Front Page

February 28, 2002

Hospital District Manager Initiates employee manual review

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Staff WriterThe new Upper San Juan Hospital District manager hit the ground running Feb.19 at her first board meeting, outlining several priority areas including a revision of the employee manual, improving financial statements, bidding health insurance coverage and some policy changes.

Consistency, Dee Jackson told the board, was something lacking in the employee manuals, several different copies of which seem to be available with no one certain which is the correct one.

"Folks, the employees don't know what book to play by," she said, adding that she hoped to present a draft of a new manual written with the help of a management team to the board in March.

One specific area to be addressed is overtime and compensation time. Currently, she said, one employee has accrued enough hours of compensation time to take nearly a year off with pay.

"I can stop it, but I've got to get the employee manual changed," she said. She added that job descriptions would have to be updated as well.

Concerning health care, Jackson received the board's approval to seek bids in the coming month. Employees need better coverage, she said, and the board needs to take a hard look at whether or not to continue to cover spouses and dependents.

She said other priorities would be ensuring that financial reports balance so that on any given day the district could be certain of what funds were in the bank, and taking a hard line on purchasing to stay within budget constraints.

The district borrowed another $17,500 from the foundation credit line last month, bringing the total to $80,000. Dick Babillis, board chairman, said it should be the last withdrawal. The first major property tax check should reach the district next month.

Babillis said discussions had already started concerning when to repay the foundation - a step which could happen as soon as April or May.

At the close of the meeting, Bob Huff, a board member, asked Jackson if she thought she could maintain the current pace.

"Actually, this is slow for me," she replied with a smile.

In other business:

Laura Rome, Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center manager, reported the medical center would soon have its own Pro-time Coagulation Machine as a convenience for patients. The machine is used on patients taking blood-thinning medication to ensure the treatment is working effectively. Previously, blood was drawn in Pagosa Springs and sent to a lab for testing, meaning that results took at least 24 hours.

The $13,000 machine was donated to the clinic. Rome said it will be a break-even proposition financially

EMS will be requesting $80,000 through a State EMS Grant to help pay for a new ambulance. Operations Manager Rod Richardson reported that the district's current ambulances, except one, are all at 80,000 miles or more. If approved, EMS would not receive the funding until 2003.

 Gas drillers, county meet on precepts

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Planning Department personnel met Tuesday with representatives of Petrox and Exok, Inc., companies connected with drilling two unpermitted gas wells in the southwestern part of Archuleta County.

"They did not apply for a drilling permit Tuesday," said Greg Comstock, Director of Development for Archuleta County. "We talked things over. The county agreed to wait until we see how soon something happens with the new oil and gas regulations we are writing."

New, more user friendly, county gas and oil regulations will be considered during a joint meeting between the county commissioners and planning department staff March 11 at approximately 10-10:30 a.m. in the commissioner meeting room.

"It is our position that they are required to follow county regulations regarding surface impacts," said Bill Downey, chairman of the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioner. "However, if we can adopt regulations specific to the industry in a reasonable time, it makes sense for them to operate under the new regulations. Those new regulations will still protect the surface owner."

The new regulations are the result of county commissioner instructions delivered about a year ago. At that time, Petrox had applied for permits to drill three wells in Archuleta County. The applicable county permitting mechanism was the Conditional Use Permit involving a process applicable to many forms of building and development and not specifically aimed at oil and gas drilling. Several months might be required to move through the CUP process. Ultimately, the county approved the three well permit applications and the wells were drilled.

In the mean time, the commissioners instructed the planning office to develop less cumbersome and time consuming "user friendly" regulations specific to the oil and gas industry. Regulations in effect in La Plata County were cited as exemplary and were used as a guideline for modeling the proposed regulations being considered at the March 11 meeting.

In general, the county contemplates two levels of review for oil and gas applicants. A decision as to which process will be used will be made by planning staff during a preliminary meeting with the applicant.

The first, user friendly process will be applied if the proposal anticipates limited surface impacts includ ing the well pad, minimal piping, minimal leveling, and an access road. No public hearing will be conducted and approval may be granted by planning staff. At most, a few weeks will be involved.

The second process is the Conditional Use Permit already law in the county. The CUP process will apply to sites with surface buildings, storage tanks, pumps, considerable surface disturbance and other conditions in excess of a minimal drilling site. The process involves review by the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, public hearings, and approval by the county commissioners.

Petrox has drilled two unpermitted wells in the Allison/Arboles area and contemplates drilling as many as 20 more wells, Comstock said.

The driller had not applied for a county permit for the first two wells drilled this year, Comstock said, because: "It's my understanding they believe that rules issued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission during 2001 supersede county regulations.

"I believe they came to us to discuss the permit because they do want to get along and because they don't know at this time what will result from the lawsuit," Comstock said.

The lawsuit referred to by Comstock has been brought by La Plata County, Archuleta County, and other Colorado counties challenging a COGCC rule which says that COGCC rules take precedence over county laws regulating the industry.

At issue is whether and to what extent counties can control certain surface impacts created by oil and gas drilling and removal activities. The suit, filed in District Court in Denver, is still in its preliminary stages.

Traditionally, oil and gas field developers own the subsurface mineral rights. The surface owner, who may or may not collect royalties, cannot prevent the mineral owner from harvesting the minerals. Being contested is the extent of surface owner rights and county authority to legislate on behalf of surface owners.

The gas being sought in Archuleta County is in geological formations generally known as Fruitland methane coal deposits. The same formation spreads into La Plata County to the west and San Juan County, New Mexico to the south. Operating wells have tapped this deposit for several decades.

Those who oppose the wells base their opposition on several factors. In addition to purported ugliness and potential erosion from hundreds of miles of dirt roads, the processes used for fracturing coal seams and disposing of unwanted water are opposed.

Fracturing involves breaking up a coal seam through the addition of liquid or gas under high pressure. Fracturing coal seams facilitates extraction of gas. Some people who have lived near the fracturing locale say gas moves through the fractures into personal wells. Tales exist of igniting methane gas escaping from kitchen spigots connected with home water wells, the gas loosened through fracturing.

Water may be removed from coal seams within wells in order to facilitate removal of gas. The water is then pumped into another, deeper, aquifer or sometimes released on the ground surface. Again, folks affected by the discharged water say it destroys the fertility of land it touches. People also question where the water discharged into underground aquifers eventually ends up.

Locally, those in favor of expanded drilling say the county benefits because taxes on the industry lessen the need for property taxes on other citizens. They also stand on their rights as property owners to do what they want with their land.

Future methane gas drilling in the county could be extensive when compared with the past. The U.S. Forest Service Columbine Office in Bayfield is processing an Environmental Impact Statement connected with the development of several hundred gas wells in Archuleta County. Completion of the EIS could involve a number of years. Wells are anticipated on Southern Ute, Forest Service, and private lands.

Concerning the future, Downey said, "I hesitate to say. We are not sure what we can do and that is what we are trying to find out. We don't want to jeopardize the lawsuit or get us in another legal situation. We are just trying to find out what we can do."

Natural gas service may be expanded

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Natural gas service could be just around the corner for residents of Lake Forest and North Lake subdivisions in the Pagosa Lakes community.

Kinder Morgan Inc., which purchased the area natural gas distribution system from Citizens Communications last year, will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday for residents of the two subdivisions. The session will be in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse building, 230 Port Avenue.

The distributor would bring natural gas to the two areas involved along a route from Lakeside Drive extending north along North Pagosa Boulevard approximately two miles.

At the intersection of North Lake Avenue, it would extend east to serve North Lake Avenue and at the intersection with North Pagosa Boulevard, it would go west to serve the Lake Forest subdivision.

Kinder Morgan officials say the project would mean installation of a low-pressure pipeline within private and/or country roadway easements along the route. In addition, distribution lines would be installed next to the streets within the subdivisions to connect with yard lines that would terminate with the meter set at the owner's lot line.

Before the utility can start building the line, it must secure commitments from existing homeowners and lot owners along the intended route. PLPOA figures indicate there are 612 lots in Lake Forest and 158 in North Lake. The firm intends to install the gas mains and ask the property owners to be responsible for cost of the service line from main to structure(s) plus any appliance conversion costs and inside piping.

Anyone with questions prior to the meeting is urged to call Anthony Rivera, local field operations supervisor, at 264-2193 or Dave Freeman at (719) 384-2532.

Ten trees in Southside are vandalized

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Vandals snapped the tops of 10 trees in South Pagosa Park Monday or Tuesday, causing $250 in damage.

Nine of the trees, all poplars, were planted in the park by fourth graders and individually named to honor Arbor Day three years ago. Jim Miller, parks superintendent, said the trees had been hand-watered and painstakingly groomed and were just beginning to get established when vandals struck.

"Two years of growth was eliminated in one careless act," he said. All nine are expected to survive. One more tree, an ash, will probably be a total loss.

The poplars were destroyed sometime between 4:30 p.m., Feb. 25, and 9:30 a.m., Feb. 26.

Anyone with information is urged to call Central Dispatch, 264-2131, or the Pagosa Springs Police Department, 264-4151.

County sets hearing on building code changes

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Proposed changes in the Archuleta County building code and related issues will be the subject of a public hearing March 26 at 7 p.m. in the county commissioner meeting room.

If adopted, the proposed changes will affect all construction within the county. Topics being considered include adoption of the 1997 Universal Building Code, a first-time-ever mechanical code, a new fee schedule for permits and inspections, snow load changes, and frost depth changes.

Adoption of the 1997 UBC amounts to an update. Currently, the county inspects building activities according to the 1993 UBC. In a general way, the UBC contains building standards and a permit and inspection fee schedule used throughout most of the United States. The UBC fee schedule provides for local variations in accordance with variations in regional building costs. Adoption of the fee schedule contained in the UBC is proposed.

Standards defined in the UBC are used by the county building inspector to determine if new construction is acceptable. All new buildings in the county require a county building permit. Major changes to existing buildings also require a permit. Buildings within Pagosa Springs require a town building permit.

As each phase of a building is completed, that phase is looked over by the building inspector to make certain that the work meets UBC requirements.

Counties generally feel adopting the UBC is preferable to writing building codes of their own.

One new construction category proposed for inspection by the county is called "mechanical." Mechanical generally refer to the materials and practices connected with the installation of central heating and air conditioning systems. To date, mechanical installations in the county have not been inspected by the county. Building department personnel are proposing adoption of the 1997 Universal Mechanical Code and inspection fees.

Proponents of inspection of central heating and air conditioning installations point to the danger from explosions and fires inherent in faulty installation practices. The only negative mentioned connected with mechanical inspections is the additional work load it imposes on existing inspectors.

Adoption of the 1997 Fire Code goes along with adopting the 1997 UBC. The main benefit is to modernize and bring Archuleta County into conformance with the rest of the nation.

Finally, proposed changes concerning snow load and frost depths recognize climatic differences between Pagosa Springs and Arboles in the extreme southwestern part of the county. In the past, one set of rules governed snow load and ditch depth requirements across the entire county. Those rules suited Pagosa Springs. Julie Rodriguez, Archuleta County Director of Building, is proposing that Pagosa Springs area regulations remain the same, but that Arboles be allowed shallower trenching and reduced snow load requirements.

Ditch depths are designed to enforce placement of all plumbing and other construction activities affected by frost below the frost line. Snow load refers to construction requirements that ensure buildings are strong enough to carry the weight of accumulated snow.

Editorials

Some extreme proposals

We hear the question asked: What can be done to change and improve public education? No doubt the topic will be raised at Monday's community forum at Town Hall conducted by the school district to discuss, among other things, a five-year "strategic" plan and a five-year facilities plan.

People work feverishly to discover a method, to find a theory or a system to excite the progress they desire. In harmony with this trend, let us be fanciful and set an extreme pole for the conversation.

Why not consider an unraveling of what has developed over the past few decades?

Get lawmakers out of the business of education. Legislators, federal and state, are intent on blasting out one measure after another, then tying laws and regulations to funding. Pressure exerted by this Byzantine legal web is felt all the way into the classroom, hampering teachers in their quest to create a productive experience for students. Lawmakers should be barred from writing any new education legislation, and required to repeal five education measures per year for the next ten years. Clean the house, don't clutter it.

Get parents out of the school buildings. The soft-headed approach to education dominant since the 1960s rests on warm, fuzzy rhetoric, and one attribute of this style is the invitation to parents to enter the school, to join committees, to serve as advisors, to be part of the system.

Has no one figured it out yet? Parents must do their work at home. It is at home that character is molded. It is in the home that manners are taught, that values are inculcated. It is at home where work habits are formed and respect is engendered. Instead of doing this work, an increasing number of parents charge through the doors of schools, bright-eyed and egocentric, fueled by the false measure of their economic success, eager to exert their influence. They arrive to demand a lessening of standards, adamant in a search for institutional support of the laxity that exists at home, for institutional recognition of the inherent brilliance and creativity of their offspring. They arrive to demand no criticism of their children, no grades, no homework, no discipline, nothing that does not serve to reinforce a child who returns home content to play video games, listen to rap music, watch television, and leave mommy and daddy unburdened by stress.

Get rid of bureaucrats who fail to understand their role is to support and facilitate the activities of teachers. Abolish permanent positions for bureaucrats or administrators. For every year spent in an administrator's role - as superintendent, principal, assistant principal - three years should be spent in the classroom reminding a person of the reality of the environment, of the fact that people come before policies. Give every teacher a turn at handing out supplies, scheduling classes, bus trips and athletic contests, answering phones. School policies should be the focus of a collective effort on the part of faculty members, unique to each building, perhaps to each grade. Complaints and problems could be addressed by a committee of teachers whose membership changes yearly, with no means of recourse beyond that body - no fevered entreaties delivered to administrators or members of a school board.

Write a mission statement for school board members that makes the hiring of a highly trained and professional faculty the priority. Make it clear that, under no circumstances, should a board of inexperienced amateurs be allowed to read one or two books, watch a video produced by an educational carnival barker, and decide they understand the subtleties of classroom education. Members of a school board should never grow so arrogant they decide it is appropriate to pass down shopworn educational theories, in reductionist style, from above. Classroom techniques should percolate from the classroom, not be introduced by fiat by dilettantes.

Finally, find a way to allow members of the community who possess certifiable skills and talents, verified by decades of experience, to work as teachers in the system. Without benefit of bureaucrat "certification."

As an afterthought, make public education competitive in the marketplace. Can anyone say "voucher?"

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Still trying to learn to be a learner

Dear Folks,

It's satisfying when the SUN receives an award at the Colorado Press Association convention.

Whereas the value of an advertisement that runs in the SUN depends on its effectiveness in generating business for the individual or entities who place the ads, Shari Pierce gained a measure of personal satisfaction when an ad she created received second-place honors in the "Best Black and White Advertisement" category. Shari's award made our pilgrimage to Denver more enjoyable.

February 1982 marked my first attendance at an annual Colorado Press Association convention. Having been at the SUN only about 10 months at that time, (about six weeks as owner), I definitely fit the "stranger in a strange land" category.

It was my good fortune that The (Salida) Mountain Mail owner Merle Baranczyk, Greenwood Villager owner Bob Sweeney and Don Schlichting, who at that time was business manager of The Durango Herald, and Garrett Ray, former journalism professor at Colorado State University took the time to introduce themselves. Knowledgeable in journalism and the newspaper business, they went out of their way to make me comfortable about my new responsibilities. Realizing my lack of experience, Merle and Don both said I could phone them should I need some consultation.

Three other experienced and knowledgeable newspaper people befriended me at the 1982 press convention. Bill Lindsey was the secretary-manager of the Colorado Press Association. Marge Easton was the organization's legislative liaison. Jane Harper was Bill Lindsey's assistant. Over the ensuing years, by means of my numerous long-distance phone calls, Merle, Don, Bill, Marge and Jane patiently tutored me on the "ins and outs" or "do's and don'ts" of weekly newspapers.

Much like coaches' conventions, the annual press convention offers worthwhile seminars. Granted, some of the clinicians offered concepts of greater worth and some of the speakers merely whiled away the time. But it was a rare press convention that failed to spark at least one new "idea" or concept that could help the SUN. If nothing else, the drive to Denver and the return trip home provided uninterrupted times of reflection on how to improve our strengths or minimize our mistakes.

During my early years at the SUN, from time to time Garrett Ray hosted weekend seminars at Colorado State University. Geared to weekly newspapers, the seminars were very informative. Also, Garrett's column, "Editor's Notebook" in the bimonthly Publisher's Auxiliary, consistently provided some applicable insights and suggestions.

Whereas my years as a learner at the SUN have been the most satisfying of my life thus far, they've also been the most difficult. When you publish a weekly community newspaper in a community the size of Pagosa, you invariably report on events that involve folks you agree with as well as folks with whom you disagree. Sometimes these events are positive. Sometimes they are of a negative nature. But in each and every situation an editor must work at maintaining objectivity and balance. Even when an article casts a negative light on someone I agree with or when the article casts a positive light on someone with whom I disagree.

