February 27, 2003

Front Page

SNOW! Winter visits ...at last

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Old Man Winter made a relatively surprising visit to Pagosa Country this week, and forecasters predict he will likely hang around through tonight, then pack up and slowly head east for the weekend.

For the most part, area residents welcomed the well-traveled sultan of snow with open arms. Few seemed to mind the 12-inch thick, fluffy white blanket dragging along behind him as he made his rounds through town, ventured into the rural highlands, then headed north to pay a visit to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Ski reports issued Wednesday morning indicated the resort picked up 29 inches of new snow in the past week, boosting the summit depth to 110 inches and midway depth to 102 inches. Year-to-date snowfall total for the area improved to 251 inches.

Areas closer to town saw a half-inch of snow late Monday, approximately eight inches during the course of the day Tuesday, and another 4-5 inches between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

That translates into the equivalent of nearly two inches of water for the area. The moisture will help to temporarily alleviate dry conditions left over from last year's record drought, but much more will be needed before the region can escape its current drought classification, still listed as "extreme."

Statewide snowpack levels reached 81 percent of average as a result of the passing storm, and snowpack in the San Juan Mountains crept higher toward normal levels as well. Levels in the Upper San Juan Basin hit 90 percent of average for the first time since November, and snowpack at the summit of Wolf Creek Pass hit 78 percent of average.

According to Jerry Smith, a forecaster in the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, there is a continuing chance for snow through the weekend and into early next week, but the heavy snow experienced the past few days will probably dissipate by tomorrow.

"The brunt of the storm is now moving off to the east-southeast and will eventually turn to the northeast," said Smith, "but some weaker systems moving in from the West Coast will continue to move into the region and up the chance for at least some light snow."

According to Smith, a 50-percent chance for snow remains for today and tonight, and highs should hover in the low 30s while lows should drop into the 20s.

The chance for snow tapers off to 20 percent for Friday and Saturday. Highs are predicted to range from the mid-30s to mid-40s; lows should dip into the upper teens.

There is a minimal possibility for snow Sunday and Monday; partly- to mostly-cloudy skies are anticipated with highs expected to approach 40. Lows should register in the teens.

A 40-percent chance for flurries is in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. High temperatures should range from the mid-30s to mid-40s; lows are forecast in the middle teens to low 20s.

The average high reading last week was 37; the average low, 12. San Juan River flow measured south of town ranged from approximately 20 cubic feet per second to over 50 cubic feet per second. The median river flow for the past week, based on 66 years of record, is roughly 60 cubic feet per second.

 

One day left to file petitions for home rule panel

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The deadline for turning in petitions to become a member of the Pagosa Springs Home Rule Charter Commission is less than 24 hours away.

It takes just 25 signatures of registered voters of the Town of Pagosa Springs to put a person's name on the ballot. Those elected have the chance to develop a new government organizational structure for the town.

For several months, the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees has been exploring the home rule option. Home rule is allowed under the Colorado State Constitution. Under its auspices, local residents are allowed to determine their own governmental organization, including the overall structure, terms of officers and number of members on town boards. Home rule also allows municipalities to create voting precincts, if they so choose.

According to the book, "Budgeting: A guide for local governments," home rule is defined as, "a limited grant of discretion from a state government to a local government, concerning either the organization of functions or the raising of revenue. Without home rule, local governments are restricted to whatever functions, organization, revenue policies and borrowing restrictions are specified by the state government."

Currently, Pagosa Springs is a statutory community, meaning that its municipal government structure is dictated by state statute.

However, that could change following a special election on home rule set for April 8. At that time, voters will be asked whether or not the town should pursue home rule - and, if the answer to that is yes - to elect members of a home rule charter commission.

The charter commission is a group of nine residents of the town elected to write the document, or charter, which sets the organizational structure for town government under home rule. According to state law, if elected, the commission has 120 days to complete that mission. After that, whatever they have written goes before the board of trustees and the voters. Only after the charter is written and approved by voters does the town officially become a home rule community. If voters reject the charter presented by the commission, the process must start all over again.

Petitions for anyone interested in running for one of the nine spots on the charter commission are due, completed, at Town Hall Feb. 28 by 5 p.m. So far, said Julie Jessen, town administrative intern, members of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees and one other person have picked up petitions. Only one has been returned.

If voters approve the idea of moving forward with the home rule charter commission, but have fewer than nine members to elect on the ballot, the remainder will be appointed by the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees.

 

Four Mile Road fire damage extensive

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Twenty-six firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District battled a house fire for two hours Feb. 21 before finally gaining the upper hand and saving over 80 percent of the structure.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said damage to the home in the 1000 block of Four Mile Road is extensive.

"When we arrived, the second floor of the structure was involved in the fire," he said. "There was intense heat and smoke due to the fact that the walls were tongue and groove and heavy beam construction."

Firefighters used three engines, four tankers and two other vehicles to help control the blaze which apparently started in the masonry chimney of a wood stove. With no fire hydrants in the vicinity, water, approximately 6,000 gallons, had to be hauled from town.

Grams said the department was paged to the scene at 7:47 p.m and arrived just minutes later. They returned to station at 12:30 a.m. The fire, smoke and heat caused extensive damage to the second story of the structure. Water damage trickled down to the first floor. No official dollar estimate of damage was available.

"We were able to save 80 percent of the structure with contents," Grams said.

The home's owner, Bob Haag, was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. No other injuries from the fire were reported. However, Grams said, the firefighters were extremely tired after battling the blaze due to the intense heat and smoke. No one was in the home when the fire was discovered. Investigation into the exact cause of the fire continues.

 

Weather
 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

2/19

42

14

-

-

-

2/20

34

10

-

-

-

2/21

36

9

-

-

-

2/22

40

11

-

-

-

2/23

39

9

-

-

-

2/24

37

12

S

.50

.09

2/25

33

17

S

8

1.68

 

 

Sports Page

Parks & Rec

Concept maps for sports complex available

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The two concepts for the proposed sports complex have arrived and can be picked up at Town Hall at anytime during regular working hours, Monday through Friday.

We would like as much public input as possible, and appreciate all comments with regard to the conceptual drawings.

Our goal is to review all input and have our second public meeting at 4 p.m. March 19 in Town Hall.  The public meeting will be followed by a Parks and Recreation Advisory Council meeting at 5:30 p.m.

At this final public meeting the director and the consultant firm, EDAW, will discuss changes that the public and the advisory council would like to see, changes to help improve any aspect of the preliminary plans we received.

Changes will be made to street alignment, to use of school property and logical places for improvement location on the plans in general.

Once a conceptual design is picked the advisory council will recommend to the town board the acceptance of the plan. This public meeting is set for 5 p.m. May 6.

Please feel free to call Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151, Ext. 231 regarding the sports complex and making arrangements to pick up a set of plans.

Adult basketball

Nineteen teams are playing basketball Monday through Thursday at the junior high gymnasiums and at the community center multipurpose room.  The divisions include Men's Competitive, Men's Recreational League and a Women's League.

So far we have had no reported mishaps, just a lot of adults out there having fun and recreating.

This year's turnout gives us the largest number of adults playing basketball in our adult program. Participation and sore muscles are on the rise in the local gymnasiums.

League play will continue through April 10, followed by a season ending tournament.

Raw water feed

U-Can-Afford Landscaping Inc. is working diligently through rain and snow on our new water system which will draw raw untreated water from the river to irrigate all the high school athletic fields and the future town sports complex site.

The pipe is in the ground, with the electrical service to be finished with in the next couple of weeks.  We are waiting for the permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, and to order the pump to service all the watering stations. We hope to have everything working by mid-May.

Youth baseball

Youth baseball is just around the corner. Please look for sign-up sheets from your children after spring break. We anticipate a big turnout, with baseball starting off a great summer of  activities.

 

Martinez gets his payback, wins state championship

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was payback time at the Pepsi Center for Michael Martinez.

Once he returned to the Pirate wrestling lineup in January following his recovery from a serious ankle injury, Martinez ran off a string of 19 consecutive victories at 112 pounds.

Among his victims was freshman Rory Keys, an excellent young athlete from Centauri. Keys went down twice to Martinez during the regular season, first at the Rocky Mountain Tournament at Pagosa, next in a dual meet with the Falcons. Both times, the matches were close.

At the regional tournament, Keys finally had his day, handing Martinez his only loss of the season, fighting him with a style devised by Centauri's coach, his father - a style calculated to tie up Martinez at the elbows and to back off the action, walking a fine line just on the other side of a stalling call.

Saturday night, when all the marbles were in the ring for the Class 3A crown at 103, Martinez and Keys were set to go at it again. It was a dream match and Keys was ready to play the same game.

To get to that point, though, the wrestlers came from opposite sides of the bracket, and very different sides in terms of the quality of opponent.

Martinez finished second at regionals behind Keys and found himself facing formidable competition on the way to the state championship bout. By tourney's end, Martinez would have to beat the eventual second, third and fourth-place finishers.

The Pirate junior started the event against Brandon Sullivan of Hotchkiss, a sophomore with a 27-13 record. Sullivan was no match for Martinez. The Pirate scored with two first-period takedowns, allowing Sullivan to escape for a point. Martinez escaped to begin the second period, took Sullivan down again, let him up then took him down yet another time for the 9-2 lead. A two-point near fall in the third period gave Martinez an 11-2 decision.

Next up was Curtis Salazar (33-3) of Valley. A first-period takedown gave Martinez a 2-0 lead. Salazar scored the only point of the second period when the Pirate allowed him to escape.

Martinez took Salazar down twice in the third, giving up one escape and got the 6-2 decision.

In the semifinal match, the opponent was Quentin Fuentes (36-2) of Roosevelt. Neither wrestler scored in the opening period. Fuentes started down in the second, escaped, then took Martinez down to go ahead 3-0. At that point, Martinez went to work; two escapes and a takedown gave him a 4-2 lead at period's end.

Martinez allowed Fuentes to escape to start the final period then put on a takedown clinic. Three times he took the Roughrider down, allowing him up twice for the next move. At the buzzer, Martinez had earned the right to meet Keys with an 11-6 decision.

Keys' strategy in the championship bout was the same as earlier in the season: tie up Martinez and prevent him from moving freely, getting a clear shot.

Neither wrestler scored in the first period. The second period saw the fighters on their feet, handfighting, with Keys locking on to Martinez's elbows. Keys started down in the second and Martinez allowed him up, looking for the opportunity for a takedown. It didn't come and the period ended with Keys ahead, 1-0.

Martinez began the final period in the down position and fashioned an escape to tie the score. The Pirate then managed to take Keys down for two points. He let Keys up, confident of another shot at the Falcon, then took him down again to control the match and secure the championship with a 5-2 decision.

"You know," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky, "this is a guy hampered by an injury - although he would never tell you that - and somewhat limited in his movement. Because he lost at the regional tournament, he had the worst bracket at state. Despite all this, he won. And, in this case, when the dust settled, he beat the second, third and fourth-place guys to get there. He had to beat all the best guys.

"Michael truly believes if he can outwork the other wrestler, he will beat him. He hangs his hat on that. There's so much you can say about a person who will refuse to quit, refuse to give in to pain, refuse to ever hear or acknowledge anything negative. Michael is that person and he is one of a kind."

He got his payback.

He is that kind of person; and he is the state champ.

 

Hockett third, Hart fifth at state 3A wrestling tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Three Pirate wrestlers brought home medals from the Colorado 3A tournament at Denver.

Champion Michael Martinez was joined in the successful medal hunt by Daren Hockett, who placed third at 103 pounds, and Kory Hart who took fifth at 140.

Hockett, a sophomore, proved he is one of the premier wrestlers in Class 3A, battling his way through an extremely tough bracket to take third.

The tourney began for Hockett with a match against Tyler Herbst, a freshman from Yuma with a 24-14 record.

Hockett made short work of Herbst, getting a takedown and a three-point near fall before pinning him at 1 minute, 26 seconds.

Next up for Hockett in the championship quarterfinals was Mario Meza (28-8), a sophomore from Hotchkiss. Hockett went in front 2-0 with a first-period takedown. The wrestlers started in the neutral position in the second period and, again, Hockett scored two points with a takedown. The third period was more of the same and another takedown gave Hockett the 6-0 decision.

The semifinal match was against the number-one seeded wrestler in the tournament, Joe Gonzales, a junior from Roosevelt, the reigning state champion with a 35-1 record.

To anyone who studies the sport, this match was, for all intents and purposes, the championship match at 103 pounds, pitting the two best wrestlers in the weight class.

