Front Page
September 19, 2002

PAWS bills bring flood of protests

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A storm of protests followed the opening of water bills mailed out the first of this month by Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

"My bill went up from $276 to $1,721 in one month," said Marsha Preuit, owner of the Spa Motel. "I've had the tap since the 1950s. I called everyone I know."

Preuit's water consumption for August was 108,000 gallons, up about 20,000 gallons over the previous month because of increased patronage of the business.

Preuit's reaction was echoed by Jean Farrer, owner of the Pinewood Motel. Farrer's September bill for August water consumption jumped from $204 to $1,086.

Both motels are located in the old downtown area. Both received water service from the former Pagosa Springs water system before that system was united with the district system in 1993. And somewhere in the uniting of the two systems are the seeds for the huge jump in September water bills, especially for commercial users in the old downtown area.

In response to a large number of protests following the delivery of September bills, the district board of directors conducted a workshop Thursday. Two options emerging from it will be considered at a Sept. 24 board meeting, according to Harold Slavinski, the board president. Both options revolve around what to do about equivalent units for commercial users from the old downtown area.

Because of drought conditions, all water users served by the district, residential and commercial, have been under water restrictions. First, Level 1 restrictions asking for voluntary outside watering were enacted.

Later, as drought conditions worsened, Level 2 restrictions were enacted. Level 2 greatly reduced outside watering, but it had another impact. Under Level 2 rules, water charges increase for tiers of consumption above 8,000 gallons per month. For the first 8,000 gallons of water consumed, the district charges $13.50 plus a $5.25 temporary surcharge. For consumption above 8,000 gallons per month, water charges escalate at the following rate: 8,001 to 20,000 gallons - $14 per 1,000 gallons; 20,001 to 30,000 gallons - $22.50 per 1,000 gallons; 30,001 to 40,000 gallons - $27 per 1,000 gallons; 40,001 to 50,000 gallons - $31.50 per 1,000 gallons; and above 51,000 gallons- $90 per 1,000 gallons.

September's water bills were the first Level 2 water bills mailed out by the district, according to Slavinski. The results caught district officials by surprise. Since the district had not made Level 2 calculations using actual consumption figures for specific businesses, they did not know what to expect, Slavinski said.

A second, bigger problem was revealed as the new problem was studied. Water rates for commercial users are based on equivalent units. Equivalent units are calculated based on a formula used by the American Water Works Association across the United States. A table of numbers based on average consumption for specific businesses is consulted. That number is multiplied by the square footage of the business applying for water. The result is divided by 243 gallons per day. The number arrived at is the number of equivalent units the new applicant needs.

New businesses pay $1,760 for each equivalent unit of water purchased. If they are served by district sewage facilities, another charge of $2,680 is made for a sewage equivalent unit. If a business needs 10 equivalent units of water, the initial charge will be 10 times $1,760 or $17,600. If the business uses district sewage services, the initial charge, also called a capital investment fee, will be more.

So much for new businesses. What about existing businesses, especially those formerly part of the old town water system?

"Most of the problem we have now is because the equivalent units were set up wrong when the town came into the district," Slavinski said. "We pretty much accepted the town system as it existed. We didn't notice we had a problem until we sent out the Level 2 bills."

As a result of Tuesday's workshop, Shellie Tressler, the district's administrative assistant has been analyzing the problem. She has identified about 70 commercial accounts that are problems because of the equivalent unit arrangement.

"We've analyzed usage that identifies about 70 commercial accounts that are underrated for equivalent units, where the structure is not appropriate for the usage plus Level 2 rates," said Tressler. "The result has been some huge bills."

A good part of what has happened is that businesses taken in from the former Pagosa Springs system were accepted at face value without attempting to see if the Pagosa Springs equivalent unit systems was the same as the district's equivalent unit system. No attempt was made to see if the Pagosa Springs accounts matched the water association chart used by the district. The fact that a difference existed between the two systems did not surface until September Level 2 bills were received.

One result is that businesses with too few equivalent units hit the Level 2 extra consumption charges sooner than they would if they had the proper number of equivalent units.

Now that the disparity has been discovered, district officials promise to do something Tuesday night.

"We have quite a few options," Slavinski said. "We'll take care of it Tuesday."

The major dilemma remaining for the board is contained in a question: Should the former Pagosa Springs businesses be charged for additional equivalent units they need, or should equivalent units be added without charging?

 

Nighttime road work is coming downtown

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The paving project on U.S. 160 is coming downtown.

Starting Sept. 22, the Colorado Department of Transportation will begin milling the pavement curb to curb from 8th Street east to the Junction Restaurant entry approach. To help local businesses, this piece of the project will be done at night and is expected to last through at least Sept. 26.

Nancy Shanks, a CDOT public relations representative, said the milling is expected to be complete at the end of next week, weather permitting. Crews are scheduled to work from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. each night. With three lanes open at all times, impact on traffic should be minimal.

The department of transportation is asking that motorists refrain from parking along San Juan and Pagosa streets during the scheduled construction so work can be completed as quickly as possible. Following the milling operation, the town of Pagosa Springs will complete its curb, gutter and sidewalk work next to the highway at the intersection with Hot Springs Boulevard; crews will pave the highway in mid-October. Whether or not paving through town will be done at night has yet to be determined.

The entire 11-mile highway resurfacing and intersection improvement project will be complete in early November.

The paving operation east of town on Wolf Creek pass is expected to finish slightly sooner, in mid-October. Paving began on the six miles of U.S. 160 from the summit east to the snow shed in August. Ten-minute delays are possible. Wide loads are restricted to 12 feet at all times.

Construction also continues at the Wolf Creek tunnel project on the east approach to the pass. Lane closures and delays are scheduled to last through early 2003. Daytime delays will normally be kept to 45 minutes or less Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Friday. A width restriction of 10 feet is in place. Updated information on the project can be accessed on the CDOT Web site at www.dot.state.co. us, on the Wolf Creek Pass Tunnel Project hotline at (719) 873-2221 and on the toll free road condition hotline at (877) 315-ROAD.

 

Home Rule vote bumped by deadlines

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A vote on home rule for Pagosa Springs will have to wait because of publication conflicts.

"Unfortunately, the statutory requirement for petition dates couldn't be matched with the county clerk's printing date," Town Administrator Jay Harrington said, referring to deadlines for the November general election ballot. As a result, the town decided to pull two home rule questions, and schedule a separate election in late winter or early spring.

The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees voted Aug. 13 to move forward with a consideration of home rule, an alternative form of government available to municipalities in Colorado based upon the theory that local government and local problems should be organized and solved locally.

The trustees' resolution would have placed two questions on the November ballot. The first asked voters to choose, yes or no, whether or not the town should pursue home rule. The second asked voters to choose nine members of a home rule charter commission, the group assigned to write the document that will lay out local government powers and structure under home rule.

It was this second question that turned out to be trouble. Those wanting to have their name on the ballot to become part of the charter commission were required to gather a minimum of 25 signatures from registered town voters on a petition. The number of days they have to meet that requirement is set by state statute, and those requirements just wouldn't match up with the printer's requirements.

Harrington said the county clerk was as accommodating as possible, but it turned out the town would have to wait.

"There is still a commitment from the town to move forward," he added. The town trustees will make a decision on when to hold a special election on the two ballot issues at their next regular meeting, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, the town, led by administrative intern Julie Jessen, will continue to work on educating the community concerning home rule. The next home rule workshop is at 5:30 p.m. today at Town Hall. The public is invited to attend.

 

All fire restrictions lifted for Archuleta County

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

All fire bans in Archuleta County have been lifted.

Included in the removal of the bans are restrictions imposed by the county, U.S. Forest Service and Gov. Bill Owens.

County restrictions and an evacuation advisory alert were lifted Tuesday by the county commissioners acting on advice from Sheriff Tom Richards and Chief Warren Grams of the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

County officials say the need for fire bans will be reviewed on a regular basis. If conditions warrant, restrictions may be reinstated.

Fire restrictions on San Juan National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in southwestern Colorado were removed effective Sept. 13.

A Sept. 12 order from Gov. Owens lifted restrictions imposed by his office.

Recent rains, cooler temperatures and higher humidities were listed as reasons for lifting the bans.

Even with the fire restrictions removed, officials urge extreme caution when handling fire. County officials advise that anyone with an open flame have a fire extinguisher, water and fire fighting implements such as a shovel nearby. Permits, issued by the sheriff, are required for outside burning in the county.

The U.S Forest Service advises backcountry visitors to continue to exercise caution when using fire.

Campers are urged to extinguish all fires each time they leave campsites. A good practice, Forest Service officials say, is to douse ashes with water and stir until there is no smoke and the ashes are cool to the touch.

Cigarette butts should not be thrown from moving vehicles or placed anywhere but in appropriate containers. Woodcutters are advised to carry water and have a shovel and fire extinguisher with them at all times. A permit is required to cut wood on forest service lands. Chain saws should have spark arrestors.

The Four Corners remains under D4, exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor prepared by an affiliation of weather agencies.

After dipping to as low as 8 cubic feet per second, the median daily stream flow in the San Juan River measured in town peaked at more than 200 cfs Sept. 11, and was still flowing at 50 cfs Sunday.

Sewer extension bids come in over budget

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An unsuccessful bid opening on extension of a sewer line east along U.S. 160 from Pagosa Springs has put the project on hold.

Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington said five bids opened Aug. 27 all "came in substantially higher than what the project could support financially."

Engineers' estimates placed the cost of the project, which would extend a sewer line east of town to the site of Day Lumber, at $571,460.50 with $149,100 in alternates.

The lowest bid came in at $731,312.10 with $203,885 in alternates, an 83-percent higher cost per foot than similar work being done in the area. The highest bid came in at about $1.8 million with alternates.

According to a letter sent by the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District to landowners affected by the project, the low bid represented a cost of $54.53 per foot. Engineers estimated the cost at $42.61 per foot, and the average price per foot for a new gravity main line rests at $29.50.

The costs were a bit surprising, Harrington said, because large projects like this have been fairly competitive in the area. In fact, all but one of the larger projects bid by the town recently have come in below engineers' estimates.

However, the town is not willing to cut the scope of the project just yet. Instead, plans are to re-bid the extension in December with a couple of modifications.

Harrington said contractors were concerned with two aspects of the project that increased costs - making road bores instead of road cuts and being confined to a 20-foot construction easement. To address those concerns, the town is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to get permission for road cuts, and is considering asking landowners for larger easements in some critical spots along the project.

Re-bidding is something the town has done before, and with the changes Harrington said it's hoped the cost will come down enough to make it feasible. If not, the Sanitation General Improvement District board will have to consider reducing the scope of the project.

The U.S. 160 east sewer extension project is being funded through tap fees paid by the landowners, a $300,000 grant from the state health department and a $200,000 low-interest loan from the state water and power authority. Payments on the 20-year loan will be covered by a surcharge on the landowners' monthly bill.

 Weather

Date High Low Precip
Type
Depth Moisture

9/11

63

38

R

-

.23

9/12

67

39

R

-

.02

9/13

66

38

R

-

.03

9/14

72

37

-

-

-

9/15

77

39

-

-

-

9/16

76

39

-

-

-

9/17

74

38

-

-

-

You're right, that was rain - .34 inch fell here

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Rain soaked Pagosa Country this past week increasing water flow in the river, adding a touch of green to lawns and pastures and bringing a smile to the faces of water managers.

In a late-season display of monsoon-type weather, Pagosa Springs received 0.34 inches of rain this past week and more is on the way. The rainfall total in Pagosa Springs for September is 0.36 inches.

"Thursday (today) will be mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance for showers and thundershowers," said Gary Chancy, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "The rainy conditions will continue Thursday night. Friday will remain partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thundershowers. The chance for rain decreases to 20 percent Saturday."

No precipitation is predicted for Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, Chancy said, but there is a chance for a low-pressure trough to move into Colorado early next week. Moisture from next week's storm system will probably cross northern Colorado and Wyoming, missing Pagosa Springs, according to Chancy.

High temperatures through the coming week should top out between the mid-60s or low 70s, with low temperatures ranging in the low to mid-40s.

The combination of a low-pressure area over southern California combined with a high-pressure area over eastern New Mexico brought rain to the Four Corners over the past few days, according to Chancy. Much of the moisture originated from the hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico.

High temperatures last week ranged between 71 and 81 degrees with an average high temperature of 77 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 37 and 40 degrees with an average low reading of 39 degrees.

No freezing temperatures have been recorded for this season in Pagosa Springs. The first freeze last year was Sept. 9. The next freeze occurred almost a month later on Oct. 5. The first date last year when snow on the surrounding mountains was visible from town was Oct. 8. Last year's first snow in town dropped Oct. 12 when a half-inch descended.

 

 Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Seven firms interested in park development plan

By Junior Lister

SUN Columnist

As of today, seven companies have contacted this department interested in bidding on the first phase of a master plan to help us utilize 15.4 acres on the east side of South 5th Street the town plans to develop into a sports complex.

The complex will feature two softball and little league fields, a soccer field, skateboard park, hockey rink, a changing area for river sport enthusiasts and an amphitheater. We want to get the best design possible for our money, and will try to pick a design that benefits town use the best.

We are excited about the response to this project and are moving closer and closer to having more space for local users' recreation.

Volleyball plans

Six team captains joined in a recent meeting planning a coed volleyball league. Games will be played in the intermediate school and the new Community Center.

For more information call Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Sixth grade interest

The social studies class taught by Leann Skoglund has asked me to come visit and have discussions on park rules and etiquette. Most of this interest stemmed from the SUN article about foul language and skateboard park etiquette. It seemed to raise the interest in their thinking and they felt compelled to try to help find a solution and set of rules that everyone can agree to.

I welcome their input and applaud their maturity for stepping forward and trying to help make the park a place that everyone can enjoy. I hope that from these sessions we help set the foundation for new ideas and rules we all can live by. It is important to listen to the young people, because it doesn't seem that long ago that we all were in the sixth grade and wondering about how things work. They have taken it upon themselves to be a part of the solution.

I have some of my own ideas and thoughts, but I will go into these classes with an open mind, trying to help make their efforts productive. By seeing the world through their eyes, in turn maybe they will see the world through my eyes and understand that the parks are public, for everyone from every age group, and we must work together for a fun, safe recreation environment.

The subculture that exists in the users of the parks is unbelievable; what one person perceives as OK is not all right with other users.

I have not witnessed a senior citizen use foul language when he or she did not land a trick, or yell out obscenities when things did not go their way.

On the other hand, I have never seen a teen or pre-teen take a 100 gallon tank and fill it from town water faucets or let their pet make a mess in the park without picking it up. So, we as adults must modify our own behavior so we set an example for others.

We must ask ourselves, "Are my actions offending anyone? Am I breaking any park or town rules by doing what I'm doing?" If the answer is yes, then we must change our behavior with action to correct our mistake.

Clean, beautiful parks are a privilege. Let's think and act responsibly.

 

Pirates scuttle Delta 24-6 to delight homecoming fans

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs' varsity gridders gave hometown fans a treat Saturday by scuttling the Delta Panthers 24-6. It was Homecoming for the Pirates and extended this year's home winning streak over Panthers to 2-0. They beat the Cortez Panthers 37-6 the previous week.

After viewing game films from the Delta contest, Pirate coach Sean O'Donnell described the Pirate performance as "Not too bad.

"Delta came in herse with two losses. They were hungry for a win," O'Donnell said. "They worked hard, but we capitalized on their mistakes in order to beat them. I'm still frustrated with the extra points."

Pagosa tallied four touchdowns, but no extra points. Freshman kicker Daniel Aupperle sat out Saturday's game because of a concussion suffered during a freshman game earlier in the week.

Pagosa's defense surrendered just one touchdown to Delta Saturday then slammed the door.

