April 24, 2003 
Front Page

Health board recall petitions are circulating

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A group of Archuleta County citizens have initiated a petition effort to recall all five remaining elected Upper San Juan Health Service District board members.

Each petition describes the five individuals as being on the board when "community health was reduced to what the District's Medical Director describes as 'in a growing crisis that is affecting medical care.'"

Directors named on the petitions include: Sue Walan, Patty Tillerson, Wayne Wilson, Ken Morrison and Martha Garcia. Each one is named individually, but the accusations against all are the same.

The full board includes seven members. Two, Charles Hawkins and Dr. Richard Blide, were appointed earlier this month. They filled seats left vacant when directors Kay Grams and Dick Babillis resigned earlier this year.

The statement accuses elected board members of being ignorant of and breaking Colorado open meeting law, plotting "in illegal and secret meetings" against a specialist hired to help resolve district conflicts, refusing to listen to district employees, allowing a management situation that led to the resignation of several employees to continue and allowing management that "has embarrassed the citizens of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County."

The board members, with the exception of Wilson who declined to comment, denied the accusations.

Earlier in the year Morrison did admit to violating the open meeting law by e-mailing other board members. However, he reiterated Tuesday, at the time, he did not realize it was illegal. As soon as he was informed it was, the e-mails ceased. Otherwise, he said, the board has received an opinion from its attorney finding it in compliance with open meeting requirements.

As far as illegal or secret meetings, Walan and Garcia said, they simply never happened.

Listening to employees has happened, they and Morrison agreed, but complaints continue to be vague and verbal with little or nothing put into writing.

"There is a complaint procedure in place at the district and we have yet to receive any complaints or grievances in writing," Garcia said. "There was one written complaint received after the complaint procedure was in place and the complaint was resolved."

As far as management, Walan said, employees have come forward with complaints about the last three managers the district has had in place. Each has had individual positive and negative qualities. None have been perfect. "Do we fire somebody because the employees don't like them?"

Garcia said when it comes to embarrassing the community, employee actions should be considered. To date, she said, problems with employees have included: a refusal to be accountable to management, a case of an employee bringing children to work and causing liability issues and tampering with computers.

In one case, she said, an employee discharged a firearm on district property. The employee later resigned. A report has been filed with the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department regarding a break-in at an office. Documents were reported missing. An investigation continues into a suspected narcotics theft.

Morrison said the situation itself is the embarrassment and all involved, including the board, should shoulder some of the blame. Despite that, he sees a lot of positives happening.

"There are more people involved than ever before," Morrison said. "I think one way or another medical services in this community will continue."

It's the solutions to health care issues in Archuleta County that he and the other board members said they will focus on as summer approaches, not the recall petitions.

"I personally plan to continue my work as board liaison to the citizen's advisory community to the board," Tillerson said as part of a written statement. "This committee will soon finalize a plan for 24/7 physician coverage through the urgent care facility - something promised the taxpayers several years ago but never fulfilled due to financial mismanagement. Current management practice has corrected this and, with board approval, we can now make this happen.

"I love this community and its people," she continued. "I serve with no personal agenda; however, if I no longer deserve your trust, so be it."

In the same statement, Tillerson reiterated that the problems in the district are not recent, claiming that a former executive director "left the district broke and deeply in debt while his reputation was well-protected."

"A little over a year ago," she wrote, "we hired a well-educated professional and gave her a mandate to turn things around and move us into a future of increased health services to our growing community. Sadly, petty overreaction to change by some has served our efforts poorly."

Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid said the circulators have until June 16 to turn in petitions. Three hundred signatures of registered voters are needed in each individual board member's case to move to a recall election.

Under special district law, anyone wanting to be elected to fill the seat of a successfully recalled director also has until June 16 to collect 300 signatures.

Once petitions are returned, Madrid said, she has 10 days to determine if there are enough valid signatures to call the election. In order to be a valid signature, registered voters must write in their name - legibly - as it appears on the voter registration record and include a complete physical address. Post offices boxes do not count.

After that, those board members being recalled have 15 days to protest. If signatures are sufficient and protests are exhausted, Madrid said, an election would be set. Very tentatively she said she has looked at Sept. 4 as a possibility.

Costs of the election will be paid by the Upper San Juan Health Service District.

Both Peg Ferrell and Kay Grams, who have been circulating petitions since they were approved by a district court judge April 15, said the effort is going well even though it's been a fairly informal process so far.

Both said people who sign are putting their John Hancocks on all five petitions, not just one or two.

"We're trying to make it as easy as possible for people to sign," Grams said. Others circulating petitions are: George Eberly, Mary Jaramillo, Ron Hunken, Pat Curtis, Tom and Ron Bambrick, Toby Brookens and Theresa Brown.

 

Woman hit by tree still hospitalized

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

After being hit by a falling tree on Palm Sunday, Julia Jones, of Pagosa Springs, remains in intensive care at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington.

Her husband, Ron Jones, said he expects doctors will schedule surgery to repair broken bones in Julia's head, face and jaw early next week. Currently, staff at the hospital are working to clear up a bacterial infection in the patient.

The Joneses, who own and operate the Pagosa Riverside Campground, were on their way to a barbecue with friends in Alpine Lakes Ranch 18 miles south on U.S. 84 when the accident occurred. Ron Jones said they had traveled to the site via a 6-by-6 all-terrain vehicle. Julia sat in a hammock strung between two trees and one of the trees, a snag about 10 inches in diameter and six feet tall, fell on her.

She took the brunt of the blow to the face and head, Jones said.

Emergency personnel and Upper San Juan Search and Rescue volunteers were called to the scene.

Karn Macht, search and rescue coordinator, said the 6-by-6 driver took the first crew of EMS to the scene about a mile off the road. Search and rescue arrived shortly thereafter to transport more people and equipment to the scene.

Jones was shuttled out to an ambulance and transported a short distance to where the Air Care helicopter could land. She was then flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center.

"They didn't give her much of a chance the first night," Jones said. Since then, there have been some positive signs. She's breathing on her own now, and has shown some responsiveness, squeezing the nurse's hand and wiggling her toes earlier in the week.

She is being kept heavily sedated, Ron said. Family has arrived in Farmington and are staying within walking distance of the hospital to be with her whenever visiting hours allow.

 

Area water districts unveil

new 40-year use guideline

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

If preliminary calculations completed by Harris Water Engineering Inc. are accurate, by the year 2040 two area water districts will need to provide enough water to satisfy the needs of approximately 52,000 people.

That estimate is just a fraction of the data compiled in a newly-released water study completed by the Durango-based engineering firm at the request of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and San Juan Water Conservancy District.

In the works for three years, the 47-page overview of the districts' future water supply and demand was recently made public. The synopsis provides insight as to when, where and how the districts may pursue what is referred to as "a firm water supply" to meet the future challenge.

A firm water supply is defined within the report as "adequate raw water facilities incorporated with conservation measures to provide the normal water demand without mandatory restrictions plus a one year supply safety margin."

How long before alternative supplies will be needed?

According to a summary of technical data in the report, existing facilities utilized by PAWS (Hatcher Lake, Snowball pipeline, San Juan River intake, etc.) are expected to serve the district's water demands through about 2010.

If the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir and the encasement of Dutton Ditch proceed as planned, supplies are projected to extend for an estimated additional five years.

As a result, the report states that both PAWS and the San Juan district "are not in a position of having to develop facilities to meet the current demand, but can focus on meeting the future demands approximately 10 years from now."

That may sound as if the districts have a 10-15 year window to consider their options. However, they do not.

The report cites construction durations of 10-20 years for new reservoirs, meaning the planning process to implement such facilities must begin far ahead of the projected use date.

According to the study, an approximate total of seven cubic feet per second is available from the San Juan River in a worst-case scenario year such as 2002. PAWS currently has 2,630 acre feet of existing usable storage, and assumes an additional 900 acre feet will be provided upon the completion of the enlargement of Stevens Reservoir.

While the report points out that estimating water demands roughly 40 years into the future is "an exercise in crystal ball gazing," it concludes that at least one new diversion from the San Juan River with the capability of handling an additional minimum of 18.5 cubic feet per second will be needed to meet future water requirements in 2040.

In addition, new storage capacity totaling a minimum of 500 acre feet to meet the estimated 2040, July-September need of 4,000 acre feet will be needed as well.

Factor in the concept that the districts would prefer to have measures in place by the same year allowing for a one-year safety supply margin - including an estimated 12,000 acre feet of "yield" - and the need for increased storage and delivery capacity rises dramatically.

The report also cites the need for continued conservation measures and assumes a slight decrease in the average usage per capita in future scenarios, but indicates water restrictions alone do not reduce demand enough to make up a significant portion of reserve supplies.

Since the study includes last year's record drought conditions, which greatly impacted future estimates and could potentially recur, the data supplied in the report is subject to change and recommended for review on a five-year basis.

While the report states the districts will continue to study the potential for new facilities, a few options examined - all subject to secured water rights and district voter approval - include the following:

- an upgraded pipeline diversion to the Snowball Treatment Plant capable of carrying either 5 cubic feet per second or 20.8 cubic feet per second (the pipeline currently carries 2.3 cubic feet per second)

- increasing flow velocity in the current San Juan intake, which has a capacity of 4.6 cubic feet per second, or constructing a second pipeline and pump system to deliver roughly 16.5 cubic feet per second

- constructing a 20.8 cubic feet per second pumping facility/pipeline on the San Juan River near the confluence with Dry Gulch to divert water to the Snowball Treatment Plant (and/or to an accompanying 4,000 or possibly 12,500 acre-foot reservoir) when flow is available

- construction of a 700 acre-foot reservoir adjacent to Lake Hatcher described as "Martinez Reservoir" - requiring the extension of the current San Juan pipeline to Lake Pagosa so that Dutton Ditch water currently used to fill Lake Pagosa can be used to fill the potential reservoir

- the construction of a reservoir ("West Fork Reservoir") three miles upstream of the confluence of the San Juan River and the West Fork of the river with a maximum capacity of 35,000 acre feet, although the report indicates roughly 8,000 acre feet may be more appropriate

- construction of "East Fork Reservoir," with a potential location one mile upstream of the East Fork/West Fork confluence and maximum capacity of 35,000 acre feet, although a yield of 12,000 acre feet is used to calculate the supply for 2040.

 

Grandchamp new undersheriff; May moves to Texas

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards has appointed Bob Grandchamp to serve as the county's new undersheriff. Grandchamp, formerly a captain with the department, is replacing former undersheriff Otis May, who is relocating to the Austin, Texas area.

Richards expressed bittersweet sentiments regarding the change of guard, but said the situation is a step in the right direction for both men since each is highly regarded in the law-enforcement arena.

"I regret losing Mr. May; any time anyone can better themselves by moving on, the department certainly supports whatever they choose to pursue," said Richards. "I thank Mr. May for 18 years of wonderful service to this office, and certainly wish him well.

"At the same time, I know we have the right man to fill the position," added Richards. "Bob has high credentials, and we certainly feel fortunate to have a man of his caliber in the department."

Grandchamp is a graduate of East Los Angeles College, where he majored in criminal justice. He served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for 30 years, including 18 in the volatile South Central area as both a deputy and a sergeant.

During his service in California, he took part in various law enforcement projects, participating as team leader of a crime impact team and aiding in the effort to establish a criminal justice center in Linwood.

Grandchamp relocated to Pagosa Springs three years ago and has been employed by the sheriff's department for the past two years.

Grandchamp stressed his goals as undersheriff will be primarily related to "establishing a partnership with the community."

To that effect, Grandchamp said one of those goals is the creation of a community advisement panel that will facilitate communication between the department and the public.

"Sometimes the public doesn't like us to do the things we do," said Grandchamp, adding, "but with community involvement, we have the opportunity to explain why we do some of those things."

Other goals include making use of an "open forum" included as part of the department's new Web site, which Grandchamp indicated should be online by this weekend.

"I'd like to use the forum to inform the public, and possibly dispel some of the rumors we have relayed to us here at the department," said Grandchamp, adding that he would also like to implement a citizen-based program known as "COP," or community oriented policing.

"I feel we can accomplish a lot by encouraging the public to be more responsive in the future," said Grandchamp, "and I think we can do that while still holding true to old community values."

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

4/16

59

19

-

-

-

4/17

57

22

-

-

-

4/18

55

20

-

-

-

4/19

52

19

-

-

-

4/20

56

20

-

-

-

4/21

60

24

-

-

-

4/22

50

21

R

-

.20

Dry, breezy conditions predicted in forecast

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A fresh blanket of new-fallen snow greeted early risers Wednesday in Pagosa Country, providing the exclamation point for a three-day bout of wet weather as forecasts predicting moisture for the Four Corners region came to fruition throughout the first half of the week.

However, predictions for the coming week indicate the possibility for a return to dry weather and only a marginal chance for significant precipitation.

According to David Nadler, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, a shift in the jetstream to the north will mean a relatively uneventful end to the month of April for much of the state.

