Road mill levy hike careens
into dead end
By Tom Carosello
A dead end.
That's where a road-maintenance proposal that included the notion of a mill levy vote came to rest at the end Monday's special meeting of the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners.
After a brief recap, a few clarifications and presentation of new elements from County Administrator Bill Steele, as well as numerous public comments criticizing the proposal, the board elected to halt pursuit of a related ballot question.
As a result, voters who participate in the Nov. 2 general election will not be asked to consider whether or not they are in favor of a mill levy increase aimed at revamping the county's road maintenance program.
Monday's session inside a packed courthouse meeting room picked up where last Tuesday's meeting ended, with sentiments split as to whether or not the proposal was complete enough to move forward with a ballot question.
After hearing a review of specifics from Steele, including the revelation that the proposed mill levy increase would amount to 11.66 and not 15.27 as originally calculated, Commissioner Bill Downey reiterated his support for the plan.
However, Board Chair Mamie Lynch and Commissioner Alden Ecker remained skeptical, resurrecting concerns they expressed during last week's board meeting.
In addition to other elements, Lynch and Ecker questioned the feasibility of a stipulation in the proposal that calls for discontinuing maintenance on certain county roads should a potential mill levy increase be voted down.
Citing County Road 973 and County Road 975 as examples, Lynch stated she believes it would be a mistake "to just arbitrarily say we're going to take roads off the system. That's where I stand."
Likewise, "I just can't see taking these roads off the maintenance list; I don't think it will work," said Ecker. "We cannot leave roads out there that are not maintained to some degree."
Additional concerns surfaced during the public comment portion of the meeting, including questions as to whether or not a long-term solution, such as a bond issue, had been considered in addition to the five-year "sunset" plan being proposed.
Audience member Nan Rowe wondered aloud if perhaps "the window of opportunity" to get the proposal on the ballot this year had closed.
"And I think it has," said Rowe. Any ballot measure, Rowe added, would be a "tough sell" since "this is primarily a lame-duck commission."
Another attendee, Jerry Baier, stated the proposal does not go far enough to explain the ramifications of a "no" vote and could benefit from outside marketing and advertising expertise.
"It is doomed if presented in the way it was (last) Tuesday," concluded Baier.
Others questioned the effects a possible mill levy hike would have on fixed incomes, how county performance would be monitored if the measure passed and whether or not any resulting resolutions would be flexible enough to allow future boards to make changes.
Another audience member, Gene Cortright, agreed with the concept of reevaluating the county maintenance program, but asked why the plan could not be delayed until all details and outcomes were finalized.
"I don't understand this ... rush to judgment," said Cortright. "Why is this such a unique window of opportunity?"
A final speaker, Dusty Pierce, labeled the plan "a good start" and "the direction we want to see you go," but urged the board not to proceed at this time because "there's still a lot missing."
In response, "I agree," said Lynch, "and I feel maybe we're not quite there yet."
Echoing Lynch's comments, "I'm very uncomfortable with this," concluded Ecker.
Further debate resulted in a motion to approve the proposal "in concept" from Downey which was eventually withdrawn, and after a final, brief discussion the board put the issue to rest, agreeing "to take no action" on the measure.
In conclusion, "The foundation is laid for the future," said Downey, summarizing board comments indicating the commissioners believe the proposal could serve as a framework for developing subsequent maintenance policies.
Auto rollover yields $125,000 cocaine cache; two held
By Tess Noel Baker
Two people were arrested in Pagosa Springs after over 18 pounds of cocaine was discovered in a hidden compartment in a 1993 Mercury Marquis.
As of Monday, Kimberly Ann Leavitt and Candelario Ojeda Lopez, both 23 and listed as residents of Las Vegas, Nev., were being held in Archuleta County Jail on $50,000 bond each.
According to the affidavit for arrest filed by Cpl. Randy Talbot of the Colorado State Patrol, the case began on July 30 when he assisted Trooper Nick Rivera with a non-injury single-vehicle rollover on U.S. 160 near mile marker 134. Two women and two children were in the vehicle which the driver said was on its way from Las Vegas to Ohio. The driver, Leavitt, could produce neither insurance nor registration.
Talbot said the car was impounded because of suspicions of drug trafficking or auto theft. On Aug. 2, Talbot took another look at the vehicle in the impound lot - this time with a drug dog on hand. While inspecting the vehicle for a readable identification number, he noticed an unusual area of black tape near the windshield. When he peeled back the tape, he found 13 packages of a white substance later identified as cocaine worth an estimated $125,000 on the street.
Both Leavitt and Lopez were arrested Aug. 12. on charges of unlawful distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, a class III felony, when they returned to pick up the abandoned vehicle.
Talbot said investigation into possible drug trafficking continues with federal charges against the two suspects possible.
Blaze levels Coyote Park cabin;
lightning ignites three more fires
By Tess Noel Baker
A structure fire and several small lightning-caused blazes kept area firefighters on the move this week.
A cabin in Coyote Park was a total loss Aug. 18.
Pagosa Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Manuel Trujillo said the estimated 1,000 square-foot cabin was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
"We were limited to a defensive attack, no interior attack was possibly because it was too far gone," he said. The cabin, at 6501 Coyote Park, is outside the district's boundaries. They received a call for mutual aid about 2 p.m.
Trujillo said 10 firefighters responded with one engine and two tankers. They cleared the scene about 7 p.m.
The cause of the fire is unknown. Trujilo said an investigation continues.
On Aug. 23, local firefighters also responded to a small grass fire in Aspen Springs started by a person welding a fence.
Fire Chief Warren Grams said the fire was limited to about 20 square feet and was extinguished without incident.
Scott Wagner, Pagosa Ranger District fuels forester and acting assistant fire management officer, said forest service personnel fought a six-acre blaze in the Upper Blanco area and a 2.5 acre fire on Eight Mile Mesa over the weekend.
The six-acre Lefthand Canyon Fire started on the west side of Square Top Aug. 20. Firefighters successfully contained the blaze with a line around the perimeter that afternoon. It was declared controlled Aug. 22. A crew from the Jicarilla Agency assisted.
That same night, the forest service responded to a slightly smaller blaze on Eight Mile Mesa. That fire has also been controlled.
Wagner said a single-tree fire in the Mill Creek drainage is being managed for fire use at this time. The tree is in a stand of Aspen at over 10,000 feet, in a roadless area. It is being monitored, but is not expected to spread.
All three fires were caused by lightning.
PAWS weighs plea for water, sewer extensions in Chris Mountain Village
By Tom Carosello
The board of directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District heard an informal request this week for a large-scale extension of water and wastewater lines that would effectively complete district service to Chris Mountain Village.
Speaking on behalf of National Recreation Properties Inc., Robbie Pepper asked the board Tuesday how the corporation could facilitate the potential service extension, which would take place entirely within district boundaries.
"What I would like to be able to tell (National Recreation) is, 'This is what you need to do, and this is when you have to do it,'" said Pepper.
According to Pepper, National Recreation is in the process of purchasing over 80 lots in Chris Mountain from A-Liddle Enterprises Inc., and intends to pay for full utilities upgrades to each lot.
The anticipated closing date for the sale, said Pepper, is Oct. 20, and "basically, I would like get some idea of how much money needs to be put up to get things rolling."
In response, Carrie Campbell, district general manager, suggested the board direct staff to verify ownership of each lot in Chris Mountain and plan to budget the amount needed to perform the potential extensions, which is estimated at around $800,000.
"Then we would need a formal request, and the board could take final action at the October meeting," Campbell said.
Another suggestion to the board from Campbell included the notion of National Recreation paying a significant amount of tap fees up front to cover a large portion of the cost associated with the extensions.
"This is a unique situation," said Campbell, "because normally we get requests for extensions from one property owner at a time, and here we're looking at a very large number all at once."
If the request becomes reality, said Campbell, after construction and installation are completed the costs will be finalized, adjusted accordingly and divided among all owners of lots served, whether or not they requested service.
To clarify, "That would mean everyone else in between would eventually have to pay also, correct?" asked board member Don Brinks.
"That's right; any lot within 100 feet of the new lines would be affected," replied Campbell, "but those lot owners wouldn't have to pay anything up front."
Instead, "Those who didn't request the extension would be given the option to pay the assessments over a 24-month period, at 1-percent interest," explained Shellie Tressler, administrative assistant.
The board will revisit the issue in October, contingent upon the outcome of the pending land sale.
During Tuesday's session, Campbell told the board fair-market value determinations of land parcels the district is seeking in conjunction with the ongoing effort to upgrade Stevens Reservoir should be completed by the end of October.
The results of the appraisals will be used in negotiations with residents who own property surrounding Stevens as the district furthers its improvement plans for the reservoir.
In addition, Gene Tautges, assistant general manager, told the board preliminary design of the reservoir dam being performed by Davis Engineering Service has been roughly 70-percent completed and is nearly ready for submittal to the state engineer's office.
According to Tautges, once submitted to the state, the preliminary design plan will be reviewed "for at least six months" before an evaluation is handed down.
If the state's opinion of the design is favorable, said Tautges, the district must consider how to approach the remainder of improvement plans, which includes decisions on who should handle final design of the dam and when to drain Stevens so that construction can take place.
Further commentary on the subject sparked a lengthy discussion among board members and staff concerning the alternatives for proceeding with the Stevens plan, including whether or not to put future engineering work out to bid and the feasibility of the district employing an engineer to assist with similar projects.
Near meeting's end, the nucleus of the discussion was summarized by comments from Board Chairman Karen Wessels.
"I just feel projects of this size should go out for proposals, and I think we need to have an engineer on staff who can review these (projects)," concluded Wessels.
At the board's request, staff agreed to investigate each possibility further.
According to the latest readings provided by Art Holloman, district superintendent, district reservoirs were at the following levels early this week:
- Lake Hatcher - 42 inches below spillway
- Stevens Reservoir - eight inches below spillway
- Lake Pagosa - 16 inches below spillway
- Lake Forest - 16 inches below spillway
- Village Lake - 45 inches below spillway.
$60,000 matching grant to help town develop comprehensive plan
By Tess Noel Baker
The Town of Pagosa Springs has received just over $60,000 in grant monies to help kick off an 18-month comprehensive planning process.
Julie Jessen, town special project director, said Pagosa Springs' home rule charter, adopted in the fall of 2003, requires the town to update its comprehensive plan every five years.
"The town had a plan - 'Plan for Progress' created in 1979, but it was never formally adopted," Jessen said. The new comprehensive plan will address housing, economic development, health and safety, natural environment, public infrastructure, transportation, parks, recreation, trails and open space, community facilities and growth and development.
Currently, the town is considering different consulting packages. Whatever the final schedule, Jessen said, "intense public input," will be sought from as many people as want to participate.
The town will provide a 50/50 match for the Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant. The 18-month timeline will begin once a process for creating the plan has been identified.
"The plan will also include a general history of Pagosa Springs, how it has developed and a vision of the future," Jessen said.
The total grant amount is $60,381 and the funds are contingent upon the town providing the Department of Local Affairs with copies of digitized maps completed through the project.
Mayor's Council data is online
Information on the Mayor's Council, a privately funded group of individuals working on planning and growth issues in the community, can now be found at www.townofpagosa-springs.com.
Angela Atkinson, the group's director, said the Web page will include updates on the group's activities, a list of members and a place to ask questions directly.
People are also encouraged to go to the town's Web site to fill out a community survey. The survey asks questions about the future of downtown, big box development and priorities for planning. Surveys will be accepted through the end of the month and are available in paper form at town hall.
School administration, athletic director respond to baseball club letter
By Richard Walter
Pagosa Springs school officials have answered by letter the questions and implied charges read to the board of education earlier this month by representatives of a club baseball organization.
In a letter to Theresa Bradford, who read the club's questions to the board Aug. 10, Superintendent Duane Noggle said he had reviewed allegations of conflict of interest.
He said "Hamilton Landscape has contracted with the district for the last 19 years and in no way does he have oversight of his own work" and said that Steve Walston, the district's maintenance supervisor, will "hold Hamilton Landscape to the same high standards as any other contractor."
The superintendent said he was "saddened to learn of your negative reaction to the improvements being made at the high school baseball field.
"Please understand," his letter states, "our method may be incompatible with your own ideas, but I want to assure you, we share your vision of having first-rate athletic facilities for our students."
His cover letter accompanies a response from David Hamilton assistant principal of the high school and athletic director at the facility. He is also the principal of Hamilton Landscape.
The club questions and his specific answers to each are:
"Q. Why did the fencing come down at the high school field the first week of summer?
"A. In anticipation of the replacement of the irrigation system, the fence was removed to resize the playing field to regulation size (center field was moved from 330 feet to 370 feet). It was decided by the maintenance director, the athletic director and baseball coach that prior to designing and installing an irrigation system on the current field, the perimeter fence should be moved to regulation size. Along with installing a fence near the softball fields, a fencing contractor was asked to also bid the removal, extension and reinstallation of the baseball fence. Following the installation of the new irrigation system and completion of necessary dirt work, the fence will be reinstalled.
"Q. When the administration reported to the Archuleta County School Board at the June 8 meeting that the baseball field project was not going to be funded, why was the fence not reinstalled so the field could be used?
"A. The administration did not report this; it was a report of the district maintenance director for project and budget status. The fence was not reinstalled because of the need for fill dirt to be placed on the outside perimeter of the field (center and right field). It was also at this time where we determined the bids were too high and outside our anticipated budget estimates.
"Q. Why were the baseball coaches or parents (who had previously voiced concern about the field not being available for summer play) not contacted so a coordination effort could have been made for the summer baseball program?
"A. The high school baseball coach (up until his resignation) was kept abreast of the progress of field construction. Prior to summer break, David Cammack (who said he represented the parent summer baseball group) contacted the athletic director with concerns about not being able to host teams on the high school baseball field during the summer of 2004. While their concerns were heard, the purpose of the field extension and irrigation system was to benefit the high school baseball team. Because of the removal of the fence and the anticipated irrigation installation, it was decided it would be best for them to schedule their games out of town.
"Q. What is the current plan for the work that is being performed on the baseball field?
"A. The plan is to install a new irrigation system, a grass infield, and to move the fence to regulation size.
"Q. Who was contracted to do the work?
"A. The fence work has been contracted by Lansgreth Fencing, the irrigation system by Hamilton Landscape, and the dirt work by Campuzano Backhoe.
"Q. What qualifications do they have to perform such work?
"A. Lansgreth Fencing is a local contractor with 20 years fencing experience. Hamilton landscape has contracted and installed most of the district's current irrigation systems and has made modifications to the older, inadequate systems on many of the playing fields.
"To my knowledge, neither the county nor the city require any specific qualifications, certifications, or licenses for irrigation installation or fencing contractors.
"Recognizing the district's playing fields are located in a riverbed, it was anticipated there would be a lot of river rock excavated during the installation of the sprinkling system. Rather than hire a trencher to complete the work, a general backhoe operator with a small bucket was selected to excavate the trenches, backfill the trenches with top soil, and replace the infield sand with topsoil. Henry Campuzano is also a local contractor with several years experience.
"Q. What are the plans for the grounds around the field?
"A. The school district and town are working on a joint effort to replace the cement apron around the softball concession stand/baseball announcer stand/rest rooms.
"Q. Due to the current timing of the field construction, how will the grass be rooted enough to make play possible on the field fore the Pagosa Springs 2005 high school baseball season?
"A. Early spring and late fall are ideal times for seeding grass. The plan is to seed grass in the infield and trenches following the irrigation installation. This process was used to seed the 'D' section and trenches on the football field. As with all grass seeding projects, continual seeding, top dressing, and fertilizing will be completed in the spring to develop a strong athletic turf.
"Q. How many board members have been out to the baseball field physically themselves to evaluate the facility and its needs and the current construction process?
"A. The board relies on the athletic director, maintenance director and superintendent to keep them abreast of new construction and maintenance projects. It has not been the practice of the board to involve themselves in the management of the district's various departments.
"Q. Is it ethical that the current athletic director, David Hamilton and his son perform all or part of the work currently being done?
"A. David Hamilton (Hamilton Landscape) has contracted the district ground maintenance for the last 19 years. While many summer projects are contracted by outside companies, the district maintenance staff typically completes many of the district's work projects.
"Note: Please understand that initially Hamilton Landscape had no intention of installing the baseball sprinkling system. For several years, I have encouraged a local irrigation contractor and graduate of Pagosa Springs High School to bid on district irrigation projects. Because of the state economy and the projections for next year's funding, it was decided to complete as much of the work this year as the budget would allow.
"While the group made a comment concerning paying the difference between what the school budgeted and the amount of the lowest bid ($7,000) this offer was not made previous to the board meeting nor was it made subsequent to the June 8 meeting.
"The project requesting bids was advertised in The SUN. A local irrigation contractor and Durango Landscape submitted bids. During the meeting, it was stated by one of the parents that a local company had offered to complete the construction project 'at their cost.' Again, to date, this company has not approached any district employee with this incredible offer.
"Q. Who is overseeing the work?
"A. Along with other district summer projects, the project is being overseen by the district maintenance department. The department also oversaw the installation of the new irrigation systems on the intermediate, junior high, high school grounds and football field. The high school administration is not overseeing the project. And, they are not evaluating their own work."
With reference to a club comment about the field not being a priority for many years, and calling it a lawsuit waiting to happen, Hamilton answered:
"After several failed attempts to pass construction bonds to build a new high school at the current high school site, the ball fields were constructed in the seventies. The irrigation systems on each of the fields are/were poorly designed. The irrigation system at each field did not provide 100 percent coverage to the grass playing areas. On the baseball field, outside sprinkler heads watered the parking lot, while the inside ones watered the infield. For several years, limited practice space warranted the need for the use of the outfield of the baseball field for football practice. The overuse of the field along with an inadequate irrigation system has contributed to the current conditions of the field. In addition, the original field was designed to have a grass infield. Coaches, over the years, have removed and attempted to replace the grass several times.
"Prior to the work being completed on the football field, the addition of three zones (one in the late '70s and two in the '80s) was done to provide irrigation coverage to the entire field. The baseball field's sprinkling system has never been augmented. The lack of maintenance on the baseball field has been due to a poorly designed irrigation system and the sport being played in the spring of the year immediately following the winter runoff. Until recently, the baseball field has not been used by summer baseball groups.
"Admittedly, the baseball field's outfield is uneven. While it was designed to be level, over the years there are places where the topsoil (mountain clay) has settled. In addition, in an attempt to practice on the field prior to spring break, baseball coaches have hired heavy equipment operators to remove snow from the field. The result of these attempts has produced several ruts in the outfield. Rather than fill the ruts with topsoil, the group fixed the mess with several loads of Mancos shale."
"Q. Why has it taken in excess of two months to advertise the head baseball coach position?
"A. Following the resignation of the varsity baseball coach in late May, it was decided by the high school administration to not advertise the position until the anticipated district vacancies were filled. It was our hope to fill this position with a certified teacher/coach. It has been our experience, backed with research, the best coaches are those who are involved in the student athlete's academic and athletic lives. While many vacancies became open and several new employees hired, to our knowledge only one applicant had a background in coaching baseball. Immediately upon return to work for the fall semester, the high school administration directed the district secretary to advertise the baseball position. A team composed of the high school administration and select community members and staff will conduct the search, the interviews and the hiring of the new baseball coach.
"Q. Why would we not advertise at the beginning of summer when teacher/coaches are looking for jobs?
"A. Traditionally and recognizing the need to establish a strong academic environment the district has made a practice of hiring teachers first and coaches second. Through the district's application process, teachers who apply for academic positions are also screened for their extracurricular coaching/sponsorship experience.
"Q. How are you going to find a qualified baseball coach/teacher now that school is starting?
"A. If through the district hiring process the teacher/coach has not been hired, the position is then advertised in The SUN for interested community members to apply.
"Several interested candidates have contacted the athletic director demonstrating interest in the position.
"While many of the district coaches are teacher/coaches, the district has also been fortunate to hire many dedicated individuals from the community."
A look at water supply, needs and conservation
By Denise Rue-Pastin
Special to The SUN
Water use within Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is up over both 2002 and 2003 when some levels of mandatory restriction were in effect.
Although 2004 has no mandatory restrictions, PAWS is reminding the community to "do their bit and self-restrict."
Across the globe and in our own semi-arid backyard, which is prone to drought, wise water use must become a way of life.
Life must be lived forward but understood backward. The current drought has been the most severe on record. Streamflows in Colorado in 2002 were the lowest in over 100 years and tree ring data suggest flows are probably the lowest in 300 to 500 years.
Moreover, district officials say, there is no way of knowing how long the current drought may last. And they say, even when the drought is over, the problems won't be solved.
John Keys, Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, states it best: "Once the drought goes away we're still going to have problems. Even if precipitation returns to more generous levels, the rapidly growing population of the West demands new answers to critical supply problems. Doing nothing is one option, but only if we're prepared to deal with the consequences."
There is no force on earth stronger than exponential growth. While water supplies remain the same since the beginning of time, the Earth's population continues to grow exponentially.
In America alone, the U.S. Census Bureau's population clock shows a net gain of one new resident every 10 seconds. That's about 3,153,600 new water users a year, needing about 104,000,000,000 gallons of water annually at the current rate of use.
Growing population is one factor that spurred PAWS to more aggressively pursue a water conservation program. The future rate of growth in the PAWS service area through the year 2012 is estimated to average 6 percent per year. By the year 2040, permanent population in Archuleta County is estimated over 50,000, with water demands of 3,800,000,000 gallons per year.
Conservation methods can help reduce long-term water needs and thus reduce or delay the need for new water supply, transmission, storage and treatment facilities. Reduction of water demands also means that more water remains in our streams and reservoirs providing in-stream flows, water quality, aquatic life, recreation and aesthetic benefits.
