February 10, 2005
Front Page

 

PAWS sets March 8 public hearing on fluoridation issue

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Is fluoride a beneficial additive to public water supplies or an outdated, detrimental toxin?

That question dominated the opening of Tuesday's meeting of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors, marking the second time this year the topic of fluoridation has surfaced during a district board session.

As a result, the board has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on the issue for Tuesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This week's board meeting served as a follow-up of sorts to a Jan. 25 session in which Wayne and Cathy Justus, accompanied by over two dozen supporters, asserted fluoride is essentially toxic waste.

During an hour-long presentation, the Justuses argued that fluoride should not be considered a reliable means for prevention of tooth decay, but a hazardous industrial by-product that apparently contributed to the death of at least one of the couple's quarter horses.

In response, at the onset of Tuesday's meeting, Gene Tautges, district assistant general manager, addressed the board and roughly 20 members of the public concerning the history of and basis for the use of fluoride in district water supplies.

At the direction of the board, said Tautges, the district began fluoridation in 1985 based on what, at the time, was believed to be "good science" dating back to the 1950s.

Acknowledging thousands of studies which bolster both sides of the fluoridation argument exist, "It seems like it was viewed to be in the best interest of the public to do it, and I feel like that is still the driving force behind it, today," said Tautges.

After citing the facts that fluoride consumption has been proven to result in certain health benefits yet can be hazardous if ingested in excessive amounts, "I don't think any good district or municipality would consciously put anything in the water that is harmful to the public," said Tautges.

"But I think anybody would say more study is certainly not a bad thing," he added.

Further discussion led to a number of questions, including some concerning the levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in area reservoirs and streams.

According to Tautges, district tests have revealed that several bodies of water in the area include natural fluoride, though all that tested positive had levels below 1 part per million.

One question from board member Windsor Chacey touched on the amount of fluoride the district adds to its water supply and how frequently the level is tested.

"We are constantly monitoring it and adjusting the feed rate on a daily basis," replied Art Holloman, district superintendent, adding the district uses a form of fluoride known as sodium fluorosilicate.

With regard to how much sodium fluorosilicate is added to district water, Holloman indicated the amount equates to 1.1 parts per million, or 1.1 milligrams per liter, well below the state-allowed maximum of 4 parts per million.

In response to an audience member's question regarding the purity of sodium fluorosilicate, Tautges indicated the district uses a "nearly pure" form consisting of 98 percent sodium fluorosilicate, .5 percent water and .5 percent insoluble matter.

In reply to another question concerning the primary source of the district's sodium fluorosilicate, "I can't tell you, for sure, because we get it from a chemical distributor and not a manufacturer," said Tautges.

One attendee stated that sodium fluorosilicate, in its pure form, has been listed as a toxin.

"It is," replied Tautges. "Not so much in a diluted state, but if you put your fingers in the bag and lick them - then yes."

Others in attendance said fluoridation eliminates free choice since the district "is our sole source for water," while others argued the practice should be eliminated because it amounts to "mass medicating the public" and "practicing medicine without a license."

In the end, "I think it is important for us to hear from all sides on this issue," said Karen Wessels, board chair.

"To be fair, we need to give the rest of the people in the district an opportunity to comment before we make any decision on this," added Wessels. "We have that responsibility to our constituency."

The board agreed, eventually setting the March 8 hearing date, pending availability of the community center.

In conclusion, the board indicated the hearing will be moderated by a professional facilitator.

The board also noted that the hearing will not be a forum for debate, but used as a means for gathering public input.

Physicians outline community care needs

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Access to needed equipment. Access to needed personnel, including doctors willing to relocate long term. Access to a financial support structure capable of handling the load.

They're the problems facing those in health care across the country and those looming large in the Pagosa area.

Dr. Mark Wienpahl, one of four primary care physicians working at Pagosa Family Medicine, a private clinic currently serving 75-80 percent of the population, said the pieces are in place, it's simply a matter of arranging them to fit.

The right pieces include the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation, the tax-supported Upper San Juan Health Service District, a strong local group of physicians, 12 acres of land already set aside in a central location for health care. What's needed, he said, is a plan - not a Band-Aid - that moves the community forward

Dr. John Piccaro, another partner in the group, outlined the challenges. Although Pagosa Family Medicine is a private operation, in many ways it functions like a public clinic because the doors are open to the uninsured and underinsured with very few exceptions.

