the children to develop reading and social skills in preparation for school.
Lessons of love
The bottom line is, licensed childcare providers, whether center-based or home-based are in the business for love, not for big bucks, and that can be hard to come by in the current economy.
"It's a personal sacrifice for people to work here. They have to love children, be passionate about children," Adler-Finney said.
At what point can funds be withdrawn from an escrow account to pay for installation of utilities?
If you're a member of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners, that was a perplexing question at Tuesday's meeting.
Commissioner Gene Crabtree, board chairman, said utility companies will not do any work without payment in advance, and that is holding up progress on the Cloman Industrial Park. In Phase 1, he said, the money was released in advance so the work could get started.
But, in Phase II, the contract wording changed and it now requires payment in advance and "we need the utilities in there."
Mary Weiss, county attorney, said she hadn't thoroughly reviewed the situation, "but if you amend the escrow account limitations, you'll have to change the improvement amendment, too."
The Archuleta Economic Development Association has $111,000 in escrow funds on deposit at Wells Fargo Bank, commissioners said, to insure installation of utilities at the industrial park site.
Crabtree moved from the chair to withdraw $30,000 from that escrow account for utilities installation but Weiss cautioned, "The ordinance you adopted does not allow release of monies until the improvements are completed."
"There can be no work, under utility rules, until the funds are released," Crabtree countered. "That's the reason I'm asking for this amendment - so we can get the work done. I want to allow payout before the weather changes and the work is still incomplete."
"Can we legally do this?" asked Commissioner Alden Ecker.
"It would vary from regulations," said Weiss. "Those regulations require collateral be in place."
"There is collateral - the deposit," argued Crabtree.
"Yes, but you are proposing to release part of it, and devalue it," Weiss replied.
"We're holding up a development that benefits all of the county," said Crabtree.
"I would prefer not bending the regulation cited," said Weiss. "I don't think there should be any release until the work is completed. I think this proposed action is a huge departure from what we typically do."
"Are we going to not act and put it on hold for years?" asked Ecker. "If we do, we're stifling economic growth and hindering those with investments. Can we do this and avoid being sued? I want what's best for all the county."
"No matter what you do, there could be negative effects," said Weiss. "It's not something you'd do for any other developers."
"I have a motion on the floor," intoned Crabtree.
"Are you asking for three separate checks, one for each utility company?" asked Weiss.
"Yes," replied Crabtree.
"Only for utilities?" asked Weiss. "Is it possible for other utilities to be competing for the balance left in escrow? What about PAWS? Aren't you going to need sewer and water at the site?"
Crabtree agreed Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District had been inadvertently omitted in his motion.
"Economic development is an important part of our future," Ecker said, adding, "we cannot hold hostage progress in this area."
Weiss told the board it is incumbent upon them "to keep a portion of the escrow on hand for future demand, particularly something like roadwork that will follow the utilities installation."
Crabtree amended his motion to retain $25,000 of the escrow amount to meet future demand and it was approved.
There are no current candidates for occupancy of space in the industrial park but, Ecker said, there are ongoing talks with prospective occupants.
Archuleta County has approved an amended Jail Medical Services agreement with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic and Upper San Juan Hospital District.
The pact, adopted Tuesday by the Board of County Commissioners, carries two changes, one increasing cost from $715 to $950 per month and the other putting the coverage contract, at the request of Jail Captain Mencor Valdez, on a Jan. 1 (rather than the current July 1) renewal basis for budgeting purposes.
County Attorney Mary Weiss said she had forwarded a copy of the changes to the Mary Fisher board for review and had not yet received a reply.
Commissioner Gene Crabtree, board chairman, said "we can approve it now but wait for signing until confirmation of the changes."
Weiss agreed and said, "If it's changed, we'll bring it back to you."
In other action Tuesday, commissioners:
- Scheduled their next meeting in Arboles at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12. Crabtree said the board had promised them an August date, " but the workload for Road and Bridge will require us to delay until the date selected"
- Agreed to a lease agreement for the kitchen facilities in the new community center to be constructed on Hot Springs Boulevard. Weiss noted two payments of about $33,000 have been made and another of the same amount is pending. The annual lease rate will be $10
- Approved a chip and seal contract with CMCO of Colorado totaling $123,449 for work on various low and slow traffic areas in the county. Such work won't hold up under heavy truck or high speed traffic, Ecker noted, "but is ideal for less used thoroughfares, cul-de-sacs for example, which then takes them out of the maintenance chain for several years"
- Scheduled a public hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 14 on proposed revisions to Section 9 of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations - limited impact
- Heard Crabtree, in response to a question from the audience, say the board will begin reviewing applications Aug. 1 for the county manager position
- Reported one interview was scheduled today and another will be set in August for the vacant director of planning position.
Plans for a conditional use permit for the area's newest planned motel won approval from Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday.
But the action came only after a lengthy discussion on whether funds for sidewalks should be put in escrow, when there are no other sidewalks in the immediate vicinity of the proposed construction.
Representing the developer of the 46-unit Econo Lodge planned at 315 N. Navajo Trail Drive was Scott Howard. Owners are Wojiech and Maria Kuros.
County planning department technician Marcus Baker told commissioners the developers plan an indoor swimming pool, a breakfast room and a residence for the owners of the property within the confines of the structure.
He said the developers want to preserve the natural features of the site and design the facility around the existing trees. Parking area would be paved, lighting in the lot and on the building would be required to focus downward and public sidewalk installation would be required on Navajo Trail Drive and that escrow funds would be required for future sidewalk installation on Hopi Drive (also known as Ute Drive).
That is where the problem arose.
Baker, citing existing county codes, said the required escrow amount for sidewalks is $14 a lineal foot.
Commissioner Gene Crabtree, board chairman, said he thinks "actual cement cost is much less than that. We should talk to people who do concrete and get some updated cost figures. I think it's cheaper to do sidewalks than to escrow the money."
"You must remember," Baker said, "that we're talking about labor and stabilization, too, not just the cost of pouring the concrete."
Howard suggested he could get three bids on sidewalk construction and bring them to the board (or to the planning department) to allow selection of the lowest price.
Commissioner Alden Ecker noted there are no sidewalks in the area now and that there are other facilities nearby which have not been required to install them.
Temporarily, the discussion deviated into a debate of how escrow should be handled, and with Crabtree wondering, "If money put into escrow is not used within the five-year limit, for example, who gets the interest? Does the county retain the money or does it go to the person who posted the money?"
"It should go to the person who posted it," said County Attorney Mary Weiss. But, she asked planners, "How many such accounts do we currently have?"
"Six to eight," was the answer.
"Then we should have a written agreement with each person who has money in a special escrow account," said Weiss. " They are being kept separately, aren't they?"
She was told they are now - but have not always been.
Crabtree again noted there are no sidewalks in the area "and besides its going to be in the city (Town of Pagosa Springs) very shortly." Contacted Wednesday, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said the town has received no petitions for annexation from landowners in the area of the Econo Lodge property and said the town "does not anticipate any annexations there in the near future."
Baker explained, "We're trying to create a traffic flow that is safe for public use. We're looking to the future. County regulations call for building a sidewalk or contributing money for future construction. There is a continuing increase in Navajo Trails Drive traffic, and we need a safe way for pedestrians, particularly after the motel is constructed, to go from one point to another."
"Why don't we let him put up cash or do the walks with the estimates he gets?" asked Crabtree. Ecker said, "I agree with the need to plan for the future, but I don't want to put the burden on one person."
"If anyone else comes in," he was told, "we'd have sidewalk continuation."
"Regulations are regulations," said Weiss. "I'm reluctant to use the three-bid idea. If you think the $14 amount in code is too high, you should put your heads together, come up with a new figure and amend the code."
Howard told commissioners he had talked with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Associations Environmental Control Commission and they recommended the motel development not allow anything which would place excess amounts of water near trees on the property.
Earlier, the SUN was told ECC members asked the developer to make the exterior of the structure "more mountainish," with more stone and cedar to blend into the other structures in the area. When the developers appeared a second time with an attorney, there appeared to have been an amicable settlement and they agreed to talk to their architects to see how the costs would be changed if the PLPOA codes were met.
Howard told commissioners he would submit an arborist's plan within the next week, and said, from the moment of approval, "It will be at least six months until the structure is built."
But, still, the hangup revolved around sidewalks - how much they should cost and who should pay how much, when.
Ecker argued, "We should get a price that's legitimate and set a standard in today's market."
After it was pointed out the $14 figure in code is an average of the cost of installing one of three types of walkways allowed - asphalt, concrete or gravel - Ecker said, "there someday will be other businesses there and there may be a way for them to contribute."
"In fact," he said, "I own some land there and I'd be willing to contribute if others would do so. But, I think a sidewalk should go somewhere. You don't just put one in on one block and have bare space in the next one. I don't want to see us make people put in walks which go nowhere and which serve no interest."
Kathy Ruth of the planning department told commissioners her department had worked closely with Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association's planned system of trails and sidewalks linking all areas of the development.
Finally, on a motion by Ecker, the conditional use permit was approved, with the cash-out option for sidewalks left open pending "an accurate determination of current costs in the area."
A handful of pottery pieces removed from Chimney Rock around 70 years ago has been returned, sent back to be used for educational purposes.
William Doty, of Montgomery, Texas, decided to return the six pieces of pottery following a visit to the area with family last summer.
"I felt comfortable that this was going to be more valuable than them being in this basket with us," he said, in a phone interview from his home.
Doty collected most of the pieces around 1938 when he visited the site as a child with his father, brother and uncle, a forest ranger who worked in the area of Wolf Creek pass.
At the time, the group parked along U.S. 160 and worked their way up to the ridge, making a trail as they went. Very subtle mounds and indications of circular-shaped structures could be seen as they walked, Doty said. Most of the shards, and a grinding stone, lost since then, were collected along the ridge.
Doty's early visit to the Chimney Rock site was apparently made during a 25-year hiatus in archeological work in the area. According to a Chimney Rock Archaeological Area tour guide handbook, Jean Allard Jeancon, sponsored by the Colorado State Historical and Natural History Society, began the earliest archeological work in 1921. He was followed a year later by Frank H. H. Roberts, Jr. The two continued excavations through the early 1930s. After that, activity ceased until 1958, around the same time as Doty's second visit to the site.
That year, he and his wife, Wilma, returned to Chimney Rock with their four children. It's possible a couple of the shards could have been collected then, he said, but not likely.
"There was nothing there at either time," Wilma Doty said.
Since then, the shards have been resting in an Indian basket in their living room, a conversation piece for the family. At different times, the pieces were also carried to show-and-tell at school, causing a little attrition.
When the family reunited at Chimney Rock last summer and stayed for the tour, William Doty said the guide, Jean Carson, made the statement, "We've found very little painted rock at Chimney Rock." It caught his attention. Near the end of the tour, he stopped to talk with Carson, explaining about his earlier visits, when considerable black and white shards could be found around the site.
After talking for awhile, Doty mentioned returning the artifacts to Chimney Rock. Carson said a few days after the tour she sent Dotys a note thanking them for the visit, for sharing the story and for offering to return the pottery. Shortly thereafter she received a package in the mail, a small, square white box containing the pottery pieces. It was the first time something like that ever happened to her.
The Dotys' story is probably similar to countless others, both local and out-of-state. Glenn Raby, of the U.S. Forest Service and Chimney Rock Archeological Area, said what's important is that more stories end like the Dotys'.
"He thought it was the right thing to do," Raby said. "It's not that they're just feeling guilty, but they want this to be a positive experience."
All antiquities, including pottery and arrowheads, are protected under state and federal laws, making it illegal to remove them. That's the first reason people should leave such cultural artifacts untouched, he said.