After receiving the opening kickoff, Delta marched 62 yards on 12 plays to score with 7:30 remaining on the first quarter clock. Pagosa's Pablo Martinez blocked the extra point try, leaving the visitors with a temporary 6-0 advantage.

Pagosa responded with a touchdown march of their own. The drive was kept alive by a fourth-down gamble on the Delta 44-yard line. The gamble paid off when running back Brandon Charles banged for 2 yards and a first down. Later, quarterback David Kern's third-down, 27-yard pass to Brandon Rosgen kept the drive alive. Delta responded to the touchdown by blocking the extra point attempt. The score was tied 6-6 with a little over one minute remaining on the first quarter clock.

After forcing a Delta punt following the ensuing kickoff, Pagosa kept the ball for almost eight minutes and 18 plays before surrendering it on an unsuccessful fourth-down attempt deep in Delta territory. On Delta's first play from scrimmage, Pagosa's D recovered the ball, Martinez covering a fumble on the Delta 37.

Pagosa again gambled on fourth down and again the gamble paid off. This time Kern hit Jason Schutz over the middle for 22 yards and a first down. Three plays later, Kern dumped a short pass to Jeremy Kaler in the left flat and the Pirate junior danced into the end zone. A run for the extra points failed and, with 1 minute, 6 seconds on the clock, Pagosa led 12-6.

Pagosa's Charles returned the second half kickoff to the 30-yard line, where the Pirates launched a third scoring drive. A 47-yard pass from Kern to Aaron Hamilton and a 9-yard run by Rosgen moved Pagosa into scoring territory. Kern connected with Schutz on the goal line for the score. A stretching Delta lineman knocked down Kern's pass to stop the extra point try. Pagosa's lead moved to 18-6.

Again the D came to the front for Pagosa. The Panthers fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Pagosa's Coy Ross covered the ball this time. Kern threw an interception to return the favor. Despite the favor, Delta couldn't move the ball and was forced to punt. Pagosa, also unable to move the ball, punted back to Delta. Delta lined up on their own 10-yard line. Pagosa's defense took over yet again. Delta's quarterback was sacked, losing the ball on the first play from scrimmage.

Three plays after starting on the 3-yard line, Kern sneaked into the end zone for Pagosa's final score. The extra point kick failed. Pagosa was on top 24-6 with one minute remaining in the third period.

Delta threatened to score early in the final period. The Panthers picked up a first down on the Pirate 24-yard line. Four plays later on fourth down, Pirate Michael Valdez slammed into John Davis two inches short of a first down. Later during the quarter, the Pagosa defense again held on downs, this time on their 11-yard line.

Pagosa's balanced offense picked up 321 yards against the Panthers, 124 yards through the air and 182 yards on the ground. Kern completed seven of 16 pass attempts, finding five receivers. Schutz caught two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown, Rosgen two passes for 29 yards, Charles two passes for 16 yards, Caler one pass for 4 yards and a touchdown, and Hamilton one pass for 47 yards.

Rosgen rushed 24 times for 120 yards, Charles 22 times for 62 yards and a touchdown, Kern seven times for minus-6 yards and a touchdown, and Caler three times for 21 yards.

Linebacker Pablo Martinez led the defense with eight tackles, two tackle assists, and one fumble recovery. Clayton Mastin turned in five tackles, two tackle assists, two quarterback sacks, and recovered a fumble. Kory Hart contributed three tackles, four tackle assists and one fumble recovery. Kern made five unassisted tackles. Ben Marshal added a fumble recovery to one tackle and one tackle assist.

The fare changes from Panther to Indian tomorrow when the Pirates cross the San Juans to take on 1-2 Montrose. Game time is 7 p.m.

Montrose will challenge the Pirate D with the best offense the Pirates have seen this year, according to O'Donnell. The Indians have good team speed, a veteran quarterback and receivers with good hands.

Summary

Pagosa Springs 6 6 12 0 24

Delta 6 0 6 0 6

Delta: Christie 5 run (kick blocked). Pagosa: Charles 6 run (kick blocked). Pagosa: Kern 5 pass to Caler (run fail). Pagosa: Kern 6 pass to Schutz (pass fail). Pagosa: Kern 1 run (kick wide).

Ladies spike Centauri home court dream in three

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Last Thursday, Bayfield spoiled the Lady Pirates' Homecoming volleyball match with a three-game victory.

In the interest of balance, the Ladies traveled to La Jara Friday and did the same to Intermountain league rival Centauri, 15-6, 4-15, 15-6.

The win evened the Ladies' IML record at 1-1 and put the team's season record at 2-3.

The night began on a high note for a large crowd of Falcon supporters, most of them no doubt thinking, after hearing news of the Bayfield win the night before, their hometown heroes would ride the gravy train against their nemesis. The last time the Falcons beat Pagosa was midseason 1995.

It was not to be.

While the Falcons were absorbed in pre-game Homecoming festivities, the Lady Pirates were setting their sights on a win. They left the locker room and went right to work.

The Ladies quieted the gym with a dominating performance in the first game.

Bri Scott started the scoring for the Ladies with a kill to the back line and a stuff block by Lori Walkup gave Pagosa a 2-0 lead.

That lead was quickly extended to 5-0 with a series of Falcon mistakes and a stuff by Courtney Steen. Centauri managed three points but Pagosa reversed the momentum, going in front 11-3 with kills by Shannon Walkup, Katie Bliss and Lori Walkup, all fed by sets from Amy Young.

Centauri managed to score three consecutive points before Young took back serve with a roll shot. Steen scored with an ace and great back-row play by Pagosa kept the opponent's attack at bay. Young hit an ace, Centauri gave up a point with a hitting error and Shannon Walkup killed inside the block to seal the win in the opener.

The second game gave the hometown crowd renewed hope. Pagosa's blocks were not at the point of attack or were poorly set and the defense waffled. The Lady Pirate serve receive crumbled.

Centauri built an 8-4 lead, then took advantage of Pagosa mistakes and a suddenly effective offense - scoring with an outside attack, ace serves and dumps from the setter - to cruise to the win.

The third game of the match was tied at 2-2 and that was a close as Centauri got to victory.

Bliss, Shannon Walkup and Steen took control of the net and, again, the digs appeared in the back court with passes making their way to the setter.

Ahead 8-4, the Ladies stepped it up a notch, maybe two notches, allowing the hosts only two more points then running the table with Scott at the serve for seven points and Bliss nailing three kills along the way.

"I don't believe Centauri showed us everything they've got," said Lady Pirate coach Pennè Hamilton.

The Ladies, on the other hand, were in better form against the Falcons than they were the night before against Bayfield, according to the coach. "I was impressed with our passing," she said. "On Thursday, against Bayfield, we played tight and didn't pass well. Against Centauri, it was better."

One of the problems with a young team, said Hamilton, is inconsistency. "In the second game against Centauri, we suffered too many mental errors, made too many mistakes that happen when you don't focus. But, the third game, the girls came out, took control and our offense worked."

Hamilton gave her players and coaches a day off Monday, in recognition of a rough two-night stint the week before, and to give them a breather before Saturday when the team hits the road to Montrose for two matches in one day.

"We're coming into a stretch of tough matches in what is a very tough schedule," said the coach. "This weekend, at Montrose, I hope to see us work on our offense, do some attacking without giving up so many free balls and serve a little more consistently than we have."

The Ladies play class 4A Montrose at 1 p.m. then turn around and tangle with 3A Olathe right after, at 3:45.

Summary

Pagosa Springs def Centauri 15-6, 4-15, 15-6

Kills: Steen 7, Bliss 6, S. Walkup 5

Ace serves: Young 2

Solo blocks: L. Walkup 3

Digs: S. Walkup 13, Young 9

Assists: L. Walkup 10, Young 9

 

Excitement reigns as Ladies take Bayfield to the wire

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If sport serves to entertain the spectator, then this year's Lady Pirate volleyball team is more fun than chipmunks in a coffee can.

Jostle the can and you never know exactly what will happen. All you know is it will be frantic and it will be fun.

If entertainment was a requirement, last Thursday's volleyball match between Pagosa's Lady Pirates and the Bayfield Wolverines was just the ticket.

Despite the fact the Wolverines won the match 15-12, 8 -15, 20-18, some of the action was the best that's been seen in the Pagosa gym in many years.

Bayfield marched a veteran, senior-dominated team into town — a team that finished second to the Ladies at the 2001 district tournament and advanced to regionals. Pagosa countered with a mix of vets and sophomores, not one more than 5 feet 9 inches tall.

The story of the first game of the match is simple: you give an opponent two substantial runs, with six and five unanswered points respectively and it is difficult to make up ground. The Ladies came as close as you can get.

The visitors nailed six points at the outset, before Pagosa could answer.

The home team fought back to go ahead 10-8, then the Wolverines made their five-point run, four of five points courtesy of Pagosa errors. Bayfield led 13-10.

A Bayfield hitting error surrendered a point and Pagosa's Lori Walkup annihilated an errant Wolverine pass, but the visitors rebounded and scored twice to end the game.

The Ladies went ahead 3-0 to start the second game. Bayfield responded with a two-point rally.

Pagosa then put nine unanswered points on the scoreboard before the visitors could regroup. The teams traded sideouts and sporadic points and, with the Ladies ahead 14-8, Bri Scott aced a serve to cement the win and take the match to a third and deciding game.

Several times in the second game of the match, the action featured ferocious rallies, highlighted by tremendous defensive plays on both sides of the net. Fans signaled their appreciation of the play of both teams.

The rallies and the excitement carried over to the third game, with the intensity reaching maximum levels.

Bayfield was ahead 2-0; Pagosa surged back to lead 4-2 on a stuff block by Lori Walkup, a kill by Katie Bliss, an ace by Amy Young and a kill inside the block by Shannon Walkup.

Bayfield tied the score at 4-4. Pagosa got a single point before the Wolverines capitalized on a series of Pagosa mistakes to go ahead 7-5.

It was Pagosa's turn to score. Bliss nailed a kill then stepped to the service line. Bayfield committed four consecutive hitting errors in the face of an effective lady Pirate block. The teams traded sideouts and Pagosa got three more points - one on an ace by Courtney Steen, another on a stuff block by Shannon Walkup.

The tide turned again and Bayfield put six unanswered points on the board.

From that point on, it was a race to the barn with both teams in a position to win. The atmosphere in the gym was electric as the momentum flowed back and forth.

The Ladies got their first chance to put the game and match away when a Bayfield hitting error gave the home team a 14-12 lead.

Five sideouts later, Bayfield roared back, scoring four times, taking a 15-14 lead. Bliss returned serve to Pagosa with a kill from the weak side and Steen killed from the middle. The Ladies were up 16-15 and again needed only one point to win.

Bayfield tied it a 16-16.

Pagosa went ahead 17-16, but could not find a way to bring the game to an end. Bayfield tied with an ace.

Bliss killed to put Pagosa in front 18-17. Again Bayfield tied the score, then eked out a point to go ahead 19-18. The battle ended with a Pagosa player called for running into the net.

It was a tough loss for the Ladies in their first Intermountain League match of the year. It was a sweet victory for the Wolverines, who had not beaten Pagosa for more than a decade.

"This is one of the stronger Bayfield teams I've seen," said Lady Pirate coach Pennè Hamilton. "They are stronger offensively. Next time, we'll defend their attack from the middle better. They have nine seniors on their team. We have more room for improvement than they do. When I talked to the girls after the match, I asked them if they would rather have an easy time and win 15-2 or have to work for what they get. I told them, in the end, they'll be a better team for the struggle. They agreed. We'll get to see Bayfield again."

Summary

Bayfield def. Pagosa Springs 15-12, 8-15, 20-18

Kills: S. Walkup 10, Bliss 9.

Ace serves: Young 5, Bliss 2.

Solo blocks: L. Walkup 4, Steen 2.

Digs: S. Walkup 23, Bliss 13, L. Walkup 12.

Assists: Young 18, L. Walkup 10.

 

Golfers tune up for regional in match play tie at Kirtland

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"They're ready."

That was Coach Mark Faber's assessment as he prepared to take his Pagosa Springs High School golf team into regional action Friday at the Desert Hawk course in Pueblo.

As you read this the players should be getting their first look at the layout, with two afternoon tee times scheduled for practice sessions. Faber said the players will be making notes on traps, club selection, prevailing winds, location of hazards and any other data that will help them in actual competition Friday.

Working the course will be the four regulars on this season's varsity squad - Jesse Trujillo, Garrett Forrest, Dan Coggins and Ty Faber.

Coach Faber believes each of his regional players has a chance to advance to state competition on the Boomerang course in Greeley, date yet to be determined. Each has shot in the mid or low 70s at least once this season and last year's qualifying scores from regional competition were at the 76-77 level.

To get ready for the regional, Pagosa took on Kirtland's Broncos Sept. 12 in Kirtland, N.M., taking a 10-player team for Ryder Cup style competition with head-to-head play with an overall team score.

Two Pagosa starters, Trujillo and Forrest, elected not to make the trip so they could concentrate on academic performance and make sure they were caught up.

In the Kirtland action, Coggins played the Broncos' No. 1 even and got a tie for the effort.

Ty Faber, playing the No. 2 spot, matched his foe evenly for 17 holes but dropped the final hole and under match play rules finished one hole down.

Casey Belarde, playing at No. 3, lost 5-down; Steven Sellers, at No. 4, also finished 5-down to his foe.

Several golfers who have been fighting for varsity spots all season performed extremely well, Faber said.

Jake Mackensen at No. 5 won 3-up; Niko Carrizo at No. 6 won 1-up; Matt Lattin at No. 7 won 3-up; Danny Lyon at No. 8 won 6-up (the biggest individual margin of the day); Mark Young at No. 9 lost 5-down; and at No. 10, when the Bronco golfer was a no-show, Jeremy Buikema played Pirate assistant coach Tom Reidberger and lost 1-down.

For the day, the score was 4-4-1 with the final match not counting in the team total.

"It was a great way to get more youngsters involved in tough competition," Faber said, "and the kids reacted remarkably well. We were impressed, too, with the Kirtland hospitality. It was a great experience for all of us."

He said the regional competition is expected to draw as many as 220 individuals, meaning at least 55 teams could be involved, trying to make their way to Greeley.

Scores will be unpredictable, he said. "The course will make the difference and we won't know how it plays until we see it. That's why it was so important for us to get practice time today. I'm going to play the course with them. Tonight we'll all sit down and compare notes. Hopefully, we'll have gathered enough data individually to help each other as a team when they go on the links for real tomorrow.

"These boys have worked hard all year for this chance," he said. "They have the potential. Now they have the chance to prove they belong."

 

Sluggish Pirate kickers fall 3-2 to Crested Butte

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They outshot their foes 37-14 Saturday, but the Pagosa Pirates' soccer team ran into a goalkeeper who made unbelievable stops and lost a 3-2 decision to Crested Butte on the Titans' home field.

The Pirates showed an uncanny accuracy for the crossbar and goal posts, an affinity for drawing questionable calls from officials, and a sluggishness that might have been the result of a late-ending Friday night game and the early rise for a five-hour bus trip.

Still, they had the game in hand at 2-1 when goalkeeper Caleb Forrest was injured on a play ruled "incidental contact" at 60 minutes, 58 seconds after making a diving stop of a drive by the Titans' T.J. Cannon who bowled over the keeper and delivered a knee to the lower abdomen. Forrest was down nearly five minutes before being helped off the field.

The Pirate's first half sluggishness was represented by 17 - count 'em, that's 17 - whiffed kicks. They hadn't had that many in the entire season.

Still, the Pirates seemed in control. Brian Hart, Kyle Frye, Kyle Sanders and Zeb Gill were each turned away by Crested Butte keeper Ryan Houseman in the first 13 minutes. Meanwhile, Matt Mesker was tested three times by the home team and turned each shot aside.

