State drops last charges in mauling
By Tess Noel Baker
Charges against a Pagosa man who allegedly owned two dogs that attacked 9-year-old Garrett Carothers last winter have been dropped.
According to a motion to dismiss filed by Deputy District Attorney Craig Westberg Oct. 14, prosecutors were unable to find sufficient evidence to move forward with the case against David Martinez under Colorado Statutes.
Martinez was charged with two counts of ownership of a dangerous dog causing bodily injury, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under the statutes, to make a case for this crime the prosecution must prove that the owner had "actual knowledge" that the dog was dangerous either because the dog had harmed a person or domesticated animal in the past or because it was reasonable to believe it would do so.
In the motion, Westberg wrote that evidence was insufficient to prove that anyone besides Martinez's mother, Sandra Schultz, had any prior knowledge of complaints lodged against the dogs.
Schultz pleaded guilty to one count of ownership of a dangerous dog causing bodily injury in May. She was sentenced to four months of jail time Sept. 3 in Archuleta County Court.
The motion to dismiss was accepted by Judge James Denvir Oct. 18.
Both Schultz and Martinez have been named in a civil lawsuit filed by the Carothers family March 10. It alleges that, as dog owners, Schultz and Martinez were negligent in their care of the dogs, training them to be vicious and then allowing them to run at large through the neighborhood.
The suit also names the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. The family is seeking emotional distress, punitive or exemplary damages.
A jury is scheduled to hear the civil case in District Court over 10 days, starting May 24, 2004.
Carothers was attacked by two dogs Dec. 23 while standing on the a neighbor's porch in the Vista Subdivision. The dogs apparently dragged him into the street and continued to bite him until two men driving in the area stopped and drove the dogs away.
By the time the attack ended, Carothers had suffered bites over 80 percent of his body and severe lacerations to his head, ear and face. He was hospitalized for six days and has undergone four surgeries to repair the damage with more treatment probable.
Both dogs fingered in the attack are now dead. One, a Pit Bull, was shot and killed the day of the attack as it lunged at a sheriff's deputy. The other dog, a retriever-Rottweiler mix, was captured and eventually euthanized voluntarily by the owner.
Blaze guts Piedra Road townhome
By Tess Noel Baker
Fire ripped through a Pagosa townhome Sunday night, gutting it and destroying all the contents.
Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said because of the building's design it was quickly engulfed in flames. Still, firefighters were able to restrict the fire to the unit where it started, saving units on both sides.
"Units two and four received minor damage, but the whole building is still standing," he said.
Firefighters were dispatched to the fire at Mountain Vista Townhomes off Piedra Road at 6:40 p.m. The first trucks arrived 14 minutes later. Before it was over, 34 firefighters responded. Six pieces of equipment were used, including the aerial ladder truck.
"There's not a fire department in the country that could've done a better job," Grams said. "They did a super job saving that structure from burning to the ground." In fact, in 1984, a whole unit of the same townhomes burned to the ground before firefighters could squelch it.
Grams said many of the volunteers on scene were just arriving back in town following a weekend at the fire academy in Telluride. To try and control the blaze a team was sent inside. "We had a part of the roof collapse when people were inside," he said. No one was injured. Because of the architecture of the building and layout of the driveways they had to put the ladder truck in the grass, "and hope it didn't sink."
An investigation by the district points to a propane tank on a barbecue grill as the origin of the blaze. Grams said a natural gas line was also compromised due to the heat and, "enhanced the burning in the building." The fire remains under investigation for insurance purposes.
New ballots in mail; school races corrected
By Tom Carosello
New ballots are on the way to Archuleta County residents who are eligible to vote for candidates vying for seats on the board of directors of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
The secondary mailing comes on the heels of last week's discovery of a printing error that invalidates school board votes on original ballots that have already been mailed or returned to the county clerk's office.
The mistake involves the portion of the ballot naming the candidates for election to the school board, which lists candidates Michael Haynes, Sandy Caves and Gene Crabtree in the same space and erroneously reads, "Vote for two."
However, Crabtree and Caves are in competition for the third-district seat being vacated by Randall Davis, while Haynes is an incumbent board member appointed to replace Russel Lee and is running unopposed for the second-district seat.
In short, voters who have already voted and/or mailed the first ballot must vote the entire second ballot and return it to the county clerk's office before 7 p.m., Nov. 4 in order for the votes to count.
For clarification, the corrected ballot includes a space listing Haynes as the lone candidate for District 2 and reads "Vote for one," while Crabtree and Caves are listed in a separate space as candidates for the District 3 seat which also reads, "Vote for one."
An easy-to-read sample of the corrected ballot can be found in Section B of this week's edition of The SUN, and the corrected ballot also appears in the public notices section.
In addition, the corrected ballots - roughly 5,000 of them - include a blue return envelope, and, due to the size of the ballots, postage in the amount of 60 cents is required to ensure they are received by the clerk's office before deadline.
Butch Tins-dale, officer in charge at the Pagosa Springs Post Office, said ballots mailed without adequate postage will most likely be forwarded to the clerk's office "postage due."
However, to avoid difficulties and delays, "Voters are reminded to make sure they put the extra postage on the return envelope," said Tinsdale.
June Madrid, county clerk, said Monday the corrected forms were scheduled to be mailed late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
However a subsequent mistake by the company charged with printing the ballots - a firm based in Washington D.C. - has further delayed the process, and Madrid said Wednesday that the corrected ballots will be mailed before the weekend.
Apparently the original error was the result of miscommunication, or lack of communication, after the school district certified the board-race ballot questions and turned them over to Madrid's office.
"I faxed the school district a proof copy of exactly how the questions would read, but apparently they never received it," said Madrid.
"And it was a mistake on my part to assume everything was OK when we didn't hear anything back," she added. "Obviously, the one thing you never want to do during election time is make an error on the ballot."
Duane Noggle, school district superintendent, confirmed that his office apparently never received a proof ballot, but was empathic with regard to the situation.
"Unfortunately, things like this happen now and then," said Noggle. "I hope people understand, and I encourage them to still get out there and vote."
In conclusion, the resulting scenario is a lesson well-learned, said Madrid, since, in addition to requiring a high degree of oversight from the office of the Colorado Secretary of State, the mail-in ballot process is the "hardest thing in the world to change."
To avoid similar circumstances in the future, Madrid said among other things, all future ballot questions will require a written sign-off of the proof from the certifying party before the ballot questions will be allowed to go to press.
Stevens Field upgrades entering final phases
By Tom Carosello
Archuleta County commissioners approved access agreements with private property owners Tuesday that will enable work crews to broaden an active schedule of efforts to upgrade Stevens Field.
The agreements allow for the installation of an electric line near a portion of the runway which borders parcels owned by Robert and Judy Cecka and the Cloman Family Partnership.
In exchange for the transfer of an easement to the county by the Cloman Family Partnership, the board agreed to transfer a 30-foot easement over and across county property known as "Parcel 9" to the Clomans, though no roads will be permitted on the tract.
In addition, the board agreed to purchase a 45-foot easement from the Ceckas for $3,750, and in turn the agreement stipulates that Cecka will convey the easement to the Clomans for ingress, egress and utilities.
Because her daughter-in-law is a member of the Cloman family, prior to the board's decision, Commissioner Mamie Lynch recused herself from the proceedings.
Once initiated, the installation of the electric line will become the latest task of Kirkland Construction, the Rye-based firm that got the nod to perform the upgrades in late July and was given a notice to proceed with work in late September.
Tim Smith, airport manager, said activities already underway or scheduled for this year, weather permitting, include:
- Construction of new runway safety areas. The work will include excavation, earth work, and tree removal. Excavated material taken from the east side of the runway will be taken to the west side and used as fill for the west-side safety area and parallel taxiway.
- Relocation of portions of Phantom Ranch Road and the southerly end of Condor Drive from within the airport safety areas. Access on both existing roads will be available during the construction of new segments.
- Construction of the new airport animal-control/security perimeter fence and gates.
- Installation of electrical lines and storm sewers.
Work will also include clearing the existing airport office building, fuel storage tanks and "T-hangars."
A grant agreement between the county and the Federal Aviation Administration is the main funding source for the efforts, which are the last in a series of improvement plans for the airport that were initiated in the mid '90s.
Funds for such grants are obtained through the taxation of aviation fuel, with commercial airlines contributing the bulk of funding and the private aviation sector making up the difference.
The roughly $9 million in FAA funds resulting from the grant awarded the county amounts to 90 percent of the price tag for the initiative, with another 5 percent coming courtesy of state participation.
While an exact dollar figure has not yet been determined, the remaining 5 percent will be covered by the county, and a portion of that amount will include in-kind services.
According to Smith, the final improvements plan was deemed the most feasible and cost effective after years of federally-required studies, including a full environmental assessment in 1998.
When the assessment resulted in notification to the airport of a "finding of no significant impact," final design work began in 2000 and was completed in 2002.
Initial construction began last summer, and completion of the project is expected before the end of next year.
"The construction we see this year is the culmination of eight years of planning," said Smith, indicating similar projects are in the works for airports across the state.
"This project is kind of a model for what the FAA hopes to do in similar Colorado communities," said Smith.
Smith said the upgrades will bring airport capabilities "up to where they should be," and will also facilitate future improvements when they are needed.
However, "We're not doing this to serve commercial airline interests," said Smith, "That has never been the goal."
Instead, said Smith, to keep pace with a growing trend toward general aviation, "We've designed what I feel is a logical and very effective design that will enable us to serve the general aviation fleet for many years to come."
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Blue skies, mild temps dominate forecast
By Tom Carosello
October is normally one of the wettest months in Pagosa Country, but thus far the Halloween month is bucking the trend as clear skies, near-record temperatures and dry conditions have been the norm.
What can southwest Colorado expect in the way of wet weather during the coming week?
"Nothing," says Paul Frisbie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
According to Frisbie, while a few cooler days are ahead, there is slim hope any precipitation will make its way into the Four Corners region within the next seven days.
"We're still going to be dominated by sunny skies and temperatures above normal for the most part," said Frisbie.
"There is a weak cold front that should make it here by Friday, but then we'll start to warm up a little again by late Saturday or early Sunday," added Frisbie.
"I don't see any favorable indications of rain or snow in the next seven to 10 days," Frisbie concluded. "The only thing I can say is that it looks clear until further notice."
According to Frisbie, mostly-sunny skies, light breezes and highs in the mid-60s to mid-70s are expected through this afternoon.
Winds in the 5-10 mile per hour range and lows in the upper 20s are predicted for tonight.
Friday calls for breezy conditions, continued clear skies, highs in the upper 50s to mid-60s and lows in the mid-20s to mid-30s.
The forecasts for Saturday and Sunday include highs predicted in the mid-60s to low 70s, sunny skies and evening lows in the 30s.
Clear to partly-cloudy skies and light winds are forecast for Monday and Tuesday; highs each day should peak in the mid 60s, while lows should dip into the upper 20s.
More sunshine is expected for Wednesday, as are highs in the 60s and lows in the mid-20s.
The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 72 degrees. The average low for the week was 36. Precipitation totals for the week amounted to zero.
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 45 cubic feet per second to 55 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Oct. 23 is roughly 85 cubic feet per second.
51 enrolled for youth basketball league
By Joe Lister Jr.
As of last Friday's deadline we had 51, 7- and 8-year olds signed up for basketball.
We will go with six teams, games to begin at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Saturday games will start at 9 a.m.
A coaches' meeting will be held at 6 p.m. today in Town Hall.
We will finish the 7-8 league on Dec. 11, with Dec. 13 being the day for the annual Elks Free Throw Contest, time to be announced later.
Jim Shaffer, Pagosa Springs High School boy's basketball coach, will host a clinic 9 a.m. Nov. 22, for all coaches, and at 10 a.m. for the students ages 9-12, in the junior high gymnasium.
Bob Lynch, high school girls' basketball coach, will host a clinic Nov. 1, for coaches at 9 a.m. followed by youth basketball clinic at 10, for children ages 7-13. This clinic will also be held at the junior high gymnasium.
We are in need of sponsors for all youth basketball teams. Sponsorship is $150 per team. Call Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151, Ext. 231 if you would like to sponsor a team this year.
The recreation supervisor position for the Town of Pagosa Springs is open and we will take applications until 5 p.m. Nov. 7. Applications can be picked up and returned to Town Hall, along with resumes.
Pay scale for this position is from $25,272.00-$27,336.00 with good benefits. Job description: develop, implement, coordinate, supervise, and perform athletic events, such as youth and adult athletic programs. Work week should be 40 hours, with evening and Saturday work expected.
Please stop by Town Hall for an application. We hope to hire by Dec. 1.
We are in need of many part-time workers, from gym supervisors to scorekeepers, and referees for the 2003-2004 seasons.
Oct. 24 we will close the South Pagosa Park restrooms, but the Town Park facilities will be open as long as the weather holds. We must close the South Park restrooms and blow out the irrigation lines. If weather stays warm and there is a lot of activity at the park, we may have portable facilities put on site.
Fall clean up
Trash Dumpster location and dates:
Oct. 25, 26, and 27 - South Pagosa Park on 8th Street.
Oct. 25 - Town Park
Oct. 26 - South 9th St.
Oct. 27 - South 5th St.
There will be free trash day at the Archuleta County Landfill, nine miles south on County Road 500, Oct. 25., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Only residential trash will be free of charge; all commercial trash must be taken to the landfill and regular charges will apply. 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.
The Town of Pagosa Springs and the Archuleta County Solid Waste Department are sponsoring this event. Many thanks to our trustees and county commissioners for the approval of a fall cleanup service.
Pirates send girls, boys teams to state cross country finals
By Tess Noel Baker
The Lady Pirates dominated - winning the regional championship with four cross country runners finishing in the top 10.
The boys continued to make up ground on the competition, finishing strong enough to capture the final berth at state.
As a result, both teams will be on the bus to Colorado Springs this weekend for a shot at the best of the best and Head Coach Scott Anderson is thrilled.
"I am extremely pleased to be taking both teams to state," he said. "That was a goal of mine from the outset and I feel it bodes well for the future as well as for the tenacity of the kids running for us now."
Regional races took place at the River Park in Buena Vista. Runners made a loop on rock trails overlooking the Arkansas River.
Anderson said the scenic nature of the course and "enough elevation changes to make it interesting," made for a great place to run. The loop provided plenty of places for spectators to watch.
The weather wasn't bad either. Clear blue skies. A crisp morning warming up enough that spectators were shedding coats before the boys race.