"Second, of course, it robs things from everybody else. There's not much left in public areas of Chimney Rock because people have walked off with it," he said. Other items, uncovered during a series of excavations, are being preserved at the Museum of Natural History, the Denver University Museum and at the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores. Eventually, it is the goal of volunteers at Chimney Rock to provide a place to protect and display the items found at the site, bringing many, if not all, back home.
Despite what's been uncovered so far by archaeologists, the disappearance of even a single piece of pottery can deprive everyone of important insight into the life and times of the Ancient Puebloans who inhabited the site between AD 1000 and 1100.
As an example, Raby said, one piece of black-on-red Mimbres pottery has been uncovered at Chimney Rock. That unique style of pottery originated in southwest New Mexico, an important clue to trade patterns. Stripped of that one piece, the clue would have been lost forever, he said. Pottery can also help to date activity and give clues to changes in lifestyle at a site.
Raby said the fate of the six returned pieces is still being determined, but two options are to place them in drawers with other shards available for viewing at the Chimney Rock Archeological Area or use them in a special exhibit on cultural artifacts.
The six shards include two pieces of Mancos Black-on-White style pottery, probably from large bowls, and four pieces of corrugated style, most likely used for cooking pots. Both styles have been found at Chimney Rock, and it's likely the pieces originated there, Raby said.
To make the Mancos Black-on-White, pots were formed by coiling ropes of clay into a rough shape, then scraping the sides smooth. A fine white clay was applied in a thin layer to both sides of the pot and painted with dye probably made from a beet plant, Raby said.
When making the corrugated pots, the Ancient Puebloans are thought to have started again with the basic shape in clay coils. Then, the coils were pinched together in a variety of patterns using hand and finger pressure, he said. Sometimes, it's even possible to see the actual fingerprints embedded in the hardened clay. Pots were carefully fired in homemade kilns to harden them for use.
Doty said because of the preservation and educational activities taking place at the site now, he felt comfortable returning the pieces. With the shards preserved at Chimney Rock, he said, there's also a greater chance they'll be around for future generations of his family to see.
"I would encourage others to return antiquities," he said. "I think they'll be a lot more appreciated and a lot more people will enjoy it than having it in any of our living rooms."
"What's next, a bawdy house selling booze?"
That question rang through the meeting room July 12 when Pagosa Lakes gadfly Mojie Adler asked PLPOA directors why a liquor license was issued to a commercial operation in a residential area.
"I filed a formal complaint with the Covenant Compliance Department about the county issuing a liquor license to a bed and breakfast operation in a residential area," she said, noting she received a letter in return from Margaret Gallegos, DCC manager, saying the issue "is in the hands of directors."
"That's why I'm here," she said. "I want to know when enforcement will take place. Liquor sales should not be allowed in a residential area and Nan Rowe (to whom the license was issued) of all people, should know that." Rowe, it should be noted, is a former PLPOA director and board president and a former candidate in the most recent Republican Party county commissioner primary election.
Director Richard Manley, board president, said the letter from Gallegos should not have been written "and she now knows that. It is not a matter for board review which requires action. It has been referred to the general manager."
"In general," asked another member of the audience, "What's the board's policy on this subject?"
The question was never directly answered, though one director noted the declarations for Martinez Mountain Estates, where the questioned operation exists, allow operation of dude ranches.
"But," argued Adler, "it becomes a separate commercial activity when they start selling liquor."
Director Jim Carson said he was at the county commission meeting when the liquor license was approved, and "it was my impression the license would allow operators to dispense drinks with meals to customers but was not a general 'by the drink' sales authorization."
And director Fred Ebeling, who also attended the meeting, said it was his belief the license did not allow the establishment to sell drinks, but to serve alcohol with meals served to their paying customers.
Again, Manley said, "The general manager and his staff are investigating and will take any action necessary."
Director Gerald Smith said the board will "examine and document the charges. This has to be looked at meticulously."
Adler then got in her final shot.
"She's not only advertising as a bed and breakfast, not a dude ranch, but also as a ski resort and that's sure not allowed here."
Lukasik said he will work with both the DCC and ECC to resolve the issue which includes determining if the operation is a bed and breakfast, which is not allowed in the declarations for the subdivision, or as dude ranch, which is allowed.
One issue to be considered, he said, "is the effect the liquor license issued by the county has, if any, on the operation's declared restrictions."
A growing pine beetle infestation in the county, particularly on the Rafter T Ranch on the Piedra River, led to county commissioners approving a plea for a special burning permit Tuesday.
Sheriff Tom Richards asked for the deviation from the fire ban now in existence. He told members of the Archuleta County Commission that Extension Agent Bill Nobles had warned him of the spreading infestation.
"We want to destroy the infested trees in a controlled burn with fire equipment standing by," said the sheriff.
"We need to start hitting these pockets of infestation as soon as possible before all our forests are threatened," he added.
Commissioner Alden Ecker said he could see no problem with an exception to the fire ban as long as fire prevention equipment is at the scene.
"I think it would be advantageous," he said, noting he has seen similar breakouts in other parts of the county, including the Rock Ridge area where he lives.
"Have we had enough rain to ease the fire problem?" he asked.
Richards response was negative, noting "deluges in one area were just drops in others."
With Commissioner Bill Downey absent, Ecker and Gene Crabtree, board chairman, agreed to the special burn permit. Added to it was an allowance for St. Patrick's Episcopal Church to burn palm fronds and used flags - a one-time allowance - in a special burn barrel.
If you liked the weather here in the past week, you'll probably love the U.S. Weather Service forecast for the coming week. Basically, it's simply more of the same.
That means an almost daily - except for Saturday and Sunday - 20 percent chance of late afternoon and evening rains, daily high temperatures in the low to mid-80s and overnight lows in the high 40s to low 50s.
And that sounds like a carbon copy of the week that just ended in which the average high temperature recorded at Stevens Field was 83 and the average low 52.
Precipitation recorded at the airport totaled 0.19 inches for the period, though heavier amounts were reported in some parts of the county. Officially, rainfall totaled .09 inches Saturday and .10 on Sunday.
Highs ranged from 81 Tuesday to 85 readings both Saturday and Monday. Lows ranged from 51 both Wednesday and Friday to a 54 overnight Sunday.
Gary Chancy, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said the dry weekend which lies ahead will be influenced by a strong low pressure system over southwest Canada which will be producing a strong counterclockwise flow drying out the air infiltrating our area from the west and southwest.
As it strengthens this weekend, he said, it will cut off the moisture flow from the Gulf of Mexico and provide warm, mostly sunny days for outdoor recreation.
He said the chance of rain will return Sunday and Monday, generally in the form of late afternoon and early evening showers and scattered thunderstorms.
The number of Medicare-Kid Care requests handled by Archuleta County's Department of Social Services more than doubled in June from 15 to 34.
Erlinda Gonzalez, department director, told Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday that the problem is the growing number of people in the community who do not have and cannot afford health insurance for their children.
Commissioner Gene Crabtree, board chairman, said "the doubled rate comes as no surprise."
"Just yesterday," he said, "I talked with a family - mother, father and three children - who lamented the cost of health insurance for the family had risen to $1,000 per month. Their income is only $800 a month," he said, "so they can't possibly cover the cost of insurance."
Gonzalez said, "Child welfare continues to be one of the pressing concerns of my department. If we had not had our preventive programs in place, we'd already be placing a lot more children in foster homes or care facilities.
"Our aim," she said, "is to keep families together and help them keep healthy. It is taking more and more effort to prevent problems like you cite, but we have a group dedicated to the kids of the county."
Discussion then centered on why her department is still in the courthouse when facilities for them are being rented in the new Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard.
"To be blunt," she said, "the problem is QWest Communications. They are unable or unwilling to provide the electronic communications lines we need for our operations. Century Telephone has done all they can do. They're ready to connect us to a T-1 line but QWest can't provide it.
"They've told us they might be able to service our needs by January, but I wouldn't count on them. I was first told it would be available in October and then, less than a minute later, not until January. I'm afraid January will come and go and there'll still be 'not until tomorrow' replies from QWest."
She told the board she has asked the state to get involved by bringing some pressure to bear.
County Attorney Mary Weiss suggested "the area now has a friend on the Public Utilities Commission, and he might be the one you need to contact. Jim Dyer will know how to deal with big businesses."
Commissioner Alden Ecker wondered if it would not be possible to just transfer existing service in the courthouse to the new site. Gonzalez said she'd been told no, because it is a dedicated line which is used by other customers, too.
Ecker said the problem is one which contributed to the county relinquishing Beanpole fiscal responsibility to La Plata County. "We were getting no service and they could promise no service. There was no reason we should handle fiscal responsibility for that funding when it was never going to serve us."
"QWest," he said, "is in no hurry to get the job done and as a result has left Archuleta County hanging out to dry while most of the rest of the region is served."
In the meantime, commissioners and Gonzalez agreed they'll try to find the right buttons to push to activate logical service to what even QWest regards as "one of the fastest growing areas in the state."
A 15-year-old has been charged with careless driving following a rollover accident July 14 on East Fork Road.
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Chris Balenti said Cheryl Romine, of Pagosa Springs, was driving west on East Fork Road, about 1 1/2 miles east of U.S. 160 when she was distracted by activity inside the car and slowly drove off the left side of the road.
The Volkswagen sedan she was driving rolled approximately two times down 97 feet of slope, ejecting two passengers before coming to rest on its wheels, Balenti said.
A mother and daughter, Christina and Nina Sikes, were riding in the back seat and were thrown from the vehicle on the way down. Nina Sikes, 3, was treated and released at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.
The other three occupants, all from Oklahoma, were taken by Air Care helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Durango. From there, Christina Sikes was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center.
The driver, Romine, was held overnight at Mercy for observation and Doris Raper, the front-seat passenger, was treated and released. By Monday afternoon, all four had been released from the hospitals, Balenti said.
Besides being accused of careless driving, Romine has also been charged with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license and failure to provide a child safety seat, Balenti said.
I have a confession to make. Even though the mail has finally been delivering my Pagosa newspaper on time, I sometimes leave the paper lay on my coffee table for a couple of days. Though I can't wait to read about news of Pagosa Springs, I wait until I have a special quiet time in which to sit down and read about it. In other words, I savor it.
There's a lot of love in Pagosa Springs. So much so that some people would like to "build a wall" around it to keep others (especially Easterners) out. This is especially humorous to me since many of those same people were Easterners themselves not so long ago.
Most of the people of Pagosa seem very friendly. I've met a few and am impressed. I hope this Easterner will be welcome when I come to live in Pagosa Springs.
Just another artist,
Over the past 26 years since I left Pagosa Springs, I have returned a few times to visit family and friends that still live there and was totally amazed to see how much my old hometown has changed. My husband and I even considered moving back to the area, but changed our minds, once we discovered that the only real industry supporting the community is tourism and from our discussions with a lot of the long-time locals, it is not very stable. I would hate to see Pagosa Springs turn into another mini-Aspen or Telluride.
I learned some great community values growing up there, that I have been able to pass on to my children. Values that cannot be learned in a large city or in a small town full of strangers who have no community values. The last and only thing I have to say is to the Hispanic Community of Pagosa Springs, is "Quit complaining, it was your community before it was theirs, stand up and fight for what you believe in, only you can make it happen."
For the benefit of those who recognize the value of being informed, I write to you. On May 9, 2001 the airstrip at Arboles, Navajo State Park, was officially closed after 35 years of operation. If you have visited the lake this summer, you may have experienced the inconvenience of the parking arrangements due to construction. Hopefully, this will be temporary. Colorado taxpayers and Lotto monies support park renovations and we applaud these funding decisions to better the recreational facilities afforded the people.
However, it is the belief of several that closing of the strip was unnecessary and disposes of the park's unique ability to provide enjoyment to the outreaches of the state and beyond. As well, the strip is an excellent base for emergency fire-fighting crews, search and rescue and a training facility for flight instructors. This is the last public backcountry airstrip in Colorado. Parks thus far have not indicated any incident of airplane mishap in the 35 year history of the strip's operation. Your support is needed to encourage the preservation of this unique opportunity. There is a petition at Animas, Durango LaPlata, and Pagosa's Stevens Field airports to reopen this strip. Timing is important to preserve an era from going extinct.
