It's an emergency situation at home. A family member is seriously ill and it's critical enough to dial 911. A caller hears one ring, then two, maybe up to six or possibly more with no answer. Try again, and the same thing may happen.
At a time of extreme stress, each ring can seem like an eternity, Archuleta Sheriff's Department Captain Bob Grandchamp said. The reality is that scenario can and does sometimes happen in Archuleta County.
Although given priority by the dispatchers, 911 calls come into the sheriff's office through the same routing system as all other calls, Grandchamp said. Calls have to travel through a series of exchanges before actually reaching the dispatch office - meaning a ring heard by the caller may not actually be a ring heard by a dispatcher.
Grandchamp said after a recent complaint he did his own investigation, calling in to the dispatch center from several locations around the county. As he listened, it took anywhere between three and six rings in his ear before a dispatcher answered.
Back at the station, the dispatchers were answering the first time they heard a 911 line.
Undersheriff Otis May said it's a problem the office has encountered a few times over several years. When a complaint comes in, the 911 tapes are reviewed to ensure dispatchers are answering all calls promptly, and the telephone company is called to check the system.
Both May and Grandchamp cautioned people not to cease calling 911, but to be aware of the limitations of the system. Their best advice - stay on the line until a dispatcher answers. Repeated hang ups and re-dials hinder rather than help the situation.
Chris Valdez, CenturyTel district manager for Pagosa Springs, said he was not aware of any reports of problems with the 911 system.
"We'd been more than willing to do some testing," he said.
It is, he added, a Basic 911 system. The county is considering upgrading to an Enhanced 911 system. Enhanced 911 allows the dispatch to trace all 911 calls coming in, even hang-ups, and bring up a location and phone number for each call on a computer screen. Currently, if a caller breaks the connection, dispatch must call CenturyTel to have them provide the trace.
Fred Harman III, Archuleta County communications officer, said difficulty in starting up an Enhanced system centers on the challenges of finding location information - addresses and phone numbers - for everyone in the county.
A data base of that information prepared for the county has been turned into CenturyTel in La Junta where updates and corrections are being compiled, he said.
A meteor shower is considered the potential culprit behind a series of 15 to 18 fires on Cat Creek Road Sept. 25.
Pagosa Fire Chief Warren Grams said the fires were located in canyons and arroyos over a four-mile area, which seems to rule out arson.
"We don't feel these were set fires," Grams said. "We think it had to be a natural event." Firefighters did return to the scene Monday with equipment to help locate possible meteoric remains, but were unsuccessful.
Members of the Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District responded with county fire crews to the fires about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25. About 25 firefighters remained on the scene until 1:30 a.m., Sept. 26. Crews returned about 8 a.m. to mop up and douse any remaining hot spots.
Grams said neighbors in the area extinguished another four or five fires in the lower grasslands, some of which burned close to structures.
Anyone with any information regarding this cluster of fires is encouraged to call the main fire station at 731-4191.
The first version of the 2002 county budget surfaced at the regular meeting of Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday morning.
Many changes are probable before a final version of the document is adopted some time during December, according to Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners.
Consideration of the preliminary budget is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to Crabtree. Following Wednesday's workshop, the commissioners intend to meet with department heads and elected officials starting Oct. 29 to hammer out final budget figures.
This preliminary form of the budget is a compilation of budget requests submitted by department heads and elected officials to Cathie Wilson, the county director of finance. In her turn, Wilson has shaped the submissions into standard budget form.
"Those numbers were submitted before the Sept. 11 disaster," Crabtree said. "Since then the governor has said he will trim his budget and may have to make some layoffs by the end of the year. I'm sure we'll have to cut back on some of these requests. I look for a slim budget for next year."
Remaining to be decided are which capital equipment purchases to make, and for how much; what to do about employee salary raises; and what to do about perceived needs for more courthouse space.
Revenue and expense estimates in the preliminary 2002 budget amount to about $25.4 million. The final budget adopted for 2001 estimated revenues and expenses at $20.4 million.
A fund-by-fund comparison of revenues shows the following, with the figure for 2001 shown first, 2002 shown second: General fund - $4,539,746 . . . $5,950,524; road and bridge fund - $2,190,087 . . . $1,804,901; capital improvement fund - $609,628 . . . $966,371; road capital improvement fund - $2,241,262 . . . $2,991,659; fleet maintenance fund - listed under road and bridge fund last year - $633,879 . . . $834,121; social services fund - $1,038,330 . . . $1,103,879; nutrition fund - $193,729 . . . $233,999; seniors program fund - $139,537 . . . $145,600; transportation program - $277,241 . . . $191,327; conservation trust fund - $58,929 . . . $90,565; contingency fund - 0 . . . dropped; sales tax fund - $2,267,188 . . . $2,200,000; emergency 911 fund - $33,523 . . . $38,550; Tabor reserve fund - 0 . . . none; fair board fund - $76,429 . . . $100,665; LID-Greenbriar - $17,034 . . . none; LID Luxury Place - $6,683 . . . none; Beanpole telecommunication fund - $1,375,000 . . . none; solid waste fund - $271,671 . . . $294,353; Pagosa Lakes Trails fund - $108,400 . . . $101,000; tourism fund - $132,900 . . . $160,000; Fairfield improvement settlement fund - 0 . . . $9,500; jail commissary fund - $6,000 . . . $6,000; self insurance fund - $589,100 . . . $678,963; sidewalk escrow fund - $2,000 . . . $36,983; airport authority fund - $4,218,661 . . . $7,401,660; flex benefit fund - $23,700 (new).
The county's largest fund, the general fund, anticipates a beginning fund balance of $1,653,056, revenues of $5,273,546, and expenditures of $6,022,524. The ending fund balance is projected at $904,078.
Included within the general fund are the budgets for all elected officials. The system of requiring the commissioners to approve budgets for the other elected officials inevitably leads to conflict. Conflict develops because the commissioners have no authority over other elected officials. Neither do they outrank them.
Art and Carol Fisher are accustomed to seeing bears or sign of bears on their property in the Meadows III area south of U.S. 160 off Hersch Avenue.
They are not, however, accustomed to having them enter the house.
That happened at about 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The couple had seen a bear Aug. 24 looking in the window from the deck, and on Sept. 24 heard the bear rummaging around under the deck. But never before had there been an attempted entry of the home.
And then came the noise which awakened Carol Fisher Sept. 26. It apparently was caused by the bear jumping down from a kitchen counter and overturning a heavy chair.
She turned on the light and when she saw what was causing the noise, screamed, awakening her husband.
The light and scream apparently also frightened the bear and it went back out the way it had entered, through a living room casement window.
Fisher said the window, the crank variety, had been left open about an inch. There were no food nor garbage out to attract the bear, but household odors must have enticed him.
The bear got a paw inside and was able to push the window open, stripping the crank in the process. It then pushed out the screen and came inside.
"He knocked over a planter on the counter and got his paws dirty," Fisher said, so "we were able to follow his path as he came down and knocked over the chair."
He said the bear has been back twice since gaining entry, but has not tried again to come inside.
Fisher said he wanted the public to know the crank-style casement windows are as susceptible to forced entry as any other type and area residents should make sure they are closed tightly.
According to a well-worn cliche, life is a gamble. Gambler or
not, if you are a registered voter in Archuleta County, you'll be
asked to make a bet during the upcoming general election. You will be asked to take a risk and make a wager that could produce serious consequences for years to come.
Archuleta County commissioners have chosen to put an issue on the ballot, asking for approval of a sales tax measure - an "extension" of an existing 2-percent sales tax, currently split evenly between the county and the Town of Pagosa Springs.
The first element of the risk is seen in the question of whether or not such an "extension" will be held valid if approved. The current 2-percent tax, as per ballot language in 1994, appears to expire Dec. 31, 2002. In that case the town, by law, is prepared to collect up to 3 percent sales tax within its boundaries.
An emergency town ordinance was passed by voters in 1999 in reaction to a failed attempt by out-of-town residents to change the even distribution of total local sales tax funds to a 75/25 split in favor of the county. The ordinance states the town will collect up to 3 percent sales tax within town boundaries if the current 2-percent tax expires or is changed in any way. Nearly 80 percent of all local sales tax is collected in town.
A tentative response by the Colorado Department of Revenue, the agency responsible for collection and distribution of sales tax revenues, indicates the agency believes the town ordinance is probably legal and enforceable.
The upshot: early odds favor the town should the upcoming county-sponsored sales tax pass.
Legal counsel advised the commissioners not to press the current ballot issue, and to write a measure having the county take the maximum allowable sales tax outside town boundaries while working out a revenue-sharing agreement with the town to equalize monies used by each entity. The commissioners decided against that option, reserving it for the November, 2002 ballot should the upcoming issue fail at the polls or be denied by the department of revenue and the Colorado Attorney General.
That leads to another risk: If the issue passes and an unfavorable decision concerning its validity is delayed long enough, it could be too late for an alternate issue to be put on the November, 2002 ballot.
There is a local political risk inherent in the situation. At present, the town board is willing to continue with an even split of revenue, whether as a result of the upcoming issue passing and being upheld, or in a case requiring stipulated revenue sharing between the two entities. The trustees have not seen fit to oppose the measure or to close off any avenues that define a decade-long, positive relationship. A town election next April, however, could change the board of trustees and, given confrontation concerning the upcoming ballot issue, the tenor of the relationship between the entities could change with it.
The town stands to lose little; it holds a strong hand. There is no chance the town will end up with a lesser share of sales tax revenue than it has received for the last six years. Should the worst case play out for the county, the town will reap an economic harvest, but one that will carry with it the burden of supporting programs and entities the county can no longer fund.
The commissioners' gamble resembles a bluff in poker. They hope the issue passes and the town folds its hand, acquiescing to the county's position. There is no indication town fathers are prepared to take this step. Barring that, the commissioners hope the state rules against the town ordinance.
As far as your vote goes, this is like any other bet: You must decide whether to put a stack of chips in the middle of table and trust to luck, or pull the chips back, cut the losses and wait for another hand.
What's your pleasure?
We can't get yesterday back again
It's not unusual in the radio sports world for a broadcaster to say that he bets the pitcher wishes he could "have that pitch back again" or that a quarterback wishes he could "have that pass back again."
Usually such comments follow a pitch that was hit for a home run, or after a pass was intercepted by an opponent and returned for a touchdown.
This came to mind two weeks ago when I saw 'Crusade' across the top of page 1 of the Rocky Mountain News. I'm not sure if it was an extemporaneous comment or the specific word selected by President Bush's speech writers.
During his inaugural address and speeches he has made since his first day in office, in an apparent effort to acknowledge the Muslim influence in the lives of many Americans, President Bush has freely mentioned those who worship in their churches, synagogues and "mosques." He's the first president to include Muslims with Jewish and Christian worshipers. So it's ironic that President Bush, though understandably under unimaginable stress and strain due to the terrorists' attacks six days earlier, let the word crusade slip unnoticed into his address on the White House lawn.
While many listeners and subsequent readers considered the word crusade as a fitting description of America's call for a vigorous campaign against the evils of terrorism, I expect Muslims thought of the supposed Christian "holy wars" against the Muslim-controlled Holy Lands that started in 1096 A.D. I'd bet that President Bush and his advisors wish they could have the word crusade back again.
The same goes for Rev. Jerry Falwell and his placing "a lot of the blame" for the terrorists' attacks on the nation's decadence. I imagine he would like to have those words back.
After reading about Falwell's remarks, I thought about the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Was it God's judgement? At that time America was supposedly a more Godly nation, yet then as now it was attacked by a military force that thought it was a great honor to die in suicidal attacks on its perceived enemies.