Sanders, Frye and Moe Webb were each stopped again before Crested Butte's Jarred Smith had the Titans' first real scoring chance, driving the ball just outside the left post.

Pagosa took a 1-0 lead at 26:10 with Kyle Sanders scoring on an assist by Zeb Gill.

It was a moment that became key to the rest of the game. Gill was turned loose offensively and in the following 3 minutes, 39 seconds, was an attacking machine. He was, however, stopped four times in that span by Houseman, once on a rifle shot 10-yarder that felled the keeper, though he hung onto the ball.

For Gill it marked the first of 13 consecutive turnbacks in the game, including two shots off the crossbar and one off each post.

Crested Butte evened the score at 31:09 when a long outlet pass bounced in front of Mesker then high over his head and into the net. Smith got credit for the score. For Mesker it was an eerie moment. Last year, in a similar play at almost the same spot on the field another ball bounced over him and into the net.

In the balance of the half, Mesker made two more saves and Gill was stopped four more times by Houseman.

At 46:37 Sanders put Pagosa back on top 2-1 with a header off a corner kick by Michael Dach. Actually, both Sanders and Frye were in position for the score but the official scorer gave it to Sanders with assists to Dach and Frye.

At 65:16, Mesker had a chance to make up for the bounce play when his header off a corner kick flicked off the crossbar and over the net. In the next four minutes Sanders was stopped four times, Zeb Gill once and Kyle Sanders once before Forrest made his play of the day.

The 6-foot-7-inch keeper faced a breakaway by Smith with an errant Pagosa outlet pass, failed to bite on a deke to the right, and pulled in a blistering shot to his left, leaving the attacker wondering how he had not scored.

Less than two minutes later came the Forrest injury, sending Mesker back into goal for Pagosa. Injury time was officially listed at 5 minutes, 31 seconds. As the game wound down, however, it became apparent there was some discrepancy. In fact, the second half was allowed to run just over 49 minutes.

Three times after the injury play, Hart was stopped by Houseman and once his drive ricocheted off the crossbar. A Sanders header on a drop pass from Webb also was high and Ryan Goodenberger's try from 25 yards sailed wide left. Fifty-two seconds later the Pagosa attack was stopped again when Frye's header off a corner kick hit the right post.

Sanders missed wide right on a perfect lead from Levi Gill.

Then came the key moment in the game. With Pagosa still on top 2-1 there was a scramble in front of the Pirates' net. The initial call was for a possession face-off. But an official was told by home fans that it should be a handball in the box call and changed the ruling.

The box, for those unfamiliar with field layout, is an 18-yard deep rectangle stretching outward from goal posts at either side of the net. That changed call gave Crested Butte a penalty shot that Chris Garren drilled to Mesker's right for the tying goal.

Pagosa protested the call because no one saw a hand in the air. In fact, the only Pagosan touching the ball was Goodenberger, who was hit in the back by a rebound effort after Mesker stopped a shot by Smith.

Crested Butte took the lead when Smith scored at 82:33 on a three-man breakaway with Mesker out to cut down his angle but missing the drive to his left. At 89:22, well beyond what should have been game's end, Hart's final effort for Pagosa, a blast from 22 yards, was hauled in by Houseman and the game ended.

The Pirates go back on the road today, heading for Bloomfield, N.M. and a 4 p.m. game that was inadvertently omitted from the schedule released by the school district and therefore not on the schedule published in The SUN.

Summary:

Scoring: 26:10, PS-Sanders, assist Z. Gill; 31:09, CB-Smith unassisted; 46:37, PS-Sanders, assists Dach, Frye; 76:24, CB-Garren on penalty kick; 82:33, CB-Smith, assist Garren. Shots on goal: PS-37, CB-14; Saves: PS-Mesker, 5, Forrest, 4; CB-Houseman, 30. Penalties, PS-Goodenberger, handball in the box.

 

Lightning strikes can't stop Pirates' storm of goals

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The game summary might read like it was the Kyle Sanders Show, but Friday's Pagosa Pirates' 5-0 soccer victory over Ridgway at Golden Peaks Stadium was the ultimate team effort.

And it was proof good things come to those who wait - unless you were from Ridgway.

A torrential downpour accompanied by sporadic hail and widespread lightning caused a 32-minute delay in the start of action. Both teams had to be removed from the playing area and each found shelter under porticos at the high school building.

Colorado High School Activities Association rules delay the start of any game outdoors until 30 minutes after the last lightning strike is seen.

After slogging through rain-soaked turf for 10 minutes as the new drainage system took effect and getting only one legitimate shot on goal, a drive by Zeb Gill that went wide left, the Pirates came to life 10 minutes, 30 seconds into the action.

Sophomore speedster Moe Webb set the table with a midfield steal, dribbled the left sideline and found Sanders streaking up the middle. Webb's crossing pass was ripped in and Sanders and Pagosa had a 1-0 lead.

Playing a stifling defense, the Pirates seldom allowed the visiting Demons to penetrate more than 10 yards into home territory. In fact, Ridgway's first shot on goal, a drive by standout striker Gvorg Sargsyan, did not come until 38:06 and it was wide left.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was stacking the center against Demon keeper Devon McMurrin who proved up to the challenge. Twice he stopped drives by midfielder Brian Hart, three times Zeb Gill was his victim. Webb, too, was stopped on two consecutive Pagosa drives and Levi Gill got into the act taking a reverse drop from Sanders but being stymied by McMurrin.

Matt Mesker, in goal for Pagosa, was called on to make only one stop in the first half, a leap to snare a header off a corner kick from his right.

Still, Pagosa led only 1-0 at the break despite their crisp play in the final 30 minutes.

For just over six minutes, the second half appeared to be setting up as a repeat of the first. Levi Gill was stopped twice, Sanders first shot of the half went wide right, and Caleb Forrest, subbing in goal for Mesker, was called on to save one shot, a dribbler by right wing Blake Tankersly.

Zeb Gill broke the spell at 46:06, converting a header lead from Mesker giving Pagosa a 2-0 lead.

After Kyle Frye's bid for a score from the near right box boundary was snared by McMurrin, Sanders was stopped on a shot off a drop pass from Hart before getting his second and the team's third goal at 54:06 off a perfect reverse kick drop from Levi Gill.

After Frye was stopped again, Pagosa drew the first penalty of the game, a yellow card for roughing to Zeb Gill at 58:17.

Ridgway, apparently buoyed by the call, mounted its lone serious threat thereafter. It turned into the Caleb Forrest show. He made a great leaping save on Sargsyan's blistering shot aimed for the upper left corner at 62:02 and then had to dive flat out to his left to confound Sargsyan again 31 seconds later as the Demons kept on the attack.

The game then settled into a midfield scrum, Pagosa generally playing a keepaway game and Ridgway unable to penetrate their defense. At 65:37 McMurrin victimized Hart on a free kick blast that first escaped the keeper but was gathered back in before support could get there.

Then Sanders was stopped, Mesker's drive hit the crossbar and his header off a corner lead from Michael Dach also was blunted by McMurrin.

At 69:20 Sanders took a deep lead from Zeb Gill and beat McMurrin to the right for a 4-0 Pagosa lead and the hat trick for himself. After that Gill was stopped twice on head-on drives, and Frye ripped a drive off the right post.

Finally, at 76:24, Sanders got the closing score of the game, converting a header lead from Mesker for a 5-0 Pagosa final.

Summary:

Scoring, PS-10: 06 Sanders, assist Webb; 46:06, Z. Gill from Mesker; 54:46, Sanders, assist L. Gill; 69:20, Sanders, assist Z. Gill; 76:24, Sanders, assist Mesker. Shots on goal: PS-28, Ridgway, 9; Saves, PS, Mesker-1, Forrest, 3; R-McMurrin, 17. Penalties, PS-Z. Gill, yellow at 58:17.

Ladies race to third place in Aztec meet Saturday

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Fall temperatures and clear skies moved into Aztec in time for the cross country races Saturday, making it a "great day to run," despite a little mud, Pirate head coach Scott Anderson said.

The Pirates faced down a course over service roads and several hills for a strong finish. The Lady Pirates refused to let anything stop them, bringing home a third-place team medal for the second week in a row, by beating much larger schools, including Kirtland, Cortez and Durango.

Freshman Emily Schur came up fourth to lead Pagosa's pack, crossing the finish line in 21 minutes, 2 seconds. "Emily is just a strong runner, and, although this was not one of her better races, she did well," the coach said.

Senior Amanda McCain captured 12th place with a time of 22:54, continuing to produce consistent finishes near the top ten. Close on her heels were junior Jenna Finney and freshman Heather Dahm, finishing 14th and 15th respectively. "Both of them were what I'd call most improved from the week before," Anderson said. Finney finished in 23:08, while Dahm was timed at 23:10.

The fifth runner whose finish counted toward the team score in New Mexico was senior Hannah Emanuel, finishing 30th in 24:43. She was followed by Adrienne Young who finished 42nd with a time of 26:27, Lauren Caves who crossed the line 51st with a time of 28:11 and Amber Farnham, who finished 56th in 29:06. No junior varsity races were run, Anderson said, just the varsity with everyone on the course at once.

In New Mexico, the top five runners counted toward the team score, a slightly different rule from Colorado where times posted by the top four runners count.

Two Pagosa boys made the trip. The team's lead runner, senior Todd Mees, was forced to miss the race because of an illness. Dan Louder, in his first race back after a shin injury, finished 38th in 21:38. "He actually ran well, but probably went out a little fast at the beginning," Anderson said. Right on the junior's heels was brother B.J. Louder, a senior, claiming 39th in 21:39.

All in all, it was a good day for the Pirates.

"I'm pleased with where we are right now," the coach said, "but I expect us to get better."

The road to improvement continues Friday at Ridgway where the Lady Pirates will have the opportunity to defend last year's win. "It will be entirely new competition for us, as far as what we've seen this year," Anderson said. It is also one more demanding course for the team to conquer.

 

Pirate gridders win Sportsmanship Award - again

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

For the third time in five years, the Pagosa Springs football program was honored for outstanding sportsmanship.

The Sportsmanship Award is given annually by game officials from Colorado High School Activities Association Area 12 comprising Pagosa Springs, Durango, Bayfield, and Ignacio. The choice is made by vote of the 19 officials who work games played by the four teams.

Michael Lister, who officiated the game, presented the award for the 2001 football season immediately prior to the Sept. 6 Cortez game in Pagosa Springs.

"The award is given to the high school that game officials feel best exhibits the ideals of sportsmanship," said Jim Duresky, the Area 12 director. "The judgment is based on the behavior of coaches, players and school officials."

Pagosa Springs has won the award three of the last five years.

"Coach Myron Stretton, his staff, and the team showed a level of sportsmanship that says they worked together, overcame adversity, displayed teamwork, and listened to each other," Duresky said. "The administration created an atmosphere of mutual respect between Pagosa Springs and their opponents.

"High school activities are meant to give students an opportunity to find themselves," Duresky said. "With the proper atmosphere, student athletes learn to work together, listen to their coaches and do their homework. In this way, student athletes find themselves. They don't treat the other guy as the hated enemy. Winning this award says a lot for the attitudes of the administration, coaching staff, and athletes."

 Obituaries

Martina Gutierrez

Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Martina Gutierrez returned to her Heavenly Father Sept. 4, 2002, surrounded by her loved ones.

Born March 26, 1920, in Pagosa Springs to Pete and Rosana Gallegos, she was married to Adonais Gutierrez March 2, 1937, in El Rito, N.M.

She showed her love and caring for people from within her loving heart. She had an uplifting soul that was an inspiration to all who knew her. She was a down-to-earth person who will be deeply missed. We will hold memories of you in our hearts forever and you will never be forgotten.

Survivors include her children Mary (Ozzie), Luciano (Pam), Gilbert (Carmen), and Isaac; brothers Pete and Leo; sisters Bernice and Matilda; 14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husband Adonais; son Adonais Jr.; brothers Roman and Joe; sister Corina; granddaughter Consuelo; grandson Michael; and great-grandson Michael H.

Funeral Services were held Sept. 9, 2002, at Redwood Memorial Estates Mortuary Chapel, 6500 South Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah. Burial was in Redwood Memorial Estates.

Obbie Sanders

Obbie Lester Sanders, 98, passed away Sunday, Sept. 15, 2002, at Texhoma Christian Care Center in Wichita Falls, Texas. Services were scheduled Sept. 18 at Sunset Memorial Mausoleum in Lawton, Okla., with Donald Hawthorne and Arnold Hawthorne officiating.

Mr. Sanders was born Feb. 10, 1904, in Bushyhead, Okla., to John Wilkes and Martha Susanne Melton Sanders.

He owned and operated a dairy in the Lawton area. In 1940 he moved to Pagosa Springs, where he worked as a well witcher for over 40 years, drilling water wells all over the area. He also served as town marshal, town clerk, a deputy sheriff and as county constable and a cemetery sexton.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lydia Ellen Cothren Sanders on Dec. 23, 1980; by his second wife, Grace Perry Sanders in 1987; and by two brothers, Arville and Emmitt Sanders.

Survivors include two daughters, Ruby Bigbee of Wichita Falls, Texas and Imogene Balfanz of Forest Park, Ill.; a son, Marvin Sanders of Aurora; two sisters, Monta Burt of Lawton, Okla., and Marie Hawthorne of Cache, Okla.; four grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were by Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home in Wichita Falls.

 Inside The Sun

Dredging of North Village Lake comes a step closer

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

North Village Lake property owners who thought they had a solution for use of their portion of Fairfield settlement funds, in the form of a pipeline from Lake Forest to their lake as a "permanent" facility, apparently have to find a different way to invest the money.

Now mounting, with interest, to about $65,000 the money, by stipulation in the settlement agreement, must be used for a "permanent" improvement.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, the property owners have learned, has included the cost of the pipeline in the bond issue it will submit to voters at the Nov. 5 village election.

With that in mind, members of an ad hoc committee that had pushed for the pipeline came to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Sept. 12 seeking advice on what their next step should be.

Since use of the funds has to be the choice of the majority of owners in the subdivision, they were initially informed they would have to conduct another survey on how the majority wants funds expended.

Association board president and director Tom Cruse, monitoring and participating in the meeting by long distance speaker phone, said he recalls asking association employee Larry Lynch to "determine if the material designated for removal from North Village Lake in the future is rock or sand, the cost to take on the project, and if that constitutes 'permanent' improvement." Lynch is the property and environment manager for the association.

"Shouldn't we determine if that type of process is acceptable?" asked Cruse.

Lynch said there is bedrock under two to three feet of sand and silt. "We could target that for removal. At least 2,600 cubic yards could be pulled out. It's been a part of the lake forever," he said, "and I should think removal of that material would be considered 'permanent.'"

As to estimating cost, Lynch said it would vary depending on what specific action is taken. "If we simply dredge to open a channel between the isolated waters, it would run around $15,000. If we do the whole sandbar, the cost would be from $50,000 to $65,000."

He said the initial target for the first $15,000 job would be the sandbar between Peninsula Place and Island Place.

Cruse moved for the Pagosa Lakes board, with permission of the North Village Lake property owners after surveying their members, to get a firm final cost estimate and proceed as soon as possible with the full dredging program. Director Fred Ebeling seconded the motion, but discussion did not end.

Lynch warned that to get to the site trucks would have to cross one of two lots. "If we go after the large scale project," he said, "you should keep in mind that there would be 140 to 180 loads of material to be moved and that traffic would have to use neighborhood streets."

He said the project would require a lot of planning "and we don't have much time, perhaps two to three months. And the longer the delay, the less likely we'd get it done this year."

A representative of the North Village Lake committee said, "We would do everything we can to enhance the lake. Our biggest concern is whether, to meet the terms of the settlement, this would be considered a permanent fix. It sounds like a fine line to me."

