October 9, 2003 
Front Page

Pagosa couple among four killed in collision; girl, 12, survives

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Four people were killed in a head-on collision near Chimney Rock Oct. 4.

Joseph and Anita Zielinski, of Pagosa Springs, and Richard and Wanda Milton of Big Spring, Texas, were pronounced dead at the scene after their vehicles collided head-on about 4:15 p.m.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, the 1994 Nissan Pathfinder driven by Joseph Zielinski was eastbound when it drifted into the oncoming lane and collided with a 2000 Chrysler Voyager. Both vehicles came to an immediate stop on their wheels at the point of impact.

A 12-year-old passenger in the back seat of the Zielinski vehicle was critically injured and transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

The 12-year-old, Joey Zielinski, was in fair condition Wednesday morning.

According to state patrol reports, she and Joseph Zielinski, 46, were the only ones not wearing seatbelts. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

A benefit dinner and silent auction for the Zielinski Family, which includes a teen-ager and a 20-year-old not involved in the collision, has been planned for Oct. 18 at noon at Paul's Place in Aspen Springs. Cost for dinner is $5 a plate. The benefit is sponsored in part by the Turkey Springs Trading Post.

Donations are being accepted for a silent auction. Those wishing to donate should call 731-9919 and leave a message. All proceeds from the silent auction will be given to the family to assist with medical expenses.

 

Home rule gets 2.5-1 nod from

95 town voters

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs is Colorado's newest home rule municipality.

Tuesday, voters gave the thumbs up to a 45-page charter by a margin of 68 to 27. A total of 96 ballots were cast out of a possible 925 registered voters. One ballot was spoiled.

Town Administrator Mark Garcia said to be official, the charter must now be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State. "We have 20 days to do that," he said. Once it's filed, the town will operate under the charter written by a nine-member commission. A home rule charter operates like a local constitution, setting government structure and organization for a community.

Garcia said the change will have little, if any, immediate impact. It does, however, remove term limit considerations from local elections which will allow some of the board of trustees the option of running for re-election in the next local race.

Becoming a home rule community does not mean the town can simply ignore state statutes. In all matters of statewide concern, the town will still be bound to state law. The flexibility in home rule is tied to local issues only.

The charter includes 14 articles covering: general provisions, town council, procedures for the council, elections, initiative, referendum and recall, town attorney and municipal court, town administration, boards and commissions, budget and finance, utilities, franchises and town property, land use, development and districts, legal provisions, and transition provisions.

Amendments or repealing the charter requires a vote of the people.

Copies of Pagosa's home rule charter are available at Town Hall.

Results of the election were unofficial at press time. However, canvassing and certification was scheduled to be completed Wednesday afternoon.

 

Regional economic indicators signal dips from last year

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

For most Archuleta County residents, the arrivals of the season's first frost and second high-country snowfall brought with them the final realization that summer is truly over.

With the height of the tourism season in the record books, local officials are compiling the telltale data that shed light on how the local economy fared during the first half of the year.

On the surface, it would seem that the relatively mundane spring and summer of 2003 were far and away better draws for the region when compared with last year's seasons of record drought, catastrophic wildfires and resulting sluggish economy.

When factoring in the latest numbers from Wall Street, which seem to indicate the national economy is making modest gains in several sectors, one could assume a similar financial turnaround is in store for Pagosa Country.

But an analysis of several local economic indicators suggests otherwise, and unless numbers change dramatically before Dec. 31, most - if not all - of this year's revenue figures will likely be down from those of last year.

Sales tax

A summary comparison of sales tax revenue provided by Cathie Wilson, county finance director, reveals that sales tax revenues recorded for the first seven months of this year were lower across the board than last year's totals.

The largest differences in revenue are found in reports for the months of March and April, which were down 16.30 percent and 12.76 percent from last year, respectively.

June 2003 revenues show a decrease of 9.39 percent when compared with June 2002, while local merchants fared slightly better the following month - July 2003 totals being down just 3.16 percent from last year.

Those declines not only affect the county's bottom line, but income for the town of Pagosa Springs as well, since revenues resulting from the 4-percent sales tax are split equally between the two entities.

However, there is a chance that figures rebounded in August and September and that revenue totals for the remainder of the year could come in higher than those of 2002, preventing a second straight year of declines.

But that remains to be seen for some time, since, due to processing delays, the duration between when the taxes are levied and when they are actually recorded often equates to months.

Lodgers' tax

A comparison of 2002 and 2003 1.9-percent lodging tax revenues provided by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce indicates a subtle decline in local cash flow as well.

The year-to-date total for 2002 amounts to $99,905, while this year's total comes in at $92,614 - a difference, or decline, of roughly 7.3 percent.

Again, the trend seems to be toward lesser numbers, but a definitive comparison cannot be made until the books close at year's end.

Building permits

According to statistics provided by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the building sector took the heaviest hit with respect to state unemployment and business slowdown during 2002, with most of the decline occurring in the special trades segment.

However, reports obtained from the county building and planning department indicate the county bucked that trend last year - a record 591 building permits were issued for construction projects within county boundaries last year.

And back in January of this year, things didn't appear to be coming to a screeching halt, as Julie Rodriguez, county building director, indicated building permits issued during the year's first month were down just one from the January 2002 total of 22.

But the latest reports suggest desk traffic, at least the kind related to building permits, has slowed considerably at the building department since then.

By the end of September 2002, the department had issued a total of 474 building permits en route to the record total.

Through Sept. 30 this year, the number of county building permits issued totals 345, a year-to-date decrease of roughly 27 percent.

It is important to note that building permit fees rose significantly this year in February, but thus far, a direct correlation between the fee increase and the drop-off in the number of individuals seeking building permits has not been established.

Home sales

The rate at which homes are selling in the county this year is apparently off slightly from 2002 as well, though with nearly three months remaining before year's end, to assume a lower 2003 total would be premature.

In summary, the average selling price for a "residential property," or home, in Archuleta County last year was $167,860, according to statistics provided by the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors.

The numbers also indicate a total of 304 homes were sold in 2002, and assert the average amount of days each was listed on the market before closing equates to 167.

Through Oct. 7 of this year, the average selling price for a home in the county was $196,618, and the average number of days listed on the market is currently at 210.

Lastly, the year-to-date number of homes sold in 2003 totals 251.

Water connections

A summary of 2002/2003 water and water/sewer connection requests to the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District provided by Carrie Campbell, district general manager, demonstrates a similar pattern.

While certainly not representative of countywide construction activity, the numbers indicate district customers initiated a total (commercial and residential) of 222 connection requests last year.

Thus far this year, 132 requests have been made, indicating a preliminary year-to-date decline of approximately 40 percent.

Historically, the district has ceased processing requests in November, when weather conditions generally render new connections unfeasible.

While late-year surges in requests are not uncommon, said Campbell, it appears such an increase is unlikely this fall.

"It looks as if the numbers are definitely going to down from last year," said Campbell.

"You could probably walk into the district office today and have a connection before the end of the week; we haven't had a year like this since 1993," concluded Campbell.

Projected growth

In conclusion, despite what appears to be a temporary hiccough in the local economy, recent county-growth trends indicate there will be plenty of new consumers calling Pagosa Country home in short time.

According to numbers provided by the county planning department, the state demographer's office estimated population growth in Archuleta County between 2000-2001 at 5.2 percent and growth between 2001-2002 at 3.7 percent.

The result, as of July 1, 2002, was an estimated county population of 10,942 - and growing.

How fast will the county continue to grow?

The answer is dependent on a number of factors and includes a certain degree of crystal ball gazing, but most authorities are fairly certain a major slowdown isn't likely in the near future.

For example, state data released by the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year suggests Archuleta County has the potential to be the second-fastest growing county in the state through at least 2005 - with a projected growth rate of 3.8 percent.

According to an address-tracking study conducted by the IRS, 716 out-of-state people settled in Archuleta County between 2001-2002, as well as dozens more from Jefferson County and nearby La Plata and San Juan counties.

Based on the IRS study, only Douglas County - projected at 4.5 percent - is expected to experience a higher rate of population growth than Archuleta County in the next two years.

 

Aspen Springs water bond

vote off, mill levy on ballot

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A temporary mill levy increase to fund further study of a central water system will be on the ballot for Aspen Springs property owners in November.

A larger bond issue for the completion of a water system has been removed from consideration.

Pat Ullrich, president of the Aspen Springs Metropolitan District board of directors, said uncertainties about the amount of water available and exact costs led the board to drop the bond issue from this year's election.

"When we've completed all our studies - assuming there's enough water - and all our costs are in, we plan to present that to voters," he said.

Instead, the board is asking voters to approve an increase of 12 mills for a maximum of two years to complete studies on the feasibility and cost of a central water system.

Ullrich said the increase will allow for the drilling of two test wells, a pump station, final engineer plans and a rock study. The test wells will help determine the quality and quantity of water available in the rock formations under Aspen Springs. Another part of the study will determine what type of issues might arise while laying the water lines.

Plans call for one of the test wells to be used as a commercial water loading station provided a good water source is found. "We may only need to charge people for one year of the temporary increase if the wells are successful and people buy water from the loading station," Ullrich said. He estimated total revenues from the proposed levy increase to reach about $300,000.

Besides the levy increase, voters in Aspen Springs will be asked to allow the metro district to De-Bruce and to remove term limit restrictions.

Ullrich said De-Brucing will allow the district to opt out of some of the restrictions included in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Doing away with term limits, he said, will help keep positions on the district board filled.

"Sometimes we're hard pressed to find someone willing to serve," he said. With a budget that's grown to nearly $300,000, 65 miles of roads and other business, a board position means more work than it has in the past.

All registered voters who own property in Aspen Springs are eligible to vote. The mail-in ballots will be administered through the Archuleta County Clerk's office.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

10/1

81

43

-

-

-

10/2

57

47

R

-

.39

10/3

52

46

R

-

.23

10/4

67

43

R

-

.12

10/5

70

37

R

-

.01

10/6

73

40

R

-

.01

10/7

67

41

-

-

-

Cool, dry conditions forecast

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Area residents were treated to the finest fall scenery to date during the past week as Mother Nature took full advantage of her palette while adding new colors to the Pagosa Country canvas.

For many, the highlight of the past seven days was the arrival of the season's second snowfall, which fostered hopes the region will continue to slowly escape the grip of a lingering drought.

However, the latest forecasts indicate there is only a slim chance the third snowfall of early autumn will occur within the next seven days.

"We've got a fair amount of subtropical moisture to the south of us, but it doesn't appear a significant portion is headed this way," said Ellen Heffernan, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"It looks like some moisture could push up into Pagosa Springs sometime Friday, but it won't be a strong push," added Heffernan.

"Also, it is a fairly dry system, so I wouldn't anticipate a lot of rain, and I'm guessing the only chance for snow will be at the highest peaks of the southern San Juan Mountains.

"We're kind of sandwiched between systems right now - one near Baja and another in the Pacific Northwest," concluded Heffernan, "That means we probably won't see much of a change from dry weather before the middle of next week."

According to Heffernan, sunny skies are expected throughout today, along with southwest winds at 10-15 miles per hour.

High temperatures should range from 65 to 75 degrees, while nighttime lows are predicted in the 30s.

Southeast, morning winds that will gradually shift southwesterly at 10 miles per hour are included in Friday's forecast, as are partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s. The chance for light rain is listed at 20-percent.

Saturday and Sunday should bring partly-cloudy skies, highs in the low to mid-60s and lows in the upper 20s.

The forecast for Columbus Day predicts highs in the mid-50s to mid-60s, mostly-sunny skies and lows in the 30s.

Tuesday and Wednesday call for partly-cloudy skies, a 10-percent chance for rain, highs in the upper 50s and lows around freezing.

The average high temperature recorded last week at the Fred Harman Art Museum was 65 degrees. The average low for the week was 42. Precipitation totals for the week amounted to three-quarters 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 latest reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture describe regional drought conditions as "severe."

The National Allergy Bureau rates area pollen counts as "moderate" and lists sage and ragweed as the current dominant pollens.

San Juan River flow ranged from approximately 50 cubic feet per second to 110 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Oct. 9 is roughly 85 cubic feet per second.

 

Sports Page
Parks & Rec

Fall programs coming to end; get ready for basketball

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Youth soccer is coming to an end, which means the end of our warm-weather activities is upon us.

The parks crew is busy cleaning up sleeping flowerbeds, fertilizing, aerating and blowing out water lines, in preparation for winter.

With the busy summer behind us we will focus on getting our equipment tuned up and ready for winter storage.

The parks crew will soon be very involved with snow removal and preparing the ponds for winter skating. They enjoy the season changes here in Pagosa just like the rest of us.

On the recreation side of things Chris and crew are preparing league finals in youth soccer, and adult volleyball is going strong Monday and Wednesday evenings at the community center.

Basketball sign-ups

While all of this is happening, Chris has passed out registration forms in the public schools for the 7-8 youth basketball leagues.

The following dates are important if you want to get your child signed up and playing in this year's league.

- Oct. 17 - sign-up deadline, 5 p.m.