Reporting the news and publishing a weekly community newspaper would be much easier if folks would forget about objectivity. It would also be easier if I knew everything there is to know about journalism and the newspaper business.

The most important thing I've learned from 20 years of journalism seminars and clinics is that there is either something new for me to learn, or something old that I need to be reminded of.

It reminds me of one of Dad's tounge-twister truisms: He who knows not (it all), and knows not he knows not, knows more than he who knows not, and knows not that he knows not (it all).

Last summer a friend referred to me as being an editor. When I said I really didn't consider myself as being an editor, she asked, "Then what do you consider yourself? A journalist? A philosopher?"

I assured her I was neither. Instead, if anything I'm still trying to be a learner. I try to be coachable.

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

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 24, 1977

There was a small turnout for the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District bond election. There were 30 ballots cast, 24 for the issuance of the bond, and six against. The election authorizes the district to issue up to $135,000 towards the cost of sewer line extensions and improvement of the sewage lagoon.

San Juan Lumber Co. was granted a variance on smoke emissions by the state variance board last Thursday. The variance runs until September of next year. By that time, the local mill will have to have new boiler equipment installed so that there is no visible smoke from the smokestacks at San Juan.

Wolf Creek Ski Area received about four inches of new snow Tuesday of this week.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 29, 1952

The REA has advised the SUN that the meter reader has been attacked several times in the past few months by dogs when he went in various yards to read the light meter. They have asked that we publicize the fact that it would be greatly appreciated by them, that owners of dogs which are vicious keep them tied on meter reading day.

Game Warden Chas. Vavak brought a nice bunch of pussy willows into the SUN office the first of the week which would seem to indicate that spring is in the offing. The pussy willows were found on the lower Stollsteimer.

Work was started this week on a new grocery store and filling station on the H. Risinger property in the West side of town. The business is being started by Mr. Roberson, who owns the Gulf Station on Put Hill.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 4, 1927

Walter Zabriske of Pagosa Junction has turned in his resignation as postmaster at that point. Walter has been a faithful servant of Uncle Sam for twenty-six years - five as clerk and twenty-one years as postmaster.

The Women's Civic Club will hold a rag rug and apron sale this spring. A work session will be held in April at the Hersch home for final preparations for the sale. Each member should have their donations ready at that time.

The recent heavy snow amounted to 4-1/2 to 5 feet on the level in the Blanco Basin, while at an altitude of about 8500 on Squaretop Mountain the depth reached about 7-1/2 feet.

Dr. A.J. Nossaman returned from Denver where he had been attending the clinic at Colorado General Hospital.

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of February 24, 1911

The Star Theatre, the new moving picture show, opened for business Monday night to a crowded house and made a big hit. The pictures are above the average and shown as good as they can be show anywhere. With Miss Alice Hill as the vocalist and Miss Ruth Roper at the piano the illustrated song feature is most attractive.

Don't forget about the High School play. It is coming. The play is "The Merchant of Venice" modernized.

Dock Taylor is preparing his home in town for occupancy some time next month, when he and Mrs. Taylor will move down from the ranch.

The Pagosa Eagles will give a grand masquerade ball on the evening of March 17. The dances given by the Eagles are always given right.

Inside The Sun

Babysitter training helps youngsters learn patience, practical response and safety

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Small businesses grow in several shapes and sizes.

Some are complete with a downtown storefront and merchandise. Others may be visible only through mail order, and still more may compete for attention on the World Wide Web.

Jim Reser deals with them all. He is the director of the small business development center at Fort Lewis College, and part of his job is to provide small business advice to communities in Archuleta, La Plata, Dolores, San Juan and Montezuma counties.

He comes here for one day, once a month, as long as someone has signed up to speak with him. Each session lasts about an hour.

Most people, he said, start with one or two questions - "Is this really free?" (The answer is yes.) or "What are the steps to starting a small business?" (The answer is money, marketing and management.)

"If you think of a business as a human being," he said, "money is the blood that runs through it. Marketing is the heart - it pumps money through to feed the production facility - the lungs and stomach."

Sharon Rose, one of two proprietors of Harmony Works, made an appointment back in 1995.

"I knew what I wanted to do," she said. "I had already rented the space, but he helped me with a business plan, searching out distributors and setting up accounts. He gave me a lot of encouragement." She started small, some books, cards and homeopathics.

Reser's help gave her that push, a role he finds himself fulfilling frequently.

"I get a lot more people that come in just one time, they get a bunch of information and then they go off and do it. Six months to a year later, they might come back with more questions."

Some will come back every three or four months. Others schedule an appointment annually just to get feedback on progress and future goals.

Right now, Reser said, the economic decline in the aftermath of Sept. 11, and some cutbacks in high-tech positions over the past 18 months are actually pushing more people to consider small business options.

"When people get cut, that's when they start thinking, 'I have to own my own business,'" Reser said. Recently, he's seen interest building in service sectors. People are considering careers in alternative health care, massage therapy or cleaning services. Specific to Pagosa Springs, he said, many people who come to see him have retired early from a successful career and look to scale back to become more portable.

"As a lifestyle choice they want to go somewhere beautiful like Pagosa Springs," he said. "They might be here three weeks and back in the home office for one week."

Two years ago, Scott Farnham, president of Civil Design Team, Inc., left a large architectural firm in Boulder to start his own business, giving up high dollars for the beauty and community here.

"We spent a month down here before the actual move," Farnham said. "We talked to people, gave ourselves a chance to get in tune with the community and gain direction."

They also spoke with Reser a couple of times, using the opportunity to discuss the business plan and "pretty much shoot ideas back and forth," Farnham said. As part of those meetings, Reser also offered information on some local trade organizations, contacts that continue to prove useful.

After two years, Farnham said, opportunities in the community have opened up, but over half of last year's income still resulted from jobs in larger cities.

"Our business is service-oriented," he said. "We've done work from Durango to the Front Range." In the future, that grid could expand to include Utah and New Mexico.

Of course, the reasons for opening a small business vary dramatically. Some people use it as a second job, others may want to move their work in-house to care for an ailing relative, and still others see it as the realization of a lifetime dream to be their own boss. Whatever the goal, Reser said, the key is to have a plan way before the grand opening. Research helps ensure the idea will fly, points to how much money is necessary and outlines what kind of commitment is required.

"It's so much better to make the mistake on paper before spending very much money," Reser said. When it does all come together, the result can be a joy on several levels.

"I get to be my own boss," Rose said. "I don't know if I could handle somebody telling me what to do."

For Farnham, the greatest part of owning a business is the challenge of being stretched beyond the box of engineering.

"I've been doing engineering for 30 years," Farnham said. "Engineering is easy. The challenge is to maintain the quality of services, the level of services, to get out there and talk to people."

The next step, he said, would be to develop the local resources for small businesses to extend the once-a-month one-on-one discussion. What Pagosa Springs needs is to bring business owners together in a forum that encourages general support and encouragement and works to address local problems.

"We're in desperate need for educated people," Farnham said. "The questions is 'How do we train people and keep them?'"

Jim Reser, Director

Where: Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College

What: Offers free small business consultation in Pagosa Springs

When: March 22

How: Call Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce 264-2360 for appointment

RESER_J@fortlewis.edu soba.fortlewis.edu/sbdc

PLPOA board president will not seek reelection

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Traves Garrett has filed an affidavit with the Archuleta County Clerk affirming her intention of seeking re-election as Archuleta County Treasurer. Garrett filed as a Republican.

Garrett has been county treasurer since first elected to serve in the office starting in January, 1991. Prior to being elected treasurer, Garrett served in the former treasurer's office starting in February of 1989.

"I like my job and know how to do it," Garrett said. "I have been doing it for over 11 years and would like to continue."

In addition to being a certified county treasurer, Garrett is the Archuleta County Public Trustee, a position attached to the position of county treasurer.

Garrett points with pride at the longevity of employees in her office. The desire of employees to continue working for her is evidence that she is doing a good job and increases office efficiency, Garrett said.

"The employees in my office have been here as long or longer than I have," Garrett said. "The exception is our new girl, who has been here four years. Growth in the county has increased our work load, but the number of employees remains the same as when I started."

"I attribute this low turnover to the employees being well trained and to having a good computer system," Garrett continued. "This allows us to accomplish more with fewer employees. This also allows the office to operate on a smaller budget."

After purchasing property in Pagosa Springs in 1982, Garrett and husband Derall moved to Pagosa Springs in 1986. Before moving to Pagosa Springs, they owned a chain of convenience stores in Oklahoma. Garrett has been in the accounting and investing field for 35 years. She and Derall have been married 39 years and raised five children. The youngest graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.

Since first being elected Archuleta County Treasurer, Traves has served on a number of related statewide organizations. She has also been honored by her peers in county government.

The Colorado Counties Treasurer Association presented Garrett with the Outstanding Treasurer Award for Distinguished Public Service in 1996.

Garrett has actively served on the conference committee, historical committee, audit committee, resolution committee, and as chairperson of District 6 within the Colorado Counties Treasurer Association.

For three years she has served on the accreditation committee, and for six years on the treasurer's education committee, in the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officers, and Treasurers.

Garrett explains her job this way: "As county treasurer I am the custodian of all funds that come into the county, even though some of these funds belong to other entities such as school districts, the library district, hospital district, water district, metro districts and others. I am guided by state statutes concerning collections and functions of the office. I also invest any excess money the county has, earning interest at the best rates possible."

If re-elected, Garrett promises to "continue to maintain the high standard of service the public has come to expect from my office over the past 11 years."

Garrett will seek re-election as county treasurer

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Traves Garrett has filed an affidavit with the Archuleta County Clerk affirming her intention of seeking re-election as Archuleta County Treasurer. Garrett filed as a Republican.

Garrett has been county treasurer since first elected to serve in the office starting in January, 1991. Prior to being elected treasurer, Garrett served in the former treasurer's office starting in February of 1989.

"I like my job and know how to do it," Garrett said. "I have been doing it for over 11 years and would like to continue."

In addition to being a certified county treasurer, Garrett is the Archuleta County Public Trustee, a position attached to the position of county treasurer.

Garrett points with pride at the longevity of employees in her office. The desire of employees to continue working for her is evidence that she is doing a good job and increases office efficiency, Garrett said.

"The employees in my office have been here as long or longer than I have," Garrett said. "The exception is our new girl, who has been here four years. Growth in the county has increased our work load, but the number of employees remains the same as when I started."

"I attribute this low turnover to the employees being well trained and to having a good computer system," Garrett continued. "This allows us to accomplish more with fewer employees. This also allows the office to operate on a smaller budget."

After purchasing property in Pagosa Springs in 1982, Garrett and husband Derall moved to Pagosa Springs in 1986. Before moving to Pagosa Springs, they owned a chain of convenience stores in Oklahoma. Garrett has been in the accounting and investing field for 35 years. She and Derall have been married 39 years and raised five children. The youngest graduated from Pagosa Springs High School.

Since first being elected Archuleta County Treasurer, Traves has served on a number of related statewide organizations. She has also been honored by her peers in county government.

The Colorado Counties Treasurer Association presented Garrett with the Outstanding Treasurer Award for Distinguished Public Service in 1996.

Garrett has actively served on the conference committee, historical committee, audit committee, resolution committee, and as chairperson of District 6 within the Colorado Counties Treasurer Association.

For three years she has served on the accreditation committee, and for six years on the treasurer's education committee, in the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officers, and Treasurers.

Garrett explains her job this way: "As county treasurer I am the custodian of all funds that come into the county, even though some of these funds belong to other entities such as school districts, the library district, hospital district, water district, metro districts and others. I am guided by state statutes concerning collections and functions of the office. I also invest any excess money the county has, earning interest at the best rates possible."

If re-elected, Garrett promises to "continue to maintain the high standard of service the public has come to expect from my office over the past 11 years."

'Food for Friends' drive to restock area pantries

The fourth annual "Food for Friends" drive, designed to replenish stocks in area charity food pantries which have been depleted of donations received in pre-holiday drives, will be ongoing through the month of March.

April Bergman, local coordinator for the drive, said donations may be dropped off at Curves for Women, 117 Navajo Trail Drive (behind the Hog's Breath) or at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center at Hot Springs Boulevard.

Non-perishable items should be delivered to Curves on Monday, Wednesday or Friday 7 a.m.-noon or 4-7 p.m., on Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m.-noon and 4-7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.

Hours at the Chamber are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Last year's drive collected almost a million pounds of food nationally - 900 pounds of it here in Pagosa Springs. Drive planners hope to get over a thousand pounds in Pagosa Springs this year.

Seuss-a-bration, book sale begin

in elementary school

By Lisa Scott

Special to the SUN

It's Seuss-a-bration time in Pagosa Springs Elementary School as local students join millions across the nation to celebrate the joy of reading by honoring Dr. Seuss' 98th birthday.

An evening of stories for students and their families is planned from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. Seventeen community members will be storytellers, each reading or telling a tale of their choice.

This family night will be broken into four story time sessions so visitors will be able to see a flannel board presentation by Margie Martinez, hear cowboy poetry from Butch Madrid, "The Great Stone Face" by Don Ford, or any of 14 other choices.

Many students have been making Dr. Seuss hats for themselves in art classes. Children may wear their pajamas to this event and refreshments will be served.

The multi-day celebration begins tomorrow with a birthday "Green Eggs and Ham" breakfast and a "Diffendoofer Day" lunch. Family members have been invited to dine with the students.

Running throughout the celebration is the Scholastic Book Fair which began Wednesday and continues through March 7 during school hours. The fair will be open from 5-8:30 p.m. during story night. A huge selection of books, software, posters, pencils, journals and more is available.

Gas-oil royalties bill passes but opposition mounts

Sen. Isgar's Report

The battle over royalty payments from oil and gas companies was a major fight this last couple of weeks. SB 141 will impact thousands of people in Southwestern Colorado. Senator Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) sponsored the bill. I have worked well with him in the past, but we violently disagreed on this bill. I initially stalled this legislation with a request for a fiscal note, hoping Attorney General Ken Salazar would have an opportunity to give his opinion on the bill because it overturns a unanimous Colorado Supreme Court ruling.

The oil and gas industry had greased the skids on this bill before the session started. They had many sponsors in the leadership on both sides of the isle. I was not aware of the bill until it was in committee where it passed 7-0. The bill should have been assigned to my committee - Agriculture - but it was assigned to another committee that was more favorable to it. Our work was cut out for us. I got it held up initially by requesting a fiscal note. I received help from Senator Ken Gordon in slowing it down. That stopped it until the next Wednesday.

Don Gosney and Richard Parry came up Tuesday and we worked with Bob Miller. They talked to the Senate sponsor, Ed Perlmutter and were able to add a couple of amendments. One amendment was to delete the requirement in the bill that a royalty owner would be barred from recovering underpaid royalties from a producer if the royalty owner had not requested an explanation by certified mail. He agreed to add this amendment. This amendment had Perlmutter's name on it but it is there because of our arguments.

We could not stop the second reading of the bill and it passed but with our amendments intact. We were able to hold the bill up to Friday and that is when I offered an amendment on third reading, something that is usually impossible to do. I convinced Perlmutter to accept another amendment on third reading. The Royalty Payments Proceeds Act required that oil companies had to report the deductions taken from royalty owners on their check stubs. Many producers do not comply with that requirement. Under the amendment, if they continue to not comply, the statute of limitations will not run against royalty underpayment claims.

That was a good amendment. The bill passed as amended. I still thought the bill was unfair because royalty payments keep farmers and ranchers on the land and in business. I voted against it. The score was 6 against, 27 for and 2 absent. When other senators saw the bill was going to pass, some voted for it to support their leaders.

We lost but by delaying the bill and bringing attention to it, we now have mustered a lot of opposition to the bill. The Farmer's Union, the Farm Bureau, Colorado Cattlemen's Association, the Dairy Farmers of America are all opposed to it. The royalty owners have also hired lobbyists and the strength of the opposition is building rapidly and the war is not over yet.

I was more successful on a consumer health care issue this week, when my "prompt pay" for health insurance claims proposal (SB 13) passed the full Senate with little controversy. This is a consumer-friendly bill that streamlines the payment of all health insurance claims by consolidating claim forms into a standardized document, penalizing companies that do not comply with deadlines and modernizing the industry through a requirement that makes all health insurance companies accept electronically filed health insurance claims by Oct. 1, 2002.

Another insurance bill (SB 131) concerned insurance coverage for additional mental disorders. I voted for this important bill and it passed on a party line vote.

Court approves remap; precinct caucuses delayed

Rep Larson's Report

Last week I failed to mention, as promised to Ted Johnson of Durango, our regional representative on the State Veterans Council, the Veteran's Cemetery Income Tax Check-off program and urge readers to please support this worthy program. Until this cemetery was authorized in Grand Junction, Western Slope veterans could only be laid to rest in the Denver cemetery. With over 410,000 veterans in our great state, it is only appropriate that we recognize and honor their contribution to our country by supporting the Western Slope Veterans Cemetery. Please mark the check-off box when filing your tax return.