Please take the time to e-mail your comments to me at devans@sopris. net or directly to Tom Kenyon, Acting Parks Director at Tom.Kenyon@ state.co.us (I would appreciate a Cc:). Should you desire a more active stance on the issue, I invite you to become a member of SNAP (Support Navajo Airstrip Preservation). Send your correspondence to me via my e-mail address. Thank you for your time.
We have been receiving your paper for five or so years now and enjoy it, in fact if all papers were as informative as yours communities across the country would be a better place. The letters to the editor are wonderful and we really get a kick out of the local happenings and the opinions of the community, our local paper is not even thick enough on Sundays to place in an out house for weekly use and has just about the same amount of news! After several very informative and funny letters from James Sawicki we were wondering why he doesn't work for your paper or at least have his own page?
Keep up the good work.
On July 10 the county commissioners held a public meeting to receive feedback from their constituents regarding proposed revisions to Ordinance No. 2 regarding the control of dogs running at large.
The comments offered by the public were interesting and diverse. I left that meeting with deeper understanding of the many opinions regarding the control of dogs in our County.
However, there were two gross misstatements regarding the activities of Humane Society of Pagosa Springs (HSPS) that I would like to clarify.
One gentlemen stated the HSPS transfers dogs to Denver for the sole purpose of euthanasia. I took exception to that comment that night and want to restate that our transfer program with shelters in Denver, Albuquerque, Boulder Valley, Ark Valley, Utah and Nebraska is for the purpose of increasing an animal's chance for adoption. Our transfer program has been so successful that 98 percent of the animals that we transfer have been adopted.
During the past five years our shelter has been filled to capacity almost constantly. We have not been able to adopt out pets quickly enough to keep pace with the incoming animals. Many of the long-term dogs and cats who have languished in our shelter here in Pagosa find new homes via the efforts of our sister shelters. Working with our adoption partners has saved the lives of hundreds of loving, deserving pets.
Another misstatement pertains to our Fix-It-Free Program. The HSPS offers 45 free spay/neuter vouchers per month to Archuleta County pet owners on a first-come, first-served basis. A woman said that our free program wasn't free at all and that she had to pay more at her vet's office as her dog had to be given intravenous fluids, etc. Although the Humane Society has an agreement with local veterinarians to provide subsidized spay and neuter services, we do not cover additional costs which are incurred due to the owner's animal being pregnant, in heat or with undescended testicles. The pet owner must cover extraordinary veterinary fees.
As the only animal welfare organization servicing one of Colorado's and the nation's fastest-growing counties, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is meeting this growth challenge through creative development of effective programs to carry out its mission to animals in need.
I am disheartened by the articles in last week's paper regarding the "Teacher Shortage" here in Pagosa Springs and the issuing of waivers and alternative licenses for non-certified or under-certified candidates to complete necessary work for proper certification in various positions in the district. Possibly, a look at the recruiting and hiring procedures would provide some answers for improvement.
This comes second, however, to the comment made by school board director Randall Davis regarding the difficulty on getting qualified people to run for the school board. I ran for the board in the last election opposite Carol Feasel. I have a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, 17 years experience in public education as both a teacher and an administrator, hold certificates in Colorado and New Mexico, and I received a third of the votes cast in that election. What else would be needed to be considered "qualified" to run for a place on the school board?
Dr. Feasel, I admire your professionalism and I look forward to our next campaign.
Dr. Kathy Pokorney
King Georgie's Revenge
During the NASTY CAR races just the other day
A bullet an a bit of news flashed by and I heard Petro King Georgie say:
"Billie was such a Bad boy. Shame! Shame! Shame!
And Now Me and Con Chaney Jr. owns this BIG ole' gas station chain
We acquired it L ... AWFULLY ... in an Honorable Florida CRAP game"
Here's your new gas well it's really a Swell well
You can't sleep at nite? pump- jack noise isn't So bad ...
Your tap water catches fire? Well Imagine that!
Here's your new gas well a brand new enviro-green hissing stink fill
The gas Bullies slowed production many months ago
Their Peabody faces smirken as they strangled the Country's flow
They whined to the Nation: "There's an energy crisis goin' on"
While the Bushman used California as his Sacrificial pawn
Here's your new gas well a dinosaur-of-the-past Pill
Ruined Water tables, rutted roads scar the 4-Cornered ground
So the Big CEO's can have their endless nights on-the-town ...
Here's your new gas well the genuine mourning- after-Tale
Gas and oil commissioners know how to play the game
They regulate themselves which is a lie and a cryin' Shame
Unlined pits and other violations abound
While our County commissioners pretend they're just not around
Here's your new gas well! it's real class- act Veil
Wildlife is scattered OUR land is under attack ...
Well water that catches fire imagine that!
Here's your new gas well a Last well and testament Deal
What's an Archuletan to do? I can only surmise
Recallin' Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod for starters would seem to be wise.
Setting priorities, our VOTE and our consciences straight ...
Cause taking care of our Beautiful County just can't wait
Here's your new gas well! Yes just- like-the-past wells
Surface owners Georgie feels are for Spite
Norton's no Cycle and ALL Stooge and they Both swing with the Right
Here's your new gas well a blast from-the-past Snail
In this mornings paper Lil' Georgie Porgie proclaimed:
"Oil wells in National parks will be My claim-to-frame
Cuz' ya see, here n' Texus, anything goze
Me vacashuns Out-of-state can't spell Inviremant but Oil I Knows "
It's just a gas well It's just a blast-from-the-past Spell
Gas wells are lawn ornaments Georgie would have us to believe
Course he's got all that oily money hidden-up his polyester sleeve
Here's your new gas well the mourning after-the-facts Well
(of big changes)
David Lee Snyder
As part-time residents of the Pagosa Springs area we were unexpectedly pleased when the local San Juan Forest Service started the campfire programs at the Teal Boat Ramp site.
We have had the pleasure of hearing most of the recent talks. Among them were the talks on the reintroduction of the lynx, the way we use the sun, Chimney Rock Archaeological Region, cowboy poetry, and the presentation by Roz Wu, fire ecologist. All of the programs have been very informative and of great interest. We are looking forward to the upcoming talk on astronomy.
I would also note that Sheila Salazar does a great job introducing people and providing a nice campfire for the participants.
Anyone who is in the area and misses these programs is losing out.
Colorado will celebrate its 125th anniversary of admission into the United States the weekend of July 28. As we think about the exciting changes that have occurred in Colorado over these 125 years it is important to remember that Colorado only grew to be as great as it is today through neighbors helping neighbors.
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, "Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think." These words remind us that volunteerism fulfills a crucial role in our communities - that by giving of our time to our community, we will never truly be in need.
This year will mark the third annual celebration of Colorado Cares: A Little Bit of Time Makes a Big Difference. And as we have seen in the previous two years, thousands of people have come together to enhance their communities by working with hundreds of non-profit and faith-based organizations throughout the state.
Communities across the state this year have been asked to select and honor the special efforts of their outstanding volunteers by nominating them to receive the 2001 Colorado Cares Volunteer Service Award for their service, leadership and civic involvement.
Today, more and more people are committing themselves to the continuation of this grassroots effort. They are deciding what problems need solving in their communities and how they can personally do something to help.
On July 28, I encourage everyone to share Longfellow's vision of a charitable society. Grab your friends and family members, join a local non-profit or faith-based organization in your community, and help give back to Colorado.
For more information about how to get involved or to find out what activities are happening in your community, call toll free 1-888-866-0503 or visit the Colorado Cares home page at www.state.co.us/coloradocares. You can also call 1-800-VOLUNTEER to get connected with the volunteer center in your community.
Gov. Bill Owens
Manuel A. "Tony" Martinez
Manuel A. "Tony" Martinez, 64, of Chromo, died June 30, 2001. Funeral services were conducted July 3, in St. Francis Church, Lumberton, N.M.
Mr. Martinez was born July 1, 1936 in Lumberton, son of Escolastico and Dolores Martinez. He was a heavy equipment operator and firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service for 20 years, worked as a rancher and school bus driver, and served as a 4-H leader. He loved old cars and farm equipment.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Cordelia Ulibarri, and four brothers, Ben, Juan and Arnold Martinez and Isidoro Quintana. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Catherine; three sons, James Fredericks, Joseph Boyet and Jeremy Martinez, and by T.J. Smith who he raised as a son, all of Espanola, N.M.; two daughters, Carmen Smith of Espanola and Antoinette Martinez of Chromo; a brother, Richard, of La Puebla, N.M.; four sisters, Delia Lujan of Hernandez, N.M., Frances and Marcella Martinez, both of La Puebla and Betty Read of Pagosa Springs; six grandchildren and other relatives.
Burial was in Nutrita Cemetery with Tony and Christopher Read and Stanley, Ray, Vincent and Juan Martinez as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Alvin Fitzhugh, Andy Talamante, Frank Read, Robert Martinez, Rumaldo Lujan and Victor Flores.
Marion Francis Weaver
Long time Pagosa resident, Marion Francis Weaver, died July 10, 2001 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.
Born in New York City November 3, 1914, she was 86 years old. She had moved to the mountains of Colorado with her husband, Elmer Weaver. Marion was an English major at Hunter College in New York, and was a member of PEO, a philanthropic organization promoting women's higher education. She worked as a legal secretary for a large law firm in Phoenix, and was a homemaker. Marion was a member of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs. She was a supporter of the Humane Society, enjoyed golf and bowling, was an avid poker player and enjoyed bridge. Marion loved to entertain and was well known for her wonderful house parties. She was a gourmet cook and liked to dazzle her friends with excellent food and a beautifully set table.
She is preceded in death by her first husband, Henry Van Zarsk; her husband, Elmer Weaver; her brother, Richard Heppner.
She is survived by her daughter Susan "Sudsy" and son-in-law, John Elfritz of Surprise, Ariz.
A memorial service was held July 17 at the Community United Methodist Church. Rev. Annie Ryder of St. Patrick's Episcopal church presided.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the St. Patrick's Episcopal Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1642, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Shannon Taylor of Pagosa Springs was named recently to the National Dean's List of America's college students. Taylor is a student at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Resha Watkins, of Pagosa Springs, was named to the Dean's Honor Roll at Oklahoma Baptist University for the 2001 spring semester. Requirements for a place on the Dean's Honor Roll are a 3.40 grade-point average, with no grade below a "C." Watkins is a Business Management major at the university.
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association held its annual Pine Cone Classic Golf Tournament July 10 and 11.
The Pine Cone Committee of Sue Martin, Audrey Johnson, Carrie Weisz, Susan Dennis, Mary Jo Smith and Barbara Sanborn worked extremely hard to make this the largest and truly most exciting tournament ever. It was an historical event that will not be forgotten by any of the players, as 116 women from more than seven states competed in a four-person best ball event. The scoring is based on the best ball of two of the players, gross and net for two days.
The highlight of the tournament was an amazing four holes-in-one. Three of those were made on the first day of play. Two lucky ladies, Barbara Sanborn from Pagosa and Lisa Pierce from Cortez, aced their holes on Ponderosa No. 8 winning cruises of their choice. The third lucky gal, Sue Branson from Farmington, won round-trip airline tickets to Germany. All these prizes were provided compliments of Sally Bish/Cruise Planners. Although Sally did not sponsor the hole in one contest on the second day, she did award the fourth hole-in-one recipient, Susan Dennis from Pagosa, a generous gift certificate.