- Oct. 22 - coaches' meeting at Town Hall, 6:30 p.m.

- Oct. 28 - tentative start date, games to be played Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays, at the community center. Saturday games will start at 10 a.m.

No games will be played the week of Nov. 24-30.

The annual Elks Free-throw contest will be held Dec. 13, site to be determined. This is the local competition with winners advancing to a regional tournament in Durango.

Grant application time is upon us, along with budget time for all departments in town. We will be applying for various grants to help with the construction of our River Walk extension, and the sports complex.

We look forward to a great 2004, and are planning our calendar of events and capital improvements projects as we speak.

If anyone ever has questions about parks and recreation please feel free to call our offices at any time. The number is 264-4151, Ext. 231 for the parks and recreation director.

 

Aces, service runs spice Lady Pirate win over Monte

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Perhaps there was something interesting on TV.

If that was the reason the Lady Pirate volleyball team took less than an hour to polish off Monte Vista 3-0 on Oct. 2, then a new fall television season should make the last half of the Lady Pirate schedule a breeze.

Starting setter/hitter Laura Tomforde was missing from action but the Lady Pirates didn't miss a beat, with sophomore Liza Kelley taking Tomforde's spot on the floor and junior Brandi Whomble moving in to fill Kelley's spot at outside hitter.

Another major factor in the easy win was the absence of Lady Pirate serve errors - a problem that has plagued the team at certain points during the season, at times being part of a meltdown leading to defeat.

This night, the Ladies kept the serve errors to two and they reduced the overall number of unearned points surrendered to an acceptable 4.5 per game average.

In the first game of the match, Pagosa ripped off points behind the hitting of juniors Caitlyn Jewell, Lori Walkup and Bri Scott. The home team Ladies were ahead 7-3 in the early going.

Monte Vista played its best in the first game and scrambled back into contention, helped by an ace serve to trail 9-7.

The Ladies returned serve to their side of the net and put a point on the board when Whomble took the serve and held it for a six-point run, during which her team got earned points from Scott when the junior stuffed a tip and crushed an errant Monte Vista pass that strayed above the net.

Scott went to the serve with her team ahead 18-9 and she stayed there until the advantage was 23-9. Monte got a point on a Pagosa passing error before Jewell went outside to nail a kill and Walkup put a ball to the floor to end the game 25-10.

The second game of the evening flowed much the same way as the first, with Pagosa getting out to a 6-0 lead, using two kills by Walkup and a solo block by Jewell - one of eight the junior middle blocker would tally during the match.

Monte was able to get as close as 13-9 before the home team finished them off.

Kelley shone as she had a tremendous dig on a Monte hit to save the point for her side, then went to the serve where she started the carnage with an ace. She stayed at the serve for eight points. Jewell killed for a score then blocked for a point. Senior Hannah Lloyd scored with a kill and Kelley forced a serve receive error with another blast from the back line.

Monte put two points on the score board before surrendering a point with a hitting error. Jewell came up big at the net and scored with a block and Lloyd hit an ace to end the game, 25-11.

Monte Vista managed to tie the third game of the evening 1-1.

That was as good as it got for the visitors.

Jewell and Whomble put kills down and a Monte net violation gave Pagosa a 4-1 advantage.

Monte managed to score a point here and there throughout the contest, but the Ladies put together solid runs to go in front to stay.

With Walkup hitting an ace, the team put a formidable block up on each exchange and forced Monte hitting errors. The score: 10-4.

Scott scored with a kill as part of her overall strong performance and Jewell hit down the line for a point. Kelley hit an ace that dropped to the floor off the top of the net and Walkup crushed a cross-court kill. The score: 15-7.

Ahead 17-8 with a kill by Jewell and a Monte hitting error, the Ladies made the run for the finish. Junior Courtney Steen stayed at the serve and got two points as she confounded Monte passers. Jewell hit a kill off the Monte block, Whomble put a ball to the floor. Jewell nailed two consecutive kills, one on a put-back of a poor Monte Vista pass, and Steen had a free ball fall at the feet of the Monte back row. The blockers were in place, a Monte hitter put the ball high and out of bounds and the game was over, 25-8.

"It was a case of get the game over and let's go home," said Coach Penné Hamilton. "We were without Laura (Tomforde) and we had to adjust. It worked: Brandi (Whomble) had a good game and Liza Kelley had to flip-flop, positionwise. It was our fifth time this season without a starter but we did very well. Also, it was parent-teacher day at the school and the kids had the afternoon off. When the regular daily schedule is broken, you worry about the effect. I was concerned, but didn't need to be. It was a good night for us."

The win gave the Ladies a 4-1 Intermountain League record going into last night's match at Bayfield, and ran the team's season record to 8-4.

Summary

Kills: Jewell 8, Walkup 7, Scott 6

Assists: Kelley 15. Walkup 14

Ace serves: Kelley 2, Whomble 1

Solo blocks: Jewell 8, Kelley, Scott and Walkup 1 each

Digs: Scott 10, Steen 8

 

Ladies fall to Bayfield; second place in IML

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Lady Pirate volleyball team went to Bayfield Tuesday tied with the Wolverines for the Intermountain league lead and had the chance to put their rivals a game back in the race with only two league contests remaining.

It didn't happen, and the Ladies left the Bayfield gym tied with Ignacio for second in the IML, following a 3-0 loss. Now, Pagosa and Ignacio each have two IML losses, and the Ladies face a match at Ignacio next week and a road match at Centauri looming on Pagosa's schedule.

Determining what happened in the 20-25, 23-25, 22-25 loss to Bayfield is simple: no offense, no defense. No passing, no setting, no passing, no hitting, no passing, no blocking, no passing, no effective back-row play, no passing.

The Ladies gave up 16 points with unforced errors in the first game, 13 in the second game, 12 in the third game.

If there is any lesson to be learned in the loss it is that Pagosa could play so poorly and remain so close to victory.

The Ladies had opportunities to win each game, despite their lack of focus and coordination. Should the Lady Pirates meet the Wolverines at the district tournament (to be held at Bayfield) and play at the top of their game, there is little question they could win the match.

Pagosa has an opportunity this weekend to regain some momentum by defeating several high-quality teams at the annual Fowler Invitational. Pagosa (now 8-5 overall and 4-2 in the IML) travels to the eastern plains to face 2A power Fowler (11-1) and 3A perennial contender Lamar (9-2). The team also plays matches against 4A Fountain-Fort Carson (5-6) and 3A La Junta (2-10).

Action Saturday at the Fowler tourney begins for Pagosa with a match against La Junta, set for 11:30 a.m. The Ladies face Lamar in their second match, battle Fountain- Fort Carson next, and end the tournament in the last match of the evening against the host Grizzlies.

Summary:

Kills: Walkup 7, Steen 6, Jewell 4

Assists: Tomforde 11, Walkup 8

Solo blocks: Scott and Walkup 1 each

Ace serves: Jewell 2, Whomble 1

Digs: Steen 14, Tomforde 10, Kelley 7.

 

Runners emerge victorious following muddy Mancos race

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Pagosa's cross country runners ended the regular season on a high note, with both teams bringing home a trophy Saturday.

Head Coach Scott Anderson said the rain stopped for the start of the varsity races.

The girls claimed first place as a team by a margin of 14 points. The boys tied for first, but came away with the second-place trophy after the tiebreaker points were added.

On an individual basis, Pagosa runners won both varsity races. Senior Aaron Hamilton topped the boys' effort for the second week in a row, earning first in 17 minutes, 34 seconds.

Sophomore A.J. Abeyta finished sixth in 18:20. Anderson said Abeyta continues to post some of the top sophomore times in the region. Classmate Orion Sandoval finished eighth in 18:25, taking over three minutes off his 2002 time.

"It's great to see that we have three really solid runners on the guys' side at this point in the season," Anderson said.

Sophomore Paul Hostetter wrapped up the boys' effort, finishing 29th in 20:46. "He took over two minutes off his time from the year before," the coach said.

To round off the boys' effort, senior Chris Matzdorf claimed 41st place with a time of 22:08, sophomore Chris Nobles finished 42nd in 22:12, and freshman Riley Lynch claimed 43rd in 22:17.

Pagosa finished second behind St. Michael's from Arizona. Bayfield was third.

On the girls' side, sophomore Emilie Schur led the way with a first-place finish in 19:59. Freshman Jessica Lynch finished second in 20:19.

"Lynch made a huge step forward," Anderson said. "We've been working on pack running in practice as a way to bring times down. We sacrificed Emilie's time a little this week to try and bring down everyone else's times, but still for Jessica to finish within 20 seconds was great."

Freshman Laurel Reinhardt finished in fourth with a time of 21:31. She was followed by sophomore Heather Dahm in 7th with a time of 21:52. Anderson said Dahm is finally overcoming illness and injury which slowed her down at the beginning of the season. She took 48 seconds off her 2002 time.

Senior Jenna Finney finished ninth in 22:10 to complete Pagosa's varsity effort.

The team returned to Pagosa with the first-place trophy, finishing 14 points ahead of Bayfield. The girls' junior varsity team also finished first.

The Mancos meet was the last chance for the Pirates to prepare for post-season competition set to begin Friday with the Intermountain league meet in Monte Vista.

"The next couple of weeks we'll be pushed more as the intensity and competition gets a little stiffer," Anderson said. "I'm excited to see how these girls stack up against the elite teams from the rest of the state."

League races will start on the golf course in Monte Vista. The girls begin at 10 a.m. followed by the boys.

 

Hamilton runs to another first place finish

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pirate's cross country team grabbed a last-minute chance to pit themselves against some regional competition, running in a meet in Creede Tuesday.

"We treated it as basically a hard workout," Head Coach Scott Anderson said. As it turned out, the competition was fairly limited. Pagosa fielded the only girls team and one of three boys teams. Because of the small field, everyone ran together.

Pagosa Senior Aaron Hamilton won. Sophomore A.J. Abeyta finished third and Orion Sandoval claimed fifth. Sophomore Emilie Schur finished ninth overall and first among the girls. Times were not available by press time.

"We achieved our objective as far as getting in a relatively hard workout while enjoying a low pressure competitive setting," Anderson said.

 

Taos ground attack dooms Pirates in 42-20 loss

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Lining up against teams from larger school districts is nothing new for Coach Sean O'Donnell and the Pagosa Springs Pirates.

In fact, prior to their contest against the Taos Tigers, the Class 2A Pirates had faced four such squads, going 2-2 against the larger schools while compiling an overall record of 3-2.

However, it was evident to all who braved a chilling, light drizzle last Friday evening at Golden Peaks Stadium that the Tigers are not only from a larger school district, they are, quite frankly, just plain large.

The good news for Pirate fans is that Pagosa put more points on the board against the juggernaut Tigers - who had outscored their first five opponents 161-34 en route to posting a 5-0 record - than any other Taos opponent.

The bad news is, when you want to run the football in the mud, bigger is always better.

The Tigers wanted to run the football, and the result was a 42-20 loss for the home team that, for the most part, was not as lopsided as the final score seems to indicate.

Taos asserted its lethal running game early in the first quarter, using a series of misdirection plays to take a 7-0 lead following a 15-yard touchdown run from tailback Tony Williams with just over eight minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Pirates would answer with their own ground attack on their first possession of the game after Daren Hockett returned the ensuing squib kickoff to the Pagosa 28-yard line.

Pagosa appeared to be on the board just three plays into the drive when Pirate halfback Jeremy Caler broke loose for a 63-yard scoring run, but a late penalty for a block in the back negated the score.

Undaunted, the Pirates methodically drove into Taos territory behind alternating runs from Caler and quarterback David Kern, who made the score 7-6 with a 1-yard sneak with 2:44 left in the quarter.

Pirate place-kicker Daniel Aupperle evened things at 7-7 with the point-after attempt, but momentum swung back to the Tigers when Taos' Bradely Minor returned Aupperle's kickoff to the Pagosa 17 before Aupperle brought him down.

Williams made good on the special teams breakdown soon after, scoring from 15 yards out to put his team up 13-7 at the two-minute mark, and the Tigers led 15-7 following a successful two-point conversion attempt.

The Pirates were held to three and out on their next possession, but soon had control at the Taos 35 early in the second quarter after consecutive Tiger fumbles led to a turnover on downs.

Pagosa moved to the 22 when a key block from Brett Ford sprang Kern for 13 yards, and though the drive stalled inside the 20, Aupperle cut the margin to 15-10 with a 29-yard field goal.

More good fortune came Pagosa's way on the Tigers' ensuing possession when Kern intercepted Taos quarterback Lorenzo Lucero at the visitors' 28 with just over seven minutes till the break.

Again the Pirates could not find the end zone, but a 29-yard field goal from Aupperle three minutes later drew Pagosa within two at 15-13.

Threatened for the first time all year, Taos responded with a determined scoring drive that was capped by a 24-yard touchdown run from Williams. The extra-point was good, and the Tigers led 22-13 with 2:24 remaining in the half.

Michael Martinez returned the ensuing kickoff to the Pagosa 38, and the Pirates were able to drive across midfield before an interception by Minor with 38 ticks left preserved his team's 22-12 halftime lead.