Director David Bohl said removal of silt from a nonflow area should be considered permanent. Director Bill Nobles, however, said he was not sure it could be considered permanent" and "we should take the time to research it.

"Another concern," he said, "is that PAWS owns the capacity of the lake. When we dig this out, do we increase the capacity? Do we then open ourselves to future dredging responsibilities to maintain that capacity? I think we could have a major problem from a legal liability standpoint."

With reference to the capacity question, Ebeling said the existing storage rights pact with the water and sanitation district specifies a specific number of acre-feet per year. "It should be of no concern to us even if we unintentionally increase storage capacity. Someone downstream with senior rights could always call for more water to be released."

Cruse said the proposal should not be considered a complicated change but instead as a means of providing egress to a trapped water area. "It is not precedent setting," he said.

Director Jerry Medford suggested tabling the Cruse motion "because we don't have the legal answers there are too many unknowns." Ebeling immediately objected to tabling, noting he had seconded the motion and it "awaits a vote."

Walt Lukasik, general manager, suggested amending the motion to include the phrase "with PAWS approval" saying the water board has indicated it has no problem with the capacity issue.

Bohl said, "They've made it abundantly clear we own the bottom of the lake. If so, we can do whatever we want with it. Let's put it at bedrock."

Lukasik joined Lynch in citing the time problem. "We have to move quickly," he said, "and the North Village Lake people need to know if they are required to conduct another survey." Nobles said he would be concerned about having that many trucks crossing property in his neighborhood, "but the decision is theirs, not mine."

Since there was no second to the tabling motion, the vote was called and the measure to proceed with the full project was approved unanimously, subject to the conditions discussed with reference to membership majority decision.

Finally, Nobles directed Lukasik to set up a meeting of all the people involved within a week so the property owners will have time to get their survey done quickly.

 

User fee increase for Eaton recreation center rejected; 'sponsored guest' cuts eyed

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Facing an operations shortfall for the first time, the Recreation Center Committee for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has recommended a 20-percent increase in user fees with the increased income to be earmarked for the building fund.

The proposal, presented to the association board Sept. 12 by Bill Nobles, drew immediate negative response and eventually was rejected.

To set the scene, the association had asked voters at the annual meeting to approve a 20-year bank loan at approximately 6-percent interest to finance major expansion of the heavily-used facility. Voters resoundingly defeated the proposal July 27.

Since that time, association board members and the center's staff and advisory committee have been looking for ways to correct the situation.

Nobles said the committee is looking at means for upgrading the building entrance, possibly with a turnstile, making roof repairs that are considered past due and considering the moving of walls to expand interior space.

The fee designation proposal ran into immediate opposition from Dave Bohl, association treasurer. "We can't earmark any source of funds for a specific use, but we can designate excess funds at the end of the year," he said, noting the voter decision. He pointed out there are reserves set aside for some of the necessary repairs.

Overuse of facilities became the topic of the hour when director Fred Ebeling said a suggestion to eliminate their use by "sponsored guests" would be just a short-term solution.

"I'm talking about all the residents of the rest of the county who use the center," he said. "People who live in Holiday Acres or San Juan Village Estates but know someone here who vouches for them and they come in regularly.

"If we're going to talk about a fee increase," he said, "let's increase the fee for these people rather than those of property owners and their immediate houseguests."

Board president Tom Cruse, monitoring the session by long-distance speaker phone from the East Coast, asked Ebeling if he were suggesting a new class of membership. "No, just a higher fee," was the answer.

"It would be a cleaner proposal if we considered a different type of membership," Cruse responded.

Ebeling said, "sponsored guests just shouldn't be allowed. That right should be reserved for members' houseguests only." Director Jerry Medford agreed, saying he'd had many complaints from members concerning overcrowding.

Nobles said it is the feeling of the recreation committee that they should not eliminate sponsored guests. "They felt the actual backlash from the community would be more detrimental than the cost," he said.

That prompted member Pagosa Lakes resident Mojie Adler, commenting from the audience, to respond, "Community backlash be damned. Look where being politically correct has gotten us as a nation. It's time to look out for ourselves."

From the speaker phone Cruse said, "I'm a regular user of the facility and a former member of the committee. I've never experienced overcrowding due to sponsored guests. My observation is that when it is crowded, it is the result of use by timeshare members."

Walt Lukasik, association general manager, said he and center managers met earlier in the week with an architect to get ideas on possible changes using currently available funds. "We sought means of controlling entrance flow, possibly adding a family changing room in a small structural addition, and interior remodeling" he said.

Ebeling, still smarting from the "community backlash" remark said, "We ought to be more concerned about property owner backlash. That's much more important than how the rest of the area feels. There is significant money available for remodeling. Let's get it in a more user-friendly position."

Bohl then moved to send the whole problem back to the recreation committee for a formal, detailed proposal that can be accomplished with the financial means available. Ebeling seconded the motion.

Before the vote, however, property owner Earle Beasley commented from the audience that the board should "think carefully about backlash. It creates something that people who have been doing it will no longer be able to do. However, I agree with those who say don't worry about backlash."

One solution for the sponsored guest problem Beasley said, "is to buy a lot out here and become a member. Then there'd be no controversy."

The board then unanimously approved Bohl's motion.

And Adler commented, "Good. We've got too many takers and not enough givers," noting she had learned that private therapy groups are using the pool for patient rehabilitation "and I don't think that's within the proscribed uses of the property owners' facility."

When she added her opinion that sponsored guests are responsible for the overcrowding of the center, Nobles disagreed. "Statistics indicate," he said, "that only 3 to 7 percent of users are so-called sponsored guests."

"I still think we're being taken advantage of by outside users," she replied, "and we have to pay for it."

Move to delay fish stocking in PLPOA lakes is defeated

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

In light of the drought of 2002, and the declining lake levels in the Pagosa Lakes community, would it be wise to forego the annual fall stocking of fish?

That was the question asked Sept. 12 by Fred Ebeling as the board of directors for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association weighed fall programs.

"Maybe we'd be wise not to spend the money this year," Ebeling said. "Fish are not candidates for survival if water levels keep dropping."

Larry Lynch, the association's property and environment manager, said, "We have seriously considered not doing so, but despite the drought and dropping levels, water quality has remained excellent. There is still sufficient water there to support the fish."

He said the lakes' trout supplies have been deleted by heavy use this year and, "I feel comfortable with a small stocking program in all but Village Lake."

Director Jerry Medford asked if the annual $50,000 cost for stocking the lakes is recouped through user fees, and fellow director Bill Nobles wanted to know if the money collected and the amount spent is the same.

Lynch said it varies from year to year, sometimes a little more income than cost and sometimes a little more cost.

A resident of North Village Lake said, "We see people all the time - outsiders who have no permits - fishing on our lake. Sometimes they come up on private decks to take a nap. I'm sure there are many hundreds of fish taken without permits every year. If we're going to restock, we need to be sure the people who live here have a chance to catch the fish."

Lynch said he personally had checked out and removed nonresidents from that area and will direct the conservation officer to spend more time there looking for violators.

Nobles told the resident to "call in every time you see it happening. We can get someone there by radio." And director David Bohl said it is common "for a lot of people to catch their limit, throw it in a freezer, and keep on fishing. Then they deny they've already caught their limit."

Lynch was authorized to proceed with the fall stocking.

New rules

Ebeling told the board Archuleta County has adopted new outdoor lighting and sign control rules and that he had asked if county rules would take precedence over association and other subdivision regulations.

He said he was told the regulation with the most restrictive content is the one that would apply, as long as it does not break the law.

"I suggest," he said, "that we eliminate all our rules on lighting and signs and allow the county's rules to stand."

Bohl objected, saying, "Our rules are more restrictive."

"I've reviewed both," said Ebeling, "and my recommended action would be reasonable and sensible."

Medford moved to table any action until the October meeting "so that we, as a board, can have time to review the issue."

On the recommendation of Walt Lukasik, general manager, the issue was referred to the Environmental Control Committee for review, comparison and a report back to the board.

Survey status

Richard Manley, former board president and current chairman of the Planning Committee, has completed his review of the recently conducted survey of association members and what their concerns are for the future of the organization.

He asked that a meeting with the full board be planned so all directors can learn his findings at the same time.

That session was scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 20. A report will be made at the October meeting.

Garbage cans

People should be made responsible for returning their garbage cans to an area away from roadways after pickup. That was the opinion of Pagosa Lakes resident Mojie Adler when she pleaded with the board to make a change in rules and regulations to require the action.

"The cans sit along the street from Monday to Monday," she said, "and my review reveals there's nothing in the rules and regs to mandate removal."

Lukasik said the situation is hit and miss. Some subdivisions have rules and others don't.

"The older the neighborhood, the worse the problem," said Medford. "In the Lake Pagosa area probably 80 percent leave their cans out. Mojie has a good point."

Ebeling wondered if there aren't state rules that can be enforced. "I think it should be an misdemeanor if improperly left out at roadside."

Bohl said it should be kept in mind there are two companies making trash pickups and they come on different days in different areas. Adler argued that's all the more reason to have something in writing setting a deadline after pickup for removal.

Lukasik said he'd refer the question to the Rules Committee for discussion and recommendation.

The Thiebauts, all 37, make it hard to spot the candidate

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

With 37 Thiebauts pouring out of a tour bus for a quick game of football and some campaigning in Pagosa Springs Saturday, it was hard sometimes to find the Democratic candidates in the crowd.

It wasn't hard to find their names, however. All 37 Thiebauts wore shirts supporting candidates Rollie Heath and Bill Thiebaut for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively.

Bill Thiebaut said getting the whole family together, which includes 15 children, nine grandchildren and assorted spouses, can be a challenge but all of them wanted to come out and help campaign.

"My whole family has always been involved with my campaigns," Thiebaut, Colorado's Senate Majority Leader, said. "They've grown up holding signs." Back in Pueblo, they once rode around town on a fire truck, but the bus tour through southern Colorado this last weekend was a first.

"If I have one memory of this campaign trip," Rollie Heath said, "it will be pulling into Pagosa and hearing all the grandkids and Thiebauts singing 'YMCA.'" They also held signs and cheered for all the Democratic candidates as Rollie, Thiebaut and a few others spoke briefly at Town Park.

"It's time to take back Colorado and get this state moving again," Heath told the crowd of family members and local democrats.

People have a choice come November, both Heath and Thiebaut added. They challenged the people present at the rally to tell 10 others about that choice and help spread the word that Bill Owens isn't the only option.

At a recent debate in Grand Junction, Heath said, Owens spent quite a bit of time talking about tax cuts he's made as governor. What he doesn't see, is what the cuts are costing the state, Heath said. Just last week, a headline in the Denver Post read, "State Last in Job Growth," and that's just the tip of the iceberg under Owens, he added. Colorado has also slipped when it comes to health care and employment rates. Tourism took a hit when the governor announced, "The state is on fire," Heath said, when in fact, it was less than one percent of the state's lands.

The battle for the state's money has grown to the point that one side of the state is pitted against the other, he told the group, a situation that isn't about politics as much as management. As governor, he said, he would work to unify people and build partnering possibilities.

The tour also made stops in Pueblo, La Junta, Trinidad, Walsenburg, Alamosa, Monte Vista, Durango, La Jara and San Luis.

 

Two judges serving county recommended for retention

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Two judges serving Archuleta County have been recommended for retention in the Nov. 5 election.

Archuleta County Court Judge James Denvir and Sixth Judicial District Judge David Dickinson received positive recommendations from the Sixth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance based on an independent judicial performance survey that included giving judges a grade from A to F, an interview with the judge and a self-evaluation completed by the judge. The commissions were also allowed to consider public hearings, courtroom observation, caseload statistics and document information submitted from interested parties when making their recommendations.

Judge Denvir

According to the profile of Denvir created by the commission and available online, he was appointed to the bench in 1995 after spending several years in private practice. Currently, about 35 percent of the cases that come before him are civil, and 65 percent are criminal. Forty-five percent of his time is spent as a county court judge, and 55 percent is spent as a district court magistrate.

" He is courteous to those appearing before him; has excellent communication skills; renders well-reasoned, fair and impartial decisions and has a judicial demeanor that commands respect without demanding it. Archuleta County is well-served with Judge Denvir on the bench," the commission wrote.

In his performance survey based on responses by attorneys, he received his highest grades, A-minuses, on the questions of treating parties equally regardless of race and treating parties equally on the basis of age.

His lowest grades, two Cs and a C-plus, came on questions about efficiency and punctuality. The rest of his grades were Bs. On the non-attorney surveys, which included law enforcement personnel, social services caseworkers, employees, defendants, plaintiffs, jurors and victims, Denvir received B grades across the board.

A total of 75 percent of both the attorneys and nonattorneys surveyed recommended Denvir for retention. Twenty-five percent of attorneys and 13 percent of non-attorneys recommended against retention.

Overall, Denvir said he was happy with the survey results. However, because of the rural area he operates in, and because he only fills a half-time position in the county, the pool of attorneys to survey was so small it made for a very high sample error. Just 22 attorneys received surveys. Of those, only 12 were completed for use in the final results. The nonattorney category was higher, with 154 of 398 surveys completed.

"It does give me some information that I probably wouldn't otherwise have access to because judges live in sort of an isolated atmosphere," he said. In fact, he has already started to address some of the areas that appeared to be of concern to people surveyed. For instance, he said, some people were concerned with his efficiency because he would schedule several defendants to meet with the district attorneys at the same time in an afternoon. Until they finished talking, he would wait in chambers. Apparently, that gave the appearance to some that he wouldn't arrive until late. Now, he takes his work into the courtroom while the discussions take place.

"In those areas," he said, "I think the survey really helped me."

At least one man in Pagosa Springs is publicly disagreeing with the commission's recommendation. Last week, Curtis Hannay started hanging signs around town reading, "Vote no on retention of Judge James E. Denvir."

Hannay has several concerns about the way Denvir ruled in his divorce case, and is appealing the ruling. "He doesn't abide by the statute," Hannay said. "He does what he wants and assumes you can't afford to appeal."

Hannay said one other person was helping to hang the signs and several others are concerned with Judge Denvir's rulings, but was unwilling to give any names.

Denvir said it would be unethical on his part to discuss any individual case, "but I would defend his right to advocate his opinion because that's a First Amendment right." He added that the very nature of the business of being a judge means that half of the people who come before the bench are regularly disappointed in one way or another.

Judge Dickinson

According to the judicial performance commission's profile of Dickinson, he was appointed to the bench in 1998. Prior to the appointment, he practiced law in Durango, specializing in local government law as well as real estate, commercial and business litigation. Currently, 40 percent of the cases that come before him are civil, 20 percent domestic, 25 percent criminal and 15 percent juvenile.

" Judge Dickinson received high marks from attorneys and nonattorneys alike concerning his integrity. He places an extremely high level of importance on family and juvenile cases. With respect to sentencing decisions in criminal cases, Dickinson strives to achieve a balance that will promote the rehabilitation of the offenders while assuring safety for the community," the commission wrote.

The commission did note that some respondents to the survey were concerned about delays in certain cases. An investigation showed that Dickinson inherited a disproportionate backlog of cases when appointed. Over the last 10 months, that problem has been addressed.

In a survey of attorneys, Dickinson's highest grade, an A-minus, came in the area of courtesy toward pro se parties. His lowest grades, a pair of C-minuses and a C came in the areas of managing cases efficiently, ruling in a timely manner and making a correct decision based on the law and the facts. The rest of the grades were Bs. The attorney survey was based on a 57 of 90 surveys returned completed.

In the nonattorney survey based on 158 completed responses, Dickinson received nine A grades and the rest were all Bs. The top grades came on questions of courtesy, fairness, maintaining a professional demeanor, preparedness and knowledge of the law.

Sixty-seven percent of attorneys and 91 percent of nonattorneys surveyed recommended Dickinson be retained. Twenty-eight percent of attorneys and five percent of nonattorneys voted for nonretention.