However, it was the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese air force and its kamikaze bombers that drew the United States into World War II. America's involvement eventually helped end the Jewish holocaust in Europe and helped replace many oppressive dictatorships throughout the world with freely-elected governments. Would the world want to have December 7, 1941, back again in order to do it differently?
Had America not suffered its original "Day of Infamy," and along with its allies achieved the eventual victories in Europe and Japan, and the Jews had not suffered the Holocaust, it's unlikely the United Nation's Special Commission on Palestine would have divided that country in order to establish the Arab state of Palestine and the independent state of Israel on May 14, 1948. And one day later, May 15, 1948, troops from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan would not have joined with the Palestinians and invaded the greatly outnumbered and poorly equipped nation of Israel.
Rather than being defeated, Israel withstood the invasion and barely seven months later controlled the land that the U.N. had intended to be the Arab state of Palestine. Egypt's similar invasion of Israel in the mid-1950s led to a similar unexpected victory for Israel. A similar outcome resulted in the Six-Day War (June 6-10, 1967), when after tiring of terrorist attacks from Syria and Jordan, Israel destroyed these countries' air forces and took control of the Gaza Strip (from Egypt), the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights (from Syria), and the land west of the Jordan River. It's reasonable to bet that the Palestinians and their supporters wish they had May 15, 1948, to do over again.
Now it's Osama bin Laden and the leadership of the extremist Taliban's turn. Now that they've seen the worldwide reaction against their terrorism and have seen the orthodox Muslim world's negative response towardthe extremists' suicidal attack, would bin Laden and his supporters want to have September 11 back again? It's safe to bet that it's too late.
As demonstrated Monday morning with tearing the September 2001 page off the calendar, history moves forward. The world's yesterdays can't be retracted, however they can play an unexpected important role in the events of tomorrow.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
Legacies by Shari Pierce91 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of September 30, 1910
The political records of most of the leading "Independents" of Archuleta County are black with secret fusion, changing politics, double-crossing, trades, deals and dark-lantern methods that no open fusion could hope to duplicate.
Johnnie Laughlin, contrary to all the expectations of his many friends, has caught the boom spirit and is enlarging his store to meet the needs of his increasing trade.
Yesterday morning a stranger giving his name as Martine attempted to cash a forged check at the Citizen's bank, but, although it was a clever forgery, Cashier Catchpole refused to honor it and Martine, leaving ostensibly to get some person to identify him, hit the road toward Durango.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 8, 1926
The new federal highway markers for the Wolf Creek Pass highway, which is No. 450, have been put in place the entire length of the route, three having been set up on Pagosa Street.
This section was visited by one of the heaviest rain storms of the season last Saturday morning, which did not cease until the following day and which was accompanied by about 18 inches of snow on Wolf Creek Pass and the higher mountain ranges.
We are reminded that this week marks the fifteenth anniversary of the flood, which in 1911 caused two deaths and tremendous damage in Archuleta County.
Hersch Merc. Co. is today loading out 26 car loads of sheep at the Sunetha station for the Denver market.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 5, 1951
The first annual Archuleta County Fair held last Friday and Saturday was declared a big success by all concerned and by all in attendance. Attendance was good both days despite the inclement weather and the crowds all enjoyed the exhibits, the football game and the junior rodeo. The three members of the fair committee, H. Ray Macht, Woodrow Dunlap and Stanley Belmear are deserving of a great deal of credit for their efforts in making the fair the success that it was.
With turkey season over the nimrods are all actively preparing for the big game season which will open Monday, October 15, in this county. The big game season this year again finds most of Archuleta County open to two deer kill as well as elk and bear.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of September 30, 1976
It was rain and more rain this past week with a total of 1.68 inches of precipitation at the U.S. Weather Station in town. This brought the total precipitation for September through Wednesday of this week to 3.78 inches. This is the heaviest rain for September since 1970 when 5.68 inches fell.
The assessed valuation of the county is still unsettled until official word arrives from Colorado state officials.
The town board, county commissioners, school board, and other local tax levying bodies are fighting the battle of the budget these days. The uncertainty of assessed valuations is making the job difficult and it will be mid-October before most budgets are available for public inspection.
A five-minute United Way video designed as a campaign tool has turned into a long-range headache for the civic support organization.
The film, being shown throughout the La Plata and Archuleta county area, erroneously purports that Pagosa Springs High School, for example, had a dropout rate of 20 percent.
School officials, on the other hand, say the dropout rate for 1998-1999 was 1.8 percent and for 1999-2000 it was 1.4 per cent. The same film indicates the dropout rate for Ignacio High School last year was 37 percent or approximately 148 pupils from a student body of about 400.
Missy Rodey, the United Way person responsible for preparation of the video, said the facts used were taken from the Colorado Department of Education Web site but apparently were misinterpreted.
She said she is trying very hard to correct any misconceptions the film may have created. Every person who saw it, she said Monday, will be sent a personal letter, every newspaper in the area served will get a news release explaining the "misinterpretation of data," and 6,000 brochures waiting to go out will have an addendum attached explaining what happened.
"I feel strongly, personally responsible that any negative effect was put on any of our schools," she said. "I know they are all working continually to reduce dropout rates. It was a very, very unfortunate happening and I'm working right now to get out the correct data."
In part, she said, the problem arose because the state data was misinterpreted to mean something it did not mean. "I'll admit that until this happened, I didn't even know what a dropout rate was. I doubt that 9 of 10 of your readers will know, either.
"But that doesn't make it correct. It should never have made reference to dropouts but should have inferred that perhaps that many did not graduate with the class they started with as freshmen."
The point of the video, she said, was to show that there are people in the community who can benefit from United Way services like working toward a GED or life help programs supported by the organization.
"It was a naive and careless mistake not to check the terminology used on the state Web site," she said, "a terminology error that we regret deeply."
Unfortunately, teachers who were made aware of the film, and who might have considered payroll deduction as a means of supporting United Way programs, are viewing it as containing a huge credibility gap.
"I can certainly understand their concern," Rodey said, "and will do my best to make accurate the facts presented to the public."
She said it was the intent of the film - and the school data was only a portion of that presented - "to show the communities we serve have needs and we have programs designed to meet those needs."
"It's a sensitive topic and I feel terrible about what happened," she said.
Warm and dry could change during the latter part of this weekend, according to Dave Nadler, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
It's too soon to forecast with any certainty, Nadler said, but a weather change could start moving in late Sunday from the Pacific Northwest. The change could bring cooler temperatures and a 20-percent chance for showers at lower elevations. Snow could cover mountain peaks.
Look for mostly sunny skies stretching from today into Sunday. High temperatures should range in the mid-70s with lows in the mid- to upper-30s. Starting late Sunday or early Monday temperatures could fall slightly and lows could dip to the freezing mark.
Indian Summer prevailed here last week with high temperatures ranging between 70 and 78 degrees. The average high for the week, between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2 was 75 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 36 degrees and 38 degrees with an average low temperature of 37 degrees.
No precipitation was recorded this past week at the National Weather Service measuring station located at Stevens Field. Total precipitation measured during September at the gauging station was 0.86 inches, well below the long-time September average of 1.89 inches.
If Aragon is successful in his bid, it will be his seventh consecutive four-year term as mayor. He was first elected to the office in 1978.
Significant changes have occurred in the town during Aragon's time in office and he said Tuesday he believes he "can still make a contribution. Other people have expressed this idea and I have been encouraged by many residents to seek the office again."
Aragon said he sees his tenure and his experience as an asset that can produce more positive results in the four years following the next election. "I want to continue helping the community," he said. "I'm very proud of what we have been able to accomplish. So many times, you leave town for three or four days and when you come back, you realize what a great privilege it is to live here. I am loyal to this town and dedicated to continued progress for every resident of Pagosa Springs in the future."
Let it never be said that Nicole Richards doesn't give her all when she decides on a project.
The Pagosa Springs woman wanted to become personally involved, somehow, in raising funds for the fireman's fund in New York.
She has thick, long hair, and decided she'd have it cut off if people would make pledges per inch of hair removed.
As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, she had collected over $600 in cash and had an additional $500 in pledges.
The hair, about 15 inches of thickly growing coif, will be trimmed at 10 p.m. Saturday at Timbers of Pagosa by Elizabeth Young of Exclusively Elizabeth. Anyone who has not yet pledged but wants to participate, is welcome to attend the cutting.
Richards said she also wants to find a way to support cancer survivors.
She was told about a group called Locks of Love and contacted them. The group will get all the hair removed from her head to be used in making wigs for cancer survivors who have lost their own hair due to chemotherapy.
About 14 people attended Monday's public meeting to kick off a historic survey of 100 buildings inside town boundaries.
Those numbers may not sound like big news, but it represents 14 more than usually show up at the pre-survey gathering, Jill Seyfarth, one of two consultants hired to conduct the survey, said.
The meeting provided an opportunity to introduce the surveyors to the community and to provide information about research processes and goals.
Seyfarth said the project has two major goals - to compile data on selected structures from several sources onto one form which will then be available for research purposes and for property owners wanting to pursue possible local, state or national historical designation, and to determine if the downtown area qualifies as a historic district.
The survey process begins by gathering local information. Both Seyfarth and the second surveyor, Donna Graves, will be in town observing the buildings to be included in the survey, taking pictures and doing research over the next few weeks.
Staying off private property is something they are very careful of, Seyfarth said, but it's important that people know that they'll be around.
"We will be standing on the sidewalk looking at buildings, filling out extensive forms and taking a picture."
The historical survey forms are four pages long and include a legal description of the property, both old and new common names for buildings, a current architectural description, a description of additions or changes to the original structure and the architectural history among other information.
"The more information we can get from property owners, the better," Seyfarth said. Although the consultants will use government records, city registers, business directories, contacts at the local historical society, old newspaper records and state historical society sources to research the buildings, property owners can be a key source.
Once the snow flies, they plan to return to their offices in Durango to continue research and write an overall report to be presented in a second public meeting sometime next spring.
The report will include the consultants' recommendations on what buildings, if any, might be eligible for historical designation at the local, state or national level and set some themes or concepts based on the history of the town and their research for future planning.
The survey process places zero restrictions and no additional responsibility on property owners, Chris Bentley, town planner, said. Because Pagosa Springs recently qualified as a Certified Local Government, some tax credits and grants are available for local preservation efforts if a property owner chooses to pursue a historical designation at a local, state or national level.
"It's all carrots, no sticks in Pagosa," Bentley said. "Our ordinance is only incentive based. There are no punitive measures, no penalties, no fines."
The 100 buildings selected for this initial survey were chosen by the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board, a town advisory committee. They started with a list of all structures over 50 years old as provided by the county assessor's office.
From there, the board selected a centralized section of 55 buildings in the downtown area for the consultants to consider for eligibility as a historic district. Information from this part of the survey is also expected to help in planning for a walking-tour brochure.
To bring that number up to 100, board members selected about 41 other old structures on Pagosa Street, Lewis Street, First Street, Hermosa Street, Loma Street and San Juan Street. Four buildings out at the Fred Harman Museum rounded out the list.
The survey is funded through a no-match grant from the state historical society and will cost $23,800 when complete.
A nurse who makes home visits. A friend to first-time moms. A teacher.
Next to that definition in a dictionary of local jargon, would be two names: Sandy Sanna and Barb Walton, a pair of registered nurses who spend part of each week in a labor of love visiting new moms and babies in Archuleta and La Plata counties.
The work is part of the Healthy Kids program funded by a state grant and administered through the San Juan Basin Health Department. Healthy Kids places nurses together with new moms for just over two years to answer questions, provide support, help develop parenting skills and ensure that strong bonds form between parent and child.
"We're not in there to show them how to do anything," Sanna said. "We just point out all the things they're doing right. Once they figure out we care about them, then they want to know what we know."