The Pirates were set up with good field position to start the third quarter after Kory Hart returned another Taos squib kick to the Pagosa 43, but a first-down fumble gave the Tigers the ball at the Pirate 41.

The Tigers' Stephen Sanchez ripped off a 20-yard gain on first down, and less than a minute later Taos went up 28-13 on a 2-yard scoring run from Williams. A successful point after made it 29-13 with 10:42 to play in the stanza.

A personal foul penalty on the resulting squib kickoff gave the Pirates possession at the Tiger 47, but Kern's pass to Hockett on third and long fell incomplete and Pagosa was forced to punt away.

Taos then moved to near midfield before Caler stepped in front of a Lucero pass and took it 49 yards the opposite direction to trim the lead to 10 at 29-19. Aupperle's kick for point after was true and Pagosa trailed 29-20 with eight minutes left in the quarter.

On its next possession, Taos was in position to add to its lead late in the quarter when a fumble recovery by Pagosa's Josh Hoffman gave the Pirates the ball inside their own 40.

Hints of a comeback intensified for the home crowd when Kern hooked up with flanker Paul Przybylski on first down for a gain to the Taos 45, but a fumble on fourth and inches sealed Pagosa's fate with three minutes left in the stanza.

Taos wore down the Pirate defense and the quarter on its ensuing drive, grinding out a few yards at a time en route to taking a 36-20 lead early in the final quarter on a 8-yard gallop from Sanchez.

The Pirates continued to play hard on both sides of the ball but faltered on consecutive scoring drives - having one attempt stalled by a Tiger stop on fourth down and another thwarted by an interception by Minor in the end zone with 5:10 to play.

Taos' Adam Flores added six to his team's total with a 12-yard run with 14 seconds left in the game, and although the extra-point attempt failed, the Tigers soon claimed their sixth victory of the season, topping the Pirates 42-20.

Caler led the Pirate offense with 16 carries for 71 yards and one reception for 40 yards. Hockett pulled in six passes for 31 yards, while Kern added 22 yards on six carries and threw for 94.

On the defensive side, Kern tallied 11 tackles for Pagosa, followed by Manuel Madrid with eight and Caler and Kory Hart with seven each.

The loss evened Pagosa's overall mark at 3-3, but has no bearing on the Pirates' quest for a fifth straight Intermountain League title and subsequent postseason appearance since the defeat came at the hands of a nonleague opponent.

In the long run, what the Pirates have gained from playing bigger schools could pay dividends during IML action, but O'Donnell has refused all season to use size as an excuse for any Pirate loss.

"Taos has certainly grown up as a football team since last year ... but tonight the simple facts are we got beat by a better ball club," said O'Donnell after the game.

"But I'm still pleased with the way our kids played tonight; for the most part we competed for four quarters and tried to give ourselves a chance," added O'Donnell.

"We gave ourselves opportunities, but at the same time we also had some miscommunications and didn't take advantage of them," said O'Donnell.

For Pagosa, the most important part of the season begins tomorrow when the Pirates travel to Ignacio with hopes of improving their IML record to 2-0.

"We'll continue to work hard in practice and improve, maybe get over a couple of injuries to our starters (this) week," concluded O'Donnell. "We know we're in for a battle with Ignacio."

Game time for the Pirates' clash with the host Bobcats is 7 p.m.

Summary

Taos 15 7 7 13 - 20

Pagosa 7 6 7 0 - 28

First Quarter

Taos - Williams 15 run (Swinehart kick)

Pag - Kern 1 run (Aupperle kick)

Taos - Williams 15 run (2-point conversion)

Second Quarter

Pag - Aupperle 29 FG

Pag - Aupperle 29 FG

Taos - Williams 24 run (Swinehart kick)

Third Quarter

Taos - Williams 2 run (Swinehart kick)

Pag - Caler 49 INT return (Aupperle kick)

Fourth Quarter

Taos - Sanchez 8 run (Swinehart kick)

Taos - Flores 12 run (kick failed)

 

Pirate kickers blank Bayfield 5-0

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It took six minutes and 18 seconds for Pagosa to score its first goal Tuesday night in a 5-0 victory over Bayfield.

And for the rest of the first half the Pirate soccer team seemed determined to make that the only goal they'd get.

It wasn't that they were out of sync, more that the offense seemed intent on firing from 30 or more yards out and not running their pattern sets.

It was obvious Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason had a serous heart-to-heart with his team at halftime, because a totally different squad took the field for the second half.

The first period goal, a thing of beauty, welcomed senior striker Kevin Muirhead back to the lineup after he was held out one game because of a back muscle problem.

Midfielder Keagan Smith, continuing his sparkling performances with elan, dug away a Bayfield cross just inside the Pirate zone and chipped it just over a defender to Muirhead just inside the Bayfield 40.

From there on it was a display of personal skill by Muirhead. Skirting one defender right, he approached two more blocking the path to goal, faked left, spun right and broke straight between the blockers with Bayfield keeper Tony Rohde coming out to cut down his angle.

It was wasted effort. Muirhead again faked left, then right in full stride, but went left as Rohde bit on the fake and drilled the shot.

Just under five minutes later, Muirhead had another chance but his shot off a lead from Drew Mitchell hit the right post. Less than a minute later, the ball still in the Pirate attack zone, Kyle Sanders clanked one off the crossbar and the 1-0 score held.

Then began the assault of long range efforts without effect. Josh Soniat was stopped from 30 on the right wing; Moe Webb was high right from 35; Jesse Morris wide right from 25 and Webb wide right again from 40. Mixed in that web of inaccuracy was a stop by Caleb Forrest on an effort by Bayfield's Juan Guzman, the Wolverines' first shot on goal coming at 25:27.

Webb's 25-yarder was stopped and Sanders' chip of a Webb lead went over the nets. Sanders was stopped from 30 and Ryan Goodenberger had a block takeaway before Guzman was stopped again by Forrest.

Second half play started on a different note. Pirates dribbling through the defense, running overlapping routes and looking for lead passes.

At the same time, Bayfield adjusted its defense to double and triple team Sanders.

But the highlight of the early minutes of the half was a call giving Forrest a yellow card "for hitting a stationary offensive player."

The play involved a Bayfield pass that got away. Forrest came out in the box to his right to scoop up the ball and the attacker and he collided at the corner of the box.

Both appeared to be moving to the ball but the official farthest from the play ruled the offensive player had stopped before the collision.

At the 55-minute mark, Pagosa stretched the lead to 2-0 when Sanders stripped the ball from an attacker just inside the zone, dribbled through two defenders, drawing two more toward him, and found Webb breaking free, hit him with a left-foot cross and Webb converted.

Moments later Muirhead had another chance but his shot drifted just behind the left post.

Now in obvious control of the game, the Pirates got a third goal and Sanders' first of the game at 59:27 on a quick restart.

Pagosa had been awarded a free kick from the 27 and took advantage of a slowly reacting Bayfield defense.

Sanders quickly placed the ball and drove it past Rohde with only one Wolverine between himself and the keeper.

The Sanders-Webb combo struck again at 63:17.

Kurt-Mason, recognizing the multiple defenses on Sanders, had the two switch positions, Sanders taking the midfield role and Webb going to striker.

Again, with defenders all around him, Sanders caught Webb on the fly with a chip over a defender and Webb converted again.

For the next 40 seconds it appeared Bayfield had awakened. Guzman broke free on the right wing but his shot hit the left post. He got his own rebound, but it was stolen by Goodenberger. His outlet pass was intercepted by Bayfield's Ryan Johnston, but Goodenberger blocked his shot before it could get to goal.

The final marker came at 68:43 with the pair of senior strikers combining on the traditional soccer version of the give and go.

Sanders, still at midfield, crossed left to Muirhead and broke to his own right. Muirhead faked a drive left, crossed a ground-hugging pass to Sanders and he took it in stride for a blast Rohde had no chance to stop.

The balance of the contest was a Pagosa possession drill, shots only on wide open chances.

Bayfield did not have another shot because the Pirate defense refused to let them get beyond midfield.

Asked after the game what he'd said to arouse his squad at halftime, Kurt-Mason said he reminded them "possession is the name of the game. If you keep shooting from long range you lose possession and advantage.

"They came out for the second half doing what they do best, play strong defense and work the pattern offense they've developed," he said.

The Pirates now have a record of 11-2 overall, 8-0 in the league with two regular season games remaining. They go on the road for a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Ridgway and wrap up the regular season at home with a 5 p.m. Oct. 16 clash at Golden Peaks Stadium against second place Center, a 1-0 loser to the Pirates in Center Sept. 27. Sanders did not play in that game.

Summary

Scoring: 6:18, P-Muirhead (8), assist Smith; 55:00, P-Webb (7), assist Sanders; 59:27, Sanders (32) unassisted; 63:17, P-Webb (8), assist Sanders; 68:43, P-Sanders (33), assist Muirhead. Shots on goal, P-29, B-6; block/takeaways, P-Goodenberger, 3, Gill, 3, Peterson, 2, Smith 1, Morris, 1; Saves: P-Forrest, 2, Soniat, 2; B-Rhode, 11. Penalties: P-Forrest, yellow.

 

Sanders' six goals lead Pirates past Telluride 7-0

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When you're outshot 42-7 in a game on the road, you can expect to be defeated.

When 16 of those shots come from the opponent's state-leading scorer, you can expect to be defeated.

When you've had a winless season until upsetting Bayfield 4-1 on the road the previous day, you might have dreams of also upsetting the league-leading, seventh-ranked Pagosa Springs Pirates.

But dreams die quickly at Golden Peaks Stadium when the Pirates decide to play their game.

Telluride learned that lesson Saturday with a shuffled lineup and more players than when Pagosa defeated them at home two weeks ago.

The final score was 7-0 but might have been any score the Pirates chose.

The keys were many.

Key 1: Kyle Sanders who led the state with 30 goals last year but was absent when his teammates struggled to beat Center 1-0 last weekend was back with a mission.

Mission accomplished.

He had 31 goals when this game ended, with three conference contests yet to play.

Key 2: Freshman Caleb Ormonde, starting with the varsity for the first time, got his first varsity goal (on an assist from Sanders) and had an assist on Sanders' fourth of six goals.

Key 3: Again, Pirate defense. Telluride got only seven shots on goal and only two of them had a chance to go in.

Key 4: Great fill-in play with Ormonde replacing second leading scorer Kevin Muirhead, strong midfield play with sophomore Chris Baum, out with a broken bone in his foot, and Casey Kiister held out to save two remaining halves of season eligibility for key games down the stretch.

The mood was set early as a bright sun emerged and morning rains ended an hour before game time. Just 31 seconds into the game Moe Webb delivered a lead to midfield defender Jesse Morris who broke on goal for a rare chance to score that went wide right.

Perhaps Telluride's best chance came in the game's fifth minute when left wing Hanley Fansler drove past Levi Gill's attempt to block and had a breakaway easily stopped by Caleb Forrest.

From that point on it was all Pagosa, featuring block/takeaways by the defense and crisp, sharp overlap routes and pinpoint passing.

But it took the Pirates a while to find the goal, with Josh Soniat, Sanders and Webb all wide right on open shots sandwiched in between block/takeaways from Ty Peterson and Gill.

At 8:04, Ormonde's first scoring effort was stopped by Telluride keeper Charlie Cohn who actually was sharp under the 42-shot Pagosa onslaught, coming out of the action with 21 saves.

Seconds later Ormonde again had the ball and lifted a chip pass to Soniat whose shot went over the net. Fifty seconds later Sanders was stopped on a left footer from 25.

But, at 9:21, he wasn't to be foiled. He stole the Miner outlet pass at midfield, double-footed it around a defender, chipped it ahead and then caught up with it and drove on Cohn. A cross dribble feint with the ball still on the right moved Cohn to his left, leaving Sanders open for a corner net bender and a 1-0 Pagosa lead.

As the Pirates increased pressure, Gill's takeaway lead to Keagan Smith set up another Sanders effort. Smith dropped to Soniat who returned a reverse to the driving Sanders but Cohn was able to stop his shot.

Then, at 12:12, Peterson saw Sanders break the Miner defense and lifted a long lead over the entire Telluride defense, a pass taken in stride and poured in for a 2-0 Pagosa lead.

The third Pagosa goal, at 15:14, originated from a block/takeaway by Peterson. His crossing pass to Drew Mitchell on the left wing was immediately drilled as a lead to the charging Sanders and he, again, converted.

Exactly one minute later, Sanders broke containment at the 40 and bore down on Cohn. At the same time Ormonde was racing the left wing wide open. Sanders saw the move and found him with a perfect cross converted by the freshman for his first varsity goal and Pagosa's fourth of the game.

The balance of the first half had Pagosa playing control ball but continuing pressure when situations allowed.

Webb had a drive directly over the net and Mitchell was wide left. Ryan Goodenberger had a block/takeaway, Webb was stopped on a drive up the middle, and Drew Fisher hit the left corner. Webb was stopped on a breakaway and Peterson's bid from 40 was hauled in by Cohn.