The performance surveys were produced by Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy, Inc. through a contract with the Colorado Judicial Department. To build a pool of attorneys and nonattorneys to survey, the judicial department provided a list of cases heard and closed during the two years prior to the summer of 2001 by judges standing for retention. From those, a list of people associated with each case who could have appeared in a judge's courtroom was created.

Other research tools were used to collect any additional names of people who might have come before the judge and questionnaires were sent out. Surveys included questions on fairness, attitude, impartiality, ability to be understood, ability to explain procedures and law, efficiency and preparedness. A target cooperation rate of 40 percent was set to get a broad sample. For all 115 judges up for retention, a total of 6,385 surveys were sent to attorneys. Of those, 3,686 were returned completed. A total of 48,637 surveys were sent to nonattorneys, and 14,925 were returned completed.

Complete copies of the performance surveys for all the state's judges up for retention are available to the public on the Web at www.courts.state.co.us or www.co bar.org.

 

County approves signage, lighting regulations

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Signage and lighting regulations governing Archuleta County were adopted by the county commissioners following a Sept. 1 public hearing.

To take effect Oct. 1, the new regulations are the first enforcement measures the county has taken to add teeth to guidelines contained in the Community Plan.

Beginning Oct. 1, anyone putting up new signs or lighting on property within the county is required to obtain a permit from the county building permit department. Changes to existing signs or lighting may also require a permit, depending on the nature and extent of the changes.

Copies of the new regulations are available at the building permit department office in the county courthouse.

In a related move at the regular meeting of county commissioners Tuesday, the commissioners voted against allowing campaign signs in county road rights of way. County road crews are being instructed to remove any campaign signs they find on county road rights of way.

State and town laws prohibit campaign signs in state rights of way, or town rights of way.

Campaign signs may be placed on private property with permission from the owner, but the newly adopted county sign laws may govern such signs.

The commissioners conducted the following additional business at the regular Tuesday meeting:

- They accepted a bid of $84,816 from Larkin Construction Services of Pagosa Springs to buy and erect a metal building at the county road and bridge garage on U.S. 84. The bid includes erection, footers, sand storage walls and floor, engineering of piers, and outside electrical connections. Not included are site preparation, excavation and zircon units.

The next closest of five bids submitted was made by Henson Construction Co. of Dolores and amounted to $108,000.

- A number of Social Services contracts were approved. The agreements are with the Work Force Center/Training advantage, Tri-County Head Start and Seeds of Learning.

- Approval was granted for a retail liquor license for Pagosa Liquor Co. LLC.

- Three road easements that leave U.S. 160 and provide access to San Juan River Ranch were named Lone Elk Place, Vahalla Place and Wolf Creek Place. The roads provide access to nine lots in the development, which features 35-plus acre parcels.

Commissioners vote to end Airport Authority

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Following a Tuesday night public hearing, Archuleta County Commissioners terminated the Archuleta County Airport Authority. The action was made by unanimous vote of the three-man board.

The Authority was created during 1991 to help the county operate Stevens Field, owned by the county.

Termination resulted because, according to the commissioners, it is no longer needed and constitutes an unnecessary level of government that complicates operation of the airport. When the Authority was formed, the county had no county administrator and no airport manager. The commissioners at that time, perceiving a need for expert advice concerning airport matters, created the authority.

Each of the current commissioners expressed dissatisfaction with the Authority at Tuesday's meeting.

"I feel we have a layer of government we no longer need," said Bill Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I question the necessity for its existence."

"I noticed things were going wrong," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "I started attending meetings and became very concerned with the breakdown. I will not address the reasons or personalities, but I am very disappointed. I am still very concerned. To say that we did not address airport issues or inform ourselves is erroneous. We talked with Bill Steele (the county administrator) and among ourselves."

"I served on the board (Authority board) with Fox (former county commissioner Ken Fox)," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "There were a number of problems. It is the goal of the board of county commissioners to set direction. The airport had a problem with direction. It's time to look into this seriously."

About 30 members of the public attended the meeting. The number of public comments for or against the termination were about equal.

Those opposed to termination argue they have been attempting to talk with the commissioners to voice problems and eliminate communication difficulties between the Authority board and the commissioners. They say they have not been able to get past Steele to talk with the commissioners. They say day-to-day administration, operation and maintenance at the airport is not what it should be. They say the expertise of the Authority board is needed for the airport to be managed properly in the future.

Those favoring termination agree with the commissioners' reasons for terminating the Authority. They say the Authority is an unnecessary level of government. They advise appointing an advisory board of experts responsible to the county commissioners.

The language of the termination resolution contains the following points:

- Effective immediately, the appointments of the members of the board of the Authority are terminated. The board of county commissioners is appointed to fill three such terms.

- The Archuleta County Airport Authority is terminated Sept. 19, 2002.

- All liabilities and obligations of the Authority shall become the responsibility of Archuleta County. All of the Authority's assets revert to the county.

- All funds of the Authority shall be placed in an Archuleta County fund to be known as the "Archuleta County Airport Fund."

- All existing contracts, agreements and leases of the Authority are ratified by the commissioners with the exception of the Archuleta County Airport Authority Hangar Lease with FliteCraft Aviation Inc., which shall be terminated the earlier of Oct. 16, 2002, or upon execution of a new Fixed Base Operator Agreement and Hangar Lease.

Rate of economic growth slows in Archuleta County

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Sales tax collections and the number of new building permits in Archuleta County continue to grow at a record pace for the current year, through August, but the rate of growth continues to decrease.

While sales tax collections for 2002 through Aug. 31 exceed sales tax collections for the same time during 2001, the rate of increase is slowing. For the second consecutive month, sales tax collections are less than those from the same month a year ago.

August collections this year amount to $497,276. Last year, August collections were $510,720. This year's August decrease amounts to 2.7 percent. July collections this year total $496,141. Last July's collections were $515,551. The July decrease this year amounts to a 3.91 percent decrease.

Sales taxes collected through August for the entire year amount to $3,350,934, a 2.02 percent increase over the $3,284,723 collected through August of last year. When comparing sales tax collections for 2002 with sales tax collections for 2001, it must be noted that monthly collections for 2001 showed large increases over monthly collections for 2000. The August 2001 year-to-date collections were 13.51 percent ahead of August 2000 year-to-date collections.

August, September and October are traditionally the best months of the year for local sales tax collections.

The number of building permits issued by the county continues at a record, but slowing pace. Through Aug. 31 this year, the county had issued 404 building permits, tying 2002 with 2000 for the record number of permits issued. Through August of 2000, the county had issued 404 permits. Through August of 2001, the county had issued 353 building permits.

This year's total contains 246 single-family residence permits, 34 mobile home permits, seven commercial permits, 117 other permits (issued for new decks, carports, garages, storage sheds and other major renovations) and no timeshare permits. Through August of last year, the county building department had issued 204 single-family residence permits, 42 mobile home permits, 10 commercial permits, 97 other permits and no timeshare permits.

Hospital district eyes new name

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Hospital District is in the process of changing its name.

The district's board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday night to begin the legal work necessary to rename the entity the Upper San Juan Health Service District to better reflect the realities of what the district offers.

Board president Dick Babillis said back when the district formed, state statutes limited the district to two options for a name: the Upper San Juan Ambulance District or the Upper San Juan Hospital District. Now, one of those has been dropped, making way for the "health service" option.

Now that the new name has received approval from the board, legal work must be completed to make it official. Once that is done, the district will have 10 years to make all the necessary changes to letterhead, signs and other items displaying the name.

Medical help fund for crash victim

Friends and family of Mark Tully, who was injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this month and is still in intensive care at St. Anthony's Central Hospital in Denver, have established a fund to help with the medical bills.

An account has been established at Vectra Bank. Donation checks should be made payable to the Mark Tully Medical Fund and dropped off at the bank or mailed to Vectra Bank, PO Box 1447, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

In addition, a Web site has been set up where current developments in Tully's condition are posted. It is at www.geocities.com/tullymark/Mark.html.

Ash Tully, Cabe Tully, Kindolyn (Tully) Kelley and Johanna (Tully) Elliott established the fund and extend their thanks for the prayers and help the family has received since the accident.

Group aims for performing arts center

Organizers announce the launching of Friends of Performing Arts, also known as FoPA.

Created by Sandy Applegate and John Porter, the group's mission is to build a permanent center to showcase the wide variety of performing arts talents in the Pagosa Springs community including theatrical, musical, dance, readings and informal productions.

Organizers believe the new Community Center is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, but is not designed to support the needs of performance arts, such as the space needed for rehearsals, storage for sets and costumes and a place to construct said sets.

The high school auditorium is not always available and is really more suited to larger audiences, not geared for the more intimate settings.

The group intends to create a performing arts center that would be designed to effectively accommodate these events, both for the benefit of the performers and the audience. There are already many willing and able participants ready to come aboard as needed, but FoPA is actively seeking more involvement from the community.

FoPA welcomes community involvement in all capacities such as business, funding, etc. As an umbrella organization FoPA seeks collaboration from all performance arts, either groups or individuals.

Anyone interested in joining the project can call Applegate at 731-9325 or Porter at 731-3671.

Letters
Election

Dear Editor:

You might think that this letter is coming very early before the election, but because there has been so much encouragement from both parties to use mail-in ballots, I would like to get my thoughts out before many people mark those ballots.

Think about what you are voting for. This will probably be the most important election for the U.S. Senate for years to come, and the real question is not about which party will wield the power but whose philosophy will dominate American life for the next 50 to 75 years. And this might not be determined by the people through their legislatures, but through the courts.

Within the next four years two members of the Supreme Court will retire. One of them is already fighting cancer, and the Chief Justice may also retire. The next Senate will determine who will replace these people. Now, within the last two weeks, the Senate has rejected the president's ultra-right-wing nomination to a federal court position in Texas. These judges, like Supreme Court justices, are not directly elected by the people and do not have term limits. Therefore, this is the perfect way for the president to pay back the radical religious right for their support in the last election, and I have no reason to believe that he will select moderate candidates in the future for any level of the judiciary. The people's only defense here is the Senate.

We need to remember that this nation was founded on liberal - not conservative - principles. In their day, the founding fathers were considered blazing liberals and their democratic ideals a dream fantasy. (Rush, you should have been there). They fashioned a Constitution by which two branches of the government are tempered by a nonpolitical judiciary which bases its judgments not on expediencies concocted for a bureaucracy or by the philosophy of any one segment of the population, but by a broad-based interpretation of that Constitution to protect "liberty and justice for all."

What we are seeing now is an effort to move away from that broad base and to establish a very narrow focus for legal interpretation which will result, in effect, in a kind of legislation by the courts. This is not what the founders of our nation intended. This is not democracy. To put it more simply, imagine John Ashcroft, or someone like him, as Chief Justice.

This isn't too far out. Voters should think a long time about it before they mark their ballots.

Henry Buslepp

Lost dogs

Dear Editor:

This is a follow up to the letter that appeared in the Pagosa Springs SUN on Sept. 12 entitled "Lost dogs return." The letter recounted a hiking accident Aug. 13 when three dogs were lost. After 18 days in the wilderness, a hiker found two of the dogs and brought them to the Humane Society where we picked them up and kept them until their family could take them home.

That was wonderful, but even more amazing is that on Sept. 13, one month after the accident, the third dog walked up our driveway in the Blanco Basin, very thin and quite weak, but OK.

Again it was our privilege to house this brave dog until we got to see another joyous reunion with her family.

Ruth and Howard Carr

Covenants

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Lakes property owners have chosen to live in our various subdivisions for many reasons, but one of the key motivations is covenants. These covenants cover building and modifying properties in ways to assure consistency with the flavor of the various communities and to preserve property values.

All of us in the PLPOA-controlled subdivisions have a stake in the process that is assigned to the Environmental Control Committee.

Recently, the board and the ECC agreed to revised operating procedures. Those procedures have drastically reduced the workload for the ECC. The committee meets the first and third Thursday of each month, and each preceding Wednesday, at 8 a.m. Under the new procedures, the meetings have been lasting less than two hours each.

The professional office staff has been authorized to approve applications that can be seen as routine in terms of acceptable designs, colors and materials. Now the focus for the committee is strictly on applications for variances and non-standard applications.

We need your help. We need a few more persons with an interest in the covenants and some familiarity with design (or a willingness to learn) to be on the committee. After a training and familiarity phase, each ECC member will be given a rotation on the three-person body that reviews applications for a given meeting. You will not be obligated to serve every meeting but can work your schedule together with that of the rest of the ECC members.

This is a great way to get to know more about our neighborhoods and our association. Please apply now for one of the open slots as advertised.

Tom Cruse, president

PLPOA Board of Directors

Bell tower

Dear Editor:

Yea for the members of the Aspen Springs Metro District. They have done it again. The roads are great, thanks.

I wonder if the man picking up the trash on Put Hill last week was doing community service. Anyway, thanks.

Yea for the recent rains.

I am wondering who designed the bell tower and who accepted the design. It is an abomination. I told my husband that it looked as though someone's throat was slit when I saw the blood red lettering on the electronic sign.

After the wonderful job Fred Schmidt did remodeling his adobe building, why isn't the exterior of the bell tower done the same way so that they would blend together.

Then, if we really needed the lettering, it could have been gold or beige on a black background.

The cross of flowers placed at the Rotary Park on U.S. 160 to honor Sharon Colby is a very classy touch.

Cindy Gustafson

Pump stations

Dear Editor:

This letter is a wake-up call for all Aspen Springs residents. Do you folks realize that the only reason PAWS has pump stations, is out of concern for the community? They are not legally required by law to supply us with water. At any time, they could shut these pump stations down.

When PAWS makes a decision on their pump stations, they do not make a study of the situation. They pretty much do what they want, even if it means hardships for some people like the elderly and other people who depend on commercial water haulers for their water.

We need to develop our own water supply system. We have plenty of good underground water in certain areas. Why haven't we installed our own pumping station?

Let's do something now, before it's too late.

Sincerely,

Ann Parnell

Peace treaty

Dear Editor:

I am writing to respond to Barbara Blackburn's letter last week suggesting that we not pursue another unjust war with Iraq. This letter implied that ousting Saddam would be like her "killing her neighbor because he might harm me next month or five years from now."

There are several deficiencies to this analogy. First, Saddam is not our neighbor, friend or ally. Second, and most important, Iraq has violated 16 conditions of a "peace treaty" that was agreed upon in 1991. Simply put, he is on probation and has violated parole.

Wouldn't our law enforcement incarcerate "our neighbor" under these circumstances?

If this neighbor was a convicted child molester and had violated parole 16 times, wouldn't Barbara do everything in her control to protect her children from this neighbor? This is exactly what George Bush is doing.

Thomas Jefferson once said that "when a minority of the population begins dictating policy to the majority, you no longer have a democracy." Polls are showing that 65 percent of Americans believe that removing Saddam is in our country's best interest. An independent study conducted last week showed that 80 percent of the liberal media's coverage of President Bush's military threats is negative. The media has become more concerned with their personal agendas and views and this is dangerous.

In a county where one individual removed a sign from the county courthouse because it was offensive and in a nation where one individual is attempting to remove "one nation under God" because it is offensive, it is time for the majority to take a stand.

Although I respect other opinions, I believe that America is still a democracy and that majority should rule. It is both amazing, and sad, that in just one short year after 9/11 that some have lost their resolve to do what is right. We are already at war and have been so since Sept. 14, 2001, when Congress gave President Bush full authority to pursue terrorism and to protect us from future terrorist events.

I am thankful that we have a leader who will stand up for what is right and just and so is a majority of the American voters.

John Ranson

Cloud seeding

Dear Editor:

According to recent issues of the SUN, the San Juan Water Conservation and the Southwestern Water Conservancy districts are planning to fund a cloud-seeding program this winter. While there is lots of anecdotal information that this process increases precipitation, there is little solid scientific information to support these claims.