The girls took advantage of the prime conditions with two of the five runners finishing with personal record times.
Sophomore Emilie Schur continued to lead the Pagosa pack, finishing third with a time of 19 minutes, 27 seconds. She was followed by freshman Jessica Lynch in fourth with a time of 20:43.
The Pirates' next two runners finished sixth and ninth respectively, both in personal record times.
Freshman Laurel Reinhardt grabbed the sixth spot with a time of 21:09. Anderson said Reinhardt has faced down several personal obstacles over the year to pull through for the team.
Sophomore Heather Dahm placed ninth in 21:26, running a "spectacular race," Anderson said. "All season she's been dealing with one thing or another and seems to be coming over the hump." Jenna Finney, a senior, ran the fifth leg for the Pagosa team, finishing in 21:52.
The girls won the region with 22 points. "The whole theme this week was team," Anderson said. "The girls are obviously a solid, strong team and did well."
Anderson was also pleased with the boys' performance. "They are like the little engine that could," he said. "At the beginning of the year we thought they had a shot and they just keep getting better every week. As a team they came together and got a shot at state."
Senior Aaron Hamilton crossed the line ninth in 17:39. Sophomore A.J. Abeyta claimed 19th in 17:55, finishing under 18 minutes for the second week in a row.
Senior Dan Lowder placed 31st, in 19:11, running a personal record time in only his third race of the year. "He ran out of his mind," Anderson said. "He's a big reason why the guys are going to state."
Sophomore Orion Sandoval closed the day 34th in 19:16. Sophomore Paul Hostetter claimed 46th in 20:44.
The effort was good enough to finish 12 points ahead of Creede to claim the final spot to state.
The Pirates' state alternates will be Marlena Lungstrum and Riley Lynch.
State cross country races are set for Saturday at the Vineyard Golf Course and El Pomar Youth Sports Complex at Circle Drive and Janitell Road in Colorado Springs. The 3A girls' race is scheduled for 10 a.m. The 3A boys will start at 11:30 a.m. The turf is a combination of grass, golf cart paths and running trail paths.
It's a fast course, Anderson said and spectator-friendly. The only question now is whether or not it's Pirate-friendly.
"All year long I've told them, 'It is what it is, make it too your advantage,'" he said.
Pirates ranked 7th; host Holy Family in soccer's Sweet 16
By Richard Walter
Colorado Class 3A Sweet 16 soccer - and a possible showdown between the two most prolific scorers in the state, in any classification - comes to Pagosa Springs Saturday.
At seeding meetings Sunday, Pagosa Springs drew the number-seven slot and as a league winner that drew a bye in the opening round, the Pirates will host the No. 10 seed Holy Family Tigers of Broomfield at 3 p.m. Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium.
Keying the Pirate attack will be senior striker Kyle Sanders (10), the state's leading scorer for the second consecutive year, with 37 goals, and a four-year career total of 102.
Right behind him this year, as the second leading scorer in the state was Holy Family's striker Kyle Anderson (7), with 32. And the name Kyle seems to be dominant, because the Tigers No. 2 scorer was Kyle Addy (1), with 20.
The guests will come into Pagosa with a 12-4 overall record, having defeated Community Christian 7-1 in regional action to qualify for the final 16.
Pagosa Springs comes in at 13-2 for the season, the losses to third-ranked Salida (14-0) and Colorado Springs Christian (2-1 in overtime in the season opener). CSC is also in the playoffs, taking the ninth seed on the road against eighth-ranked D'Evelyn of Golden.
But, back to the Pagosa-Holy Family matchup.
Holy Family, the number-four qualifier out of Denver Metro League, has lost to Class 5A Lakewood (2-1); Metro and state No. 1 Faith Christian (3-2), Metro and state No. 2 Kent Denver 2-1 and to Metro and state No. 5 Colorado Academy (3-2).
Both Pagosa and Holy Family have two strong backup scorers, the Pirates with Kevin Muirhead (17) and Moe Webb (18) with seven goals apiece and the Tigers with Eric Caldwell (9) and Mike Lombardi (3) each having nine goals.
Muirhead is also the assist leader for the Pirates, with nine on the season. Similar data was not available for the Tigers.
Webb and Sanders each have six assists while Ty Peterson (3) and Levi Gill (11) each chipped in with five.
The key for the Pirates all year has been stout defense featuring sweepers Gill and Ryan Goodenberger (9) with 56 and 46 block/takeaways respectively, and a supporting cast featuring Peterson, with 28, Keagan Smith (2) with 21, Drew Mitchell (13) and Jesse Morris (8) with 17 each.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason has touted his goal-keeping tandem of Caleb Forrest (6) and Josh Soniat (4) as among the finest in the state. Forrest, with the bulk of the playing time, has given up eight goals, and made 197 saves in 930 minutes in net. Soniat has allowed two goals and made 43 saves in 240 minutes in goal.
Both also have contributed offensively, Soniat with two goals and an assist, Forrest with two assists.
Tiger goalkeeper Justin O'Hayre has allowed 13 goals and made 69 stops in 1,087 minutes between the pipes. His backup, C. Garcia, has allowed one goal in eight minutes and had no saves.
While the Front Range smart money may be on Holy Family, the Pirates are expected to use this opportunity to make a statement about the quality of soccer played outside the Metro and Tri-Peaks leagues.
The Pirates had defeated seven of the 32 teams in contention until last week's regionals. Only one of those teams, Manitou Springs, has joined them in the Sweet Sixteen, taking an 8-6-1 record to Denver Christian.
Each squad carries a bevy of support players capable, at any moment, of springing a surprise goal, pass or defensive play.
For Pagosa that list will include Casey Kiister (16), Chris Baum (12), Derrick Monks (14), Drew Fisher (7), Caleb Ormonde (5) and Ryan Wienpahl (1).
For Holy Family, watch for Joey Ariniello (17), Jason Christensen (15), Scott Hardouin (11), Justin Hazelwood (2), Mike Lancaster (10), Matt Loricchio (9), Mike O'Brian, (16) Andy Patton (14), Tyler Sullivan (18) and Evan Wasserman (6) to be in the mix.
If you've missed the Pirate's outstanding season and are wondering what soccer excitement is all about, Saturday's contest offers you a chance to find out.
Ladies stop Centauri in four games
By Karl Isberg
With a 3-1 win over Centauri at La Jara Oct. 18, the Lady Pirates finished the regular season with a 5-3 Intermountain League record, giving the team the third seed at the district tournament Friday and Saturday.
Pagosa started strong against the Falcons, taking a 12-6 lead with kills by Lori Walkup, Bri Scott, Laura Tomforde and Courtney Steen. Brandi Whomble and Liza Kelley contributed with ace serves.
The Lady Pirate game featured significantly better back row play, better serving and serve receive, than in recent matches.
With her team ahead 16-10, Kelley put a kill to the floor for a point. The Falcons scored and Scott replied with a ball to the back corner of the court. Centauri answered with a kill and the Lady Pirates went on a five-point run, three scores courtesy Falcon errors. Kelley hit an ace and Tomforde dumped a pass off to a hole in the middle of the surprised Falcon defense.
Centauri got one final point before giving up the 25-13 game with a serve error.
The second game of the match began with the Lady Pirates overwhelming their hosts.
Pagosa went ahead 9-3, Centauri providing five of the points with unforced errors, the Ladies getting kills from Walkup and Kelley, a successful tip by Scott and a solo block for a point by Walkup.
A mid-game letdown allowed the Falcons back in the game and Centauri trailed 14-13.
Walkup scored and took back serve, Scott scored with a kill and Whomble aced a serve to give the Ladies some distance. With a roll shot by Scott, two kills and a block by Steen and a kill by Tomforde, Pagosa was well on the way to the win, 24-17.
Then, shades of Ignacio, the Falcons began to roll, courtesy of three unforced errors on Pagosa's side of the net and a block for a point. The Falcons drew as close as 21-24 before a hitting error ended the game to give Pagosa the 25-21 win.
Lady Pirate blockers went to the bus to take a nap during the third game of the match. It is difficult to beat any team in the IML when blockers do not interfere with an opponent's attack. Throughout the third game, Falcon hitters had their way in the action at the net.
One mistake after another plagued the Ladies and, at one point in the early going, the hosts had an 11-2 lead. Pagosa put up a fight, but a series of serve mistakes, passing errors and a spate of poor setting where balls were set near the 10-foot line, doomed the attempt. Centauri walked off the court with an easy 25-14 victory.
The fourth game of the match was a test, in several ways.
Could the Lady Pirates shake off the defeat and not let the specter of what had happened to them at Ignacio shadow their efforts? Could they hold off a team that had established momentum and enlivened the home crowd?
Pagosa went in front 5-3 as Steen, Kelley and Scott killed for points while Tomforde hit an ace and Caitlyn Jewell blocked for a point.
The teams stayed close, trading points until the Falcons finally caught up at 12-12, then went ahead at 13-12.
That was the turning point. Despite a continued lack of focus in the passing and setting game, the Lady Pirates used a Falcon hitting error to tie the game and got a kill by Kelley from outside to go up 14-13. The Falcons responded, but Pagosa refused to buckle.
Steen killed to score and return serve; Centauri surrendered a point with a passing error. Scott killed and Centauri committed yet another passing error. A Pagosa ball dropped in front of the Centauri back row and the Lady Pirates led 19-5.
They would lead the rest of the way.
Centauri got a gift on a Lady Pirate passing mistake but Steen snuffed out any rally with a kill that fell to the floor off the tape. Steen then hit a ball that seemed headed out of bounds, but a Falcon touched the ball. A Centauri rotation error added yet another point to Pagosa's side of the scoreboard. It was 22-16.
A Centauri hitter had no blocker in front of her and she put the ball to the floor. A second point for the Falcons followed immediately as a poor set led to a Pagosa hitting error.
Jewell stopped the bleeding quickly with a block for a point; Centauri responded with a kill off the block.
Steen returned the favor, her kill going off a Falcon blocker's hands and out of bounds. Centauri took the serve, made the transition and set the ball to the hitter for the attack. Kelley stuffed the hitter for the point and Pagosa won game and match 25-19.
"We played up and down," said Coach Penné Hamilton. "We would do some good things then turn around and do some poor things. Our kids need to stop thinking about too many things, and just play the game. We have the talent; we need consistency."
Now, the task at hand is to successfully negotiate the district tournament. By virtue of identical records, Bayfield and Ignacio finished the regular season tied for the lead in the league standings. As a result, no team qualifies for an automatic pass to regional tourney action. The top two teams at the district tournament will move on to regionals.
Every team in the district has shown it is vulnerable. The toughest two teams at Bayfield Friday and Saturday will survive to play the next weekend.
Pagosa will meet Bayfield at 4 p.m. Friday in the first of the Ladies' three tourney matches. Ignacio will play Centauri Friday.
Action resumes at Bayfield Saturday when Pagosa plays Ignacio in the second match on the schedule, at approximately 10:30 a.m. The Ladies' district competition ends with a match against Centauri at an undetermined time Saturday afternoon.
"It's going to be a dog fight," Hamilton said of the tournament. "Anyone can win this thing; no one is dominant. It should be a real interesting tournament."
Kills: Scott 10, Kelley, Tomforde and Walkup 7 each
Ace serves: Kelley and Tomforde 2 each, Steen 1
Solo blocks: Jewell and Walkup 3 each
Assists: Walkup 15, Tomforde 14
Digs: Steen 16, Scott 14, Tomforde 13
Ladies build big lead but bow to 'Cats in five games
By Karl Isberg
Ignacio High School trotted out the dog and pony show prior to the Oct. 16 volleyball match with the Lady Pirates.
It was the Homecoming match for the Bobcats and it was Ignacio's "Parent's Night," replete with flowers and a community love fest at the court.
It was a perfect opportunity to spoil things, but the Ladies dropped the ball.
While Pagosa played as well, at times, as it has this season, the spectre of unforced errors materialized in time to allow the Lady Pirates to snatch defeat from jaws of victory and slip to 4-3 against Intermountain league opponents,10-8 overall.
The first game of the match revealed a Lady Pirate six that looked like old times. Each aspect of the game was played well, with few unforced errors committed on the Pagosa side of the net.
The Lady Pirate defense was in good form with blocking schemes forcing Bobcat hitting errors. The attack was fluid and Pagosa went out to a 14-5 lead. During the run, Pagosa got kills from Liza Kelley, Bri Scott, Lori Walkup, Laura Tomforde and Courtney Steen, as well as points on a solo block by Caitlyn Jewell and an ace by Brandi Whomble.
The teams traded points in fits and starts, with Pagosa scoring on kills by Walkup and Kelley and an ace by Steen. Pagosa led 19-12.
Scott killed for a point, Steen killed for a point and Tomforde got a roll shot to drop. Pagosa 22, Ignacio 12.
Ignacio managed four points but committed two errors to turn over points to the Ladies. Tomforde finished off the game, 25-16, with an ace.
The second game of the match was close throughout, with both teams turning over points with mistakes.
Pagosa fashioned a 10-5 lead, getting kills from Steen and Walkup, and a point on a block by Jewell. Ignacio pushed back, using four Pagosa errors and an ace to tie the score 10-10.
Helped by kills from Scott and Tomforde, the Ladies took a 14-10 lead, and with Steen and Walkup aggressive at the net, stayed ahead 18-15.
A Bobcat hit inside the block and three consecutive unforced errors by the Lady Pirates put Ignacio ahead 19-18.
It was like two prizefighters slugging it out. Kelley and Walkup scored for Pagosa; two mistakes put Ignacio ahead again 21-20. Kelley killed and Ignacio hit a ball out. Pagosa was ahead 22-21. Another Bobcat kill inside the block tied the score.
The Bobcats surrendered two points with hitting errors then got them back courtesy Pagosa errors.
An Ignacio hitting mistake gave the Ladies a 25-24 advantage, needing only one point to close out the game. The Pagosa serve game broke down and a fault tied the score 25-25.
An Ignacio attacker hit the ball out and, finally, Steen killed from outside, the ball caroming off a Bobcat blocker's hand out of bounds. Pagosa had the 27-25 win.
The third game of the night was the turning point. Volleyball is a game of momentum and sudden changes. Pagosa had all the momentum through the midpoint of the game, then the bottom fell out.