Hockett got behind early to the short and powerful Gonzales. The Roughrider led Hockett 2-0 at the end of one period. Hockett escaped to close the gap to 2-1 but Gonzales nailed another takedown to lead 4-1 at the end of two periods. An escape at the start of the third period gave the Roosevelt wrestler a 5-1 lead. Hockett scrambled, closing to 5-7, before the buzzer sounded to end the match.

In the consolation semifinal, Hockett faced a familiar opponent in Kyle Francis of Monte Vista. It was no contest; Hockett controlled Francis throughout the match, getting a 2-0 first-period lead and extending it to 7-2 at the end of two. The third period was all Hockett, as the Pirate scored with two takedowns and a two-point near fall to win the 13-2 major decision.

That win put the Pirate in a battle for third place against Chris Vigil (32-2) a junior from La Junta. The wrestlers were scoreless after one period and started neutral in the second. Hockett scored the only points of the period with a takedown. Vigil narrowed the gap to 2-1 with an escape to start the third period but Hockett responded with a takedown. Another escape gave the Tiger a point and Hockett surrendered a point on a stalling call. Ahead 4-3, Hockett sealed the win and the third-place medal with a takedown with 11 seconds remaining on the clock.

"Daren had a great tournament," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "In the last six weeks of the season he improved steadily, rapidly. I think he improved during the tournament itself. He got a little tight in the semifinal, going against the state champ. It took him a minute or two to get over it and he hustled. He was pressing the action right to the end but he ran out of time. He made weight at 103 this year without a complaint, he led a very disciplined existence and he made it pay off."

Hart, a junior, also ended up in a very tough bracket as he competed at 140.

The Pirate's first match was against Mic Cozzens, of Eaton, a senior with a 28-11 record. Hart nailed the first takedown of the match but Cozzens got an escape and a takedown at the end of the period to go ahead 3-2. The lead would not last. Cozzens started in the down position in the second period. Hart worked him hard, finally turned him, and put his shoulders to the mat to record the fall at 3:32.

In the championship quarter-final, Hart met one of the tourney's top fighters at 140, Garrett Nunnery, a junior from Lamar with a 39-2 record. It was an epic battle, a close contest to the last seconds of the match.

Hart went ahead 4-2 in the first period before Nunnery closed the period with a takedown to tie the score 4-4. Nunnery started down and escaped for a point. Hart got the takedown; again Nunnery got a single point on an escape. With three seconds left in the period, Hart took Nunnery down and had the 8-6 lead.

Hart started down in the final period, escaped and got another takedown. As the match wound down, Hart had an 11-8 lead. Nunnery got a takedown and a three-point near fall with a headlock with 20 seconds remaining to eke out the 13-11 decision.

In his first consolation match, Hart met Middle Park's Ben Burdin (36-9). If fans wanted a cliffhanger, this was it. Neither wrestler scored in the opening period. Hart was awarded a penalty point then got an escape in the second period to lead 2-0. Burdin escaped to start the third period then took Hart down. Hart was behind 3-2 as time grew short. Hart reversed Burdin with two seconds on the clock to take the 4-3 victory.

One more victory would put Hart in the hunt for a medal. He got that victory over Valley's Cory O'Donnell. Hart never trailed on his way to a 13-10 decision.

A frustrating 3-2 loss to Tim Reitz of Eagle Valley put Hart in the fight for fifth place, Reitz got a point when the Pirate was called in the second period for a stall. Two escapes in the third by Reitz were countered by a takedown by Hart and the Pirate repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried shots as time expired.

Fifth place belonged to Hart following a 10-3 victory over David Bray of Colorado Springs Christian, Tied with Bray 2-2 just into the second period, Hart opened up with a takedown, an escape, a second takedown and a three-point near fall to crush the Lion and win his medal.

"Kory wrestled well at Denver," said the coach. "The heartbreaker was the quarterfinal loss to Nunnery. Kory wrestled a very good match and got surprised in the last 20 seconds. His weight class was a solid one, with not a lot of difference between sixth and first place. Kory did himself a lot of good at the tournament. He's made a lot of progress as a wrestler."

 

Senior wrestlers help Pirates finish 12th at state tournament

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers made a strong effort at the state championship tournament at Denver and put enough points on the scoreboard to leave the team in 12th place at competition's end.

Three Pirate seniors made the trip to the Pepsi Center, and battled hard in the final matches of their high school careers.

Mike Maestas did well at Denver, considering the fact he suffered a knee injury at the regional tournament a week before and missed some practices prior to state in his attempt to recover.

While the knee obviously bothered Maestas, the Pirate was one match away from the medal round at 125 pounds.

"With a different draw, things might have been different for Mikey," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "The last two weeks showed what this guy is made of. He overcame that knee problem and the missed practices and, aside from the first match, he buckled down and competed hard. He contributed a lot to this team and he ended up two-and-two at the state tournament."

A loss in the first round to Clay Kobza, a junior from Weld Central put Maestas into the consolation bracket. He came back strong against Colby Geer of Gunnison. Maestas went ahead 4-2 in the first period and used two takedowns and a two-point near fall in the second round to extend his advantage to 10-3. Two more takedowns gave Maestas a dominating 14-5 win.

Larry Todd of Hotchkiss was next up for Maestas and the result was the same, a 14-5 win as the Pirate controlled Todd throughout the action.

The tournament came to an end for the senior with a loss to a familiar foe - Joel Polkowski, of Centauri.

Clifford Hockett made the trip to Denver and fought at 135. Losses to Isaac Rodriquez of Valley and Brennan True of Highland ended Hockett's season. He finished with a 23-11 record.

Clayton Mastin finished his season and career at 160 with the state tournament appearance. Mastin lost to Trigg Bell of Gunnison and Nick Meyer of University and ended the year with a 13-18 record.

Janowsky had praise for Hockett and Mastin. "Clifford and Clayton each had a dream of getting to the state tournament and they held it for a long time. It was a rough road and they hung in there and made it. This is a real achievement. These are first-class kids, not just on the mat, but in very other way as well."

 

Boys top Monte Vista 71-46 to win IML crown

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Call them champions.

Despite a drawn-out affair in which the referees took the classic Disney tune "Whistle While You Work" to new heights, Coach Jim Shaffer and his varsity Pagosa squad prevailed over host Monte Vista Saturday afternoon to lay undisputed claim to the Intermountain League title.

Pagosa never trailed in the latest duel between the longtime rivals, eventually coasting to a victory due in large part to the determined play of junior Clayton Spencer.

But there were more than a few bumps along the way as neither Pirate team could escape the wrath of an apparently overanxious officiating crew and combined for a total of over 50 fouls.

Pagosa's Ryan Goodenberger was the first unfortunate Pirate to appear on referee radar and was whistled for two quick touch fouls in the first minute and was forced to sit the remainder of the period.

But teammates Spencer, Caleb Forrest, Jeremy Caler, Jason Schutz and Brandon Charles collaborated to give Pagosa an early 12-2 lead before Monte Vista fought back with a combined five from Micah Trujillo and Clinton Medina.

Then Pagosa's David Kern sank two from the line that were answered by a pair of baskets from Trujillo. But Pagosa guard Ty Faber assisted with the next four for his team, diving for two steals and flipping one each to Charles and Caler to put the visitors up 18-11 with under two minutes to play in the first.

Forrest completed a three-point play for Pagosa in the final thirty seconds, but a whistle at the buzzer enabled Medina to get two from the stripe for the home team. Monte Vista trailed 21-13 at the end of one.

Fouls continued to mount on both sides early in the second and Pagosa took advantage, getting one free throw from Forrest and a pair from Schutz to go up 24-13.

Shaffer's team kept the margin over 10 throughout the quarter, hitting several attempts from the line and getting seven straight points from Spencer during one stretch to push the lead to 34-18.

Both teams were in the double bonus well before halftime and kept statisticians busy while the parade to the foul line continued in the closing minutes.

Caler and Charles chipped in with charity tosses, Spencer finished strong, and even though Monte Vista's C.J. Medina hit a trey at the horn, the home team trailed 39-26 at the half.

Charles was feeling generous early in the third and dealt assists to Forrest, Kern and Caler to hold the lead for Pagosa at 45-32 with just over two minutes gone. An abundance of fouls ensued as the referees whistled with reckless abandon.

Nevertheless, Spencer continued his dominating play and scored four straight with a put-back and a deuce off an assist from Goodenberger. Faber nailed a one-and-one, Spencer got a loner from the line and Pagosa led 52-32 with a minute left in the stanza.

Then came a defensive play that exemplified how Pagosa has ascended to the top of the IML standings and achieved state notoriety throughout the course of the season.

With 20 ticks left, Spencer went airborne to reject a Monte Vista low-post shot attempt, slamming the offering to the floor with such force the ball arced high over the sideline toward the home stands and looked to be out of play.

But Spencer wasn't done. He hustled to the wayward ball, launched himself over the sideline and into the stands and tipped the ball to Kern, who forwarded the ball down court to a breaking Schutz.

Schutz was fouled on the play, converted both free throws, and Pagosa closed the third quarter with an extra two points to lead 54-32. Monte Vista fans had seen enough and began to trickle out of the gym at the end of three.

The fourth quarter proved to be the longest eight minutes of the season due to the incessant whistling that echoed throughout the San Luis Valley as the game neared its end.

But Pagosa fans could taste the championship, and with the title in sight Shaffer's squad stayed on course. When Goodenberger hit a jumper with under three minutes left, the visitors led 65-40.

Pagosa freshman Craig Schutz joined brother Jason, Brandon Samples, Coy Ross and Casey Belarde on the court in the final minutes of the contest. Samples hit a pair from the line for the game's final points, and when the buzzer sounded seconds later the visiting Pirates and their fans celebrated a 71-46 victory and, more importantly, the IML championship.

Spencer led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Forrest netted 12 points for Pagosa; Charles scored 11 and had eight assists, and Caler added nine.

The win improved Pagosa's overall record to 17-2 and IML-best record to 7-1. Because they are regular-season league champions, Shaffer's squad earned the No. 1 seed in this weekend's IML tournament and will get a first round bye.

Pagosa will play the winner of Friday night's contest between No. 2 seed Ignacio and No. 3 seed Centauri Saturday night at 6:45 at the Sun Ute Rec-center in Ignacio. If Pagosa wins the tournament, Shaffer's team will host at least one state playoff game, but will automatically advance to the state playoffs even if they fail to emerge from Ignacio as tourney champs.

During a postgame interview in which he praised Pagosa fans for their continued and spirited support, Shaffer offered no predictions for what will unfold in the coming weeks but acknowledged that the season has potential to turn into something even more special.

"It's a big deal for us, the future is in our hands. We'll go on, continue to prepare and practice hard and see what happens. Hopefully we'll be playing our best ball of the season."

Summary

Scoring: Forrest 5-8, 2-3, 12; Goodenberger 1-1, 1-2, 3; Jason Schutz 1-2, 4-5, 6; Charles 3-5, 5-6, 11; Spencer 9-15, 4-7, 22; Kern 1-2, 2-2, 4; Faber 0-3, 2-2, 2; Caler 4-7, 1-2, 9. Three-point goals: none. Fouled out: Faber. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 17. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 38. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 26.

 

Ladies roll sevens to stop Monte Vista

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You might confuse it with one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic mysteries.

You could call it the case of the missing Jewell, a case which, when solved, provided the key to the story's end.

Pagosa's Lady Pirate basketball team went to Monte Vista Saturday in quest of their second victory over the San Luis Valley Lady Pirates and as a result a 4-4 finish in Intermountain League regular play.

Caitlyn Jewell, who had 18 points and seven rebounds against Monte Vista in a 61-41 Pagosa victory Feb. 1, was expected to be a big key.

As it turned out, however, except for two first period fouls, one to start the second quarter and a fourth to open the second half, her stats line was a blank.

And the result was a barrage of three-point attempts by Monte's diminutive senior bomber Jen Sisneros who drilled three of six long-range tries to keep her last place team in a narrow lead for three quarters.

She opened scoring with a trey from deep on the left wing and added a driving deuce to give the hosts an early 5-0 lead,

Pagosa didn't score until the midway mark of the period when Shannon Walkup drilled a short jumper. Sisters Amanda and Mary Beth Miles were each fouled in the act of shooting and each hit a pair of free throws before Walkup hit the first of four 3-point attempts.

When Mary Beth Miles scored a short jumper, Monte Vista had an 11-5 lead.

Lori Walkup, the sophomore pace setter for Pagosa, brought them almost even with a pair of driving layups to cut the Monte lead to 11-9 at the end of the period.

Sisneros lofted a rafter breezing trey to open the second period and the lead quickly was 14-9.

Pagosa began to battle back with another driving layup by Lori Walkup, and a free throw by Katie Bliss to cut the margin to 14-12.