A number of years ago I was involved in atmospheric science research that, while not directly related to cloud seeding, was closely enough allied to it that I kept track of the results of seeding trials. At that time there were no plausible data to support the efficacy of this process. Admittedly things might have changed in the 30 years since but I have seen no good scientific data to make me think otherwise.

An article in the November 11, 2001, issue of Weatherwise, vol. 54, No. 6, pg. 30, "Seeds of controversy: Although Efficacy Debates Continue, Rainmakers Fly On", by Jeff Dick, gives a good outline of the present knowledge of cloud seeding. (A copy of this article may be available at the Ruby Sisson Library.)

Given the uncertainties in precipitation enhancement schemes and that this year's program is being treated as a demonstration project for possible future efforts, it is necessary that the results are carefully and honestly analyzed. To eliminate any intentional or unintentional bias, there should be a protocol established before the start of any such demonstration that spells out exactly how the success or failure will be judged, i.e., what data will be collected and how they will be analyzed.

To further ensure uncompro-mised results, I think it would be wise to have an outside person, or group, be involved in developing this protocol. Personnel at Colorado State certainly are qualified and might be willing to help.

I hope that the boards of the two districts will do their best to see that the data from this year's demonstration program will be analyzed as scientifically as possible and not simply used in an anecdotal fashion.

Ted Stampfer

 

Letters
Election

Dear Editor:

You might think that this letter is coming very early before the election, but because there has been so much encouragement from both parties to use mail-in ballots, I would like to get my thoughts out before many people mark those ballots.

Think about what you are voting for. This will probably be the most important election for the U.S. Senate for years to come, and the real question is not about which party will wield the power but whose philosophy will dominate American life for the next 50 to 75 years. And this might not be determined by the people through their legislatures, but through the courts.

Within the next four years two members of the Supreme Court will retire. One of them is already fighting cancer, and the Chief Justice may also retire. The next Senate will determine who will replace these people. Now, within the last two weeks, the Senate has rejected the president's ultra-right-wing nomination to a federal court position in Texas. These judges, like Supreme Court justices, are not directly elected by the people and do not have term limits. Therefore, this is the perfect way for the president to pay back the radical religious right for their support in the last election, and I have no reason to believe that he will select moderate candidates in the future for any level of the judiciary. The people's only defense here is the Senate.

We need to remember that this nation was founded on liberal - not conservative - principles. In their day, the founding fathers were considered blazing liberals and their democratic ideals a dream fantasy. (Rush, you should have been there). They fashioned a Constitution by which two branches of the government are tempered by a nonpolitical judiciary which bases its judgments not on expediencies concocted for a bureaucracy or by the philosophy of any one segment of the population, but by a broad-based interpretation of that Constitution to protect "liberty and justice for all."

What we are seeing now is an effort to move away from that broad base and to establish a very narrow focus for legal interpretation which will result, in effect, in a kind of legislation by the courts. This is not what the founders of our nation intended. This is not democracy. To put it more simply, imagine John Ashcroft, or someone like him, as Chief Justice.

This isn't too far out. Voters should think a long time about it before they mark their ballots.

Henry Buslepp

Lost dogs

Dear Editor:

This is a follow up to the letter that appeared in the Pagosa Springs SUN on Sept. 12 entitled "Lost dogs return." The letter recounted a hiking accident Aug. 13 when three dogs were lost. After 18 days in the wilderness, a hiker found two of the dogs and brought them to the Humane Society where we picked them up and kept them until their family could take them home.

That was wonderful, but even more amazing is that on Sept. 13, one month after the accident, the third dog walked up our driveway in the Blanco Basin, very thin and quite weak, but OK.

Again it was our privilege to house this brave dog until we got to see another joyous reunion with her family.

Ruth and Howard Carr

Covenants

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Lakes property owners have chosen to live in our various subdivisions for many reasons, but one of the key motivations is covenants. These covenants cover building and modifying properties in ways to assure consistency with the flavor of the various communities and to preserve property values.

All of us in the PLPOA-controlled subdivisions have a stake in the process that is assigned to the Environmental Control Committee.

Recently, the board and the ECC agreed to revised operating procedures. Those procedures have drastically reduced the workload for the ECC. The committee meets the first and third Thursday of each month, and each preceding Wednesday, at 8 a.m. Under the new procedures, the meetings have been lasting less than two hours each.

The professional office staff has been authorized to approve applications that can be seen as routine in terms of acceptable designs, colors and materials. Now the focus for the committee is strictly on applications for variances and non-standard applications.

We need your help. We need a few more persons with an interest in the covenants and some familiarity with design (or a willingness to learn) to be on the committee. After a training and familiarity phase, each ECC member will be given a rotation on the three-person body that reviews applications for a given meeting. You will not be obligated to serve every meeting but can work your schedule together with that of the rest of the ECC members.

This is a great way to get to know more about our neighborhoods and our association. Please apply now for one of the open slots as advertised.

Tom Cruse, president

PLPOA Board of Directors

Bell tower

Dear Editor:

Yea for the members of the Aspen Springs Metro District. They have done it again. The roads are great, thanks.

I wonder if the man picking up the trash on Put Hill last week was doing community service. Anyway, thanks.

Yea for the recent rains.

I am wondering who designed the bell tower and who accepted the design. It is an abomination. I told my husband that it looked as though someone's throat was slit when I saw the blood red lettering on the electronic sign.

After the wonderful job Fred Schmidt did remodeling his adobe building, why isn't the exterior of the bell tower done the same way so that they would blend together.

Then, if we really needed the lettering, it could have been gold or beige on a black background.

The cross of flowers placed at the Rotary Park on U.S. 160 to honor Sharon Colby is a very classy touch.

Cindy Gustafson

Pump stations

Dear Editor:

This letter is a wake-up call for all Aspen Springs residents. Do you folks realize that the only reason PAWS has pump stations, is out of concern for the community? They are not legally required by law to supply us with water. At any time, they could shut these pump stations down.

When PAWS makes a decision on their pump stations, they do not make a study of the situation. They pretty much do what they want, even if it means hardships for some people like the elderly and other people who depend on commercial water haulers for their water.

We need to develop our own water supply system. We have plenty of good underground water in certain areas. Why haven't we installed our own pumping station?

Let's do something now, before it's too late.

Sincerely,

Ann Parnell

Peace treaty

Dear Editor:

I am writing to respond to Barbara Blackburn's letter last week suggesting that we not pursue another unjust war with Iraq. This letter implied that ousting Saddam would be like her "killing her neighbor because he might harm me next month or five years from now."

There are several deficiencies to this analogy. First, Saddam is not our neighbor, friend or ally. Second, and most important, Iraq has violated 16 conditions of a "peace treaty" that was agreed upon in 1991. Simply put, he is on probation and has violated parole.

Wouldn't our law enforcement incarcerate "our neighbor" under these circumstances?

If this neighbor was a convicted child molester and had violated parole 16 times, wouldn't Barbara do everything in her control to protect her children from this neighbor? This is exactly what George Bush is doing.

Thomas Jefferson once said that "when a minority of the population begins dictating policy to the majority, you no longer have a democracy." Polls are showing that 65 percent of Americans believe that removing Saddam is in our country's best interest. An independent study conducted last week showed that 80 percent of the liberal media's coverage of President Bush's military threats is negative. The media has become more concerned with their personal agendas and views and this is dangerous.

In a county where one individual removed a sign from the county courthouse because it was offensive and in a nation where one individual is attempting to remove "one nation under God" because it is offensive, it is time for the majority to take a stand.

Although I respect other opinions, I believe that America is still a democracy and that majority should rule. It is both amazing, and sad, that in just one short year after 9/11 that some have lost their resolve to do what is right. We are already at war and have been so since Sept. 14, 2001, when Congress gave President Bush full authority to pursue terrorism and to protect us from future terrorist events.

I am thankful that we have a leader who will stand up for what is right and just and so is a majority of the American voters.

John Ranson

Cloud seeding

Dear Editor:

According to recent issues of the SUN, the San Juan Water Conservation and the Southwestern Water Conservancy districts are planning to fund a cloud-seeding program this winter. While there is lots of anecdotal information that this process increases precipitation, there is little solid scientific information to support these claims.

A number of years ago I was involved in atmospheric science research that, while not directly related to cloud seeding, was closely enough allied to it that I kept track of the results of seeding trials. At that time there were no plausible data to support the efficacy of this process. Admittedly things might have changed in the 30 years since but I have seen no good scientific data to make me think otherwise.

An article in the November 11, 2001, issue of Weatherwise, vol. 54, No. 6, pg. 30, "Seeds of controversy: Although Efficacy Debates Continue, Rainmakers Fly On", by Jeff Dick, gives a good outline of the present knowledge of cloud seeding. (A copy of this article may be available at the Ruby Sisson Library.)

Given the uncertainties in precipitation enhancement schemes and that this year's program is being treated as a demonstration project for possible future efforts, it is necessary that the results are carefully and honestly analyzed. To eliminate any intentional or unintentional bias, there should be a protocol established before the start of any such demonstration that spells out exactly how the success or failure will be judged, i.e., what data will be collected and how they will be analyzed.

To further ensure uncompro-mised results, I think it would be wise to have an outside person, or group, be involved in developing this protocol. Personnel at Colorado State certainly are qualified and might be willing to help.

I hope that the boards of the two districts will do their best to see that the data from this year's demonstration program will be analyzed as scientifically as possible and not simply used in an anecdotal fashion.

Ted Stampfer

 

 Community News
Pagosa Lakes News
State program offering fire protection grants

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

With a dreadful summer of wildfires, fear is still indelibly etched in our minds. A richly wooded environment around a house - so highly desirable - became suddenly undesirable. We were all encouraged to take steps toward making our houses safer from fires.

Now that the autumn rains have arrived and the grass is green again, we sigh in relief. But who knows what next summer will bring. Will we have to worry about another drought and yet another spate of wild fires?

The Colorado State Forest Service has just informed Larry Lynch from the PLPOA office that there will be wildfire protection funding available to successful applicants through the 2003 Western State Wildland Urban Interface Grant Program.

The grant can be used for up to 50 percent of the total project cost. Practices eligible for cost-share reimbursement include creating defensible space around your home, forest thinning, tree pruning, slash disposal and fuel breaks.

Recipients are expected to pay for all project costs, then will be reimbursed the amount of the grant award. Funding could be as much as $1,000 per homesite.

Applications will have to be completed and submitted no later than Sept. 30. It looks to be a fairly simple application procedure. If you are interested in the grant program, contact Lynch at 731-5635.

He will have more information for individual homeowners and has even considered the option of combining several applicants together into one application for funding so as to increase chances for approval. There isn't much time before the application deadline, so a prompt response is important.

There is a vacancy on the PLPOA Environmental Control Committee. Association members in good standing who are interested in serving on this committee may apply by contacting the administrative office at 731-5635.

The PLPOA Planning Committee is meeting Friday with the board of directors to discuss results from the long range planning survey. The meeting, open to all property owners, will be in the administrative offices at 9 a.m.

Senior News
'Spirit of America' 9/11 salute an outstanding event

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

The Mountain Harmony Singers' tribute to firefighters, police, military personnel and EMTs - "Spirit of America" - was outstanding.

Thanks so much to Connie Glover and these talented ladies and children for honoring our heroes and treating us to such beautiful music.

So sorry, but our third try to have a picnic at Williams Lake for our folks was once again cancelled, this time because of rain. We apologize to all those folks who had signed. Guess we will try again next spring.

Several folks have inquired about the American flag that hung on the wall in our old facility. It was old and very dirty and stained so we have requested that the American Legion destroy it appropriately when they can have a ceremony.

The Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. will sponsor an Oktoberfest fund-raiser for our seniors, which will take place in the multi-purpose room of the new Community Center Oct. 19. There will be German music, German food, German beer, sodas, tea and coffee. We are very excited; this type of event is new for us to sponsor and we hope the community will support it as well as it has supported our fund-raisers in the past. Everyone mark your calendars for Oct. 19.

The T-shirts imprinted with our Silver Foxes Den logo have arrived - contact Musetta or Laura if you wish to purchase one for $10 each.

Wanda Aeschliman is our Senior of the Week. We are proud to honor this sweet lady who is one of our loyal members.

We are so glad to welcome Trini Higlesias back after her absence because of a family death. Also, we welcome Mary Archuleta who has been recuperating from a fall, and Alice, Connie and Gabriel Chavez (three generations of Mary Archuleta's family), Mary Ann Stewart, Paulette and Bill Sohle, Judy Cramer, David Hopkins, Delpha McFatridge, Jeannine and Robert Fletcher (from Texas), Amy and Dick Myers (from Arizona), Kathryn Ide, Ben Horseman, Lauren Huddleston, Violet and Mariono Echavarria, Liz Archuleta (Adelina Lobato's granddaughter), Nell Clark, Pauline and Ishmael Castillo, Sepp and Ingrid Leppitsch and Midge Rapp. Several of these folks are new members of our group. We are so pleased to have you join us.

On Sept. 26, the Area Agency on Aging will conduct its bimonthly meeting in our new den. The agency serves Region 9, comprised of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties. The agency is responsible for allocating state and federal funds for our programs. We hope many of you will join us for the special lunch of ham, broccoli blend, yam, muffin and apple crisp to show your support for our senior program. Bus transportation will be available to those who sign up.

Musetta informed us that persons with low income may qualify for a 25-percent discount on their basic phone service with Century Tel. For more information, contact Musetta at the Senior Center or the folks at Century Tel.

My apologies - last week I stated that the Arts Council had donated a bulletin board to the Senior Center when in fact it was purchased by the Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. board. The Arts Council posted some items on it.

State Representative Kay Alexander will be here Sept. 20 to visit with us. We hope everyone will join us and let her know of your concerns regarding state government.

Sept. 23 is "Bring a Friend" day at the Silver Foxes Den. We hope everyone will invite someone who doesn't normally join us.

Don Hurt needs someone to teach the AARP 55 Alive Drivers Education Class. Please contact Don at 264-2337 if you are willing to help out.

Upcoming events include chair exercise led by Dru Sewell Mondays at 10 a.m. That's followed by blood pressure checks from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and Bridge for Fun at 1 p.m. Those interested in the bridge group are encouraged to sign up first.

Tuesdays, Richard Harris offers Yoga at 9:30 a.m. Sam Matthews teaches computer classes Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Fridays feature Qi Gong with Vasuke at 10 a.m. and Medicare counseling with Jim Hanson at 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Corner

New Durango clinic taking applications

The Durango VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic opened Monday to start serving veterans from Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma counties.

The clinic is still in the process of training staff in VA procedures and was not actually seeing veterans yet. However, they were taking applications and checking on eligibility of many of those already enrolled at the Farmington clinic.

This was an official news release I received last week from the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System (Albuquerque VA Medical Center).

"The New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System's community based outpatient clinic (CBOC) in Durango, Colo., will begin serving veterans on Monday, Sept. 16.

"The facility, located at 3575 N. Main Ave., will provide primary outpatient care services to veterans from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"The clinic represents a partnership between the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Health Net Federal Services, based in Rancho Cordova, Calif. A physician, licensed practical nurse, medical assistant and receptionist comprise the staff. The clinic is expected to serve 1,400 veterans in its initial year of operation."

Grand opening

A grand opening of the clinic will take place Oct. 17, 10 a.m., Florida and Pine Rooms, La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. Refreshments will be provided. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will occur at 11:30 a.m.

Veterans interested in enrolling for medical care at the Durango clinic can contact the facility at 247-2214, or the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System's Clinic Operations Service at (505) 265-1711, Ext. 2844 or 2660 and (800) 465-8262, Ext. 2844 or 2660. They can also contact the Health Net Federal Services Customer Care Line at (800) 621-6499.