This was the first time four holes-in-one were made at Pagosa Golf Club in a single tournament. A search found it had happened before and uncovered the odds of it ever happening. In 1989 at the U.S. Open at Oak Hill, four golfers made holes-in-one during the same round. According to a 1990 issue of Golf Digest, PGA and LPGA players average one hole-in-one per 3708 par-three holes of competitive golf, or one hole-in-one per 927 competitive rounds.
If there were 100,000 tournaments played around the country each year, the chances of what happened at Pagosa Golf Club during a tournament would happen only once in the USA every 5 to 10 years.
Bonnie and Earl Hoover hosted a wonderful cocktail party and dinner for all the entrants and spouses the evening of the first day of play. John Graves provided the entertainment at the party. An awards luncheon was held at the Timbers after the tournament.
Low gross winners of the first flight were the Pagosa team of Jane Stewart, Barbara Sanborn, Bonnie Hoover and Pam Lewis, with a score of 312. Pam came back from Sedona, Ariz. just for this event. Second gross went to last year's winners from Durango/Dalton Ranch: Nona Speak, June Lowery, Daphne D'Agostino, and Mary Lieb. Their score was 323.
Nona Speak won Longest Drive and June Lowery won Closest to the Pin (not a hole-in-one). There was a tie for first net in this flight. Team winners were Cindy Daye, Britany Daye, Sue Axtell, and Collen Beever from Moab and Sharon White, Kathy Goldman, Jane Davis and Marilyn Smart from Durango. Marilyn Smart is from Pagosa but agreed to help out a Durango team that was missing a player. The net scores for these teams were 243.
The low gross winners in the second flight were from Farmington/San Juan. Vi Clark, Dorothy Garner, Sylvia Hooper and Sue Branson won with a score of 322. Sylvia Hooper also received a prize for longest drive on the first day of play. There was another tie for first net as Marilyn Fiala, Della Griffin, Sharon Podlesnik and Karen Gallegos from Durango/Hillcrest shared honors with Julie Pressley, Jane Day, Debby Hart and Vicki Buck from Pagosa. The score was 251. Debby Hart won Longest Drive for her handicap division 19-36 on July 10.
Another Pagosa team consisting of Dottie Eichvalds, Pat Francis, Kathy Giordano and a ringer from Texas, JoAnn Dironean, won third net. Their score was 254.
Third flight, low gross winner was another team from Pagosa. This team consisted of Audrey Johnson, Sue Martin, Susan Dennis and Carrie Weisz. Carrie took a prize for Longest Putt. The team's score was 348. First net in this flight went to Sue Casey, Barbara Carmen, Wilma Sexton and Dee Balliger from Farmington/San Juan with a score of 244. Marti Spitzer, Donna Sucla, Lisa Pierce and Jeannie Snyder of Cortez won second net. Third flight net was Pat Holsey, Joan Lee, Linda Lex, and Sheila Gebhart with a 247.
Carol Limbacher and Pagosan Lynne Allison won Closest to the Pin prizes. Marilyn Anderson won a prize for Longest Drive.
Let the Chamber wash your car-free
This is the weekend you can watch your Chamber staff and board of directors toil away on your vehicle, and it won't cost you a doggoned thing.
Yep, it's time for the second annual Membership Appreciation Car Wash taking place Saturday in the Visitor Center parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last year's event was such a roaring success that we just had to do it again. It's just our small way to express our appreciation to our members for their support over the years. If you like, for just five bucks, you can enter a drawing for a year's free membership (2002). For some businesses, this would represent huge savings - and even for an Associate Membership, a $45 saving is nothing to sneeze at, right?
We hope to see you Saturday at the Visitor Center sometime between 10 and 2. Non-members (shame on you!) will have to pay $10 for this service which includes Hydro Force pressure washing for your tires. Jim Downing provided this for us last year, and the guys in particular were enthralled with it.
Once again our hard-working Archuleta County Fair Board is looking to the community for volunteers of all ages needed for a variety of assignments during the Archuleta County Fair (dubbed by Michael DeWinter as "The Best Little County Fair in the County!") on Aug. 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Volunteers are also needed to help with Open Class registration on Wednesday, Aug. 1 (1-8 p.m.) and to set up and tear down the Extension Building Exhibit Hall Saturday, July 28, and Monday, Aug. 6.
If you are interested in helping, please fill out a volunteer registration form, available at the Extension Office at the fairgrounds and the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Completed forms can be dropped off at the same locations.
Volunteers under 18 years of age require parental consent, and kids 10-13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Marti Gallo at 264-3890 or 946-1278 if you have questions about volunteer activities during the fair.
Sign up now to volunteer and be part of the fun and excitement of the Archuleta County Fair 50th Anniversary.
Queen City Jazz
The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters invite you to join them for "Celebrate Jazz Weekend," a first in Pagosa Springs, coming July 27, 28 and 29. Featured during this exciting weekend will be Colorado's premiere Dixieland Band - The Queen City Jazz Band - recreating the great sounds of the 1920s Dixieland era. They bring to life the music of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Kid Ory and Bix Biederbecke. Vocalist Wende Harston fronts the seven-piece band with a rich and lustrous voice reminiscent of the legendary Bessie Smith. QCJB has twice been honored by the Colorado State Legislature for their cultural contributions to our state, have recorded eighteen CDs and tour internationally as well as throughout the United States and their home state of Colorado.
This special weekend begins Friday, July 27, at the Timbers of Pagosa with Moonyah Arkestra (Pan American Jazz) from 8 p.m. until 10.30 p.m. From 11 p.m. to closing, E-JAY the DJ, the award-winning DJ from Boulder's popular dance club, SOMA, will appear. Admission for the Timbers show will be $5.
Saturday, July 28, Queen City Jazz Band will appear at the high school auditorium at 7:30 p.m., and admission for this performance will be $15 for adults and $12 for those 12 and younger. Following this performance, you can head to the Timbers and "Meet the Musicians" followed by The D.C. All*Stars (Be-Bop, Hard Bop - Be Bop with a Blues flavor) in what promises to be a great jam session. Admission will be $5.
Sunday, July 29, at the Timbers, Pagosa's own Rio Jazz will complete this spectacular weekend with their own special brand of jazz and charm. They hope to have their CD, "Live at the Timbers," available that evening ready to autograph.
An all-event ticket that will admit you to all of the above throughout the weekend is $22 and represents a savings of $8. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Dave's, and Moonlight Books in the downtown area and at the Timbers of Pagosa and Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffee Company on the west side of town. Sponsors for this event are the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, the Timbers of Pagosa and KWUF Radio. Proceeds from these events will benefit the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters who fund their scholarship fund and local performing arts by presenting and performing entertainment events.
Name the bear
You still have time to name the especially adorable carved bear that greets all of our guests in the Visitor Center and encourages them to sign in by holding the guest register in a particularly engaging way.
We are so grateful to the kind folks at the Happy Camper RV Park for contributing this unique addition to the Chamber and encourage you to go out there and check out the other carved bears who live at Happy Camper. You have until closing time on Friday, July 20, to enter your name for this big guy.
We have received some most unusual entries, and you stand to win one of our beautiful Chamber of Commerce polos and one of our baseball hats. The most important thing you win, however, is a little piece of Pagosa history.
Every now and then in life, people are rewarded for "good behavior" or, as I am wont to proselytize in my customer service seminars, "exceeding customer/guest expectations."
Such is the case recently here at the Visitor Center, and I am delighted to recognize the efforts or our Monday afternoon Diplomat team extraordinaire made up of Shari Gustafson, Carol Gunson and Anita Mathers. It seems that they were so helpful and hospitable to some of our guests on their recent shift, that before said guests left the area on Friday, they came by the Visitor Center with a platter of hors d'oeuvres and their sincere gratitude for all the ladies had done for them.
The down-side of this story is that there was no way we could have kept the platter fresh until the following Monday when our heroines again appeared for their Diplomat shift. The Friday teams graciously emptied the tray with their tacit thanks to the Monday afternoon gals.
The up-side to the story is that we replaced the goodies on Monday morning with what we felt was a treat equal to the snack tray to present to our ladies in the afternoon.
To my way of thinking, there are two cogent points to this story: the first is that now and then justice does indeed prevail and folks are rewarded for a job well done. The second is that this acts as a reminder of how lucky we are to have Shari, Carol, Anita and our remarkable legion of Diplomats working for the entire Chamber membership. You may want to thank them the next time you see them for being such exemplary ambassadors for Pagosa Springs.
We're delighted to introduce two new members this week as well as three renewals. They are all as welcome as these short but sweet showers we've received from time to time. They've acted to relieve some of the rather Texas-like humidity we've endured and cooled off the nights.
We're happy to welcome our old friend, Marion Francis, wearing a new hat along with two other gentlemen all of whom collectively have formed the San Juan Financial Services, LLC, located in Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez. Mike Warren and Brooke Vinson are the other two men involved with this new business although all share extensive backgrounds in the areas of finance and investment. Securities are offered through Linsco/Private Ledger, members of NASC/SIPC. This business is dedicated to unbiased investment services and financial advice. Please call 264-1818 in Pagosa or 259-1373 in Durango to learn more about San Juan Financial Services.
Our second new member this week is Dr. Scott Asay, D.C., who brings us Asay Chiropractic and Wellness Center located at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite C-4 (formerly Craig Chiropractic Center.) Actually Tom Craig, one of my all-time favorite characters, recruited Dr. Asay to join the Chamber, so I will be sending him a free pass to one of our upcoming SunDowners. Thanks, Tom. Dr. Asay is a Palmer graduate implementing the Palmer technique, activator, percussion therapy, contact reflex analysis, muscle testing and nutritional care. He can also help you with extremity adjusting and welcomes walk-ins. Give him a call at 731-3344 to learn more about the Asay Chiropractic and Wellness Center.
Renewals this week include John Heyer with North Star Mapping located in Durango; Matt Poma with Poma Ranch and Outfitting located here in Pagosa and Associate Members, James (Jim) and Jean Carson. Welcome one and all.
Sad at losing regulars, but thrilled with visitors
It is always sad when some of our members move from this area.
We, and the whole Pagosa Springs community, will surely miss Tom and Beverly Evans and we wish them well as they settle into their new home in San Antonio.
And, we are very happy to hear that Mary Lucero is back home after months of illness and recuperation.
Our guests and returning members are such a treat for the rest of us. This week Garry and Sue Curd joined us as guests of Gerry and Ruth Driesens. We also welcomed Eleanor Wilkins, Robert Ditlevson, Barbara Schulz, Anna and Norman Denny, Florence and Bob Mason, Dorothy Fitchie (sister of Bruce Muirhead), Ann Egli, Bo and Pat Kuban, Diane and Jack Dwan (daughter and son-in-law of Carroll and Bobbie Carruth) and Jack Duran. We hope all you folks can join us more often.
I'm always on the prowl for bits of information that may help our senior population. In the AARP Bulletin for July-August is an article that the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and America Online, Inc., have launched a new online service that identifies all federal and state assistance programs available to older Americans.
The program, called Benefits CheckUp, is a free public service that will help individuals quickly and easily determine what benefits they qualify for and how to get them. Individuals can access this new service through Web address: www.benefits checkup.com.
Now that the Colorado No-Call List is in effect - to keep telemarketers from contacting you - you may enter your name on it via the Internet (www.coloradono call.org), or the folks at the Senior Center will help you do this if you don't have access to a computer.
Picnic. Tomorrow, July 20, is our second picnic of the summer at Town Park. Our wonderful kitchen crew always prepares delicious food for our picnics and it is a great time to just visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery and hear the river rushing.
Fourteen of our senior "kids" had a great time rafting last Thursday. Unfortunately, we did have one injury. Clara Kelly fell and has a large abrasion on her forehead (the rumor was that Kurt Killion threw her out of the raft). But Clara did say it was the most fun thing she ever did and they all are ready to do it again next year. Our thanks to Canyon REO - Capt. Mike and Katy Rose - for the discounted tickets and for providing such wonderful entertainment.