The second half started with Sanders stopped at 40:13 and then high left an indirect kick. A Telluride header off a throw-in was wide right and a reverse drop pass to Sanders from Ormonde was chipped over the net.

With Soniat in net and Forrest on right wing, a shot by Edgar Rosales was right on but Soniat made the save.

And then, at 58:59, the Ormonde-Sanders connection hiked the Pirate lead to 5-0 - the freshman stealing an outlet attempt and feeding the senior for the goal.

On the next Telluride possession, Gill's steal and lead to Mitchell was drilled to center where Sanders was open but Cohn made his best save of the day to deny the goal.

At 63:13, however, Pagosa was awarded a penalty kick on a roughing call against the Miners and Sanders drilled it past Cohn, hiking the lead to 6-0.

Goodenberger made a bid to join the scoring ranks at 64:13 but his looper from 40 was snagged by Cohn and later, Ormonde's bid for a second goal, on a free kick from 35, was tipped away by a defender before getting to the goalkeeper.

The final Pagosa goal, again by

Sanders, again came on a perfect long clearing lead from Gill, sailing over the gathered defenders to a wide open Sanders.

The victory put Pagosa's record at 10-2 for the season and 7-0 in league play.

Remaining for the Pirates were a Tuesday visit by Bayfield, a road trip to Ridgway Saturday for a 1 p.m. game and a home match at 5 p.m. Oct. 16 against Center.

Summary

Scoring: 9:21, P-Sanders (26); 12:12, P-Sanders (27), assist Peterson; 15:14, P-Sanders (28), assist Mitchell; 16:14, P-Ormonde (1), assist Sanders; 58:59, P-Sanders (29), assist Ormonde; 63:13, P-Sanders (30) on PK; 73:13, Sanders (31), assist Gill; Saves, P-Forrest, 1, P-Soniat, 3; C-Cohn, 21; block/takeaways, P-Peterson, 3, Smith, 2, Gill, 5, Goodenberger, 3, Morris, 1.

 

Women's golf team finishes strong with fourth place tie

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Team wrapped up its season Oct. 2 at San Juan Country Club with their highest total of the season and a spurt in the final standings.

The Pagosa team stood in seventh place after a 31-point outing Sept. 18 at Piñon Hills Golf Club.

They burned up the links at SJCC, scoring 42.5 points against Cortez Conquistador, and moving up to a tie for fourth place in the final standings.

Team members were excited and very pleased with their final match and Sho Jen Lee, interim captain, said "They played very well under pressure."

Participating for Pagosa were Julie Pressley, Lee, Bonnie Hoover, Lynne Allison, Carrie Weisz, Josie Humel, Audrey Johnson and Sue Martin.

Final team standings showed Hillcrest of Durango on top with 299 points; Dalton Ranch of Durango second with 297, Piñon Hills third at 294.5; Pagosa Springs and Aztec Hidden Valley tied at 290.5; Riverview was next at 290; San Juan at 288.5 and Cortez Conquistador at 254.

 Obituaries

Frances Richards

Mrs. Frances G. (Peggy) Richards passed away Oct. 2, 2003, following an extended illness.

She was born in Chicago in 1920 to John and Jessie Gray, recent immigrants from Scotland and England respectively. Her father was an architect who practiced in Pueblo for many years.

Peggy was sent to boarding school in England where she studied for six years. She came home at the age of 15 and served a two-year apprenticeship in her father's firm before entering Colorado College.

In 1939 she married Paul B. Richards, a rancher from Wetmore, Colo., and they moved to the Blanco Basin southeast of Pagosa Springs to run Rio Blanco Ranch. They bought the Rock Ridge Ranch on Pagosa's west side in 1950 and operated it as a guest ranch until 1968. They lived briefly in Ignacio before moving to Durango in 1970.

Peggy began a long career in public service in Pagosa Springs in the mid-1950s by serving as town clerk and justice of the peace. She ran for and served as Archuleta County Judge from 1961-65, while simultaneously serving as chief judge of the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Council. During the same time she served on the board of directors of Southwest Colorado Mental Health Clinic, Archuleta County Day Care Center, the Southwest Indian Alcoholism Council, was secretary-treasurer of the American Indian Court Judges Association, and vice president of the board of directors of the Southwest Colorado Community Action Programs Inc. She was one of the founders of the Jicarilla Apache Committee on Alcoholism.

In 1966, Peggy was appointed executive director of the Southern Ute Community Action Programs Inc. She planned and developed this program to mobilize and serve the disadvantaged tri-ethnic residents of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. She served as director of program operations for Uplands, Inc., a rural development project serving 11 counties and three Indian reservations in southern Colorado and southeast Utah in 1970-71. In 1973 the Southern Ute Tribe named her Director of Economic Development where she initiated the permanent tribal planning commission and wrote the Tribal Comprehensive Plan. During her five years of service she generated over $15 million in grants and loans from various state and federal agencies, and was involved in negotiations with natural gas production companies for the tribe. Much of her work during this period laid the foundation for the tribe's subsequent economic growth.

In 1977, Peggy started her own consulting firm. She served as a community planner and management consultant for many Southwest agencies for many years. She had many successes predating the feminist movement and supported and mentored many of her colleagues.

Peggy and Paul had five children, all of whom survive. Her eldest, Nathan (Rusty) is retired and lives in Connecticut. Peter lives in San Francisco; Alison Reed, Jonathan and Joel all live in the Durango area. Eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and her brother, John Gray of Ruidoso, N.M., also survive. Her parents, husband Paul and sister, Mary, of Los Alamos, N.M., preceded her in death.

Peggy loved to cook, garden and was a formidable bridge and Scrabble player. She found great joy in the latter part of her life taking care of her garden, feeding birds and hunting for mushrooms. Her many friends were extraordinarily supportive of her during her final illness and for this the family is extremely thankful.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 11, 2003, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Durango. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to St. Mark's Memorial Fund, 910 E. 3rd Ave., Durango, CO 81301 or to San Juan Basin Health, P.O. Box 140, Durango, CO 81302.

 

Inside The Sun

County adopts changes to sign, lighting codes

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Following a public hearing this week, the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of minor revisions to two sections of the county land use regulations.

The resolutions adopted by the board Tuesday outline amendments to Section 25, "Outdoor Lighting" and Section 26, "Outdoor Signs" and took effect the same evening at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.

In Section 25, "Outdoor Lighting," the new language in subsections that received modification includes (changes in italics):

- under section 25.4 (a), Maximum Lighting Standards - "All lighting shall be shielded with a full cut-off fixture, such that the source of illumination (bulb or direct lamp image) is not visible from any adjacent property, unless such lighting meets the criteria in Subsection 6: 'Exceptions.'"

A full cut-off fixture is defined in the regulations as any fixture that prevents light from projecting above a horizontal plane at the bottom of the fixture (also called "fully shielded.")

- also under section 25.4, the new addition - (b) Lighting for signs, landscaping, and non-governmental flags shall be downward shining only.

For clarification, upward flagpole lighting is permitted only for governmental flags (U.S. flag, state flag, etc.), provided the maximum illumination is .5 foot-candles and is a narrow spotlight.

Another change to the lighting codes included removing the calendar and hourly time limits for holiday decoration lighting, though individual bulbs used in such displays are still required to be 7.5 watts or less.

Also, individual light fixtures with a lamp of 25 watts or less no longer qualify as exceptions to prohibited lighting under the new regulations, while new exceptions to prohibited lighting include "lighting fixtures powered directly from solar energy" and fixtures producing light from propane.

Changes to Section 26, "Outdoor Signs," include language in subsection 26.3, General Provisions, and subset (f) now reads, "Freestanding signs shall be incorporated within a bordered landscaped area of at least 25 square feet."

Formerly, the subset read "... within a landscaped planter area of at least 25 square feet."

Under subsection 26.6.3, Subdivision Advertising Signs, the following additions were made:

- (f) A real estate agent may add their company name, agent name and phone number(s) to a subdivision sign, but shall only place real estate signs on lots that are for sale within the advertised subdivision.

- (g) No real estate sign shall be placed at the entrance to a subdivision or on the subdivision advertising sign.

According to Marcus Baker, associate county planner, the two new stipulations were added with hopes of avoiding unsightly "sign clusters" at the entrances to area subdivisions.

Another change to the sign regulations is the addition of "Real Estate signs" to subsection 26.6.1, which outlines the requirements for "Permitted Temporary Signs."

Lastly, the board approved the deletion of subset (a) from subsection 26.6.6, "Construction and Development Signs," which read, "One non-illuminated sign is allowed on a construction site with a maximum area of 32 square feet and a maximum height of eight feet."

For more information and further clarification of these revisions, contact the planning department at 264-5851 or stop by the department office at 527 A San Juan St.

 

Prehypertension: New category in blood pressure guidelines

By Carla Garnett

Special to The SUN

The advice for keeping a healthy blood pressure has long been to exercise, lose weight, eat healthy foods and cut back on salt.

But what doctors consider to be a healthy range for blood pressure has now changed significantly, according to an expert panel assembled by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

A review of the latest evidence led the panel to establish a new category, "prehypertension," to warn people whose blood pressure readings place them at higher risk for serious health problems. That's why it's more important than ever for people to have their blood pressure taken regularly and to understand the reading.

"The first step in preventing and/or controlling high blood pressure is to know your blood pressure reading in numbers, not just in words," says Dr. Ed Roccella, coordinator of the institute's High Blood Pressure Education Program.

Knowing your numbers will help you assess what you need to do to lower your risk of developing future health problems. Roccella explains, "People must be aware that an elevated or rising blood pressure number is cause for action."

Reading the numbers

Blood pressure readings are given in two numbers - "systolic" over "diastolic." Systolic pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, is the force of blood in the arteries as the heart relaxes between beats. Both numbers are important to help your doctor determine your risk of health problems.

People with blood pressure 140/90 and over are said to have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Before now, most people with blood pressure readings lower than 140/90 were considered to be in the normal blood pressure range. However, in an extensive review of more than 30 medical studies worldwide during the last six years, a scientific panel learned a lot more about the risks associated with rising blood pressure.

The panel found that problems in the cardiovascular system, (the heart and blood vessel system that carries blood throughout the body) can begin at much lower blood pressure levels than previously believed. Studies have shown that the risk of death from heart disease or stroke can begin to rise when blood pressures increase past 115/75.

In addition to heart attack and stroke, elevated blood pressure can lead to several other serious health conditions, including kidney disease. And the damage only gets worse as people age and their rising blood pressure becomes more difficult to treat.

That's why the panel developed a new range - called "prehypertension" - for blood pressure readings between 120/80 and 139/89. People who have readings in this range are now encouraged to adopt lifestyle changes to help lower their blood pressure and hopefully prevent hypertension.

Changing lifestyle

The main goal of establishing the new prehypertension category, Roccella says, is to alert people and their doctors that early action can prevent serious health consequences later.

According to the panel's report, 122 million people in the United States are overweight or obese, which adds to the rise in blood pressure. Changing the way you eat and getting more exercise can make a big difference.

You can start by cutting back on the amount of sodium in your diet. That means not only resisting the salt shaker, but also reading food labels more carefully when shopping; many canned and packaged foods contain a lot of sodium.

Use the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan as a guide. DASH encourages you to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products, and to limit saturated fat and salt. The DASH eating plan can help you lose weight and maintain a healthier body. In fact, according to the report, sticking to the DASH eating plan can be as effective as some medications in lowering your blood pressure.

Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink is another good way to help lose weight and lower blood pressure. Yet another proven way to help lower your risk of hypertension is increasing your daily exercise.

If you already have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications to help control it. But even if you take medication regularly, the changes you make in your eating habits and exercise regimen can work with your medicine to help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Roccella says, "People with hypertension can work with their doctors to select an appropriate regimen of lifestyle changes and medications to control their high blood pressure."

The silent killer

High blood pressure usually doesn't cause symptoms, so many people pay little attention to their blood pressure until they become seriously ill. It's important to know your blood pressure numbers so that you can take action to keep your numbers in a safer range.

"Changing one's lifestyle - such as losing weight if overweight, increasing physical activity and reducing salt intake - can prevent the progressive rise in blood pressure and even lower it," Roccella concludes. "Raising awareness among patients and the public is a key step to prevent and control high blood pressure, an important public health problem."

For more information about hypertension, understanding your blood pressure readings or about health problems related to high blood pressure, visit Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure, at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/index.html.

For information about the DASH eating plan, visit www. nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf.

You can call the NHLBI Health Information Center for these and other publications at (301) 592-8573 or (240) 629-3255.

 

Treating the invisible disease - mental illness

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It is known as the invisible difference.

It has no arm or leg in a cast to show injury, no hearing aid visible, no thick glasses.

But it is infinitely more dangerous, not only to the victim but to the people who must deal with his or her mental illness.

It is a disease not common, but more common than you would think.

It hits every sector of the population, at every age level. Financial and educational status are no barrier.

This is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and a pair of women heavily involved in the state's fight against the disease are traversing the state, joining local teachers and community activists in each community they visit to get out the word about the problem, how it is growing statewide, and how we may be able to help stop it in its tracks.

Representing NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) Colorado, and calling their organization A Voice on Mental Illness, Carol Ann Reynolds, executive director and Nancy Tucker, director of public policy, were in Pagosa Springs Monday.

And they came armed with plenty of statistics to show the depth of the problem in Colorado:

- 40 percent of poor Coloradans who need mental health services are not receiving them

- 67,822 children under age 21 are youth with serious emotional disturbances

- an April 2002 study showed 2,406 prison inmates in Colorado diagnosed with a serious mental illness, an increase of 400 percent in the last decade

- the number of licensed psychiatric beds in public and private facilities have declined nearly 20 percent since 1995 - from 1,729 to 1,392

- the percentage of total state budget spent on mental health services had decreased from 3.9 percent in 1970 to 1.4 percent in 2000 and is dropping

- an estimated 7.5 million children nationwide (12 percent of all those under 18) have mental disorders, nearly half of which lead to serious disability

- suicide, a natural outgrowth of mental instability unrecognized, is the second leading cause of death of teens and young adults in Colorado - 14.2 per 100,000 in 1999, compared to a national average of 10.3

- mental illness is highly treatable, more so than many other chronic conditions with success rates of up to 80 percent for such illness as panic disorder or bipolar disorder; 65 percent for major depression; and 60 percent for schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder

- approximately 200,000 people of all ages in the state suffer from one of the mental illnesses.

In a round-table discussion, the visitors discussed the need for better preparing teachers to recognize problems but of keeping them from attempting to diagnose degree of impairment. "That's up to the experts once a potential trouble has been identified."

The average mental illness percentage in any school system is 12 percent "most of it treatable and much controllable."

Their vision for tomorrow is a community in which mental illness is accepted, recognized, treated and not reason for ostracism.

When other children are exposed to a bipolar youth, for example, they learn on their own to know "When Stan or June's like that, you just stay away from them."

They understand better than the adults that children affected by mental illness are different, but generally only to a degree that can be treated.

There is a stigma attached to a diagnosis of mental illness. "Misdiagnosis can lead to cruelty and misunderstanding of the problem to ostracism."

If a childhood problem goes unrecognized and untreated, it can lead to a progression of problems including homelessness, jail, prison and death. "The problem must be diagnosed and treated to give the victim a chance at the same life experiences others cherish."

Like other problems that are treatable, it is not inexpensive. And rarely is insurance against mental illness available. When it is, the cost is exorbitant. "The insurance companies seem to work hard to avoid paying claims."

There is, however, a way to provide care, one NAMI is spearheading in Colorado.

It would involve passage of legislation allowing communities, counties, or groups of similar organizations to form mental health taxing districts.

"We know, the word tax immediately turns off the common consumer, but this one would be use specific."

A mental health district would, under the proposed legislation, be able to levy a tax of up to 1/4 percent specifically to diagnose and treat mental illness within the bounds of the district. Or, the district could makes its support a sales tax of up to the same amount, authorized by the legislation to be above and beyond the specific sales tax authorized by the member bodies.

A similar bill failed in the last legislature, a victim of the growing economic crunch as solons strived to find new sources of revenue for all kinds of programs.

"Unfortunately, mental illness treatment was one of those problems which took a budgetary hit."

Over $9.1 million was cut from the community mental health program this year, including allotments from both the state's general fund and Medicaid. And, while general fund appropriations, despite the financial crunch, have grown by 4.8 percent in the last three years, community mental health funding has decreased by 10.4 percent.

In rural areas it is likely a mental health district, to be effective, would have to involve many counties and their communities. "But the simple truth is a mental health services tax could be utilized for the kinds of services not now available."

As a result of the cuts noted in the past three years, more than 3,400 Coloradans with serious mental disorders lost care altogether and a total of 7,100 lost or had services reduced in the same time period. "We need and are trying to instill in others, the desire to help the victims cope, to get them the treatment they need, and to keep them active elements of our communities.

"The safety net of mental health services," they said, "has largely been either compromised or destroyed in Colorado. We want the people to understand, in this week dedicated to the mentally ill, that it is a problem we can't sweep under the rug and ignore. We must deal with it in all good conscience. The mental health district authorization legislation can be a starting point for Colorado to restore treatment to levels needed."

 

County 'Fall Cleanup Day' set for Oct. 25

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Solid Waste Department is holding a free "Fall Cleanup Day" Oct. 25 at the county landfill on Trujillo Road.

According to Clifford Lucero, county solid waste director, while dumping fees will be waived for county residents during the event, no commercial dumping will be permitted.

Lucero also indicated all residents who participate should keep in mind that all normal landfill regulations will apply, which means absolutely no paint, liquid or hazardous waste dumping will be permitted.

In addition, the county's secure load ordinance will remain in effect; all loads are required to be covered, tarped or secured. A fine will be imposed on all loads that are not properly secured.

For more information, contact the county solid waste department at 264-0193.

 

CSU's infectious disease, biodefense technology gets $22.1 million grant

By Leigh Fortson

Special to The SUN

Colorado State University has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to construct a $22.1 million laboratory facility.

The structure will expand the university's ongoing, world recognized work in infectious disease and biodefense research as part of national efforts to improve biosecurity around the country.

The new research facility funded by the grant package will add to an already impressive federal and university effort centered on the Colorado State campus, and will further cement Colorado State as a leading international site for infectious disease research including West Nile virus, antibody resistant tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, hantavirus and others.

The new facility will work in conjunction with the university's Rocky Mountain Institute for Biosecurity Research, an initiative that partners with eight Rocky Mountain land grant universities where research and outreach capabilities are focused on protecting the nation's human and economically important plant and animal resources.

"With this research support, the federal government recognizes Colorado State's world-class expertise in biosecurity and infectious disease research, and the important role our university must play in cooperation with federal partners in addressing a pressing national need," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State. "Through this facility, Colorado State will even more firmly establish itself as a leader in infectious disease research in the nation and the world."

In the announcement today, NIAID awarded the grant to construct a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Colorado State. The grant will fund a 33,850-square-foot laboratory to expand the ability to conduct ongoing infectious disease research at the university's Foothills Research Campus.

The new lab will complement similar research already underway at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's infectious disease program as well as the university's existing Bioenvironmental Hazards Research Building and its Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory.

"Taken as a whole, there really is no better site in the nation for this vital research," said Anthony Frank, vice president of research and information technology at Colorado State. "The expertise of our faculty and our federal research partners, combined with these state-of-the- art facilities, make an unbeatable combination."

Colorado State was selected to receive the grant and house the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory in large part because of the university's long history and proven track record of safe and innovative research in infectious diseases.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the subsequent use of anthrax as a terrorist weapon, NIAID has dramatically increased funding for research in infectious and emerging diseases. Both the research and public-health capacity needed to study, develop and implement prevention and treatment of diseases from natural outbreaks or terrorist attacks are currently limited in scope and funding. Colorado State's Regional Biocontainment Laboratory will help fill these gaps.

The core of the new research facility is a state-of-the-art laboratory ensuring safe research on emerging infectious diseases, including investigations of potential bioterrorism agents. The new Regional Biocontainment Laboratory will be used to conduct research involving biological materials similar to those already safely being studied on the Foothills Campus. The laboratory can provide national testing surge capacity in the event of a declared national emergency.

"Colorado State has a long history of strength in infectious disease research, pathology, immunology and biosecurity with many currently ongoing federally funded research projects," said Frank. "This grant is allowing us to boost the university's ongoing strength in a vital national research arena while meeting regional and national public health needs."

The advanced scientific laboratory will provide critical research capacity and facilities for Colorado State scientists and other qualified investigators from government, academia and industry to develop new vaccines, therapies and diagnostics for pathogens identified as priorities by the NIH.

"The new lab will help Colorado State recruit top scientists and increase collaborative work with researchers throughout the region," said Hank Gardner, associate vice president for research and information technology, and director of Colorado State's Rocky Mountain Institute for Biosecurity Research.

Additional information about the RBL is available online at www.colostate.edu or www.rbl. colostate.edu.

 

Head Start seeking data on graduates

Tri-County Head Start and Early Childhood Program is looking for information regarding past Head Start graduates and families in Archuleta County.

If you or someone you know has benefited from Head Start services in the last 38 years, please call to share your success story.

Contact Audrey Louderback at 247-5960, Ext. 13.

 

Country stars appear Oct. 10 and 17 at FLC

By Mary Floroplus

Special to The PREVIEW

October is country music month as the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College is set to stage two top acts - Grammy Award and Country Music Award Best Male Vocalist nominee John Berry and nine-time Grammy Award winner Asleep at the Wheel Oct. 10 and 17, respectively, at 7 p.m.

"Locals keep asking for some great country artists, and we're happy we can comply," said Gary Penington, concert hall managing director. "We want to see great turnouts at both concerts, so we're offering both John Berry and Asleep at the Wheel as a package deal. If you purchase two Asleep at the Wheel tickets, we'll offer two additional John Berry tickets for a total cost of $60. Outside of Durango, you couldn't touch these artists for that price."

To receive this offer, country fans should ask at the box office for the "Country Music Couples" special.

Since his Georgia-based beginnings in the music business in the 1970s, Berry has released 17 albums, most recently "All the Way to There" last year for Ark 21 Records.

Raised on the folk-flavored music of artists such as James Taylor, John Denver and Harry Chapin, Berry has defined his career as being the "un-country" country artist, and has been known to cross over to the pop category.

His song "Kiss Me in the Car" landed on the pop charts in the early 1990s, but "Your Love Amazes Me" hit No. 1 on the country charts in 1996. Either way - country or pop - his music is known for being stripped-down, honest and accessible and he shares the stage with artists including Clint Black, Faith Hill and Tricia Yearwood.

The western swing band Asleep at the Wheel first formed in Paw Paw, W.V., in 1970, and remains one of the most popular and acclaimed bands of its genre.

Though the group has had nearly 100 members over the years, one constant has been popular frontman Ray Benson on vocals and guitar, whose crusade has been to carry the torch of big band western swing music into the 21st century.

Merging seamlessly into its fourth decade, Asleep at the Wheel recently released "The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel," firmly establishing the band as an institution. First hitting the charts with "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie," other favorites from Asleep at the Wheel include "The Letter that Johnny Walker Read," "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," and the Grammy-winning "Bob's Breakdowns," "Sugarfoot Rag" and "Strong of Pars."

If fans don't want to take advantage of the two-concert special ticket price, they can purchase individual tickets to either show. Reserved tickets for Berry cost $10 for balcony, $15 for orchestra and $20 for plaza, while reserved tickets for Asleep at the Wheel tickets cost $18 for balcony, $22 for orchestra and $28 for plaza. Discounts are available for Community Concert Hall members and donors, as well as children, students, seniors and Fort Lewis College employees. Tickets can be purchased at the Concert Hall Box Office (open Tuesdays-Fridays), online at www. durangoconcerts.com or by calling 247-7657.

The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College is located next to the Center of Southwest Studies.

 

Letters

Ballot changed

Dear Editor:

As most residents of Aspen Springs have already heard, the ballot issue for the big water project has been dropped from the fall election. According to a survey of property owners, the cost was just too high for the small number of actual residents who would benefit.

Still on the ballot is a proposal for a small temporary mill levy increase for the purpose of installing a water pump station in Aspen Springs. This two-year tax will pay for a test well, a water treatment station, water storage and the pump station. Most vacant one- acre lots will be taxed less than $25 extra for two years. A house valued by the county assessor at $100,000 would pay about $95 in additional tax. This seems little enough to pay to have our own water source.

Most Aspen Springs property owners are aware of the various water issues that have been discussed and most of us have our own opinions on the subject. Whether we are for or against any of the proposals, I think we all need to applaud the many hours that some of our neighbors have put in to gather the information that we all needed to make knowledgeable decisions and to make sure that information reached us all.

In particular, I think we all need to thank Pat Ullrich and Ronnie Zaday. Pat put in a lot of time working with engineers and putting together information on the feasibility of an Aspen Springs water system and possible costs of the proposals. Ronnie Zaday almost single-handedly put together this information in a newsletter and survey that was sent to every Aspen Springs property owner on the county tax rolls. Without their hard work, Aspen Springs owners would not be voting on the option of getting our own water source.

Please vote in the upcoming election. Make your voice heard.

Kelly Carson

Clarifying issues

Dear Editor:

In his letter last week, William Bennett writes he wants to offer "factual, historical" background for what he calls a looming "cultural civil war" around issues of religion in law and public life.

Bennett's reference to "our founders" leaves out Puritans who fled to Plymouth Rock to escape the tyranny of King James and the king's insistence that they use his "authorized" version of the Bible. With both king and Puritans sharing the same religion - Christianity - this was our nation's first case of separation of church and state. The Puritan fathers made that separation the de facto foundation of a new nation, then went off the deep end by demonizing those whose religious beliefs they found inconsistent with their own.

Had Bennett read a little farther into the work of William James, whom he quotes in defending his attack on the separation of church and state, he would find James writing in the conclusion to "The Varieties of Religious Experience": "Ought it, indeed, to be assumed that the lives of all men should show identical religious elements? In other words, is the existence of so many religious types and sects and creeds regrettable? To these questions I answer 'No' emphatically." ( James also offered this precaution: "Religion, in short, is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.")

Printed on the back of every dollar bill is the Great Seal of the United States, adopted in 1786. Congress opted for a Masonic symbol of strength and wisdom, the pyramid, rather than a Christian symbol. (Washington and Jefferson were Masons). On the other side of the Great Seal is a quotation from the pre-Christian poet, Virgil, that says (in Latin) "a new order of the ages." No cross.

Bennett argues "We are a Christian Republic." Recently, Alabama Judge Roy Moore got in trouble with the law when he would not remove a graven image of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. They form the basis of our system of law, he claimed, failing to note you may, if so inclined, verbally abuse your parents, ignore the sabbath, worship a graven image, commit adultery and covet your neighbor's wife without breaking the law. Just two of the Ten Commandments are illegal in the United States.

Mr. Bennett infers a declaration of war led by "liberals" and "their lackeys, the Democrats" whose "hatred for Christian morals and principles" has led to the murder of babies and an increase in sexually transmitted disease. There is no answer to wildly irrational generalizations like these. Let's argue issues, Mr. Bennett. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice."

Right now, governments guided by the ruling party's god of choice are causing no end of conflict in the world. Though the U.S. does not qualify as a democracy for Mr. Bennett ("We are a Christian Republic, not a democracy," he writes) we are pushing for democracy in Iraq and Africa in hopes of bringing peace while Mr. Bennett's words beckon us to a faith-based war at home.

Cool down, Mr. Bennett. "Blessed are the Peacemakers."

Michael J. Greene

Think for self

Dear Editor:

Totalitarian anything, especially religion, is never a good idea. Maybe William Bennett, Eugene Witkowski and others of their ilk, should read a few history books.

Then they'd understand why we liberals espouse the radical notion of thinking for one's self.

Maggie Valentine Inskeep

Ex-EMT appalled

Dear Editor:

As a past EMT in Pagosa, starting about 15 years ago in a volunteer service with minimal compensation, the only rivalry we had was to get to the barn first so you got to drive the new rig.

I am really appalled at what is going on with our board and the director.

My wife Joyce is still involved and tells me everything, as I am out of town working. From what I have been able to read in the paper, Joyce is telling me the same thing that the paper is writing, only more.

It is apparent to me that the current board does not remember what "democratic" means. I cannot remember all the dates but in one of the meetings Charlie Hawkins asked Dr. Blide if he was working for the board or not? Lucky for all I was absent from that meeting because I would like to tell Charlie how this really works.

It is my opinion that what Charlie has forgotten is:

No, Dr. Blide does not "work for the board," he is a member of the board, and therefore has an opinion.

The next point that Charlie needs to be reminded of is the board works for us, "we the people" not their own egos or their attitudes. They work for our community's best interest.

At this point what I see and hear from and about the board, some of them do not have a clue what is going on. I know several of these people really well and some of them have forgotten what we are here to do. The others have been beaten into submission. It appears to me that in their best interest they have allowed Dee Jackson to totally destroy the clinic and they are so infested with themselves that they cannot even see it. Any time you hire someone from out of town and they run off all the regular long term employees and then bring in out-of-towners at more pay, then something is terribly wrong.

If you have not noticed I think you will find that the bulk of your Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic customers have asked for their records so they can go where their doctors went. Last I heard there is a three-week wait to get your records, which may not be legal.

The latest curse I have heard and read in the paper is that the manager has decided that some of our volunteers are not welcome in the building. I would bet a paycheck that this is a vendetta for some truth that was spoken or some really good questions that were asked at a board meeting and now the manager won't let them volunteer to help the community that they have served for so long.

We have volunteered at night, on holidays, in the winter in a ditch somewhere to help our neighbors, and now some egotistical person doesn't want us any more because we give a dang about our town.

Thanks for listening,

Larry L. Little

Wrong questions

Dear Editor:

Was happy to read (SUN letters Oct. 2) that Mr. Henry Buslepp is enjoying those more-than-lavish Social Security checks. After all, that's what retirement is all about. Unfortunately, it appears he is presently having some cerebral difficulty with reading comprehension.

Hate to tell you this, Henry, but the "Polish Dimwit" usage was always aimed at yours truly. Believe it or not, a writer to these very columns crowned me with that catchword. Having gone through thousands of Crayolas and coloring books in earning the label, I wear it proudly.

Concerning the Social Security dilemma, perhaps you've been asking the wrong questions during all those election years. It is possible you were not aware that our senators and congressmen and women do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago, they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. Simply put, instead of feigning work to milk it, all they have to do is breathe.

For example, many of our senators and congressmen may expect to draw $7.8 million, with their wives drawing $275,000 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average lifespan for each.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $0. Nada. Zilch. While we contribute every payday into our own Social Security plan which pays a lot less, this little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this incredible retirement liberality come directly from the General Fund - our tax dollars at work.

Social Security could be very good if only one change were made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the senators and congressmen. Put them into Social Security with the rest of us. Then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

Since I'm always on the prowl for a formidable and enlightened foe, it's time this "Archuleta Musketeer of the Reactionary Right" moseys on down river to Arboles. Professor Dungan requires some prowess and valor in the beetle wars. Maybe I'll be swinging my biting chivalrous blade at a few of those crafty Winged Weapons of Mass Destruction (WWMD); while simultaneously avoiding all that insipid liberal "softground" - a demanding task, folks.

The Polish Dartanian,

Jim Sawicki

Editor's note: For all the swashbucklers in the crowd, it is "D'Artagnon."

'Lame ducks'

Dear Editor:

There are several citizen committees already working toward health care research, study and the next election. This group of health care professionals and citizens intended to announce their effort soon and work over the next several months.

The announcement of Upper San Juan Health Services District to do health care "strategic planning" moves us to communicate openly and in advance of schedule.

The Health Service District will experience five board positions open for election in May. The reasons for the 5/7ths of the board standing for election at one time are three resignations over the last year plus two board members naturally standing for election. All appointed members automatically stand at the next regular election.

With a clear majority of the board standing for election and with the public's attention on the array of problems in our health services it is no big stretch to think of the current board as in "lame duck" status.

It always has been considered politically insensitive and insulting and generally foolish for lame duck officials to pass rulings or do work that saddles incoming officials with undo and undesirable outcomes. The district's strategic planning will end just about the time the election campaign begins. For this board of likely short-term officials to launch into a major effort developing plans for a future board is incredulous.

The district's former "Physician Advisory Committee" is now advising and actively working with several citizen groups and individuals who are taking on the task of doing realistic, responsible, and medically experienced planning for our health care future. Many others are involved, including former health care workers from the clinic and EMS, experienced advisors and interested and knowledgeable citizens.

This effort will identify and groom a slate of candidates to run for board positions so they will be prepared to salvage and then develop a fundamentally better health care system for our future.

A competent health care survey and planning effort is an involved and complicated job. None of our health care professionals believe the current board even knows the right questions to ask. They have virtually no experience in the complicated and real world of rural health care issues. All they really know is what they have done here and that is obviously not good enough.

The district's strategic planning will use countywide resources that the new board will need to use, a few months later, when it is seated. It is highly doubtful the next board would consider using planning of the current board. And, it is not reasonable for these resources to be called upon twice.

So, all of the people and agencies who can be of help have to ask themselves a question: Do we work with the board that has clearly devastated county health care or do we work with our permanent doctors and future leaders?

Norm Vance

Community News
Senior News

Hygienist will lead talk on periodontal disease

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

It's time to work on your gums!

We are pleased to have Terry Beecher coming in to teach us about proper oral hygiene Oct. 13 at 12:45 p.m.

Periodontal disease can lead to other diseases, is common and preventable, so come on in and learn how to be good to your gums.

Free movie day is Oct. 10. This month we're showing "Nobody's Fool," starring Paul Newman. It will show in the lounge starting at 1 p.m. after our nutritional presentation at 12:45. Popcorn is still only 25 cents.

Bronco Day is also Oct. 10. Wear your Bronco colors and celebrate our team.

We still need volunteers for Oktoberfest. We have a sign-up list in the dining room for cookies, so sign up and tell us how many you'll bring.

We also need people to help with decorations. If interested, meet us at the center at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and bring clippers or saw - and a side dish.

Billie Evans will be having lunch at her ranch with meat and drinks provided (and your wonderful side dish) and afterward you'll be gathering pine branches, etc. for decorations.

Susan Stoffer, R.N., M.S. (formerly manager of Casa de los Arcos) has returned to private practice as a counselor serving the community. As a member of the senior center, she will be stopping by on a periodic basis and at a later date will host presentations.

Barb Conkey will be here Oct. 15 at 12:45 p.m. to tell us about our dreams. She has been here before and her talk was so well attended, we invited her back. If you want to know what your dreams are telling you, come to this class and get to know yourself a little better.

More from SC_O

"The other day, while driving with Christy in the stagecoach, she suddenly stopped, set the brake, climbed down and found a large forked stick. With that stick she helped to remove a snake from the road that she didn't want to run over. She carried the snake back into the underbrush and turned him loose. They she threw him a kiss, wished him well and got back onto the coach. Christy is a true lover of wild life!"

Thanks to George Golightly for reporting from "The Ranch."

Remember that Halloween is coming and we will be having our annual party Oct. 31 at noon.

Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. We had some fabulous costumes last year and competition will be stiff, so start planning now.

Events

Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling, 11; disease prevention through nutrition with Myra Miller, 12:45 p.m.; free movie day, "Nobody's Fool," 1 p.m.; Bronco Day, wear your Bronco colors.

Oct. 13 - Disease prevention through oral hygiene or keep your mouth clean with Terry Beecher, 12:45 p.m.; bridge for fun, 1 p.m.

Oct. 14 - yoga, 9:30 a.m.; advanced yoga, 10:30; pinochle, 1 p.m.

Oct. 15 - beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.; understanding your dreams with Barb Conkey, 12:45 p.m.

Menu

Friday - Beef Stroganoff, rice or noodles, green beans, whole wheat roll and applesauce

Oct. 13 - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, whole wheat roll, peaches and apple juice

Oct. 15 Sloppy Joe/bun, pea salad with veggies and fruit cup with bananas

Oct. 15 - Macaroni goulash, spring blend vegetables, tossed salad, corn muffin and sherbet.

Chamber News

Art show and dance performance highlight upcoming week

By Doug Trowbridge

Pagosa's own, Jeff Laydon, will host a show you won't want to miss in his studio downtown, across from the courthouse.

Tony Berry will display gorgeous pieces of his handmade Navajo jewelry.

Also, for the first time in his new studio, Jeff will show some of his own work. Many of you have already seen what Jeff can do with a camera. Now you have a chance to view a large volume of his work at one time.

So, mark your calendars for Oct. 10 from 5-7 p.m. and enjoy the works of two great southwestern artists. For more information about the show, contact Laydon at 264-3686.

David Taylor

Thanks to the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, Pagosans have the opportunity to, once again, enjoy the David Taylor Dance Theatre as they present "Contemporary Classics."

They will be in town for one show only, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Tickets are available at the Plaid Pony for $12 adults, $10 seniors and $6 students/children.

Since this show is way beyond my abilities to describe, I'll give you the words of Marc Shulgold, writer for the Rocky Mountain News. "The stage was filled with powerful performers, exquisite of line, drilled to near perfection and quite comfortable with even the most extraordinarily demanding piece. Simply put, you have to see the new Taylor Company to believe it."

I guess that means that we all need to get to The Plaid Pony and grab our tickets now.

Oktoberfest

It's time to break out the lederhosen and polish up your polka.

The annual Oktoberfest will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Oct. 18 from 4:30-11 p.m.

If you're a true Oktoberfest fan, all you need to know is that the brew of the day is Left Hand Tabernash, specifically produced for the Oktoberfest season, and the music till be top grade Oompah provided by Pauken Schlagel.

Of course, if you're looking for a little more out of your Oktoberfest, they'll be serving up genuine German goodies such as bratwurst, German potato salad, sauerkraut and a desert. Kids can enjoy a hot dog, potato chips and desert.

Tickets for this event are $15 for adults, $10 for children 5-12 and seniors with a membership card. Tickets can be purchased at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, Moonlight Books, Chamber of Commerce or the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center. You will also be able to purchase tickets at the door Oct. 18. This is a fun way to benefit Archuleta Seniors Inc. so get out there and enjoy.

Dream workshop

Jeremy Taylor, author of "Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill," will offer an introductory talk and workshop to explore the messages of your dreams.

The talk will be held Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Cost is $10. The workshop will be held Oct. 25 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and costs $45, or you can attend both for just $50. The talk and workshop will be held at the Pagosa Lakes (Vista) Clubhouse. He will also speak at the Unitarian Sunday service at 10 a.m.

Jeremy blends spirituality and an active social conscience and is known as an innovator of group process in dream work. To register or for more information, contact Bonnita at 264-6448.

Fashion show

We hope the snow is deep here in Pagosa come November, but on Nov. 8 you'll be able to enjoy a Spring Garden Party at the Parish Hall.

That's the theme for this year's Immaculate Heart of Mary seventh annual fashion show.

You'll enjoy a gourmet luncheon and marvelous fashions from many local shops. Many wonderful prizes will be handed out including, "The Most Beautiful Garden Hat!"

So get to work on your hat and get your tickets before they're all gone.

You can pick up tickets at the chamber for $18 or, if you have eight friends, you can call Rusty Ryan at 731-9674 and reserve a table for nine. Proceeds from the show will be used to improve the Parish Hall.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the show, call Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324 or Joan Slavinski at 731-2255.

SunDowner schedule

As many of you recall, the first working day of October is SunDowner sign-up day.

SunDowners, for newcomers and newly emerging hermits who might not know, are Chamber-sponsored socials that take place once each month. Member businesses host them and provide some great food while the Chamber brings beer, wine and sodas.

SunDowners offer a great opportunity to do some networking with other local business owners, relax after a tough day or just enjoy the company of some really fun people.

And so, without further ado drum roll, please the 2004 SunDowner schedule!

As always, the year gets underway with the Chamber's annual meeting and Mardi Gras Party. Anyone who has been to one will tell you that this gathering is short on meeting and long on party! It will take place Jan. 17.

On Feb. 25 we'll be at the Mary Fisher Clinic. Kitzel Farrah will be showing off her new veterinary clinic March 25. The Humane Society will host at the thrift store with their chocolate auction April 28.

On May 26 we'll enjoy the hospitality of Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat; June 12 will find us at Silverado Clothing. Stay tuned on this one as it may grow to include all our members in the Silverado Shopping Center.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will be our host July 28. We'll all be staying late at the office, The Office Lounge that is, Aug. 25 and Sept. 17 is the ever-popular Chamber ColorFest Wine and Cheese Tasting. You can bank on a good time Oct. 27 at Wells Fargo's new building; Nov. 17, you can do a little Christmas shopping at Main Street Antiques. Finally, you can ring out the year by picking up a few stocking stuffers as we party with the good folks at CenturyTel.

It looks like another great year for SunDowners. Mark your 2004 calendars now; we want to see you at our SunDowners in the coming year.

Membership

It's been a busy week for Morna as she signed up four new members, 11 renewals and three associate members. At least Sally can't say we didn't do anything while she was on vacation.

First up is Amy Solenthaler with A&W Trailer Services. They offer a complete inventory of parts for all your towing needs. Lights, brakes/controllers, hitches, truck accessories, bearings and seals. They have metal stock available for sales and offer exceptional customer service.

A&W Trailer Service is at 113 Hopi Drive, Unit C. You can call them at 731-0664, fax them at 731-4666, or e-mail them at awtrailer@centurytel.net.

Next up on the new member list is Enchanted Valley Farm with owners Daniele Schaud and Barbara Bowers. They offer Gourmet Organic. From box lunches to elegant dining, they cater to your every need. Exceptional flavors and incredibly fresh foods, together wit professional presentation equals and unforgettable experience. They also boast 30 years in the business. They are currently sharing space with the Pagosa Baking Company. You can give them a call at 731-6665 or e-mail them at InLakech13@starband.net. Angie Gayhart earns herself a free SunDowner for getting Daniele and Barbara into the Chamber.

We also welcome Colleen Doan with Adventure at Serendipity. Located at 78 Tejas Place, Adventure at Serendipity is a comfortable three-bedroom, two-bath home in San Juan River Resort. It has lots of windows, panoramic mountain views and two large decks. Located just 20 minutes from Wolf Creek Ski Area and seven miles north of Pagosa Springs, it sleeps nine in two queen beds, two twins and an aero bed and double futon in the studio apartment above a two-car garage. Amenities include pine paneling, gas log fireplace, fully stocked kitchen with dishwasher, washer/dryer, and satellite TV. For more information, call Colleen at (626) 292-7267 or check out her Web site at Pagosacabin.net. You can also fax her at (626) 287-1549 or e-mail her at cdpagosa@earthlink.net.

Our final new members is LeeAnn Vallejos, with the Southwest Chapter of the American Red Cross. Although LeeAnn didn't give us a description, I think we all know about the great work that the Red Cross does. They are located at 1911 Main Ave., Suite 240 in Durango. For more information, you can call 259-5383, fax 382-0563, e-mail LeeAnn@swcolorado redcross.org or check the Web site at www.swcoloradoredcross.org.

Our renewals include Karla Whitmer with Pagosa Fone Net; Julie Pickering with Rocky Mountain Health Plans in Durango; Joy Downing with Joy's Natural Foods; Jim Grant with Pagosa Lakes Ranch Inc.; Gloria Haines with Century 21/Wolf Creek Land and Cattle, LLC; James Fletcher with Abram, Edwards and York LLC; Gerlinde Ehni, DDS, PC; Father John Bowe with Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and Missions; Crista Munro with Folkwest/Four Corners Folk Festival; Stacey Fitzwater with the Last Resort RV Park and Campground Inc. and Susan Lander with Music in the Mountains in Durango.

We are also glad to welcome Associate Members Victor and Stephanie Noblitt, Donald and Barbara Balmer and John Taylor. Hopefully, everyone who reads the Chamber article takes the time to look through all the membership news. It can get long sometimes, but each members is important to us, and we want you to seek them out when it's time to buy.

And always let them know you heard about them through the Chamber. It lets them know that their Chamber membership is working and we like to keep them coming back for more.

 

Library News

New books profile Col. Pfeiffer, crude oil war, the nose and death

 

"Albert H. Pfeiffer: Indian Agent, Soldier and Mountain Man," by Ann Oldham is finally here. Ann has been working on this for a long time.

Pfeiffer is best known locally as the white man who fought an Indian over ownership of the Pagosa hot springs. But Pfeiffer had many more exciting and interesting adventures for you to read about.

Ann's book has a lot of history about our part of the country. She gives us a well-written account of one of the most violent and interesting times in the Southwest. She makes history very exciting for those of us who now live where it all happened.

"Sleeping With the Devil," by Robert Baer was given to us by Terry Hershey. This book tells how Washington sold our soul for Saudi crude. Former CIA operative Robert Baer exposes how politics compromised efforts to fight global terrorism. This is a chilling expose of the dysfunctional and corrupt Al Saud family and the catastrophe awaiting us.

"The Nose: a Profile of Sex, Beauty, and Survival," by Gabrielle Glaser is a fascinating study of the nose and its place in history. Glaser tells of the significance of the nose in different places, times and ethnic groups. There is even a theory about chronic sinus disease from the Mayo Clinic. This is the first book to explore its subject through anthropology, art, science and literature. Ovid said, "The truth of a man lies in his nose." This book will explain why.

Richard Wholf brought us an autographed copy of a book, "Purple Love." By Susan Faith. It is a comforting book that answers some of the questions many children have about death. It also emphasizes equality among people and respect for all living things. The book is illustrated by Goro Sasaki.

Civic Club raffle

More delightful items will be raffled this year at the annual Civic Club Bazaar Nov. 1 at the community center. Tickets are available at the library or from any Civic Club member. All proceeds will go to the building fund. Items to be raffled will be on display at the library.

Donations

Reverend and Mrs. James Coats donated to the building fund; Jim and Margaret Wilson gave in honor of Mrs. Bill (Pat) Whittington's birthday.

Donations of materials came from Rice Reavis, Peter Welch, Paul Matlock and Cecil Tackett.

Veteran's Corner

Flu shots for veterans scheduled in Durango

The Durango VA Clinic is offering free flu shots next week to all veterans enrolled in VA Health Care in the Albuquerque VA district.

This means if you are enrolled and being seen at any of the VA clinics in the Albuquerque system such as Durango, Farmington, Chama or Albuquerque itself, you can stop by the Durango Clinic and receive a flu shot.

Flu shots will be given Oct. 14- 17, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. each day. The clinic is closed for lunch noon-1 p.m. No appointment is needed. Veterans with appointments during that week will be asked if they would like the flu shot. The clinic is at 3575 N. Main St., Durango.

VSO out of office

This probably sounds redundant, but I will be out of the office next week, Wednesday through Friday, attending a VA training conference in Grand Junction.

This is a statewide conference for all county Veteran Service officers.

I know it seems like I have been away a lot lately, but things should settle down now for the rest of the year, and I will be on hand Monday through Friday with business as usual taking care of your veteran needs.

Dr. Hepburn leaves clinic

Speaking of the Durango Clinic I have been informed Dr. Daniel Hepburn has left the clinic. It is my understanding temporary physicians are providing services until a permanent replacement has been found. No disruption in VA health care services is anticipated.

I received information from Albuquerque VA Medical Center in response to last week's Veteran's Corner, that the VA health care enrollment backlog is much improved. According to the Albuquerque VAMC sources, a veteran should receive notification of their enrollment status and priority rating decision in 3-4 weeks. A letter from VA Atlanta, Ga., will advise this information.

Eligibility letters

I haven't seen one of these letters, but I assume it is a form letter of some sort. It probably will not include local contact information.

If you receive one of these letters and you are approved for VA health care you should contact the Durango Clinic (970) 247-2214 to schedule your first primary health care appointment.

Once you have had the first appointment, which includes a complete physical, you will be able to receive your prescription drugs through the VA Pharmacy program. Current rates for VA prescription drugs are $7 per 30-day supply.

In any case, I urge all veterans to contact me if they have enrolled in VA health care and have not heard anything in a reasonable length of time.

It is important to follow up and make sure the application has been received in Albuquerque and check the status of that application.

Additional information

I understand Albuquerque is also sending out a form for additional information to supplement the standard VA 1010EZ health care application form.

They are asking for names and information regarding parents of enrollees. I'm not sure why they feel the need for this information. They have not sent me any information in this regard. It seems to be a local form unique to Albuquerque VA system.

Archuleta County veterans continue to stop by the office in large numbers to complete their important Means Test report to VAHC. The VA now requires this financial information every year on your enrollment anniversary date.

However, I have found the VA is not necessarily contacting VA patients for this information, yet could refuse health care services if the information is not provided.

I probably have your 1010EZ application on my computer if I assisted you in filling out the original VA health application. The Means Test uses Page 2 of that form to report financial information. It is a simple matter to update the information and fax Page 2 from that form to Albuquerque VAMC. It only takes a few minutes if you have all the information with you.

Means Test information

Your financial information for this Means Test should be from the last calendar year federal income tax report. It includes income from employment, retirement, pensions, Social Security, etc. Additionally, you will need to report any cash assets such as checking and savings accounts, and retirement accounts. Other assets, such as value of property owned other than your primary residence, must be reported.

Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses, health insurance, Part B deduction for Medicare, and medical and prescription drug co-payments including those to the VA should also be reported. Expenses for education of veteran or spouse (but not children) and death-of-spouse expenses should also be reported. All of these expenses will offset income, which may help with income limit eligibility.

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 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, 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.

 

People

Mr. and Mrs. Allen Steed of Pagosa Springs are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter Rachel Lane, to Mr. Roy Pearsall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dave Pearsall of Polson, Mont. The couple plan a Jan. 3 wedding after which they will reside in Pagosa Springs.

 

Kaeley Dawn is proud to announce the wedding of her mommy, Amber Dawn Smith, to Daniel Ray Martinez on Sept. 9, 2003. Amber is the daughter of Iva Jacobs/Latimer of Durango, Colo., and Daniel is the son of Joseph and Barbara Martinez of Pagosa Springs. The newlyweds are at home in Pagosa Springs.

 

 Features

End of an Era

Clerk retires after 40 years of service

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Fifty-eight trustees. Eight town administrators. Five mayors.

For 40 years Town Clerk Jacquelyn Schick watched them come and go. Now, it is she who is going. Retiring, that is.

She will miss the people the most - the daily interaction with town residents. Meetings and minutes aren't so hard to let go.

"When I go to clerk's conventions, they say, 'I don't mind the hours, but I don't like the minutes,'" she said. "I think that's true for most of us."

Schick and her husband, Gene, moved to Pagosa Springs in 1955 from Keenesburg, Colo. and bought Sunset Ranch east of town. For a while, she managed the ranch and kept cabins ready for tourists. In about 1961, she started helping out at Town Hall, assisting the clerk a few hours a month. Two years later, the town clerk became ill.

"I was working and she was still getting paid," Schick said. "I went to a town board meeting and they asked where she was. I said I didn't know, and they dismissed her and hired me."

In the four decades since, the bones of the job remained the same: answer phones, field questions, minutes, utility billing, payroll, liquor licenses, and cemetery business. The scope, however, has changed.

When Schick started in 1963, the budget totaled about $71,000 and could be summarized with one sheet of paper. No traffic signals stopped vehicles through town. In fact, just two streets were paved. The sewer system was so new some people refused to hook on and pay the $1.25 a month, making do with outhouses just fine, thank you. The number of people the town employed could be counted on one hand. Town Hall was located where the bell tower sits now, and the building's biggest room - one that eventually became the town council chambers - was then the library.

"They had a part-time librarian and when she was gone I would run the library too, and when I was gone she would answer the phone," Schick said. Town meetings started at 7 or 8 p.m. and could last well into the night. One, she said, didn't end until 2 a.m.

"Everyone smoked at that time. By 1 a.m. you were in a haze." The meetings were held in the office area. When something controversial came up, the public would sit on the cabinets or lean against the desks - wherever they could find room.

"Most of it was just talk among the people then," Schick said. "It was almost impossible to keep minutes."

In the early years, the most common topics were water problems, and "without fail we always had a lot of police problems - and the dog problems were just unbelievable," she said. The two biggest controversies she can remember revolved around police and trash. In the early 1970s, she said, the entire police force quit. Meetings on that issue lasted all day long. Eventually, Schick said, one of the council members was appointed as the police chief and new officers were hired. Only one of the original force returned.

Mandatory trash haul was the hot topic in the 1960s. The town board was considering going into the trash business. Once again, many said they would refuse to pay the $1.25 per month to have their trash taken away. The council's efforts failed. Eventually trash hauling became a franchise business contracted to a private company and people had the option to sign up for the service.

Today, there are five stoplights along U.S. 160. Many of the roads have been paved in an effort to improve air quality and town meetings start at 5 p.m. and generally last less than two hours.

Planning, Schick said, has moved to the forefront of town business.

"Growth and development, new subdivisions has been the biggest change," she said. "Building codes. No one was required to buy a building permit. They just went and built their building."

The town budget now totals almost $4 million. Staff, 24 full time, are housed in a two-story building on Hot Springs Boulevard completed in 2001.

When it all started, about 1,000 meetings ago, for Schick, she didn't expect to hold the position for 40 years. Something about the town just wouldn't let her go.

"I just didn't want to leave Pagosa Springs once we were here," she said. "Where else would you want to live?"

Mayor Ross Aragon, who has worked with Jackie for the last 27 years, described her as "caring," "compassionate" and "hard-working."

"She was good at what she did and good for the town," he said. "She was a classic example of a good administrator. She never put things on the back burner that needed to be done. If I called, she would get back to me immediately, if not sooner."

Of course, he said, they had their disagreements, but even those were worked through in a professional manner. "She always had the best interests of the town at heart."

Aragon said Schick worked many a Saturday, using the quiet time without the phone ringing and people constantly coming and going to keep caught up.

She also took the time to offer her support - and even serve some food once in a while - at more than one funeral for town employees or family.

"Nobody asked her to do those things," Aragon said. "It was just the kind of person she is."

Former Town Administrator Jay Harrington said the town's money was never safer than in Schick's hands.

"I will never forget watching her beat up her adding machine when the balance sheets were off between one and 10 cents," he said.

Schick has spent the better part of the last month training her replacement. She's been thanked. She's been feted. An appreciation party was held in her honor Oct. 1.

Some are still in denial. One trustee, upon learning Schick planned to perform some volunteer work in her retirement, asked her why she would want to do that instead of working and getting paid for it.

This Tuesday Schick performed her last official duty - serving as the election official for a special election on home rule. Her plans for the future include a trip to North Carolina to visit her daughter, Kathy O'Donnell, volunteering, and perhaps some outdoor activities - cross-country skiing, hiking maybe some golf.

"I'm going to miss it," Schick said of the job she owned for so long. "I don't know what I'll do on Tuesday nights."

 

Pagosa's Past

Town devastated by 1911 flood

John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Oct. 5, 1911! A Thursday! Catastrophic flood! The town of Pagosa Springs devastated!

Gone were the bridges, leaving the eastern and western parts of town separated. Gone was the town's pride and joy, a water treatment system snuggled against Reservoir Hill at the east end of town. Gone was the railroad connection with the outside world along with the telegraph lines. It would take weeks for the Denver and Rio Grande to replace washed out bridges and tracks.

And gone were an as-yet uncounted number of homes. Homes not washed completely away were moved and filled with mud. The town park was covered with from two to three feet of mud.

While the water was at its worst, the newspaper reported, "it came down the head of 'Main street.' The residences of Geo. Goodman and Joe Wilson, the last two residences on the south side of Main street were completely swept away. Even the Goodman and Weber lots were washed away to such an extent as to leave no room for rebuilding.

"The water works are wrecked to such an extent that the town will have to resort to the river until repairs can be made.

"All day yesterday (Thursday) the river was a moving mass of rubbish, buildings, and furniture. The speed of the river was judged to be at least twenty miles an hour."

Not gone was the backbone and pride that led these pioneering people to build homes in the Rocky Mountain West. They were a tough, hard-boiled bunch. Most of them had reached Pagosa Springs in covered wagons after crossing hundreds of miles of open prairie and then climbing step by step over the Continental Divide.

When the first of them entered the country in 1877 or so, Indians were still a threat. Doctors were scarce. Wolves and grizzly bears and mountain lions still ran free. There were no social services, unemployment checks, or other sources of help. The federal government was not yet in the business of providing disaster relief. The problems were theirs and they had to solve them, if they were to be solved.

On the day following the flood, The SUN editor reported, "Last night, every room in town was occupied, hotels were crowded, and all who had homes opened them to the homeless and the result was that all had comfortable quarters."

A rope cable containing a seat and pulleys was erected across the river at the point formerly crossed by the San Juan Bridge. Daring men, and women desperately clung to the rope as they swung back and forth across the river.

"Zana McCoy was the first to test the cable by making a trip back and forth," The SUN wrote. "Miss Campbell, who was desirous of reaching this side of the river (the west side) was the first lady to cross and landed safely amid the applause of the crowd."

Mrs. Dowell sent the following poignant message to her sister, Mrs. L.W. Smith: "Dear sister, I appreciated your sympathy and can't think of anything you can do for anyone. We are stopping with Mrs. Walker (Mrs. E.T. Walker?) and will come across as soon as possible. I can't give you any particulars. I will phone Hattie Hatcher. She may tell you something you did not know. The town is nothing compared with the sight at our ranch (Mill Creek Ranch, two dead). No human being can form any idea of the disaster. I can't write more. I will come to the Springs Hotel again tomorrow if we can't ford, and stay until we can get across then I will phone to any who wants to talk. Sincerely, Mrs. Dowell."

Even strangers helped, The SUN noted. "Joe Gordon, a traveling salesman from Kansas City, worked as though he was a heavy property owner in the ruined district (the town park) None but the best people ever visit Pagosa anyway."

County officials and town dads got busy. The first task taken care of by the commissioners was delegating John Kyle to "pick up all of the help he needs and repair the road here from Lumberton so the mail and provisions can come from that direction."

More next week on the great flood of Oct. 5, 1911.

 

Editorial

Our Town Square

Think about newspapers. Think about the roles newspapers have

played in your life, in the life of your community - here and, if

you are not native to the area, in the community from which you came.

Think about what newspapers have provided in the way of information about your community and the world beyond. Think about the fact newspapers have given members of communities a time-tested means of talking to each other, about the things important to all of them regardless of point of view.

It is self-serving to note, but where would we be without our newspapers?

A newspaper is our Town Square and, during National Newspaper Week, Oct. 5-11, we have an opportunity to reflect on the value of the American newspaper.

For years now, with the ascension of television news and the evolution of television 30-second consciousness, pundits have heralded the demise of the newspaper. While the ground has been shaky, and change in the industry sometimes rapid and extreme, newspapers survive and continue to do what they do best.

They inform, inflame, irritate, influence and are influenced, enlighten, shine light on fraud and political nonsense; they laud, expose, encourage, deny.

Think about this particular small-town newspaper, which begins its 95th year of publication next week. It is one of many in the great tradition of American small town weeklies. What of value appears each week in The SUN that its readers can entertain and absorb? What would we miss were it not there each week?

News (gathered with care, devoid of the rumor so many pass on as fact), opinion, notices and reports of meetings, reports of the workings of public officials and boards, obituaries noting the passing of local residents, birth announcements and announcements of weddings and engagements, editorials, legal notices, classified advertising with all manner of information, display ads touting the goods and services of local businesses, school news and news of academic achievements, photos of myriad subjects, sports, reports from local clubs and organizations, helpful tips, letters of thanks, church news, arts news, columns with a wide range of topics, interviews with political candidates, columns written by elected representatives to our state legislature. And more.

Every week.

Look at the daily newspapers available here and online. Where a two-minute television news report skirts the edges of national and international issues, the newspaper, if conscientious, tackles the issues in depth, providing the reader with a wide platform on which to construct an opinion.

Here, and elsewhere in the newspaper world, those of us who work as journalists will take time this week to reflect on what we do and how we do it. There is always room for improvement and a need for change. As we do so, it is to our benefit to remember these words, taken from "The Journalist's Creed," written more than 70 years ago by Walter Williams, then the dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri.

"I believe that the journalism which succeeds best- and best deserves success - fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today's world."

If we aspire to ideals like these, our enterprise will survive to see another National Newspaper Week.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Old graduation mandates return

By Richard Walter

Somewhere, somehow in the last 50 years, there appears to have been a breakdown in requirements for college entry in Colorado.

The class graduating Pagosa Springs High School in 1953, under state requirement, was mandated to have completed four years high school English, three years of mathematics, three years of natural sciences, two years of social sciences and two elective classes.

It was state law.

My graduating class of 16 sent 13 members on to various colleges. Each of us had to add a class in English our senior year because the state had just added the fourth year requirement. Same with the sciences. I had to take freshman general science as a senior even though I'd already had both biology and chemistry.

The 13 graduates meeting these educational requirements went into strong collegiate programs with little difficulty.

Why, then, does Colorado need to update its collegiate entry requirements today?

Stories last Thursday and Friday indicated new mandates for high school class completion are needed, in part because only 26,000 of its 66,000 high school freshmen entering annually are going on to college, a statistic which places the state a dismal 30th in the nation.

I could understand that if it were not for the list of mandatory class completions the state is approving.

They read exactly as did the requirements in 1953, with the lone exception of a third year of social studies.

These new requirements will take effect for the incoming high school freshmen in 2008; then, in 2010, it will get tougher for this year's sixth-graders, who will need to have an additional year of math and two years of foreign language to even be considered for collegiate entry in the state.

College admission in Colorado is currently based on a mathematical index score combining high school GPA or class rank and college entrance exam scores. Some more selective state colleges require a higher index score for consideration.

The planned new precollegiate curriculum would be a minimum requirement in addition to index score and entrance exams.

Joan Ringel, a member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education which passed the new requirements, said the commission believes they will increase, not limit, access to higher education, especially among minorities, because, with these requirements, they will be better prepared.

She told the Denver Post, "The research shows that anyone who has taken this curriculum, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, does better in college than those who have not."

That sounds great.

But my question is: Where have these requirements been languishing the last 50 years since they were originally imposed by the state?

There obviously is no real hard and fast answer save, perhaps, governmental interference.

But sixth-graders should begin preparing now, along with their parents, to meet the old school rules and be prepared for added class requirements on entering high school in 2008.

Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Oct. 10, 1913

M.O. Brown has purchased the Macht cattle, something over 250 head. He believes that he will be able to select a carload out of the bunch that will bring him $85 per head.

The music now being put on at the Star Theatre is of the class that you hear only in the play houses in the big cities. Pagosa is fortunate in being able to enjoy first-class orchestra music at picture show prices.

There is a rumor going the rounds that some of Pagosa's citizens, we are not advised whom, are contemplating building another electric light plant. Certainly two plants will not pay in Pagosa. The wise thing for those who feel like entering the business in this field would be to buy the present plant and save a rate war.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 12, 1928

Robert, the oldest son of Sheriff and Mrs. Frank Matthews, was taken desperately ill Wednesday morning with acute appendicitis, and was operated upon about three o'clock that afternoon by local physicians. At present writing he seems to be doing exceptionally well considering the seriousness of his condition.

The Yellowjacket school today closes a seven month's term, during which Miss Louise Pearson has been teacher.

Otis Snooks and a party of hunters are reported to have killed several bear since the first of the month.

The Methodist church is installing water and sink in the basement. This will be a great convenience in the serving of dinners.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 9, 1953

The weather the past week has continued to be perfect fall weather with beautiful days and sharp nights. The temperature is away down there each night, but there is still no sign of moisture. The country is very dry and the San Juan River through town can be crossed nearly anywhere without getting one's feet wet.

A forest fire in the vicinity of Horse Creek on the Piedra was brought under control Tuesday after burning over 200 acres according to Forest Service officials. The crew of 25 men were under the direction of Piedra District Ranger John Stevenson of Pagosa Springs. This is the second fire in the Piedra area within as many weeks. This emphasizes the fact that all areas are exceptionally dry and extreme caution should be exercised by all.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 12, 1978

Hunting conditions this year may be difficult because of the very dry weather that has prevailed. Forest Service and Game and Fish officials ask that all hunters use every possible precaution with fire while hunting. Hunters are also asked to be aware of the travel restrictions on the National Forest.

The enrollment in local schools is inching up there with 920 students reported one day this week. This is the time of year when attendance counts are taken for state funds. The amount of money received from the state for school aid is apportioned on the basis of the enrollment.

There has been no measurable precipitation in this area to date in October. The area is very dry.