The basis of the program is positive reinforcement. The nurses work with the moms to identify strengths and set goals, emphasizing that small changes can make a big difference.
Walton said they start by helping clients follow "their heart's desire." That can mean almost anything.
During training, Walton said, an instructor gave the example of one teenage mother who wanted to get a tattoo. Although it may seem a strange goal at first, the road to reaching that goal included several useful stops. The mom had to find a job to earn money, open a checking account and learn to balance a budget all to reach her goal.
"She is more motivated if she is working toward something she really wants," Walton said.
In Pagosa, the nurses have assisted new moms in finding better housing, earning their driver's licenses, smoking cessation, and even weight loss among other things, since the program's inception in 2000.
Their success, Sanna said, was based in part on the program's longterm commitment to a family.
"I've never had this luxury," she explained. "It's always been, you go in a crisis situation and never follow through. With this program, you get to see them grow and change."
Under the general model, once a mom is enrolled, the Healthy Kids nurse visits weekly for the first four weeks. The visits drop to every other week until the baby is born, and then return to weekly meetings. After the baby is six weeks old, the nurses come every other week until the child is 21 months. Then, it's just once a month for the last three months of the program.
Sanna and Walton's visits last between 45 minutes and 1 1/2 hours depending on the mom and her needs.
"You don't want to overwhelm them, but you need time to give them the information," Walton said.
During each visit, the nurses focus on five domains outlined by the curriculum: personal health, environment, life course development, maternal role and friends and family.
Activities early in the program work to develop the all-important relationships between nurse and family. (Yes, dads are included whenever possible.) In one activity during pregnancy, Walton said, she takes the mother through a typical 24-hour day. Then they spend time discussing how that might change once the baby arrives.
After the birth, the nurses come prepared with activities to help develop and reinforce the bond between parents and children. Some weeks might be spent just having fun, taking trips to the park or meeting for breakfast. Toward the end of the two years, the focus moves to helping the parents develop a support system of friends and family.
Billie Mills, whose son Denton just turned one, said having the support of Sanna through the Healthy Kids program was "awesome."
"Working with Sandy and knowing she's there has been a real boost to my confidence," Mills said. "She's great at showing me that what I'm doing with Denton is making a difference and how it's making a difference."
Mills first heard about the Healthy Kids program at a Lamaze class she was attending in Pagosa Springs and enrolled soon after.
"I've been taking care of other people's kids for a long time, but having my own has been very different," she said. Her worries, and those of her husband, Jason, were compounded during pregnancy because of an earlier miscarriage.
"Sandy would come over, and we talked about what it would be like to have a baby, what it would be like as a couple, as a family. We talked about having a caesarean."
Although Jason wasn't able to be at home for a lot of the sessions, he, too, received support from Sanna.
"As we got closer to my due date, Jason got more and more anxious," Mills said. "He was able to talk with Sandy as an outlet for that anxiety."
Sanna also came to the hospital to congratulate the couple, and was a phone call away when, while on vacation in Texas, nursing troubles cropped up.
"She said it would probably settle down in a few days, and it did," Mills said. "She was there for me to talk to when at four months Denton decided he was done nursing. That was hard. For about three weeks I thought I was a bad mom."
But the praise doesn't end there.
"She's helped me to see how I've matured as a person," the first-time mom said. "It's given me a new sense of determination I guess. It's been really cool to know that I've changed, I've grown, I've matured. I can look back through pictures and games and know this is stuff that will be with my son for the rest of his life. It's helped me step back and look at the big picture."
Of course, not all the stories have that kind of happy ending. With some moms, Walton said, it's difficult to form the all-important relationship and level of trust needed to make things click.
"Sometimes it can be really frustrating because the moms who need it the most you can't get in and establish that relationship," Walton said. Job changes among other things take some families out of the area prior to the end of the program.
Prenatal and early childhood nurse home visitation programs began about 20 years ago on the East Coast. In Colorado it's being used in two areas - Denver and the Four Corners. The Four Corners area represents the program's first forays into a rural atmosphere, making it a constant learning experience for the nurses.
Currently, Sanna visits about eight families in Pagosa Springs and another six between Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio. Walton's clients include 13 moms between Archuleta and La Plata counties. Both work on a part-time basis, and neither has had a client's child reach the 2-year-old cutoff. Both nurses agreed that because the program here is a newborn itself, firm statistics are unavailable. However, the signs are positive.
"You don't know whether it's related to our program or not, but I had a girl the other day say how much fun she was having with the baby," Sanna said. "I've seen people accomplish what they didn't think they could accomplish - like getting a drivers' license or calling their doctor when the baby has an illness, taking those steps, trying to figure things out. Even though it's been a crazy day, they can stop and point out all the great things their kids are doing."
In Elmira, New York, the results of longterm clinical trials on the program show it works to reduce child abuse, neglect and violence. According to the study, 15-year-old children who were in the program as infants had 54 percent fewer arrests and 69 percent fewer convictions. Among women who smoked at registration into the program, there was a 25-percent reduction smoking. By the child's fourth birthday, the study showed an 83-percent increase in the rates of labor force participation by mothers.
Family planning is another aspect of the nurses' visits.
According to the New York clinical trials, there was a 43-percent reduction in subsequent pregnancies among low-income, unmarried women by the firstborn's fourth birthday, and 31-percent reduction through age 15.
"We talk to them about when is the best time to have more children, how many kids do they want to have and show them ways to stick with their plan," Walton said.
Both Sanna and Walton said they applied for jobs with the program after reading an ad in the newspaper.
"I read it in the paper and went 'I can do that,'" Sanna said. "What I've been doing for 20 years has really prepared me for this. It's like the ideal job here in the middle of paradise."
The Healthy Kids program is free and program materials are available in both English and Spanish. Start-up money came from several state agencies, and money from the state tobacco tax goes toward continuance. Locally the program is also supported by some non-profit agencies that donate money for the nurses to use as grants whenever necessary.
"We take references from anyone and anywhere," Walton said.
America needs us
The Archuleta Democratic party lives!
Sunday's (Sept. 24) Septemberfest at the Vista Clubhouse proved to be a wonderful afternoon spent chatting with our local district Senator Jim Isgar and U.S. Senate candidate Tom Strickland. We learned a little about both men, their backgrounds and credentials as well as some of the issues concerning our state and country.
But it wasn't all business. In addition to great food and the camaraderie of about 100 local Democrats, we enjoyed some particularly fine music provided by the Pagosa Hot Strings. All the members of the Democratic committee would like to take the opportunity to thank the band members for entertaining us with some of their best tunes. The "Star Spangled Banner" was especially moving. I know it's been said before, but we are fortunate to have such great talent here in Pagosa.
The enthusiasm of the people that showed up for this event is an assurance that the county's Democratic party will move forward. With the commitment of the people in this community to get involved in local and state issues, regardless of affiliation, we can help build a stronger nation. America needs us and now is the time.
Ballot issues forum
Being patriotic involves not only flying the stars and stripes, but also protecting our democracy by becoming an informed voter. The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County encourages voters to attend the League's Ballot Issue Forum Oct. 8 at the Extension Building.
Meet the Ballot Issues speakers and the new school superintendent, board members and administration at 6:30 p.m. The Forum begins at 7 p.m. KWUF will broadcast on 1400 AM.
The election ballot you will receive between Oct. 12 and 22 will contain the state issues: Issuance of bonds to the Great Outdoor Colorado Trust Fund and using surplus revenue to test I-70 Fixed Guide way. County issues are extension of the existing 2-percent local countywide sales tax; the hospital district's increase of the tax rate 2.030 mills for emergency medical and hospital services; School District 50 Joint's elimination of term limits for board of education members; and for the Bayfield School District (La Plata and Archuleta) ability to collect, retain and expend all revenues.
Do you know how these issues will affect you and your family? Come to the forum to hear the arguments for and against the issues and get your questions answered by the speakers who will be available.
Everyone attending the forum will receive the nonpartisan "Ballot Issues 2001" pamphlet provided by the League of Women Voters of Colorado Education Fund, and the "Citizens Guide to Archuleta County 2001-2003" funded by our local banks. Ballot issue information brought by the speakers will also be available.
Remember to register to vote by Oct. 9 and return your mail ballot by 7 p.m. on election day, Nov. 6.
No humor found
I received the September 20 issue of the Sun and was appalled at the way you displayed the American Flag on page 12 of section 2. I do not know if the person responsible (or more politically correct, irresponsible) was the Editor, the proofreader, or the person advertising to sell real estate on the same page, who is notorious for having his ads placed upside down. But I do not find humor in the Flag being displayed backwards or upside down or anyway except the correct way. Especially in light of the events that have occurred over the past couple of weeks. If you kind folks of Pagosa, and I am sure that the are only a couple of you feel that you, need to desecrate the American Flag to be noticed, then maybe you should join the ranks of Osama-bin-Laden. I'm sure he would love to have you since you have no respect for the American Flag just as he has none, and the rest you good folks of Pagosa should tar and feather the culprits of this act and send them out of town as fast as you can!
(Editor's note: In the interest of national unity, maintain the temperature of the tar at 150 degrees F.)
We're all victims
Slowly but surely law-abiding citizens lose rights and privileges because the scurrilous do things that cause more rules or laws to control radical behavior.
On my way from Farmington to camp in the Valle Seco area south of Pagosa Springs, I found the gate off the Montezuma road closed off. A trench has been cut across the access road to prevent entry. This road has been there probably since before the current property owner was born. I had to travel all around an extra 30 miles or so to get to my destination.
I had been given permission by the new owner, Mr. Crabtree, to use his land. I was raised in this area as a child. Mr. Crabtree is a kind gentleman but he too is the victim of people who show no respect for private property. Now we all pay for the actions of those that destroy, deface and behave like criminals on other people's property.
A chained and locked gate, a trench across a road and the clanging of jail doors are all symbolic of human's egregious behavior. But the rest of us are also the victims in some form or another.
In response to the concern expressed over the lack of visible flags flying in the area, I offer one explanation. I have been searching to buy an American flag for the past couple of weeks without success. I have looked in Pagosa, Durango, and Santa Fe and am now searching the web for supplies.
So many people are buying flags, companies are unable to keep up with demands. I am looking forward to flying our colors, but for now I'm hanging red white and blue ribbons.
Many residents of this area look forward to winter, while others are not so excited about the grip of Old Man Winter. Either way, we need to respect it and prepare for it.
On Jan. 1 this year, after guests had left, my wife and I decided to go on an afternoon drive to check out the snow that had fallen the night before.
We decided to drive up Plumtaw Road, then to Four Mile Road or until we found a gate closed. The road had been plowed and the gates were open. We drove for several miles and the road was good.
The road gradually got worse and was not plowed, but snowmobiles had driven on the snow and it was packed. Suddenly the packed snow gave way and we found ourselves in the ditch, stuck and grounded.
It was 4:45 and would soon be getting dark. We thought that our best chance of survival was to not stay with the car. So we had only one other choice, start walking. We decided we were closer to town than back to Piedra Road. The temperature was probably in the single digits.
What we were about to encounter we were not prepared for. We both had on jeans, light shirts, jackets and hiking shoes, and had a small flashlight. We were thankful for a small piece of moon so we could see the road. For the next 3 1/2 hours we walked through the snow.
We prayed, we sang hymns and quoted Bible verses. We scared a few elk and, of course, they frightened us. We knew we had to keep moving to make it out alive. Finally, we found a house with a light on. (Thank you J.R. Ford family for being home that night).
There we called for help and finally got back home. We never gave up hope that God would deliver us from a situation that we had gotten ourselves into.
May I offer a little advice to the wise: You need to let someone know where you are going. If the road seems unsure, turn around. Also, I would suggest carrying some emergency articles in the car, things like extra winter clothes, candles, matches and tire chains.