Mandi Byers put back an offensive rebound to give Monte a 16-12 lead and then the first clue to solving the mystery appeared.

Racing in off the bench with an eye on providing help was freshman guard Liza Kelly.

Her 14-foot jumper, paired with three free throws in four tries, gave Pagosa its first lead at 17-16. Monte took the lead right back on repeated trips to the charity stripe.

Rachel Cannon hit a pair, as did Alesia Romero and Amanda Miles added three more.

Still, Pagosa was close, with sophomore forward Mollie Honan adding a pair of free throws and Kelly another field goal to give her seven points in the period and for the game.

The result was a 23-21 Monte lead at halftime, a margin that grew to six points by the end of three periods and Jewell on the bench in foul trouble.

That surge, again, was keyed by a Sisernos trey, five points from Mary Beth Miles, who also controlled the boards in the period, and two each from her sister and Byers.

Pagosa, meanwhile, was getting four more from Lori Walkup on a pair of 8-foot jumpers, and two each from Shannon Walkup and Bliss. Pagosa trailed 35-29 at the end of three and Coach Bob Lynch was looking for a magnifying glass.

"By Jove, Watson," he might have said, "we've got to find that Jewell."

But he let two minutes of the period go by before sending his tallest player into the contest.

Pagosa closed the lead to four when Bri Scott, who had been brilliant defensively but had not scored, put in a pair of charity tosses.

Amanda Miles got those two back and two more as she was sent to the line on consecutive plays fouled while shooting.

Then, in a turn of luck, Jewell was fouled and hit one of two. And moments later had her first field goal on a lead from Scott.

It became a Scott and Jewell show the rest of the way. Both players, who had not scored earlier, had seven in the period.

Scott pulled them close with a trey. Shannon Walkup added a field goal and two free throws while Sara Wright, Sisneros and Cannon each had single field goals.

Still, Pagosa trailed by one with 37 seconds left.

And finally, there was a glitter from the floor.

Lynch's detectives had found the Jewell.

It was not, however, in the normal low post position.

With the Ladies working the ball to the right wing, Shannon Walkup found Jewell outside the foul line.

Her jumper gave Pagosa the lead at 47-46 with 32 seconds left on the clock, plenty of time for another Sisneros bomb.

And Monte tried to get that opening. They patiently worked the ball around the perimeter ... looking for Sisneros to bail them out.

They couldn't find her for an open shot because Lori Walkup had her covered like a glove. She tried, anyway, and got off another ceiling scraper which became an air ball.

Scott had the rebound and maintained possession on the dribble as the clock ran out.

Pagosa had a one-point victory and the lustre for the once missing Jewell had been found and restored.

It is interesting to note the Pagosans' scores came in individual bunches. The seven from Kelly kept them close in the second period and the sevens from Scott and Jewell highlighted the fourth quarter comeback.

"She decided to get assertive, no matter what," Lynch said after Jewell reappeared. "But," he said, "we wouldn't have been that close without Liza and the Walkups and Bri's great fourth quarter."

For the game, Pagosa was 17 of 39 from the floor for 43 percent and Monte Vista 13 of 45 for only 28 percent, including Sisneros 3-6 from three point land.

Pagosa had a 37-18 rebound margin, despite being down in that total 10-2 after one period.

Summary

Scoring, Pagosa: Scott, 2-5, 2-4 (1 trey) 7; Maberry, 0-0, 0-0-0; S. Walkup, 4-10 (1 trey) 2-4, 11; Honan, 0-1, 2-2, 2; L Walkup, 5-9, 10; Kelly, 2-4, 3-4, 7; Bliss 1-5, 1-2, 3; Jewell, 3-6, 1-2, 7; Rebounds: S. Walkup and L. Walkup 7 each, Jewell 6, Buikema and Scott 5 each. Steals: L. Walkup 4 and Bliss 2. Assists: Scott and S. Walkup 3 each. Blocks: Buikema 2, S. Walkup 1.

 

Ladies to face Monte again in tournament

By Richard Walter

For all their efforts last week against Monte Vista, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates get an opportunity to do it all over again.

When Ignacio upset Centauri Saturday, it set up the final branch of the tournament bracket.

Pagosa Springs, with their 4-4 record in the Intermountain league and 10-9 mark overall, will play their opening game of the league tournament at 5:15 p.m. Friday against - you guessed it, Monte Vista.

All tournament games are scheduled in the Sun Ute Rec-center, hosted by Ignacio High School.

In order to advance out of the tournament into state playoffs, Pagosa must beat Monte Vista and then the loser of the game between Bayfield and Ignacio.

Ignacio has the second seed and Bayfield the third seed on the basis of their defeat of Centauri earlier in the season.

The Lady Pirates split with both Ignacio and Bayfield, winning at home and losing on the road.

If the Pagosa ladies defeat Monte Vista for the third time this season, their game against either Ignacio or Bayfield will be at 2 p.m. Saturday.

 

Pirate baseball squad opens action next week

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After a trip to the state quarterfinals last year, and on the heals of a string of five out of six Intermountain League titles, coach Tony Scarpa has a baseball rebuilding program this year at Pagosa Springs High School.

Actually, he has a cadre of veterans returning at the defensive positions, but lost his top three starting pitchers.

Back will be power hitters Lawren Lopez, Ben Marshall and Marcus Rivas and defensive standout David Kern (who won't be available until basketball season is completed).

Scarpa feels his squad will surprise a lot of people this year - and that he'll have greater depth because more than 30 persons are signed up so far.

He anticipates at least two and maybe three more when basketball season is finished.

Scarpa, too, isn't so sure he won't have as much depth in the pitching corps, with Marshall going into the rotation and catching only part time.

Joining them in the rotation will be senior Jarrett Frank who worked in relief last year, and Josh Stone, a senior transfer from Aztec.

Already, Scarpa said all three are throwing in the low 80s.

He's also been impressed by the early season conditioning of his squad.

"It's obvious a lot of them want to make the team and have kept themselves in very good physical condition over the winter ," he said.

"That shows a lot of dedication, a lot of intensity, particularly on the part of the seniors on the roster," he added.

Despite the power attack he believes the team will generate, he feels defense will be the key to success this season. "We'll have unusual depth and as always, depth will be the key to our success on defense," the coach said.

The squad will soon learn just what it has and how far it has to go.

The season opener will be at 5 p.m. March 6, in Kirtland, N.M.

Two days later, the Pirates go on the road again, this time for an 11 a.m. doubleheader against Dolores.

In fact, they'll stay on the road for most of March, continuing the travels with an 11 a.m. doubleheader against Antonito March 15, a 4 p.m. clash with Aztec March 18, a 1 p.m. tilt against Montezuma-Cortez March 22, and a March 25 contest against Piedra Vista in Farmington at 11 a.m.

The Pirates will open pursuit of Intermountain League laurels March 29 with a home doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. against Centauri.

They'll go back on the road April 1 for a 3 p.m. clash with Durango and then host nonleague Salida at 11 a.m.

IML competition resumes April 12 with an 11 a.m. start in Bayfield, the team Scarpa expects to be the number-one challenger for league honors again.

Pagosa then hosts Monte Vista April 19 and goes back on the road to Ignacio April 26. The IML league tournament is scheduled May 3 in Bayfield.

Regional action will be May 8-10 and state playoffs May 16-17.

Named assistant coaches this year are Mike Bradford, a Mississippi State alumnus and Mark Young.

 

Lady kickers open season Saturday in 6-team scrimmage

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After 10 days of practice, the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates' soccer team is looking for action against someone else.

They'll get it Saturday, in unofficial format, when they travel to Canon City for a six team scrimmage.

Involved will be two Class 5A teams from Denver and Colorado Springs, two Class 4A teams from Colorado Springs and two 3A teams - Pagosa Springs and Manitou Springs.

In the scrimmage format, no score is kept but regular officials work the games. Each school is guaranteed to play each other school in the scrimmage format.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason has more than 20 young women out for practice and several others, including at least one expected starter, still are involved in girls basketball.

Kurt-Mason is excited about team prospects and looking for an outstanding season featuring two all-conference strikers and a fleet of returning letter winners from last year's team which missed the state playoffs by a fingernail.

Highlighting the Ladies roster will be senior three-time all-conference striker Meagan Hilsabeck and two-time all-conference midfield attacker Melissa Diller.

Hilsabeck will miss the Canon City trip, suffering an upper respiratory ailment and lacking necessary practices for eligibility.

Also returning are the defensive sweeper tandem of Sara Smith and Sara Aupperle and fleet high-scoring wings Bri Scott and Tricia Lucero. Scott and attacker Christina Lungstrum will have to wait a while to participate. Both are active in basketball action currently.

Other returnees expected by Kurt-Mason are defensive midfielder Kyrie Beye, goalkeeper Sierra Fleenor, midfielders Brittany Corcoran and Bret Garman, attackers Jenna Finney and Charlotte Sousa, and midfielder/goal keeper Lacy Ream. Several freshmen are expected to challenge for varsity spots.

The Ladies' first home game will be a scrimmage Saturday, March 8, against Class 5A Denver West.

The following week, Pagosa will go on the road for a 1 p.m. game March 8 against Montrose. Two days later they'll visit Durango for a 2 p.m. game and then will not play again until April 1 when they open the league season with a 4 p.m. game in Ignacio.

On April 10, they'll open a span of four consecutive home games with a 5 p.m. contest against Class 4A Montezuma-Cortez.

The following day they return to league action, hosting Ridgway at 4 p.m. and the next day, will welcome league foe Center at noon.

Ignacio comes to town for a 4 p.m. return engagement April 15.

Then the ladies go back on the road, traveling to Salida for a 4 p.m. game April 8 .

The current schedule has Pagosa closing regular season play at Center at noon April 26. Still to be added to the schedule are home and away games against both Bayfield and Telluride.

Kurt-Mason said he's been using the first 10 days of practice for conditioning and basic play sequences.

"We've traditionally tried to have the best physically prepared team on the field," he said. "We want to be able to go full tilt from the opening kick and let the other teams try to keep up with us."

Conditioning, he said, "is the key to a successful team effort."

The Lady Pirates came down to a last day game against Ridgway last year and thought they had made the playoffs.

A check of records, however, gave the playoff spot to the Lady Demons and the Pagosans stayed home.

Kurt-Mason expects his squad to feature a stout defense.

Offensively, the team's three top scorers and four of the top five (Hilsabeck, Diller, Scott and Lucero) are back from last year and are expected to give defensive headaches to opponents.

 

More skiers but slower times in fun races

The number of participants increased Feb. 16 for the seventh fun races of the season at Wolf Creek Ski Area, with 17 female and 55 male racers.

Top female time went to Erin Laine of Monte Vista who ran the course in 29.60 seconds in the girls' 15-17 bracket.

Top male time for the day was by Ryan Dee of Durango who ran the course in 27.29 in the men's 21-25 bracket.

In girls' 9-11, Lucy Redd of Pagosa Springs was first in 38.19, Kelsey Mueggenborg of Oklahoma second in 41.77 and Katie Turner of Oklahoma third in 51.80.

Girls' 12-14 went to Mackenzie Kitson of Pagosa Springs in 31.86 with Marlo Abramowitz of Arizona second in 32.29 and Stephanie Atkins of Monte Vista third in 33.72.

Trailing Laine in her bracket were Emily Campbell of Pagosa Springs in 1:05.16 and Alexis Loewen of Pagosa Springs in 1:10.20.

Heather Hibbert of Albuquerque was first in women's 21-25, finishing in 33.95 and Sarah Coburn of Albuquerque first in women's 31-35 finishing in 36.65.

Marky Egan of Pagosa was the winner in women's 41-50 in 33.19. Pam Black of Albuquerque was second in 46.37 and Sheri Skolhick of Littleton third in 49.33.

Carol Ash of Pagosa was first in women's 51-60 with a time of 40.17 while Windsor Chacey of Pagosa Springs captured first on women's 61 and over with a run of 39.69. Judy Clay of Pagosa was second in the bracket in 57.97.

On the male side, Devan Monkiewicz won the 3-5 bracket in 1:03.97 and brother Shay the 6-8 bracket in 35.55. Running second to Shay were C.D. Scull of Texas in 37.25 and Johnathen Enns of Albuquerque in 40.68.

Rafe Maccarone of Miami, Fla., won boys' 9-11 in 37.27. Jeff Reardon was second in 38.01 and Speed Lemon of Albuquerque third in 44.40.

Boys' 12-14 was won by C.J. Carter of Albuquerque in 29.60. Parker Keyes of Louisville, Ky., was second in 35.38 and Dylan Cunningham of New Mexico third in 36.61.