I went to Durango Monday to observe the opening of the clinic. In the hour or so I was at the clinic there were several veterans stopping by to get enrolled for their care at this facility.

Farmington patients first

I spoke with Tom Totoris, program support assistant from Albuquerque VA Medical Center, who was on hand to assist training some of the staff and help answer questions about the new clinic and its connection to the health care system. Tom had a list of veterans from Archuleta County already receiving care from the Farmington clinic. He said anyone already receiving health care at Farmington should call the clinic (247-2214) and advise them they want to transfer to the Durango facility. No additional enrollment information is needed. The clinic will take care of making the transfer.

It is my understanding the Durango clinic will be able to add about four veterans a day to their patient load.

I imagine Archuleta County veterans receiving VA health care from other locations such Albuquerque, Chama or any other clinics in the New Mexico VA system, can also call the Durango clinic and request the transfer.

Grand Junction patients

Local veterans who want to transfer to Durango and presently receiving their care from other districts, such as Grand Junction, should call the toll-free phone numbers listed above. It will probably be necessary to fill out new application forms to complete the transfer.

Some Archuleta County veterans I enrolled in Grand Junction were also enrolled in the Albuquerque health care system to await the opening of the Durango clinic. I would encourage our local veterans to call the Albuquerque number to determine if they are in the New Mexico system.

Health Net Federal Services is requesting veterans "refrain from calling the local VSO office regarding your VA CBOC enrollment" in a letter sent out to all Farmington-enrolled veterans. Why they are making that request is unclear. I tried several times to call the Health Net Services toll-free phone number to clarify the reason for this specific request, and got an answering machine. Certainly I am here to assist all our veterans in these matters, as I have been now for 1 1/2 years. But they prefer at this time you call them direct for your enrollment questions and applications.

Community forum

Be sure and plan to attend the Archuleta County Veteran's Forum Oct. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. to learn about these and other VA benefits and concerns. There will be guest panelists from several areas of Veterans Affairs and other county, state and federal offices to answer your questions about veteran's benefits. The forum will be held at the county fairgrounds building.

All veterans, their families and interested persons are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served and there is no charge for this service.

For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday; 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.

 

Arts Line
Special art offered for sale in gallery
By P.R. Bain

Looking for that special art piece to adorn your home? You'll find it at the Town Park gallery where artists Verna Marie Campbell and Susan Martin Serra have their art on display until Sept. 26.

Campbell's "plein air" landscapes and still life paintings will brighten your day as you gaze at the bold colors. Born in Oklahoma, Campbell later moved to New Mexico where she was inspired by the Santa Fe environment

Serra's ceramic maiolica art is an involved process consisting of clay and glaze mediums. You will find her tile-like wall designs and pottery items very impressive. The realistic paintings on her art items would make great conversation pieces for your abode. She studied the traditional maiolica process in Italy and has and M.F.A. in ceramics. She lives in Chromo.

To meet Campbell, come to the gallery Sept. 27. Serra will be there Sept. 25.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The address is 314 Hermosa St.

Whistle Pig

The Whistle Pig house concert Sept. 21 will feature Seattle singer-song writer Katia Chorover at 7 p.m. at the Bill Hudson home. There is a fee of $9 to be paid in advance. For reservations, call Hudson at 2674-2491.

Dual reception

An opening reception will be held Sept. 26 for Mised Soledad Estrada-Leo and Clara Estrada Barber 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. A mother and daughter team, Leo will show her unique portraits and landscapes, while Barber will show portraits and animals in pastel and pencil.

The Arts Council photo club workshop is offering a series of workshops. The first will be Oct. 5 at the historic Saddleback Ranch.

Jim Steinberg, a nature and science photographer, will be the guest speaker. His photo expertise has taken him on assignments all around the world, shooting photos for all types of publications. His work has been exhibited in many galleries, including his own in Steamboat Springs. Currently, his work is on display at Pagosa Photography Studio.

Those who participate in the workshop will meet at the gallery at 7 a.m. and caravan to the ranch 10 minutes east of town. Due to limitations, please make reservations as soon as possible. The photo club will receive a portion of the proceeds. For information call Jeff Laydon, 264-3686.

Family theater

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater's next production will be "Escape on Broadway" and is scheduled Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 in the high school auditorium. Sabine Elge is directing. To become involved (family involvement is encouraged) or if more information is needed, call Elge at 731-3506.

Odds and ends

Do you like to write? Here's your chance to write a column in the SUN once a month. The Arts Line column keeps everyone up to date on the latest council happenings. Come on aboard. Call 264-5020 for more information.

Art instructors are needed for child and adult classes at the new Pagosa Springs Community Center, starting this month. Send a resume and class ideas with lesson plans to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs CO, 81147, or hand deliver to the gallery.

The council welcomes anyone who would like to become a member. Just stop by the gallery and fill out a form. Individual membership is $20 per year, family membership $30.

Volunteering for the council's various functions is a good way to meet people and have fun. For information call 264-5020.

Thanks to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for supplying such beautiful floral arrangements at each art exhibit opening reception.

If there are any businesses interested in having a flyer placed in the council's quarterly newsletter, call Stephanie at 264-5068.

 

Chamber News
Wine-cheese tasting safari set Friday to open Colorfest weekend adventure

By Sally Hameister

PREVIEW Columnist

Tomorrow night is the night for which we've been preparing for many, many months and are most excited that it has arrived. The Colorfest Safari Wine and Cheese Tasting is here in all its jungle animal glory, and we're just tickled pink to present it to you.

You will be ecstatic with your journey to the various wine stations sampling the beauties from South Africa, Australia and Chile just to mention a few of the countries represented. The cheeses are equally unique and tasty, featuring such treats as flaming pepper, tomato and basil, Swiss and rye and one of our all-time favorites, horseradish. We added the Fleur de Franc Brie last year, and it was such a hit, we included it again.

Of course, we have sweets to end the evening from Pagosa Baking Company including their mouth-watering Kahlua walnut brownies, amaretti cookies, hazelnut shortbread and almond torte. Yikes.

Just to round out the perfect evening, Dan Aupperle of Citizens Bank has once again donated a keg of beer to the festivities for those who disdain the wine thing. Dan approached me last year asking about those odd individuals who wanted to attend the great party but didn't particularly like wine. He suggested that some prefer beer, and I blessed the idea and strongly encouraged him to provide this amenity for the pleasure of his fellow brew lovers. Long story short here, he did just that to the total delight of keg-lovers one and all and is repeating same this year.

We hope to see you all at the Visitor Center parking lot under the big tent, rain or shine, Friday evening from 5:30 until 7:30. This is definitely one of the best parties of the year, and you just won't want to miss it. We would love to see you dress in the safari theme if you would like to, but will welcome you with open arms no matter what your attire. I assure you that there will be enough animal prints, pictures and costumes to go around and enough wild (party) animals to last you a lifetime. Please join us for way too much fun on Friday night. Be sure to buy your tickets today to get the $25 ticket - if you wait until tomorrow, that same ticket will put you back $30, you silly person.

Colorfest weekend

The event described in the preceding paragraphs is just the beginning of a star-studded weekend during which the fun never ends. Saturday morning at around 7:30 you need to head for Hot Springs Boulevard just beyond the Bank of the San Juans to watch about 50 balloons ascend into our gorgeous Colorado blue skies. There is nothing quite like this sight and sound - the "whoosh" that accompanies the ascensions is some kinda wonderful.

Saturday afternoon, rain or shine, at around 5 p.m., Vince Sencich with Enzo's Catering will be serving up extremely generous and delicious picnic plates just loaded with BBQ chicken quarters, homemade potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, chilled bean salad, rolls and topped off with his famous chocolate brownies. Lemonade and iced tea will be the drink options to accompany this feast. Adults will pay $10 and children, $6. I assure you that you will have more food than you can consume if Vince has his way. The plates will be loaded for young and old alike. Adults will also be able to purchase keg beer, either Pin Stripe Red or True Blonde Ale and/or the famous boxed Chamber wines. Picnic/concert tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center before Saturday or right at the event on Saturday afternoon.

Our talented musical friends with Rio Jazz will provide the concert portion of the evening inside the fairgrounds building beginning at around 5:15. As we did last year, you will go through the food buffet line and can then head inside the building for the fun and music. Weather permitting, we will top off the evening with a balloon glow featuring around a dozen balloons in the rodeo arena right there at the fairgrounds.

Yet another balloon ascension will take place Sunday morning in the Pagosa Lakes area behind the recreation center at around 7:30 with the same terrific number of balloons. Lots of folks just love to attend and/or crew this ascension and then head out with friends to a local eatery for brunch. The Pagosa Springs PedalFest Bike Race will take place at Turkey Springs Road at 10 a.m., and you can call the good folks at Juan's Mountain Sports, 264-4730, for more information.

We sincerely hope that you will take advantage of each and every funderful event Colorfest weekend offers. It is our last hurrah to bid adieu to the summer and welcome the fall/winter season, and no one has more fun than the Pagosa crowd and visitors who attend. Please join us.

SunDowner sponsorship

Hard to believe that the annual bid for SunDowners is just around the corner, and everyone needs to be very aware of this big date. If you would like to sponsor a Chamber SunDowner in 2003, you will have to appear or send a representative to the Visitor Center on Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. to claim your SunDowner. Keep in mind that there are only ten dates available because the Chamber sponsors the Mardi Gras in January and Colorfest in September leaving only ten months for business sponsorship. Traditionally businesses are partial to the summer months because they like to have the party outside.

Just in case you aren't familiar with this amazingly popular Chamber-sponsored event, we do indeed have a business/social function once a month from 5-7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday at a host business. The sponsoring business is responsible for all the food served and the Chamber brings all the libations including wine, beer, sodas and water. The obvious benefit of hosting this monthly affair is the opportunity to showcase your business and familiarize the 100-150 people who attend with what you do and where to find you. These SunDowners have become enormously popular as witnessed by the over 200 in attendance at the recent Arts Council SunDowner.

If you have any questions, just give us a call at 264-2360. Otherwise, just show up at the Visitor Center Oct. 1. I will caution you that since the SunDowners are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, you may want to consider arriving rather early to claim the month of your choice. The classic year was when one business sent a representative who arrived at 4:30 a.m. with a lounge chair, newspapers and coffee to assure their first-come status which, of course, they did. I don't recommend coming at 4:30, but you would do well to come before 8.

Escape on Broadway

A heads-up on the latest Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater production that will be forthcoming Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the high school auditorium. "Escape on Broadway" is an original play, a madcap romp down Broadway with insert scenes from many favorite Broadway productions. Directing will be Sabine Elge, a recent arrival from the New York-New Jersey area where she gained a broad musical, art and theatrical background. Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater encourages family involvement in the theater process and in the past has presented "Wizard of Oz," "1001 Arabian Knights," "2002 A Space Oddity" and "Sleeping Beauty." If you would like more information about "Escape on Broadway" please give Sabine a call at 731-3506.

Volunteers for SBDC

In their effort to meet the needs of the growing number of businesses in Archuleta and LaPlata Counties, the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College is looking for volunteers with specialized expertise in business such as accountants, lawyers, marketing and promotion, management, etc. These folks will be asked to work as mentor/resources to small businesses that need assistance beyond what the SBDC can provide. The goal is to provide services to help businesses attain success. If you are interested, please contact Joe Keck at the Center at 247-7009 or email to sbdc@fortlewis.edu.

Autumn Bridal Showcase

The Western Colorado Wedding Guide presents the largest wedding show in the Four Corners area, Sept. 29, from noon-4 p.m. at the Ridgewood Events Center, Blue Lake Ranch, in Hesperus. This informative day features seminars addressing honeymoon destinations, tips on receptions, registries, flowers and photos. Caterers will provide samples of their reception food and cake selections, photographers will be happy to take pictures of the future bride and groom and there will be a display of the latest fashions in bridal gowns. Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded including a free wedding gown from Bridal Mart, a free wedding night suite at The Lodge at Tamarron, Cascade Village or the Strater Hotel, a free Carnival Cruise from Bridal Mart, a wedding decoration package from Alli's Accents or a giant basket from Dillard's Department Store. Tickets are $5 at the door or $3 online at www.westernc oweddings.com or call (970) 884-6001.

Membership

September always seems to be our big renewal month, and it looks like this one won't be an exception to that lovely tradition. We have five new members and 26 renewals to tell you about this Colorfest week, and I will proceed to do just that.

Our first new member this week is Linda Sapp who brings us Loma Clay Works with her studio in her home. Linda offers unique rustic Southwest artisan-style home dècor items like wall pockets, wall hangings, frames, bowls and much more. She is willing to do shows at her home or studio. She will come to your home with a selection; you can try a piece before committing (with a credit card imprint). Linda will work with decorators and designers and she will consider commissions. Please call her for details about her pre-Christmas tent sale Sept. 28 at 731-5926. We thank Dave and Carolyn at the Chile Mountain Cafè for recruiting Linda and will send off a SunDowner pass pronto.

Brad Handy joins us next with Pioneer Aviation, LLC, located at 448 Alpine Drive here in Pagosa. Brad offers flight instruction and hourly aircraft rentals. He is also proud to offer a simple and expedient checkout for vacationers as well as an extremely flexible schedule. Please feel free to call Brad at (970) 749-3718 for more information about Pioneer Aviation, LLC. We are grateful to our old pal, Tim Smith for recruiting Brad to the Chamber and will cheerfully send off a SunDowner pass.

Our next new members this week are Gary and Sue Smith who join us with the Auto Detail Shop located at 1985 West U.S. 160. These folks specialize in professional detailing to include hand wash to complete interior/exterior and degreasing motors. They do an excellent job with cleaning carpets and upholstery, buffing out oxidation and minor scratches and use only the finest professional chemicals and equipment. Please give Gary and Sue a call for prices and information about a complete facelift for your auto at (970) 749-8113.

We're delighted to welcome Jim and Robin Struck to our growing list of Associate Members with our thanks to Marti Capling, Chamber Diplomat, for her recruitment efforts. Welcome, too, to Lisa Scott who joins us as an Associate Member with one of the most original and humorous reasons we've heard in a long time. Be sure and ask the next time you see her.

Our formidable list of renewals this week includes Pat Vincent with Aspen Springs Realty; Tim Horning with Southwest Custom Builders, Inc.; Linda Delyria with The Tile and Carpet Store, Pagosa, LLC; Will Spears, our board vice-president, with KWUF AM/FM Wolf Creek Broadcasting; Karen Delgado with Heritage Custom Homes; Larry Johnson with Johnson Builders located in Bayfield; Eddie Campbell with Branding Iron Bar BQ; Dick Warring with Landstar Inway/Wolf Creek Logistics, Inc. (by the way, Dick's membership is free this year because he was the lucky soul who found the baby in the King Cake at last year's Mardi Gras); Walt Lukasik with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association; Barbara Blackburn with Blackburn's Business Bureau; Moe Janosec with High Desert Publications (the PS caricature map) located in Mancos; Terri House with the Pagosa Springs SUN; John Weiss with Navajo State Park located in Arboles; Gilbert and Nancy Davidson with Davidson's Country Inn; Barbara Rosner with Rosner Creative Communications and Design; Michael Short with Doors and More; Randy Fehrenbacher with Western Colorado Buyer Brokers; Laura Daniels with Pagosa Central Management, Inc.; Crystal Howe with Bootjack Ranch; Jean A. Farrer with the Pinewood Inn; Dan Aupperle with Citizens Bank; Brian Gronewoller with Power House Ministries and Jan Brookshier with Brookshier Photography and Framing.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include Ken and Chamber Diplomat Anita Mathers; Gene and Jackie Schick and Joan and Malcolm Rodger. Thank you to each and every one.