You may not need these things, but you could find someone who does. My backpack is full and in the car before winter gets here.
I shared with our daughter (who is an emergency room RN) some of the abnormal body functions we noticed the next day. She said that, according to the symptoms, we could not have survived much longer in the cold. We went back to drive the same road again in August and found we had walked 13 miles that cold January night.
I thank the Lord for delivering us from the clutches of Old Man Winter and the near-death experience. My life has changed.
Get prepared for winter now! It could determine your survival!
Because of Jesus,
'Ghosts of 911'
When Tess Noel Baker wrote an article in the Pagosa Springs Sun (Thursday, August 23, 2001) about the "Ghosts of 911 provide county problem solving" and describing the 911 system like a "Ghost-like organization," my wife and I found this to be factual.
On Aug. 28, our calls to 911 and dispatch were unanswered.
At 5:30 a.m. we had an emergency involving our newborn son. After a failed attempt to contact 911, we tried calling dispatch. After the phone rang for three to five minutes, we ran out of hope. Our only option was to call dispatch using a mobile radio. We were able to reach someone, and requested an ambulance. Within minutes, I could hear the ambulance siren. Our son was fine and was able to come home without any complications.
We tried calling 911 again after bringing our son home and still had no answer. We tried calling dispatch and made contact with a dispatcher. We explained our situation and asked how to make a complaint.
We met with Captain Bob Grandchamp, who asked us questions about the calls. We filed a complaint. Mr. Grandchamp offered us excuses for his department's lack of services and vowed to start an investigation. Mr. Grandchamp told us every call made to dispatch and 911 is logged into a computer automatically. He told us there is only one person who has access to the code to obtain records or to make changes because of past interference. We told him we wanted to write a letter to the newspaper about the failed 911 call. Mr. Grandchamp thought it would be a bad idea because it would cause panic.
It is ironic that three days later an article about the 911 system was published in the SUN. We regret we were persuaded to not write that letter to make the public aware of the faulty 911 system. We wrote to Sheriff Tom Richards and the county commissioners to shed light on the failed 911 attempt. We left messages for Mr. Grandchamp asking about the investigation and again we bumped into the "Ghosts of 911."
It seems all we receive for our tax dollars are ghosts and no services. It has been six weeks and we have not received a response to our complaint.
Something needs to be done to better services at 911 and dispatch. It only takes a few minutes for a person to lose their life - so 911 and dispatch is crucial. 911 should have a backup unit to aid in a situation such as ours. Monies should be allocated in order to upgrade the system. Don't you think the $200,000 that went to the airport taxiway could have been better spent on enhancing the 911 system?
We are optimistic that these problems will be taken care of - it would be a shame for someone to lose their life because of the lack of service at 911 or dispatch.
Joseph and Guadalupe Rivas
(Editor's note: Please see related article in this issue of the SUN.)
We are blessed
First, I want to say thank you to Lee Riley. Guess I don't know my flag etiquette as well as I should, but I thought it was most patriotic of you Lee, thanks.
Being a business owner, I have noticed first-hand a marked difference in peoples' attitude - more patient, quicker to engage in conversation - just, in general, a change.
We are blessed to be where we are in these trying times. That is not to say we are exempt, but at least a little safer than a lot.
Karl, your article on New York was great. As are all of your articles. What fun they are to read.
The letters are a treat whichever way one thinks.
Mary Jo Schilling
Let's face ourselves
"Why do they hate us?" the President asked, rhetorically. I found his answer quite adequate, but there is another question, I think that we might also ask ourselves:
"Why do so many dislike us?"
I find a number of reasons (not necessarily good reasons) that ought to enable us to grasp, by trying to see through others' eyes, why so many perceive us differently than we perceive ourselves:
(1) Many nations endorsed the resolution to end the use of land mines. The U.S. did not. Perhaps our reasons were good, but they could also be perceived by others as evidence of intransigence.
(2) A sizable number of nations endorsed the non-binding Kyoto protocol. The U.S. did not. Perhaps the protocol was flawed, as some have said (I am not competent to judge). Apparently, however, it did not seem too flawed to the nations that signed it; to them we must seem to put our interests ahead of theirs.
(3) Our participation in various peacekeeping efforts around the world must seem to others as implying that we hold an American's life more precious than we hold theirs.
(4) We seem to expect the United Nations to do our bidding, but we withhold our dues.
(5) We expect other nations to abide by the treaties they have agreed to, yet we feel free to abrogate what we have agreed to whenever we find it convenient.
(6) We export media productions that are patently objectionable to many who comprise the markets where they are peddled, and then we ignore the fact we appear to them to be corrupting their children (some of us worry about our own children).
None of this should be construed as detracting one iota from the expressions of unity, resolve, and patriotism that we have heard at every turn in recent weeks, but we ought to be mature enough to look squarely at ourselves and face up to what we see, recognizing how others may see us.
We are not automatically better as a nation because of who we are; we are better only if what we do is better.
Thank you for printing the guidelines for proper display of our national flag, Old Glory. We in the American Legion have an extra special bond with the flag because of the honor and privilege of having served our country in the uniforms of the armed forces of the United States of America.
Public display of the Stars and Stripes is a clear statement of unity with our fellow citizens in a time of national emergency. The flag also symbolizes the freedoms and way of life we enjoy as citizens of this great nation. We encourage people to properly and proudly fly the colors. Just as there are rules for displaying the flag, so there is a dignified ceremony for disposal of old and worn flags.
As the numerous flags which are now on display become worn and frayed, as they inevitably will, we want everyone to know that the American Legion will accept them for proper and respectful disposal. Flags can be brought to the American Legion Hall on Hermosa Street. The Pagosa Springs SUN and Ponderosa Home Center will also accept worn flags for the Legion. We encourage you to replace faded and frayed flags. Ponderosa and other outlets are doing the best they can to keep an inventory of flags on hand.
Raymond Taylor, Commander
American Legion Mullins-Nickerson Post 108
I believe Dani Thomas' letter to the editor titled "Disappointed" was an unwarranted criticism of the people of Pagosa Springs.
She says she is appalled that our community has not shown its support for our nation by flying the flag. She says she's "really disappointed in the 'lack' of our flags flying in our land of the free."
Ms. Thomas asks, "What's the problem?"
The problem is simply this. Since approximately three days following the Sept. 11 tragedy, there have been practically no flags available for sale in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Farmington, or on the internet.
It has been widely reported in print and on television that the flag manufacturers were caught with insufficient supplies of flags to meet the unforeseen demand, and are currently working around the clock in an attempt to supply the nation's needs.
Therefore, I'm sure Ms. Thomas' faith in our community will be restored as soon as flags become available and are seen flying throughout the community in abundance. Once we can get them, let's keep them flying.
I'm still trying to purchase a flag, but in the meantime, I've cut the flag that was purchased by Lee Riley out of the newspaper and have taped it on my front window, Thank you, Lee Riley.
Pagosa's varsity football team warmed up for tomorrow's Intermountain League opener at Ignacio by blitzing Taos 45-12.
"I feel pretty good about the team," Stretton said. "I'm pleased with the way they played against Taos. They're beginning to do some of the things we've been trying to teach them."
Quarterback Ronnie Janowsky threaded the ball past Tiger defenders into the hands of five receivers helping the Pirates end their preseason schedule with a 3-2 record, exactly the same as last year. Pagosa has beaten Dolores 42-26, lost to Kirtland 34-27, lost to Piedra Vista 27-17, beaten Bloomfield 38-17, and battered Taos last week.
Pagosa's high-powered offense has averaged 33.8 points per game through the first five games this season. The defense has surrendered 23.2 points per game.
The Pirates open defense of their Intermountain League crown tomorrow night at 7 in Ignacio. The Bobcats should never be taken lightly on their home field. They will be especially pumped up because the game is homecoming.
Pagosa has not lost an IML game this century, and not since Oct. 23, 1998, when Monte Vista topped them 47-7. This year, Pagosa is looking for a three-peat as IML champs.
Ignacio and the other IML schools opened league play last weekend. Monte Vista, those other Pirates, beat Ignacio 42-10. The Centauri Falcons edged Bayfield 15-13 on the strength of a two-point, extra point conversion. Currently, Monte Vista and Centauri top the IML with 1-0 records. Ignacio and Bayfield are on the other end of IML standings with a 0-1 record. Pagosa is 0-0.
Monte Vista has to be favored to capture the league crown based on this year's record. The San Luis Valley school is 5-1 on the season, including last week's win at Ignacio. Their only loss has been to Florence in the season opener. Florence is one of the higher ranked 2A teams in the state and beat Pagosa Springs 20-15 in the first round of the state playoffs last season. Trailing Monte Vista are Pagosa Springs and Centauri with 3-2 records. Ignacio and Bayfield are 1-4 each.
Pagosa's preseason schedule is undoubtedly among the toughest 2A schedules in Colorado. The 2A Pirates played three New Mexico 4A schools, one New Mexico 3A school, and one Colorado A11 school and still came on with a winning record.
The Pirate's IML schedule calls for traveling to Ignacio tomorrow night, returning to Pagosa to play Centauri Oct. 12, traveling to Bayfield Oct. 19, and returning home to play Monte Vista Oct. 26.
Pagosa Springs 45, Taos 12
Pagosa scored on big plays throughout the Taos contest Friday. Janowsky passed to Brandon Charles for the opening score about halfway through the first period. Charles took the short throw in the left flat, then juked through the Tiger secondary for a 74-yard score. Lister kicked the first of six successful extra point tries to put Pagosa on top 7-0.
Jason Schutz was the next Pirate into the end zone. Schutz scored on a 37-yard Alley Oop pass down the right side of the field. In succession, Charles ran over from the 9-yard line, Ross Wagle out ran the defense for a 76-yarder after taking a Janowsky pass on the right side line, Janowsky ran over from the 1-yard line, Lister kicked a 43-yard field goal, and Ryan Wendt ran over from the 3-yard line.
Early in the final quarter, Cord Ross covered a Taos fumble just 38 yards from pay dirt. Following a Melette 33-yard run, Ryan Wendt slipped over from the 3-yard line, Lister booted the EP, and Pagosa was on top 45-0. At that point in the game, officials evoked the 45-minute rule which means, excepting a couple of situations, the game clock is not stopped. The rule was lifted later during the final period when Taos scored its touchdowns.
For the game, Janowsky completed 6 of 12 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. Other Pirates who snagged passes were Lister and Coy Ross.
Pagosa's leading rushers were Caleb Melette with 135 yards on eight carries and Charles with 60 yards on eight carries. Melette's longest run from scrimmage was a 59-yarder, while Charles turned in two 13-yard runs.
On the defensive side of the ball, Wagle turned in 11 assists and one tackle from his defensive corner position. Pablo Martinez added nine assists and two tackles. Cord Ross and Kory Hart had six tackles each. Ross added six and Hart four assists. Ross covered a Taos fumble.
Tomorrow night Pagosa takes on an Ignacio team that seems to live or die with the passing arm of Chris Phillips. The Pirates counter with a multi-pronged attack featuring the throwing and running of Janowsky, catching ability of a bevy of receivers, and the running of Melette, Charles, Brandon Rosgen, Lister, and others.
"I know Ignacio throws a lot," Stretton said, "and they use a single set back a lot. They have some talented kids and a new coach."
The Pirates should be at full strength, although Jason Schutz sat out much of the Taos game with an arm injury. The 6'5", 200-pound junior has been a major contributor on both sides of the ball for Pagosa so far this season.
Pagosa Springs 45, Taos 12
Pagosa Springs 14 7 17 7 45
Taos 0 0 0 12 12
PS: Janowsky 74 pass Charles (Lister kick). PS: Janowsky 37 pass Schutz (Lister kick). PS: Charles 9 run (Lister kick). PS: Janowsky 76 pass Wagle (Lister kick). PS: Lister 43 field goal. PS: Wendt 3 run (Lister kick). T: Sanchez 6 run (run failed). T: Gonzales 7 run (run failed).