"At this point, there appears to be no significant threat to the Pagosa area," said Nadler, "because it looks like storms rolling in from the Pacific Ocean will be moving northward too fast to affect the southern reaches of Colorado.

"There is a chance Saturday for some scattered showers," added Nadler, "But otherwise I'd venture to say the area can expect nothing more than some breezy conditions."

Nadler's forecast includes a 20-percent chance for isolated showers through today and into tonight. West winds ranging from 10-20 miles per hour and highs in the upper 50s to low 60s are expected throughout the day. Nighttime lows should settle into the mid 20s.

Partly cloudy skies and light winds are predicted for Friday. Highs should hover around 60; lows should drop into the upper 20s to low 30s.

Saturday calls for variable cloudiness throughout the day, a 40-percent chance for showers and highs in the 60s. Lows should dip into the mid 20s during the evening hours.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday boast a trio of similar forecasts, all calling for partly cloudy skies, highs in the 60s and lows ranging from 25-35.

A slight chance for showers is included for Wednesday's weather scenario, which predicts highs in the mid-60s and lows in the 20s.

The average high temperature recorded at Stevens Field during the past seven days was 56 degrees, with Monday claiming the week's high of 60. Last week's average low was 21, the lowest temperature of 19 registering Saturday evening.

The precipitation total for last week amounted to approximately two-tenths of an inch, which does not include the moisture received early Wednesday morning (information unavailable at press time).

The National Allergy Bureau rates area tree pollen counts as "moderate," weed/grass pollen counts as "low to absent" and mold spore counts as "low."

River flow as measured in the San Juan River south of town ranged between 250-375 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for late April is 500-650 cubic feet per second.

 

Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Park Fun program gears up for summer

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

We are busy trying to hire a crew to run this year's Park Fun program.

We are checking into the possibility of using the middle school art room again this summer as our base of operation, and will try to schedule a lot of art projects, swim lessons and walking field trips.

If possible, we will schedule special guests to share the wealth of knowledge we have right here in Archuleta County with our Park Fun participants.

Fees for Park Fun should remain the same as last summer: $80 for a five-day pass/punch card or $160 for a 10-day pass. The fee includes the price for swim outings and all supplies.

Children 5-10 years of age are welcome at Park Fun, with each child bringing his or her own lunch.

We have set a tentative start date of June 2 for the program, at the middle school. Call 264-4151, Ext. 231 for more information.

Upcoming events

The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department has many projects underway in preparation for a busy summer.

In the parks department, we have rented out Town Park for a graduation party. Last year we reserved Centennial Park, South Pagosa Park, Reservoir Hill and the fishing ponds for graduation parties, so if you are interested  in signing up for a park call us at Town Hall.

On the recreation side of our business, Chris is taking applications for volunteer baseball coaches.

Baseball and softball are some of our most popular annual programs. We look forward to seeing everyone at the fields this summer.

Fourth of July

This year the Pagosa Lodge will host the fireworks display and festivities.

Last year's event was cancelled due to the high fire danger. We hope to start organizing and making the 2003 event better than ever.

 

Pirates hold share of first with sweep of Monte

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates baseball squad remains in a first place Intermountain League tie with Bayfield after sweeping a weather-threatened doubleheader from Monte Vista Saturday.

The Pagosans captured the first game 10-6 with a display of long ball power and a route-going performance by Jarrett Frank on the mound.

The home team took the second game with Frank contributing a home run while playing center field and Josh Stone matching his route-going performance on the mound.

It wasn't as easy as it sounds. In each game Monte Vista took a first inning lead; and in each game the home Pirates surged ahead on a big inning.

They carry hopes for a league title into Ignacio for a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.

The Bobcats got their first league victory of the season Saturday when they split a twin bill with Centauri on the latter's home field in La Jara.

First game

Monte Vista's Sigi Rodriques got things going for the visitors, drawing a free pass from Frank. He stole second and moved up to third when Scott Myers grounded out to second for the first out.

Pagosa appeared to have a ready made double play to get out of the inning when Ben Carlucci grounded to Marcus Rivas at third. With the runner trapped between third and home, Rivas threw wildly to first and Rodriques scored.

Frank then toughened, getting Matt Gonzales on a comebacker to the mound and retiring Brandon Anderson on a pop to first.

Pagosa's first opened with David Kern striking out. Rivas followed with a single to right and then stole second. Josh Stone grounded to third for the second out, Rivas moving up. Ben Marshall was hit by a pitch and stole second, Rivas scoring on the ill-advised throw down. Designated hitter Zeb Gill fanned to end the threat.

Second baseman James Pacheco opened Monte's second with a single to center but designated hitter Zeke Sisneros and center fielder Phil Vigil each struck out before second baseman Nico Gonzales drew a walk.

With a double steal effort gone awry, Pacheco was cut down at third in a rundown scored 1-5-2 and the threat was over.

Pagosa went even more quickly in its half of the inning. Jeremy Caler fanned, Frank bounced back to Carlucci on the mound and Casey Belarde fanned.

Despite a single to center by Rodriques and a sacrifice bunt by Myers, Monte was held in check in the third when Carlucci reached on a fielder's choice and Gonzales was hit by a pitch to load the bags.

Again, Frank bore down, getting Anderson on a popup to first and Pacheco lifting one right back to him.

Pagosa's first big inning was coming up.

Kern reached on an error by the shortstop, but was cut down stealing. Rivas replaced him on the basepaths, thanks to an error by the second baseman.

Stone brought him in with a home run to left center and Marshall followed with the Pirates' second round tripper, also to left. Lopez walked, went to second on a passed ball, to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Zeb Gill's sacrifice before Caler grounded out to short to end the inning.

Monte Vista went quickly in the fourth despite a leadoff walk to Sisneros. He was erased at second when Vigil bounced back to the mound, reaching on the fielder's choice. But he challenged Marshall's arm behind the plate and was out by 10 feet at second on a steal attempt. Gonzales fanned to end the frame.

Suddenly, as Pagosa's fourth inning opened, the sun cleared the clouds and coats began to be peeled off.

With the first two Pagosa batters, Frank popping to second and Michael Dach, batting for Belarde, grounding out to second, it looked to be another fast inning.

But the next six Pagosa hitters reached base and a five run inning was underway.

Kern started it with a single to center and advanced when the hop was misplayed. After Rivas drew a pass, Stone ripped a double to left driving in both runners. Marshall followed with a single and stole second. He strolled in from there as Lopez ripped a homer over the left field fence. Gill singled to keep the rally going, but Matt Mesker, batting for Caler, struck out to end the inning.

Monte Vista wasn't done, however.

Rodriques opened the fifth with an infield single, Myers singled to right and Carlucci doubled to bring in a pair. Gonzales singled to right to score Carlucci. Anderson popped to short, Pacheco drew a walk, Sisneros reached on a fielder's choice, but Vigil bounced back to Frank to end the inning.

Frank was hit by a pitch to open Pagosa's fifth but when Belarde popped to short, he was too far off the bag and thrown out for a double play and Kern ended the inning striking out.

Monte Vista got a pair in the sixth. Gonzales opened with an infield hit but was gunned down at second on Rodriques grounder to third. Myers walked and both moved up on a wild pitch by Frank. Carlucci singled to drive in Rodriques and Gonzales singled to drive in Myers, but Carlucci was out at second and Gonzales out at first on the ensuing play.

Pagosa drew three walks to open its half of the sixth, but failed to score. The first was to Clayton Mastin, batting for Rivas. He was out stealing. Then Stone and Marshall each drew a pass. But Lopez popped to second and Gill to the catcher to end the threat.

Monte Vista's Anderson drew a walk leading off the seventh but he, too, was gunned down at second by Marshall. Pacheco followed with a single to left but Sisneros fanned for the second out. Vigil reached on Frank's error, but Gonzales struck out to end the game, Pagosa winning 10-6.

Game Two

Again, Monte Vista broke on top. Rodriques grounded out to open the game but Myers drew a pass from Stone and Carlucci was hit by a pitch. When Gonzales singled to center Monte led 1-0 with only one out. But Anderson flied to left and after Pacheco drew a walk, Sisneros grounded to third.

Pagosa got a pair in its half of the inning, started by Kern's beating out an infield single. He stole second and scored when Rivas singled to center but was out trying to stretch his hit to a double.

Stone popped out to first for the second out but Marshall singled to center, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Rodriques on the mound. He scored when Lopez beat out an infield hit but was left on when Gill struck out to end the inning with Pagosa leading 2-1.

They quickly found themselves behind 3-2 after Vigil led off the second hit by a pitch, went to second on a passed ball, moved up on Rivas' throwing error and scored on a wild pitch. Rodriques moved up on Myers sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch before Carlucci fanned to end the inning.

The Pagosans seemed to take the rally as a personal affront, coming back with a three-spot rally of their own. It opened with Stone singling sharply to left, and staying at first as Marshall struck out.

Lopez, however followed with a long double, Stone scoring, and scored himself on Gill's single to right. When Caler singled to center, Gill came all the way around to score as the relay throw was mishandled. The frame ended with Frank grounding to third and Belarde popping to the pitcher.

Sisneros opened Monte's fourth with a fly ball to center dropped by Frank. But he died at second when Marshall's throw thwarted his theft attempt. Vigil and Gonzales each struck out to end the inning.

Kern opened Pagosa's fourth with an infield hit and a stolen base but Rivas grounded to short and Stone and Marshall each struck out.

Monte closed the gap to 6-5 in the fifth when, after Rodriques walked and Myers popped to first, Carlucci homered deep to left center. Gonzales walked and moved up on a wild pitch but was cut down at third and Anderson fanned to end the inning.

Pagosa's fifth was a 1-2-3 affair, Lopez grounding to short, Gill striking out and Caler bouncing out to third.

Monte's sixth went just as quickly with Pacheco bouncing back to Stone and Sisneros and Vigil each striking out.

Pagosa sent 11 men to the plate in its half of the sixth, opening with Frank's home run to left center. After Belarde struck out, Kern, Rivas and Stone all singled and Marshall drew a walk. Levi Gill reached on an error by the second baseman, Caler walked and Frank got his second hit of the inning, an infield single. Belarde ended Pagosa's attack when he was called out for interference with the catcher.

It was a call loudly argued by Pagosa coach Tony Scarpa, who said the catcher was coming forward to throw and that Belarde was hit by the receiver.

The ruling stood and Pagosa led 12-5.

Monte tried to make a comeback in the seventh after Gonzales struck out. Rodriques was hit by a pitch. Myers grounded back to Stone for the second out, but Carlucci reached on an error and Gonzales singled to drive in Rodriques.

Anderson, however, struck out to end the game and Pagosa had a 12-6 victory.

Summary

Game 1: P-10 runs on 8 hits and 2 Monte errors; M- 6 runs on 10 hits and 3 Pagosa errors. Home runs: P-Stone, Marshall, Lopez. Strikeouts: P-Frank 5, M-Carlucci 5. Walks: Frank 6, Carlucci 6. WP Frank, LP Carlucci.

Game 2: P-12 runs on 15 hits and 7 Monte errors; M-6 runs on 3 hits and 4 Pagosa errors. Home runs: P- Frank, M-Carlucci. Strikeouts: P-Stone 10, M-Rodriques 9. Walks: Stone 4, Rodriques 3. WP Stone, LP Rodriques.

 

Boys place first in two events at invitational

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Chilly temperatures, a few flakes of snow and a brisk wind couldn't stop the Pagosa tracksters at the Pine River Invitational in Bayfield Friday.

"We really expected it to be worse, and I think that the kids came well prepared for bad weather," head coach Connie O'Donnell said.

The boys' team braved the elements to earn 63.5 points for a fifth-place finish overall - good enough to put them first among IML teams and second among teams in the Pirates' region. Buena Vista earned top honors at the meet with 109 points.

The Pirates' 3,200-meter relay team of seniors Jeremy Buikema and Todd Mees and juniors Brandon Samples and Aaron Hamilton brought home one of two first-place medals, winning the race in 8 minutes, 35.7 seconds.

Senior Jason Schutz added one more winning effort with a 155-foot, 6-inch throw in the discus. The toss set a new school record. Schutz placed second in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, qualifying for state in the 200. Schutz finished the 100 in 11.45 and crossed the line in the 200 with a time of 23.07. He is now qualified for three individual state events, the discus, 100 and 200.

The Pirates final top-three effort came from Samples who claimed a third-place medal in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:58.9, just ahead of teammates Hamilton and Mees who finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

In the 800 relay, Schutz combined with senior Brandon Charles and sophomores Otis Rand and Paul Armijo for a sixth-place effort. Other points came from Rand with a seventh-place effort in the 400, Hamilton with a seventh-place time in the 3,200, junior Clayton Spencer with a seventh-place leap in the high jump and senior Danny Lyon with an eighth-place medal in the triple jump.

