Education cost crunch shows
first effects here
By Richard Walter
Program expansion proposals, pleas to keep student classroom levels low and to maintain high achievement levels and needs for added staff at some levels face a common deterrent in Archuleta School, District 50 Joint - the economic crunch in education.
That was evident Tuesday as the district's board of education struggled for ways to meet demand and stay within economic limits at the same time.
Each member received a preliminary budget packet at the start of the meeting which, according to business manager Nancy Schutz, attempts to keep the district's overall operations concept at the same level as this year - a little over $20 million total for all funds.
Board members were asked to study it closely for the next month, make any recommended changes and be prepared to vote on the package next month.
Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board Archuleta 50 is in much better shape than many districts in the state, but has to watch its dollars closely to stay that way.
He noted the new state budget approves a 2.5 percent hike in education funding statewide, but cuts and holds in many special funding areas may make the increase seem significantly lower.
For example, he noted the state says there will be a reduction in Title 1 funding while, at the same time, the federal education department indicates an increase is forthcoming. "The two do not mesh at all," he said.
At the same time, he said, area legislators have hinted at the possibility of revisions to the state budget later in the year - possibly increasing some special funds.
Local school operations will hold the line on major cost additions as much as possible, he said, but there is a possibility "we may have to dip into the reserve fund (currently at about $500,000) to maintain operational levels."
He hurried to add such action would be only on an emergency basis.
Among the other cuts to be made to meet the funding crisis are three Head Start and one Seeds of Learning student spots, cuts mandated by a slash in state CPP funding.
Also cut by the state was textbook funding, but the district had anticipated that and set aside some additional book funds last year.
Noggle said the district is looking for all possible supplementary funds.
For example, former superintendent Terry Alley, who is the district's grant writer, is seeking a $40,000 grant for an elementary school computer system with 20 units and a server.
Schutz told the board she also is investigating a fund source in possible refinancing of the 1996 bond issue. Over the life of the bonds (through 2221) she said, it appears in initial examination that the district could save $500,000 or about $27,000 per year. That is about 1 percent of the total remaining bond debt. Education funding is up for reauthorization in Congress.
Proponents are asking for full funding (40 percent of total) whereas the recent average has been about 11 percent.
"Any increase," she said, "should help ease the burden of meeting currently unfunded federal mandates."
The entire financial crunch was put in perspective when a delegation of parents addressed the board with regard to loss of classrooms and therefore increased class sizes at the elementary school, actions foreseen in the proposed budget.
Leading the presentation were Lisa Scott and Donna Anderson, each with two children in the grade school. Scott is also elementary school liaison to the school planning panel.
She told the board many parents are distressed to learn about the expected budget cuts and classroom elimination.
She said lower class sizes allow increased motivation and verification of student needs. "It is one of the reasons our CSAP reading scores went up this year," she opined.
She said the delegation's concerns are "that not enough research was done to support class size levels anticipated and that the decision is contradictory to the district's own strategic plan."
She said the state has outlined duties and responsibilities of school accountability committees and given them the right to study and recommend changes. "We were not given that mandated opportunity," she charged.
Anderson told the board the parents want what's best for the children and that class size is important.
"An increase from an average of 19 to 23-25 is dramatic," she said. "Four or five more students in a room can drastically change the learning atmosphere."
"We want you to know we're concerned," she added, "and ask you to review your proposed budget to see if standard class sizes can be accomplished."
Director Randall Davis, board president, told the delegation, "We share your concerns but we face a real balancing act in funding. There is no, absolutely no extra money in the budget this year."
Noggle agreed that lower class sizes allow better student management and more effective tracking of progress but also agreed with Davis that financing is a struggle.
He noted federal legislation allows use of specific monies for classroom student load reduction, but state authorities advise against such action.
He reminded the audience the new No Child Left Behind federal program mandates that all teachers must be "highly qualified" which means they must hold a certificate in the area of expertise.
That means some teachers who have been doubling to teach a second class for years might be disqualified because every one hired now must have a "secondary endorsement" in order to meet federal mandate.
Thus, he said, "a teacher in the system 15-17 years may have to suddenly be told he or she is not 'highly qualified.' How do you do that to a successful educator?" he asked.
"And if we do have to do that, we have to a send a letter to each parent in the class telling them the teacher is not 'highly qualified.'"
That brings in the question of tenure. "What does a teacher do to qualify? Who pays and how much for additional education to be 'highly qualified'? Can a teacher with tenure be forced to meet the added cost?"
But, perhaps the most immediate victim of the financial crunch is the planned expansion of the vocation education department curriculum.
The possible addition of carpentry and culinary arts units to the program was on the agenda for consideration.
It had been proposed a month ago as the result of a survey of students on what career courses might be pertinent additions to the program for those not going on to college.
"If we approve any portion of the planned course additions," Davis said, "we would expect at least a year of planning before implementation."
"I would really like to see us augment at least part of this program," he said. "We've been kicking it around for years and I don't want us to wait another 10 years or so and then wonder why we didn't act."
He suggested a portion of the nonrenewable Whit Newton fund could be used as start-up money for program expansion.
But Schutz said it would be wise to look at the specifics in the will which gave the money to the district to see what limitations might be in effect.
"It seems money always gets in the way for vocational education," Davis said. "Who knows what it will be like in several years? If we go ahead now, maybe we can find a way to do it and keep it going."
Director Clifford Lucero agreed, saying, "We've talked about it and talked about it. It looks like a necessity for our overall education program."
Further discussion finally ruled out culinary arts as an immediate goal and centered on carpentry as a possible first choice.
Noggle began what was the damper on the project when he questioned "sustainability of the program. In order to get it, what do we cut? Vocation education funding is jeopardized across the country. I worry about starting something we can't replace if interest drops off and there is no program support."
Funds dry up
Lucero asked if there are any grant opportunities for such programs and was told "traditional vocational funding is drying up everywhere. Sadly, it's one of the first areas districts look to cut."
Director Jon Forrest, a builder himself, surprised fellow members with a lean toward the culinary program.
"It was the top student choice," he said, "and as a builder, I know that every one has his own special concerns. Most of those I know in the trade are not going to want a kid, no matter how well we've trained him, to come in say they 'know how to do it.'"
"A student who wants to learn can find a builder willing to teach him," Forrest said. "But it might not be what the next guy wants."
Director Mike Haynes asked if the same thinking wouldn't also apply to a culinary arts program.
Others agreed and Lucero, after considerable thought, said, "the more I think about it - and it is a good program - the more unsure I am. With the current funding crisis, perhaps we're better off to put it on hold."
Noggle noted the expansion proposal is in the district's Strategic Plan and that rules mandate its review on an annual basis.
"We can keep looking at it until we find the opening," he said.
"Shall we table it for now with the agreement we come back to it every year seeking an opportunity?'
The board verbally agreed, but there was no formal vote.
Arid spring may lead to new fire ban
By Tom Carosello
Breezy conditions and a lack of significant rainfall are taking their toll on area humidity levels, and the Pagosa Fire Protection District and Archuleta County sheriff's office are taking notice.
"If it stays unusually dry and we don't get some measurable moisture by next week, we're considering instituting a countywide fire ban in the next 10-14 days," said Chief Warren Grams after a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Sheriff Tom Richards.
Members of the fire district responded Monday to a small brush/tree fire on private land near the Rock Ridge Mobile Home Park and quickly extinguished the flames, but Grams said conditions are getting ripe for larger fires.
"If you want to do some burning, get it done before next week," added Grams, "It's getting to be that time of year again."
Currently, residents living within fire district boundaries are allowed to burn between 6-11 a.m. - as long as they have the required permit. Permits can be picked up at Station No. 1 for a cost of $5. County residents who live outside fire district boundaries are not required to purchase a permit before burning.
Two found guilty of violating Ute hunting laws
By Richard Walter
A decision Monday in Southern Ute Court in Ignacio found two Pagosa Springs residents guilty of violating tribal hunting laws.
Defendants were Ronald Tinsley and Sean Skidmore who, on Jan. 16, were observed by Southern Ute Ranger Luke Austin taking a cow elk in the Lake Capote area of Southern Ute Reservation.
Officer Austin testified he saw a truck that morning while on patrol and observed and videotaped Skidmore getting out of the truck with a hunting rifle, taking a rest on the hood and firing two shots in the direction of a herd of elk.
Skidmore than got back into the truck and moved it out of Austin's sight but the officer heard two more shots.
When he regained visual contact, he testified, he watched the defendants make preparations to load the carcass of a cow elk into back of the truck.
He said he then made contact with them and when he confronted them they both made admissions which confirmed it was Skidmore who had shot the elk, even though he had no Southern Ute hunting permit to do so.
Tinsley had a permit and expressed intention to use his permit to tag the animal.
Both defendants were cited for unlawful possession of wildlife. Tinsley was also cited for altering a permit because he was unlawfully going to loan his to another person .
He was also cited for failure to comply with a permit.
Skidmore, in addition to unlawful possession, was cited for shooting from a motor vehicle and hunting without required permit or tag.
The case is important for a pair of reasons.
(1) It is one of the first cases under the tribe's new wildlife code in which all offenses have been decriminalized, meaning the tribe can initiate a civil action against those who violate the code.
Under a U.S. Supreme Court decision the tribe does not have criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.
(2) Because tribal court judge Elizabeth Callard found the defendants liable for each of the charges except one - Skidmore being cleared of liability for shooting from motor vehicle.
She entered judgment in favor of the tribe and awarded the non-discretionary civil penalties required by the tribe's wildlife code.
Judgment against Tinsley totaled $1,375 and against Skidmore, $1,525. Additionally, Callard entered an order of forfeiture for the two guns used in the commission of the offenses and which were seized during the incident.
The defense argued that Tinsley had a broken arm and that because they had one valid hunting permit and one cow elk had been killed, the animal had been ethically harvested despite the fact it was taken in violation of tribal law.
The judge rejected that defense and admonished the defendants for their attitude and informed them that one of the reasons the tribal council enacted the new wildlife code with nondiscretionary civil penalties was so hunters who hunt on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation will know they must comply with tribal law and that if they do not, and are caught, there will be serious consequences.
"For too long hunters on Southern Ute Indian Reservation lands have not taken seriously the tribe's wildlife laws," she said.
The defendants expressed a desire to pay immediately, but needed to pay in cash or certified funds and had only a personal check after the decision was rendered.
They were given seven days to pay the penalties. If no payment is received, the tribe will take action to collect.
PAWS evaluates lake levels and drought
By Tom Carosello
Sixty inches below spillway.
That's the level the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors decided Village Lake can reach before the reservoir is cut off from further irrigation usage.
If the lake approaches that mark, according to District General Manager Carrie Campbell, "If we don't have gravity feed, the idea is that irrigators will hopefully pay to keep the level above five feet so there is enough water available for irrigation."
In the past year, most of Village Lake's water entered the reservoir courtesy of the San Juan River intake/pipeline, resulting in extra pumping costs for the district and the notion of higher rates for area irrigators.
While that scenario isn't likely to change soon, the lake is only nine inches below spillway, and according to Gene Tautges, assistant district general manager, the remainder of the district's reservoirs are also doing rather well, despite the recent lack of rainfall.
"If we exclude Village Lake from the equation (since it is not currently used for domestic purposes), the rest of the reservoirs have a combined total capacity of 114 percent of average," said Tautges during Tuesday night's board session.
Tautges indicated that two bodies of water, Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir, remain full. Lake Forest and Lake Pagosa are four and nine inches from full pool, respectively.
However, the board is still considering options for worst-case scenarios and evaluating the district's revised drought management plan draft, and remains in a conservative frame of mind. "Personally, I'd like to see minimum levels established for all lakes," said Harold Slavinsky, board chairman.
Fuel for such sentiments was provided by board member Bob Frye.
Frye explained that while the northern half of the state is enjoying average to above average moisture levels, "Whatever you see happening in Denver is meaningless to us."
Frye indicated information provided at a recent drought seminar indicates the southwest region of the state is subject to an entirely different weather pattern and may be in for a prolonged 10-20 year drought, occasionally experiencing an average to wetter-than-average year in the meantime.
Finally, in response to concerns voiced by members of the public with regard to the impact to aesthetic qualities associated with lower lake levels, Campbell indicated that while on the ladder, such concerns unfortunately occupy the bottom rung.
"We'd like to see the lakes full all year long like everybody else," said Campbell, "but our priority has always been domestic use."
The board made no adjustment to current water restrictions, and residents living within the district who have addresses ending in even numbers may continue to water on even-numbered days of the month; residents whose addresses end in odd numbers may water on odd-numbered days of the month.
Watering is permitted between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. the following morning.
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.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Above-average highs to follow brief rain chance
By Tom Carosello
Strong gusts of chilly wind occasionally ushered dark clouds into Pagosa Country during the past seven days, but for the third week in a row such scenarios proved all bark and no bite as no significant precipitation quenched a thirsty mountain landscape.
However, forecasters are indicating today may be the day that rain drops fall long and hard enough to settle the dust and temporarily satisfy the area's green but increasingly-dry pastures and hillsides.
According to Troy Lindquist, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, a brief bout of wet weather is in store for the Four Corners region before temperatures climb to above average in the coming week.
"Thursday is definitely your best chance for any real amount of rain," said Lindquist, "Although this is a fairly weak system, it is going to range far enough south to affect southwest Colorado with some widely-scattered showers and thunderstorms.
"Some snowfall may occur in the highest elevations of the San Juans as well," added Lindquist. "But then things will dry out over the weekend, and the next chance for rain looks to be on Wednesday, although I wouldn't rule out the possibility for an isolated shower Sunday night."
According to Lindquist, showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout today and into tonight. High temperatures are expected in the 60s; lows are predicted in the upper 20s to low 30s.
The chance for showers continues into Friday morning, and will decrease as the day progresses. Highs should range in the upper 60s to low 70s while lows should fall into the upper 20s.
Saturday and Sunday's twin forecasts call for partly cloudy skies, a minimal chance for showers, highs near 70 and lows in the mid-30s to upper 40s.
Monday and Tuesday call for clear to partly cloudy skies, highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid-30s.
Wednesday's forecast includes a 30-40 percent chance for isolated thunderstorms, highs near 70 and lows around 30.
The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 61 degrees; the average low was 27. Precipitation totals for last week amounted to zero.
The Pagosa Ranger District rates the current area fire danger as "low." Conditions are subject to change rapidly this time of year; for updates, call the district office at 264-2268.
The National Allergy Bureau rates area pollen counts as "moderate to high," and indicates cedar, juniper and cottonwood are currently the dominant pollens across the region.
San Juan River flow ranged between approximately 200-450 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for mid-May, as measured south of town, is approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second.
Good-bye boss; we'll try to follow your example
By Joe Lister Jr.
As we're in the last week of work under direction of Town Manager Jay Harrington, we reflect on the impact he's made on the recreation department.
My memory is not the best, so give me a little leeway for things I may forget. However, I think Jay's value will be quite noticeable.
I went to work for the town in March 1989 and stayed through December 1992. During that time Jay was an administrative intern for then town manager Patrick Sherman.
As a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver, Jay was given many park-related jobs.
In 1992 he was hired as town manager and took over the job of running the community.
In 1993, the town hired Doug Call as recreation director. He worked under Harrington until January 2002.
Some of the many park improvements made during this time under Harrington's guidance are:
- 1991 - Centennial Park and the corner park were built
-1992 - purchase of land and start of development of fishing and skating ponds
- 1992 - purchase of rocks and start of the San Juan River restoration project
1992 - Reservoir Hill trail system began with the folk festival site improved and seeded
1992-2002 - improvements made to all trail heads including JJ's, San Juan Motel, Spa, and Chamber of Commerce
- planning and construction of the new town hall and the community center
- construction of the foot bridge connecting the River Walk and Hot Springs Boulevard
- completion of the BMX and skate park on South 8th Street
- construction of South Pagosa Park on South 8th Street along with parking improvements at Town Park and the elementary school
2002-2003 - Jay spearheaded the efforts to install five raw water feeds from the San Juan River to our parks and we are also pursuing a master plan for 16 acres we plan to develop into fields and parks for future generations to enjoy.
Staff and equipment have been increased to help maintain the "our town within a park" atmosphere.
I am sure there are many more projects I am forgetting, but the impact of Jay Harrington's leadership has been tremendous.
Take the effort and energy it takes to build anything in Archuleta County; now imagine building a new town hall and a community center in a three-year span; juggle all the personalities involved and you can understand what type of person Telluride is getting.
The list presented deals only with the parks and recreation department. All the other town departments would be able to add equally to a compilation of Jay's accomplishments on behalf of Pagosa Springs.
So, thank you Jay for the effort, leadership and friendship you have shared with us and the example you have left for us to follow.
As you have, we will always keep in mind what is best for the people of Pagosa Springs.
Start-up date for Park Fun will be June 2 at the intermediate school.
Call 264-4151, Ext. 231 to get on an early registration call list and for answers to any questions about the 2003 program.
Eighteen Pirate tracksters qualify for state competition
By Tom Carosello
Chilly temperatures and sustained wind gusts proved challenging obstacles at Saturday's regional meet in Bayfield, but the Pagosa Springs boys' and girls' track teams conquered the elements and combined to send 18 qualifiers and seven alternates to the state meet in Pueblo this weekend.
Each team's effort was good enough to place it in the top three overall. The boys totaled 115 points to finish third behind Centauri and regional champ Buena Vista, while the girls amassed a total of 91 points to earn third place behind Ignacio and first-place Centauri.
Senior Jason Schutz piled up the points for the boys' team, taking home regional champion honors in the discus and breaking his previous school record with a final toss of 170 feet, four inches.
Schutz also sprinted to second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.52 seconds, and joined teammates Jeremy Buikema, Danny Lyon and Otis Rand in the 1,600-meter relay to snare first place for the Pirates in 3 minutes, 32.95 seconds.
Rand also added to Pagosa's point total with his effort in the 200, nabbing a state-qualifying second-place finish with a time of 53.11.
Although running into a stiff crosswind, Clayton Spencer and Manuel Madrid both turned in strong performances in the hurdles. Spencer claimed second place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.07; Madrid is headed to Pueblo as well, taking third in the 300 hurdles with a mark of 43.33.
Finally, the quartet of Buikema, Brandon Samples, Todd Mees and Aaron Hamilton made short work of their counterparts in the 3,200 relay, coasting to state competition and claiming the regional championship with a stadium-record clocking of 8:30.88.
The relay alternates for the boys' team will include Coy Ross, Paul Armijo, A.J. Abeyta and Orion Sandoval.
The Pagosa girls' team turned in exceptional performances and will be sending a full complement of athletes to Pueblo as well.
Roxanna Day took home the regional championship in the pole vault competition, winning a vault-off duel with Ignacio's Katrina Hedrick after topping a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.
Freshman Emilie Schur captured second place in the 800 and third place in the 1,600, running 2:25.55 and 5:33.05 respectively, and will also compete in the 3,200 (qualified earlier this year).
Schur was also a participant on the Lady Pirates' 3,200 relay team, running the final leg behind teammates Ashley Wagle, Drie Young and Amanda McCain. The foursome's season-best time of 10:19.28 earned them second place in the event and a trip to state.
Janna Henry and Mollie Honan both placed in the 100 hurdles; Henry's time of 17.35 earned her second-place honors, while Honan grabbed third with a time of 17.67. Honan's time of 50.99 in the 300 hurdles earned her a spot on the blocks in that event this weekend, as well.
After taking first place at the district meet one week ago, freshman Mia Caprioli finished just six-hundredths of a second behind Centauri's Nakayla Hostetter to claim second place in the 100 with a time of 13.32.
The girls' 400 relay team can also make reservations for state, as Caprioli, Henry, Katie Bliss and Alex Rigia collaborated for a third-place finish and time of 4:07.
Serving as alternates for the girls' relay teams will be Drie Young, Melissa Maberry and Marlena Lungstrum.
Overall, Pagosa Coach Connie O'Donnell was more than satisfied with the results, despite one miscue that may have cost one of the boys' relay teams a trip north.
"We had one low point at the meet," said O'Donnell, "The boys' 800-meter relay team that was so close to automatically qualifying was disqualified for a bad exchange. They were really upset because they had the fastest time in the state until that point.
"I really feel bad for them; it kept a couple of really hard-working kids from going to the state track meet, but all of life's lesson's can be taught through athletics," added O'Donnell. "Learning how to deal with defeat is just as important as learning to deal with success.
"But if you would have told me at the beginning of the season that our girls were going to score 91 points at the regional meet, I may not have believed you. Every girl improved so much every week and then they started placing first and second at big meets. Our girls' team has an unbelievable work ethic and I'm so proud of the nine that are going to state.
In conclusion, O'Donnell indicated she is optimistic that this season will serve as a building block for the program's success in the future. "I hope that this trip to state makes everyone who competes for us next year hungry for more," said O'Donnell.
The state competition is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Friday in Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo and continue through Saturday.
Pirates lose to Mother Nature and Eaton Reds
Playoff dream ends in extra inning affair
By Richard Walter
It was a monumental effort.
You take a No. 16 seed and send it into competition with the defending state champion and No. 1 seed and you have the makings of a pushover.
Not so when Pagosa Springs is that No. 16.
Of course, there was the problem of finding a site and date for the game.
Coach Tony Scarpa, as did members of the media, initially thought the game was to be played at 10 a.m. Thursday at Northglenn High School.
Scarpa had his Pagosa squad training to peak that day.
Then, it was learned the game had actually been scheduled at the same time, but on Saturday.
But, the night before the game's intended start was the night Mother Nature decided to deliver a mid-spring blizzard to the Denver metro area.
At game time nearly eight inches of white blanketed the field.
Power lines and trees were down all over the area and it was obvious no game was to be played that day.
Finally, after 9 p.m., the Pagosa Springs coaching staff was notified their contest with Eaton would be moved to Eaton.
At 2 p.m. Sunday it finally got underway on the Reds' home field, a site nearly 400 miles away from Pagosa Springs.
But the Pirates were not awed.
