Teen dies in Arboles motorcycle
By Tess Noel Baker
An Arboles teen-ager was killed in a motorcycle accident on Colorado 151 Aug. 28.
According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Randall Bruton, 18, of Arboles, was driving the motorcycle south on the highway near mile marker 15 when he lost control.
The 2002 Kawasaki skidded 31 feet and went off the roadway. The skid continued along the shoulder before the motorcycle overturned, ejecting both the driver, Bruton, and a passenger, Mary Jo Kerrigan, 16, of Ignacio.
The motorcycle slid another 48 feet, hit a delineator post and continued to slide. Both the driver and the passenger traveled 175 feet after being ejected from the motorcycle; both then struck a fence.
Bruton was pronounced dead at the scene. Kerrigan was transported to Mercy Medical Center where she was listed in fair condition Tuesday evening.
Cpl. Randy Talbot of the Colorado State Patrol said both the driver and passenger were wearing helmets. The driver lost his helmet when he was ejected from the motorcycle.
A memorial service for Bruton was held Sept. 1 in Bayfield.
Nov. 4 general election will be by mail ballot only
Archuleta County's Nov. 4 election will be a mail ballot election.
June Madrid, Archuleta County Clerk, said it will be a coordinated mail ballot election in that special districts' questions can be included with any questions/issues from the state, county and three school districts.
It makes more sense to mail the ballots rather than have the responsibility fall on the polling precinct judges, she said.
For mail ballot elections, the law allows for ballots to be mailed to "Active Voters" only. That means you must have voted in the 2002 General Election to be able to receive a ballot in the mail this November.
After the 2002 General Election, continuation post cards were mailed out to all voters who did not vote in that election. If you did not return the second half of that card, as requested, you were not continued as Active and may not be receiving a ballot in the mail.
There are currently 5,414 active voters and 2,341 voters who did not register for the 2002 General Election.
If you do not know what address the clerk's office has for you, or if you don't know whether or not you are registered, call the office.
It will make it easier if you know you did not vote in the 2002 General Election, you know you did not return the card and you wish to vote this Nov. 4, to make sure your current mailing address is on record and that your status is "active."
If you are not registered, you will need to do so.
The last day to register to vote or to make any changes will be Oct. 6.
If you act now, it will help ensure that you receive your ballot by mail. If you have questions, call 264-8350 or 264-8354 for further instructions.
Two county horses test positive
for West Nile Disease; one dies
By Richard Walter
West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Archuleta County for the first time and one of two horses infected has died.
Veterinarian Kitzel Farrah at San Juan Veterinary Clinic handled both cases. One was from the Aspen Springs area and the other stabled at a site on North Pagosa Boulevard.
Farrah said she has two more suspect cases pending and noted the disease already is widespread in the Bayfield area.
From Yellowjacket pass westerly, she said, the incidence rate is high. One Bayfield veterinarian, Farrah noted, already has had 12 confirmed cases.
The threat is likely to continue "until we have our first freeze and the mosquitoes which spread it begin to die," she said.
Through Tuesday, San Juan Basin Health Department said, there had been no known human cases in the county.
And, there were no known bird infections in the county. There had been one as of Sept. 2 in Durango.
Neither of the horses confirmed in the county had been vaccinated, Farrah said, and that is the concern.
Horse owners must get their animals vaccinated if they want to be safe, said Farrah. "There is a long delay time in developing immunity, so there is no chance that getting a horse vaccinated now would protect it for the rest of this season."
"But we (veterinarians) are urging people not to procrastinate next year."
She said owners need to plan for an initial vaccination and a booster at three to six weeks. "And even then," she said, "it takes another six weeks for the vaccine to take effect in prohibiting infection."
Farrah said area veterinarians are suggesting owners start the vaccination process in March, with the booster in April, in order to have immunization effective by the beginning of mosquito season in late spring.
There is some thought, she said, that boosters should be added every three months, "but the protocol is not set in stone. We're all still learning how the disease develops and how the animals react to the vaccine."
"The earlier they start, the more protection time they'll have," she said.
"If an animal is compromised by age or a prior disease condition," she said, "the owner should think about vaccinating more often."
A freeze will stop the disease now, said Farrah, "but it will be back in late spring and we need to make sure people have their animals prepared, with time for the vaccine and booster to take effect."
Nan and Gary Rowe, owners of the horse now deceased, agree with the need to have animals vaccinated.
They had six horses, including the one affected, and the other five are just fine.
"This horse was purchased in Oklahoma about six weeks ago," Nan Rowe said. "We were told it had been vaccinated, but I don't believe it had."
The other five had all been given the vaccine.
"We know the disease is here," she said, "and if you're going to own horses, you owe it to them to make them as safe from disease as possible.
"Get them vaccinated at the time your veterinarian says," she urged. "Don't make yourself an accessory to their poor health by not getting them the medications that will protect them."
"It isn't inexpensive," said Rowe, "but it is if you look at it as long-term protection for them."
Growth plan development process OK'd
By Tom Carosello
A growth-management proposal from Archuleta County planning staff received preliminary approval last week from the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.
At its Aug. 27 meeting, the commission was presented a conceptual framework by Marcus Baker, associate county planner, outlining how the county may pursue the revision of current land use regulations, or the development of new alternatives.
Baker explained the initiative - which proposes a high level of community participation and feedback - is based on principles established in the Community Plan, which was adopted as a visionary guideline for growth in 2001.
However, "The word zoning is kind of left out so far," said Baker, indicating his review of the Community Plan revealed no specific reference to what has been referred to in the past as the "z word."
While such an omission does not rule out zoning, said Baker, it leaves the door open for discussion of other "options" mentioned in the Community Plan, including the relatively undefined concept of "land use districts."
"That could mean zoning, and it could mean a lot of other things," Baker told the commission. "But our big question is, 'How do we best manage the growth in Archuleta County?'"
As presented by Baker, planning staff's proposal to gain input from county residents that would help answer that question includes the following methodology:
- planning six meetings in five different areas of the county. Meeting locations would include Chromo and Arboles (at a home, school or church), the Vista Clubhouse, Aspen Springs (at a home or possibly the metro building) and the community center. An additional meeting, held exclusively for students, would take place at Pagosa Springs High School
- recruiting volunteers from the meeting areas and then inviting a diverse representation (ranchers, developers, etc.) of 12-15 people from each area to attend focus group meetings. Planning staff would bring general and specific questions focusing on how to best implement the Community Plan into land use regulations; the discussion would be guided by a facilitator but the group would provide most of the input
- following the meetings, planning staff would compile all of the qualitative information gained, acknowledge similarities and differences in responses and analyze the results
- a bilingual survey based on the results would then be recommended in order to determine whether or not the general public agrees with the findings
- following the survey, all cumulative data would be provided to a citizens' committee comprised of volunteers and planning staff in order to develop alternative scenarios for regulating land use
- the resulting preferred scenarios would be presented to the planning commission and county commissioners at a joint work session and public hearing(s), then be presented for additional public comment.
The timeline involved with the proposal calls for possible new regulations to be ready for adoption by the board of county commissioners sometime next fall.
An advantage to having public participation "right up front," said Baker, is that even though the process is lengthy, planning staff can be confident the end results are in line with what the community wants.
Without public comment, explained Baker, the risks involved can go up significantly. "We don't want to spend a year on this and not get something passed," said Baker.
Initially, the proposal received mixed reviews from the planning commissioners, and some indicated they feel the time for zoning is now, even if the word itself does not appear in the Community Plan.
"When I look at the Community Plan ... to me, it screams for zoning," said Commissioner Dan Aupperle.
"Personally, I think it's well past time the county was zoned," added Aupperle, "Zoning, in my opinion, leads to organized development."
Bob Huff, board chairman, concurred with such sentiments. "I guess I am a fan of zoning," said Huff, "We don't need to reinvent the wheel ... and I'm afraid that this (process) is going to lead into a lot of esoteric discussion that nobody understands."
Questioning the timeline, "This looks to me like it's almost endless," said Huff, while adding he is in favor of the planning department "laying something on the table" for public review in the near future.
Along those lines, "I think we can implement something sooner ... we ought to get something going," said Commissioner Bob Walkinshaw, also indicating he is in favor of zoning. "But no matter what we do, it will have to be changed sooner or later."
In response, Baker indicated the proposal was not an argument against zoning, and while zoning might help manage growth, said Baker, "Zoning is not going to cure everything ... not going to be the panacea for the county."
Commissioner Sandra Bramwell expressed agreement with Baker's comment, but took it a step further.
While acknowledging she is no expert on the subject, "From what I know of zoning, I am against," Bramwell said. "I think we should give people the chance to put forth their viewpoints."
Similarly, "Listen first," added Commissioner Betty Shahan, while telling the commission she feels the proposed process will allow residents to "cover more issues that they might not bring out somewhere else."
During the public comment portion of the hearing, Tamra Allen, a planner for the town of Pagosa Springs, supported the notion of opening up land-use discussions to focus groups.
"Educate the public," said Allen, "Let them decide where they want to take it."
Following further discussion of pros and cons associated with the proposal, the planning commission eventually agreed to approve it, though the board of county commissioners will ultimately decide if the process becomes reality.
In conclusion, "This is kind of a number-one priority for our department at this point," said Baker, "And we are going to see things through to the end."
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Showers, mild temps forecast for weekend
By Tom Carosello
Pagosa Country tributaries surged with runoff during the past seven days as heavy rain along the southern edge of the Continental Divide pushed streamflows close to historic averages for the second week in a row.
The abundant moisture also reduced the regional fire danger to "low" for the first time since late spring, and forecasters are predicting that more showers and lower temperatures should keep the fire risk to a minimum for at least the next few days.
"There will be a good chance for widely-scattered showers across the Four Corners region through Saturday," said Paul Frisbie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"High temperatures will probably only register in the upper 60s to mid-70s through the weekend, with Sunday providing the best shot at rain-free conditions.
"While the monsoon is still certainly having an effect, a lot of the rain we'll see before Sunday is moving in from the West Coast," added Frisbie. "Look for higher temperatures and drier conditions to rebound by Monday or Tuesday."
According to Frisbie, isolated thunderstorms will move into the area by this afternoon, and high temperatures are expected in the low to mid-70s. Nighttime lows should dip into the low 40s.
Friday and Saturday call for partly-cloudy skies, a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms, highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s and lows around 40.
The forecast for Sunday includes a 20-percent chance for rain and highs are predicted to range in the low 70s. Lows should fall into the upper 30s to low 40s.
Mostly-sunny skies are predicted for Monday; highs are expected in the mid-70s while lows are forecast in the 40s.
The chance for rain climbs back to around 30 percent for Tuesday, and high temperatures should hover around 75. Lows should fall into the 40s.
Wednesday calls for a 10-percent chance for afternoon showers, highs in the upper 60s and lows in the upper 30s.
The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 73 degrees. The average low for the week was 47. Precipitation totals for the week amounted to one-quarter of an inch.
The Pagosa Ranger District lists the current regional fire danger as "low." Conditions are subject to change rapidly this time of year; for updates and more information, call the district office at 264-2268.
The National Allergy Bureau rates area pollen counts as "high" and lists sage and ragweed as the current dominant pollens.
Aided by heavy runoff, San Juan River flow ranged between approximately 60-150 cubic feet per second through town last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Sept. 4 is roughly 100 cubic feet per second.
Grant options outlined for sports park plan
By Joe Lister Jr.
There are four different types of grants available to local entities during the fall cycle, through the state board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund:
- open space grants
- local parks and outdoor recreation grants
- local parks and recreation mini-grants
- planning grants.
The grants available have different application due dates, different application processes and goals, as well as differing amounts that can be awarded per grant.
In this cycle, the town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, School District 50 Joint, and Pagosa Springs Rotary Club are applying for a local parks and outdoor recreation grant. Maximum grant amount is $200,000 and we are in hope of receiving the maximum amount for the start of a proposed new sports complex on South 5th Street.
The total cost of the first phase of this project is estimated at over $800,000.