The Colorado Supreme Court this week approved the legislative reapportionment maps, but there is yet to be a ruling on congressional redistricting. Due to the delays and the time it will take county clerks to reconfigure precincts for the 2002 elections, Secretary of State Donetta Davidson asked the legislature to delay precinct caucuses by two weeks from April 9 to April 23. HB02-1340 moves the caucuses back to the April 23 date. Accordingly, new precinct boundaries will not have to be in place until that date, and a preliminary list of registered electors to each major political party will be provided by the county clerks "as soon as practicable" under the bill. County assemblies will then be required to be held between April 23 and May 18.

A map of the new 59th House district and the new 6th Senate district are available on the internet at state. co.us/gov_dir/stateleg.html. By clicking on "Reapportionment" at this site and then selecting the map you wish to view, one can continue clicking on the maps and enlarge them all the way down to the street level of a particular district.

SB02-141, "Determination of Royalty Payment of Oil and Gas Leases" passed out of the senate on Friday despite the superhuman efforts of Sen. Isgar to delay or kill the measure. I cannot recall when a bill has demanded so much of my time before it even clears the Senate! This bill is yet another example of the industry wielding its considerable lobbying power over the legislative process to the detriment of the citizens of the state. While I watched Sen. Isgar utilize incredibly resourceful procedural tactics while attempting to derail this royalty grabbing special interest bill, I became concerned what rules might remain untapped that I could move. The House sponsor is particularly resourceful and will anticipate most procedural moves. Plus, already having the Speaker and Majority Leader as co-sponsors, this bill could be expedited through the process with amazing speed. My fear is that most legislators will not understand what this bill does. It is very important that royalty owners continue to mount a statewide effort of contacting their legislators, and let them know that this one vote could easily sway their vote at the polls in the next election. The impact of this bill on royalty owners is significant and in many cases would mean the difference of being able to stay on their property or not.

The budget debate continues. The Joint Budget Committee is attempting to protect the 6-percent appropriations growth under TABOR through legislation, HB02-1327. This bill places programs that were not traditional counted under the 6 percent limitations within that requirement so as to protect the appropriations growth in the out years. Without these protections, next year's 6 percent growth base will be reduced significantly. Accordingly, future years appropriations growth will only be allowed to grow from that reduced base. There was significant opposition to this proposal but it is now on its way to the Senate.

Former Pagosa man promoted

to Los Alamos leadership post

Sen. Isgar's Report

Richard A. Marquez, son of Ruth and the late Reuben R. Marquez of Pagosa Springs has been named Associate Director for Administration at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Director John Browne, making the announcement, said, "Rich has extensive experience dealing with the federal government, so he has great understanding of national perspectives, but his roots in southern Colorado and long-time residency in New Mexico mean he also understands our important regional issues.

"Based on Rich's track record of successes in business operations and regional involvement, I expect him to make invaluable contributions to our overall efforts toward integrated management, improved efficiencies in our programmatic accomplishments and being the best corporate neighbor we can be."

"Virtually all of my career has been devoted to accomplishing missions in support of strong national security," Marquez said. "And I am enthusiastic about contributing as a member of Director Browne's management team to the success of Los Alamos' mission."

Marquez graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1970, attended Colorado State University and the University of New Mexico where he received his law degree. Prior to the new appointment, he was with the Department of Energy's Albuquerque operations office where he received a number of awards for innovative management approaches, modernizing business practices, workplace enhancements and championing inclusion of small and minority businesses in federal procurement programs.

County 4-H joins in developing national concept

Members of 4-H from around Colorado gathered Feb. 3 with representatives from other youth groups to pinpoint how communities and youth groups could help youngsters and teens grow into productive, positive adults.

The meeting, part of a nationwide movement organized by 4-H, led to ideas and an action plan that will be presented to President George Bush, his cabinet, and Congress. This action plan will be implemented by 4-H and other youth groups (such as Scouts) on a community level. The event, "Colorado Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century," was sparked by the 100th anniversary of 4-H in the nation. As part of the centennial celebration, the conversations brought together youth, adults, community and civic leaders in Colorado and across the nation to discuss ways to improve communities through volunteerism and youth development. "This event really gave youth of all ages a chance to be heard by adults," said Dale Leidheiser, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Youth Specialist. The program gave youth the ability to make decisions about what kinds of support will help them successfully brave adolescence and develop life skills to be responsible, productive, compassionate, empowered adults.

Delegates from Colorado Conversation will travel to Washington, D.C., to join 100,000 youth and adults from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the five U.S. territories to create a plan of action for communities and youth.

The day after the Colorado Conversation, a proclamation was read in the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate declaring Colorado 4-H Day. 4-H is an organization led by Colorado State University Cooperative Extension within the state and by the broader Cooperative Extension system around the nation. Originally focused on agricultural projects, 4-H has followed the needs and interests of youth into urban and suburban communities. The organization involves youth in its development and government and engages them in community service and activities that hold their interest while providing guidance by adult volunteers. More than 6.8 million youth are involved in 4-H programs each year. Below is a copy of the proclamation.

House Joint Resolution 02-1013

WHEREAS, Succeeding generations of well-educated, concerned, and involved youth are required to ensure that America has a competent and innovative work force, a cohesive social structure, an effective education system, strong leadership, continued economic prosperity, and healthy communities in the years to come; and

WHEREAS, The 4-H Program is founded on the notion that youth are a vital resource for ensuring a better tomorrow, and that assisting youth as they prepare for the future is the 4-H Program's central mission; and

WHEREAS, In 2002, the National 4-H Program is celebrating its centennial as one of our nation's longest serving youth development programs, offering a wealth of opportunities for young people to acquire decision-making, leadership, and communication skills, as well as a host of other life skills, in a hands-on, friendly learning environment; and

WHEREAS, Since 1914, young people in all parts of Colorado have employed 4-H's "learn-by-doing" philosophy while working on a wide range of constructive and engaging projects and, in the process, have learned to manage time, follow through on commitments, meet deadlines, and cooperate with one another; and

WHEREAS, Nearly 150,000 Colorado youth, with the guidance of over 10,000 adult and youth volunteer leaders, currently contribute to their communities and gain practical experience in such subject areas as workforce preparation and career exploration, leadership and volunteerism, character and ethics, food and nutrition, agriculture and natural resources, conservation, consumer decision-making, veterinary medicine, animal sciences, and public speaking, just to name a few; and

WHEREAS, For 50 years the Colorado 4-H Youth Fund, Inc., has provided invaluable support to Colorado 4-H by funding programs for which public funds are unavailable and by providing awards and recognition to Colorado 4-H participants; and

WHEREAS, Colorado 4-H provides youth an opportunity to interact with people from other countries and cultures through its international exchange program, which pairs participants from other nations with host families in Colorado and places Colorado 4-H members in homes abroad; and

WHEREAS, The 4-H emblem, a green, four-leaf clover with a white "H" on each leaf, represents the characteristics each 4-H participant develops: Head, which involves thinking, making decisions, and learning new things; heart, which entails caring about other people, accepting responsibility, and developing positive values; hands, which symbolize the effort to acquire and perfect new skills; and health, which involves protecting the well-being of the self and others; and

WHEREAS, Participation in 4-H in Colorado is open to youth from all economic, social, and cultural backgrounds between the ages of 5 and 19; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Sixty-third General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the Senate concurring herein:

(1) That the General Assembly salutes the Colorado 4-H Program in its efforts to prepare Colorado's youth for the future.

(2) That the General Assembly commends the Colorado 4-H Youth Fund, Inc., on its 50th anniversary, for its work in supporting the mission of the Colorado 4-H program.

(3) That the General Assembly wishes to encourage young people in Colorado to get a head start on life by participating in 4-H activities.

Be It Further Resolved, That the State of Colorado hereby declares this day, February 4, 2002, Colorado 4-H Day in recognition of the 4-H Program's efforts on behalf of Colorado's youth.

Doug Dean SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Stan Matsunaka PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

Judith Rodrigue CHIEF CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Karen Goldman SECRETARY OF THE SENATE.

Weather pattern changing, precipitation possible

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

After a winter filled with sunny skies and little snowfall, a change could be in the air for Pagosa Country residents. Change could include precipitation.

"We have been in a northwest flow all winter," said Joe Ramey, forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "That has been unfortunate for the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains. Changes are happening in the Eastern Pacific that could lead to a westerly flow in our area. A westerly flow means more precipitation. Whether it is rain or snow depends on the temperature at the time."

Local skies should have been mostly cloudy as the sun came up this morning, according to Ramey. By tonight, skies should be completely cloudy with a 20-percent chance for snow. By tomorrow morning, skies should be clearing once again.

Pagosa weather should remain relatively clear and warm until late Tuesday, when the westerly winds predicted by Ramey should move into the area. Tuesday night and Wednesday present the best chance for precipitation in the San Juans this coming week, according to Ramey.

Ramey is quick to point out that the reliability of forecasts is low concerning weather conditions more than three days into the future.

On Feb. 20, 0.25 inches of new snowfall was measured at Stevens Field, the local U.S. Weather Service gauging station. For February, 0.5 inches of snow have fallen in town. Average February snowfall is 18.8 inches.

Total snowfall for the season at Wolf Creek Ski Area is 178 inches with 3 new inches recorded over the last seven days. Snow depth at the ski resort midway point is 46 inches, at the summit 58 inches. Wednesday morning's temperature at 6:30 was 3 degrees.

Average high temperatures last week ranged between 35 and 48 degrees. The average high temperature was 41 degrees. Saturday's 48 degrees is the highest temperature recorded during 2002.

Average low temperatures recorded last week ranged between 8 and 21 degrees, with an average low temperature of 12 degrees.

Rate reduction errors stall a million IRS refunds

The Internal Revenue Service says errors related to a new line of the basic income tax forms may delay refunds by a week or more for taxpayers filing incorrect returns.

The IRS already has found more than a million returns with these Rate Reduction errors.

This credit is on line 47 of Form 1040, line 30 of Form 1040A, and line 7 of Form 1040EZ. The credit is for those who did not get the maximum benefit through last summer's advance payments, and whose 2001 income or tax amounts qualify them for an additional amount.

Taxpayers who received the limit for their filing status should leave this credit line blank. The maximum amounts are:

$300 for a single person or married person filing separately

$500 for a head of household

$600 for a married couple filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er).

The main errors taxpayers are making on the Rate Reduction credit line are:

entering the Advance Payment amount, when the line should be blank because the taxpayer already has received the maximum benefit

entering a credit amount, when the line should be blank because the taxpayer is a dependent

leaving the line blank, when the taxpayer actually qualifies for the credit; or

figuring the credit amount incorrectly.

If you could be claimed as a dependent in both 2000 and 2001, you don't qualify for the Advance Payment or the Rate Reduction Credit. Instead, you get the benefit of a lower tax rate by completing the "Tax Computation Worksheet for Certain Dependents" in the tax instructions. If you could be claimed as a dependent in 2000 but not in 2001, complete the Rate Reduction Credit Worksheet to find your credit amount.

Even if you are not putting anything on the credit line, your tax preparer - or the tax preparation software you use - may ask for your Advance Payment information to be sure this line is handled correctly. Some taxpayers mistakenly want to report this payment amount as a "taxable refund" on line 10 or as "other income" on line 21 of Form 1040. It is not taxable and you should not put it anywhere on the tax form. You would only use it in the worksheet for figuring the Rate Reduction Credit.

The IRS sent taxpayers a notice last year informing them of the Advance Payment amount they would receive and the date to expect the check. If you don't remember the amount or misplaced the notice, you can call the IRS TeleTax system at (800) 829-4477 and get the amount.

If you received less than your 2001 filing status maximum amount as an Advance Payment, you may be entitled to claim the credit now. This is because the Advance Payments were based on your 2000 tax information, but your income or tax may have been higher in 2001.

If you leave the line blank when you should be claiming the credit, the IRS should correct your error, but this correction may delay your refund.

If you made an error related to this credit, you should not file an amended return until after the IRS processes your original return. The IRS is checking all returns to see that the Rate Reduction Credit line is handled properly and should notify you of any change it makes. The IRS is rejecting e-filed returns that show the Advance Payment amount on this line or that show a dependent claiming the credit, so that the taxpayer or return preparer may quickly fix the problem and transmit a corrected return.

For help in completing the Rate Reduction Credit line:

visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov

call IRS TeleTax (toll-free) at (800) 829-4477, press "3" to listen to recorded tax topics and choose topic 609; or

call the toll-free tax help line at (800) 829-1040.

County approves contract for engineers

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Contracts for engineering services were approved by the Archuleta County commissioners while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

The engineering services contracted are generally related to land and road development in the county. Subdivision and road construction projects often require engineering inspections to ensure compliance with county standards.

In former years, the county had an engineer on staff charged with conducting county-required inspections. Last year, the county contracted those responsibilities on a demand basis. Demand basis means the engineers work only when asked. Consequently, they are paid only when asked to perform a service instead of collecting an annual salary. The contract procedures conducted Tuesday amounted to renewing what was done last year.

Alpha Engineering is the prime contract engineer for the county. If for some reason Alpha Engineering cannot respond to a county request, either Davis Engineering Service, Inc., or Civil Design Team, Inc., is contracted as the back-up engineer.

The county has allocated $45,000 in the 2002 budget for contract engineering services.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

Approved as a concept transferring title to the land on which the El Centro building rests on South 8th Street to the Durango 4-H Council. Pagosa Springs is considering transferring title of the El Centro Building to the same organization. The property is used for the local Headstart program.

Postponed action on a request for money to be used in the Pagosa Trails Project. On behalf of the Trails Project, Larry Lynch, PLPOA Department of Property and Environment Manager, asked the county for funds collected by the county from developers through a money-in-lieu of sidewalks provision contained in subdivision regulations. After a lengthy discussion, transfer of funds was postponed until the county develops a disbursement policy in connection with the sidewalk fund

Renewed an agreement connected with copier services with the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce

Approved was use of certain county software as a match in a grant application to obtain funding for a defensible space fire prevention demonstration at two locales in Archuleta County

Funded the purchase of $9,250 in radios and other equipment connected with search and rescue requirements

Renewed a contract for drug testing administered to certain county employees

Approved extension of a warranty bond posted in connection with improvements at South Shore Estates until weather conditions are more favorable for on-site inspections.

Downtown revitalization: Nearly 50 volunteer

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff writer

Community leaders, business and property owners packed the municipal court building to hear about downtown revitalization.

About 50 people filled the chairs Feb. 13, and most volunteered to be on development committees following a discussion which used the Colorado Main Street Program as the key example.

Chris Bentley, town planner, said the Main Street program as a whole might not fit Pagosa Springs, but suggested that the community might eventually want to look at adopting some of the program's methodology.

"Our aim in this meeting is to plant some seeds," she said. "There are lots of things coming together in the downtown area." She pointed to the U.S. 160 repaving project set to come through town in the summer, a new park and bell tower on the old Town Hall site and a historic building survey to be completed this spring as examples of ongoing downtown development.

The statewide Main Street program is a competitive, grass-roots philosophy based on a four-point approach - organization, promotion, economic restructuring and design.

It requires a minimum three-year commitment from communities selected through an annual application process. In return, these Main Street communities receive training, organizational help, planning and design assistance.

"There's actually a contract we sign," Barbara Silverman, executive director of the Colorado Community Revitalization Association - the group which administers the Main Street program - said. "You have to make a commitment to us and we make a commitment to you."

Part of that commitment is buy-in to the four-point approach. Silverman touched briefly on the goals of each point, emphasizing that success comes from working on them simultaneously.

The real key to organization, she said, is a large number of volunteers including community leaders, business owners, consumers and property owners.

"It takes a huge volunteer effort," she said. "Everything you do is going to cost money whether it's to print flyers for a Christmas sale or paving a street."

Promotion, she said, is all the ways of telling people how much fun the downtown can be. Downtown image, logo, brochures, marketing, retail sales and special events are all pieces of the pie.

Design encompasses everything consumers see: building facades, store decor, window displays, signage, streetscape, even "pedestrian amenities," a developer's phrase for benches and trash receptacles.

Economic restructuring means taking a hard look at structures to determine their most effective use. It includes strengthening existing opportunities in the community, finding uses for vacant buildings and putting the second and third stories to use downtown.

History

The National Main Street Program was actually established in the 1980s by the National Trust for Historical Preservation and operates in some form in all states today. Five Colorado communities, Delta, Durango, Grand Junction, Manitou Springs, and Sterling, participated in the National Main Street Center's pilot project from 1980-83. From the pilot project the Department of Local Affairs established a revolving loan program and Colorado Initiatives Program, but dropped the Main Street approach.