O'Donnell said despite the long day - the meet took over 12 hours to complete - Pagosa's teams took it all in stride.

"We showed a lot of team spirit at Pine River," she said. "I noticed that our athletes were really good about cheering each other on in their events. I think that they really care about the team more than themselves individually."

The Pirates will travel to Alamosa Saturday for the San Luis Valley Invitational. Events begin at 9 a.m.

"Adams State College has a nice refinished track surface so the times should be fast," O'Donnell said.

 

Girls finish strong at Bayfield invitational

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A well-rounded effort by the Pagosa Pirates girls' track team netted them points in nine different events and a fifth-place finish overall at the Pine River Invitational held April 18 in Bayfield.

"The girls continue to impress me every weekend," head coach Connie O'Donnell said. "I'm so proud of their efforts. In the recent past, Pagosa girls didn't make the finals in any event, but now we are placing in the relays, the sprints, the jumps and the distance events."

Emilie Schur and Janna Henry helped lead the team to their 51.5 point total with four top-three finishes between them. Schur, a freshman, found her rhythm to win the 3,200-meter run in 12 minutes, 14.2 seconds. She placed second at Bayfield in the 1,600 with a time of 5:27.3 and added a third-place medal in the 800 with a time of 2:30.2.

Henry, a sophomore, won her preliminary heat in the 100-meter hurdles and went on to claim third with an 18.19 effort. Teammate Mollie Honan finished fifth in the same race, crossing the line in 18.78. She added more points with a second fifth-place effort in the 300 hurdles, finishing in 55.27.

Freshman Mia Caprioli took on a large field of runners in the 100-meter dash and came out of the fray with a fourth-place medal and a time of 13.5.

The 800-meter relay team of Caprioli, Henry and seniors Katie Bliss and Alex Rigia held off the competition to add to Pagosa's points with a sixth-place finish. Rigia also claimed sixth in the triple jump, and junior Roxanna Day placed seventh in the pole vault.

The top team trophy went to Centauri. They finished the day with 84.5 points.

Despite the long day and somewhat windy, chilly conditions, O'Donnell said the team kept up a positive attitude throughout. The Pirates head to Alamosa this Saturday for the San Luis Valley Invitational, the last regular meet of the season. Events are set to kick off at 9 a.m. The Intermountain League district competition is set for May 3 in Durango.

 

Ladies blank Bayfield 4-0; league mark 5-2-1

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Meagan Hilsabeck got Pagosa on the scoreboard early and then scored again late in the contest, her 20th and 21st goals of the season.

That started and capped a Pagosa Lady Pirates soccer victory on the road over a much-improved Bayfield team Tuesday.

But in between there was a lot more action, much of it provided by a Bayfield offense that controlled midfield but couldn't get past deep Pagosa defense.

The result was a 4-0 Pagosa win in a game that started with sustained winds registering 35-40 mph.

Pagosa won the initial coin toss and took the field with the wind at their backs.

But the Pirates seemed unwilling or unsure of how to take advantage of the wind.

Hilsabeck's unassisted goal at 1:06 put Pagosa in the lead to stay. It was classic Hilsabeck action. She broke free on the center right, had Bayfield keeper Ashleigh Adams at her mercy, and after faking a blast, used a short nubber to open the scoring.

Thereafter, however, the Pirate offense sputtered through the first half despite several clearance breaks.

For example, Sara Aupperle's drive at 5:22 was unimpeded as she drove in on goal. But she got it too high into the wind and it sailed over net.

At 11:35, left winger Tricia Lucero broke free of two defenders, faked inside, went left, and drilled one right at Adams who made the stop.

Two minutes and 48 seconds later, Kyrie Beye's 25-yard blast caught the wind and sailed wide right. Pagosa kept the ball in the zone until Hilsabeck's drive off a cross from Bri Scott was wide left at 15:18. Again, at 17:51, Hilsabeck got a drop pass from Scott but was stopped by Adams. Two minutes and 54 seconds later, she was stopped again by Adams on a breakaway.

Freshman Liza Kelly, working as the starting keeper for a Pagosa squad with just two substitutes because of a junior varsity game in Durango at the same time, made her first stop at 24:25 on a drive by Bayfield's Kellie Etz.

Just 49 seconds later she was called on again and tipped a corner kick by Tyrell Blevins away at the last minute. And, a minute and 10 seconds later, she stopped Etz again on perhaps Bayfield's best scoring chance.

As the half wore on, Pagosa coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason kept moving two subs in and out trying to shake his team's apparent lethargy.

Both Brittany Corcoran and Hilsabeck were stopped by Adams in the final minute and Etz, once again, was foiled by Kelly before the half ended with Pagosa still nursing the early 1-0 lead.

At the break, Kurt-Mason could be heard exhorting his players to have desire. "You have to want the ball. You aren't here as spectators."

As the second half opened, Bayfield broke two on one against Jenna Finney, the only defender back. True to her season-long form, she stole the ball and cleared the zone.

At 42:55, Adams made a fine stop on Corcoran's try from the right wing, but Pagosa seemed to be picking up the pace.

Adams was peppered by - and stopped - three consecutive shots at 43:21. The first, a left-foot rip from Lucero was deflected by Adams and Hilsabeck was right in front for the rebound effort. Her shot was kicked out and Corcoran's rebound effort was trapped by Adams to stop the attack.

Bayfield, however, failed to clear the zone and Aupperle's center cross gave Hilsabeck a shot that was wide left.

As Bayfield came back out, Finney again stole the ball and led freshman Jennifer Hilsabeck whose shot was stopped by Adams.

Pagosa got its second goal at 52:01 when Corcoran captured the rebound of another shot by Jennifer Hilsabeck and ripped it past Adams from deep on the right wing.

Still forcing the action, the suddenly awakened Pirate squad kept the attack in Bayfield's zone. Corcoran was over the net with a 25-yarder and Meagan Hilsabeck was stopped by Adams when her shot sailed back from the corner to the front of the net.

Meagan then turned the tables on Bayfield. Driving the left middle, she spotted Scott on the wing all alone, faked a move to her right and then crossed the ball on line to Scott who scored from the top of the box and Pagosa was up 3-0, Hilsabeck getting the assist.

As Bayfield tried desperately to rally, first Finney, then Kyrie Beye and later Melissa Diller each had a takeaway and Sarah Smith added a pair.

Hilsabeck and Lucero each had shots go wide left and Corcoran and Aupperle each was stopped by Adams.

Bayfield's best scoring effort of the game came at 73:44 when Suzanne Bemelen broke free and bored in on Kelly alone.

The first-year tender stood her ground, waited for the shot and closed it down without a chance for it to get in net.

Finally, at 76:03, Pagosa capped the scoring with Meagan Hilsabeck getting her second goal on a perfect looping lead from Amy Tautges.

Kelly made two more stops on weak shot efforts as the game wound down, and Scott was stopped on a breakaway when Adams got to her before she could get the shot off.

Pagosa is playing at Center at 4 p.m. today and is scheduled to close out league play against Telluride Friday, again at 4 p.m.

Summary

Scoring: 1:06, P-M. Hilsabeck, unassisted; 52:01, Corcoran, unassisted; 56:25, Scott, assisted by M. Hilsabeck; 76:03, M. Hilsabeck, assist Tautges. Shots on goal: P-22, B-12. Saves: P-Kelly, 8; B-Adams, 13. No card penalties.

 

Fluke goal leads to 2-1 loss for Lady kickers

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Great midfield support, outstanding deep defense, continued superlative play by Jenna Finney and a goal on a free kick from standout defender-turned-offensive-threat Kyrie Beye.

You'd think all those good things would add up to a Pagosa Springs soccer victory.

And, but for a fluke with one minute, 48 seconds remaining, they would have.

As it turned out, however, the fluke allowed Salida to tie the game on their home field Friday.

And then, with 1:06 remaining, the Spartans' Heather Granzella, a midfielder frustrated all day by Pagosa defense, lofted one with the wind and sun at her back that found its way over Sierra Fleenor's head for the winning goal.

To that point, Pagosa had parlayed Beye's 30-yarder, of which Granzella's was a near carbon copy, with perhaps their best defensive effort of the year to nurse the lead into the final two minutes.

It was obvious Salida had done its homework. High scoring Pagosa striker Meagan Hilsabeck was continually double-teamed but still managed several scoring efforts which were turned aside.

In fact, her first shot on goal was the first legitimate scoring opportunity for either team and it didn't come until 9:11.

Her attempt to convert a crossing lead from Liza Kelly sailed just over the net.

The fact Jenna Finney seemed to be everywhere on the field was exhibited on the ensuing Salida possession.

The Spartans Marcie Spears, dribbling the right wing, suddenly found herself without the ball, picked clean by Finney who sent a clearing pass downfield. Granzella picked it off and returned to the left wing.

There, clear across the field from her previous effort, Finney stole the ball from her, too.

At 13:32, Hilsabeck was wide right from 20 on a drop pass from Tricia Lucero.

And then it was Finney again, with her fourth block-takeaway halting a drive by Salida's Meghan Orrill.

Pagosa remained on offense but thwarted. Melissa Diller was wide left on a blistering shot from 30 yards and Lucero's chip of a drop from Sara Aupperle was caught in the wind and lifted over the net to the right.

At 23:31, after an interference call on Salida, Beye got her first goal of the season on a free kick perfectly placed over the head of Salida keeper Serena Johnson.

Immediately afterward, Salida took the opening tip to the right wing and Granzella's cross to Spears looked like a goal in the making.

But, it never got to Spears. Finney appeared out of a deep defensive zone and swept the ball away, leaving a mystified Spears wondering what happened.

Three minutes and 18 seconds later Pagosa had another scoring opportunity when Amy Tautges broke free with a 12-yarder saved by Johnson's dive to her left.

After Lucero was stopped by Johnson on a point blank drive from the left wing, a rare Pagosa mistake gave Salida a chance.

Senior defender Sarah Smith drew the Pirates first penalty card of the season, a yellow for shoving, giving Salida a penalty kick from 20 yards.

Salida's Rachel Papp faked the shot twice, then ripped into it only to see Beye knock it away before it could get to goal.

At 35:05 Pagosa's keeper, Sierra Fleenor, was called on to make her first save of the game, stopping Granzella's left footer with no trouble.

At 38:27, Beye almost got her second goal, an effort just over the net from 20 on a corner kick from Brittany Corcoran.

As the half wore down, Aupperle got into the defensive mode, making consecutive block-takeaways, the last resulting in a crossing lead to Corcoran who was bearing down on the net as the buzzer sounded ending the half.

Thirty-seven seconds into the second half, Hilsabeck, carrying a defender on her back without a call, got off a left-footer stopped by Johnson.

Fleenor made her second stop of the game seconds later when Salida's clearing pass was taken in stride by Papp but her kick was partially missed and Fleenor was there.

At 42:45, Diller had a chance with a blast from 30 yards but Johnson made the stop. Two minutes 26 seconds later, Diller was wide left.

Fleenor made a save at 49:13 on a shot by Salida's Britny Pierce. Smith and Finney followed that up with block-takeaways on Salida's next two possessions.

Then, at 60:06, Granzella appeared to have the equalizer for Salida. But her canon shot from 25 yards ricochetted off the crossbar and back onto the field.

Finney flew in from the right and drove a grass cutter out of the danger zone.

Salida returned to the attack, but this time it was left wing Tricia Lucero turning in a defensive gem, stripping the ball away from Papp and leaving her kicking at open air.

A look at reporters' notes will show the next five Salida possession broken up by Pagosa defense, four of them by Finney, the other by Beye.

Then it was Lucero again, making perhaps the greatest save of the day on a Granzella breakaway when she tackled the ball away and retained possession for Pagosa.

Then, the fluke.

Fleenor made a pair of comparatively easy saves but the ball was not cleared from the zone. Kicks by both teams were rebounding off bodies in a tightly packed scrum six yards outside the net.

Spears' kick appeared to glance off the back of a Pagosa defender's leg and spurt nearly sideways into the right corner of the net to even the score at 1-1 with 1:48 remaining.

Pagosa misplayed the next tip and Salida attacked but Fleenor stopped Papp with 1:15 left to maintain the tie.

And then, the sun dropping lower behind the Salida offense and the wind picking up dramatically, Granzella lofted her game winner.

Two final Pagosa drives were thwarted and the Pirates' had dropped another close game in which they outplayed the opponent for most of the contest.

Summary

Scoring: 23:31, P-Beye; 78:12, S- Spears; 78:54, S-Granzella. Shots on goal: P-12, S-8. Saves: Johnson 10, Fleenor 5. Penalty cards: P-Smith, yellow.

 Obituaries

Anjelina Bilazzo

Anjelina Grace Bilazzo passed away Tuesday, April 15, 2003. She was eight months old. She was born in Durango, Colo., July 30, 2002, to Timothy Charles and Jessica Lynn Simpson Bilazzo.

Recitation of the Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial were held Monday, April 21, 2003, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the Rev. John Bowe officiating. Interment followed at Hilltop Cemetery.