The Lady Pirates cross country team placed in the top three for the second week in a row at the Bayfield Invitational Saturday, bringing home the third-place award.
Senior Aubrey Volger, paced the team on the picture-perfect day as expected, earning a third place in 22:22. She finished behind a pair of Bayfield runners, including winner Jackie Shaw.
Pagosa Springs senior Tiffany Thompson and junior Amanda McCain finished just one-hundredth of a second apart to claim 13th and 14th in 24:56 and 24:57 respectively. Senior Joetta Martinez finished in 26:15 to earn 22nd, and sophomore Lauren Caves rounded out the Ladies contingent, crossing the line 30th in 28:28. The Pirates were beaten by first-place Bayfield and second-place Cortez.
Head Coach Scott Anderson said considering the race was just Volger's second after being injured in the first part of the season, and her first against Bayfield rivals, the finish showed a lot of promise.
"She was still in the hunt," he said. "We still have time before the important races at the end of the year, so I'm excited for where she is right now."
As for the rest of the team, he'd gone into the day expecting more.
"The other girls, whether nervous or fatigued, did not step up like I expected them too," Anderson said. "However, we will be seeing some of our rivals again in coming weeks and we have time to go get them as well."
The Pagosa varsity boys' team continues to struggle to come to full force, battling the flu and injuries.
Junior Todd Mees finished fourth overall in 19:26 to lead the Pirates over the combined pavement and grassland course. Senior Trevor Peterson finished 10th, crossing the finish in 20:30, and Nick Hall came in 17th with a time of 21:00. The top three finishers for boys teams were Aztec, Bayfield and Mancos.
"Trevor actually ran a good race considering he was coming off the flu," Anderson said. "I expect him to be finishing close to Todd in the coming weeks." Hall, who was also recovering from illness, is also expected to close the gap toward the front of the pack in the season's final weeks.
"Overall, we're entering the no excuse territory," Anderson said.
Saturday, the team travels to the Mancos invitational, a smaller, low-key meet where the Pirates will have a chance to improve pack times before moving on to the pressure races.
"We wuz Raabed!"
One might have forgiven Ridgway soccer fans the use of the vernacular of disappointment from another sport after their squad was shellacked 10-0 by the Pagosa Springs Pirates Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Like the Brooklyn Dodger fans who lamented "We wuz robbed" when their beloved bums were uprooted from Flatbush and transported to glitzy Los Angeles, Ridgway fans were in shock.
The primary fuse for that shock was Pagosa's Benjamin Raab who had a pair of goals in the first seven minutes and added another for the hat trick in the 15th minute. Two of those goals were unassisted and the third one of the spectacular variety.
But Raab wasn't a one-man gang.
Kyle Sanders also had a three-goal performance and added a pair of assists, Ty Scott had two goals and an assist and Matt Mesker, after turning aside the only three shots he saw in goal in the first half, went offensive in the second half with his first goal of the season and an assist on one of Sanders' goals.
Some fans felt the Pirates might go in looking ahead to tomorrow's home showdown against Telluride, but there was no sign of that on the field.
Raab opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a right side drive, deke to the outside and cross to the middle where he drilled a left footer from 18 yards.
Three minutes later he put the Pirates on the boards again, taking a nice crossing lead from Scott and rifling it past Ridgway keeper Devon McMarrin, this time with the right foot.
The Raabbery was completed in the 15th minute when Raab headed a lead pass out of a jam-up from 30 yards out, broke out of the pack to recover his own pass and drill it past McMarrin.
The Pirates, up 3-0, were just getting started.
In the 18th minute Sanders took a crossing lead from Jordan Kurt-Mason who had stolen the ball at midfield and raced in for his first score of the game. Twelve minutes later it was Sanders again, this time scoring right up the middle on a drop pass from Zeb Gill on the left wing.
That closed out the scoring in the first half but the Pirates were far from finished.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason pulled Mesker from goal and subbed freshman Caleb Forrest who had allowed just one goal in his 80 minutes in net with varsity. So solid was the Pirate defense that Forrest faced only two shots on goal and stopped both.
Just 40 seconds into the second half, the Pirates were on the attack again with Trent Sanders' blast from 20 yards stopped by McMurrin. But in the 44th minute, Zeb Gill got Pagosa's sixth goal, unassisted, from the left side. Less than a minute later, Trent Sanders' blast from 30 yards sailed just over the net.
Ty Scott, after being blanked in the first half, got Pagosa's seventh goal in the 4th minute, ripping in a Kyle Sanders back-kick lead.
As play settled into a midfield exchange for several minutes, Ridgway was unable to mount an offense. Pagosa drives by Trent Sanders and Jordan Kurt-Mason were stopped by McMurrin and Raab's bid for a fourth goal was wide right from 30 yards out.
Then, in the game's 64th minute, Mesker scored his season's first goal, converting a nice crossing lead from Kyle Sanders and the score was up to 8-0. McMurrin was injured in the play and replaced in net by Ryan Bartashuis.
He was immediately tested by the Pirate offense, first by Kyle Sanders whose drive went wide right and then by Mesker, who's head-on blast was stopped.
Then, in the 70th minute, it was Mesker's turn to assist, taking a rebound of a Scott shot on the right wing and dropping it to an advancing Kyle Sanders who planted it in the back of the net.
The Pirates wound up the scoring in the 78th minute when Scott picked up his second marker on a header lead from Henrique Dias.
Pagosa played without regular starters Kevin Muirhead and Ryan Lister and reserve Kyle Frye, who broke an ankle in practice last week.
First half: PS-Raab, unassisted, 4th minute; PS-Raab, assist Scott, 7th minute; PS-Raab, unassisted, 15th minute; PS-K. Sanders, assist Kurt-Mason, 18th minute; PS-K. Sanders, assist Zeb Gill, 30th minute; PS-Z. Gill, unassisted, 44th minute; PS-Scott, assist K. Sanders, 46th minute; PS-Mesker, assist K. Sanders, 64th minute; PS-K. Sanders, assist Mesker, 70th minute; PS-Scott, assist Dias, 78th minute. Saves, PS-Mesker, 3; Forrest, 2; R-McMurrin, 5; Bartashuis, 3; Penalty kicks, PS-1.
Jekyll and Hyde.
The Lady Pirate volleyball team appeared as Dr. Jekyll at the Fowler tournament last weekend, dispatching five opponents, winning the tourney crown, and running the season record to 10-1.
Mr. Hyde arrived at Cortez Tuesday night, and was soundly thumped by the highly-ranked 4A Panthers 15-1, 15-4. With the Lady Pirate record now at 10-2, Cortez is responsible for both losses.
Pagosa played the match without its leading hitter, senior Nicole Buckley, who was out due to illness. Buckley's presence was sorely missed at the net and the lack of her solid back-court play was obvious.
But the problem went deeper than one missing player. Pagosa's performance was lackluster and sluggish, with few if any highlights to its credit.
Cortez played a meat-and-potatoes style against the Ladies, attacking almost exclusively with two strong-side outside hitters. Casey Bauer, in particular, had her way with Pagosa all evening, putting cross-court kills to floor untouched at the net by blockers or by back-court defenders. Bayer is destined for Division I duty at Colorado State next season, and a hitter of her caliber can't be allowed to work unimpeded by a blocker's hands.
In the first game of the short match, Pagosa scored its only point on an ace serve by Katie Lancing. A bevy of serve-receive errors turned over points to the Panthers and the Panther barrage from the outside ended the contest in short order.
In the second match, the Panthers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before Trisha Lucero, starting her first varsity game in place of Buckley, secured a sideout with a kill. One of the few bright spots during the evening was the fact that Lucero was aggressive on the attack when she received a set.
The Ladies had trouble keeping serve and scoring. Lancing got a point with a stuff block but the Panthers came back with four straight points on plays that exploited Pagosa's weak back-court play.
A Cortez setting error gave the Ladies a second point before the home team moved into position to win at 14-2.
Lady Pirate blockers finally clicked, but it was too late to save the game. Lancing and Katie Bliss teamed up twice to score with powerful stuffs of the Panthers' outside attack, but a passing error gave up the serve and the Panthers put out the lights.
"There's not a whole lot to say," said coach Penné Hamilton. "Cortez was easy to read. We knew what they were going to do; we knew what would happen, but we didn't deal with it. We were missing one of our best hitters and defensive players, and we seemed intimidated. We played timid and only a couple of the kids were attacking the ball. If we had played like we did at Fowler, it would have been a match. We didn't."
Hamilton needs the team to regroup in order to march ahead into the teeth of the Intermountain League schedule. All but one of the matches remaining between now and the district playoffs are with IML opponents and the action heats up at Ignacio tonight. The Bobcats gave Pagosa fits during one match last season, nearly upsetting the reigning league champs. Matches in the Bobcats' den are never easy and the Ladies will need to be confident and consistent to leave with a victory and an unblemished IML record.
Saturday, the scene shifts to Bayfield where the rival Wolverines wait for their first crack at the ladies this year. As with every other IML team, the Wolverines are hungry to beat Pagosa. No IML team has won a match against the Ladies since mid-season 1995 and there is no lack of motivation.
"We're entering a difficult portion of the schedule," said Hamilton, "where all the matches count. We need to win both these matches and stay on track."
Matches begin with C-team and JV action tonight at Ignacio at 4 p.m.
Play against Bayfield Saturday starts with a JV match at 6:30 p.m.
Kills: Lancing 3, Gronewoller 3, Lucero 2
Assists: Lancing 6
Digs: S. Walkup 5, Lancing 4
Aces: Lancing 1
Solo blocks: Lancing 1, Gronewoller 1
Parker Stephen Vrazel was born Sept. 5, 2001 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 19 inches. He is the son of Craig and Lisa Vrazel and was welcomed home by siblings Tanner and Mason. Grandparents are Bill and Beverly Hrynko of Pagosa Springs; G. Craig Vrazel of San Antonio, Texas; and Patricia Heuck of San Antonio. Great grandparents are Gene and Carmen Parker of San Antonio, Helen Luhnon of El Cajon, Calif., and Anna Hyrnko of Pagosa Springs.
Julia Elizabeth Nell would like to announce the birth of her brother Liam Alexander Nell. Liam was born in Durango at Mercy Medical Center on August 3, 2001. Although he arrived 2 months early, he weighed 5 lbs. 2.8 oz. and was 17 inches long. The proud parents are James and Waynette Nell of Pagosa. Liam's grandparents are Roderick and Frances Nell of Greeley, and May Snow of Sturgis, Michigan.
Dr. John Piccaro, shown here with wife Michele and son Nicholas, is now working full-time at the Pagosa Family Medicine Center.
Piccaro graduated from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at Denver and did his residency at Poudre Valley Hospital at Fort Collins. He is board-certified in Family Practice, worked four years in a private clinic and taught four years in the residency program at Poudre Valley Hospital .
Beside his work in Family Practice, Piccaro has special interests in adult pulmonary and cardiac medicine, and in pediatrics.
Pagosa Family Medicine Center is located at 75 South Pagosa Boulevard. The phone number is 731-4131.
First Chamber poster to be unveiled
Colorfest is over and Sally has taken a well-deserved vacation. A sense of peace has settled over the Chamber.
I'm almost positive that sense of peace is a result of fewer visitors and not that Sally is out of town. Still, Pagosa is rarely a place with nothing happening, so let's take a look at what's on tap for the coming weeks.
One of the best-kept secrets in town will finally see the light of day on Oct. 18. The first official Pagosa Springs Chamber Poster will be unveiled during a gala reception to be held in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park from 5 to 7 p.m.