A thank you to John Porter for his presentation Friday pertaining to the first annual Jazz Festival. Watch for more information on these performances, beginning July 27 with the Moonyah Pan-American Jazz Band, hitting a high point with the world-famous Queen City Jazz Band July 28, and featuring Rio Jazz, our local jazz talents, on July 29. Transportation to all events will be provided only if you sign up (five-person minimum). Call 264-2167 to reserve your seat on the bus.
Bob Kamrath announced that he and some others will be traveling to Silverton Saturday to attend the barbershop quartets/chorus performances. If anyone is interested in car-pooling, contact Bob at 264-6279.
On July 26, there is a 9:30 a.m. Chimney Rock tour - $5 for a full tour or $3 for a short tour. Transportation will be provided from the Senior Center for $10 per person (6-person minimum). Sign up or call the Center by July 24 to reserve a ride.
Our monthly potluck/dance is at 5 p.m. July 27 at the Senior Center. This is a fun time to share your favorite dishes and visit, so be sure to join us.
Pagosa Lakes Triathlon scheduled Aug. 11
In the days after triathlon introduced itself to the world as an Olympic sport, the critiques were pouring in. Non-triathlete friends, having never known much about the sport, were saying, "Now, this is an Olympic sport. This is exciting to watch."
Newspapers throughout the world published snappy headlines about the debut, and Sports Illustrated, most noted for its coverage of more established American sports fare (need I say football, baseball, hockey?) ran a three-page feature story exclaiming triathlon had "set the tone for a high-spirited games." The world was talking about triathlon.
On Sept. 16, 2000, the image of 48 women diving into Sydney Harbor served as a symbol of the enormous stride triathlon had made in the quarter century it has been called a sport. I clearly remember the response I received 10 years ago when I asked this athletic specimen at the recreation center if he was a triathlete (this was after seeing him run, bike and swim day after day). His reply was, "What is that?"
The recreation center will host its 10th annual Pagosa Lakes Triathlon Aug. 11 at 8 a.m. It includes a 7-mile run, 14-mile mountain bike and half-mile swim. The run will start at 8 a.m. from the recreation center and the final leg, the half-mile swim, will be in the center's pool.
Both the run and the bike segments of the triathlon will cover some gorgeous trails along Martinez Canyon. This is a fun event, on a user-friendly course, for the individual triathlon or team. Whether you are a weekend road warrior looking for endorphins, or an adrenaline-crazed fanatic hardbody, the triathlon has something for you: its grueling, varied, thrilling and just plain fun.
For the many athletes who participate, they have a personal goal. They train for that goal. On the day of the triathlon, they accomplish that goal. It's not about winning, it's about finishing; it's about doing.
Inspire yourself to do something big that you never thought you could do. You, the participant, make it as competitive as you want.
If you think you are interested but still need a little encouragement, call me at 731-2051. I can go over the race route with you, introduce you to a training buddy or help you fill out a team if you do not wish to compete as an individual.
Teams can be coed or same-sex with teams of two or three members; any combination will do. Why not put a team together with your co-workers or your family, your clubs or your church? And on that day, not only will you accomplish something truly remarkable, but you will become closer to your teammates in the process. That alone is worth it.
Race registrations are available. Pick one up at the recreation center or call 731-2051 to have one mailed to you.
Satirical newspaper quotes all untrue
Several columns back, I discussed the fact that digital information can be manipulated and can easily deceive you. We have a perfect example to share.
Last week a patron came in the library very upset about the Harry Potter books. She had received an E-mail charging that the author, J.K. Rowling, was promoting witchcraft and satanism by openly blaspheming Jesus and God. The E-mail went on to give many examples of children who were doing and saying dreadful and frightening things supposedly because of reading Harry Potter. It appeared that Rowling and many children were personally interviewed, and the E-mail quotes the source of these interviews as coming from "Onion Magazine."
There is just one big problem: The Onion is a satirical newspaper, and not one of these quotes is true - they are all made up. The Onion uses invented names except when public figures are being satirized. The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.
Our patron and many other readers were easily deceived by this tasteless hoax. And I wonder if the perpetrator of the E-mail didn't send it on deliberately?
Rest assured, Ms. Rowling did not do, or say, any of the disgusting things attributed to her in this misleading E-mail.
If you would like to see the E-mail, and the actual Onion article, please ask at the front desk. In the meantime, beware of the many attempts on the illusive information highway to hoodwink gullible readers.
Whew! Another big event behind us.
More than 150 Friends of the Library gathered for a quick meeting. Donna Geiger was elected to replace Patty Sterling who retired from the board of directors. Patty served on the board since 1991. A blue spruce was planted in her honor along with ones for Margaret Gallegos and Pat Riggenbach, previous board members.
Donna joins Warren Grams, Maureen Covell, Dick Hillyer, Charla Ellis, Cynthia Mitchell and Judy Wood as officers of the Friends.
There was $3,500 collected from the sale of books and memberships. At this year's sale. Proceeds from this annual event and the public book sale go to support library programs.
Another affair almost over, and this is the last week for projects and prizes. Be sure and turn in everything by 3 p.m. Saturday.
And also remember that next Wednesday, July 25, at 11 a.m., is the party at Town Park by the gazebo. Come dressed as your favorite fairy tale character. We'll have treats and the summer reading prizes will be awarded. Bring Mom and Dad along for some fun.
Cathy wanted to ask you to be sure and remember to pick up your projects. We still have some neat crowns and a windsock left at the library.
Readers of the Week: Caitlin Rivas, Becca Stephens, Zackary Curvey, Kara Hollenbeck, Cheyann Walker, Lyndsey Yager, Gabrielle Winter, Lauren Parker, Rose Quintana and Michelle Parker.
Stained Glass: Tarah McKeever, Samantha Hunts, Lydia Gallegos, Anne Townsend, Danielle Beserra, Taylor Cunningham and Wendy Webster.
Fairy Tale: Mele LeLievere, Samantha Hunts, Sammy Lastayo, and Magan Kraetsch. Rock Ranger: Magan Kraetsch, Anne Townsend, Caitlin Rivas, Kelsey Lyle and Garrett Lyle.
Cinquain Poem: Breanna Voorhis, Anne Townsend, Magan Kraetsch, Elizabeth Bliss, Traci Bliss, MaKayla Voorhis, Katie Bliss, Emilie Schur, Caitlin Rivas, Becca Stephens, Matthew McFarland, Kelsey Lyle and Maegan McFarland.
Bookshield: Kyle Anderson, Colby Anderson Andresen, Misha Garcia, Betsy Schur, Tarah McKeever, Colton Larkin, Anne Townsend, Hayden Sharp, Kelli Florek, Magan Kraetsch, Lydia Gallegos, Katie Smith, Sandra Salas and Wendy Webster.
Waylon Lucero guessed closest to the number of jellybeans in the jar. Waylon guessed 1075. He missed by 11. There have been 1086 books have been read so far during the Summer Reading program.
Thanks for financial help from Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of a wonderful patron, Meaux Johann; and in memory of Christopher Anderson (Barbara Tackett's grandson).
Thanks for materials from Amanda Sutton, Bob and Carole Howard, Robin Struck, Frances Penland, Bruce Muirhead, Dennis Riddiford, Phyllis Decker, Bill Storm, Carolyn Hanson and Sheila DaDeppo.
PSAC: An organization with many facets
This week's calendar is full of events sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. This very active organization helps to bring a world of entertainment to Pagosa Springs. There's something for everyone, or so it would seem. Read on.
A list of the divisions PSAC sponsors includes: Angel Box Painters, Chimney Rock Connection, Music Boosters, Pagosa Pretenders Theater, Pagosa Players and Kings Men, San Juan Festival Ballet and Whistle Pig Folk Nights. All of these except the Angel Box Painters, who make exquisite boxes for families of deceased children, perform in some way.
And then there are the sponsored events: the Summer Arts Camp, the Creede Repertory Theater, a garage sale, a photo contest, the Pagosa Fiesta (formerly called the Spanish Fiesta), the Home and Garden Tour (the first-ever coming up on Sunday, Aug. 12), the Artist's Studio Tour, the CD Sampler, the Pagosa Portrait Project, the Petroglyph Newsletter, workshops and clinics. The gallery in Town Park and the exhibits displayed there are also provided by PSAC.
PSAC is a non-profit organization supported by membership fees, donations and volunteers. An individual membership is $20. For more information about the program, call the gallery at 264-5250 and talk with Joanne Haliday, the gallery manager.
Exhibits usually change every two weeks and open with a 5-7 p.m. reception. The exhibit that just closed was done by kids in the Summer Arts Camp under the direction of Tessie Garcia and Lisa Brown. Their works were absolutely delightful. This program only lasts for a short time each summer; scholarships are available, and visiting kids can take part. The program is lined up toward the end of May. Next year call the gallery for particulars if interested.
An update on Rick Majors, the Bowling Green, Ky., man afflicted with terminal cancer, who is riding horseback and headed our way (SUN June 21), is that he is now in Oklahoma. He's doing well and has a friend and his son Wes with him. Majors is the great-great-grandson of Alexander Majors, one of the founders of the Pony Express. The others were William Russell and William Waddle. Majors was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February and given three months to live. He expects to arrive in Pagosa Springs sometime in August.
An interesting item in my hometown paper in Kentucky is that the jail policy now includes the modification that inmates will have to pay their way - paying $5 for a booking fee, $20 for each day in room and board, and all actual charges for medical and dental treatment. The article goes on to say that this ordinance is wide-spread across Kentucky. I'm giving the paper to Tom Richards for him to post (maybe).
In case you hear people - oldtimers and such - talk about "The Adobe," they are referring to the building on Lewis Street now housing the Bear Creek Saloon. The saloon used to be The Adobe. And oldtimers before the "recent oldtimers" called it something else. A friend of mine who moved away two years ago used to constantly complain that the back side of the building looked so bad. I'd point out some downtown improvement (and there have been many to brag on) and she'd make a face and say "but the back of that building ruins everything." She's coming back in August. I don't think I'm going to prepare her. She's going to have to see it now for herself. But, the back of the building is certainly looking neat.
Fun on the run
"Why English Is a Hard Language to Learn"
by Earle Palmer Brown
(taken from a recent Rotary Club program)
1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The purpose of a truck farm is to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full it had to refuse any more refuse.
4. To stop the ethnic jokes we must polish the Polish image.
5. He could lead if he could get the lead out.
6. The Legionnaire decided to desert the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, she decided to present the present.
8. A picture of a bass was emblazoned on the bass drum.
9. When frightened, the dove dove into the underbrush.
10. I don't object to the object in question.
11. The invalid's insurance turned out to be invalid.
12. The coxswain started a row among the crew by advising how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when does are present.
15. To spread the work, the farmer taught his sow how to sow seed.
16. After a number of injections, my jaw got number.
17. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, the curator shed a tear.
18. The doctor had to subject the subject to a number of tests.
19. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Alpaca fleecing: A hands-on report
Here's the scene. We're in a small barn, open on one side. There are two large blue foam pads on the concrete floor, and ropes and pulleys run across the floor to each of the pads. Stretched out on one of the pads is a 150-pound alpaca, with soft rope cuffs on front and back legs. One man kneels at her head, holding tight to her ears to control her movements.
Mark, the shearer, crouches over her, deftly wielding a large electric clipper. Front to back he makes smooth even strokes, and the luscious, thick alpaca wool peels off her sides and back.
Over at the other pad, three men pick up the next alpaca and lay him on the pad, fit the rope cuffs over his ankles, and pull the ropes tight. Someone places a folded towel under his head.
Outside the barn the rest of the alpacas nervously wait. It's shearing day at Echo Mountain Alpacas.
"I'd like to help with the shearing," I had told Dave Belt. "Great," he said. "Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Sometimes you get stepped on."