With the financial backing of our partners, the grant and many in-kind services, we hope to build a softball/youth baseball field, soccer field and trails, and improve access and parking.
If we receive the grant, we will immediately pursue a mid-range grant, which is due in January 2004. GoCo limits are higher for this grant. If we were awarded this grant we would turn in the first grant we received, or pass it on to another applicant and receive the higher paying grant.
Our plans: apply first, then apply again later. They say, "a bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush."
The plan is to cover as many options as we can, and to get as much GoCo money to help build our "field of dreams."
Wish us luck. Stop by and visit about the master plan we've adopted, and you will get excited too.
Adult fall sports
Adult flag football has formed a few teams but more are needed.
Come to a mandatory meeting at Town Hall with tentative rosters in hand Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
An adult coed volleyball meeting will be held Sept. 8 at Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. For information call Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.
Free fire wood
The final push for free firewood is ... now.
We would like to get all wood off the ground before winter. The wood cut in June should be dried out. The wood is cut in lengths and has been limbed. Bring your chain saw and pickup for the free wood.
Call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231 for directions.
Thank you, Pagosa Springs merchants and businesses. Every year we ask for sponsors within our community, and every year the local businesses come through for us.
Baseball/softball had 30 different sponsors; for soccer we will have over 25 sponsors. It is great to see people support our recreation needs for both adults and children in our community.
We are a couple of sponsors short for a growing soccer league. If you are interested, call the numbers above.
Pirates overcome mud, Manitou for 4-1 victory
By Richard Walter
The sign said Roger Maestas Memorial Field.
But by the 10 a.m. game time Saturday, it was more the Maestas Mud Bowl.
After a night of torrential rains and constant drizzle right up to halftime, Pagosa Pirate soccer had to be geared to the need for water wings and pontoons.
But geared they were, and the result was a 4-1 Pagosa victory.
The game opened with driving rain marking the tip and it was just over three minutes before the first shot on goal, by Moe Webb, was stopped by Manitou's keeper.
In the next three minutes both Kevin Muirhead and Keegan Smith had shots turned aside.
But at 6:36, Kyle Sanders took a lead from Jesse Morris, who had an outstanding game, and converted it for a 1-0 Pagosa lead.
Manitou tied the score at 7:31, but it was to be the last time they dented the nets.
The goal came off a shot by Jake Barton that Josh Soniat stopped but fumbled and it dribbled into the net.
From that point on, the Pagosa visitors were in full command, despite the field conditions.
At 10:58 Moe Webb was wide left on a lead from Sanders and at 13:01 Caleb Forrest's first shot on goal - ever - was stopped. At 15:57, Drew Mitchell's shot for the Pirates was stopped; at 18:12 Muirhead's free kick sailed way right and at 21:21, Sanders was stopped.
Manitou mounted a comeback but was unable to convert. A free kick by Dan Ausec was short, Soniat stopped a drive by Nate Foorman, and then came up big with a diving save on a bid for lead goal, by Ausec.
The Pirates returned the attack, with Forrest stopped from the right side and Muirhead wide right on a drive from 20 yards.
Morris and Levi Gill each had block/takeaways to stop Manitou attacks before Pirate fans froze in their tracks as Muirhead went down after being tackled on the left wing.
It was the same field where he was injured last year and forced to miss three games during the drive for a league title.
He was assisted off the field in severe pain, but returned later in the second half, limping but able to perform.
The injury seemed to spur his teammates who swarmed the Mustangs' zone and with 20 seconds left in the half, Sanders gave Pagosa a 2-1 lead with a penalty kick from 25 yards.
Manitou opened the second half, just as the rain ceased, with a concerted offensive attack. Joe Weizenecker's drive went wide right and Ian Juray's bid for the equalizer clanged off the right corner post.
And then it was Sanders again, scoring at 44:30 on a pinpoint crossing lead from Webb to put Pagosa up 3-1.
Muirhead returned to action at the 48-minute mark and just a minute and one second later was wide open for a lead from Sanders but missed to his left.
The Pirates got a free kick from the 40 which resulted in a crossing lead from Forrest to Sanders for a header that was flagged down.
Pirate defenders continued to turn away Manitou drives, first on a diving save by Soniat and then a block/takeaway by Ty Peterson. At 55:07 Forrest again was stopped on a drive from the right and three minutes later Sanders drive off a lead from Webb sailed over the nets.
After another Soniat save, Muirhead was wide left on a long instep lead from Chris Baum before Manitou got its best scoring chance of the period - against its own keeper.
It came when Tyler Stuart, attempting to clear the zone in front of his own net, tipped the ball back and his own keeper had to make the save.
Then Muirhead and Sanders both were stopped on close-in shots and Sanders was high on a free kick. Soniat had a pair of easy saves and both Muirhead and Forrest had shots go wide left.
Levi Gill took over with consecutive block-takeaways and Ty Peterson's bid for a goal was stopped.
Soniat made a great save on Dillon Snow's drive just before Sanders converted his third score of the game, drilling in a crossing lead from Webb.
At 76:37, Sanders hiked he margin to 4-1 scoring on assists from Gill and Webb.
Manitou wasn't about to quit, however.
Twice Soniat turned away drives from Jake Barton and then Foorman was wide right.
As the game wore down, the Pirates went to a control game, playing keepaway at midfield for the final 1:20.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason was proud of his unit's performance.
"They could have folded up the tent after the disappointing overtime loss the night before," he said, "but they came out with a purpose, a sense of proving themselves and did just that."
Again, the key for Pagosa was defense, particularly the play of Peterson in concert with Gill, Goodenberger and Morris.
Rarely did Manitou have even a chance of an opening to the net. With the lone exception of the early goal, Soniat was proof of Kurt-Mason's often stated belief he has two of the top keepers in the state in Forrest and Soniat.
For the Pirates it evened their trip record at 1-1 as they prepare for another weekend overnighter this week.
The Pagosans have their opening league game at 6 p.m. Friday in Crested Butte where they suffered an early season upset last year and then travel to Salida for a 1 p.m. game Saturday.
Scoring: 6:36, P-Sanders, assist Morris; 7:31, M-Barton, unassisted; 38:20, P-Sanders, PK; 44:30, P-Sanders, assist Webb; 76:37, P-Sanders, assists Gill and Webb.
Pirate kickers drop overtime heartbreaker to CSC
By Richard Walter
All the ingredients were there.
It would be a show of probable all-state offensive players.
It would pit some of the finest keepers in the state against one another.
It would not be a runaway for either team.
The game lived up to all its billing.
Pagosa Springs and Colorado Springs Christian put on a soccer show that had fans exhausted when it ended abruptly, a 2-1 overtime victory for the host Lions on El Pomar Field in Colorado Springs Aug. 29.
The all-staters were evident - Kyle Sanders for Pagosa's Pirates and Kolt Callaway for the host Lions.
The keepers - Brandon Vanderwel for CSC and Caleb Forrest for Pagosa, too, had heads shaking with their acrobatic saves.
The defenses kept their foes at bay and the fans kept the air filled with their screams.
Depending on the poll you favor, Pagosa was ranked seventh and CSC fifth, or CSC tenth and Pagosa unranked as the game began following a torrential downpour which had the field soggy but playable.
After a brief midfield scramble to establish possession, Pagosa had the first shot on goal, a Kevin Muirhead blast from 30 yards stopped by Vanderwel.
Just two minutes later, CSC's Blake Pistor ripped one from 20 yards that sailed high right.
Callaway's first chance came at 5:20 when Forrest batted away his liner from 18. Just 1:53 later, Forrest was again tested by Calloway and again stopped the high-scoring striker.
After a block/takeaway by Pirate sweeper Levi Gill, the Pagosans worked a wing-to-wing play with Sanders crossing Gill's pass to Josh Soniat but his blast went wide right.
Muirhead put Pagosa on the boards first, scoring at 8:20 on a picture perfect team attack.
Again it was inaugurated by a defensive takeaway, this one by Jesse Morris who stripped John Wade, and led the Pirate attack with a loft to Soniat on right wing. His crossing pass to Sanders, marked by a pair of defenders, left Muirhead open for a drop pass and the score.
Forrest made another leaping save at 10:23 on Pistor who took the shot himself when Pirate defender Ryan Goodenberger bottled up Callaway.
Morris had another block/takeaway for the Pirates but his teammates turned the ball back to CSC and Alex Kieu's shot from 20 was high to the right.
Callaway had a prime opportunity to even the score at 13:15 but his penalty kick from 25 sailed high over the nets.
Then it was Gill's turn to shine again, recording consecutive block/takeaways on Lions' attacks and then blocking a shot ripped by Wade.
Kieu had a shot sail over the nets and Forrest rose to the occasion with an acrobatic dive to his left to stop Callaway at 19:38. Less than a minute later, Callaway was again high to the right on a shot from 20.
Pagosa then recorded four consecutive steals, one each by Gill and Goodenberger, and a spectacular play by Keegan Smith whose lead to Sanders was headed forward to Muirhead, but just a step too far.
Goodenberger stole the ensuing attack pass but his long, looping lead to Moe Webb was just a step too far.
Forrest was tested again at 27:40 when Kieu had a breakaway after a defender slipped down and easily turned away the shot.
Just 14 seconds later, Sanders was stopped by Vanderwel on an outstanding dive to his left. Less than two minutes later, Sanders was thwarted again when his drive hit the right post from the top of the box.
A fluke goal tied the score at 31:50. A lead pass from deep on the right went sky high and bounced high over the head of an outstretched Forrest.
Standing where it came down on the other side was Callaway who calmly tipped it in.
Spurred by that unplanned success, Callaway went on the attack again less than a minute later, roaring up the middle on a breakaway only to find Forrest slamming his drive out of play to his left.
Muirhead had a chance to give the lead back to the Pirates at 37:33 but his left footer sailed wide left.
And then came perhaps the key defensive play of the half. Callaway broke free of containment just inside the centerline, took a lead from Wade and headed for the goal. From nowhere came Gill and as Calloway drove the left corner of the box, Gill swept the ball away so smoothly the attacker initially didn't realize he no longer had possession.
He shook his head as Gill controlled the steal and led the ball back out of the zone.
At 38:50 a free kick from 40 yards by CSC's Kieu sailed far above the net and when Forrest made a routine stop with just 11 seconds left in the half, a mid-game tie at 1-1 was assured.
The second half was more of the same constant attack and parry action.
Forrest had a save on James Babbitt at 44:12 and Ty Peterson keyed a defensive surge with a block/takeaway for Pagosa as each offense became more tentative, looking for the key openings to attack.
Forrest stopped Babbitt again at 47:30 and made a leaping save on a curving corner kick three minutes later.
Gill had another block/takeaway and Callaway again was high right with a shot at 53:09.
The Pirates had a glorious opportunity at 57:29 when Muirhead's blast off a lead from Sanders was turned aside by Vanderwel and Webb's rebound was wide left.
Less than two minutes later, Sanders broke free of a double-mark defense and drove the right lane, cross-stepped left and drove one low right that was flagged down by Vanderwel.
Another save by Forrest, another block/takeaway by Gill and a missed shot by Soniat from the right wing kept pressure on CSC.
At 71:40 Forrest made his greatest save of the day.
Again it was Callaway on the attack, his stop and go dribble a thing of beauty.
But when he fired from 10 yards, Forrest was ready. The Pirate dived flat out to his left and blocked the shot, rolled once and gathered it in softly to keep a backup attacker from scoring.
As the half wore down toward a 1-1 tie after regulation, Forrest made three more saves, Goodenberger blocked a shot and, with just 14 seconds left on the clock, Forrest stopped a free kick to send the game into overtime.
First Callaway and then Kieu were stopped by Forrest and then Muirhead's bid for a game winner was snared by Vanderwel.
And then, at 83:23, came the perfect read and conversion which won the game for CSC.
It was, perhaps, the only mistake of the day for the Pirate defense.
Wade had the ball at midfield and saw Callaway breaking to the net.
Pirate defenders suffered miscommunication, each thinking the other was going to the ball, and the result was a breakaway for Callaway.
Where he'd been high right most of the day, this drive went low left and Forrest could not get to it.