When the well goes dry, we know the worth of water.
We all take advantage, and sometimes for granted, the simple things in life. Water has historically been one of them. It has always seemed to be in plentiful supply - after all, water covers three quarters of the earth's surface, right?
Right, but only 3 percent of that is fresh water, and only 1 percent of fresh water is available for us for our daily water needs.
And water is cheap. Consider these statistics: One penny buys 160 eight-ounce glasses of water in a typical U.S. community. You can refill an eight-ounce water glass approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda. If drinking water and soda were equally costly, your water bill would skyrocket more than 10,000 percent.
Although water is inexpensive, we must not take it for granted.
We conserve what we love. Except for the air we breathe, water is the single most important element in our lives. Quite simply, without water you will not live. You can survive about a month without food, but only five to seven days without water.
Consider this, too: About two-thirds of the human body is water. Some parts of the body contain more water than others. For example, about 75 percent of the human brain is water and 70 percent of skin is water. Water helps your body metabolize stored fats, helps maintain proper muscle tone, and helps rid the body of wastes.
Now, consider the following statistics: It is estimated that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3 percent. In 37 percent of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. One glass of water shut down hunger pangs for almost 100 percent of the dieters studied in a University of Washington project. Lack of water is the No. 1 trigger of daytime fatigue. A mere 2-percent drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
Preliminary research indicates that eight to 10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80 percent of sufferers. Drinking five glasses of water a day decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79 percent and one is 50-percent less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Educated consumers are better customers and smarter conservationists.
We drink very little of our treated water. Generally speaking, less than 1 percent of the treated water produced by water utilities is actually consumed. The rest goes on lawns, in washing machines, and down toilets and drains. If you have a lawn, chances are it's your biggest water user. Typically, at least 50 percent of water consumed by households is used outdoors.
Inside the home, bathroom facilities claim over 70 percent of the water used. Indoor water use statistics vary from family to family and in various parts of the country, but they average out pretty reliably. Nearly 40 percent gets flushed down toilets, more than 30 percent is used in showers and baths, the laundry and dishwashing take about 15 percent and leaks claim 5 percent or more, which leaves about 10 percent for everything else.
Nothing so needs reforming as other peoples habits.
There are three basic ways to conserve water: economize, repair leaks and install water-saving devices.
A lot of water is used needlessly. Think about the amount of water you're using and look for ways to use less whenever you can. Examples are limitless and PAWS has a plethora of tips available in district offices.
Check toilets, faucets and hoses for leaks. A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That's 105 gallons a week and 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year. Little leaks add up quickly, but most leaks are easy to find and repair.
If you don't already have water-efficient or low-flow fixtures, you can cut your water use with aerators and displacement devices. The district has free retrofit kits available with dye tablets for checking toilet leaks, aerators for faucets and showers, and displacement bags for the toilet.
In addition, PAWS is currently running a toilet rebate program of between $75 and $125 to replace high-volume toilets with more efficient low-volume models. There are efficient clothes washers on the market that use up to 70-percent less water and energy. More resource-efficient dishwashers are available, as well. Also, consider a hot water recirculating pump which will eliminate the need to wait for hot water at any location in a building. These devices can save the average family a minimum of 15,000 gallons of water per year.
Related to outside irrigation - you don't have to water on a set schedule.
Water only when the grass or plants show signs of needing it. To test whether or not your lawn needs a soaking, step on the grass. If it springs back up, you don't need to water. If it stays flat, it's time to water again (in the evening or morning - the earlier the better).
In addition, adjust watering schedules for the season. Typically, April and May need about a quarter less the amount of water required in June and July, while August, September and October require nearly half.
Also, light sprinkling can damage your lawn by discouraging deep root growth. Lawns with shallow root growth are less resistant to drought and more prone to winter kill. To reduce runoff and ponding, improve your soils and flatten steep turf slopes.
A regular aerating schedule is also important. Try to aerate two-three times per year, especially in both spring and fall. Our soil has a tendency to compact, which prevents water from sinking into the ground. Aeration breaks up the soil and allows water to penetrate. Don't forget to add some compost when you aerate.
Try to plant native vegetation that doesn't require a lot of water.
Set the blade on your mower so you keep the grass at a height of three inches. This shades the soil and prevents both excess drying and evaporation.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Given the earth's limited water budget, conservation is essential if we are to build a water trust, an endowment that generations to come can relay on for their own security and prosperity.
Therefore, we must exercise great stewardship to preserve our water supplies for the future.
Ken Ball, landscape architect and keynote speaker at two PAWS- sponsored "responsible landscape" workshops, had these comments to offer our community:
"The adequacy of water supplies to any community are often based upon, in comparison to the magnitude geologic history, only very recent times and data. The failure of a society of several tens of thousands of people in the Southwest region of Colorado nearly 700 years ago is case evidence that the forces of nature far exceed those of the human species. The Anasazi community, one that was more in harmony with the will of nature than the communities today, failed.
"Should not we, within our present day water supply and landscape design responsibilities, be working toward minimal dependency on water supplies? Especially regarding supplies used for the luxury of landscaping, and in regions where the natural landscape is so beautiful without supplemental irrigation?"
With that said, PAWS would like to remind the community to "do their bit and self-restrict."
Across the globe and in our own back yard, wise water use must become a way of life.
Pagosa Outreach Connections
has distributed $37,000 in year
By Tess Noel Baker
After one year, Pagosa Outreach Connections, a group of community-based and faith-based organizations offering one-time grants to people in need, has distributed about $37,000.
The Rev. Don Ford, a member of the group, said since its inception 119 applications for assistance had been received; 96 were approved and 23 denied.
Most of the requests, he said, were for help with rent or mortgage payments, medical needs, daycare, electric and phone bills.
"We can't claim success stories in every one of those instances, but for a number of them we can," Ford said.
Pagosa Outreach Connections began after a federal call for faith-based and community-based organizations to pool their resources. Ford said initially the Archuleta County Department of Human Services and three local churches - Community United Methodist, St. Patrick's Episcopal and Immaculate Heart of Mary - began looking at possibilities. Later, the Salvation Army, United Way, La Plata Electric Association Roundup program and Rotary were added to the mix.
Under the program, people in need are first referred to social services. There they are screened for programs they might qualify for, such as food stamps or Medicaid. If their needs cannot be completely met by the programs available, they may fill out an application for Pagosa Outreach Connections.
A core group of connections members meets weekly to hear presentations from department of human services representatives based on the applications. All applications and allocations are kept completely confidential.
Once an application is approved, representatives of the various organizations involved, both faith-based and community-based, take turns "bidding" on the amount needed. One might offer $100, another $200, another $75 and so on until the bill is filled. Each case is considered individually and assistance is offered one time only.
A database of those assisted is retained at social services to prevent duplicating efforts and keep the program open to the most people possible.
"We feel working together that we can help those who have a need to survive in this community, in this county," Ford said. "We are helping people who are living check to check get over the humps that sometime come with extraordinary circumstances."
Erlinda Gonzalez, director of the county department of human services, said combining the resources of so many organizations has allowed monies to go farther and help more people. It has also assisted with the match for at least one federal grant of about $21,200 in flex monies coming into the county.
"It's great that we can have such a collaboration here," Gonzalez said. "It's very unique. We had a state person come to do a training on another topic and this was brought up. She was just in awe."
Private donations to Pagosa Outreach Connections are being accepted and can be sent to the Department of Social Services, P.O. Box 240, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Allard aides will come to town Aug. 31
U.S. Senator Wayne Allard's area director, Derek Wagner, and caseworker Heather Gierhart will conduct Senate office hours in Pagosa Springs Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the South Conference Room of the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.
"I want to extend an invitation to anyone in Archuleta County who is experiencing a problem with the federal government, or would like to pass along an opinion on a current issue before the U.S. Senate, to stop by and visit with Derek and Heather on Tuesday," Allard said. "No appointment is necessary."
Anyone having a question about Tuesday's office hours can contact Allard's Grand Junction office at (970) 245-9553.
LPEA cancels elections; no nominee foes
La Plata Electric Association's annual meeting and luncheon will be held Sept. 11, but the scheduled election of directors has been cancelled.
Director seats were open in Districts 1 through 4 but only one person filed in each district, negating the necessity of holding the election.
District 1 director Terry Alley of Pagosa Springs was one of the four unopposed candidates.
Registration for the meeting in Bayfield Middle School, 615 E. Oak St. will begin at 9 a.m. and the business meeting at 10 a.m. Complimentary lunch follows.
Agenda highlights include reports from the utility's chief executive officer and board president; a report from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Associates Inc.; a report from the association's attorney and members questions.
Health district board vacancy filled
By Tess Noel Baker
Gerald R. Valade, a local businessman, was picked Tuesday to fill the final vacancy on the Upper San Juan Health Service District Board.
Three candidates - Valade, Andy Fautheree and Barbara Parada - who applied for the position left open after Patty Tillerson resigned in June, were interviewed by the full board to start the Aug. 17 regular meeting. Earlier, they were interviewed by a search committee consisting of citizens Jim Knoll and Dale Schwicker, board chairman Pam Hopkins and board member Dick Blide.
The committee recommended Valade.
Knoll, chairman of the search committee said any of the candidates would have made excellent board members, "nevertheless, our job was to make a recommendation. Because of Mr. Valade's special qualifications ... and the special needs of the healthcare district at this time, we felt that he should be the pick of the board. We felt the district at the present time has a most desperate need of skills and experience in financial planning, accounting, contracting, regulatory compliance and resource management. Mr. Valade has spent his career in the Navy and in the private sector doing this kind of work."
According to his resume, Valade served in the U.S. Navy, spent 25 years in the government services sector including 13 years with Hughes Aircraft Company and 12 years as an independent business analyst.
In response to a question from board member Neal Townsend, Valade said he had moved to Pagosa Springs about a year ago, had been following news on the health district for two years and hoped, "to help the community and the health care system be better."
He said his greatest strengths are problem solving, working with people and bottom-line management.
He was unanimously approved with one member absent and immediately took the oath of office.
District working its way to financial health
By Tess Noel Baker
The Upper San Juan Health Service District continues to play catch-up financially.
Allen Hughes, interim business manager, said unpaid bills are still cropping up, including several for employee health insurance dating back to August 2003. The district will continue paying about $8,500 every two weeks until premiums are current.
Hughes reported that, as of July 31, the district had about $60,000 in cash on hand with around $40,000 in outstanding receivables. Accounts payable totaled about $72,000 with 31 percent of the bills over 60 days in arrears. Of $60,725 in total charges billed in July, about $38,300 were nonretrievable after insurance adjustments.
Dave Bohl, chairman of the finance, audit and budget committee, said the district is, "very, very close to making it through Dec. 31," under the current budget if receivables continue as expected. Still, he requested approval from the board to seek a line of credit from the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation in October, just in case funds fall short.
The request was approved.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a motion to allow Hughes to continue researching the requirements to become a critical access hospital as defined by Medicare. Currently, the ambulance service is unable to bill Medicare for ambulance trips that end at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center or other local physicians' offices because of Medicare rules.
- Authorized Norm Vance, chairman of the Citizen's Advisory Committee to move ahead with finding grant monies to fund a community survey.
- Appointed two search committees, one to begin looking for people to fill the positions of business manager and EMS operations manager and a second to begin recruiting a fifth community physician. The interim management positions, currently held by Hughes and Kathy Conway, end in November.
- Approved a new operational structure, a set of daily guidelines and policies and procedures for Emergency Medical Services. Under the new operational model staffing will remain exactly the same. In fact, the board approved an extra allocation of funds to retrain current emergency vehicle operators to basic level.
The new operational model is based on having two response crews available. A first crew, of one paramedic and one basic EMT will be in house. A second crew of one basic EMT and one intermediate EMT will be in-house during "peak" call hours - 11 a.m to about 11 p.m. Outside that time period, a second crew will be on call, meaning within 15 minutes of the district offices.
- Approved a motion to terminate the nurse triage service. After-hours emergency calls will go through dispatch directly to a doctor on call.
- Read into the record a definition for 24/7 emergency doctor coverage as presented by Jim Knoll. According to the definition, 24/7 coverage means, "Š a medically trained physician is available either directly at a clinic or via telephone to come to a clinic to see an emergency patient 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The physician should be at least within 15 minutes of the designated clinic."
A physician assistant, nurse practitioner or EMT could still be the first contact with the patient as long as a physician was accessible.
- Approved a motion to discontinue the ambulance subscription service once current subscriptions run out - about a year from now. No new subscriptions will be sold.
The board's decision was based on a legal opinion that suggested the service could be considered a form of uncertified insurance under Colorado law which could lead to penalties.
Hughes said current subscriptions will be honored as long as the recipient has proof of purchase either in the form of a canceled check or a copy of the completed subscription. The subscription policy had entitled those who paid $65 a one-time basic ambulance transportation over a one-year period.
Alpha POA to hold annual meeting and luncheon
The 2004 annual meeting and potluck luncheon of the Alpha Property Owners Association will be held Sunday, Aug. 29, beginning at noon it the Vista Clubhouse.
Guest speakers will be Tamra Allen from the Pagosa Springs planning department and Owen Parker, chairman of the Alpha-Rock Ridge Metro District. They will address community growth and its projected impact on the Alpha neighborhood.
Attendees with last names starting A-O, should bring a dessert; those starting P-Z, should bring a side dish or salad. Please RSVP to Carrie Levonius at 731-6223.
Blood drive planned at Pine Ridge
United Blood Services has planned a blood drive 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, 119 Bastille Drive.
It is the only local drive scheduled in Pagosa Springs through September 10.
Valid identification is required for all donors. Prospective donors may register on line by visiting www.unitedbloodservices.org
Adult CPR class slated Sept. 11
September is National Preparedness Month and the Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering an adult CPR class.
All are encouraged to attend 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Pagosa Fire Protection district Station, 191 N. Pagosa Blvd.
Cost is $5 and lunch will be provided.
Call 259-5383 for more information or to register. Preregistration is required.
County fair stock buyers announced
One of the major events of every Archuleta County Fair is the auction of 4-H livestock entries.
This year's fair was no exception. The results, by exhibitor name, buyer and the animal's place in competition were:
Danelle Condon, Ace Hardware, second-place light weight steer.
Keturah Class-Erickson, Alpine Cascade, Reserve Champion Goat.
Shea Johnson, Alpine Cascade, fourth-place Meat Pen Rabbit.
Breanna Voorhis, William Andersen, fifth-place Meat Pen Rabbit.
Danelle Condon, William Andersen, fourth-place Light-Heavyweight Swine.
Camille Rand, Vince Assaro, third-place Meat Pen Rabbit.
Haleigh Zenz, Basin Co-op, fourth-place Lightweight Goat.
Lauren Caves, Boot Hill, first-place Medium-Heavyweight Swine.
Jacob Martin, Bill and Mary Church, first-place Light Weight Steer.
Lauren Caves, Bill and Mary Church, fifth-place Lamb.
Austin DeVooght, Citizens Bank, third-place Medium Weight Steer.
Waylon Lucero, City Market Downtown, fourth-place Heavyweight Goat.
Stephanie Zenz, City Market Downtown, fifth-place Medium Weight Goat.
Kelsi Lucero, City Market No. 45 (Country center), fourth-place Medium Weight Goat.
Makayla Voorhis, City Market No. 45, third-place Heavy Weight Goat
Bethany Wanket, Colorado Construction, Reserve Champion Meat Pen Rabbit.
Mia Jones, Morris and Judith Davidson, second-place Light Weight Goat.
Waylon Lucero, Envelopment Architecture, fourth-place Medium Weight Swine.
Breanna Voorhis, Galles Properties, fifth-place Meat Pen Rabbit.
Jessica Shahan, Galles Ranch, third-place Heavy Weight Steer.
Raesha Ray, GOODFORD, Reserve Champion Lamb.
Mitchell Martin, GOODFORD, third-place Light Weight Steer.
Tyler Talbot, Goodman's Department Store, second-place,Medium Weight Swine.
Shelby Schofield, Grand Junction Pipe, fourth-place Medium-Light Weight Swine.
Victoria Espinosa, Hire Quality Fences, Grand Champion Goat.
Charmaine Talbot, J & J Ventures, second- place Heavy Weight Steer.
Keturah Class-Erickson, J & J Ventures, eighth-place Heavy Weight Swine.
Kaitlin Simmons, Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum, Grand Champion Steer.
Charmaine Talbot, Jack and Caludia Rosenbaum, first-place Light Weight Swine.
Danelle Condon, Jerry Jackson, fourth-place Heavy Weight Swine.
Raesha Ray, Maria Kolpin, Grand Champion Lamb.
Kalie Ray, KSL Construction, third-place, Heavy Weight Swine.
Raesha Ray, KSL Construction, Grand Champion Swine.
Myron Voorhis, La Plata Electric, fifth-place Heavy Weight Goat.
Tayler McKee, La Plata Electric, first-place Light Weightt Goat.
Keegan Caves, Ray and Joanne Laird, fifth-place Light Heavy Weight Swine.
Reahna Ray, Leon Harrel/Mike Wolf, fourth-place Lamb.
Roxanna Day, Bob Mumaw, second-place Medium-Light Weight Swine.
Kelsi Lucero, Pagosa Land Co., seventh-place, Heavy Weight Swine.
Michael Caves, Ponderosa Do It Best, first-place Medium-Light Weight Swine.
Tayler McKee, Rafter T Ranch, second-place Heavy Weight Swine.
Raesha Ray, Schall Chemical Supply, Reserve Champion Swine.
Makayla Voorhis, Bob and Lisa Scott, Grand Champion Meat Pen Rabbit.
Michael Caves, Bob and Lisa Scott, third-place Lamb.
Crystal Purcell, Bob and Lisa Scott, third-place Light Weight Swine.
Laci Jones, Southwest Ag., second-place Light Weight Swine.
Dylan Caves, Southwest Custom Builders, seventh-place Light-Heavy Weight Swine.
Re'ahna Ray, Spa Motel, third-place Light-Heavy Weight Swine.
Crissy Ferguson, Jim Van Bortel, Reserve Champion Steer.
Danny Shahan, Viking Construction, fourth-place Light Weight Swine.
Jessica Shahan, Wolf Land & Cattle Co., third-place Heavy Weight Steer.
Danny Shahan, Mike Wolf, third-place Light Weight Goat .
Cold-weather gear will be featured in Shamrock festival
By Christelle Troell
Special to The SUN
Are you a cold-weather person who can't wait for the first snow? Then you may want to put in a bid for a pair of sturdy snowshoes or a beautifully crafted toboggan.
If you are a sun worshipper, then you will surely want to bid on a genuine Stetson hat to keep that deep tan from turning into a burn.
These are just a few of the unique items that will be available in a silent auction during St. Patrick's Shamrock Festival Sept. 11.
The snowshoes were a gift from Dick and Ann Van Fossen and Jim and Becky Dorian. The toboggan was donated by Ruth and Bob Newlander. The Stetson, (men's size 7-1/4) was another gift from the Van Fossens.
Two wooden sentinels - a snowman and Santa - standing at just over 5 feet tall, were made by Ken "Spanky" Warren. Another craftsman, David Brooks, has made a hand-varnished 4-foot wall shelf complete with coat hooks.
Several pieces of artwork will be offered including a large watercolor and a framed Ansel Adams photograph of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
Two handmade quilt wall hangings will be up for bid - one made by Linda Warren and another donated by Bonnie Brooks.
If you have trouble keeping up with "Pagosa time," there is a lovely Seth Thomas regulator clock that might be helpful, along with many other items. A number of services will also be offered including a wildflower walk in the spring, led by Katherine Cruse.
The bidding will take place during the all-day festival which begins at 9 a.m. Bidding will end at 5:45 p.m. when the prizes will be awarded to the highest bidders. At 6 p.m. the drawing for the handmade quilt will take place and serving of the barbecue dinner begins, complete with entertainment.
The dinner menu, catered by JoAnn Irons, will include barbecue chicken, baked potato, roasted corn-on-the-cob, spring mix salad, brownies and ice cream. Tickets are $7 for adults (13 and older); $4 for children 5-12. Children 4 and under eat free.
Dinner tickets are available at the church office Monday-Thursday, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. You may also purchase tickets at the office for the handmade queen/king quilt to be given away.
Come early Sept. 11 for first choice of frozen casseroles, soups and cobblers to stash away in your freezer for busy days. Casseroles include lemon chicken, Swedish meatball, layered Italian and chicken green noodle.
Soups offered will be cream of broccoli, vegetable, chicken and potato soup. Cobblers include peach, cherry and peach-cranberry.
Other activities scheduled are a men's garage sale, a Book Nook offering used books, home-baked goods for sale and an afternoon tea with chamber music.
Family Fun 2 will offer used toys, games and sports equipment. Children can participate in Just for Kids featuring face painting, games and prizes, a tractor pull ride and corn shucking contest.
Breakfast and lunch will also be offered and there will be plenty of entertainment by various musical groups throughout the day.
The church is located on South Pagosa Boulevard, next to the Mary Fisher Clinic. Some of the proceeds from the Shamrock Festival will be used for the church's many community outreach programs.
Allison Community Church plans annual steak fry
The Allison Community Church will have its ninth annual Steak Fry Aug. 28 at the Allison Community Church.
Steak with baked potato, tossed salad, beans, rolls, and strawberry shortcake will be served from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
There will be entertainment, so come visit and enjoy the evening.
New hours, new ideas in effect
By Karen Carpenter
Special to The PREVIEW
The Japanese Club met for the first time and there were 10 teens in attendance.
What a great turnout. Plans are to continue, so watch for news of the next meeting.
We have painted the game room in a topaz blue. The color was a unanimous decision. It is a cool, calm color and that makes for cool, calm teens, right?
School has started so we have begun our new hours. Remember we are now open 4-8 p.m. Saturdays; Mondays 1-5 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, 1-8 p.m.