Then, in 1999, the Colorado Community Revitalization Association approached the Colorado Historical Society for initial funding to restart a Main Street program in the state. The request was approved, and, in Feb. 2001, Brush, Canon City, Greeley and Montrose were accepted into the reintroduced Main Street program. Cortez and Olde Town Arvada were designated Main Street communities in Feb. 2002.

Reality

Dan Aupperle, president of Citizen's Bank in Pagosa Springs, told the group he got a first-hand look at the success of the Main Street approach when he lived in Wisconsin.

"I was a skeptic," he said. "I used to refer to Main Street people as hysteric preservationists." However, being part of the process changed his mind.

"The most visible byproduct of renovation was the facades," he said. "Every building in two blocks was spruced up, remodeled." In the first three years alone, several hundred thousand dollars was spent updating the appearance of downtown. That in itself, he said, can increase property values and can help make downtown a place people want to be.

Aupperle said participation in the program also led the town to develop design guidelines for future development and worked toward making the community a destination instead of a gas stop.

Facelifts

In Colorado, Mark Jones, of Del Norte, is an architect who works with Main Street communities on designs for refurbishing storefronts. Each community selected for the program has opportunity to select up to 12 buildings for design assistance.

"Our approach is let's find the real essence of these buildings whether its 1875 or 1935," Jones said. "I claim my job is to follow the tin man around Colorado and pull the tin off."

Jones takes pictures, crawls in attics and provides property owners with a model of what could be. The final construction drawings and costs are the responsibility of the owners and community.

Next step

Bentley said the next step is organizing. Since nearly everyone in attendance volunteered to serve on a committee - architecture, historical, promotion or streetscape - it's now a matter of matching up schedules.

For more information, or committee meeting times, call Bentley at Town Hall 264-4151 ext. 235.

Letters

How time flys

Dear Editor,

I read the HD Mountains Environmental Impact Statement some eight years ago when I was a senator for Western Colorado Congress. We warned the county commissioners and the county through letters to the editor of the coming disaster, yet nothing was done. So don't say you weren't forewarned. It pays to listen to environmentalists.

Ron Alexander

Coming together

Dear Editor;

I, too, am a property owner in Aspen Springs. In the last four to five years I have read numerous letters batted back and forth by property owners who want to see some changes, don't want changes, feuds among neighbors, on and on.

Lots of individuals with problems and gripes, but I haven't read or heard of any solutions. Hopefully there have been some that I missed. I also find it peculiar that there never seems to be such letters of anger from other communities, such as Pagosa Lakes, Meadows, etc.

Why does Aspen Springs seem to be the problem area of the whole county? I thought neighbors were supposed to be friends, knowing each other, looking out for each other and being first to respond in times of need. Neighbors should be considerate of each other about such things as the safety, health and appearance of their property because these things affect not only our neighbors but are a reflection on our community as a whole.

And, frankly, I find it somewhat embarrassing that people in our community are airing out their problems in public. Why can't we find solutions among ourselves?

Colorado is the third fastest growing state in the union. Pagosa, including Aspen Springs, is right in there. With growth also comes change. That is an inevitable fact. The question is, do we want to have some community control over change, or would we rather continue arguing among ourselves and wake up one day to find that change has been made for us?

All these letters allow people to get things off their chest, but that's the end of it. However, hidden in these angry letters of opposition, I see a common interest among us - strong feelings about our community.

Would it not be much more productive for us to sit at one table and channel these strong ideas and feelings in a direction that would bring us together and benefit our community at the same time?

Sure, we don't all agree on everything. But show me two partners who always agree and I'll show you one who is not needed. We could start by using what we already have. Aspen Springs has a property owners' association. We have a meeting place in Unit 5 where we can sit, together, at one table.

Rather than just bark at each other, let us come together as friends and neighbors. Aspen Springs is OUR community. As an organized group we really can make a difference. We can find a meeting of minds and channel all these strong feelings into improving our community . . . and making friends and having good neighbors is icing on the cake.

Jack Brooks

Ugly justice

Dear Editor,

Here's another old saying Raymond Finney might consider: there are none so blind as those who will not see. The Palestinians are not suffering from an injustice - they are suffering from a history of self-defeating screw ups arising from blind hatred, being the willing dupes of other Arab troublemakers, envy, and possibly cultural self-loathing. In response, their leaders have chosen to bathe in the blood of innocents. Justice for them might not be a pretty thing.

Democracy, capitalism, and military strength may not be synonymous, but since World War II, they have been inextricably linked in every major nation where liberty exists, either directly or under the Allied-NATO umbrella of protection. Forgetting that fact, as the American left hopes we'll do, is the only thing that has ever cost us any real money or pain.

A GI Bill for the Third World sounds like a swell idea. Learning the superiority of the American system probably couldn't hurt them. I do wonder, though, where you would find a major university willing to teach such a heresy.

N. G. Constan

Audit demands

Dear Editor,

In light of the Enron accounting fiasco, voters may not be aware of accounting issues when it comes to the many governmental agencies and districts here in Archuleta County. State mandated accounting reviews for governmental agencies and districts are far less strict than you might believe. We have seen the impact of this reality recently with the major financial problems of the local hospital district. Not only were we not getting a true picture of the deficit state of that district, but major arithmetic errors were being made.

The county finances would appear to be simple - tax revenues come in and then are spent on our behalf. The reality is that county revenues don't flow in and out in the simple manner of our checking accounts where the balance is how much we have left over. Rather, the county has many accounts and reserves. Revenues pass from one to the other based on directions from the commissioners. This is not to suggest misappropriation, but only to suggest that our county finances are complex and largely hidden from us - and there is no public report that accurately reports the financial health of our county.

As an interested citizen, I recently had the chance to review the Year-2000 financial statement of PAWS. I am not an accountant but an engineer, so my conclusions are not those of an expert. What I found was an accounting system that did not track costs of operations in sensible ways that would support making recommendations on how to fairly charge for system expansions or improvements. While major capital items were being depreciated according to IRS standards, no reserve accounts existed to replace these capital items. It seems to me that PAWS is understating the true costs of operating our water district, anticipating that these costs will be paid for by future bond issues. Such accounting practices are all that is required for taxing districts.

The bottom line is that we have no rigorous financial accounting and auditing requirements for our local taxing districts and the county. I, for one, believe that we should demand rigorous audit reviews that go beyond the minimal state requirements for each of these taxing districts and the county. However, audits are no substitute for qualified financial management personal for the county and these taxing districts.

Perhaps the commissioners could take the lead by helping to define higher standards and providing pooled access to the kind of financial and accounting services that each district by itself seems unwilling or unable to provide. Certainly it is possible to define a high standard for financial accounting for the districts. Since the commissioners are required to certify each taxing district each year for its mill rate, perhaps they have the authority to insist on such a higher level of financial accountability for the districts. Is this is an issue that the candidates for the one county commissioner election for this year can address? I hope so.

T. A. Cruse

Call to attention

Dear Editor,

As the elections and voting times for the Board of County Commissioner approach, we should all look at the issues that have been confronting us or will confront us in the near future. They are not unknown or new to us if we pay even the slightest attention to what our local government has been doing (or not doing). These topics appear in the Pagosa SUN weekly and seem to be the conversations overheard in most every local organization's meetings. These issues should be looked at by every potential voter in determining who to support.

It is very easy to find out where our candidates really stand. All you have to do is review their voting records from when they were members of the Board of County Commissioners. You don't even have to listen to their campaign speeches, or read their ads and slogans if you don't want to. You can look directly at what they actually did. In other words, do they "walk the talk?" Some do; some don't. You be the judge with your vote and support. But get involved so that in this election a "minority of a minority" doesn't elect our representative. Your county is at stake. Evaluate the candidates on how they responded to these issues:

A) Roads

B) Community Plan

C) Budget

D) Professional staff independence

E) Existing regulations

F) Conflicts of interest

G) Oil and gas

H) Animal shelter

I) Businesslike government

J) Environment.

Thanks,

Jim Knoll

Drilling done right

Dear Editor,

I have been introspecting these last few weeks in order to determine whether or not it is selfish of me to feel oppositional towards the oil and gas companies for the hundreds of new wells they are proposing to drill in the Four Corners region. After all, I did choose to live in an area that is the storehouse of an energy resource that lots of other folks for away may need in order to maintain their quality of life.

This is what I've concluded. It is not self-serving or N.I.M.B.Y.-ish (Not In My Back Yard) of me to want my air and water to be non-poisonous. There are ways, of course, to get the gas out of the ground without destroying the environment, (Portugal did it); it would just cost the companies more. I'm not willing to live in a ruined land just so corporate profit margins can be larger. This is a time when collusion behind the scenes between big money interests and government agencies is not a far-fetched idea.

I would be proud to live in an area where state-of-the-art technologies were used to create a model for the rest of the world of how gas extraction could be done. But I am not willing to accept the half-truths and under-the-table dealings that are being handed out by the BLM and gas company strategists who'd like to keep Pete and Patsy Public ignorant and controlled. It is not worth it to denigrate, destabilize and disease this region for the 30 or 40 more years of oil and gas that may be left.

Fellow citizens, please heed these matters and help me make this clear to the powers that be; if gas drilling is going to be done at all, it is going to have to be done right. That means better than what's happening now.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Koeppen

Ignacio

Destructive moves

Dear Editor,

Actually, I am still amazed at the news of Neilson's Construction (the ones completing U.S. 550 between Durango and Farmington) seeking variances from the BoCC to place a gravel pit and asphalt plant on the San Juan River just south of U.S. 160 about a quarter mile east of Jackson Mountain Road.

When do you suppose this might stop? When there is no more than one continuous mile of undisturbed river left to us? Does anyone else have a problem with this? This is industry, folks! This is not commercial. The commissioners allowed a concrete industry to "leap-frog" into our neighborhood last year. Now, a company wants to "leap" over this part of our community, and go further up the river, with even more destructive industry.

I am aware that the land is privately owned. In fact, most of the land that surrounds our subdivision belongs to the same person. I am for property rights. I am a property owner as well. But, where do my rights end and the rights of others begin? We take our water directly from the river, treat and store it all within our subdivision. Just a few months ago, our Metro District and the residents of San Juan River Village spent nearly a hundred thousand dollars to put in a new well, new lines and equipment to make our water-gathering more efficient and reliable to a growing neighborhood.

At this very moment the river is so low due to ice and no moisture, that our new well is sucking air. Summers can be long and dry, especially with low snow pack. July, August and September are extremely busy months in Pagosa and in San Juan River Village. In 2002, we were not allowed to water our lawns or wash our vehicles. Many of us lost shrubs and trees during that time.

What do you suppose will happen April through September of 2002 if a company is allowed to mine 4,635,000 cubic feet of gravel 3/4 of a mile or so from our well? And then, suppose what might happen if they get the asphalt they want to make into our water, your water? Some of the most critical issues we face in this new century concern our water. God help us! Do not let the business interests of one company outweigh the rights and needs of many, and the careful guardianship of the most important natural resource in the entire county.

Pam Schoemig

Loving concern

Dear Editor

I'm not one to write publicly. Any dealings I have with people I keep personal. However, several letters have sparked my interest to write to you. Mrs. McIntyre wrote the first letter and the others were in response to her.

I also live in Aspen Springs. I have a business here. With my business I have been able to meet many of the people who live in Aspen Springs, Arboles and Pagosa Springs in general. I love working with the public. People are so diversified and that's what I enjoy about it. One thing I learned a long time ago was to never judge a person by their appearance; to treat people how you would in return like to be treated.

The letters written to you in the last few weeks did nothing more than name call. I have five children and this happens often until Mom steps in and solves the problem and hopefully, in the process, teaches them a thing or two. Instead of name-calling, people need to be taught and helped. I myself don't feel I'm past being taught.

Some people need help physically and financially and they need to be taught. Sometimes it does not take money to change an existing condition.

Its easy to tell someone else what needs to be done or not. The harder job is showing them and helping them and providing for them.

I know my letter isn't solving the problems with sewage, litter, water and whatever other imperfections there are. However, I am hoping that people will read and begin working as a community with compassion for each other. Compassion is a special word. It's one of those action words that is seldom used any more. It means pity or a loving concern, which often moves a person to provide help.

As a great man once quoted, "I did not come into the world to condemn it, but to save it."

Thank you,

Conni Smith

Sports Page

Martinez captures third with show of true prep grit

Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was one of the grittiest, most intense performances in the recent history of the Pirate wrestling program, and it brought Michael Martinez third place at 112 pounds in Class 3A.

Martinez, a sophomore, came to the tournament as one of the highest-rated fighters in his class. Coming off a fourth place finish at 103 pounds at the tournament last year, and lugging a 28-6 record, Martinez was in special company, bracketed with a bevy of extremely rough and successful wrestlers.

It would not be easy.

In fact, it would become a classical test of skill and character, a test Martinez would pass with flying colors.

For a first opponent, Martinez drew Steve Schoen a senior from Burlington with a 14-5 record.

The two athletes battled through most of the first period, failing to score, testing each other for weaknesses. Martinez finally drew first blood with a takedown with 20 seconds left in the period but Schoen responded with an escape to close the gap to 2-1.

Martinez took over in the second period. Starting down, the Pirate escaped then took Schoen down as time ran out, establishing a 5-2 lead.

Schoen escaped to start the third period but Martinez was in control. A final takedown gave him the 7-2 decision.

And put him into a battle with a pre-tournament favorite - Dustin Heffelman of Erie.

Heffelman came into the match with a gaudy 36-1 record and left the gate in the first period with a full head of steam. With a takedown and a 3-point near fall, Heffelman had a 5-0 lead after one period.

Martinez started down and scored two points with a reversal. Heffelman escaped and at period's end had a 6-2 advantage over Martinez. The wrestlers traded points in the third period. Heffelman got single points on two escapes, Martinez scored two points with a takedown and the wrestler from Erie had the win with an 8-4 decision.

Dropping to the consolation round, Martinez had his back against the wall. He responded brilliantly, showing a tenacity and focus that belied his years.

First up was Larry Todd of Hotchkiss, a senior with a 23-13 record. Todd left the mat on the short end of a 7-3 decision and Martinez left the mat to face a familiar opponent, Bobby Abeyta of Centauri.

The two IML wrestlers knew each other well and the match was tight from the outset, with no points scored in the opening period. Abeyta grabbed a 1-0 lead with a second-period escape.

Martinez started down in the third period. Abeyta surrendered a penalty point and the score was tied. Martinez escaped and earned the 2-1 decision and the right to move on to a match against Nick Gallegos (25-5) a junior from Highland.

Once again, the fighters were balanced and the first period went by without a score.

Martinez escaped to begin the second period, then took Gallegos down to extend the lead to 3-0. Gallegos escaped as the period ended then escaped at the start of the third period , shaving the Pirate's lead to 3-2. Martinez responded with a takedown. Gallegos escaped and Martinez held him off to the buzzer for the 5-3 win.

That victory put Martinez in the fight for third place against . . . Heffelman.

It was a match, said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky, that Martinez craved. Unlike most wrestlers who have been beaten by an opponent and seek to avoid another fight, Martinez was spoiling for the rematch.

And a truly great match it was: One that neither wrestler was prepared to lose, one in which both wrestlers would bring to bear every atom of energy and every element of skill they possessed.

Heffelman started the scoring with a takedown. Martinez escaped and the first period ended with the Erie athlete ahead 2-1.

Martinez started down in the second period and his eventual escape was the only score of the period, tying the match 2-2.

Heffelman started down in the third period and, counting on his ability to take Heffelman down, Martinez intentionally allowed an escape, giving Heffelman the 3-2 lead. The wrestlers battled ferociously, each trying every trick in the bag, each countering the other's moves. Several flurries resulted in no control and no points, and the clock was winding down.

Finally, with three seconds remaining on the clock. Martinez nailed a takedown, barely in bounds, and the buzzer sounded giving the Pirate an incredible 4-3 win and third place in the 112 pound weight class.

"What made it such a great tournament for Michael," said Janowsky," was not only his performances, but the quality of every one of his opponents. In his match against the kid from Highland and his first match against Heffelman, Michael didn't give anything away. They were tough opponents. After the first match with Heffelman, we knew Michael just might see him again. Sure enough, there was Heffelman with third on the line. Each came to the point where he knew if he wanted that medal he had to go through the other guy. That's how tough it is at that level, what a fine line there is between winning and losing."

While Martinez tried unsuccessfully to nail a fireman's carry in the first match with Heffelman, and tried the move unsuccessfully a couple of times in the rematch, the Pirate knew he had to elevate his opponent to take away his strengths.

"He had to get that guy off his feet," said the coach. "He had to get him in the air, the guy is such a good scrambler. Michael made the adjustments to what the guy was doing, and finally got him in the air where he couldn't use his hips. Michael got him just in the nick of time. It was a great victory for Michael and it capped a great season. It was one of the best matches I've seen since I started coaching this team."