"We are a rarity," Piccaro said. "We're one of the few private clinics still open to everybody." Currently, it is open six days a week and staffed by four physicians and two mid-levels - physicians assistants or family nurse practitioners. Three providers are in the office during open hours. They aren't the only primary care option in town, but they cater to the bulk of the community's patients without seeing a penny of public money, besides collecting on a grant here or there.

Dr. Jim Pruitt, original owner of the family medicine center, said between 90 and 100 patients a day, around 2,000 a month, are seen. Of those, just over half are uninsured or underinsured.

Piccaro said the underinsured include those on Medicare and Medicaid, two federal programs which reimburse providers at a rate less than the cost of services.

"Basically in those cases, we're working for free, or we may be paying to see a patient," he said. Still, they've made it work, and are still making it work. In fact, if the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center closes, they will continue to try to make it work. All the Pagosa Family Medicine providers agreed the system needs to work without a pubic clinic competing with private doctors.

What they'd like to see is the public health care dollars going toward moving the entire system forward - "even bringing us up to the 1990s," Picarro said. Without cooperation, the money simply isn't there.

And moving the system forward means better equipment, more coverage and the ancillary services to provide safe, quality after-hours and emergent care.

Right now, Picarro said, "We're alone out there." When covering on-call services at night physicians in Pagosa Springs are without nurses, without X-ray technicians, without a lab.

That's scary for anyone and especially, he said, for doctors thinking of moving to the community, thinking of a long-term commitment. Pay is better elsewhere. The hours are better elsewhere. The support services are better elsewhere. And without new, committed physicians moving in here, the system breaks down as well, all agreed.

Since a new board of directors was elected to serve the Upper San Juan Health Service District in May, negotiations between the publicly-funded district and the private physicians for contracted services have been ongoing. Because of the current financial morass at the district, no agreement has ever been reached.

"We presented a statement of work for the whole nine yards," Pruitt said. That included needed support staff and needed services the area has never had.

"Even maximizing what we had," Wienphal said. "We were several hundred thousand dollars apart."

The district board, which includes Pruitt, will be faced Feb. 15 with the decision of what to do with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center in the short term. Contracts with two current physicians run out March 31, ending two decades of primary care service. From there, the board has discussed opening as an urgent center, a critical access hospital or simply renting out space until a long-term plan can be constructed.

Many have asked why Pagosa Family doesn't simply pick up and move into the Mary Fisher complex, thereby saving the overhead necessary to run two facilities.

The goal, Pruitt said, was to reserve that facility for expanded services, not to fracture the current group or duplicate services.

And Wienpahl added, the bottom line is that it's time to plan, to put real numbers on paper, to go to the people with real numbers, not to continue to Band-Aid the same problems.

"The question is does the community have enough money globally to do what they want to do?" he said. "I think we agree the answer is no."

The next step, all agreed, is to put the district, the people with the tax money earmarked for health care, in a secure financial position and continue talking.

"There has to be cooperation among everyone for this to work," Pruitt said.

 

Seven named to new airport advisory panel

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Archuleta County has a new airport advisory committee.

During a special meeting Tuesday, the county board of commissioners appointed a seven-member panel to assist with decision-making and airport operations at Stevens Field.

Appointed to three-year terms on the panel were Bob Howard, Nancy Torrey and Gerald Pearson.

Members appointed to serve two-year terms were Mark Weiler and Elmer Schettler, while Henry Silver and Tom Broadbent were appointed for one-year terms.

Areas of concern the newly-appointed committee will be expected to address include the following:

- federal, state and local rules and regulations to include, but not be limited to spill prevention, control and countermeasure, storm water management, EPA requirements, building and fire codes and local planning considerations;

- continued upgrade, on at least an annual basis, of the Capital Improvement Program used by the Federal Aviation Administration and State Division of Aeronautics to authorize/allocate grant funding;

- continued upgrade of airport minimum standards and policy guidelines;

- development of a viable airport business plan;

- midfield apron build-out to include architectural standards, hangar construction, aircraft parking facilities, utilities infrastructure, long-term airport automobile parking;

- development of the annual county budget.