This will be a trial period to November.
We will have movie night again Fridays and dinner on Saturdays.
Games, contests, quiet time and physical activities will continue. The addition of two computers will aid with homework and allow for educational games.
If you are a parent, teacher or student at the junior high school we need your help and input. The Teen Center advisory board would love to have you fill a vacancy. Please give me a call if you are interested.
The Teen Center is in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The phone is 264-4152.
Parents, teens reflect on sexual health workshop
By Natalie Gabel
Special to The PREVIEW
Pagosans attended two workshops on sexual health presented by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and sponsored by the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Parents gathered for a two-hour class with educator Laura Hawes and left with greater understanding of their own sexuality values and the communication skills to convey these values to their teens in a non-threatening way.
One parent commented, "I realized how important it is to practice verbalizing my values to my teen." Fifteen teen-agers attended a six-hour session on Saturday, where they practiced refusal skills, decision-making, and open communication with partners and parents in role plays.
One participant shared this, "I think every teen needs to know how to have healthy relationships, what STD's and birth control are and how to make decisions; no matter if they are sexually active or not."
Teens received a comprehensive sexual education which statistics show decrease their participation in premature sex and unhealthy relationships.
Teen participants gave this advice to their peers: "Don't have sex until you're ready to accept the consequences," and "choose to be in healthy relationships with love and talking. Otherwise it's not worth your time."
The Unitarian Universalists will host the "Growing Up Smart" workshops this fall designed for 10- and 11-year-olds focusing on puberty changes, understanding emotions and, most importantly, developing healthy interpersonal relationships fundamental in preventing high-risk behaviors.
Call Sky Gabel at 731-2202 for more information.
Awana bicycle rodeo, cookout slated Sunday
By Livia Cloman Lynch
Awana has scheduled a bicycle rodeo and cookout 4 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church.
Bring your bikes, trikes and helmets and get in on the action.
Register for Awana and get information at the same time for those three years old through sixth-grade.
New this year will be Junior High Awana.
Burgers, hot dogs, buns and soft drinks will be provided. Bring a side dish to share.
For RSVP or any questions, call Dori at 731-9458 or the church office at 731-2205.
Bible study begins Sept. 9
at Restoration Fellowship
A Precept Upon Precept Bible study, Genesis, Part 1, begins Sept. 9 at Restoration Fellowship, Children's Equipping Center Auditorium, 264 Village Drive.
The Precept Upon Precept study method is being used across the United States and in over 100 foreign countries by people seeking to know the truths of the Word of God for themselves. These in-depth studies are widely acclaimed for their practical, personal approach to Bible study. The study includes homework, discussion, and a powerful lecture time to direct you in unlocking the message of God's Word.
All who want to know the Word of God and the God of the Word - from seminary professors to businessmen, to housewives, teens - attest to the invaluable help of the inductive method used in Precept.
Precept Bible studies are written by Kay Arthur, well-known speaker, broadcaster and author. Her in-depth knowledge of the Bible as well as her gifted presentation of biblical truth has made the Precept method an effective study tool for thousands. The study is uniquely designed for the serious student with seminary experience as well as for the individual who has never studied the Bible before.
For further information on joining this Precept study and to register, call Restoration Fellowship at 731-2937, no later than Aug. 30.
Education Center announces
slate of enrichment classes
The Archuleta County Education Center is offering a selection of after-school enrichment classes for students in grades K-eight.
From Aug. 30-Sept. 3, the center will offer a week of fun enrichment activities for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
During the month of September, classes will be offered to the same group that include yoga with an emphasis on literacy, Science Kids and art classes such as Making a Bird Feeder and Hooked on Drawing and Painting.
Fun Friday activities begin Sept. 10, 1:15-5 p.m.
Anyone wanting to register for classes or who needs more information may contact the center at 264-2835.
Auction donations include almost everything you didn't know you need
By Annette Foor
Special to The PREVIEW
Come one, come all!
The 10th annual Auction for the Animals is coming Friday, and will be a memorable event of the season, offering something for everyone.
Whatever you're looking for, or not, you'll likely find it at the auction. There are a wide variety of items to bid on from books to massages, ski passes and even a car.
The auction is 5:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Ticket prices are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, including wine and beer tasting. This year we are featuring Australian and California wines and beer from Durango Brewing, plus a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Advance purchase without wine and beer tasting will be $15, and $17 at the door.
Gourmet hors d'oeuvres will be served throughout the evening with the silent auction starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by the live auction, with Jake Montroy as auctioneer, Debbie Steele will serve as emcee and Mark Crain, Aristotle Karas and John Porter will be spotters.
Our live auction has something for every pocket book. From a fire extinguisher to a tennis package, you'll find everything at the auction. In addition, we have received a tremendous number of donations such as a Mizuno baseball bat signed by Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies, Choke Cherry Tree gourmet baskets, a Celtic Harp, an array of custom pet baskets, residential lot at Westwood Shores at Lake Livingston in Trinity, Texas. You can be a guest D. J. for an hour at KWUF radio. You can always find today's fashions at the auction, such as a remarkable limited edition denim jacket with Red Ryder Comic Strip embroidered by K. K. Paddywhacks, or a hooded wool jacket by Linda Lundstrom.
We've also received passes from many businesses such as rounds of golf at Bogey's Mini Golf with ice cream cones, Diamond Circle Melodrama in Durango, parlor seats on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Chama, and Four Corners Folk Festival. Looking for a luxury cruising car? How about a 1991 Black Infiniti Q45 with gray interior, fully loaded with gold package? We even have a cedar Nordic Impulse spa.
The auction is an evening you won't want to miss, so plan on coming out and enjoying scrumptious food, fine micro-brewed beers provided by Durango Brewing Co, exquisite wines and non-alcohol beverages, and relax as you look for that special something you had no idea you needed.
Don't wait: Get your tickets now at these locations, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co, Moonlight Books and Gallery, Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Humane Society Thrift Store or at the door Friday.
For further information about the auction, contact our administration office at 264-5549. Be sure to mark your calendar and come out for a night that's sure to be a great time. We look forward to seeing you.
Native born lynx spotted thriving in our wilderness
At least two of the 30 Canada lynx kittens born in Colorado this spring are thriving based on a rare glimpse of the secretive cats earlier this month.
A member of the Colorado Division of Wildlife's lynx monitoring team was able to briefly approach two of the kittens in southwestern Colorado, while the mother kept herself discretely hidden, her telltale radio collar pulsing and giving away her location.
Though the lynx kittens were no more than seven to eight weeks old, they were comfortably resting on a tree branch, proving their ability to climb to protect themselves.
DOW researcher Grant Merrill picked up a faint radio signal while investigating a den site used by a female from the Yukon Territory that had been released in 2000. Using a hand-held antenna that can pick up signals emitted by radio collars attached to lynx when they are released, he was able to close in on the location in dense timber.
"Eventually, to my surprise and bemusement, I found a kitten up a tree," Merrill said. "I thought to myself, 'The little buggers can climb trees already.' I looked around a little more and found the second kitten also up a tree just 15 to 20 feet away."
By the strength of the beeping transmitted from the female's collar, Merrill knew she was nearby. He quickly snapped some photos and then left the site.
"This is the first time we've seen kittens outside of a den," said Tanya Shenk, a DOW research biologist who leads the lynx monitoring effort. "We won't be able to do this often, but it does provide valuable information about the kittens’ development and may explain why we've been unable to confirm the presence of other kittens."
Colorado's lynx reintroduction effort paid even bigger dividends in 2004 with at least 30 kittens born to 11 lynx mothers, nearly double the 16 kittens confirmed by the DOW in 2003.
"We documented 18 possible mating pairs of lynx during the breeding season earlier this year," Shenk said. "During May and June, we found 11 dens and a total of 30 kittens. At all of the dens, the females appeared in excellent condition, as did the kittens."
Most of the dens were found in the core habitat area of southwestern Colorado in extremely rugged, high-elevation Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir forests in areas of extensive downfall.
Shenk thinks there may be more kittens based on movements of females equipped with collars and tracks seen during the winter surveillance period. But on several occasions, the lynx mothers thought to have kittens kept one step ahead of the trackers. The ability of the kittens to climb trees and remain hidden may be one explanation, she said.
The DOW has released 167 lynx in Colorado since the reintroduction program began in 1999. Up to 50 more lynx will be released next year with another 15 each in 2006 and 2007.
"We are already working with officials in several Canadian provinces to arrange for the trapping and transport of lynx next winter," said Scott Wait, the DOW's area biologist in Durango. So far, lynx have come from British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, the Yukon Territory and Alaska.
Once lynx are captured, they are taken to a private wildlife rehabilitation facility near the San Luis Valley, said Chuck Wagner, a DOW area biologist in Monte Vista who coordinates agency efforts while lynx are held until their release.
"The facility has been critical in allowing us to hold lynx so we can be sure they're in peak condition when they are released," Wagner said.
Other major milestones in the effort include:
- confirming that lynx can be successfully held, then released;
- lynx finding adequate prey and establishing territories;
- mating behavior;
- the birth of kittens;
- the survival of kittens through their first year.
"We intend to continue this program to reestablish this native species in our state," said Bruce McCloskey, DOW director. "This recovery effort is the continuation of a century-old effort to protect and restore native wildlife and protect the habitat these species need to survive."
The Canada lynx is one of Colorado's most elusive native species. The tuft-eared cat closely resembles a bobcat, with well-furred paws for tracking through snow. Lynx historically have been found in Canada and the northern United States, including the central and southern Rocky Mountain regions.
Before the state's current reintroduction plan began, the last verified record of lynx detailed an illegal trapping of two cats near Vail in 1973. The Colorado Wildlife Commission listed the lynx as a state endangered species in 1975.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Lynx Restoration Project, please visit www.cwhf.info to donate by credit card. Or mail your check or money order to the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 211512, Denver, CO 80221. Help ensure a future for Colorado's wildlife.
Ducks Unlimited banquet set Sept. 25
The Pagosa Springs Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet and auction Saturday, Sept. 25.
The evening will begin with cocktails at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 and an auction at 7:30.
Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization that conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl.
Each year, over 100,000 acres of wetland habitat is lost in the United States. Since it's inception, Ducks Unlimited has enhanced and restored over 10 million habitat acres, encompassing over 18,600 wetland projects in the U.S.
These projects provide habitat for over 900 wildlife species, including ducks, geese, and endangered species like the whooping crane and bald eagle.
For ticket information, contact Nolan Fulton at 264-2660, Tracy Bunning at 264-2128, Doug Bryce at 264-2696, Monica Mayben at 731-1190 or Scott Kay at 264-4539.
Star spangled nights prove benefits of country living
By Chuck McGuire
I live in the country a few miles from town, and as I lay in bed the other night, a faint breeze carried the slightest chill through an open window near my pillow. A passing thunderstorm had dumped brief heavy rain earlier in the evening, and the cool air was fresh and fragrant, almost sweet, as I pulled the covers snug around my shoulders.
It was peaceful and quiet outside, but not totally silent, as a constant chorus of crickets and katydids rubbed their wings together with a familiar chatter intended to attract mates. In low flow, the muffled drone of the river was barely discernible as it made its way through the narrow channel flanking the land we call home. The only artificial sounds came from the infrequent passing of an automobile or truck on the highway across the river.
Like most nights while waiting to slip into slumber, I stared out the window at a star-spangled sky above. The storm had moved well to the east, but every now and then, a distant flash of lightning revealed large billowy clouds, apparently still lingering over the far horizon. Meanwhile, nearing its end of another cycle, the waning moon was beyond last quarter, and wouldn't rise for another couple of hours. It was dark out, and all was calm as I lay there, listening and watching.
Living out of town and away from city lights offers obvious advantages to those viewing the night sky, but another considerable benefit comes in its relative quiet. In town, among the masses, an unyielding flow of human activity invariably generates a loud and inescapable racket, often exemplified by the obnoxious roar of hopped-up engines, old pickups with poor exhaust, fancy Harleys, and huge diesel trucks. Amid the thriving honky-tonks, youthful nighttime traffic jams, and the periodic wail of emergency sirens, there can be no serenity. Only in a rural environment, away from the hive, can one find comparative quietude in a world increasingly raucous with civilized society.
So, while lying in bed in my home south of town, I listened, and studied the stars through my window. The glass was literally inches from my head, and with the day/night shade raised fully out of the way, my view encompassed a fairly broad reach of the heavens to the east.
At once, a dazzling blaze of light streaked overhead, ever so briefly reflecting its radiance on the forested slopes below. It was a magnificent sight, and as I lay there in absolute wonder, it occurred to me that it was mid-August, and the Perseid meteor shower should be reaching its peak.
The Perseids are an annual event which occurs as the earth moves through a particle stream orbiting the sun. Such streams are generally the result of a passing comet or asteroid, which gradually breaks up and sheds material ranging from dust to rocks the size of a marble. As the material enters the earth's atmosphere, it burns up, causing a momentary visual display.
The rate at which the Perseids fall is determined by the location of the comet, Swift-Tuttle, as the earth crosses its orbit. The closer Swift-Tuttle is to the earth, the higher the concentration of meteors. For instance, in the early 20th century, the peak rate was as low as four meteors per hour. But in 1993, when the comet was fairly close by, peak rates were between 200 and 500 meteors per hour.
Clearly, I did not see hundreds of meteors the other night, as I managed to stay awake for only about 45 minutes. But in that period of time, and in my limited field of view, I did see half-a-dozen or more, and a couple were fairly impressive. Of course, even when there are no meteor showers or other celestial events to capture my attention, just surveying the broad visible expanse of the Milky Way or some of the more prominent constellations, like Cassiopeia or Pegasus, is fascinating and always arouses my imagination.
Aside from the many wonders of the universe, other things outside my window keep me awake at night, even if I can't see them. For instance, later that same evening, as I stirred for whatever reason, the powerful scent of a skunk abruptly brought me to full consciousness, and I found myself sitting up and peering out the window to see where he might be. Unsurprisingly, I failed to locate him, but his "bouquet" was so intense, I was eventually moved to getting up and closing all the windows in the room.
There have been many nights, while lying in a state of somewhere between total awareness and unqualified sleep, when I've suddenly heard the deep resonant call of a Great Horned Owl through my screened opening above. When close by, perhaps even in the ponderosa pine just outside, I'll hear its low steady, "hooŠhoot hoot" for several minutes at a time. Occasionally, if I listen closely, I'll barely hear another, perhaps its mate, answer from some distance away. Eventually though, the large nocturnal birds of prey will fall silent, as their search for food inevitably takes priority to mating or territorial rituals.
Countless other sounds have beguiled me in the night, such as a pack of fervent and frenzied coyotes yowling to one another as they gather for the hunt. During the October rut, the eerie and incessant bugling of mature bull elk reverberates through the forests and high mountain meadows in a constant struggle to attract cows and intimidate male challengers. Even the lonesome bark of a domestic hound confined to some distant outdoor enclosure captivates me as I lay snug in my lair.
Without a doubt, the most intriguing affairs of my self-imposed insomnia are the summer midnight thunderstorms. If I'm still awake as a storm gathers strength, I will listen and observe until its peak has passed, and relative calm returns in the form of a steady downpour. If I am asleep, the variable roar of a rising wind, followed by blinding flashes and sharp claps of thunder, will surely awaken me. Almost immediately, I'll hear large drops of rain pelting the roof, and within moments, a brief torrential cloudburst typically follows. Such late-night squalls appear only rarely, but always provide grand audio and visual entertainment.
The natural world is filled with wonder and fulfillment, and the sights and sounds out my window at night add immeasurably to my own personal gratification. Sure, there was a time when hot classic cars, loud rock and roll, and nighttime social revelry allured me to town. But today, as with most as they grow older, I find it more a discordant diversion from the innate qualities I now enjoy through living in the country. Besides, when I actually choose to sleep, it's quiet enough that I can.
Blue grouse season opens Sept. 1
By Tom Carosello
Though fall will not officially begin for another four weeks, summer vacation for Pagosa Country's blue grouse populations will end Sept. 1.
That's the opening date for blue grouse season in Colorado this year, a season that will come to a close Nov. 10.
Area flocks are reportedly doing quite well, and hunters should have little difficulty locating birds, especially since they are often seen walking in plain sight along old logging roads near dawn and dusk.
The daily bag limit for blue grouse this year is three, with only game management units west of Interstate 25 open for hunting. This year's possession limit is nine birds.
Hunters are also reminded to obtain a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number before participating in this year's hunt. Hunters who do not have a HIP number may be warned and then ticketed for noncompliance with the program.
Hunters who do not have a HIP number for the 2004/2005 season can sign up by calling 1 (866) COLOHIP (265-6447) or obtain a number online by going to the Colorado HIP Web site at http://www.colohip.com. Once obtained, HIP numbers should be written in the space provided on 2004 licenses.
For hunters who are making this year's blue grouse season their first, the following is a breakdown of information provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Blue grouse are the second largest grouse in North America exceeded in size only by the sage grouse. Males are a slate-gray or bluish gray color as compared to females and juveniles which are a more mottled brown. Both sexes have a pale gray terminal band on their rounded or fan-shaped tail, but the band is more distinct in males.
Males weigh approximately three pounds, females and juveniles about two pounds. White markings are present on the flanks and under the tail feathers. Feathering extends to the base of the middle toe. Bare skin over the eyes of males is yellow to orange. Females have smaller areas of bare skin over the eyes. Males have white feathers surrounding the cervical sacs. The white feathers and cervical sacs are absent in females.
Blue grouse are considered forest grouse, but during different times of the year they utilize distinctly different habitat types. Blue grouse winter in the high country roosting and feeding in stands of Douglas fir and lodgepole pine.
In late March or early April, blue grouse leave the high country and move to their breeding grounds. They may breed in a variety of habitats, including subalpine meadows and creek bottoms. But their preferred breeding habitat is along the aspen sagebrush interface. East of the Continental Divide good densities of birds are found in these aspen sage areas. West of the divide, the highest densities of birds are found in areas where aspen and sagebrush combine with shrubs such as oak brush, serviceberry and chokecherry.
These areas remain moist throughout the summer and provide the forbs (low growing flowering plants such as clover and dandelion) and insects which are crucial to the success of the young.
Blue grouse courtship displays are not as centralized as sage or sharp-tailed grouse. Males defend territories and "display" by clapping wings, hooting, hopping and strutting with tail feathers fanned.
Females lay seven to nine eggs in ground nests under shrubs, trees or thick sagebrush. Hens raise the chicks in the breeding area for the remainder of the summer and into early fall. Males stay in the breeding areas until mid-July although they do not help rear young. This allows males to mate with females that lost clutches in early summer.
Sometime in mid-July, males move upslope to spend the remainder of the summer and early fall in the spruce-fir forest. Males move quickly from breeding habitat (6,500-8,500 feet) up to spruce-fir ridge tops (9,000-11,000 feet) with a vaccinium understory. Vaccinium, also known as blueberry or grouse whortleberry, is an important diet component for adult males in the fall.
When the adult males leave the breeding grounds they generally move into the highest forest available which has a vaccinium understory. They frequent the forest edges where they find a variety of foods. Males will stay here until late fall when the vaccinium drops its leaves and snow pushes them into their wintering grounds
Hens with chicks stay in sagebrush/aspen habitat until mid to late September. Unsuccessful hens may move up early like the males or may remain in the breeding areas. How long they stay depends on the amount of moisture. In a dry year, food is scarce so the hens and broods leave early. In wet years, broods may remain in breeding habitat into October. Upon leaving the breeding areas, hens and their broods move up to join the males in spruce-fir forest and move higher with the onset of winter.
Lower elevation: Hunt edges, benches and draws. Look for berry or mast producing shrubs such as chokecherry, serviceberry, elderberry, currant (ribes), and oak brush. Look for seeps and other water sources.
Higher elevations: get as high as you can and then hunt downward. Know your trees; lodgepole pine is too low, keep going to spruce/fir. Look for vaccinium with berries and high elevation forbs and/or pockets of insects. Look for sign such as feathers, droppings, tracks and dusting bowls.
A good bird dog is an asset in the sage/aspen areas. They aren't as much of an asset in the high country (where birds don't tend to hold a point) and can even hamper your hunting efforts.
For every bird you see, you've probably walked past five to 10. Blue grouse tend to be gregarious; where you find one bird there should be others nearby.
Fall turkey season opens Sept. 1
By Tom Carosello
Pagosa Country turkey hunters have less than a week to prepare for the second of Colorado's annual turkey seasons.
This year's fall season runs Sept. 1-Oct. 3, and an abundance of recent sightings in Archuleta County and neighboring counties suggest area flocks are both healthy and numerous.
In fact, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, statewide turkey populations are at an all-time high, and public lands in southwest Colorado boast the greatest numbers of native birds - the subspecies known as Merriam's turkeys.
Since Merriam's turkeys inhabit ponderosa pine, oak brush and pinon/juniper terrain at elevations averaging 6,500-8,500 feet, local hunters are afforded the chance to bag a turkey without wandering far from home.
The other subspecies of turkey in Colorado that is fair game during spring and fall seasons, the Rio Grande, was introduced from central plains states in 1980 and inhabits mainly riparian areas such as river bottoms located adjacent to agricultural areas.
While hunters were limited to harvesting only male turkeys during the spring season, bag and possession limit for the fall season is one turkey of either sex.
However, hunters who took two turkeys during the spring season in accordance with new state regulations cannot harvest a turkey during the fall season.
Another reminder - hunters who have purchased or plan to purchase unlimited licenses may hunt Sept. 1-Oct. 3 statewide except units that are totally closed to turkey huntng.
Units closed to all fall turkey hunting are: 1, 2, 15, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 36, 37, 44, 45, 47, 53, 63, 80, 81, 89, 90, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 100, 101, 102, 106, 111, 115, 120, 121, 138, 139, 201, 371, 444 and 471.