Anjelina is survived by her parents, Tim and Jessica Bilazzo of Pagosa Springs; her sisters, Katie of Phoenix, Ariz., and Camille of Pagosa Springs; her brothers, Jake and Skyler of Pagosa Springs; her paternal grandparents, Joe and Gail Bilazzo of Phoenix; and her maternal grandparents, Ed and Barbara Simpson of Fort Worth, Texas.

In the short time Anjelina was with us, we were blessed with her love and happiness. She will be missed dearly by all of us as we patiently wait to be reunited again in the arms of our Lord.

"We love you, our little angel."

Vickie Ceradsky

Vickie Marie Ceradsky of Pagosa Springs passed away in her home Saturday, April 19, 2003. She was 64 years old. She was born in Wichita, Kan., Jan. 5, 1939, to Clarence Hugh Clark and Oloween Gurtrug Winklemann Clark.

She was married to Kennith W. Ceradsky and they moved from Vallejo, Calif., to make their home in Pagosa Springs in 1998.

Vickie worked as a real estate appraiser and broker. She was a member of Bethany Methodist Church in Wichita, a member of Telephone Liners of Pagosa and Telephone Pioneers and the Frank Lake Member Club in California. She was also a member of the Taxpayers' Association of Vallejo and of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. She enjoyed needlepoint and traveling.

Preceded in death by her parents, Vickie is survived by her husband of Pagosa Springs; her brother, Richard Clark of Manhattan, Kan.; sons Mathew Dalling of Martinez, Calif., and Scott Dallin of San Ramon, Calif; a daughter, Linda Neff of Vallejo and a stepdaughter, Nancy Ann Ceradsky of Vallejo.

A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. today in Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.

Kathleen Dixon

Kathleen Dixon, 66, a former resident of Pagosa Springs and of Mount Carmel, Ill., passed away April 19, 2003.

She is survived by her husband William "Bill" Dixon, seven children, 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Private family services will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by Klein Funeral Home, Klein, Texas where further information may be available by calling (281) 320-2674.

Clara Gomez

Clara Espinosa Gomez, 67, of Aztec, N.M., has been called to her heavenly home.

Survivors include her husband,, Joe Gomez; son Rick and his wife Renetta and their children Vinesa, Michelle and James; son Charles and his wife Edra and children Sabrina and Levi; son Greg and his son, Forrester Farris; son Gerald and his fiance, Beverly Salazar; a daughter, Jolyn Owens, her husband Paul and their children Paloma, Pilar and Diego; daughter Clarice Gomez and her daughter, Carissa; daughter Krista Kelley and her husband, Scott; daughter Michal Irwin and her daughter Avery; her mother Verna Espinosa and sisters Nioma Gallegos and Albie Sanchez.

She was preceded in death by her father, Fred Espinosa and a daughter, Barbara.

Rosary was said Monday, April 21, 2003, in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Aztec where funeral mass was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 22, 2003, with the Rev. Joe Blonski as celebrant.

Burial was in Aztec Community Cemetery with Levi and James Gomez, Forrester Farris, Larry Gallegos and Armando and Joseph Espinosa as pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers were Betty Jean Priddy, Joe Rivas, Leroy Larribas and Shirley Engler.

Clara was regarded as a very special woman who was devoted to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.

Arrangements were by Cope Memorial Chapel, Aztec.

 'Bee' Livermore

Margaret B. "Bee" Livermore, 58, died Saturday, April 19, 2003, in Durango, Colo., due to natural causes. No services are planned locally at this time and cremation will be performed by Hood Mortuary.

Mrs. Livermore was born Feb. 8, 1945, in Boston, Mass., the daughter of Edward and Margaret Motley and she grew up in Concord, Mass. Her summers were spent in Maine. Mrs. Livermore attended Concord Academy (in Concord, Mass.) and college at Colby Junior College. After college she married her former husband Robert Livermore. 

Mrs. Livermore was well traveled. She once visited Greece for an archaeological dig and has lived in Hawaii, Montana, and Santa Fe and most recently, Pagosa Springs.

 Throughout her life she has been a medical technologist, and most notably a painter and songwriter.

 While in Pagosa Springs, she taught art and gave voice lessons. She was particularly proud of a breast cancer support group she helped begin while living in Boston.

She is survived by her father, Edward Motley; a son, Ben Livermore of Belmont, Mass.; a daughter, Lindsey Livermore of Belmont, Mass.; a brother Ned Motley of Philadelphia, Pa.; and two sisters, Hattie Cleveland of Carbondale, Colo., and Susan Hansen of Carlisle, Mass.  

Her mother, Margaret Motley, preceded her in death.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Patrick W. Luter Cancer Center, 3801 N. Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

 

Inside The Sun

PAWS board eases water restrictions

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"We're in a lot better shape than last year; I think it's about time to start letting people water their lawns again."

That was the summation Tuesday night of Don Brinks, board member of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, upon hearing that, except for Lake Pagosa, all reservoirs within the district are at or near full pool.

The board passed a motion easing water restrictions from Level 2, which had been in effect for several months, to what is referred to as "modified Level 1."

Customers residing within the district who have addresses ending in even numbers may now water on even-numbered days of the month; residents whose addresses end in odd numbers may water only on odd-numbered days of the month.

Watering is permitted from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following morning and is not restricted to trees and shrubs (lawn watering is allowed). Sprinkler systems, prohibited under Level 2 restrictions, are allowed.

Customers who use over 8,000 gallons of water per month will be billed $3.50 (in addition to the regular monthly base charges) for every additional 1,000 gallons used - effective for up to 20,000 gallons.

Customers who exceed 20,000 gallons of usage will be charged $4.50 for every 1,000 additional gallons accumulated.

Also, a surcharge of $5.25 for each customer remains in effect. The charge has been levied to recover unexpected costs incurred due to last summer's record drought conditions, including the expense of pumping water from the San Juan River to offset the water loss from last winter's meager runoff.

The board stressed that decisions to ease restrictions are by no means permanent, and will be subject to re-evaluation and changes throughout the year as the water supply varies.

 

Water symposium scheduled Monday

Water.

It's on all our minds as spring drops hints that summer's just around the corner.

Will we have enough to get us through the season?

What sorts of water restrictions will we be operating under?

How does our Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District forecast our population's water needs and how does PAWS intend to meet those needs - this year, next year, and for the next couple of decades?

Besides abiding by mandatory water restrictions, what else can we each do to help conserve the water we have?

Get answers to these questions April 28 when the League of Women Voters hosts a water symposium in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 230 Port Ave.

A panel of speakers representing a number of a local entities involved in addressing the community's water needs will be presented.

Among the speakers will be representatives from PAWS, the Water Conservancy District, the Water Division of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service.

The program opens at 7 p.m. with remarks by the speakers taking no more than an hour. During the second hour, speakers will answer questions from audience members.

All are invited and urged to get their water supply questions answered.

 

Area highway projects underway; expect delays

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

'Tis the season for orange.

Orange highway signs at least.

As weather warms up, rivers run higher and people begin to think about summer vacations, the Colorado Department of Transportation is gearing up for some long hours on the roads around Pagosa Springs as well.

Construction projects will stretch all the way from Wolf Creek Pass to Bayfield on U.S. 160 and down to the New Mexico state line on U.S. 84. The good news is - it looks like delays might be shorter than those seen in recent years.

For instance, the second and final phase of construction is underway at the 900-foot tunnel on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass. According to a CDOT news release it is slated to open in May 2004, provided weather complies of course.

As crews work to install a concrete lining, install tunnel systems and shift the existing highway to match up with the tunnel entrance, delays should be kept to 15 minutes.

"Currently, we're mobilizing equipment, trucks and signs, and stopping traffic for brief periods of time," said ASI, RCC Project Manager Alex Denoyer. "In late April, we expect to start work on erosion control, tunnel drainage and inner-tunnel surface preparation. We will make every effort to keep traffic delays to 15 minutes. However, delays will run longer when blasting operations are necessary."

Tunnel work will be done Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to start. Work will generally cease from 3 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Monday. Hours will most likely be extended in order to wrap up construction for a winter suspension by late November 2003.

"This may include some 24-hour single-lane traffic during the normal work week and an additional work shift during the nighttime hours, with minor delays," Denoyer said. "And, at this point, we don't anticipate any significant blasting activities during the project."

Craig Black, CDOT Project Engineer, said no nighttime closures are expected. "If our work necessitates overnight closures due to unforeseen circumstances, we'll notify the public with as much advance warning as possible."

The tunnel project started in the fall of 2000. The first phase involved blasting the tunnel through the mountain and required nighttime closures for much of the week. Construction on the final phase of the project was contracted to ASI, RCC of Buena Vista for $12.2 million and includes several specialized safety features.

"The tunnel will have sophisticated lighting and monitoring systems to make passage through the tunnel as safe as possible," Black said. "There will be sensors in the pavement, four cameras and other traffic and safety monitoring devices to provide real-time information to our maintenance crews and emergency services providers year-round."

Traffic, roadway temperature readings and tunnel safety will be monitored by department of transportation maintenance staff at the Hanging Lakes (HLT) facility east of Glenwood Springs. During inclement weather, or when a safety or traffic problem arises, a call can be dispatched from HLT to local CDOT maintenance, emergency service providers and the Colorado State Patrol for quick response.

Other highway projects in the region this construction season will include:

- Bayfield 8 corners with safety improvements on the town's main intersection on U.S. 160 including new signalization, highway realignment, additional turn lanes, pedestrian crossing and bike path extension

- rehabilitation of three bridges in Bayfield, one on U.S. 160 and two on the business route is scheduled to begin in July

- Wolf Creek Pass east side: final phase of tunnel construction noted earlier

- U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Pass West Side: Two separate project phases will be undertaken this summer. One will complete reconstruction/rehabilitation from the snow shed to about six miles including signing, seeding and mulching and lighting in the snow shed. Some 15-minute delays are expected during work in the snow shed. In addition, the final phase of highway rehabilitation which starts at the end of the previous project and continues down to the Treasure Falls area, will begin in May, weather permitting

- U.S. 84 from junction with U.S. 160 south to New Mexico state line: highway rehabilitation project will resume in spring and continue through October

- Hot Springs Boulevard in Pagosa Springs: $500,000 project expected to be finished by the end of July

- sewer line extension for an estimated three miles east of Pagosa Springs to Day Lumber, an $800,000 project to be completed in mid-October.

 

Twenty-two forest service roads still closed

A spring update on condition of Forest Service roads indicates many are still closed to wheeled motorized traffic.

During winter, most Forest Service roads are not plowed and do not allow for safe travel with wheeled motorized vehicles.

Some roads remain closed to such vehicles (including ATVs) to protect road surfaces and for public safety.

However, they are open to non-motorized uses including bicycling, hiking and horseback riding.

These roads will remain closed until most of the road surface can withstand traffic without damage:

As of April 22, the following roads remain closed to wheeled motor vehicles:

Black Mountain No. 661, Blanco River No. 656, Blue Creek No. 012, Castle Creek No. 660, Devil Mountain No. 626, East Fork No. 667, First Fork No. 622, Fourmile No. 645.

Also, Jackson Mountain No. 037, Left Hand Canyon No. 024, Middle Fork No. 663 and Toner No. 637, Mosca No. 631 at Weminuche Valley, Nipple Mountain No. 665.

Also, Plumtaw No. 634, Price Lakes No 731, Snowball No. 646, Trail Ridge No. 639, Turkey Creek No. 647, West Fork No. 648 at Forest boundary, West Monument No. 630 and Willow Draw, No. 722.

As with all areas in the Forest, damage to roads is not allowed. Please drive only as far as you are able without causing ruts. You may drive up to 300 feet off the road to park, if a parking area is not available and you can do so without causing damage to soils and vegetation.

Please do not leave the road surfaces where the ground is wet. Most areas within the Pagosa Ranger District are closed to off-road travel. Violation of travel management regulations may lead to up to $5,000 in fines and/or six months in jail.

Additional roads will open as conditions allow. For more information refer to the San Juan National Forest Travel Map, call or visit the Pagosa office at 264-2268, 180 Pagosa St. or write to P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Navajo Park sets Spring Open House

Navajo State Park in Colorado is inviting everyone to a spring open house 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 3 in the Visitor Center.

Park officials say this is a great time to visit the park and tour the new facilities. There will be refreshments, door prizes and a 10-percent discount on selected books and stickers for children.

A special event will be the dedication of the completed Sambrito Trail and interpretive signs.

Students from Ignacio High School who helped with the project will be honored for their hard work.

Afterward, there will be an "easy" hike of the new trail followed by a reception at the Sambrito Woodland Pavilion.

From 1-4 p.m. activities will continue with a spring cleaning of two other trails in the park.

Volunteers are needed to help "tidy up" and to help make the park even more beautiful.