Committee meetings will apparently be held "as needed, but no less frequent than bimonthly," with times and locations to be published accordingly.

A chairman, vice chairman and secretary are to be elected from within the committee and will be expected to serve one-year terms.

The search for panel members began Dec. 14, when the board voted to reestablish a county airport advisory committee and authorized a related proposal calling for five appointments.

A similar panel, deemed "The Airport Authority," was created in 1991, then terminated in September 2002, apparently because it had come to be viewed by many as an unnecessary layer of government.

In related airport business, a new entity has assumed fixed base operator responsibilities at Stevens.

During Tuesday's session, the board approved transfer of the county airport's fixed base operator agreement and lease to Avjet Corporation.

The transfer was the result of a request to the board from Wind Dancer Aviation, former fixed base operator at Stevens, indicating wishes to "assign its rights and obligations" under an October 2002 FBO agreement to Avjet.

Avjet Corporation is a multimillion dollar, full-service aviation company with primary offices in Burbank, Calif. and Hasbrouck Heights, NJ.

In other business this week, the board:

- appointed Robert Moomaw, Christiane Karas, Dan Aupperle and Rodney Class-Erickson to three-year terms on the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission;

- approved an agreement for jail medical services with Pagosa Family Medicine;

- directed staff to collaborate with the town of Pagosa Springs to pursue qualifications from firms interested in preparing a study regarding the potential creation of town and county impact fees.

 

Chemical spill validates new school safety plan

By Tess Noel Baker

and Richard Walter

Staff Writers

Baking soda was the cure needed for a small chemical spill at Pagosa Springs High School Monday.

Principal Bill Esterbrook said a bottle of diluted hydrochloric acid was spilled as a teacher was preparing a demonstration for class.

"The teacher was in a storeroom; no students were present. They were all in the classroom," Esterbrook said. Because it was a hazardous material, the classroom was evacuated. The Pagosa Fire Protection District was called to assess the damage.

Chief Warren Grams said a team of five entered the classroom with respirators and neutralized the acid with baking soda.

"No students were in any danger," he said. Firefighters were called about 9:35 a.m. and left about three hours later.

Esterbrook said all students in the classroom were evaluated by the school nurse. Two students were taken to the doctor by parents. Both were treated and released.

The teacher was slightly injured when some of the spill splashed in an eye. He was back in school the next day.

Esterbrook said the teacher diluted the spill immediately with water and ventilated the classroom. After neutralizing the spill and consulting with a clean-up firm in Farmington, the classroom was declared safe.

Classes went on as normal in the remainder of the building.

School board members were notified of the incident Tuesday night. On their agenda for the evening was approval of a new School Safety Plan two years in the making.

It had been utilized during the Monday incident though not formally approved said Steve Walston, district maintenance director.

Walston said the firemen, two in "bunker gear," utilized hazardous materials container bags to remove items during the safety cleanup.

By noon, he said, "we felt there was no longer a possible hazard and by 12:15 cleanup was complete."

The chemical spilled, he said, was part of a half-gallon container of a 35-percent solution of hydrogen chloride.

"The coordination and individual efforts of staff and fire personnel made everything go well," Walston said. "We were able to isolate the potential danger, the possible victims, and keep the area restricted."

Shortly thereafter, the new safety plan, having already worked, was formally adopted on a unanimous board vote.

 

County restructures landfill, transfer fees

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

For the second time this year, Archuleta County landfill and transfer station fees have undergone adjustments.

In response to widespread concerns resulting from Jan. 1 fee hikes deemed inappropriate by many, county commissioners moved this week to enact changes.

After a special meeting Tuesday which concluded with the implementation of a new fee schedule, "We appreciated all of the input we received from the citizens; we listened, and we acted," said Mamie Lynch, board chair.

As a result, a fee schedule based primarily on a graduated scale has been implemented.

The following is a breakdown of 2005 fee changes approved Tuesday, effective for the Pagosa Springs transfer station, county landfill and Arboles transfer station:

- minimum fee charges have been eliminated;

- the county will charge a fee of $1 per bag for up to seven bags of refuse, with maximum bag size being 33 gallons;

- for quantities in excess of the seven-bag limit, the county will charge $14.75 per cubic yard.