Local photographers Ken Harms and Bruce Andersen are the ones who brought this poster project to fruition, but the real stars are the talented school age photographers who also provided some incredible pictures for the poster project. During the reception, these photos will be available for your enjoyment.
Although the poster is being kept in a remote cabin in the mountains under armed guard, an informed source was able to report by phone that the poster was "a stunning accomplishment, worthy of Pagosa's beauty." Unfortunately, the phone line went dead before we could get any information on the poster's appearance. It appears that the secret of the Pagosa Poster will remain intact until the Oct. 18 unveiling. Rest assured that on that day, we will let the cat out of the bag.
ALCO's 16th Annual "Cute Baby Contest" is in full swing and runs through Oct. 31. To enter your child get a photo, no larger than 5"X7," to the store as soon as possible. Children must be 2 years of age or younger. For more rules, visit the store.
Now for the good part. Voting for the cutest baby is done with pennies, nickels, dimes, etc. All proceeds from the voting will go to local charities, so get out and vote for the cutest baby and help our community at the same time. The winning baby will receive a $25 gift card to ALCO.
Hopefully, you're reading this first thing Thursday morning, because the folks at "The Springs" complex are doing their part to help the victims of the tragedy in NYC and Washington D.C. But you'll have to hurry to take advantage of all they're offering.
Massage at the Springs is offering the ultimate body and soul package. A complimentary 15-minute massage to make the body feel great and you can make a donation to help the victims of September's tragedy to make your soul feel good. Give them a call at 264-6620 to make an appointment.
Also participating from "The Springs" complex are Astara Boutique and Juan's Mountain Sports, which will donate 20 percent of their sales today, Harmony Works donating 100 percent of their proceeds and The Spring Inn, which will donate 100 percent of their "per visit" bath passes sold between noon and 6 p.m.
All donations will go to the NY State WTC Relief Fund and the Survivor's Fund of the National Capital Region.
Also helping out with the disaster effort are North Pagosa Shell and K.K. Paddywhacks Embroidery. For a minimum $10 donation, you can get an incredible red, white and blue embroidered T-shirt. Show your patriotism and help out those affected by this tragic event. All profits from sales until Oct. 15 will go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Keep up the good work Pagosa!
Farrell and Barbara Trask invite everyone to their Open House at The Lighting Center, located at 301 N. Pagosa Blvd., Ste. 3, in Greenbriar Plaza next to Chile Mountain Cafe. Join them today from 4 - 6 p.m. for brew and sandwiches while checking out their new inventory. If you'd like more info on the open house or want to talk about your lighting needs, call them at 731-5633.
What would we do without our volunteers. They are truly the life's blood of many organizations and the Chamber is pleased to lead the effort to recognize these selfless individuals whenever and wherever they are found. So here's your reminder that Oct. 15 - 19 is Volunteer Appreciation Week. Don't miss this opportunity to say "Thanks" to those folks who work so hard giving back to their community.
The Chamber tips its hat to our volunteers, known as Diplomats, with an end of the year luncheon Oct. 17.
Our Diplomats volunteer their summer hours to greet the thousands of tourists who roll through the Visitors Center every summer. They have been hard at work since May and will finish up Oct. 14. We will honor them with a luncheon at Timbers of Pagosa and then allow them seven months of rest and relaxation before calling them back to duty next year. As a survivor of my first summer at the Chamber, I can vouch for the wonderful work these volunteers do.
Anyone driving by the Chamber early Monday morning may have wondered if we were selling tickets to the next Rolling Stones concert. Why else would people be lining up on our doorstep at 6:30 in the morning?
Well, rest assured it was nothing as mundane as a concert that brought out this pack of early birds. Instead, it was that annual right of fall passage: SunDowner Signup Day. While the official signup time is 8 a.m., on the first day of October, SunDowner veterans have learned that there is truth to the old adage, " You snooze, you lose!"
When Morna and I arrived at work Oct. 1, we were greeted by nearly a dozen representatives from local businesses wishing to host one of the 10 SunDowners held each year. Taking pity on this chilled but cheerful group, we opened our doors a little early and by 7:50 a.m., the SunDowner calendar was full. Our thanks to everyone who signed up to host a SunDowner next year and special thanks to Maggi Dix-Caruso for sharing her donuts with us.
No new members last week, but we do have nine business and three associate member renewals to brag about.
While it's nice to add new members to our roles, it's the renewals that tell us that we are doing our job. So, without further ado, our renewals for this week are Michelle Martinez and Mike Mitchell with Colorado's Timber Ridge Ranch; San Juan Historical Society; Pat Vincent with Aspen Springs Realty II; David and Susan Belt with Echo Mountain Alpacas; Walt Lukasik with Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Assoc.; Jack Nightingale with The Pagosa Lodge; Bill Gullette with Endaba Wilderness Retreat; Pamela Lein-Aguilar with KFLH 95.9 FM; Richard and Sharon Gustafson with Gustafson Consulting Group.
Our returning associate members are Bill and Marguerite Flick, Emmet M. Showalter, and Dalas and Carrie Weisz.
Thank you to all our returning members. As always, let us know what we can do to help. We'll work hard to keep you happy!
Dawnie Silva marks 23 years service to Center
Congratulations to Dawnie Silva, who celebrated 23 years service to the Senior Center this week. We appreciate the devotion and warmth that she shares with "her seniors," as well as the delicious meals she provides.
On Friday we celebrated the birthdays of Eva Darmopray, Leonara Carrannante, Delfina Lester, Tinnie Lattin, Shirley Rilli, Lilly Gurule, Marian Swanson, Charles Weber, James Mollendor, Patty Tillerson, Elizabeth Belmear, Raynel Martinez and Medina Hamilton. Best wishes and best of health to all of these folks.
Mary Archuleta is honored as our Senior of the Month. Mary helps with many tasks in the lunchroom and we are so happy to honor her.
Gayle Wilson was selected as our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Gayle.
On Oct. 8-9 between 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. flu shots will be provided for seniors at the Senior Center. There will be a $12 charge for those not qualified for Medicare or Medicaid (Rocky Mountain HMO only).
On Monday we were happy to have Nelda and Richard Jones (who are also new members) and Gayle and John Wilson join Bobbie and Carroll Carruth at the Center. Louie Mendosa and Mary Hannah joined us Wednesday; and Lilia and Ray Martinez, Elizabeth Belmear, Paula Wood and Barbara Schulz joined us on Friday. I hope these folks will join us again soon. A big thanks to Barbara Schulz for the little American flags she distributed to each of us.
We are sad that Eleanor and Jack Jones have left for the winter; it is always such a pleasure to visit with them while they are here, and we look forward to their return next year.
On Wednesday we welcomed Erlinda Gonzales, Margie Gurule and Carol Mercure from Social Services, who presented a very informative program on reducing Medicare costs, old age pension, medical assistance for long-term care, spousal protection and long-term care, the Medical Assistance Estate Recovery Program, and State-AND (Colorado's Aid to the Needy-Disabled). They left brochures on these subjects at the center for those who would like more information. Thank you, ladies.
Donna Boughan requests donations of old hats. Donna treats the ladies and gentlemen at Pine Ridge to a "Tea Time" party every Tuesday and wants the hats to dress folks up for the party, so please call her at 264-6535 if you can help her out.
Ted Cope has a new apartment at Pine Ridge (her phone number hasn't changed) so we hope all her friends will call and/or visit with her.
Our sincere thanks to the folks at The Spring Inn for their donation of a chalkboard for our art class; to Julia Donoho for her donation of one year of cable access with HBO; to Eva Darmopray for books she continues to provide; to Lauren Lee for puzzles she continues to provide; to Elizabeth Anderson for games, puzzles and pictures; and to our "secret pal" who is donating $25 per month towards special event transportation costs to help defray expenses for our seniors. Thanks to June Nelson for filling in when our medical shuttle was not available to transport Medina to her medical appointment. We are so lucky to have suck caring folks helping us out.
The next shopping trip to Durango is scheduled for Oct. 11 so folks need to get signed up if they want to be included in this trip.
We need volunteers to teach basic computer classes and craft classes.
'America the Beautiful' inspired by Colorado visit
Back in 1893, the country was in the doldrums. Banks and railroads were facing financial ruin and President Grover Cleveland was afraid we were facing a depression.
That summer Katharine Lee, Bates, a young literature professor, came to Colorado on a sight-seeking trip, traveling in a mule-drawn wagon. When she visited at the top of Pikes Peak, she was so awed by the beauty of the mountains and the plains that she wrote a poem before returning back east. It began, "Oh beautiful for halcyon skies, for amber waves or grain; For purple mountain majesties, above the enameled plain ..."
Two years later a church magazine published it. The response was so great that people put it to tunes.
In the early 1900s, Bates simplified the words to fit the tune that Samuel A. Ward, a church organist, had composed in 1892 to fit the ancient hymn "Oh Mother Dear Jerusalem." It's written in the key of C and in four-four time making it easy to sing Bates' inspiring lyrics we know as "America the Beautiful," one of our country's most favorite national songs.
"O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain,
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees behind the years,
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears!
God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea."
Tricare serve 20-year service retirees
With the new "Tricare For Life" health care program for military retirees being implemented Oct. 1 there has been a flurry of phone calls to this office for information.
Note the Tricare program is only for military retirees who typically served 20 years, not those veterans who served their military obligation of a few years and were honorably discharged.
Generally, most military retirees, both enlisted and commissioned officers, are already enrolled in the Tricare Health program, which gives coverage for the veteran and his or her family.
The Tricare For Life program is for military retirees who have reached the age of 65. Tricare at that point picks up the difference in health care costs not covered by Medicare Part A and B.
One of the most frequent questions from military retirees is, "How do I make sure I'm enrolled for this new program?" The answer is all you need is your military retiree and Social Security Medicare ID cards. This is proof of eligibility and can be presented to any Tricare provider for coverage. It is my understanding most health care providers and pharmacies in Pagosa Springs accept the Tricare program.
In other health care matters, I would like to clarify VA health care co-pay costs for Veterans.
Outpatient co-pay costs for any VA health care facility, hospital or clinic is currently funded by Congress at $50.80. In-patient cost is $792 for the first 90 days and costs $10 per day thereafter. This is very reasonable considering this covers any service needed at a VA hospital including surgery, intensive care and other high level medical needs, if compared to normal hospital costs of several thousand dollars a day for the same services. Co-pay costs for prescription drugs approved by and obtained through the VA Pharmacy program is currently funded at $2 per 30-day supply.
Obviously the co-pay money collected from veterans for these health care benefits does not cover the actual value or cost of the service. So how does the VA recover the additional money needed to fund the service? Tax dollars appropriated by Congress provide some of the costs. The third source of money to pay for the program comes from any private health insurance programs the veteran may be enrolled in. This does not include Medicare. The VA does not bill Medicare and Medicare does not bill the VA.
Most veterans enrolled in the VA Health Care program either wave the financial statement portion and agree to pay the co-pay fees, or must pass an annual "Means" financial test. If your income and assets fall below the Means Test threshold you will not be charged co-payments for medical treatment or fees for facility use; but VA will charge your insurance carrier for your non-service connected care and for medication refills.
If your income and assets exceed the threshold you will be charged co-payments and fees as outlined above. For the year 2001, the Means Test threshold for a veteran with no dependents is $23,689; and for a veteran with one dependent is $28,430. Veterans should contact this office for very specific information on these figures.
For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Veterans' Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Internet Website can be found at www.geocities.com/vso_archuleta.
The office is open from 8 to 12 and 1 to 4, 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.
Apples have unexpected antioxidant effect
Today - Shady Pine, Extension Office, 7 p.m.
Tomorrow - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension Office, 2:15 p.m.