Cold-shooting Ladies lucky to escape Bayfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Darren Hockett, Zeb Gill and Luke Boilini fought through a tough regular season wrestling schedule, then earned their way to the 2002 Class 3A championships at Denver with top-four finishes at the regional tournament.

At last week's state tournament, all three Pirates acquitted themselves well against formidable competition.

Hockett, a freshman, rode an impressive 26-8 record to Denver and continued his winning ways with a 10-4 decision over Kirk Platt of Olathe. Hockett had Platt on his back and in trouble in both the second and third periods of the match.

Hockett's next opponent was a rugged one: top-seed Mark Medina, of Eaton. Hockett put up an admirable fight against the senior, but dropped a 7-4 decision and fell to the consolation bracket.

In his first consolation match, the Pirate faced Chris Vigil of La Junta. With a 7-2 decision over the Tiger, Hockett moved on to fight highly-rated Matt Martinez of Frederick. Martinez inched ahead 1-0 in the first period with an escape. The wrestlers deadlocked in the second period, neither able to put points on the board. Martinez started down in the third period, escaped, got a takedown and won the match 4-0.

"Darren wrestled solid all the way through the tournament," said coach Dan Janowsky. "Actually, I think his best match was one he lost, against the senior (Medina). That was a real mature kid. Darren didn't panic when he got behind 5-0 in the first period. He didn't give up, he chipped away at that lead and showed some fine competitive instincts."

Zeb Gill battled in the always difficult 152-pound weight class and drew two highly-rated opponents. In his first match, Gill fought Johnny White, of Ellicot. Gill got the first takedown of the match. White escaped, got a takedown and scored with a 3-point near fall to go in front 6-2 after one period. White caught Gill slightly more than a minute into the second period and put the Pirate's shoulders to the mat for the fall.

Gill fought his second match of the tournament against senior Bill McCall of Lake County. Neither wrestler was able to score in the first period, with Gill successfully fending off several leg attacks by McCall.

The Lake County wrestler started down in the second period and went ahead 1-0 with an escape. Gill countered quickly, taking McCall down for a 2-1 lead. A reversal by McCall at the end of the period gave him the 3-2 advantage. Gill started down in the third period and McCall was able to turn him for the fall at 3 minutes 14 seconds of the match.

"I thought Zeb did a good job," said Janowsky. "He wrestled to his potential in two very tough matches. He scored his points, especially against the Lake County kid. I think, over the last two weeks, Zeb did himself proud."

Boilini returned to the Pepsi Center for the second year in a row, to end a stellar career as a Pirate wrestler.

Fighting at 189 pounds, Boilini started the tournament against another senior, Caleb Clark of Platte Valley. The match was lengthy, and exciting.

Boilini and Clark fought evenly in the first period, each unable to score. An escape at the outset of the second period gave Boilini a 1-0 lead. Clark started the third period in the down position and, like Boilini a period earlier, scored a single point with an escape. The clock ticked down before either wrestler could make a scoring move, and regulation time ended.

In the first overtime period, the wrestlers struggled for an advantage and a takedown. Neither wrestler succeeded.

A coin flip gave Boilini the choice of a starting position as the second overtime period began. Boilini picked down and an escape gave him the nailbiter 2-1 victory.

Boilini then squared off against unbeaten senior Creed James of Burlington. James, who would go on to the championship match, won with a 6-0 decision.

In his consolation round match, the Pirate fought Daylon Kerr of Lamar and Boilini's tournament ended with a slender 3-0 loss.

"I have really enjoyed coaching Luke," Janowsky said. "All along, Luke has got as much out of himself as possible, maximizing his strengths and minimizing his weaknesses. Luke is smart and he is determined, and he has used those two qualities to their fullest. He was competitive with everyone all year long."

His team's performance at the state meet pleased Janowsky.

"In one sense, this tournament substantiated what I've said about the whole team all season long: that we were very competitive. When I look at this tournament, I realize there were times when I've had teams wrestle worse at the state meet and come away with more. This tournament was exceptionally tough."

Janowsky also spoke highly of the record of Intermountain League teams at the state tournament. "We had two IML teams (Centauri and Monte Vista) place in the top five in team standings," he said, " and five of 14 state champions in 3A were from our league. The IML had an excellent showing and that, too, proves my point about our guys. I felt all year long like we were doing a good job, but that our opponents were also doing a good job. We battled the best all season, and we did well. We have great potential for a fine season next year."

Consistent Pirates even score with Centauri

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

It's déja vu for the Pagosa Springs Pirates.

After beating the Centauri Falcons 63-51 Saturday in Pagosa Springs, the Pirates find themselves matched with the Falcons again tomorrow night in the first round of the district tournament. Game time for the boys is 7:30 in Del Norte.

On the line in the district tournament is a chance to be one of 32 teams competing in the Colorado 3A playoffs for the state championship.

Friday night's win over the Falcons was sweet revenge for Pagosa. Just two weeks earlier, Centauri had beaten Pagosa 51-46.

"The best thing about the win is, we didn't let them get back into the game," said Jim Shaffer, the Pirate coach. "We played pretty consistent ball most of the 32 minutes. We handled the ball well against their pressure and got balanced inside, outside scoring."

The turning point in Pagosa's win might have come when Henrique Dias banked in a whirling one-hander shortly after the second period opened, giving Pagosa a 16-15 lead over the Falcons.

It was a lead the Pirates never surrendered on their way to a 63-51 win over their San Luis Valley rivals. In addition to avenging the earlier loss at Centauri, the win boosts Pagosa's Intermountain League record to 5-3, tying Pagosa with the Falcons for second place. Monte Vista ended the IML season on top with a 7-1 record. Trailing the three leaders are Ignacio, 3-5, and Bayfield, 0-8.

Centauri scored the game's opening bucket, but Pagosa responded with seven unanswered points before the Falcons scored again. Jason Schutz hit for two; Caleb Forrest made a pair of free throws, then added a field goal, and Brandon Charles sank a deuce to give Pagosa a 7-2 lead halfway through the first period. Centauri battled back, but by the end of the period Pagosa was on top 14-13.

Centauri opened the second period just as they opened the first, by scoring the first bucket and taking a 15-14 lead.

Dias answered with a score for Pagosa, Anthony Chacon for Centauri, Ryan Goodenberger for Pagosa, Charles for Pagosa on a layup following a feed from Darin Lister, Charles from Pagosa on a pair of free throws, and Forrest for Pagosa. Following the eight-point run, Pagosa was on top 24-17 with about half the second stanza remaining.

Centauri answered with a six-point run of their own, eventually knotting the score at 26 all. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Dias and Goodenberger tallied, giving the Pirates a 30-26 halftime margin.

Charles opened the second period with a trey, launching another Pagosa run that stretched the lead to 39-26. From then on, Centauri played a desperate catchup game. The best they could do was narrow the Pirate lead to seven points midway through the third stanza.

Clayton Spencer rang up a pair of field goals returning the Pagosa lead to double digits. By the end of the third, Pagosa was on top 45-32. Down the stretch, the Pirates answered every Centauri challenge with yet more scoring. Schutz, Spencer, Goodenberger, and Cord Ross all scored during the period, protecting the Pirate win.

Summary

Scoring, Pagosa: Spencer 7-9, 3-4, 17; Goodenberger 3-4, 4-4, 0-1, 10; Charles 1-6, 4-8, 1-1, 9; Forrest 3-5, 2-2, 8; Schutz 3-12, 2-4, 8; Lister 1-4, 2-2, 0-1, 4; Dias, 2-3, 0-0, 4; Ross 1-1, 1-2, 3. Team Rebounds: Off. 9, Def. 24. Individual Rebounds: Spencer 6, Forrest 6, Schutz 5, Dias 5, Goodenberger 5, Lister 3, Ross 2, Charles 1. Three-point goals: Charles 1-1, Goodenberger 0-1, Lister 0-1. Assists: Charles 4, Ross 4, Goodenberger 2, Lister 2, Dias 2, Schutz 2, Forrest 2. Steals: Charles 6, Goodenberger 3, Lister 3, Ross 2. Team turnovers, 20.

Ladies fall to Centauri; relinquish league title

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An 18-8 fourth quarter run by Centauri's Lady Falcons broke up a tight contest against the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates Saturday and gave the visitors from La Jara a 57-42 victory and made them outright, undefeated champions of the Intermountain League, a title exclusively Pagosa's for several years.

Pagosa was not about to let the favored Falcons run away with the victory and trailed by only five after three quarters.

Centauri's game plan appeared to be "bomb away from outside early and draw out the defense". It worked to perfection. Sara Reynolds fired three from long range in the first half, hitting a pair. Idana Espinosa launched two from 3-point territory and hit one.

Still, the Lady Pirates, after an 11-10 deficit at the end of one and trailing 23-20 at the half, appeared on the brink of launching a comeback. One trey each by Reynolds and Espinosa in the first period offset four points each by Ashley Gronewoller and Katie Lancing and a deuce by freshman guard Bri Scott for Pagosa.

Reynolds drilled another trey to open the second but Pagosa fought back on a streak by freshman guard Lori Walkup.

Coach Karen Wells dropped Walkup into the weak side forward spot and before Centauri knew what happened, she had canned four consecutive jumpers, ranging from 8 to 14 feet, and Pagosa was right back in the game, a 22-15 lead wiped out.

Centauri all-state candidate Erin McCarroll added four of her 17 points in the period, the final score coming on a sweeping move to her left and a 12-foot fall-away jumper that moved the margin to three at the halftime break.

Reynolds and McCarroll combined for 10 third quarter points with Brittny McCarroll, Melissa Sutherland and Kiley Mortensen each adding a pair.

For the first time in the game, the Pagosans were able to consistently get the ball inside to Gronewoller and she answered with eight points. Her only support, however, came on a pair of charity tosses by Lancing and a basket each by forwards Nicole Buckley and Katie Bliss.

Down the stretch, the Lady Pirates couldn't stop Erin McCarroll, who scored seven more in the period with Reynolds and Espinosa each adding five and Brittny McCarroll one from the foul line.

Gronewoller countered with five, including her lone free throw in eight attempts, but got support only from Lancing with a field goal and Bliss with a charity toss.

So went the first Lady Pirate loss in IML competition in the new Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium, a streak stretching back to the opening of the facility for the 1998-99 season.

Pagosa did not attempt a 3-point shot in the game while Centauri was hitting 3 for 7. Pagosa had a 28-21 rebounding edge with each team snaring 10 offensive boards. Pagosa, in one of its better shooting performances in recent weeks, was 18 for 37 from the floor for a .485 percentage which was actually better than Centauri's .466. The difference was that Centauri got off 45 shots from the field and hit 21 of them, including the three treys.

Reynolds joined both Erin McCarroll and Gronewoller with 17 points and Espinosa added 9 to pace the Centauri scoring.

Neither team had a player foul out but Lancing and Centauri's Jamie Williams each had four.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the game was Pagosa's inability from the free throw line. The Lady Pirates hit only 8 of 22 from the stripe, missing several on the front end of 1 and 1 situations, a .363 percentage. Centauri, on the other hand, shot .600 from the line, though they scored only one more than Pagosa, hitting 9 of 15.

The loss left Pagosa at 6-2 in the IML and 15-4 for the season. Centauri advances to 8-0 in the IML and 17-1 for the season.

Summary

Pagosa scoring: Lancing 2-7, 5-8, 9; Gronewoller, 8-8, 1-8, 17; Walkup 4-7, 8; Lungstrum 0-4, 0-0, 0; Buckley 1-3, 0-2, 2; Bliss 1-5, 1-2, 3; Scott 1-2, 1-2, 3. Rebounds (team total 28) Lancing 9, Gronewoller 8, Scott 5, Walkup 2, Bliss 2, Buckley 1; Assists, Lancing 5, Walkup 4, Scott 2; Steals: Lancing 3, Walkup 2, Lungstrum 2, Gronewoller 1, Bliss 1; Blocks, Bliss 1.

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

2/20

39

10

S

.25

.04

2/21

41

12

-

-

-

2/22

44

13

-

-

-

2/23

48

21

-

-

-

2/24

41

10

-

-

-

2/25

36

11

-

-

-

2/26

35

8

-

-

-

Community News
Chamber News

By Sally Hemeister

Register now for the St. Patrick's parade

Time is running out for you to purchase your tickets for this Saturday night's fund-raiser to be held at the Senior Center on 8th Street. This evening definitely comes under the "fun-filled" category offering lovely food, champagne (or sparkling cider) and entertainment. Can it get any better than that for twenty bucks? I think not.

At the reception, we will honor Mayor Ross Aragon and Sylvia Murray, two of the key players in making the Community Center a reality in Pagosa. Following the reception, we will be treated to a musical presentation by the Pajamas Ensemble, John Graves directing, with performances by D.C. Duncan, Mark DeVoti and Pamela Novack and an original one-act play written by John Porter, "Puberty and Peace," featuring Sandy Applegate and Steve Rogan. Cost for the evening is $20, and with only 100 tickets originally available at the Chamber and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, I can assure you that there are not many left. Don't miss this opportunity to "Have a little fun, do a little good" and join us for a very special evening on March 2.

Backpacking workshop

Tomorrow night, you are invited to a lightweight backpacking workshop at the Pagosa Humane Society Hospitality Room located in the Pack Rack Thrift Store from 6-7:30 p.m. This is a free workshop designed to help reduce backpack weight and still have a safe trip in the backcountry. Principles and gear for lightweight backpacking along with tips, tricks and low cost ways to cut weight will be the focus. The workshop will explore ultra lightweight, lightweight, conventional backpack methods and survival with lightweight gear. For more information, please call Kathe Hayes, volunteer coordinator, at 385-1310

9Health Fair

The 9Health Fair is looking for a few good folks in the health care field to participate in the Health Fair to be held Saturday, April 6, from 8-noon at the Pagosa Springs High School. If you are in the medical profession and would like to participate, they would love to hear from you, but they are specifically looking for the following: dermatologist, podiatrist, audiologist and an ears, nose and throat specialist. They are also looking for those interested in being a screener or setting up an interactive learning center. Please contact either Carl Jolliff at 731-3884 or Sharee Grazda at 731-0666.

Ride The Rockies

Hopefully our Chamber Communiqué will be going out Friday (or Monday), and we just want to remind you to let us know ASAP if you would like to adopt a biker or two for our upcoming Ride The Rockies visit here in Pagosa. The bikers will arrive on Sunday afternoon, June 16, spend the night and head on down the road to Durango the next day. They will be staying just about everywhere in town but some will be looking for local residents to accommodate them as we've done in the past. It's a great way to make new friends and encourage all these folks (3,000-3,500) to return to Pagosa another time in the future.

Sleeping Beauty

March 8-9, 15 and 16 the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater will present "Sleeping Beauty" at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

If you have attended other Pretenders productions, you know that there is always a fresh, unique approach to fairytales, and "Sleeping Beauty" is no exception. Tickets are now available at the Chamber, WolfTracks, the Arts Council and The Plaid Pony. Adult tickets are $6 and children 12 and under are $3. For more information, please call Susan Garman at 731-2485.

Love a Parade

In your newsletter, you will also find your registration form for the ever-popular Pagosa Springs Chamber St. Patrick's Day Parade. This one is always just for the fun of it, and everyone who participates pretty much enjoys being green and silly for an afternoon - I know we do. The registration fee is $3.17, and we begin lining up on Sixth Street at 3:17 (the silliness never stops with us) and enter the highway at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 15. Get your group together to decide just exactly how green you plan to be in the parade. There are huge cash prizes for the best floats - you can actually win $25, $15 or $10 for Best Float, Most Green Costume and Most Bizarre Costume (in that order). It's worth really knocking yourself out for that kind of dough, don't you agree? At any rate, we hope you will join us for the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Call us at 264-2360 for more information.

Casino Royale

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club presents the third annual Rotary Casino Royale, The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs, Saturday, March 16, from 6 p.m. until midnight at the Ridgeview Centre at 525 Navajo Trails Drive. This exciting evening includes music by Rio Jazz and the Celtic Music Group, a Mexican food buffet, black jack, poker, craps, wheel of fortune and a roulette table, amazing prizes and more than twenty silent auction items valued at a minimum of $100. Donation for the evening is $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For tickets and information, please call the Chamber at 264-2360 or Dennis Eichinger at 731-3022.

Food for friends

Curves for Women is excited to announce that it is time for their annual "Food for Friends" food drive. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in your community by donating a bag of non-perishable groceries which in turn are distributed to our local food banks. Curves has had great success with their past food drives and is hoping to raise even more donations this year.

Clean out your pantry and bag up a donation to drop off at Curves for Women, 117 Navajo Trails Drive or at the Chamber of Commerce drop box throughout the month of March. It always seems so easy to be generous around the Christmas holidays but unfortunately, there are families who need our help year round. If you need more information, please call 731-0333. Curves is open to receive donations Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-noon and 4-7 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-noon and 4-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9-11 a.m.