Another measure approved by the board Tuesday concerns stiffer enforcement of the county's secure load ordinance.

To that effect, "It was a difficult decision, but we also instituted doubling the fees for unsecured loads at the county landfill," said Lynch.

The county's secure load ordinance requires all loads to be covered, tarped or secured.

Chromo transfer station

The board took no action Tuesday regarding the Jan. 1 closing of the Chromo transfer station on County Road 382.

Trends toward increased operating and maintenance costs and encroaching use by out-of-state residents were cited as the main factors in the previous board's mid-November decision to permanently close the station.

However, according to Lynch, Waste Management has indicated it intends to operate in the area for a duration of two hours at least once a week.

Chromo residents seeking alternatives to hauling solid waste to other transfer stations or the county landfill can contact Waste Management at 264-5622 or (800) 274-6284.

For further information concerning the closing of this facility, contact the county solid waste department at 264-0193.

 

 Inside The Sun

 

Student development data use creates move to add new admin post

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The flood of statistical data emanating from new testing procedures established by both state and federal mandate offers a vast volume of tracking material for the individual student.

If, that is, you have someone who is trained to analyze that data and transform it into workable programming that will help the single student advance proportionately.

That, in essence, was the base argument Tuesday as school officials dealt with the surfeit of data by creating a new assistant superintendent position for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

The job, to be posted immediately, is called "Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment." The person chosen will report directly to the superintendent and will be the No. 2 administrator in the district.

Superintendent Duane Noggle said the post will be the funnel through which all the statistical data will be poured, "the place where we can see a single student's progress or lack thereof and use his or her personal study data to proscribe a plan of study."

The persons selected will be a full-time district employe at a salary to be determined but based on existing scale within the district.

The new administrator will be required to hold a master's degree or better, hold or be able to obtain a state professional administrator license, demonstrate past success in working with and through staff in establishing and attaining district goals, be knowledgeable in curriculum development, have knowledge and experience in multiple means of student assessment, and be skilled in the use of various computer software and analysis of testing procedures and evaluation of scores and a means of advancement for the student.

Planned starting date for the new position is July 1.

Noggle told the board of education he had held extensive consultation with Nancy Schutz, business manager for the district, and with building principals before recommending addition of the position.

He said the move was proposed partly out of the need to meet state and federal mandates, "but more importantly, we believe this position can have the greatest impact on student achievement.

"The problem we face today," he said, "is that we have access to a tremendous amount of data for all students, groups of students and individual students. Unfortunately, we do not have the trained personnel who can dig in to the data and identify why a specific student is not learning."

With all the computer assisted technology now available and a staff development program focusing on professional learning communities, "We believe this is the next logical step in enhancing the district's instructional program", he said.

In conjunction with creation of the post the administration, Noggle said, will recommend next month an additional four days on the school calendar, three for professional development and one instructional.

Paying for that and the new administrative position, Noggle reminded the board, will require spending down district reserves.

That, however, will not be a problem, said Schutz.

"We added to reserves this year," she said, "and I demanded to be shown that the move is cost effective before I'd give approval. I got that and believe the move is the right one. There is money available, and the move is one which will benefit the entire district, most importantly, the individual student."

Noting the move is at least in part designed to remove overwhelming work loads from building principals, Director Clifford Lucero said, "I've seen what they have to do and they're all swamped. We need to give them this help to ease that load."

Director Mike Haynes, board president, noted the No Child Left Behind federal mandate requires that every child in every class be deemed proficient by the year 2014.

"We need this kind of help now to reach that required student achievement goal," he said. "But it will entail an unexpected cost."

And again, he asked Schutz for her final evaluation.

"I'm convinced it will be money well spent," she said, "even if it means taking from reserves. Our job is to fund the best education we can for all students. This is a means of achieving that end."

With that pronouncement, the proposal was approved unanimously on a motion by Sandy Caves, seconded by Jon Forrest.

 

Comprehensive planning panel being formed

The Town of Pagosa Springs invites residents of Archuleta County and the town to serve on a 12-person Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee will be asked to meet at varying times on multiple occasions for the duration of the comprehensive planning process, which is expected to a year.

Interested community members should submit a cover letter no longer than one page explaining their interests in participating in the comprehensive planning process, what they can bring to the plan and what they hope to achieve from the being on the advisory committee. Contact information - a physical and mailing address, phone number, and e-mail - should also be included.

Submit letters to Town of Pagosa Springs, Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, PO Box 1859, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Applications will be accepted until March 1.

 

Piñon Causeway to close for repairs

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

If you've been thinking Piñon Causeway could use a little "TLC," you're not alone.

During a special session Tuesday, Archuleta County commissioners approved a resolution that will temporarily restrict nonessential traffic on Piñon yet maintain access for local residents while the deteriorating roadway is repaired.

According to the resolution, a road closure from the intersection of Piñon and Village Drive extending north 900 feet on Piñon will be in effect for up to 90 days, "with this 900-foot segment of Piñon Causeway remaining open to local traffic from its southern terminus only."

However, the intersection of Piñon and Village will remain open.

Signs alerting the public to the closure should be in place by the weekend, and further details of the closure will be published in next week's edition of The SUN.

  

Blood draw set

United Blood Services will conduct a blood draw in Pagosa Springs 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24.

Site will be Community United Methodist Church, 424 Lewis St.

Current identification is required of all potential donors.

You may sign up for blood drives in advance by going online to www.unitedbloodservices.org.

 

Corrections

In our Jan. 27 story titled "Federal jury awards Bass $800,000" the titles "plaintiff" and "defendant" were switched at points in the story. Bass was the plaintiff in the case; Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards, ex-undersheriff Russell Hebert and ex-deputy Tim Evans were the defendants.

In a letter to the editor Feb. 3 titled "Christian nation," by Robert Horstman, a SUN error listed an inaccurate date. The year the Trinity Decision was issued was 1892, not 1982.

 

Construction value in town up 142 percent in 2004

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Get out the record books. Pagosa Springs needs to make a new entry.

Compared to 2003, overall construction valuation in the town was up 142 percent based on building permit fees issued. Permit fees collected showed an 86-percent jump.

When compared to 2000 - the previous record - fees were up 61 percent and overall valuation is up 50 percent. All of the numbers were presented to members of the town council at their regular meeting Feb. 1.

Total permit fees for 2004 reached almost $50,000. Construction valuation toed in just at the $11 million mark.

The largest projects for the year included a 25,000 square foot, $3.4 million expansion of City Market; a $1.24 million addition to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; a $700,000 expansion of the library and a $600,000 shell-only building on Talisman Drive.

Permits were also issued for eight new residential units with an average value of $218,500.

On the planning side, projects including 43 additional residential units were approved in 2004. Projects proposing another 163 residential units are continuing to make their way through the planning process. Thirty-five commercial units received approval in 2004.

Garcia said staff continues to work on numbers needed to compare the year in planning to 2003.

There's no question about sales tax receipts. According to numbers handed out to the town Tuesday, sales tax receipts for November, the most recent numbers available, were up over 14 percent when compared to the same month in 2003.

The town is also considering growth via annexation. Applications for annexation are being accepted through Feb. 11 and several are expected. Annexation petitions and procedures are available online at www.townofpagosasprings.com or by calling Town Planner Tamra Allen, 264-4151, Ext. 235.

 

Our Savior applauds top pupils

Our Savior Lutheran School is saluting students' efforts in the first semester of the school year.

Academic honors went to 46 percent of the pupils in grades two-six, including high honors for Sara Dale, Ryan McInnis, Caden Henderson, Hailie Davidson, Tim Shepherdson, Ian Geraghty, Reyes McInnis, Rebecca Maree, Haleigh Zenz, Lark Sanders and Danny Shepherdson.

 

88 with perfect 4.0 marks top high school honor roll

Eighty-eight Pagosa Springs High School students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages lead the first semester honor roll released Jan. 21 by Bill Esterbrook, principal.

Included are 29 seniors, 18 juniors, 24 sophomores an 17 juniors.

Seniors with perfect marks were Paula Alves, Randi Andersen, Shiloh Baker, Kyrie Beye, Kelli Ford, Brett Garman, Levi Gill, Esther Gordon, Janna Henry, Richard Lafferty.

Also, Esther Lloyd, Benjamin Loper, Manuel Madrid, Juan Martinez, Kelcie Mastin, Danine Mendoza, Audrey Miller, Jesse Morris, Chris Nobles, Ryan Ranson.

Also, Rachel Schur, Brianna Scott, Keagan Smith, Victoria Stanton, Courtney Steen, Alex Tapia, Lori Walkup, Rachel Watkins, and Kyle Wiggers.

Top echelon juniors were Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Sara Baum, Emily Buikema, Juan Calderon, Jake Cammack, Caitlin Forrest, Jim Guyton.

Also, Joshua Hoffman, Elizabeth Kelley, Matthew Nobles, Jakob Reding, Orion Sandoval, Emilie Schur, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Katherina Vowles, and Veronica Zeiler.

Top sophomores were Shannon Baker, Hannah Clark, Kathryn Cumbie, Iris Frye, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Joseph Gill, Jamilyn Harms.

Also, Casey Hart, Jennifer Haynes, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Shanti Johnson, Kimberly Judd, Sierra Lee, Jennifer Lobato, Jessica Lynch, Elise McDonald, Jesse Miller.

Also, Ellen Niehaus, Laurel Reinhardt, Grace Smith, Jessie Stewart and Jenni Webb-Shearston.

The 17 freshmen with perfect scores were Cody Bahn, Madeline Bergon, Caleb Burggraaf, Dan Cammack, Natalia Clark, Shannon DeBoer, Matthew Fackler.

Also, Kailee Kenyon, Mackenzie Kitson, Allison Laverty, Jessica Low, Travis Moore, Keith Pitcher, Trey Quiller, Forrest Rackham, Joshua Reding and Rebecca Stephens.

One senior, Christine Morrison, 11 juniors, seven sophomores and 12 freshmen just missed the top status, finishing the semester with averages of 3.75.

Juniors included Nikolos Carrizo, Heather Dahm, Kari Faber, Brittany Feyen, Sandra Griego, Kody Hanavan, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Ursala Hudson, Brittany Jaramillo, Guillermo Molina and Chelsea Taylor.

Sophomores at the 3.75 level were Jacob Beavers, Hayley Goodman, Anna Hershey, Kyle Kamolz, Tiffany Mayne, Max Smith and Trevor Trujillo.

Freshmen at the same level were Chance Adams, Patrick Ford, Bruce Hoch, Bradley Iverson, Joshua Laydon, Stephan Leslie, Michael Moore, Trisha Perea.

Also, Hannah Price, Sara Schultz, Jason Smith and Stephanie Zenz.

 

House candidate Roberts getting jump on competition

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

The 2006 general election is nearly two years away, but Durango attorney Ellen Roberts believes in being thorough.

That's one reason Roberts, a Republican candidate to succeed Mark Larson as Representative of Colorado House District 59, is hitting the campaign trail early.

During a formal announcement of her candidacy for the District 59 seat Jan. 15 at Pagosa Springs Town Hall, Roberts relayed some additional motives for getting an early jump on the competition.

"One of the main reasons I'm getting out early," said Roberts, "is because this is such a large district and I want to get to more meetings, meet more people and learn the district's issues of greatest concern."

Achieving reasonable solutions "for the many complex problems we are facing" will be a primary goal of her campaign, said Roberts, with specific focus on the areas of health care, economy and quality of life in rural Colorado.

Regarding health care, "I believe Colorado needs to be a leader instead of a 'lagger' in establishing and maintaining affordable and available health care policies at the state and local levels," said Roberts.

Roberts, who currently serves as chair of the Mercy Medical Center board of directors, lists the high costs of health care and the abundance of problems facing a growing number of uninsured and under-insured residents as major areas of concern.

Other important health care topics which need to be better addressed, said Roberts, include the shortage of primary care providers, lack of sufficient mental health services and the issue of inadequate preventive medicine.

Addressing the economy, "I know it's a long-term process," said Roberts, "but we have to work on getting Colorado back to a strong and diverse economy."