Various tools and other supplies will be provided but volunteers should bring their own work gloves. Volunteers will be admitted to the park free that day and are asked to meet at the visitor Center.

For more information on all events, call 883-2208.

 

Bureau of Land Management seeks members for wild horse and burro advisory board

The Bureau of Land Management is requesting public nominations to fill three vacancies on the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

The categories to be filled represent Wild Horse and Burro Research, National Resources Management, and Livestock Management. Nominations close May 15.

The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board advises federal managers for the Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Agriculture through the U.S. Forest Service, on the management, protection and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands administered by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.

The nine members on the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board represent a balance of interests. Each member has knowledge or special expertise that qualifies him or her to provide advice in the following categories: wild horse and burro advocacy, wild horse and burro research, veterinary medicine, natural resources management, humane advocacy, wildlife management, livestock management, and the public at large.

Members must also have demonstrated the ability to analyze and interpret data and information, evaluate programs, identify problems, work with collaboration to seek solutions, and formulate and recommend corrective actions.

Advisory board members serve three-year terms, on staggered-term basis, with one-third of the board subject to appointment each year.

Any individual or organization may nominate one or more persons to serve on the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Individuals may also nominate themselves. According to Section 7 of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, federal and state government employees are not eligible to serve on the board.

The board meets at least two times a year, and the BLM director may call additional meetings when necessary. Members serve without salary, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses according to government travel regulations.

The BLM is accepting nomination letters that include the nominee's name, address, profession, relevant biographic data, references, and specific category of interest.

Send nominations to the National Wild Horse and Burro Program, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, Nevada 89520-0006, Attn: Janet Nordin; fax 775-861-6711.

All nomination letters should be submitted by May 15, 2003.

The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act mandates the protection, management, and control of wild horses and burros to ensure a healthy, viable, free-roaming herd population within the limits of available public land resources.

The Act authorizes the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service to manage nearly 38,000 wild horses and burros that roam public lands in the West. The agencies gather excess animals and offer them to the general public for adoption.

For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro program and the advisory board, go to http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/index.htm.

 

Bicycle Rodeo slated May 3

Bicycle Rodeo 2003, a chance for youngsters to learn bicycle fun and safety, is scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 3 in Pagosa Springs Town Park.

Bicycles will be registered by Pagosa Springs Police Department.

Featured will be obstacle courses, clowns and free bicycle helmets (while they last).

Any child between the ages of 5 and 10 with a guardian and an operating bicycle is eligible to participate.

For more information, call Holly at 731-9289 or 731-4191.

Letters

Ethics code

Dear Editor:

As a result of our citizen effort last year, an ethics code was introduced at the county commissioners' meeting last week. The commissioners expressed that they are all in favor of ethical board conduct, so I hope they will demonstrate that through adopting this ethics resolution at the May 20 commissioners' meeting.

This proposal is now in the hands of our commissioners. If they adopt the ethics resolution, they will be stepping out as leaders in Colorado, making us the first county in Colorado to pass a resolution like this. This single action will send a clear message to our citizens that our commissioners are committed to high standards of good conduct and responding to our desire for greater confidence in how our elected officials serve us. It will also lead the way for other counties, public boards, and other elected officials to follow suit.

While there is a state statute that outlines a code of ethics for local officials, it is extremely weak, permissive, and it lacks basic enforcement provisions. While the locally proposed code is quite moderate, it is more specific, so that less gray areas exist. It also provides for enforcement through a formal citizen complaint mechanism, which requires county investigation and response.

If you would like to read the proposed resolution, send an e-mail to Stacey Brown at Citizens Voice, cocv@qwest.net. Citizens Voice was instrumental in training local citizens in how to work with their local officials to improve government. Stacey helped facilitate last year's workshop where four different model ordinances were discussed. Over 100 local citizens voted in favor of working toward adoption of an ethics code.

Please consider taking action to help ensure that this beneficial ethics code now becomes law in Archuleta County. Here are four simple things you can do:

- Call the commissioners at 264-2536 and voice your support for adoption of the proposed ethics resolution. Ask them to be leaders in supporting high standards of conduct to uphold our faith and confidence in the actions of our county government. Urge them to vote yes on the ethics code.

 - Get at least one other person to call. The more calls, the better.

 - Spread the word. Make announcements at community meetings and events you attend, to inform as many people as possible.

- Mark your calendar to attend the May 20 commissioners' meeting.

Thanks for your efforts to make this one of Colorado's best communities.

Karen Aspin

Volunteer honor

Dear Editor:

Volunteers are one of the nation's most valuable resources.

During National Volunteer Week, April 27-May 3, millions of these dedicated men and women and young people here in Pagosa Springs and in communities throughout the nation will be saluted for their efforts and their commitment to serve.

This week's theme, "Celebrate Volunteersí The Spirit of America!" reflects the resolve of the American tradition of neighbor helping neighbor.

On behalf of all of us at the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, I want to say a special thank you to the many volunteers here in Pagosa Springs who make a difference every day in our community and in the lives of many of our neighbors.

National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Every president since has signed a proclamation in support of the week.

Sponsored by Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers at the local, state and national levels.

Volunteers make a difference in our community. They make our country a better place. What better way to honor them than to give them a hand - not just applause - a little help. We urge those who are not yet a part of this special group to join. Everyone can serve.

Nina Allen

Bargain in faith

Dear Editor:

The dispute over medical services for the community has escalated to the point that we seem destined to relive the shoot-out at the OK Corral or maybe a local version of the Ludlow massacre.

There must be a better way. Every dispute has two sides and the parties to this one evidence sincere belief in their positions. Unfortunately the community as a whole will be the loser.

There is another possibility that I would offer that would give all concerned a voice in the resolution.

I spent 12 years with the Mountain States Employers Council in Denver, negotiating Employer/Employee working agreements in companies, institutions, metro districts, schools and nonprofit organizations.

To give a voice to both sides the easy way would be for the employees of the district to form an in-house professional association that the board of directors could voluntarily recognize and then set down and iron out an agreement on wages, hours and conditions of employment.

It would also include a management rights provision and could be made binding on all for one to three years.

If it is not acceptable to the board of directors to recognize the employee association voluntarily for fear of criticism from the community, then the employees can petition the National Labor Relations Board for an election and NLRB certification as a qualified bargaining unit.

Both sides would then be required to bargain in good faith.

After all the years I worked with labor relations I still cringe when I hear that "Colorado is an employment at will State."

This is a management euphemism for "my way or the highway."

I know from experience that "professional employees" can be hard to deal with, but when you consider the investment they have made in becoming professionals and the pride they take in their work they are entitled to respect, and sometimes they have valuable suggestions to offer.

Replacing an entire professional staff is a fond dream that employers come up with on occasion but seldom without very negative results. Professional employees are not industrial workers operating a drill press. They generate personal relations with those persons they serve and acquire knowledge a stranger does not have.

Since the objective of all concerned is service to the community, not the bottom line interest of stock holders, we have the opportunity to resolve this dispute to the benefit of all.

Operating in the "black" is not only desirable but necessary and is of equal concern to all parties and a shared decision with input from all who have a vested interest will get the most support from the community.

Glenn Bergmann

Due process

Dear Editor:

A letter in last week's SUN referred to the "tainted election of Bush."

It was just the latest of expressions such as "unjust election," "fraudulent election," etc. that have been thrown around in recent Letters to the Editor.

In my mind, these innuendoes question the very basis of the democratic election process upon which our country is founded and exists. If memory serves me right, every legal and legitimate due process procedure was exhausted to determine the outcome of the presidential election, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Therefore, it was a totally legitimate election in every respect, regardless of how you feel about the outcome. I suspect if Gore had been elected, none of these derogatory adjectives would have been thrown around.

Why don't you guys just stop whining about losing, and use the adjective that really fits - sour grapes.

Roy K. Boutwell

Citizen panel

Dear Editor:

We recognize the turmoil that exists regarding the Mary Fisher Clinic staff and the actions of the USJHSD Board of Directors. We also recognize the different points of view that exist within our community.

Further, we recognize that the objectives of all segments of this community are to assure that we have competent and effective medical services under capable administration.

To address these issues and to assure we have reconciliation of the existing differences, a Citizens Advisory Committee has been formed. This committee will take an impartial stance. We will inform both the board and the public as to what changes are being proposed and in what manner they are being implemented.

We are presently setting up a phone line and e-mail address to connect you, the public, to the board and the newly board-approved Medical Advisory Committee. We will publish our phone number and e-mail address in The SUN as soon as they are available.

As you are aware, the Mary Fisher Clinic staff has submitted mass resignations to the district. However, it has been agreed that this staff will be reinstated for a 30-day interim period while negotiations between J.R. Ford/Mark Wienpahl, M.D. and the board proceed.

Possible reinstatement of two former employees is part of these considerations. Other actions include returning the clinic keys to Dr. Wienpahl and setting up an USJHD Web site that will connect the public to each board member.

The board is also reviewing its organizational structure and is reevaluating all employee's job descriptions.

Our Citizens Advisory Committee sees evidence that the board will be responsive to the suggestions made by these newly formed committees. The suggestions have the objective of providing the optimal health care for each Archuleta County citizen and visitors. Toward this end, we want to involve each of you to achieve a functional health care delivery system.

Debra Brown

Manners pay off

Dear Editor:

Having attended the meeting for the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic employees on Monday, April 14, and subsequent meeting of the San Juan Health Services District board on April 15, it is obvious that a lot of Pagosa Springs citizens did not appreciate rude and crude.

Interesting how those who spoke in a mannerly fashion were heard and understood.

Barbara Brashar

Statesperson?

Dear Editor:

It has been said that any fool can take a country to war, but it takes a skillful statesperson to bring peace and prosperity.

Immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, there was a nearly unanimous international expression of sympathy and solidarity for the United States.

In the 18 short months that followed that attitude changed to one predominated by anger and fear. The Bush administration has become known for unilateralist rhetoric and actions. The administration seems to take the opinions and needs of other nations into account only when their support is deemed useful in attaining the immediate objective.

Is this approach conducive to living in peace with the rest of the world?

Are we best served by grabbing now all that our massive military and economic power makes it possible to grab? Or will our long-term interests be better served by working cooperatively and respectfully with other nations?

At home, our economy languishes. President Bush has responded by proposing huge tax cuts. The direct benefits of these tax cuts will flow primarily to the wealthy. Whether benefits would trickle down to the rest of us is open to debate.

What is generally agreed is that these tax cuts will move the federal budgets for the next decade or two from large surpluses to large deficits.

In these uncertain times is it wise to commit surpluses that haven't yet materialized, and more, to a tax cut that may or may not stimulate the economy? Or would it be more prudent to use the money to pay down the debt, shore up the Social Security system and build the infrastructure for future prosperity?

By successfully conquering two nations much smaller and weaker than the United States, President Bush has proven he can effectively take us to war.

Can he rise to the level of skilled statesperson? Can he bring us the true security that comes only from living in peace? Can he bring us prosperity?

Jim Buslepp

Unfit to lead

Dear Editor:

Now that Bush's spectacular victory in Iraq has let the air out of the leftist gas bags inhabiting of late your letters section and other venues, it is enlightening to note that their dyspepsia endures in spite of their predictions of massive casualties, numerous refugees, great collateral damage, etc., not being realized.

One suspects that our success, in fact, is the source of their misery.

Their support of the troops but not the mission, transparent lie that it is in many cases, could be a new take on "hate the sin but love the sinner," or it could simply be a coward's way of indulging their pathologic hatred for Bush while hiding behind a curtain of phony principles.

One recently shared with us, for instance, a personal moral sense so defective that, if it were a compass, it couldn't get him from Tequila's to the county court house. Others revealed, amid their posturing, their continued confusion over who tried to steal the last presidential election.

What they inadvertently remind us of, of course, is that there is a political party in this country whose leaders sound exactly like them - a party so consumed by self-destructive resentment that it is plainly unfit to lead this nation. This party does all that it can to demonstrate daily that it cannot be trusted with our safety and security.

N. G. Constan

100 percent hikes

Dear Editor:

I am not sure what all is in the Fed's Consumer Price Index basket that they look at to determine the current rate of inflation.

However, here in Pagosa Springs we have our own basket and in the past few months we have had two 100-percent increases: the cost to take household trash to the dump or transfer station went from $1 to $2, and the cost for 150 gallons of water at the fill stations went from $.25 to $.50. Both of these increases particularly impact families at the lower income level who can least afford such inflation.

I am surprised that there has not been some mention of these increases in the paper.

Just an added note to those who didn't know, as I didn't: We are now recycling glass. I was told it was in the paper but I sure missed it. We are recycling glass and it does not have to be separated by color as they are crushing it for sand - about time.

Helena Gunther

Did not happen

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to an article that came to my attention last week .

In the column written March 20 by Richard Walter, "Good Sportsmanship Scorned," I read of accusations of misconduct by the fans of Colorado Springs Christian School which supposedly took place at the 2003 3A State Basketball tournament at Widefield High School in Colorado Springs.