Myles Abramowitz of Flagstaff, Ariz., was first in boys' 15-17 with a run of 32.13 and J.R. Huddnal of Pagosa Springs second in 36.86. Following Dee in men's 21-25 was Kurt Verecke of Hawaii.

Danny Cummings of New Mexico won mens 26-30 in 28.79, followed by Brandon Lloyd of South Fork in 29.05 and Brandon Little of Albuquerque of 32.01.

Men's 31-35 went to Jeremy Nance of Oklahoma City in 32.62. David McPhail of Houston, Texas was second in 34.52 and Kyle Nebrig of Austin third in 34.52.

Gary Smith of Albuquerque and John Redd of Pagosa Springs staged a spirited battle for men's 36-40 honors and finished tied in 28.64.

In men's 41-50 it was Ralph Macarrone of Florida first in 30.04, Marty Skolnick of Denver second in 30.49 and John Skully of Texas third in 30.87.

Duncan Thayer of Alpine Village captured first in men's 51-60 with a run of 28.45. Second went to Bob Felice of Pagosa Springs in 30.37 and third to Gerry Riggs of Pagosa Springs in 31.91.

The men's 61 and over bracket saw Dave Bryan in first in 28.33, Glenn Van Patter second in 29.41 and Jim Cole third in 32.48.

President's Day races scheduled Monday of this week were canceled.

 

 Obituaries

'Sy' Candelaria

Isaiah Candelaria, a lifelong Archuleta County resident, passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003.

Born April 9, 1919, to Francisco and Elviria Candelaria, he was 83 years old.

Isaiah, known as "Sy" to his friends and family, served with pride as a United States Army infantryman during the Burma Campaign of World War II. During that time, he was awarded a Purple Heart, but in order to continue fighting, he refused to accept it.

On Dec. 18, 1949, he married Susie Elijah. He spent his life working as a rancher, was involved with the Catholic Church and the American Legion, and enjoyed fishing, hunting and ranching.

He was preceded in death by sons Vincent Leroy and Vincent Daniel; brothers Sam, Ed and Victor; a sister, Rose, and his parents.

Survivors are his wife, Susie, of Chimney Rock; his sisters, Cleo Velarde and Sadie Olguin; sons Leonard, Gilbert and Patrick Candelaria; daughters Lorraine Young, Melody Mahirka and Villa Abeyta; 18 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs with the Rev. John Bowe officiating. Burial will follow in Hilltop Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Disabled Veterans of America.

Dora Christie

Dora Louise Christie, 86, formerly of Del Norte, passed away Feb. 20, 2003, at Pine Ridge Nursing Home in Pagosa Springs. Dora was born May 18, 1916 in Logan, Kan., to Vernon and Etta Warren.

Dora loved working in her yard and with her plants. She enjoyed collecting rocks, crafts and hunting - anything to do with being outdoors. She was a member of the Pythian Sisters in Del Norte.

Dora was married to Warren L. Christie on Sept. 18, 1938 in Monte Vista and they lived in Monte Vista and Del Norte until moving to Pagosa Springs in 1957. She moved back to Del Norte until 1987 and the back to Pagosa Springs where she lived until her death.

Dora is survived by her children, Vernon S. (Alice) Christie and Linda F. (Tom) Pennell, both of Pagosa Springs; grandchildren Tim S. Pennell and Randall D. (Kim) Pennell of Maryland; and three great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister and a brother.

Graveside services were held at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, 2003, in Del Norte Cemetery.

Louis Mendoza

Louis "Louie" Mendoza, 63, passed away Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003.

He was born Oct. 2, 1939, to Elizar and Francisca Corrina Mendoza in San Diego, Calif. He was later married to Leora Chavez and attended college for two years studying aero-design architecture. He worked as a carpenter and an architect.

During his high school years he participated in the sport of pole vaulting and later became a karate instructor. After moving from Hawaii to Pagosa Springs in 1971, Louis became a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Bubba Dorame.

Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, David and Susan Mendoza of Pagosa Springs; son and daughter-in-law Daniel and Lottie Mendoza of Durango; brothers Daniel of Denver and Elizar Jr. of San Diego; grandsons Nathan, David Aaron, Robbie, Josha and Daniel "D.J." Jr., and nephews Efren Dorame Sr. and Mia Dorame of Pagosa Springs.

Funeral mass and a memorial service were held Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the Rev. John Bowe officiating.

Memorial contributions may be sent to David Mendoza, P.O. Box 3927, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 

Inside The Sun

Town sign ordinance hits final review period

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Members of the Pagosa Springs sign ordinance committee are still pouring over drafts, making edits and trying to make the rules make sense.

However, with the 2003 construction season fast approaching, they are feeling the pressure to put the revised ordinance in place.

Their original goal, back in July, was to take the old ordinance, a fairly out-of-date, difficult to understand document and whittle it down to something understandable, easy to use and fair. Other goals were to protect scenic aspects of the community while allowing all businesses to be visible.

"We started out with about 35 pages," committee member Ken Harms said at a recent meeting, looking through the ordinance's draft. "Now we're at 23 pages. Our goal was about 12. Is this a usable document?"

The sign code consultant, Mary Chang, who started with the original ordinance, made some organizational changes, worked in the decisions made by the committee and edited the document with staff's help, said yes. She reminded the committee the old ordinance did not include regulations on temporary signage or the comprehensive sign program.

A little work remains to be done. Over the last two weeks, the committee has met several times to complete a page-by-page review of the draft. Some areas, including a list of objectives, required a bit more research. Town planner Tamra Allen said as of Feb. 19 about four more pages remained before the final revisions could be completed.

The goal had been to put the document before the town's planning commission Feb. 18 for review. However, that has now been pushed backed slightly to allow for the corrections.

Allen said the ordinance will be back on the agenda for review and a public hearing at the commission's meeting March 18.

The planning commission provides a recommendation to the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees who have final authority to approve or deny the ordinance. The sign ordinance will most likely make the trustee's agenda in April. It includes sections on purpose and intent, definitions, exempt signs, administrative process, regulations and standards, illegal, nonconforming and unused signs, review and appeal authority, fees, penalties and severability.

 

State proposes water well permit fee increase

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Residents planning to drill a water well in Colorado may have only until the end of the day tomorrow to get the necessary permit for the current $60 price tag.

Otherwise they will have to wait a few years or dig a little deeper into their pockets to come up with the state's proposed new fee of $440.

A bill introduced in the Senate last month is poised to increase the fee effective March 1 through June 2006. After June 30, 2006, the permit price will revert back to $60.

The bill, known as SB 03-181, is one of many currently in the works designed to reduce the state's $850 million budget deficit and is currently awaiting the governor's review. If the governor fails to sign the bill by March 1, the bill will take effect the day it receives his signature.

In addition to the application fee increase, the bill also calls for a $130 boost in the cost to change the location of an approved well and a $180 hike for permission of replacement wells.

Val Valentine, water commissioner in the local office of the Division of Water resources, indicated it is a good idea for residents to know exactly where they want to drill a well on their property before contacting his office for a permit.

"We can steer them through the permitting process," said Valentine, "but it's a heck of a lot easier if they already know where they want to drill."

For questions concerning the application process, contact Valentine at 264-4241, or stop by his office in the Heritage Building, 468 Pagosa St, Suite B.

For more information regarding the bill and others being considered by the Colorado Legislature, visit www.colorado.gov.

 

Animal welfare highlights county board meeting

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It's normal to put it before the cart — but sometimes you have to put the horse before the county budget.

That was the decision reached Tuesday by the board of county commissioners after a lengthy debate regarding whether or not to provide reimbursement funds to a nonprofit animal support group for the extended care of 13 "malnourished" horses impounded by the sheriff's office last fall.

In response to an early-February request to the board for funds to offset impoundment fees incurred by the support organization, known as LASSO, the board pondered whether the county had a "legal obligation" or a moral duty to cover feed and sheltering costs for the animals.

Chairman Alden Ecker wasn't sure the county should shoulder either responsibility, especially since such funds were not earmarked in the budget and, in his opinion, the whole situation could have been avoided.

"I have a problem with this ongoing saga, " said Ecker, who said he believed in the organization's mission, but did not approve of its course of action.

Ecker cited a sheriff's department report indicating that the owner of the horses initially intended to sell them last year because of the financial constraints posed by the expense to care for them. Ecker added that only one of the horses was deemed to be seriously ill when the sheriff's office was contacted by the organization.

But, said Ecker, because LASSO "intervened" and volunteered to accept responsibility for the care, adoption or sale of the horses for fear they would be sold for slaughter, the owner never had the chance to sell them. Like it or not, said Ecker, the prospect of selling animals for slaughter is always a possibility. "This is reality," said Ecker.

Commissioner Mamie Lynch agreed. Like Ecker, Lynch said she lauded the group's efforts, but at the same time was "not sure the county has a responsibility."

Lynch added that perhaps the rights of the owner had not been respected. Lynch also said that according to information provided by the sheriff's office, she understood that the organization was not legally required to provide for the animals for such a duration and "could have backed out at any time."

But the opinion of Commissioner Bill Downey differed. Downey said he felt the sheriff's office was justified in impounding the animals. Downey stated the county was obliged to help cover the costs since the fate of the animals has been tied up in court for longer than the 60 days LASSO had anticipated when it agreed to provide care for them.

Downey then mused that perhaps the district attorney's office should be tapped for some of the funds because of the delay.

Mary Weiss, county attorney, echoed Downey's statements and indicated that as soon as the sheriff's office took action and seized the animals, the whole matter became a county issue.

After further discussion, the board unanimously carried a motion to provide supplementary funds to LASSO for the cost to care for the animals past the original anticipated time frame of 60 days, but the decision was a reluctant one.

"Maybe we'll learn some lessons from this," said Lynch. Ecker agreed, stating that future attempts by private organizations or the public in general "to get involved" with the proper law enforcement process be avoided unless the circumstances undoubtedly warrant such participation.

In other business:

- The board approved a contract with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs for animal shelter management and services for 2003.

- Contingent upon review by the county attorney, the board approved the extension of the existing 2-percent county sales tax agreement stating the resulting revenue will continue to be split equally between the town and county.

- The board approved a contract with H.I.S. Inc. for the maintenance of county dispatch equipment.

 

PAWS hires conservation aide

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District reached a unanimous decision Tuesday night to hire Denise Rue-Pastin to fill the newly-created position of water conservation program director.

Rue-Pastin, who holds a master's degree in environmental policy and management, will serve part-time and focus mainly on public relations in the residential customer sector while the district continues to develop its water conservation and awareness campaign.

Rue-Pastin is also president of Environment Dimensions, which she describes as "a consulting firm specializing in environmentally-related program review, recommendation and implementation at the local, state and national levels."

The decision to retain Rue-Pastin's services, which will cost the district an estimated $14,000, was apparently an accelerated process; the board got its first glimpse of Rue-Pastin's credentials just prior to her proposal outlining the goals and vision of what she hopes to accomplish in her new capacity.

Carrie Campbell, district general manager, indicated to the board that she had only formally interviewed Rue-Pastin the day before, but was satisfied with her capabilities and said the hiring was a necessary "step in the right direction" with regard to how the district hopes to improve and maintain a steady, informative relationship with the public.

Other responsibilities included in the job description of the new program director include interacting with the recently-formed volunteer conservation committee, identification and distribution of conservation literature, coordinating workshops and training sessions in the commercial sector and researching potential funding sources for the district.

 

Science Fair winners qualify for regionals

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Challenge a group of intermediate and junior high school students and they'll answer the dare.

Proof of that is the fact the school district is sending 43 students to the Regional Science Fair on the basis of their performances in the local version Feb. 20.

Science Fair success has become a tradition in Pagosa Springs and the Regional Traveling Trophy, housed here for the past year, was displayed for all participants at their awards program.

The projects ranged from an examination of ant culture and diet, through concepts of balloon flight and effects of soft drinks on raw meat ... with many a scientific di- version in between.

Some youngsters literally spent months on their projects, forcing themselves to test and retest their conclusions and how they matched - or disproved - their original hypothesis.

Others spent fewer days but put in long hours of their spare time to develop statistics and visual presentations to back the conclusions of their projects.

The list of winners is indicative of both the wide variety of displays and the scale of the work offered for consideration.

In intermediate school competition Best of Show honors went to Betsy Schur for her entry in the chemistry category entitled "The Many Faces of Crystals," and at the junior high level Best of Show winner was Stacy Dominguez for her entry, "Quality Water Equals Happy Fish."

Other sixth grade first-place winners, by category, were Botany, Jessica Martinez; Earth and Space, Shelby Stretton; Engineering, Dylan Burksmith; Environment, John Sharp; Health and behavioral, Maegan McFarland; Microbiology, Ryan Candy; Physics, CT Bradford; Zoology, Jaclyn Harms; and Team Project, Kelsey Hanavan and Allison Hart.