Taylor Dance Theater

On Monday, March 18, the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters proudly present the Denver David Taylor Dance Theater at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. For the first 50 people interested, there will be a champagne reception at the top of the Spring Inn where you will have the opportunity to meet the performers. Tickets for the reception and performance are $45, and tickets for performance only are $29. Please keep in mind that this is reserved seating only, so you will want to secure your seats fairly early. All tickets are available at The Plaid Pony and you can call them at 731-5262 with questions.

Dining guide

Deadline for inclusion in the 2002 Dining Guide is tomorrow, March 1, and you definitely don't want to miss out on this invaluable marketing brochure. Over 43,000 people come through our Visitor Center every year, and almost all of them are looking for a place to eat. Not everyone plans to spend the night in Pagosa, but folks love to eat here, and they look to our Dining Guide for just the right restaurant for them. Obviously, your membership needs to be current, and you can just give Morna a call to check on that status. This Guide is simply one of your most effective marketing tools and way up there on the "Chamber Benefits" list. Call Morna today with any questions at 264-2360.

Membership

My apologies to Karen Thomas of Thomas & Associates for listing the wrong phone number with her new membership last week. Karen is a new graphic designer in town and her real, true phone number is 731-9880. Please forgive me, Karen.

Three new members to welcome this week and five renewals. I'll try real hard to get all the phone numbers right this time.

Deborah Copple joins us with Pagosa Window Coverings located at 65 Peak Court. Deborah reminds us that our sunshine is wonderful in Pagosa, but it can damage the belongings in the house. Allow Deborah to come to your home and consult with you about just the right window coverings for you. She will be happy to help you with style, color and fabrics. Just give her a call at 731-6132 for an appointment.

George Jernigan joins us next with All Star Glass and Mirror located at 163 Hawk Place. George can provide you with aluminum, vinyl, wood, woodclad and garden windows; glass and acrylic blocks; skylights; mirrors; Tremco butyl tapes and caulking. For the area's best prices, let George bid your next job. Give him a call at 731-6515. Thanks to our friend, Lili Pearson for recruiting George to the Chamber, and I will be happy to send off a free SunDowner pass for her efforts.

Welcome to Mike Thomas who joins us with Floortech Services located at 63 North Pagosa Boulevard, Suite B-3. Mike specializes in the restoration and maintenance of hard-surface floors and other surfaces, including wood, granite, marble, slate, tile, vinyl and Saltillo. He can also "faux" finish floors and walls for you. Please give him a call at 970-375-2770.

Our renewals this week include Rick and Jody Unger with Design-A-Sign; Yvonne Giesen with the Pagosa Springs Sears; Bruce Andersen with Bruce Andersen Photo Graphics; Daron Selph with Mesa Propane, Inc. and Liz (our Lizzie) Marchand with Allstate Insurance - The Marchand Agency located at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite B-1 (new address). Our thanks and warm welcome to all.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

Birthdays brighten, departures sadden members

Friday was the special birthday celebration for all our February born members. We wish very happy birthdays to: Carolyn Hansen, Clara Kelly, Phil Heitz, Adelina Lobato, Bobby Risinger, Willie Trujillo, Jimmye and Vernon Day, Alden Ecker and Dallas Johnson.

We are saddened to learn that Marion Swanson will be moving away. She is a very special member and will be missed.

We appreciate Terry Mitchell, who represents the Senior Blind Program, for coming to the Center Feb. 19 to talk with people who are sight impaired and to suggest and demonstrate products designed to help them live a more independent life.

A big thank you to Deb Aspen-Hill who demonstrated and informed us about reflexology. Unfortunately, several of us had to leave to attend the board meeting so we hope she will return for another session.

Guests and returning members are always welcome at the Senior Center and we really enjoyed having Martha Schjolin, Barbara Tackett, Diane Pancoast, Midge Rapp, Iris Clark, Judy Ulatowski and son, Chris, Chris Koontz, Violet and Mariano Echavarria, and Sharon and Ray Pack join us this week. Martha's name was drawn to be Senior of the Week this week - we are delighted to honor her and hope she will become a regular attendee.

At 12:30 on March 1 Carolyn Geiger will give a demonstration on Tai Chi. This is an ancient form of movement, a study that places great emphasis on balance, both mental and physical. Tai Chi can be done sitting or standing and should make participants feel wonderful so we hope lots of folks will attend.

Reminder: At 7 p.m. on March 2, at the Senior Center, there will be a benefit musical performance presented by the ARSE group for the Pagosa Springs Community Center. This presentation will be preceded by a reception to recognize Ross Aragon and Sylvia Murray's contributions to the Community Center project. Tickets (a limited number) are $20 per person and are available at Wolftracks and at the Chamber of Commerce.

We are sorry to announce that our monthly potluck dinners have been discontinued due to small attendance. Hopefully they can be started up after we move to the new Senior Center this summer. Musetta and Laura would welcome suggestions for activities/programs that will generate more interest.

Canyon Crest Lodge in Pagosa is interested in providing caretaking for two seniors. Call Valerie Green at 731-5502 for more information.

The Senior Center needs volunteers to help at the desk and with setting the tables. Anyone who is willing to help out, please call Musetta at 264-2167.

The AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety Course will be offered again March 13 and 14 from 1-5 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church. Cost is $10, and may reduce automobile insurance rates by as much as 10 percent. To sign up, call the Senior Center at 264-2167. AARP is interested in recruiting volunteers to teach the 55 Alive Driver Safety Course so please contact Musetta if you are willing to help out.

The AARP is offering free income tax preparation of simple tax returns. Contact Musetta or Laura to make an appointment with tax preparers.

Other upcoming events

Mark your calendars for 7 p.m. March 28. Philip Hansen, who presented a cello concert last fall and was well received is returning for another performance. He will be accompanied by Eleanor Elkins, a classical pianist from Durango. Philip is a very talented musician who donates his time and talents to help raise funds for our Senior Center. (He is the brother of our Musetta so probably finds it hard to say no.) Tickets will go on sale March 11. The price will be $10 per person or $30 per family.

Yoga is offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and art classes are at 12:45 on Tuesdays.

On Wednesdays swimming is at 9 a.m., card games at 1 p.m., and a matinee show at Liberty Theater for seniors is only $3 (call 264-4578 to let them know how many will be attending).

Thursdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. free swimming at Best Western. Make arrangements with Cindy for transportation. Also, on Fridays, bridge at 1 p.m.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Meet Kick (something) Katherine in her T

The schedule for the annual board retreat arrived. Along with the expected agenda items - lunch at noon, get acquainted activity from 1 to 2, review of last years goals from 2 to 4, and so on - there was this: evening social program, spouses welcome, and bring your favorite T-shirt and the story behind it.

Favorite T-shirt? I don't have one. I have a tall stack of T-shirts. You probably do, too. And I'll bet you like some of them better than others. So do I. All my shirts have stories. But I can't call any one of them my favorite.

This is a dumb idea, I thought. Favorite T-shirt. How hokey. How contrived. How boring. I won't even participate, I thought. I'll just not even bring a T-shirt.

But, being dutiful, or obedient, or compulsive, I eventually rummaged through the drawer containing the few T-shirts that weren't stored in the attic for the winter. This was January, after all.

They included a shirt from the only race I ever ran in, a 10-mile ramble through the south side of San Antonio, Texas. Back then, in the '80s, I routinely jogged several miles every morning before work. Every morning! In the dark. Before breakfast. It was fun at the time, but now I can barely imagine doing such a thing.

I planned to run a marathon. As training for the marathon, I entered this race. And finished it. That was the first, and the last, time I ran ten miles. Guess the marathon just wasn't in me. But I still have the T-shirt.

I found another race shirt, from the Dallas Turkey Trot, which our daughter invited us to run in a few years ago. She and her dad jogged. I walked. Maybe I could take that shirt, I thought.

There was the big gold and black Vanderbilt T, from the days when Hotshot worked there. I wore it for football and basketball games. Loyalty for the home team, and all that. But it's just a shirt, and not a favorite. Not a candidate for the retreat.

There were a couple of black T-shirts, and one of them might be a candidate for favorite shirt. But it has no story. It also has no words. It's just a comfortable shirt that goes with almost anything. So there'd be nothing to say about it. I left that one in the drawer.

The other black T had a picture and words that meant something to me but would require a long explanation. Nope, I thought. I don't know most of these other board members well enough.

I used to have a T that proclaimed "A city with a great library is a great city." The shirt was printed as part of a concentrated effort to persuade the Nashville City Council to approve a bond issue for the city's library system. The campaign paid off. That would have been a good shirt for the retreat, but I'd already given the shirt to Lenore Bright, who manages our great library here in Pagosa.

It was clear that the searching for the right shirt to bring was beginning to take longer than the party would. So I grabbed one and stuffed it in my bag. But I still wouldn't wear it. I'd just drape it around my shoulders. Have it available. Just in case the organizers really forced us to go through with this thing.

Well, they did. Force us to go through with it.

But first, there were other games. Games just for us board members. Get-acquainted games at the beginning of the retreat. We had to rummage through our purses or wallets and pick two items that said something special about ourselves and tell the others about them. Since my purse doesn't hold much more than my wallet, that search went pretty quickly. (I picked my certified class B crosscut sawyer certificate and a cunning little notebook that is just the right size for carrying around in a small purse.)

Then we had to pick nicknames for ourselves. Something that started with the same letter as our first name. And tell the rest of the group why the nickname was appropriate. People called themselves things like Sweet Susan. Daring Dan. Entrepreneurial Ed.

The letter K doesn't offer many suggestions. I don't even remember what I came up with, because it didn't stick. Entrepreneurial Ed said that he thought Kick (something) was a better choice. (This is a family newspaper, so you have to fill in the something.) He was just sure that I was a kick (something) kind of person. A hard taskmaster. Someone who shakes things up and gets people moving. All kinds of things I'm not, but it would be fun to be. So for the rest of the weekend I was Kick (something) Katherine.

After the fun stuff, after we had our names and we knew something more about each other, we spent the rest of the afternoon going over serious matters. Board responsibilities. What the organization had accomplished in the past year and what the dreams and goals for the future were.

The organization I serve is the San Juan Mountains Association, which "partners" with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to help educate the public in the ways of stewardship for the public lands, so that future generations will be able to enjoy our wonderful public land resources.

But the board retreat tactics can work for any organization.

Our retreat, both the fun and games part and the serious work, was successful. We all came away with a renewed sense of commitment and enthusiasm for our organization and the work it's doing.

By the evening, even that business of T-shirt show and tell turned out to be fun. Everyone present, including me, wore a shirt and told its story. Several people wore San Juan Mountains Association T-shirts. All the stories were good, and we learned even more about each other.

I wore the shirt from the race. I even told the story abut it. I was glad I hadn't weaseled out.

Note: the SJMA is hosting a free workshop on tips and tricks to reduce your backpack weight, tomorrow, March 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Humane Society's basement meeting room, below the Packrack Thrift Store at 269 Pagosa Street. The presenters says their own packs weigh 15 pounds. I don't believe it! All interested hikers and backpackers are invited. This will be useful for horsemen too. For more information call Kathe Hayes, 385-1310.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Chocolate: A taste treat enjoyed for centuries

For someone who is ambivalent about chocolate, I've had ample opportunity since Valentine's Day to acquire a taste for it. This year on Feb. 14, an estimated 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate was exchanged in the United States alone.

We have the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations of Central America and southern North America to thank for the discovery of cocoa as long ago as A.D. 600. They prized the beverage chocolatl, which was made from roasted cocoa beans, water and spices, such as chile pepper. Cocoa beans from the fruit of the cacao tree also served as currency for early Mayans. Four beans could buy a pumpkin, 100 a slave.

When Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes came upon Mexico and the Aztec Empire in 1517. Emperor Montezuma served the Spaniard chocolatl in a golden goblet. After Cortes introduced the beverage to his homeland in 1528, it soon became a fashionable drink of the rich. Chile pepper was replaced with other ingredients, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. The Spanish guarded their new beverage, and it took nearly a century for chocolate to spread across Europe.

Chocolate remained a beverage until early Victorian times, when an English company perfected a technique for making "eating chocolate." The product was an instant success and a number of businesses soon formed to make the coveted dessert.

To make chocolate, cocoa beans are dried, roasted, ground and then mixed with sugar and vanilla. There are two main types of chocolate: dark or bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. Contrary to its name, white chocolate is not a true chocolate. It is made from cocoa butter, a byproduct of chocolate making. Dark chocolate contains a high percentage of chocolate and has a rich, intense flavor. As its name implies, milk chocolate contains powdered or condensed milk and fewer cocoa solids, a combination that gives it a sweet, mild taste.

Today, Europeans seem to have the heartiest appetites for chocolate. In Switzerland, the average per capita consumption is 22.4 pounds, tops in the world. Close behind are Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Great Britain. The United States ranks ninth, at 12.2 pounds per person. The next bite of chocolate you take, know you are indulging in a treat enjoyed by many generations before you.

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre is presenting "Sleeping Beauty" March 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. at the High School Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Sisson Library, WolfTracks Bookstore and the Plaid Pony.

This hilarious production is a parody of the traditional children's story. Kerry Graves, the playwright is the daughter of John and Ann Graves. Kerry recently received her Ph.D in theatre from Texas Tech. She wrote this play and several others for children's theater that have been performed across the country. In addition to encouraging Pretenders to perform her play, Kerry has allowed Susan Garman, the director, to make necessary changes to work with the Pretenders' history of improvisation although this is the first time Pretenders have actually worked with a script. The Pretenders are an awesome children's/family theater group. A vital aspect of Pretenders is that no one who auditions is turned away. "Sleeping Beauty," a 20 role cast, has already been altered to include over 100 people, the majority of whom are school-aged children. My kudos to Susan Garman for returning to her fifth year as director. Good luck to all of you and I know we will be well entertained.

My apologies for an error in my column last Thursday. Robby Jackson is the same dude as Robby Johnson . . . and he is headed to Utah, not Texas, for an Ironman length triathalon. Not in the habit of reading my own column. I only found out about the error when Robby Johnson called to see if he can contact Robby Jackson so they could train together.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Hospital pillows a Homemakers' project

The Mountain View Homemakers are known for their worthwhile projects. At their last meeting, they made 30 small neck pillows - each about 14-inches long and 10-inches round - stuffed with something soft, and washable. The purpose of a pillow is to provide comfortable support for an invalid.

Besides use at the neck, a pillow can be used under the knees, behind the back - just any place body support is needed.

These particular pillows are intended for the hospital-bound, a reason they can be called "hospital pillows." They are available at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic, Dr. Pruitt's office and the Emergency Medical Services office. But anyone not having access to one of these medical facilities, and needing a pillow, can call me at 264-2529.

The Mountain View Homemakers is one of the oldest women's clubs in Pagosa Springs. It was organized in 1963 as the Mountain View Home Demonstration Extension Club. Lillian Gibson was the Home Economics teacher and had the necessary credentials to organize an Extension Club. There were seven members: Mary Caywood was president, Elaine Gibson the vice-president and Virginia Kleckner, the secretary-treasurer. In 1984 when demands by the State Extension program became excessive, the club withdrew and changed its name to Mountain View Homemakers. But the club is still affiliated with the local Extension office.

In 1989, four women organized a Red Cross Babysitting Course: Jan Nicholls, Mary Carlton, Florence Gallegos and Wilma Morrison. They had lots of support for 10 years while they made this their project. Now the Archuleta County Education Center is conducting the project and the Homemakers are supporting them.

One very successful project for the Homemakers is that of sending gifts at Christmas time to the Safe House in Durango.

Sisson Library has two scrapbooks recording Homemaker activities and anyone is welcome to browse them.

The Homemakers meet for a potluck lunch at a member's home the second Thursday of the month except during August when many members assist with county fair activities.

The usual attendance is 15 to 18 women, but during the summer, when the snowbirds swell the attendance, as many as 54 women have attended. All are welcome.

In 1993, the Mountain View Homemakers adopted this creed:

"The Mountain View Homemakers represent the spirit of women down through the ages. They make homes out of houses, but these women understand that home means not only their home, but also the community they live and work in. Their talents such as leadership abilities, teaching, singing, childcare, cooking, arts and crafts represent homemaking traditions that they shared to create a better community."

Whether it is teaching a babysitting course, leading a meeting, entertaining with a song or a paintbrush, these women share not only their talents, but also their unique joy of living. This joy is their gift to the community of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Eclectic list of new books available

If you enjoy checking out books on tape, please be sure to fill out one of our surveys. We want your input on what kinds of tapes we will buy this year. How many of you would like to see books on CDs? What types do you want - mysteries, westerns, science fiction?

New books

We have an eclectic list of new books for your enjoyment. Thanks to Bob and Carole Howard, we have "How to Play Golf," by Tiger Woods, and "Marketing Communications," by James Hutton and Francis Mulhern.