I personally was at all three games in which our boys played. Our athletics director, other administrators as well as our superintendent were stationed in view of the crowd with CSCS apparel on and watched every minute of the contests.

The things we were accused of by Mr. Walter were too egregious and public to have gone unnoticed by our administrative team. I talked at length with each CHSSA representative, the District 11 security people and others trying to make sure that things were going well. No one said anything to me before, during or after any of the games we played that remotely reflected the things you published.

When problems occur, I expect that mature adults who love the kids and the sport will let the officials in charge know so that they can be dealt with at the time.

I have spoken with the Pagosa Springs High School Principal, Bill Esterbrook about this issue. In all my contacts with him, I have found him to be a fine man who stands for high ethics in his school.

We both want what is best for our students and work toward that goal.

Citizens of Pagosa Springs should be proud of their high school. Athletically, they are great competitors. I hope that we soon can compete with them at that level again.

In conclusion, I would like to quote from an e-mail from a CHSSA official who responded to us when he read the article written by Richard Walter.

"Kirk,

Thank you for sending a copy of the editorial that appeared in the Pagosa Springs newspaper. As I told you I was dismayed and very disappointed in the story as it is untrue and basically written as a news story when in fact it is an editorial.

Having been the administrator in charge of that venue and that game on that day I can tell you that none of the things the author refers to were ever witnessed or reported to me. None of your fans were removed for throwing things or for vulgar language.

I would have hoped that a Pagosa fan or administrator would have informed me of any of those situations. As you know I spent much of the game chatting with your administrative team and as I told your principal I was very impressed with the lengths the school went to insure no incidents occurred.

I believe Colorado Springs Christian showed outstanding sportsmanship and integrity during all of the time I was at the tournament.

Paul Angelico

CHSAA

Associate Commissioner"

I would like to say to the community of Pagosa Springs, the next time you are in Colorado Springs I invite you to come to our high school. I will personally give you a tour of our facilities and be happy to sit down and talk with you.

David Michaux

CSCS High School Principal

Leadership needs

Dear Editor:

The board of Upper San Juan Health Services District has had the skills to move the clinic to its current level of service. For that, I commend them.

However, I believe we need board members with broader experience and the mature judgment that comes with this experience.

The following articulates the type of skills and level of performance we need to have on the board to provide the leadership needed to move our medical services into the future in a cohesive, planned and organized manner.

Leadership

- the ability to think strategically and set the future direction and communicate a vision that employees and citizens are able and willing to follow

- the ability to lead people successfully through periods of change

- the ability to distinguish between leadership and power and know when and how to use both to the benefit of the organization, not its detriment

- the ability to establish goals for change without criticizing the existing staff and organizational process

- the ability to communicate new direction to key employees and gain their commitment

- the ability to motivate key employees to gain the organization's commitment to new direction.

Knowledge, skills and ability

-the ability to identify common objectives, values and a common mission that others can follow

- they must have a personal and strong sense of the kind of future to be created so they are not led by others

- they must have personal knowledge of the industry so that others do not easily influence them to the detriment of medical services in the community.

Complex problem solving

- the ability to show clear understanding of functions within the entire organization and keep up-to-date with related technological and business trends

- the ability to identify the pros and cons of complex problems

- the ability to make clear decisions and articulate the reasons to employees and the public in a manner that engenders cooperation and understanding without generating antagonistic or hostile behaviors

- the ability to identify themes, patterns, and trends and recognize cause and effect relationships

- the ability to suggest original ideas at public meetings that provide benefit to the medical services in our community.

Personal relations, social skills

- the ability to gain the confidence of the voting public by inspiring respect of the medical community.

While some may argue that this community is not ready for this level of standards, I would point out that the current level of skills has caused significant and realistic concern about the viability of medical care services.

I believe we require a significantly higher level of skills from the board in order to extricate us from the current detrimental situation, repair the damage, and set appropriate goals for the future of medical care in the community.

Lindsay Morgan

 

Community News
Senior News

Foxy Walkers will end 14-week program May 2

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

We will celebrate the end of our 14-week walking program at 10 a.m. May 2. The Foxy Walkers have put on many miles, lost a lot of weight and have gained a bunch of energy.

We are proud as punch of our accomplishments and want to continue the walking habit. We will be handing out certificates and prizes for the biggest increase in steps.

A lot of people didn't officially join the program but walked anyway, and we are pleased that so many people have participated.

Please remember the gym will continue to be available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-11 a.m., provided it is not reserved for another activity.

This week we had Ron Alexander visit us, as he did another presentation on ancient Pagosans. It was well attended again, and Ron is such an enthusiastic teacher that he has another class to present - Toys From Trash.

He will bring material to show you all the fun things you can make for little or nothing. He specializes in boat making. Come and take the class May 21 and see what you can create.

We have some fun summer programs in the planning stages, including presentations from the Interpretive Alliance, a tour of Chimney Rock and, of course, Creede Repertory Theatre. If there are field trips or any activities you would like to do, give us a call at 264-2167 and we'll look into it.

Our Sky Ute Casino trip was a success, although the weather was bad again. Maybe that is a good thing; if the weather isn't good, you want to be inside doing something fun.

Mike Green, an attorney, was here from Cortez to tell us how to avoid getting scammed. He filled the lounge and is willing to come back again to talk about living wills and getting a power of attorney, if enough people are interested.

Give Laura a call at the Senior Center if you would like to attend this workshop. We also have general information at the center on how to avoid getting scammed.

We are interested in starting a chess club. If you want to participate, please call 264-2167.

Musetta and Jim Hanson will be going to Arboles May 2 for senior lunch at Martha T's. Jim is our Medicare counselor and will be available for questions. Musetta will bring our automatic blood pressure cuff.

Guests and visitors

We had Raymond and Carol Cash visit us on tax day, and Paulette and Bill Sohle had lunch with us Monday. Every once in a while we see Fred Ebeling come in to eat with us and make sure our clothes are on properly.

New sight for blind

Five national laboratories, a private company and two universities have combined forces in the project that may allow some blind people to regain their vision within the next few years.

The idea is to position microelectromechanical electrode chips on the retina of a blind person. The electrodes will be linked to retinal nerves that will send electrical impulses to the brain for processing, just as the eye does.

A tiny camera and radio frequency transmitter positioned in the frame of a patient's glasses will transmit information and power to electrodes in the eye.

This may be a solution for more than 200,000 in the United States who are blinded each year by age-related macular degeneration and other diseases that render a person blind even though neural paths to the brain are intact.

Because only about a thousand electrodes will be used, sight will be limited, although adequate for daily chores. (The normal eye processes millions of pixels of light.) Researchers are optimistic that issues such as retinal pressure, eye protein accumulation and possible rejection of alien body matter will be resolved.

If all goes well, long-term studies will be in place by the end of the project. (This is an excerpt from AARP.)

There is an Alzheimer's support group that meets at noon the first Thursday of every month at the Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, 119 Bastille Drive. It is ongoing and newcomers are welcome. Call Jana McDonald at 731-4330 for more information.

New infection fighter

A new antibiotic for diabetic foot infections may be more effective against drug-resistant bacteria - helping people with diabetes overcome serious infections and avoid foot and leg amputations.

The problem: Diabetic nerve damage makes foot sores tough to notice. This means foot wounds that aren't felt often go without treatment.

Elevated blood sugars also impair circulation, which in turn slows the healing process.

A new drug, Zyvox, can be given as a shot or a pill. See your doctor if you notice ulcers, ingrown toenails, red spots, swelling, cuts or breaks in the skin on your feet, because the slightest injury could lead to infection. (From Prevention magazine).

Upcoming events

Friday: 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11 a.m. Medicare counseling

April 28: 12:30 p.m. geriatric foot treatment with Chris Offutt; 1 p.m. bridge for fun

April 29: 9:30 a.m. yoga; 10:30 advanced computer class

April 30: 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class.

 

Veterans Corner

Operation Recognition: Diplomas for veterans

By Andy Fautheree

High School graduation is a little more than a month away and I thought it would be a good time to remind our Archuleta County veterans there is still time to apply for Operation Recognition.

Colorado Operation Recognition is a program providing high school diplomas to veterans of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam, who left school to defend freedom. The Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs spearheaded Operation Recognition and has been enthusiastically joined in the project by the Colorado State Department of Education.

During the 1940s, thousands of young men and women across the country left high school and the comforts of home and hearth to serve gallantly in the armed forces during World War II. Their sacrifices ensured our freedom, built our country into a superpower, and shaped the entire course of history throughout the world. After the war, many of these veterans were not able to finish high school for various reasons, but led productive lives and built our communities over a lifetime.

Outstanding aid

In recognition of their outstanding contribution, the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education, is working with individual cities and towns to award full high school diplomas to qualifying World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans. This is a small, overdue gesture of our society's gratitude for the sacrifice these individuals made in the name of freedom.

Who is eligible?

All honorably discharged veterans who served in WW II between Sept. 16, 1940, and Dec. 31, 1946, who did not graduate from high school are eligible. Veterans must have attended high school ranging from 1937-1946 with graduation class years of 1941-1950.

Also eligible are Korea veterans and some Vietnam era veterans. Korea veterans should have served any time from June 25, 1950, to May 7, 1955. Vietnam veterans should have served sometime between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975.

Must be 60-plus

Also part of the eligibility is the requirement the veteran has attained the age of 60 years and left high school before graduation in order to serve in the U.S. armed forces. The veteran must reside in this school district or at the time of leaving high school to serve in the U.S. armed forces must have resided within this school district. Also eligible are those veterans who earned a GED at some point along the way. Diplomas can also be awarded posthumously.

Simple paper work

All that is necessary is to fill out a simple one-page application form and include a copy of the applicant's DD214 discharge record. I have the forms in my office, and I have DD214s for many of our Archuleta County veterans. Working together I believe we can file information in time for graduation this spring from Pagosa Springs High School.

For those who may read this information outside Archuleta County this program is available in many other counties and communities throughout Colorado, and many other states as well. However, application for this program should be made through the location where the veteran left high school to go into the armed services. Check with your local Veterans Service Office for specific information in your area.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is afautheree@ archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the County, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

 

Chamber News

Perfect place to find volunteers

Please join us at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. if you are looking for just the perfect place to spend your volunteer hours in Pagosa Springs.

Booths will be set up with attending folks at the ready to answer each and every question you might have about their particular organization.

This is our second year to host this event, and last year a number of nonprofits garnered several new volunteers. With all the new folks moving into Pagosa, you just know that there are many who are looking for productive, fun ways in which to spend their time, and your organization may be the answer.

There is still time to register for a booth, and we have discovered that "the more the merrier" definitely applies to this event. Booth fee is $35 for first-time participants and $25 for those that participated last year.

If you have questions, give us a call at 264-2360. If your organization is looking for volunteers, the Volunteer Recruitment Fair just may be the answer. We also would love to see you drop in just to say hello and have a cup of coffee with us.

Diplomat workshops

Speaking of volunteers, we will hold our annual Chamber of Commerce Diplomat training workshops April 30 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and May 4 from 9-11 a.m. in the Visitor Center boardroom.

This is a great opportunity to meet our amazing Chamber Diplomats and to acquaint yourselves with the various activities and responsibilities they share.

Some of our Diplomats have been with the Chamber for many, many years and some for only a year or two. The one thing they have in common is that they all seem to love their work here at the Visitor Center almost as much as we love having them.

I have said time and again that we would have to close our doors were it not for these remarkably generous individuals who give so much of their time and talents to greeting all of our guests here in Pagosa.

You will certainly be amazed at the range and scope of the questions they field and behemoth amount of information they disperse.

Generally speaking, the Diplomats work with one or two other volunteers during their four-hour shifts at the Visitor Center.

During the summer months, we try to keep the center open seven days a week and are pretty successful thanks to our Diplomats.

We promise to never just "throw you in the deep end" and ask you to work alone in the lobby until you are perfectly comfortable doing so. During the week days, there is always a team on each shift, but the weekends are a bit different.

At any rate, if you are at all interested in becoming a Chamber Diplomat, plan to attend one of the workshops. Attendance carries absolutely no obligation, so give Morna a call at 264-2360 if you would like to learn more.

Mousetrap

Tonight is the opening for one of the most beloved plays ever on stage boasting a 50-year run in London with over 10 million happy fans.

One of the many reasons for this phenomenal record is that although it is a chilling mystery, it is also very funny and penned by the ever-masterful Agatha Christie.

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters are proud to present "The Mousetrap" at the high school Auditorium tonight, tomorrow and Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. You can pick up your reserved-seating-only tickets at Moonlight Books in town and at The Plaid Pony out west of town.

Don't miss this Agatha Christie classic.

Spring concert

Spring and music just seem to go hand in hand, so you'll want to mark May 1 on your calendar to enjoy both. The Pagosa Springs Community Choir will present its first spring concert, "There Is a Season" at 7 p.m. in the high school Auditorium.