Also advancing to regional competition from sixth grade are Jordan Boudreaux, Joe DuCharme, Jacob Haynes, Julia Nell, Teale Kitson, Jeremy Lister, Davey Schaefer, Raesha Ray, Anna Ball, Drew Portnell, Shasta McMurry, Kyle Aragon, Jennifer Mueller, April Ogden, Alex Baum, Aniceta Gallegos, Kade Skoglund, Heath Rivas, Dylan Caves and Johnny Jewel.

Seventh grade winners, in addition to Dominguez were, by category:

Botany, Chance Adams, first; Chemistry, Miranda Gonzales, first; Earth and Environment, Bruce Hoch, second; Health and Behavioral, MacKenzie Kitson, first and Amber Ricker, second; Team project, Josh Laydon and Tamara Gayhart, first, Maddy Bergon and Hannah Price, second, Trey Quiller, Brad Iverson and Josh Trout, third, and Maria Valenzuela and Ramonsita Salas, honorable mention.

All but Gonzalez and Ricker qualified for regionals which are scheduled March 14 at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

Dominguez, Kitson and the Laydon-Gayhart team were winners of Rotary cash awards in addition to their project plaques.

 

Pagosa High FBLA students advance to state competition

By Jenna Finney

Special to The SUN

Two Pagosa Springs High School Future Business Leaders of America teams have qualified for state competition.

The Pagosa contingent competed in district competition Feb. 11 at Adams State College in Alamosa, vying against 700 other FBLA members from across southwestern Colorado.

The Pagosa chapter held strong to its reputation of doing well in regional competition.

The top 10 students in each event are recognized at the awards ceremony. From there, the top five individuals or top two teams in each event move on to state competition scheduled in Vail April 27-29.

Twenty four Pagosa students placed in the top 10 in their events. However, other students will attend state competition, including officers and store managers who donate effort and time to help the chapter, as well as other students who will compete in "state only" events, serve as voting delegates or as committee members, and advisors Dorothy Christine and Lisa Hudson.

Pagosa students who placed in district competition were Melissa Diller, first in business procedures; the team of Justin Smith and Travis Quiller, first in Web site development; and the team of Amber Farnham, Melissa Diller and Jenna Finney, first in emerging business issues.

Others who placed were Sara Aupperle, second in business communication; Ashli Winter, second in chapter scrapbook; Somer Evans, third in marketing; Justin Smith, third in networking concepts; Todd Mees, third in Mr. Future Business Leader; and Lauren Felts third in public speaking.

Also, Daniel Aupperle, fourth in business math; Meagan Hilsabeck, fourth in Ms. Future Business Leader; the team of Meghan Montoya, Ashli Winter, fifth in poster; Brett Garman, fifth in public speaking; the team of Ty Peterson, Drew Fisher and Travis Blesi, fifth in entrepreneurship; Ashley Wagle, sixth in Public Speaking II; Marylou Villalobos, eighth in Accounting II; Tricia Lucero, ninth in Accounting II; and Kelly Ford, ninth in impromptu speaking.

 

Pagosans participate in search for shuttle parts

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosans will be among those helping recover parts from the Space Shuttle Columbia in Texas.

Seven local people, two firefighters and five U.S. Forest Service employees left the county Jan. 18 for a three-week stint helping locate parts of the shuttle in and around Longview, Texas. They went as part of a 20-member U.S. Forest Service crew generated from the San Juan area.

Columbia broke apart re-entering the Earth's atmosphere Feb. 1, killing the seven astronauts aboard. Teams are attempting to collect all remaining parts of the shuttle to help determine what happened to the space craft.

Locals participating in the search include: David Price and Brian Fulbright, volunteers with the Pagosa Fire Protection District, Jon Stansfield, assistant engine supervisor with the Pagosa Ranger District and Katherine Dunfrey, Jacob Phelen, Sheila Salazar and Ray Gething, all seasonal employees with the Pagosa Ranger District.

 

Planning board tackles penned-elk hunting issue

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Do the penned-elk hunts conducted at Keyah Grande Ranch qualify as an agricultural operation to be regulated by the Department of Agriculture, or do they constitute a commercial endeavor subject to county land use regulations?

The controversy surrounding that question emerged during a Feb. 12 meeting of the Archuleta County Planning Commission while it reviewed recommendations by county planning staff for a conditional use permit to allow a guest lodge on the sprawling ranch located west of Pagosa Springs.

According to information presented by Greg Comstock, director of county development, the building department originally approved the structure, known as Keyah Grande Lodge, as a guest house/private residence.

But when final plans for the lodge were submitted, including specifications for a full-service kitchen, bar and eight guest rooms with the capacity to serve as many as 24 occupants at a time, the planning department determined a conditional use permit would be required.

Apparently the long-term plan is for the lodge to be an exclusive, invitation-only establishment, but initial intent calls for use by the general public to include spa weekends, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and elk hunting.

In short, Comstock said although the permit process for the lodge is unusual since roughly 90-percent of the structure is already complete, planning staff found no reason for denial of a conditional use permit as long as the finishing process continued to adhere to county development criteria and appropriate state requirements.

However, Comstock conveyed that he and fellow planning staff were concerned about the lodge promoting "a penned shooting operation" and indicated that potential collaborative advertising by both the lodge and the ranch, which is operated by a separate entity known as Keyah Grande LLC, meant each should be classified as commercial operations requiring conditional use permits.

As a result, one of planning staff's recommendations to the planning board called for the application for a conditional use permit by Keyah Grande LLC in order to change its described use from an elk ranch to a commercial shooting operation before approval was given for a conditional use permit for Keyah Grande Lodge.

Michael Goldman, attorney representing Keyah Grande LLC, objected to the recommendation and said the ranch qualifies as "an alternative livestock operation" under state statute and consequently the Department of Agriculture holds authority over the operation.

Goldman said the department "envisions the prospects of hunting" in such scenarios because of the mention of hunting safety certificates even if there is no specific reference to the permission of hunting or hunting licenses in the statutes.

Goldman also cited county land use regulations indicating that alternative livestock operations are exempt from conditional use permits, saying, "We feel this appears to be outside the bounds of what is required by county land use regulations."

After hearing both sides of the argument, planning board members seemed to feel the recommendation is a legal gray area.

"Does the county have a role, here?" asked Robert Huff, board chairman. "Who should decide who has jurisdiction?" asked Huff, who wondered if legal direction could be pursued by the board of county commissioners.

Mary Weiss, county attorney, said she did not have enough information yet to offer guidance on the issue. "I'm not sure if we get into a commercial operation if state authority pre-empts county authority," said Weiss, adding, "What can we say they can and can't do?"

After further debate, the board decided that the focus should be on the approval of a conditional use permit for the lodge and that the debate on a conditional use permit for elk hunts conducted on the ranch should be discussed separately in the future. A decision was made to remove the recommendation from the conditional use permit approval criteria for the lodge.

Vice chairman Rex Shurtleff then moved to approve the conditional use permit for the lodge contingent upon the remaining conditions set forth by planning staff. Commissioner Sandra Bramwell seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.

No indication was given as to when a discussion concerning the possibility of a conditional use permit for elk hunts on the ranch will be held.

 

Counties develop wildland firefighting plans

Archuleta, La Plata, Monte- zuma, Dolores and San Juan county officials met in early February with state and federal fire managers to review and update agreements that outline how the entities will cooperate to ensure prompt suppression of wildland fires.

Each county has its own operating plan that deals with responsibilities in terms of detection, mobilization of firefighting resources, initial attack of a fire, fire investigations and reimbursement of costs to participating entities.

The plans also outline the roles of the state forest service, sheriffs, county commissioners, and other agencies.

In addition to cooperating on fighting fires, the local and federal agencies also share in firefighter training, use of fire teams, prevention activities, and acquiring firefighting apparatus. The plans are reviewed on an annual basis and amended as necessary.

While the annual operating plans have been in place for years, the need for cooperation became even more evident with the number and size of wildfires in 2002.

"Fires could have grown much larger - destroying more property and homes if our local fire managers were not so committed to working together," said Dan Ochocki, district forester for the Colorado State Forest Service.

"Many of the fire teams that came in from out-of-state last year to help fight the Missionary Ridge Fire were astounded at the close working relationship between our local and federal firefighters," said Jim Piccoli, chief of Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.

With the continuing drought conditions and the potential for another bad fire season in southwest Colorado, fire managers would like to remind homeowners, especially those who live near forested areas, that it's not too late to make your home more defensible from wildfires.

Spring is the perfect time to clear pine needles and cones from roofs and structures, relocate woodpiles away from the home, trim low-hanging branches on trees, and clear dead branches from your yard.

Fire prevention work on your property not only reduces the risk of damaging wildfire; it also increases firefighters' ability to protect your home and provides a safer work environment for them if there is a wildfire near your home.

If you have questions or need a professional wildfire risk assessment, contact your local fire department, the Colorado State Forest Service, or the San Juan Public Lands Center.

Fire prevention information may also be found on the Web at www.firewise.org, or http://www..southwestcoloradofires.org.

 

 Letters

 

Just like Lee

Dear Editor:

When I grow up, I'm going to be just like Lee Sterling. Please accept my apologies now.

DC Duncan

Preparing to write

Dear Editor:

I'm often asked why I don't respond to the hate letters in the SUN. Lately, I've been honing my writing skills. I've bought a coloring book and a box of crayons and diligently practice every day. Soon, I plan to showcase my newfound intellectual agility by embarrassing the hate-mongers who besmirch the pages of The SUN with their bile. I use the word bile instead of the more appropriate four-letter word, which is unacceptable in a family newspaper, to characterize Pagosa's well-known right-wing bigots' musings. While this well-known four-letter word is unacceptable to The SUN, the material the word represents is regularly submitted to The SUN by our infamous cadre of mentally disadvantaged.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

American patriots

Dear Editor:

As a citizen of the United States of America, I would like to exercise my freedom to respond to a couple of letters printed in the SUN on Feb. 20. First to Mr. Feazel's letter, "Peace Bums." I think it's interesting to note that he seems to know what all these "peace bums" are thinking, and goes on to speak about everything they stand for. The only problem with this is that as far as one "Peace Bum," myself, is concerned, he is completely wrong. His inaccuracy is surpassed only by his audacity. If he believes strongly enough in his opinion that "dissent is a criminal act," (a view shared by Saddam, by the way), maybe he should do us all a favor and move to Iraq where I'm sure his not infrequent public rantings will be welcomed, if, of course, they allow him to speak from his prison cell.

Secondly, to Mr. Savage, "Fighting American." I too am proud to have served my country along with many other members of my family. Thousands of the "spineless" protestors who joined the millions of people worldwide in demonstrating against the aggressive behavior of the current administration, are decorated veterans of every U.S. conflict since and including World War II, some of whom have achieved the rank of General in the U.S. military. You may want to label them as "spineless," but at least they have the intelligence to have learned something from the horrors of war, and realize that war should be used only as a last resort. You also stated, and I quote, "This civilized nation was not made carrying signs around on the streets." Excuse me? What about the Revolutionary War? The war that did make this country was preceded by exactly that, the original (spineless?) American Patriots demonstrating in the streets. At least you have the comfort of knowing that your views are shared by other great local thinkers such as John Feazel.

Dennis Finn

Issues of growth

Dear Editor:

It would seem with all the teeth gnashing that the growth question in Archuleta County is an all-or-nothing issue. It doesn't have to be. Our economy, whether some like it or not, depends to a great extent on growth. The question is - how to manage growth without exhausting our resources and ruining the beauty of the area.

We have the power to adopt policies that will take these issues into consideration. We have options:

1. The first thing we need to face is the water shortage. It is not going to get better. Even if we have what those who have lived in the area all our lives call a "real winter," there are more users tapping into supplies all the time. The uselessness of lawns needs to be addressed; natural and practical landscaping should be encouraged. Those who use more than their fair share of water should be heavily fined. We could go so far as to adopt a policy wherein low-flow toilets are required in all remodels and new construction.

2. We can offer financial incentives to newcomers, residential and commercial, who buy, lease and remodel existing structures. We can offer incentives to those who use superefficient appliances and heating systems. Gas and electricity are precious commodities.

3. We can charge extra for building permits for houses that block the views of others, and those which do not take practicality into consideration. For example, are three-story cathedral ceilings necessary? Does a family of four need 10,000 square feet? If someone insists on a "view" we should encourage them to build where there is one. It seems ludicrous to move to the mountains only to cut down trees because they "obstruct." We could encourage the use of recycled building products, could even go so far as to require a certain amount of window square footage on the south side of new construction to make use of the natural heating abilities of the winter sun. People who insist on building in the boonies should be hit with higher taxes for road maintenance.