About 20 people were present that morning. Some of us helped in the shearing barn, and others picked over the wool after it had come off the alpacas. Some just watched or took photographs. A couple who were here on vacation came to watch and ended up helping.
As Mark finished shearing off the "prime" fiber from each alpaca's back and sides, Marcia Kummerle and I pulled it away onto a sheet spread out on the floor. Our goal was to get it pulled away from the alpaca before they rolled her back onto her side for the next phase of the shearing, the legs.
"Naw, too slow," said Mark. "had to turn off the clippers." We tried harder with the next animal. "Better," he said. "I'd give that a 7."
We bundled the fleece in the sheet, and Marcia carried it off to the sorting area. I opened up a plastic bag with the alpaca's name and the word "legs," and gathered up the coarser fiber from the legs and belly as Mark sheared those areas.
Next came the neck fiber, and Marcia scooped that into another plastic bag, marked, appropriately enough, "neck." The men rolled the alpaca to her other side and Mark worked his way back, finishing the belly and legs. I scampered along cleaning up behind him.
In six minutes he finished one animal and moved to the one waiting on the other pad. Behind him, people loosened the leg ropes, put a halter on the alpaca's head, and she (or he) got up and was led out to the field. Someone swept the area with a big pushbroom, and the next alpaca was led in.
In the sorting area the prime fleece was laid out on a screen suspended at table height, and picked over. The women working there, all of whom knew a lot more about fiber than I do, pulled off any long straight guard hairs from the edges. Those were set aside and added to the "legs" bag. The pickers also plucked out any large bits of grass or other foreign matter.
Finally, the fleece was rolled up and put in another plastic bag labeled with the animal's name. The sealed neck and leg fibers bags were placed in there too, and the whole package was taken to a corner of the barn, to await being hauled off to the fiber mill.
Alpacas come in a variety of colors, from white to dark brown. We sheared the lightest ones first. Some of the wool will be mixed at the carding and spinning mill; some from special animals will be handled separately.
Suzy Belt told me that this is probably the most traumatic day in the year for an alpaca. Most of the animals were pretty stoic during the clipping. They probably thought they were going to be eaten and had resigned themselves to their fate. But others were not so quiet.
Some of them moaned softly. Some cried, an intermittent squeak that sounded like a slipping fan belt. And there were a couple that really screamed (take that fan belt and crank it up a power of 10, or more.)
The loudest screamer was a new mom; her baby, or cria, had been born just the day before. (The word cria comes from Peru; it means baby.) One of us humans held the infant right beside the mom's head during the shearing, but she wasn't consoled one bit.
The noise was constant and unrelenting. Mark never wavered with the clippers, and all of us were relieved when he finished with this one. I can't imagine what that little new alpaca thought of this strange big world he'd so recently entered.
Alpacas must have short attention spans, though. Half an hour after shearing, their heads were in the feed bucket as though nothing unusual had just happened to them.
Mark, the shearer, grew up in New Zealand and learned to shear sheep first. He branched out to include alpaca about six years ago. He lives in Colorado but says he's rarely home, since the shearing season takes most of the year. He starts with sheep in the early spring, like February, and then moves on to alpaca. And then in the fall he trims animals for show, so he's a busy man.
And fast. By lunchtime, he had sheared 30 alpacas, about half of the animals scheduled for the day. He looked totally rested and comfortable. I, however, had done about all the bending over that my back would take. I said goodbye and headed home.
Rose hops ripening; use in condiments
Summer is well along now. As you drive the highways and byways of Archuleta and La Plata Counties, sunflowers nod their gay yellow heads in greeting.
The bright splash of yellow contrasts with the soft blue of the chicory, which often grows alongside. As you wander the hiking trails, keep a look out for rose hips as they begin to ripen. Soon they will be ready to make some tasty condiments.
To get your mouth watering, I have included the following recipe from the Colorado State Forest Service's book, "Fruits of Your Labor":
Rose Hip Candy
Gather rose hips, grind into a paste, mix with butter and add sugar to sweeten. Shape into balls, put a stick into the balls, roast them over hot coals and enjoy them as a treat on your camping trips.
Be careful to correctly identify all wild plants before eating. Gather only what you know you will consume. We are not the only animals in the woods that enjoy Nature's bounty. Overharvesting can lead to starvation and loss of the plants. Be moderate and enjoy.
On Saturday, the wolves of Wolfwood will make an appearance at 7 p.m. at Navajo's amphitheater. These furry balls of love are a perennial favorite for everyone. Each one has a personality and character you don't want to miss.
Paula and Craig Wilson vary the wolves they bring so you never know who is going to come. If you haven't met Paula, Craig and their pack, come on over Saturday night. The show is worth the drive.
Our bookstore at the park has become a wild place lately. Open Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., you can find just about any wild thing you want for yourself or for gifts. This week's special focuses on local wildlife on the San Juans and the Rocky Mountains.
Glen A. Hinshaw's book, "Crusaders for Wildlife" tells the story of how people, some of whom just might be you next door neighbors, generated interest in saving the wild things of the San Juans. As more people move in and development eats up more of our natural spaces, this book is a must-read for those who wish to save the dwindling numbers of our woodland friends and their habitat.
If you want to find out just who is inhabiting the woods around you, Ian Sheldon's pocket book "Animal Tracks of the Rockies" can help. Since it fits into your back pocket, this little tome will assist you in identifying the numerous tracks you may have noticed on your hikes. There are good illustrations accompanying the descriptions of the animals listed. Buy both of these books and receive 10 percent off the purchase price. Happy tracks to you.
If it looks a bit cleaner at Arboles Point, we have Vicki Sutton and her Junior Grange to thank for it.
These young people spent a weekend here at Navajo enjoying the facilities and volunteering their time to pick up the pounds of trash along the trails and campsites at the point.
Kudos to all involved.
Diabetes added to Agent Orange coverage
Lately I have been having a number of Vietnam era veterans making inquiries into health problems resulting from exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. One of the most frequent concerns is Type II Diabetes.
I am happy to report veterans who served in Vietnam who have adult on-set (Type II) Diabetes are now eligible for compensation from the VA. Based on a regulatory change made late last year, the VA added diabetes to the list of conditions that are presumed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange. Conditions already on the list include: multiple myeloma, prostrate cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkins disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, among others.
Agent Orange (AO) was a chemical defoliant that was widely used during the Vietnam War. Veterans who served within the borders of Vietnam do not need to prove exposure. If they served in Vietnam, exposure is presumed. Surviving spouses of any veteran who died from one of the listed conditions may also be eligible for benefits, depending on their current marital status.
Compensation claims for diabetes due to exposure to AO will not be approved until the final regulations are approved. This is expected to occur sometime this month. However, claims can be filed now and will be processed when the final regulations are approved.
Veterans affected by the new rules will receive a priority for VA health care and, depending upon the severity of their illnesses, for disability compensation that ranges from $101 to $2,107 monthly.
VA estimates that about 9 percent of the 2.3 million Vietnam veterans still alive have Type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar levels caused by the body's inability to process the hormone insulin characterize the illness.
Please note the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed for vacation Aug. 12-18.
For information on these and other veteran's benefits and issues please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4 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.
Instructional league draws 27 youths
The first practice for the 2001 youth baseball 8-12 instructional league took place Friday morning with 27 participants. The instruction takes place at the Sports Complex 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friday mornings, through Aug. 10.
The cost is $25 which includes a T-shirt. Youth can register at Town Hall or at the field. Questions about the clinic can be answered at Town Hall, 264-4151, ext. 232.
The Bambino tournament started Tuesday with the All-star Rookies team winning their first game against the Indians, 7-6. The second game of the night saw the Rockies beat the Braves 9-6. In the second round of the tournament, played Thursday night, the Twins beat the Rookies 10-3 and the Orioles won over the Rockies by forfeit.
Last night, the Twins and Orioles played for championship game seeding. The league all-star team will travel to Monte Vista this weekend.
Contact Summer at Town Hall for start times, 264-4151, ext. 232.
Softball games are being played Monday through Thursday evenings. Separate league games for the recreation and competitive men's divisions began Monday.
The competitive league is comprised of At Your Disposal, Clifford Construction, Ken's Performance, P.P.P. Playboys and U Can Afford Landscaping. The recreation league includes American Legion, The Bears, Dulce Black Sox, Dulce Tigers and Stray Dogs.
Schedules for the second half of the season are posted at the Sports Complex and at Town Hall.
League games for both men's divisions will conclude July 25 and tournament games will begin July 26. Tournament brackets are available at Town Hall and at the Sports Complex. Coed league games will run through Aug. 1 and tournament play will start Aug. 2.
The program resumed last week and is open until Aug. 10. Drop-in participants are welcome at $20 per day. Cost for a week is $65.
Soccer registration is underway with $10 early registration through Aug. 10. The organizational coaches' meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 in Town Hall. Practices will begin the week of Aug. 27 and games will begin Sept. 11.
Games will be played Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:30 p.m. The season will conclude with tournament play Oct. 19-20.
Registration forms are available at Town Hall.
Call the recreation department at 264-4151, ext. 232 with any questions.
Arts Camp students' work in new show
If you ever plan to attend an exhibit at the Town Park Gallery, make sure it is today's opening reception from 5-7 p.m. for Lori Salisbury.
Lori's art goes far beyond mere paintings; it has been described as "visionary," bridging the gap between reality and the spirit world. Behind the world that we say is real there pulses the power and beauty of a spiritual essence.
"I paint only the things which move and affect me," Lori explains. "My inspiration comes to me in dreams and from my own personal experiences. I try to strike a cord in everyone, causing people to think a little deeper about what's really important in the short life that we have on this planet."
One of Lori's biggest concerns is how we take care of our mother earth and the important balance of nature. That is why she paints with a deeper message. "Wake up and realize what is really important at this time on earth. Come together and love one another. Let go of greed and hate. Protect our earth for she is truly our mother, "Lori implores.
Many of Lori's paintings tell a story and are a series of three to five paintings which can be collected together in a set. One of her most popular series entitled "Nature Speaks" is featured in this exhibit and reveals the story of what is happening to nature as told through the lives of wolves.
Lori is one of the wolf's most ardent advocates and with several dramatic paintings, she brings us all to a greater understanding of the natural world and the creatures which make it their home.
Lori's exhibit will run through Aug. 8.
Aug. 9-15 and Sept. 6-19 are available to exhibitors. If you would like to sign up for one of those dates, notify Joanne at the gallery ASAP by calling 264-5020.
The annual Artists' Studio Tour is a time we showcase the talented artists in our area, and it's amazing to see what our local artists are doing. The tour is scheduled Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will go on sale around Sept.13 and can be purchased at Moonlight Books and Wolftracks. PSAC members can purchase their discounted tickets at the gallery. Tickets are $10 to the public and $8 for PSAC members.
PSAC is seeking businesses interested in sponsoring the quarterly newsletter, The Petroglyph. A tax-free donation of between $200-300 allows a business to insert a flyer into the center of the newsletter as well as to receive a public thank you in the Artsline Column and the Petroglyph. If you are interested, please call Joanne at 264-5020 or Jennifer at 731-3113.
When you shop at City Market the Pagosa Springs Arts Council earns money and it costs you nothing. Bring your Value Card to the gallery and sign up. You can support the arts in your community. Do it today.
State covers uninsured children under 18
Insurance is a big concern across the country.
The best kind of insurance is the one that best fits you and your family. Therefore I would like to recognize an insurance option provided by the State of Colorado dedicated to an attempt to cover 100 percent of all our uninsured children.
The program is called Colorado Child Health Plan Plus. It was created by the Colorado General Assembly in HB-97 1304 and is regulated by a state-appointed board. Administration is conducted by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. That agency contracts with Child Health Advocates.
In Pagosa Springs, Lisa Montoya from San Juan Basin Health leads our local Satellite Eligibility Determination (SED).
