EMS operations review stirs new controversy
By Tess Noel Baker
A final report, or not a final report. That is the question.
At least it was the question fired back and forth from community member J.R. Ford to members of the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors Tuesday during a public comment period.
The debated report is a 13-page independent review of Emergency Medical Services operations prepared by Allen Hughes, of Allen Hughes Consulting Inc., of Loveland, for Dee Jackson, executive director of the district.
A copy was passed out at Tuesday's meeting by board member Dr. Dick Blide.
The intent of the review, according to the overview page of that document, was to "provide a third party opinion on the operations and financial components of USJHSD-EMS." According to the consulting firm's contract with the district, the report would outline "areas with deficiencies." Cost was $3,000, plus expenses.
In accordance with the contract, the report outlined several areas of "deficiencies." The summary reads as follows:
"The overall impression of the review team was that of amazement. To some degree, it is remarkable that the EMS department is able to function as well as it does. Given the financial concerns, lack of a local physician advisor, inadequate medical control, staffing shortages and political struggles, to name a few, patients were still treated and 911 calls were still answered.
"We have identified a number of organizational practices that need to be addressed. It is our opinion that all identified deficiencies need immediate attention and therefore have the same 'number one' priority ranking. Some areas of operations need new programs or processes to improve business practices. Others need to be reevaluated and redesigned Š Until all issues are resolved, the organization remains vulnerable to liability. With that said, if the political turmoil and climate of hatred and distrust are not resolved, these deficiencies can not be adequately rectified.
"We feel very strongly that without an immediate and focused attempt by the Health Services District Board of Directors and administration to rectify the deficiencies identified in this report, the department's ability to respond to requests for service will be short-lived. We believe that there will be either a catastrophic event connected with the care of a patient, a complete drain on the personnel resources or a complete lack of backing by the stakeholders (constituents) of the district before significant or unpopular decisions are made and carried out."
Until Tuesday, the review had not been made public, or given to the board members. Both Jackson and board chairman Charlie Hawkins said the reason it hadn't been reviewed by the board was because it was a preliminary document.
"It's not a final report," Hawkins said. "The information in this report is not complete."
Blide said that was a lie.
According to correspondence Hughes sent to Blide via e-mail, the consulting firm's work with the district was complete and final payment had been received Oct. 24.
The product paid for was the 13-page report delivered by UPS and signed for by a district employee on Sept. 10. A note on the final payment invoice sent to the district reads, "All work is complete."
In an interview Wednesday morning, Hughes said he had been contacted by Jackson and asked to consider the report a preliminary document with more work to follow. However, he said, he had received no further written contract to consider.
"In my mind it's a final report," he said. Hughes has operated the consulting firm for about two years. He has a undergraduate degree in organizational development, a graduate degree in management and 20 years of EMS experience. His partner is an MBA.
From the report's fallout and the secrecy surrounding its existence, Hughes guessed that perhaps people perceive the report as negative. That is the opposite of its intent. It is, instead, a snapshot of the current situation and could give the district direction for positive changes.
"I see it all as positive for the citizens and that's the only reason I do this job," he said.
In an interview Wednesday, Jackson said the review is inaccurate on several points.
"It's not finished," she said. "It's not accurate. It's not factual. That's the reason I wouldn't release it." Beyond that, she said, it was a management report contracted by her for her use in restructuring EMS and not necessarily meant for public dissemination.
Jackson said when she started negotiating with the firm, costs for their normal timeline which included spending two to three days on site were simply too steep. Instead, she agreed to an abbreviated contract with the consultants on site for just one day.
"After I received the report," she said, "I realized I had made a mistake. I told (Hughes), 'You needed more time,' and he agreed with me." Several changes she said she suggested after receiving a draft of the report in August were never made.
Hughes agreed that the timeline was shorter than they normally like to see. Generally, they take a month from the time the contract is signed to review documents. They spend two to three days on site and a month to six weeks working on the report.
In the case of the Upper San Juan Health Service District, Hughes said they had about a week between when the contract was signed and the site visit to review documents.
"Things didn't flow as we felt they should," he said. "The whole process was compressed." The date on the agreement for consulting services sent to the district is July 8. It was signed by Jackson and dated July 23. The consultants arrived July 30.
The consultants were hired shortly after the board began discussing a review of EMS operation. Jackson told the board once the review was complete she would report possible changes to the board.
At the regular board meeting Sept. 16, six days after nine copies of the report were signed for by a district employee at 12:37 p.m., Ford asked if the audit had been completed.
According to the board approved minutes of that meeting: "It was clarified that there has been no state report received even though (Ford) had information it had been given. Charles Hawkins stated this report will be presented when available and should be very helpful. Verbal suggestions have been given only. It was clarified that this was not a state audit, but the state had recommended an individual who could give an audit report on EMS."
Sept. 26, at a special meeting of the board, director Ken Morrison asked to see a copy of the report. According to approved minutes from that meeting, "It was explained that Dee Jackson had just received a work sheet, but it is only preliminary data. The firm has not completed the report yet, they still need more information to complete the report."
Blide said he began asking staff about the report in August. He contacted Allen Hughes Consulting Inc. Oct. 1. He received a copy of the report via e-mail about two weeks ago and planned to present it at the regular public meeting Oct. 21. That meeting was postponed until Oct. 28.
Hughes said, despite declarations of not receiving the report, if what he's reading in articles in The SUN is correct, the district is making some of the changes recommended in the review.
Jackson said she doesn't consider the review a final report, but "a work in progress." She is not, she said, using the report as any kind of a guideline.
"I knew we had to do some of those things way before those boys showed up," she said.
29% gas rate hike requested
By Richard Walter
A request for a 29 percent increase in natural gas rates was filed Oct. 23 by Kinder Morgan, Inc.
For customers in the Pagosa Springs/Bayfield area the new rate, if approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, will be .62233 per thousand cubic feet. Based on annual usage of 1,000 CCF, the typical household would pay about $622 instead of the current $483 for the commodity component of their service.
As a result of the increase, Kinder Morgan officials said, customers who typically use an average of 151 CCF in January (when bills are traditionally highest) will pay about $20.97 more for the natural gas portion of their bill in 2004 compared to the bill paid in January, 2003.
Small commercial users who typically use an average of 495 CCF in January will pay about $68.75 more compared to January 2003.
"Even with the increase, customers in Pagosa Springs/Bayfield service area will pay about 30 percent less than the national averages to have natural gas delivered to their door," said Dan Watson, president of Kinder Morgan's retail natural gas division.
"Furthermore," he added, "compared to propane or electricity, natural gas is not only more efficient and reliable, but usually about half the cost in most areas."
Company officials had told The SUN in September that a rate increase was expected but that it would be nowhere near the huge amounts seen in Denver metro and other Front Range areas.
The new rates, if approved, will take effect Saturday and will be reflected in the following billing cycle.
In addition to the rate filing, Kinder Morgan also asked the PUC for approval of a new billing option that would give all customers in Colorado the option to pay the same amount each month for natural gas service, regardless of changes in product price or how much they use as a result of changes in the weather.
"Current trends in the utility industry indicate that a growing number of customers are demanding more control over how they pay their bills, and the new service we are proposing would give them that," said Watson.
"The Winterguard program we are requesting to implement in Colorado has already proven an effective tool for providing price stability and protection for thousands of customers in other states. If approved, the option would be available starting April 1, 2004."
The rate increase filing reflects an expected increase in projected market costs for natural gas beginning Nov. 1.
By law, the company is required to pass the cost of purchasing natural gas through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis without realizing any profit.
"Since our last annual filing in 2002," Watson said, "the price of natural gas on the wholesale market has increased significantly, due in large part to the continuing tight balance between supply and demand in the U.S."
To help customers minimize monthly energy bills, the company also utilizes a hedging program which allows the company to establish minimum and maximum prices for a significant portion of gas supplies used over the winter season.
That, said Watson, helps protect customers from fluctuations in natural gas prices on the open market.
LPEA vote recount bid tabled
By Richard Walter
Accusations of irregularities with the recent La Plata Electric Association election are drawing little support in Archuleta County.
Yes, the election for one seat in Durango was close, officials admit, but charges that there were uncontrollable irregularities are overblown.
Behind the charges, all three directors from Archuleta County agree, are the continuing complaints of a small group in Durango.
"I've never seen a group so convinced there's a conspiracy," said director Bob Formwalt. "No matter what action the board takes this small contingent is against it."
Behind the acrimony is Thorn Mayes who lost in the race for a District 4 seat to incumbent Herb Brodsky by just six votes. It was Mayes' second consecutive defeat for a seat on the board.
He charges lapses in security in connection with the election, incorrectly filled ballots being counted and ballots not counted.
Suzin Osborne, a La Plata County election administrator, was hired by La Plata Electric to make sure voting machines, (rented from the county and used in a co-op election for the first time) were used properly, but not to oversee the actual election.
Ballots had been mailed to all members in August and were counted during the annual meeting Sept. 6 in Ignacio.
Osborne said there were many problems with the vote counting process and Mayes charged there were at least 45 ballots not counted.
The crux of the issue appears to be the possibility some ballots were miscounted because of folds or crimps in the forms.
When those ballots did not go through the machines, they were set aside to determine if the intent of the voter could be found.
If it was found, a previously cast ballot with the same markings was run through a second time in order to cast the ballot of intent for the second voter.
Emery Maez, the utility's CEO believes the final counts were accurate, but said even he was a little confused but now feels he has the answers.
He said five ballots were spoiled, including one on which a prospective voter substituted his resume and another from someone who wrote that he could not vote for either contestant. He said his research has indicated 45 ballots were not filled out correctly. That means the actual total vote of 5,186 was correct.
Harry Cole, a veteran board member from Archuleta County, agreed the controversies "all seem to emanate from one group. No one else ever finds a major problem with the board."
Terry Alley, the newest Archuleta County member of the board said it seems the lone group of opponents "will find fault with everything LPEA does.
"No matter what decision is made or what direction the board takes on an issue," he said, "the group would try to find fault with it."
He confirmed statements by Maez indicating the co-op is working to revise election procedures in the future with some new policies.
At the same time, he said, "I'm confident that sufficient procedures were followed in this election to ensure its viability and that the results were correct."
Formwalt noted the utility has no set law guiding elections. "It is basically a shareholder (member) vote, not the legal public election most people are familiar with."
While he voted initially on the first day of controversy for a recount, he pointed out, "the vote of the board as a whole was against it.
"It would be a waste of time and money to conduct a recount now," he added, pointing to the lack of security since the initial vote count.
"They (ballots) were transported from Ignacio to Durango offices in the back of a car and put in a vault many people have access to," he said. "They were never locked up."
Mayes, on the other hand, believes the election does not appear to be fair. He wants the utility to turn the ballots over to the La Plata County Clerk for a recount.
The vote against a recount came Sept. 17 but, because 10 days notice had not been given, ratification was delayed until the Oct. 15 meeting. It was then delayed again until the November meeting.
Commissioners accept attorney's resignation
By Tom Carosello
Archuleta County will soon be accepting applications for legal counsel following this week's acceptance of the resignation of County Attorney Mary Weiss by the board of commissioners.
Alden Ecker, board chairman, announced Weiss' decision to step down near the end of Tuesday's board meeting, reading aloud from Weiss' resignation letter dated Oct. 20.
In the letter, Weiss states, "My decision is largely an economic one and is also based upon the desire to return to the private sector."
In addition, "I will make every effort to make the transition to a new county attorney as seamless as possible.
"In that regard you may wish to consider my continued representation of Archuleta County on the court cases that are currently pending ... in order to avoid the additional expense of having a new attorney familiarize themselves with these matters."
Also outlined in the letter is a request from Weiss to be retained as legal counsel for the county department of social services, a request unanimously granted by the board.
The letter concludes with Weiss thanking the board for the opportunity to represent the county and highlights some of the goals recently accomplished during her tenure as county attorney.
A portion of those achievements includes the establishment of curfew and noise ordinances, an agreement for animal control services with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, extensive road-improvement agreements with the town of Pagosa Springs, and the facilitation of contracts and grants for improvements at Stevens Field.
Weiss has served as the county attorney for nearly four years, assuming the duty in January 2000. She will leave the post Dec. 31.
In other business this week, the board:
- tabled consideration of approval for a conditional use permit for Constant Gravel Pit No. 1 following a public hearing Monday night, indicating it will reach a decision by Nov. 18 and scheduled a work session regarding the consideration for Nov. 4, 1:30 p.m.
- appointed Rex Shurtleff to a second three-year term on the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission
- appointed Marti McAlister Gallo to a two-year term on the county fair board
- approved the final release of escrow funds and the improvements agreement for San Juan Veterinary Services conditional use permit
- approved a new tavern license for Pagosa Family Entertainment Center, LLC (Pagosa Fun Place)
- at the request of Erlinda Gonzalez, director of social services, approved the 2003 Colorado Works Plan/Policies and Procedures regarding operations of the department, and was presented the DOSS monthly report
- scheduled a public hearing regarding consideration of the Mountain View Mini Storage conditional use permit for Nov. 4, 1:30 p.m.