In addition, unlimited turkey licenses are not valid in units open only for limited fall turkey licenses listed in the brochure.
For specific information on limited turkey hunting units, see "Limited License Areas" on page 4 of the DOW's 2004 Turkey hunting brochure.
The following is a list of additional reminders and information for hunters who plan to participate in this year's fall turkey season:
- New for 2004 - state and federal laws now require hunters to provide their Social Security number when buying or applying for hunting licenses;
- You do not need to register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) to hunt turkeys in Colorado;
- State Wildlife Areas are closed to hunting;
- Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
For more information on this year's fall turkey season, pick up a copy of the regulations brochure at area sporting goods stores or any DOW office, call (303) 297-1192, or visit the DOW turkey hunting index online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/hunt/turkey/.
Forest Service plans prescribed burns near Pagosa Springs
Conditions permitting, the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest will do prescribed burning in the Kenney Flats area during the next few weeks.
The Kenney Flats prescribed fire area is southeast of Pagosa Springs and east of U.S. 84, between Blanco Basin and Buckles Lake Roads.
The intent is to burn up to 180 acres. This is a maintenance burn in an area that has been treated with prescribed fire three times since 1975.
Due to previous treatments, fuel levels have been reduced to allow burning during a period that more closely duplicates the timing of a natural fire.
Before any fire is ignited, all conditions described in an approved burn plan must be met. Those conditions include temperatures, fuel moisture level, wind predictions, smoke dispersal, and available crew, back-up crew and equipment.
Burns will be ignited and monitored by ground crews. The fires will be contained with natural and man-made firebreaks. The goal is to burn undergrowth and ground debris, but leave larger trees alive.
Areas along the Blanco River and in Coyote Park may be affected by smoke as smoke will travel to the northeast during the day and down slope along at night.
This project is part of the National Fire Plan underway across the nation to reduce the build-up of natural fuels and thus lower the intensity of wildfire behavior. Prescribed fire improves the health of ponderosa pine stands by reducing competition from Gambel oak, removing ground litter to expose mineral soil for seed germination, and releasing natural minerals and nutrients into the soil.
Local radio announcements will be made just prior to the beginning of the prescribed burning project.
For more information contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268 or stop by the office at 180 Pagosa St.
Noxious weed report slated for horsemen
The September meeting of Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at Calvary Presbyterian Church on Mill Street in downtown Bayfield.
Noxious weeds will be the topic in a program presented by Rod Cook, La Plata County weed manager. "Pretty can be pretty horrible when a noxious weed destroys a hay crop, kills horses or starves mountain goats," he points out.
This will be a good opportunity to learn to identify bad weeds and how to handle them.
Prospective members are encouraged to attend and join. The current membership totals 191.
Sign up for weekly fun rides at the meeting. The Oct. 7 meeting will be at the same location.
course tonight, tomorrow
Hunter education classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Aug. 25 and 26.
Class hours will be 6-10 p.m Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. Students must attend both sessions. Cost is $20 per person.
The course will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
The course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
All programs, services and activities of the DOW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Justin Krall, Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131 or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239.
To assure DOW can meet your needs, please notify any of the above at least seven days before the class.
Big game archery seasons open Saturday
Bow hunters get their chance for big game with the archery season opening Saturday.
Unlimited season for elk, deer and pronghorn, using only hand-held bows, continues in area hunting units through Sept. 26.
For bear hunters, the archery season is Sept. 2-26, unlimited for either sex in the hunting units all or partially in Archuleta County.
Advice to PLPOA
Now that the Board of County Commissioners has wisely postponed the proposal for a large increase in the tax base for road maintenance, PLPOA has the opportunity to become involved and be an effective representative of the Pagosa Lakes property owners.
The board of directors of PLPOA has asked "what can we (the board) do?" I would like to respectfully suggest the following:
By actively participating in the planning process for future road maintenance and/or construction, PLPOA can give the membership accurate information about what is being proposed as to means, methods and cost. This could assure an educated vote when and if the tax increase is proposed.
To accomplish this it would require adding to the PLPOA staff, perhaps an engineering tech, engineer in training or even an intern on a full- or part-time basis. This staff person could review the county's work product either with cooperation of the county or from available open records.
Availability of materials and the costs for engineering, planning and pre-bid preparation would be reviewed and presented to a PLPOA Roads Committee before bids were received and contracts awarded by the county.
Given the amount of work to be accomplished on the roads and very large dollar investment to pay for it, (Pagosa Lakes has less than 15 percent of the road mileage and pays 30 percent plus of the tax base), assuring that we get the biggest bang for the buck is a worthy investment of staff time and the minimal expense to PLPOA.
Dear Mr. Bennett:
Thank you for making your opinion plain. I was concerned, and now I know where you stand. Perhaps we both can dance on the head of a pin?
I do not think it is an overstatement to say that none of us (well, not you, obviously - I am speaking for myself and my friends) really like politicians. When faced with an election, whether local or national, we choose the least objectionable alternative or the candidate we most believe in.
I think I know who you most believe in. Thank you for sharing.
The reason I am writing is your comment about the radicals of the '60s having become the revisionists and dividers of the 21st century.
Well, sir, every younger generation (even yours, I think) has become the 'revisionists' of the next 30 or 40 years. That is how our country has grown and prospered.
When Ike was president, our America took off on an unprecedented growth spurt. I was a child then, and I remember when our telephone changed from telling the operator who we wanted to talk with, to actually dialing the person's number.
Then, in the '60s, national attention was turned to things like "one man, one vote." National attention turned to my brothers and sisters who served in Southeast Asia. National attention turned to a better way of using our clout in the world to better the state of mankind.
OK, there is a volume to be said here, and I will not go there.
I return to your revisionists and dividers comment.
Sir, we young people definitely are revisionists - and we are not dividers.
We are revisionist in that we have seen a bit of humanity at its best. The '60s, part of the '70s. The dream. And its worst, also. What we desire is for all of us to continue living to our best ability. What we revisionists want is for every person to grow into the best possible person they can be.
The "dividers" are you, sir. And the people who think as you do. We young people (I am 56 years old) do not have a problem with anyone becoming whatever they want to become, in whatever way they can.
Other than a political point, what is your problem with the upcoming generation?
What is wrong with being progressive (revisionist) or "divisive" from your perspective? From mine, inclusive! It is only "divisive" because you do not participate. We need your two cents worth. This is our country, young and old, and we all must work together to ensure its continuity.
I thank you for your letter to the editor, because it gave me pause to remember why I worked for my Uncle Sam for four years. I did it so people like you could write the kind of stuff you have written.
I guess I did my job pretty well.
Thank you for sharing.
George B. Gilmore
A woman told me she was going to vote for George Bush because "He's a Christian." This was a bit puzzling. I went to church as a child, and felt that many things Jesus said made a lot of sense. I was told Jesus was The Prince of Peace.
Bush claims to be "A war president." As I recall, Christ stressed "Blessed are the meek...," as opposed to "Bring it on" and "You're either with us or against us." Although "Love your enemies" or "Turn the other cheek" might not be terribly effective catch phrases in this political climate, they have been attributed to the leader Bush claims to follow.
And didn't Jesus say something about it being harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? And didn't he even suggest that the wealthy give everything to the poor? Of course, Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors, but wouldn't the general idea go rather contrary to Bush's economic programs and tax cuts, which make the rich even richer and the poor poorer?
The President cites his concern for "the sanctity of life" as the rationale for his opposition to stem cell research, abortion, and dissemination of vital reproductive information to women in third world countries.
Is only unborn life sacred? Didn't Texas governor Bush execute more prisoners than any governor in history? Hasn't the preemptive war in Iraq cost thousands of lives?
I'm sure many good Christians could point out passages in the Bible which would clarify my confusion, and explain to me what Jesus really meant when he said these things. But, in the meantime, I'm still puzzled.
A. John Graves
Sales tax shares
At the recent Pagosa Lakes Property Owners meeting a member mentioned the inequitable distribution of sales tax revenue between the county and town might be of concern in connection with road financing.
Terms of the present intergovernmental agreement divide sales tax revenue 50 percent county and 50 percent town.
The 4-percent county sales tax returned $2,462,113 to each for the year 2003, a total of $4,924,226. A rather respectable amount.
County population is about 11,000, including town population which is about 1,600 (C of C numbers). Fifteen percent of county residents benefit from 50 percent of the sales tax proceeds while 85 percent piddle along with the other 50 percent.
With a truly equitable division, the town would have received 15 percent or $738,634. With a suggested split of 75 percent county-25 percent town, that would have increased by 67 percent to $1,231,057. This 75-25 split would have given the county an additional $1,231,057 for road maintenance.
With tax revenue of this magnitude, and which can only increase, it is hardly out of line to urge the county commissioners to spend considerable time and effort toward changing the present 50-50 split to something more equitable to county residents living outside town limits.
They have the means to do this. The likely incoming commissioners should, also, take a close look at this situation. It seems the independent candidate has already pledged allegiance to the town mayor and probably couldn't help much.
To the Editor and citizens of SW Colorado:
Regardless of who we choose to support in the November presidential elections, citizens require a fair and reasonable discussion of the many critical issues facing our beloved United States. Citizens deserve an honorable campaign season.
Last week, a group of far-right Bush allies released an ad which claims John Kerry faked his injuries, betrayed his troops, and "dishonored his country" in Vietnam. The ad features people who say "I served with John Kerry" (although they didn't) and who make numerous provably false accusations about Kerry's war record.
(1) The "Swift Boat" ad is so far beyond the pale that even Senator John McCain, a Bush supporter, spoke out about it, calling it "dishonest and dishonorable."
(2) In a recent interview, Senator McCain noted that the ad "was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me" in 2000. McCain was referring to a vicious smear campaign - which included race-baiting allegations that he had a black child out of wedlock - run by close Bush allies in 2000. In fact, the same firm that ran some of the anti-McCain ads in 2000 produced the "Swift Boat" ad.
(3) Discussing the "Swift Boat" ad, McCain said, "I deplore this kind of politics." Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns (R) called the ad "trash" and even Pat Buchanan said "not a single charge is substantiated . . . I think the ad is wrong."
(4) Fact: Senator John Kerry is a man who volunteered to serve his country in Vietnam, a man to whom the United States Navy awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
It's clear that the ad continues the tradition of campaign dirty tricks. As voters, we need to send a clear message to candidates and the media who sell ad space and time to dishonest campaigners: Give us respect, discuss the critical issues with an agenda of integrity.
Cristy M. Holden
I was interested in the article on road maintenance which appeared in the Aug. 19 issue of The SUN. The need for repair on county roads was discussed in terms of a quality index which ranged from 1 to 100. The 100 was good, and apparently the county roads rated 40 to 50. On that basis, it was claimed that therefore it would take four or five times more money to bring the roads up to snuff.
Now, I'm not sure how the index varies or is calculated, but usually indices are linear in nature. Thus, the county roads at 40 or 50 are only 2 or 2.5 times less than the 100 index level, not four or five times.
It would appear the need for additional repair may be overstated somewhat. Anyway, the analysis was confusing to me and maybe to others and should be reviewed.
All the details about the Tour de France
By Kate Terry
The Tour de France 2004, the greatest cycling event in the world, was held just before the Olympic Games began. OLN, the Outdoor Living TV Network, carried the whole tour and according to the Nielsen Ratings, it was one of the most watched TV programs ever.
As in all sports, there are terms and rules, but no other sport lasts 21 days - 19 racing days and two rest days - as the Tour de France, and just casual TV tuning to the races can be confusing. So, with the help of Bob Roll's book, "Tour de France," here are some explanations.
Roll has ridden the Tour de France four times. He has helped announce the Tour for OLN since 2001, adding his expertise and humor to the program. He writes with the same flair.
The Tour de France lasts 21 days. It is not one race, but many races. Each day is a race.
It starts in northern France and makes a loop around the country, covering the lowlands, and into the Pyrenees Mountain and the Alps and finishes in Paris. It attracts thousands of people who arrive a week before the Tour begins to claim a spot along the route. They pass the time partying, dancing, etc. Preceding the racers is a carnival-type parade of theme-decorated floats and lots of freebies thrown out. There is music and lots of noise and support cars for the teams - cars with food, bicycles, water, etc.
The pack of riders is called the "peloton." A "break away" is when several riders break away from the pack to take the lead. "Attach" is when a racer makes a sudden move from within the pack to get to the head of the pack.
A team is made up of nine riders. One is a "designated rider" and the others are there to assist. They have been selected to do certain duties. One may be a climber and others act as wind buffers for the designated rider, etc. Most teams are sponsored. The U.S. Postal Service sponsors the U.S. Team. Lance Armstrong has been the designated rider and he has just won his sixth Tour de France.
There is a courtesy standard amongst the riders. When a rider falls (for some reason or the other) the other racers slow down to give the fallen rider a chance to get back in the race.
About the race, sportswriter Red Smith, covering the 1960 Tour for the New York Herald-Tribune wrote - "Š The government could fall, and even the recipe for sauce bearnaise be lost, but if it happened during the Tour de France, nobody would notice."
Points are given for each race and shirts of certain colors are passed to the riders who gain the necessary points to wear them. The green jersey goes to the rider who wins the most points in the Tour. The polka dot jersey is the best climber prize. And the white jersey is for the best rider under the age of 25. The yellow jersey goes to the leader - the winner of the Tour de France.
This most grueling sport helped to unite Europe following World War II. It has clout!
To really learn about the Tour de France, I urge you to read Bob Roll's book.
Money donations are badly needed for Hurricane Charlie relief. If you would like to donate, call the American Red Cross Southwest Colorado Chapter at 259-5383 or mail to P.O. Box 2552, Durango, CO 81302. Pagosa Springs is under the Southwest Colorado Chapter.
Fun on the run
Early in their marriage, the husband did something really stupid. His wife chewed him out for it. He apologized and they made up.
However, from time to time, the wife mentioned what he had done. "Honey," the man finally said one day, "why do you keep bringing that up? I thought your policy was 'forgive and forget.'"
"It is," she said. "I just don't want you to forget what I've forgiven and forgotten."
No cowboy poetry, but game day is growing in popularity
By Laura Bedard
The cowboy poetry didn't happen this week, but we are hoping to have Bill Downey back soon to recite words of beauty. If you see him, please encourage him to come visit us at the Senior Center.
Game Day continues to grow. We had quite a few people in for Bingo and a few others tried their hand at other games as well. From now on, we will try Game Day on the first Tuesday of the month, so next month we'll have it Sept. 7. Check it out.
We'll be celebrating birthdays Aug. 27 - so if you have a birthday in August, come in for lunch and we'll be serving cake as well. All seniors get a birthday card and we'll sing to you as well. Celebrate with us.
Our last ice cream social of the summer will be Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. We will have vanilla ice cream and basic toppings, but some people like to bring their own toppings for fun. Ice cream is only 50 cents and we're pleased to announce that Susy Long and Judy Patton will be here to sing for us, as the "Sounds of Assurance." With a title like that, who wouldn't want to hear them sing? Come join us.
A representative of the Southwest Center for Independence will be here Sept. 1 to give a short talk at lunch about visual aids.
Do you want to get rid of old health aids? Old walkers, toilet lifts, crutches etc. take up room and someone else might need them. We can't take it, but we can list your items in our newsletter or in this SUN column to help you pass on this stuff to someone who needs it. Clean out your closets and give us a call.
We are looking for a volunteer with a CDL with a passenger endorsement to drive our seniors to occasional special events. This is a wonderful opportunity to have fun with seniors. For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.
Do you have any videos you would like to pass along? Our video library is shrinking, but we still have people interested in borrowing movies. If you want to share your movies, bring them in to our office.
Southwest Center for Independence in Durango wants to start a senior blind support group to learn and discuss the problems and the things that help when you have a vision loss. If you are interested in forming a group that meets in Pagosa once a month, please tell Musetta or Laura at the "Den" or call Gail in Durango at 259-1672.
Subject: Brass Monkey
In the heyday of sailing ships, all warships and many freighters carried iron cannons.
Those cannon fired round iron cannonballs. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?
The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on 16.
Thus, a supply of 30 cannonballs could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem - how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others.
The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a "monkey." But if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys. Few landlubbers realized that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"!
And all this time, you thought that was a vulgar expression, didn't you?
Friday, Aug. 27 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate August birthdays, noon; pinochle, 1 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 30 - Medicare and drug card counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; ice cream social, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 1 - SW Center for Independence Talk, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 3 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 27 - Braised beef, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, tossed salad, whole wheat roll and fruit cups.
Monday Aug. 30 - Ground beef and macaroni, garden salad, biscuit, and baked pear with raspberry sauce.
Tuesday, Aug. 31 - Lemon chicken, oven potatoes, broccoli, whole wheat roll and chocolate pudding.
Wednesday, Sept. 1 - Barbecue chicken, oven baked potato, broccoli, whole wheat roll and chocolate pudding.
Friday, Set. 3 - Beef stew with vegetables, mixed green salad, biscuit, and fruit parfait.
Unexpected roadblocks necessitate redesign
By Lenore Bright
Many unexpected roadblocks have resulted in our building having to be redesigned.
The problems include the flood plain, variances, easements, the unexpected sewer, the culvert containing McCabe Creek among other things -- the list goes on and on.
Anyway, the builder, architect and the board are close to a new plan. We are still optimistic we can break ground soon. Keep tuned, we should know something next week.
Our special thanks to Don Heitkamp who is volunteering his time to oversee the project for the board of trustees.
We've received $175,000 from an Energy Impact Grant from the Colorado Division of Local Government and $100,000 from the Colorado Gates Family Foundation toward our project. This is the Gates Rubber Company, not Bill Gates. Bill gave us two computers two years ago.
We're proud to be helping the Humane Society sell their new cookbook. We especially enjoy the cover photograph by Jeff Laydon.
Congratulations to Lynn Constan and her committee for this collection of treasured recipes. Pick up several copies of the book for your holiday shopping.
While I am against touting the many fad diet books, we have a nutrition book that does deserve your attention if you are looking at healthy eating that might result in weight loss.
It is "Nobody Knows the Calories I've Seen," by Arthur Sturges.
Charles Osgood of CBS had this to say about Sturges: "As a life long soldier in the Battle of the Bulge, I have never had much use for the preachings of thin-lipped (and thin-hipped) ascetics. But here is Arthur Sturges, clearly a man after my own heart. Like me, he used to be on the 'see food' diet. Every time he'd see food, he'd eat it. But he's lost more than a hundred pounds, still loves his food, but loves his life even more. His book tells you how he did it, and how you and I can do it too."
Sturges is a former chef who shares some of his best recipes he's re-engineered to be healthy and still tasty. The author has some positive yet realistic suggestions that can help us change our eating habits. The author implores us to understand we are grossly overweight, unhealthy and uninformed. "We have surpassed couch potato status and become rooted to the furniture and the TV."
He believes we are naive victims of multimillion dollar industries made up of food manufacturers, advertisers and health care companies. "We're fat fools surviving on the typically American diet of misinformation covered in a glaze of exaggeration with just a dash of truth." Sturges believes we are killing our children as well as ourselves. "We spend a fortune on medical research to prevent heart attacks and strokes, yet we ignore the findings and continue to eat in dangerous ways."
Sturges presents the "Triple D Theory," diets, denial and disappointment - and how an accurate understanding of calories, fats and cholesterol relates to your good health and staying alive. He recommends moderation and a positive way to change our habits.
"The New Flooring Idea Book," by Regina Cole helps create style from the ground up as you assess what you have and decide whether to replace, repair or redesign your floor. You will find all you need to know about the newest types of flooring that include bamboo, concrete and even leather.
New CDs available
We probably have about 50 of the new music CDs left that can be had for bargain prices. Come look over the collection.
Computer use up
We enjoy meeting all of the traveling folks who stop by to check their e-mail. They come from all over the world. They travel from library to library keeping in touch with friends and family back home.
Our computers are kept busy all day long. Most users understand and abide by the rules and are pleasant. However, there are a few who don't believe they should have to cooperate and are downright rude when asked to do so.
Computer use is definitely a privilege. We will not tolerate abusive behavior on the part of those taking advantage of this privilege.
I will use this opportunity to announce publicly that, in the future, anyone who harasses the staff or acts in an abusive manner will be asked to leave, all computer privileges will be canceled, and the police may be contacted.
Thanks for donations to the building fund from Rowena Adamson, Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Sheets, Don and Ethel Rasnic in memory of Helen Gallegos Tabor.
Seeking the unique gift? Auction for the Animals may have the right one
By Sally Hameister
This Friday, Aug. 27, is the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs' 10th annual Auction for the Animals at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, starting at 5:30 p.m.
As always, you will find the most intriguing and unique items imaginable just awaiting your bid.
The range of offerings always just blows my mind with everything from a lot in Texas, a flight in a biplane, a pool table, a watercolor of your pet, autographed celebrity and author items to die for to a guitar and a Clint Black autographed denim shirt worn during a concert (has it been washed, or would the potential buyer like it as is?).
For our local lovers of Fred Harman - and what's not to love? - there will be not only a framed print, but a denim jacket sporting an embroidered replication of a Red Ryder comic book cover with 192,371 stitches (that's over a mile of thread) in 15 colors. This K.K. Paddywhacks work of art took over 35 hours to digitize and six hours to embroider. The lucky winner will be hard pressed to decide whether to wear it or frame it.
Along with all these wonderful items, you will find gourmet hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer and some outstanding company. Be sure and pick up your tickets before the end of day today to save some dough - they will be more expensive at the door. Hope to see you all the community center at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
City Market closure
Please keep in mind that the Country Center City Market will be closed for remodeling from 5 p.m. Friday through Tuesday, Aug. 31. Pharmacy customers may pick up their prescriptions Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at the front of the store. Their official grand opening will be Wednesday, Sept. 1, and they look forward to serving you beginning at 6 a.m. that day.