The Ladies fell behind 4-2 and 6-5 before putting the pedal down with a kill by Tomforde and a block by Scott. They stayed ahead, going up 14-11 with a kill by Walkup that took back serve. With Brandi Whomble serving, Pagosa ran off six straight points. Steen hit a ball of the Ignacio block as did Kelley, who also scored with a tip. Walkup killed from the right side and the Ladies led 20-11.
Ignacio scored but Scott replied with a kill and Kelley hit a successful roll shot. Ignacio got a point on a hitting error but Tomforde stopped the Bobcats with a kill to put her team ahead 23-13 - a margin difficult to overcome in a rally scoring format.
Not so on Oct. 17.
Sloppy play in the Pagosa back court surrendered three points before Steen scored with a kill. Pagosa needed only one point to win the game and match. Ignacio needed nine points in a row.
The Bobcats got them through a combination of gritty play and seven unforced errors by the Ladies. Ignacio took the game, 26-24.
The home crowd was ecstatic as the Bobcats completed the first step in a stunning comeback.
Pagosa managed several leads in the fourth game and led 21-19 with a chance to push through to a victory.
Ignacio turned the tables as Carol Lee Jefferson hit a kill off the Pagosa block then blocked an attempted tip.
A Pagosa hitting error put the home team ahead 23-21. Walkup killed for a point, but the Ladies couldn't capitalize. A service fault gave Ignacio a 24th point and a passing error on Pagosa's side of the net ended the game with Ignacio claiming the 25-22 win, forcing the match to a fifth and deciding game to 15.
Pagosa went ahead 6-3 in the fifth game, but the Bobcats got two points on unforced errors, hit one ball through the Pagosa block and another off the block out of bounds. A Bobcat serve fault tied the game 8-8. Pagosa would not fashion a lead; Ignacio scored six times to Pagosa's one. The game and match went to Ignacio with the 15-9 win.
Coach Penné Hamilton's reaction?
"One point. Just one point. I don't know what to say about it. Maybe our kids were playing not to lose, not to fail instead of to win. Whatever it was, we will need to fix it before the district tournament."
The district tournament, out of which two of four teams will advance to regional competition, begins for the Ladies Friday with a 4 p.m. match against Bayfield, at Bayfield. Play continues with matches Saturday against Ignacio at approximately 10 a.m. and versus either Monte Vista or Centauri at an undetermined time in the afternoon.
Kills: Steen and Walkup 12 each, Kelley 8
Solo blocks: Jewell 2
Ace serves: Tomforde 2
Assists: Tomforde 28, Walkup 21
Digs: Kelley 21, Steen 20
Gridders hold off Centauri; take top spot in IML
By Tom Carosello
They say it's lonely at the top.
If so, the Pagosa Springs Pirates became the loneliest team in the Intermountain League Friday night after handing the visiting Centauri Falcons a 25-22 loss at Golden Peaks Stadium.
However, Pagosa Head Coach Sean O'Donnell and the playoff-bound Pirates aren't wishing for any company atop the IML standings, and will look to win the league title outright with a road victory this week against the Bayfield Wolverines.
Both Pagosa and Bayfield entered their respective battles last week undefeated in IML action and tied for league honors with two regular season games remaining.
But Bayfield came up on the short end of a wild 60-42 shoot-out in Ignacio, which means the Wolverines will be fighting for a playoff berth and a share of the league title when they host Pagosa tomorrow night.
While the Pirates emerged victorious, early on it looked as if Centauri would play spoiler when they recovered a fumble at the Pagosa 25-yard line just two plays into the game and took a 7-0 lead following a 6-yard scoring run by Kevin Gylling.
Pagosa was forced to punt on its ensuing possession, but a sack from Pirates Mike Valdez and Kory Hart and a third-down snap that sailed over the head of Falcon quarterback Kenny Schell resulted in a punt to the Centauri 31.
Pirate quarterback David Kern completed consecutive passes to tailback Jeremy Caler and tight end Craig Schutz to move into scoring range, and Caler reached paydirt four plays later from 5 yards out to cut the lead to 7-6.
Due to an early-week knee injury to place-kicker Daniel Aupperle, Kory Hart lined up for the point-after kick but a high snap foiled the attempt and Centauri held its one-point lead with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
Bubba Martinez kicked off for the Pirates and Centauri was held to three and out after Pagosa's Marcus Rivas stopped Schell's draw in the backfield on third down.
Michael Martinez returned the Falcon punt to the Pirate 48, but Pagosa failed to convert on third and 6 and was forced to kick away.
Again the Pirate defense held, and Pagosa took over on its own 27 following a Centauri punt early in the second quarter.
Kern's first-down screen to Caler gained 15, then alternating runs from Hart and Caler moved Pagosa across midfield before the Falcons intercepted near midfield.
The Pirate defense wasted little time regaining possession - Pagosa's Manuel Madrid stuffed a run on first down, and Michael Martinez intercepted Schell's pass on second and 15 to give the Pirates a first down at the Falcon 45.
Caler ran for 13 on first down, then Kern completed passes to Schutz and flanker Brett Ford to set the Pirates up at the Falcon 15.
A delay-of-game penalty and a fumbled exchange had the Pirates facing fourth and 2, but a hard count by Kern forced Centauri to jump offsides, and Hart's 3-yard scoring run on the resulting first down gave Pagosa a 12-7 lead with 2:30 to play in the half.
The Pirates came up short on the two-point conversion attempt, but got a tackle for loss late in the half from Ken McDowell that helped the defense preserve the five-point halftime lead.
The Falcons took over at their own 20 following Martinez's kick to open the second half, and were forced to kick away after the Pirates would not give up a first down.
Pagosa set up at its own 34, and a scramble and quarterback sneak from Kern gave the Pirates a first down at the 46.
Two plays later Caler took a middle screen across midfield behind a wall of Pirate blockers and eventually lowered his shoulder for a gain to the Centauri 35.
Kern's keeper gained 10 to the 25, and Caler took an option pitch the distance on the next play to extend the Pirate lead to 18-7. Hart booted the point after, and Pagosa led 19-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Falcons moved across midfield on their ensuing drive, but Ford anticipated a first-down pass from Schell into the flats and his interception gave the Pirates possession at their own 25.
Pagosa marched downfield behind strong running from Caler and Kern, and were set up with first and goal just inside the 10 following a 19 yard pass from Kern to Schutz late in the quarter.
Pagosa extended its lead on the first play of the final period when, facing fourth and goal from the 10, Kern rolled right and fired a strike to Ford in the end zone to put Pagosa up 25-7.
Hart's kick for point after failed, but Hart's hit and fumble recovery on the first play of Centauri's drive gave Pagosa the ball back at its own 30 after the Falcons returned the ensuing kickoff to the Pirate 33.
The possession was short-lived, however, and Centauri took over on Pagosa's 17 following a clipping penalty and subsequent Pirate fumble.
Gylling cashed in for the Falcons three plays later with a 2-yard scoring run, and Centauri trailed 25-15 after a successful two-point conversion with 10 minutes left to play.
The teams traded punts until late in the quarter, when things took a turn toward the wild side after Centauri took possession by recovering a Pirate fumble at the Falcon 41.
Marcus Rivas cut the Centauri drive short by jarring the ball loose from Gylling on the next play from scrimmage, and Bubba Martinez scooped up the fumble and returned the ball to the Falcon 25.
Then, on third and 8 from the 23, Centauri's Carson Cornum intercepted a slant pass from Kern and scampered to the Pagosa 3-yard line with three minutes to play.
The Falcons cut the lead to 25-21 with a 3-yard pass from Schell to Bobby Abeyta two plays later, and the extra-point kick made it 25-22.
The Falcons' attempt at an onside kick bogged down when the ball ricocheted out of bounds, but the Centauri defense held the Pirates to three and out after Pagosa took over near midfield.
But Kern's coffin-corner punt with 38 seconds to play pinned the Falcons at their own 8, and with no time-outs remaining, Centauri was forced to air it out.
Centauri moved only a short distance forward in the waning seconds, and the Pirates moved to 3-0 in IML play when Kern picked off a desperation heave by Schell as the clock expired.
Kern led Pagosa in total yards, completing 11 of 19 passes for 110 yards and rushing eight times for 41. Caler led the ground attack, totaling 78 yards on 19 carries, while Hart carried 6 times for 26.
Bubba Martinez led the Pirate defensive effort with nine tackles; while Hart and Valdez tallied eight each and Rivas had seven.
While happy with his team's securement of a playoff spot, the second half was "hard to watch," said O'Donnell after the game.
"We jumped out to a 25-7 lead and had a chance to put the game away," said O'Donnell, "Then we put the ball on the ground, had a clip here, a hold there, and put ourselves in jeopardy.
"But I thought our defense really held its own, especially after all the offensive miscues we had in the second half," said O'Donnell. "I appreciated the fact that we had a lot of guys flying around and chasing the ball down tonight."
With respect to the upcoming clash with Bayfield, "It's hard to forget what they did to us last year," said O'Donnell.
"We know it's going to be a tough battle on the road, but it should also be a lot of fun."
Kickoff for tomorrow's showdown in Bayfield is set for 7 p.m.
Centauri 7 0 0 15 -22
Pagosa 6 6 7 6 -25
Cen - Gylling 6 run (kick good)
Pag - Caler 5 run (kick failed)
Pag - Hart 3 run (2-point try failed)
Pag - Caler 25 run (Hart kick)
Pag - Kern 10 pass to Ford (kick failed)
Cen - Gylling 2 run (2-point try good)
Cen - Schell 3 pass to Abeyta (kick good)
Carl R. Jolliff passed away in his Pagosa Springs home Monday, Oct. 20, 2003. He was 77 years old.
He and his wife, Pat, moved to Pagosa Springs from Lincoln, Neb., in March 2000.
Carl was born in Lakewood, Ohio, on July 2, 1926, to Gaither Franklin Jolliff and Selma Edna Wolfe. He married Shirley Ann Abbott, deceased, on June 5, 1948. He later married Patricia Schilling Ray on May 22, 1991.
Carl received his bachelor's of science degree from the University of Iowa and did post-graduate work 1949-1951. A medic with the U.S. Army during World War II, he worked as a consultant in immunochemistry for Nebraska Patrol Crime Lab and for Beckman Instruments, Brea, Calif; was professor of immunology at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln; and was an internationally prominent immunology lecturer, laboratory administrator, immunologist and clinical biochemist.
During his life he belonged to numerous professional organizations related to his special field of study. Carl was a member and past treasurer of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pagosa Springs, a Rotary Club member and a proud member of Geezers; co-founder of the Pagosa Chapter of Model Railroaders; and an avid Nebraska football fan.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Abbot Jolliff; his parents, Gaither F. Jolliff and Selma E. Wolfe.
Survivors are his wife, Patricia Schilling Jolliff of Pagosa Springs; daughters, Ann Elizabeth Jolliff Saber of Miami, Fla., and Katy Lynne Jolliff Harvey of Ft. Collins, Colo.; grandchildren Jeff Harvey and Kirsten Harvey Gonzalez, both of Ft. Collins; a great-granddaughter, Madison Gonzales, of Ft. Collins; six step-children; 12 step-grandchildren and one step great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date and interment will be in Lincoln, Neb. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Archuleta County Hospice of Mercy or the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Memorial Fund.
County clerk addresses ballot problem and election
With regard to this year's Nov. 4 General Election, June Madrid, Archuleta County clerk, has issued the following press release:
"This notice is directed to voters eligible to vote for candidates competing for seats on the Archuleta County School District 50 Joint Board of Directors.
"Archuleta County is holding a mail-ballot election this year due to the fact it is an odd-year election in which special districts are allowed to have questions and issues on the county ballot if they so desire.
"This year, we have issues regarding school districts, special districts, the state and county listed on our ballots.
"An error was made on the two styles of ballots containing the Archuleta County School District Board of Director races. The error was made on the Archuleta County ballot only, and does not affect ballots for Hinsdale and Mineral counties. (No voters within our school district reside in Mineral County.)
"The candidates for the school board race are Mike Haynes, who is running unopposed for the District 2 seat, and Sandy Caves and Gene Crabtree, who are competing for the District 3 seat.
"The candidates are voted on at-large, but must be listed on the ballot by district. On the first ballot, already mailed, they were shown together and voters were instructed to vote for two.
"This was wrong. I sincerely apologize to the voters and candidates for the error.
"Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson, Billy Compton, chief assistant to the secretary of state and I have had numerous conversations regarding the best way to fix the problem without disenfranchising any voters.
"On the evening of Oct. 15, we agreed that the two ballot styles listing the school district races would have to be reprinted.
"The corrected ballot will have a colored (blue) return envelope enclosed for your use. For voters who have already voted the first ballot and sent it to the county clerk's office, we have already received it. Voters who have mailed the first ballot need to vote the entire second ballot and return it to the clerk's office before 7 p.m., Nov. 4.
"When the envelopes containing the corrected ballot are received in our office, the return envelope will be scanned into the system to update your record as having voted.
"The envelopes containing the corrected ballots will not be opened. Our voting system has been programmed to count only those ballots that were printed as corrections.
"On election night, after 7 p.m., all the original ballots, in their return envelopes, will be taken from the vault and scanned. Our voting system has been programmed to cross-check to determine if a voter has returned the envelope containing the corrected ballot.
"In order to ensure the integrity of the election, the envelopes containing the erroneous ballots will be scanned and cross-checked against the envelopes containing the corrected ballots received.
"If the voting system shows that the voter has returned the corrected ballot, only the corrected ballot will be counted.
"If, however, the voting system shows that the voter has not returned the corrected ballot, the original ballot will be duplicated only as to the remaining races or issues on the ballot by a duplication board according to state law.
"Duplicated ballots will be run through the voting system and counted at the end of election night. Rejected ballots, unopened and in the original return envelopes, will be placed into a ballot box and the box will be sealed.
"This process will ensure the confidentiality of the votes of all voters.
"If you have not already voted and returned the original ballot, I urge you to wait for your corrected ballot and use it to cast your vote in lieu of the original ballot.
"I apologize and regret the inconvenience caused by this mistake. A lesson was well-learned this year regarding the process of proofing a ballot issue, race or question.
"If you have concerns, feel free to stop by and talk with me or call me at 264-8350 or 264-8354."
Buy at home policy urged for schools
By Richard Walter
Claims - that point on the agenda where there normally is a question or two, then a motion to pay bills - became a point of debate Oct. 14.
The board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, had arrived at that point on the agenda when director Mike Haynes asked, "Do we have a policy on buying locally or going out of town?"