We are not helpless. We can welcome newcomers and give them options: they can build in ways that are community and commodity friendly, or pay extra for building permits and property taxes.

Extra money from these things can be used to move government offices out of the old building on Main Street. That building can then be remodeled/rebuilt in such a way that new shops, restaurants and other areas can be established and the river can be seen again. Our economy depends on an active tourist trade as well as growth. Beautifying the downtown area is a step toward encouraging both. Healthy growth will keep those in the construction trades alive. Healthy commerce encourages local shop owners to keep prices down, which encourages people to shop and spend locally.

Growth is inevitable. Let's do our best to see that said growth is beneficial to all. Who knows, some of our newcomers might have new and innovative ideas of their own.

Maggie Valentine Inskeep

No peace bum

Dear Editor:

Since moving to Pagosa Springs in 1994, I have enjoyed reading the Letters to the Editor each week. Some letters inspired discussion and retrospection. Others gave me some good laughs, while others have raised my blood pressure.

John Feazel's letter "Peace bums" in the Feb. 20 SUN was one of the letters that raised my blood pressure. I subscribe to the philosophy that the privileged should be concerned about the well-being of the underprivileged not only in my local community, state and country, but the entire world, regardless of their race, social status, religious preference, economic position, or sexual orientation. Yes, I am a Democrat.

How could praying for peace be "praying for death to America" and how could "death to America" be a "peaceful condition" as his letter states? It seems to me that saving the lives of Americans as well as Iraqis is something for which we all should be praying.

I was a participant in the peace march a couple of weeks ago, and I want it known that I am not a "Marxist/Stalinist/anarchist peace bum." I am not ashamed to be an American, although I can say that I am ashamed of some of the things our leaders (of both political parties) are doing and have done in the past - and grateful I live in a country that allows me to say that without reprisal.

I wonder if Feazel is aware of the dictionary meaning of the word "anarchist" - "A person who wants to overthrow established governments and have a world without rulers and laws." I don't believe that meaning has changed. I am quite certain that those who are asking our government to seek a peaceful solution to the situation in Iraq are not anarchists. I do not subscribe to the philosophies of Marxism or Stalinism either.

I wonder how Feazel would answer the question. How did the "peace bums perpetrate a tremendous hate crime against each one of us?" by voicing and demonstrating my beliefs I am not "defrauding America" but simply using my constitutional rights of freedom of speech - just as Feazel is also doing.

Yes, I do believe in gun control - not the elimination of guns, however. I believe in criminal control and also criminal punishment. I also believe in diversity, but terrorism has nothing to do with diversity. Feazel's explanation of how affirmative action caused the 9/11/01 atrocity is his assumption, rather than based on any known facts. I am not aware of Feazel's ancestral background, but chances are that his ancestors - like mine - did not speak the English language when they arrived on this continent and perhaps could have been considered to be from the "third world" of that time period and maybe even "scum."

Realizing that all affirmative action policies are not flawless, to state that all the people involved with the promotion of affirmative action are "frauds and liars" is an insult to many Americans including our highest court.

Barbara Jacobs

Real motives

Dear Editor:

The Denver Post (2/28/03), citing classified documents from the National Security Archives, revealed that Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in 1983 as a special envoy for President Reagan. During this period, both Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. "authorized the sale of anthrax spores, bubonic plague viruses and poisonous chemicals to Iraq." The United States also "arranged" for the sale of cluster bombs to Iraq through a Chilean front company.

With U.S. encouragement, Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against the people of Iran. State Department documents from November 1983 report that Iraq made "almost daily use of CW (chemical weapons) on Iran." The Post goes on to report that "Honeywell, Union Carbide, Dow Chemical and other U.S. firms made millions on the deals."

According to the government documents, the chemical agents used on the Iraqi Kurds in 1988 were most likely produced in the United States. Even after the ruthless attack on the Kurds, the United States government continued to provide Saddam Hussein with more chemical weapons. "In December 1988, Dow Chemical sold Iraq $1.5 million worth of pesticides known to be deadly chemical warfare agents."

The information contained in these declassified government documents is of deep concern to us. What, exactly, are our real motives in this confrontation with Iraq?

Respectfully,

Mary and Lindsey Kurt-Mason

Do the math

Dear Editor:

I write this letter to request that the members of the Chamber of Commerce give attention to the information supplied to the 750 members in their March "mail out" from the Kiwanis Club.

Kiwanis has undertaken a big task to provide scholarship assistance to our graduating seniors who desire to pursue additional education through Vo-Tec or two-year associate degree programs.

These types of post-high school education prepare folks for entry level jobs that offer secure futures. Our applications require a copy of the letter of acceptance to the program of choice, which tells us the applicant has given serious thought to his/her future goals and is academically qualified for the program.

We were surprised to learn that close to 40 young folks have picked up our applications. They are to be returned to us by April 1. Amounts of scholarships will vary according to need; but we hope to be able to offer something to all.

Folks, do the math - it is the small bits of kindness that make the biggest impact on good - if each of you gives a little something, we can do this.

These young folks are our future.

Patty Tillerson

Illuminating

Dear Editor:

The most recent edition of the MLA Newsletter, a publication of the Modern Language Association, has a column by the President, Mary Louise Pratt, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University, of sufficient interest to me that I thought some of your readers might also find it illuminating.

She writes, "When the United States Constitution was drafted, I'm told, its authors debated whether to declare English the official language of the new republic and decided against it as a matter of individual liberty. (The Constitution itself appeared simultaneously in English, German and French.) For the century that followed, the result was a linguistic free-for-all in which communities educated their children and conducted their business in the languages of their choice. The first public girls' high school in the country was taught in Cherokee; the first book of poetry by African Americans was in French; in 1871, the mayor of Los Angeles spoke only Spanish."

This statement seems to me to speak to important issues in our own time: English as a sole official language; the seriousness with which we take the views of the founding fathers; the growing needs of government entities to find people with advanced competencies in "foreign" languages.

Unfortunately, as Professor Pratt adds, we labor under a "monolingualist ideology that sees bilingualism as potential treachery."

Dick Van Fossen

Aryan nation

Dear Editor:

After reading recent Letters to the Editor, I suddenly realized we have the making of a full-fledged colony of the Aryan Nation.I also realized that we know how to take care of third world scum, peace bums and anyone else who disagrees with us.Little ladies git home and fix supper. Gents git your guns. We'll have our first meeting right after church on Sunday.

God Bless America!

Bill Wasinger

War and peace

Dear Editor:

Regarding points made by Nancy Esterbrook in her letter (SUN 2/13) claiming there are alternatives to conflict with Iraq: she offers none but states the U.S. must continue to search for them. Prevention of war is entirely up to Saddam. Pressure him, not President Bush.

An alternative would be for Mrs. Esterbrook to relinquish her attachment to the "peace" movement and join the global movement to pressure Saddam to capitulate and thus avoid bloodshed. Saddam rejoices when he sees demonstrations which are not pro-peace but anti-U.S.

The unilateral strike which Mrs. Esterbrook says is coming is another example of being duped by the rhetoric of the "peace" group. Has she not seen the global map of the international coalition, far longer and stronger than for Desert Storm? I challenge her to identify one country pledged to support Iraq in war.

I also challenge her to identify one country which enjoys freedom and peace that has not been aided by U.S. intervention, military and otherwise, including Afghanistan where women vote and girls go to school for the first time, and France whose soil is full of the bodies of U.S. soldiers who died to free her twice. Ingrate France now spits in our face.

Concerning peace, Mrs. Esterbrook does not define it except in terms of victory coming if no one is defeated. We have been attacked and will continue to be attacked if we maintain a sitting-on-hands posture. Her intimation that we now lead intimidation is indefensible.

The best definition of peace is that it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22) bestowed by God on those who overcome wickedness. The Old Testament is full of examples of God providing peace for his chosen people by using them as his instruments to punish and destroy evil kingdoms. Some New Testament reference are Matt. 7:15-23, 10:34, 11:20-24, 21:12 and Rom. 13:4-7. While war is not to be instigated, it is not always inevitable to overcome evil.

The current Christian philosophy on war and peace was iterated by one of the most prolific writers and brilliant teachers of all time. The great St. John Chrysostom, in the year 383, simply but profoundly wrote: "The use of policy and foresight not only gives success, but gives it to the confusion and at the expense of the adversary. Not as in the case, where both parties divide the praise of valor, do they here divide the honor of wisdom; but the whole is secured to the victors; and they secure to their country a lasting benefit from their victory. In war and in peace you will find the employment of foresight and caution highly necessary."

Mr. Bush is using policy, caution and foresight, seeks wisdom, and wants to avoid war. The great St. Thomas Aquinas advised long ago to pray as if all depended on God, but act as if all depended on you, and the combination will lead to good results.

Eugene Witkowski

Community News

Senior News

Veteran columnist leaving the community

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

It is with a sad heart that I must relinquish my position as reporter for the Senior News -this will be my last article.

My husband and I will be moving back to Oklahoma soon so we won't be able to enjoy the camaraderie with the seniors that we have appreciated so much during the 10 years we have lived in Pagosa.

Of course, we will stop in to visit every chance we get. We will truly miss all the wonderful folks we have come to love, so we can't stay away permanently. I sincerely thank Musetta, Laura, Dawnie, Stella, Agnes, Rose, Dee and Dolores - the staff/kitchen staff of the senior center - for their help and friendship. They are wonderful folks and truly demonstrate their love for all the seniors.

I also say "thank you" to the wonderful folks at The SUN for their help and advice through the years. They educated me considerably about how to be a "reporter," though I still have much to learn.

A very happy birthday is wished to all our members who celebrated birthdays in February, to include: Agnes Maez (who is one of our kitchen staff), Alden Ecker, Willie Trujillo, Judy Cramer, Phil Heitz, Donna Modarelli, Carolyn Hansen, Clara Kelly, Bobby Risinger, Adelina Lovato, Jimmye and Vernon Day, Richard Feldt, and Wanda Christie.

We are so happy to honor our Volunteer of the Month for February: Alice Young. Alice frequently helps out by serving seniors in the dining room and we appreciate her help.

The driver's safety class for March is full but if you would like to attend the class June 4-5, please get signed up soon. These classes are very popular and fill up quickly. Many insurance companies offer discounts to their customers who complete this class. Call Don Hurt at 264-2337 for more information.

AARP tax form preparation and assistance sessions will be offered at least once weekly on Mondays until April 15. They volunteers offer help with preparation of federal and Colorado tax returns, assistance with specific questions on taxes if the person has prepared their own return, and/or the review of tax returns prepared by the taxpayer.

Taxpayers with Schedule C with depreciation, amortization, and inventory, Schedules E, F, or complicated capital gains should see a paid professional tax preparer.

Call 264-2167 to schedule an appointment. Please bring your 2001 tax return(s) and information and all 2002 tax information.

All you talented seniors with a little spare time, the elementary kids could use your help. Volunteers are needed to spend time with first and second grade students and their teachers on a monthly basis to listen to children read, help with school cut and paste projects, or offer a specialty you know well.

Devote as little or as much time as you want. If you would like to help, contact August Vanderbeek at 264-6216 for more information.

Welcome to the guests, returning members and new members who joined us last week: Pauline Benetti, Lenore Bright, James and Charlotte Archuleta, Carol Ash, David Bryan, Jim Carson, Sidney Evans and Helen and Hubert Racketts. Whew, we had a lot of guests last week!

Upcoming events

Friday - 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11 a.m. Jim Hanson with Medicare counseling; 1 p.m. dominos and CPR class.

Monday, March 3 : 1 p.m. bridge for fun.

Tuesday, March 4: 9:30 a.m. Yoga; 10:30 a.m. advanced computer class; 11 a.m. blood pressures taken.

Wednesday, March 5: 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class; 12:45 p.m. art class in the arts media room of the community center.

Friday, March 7: 11 a.m. Medicare counseling.

Veterans Corner

Presidential certificates for deceased veterans

By Andy Fautheree

Every American family with a deceased member who served in the military can apply for a Memorial Certificate signed by the current President of the United States.

Regardless of when a veteran served or cause of death, every family is entitled to receive the certificate.

More than one certificate can be provided per family, and there is no time limit for applying for the certificate. Requests for a Presidential Memorial Certificate can be made in person at any VA regional office, or by U.S. Mail. There is no special form to use when requesting a certificate. A copy of the veteran's discharge documents and a return mailing address should be included with any request.

I do have a prepared form for this purpose at this office. Survivors of veterans are welcome to stop by and I will be glad to assist them.