Whistle Pig concert
The Hudsons are proud to announce that Bruce Hayes will perform at the next Whistle Pig Concert in their home at 446 Loma Street Sunday, Aug. 29, beginning at 7 p.m.
Bruce Hayes is a mandolin and guitar wizard who has been referred to as "the Jimi Hendrix of the mandolin" so he has to be some kinda wonderful. The suggested donation of $10 will include not only the quirky, high-energy renderings of Mr. Hayes, but coffee, tea and homemade desserts at intermission.
Reservations are strongly encouraged and you may do so by calling Clarissa at 264-2491.
Four Corners Folk Fest
The fabulous Four Corners Folk Festival is just around the corner with another astonishing list of performers which includes some of Pagosa's very favorites from past years and some new folks that will boggle the mind. I'm just sorry that my daughter can't come in from Portland to hear one of her all-time favorite female songstresses, Gillian Welch, but life isn't perfect.
The Festival opens with a big bang with local darlings, the Pagosa Hot Strings, at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, and ends with the crowd-pleasing Tim O'Brien Band performance at 8:30 p.m. Sunday Sept. 5.
You can grab a complete performance schedule at the Visitor Center or go online at www.folkwest.com for more information. Local ticket outlets are Moonlight Books in downtown Pagosa and WolfTracks Coffee Company and Bookstore on the west side.
Rest assured that Crista and Dan of FolkWest continue to raise the bar every year bringing in bigger and better names to create an even more awesome festival. Like fine wine, this festival just gets better and smoother with each and every year.
Sidewalk Saturday Sale
In conjunction with the FCFF, we at the Chamber have established another tradition that is always fun and one that I think our festival folks have come to anticipate and appreciate, the Sidewalk Saturday Sale.
This is a simple plan, but one that offers the opportunity for significant savings to customers and a chance for local merchants to usher out the summer inventory to make way for the fall and winter.
Locals have been known to take advantage of the considerable savings opportunities available to them on this Saturday as well as the chance to be outside and check out all the offerings from the far west of town to the far east of town.
All the member merchants are invited to participate, so chances are that your favorite store will offer some bodacious bargains on that day. Go out there and spend/save some money and enjoy yourselves.
Leading Edge training
Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, is looking for a few good entrepreneurs to join him for the Leading Edge Entrepreneurial Training in Pagosa Springs beginning Wednesday, Sept. 15, 6-9 p.m.
This is an intense 12-week program designed to encourage business expansion in the community. Topics will include planning and research, marketing, managing your money, better business practices and creating business plans.
Tuition for this course is $285 or $395 if you're pursuing college credit. You can give us a call at 264-2360 or Joe Keck in Durango at 247-7009.
The Alzheimer's Association will hold it's first Memory Walk in Pagosa Springs Saturday, Sept. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. in Town Park.
To get information about forming a team, incentives and schedules, contact Ernie or Diane locally at 731-4330 or at www.coloradomemorywalk.org. Call them today and get an early start for your team!
ColorFest Fall Ball
Doug gave you a heads-up last week on the upcoming annual ColorFest celebration which will take place next month with all the balloon grandeur and beauty along with the predictable fun and silliness of the Wine and Cheese Tasting with this year's theme, "Fall Ball - Leaf Your Troubles Behind."
Mark your calendars for the weekend of Sept. 17-19 and consider what it is that you might want to wear. Again, this is one of those Chamber deals where you are invited to wear anything at all that makes you comfortable and also encouraged to dress to theme if you choose. Since we're calling it a "Ball" you can dress up if you like in all the vibrant fall colors or wear jeans and a tee shirt if that's what floats your boat.
The Wine and Cheese Tasting takes place in the Chamber parking lot 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, and the ColorFest Community Picnic and Concert will be 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Extension building.
We are so pleased once again to welcome the Bluegrass Cadillac to entertain at the picnic because so many of you enjoyed them so much last year.
Add in mass ascensions of hot air balloons on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a balloon glow after the picnic and you've got a weekend to remember.
We'll be passing on more info in the weeks to come, so stay tuned and plan to attend.
Next week's column will include information about two more events that will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, along with the Alzheimer's Walk.
Look for info on the American Red Cross adult CPR class offered in conjunction with National Preparedness Month and an old-fashioned church fair, the Shamrock Festival hosted by St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. Pay attention kids, and join us again next week.
What a pleasure it is to award gold stars and SunDowner passes to Kathryn Heilhecker and Lyn DeLange of the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service for recruiting three of this week's four new members. Wow, we can't thank you enough, ladies, and encourage you to keep up the good work in bringing new faces and new talents to the Chamber of Commerce. Ann Graves also earned high marks and a pass this week for her recruiting efforts and we couldn't be more pleased. Ann also serves as a Chamber Diplomat, so she gets an extra hug for acting as a volunteer and recruiter. Once again, we at the Chamber get by with a lot of help from our friends.
We are especially happy to welcome our first new members, Sally and Mark Leavitt, because they are old friends of the Chamber who left town and have returned with the Downside Moose Restaurant in the Mountain Run Center at 565 Village Drive. Those of you who have been here for a few years will remember that Sally and Mark owned and operated the Moose River Pub for a number of years before they departed Pagosa. They're back and continuing the delicious Moose tradition of great steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads and their ever-so-famous chimichangas. They also offer a full bar and welcome reservations which you can secure by calling them at 731-3677. Welcome back, Sally and Mark. We are grateful to Kathryn, Lyn and Bill Goddard for suggesting Chamber membership to these good folks and passes are in the mail.
Jim Klaproth joins us next with Aspen Home Loans at 48 Grenadier Place. The folks at Aspen Home Loans specialize in 100-percent loans for first-time homeowners and stated income and no doc refinance loans, construction loans and lot loans. I especially like Jim's e-mail site email@example.com, or you can reach him by phone at 731-9855 or cell 749-3955.
Kathryn Saley is new member No. 3 who joins us with P.R.E.C.O., Inc. at 65 Twincreek Circle. P.R.E.C.O., Inc. offers plumbing and heating services and is fully licensed and insured. Their commitment to excellence is in force 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with both scheduled and emergency services. You can reach them at 731-9809, cell 946-6646 or after hours at 385-8126.
Welcome to Jan and Don Aarvold who join us this week as associate members thanks to the efforts of Kathryn Heilhecker. We're grateful to all three of these fine people.
Our renewals this week include Connie Giffin with Mountain Classic Mortgages; Joy Downing with Joy's Natural Foods; Linda Sapp with Loma Clay Works; Ray Ball with Abracadabraat; John Weiss with Navajo State Park in Arboles; our old buddy, Mike Alley with La Plata Electric Association; Daniel and Linda Pruss with the Riverbend Resort located in South Fork; Tim Horning with Southwest Custom Builders; Terri House with The Pagosa Springs SUN; Judy Nicholson with Civil Design Team, Inc.; Marsha Preuit with The Spa @ Pagosa Springs; Jennifer Martin with The Rising Stars of Pagosa Springs; Gwen Williams with KZRM-FM, 95.9 Radio located in Chama; Frances Martinez with Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association; and Janele Karas with Pacific Auction Exchange in the Greenbrier Shopping Center.
Our associate member renewals this week include our long-time supporters, friends and Diplomats Ron and Sheila Hunkin and Ron and Cindy Gustafson. Thanks for another year of service and support, good friends.
VA letters, forms can be confusing
By Andy Fautheree
I urge all of our veterans and VA beneficiaries to contact me if they receive VA forms or letters and are unsure how to respond to them. I may be able to save you much needless time and trouble.
Often these letters are VA computer-generated letters asking for information or filing of an attached form. These letters come from many sources such as national VA offices, Albuquerque VAMC, contract VA facilities or the VA Regional Office in Denver if it pertains to a VA claim.
Lately I have seen a number of letters being sent to Archuleta County veterans from the Health Centers of Northern New Mexico (HCNNM) in Espanola. The letters say the veteran must submit a "Means Test" and take a complete physical at the Espanola Medical Center or they could be dropped from the VA health care system. This is a very misleading letter.
I enrolled a number of veterans from Archuleta County through HCNNM a couple of years ago when we did not have the Durango VA Clinic and the Farmington VA Clinic was closed to new patients (at that time). This was our only option at the time and once enrolled with HCNNM the veteran could be seen at the Chama Community Clinic, which is under HCNNM.
What the letter doesn't tell the veteran is that he can fill out the Means Test form without traveling to Espanola, which is a significant trip with the cost of fuel these days.
In fact, since I enrolled virtually every one of these veterans I have their application forms in my computer. All I have to do is update the financial information and fax the form to Albuquerque VAMC. Takes only a few minutes and saves a needless 200-mile plus trip to Espanola.
Many of those HCNNM enrollees have since transferred to the Durango VA Clinic. Some of those who transferred are still getting these letters from HCNNM. So it can be very confusing and misleading.
Another part of the letter tells the veteran he must make an appointment at Espanola for a complete physical to stay in the VAHC system or he could be dropped from active patient status. Or at least something like that. I don't have a copy of the letter in front of me.
Veterans still receiving their VAHC at Chama are used to making that short trip, not all the way to HCNNM Espanola. So why the sudden change of VA services from Chama to Espanola?
VA computer links
HCNNM tells me Chama does not have a direct computer link to the VA, which I knew. Only the HCNNM Espanola office has such a link since they contract to provide VAHC services and is not a direct VA owned facility. The medical personnel at Chama are unable to enter the patient notes directly into the computer and must send these notes to Espanola for entry. This takes times and causes some delays.
Apparently, for routine patient visits at Chama for prescription renewals and checkups, the veteran can still go to Chama. But for higher-level examinations, blood workups, mental health evaluation and the like, the veteran must now travel to the medical facility in Espanola. Specialist care must still be scheduled with Albuquerque VAMC.
Transfer to Durango
In my estimation it makes more sense for our Archuleta County veterans to transfer to the Durango VA Clinic. A complete physical with the above criteria can be obtained at Durango, with much less travel and cost. To transfer to Durango a patient need only call the Durango clinic and request to transfer and schedule their next appointment at that facility.
HCNNM Espanola and Durango VA Clinic share the same computer database out of Albuquerque. So, there is no problem with patient information exchange.
The problem of traveling to Albuquerque VAMC is the same regardless of which VA Clinic the veteran is being seen at. You still have to go to Albuquerque for high-level specialist care.
No accommodations now
That burden has intensified since Albuquerque VAMC recently and suddenly stopped providing overnight accommodations to all patients except in very limited exceptions such as examinations for VA Compensation or Pension Claims scheduled by the Denver Regional Office. Even 100 percent service-connected disabled veterans who need to travel to Albuquerque for appointments must provide their own lodging now.
The trip is 535 miles or so round trip, almost an impossibility to travel to and from in one day adding the usual amount of time for the health care appointment. Certainly that difficulty is magnified if the veteran is in poor health or has very limited financial resources.
I have written letters to the director of Albuquerque VAMC strongly protesting their new policies, with copies of those letters going to several high ranking VA and elected officials.
I suggest veterans from here who feel as strongly about the accommodation dilemma as I do may also want to write letters of complaint. Call me if you need the names and address of the proper officials.
Durango VA Clinic
The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, Colorado 81301. Phone number is 247-2214.
For further information
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. Office number is 264-8375, fax is 264-8376, e-mail is afautheree@ archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Arts consortium conference coming to Pagosa
By Leanne Goebel
Special to The PREVIEW
"Pagosah" is a Ute word meaning healing or boiling waters, and Pagosa is a fitting location to host the Colorado Arts Consortium Annual Conference: Healing the Arts in Colorado.
With drastic cuts in funding and a sluggish economy, arts organizations statewide are struggling to make ends meet. Founded in 1978, the Colorado Arts Consortium's (CAC) vision is to integrate the arts into the core of community life because the arts are essential to the development of the human spirit and potential. CAC brokers ideas, resources, and services among communities, organizations, and individuals.
This year, CAC is brokering the idea of sustainability. Keynote speaker for Healing the Arts in Colorado is Russell Willis Taylor, president of National Arts Strategies, Inc. which has been investing in the leaders of arts organizations for 20 years. Founded by the Ford, Rockefeller and Mellon Foundations, NAS helps strengthen communities of arts organizations and brings new approaches into the field.
In their leadership development programs, arts executives explore the toughest challenges facing organizations today, and learn from some of the top business school faculty in the United States. Over 1,500 executives, board members, and staff from over 500 arts and cultural organizations in the United States and Australia have attended NAS seminars. Their programs bring people together across the country and in communities to help fuel the conversation among arts executives, board members, and funders, and to help them to take a fresh look at their organizations.
Russell Willis Taylor has been working in the arts and not-for-profit sector for over 20 years, in strategic business planning, financial analysis, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she started her career in the arts as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 to work with the English National Opera. Taylor lectured at graduate programs throughout Britain, held a number of non-executive director posts in the commercial sector, and worked on a broad range of projects including the establishment of a private foundation for the arts, and helping Diana, Princess of Wales, establish the National Aids Trust.
In 1997, she rejoined the ENO as Managing Director. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts as well as the recipient of the first Garrett award in Britain, an annual recognition of an individual's outstanding contribution to the arts, and returned to the United States in 2001 to take up the post of President and CEO of National Arts Strategies.
Healing the Arts in Colorado will also include Elaine Mariner, executive director of the Colorado Council on the Arts; Cheryl Bezio-Gorham, program director for CANPO; Jim Copenhaver, chairman, Arts for Colorado; and Jim Morris, consultant for Bristlecone Learning, LLC. Panel discussions on the do's and don'ts of capital campaigns; workshops on grant writing, mission, vision and planning; and board development are part of the day-long program.
Who should attend? Anyone who is passionate about art and culture and the impact it can have on a community. Leaders of arts and cultural organizations, volunteers, directors, administrators, staff, board members, artists, performers, writers - anyone who wants to help heal the arts in Colorado.
The conference is a one-day event Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Cost for member organizations is $50 for the first participant and $25 for each additional participant from the same organization. This includes lunch and a reception hosted by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at the gallery in Town Park.
For nonmember organizations the cost is $80 for the first participant and $55 for each additional participant from the same organization. This includes lunch and a one-year individual membership in Colorado Arts Consortium, which includes a free "base-membership" to Americans for the Arts.
Registration forms can be downloaded from the CAC Web site at http://coloradoartsconsortium.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Leanne at (970) 731-1841 for more information.
Opportunities for artists
I hope all the oil painters, watermedia artists, drawing aficionados and pastel artists are preparing to enter their work in the first Juried Painting and Drawing Show at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Sept. 2-28.
Juror for this event is nationally recognized fine artist and illustrator, Pierre Mion. Mion's work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in the NASA fine arts collection and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection. He has been widely published in National Geographic, the Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science, and Reader's Digest. Thanks to the sponsorship of Herman Riggs and Associates, $1,000 in prizes and merchant awards will be presented.
All work must be original in concept and created without the assistance of an instructor. All work must be dry, properly framed and wired for hanging; exceptions are allowed for work specifically intended to be unframed. Size is limited to 40 x 40, including mat and frame. Limit of two entries per artist. All entries must be for sale. PSAC will retain 30-percent commission on all sales.
To enter, fill out an entry form and attach it to the artwork. Please mask the artist signature on the artwork in preparation for judging.
Drop off the artwork and entry fee at the gallery in Town Park on Monday, Aug. 30. Entry fee for PSAC members is $15 for one entry and $25 for two entries. Non-members pay $20 for one entry and $30 for two. Make checks payable to PSAC.
Artists will be notified Sept. 1 if their work has been accepted. Unaccepted work will need to be picked up from the arts and crafts space at the community center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 2. Judges' awards will be announced at a reception for the artists Thursday, Sept. 2, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery in Town Park. A people's choice award will be announced at the close of the show Sept. 28. Artists will receive payment for work sold by Oct. 15.
The prospectus is now available at the gallery in Town Park and posted on the PSAC Web site at www.pagosa-arts.com.
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.
"Poems of the Brush" with Sharri Lou Casey, Sept. 13-17 - a five-day workshop, in plein air and studio painting at Blanco Dove. Sharri Lou Casey is a dancer, choreographer and costume designer who retired at the age of 30 from that career to focus on her desire to paint. She studied at the University of California, NYU, and the University of New Mexico. Through painting she hopes to open the eyes of the viewer to a deeper sense of beauty and spiritual awareness. The cost is $458 and includes meals. Contact Betty Slade at 264-2824 or email@example.com.
"Hidden in the Ordinary, Seen in his Glory," the 2004 Christian Artist and Writer's Retreat, Sept. 24-27, hosted by Blanco Dove Ministries in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and the Southwest Christian Writers Association. Workshops on sketchbook journaling by Sharri Lou Casey, writing by Lauraine Snelling and Jan Jonas (editor of the Albuquerque Tribune), poetry with Connie Peters and special guest speakers: Steve Oelschlaeger, Lynne Cumming, and Betty Lucero. For more information contact Betty Slade at 264-2824 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the Blanco Dove Web site at www.whisperingdove.org.
Workshop ideas wanted
The calendar of events is getting shorter which signifies fall is approaching.
Submit your workshop ideas, proposals and recommendations to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and let's fill out that calendar!
Gallery gift shop
The gift shop at the gallery in Town Park is available to local artisans. Please consider consigning your original work in our store.
Contact PSAC at 264-5020 for more information.
Opportunities for artists
Arts Perspective magazine is looking for artists interested in painting, designing, decorating or embellishing a newspaper rack. If you visit the Steamworks Brewery in Bayfield, you will find an exciting, original work of art by Tirzah Comacho.
In exchange for your talent, Arts Perspective is offering a quarter page ad in an upcoming issue. For more information, contact Heather Leavitt at (970) 739-3200.
Pumas on Parade will use the display of painted life-size pumas to both showcase the work of artists and highlight the importance of careful stewardship of our vulnerable public lands.
With seed money from the National Endowment for the Arts and USDA Forest Service Rural Communities Initiative Grant, the project will build strategic partnerships among artists, businesses, communities and public land managers. Timed to help celebrate the San Juan National Forest Centennial in 2005, the painted sculptures will debut in local downtown areas next summer.
Pumas on Parade is open to creative people working in all mediums: from the celebrated to the emerging artist, the professional to the amateur. Youths as well as adults are invited to submit designs. Artists can go to www.sjma.org to download the images and information forms. Or call Felicita Broennan at (970) 533-0241 for more information. Designs must be received by Sept. 28. Sculptures will be delivered to the chosen artists no later than Jan. 1.
Through Aug. 31-Watercolor Exhibit with Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and Students.
Sept. 2-28 - Juried Painting and Drawing Exhibit at PSAC Gallery in Town Park.
Sept. 3 - "Eclectic" reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.
Sept. 3-Oct. 2 - "Eclectic," DAC Members Exhibit, Durango Arts Center.
Sept. 11 - Colorado Arts Consortium: Healing the Arts in Colorado annual conference.
Sept. 13-17 - "Poems of the Brush" with Sherry Lou Casey at Blanco Dove.
Sept. 24-27 - "Hidden in the Ordinary: Seen in His Glory" Christian Artist and Writer's Retreat at Blanco Dove.
Sept. 30 - Pumas on Parade design deadline.
Oct. 1-3 - SW Colorado Community Theatre Festival in Pagosa Springs, sponsored by Music Boosters.
Oct. 5-Trio Exhibit, reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.
Oct. 5-30 - Trio Exhibit: Joycelyn Audette, Katherine Barr, and Lisa Pedolsky at Durango Arts Center.
Nov. 5 - "Outsider Art: Visions from the Edge," reception with the artists, Durango Arts Center 5-7 p.m.
Nov. 5-Dec. 10 - "Outsider Art: Visions from the Edge," at Durango Arts Center.
Ute Mountain dancers perform at Navajo Lake
The Ute Mountain Manning Family Dancers will perform at the Navajo Lake Visitor Center Pavilion 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4.
The group was invited to perform at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Kid's Korner Krafts will precede the dancing and singing at 5 p.m. Both events are free with parks pass. Call the park office for information at 883-2208.
Two new bands added to lineup
By Christa Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
Just one more week until the gates open on the 2004 Four Corners Folk Festival.
The three-day event will take place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5, on Reservoir Hill.
Two new bands have been added to the lineup - The Old Crow Medicine Show and We're About 9.
Old Crow is not the only band playing pre-World War II blues, fiddle tunes, rags, hollers, hokum and jug band music, but they do so with a brazenness born of growing up around AC/DC, Nirvana and Public Enemy.
The fiery result equally impresses fussy old-time music scholars; fellow modern day roots musicians and fans who forage on the frontiers of hip. These five young men from four different states joined forces in New York and lit out gypsy style while still learning their instruments and repertoire.
They rambled town-to-town across Canada in a van, playing for food and shelter. They settled for a year in the mountains of North Carolina, where their knowledge of old-time string band music blossomed and their loyalty to one another deepened. O.C.M.S. members have no illusions that they're rediscovering the music of the pre-War era; many of the songs they hold dear aren't being released for the first time but being reissued for the umpteenth time. But by reinterpreting and reintroducing this canonical American music to new generations, they're feeding a deep cultural hunger.
Old Crow's assets go far deeper than the songs themselves. It's an unbridled spirit, played live and loud across the nation, in a voice that's entirely their own. The band has been touring extensively with Gillian Welch and will be opening for her at 3:45 p.m. on the main stage Saturday.
We're About 9 is a trio focused on complex songwriting and big wall-of-sound harmonies. They take turns on lead vocal, all sing on every song, and accompany their voices with thoughtfully conceived acoustic guitar and electric base.