Oct. 7 - National 4-H Week begins
Oct. 9 - Rocky Mountain Riders, Extension Office, 6 p.m.
Oct. 10 - Club and Project Leader meeting, Extension Office, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 - 4-H Open House, Extension Building, 10-noon
Apples: good health
Since that first garden, the apple has been one of the most tempting fruits on earth. It was prized by the ancient Greeks, carried to war by the conquering Romans, brought to the new world by the first settlers and carried west on the wagon trains.
Often chosen as a symbol of nutrition and health by graphic artists, apples are a good source of folic acid and a moderate source of several other nutrients.
Because they are not particularly high in the antioxidant nutrient vitamin C, apples sometimes are overlooked by the health conscious in favor of fruits higher in vitamin C, like oranges and tangerines.
However, recent research at Cornell University has indicated that apples have more antioxidant activity than would be expected from their vitamin C content.
This antioxidant activity is thought to come from other naturally-occurring substances in apples, collectively called phytochemicals. Apples also are relatively low in calories. One average-sized apple supplies around 80 calories.
Apples are especially rich in pectin fiber, which is associated with helping keep blood cholesterol levels in balance. It is this pectin fiber, along with moisture content and bland flavor, that makes applesauce a low-fat substitute for some of the shortening in cakes, muffins and cookies.
Apples have sometimes been called "nature's toothbrush." Eating an apple doesn't substitute for proper brushing and flossing; however, the fibrous texture of apples helps make them a natural detergent for teeth when brushing isn't possible.
If you're selecting apples to eat fresh as a snack or in salads, three excellent Colorado-grown varieties are Gala, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. A specialty variety of the Golden Delicious is the Colorado Golden. It can be distinguished from the parent variety by the pink blush to its golden skin.
Sweeter, more crisp and less mealy than the regular Golden Delicious, the Colorado Golden makes a great multi-purpose apple.
In the fall when supplies are plentiful, it's usually more economical to buy apples in large quantities (by the half or full bushel) rather than by the pound, provided you like apples and have refrigeration or suitable storage for your bargain.
A refrigerator is the best place to store apples. A properly harvested apple, kept at room temperature, becomes overripe and mealy within a few days. The same apple held at 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the humidifier compartment of a refrigerator will remain in good condition for four to six months, and longer in some cases. If the humidifier compartment is full, polyethylene bags with a few air holes also make good storage containers for apples.
If you have extra apples, one way to preserve them for later use as snacks is by drying. Apple slices can be dried in a dehydrator or oven. If you're drying apples at home, we recommend soaking freshly cut apple slices for 15 minutes in a solution containing 2 teaspoons of ascorbic acid crystals per 2 cups of water, then drying for five to six hours at 135 degrees to 145 degrees F. A solution of one part lemon juice to one part water can be substituted for the ascorbic acid solution. Both pre-treatments help preserve color and improve vitamin C content of the apple slices. Perhaps even more important, the process acts as an antimicrobial agent against E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, which have been found to survive on apple slices dried without any pre-treatment.
UPHM: Very specil basement place
The basement of the River Center building is a special place.
You can visit with a great crowd there, do a little shopping, or just sit and relax in a comfortable, quiet environment. Is this hard to imagine? The very special place in questions is the UPHM Thrift and Gift Store with 4,000 square feet of treasures.
An often-asked question is what does "UPHM" stand for?
UPHM stands for people united in service - United People Help Ministry.
The ministry was founded in 1987 by Jerry and Debi Hilsabeck. It is a non-profit, inter-denominational family ministry that has been placed in the community to touch the hearts of people, whether for physical needs or for spiritual encouragement. The Thrift and Gift Shop has been a community outreach since 1997. They are "a potpourri of new, used and consignment items."
Often times you can walk into the Thrift Store and feel a sense of home, especially if you take the time to enjoy the "living room." There is always an open door and an open ear. Debi describes her customers as special; she treats everybody as if they are the only person who will ever walk through her door.
She feels as if the store's most valuable resource is the people in our community, whether they are donating items or shopping for treasures. She also appreciates interaction and referrals from the Humane Society and the Methodist Thrift Store.
Community resources? Debi keeps a list close by of resources available for those in need of temporary housing, food and much more. Often, people are just unaware of what's out there to help them. Don't think for one minute though, that if you step into the Thrift and Gift, you will walk away without some kind of "treasure." The treasure may be just what you have been looking for or you might find a gift from the heart.
Last year, you may have seen an article about a youth group from Texas in the SUN, or read about their work at a Habitat for Humanity building site. The youth cleaned up yards for the elderly, painted and were even able to sing a few songs as they held hands of some folks at the retirement home. The list goes on concerning what they did in our little town. Not many people knew that UPHM initiated this opportunity for the youth group to come and share their special gifts with Pagosa.
Throughout the years I have acknowledged that a lot of what UPHM do for our community is behind the scenes. They don't ask for recognition, but I think that it's nice to let them know they are appreciated. They are a community resource.
When asked what's new or what's the focus of UPHM right now, Debi simply states that "everyday is a gift and a new opportunity to give what is received."
I think we all forget these simple words from time to time.
If you would like to learn more about the UPHM Thrift and Gift Store, they can be reached by calling 264-8746. They'd love to hear from you.
We proved terrorists haven't won; we flew
Hotshot and I did our part last week to show the terrorists that they haven't won. We did what the President and others have been urging the American public to do.
We flew on an airplane. On four separate airplanes, actually. It was not a lighthearted experience.
Driving to Albuquerque I emptied my purse. Took out the nail file, the Swiss army knife, the manicure scissors, the tweezers. They didn't ask about ballpoint pens, but I figure it's only a matter of time until those are added to the list.
All these potential weapons went into the bag to be checked, along with the small flashlight I always take on trips. The batteries could be used for a - well, I won't say the word - but it starts with the letter "b."
I remembered the old pro-gun statement, "When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns." Ditto all the implements we are not supposed to carry on board now. If we do what at least one airline pilot urged his passengers last week, if we fight any hijackers, we'll have to do it with harsh language.
A friend has written that during the first week he was anxious even driving under highway overpasses. Each one triggered a question that started with,
What if, indeed. Exiting the highway at the airport, I watched a plane on final approach. The thought went through my mind, "What if there's a terrorist flying that plane, and he's going to crash it into the terminal building?" It took only a second to dismiss the thought. And yet, I watched the plane until it touched down - on the runway.
The first dozen spaces in each row of the terminal parking lot are marked off. You can't park in them. Curbside check-in no longer exists. Everyone has to stand in the counter line to check bags. Have your photo ID out and ready at the counter, and again at the security check, and again at the gate.
Flags are everywhere. There were also signs reminding us to watch our tongues, that terrorism was not a joking matter.
Since travel is down, and since only ticketed passengers are allowed through the security checkpoint, the normally busy airport felt empty, deserted. It called for an updated version of an old joke. "What time does the plane leave?" "What time can you get here?"
On the other hand, it was nice to check my bag and only have to carry a small bag to the plane. I didn't feel weighted down like a pack mule. I've been joking recently that since most passengers would rather risk back injury than trust their bags to the airlines, maybe the planes should be reconfigured to take this into account. They could add seats in the cargo space, and we'd just haul our bags on board and sit with them.
But that's an idea whose time has gone. I suspect now the trend will be more checking and less carrying. And what we'll be carrying will be food, since they won't be serving any on the planes.
Hotshot had bet me that the cockpit door would be closed when we boarded, but he was wrong. The pilot stood at the front of the plane with the cabin crew, ostensibly to greet us, but really to check us out. To identify suspicious-looking people. Access to the cockpit was blocked by a large trolley from the galley.
And the cockpit door was closed during the whole flight. No peering in to see all those dials and gauges.
On the trip I read about the airline pilots. Some want to carry guns on board, others don't. Since I think that relying on a gun means you aren't thinking of the other things you can do in an emergency, I'm rooting for the ones who don't want guns in the cockpit.
The pilots who don't want guns are coming up with creative ideas. Some are keeping the fire axe handy. Former Air Force jet pilots are planning aerobatic maneuvers. "I'll bounce 'em off the ceiling," said one. A new and compelling reason to keep your seat belt fastened.
And you probably read about the pilot who encouraged his passengers to fight back. Throw things at any hijackers. At their heads, preferably. Grab them. Wrestle them to the floor. Use your seat cushion as a shield. I really hope it's not needed for that use any more than as a flotation device.
In Nashville last Sunday, the airport lines were horrendous. We arrived 2-1/2 hours early and waited in line over an hour just to check our bags. The woman behind us, there to put her daughter on a flight back to college, was pretty frustrated. They had arrived with only one hour to spare. Really.
The mom spent the hour on her cell phone, calling the airline to find out when later flights were available, since the daughter was clearly going to miss this one. She called other friends and warned them about the long lines. She blamed people like us, who had read the paper or seen the news and knew enough to get there early.
As for us, we made our flight.
I had a little twinge again, when our pilot came on to inform us of weather ahead. His voice had a Middle Eastern accent. Briefly, I thought, "Maybe he's a hijacker and he's just trying to keep us calm." The thought passed.
My friend who wrote about the overpasses said that he felt vulnerable. His minister reminded him that we're always vulnerable; most of the time we just don't realize it.
Traveling last week, I realized it.
Organ donors can make a difference after death
"At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
"When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my 'death bed.' Call it my 'bed of life,' and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
"Give my sight to a man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.
"Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
"Give my blood to the teenager who has been pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
"Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
"Explore every corner of my brain. Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her windows.
"Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
"Give my soul to God. If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever."
My son Shawn read these last words of a woman at a memorial service to honor and remember those he calls "our valued teachers." These are people who have donated their bodies and organs - precious and courageous gifts of immeasurable value - to the University of Colorado Health Science Center.
Everyone wants to make a difference in his or her lifetime, but few really think about the difference he or she can make after death. We all desire to contribute to society in some way that will have a profound effect, but often do not know how. The individuals who have donated their body to science have made a tremendous impact on society. They have participated in teaching future medical professionals, saved lives and indirectly, lived on.
Every year, organ donation saves over 20,000 American lives. Tragically, 13 people still die each day from a lack of donors, and over 65,000 Americans are currently waiting for organ transplants. Thousands more need life-enhancing tissue transplants. It's the most important choice we can make - the decision to save a life.
The Donor Awareness Council urges you to share your life and share your decision. Inform your family of your choice to be a donor. Many times, a driver's license may be all the family has as an indication of their loved one's wishes at a traumatic time. While Colorado law does not require family consent for donation, in-practice consent is always obtained from the next of kin. So after you make your decision, make sure your family knows you want to be an organ and tissue donor.
Contact the Donor Awareness Council for more information at (303) 388-8605 or toll-free at (888) 388-8605.
Jesus had a good handle on reality
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, I had gotten up early and was eating breakfast at a Denny's Restaurant in Pueblo, Colo. After finishing I got into my car and headed for Rocky Ford, to attend a pastor's circuit conference there.
Turning on the radio I was stunned by the news of not one, but two planes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York. A few moments later reports came in about a third plane impacting the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
It was difficult to believe that what I was hearing was real, but, of course, it was. Then it got worse. Now the radio was reporting that first one and then the other tower was collapsing and I could only imagine the loss of life that such a catastrophe represented.
It took about an hour to drive from Pueblo to Rocky Ford that morning and in the span of that brief time, our nation and the world changed.
Emotions filled me. I was amazed by what I heard, I was deeply saddened by what I heard. I became very angered by what I heard. Then I realized that I, too, had changed. The change in me might well echo the change in you that occurred that day.