- heard an update on the progress and operation of Pagosa Outreach Connection from Pastor Don Ford
- agreed to consider a request from Fred Schmidt, president of San Juan Water Conservancy District, for fiscal participation in the district's 2003-2004 cloud-seeding program, but did not commit to a contribution.
The board will hear 2004 budget presentations from department heads and elected officials from 8 a.m.-noon Nov. 5, 6, 7 and 12 in the commissioners' meeting room at the county courthouse, 449 San Juan St.
The board is scheduled to consider adoption of the 2004 county budget Dec. 16.
The proposed budget is available for public inspection at the commissioners' office (inside the county courthouse), the Ruby Sisson Library, 811 San Juan St., and The SUN office, 466 Pagosa St. Copies of the budget may be purchased at the county clerk's office.
Any interested elector may file objections to the proposed budget at any time prior to its final adoption by the board.
Windy, wintry mix forecast for Pagosa Country
By Tom Carosello
The past week may have signaled the last hurrah for Pagosa Country residents who appreciate relatively benign autumn weather scenarios.
With the approach of a series of small storm systems from the west, a period of dry weather that has increased the fire danger across the Four Corners region in the past three weeks may soon come to a close.
"Some of the higher elevations across the state could see a couple of inches of snow before Sunday," said Chris Cuoco, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"Snow levels Friday and Saturday could fall as low as 6,500 or 7,000 feet, though chances for significant accumulations are not great at these elevations."
More likely, said Cuoco, light rain or flurries will be the norm across much of southwest Colorado, with the chance for west-facing slopes to pick up a light dusting of snow.
"If we stay within a southwesterly flow, we could experience rain, snow and gusty winds at least through Monday, and probably into the middle of next week as well," concluded Cuoco.
According to Cuoco, partly cloudy skies, high temperatures in the 60s and wind gusts ranging from 15-40 miles per hour are expected through this afternoon.
Breezy conditions should extend into the evening, and nighttime lows are predicted to fall into the mid-20s.
Friday and Saturday call for mostly-cloudy skies, continued strong wind gusts, highs in the mid-40s to mid-50s and lows in the upper 20s. The rain/snow chance for each day is listed at 30 percent.
The chance for precipitation tapers to around 20 percent for Sunday; highs are expected in the upper 40s, while lows should dip into the 20s.
Monday's forecast includes a 30-percent chance for rain or snow, highs in the 45-55 range and lows in the upper teens to low 20s.
The forecasts for Tuesday and Wednesday predict mostly-cloudy skies, a 20-30 percent chance for scattered showers, highs around 50 and lows in the 20s.
The average high temperature recorded last week at Stevens Field was 66 degrees. The average low for the week was 28. Precipitation totals for the week amounted to zero.
The Pagosa Ranger District lists the current regional fire danger as "high." 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 "low" and lists sage and ragweed as the current dominant pollens.
San Juan River flow ranged from approximately 35 cubic feet per second to 45 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of Oct. 30 is roughly 80 cubic feet per second.
Shootouts needed to determine youth soccer champions
By Joe Lister Jr.
This year's soccer finals pitted some of the most evenly-matched teams ever to play in the Pagosa Springs parks and recreation programs.
This year the finals included, Panama vs. Mexico in the 9-10 group; and U.S.A. vs. Tasmania in the 11-13 finals.
Finals for the younger group were held at the elementary school soccer fields.
The high school boys' soccer team surprised the teams by coming to their game and cheering on all the players.
The game ended in regulation, and sudden death, in a 1-1 tie. We then went into a tie-breaking shootout in which each team picked three players for an undefended shot.
After three shots on goal by each team, the shootout winner was Panama, coached by Michael Church, by the score of 1-0. All enjoyed the thrilling ending.
Both teams received standing ovations from the crowd, and a run through the ceremonial arch provided by the high school varsity team.
In the older group's finals, the top seed U.S.A. won another thriller against Tasmania. U.S.A. got to the finals by way of a shoot-out in the semifinals with Sierra Leone. The final score of the championship game was 4-3.
Thank you to all coaches, scorekeepers, referees, field crews and sponsors for an exciting finish to the 2003 soccer season.
We have received many applications and resumes for the recreation supervisor opening.
If you are interested in applying please come to Town Hall for an application and job description. Deadline for application is Nov. 7.
Sign-ups have been completed for 7- and 8 -year-olds and we will have six teams with an average of nine players per team.
Practices started Oct. 28 and today and a clinic hosted by the high school girls' varsity coach Bob Lynch will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. for the coaches and 10 a.m. -noon for the players.
The clinic will have stations for the kids to help them learn skills that will improve their overall basketball knowledge.
Basketball sign-up sheets for 10-11 and 12-13 age groups are available at Town Hall. Deadline for sign-ups is 5 p.m. Nov. 21. Seventh- and eighth-graders will not be allowed to play in this recreational league.
The annual Elks Hoop Shoot is scheduled 9 a.m. Dec. 13 in the community center gymnasium.
We are still in need of sponsors, and coaches, if you are interested please call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231.
Fill dirt wanted
The parks division is in need of good, clean fill dirt and topsoil.
Call 264-4151, Ext. 231 for approval of all topsoil. The fill dirt received will be for the new sports complex we plan to start building in the spring.
Adult volleyball tourney
The 2003 adult coed volleyball tournament began Wednesday and ends Nov. 5. Games will be played Mondays and Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. in the community center gymnasium. Come enjoy some adult volleyball.
Pagosa clips Falcons to take district crown, regional action Saturday
By Karl Isberg
Following wins over Bayfield and Centauri, all the Lady Pirates needed for a clean sweep at the District 1 tournament was a victory over Centauri.
It came, 3-0, bringing the trophy to Pagosa Springs and sending the Falcons home to La Jara in fourth place at the tourney.
The Falcons made a contest of it in the first game of the match. Pagosa took an 8-4 lead, but seemed fatigued after a match with Ignacio which directly preceded the Centauri contest. The Lady Pirates maintained the advantage, staying in front 19-13 before Centauri put together a six-point run, four of the points coming on unforced Pagosa errors.
The Lady Pirates eked out a slim 20-19 lead with a kill by Courtney Steen but Centauri went back in front 21-20 with a kill inside the Pagosa block and a lift on Pagosa's side of the net.
Caitlyn Jewell stopped the Falcons in their tracks with a kill and Lori Walkup put the Ladies ahead to stay, killing from outside. Two Centauri hitting errors committed in the face of Pagosa blocks and a kill by Steen gave the Ladies the game, 25-21.
In game two, the Ladies went out to a quick 8-2 lead then extended the advantage when Lori Walkup scored and returned serve to her team. Bri Scott used the serve well, staying at the line for seven points, the Centauri attack sputtering in the face of a firm Pagosa defense featuring Liza Kelley and Brandi Whomble in the back court.
Pagosa led 19-8 before the Falcons put on their only show of the game, a five-point run with three points courtesy Pagosa errors.
Centauri would not score again. The Falcons gave up four points with hitting errors, Scott hit an ace and Steen put a kill to floor to end the affair, 25-13.
Pagosa again took an early lead as the third game began. Following a kill by Steen, a block by Jewell and four Centauri hitting errors, the Ladies were ahead 6-1. They maintained distance between them and the Falcons, staying in front 15-9 at mid game. Centauri managed three points before Jewell killed and Laura Tomforde went to the serve line. The junior stayed there for six points, hitting two aces along the way and getting a kill from Kelley.
Up 23-16 the Ladies got a point on a kill by Kelley. A Falcon attack that strayed out of bounds closed out the game, giving the Lady Pirates the 25-16 win.
"The girls were getting a bit tired by the time we played Centauri," said Coach Penné Hamilton. "The good thing about playing Centauri immediately after we played Ignacio is we didn't have time to sit around and think about things. It was a matter of go out and play. We were the only team at the tournament with back-to-back matches. I told the players 'this is districts, so suck it up and play,' and they did it. With this set of girls coming into the district tournament seeded third, they had nothing to lose. They set the goal of playing every point, and they focused on the right things."
With regional tourney action set for this weekend, the experience could be a valuable one. The team is playing some of its best ball of the season and must advance another level to succeed now that the Class 3A playoff picture is down to 16 teams.
"Of all the times to win," said Hamilton, "this is it. We need to keep our focus the same and play one point at a time."
The team travels to Kersey, on the northeast plains of the state for the regional tournament at Platte Valley High School.
The Platte Valley gym is the Vatican of 3A volleyball and the Broncos are the top seed at the tournament. Pagosa has played Platte Valley four times - all at the state tournament. Pagosa lost in 1988 and twice in 2001. The Ladies defeated the Broncos in 1996. This season, Platte Valley is 20-5 overall, 6-2 in the always rough Patriot League.
The first match of the day Saturday pits the Ladies against the Colorado Academy Mustangs at 9 a.m. The Mustangs finished 9-3 in the Metro League and 19-6 overall taking second in the district tournament behind Middle Park.
Pagosa's next match is with longtime rival Manitou Springs. The teams first played each other at the 1988 state tournament and have met in regional and state action since. Manitou posted a 12-0 Tri Peaks league record and were 15-8 overall. The team finished fourth at the district tournament behind winner Lamar, Colorado Springs Christian and St. Mary's.
Pagosa and Platte Valley play the final match of the day.
Kills: Walkup 9, Steen 7
Ace serves: Tomforde 3, Kelley ad Scott 1 each
Assists: Tomforde 13, Walkup 11
Solo blocks: Jewell and Walkup 2 each
Digs: Kelley 10, Steen 8, Walkup 7
Black is back and Lady Pirates win big in the ominous jerseys
By Karl Isberg
There was an omen.
Longtime fans of Intermountain League volleyball had to sense it.
When the Lady Pirates took the court at the District 1 tournament, it was obvious: they were back, in black.
Gone were the gold jerseys. Back were the ominous black jerseys that, for so many seasons, signalled trouble for IML opponents.
It worked. In concert with a greatly improved Lady Pirate defense and a steady attack that did not shy away from the battle.
Pagosa faced Ignacio Saturday morning in the Bayfield gym and, in terms of sheer ability and the quality of coaching, the Bobcats figured to be the best team Pagosa would face at the tourney.
It turned out to be a classic battle, with the Lady Pirates overcoming the stigma of a difficult loss at Ignacio in the last week of the regular season to defeat the Bobcats 3-1.
Ignacio took the early lead, going out front 8-4 in the first game. The teams hit away at each other, and Pagosa closed the margin to 13-15.
Laura Tomforde started Pagosa on the road to a win with a kill and the Ladies went out front 16-15 with two Bobcat errors. Pagosa politely turned around and handed over points with two errors of their own.
Ignacio committed a hitting error and Caitlyn Jewell, a force throughout the game, nailed two points for the Ladies, with a kill and a block.
A serve receive error on the Ignacio side of the net put the Ladies ahead 20-17. Jewell killed, Courtney Steen put a kill down and Lori Walkup scored with a solo block.
The Bobcats refused to succumb, forcing two Pagosa hitting errors with formidable blocking. Jewell got a point with a tip over the block but Ignacio scored three unanswered points, threatening to tie the game.
Walkup would not let it happen. A tremendous blast from the middle ended the game. Pagosa 25, Ignacio 23.
Pagosa had the best of it early in the second game, battling to a 13-7 lead. Ignacio stayed close, however, and trailed 17-14 when Jewell scored with a kill and a block, Walkup got a point with a kill and a Bobcat error put Pagosa in front 21-14.
Pagosa could not finish off the Cats. An Ignacio kill and two Lady Pirate errors made it 21-17.
Pagosa got a point on a Bobcat hitting error and Bri Scott killed from the middle. Pagosa was a single point away from victory, and could not get it.
A hitting error gave Ignacio a point and a Bobcat tip fell to the floor. Three straight unforced errors put the Bobcats ahead 25-24.
Liza Kelley kept the Lady Pirates in the game with a roll shot to a hole in front of the Bobcat back row but a blast off the block by the Cats and a Pagosa player into the net gave Ignacio a 27-25 victory.
Would it be a repeat of the loss the week before at Ignacio?
There was no distress in the Pagosa huddle and the Lady Pirates came out for the third game with a businesslike demeanor. Steen killed to start the game.
Pagosa got a kill from Walkup. Steen dived to complete an near-impossible dig of a blast by Ignacio's Carol Lee Jefferson and Walkup tipped the ball for a point. Scott hit for two points, Steen for three and Jewell stuffed an Ignacio hitter for a score. Ignacio hit a ball out and Jewell put a roll shot down. The Ladies had a 14-5 lead.
The teams exchanged points until Steen blasted a kill down the line to put Pagosa in front 22-12.
The only serious breakdown in Pagosa's run to the win took place when Ignacio got a kill and three gifts on Pagosa unforced errors. Steen ended the run with a roll shot. Ignacio got a point on a kill then surrendered two points to end the game with Pagosa the 25-16 victor and needing only one more win to seal the match.
The Ladies came out as strong in the fourth game as they have all season. The teams tied at 3-3 before Pagosa took off like a jet, going out to 14-6 lead. Steen stayed strong from her outside hitter's position, pounding away at the Bobcats. The Pagosa blocks forced hits out of bounds, and the Ladies led 21-11.
A Pagosa passing error gave up a point but Scott came back immediately with a kill. A Bobcat hitting error turned over a point and Steen crushed a kill cross-court. A Pagosa passing error gave one last point to the Bobcats. Tomforde soared to stuff a Bobcat hitter, putting the ball to the floor to end the game 25-13.
Black was back.
"After we beat Bayfield," said Coach Penné Hamilton, "I knew Ignacio would be the tougher team. I looked at them and saw they had a tendency to hit the ball cross-court. We adjusted our blocks to counter that. And our back-court movement was beautiful."
Kills: Steen 15, Jewell 11, Walkup 9, Scott 8
Ace serves: Tomforde 3, Kelley and Scott 1 each
Assists: Tomforde 13, Walkup 11
Solo blocks: Jewell and Walkup 2 each
Digs: Kelley 10, Steen 8, Walkup 7
Ladies skin Wolverines in first game of tourney
By Karl Isberg
The Lady Pirate volleyball team began the District 1 tournament as the No. 3 seeded team, with no pressure and nothing to lose.
What Pagosa did was put all the pressure on the other three Intermountain league teams at the tournament.
The team that had nothing to lose won the whole shooting match.
Action began against Bayfield. The Wolverines had the home court advantage and, supposedly, the psychological advantage that comes of beating the Lady Pirates twice during the season.
What Pagosa did was take the level of play to another dimension, finally approaching the standard set for the team at the beginning of the year. Pagosa rocked Bayfield's world, defeating the Wolverines 3-1.
Every aspect of the Lady Pirate effort was improved over recent outings. Defense tightened, passing was more accurate and Pagosa hitters were taking effective swings at the ball on offense. Moreover, the number of unforced errors was cut dramatically, reducing the number of unearned points handed over to the opponent.
In the first game of the match the teams tied at 6-6 before Bri Scott, playing one of her best matches on offense for the season, scored and took back serve.
With sophomore Liza Kelley at the serve, the Lady Pirates ran off nine unanswered points, getting points on two kills by Scott, an ace by Kelley, a kill by Courtney Steen and a wicked kill by Laura Tomforde that taught a Wolverine the meaning of the word "facial."
Bayfield put together scattered points, and a three-point run, but could not stop the Ladies.
Scott hit an ace and Steen attacked successfully from the middle. Caitlyn Jewell put a point up with a solo block, Steen hit an ace, Kelley killed for a point and Lori Walkup stuffed a Wolverine hitter. The Ladies took the opener 25-13.
Bayfield had the best of it in the early stages of the second game, getting ahead 7-3 before Pagosa began to catch up. The teams tied at 12-12 but the Wolverines scored three unanswered points. Not to be outdone, the Lady Pirates nailed three in a row, with a kill by Walkup and two gifts on Bayfield errors.
Using a kill off the block by Kelley, a kill by Scott, a tip of the pass by Tomforde and a kill by Steen, Pagosa built a 21-17 lead. Bayfield closed the gap, using effective blocks to pull within one, 21-20. The Wolverines would not score again.
Tomforde put a block down, Bayfield was called for a lift, Steen killed from outside and a Bayfield hitting error ended the game with the Ladies taking the 25-20 victory.
Pagosa had opportunities to close the Wolverines out in three games, but could not capitalize. The Ladies led 21-16 but fell victim to Wolverine blocks and their own errors. Bayfield put five consecutive points on the scoreboard to tie the game 21-21. The Wolverines gave up a point with a lift but a serve fault and a lift on Pagosa's side of the net put the host team in front 23-22. A Bayfield serve fault tied the game but Pagosa immediately obliged with another service error. A Bayfield kill won the game, 25-23.
There was no letdown for Pagosa following the loss. The team surged to a 10-2 advantage in the fourth game helped by a kill and solo block by Jewell, three kills and a successful tip by Kelley, playing a superb game at her outside hitter position. The teams traded points throughout the middle of the game, and Pagosa managed to take a 19-11 lead. Bayfield hitters were frustrated by Pagosa's blocking schemes and a tight defense featuring defensive specialist Brandi Whomble, that refused to allow a steady diet of tips - even off quick sets - to fall to the floor. Two Wolverine attacks went out of bounds, Scott tipped and caused a Bayfield lift. Steen put an off-speed shot cross court. Pagosa was ahead 23-12. Each team surrendered two points with mistakes. Jewell forced a Bayfield hitter to put the ball out of play and Steen tipped down the line to end the game and match, 25-15.
The Ladies headed home with a 1-0 tourney record and two games remaining on the schedule Saturday.
"The girls came out strong," said coach Penné Hamilton, "and from the beginning of the match did everything we talked about and everything we worked on in practice: attack, attack, attack. We knew that, to beat Bayfield, we had to continue to blast away at them. We did it, and it worked."
Kills: Scott 9, Steen 8, Kelley 7
Ace serves: Scott 2, Tomforde 2
Assists: Walkup 20, Tomforde 18
Digs: Kelley 22, Tomforde 20, Steen 14
Solo blocks: Scott and Walkup 3 each
Lady harriers speed to fourth in state
By Tess Noel Baker
A Saturday that started out grey and snowy turned into a perfect day to run - and a perfect day to set some personal records.
The Lady Pirate cross country runners stood up to some fierce competition in Colorado Springs to finish fourth in the state with every runner posting a personal best.
Sophomore Emilie Schur topped the charts for the Pirates, finishing third at state. Her time was 18 minutes 35 seconds, 90 seconds faster than a year ago.
"She ran a great race," Head Coach Scott Anderson said, finishing behind two very strong runners. The winner, Rachel Gioscia, of Buena Vista, stole the 3A trophy going away with a time of 18:10. She was followed by Ali Kelley of Colorado Academy who finished second in 18:23, running "the race of her life," Anderson said.
Schur crossed the line nine seconds ahead of rival Michaela Muniz, of Centauri. Muniz had defeated Schur at both the league and regional races.
"Emily basically achieved all of her goals for the race," Anderson said. "We're pretty happy with how she finished the season."
Freshman Jessica Lynch closed out her inaugural year in cross country with her first time under 20 minutes. She finished 22nd in 19:58. "Jessica ran a solid race," Anderson said. "She handled things as a freshman very well and we are very pleased with her development throughout the year."
The team's other freshman, Laurel Reinhardt, also responded to the faster course, finishing 35th in 20:25, taking over 40 seconds off her time from regionals the week before. "Again, for a freshman to step up to this level of competition, she did extremely well," Anderson said. "She's handled all the pressure and adversity she faced throughout the season very well."
Pagosa's fourth runner, sophomore Heather Dahm, placed 61st out of 139 runners in 20:57. "Heather overcame not just one, not just two, but almost every cross country injury in the book this year," the coach said. "We were very pleased to see her run under 21 minutes."
The team captain, and the only senior on the Pirate's state team, Jenna Finney, ran 75th, crossing the line with a time of 21:07. "We're pleased with how she ran her race and how she contributed to the cross country program the last two years," Anderson said.
As a team, the girls finished fourth with 121 points. The Classical Academy took the gold with 82 points. They were followed by Platte Canyon with 97 points and Faith Christian with 99.
"This girls team is one of the fastest Pagosa has ever had," Anderson said. "That they finished fourth just demonstrates the level of competition across the state. The depth of all the teams that finished ahead of us is incredible."
Schur will receive all-state honors and plans to travel to Wisconsin during Thanksgiving weekend for the Footlocker regional race, part of a national competition. There, she will run in a field of around 350 competitors.
Boys' cross country team surprises with ninth-place finish
By Tess Noel Baker
Pagosa's cross country coach was watching the Pirates' third runner enter the final stretch at state when he saw something amazing.
Senior Dan Lowder, in just his fourth race of the year, was passing the competition. And not just one or two of them - more like 15. He was eating them up heading for the finish line.
"At that point, I thought the guys are going to do very well," Coach Scott Anderson said. They did, claiming ninth as a team in 3A, beating Bayfield and Lake County, a perennial powerhouse.
"They really pulled together as a team and all of them ran spectacular races," the coach said. Each one posted a personal record time.
The boys simply kept working and kept improving. Back in week one of the season, there weren't enough boys eligible to field a full team. At regionals they stole the fifth and final spot to state. Then, Saturday at the El Pomar Youth Sports Complex in Colorado Springs, they broke into the top ten, finishing third among teams from their region.
Senior Aaron Hamilton paced the boys in his final high school cross country race, finishing 23rd with a time of 16 minutes 50 seconds. "Aaron handled his season very well," Anderson said. "This is one of the highest finishes we've had from a Pagosa Springs male in a long time. He had just a stellar year for his one and only cross country season."
Sophomore A.J. Abeyta finished his season with a time of 17:29, earning him 52nd at state. "When A.J. started the year, he had a goal of running 18:30 - to run like he did at state, he improved beyond what any of us could've hoped," Anderson said.
Lowder finished 83rd in 18 minutes flat. "After Dan had the race he had the week before I actually did not expect him to run near as well as he did," Anderson said. At regionals, Lowder pushed himself to beat all of his times from 2002. He came back at state to take over a minute off his personal record. "It was incredible to watch."
Sophomore Orion Sandoval finished 99th out of 168 runners, crossing the line in 18:11. "Again, he's made just huge progress. It's great to watch sophomores taking huge chunks of time off throughout the year," said the coach.
Sophomore Paul Hostetter ran "the race of his life," finishing 141st with a time of 18:52.
"I am extremely ecstatic about the future of the program with this finish in the top ten," Anderson said.
John McGuire, of D'Evelyn High School, won the 3A boys race in 15:27. He was followed by Clint Jackson, of Colorado Springs Christian, who crossed the finish in 15:42, and Derek Ongalo, of Sheridan.
D'Evelyn also won the team event in 3A with 61 points. They were followed by Buena Vista with 102 points and Center with 111. Pagosa finished the day with 257 points.
Pirates fall to Bayfield, open playoffs at Denver Christian
By Tom Carosello
For Head Coach Sean O'Donnell and his Pagosa Springs Pirates, the last two weeks of the regular season were somewhat bittersweet.
The bad news - a stinging loss at Bayfield Friday night cost the Pirates home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs and sole possession of the Intermountain League title.
On the good side, by beating Centauri Oct. 17 the Pirates laid claim to at least a share of the IML crown for the fifth consecutive year and qualified for postseason play.
As a result, Pagosa will travel north this weekend to face Denver Christian in a Saturday afternoon playoff opener for both teams.
While the Pirates would have preferred to stay at home to open the postseason, second-half turnovers against a Bayfield team fighting for a playoff berth enabled the Wolverines to post a 25-22 victory and grab a share of the league title.
In arguably the most spirited IML contest of the year, Bayfield took a 7-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter after a 24-yard touchdown pass from Cody Moore to Jeremy Sirios.
The Pirates answered with a 7-play march that featured a 20-yard scramble from senior quarterback David Kern and several double-digit gains from senior tailback Jeremy Caler, who capped off the drive with a 12-yard scoring run with 2:44 left in the quarter.
Pirate place-kicker Daniel Aupperle added the extra point to even the score at 7 apiece, and neither team added points before the first quarter ended.
Pagosa's Michael Martinez recovered a fumble inside the Pirate 20 early in the second quarter to thwart a Bayfield drive, and the teams traded punts before the Pirate offensive line began to take charge.
As a result, Caler soon had Pagosa up 13-7 following a 58-yard run to set up his 6-yard scoring jaunt one play later with not quite four minutes gone. Aupperle added the extra-point, and the Pirates led 14-7 with 8:07 left in the half.
Pagosa held the Wolverines to three and out twice late in the quarter, and Kern had the Pirates in scoring range on his team's final possession of the half, hitting flanker Brett Ford for a gain to the Bayfield 45, then scrambling to the 20 with under 30 seconds to play.
A personal-foul call on Bayfield moved the ball to the 10, but the Pirates could not extend their lead; a pair of end-zone fades from Kern to Ford fell incomplete and a 27-yard field goal attempt by Aupperle sailed wide as the half expired.
Things went downhill for the visitors early in second half - a Pirate fumble two plays into the third quarter gave Bayfield possession at the Pagosa 24-yard line.
Bayfield's Kyle Wolff scored from 4 yards out three plays later, but Pagosa's Bubba Martinez blocked the point-after attempt to preserve a one-point lead for the Pirates.
Pagosa took over on its own 25 following the ensuing kickoff; a pitch to fullback Kory Hart gained 10, then Kern broke loose down the right sideline for what appeared to be a 65-yard scoring run.
But a late flag for an apparent block in the back negated the score, and Bayfield took possession on the very next play with an interception by Cory Steward at the Wolverine 35.
Wolff punctuated a 65-yard scoring drive a few minutes later with a 4-yard touchdown run, and though Bayfield's two-point conversion attempt was stuffed, the Wolverines led 19-14 with 6:25 to play in the quarter.
After a miscue on the ensuing kickoff that gave Pagosa possession at its own 5 garnered the Pirates a fiery "pep talk" from O'Donnell, a trio of determined runs from Caler moved his team to near midfield.
However, Pagosa was forced to punt away after Kern's third-and-nine pass attempt to tight end Craig Schutz that had Pirate faithful screaming for an interference call was ruled incomplete.
Bayfield moved to its own 47 on the following possession, but consecutive sacks from Pagosa's Ken McDowell forced the Wolverines into fourth and forever.
But a favorable bounce on the resulting punt pinned the Pirates inside their 10, and Bayfield soon had the ball back on the Pagosa 37 after holding the visitors to three and out early in the final quarter.
Wolff scored from 9 yards out at the 10:45 mark to make it 25-14 in favor of Bayfield, but Pagosa's Jared Kinkead knocked away a pass on the Wolverines' two-point conversion attempt to keep the margin at 11.
The Pirates quickly moved to midfield on their ensuing possession on a second-down strike from Kern to Ford to the Pagosa 46, and crossed into Bayfield territory on a 5-yard gain from Hart.
Then, facing a crucial fourth and 5, Caler took a short middle screen pass from Kern and turned it into a 48-yard touchdown scamper that drew the Pirates within five at 25-20.
Kern then scored with a quarterback keeper on Pagosa's two-point conversion attempt, diving in from 2 yards out to make it 25-22 with just over eight minutes to play.
Those final eight minutes were a roller coaster ride for both sides - Wolff grabbed back the momentum for the Wolverines by returning the ensuing kickoff to the Pirate 27, but Michael Martinez soon gave the Pirates possession at their own 20 with an interception in the end zone.
Bayfield got a break just two plays later when a Pirate fumble gave the Wolverines the ball at the Pagosa 20, but the Pirates took over on downs with three minutes left in the contest after a fourth-down sack from Hart ended the threat at the 22.
Kern engineered a drive inside Bayfield territory in the waning minutes, converting a key fourth down with a completion to Caler at the Wolverine 35 after Pagosa burned its final time-out with 56 seconds to play.
Kern's strike to Ford on the next play set the Pirates up at the 18 and a subsequent spike stopped the clock, but a sack on second down pushed the Pirates back to the 30 and forced Kern to spike on third down with 10 seconds remaining.
Aupperle's field goal attempt from 47 yards out on fourth down had plenty of distance, but drifted just wide of the right upright with three seconds left.
Moore took a knee for the game's final play and the home crowd celebrated Bayfield's claim to the league title and the right to stay home for the opening round of playoffs.
The loss dropped Pagosa's overall season record to 5-4 and IML mark to 3-1.
Game time for the Pirates' playoff clash with the host Denver Christian Crusaders (8-1) from the Class 2A Metro League is set for Saturday, 1 p.m., at 2135 S. Pearl Street, Denver.
Pagosa 7 7 0 8 - 22
Bayfield 7 0 12 6 - 25
Bay - Sirios 24 pass from Moore (kick good)
Pag - Caler 12 run (Aupperle kick)
Pag - Caler 6 run (Aupperle kick)
Bay - Wolff 4 run (kick failed)
Bay - Wolff 4 run (2-point try failed)
Bay - Wolff 9 run (2-point try failed)
Pag - Caler 48 pass from Kern (Kern 3 run
for 2-point conversion)
Pirate kickers bow 3-1 to Holy Family in state playoff action
By Richard Walter
Coach Pasquale Dilorenzo called Pagosa Pirate senior Kyle Sanders aside after his Holy Family Tigers had defeated Pagosa 3-1 in Sweet 16 soccer playoffs Saturday.
"You're right there," he told the Pagosa star. "Your team could play in our league any time."
It may not have been too encouraging for the downhearted leading scorer in the state who was celebrating his 18th birthday and next year will be kicking in the collegiate ranks, but it did validate what many have been arguing: Pagosa's program is not the hick operation some Front Range schools believe it to be.
In fact, a slight twist of the ball's flight and a turn in luck might have kept the Pirates in competition this week.
The first half of the contest before more than 250 in Pagosa's Golden Peaks Stadium was a thrust and parry affair, neither team able to solve the other's defenses.
The result was a 0-0 tie at the break.
The Pirates had the early chances. At 2 minutes, 55 seconds, Sanders was wide left from the 20 with two defenders hanging off him. It was a fact of life throughout the game as the Tigers routinely double-teamed him.
Sanders was stopped again at 7:36 on a fine play by Tiger keeper Justin O'Hayre and less than two minutes later broke the defensive containment but was unable to get to a lead pass from Josh Soniat.
The first half also featured fine play in the nets by Pagosa goalie Caleb Forrest who had seven saves on four shots by Holy Family's leading scorer, Kyle Anderson, and three by Mike Lombardi, a swift midfielder charged with setting the Tiger offense.
Also key in the period were seven block/takeaways by Pagosa, three by Levi Gill and two each by Ryan Goodenberger and Ty Peterson, all stopping Tiger drives.
It also featured a prime scoring opportunity for Sanders who took a Pagosa penalty kick after senior striker Kevin Muirhead was interfered with on attack from the right wing.
Sanders' kick was batted aside but not controlled by O'Hayre and the Pirate got his own rebound and ripped a second shot - which clanked off the inside edge of the right post.
Eric Caldwell's free kick from the 20 was stopped by Gill as the half wound down.
Both squads felt at that point they had a chance if momentum could be established.
Caldwell had the first opportunity of the second half, a free kick from the 30 on a defensive interference call against Pagosa.
It sailed wide right. Seconds later Forrest had to go high to his right to haul down a shot by Lombardi and, after Jesse Morris blocked a Tiger corner kick, Anderson's bid from the right center was over the goal.
Anderson, the state's number-two scorer behind Sanders, broke the deadlock on a header off a corner kick at 57:37 and the Tigers were on the board.
Sophomore midfielder Chris Baum had a chance to even the score just under three minutes later but his shot from 15 off a rebound was flagged down by O'Hayre.
Lombardi had a drive go high right for Holy Family and Forrest snared an Anderson drive on an indirect kick.
The next 15 minutes might have been called "The Levi Gill Show." Time and again he blocked attacks and/or shots, one coming on a headlong dive with arms extended to tip away a 3-on-1 shot on a Tiger attack.
His defensive show seemed to ignite the Pirate offense and at 66:52 Sanders got the equalizer.
Sophomore midfielder Moe Webb came out of a tight scramble with the ball and fooled a Tiger defender with a hesitation step.
The defender was left standing there as Webb went around him to the right and dropped a perfect lead to Sanders who beat O'Hayre with a drive to his left.
Sanders' shot was blocked on the next Pagosa possession and that set the stage for the play of the game.
In fact, according to his teammates, Mike Lancaster's shot giving Holy Family a 2-1 lead was "the shot of the season."
It came after Goodenberger cleared an offensive drive by Holy Family to midfield.
Lancaster came out of a tangle of players at the 30 and rifled a sideways reverse kick toward the goal, a shot rising as it went. Somehow it missed both offensive and defensive players and sailed high into the right corner of the net at 70:04 beyond a shielded Forrest for what would prove to be the game winner.
Gill, seeming to be singlehandedly trying to avoid the loss, blocked another corner shot and turned in a pair of spectacular block/takeaways on ensuing Holy Family efforts.
But, his zeal cost the Pirates when he was called for roughing at 74:05 and Anderson drilled the penalty shot at ground level to Forrest's right.
A final chance for Pagosa went for naught as Muirhead's drive from low right was hauled in by O'Hayre.
The winning Tigers advance to play second-ranked Kent Denver. Other squads in the Elite Eight will be No. 1 Faith Christian, which had to go to overtime to defeat 16th-ranked Vail Mountain, against Colorado Springs Christian, a 2-1 winner of D'Evelyn; No. 3 Salida against No. 6 Basalt; and No. 13 Bishop Machebeuf against No. 5 Colorado Academy.
Scoring: 57:37, HF-Anderson; 66:52, P-Sanders, assist Webb; 70:04 HF-Lancaster, unassisted; 74:05 HF-Anderson, penalty kick. Shots on goal, HF-16, P-13; Saves, P-Forrest, 10, O'Hayre, HF-8. Block/takeaways, Gill-13; Goodenberger, 6, Peterson, 4 and Morris, 2.
Longtime Archuleta County resident Eleanore F. Blundell passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2003, attended by her faithful dog, Carlee.
Born Feb. 2, 1920, to James Carpenter and Betsy Bell Williams Carpenter, she was 83 years old. She married Charles Blundell and they had one daughter, Terri Blundell.
She had moved from Los Angeles, Calif., in 1949 to make her home at Chimney Rock, Colo. She had done a variety of things in her lifetime and was an entrepreneur. She enjoyed genealogy and was a rock hound and artist. She enjoyed spending time with her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles, and two brothers, James M. and J.I. Carpenter.
She is survived by her daughter, Terri Blundell; a granddaughter, Cassi Blundell; and nephews Marvin, Medray, Van, Mason and Jim Carpenter, all in Colorado and Ken Carpenter in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and a niece, Charlene Bone of Santa Fe, N.M.
A memorial service will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 4, 2003 at Pine Valley Four Square Church in Bayfield. Interment will be at a later date in the Mancos Cemetery.
PAC filing required for ballot-issue advertising
By Tom Carosello
If in doubt, check with the county clerk's office first.
That's the advice from June Madrid, Archuleta County clerk, for groups wishing to voice support - or opposition - to issues that will be decided during the Nov. 4 General Election.
While advertisements both for and against this year's slate of ballot questions have become increasingly visible in the past two weeks, apparently some of the groups responsible for the arguments have failed to adhere to Colorado statutes regarding appropriate campaign practices.
According to Madrid, some local organizations are apparently unaware and/or in violation of the state's "Article 45 - Fair Campaign Practices Act," which outlines the necessary disclosure proceedings with regard to local and state elections.
In short, said Madrid, under Article 45, "If a group attempts to sway someone - they have, in effect, formed a political committee and thereby need to follow the rules of the article."
As defined by Article 45, a political committee "means two or more persons who are elected, appointed, or chosen, or have associated themselves, for the purpose of making contributions to candidate committees, issue committees, political parties, or other political committees, or for the purpose of making independent expenditures."
As required by Article 45, groups qualifying as political committees must file reports detailing, among other things, the amount of contributions and expenditures associated with their respective campaigns.
Those who fail to comply with stipulations set forth in Article 45 will be notified of the violation through a letter sent by the county clerk's office, and repeat offenders run the risk of fines imposed by the office of the Colorado Secretary of State.
In addition, said Madrid, time limits for filing the necessary information apply, and corresponding disclosure is required not only prior to the election, but afterward as well.
"What many groups don't realize is they have to report any 'leftover' campaign money, and, if that's the case, if and how they chose to disperse it," concluded Madrid.
For more information regarding Article 45 or where/how to file, contact the county clerk's office at 264-8350, or stop by the office inside the county courthouse at 449 San Juan St.
26 students named to junior high school honor roll
Twenty seventh-graders and six eighth-graders with perfect 4.0 averages pace the first Pagosa Springs Junior High School honor roll for the year.
The list was released by Chris Hinger, principal.
In addition 40 seventh-graders and 30 eighth graders were named to the honor roll with no grade below 3.4286.
Seventh-graders with perfect marks include Anna Ball, Jordan Boudreaux, Dylan Burkesmith, Joseph DuCharme, Eric Freuden-berger, Jacob Haynes, Rachel Jensen, John Jewell.
Also, Jennifer Low, Alexa Midgley, Kyle Monks, Jennifer Mueller, Julia Nell, Raesha Ray, Sackett Ross, Bailee Ruthardt, Davey Schaefer, Brittney Siler, Kade Skoglund and Gabrielle Winter.
Eighth-graders with perfect marks were Ryan Candy, Mackenzie Kitson, Danielle McGuire, Travis Moore, Trey Quiller and Corey Windnagel.
Other seventh-graders honored were, at 3.8571, Kyle Aragon, Alex Baum, Kyle Brookens, Alicia Cox, Joshua DeVoti, Aniceta Gallegos, Allison Hart, Ryan Hujus, Zel Johnston, Teale Kitson, Gregory Rapp, Shelby Stretton, Jackson Walsh, Mattea Weddle and Juniper Willett.
Cited at 3.7143 were Brisa Burch, Dylan Caves, Jacob Faber, Jaclyn Harms, Ashley Iverson, Savannah Maez, Judith Martinez, Mitch Martinez, Shasta McMurry, Jada Salazar, Betsy Schur, Leah Silver and Cheyenne Spath.
Listed at 3.5714 were Christopher Bradford, Cherese Caler, Quinton Finney, Benjamin Gallegos, Casey Griffin, Justin Johnson, Caleb Pringle, Clark Riedberger, Steven Smith, and Anthony Spinelli.
Those at 3.4286 were Zane Gholson, Bruno Mayne, LeeAnn Phillips-Martin and Alexander Sharp.
Eighth-graders at 3.8571 were Madeline Bergon, Caleb Burggraaf, Natalia Clark, Misha Garcia, Aliya Haykus, Hannah Price and Rebecca Stephens.
Checking in at 3.7143 were Chance Adams, Ashley Angell, Shannon DeBoer, Bradley Iverson, Joshua Laydon, Keith Pitcher, and Forrest Rackham.
Cited at 3.5714 were Cameron Creel, Stacy Dominguez, Patrick Ford, Cole Kraetsch, Jessica Low, Chase Moore, Karla Palma, Sara Schultz, Jason Smith and Wes Walters.
Honored at 3.4286 were Amanda Brown, Dan Cammack, Brian Hostetter, Ashley Portnell, Adam Price and Camille Rand.
Military officers career nights set Nov. 24-25
By Brent Johnson, Lt. Col., USAF, Admissions Liaison
Special to The SUN
Each year the Air Force Admissions Liaison Officers of Southern Colorado host a Military Officer Career Night for students interested in attending a service academy or attaining an ROTC scholarship.
This program has led to the success of many youth, receiving valuable scholarship money or attending one of the nation's military academies.
The Air Force Admissions Liaison Officers are hosting the annual Military Officer Career Night, informative seminars for young men and women who desire to attend a service academy or receive an ROTC scholarship.
Representatives of each Military Service Academy as well as Army, Air Force and Navy ROTC will present information and be available to answer questions.
The Pueblo program will be held Nov. 24 at Weisbrod Aircraft museum on the grounds of Pueblo Memorial Airport, six miles east of Pueblo on U.S. 50 East/Colorado 96 East, 31001 Magnuson Ave.
Registration will be 5-6 p.m. Presentation 6-8 p.m. and free time 8-9 p.m. Please RSVP to Lt. Col. Brent Johnson by phone at (719) 250-8828 or e-mail brent.johnson@ usafofficer.us.
A Colorado Springs Program will be held Nov. 25. at Penrose Public Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave. in the Carnegie reading room. Registration will be 5-6 p.m. Presentation 6-8 p.m. and free time 8-9 p.m. Parking is available in the library's public lot, in metered street slots, or in the Antler's Hotel parking garage for a fee.
Please RSVP to Major Bob Roche by phone at (719) 337-4979 or contact him by e-mail at email@example.com.
Although these programs are being held in Pueblo and Colorado Springs all interested parties in southern Colorado are urged to attend.
PAWS aims to improve winter billing estimates
By Tom Carosello
Improved computer capabilities at the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District should mean less headaches for district staff and customers when the spring billing period arrives.
During Tuesday night's district board meeting, Carrie Campbell, general manager, told directors a new type of billing software implemented last year will enable staff to better estimate residential usage charges between November and March, when the district does not read water meters.
According to Campbell, the average monthly usage during that timeframe equates to roughly 4,000 gallons per residence.
The district plans to use that figure as the baseline when calculating monthly charges for residential customers from now until April, when meter readings resume.
Then, for example, if a customer's April reading exceeds the amount of usage billed, that customer will be charged the difference in May. If the reading is less than what was billed, a credit will be applied to the account.
However, new software discoveries are enabling district staff to offer some customers other billing options.
Staff can now accurately identify residences that consume less than 2,000 gallons per month during the non-reading period, as well as residences that consume over 6,000 gallons per month.
At Campbell's request, the board gave the go-ahead for a process that should eliminate a good portion of the number crunching associated with such customers' spring billing adjustments.
To avoid disparities, the district will send letters to those customers whose average usage falls below 2,000 gallons or over 6,000 during winter months, asking if they wish to have their bills estimated accordingly.
Customers who receive the inquiries should reply as promptly as possible to ensure the adjustments will be made throughout the winter billing period.
Customers who do not reply in a timely fashion or fail to respond will have their bills estimated according to the 4,000-gallon method described earlier.
Overall, it's a scenario that Campbell feels will result in November-March water bills that are more realistic than they've been in the past.
"I think it will eliminate some of the billing controversy we normally have come springtime, after we finish April readings," Campbell told the board.
Other actions taken at this week's board meeting included:
- approving the forwarding of 259 delinquent customer accounts totaling roughly $223,000 to the Archuleta County Treasurer's Office for certification (the delinquent charges will appear on violators' tax statements in January)
- granting preliminary approval to the 2004 Water Conservation Program Proposal presented by Denise Rue-Pastin, district conservation aide.
According to the latest readings provided by Gene Tautges, assistant general manager, as of Oct. 28 district reservoirs were at the following levels:
- Lake Hatcher - 68 percent full at 28 inches below spillway
- Stevens Reservoir - 83 percent full at 13 inches below spillway
- Lake Pagosa - 67 percent full at 33 inches below spillway
- Lake Forest - 86 percent full at seven inches below spillway
- Village Lake - 21 percent full at 47 inches below spillway.
Free speech wins
I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude that The Pagosa Springs SUN is committed to maintaining the opportunity for free speech for those who write to the paper.
As a regular contributor to the Shepherd's Staff column I have always been pleased that you have seen fit to print articles from various points of view from various religious leaders in our community. To my knowledge at least six members of the Ministerial Alliance have written articles for the Shepherd's Staff over the years, and you have never demonstrated any favoritism toward any contributor.
I am constantly amazed, however, when those who respond to such articles - in the name of tolerance - attempt to silence those with whom they disagree. It would seem that all things in our society are to be tolerated except those who hold a view of truth that finds it origin in the Word of God rather than personal opinion.
To be sure, people are welcome to believe and say anything they wish and I would fight for their right to do so, but that does not mean that all ideas expressed have equal validity. With Dr. Martin Luther of the 16th century I too must declare that my conscience is held captive by the Word of God and that I cannot and will not recant any statement the Holy Scriptures assert as true regardless of the prevailing popularity or acceptability of statements to the contrary, so help me God!
Some will call such a position "intolerant" others may also claim "bigotry," but their problem is not with me, it is with the authority of God's Word. It is sadly tragic when God reveals His divine Word to men and men instead choose arrogantly to believe their own opinions. Once again the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is consumed (Gen. 2:15-16), and the results are inevitably tragic.
It has been too often said that we should never discuss politics or religion, but to say that is to truncate dialogue on the most interesting and essential subjects which impact our lives on a day-to-day basis.
I welcome opposing views to my own and am confident that the exclusivity of the Christian faith that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, as revealed by Scripture alone will hold its own in the marketplace of ideas and faith.
Let free speech ring in Pagosa!
Rev. Richard A. Bolland
Fight, not flight
Patrick Henry, in 1776, said; "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here".
As was stated in Oct. 23, Letters to the Editor, to suggest that myself and others might "tuck tail and run", is at the very least, wishful thinking on the part of those who's hatred for our foundations and our traditions as a Christian Republic drive them to attack both past and present Christian Conservatives. It should be noted by all those who would want us to suddenly disappear, that what my letters, as well as others, are suggesting is that, we are on the fight not the flight!
As the revisionists want to continue to lie and mislead readers to the truth of our foundations, let me once again quote the founders themselves.
James Madison, primary author of the constitution said, "We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments".
July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity".
Once again, Mr. Greene's insistence on the King James Version of the Bible being the primary reason for Puritans and Separatists seeking religious freedom in the Virginia Colonies, is naive and falls on it's face in light of the following. In 1604 Puritan president of Corpus Christi College, John Reynolds wrote; "moved His Majesty (King James), that there might be a new translation of the Bible", because those versions in use at the time, "were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the Original", including the Geneva, which was considered by many the worst of all. The first printing of the K.J.V. was 1611.
Finally, Patrick Henry stated, "There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir is not for the strong alone. Is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death".
Thank you for allowing me to exercise my First Amendment right to free speech.
Editor's note: The First Amendment does not guarantee publication of letters or other materials in a newspaper.
In trying to understand the series of letters from Mr. William Bennett I question the hair-splitting over interpretations of Bible passages. There has always been an initial problem of translating any language into English. Add political history and the accident of time and place when the various translations were commissioned then the best we can hope is to capture the spirit, if not the letter, of the original writing.
The socio/political/religious conditions that existed when James I and VI commissioned the "King James" version of the Bible make it suspect at best.
Move history forward to the time when our founding fathers were drafting the Constitution. What or who is meant by the various references to "God" is something less than clear. Though George Washington may have been an acknowledged Christian in the terms we understand today, a number of the drafting participants were monotheists and their references to a "God" did not create the "Christian Nation" concept that is getting so much attention today.
Some of the references made by Mr. Bennett leave an impression of an Old Testament God of retribution only. Jesus' many admonitions about "accept and love your fellow man" seem to have been lost in translation. For either believers or nonbelievers, Jesus' words have to be twisted beyond recognition to justify what is happening in the Middle East and in our own country.
I have a continuing suspicion that the term "Christian Nation" has become a euphemism for a movement that is more political than religious and with a questionable agenda.
If the residents of Archuleta County let the proposed use tax pass, you will have invited cancer into your lives and homes.
If the businesses of Archuleta County can't or won't compete, get out of business. If the businesses are trying to compete with Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowes, they can't, they won't, they will die.
We do not owe them a living and a stupid tax. Should the citizens pay for what the businesses can't and won't do at a fair price? No, it's called free enterprise. Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
The commissioners are not serving the citizens, they're taking care of their business buddies who can't make it on their own. They always talk of parks, streets, schools, libraries. Horsefeathers! It's all a bunch of you know what.
This is just a start to steal from the citizens for what business can't do. Next will be a toll booth at the county line slapping you with a use tax on your Wal-Mart purchases in Durango.
Pass this and you will have the commissioners in your homes with more stupid taxing ideas. They will never account for the money they will have taken from you. They need to get a big message from the citizens: If you're broke, do without.
Who's looking out for you, Bill O'Reilly? It better be all of us. If not, we will have invited the biggest cancer we could have imagined.
The article last week concerning the upgrades to be completed at Stevens Field, extensively quotes Mr. Smith, the airport manager. He describes the plan as being the most feasible and cost-effective to serve the general aviation community for years to come.
Also mentioned is the fact the work will include clearing the existing office building, fuel storage tanks and T-hangars. Mr. Smith's dismissal of the so-called T-hangars represents a gross misstatement of the actual situation. There is only one so-called T-hangar. The other seven involved in the clearing process are full-sized hangars, which represent a total investment of as much as $500,000. The fact the hangars also serve as the only protection from the elements for the planes they house, represent a total value many times that amount.
Mr. Steele, the county administrator, who one would expect to be in Mr. Smith's supervisor chain, was apprised several months ago of the inappropriateness of referring to the hangars slated for clearing as falling in the T-hangar category. This obviously has no effect on Mr. Smith's penchant for hyperbole. Further, it needs to be stressed that at no point in the formulation of this "most feasible and cost-effective plan" has there been any discussion with the owners of the hangars involved.
The hangar owners have obtained information regarding this "plan" via rumor and news releases. There have been no attempts to make arrangements to meet with these owners to provide substantive information regarding proposed compensation or a timetable for providing alternative protection for the aircraft housed in these hangars; nor has there been any substantiation of the criteria requiring their removal.
If Mr. Smith is concerned with serving the general aviation fleet, perhaps he should start with satisfying the needs and concerns of the local taxpaying hangar owners instead of projecting statements of how wonderful things are to the public.
The members of the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters board are basking in warm feelings of pride and appreciation for the efforts and accomplishments of Pagosa's young people who are active in the performing arts.
When the David Taylor Dance Theatre needed extra assistance for their recent performance, the following "tekkies" stepped right in to help: Matt DeWinter, David Smith, Jacob Smith, and Darren Garcia.
Terry McAllister, who helped on several Music Booster productions and graduated last spring from Pagosa Springs High School, is performing this fall in two shows with the Fort Lewis College Theatre Department: "The Laramie Project" and "The Hobbit."
Since the mission of the Music Boosters is to help students attain their goals toward a career in the various performing arts, it is always the board's pleasure to report on the progress of their scholarship recipients.
Jared Lincoln is a member of an a cappella men's group called "In the Buff" at CU in Boulder. Out of 40 who tried out for the group he was one of only four new members selected to perform. He has two solos in a concert Oct. 24 with the Buffs and is also singing with the Collegiate Choir.
Nora Fabris was home recently from CU in Boulder and gave friends copies of a demo CD she has put together, which includes several original songs.
Clay Pruitt is taking classes in film at CU in Boulder and enjoying them very much.
The Music Boosters congratulates all these fine students and wishes them continued success.
Dear Editor :
Point of clarification. None of the letters from readers printed in last week's edition of The SUN requested censorship.
Rather, a request for civility was pleaded by several citizens. Civility is the polite expression of an opinion. It is an opinion, stated as such, not expressed as fact with an intention to impugn those who might hold a differing opinion.
Your description of these concerns as "blather" in your editorial "The Will to Silence," echoed the recently heard and remembered statement "people who don't count" spoken by an arrogant leader of this community. Is it possible that the hubris of corporate leadership has infected the trusted men of Pagosa?
Point of clarification 2: The reason a Biblical quote was removed from the County Clerk's office is the inappropriateness of any one religion influencing policy in this country and county. While the offensiveness of the sign was named by a person of differing sexual preference, it is not the individual's sexual preference that caused the sign to be removed. Would the Pagosa SUN have named the color of this person's eyes or ethnic heritage as a cause?
By allowing this false perception to continue, the actions of The SUN inflame intolerance. Attention to this level of accuracy is important, especially when presenting information to the public.
Lastly, I would appreciate courageous submissions from the many other religious leaders of Pagosa. To be silent is morally reprehensible.
To quote a great Master and Teacher who is apparently a local favorite: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you": Matthew 25:45; "Judge not lest ye be judged": Matthew 7:1. Those who follow Christ do best by example, not by words alone.
Thank you for this opportunity to help sell newspapers.
Bad hair days
It's not often that a citizen can find a way to improve the local economy, improve the local tax base, and make Pagosa a more beautiful place - all without adding any new taxes. (Why do I feel like saying, "Vote for me!") In addition, Halloween can be a less scary place for our kids.
The solution is simple. Someone in Pagosa needs to keep their hair salon or barber shop open on Sunday afternoons. "Fat-ol'-white-guys" who are busy contractors like myself, need a place to get their hairs cut on Sundays - without having to go to Durango. The money stays in our economy, the resulting taxes stay here, and we become less ugly and less scary to the kids on Halloween.
Notice that I said, "hairs cut." This is not a mistake. When you are young and have lots of hair, you get a hair cut. You think of your head of hair as a group. When you get to be my age, each individual hair counts. Therefore, it is accurate for me to say that I am going to get a "hair's cut."
In the true spirit of Pagosa, my wife wouldn't cut my hair this Sunday morning. She didn't want to be arrested for cutting my hair by violating some obscure, ugly law that may be in place here. In desperation, I cut my own hairs. Since I couldn't get to the back of my head, I am currently working on a comb-over. But I figure I won't get arrested since I'll just wear my hard hat all week when I go out.
If I saw a sign on a local barber shop or salon that said, "Contractor's Special - Hair Cuts on Sundays," my service truck would probably have to have its brakes checked, as fast as I would stop. Now, if a foot massage and a hot towel treatment were an option, I still wouldn't be able to get a hairs cut, since I would have to work seven days a week to afford that.
In response to the many letters recently complaining about this or that particular feature in the Sun, I would like to commend you for your editorial policy as printed in last week's newspaper.
I want to thank you particularly for printing the Shepherd's Staff column.
A few letters were written regarding this column, protesting Rev. Bolland's writings in particular. Permit me to offer another side of the story.
A few years ago, due to certain life situations, I found myself experiencing an incredible spiritual hunger. At the time, I was a member of the synagogue in Durango, searching deeply into my own faith roots.
One day I, too, read an article by Rev. Bolland to which I, and another Jewish friend, took offense. Briefly, in it he compared Christianity with other religions, and his point was that Christianity was unique in that it recognizes that we cannot approach God by our own acts, no matter how righteous we think we are, or how hard we try to approach him.
That nothing we do makes any difference in God's eyes, because it is God who must come to us, and that He does so through Jesus Christ. Well, we kvetched about it for a week or so, and then I decided to write to Rev. Bolland and express my displeasure with his viewpoint, which I did, in a somewhat disrespectful manner, I'm sorry to say.
He responded with a very gracious and respectful letter back. I was intrigued about his comments about the place the law holds in the Christian faith. We began meeting often to talk about faith, and Christianity and Judaism, and I found him to be extremely intelligent, theologically knowledgeable, articulate, and perceptive. Throughout these meetings, he was always respectful of my faith ... by so doing he was also able to explain Christianity to me a very non-threatening way. In this way he was instrumental in helping me see that those ancient promises of the Messiah of my heritage had been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Because Rev. Bolland was willing to spend that time with me, God was able to work through him to help bring me to faith in Jesus the Messiah, and that faith has made all the difference in the world.
My spiritual hunger remains, but it is no longer one of desperation and fear, but one of love and gratitude to God. It may not have been as dramatic as CPR for a heart attack victim, but all the same, Rev. Bolland was there to offer the life-saving gospel message of God's greatness and mercy. I'm very grateful to him, and to David Mitchell, who began publishing this column so many years ago.
To those offended by this column, I would suggest that, instead of writing letters to the editor, you might want to talk directly with the author about your concerns. I know that, at least in Rev. Bolland's case, his door has always been open.
I am not condemning any single person or entity. I am only concerned about the beauty of our great country, especially the Rocky Mountains.
Through my travels I have met others who feel strongly against littering. I have also met people who just do not care about clean surroundings. Some people may never have been taught the importance of not littering or the negative impact of littering.
Daily I see people throw trash out of their vehicles, toss cigarette butts on the ground and simply walk past litter. I have seen people throw cigarette butts on the ground right in front of me as I am picking up other litter.
Another issue is trash cans and Dumpsters overflowing. In Colorado, with the wildlife and high winds, this overflow becomes blown and carried for miles.
A friend told me how her father was trying to help a skunk. The skunk had caught his/her head in a plastic lid.
I have been talking with many people about these issues and I feel my opinions are in the majority. Unfortunately, the few uncaring individuals can blemish our awe inspiring landscape.
This is a problem all over the world, but hopefully we can help teach others to appreciate a clean environment. My father told me to "leave the world in a little better condition than I found it." Please do not litter and, every day, try to pick up some trash.
Those who might insinuate that this "Reactionary Right Wing Swashbuckling Dimwit," magna cum laude graduate of the Arboles Crayola Academy of Advanced Letters would have priority in The SUN opinion page must have their cranium buried in some ebullient beetle infested tree trunk.
Even professor Bob Dungan, that hearty Arboles gourmand of rapier wit and somewhat legendary philologist, does not hold a liberal monopoly to The SUN letters section.
I'd be willing to wager a large part of my lavish Social Security check that The SUN is not about to allow any demeaning or libelous letter to the editor. They haven't done so for 95 years. Why would they start now?
Whatever the topic, if SUN management deems your writing effort meets the proper criteria to leap up on their front porch and fence with the "Swashbucklers" - don't just whine. If ya can't grind yerself a constructive and articulately pointed blade, be considerate of the other debaters - get off the porch. Then you might consider reading, writing or subscribing to a paper in a nearby town. Lots of left wingers seem to promote their wacko liberal drivel in this arena.
Time to drop my Crayola and run this over to the brightest small town publication west of the Mississippi. Maybe this time my hors d'oeuvres effort will pass the editor's dinner table taste and I'll be allowed on the porch with the other blades. But should this attempt fail, it would be foolhardy for anyone to believe that the other "Swashbucklers" and I will not return. On Guard!
The Polish D'Artagnon
Halloween costume party will be featured at senior center
By Laura Bedard
The senior center will be a scary place Oct. 31.
We will have a Halloween party and prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. We will also be celebrating October birthdays, so if you have a birthday in October, make sure you come in and get your card and some cake.
The senior board will meet at 12:45 p.m. the same day in Town Hall. All seniors are welcome to attend.
We have Oktoberfest steins for sale at the center for only $5. They make great gifts - they can be filled with candy, coffee, bubble bath, etc. Get them now because they're going fast.
Patty Tillerson will be here on Halloween to check blood pressures at 11 a.m. If she dresses up like she did last year, she should be getting some interesting readings.
Still, it doesn't cost anything, so if you are brave enough, get your blood pressure checked.
Don't forget that, Nov. 4, the Seeds of Learning kids will be here to entertain us at lunchtime. These kids are cute and give out hugs, so don't miss their performance.
Next week we should have a sign-up list ready for everyone who wants to have a free Thanksgiving meal for seniors at Francisco's in Durango. It will be served Nov. 25, 2-4 p.m. Francisco's does this meal every year and our seniors love it.
Barbara Conkey will present "Understanding Your Dreams" 12:45 p.m. Nov. 5. She has been here before and is very popular. So, if you have questions about dreams in general or your dreams in particular, come hear what she has to say.
Darcy will also be here at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 5 to take Colorado SHARE food orders. You don't need to be low income or a senior to take advantage of some good food deals. For more information, call Darcy at 731-0867.
News from the SC_O
"Old George, the oldest of the old-timers, was never known to be fast. He had two speeds, slow and slower until one day he was helping with the branding and backed into a branding iron that was red hot. In three jumps he was with the ducks in the duck pond. He now has three speeds - slow, slower and lightning fast!
"Recently, while walking with her small granddaughter, Dorothy passed a patch of dandelions that had gone to seed. She showed them to her granddaughter and the youngster remarked that all of those grey seeded dandelions reminded her of the people at the senior center!"
Friday - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; Medicare counseling, 11; blood pressure checks, 11; Halloween party and birthday celebrations, noon; senior board meeting, 12:45 p.m.
Nov. 3 - bridge for fun, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 - yoga, 9:30 a.m; advanced computer class, 10:30; Seeds of Learning kids sing, 11:30; pinochle, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 - beginning computer class, 10:30 a.m.; ColoradoSHARE food orders for November, 12:30 p.m.; "Understanding Your Dreams," 12:45 p.m.
Oct. 31 - Lasagna layered with bat wings, swamp salad with slime dressing, garlic fisheye roll, peaches and cupcake
Nov. 3 - Swedish meatballs, potato or pasta, mixed vegetables, whole wheat roll, fruit cup and orange juice
Nov. 4 - Grilled cheese sandwiches, beef/vegetable soup, tossed salad, and spiced applesauce
Nov. 5 - Salmon nuggets, potato, coleslaw, muffin and apricots.
Busy bazaar brings bountiful beauty
By Sally Hameister
Don't forget that this Saturday features the annual Civic Club Bazaar at the Pagosa Springs Community Center 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
I just stopped by the library this morning and checked out all the fabulous raffle prizes available, and I have decided that I want every one of them. It's not that I'm greedy, it's just that they are all incredibly cool.
For those who don't want "stuff," I'm sure that the two cash items will be most appealing. You can win a basket filled with 50 one dollar bills or a wreath loaded with same. Who wouldn't just love those two beauties?
Our local artists and retailers will be there with unique, one-of-a-kind items that you would definitely not find in a city mall. The Plaid Pony, Slices of Nature, Jump River Mercantile and The Hideout will be there with holiday items that will enhance your home and make you wildly popular with those on your holiday giving list.
Delicious homemade baked goods will be available, so think in terms of taking some of them home and freezing them so you can pull them out when your holiday schedule becomes too frenzied to do your own baking. The Club Café will provide brisket, hot dogs and drinks to sustain you during your shopping adventure.
You can purchase your raffle tickets from a Civic Club member or at the library. You will want a bunch of them after you see the impressive display of prizes to be won. If you have questions, call Barb Draper at 731-9979. We hope to see you all at the Civic Club Bazaar Saturday.
Heavenly Hot Springs
Be sure to pick up the November issue of Sunset Magazine which features a lovely article about The Springs Resort in its Travel and Recreation section. They list their choices for the top 10 hot springs in Colorado and The Springs Resort was chosen as number one for "Best Riverside Setting." What is especially marvelous about this article is that it not only says great things about the Resort, it features two beautiful pictures of the facility.
It's always a great boost to all of us and our economy when a Pagosa business gets this kind of national recognition, and we congratulate the folks at The Springs Resort for being selected for this honor. We hope that lots of folks all over the country will decide to take a tour of all ten "hot spots" in Colorado and will begin with The Springs Resort in Pagosa. Board Director Angie Gayhart was good enough to bring her issue in, so I have a copy here at the Chamber if anyone would like to see it.
We still have a brochure slot available at the LaPlata/Durango Airport for anyone interested in capturing those folks who have just arrived and are looking for information on what to do, where to go or where to stay in Pagosa. Our display is in a dandy location right next to the Avis Rental Car booth with six brochures available to our travelers. One of our investors is dropping out on Nov. 1, so if you would like to take advantage of this great advertising opportunity, please give us a call as soon as possible because they don't become available very frequently. 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 Saturday. 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. Please give us a call at 264-2360 if you are interested in airport advertising.
Susie sings gospel
For those of you who have had the distinct pleasure of seeing and hearing Susie Ewing, there is an event on the horizon that should please you immensely.
Susie and accompanist Rada Neal will appear at Community United Methodist Church Nov. 7-8 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Susie comes in a rather small package and delivers one whale of a wallop with her amazingly diverse range and musical genre selections. She has a voice that is particularly suited for gospel music, and I can assure you that you'll be happy you went. As an added treat, the Quodlibet Handbell Choir will perform in addition to Susie. Also, if you would like a refreshment or two before the show, doors will open at 6:45 both evenings.
Tickets for "Susie Sings Gospel" are available at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company and the Chamber of Commerce for $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
The San Juan Conservation District is taking orders for seedling trees and shrubs to be planted especially for conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestations and wildlife habit enhancement.
Landowners need to own at least two acres to participate, and seedlings cannot be resold and must be used for conservation purposes, as opposed to landscaping.
Bare root trees are available in multiples of 50 per species and potted trees are available in multiples of 30 per species. Early orders will have the best selection and must be made before March 1, 2004.
Landowners in Archuleta, southern Hinsdale and southwestern Mineral counties can obtain a seedling order application from the San Juan Conservation District or CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the Archuleta County Fair Building. Call 264-5516 for more information.
Holiday open house
Our neighboring members in South Fork, Home Reflections, invite you to join them for their Holiday Open House Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at their store located at 0173 West Frontage Road in South Fork. There will be live Christmas music throughout the day to get you into the spirit of the upcoming season. Please call them at (719) 873-5428 with any questions.
Income tax workshop
Barbara Blackburn invites you to attend a two-day workshop at the Strater Hotel in Durango Nov. 6-7. This seminar, sponsored by Blackburn's Business Bureau, is presented by the National Center for Professional Education and will address individual income tax. Cost for the seminar is $275 for members and $300 for nonmembers. For information and registration, you can go online to: www.colorado accountant.org/ or call Barbara at her office at 264-6644.
We couldn't be more pleased to welcome three new business members to the fold, one new Associate Member and six renewals.
Life is good, and we are grateful to the following folks for their support and confidence as we are to each and every one of our members.
Medray Carpenter joins us first with Romar Group/Romar Realty.
Medray was a member a while back, and we are very happy that he decided to join us again - welcome back. For more information, call 264-6056. We thank Lisa Mettscher for recruiting Medray and will be pleased to send her a pass for a free SunDowner. Thank you, Lisa, and feel free to recruit all the new members you like.
We next welcome a new business brought to the Chamber by a very familiar face. Susan Kuhns, CNP, joins us with Pagosa Women's Health and Wellness located at 102 Pike Drive (former home of Kitzel Farrah's vet clinic). I know Susan and her faithful crew have spent many hours of hard labor and devoted a lot of heart, blood, sweat and tears to this clinic, and we're happy they have joined us. If you have questions for Susan, please call 264-2218.
Our third new business this week is Community Connections, Inc. brought to us by Jacquelyn Hendricks in Durango. Community Connections provides services for the developmentally disabled by improving the quality of life for residents in Southwest Colorado. This organization encourages self-determination and independence, promotes self worth and improves the ability of people to live in and contribute to this community. For more information about Community Connections, contact Jacquelyn at 259-2464.
Our new Associate Members this week are Bob and Sandy Grandchamp, and we are grateful to our long-time Diplomat, Ron Hunkin, for recruiting the Grandchamps. Ron will receive a pass for a free SunDowner along with our sincere appreciation for his recruitment efforts. Just remember that if you recruit a new member to the Chamber, you too will receive a free SunDowner pass. Now get out there and start recruiting.
Our renewals this week include the Most Reverend Mother Superior Mary (of "Nunsense" fame) and Don McKeehan of Old West Press; Linda Morrison with Pagosa Insurance Agency, Inc.; Udgar Parsons with Growing Spaces, LLC; Thomas A. Cruse with PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; Dennis A. Gallegos with Waste Management Four Corners in Farmington, and League of Women Voters of Archuleta County. Thanks to one and all.
Bazaar items give aura of Christmas
It looks like Christmas at the library. We are thrilled with the many donations of beautiful items to be raffled at the Civic Club Bazaar on Saturday.
They will be displayed at the Bazaar where you will be able to buy tickets.
We look forward to seeing you at the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Plan to eat lunch with the ladies and browse the more than 40 booths filled with items for your holiday shopping. And special thanks to Barb Draper, Margaret Wilson and Jean Sanft for getting this year's raffle organized.
Reading group choices
There is now a list of the top 20 favorite books of hundreds of book clubs in the country. If you have a book club, or want to start one, you may be eligible to receive free books and financial assistance to pay for your refreshments.
Ask to check out the book, "Reading Group Choices: selections for Lively Book Discussion 2004."
Christy Holden dropped off an interesting language study catalog from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. The college serves people in language immersion sessions and teaching workshops. They have built five culturally authentic village sites where students are immersed in all senses of a language and culture. This method of teaching is creating an unparalleled international spirit and community. If you know anyone interested in learning languages, tell them about this catalog. It may be checked out.
We'd also like to thank Christy for donating some special literary key chains to be sold at the bazaar. All proceeds go to the building fund.
The Chamber of Commerce is selling our artist bookmarks. We just heard from Sally Hameister that the Chamber has another bookmark they distribute free to tourists telling about our area.
They keep a little donation box by the bookmark. It suggests that if they wish, they can donate to our library. The tourists have been most accommodating and the donations add up. Every penny counts and they are helping us reach our goal.
I hope to have some exciting news very soon thanks to all of the generous people in our community.
As we get more and more of our collection "online," ways we do business continue to change. The company providing us our network is upgrading and will soon offer our patrons more services. Becky will be attending a weeklong workshop to help her streamline our system. Our Web site and our public access catalog will be changing so watch for the new instructions.
In the meantime we are putting all magazines into the computer so patrons will check them out just like they do books. Please look at the front cover of the magazines to see which ones belong to us. They will have due dates just like any other material.
We ask anyone donating books or magazines to bring them to the front desk so we can see if they need bar codes.
We ask for your patience during these changes. The benefits will ultimately be worth the inconveniences of today. Our library continues to be on the cutting edge of technology, which sometimes seems to be a calamitous place to be.
Financial help for the building fund came from Ron and Cindy Gustafson in memory of Carl Jolliff. Thanks for materials from Jim and Margaret Wilson, Sally Hameister, Muriel Cronkhite, Dana Dellmore, Charlene Baumgardner, Martha Johnson, Wanda Garner, Ralph Williams and Linda Galyean.
Veterans Day and veterans facts
America's veterans have served in many wars in our country's history. Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, is approaching and gives us pause to reflect on the terrible cost in lives America has paid to preserve its freedom.
I recently came across some facts about these past conflicts from the Department of Veterans Affairs, I thought our veterans might find interesting. Considering there are many critics of the VA these days, some of these facts may surprise you.
The following information comes direct from the VA records.
Last Civil War widow
The last Civil War Union widow died just this year. Gertrude Janeway, 93, died Jan. 17, 2003. If you think the Union won the Civil War consider that the last Union veteran, Albert Woolson, died Aug. 2, 1956, at age 109. However, the last Confederate veteran, John Salling outlived Woolson and died March 16, 1958, at age 112. I doubt it mattered much anymore for those two veterans after all those years. Wonder if they knew each other or possibly faced each other across a battlefield?
There are still two veterans of the Mexican Border War on the VA rolls. Consider also there are still five children of Civil War veterans on the compensation and pension rolls from the VA.
There is one child from the Indian Wars, 175 from the Spanish-American War, and 23 from the Mexican Border War. There are 228 surviving spouses of veterans of the Spanish-American War and 119 from the Mexican Border War.
World War I
There are 44 Veterans of World War I still receiving VA benefits. There are 4,882 children, one parent and 14,822 surviving spouses still receiving VA benefits as of September 2003. Looks like the spouses are certainly outliving the veteran husbands.
It is common knowledge WW II veterans are dying at a rapid rate as that conflict recedes further into our distant past. Consider that a veteran entering military service at age 18 in 1941 is now a minimum of 80 years old.
As of September 2003 there are an estimated 4,370,000 WW II veterans still living. It is projected that in 10 years that number will diminish to 1,161,000.
Total U.S. service members serving in WW II worldwide were 16,112,566. There were 291,557 battle deaths, 113,842 non-theater deaths in service, and 671,846 non-mortal woundings, for a total number of 1,077,245, casualties.
World War II figures
WW II saw the largest number of service members (16,112,566), almost twice as many as the next largest conflict, the Vietnam War, with 9,200,000 service members.
However, the American Civil War holds the record for the highest number of fatal casualties if you consider both sides of the conflict. A total of 405,399 deaths resulted from that conflict. This does not include an estimated 26,000 to 31,000 Confederate service members who died in Union prisons.
America's war total statistics are: U.S. military service during war, 42,348,460; battle deaths, 651,013; other deaths (in theater), 13,855; other deaths (non-theater), 524,545; non-mortal woundings, 1,431,290; living war veterans, 16,897,000; living veterans (war and peacetime periods), 25,179,000.
The total number of war veterans does not equal the sum of veterans shown for individual war periods because approximately 890,000 living veterans served in two conflicts and an additional 130,000 served in three conflicts. These individuals are counted in each period in which they served, but are counted only once in the America's Wars Total figures.
All gave some
Remember America's veterans. "All gave some, and some Š gave all" to their country.
Scott White, Pagosa Spring's eighth-grade American history teacher, tells me his class will again host a salute to our local veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 8-11:30 am.
There will be a free breakfast for all veterans and the junior high band and choir will offer music in tribute to our veterans. All veterans are encouraged to attend and be recognized for their contribution to America's freedom.
I believe this is the third year the eighth-grade class has sponsored this event. These kids ask nothing but the privilege to serve and honor our veterans. They put forth a great effort and deserve our attendance.
For information on these and other veterans benefits 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 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Robert G. Davis and Dorothy A. (Eichvalds) Davis were married Sept. 20, 2003 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pagosa Springs. Numerous relatives and friends were there to assist and participate in the celebration. The couple will reside in Pagosa Springs.
Roger Lord, son of John Lord and the late Mrs. Bonnie Lord of Pagosa Springs, was promoted to commander in the United States Navy during ceremonies July 1 at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
Lord first enlisted in the Navy for training as a submarine sonar technician following graduation from Pagosa Springs High School in May, 1979.
He was promoted to sonar technician first class before accepting a direct commission through Officer's Candidate School in 1988.
He has accumulated over 600 days under water while assigned to two submarines, making a total of 11 strategic patrols to the North Atlantic. He has seen duty in Kuwait, assigned as a logistics and construction advisor to the Kuwaiti Air Force; served three years aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower; and as chief of contracts at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va.
Following the events of 9/11, then Lt. Cmdr. Lord was deployed as a contingency contracting officer to the Middle East in direct support of operations in Bahrain and Afghanistan.
The new commander was recently transferred to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey as assistant dean and programs officer in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy.
Cmdr. Lord is married to the former Kimberly Ann Weir of Monterey and they have two children, Ryan and Brittany.
A Garden Party
IHM group prepares for annual fashion show
By Tess Noel Baker
The leaves may have fallen. Halloween costumes are pressed and ready to wear. Turkeys are sitting in many a freezer. All signs that point to the start of cooler seasons.
Members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and Luncheon Committee will grant summer a last moment of glory Nov. 8, when they present "A Garden Party," for 117 guests at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.
Entertainment is planned. Fashion. And a cool menu of treats meant for a day among flowers and friends. And a "most beautiful hat" contest.
Committee co-chairs Yvonne Ralston and Joan Slavinski said tickets have already sold out as they have nearly every year.
"When we started, we didn't know it would take off so well," Slavinski said. "Now, I don't think we could stop. Sally at the Chamber puts it on her calendar a year ahead of time."
Seven years ago, a loosely-formed group of women in the Parish led by June Geisen began to look for ways to raise money for improvements to the Parish Hall - a building used by both the church and community groups for meetings. They came up with the idea for a luncheon and fashion show with an elaborate theme.
Each year it's different. The decorations are kept secret until the last minute. Costumes liven the atmosphere. Entertainment varies - not to mention the food.
"It's kind of a challenge every year to come up with something different," Slavinski said.
They start with a meeting to critique the previous year's show. Then, in August, the group comes together to come up with the theme.
"We gather around a table and throw out ideas," Ralston said. The winner is "what everybody likes the best," she said.
Or, "Whoever had the loudest voice," Slavinski added with a smile. "Actually we try to come up with something you can decorate for, something that will be pleasing to the eye."
After all, the group of about 15 makes all the table decorations, keeping the look mostly a secret until the day of the event. In the past, there have been baskets shaped like covered wagons, servers in sailor garb, palm trees and tipis.
Local clothing stores are invited to place their clothing in the fashion show. And, each year, one of the resale stores is invited to do the same, always a hit.
"We always have children in the program, too," Slavinski said. "They're the hit of the show." One or two family pets have also made its way down the runway.
"We've come up with some innovative things," Ralston said. It takes the assistance of the whole community, including businesses who donate outfits for show and the prizes given away throughout the day, and many volunteers to pull it off.
They cook. They decorate. They serve. They model.
The cooking is done by Dahrl Henley - and a support group of ladies who help out the Friday before the luncheon.
This year, the menu includes: Chicken Cheddar Cheese Soup served with cheddar cheese wafers, a salad with apple vinaigrette dressing, jumbo pasta shells stuffed with seafood salad, cucumber and radish garnish, croissant rolls and make-your-own ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Henley's recipes call for 10 chickens, seven pounds of cheddar cheese, three pounds of butter, two cups of lemon juice, eight bunches of green onions, and five pounds of white onions, just to name a few of the ingredients.