Pam Spitler will conduct this 40-member choir in its first departure from the annual Christmas concert. They all concurred that we need more music during all the seasons, and May 1 is proof positive they walk the walk.

A wonderful variety of sentimental favorites, fun pieces and patriotic selections will include "Danny Boy," "Across the Wide Missouri," "An American Celebration," "Dry Bones," "What a Wonderful World" and a medley of "Blowin' in the Wind" and "America."

This group has been working and practicing for months, so I hope to see everyone there. This is easily the most affordable event in a long time because admission is free, so the price is perfect.

Music in the Mountains

While we're on the subject of music, please, oh, please, get your tickets for this year's Music in the Mountains concerts to be held once again at the beautiful BootJack Ranch.

Durango has enjoyed 18 seasons of this event, and although this is just our second year, Pagosa will indeed sell out for all three concerts and carry on for years to come.

We're grateful to BootJack hosts, David and Carol Brown, for providing such a stunning setting for these concerts as well as their accommodating and marvelous staff for doing such an exemplary job with on-site logistics.

Local volunteers Jenny Schoenborn, Jan Clinkenbeard, Pat Jolliff, Sheila Hunkin and Melanie Kelly are making things happen here in Pagosa, as well as Chamber staffers, Doug and Morna Trowbridge who handle all the ticket-selling duties.

We're grateful to all these folks for their hard work and dedication to bringing such excellence to our area.

July 21, violinist Vadim Gluzman, and pianist Angela Yoffe will perform Mozart and Prokofiev. Aviram Reichert and festival musicians will present "Romancing the Piano" July 25, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi and festival musicians will present Dvorak and other piano works Aug. 1 followed by a reception.

Tickets are ever-so-affordable this year at $35 for the July performances and $45 for the August performance and reception.

The Chamber of Commerce is the only ticket outlet for Music in the Mountains, so stop by soon to pick up your tickets so you won't miss out on this fabulous opportunity.

Give Doug a call at 264-2360 with questions. Just so you know, we can't hold tickets for you this year, but you can purchase them with a credit card if you like.

Making a Difference

The second annual "Making a Difference" fund-raising luncheon sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center will be held April 29 at the community center with yet another exceptional keynote speaker.

This year James Vollbracht, an international speaker, trainer and author will present stories, research info and strategies on how to create a connected community and culture that cares for their children.

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased from any ACEC board member. Look for Malcolm Rodger, Cynthia Sharp, Bob Eggleston, Glenn Raby, Sherry Waner, John Graves or Claudia Faubion or go to the Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets. Call 264-2835 for more information on the "Making a Difference" luncheon.

Bicycle rodeo

The Community Safety Fund is excited to announce the upcoming Bicycle Rodeo 2003 to be held May 3 at Town Park, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Any child between ages 5-10 accompanied by a guardian and an operating bicycle is eligible to participate in this fun and educational event.

Free bicycle helmets will be distributed while supplies last and the rodeo will include obstacle courses, clowns, safety manuals, safety rule cards and food and drinks.

Sounds like a great party.

The Pagosa Springs Police Department will be there to register bikes, and the Wolf Creek Wheel Club will be there to make sure all the bikes are safe to ride.

I assure you that if I had a young one, I would be there to take advantage of this terrific opportunity that could ultimately save lives. If you have questions, give Holly a call at 731-9289 or 731-4191 for more information.

Chimney Rock Season

Just a heads-up that Chimney Rock will open for the summer May 15 and will be open 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. daily.

Walking tours of this magnificent archaeological site will be offered daily 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. Reservations are not required and fees are $6 for adults, $2 for children 5-11 and children under 5 are free.

These folks are offering some awesome activities this summer to include five Full Moon Programs featuring the spectacular moonrise at Chimney Rock's Great House Pueblo Site. Reservations are required for these events with a $10 fee.

To learn more about the other fun and fascinating activities, please call 883-5359 or check them out on the web at www.chimneyrockco.org.

Membership

We have no new members to introduce this week, but we are pleased as punch to renew the following loyal Chamber jewels.

Captain Wayne Strauss renews with Colorado Mounted Rangers, Troop F; Becky Shields with Jump River Mercantile; Dinah Willbanks with Herman Riggs and Associates; Musetta Wollenweber with the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center; Jim Askins with Fairway Mortgage; and our old friend, Paul Nobles renews as a Real Estate Associate with Herman Riggs and Associates.

We are very happy to renew each and every one with our thanks.

Library News

First hummingbird of season spotted

Norma Harman wins this year's award for the first verified view of hummingbirds, our favorite winged summer visitors, on April 13.

I don't know if that is a record but it sure seems like it. Get those feeders out.

We made it through another winter and that means our other favored two-legged snowbirds will be back soon.

New books

We finally have some great books processed and ready for your enjoyment. Be sure and check the new bookshelf. The ladies have been busy getting them ready.

"Rock Art of the American Southwest," by Fred Hirschmann is a stunning photographic presentation of the abundant rock paintings and carvings found around the Four Corners area. Through 128 photographs, Hirschmann takes us on a journey he traveled when he was a ranger. Scott Thybony provides the text. He is an anthropologist, archaeologist and was a wilderness guide in the Southwest. This is a rare collection for anyone interested in this subject.

Following closely, "Rock Art and Ruins for Beginners and Old Guys," by Albert B. Scholl Jr. is a fun guide to over 40 major prehistoric rock art sites and 50 other ruins and attractions. In this eclectic, tongue-in-cheek guide you will learn how to photograph rock art, how to cook on the road, what equipment you need; where to stay and where to eat. Scholl retired from the computer industry and since then has traveled thousands of miles in search of Indian rock art and ruins. He devotes pages to site etiquette and rock art terms.

"Goodbye, Friend," by Gary Kowalski is one of two books donated by Merilyn Moorhead and Glenn Bergmann for pet lovers who have suffered the loss of a cherished pet. The death of a beloved pet is just as hard to bear as losing a family member. This book is comforting for all pet lovers. If you have an elderly or ailing animal companion, you should read this book. It is healing wisdom for anyone who has ever lost a pet.

"Colorado Fourteeners and the Nature of Place Identity," by Kevin S. Blake is an article about our 54 Colorado mountains that were early symbols of westward expansion, mineral wealth, and wondrous scenery. They are increasingly popular to climb as in "peakbagging," this new word means the cherished desire of many hikers to climb every mountain. We are paying an environmental price for this new hobby but it is certainly helping the economic outlook for the towns near the trailheads.

This article was sent to us by the author who is an associate professor at Kansas State University. The article can be found in our vertical file.

Vertical file

What is that you might ask?

We have many materials that don't fit on the shelves. Pamphlets, booklets, pictures, newspaper articles. These are kept in a filing cabinet and may be checked out. Becky is working diligently to get the headings onto the computer. You're welcome to look over the interesting items in the file.

Fund-raising

We are still unsure about the funding cuts at the state level. Rep. Mark Larson tried valiantly to save some of our system funding, and our Interlibrary Loan. We may know more by the time the SUN comes out today. The waiting is hard. I keep thinking of all the books we won't be able to get for our patrons.

But on the bright side, our building fund continues to grow thanks to the generosity of this community.

In Lee Sterling's memory we received a Benefactor level gift from Marilyn Moorhead and Glenn Bergmann. A Sponsor gift came from Sherry Matthews; an Associate gift from Lorna Ogden; a Sponsor gift from William and Ann Pongratz; and Donor gifts from Suzanne and Robert Pritzker, and Luther and Janice Wilt. The Sterling Memorial now stands at $1,500 as of Monday.

Will and Christie Spears, in honor of KWUF, gave a Director gift. The Supper Fellowship of the Community United Methodist Church gave a Benefactor gift toward the children's area. Gene and Jackie Schick gave another Sponsor donation; Cindy and Ron Gustafson are Associates several times over. Susan Anderson, of San Diego, sent an Associate gift to honor the marriage of Ron and Marcia Tinsley. The gift will be matched by the Bank of America. Colleen and Gary Liescheidt, and Arthur and Lucille Lemmon are also Donors. Mark and Sondra Skomal honored Lillian Nesbitt Wallace with a Donor gift.

Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Hardesty of Wilmington, Del. sent an Associate gift. Mr. Hardesty is Virginia Bartlett's brother.

This fund has raised close to $50,000 since the holiday season in 2002.

Materials came from Jackie Penland, Phyl Daleske, Jenny Schoenborn, Sue Davis, Tom Kyle, Methodist Thrift Shop, Mary Hanna, David Bright, United People's Help Ministry, Janice Craig, Liesl Jackson, Betty Freeman, the Unitarian Universalist Church and Wendy Adams.

 

Births

There is no births this week.

 

Business News

Leon and Donna Kelley opened the Pagosa Candy Company and held a grand opening April 19. Laura Hagenbuch is the store manager.

Pagosa Candy Company offers its customers Olde Tyme Candy, candy bouquets, gifts, balloons, fresh homemade fudge and homemade, fine chocolates. The store also features a full line of sugar-free treats.

Pagosa Candy Company is located in downtown Pagosa Springs in the space beneath the Liberty Theatre. It is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The phone number is 264-3033.

 

People

Humphreys/Eriksen

Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Virginia Humphreys of Pagosa Springs and Mr. and Mrs. Arnolf and Bjoerg Eriksen of Kristiansand, Norway, are honored to announce the engagement of Jeremy Ryan Humphreys of Pagosa Springs to Ranghild Elea Eriksen of Kristiansand.

They plan to be married in mid-April. You are cordially invited to a reception in their honor April 26, 2003, at Community Bible Church, 264 Village Drive, at 4 p.m. Following the reception, the couple plan to make their home in Turkey. The two met through Youth with a Mission.

 Features

Creating Defensible Space

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Last summer's Missionary Ridge, Valley and Million fires licked a little too close to home for some. A pall of smoke hung over Pagosa Springs for nearly a month and had people asking, "What can I do to protect my home?"

The answer: "Create defensible space."

Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said, following the 2002 fires, district personnel performed between 200 and 300 defensible space property inspections.

Through such inspections, provided free by the district, residents learn how to reduce the chances of fire stealing away their homes by tree-trimming, cutting and cleanup.

Now that the fire season approaches once again and people begin spring home improvement projects, local and state agencies are working to remind everyone of the lessons of a year ago through "Wildfire Prevention and Education Month" activities planned in Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan and Montezuma counties. As part of those activities, Grams took seven people on a tour of Pagosa Springs, pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly in local defensible space.

Ugly was first.

"We cannot defend this house," Grams said at the initial stop on the tour. The house was built at the bottom of a fairly steep slope and surrounded by dense groups of ponderosa skirted by oak brush and other undergrowth. Trees crowded up against the driveway.

The undergrowth, plus the lower branches of the ponderosa combined to create an environment of ladder fuels that would simply pull a fire right up into the crowns of the trees, Grams said.

"If it gets up in the crowns of the trees, nobody is going to stop it."

He also pointed out several problem homes built on ridgelines. Problems with these include both fuels available for a fire and access. Fire, he said, will generally move more quickly uphill as the heat and flames rise, tearing through fuels above them. That means thinning on steep slopes may have to extend farther from a home to create the buffer needed to control a fire or knock it to the ground.

Access to ridgelines for the large equipment is another concern. Long, winding roadways with one or more tight switchbacks may be fine for regular vehicles, but may or may not allow fire tankers and pumpers enough room to maneuver in the best conditions. Throw in mud or snow and it becomes near impossible even with chains and four-wheel drive.

"I don't know if I can get a fire truck up there in February with the snowpack," Grams said, pointing to one large home perched on a long ridge. In at least one case, he said, because of a home's distance from a fire hydrant, location and the amount of foliage, the owners have been dropped from insurance coverage, or bumped up to a much higher rate.

Sometimes, the additional costs have been enough to push people to consider fire mitigation work on their property. Others have decided to take up the labor on their own, or have found state grant funds to help.

As a demonstration last summer, Grams said, the district worked with private home owner Patty Sterling and the state to get a 50/50 grant for mitigation work on her property in the Meadows subdivision. Her home was the second stop on the tour and the first example of property with good defensible space. A home where fire could be kept low to the ground and fought with a much better chance of success.

Branches on the mature pine trees had been trimmed up 10-12 feet from the ground, still leaving a few dead branches for bird-roosting. Oak brush was cut back and trimmed into small stands. The crowns of the trees were separated by a minimum of 10-12 feet, except for a few clumps.

Grams said it was acceptable to leave a few clumps of trees for a more natural look. The space from one clump to the next tree should be even greater than the 10-12 feet recommended between crowns of single trees to prevent the fire from getting a boost from the larger area of fuels.

"If there was a wildfire in this area, we could come in here and foam this down until you couldn't see anything but white foam and go on to the next one."

Grams said it takes about 15 minutes to completely cover a home in fire-retardant foam, a high-dollar biodegradable soap that helps protect the home for several hours.