He said local merchants pay a greater proportion of property taxes than homeowners and that most are homeowners, too, so they in effect pay twice.
Nancy Schutz, district business manager, said the district tries to get the best price it can for the money available.
She noted the district gets extensive savings by being involved with a New Mexico cooperative of 100 or more schools. "They buy in bulk those items every school district can use."
With reference to projects sent out for bid, she said local vendors have been given bid packages but rarely file a quote.
Haynes wondered if there could be a "local preference percentage where, for example, the local cost would be within 5 to 7 percent of the lowest price out of town."
Dolly Martin, transportation director, was asked how her department handles the cost factor and explained it normally is a matter of expediency.
"When I need a part for a bus or buses, I need it quickly. If I'm told it will take five or six days, I know I can save us money by ordering it elsewhere and having it express delivered - sometimes the same day and always within 24 hours."
Director Randall Davis said he felt the district has "done reasonably well" over the years in purchasing locally "but sometimes what we need is not available here."
Haynes said it might be wise for the board to study the possibility of "doing a little extra to buy locally."
Schutz said the district is aware of local needs and concerns and tries to buy locally when it can.
She also noted local contractors often don't bid the high-end projects because of the insurance and bonding requirements that put projects outside their capability.
And then, the bills were paid, on a motion by director Carol Feazel, seconded by Haynes.
Route 151 school bus route halted; pickup at 160 only
By Richard Walter
Controversial school bus Route 17 will end at U.S. 160 and State Route 151, effective with the beginning of the school day Nov. 3.
That decision came after lengthy discussionOct. 14 by the board of directors for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, and was one of three possible scenarios advanced by the administration.
A brief background of the situation is in order.
Late last school year, and again earlier this year, the board was petitioned to extend the route down 151 to Gallegos Road. Directors were assured there would be sufficient ridership to reach the minimum of five riders mandate.
Rarely, however, has that been the case. And the ridership varies day to day, normally greater in the morning than for the return trip at night.
Dolly Martin, transportation director, said the ridership average has been "about four."
"I don't want to be the heavy who has to say to the families of those students that they now have to drive the children to the closest bus stop," said Martin. " I think that is a board decision."
"If we go by board policy," said Superintendent Duane Noggle, "the route should stop at 151. The ridership numbers are not there."
"It is a judgment call for the school board," said Martin. "You asked me to report on how we might save money in the transportation department and this is one way. We would cut about 21.3 miles of driving daily at a savings of about $8,635."
Other options were to extend the route 5.1 miles to a point where two families children normally board; or to extend to the full 8 miles requested, ignoring the mandated ridership factor.
"Some of these kids have been transported for up to three years," Martin said, "and some families will be hurt. But all were notified at the beginning of the year that ridership had to be static for the route to continue. Ten riders were signed up, but we've not once had that may. Eight is the most we've seen."
Director Mike Haynes opined the route is not cost effective, noting four runs (out and back twice) are made daily "with a ridership that doesn't meet standard."
Director Randall Davis, board president, said "We should uphold policy. It is difficult to justify continuing the route when cost is high and ridership low."
Director Clifford Lucero agreed. "It is our job to set policy and to uphold it when we do," he said. "I know parents will have to drive their children to the 160-151 stop, but there seems little reason not to end the route there."
And Noggle noted, "we can't continue to dip into reserves and waive policy after policy to meet individual circumstances. It is wrong, no matter how much we would like to serve these students."
On a motion by Haynes, seconded by Director Carol Feazel, the board voted to end the route at the 160-151 intersection and to notify all families on 151 who signed up their children of the decision, to take effect with the first school day in November.
School district review
panel amends procedures
By Richard Walter
Several changes have been made in the way the Archuleta School District 50 Joint District Review Committee deals with school problems.
Mark DeVoti, intermediate school principal and interim chair of the review panel, told the board of education the panel has opened the avenues for individual staff members to make recommendations on policy and review.
Speaking at the Oct. 14 board meeting, DeVoti said the committee has decided that it will have a representative at every meeting of the school board where policy review or change is intended.
And, DeVoti said, the panel will no longer be chaired by an administration representative, but by a committee member.
In addition, committee members will be elected by the district faculty and staff, not appointed.
DeVoti said the committee set the tone for the school year by establishing several goals:
- revise school safety guidelines
- revise the district's strategic plan
- improve communications with the community and the board
- develop school operative plans overall for the district this year and then go to a school-by-school plan each following year.
In other action, the board approved several sports staffing changes. Mike Kraetsch was approved as high school assistant football coach; Sue Liescheidt as junior high cheerleading coach; Laura Rand as junior high head girls' basketball coach; and DeLynn Maberry as junior high assistant girls' basketball coach.
Study shows PSHS scores on CSAPs may be deceiving
By Richard Walter
How's your child doing in high school?
Great, except for math. She (or he) was always good with numbers in lower grades but Colorado Student Assessment Profile - the dreaded CSAP - shows lower than average scores.
Don't be totally alarmed.
Some local educators think the score comparisons, particularly in math, are out of line with actual performance.
In the first of a series of reviews of data from the most recent CSAP tests Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, and mathematics lead teacher Kyle Canty outlined their views of the scoring Oct. 14 for the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
One conclusion both emphasized is that although the scores are comparatively low, part of the problem may be the test itself, combined with background instruction which varied widely.
Esterbrook said staff reviewed three years of CSAP data, including 7,200 pieces of information transmitted to the district since first tests were administered in the elementary school in 1997.
"We wanted to see if cumulative data showed change, in short, do we have growth?" he said.
"We wanted to see where on the grading scale the most students were grouped, where there were trends indicated," he said.
"In almost every instance we could see improvement," he said.
"I'm excited by the fact our Hispanic students have shown the most growth," he added.
He said substantial progress is indicated when the scores are disaggregated by gender, race, etc., reflecting efforts by not only students, but families and the community partnering with the schools.
Naturally, he said, "We'd like the scores to be higher, but the trend is in the right direction and it is having a decided effect on all our students."
Canty explained how part of their research worked.
They took a group of 20 students at random and gave them another test, this one based on computing rather than the concept oriented tests utilized by CSAP.
The Northwest Education Association test, he said, was administered to determine level of achievement utilizing pre-high school learned skills.
"We wanted to be able to recognize what the data we're seeing from CSAP means," he told the board.
And, prepared with charts, graphs and analytical data, they showed that Pagosa Springs students are not performing as poorly as many had believed on the basis of the state tests.
Canty said the school did not want to lose the computing skills learned previously, but to retain them in a more conceptually oriented program and the review is part of that ongoing math program development.
The NWEA test pulls math out of the verbal model used by CSAP and into "something they understand," he said.
In order to track performance, the scanning of data for the 20 test students went all the way back to elementary school.
"We followed them up, as a group and individually," Canty said, "and there was the same separation of achievement up through junior high. It began to change at the grade 9-10 level."
That was when CSAP math tests were first administered. And suddenly, the students were faced with questions for which they were not yet prepared.
He showed printed comparisons of some questions on each style of test.
For example, a simple computation problem on the NWEA test asked the student to "solve for x" the following equation: 9x-3-8x=7-x. A simple computational problem easily answered because they had been trained in computation.
When the questions were converted to word problems in CSAP however, students just beginning to develop conceptual theory and had trouble.
One such problem, for example, stated the following:
Russell hits a golf ball, the path of which can be approximated by the equation: Y=-(1/400)(x-140)2+49 with Y=height of the ball, in yards and x= horizontal distance in yards. The testee was to find the height of the ball after it traveled a distance of 100 yards, explain what x-intercepts represent in the context of the problem and to study a diagram showing the golf drive toward a tree standing 139 feet high at 160 yards from tee and determine by how many feet the ball would clear the tree. Each had to show the conceptual work done to reach an answer and give the answer in each step.
Canty said the high school mathematics department is enhancing the conceptual form to make the tests more understandable to students.
And, comparing the NWEA test results to CSAP - in which no students qualified as advanced - 38 percent were rated qualified.
Asked by the board how the tests and results compare nationally, Canty noted the "low trend on CSAP was much the same across the state.
"I wanted my students to be able to do that test," he said, "and we're making strides. They know computation but need to learn the concept behind it."
He noted the school board had approved a change in math programing for the entire school system last year and "I think we'll see CSAP scores move forward a lot faster. That is our goal right now."
To accomplish the goal, Canty said, "we need freshmen, especially, in math for a full year and then have them, as sophomores, pick up another class."
He said there are some CSAP levels "we may never get to, because they need a precalculus class as a preparatory element."
Asked why the program was geared that way, Canty said the state developed the program in response to a national challenge by federal government mandate.
"They may have gone too far," he said. "I've looked at many of the state tests across the nation and CSAP is by far the hardest of any I've seen."
Asked if he felt the state will adjust the difference in degree of problem difficulty, he answered, "No. And I hope they won't. Our kids need to understand concepts and we want them to be able to do it on tests."
The NWEA test, he said, is the same type used on national norms development tests. "Using it, we see our students much closer to national norms than is indicated on CSAP."
Esterbrook said an interesting fact in the research was a comparison, too, of the reading level of the students.
The point where the two types of testing begin to separate is the point where reading level, too, shows distinct change.
He said one of the problems is convincing the students "they can do it, making them believe in their own capabilities."
Scanning the results of the two tests "shows we're on the right track and know where we're going," he said.
Rebuilt Capote Dam could welcome fish, anglers by summer
By Richard Walter
By next summer you may be able to once again dip a line in Capote Lake and wait for the big ones to strike.
The Southern Ute Tribe's reservoir at U.S. 160 and Colo. 151 is expected to be refilled by the end of May, then restocked and opened to anglers for the summer.
The story behind what was once considered one of the finest fishing spots in the area is one of river interference and federal mandate for repair.
With the mandate came a budget of $6.5 million to reconstruct and strengthen the dam, divert the course of Stollsteimer Creek, and update camping and recreational facilities.
Bob Piccoli, director of construction project management for the Tribe, said the problems actually began in the early 1990s when Stollsteimer creek began eroding the dam.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation ordered the tribe to rebuild the dam facility.
But it was about 25th on the priority list for funding at the time, so had to wait for the money to become available.
Five years ago, with the funding approved, the dam was breached and the lake drained.
The activity passersby have seen since that time has been in preparation for the construction project and now the dam is nearly complete.
"We hope for a Dec. 31 completion," said Piccoli.
And then the refill.
And that is where another surprise comes in. The lake is not fed by Stollsteimer Creek, as most people thought.
"It is spring-fed, by at least three springs," said Piccoli, "which means it has much better water quality than would be available from the stream."
The new dam will hold back the same amount of water as the old one - 550 acre feet.
"We could strengthen the dam, but could not change the original footprint," Piccoli said.
He noted the dam was originally constructed by the Pargin family to irrigate their extensive fields between it and the Piedra River.
As part of the project, the course of the stream has been diverted to prevent any erosion as occurred with the original earthen dam.
The dam has a strong grout core forced down to 25 feet below the shale bench which creates the lake bottom.
It will also have an emergency spillway designed to handle an "eight-hour enormous storm's" rainfall.
He explained that is a control designed to handle runoff of the most rain ever in an 8-hour period as distinguished from the normal "100-year-flood control requirement."
"What it basically means," he said, "is that engineers determine at what point all the damage which could have been done downstream by the rainfall itself has been done and design the dam to hold back the rest if possible."
When the dam is completed, rigorous testing will be required as water levels increase from the springs below.
He said the Natural Resources Division has estimated, based on an earlier partial draining of the lake for repair work, that it will take about 3 1/2 months from actual start to have the lake at full level again.
At that point, he said, the tribe intends to restock with game fish of all sizes and expects to have the lake open to anglers by midsummer.
He said recreation areas around the lake also are being improved as well as area campgrounds.
Piccoli said he is not aware of any future plans for additional development of the area; that any such action would require Tribal action and development planning.
In the past, there were indications the Tribe planned a gambling facility adjacent to the lake.
For now, however, it will be just a welcome return of a favorite area fishing venue.
PAWS in favor of PLPOA plan to upgrade watershed
By Tom Carosello
The Board of Directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District voiced preliminary approval Oct. 14 for a watershed improvement proposal initiated by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.
At the request of Larry Lynch, PLPOA property and environment manager, the district will consider a fiscal contribution - a request of roughly $8,000 - toward the effort to continue further watershed studies when preparing its 2004 budget.
"A tentative commitment," was the phrase used by Harold Slavinski, board chairman, to describe the district's support of the initiative following a presentation by Lynch and Chris Phillips, of Riverbend Engineering, which outlined the findings of a study conducted by an ad hoc lakes committee formed early this year.
According to the study, sediment buildup and siltation in area reservoirs resulting from inefficient drainage are just two of the major problems that are increasing the threat to the community's supply of potable water.
Accompanying the study was a map highlighting over a dozen areas in the local watershed that qualify as potential problem areas, the majority located at or near inlets to the reservoirs.
Lynch indicated current adverse conditions are likely to worsen in the coming years as the population continues to grow and more culverts, ditches and other drainages are added to the landscape.
While indicating he will welcome support for the proposal from all entities that benefit from the lakes, including the golf course and property management companies, Lynch said he feels the "primary players" involved should be the PLPOA, PAWS, Archuleta County and, possibly, the town of Pagosa Springs.
Lynch and Phillips then explained the need for a proactive approach to the problems, and presented the board a task outline and cost estimate for a set of "proposed action steps."
The following is a breakdown of the proposal, which includes an implementation (total) cost estimate of roughly $25,000:
- Task 1 - Watershed Policy Issues. The PLPOA's goal is to work with the town, county and PAWS to develop a cooperative agreement for watershed and water supply protection.
Additional aims will be to make specific recommendations to amend relevant county regulations (currently in the drafting stages) and to develop a plan for public education and training of key personnel on watershed issues.
- Task 2 - Watershed Management and Drainage Master Plan. Goals include the development of a hydrologic model of the watershed and identification of key locations for storm water runoff control and water quality mitigation.
Other goals will be quantifying needed infrastructure (size, capital costs, etc.), summarizing findings in a report, and producing maps and other working documents.
- Task 3 - Assessment and Monitoring of Lakes and Streams. The effort will include the collection of water flow and sediment data on selected streams during spring runoff.
Other goals will be to perform topographic surveys of the lake bottom surfaces on each lake, to assess/quantify future dredging needs and storage capacities, and to collect sediment samples from the lake beds and conduct physical and chemical tests on the samples.
Phillips then told the board the proposal was a good starting point for a project that, pending sufficient funding, will gradually grow in scale during the next few years.
In summary, "We have to quantify exactly what we need to do first before we can move on to bigger things," explained Phillips, "But we feel there's something in this for everyone."
When asked what would happen if contributions toward the proposal did not amount to the $25,000 estimate, "We'd scale back, but certainly try to do the best we can with what we get," replied Lynch.
At the suggestion of the board, Lynch agreed to investigate the possibility of obtaining water-quality grants for the project, and indicated he will consider seeking sponsorship from a governmental entity to facilitate further grant funding.
Lastly, Lynch indicated a meeting with county officials to address the improvements proposal has been scheduled for Oct. 27.
In other business the board:
- tabled a request for a contribution to the Archuleta Economic Development Association (pending budget process)
- directed staff to further investigate the possibility/feasibility of selling water to the Log Park Water Company
- denied a request for inclusion of service to a residence outside district boundaries (the district's moratorium is still in effect)
According to the latest information provided by Carrie Campbell, district general manager, lakes and reservoirs were at the following approximate levels early this week:
- Lake Hatcher - 26 inches below full pool
- Stevens Reservoir - 11 inches below full pool
- Lake Pagosa - 32 inches below full pool
- Lake Forest - six inches below full pool
- Village Lake - 47 inches below full pool.
Carrier cancels, PLPOA gets new umbrella insurance
By Richard Walter
New insurance policies put into effect two months ago for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association were canceled by the carrier.
As a result, the association contacted its former carrier, Don Whitehead of Accordia Insurance, and he was able to put together an umbrella package covering liability, vehicles and directors and officers.
The downside of the story is that the coverage fee is doubled, from $55,000 to $107,712.
Director Fred Ebeling, during the association's board of directors meeting Oct. 9, pointed out that means the insurance portion of the annual dues payment has gone form $7.62 to $14.92 per owner.
Walt Lukasik, general manager, said there was a lot of discussion about why the price jumped so drastically and Whitehead said it was because of "pending litigation."
He told the board he would continue to shop around for possibly better rates for the package.
In other action, the board:
- heard a statistical report for the month of September on sheriff's animal control in association territory which showed six reports taken, 11 dogs impounded, one cat impounded, four cruelty cases, seven dogs returned to owners, 11 verbal warnings issued, 25 miscellaneous citizen contacts made and no summons issued
- learned the recreation center project is completed with some minor warranty items to be completed as well as modifications to the epoxy flooring
- learned Esmeralda Berrich has resigned her full-time position as desk supervisor at the recreation center. The board thanked her for 3 1/2 years of service and wished her well in future endeavors
- received complaints that water in the recreation center pool is too cold - and too warm. Water temperature is seasonally adjusted between 83 and 85 degrees now
- received a draft 2004 budget and reserve forecast for study prior to discussion at the November meeting
- deferred until a special November meeting a recreation center committee report recommending a 5 percent increase in center membership fees and a proposal from Fairfield Pagosa for a flat fee for timeshare usage
- agreed to have director Bill Nobles be the board's representative to a new area water conservation study panel being developed by Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District
- learned 16 liens against properties in the association for unpaid dues easements have been filed with the county
- acknowledged receipt from Rocky Mountain HMO (the associations employee health insurance company) notifying customers it no longer participates with Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic.
Hiking, biking trail is Lake Forest choice for use of settlement funds
By Richard Walter
Two separate polls, done in differing manner, have come to the same conclusion:
The people of the Lake Forest portion of Pagosa Lakes would prefer their portion of the Fairfield settlement be used for trail and walkway development.
In both surveys, one by PLPOA and one by a subdivision committee, that was the number one choice. Second in each poll was road improvement.
Walt Lukasik, general manager for the association, told the board of directors Oct. 9 that 425 survey forms were mailed to property owners in the subdivision asking them to rank five specific choices for fund use.
He said 193 replies were received and while some marked only one item others marked several. Whenever more than one choice was marked, a system of fractionalization was used to determine final score.
The walkway-trails vote was 66.34; road improvements drew a score of 56.02.
Suggested road improvements ranged from paving to grading and application of magnesium chloride.
In reviewing the specific wording of the settlement order, the board noted it requires the money to be use for "permanent" improvement and that grading and magnesium chloride treatment are not permanent so cannot be considered.
And paving, the board concluded because it would require maintenance and would establish a precedent for building, could not be considered.
Some of the other suggestions considered were boat dock improvement, establishment of picnic areas and a letter delivery box station.
Lake Forest resident George Esterly told the board he used a different means of ranking results of a subdivision managed survey but in the end came up with the same to primary responses.
Discussion of survey results centered on a possible 1.5 mile trail being developed along Lake Forest Circle and Esterly requested the association begin conversation with the county over right of way and possible Great Outdoor Colorado (GOCO) grants.
As a result of the discussions, Larry Lynch, director of the Department of Property and Environment, was directed to start a feasibility study, including seeking data from the county and GOCO and contact Davis Engineering to study design possibilities.
He was authorized to spend up to $500 for this study and to make a report at the November board meeting.
On a separate matter, the board considered a new clubhouse use policy developed by Lukasik.
It would specify who can use the facility and for what purpose and defines sponsor groups, i.e., bridge clubs, ballroom dance groups and others.
It was noted that association bylaws require the board to look out for the civic, social and recreation interests of members.
With Healing Waters Presbyterian Church using the facility for regular Sunday services, directors debated at some length the differentiation between long-term users and individual event users.
The outcome was a directive to Lukasik to provide a rewritten code to provide for individual users, giving them priority over long-term users. While the latter would still be welcome, they could be bumped by individual users requesting the same time period.
Political fund raising events would not be allowed, but political party general meetings would be.
And, if one religion is allowed use, it was pointed out, it must then be open to requests for use by all recognized religious organizations.
With sales tax decline town is facing 2004 budget cuts
By Tess Noel Baker
The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees took a first look at the proposed 2004 budget at a special afternoon meeting Oct. 14 in Town Hall.
Town Administrator Mark Garcia said sales tax numbers continued to decline this year and are down overall an estimated 5.46 percent through July when compared to 2002. That equates to about $91,487 in lost revenue for the town so far. In 2003, the town projected a 3-percent sales tax revenue increase, leaving them a 8.46 deficit as of July.
Although reserve funds will cover the deficient 2003 if sales tax numbers don't turn around, Garcia said, he is working with department heads to trim the 2004 budget back to 2002 numbers - a decline of 3 percent over last year.
"We need to keep tweaking some things," he said. Department heads were asked to use 2002 expenditures whenever possible when crafting 2004 numbers. If the sales tax trend continues, Garcia said they will have to hold back on major purchases to maintain salaries for 2004. Another major increase in health insurance - somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 or 20 percent is also projected, he said.
In the proposed budget, 2004 sales tax revenues are estimated at $2,637,808. Under the agreement with the county, the town must use 50 percent of that revenue for capital improvements.
Those improvements slated for 2004 in the draft budget include: a pavement overlay on Lewis Street from 1st to 3rd streets, curb and gutter on the east side of Hot Springs Boulevard, paving on Cemetery Road and possible improvements on North and South Pagosa boulevard in conjunction with the county. Money has also been set aside for a new sports complex on 5th Street.
The board will continue its budget discussion at the regular meeting Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.
Deer mice increasing in Hesperus area; spread of hantavirus in region possible
An ongoing study performed by a Colorado State University has reported a sharp increase in the population of deer mice in a Hesperus monitoring station.
In previous years when such an increase has occurred there have been human hantavirus cases in the region near Durango.
According to a statement from Charles Calisher, a professor in the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology Department at CSU, he is not "suggesting or predicting that there will be hantavirus cases in the Durango area, but (area residents) should be aware that these observations indicate such a possibility."
The CSU study will continue to watch the relationship between deer mice populations and changes in Hantavirus infection rates this fall.
San Juan Basin Health Department reminds the community to exercise precautions. For more information, call the office in Pagosa Springs at 264-2409.
- Living in dwellings with indoor rodent populations
- Disturbing rodent-infested areas
- Cleaning cabins, barns, and other outbuildings
- Cleaning other areas contaminated with rodent droppings
- Planting or harvesting field crops.
Note: the greater the number of mice, the greater the chance of acquiring this disease.
Early symptoms begin one to six weeks after exposure, and include a fever and body aches, particularly leg and back aches. Nausea, vomiting and headache may also be present. A cough and shortness of breath develop two to five days later. A sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and sinus congestion are not typical hantavirus symptoms.
A blood test for a platelet level should be done by your doctor during the first few days of symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. If you have any doubts, go to the local emergency room.
- Avoid direct contact with rodents, rodent burrows and nests
- Do not enter rodent-infested cabins or shelters, don't pitch tents in areas where there are numerous rodent burrows or mouse feces.
Town clean-up week begins Oct. 25
The town of Pagosa Springs will sponsor its first fall clean-up week Oct. 25-28.
Town Administrator Mark Garcia said the goal is to try to reduce the amount of yard waste and junk that accumulates over the year and ends up being thrown away at the annual spring cleanup.
To facilitate the cleanup, two Dumpsters will be located around town. One will be placed on South 8th Street at South Pagosa Park Oct. 25-27.
The second Dumpster will be located in Town Park on Saturday, moved to South 9th Street on Sunday and then to South 5th Street on Monday.
Town employees will pick up leaves and branches from fall trimming at the curbside in north Pagosa on Monday. That includes all residents north of Pagosa Street and north of San Juan Street and Piedra Estates. The same will be done on the south side of Town Oct. 28. No appliances, please. Trash must by placed on the curbside. Employees will not enter private property to collect the clippings.
Free dumping will be available at the county landfill Oct. 25.
Nonresident snowmobile permits will be required beginning Jan. 1
The Colorado State Parks Board has approved the request of the Colorado Snowmobile Association to implement a new non-resident snowmobile permit beginning Jan. 1.
Currently, non-resident snowmobiles are not required to have a permit if they are registered in another state or country. The new permit will be priced at $20.25, which is the same as an in-state registration.
The permit will be required on all non-resident snowmobiles, even if the snowmobile is registered in another state or country. The permit will be available at Colorado State Parks offices and locations, as well as select snowmobile dealers.
"If you use winter snowmobile trails in Colorado, you have a responsibility to help fund the maintenance of those trails. The board's decision reflects a commitment to a cooperative effort between state parks and the CSA to provide excellent service to winter recreation enthusiasts," said David Hause, snowmobile program administrator for Colorado State Parks.
Funds generated from the non-resident permit will help to increase support for the winter trails grooming program run by the Colorado State Parks Snowmobile Program.
Currently, 27 vendors, made up of grooming clubs from the CSA, maintain more than 2,700 miles of winter trails in Colorado.
Sixty-two percent of the total program budget is allocated for the grooming efforts.
"The money from snowmobile registrations and permits goes right back into improving the experience for the user. Everyone who owns or operates a snowmobile in Colorado, or those who bring a snowmobile in from out-of-state, will benefit from this new development," said Hause.
State park officials estimate 3,000-5,000 non-resident permits will be sold during the first season. In-state registrations numbered 34,262 in 2002, a 3.16 percent increase from the previous year.
Colorado residents may obtain resident snowmobile registrations by filling out an application, which available at www.parks.state.co.us. The completed application may be mailed to Registration Office at 13787 S. Highway 85 Littleton, CO 80125. For information, call the Colorado State Parks Registration Unit at (303) 791-1920.
I would like to pay tribute to Carl Jolliff, who passed away on Monday, Oct. 20. He was a fellow WW II combat veteran, having served as a medic with the 3rd Armored Division in Europe while he was still teen age.
He returned to complete his education and served a lifelong career as an immunologist, both as teacher and practitioner. He was a regular participant in community programs after moving to Pagosa Springs. He was a welcome contributor to the "Geezers" and a loyal friend. He will be missed.
I hadn't intended to write before reading Mr. Witkowski's Oct. 16 letter and his challenge for me to reply. So, here I am again.
I would like to know what Mr. Witkowski implies when he asserts that I attacked Mr. Feazel, Mr. Sawicki and Mr. Bennett. He criticizes me for not constructively addressing issues. What issues? My letter was intended to explain how I saw their positions on the subjects they presented and why I disagreed with them. Could this be construed as an attack?
He goes on to hope Mr. Bennett will continue writing. Did I offend Mr. Bennett so deeply that he might pull his tail between his legs and run? I certainly hope not. I am certain that Mr. Bennett is a man of firm beliefs. That I disagree with him ought not daunt him. Perhaps where we can reach a level of understanding on certain things we can build respect for each other. This isn't what I call an attack.
I tried to find the ACLU case he mentioned involving sexual activity between adults and children on the Internet. I couldn't, but I would not have supported the position he painted for the ACLU. Without any description I'd guess this might have been an incest case in which the ACLU was called to defend a father abusing his daughter in which the parent demanded his "rights." No way could I support that, yet I am still a liberal. And a Democrat, too.
On the abortion issue, I am against it, partial birth or not. However, I do not believe in making abortion illegal. Legal or illegal abortion has been with us for 2,000 years of Christianity and I don't believe that involving police and courts will make it go away. I even agreed with Rush Limbaugh on his stands on 9/11 benefits to firefighters vs. the treatment of servicemen killed in action, and on the outrageous salaries and benefits to our congressmen and senators, both Republicans and Democrats. Would that make me a conservative?
Saints preserve me!
Interesting he should mention Kruschev's remark and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. I corresponded with a Russian for almost 40 years and came to the conclusion that neither socialism nor communism had much to do with that nation's demise. Rather it was leadership with an ossified mentality focused on false political ideology which would not, because it could not, stand up to the examination. Everything had to be black and white (suppress anything gray!) and according to the book.
By the time Gorbachev came on the scene it was already too late. The world had passed them by. It wasn't America having the Gospel, Ronald Reagan, or our power, but the suppression of free thought, open discussion, appreciation and respect for diversity, which cut them off from the technological revolution. It was when they wanted to open up that it all collapsed.
Might America do the same thing if we opt for a strict ideology-oriented society?
I have become increasingly dismayed by the nasty and mean-spirited tone of some of the letters that appear in The SUN. The Durango Herald guidelines for letters to the editor state that those letters may be edited not only for length and clarity but also to eliminate libelous or tasteless material.
I wish that The SUN would adopt and practice a similar policy. Name-calling and hurtful labeling are definitely tasteless and have no place in an otherwise decent newspaper.
Editor's note: The SUN does have a similar policy, taking careful note of libelous material as defined by Colorado law and, when needed, seeking the advice of legal counsel from the Colorado Press Association. Edits occur for this and other reasons.
The SUN began its 95th year of publication last week. It did not require another newspaper as a model for 94 years, it does not need one now.
It seems that as a nation and as a community we have too often replaced civility with judgment, dialogue with diatribe, discourse with shouting.
The "Letters to the Editor" in the Pagosa Springs SUN appear to encourage communications that have no real purpose other than to create heat and certainly not to edify your readers. For me, the recent level of rancor has even taken the "Letters" out of the realm of entertainment.
There are serious and newsworthy issues that confront us locally and at large. Our community, as are all communities, is divided over these serious issues. Such division is natural and should form the basis for sound arguments on both sides.
In the case of the Letters to the Editor, angry spleen venting is the dominant and unending mode. Issues are rarely discussed on their factual bases allowing all readers to benefit from hearing differing points of view and supporting evidence. Also, we readers are being exposed to the anger of only a very few voices. Perhaps there should be a moratorium on those letters that fail to make an effective point in a civil manner.
The Shepherd's Staff column is also often a vehicle for a single, very narrow religious perspective that is quick to pass moral judgment on others. As an Episcopalian and also as a co-founder of the Pagosa Springs PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter, I am acutely aware of the critical theological and moral issues involved in the Bishop Robinson saga and its negative impact on those who hold a conservative religious position on the issue.
In the spirit of encouraging enlightened discussion of difficult issues, I believe the Pagosa Springs SUN should drop the current Shepherd's Staff column in favor of a broader-based religious issues column that is representative of the diverse beliefs and practices of all persons in Archuleta County.
T. A. Cruse
Editor's note: The Shepherd's Staff was created by a former owner and publisher as a forum for the opinions of members of the local Ministerial Alliance. The fact that more members of that broad-based community group have not expressed themselves in the column is not sufficient reason to exclude the ideas of those who do. The pages of The SUN are open to any local leader of a faith-based group or faction, and should they take the time to regularly express their views, we will include them as part of a Religion section.
With Mr. Bennett's latest letter, he continues his campaign to persuade me this is "A Christian Republic, not a democracy." Since that statement provokes the question, "Who's Christian church are we talking about?," help me out here, Mr. Bennett.
Take this statement by Pat Robertson (passed on from the Interfaith Council): "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."
I don't know how far Mr. Bennett takes the idea of a "Christian Republic." Would he agree with Lt. Gen. William Boykin's statement that our battle against Muslim radicals is a fight against "Satan"? Or with Boykin's reference to a Muslim soldier who believed Allah would protect him: "I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol." (Can't we have a war - or a football game - without escalating it to a contest between God and us versus them and Satan?)
Mr. Bennett goes to the nation's founding fathers to support his point of view. "First it was the Pilgrim 'separatists', and not the Puritans who settled at Plymouth Rock," he writes. Here's another version of that in "The Oxford History of the American People." The passengers on the Mayflower, Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, "were a group of separatists - Puritans who had seceded from the Church of England." Weren't those "separatists" seeking separation of their church from the King's State, setting a precedent for what we call "freedom of religion?"
Mr. Bennett lauds the King James Bible as "the first real effort in English to bring the Scriptures into a modern language." He overlooks John Wickliff's translation of the Bible into English dated 1383. The Geneva Bible, in English, went through 140 printings between 1560 and 1644. Its popularity caused King James, a tyrant, to commission a new translation without Calvinistic notations he considered "seditious."
The Geneva Bible is the one the Puritans brought with them to our land. It is understood to be the Bible consulted by the framers of our Constitution (many of them Christian) who chose the words of the pre-Christian poet Virgil and a Masonic symbol to grace the Great Seal of the United States. Were they trying to tell us something about civil society versus theocracy?
I am happy to be a citizen of a nation founded by people willing to disagree and argue about what's right. I do not want to discourage Mr. Bennett from pursuing ways to place God at the center of his life.
If, however, he wishes to place his God at the center of my life, and the government of the U.S., we'll have to talk further. Surely we both seek justice. I like the way my Jerusalem Bible speaks of justice in Matthew's version of one of the Beatitudes:
"Happy are those who hunger and thirst for what is right."
May you find happiness, Mr. Bennett.
Michael J. Greene
Use tax burden
What is the 4-percent use tax going to do for the county and town?
Improve and maintain roads and parks.
It is also going to be a huge burden on the working people of Pagosa Springs.
The average annual per capita income in Archuleta County is $18,481 (year 2000) making the average weekly take-home pay approximately $284. If this new tax is approved by the voters and the average family was to buy a new car for $25,000 it would add an additional $1,000 to the price of the car and would take four weeks of take-home pay just to pay this new tax.
It also means $1,000 less this family has to spend on groceries, clothing, housing and other essentials. All of these support our local economy - which provides sales tax revenues.
The ability for the average worker to buy a home will be again hampered. People buying homes is a good thing for the county. That home will provide property tax revenues. Affording a new home is now impossible for many who make up our local work force. Between hikes in costs for building permits, electric line extension fees, water and sewer capital investment fees, and septic system costs, the cost to build an average home has increased by $15,000 to $25,000 in Archuleta County in the last year alone.
Last week The SUN reported that building permits were down by 29 percent from the previous year. Could this be part of the reason?
Since fewer building permits are being issued this year, the county will probably not meet its projected income from future property tax revenues. The effect of a decrease in anticipated property tax revenues (money that is distributed to many areas including our school system and fire department) will have a much worse effect on Archuleta's economy than any benefit achieved by yet another increase in taxes and fees.
This new tax will encourage the working people of our county to keep their old cars and not purchase a newer vehicle. Keeping older vehicles that are more likely to break down means missed days of work and less income for the family. It will contribute to the vicious cycle of never being able to get ahead.
The idea of additional taxes for those who work hard and try to achieve success will ultimately have a negative effect on the economic success of our county and town.
The county and town do need revenues for maintaining roads and parks and they will receive the revenues they need if they help build a stronger local economy instead of applying additional burdens to a community that already has a very high cost of living.
By building and supporting our local businesses and workers both the county and town will increase their revenues through increased sale tax revenues and property tax revenues. Please support our local community and "Vote No" on the use tax issue.
Spell out policy
I have questions regarding your editorial policies.
First, is it the practice of The Pagosa SUN to accept erroneous or misleading information from your columnists?
Specifically, the Rev. Bolland implies that a sign was removed from the county clerk's office because the complainant was a gay man. In fact, as reported by your newspaper, the complainant's sexual preference was incidental. The complaint, and the reason for removal of the offending sign, was the inappropriateness of a biblical statement in a government office.
This sign was offensive to many residents, just as a quotation from the Torah or the Koran might be to other residents. That is why the sign was removed. It had nothing to do with sexual preference.
Second question. Are only Presbyterians and Lutherans allowed to write regular columns for The SUN? Why not a Rabbi, why not a Buddhist, why not Native American elders? Can your readers (and editors) agree to a more expansive spiritual expression? Will you please clarify this policy for your readers?
Third Question. Regarding letters to the editor, do you have a policy on length or content? Lately it seems that three individuals dominate the letters section, especial with the length of their comments. Surely you can edit their messages, or recommend a suitable length - or else grant them a column of their very own. Letters from Mr. Bennett, Mr. Sawicki, and Mr. Witkowski seem to dominate this section. Their perspectives are now well known. Let us hear from other citizens. Or is no one else writing?
Fourth Question. Also regarding letters to the editor. Do you have a policy on civility of content? In this contentious time of change in the world and in our community, would it not be helpful for all diverse opinions to reflect tolerance and respect while in dialogue? Is the purpose of a newspaper to foment discussion and information? Or is the purpose to present one opinion, one position? Please clarify this.
I believe Mr. Walter of your staff offered the Journalist Code on page 2 of a recent issue. Does the Pagosa SUN adhere to this Code?
I would ask the editorial staff of the Pagosa SUN to encourage civility (rather than labels and name-calling) within the content of Letters to the Editor. In the immortal words of Thumper (the movie Bambi) and many mothers: If you can't say something nicely, don't say anything at all. We can disagree and do so thoughtfully, without maligning the person or the opinion.
Please respond to these policies, or lack thereof, for the Pagosa SUN. Many of your readers are curious.
Cristy M. Holden
Editor's note: Regarding your first question: The individual who precipitated the issue with the sign in the county clerk's office indicated the sign angered his gay friends.
Regarding your third question: A careful reading of The SUN shows information regarding requirements for letters to the editor is printed on Page 3.
Regarding your remarks concerning the journalist's code: A careful reading of The SUN would show the code was discussed in an editorial, not in Mr. Walter's column. The members of The SUN editorial staff make every attempt to adhere to the principles in that code. Writers of letters to the editor are not journalists.
Finally, a careful reading of The SUN would show that the issue of civility and the use of labels in social discourse has been the subject of several editorials printed during the past year.
For responses to your other concerns, a careful reading of this week's editorial should suffice.
I read with enthusiasm Richard Walter's article about mental illness awareness week. (Oct. 15 issue).
It was excellent and clearly pointed out the problems and needs of this illness which affect each and every one of us.
Having practiced medicine and psychiatry on a clinical and administrative level since the late 1960s, I observed the de-institutionalization of psychiatry patients from the state hospitals and into the community. It began as a good and humane theory of taking patients out of the isolation of state hospitals and treating them in the community amongst their family and friends. Unfortunately, the mentally ill got caught up in the same politics as many good ideas visited upon us by the government, i.e., laws passed without financial backing for their implementation.
The patients were discharged to the community; but the money mysteriously did not follow the patients to the community for their treatment. Hence, we see an increase in homeless, long waits for clinic appointments and an increasing flow of the mentally ill into emergency rooms and the criminal justice system - which is already overloaded and ill-prepared to take care of the mentally ill.
The few remaining Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC) with their tremendously overworked staff and reduced revenues are now barely preventing a full catastrophe. Many insurance policies do not cover mental illness; and most of those that do only cover their treatment at 50 percent of what they pay for "medical illnesses."
We in Archuleta County are lucky to still have a functioning CMHC. We have the SWCMHS which serves us, Durango and other places in our area. At this point in time, they are our last line of help in an overburdened and collapsing system.
Presently there are no psychiatry beds between Pueblo, Grand Junction and Albuquerque. In the summer, this mis a real problem; in the winter it is a disaster.
There presently is a group of people from around the five-county area working with Mercy Hospital to build a short-term stay psychiatry and detox unit on the new Mercy Hospital campus.
Mark Larson and Jim Isgar, among others, are on this Task Force working toward getting consensus in the surrounding counties. Mercy Hospital has been very generous with space and monetary promises.
But this will also need a lot of public support and eventually economic support from the local government bodies. I hope each and every one of you will please speak to your local public officials and representatives in support of this very worthwhile endeavor. It will benefit us all.
James L. Knoll
Oktoberfest may have sparked a new tradition with ribbons
By Laura Bedard
What a wonderful Oktoberfest we had.
We had a lot of people visiting, from as far away as Grand Junction, and everyone seemed to enjoy the beer, food and music.
An interesting tradition seemed to be forming: the women brought two ribbons of the same color, one was worn in the hair and one on the arm until each put one ribbon on her beau or newfound friend.
This might catch on next year and become a ribbon exchange.
All funds raised will be used to promote and enhance the health, well-being, social, cultural and intellectual activities of Archuleta Seniors, Inc., members.
Darcy Christenson will be here Oct. 29 to take food package orders for November. She will be in the lounge at 12:30 p.m. You must pay for the order when you place it.
News from SC_O
George, the ranch hand, reminisces: "I used to have lots of dark hair on my noggin. Now, it's no longer dark - in fact, it's no longer there. I have to imagine that skin color up there is hair and occasionally I brush the excess furrows in my brow out of my eyes, just for practice - in case my hair comes back.
"Growing up was easy - nothing to it. Signing a time card wasn't too bad. Voting was much more difficult - I never did figure out how to vote for the winning candidate. Growing old is something else. There is no way to do it gracefully."
Senior bowling discounts are available at the new Fun Center. Every Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., a game is only $2 including shoes. We're happy to say our own Bruce Muirhead bowled a 189 last week. So get out there and take advantage of the discounted fun.
The Division of Wildlife is advising hikers, hunters and fishermen to be on the alert for bears while in the national forests.
They advise people to wear noise-producing devices such as little bells on their clothing to alert, but not startle the bears unexpectedly. They also advise you to carry pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear.
It is also a good idea to watch for signs of bear activity, meaning people should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have bells in them and smell like pepper spray.
Charlotte Archuleta gave us some good ideas on how to save money when making quilts. She goes to the second-hand stores looking for sheets for backing and old mattress pads for batting. You could also get wool blankets from army surplus for batting. Anyone else have any ideas for saving money?
On the last Monday of every month Pine Ridge is hosting an Alzheimer's support group called "Communicating with Kindness." It is at 6 p.m. and a potluck will be served. Bring your loved one and a side dish.
Our line dancing class will be at 1 p.m. Oct. 29. Everyone is getting ready for the performance to be given on Halloween night at the Vista Clubhouse. It is great exercise and good fun, so come and see what's going on.
Friday - Qi gong, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling, 11; blood pressure checks, 11
Oct. 25 - Colorado SHARE Food pickup up at First Assembly of God church, 10:30-11 a.m.
Oct. 27 - bridge for fun, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 - yoga, 9:30 a.m.; advanced computer class, 10:30; pinochle, 1 p.m.
Oct. 29 - beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.; line dancing, 1 p.m.; Colorado SHARE Food sign up, 12:30 p.m.
Friday - Chicken tenders, cream gravy, rice pilaf, tossed salad, muffin and mixed fruit
Oct. 27 - Spanish meatballs, parsley potatoes, broccoli, pineapple and roll
Oct. 28 - Stuffed baked potato, cheese broccoli, tossed salad, cinnamon applesauce and muffin
Oct. 29 - Swiss HB steak, boiled potatoes, green beans, onion roll and plums
It is time to salute all Chamber Diplomats
By Sally Hameister
As I write this on Monday, I am looking forward with great anticipation to our annual Diplomat Appreciation Luncheon to be held tomorrow at JJ's Upstream Restaurant.
Naturally we know we will enjoy a delicious meal prepared by James' loving hands, but we most love the idea of spending time with our Diplomats and expressing our gratitude for all they do for Pagosa Springs.
There really is no possible way to thank these folks for their generous contributions to the well-being of our town and to the mental health of the Chamber staff, but this is the day that we make a sincere attempt to do so.
If you are a newcomer to the area, allow me to tell you a little bit about our Chamber Diplomats. They are volunteers who devote hours of their time greeting all the visitors who come into our Visitor Center year-round (this year, in the neighborhood of 40,000).
Diplomats answer thousands and thousands of questions (many are the same question over and over again) and direct those visitors to all our member businesses when appropriate.
They also give endless directions to hither and yon, are required to know the hour and day that the leaves turn in the fall and frequently act as therapists, mothers and psychiatrists to road-weary travelers.
Basically, they must wear many hats, as well as act as Jacks and Janes of all trades. I assure you that they do this and with style, panache and patience that would make Job look like a slacker. They also allow Doug, Morna and I to perform our jobs as Chamber staff members because without them, we would spend all of our time in the lobby.
In a nutshell, without these Diplomats we would have to close the doors of the Visitor Center, so I hope that gives you some idea about the importance of their role to our town and the Chamber of Commerce.
Please check out our ad of gratitude in The PREVIEW section for the names of our priceless Diplomats and feel free to thank them in person the next time you see them. They do a fabulous job for each and every Chamber member, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.
For the first time this year, we sent a letter to appropriate businesses telling them that we were honoring our Diplomats at a luncheon and inviting them to contribute to the gift bags if they so choose. We had an overwhelming response from over 30 businesses and invite you to check out those names in the above-mentioned ad along with the Diplomats. You might also want to acknowledge their gift the next time you're in their establishment.
We are grateful to our Diplomats and hope you will join us in letting them know how much we appreciate all they do.
Annual Civic Club Bazaar
The holidays can't be too far behind when the Civic Club puts on their wonderful annual bazaar, so put on your shoppin' shoes.
Join all the bargain seekers Nov. 1 from 9-4 at the community center and wander from booth to booth in the hopes of knocking off your 2003 Christmas list.
You will find unique items provided by our local artists and retailers that simply aren't available elsewhere, which means that you will be the hit of the Christmas exchange game. Let me think - where else will you find delicious home-baked goods, Tupperware, photos/prints, pottery and jewelry just to name a few of the items available? The Plaid Pony, Slices of Nature, Jump River Mercantile and The Hideout will also be represented with what I am sure is the best of their holiday collections.
Plan to have lunch at the Club Café which will feature brisket, hot dogs and drinks to sustain you throughout your shopping freak-out adventure.
A dandy raffle will also be held, and you can purchase tickets from a Civic Club member at the library. If you have questions, call Barb Draper at 731-9979, and start saving your pennies right now for Nov. 1.
If you have traveled in and out of the La Plata/Durango Airport in the past several years, you may have noticed the Pagosa Springs lighted display right next to the Avis Rental Car location with six brochures available to our travelers.
One of our investors will be dropping out Nov. 1, so if you would like to take advantage of this great advertising opportunity, please give us a call very quickly as these spots tend to go very quickly when they appear ever so rarely.
It is a way to capture the visitor right away while they are renting their car or picking up their bags (it's located right across from the baggage claim area). The cost for this is $50 per month, and the spot is available beginning Nov. 1.
You, of course, would need to provide us with several boxes of your brochure so the folks at the airport can keep the rack well stocked. Give us a call at 264-2360 if you are interested in airport advertising.
Spring in fall
The tickets for the Spring Garden Party Luncheon and Fashion Show are rapidly disappearing, so I suggest that you run on down to pick up yours ASAP. Doug mentioned that we have so few left that he is pretty sure that if you're reading this, it's probably too late to purchase tickets.
Even though the annual Immaculate Heart of Mary fashion show/luncheon won't take place until Nov. 8, we know that it will be sold out well before that, and I just hate for you to miss out on one of the premier events of the year. You can count on delicious food prepared and served by familiar faces which makes it even more fun. You can also count on beautiful fashions from local retailers modeled by men, women and children who are our friends and neighbors. What could be more fun?
Hats are encouraged for the day, and that pleases me no end. Not only will there be fabulous door prizes, a prize will be awarded for the best hat of the day.
You would be silly to pass up an opportunity to wear your Easter bonnet in November, don't you agree? I know that I have a few ideas to make a festive hat even more so, and I know that you can come up with something stunning if you put your mind to it.
I remind you once again that this event always sells out, so I would encourage you to purchase your tickets at the Chamber of Commerce as soon as possible. Tickets are $18, and you can reserve a table for nine if you wish. Call Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324 or Joan Slavinski at 731-2255 with any questions or to volunteer your services for this event.
This Saturday at 7 p.m. please join us for the Pagosa Showcase performance at the high school auditorium.
You can enjoy a wonderful array of local talent and support an arts-in-education program for the sixth-grade classes of Mrs. Leanne Skoglund all at the same time.
The esteemed John Graves will act as host and emcee as well as perform on the concert grand piano.
Bluegrass Cadillac, who recently entertained an enthusiastic and appreciative audience at our Colorfest picnic, will be there along with Carla and Paul Roberts performing on all their instruments from around the world with the delightful Gypsy Moon Children's Dance Ensemble.
Arrive around six in the commons area for the pre-concert festivities featuring the blues and ragtime guitar renderings of Steve Rolig, the artwork and costumes of the Ancient Cultures Project and various concessions.
Pagosa Showcase is sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For more information, please call 731-3117.
We are pleased to welcome two new members this week and three renewals. It would seem that despite economic concerns, both national and local, that folks still consider their Chamber membership an important part of their business plans.
Always remember that your membership supports not only the Chamber but the entire business community. Your dollars are used to promote tourism in Pagosa to keep Pagosa as green as possible. We do appreciate your confidence and support, folks.
Joanne Irons joins us with her second business, Wrap It Up, with offices located in her home. Joanne recently purchased her first business, Enzo's Catering, when Vince and his family left town for Michigan. And, yes, to answer your question, she definitely has enough energy to handle these two well and probably more. Wrap It Up offers a variety of services and products to include coordinating your event and decorating for same, gift wrapping, balloons, gift baskets, and birthday and anniversary reminders. I know a number of people who would love to have someone decorate their homes or offices for the holidays, and your fondest wish has come true because Joanne will do it for you. Give her a call at 731-4289 for your next festive occasion. Thanks to our friend, Kathryn Heilhecker, for the recruiting efforts once again. What would we do without that girl?
Terri Mariani joins us next with Skyway Publication, Inc. in Loveland. These folks publish flight guides and inserts for airports and can be reached at (970) 669-1800 or at www.flyskyway.com or e-mail at email@example.com.
Our renewals this week include board member Angie Dahm and husband, Mark, with WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company; Shirley Luhnow with Just Gourd-Jus and Harold Slavinski with Custom Craftsmen. Many thanks to all.
Changing geo-political lines
mark geography study surge
We love atlases, old and new.
It is amazing to compare the geographic lines of 50 years ago with today's geo-political realignments. The government is demanding geography standards be taught once again.
Up-to-date cartographic resources on the Internet are now available, and most are user-friendly and free. We have a list of several sites that even contain grade-level lesson plans.
Ask for a copy of the list at the desk.
Problems arise over the size of the files to be downloaded. Experts are working on solutions and the multimedia potential continues to grow. We are on the verge of receiving high-quality research-level images. Until then, try the national atlas Web sites.
"Tuxedo Park," by Jennet Conant is the story of a secret palace of science that changed the course of World War II. In the fall of 1940, a team of British scientists met under clandestine circumstances with American nuclear physicists at the Tuxedo Park mansion of a mysterious Wall Street tycoon, Alfred Lee Loomis.
Loomis led a double life, spending his days brokering huge deals and his weekends working with the world's leading scientists in his deluxe private laboratory that was hidden in a massive stone castle. Tuxedo Park was the meeting place for the most visionary minds of the 20th century - Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, James Franck. Niels Bohr and Enrico Fermi.
With England facing invasions, Loomis and others mobilized civilian scientists to help defeat Nazi Germany, and personally bankrolled pioneering research into the radar detection systems that changed the course of the war.
Loomis was a Wall Street legend of the go-go twenties. He was one of the few who made a fortune while other bankers lost their shirts during the depression. Hilton Head was his private game preserve. Conant, the author, was given unrestricted access to papers and documents as her grandfather, Harvard president James B. Conant helped Loomis with this intriguing accomplishments.
Civic Club raffle items
The list continues to grow - original artwork, a money holiday wreath, and a basket of money together with many beautiful craft work items; more donations are coming in every day - gifts from the Plaid Pony, a lifesize doll from Brenda Wanket, a large painting by Virginia Bartlett, a quilt hanging from Helen Bartlett, an original Denny Rose along with an unusual plaque by Milt Lewis are just some of the items you can win.
Raffle tickets are six for $5. See the donations at the library. Plan to attend the Civic Club Bazaar Nov. 1 at the community center, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The raffle will be at 4 p.m.
Thanks for a donation from Lloyd and Betty Reynolds to the building fund.
And a special thanks to the Richard Walter family. Mr. Walter, of The Pagosa Springs SUN, and family donated in memory of his mother Nellie Hotz Walter, the librarian 75 years ago. She replaced Daisy Fitzhugh and worked in the little log cabin for two or three years before she was married. Richard remembers stories of how cold it was in the library and how Nellie had to rely on donations of wood to burn in the stove to keep warm. He also remembers that when he was a child, his Mom took him to the library twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday. They could have five books at a time.
Thanks for materials from Shari Pierce, Kenneth and Linda Warren, Sue Kehret, Terry Hershey, Gerda Witkamp, Janice Craig, Al Dohner, Peggy Case and Jim Wilson.
Certified copies of DD214s may be required for benefits
Frequently veterans are missing their all-important DD214 official discharge papers. Or, the original is in such poor condition, as to be unreadable.
Often the veteran, through the years, only has a poor photocopy of this document.
The DD214 was the official designation for this document shortly after World War II. During WW II and prior times, it was called WD AGO Form 53-55. But they are the same document.
Recently a veteran came in with the only copy of his DD214 he had in his possession. This copy was in reverse black and white, the lettering was white and the background was black.
But to top it off, it was a mirror image, in that it was all backward. I had to hold it up to a mirror to read it. This was about as bad as I have seen a DD214 copy. This may be almost unusable for VA purposes. The veteran wanted to enroll in VA health care.
Methods of copying documents have changed over the years. Early copy machines often copied in reverse black and white, as in the above example. They were usually a "wet" type of copy process and often with age, the copy yellows or fades.
Miniature DD214 copies
I've also seen small wallet-size copies of DD214 documents. Apparently some branches of the military provided this miniature of the DD214 upon release from active duty. However, for obvious reasons it is unreadable or cannot be copied for VA benefit purposes.
The DD214 is the document that shows your official dates of active military duty, military ID number, where you served, ribbons and medals, and much more information of your military service. A lot of this information is required on applications for VA benefits.
Obtaining new DD214
If you do not have your original DD214, or the DD214 you have is in poor condition, we can send off for a new certified copy of the document.
Certified copies of DD214's are required for some benefit applications, such as Social Security. However, for most direct VA benefits a copy is adequate. But, it must be legible.
All it takes is a simple one-page form called the SF180 to send to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Mo., to obtain a certified copy. Sometimes the original document is no longer on file with the NPRC for one reason or another. There was a fire at the NPRC in 1973 that destroyed or badly damaged some records. In these cases, a new "Certification of Military Service" form is issued when the information is available from other sources.
The SF180 form can also be filled out and downloaded from the official VA Web site at www.va.gov.
Some form of the record is available 90 percent of the time. However, a veteran should allow up to several months to obtain the record if applying for some benefit that requires a copy of the document.
Driver's license ID
The DD214 can be used for identification purposes if the veteran is applying for a Colorado driver's license and does not have a prior valid driver's license.
However, if the DD214 says "Not To Be Used For Identification Purposes" (usually in the top left corner of the document), it cannot be used for ID. Some copies have the notation on it, some don't.
Newer documents seem to be found more often with that notation on them than older issues.
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 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.
Matt and Lois Mees of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the wedding of their son, Jared Mees, to Brianne Forbes, daughter of Bill and Michele Forbes of Palos Verdes, Calif. The ceremony will take place in Dana Point, Calif. on Nov. 1, 2003. The couple will reside in Long Beach, Calif.
A luncheon was held Sept. 13, 2003 at Rocky Gap Convention Center in Cumberland, Md., to celebrate five generations of the Davis/Bridges family. Chloe Belle Bridges, Mary Davis (great-great grandmother), Norita Bridges (great-grandmother), Matthew Bridges Jr., (grandfather) and Jack Bridges, (father) are Pagosa Springs residents.
Dancing to a different beat
Sixth graders prepare for Ancient Cultures activity
By Tess Noel Baker
This Friday, Pagosa's sixth-graders will be transformed. They will don elaborate costumes and take on roles of peoples from five ancient cultures for classmates and family in a production in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
The event is the culmination of an eight-week special program - The Ancient Cultures Program - offered to the intermediate school sixth-grade social studies classes through Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit group promoting arts and art education.
This year, the program focused on ancient Celtic peoples and cultures in Japan, India, Greece and Africa, specifically Nigeria. Local musicians and members of Artstream Cultural Resources, Paul and Carla Roberts, spent one day a week leading the five classes. Both have been enjoying music and the arts since they were children.
In both their families, "music was a part of everyday life," Paul said. He even remembers sitting on the floor playing with blocks and listening to his father play the mandolin.
Carla said her family tells her she started "singing everything that came across her ears," at age 2.
For the past 20 years, the Roberts' have spent four months performing at elementary schools throughout the Southwest. At each, they share some of their rich repertoire of folkloric dances and music from different cultures. At home in Pagosa Springs, the couple continues to work to promote the arts in education. The Ancient Cultures Project was started in 2002, as a kickoff to Artstream Cultural Resources.
According to a brochure on the project, the program "enhances sixth-grade social studies by bringing alive five or six cultures through dance, music, skits and poetry. Local professional artists work with teachers in the classroom to prepare for this event. Students create artwork and stage props, learn how to choreograph dances, memorize songs, skits and poetry and music, with an emphasis on cooperation and creative expression. The grand finale is a community performance of ancient cultures in period costumes."
"I love this program," social studies teacher Leanne Skoglund said, noting that it seems to help reinforce the information gleaned from the textbooks so the students walk away with a better understanding of what makes a culture unique. "It actively involves them in what they're learning, and I like the idea of community involvement. I think it needs to happen more often."
Sixth-grade social studies focuses on a time period stretching from early man to the 1500s. Throughout the year, Skoglund attempts to bring the lessons alive. There's a toga party. A Renaissance Fair. And Ancient Cultures.
Carla Roberts said the songs, poetry and skits for this year's production come from 14th century Japanese tradition, a snippet of one of the longest and oldest epics ever written in India, writings of ancient Greece, a folk dance from Africa and dances performed by Celts in the Middle Ages.
"Each class learns a dance, some of them are learning songs, some are acting out stories, some of the kids are reciting poetry," she said. "The days we are away, they have been busy learning about the cultures and creating artwork based on what they're learning."
Each of the students' costumes for Friday's final presentation - over 100 in all - come out of Carla's own costume department.
"Right now our entire house is taken over with them," Paul said. While touring the Southwest, Carla scours thrift stores and garage sales, collecting fabrics and clothing that could work for various productions the couple is involved with. "It's an ongoing art project," he added. "It's like a painter, only the palate is fabric, color and design." They also praised the costume department at the local Methodist Thrift Store for assistance.
"It's a phenomenal service," Paul said. And costumes are key. "They (the students) get transported into another dimension. They're already so attuned to being able to play - put a costume on them and they are transformed."
That transformation is part of the learning process - a part of education that wouldn't be available without arts, the Roberts agreed.
"A lot of people know that the arts are critical to childhood development," Carla said. Studies show participation in the arts helps social development, emotional development, improves academics and inspires creativity. Not to mention improving teamwork and cooperation, Carla said. "They have to learn to work out their differences."
The key word for the Pagosa program is "inspiration," Paul said. "It's a chance to bring the learning experience alive in ways that haven't been utilized in traditional curriculum."
Paul said the program and its goals have been well received by everyone involved. Sometimes, other teachers will even stick their heads in for a minute to see what's happening.
"Along the guidelines of our sponsor organization's mission statement, it's a chance to develop new teaching methods - so it's a process of discovery," Carla said. "It's one thing to rehearse these programs, it's another thing to get the kids - many of whom have never been on stage - to perform in a situation where they can really shine."
The Ancient Cultures program will culminate in a final presentation tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. That show is open to their classmates and families.
Some of the program pieces will also be performed for the general public at the Pagosa Showcase, a concert to benefit the Ancient Cultures Project sponsored by Artstream Cultural Resources and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.
The showcase is set for Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Pre-concert production and presentations start at 6 p.m.
For more information and ticket prices, turn to this week's PREVIEW.
Pagosa's flood victims responded with strength, more than a little humor
John M. Motter
The rampaging San Juan River spread horrendous devastation in Pagosa Springs and all along its course through Archuleta County.
Many homes were swept downstream. The town water and electrical systems were gone. Both downtown bridges capsized. Even the brand new jail disappeared, carried downstream, powerless to resist the raging river. It was a tragedy that tested the mettle of our pioneering forefathers.
And during the weeks following the flood the people responded with great strength and more than a little humor.
The following advertisement appeared in The Pagosa Springs SUN:
"Found - One new jail; owner may claim by paying for my apple trees, four cows, a mowing machine, and filling up the hole it made in my land. Apply J. Latta, Juanita, Colo."
The Denver News responded to Latta's advertisement with the following item:
"Pagosa Springs suffered from the recent flood in the San Juan valley. Many lost their all. Pagosa Springs also lost its brand new jail.
"The jail had just been erected on a concrete foundation. It was of heavy steel structure and weighed many tons. When the roaring torrents came down the valley and tore up the town, the jail went with the rest of the debris. It was last seen going down the river at about sixty-five miles every thirty-eight seconds.
"At any rate, the jail, bars, doors and all intact, landed on the apple orchard of J.J. Latta thirty-five miles away. Latta noticed the iron fortress coming down stream from where he stood on a hill, and when it swerved, swirled in the eddy and selected his place as a new abode, Latta was much surprised and now wonders who is going to move it off his apple trees."
SUN editor Roy Wright noted the progress as citizens fought back from the damage. The town board took steps to restore electricity, water, and bridges.
A week after the flood, Wright wrote:
"The residents on Hermosa street and in the park vicinity are busy getting their belongings, what they have left, together, and getting their homes ready to live in again. The Caldwell house that before the flood faced the south is down the street about 600 feet and on the opposite side of the street now facing north.
"A foot bridge has been put across the river at San Juan Street.
"The suspended tramway across the river did a land office business until the footbridge was put in. It was on the go from early 'til late."
During the succeeding weeks, Wright made the following observations.
"A temporary pumping plant has been arranged and the city again has water. The old Denver and Rio Grande pumping station has been fixed up and a well dug in the shale bank. It was necessary to build about 350 feet of flume. We now have good water and if the users will be careful and see that the hydrants are not left open, there will be plenty of water until the new plant is finished."
The new pumping station was to be built at the head of Main Street on higher ground than before.
Citizens living in The Park along Hermosa Street "are throwing in together and raising money to rip-rap the river in that locality. They are coming through liberally and even if you don't live in that part of town that is a good investment as it will increase the value of property all over town.
"It is extremely hard to get men for labor," Wright wrote. "Last Sunday Mayor Patterson, Dr. Nossaman, Attorney Hubbard, R.W. Lacy and Alex Shannon forfeited their day of rest and worked all day on the well and flume for the temporary water works. A great deal was accomplished during the day and the efforts of these men (the town board) to help keep things moving along since the flood are greatly appreciated.
"The washed out railroad between here and the Junction is being replaced with all possible speed. All the men that can be hired are being used. Mr. Sullenburger has a large force of his men and teams on the work."
By the first of December Wright wrote, "The citizens of Pagosa Springs again have electric lights. They were turned on Monday night and are working like a charm. Thus another inconvenience caused by the flood has been overcome. Much credit is due C. E. Moore for the success of his untiring effort to get the plant back in working order. The plant exceeds the one which was destroyed by the flood."
As many as 15 teams and 20 men were used to dig the ditch and work on the building, located approximately one mile south of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring. The ditch was used to provide water to turn the electrical generator.
A contract was let with the Missouri Valley Iron and Steel Co. to replace the 150-foot-long San Juan Street bridge.
The town board okayed about $850 in bills connected with the flood and used for labor and the replacement of materials. A levy of 32 mills was made to be apportioned: 11 mills regular levy, 18 mills to pay interest and to create a sinking fund to take up a water bond, and 3 mills for rip-rapping the river bank north of town.
Repairing flood damage without cleaning up the park, according to the clerk, amounted to $2,250. John Schneider was awarded a contract for laying water pipe across the river (a temporary water line replacing the washed-out water line).
C.M. Parr was authorized to build a 14-by-16 foot cement house for a pumping station. The pump engine and other pumping machinery has been moved to the new location and the bridge across McCabe Creek is completed.
Meanwhile life went on as usual.
A Thanksgiving dance was scheduled for Hatcher Hall. The Hatcher Mercantile Co. shipped 5,000 head of sheep, getting them across the range before the flood closed the railroad. Born's Lake, Hime's Lake, and the Rod and Gun Club reported no flood damage. N.W. Larsen, a liquor dealer, and J.W. Haviland, game warden of Denver, and C.A. Robbing of the State Fish Hatchery, who were bound here with others for several days, left overland the first of the week for their homes.
The will to silence
One of the most surprising things encountered at the editor's desk
is the number of requests that we act as censors of the news
and opinions we provide our readers. The phone calls, comments, letters arrive from all conceivable sources, from persons in every political, economic and religious nook and cranny in the community.
During the past couple years, we have heard requests to delete a column from our newspaper because its author offended advocates of hunting. We heard remarks made that no positive news or opinion regarding gays and lesbians should be printed, lest they offend those who cannot accept gays and lesbians among them. Some have suggested that opinions concerning religious faiths other than those espoused by the majority be barred from our pages. Likewise, we heard arguments that no specific religious point of view should be expressed, that discussion of inflammatory issues like abortion be one-sided.
There are those who urge that political views other than their own, those labeled "unpatriotic," or "un-American," be censored.
We hear that a column established by our former owner and publisher, espousing ideas of a particular faith, should be struck from our pages. This despite the fact we open our pages to commentary by local leaders of all faiths. That others have found neither the time nor commitment to express their views is beside the point to those who make this argument
In all cases, sensibilities are said to be bruised. But, when one peels back the blather, it is most often, in fact, the ideas expressed that are considered offensive and unworthy of consideration.
There are those who want us to censor letters to the editor, excluding or severely editing select writers they consider boorish or crass. The letters section is a forum in which members of our community exchange ideas; sometimes, those ideas exhibit emotional content. What is crass to one reader, however, is forceful and clear to another. Do we mingle ideas and forms of expression or do we prohibit some, forcing them to a segregated medium where they are digested only by those who agree, while the censors, finally rid of the noise they detest, sail naively on, glasses clinking, on a dignified, well-mannered cruise that ends at a cataract?
We think not.
Real politics, real social dialogue and change, are rarely completed in the drawing room or in a precious, "mannered" atmosphere. We can ask for civil behavior; we cannot expect everyone to heed the call.
Uncivil behavior has been condemned in this editorial space but it is an error to assume the content of some ideas can be divorced from their manner of expression. In order to include as many ideas as possible in our dialogue, even a mawkish cry must have its place, the aggressive bark its niche. We cannot proceed if care for easily-wounded sensibilities takes the place of the often raucous, but revealing exercise of free speech.
To fail to deal with those whose manners and ideas we cannot abide, demanding instead that they be silenced unless they cleave to our favored standard, is to sacrifice a community dialogue that is of ultimate benefit to all.
We do refuse to print the occasional letter when it is libelous or because we must delete obscenity, pointless self-indulgence and obvious incoherence - and, on rare occasion, because of space available. Otherwise, it has long been the practice of this newspaper to introduce nearly all submissions to our court of opinion if they are 500 words or less, signed by the author and include a means of contacting the author.
It will continue to be so. Our opinion section will remain a table set for all who wish to partake of the feast. Not every dish is for every diner, but there will plenty to go around.
Report all hunting camp thefts
By Richard Walter
Depending on who you ask, there is more or less theft in hunter camps and at trailheads this year compared to past years.
Some outfitters believe the rate is up, that tents are common theft targets and that break-ins of vehicles parked at trailheads are rampant.
Not so, at least not in Archuleta County.
Sheriff's office personnel here say they've had only a single report and it was by a hunter reporting a "lost" handgun.
He may have holstered it and then left it on the bumper or fender as he drove away, forgetting all about it, he said.
Other than that, officers said, "maybe the reports are being filed with the Forest Ranger office. They would have jurisdiction within the national forests."
Again, not so, according to Jo Bridges, chief ranger in Pagosa Springs.
In fact, she said, her department had received only one report and it was a happy one.
A hunter lost his billfold on the trail in the Upper East Fork area. Another hunter found it and went camp-to-camp in the area looking for the owner. When the owner got it back, everything that had been inside was still there.
Dick Ray, local outfitter, is advertising a reward for information leading to the recovery of and the arrest of those who took a large tent belonging to him from a hunt area in late September.
When I talked with Ray Monday, he agreed it was not reported to Archuleta County authorities because the actual theft took place in Mineral County.
He said other outfitters have reported similar thefts of camp gear, but maybe they all were last year instead of this hunting season.
Local deputies say it is important for hunters staging from this area to report thefts to them even if it took place in an adjacent county.
It is important, they said, to have all stolen goods listed on their Internet network that notifies resale shops, second hand stores and pawn shops to be on the lookout for stolen goods and gives specific descriptions of what items are missing.
Ray agreed, saying he just forgot, since his theft was outside the county, that he should make it known closer to home, where the bulk of hunters are operating from.
It would appear that rumor has again stolen the thunder from truth.
There have been incidents in the past. If there have been this year, they are not being reported to the authorities who need to know about them.
Ray agreed that every hunter needs to know the telephone number for both the sheriff's office (264-2131) and the Forest Ranger office (264-2268) and hunters definitely should report thefts with descriptions of items, even though the crime occurred in another county.
Deputy T.J. Fitzwater and Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp said many stolen items are recovered because such reports are filed.
Every known resale agency in the area is notified and the descriptions of missing items transmitted.
The story is simple. If you are a victim, you have numbers to call to report your misfortune. If you don't, the loss is probably irretrievable.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Oct. 24, 1913
Cattle prices are still hitting the toboggan on the eastern markets, although many believe the decline to be only temporary. The greater part of the Archuleta County cattle has been sold and not many local stockmen will be compelled to accept lower prices.
The sheepmen of this section are becoming much concerned over the continued dry weather, which is threatening to leave the lessening winter ranges short of both water and feed. Sheep depend on snow for water, but if the snow line should be too far north and away from feed the winter losses would be heavy.
The numerous drunks said to have been in town recently indicate that there is plenty of bootlegging being done.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Oct. 26, 1928
Feliciano Talamante, 62, pioneer and respected ranchman of Edith, passed away at his home last Friday following serious injuries sustained the previous Tuesday night while returning from Lumberton. His horse fell into an arroya with him, the aged gentleman receiving a broken arm and crushed skull. He also suffered considerably from exposure as he was not found until the following afternoon, and did not regain consciousness before his death. He leaves a large family and a host of friends.
Fidel Archuleta was up from the Edith ranch Wednesday on business.
A daughter was born at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Putnam on Monday to Mr. and Mrs. Ray Murray.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Oct. 23, 1953
This week-end will see thousands of red-capped deer and elk hunters take to the hills for the start of the delayed big game season on Saturday. It is expected that the number hunting in this area this year will be considerably smaller than the last two years. The big game season was postponed because of the extremely dry conditions prevailing in the forests and ranges. The moisture that has fallen the past two weeks has done much to reduce fire hazards here, although it is still very dry in several areas.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Pargin have moved to the West Side camp on Wolf Creek Pass for the winter months. Mr. Pargin will be employed there by the State Highway Department.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Oct. 26, 1978
The first real storm of the hunting season arrived late last Friday and left considerable snow in the high country and some very welcome rain at town elevations. The storm started big game animals down out of the high country, caused hunters to get wet and muddy, and most streams started rising a little.
Both the town and the county have been notified that they will receive substantially less money next year from various government aid programs. The loss will come because the anti-recession payment program has been stopped. Both are now faced with the problem of how to obtain that amount of money without raising property taxes and think the proposed sales tax increase, if it passes, will do the job.