Katie Graybeal, Pat Klink and Brian Gundersdorf exploded on to the folk circuit in 2003 with an unequivocal buzz, a load of festival appearances, and a relentless arsenal of charm, energy and intelligence. Simultaneously playing and writing for a diverse, intelligent audience is what has given this trio a distinctive, edgy, fun, articulate, professional style.
We're About 9 will play twice during the festival: Friday at 5:15 p.m. on the main stage and a late night set 10 p.m. Saturday on the Nechville Summit Stage.
Much like Lyle Lovett, singer-songwriter Mark Erelli immerses himself in vintage twang without abandoning his contemporary sensibility and the heartfelt, thoughtful lyrics more commonly associated with folk music. Erelli has always had a little Austin in his Boston blood. On his newest release, Hillbilly Pilgrim, he takes the plunge previously only hinted at, unveiling an entire album of western swing originals.
Back in the 30s and 40s, crowds flocked to dance halls to hear music that combined big-band jazz with country instrumentation. Though branded "hillbilly," innovators like Bob Wills and Hank Thompson were jazz-quality virtuosos who devised their own sophisticated forms and styles.
Hillbilly Pilgrim finds Erelli putting a new spin on this old music a style that fits hand in hand with the Four Corners Folk Festival tradition. Mark will make his debut with backup band The Spurs at 12:15 p.m. Sunday on the main stage.
Eileen Ivers is not new to the area, with a dazzling debut at the 2002 Four Corners Folk Festival and a stellar show last April at the Fort Lewis Concert Hall under her belt. Those who saw either one of those shows are anxiously awaiting her return to the lineup this year.
Once you see Eileen Ivers in concert, she will change the way you think about the violin. It is a rare and select grade of spectacular artists whose work is so boldly imaginative and clearly virtuosic that it alters the medium. The task of respectfully exploring the traditions and progression of the Celtic fiddle is quite literally on Eileen Ivers' shoulders.
She's been called a "sensation" by Billboard magazine and "the Jimi Hendrix of the violin" by The New York Times. "She electrifies the crowd with a dazzling show of virtuoso playing" says The Irish Times. Ivers' recording credits include over 80 contemporary and traditional albums and numerous movie scores. She is a nine-time All-Ireland Fiddle Champion. Her latest CD, entitled Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, was released in 2003 on Koch Records, continues to display why Ivers is hailed as one of the great innovators and pioneers in the Celtic and World music genres. She and her band will play 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.
Tickets to the Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale locally at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Coffee & Books through Sept. 1 and also are available with a credit card online at www.folkwest.com or by calling (970) 731-5582. After Sept. 1, tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the show.
The festival is a family-friendly event, with free admission for kids 12 and under, and free children's performances and activities throughout the weekend.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is produced by FolkWest Inc., a locally-based nonprofit organization and is supported in part by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts.
Bruce Hayes to headline Whistle Pig
The Whistle Pig Concert Series continues its season of outstanding musical performances Sunday, Aug. 29, with an evening featuring mandolinist/guitarist/songwriter Bruce Hayes.
This intimate house concert will take place 7 p.m. at the Hudson House, 446 Loma Street, and will include desserts, coffee and tea at intermission.
For years, the name Bruce Hayes has been synonymous with the Colorado sound. Bruce performed and recorded on the very first String Cheese Incident and Acoustic Junction releases. He tours relentlessly, often accompanying these acts as well as Three Twins (former subdudes) and Leftover Salmon. His last band, Ragged Mountain, was no stranger to the Colorado club scene and festival circuit.
Performing as a solo act, a side man, or with his various bands, Hayes has given over 3,000 performances in many of America's finest music venues including The Fox Theater-Boulder, The Berkshire Performing Arts Center, The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, and several prominent music festivals.
His music has taken him across the continent a dozen times, and twice around Europe. He's jammed on stage with Joe Cocker, Arlo Guthrie, New Riders; opened shows for David Bromberg, Jorma Kaukonen, Merle Sanders, Sub-dudes, Dave Matthews and David Lindley; and recorded in Nashville for Grammy-winning producer, Jon Vezner.
The Whistle Pig Concert Series is presented by Artstream Cultural Resources, a local nonprofit organization. Suggested donation for the concert is $10 which includes dessert and beverages. Reservations are strongly suggested and may be made by calling Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491. Get ready for a full evening of entertainment with Bruce Hayes Sunday, at the Hudson House.
Community Choir's first rehearsal set
Do you love to sing? Does participating in a large mixed choral group dedicated to bringing the joy of music to the community appeal to you?
If so, consider joining the Pagosa Springs Community Choir. The choir is always looking for new members and preparations are just now starting to get underway for the 2004 Community Choir Christmas concert.
For the past 13 years, members of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir have combined talents to present an uplifting program of traditional and contemporary music celebrating the joy of Christmas.
This year the choir will be giving two performances. Concerts are set for the evening of Dec. 3 and a Sunday afternoon matinee Dec. 5 in the high school auditorium.
Under the direction of co-directors Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer, this year's Christmas concert will include exciting new music selections, with a wide range of styles. Some of the selections will also feature local instrumentalists.
The first rehearsal will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Subsequent rehearsals will be 7-9 p.m. every Tuesday evening in the Methodist church.
If you are interested in joining, contact Sue Kehret at 731-3858.
$7,200 grant for schools music program
Music in the Mountains Goes to School has been awarded a $7,200 grant by the Colorado Council on the Arts.
Music in the Mountains Goes to School, is supported by funding from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
It's support such as this that helps Music in the Mountains to further its goals of educating and enhancing the lives young students including those in Pagosa Springs.
Say goodbye to a hero ... with Steak Diane
By Karl Isberg
I'm a miserable guy. My parents have derailed the Fun Train by sending me to a private boys' school, far from most of my favorite temptations. I am in the company of geeks all day long, five days a week, surrounded by bozos who want to be investment bankers, attorneys and CEOs of large corporations. I have wrecked my 1960 Austin Healy bug-eyed Sprite by flipping it end over end down the side of a mountain and the Old Man is none too thrilled with Karl.
I am in exile, living in an apartment at my maternal grandmother's house, scrutinized with prison-guard intensity by my grandmother and aunt, stuck with little to do (I'm not studying, for sure) but come home from hockey practice and watch TV.
It is a spare and desperate existence.
I have three heroes to provide me solace.
One is Rainer Maria Rilke. This one is not exactly my idea: There is an erratic and alluring red-haired girl who just adores the guy's poetry so, in pursuit of her, I dive in to German romanticism. You can't believe the effort it takes after you've suffered a couple head injuries at the rink to memorize sections of "The Duino Elegies," just so you can recite them to a freckled wood nymph as the two of you recline on the fresh grass on Monkey Island in the middle of the South Lake at Washington Park.
Then there is the stellar, crafty and toothless Chicago Blackhawk defenseman, Pierre Pilote.
And, last but hardly least, there is Julia Child.
Over the years, only one survives as a hero.
Rilke lost ground to Wallace Stevens when the redhead tells me to take a flying leap.
Pierre? Nice French-Canadian guy but, after all, he's just a hockey player. And he could never shake that annoying accent.
It is Julia.
And, over the years, she does more than survive as my hero. She becomes an icon, a larger-than-life presence for me and, I'm sure, for most Americans who love great food and are intrigued by its preparation.
I remember the beginning of my idol worship.
There I am, in my digs at grandma's place, a small black and white set with tin foil tied in bows on the rabbit ears flickering and fuzzing in front of me.
It's 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night and I'm watching Denver's public television station - Channel 6. While others are tuning to Jack Paar, I'm waiting for The French Chef, and its host - a tall, clunky Seven Sisters gal with a goofy hairdo and a bobbly voice. I have pen and paper at hand and I am ready to write down the next recipe sent my way from WGBH in Boston.
I'm enthralled: Julia hacks wildly at flesh, minces and dices, makes crusts, prepares sauces. She talks about wine.
It's not that I'm unacquainted with great food. I've been raised around outstanding fare, influenced by a father who relishes a meal at a fine restaurant, who spends hours in the kitchen himself, delving into the exotic without fear. This is a guy who wolfs down escargot a couple times a week and lugs home packages of sweetbreads and wild mushrooms for a ragout. He regularly makes his own puff pastry and fills shells with all manner of odd stuff. My aunt teaches cooking and is hard to beat at the stove. A week rarely passes when she doesn't try something new.
But here is Julia, telling me more, showing me how to do it myself, infusing me with an attitude that will endure. She's telling me how to make a lot of the dishes I've learned to love, illustrating the basics, illuminating some tricks. All in the privacy of my cell-like bedroom, late at night, on black and white TV. Just me and her.
She is much more reliable than the redhead.
One night Julia mentions a book she wrote a couple years before and I decide I want it.
I mention this to my Aunt Hazel and she informs me my wish is granted: She owns the book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which Child wrote with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.
"Wonderful book, dearie. Take this copy, but don't scribble in the margins."
That's it: I'm hooked. This is no small book, and I spend night after night with it, reading every word - even the ones I don't understand. I'm entranced, obsessed with the material. At school, I sit in class buffeted by the beehive-like hum of education going on around me. I don't understand a thing. Algebra-schmalgebra: I'm too busy reflecting on the mystery of a farcie, daydreaming about daubes.
A while later, there's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking II." I devour it.
Over the years, I continue to watch Julia on television. I read "From Julia Child's Kitchen" and "The Way to Cook." Long after the redhead and Rilke are gone, Julia remains with me.
Her message gets through: Anyone can prepare superb food at home. Learn some basics, cook a lot of different things. Remember what you do and incorporate what you know as you move in new directions. Procure top-grade ingredients. Be adventurous. Have a good time. Don't worry.
She demystifies food and its preparation. She promotes what she considers the core cuisine (French) and its techniques in a way anyone can understand.
I think it's fair to say she changed the way Americans regard food. The American palate begins to broaden and deepen after she appears on the scene. And today, some 40 years later, we have countless magazines and books, and several cable television networks, devoted to cooking and foods.
As the woman grows old, she starts to bend over like a big question mark, but it's obvious she is still in the groove. She is still at the front of the pack.
She does television shows with other cooks, with famed chefs, notably Jacques Pepin. Tune in and she's deedling around with things, tasting as she goes, commenting on this and that, always adding something to the matter at hand. She personifies a delightful reality: The joy of cooking and eating does not have to diminish with age. Getting old does not mean tasteless, smooth foods, nourishment taken through a straw. In fact, Child shows the edge can become sharper, the approach more refined, simple, subtle.
To reinforce her stature as hero, she mans the bulwark against any of the unfortunate food trends we've endured the last couple decades, where health Nazis condemn much of what makes food great, where exercise freaks and diet faddists cordon off food groups and attempt to destroy them, to deprive us of wonderful, rich experiences.
Julia Child believed you should eat darned near anything you want, in moderation. She was the true Epicurean, understanding that pleasure is a factor as important as survival, noting there is a discernible point where pleasure clearly turns to a negative course and warning us to be on the alert for that point. Stay on the right side of the line, though, and nothing is forbidden.
It works for her. She lives to be nearly 93.
She also loved butter and could not - as I cannot - envision life without it.
Apparently she was a gracious person outside the brightly lit world of celebrity chefs. My youngest daughter ran into her at Pasadena's Arroyo Chophouse and had nothing but good things to say about the experience. And the kid came away from the encounters doing an incredible imitation of Julia Child at 88 - a woman apparently unimpressed by her own celebrity or the celebrity of others.
Every once in a while, I'll be watching PBS or an obscure satellite channel at the top end of the dial and there she is, whipping up something with a companion chef. I stop whatever I'm doing and watch.
She's my hero, after all.
And now she's gone.
In honor of her passing, I'm going to break out one of her cookbooks - one of her last - and whip up something.
I like many of the recipes in "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home." In the book, Child and Pepin relate their takes on a similar dish or product. There are a couple dandy recipes for Tomatoes Provencal. It's a shame one can't purchase a decent tomato in this part of the world.
Each cook provides a version of salmon en papillote, but I hate to butter and fold parchment paper, so I'll steer clear.
I scan the book and there it is - a recipe that flexes the food muscles, containing as it does some of Julia Child's favorite ingredients - specifically, red meat, stock and butter. It's her version of Steak Diane.
What you need are a couple rib eye steaks, with a large "eye" and less of the rib cap, which gets trimmed. She says to ask the butcher for steaks that come from near the loin, not the shoulder. Try that one at the market!
You also need clarified butter, shallots, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, fresh tarragon, dry white wine and some (optional) cognac.
No brown stock? No problem.
Julia provides a quick fix. Take a can of low sodium beef stock (low sodium since, in the reduction, the salt in the stock will be concentrated) and simmer it for 30-45 minutes with a bunch of diced carrot, celery, onion and tomato, and a splash or two of dry white wine. Strain and use in place of the real thing.
Trim the eye out of the steak, put it between sheets of moistened plastic wrap and beat the tar out of the meat until it is about a quarter inch thick. Rub each steak with a few drops of soy sauce and some olive oil.
Put a heavy pan over high heat and add some clarified butter to the pan. Saute the steaks for about a minute on each side, taking care not to overcook; the steaks should be rare. Remove the meat from the pan and put on a heated plate.
For the sauce, slip a couple more tablespoons of clarified butter and a couple tablespoons chopped shallots into the pan. This gets sauteed for a minute and in goes 2/3 cup of brown stock and 2 tablespoons of mustard. The sauce is stirred, with the goodies from the bottom of the pan scraped into the mix. Add some chopped parsley, a bit of lemon juice, a splash of cognac, some chopped tarragon, a bit of salt if needed and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce a bit.
The steaks go back in the pan and are coated with the sauce. Just before serving, a hefty pat of butter is swirled in.
To complete an homage to my hero, I need to find a black and white TV I can hook up to my satellite receiver. I'll scan the listings for those obscure channels at the top of the dial and when I find one of Julia's programs I'll get the fixins for her Steak Diane and do some cooking, enjoying every meditative moment of the process. Then I'll flop down on the couch and eat, savoring every buttery, beefy bite while I watch the Grand Dame deedle around in the kitchen.
Bon appetit, Julia.
Say hi to Rilke if you see him.
Tips for success with fall bulbs and corms
By Bill Nobles
Fall-planted bulbs and corms.
- There is a direct correlation between the size of a bulb and the size of the flower grown from that bulb.
- September is the preferred time to plant bulbs so they root well before the ground freezes.
The selected site should have adequate sunlight, be well drained and show the flowers off to their best advantage. Bulbs are planted much deeper than seed; therefore, soil preparation methods differ. Plant bulbs with the growing tip up. Fertilizer must be present in the root zone to be effective.
The earlier bulbs and corms are purchased in the fall, the better the selection. Select the largest bulbs of a variety, because there is a direct correlation between bulb and flower size. Avoid those that show evidence of mold or mechanical damage.
While it is preferable to select bulbs and corms individually from open bins rather than prepackaged, there is a chance that a customer may not put bulbs back in the proper bins. If the adjacent bins have similar bulbs, this mix-up will go undetected.
Generally, a gardener selects the site before purchasing bulbs. This site usually is conspicuously located to show the flowers off to their best advantage. If the bulbs will remain in this location for more than one year, they need adequate sunlight to regenerate strong bulbs. A southern exposure, especially when close to the foundation, induces early emergence that may result in freezing injury. Provide drainage so the bulbs do not stand in water. Finally, a solid block of one color is more impressive from a distance than a mixture of colors and varieties.
Growing fall bulbs
September and October are the best months for planting bulbs because they can become well rooted before the ground freezes. Bulbs planted after October may not have time to root adequately and therefore may not flower uniformly in the spring.
Plant the bulbs at a depth consistent with the level indicated on the planting chart. As a general rule, this depth is four times the height of the bulb between the soil surface and the tip of the bulb. Plant bulbs with the growing tip up.
After the ground freezes, cover the bed with a 3-inch mulch to prevent alternate freezing and thawing that breaks roots and damages bulbs. This mulch may be removed in April before the shoots emerge, or left in place if the shoots can penetrate it easily.
Remove flowers as soon as they wither, because seed production diverts food that otherwise would be used to produce more vigorous bulbs. Apply nitrogen at the rate of 1/4 pound per 100 square feet before the foliage withers. After the foliage has withered completely, the bulb is dormant. The bed usually is not dug up after the first year. However, after the second year, the developing bulbs begin to crowd and lose much of their original vigor. When this occurs, dig the bulbs in late August and allow them to dry for a few days in a shady, cool spot. Divide and replant only the best ones, preferably in a new location. If none of the bulbs is as large as the original ones, purchase new bulbs for better results. This is especially true of hyacinths, which are seldom worth transplanting. When the bulb bed occupies a prominent place in the yard, many growers remove the bulbs after flowering, replacing them with annuals for the summer. It also is possible to interplant annuals among the withering bulb tops. However, do not remove the bulb tops until they are dead. The annuals grow faster and fill in the bed sooner if 5 pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet are worked into the soil rather than the 1/4 pound of N as suggested previously.
Lilies normally are planted in the spring, while autumn crocuses normally are planted in midsummer. Most other bulbs are planted in the fall. Planting depths are for well-drained soils. Bulbs do best in a sandy, clay loam. In heavier soils, they should be planted 1 to 2 inches higher.
Bulbs are planted deeper than seed; therefore, soil preparation methods differ from those used elsewhere in the Garden. Make sure to plant all bulbs below 4 inches. For fertilizer to be effective, it must be present in the vicinity of the roots.
Excavate the bed to the bulbs' planting depth. Apply the fertilizer and soil amendments at this level, and spade or rototill the soil to a depth of 3 or 4 inches.
Aeration is the most important aspect of soil preparation. Before the soil is shoveled back into the bed, mix it with some type of organic matter. Space the bulbs as desired, refill the bed and water to settle the soil around the bulbs.
The flower bud and the food necessary to produce the flower are present inside a bulb when it is planted. Fertilizer is applied to make larger bulbs the following year.
Apply phosphorus fertilizer at planting time so it is available to the roots, because it does not translocate in the soil. Adequate phosphorus may be supplied with 1/2 pound of 0-46-0 fertilizer (super phosphate) per 100 square feet.
To improve the texture of the soil, add peat moss or well-decomposed compost using up to one-third of the volume of soil removed from the bed as described. Soil amended in this way offers less resistance to the shoot as it emerges and provides better aeration and drainage for root growth.
Soils with a high clay content should be heavily amended.
School days signal changing seasons and outdoor color
By Ming Steen
Our children went back to school this week. Their vacation is over; long lazy days with not much to keep their attention are all over.
Now, as they return to school, the recreation center has become very quiet. We are glad for the chance to slow down, but we miss the liveliness and energy of our youngsters.
We had a wonderful summer filled with 15-hour-long days of classes, people pursuing individual fitness programs, families playing together and young children - hundreds of them - learning to swim better. Our summer swim programs most definitely top my list of highlights.
What's not to be happy about when you are around excited, enthusiastic and bright-eyed youngsters? I would like to have the child within stay with me for the rest of my life so I can avoid being jaded and crabby as I grow older. I delight in being a child when it's appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise older woman when it's appropriate to be a wise older woman.
Have you seen the xeriscape garden at the recreation center? It's very attractive and kudos to Dave Kenyon, Larry Lynch and his capable crew. Come by the recreation center when you are out walking.
This is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp morning air, the urgency of enjoying the last few comfortable days outdoors and the anticipation of snow - any day. No time to waste.
I'm gathering rosebuds while I may, for the glory of flowers too soon is past and summer has too short a lease. A hike into the high country beckons and the wildflowers are still in their glory.
If you are a leaf peeper you may have already noticed a slight yellowing of some leaves. I wonder what kind of fall foliage show we will have this year.
Besides what nature holds, there are other highlights of this time of summer, namely the Four Corners Folk Festival and the beginning of training for a number of high school and junior high school athletic teams.
Proceeds from this year's Pagosa Lakes Triathlon were donated to the Pagosa Springs Running Club. The money was used to cover expenses of a trip to the Great Sand Dunes where some training, but mostly team-building activities were conducted.
The pool at the recreation center will be closed for five days in September for general cleaning and minor repairs. Mark these dates on your calendar: Sept. 13-17. The rest of the facility will remain open, as will the exercise classes.
Sorry for the inconvenience but try to use this opportunity to get out into the back country and hike the trails. Watch the colors change in the trees.
Have you noticed spiders are moving in with the colder nights? A recent article from my birth country, Malaysia, reports a 24-year-old Malaysian woman moving in with scorpions.
The young lady moved into a glass box with 6,000 scorpions at a shopping mall 40 miles east of my birth village and she apparently showed no signs of fear as the scorpions crawled all over her body.
She was monitored by medical staff and officials from Guinness World Records. The current record is held by a young Thai lady who was stung nine times while she lived in a glass room with more than 3,000 scorpions for 32 days in 2002.
My country woman has my best wishes in her attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.
Juanita Maria Martinez Salazar, a beloved mother and grandmother, died Aug. 15, 2004, surrounded by her family. She was 80.
She was born Aug. 21, 1923, in Trujillo to Lucas and Maria Martinez. She married Lazaro Salazar in Trujillo on Sept. 14, 1941.
She is survived by her children, Felix (Monica), Irene (Tony), Mary Anne (Javier), Eppie (Linda), Edna (Tony); seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren; two sisters, Corina Martinez Valdez and Dolores (Tomas) Perez; four brothers, Andy (Eva), Moses (Clara), Wilfred (Maryann) and Lucas (Marlene); one sister-in-law, Lydia Martinez; and a brother-in-law, Bennie Martinez. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, two brothers, Manuel and Rupert, and a sister, Clara.
Mrs. Salazar was a founder of the Guadalupana Society in the late 1960s. She started the group with 15 members and there are now 55.
Her family extends loving thanks to Care Source Hospice, especially Pat, for service in time of need.