Library News
'Carefree on a Tether': book for tomboys

By Lenore Bright

PREVIEW Columnist

Thanks to Roger and Sandy Wickham for a copy of "Carefree on a Tether," by Helen Robards Taber. Mrs. Taber is a friend of the Wickhams and has written a delightful story of her childhood growing up on a ranch in western Washington.

As she put it, "My passion when I was 6-10 years old was not to be a girl. That isn't to say I wanted to be a boy. I simply wanted the best of both my known worlds. My brothers and I caught frogs and tamed chipmunks. We played baseball and went fishing for crawdads or minnows becoming a girl was a role I saw dampering my enthusiasms for nature and creativity.

"Each day after school I barely could wait to don overalls I knew the day would come for a different life. But meanwhile, my passion was not to be a girl with all of those hateful problems like boyfriends and hair. And wiping the dishes."

This is a book for all "tomboys." Mrs. Taber describes herself as a sometime volunteer publicist and longtime freelance writer.

"Blind Assassin," by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, is a compelling story that we highly recommend. Atwood is the author of more than 25 books, including fiction, poetry and essays. "Blind Assassin" is a novel-within-a-novel. The novel has many story lines and covers the 30s and 40s from a unique perspective.

Children's safety

The White House released a handbook, "Personal Safety for Children: A Guide for Parents," which offers practical advice to help families and communities protect their children from harm. Copies have been sent to every public and private school and all main public libraries in the country.

The handbook was developed in preparation for the White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children, which will take place Oct. 2. The summit will address the recent wave of child abductions.

The information presented within "Personal Safety for Children" will help caretakers teach children how to stay safe at home, at school and in their neighborhoods. It also explains what to do if a child is missing and recommends resources that can provide further assistance. We received both an English and a Spanish version of the handbook. See our copy and if you want additional copies, they can be ordered at (877-4ED-PUBS).

Legal help

Colorado Legal Services has developed a statewide Web site for use by Colorado residents. The goal is to make it easier for low-income residents with legal problems to find information that will help them understand the legal nature of the problem and then find individuals who can help with a solution. The address is www.coloradolegalservices.org.

Rules for videos

Videos sold in retail or rental stores are intended for personal, private, home use only. If shown outside the home such as in a church, government or corporate facility, a license is required. Even nonprofit groups must have a license. We have a brochure with questions and answers about the situation and how to obtain such a license. Ask for a copy of the brochure at the desk.

Donations

Thanks to former state senator Jim Dyer for his financial donation to our building fund. Senator Dyer gave us the first donation when we began raising funds for the Sisson Library back in 1985. He generously gave us a gift to get our fund-raising started for a new addition. Thanks for materials from Carol Hakala, Addie Greer and Margaret Wilson.

 Business News

The staff at Head to Toe includes, back, Ann Castar, Tara Needham and Shanna Malone. In the front are Emily Campbell, Jill Devine and Elizabeth Young.

Head to Toe provides a wide range of aesthetic services, including skin care, nails, quality hair care and products. The business includes a jewelry and clothing boutique.

Head to Toe is located at 270 E. Pagosa St., at the east end of downtown Pagosa Springs. Business and phone hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9-2 Saturdays. Appointments at other times are available. Call 264-6413.

 People
Pagosan is named Special Olympics' Athlete of the Year

The 2002 Southwest Area celebration was held Sept. 6 at Echo Basin Guest Ranch in Mancos and Pagosa Special Olympian Patrick Waggener was designated the Outstanding Male Athlete of the year.

Marilynn Bunch, a Pagosa resident and Special Olympics volunteer, was named the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.

Female Athlete of the Year was Barbara Antoine of Durango; Brianna Reynolds of Cortez was named Outstanding Unified Partner of the year; Marcelino Aldaz of Cortez the Outstanding Coach of the Year; and the McEntire Family of Durango was cited as the Outstanding Family of the Year. Also honored were Kiwanis Club of Cortez as Outstanding Organization of the Year and Slavens Sporting Goods of Cortez as Outstanding Business of the Year.

Attending from Pagosa Springs were Donna Cooper, Peg Cooper, the Waggener family, Allan and Marilynn Bunch, and Dave and Kathy Pokorney.

For information about local Special Olympics activities, call Kathy Pokorney at 264-5113.

  Features
Did Army make Dutch Henry an outlaw?

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

All Dutch Henry wanted was a grubstake so he could return to Michigan and marry the girl he left behind. All the fort commander wanted was for Dutch Henry to go away. If the buffalo hunter died, who cared?

Both outlaw and family man, Dutch Henry Born was one of the most famous people to ever live in Pagosa Country. Dutch was already a legend when he settled in Pagosa Country. The legendary nature of his reputation makes it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Why and how did Dutch become an outlaw?

One account of Dutch Henry's life says he was born to German immigrant parents July 2, 1849, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The family moved to Montague, Michigan, during the 1860s, where Dutch worked as a lumberjack. Probably in 1869, he moved to Kansas and for the next six years engaged in buffalo hunting and freighting in Kansas and eastern Colorado. He was one of the hide men who entered the panhandle of Texas in the spring of 1874 where he took part in the second battle of Adobe Walls.

At the time of the Indian attack on the Adobe Walls trading post, Dutch was in the Myers and Leonard store along with Fred Leonard, Charley Armitage, Batholomew (Bat) Masterson and several others. One account of the battle credits Dutch with killing a black bugler who signaled the charge for the Indians. This is the battle in which buffalo hunter and scout Billy Dixon is credited with shooting one of the Indians from a measured distance of more than a mile.

Later, Dutch is said to have served a brief time as a scout for the Army, particularly for Gen. George Armstrong Custer. Dutch may have shared scouting chores with Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickock.

We find the following description of Dutch Henry in "Marshal of the last Frontier: Life and Services of William Matthew (Bill Tilghman) For 50 Years One of the Greatest Peace Officers of the West." The book is a biography of Tilghman written by his wife Zoe.

According to Tilghman, a hide buyer by the name of Mark Bedell operated a buffalo hunter's headquarters in Kit Carson, Colorado, near Fort Lyon. The town of Kit Carson had recently sprung up as a temporary terminus of the Kansas Pacific railroad.

At Bedell's, hunters could spread their blankets on piles of hides and sleep, without charge. Bedell employed 14 men and kept a big dining hall. Hunter's could pull up a chair for fifty cents a meal.

"Bedell's cook was a slight, dark-eyed fellow of about Bill's age, who spoke with a German accent, though his forbears had been in America several generations - Pennsylvania Dutch. Few knew him by his name of Born, but only as Dutch Henry.

"Bill liked him, often helped him with stacks of tin dishes. Henry's cooking was rated the best in town, and he kept his crude kitchen as clean as any kitchen heifer. His day began at four o'clock, often lasting until ten at night."

He confided his dreams to Bill. He would not always be Bedell's cook. There was a girl back in Michigan. Bill recalled a bunch of letters back in the dugout made by Bill and George Rust. The dugout, or lodge, was made of poles and buffalo skins, Indian style, except the hides were not tanned. The raw hides dried in place, making the tent tight and wind proof.

"With a small fire in the center it was snug and comfortable. And in the smoke they dried buffalo tongues, all that they took. There was little work in salting and hanging them, and the cured tongues sold for 25 cents a piece. They used many themselves, for smoked tongue was a delicious and handy lunch, carried in their saddlebags. Their main camp was near the river, but they had a dry camp out on the prairie, where they did much of their work, killing, skinning, and pegging out the hides to dry."

Dutch Henry had saved enough money to buy a team, wagon, hire a helper and become an independent hide hunter. One more season and he'd have enough money to return to Michigan and claim the girl he loved.

A party of Cheyenne raided Dutch's camp, wounded his helper and ran off his horse. Dutch walked to Bill's camp. Bill took the injured helper to town. Dutch took his guns and set out afoot to find the Indians and his horses.

As he was cooking meat five days later, the Indians found him. He fought them off all day, even with an arrow in his leg. Under cover of darkness that night, he escaped, making his way to Fort Lyon. He reported his loss to the commander and asked to borrow a team to bring in his hides. The commander threatened to arrest him, told him to get out without offering medical aid. Dutch spent the day hiding in the brush by the river.

Next morning, a span of mules and the commander's best saddle horse were missing. The commander blamed Indians until he received a letter five days later. The letter read:

"Do not blame the Indians or anyone else, For I alone stole your mules. After I hauled my hides, I sold them. I am keeping the horse, for he is a fine saddler. If you want him just come down in the Cheyenne country. I'm going there to collect one hundred Indian ponies and one scalp. Dutch Henry."

From that day for some ten years, the name echoed throughout the southwest, according to Tilghman. Exaggerated gossip said he had a band of one hundred men.

"Henry never had a band," said Bill. "He played a lone hand and specialized in Indian ponies and government mules. The number of these collected is known only to God and him. Maybe he lost count himself. No one ever knew him to steal from a white man."

Fifty-two years later Tilghman said, "In spite of his crimes, a truer man and better pal never lived. He had a heart as big as any government mule he ever appropriated. In my fifty years as a peace officer, I have heard many tales and sob stories of outlaws driven to a life of crime. But Dutch Henry's is the only one I knew to hold water."

Dutch Henry was indeed an enigma. Outlaw and devoted family man. His last years were spent as a respected member of the Pagosa community. Many of his descendants remain in the area, all respected members of the community.

The enigma of Dutch Henry can be explained if one recognizes that the West he lived in at that time was an enigma. Dutch reflected his times. God-fearing Anglo settlers poured into the country, settling on any land they could find. From their viewpoint, what they were doing was right, even ordained by God. At the same time, bands of Indians roamed through the country, watching the whites settle on land that had been theirs for longer than their grandfathers could remember. They were a displaced people, watching their homes disappear and wondering what would remain. On much of the same land, Hispanics had lived for centuries. And so, anyone traveling through the Southwest would have passed through settlements of Anglos, Indians, and Hispanics, a terribly mixed up place. Where were law and order and justice? Where was right? Who was right? What was right? To some it seemed clear that right emanated from a smoking gun. Ultimately the ethnic group with the most guns prevailed.

Meanwhile, Dutch Henry's life reflected the life he saw around him. Conditions in Pagosa Country fit the prevailing pattern that dominated the Southwest at that time. Next week, we'll look at reports of Dutch Henry's life of crime, as seen through the eyes of others. How many of the incidents really happened as described is hard to prove. What is certain is, that for one phase of his life, Dutch Henry was an outlaw.

Motter's comment: Dutch Henry's parents were, indeed, from Germany. Tilghman was wrong in referring to them as Pennsylvania Dutch. They came to the United States in 1851. I received a welcome telephone call this week from Laura Devere, who lives at Aztec, N.M., and is the daughter of Helen, one of Dutch Henry and his wife's four children. As the series on Dutch Henry progresses, we'll get into the family history in Pagosa Springs.

 

Colorfest Celebration

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosans take the coming of fall very seriously.

Seriously enough that a few spend hundreds of hours planning, promoting and preparing for a weekend of community fun called Colorfest. It's hot air balloons. It's wine and cheese tasting. It's picnics and nighttime balloon glows. It's themed apparel, champagne and barbecue.

And it starts in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce staff, several volunteers, and Liz and Mike Marchand, who coordinate the hot air balloon portion of the weekend.

"As soon as the Fourth of July is over we get a day off and then we know it's time to start planning Colorfest," Doug Trowbridge, Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant, said. Of course, the first bright ideas for themes, wines to try, things to add or subtract really begins as soon as the last year's event is over, Sally Hameister, executive director of the chamber, added.

The same is true for the Marchands.

"The balloon rallies are a year-around job," Liz said. Besides Colorfest in September, she organizes a second rally, Winterfest, in February.

Her portion starts with finding the money. Funding the balloon ascensions and the glow is all realized through donations from local sponsors and a fee paid by the pilots, she said. It begins with a letter to all the chamber members.

Then there's a follow-up visit or phone call or two. Whatever it takes, sometimes.

"We beg," Marchand said. This year, their techniques netted 31 business sponsors and 23 accommodation sponsors. All but 12 or 14 of the rooms needed for pilots ended up being donated, she said. The rest, plus everything else involved, must be purchased with the money raised.

Then there's organizing the pilots of as many as 50 balloons, checking weather reports, soothing ruffled feathers if anyone lands a balloon where they're not supposed to and generally commanding the chaos at 6:30 a.m. for two mornings of ascensions. All together, with the four to six member crews involved with each balloon, just the rally itself brings over 300 people to town.

"Every single year I say I'm never doing this again," Marchand said, "but I end up having such a good weekend; I have so much fun. It's just a great event and I end up doing it again." She paused. "And the pilots love flying here so I'd probably be lynched if I said we weren't doing it anymore."

Pilots, said Marchand, are something that's never in short supply. Sure, in 1986 when the rally began, just six balloons participated. When Marchand took over in 1993, the numbers were up around 20. Now, a waiting list is common.

"Thirty-five pilots is probably an appropriate number," Marchand said, "but I have a hard time saying no." So the cutoff remains at 50, but 60 or 70 will call. And those waiting are willing to come at a moment's notice. In the case of a last-minute cancellation, she said she's called pilots as late as Friday morning before the event and they will climb in their vehicles to arrive by registration time Friday night.

The Chamber of Commerce events, including this year's Safari Wine and Cheese Tasting and community picnic, are paid for with Chamber funds. Very little is donated, and despite charging a fee for some things, the weekend breaks even on a good year, Hameister said.

As usual, the devil, the expense in this case, is in the details. A party this big requires a variety of elements. Mother nature throws in the reds, yellows and oranges of the fall leaves for free, but the extras, like 450 glasses for 17 red and white wines, 11 cheeses and a few assorted deserts to delight all the senses during the tasting under the tent, requires shelling out both cash and time.

Sheila Hunkin, just one of the Chamber diplomats who help with the event, guessed she'll spend all day at the Chamber offices preparing the cheese for the tasting. Eleven 5-pound hunks of cheese, including flavors like smoked gouda, Havarti dill, horseradish, garlic and flaming pepper, must be cut into bite-sized pieces for the 400-some guests paying $25-$30 each.

The weekend before, she spent time washing wine glasses, six dozen at least. Friday afternoon, she and her husband, Ron, will be among those who help set up the outdoor tent, decorating and designing as they go.

"Everybody helps," Hunkin said. "I don't feel like I help any more than anyone else."

And the work is fun. Formerly a city dweller, Hunkin said, it's only in a small town where a person has the opportunity to be involved up close and personal with an event like this one.

"It's a very neat weekend for the community," she said. "I like to see everybody and watch the balloons."

And, oh my, let's not forget the lions, tigers and elephants, grass tablecloths and African-themed centerpieces needed to complete the Safari theme for Friday's tasting.

The Safari theme is something new, Hameister said. It started when local resident Eddie Dale approached the Chamber about getting his father involved to entice him into coming and staying in Pagosa Springs. His father, Jerry Dale, owns Safari Tours in South Africa and was, at one time, involved with the wine business there. Negotiations began and, as a result, he is bringing seven South African wines all the way to Pagosa for the tasting. These will join company with wines from Australia, Chile and the United States.

"It really makes this year especially marvelous," Hameister said.

Saturday, the Chamber has also organized a catered community picnic starting at about 5 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Guests will be treated to barbecue chicken quarters, potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, chilled bean salad, rolls, a chocolate brownie, beverages and jazz music. Adults will pay $10, and children $6. Then, just as the sun begins to set, 13 or 14 balloons will line up in the arena, weather permitting, for a balloon glow.

At a glow, the balloons fill with air, but stay on the ground, lighting up like a huge string of Christmas lights for a beautiful display of color. It all starts tomorrow.

They've worked hard folks, a whole crew of volunteers and various Chamber staff members. From 5:30 p.m. Friday with the Safari Wine and Cheese Tasting until 7:30 a.m. Sunday with the last balloon ascension, it'll be a weekend of serious fun. And everyone's invited.