The final score was 2-1 in a game many felt should have ended in a tie because of the tremendous efforts by both teams.
"We proved we can play with the best," coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason told his players after the contest. "And I think you're the best."
"This was a great matchup of teams hungry to prove themselves," he said. "Soccer fans were treated to outstanding action on both sides of the ball all day long."
Scoring: 8:20, P-K. Muirhead, assists Soniat and Sanders; 31:50, CSD-Callaway, unassisted; 83:23, CSC-Callaway, assist Wade; Shots on goal, CSC -19, P-11; Saves, Forrest, 13, Vanderwel, 8.
Pirate runners off to stellar start
By Tess Noel Baker
Eighty-six teams and over 1,000 runners competed at the Harrison High School cross country meet Aug. 28 in Colorado Springs.
Everyone, it seems, wanted to test their runners on this year's state turf.
The result, in Pagosa's case, was a slew of good news. Even rain and a wet course couldn't stop them. "Everyone who ran cross country for us before ran a personal record," Head Coach Scott Anderson said. "The girls didn't seem to mind the weather. In fact, they seemed to enjoy getting muddy."
Against a 3A and 4A field of over 179 runners, the Lady Pirates finished third as a team. Individually, sophomore Emilie Schur led the pack, finishing third overall with a time of 19 minutes, 33 seconds - 32 seconds faster than her second-place run at state in 2002.
"When I saw the times, I thought it had to be a short course," Anderson said. "When I looked at the splits, I thought, 'Wow, these girls are fast.'"
Schur was followed by senior Jenna Finney, who crossed the finish in 29th with a time of 21:07. Freshman Laurel Reinhardt was next, coming in 34th in 21:24. Sophomore Heather Dahm rounded out the top four for Pagosa Springs, finishing in 36th with a time of 21:29. The Pirates' fifth runner, and the tie breaker when necessary, freshman Jessica Lynch, came in 44th with a time of 21:37.
The final two varsity runners, junior Marlena Lungstrom and senior Lauren Caves, crossed the line in 23:47 and 23:50, respectively.
"I was very pleased overall," the coach said. "I thought they handled the pressure very well for a big meet." He was also fairly happy with the way the team ran, staying together as a pack as well as they did. "We'll work the rest of the season on tightening that up even more," he said.
Once again, in the boys' varsity race, 3A and small 4A schools were combined, making for a field of 174 runners. Anderson said just four Pirates were eligible to run in the race.
"Essentially, all of them were running in their first cross country race," he said. "They faced the same pressures as the girls. I thought they dealt with the pressures of a huge field, competition and weather well."
Senior Aaron Hamilton topped the team's efforts, finishing 18th with a time of 17:11. Anderson said Hamilton started conservatively and then "ran like a Pac Man and ate everybody up on the course."
Sophomore A.J. Abeyta came in next, finishing 50th in 18:22. "He ran an excellent race, particularly for a first race and as young as he is," Anderson said.
Senior Chris Matzdorf crossed the finish in 22:00 even to claim 149th. Sophomore Paul Hostetter battled a slight illness to finish in 23:13.
Once again, Anderson was pleased. "Aaron and A.J. ran faster times than expected. I am really excited to see where they are going to be at the end of the year."
Matzdorf, Anderson said, is more of a power runner and not as well suited to the fast course presented in Colorado Springs. In the next couple weeks over tougher terrain the seniors' places are expected to improve.
The Pirates will show their stuff this Saturday at home, running in the Wolf Creek Invitational. Junior high races start at 9:30 a.m. The first junior varsity race is expected to go at 10:15 a.m. Varsity races begin with the boys at 11 a.m. The girls follow at 11:30. All races begin at the lower parking lot of the Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Lady Pirates drop opener to Cortez, face Palmer next
By Karl Isberg
Call it first-night jitters.
Put it in the books as a learning experience.
The Lady Pirate volleyball team dropped the Aug. 28 season opener to Cortez 11-25, 12-25, 17-25.
It was a case of a young and nervous Lady Pirate six taking the court against a strong and disciplined Panther team - one that is the preseason favorite to take the crown in the 4A/5A Southwestern League.
The Panthers brought serious firepower to bear on the Ladies, running a predictable attack with high sets to the outside hitters. Mixing in some attacks from the middle provided a bit of variety, but Cortez didn't need to get fancy.
On their side of the net, the Ladies frequently failed to get effective blocks to the point of attack. When they did, the Panthers often hit the ball out.
Pagosa's attack sputtered, but showed signs of what it will become as the youthful team continues to jell and to develop the leadership necessary for success.
When Lady Pirate setters got a decent pass and provided a good set, the ball was hit with promising authority.
It just didn't happen enough to make a difference.
When Pagosa's attack clicked, the Panthers dealt with the situation with an excellent back-row, giving Lady Pirate hitters few open spots on the floor.
In the first game of the match, the teams traded points, with the Panthers taking an early 4-3 lead.
Cortez managed a 4-point run before the Ladies scored on a rotation error by the visitors. Three more unanswered points put the Panthers ahead 11-4, then it was a matter of a bevy of Cortez hitters pounding through ragged Lady Pirate blocks and taking points on Pagosa errors to secure the 25-11 victory.
With the new rally-scoring style of play, getting behind in the score by more than a couple points puts a big obstacle in a team's way as it attempts to establish momentum.
In the second game, Cortez had all the momentum in the early going, shooting out to a 9-2 lead. Ahead 11-5, the Panthers took advantage of a lack of focus on the home team's side of the net to run off five unanswered points.
A 10-point lead is nearly impossible to overcome, and it proved true as Cortez put together two- and three-point runs to nail the 25-12 win.
Lady Pirate coach Penné Hamilton began looking to the bench for help in the second game, hoping to mend the porous defense at the net.
In the third game, Hamilton substituted more freely and the Ladies stayed with their 4A foe at the start, leading at one point 7-5 with Lori Walkup hitting off a Cortez block, Courtney Steen nailing a kill from outside, Bri Scott hitting an ace serve and Cortez committing hitting errors against effective Pagosa blocking.
Then, the tide turned and Cortez put together two substantial runs to lead 10-7 and 14-8.
Refusing to submit, the Ladies got as close as 17-21 after Walkup scored with a stuff block, Tomforde killed for a point, Steen hit down the line. Tomforde put another point on the board, dumping the ball off the pass, then hit an ace serve.
Cortez, however, did not wither under the attack and scored five consecutive points to win the game and match.
"Some of our girls were nervous," said Hamilton, "and some were distracted. We dug ourselves into a hole in each game and couldn't get out. Our mistakes serving and passing really hurt us (Pagosa gave up 11 points with service errors) and we were into the net way too often. We gave Cortez too many chances to pound the ball at us."
Pagosa deals with formidable opponents this week as 5A Palmer from Colorado Springs comes to town for a match tomorrow and Farmington arrives Saturday.
"Palmer is a tough, 5A school," said Hamilton. "This week, we're getting ready by working on our defense. And, on our side of the net, we need to serve and pass more consistently and get our blocks up."
The Ladies are no strangers to Farmington, but regular season play wipes the slate clean. "We played Farmington this summer," said the coach. "We split with them, but we didn't have all our players. Farmington's not real tall, but they're solid at every position. They're a decent team."
The Palmer match is scheduled tomorrow with junior varsity teams clashing at 2 p.m. School officials, however, continued at midweek to try to get the Palmer coach to agree to an evening varsity start time. Fans are urged to call the school tomorrow to determine when the matches will be played.
The Lady Pirates meet Farmington Saturday with junior varsity action starting at 5:30 p.m.
Kills: Walkup 4, Steen 3, Tomforde and Womble 2 each.
Assists: Walkup 8, Tomforde 4.
Solo blocks: Walkup 5.
Digs: Steen 11, Scott 6, Walkup 4.
Aces: Tomforde 2, Scott and Walkup 1 each.
Big plays sink Pirates in 33-19 loss to Alamosa
By Tom Carosello
Big plays often dictate the momentum shifts that decide a high school football game.
And while Head Coach Sean O'Donnell's Class 2A varsity Pirate football squad had its share last Friday night, the Class 3A Alamosa Maroons had more en route to a 33-19 win over host Pagosa in the season opener for both teams.
The night looked promising for the home team early in the game; a shanked Alamosa punt gave the Pirates the ball near midfield after the Pagosa defense held the visitors to a quick three-and-out on their opening possession.
After a pair of short runs from senior quarterback David Kern and senior halfback Jeremy Caler, an offsides penalty on Alamosa resulted in a third and 2 from the Maroons' 43.
The Pirates struck for the first score of the game on the next play when Caler took a handoff from Kern and scampered up the middle for a 43-yard score. Sophomore place-kicker Daniel Aupperle's extra-point failed, but Pagosa led 6-0 with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter.
Alamosa returned the ensuing kickoff from Aupperle to its own 30, and once again the Pirate defense held, forcing a fumble on second and 10 that was recovered by Caler at the Alamosa 47-yard-line.
But the Pagosa offense couldn't capitalize on the miscue, and was forced to punt after a deep, third-down pass from Kern to senior tight end Brandon Samples that had many in attendance screaming for a pass interference penalty was whistled incomplete.
The Maroons took over on their own 30, but failed to move the ball and were forced to punt on fourth and 11 from the 29.
The Pirates set up on their own 39, but Alamosa got its first big play of the game a few minutes later when freshman defensive back Jason Espinoza stepped in front of a Kern pass to give his team possession on the Pagosa 38.
The Maroons successfully hammered the ball up the middle for the next several plays, then capped off the short drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Alamosa senior quarterback Drew Ford to Shane Gylling with 2:10 remaining in the opening stanza. Following a successful point-after attempt, Alamosa led 7-6.
After Pagosa was forced to punt on its ensuing possession early in the second quarter, Ford completed a sustained drive by throwing for his second touchdown of the game, completing an 8-yard strike to Cole Sutak. The Pirates blocked the point-after attempt, but trailed 13-6 with 8:43 left in the half.
The Pagosa offense faltered on its next possession and was forced to punt, but the Pirate defense was soon celebrating a first-down sack by junior Manuel Madrid that pinned Alamosa inside its own 15.
The celebration was shortlived, however, as Sutak took a short pass in the flats from Ford and turned the corner, racing 90 yards to the end zone. Though the extra-point attempt failed, the play put Alamosa up 19-6 with just over five minutes left till halftime.
The teams traded possessions until late in the half when Caler juiced the home crowd and thwarted an Alamosa drive by intercepting a Ford pass and returning it 78 yards for a touchdown.
Aupperle's point-after attempt was blocked, but the Pirates trailed by only seven with just 39 seconds left before the break.
Again, Sutak cut short the Pagosa celebration, returning Aupperle's kick 90 yards for six and putting his team up 25-12 with 25 ticks left on the clock. A successful extra-point attempt made it 26-12, Kern took a knee on Pagosa's next possession, and the Pirates went to the locker room trailing by 14.
Two Pirate fumbles early in the third led to good field position for Alamosa, and the Maroons took a 33-12 lead when Antonio Aguilar rumbled into the end zone from 8 yards out late in the period.
But Caler answered with an 80 yard scoring burst on the first play of his team's next possession, most of the yardage coming courtesy of a crushing block from sophomore teammate Craig Schutz.
Aupperle's point-after kick was true, and Pagosa trailed by 14 with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter.
It was an even contest from that point on; the teams battled throughout the remainder of the night with neither being able to put together an additional scoring drive, and the game ended 33-19 in favor of the Maroons.
Caler led Pagosa on both sides of the ball, amassing 159 yards on 14 carries and leading the defense with 12 tackles from his linebacker spot. Teammate Marcus Rivas totaled 11 tackles at linebacker, while the defensive backfield tandem of Kern and senior Michael Martinez combined for another 20.
Pirate sophomore linebacker Bubba Martinez, who was cleared to play late Wednesday, chipped in with seven tackles.
After the game, O'Donnell reflected on his team's first performance of the year.