The program is a full-service health plan for Colorado's uninsured children age 18 and under. It provides an extensive package of benefits developed especially for children and youth.
What does this include?
CHP-Plus covers visits to doctors and clinics for preventive, primary, acute and specialty care; for inpatient and outpatient hospital services; emergency care; prescription drugs; behavioral and mental health care; and offers an annual allowance for glasses and hearing aids.
Lisa stated that the most-often asked question from parents is, "How much does it cost and how do I qualify?" She tells them that eligibility for CHP-Plus is calculated by the age of their child or children, and using their family income.
Income guidelines are based on a 185-percent poverty level. For example, a family of four earning less than $30,895 a year, or $594 a week, could qualify for CHP-Plus. Children must be Colorado residents, either born in the U.S. or legally in the country.
Most families pay a monthly premium and a small co-payment each time they visit their doctor. These amounts are again based on income and family size. They may range anywhere from $9 to $30 a month. If a family is below the federal poverty level, the premium is waived.
An additional example is a parent with two children earning $19,000 a year. He/she will most likely pay $15 per month and a $2 copayment per medical visit.
A single parent earning up to $11,060 a year with one child, can be enrolled in CHP-Plus with no charge.
Our community is fortunate to have Lisa at San Juan Basin Health. Her dedication has provided outreach to qualify 65 percent of Archuleta County's uninsured children. Her new efforts are aimed at the possibility of CHP-Plus offering dental services with a package of benefits by September, 2001.
If you think your family is eligible for CHP-Plus, or if you need additional information or an application, Lisa is prepared to assist you. She can be reached by calling San Juan Basin Health Department at 264-2409.
Move up, move forward
Negotiating county politics these days is like walking down an unfamiliar road on a moonless night.
Periodically, there is a sparkle of light, far off in an otherwise dark sky.
It is only a sparkle - never a steady beam, never enough to illuminate a journey that seems too difficult, too complex, with an indeterminate destination.
Last week, there was a flash of light: our county commission chairman publicly voiced the need to hire a county manager. Tuesday, he indicated a sincere search will begin Aug. 1.
Unfortunately, the light weakens when questions are asked.
What will an administrator be allowed to do?
The explanation offered last week was that a chief administrator was needed to help with the hypothetical project of building a new county courthouse - a courthouse voters have yet to approve, and that voters might not approve if the project takes precedence over more pressing problems, like roads - a courthouse that might not be necessary in the immediate future, with other options available.
A county administrator is not a construction manager, and oversight of a courthouse project is one of the least important reasons this county needs an experienced governmental administrator. Who knows what will be lost, delayed, or go unrecognized if one is not in place soon, using his or her expertise to deal with a wide range of issues and projects?
The commissioners were scheduled to make a trip to Durango yesterday, to meet with Ken Charles of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Charles is a seasoned veteran with sage advice to offer. No doubt, Charles informed our commissioners of the many reasons they need qualified administrative help. Let's hope they listened. And understood.
Charles was also likely to counsel the commissioners about their roles in an effective, forward-looking government. Let us hope they listened. And understood.
For example: It is time to drop the ruse of "liaison" operations.
We've had months of "liaison" work, with each commissioner taking a county department under his wing, allegedly to "learn how county government works."
Two of the current commissioners have been on the job more than two years: They should already know how the county "works." If they don't, we have a truly profound problem on our hands. They should know enough to have taught the newest commissioner the ropes.
It is easy to see the liaison role not as educational but as a way to allow certain commissioners to retreat to comfort zones, to be soothed by the illusion they are hastening the day-to-day operation of county government in an area of enterprise they purport to understand. This is simply not true: the day-to-day operation of departments adopted by the commissioners would remain steady and productive, directed by competent department managers, with consistent paychecks to personnel, regardless of commissioner involvement.
The most dangerous aspect of the adopt-a-department approach is that a department becomes a feifdom with employees, fearing reprisal, working to please their liege. This must not be allowed to happen.
It is time to pull back and bring departments not headed by elected officials under the watch of an experienced and competent administrator. It is time for the commission to apply itself to the worrisome job of setting public policy to prepare the county for a future that includes more growth, more demands, more problems that transcend the everyday operation of trucks or bookkeepers.
Who will the commissioners hire?
If we are lucky, the process will not be a ruse - one that ends with a crony put into the job. Hopefully, the commissioners will not hire an administrator without verifiable, competent municipal or county administrative service, one ill-equipped for the task, one needing to "learn" how county government works before he or she can do the job.
Our current commission has been seated for more than six months; the county has been without high-level professional management for too long. It is time, as the chairman says, to find an administrator. It is also time to hire a director of planning and to speed toward implementation of the County Plan. This county cannot afford to have elected leaders engaged in pursuits better suited to qualified professionals. It is time to lead, not to wander on a dark road.
No one does it better than Pagosa
Jennie Loucks, an out-of-state subscriber, was on my mind last week. Unfortunately Jennie's SUN does not arrive at her Harwich, Mass., mailbox in a timely manner.
Earlier this month while graciously renewing her subscription, she included an inquiry as to why she can "go a month without a paper and then get three papers all at once a month or two late." Her note came to mind last week while we were placing copies of the July 12 SUN into the brown canvas bags the Postal Service provides for second-class mailings. It was somewhat a surprise when a copy of a daily newspaper fell out of one of the bags. The paper had been mailed a week earlier. Yet somehow it had remained at the bottom of the bag prior to a postal worker reintroducing it into the mailing process.
It was the second time that this sort of thing has happened. A few years ago a weekly newspaper that had been published a year earlier in a small town in North Dakota and that was labeled for delivery to a subscriber in Minnesota had remained in the bag as the bag was recirculated through the system. The paper somehow had remained in the bottom of the mail bag for more than a year.
I felt bad for the editor who mailed it and for the subscriber who failed to receive the paper. I also felt bad for the SUN and for its subscribers because they are not immune from having the same thing happen once the SUN leaves the Pagosa Springs Post Office.
So I thought Jennie might have been interested in a page 1 article The Denver Post printed July 13. The story told of 70,000 pieces of mail that were to have been delivered to out-of-state addresses but that instead had seemingly disappeared. Though the mail had left Glenwood Springs by truck on March 26, the proverbial checks that were "in the mail" failed to reach their destinations. Instead, the mail shipment sat for 14 weeks in the back of a Postal Service trailer that was marked as carrying "empty equipment."
The article reported that the trailer and its cargo of undelivered mail had been parked outside the Denver Mail Processing Center until Monday of last week. It wasn't until postal workers started removing the supposedly empty equipment from the trailer on July 9 that they discovered the five large containers of missing mail. Attributed to human error, the mishap occurred when the trailer was improperly loaded and then erroneously labeled to be hauling empty containers.
According to the article, the Denver Mail Processing Center is one of the nation's largest processing facilities. It reportedly sends out 10 million pieces of mail daily. This might explain why, when coupled with human error (indifference), some of the SUN's second-class mailings experience sporadic and erratic delivery.
We're encouraging Ms. Loucks to ask her local postmaster for a "Publication Watch Form 3721." Once she fills out the form and returns it to her local postmaster, Postal Service officials will track the route the second-class mailing took from its intended point of delivery back to Pagosa Springs. The Publication Watch continues for four-weeks. During that period a record is kept on the times and dates to show when it was the SUN left the Pagosa Springs Post Office and the stops it made at the various postal facilities between here and its intended destination. Usually the Publication Watch process results in the SUN arriving in a more consistent and timely manner.
If the Publication Watch process doesn't work, we might try asking the Postal Service folks in Denver to check all of their trucks that are supposedly loaded with empty equipment.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of July 18, 1901
Haying is now the order of the day with our ranchmen, and we are pleased to learn that many of them have a very good crop.
You are hereby notified that bicycle riding on the sidewalks is strictly prohibited and those guilty of this misdemeanor will be dealt with according to law.
One or two heads of families on the Piedra are reported to have agreed to disagree.
Nick Townsend was so unfortunate as to fracture one of his legs below the knee at the Harpst mill yesterday morning. Dr. Winter set the broken limb.
A. Day of Silverton purchased of P.L. Scott the lots south of his store and will build a business house, consisting of a store and furnished rooms on the second floor.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 16, 1926
Two youths are now in the county jail at Pagosa Springs and will be taken to Buena Vista Sunday by Sheriff Geo. A. Dutton to enter the state reformatory where they will commence to serve indeterminate sentences imposed yesterday by Judge F.A. Byrne in the county court on their pleas of guilty to the charges of larceny of horses, gun, coats and saddles from Archuleta County residents.
An "old timer" observes that - A fellow who steals a horse in these fast days of travel and detection should not be sent to a jail, but be put in an insane asylum.
Present indications are that all who ordered currants at the Sun office this week will not receive same until Monday. The berries will either be delivered to your home or you will be notified of their presence at the Sun office.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 20, 1951
Just about everything that can be said about hot, dry weather around these parts has been said, and a little relief from the long drought has been present the past week with scattered showers throughout the area.
In Pagosa Springs, the record high of the summer was reached on Monday of this week when the official thermometer at the Forest Service office registered a sizzling 88 above. That is quite a spread from the 50 below last winter.
The local GIs spent last Wednesday working on the new house on Epimenio Garcia's ranch for Pete Gomez and family. Gomez is renting the Garcia farm. Epimenio Garcia is working on the county highway. Both men are World War II veterans.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 15, 1976
Dick Walker, of Durango, was engaged by the school board at its regular meeting Tuesday night as architect and planner for proposed new school facilities. The action was taken after a citizens' planning committee recommended that the board take action to start planning and constructing additional facilities to take care of the ever increasing school population.
Hot it was here over the weekend. The mercury at the U.S. Weather Observation station soared to 90 degrees both days.
Fire danger is extremely high in this area, according to Forest Service officials. Lightning has caused numerous forest fires and there have been three man caused fires. Officials ask that extreme caution be used by anyone in the outdoors.
A conglomerate of Pagoa recollections
Watching the morning news on Denver's Channel 9 has spurred a lot of people to try to remember things as they were.
The station has a daily spot, inviting viewers to join in with nostalgic conclusions to the sentence: "You know you're a native when . . ."
The answers are a conglomerate of recollections of days gone by, when times were less stressful and massive development was still far on the horizon.
That in mind, I thought it might be interesting to conjure up some of my own memories of the past, not of Denver, but of Pagosa Country - memories that fewer and fewer of us will have as the area continues its growth surge.
Do you remember, for example:
- When the Hiway Cafe on Main Street (We didn't use Pagosa Street or San Juan Street names in those days) had coffee at a nickel a cup and the waitress kept the cup filled until you were ready to leave?
- Penny loafers?
- When nearly all teen-age boys had GI or crew haircuts?
- The absolute silence in the public library alongside the bridge across the San Juan River as youngsters and adults alike sought the wisdom of the ages from its limited supply of books?
- The Hudson automobile, referred to by some as an inverted bathtub on wheels, and the Studebaker, which looked the same coming and going long before the Volkswagen appeared on the scene?
- Gasoline selling for 10 to 15 cents per gallon - accompanied by full service, including windows washed, and tires, oil and radiator checked without charge?
- The drug store soda fountain where most kids gathered after school and young romances flourished?
- When the soda fountain at Jackisch Drug was the most popular but not the only one downtown? Melvin Hazelwood had a smaller operation in the Pagosa Hotel building in front of what was then the Post Office.
- When there were two leather shops downtown, one operated by Duke DuBossier in the front window of the store mentioned above and another by the Robertson family approximately where the vacant area is now between the Riverside Restaurant and Jim Smith Realty?
- When there were still outhouses at many homes in the town - the famed two-seaters with a half moon cut in the door - structures that had to be moved periodically when the excavation below filled, and which were often Halloween targets for the local goblins?
- When families actually sat down to dinner with each other each evening and there was real conversation and exchange of ideas on events of the day?