Tiger's achievements are extraordinary. His book offers an intimate view of both his game - mental and physical - and his personality on and off the course.

The marketing book is jam-packed with good advice and practical lessons readers can put to use immediately with clients and organizations, large and small. This book will be most helpful to anyone in business. Carole is one of the experienced professionals featured in the book.

The calendar tells me that thoughts of gardening are not many weeks away. "Colorado Gardener's Guide," by John L. Cretti will get your attention if you're of a mind to get out and start digging. Cretti is known regionally as "Doctor Green Thumb." He is a Rocky Mountain horticulturist who has won many national awards. This book will assist newcomers in knowing what will grow in our area.

Studs Terkel brings us "Will the Circle be Unbroken." This is a collection of reflections on death, rebirth and hunger for a faith.

At 88, Terkel has turned to the thought of death and the possibility of life afterward. In this book, a wide range of people address that final experience and its impact on the way we live. The book covers the whole realm of religious belief and expectations. He also interviewed many people who confront death in their everyday lives, such as police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors and nurses.

"Eating, Sleeping, and Getting Up," by Carolyn Crowder gives advice on how to stop the daily skirmishes with your child on these three battlegrounds. The ultimate parent-child standoffs center on mealtime, bedtime and the start of the day. Here is help in how to break the cycle of arguing, and threatening. The skills learned here can be applied to any parenting situation.

Special thanks

Someone dislodged one of the big boulders near the entry to our parking lot. It ended up right in the driveway. Thanks to the police officer and the folks who spied the dangerous situation and replaced the rock.

Demographics

If one is not looking to buy or sell property, one might miss the interesting information in the free real estate guide found in the SUN. It is a community profile that gives many useful statistics about our local services, and government. I've cut out the section to keep on hand as people often call the library for the specific answers found in the profile.

Did you know that the average home sale price is now $197,300? The house rent average is $750? Our county covers 1,364 square miles, and the population in the county was 10,107 in 2000.

Donations

Thanks for other materials from Summer Phillips, Barbara Carlos, Ralph and Lois Gibson, Margaret Wilson, Patti Exster, Ellen Beavers, Joseph Washburn, Scott Hollenbeck, Carole and Bob Howard.

Arts Line

By Helen L. Richardson

Katrina Thomas, Adrienne Haskamp elected

The Arts Council Annual Meeting, held Feb. 20, was a lovely event filled with delicious desserts from our local restaurants.

We would like to extend a very special thank you to Karen Cox and Taminah Gallery and Gifts for hosting the evening. Thank you to all of the participating restaurants and businesses for your support. Thank you to the following individuals who helped out: Joanne Holiday, Doug and Katrina Schultz, Jeff Laydon and Jennifer Harnick

We would like to thank and welcome our new members of the board of directors: Katrina Thomas and Adrienne Haskamp. Thank you to outgoing board members Clare Burns, Jennai Bacchus and Doris Green for all of their volunteer work over the past few years. Each of them contributed so much of their time and talent.

Pagosa Pretenders

Get ready for another wonderful production from the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater March 8, 9, 15 and 16. The group will perform its rendition of "Sleeping Beauty" in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. The evening incorporates a large cast of talented local individuals. Directed by Susan Garman, the Pretenders always entertain. The opening act will be dancers from the San Juan Festival Ballet. The group will dance a short children's version of "Sleeping Beauty." The performance begins at 7 p.m. each evening and tickets cost $6 for adults and $3 for children. Arts Council members can purchase discounted tickets at the gallery in Town Park. Business hours at the gallery are Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Dance Theater

The David Taylor Dance Theater will perform March 18 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters and tickets are on sale at The Plaid Pony for $29 reserved seating, or $45 including a champagne reception.

Exhibit applications

Artists interested in exhibiting at the Gallery during our 2002 season can pick up an application at our business office in Town Park Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Applications can be downloaded off from our website http:pagosa-arts.com.

Website

Check our new website at http:pagosa-arts.com. The site, designed by Katrina and Doug Schultz, will keep you updated on local arts events and link you to local businesses.

Petroglyph

We are still looking for a layout person to help with our newsletter, The Petroglyph. Also, any business interested in placing a flyer in The Petroglyph, please call Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113.

Stained glass workshop

Carl Nevitt is instructing stain glass workshops at the gallery. Students will learn the basics of stained glass and will complete an 8x10 project. Space is limited so call 264-5020 to reserve your place in class.

Garage sale

The Arts Council's annual Garage Sale will be held April 27. Start cleaning out your closets for items to donate. Donations can be dropped off at the gallery April 16-24 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Center benefit

A Reading Society and Ensemble will have a fund-raiser for the Community Center on March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center on 8th Street. There will be a champagne and sparkling grape juice reception with entertainment provided by the "Pajamas Ensemble," and a one-act play, "Puberty & Peace," written by John Porter and performed by Steve Rogan and Sandy Applegate. Attire for the evening is formal to semi-formal. Tickets can be purchased for $20 at the Chamber of Commerce and at WolfTracks.

Veterans Corner

By Andy Fautheree

Lesser health concerns claims eligible

Many veterans' illnesses or impairments can be directly related to their service in the military in particular areas of military duty and action. Being wounded or injured in combat is fairly obvious. Familiar to many would be afflictions that relate to Agent Orange from duty in Vietnam. But many health concerns are lesser known by veterans, and they may be eligible for compensation claims with the VA.

Looking for these physical and mental disorders is part of the interview process, meeting with a new veteran when we do not have any information on him or her at this office. When I ask veterans if they have disorders that might be related to their service in the military, frequently the answer is an emphatic no. But upon in-depth discussion and the interview process, we actually uncover something wrong with the veteran that in fact may relate to their military service.

An example might be a veteran who has lost some portion of his hearing. This might have been caused while he was involved with artillery or working around aircraft while in the military. This can be a very important connection. Hearing (and vision) are frequently considered part of the aging process by the VA and are not routinely covered in their health care program, unless it is documented as service-connected by a VA compensation claim, or unless the veteran has a certain percentage of service-connected disability for other disorders. In other words, The VA won't provide hearing aids or eyeglasses, unless the veteran has a service-connected disability.

Veterans may be eligible for compensation for many reasons due to their duty in the military. It may be for injuries sustained playing sports while in the military. Current medical evidence of an impairment that can be connected to military medical evidence is the key to unlocking a compensable claim. If the VA approves that claim, the veteran may receive compensation payment, and perhaps most important, free VA health care for the health problem. When one considers the cost of major medical services these days, this can be a very important factor in the quality of life for a veteran, both physical and financial. Also, compensation payments for a VA service connected disability are non-taxable.

The VA may consider certain disabilities "presumptive." As previously mentioned, Agent Orange connection in Vietnam is one of the most prevalent. This might include illnesses such as Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, soft-tissue sarcoma, chloracne, Type II diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, porphyria cutenea tarda, respiratory cancers, multiple myeloma, peripheral neuropathy, prostate cancer, as some examples of disorders that can be Agent Orange presumptive.

The more recent Gulf War has a number of ailments presumptive, but many are still under study. Gulf War Syndrome is a common name for some disorders, as yet not fully understood by medical studies. One disorder that has come up most recently connected to the Gulf War is Lou Gehrig's disease. Some findings show veterans of the Gulf War are twice as likely to develop this disease than other veterans.

Of course military service and exposure during the heyday of atomic bomb testing opens many cans of worms for veterans. Most U.S. military conflicts entail unique areas of medical concern.

I have a great deal of information in this office covering this subject. The information presented here should only be considered a guide. I urge every veteran to come in and see me about any areas of concern they might have. The process for filing a compensation claim is quite complicated and lengthy, and can take as much as 1-2 years to be adjudicated by the VA. So, the sooner a claim is filed, the better. Also, should a claim be decided in favor of the veteran, the compensation might be retroactive back to the beginnings of the claim.

For information on these and other veteran benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Active Internet website for Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can be found at: www.geocities.com/vso_archuleta. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is: afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, and 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.

Sheperds Staff

By Rev. Richard A. Bolland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

Do not seek to make terms with God

From time to time I run across writing that moves me to both rejoice and think. Permit me to share with the readers of the Pagosa SUN, such a thoughtful article, "The Old Cross and the New," by A.W. Tozer, a renowned Christian pastor and author:

All unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique - a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and inno cent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegations of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, "Come and assert yourself for Christ." To the egoist it says, "Come and do your boasting in the Lord." To the thrill-seeker it says, "Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship." The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-bye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to the newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God's stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Savior, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.

To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from Paul's day to the present. Whether stated in these exact words or not, this has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval.

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with truth? Dare we with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.

Parks & Rec

By Chris Corcoran

Town Recreation Department

Competition spirited in adult basketball leagues

The adult basketball league resumed play after President's Day holiday with Viking Construction, a.k.a. Sponge Bob's, losing to JJ's Rental 35-22. It was Ponderosa over Tom's Shot Callers 55-23. In the competitive league Slim Shady was defeated by Buckskin in a rough game, 46-33, and Lucero Tire over U.B.C. with a score of 67-50.

On Wednesday Wolf Speed got the best of Viking Construction by a score of 44-23 in an uneventful game. However, the game between JJ's and Citizen's Bank was exciting, a game that was close all evening and eventually went into overtime with JJ's edging out Citizen's, 46-44. In the final game of the evening American out-shot Tommy Shots with a final score of 63-21.

There were two Competitive League games Thursday, Buckskin over Bear Creek 80-58 and JR's Concrete over U.B.C., 64-53. The final game of the evening was another close one between JJ's and Wolf Speed a.k.a. Los Hermanos. This game was won by Los Hermanos in the last 14 seconds, 49-48.

Youth baseball

Baseball players ages 13-14 who would like to play in the Sandy Kofax League should contact Len Richey in the evenings at 264-4530. There will be a batting and pitching clinic March 9 for this league. Instructors will include former professional and semi-professional athletes. These events are coming up quickly so call Len for more information.

Education News

By Livia Cloman Lynch

Every adult has role in youth development

You can make a difference in the lives of children in Pagosa Springs. In my last column I talked about the 40 positive developmental assets that kids need to succeed. The more assets that families and communities provide for young people, the more likely it is that they will grow up healthy, caring and responsible.

The more assets a youth has, the more likely he or she is to do well in school, value diversity and engage in volunteer work, and the less likely he or she is to get involved in such risky behaviors as violence, drug abuse and dropping out of school. To develop into responsible, caring adults, all children must have positive experiences, opportunities and values. And every adult in Pagosa Springs has a role in helping to develop these essential assets in our youth. Through the combined efforts of parents, families and adults in our neighborhoods, schools, congregations and community organizations and institutions, we can live up to the proverbial African wisdom that "it take a whole village to raise a child."

The Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up caring, responsible, and resourceful. The 20 external assets were discussed last week and I will continue in today's column with the 20 internal assets. Internal assets are the skills, commitments, and values that guide young people in making positive choices and developing a strong character.

The first five internal assets measure commitment to learning:

21. Achievement motivation - Young person is motivated to do well in school.

22. School engagement - Young person is actively engaged in learning.

23. Homework - Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.

24. Bonding to school - Young person cares about her or his school.

25. Reading for pleasure - Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Assets 26-31 relate to positive values of youth:

26. Caring - Young person places high value on helping other people.

27. Equality and social justice - Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.

28. Integrity - Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.

29. Honesty - Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."

30. Responsibility - Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.

31. Restraint - Young person believes it is important to not be sexually active or use alcohol or other drugs.

Social competencies are measured in assets 32-36.

32. Planning and decision-making - Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.

33. Interpersonal competence - Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.

34. Cultural competence - Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.

35. Resistance skills - Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.

36. Peaceful conflict resolution - Young person seeks to resolve conflict non-violently.

The remaining four developmental assets point to the importance of a positive self-identity.

37. Personal power - Young person feels he or she has control over "things that happen to me."

38. Self-esteem - Young person reports having a high self-esteem.

39. Sense of purpose - Young person reports that " my life has a purpose."

40. Positive view of personal future - Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

The main message of this column is to make everyone aware of the remaining 20 developmental assets. By getting the word out, we hope to make people aware of the assets philosophy and encourage all of us to take steps to build assets in the youth of Pagosa Springs.

Building assets is easy to do. All it takes is just one small action at a time. Here are a few suggestions and ideas for parents.

Eat at least one meal together every day

Invite friends of your teen to spend time in your home. Get to know them

Thank the people who are important in the life of your child (teachers, bus drivers, clergy, youth group leaders, etc.)

Regularly do things with your child, including projects around the house, recreational activities and service projects. Let your child choose some of the activities to do together

Become active in your child's education. Stay in contact with teachers about progress; don't wait for a report card.

For more information about the 40 developmental assets you can go to the Colorado Assets for Youth website www.buildassets.org. Or you can drop by the Archuleta County Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets (264-2835).

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

Time to examine, food, lifestyle patterns

Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Extension office, 4 p.m.

Today - 4-H Entomology information meeting, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.

Friday - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension office, 2:15 p.m.

Friday - 4-H Cooking, Extension office, 9 a.m.

March 2 - 4-H Rabbit Clinic, Extension office, 10 a.m.

March 4 - 4-H Woodworking, Extension office, 4 p.m.

March 4 - Fair Royalty rehearsal, Extension office, 6 p.m.

March 19 - 4-H Cake Decorating - Unit 4, Extension office, 3:45 p.m.

March 19 - 4-H Vet Science, San Juan Veterinary, 5:30 p.m.

March 19 - Lamb meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.

March 19 - Swine meeting, Extension office, 7 p.m.

Cholesterol levels

February is Heart Health Month and a good time to re-examine eating and lifestyle patterns that may affect the overall health of your heart and the health of those you care for. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Institutes of Health recently issued new guidelines on the prevention and management of high cholesterol in adults.

The new guidelines target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the major carrier of cholesterol in the blood. Research has shown that, if too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries.

As the first step in risk assessment, the NCEP is recommending that all adults over age 20 have a complete fasting lipoprotein profile done at least once every five years. Results of the profile, along with age, smoking status and blood pressure, are then used to determine what's called the "10-year risk" of heart disease. A copy of the risk assessment tool is available online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol.

Basically, people with a LDL-cholesterol value higher than 160 mg/dl are considered at risk of heart disease. The higher your LDL value along with the number of other risk factors (HDL-cholesterol below 40 mg/dl, systolic blood pressure greater than 140 mmHg, family history of early heart disease, cigarette smoking and increasing age), the higher your risk profile. Triglycerides also can raise heart disease risk, particularly if levels are above 150-200 mg/dl.

The good news is that there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your LDL and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Here are some current dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association:

Watch your caloric intake by eating a wide variety of foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol

Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day

Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains. Choose six or more servings per day

Choose nonfat or 1 percent milk and dairy products rather than whole-milk products

Choose fish, poultry without skin and leaner cuts of meat instead of fatty ones.

Choose fats with 2 grams or less saturated fat per serving, such as liquid or tub margarines, canola oil and olive oil

Enjoy 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous activities on most days of the week

Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugar

Maintain a healthy weight.

Business News

Biz Beat

Teri Matzdorf owns and operates Upscale Resale, located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, in the Silverado Shopping Center.

Upscale Resale features high quality consignment items at low prices, with "gently used" family clothing, accessories, sporting goods, furniture, baby items, toys and games, and more.

Upscale Resale is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and accepts consignments during those same business hours Monday through Friday.

Phone 731-4779.

People

Gretchen Bergon

Gretchen W. Bergon of Pagosa Springs has been named to the Dean's List for the fall semester of 2001 at the College of Business and Administration at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

The Dean's List is comprised of students who have achieved a 3.75 or better grade point average based on 12 or more credit hours of work.

 

Logan Marlatt, Sarah Huckins

Two Pagosa Springs students have been named to the Dean's List for the fall quarter at Western State College in Gunnison.

Cited were Logan Marlatt, a B.A. major in mathematics, and Sarah Huckins, a B.A. major in psychology.

To qualify, each had to earn a grade-point average of 3.7 or above for at least 12 credit hours of work.

Features

Oldtimers

By John M. Motter

Margaret Havens, Chromo: Big heart and a big home

Everyone is familiar with the expression, "Home is where the heart is."

Few, indeed, are the folks whose hearts remain in one place as long as those of Margaret and Fitzhugh Havens.

That place called home is Chromo. The Havens have lived in Chromo the better part of 90 years. Only once did they leave. Back in 1940 when America was going to war and those left behind were going to work in defense plants, the Havens moved to California where Fitz was employed at Douglas Aircraft.

He couldn't stand living in Southern California and she "was ready to come back."

Why, when urban United States offered electricity and running water and steady paychecks, did the Havens return to Chromo? In 1942, Chromo had no electricity, household water had to be carried bucket by bucket from the Navajo River, and there were no jobs.