Interment was in Pagosa Springs on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
A Mass in her memory will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at St. Ann's Catholic Church, 450 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, where family and friends may visit 7-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the family.
Ruth E. James
Ruth Elaine James died Aug. 21, 2004, in Durango, Colo., after several years of declining health.
She was born Aug. 7, 1925, in Greybull, Wyo., to Arlie E. and Ruth Otey Roberts, the third of their four children. She was educated in Greybull, graduating with the Class of 1943. She attended the University of Wyoming for one year and went on to attend St. Luke's School of Nursing in Denver. She was a Junior Cadet Nurse for the United States armed forces while enrolled. She was unable to complete the program due to ill health.
She later taught in a small country school on the John Lampman Bear Creek Ranch at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, 40 miles from Greybull. She also worked in retailing and public relations, until marrying and becoming a homemaker. She enjoyed playing the piano, needlework, painting and porcelain doll making.
She married John T. James on Aug. 22, 1948, in Greybull. They moved to Casper, Wyo., soon after, where they lived and raised their family. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church. After the death of her husband in 1988, she was a leader of the Bereavement Support Group to Central Wyoming Hospice. Mrs. James lived in Casper until February 2003 when she moved to Pagosa Springs.
Preceded by the death of her husband in 1988, she is survived by three daughters: Sherry Cram of Cheyenne, Wyo., Dianne Park of Casper, Wyo., and Susan James of Pagosa Springs; three brothers: Arlie E. Roberts of Casper, Eugene Roberts of Gold Beach, Ore., and Jack Roberts of Columbus, Neb.; six grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, at the First United Methodist Church in Casper, Wyo. Her ashes will be interred next to her husband in Highland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Central Wyoming Hospice, 316 Wilson, Casper, WY 82601 or the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, 2280 S. Albion St., Denver, CO 80222-4906.
Clarence R. Nigh
Clarence R. Nigh passed away on Aug. 18, 2004, at the Veterans Center in Monte Vista, Colo., where he had been a patient the past 15 months with complications of Alzheimer's.
He was born in Woodson County, Kan., Aug. 3, 1925, and after graduating from high school attended naval air training in California and then returned to attend the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
He became a seismologist working for Petty Geophysical of San Antonio and worked in 10 U.S. states and in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Australia and six different countries on the African continent.
He and his wife, Bonnie Jean, retired to Pagosa Springs in 1986 and built their home here.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years; son Rick and wife Bonnie of Norman, Okla.; daughter Colleen and husband David Letchford of Houston; son Mike and wife Ann Nigh of Waller, Texas; three grandchildren, Christopher, Tessa and Harrison Letchford of Houston; and a sister, Beth Foushee, of Katy, Texas.
He was an avid airplane modeler and flyer, loved to fish and square danced for many years.
There will be a private memorial at a later date.
Buz Gillentine and Lou Haines own and operate Colorado Loan Consultants.
Colorado Loan Consultants offers both commercial and residential funding for borrowers. Because of their extensive network of investors, they are able to offer possibilities that are not available from other sources.
Commercial packages include leasing options, accounts receivable and inventory, and a variety of options on real estate purchase and business start up financing.
Residential loans range from raw land loans, purchase, refinance, home equity and second or investment properties.
Because of their low overhead, the costs are very low to the consumer. They believe that an informed borrower will make the right decision on their financing options.
Call 731-3770. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Waste water plant operator and plant manager, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.
Where were you born?
Where did you go to school?
When did you arrive in Pagosa Springs?
"February of 2003."
What did you do before you arrived here?
"Reclamation and underground mining in Silverton."
What are your job responsibilities?
What are the most enjoyable and least enjoyable aspects of your job?
"I enjoy working with the ladies in the office. The least enjoyable part of my job is dealing with the wastewater."
What is your family background?
"I come from a long line of miners."
What do you like best about the community?
What are your other interests?
"I enjoy outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, etc."
4-H Chuck Wagon
Whoo-wee! The Archuleta County 4-Hr's put on the dog once again at the annual 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner.
A huge thank you to those 825 hungry folks who graced our feast and supported such a worthwhile organization. Absolutely all profits go directly into funding the many programs and projects available to 4-H members.
The survival of such an organization depends entirely on the generous spirit of local businesses and residents. Many thanks to the following who helped in immeasurable ways:
Backcountry BBQ, Pagosa Baking Company, Victoria's Parlor, JJ's Upstream, Farm Fresh Direct, TLC Catering, Page's Leaf Catering, Sysco, European Cafe, Junction Restaurant, New City Market, Charlotte Lee and Pagosa Springs High School, Coca-Cola, Design-A-Sign, KFC, McDonald's, Navajo Rental, BootJack Ranch and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.
Without the effort and support of this wonderful community on behalf of our children, golden opportunities such as 4-H would be a notion rather than a reality.
Countless 4-H members and their families worked tirelessly to make this year's event a smashing success. You graciously demonstrated your commitment to both your children and our community. I am truly grateful for the gift of your time and talents.
A special cop
While on vacation in Pagosa Springs, we had car trouble. Everyone saw the yellow VW thang sitting along the road.
A very nice cop stopped to help us. His name was Floyd Capistrant. He took my husband for parts and stayed with us until we were able to get back on the road.
We said our thanks and we are looking forward to the next trip as this has been our vacation spot since 1984.
I'm sure all of the police department would have been there for us, but we were lucky to have met just "one special one." Let us again say thank you, Floyd.
Betty and Jean Holliman
Columbus, Miss., and
Janice and Junior Haynes,
Thank you Pagosa Springs. The second-year anniversary and volunteer recognition celebration for the community center was well attended and delightful. Many thanks to all who came and brought food especially to Grace Evangelical Church for the 20 pounds of potato salad - it was delicious and we ran out. Kudos to the entertainers - John Graves, Rev. John Bowe, TAPS dancers, Ladies Barber Shop Quartet, members of "The Hills Are Alive...!" - John and Oteka Bernard, John Nash-Putnam and Veronica Zeiler. They were phenomenal.
Our sincere thanks, too, to our newly-recruited volunteers who served food throughout the evening - Gail Reilly and husband, Marvin Sacks; Emily Wood and Elvina Hamby from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Above all, many thanks to Mayor Ross Aragon and board members Sally Hameister, Jan Brookshier, Mamie Lynch and Dawnie Silva for all their support and hard work; the center is a reality. Last but not least, thanks to all my staff and help for putting up such a great event - Pauline Benetti, Ashley Walkup, Karen Carpenter, Dennis Ford and other guys from town.
Mercy E. Korsgren
The families of Teresa Morris and Raymond Burk would like to announce their upcoming wedding, Aug. 29, 2004, at the home of Raymond's grandmother, Elaine Nossaman, at 4 p.m. Friends are cordially invited. Gifts will be greatly appreciated but a money tree will be most appreciated, too.
Golfers cut scores with home event; learn fast
By Richard Walter
Pagosa Springs High School golfers got a two-day initiation into the world of prep athletics Thursday and Friday.
And opening day jitters for 10 players, only one of whom saw any tournament action last year, gave way to better marks the second day.
Coach Mark Faber's squad finished 10th in a field of 11 Thursday and eighth in a field of nine Friday in their home debut and only home appearance of the year.
Faber said the squad was perhaps taken aback by the veteran field in Durango, with only Darin Prokop, shooting as the team's No. 1, finishing in the field's top scorers with an 87.
With 10 players on the course, the team took only the top three for final score determination. Joey Bergman and Ben DeVoti each hit the century mark for Pirates. Tim Kamholz fired 103, Cody Bahn and Clayton King each had 110, Tye Fehrenbacher was in at 112, Michael Spitler at 121, Michael Bradford at 122 and Caleb Burggraaf at 127.
Pagosa's 290 team score was eclipsed by tournament winner Fruita Monument which shot a 222 and had the event medalist who shot a 68 on the par 72 layout.
Coming home the following day brought overall team scores down, but the opposition also fired lower marks.
Freshman Joey Bergman, shooting as the Pirates' No. 2, led the squad with a 90. Kamholz was in at 95, cutting eight strokes off his opening day mark. Prokop, with two problem holes, went up to a 97. Spitler cut 23 strokes off his opening day performance, to finish at 98. King was in at 101, Bradford at 104, Fehrenbacher at 106, Josh Pringle at 115 and Burggraaf at 119.
The smaller fields allowed the Pirates to field two separate teams of five players "which can only benefit us as the season progresses," Faber said.
"The more playing time these youngsters can get under tournament conditions, the better our chances down the line," the coach said.
He was "very pleased" with the day to day improvement in the first two tournaments of the season.
"We went from just one under 100 the first day to four golfers below the century mark the second day," he noted, "and it wasn't all because they were playing at home.
"Some of the kids saw others doing things they knew they could do and went out and did it themselves," he said. "We had players who realized being young isn't a handicap in this game, that gaining experience by watching the veterans is a prime consideration that will make the team better."
He said the team has 11 players battling for varsity roles but scheduling problems may limit the number who see action in the balance of the season.
The scheduled overnighter two-day tournament in Montrose this week has been switched to Sept. 16 and 17 and in the meantime coaches were attempting to set up a match with Montezuma-Cortez today to keep the action rolling.
In addition, the Pirates will travel to Monte Vista Sept. 7, a game inadvertently left off the schedule released by the school.
And, because of the Montrose switch, the Pirates will not be playing Buena Vista and Salida tournaments scheduled the same dates.
They will still play the Cedaredge and Delta Invitationals Sept. 2 and 3, and will play the Rye Invitational at Holly Dot Sept. 14.
Regional competition will be Sept. 23 at the latter course and state playoffs are scheduled Oct. 4 and 5 at Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
Faber saluted the staff and owners of Pagosa Golf Course for the layout's condition for the home tournament, the parents of players who volunteered in many ways to assist the tournament operation, especially in golf carting players to their starting assignments in the shotgun start and Kathy Faber for keeping all the coursewide details in control.
And, he said he liked "the pace the players were able to keep. They saw they were shooting better the second day than the first, and responded accordingly. We're getting better every day in practice, but we have to keep in mind our foes will have the same chances to improve."
It was a tough pair of tournaments to open with, he said, "but we showed we can learn. Now we have to see where it takes us."
Four tie for first in PWGA 'rough day'
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "rough day" format for league day Aug. 17.
One point was assessed for each time a player hit the ball into the rough. The players with the fewest points won.
The four women tied for first with 12 points were Linda Duplissey, Sue Martin, Maxine Pechin and Jay Wilson.
The association sent eight players to Dalton Ranch Golf Club in Durango Aug. 19 for team play. They garnered 39 1/2 points against Cortez Conquistador.
Representing Pagosa were Jan Kilgore, Jane Stewart, Barbara Sanborn, Sho Jen Lee, Lynne Allison, Doe Stringer, Josie Hummel and Loretta Campuzano.
Sanborn, team captain, said she was "very pleased with the team's performance considering the difficulty of the course and the challenging weather conditions."
The team is currently in fourth place in the eight-team league, with three matches to play.
The next match will be played Sept. 2 at Hillcrest in Durango against Riverview.
A scrambling of paragraphs last week created wrong score listings for the PWGA Club championships.
In the first flight, the first gross was Sheila Rogers, 183 and second gross Nancy Chitwood, 191.
First net was Loretta Campuzano, 137 and second net Marilyn Pruter, 149;
Second flight first gross was Linda Duplissey, 213 and second gross Sue Martin, 215; First net was Maxine Pechin, 138 and second net Jody Lawrence, 142.
In special events, longest drive, second flight on No. 6 Ponderosa went to Jody Lawrence and closest to the pin, all flights, No. 8 Ponderosa was Jane Stewart.
United Way golf tourney is Saturday
You can sign up now for the sixth annual United Way Golf Tournament.
This year's format is a four-person Scramble. There will be an open flight, a couples' flight with two men and two women, and a new "let's just have fun" flight for the golfer (or non-golfer) who plays once every two years.
There is a flight for everyone to participate in this event scheduled to start 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28.
The Pagosa Springs Golf Course can help you put your team together. If you don't have a team or a handicap, the golf shop will place you on a squad.
For golf club members the fee is $30 with $10 going directly to United Way of Archuleta County. For nonmembers, the fee is $65 which includes greens fee and cart along with a donation of $10 to United Way. Everybody gets lunch, coffee and doughnuts.
There will be various contests and golf giveaways along with silent auction items.
Sign up your team or yourself by calling 731-4755.
Hatfield treats his golf foes like McCoys
By Rich Broom
Special to The SUN
Russ Hatfield is on a roll in local men's golf competition.
In the weekly group low gross and low net competition, Hatfield took low gross with a 71. Second low gross was a 73 by last week's winner, Rick Baker.
Third and fourth low gross were taken by Jim Miner and Casey Belarde with 77 and 80 respectively.
Low net was garnered by the local "Dirt Man," Don Ford, with a net 63. Tom Bish, Carl Carmen and Ed "Great" Day followed at 68, 69 and 70 nets to complete the money list with 24 participants in this week's competition.
Hatfield also won the club championship over the weekend, shooting a gross 141 over 36 holes to complete his week in the spotlight.
The men's golf group plays every Wednesday at 1 p.m. and is open to golfers of all skill levels. Sign up in the men's locker room at Pagosa Golf Club or call the pro shop at 731-4755 before 5 p.m. the Tuesday before each day of play.
Football Pirates face Durango in Saturday scrimmage
By Tom Carosello
They're almost here.
Bleachers mottled with kaleidoscope patterns of black and gold.
The unmistakable, sweet scent of freshly-cut grass.
A stadium backdrop of mountain tops gilded by a setting sun.
Yes, it's nearly football season once more.
For Pirate fans, the anticipation will come to an official end when Pagosa Springs welcomes the Gunnison Cowboys to Golden Peaks Stadium for the 7 p.m. home opener Sept. 3.
Those who have to scratch the gridiron itch a little sooner, however, can travel to Durango High School tomorrow to watch Head Coach Sean O'Donnell's squad take part in a three-way clash with the Durango Demons and the Dolores Bears in a 6 p.m. scrimmage.
The preseason contest will give the Pirates a chance to put their new "spread" offense to the test, and will help O'Donnell decide who to pencil in - and where - for next Friday's season opener.
"We still have a few positions open - at running back, offensive line and defensive line - and this will give us a good feeling for who is going to fill those spots," said O'Donnell.
"We'll also get a first look at how our new offensive scheme works against someone other than ourselves," concluded O'Donnell.
Look for a detailed offensive/defensive breakdowns of this year's varsity Pirate football team in next week's edition of The SUN.
After opening at home against Gunnison, the Pirates will host the Montezuma/Cortez Panthers in Golden Peaks Stadium at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. The Panthers come to town looking to avenge a 27-6 home loss to the Pirates last season.
O'Donnell's squad will then travel to Montrose Sept. 17 for a 7 p.m. clash with the Indians. The teams have split their last two contests, with Pagosa earning a 49-28 victory at Montrose in 2002, and the Indians posting a 37-15 win on the Pirates' home turf last season.
Pagosa hits the road again Sept. 24 to take on the Taos, N.M. Tigers in a 7 p.m. contest. The Pirates will have to slow down the Tigers' strong running game, which last year contributed heavily to a 42-20 win at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Pagosa begins Intermountain League action the following week with an Oct. 1 home game against the Bayfield Wolverines. Last year's battle went down to the wire, and the Wolverines were able to hang on to a 25-22 win over the visiting Pirates.
Pagosa then travels over Wolf Creek Pass to face league rival Monte Vista on the road Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. Last year's contest in Golden Peaks Stadium ended 28-20 in favor of Pagosa.
The Pirates will temporarily depart from their IML schedule Oct. 15 to face the Alamosa Maroons at 4 p.m. Pagosa will be looking for a little payback against the Maroons, who defeated the host Pirates 33-19 in last year's duel.
The Pirates then return for their final, regular-season home game against the Ignacio Bobcats, which is scheduled for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. Last year's result: a 24-0 Pirate win in Ignacio.
The IML and regular-season finale for the Pirates will take place on the road Oct. 30 when Pagosa travels to face the Centauri Falcons at 1 p.m. The Pirates topped the Falcons in Golden Peaks Stadium last year by a final margin of 25-22.
Saturday scrimmage brings regional volleyball teams to town
By Karl Isberg
With limited time to prepare for the upcoming regular volleyball season, the Pirates take the opportunity Saturday to test themselves in preseason scrimmages against regional teams.
The Pirates will host the Four Corners Scrimmage for the first time. There will be 10 teams at the scrimmage, including the Pirates. The lineup includes Durango, Cortez, Bayfield, Ignacio, Alamosa, Mancos, Sargent and Sangre de Cristo.
Varsity teams will play at the junior high school gym, allowing bleacher space for spectators. Junior varsity teams will compete at the high school.
Each varsity match will last 30 minutes and, by rule of the Colorado High School Activities Association, must be unscored.
The contests will allow the Pirates to work out wrinkles prior to the Sept. 2 season opener at Cortez.
The Pirates face Durango in their first match of the day, at 9 a.m.
Pagosa returns tested veterans to the court this season and coach Penné Hamilton has been pleased thus far with their work at practice and with the play of many during the local summer club season.
Hamilton thinks the Intermountain League schedule this year will provide some varied tests for her team, and quality non-league opponents should prepare her players to compete at a high level.
The Intermountain league could see some changes in the way teams finish, compared to last season.
Pagosa got off to a rough start last year and finished third in the standings. Ignacio captured the 2003 IML crown, with Bayfield coming in second. Pagosa was third as the season ended.
The district championship was another matter, however, with Pagosa taking first place and Ignacio second. Those two teams advanced to regional play where both were defeated.
Both Bayfield and Ignacio featured senior-dominated lineups last year and the two teams will suffer the greatest losses to graduation. Bayfield lost five of six starters, while Ignacio graduated nine players, including the team's top hitters and setter.
Monte Vista, too, suffered some attrition. The Pirates from the San Luis Valley lost five players to graduation including their top setter and blocker, and two top hitters.
The teams least affected by the loss of seniors are Centauri and Pagosa. Centauri will enter the league fray with a new coach and some experienced players.
Pagosa comes back loaded for bear.
The Pirates' strength in the middle will be significant. Two seniors - 6-1 Caitlyn Jewell and 5-9 Lori Walkup - will anchor an attack that could prove the best in several years.
Walkup will set out of the back row and the second setter in the scheme will be 5-8 junior Liza Kelley, an excellent hitter well suited physically and mentally to engineer the Pirate attack as a setter.
At the strong side hitter slot 5-8 senior Courtney Steen is back as is 5-11 junior Caitlin Forrest. Kari Beth Faber, a 5-9 junior can also play at the position.
Senior Bri Scott, at 5-9 brings considerable court savvy to the right side hitter position.
Hamilton has indicated she will carry these seven varsity regulars on her roster, then swing seven players from the junior varsity for each match, varying her selection as circumstances warrant.
The highlights of the 2004 regular season might well be the non-league matches on the Pirate schedule. There is a bevy of 5A and 4A teams ready for competition, including old rivals Durango and Cortez. Some new rivalries have developed in recent years - Montrose, Olathe, Colorado Springs Palmer, Lamar and Fowler - and they will add luster to the season. The Pirates will also take on New Mexico 3A power Kirtland and 4A Alamosa.
"The schedule is great," said Hamilton, "and the IML races should be interesting. Ignacio should still have a good outside attack. Bayfield got Janna Pritchard back as coach and they return a good, young setter. Monte Vista will return a few kids with experience, though I'm not sure about their coaching situation. Centauri didn't have that many losses to graduation and they have a new coach, Terry Valdez. It should be a good league season.
"I'm excited. I think this team will be good enough to run some plays for us and I think the intensity is there. We've talked a lot about the purpose of practice - using practice to perfect our game and everyone is responding. Our blocking and passing are coming along fine and we've been working on hitting all week. We'll go six-on-six this week and we should be ready for the scrimmage."
Harriers work on endurance, prepare for home opener
By Tess Noel Baker
Endurance. That's been the name of the game up to this point for the Pagosa Springs 2004 Cross Country team.
"We're just starting to work on strength, later we'll work on speed and tapering and then we'll face our biggest races," coach Scott Anderson said. Early races will be the training ground for a team focused on end-of-the-year goals. Currently, he said, 22 students are out for the team with both sides stacked with experienced runners and some new blood.
The girls return their top four state finishers from last year - juniors Emilie Schur and Heather Dahm and sophomores Jessica Lynch and Laurel Reinhardt.
"We're also seeing a lot of new faces," Anderson said. "There will be some sophomores challenging for a varsity spot. It's a very good mix of old and new."
For the first time in several years, the boys' ranks are also full. On that side, juniors Orion Sandoval and Paul Hostetter return from the 2003 state team and, Anderson said, two senior track and field runners - Junior Turner and Otis Rand - will be making the leap to cross country.
That experience will be balanced with, "a number of new freshmen which we've been lacking. It will be fun to watch these guys develop over the next couple of years if they stick with it," he said.
The Pirates will open their season Sept. 4 at home. For a change of pace, this year's course will be run in Pagosa Lakes through the Ranch Community commons area off Antelope Drive. Spectators should take North Pagosa Boulevard to Antelope and watch for parking attendants' signals to park. The start will be at the east end of Antelope Drive.
Anderson said the figure-8 shaped course will allow spectators to watch at least three-quarters of the race from a central hill.
The day will begin with junior high at 9:30 a.m., followed by junior varsity boys and girls at 10 and 10:30 respectively. The girls' varsity teams will leave the start at 11 a.m. and the boys will close out the morning at 11:30.
Multi-team scrimmage Saturday sets stage for soccer opener
By Richard Walter
What they thought was the most aggressive part of preseason was just a warm-up for extensive conditioning drills.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason's Pagosa Springs High School soccer team made the annual pilgrimage up Wolf Creek Pass Friday from Treasure Falls to the summit.