"I know we scored on some big plays, but it's a little bit frustrating to get out there and not be able to get a long, sustained scoring drive," said O'Donnell.
"But we've got some talented kids out there, and they're simply going to have to decide that they can go out and compete against any opponent, be it a larger school or otherwise.
"One thing we need to work on is playing harder," added O'Donnell, "I thought we were kind of outplayed and outhustled at times, and that makes all the difference."
Lastly, said O'Donnell, leadership will have to be a main ingredient if the Pirates hope to make an appearance in the postseason.
"I think our seniors are in the process of learning how to be leaders," said O'Donnell, "We're still looking for that internal leadership from some or our older kids, but I think we can improve on that as the season progresses."
Next up for the Pirates is a road trip tomorrow against Montezuma-Cortez. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Alamosa 7 19 7 0-33
Pagosa 6 6 7 0-19
Pag - Caler 43 run (kick failed)
Ala - Miller 8 pass from Ford (kick good)
Ala - Sutak 8 pass from Ford (kick failed)
Ala - Sutak 90 pass from Ford (kick failed)
Pag - Caler 79 interception (kick failed)
Ala - Sutak 90 kick return (kick good)
Ala - Aguilar 8 run (kick good)
Pag - Caler 80 run (Aupperle kick)
Randall (Randy) M. Bruton died Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003 in a motorcycle accident in Arboles, Colo.
Randy had lived in Arboles all his life and attended Pine Valley Foursquare Church.
Born in Durango, Colo., May 18, 1985, Randy was 18 years old.
He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Bernadette and Lyndon Harrison and a sister, Jamie Bruton, all of Bayfield; maternal grandmother, Martha T. Quintana of Arboles; paternal grandparents, Clarence Bruton of Waco, Texas, and Janie Watrin of Walla Walla, Wash.
Randy was preceded in death by his father, Reggie Bruton.
Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1, 2003, at Pine Valley Foursquare Church in Bayfield.
Some local road projects wind down, others on drawing board
By Tess Noel Baker
Labor Day weekend signifies the end of summer for many. It's also the time that all of the orange construction signs begin to disappear - slowly.
In and around Pagosa Springs, many road projects are winding down. A few, however, haven't started yet. Others are already being planned for next year.
Work on Hot Springs Boulevard, several small paving projects and the sewer line extension east of town are winding to a close, Town Administrator Mark Garcia told the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees Tuesday.
About 1,000 feet of Oren Road, an addition to the paving projects completed through a state air quality grant program remains to be finished. On Hot Springs Boulevard, contractors are finishing up curb and gutter on the west side of the project. As for the sewer line, cleaning and testing of the new line is all that must be completed before it becomes operational.
A late season project to rebuild Village Drive, Pinon Causeway and Talisman Drive may have to be put on hold because of sales tax numbers, Garcia reported. Cost of the project, estimated at around $228,000, is to be split between the town and county with each paying half.
"We may have to nix that project until next year," Garcia said. Delaying just the work on Talisman Drive might be another possibility. He plans to make a final decision when July sales tax numbers are available - sometime around the middle of this month.
Through June, he said, sales tax receipts were down approximately 5 percent overall when compared to 2002. Because the town budgeted for a 3-percent increase in sales tax receipts over 2002, the current deficit is running around 8 percent. However, he said, July and August numbers could be up over last year because of a decrease in area wildfires.
West of town, the county has started a project to pave a loop from the unpaved portion of South Pagosa Boulevard to Meadows and Buttress drives. County Engineer Sue Walan said the goal is to have work on South Pagosa Boulevard completed before the snow flies. The other portion of the project may have to wait until the 2004 season.
Construction of the tunnel on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass is set to continue through May 2004. According to a Colorado Department of Transportation news release, motorists can expect up to 30-minute delays from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Work stops at 3 p.m. Fridays. A width restriction of 12 feet is in effect between mile markers 173-175 Monday through Friday from 3 p.m.-7 a.m. and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays. In addition, lighting will be installed in the snow shed east of the summit. For more information, the tunnel project hotline is (719) 873-2221.
On the west side of Wolf Creek Pass, work continues on signage, installing delineators, seeding and mulching through November. Motorists can expect some slight delays from Treasure Falls to the summit as equipment moves on and off the roadway.
Work on U.S. 84 from the junction with U.S. 160 to the New Mexico state line is set to continue through October. The road is down to one lane in places with delays of up to 15 minutes for pavement rehabilitation. A 10-foot width restriction is in effect through the work zone from 7 a.m-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
To hear more about current and future construction projects on U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass, the public has been invited to attend a meeting and presentation in South Fork, Sept. 10.
Representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation and consultant Carter Burgess will present details of construction projects on the east side of the pass (Upper Narrows Tunnel and U.S. 160 from west of Lonesome Dove to east of Fun Valley). This meeting is a follow-up to the Aug. 4 public meeting and will include an overview of the projects and proposed project scheduling/traffic impacts.
The meeting begins at 5 p.m with an open house at the community building, 254 Colo. 149. The public meeting is set from 6-8 p.m.
Anyone with questions regarding the meeting or those with disabilities requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting may contact Nancy Shanks, CDOT public relations, (970) 385-1428, or Rosemarie Kingery, CDOT Alamosa residency, (719) 589-4251.
Flash flood victim moved out of ICU
By Richard Walter
"He's exceeding all expectations of family, friends and medical care personnel."
That was the summation Wednesday on the condition of Casey Mudroch, the 6-year-old Pagosa Springs boy washed into Navajo Lake by a flash flood Aug. 13.
Liz Marchand, with whom the boy and several others had been camping when the incident occurred, said Casey was released from intensive care at Children's Hospital in Denver on Tuesday.
"He's been moved to the rehab unit on the fifth floor," she said. "That was phenomenal news."
Marchand said doctors tell family the boy must be able to be up and about for four to five hours per day (not all at once) before they can consider releasing him.
She said the family has a target date of 10 days to two weeks but doctors are putting no time limit on progress.
Perhaps the best indicator of his improvement, she said, was the nurses saying, "He has to be getting better, he's complaining about everything."
An account to help the Mudroch family with medical expenses is still active at Bank of Colorado in Pagosa Springs. The account number is 8500394046. Checks can be mailed to the bank at P.O. Box 3460, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Three candidates accepted for school board election; one petition rejected
By Richard Walter
Voters are assured of one race on the school board ballot in November.
Sandy Caves, the first to file, drew last-minute opposition from Gene Crabtree, former county commissioner.
Incumbent Mike Haynes, appointed to the board to fill the post vacated by the resignation of Russel Lee, will be unopposed in his district.
Eileen Haykus filed to run for that seat but, according to County Clerk June Madrid, Haykus had insufficient signatures on her petition.
She was being notified by letter Tuesday that her petitions were rejected.
Caves and Crabtree will run for the seat held for the past 27 years by Randall Davis, current board president.
Under new state term limit legislation, Davis was no longer able to seek reelection.
Superintendent Duane Noggle said competition for the board is healthy for the community and that the last school board election was canceled because there were no candidates other than the incumbents.
He said the board is preparing an information booklet for all candidates that will be delivered to them in about two weeks.
It will outline finances for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, the curriculum and how it is developing, current Colorado Association of School Boards requirements and pertinent data for new board members and details on board meeting procedures.
Caves has been attending meetings regularly for several months in preparation for her candidacy.
Crabtree, in addition to his Archuleta County Board experience, is a former New Mexico school administrator.
Both Caves and Haynes have students in district schools. Crabtree does not.
Other current board members are Clifford Lucero, Jon Forrest and Carol Feazel.
The school board election will be held in conjunction with the general election Nov. 4 and will be coordinated by the county clerk's office, with all balloting by mail.
Pagosa resident dies in Arizona plane crash
A part-time resident of Pagosa Springs, Robert Gisburne, 44, was killed Sept. 2 when his experimental aircraft crashed at Sky Ranch Airport, a private facility in Carefree, Ariz.
According to a report in The Arizona Republic, Gisburne died along with his father-in-law, Charles Tegeler, 74, of Scottsdale, Ariz. when Gisburne's Questair Venture crashed into a wall at the end of the runway and burst into flames.
The two men reportedly planned to fly to Colorado.
According to Stevens Field manager Tim Smith, Gisburne owned a home in The Knolls development adjacent to the airport and was well-known at the county airport facility.
Local team performs difficult backcountry rescue
By Tess Noel Baker
Upper San Juan Search and Rescue members worked almost 22 hours Sept. 1 to rescue a fisherman stranded in the Weminuche Wilderness with a broken ankle.
Sgt. Karn Macht, search and rescue coordinator, said the man's location made it one of the toughest rescues they've ever done.
The man, Mark Hamblin, 47, of Arizona, was fishing on the Piedra River in the Porphyry Gulch area about 10 a.m. Monday when he slipped on a boulder, fell, broke and ankle and bumped his head.
A family member found him after he failed to meet others at a prearranged time, Macht said. The family member, a nephew, hiked out and called for help about 2 p.m.
A crew of 12 search and rescue members assembled on Forest Service Road 636 near a trailhead at the Middle Fork of the Piedra campground to go in and get him. Six, including a paramedic, made up the advance team. Another team of six would follow carrying the Stokes litter, a wire basket with wheels meant to help transport the injured.
"We left the trailhead by foot," Macht said. "The terrain was too treacherous for horses."
Two other family members were waiting with Hamblin about three miles deep in the wilderness as the crow flies, Macht said. Navigating the terrain meant the rescue teams had to go about twice that far. The advance team reached the patient about 9:30 p.m. The Stokes team arrived three hours later. Getting the litter over the large boulders strewn throughout the river left them all soaked to the bone, a challenge when temperatures dropped to around 25 degrees, Macht said.
Because of the tough terrain, steep dropoffs and narrow trail, he said, bringing the man back out looked to be a daunting task.
"If we'd have had to do that, we'd still be in there," Macht said. Instead, they were able to call the High Altitude Mountain Rescue Team from Eagle, who landed a Huey helicopter at a site fairly close to the patient. Hamblin was airlifted out of the Weminuche at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. He was transported to Stevens Field where the helicopter was met by an ambulance to take him to Mercy Medical Center in Durango.
Hamblin was listed in good condition Wednesday morning. Search and rescue members returned home about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Town residents to vote on home rule Oct. 7
By Tess Noel Baker
November 4 isn't the only election date in town.
There's Oct. 7 after all.
Tuesday night, the Pagosa Board of Trustees set that date for the special election to decide the fate of the home rule charter.
A commission of nine wrote the charter, which would, if approved, set the structure for government organization in the town. Currently, Pagosa Springs is a statutory town. That means things like the number of trustees, length of terms, even when the trustees are sworn in, are set by state statute.
Under a home rule charter, residents of the community can set up their local government organization to best fit the needs of the community. Of course, in matters of state concern, state statutes still apply.
Commission members spent three months drafting a home rule charter to take to the public.
They presented the draft charter to the Town Board of Trustees Aug. 6. Setting the election date was the next step. The trustees passed Resolution 2003-06 setting the Oct. 7 special election.
The election will be conducted from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in Town Hall. All registered voters within town boundaries are eligible to participate.
Residents who are not registered to vote must go to the Archuleta County Clerk's office and register by Sept. 7 in order to be eligible for this election.
Voters will be asked to vote yes or no on the charter. For public information, the charter has been printed in its entirety in this week's legal section of the Pagosa Springs SUN, page B-15.
Pagosa woman sentenced to 120 days in dog attack case
By Tom Carosello
A Pagosa Springs woman charged with ownership of a dangerous dog in the case of the attack on 9-year-old Garrett Carothers last December received a jail sentence of 120 days Sept. 3 in Archuleta County Court.
Filling in for Judge James Denvir, who was absent due to emergency family leave, Senior Judge David Torke, of Boulder, told Sandra Schultz, 38, "I know you are a good person," before handing down the sentence.
"(But) your dogs tried to kill that boy, and would have killed him were it not for the intervention of other people," Torke added.
Schultz must serve 60 days in confinement in accordance with the sentence, and another 60 days as part of a work release program.