"We moved back to my uncle's (Doc Fitzhugh - the Harold Schutz place today) ranch," Fitz says, "and never thought of going away again. These were our roots. We were living pretty good here - a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, everything we needed to wear. We didn't have to spend money on entertainment. We never had much, but I always thought it was plenty."

It was a kinder, gentler time. People and clocks were not so tightly bound together. And, surprisingly, at a time when prejudice was supposed to be worse than it is today in the United States, Margaret's parents and Margaret herself entered mixed marriages without negative results.

Margaret's mother, Pablita Young, had been born Pablita Juanita Perea. The Pereas were descended from that long line of Hispanic settlers who colonized New Mexico hundreds of years before Anglos ventured much west of the Mississippi River. The direct history of the Pereas is lost to Margaret, but she knows her mother was from Hernandez, N.M. Her father, George Young, an engineer on E.M. Biggs' logging railroad, had come west at the age of 21. He died in May of 1947 at the age of 83.

"He just wanted to see the West," said Margaret.

"Race was never a problem here," Fitz and Margaret said in unison. "We always got along."

"My uncle always hired Hispanics from Edith to work on the ranch," Fitz recalls. Some of the families involved, according to Fitz, were the Jaramillos, Griegos, Talamantes. Abel Martinez worked in the Chromo area, and Margaret's uncle Zeke lived there for awhile.

Margaret and Fitz became acquainted by growing up together in the same community. Margaret's mother was postmistress and Margaret sometimes helped at the post office where, on occasion, Fitz came in. Both attended the Chromo school where they knew each other.

School records for District 2, Chromo, show that Maggie Young, George Young, Frances Shahan, George Shahan, and Irwin Crowley passed an eighth grade proficiency test during 1926. Maggie's name appeared again in 1927 for passing the same test. In other county school districts during 1926, Mabel Born, Ray Macht, and Lynn George also graduated from the eighth grade.

The grade book included the following categories for evaluating student proficiency: arithmetic, reading, penmanship, physiology, orthography, history, grammar, geography, and civics. Across the county, there were 76 eighth grade graduates in 1926. For a large percentage of those graduates, the eighth grade was probably the last year of school.

Fitz passed the eighth grade test in 1930. Mrs. Mary Devereaux was the teacher. Mr. Devereaux had built the school house.

The entire school scene may have been more intimate in those days. Maybe school was easier when your dad or a close neighbor was president of the school board. Margaret's dad served in that capacity several times. So did Fitz's Uncle Henry. In any case, everyone in Chromo knew everyone else.

Fitz's early Chromo years were spent on the Doc Fitzhugh Ranch. In those days, people living on the Navajo were more likely to shop and do business in Chama or Lumberton than make the trip to Pagosa Springs.

In 1934, Doc obtained the government contract to carry mail between Chromo and Lumberton. That meant driving the Chevrolet pickup down a tortuous road along the Navajo River from Chromo to Edith, across country south to Lumberton, and back.

If the weather was good and the roads dry, the trip was made in a pickup. If the roads were wet or snowpacked, the trip might be made horseback, with a team and wagon, or maybe with a team and a wagon running on skis. Lumberton was the other end of the line because the Denver & Rio Grande Southern narrow gauge passed through Lumberton daily. Lumberton was the mail drop for Chromo and the Pagosa Springs post office.

By 1936, Fitz and Margaret knew each other well. On Sept. 18, they quietly slipped away to Parkview, N.M., where they were married by a justice of the peace. They returned home to live on Uncle Doc's ranch. Times were tough. It was the middle of the Great American Depression.

"We returned to the ranch," Fitz says. "We couldn't afford a honeymoon."

H.T. Fitzhugh had homesteaded the ranch in 1887. With wife, Katherine Gatlin, the family moved from Fort Collins to the Navajo River Valley. Doc was the son of H.T.

"They were mostly farmers," Fitz said.

"We had no money," Fitz recalls. "The only way we got by was by milking a bunch of cows. We sold the cream in Pagosa."

The cream was separated from the milk at the ranch. A trip was made to Pagosa Springs once a week carrying the cream in five-gallon cans. The skimmed milk remaining on the ranch was fed to hogs.

"Every family had two or three hogs in those days," Fitz recalls.

A hog scalding, the butchering the family hog, could be a social event. One way of converting a hog from the pen to human food was to kill and clean the hog, dip the carcass in a barrel of boiling water, scrub the hair from the hide with a stiff brush, trim the fat, and butcher the meat. The fat could be rendered into lard and much of the meat smoked or salted.

In addition to milk cows, hay was raised on the ranch, usually timothy or clover. Any surplus hay not fed to the cows was sold.

Family came. Fitz and Margaret decided to try California to help the war effort and maybe earn a little cash. California didn't satisfy and the family returned to Chromo. The trip to and from California had been made in a 1933 Chevrolet pulling a small trailer.

Children born to Fitz and Margaret are Jo Ann, Fitzhugh Jr., Walter George, Elvira K. and Harry Andrew.

Down through the years, the Fitzhughs have watched a way of life, like old-time acquaintances, slip away, gone forever. Were the old days better than modern times?

"Now is better," Fitzhugh says without hesitation. "Back then there was no electricity. Running water was my wife running to the river with a bucket. There was no TV and radio reception was not good.

"It wasn't that bad," Margaret interjected. "After two or three trips to the river, my arms got numb. Then I didn't notice it."

"We don't eat any better now, although food is easier to get," Fitz said. "We don't have better clothes, though I was never inclined to fancy clothes."

Fitz's characteristic denim bib overalls have been in and out of style a number of times since the 1930s.

"Over all, its better now," Fitz continues. "We don't have any kids at home. They did ride the bus to school in Pagosa and we had to have them ready to catch the bus. I don't know if education is any better since they closed the Chromo school. I don't think they learn as much now as they used to. Maybe things are not taught in the classroom. A lot of modern things have not helped society in general."

Concerning education, Fitz speaks from the perspective of having served on the School District 50 Jt. Board of Directors for a number of years.

"My dad only went half-way through the third grade," Fitz recalls. "Still he was pretty smart. If anyone in the valley had a stack of hay, they'd call dad and he would tell them how many tons of hay were in the stack."

Fitz and Margaret are pretty much retired now, filled with memories of the past and visions for the future, bolstered all the while by a hearty sense of home.

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Drama, terror on Pagosa's coldest day

How cold was it?

That's a question often asked when you're having a real winter. I don't want to say there haven't been some cold days this winter, but nothing can compare to what may be the coldest temperature ever recorded in Pagosa Springs.

As one line in last week's weather story reported, the coldest February day ever recorded was on Feb. 1, 1951, when the mercury hit 46 below in Pagosa Springs.

That, my friends, was just plain cold. But it wasn't the coldest recording in the area. On the same day, Alamosa was the coldest spot in the nation at minus-50.

I was in high school and classes were not canceled for the day. In fact, I don't remember us ever having a snow day. Sure, there were days when students in outlying areas couldn't get to town because of deep snow or school buses that wouldn't start, but school was not canceled.

Feb. 1, 1951, was no exception. Few school buses were running and even fewer cars started that morning. Relatively few homes had garages and even the cars inside were reluctant to run in that kind of weather.

I was one of the lucky ones. Not only did I have a ramshackle garage, but my 1938 Packard touring car started, albeit reluctantly.

I thought I should take my mother to work at the Post Office and then start picking up friends so they wouldn't have to walk to school.

First, however, it seemed prudent to take the vehicle for a warm-up drive. It was so cold the tires reacted like they had four square sides and the car sort of bounced down the street until the pressure forced the rubber to expand to something resembling round.

That car had a great heating system but little of the warm air was directed through defroster vents to the windshield.

And, little did I know as I started out, that the entire undercarriage was ice-coated, the brakes were frozen and the accelerator linkage was lined with ice.

I made the turn off Second Street onto Pagosa Street and headed downtown, gently pressing the gas pedal. Suddenly the car shot forward and I couldn't slow it. The linkage was frozen in high choke position.

Luckily, there was no other traffic on the street as I shot around the curve in front of the school and headed into the downtown area. I tried the brakes and they, too, were frozen. Near panic, I remembered something from my one and only driving class. Shut off the engine. I did, and slowly coasted to a stop in front of Highway Cafe which had not yet opened for the day.

I sat there as the sun rose over Reservoir Hill and tried to collect my wits. As the solar heat increased, the car began to thaw. I restarted it and worked the accelerator and brakes until they seemed free at last.

Then I returned home, picked up Mom without telling her of the incident, took her to work and then started picking up other teens.

It was still bitterly cold and I was extremely cautious.

With five persons inside we headed toward school, the collective breath causing interior fogging and everyone was busy wiping windows clear so they could see outside.

We arrived at school to find warmth inside. The hot water heat was boiling away and the interior was so warm students were cracking windows open to make classrooms more comfortable.

I had parked the car on the Lewis Street hill behind the school so that sunlight would hopefully thaw the buggy and make it drivable when class was over.

It worked. The car started immediately when I went to it after basketball practice, and I let it warm up for what I remember as at least 15 minutes to be sure everything was thawed and operating properly before driving home.

How cold was it?

Officially, 46 below. For that old Packard, it was the ice age returned.

But, reminiscing, it was a great car for a teen of the '50s. The big, straight block 12 engine provided all the power necessary and got surprisingly good mileage. The one thing it did not do well on was oil usage.

And a second slight drawback was the fact the battery was under the driver's seat. It kept it warmer than in other vehicles, but it was something of a fire hazard. The battery was covered with a framed cardboard. Sometimes you'd smell smoke and realize the cables had ignited the cardboard.

You simply pulled to the side of the road, removed the drivers' seat, took off the cover and extinguished the embers. Finally, a local mechanic cut a piece of asbestos board for me to use as a cover and it was never again a problem. (This, of course, was long before asbestos was determined to be a health hazard).

There was no on-board computer to calculate proper fuel ratios, no engine climate control system to automatically adjust compression and carburation for the degree of temperature outside, and no global positioning system to tell you where you were and how to get from there to where you wanted to be.

Two years later I sold the car to Gordon O'Neal and a dozen years after that he was still driving it.

It was a car which got you where you wanted to go, even on the coldest day in history here, with just a little bit of drama - and terror - mixed in.

Food For Thought

By Karl Isberg

Mr. Romance learns Valentine lesson

Call me Mr. Romance.

Like any guy who's been with his wife 30 years, I know a thing or two about romance. I'm like fine wine - mellow, aged to perfection. I know what a woman wants.

I used to labor under some serious misconceptions; as a young man, I confused love with lust, romance was synonymous with the crafty pursuit of primitive goals. How limbic, how naive.

Several decades later, I have a different perspective. I understand expressions of love and adoration. I am skilled. I know what a woman wants.

And what better occasion to let fly with those expressions than the recently-completed Valentine's Day.

I don't keep Valentine's Day on my pocket planner. As a matter of fact, I don't have a pocket planner and, I admit, there were times in the past when I needed one, when I was less attentive to the emotional needs of my spouse and daughters, when I forgot the blissful day was on the horizon.

There were many years when I made hasty trips to the grocery store on Valentine's Day, actually Valentine's Evening, purportedly to fetch some milk or Brussels sprouts, having remembered the holiday at the very last moment. The pickings, gift-wise, were pretty slim at the eleventh hour but one of those cheesy little red hearts crammed with cheap chocolates was enough to placate my star-struck sweeties. I bought quite a few of those cheesy little red hearts.

Now that I am mature, there are no last-minute, desperate trips in search of heartfelt gifts. I am more mindful of my love bunny and her needs. I know what a woman wants.

This year, I was aware of the approach of Valentine's Day sufficiently ahead of time to make plans. I figured, with a sly and superbly crafted approach, I might get lucky.

My first alert to the pending Day of Love was the fact the Food Network started showing programs about chocolate. Everything was chocolate. Even the Iron Chef was cooking with chocolate. A dead giveaway.

The second hint came from Kathy. She gave me a valentine on Feb. 7. I sat down to dinner and there was an envelope on the table in front of me; my name was printed in large block letters, impossible to miss.

"Open it," she said.

Best husband, great dad, love and kisses, etc. Happy Valentine's Day.

"It's early," said Kathy, fixing me with a steely gaze. "There's still a week left before the real Valentine's Day. The important day."

Message received.

What will I get?

Kathy can't eat chocolate or anything with sugar in it. These are among the twelve-thousand foods not permitted on her diet.

Flowers?

Call me callous, but I've never understood the fascination with flowers.

They're dead.

Granted, the colors are pretty, but the flowers have been severed from their roots, the stalks no longer bearing precious nutrients. To me, a fistful of lovely dead things does not shout love.

So, I'm in the grocery store the day before Valentine's Day and I spot a huge multi-tiered display of flowers. The sickening aroma of flower death is everywhere. Around the base, however, is a row of potted plants. Aha, I think: living things. Things that grow and flourish . . . like our love.

But, which one to buy?

I ask the advice of a woman I see now and then when I am at the gym lifting heavy objects and putting them back down. She points out that some of the potted plants are, in fact, bulbs. Aha: bulbs, buried beneath the surface during the cold winter months, waiting for the warmth of spring to push out a shoot and flower. Just like my relationship with my wife. I do something incredibly stupid, there is a winter-like response but, at long last, the spring thaw arrives, and I get lucky. Perfect.

Furthermore, one of the pots containing three bulbs is within my price range. I realize you can't put a price tag on love, but I am down to my last seven dollars. The bulbs it is.

When Kathy arrived home from her yoga class, I had her dinner ready - broiled salmon fillet, orzo with garlic butter and parsley, green peas - and her Valentine's gift, three soon-to-bloom hibiscus bulbs sitting in a pot directly in front of her dinner plate.

Part of being in love with someone is caring enough to learn to decipher her subtle signals. You must be alert to your mate's gestures, her facial expressions, the angle of inclination of her head, the movement of her eyes, the tone of her voice, her posture.

The bulbs were not enough. The metaphor was lost.

I knew what to do. The next day, I borrowed five bucks from a friend and set off to the store in search of a card. Suffice it to say, come February 14, the card rack looked like a display in Berlin, 1945, just after a battalion of Russian soldiers pillaged the shopping district.

I rifled through the debris and came up with a card. I thought it was nice: there was an iridescent red heart on the front. Inside it said "Thank you for being you. Happy Valentine's Day." There was a drawing of a small bird with a ribbon in its beak right above the inscription.

The women at the SUN office demanded to see the card.

I had to take the card back and get a refund.

I searched three other stores before I found a card that met the exacting standards imposed by my coworkers: sweet, sentimental, sugary, sappy.

"You are the love of my life. My life would be empty without you. You are more than my wife and the mother of my children: you are my best friend, you are a goddess" etc.

The card and a great dinner would do the trick. I had proof this works.

My friend Mike has been married to Berkey for 30 years and never gave her a Valentine. This year, suffering the mental ravages of advancing age, he cracked.

Mike bought Berkey a new garbage disposal, with the understanding she would install it herself.

He drew a heart on the box.

He bought Berkey off with dinner: jambalaya, and shrimp done on the grill.

A gift and dinner. The magic combination for romance.

I signed my card and tucked it in a snazzy pastel-colored envelope and put the envelope next to Kathy's place setting.

I planned the menu in accord with what Kathy can eat.

Beef tenderloin with a jacket of Maytag and a cabernet sauce?

No, the wine is fermented and the beef is riddled with hormones. Bleu cheese? Not in a million years.

Chicken Kiev?

No, the hormone problem again, and breadcrumbs and cheese are verboten. Ham has nitrites, you know. We can't have nitrites; they'll shrivel our vital organs.

Fettucini Alfredo?

Cream. Can't have cream. And the wheat flour in the pasta is too highly refined. Butter? You gotta be kidding.

Caviar.

Ick.

Seared foie gras?

The poor goose suffered liver disease.

Veal Oscar?

Imagine the suffering endured by that defenseless little calf.

Lobster?

Kathy was once trapped on an atoll off the coast of British Honduras and had to subsist on a lobster diet. Never again.

Brie en croute?

Cheese equals mold equals death.

For the love button to be pushed, the meal had to be "organic." Now, I identify everything this side of rocks and sterile dirt as organic, so I am at a loss when it comes to this moniker. Further, it seems clear that, when the "organic" label is affixed to a food product, the color fades and the price trebles. I usually avoid organic, but Mr. Romance knows no bounds when it comes to an expression of love, so this night would be different.

How about a vegetable stew, rich with root vegetables, tomato, Garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, "organic" chicken stock, yam? Slathered over a mound of couscous?

Dear heavens, to what depths had I sunk?

Kathy got the dinner. She got the card.

I threw in some blueberries for dessert.

That night, after Arnie was on his dog bed and the lights were turned down low, Mr. Romance got his reward.

"Thanks for the card, Chubby," she said. "I love you."

I got a hug.

That's lucky, isn't it? After 30 years?

I know what a woman wants.