Nineteen of the 29 hopefuls for the team started the run but only 12 finished. Kurt-Mason was pleased with the time, 1 hour, 30 minutes for the eight-mile uphill jaunt, but was pushing the team for better conditioning when practice started Monday afternoon.
Drill after drill emphasized building stamina, foot movement, being quickest to the ball and beating your teammate down field.
"If you can beat your quickest teammate", he shouted, "he's not in shape yet."
With the season opener against Manitou Springs lurking on Saturday, Sept. 4, Kurt-Mason is pushing the squad with a vengeance.
Starters on both sides will have to earn their stripes, he said. "No one can come in and feel he has the team made. Everyone will earn every minute of playing time he gets."
Toward the end of determining who the varsity players will be, the Pirates will host a multi-team scrimmage Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Durango, Aztec, Alamosa and Bayfield have confirmed they'll be on hand and two other schools are trying to get clearance to attend.
"We'll keep the action going on two fields all the time, starting at 9 a.m.," the coach said. Teams will play two 25-minute halves with only five-minute halftime breaks.
The action is scheduled to continue until 3 p.m.
This could be the make-or-break chance for any squad hopeful to prove he belongs the coach told his team - before putting them into stretching drills.
Kurt-Mason said he's been very impressed in early practices by the skills shown by several of his freshman candidates. "Since we have no junior high feeder program", he said, "I'm sure in most cases its the outgrowth of the summer club program.
"Endurance, however, is going to be the key factor," he said, "with good footwork and good skills resulting from that endurance training."
On the first day of school for the new year, Kurt-Mason was about to welcome several new candidates for the team. Some had missed early registration, some had not turned in mandatory forms and some had only recently arrived in the community.
But all were about to find out what being in shape means.
Run, dart, in and out, slow, roll, dive, keep up the pace. Show what it means to be a Pirate.
"We have a good idea who can do what right now," the coach said, "but the Saturday scrimmage may well show us some things we need to work on and some things we do better than expected."
The final selections for varsity will be made in part on the evaluation of scrimmage performance, practice workouts Tuesday and Wednesday, and degree of spirit shown.
For the past three years, Pagosa has opened the season against Manitou Springs and one of the Colorado Springs teams on the Front Range. This is the first time the Mustangs have come to the Pirates' den.
"We've had great, close, defensive games against them, winning them all," Kurt-Mason said, "and I expect the same here."
The squad will return to action Tuesday, Sept. 7, with a visit to Cortez for a 4 p.m. start and then round out the first week of the season on the road, playing Roaring Fork in Carbondale at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, and state-ranked Basalt at 11 a.m. the following day.
Basalt made it to state quarterfinals last year before losing a 1-0 heartbreaker "and they have their whole team back," said Kurt-Mason.
Put us on your calendar; late registrations a problem
By Joe Lister Jr.
Parents we need your help.
Every year, every season, we have an influx of late sign-ups. We did a survey in 2000 of what it would take to make our programs better. Number one on everyone's list, was getting word out to the public. We've had suggestions like working through the schools, radio, bulletin boards and a sports hotline.
Well, for the past three years, or since I have been with the department, we have done everything possible, including putting our home phone numbers and cell numbers on our business cards.
Things seem to never change and we are always blamed for people not following instructions on signing up kids for activities.
Put the following on your calendars as approximate dates to call your recreation supervisor for times to come by town hall and sign up for recreational programs. Please remember we do not sponsor any of the local club sports. However, we do have some knowledge of the activities of the private club sports that are popping up for our young athletes:
- Aug. 1 - sign-up for youth soccer.
- September - adult volleyball.
- October - Sign up for youth basketball, 7- and 8-year-olds.
- December - Sign up youth basketball 9-10, 11-13 age groups.
- January - adult basketball.
- February - spring volleyball.
- March - youth baseball sign-up.
- April - Tee-ball.
- May - youth baseball, adult softball.
- June-July - Park Fun.
- August - youth soccer.
Please put our phone numbers on your calendars; and if you are ever in doubt, call.
We have to secure uniforms, field/gym space, practice times, and deal with numerous scheduling nightmares, and all can easily be taken care of if we don't have so many late sign-ups.
We are at your mercy because, in the end, the athletes will suffer from the fallout of late registrations.
Town Hall number is 264-4151. Extension 232 is the recreation department; Ext. 233 is the parks department. Ext. 231 is the parks and recreation director. Our sports hotline is 264-6658
Thank you for your consideration, and put us on your calendar.
A 2001 study by the National Alliance for Youth Sports found that 70 percent of American kids who sign up for sports quit by the time they were 13. The reason? They said it wasn't fun anymore.
So how do a mom or dad avoid becoming a crazed, overbearing sports parent with a stressed-out, unhappy child? Here's some advice:
- Reward your child whether the team wins or loses.
- If you have a complaint or concern, raise it at an appropriate time, not in the middle of a game.
- Applaud when either team makes a good play.
- Praise effort.
- Respect the referee's calls.
- Sit back and enjoy the game for what it is, (don't get too caught up in scores or statistics).
- Ask your child, "Was it fun?" before "Did you win?"
The 12 most important reasons I play my best sport (consensus of 5,000 young athletes).
Girls: To have fun; to stay in shape; to get exercise; to improve skills; to do something I'm good at; to be a part of a team; for the excitement of competition; to learn new skills; for the team spirit; for the challenge; to go to a higher level; to win.
Boys: To have fun; to improve skills; for the excitement of competition; to do something I'm good at; to stay in shape; for the challenge of competition; to be part of a team; to win; to go to a high level of competition; to get exercise; to learn new skills; for the team spirit.
Sign-ups for the 2004 youth soccer league season have ended. Teams have been formed and practices have begun.
We are excited to begin our leagues with over 300 children participating, ages 5-13. The recreation department will continue to take names on a waiting list but no players will be added until a full team is formed.
Cost per player is $20 ($10 for each additional child)
We continue to look for business sponsorships. The sponsorship is $150 which includes plaque with team picture, signage and designation in newspaper. The sponsorship is tax deductible. Call Myles Gabel at 264-4151, Ext. 232, if interested.
Fall volleyball leagues are right around the corner. Start putting your teams together now for the upcoming season.
Managers' meeting for coed and women's volleyball will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Town Hall.
Post softball meeting
We want to schedule a meeting for those who would like to provide input concerning our adult softball leagues in the future.
Please put in writing any item you would like to see added to an agenda, bring to Town Hall or send to email@example.com.
We will compile these agenda items and schedule a general meeting for all to attend in the near future. It is our hope that we will be able to present a softball program that everyone has a part in helping to make enjoyable and successful.
The Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department has made a huge effort to outfit your children in NBA and/or MLB replica jerseys this past year. While a majority of the uniforms have been returned, many have not. If we must purchase new jerseys next year, our fees will have to be increased for your children's programs.
If your children still have their basketball or baseball jerseys/pants, please return them to the recreation department as soon as possible.
The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating soccer. High School students may apply. Compensation is $15- $25 per game, depending on experience.
For additional information concerning any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor at 264-4151, Ext. 232, or 946-2810, Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m.
Public ed debate
A new school year has begun and with it, no doubt, will come the unending dialogue concerning the state of public education. Bar-ring an unlikely turnabout in this election year, the furor surrounding public education will remain at high volume. There are certifiable problems, in particular in core urban areas and some rural outposts, but the uproar is designed to merely spin around the difficulties and likely makes them worse. Damage is being done everywhere, by many parties, and no one seems eager to stop it.
Quality public education can exist only when the major players are in sync with one another, sincerely determined to improve the system: educators, politicians and bureaucrats, parents of students and the voting public. At this point, there is no synchrony, little sincerity, only noise.
The failure of politicians is so obvious it hardly merits notice. For decades, one mandate has followed another, most of them woefully underfunded, each a political horse saddled and ridden by manipulative characters tweaking an emotional public, squeezing out votes with blustery rhetoric uninformed by real experience in the world of education. Federal and state regulations erode local control of education; the onslaught produces wasteful systems buried in paperwork, rules that demand huge amounts of money be spent to support a school day for a single youngster at the expense of many, schemes in which some youngsters are kept in school far beyond the normal term, many against their will. The latest legislated fiascoes - No Child Left Behind and Colorado's CSAP testing program - were created more to curry favor with a cranky electorate than to deal effectively with problems. Both deprive local districts of control and, thus, rob districts of guidance from within.
We have, as a prime example of this tomfoolery, a politician running for the highest office in the land who, after noting more funding could be sent to the disaster known as No Child Left Behind, adds that teachers' feet "will be held to the fire."
What incredible cynicism this is. What staggering arrogance is displayed here, considering that, in school districts like our own, the vast majority of teachers are not only highly qualified individuals working for less than they deserve, but are extraordinarily dedicated to the education and well being of our youngsters.
The cynicism of the remark is obvious in the fact the vote seeker never mentions holding the feet of parents to the fire, when it is parents who must be held most responsible for the decline of public education. There has been far too much negative parental pressure on schools and classrooms, too much excusing of poor behavior and habits, too many instances of an inability to demand responsible, productive activity from children, too little willingness to discipline children and to allow them to be disciplined. We live in a culture in which more and more children dominate family life and the downline corrosive effect on education is profound.
The voter is also responsible for the current condition of public education: the voter who puts inept politicians in position to legislate in harmful ways; the voter who elects local officials who tolerate and defend mediocrity; the voters who are unwilling to serve and work for improvement. If real progress is to be made, voters must reject candidates who will produce more restrictions and burdens, unseat legislators who work late into the night to find ways to deprive local school boards of power to run their districts, dismiss local school board members who fail to promote high standards and achievement by administrators, staff and students alike.
Yes, there is a crisis in education in the country; public education is threatened on all fronts and it must be saved. There are many feet that must be held to the fire if it is to be repaired and to survive.
Communication rules the day
By Richard Walter
A menacing miniature mutt stares up from a hardwood floor under a label saying "If Looks Could Kill."
Across the bottom is printed the reprimand: "Ya never printed his letter to da Editor!"
We get mail, all kinds of mail, here in Pagosa's pulse center. Most is readable, some printable, some incoherent, some so libelous as to be tossed out immediately.
We get criticism, mistakes called to our attention, and occasionally, a letter not for publication but resounding with credit for a "job well done."
When readers understand what goes into the newspaper every week and take a moment out of their own busy day to let us know they liked something, it makes the job more worthwhile.
Even pointing out a slight omission, with an expression of thanks for what we do, can convert an otherwise grumbly day into a shinier one.
An example of that came Tuesday morning when Donna Kiister called about an article last week when I discussed the prospects for the Pagosa Springs High School soccer team and noted eight seniors had been lost to graduation from last year's team.
A true mother, she noted nine seniors, including her son, Casey, had departed the team. She's absolutely right. I somehow overlooked him in my notes.
But her added comment that we have done an outstanding job of covering high school athletics and she looks forward to the paper every week, eased the guilt and increased the reason for doing what we do.
There have been other letters about other topics, letters pleading for us to investigate sales tax gouging in a local restaurant but to not identify the complainant; letters indicating the writer had proof that so and so was having an affair with so-and-so and the public has a right to know; letters suggesting feature stories we'd already done; letters asking for help in getting writing careers started by publishing their manuscript of world-shaking importance.
Yep, we get letters, and I've come to believe it is because we treat everyone as an equal, even it if it cannot be printed.
As do those of us who pen columns weekly, every reader has a point of view, one which we may not agree with.
Every week with our Letters to the Editor there appears a box stating the maximum length is 500 words. And every week we get letters which go way over the limit - often from people who are completely aware of the length rule but obviously feel we'll make an exception in their case because their topic is so vital.
Letters, telephone calls, faxes, e-mails by the dozens pour in every day and each cries for the personal attention of a member of our staff. Often the missive is keying us in to something we were not previously aware of, or something we had been seeking more information about.
We like to think everyone is a part of our newspaper team because we believe The SUN is our readers' paper.
We like to present all the sides in a discussion of issues. But do not expect us to accept libelous material for publication.
90 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of August 28, 1914
The Catholic Church is being dressed up in new white paint, A. D. Griswold modiste.
C.A. McCartney of Oklahoma has purchased ranches of Bob Coryell and Dr. Barnes on Weminuche and will maintain a summer home there.
The Long-Day grocery firm has dissolved and the business will be carried on by Mrs. Mary Brown-Long. Patronize her once and you will be sure to go back.
The 8-year-old son of Pet Crowley of Chromo was kicked Wednesday evening by a horse and his cheek bone and nose were broken.
Be sure to come in and subscribe or renew your subscription to the Sun before the $1.50 per year price goes into effect.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 30, 1929
While traveling to town Sunday at a high rate of speed, Jess Garvey failed to make the turn at the light plant corner below town, ran his car into the hill and turned over. As a result the car was badly damaged and he sustained a badly cut foot.
County Superintendent of Schools Myrtle DeFoe last Friday issued diplomas to Gertrude Kingsley of District 12 and Lloyd Junior Clark of District 21, who this summer completed their eighth grade work and successfully passed the state examination.
Between sixty and seventy participated in the annual Hoosier picnic dinner and meeting held Sunday at the ranch home of Judge and Mrs. F.A. Byrne west of town.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 27, 1954
Work on the new school building is progressing more rapidly the past week with the arrival of additional masons. The fact that the roof is complete over part of the building also makes it possible for the interior work in that part of the building to go ahead while walls are being laid on the remainder of the structure.
The Volunteer Fire Department has been undergoing some intensive training and instruction in fire fighting and other subjects of interest to firemen. The fire department is strictly volunteer and the firemen do not receive any pay for fires, drills or the instruction sessions. The local fire department has a very good record in the town and their constant efforts to improve the equipment and enlarge upon their knowledge is a credit to the town.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 30, 1979
Local schools have opened and have again experienced a gain in enrollment. The enrollment of 922 students is the largest in the history of the school.
Fishing is improving, according to the fishermen who are lucky, and some nice catches have been reported out of many of the streams in the area. Water is low, fly fishing is good, and the best fishing spots certainly are not crowded.
George Yamaguchi is retiring from Jackisch Drug after 47 years with that establishment. He started there as a high school student and after obtaining his license as a pharmacist has been with three owners of the business. He is probably the longest time employee of any business in the county.
Club focuses on challenges of gardening on the Western Slope
By Tess Noel Baker
"To promote enjoyment of gardening.
"To promote fellowship among fellow gardeners."
Those were the two goals founders of Pagosa's Mountain High Garden Club set nearly a year ago when working to organize the group.
"We listed four objectives," club president Frances Wholf said, "to have fun, with an exclamation point; to share information about gardening in general and the Rocky Mountains in particular; to sponsor appropriate service projects that will enhance the beauty of Pagosa Springs; to acquire continuing education in the area of gardening including, but not limited to workshops, guest speakers and garden tours."
So far, so good.
"I've definitely enjoyed the camaraderie and the people and I think we've learned a lot from each other and the speakers," Wholf said. She and Barbara Bush, who knew each other from an investment club, started talking about a the need to resurrect a community garden club in the spring of 2003.
Both had suffered through trying to coax plants to grow in Pagosa Country with the challenges of clay soil, an abbreviated growing season and dry climate. Both had participated in master gardener classes and recognized a local need. Both had also been involved with garden clubs before. Wholf in Missouri and Bush in Evergreen, Colorado. They pulled in Chris Hostetter and Shari Gustafson, creating a steering committee for organization.
Today, there are between 40 and 50 garden club members - it costs just $5 in dues for the year. They meet the first Wednesday of every month, except for December and January, from 10 a.m.-noon, usually at the Extension building, to discuss all things plants. Each meeting features a speaker or a field trip. Topics over the last year have included: water features, house plants, vegetables, indoor planting, insects and control, putting a garden to bed in the fall, landscaping and design and bulbs.
Wholf said the group started by asking members for input on speakers. They also pulled in information available at the Extension service. From there, one topic would spark interest in another with most presenters donating their time. The executive committee uses the downtime in December and January to plan for the next year.
"The most popular meetings so far have been our little field trips," Gustafson said. "Everyone gets excited and inspired." Still, attendance sits at an average of 25 or more for all the meetings.
"Another time we all brought plants and seeds and traded them," Wholf said. Resources, magazines, pamphlets and personal experiences are shared back and forth. Plus, the group publishes a newsletter periodically, "The Garden Club News," to keep members up to date on events. The most recent one, sent out in July, featured information on a field trip, buying perennials, gardening books and a suggested potting soil mix for container gardening.
"A lot of the members know a lot of different things, so it's a nice mix," Hostetter said.
Barb Palmer, who joined the group this spring after moving to Pagosa from Vermont, said despite her love for plants, the challenges of growing things on the western slope led her to seek out help quickly.
"It's an entirely different gardening structure here," she said. "When we moved, our lot wasn't landscaped, but I didn't know what to do with the hard clay - how to amend the soil and what I could grow here."
She's found information gleaned from the speakers and other garden club members equally valuable.
"They've had excellent programs, very helpful," she said. "And I've enjoying the socializing, getting to meet other gardeners - other people who are passionate about plants."
Palmer's situation is fairly common.
"So many people come in and say, 'I don't understand how to put anything in the ground and keep it alive,'" Hostetter said.
The answer, Wholf said, is simple and repeated so often it's almost become a joke.
"Amend the soil. Amend the soil. Amend the soil."
This month, the group completed its first fund-raiser - a plant sale that netted about $400 for a community service project.
Gustafson, Wholf and Hostetter said a committee has been formed to look at various options for local gardening projects. The group is hoping to work in coordination with the town to find a spot perfect for beautification.
"We want to take on some more public, visible projects to help get the word out about the garden club, Gustafson said. "There are several locations around town that would make good candidates that we might be able to plant and keep doing from then on. We have lots of enthusiasm for sweat equity and community kinds of things."
Herbs will be the topic for the next two garden club meetings. Wholf said speaker Jennie Blechman, a certified clinical herbalist, will address the subject of medicinal herbs, Sept. 1. In October, Blechman will return to discuss culinary herbs. That meeting may also include a tasting party.
For more information, call Hostetter at 731-6900 or 946-7092.
The seeds of a love of history
John M. Motter
I have always been interested in history, defined in my mind as "where did these people come from, where did they go, and why?" How did I acquire such an approach to life?
When I was a young boy of 10 or so in Oregon, our nearest neighbor lived more than a mile away. We had a few cows, horses, and goats which, since there were few fences, wandered far and wide through the wilderness. My job was to find the cows and goats and bring them in each evening for milking. I became a good enough tracker to follow their footprints and find them.
A bonus while wandering the wilderness in my search for the livestock was to run across the remains of an abandoned homestead. Most of these contained the remnants of one or more buildings, other debris, and a few domestic flowers and fruit trees. The flowers were mostly hollyhocks and old fashioned roses. The fruit trees were always badly in need of pruning but could be apples, pears, peaches, plums or even cherries. All did well in southern Oregon.
I looked at the shattered remnants and wondered, who were those people? What dreams brought them here? What happened to force them to leave? I was well aware of my own parent's dreams, how they had left drought stricken Kansas during the depression and how they struggled to acquire enough money for a "place of our own." Didn't those people, now long gone and forgotten, have the same dreams?
The place I remember most favorably contained 10 unimproved acres, small rolling hills covered by manzanita, oak brush, wild lilacs, and a few fir and pine trees. The road in was an undulating, unimproved dirt path. When rain fell, low places became small creeks, normally not too much of a challenge for the 1934 Pontiac sedan we drove with its high clearance.
On the property was a three-room log cabin without electricity, telephone, or water. We had never heard of propane or other gasses as a fuel. The house was heated with wood. Mom cooked on a wood-burning range. The first thing dad did was build an outhouse. He was a lumber grader and lumber was cheap in those days, the lowest grade available for nothing. If people didn't haul it off, it was burned in the burner. He used the low grade, free lumber to build first the outhouse, then a shed for storing hay and to provide a place in which to milk the cow. Then he set about digging a well with hand tools. He got down about 10 feet into hardpan and so we had water during winter and spring. During the summer we hauled water.
Somehow, my memories of living on that property at New Hope are good ones even though we had almost nothing that cost money. I remember the 10 acres purchased from a man named Alcorn cost only $275. Even that small amount was hard to come by. Personally, as a 10-year-old, I don't remember seeing money. I do remember the "Monkey Wards" catalogs. Each year just before school started, mom had us stand on a piece of cardboard on which she traced the outline of our bare foot. The tracing was mailed to Wards and pretty soon a pair of shoes and our other school clothing arrived in the mail. I went barefoot all summer.
Incidentally, school was a three-mile walk, each way. The school building contained one class room, one teacher and eight grades.
In any case, I understood my parents' dreams and watched them struggle to try to make them happen. When I chanced across an abandoned home site, I understood that those people must have struggled the same way. And so a desire to know where people came from and where they went grew inside me, nurtured in my adult years as I moved about the West and discovered abandoned home sites almost everywhere.
Pagosa Country is no exception. Drive the back roads and you'll still see small log cabins, scarcely more than dugouts. When I moved here about 1969 or 1970 there were many more buildings fitting that description than there are today. Thirty years ago there were more old-timers who could help me learn who had been there, where they had gone, and why.
My story is not at all unique. Many of the old-timers I knew in Pagosa grew up much as I did - no electricity, telephone, or running water, lots of chores to do and lots of time spent outside. In fact, the conditions I've described were quite normal for rural America immediately before and after WW II. Those years were the late 1930s and early 1940s. That's not so long ago, but it seems so far removed from the present as to be unreal.
Who knows? Maybe at some future date someone will be looking at the remnants of our homes and wonder who we were and where we went? Quien sabe?
Next week we'll look at some telltale evidence of local Hispanic history, as seen on a trip from Pagosa Springs south down the Chama River Valley.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture