July 15, 2004 
Front Page

Devil Mountain Fire ruled

controlled; cause probed

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The 60-acre Devil Mountain Fire burning about two miles northeast of Chimney Rock is completely contained.

Laurie Robison, fire information officer for San Juan Public Lands, said 100 percent containment was achieved by Wednesday morning after three days of firefighting.

"We expect to call it controlled later today," she said at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Cause of the fire is still under investigtion.

The fire started one mile north of U.S. 160 near Devil Mountain Road about 4 p.m. Sunday and burned in ponderosa, pine and oak. Isolated trees were torched.

Six engines, two water tenders and two helicopters along with fixed-wing aircraft and firefighters from the San Juan National Forest, Southern Ute Agency, the Pagosa Fire Protection District and Upper the Pine River Fire District responded.

Pagosa Fire Chief Warren Grams said two trucks and four people from his district responded to the fire Sunday night for structure protection duties. Two tankers and two people from Pagosa remained on the fire Monday and Tuesday to assist with water supply.

Devil Mountain Incident Commander Steve Hentschell said Monday crews worked to keep the fire east of Devil Mountain Road and west of Little Devil Creek. The forest service road was temporarily closed to the public, but U.S. 160 was not impacted, although huge clouds of smoke had drivers alert to nearby danger.

Firefighters completed a fireline around the perimeter of the blaze Monday. However, some spotting of embers across the line continued through Tuesday when three 20-person crews, two helicopters, three engines and two water tenders continued to work on mop up and attacking any additional hot spots.

While crews worked the Devil Mountain Fire, lightning started several more small blazes throughout the Durango Interagency Dispatch Center, including nine Monday afternoon. All of those remained under a quarter of an acre.

It was the first major forest fire in the county this year. Others nearby have been in Mineral and Hinsdale counties. One in southeastern Archuleta was allowed to burn out.

 

Pagosa Lakes seeks air pollution gauges, road dusts targeted

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It is an issue that just won't go away, no matter how much discussion, how much action or how much verbal retribution.

Roads and the maintenance or lack thereof, keep coming back to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors.

And regularly, board members point out they have no jurisdiction over the traffic conduits, that they are in fact county responsibility.

All that background came bouncing over the potholes to the board again July 8 - in several different forms.

The newest of those elements, introduced by Michael Piper, chairman of the association's Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee, won board endorsement pending specific wording decisions.

It calls for the state's Environmental Protection Agency to install air pollution monitoring devices in the Pagosa Lakes communities to determine the levels of dust pollution and whether the county is meeting health standards for air quality.

Besides the perceived health issue, Piper told the board, "we might be able to use the empirical data collected to pressure the county for improved road controls."

"We could submit photos and testimony from individuals in conjunction with monitoring reports, to back up the need for road improvements," he added.

He and members of the board cited the experience of the Town of Pagosa Springs which had to meet an EPA mandate to pave roads in order to reduce air pollution which was considered a health threat.

Piper said the town still must meet those conditions imposed by EPA and "there is no reason to believe the county should not have to meet the same conditions in heavily populated areas."

Piper said he began researching the idea last year and has consulted health officials and environmental officials at regional and state levels and "all showed an inclination to want as much data as we are able to supply."

An individual cannot start the process, he said, it has to be a governmental agency or a major representative of the community at large.

"This board, as representative of the second largest property owners association in the nation, certainly fills that role," he said.

After members read the proposed statement to EPA, they agreed the idea is a good one and voted unanimously for Piper and Walt Lukasik, general manager, to work out the wording and directed Lukasik to sign on behalf of the board.

Specifically excluded from the draft proposal, by the board action, was any reference to cost-sharing, without specifics not yet known.

Piper told the board he is convinced from his research and conversations "that the state will fund such a project without fiscal restraints. The San Juan Basin Health Department's environmental division strongly advocates such action," Piper told the board.

Director Fred Ebeling told his compatriots, "I think it's very worthwhile and we should pursue it."

Asked what cost figures might be involved, Piper said he's been told each filter test would run about $15.

From the audience, Mojie Adler said, "I'll kick in for 100 tests at that price. I've personally complained to EPA and have exchanged letters several times. But I never got any action."

Piper said La Plata County has been doing similar testing for years and each time a new proposal is made there is resistance.

Ebeling said, "Many of our roads are just as bad today as the town's were when the EPA forced it to take action. We should be able to produce evidence that we deserve the same type of action."

In answer to another board question, Piper said his impression is that it would take at least a year for such testing to establish a statistical base for potential action by the EPA against the county.

"We don't want the road thing to go on forever," Piper said.

On a unanimous vote, the board (with two members absent) approved the idea.

But that wasn't the only road issue to arise during the meeting and Sweetwater Drive, along with Twin Creek Circle, was the prime target, again.

Property owner Jerry Baier told the board he drives both roads daily and that "they are a disgrace."

Seemingly unaware of the previous complaints to the board and by the board to the county, Baier lambasted directors for not living up to their responsibility.

"You were elected to represent the members of this community, to solve its problems. You should be able to do more to get action from a county which doesn't seem to care about long-range problems."

He was referred to a SUN page one article published that day detailing plans the county is developing to put a mill levy increase specifically for road upgrade and maintenance on the fall ballot.

Director Gerry Smith took on his attack with a brief outline of all the attempts by the association in the last four years to "interface with the county. We've tried to get every road categorized and designated for specific type of maintenance."

Baier was not appeased.

"You have a special obligation because your represent the greater part of greater Pagosa Springs and the greatest percentage of voters in the county. On their part, you need to be more aggressive."

Director David Bohl, board president trying mollify the resident, pointed out there is insufficient tax base in the county for maintenance of all roads. "Take a ride on some of the other county roads - Fourmile, Snowball, Trujillo, and you'll find similar problems."

"A metro district is potentially the answer," Bohl said, "but it is not something we as a board can do. We are prohibited from such action by state law. Yet we are confronted regularly by people who insist we should do something we are not allowed to do. People need to know that if they want something they have to follow the rules and work for it. Too many who come here don't want to back up their complaint with effort."

Maier, still adamant, argued, "the county has failed to maintain roads at any reasonable level. We have the votes here to force action and we should use them."

Adler suggested the Pagoa Lakes community "pays 67 percent of the taxes collected in the county and thus should get 67 percent of the services financed by those taxes."

That moved Bohl to halt the discussion.

 

Friendly elk proves axiom:

Don't mess with nature

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Due to the abundance of wildlife in Pagosa Country, interaction with members of local elk and deer herds is sometimes unavoidable.

However, area residents are reminded to consider one simple notion when faced with a potential wildlife encounter: No matter how tempting, it's usually best not to mess with Mother Nature.

It's a suggestion that is especially relevant in light of recent events involving the Colorado Division of Wildlife's relocation of a 2-year-old female elk from the Upper Blanco area to Fort Collins.

Although the animal's story does not end on a sad note, per se, the elk's fate is nevertheless not what nature intended.

"It was a calf that someone in the neighborhood thought had been abandoned by its mother and was then bottle-fed," explained Doug Purcell, DOW district wildlife manager for the Pagosa area.

The supposed spring orphan soon became accustomed to human company, said Purcell, and spent the proceeding summer and fall sampling feed intended for livestock while other elk in the area eventually moved on to traditional winter feeding grounds.

"It basically stayed in the area because it was constantly being fed and had plenty of food available," said Purcell.

When the local herd returned the following spring, the yearling was strongly encouraged to rejoin the group, but was apparently looked upon as an outcast whenever it attempted to mingle with its own kind.

The same pattern held true through this spring as well, said Purcell, and the young elk grew "less wild" with the passing of each week as it continued to lose its inherent fear of humans.

"She was pretty confused," said Purcell. "She would go around elk and get beat up, then go around people and get petted and get treats. So she decided to hang out with people."

The elk became especially fond of men and boys, said Purcell, but took to disliking the fairer sex - rearing up and chasing various local females, including a 3-year-old girl, on numerous occasions.

With the elk now posing a threat to human safety, "We decided we didn't want this situation to go any further and tried to get people to scare the animal off," said Purcell.

Despite the efforts, the animal returned again and again to receive handouts from people who, when asked by Purcell why they continued the practice, responded with, "I just can't help it."

The situation now left the DOW with only two options for the animal: destruction or relocation.

"And we chose to relocate the animal," said Purcell, indicating the elk was relocated last week to join a captive herd at a research center in Fort Collins consisting of various paddocks within an area of several hundred acres.

How "tame" was the animal when Purcell got the call to travel to the neighborhood with a horse trailer and load her?

"It wasn't difficult; I just walked her in," he explained.

Feeding and nourishment studies are the main undertakings of the Fort Collins facility, said Purcell, noting the animal will not be subjected to experiments involving the study of Chronic Wasting Disease.

According to Purcell, the nourishment studies help the DOW determine the best formula for feeding the state's wild elk herds in times when severe winter conditions make natural food sources scarce.

"The treatment of the animal was a concern of many residents," said Purcell. "But the truth is, most of the elk at this facility end up dying of old age.

"It's the best situation in this case," he added. "She's not free-roaming as she ought to be, but she could have ended up worse off."

As for the lesson to be learned, "We advise people to leave wildlife babies alone," concluded Purcell.

"Often the mother is not far off and will return to care for its young if given enough time."

 Inside The Sun

Safety warning for pass project

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Asphalt-paving on U.S. 160 near Treasure Falls will begin the week of July 21. Motorists should expect to experience 20-minute delays.

Employees at Nielson's Skanska, the contractors on the project, ask that anyone traveling through the project follow the directions of traffic control personnel and posted speed limits at all times. This is for the safety of the public as well as those working on the project.

The public should also realize that a worker's line of sight can be obstructed when operating large pieces of construction equipment. It is not always easy to see what is going on around them. Also, during the paving portion of the project, additional construction workers will be walking the project, doing their job. Anyone not in the proper lane could be a hazard.

The Treasure Falls project extends from mile marker 158.5 to mile marker 163.9.

 

Overnight closures back on Wolf Creek

Overnight closures have returned to Wolf Creek Pass.

Until the end of the year, construction crews will be working along U.S. 160 between mile markers 179 and 182 on the east side of the pass west of South Fork.

Through the rest of this month, overnight closures will be in effect 10 p.m.-5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays July 19-22 and July 26-29.

During these closures, overnight traffic traveling to the east side of Wolf Creek Pass should choose as an alternate route U.S. 84 south to Chama, N.M., then north on Route 17 to U.S. 285. Westbound traffic can follow the same route in reverse.

Weekday traffic stops also are still in effect and motorists should expect delays to exceed 30 minutes while construction crews work in the area.

There are currently no weekend traffic impacts.

The project includes highway widening and construction of uphill and downhill retaining walls. It began Feb. 17 and is scheduled for completion in late 2004.

 

County commissioner candidate forum set July 26

The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County will hold a county commissioner candidates' forum for the primary election Monday, July 26 in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds.

Attendees can visit with the candidates beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the forum to follow at 7.

There are four commissioner candidates participating in the Aug. 10 primary election. Running in District 1 are incumbent Bill Downey and challenger Robin Schiro. Running in District 2 are incumbent Alden Ecker and challenger Ronnie Zaday.

The forum will provide information to county residents and citizens who are new to the county. It is also an opportunity for voters to listen to the candidates and ask questions.

The forum is intended only for information dissemination and is designed to promote informed decision making; it will not be a public debate.

The forum is open to all county citizens and the format encourages citizens to meet and talk with the candidates for office, and to learn their positions on important issues affecting the county.

 

Eyesore charge spurs discussion of how PLPOA dues are spent

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"Where does the money go that we pay into Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association on a yearly basis?" a member of the audience asked association directors July 8.

Dr. Ray Adams, who initially was demanding action to correct "a residential eyesore" near his new home and within site of association offices, was the questioner.

His question came after the board indicated it has initiated one action against the property owner in question but that other complaints about materials in the yard do not fall within subdivision regulations.

Adams' complaint was supported by residents Gary Waples and Mojie Adler.

Waples told the board, "You all have beautiful homes. If that mess was next to me, I'd be appalled. If I tried to change the color of my home without a permit I'd be targeted, but this disgraceful mess is allowed to exist."

Adler said she supports Adams' statements. "It has bugged me for a long time. That yard is an eyesore and it puts a negative image on PLPOA offices just a block away."

That brought the money question from Adams.

He was told the budget is always available for inspection and on a visit to the office he can get a line-by-line breakdown.

Adler, however, argued, "I have a copy of the budget and we're not getting what we're paying for. We commit $5,000 annually to the health district and pay for a lot of other silly stuff. That money could be more beneficially spent in other areas."

Adams wondered what happened to the money formerly spent on the Pagosa Lakes Public Service Office.

Director David Bohl, board president, made note of the fact the association "went from deficit to a fully-funded reserve" in the wake of PSO dissolution.

Director Gerry Smith went to a statistical review to disclose exact amounts budgeted from $1.16 million in dues received: $189,600 covers operation expenses; $345,000 plus to property and environment management; $316,000 plus to payroll being the largest figures.

"Take a look at the data available to you," he said. "You'll get a dollar by dollar line on your dues uses."

Bohl noted, "We have been consistently below budgeted amount on our actual expenses."

Adler said the $189,000 for covenant compliance is a lot when "it is not being done right in view of the office across the parking lot outside."

Bohl disagreed. "Every month we have reports filed for review on actions taken and fines levied," he said.

And Walt Lukasik, general manager, pointed out the four member commission processed 101 applications and issued 111 permits in June alone. They also issued 56 first notices of violation, 35 second notices and issued four formal notices of violation, closed 46 cases and has 138 issues pending.

 

Market researchers will question visitors

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Some new folks will be walking Pagosa streets this summer.

Market researchers.

The Mayor's Council for the Future of Pagosa Springs and the Town of Pagosa Springs have commissioned a market research study to focus on the behavior and attitudes of visitors to the area.

The goal is to gain understanding of the market segments that comprise the visitor base. Specific issues covered in the surveys include: demographics, geographic origin, vacation patterns, reasons for coming to Pagosa Springs and a comparison of Pagosa with other destinations.

Research will go on throughout the summer at various locations in Pagosa Springs and will utilize a scientific random sampling methodology to ensure reliable results. As part of the process, trained interviewers will be contacting visitors in key locations around town, including: the River Center, Downtown, the Visitor Center, Hot Springs Boulevard and Pagosa Country Center. Surveys take between three and five minutes to complete.

Information gleaned from the study will be make available to the community upon completion and will help in shaping ongoing master planning and marketing efforts.

 

New federal plan could aid local ambulance operations

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Adoption of a temporary regional ambulance fee schedule as part of the Medicare modernization act may allow the Upper San Juan Health Service District to receive more reimbursement on certain ambulance call fees.

According to a release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the new law, or interim final rule, will increase Medicare payments to ambulance services by $840 million between July 2004 and Dec. 31, 2009, the length of the interim rule. This is an attempt to offer additional funding to ambulance services as they transition to a national fee schedule that took effect April 1, 2002.

Allen Hughes, interim business manager for the district, said it currently receives about $187 in reimbursement from Medicare for a basic life support trip to Durango that is billed at about $600.

Any additional reimbursement would be "exciting stuff," Hughes said. "It would help us recover some of the operating costs we're now getting hit hard on."

Under the new rule, rural ambulance services will receive a 2-percent increase in payments for Medicare clients for services furnished between July 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2006. In addition, for services rendered between July 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2008, both urban and rural ambulances will receive a 25-percent increase in their milage rates for all miles greater than the 50th mile while carrying a beneficiary.

Besides that, the rule implements a "super-rural bonus," that expressly benefits the most rural areas for services furnished between July 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2009. This bonus will increase the base rate by 22.6 percent where the ambulance transport originates in a rural area determined by the secretary to be in the lowest 25th percentile of all rural populations arrayed by population density.

"This new rule improves payments for all ground ambulance services, and it's especially important for ensuring the continued viability of ambulance services in rural areas as they make the transition to the national fee schedule," said CMS Administrator Mark McClellen.

Hughes said it is possible Pagosa could qualify under the "super-rural bonus."

"We're very low density, very rural," he said. "There are some places in the county that in my mind should be considered frontier."

The problem, he said, is getting any reimbursement at all.

The district received a notice June 30 from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting the return of $2,909.06 in overpayments for transports made to physician's offices in 2002. According to a letter from CMS, Medicare does not cover transport to a physician's office, only to a hospital, critical access hospital, skilled nursing facility or dialysis facility.

Currently, Hughes said, none of the local health care facilities, including the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, qualify. The medical center is licensed as an Emergency Care Center by the state, but that qualification is not recognized federally. Hughes is researching options for qualifying the Mary Fisher Medical Center under Medicare's options. Until then, he said, service will continue for all patients. Bills for patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid that terminate at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center will be held until a solution is reached.

Hughes said transports that end at Mercy Medical Center in Durango or another hospital facility are not a problem and can be billed as normal.

 

PLPOA owner survey tabled pending result of workshop session

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A proposal to embark on a major survey of what residents in Pagosa Lakes subdivisions want the area to be like 15-20 years down the road is on temporary hold.

Proposed in June by Director Gerry Smith, the idea was tabled July 8 for a full-board work session sometime prior to the annual meeting July 31.

Smith, who was prepared to offer six motions backing his plan, distributed copies of them to board members in attendance and after a brief time for them to be read, made the first motion, to review all covenants and declarations for determination of what can and cannot be enforced and what should be amended.

That brought opposition from Director Fred Ebeling who said insufficient time was given for considering the motions and determining for one's self the merits.

Director Hugh Bundy who had initially seconded the motion, moved to withdraw his action.

Ebeling then moved for the work session and with Smith's assent the board agreed unanimously. The other motions proposed were never read for the public.

Director David Bohl, board president, said many residents have suggested "it is time for our Declarations to be rewritten, that some are no longer compatible, and that some actually violate federal law."

"We need to consider legality and fairness in any future studies, no matter how they are conducted."

Ebeling suggested the results of a telephone survey two years ago should help formulate questions for now, or, "even negate the need for another full survey."

When Smith suggested his plan would have people from each subdivision on the committee, Ebeling argued the proposal might mean 3-7 from each subdivision and there about 27 subdivisions. "That means a committee of 75-200, and that won't work."

Smith denied it would be that big, but agreed to the workshop.

Walt Lukasik, general manager, reported to the board that a portion of the Lake Pagosa dam spillway had collapsed and was being repaired.

Larry Lynch, the PLPOA property and environment manager, explained the first evidence of the damage was a sinkhole developing.

He said the problem was repaired by Kinder Morgan. A gas firm contractor apparently clipped an overflow culvert about two years ago and the damage was not seen.

When the sink hole developed it was reported and the repair work ordered.

In other action, the board:

- learned the bids for the North Pagosa Trail project came in about $5,000 over budget of $40,000 and the county has been asked to release funds from the trail escrow account to meet the overrun;

- were told the 18,150 newsletters mailed out with ballots for the annual election have resulted in about 2,500 returns so far, about two thirds from time shares;

- was informed CenturyTel is embarking on a 5-year area update and will start in Twin Creek Village with trenching and will notify residents when and where that work will be in progress;

- heard that in addition to the bear pictured on the front page of The SUN that day, formal reports of bears have been received from Vista, Martinez II, Twin Creek Village and one other area;

- were told Deacon Tom Bomkamp of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church has been invited to deliver the invocation at the annual meeting;

- approved Lukasik's request to secure a retail sales license for the Association for use at the recreation center.

 

School board session delayed for a week

The scheduled Tuesday meeting of the Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint was moved to the regular 7 p.m. starting time Tuesday, July 20.

Action to change the meeting came at a 6 a.m. executive session held June 29 on what was called "a confidential matter."

Though records indicate a notice of the executive session was sent to The SUN, it was not seen.

The July 13 meeting was canceled when it was learned there would be no quorum available.

 

Fire district audit excellent; 20-year plan urged

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Fire Protection District received a clean bill of health from its auditor Tuesday.

"You have a great staff and you're a great board to work with," auditor Frankie White, CPA said, going over two letters she prepared for the district.

"We noted no matters involving the internal control and its operation that we consider to be a reportable condition under standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants," she said.

According to the 2003 audit, as of Dec. 31 the district had total revenues of $1,253,682 compared to $911,847 in 2002. Total expenditures for last year were $978,412 compared to $737,314 in 2002. The pension trust fund grew from $2,112,479 to $2,365,147 over the year.

Later in the meeting, Director Dusty Pierce said the board should be looking ahead to the 2005 budget and the idea of establishing a reserve fund for truck replacement.

At one time, he said, the district's goal was to have no vehicles more than 30 years old in service. Now, with support from the voters in 2002, that's happened. It's time to start thinking of the future when perhaps the rule is, "no trucks more than 20 years old."

"I just wanted to plant the seed tonight," Pierce said. He suggested possibly keeping three months of operating expenses in the current reserve fund and placing anything in excess of that in a fund for truck replacement so that the district would have to ask the voters to pass a bond issue when trucks get old again.

The board agreed it was a good idea.

"We'll just have to decide how much on an annual basis to put in it," Board Chairman Dick Moseley said.

Meanwhile, Fire Chief Warren Grams said he would continue to research the best use for a final piece or two of old equipment replaced when the district purchased six new vehicles in 2003.

The old equipment has been for sale for 14 months. Several pieces have been sold, Grams said, including a tanker last month for $27,600. The remaining pieces need to move, he said, or will begin to fail from nonuse and exposure to the elements.

"I would almost suggest to the board if there were some fire department in the state who could really use this equipment, maybe we give it to them," Grams said.

"What about further expansion of the district?" Director Ronnie Maez asked.

Grams said some interest had been expressed in a small expansion in the Hidden Valley area where some of the equipment might be used, but nothing was definite.

"We can sit on them for two more months and see what happens," he said.

The board directed Grams to check on both the expansion and possible donation of the trucks.

"Before winter they need to be inside," Moseley said.

 

Sunday picnic will welcome Irish youth

The public is invited to help welcome Helen Anderson and Niamh McKernan from Northern Ireland and the Children's Project of Northern Ireland at a bring-your-own picnic in Town Park 4 p.m. Sunday, July 18.

For anyone interested there will also be a softball game shortly after the picnic.

 

Cattlemen's annual picnic set Saturday

La Plata-Archuleta Cattlemen's Association and La Plata Cowbelles annual pot luck picnic will be held starting at noon Saturday.

The event is planned on the Cole Ranch, 31764 U.S. 160 between CR 172 and the Florida River east of Durango.

All cattlemen, cattlewomen and their families are welcome to attend The Association will provide meat. An RSVP is not necessary but would be appreciated at 884-7273.

 

Musicians set HD Mountains

benefit tribute

Durango area musicians Sally Shuffield, Sand Sheff and Melissa Crabtree will present a benefit concert 7 p.m. Thursday, July 22, to help save the HD Mountains from planned oil drilling.

The show, with all proceeds going to the HD Mountains Coalition, will be in Durango's Smiley Theatre.

A $5 donation is suggested. For more information call Amber Clark at San Juan Citizens Alliance, 259-3583.

 

New state funding made available for grasslands reserve program

Allen Green, state conservationist of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Lewis Frank, state executive director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), have announced the availability of $1.45 million for the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) in Colorado.

The GRP is designed to help landowners protect grasslands from conversion to other uses and to support continued stewardship on viable, working ranch lands. Applications received through July 23 will be considered for the limited 2004 funding.

"Land eligibility is fairly straightforward," says Dennis Alexander, assistant state conservationist for programs. "Land to be enrolled in the program must be grassland, contain forbs or shrubland, or be land that historically has been dominated by grassland, forbs, or shrubs."

Production crops (other than hay), fruit trees, vineyards, or any activity that requires breaking the soil surface, except for appropriate land management, are not eligible and are prohibited.

"The program is designed to protect our very vulnerable and fragile grasslands and their native species," Alexander goes on to say. "Given our limited funding, we anticipate that competition for enrollment will be intense."

Landowners have several enrollment options including easements and agreements. One can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement or choose to enroll in a 10, 15, 20, or 30-year agreement.

Two separate funding pools will be used for easements and for agreements. Each pool will receive 50 percent of the total GRP allocation. Landowners should consult their local conservation district, NRCS, or FSA office for further details regarding the differences between easement and agreement payments.

"Funds will be targeted to native, natural grasslands that support certain plant communities and habitat types. Offers most likely to be funded will be part of a sustainable, working ranch unit and consist entirely of natural and native grassland that are in good condition and that have never been plowed or cropped." Alexander further states.

Other priorities for funding will be the existence of adequate fencing and watering facilities as well as evidence of sustainable grazing management.

Four plant communities will be targeted in 2004 including Shortgrass Prairie, Sand Sage, Sagebrush Steppe, and Sagebrush/Wet Meadow Complex.

Alexander concluded, "We have designed this program to be as responsive to the needs of Colorado's land users as possible by permitting grazing that maintains viability of the grassland, as well as haying, mowing, and harvesting for seed production which is subject to certain restrictions during the nesting season."

In Colorado, GRP will target lands that are under some threat of conversion to rural residential development, as well as land that is threatened to be converted to cropland or other agricultural uses.

To apply for this program and for additional information regarding it, landowners are encouraged to contact their local conservation district office or the local NRCS or FSA office that services their county. These are located in USDA Service Centers across the state.

 

 

Road work zone safety campaign is launched

Colorado Department of Transportation is working in partnership this summer with Colorado State Patrol on a public awareness program targeting unsafe driving in work zones.

The Transportation Department has adopted a new campaign entitled "Slow for the Cone Zone" in an effort to improve unsafe driving practices and reduce accidents and fatalities in highway construction zones.

In 2002 (the most recent statistics available), 133,700 accidents occurred in Colorado construction zones resulting in 1,238 injuries and 20 deaths. The number of injuries and deaths caused by work zone accidents has doubled in the past year, officials said.

Nationally, over 53,000 people were injured and 1,181 killed in work zone crashes in 2002. Statistics indicate there are one work zone fatality every seven hours and one work zone injury every 15 minutes on the nation's roadways.

Through the end of summer, the Department will be running a combination of outdoor advertising and radio traffic announcements with the media mix expected to reach motorists in their vehicles to create immediate awareness of "Slow for the Cone Zone."

Project cost is just over $250,000.

Safety enforcement activity will be increased through the following highway projects in the Pagosa Springs area:

- U.S. 160 Wolf Creek Tunnel, east of pass summit;

- U.S. 160 West Side Wolf Creek resurfacing from Treasure Falls to east side of summit.

"Our partnership on this campaign is intended to help focus attention on the many lives lost on our highways each year," said Stacey Stegman, CDOT public relations director. "Just last month two CDOT highway workers were killed as a result of someone carelessly crashing through a work zone. We hope this campaign will serve as a constant reminder to motorists that when driving in a cone zone, you must focus on the roadway, slow down and drive with care."

 

Changes, special attractions for the 2004 Archuleta County Fair

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

With the 53rd annual Archuleta County Fair less than a month away, fair organizers are advising participants to be aware of a few changes in store for this year's event.

The following are changes associated with various aspects of this year's fair, as listed in the 2004 exhibitor's handbook of rules and regulations:

- Registration (check-in) of all open-class items will be Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 1-8 p.m at the Extension building. Due to freshness issues, persons wishing to enter baked goods, fruits and vegetables, floriculture and field crops must register all their items on Wednesday but may bring their entries Thursday, Aug. 5 between 7-9 a.m. Registration of open-class items will not be on Thursday as in previous years. Registration times will be adhered to rigorously.

- Maximum number of entries per department is 10 per person, unless otherwise noted.

- All open-class entries must have been completed or raised since the 2003 Archuleta County Fair.

- Quilting registration and judging is the weekend prior to the fair, Saturday, July 31. Entries will be accepted 8 a.m.-noon and judging will begin at 1 p.m.

- 4-H Home Economics Contest is the weekend prior to the fair, Sunday, Aug. 1 from 1-5:30 p.m. at the Extension office.

- "Age" is the new classification previously known as "Unit." Unless otherwise noted, the "Age" breakdown is: youth - 12 and under; teen - 13-19, and adult - 20 and over. It is imperative that superintendents and judges know which category every exhibit fits into. For children, age should be determined according to how old the child was as of Jan. 1, 2004.

- Superintendents cannot compete in the department they superintend.

Special attractions

Special attractions slated for this year's county fair, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 8, at the county fairgrounds just south of the U.S. 160-U.S. 84 junction, include the following:

- Thursday-Sunday, beer garden, afternoons and evenings;

- Thursday, 2nd Annual Lee Sterling Chili Taste, 4-9 p.m., exhibit hall opens at 6 p.m.;

- Friday, Bad Moon Rodeo, 7:30 p.m., Colgate Country Showdown, 5-8 p.m.;

- Saturday, games and contests all day; 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner, 5 p.m.; 4-H Livestock Auction, 7 p.m.; dance to the Tim Sullivan Band, 9 p.m.;

- Sunday, Kids' Rodeo, Demolition Derby, 11 a.m.

Copies of this year's exhibitor's handbook of rules and regulations are available at the Extension office and the Ruby Sisson Library.

An official, detailed schedule of fair events will appear in The SUN the week prior to the fair.

 

Health Department closing two days for staff conference

San Juan Basin Health Department offices will be closed July 26 and 27 so staff can attend the Southwest Conference in Learning

Department personnel apologize for any inconvenience resulting and assure offices will be open 8 a.m. July 28.

 

Summit Academy expanding focus in new school year

Summit Christian Academy of Pagosa Springs is expanding focus and outlook for the 2004-2005 school year.

A K-12 school which began operation in 1997, Summit has primarily focused on teaching those with learning style differences with the motto "Assisting Smart, but Struggling Students."

The school has a small student-teacher ratio and utilizes visual, auditory and kinesthetic teaching methods in an interactive, hands-on creative classroom setting. Students receive individualized attention in an encouraging and nurturing environment which focuses on unique learning styles and gifts.

With provable success in that area, it was recently determined by the school board that Summit should begin offering classes for more traditional and gifted students as well.

The school belies it has a program that can help all students regardless of need or scholastic achievement.

Summit will continue focusing on the academic, emotional, spiritual and physical development of each student using the best techniques available.

The school philosophy is best summed up in the Cynthia Tobias statement, "If children don't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn."

Traditional junior and high school classes are offered on the block system and several electives such as art, drama, Spanish I, keyboarding and wood shop with moral character and high standards woven into the curriculum.

Summit is now accepting applications for the upcoming school year. Enrollment is limited. Summit uses facilities of Community Bible Church (Now 'Restoration Fellowship'), at 264 Village Drive.

For more information call 731-2998.

 

'La Reyna Madre' title given

Fiesta's Beatrice Espinosa

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club has issued a new title for a member of its Royal Court.

Beatrice Mary Espinosa will be the 2004 Spanish Fiesta "La Reyna Madre." This honorary position is awarded Bea in recognition of her efforts to promote and continue the Hispanic traditions of the community.

Bea was born in Chama, N.M. to Fidel and Amalia Herrera. She had five brothers and five sisters. As with most who lived in this area, her struggles were many but perseverance and hark work kept her spirit strong.

She married George Espinosa in 1949 and they moved to the family ranch on Cat Creek Road in Archuleta County in 1951. There they raised five sons and three daughters. She was housewife to the large family and the rancher housewife had to be an especially strong woman. Raising cattle and sheep on the ranch was not easy.

After 27 years of marriage George's death left Bea and her children with more than they could handle. With what seemed the worst of circumstances, Bea maintained a spirit that could not be broken. She raised the children with lots of love and a strong sense of heritage.

Song and dance softened the hardships and struggles she went through and she has always loved to dance. She has been teaching her grandchildren Folklorico dancing and helps them with their costumes.

Her cooking has brought the family together with friends on many occasions and for many celebrations.

Bea continues to enrich the lives of so many through her experience, good food, song, and dance.

Now, when asked how many grandkids she has, she will tell you, "38, but everybody calls me grandma."

Be sure to congratulate Be when you see her at Fiesta.

 

James Martin named fair's Super Volunteer

The Archuleta County Fair Board is establishing a "Super Volunteer Award" this year.

The fair could not exist, now or ever, without the many hours many people devote to planning, executing, organizing and providing physical labor to the efforts that make the fair what it is.

While we have so many people to thank and recognize, this award is our way to salute one person annually for their over-the-top efforts on behalf of the Fair Board.

Jim Martin has been a fixture in the 4-H program and the fair since he and his family moved to Pagosa Springs 11 years ago. His wife, Pam, calls Jim the "ultimate handyman" who has developed great knowledge and know-how in everything from automotive maintenance to computers to construction. She says he's very handy to have around.

The Fair Board would echo these sentiments and Jim is our man of each and every day with the electrical knowledge and know-how that he brings to the fairgrounds.

While Jim and Pam did not participate in 4-H until they moved here, Jim was a member of Future Farmers of America while he was in high school in California and enjoyed raising lambs as his FFA project.

Jim and Pam became immersed in 4-H when they moved to Pagosa Springs and their three children became fascinated with the thought of showing a steer.

From that time on, Michelle, Jacob and Mitchell were heavily involved in 4-H and Jim and Pam followed as dutiful parents. It wasn't long before they were asked to assist behind the scenes at the livestock auction, which they still do today.

The Fair Board is indebted to Jim for his tireless electrical work that enables the fair to be what it is today.

 

Church of Christ Vacation Bible School scheduled July 19-23

"Sharing the Savior Around the World" is the theme for this year's annual Vacation Bible School at Church of Christ in Pagosa Springs.

It will be held 9:30-11:30 a.m. July 19-23 for children 3 years old through eighth grade.

Stories from the book of Acts about the spread of the Gospel across the Roman empire will come to life each day for the students. Bible stories with acting, puppet shows, games, quizzes, songs and crafts will capture the attention of each child as they are actively involved and learn great lessons throughout the week.

On Wednesday evening the children will put on a program demonstrating the things they have learned in VBS. On Friday the program will conclude with a hot dog picnic in the park.

Parents, family and friends are invited to those activities and are encouraged to visit the daily classes at any time.

The youth group from Woodward, Okla., will return to help with the five-day VBS program. Adults and teens from that congregation always do an outstanding job of decorating and giving a quality learning experience for the children of the community. Refreshments are served daily.

Transportation will be provided to pick up children and return them home after VBS. The first stop will be 8:45 a.m. The Joy Bus will run in the downtown area and arrangements can be made for pick-up in other areas.

For transportation, more information, or to enroll your children, call the church office at 264-2552 or Dorman Diller, minister, at 264-4454.

Enrollment forms may be found in The SUN and are posted around town.

 

Next Step Conference slated at First Baptist

First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs has scheduled a July 25-28 conference featuring W.D. "Step" Martin speaker and Price Harris doing the worship leadership.

The Next Step Conference will begin with 10:15 a.m. worship service Sunday, July 25. Evening services starting the same day will continue through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. each day.

Pastor Dan Sanders invites the public to attend the services.

Martin is a native of Mississippi who attended William Carey College where he played football on an athletic scholarship. After graduating, he entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He was in evangelism for over two years and has preached over 400 revivals during his ministry as a pastor-evangelist. He served Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., for more than 33 years then became pastor-emeritus in 2002. During his ministry at Calvary Baptist, the church grew to over 3,500 members and has been in the top 10 churches in Louisiana for most of the last 30 years.

Music evangelist Price Harris was born in Tupelo, Miss. He, too, is a graduate of William Carey College. He has served as music director in several churches and in April 1969 became a member of the staff of Calvary Baptist in Shreveport where he served until going into full-time music evangelism. He has averaged more than 30 revivals a year, plus numerous concerts and conferences.

Each year he gives four weeks to mission crusades, including trips to Jamaica, Mexico and Romania.

He has produced a number of gospel recordings, the latest entitled "Satisfied."

 

Outdoors

 

Dawn, dusk now offer best angling odds

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Midday stream fishing in Pagosa Country has slowed a bit due to falling flows and higher water temperatures.

Anglers casting to shaded flats, pockets behind midstream boulders and to undercut banks will likely encounter a few fish during the heat of the day, but most fish are waiting until the cooler hours of early morning and late afternoon to feed aggressively.

Another advantage to fishing near dawn and dusk is stealth - the potential for more strikes rises since trout are now easily spooked by even the slightest shadow that falls across a likely lie during daylight hours.

Area reservoirs are also warming and algae blooms and subsurface plant growth in some of the area's shallow lakes is beginning to make shoreline fishing difficult.

Lakes at higher elevations are currently the best bet for steady shoreline action since they are not affected as much by plant growth as lower, warmer bodies of water.

The following is a breakdown of conditions at some regional fishing hot spots:

- San Juan River (through town) - Stocked recently by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Flow is clear and is averaging roughly 120 cubic feet per second. Anglers using spinners, flies, marabou jigs and streamers are reporting decent catches of rainbows along with a few browns. From junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 through town to Apache St., daily bag limit for trout is two fish.

- Echo Lake - Aquatic vegetation growth is hindering shoreline anglers, but largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and perch are being taken on live bait, ultralight jigs and small plastics. Trout are holding deep mid-day, but hitting early and late on attractor flies, bright marabou jigs, spinners, flatfish, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers and PowerBait. All bass between 12-15 inches must be released immediately; daily bag for yellow perch is unlimited, statewide limits apply to all other species.

- Williams Creek Reservoir - Fishing for rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout is best in the early morning and late afternoon with live bait, jigs in orange and red, and spinners in gold, silver and fluorescents. Surface bite picks up near dusk, especially along the west shore. Kokanee salmon are deep, but some anglers are reporting occasional success near the inlet.

- Navajo Reservoir - Lake elevation is holding at just under 6,032 feet and water temperature is 70 degrees in the main channel, with higher readings in the canyon portions of the lake. Catfish and Northern Pike are biting well at Windsurf Beach and Arboles Point. Some trout are being caught with silver and green-colored lures.

- Big Meadows Reservoir - Fishing for rainbow and brook trout is best in 8-10 feet of water near the inlets and slower in the main lake body. Successful anglers are using rainbow pattern Fin-S-Fish, marabou jigs in red and orange, PowerBait, flies and flashy spinners.

- Piedra River - Flow is clear and averaging 110 cubic feet per second. Browns and rainbows are the predominant catch and are hitting flies, streamers and metallic spinners. Fishing is restricted to the use of artificial flies and lures only; daily bag limit and possession limit for trout is two fish.

- Fourmile Creek - Flow is clear and falling. Brook trout and cutthroat are the main catch in the upper stream, while rainbows and browns are hitting attractor-pattern flies and lightweight spinners in the lower stretch.

- Williams Creek - Water near the campgrounds continues to see heavy pressure but the creek is clear and fishing well along its entirety, especially in canyon stretches. Flies and small spinners are working well for brookies, cutthroats, browns and rainbows near the dam. Browns and rainbows are the main catch farther downstream.

- East Fork of San Juan - Flow is clear, but falling. Recently stocked by DOW. Fishing for pan-sized rainbows and browns is fair in deeper runs in the early morning and toward evening.

 

Renewing old angler kinships

with serious trout searches

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I love trout. Or, perhaps more appropriately, I revere trout.

To say I love them might imply I enjoy eating them, when I really don't. In fact, as much as I do enjoy a fresh fish dinner now and then, trout are not among my favorite entrees, like walleye, catfish, or sockeye salmon. Although, if I were compelled to eat a trout, it would likely be a batter-fried brookie cooked next to some eggs, in a pan of sizzling bacon grease.

I do like trout though. As vibrant living creatures, I like most everything about them, and I've learned a great deal from them over the years.

I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I caught my first trout. I can't say exactly what kind it was, or even what I caught it on, but I remember taking it from a small stream in central Iowa, while camping with my mother, father, and older brother.

We had pitched an old green canvas tent in a state park campground for a few days, and spent much of our time hiking trails through the hardwood forest, swimming the nearby lake, and occasionally fishing the narrow creek meandering through the park.

Of course, trout are a cold water species, and streams flowing through central Iowa are typically quite warm. As a result, the park stream could not support a self-sustaining trout population, and its fish were regularly stocked as part of a "put-and-take" program.

But that didn't matter much to me as a young angler just learning to fish creeks, particularly when a state hatchery truck came twice a week and dumped dozens of silvery shimmering fish into select pools, just for the taking. As I recall, within a day or two, most were quickly harvested by folks who'd memorized the stocking schedule, and competition was sometimes fierce, but I did finally manage to catch one.

Another 15 years passed before I discovered the magic (and mystery) of wild trout fishing in the cold, gin-clear streams of northeastern Wisconsin. As a young adult, I had three good friends who loved to camp and fish, and a few times each year, we'd pack our spinning rods into two VW camper vans and head north to Hayward in the northwest corner of the state. We always stayed at the same small resort, and after a few days of lake fishing for bass, pike, and walleye, we'd head east to the Nicolet National Forest northeast of Rhinelander.

Several small, brush-choked streams flow through the forest, and each is home to a good population of brook trout. Their overhanging banks are soft and spongy, and the water, while relatively deep, is so clear, that a careful and deliberate approach is essential to avoid being seen by the wary little creatures.

Unfortunately, as accomplished lake fishermen, we struggled with proper lure selection, and even throwing the right spinners in such tight quarters was never easy. When we did manage a decent cast, our approach often spooked the fish before our offerings ever hit the water. Only rarely could we hook one, and most were too small to keep, but the few we did catch were incredibly colorful. Naturally, much larger fish were plainly visible at times, we just couldn't outsmart them.

A few years later I took a new direction in life, and moved west to the Colorado mountains where high alpine summits, sprawling aspen and conifer forests, and 22 million acres of public lands beckoned. Having left the sometimes hot, sometimes bitter cold, and always humid midwestern flatlands behind, I was completely enthralled with my new surroundings. The sky was such a deep blue, the cool air so pure and fresh, and the rivers and creeks were icy-cold and crystal-clear. Aside from the boundless winter skiing, summer camping, and year-round hiking prospects, I knew I had arrived in genuine trout country.

Living in a virtual outdoor nirvana, it wasn't long before I met and befriended a couple of serious trout fisherman. Bobby was an ardent angler with an incredible talent for taking trout from fast-moving streams with an ultra-light rod and small spinner. Glenn, on the other hand, was an avid flyfisherman and seasonal back-country guide.

I had never cast a flyrod before, much less caught anything on one, so I was naturally drawn to Bobby and his Diawa rod with the open-faced Shimano reel. Not long after acquiring a similar outfit of my own (my Midwestern tackle was too heavy), Bobby and I became fast friends, and set out to catch every trout in the high country. In the process, we explored many miles of innumerable rivers and small streams, and I learned volumes on trout behavior and reading water.

Meanwhile, Glenn was a part-time mountain resident, content with spending winters basking in the Florida sunshine. Consequently, it took a little longer for our friendship to blossom, but as it did, he suggested I try flyfishing.

Glenn was originally from New England, and had flyfished for many years. But with the movie, "A River Runs Through It," still years from release, the eventual nationwide flyfishing "craze" hadn't yet begun, and my exposure to the sport had, until his suggestion, been fairly limited. Nevertheless, when Glenn offered to teach me the basics, I was more than mildly intrigued.

I lived in an apartment on the banks of the Eagle River at the time, and worked four nights a week in a popular local nightclub. With my days free and a three-day weekend every week, I fished emphatically, and caught on rather fast. By my second season, Glenn had me guiding part-time, and eventually I developed my own full-time outfitting business.

I have developed other outdoor interests over the years, and still guide on occasion, but many of my idle summer days are now devoted to casually renewing old kinships with my friends, the cutthroat, brown, rainbow, and brook trout of the Rocky Mountains. I don't fish with the deliberation I once did, and am mostly content to see if any are willing to rise to a dry fly. To facilitate a safe release, I always fish barbless hooks, and never seem able to keep even a brook trout for the breakfast table anymore. I guess my growing admiration and affection for them all have made it impossible to decide who lives and who has to die on any given day.

Trout are beautiful creatures. While strong and vibrant and perfectly suited to a sensitive environment, their distinct features and vivid coloring make them a joy to behold. But it is their perceived innocence after having been caught, that almost fearful expression as they appear to wonder what is next, that has taught me kindness, compassion, and love for all living things.

Trout fishing has tempered my judgment over the years, and it has made me a better human being. And, as Robert Traver once wrote, "trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience."

I do love trout.

 

Go take a hike - with a llama

By To The San Juan Mountains Association in conjunction with San Juan Public Lands, Durango Mountain Resort, and Lois the Llama Lady will host, "Hike, Lunch and Wine with a Llama."

This is an interpretive hike where participants will learn about wildflowers, trees, birds and geology of the area.

The llama will carry lunches and wine for a midday picnic. The hike will take place 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 31 at Durango Mountain Resort.

Cost is $30 per person, $50 per couple. Call 385-1210 to register by July 29.

 

LA deputy enters guilty plea in Bayfield poaching

A recently resolved court case involving the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) highlights the serious nature of illegally killing big game animals.

The case demonstrates the efforts of wildlife officers, prosecutors, and judges in attempting to stop the practice of illegally killing Colorado's big game animals.

The killing of a deer north of Bayfield in October resulted in a lengthy investigation for the DOW. The case started with the alleged after-dark, spotlight shooting of a mule deer buck on private property Oct. 21.

Witnesses informed wildlife officers they heard several shots come from the area of a county road near the Coolwater Ranch property. When witnesses investigated they came across several men near a truck with California license plates. The suspects left the area when witnesses went to contact law enforcement.

District Wildlife Manager Cary Carron responded and returned to search the area the following morning. He discovered the dead deer on private property bordering La Plata County Road 501. Evidence was collected at the scene.

Several wildlife officers, led by Carron, found the suspect vehicle at a hunting camp in the Saul's Creek area. In all, 10 suspects were interviewed, but all denied any involvement in, or knowledge of, the killing of the deer. Officers questioned the suspects and collected evidence at the camp, including seizing the pickup truck identified by witnesses.

For the next six months, DOW officers continued to pursue leads, re-interview suspects, analyze and compile evidence, and, eventually, gain arrest warrants for the suspects.

The investigation determined that Frank G. Bowne III, a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, was the person who illegally shot the deer. Two other parties also were charged. Because of the hard work of those investigating this case, guilty pleas were entered by the following parties:

- Frank G. Bowne III, Lancaster, Calif.; illegal take of one deer; fines and court costs of $4,199;

- Rodney Ludington Jr., Aztec, N.M.; second- degree criminal trespass; fine of $159; 10 days in jail (suspended); and 24 hours useful public service;

- Sig Hall IV, Queen Creek, Ariz.; second-degree criminal trespass; fine of $159; 10 days in jail (suspended); and 24 hours useful public service.

Credit for this successful prosecution goes to Carron and other officers from the DOW office in Durango.

Assistance in the case was provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations; the La Plata County Sheriff's Office; the district attorney's office; the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; the California Department of Fish and Game; and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Bighorn ram slain

In a separate case, wildlife officer Bailey Franklin was notified that a bighorn sheep ram had been seen in the Axial Basin area south of Craig. This was a significant sighting because the area is not near any significant bighorn sheep populations.

Approximately a week after learning about the existence of the sheep, Franklin was contacted regarding the illegal killing of the animal. Franklin began an investigation and through numerous interviews developed a list of suspects in the case.

An interview with suspected poacher Shane Baker led to a confession about the bighorn's killing and the whereabouts of the evidence. Baker stated he had been hunting cow elk with his two cousins in the Axial Basin area Dec. 6 when they spotted the bighorn ram. Baker said one of his cousins, Seth Campbell, shot and wounded that sheep, and that Baker had "finished the animal off" with his rifle.

The cousins loaded the dead animal into a pickup truck and transported it to the home of Shane Baker's father, who lives north of Craig. Baker confessed that his father was very angry that the illegal animal had been brought on his property.

Now frightened about the illegal killing, the cousins went about cutting up the ram in an effort to destroy the evidence. According to Baker, pieces of the ram were disposed of in the Moffat County landfill, while the ram's horns and skull were cut up with a saw, crushed, and scattered along a county road. After several hours of searching for evidence through deep snow along the county road where Baker stated that he had disposed of the horns and skull, wildlife officers found pieces of the bighorn sheep.

Charges were filed against Shane Baker and Seth Campbell in January. On May 26 Baker and Campbell appeared in Moffat County District Court to accept a plea bargain agreement and were sentenced on the following charges:

- CRS 33-6-109(1) - Illegal possession of wildlife;

- CRS 33-6-119(2) - Waste of wildlife;

- 33-6-107(3) - Hunting without a proper and valid license;

- 18-8-610(1)(a) - Tampering/destruction of evidence.

Baker and Campbell were assessed fines of $15,599 each and may still face a lengthy loss of hunting privileges, at the discretion of the Colorado Wildlife Commission.

 

'Village' foes plan Wolf Creek weekend

Friends of Wolf Creek have scheduled a campout gathering Friday through Sunday to explore the proposed "Village at Wolf Creek" region.

They invite area residents to show up any time and stay only as long as they like.

The group believes the planned village would destroy lush meadows, alpine creeks, unspoiled backcountry recreational opportunities and one of the most critical wildlife corridors in the Southern Rocky Mountains, all the while competing with a local economy that relies on tourist dollars.

Planned is a trip up the Continental Divide trail, a barbecue around a campfire (weather permitting) updates on the proposed development and discussion of ways to preserve Wolf Creek.

Directions: Drive to the ski area and watch for the signs. For more information call Jeff at 946-3967 or visit www.friendsofwolfcreek.org.

 

State park annual passes available at 140 locations

Colorado State Park annual passes can be purchased at 140 locations throughout the state, but as of July 1, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will no longer sell passes.

The pass can be purchased online at www.parks.state.co.us, at all 40 Colorado State Parks, and at Colorado State Parks service centers in Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, and Littleton.

In addition, King Soopers, City Market, Safeway, Albertsons, REI, and Gart Brothers outlets will continue to sell annual park passes. Colorado State Parks annual passes are good for unlimited access to all 40 state parks through December 31.

"The decision was made to discontinue selling passes through the DOW until a system that is more customer-friendly and compatible to both agencies is developed," said Gary Thorson, Colorado State Parks director of marketing and external affairs. "We are continuing to look for ways to allow one-stop shopping for outdoor enthusiasts and hope to partner with the DOW in the future."

Hunting, fishing, and non-resident off-highway vehicle licenses can be purchased at all DOW offices and at the following Colorado State Park locations: Navajo, Ridgway, Bonny Lake State Park, Colorado River office in Clifton, Golden Gate Canyon, Lake Pueblo, Lathrop, Littleton office and Trinidad.

Attracting more than 11 million visitors per year, Colorado's 40 State Parks are a vital cornerstone in Colorado's economy and quality of life, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state.

Colorado State Parks manages more than 4,000 campsites, 57 cabins and yurts, encompassing 246,000 land and water acres. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit the Web site at www.parks.state.co.us.

 

Sage-grouse status comment period extended to July 30

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it published a notice in the Federal Register July 9 to extend the deadline for submitting information and comments regarding the status of the greater sage-grouse until Friday, July 30.

Information and comments related to this status review previously provided need not be resubmitted.

The Service determined in a positive 90-day finding released April 16 that three petitions to list the species provided substantial biological information warranting a more in-depth examination of the status of greater sage-grouse, and this review is now underway.

Greater sage-grouse are found in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming. They are also found in the Canadian province of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"A key part of this status review is gathering the best available scientific information related to the status of the greater sage-grouse and its habitat," said Steve Williams Fish and Wildlife Service director. "We are taking this step today in an effort to provide as much opportunity for public input as possible while at the same time allowing us to meet our statutory deadline for making a final decision on the petitions. We will continue to monitor the situation."

Anyone wishing to submit information regarding the greater sage-grouse may do so by writing to the Field Supervisor, Wyoming Ecological Services Office, Suite 4000, Airport Parkway, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82001 or by e-mail to <fw6_sagegrouse@fws.gov>.

This status review will determine whether the greater sage-grouse warrants a subsequent Service proposal to list the species as threatened or endangered. To ensure this status review is comprehensive, the Service is soliciting information from state and federal natural resource agencies and all interested parties regarding the greater sage-grouse and its sagebrush habitat.

For more information about the sage-grouse and this finding, please visit the service Web site at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/species/birds/sagegrouse.

 

Environmental Education Expo set

The Alliance for Natural and Cultural Resource Education (ANCRE), and the Colorado Division of Wildlife are holding an Environmental Education Expo in Durango Aug. 3.

This is a one-day, half graduate credit, professional development workshop for K-12 teachers in Southwest Colorado.

The expo will include morning breakout sessions such as, "Using Environmental Education as a tool for the CSAP," a luncheon with a keynote speaker, and an afternoon exposition to learn what resources are available for teachers in the area.

Call 385-1210 for more information and to register. Registration is required by July 20.

 

Navajo State Park wins Starburst Award

Navajo State Park near Arboles was one of the winners of the 2004 Regional Starburst Awards announced at a ceremony at Hyland Hills Water World in Federal Heights this month. The park was recognized for excellence in the use of Colorado Lottery proceeds for parks and recreation projects. Those dollars come from the sale of Powerball, Lotto, Cash 5 and Scratch tickets.

Starburst Awards were presented in five geographic regions and five different categories, based on the total cost of the project. The criteria for awards are creative and cost-efficient use of Lottery funds, the economic and social impact of the project and community participation. The Navajo State Park Rehabilitation was the western region winner for projects over $1 million.

This 40 year-old amenity in southwestern Colorado was due for an overhaul. The facilities - all constructed in the late 1960s -were inadequate to meet the needs of today's outdoor enthusiasts. Areas that had been designated for camping when visitation was light, were later deemed to be environmentally sensitive, and not adequate to meet the increased park usage of the 21st century.

New facilities at the park include three campground areas with 119 designated campsites, electrical hookups, water and sewer hookups, wheelchair accessible facilities, heated camper service buildings with showers and three rental cabins. The park also now offers group picnic areas, five miles of trail, a fish cleaning station, and a new visitor center with a conference room and interpretive displays.

The renovation of the park was part of an effort by Colorado State Parks to rehabilitate its amenities on the Western Slope, in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which paid for half of the $7 million project costs. The other half was paid by Lottery proceeds through Colorado State Parks and GOCO.

Winners of the regional awards received a plaque. Winners of the statewide awards will be announced at the Colorado Park and Recreation Association (CPRA) Annual Conference in Breckenridge on September 23, 2004.

The regional winners today also received signage for their award-winning facilities, designating them as having won a Starburst Award.

Judges for the 2004 Starburst Awards were CPRA Board President Mary Colton of Highlands Ranch Metropolitan Districts Parks and Open Space, Lakewood Community Resources Director Kathy Hodgson who is currently serving as the chairman of the CPRA Directors Section, and Metro State College Leisure Services faculty member Mary Ann Loeffler.

 

An interactive look at Life at Chimney Rock

Could you weave your sandals out of yucca? Would you be able to make bread or tortillas from an ear of corn?

Join the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association on site Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25, for an interactive presentation of Life at Chimney Rock and learn how the ancestral Puebloans and regional Native American cultures lived and used the available resources.

Several artists and craftsmen will demonstrate these living skills and crafts such as pottery making, yucca leaf pounding for use in clothing, rope and sandals, flint knapping, spinning, grinding grains with a metate, flute making and playing, atlatl throwing and making petroglyphs. We welcome your participation. These events will be held in the lower site area, which is handicapped, accessible.

Tours of the upper site are available 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m., and are included in the event fees of $6 for adults, $2 for children (5-11), children under five are free. Demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. Reservations are not required.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs and three miles south on Highway 151. The gate is open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, please call the visitors cabin, (970) 883-5359 or our visit our web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.

 

Letters

Voter registration

Dear Editor,

There seems to be a local misconception regarding the meaning of being registered as an unaffiliated voter or an independent voter. Perhaps, this results from the fact the State of Colorado doesn't recognize the Independent Party as a party, as some other states do.

Therefore, there are no "independent" voters in this state.

You are either unaffiliated or affiliated with one of the recognized parties, such as Democrat, Republican, Green, etc. As this awareness spreads, we can, hopefully, eliminate the confusion by choosing to use the "unaffiliated" term.

Some great news for unaffiliated voters is the "extra" opportunity you get to voice your opinions - an invitation to vote in the primary election of your choice. I say "invitation" because once you arrive at the polling place to vote, you must actually affiliate with the party in order to cast a vote. All you need to do after Election Day has passed is go to the county clerk's office and re-register as unaffiliated, if you choose to keep that status for the general elections (or peace of mind). You might give the clerk's office a couple days after Election Day to finish up the election and avoid a possible trip back to their office.

Another voter opportunity is early primary voting at the county clerk's office, in the courthouse, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 2-6. The county clerk is hopeful to offer early voting on July 30, too, so you can check on this as the date approaches.

Voters should make sure to bring a valid photo ID card to the polls, as new voting rules apply to elections this year.

Voters may also apply for absentee ballots, leaving little reason for not casting your critical votes. Absentee ballot applications are available now from the county clerk's office. The last day to request absentee ballots to be mailed to local addresses is 4 p.m. Aug. 3. The last day to physically pick up an absentee ballot is 4 p.m. Aug. 6. If you are requesting an absentee ballot, be advised that the completed ballot must be back in the clerk's office by 7 p.m. Aug.10, the primary election day, to be counted.

If you're not registered to vote, it's a simple process, and the staff at the county clerk's office can assist you in filling out the forms. Social Security numbers need not be disclosed. It is not too late to register to vote in the November election. Deadline to register to vote for the general election is Oct. 4.

If you are now more confused than ever, the best bet is to contact the county clerk's office at 264-8350 and have them explain the details to your satisfaction.

Mark your calendars for the League of Women Voters' candidates' forum 7 p.m., Monday, July 26. Meet the county commissioner candidates at 6:30 p.m.

Please vote - your future depends on it!

Sincerely,

Karen Aspin

Patriotism belongs

Dear Editor:

In response to Kate Terry's Local Chatter column regarding criticism of too much little flag waving and floats with too much red white and blue colors I have to say that those who don't want to see patriotism in our parade should stay at home.

Let's not forget what Independence Day is all about. This is not the Rose Bowl parade after all. I was told that Durango's 4th of July parade was not nearly as nice as ours, which I thought was great.

The crowd turnout was fantastic. I have one criticism about the fact that there were absolutely no lights turned on at the high school grounds when the fireworks were over. People were stumbling their way through the dark, trying to find the door opening in the fenced-in area.

Some folks brought flashlights, but most never thought they would be needed.

Paula Bain

Level the field

This letter is first a plea to the hierarchy of the Archuleta County Republican Party to level the field of competition for the "primary election" in August. The treatment of the two well-qualified candidates who petitioned to be placed on the primary ballot for the two open commissioner seats, is a slap in the face to those "Republicans" who had enough interest in getting the best possible candidates to sign the petitions.

The choice to protect the two incumbents to the exclusion of any other willing Republican candidate leaves some serious questions.

At a time when the question of maintenance of county roads may be the most expensive faced by the taxpayers, it should not be forgotten that both incumbents were in office when the Pagosa Lakes road problems came to a head. Further it should not be forgotten that when the incumbents were advised of the road project problems and the fact that there was a contractor's bond in the amount of $5.2 million still available, they failed to act. (Now a new tax levy is proposed to remedy past failures of construction and maintenance of roads).

Subsequent litigation against the county for failure to supervise the road project was dismissed by the courts for procedural reasons based on the two agreements between the commissioners and PLPOA that had excluded the taxpayer/property owners as beneficiaries of the project.

It should be noted that the courts never addressed the merits of the case and that the county never denied the allegations of failure to manage the project.

The county taxpayers, left without a judicial remedy have only one way to be heard. That is the "election" process. It is the only way that incumbents who have not served the best interest of the taxpayers and property owners can be removed.

Should the Republican electorate of Archuleta County not have the opportunity to determine who really is the best candidate?

Glenn Bergmann

Gas well foe

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to express the concern I have for the proposed drilling of gas wells in the HD Mountains and the devastating impact it will have on pristine roadless areas in the San Juan National Forest in Archuleta County.

It appears the National Forest Service is willing to disregard existing environmental protections and bow to the greed of the oil companies who, with the unyielding support of the White House, have a fast track to approval.

Rather than protect the very essence of their being the NFS is ensuring the destruction of virgin, uncut, old growth forests. By the development of some 36 miles of roads in an area of approximately 12,700 acres the very existence of archaeological ruins dating back more than 1,000 years, hangs in the balance.

During this long term drought water is far more important to our future survival in the desert southwest than the petty amount of gas that will be extracted from these wells during their brief 10-plus years of productivity. For this short-term gain, the NFS is willing to sacrifice the quality of the water wells of all residents and ranchers in the area by submitting to the pressure our current president and his administration are applying for the development of these gas wells.

To put into perspective the magnitude of the impact to our public lands the drilling will create, I have accumulated these facts:

The Roadless Area, which is in the crosshairs of this development where 36 miles of road will be cut into virgin, uncut forest, is approximately 12,700 acres (19.8 square miles). The city of Durango is 9.6 square miles with 68 miles of roads. Can you imagine how forever changed the forest will be with road density more than a quarter of that of a city.

The impact of this development will be felt personally, too. The DOW game management unit in which I hunt will be turned into a noisy, polluted, almost completely deforested wasteland. A piece of heaven on earth turned into another dump at the hands of our government.

Thank you very much for giving your time to hear my voice.

Jennifer Burck

In response

Dear Editor:

In response to Mr. McVean's letter in the July 8 SUN:

As you know, some countries use the comma in place of a period. It would appear Mr. McVean's homeland is one of those countries. Had Mr. McVean read past the comma in the sentence containing my quote, he would have realized the obvious connection is that of death.

Further, the immediately preceding paragraph stated the all elusive "fact" - I do not believe government should make decisions for its people, when those people are capable and willing to make decisions for themselves. Realizing this, to many people, is an alien thought, I understand McVean's unwillingness to recognize or acknowledge the concept. Being unable to believe any person, with a reasonable command of the English language, could not comprehend Mrs. Baker's clearly written article, I leave open the possibility that someone is just jerking my chain.

If that's not the case: Mr. McVean, until and unless you have a firm grasp of the issue, you should, as I have been correctly advised many times, sit silent, and appear ignorant, rather than speak and remove all doubt.

As to your characterization of my comment being childlike: Why don't you go eat worms?

Darrel Cotton

Not debatable

Dear Editor:

The controversy occurring in the country over same-sex marriage, shouldn't even be debatable. A constitutional amendment banning something like this is preposterous.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to give all Americans rights, not take them away. These rights (should) apply to everyone, regardless of race, religion, sex, or sexuality. Among these rights is the "pursuit of happiness".

Banning same-sex marriage is a violation of these unalienable rights. If two people want to get married, it doesn't hurt or even concern the public. We, as Americans, live by certain laws and rights that shouldn't be affected by the opinions of one or two powerful people.

Please consider this before our government amends the Constitution and strips American citizens of their birthrights.

Anna Hershey and

Heather Andersen

Seasoned pros

Dear Editor:

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters have made history right here in Trujillo Valley. "The Hills are Alive ...!" a revue of Richard Rodgers works by two Johns, Graves and Porter, had me fighting back (guy-embarrassed) deep joy tears.

You guys are like seasoned professionals, now, in hoof and voice. Dale Morris and Melinda Baum are pure providence for our little town. They coach dance, stagecraft, and voice like nobody's business. Professor Graves at the piano and it's the golden Hollywood age alive.

Best wishes to Bob and Michele Thom. These two performers provided an encore by getting married on stage and singing an awesome love duet.

Harvey Schwartz

Parade points

Dear Editor:

I enjoyed Kate Terry's Local Chatter comments about our 4th of July Parade, and ways to improve it next year.

It is a fact that ten people could be asked, and there would be ten different opinions about what to add and what to delete from future parades.

There is so much planning, hard work, thought and expense that goes into the numerous floats and entries of other kinds. We have always loved the parade and look forward to it each year. We would never plan to be gone on the 4th!

I mostly agree with Kate and her ideas, with a little modification here and there. I love the older automobiles that travel to Pagosa from far and near, showing us that the past is still here with the sound of loud pipes and wheels that spin and burn rubber. I loved it then, and now! The louder the better.

Fourth of July means having fun, and not in a quiet way.

We have enjoyed this parade for 12 years, and from the beginning I have wished for more music. Hurrah for the floats that have music and dancing! There needs to be music all through the parade, not just in three spurts. I also like my music loud and lively.

Hats off to those who organize the parade and dedicate so much time to it all year long.

As for the political entries, I usually ignore those and vote for the ones who choose to watch the parade instead.

Keep up the great tradition, and thanks again for all the years it has been a great success.

Mary Lou Sprowle

Rebutting rebuttal

Dear Editor:

I do not want to start a dialog with either Tom DeRossett Jr. or Eugene Witkowski but I would appreciate the opportunity to reply to their letters in the July 8 SUN that were, in turn, directed at my letter of July 1.

To summarize my letter, I mentioned two statements that the president and other administration officials have made that did much to convince the American people and Congress to support the invasion of Iraq. These, on the evidence, were knowingly false. I then compared these actions to President Clinton's lies for which impeachment proceedings were brought, and asked why, when the consequences of the actions of the two presidents were compared, Clinton should be impeached and Bush reelected.

I thought that any responses would be directed to the assumptions and ideas in my letter. In fact, neither one addresses these points, most specifically, why Bush should be reelected if Clinton's actions called for impeachment. Early on Tom writes "... Ted can find no 'clear' al-Queda connection to Saddam's oppressive government." I neither said nor implied any such idea. What I did say was that there was no evidence that Saddam had been involved in the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. These are completely different concepts. He then accuses me of comparing "... Clinton's sexual immorality to the immorality surrounding war in general and throws President Bush into the middle of it. A long jump Ted." I did not compare Clinton's actions to war in general but, specifically, to Bush's actions that were similar to Clinton's. I would say, Tom, that you made a spectacular leap. He then discusses a number of other unrelated topics and ascribes to me other rationalizations and implications that have no basis in anything I wrote. Nowhere does he address the thesis of my letter.

Mr. Witkowski, on the other hand, spends most of his letter discussing the evidence for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If he will reread my letter, he will notice that the only time these weapons were even obliquely referred to was the misinformation that Saddam was trying to buy uranium from Niger.

It might surprise Mr. Witkowski that I believe there was much information supporting the idea that Iraq had WMD. There also was other information questioning this conclusion. Unfortunately, we won't know if the contrary view reached the administration before the war until after the upcoming election. No matter, whether Bush did or did not believe that WMD were or were not likely to be found, he was not justified in repeatedly giving false information to the country to further his cause. Again, as with Tom's reply, no effort has been made to rebut the "facts" in my letter or to answer the question.

Ted Stampfer

Royalty abounds

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Kate Terry's column, "Local Chatter." Specifically regarding the importance she places on our local royalty.

I love her idea for the Red Ryder Royalty to follow the Grand Marshal in the 4th of July Parade.  Because I am on the County Fair Board, I also want to give kudos to our royalty, as well as the Spanish Fiesta Royalty.  All girls work exceptionally hard all year and represent Pagosa Springs with class and grace.  They all should be recognized and congratulated.

On behalf of the entire fair board, I would like to congratulate the 2004 Red Ryder royalty, Chelsea Montroy and Keyton Nash-Putnam. 

Congratulations also goes to Spanish Fiesta Royalty, Victoria Espinosa, Wendy Webster, and Alyssa Laydon.  And finally, congrats to the County Fair royalty, Brea Thompson, Allison Laverty, and Leslie Baughman.  Way to go girls.  It would be terrific if all the girls, from all three of our local royalty could follow the Grand Marshal in the Parade.  Great Idea!

Carrie Toth

 

Community News
Local Chatter

Pagosa's young shooters in Pennsylvania event

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

The kids in Pagosa Springs do get around!

Five of them will be in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, July 26-30, attending the International Youth Hunter Education Challenge sponsored by the National Rifle Challenge sponsored by the National Rifle Association of America.

The qualifying attendees are: Dusty Bauer, Zane and Cole Kraetsch and Benellen and Allison Laverty.

Judd Cooney and Mike Kraetsch are accompanying them as coaches.

The event will last four days. All are staying in dormitories on the campus of Mansfield University. Mansfield is located in Tioga County in the very north center of Pennsylvania.

This international event is a fantastic opportunity to display learned skills and to acquire new ones. And of course, they are making new friends.

The agenda calls for two categories: one having to do with responsibilities and the other field events. Those having to do with responsibilities include: Wild Life Identification; Hunter Safety Trail; Hunter Responsibility Examination; and orienteering (maps and campers studies).

Field activities include: the use of three guns - rifles, muzzleloaders and shotguns, and one archery activity.

To help finance the trip, the Pagosa Bow Club held a benefit shoot on the Laverty Ranch and raised $14,000. People have been most generous. The kids are going to have a great time.

Fun on the run

A farmer finally decided to buy a TV. The store assured him that its personnel would install the antenna and TV the next day.

The next evening the farmer turned on his new TV and found only political ads on every channel. The next morning he turned the TV on and found only political ads again.

When he came in to eat lunch he tried the TV again, but still only found political ads.

The next day - when he still found only political ads - he called the store to complain. The owner said that it was impossible for every channel to only have political ads, but agreed to send a repairman to check the TV.

When the TV repairman turned on the TV he found that the farmer was right. After looking at the TV for a while he went outside to check the antenna. In a few minutes he returned and told the farmer he had found the problem. The antenna had been installed on top of the windmill and grounded to the manure spreader.

 

Senior News

Picnic in the Park is this week, not next

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

It's time for Picnic in the Park this week, despite what I said last week!

This month we will be serving lunch in Town Park at noon Friday. Dawnie and her staff always serve a great meal and the Mountain Harmony Choir will be entertaining us as well. Be sure to eat with us in the park and enjoy good food, fresh air, fine friends and music.

There is a lot going on this Saturday as well. Our group is going to Creede Repertory theatre for a noon production of "Ladder to the Moon." We will be going to Creede again Aug. 7 for the production of "Spitfire." We get group discounts and we try to carpool to save money, so if you are interested in going next month, we will start a sign up list the end of this month. Don't miss out on Creede.

We will also have a Star Party in the community center parking lot Saturday. We will meet about 8:30 p.m. and set up our telescopes. (Feel free to bring your own if you have one). We ask you to bring a chair, warm clothing and an interest in astronomy. Our own Sam Matthews has a telescope and some knowledge to share, so join us in becoming "starry eyed."

We will have Ronnie Doctor here at noon July 19 to encourage people to volunteer at the Archuleta County Fair. This is a great way to meet new people and have some fun as well. Be sure to have lunch with us and sign up to volunteer at the fair.

We will be going to Sky Ute Casino July 20. If you wish to join us, please sign up in the dining room. The ride down and back doesn't cost anything and they give you some freebies as well, so you have no excuse not to have some fun.

Enza Bomkamp will be here at 1 p.m. July 20 to explain hospice to us. Find out how you can be involved in hospice or how hospice might be able to help you.

If you are interested in obtaining a stairway chair lift, we might be able to help. Anna O'Reilly has a used Excel chair lift that works on a 12-foot stairway. It is an oatmeal colored chair and is in excellent condition. Anna is asking for $1,800 OBO. Call her at 731-2727 for more information.

Don't forget Game Day July 22. People were shy about coming in last month, although we had a bunch of prizes designated for Bingo, and a number of other board and card games available. Come in for lunch and stay for an afternoon of game playing.

Our free Movie Day is July 23. This month's feature is "In America." This is supposed to be a light hearted look at immigrants trying to make a go of it in this country. Show starts at 1 p.m. in the lounge and popcorn is only 25 cents.

Benefits of walking

If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases - from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they're backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:

- Managing your weight. Keeping your weight within healthy limits can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis.

- Controlling your blood pressure. Physical activity strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort. Staying fit is just as effective as some medications in keeping down blood pressure levels.

- Decreasing your risk of heart attack. Brisk walking for three hours a week - or just half an hour a day, is associated with a 30-40 percent lower risk of heart disease in women.

- Reducing your risk of breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes. People at high risk of diabetes can cut their risk in half by combining consistent exercise like walking with lower fat intake and only a 5-7 percent weight loss.

Regular exercise can avoid your need for gallstone surgery and protect against hip fracture. It can also prevent depression, lower stress levels, improve sleep and lengthen lifespan.

A steady routine is the most important factor in getting the most out of your exercise regimen. Walking for 30 minutes five times a week is recommended. Excerpted from AARP

Events

Friday, July 16 - QI Gong, 10 a.m.; Picnic in the Park - Mountain Harmony Choir sings, noon

Saturday, July 17 - Creede Repertory Theatre for "Ladder to the Moon, noon; Star Party, community center parking lot, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, July 19 - Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Be a Fair Volunteer, Ronnie Doctor, noon; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, July 20 - Yoga in Motion, 10:30 a.m.; advanced computer, 10:30; massage, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21 - Beginning computer 10:30; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, July 22 - Game Day, 1-3 p.m. at the center

Friday, July 23 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m.; free movie, "In America," 1 p.m.

Menu

Friday, July 16 - BBQ sliced beef, baked beans, coleslaw with apple, roll and watermelon

Monday, July 19 - Meatloaf, boiled potatoes, orange beets, whole wheat bread and melon cup

Tuesday, July 20 - Baked halibut, hash brown casserole, turnip greens, dinner roll, Mandarin oranges and oatmeal cookies

Wednesday, July 21 - Beef and broccoli, brown rice, orange Jello salad, onion roll and ginger snaps

Friday, July 23 - Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, roll and almond peaches.

 

Library News

Wooden card catalogue open to silent bid

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The wood card catalog must go in the next few weeks. You are invited to make a silent bid on it. Come in the library and look it over. The numerous drawers can be used for many purposes. It is a good looking piece of furniture.

If you are interested, please put the amount you bid in a sealed envelope with your name, phone and address. If you do win the bid, the card catalog must be removed by a certain date in August. For more information, call the library at 264-2209. The proceeds go toward the building fund.

Quilt show

I want to thank members of the Piecemakers for selling more bookmarks at their elegant quilt show over the Fourth of July weekend. We are now at the stage when we find out how much we still have to raise. We will be announcing some major challenge grants soon. Every bit helps, and the Piecemakers continue to come through for us. They also donated a lovely quilt to be raffled off at the Civic Club Bazaar this November.

Margaret Wilson and Civic Club members have tickets to sell.

Building news

We are just weeks away from our groundbreaking ceremonies. The plans are in the town building inspector's office, and we are trying to be patient as we await the go-ahead to put that first shovel in the ground.

The contractor is estimating the project will take five months. If we get going soon we can be dried in before bad weather. The plan is to do as much on the new addition as possible before having to disrupt the current library services.

We will keep you posted as to the schedule and time line as we learn it. For those of you who use the library computers, we are trying to locate all of the places you may go for that service. The community center and WolfTracks are on the list. If you know of other public places, give us a call at 264-2209.

Wildfire danger

We have Web sites and tip sheets on immediate things to do before, during and after a wildfire. Come in for copies. Review your homeowners/renters insurance policy to see if you have adequate coverage.

One tip suggests you turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room. This allows the home to be more visible in heavy smoke. Also verify that your driveway and gates will accommodate a fire truck.

Check with our fire district on how to create defensible zones around your home, or come to the library and pick up a copy of this information. And don't forget to have a plan to save your pets.

American Art West

This is Western America's Craft Show Directory. It is a comprehensive list of arts and craft shows in our region. It not only lists where and when the shows are, but it also gives such information as to booth sizes, fees, tax percentage, what kind of advertising should be used, and other pertinent facts that artists need to know. Crafters will appreciate the guidelines, and collectors will like the calendar, and knowing where and when to travel the circuit. Both Pagosa craft fairs are listed.

Donations

Thanks to the following for materials: Tiny Tibaut, Marcia Silver, Scotty Gibson, Josie Rose Snow, Kathy Wunderlich, Rita Sherbenob, Bob Curvey, Judy Lynch, Connie Gabriel, Rita O'Connell, Barbara Carlos.

 

Chamber News

Got a grimy car? We're about to wash it - free

By Sally Hamiester

SUN Columnist

Once a year we have an opportunity to show you just how much we love you, and this Saturday you can cash in on all that affection at our Annual Membership Appreciation Car Wash from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Visitor Center parking lot.

Yep, the Chamber staff and Board of Directors (and some lucky spouses) will wash your vehicle for nada, zippo, nothing at all just to show our undying gratitude for your membership. I will caution you that if you are not a member, that same wash will ding you $10 - membership does indeed have its privileges, you know.

Please come by and say hello and enjoy the supreme and rare pleasure of watching all of us actually working, sweating and having a whale of a good time helping everyone shine just a little brighter. Well, to be perfectly honest, I must confess that it will most likely not be the best car wash you've ever had, but it could be the most enjoyable because we're just so doggoned cute and ever so much fun to be around.

If you so choose, please bring $5 to buy the opportunity to win a year's free Chamber membership in a drawing to be held at the end of the day. Your chances are astronomically high to win because there are always very few names in the hat. At any rate, please stop by to say hello on Saturday and leave with a cleaner car than you brought in. Come to think of it, that's pretty much the only promise we've ever made: You are sure to leave with a cleaner car than the one you drove in. I know it's not much, but what can I tell you about a bunch of novice car washers? Hope to see you all on Saturday at the Visitor Center.

Spanish Fiesta

If you check out the PREVIEW cover in this week's SUN, you will see that we have collaborated with the Spanish community for this weekend's events and hope that you will enjoy both the Fiesta and the car wash. Applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce to join the parade for $5, and it will begin at 10 a.m. on 6th Street and end on 2nd.

After the parade, the festivities begin in Town Park with singing and dancing provided by La Jovencita from Pojuaque, N.M., local folkloric dancers, Grupo Espinosa, the Baile Espanol troupe from Sante Fe and locals Jessica Espinosa and Danea will entertain with their singing. A costume contest has been added to this year's activities. A $5 entry fee will be charged for adults and kids will get in for $2, and the event will end at 5 p.m.

The Fiesta Dance will be held Saturday night at the Pagosa Springs Community Center with the band Tucson y los Amigos from Durango providing the music beginning at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 and $15 at the door and are available at the Chamber of Commerce or from any Spanish Fiesta Club member.

All proceeds from the Fiesta will benefit our own Pagosa seniors with scholarships, as well as local youth and seniors programs. In order to continue this generous tradition, your participation, attendance and interest in this year's Fiesta are especially critical. Viva la Fiesta.

Conference on Learning

The Charles J. Hughes Foundation is sponsoring the Southwest Conference on Learning for educators 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26-27, at Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium. The educator conference will focus on the latest research, programs, and techniques for success with children at all grade levels. You can also expect to hear nationally known speakers at this conference and are invited to call Robyn Bennett at 264-2228 for more information.

Perks news

If you have been the lucky recipient of Pagosa Perks and are still holding on to them for some reason, get out there and spend them pronto. The deadline for using them is Aug. 9 due to the change from Vectra Bank to First Southwest Bank. If you look at those little jewels, you will see that they had an expiration date six months from date they were purchased, but we weren't going to be too stringent about that until now.

Get out there and enjoy a little spending spree with your Perks, and don't forget that you can purchase them year-round for every imaginable occasion.

The Hills Are Alive...!

Congratulations and kudos to the cast and crew of last weekend's Music Boosters presentation of "The Hills Are Alive !" for a most splendid production. The singing, dancing, music, sets and lighting were exceptionally professional and incredibly enjoyable and a reminder to all of us that we are fortunate indeed to have such a wonderful organization in Pagosa Springs with what appears to be a growing supply of talent.

Those who attended on Saturday night were treated to quite the surprise when Michelle Martinez and Bob Thom exchanged marriage vows on stage immediately after the show ended. There wasn't a dry eye in the house while listening to their vows, and we offer our sincere congratulations to Michelle and Bob and wish them all the best.

Pitcher Open House

Don't forget to join Jann Pitcher and her gang of merry agents for an open house and official unveiling of their new location and new look 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 21. The new offices are located at 2261 Eagle Drive, formerly the American Family Insurance building on the north side of Put Hill. You need to tour the building to appreciate the new look and the many lovely changes that have taken place both inside and out. Please plan to attend and tour.

Meet the Artist

You are invited to enjoy champagne, hors d'oeuvres and great company at Taminah Gallery 5-8 p.m. Friday July 16, for the opening night of an exhibit featuring the work of local artist Pat Erickson. The exhibit will include equine, wildlife and Southwestern artwork along with work by other artists, fine jewelry and unusual and unique gift items. If you would like more information, please give Karen a call at 264-4225.

Family Festivo

Music in the Mountains proudly presents a free concert for children and their families featuring the work of Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev, "Peter and the Wolf" in Town Park at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 29.

Prokofiev created this work in an effort to teach his children about instruments and music and will be performed by members of the Music in the Mountains symphony with local children taking on the roles of the characters that appear in this work. We sincerely hope that you will bring all your family members to this event to enjoy food, fun and the delightful "Peter and the Wolf" concert.

Ride the Weminuche

United Way of SW Colorado is delighted to invite you to attend the fourth annual Ride the Weminuche four-hour horseback ride in the beautiful mountains surrounding the Poma Ranch. This wonderful day will also include a delicious chuck wagon lunch and a live auction with many interesting, unusual and exciting items.

You can choose a guided or unguided ride, and charges will be $55 if you bring your own ride, $95 if you need to rent a horse and $15 if you are a wimp like me and choose only to eat lunch. This event is sponsored by the good folks at Poma Ranch and the proceeds will go the United Way coffers to be used for their many benevolent causes in the community. You can pick up a registration form at the Chamber or give Kathi DeClark a call at 946-2057 for more information.

Bagpipe concert

If you are in search for an unusual and enjoyable way to spend time outside next to the river in Town Park, I think I have something intriguing to suggest. How about a bagpipe concert featuring Scottish Highland pipes and dancers? This unusual event will highlight band piping, solo piping, dancers and drummers and quite possibly, singers and poetry readings. The mistress of ceremonies will be Marilyn Leftwich who is a professor at Fort Lewis College as well as one the performing pipers. This concert will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 31 and continue for a couple of hours. Take advantage of this opportunity for I assure you, it won't present itself again for some time.

Chile Cook-Off /Taste

In less than a month you will have the opportunity to match spatulas and spoons with the best and brightest chile masters in Pagosa at the Second Annual Lee Sterling Chile Cook-Off and Taste of Pagosa.

If you have a killer chile recipe that might win prizes, you need to pick up an application at the Chamber of Commerce, the Flying Burrito or WolfTracks Bookstore & Coffee Co. before Aug. 3 to enter your delectable dish. The judging will take place 4-9 p.m. Aug. 5 at the county fairgrounds. Prizes will be awarded to the best entries in six categories: hot red, mild red, hot green, mild green, open class and professional. Please call Kim Moore if you have questions about the Chile Cook-Off or Taste of Pagosa at 731-0426.

Membership

We're pleased as punch to introduce one new member this week accompanied by nine renewals. Thank you all for your trust and continued support. We in turn will work very hard to be deserving of such gifts.

Marsha Silver and Jane McKain (one of those names you like to repeat over and over again) join us with Mountain High Fiber Ladies, LLC, with offices located at 68 Bastille Drive. MHFL is a custom processing mill for wool, llama, alpaca and cashmere fiber. It is also a retail store featuring books, patterns, yarn, roving, needles and notions. Classes and equipment for weaving and spinning will also be available, so keep your eyes peeled for those classes. These ladies have been involved in the local Fiber Festival for a couple of years now, so they are no strangers to Pagosa Springs and all we do here. If you would like to learn more, please give a call to 731-8500.

Renewals this week include Don and Denise Pastin with 5-D Construction in home offices; Bryan Crutchley with Alpine Technology Solutions in home offices; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of LaPlata County, Inc. in Durango; Spud Heaton with Rocky Mountain Sanitation; Nancy Guilliams with Piedra River Resort in Chimney Rock and our old pal, Mike Marchand with Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures, LLC.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include Al Baird who renews as a Real Estate Associate with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group, and valued Chamber Diplomat Charlotte Overley and husband, David. Thanks to one and all.

 

Veteran's Corner

Veterans records center is making access easier

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) is working to make it easier for veterans with Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.

Military veterans, and the next of kin of deceased former service members, can use a new online military personnel records system to request documents. Others who need documents must still complete the Standard Form 180 (SF180), which can be downloaded from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Web site www.archives.gov/research_room/vetrecs/index.html. Or, I have these forms here at the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office and will be happy to assist you in filling out the proper form.

Better service

The new Web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center's mailroom processing time. Also, because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized.

Veterans and next of kin may access this application and find more information from the NARA Web site.

DD214 for benefits

The most common military record required for most VA benefits or claims is the DD214. This document was issued to all discharged veterans by the late 1940's. Prior to that time and during WWII the document was called a WD AGO Form 53-55. However, if you request a DD214 for any period of service, the NPRC will send a copy of the correct military record, if it is available.

What's this "if available"? Doesn't the NPRC keep all military records forever? Unfortunately there was a fire at the NPRC July 12, 1973 that destroyed part or all of certain records of about 80 percent of the Army personnel discharged between Nov. 1, 1912, and January 1, 1960, and about 75 percent of the records for Air Force personnel with surnames from "Hubbard" through "Z" discharged between Sept. 25, 1947, and Jan. 1, 1964.

Records still available

Millions of records, especially medical records, had been withdrawn from those groups and loaned to the VA before the fire. The fact that one's records are not in NPRC files at a particular time does not mean the records were destroyed in the fire. The records can often be rebuilt from the VA if they have possession of them.

If a veteran learns his or her records may have been lost in the fire, they may send photocopies of any documents they possess, especially separation documents to the NPRC. The NPRC will add those documents to the computerized index and file them permanently.

Certified copies

Records sent from NPRC are pressure stamped with a seal that certifies they are copies of originals, and will meet all requirements for VA and SSA benefits, or any other benefit requiring proof of military service.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO, 81301. Phone is 247-2214.

For further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the FAX number is 264-8376, and e-mail afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

 

Arts Line

Reception Friday for Pat Erickson

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Taminah Gallery in historic downtown Pagosa Springs, will host a reception 5-8 p.m. Friday for local artist, Pat Erickson. Erickson creates representational work in watercolor and pencil of wildlife and equestrian subjects. Erickson's work is quiet and reserved, much like the artist herself, but the detail draws the viewer's eye.

Receptions at Taminah are always events to remember. Gallery owner Karen Cox and her staff continue to throw grand parties and tomorrow night will be no different. Come enjoy the food, the music, and especially the art.

Taminah Gallery supports the Arts Council and represents many local artists, including PSAC board members Randall Davis and Pierre Mion. The gallery also shows the work of Claire Goldrick, Christine Picavet, and Wayne Justus.

Drawing human face

Drawing is the basis of all art. Learn more about drawing Saturday than you ever learned before. Randall Davis will continue to work on drawing the human face. Bring drawing pencils and paper. The class meets 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the community center. The cost is $35 payable to PSAC.

SunDowner/art auction

Join PSAC and the Chamber of Commerce for a night of fun, food and art, featuring the Jack Hanson Trio July 28 at the gallery in Town Park.

This event promises to be a great time, and PSAC is looking for artists and others to donate artwork for the live art auction and silent auction.

Want to get rid of that painting on your wall? No place for that sculpture? Donate it to PSAC for the auction. The committee is working hard to bring you affordable, fabulous art. So mark your calendar and start saving your money to bid on original art and fine art prints by some of our favorite local artists.

Call the gallery at 264-5020, e-mail PSAC@centurytel.net, or call Doris Green at 264-6904 or e-mail greenacres1@centurytel.net, for more information on donating art.

Fort Lewis courses

The Fort Lewis College Extended Studies Program is offering the following courses. For more information or to register call 247-7385. Preregistration for all courses is required:

The Fine Art of Greeting Cards - Learn a multitude of artistic techniques to create your own sendable, frameable greeting cards, tags, and envelopes. Includes watercolor, collage, and embellishments. This class is suitable for beginners to professionals. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 1-3 p.m.

Art History - In this course you will discuss art history, the elements of art and principles of design, various media, and art interpretation. Monday-Friday, July 26-30, and Aug. 2-6, 2-4 p.m. Choose which week works best for you.

Nature Writing - In this course, you will learn to evoke the essence of the natural world around us through compelling, imaginative, and expressive writing - both prose and poetry. This interactive seminar, focusing on the elements of evocative nature writing, will involve in-class exercises and weekly writing assignments. Monday-Friday, July 19-23, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with a full-day field trip Thursday, July 22.

The Sessions of your Life - Creating a Lasting Legacy - This course is designed for adults in the second half of life. Experience the art of reminiscing and preserving memories to give meaning to the present and to gain hope and awareness of new possibilities for the future. Monday-Friday, July 19-23, 10 a.m.-noon.

Introduction to Rock Art and the Architecture of Chaco Canyon - Known for its beautiful and intriguing Native American rock art, learn all about Southwest history through its art by joining for in-class and outdoor field experiences. There will be an all-day field trip on Wednesday, July 21 to Chaco Canyon. Monday-Thursday, July 19-22, 3-5 p.m.

Introduction to Black and White Photography - This seven-week course will help you develop an eye for black and white subjects, shooting techniques, and focusing on tonality and texture - in a world full of color. You will cover a basic understanding of photography and an application of how to better use your camera. Through assignments, students will learn compositional elements and Ansel Adams' zone metering system. Participants must have their own manual 35mm camera and supply of film and processing. Call the Office of Extended Studies at 247-7385 for more information.

Women Writers of the West -You will start with Willa Cather's classic, "Death Comes for the Archbishop" and make your way through Ellen Meloy's, "Raven's Exile," Barbara Kingsolver's, "Animal Dreams," Terry Tempest Williams', "Unspoken Hunger," and the work of Native writers Paula Gunn Allen, Joy Harjo, Leslie Marmon Silko and Linda Hogan. Given time, you will also read about the "soiled doves" and painted ladies of the dusty cowboys and wild mountain miners and how they lived through their first fortunes and hard times. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6, 10 a.m.-noon.

Writers of the Southwest - This course will explore the diverse voices and genres of contemporary Southwestern literature. We will read and discuss two seminal novels of our region, Ron Querry's "The Death of Bernadette Lefthand" and Leslie Marmo Silko's "Ceremony," as well as Edward Abbey's classic, "Desert Solitaire." Stories of Hispanic culture in New Mexico from Tierra Amarillo, Native American poet and musician Joy Harjo, and essayists Terry Tempest Williams, Wallace Stegner, and Frank Waters will round up the best of the Southwest. Monday-Friday, Aug, 2-6; 1-3 p.m.

Introduction to Basic Drawing - Yes, you can learn to draw in five days! You will learn to use the right side of your brain where your creative side dwells. Monday-Friday, Aug. 2-6; 1-4 p.m.

Opportunities for artists

Pagosa Springs Arts Council will sponsor a member only juried art show. Juror for this first juried event is nationally recognized artist, Pierre Mion. The show is scheduled for exhibition Sept. 2-28. Look for a prospectus to arrive soon and more information in this column. Renew your membership in PSAC to ensure your eligibility to participate!

Ongoing workshops

Beginning Watercolor with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett, every Monday and Wednesday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Fairfield Activities Center. Call 731-8060 to reserve a spot for only $25.

Upcoming workshops

Mixed Media - Beginners II, Aug. 11-13, with Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett.

This workshop builds on The Basics of Watercolor - Beginners I and uses everything students learned in that class. In Beginners II there will be lessons and exercises about shapes, composition and design, choosing subjects, further study about value and color, and advanced techniques such as lifting, scraping, masking, glazing, working with sponges, salt, Saran Wrap, and waxed paper. Afternoons will be spent painting, using the morning's lessons. The cost is $130 or $123.50 for PSAC members.

Botanical Art and Drawing with Cynthia Padilla, Aug. 17-20. Dallas artist Cynthia Padilla, returns to Pagosa Springs for a week of botanical drawing, painting, nature drawing and creating luminous mandalas. Classes are Monday-Friday and you may sign up for one class or all. Each class is $75 or $71.25 for PSAC members.

Calendar

July 1-28 - Joye Moon exhibit at the gallery in Town Park

July 15 - Photo Club meets, 6:30 p.m. at community center

July 16 - Reception for local artist Pat Erickson at Taminah Gallery, 414 Pagosa Street

July 17 - Drawing workshop with Randall Davis at community venter, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

July 16-18 - Fairfield Pagosa Arts and Crafts Festival

July 15-31 - Batik and Screamers papier maché workshop

July 20-23 - Pottery workshop at Chimney Rock Archeological Area

July 26-29 - Pottery workshop at Chimney Rock Archeological Area

July 27 - PSAC board meeting, 5 p.m.

July 29 - Music in the Mountains Children's Concert at Town Park

Aug. 1 - Advertising and submission deadline for SW Colorado Arts Perspective

Aug. 5-8 - Archuleta County Fair

Aug. 5-31 - Watercolor exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and students

Aug. 11 - Watercolor Club, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Aug. 12 - Photo Club, 5:30 p.m.

Aug. 11-13 - Basics II, Denny and Ginnie mixed media workshop

Aug. 15 - Home and Garden Tour, noon-5 p.m.

Aug. 16-21 - Cynthia Padilla botanical art workshop

Aug. 21 - Third Saturday workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sept. 11 - Colorado Arts Consortium - The Business of Art an Art pARTY

Sept. 17-19 - Juried art exhibit for PSAC members during Colorfest.

 

Kid's rodeo just one of many fair events for children

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

Yee Haw is the cheerful declaration of any cowboy in a state of exuberance on their horse.

The young cowpokes will be able to express their talents and revelry at the Kid's Rodeo 2 p.m. Sunday Aug. 8 at the Archuleta County Fair.

Plenty of events will be featured this year for the youngsters. The mutton bustin' will be sure to delight us with the children six and under navigating on sheep like pint-sized bull riders.

If that event is too advanced for some of our buckaroos, the stick horse race is a fun alternative. The older children will have the chance to show their prowess in the steer riding event or barrel racing. These are just a few of the many events that will be featured in the Kid's Rodeo.

Further information and entry forms may be obtained at the following locations in town: Boot Hill Tack and Feed; Chamber of Commerce; CSU County Extension Office; Goodman Department Store; Sewing Source

Entry forms may be turned in the morning of the Kid's Rodeo or may be mailed to:

CSU County Extension Office

P.O. Box 370

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

All entries must be in before 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8.

Children who enter the Mutton Bustin' will receive a T-shirt and a one-dollar bill. All other entrants in events for children six and under will receive a prize ribbon for entering. Other prizes will be awarded to the older children per age grouping.

We on the fair board would like to thank everyone will be sponsoring a coveted belt buckle prize.

We hope that you will join us for the upcoming event to cheer on our young cowboys and cowgirls. Remember we have a new Web site this year that will navigate you through all of the upcoming Fair events: www.archuletacountyfair.com.

 

West Wind Pipe Band will present free concert July 31

The West Wind Pipe Band will present a free concert 11 a.m. Saturday, July 31, at the gazebo in Town Park.

Bagpipers, drummers and dancers from throughout the Four Corners area will perform and entertain in the true Highland fashion said Jim Dorian, local bagpiper.

Members of the band have been performing for over 30 years and recently participated in the Korean War Memorial Service in Ignacio for the Southern Ute Tribe, the Celtic Festival at Durango Mountain Resort, the Ouray Fourth of July parade, and Memorial Day services in Cortez, Dolores, Telluride and Rico.

Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the music.

 

Tree related topics for kids workshops

Things associated with trees are workshop subjects through Sunday at Children's Museum of Durango.

Today, for example children of all ages will be working on a kindness tree all day; cost free with admission.

Friday, 2-3 p.m, children 5 and over will make papier maché maracas; cost $6.

Bird houses will be the topic for children 6 and over 2-3 p.m. Saturday; cost $10.

Finally children 5 and over will make paper flower crowns 1:30-2:30 p.m. Sunday; cost $8.

Registration and adult supervision is required for all workshops and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

For more information on events in the museum at 802 E. 2nd Ave., call Kim Schibi at 259-9234.

 

'Ride the Weminuche'

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The PREVIEW

United Way of Southwest Colorado presents Ride the Weminuche 9 a.m. Saturday, July 31, at the historic Poma Ranch.

It will be the fourth annual trail ride. Bring the entire family and see the mountains on horseback.

It's an opportunity to spend the day outdoors observing the breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness, watching the wildlife and raising money to support our community.

The day will include riding for three hours, a real chuck wagon lunch, a live auction, then out again for another two-hour adventure.

The Poma Ranch, is 27 miles up Piedra Road north of U.S. 160.

Rides will be guided, or unguided for the skilled rider. Fee is $55 if you bring your horse and $95 if you need to rent one. Registration includes lunch.

To reserve your spot and a horse, call today. You may charge by phone or mail your check and reservation needs to United Way, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO. 81147.

For more information call Kathi DeClark at 946-2057.

 

Get applications for talent search

The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College presents the Four Corners region's first official talent search, "Spotlight to Stardom," Saturday, Oct. 16.

Deadline for entries is Tuesday, Sept. 7, and entry cost is $75.

"Spotlight" is open to talented vocalists, musicians, actors, comedians, dancers and more of all ages from throughout the Four Corners region. The 10 most talented performers will be selected at auditions Sept. 19-20.

Finalists will compete for cash prizes, public notoriety and exposure to industry professionals from the West and East coasts.

Applications are available online at www.durangoconcerts.com or at the Community Concert Hall Box Office.

For more information, contact event coordinator Indiana Reed at 382-9734 or assistant to the concert hall's managing director Mary Floroplus at 247-7162 or floroplus_ m@fortlewis.edu.

 

Viva la Fiesta; event opens with 10 a.m. parade Saturday

The time is here and the plans are set.

Now, with the support of the Pagosa Springs community, the Spanish Fiesta Club brings Fiesta Saturday, July 17.

The colorful sights and sounds of traditional Fiesta are brought to town beginning with the Fiesta Parade, staged in the Sears parking lot off South 6th Street.

If your application for the parade has not yet been submitted, they will be available at 9 a.m. parade day at the staging site. They also are available at the Chamber of commerce or by calling 264-4604. The entry fee is $4.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and proceeds down San Juan and Pagosa Streets, turning right at 2nd Street and coming back into Town Park.

All cars entered in the car show and parade will park on the athletic fields and winners will be announced at 2 p.m. Entry fee for the car show is $10. For more information on that show contact Frank Martinez at 264-5435.

The festivities in Town Park will feature La Jovencita from Pojuaque, N.M., entertaining throughout the day with her singing and dancing. Entertainment will include local Folklorico dancers Grupo Espinosa, the Baile Espanol troupe from Santa Fe, Jessica Espinosa and young Danea singing for the crowd.

The costume contest is a new part of Spanish Fiesta this year.

Entrance to Fiesta will be $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. Events in the park will end at 5 p.m.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center will then host the Fiesta Dance with the band Tucson y los Amigos from Durango playing. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and dancing begins at 8. Tickets at $15 at the door or $10 in advance are available at the Chamber of Commerce or from any Spanish Fiesta Club member.

All proceeds from Fiesta are to benefit Pagosa Springs High School seniors with scholarships. This year the Spanish Fiesta Club has expanded the benefits to reach area youth and senior citizen programs in the community.

The committee hopes to continue this traditional celebration and attendance and participation this year is crucial to its future.

They invite all to join the festivities and show support.

 

Unitarians will hear Waldorf schooling talk

This Sunday, July 18, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a service describing and explaining Waldorf Schooling, which stresses educating the body, soul and spirit of children.

Edward Norman, doctor of oriental medicine and licensed acupuncturist, will the present a program about this form of education, which incorporates the research and teachings of Rudolph Steiner, the father of anthroposophy.

Norman points out the growth and maturation of a human being is a deeply complex matter. From a Waldorf perspective, the evolution of a child's consciousness is nourished by meeting each developmental state with specific support for "inner" processes. These include art, craft, recitation, movement, fairy tales, and later - literature, music, mathematics, and teacher/role models.

The curriculum is a tool to gradually reveal the child to him or her self, and eventually make each one available to the world, fully empowered. This compassionate form of education will soon be coming to Pagosa Springs.

The service and children's program begins at 4:30 p.m.

The Fellowship is now meeting in its new permanent home in Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza, on Greenbriar Drive, off North Pagosa Boulevard. Unit 15 is on the east (back) side of the commercial plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the Fire Station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big new sign. All are welcome.

On July 25, at 11 a.m., the President of the national Unitarian Universalist Association, The Reverend William Sinkford, will speak to the combined Unitarian Universalist Fellowships of the Four Corners region. This outstanding event, sponsored by the Durango UU Fellowship, will be held in the Smiley Building Auditorium, 1305 Third Ave, Durango. As always, everyone is invited to attend.

There will be no service at the Fellowship Hall in Pagosa Springs on July 25.

 

1963 Pagosa grad's first novel published

Author Richard Lucero announced last week his book entitled "Quest for Tularosa" has been published.

Lucero's home town is Pagosa Springs, where he graduated from high school in 1963.

In his book, during a bloody revolution against Maximilian's French army, Pablo and Eufemia Cordova struggle to save their farm from the worst drought in Mexico's history.

Wanted by a Juarista captain and his soldiers, they must escape from their farm in the Sierra Madres and flee to the United States where they hope to make a new home and a future for themselves and their children. Full of action and suspense, the reader is drawn into their journey with its life-threatening challenges, conflicts and confrontations.

This is Lucero's first novel but he is working a sequel called "Return to Tularosa," as well as his new work, "Billy Thunder."

His favorite authors include Larry McMurtry, Clive Cussler, Lucia St. Clair Robson and Pat Conroy.

Lucero resides in Henderson, Nev., with his wife, Anita and their two daughters. He has spent several vacations in and around the Tularosa and El Paso area in an effort to give his novels an authentic southwestern ethnic flavor.

 

Summer bash hoedown set July 29

Instep Dance Club presents The Summer Bash Hoedown dance party 6-11 p.m. Thursday, July 29.

BYOB and pot luck dinner from 6-7 p.m. and a short class after 7.

Open dancing and fun until 11.

Cost will be $5 couple for non-class dancers.

The event will be in the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

Club dues are $20 for singles, $30 per couple. Singles without partners welcome. Bring friends and make friends.

For information, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.

 

Teens busy keeping their skills sharp

By Karen Carpenter

Special to The PREVIEW

We have been cooking, playing volleyball, learning card tricks and the magic Chinese linking rings.

This keeps our hand-eye coordination and math skills from dulling over the summer. Some of the teens are quite skilled and are overcoming the dreaded "audience factor."

Preparations for the upcoming July 30 dance are in the works. Moe and Shan Webb will be our DJs. The dance will be our main focus in the weeks ahead.

We have had many visitors this past week, just checking the Teen Center out. I hope they will become part of our Teen Center family.

It was great to see "The Hills are Alive ..." in support of all the cast whom worked so hard over the summer to bring us this musical tribute.

The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard and is open 1-8 p.m. weekdays.

The phone is 264-4152.

 

Chuck Wagon Cook-Off set by Cattlemen

La Plata-Archuleta Cattlemen's Association will sponsor a Chuck Wagon Cook-Off July 31 with wagons arriving at La Plata County Fairgounds in Durango July 30.

Cooks from each wagon, plus their helpers, will begin early July 31 preparing food for about 60 people, with all the cooking done in Dutch ovens.

The food, all locally grown, will consist of meat, potatoes, bread, beans, a dessert and a drink. Each wagon will be judged on its authenticity. Each category of food will be judged and ticket holders will be served at 5:30 p.m.

The cook-off will be on the lower baseball field (just west of the rodeo arena). The public is invited to visit the wagons, visit with the cooks, and make a decision as to which wagon's food you would prefer.

Awards will be presented at the evening performance of Fiesta Rodeo.

A limited number of tickets are available at the Cattlemen's picnic Saturday, July 17 at Cole Ranch and at Basin Coop. A $12 donation is required. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the gate.

 

Creede readies its third annual rock, mineral show

Creede will host its third annual Mineral County Rock and Mineral Show, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7 -8, at the Underground Mining Museum.

The public is invited to attend and admission is free.

Rock hounds and collectors of all ages can find exhibits of gems, geodes, fossils, silver ore, turquoise nuggets, Australian opals, beads, jewelry, and stone carvings plus rock and mineral specimens from around the world. This year's show features a meteorite specialist, stone cutting demonstrations, gold panning, and grab bags filled with intriguing rock specimens.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7, Charles Downing, one of Creede's foremost rock hounds, presents "A Geologic History of Creede" with local rock specimens and a hands-on geology demonstration. Downing spent many years teaching Creede's youth about earths sciences including the volcanic origins of the landscape surrounding their hometown.

Mineral County holds a wide variety of unusual features like volcanic dikes and vents, the famous Wheeler Geologic Area (a classic ash deposit), and the Creede Fossil Formation.

The county's geology has kindled a long legacy of interest and fascination from early day prospectors and surveyors to modern mining engineers and mineralogists.

The La Garita Caldera, one of the world's largest calderas, gave birth to many formations that serve as landmarks within the Upper Rio Grande Valley. The smaller Creede caldera created unusually rich ore deposits that eventually fueled the silver boom of the Creede mining district. Millions of dollars worth of silver, gold, lead and zinc were extracted annually before the last mine, the Homestake, closed in 1988.

Creede survived fires, floods, mining depressions, and mine closures to become known as the "little town that would not die." The spectacular Pillars of Hercules, remnants of an ancient rhyolite wall, frame the town's bustling Victorian-era business district which now houses gift shops, restaurants, galleries, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and quaint B&Bs. Creede recently was cited as one of six outstanding small art communities by Artist's magazine.

Proceeds from exhibitors' fees for the Rock and Mineral Show benefit the Creede Underground Community Center. The tunnels and caverns that form the center, mining museum, and fire station were blasted into the solid rock walls of Willow Creek Canyon by three miners and volunteer helpers after the last mine closed. The community project was completed in 1992.

Creede is a haven for amateur and professional geologists or anyone who just enjoys unusual rocks. The 17-mile Bachelor Loop Tour passes old town sites, mine buildings, and other relics of Mineral County's silver boom legacy. The Underground Mining Museum and the Creede Historical Museum are open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. The Last Chance Mine offers on-site tours and rock hounding opportunities during the summer weekends.

Contact Jenny Inge, 719-658-2376, or the Creede/Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, 719-658-2374 or 800-327-2102, for more information or an exhibitor's application.

 

Food for Thought

It's delicious, but there are too many consonants

By Karl Isberg

SUN Columnist

Look Ma, I'm Polish!

So, here's how it went down: my rapid immersion in eastern European picnic fare - my conversion.

It started with a mess of Pieczen Rzymska, sealed in a large plastic Ziplock bag.

We took the bag out of the refrigerator, opened it and we each wadded up quite a bit of the stuff.

And ate it. Pieczen Rzymska.

Also in the fridge was a similar sealed bag, filled with Cyganska Szynka. Sliced.

Each of us pulled off four or five of the thin slices, rolled them into tubes.

And ate them. Cyganska Szynka.

Quite nice, if impossible to pronounce. Where do they find all those consonants?

With that, we were ready for the big show, the West Slavic main event.

Kurt opened the cupboard and pulled out the large jar of Kapusta Kwaszona and popped the top.

"This, brother, is not made by human hands. No, this is otherworldly; no mere mortal could have fashioned this. Perfection is beyond the reach of we tragically flawed humans. "This" - he held the jar up to the golden late afternoon light flooding through the kitchen window - "is the result of divine intervention. It's the only explanation. I realize it defies reason, but go with your instinct here, bro. Make a leap of faith."

I had to admit: It was the darned finest looking Kapusta Kwaszona I had seen in a long time.

If it tasted half as good as it looked, we were in for a transformative experience.

Kurt is my brother. Among other things, he is an oenological whiz and, like me, he was infected long ago by the food virus. He is an accomplished and daring cook, capable of setting you back in your chair, your troubled mind cleared and buffed to a high sheen by an unexpected combination of flavors and textures. He knows few peers at the grill and sautés with the best of them. His food interests, experiences and accomplishments span the culinary globe. He is completely at home in the kitchen or the well-stocked cellar.

What Kurt does best, however, is find obscure sources for rare foods. He has prowled everything from the high-end luxury stores, to dingy little holes in the wall at the end of ominous alleyways. He has searched out foods and recipes on four continents. He can tell you where to find the best paillards in Paris, exotic spices in Thailand.

And, as of last weekend, he can guide you to a source for a jar of killer Kapusta Kwazona.

Kurt was here during the recent Fourth of July holiday weekend. He came bearing his family, and gifts.

Pieczen Rzymska.

Cyganska Szynka. Sliced.

Kapusta Kwaszona.

Two kinds of sausages whose names are so foreign I hesitate to spell them.

Foreign, as in Polish.

Pieczen Siekana (almost like the Dsiadek the old-timers used to make) and Parowki something or other.

"It's an unobtrusive joint called SAWA," he said, describing his supplier. "There's a place where I get the tires on the van changed and to get there, you have to drive past this crummy shopette, circa 1960. SAWA moved in recently and, at first, the owners didn't identify what SAWA was. Then, when I went across town to get the snow tires taken off the van and my summer tires put on, I saw added information. The sign read 'SAWA Market - Meats.' I pulled a U and found myself in a paradise of sorts: A dimly lit little storefront with a meat counter and shelves along the walls."

He glowed as he spoke. It was that "I've been to Lourdes" kind of glow. The face of someone who has spied a stunning image in a burned tortilla.

Kurt launched into a minutely detailed description of the contents of the meat counter - a treasure trove of smoked meats and sausages.

"Polish hams, Karl, three or four deep. And the sausages - so many sausages." At first I was paralyzed. When I finally turned from the meat counter to gather my thoughts, I saw a refrigerated case and, next to it, a freezer case. The cases were full of pierogi, every kind imaginable. I was starting to short out, my circuits were snapping. I turned again and there was a bank of shelving and "

He got a dreamy look in his eyes and hesitated. For a minute I thought he was suffering a flashback, the consequence of a rash moment in the early '70s when he thought he knew a whole lot more about native mushrooms than he really did.

Then, I wondered if he was suffering one of those odd ischemic events he's prone to. As a young man, he was one of the best hockey players around and paid the price with a series of nasty head injuries. You're never quite the same, you know.

But, no. He was recollecting a moment of bliss. Kurt savors the memory of a blissful food shopping moment the way he does a gaudily expensive wine - with all his soul.

"The shelves contained the best display of jars of Polish sauerkraut I've seen since I went on a sauerkraut safari in Chicago back in 1982," he said. "There were so many jars, I seized up. I knew I had to buy something, but I just couldn't do it. There was a young woman sitting on the floor, stocking the lower shelves. I doubted she spoke English because she and the man behind the meat counter were yakking incessantly in Polish, but I took a chance and asked her: 'Excuse me, miss; I know you can answer this question. Which sauerkraut is the best? Tell me.' She didn't say a word, she didn't look away from her business on the bottom shelf. She simply reached up, extending her arm above her head to the third shelf and brought her index finger to rest on top of this jar."

Kapusta Kwaszona. Manufactured in Poland by Prezetwory Babuni. No fat, no carbs, Recommended serving: 100 grams. Two-hundred milligrams of sodium per serving - enough to shred a vein in the heartiest of men come the fourth of fifth serving.

"Here," said Kurt, handing me a fork. "Try it."

I took a bite.

"Is that superb?" he asked.

I was crunching away, but I nodded my head up and down. It wasn't overly salty, it wasn't heavy or mushy. It was crisp, and light. The essence of cabbage.

"I've eaten three jars of it in the last week," said Kurt as he inhaled a mass of the kraut. "Plus, I whipped up a batch of soup using the juice as a base. I had a bit of a problem with gas at first and had to sleep on the couch, but I'm over it."

"And the sausages?" I asked.

"There's no way I could try every kind the market offers before I came here, but I've sampled about ten types so far."

"And?"

"They make them on site, at SAWA, and these beauties reek of love. I have four or five favorites so far, and I've used an entire tank of propane firing up the grill to cook them. I brought the top two for you to sample."

Kurt opened the fridge and withdrew a large package from the bottom drawer, cradling the white paper-wrapped contents like a baby.

"This one is terrific," he said, opening the package like a diamond courier opens his case. "This one the guy behind the counter at the market calls a 'barbecue sausage.' It's pork and beef, smoked lightly, loaded with garlic, spiced with a bit of marjoram and mustard seed if I'm not mistaken. It's like the best kielbasa you've ever had, but meatier, more dense. No resemblance to the commercial crud in the supermarkets. Look here." He pointed at the center of one of the links where a congealed wad of meat had broken to daylight through the natural lamb casing. " Analyze this blowout; look at the texture. Amazing."

"And the other?" I asked.

Again, he reached into the bottom drawer and carefully removed a package.

"Veal and pork, finely ground," he said, taking out one of the 6-inch links of sausage and turning it in front of my eyes. It was thick, nearly white, blimp-like. "The refined cousin of a bratwurst, delicate, ready to split open, to offer itself to you when cooked to perfection."

I darted to what is left of my deck and ripped the cover off the grill. Fifteen minutes later, with the burners cranking max BTUs, all was ready. In the meantime, we made a salad and whisked up a coarse mustard/garlic/extra virgin olive oil/lemon dressing.

On to the grill went the meaty treats, with the heat turned down to medium high. I oiled up three of four bunches of green onions and put them on the top rack of the grill, above the sausages, then I closed the lid.

Oh, the odors emanating from that hot box. A pack of dogs gathered in the street in front of the house. They didn't blink.

When the sausages were ready, we devoured them slathered with plenty of coarse Dijon, and ate the kraut cold. As an extra treat, Kurt broke out a bottle of another of Przetwory Babuni's masterpieces: Buraczki Z Chrzanem.

I don't need to tell you what that is, do I?

Oh.

According to it's Made in Poland label, it is "Healthy Food." Red beets with horseradish - beet root, horseradish, spices , sugar, salt and vinegar amalgamated into a-Slavic salsa.

At first we dipped and dabbed bits of sausage alternately into mustard and Buraczki Z Chrzanem. Then, we gave up all pretense of civility and ate the darned beet and horseradish mix with spoons.

It was a rollicking good time. By meal's end, I swear I heard accordion music in the distance. The dogs were still prowling the street.

Kurt and family have gone home, Daughter Ivy is back in LA. Kathy and I are back to our routine. Everything is back to normal.

Except, I've been Slavicised.

I'm uuzsicng xtrcza conzsnecnantcz n vry wrzsd.

And I'm breaking out the Porkert Fleischacker 10 to make some of that Cyganska Szynka.

I'll grind equal amounts of beef and pork, then run them together through increasingly finer blades until they are nearly a paste. The last two grinds or so, I'll add some kidney fat (you can get that around here, can't you?) and some salt pork. Into the final grind will go egg yolks, onion, savory and salt and pepper. I'll form the mix in a loaf pan and bake for an hour or so in a bain marie at about 350.

Once its done, I'll cool it and slice a bit, for a taste test.

Then, as we say around the Sczbrg house: Letzcs z eyytt!

 

Cruising with Cruse

Taking a step back in time to Rendezvous

By Katherine Cruse

SUN Columnist

Up on Reservoir Hill, on a warm Thursday morning in late June, the Rendezvous, a reenactment of the mountain man era, was just getting started. The first thing I noticed was the clothing. People were walking around in old-time garments.

A lot of the men had on leather pants, loose cotton shirts, leather jackets, and moccasins. There was a lot of fringe, and a lot of beadwork. There were hats trimmed with feathers and fur.

Women wore long calico print skirts and moccasins. I met one woman wearing a pink cotton shirt and skirt, very 20th century. She told me, "There's some leeway. We have to wear natural fibers, cotton and linen and wool. And our clothes have to be 'in the style' of the period."

Three young girls walked by with a puppy on a leash. They wore long-ish skirts and white blouses. Of the period.

The period is pre-1840. The place is the mountain West. One man, all in leather and beads, said the original mountain men started out with European style clothes and gradually replaced them with whatever was available.

I asked him if these re-enacters portrayed specific historical figures. He said, "It's more fun to create your own character."

At the original rendezvous camps, the trappers brought in their beaver pelts and the companies they had contracted with brought in supplies of flour, coffee, liquor - whatever the men needed to get them through another season of trapping beaver.

The man in charge of a rendezvous is called the booshway, a corruption from the French word bourgeois, which originally meant someone who was in between peasants and landowners. I guess that would be an administrator.

At the registration cabin, a large sign spelled out the rules for visitors. We were advised the tents were people's homes and we should respect their privacy. If the flap was closed, you should call out and see if anyone was home and if they wanted visitors.

The mountain men's tents were either tepees or straight-sided tents, all of them made of white canvas. Campsites had chairs made of two boards attached together to form a modified X. Water was kept in a small barrel on a wooden frame. Iron pots stood beside rock lined fire pits and metal stirring spoons hanging on lines strung among the trees. But because of the fire danger, all cooking had to be done on propane stoves. They looked incongruous among all the period equipment.

One man invited me to look in his tepee and showed me the bending motion you needed to get through the entrance gracefully. Inside, a metal pot with three legs welded onto it sat on a base of stone. That was his heating system. There was a low bed, covered with a fur spread. More furs and boxes were placed around the edge.

"What do you do if it rains?" You close the flaps. Some water runs down the wooden poles.

At another campsite a man sat reading a book. A small bird clung to his shirt collar, pecking at his hair. "This is Clyde," the man told me. Clyde is a young starling. The night before, Clyde had disappeared, flown the coop. The man's wife found him by accident. When she went to soak in the springs, people warned her about "this crazy bird." While he told me this story, Clyde flew over to land on my hat.

At the merchandise tents you could buy knives and guns and tomahawks, which everyone seemed to call hawks. You could buy calico skirts and leather shirts and leather bags of all sizes, or a pair of moccasins.

I spoke to a young woman who was sitting by a table selling moccasins she'd made herself, along with 19th century reproduction scissors. She looked to be about 16. "How long have you been coming to these Rendezvous events?" I asked. "Eleven years," she said proudly. "Do you like it?" I asked, thinking maybe she felt dragged along by her parents. "Oh, yes."

In a roped-off area a young woman in a long leather skirt was engaged in target practice, hurling first a knife and then a hawk (the kind with a blade, not feathers) at a wooden target. The knife blade was about 6 inches long. It's best to have a leather handle on your knife, not a wooden one. The leather handle stands up to the stress better. The hawk blades came in a variety of shapes. You can get a hawk from a guy in Ignacio who makes them, if you know how to reach him.

The shooting practice was delayed that morning, as hikers were spotted on the trails behind the shooting area. Someone left to alert the authorities. Two Parks and Rec staffers cleared the trails and put up warning signs, and the shooting commenced.

At the shooting site, a large poster listed the rules. Two men were loading their rifles at a table, pouring in the powder and tamping down the small piece of fabric known as a patch, walking to the firing line "with muzzles pointing up." They took aim at paper targets pinned to a long black wall. One gun made a small flash of light and a "Poof" sound.

Durango Dave, the range master, said that was a flash in the pan. He explained the intricacies of black powder shooting to me. He showed me the pan, the frizzen, the flint. He had me watch to see where the patch flew as a gun fired.

Clyde's owner showed up with a rifle and a pistol. Clyde had fallen asleep and was back at the campsite in his cage.

At the shooting range there are some concessions to 20th century technology. People wore plastic ear plugs. Several of the men wore glasses. Dave said he didn't think mountain men with bad eyesight would have lasted very long.

The two men shooting finished their timed practice, and the range master announced, "The firing range is closed."

My time at the Rendezvous had also come to an end, so I said good-bye. Durango Dave invited me to attend the monthly black powder shoot held in Durango. I said I'd think about it.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Season change makes existence 'bearly' visible

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Along with the change in seasons comes the change in type of nocturnal visitors.

During this time of year Margaret Gallegos, manager of the PLPOA Department of Covenant Compliance, and her staff receive calls from property owners who have been visited by bears.

According to Gallegos, "garbage can attack first took place in Pagosa Vista, followed by Martinez Mountain I, Twincreek Village, and Lake Pagosa Park ... reports were also received in the north, from Pagosa Highlands."

Since animals think with their stomachs, they follow their noses. Your garbage poly-cart, fondly dubbed as "deli-cart" by the Division of Wildlife employees, is a huge magnet for bears. To eliminate the temptation, store your garbage poly-cart, dog and cat food inside your garage - out of sight and smell.

Some of our local bears have already associated with humans with a reliable and varied food source. Stop that association immediately by taking steps to ensure that your trash is not available to them. Morning walkers and runners witness bear carnage on a daily basis. The sight is often sickeningly messy with the crows and magpies adding to the problem of scattering the trash further afield. I've seen bear scats loaded with bits and pieces of plastic and foil in Martinez Canyon. (My friends make fun of my scatological interest).

One a bear finds a good, dependable food source, it will keep returning. You can, however, take the necessary steps to disinvite it for dinner. Here are some do's from Gallegos:

- empty garbage cans regularly;

- periodically clean garbage cans to reduce odor that attracts animals, using hot water and bleach;

- place garbage for pickup outside just before collection and not the night before;

- store trash in a closed garage or shed;

- tightly secure your containers;

- talk to your neighbors and remind one another to take care of the trash - offer to help if they're to be out of towns on pick-up day.

That which gives us great joy (like close and abundant wildlife) can also give us headaches (like trash-eating bears. Let's take care of the headache and move on to enjoy the abundant ducks and ducklings on the lakes, especially Vista Lake (next to the PLPOA administrative building) and Lake Forest. There is quite a variety of waterfowl to observe.

Boat owners who have their boats left by the shores of Lake Hatcher, Lake Pagosa and Lake Forest must lock up the vessel to the posts provided. Please do not leave your boat unsecured to a PLPOA provided post. All unsecured boats will be impounded and a number already have been. Unsecured boats can be a huge liability when children decide to take them out onto the lake for a joy spin.

The xeriscape project at the recreation center is currently in progress. Work will be undertaken in phases and this summer's effort will be primarily focused around the entrance. In a couple of weeks we hope to have a variety of drought-resistant plants in the ground for our members' enjoyment.

The PLPOA maintains a Web site (www.plpoa.com) to provide current information to members. Log on to find out more about fishing licenses, lake use rules and regulations, department functions, etc.

If you see digging activity in Twincreek Village that does not resemble new home construction, it most likely is CenturyTel, our local hone company, putting in new phone lines for expanded telephone service. We have to pick up some inconveniences to receive more conveniences.

 

Births

 

Taylor Lenee Capistrant

Taylor Lenee Capistrant was born June 14, 2004, in Durango, Colo., to Sally and Floyd Capistrant of Pagosa Springs, their first child. The young lady weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long. Grandparents are Herman Riggs of Pagosa Springs, Jan Riggs of Colorado Springs and Floyd and Susanne Capistrant of Grantsburg, Wis.

 

Two Sisters Give Birth

Two Pagosa Springs sisters gave birth to baby boys on July 8, 2004 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Sisters Johanna Tully Elliott and Kindolyn Tully Kelley assisted each other during childbirth and had neighboring rooms for the next few days. Johanna and husband John's son, Ryan Lee Elliott weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces. Paternal grandparents are Linda and Barry Elliott of Grand Junction. Kindolyn and husband David's son was named Kye Rae Kelley, and weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces. Paternal grandparents are Lawrence and Tanya Queen of Pagosa Springs. Sister McKinzee Kelley welcomed her new brother at home. Maternal grandparents of both babies are Mark Tully of Pagosa Springs and the late Janice Tully.

Obituaries

 

Celso Gomez

Celso Cipriano Gomez, 67, of Gobernador, N.M., went to his heavenly home on Wednesday, July 7, 2004.

A former Pagosa Springs resident and Archuleta County landowner, he passed away at the home of his sister, Genevieve in Blanco, N.M. with his beloved family, siblings and nieces and nephews surrounding him.

His is survived by a son, Tim Gomez and his wife, Tarra of Blanco; daughter, Tino Gomez of Bloomfield, N.M.; son, Joseph and wife JoJo of Flora Vista, N.M.; son Celso Jr.; son Felipe Gomez and wife Jessica of Blanco; 13 grandchildren, Ramon Gomez, Tamara McPatrick, Zane and Matraca Gomez, Ruben Gomez, Korey, Lacey and Carol Hart, Monty, Kinsey, Garrett, Cade Celso and Timothy Haze Gomez ; three great-grandchildren, Chelsea, Jessie and Dillon; eight sisters, two brothers and numerous nieces and nephews; and his special caregiver and personal friend, Ruperta (Birtie) Garcia.

Celso was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 30 years, Liz; infant daughter Maria; and by his parents Cristobal and Agapita.

Recitation of the Rosary was 7 p.m. Friday, July 9, 2004 and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 10, both at St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church in Blanco with Monsignor Leo Gomez as celebrant. Committal and burial were in Santo Niño Cemetery in Gobernador.

Celso was president of Gomez y Gomez Inc. He was known as the "Real Cowboy" and was considered a great friend to all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested contributions be made to Northwest New Mexico Hospice, PO Box 3336, Farmington, NM 87401.

Arrangements were by Cope Memorial Chapel of Farmington.

 

Sgt. Todd Howard

Air Force Staff Sgt. Todd W. Howard, a childhood resident of Pagosa Springs, died May 11, 2004, in an accident in Kansas.

Born in Wichita, Kans., July 6, 1979, his family moved to Pagosa Springs when he was eight years old. He loved skiing on Wolf Creek as well as mountain biking and hiking.

When he was 12, the family moved back to Wichita where he attended and graduated from Wichita North High School. An active member in Junior ROTC, he also participated in Young Entrepreneurs of Kansas and completed internships while in high school with Pizza Hut Corporation in management and with Cessna Aircraft Co. in engineering.

He enlisted in the Air Force in 1999 and rose rapidly in responsibility and rank, served as an instructor and in-flight fueling specialist, and flew 106 combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Howard had returned from the war zone only shortly before his death.

A man of strong Christian beliefs, he had an infectious smile that always seemed to make even the worst situation seem small and manageable.

His is survived by his father, Steve; mother, Virginia and sister, Christine.

Memorial services were held May 15, 2004 in the McConnell Air Force Base Chapel with a graveside service following in White Chapel Cemetery, Wichita.

 

Sheryl Ann Kennington

Sheryl Ann "Sherry"' Kennington, a 35-year resident of Durango, died Friday, July 2, 2004 at the Valley Inn Nursing Home in Mancos after a lengthy illness with diabetes. She was 52.

She was born Dec. 15, 1951 in San Antonio, Texas to Chester M. and Maxine Shubert. She was raised in the hill country of Texas before moving to Durango where she married Ralph Kennington June 2, 1995.

Sherry enjoyed sewing, crocheting, working on crafts, and line dancing in the nursing home. Despite her illness, family members recall, she was always joyful, making everyone around her feel better with her tenderness and infectious humor and laughter.

"She could take lemons and make lemonade out of any situation," was the family assessment. They attributed her spirit to her deep and strong faith and love for Christ.

She was preceded in death by her daugher, Crystal Dawn Schmidt, at the age of 8 weeks; and her mother, Maxine E. Shubert.

Survivors inlcude her husband, Ralph; her father and stepmother, Chester and Leslie Shubert; sons Steven and Jeremy Schmidt, both of Durango; sisters Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs, Janet Reynolds of Las Vegas, Nev., and brothers Dennis and Ken Shubert both of Durango.

A memorial service was held July 6 with graveside services at Crestview Cemetery in Durango.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to defray costs of her funeral may be sent to Cindy McCormick, 88 Heath Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.

 

In Memoriam

Sarnow

In Memoriam of Christine Sarnow

(Apr. 4, 1972- July 11, 2000)

By Debra Stowe

Now four years since your passing

I wonder how that can be.

It seems like only yesterday

Those big brown eyes looked up at me.

I know you keep watch over us.

I've felt you by my side,

Seeing "your boys" accomplishments

And knowing you beamed with pride.

Though time continues its march,

My thoughts return to days gone by.

So sweet daughter,

Allow me these moments of sorrow

And of asking again, God, why?

Then I'll go back to my life today,

With strength and faith anew

And humbly I'll thank the Lord

For the years we had with you.

You blessed our lives with your laughter.

How I ache to see your smile;

But I wipe away these tears

And plod onward for awhile.

The journey may be a long one.

At times I just don't care ...

Trusting God's mercy to the end

I know that you wait for us there

 

Business News

Biz Beat

 

High Point Primitives

Melissa Rodgers and her husband, Tim, are the owners of High Point Primitives, located at 169 Pagosa St.

High Point Primitives has "the unique and the antique" with a selection of antiques, primitives and home decor. The store had its grand opening July 1 and 2.

Tim and Melissa moved to Pagosa in February after driving through the area during September of last year and falling in love with the town and people.

High Point Primitives is open Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.

For further information call 264-6061.

 

People
Preview Profile

Bob Burchett

Finance director, Archuleta County

 

Where were you born?

"Mansfield, Ohio."

 

Where did you go to school?

"High school and college in Phoenix."

 

When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?

"Two weeks ago my wife and I became permanent residents but we had been visiting the area for a long time."

 

What did you do before you arrived here?

"I worked in public accounting for 18 years as a tax preparer and auditor."

 

What are your job responsibilities?

"I perform general financial duties for the county."

 

What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of your job?

"I've been in accounting so long that I've gotten to the point where I enjoy working with the numbers. I still don't like the pressure of having to make deadlines."

 

What is your family background?

"I am married with two adult children and three grandkids."

 

What do you like best about the community?

"We love rural living, the outdoor activities, sightseeing and the climate."

 

What are your other interests?

"We like to golf, hike, bike and enjoy baseball."

 

Locals

 

Kari Anne Blodgett

Kari Anne Blodgett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Blodgett Jr., of Pagosa Springs was named to the Dean's List for the spring semester at Samford University, Birmingham, Ala.

To qualify, she had to maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better will carrying at least 12 credit hours of coursework

Sarah Huckins

Sarah Huckins of Pagosa Springs, majoring in psychology at Western State College in Gunnison, was named to the Dean's List for the spring semester carrying a grade point average of 3.7 or better and at least 12 credit hours.

Weston Marlatt

Weston Marlatt of Pagosa Springs earned a place on the Dean's List for the spring semester at Western State College in Gunnison.

Majoring in environmental studies, Marlatt carried a grade point average of 3.7 or better while carry at least 12 credit hours.

Kathleen Martinez

Kathleen Martinez, daughter of former Pagosa Springs residents Raymond and Karen Martinez, graduated with honors June 7 from Basic High School in Henderson, Nev.

One of the co-valedictorians for her class, she has been accepted at the University of Notre Dame where she will begin classes in late August.

Kathleen's grandparents, Percy and Cora Chambers and Juan B. and Pablita Martinez, were descendants from some of the first families to settle in Archuleta County.

Joshua Sanchez

Joshua Sanchez received his Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership June 19, 2004. He is a 1994 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School who received his BA in mathematics secondary education in 1998.

Joshua is now vice principal of Leota Junior High School in Woodenville, Wash. He, his wife Nicole and children Colton and Breanna reside in Bothell, Wash.

He is the son of Marcella Martinez of Pagosa Springs and Raul Sanchez of Farmington, N.M. Grandparents are Santana and Emma Lujan of Pagosa Springs.

 

Engagements

 

Mitchum-Duffy

Steve and Sherilyn Mitchum of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the engagement of their son Jason C. Mitchum of Cheyenne, Wyo., to Amy M. Duffy of Laramie, Wyo., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Duffy III of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. The wedding is planned Sept. 25 in Laramie.

 

Weisz-Carey

Mr. and Mrs. Dalas Weisz of Pagosa Springs are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter, Marti Anne Weisz, to Richard Carey Jr., son of Mrs. Judy Carey of Manitowoc, Wis., and the late Richard Carey Sr. The couple plans to marry in August in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The bride-to-be is a legal secretary at Mohs, MacDonald, Widder and Paradise in Madison, Wis. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison where she received a bachelor of science degree in special education. The groom-to-be is an attorney at Richard Carey Law Offices. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School - Madison.

 

Sports Page

Red Ryder Rodeo contestants shared $30,696 prize money

The results are in and show the Red Ryder Roundup Committee paid out over $30,696 in prize money for the July 4 weekend rodeo.

All around winners were Shellie Radford for women and Tim Muncy on the men's side.

By event, with score and individual payoff, the winners were:

Open Barrel Race

Shellie Radford, 17.559, $598.53; Caren Lamb, 17.807, $491.65; Felina Dole, 17.868, $363.39; Stacey Gordon, 17.926, $235.14; Tracie Luzar, 17.972, $171.01; Amanda Price, 17.999, $128.26; Nancy Velasquez, 18.182, $85.50; and Lisa Fabrizio, 18.200, $64.12.

Scrambled Eggs

Corky McIntyre and Lynn Randall, 9.24, $795.88 each; Sam Holles and Trent Taylor, 9.77, $658.66 each; Kelley Dedios and Travis Taylor, 10.26, $521.44 each; Dave and Janice Aragon, 10.41, $384.22 each; John Arrington and Lynn Randall, 11.03, $247 each; Jamie Townsend and Sanford Salazar, 12.48, $137.22 each.

Incentive Team Roping

Tim Muncy and Cole Benjamin, 7.10, $762.50 each; Cody Massingale and Joel Siow, 7.33, $631.03 each; Sanford Salazar and Dion Masters, 7.54, $499.57 each; Corky McIntyre and Mark Bauer, 7.56, $368.10 each; Cody Massingale and Gary Rodriquez, 7.74, $236.64 each; Brett Tatum and Jeremy Foster, 8.20, $131.47 each.

Open Team Roping

Chris Frances and J.R. Didios, 5.39, $846.77 each; Enriqe Salas and Greg Martinez, 6.19, $700.78 each; Chris Frances and Shotgun Passig, 6.49, $554.78 each; Tyler Kassem and Clay Rathjen, 6.51, $408.79 each; Aaron Romero and Shotgun Passig, 6.98, $262.79 each; Tim Muncy and Cole Benjamin, 7.10, $146.22 each.

Incentive Calf Roping

Willard Moody, 11.36, $273.72; Bryce Segotta, 11.85, $182.48.

Open Calf Roping

Willard Moody, 11.36, $547.44; Jeff Frizzell, 11.78, $410.58; Bryce Segotta, 11.85, $273.72; Jarett Stovall, 12.29, $136.86.

Steer Wrestling

Winston Jim, 4.9, $593.22; Kyle Dressle, 5.9, $490.94; Clayton Tuchscherer and Jeff Frizzell, tied at 6.5, $337.52 each; Rob Murphy, 6.7, $184.10; Tyrone Tsosie, 6.8, $102.30.

Incentive Barrel Race

Julie Thompson, 18.318, $235.52; Charmaine Talbot, 18.372, $174.64; Katelyn McCree, $117.76; Ariel Roberts, 18.961, $58.88.

Bareback Riding

Mike Ray, 74, $354.56; Donovan Ludwig, 73, $265.92; Rustin Bartel, 71, $177.28; Dalon Lee Hulsey, 61, $88.64.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Jay Harrison and Luke Leist, tied at 75, $542.08 each; Brandon Beebelle, 74, $309.76; Darrel Triplett, 72, $154.88.

Bull Riding

Jimmy Anderson, 79, $650.05; Tim Garcia, 76, $593.97; Chase Crain and Jayme Tomczyk, tied at 74, $325.03 each; Jordan Davis, 72, $185.73; Chance Tate, 70, $139.30; Ethan Belore, 69, $92.86; Will Rogers and Jake Loyd, tied at 68, $34.82 each.

Breakaway

Teresa Brevik, 2.37, $625.24; Lyndsey Maez, 2.49, $517.44; Robbie Whitehair, 2.80, $409.64; Germaine Daye, 2.95, $301.84; Megan Wolf, 3.18, $194.04; Kacy Malouff, 3.37, $107.80.

Kids Barrel Race

Casey Luzar, 18.449, $360; Karley Benzie, 18.617, $240; and Raesha Ray, 18.820, a medallion.

 

Pagosa's Blaine wins Senior Olympics Medal

Pagosa's Don Blaine brought home another gold medal from the Senior Olympic Games held in Greeley June 25.

Blaine won the 50-meter dash and is now back on the track training in an attempt to qualify for the 2005 National Olympic Games and plans to run both the 100 and 200 meter events.

"All the students I get to work with at the schools are my inspiration," said Blaine. "I watch them as they grow into our future young Americans and see each day what they've accomplished, whether it be in athetics, science, social studiees, math or computer classes."

Blaine said that although he has won many torphies and medals and set records in track and football, "The most gratifying of things I've done is being able to work with students and help them better themselves."

"I've had students come up to me on the track and tell me they want to be like me when they get 'old' ... to me that's the greatest compliment I could receive," he said.

Thus, his inspiration.

 

Pagosa team seeks backers for Courage Classic benefit

A team from Pagosa Springs has entered the Courage Classic bicycle ride fund-raiser for Denver Children's Hospital.

Members of the team are asking for donations from the community to support the cause. The event is July 17-19.

Last year's Courage Classic hosted 43 teams and raised over $510,000 for the hospital. Team Pagosa included 16 riders last year and raised $3,445, or $383 per rider.

The ride starts in Leadville July 17 and goes around Turquoise Lake, over Fremont Pass and into Copper Resort -- 48 miles the first day.

Sunday brings a tour of Breckenridge, Keystone and over Loveland Pass, 54 miles.

On the third day the riders return to Leadville via Vail Pass, Minturn and over Tennessee Pass, a total of 60 miles.

Each day is a challenge for a fit rider, much less for Team Courage, made up of children from the hospital whom the bikers ride with on the tour.

All donations go directly to Children's Hospital.

Pagosa's team captain this year is Doug Call who can be reached at 731-9245 if more information is needed.

 

FLC soccer camps run this weekend

Fort Lewis College hosts residential and day camps for high-school soccer players Sunday-Friday, July 18-23. Cost is $175 for day campers and $435 for residential campers, with discounts available for multiple weeks, families and teams.

Residential campers will stay at Fort Lewis College and dine in the college cafeteria. Check-in for residential campers is 6-7 p.m. Sunday, July 18. Day campers are provided no meals, but can go home to eat, buy meals at the cafeteria or bring their lunches each day. Check-in for day camp is 9 a.m. Monday, July 19.

All campers will participate in training sessions, individual and group skill work and team concept building each day from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Skyhawk athletic fields. Residential campers will also have evening activities planned for them. Participants should bring soccer ball, shin guards, water and shoes.

Camp staff includes Skyhawk men's soccer coach Jeremy Gunn, Skyhawk women's soccer coach Jaymee Carozza, assistant coaches Darren Morgan and Damian Clark, goalkeeper coach George Okallo and former 10-year professional player Pete Clinch. For more information, call Morgan at 382-6979 or morgan_d@fortlewis.edu or contact Gunn at 247-7461 or gunn_j@-fortlewis.edu.

 

July 31 deadline for Pagosa Lakes High-Tri entries

Pagosa Lakes High-Tri in which athletes run, bike and swim in the Upper San Juans will start at 8 a.m. Aug. 14.

The Pagosa Lakes Association sponsored triathlon includes a 7-mile partial trail run, 14 mile partial trail mountain bike ride and a half-mile swim.

Entry fees are $30 for individuals, $55 for teams ($40 for teams of two). Checks should be made payable to Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, 230 Port Ave., Pagosa Springs CO, 81147.

There will be a late fee of $5 for any entry received later than July 31.

The cost includes an official T-shirt, participant medal, a one-day pass to swimming, racquetball, weight room, and hot tub in the recreation center, awards and prize drawings.

For more information and to request an entry form, call 731-2051.

 

Farmington charity golf event to benefit Totah Pow Wow

Totah Festival Charity Golf Event will be held at Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington Friday, Aug. 20.

Tournament format is 2-person scramble using the Peoria Handicap System, with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Entry fees are $65 per player or $125 per team. Entry fee includes green fee, cart, prizes, continental breakfast and lunch.

Deadline for entries is 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16. Entry forms are available at Pinon Hills Golf Course, Farmington Museum at Gateway Park or print from www.farmingtonmuseum.org under Events and Festivals.

Send completed entry forms with payment to Totah Festival Golf Tournament, 3041 E. Main St. Farmington, N.M., 87402.

For more information call Pinon Hills Pro Shop, (505) 599-1066, Shawn Lyle, (505) 599-1140 or Andrea Logan, (505) 599-1174. Proceeds from this charity event will benefit the Totah Festival Pow Wow on Sept. 4-5.

 

Parks & Rec

Southwest Youth Corps to aid in trail development

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

What started out as a short conference call with Southwest Youth Corps administrators has turned out to be quite beneficial for the town of Pagosa Springs, especially, Reservoir Hill Park.

Preliminary talks included discussion of having a work force come work on trails, water bars, mulching, and general maintenance. We finalized the contract with a $15,000 grant award from the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

The Southwest Youth Corps (SYC) mission statement says: "It is the mission of SYC to provide young men and women of the Four Corners region with structured, safe, and challenging work and education opportunities through employment projects that promote personal growth, the development of social skills, and an ethic of natural resource stewardship."

The Corps is one of more than 120 programs established in the nation, based on a model originated in the 1930's with the development of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).

The SWC has worked on many projects in the San Juan Basin area doing revegetation, trail construction/maintenance, landscaping, campground improvement, wetland rehabilitation, fire fuels reduction, and removal of invasive weeds.

The 2004 Pagosa project includes water bar repair, pruning, and building a new trail. The crew is the most qualified of all the SYC groups, known as the "leadership Crew," and we will be getting seven workers for a total of 10 days. The crew will be camping on Reservoir Hill starting July 19.

Construction will take place on Trails 2 and 13. Trail 2 historically has gone through the gate on the very east end of the park. We are working with the owners of the property to get the gate unlocked. We will sign an easement or possibly try to purchase enough property to allow the trail to go on through to the San Juan Overlook site.

The temporary fix for this problem will be to have SYC build/merge Trails 2 and 13 to go around the gate.

We look forward to seeing progress on the trails and making our little piece of wilderness improved for our enjoyment.

Spanish Fiesta

The 24th Annual Spanish Fiesta will be held this weekend in Town Park. Come enjoy the Hispanic Heritage by attending the parade, purchasing some good food, and enjoying entertainment. All proceeds go to provide scholarships for the local youth of our community. Support all the hard work this group has put forth, to carrying on this annual event that benefits so many.

Soccer sign-ups

Sign-ups for the 2004 Youth Soccer League season will take place July 19-Aug. 13. Cost per player is $20 ($10 for each additional child)

Age divisions for the league are: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12-13 (Child's age by October 1, 2004).

Soccer practices will begin Aug. 23 and continue through Sept. 3.

Games begin Sept. 7 and continue through October on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Business sponsorships for youth soccer are $150 which includes plaque with team picture, signage, designation in newspaper plus the sponsorship is tax deductible.

Registrations will be taken at Town Hall. For questions or additional information, please contact: Myles Gabel, Recreation Supervisor at 264-4151, Ext. 232 , 1-5 p.m. weekdays.

Soccer clinics

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will be holding soccer clinics to allow our soccer players the opportunity to "tune up" for the upcoming soccer season.

The clinics are free to any paid participant in our soccer program and $10 for all others. Site of clinic to be announced at a later date.

Soccer Clinics by date and age will be:

Aug. 16 - 5-6 year olds, 4-6 p.m.

Aug. 16 - 7-8 year olds, 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 17 - 9-10 year olds, 4-7 p.m.

Aug. 18 - 11-12-13 year olds, 4 -7 p.m.

Open volleyball

Open volleyball began Tuesday, and will continue 6-8 p.m. at the community center on Tuesdays throughout the summer. Participants must be at least incoming-juniors in high school through adults. For more information contact Gabel

Volleyball camp

Get ready for your upcoming high school season. High School Volleyball Camp will take place July 28-31 at Pagosa Springs High School for grades 9-12. To reserve a spot for camp, contact Penñe Hamilton at 264-2441 or Gabel.

Adult softball

Our adult softball leagues continue in full "swing" with six men's and five coed teams doing battle each Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night. With teams from Pagosa Springs and Dulce competing each week the games have been close and exciting! Play will continue throughout the summer with playoffs beginning in August.

Thanks

The department would like to thank the following sponsors and others that helped in the success or our Youth Baseball League this season:

Pagosa Springs parks crew (fields), Tony Scarpa (concessions), Pagosa Photography/Jeff Laydon, scorekeepers and umpires, Sunset Ranch, Boot Jack Ranch, Kiwanis Club, Pagosa Family Medicine, Edward Jones Investments, Brighton Custom Homes, Alpine Electric Service, All Clean, Car Quest, Flihan's Flooring, Sutherland Construction, an.d Lone Pine Custom Millworks.

Now hiring

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating baseball, volleyball, soccer or basketball. Please contact if you are interested. Pay is $15-$25 per game.

 

Editorial

Cosby comments apply here

Several weeks ago, Bill Cosby, one of the nation's most renowned entertainment industry personalities, sent a shock wave through the African American community with comments about cultural standards and habits - remarks some interpreted as overly harsh. Others went so far as to accuse Cosby of feeding the racist stereotypes used by others against African Americans. Cosby made statements in May that received similar responses.

In brief, Cosby has criticized segments of the black community for the perpetuation of low standards regarding education and grammar, reminding them of the economic and social consequences of their behavior and accusing some members of the community of wasting the gains made by the civil rights movement.

Cosby continued by citing the effects of certain kinds of entertainment on youngsters and holding parents responsible for creating environments that work contrary to their children's best interests.

The most interesting thing about Cosby's comments is that the concern he exhibits holds true for all racial, social and economic groups in the U.S. His points ring as true here in Pagosa Springs as they do in neighborhoods in Chicago, Newark or Los Angeles. The difference is merely one of style. The problems he highlights, and their consequences, are the same.

Children here are as prey to the abusive, violent and maudlin text of much of contemporary entertainment as any. Too much of the television programming, movies and music directed to youngsters are delivered without conscience. Too many youngsters are permitted access to entertainment meant for adults.

A child here who comes from a broken family or whose environment is stained by violence that results from the thwarted ambition and frustrations of parents can be damaged.

The increasing trend in aggressive parental behavior directed toward school systems, administrators and teachers - in reaction to academic and behavioral demands made by the institutions - does incredible damage to youngsters. The rise of self-congratulatory bumper sticker education - "My child is an honor student at " - while parental pressures erode standards at schools is of no benefit to our children's future. The toleration and excusing of behaviors by parents who either do not have the fortitude to deal with a child at home or whose self images are so fragile they cannot tolerate criticism of them or their child is ultimately negative.

Children here, as much as anywhere, witness unreasonable behavior from parents at athletic events, listen to derogatory dialogue at home that demeans people and situations deserving of respect, and we expect what kind of behavior out of a child? When schools, the law, our system of values and traditions are ridiculed, what chance does a child have of succeeding once he or she is no longer with mommy and daddy? What kind of table is being set? What barriers are being erected?

Adults everywhere have to remember that what they do to and around children counts. We need to remember that being involved in a child's life does not mean excusing a child, intervening to shield them from accountability. We should promote a child's independence hand in hand with nurturing and reinforcing the concept of responsibility.

If adults do not take care to create and support environments wherein children can be genuinely tested and rewarded - ones in which the child can, when warranted, actually fail - we will have done our kids a disservice.

If adults cannot distinguish what is fit for adults from what is fit for youngsters, they will harm their children.

If parents immerse their children in a cauldron of domestic abuse and violence, the child will be burned.

Let's move Cosby's comments to a broader context. The essence of what he says is correct. Everywhere.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

A taxing means of existence

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

I'm relieved.

The big date in every jobholder's year has passed - and I'm happy to have played my role.

July 4 and its glowing celebration?

No, July 8 is the key date here.

That was the date when, according to Americans for Tax Reform, the average American wage earner has accumulated enough gross income to pay his or her share of all local, state and federal government taxes plus the cost of regulation. They call it Cost of Government Day.

The reporting group noted "working people must toil on average 189 days out of the year just to meet all the costs imposed by government."

What the group doesn't say is that its calculations indicate you were unable to keep anything for yourself in those first 189 days.

Rent, mortgage, car payment, medical bills, utilities all went unpaid for 189 days in this scenario. Perhaps more importantly, your family didn't eat, buy school clothes, purchase laundry supplies or even buy a boom box.

U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley of Colorado said, "If you're exhausted from work, but don't feel as though you're making a significant dent in your personal and household bills, it could be because of all the money you're spending to cover your very own personal share of the cost of running your government."

That said, the solon gave the rate of federal spending his "Porker of the Week" Award.

One statistic he cited is even more frightening than those alluded to earlier. "It is absurd," he said, "that the cost of government consumes 51.6 percent of national income levels, and is proof that we still have a tremendous amount of work to do to reduce the nation's tax levels and prevent government spending from growing out of control."

I'd think most people would believe that having Uncle Sam (and his local and state nephews) take more than half your annual income means spending already is out of control.

In the old days you might have found a grocer who'd carry your tab for over six months during bad times, feeling pretty sure you'd pay it off when times improved. I defy you to find that kind of arrangement today.

The difference is that the government entities actually take all that money without you ever getting to hold it in your palm and admire the pictures of presidents.

Withholding tax, it's called. And if not enough is detoured from your bank account, you're responsible at the end of the year for paying up, meeting the level the venerable politicians have decided is yours.

It's sort of like the Medicaid fiasco perpetrated on families after 1996 in Colorado.

The federal program administered by the state was used by many elderly people as a means of paying for drugs and some forms of care they couldn't otherwise afford. Most beneficiaries and their families thought the costs came out of taxes paid in the years they worked.

Not so. When the beneficiaries passed away, the heirs were - and still are - billed for every cent spent after that date. A surprise making Cost of Government Day itself obsolete.

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of July 17, 1914

The people of Arboles are jubilating over their new long distance phone connections, the line from Ignacio being completed this week. Bill Chockley writes us to call him up, but emphatically balks at having the tolls reversed.

The banner hay crop in Archuleta County this year will be harvested by Larry Nolan on the Little Navajo - 400 tons from 125 acres at one cutting, mixed timothy and red top.

When you have any leisure time you can spend it in no more interesting way than to pay a visit to the big sawmilling plant of the Pagosa Lumber Co. in South Pagosa. They have lately installed the largest band saw in the west and are turning out 100,000 feet of lumber per day.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 19, 1929

A flow of hot water of 114° temperature was struck at a depth of 97 feet today in the court house well. This water will be cased off and drilling continued to a greater depth for a heavier and hotter flow.

The fire on Quien Sabe Creek, a tributary of Four Mile, which had been raging for several days, was extinguished Saturday.

The 32nd annual meeting of the San Juan Pioneer Association will be held at Pagosa Springs in August. All persons who have resided in what is known as the San Juan Country prior to August 1st, 1886, also their children over the age of 21 are eligible. E.M. Taylor and F.A. Byrne, both of Pagosa Springs, are president and vice-president of the association.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 16, 1954

The La Plata Electric Association has announced this week that the official dedication of the local hydro plant will be held on August 3rd. The plant was built this past year to replace the old plant which was destroyed by fire. It stands in the same location and most local residents are familiar with its outside appearance. Inside the building, a completely modern and automatic plant has been set and represents an invest of about $30,000.

The marshal in a town of this size has a very full time job and in advertising for a night marshal the town board is taking steps to provide adequate manpower for enforcing the laws as written. With a two man police force much of the vandalism should be stopped and the many traffic problems taken care of.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 19, 1979

A public meeting, called by the Town Board, is to be held next Thursday, July 26, at the court house. The purpose of the meeting is to hear any comments that town residents may wish to make concerning the proposed town growth plan.

The weather has been on the hot side for these parts with the mercury hitting 88 degrees a couple of days this week. Clouds have formed the past three or four afternoons, but little rain has been received. The area is dry, especially at lower elevations, and fire danger is high.

The 1978-79 snowfall season ended on Wolf Creek Pass June 30. The recorded snowfall for the entire winter was 846 inches after all reports were in.

 

Features

 

Beaver Biology: Slate of summer programs educate, entertain

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"A fat rodent with big teeth and webbed feet."

That's how wildlife biologist Skip Fisher, of the Columbine Ranger District introduced his topic for the morning: beavers.

Eight people followed signs down Snowball Road to Forest Service Road 646 Friday for a free program on beaver biology offered by Fisher and the San Juan National Forest as part of the summer's Interpretive Alliance programming.

He aimed the talk at the younger set, Tyler and Drew Newton, two boys from Georgia visiting Pagosa for a month, and took questions from everyone else as he went along.

"A beaver is an interesting animal because it actually comes into an area and makes it the way it wants it," he said, pointing to an area of Snowball Creek that had been dammed and, on the bank, several huge trees felled in the area by beavers.

Their instinct, he said, is to search out the sound of running water, and when they find it, to begin building a dam to back up the water, provide safety and a nutrient-rich area for food.

"Now, do you suppose beavers with their really short legs are good at running around on land or swimming?" Fisher asked.

"Swimming," the boys responded, the right answer.

To protect themselves, Fisher said, the beavers build a dam to back up the water as deep as possible, allowing them escape from predators like cougar or coyote. They generally build their lodges a little farther upstream with an entrance below the waterline.

"A beaver can go about 15 minutes underwater without breathing," Fisher said, and move like a torpedo, other adaptations for escaping predators. Generally, they prefer a bank den to a lodge when possible. They dig the entrance underwater and then dig up to a dry place for their home. Sticks are piled on top of the lodge to prevent predators from digging in. A small hole remains to allow carbon monoxide to escape the den.

When a bank den isn't a possibility, the beavers will construct a lodge from scratch. They will begin by carting sticks to a spot and poking them into the mud. Around and on top of this, mud is piled to create the floor of the den. More crosshatched sticks chinked with mud over the living space completes the lodge, which generally has two exits, one of which will be underwater.

Fisher said a large female beaver will be between 55 and 60 pounds. Beavers are monogamous - meaning the same pair will stay together for life. Their mating strategy is a little unusual.

"The male and female get together and, from what we can tell, it appears they shove each other around," he said. "Guess who has to win for them to stay together?"

"The female," was the correct answer.

"However," Fisher said, "if one of them dies, it's not like with human beings where a lot of tears are shed. Beavers will just go get another spouse."

Kits, beaver offspring, are usually born in the early summer and will stay with their parents until they are about a year and a half old. Fisher said litters range between four and nine kits depending on food availability and elevation. Once they're old enough to survive on their own, the parents kick them out of the den, and the may disperse over many miles.

"They'll go as far as their parents chase them," Fisher said.

As Fisher talked, he showed the group examples of beaver activity along Snowball creek, including a dam and the location of an old bank den discovered on a short walk. Apparently, the den was abandoned when the dam blew out in a storm or during spring runoff.

"Mother nature wrecks their plans a lot of the time," he said.

Beavers eat willow, aspen and sometimes grass, depending on availability. In the winter, they will actually store some food underwater to conserve energy in cold temperatures. They must keep up their chewing, not only to eat, but to control the growth of their teeth.

"It's not like us where if we don't take care of our teeth, we'll lose them," Fisher said. "They're always growing new teeth."

"How ideal," Kristen Newton, a participant, said.

"You would actually have to eat," Phyllis Decker replied, with a smile.

Fisher said because of the beaver's inclination to build a home whereever they hear running water, they can become a problem for landowners, damming water near a road culvert or in some other unwanted area. When that happens, three options are available. The beavers can be lethally trapped or shot, they can be trapped and moved or a beaver baffler can be maintained to try to direct their construction efforts to a different area.

The beaver biology program was part of the summer's Interpretive Alliance series, a calendar of educational programs for visitors and locals alike, most of which are free. Partners in the alliance, include: Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Navajo State Park, Friends of Native Cultures, Friends of Navajo State Park, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Pagosa Springs Historical Preservation Board, San Juan Mountains Association, San Juan Historical Society, San Juan National Forest, Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center and TARA (Tiffany, Allison, Rosa, Arboles Historical Society).

For more information on future programs, refer to Kate's Calendar in the PREVIEW section of this newspaper or contact, Phyllis Decker at the Pagosa Ranger District, 264-1528. Anyone considering one of the outdoor programs should be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, rain gear and appropriate shoes. For outdoor evening programs, bring a chair, blanket and flashlight.

 

 

Pagosa's Past

Pioneering the San Juans was an unending struggle

John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Story after story has been passed down telling us how those first pioneers in the San Juan Basin made it. Just as in the rest of the nation, pioneering in the San Juan Basin required a great deal of grit, perseverance, and plain old sweat.

A story written by Carrie Craig Dyer in 1950 well illustrates the obstacles faced and how they were overcome. Dyer's story is contained in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country," Vol. IV.

Mrs. Dyer's father, William H. Craig, was one of six boys born in Reading, Pa. Her grandfather, Andrew Vanderbeck Craig, convinced a farm was the place to raise boys, homesteaded a farm in Winthrop, Iowa. His diary written during the years 1858-1870 told how land was cleared, neighbors met to raise log cabins, every penny was saved to pay property taxes, produce was traded for supplies, a wash tub of eggs traded for a bolt of cloth from which the grandmother made the boy's shirts and her own dresses and aprons. There being no schools, the teachers stayed with various families and taught the youngsters in exchange for board.

Schools were built when more families came. William Craig talked to his daughter of singing schools and spelling bees, and riding in a bobsled filled with hay, warm stones at their feet and covered with blankets.

At the close of the Civil War, (about 1866) the two older boys came west. One who had fibbed about his age and enlisted as a drummer went to California. Mrs. Dyer's father, Bill, settled in Denver. Later he became a contractor and hotel keeper. While operating the Windsor Hotel in Denver, he married Mrs. Dyer's mother, a visiting Pennsylvania girl.

When gold was discovered in Cripple Creek on the west side of Pike's Peak, he moved his family there with the hope of making his stake. After several years of prospecting, he decided a ranch was the proper place for his boys. When the Ute Reservation was thrown open for settlement in 1898, he homesteaded what became the family home place.

Homesteading in the San Juan Basin was as much of a problem as it had been in Iowa. There was land to clear, sagebrush to grub, a house to build, and fences to put in.

After filing his claim, Bill returned to Cripple Creek, loaded his family on a covered wagon, and returned to his new homestead on the Ute Strip. His story does not disclose the route he took, but the 10-day journey provided wonderful memories for the family.

"You'll never know why they are called the Rocky Mountains until you cross the divide by wagon," Mrs. Dyer's mother said. The trip was made in early fall when wild strawberries and raspberries were plentiful and the scenery beautiful. The boys hunted and fished and had a wonderful time.

While getting started, a house was rented. The house was six miles from school in Durango and the children rode to school horseback down the old Indian trail. It wasn't long before a house was built and a ranch in operation.

The old Indian trail crossed the ranch and the Indians often stopped for a hand-out. Dad always had something for them. Mother was afraid of them. One time when she had gone to Denver on a visit, they stopped and asked dad where mother was. Dad said, "White squaw vamoose." After that, he had a hard time convincing them she hadn't gone to the Happy Hunting Ground. Mrs. Dyer still has a beaded purse and belt they brought her mother on one of their visits.

Bill started in the cattle business by purchasing 25 dairy calves for $100. That fall he and mother went to Aztec for fruit and came home with a Hereford calf they bought from a passing herd for $2. He sired the bunch and started the Dyer herd. Ponds were built for stock water, but drinking water was hauled from nearby springs.

Everyone said a well would not work, but dad got water at 85 feet and the well still works. The first corrals built with cedar posts are still in use.

More next week on pioneering in the San Juan Basin.

 

Weather

 

Date High Low Precip
Type
Depth Moisture

7/7

83

42

-

-

-

7/8

79

40

-

-

-

7/9

84

41

-

-

-

7/10

81

54

-

-

-

7/11

85

45

-

-

-

7/12

87

51

-

-

-

7/13

89

46

-

-

-

 

Monsoon could arrive before weekend

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

It's here.

Well, at least on its way.

Since the National Weather Service office in Tucson officially declared the start of monsoon season last Thursday, southwest Colorado forecasters have been looking for signs the seasonal wind shift is gaining strength here.

"And it looks like we're starting to see the beginning effects of monsoon, now," says Brian Avery, a forecaster with the NWS office in Grand Junction.

"We've got much more moisture moving into the state than we did a week ago," added Avery. "The odds are rising for increased thunderstorm activity."

The chance for afternoon and evening showers is best from today through Saturday morning, said Avery, although the possibility exists for showers on a daily basis through the middle of next week.

"It looks as if things could dry out a bit by Sunday, but there still could be widespread activity into the evening hours each day," concluded Avery.

According to Avery, spotty clouds this morning will yield to overcast skies by this afternoon.

Chance for afternoon thunderstorms is listed at 50 percent. High temperatures should climb into the mid-80s, with lows falling to around 50.

Friday's weather pattern should be similar, with a 30-percent rain chance, highs in the 80s and lows in the 45-55 range.

The forecasts for Saturday through Monday predict partly-cloudy skies, a 20-percent chance for afternoon and evening showers, highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 40s.

Tuesday calls for partly-cloudy conditions, a lesser chance for rain, highs in the upper 70s and lows around 45.

Wednesday's forecast includes a 20-percent chance for isolated thunderstorms, highs topping 80 degrees and lows in the 40s.

The average high temperature recorded last week in Pagosa Springs was 84 degrees. The average low was 46. Moisture totals for the week, in town, amounted to zero.

The Pagosa Ranger District rates the area fire danger as "high."

Fire restrictions went into effect June 21 in Zone 1, the lower-elevation zone, of the San Juan Public Lands.

The restrictions are Stage 1 restrictions which mean:

- campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds;

- smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, or 3-ft wide areas cleared of vegetation;

- chain saws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved, working spark arresters;

- acetylene and other torches with an open flame may not be used; and,

- the use of explosives is prohibited.

For updates on federal fire restrictions, call the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from approximately 170 cubic feet per second to 90 cubic feet per second last week. The river's historic median flow for the week of July 15 is roughly 210 cubic feet per second.

 

Stage set for start of Pagosa Country monsoon

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

"Monsoon."

For many, the word entails heavy rainfall, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the term is derived from the Arabic word "mausim," which means "wind shift" or "season."

Such terminology is more accurate, says the NOAA, because the word "monsoon" is intended to describe a large-scale change in wind direction that may - or may not - result in daily periods of heavy precipitation.

During an average year, a massive ridge of high pressure seated over the eastern Pacific Ocean will move eastward as the summer progresses.

Across the Southwest, the result of such movement is a shift in winds to a more southerly direction, which allows increased moisture to track northward from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California.

These shifts are most often referred to as the "Mexican Monsoon" or "North American Monsoon." The resulting changes in weather patterns are usually observed from early to mid-July through the end of August, but will sometimes last until October.

Such effects are described by the NOAA as a "pattern of bursts and breaks." According to the NOAA, bursts generally bring about rainfall while breaks tend to stabilize the atmosphere.

Bursts are movements of weak troughs in the upper-level, westerly wind into the Southwest that spread upper-level, cold air into the region.

In the lower levels of the atmosphere, strong surface heating and southerly winds will then transport moisture into the region, leading to widespread thunderstorm activity.

Breaks occur when enhanced ridges of Pacific subtropical high pressure move inland and cut off the moisture flow, temporarily stemming thunderstorm outbreaks.

So when will Pagosa Country see the start of monsoon?

Chris Cuoco, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, says the official monsoon declaration is made by forecasters in Tucson, Ariz., though effects may not be seen farther north until the pattern gains strength.

"We refer to them to declare the monsoon when the criteria have been met," said Cuoco, indicating the monsoon is declared in Tucson when the daily dewpoint average is 54 degrees or greater for three consecutive days.

"If they say it's started, that's what we accept," added Cuoco.

And, according to John Glueck, a forecaster with the NWS Tucson office, the monsoon has indeed started - at least in southeast Arizona.

"We declared it for southeast Arizona last Thursday," said Glueck, "but we only make that determination according to our forecast area."

Nevertheless, the effects of the monsoon should begin shortly in the Four Corners region as moisture continues to push north.

While most residents welcome its arrival, with the monsoon season come hazards.

While heavy rains will definitely benefit southwestern Colorado, back-country travelers and city dwellers alike should be aware of the possibility of flash floods during monsoon thunderstorms.

Areas recently scorched by wildfire and terrain that has received previous heavy amounts of rain are especially subject to flash floods.

When outdoors during thunderstorm activity, hikers and fishermen should avoid steep, narrow canyons that can fill rapidly with water at the onset of a storm.

Motorists should avoid driving vehicles into any flooded areas if they are unsure of the water depth - a flow depth of two feet is enough to sweep most vehicles downstream.

For more information on the monsoon season visit the NOAA Web site at http://www.noaa.gov or the Desert Research Institute home page at http://www.dri.edu.