Because of the state's budget crisis, he said, grant funds could dry up this year. However, much of the work simply takes muscle, patience and perseverance. Or a call to one of several companies offering tree-thinning services in the area.

Karen Aspin and her husband, Bill, are working to create defensible space on their 12 acres by themselves. They've been at it now for two or three years and have quite a bit of hillside to consider.

To start, they asked Grams to come look at the property and help them prioritize. Clearing trees back from the driveway and away from the propane tank proved to be the first order of business. From there, Aspin said, they've moved on to the pine trees, removing ladder fuels to make it more difficult for a fire to crown.

"We still have so much left to do but it's starting to look beautiful, really park-like," she said.

Mitzy Forbes, educational multimedia specialist with the Colorado State Forest Service, purchased a home in Pagosa Springs in January. As soon as weatherpermitted, she and friend Jonathan Steiner started a defensible space project on the 2.6 acres, which includes a fairly steep slope.

In their case, state forester Dan Ochocki came out to inspect the property, mark trees and set priorities. From there, they got to work, using whatever time they had.

"I work from home, so I'd take an hour for lunch, some time after my work day and weekends and head outside," Forbes said. For clearing out the undergrowth and small stuff, she used a basic pair of pruning shears. Steiner attacked the bigger stuff, clearing out more than two dozen trees.

To finish the project, they hired a tree-trimming company to come in, chip the smaller downed branches and remove four additional trees leaning near the house.

When finished, the goal is to have healthier trees remaining, less competition for water resources and a clear avenue for firefighters if necessary.

"Wildfire Prevention and Education Month" activities are presented by the San Juan Mountains Association in partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service, Durango Fire and Rescue Authority, Firewise Program, local fire departments, National Forest Foundation, Office of Community Services at Fort Lewis College and the San Juan Public Lands Center.

For a complete list of activities in the area, go to www.sjma.org.

 

Pagosa's Past

A Squaretop wedding in 1918

Squaretop Mountain dominates the eastern skyline of Pagosa Country, a magnet attracting the attention of every visitor from the south. The mountain's rugged contour stands out as a landmark, even from Dulce and the lower mountains of New Mexico as far as 50 miles away.

For folks living in the Upper Blanco Basin, Squaretop was a bigger than life presence that filled the northern horizon. The morning routine might include kindling a fire to fight off the biting, before-daylight chill, heating pump water in the tea kettle, and a glance out the window to see if the morning sun's golden rays were waking up Squaretop. As long as Squaretop was in its place, everything was normal and life was good.

In an earlier, more innocent time, the Upper Blanco was home to a considerable number of industrious folks who hoed gardens, fed chickens, tended fields of grain, milked cows, and cleared land. It was a hard life full of callouses and blisters, and mostly devoid of money for anything as frivolous as a store-bought dress. The long ride to town in the farm wagon pulled by the family plow horse happened, but not often enough for the friendship-starved residents.

When they had time away from chores, school-age children walked or rode horseback to the simple frame structures serving as school houses along the main road north of the river or the other schoolhouse across the river at Deer Creek.

On special occasions, the schools metamorphosed, becoming community centers. The simple desks featuring ink bottles in the upper right corners were shoved aside to make room for dancing. Before the dance, food might be served, maybe a box lunch or pie auction held to raise funds for school needs. Through the night, music from a fiddle, a guitar, and maybe a mandolin laughed across the timbered hillsides. Following the dance, more food was served. The sun might be lighting up Squaretop the next morning before the tired but happy revelers returned home, ready for the monotony of another day's chores.

In just such a setting Ada Tiernan looked up at Squaretop and counted the days. It was fall. Even though Squaretop was wrapped in a glorious golden mantle of aspen, snow could descend anytime on its better than 12,000 foot summit. No time to waste. Ada Tiernan was to be betrothed, bonded in holy matrimony, the coveted nuptials to take place on the summit of Squaretop Mountain.

Already they had been forced to wait until July 4th before the winter snows retreated, allowing them to plant a flag on the summit of the imposing peak. The year was 1918. The war to end all wars was ended, and president Woodrow Wilson was negotiating for peace "forever." Flu epidemics raged across the nation, taking a frightful toll of lives. None of these issues mattered to the young lovers, Ada and Joseph Hager. On Independence Day they had struggled to the top where they planted Old Glory in regal splendor. They could see far from its summit, parts of four states. Now they planned to wed under the waving banner.

The Rev. Judge Vermilion, he was both minister and judge, was to perform the ceremony.

Good hearted Floyd Runyan, the Forest Service man, helped. Runyan recognized that the precipitous pathway up Squaretop might present an overwhelming challenge to the willing parson. Because the last of the assent was especially steep, the young couple constructed a somewhat rickety, but serviceable, ladder. When Runyon and the parson stood at the bottom of the ladder and contemplated the climb, plans changed. Above the 30-foot ladder was another 50 feet of perpendicular rock.

"Nothing doing up there," Runyon shouted to the scrambling couple. "If it's your intention to get married today, you'll have to come back down here."

And so the couple united in marriage at the base of the cliff.

A bountiful wedding supper served by the bride's mother and her sisters from Gardner, Kansas, added to the festive occasion. A red-checkered table cloth brightened the slab of granite serving as a table. Beaming with good wishes and full of good food, well-wishers toasted the young couple in the rarefied atmosphere.

After the dinner, no doubt buoyed with the exhilaration of the moment, the young couple again climbed the ladder, ascended the summit and planted the Stars on Stripes. They were accompanied by the attendants, Leon Montroy and one of the sisters of the bride.

And so it was, before God and the wedding party and at an elevation of 12,000 feet, that Joseph Hager and Ada Tiernan pledged their faith to each other.

And it might just be, on a clear day in autumn, if you stand quietly and attentively at the base of Squaretop Mountain, maybe with a hand cupped behind your ear, you might just hear the tinkling of wine glasses pledged in salute and the clear, lilting laughter of the bride.

 

Editorial

Our volunteers

Think about what life here would be like without the efforts of our

local volunteers. We rarely take time to investigate how much of

what we most appreciate about our hometown is due to the work of volunteers. It pays to take a moment and consider their worth.

Local governments and tax-supported entities provide a basic foundation for the residents of Archuleta County: law enforcement, fire protection, education, road maintenance, recreation, water and sewer services. The list goes on. Utility companies bring us the gas and electricity and communications services we need. Social services and court services are paid for by tax dollars, as is emergency medical aid.

Private and nonprofit associations add services to the mix such as covenant and environmental control and they provide some recreational amenities.

When all is said and done, though, volunteers apply the frosting to the cake.

Local volunteers shoulder a huge load in this community and their efforts span a spectrum from the ultimately serious to frivolous. They give the time, the energy and the ideas to programs and organizations most of us take for granted, whose services we use and on which we many times depend.

Volunteers are trained for hospice work, shepherding terminally ill individuals through the last days of life. They are trained as firefighters, reserve law enforcement officers, victim advocates and search and rescue team members - and they respond when they are called. Volunteers collect funds and organize events for the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society and other charitable organizations. They spend innumerable hours collecting artifacts, organizing and creating displays at the San Juan Historical Society Museum, create programs as part of the Friends of Native Cultures and work in local educational programs or at the Humane Society.

They build houses for Habitat for Humanity and aid the U.S. Forest Service as valued participants in various agency-sponsored programs. They serve on the Trails Council and with the San Juan Mountains Association, working to safeguard our precious mountain environment and our rights to enjoy it.

When you attend a large local event, the volunteers of the Colorado Mounted Rangers are on hand to provide crowd and traffic control. When you attend an entertaining show produced by one of many local arts groups, you enjoy the work of volunteers. If you make the annual trek to the Archuleta County Fair, you do so because volunteers put in many hours to make the event happen. The same thing holds true for the volunteers who help produce the annual Red Ryder Roundup. When visitors to the area arrive and need assistance, a volunteer Chamber of Commerce Diplomat helps them.

Every local church, civic or fraternal organization whose members labor to support causes, to do charitable and social good, draws from our reservoir of volunteer labor.

The value of our volunteers is impossible to calculate.

For those of you new to the community, there is an opportunity Saturday to get acquainted with many of the local organizations that rely on volunteer help. You, and longtime residents, have a chance to sign on and do your parts along with your neighbors.

The Volunteer Fair will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in advance of National Volunteer Week, which begins Sunday. There are at least 12 organizations signed up so far and the representatives of the groups will welcome new members.

Join in. Lend a hand.

And next time you benefit from their services, thank Pagosa's volunteers.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

Why Easter? Because He lives

By Richard Walter

They Came to a River.

Actually, it was a sports stadium by a river, a place where the sounds of competition on the playing field are more common than the sounds of voices raised high in tribute to a risen Lord.

With an early morning moon still hanging high in the western sky as the sun rose on cue, 127 Pagosans joined in tribute to the glory of an Easter morn.

It was the fourth in what is now an annual Easter Sunrise service at Golden Peaks Stadium, the Pagosa Springs High School athletic performance venue for football, soccer, track and field.

Signs of rebuilding were evident everywhere ... a new press box, new track facilities, a new concession stand.

Yet the people had come to welcome the old ... the old story of Jesus Christ, the story of a man designated by God as his own son, a man who was persecuted, dead and buried, a man who arose from the dead and rose again to sit on the right hand of God.

It is a story many disdain.

But for the Christian believer, celebration of Easter as the sun rises is an inherent tradition. As the sun rises, The Son rose. There is no question in the minds of those who believe that it happened; just as there is no question of the solar orb rising, even on those days when it cannot be seen.

But on this Sunday it was clear - if cold - in fact. Mists rose from the grasses on the field as the sun warmed them. Fog shrouded parts of the mountains to the north and east and the light from the sun illuminated them for the crowd.

"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" sang the assembled faithful, the notes rising frostily in the early morning cold.

But, as the sun rose the air warmed and sunglasses became part of the dress code for those who had them.

The Rev. Don Ford of Community United Methodist Church, as he had for the first three in the series, delivered the Easter message after a reading of the scriptural basis by the Rev. Annie Ryder of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church.

Hear and See was the message. Hear and see the clues. Hear and see the confirmation of the story. Hear and see the Lord's death as salvation.

Note, Rev. Ford says, that the word Salvation appears only once in the book of Mark section, from which the lesson was taken.

It need be acknowledged only once. That is how Jesus' Salvation works.

After that message, voices raised again in "Jesus Shall Reign." And then participants were given the opportunity to share aloud their own joys and concerns on this Easter Sunday.

Prominent among the thoughts were prayers for Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County members of American armed forces; and the other families affected by war; the innocent victims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; and for the Peace of the Lord in the world of today.

Finally, The Lord's Prayer took worshippers into the hymn which answered the question:

Why do we observe Easter?

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future and life is worth living just because He lives."

 Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of April 24, 1913

E.T. Walker, Pagosa's suburban warrior, is asking the county for $500 for damages he claims the county has done his irrigating ditch through road building. The county refuses to pay the demand, and there is talk of E.T. beginning suit.

The Dyke post office is likely to be discontinued soon, as Dario Gallegos, the postmaster, wants to let loose the job and it is not probable that anybody else will take it.

It is to be hoped that all will patronize the play to be given soon by the school. The proceeds are to be used in paying for the physics apparatus recently purchased and for other much needed supplies.

The Pagosa High School will graduate two pupils next month.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 27, 1928

The brown bear cub, which took up abode last fall at the Elmer Dutton ranch, has been sold by Mr. Dutton to the mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., and will shortly be delivered to that official.

The county examination for 7th and 8th grade pupils will be held throughout Archuleta County schools on May 7th and 8th. The questions are prepared by the state superintendent of public instruction.

The local schools are observing Arbor Day, field day and forest week with a program and track meet this afternoon, all of which are largely attended.

Monday, official clean-up day in Pagosa Springs, resulted in much effective work being done and the removal of considerable unsightly trash.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 24, 1953

In a statement to The SUN, H. Ray Macht, one of the directors of the La Plata Electric Association, stated that local citizens would in all probability receive a very substantial reduction in electric rates in the near future. The new rate system was brought about by placing every user in the La Plata Electric Association on exactly the same rate scale, according to whether they were commercial or residential users. Heretofore users in Archuleta County have been on a higher rate schedule than in other communities served by the same REA.

Spring is here - but so are the wood ticks. A trip to the mountains, increased work on the range or a fishing trip, frequently results in coming home with one or more ticks on clothing or body.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 27, 1978

With the arrival of spring, if it has arrived, is also the arrival of that pesky insect, the wood tick. They are very numerous this year and anyone in the outdoors should take the proper precautions against the pests.

The Spanish classes in the local high school won first place ahead of Colorado Springs and Monte Vista at the annual Adams State Pan Am Day last week. The Pagosa Springs High School Spanish classes have an enviable record in Spanish festivals and contests.

The Saturday Fever sidewalk sale last weekend demonstrates very clearly what community cooperation can do. A great many people visited the various establishments in town and the entertainment was a big attraction.