If Schultz chooses to serve the confinement portion of her sentence first, she must report to the county jail at 8 a.m. Sept. 8.
In addition, a request for restitution will be submitted to Torke by the district attorney's office, and Torke indicated he will grant restitution according to what is allowable under the corresponding state statute.
Schultz pleaded guilty May 29 to one count of the Class 1 misdemeanor of ownership of a dangerous dog causing bodily injury.
A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of between three and 18 months jail, a $500-$1,500 fine, or both.
Sentencing in the case was originally scheduled for July 24 at 1:30 p.m., but was postponed because Schultz was ill at that time.
The Carothers family and Assistant District Attorney Craig Westberg both declined comment after sentencing.
Garrett Carothers was attacked by two dogs Dec. 23 while standing on a neighbor's porch in the Vista Subdivision. The dogs apparently dragged him into the street and continued to bite him until spotted by two men driving in the area.
By the time the attack ended, Carothers had suffered bites over most of his body and severe lacerations to his head, ear and face.
One of the two dogs suspected of the attack, a Pit Bull, was shot and killed the day of the attack as it lunged at a sheriff's deputy.
The other dog, a retriever-Rottweiler mix, was captured, kept under quarantine, and eventually euthanized.
A civil case resulting from the attack is pending.
Trout and solitude plentiful as summer wanes
By Tom Carosello
Labor Day has come and gone. Summer travelers are returning home. Days are growing cooler.
Some fishermen have stored away rod and reel for the year and are now focusing their efforts on deer and elk.
Monsoon season is waning, and with decreased runoff comes better water clarity.
Now is the time for diehard anglers to take advantage of such conditions and spend the remainder of the fishing season casting to Pagosa Country trout in relative solitude.
While fishing conditions for warm-water species will deteriorate as the weather grows colder, trout and kokanee will become more aggressive as nighttime temperatures dip into the 30s.
For the next six weeks, stream anglers should be able to find willing cold-water species almost anywhere streamflows remain stable enough to enable fish to move about freely.
Reservoir fishing conditions will vary depending on elevation and turn-over rate, but most will yield steady catches through late October.
The following is a breakdown of conditions at some regional fishing hotspots:
- Navajo Reservoir - Surface level is listed at an elevation of 6,000 feet and steady. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for boat launching at Navajo State Park. Water temperature is in the 60s. Catfish are being taken during the night on blood/stink baits. Fishing for smallmouths, largemouths crappie and northern pike is reported as fair. Arnies are working well for salmon near the dam.
- San Juan River (through town) - Flows are averaging about 80 cubic feet per second but will spike with runoff. River is often running off color due to afternoon rains. When water clears, successful anglers are using spinners, streamers, salmon eggs and flies for rainbows and browns.
- Echo Lake - Lake is clear and up a few inches due to runoff. Fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, small sunfish and perch is steady. Live bait, ultralight jigs and small plastics are working well. A few anglers are catching catfish after dark using nightcrawlers. Trout are becoming more active and are taking flies, flashy spinners, salmon eggs, worms, and PowerBait.
- Williams Creek Reservoir - Anglers seeking rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout are reporting steady action with live bait, PowerBait, surface flies, streamers, small marabou jigs and metallic spinners. Kokanee fishing continues to improve with lower temperatures.
- Big Meadows Reservoir - Water is off color and fishing is fair. Brook trout are still the predominant catch and are hitting PowerBait, flies, and spinners.
- East Fork of San Juan - Flows varying with runoff from afternoon rains. Fishing for pan-sized rainbows and browns through the isolated stretches is reportedly fair.
- Piedra River - Has been murky due to runoff, but is fishing good to great when the water clears. Browns and rainbows are the predominant catch and are hitting flies, streamers and flashy spinners.
- Middle Fork, Piedra River - Extremely low flows unless affected by rainfall. Fishing is still slow, with small browns and rainbows occasionally being taken on flies and small jigs and spinners.
- Fourmile Creek - Clearing daily, and brookies and cutthroats are taking attractor-pattern flies and lightweight spinners in the upper sections. A few rainbows and browns are being caught in the lower portion.
- Williams Creek - Clarity is affected by afternoon rains, but flies and small spinners are working near the dam for brookies, cutthroats, browns and rainbows when the water clears. Browns and rainbows are the main catch farther downstream.
Firewood permits, new regs available from Forest Service
National Forest and Bureau of Land Management firewood permits are available for the 2003 season.
The $10 permit is divided into two half-cord tags, so that the full cord does not have to be gathered at once.
Permits may be used until Dec. 31.
Each household may purchase up to 10 permits per year for personal-use firewood. Gathering firewood for resale requires a commercial permit.
Permits come with an informational brochure and map and are for sale during normal business hours at the San Juan Public Lands office in Pagosa Springs at Pagosa and 2nd streets.
The Pagosa Ranger District has a new firewood policy that restricts the cutting of some standing dead trees for use as firewood.
Ponderosa pine snags larger than 15 inches in diameter (four feet in circumference) cannot be cut down for firewood.
Violators may face a maximum fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
A snag is any dead or dying tree that is still standing. One third of all birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in America's National Forests depend on snags for their survival. This includes squirrels, raccoons, bears, pine martens, bats, woodpeckers, hawks, owls, and songbirds.
Snags provide opportunities for shelter, nesting, breeding, roosting, hunting, and food storage, among other things.
Initial surveys on the Pagosa Ranger District reveal a serious shortage of ponderosa pine snags in areas near roadways and past timber sales.
One of the reasons for their scarcity is that ponderosa pines grow at middle elevations where roads have been in place for many years, making these areas easily accessible and popular for firewood gathering.
Any kind of wood that is dead and lying on the ground may be used as firewood (unless it's marked as protected for some reason).
The Forest Service encourages the public to collect small downed logs, slash and branches for use as firewood.
The San Juan National Forest Firewood Brochure includes a ruler that can be used to measure a standing ponderosa snag to determine if it is protected under the new policy.
Another way to measure the diameter of a tree trunk is to wrap a tape measure around it. The circumference of a 15-inch diameter tree is four feet. All ponderosa pine snags this size or larger are protected under the new policy.
Every five years, the district will update its monitoring data and reconsider the need for the protection of large ponderosa pine snags.
If densities of large pine snags are found to still be lacking, the policy will remain in place. However, if snag densities are closer to levels that comply with Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines, restrictions may be lifted.
For an informational brochure on the new snag protection policy, contact the Pagosa Public Lands Office at 264-2268.
Alzheimers' Memory Walk
slated Oct. 4
The nonprofit Alzheimer's Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter, will hold its annual Memory Walk Oct. 4.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., at the Odd Fellows Campground in La Plata Canyon. Free shuttle service is available from several locations in Durango, Mancos and Cortez.
To register or find out more about Memory Walk 2003, the public may contact the association at 259-0122 or 564-1888.
Info on immunizations available to parents
With the nation involved in "back to school" time, there is one school supply parents and children can not go without: vaccinations.
Taking a child to a doctor's office isn't the easiest thing to do, but it could save his or her life. And, in many states, the law requires a certain number of doses of mandated vaccines before the first day of classes.
The vaccines often required for school entrance include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. With classes underway, some parents have questions and concerns about the necessity and safety of them.
"Many parents are concerned about their children going to school and possibly catching something from another student who didn't get their shots," says Gary Wallach, Director of the National Immunization Information Hotline for the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Vaccinations help prevent diseases that, if left untreated, could be deadly."
Despite the repercussions of possible mild side effects, such as fever, soreness, rash and redness, and the long faces that accompany a trip to the doctor's office for shots, immunizations are important for school-aged children. However, most parents do not know of many of the immunization requirements, or the mild side effects involved, and need information in making decisions that affect their child's health.
The National Immunization Information Hotline is available to provide such information.
Recently awarded the Center for Disease Control's "Partner in Public Health Award," the CDC National Immunization Information Hotline partners with the CDC to provide immunization information and referral services for educating parents, providers, and the general public about immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases.
Operated by the American Social Health Association since 1997, NIIH has answered approximately a half-million calls. This service is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Territories, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. via toll-free hotlines. Services are offered in English (800) 232-2522, Spanish (800) 232-0233, and TTY (800) 243-7889) for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
In addition to telephone services, NIIH established and maintains effective referral, call-in, Web-site and e-mail systems that involve collaborations with health departments on a national and local level - including private provider, minority and community-based organizations. Information can be found at www. vaccines. ashastd.org.
ASHA, an 89-year-old nonprofit organization, sponsors educational and research programs to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In recent years, ASHA has broadened its mission to encompass related issues, including immunization/vaccines and family health issues, including bioterrorism preparedness and response.
Today, ASHA delivers accurate, reliable health information to millions of people worldwide via hotlines, state-of-the-art Web sites, responsive e-mail services and a variety of education programs. Consumes can also get information from ASHA via the Web by visiting www.ashastd.org, or by visiting our site especially for adolescents at www.iwannaknow.org.
College fair set at Pagosa Springs High School Sept. 17
Pagosa Springs High School will host a regional college fair 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 17.
Each fall the Colorado Council on High School/College Relations, hosts approximately 65 college fairs across the state.
The council coordinates with the participating schools to provide the most current information to students and parents.
Officials said 22 Colorado colleges and 12 out-of-state schools will participate.
Students and parents may attend any college fair in the state.
For a complete schedule see visit www.coloradocouncil.org.
Participating state institutions in Pagosa Springs will be Adams State College, Colorado Christian University, Colorado College, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Northwestern Community College (Rangely campus), Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, Colorado State University - Pueblo, Colorado Mentor Program, Fort Lewis College, Mesa State College, Northeastern Junior College, Regis University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Trinidad State Junior College, United States Air Force Academy, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, University of Colorado at Denver, University of Denver, University of Northern Colorado and Western State College.
Out of state institutions participating will be Alaska Pacific University, College of Santa Fe, DeVry University, Doane College, Hastings College, Johnson and Wales, Liberty University, Montana State University, Montana Tech, Northern Arizona University, Rocky Mountain College, San Juan College, University of New Mexico and Wayland Baptist University.
Community Choir slates first rehearsal Tuesday
Do you love to sing? Does participating in a large mixed choral group dedicated to bringing the joy of music to the community appeal to you?
If so, consider joining the Pagosa Springs Community Choir. The choir is always looking for new members and preparations are just getting underway for the 2003 Community Choir Christmas Concert.
For the past 12 years, members of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir have been joining together to present an uplifting program of traditional and contemporary music celebrating the joy of Christmas.
This year the choir will be giving three performances. Concerts are set for the evenings of Dec. 12 and 13 with a Sunday afternoon matinee, Dec. 14, at the First Baptist Church.
Pam Spitler will direct the choir this year. She was assistant director at last year's Christmas concert and took over directing duties last February, leading the choir's spring concert and Fourth of July performances.
The choir's accompanist will once again be Sue Anderson.
This year's Christmas concert will include exciting new music selections, with a wide range of styles including upbeat renditions of traditional carols. Many of the selections will also feature local instrumentalists.
The first rehearsal will be 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Subsequent rehearsals will be every Tuesday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., also at the Methodist Church.
If you are interested in joining, contact Spitler at 731-4510, or Sue Kehret, 731-3858.
Hameister appointed U-Way campaign chair
By Kathi DeClark
Special to The PREVIEW
I am so excited to announce that Sally Hameister has agreed to be our 2003-2004 Campaign Chairperson for United Way/Archuleta County. I can think of no one who knows our community better or who has more enthusiasm or energy than Sally.
Sally said, "I am always proud to claim the Midwest as my original home because I feel basic honest values and work ethic taught and practiced in that area are those I still embrace today. It is darn-near impossible to be arrogant and self-important with Indiana soil under your fingernails."
Being the example of these values is another reason that Sally will be able to lead us to our $60,000 goal this year, raising funds for 14 United Way programs in Archuleta County. "I am delighted to serve as chairperson for this year's United Way campaign," she said. "One of the things I love best about my job and our community is the amazing community support and dedication of people helping people. I know that when the community receives my letter they will make their caring count."
Sally has held a number of different jobs including legal secretary, flight attendant for United Airlines, full-time Mom to Scott who resides in Dallas and Courtenay in Oregon, director of concierge services, public relations representative and trainer for the Radisson Hotel in Denver. Her current position as Chamber manager seemed to be a good fit from the beginning and a rather natural evolution in her guest services career. She moved to Pagosa Springs 12 years ago from Denver and jumped right in with the Welcoming Services.
"I too, think that Sally is the right one for the job this year," said Don McKeehan, longtime United Way Advisory board member. "She has her finger on the pulse of the community and is ready to work hard to raise the $60,000 needed for this year's commitment to our United Way Agencies. Watch for the thermometers around town to see your generosity add up."
Sally has been involved with nearly everything. Why not United Way? Won't you all lend her your support? If you have any questions about this year's campaign, call Kathi DeClark at 946-2057
Jane Finley's letter of Aug. 21 was interesting only by her apparent lack of knowledge regarding the founding of our nation.
First of all, our country was not made great by our diversity. Our colonies were made up mostly of British, Dutch and German colonists. The point is, with the exception of a very small group of those of Jewish faith, the overwhelming majority of colonists were Christian. They came to this country for freedom of religion not freedom from religion.
In addition, nowhere in the Constitution will you find the words "separation of church and state." It does say that government will not form a state religion (a state denomination) as England did.
Liberals have twisted this to mean government cannot mention or display a religious symbol. This was in no way the founders' intent. If you read their writing you will discover this for yourself. It is not, nor should not be illegal to say a prayer at a senior center, a school or a sporting event.
The Bible states: "Woe to those who say right is wrong and wrong is right." Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening in our society today.
May God save us; if liberals have their way, only their god of diversity will they allow to be worshipped.
Doug G. Bell Sr.
Sugar Land, Texas
Stands by math
I must add to Helen's disappointment and Ronnie's dismay with facts for the Aspen Springs' voters. I stand by my math and facts taken from the same engineer's reports that these two ladies have access too.
Helen, there are 2,840 lots in Aspen Springs according to Harris Engineering, but you would have the voters think that 2,600 lot owners will share the cost of this project and you know this is not true. Harris Engineering estimates there will be between 1,500 and 2,000 ultimate lots after lot owners legally combine their multiple lots. This does not take into consideration the number of lots that will be abandoned with no tax revenue paid at all.
Harris also states there are approximately 400 improved lots currently in Aspen Springs, so again I stand by my math. The fact is nobody knows what these numbers are or will be; they will change from year to year. The one thing that will not change is the $20 million debt and those who are left will pay it. I hope you have checked and double-checked your math and also your source of information.
Ronnie is upset over her own misinterpretation. I did not state that the advisory committee was ineffective, I questioned how effective the committee could be if the property owners could not communicate with them. The committee did vote not to publicize phone numbers, and she knows that.
Ronnie also states that Petty only commented on one sentence of the engineer's report. I question if you hire an engineering firm to study the feasibility of building a water system and included in his report is the sentence, " The major assumption is that enough wells can be drilled to serve the entire Aspen Springs needs which will probably not be possible," what else would you have Mr. Petty focus on?
The fact is none of the reports maintain there is enough water! A geologist stating that he believes there is significant potential for supplying at least a portion of the district's needs is less than convincing for a $20 million project.
The problem I see is that people who so feverishly support a bad idea often overlook or disregard the facts. The engineer and geologist straddle the fence a lot, but with a 15-percent legal and engineering fee why wouldn't they? Their reports are negative at best and I will be glad to furnish all information from these reports to Aspen Springs residents if we could form groups to meet and let you decide on the facts for yourself.
A real big welcome for Helen and Ronnie to attend is extended. My name is Jerry Evans, 731-1336: email@example.com
The most important thing for all of us is to attend the Aspen Springs Metro Board meeting Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., and express opinions in person. These issues are not on the ballot yet and from what I have heard from the residents they should not be.
Don't own lake
Two weeks ago there was a letter ("Appalled") in the Pagosa Sun concerning West Nile Virus in the area and it discussed the area lakes.
It mentioned Piñon Lake and the author of the letter states that the Pagosa Lodge is the owner of that lake. This is not fact.
The Pagosa Lodge owns some 10-plus acres of land on the west shore of the lake, to the high water line, and has fishing access 10 feet out into the lake.
The Lodge does not own any title to Piñon Lake, nor has it ever done so. Please print this clarification. Thank you.
No use tax
We are trying to make a final decision if we will move to beautiful Pagosa Springs.
There are many things to consider now that we have our land and building plans.
The proposed use tax is one of them. This is not a fair tax!
We can find most building supplies locally but not all items.
What about choice? Buy here or be penalized? Even the purchase of an automobile?
Hopefully the voters of Archuleta County will realize the use tax is not the answer.
Mountain Harmony Chorus will perform Sept. 10 at Senior Center
By Laura Bedard
We are pleased to announce entertainment will be presented Sept. 10 by the Mountain Harmony Chorus from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
They are a lively group of women and they create quite a sound. Come enjoy their energy.
A volunteer is needed to sit with an elderly gentleman for a few hours one day each month, possibly in the third week of the month. You must complete a background check. Please call the center at 264-2167 for more information.
Oktoberfest is coming up soon. If you need some fun and excitement Oct. 18, come and volunteer at this hugely fun event. Call Susi Cochran at 731-0866 for more information.
There are so many different programs available regarding information and assistance that sometimes it just gets too overwhelming. Have you found that you just didn't bother because it was too confusing?
Musetta and Laura will be available to help you with Benefits Check Up, a program of the National Council on Aging. We will have one session 1-3 p.m. Sept. 10 and a second 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 17.
This is a simple, confidential, fast and free way to find out which public assistance programs you or someone you care about might qualify for and how to apply for them. We will also have information available to you regarding prescription drug assistance programs. Please bring a list of your medications or the medication itself, and we will do our best to find an assistance program for you.
We are joining the SHARE Colorado program in Pagosa.
SHARE selects about 20 items that you are most likely to buy in a grocery store, buys them in bulk and then, through a network of volunteers, distributes the food to various host sites. Every month you place an order, pay for it, then pick it up a couple of weeks later.
Here is an example of prices: a junior package of 3.5 pounds of chicken legs (quarters), two pounds of breaded fish and five ounces of diced white meat chicken is only $10. You can order just fruits and vegetables, or a "baking package" or condiments only; there is quite a variety of choices.
See what September's packages are by logging on at www.sharecolorado.com, getting a flyer at the senior center or at the First Assembly of God Church from 10 a.m.-noon Sept. 13. Payment must be made at time of order.
We are pleased to announce we will be presenting the play, "The Grand Tour," starring Patty Sterling and Margaret May at 1 p.m. Sept. 5. This is the story of two ladies who are being evicted so the city can build senior housing. A lot of people missed this play when it was first presented, so be sure to attend this wonderful presentation.
We have had a line dancing class for a few months now, and everyone is doing such a good job that instructor Deb Aspen wants to have a demonstration of their talents on Halloween at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. If you want to get in on the act, you better come to class Sept. 10 and start practicing.
The second annual Western Colorado Senior Games will be held Sept. 19-20 in Grand Junction. Registration forms are available until Sept. 10. We are looking forward to a weekend full of competitive events including swimming, bowling, golf, track and field, biking and horseshoes.
Plan on staying Saturday night for the closing "hoedown" supper. All events are open to those 50 year of age amnd older. This is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to have fun, socialize and show their support for healthy, active lifestyles.
Friday - 10 a.m. Qi Gong; 11, Medicare counseling; 1 p.m. "The Grand Tour," a play starring Patty Sterling and Margaret May
Sept. 8 - 1 p.m. Bridge for Fun
Sept. 9 - 9:30 a.m., yoga; 10:30 advanced computer class; 1 p.m. pinochle
Sept. 10 - 10:30 a.m., beginning computer class; 11:30 Mountain Harmony Chorus; 1-3 p.m. Medicare, RX, Benefits Check Up; 1 p.m. line dancing class
Sept. 11 - 8 a.m., trip to Durango (suggested donation for seniors $10).
Sept. 5 - Cubed steak, boiled potatoes, spinach, roll, apple juice and plums
Sept. 8 - Roast turkey, yams, broccoli blend, muffin and pears
Sept. 9 - Rice and beans with sausage, brussels sprouts, corn bread and peaches
Sept. 10 - Tuna loaf, creamed peas, pickled beets and mixed fruit.
Saturday golf tourney raises funds for United Way
By Sally Hameister
Saturday is the day for the fourth annual United Way Golf Tournament with a four-person scramble format.
Everyone is invited to participate in this way-fun event with a start time of 9 a.m.
The good folks at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club will be happy to help put together a team or place you on a team if you give them at call at 731-4755.
If you are a member of the golf club, your $30 entry fee will include a $10 donation to United Way.
For nonmembers, a $65 fee includes the greens fee, cart and an automatic $10 donation to United Way.
All entry fees include coffee and donuts, lunch and range balls, and you can expect various contests and great golf giveaways at this always fun event.
This tournament presents a unique opportunity to have a terrific time on and off the links and contribute to a most worthy cause at the same time.
Since I am the 2004 United Way chairperson, you can expect to see me out there serving donuts and coffee or just generally making a nuisance of myself in various and sundry ways.
I hope to see you all the United Way Tournament Saturday.
Casey Mudroch account
Last week I shared the Casey Mudroch story and since then have received a very positive report on Casey's progress.
He was answering questions with "yes" and "no" responses midweek and was being taken off the respirator for short periods of time and handling that very well.
He is still in the ICU and considered critical, but parents and friends are greatly encouraged by these small but significant signs of healing and progress.
To help defray both the transportation expenses and the costs incurred over and above the insurance limits, a special account has been set up at Bank of Colorado located at 205 Country Center Drive. Just ask for the Casey Mudroch Account No. 8500394046 to make your donation.
If you have questions, the Bank of Colorado contact is Marion Francis at 731-4166.
For those who would like to send a card to Casey, send them locally to P.O. Box 4252, 81147, and they will be delivered personally to Casey in Denver by Liz Marchand.
Our love and best wishes go out to the Mudroch family
Don't forget that the first rehearsal for the Community Choir Christmas Concert will be Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.
Subsequent rehearsals will be every Tuesday evening from 7-9 p.m.
This group has branched out this year and, in addition to the Christmas Concert, they presented a spring concert and sang their little hearts out for us at the July 4 concert at Pagosa Lodge.
The ever-enthusiastic Pam Spitler directs this group with the lovely and talented Sue Anderson accompanying.
As always, you can expect a diverse range of music and a new slant on traditional carols throughout a mesmerizing performance.
Call Pam at 731-4510 or Sue Kehret at 731-3868 if you are interested in joining this talented group.
Beginning Sept. 4, you will be able to purchase tickets for the Sept. 27 event at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse: The Roasting and Toasting of John Graves.
This entertaining evening will be sponsored by Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and proceeds will benefit Friends of the Performing Art.
Those of you who have seen "roasts" of various celebrities know that friends and family generally use this opportunity to poke fun in every imaginable way at the targeted victim, and this event will be no exception.
John Graves is without question one of our local luminaries and has many friends who will relish the idea of having a little fun at his expense in the name of raising funds for a future performing arts center.
Obviously, John would most likely be one of the first to entertain upon the stage of such a facility.
Join the fun Sept. 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse and feel free to dress as elegantly as you like.
Tickets for this event are $45 and will include a full catered buffet dinner, wine and entertainment. You can purchase tickets at WolfTracks Book Store and Coffee Company, the Chamber of Commerce and Pagosa Baking Company.
We have two new members to introduce to you this week and 11 renewals.
Something that is definitely worth mentioning about our new members is that they were both recruited by Queen of the Red Hats, Kathryn Heilhecker, who also acts as a hostess extraordinaire for the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service. If Kathryn continues at her current rate, the woman will never pay for another SunDowner because she earns a free one with every recruitment.
Remember that you too can earn a free SunDowner with every new member you garner for the Chamber, but I confess it will take you quite awhile to catch up with Kathryn.
Marcina Mitchell joins us this week with MTech Business Development with offices located in her home. Marcina offers Web site design, search engine optimization and business development services. Please give her a call at 731-6325 to learn more about MTech Business Development or look her up at www. mtechbd.com. We again thank Kathryn for the referral and new member.
We're happy to welcome Fred and Mary Webb this week as new associate members with thanks to Kathryn once again.
Our renewals this week include Tracy and Karen Bunning with High Country Title Company; Darlene with Riverbend Resort in South Fork; Barbara Rosner with Rosner Creative, LLC, Communications and Design; Jim Smith with Jim Smith Realty, Inc.; Melinda Short with Doors and More; Rosa and Jim Layne with Layne's Shaklee Distributor; Jan Brookshier with Brookshier Photography and Framing; Joe Bergman with Lindal Cedar Homes-Independently distributed by Eagle's View Cedar Homes; Eddie Campbell with the Branding Iron Bar BQ; Mike Alley with LaPlata Electric Association; and associate members Gene and Jackie Schick.
We are grateful to each and every one of you.
New offerings highlight week at Sisson Library
A song title, looking for a verse: "Brown muddy river and black asphalt."
What a pleasure to drive over the bridge on Hot Springs Boulevard and see both in living color. Thanks to those who finally provided these events.
Thanks to Carole Howard for donating a copy of her family cookbook entitled "Sharing Our Best."
Carole and Bob helped put together the Civic Club Cookbook and in doing so, became interested in collecting their own family gems.
There are many treats for all of us looking for new challenges. I'm in love with the seafood lasagna, (see page 55).
The Rocky Mountain MS Center sent the second edition of their user-friendly guide. It is a starting point to understanding MS and how to manage it.
There is a discussion of some clues as to the cause of the disease. Climate seems to have something to do with it. It is 10 times more prevalent in Denver than in New Orleans.
A virus that is more prevalent in temperate climates is suspect. A virus predisposes the body's immune system to malfunction and attack myelin.
It is estimated that 350,000 persons have MS in this country. This guidebook covers common MS problems and their treatment.
"America on Wheels: The First 100 Years: 1896-1996," by Frank Coffee and Joseph Layden, is the companion piece to the PBS special.
Our national love affair with the auto has gone on for a century. To commemorate the anniversary, the big Three - Ford General Motors, and Chrysler - authorized this homage to the American car, the invention that changed the face of America and rewrote the history of our time.
They transformed the United States from an agrarian society to a suburban car culture. They revolutionized the economy and redesigned the way cities were planned. Courtship moved from the front porch to the back seat. The aura of personal freedom began to define the generations in a totally new way.
The book is filled with rare photos, advertisements, cartoons and other drawings from the Library of Congress. It is our history from an unusual point of view.
"How to Care For Aging Parents," by Virginia Morris answers the questions you hoped you'd never have to ask.
The book discusses both the needs of the cared-for and the caregiver.
There are options to get through the many legal and financial issues as well as the medical and emotional concerns.
It is recommended by the founder of the National Institute on Aging.
Here is the dynamic new national reading initiative that will provide tools and strategies to help educators and parents launch young readers.
Check out the Web site ReadingRockets.org.
Giving children the gift of literacy is the most important thing we can do. Thirty-seven percent of American fourth-graders read below the basic level.
This new program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and partners with 25 other national organizations.
Reading Rockets is a service of public television station WETA. The five-part TV series begins on Rocky Mountain PBS Sept. 7 at 9:30 am. Explore their Web site's ongoing and download guides and activities. Sign up for their monthly newsletter.
New library Web site
As of today, we have upgraded our collection Web site.
You can go online and search our materials from home. Please note this change - http://sanjuan.ipac.dynixasp.com - look to see if you have fines, or you can reserve a book or just search the collection.
Call 264-2208 if you have questions.
Thanks to Terry Hershey for the Bats magazines. Book donations came from Carole Walters, Wanda Garner, Gail Becker, Dave Nasralla. Financial help came from Jim and Margaret Wilson in memory of Dale Lindsey Whittington and Irene Daniel. Ernest and Dot Jones gave in memory of Lee Sterling and Mary Muirhead.
A look back at service-connected disabilities
The Veterans Service Office will be closed through Sept. 19.
For scheduling the veteran's transport vehicle call Archuleta County Commission office, Jan Santopietro, at 246-8300. Please note she is not able to answer VA-related questions, but does have on hand some general VA information sources.
The following is a reprint of an earlier article:
Many veterans' illnesses or impairments can be directly related to their service in the military in particular areas of military duty and action. Being wounded or injured in combat is fairly obvious. Familiar to many would be afflictions that relate to Agent Orange from duty in Vietnam. But many health concerns are lesser known by veterans, and they may be eligible for compensation claims with the VA.
Looking for these physical and mental disorders is part of the interview process in meeting with a new veteran that we do not have any information on in this office. When I ask a veteran if they have disorders that might be related to their service in the military, frequently the answer is an emphatic no. But upon in-depth discussion and the interview process, we actually uncover something wrong with the veteran that in fact may relate to their military service.
An example might be a veteran that has lost some portion of his hearing. This might have been caused while he was involved with artillery or working around aircraft while in the military. This can be a very important connection. Hearing (and vision) are frequently considered part of the aging process by the VA and are not routinely covered in their health care program, unless it is documented as service connected by a VA compensation claim, or unless the veteran has a certain percentage of service connected disability for other disorders.
In other words, the VA won't provide hearing aids or eyeglasses, unless the veteran has a service-connected disability.
Veterans may be eligible for compensation for many reasons due to their duty in the military. It may be for injuries sustained playing sports while in the military. Current medical evidence of an impairment that can be connected to military medical evidence is the key to unlocking a compensable claim.
If the VA approves that claim, the veteran may receive compensation payment, and perhaps most important, free VA health care for the health problem. When one considers the cost of major medical services these days, this can be a very important factor in the quality of life for a veteran, both physical and financial. Also, compensation payments for a VA service connected disability are nontaxable.
The VA may consider certain disabilities "presumptive." As previously mentioned, Agent Orange connection in Vietnam is one of the most prevalent. This might include illnesses such as Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, soft-tissue sarcoma, chloracne, Type II diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, porphyria cutenea tarda, respiratory cancers, multiple myeloma, peripheral neuropathy, prostate cancer, as some examples of disorders that can be Agent Orange presumptive.
The more recent Gulf War has a number of ailments presumptive, but many are still under study. Gulf War Syndrome is a common name for some disorders, as yet not fully understood by medical studies. One disorder that has come up most recently connected to the Gulf War is Lou Gehrig's disease. Some findings show veterans of the Gulf War are twice as likely to develop this disease than other veterans.
Unique to conditions
Of course military service and exposure during the heyday of atomic bomb testing opens many cans of worms for veterans. Most U.S. military conflicts carry unique areas of medical concern.
I have a great deal of information in this office covering this subject. The information presented here should only be considered a guide.
I urge every veteran to come in and see me about any areas of concern they might have. The process for filing a compensation claim is quite complicated and lengthy, and can take as much as 1-2 years to be adjudicated by the VA. So the sooner a claim is filed, the better. Also, should a claim be decided in favor of the veteran, the compensation might be retroactive back to the beginnings of the claim.
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is afautheree@ archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 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.
There is no people news this week.
A Stitch in Time
Piecemakers sew history into
By Tess Noel Baker
"The Pagosa Springs Heritage Quilt honors and celebrates the places, people and seasons that over the course of hundreds of years shaped this southwest Colorado community."
Twenty-five words. That's all members of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild were given to describe a quilt that took over four years to become reality. Six got together and came up with the idea. Before it was finished, 25 members of the guild added their stitches to the mix. Some worked on appliqué. Others on quilting. Still others on basting. Countless hours were spent on research, design and detail.
The finished piece features 12 appliquéd blocks representing Camp Lewis, the railroad, the school house, Chimney Rock, the court house, the Methodist Church, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the Sullenberger home, the lumber mills, Red Ryder, Dr. Mary Winter Fisher and the jail. These surround a center block depicting the original bathhouse at the Great Hot Spring bordered by the words Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The border is appliquéd landscapes, each representing a different season. The bottom is summer. The top is fall. To the left is spring. To the right is winter.
The quilt is backed with a fabric featuring Colorado's state bird and flower - the Lark Bunting and the Columbine.
Soon, it will hang at various locations around town, a history lesson on fabric for all to enjoy. That is, after it finishes a tour at the American Quilter's Society Nashville 2003 Quilt Exposition.
The idea for the quilt was born in 1998 when Virginia Bartlett, Helen Bartlett, Pam Thompson, Vicki Patterson, Cindy Vermillion Hamilton and Shari Pierce got together to discuss a community quilt.
"They listed the things they would like to depict," Virginia Bartlett said. "We ended up with 12 of that list. Thirteen if the center block is counted."
The group reconvened at Edelweiss Needlework Chalet to select fabrics for the quilt. Most were donated by the shop's owner, Shirley Brinkmann.
A trip to the San Juan Historical Society Museum allowed the women to gather copies of historical photographs and paintings to use as templates for the blocks.
Each quilter who volunteered for a block designed and appliquéd her own piece. Appliqué is a technique involving layering one fabric on top of another to create the design.
Bartlett said to maintain some continuity in the blocks, each person started with a 12-by-16 inch piece of a blue fabric meant to be used for the sky. That was passed out to those volunteering to make a block in 1999.The rest of the design was stitched onto that piece using fabrics from a box passed from one woman to the next.
"Certain colors are repeated in almost every block," Bartlett said. Those who appliqued a block included the original six, plus, Carolyn Estrada, Sharon Cairns and Ella McNatt, Molly Davis, Lou Crouse and Vicki Patterson. Estrada, who designed the Chimney Rock block, has since passed away.
Helen Bartlett sewed the blocks into a quilt top. Virginia Bartlett, a painter as well as a quilter, designed the borders, using the view off her deck as inspiration. The peaks featured are Pagosa Peak, Eagle Mountain and Saddle Mountain. From there, a group of quilters gathered at the Community United Methodist Church to sandwich the quilt, sewing together the top, batting and backing. It was then passed back around to different members of the guild to do the quilting.
Once again, members were allowed to let their creativity flow, giving each block individual flair.
Quilter Muriel McIver, said that creativity made the finished product that much more special.
"Every mountain didn't look like every other mountain," she said. "Every hill didn't look like every other hill." Just like the real world.
Of course, quilting through all those appliquéd layers could be a real challenge at times. Sometimes, the thread went through five or six layers, McIver said. Eventually, though, it was finished.
The final step was adding the binding. The final stitch, Virginia Bartlett said, was perhaps the best part. Then, everyone could see its true beauty.
"You work on it, but you just don't know how it's going to turn out," she said. "It worked so beautifully. The colors are just wonderful."
Not only does it represent the places that made Pagosa thrive, but the talents of the people who live here today.
"I was amazed how as a club it drew us together and made us realize the capabilities and talents of so many different people," she said.
Originally, Bartlett said, the idea was simply to hang the quilt in key locations around town to show people a bit of the history through a different medium. The finished piece was so impressive someone suggested they enter it in a show. After a quick search, the group found the second annual American Quilter's Society's Nashville 2003 Quilt Exposition. They entered the group category and sent the heritage quilt back east. According to an American Quilter's Society news release, it was judged along with 482 other entries. Two hundred and ninety-seven quilts were selected for the jury process and were displayed at the exhibition Aug. 27-30.
Other members of Piecemakers who worked on the heritage quilt included: Kay Beatty, Jean Brooks, Vivian DeYoung, Janet Donavan, Barbara Draper, Judy Jordan, Sandy Martin, Pat McCann, Muriel McIver, Barb Nimon, Margaret Rouke, Jean Sanft, Kathy Stembridge and Patricia Waters.
The Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild was founded in 1992. The group meets monthly at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.
According to the group's bylaws, their purpose is "to support each other as quilters, to educate ourselves by having instructional meetings and workshops to increase and improve our quilting skills, striving for accuracy and excellence, to widen our awareness and appreciation of the art of quilting, and to promote quilting in our community by having open membership and giving encouragement and guidance to beginners." The group is governed by a nine-member board of directors.
A membership roster isn't really kept, Virgina Bartlett said. Anyone is welcome to come, pay the $3 and join in a meeting. Each year, six meetings include a program of some kind. During the other six, members simply come together for a bee, working on whatever projects they want. The guild's next meeting is set for Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.
Bartlett also said some of the group gathers weekly, 1-3 p.m. Mondays at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street to quilt on individual projects.
Exploration here by New Mexico Hispanics
By John M. Motter
The mountains and river valleys of Pagosa Country, southwestern Colorado, Utah, and much of the Rocky Mountain West were explored by Hispanics long before the epic 1807 Lewis and Clark expedition to the mouth of Oregon's Columbia River and back.
Hispanics from New Mexico were well acquainted with much of the Great American Southwest by the time Minutemen made their stand during the American Revolution.
To demonstrate this point, we have been quoting from "Old Spanish Trail, Santa Fe to Los Angeles" written by LeRoy R. and Ann W. Hafen and published by the Arthur H. Clark Company in 1954.
While many, many books have been written about the Old Spanish Trail since the Hafens' publication, it seems to me that their book should be considered the standard, the starting point for any research on the subject.
The Hafens, of course, took advantage of the research done by a host of others. One of those writer/historians was Joseph J. Hill of the Bancroft Library in Berkley, California.
It may seem strange that much of the documentation concerning the Old Spanish Trail is found in original documents written by California settlers in the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas. It's not so strange when we learn that a number of those settlers used the Old Spanish Trail to reach those two points. That's where they settled down and that is where their memoirs were found.
In any case, Hill left us much to consider. One of his documents was published in the Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 3, Number 1, January 1930. The article is titled "Spanish and Mexican Exploration and Trade Northwest from New Mexico into the Great Basin, 1765-1853."
We quote from Hill's article realizing that much new information has surfaced since that date, especially concerning the 1765 Rivera expedition. Nevertheless, Hill's history remains essentially accurate.
Today's reader should be mindful that when Hill talks of trips to Utah along the Old Spanish Trail, the most commonly used trail crossed southwestern Archuleta County.
Hill contends that the Old Spanish Trail, "properly so-called," led only to the Great Basin. The trail was developed to facilitate Spanish trade with the Yutas - Spanish spelling for Ute used by Hill. This trade began with the first exploration in that direction, the Rivera expedition in 1765 and continued until the country was settled by whites.
By way of comparison, Columbus discovered the New World in 1492; just 48 years later Coronado was the first to visit New Mexico; in 1598, Oñate made the first Spanish settlement in New Mexico near today's Española, in 1680 with the help of Utes and Jicarilla Apaches, New Mexico's Pueblo Indians drove the Hispanic settlers out of New Mexico. They returned in 1692 led by Diego de Vargas and have occupied New Mexico since that time.
Possibly the first expedition of white men northwest from New Mexico as far as the La Plata Mountains of today was led by Juan Maria de Rivera by order of Tomás Vélez Cachupin, governor of New Mexico in 1765, just 67 years after Hispanic reoccupation of New Mexico.
Until recently, Rivera's journal was lost. Fortunately, when the 1776 Dominguez/Escalante Expedition retraced Rivera's route, they had notes from Rivera's journal. Therefore, we can relive much of Rivera's route by reflection.
Rivera left Santa Fe, journeyed past Abiquiu to the San Juan River (probably at Caracas in Archuleta County), crossed the southern flanks of the La Plata Mountains, dropped down either the Dolores or San Miguel rivers, crossed the Uncompahgre Plateau, then dropped down the Uncompahgre River to the Gunnison River. At that point, he apparently turned around and retraced his steps home.
Although no official expeditions are known to have visited this area during the next 10 years, such visitations probably took place. Little is written about such trips because they were made clandestinely to avoid purchasing permits and paying taxes to the government.
Escalante provides evidence of such a journey made by Pedro Mora, Gregorio Sandoval and Andrés Muñiz in 1775. All had accompanied Rivera in 1765.
By the time of the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante expedition, the region east of the Colorado River and as far north as Gunnison seems to have been fairly well known to the Hispanics of New Mexico. This is clear from the fact that most of the prominent physical features of the country were referred to in Escalante's diary by names that are still on the map and used in such a way that would lead one to think that those names were in more or less common use at the time. References from that time are made of traders visiting the area and staying several months with the Utes for the purpose of obtaining pelts.
It was also stated by Nicloás de la Fora, who accompanied the Marqués de Rubi on his tour of inspection through the northern provinces in 1766-1767 that the country to the north along the Cordillera de las Grullas was at that time known to the Spaniards for a hundred leagues above New Mexico.
And so we can be certain that prior to Lewis and Clark, prior to the Louisiana Purchase, and prior to the American Revolution, Pagosa Country had been explored and was well known by New Mexico Hispanics.
Make it tough
As of July 1, 2003, things changed for Colorado motorists. On that date, the state went from a no-fault auto insurance plan to a tort system - one based on fault. There were those who proclaimed the advantage of insurance savings to Colorado motorists; the reality of those savings is being assessed. What seems real are potential difficulties for accident victims involved in the tort scheme and the risks everyone on the state's roadways encounter when confronted by a large number of uninsured drivers.
Under the tort system, if you are in a motor vehicle accident, the person judged at fault in the accident, and/or his or her insurance company, is responsible for paying your medical and rehabilitation costs as well as damages resulting from the accident.
Prior to July 1, if you were in an accident, your insurance, via the required personal injury protection coverage, would cover your injuries and damages, such as wage loss, up to policy limits. Fault was not considered; insurance carried by the other party to the accident did not matter to you. Now, there is no personal injury protection and whether overall savings are realized is questionable considering the advisability of carrying insurance for bodily injury and uninsured or underinsured drivers.
If you are in an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault, your insurance for uninsured or underinsured drivers will probably cover your medical expenses up to coverage limits. You and your health insurance would be responsible for any bills absent those types of coverage.
What is your recourse in case of an accident with an uninsured driver? You must legally pursue the other driver, hoping his or her assets are enough to recoup expenses. If the driver has few or no assets, the picture is clear: You and your insurance company get nothing. The best state prosecutors can do is try to use criminal law to enforce restitution to victims when applicable.
Perhaps the tort system will function well. Time will tell. But another facet of the situation is worthy of note: Some estimates place the percentage of Colorado drivers without insurance as high as 30-plus percent of the total. That's nearly a third of all motorists driving on the roads and highways of the state. Even if the actual percentage is half that, the number is extraordinary and unacceptable.
What can we do with these drivers?
At present, upon his or her conviction for driving without insurance, Colorado law mandates a five-day jail sentence for the offender. He or she can receive up to one year in jail and the conviction brings four points against the license plus fines (though high fines likely inhibit the driver's ability to procure insurance). If convicted, the driver must file an SR-22 - a special insurance policy that is, in effect, a contract between driver, insurance company and state. If the driver fails to make a payment on the policy, it results in an automatic year's suspension of the driver's license as well as 12 points against the license, and fines. If a further violation occurs, it is a serious misdemeanor offense.
This is not enough.
It's time to pay more attention to this dangerous and difficult problem. Perhaps the same legislators who made the change to the tort system should ask whether or not sanctions against uninsured drivers should be increased to add to the deterrent effect. They must investigate ways of removing uninsured drivers from the roadways before the accidents occur, before those drivers throw an innocent citizen into the tort maze. Regardless of the type of insurance system - no-fault or tort - the fact that large numbers of uninsured drivers are on the roads is alarming. Ultimately, it costs us all.
We have more cars than drivers
By Richard Walter
If you thought there was wall-to-wall traffic in Pagosa Country during the Labor Day weekend, you're right.
If you were in Colorado Springs for the Pirates soccer matchup with Colorado Springs Christian, you're right again. Interstate 25 was a parking lot for much of the time Pagosans were there.
There was, it seems, traffic of all kinds everywhere. It is understandable.
For the first time in history, a new survey says, the typical U.S. family has more vehicles than licensed drivers in the household.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported Saturday that there are 107 million U.S. households, each with an average of 1.9 cars trucks or sport utility vehicles - and only 1.8 drivers; and we won't see a tenth of a driver.
Nonetheless, the number crunchers said, all that means is that there are 204 million vehicles licensed and ready to go but only 191 million drivers.
They obviously had not been on I-25, or they would have known where all the missing drivers had gone.
Robert Lang of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, which researches regional growth, called the statistics "the final realization of the entire American ethos."
And Alan Pisarski, author of "Commuting in America," said, "We've added more cars than people for the last two decades, and the average number of people per household has been declining."
All say there are myriad reasons for the proliferation of vehicles: more families with two breadwinners driving separately to work, more teens with cars of their own, more families with recreational or weekend-only wheels and longer lasting automobiles.
Pisarski noted there is an extraordinary availability of low-cost automobiles today and that cars once were sent to the scrap heap after 100,000 miles or so on the odometer but 200,000 miles is not unusual today.
Somehow, that doesn't meet my memory of how long cars last. The old, heavy metal lunkers seemed to go on and on. I've put 300,000 and even 400,000 miles on a car and saw it still running when I reluctantly moved up to a newer model.
The new vehicles do perform well, but the cost of repair is astronomical compared to the "baling wire fixes" which kept the older flivvers in action.
Many Americans now have vehicles for specialized uses in addition to their family car. They have work trucks, off-road vehicles and a family junker used for the scut work like transporting garbage or yard waste.
With all these vehicles plying the roadways, it was somewhat disheartening to note on Sunday that our astute legislators, in their rush to new automotive insurance rules last year, failed to renew a law requiring drivers to prove they have insurance.
Drivers still must carry mandatory insurance and show proof to police if stopped. But without a requirement to show proof at registration, the mandatory rule is almost unenforceable until legislators can fix their goof this year. If they remember.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Sept. 5, 1913
School commenced Tuesday morning with a good attendance and an able corps of teachers intent on making a success of their work. The New Era is always disposed to give the teachers and the board of education every encouragement and will do so this year.
Fred Arnold, with the help of Phillip Johnson and the mules, is doing a lot of good work on the road between Pagosa and Dyke. He is filling in low places, putting in culverts and generally remedying the defects that the summer travel has shown.
Mrs. Schonefeld, the milliner, is home from Denver with the newest and most stylish stock of millinery ever shown in Pagosa.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Sept. 7, 1928
The board of county commissioners met on Tuesday for the transaction of routine business, and to complete the contracts for rights-of-way on the new state highway project north of Pagosa Springs, work on which will begin shortly.
This section experienced its first frost of the season Tuesday night.
Miss Lillie Toner left Friday to take up her Senior year's work at Fort Collins.
The Pagosa schools opened this week with a total enrollment of 298 pupils, with forty or more regular students still to report. Teachers and students have taken up the routine of classes with a minimum of lost time.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Sept. 4, 1953
A fire, believed to have started from defective wiring gutted the office building and living quarters of the John Lynn family at the Spring Resort on Friday of last week. The fire alarm was turned in around two p.m. and the fire department battled the blaze for nearly two hours before bringing it under control. Damage was estimated at several thousand dollars to the contents and the building is a complete loss.
Superintendent of Schools A.D. Hahn reports that as of Wednesday of this week, there were 503 students enrolled in the town school. The figures on the country school are not yet complete. Mr. Hahn also stated that approximately 150 students were expected to register in the next few weeks as school gets underway.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Sept. 7, 1978
Dry weather continues to plague the area and conditions on the national forests are rated as extremely dry. Streamflows are way down, there has been no rain of any consequence since July, and very little at that time. The area has been fortunate that there have been no serious forest fires and all authorities urge that extreme caution be taken by anyone who is in the woods.
Voting machines will be used in all Archuleta County election precincts this year for the first time in the county's history. The machines are electronic and the ballots will be computer counted. Voters not familiar with this type of machine will be given adequate instructions and demonstrations at the polls.