In fact, they jumped out to a 5-0 lead after half an inning, scoring all those runs with only one hit.
David Kern led off with a fly to right for the first out. But sophomore third baseman Marcus Rivas was hit by a pitch and promptly stole second on Red pitcher Josh Noblitt.
Then, in rapid succession, Josh Stone drew a walk, Ben Marshall advanced the runners with a fielder's choice and Lawren Lopez walked. Jeremy Caler reached on an Eaton error before Zeb Gill fanned for the second out.
Levi Gill, however, beat out an infield single and the fifth run was in before pitcher Jarret Frank struck out to end the half inning with Pagosa having batted around.
Facing the top three hitters in the Eaton lineup with batting averages of .537, .731 and .857 respectively, Frank got Tyler Garretson and Dusty Dominguez in order and then got the state's leading hitter, Brendan Trujillo, on a bouncer to first to escape quickly.
The underdog Pirates added a pair of runs in the top of the second, again scoring after two were out.
Kern grounded to third and Rivas struck out to open the inning. But Stone delivered a ringing double to the left field fence and Marshall singled to drive him in. Marshall stole second and was driven in by Lopez single. Lopez was left on first when Caler struck out.
The defending champs got on the board in the bottom of the frame, like Pagosa, scoring with two away.
Chris Swain opened with a groundout to short and Walker was out on a fly to right. Junior Barios reached on a throwing error by Stone and Eric Kelly beat out an infield hit. Noblitt drove in the run with a single to center but was cut down 9-6-2 for the third out in the inning. Pagosa led 7-1 and things were looking bright.
Eaton changed pitchers to open the third, bringing in Hungenberg (no first name on roster).
Zeb Gill reached on an error but was cut down 2-6 at second. Levi Gill drew a pass and Frank reached on an error. Kern struck out and Levi was caught too far off second for the third out.
The score held at 7-1 through the bottom of the third with Anderson flying to right, Garretson walking, Dominguez popping to Lopez at first, and Trujillo striking out.
The Pirates struck again in the fourth.
Rivas leading off reached on an error by Hungenberg on the throw to first. Stone had an infield single and Marshall walked to load the bases. Lopez brought in the run with a sacrifice fly to right before Caler hit into a double play to end the threat.
Still, Pagosa now led 8-1 and Frank was again the "bulldog" on the mound.
Eaton's fourth opened with Swain drawing a pass. Walker, however, grounded to second, Barios to short and Kelly to second and the frame was over.
The Pirates went without a threat for the first time in the fifth with Zeb Gill popping to second, Levi striking out and Frank popping to short.
You don't keep a champion down for long, the Pirates learned in Eaton's fifth.
Noblitt opened with a double to center on a 3-2 pitch and Anderson doubled to right to bring in Eaton's second run. Garretson struck out but Dominguez singled to drive in the Red's third run. Trujillo singled to right driving in run four. Swain reached on a fielder's choice but Frank got Walker to pop to Lopez to get out of the inning with an 8-4 lead.
Proving their mettle as a two-out rally group, Pagosa added three runs in the top of the sixth.
Both Kern and Rivas grounded out to short to open the frame, but Stone started the rally with a single to left. Marshall, too, singled to left and when Lopez drew a free pass, Pagosa had the bases loaded. Up stepped Caler who promptly singled to drive in Stone, leaving the bases loaded. Zeb Gill drew a walk to force in another run. Not to be outdone, Levi also drew a free pass and got an RBI.
Eaton once again went to the bullpen, this time coming with their staff ace, Dominguez, who had 66 strikeouts during the team's 20-2 regular season run to the playoffs.
He quickly lived up to that reputation, getting Frank on strikes and leaving the bases loaded.
Again, Eaton scrambled back to cut the Pirate margin in the bottom of the sixth.
Barios was out on a grounder to short but Kelly followed with a home run on a 3-2 pitch and Noblitt was hit by a Frank fast ball. Anderson walked but was out at second on a fine play by Rivas at third. Garretson reached on a Pagosa throwing error, Dominguez on a fielder's choice and Trujillo drove in two with a single before Swain flied to left to end the inning with Pagosa still leading 11-7.
Kern grounded back to the pitcher to open Pagosa's seventh but Rivas singled and stole second.
With an insurance run in scoring position, Stone ripped one that was flagged down at third for the second out and Marshall ended the threat with a strikeout.
That set the stage. No. 16 seed has an 11-7 lead going into the bottom of the final inning. No. 1 may face elimination.
But, it was not to be.
Frank, not losing any speed on his pitches, began to lose target spot and Eaton responded.
Walker and Barios both singled before Kelly was out on a fly to left. Two more outs and Pagosa advances to the final eight.
Again, it was not to be.
Noblitt walked to load the bases and Anderson drove in a pair with a double and Garretson singled for another run. Dominguez popped to first but Trujillo followed with a single to right before Swain flied to right to end regulation time in an 11-11 tie.
The miracle was now on hold.
Pagosa was up and down quickly in the top of the eighth. Lopez reached on an error but was out stealing before Caler and Zeb Gill each struck out.
Scarpa brought his own ace, Stone, to the mound for the Eaton eighth and he got the first batter, Walker, on a grounder to second. Barrios walked, but Kelly flied to center and there were two out.
One more out, Pirate fans pleaded, just one more out and we can bat again.
But Noblitt beat out an infield hit and then Anderson delivered the game winner, a single to center.
The dream had died. Pagosa was a 12-11 loser but gained a great deal of respect for the effort.
Scarpa said he was impressed by the hospitality shown by Eaton players and fans and by the respect shown his club.
"We played well, really well," the coach said, "particularly on offense."
"We had 14 hits, one runner reach being hit by a pitch, drew six walks, and had only seven strikeouts against the top-ranked team in the state," he added.
"Our defense was just as great," he said, "but this was a game where we had to be perfect and it didn't quite work."
Scarpa said the Eaton coach called him aside after the contest and gave him a message to relay to the Pirate squad:
"We were outcoached, outplayed and outhustled today. The best team on the field didn't win this contest."
"Sometimes in baseball," he told Scarpa, "things are not fair."
"I couldn't be happier about the performance of this team," Scarpa said. "They had great spirit all day, never let down, kept on plugging away."
"I really feel bad for the seniors," he said. "It was their last game and they all wanted it to be just the stepping stone to two more and a championship shot."
The loss left Pagosa's season record at 12-6.
But the Pirates proved they can play as well as anyone on a given day and that they can overcome adversity.
Frank, Lopez, Stone and Zeb Gill are all seniors as well as backup players Michael Dach, Matt Mesker and Clayton Mastin.
Four seniors set pace for Pagosa girls soccer in the future
By Richard Walter
They've been a part of the program for four years.
They not only watched it grow but contributed immeasurably to its success.
They are the four graduating seniors on the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates' soccer team.
They were led by the irrepressible athleticism of Meagan Hilsabeck, the most prolific scorer in Lady Pirates' history.
She added 23 to her total this year, placing herself among the leaders in the state.
But scoring isn't all that was accomplished by these young ladies.
The two Saras (yes, one has an h but the alliteration is better this way) were defensive stalwarts working the wings together like clockwork - until this year.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason recognized the strong leg of Sara Aupperle and moved her to an attack position. She responded with 11 goals and three assists while still managing to make strong defensive forays in support of teammates.
The other Sarah (Smith) celebrated her 18th birthday in the regional game, getting injured in the process.
She was a fluid element for the defense, faster than most opponents expected and regularly breaking up scoring attempts with deft footwork.
This year she got her first goal and turned in a pair of assists.
Not to be outdone by her classmates, Tricia Lucero played her left wing position with abandon, scoring four goals but more importantly, leading the team in assists with 10.
And, if you need a good luck charm, she correctly called the pregame coin toss almost every time wind was expected to be a factor.
These four seniors will be missed but they have given impetus to a program moving up a notch each year.
This year it was a first regional appearance. There remain a fleet of swift underclassmen and probably prolific scorers waiting in the wings to add their names to the soccer legends established by the four graduating now.
Junior Jenna Finney, for example, turned in an amazing 63 block/takeaways this season with her racer's speed and foot control.
Sophomore Bri Scott had six goals and six assists; Sophomore Brittany Corcoran chipped in with three; junior Melissa Diller had four goals and three assists and regularly drew the defensive assignment on the foes' best scorer; freshman Liza Kelly added four goals and three assists and had a shutout working a game in goal; junior keeper Sierra Fleenor honed her game during the season; sophomore Amy Tautges had two goals and three assists; sophomore sweeper Kyrie Beye added a pair of goals and played the defensive position like it had been designed for her.
Others who contributed to the Lady Pirates' playoff run were Brett Garman, Kayli Smith, Lacie Ream, Esther Gordon, Roxanne Lattin, Rachel Watkins, Tess Taylor, Emmy Smith, Kody Hanavan, Christina Lungstrum and another freshman with the familiar name - Hilsabeck.
Jennifer will be chasing her own stats and a team dream as the Lady Pirates kick their way into the future.
Albert Rene Helvey, 56, died May 8, 2003, in his Pagosa Springs home with his family at his side.
Born March 2, 1947, in Lexington, Neb., to Wilbur and Adelaide Helvey, he moved to Pagosa Springs in 1991 where he owned and operated Mountain Spirits.
Graduating from St. Anne's Academy in Lexington in 1965, he went on to attend the University of Nebraska and later served in the U.S. Army. As a manager for Citicorp Data Processing Services for 17 years, his division was responsible for covering the entire United States.
Al's hobbies were golf, and more golf. He loved the game and was great at it. He also worked hard when he wasn't playing, and he loved to travel. He was a wonderful and loyal friend who had a great and unique sense of humor. Words cannot adequately describe Al's love of life and his incredibly fun personality, and we will especially remember him for his ability to "walk the walk" and "talk the talk."
A family memorial service will be held in Lexington over the Memorial Day weekend, with a private service the following weekend in Pagosa Springs. A Celebration of his Life will be held June 14 at Elk Park Meadows Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the American Cancer Society for the Liver Cancer Treatment Research facility, or to Hospice of Mercy of Pagosa Springs, 35 Mary Fisher Circle.
Survivors are his wife of 22 years, Cele of Pagosa Springs; daughter and son-in-law Laura and Pete Mendoza; stepson and daughter-in-law, Jamie and Clara Selph; stepdaughter Heather Selph; grandchildren Taylor and Cameron Worth, Pedro Mendoza, Jazmine Pelc and Dylan Selph, all of Denver; his mother, Adelaide Helvey; brother Richard (Dick) Helvey both of Lexington, and his sister, Marge Ogden of Denver.
Wesley Conrad Huckins passed away on May 10, 2003, at his home in Pagosa Springs. He was born Aug. 12, 1918, in Sundance, Wyo., to Gary and Gertrude Schloredt Huckins.
He began his adult career as a rural school teacher near Sundance. He left teaching temporarily to serve in the Coast Artillery of the U.S. Army, later to transfer to the Air Force where he became a B-17 pilot. On his 16th mission, he was shot down, captured and held as a prisoner of war for several months by the Germans.
Following discharge from the service, Wes returned to Sundance where he purchased land and a sawmill. He taught and coached in the high school and then went back to school himself, getting his bachelor's degree at Black Hills State University and his master's degree and doctorate at the University of Wyoming.
After serving as school superintendent in Sundance, he held a professorship for the Oregon State System of Higher Education, then moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he taught at Wright State University. After retiring he made his home in Pagosa Springs where his hobbies were gardening and woodworking.
Preceded in death by a son, Greg, he is survived by Fern, his wife of 60 years; three daughters, Kathy Sowder of Ohio, Shirley Beckwith and Trudy Domaleski, both of Denver; and a sister, Jane Trueblood of Anacortes, Wash. He was the very proud grandfather of six and great-grandfather of three.
A memorial service will be held at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs at 11 a.m. Monday, May 19. Pastor Don Ford will officiate the service.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Scholarship Fund at the Methodist church.
John Cecil Baird
John Cecil Baird, 100, longtime resident of the Upper Piedra Valley north of Pagosa Springs, died peacefully in the early morning hours of April 22, 2003, in Durango, Colo.
John was born Jan. 5, 1903, in Chicago, Ill., to John Baird and Sarah Elizabeth Meyers Baird. He graduated from the University of Idaho at Moscow with a degree in forestry. He paid his way though college working at a logging camp in the mountains of Idaho where he learned, among other things, how to make the best sourdough hotcakes this side of the Yukon.
Prior to graduating, he met his future wife, LaReta Beryl "Sally" Beeson, of Lovelock, Nev. After becoming a forest ranger for the U.S. Forest Service, he and "his gal Sal" married on June 18, 1929 in Pagosa Springs. On their wedding day they romantically worked together counting sheep (heading for summer range) at the Turkey Springs Ranger Station west of town.
In 1932, John and Sally became the proud parents of their only child, a daughter, Madalyne Carol. After being promoted to assistant supervisor for the Rio Grande National Forest, John moved his family to Monte Vista, where they were the first family to occupy the newly built Forest Service home there.
John was instrumental in getting a ski area started on top of Wolf Creek Pass. He helped install the first lift, a rope tow, on the south side of the highway, joined later by two additional lifts and, in the 1940s, a warming hut. He was a very early member of the ski patrol there as well. His daughter, Carol, won the first race on Wolf Creek and later went on to win the Rocky Mountain Championship in downhill, slalom, and giant slalom thanks to John's encouragement.
At the start of World War II, John quickly enlisted in the United States Navy. He was 41. As a member of the original crew, he was ordinance officer for the USS Bon Homme Richard, a newly commissioned aircraft carrier with Halsey's fleet in the Pacific.
During his long and rewarding life, John thoroughly enjoyed and excelled at fishing, hunting, skiing and horseback riding through the mountains he knew like the back of his hand.
He was an avid pilot and owned a Cessna V. He was an official photographer for the Sky High Stampede in Monte Vista and amazed the bronc riders by developing and displaying action photos the same day as the ride - never before done.
Up to the end, he started each day with a shot of gin, "just an eye opener," and ended each day with 10 pull-ups. He was still shoeing his horses and fixing fence well into his 90s. It was his devotion to exercise and fun which he credited for his long life. His ready smile and sense of humor will long be remembered by those who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his daughter, Madalyne Carol Izett; granddaughter, Christya Carol Izett; grandson Cory Craig Izett; and three great-grandchildren, Jade Piedra Mason, Justin Craig Izett and Scott Hale Izett, all of Whitefish, Mont. His faithful wife, Sally, preceded him in death on August 16,1999. His ashes rest near hers at their cabin on the banks of the Piedra River - one of the most beautiful spots in Colorado.
Maria Berta Talamante, 57, died Friday, May 9, 2003, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.
A memorial service was held Monday in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs with the Rev. John Bowe officiating.
Death was attributed to natural causes and cremation was to occur at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango.
Maria was born May 11, 1945, in Edith, the daughter of Eufermio and Margarita (Chavez) Talamante. She enjoyed music, cooking, cooking shows, electronics, the outdoors and reading about alternative health and working.
Among her jobs were stints as a courier for Mercy Medical Center, an auto mechanic, an electronics technician and a lapidary cutter.
She is survived by lifelong friend and companion Beverly Walter of Durango; brothers Joe Talamante of Ignacio and Horace Jaramillo of Pagosa Springs; sisters Margaret Madrid of Clovis, N.M., Florinda Flores of Phoenix, Ariz; Rosalita Kidwell of Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Mary Ellen Quexada of Pagosa Springs; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Memorial contributions may be made to La Plata County Humane Society, PO Box 2164, Durango CO 81302 or any humane society of choice.
Stadium project change approved
By Richard Walter
The ongoing improvement of the Golden Peaks Stadium sports complex at Pagosa Springs High School took a brief detour Tuesday.
The board of education for Archuleta District 50 Joint, on recommendation of athletic and administrative staff, approved a $12,000 change order for the track construction project.
The action was necessitated when the long jump and triple jump area at the south end of the field was installed at more than seven inches above crown grade because of an uneven south 20 yards of the football field.
The resultant outcropping of cement retainer is regarded as a safety issue for players.
To correct the problem, sod will be removed and some of it replaced after new subsurface is installed to raise the field level.
The cost will be paid out of the capital improvement fund and the project will include recrowning a portion of the field to make drainage east to west rather than north-south, to avoid pooling.
While it was agreed cost would be too prohibitive to redo the entire field crown, directors agreed with Clifford Lucero's caution: "We have to fix it before someone gets hurt and it becomes a liability issue."
The measure passed unanimously on a motion by director Jon Forrest.
Superintendent Duane Noggle said the drainage work is to keep water running off the field from pooling and damaging the new track facility.
In a related report, Noggle told the board the new press box installation has been completed and finish work at the facility is ongoing and construction is underway on the new storage building for athletic and field equipment.
The entire project is expected to be completed before the opening of school for the 2003-04 term in August.
School board declines to take stand against asphalt plant
By Richard Walter
A delegation of Holiday Acres residents sought school board support Tuesday for their opposition to a planned asphalt plant just off County Road 119 (Light Plant Road).
Walter Greene and Bob Nordman keynoted the presentation with additional comment from other property owners.
While they are adamantly opposed to the proposed plan on their concept of potential hazardous air pollutants and potential pollution of San Juan River, the biggest complaint is that they contend it was approved without public knowledge or opportunity to testify.
Toward that end, they noted the applicant, after being granted a Limited Impact Use permit by the county with several conditions attached, has appealed the conditions limiting operating hours and requiring flagmen.
The appeal will be subject to a public hearing at 7 p.m. May 28.
This, they said, will be an open meeting and the public can voice concerns.
On the basis of nearby high school land and outdoor playing fields, the asphalt opponents believe the school board should be concerned.
Greene suggested the school district should request a study by the county of the site involved, possible air, water and ground pollution and potential effect on students.
"All taxing bodies involved in possible aftereffects should be involved in such a decision of approval," Greene said.
Bill Clark, another member of the delegation, said " I believe there have been efforts of absolute secrecy designed to keep the public from knowing the scope of this project."
Randall Davis, school board president, asked what, specifically, the group wanted from the board, "a letter of support?"
Holiday Acres residents agreed a notice of concern to both the county board and its planning commission would be desirable.
After the delegation departed, the board discussed possible action.
Director Clifford Lucero, himself a county employee, seemed to set the tone for the others.
"I would not want to take any action without hearing the other side," he said. "There's always other interpretation of detail and legal ramifications."
"We are elected officers of a taxing body," he added, "and I don't believe we should get involved in the polices of another taxing body with publicly elected members."
And, he added, "I don't think we'd want them attempting to tell us how to operate our school business responsibilities."
That ended the board's discussion - with no action taken.
Allard files Chronic Wasting Disease control legislation
U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard has introduced a comprehensive bipartisan Chronic Wasting Disease bill that coordinates and increases the federal response to the disease.
Colorado and nine other states have been impacted by its spread, as well as two Canadian provinces and the Korean Peninsula.
"The goal of this new legislation is to put in place a coordinated effort to battle CWD and to emphasize the importance of eradication," said Allard. "This unified approach will ensure Departments of Agriculture and Interior have the resources necessary to assist the states currently battling CWD."
Wisconsin's Sen. Russ Feingold, a cosponsor, said passage of federal legislation is critical to his state.
"This legislation is acutely needed," he said. "Wisconsin's experience in getting federal assistance to address this problem, though eventually forthcoming, has been extremely slow and frustrating."
"The federal government," he added, "must make Chronic Wasting Disease a higher priority. This bill does that by providing additional funds and an explicit mandate to establish a coordinated federal program."
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, another cosponsor, said "This legislation goes a long way to keeping Chronic Wasting Disease from continuing to plague wild deer and elk in Colorado and the rest of the United states. It offers a comprehensive plan that includes diagnostic testing and data collection in the immediate future, as well as long-term management strategies."
The legislation would:
- create a national CWD repository that contains surveillance and monitoring data for both captive and wild deer and elk with an interactive Internet-based Web site that will store data from state and federal agencies to track the disease
- direct the Secretary of Interior to develop a modeling program of the disease's spread in the wild - including environmental data and permanent information
- direct the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a sampling protocol to be used by state and federal agencies for the collection and stabilization of tissue samples
- require the Secretary of Agriculture to develop a program for certification of federal and non-federal labs conducting testing
- expand research into the development of live tests and filed diagnostic testing
- establish a captive herd program to be managed by Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- require upgrading of federal facilities for diagnostic testing and certified labs
- expand grants to Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service for research and education on the disease
-require interagency coordination to distribute grants to states, allowing the lead state agency to qualify for the grants
- authorize $10 million in grants for wildlife management and long-term management strategies for CWD and expand diagnostic and testing capabilities
- require a report to Congress in 180 days by both Agriculture and Interior Departments on their effort.
The total amount authorized in the legislation is $34.5 million.
The bill has been referred to committee for further action.
DeGette bill would protect 1.6 million acres of state wildlands
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette has reintroduced her statewide wilderness legislation in the 108th Congress.
DeGette, at a news conference in Denver Monday, said her bill would permanently protect 1.6 million acres of Colorado wild lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, including roughly 300,000 acres of adjacent Forest Service lands.
Her bill includes lands that have been proposed by Colorado citizens in the Citizens' Wilderness Proposal, a plan endorsed by more than 360 local governments, businesses and conservation and recreation organizations across the state.
Dave Richardson, manager of an outdoor store in Denver, thanked DeGette, emphasizing the value of wilderness to Colorado's economy.
"People come, stay and shop in Colorado for the outdoor quality of life and wild recreation opportunities available to them," Richardson said. "With the West Slope of Colorado boasting over a $10 billion recreation industry, it just makes sense to invest in wilderness and acknowledge that wilderness brings economic growth to Colorado."
DeGette's reintroduced legislation would protect as wilderness 60 special places across the Western Slope, including many low- to mid-elevation lands that provide essential wildlife habitat and outstanding backcountry recreation opportunities.
Wilderness designation is the best way to protect Colorado's wildlands from development while allowing multiple uses such as hiking, skiing, livestock grazing, hunting and fishing, DeGette said. Her proposal reflects decades of inventory work by citizens throughout the state who are dedicated to preserving the state's natural heritage.
"We thank Rep. DeGette for being a champion of Colorado's natural heritage and our wilderness legacy," said SeEtta Moss, a Canon City citizen and president of Arkansas Valley Audubon. "Her legislation will protect many values that are so important to local economies and communities like Canon City, such as wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and opportunities for backcountry recreation."
The bill comes at a time, DeGette said, when attacks on the wilderness system and public lands are more intense than ever.
She noted the Bush administration, along with its industry friends, is promoting policies that undermine 35 years of public land protections. These anti-wilderness policies include fast-tracking energy development on BLM wildlands, giving away illegal road claims across public lands including national parks and wilderness areas, and increasing logging on remote forestlands in the name of protecting communities from fire.
Most recently, she said, Interior Secretary Gale Norton retroactively declared that all wilderness reviews conducted by BLM since 1991 are illegal, and said the BLM will never again consider protecting national wilderness in any BLM planning processes.
"Given the recent actions of the Bush Administration to undermine protection of our public lands, those of us in a position of public service and public trust must act to protect our wildlands," said Dorothea Farris, Pitkin county commissioner.
"We must actively accept our roles as stewards and guardians of special places by working to protect more wilderness," she added.
Under Norton's most recent attack on wilderness, only BLM Wilderness Study areas designated before 1991 could be considered for wilderness protection.
Based on this new policy, over 600,000 acres proposed for wilderness designation in DeGette's bill would have no interim protection and could be immediately leased for oil and gas development, logging or new dirtbike and all-terrain vehicle routes - before Congress even has time to act.
Currently, over 85 percent of the BLM lands in Colorado are open to oil and gas development while only 1.7 percent is protected as wilderness.
DeGette's bill would increase the amount of protected land to 17 percent, still leaving the vast majority of BLM land open to extra-active uses and off-road vehicle recreation.
Saying , "The administration has declared war on wilderness," Suzanne Jones, assistant regional director of The Wilderness Society, added, "attempts by the Bush Administration to roll back public land protections have exceeded even those of Interior Secretary James Watt in the 1980s."
Chimney Rock is now open for season
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area opened for the season today and will remain open daily until Sept. 30.
Guided tours are available four times a day at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m.
The tour takes about 2 1/2 hours and involves hiking along the spectacular ridgetop to several pueblo archaeological sites dating from 950 to 1125 AD.
Cost of the tour is $6 for adults and $2 for children.
For additional information, call 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit the Web site at: www.chimneyrockco.org.
The site is about 20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs on Colo. 151, south of U.S. 160.
The tour program is operated by Chimney Rock Interpretive Program, San Juan Mountains Association, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance personal and community stewardship of natural, cultural and heritage resources on public and other lands in Southwest Colorado.
Stevens Field hosting aviation safety seminar May 17-18
An aviation safety seminar, sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, will be held Saturday and Sunday at Stevens Field.
Pilots from the Four Corners who plan to attend must provide an airplane and will receive three hours of flight instruction and attend a three-hour safety program Saturday evening at Nick's Hangar. The program is free.
Larry Bartlett, the local FAA volunteer safety counselor, will coordinate the operational part of the program and speak Saturday night. Bartlett holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and has been a flight instructor for 55 years. He is a retired FAA-designated pilot examiner and will be assisted by five local flight instructors.
Wind Dancer Aviation Services Inc. will provide a banquet Saturday night at the hangar from 6-7 p.m. for the attendees at a cost of $15.75 per person. Reservations are requested.
In addition, the local Boy Scout troop will be serving a pancake breakfast Saturday as a fund-raising project and breakfast will be provided Sunday by Women in
Aviation. Wind Dancer will provide hot dogs and hamburgers throughout the day.
For further information, call Tylor Hall or Nancy at 731-2127. For flying information, call Larry at 731-9552.
Golf tournament to benefit home for children
The Annual Charity Golf Classic benefiting the Four Corners Home for Children is set May 30-31.
This shotgun-start, four-person shootout will be held at Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington. Cost is $150 per person. Cost includes a cart and green fees for both days and lunch May 31.
Prizes include a million dollar shootout. Five golfers will be drawn for a chance to shoot 165 yards for a hole in one for a million dollar annuity Saturday. In addition, regular hole in one grand prizes include a new Dodge Neon Friday and a travel-trailer Saturday.
A variety of golf packages include rounds of golf at Paa-Ko Ridge Golf and Dalton Ranch Golf Courses, Bed and Breakfast at Kokopelli caves, various southwestern art pieces and various restaurant certificates from local eateries.
Gather a team of four and sign up by calling (505) 325-0255, Ext. 112 or Ext. 150.
Join the fun at this year's 11th annual Charity Golf Classic at Pinon Hills. The tournament is limited to 30 teams so get reservations in early.
For more information, call Bob Fitz or Bert Lamoreux at the above numbers.
Mr. Jack Ellis is to be congratulated for taking the time and making the effort to shed a little light on the school board's sudden termination of Mr. Errol Hohrein.
Given the circumstances of Mr. Ellis' long tenure with the school district it was not without risk to his own employment.
It would now appear that the published justification for Mr. Hohrein's termination was nothing more than a bit of second-rate sophistry designed to cover the fact that Mr. Hohrein was being fired because he was a "whistle blower."
It is curious that the board found Mr. Hohrein's information valid enough to thank him for bringing it to their attention and then promised to investigate Hohrein's allegations.
Apparently, immediately thereafter, without waiting for the results of promised investigation, the board terminated him.
Without knowledge of any of the details of Mr. Hohrein's allegations it is hard to understand why the board would take such severe action.
District taxpayers have a vested interest in a number of questions related to this matter. If Mr. Hohrein's concerns related to the efficient operation of the district facilities and expenditure of district funds then why punish him for speaking up?
If there are other reasons for the termination why hide them behind a very lame justification?
Why the immediate action without prior warnings to Hohrein?
What about board policies related to terminations? What about due process and the right to fair hearing? Was Hohrein unqualified for the work he was hired to perform? Did he fail to do work that was in his job classification? Did he waste district time or funds? Was he ever given a disciplinary warning to improve his performance? On the other hand, was he ever commended for good work?
At a time when educational funding is scarce and the need to get more "bang for the buck" out of every tax dollar is greater than any time in recent history is it really wise to punish an employee who raises the issue?
Maybe the district taxpayers need to pay more attention to how our school system is being administered.
It's Thursday morning, "paper day," and I just finished reading and I mean from cover to cover.
Liked your editorial i.e., kids and summer activities - however, the front page article "Third grade reading scores climb" prompted me to write.
Your editorial left out our summer reading program for children of all ages at the Ruby Sisson Library. We have been doing this every summer for years and the program continues to grow.
Each child pledges to read a certain number of books (number and subject are the child's choice) and are awarded prizes for their efforts along with a lot of fun and games.
We also have many adults from the community who volunteer to read to our kids who always enjoy interacting with community leaders.
So, Karl, keep cool this summer; take a cooking hiatus and read a book. Also, kudos to Richard Walter's words. Love you all.
Two holer traced
John Motter just doesn't understand a true "two holer."
The original was set up for large families, like mine. That meant that inside, the seats were stair-stepped - one high, one low for the kids.
This meant a small child in desperate straits never had to "lose it" scrambling on to the "high" seat. Inside the "Chic Sales" was a seat awaiting him or her, perfect for short legs and a small behind.
We kept the stairstep holes until the kids grew up and then replaced it with a level board - hence the nutty "two holer."
Interestingly, all of my kids continued to use "their hole" forever after.
Hope this answers your questions on the "strange two holer."
The final end occurs when the kids grow up and move away. The "two-holer" becomes a "one-holer" with real toilet seat with fake fur cover for the "ancients" who remain ... the history of an outhouse.
Best regards and keep up the good articles.
The property taxes in Archuleta County have reached a threshold of pain for many people owning property and living here.
You might be shocked at next year's tax valuations when you get them in the mail.
Where is that tax money going? Have you seen an increase in services in the county in the last few years commensurate with those increases? I haven't.
It is a basic law of nature that when you give a government entity the ability to tax, it will never relinquish that right. On the contrary, it will parasitically continue to raise even more taxes.
Many of the economically less fortunate families, who have lived here for generations, and who own property here, will be forced to leave. A particularly nasty form of Darwinian economics.
I urge the county commissioners to practice fiscal restraint, and not to finance grandiose projects we can't afford, such as an extension of the county airport (serving a select few), or a new courthouse.
I urge the voters of this county not to finance more ultra expensive and ludicrous PAWS projects to increase water reservoir capabilities. Those reservoirs won't be worth "a pitcher of warm spit" if nature doesn't provide us with more moisture.
The days of unrestrained growth are over. Let us try to live within our means.
I was almost in tears after choking through DC Duncan's inept appeal in last week's letters to rally and unite behind his liberal ideology to demean the war with Iraq and those supporting the effort.
All of us "simple minded" folks are supposed to be depressed and feel sympathy for our confused liberal brethren because American patriots had to remove Saddam Hussein from power and end his brutal reign.
Or we could well find ourselves to the point we presently face with North Korea now possessing nuclear capabilities and having to deal with attempted blackmail.
Yes, guess you'll just have to learn to love it Dunkie. Free people will set the course of history in the Middle East - the tyrant is out. It has always been a terribly losing proposition to bet against the success of freedom. America will lead whether you liberals like it or not.
The only thing animating left wing "Demon Crats" these days is the prospect of reacquiring power in Washington. They are not concerned about whether the country ends up securing peace in the Middle East, whether the country does the right thing, whether the outcome is good for America.
For them to succeed, George Bush must fall. The economy must implode. The Iraq war should have been a total debacle. Citizens must be in pain.
What is honestly upsetting for Dunkie to swallow is that the left can't find anyone in the Democratic Party that can hit a political home run in 2004. They have no legitimate candidates - so sorry. The current list is colorful, but painful. They hold all the wrong Crayolas.
Solution: What you liberal pseudo-psychology intellectuals seriously need in 2004 is a man with a plan who has vision; someone who is inspirational and is creditable; or maybe a woman.
I've got it: Hillary Clinton says she's your man; I mean woman! She even thinks that a U.S. Navy flight suit would look good on her. I doubt it.
However, even the "X-Wicked Witch of the West Wing" is smart enough to know when it's time to just back up and "KISS" (Keep It Simple Stupid). George Bush would make her look like a total idiot if she ran in 2004.
Keeping it simple,
I guess I just don't get it: The increase over the last several decades of the gap between the rather rich and the rather poor seems to be an established fact; moreover, no one I encounter asserts (at least in public) that this is a good thing.
But what seems to me the salient factor is that much of the widening took place while the rather rich were "burdened" with a higher tax rate than they are at present. How can anyone claim they were overtaxed unless they are willing to argue that the rather poor were overtaxed as well?
How can the recently approved asphalt batch plant be considered under a "Limited Impact Use" permit?
That process is meant for small projects - not a 60,000-ton asphalt operation, with its attendant toxic emissions and noise, near neighborhoods, sports fields and the San Juan River.
Under a Limited Impact permit there was no public hearing, no review by the planning commission or the board of county commissioners.
The determination of what projects fall under a Limited Use permit, rather than a Conditional Use permit (which does require a public hearing and review by the planning commission and the board of county commissioners) is made by "planning staff," which also has the power of approval.
I feel that in this case an improper determination was made.
There are many other questions which remain unanswered at this time regarding how this process was handled. It is especially hard to determine the true facts when the process occurs out of the public arena.
It is also another reason why this county needs zoning and noise regulations, now.
I hope the commissioners do not use the current vacancy in the planning director's position as an excuse to continue putting off these crucial tasks.
Lynda Van Patter
Slow-cooked foods might be healthiest
By Laura Bedard
What a celebration we had for Mother's Day.
The Red Hat Society plied us with cookies, the Nazareth High School Band from Texas came and played their hearts out for us and we gave each woman present a beautiful carnation.
It is such a small thing to celebrate our mothers' gifts of love to us and we get so much love back that it is well worth it.
We are going to Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio May 20. Seniors can sign up in the dining room at the desk and travel for free on Sky Ute's spiffy new bus. The sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you are feeling lucky, sign up soon.
Ron Alexander will be back May 21 to show us how to make all kinds of cool toys from trash (he specializes in boats).
Children still seem to be able to have fun with almost anything at hand, so perhaps you could teach them how to make their own toys. Ron will bring some materials and also some finished products so you can be inspired to create your own fun.
Remember to sign up for the special Silver Foxes Day at Chimney Rock. Bill Pongratz was kind enough to schedule this tour for you, the fee is a suggested donation of what you would like to give.
The tour will be Thursday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. and will have two parts. The lower tour is wheelchair accessible and is not steep; this portion of the tour will take approximately one hour.
The upper tour is steep and not wheelchair accessible and will also take about one hour. Including driving time, expect to spend about 2 1/2 hours.
The sign-up sheet is in the dining room at the desk or you may call to have your name added. If you need transportation please let us know and we will do our best to hook you up in a carpool effort.
There are a lot of you interested in line dancing. So far, 19 have signed up.
We are still in need of an instructor; please talk to your friends and family and spread the word. If we don't find an instructor Lovely Laura will get you started . For those of you who know Laura, you know what you are in for -fun, fun, fun.
We are making summer plans now and a popular trip in the summer for our seniors is a visit to the Creede Repertory Theatre.
This season kicks off with "A Tuna Christmas," a hilarious comedy about the residents of Tuna, Texas, the third smallest town in the state.
We usually have one trip each month for a Saturday afternoon show, and quite often we have lunch in Creede as well. Some people like to drive themselves, and others sign up for our van.
The drive up is beautiful, especially in the fall, and the theatre has shows running through September. Let us know if you have an interest in going with us to Creede.
Break out that old crock pot. New research indicates that cooking foods slowly with less heat may be healthier.
Scientists studied two groups of diabetic patients who ate similar diets for six weeks. One group ate meals cooked at high temperatures while the other ate foods prepared using lower temperatures for longer cooking times.
Those on the slow-cooked diet had a 40-percent decrease in AGEs (advanced glycation end products) in their blood. AGEs are substances that are commonly found in food, particularly meat, and can hasten vascular disease.
Researchers speculate that a healthy diet of gently cooked foods will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Here are some tips: Minimize use of the microwave, toaster and barbecue, which use high temperatures to heat food. Choose fish and vegetables over red meat, which has more AGE's.
When possible, braise, boil or poach foods. (Cooking with water slows the process, says Prevention Magazine).
With the loss of a loved one, holiday and celebrations can be difficult There are many things that family and friends can do to help ease the burden of the day for those who are grieving.
Understand that people often want to continue to observe holidays as they did before, but often they can't follow the usual traditions.
Make changes to accommodate the feeling of loss. Social and family gatherings can be overwhelming and seeing people is painful. It feels like there is nothing to celebrate when you are in tremendous pain.
Celebrations, especially birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, taking place after the death of a loved one will be different than before.
Try making a plan for the days, but know that you can change your mind and do something different.
Bringing up the subject of celebrations after losing a loved one can be hard but is essential. If you don't do this, individual family members may be operating on different assumptions that could result in misunderstandings.
Discuss ways to add a new element to celebrations or start a new tradition. Include the memory of their loved one in some way (like lighting a candle for them). Be aware that as hard as the day is, you can find the strength to get through it. This Memorial Day weekend could be especially hard for them.
Be reminded that we are trying to drum up interest in a few different areas: a chess club and chronic illness support group - please call if you are interested.
End of life choices are difficult and best dealt with while we are able to make our own decisions. If you are interested in a living will or power of attorney we need to hear from you and we'll make arrangements for a workshop.
Check out our newsletter and it's cool links through our new Web page at www.archuleta county.org. Click on departments and then senior center. There you will find the activity list, menu and just plain good information.
One of the links is to BenefitsCheckUp, a national Web site that provides seniors 55 and over with information regarding programs they may be eligible for.
While completing the questionnaire you are given the opportunity to request information on topics such as legal assistance, hearing impaired programs, visually impaired programs, Alzheimer's programs and more. This is a confidential Web site. At no time is your name, address, phone number or Social Security number asked for.
If you do not have Internet access, feel free to stop in the Senior Center and complete the questionnaire. Musetta will be happy to assist with the process.
Special thanks to Linda Grauberger for donating a set of ankle weights and the book that goes with it.
Visitors and guests
We are pleased to welcome Sandy Rollins as our newest volunteer. Sandy brings us lots of enthusiasm and a wonderful smile. She will be volunteering at the desk if we can keep her sitting down long enough.
It was great to see Kurt and Louise Deidring again, as well as Bill and Sherry Ulery who are visiting from Oregon. We also saw Virginia and Ernie Carr, Lorraine, Lavri and Angie Lind, George Jernigan, Mike Ide, Jim Lillard, Jacky Reece and Aida McKeen from Hawaii.
Friday - No Qi Gong today; 11 a.m. Medicare counseling, 1 p.m. dominos
May 19 - 1 p.m. bridge for fun
May 20 - 9:30 a.m. yoga; 10:30 advanced computer class, 1 p.m. Sky Ute Casino trip
May 21 - 10:30 a.m. beginning computer class; 12:30 p.m. toys from trash with Ron Alexander
May 22 - 10:30 a.m. Silver Foxes Day at Chimney Rock
May 23 - 20 a.m. Qi Gong; 11 a.m. Medicare counseling; 12:30 p.m. Kate Kelly plays the viola; 1 p.m. free movie day, "The Other Side of Heaven."
Please note: Yoga may be canceled May 27. Please call first.
Durango VA clinic functions well despite recent news to contrary
By Andy Fautheree
Some of you may have seen an article in Monday's Durango Herald regarding some issues with the Durango VA outpatient clinic. Some of the issues were critical of the clinic, raised by the clinic staff.
In the past I too have expressed some concerns about the Durango VA Clinic. Much of that had to do with startup issues when the clinic first opened and the sudden and untimely death of the physician at the facility, which created some temporary scheduling problems.
However, of late I have been getting good reports on the clinic from many of our veterans. Many have told me they received prompt response from clinic personnel for their appointment schedules, questions or prescription needs.
I can attest to this personally.
Like so many of our Archuleta County veterans, I am enrolled in VA Health Care. Pretty hard to sell something you don't use yourself.
As many regular readers of this column know, I am a strong advocate for VA health care and encourage every veteran to enroll.
I have had occasion to personally call the Durango clinic for health care services recently, and have had excellent response to my needs.
I called over last week to see about getting an appointment to renew prescription drugs. Dr. Daniel Hepburn called me back personally, discussed my prescription needs and approved renewals right over the phone. This saved me a trip to the clinic and the doctor's time to see me personally for prescription renewals. Time that may be better spent seeing a veteran for more serious needs.
Open to new patients
This may not be possible in many cases, as I'm sure it would depend on the level and needs for certain prescriptions. In my case, the prescriptions are not for any serious conditions. I was very satisfied with the timeliness and professional handling of my needs.
The Durango clinic is one of the few VA health care facilities in this whole region able to take a steady stream of new patients without prolonged waiting periods.
Staff at the clinic told me recently they are seeing new patients at the rate of about four a day, in addition to the schedule of appointments for existing veteran patients. They indicated they are able to schedule new patient appointments in about 90 days.
Most VA health care clinics and hospitals are closed to all new veteran enrollments, except those with the 50-percent or higher service-connected disability rating.
This is excellent service. Most other VA health care facilities have a much longer waiting period for veterans that do not have a high priority classification, or are closed entirely to new enrollments of low priority classification.
Veterans with 50-percent or more service connected disabilities are now promised enrollment and assignment to a primary health care provider in a maximum of about 90 days at most facilities.
However, most of our Archuleta County veterans enrolled in VA health care do not have service-connected disabilities, so their priority classification is much lower. Yet, they are still able to get into VA health care in about 90 days, if they qualify under the current income guidelines.
Look past current news
So, not all is as it may seem. There may be some problems at the Durango clinic.
I suspect those problems will be addressed and handled properly by the VA processes and in the long run our veterans will continue to benefit from the close proximity of the Durango Clinic and the excellent services they provide.
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
If you want to celebrate try Casino Royale
Hula, Hula ... Moolah, Moolah.
That's the theme for the Fourth Annual Rotary Casino Royale.
Saturday is the date and 6-11p.m. the time. Tickets are $50 in advance and available at the Chamber, or stand still for more than 10 minutes in public and a Rotarian will surely approach you with an offer to sell.
If you don't plan ahead, they'll ask you for $60 at the door.
Recommended dress is Hawaiian Casual with black tie optional, which leaves lots of room for the imagination to run wild.
Veterans of previous Casino Royales will tell you that fun and excitement abound as players vie for the most "funny money" with which to purchase chances in the drawings for great prizes.
This year's grand prize is a trip for two to Hawaii. Your gambling choices include poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and wheel of fortune.
If you're not much of a gambler, Casino Royale is still a night full of fun.
Great food and a cash bar will be available to tempt everyone in attendance. A silent auction will be ongoing through the night with plenty of enticing items on which to bid. The Rio Jazz Dance Band will provide musical entertainment to top off a fantastic evening.
All proceeds from ticket sales for Casino Royale benefit student college scholarships and local community projects, so come on out to Hula, Hula Š Moolah, Moolah. I'm willing to bet you have a good time.
Music in the Mountains
Have you purchased your tickets for Music In The Mountains yet?
If not, now might be a good time to consider a trip to the Chamber because tickets are heading out the door at a fairly steady clip. It's a fairly safe bet that we will sell out all three shows again this year and we don't want you to miss out.
On 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.
The tickets are ever-so-affordable this year at $35 for the July performances and $45 for the August performance and reception.
Why pay hundreds of dollars to travel to a smog shrouded city and sit in a dark room to hear music of this quality, when you can enjoy it in your own backyard?
The Knights of Columbus of Pagosa Springs invite you to a community dinner in honor of Father John Bowe's 80th birthday.
The dinner will be held May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.
Tickets for the dinner are $50 and you have a choice of steak, salmon or chicken for your entrée.
Proceeds from the dinner will go toward construction of a prayer garden at the new Immaculate Heart of Mary campus on South Pagosa Boulevard.
For more information on the dinner, contact John O'Brien at 731-3741 or Carlos Trujillo at 264-5731.
The Wild Blooms
No, it's not a flower show. It's a concert benefiting the Friends of Performing Arts (FoPA).
The Wild Blooms will perform an evening of folk/rock music May 30 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will commence at 7:30.
Tickets to the show are available at WolfTracks, Moonlight Books and the Chamber for $10 or you can purchase them at the door for $12. Soft drinks and wine will be available for a donation and refreshments will be served.
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area opens for tours today.
These two-hour tours are offered daily at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., and at 1 and 2 p.m.
Cost for the tours is $6 for adults (12 and over), $2 for children 5-11 years old and free for children under 5. Reservations are not required, but tours may be cancelled due to severe weather or during special events so you might want to call 883-5359 if you have any questions or concern.
This year's opening date also coincides with the first full moon program and this one has a special twist: There will be a full lunar eclipse tonight.
There is a $10 charge for the program and space is limited, so call 883-5859 before 4:30 p.m. to make a reservation. This one ought to be spectacular.
Welcome back diplomats
Our diplomats return May 19 and all of us at the Chamber are so glad to have them back.
For anyone new to Pagosa, our diplomats are volunteers who staff the Visitor Center during the busy summer months and handle the same five questions a few hundred times each day as they help our visitors to get the most enjoyment possible out of their stays in Pagosa Springs.
As a warm-up for the coming summer, many of our diplomats were treated to a tour of some of our local businesses to help them get acquainted with new members and to remind them of old members.
Our thanks go out to all the following businesses that took time out of their busy days to host our diplomats: Spirit Rest Retreat, Slices of Nature, San Juan Motel and RV Park, Bruce Spruce Ranch, Wolf Creek Outfitters, Branding Iron B-B-Q, Pagosa Health and Fitness "The Club," Main Street Antiques, Wind Dancer Aviation Services, Pioneer Aviation, Archuleta County Search and Rescue, Fairfield Pagosa, The Choke Cherry Tree and Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.
While many of our diplomats have volunteered for years, we are always looking to add some fresh blood to the corps, so if you're interested in spending four hours a week meeting people from around the world, give us a call at 264-2360.
Not only will you find it rewarding; you'll probably learn a few new things to do around Pagosa Springs. We'll be happy to train you, so give us a call.
Only five renewals this week, but each and every one of them is important to us. Our renewals are Helena Gunther with Market Value Appraisal, Mike Thomas with Southwest Hardwood and Supply (formerly Floortech Services), Karen Thomas with Oasis Graphics , The Chama Courier, and Les Mundall, as a real estate associate with Coldwell Banker The Pagosa Group.
As always, our thanks to all our members for making us one of the best little chambers in the USA.
Preserving our fragile past
May is Colorado Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month. This year, working to eliminate vandalism is the theme. You are invited to experience some of the discoveries and efforts to save parts of our past with 116 events scheduled across Colorado for 2003.
Government agencies and volunteers who have a passion for preserving our ancient and historic places put on the events. One such event at Chimney Rock is listed in a brochure. There are many more in our area.
Vandals are defacing ancient petroglyphs with bullets and paint. Developing trail systems and interpretive programs can eliminate vandalism at important regional sites. Learn more about the programs and opportunities to be part of this venture.
There are several programs for archaeological certification open to volunteers. Read more about it in our brochure. Free copies are available.
Think and plan around the 10 commandments for a healthy yard. Choose strong native trees, shrubs and grasses as your best defense against pests and weeds.
Ask for a free copy of this excellent guide. It gives tips and Web sites. Did you know that three times more pesticides are applied per acre to home lawns and gardens than are applied to agricultural crops? Lawn pesticides kill an estimated seven million birds every year.
Hershey Ranch visit
The Durango San Juan Audubon Society announced that Terry Hershey has invited the local Audubon group for a tour of her Four-Mile Ranch here in Pagosa in late August or early September. About 500 acres of the 2,400-acre ranch are already in a partial Audubon trust. Terry would like to set up the entire ranch, in trust, as a research and educational facility.
For more information about the San Juan Audubon Society and activities, call Tony Gurzick at 375-2786.
Keeping with this week's theme of nature, James Michener's "Creatures of the Kingdom, Stories of Animals and Nature" gives us 16 tales taken from excerpts from his novels along with one unpublished story.
He takes us from the boundless deep to the birth of the Rockies; from Alaska to Chesapeake. The final story is entitled, "The Colonel and Genghis Khan," and relates a story of a man foiled by a squirrel. Wonderful reading.
We needed a reminder that Colorado is an arid, semidesert climate where drought is expected. Experts tell us that this was one of the worst droughts in history, and the fires complicated the situation. (Don't forget to come by and see the water display.)
This article and the one on drought are to be found in the "Colorado Business Review" published by the University of Colorado. Last year was the third time since the end of World War II that the state has shown negative job growth. How will the economy respond? Check out this very informative newsletter.
Thanks to John and Jennie Schoenborn who became sponsors in the Lee Sterling building fund. Dick and Betty Hillyer gave to the regular building fund as Associates. George Reeves is once again a millennium donor in loving memory of Dorothy K. Reeves. Thanks for materials from Terry Hershey, Bob and Carole Howard, Bev Worthman, Lyn DeLange, Barbara Carlos, Amy and Ian Skolnick, John Egan and Kate Smock, and Ruth Oberholtzer.
The Flying Burrito held a grand opening May 5 and offers takeout and delivery Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
The menu at The Flying Burrito includes tacos, burritos, breakfast items, green and red chile and fish tacos during the summer months. The restaurant also offers daily specials.
Kyle and Karen Canty of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Meigan, to Derick Munson, son of Bob and Sheral Munson of Romeo, Colo. Meigan has attended Brigham Young University and will be transferring to attend college in Alamosa. She is planning to study nursing or education. Derick teaches at Rocky Mountain Youth Academy in La Jara, Colo., and is interested in a degree in counseling. The wedding will take place in Albuquerque, N.M., in June.
Lora and Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Springs were married May 14, 1983 and celebrated their 20th anniversary yesterday.
By Terri Lynn House
"The days may come,
the days may go,
but still the hands of memory weave the blissful dreams
of long ago."
A group gathered in Pagosa Springs May 3 to preserve memories and create new ones.
It was part of National Scrapbook Day - a day celebrated around the world each year, the first Saturday in May.
Area scrapbook stores and independent scrapbook consultants hosted special events for the avid hobbyists. It was an occasion local scrappers wouldn't have missed for the world.
Women have traditionally gathered for quilting bees. Today you find them gathering for crops.
Crops are parties where scrappers, as they are known, meet to socialize and create pages of memories for future generations ... and to eat great food.
Michelle Schutz has been the chef of choice for many of the local crops: Broccoli casseroles, homemade pies and baked Alaska are just some of her specialties. If Michelle cooks it, the scrappers will eat it.
And you can't leave out the M&Ms when discussing the menu - the snack of choice for scrappers. No crop is complete without them. They melt in your mouth, not on your scrapbook.
But there's more to it than food.
The crop in Pagosa brought together friends whose paths might not cross if it weren't for the common thread of documenting their lives.
The crop is a time to create new friendships, catch up on the latest news and gossip.
It is even time to plan new adventures, and to win prizes.
Don MacNamee may find a trip to Africa in his future following National Scrapbook Day. His wife, Maria, won some zoo stickers that included lions. In no time at all, it was decided that an African Safari was in order.
Scrappers will do just about anything to get the perfect photo to match the perfect sticker that goes with the perfect paper that will make the perfect layout.
There are many embellishments available to decorate a scrapbook's pages.
Look into any avid collector's (addict's) tote and you will find eyelets, brads, fibers, nail heads, charms, buttons, stickers, tags, die cuts and all the tools needed to create fabulous pages. Some even carry their own hammer to crops. You can barely lift those so-called totes. Once packed up for a crop it is helpful to have assistance loading the car.
All the materials are put to use in personal scrapbooking projects.
Each scrapper lends her own touch to her projects, pursuing subjects that are meaningful to her.
One local scrapper documented her dog's surgery, and her husband's broken leg along with her current addiction to drinking Chai. Her specialty includes holiday pages, pet pages and horse pages. Her family and pets hate to see her coming with her camera.
Creative Memories Consultant Gale Weber has created numerous amazing pages capturing the special moments with her two sons, Blake and Dillon, and her husband, Andy. Gale is definitely a trendsetter in Pagosa's scrapbook scene. You can find all of the latest accessories in her scrapbook room. Most of Pagosa's current scrapbook addicts trace the roots of their addiction to Gale's influence.
Becky Condon displayed her sense of humor when asked what scrapbooking means to her. "Debt," she said. One thing many scrapbookers do well is collect supplies. They are definitely collectors, incurring some serious, but productive, debt along the way. But, the cost is worth it.
When asked what scrapbooking has brought to her world, scrapper Tosha Martinez said she enjoys reliving the memories of her photos all over again.
Maria said it brought a renewed joy in taking pictures. "Now I take my camera everywhere."
Marsha Preuit enjoys the camaraderie involved with scrapbooking.
Becca Apodaca, mother of two, said it is, "Time to do something for you."
Everyone agreed socializing is a big part of scrapbooking.
But it is much more.
Scrapbooking is a way to record hopes and dreams, lessons learned and cherished moments as well as everyday happenings. Everyone has unique reasons and desires for documenting their lives, and scrapbooking provides a perfect opportunity for a growing number of people.
If you want to take up a new hobby, look up your local consultant or visit a scrapbook store today.
You'll be on your way to preserving what's priceless Š your memories.
Memories of the one-room schoolhouse
"Still sits the school house by the road, a ragged beggar sunning," was the beginning thought of a poem we had to memorize back in the old school days, along with lines from "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner," some "Macbeth," and other mots our teachers thought, if ingested, would make us better people.
For some unknown reason the thought of the abandoned schoolhouse sunning itself has stayed with me closer than my smallpox vaccination. Every time I drive the backroads of Archuleta County and see an old schoolhouse the line races through my mind.
For one thing, I had the good fortune to attend one of those country schools during my elementary years. Ours was a little fancier than the one-room school of legend. Our schoolhouse contained two rooms. The teacher lived in one room, eight grades occupied the other room. Behind the school was a woodshed and an outhouse.
Country schools dotted the rural areas of this nation into the 1950s. My country school was in Oregon, but the same system existed in California and Texas and Colorado and the rest of the nation.
Archuleta County was no exception. At times, the county was home to more than 20 schools. Since there was no busing available, schools were located within a reasonable walking distance of student homes. In logging communities such as Archuleta County used to be, schools came and went because lumber mills came and went.
Mills were set up near promising stands of timber. Men employed by the mills and their families moved close to the mill. If there were enough children, a school was started. When the timber had been cut into lumber, the mill moved to the next promising stand of trees. The workers and their families followed. Often the school near the former mill closed.
Careful research would be required to identify all of the schools that have existed in Archuleta County.
The first local schools started while the area we call Archuleta County was part of Conejos County. At that time, the county seat, and therefore the home office of the school district, was located in Conejos. Conejos is located across the San Juan Mountains in the San Luis Valley.
In those years, public schools were under the county government umbrella. An elected county superintendent of schools ran the school system. Imagine the miles the superintendent must have traveled to oversee Pagosa's schools.
When Archuleta County separated from Conejos County in 1885, one of the first tasks facing the new county government was organizing a school district.
The first district called for a school in Pagosa Springs. The second district set up a school at Chromo. In quick succession, schools were started at Edith, at the Pagosa-Durango road crossing of the Piedra River, in Coyote Park near the Boone Ranch and at Arboles.
In addition, down through the years there have been schools at Trujillo, Juanita, Pagosa Junction and Caracas; on the Stollsteimer; at Talian, Kearns and Lone Tree on Cat Creek Road; near the junction of Yellowjacket and Squaw Creeks; Dyke; the Bayles school west of town; two in the upper Blanco; one and possibly two on the lower Blanco; one on the upper Navajo in addition to the one at Chromo; one up the road running north out of town toward Pagosa Peak, (I think it was called the Hayden school); at least two near the road running to Williams Creek; one on the West Fork of the San Juan River; and others at specific mill sites.
Some of the buildings remain, but not many. The Bayles school has been moved but is visible from U.S. 160 near Astraddle A Saddle West of town. One of the Piedra schools still stands on a side road sort of between the Chimney Rock Restaurant and the bridge. The Chromo school stands by the river near Chromo Mercantile. Portions of the Juanita school are still in place. One of the lower Blanco school buildings remains, though it is well hidden by trees and bushes. One of the upper Blanco school houses has been moved to the Red Ryder Art Museum. The other, the Deer Creek School, was located far off of the beaten path. I visited the building during the 1970s, but don't know if it is still standing. The Debs school building overlooking the East Fork of the Piedra remains in use as a community center. The Hayden building is intact, but not visible from the road. A portion of the Juanita school still stands. Other schools came and went, mostly near sawmills.
Each of the rural schools had its own school board, officers and teacher. Each was supported by local tax dollars collected by the county and routed to the schools. I believe most of the school money came from property taxes paid by the railroads crossing the county.
School teachers were certified by the county school superintendent, usually after passing a written and oral test. Often, the teacher boarded with a family near the school. Only an eighth-grade education was required, at least during the earlier years.
I attended the fourth and fifth grades at a country school, 1944-1945. The desks were arranged in parallel rows and aisles running from the front to the back of the room. First-graders sat at the front left. Behind them were the second-graders. The succeeding grades continued the pattern through the rows of seats until reaching the eighth-graders who sat at the right rear of the room.
I walked at least three miles to school, but other students traveled much further, on foot or on bicycles. The school building had electricity and a telephone, but no plumbing. A wood-burning stove supplied heat.
I remember those years with a great deal of nostalgia. I think they were the happiest of all my public school years.
My older sister, Margie, graduated from the eighth grade at New Hope. Graduation that year was a big deal. There were seven graduates, the largest number anyone could recall. The girls, including Margie, wore homemade dresses of a flowery print material. For the first time, she was allowed to wear hose with the new white sandals purchased especially for the occasion. She and mom spent hours heating the curling iron in the chimney of the kerosene lamp so Margie's hair would be perfect.
The ceremony was conducted outside on the softball field, a pasture for cows when we weren't using it. Rows of tables were set up and piled with delectables prepared by the ladies of the community. The Fry family brought their guitars, and fiddle and mandolin much to the pleasure of everyone, including the nearby Jersey cows.
After the fifth grade, we were all bused to town. It probably was for the best, but it wasn't as fun. A few years ago I went looking for the New Hope school I had attended, only to learn it had burned to the ground long ago. I enjoyed the spotlight because, for once, I was the old-timer who knew things from the past no one living there knew.
Underneath it all was a great sadness. My school house was gone. Where was I to store those memories?
And so, today, when I see an abandoned country school in Archuleta County, I relive vicariously, those years at new Hope School. Still sits the schoolhouse by the road.
Pursue all options
A proposal made to the directors of the Upper San Juan Health Service District last week presents options for dealing with problems between management and labor in the district's two divisions and, at the same time, raises questions that demand more attention.
The main element in the proposal is the privatization of the medical practice now subsidized by the district with tax dollars. Much of the discontent in the situation arises among employees at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic and one way to remove the staff from the irritant of district management is to have physicians and support staff enter the marketplace as a private business. Let the practice sink or swim under its own management, offering its product in the competitive marketplace.
Other aspects of the proposal are not as clear as the need for privatization.
Whether the operation at a private clinic should be supported for six months, or for any appreciable time, by tax dollars is debatable. There are loans available for private business and many have used them successfully. There seems little reason why a new private practice in town cannot do the same.
Those tax dollars could be used to support 24-hour clinical emergency care and indigent care by participating local physicians, with a payback arrangement from private practices for unused hours in the urgent care system.
The use of the clinic building is another cloudy issue. The proposal last week recommends use of the district's real estate for laboratory facilities, diagnostic and minor surgery operations, with the newly created private practice moving to its own quarters. The lease of the district facility to a private practice could also be considered as an option.
A suggestion that arrangements be made with Mercy Medical Center in Durango to manage and provide services to the district's Emergency Medical Services division was part of the proposal. By all means pursue negotiations with Mercy, but how likely is it the hospital will entertain management of an ambulance service when it has worked to separate itself from management of ambulance service in its own community.
Both of these recommendations - concerning real estate and its use, and the control of our ambulance service - require something of the district board that is not part of the proposal, but should be. Simply put: The district must redefine its mission, recreate its role. If the move to a private practice is successful, directors must ask what the district will do. Will it continue to manage EMS or turn it over to another entity? Will it continue to own the clinic building? Will it continue to exist?
One other notion was voiced at last week's meeting that begs for comment. Board members were asked if local physicians approached them and asked them to step down, whether they would do so. This is an unacceptable idea.
The district is a governmental entity, its members elected to represent the public. We do not elect officials to have their services subject to the fiat of a select few. Citizens do not vote in order that four other citizens with no greater political status than theirs can then exercise control. Physicians, lawyers, editors, laborers, each count for one vote. If political change is desired, it must occur through the processes we define by law. There are ways to remove officials from office and to replace them; they do not include bowing to the desires of a minority.
Last week's proposal is a first step on the way to an exit from an embarrassing problem. We need to pursue the options, refine the plan, find an escape route that benefits the community as a whole and move quickly toward it.
Aggies, corduroy hat recalled
By Richard Walter
Anyone who had an aggie was the envy of the marble-playing crowd in Pagosa in the mid 1940s.
Aggies, for agate, were thought to be the best possible marbles for shooters because they were harder, more dense, and thus packed a bigger wallop - even if you had a weak thumb.
They were protected with stern glances if anyone even thought of touching an aggie belonging to another.
Still, they weren't the only prized marbles.
Everyone needed a good lagger. It was bigger, heavier, and when lagged might push another's out of position for the right to first shot.
It wasn't unusual to find groups of younger children playing marbles in all sections of town on a summer evening.
They were friendly games, but they were games of possession. You could lose up to 20 marbles a night - an arbitrary limit in my neighborhood.
I remember losing a lot, but never the whole 20. In fact, somewhere in the vast recesses of our home, I know there still exists a tin can filled with marbles won from other players.
I was triggered in to thinking about marbles when someone asked me if I could recall any really prized possession from my youth and, if so, if I still had it?
Perhaps the most prized possession I can recall, however, would probably not be the first in most male grownup memories.
It was a corduroy hat, soft brimmed and a peculiar shade of purple.
It became a constant part of my apparel for special activities - like bike riding, but more importantly, fishing.
It was the perfect fit, protected my eyes and scalp from the sun, and was, with its fine ribbed definition, a perfect place to keep spare hooks when I went fishing.
I can't remember where it came from. I'm sure my mother didn't purchase it for me, but it became the center of my outdoor world.
I fitted a cord to it so I could tighten it down in a strong wind and could go full speed on the bicycle without fear of losing it.
And then, one day working downstream on the Piedra from the upper bridge, I waded out into the middle to get a better angle for a cast to a hole where a rainbow surely was waiting.
I hadn't tightened the cord because there was no wind.
As I stepped into deeper water, however, I encountered a stone that had never been there before and slipped forward.
Struggling to right myself and not be embarrassed should anyone see me fall, I accidentally tipped the hat off while struggling to remain upright.
You can't imagine my chagrin as I saw it dip and turn on the early spring current, rapidly trailing away from me.
I reeled in and tried casting to snag it but missed the first try by a foot and then it was out of reach.
I went to shore and ran downstream, watching for the hat to pop up on driftwood or against a rock. I never saw it again.
I guess the moral is that one must guard a prized possession against himself and others.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of May 16, 1913
Sheep are in poor condition this spring and the continued cold, dry weather prevents them gaining as they usually do at this season of the year.
The Chromo school disagreement is happily settled. The trouble arose over the fact that the district voted to increase the teacher's salary from $60 to $65 per month on agreement that the teacher was to devote extra time to a crippled child at home who is unable to attend school.
The park presents a much improved appearance since Tuesday, when the townspeople went there in goodly numbers and besides leveling the ground burned up much of the debris next to the river remaining from the flood.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of May 18, 1928
A crew of four men were sent to Wolf Creek Pass Saturday to shovel snow from the highway to the top of the divide and completed their work today. A half mile of shoveling remains to be done on the north side.
Manuel, 14-year-old son of Antonio Crespen, both of La Jara, N.M., was brought to town Saturday from the B.A. Rodriquez sheep camp near Kearns and found to be suffering from diphtheria. He and his father were at once placed in quarantine in the county jail, there being no other occupants of the bastille, until Wednesday, when the lad was returned to the sheep camp and Kearns and isolated in a tent. He is getting along very nicely at this time.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of May 15, 1953
The water outlook for the 1953 season is for much less than normal, according to the May 1st water survey report issued by Colorado A&M. The flow of the San Juan is estimated at about 40 percent of normal in this report. In this area it is expected to be slightly higher than that with 45 percent of normal snow cover for the first of May.
The report further says, "The forecasts of summer flow on the San Juan have declined slightly from April. The soil was dry under the snow at the beginning of the snow accumulation period. This will reduce the flow of streams to less than indicated by current snow cover. Soil moisture will have to be increased before an increase in runoff can be expected.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of May 18, 1978
The main streams in the county are up this week because of warmer temperatures, although none have caused any damage. The snowpack is coming out of the mountains at a rapid rate on warm days, and the larger streams are very muddy, very cold, and very swift. Residents of low areas along the rivers are warned that there might be water high enough to cause some damage.
Spring cleanup is underway in several places but to date there is no big, widespread cleanup going on in town. There are several lots that have been cleaned up, some yards are looking nice, most trees and shrubs now have leaves and fishing fever seem to be prevalent. Fishermen are warned that the ticks are plentiful this year and the precautions should be taken.