Headstone

Every honorably discharged deceased veteran is entitled to a headstone provided by the VA when buried in a private cemetery. There are a number of headstone inscription options available including branch of service, wartime service, date of birth, date of death, religious symbol and any outstanding military awards such as Purple Heart, Congressional Medal of Honor, etc.

Headstones are available for longtime deceased veterans who may be in an unmarked grave. Veteran's organizations often actively work on locating local veteran grave sites so they can place a proper headstone on the grave.

The name of the veteran's spouse and date of birth can be placed on the headstone at the time the headstone is ordered if they plan to be buried together. Upon death of the spouse, the date of death can be added at private expense.

Honor guards and flags

All deceased veterans are entitled to a honor guard at their funeral. This is usually arranged locally by the funeral home handling the rites. Sometimes a color guard made up of local veterans can be arranged.

The surviving family of a deceased veteran is entitled to a burial flag. The flags are stored locally in each community at the U.S. Post Office. I have the proper one-page form to obtain a burial flag and can get them on very short notice, once I have been notified by the family or funeral arrangers.

Recording discharge

I always recommend a veteran have his official military DD214 discharge papers filed with the county clerk, in case that original is ever lost, destroyed or stolen. I perform this service for the veteran when they bring me their DD214 (preferably the original). I can personally attest that if my mother had not carefully saved my military papers, I would not have them today, because I moved around so many times since my discharge. But as a safeguard, they were recorded in my home town County Clerk's office.

Social Security

When you apply for Social Security you will be asked if you are a veteran. If you check "yes," you will be asked for the original or certified copy of your DD214. It is my understanding your military service will entitle you to use those "quarters" toward maximizing your Social Security benefits, if you need them. Interestingly, if you don't need them, you still need to provide a copy of the discharge paper, if you check the box.

One of our veterans told me recently he did not "check" the veteran box, because he didn't have a DD214, and Social Security came back to him later saying he needed to provide a copy of it, because they had found he was a veteran.

Yet, to my knowledge, all this wouldn't buy him a cup of coffee if he didn't need those earnings quarters from his military years. Being a veteran does not entitle you to any additional Social Security payment that I'm aware of.

Never a charge

There is never a charge for any of these VA services. Which brings me to mention that often veterans or their families receive literature for various "veteran benefits" such as insurance or services.

We often see advertisements on TV for "veterans benefits". Some are outright bogus. These solicitations often appear to represent the VA. However, I would use caution in responding to these solicitations, sending money, giving your Social Security number, bank account number or any other financial information. Any official VA service or benefit will bear the official Department of Veterans Affairs logo and information. I would urge you to contact me if you have any questions about veteran advertisements or solicitations.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is afautheree@arch uletacounty.org. The office is open from 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.

Chamber News

Benefits abound in Pagosa country

By Sally Hameister

You still have time to pick up your tickets for an evening honoring Fred Harman and at the same time, doing your part to raise funds for the future Pagosa Springs Performing Arts Center.

This western evening, conceived by Friends of the Performing Arts and sponsored by U.S. Mortgage Express, will be held at the Fred Harman Museum beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

You can view the gallery, socialize and sip some wine and/or sparkling cider from 6 to 7, and then enjoy the renderings of cowboy poets Bob Huff, Phil Janowsky and Fred Harman III.

This intimate gathering will also include an auction for an authentic Red Ryder Daisy Rifle, circa 1940.

Seating will be limited for this event, so I would suggest you run out right away to pick up your tickets WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company or the chamber of commerce for $20. Tickets at the door will be $25, so the wise ones buy early and save.

Come out to say hello to Fred and to support this worthy cause.

Daffodil Days

We're always happy to announce the imminence of the beautiful bouquets of daffodils provided by the American Cancer Society in March during their Daffodil Days.

For only $9 you can purchase these gorgeous harbingers of spring and at the same time support the society's cancer research, education and local patient service.

As always with any Pagosa event, volunteers are an important part of the success, and Suzan Gray could use your help with this project. Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the comfort of those whose lives have been touched by cancer, and you can reach her at 264-6255 to lend a helping hand.

Remember too that this presents a great opportunity to "gift" friends, family, employees, co-workers and basically anyone you care about. Who wouldn't love to receive a bouquet of daffodils? Order forms are available at the Visitor Center, or you can call 264-6255 with your order. The daffodils will be available at Mountain Greenery beginning March 12.

Mt. McKinley

Local climber, Rick Strohecker, will give a slide presentation on his successful climb of Mt. McKinley March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Humane Society Thrift Store meeting room.

Mt. McKinley, also known as Denali and located in Alaska, is the highest peak in North America at 20,320 feet. Rick has over 20 years experience rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, back-country skiing and has competed in speed skiing with runs over 100 mph. He has climbed throughout the U.S. and made major high altitude climbs in Alaska, South America and Tibet.

All proceeds from this evening will be donated to The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. Admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. For more information, call 264-9253.

Anderson Brothers

Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave., invites you to a concert performed by The Anderson Brothers March 4 at 7 p.m. in the church. This is a dynamic group consisting of five brothers ranging in age from 15 to 27 who travel the country sharing their unique a cappella singing style.

Cost for the evening is by donation only, and tapes and CDs of the Anderson Brothers will be available for sale after the performance.

KM for Kids

Grant applications and funding reports are available at the Visitor Center for the second year of Kinder Morgan's KM for Kids program.

This program supports youth initiatives in Pagosa Springs and throughout the company's retail service territory. Last year Kinder Morgan donated $4,500 to youth programs here, and this year they will donate $5,300. If your organization would like to be considered for funding, stop by and pick up an application and return by the March 7 deadline. If you have questions about the application process or funding parameters, contact Natalie Shelbourn at (970)874-4432, Ext. 225.

9HealthFair

Just a heads-up on the upcoming 9HealthFair at Pagosa Springs High School April 5, 8 a.m.-noon. As always, there will be free and optional health screenings, a blood chemistry analysis for $30 and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) for $25. Keep in mind you must be 18 years old to participate.

For information, you can call (303) 698-3799 or (800) 332-3078 or visit their Web site at www.9HealthFair.org.

Fire Prevention

Also on April 5, Rep. Mark Larson and Sen. Jim Isgar will be here to host a special Town Hall meeting to talk about what we can do to reduce wildfire hazards.

This presentation will be held in the Community Center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. from 2-4 p.m. Representatives from the Colorado State Forest Service and the San Juan Public Lands Center will also be on hand to answer questions. This event kicks off with a screening of the video, "After the Fire" and is free of charge.

In conjunction with this same fire prevention program, free tours will be conducted for our area on April 19 and 26.

On April 19 from 10 a.m. to noon, Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams will conduct a tour called "Defensible Space Projects" showing us how to make our homes safer from fires. The tour will feature real examples of successful defensible space treatments done by homeowners. Please register to attend by April 17, and meet at the fire station on North Pagosa Boulevard at 10 a.m. to take the tour.

April 26 from 9 a.m. to noon, Bob Frye of the Pagosa Ranger District will lead a tour showing you how the Forest Service has reduced risk in the urban interface (where public lands are adjacent to subdivisions) using methods such as hydro mowing and chainsaw thinning.

Stops will be in Pagosa Lakes and Wildflower subdivisions and some gentle terrain walking will be required.

Register by April 23. You must RSVP to go on either of these tours at (970) 385-1210 by the designated deadlines. Space is limited so if you cannot make it, please call and cancel.

The Club

The good folks at Pagosa Health and Fitness, The Club, invite you to attend an open house Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The renovations are completed, and they want you to see their full-service health club with weight rooms and a large fitness room offering numerous classes taught by professional instructors. Also available are snack bar, full-service hair and nail salon, massages, facials and other beauty treatments, and additional programs such as Yoga, Tai Chi and youth fitness.

Membership

We have three new members to introduce this week and a nice even dozen renewals to share with you. Life is good.

Becky Dorian joins us first with San Juan Saunas located at 2516 Meadows. These folks specialize in the sale of Almost Heaven and Finnleo Saunas. Not too many businesses make house calls these days (do any doctors?) but the Dorians have a mobile display trailer that can bring four working saunas to your location. That is quite the service. You can give these folks a call to learn more about San Juan Saunas at 731-9878.

Our second new member this week is Mike DeVooght who brings us Devo Capital Management located at 209 Pagosa St. This is a commodity and stock trading brokerage firm, and you can give Mike a call to learn more about Devo Capital Management at 264-4399.

Jane McKain joins us next with the Pagosa Furry Friends and Fiber Festival which will enjoy its third year thanks to Jane and some other folks who have decided to maintain this event and keep it going.

Dave and Suzy Belt were the original organizers and did an outstanding job of creating a successful and viable festival for our community. A future move forced the Belts to turn it over to other leadership, and we are confident that Jane and her crew will do a splendid job.

This year the Festival will be held Sept. 12, 13 and 14 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, and we will look forward to receiving more information as the time draws closer. If you would like to learn more or participate in the Fiber Festival, contact Jane at 264-4458.

Renewals this week include Jo Bridges with the U.S. Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District; Dan Johnston with Ensignal; Jenny Newcomer with the San Juan Mountains Association in Pagosa, Durango and Dolores; Mary Ann Page with Page's Leaf Custom Catering with offices in her home; Tony Simmons with The Brew Haus; Vimmie Ray with the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Vimmie again with Lobo Outfitters; Natalie Shelbourn with Kinder Morgan, Inc.; Patti Knight with Colorado LogSystems in South Fork; Jean Sinkey with Mountain Landing Guest Quarters; Nita Niece with Point of View Eye Care; and, last but far from least, our old pal Jerry "Derm" Dermody who renews as an Associate Realtor and touts himself as "The oldest living Realtor in the Pagosa Springs Area." I don't think so, Derm.

Library News

Special kiosk on view at Sisson Library

By Lenore Bright

We are pleased to house the Colorado State Forest Wildfire Mitigation Kiosk for the next two weeks. Come in and participate in an interactive learning experience that will prepare you to fight fire dangers to your home and property.

This kiosk is a computer with a touch-screen monitor instead of a keyboard. By touching the screen you can find out about your ability to survive wildfires.

There are three sections to the program: Are you firewise? How to firescape your property, and firewise construction.

This was developed for the Colorado State Forest Service in collaboration with the American Red Cross, the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service. It was funded by a National Fire Plan Grant. Mitzy Forbes designed and programmed the kiosk displayed at the State Fair. It will be at the library March 3-14. Take advantage of this learning experience.

Beautiful bookmarks

Thanks to our volunteers, we finally have our first two celebrity artists' bookmarks ready for sale. Carol Fulenwider and Jan Brookshier's works are now available at the library, the chamber of commerce, and Moonlight Books.

They cost $3 and all proceeds will go to the building fund for a children's room.

Birdwatching

The San Juan Audubon Society sent the February issue of Fledgling Newsletter. It has the Christmas Bird Count that identified 66 species seen in our area this count. It also gives tips on winter feeder care and spring planning for healthy ecosystems in your yard. Their address is P.O. Box 2716 Durango, CO 81302.

And on the subject of birds, the Monte Vista Crane Festival will be March 7-9. A wonderful opportunity to go over and welcome the birds from the Bosque del Apache. Spring is making its appearance. I already have tulips 4 inches high. For more information on our bird population, visit the Nebraska bird Web site, www.ngpc.state.ne.us/wildlife.

I.Q. up or down

The studies keep coming- Ulric Neisser of Cornell University tells us that children's IQ scores continue to go up. But the scores are tied to the visual pop-culture media. Reasoning is rising but general knowledge and vocabulary are going down. Neisser doesn't think kids are wiser - just quicker. What will that mean for the future? Parents - it is more important than ever to have your children reading. SAT tests to get into college gauge knowledge of particular subjects. Computer kids may know computers but don't know who wrote Hamlet, or who was president before the first George Bush.

Donations

Building Fund Gifts in memory of Lee Sterling: Judith James, Mr. and Mrs. George Esterly, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, League of Women Voters, Ralph and Sam Goulds, Ken and Jan Brookshier, Glenn and Lynda Van Patter, Jim and Ione Adams, Cecil and Barbara Tackett, Gene and Joan Cortright, Gil and Lenore Bright.

Other building fund gifts: Sponsors include Dick and Lori Moseley and William and Bernice Storm.

Materials came from Scotty Gibson, Tony Mathias, Patty Sterling, Evelyn Kantas, Bob and Jessie Formwalt, Carol Hakala.

 

Births

 

Saxon Willingham Carreras was welcomed into this world by his big sister, Scarlet Willingham, his mother Destiny Willingham and father Chad Carreras on Jan. 21, 2003. He weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Maternal grandparents are Lala and Jim Willingham. His great-grandmothers, Jewell Willingham of Dallas, Texas, and Amanda Stollstimer, uncle Tony Rivas, aunt Desiree Willingham, and aunt Dina Brogan of Tucson, Ariz., welcome Saxon and congratulate Destiny and Chad.