And what was the nature of that change? All of us received a violent reality check. Suddenly the things we were sure of were no longer certain. We had been sure of our national safety. Certainly we were the only "superpower" on the globe so we had to be safe. Certainly we had the greatest military on the face of the earth, so we were not vulnerable to attack, at least not on the scale we witnessed on that terrible September morning. What was the change? Before we thought everything was under control - now we knew that it wasn't.
Every day we begin by thinking that this day will be reasonably predictable, but Sept. 11 made us realize that such thinking is an illusion. In Matthew 24: 6-8, Jesus says: "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Jesus had a good handle on reality! He was never surprised by the events of His day and He was never surprised by the events of His life. Since He was fully God (Col. 2:9) He understood that as long as human history lasts on this globe the results of man's rebellion against Him (called sin), would show its ugly face. If any of us harbored any idea that sin wasn't real or that mankind is basically good, those illusions were fully exposed for the folly they were on Sept. 11. Even television news anchors who never speak of spiritual things were suddenly commenting on the evil they had witnessed.
What are we to make of such a life-changing, world-changing day?
First, let us take Jesus' advice, ". . . see to it that you are not alarmed." Christians who understand the insidious nature of sin will understand the events of Sept. 11 are sadly "normal" for a sin-fallen world. Second, let us remember that it was precisely for the defeat of evil and sin that Jesus took on human flesh, suffered and died for us. He even died for the sins of the terrorists who did this terrible evil. To say any less is to discount the value of His life. Yet to those whose complete trust is in Christ alone for their salvation, here is also amazing assurance that our sins - no matter how grievous or long-standing, are truly covered by the suffering and death of Jesus the Christ.
Third, since we do live in a sin-terrorized world, let us be at prayers. Let us pray for our President, George W. Bush, for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the congress, that we would refrain from revenge, seeking justice and self-defense of the nation, instead. Let us pray for the men and women serving in the military for their safety and their success in defending our nation's freedom. Let us pray for the citizens of this nation that we end our illusion that we do not need each other. Let us issue prayers of thanksgiving for the grace of God shown us through the acts of kindness, self-sacrifice, and the outpouring of help from our fellow citizens on behalf of those for whom the sadness and loss are the greatest.
Finally, let us thank God for the nation in which we live, for even though we have been badly shaken, we are still most blessed. As St. Paul said in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Gates Foundation provides computers
Our library was the recipient of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Several years ago, Mr. Gates began a program to give computers equipped with his software to libraries. States were chosen on an "as-needed" basis. Colorado did come after Alabama not only alphabetically, but also economically.
Each library had to go through an application process based on income. We were eligible for two computers - one for children, and one in Spanish. Gates sent us two Gateway Computers loaded with Microsoft programs.
The one for children has educational programs and limited access to the Internet. The other one is specifically for those patrons who speak Spanish. It will have Internet access too. The children's computer comes with headphones and suggestions on to how to avoid contamination from head lice. (This subject never came up in our job description.)
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the Gates trainers will be in the library for two days and we will have to close for their intensive staff training. Part of the grant application was the agreement to close for full participation of staff.
So we will have a short week coming up as we are closed Monday for Columbus Day and then Thursday afternoon and all day Friday for the Gates training. We apologize for the inconvenience.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We are presenting the work of high school students who created a number of candles to represent hope. They dedicated them to survivors of domestic violence, and to those lost in the recent terrorist attacks. The students also made a beautiful banner with the message: "Violence teaches violence. So be not silent, don't turn in fear. Reach for their hand; give them your ear. With gifts of love, touch their heart - and the cycle of hate, you surely part."
All over the state, people were urged to make and use candles to symbolize that hope. On Oct. 1, there was a rally at the State Capitol to kick off this month's project.
Civic Club bazaar
Margaret Wilson brought in the tickets for this year's raffle. You may purchase them from us or any member of the Civic Club. The tickets are one dollar each, or six for five dollars. We have many excellent items that will be on display. A monogrammed denim vest, along with a basket and wreath of money are among the many items we have to raffle. The drawing is held at the Bazaar on Nov. 3. The proceeds from the raffle buy books for special collections at the library. This is a nice way to help out your library by buying a chance to win some of these very special things.
Financial help came from Merilyn Moorhead, Glenn Bergmann, and Kathleen Fink in memory of Betty Feazel. Their gifts goes into the Lucy Turner Memorial Book Endowment. Nick and Wesley Rivera donated in memory of Brian Lewis. Monika Astara also gave funds to help buy books.
Materials came from Mary Marugg, Terry Hershey, Ralph Williams, Greg Raymond, Don Varner, Dottie Eichvalds, Bob and Carole Howard.
Another reminder that next week, the library will be closed Monday, Thursday morning, and all day Friday.
Soccer, volleyball leagues in action
Youth soccer continues this month with games played at 4 and 5 p.m. No 6 p.m. games are played in October.
The Kickers League, ages 5-6, will play through Oct. 11, with other leagues playing until Oct. 18. Season-ending tournaments will take place Oct. 19 and 20.
Players ages 7-10 can still register at the $20 rate at Town Hall. Coaches still needing practice times can call the recreation department at 264-4151 ext. 232.
Last Saturday Columbia and Switzerland hosted games against the Dulce Patriots. Columbia won 3-1 and Switzerland won 3-2.
Team England leads the Scorer's League, undefeated at 6-0. Canada is in second at 4-2 and Scotland and Ireland are both 1-5.
In the Strider's League Argentina and Mexico are tied for first place at 5-1. Switzerland and Germany both stand at 4-2 and Ecuador and France are tied at 2-4.
Shooter's League has Spain in the lead with a record of 4-0. Columbia, Holland and Spain are tied at 3-2, and New Zealand stands 0-5.
This fall's adult coed volleyball league is in full swing with games played on Mondays and Wednesdays.
League standings are: Piano Creek 3-0, Colorado Construction 3-1, Dulce/Silver Dollar 2-1, Ski and Bow Rack 2-2, Ace Hardware 1-2. CPR Title 1-3, and American Farm Insurance 0-3.
League games will continue through the end of October and tournament games will begin in November.
The next Park Commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17.
Items on the agenda are an update on the 10th Street parking lot, a financial report for the Colorfest bike race, a grant for a skateboarding park and the recreation report. All meetings are open to the public and take place in Town Hall at 5:30 p.m.
At the last baseball committee meeting, it was decided to use AABC rules for all ages except t-ball and coach pitch. The biggest difference from AABC and what is presently being used are base distances, pitching differences and the ability to lead off while on base.
The next baseball committee meeting will be held Oct. 19 at 5:30 at Town Hall. A sanctioning body will be elected for the baseball league for ages 9-14. Rule revisions for the younger players will also be discussed.
All meetings are open to those interested in the Pagosa Youth Baseball Program. Call Summer at 264-4151 ext. 232 for more information.
The third annual youth volleyball clinic is coming soon, after soccer has ended. The clinic will run for four weeks, Oct. 22 through Nov. 15, with sessions held twice a week. The clinic is open to all youth in fifth and sixth grades. Registration forms will be available next week at Town Hall, the intermediate school and at soccer games.
Call the recreation office at 264-4151 ext. 232 with any questions or if interested in helping coach.
At last week's Colorfest mountain bike race local entrants did well.
Matt Nobles took fourth in the men's beginner junior division; Mark Frings finished second in the men's sport senior division; Emily Dietz won the women's veteran division; Jim Sutton won in the men's sport master division; Jeff Greer took second in the expert division; and Mike Clinton finished first in the veteran class.
The only local racer registered in the Four Corners Cup was Doug Call, who won the masters sport category with 462 points. Congratulations to all the entrants and see you next year.
Tracing gallery exhibitor credentials
We would like to invite everyone to attend the opening of our new exhibit at the gallery in Town Park today from 5-7 p.m. The photography of American Southwest Landscapes by Bob Morriss and beautiful turned wood bowls, vessels and platters by William Kernek will be on display Oct. 4 -17.
Bob Morriss moved to Pagosa three years ago after his retirement from Tulane University where he taught physics for almost 40 years. He chose the Four Corners area so that he could combine his hobbies of photography, hiking, and camping. He enjoys photographing patterns found in nature such as close up patterns in rock, sand and water. He also is interested in photographing sun dogs, colored images of the sun produced by refraction of light by ice crystals in cirrus clouds.
William Kernek retired from his radiology practice in Texas in March, 2000, and moved to Santa Fe where he resides with his wife, Carol. In 1995 they built a log home in Piedra Estates where he has a wood turning shop. His interest in wood working began at the age of 14. He is self-taught, gaining much of his information from books and periodicals. He loves to reproduce copies of Hispanic furniture, circa 1750-1908 using traditional technique, but also builds modern pieces. He works with about 20 different types of wood, from ash and walnut to exotic woods such as ebony and cardinal wood.
On Oct. 18 the unveiling of the first official poster of Pagosa Springs, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce will take place at the gallery from 5-7 p.m. with the exhibit running through Oct. 31.
Students from the junior high and the Archuleta County High School, and their instructor Bruce Anderson, will display photography depicting the nature of the seasons in the beautiful Pagosa area. This culminates a year-long project where students were taught photography fundamentals and cut loose to capture the beauty that is Pagosa Springs.
A portion of the photographs were selected for the poster design. This gala event is a must-attend; posters and photographs will be on sale, with a poster signing by the featured artists. Also as a further enticement - it's a pizza party!
Buddy Tabor, Alaskan songwriter and recording artist, will perform at the Hudson house on Oct. 19. A $7 donation includes coffee, tea and dessert. Please call Bill and Clarissa at 264-2491 for reservations and more information.
To catch the latest on Whistle Pig please visit their web site at http://hudsonhudson.com/whistlepig.
Be sure to stop by the gallery to pick up your copy of the CD Sampler "A Local Gathering" featuring local musicians Justin Cowan, Leslie Kern, Dave Snyder, Randall Davis Band, Dale Schmidt, Mark Thompson, Jenine Marnocha, Colorado Blue, Steve Rolig, Dave Belt, Mark Devoti, George Claus, John Alex Tarset, Melange, Brock Gorman, Eric Wade, and Louis Koleszar.
The Creede Repertory Theater will perform in Pagosa Oct. 18-20. They will perform "The Dragon Woo Ree" Oct. 18 for the grade school students and "Opening Windows" for grades 7-12. The players will perform Oct. 19 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, with a community performance Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
The players will perform "Eleemosynary" meaning "charitable." It conveys its hopeful message through words and emotions as it probes into the delicate relationships of three generations of women. Dorothea is the grandmother who seeks to assert her independence through strong willed eccentricity. Her daughter Artie flees the stifling domination of her mother; and Artie's daughter, Echo, is a child of exceptional intellect and sensitivity whom Artie has abandoned to Dorothea's upbringing.
Tickets will go on sale the second week of October and can be purchased at Wolf Tracks, Sisson Library, the Chamber of Commerce, and at the gallery. Prices are $12 for PSAC members and $14 for non-members. Discounted tickets must be purchased at the gallery.
In order to raise the appreciation of art exhibits in concert with our mission, "to help to ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through all the arts" the PSAC board of directors has made operational changes at the art gallery.
Effective with the 2002 season, the gallery will be open displaying exhibits from May through October with hours Tuesday through Saturday from 10a.m.- 6p.m.
Each exhibit will last for a three-week period and will contain theme exhibits, juried exhibits and three-dimensional art exhibits. The theme exhibits and three-dimensional exhibits will feature two to three artists.
The art gallery location serves as the business headquarters for the PSAC and will be open for PSAC business from November through April with office hours Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10-2 beginning December 2001. The gallery will be closed for the month of November, 2001.
In addition, a series of workshops is being coordinated to be held at the gallery January through April and will move to the Pagosa Springs Community Center once it is opened.
Gallery hours for the month of October are Tuesday through Saturday, 11-3:30. If you would like more information about the PSAC and the gallery, call JoAnn at 264-5020.