- When there was no television in Pagosa Springs and electronic entertainment came from the radio or the old Victrola?
- When the songs played on that Victrola were on 78 rpm records, not even 45s or 33s; the tape recorder was beyond the financial means of most families and things like CDs were undreamed of?
- When no one thought of locking their doors when out of the house for a few minutes - or a few hours - and safety bars for residential doors and windows were not a necessity?
- When fresh milk was delivered to your door on order and it had real cream at the top?
- When one could eat everything put on the plate without having to worry about whether the foodstuffs contained cancer-causing agents?
- When it was a pleasure to fill one's lungs with the outdoor air, breathing in oxygen instead of man-made pollutants?
- When sheep, cattle and lumber were mainstays of the local economy?
- When Pagosa Springs had two new car dealers and almost every service station had a qualified mechanic on duty?
- When kids played war games in the fields and on the hills of town and dreamed of the day when friends and relatives fighting the enemies of democracy would come marching home?
- Mowing the law with a push mower with rotary blades and being absolutely amazed when someone put an electric or gasoline engine on one of them, giving birth to a whole new era of juvenile workforce scouting neighborhoods with dad's power mower to make a few bucks and take a date to the movie at Liberty Theater or at the drive-ins in Ignacio or Durango?
- Worshiping and publicly acknowledging your own personal God without someone charging that you're invading their space and violating their rights with dogma they don't believe and don't want to hear?
- When there were no traffic signals in town and the closest thing to a traffic jam came after a high school sports event when hundreds of parents and fans worked their way toward home?
- When there was angle parking at meters downtown, not just on Back Street (we never called it Lewis Street then) on Sunday mornings during hours of worship?
- When the Catholic church stood on Back Street two doors east of what is now Lewis and Second streets?
- When every home in town (with a few electronic exceptions) was heated by coal and/or wood-burning stoves or the rare furnace and natural gas had yet to make its appearance here?
- When one key appliance in every home was the kerosene lantern to be pressed into use during the expected long blackouts in winter when transmission lines were downed and before La Plata Electric had it's vast range of substations and alternate service lines?
- When a youngster could walk a couple hundred feet to the river, catch a pair of trout, have Mom fix them for breakfast and still get to school on time and with no fear the fish might have been tainted by human or species-specific contamination?
The list of recollections could go on and on. They remind us of a slower pace of life in Pagosa, but one no less exciting. It was a time when stress was not the key element of daily life and when friendship could be counted on as a lifetime bond.
It was a time when housewives talked over the back fence as they hung their clothes outside to dry, when men of the families helped each other with major projects and a neighborhood was just that - an area where people of similar circumstance watched out and cared for the welfare of others.
I'm sure each of you could add at least a dozen more entries to the list.
Cherish those memories. They recall times of our past which will not return. But we can pass them along to our children and grandchildren so they, too, can understand a little better what Pagosa-style life was like in our own versions of the Good Old Days.
Marauding horse thieves eluded posse
Pagosa Country of 1895 was a mixture of old and new, a land in transition from frontier simplicity to mechanized complexity.
As the August and September 1895 newspapers show, mechanization rode in on the wheels of the logging railroad. At the same time, horse thieves and a pursuing posse rode out over Elwood Pass, a chase reminding us of the legendary Old West.
Newspaper item, Aug. 9, 1895: Two suspicious characters who were loitering around here two or three days last week took leave on Thursday night, and with them went some horses belonging to our good people. The loss was not discovered until the News had gone to press Friday morning, and by that time the thieves had reached the San Luis Valley.
At first it was thought they had secured from 25 to 50 head, but those were nearly all found. A bunch that had been taken out of Hallett's pasture broke away at Four Mile Creek, and H.C. Cooper's sorrel running horse was found dead on the Jackson ranch, they having either accidentally or maliciously shot him. The thieves passed by the Gordon Grimes ranch at 9 o'clock on Thursday night, and had reached the range shortly after midnight.
About noon Friday, Sheriff Palmer, C.H. Freeman, and H.C. Cooper started in pursuit and F. A. Byrne and A. Thompson followed in the afternoon. The latter went as far as Antonito, and being unable to secure fresh horses returned home. They report that the thieves passed through Antonito Saturday morning on their way to Trinidad. The sheriff and his men resumed their pursuit Sunday morning. Sheriff Garcia had been wired to look out for the thieves, but he did not expect them so soon and they passed his bailiwick without being nabbed.
Sheriff Palmer and his men lost some valuable time thinking the thieves had gone to Del Norte and going to that town.
The thieves had six or seven head of horses when they struck Pagosa; at Stunner they had a dozen or more, so they had picked up about a half dozen here, which belonged to Cooper, Freeman, Byrne, and McLean. At Antonito the bunch had increased to twenty or more, showing that they continued to gather as they proceeded.
Newspaper item, Aug. 16, 1895: As far as can be ascertained the horse thieves that made the raid here two weeks ago got away with five animals, including the one shot.
Newspaper item, Aug. 16, 1895: Sheriff Palmer, C.H. Freeman, and H.C. Cooper have returned from their long chase after the horse thieves, the first two on Monday's stage and last by Summitville last Saturday. Mr. Cooper turned about after reaching La Belle, and the others gave up the chase after going as far as Cimmaron and Raton. When the pursuing party gave up the chase a deputy sheriff of Raton started after the thieves with the remark that he would have them in his clutches before many days. Our men were handicapped in several ways. They experienced great trouble in securing fresh horses when the ones they were riding had fagged out, and rain and hail storms were so frequent that it was impossible to distinguish the trail. The names of the two thieves are McKee and Wilbur and they reside at Catskill. When the pursuers arrived in that country they were among the friends of the thieves, and the sheriff made the discovery that these same people gave him false reports as to the direction the thieves went. Sheriff Garcia was once in sight of the thieves, but lost them again by following the wrong trail. Palmer and Freeman rode over 400 miles in their chase. Returning, they took the train at Raton and came by way of Pueblo. McKee and Willbur passed through here, going west, two months ago with seven head of horses and a mule, which they had stolen in the country where they took the horses stolen here. A reward of $200 is offered for the capture of the two criminals.
Motter's comment: No wonder your mother says be careful of strangers. These thieves apparently had a going, two-way business, stealing in the east and selling in the west, then stealing in the west and selling in the east. The route followed by the thieves and Sheriff Palmer's posse was up the East Fork of the San Juan, across Stunner Pass, down the Alamosa River to Antonito, then across the San Luis Valley, across the formidable Cuchares Mountains to Trinidad, across Raton Pass, and beyond. Palmer apparently took a wrong turn after reaching the summit of Elwood Pass. He apparently went into Summitville and on to Del Norte before realizing he'd taken a wrong turn. Evidently, he backtracked and took the other fork of the road past Stunner and on to Antonito. We never learn if these horse thieves were ever apprehended. Just imagine the distances covered on horseback during this chase.
Newspaper item, Aug. 16,1895: Editor Wyck of the Walsenburg Cactus concludes his description of his visit to this resort with the following: "The party is indebted to Judge Egger for a ride through some of the fine timber and agricultural lands. The great stands of fine timber land in this county was a revelation of the future wealth that awaits the coming generation. For miles and miles the road led through and among towering trees and beautiful parks. There is little or no underbrush or fallen and dead timbers, and we venture the assertion that there is not a park in any city of this great country that can compare with the unfenced and uncared-for parks in Archuleta County. Level as a floor and covered with a growth of heavy succulent grass, it forms a picture of natural beauty and wildness that will live long. This land is all open for settlement. The grazing lands are sufficient to accommodate scores of thousands of cattle, yet there are very few people or cattle in this section. The great San Luis valley can not, and never will compare with this county. For settlers seeking a home where water, timber, and grazing lands are abundant, and sufficient for all, we would advise them to look over this county."
Motter's comment; The preceding article written by the editor of a Walsenburg newspaper is one of the earliest and best first-person descriptions we have of how Pagosa Country looked before big logging leveled the forests. Note the description of the ponderosa forests. Forests open at the ground level with little or no underbrush and fallen logs are evidence of frequent fires (not flyers). Such descriptions support current forest service controlled burn policies. The area described is probably the route from Edith to Pagosa Springs across Coyote Park, but could have described most parts of the county lying between 7,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation.
Newspaper item, Aug. 16, 1895: The route of the Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs is now being surveyed through some of the best timber and the most important settlements of this county. From the mill on the Navajo it follows that stream to Chromo; a distance of five miles; then up the Little Navajo three or four miles, across the divide to Coyote Park, by the Krenz and Harris ranches, over the divide into the Blanco canyon; following the Blanco to the mouth of the Little Blanco, it runs up the stream a sufficient distance to obtain the necessary elevation to cross the divide somewhere east of the Minium ranch; from there it will cross the parks into Mill creek, down that stream to the San Juan and up the San Juan valley to Pagosa Springs. Engineer Sharpe says the route is one of easy grades and very picturesque.
Motter's comments: The route described in this newspaper item was surveyed, but not followed exactly by railroad tracks. For example, the Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs railroad never reached Pagosa Springs, but may have reached Mill Creek or the Echo Lake area. It's interesting to note the name Harris living on the divide between the Little Navajo and Coyote Park. Everybody knows about Buckles and Harris lakes located below V-Rock on that same divide. I even know who Buckles was. This is the first mention of Harris I've run across. Where were the Buckles and Harris ranches, probably irrigated from these man-made lakes?
Newspaper item, Aug. 16, 1895: The New Mexico Lumber Company's mill on the Navajo is the most complete mill ever set up in this part of the country. It has a capacity of 60,000 feet per day. The mill is supplied with a dynamo and when artificial light is needed is lighted with electricity. The yard is most conveniently arranged, and cars can be run to any part of it to load lumber. This company, with its railroad and mills will aid materially in developing the resources of this county.
Motter's comment: Notice this mill location is identified as on the Navajo with no place name. I have a reason for mentioning this at this time. Read on. Biggs' mill on the Navajo was ultramodern, with probably the first electricity in Archuleta County.
Newspaper item, Aug. 16, 1895: The New Mexico Lumber Company is now considering the advisability of securing a passenger coach and running regular trains on the Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs road between Lumberton and the mill, and carrying passengers, mail, and express for this place that distance. Should the company do this it would cut down the stage travel and mail line to twenty-two miles, just a nice distance for a round trip a day.
Motter's comment: Twenty-two miles one way, 44 miles round trip, one day's travel? Obviously much different than today with our 70 miles-per-hour cars.
Newspaper item, Sept. 13, 1895: A petition to the post office department was in circulation this week praying for the establishment of a post office at the Navajo mill, to be called Edith. The establishment of the office would accommodate a large number of persons and would soon be the second office in the county of importance. There is no valid reason why the petition should not be granted, as the establishment of the office the Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs railroad will no doubt carry the mail between Lumberton and Edith, shortening our mail route about seven miles.
Motter's comment: This is the first mention of Edith I know about. She was Biggs' daughter. Edith eventually was home to as many as 350 people.
Newspaper item, Sept. 13, 1895: The Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs railroad is now carrying freight billed to Pagosa Springs to the end of the line on the Navajo. A freighting team can now make a round trip in two days with ease.
Motter's comment: The changes connected with time and distance are mind boggling when comparing 1895 with 2001. Being proud of reducing the freighting time to two days between Edith and Pagosa Springs is difficult to comprehend.
Barbara and Farrell Trask are the owners and operators of TLC - The Lighting Center - located at 301 North Pagosa Boulevard, Suite 3.
The Lighting Center is a full-service lighting store with excellent prices and selection, prompt product availability, and contractor pricing.
The store offers builder and homeowner on-site and in-house consulting services for all lighting needs; lighting of all types - indoor, outdoor, decorative, fluorescent; track and recessed fixtures; lamps and shades.
The Lighting Center is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends by appointment. Call 731-5633.