 

 

People

Derek Bell

Navy Seaman Derek A. Bell, son of Susan T. Christie of Pagosa Springs and Robert J. Bell of The Colony, Texas, has reported for duty aboard the fleet ballistic missile submarine USS Henry M. Jackson (Blue Crew) homeported in Bangor, Wash.

Bell is a 2001 graduate of The Colony High School and joined the Navy in July, 2001.

 

 Features

Hooked on Math

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"Teacher, you don't have to just be smart to do math, you have to be a thinker."

Mary Helen Cammack, a second-grade teacher in Pagosa Springs Elementary School, was delighted to hear that comment recently from one of her students.

Cammack is one of the teachers in the forefront of the new Trail Blazers mathematics program being introduced this year in the school system.

"It makes the children think, helps them understand, and puts their linguistic skills to work along with problem solving," she told the board of education Feb. 11.

Cammack and fourth-grade teacher Muriel Buckley took directors through a sample lesson plan, emphasizing the relationship between learning math and integrating thinking skills.

"When you put a question to them and there are several possible ways of answering it," Cammack said, "it is fun to see them realize they have to think before answering, that they have to develop a reason for making the choice they did, and be able to explain it."

It isn't merely a matter of teaching numbers, of adding and subtracting.

"Kids learn to share when they find mistakes in their own answer development," Cammack said.

"They begin to learn from each other."

Have you ever heard second graders discussing mass, weight and vertical and horizontal axes?

They do in Cam-mack's class, and they have fun doing it.

The Trail Blazer program was selected by a district committee examining why Pagosa students were lagging behind in mathematics as evidenced by statewide testing.

It is used in two Durango schools and they were visited by local teachers to see how and why it works.

Special training

When it was decided the program was the one Pagosa should use, eight teachers were sent to Chicago for intensive training in how it works and how to implement it on a schoolwide basis.

"We're still learning as we teach," said Cammack. "Linguistic skills and thought development come along with the actual mathematics processes."

It isn't just a case of learning diagnostics or rote development of numbers manipulation.

The program lets children make the numbers work for them and shows them there often are many ways of finding an answer.

Four children might select four different methods, all arriving at the correct conclusion. The difference with this program is that they then must explain why they picked the method they did and how it worked.

"Seeing a child realize, a light go on in their mind, that something like mass of an object isn't necessarily decided by its physical size, is a blessing for a teacher," Cammack said.

Teachers learn

Buckley, working with fourth-graders, said she's learned more about math in the first half of this school year using Trail Blazers than she did in all her prior years teaching.

"It's kid friendly. They learn there are many different ways to achieve an answer. They learn to incorporate logic and estimation into their problem solving.

"Minds are lighting up, thought processes are developing and problem solving has become fun," she said.

As an example for the board, she and Cammack each talked about skip counting, double digit multiplication, graphic comparisons to explain why a student made a specific solution choice.

This, remember, is elementary school mathematics. They're learning multiples and applications of math to daily problems.

Youngsters work with weights to determine mass.

Board tested

The board members were asked if they'd like to take a test.

Knowing that only 10 numbers are available, create a chart showing how many combinations of numbers there are within those 10 that can create the same answer.

For example, how many combinations add up to 10, or nine, or three.

It is a concept the children snapped into quickly, the teachers said.

For instance, a 10-gram weight can be produced by adding 7 and 3 or 6 and 4 or 8 and 2 or 9 and 1 or 5 and 5.

Students are learning number combinations mean more than just getting a total figure; that they jointly indicate a reason for having worked the problem in the first place.

Board members did not reveal how many number combinations each was able to produce but they were told the book says there are 32 such combinations possible.

The children have learned them all.

Reverse concepts

They've also learned that multiplication and division are simply reverse images of each other. For example, multiplying 3 by 2 one gets 6. Dividing 6 by 2 produces 3. Concepts link in the program and young minds snap easily into their use.

An adventure story book, "The Four Servants," is a part of the program as is another utilizing the exploits of four mice trying to get to a serving of cheese balanced on a platform from a string suspended from a lamp.

They work on the problem until the one with the least mass is able to catapult onto the platform and get the cheese without tilting it and sliding off, or turning it into a springboard which tosses it off.

The lesson is size, weight and mass are dependent on each other but bigger is not always heavier and smaller is not always least.

The second-graders are using and understanding terms lie base-ten pieces, algorithm, manipulation, money calculation, tally marks and progressive charting.

Kahle Charles, elementary school principal, is sold on the program.

"It isn't just problem solving," he said. "It incorporates that along with reasoning and explaining why solutions are correct."

"I've seen the children in math classes really come alive with this program" he said. "It's more challenging and it incorporates fundamental concepts as parts of the solution when they don't even realize it."

In fact, he said, adding the program at the K-5 level this year, has been one of the best decisions ever in the district.

Advanced programs

"They're learning concepts of geometry and algebra now. They'll have all that background when they advance into higher classes."

The teachers cited another example of how good the program is:

"Sometimes they don't even want to go to recess. They want to stay in the classroom. They want to stay after school. They want to learn."

And that, said Charles, "is what its all about. Kids are excited about learning. Morale is better because they share the same concepts and understand them equally."

He noted CSAP testing next year will include math at the third grade level for the first time.

"The results we're seeing in second grade now should assure a good showing in that test," he said.

 Editorial

An inspiration to all

It is easy to write about the shortcomings of some young people, to point to the disastrous effects of poor parenting, the consequences on youth of a low threshold of expectations, of parents who excuse and abet poor performance and behavior. It is no task to rant about listless kids, discipline problems in the schools and growing dockets in juvenile courts. There is too much evidence to ignore.

Fortunately, for this community and others, there are plenty of kids - the majority - who go the other direction, who provide balance and give us hope.

And every once in a while, we witness something exceptional.

So it is with a young Pagosa Springs High School athlete, Michael Martinez, and his journey that ended Saturday with a state wrestling championship.

Each of the six local young men who competed at the tournament did themselves and us proud, but Martinez went a step further.

After a third-place finish at last year's state tournament, Michael was touted as one of the premier wrestlers in Colorado. His sights were set on this season, on the crown.

Then, during the last junior varsity football game of the season in late October, Martinez broke his ankle in two places, dislocating it and damaging connective tissue. He underwent surgery a week later, pins were put in the shattered bones, and the prognosis was not good. Some said he would not compete as a wrestler this year, others expressed grave doubt. Many thought, should he return, he could not succeed.

Martinez had no doubt.

When wrestling practice began he was in the wrestling room, a cast on one leg, bundled in layers of heavy clothing, furiously pedaling a stationary bike, helping his fellow athletes. He labored to keep his weight down and his strength up, intent on returning once the Christmas holiday was over. He never missed a practice.

There was no one screaming at him, no one belaboring him. He willed his return from a nearly hopeless situation.

Eight weeks after his injury, there he was, in his singlet, pacing the sideline with a noticeable limp.

When he entered the ring, the limp vanished. And he won.

In fact, he won 19 straight matches before losing in the championship of the regional tournament. The loss did not demoralize him, did not shake him from the pursuit of his goal. His intensity was incredible.

Martinez accomplished a remarkable feat Saturday night when he won the Class 3A championship at 112 pounds. To win is difficult enough; wrestling is the toughest, most unforgiving schoolboy sport of them all. To ascend to the top at season's end indicates an athlete is highly skilled, superbly conditioned, definitively trained.

But Martinez did more than that. His rise to the top came against the greatest of odds and was accomplished with stoic humility.

In doing what he did, he not only accomplished what few can, but he provides us a lesson: he undoes the most inflated claim made for sport - the myth that sport builds character.

He shows us sport does not build character, it reveals it. His display of character and courage and determination is inspirational, and he came by that character where all character is created: at home, produced by positive and supportive parents and family. His strength was in him long before he entered the ring, and it allowed him to do something extraordinary. The support he received at home and from his coaches and friends helped him rarify his talents and produce the wonderful story that culminated last week and a reminder we are blessed to have Michael and the other exceptional kids like him as members of this community: they are credits to themselves, to their families, to all of us.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa
 

It works, if you know the code

By Richard Walter

You can't get through life in these times without knowing the code.

Seriously, every aspect of life seems to have its own code these days. You have to learn the lingo in order to survive. Be a codetalker.

Take the grocery store, for example. Every item has a bar code on the shelf below it and included therein are the size of the item, the price per specified unit of weight and the actual real price compared to the sale price.

Or how about the service station.

Gasoline comes in varying grades, octanes if you will. Each is supposed to be good for specified styles of engines. And each higher octane rating has a higher price. Now why can't we all just use the lowest priced fuel?

Because the auto makers have it coded into the owner's manual. Their code might say this six cylinder engine with 2,100 cc displacement and a valve ratio of 2:14 requires a gasoline octane rating of 89 or higher.

Now tell me the auto makers aren't in cahoots with the fuel producers. Why can't that engine run on something less combustible and get the same performance?

It isn't in the code.

And then there's the new hullabaloo over genetic coding.

Every one of us, it seems, has a genetic code that, when deciphered, can tell the physicians what diseases we're prone to, what ones we're immune to, and what treatments will work on us when others won't.

All you have to do is learn the code.

Government today is operated in legalese codes filled with whereases, wherewiths, whereins and ... who cares?

Why can't we simply survive on the simple, old-fashioned means of just talking to the mayor or the county board chairman and telling him or her what we need to make the area better?

If they agree, they can work to see that it is accomplished.

As it is now, every state has a Cities and Village Act which specifies in legalese what a town or city can or cannot do. And then it gives these same communities ways to avoid the rules it stipulates.

If you know the code.

Ever buy a toy for your child and find it's one you have to assemble yourself? You know, the kind which gives you instructions in up to six languages including one which purports to be English.

Doesn't work. Unless you know the code to decipher the linguistic dilemma.

And now we sit on the verge of another war. Saddam, we're told, has weapons of mass destruction.

We can't find them, but we know they're there.

What are they? Where are they? Who knows?

And how about those North Koreans? They didn't hide their nuclear capability. In fact they bragged about it.

Whatever happened to Osama bin Ladin?

Wasn't he the key to terrorist activity in the world? Wasn't he the one we had to stop before the world would be safe from all evil?

Only, it appears, if you know the code.

You want a new satellite television system. Everybody and his or her brother has the best offer, the most channels at the least cost. But which is the best buy?

After all, who needs 50 or 100 channels of rock music? Who needs 30 movie channels?

You just have to know the code.

  

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Feb. 28, 1913

After a fight extending over a period of five years, the saloons of Pagosa have been closed, although the wets believe this condition will be only temporary. The closing order came from the court of appeals.

The three Pagosa saloons pay a total license of $2,500 in addition to their pool table licenses. These licenses now expire on May 15 and being paid to that time, the town must refund about $420 if the dry verdict stands. But if the town votes wet on April 1 it is fair to suppose that new licenses will be issued shortly thereafter. As the tax levy has been made for the year and as the annual appropriations have been made a total of $10,000, the new council will have a difficult financial problem to face.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 2, 1928

March 15th is the final date for the filing of income tax reports by those fortunate enough to be in the "income" class.

The concerted and continued petty pilfering that has been in progress for some time in a certain part of the park is going to be stopped or criminal action will shortly be taken by the victims against the offenders who are well known. The continual loss of chickens, wood and coal in time becomes unbearable.

The time for taking the school census in each district of the state has been changed from the 10th of February to "Between the tenth day of April and first day of May of each year."

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 27, 1953

The Chamber of Commerce met on Monday to discuss several matters of business and plans for the coming year. The annual election of officers was set for March 23, at which time an evening banquet and program will be held. A report given at the meeting showed that the weekly bargain days each Saturday were being successful and that many residents of the area are taking advantage of the unusual bargains each week.

A lot of the students in PHS have been getting some new nicknames. Some of these are Ronnie Willett, who has become known as "Young Abe Lincoln" and George Crouse who is referred to as "The Boss." There is also Richard Walter who is the editor of the Pirate's View and is known as "Chief."

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 23, 1978

Four persons escaped serious injury Sunday evening when a light plane made an emergency landing on Lake Pinon. The plane was piloted by V.A. Poma, who made a very nice emergency landing.

Preliminary plans for a proposed new high school have been delivered to school authorities. The cost of the building must be approved by voters in a special bond election to be held later this year.

A preliminary plat for Loma Linda subdivision, located in Squaw Valley, was tabled until such time as further test drilling for water is completed, more study made on the effect of the subdivision on big game migration, and requirements for perimeter fencing are firmed up.