"Once they come up with the theme," Henley said, "I try to figure out something that will go along with it." Last year, when the theme was "The Orient Express," she tried to find something from each country the famous train passed through to serve. She started with vichyssoise. It turned out to be one of her biggest challenges.
"I knew I wasn't going to be able to peel and cook 150 potatoes, so I decided to use dehydrated potatoes," she said. She bought a huge bag, took it to the kitchen, added water to a pan and then the potatoes. The potatoes immediately took on the consistency of spackling compound. That's when she decided to read the directions which called for - of all things - mixing using a commercial blender.
To make it usable, she and a group of volunteers spent the whole day before the event putting the potatoes through one Cuisinart at a time, adding the leaks, onions and cream as they went.
"It was just a mess, but it turned out very well," she said.
That, after all, is the joy of cooking. "You just fix it until it tastes good and that's about it," she said.
Every year she learns something more about cooking for large numbers - and the time it takes. One year, she said, they served pork loins. It didn't seem like too tough an assignment until they started cutting each one. That, took hours.
Ralston said without the volunteers like Henley and those who help her the event simply wouldn't be possible. And wouldn't earn the rave reviews it does. And the Parish Hall wouldn't look so good.
"The best part is the pleasure we get by making improvements around the Parish Hall," she said. "So many different groups take advantage of using it."
Proceeds from this year's luncheon will be used to tile the entryway. In the past, the group has purchased an eight-burner stove and a dishwasher for the facility. Some money also goes to the church youth group.
Other members of the luncheon committee include: Joy Allen, Karen Cox, Judy Cramer, Mary Jo Coulehan, June Geisen, Nancy Giordano, Susan Hampton, Alice Hassett, Margaret Jones, Mercy Korsgren, Mary Meyer, Beverly Papierniak, Rusty Ryan and Joan Young.
How Dead Man Creek got its name
John M. Motter
Place names. Do you ever wonder where they come from?
Take Dead Man Creek, for example.
There are two of them in Pagosa Country. One is tributary to the Blanco River between the green bridge on U.S. 84 and the forest service campground a few miles upstream. The other runs into the East Fork of the Piedra River a few miles above the falls. Today's story is about the second one.
My take on Dead Man Creek came several years ago when a number of us were drinking coffee in the Elkhorn Cafe. The "us" included Earl Mullins, Emmett Martinez and Bill Warr. There may have been others.
Anyway, out of the blue Mullins asked, "Do you know how Dead Man Creek got its name?"
"Well, I'll tell you," he continued, without waiting for an answer. "There used to be a family here by the name of Parr. Sully Parr was running a band of sheep in the upper Four Mile Lake area and he had a camp between the two lakes.
"Supplies were getting low, so Parr came to town for supplies. Hatcher had a bargain going on green apples, so Parr added some of those to his provisions and headed back towards camp.
"When he reached Ma Cade's cabin there at Cade Flats, he stopped to visit awhile with Ma Cade. She, in the true spirit of frontier hospitality, broke out some grub including sweet milk fresh from the cow. Nothing would do but to sample the green apples along with the sweet milk.
"Pretty soon Parr allowed that he wasn't feeling so well, so he climbed on his horse and headed up Four Mile Creek toward his camp. He reached camp so sick he decided to send a sheepherder back down the mountain to fetch Dr. Mary.
"It was dark and the road to town twisted and turned. Following a much longer route than the nice boulevard going that way today. But he persisted and presently the sheepherder was rousing Dr. Mary.
"She hitched up her buggy and trotted up the mountain close behind the now worn-out sheepherder. Since only a single-lane trail connected Ma Cade's cabin with Parr's camp site, the good doctor abandoned the buggy and continued up the mountain astraddle a saddle.
"First light was nosing over Squaretop Mountain when she arrived at Parr's camp, only to learn that he had died before she arrived.
"I thought he would be dead," Dr. Mary said, "but there was a chance so I tried my best. Green apples and milk are a bad combination and that's what killed him."
That being said, Mullins pulled the green visor low on his forehead, leveled a stare one-by-one at everyone sitting at the table as if daring anyone to contradict him, then got up and went back to his barber shop.
I wasn't going to contradict him. Mullins was capable of telling a good story and capable of telling good history. I knew they weren't always the same. I also remembered my mother cautioning me against eating green apples while drinking milk. It was a story I was inclined to believe. Besides, I had heard pretty much the same story from Jewel Walton.
Some time later, I put 40 pounds on my back and labored up the trail past Four Mile Falls to Upper Four Mile Lake. I camped there with my son, looking back down at Pagosa Peak and the lights of Pagosa Springs in the distance. The next morning we struck camp and headed through the saddle just north of us called Deadman Pass by some.
On the other side, we picked up a trail following Dead Man Creek down to the Piedra East Fork. What a beautiful creek! I remember thinking, "If he had to go, Sully Parr sure picked an inspirational place to do it."
Still later, while scrounging through an old newspaper, my eyes got attached to a headline, "Sully Parr Dead." The date was Aug. 4, 1911.
The article beneath the headline began, "M.M. Parr, better known as 'Sully,' died at his sheep camp on the east slope of Pagosa Peak, about 20 miles from Pagosa Springs.
"Mr. Parr had not been feeling well for some time," the article continued, "but apprehended no danger when he left for his sheep camp a day or two before his death."
The article described how, on the way to camp, he'd stopped at the Cade ranch and "drank a glass of milk and ate an apple or two he had with him." He reached camp, but his condition continued to worsen. Finally, a young sheepherder named Marquez was sent to town for help.
The return party included Dr. Mary, Mrs. Parr, Estie Parr, Johnnie Johnson, Jule Macht, and young Marquez. By the time they reached Parr's campsite, he had died.
The Parr family arrived in Pagosa Country in 1889. He was survived by brothers Lee and Estie and sister Mrs. Dwyer.
The big thing about the newspaper article was, it confirmed Earl's story.
Through a ballot, darkly
Registered voters in the county have their new, correct ballots. The ballots must be completed and back to the county clerk by 7 p.m. Nov. 4. We will select two members for the local school board, vote on a tax, two proposed amendments to our state constitution and one referendum.
Visible in the ballot are the core of our system of government and, perhaps, a sign of its eventual undoing.
In the selection of members of the school board, we engage our system of representative democracy - a reasoned system of representative institutions and the rule of law in which we elect representatives trusting they will educate themselves, stay in touch with constituents, make studied decisions for the common good. We elect them to be accountable for their decisions, to be responsive without becoming slaves to public opinion.
The vote on proposed amendments illuminates what might become an imbalance between the traditional system and an energized attraction to petition-driven government.
It will ring sour in some ears, but recent "direct democracy," has done little to improve our lives. Initiative-driven government has altered constitutions to produce law that is difficult to change and change quickly. It has prompted loud encouragement from radio talk show hosts, but little in the way of verifiable, positive results. The party line of advocates of direct democracy is gilded with attractive language; people are urged to "take back power and control" from government. We engage in more and more government by initiative fueled by the "wisdom of the common man."
Here is a thought counter to the enthusiastic rhetoric: There is no wisdom of the common man. If you doubt it, watch television or listen to comments at public meetings.
One of the effects of naive democracy is we risk subverting the potential for sound government. This style of political activity has enticed too many elected representatives to cede responsibilities, abdicating duty as they stand aside to allow popular opinion to drive government on an erratic course with ballot initiatives and decision by committee. Too many elected representatives step aside to let focus groups and committees dribble out an ever-changing consensus, providing politicians of a certain stripe the excuse for not making decisions, for not being accountable and subject to scrutiny at election. When decisions do not result from the citizen-based process, or the wrong decision is made, the politician has an excuse. But still has a salary.
The reality is that an increasing number of members of committees and focus groups, creators and signers of petitions, want the spotlight to shine on them, want to "work behind the scenes" and "provide input" but, when it comes time to carry the load, they do not want to be the target of public criticism, to be accountable, to take responsibility for decisions and what flows from them.
Proponents of town square democracy circulate petitions; they put pressure on officials and make loud pronouncements at meetings. They seldom do the tedious, extensive work to produce reform needed in the base system.
Participatory democracy works best when public opinion is expressed at the polling place to elect fellow citizens to serve as competent representatives, not in an unending series of initiatives designed to amend the constitution and allow often poorly-informed whim to generate law. Democracy shines when we elect individuals who must stand where the buck stops and be willing to be judged, at the polls, for their decisions.
This is a system of government that has worked, that can continue to work, with needed reform. It can work if we don't create too many focus groups to study it and if we don't succumb to the call to petition it out of existence.
Halloween, Web sites and candy
By Richard Walter
It seems the electronic age has advanced into every area of our existence.
Even Halloween has its own Web site - www.halloween.com.
It offers anything you ever wanted to know about how to celebrate All Hallow's Eve.
But, I wonder, do many of those who will go trick-or-treating have any idea what the last day of October and first day of November signify?
The following six paragraphs come from the Web site mentioned above:
"Since the eighth century Christians have celebrated All Saints' Day on Nov. 1 to recognize the known and unknown Christian Saints. Saints are not just those whom the Church has canonized, but all members of that "cloud of witnesses" who proclaim Jesus as Lord!
Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints' Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow's Eve. ("Hallows" means "saints," both mean "holy ones." As in "Hallowed be thy name.") So, Halloween means "the evening before All Holy Ones' Day." Today we call that festival Halloween and we have many secular ways of recognizing it.
However, it's important to remember that its celebration has a long, positive history in the Church.
What sort of history is that? Like many of our liturgical festivals (Christmas and Easter included), All Saints' Day and All Hallow's Eve have some connection to pagan festivals. People of many races and cultures have remembered their dead and have had superstitions about death itself. Christians remembered death itself on All Hallow's Eve and celebrated Christ's victory over death.
During the Middle Ages, Christians would gather in churches for worship and they would remember the saints' victories over evil. Likewise they would put on little displays showing Jesus' victory over Satan, often using unusual masks and costumes to act out the story.
Thus, the festivities on All Hallow's Eve were the Christian's way of laughing at death and evil, something we can do in certain hope of Christ's victory over the powers of darkness. The Church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallow's Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to affirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies."
Halloween has a lot of traditions:
- trick-or-treating by children costumed in every imaginable way
- jack-o-lanterns, hollowed-out pumpkins with faces, often grotesque, cut into one side, with a candle or other light source inside. Legend has it jack-o-lanterns were named for an Irish man who could not enter heaven because he was a miser and could not enter hell because he had played jokes on the Devil
- fortunetelling involving a coin, ring or thimble baked into a treat, each having a specific meaning for the finder
- bobbing for apples, often with a coin sliced inside as a reward for bobbing success
- some still believe, as did the ancients, that ghosts roam the earth on Halloween and that all witches meet on Oct. 31 to worship the devil.
We moderns know, of course, that it is really a means of boosting pre-Thanksgiving candy sales in the form of sugar saturated treats.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of Oct. 31, 1913
Pagosa Springs has been "dry" but a few months and yet if common report is true there has been no cessation in the liquor traffic nor lessening in the amount of "red-eye" consumed. As a dry town Pagosa is a failure and every well informed resident knows it.
Every part of Archuleta County must and will have good roads. But the work will take time. Our territory is big and the population comparatively small. The county has about 300 miles of public roads, running through a hilly country and crossing a number of considerable streams that must be bridged. Building bridges and maintaining 300 miles of road on a small taxation value has long been an uphill work, but progress is being made.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Nov. 2, 1928
A fire, which is presumed to have started between the ceiling and roof of the Little Manhattan Cafe kitchen, and is thought to have been caused from an explosion of the grease trap and vent, for a time caused considerable apprehension Tuesday morning. The fire spread to the adjoining building on the north, occupied by the Pagosa Bakery, burning between the roof and ceiling of that structure. Volunteers were successful in extinguishing the blaze with only nominal damage to the frame buildings.
The Baptist Ladies Aid Society will maintain a hot dog stand on the Montroy lot on Pagosa Street Election Day and solicit the patronage of the public.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Oct. 30, 1953
Hunting season opened last Saturday morning with a slightly smaller than average number of hunters taking to the hills here. The number was considerably under that of last year. This was attributed mainly to the postponement of the big game season and the fact that this is not a two deer area this year.
The weather this past week has turned off nice after the storm the preceding week. The nights have gotten snappy enough to make some start to take the long handles out of moth balls and winter is definitely on the way.
Two horses belonging to the Delbert Thayers were shot by some near-sighted "hunter" this week. The animals are expected to recover from their wounds.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of Nov. 2, 1978
Meetings last week for the purpose of receiving information about the desires of town residents for future plans were poorly attended. Out of town residents were more numerous than town residents, but less than 50 people, all told, attended the three meetings.
Courthouse offices, local banks, and liquor establishments will be closed during voting hours next Tuesday. Liquor stores and bars are allowed to open after the 7 p.m. closing of the polls.
The combined deer and elk big game season opens here Saturday. Hunters have been arriving all week and a record crowd is expected by tomorrow. Hunting is not easy this year, but WCO's say that there are plenty of elk and deer out in the woods to be found.