One way to begin such a restoration, said Roberts, "is to supply our state colleges and universities with adequate funding, because they produce the 'seed corn' for strong state and local economies."

Additional steps toward a thriving state economy cited by Roberts include ensuring funds are available for roads and basic human services, establishing an attractive business atmosphere and providing ample job opportunities.

"To me, it is unacceptable that Colorado has fallen to the bottom of state lists in areas like health, education and roads," said Roberts. "We need to build a stronger economy; our residents should and need to be employed, not scouring want ads for jobs in other states."

With respect to quality of life, Roberts indicated she intends to work to maintain "viable agricultural communities, and will be a strong advocate for rural Colorado."

Said Roberts, "Rural Coloradans inhabit 80 percent of the state's land, but are only 15 percent of the state's population.

"This means representatives from rural areas need to be heard loud, clear and often when our Front Range cousins try to make policies without giving due consideration or resources to those of us in rural areas."

Of special importance to rural Colorado, said Roberts, are the issues of water, land use and transportation.

"We have different concerns from the metro areas, and I am prepared to make those differences known and meaningfully considered by those under the 'gold dome,'" said Roberts.

In conclusion, "We've had very strong leadership from this district, and Mark Larson's shoes will be especially hard to fill," said Roberts.

"I know I'm in for a lot of meetings and miles, but I also know I'll meet with a lot of interesting people, so I really look forward to it," she added.

"And it's unusual for a 'freshman' coming in to have the experience I've built up over the years, so I believe I can 'hit the ground running,'" she concluded.

Background

Roberts has been in private practice as an attorney in Durango since 1989, focusing on the areas of estate planning, probate and business law.

She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1981 and her law degree from the University of Colorado in 1986.

Roberts is involved in several community activities and also serves on the First National Bank of Durango board of directors.

She has also been active with Club 20, and has worked with Rep. Larson on a number of bills.

In January of last year, she received the Durango Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, which recognizes individual professional excellence, as well as community service and assistance to women in attainment of professional excellence.

In December 2003, Roberts was featured as a "Four Corners Leader" in the Four Corners Business Journal, and was selected by her fellow Durango attorneys for the Professionalism Award in 2001.

She is mother to two teen-agers, Caitlin and Ben, and her husband, Rick, is a local home builder.

 

Outdoor Club scholarship applications due

Applications are now available for the San Juan Outdoor Club scholarship program.

They must be filed with the high school counselor, along with grade transcripts and essays, by spring break in March.

A club scholarship committee comprised of Patty Blide, Sara Scott and Gary Hopkins, chairman, will review all applications using a ranking scale (grades, SAT/ACT scores, school and community service leadership, employment history and sports and recreational activities) to select the top candidates for April interviews.

Interview questions will revolve around the reasons for the candidate's choice of major, college, career and plans for future community, recreational and environmental involvement.

The scholarship award is presented during graduation ceremonies and the winner introduced to club members at the June meeting.

Past club scholarship winners have been Seth Kurt-Mason, 2000; Patrick Riley, 2001; Mathew Ford, 2002; Sara Aupperle, Clayton Mastin and Jason Schutz in 2003; Melissa Diller, Jenna Finney, Amy Tautges and Melissa Wollenweber in 2004.

Funding for the scholarships, which have ranged from $500 to $1,000, is provided by member contributions, profits from the annual Sports Swap, and money received from helping register ATVs during the hunting season.

The club promotes and encourages the protection and maintenance of the environment and the expansion of recreational opportunities for all members of the community.

 

Democrats tap Chromo man as new chair

The Archuleta County Democratic Central Committee elected officers Feb. 2 for two-year terms.

Ben Douglas of Chromo was elected to the chair. Pagosa residents Rich Goebel, Gerda Witkamp and Lynda Van Patter were elected vice chair, treasurer, and secretary respectively.

The committee, under Douglas, is undergoing some organizational restructuring to form a more extensive base using subcommittees and perhaps additional members.

Subcommittees would focus on issues such as fund-raising, communications and outreach, candidate development, precinct organization, and event planning and publicity.

Plans are also being made for the annual chili supper to be held Saturday, March 12, at the Parish Hall.

Any local Democrats are invited to participate on any level.

For more information, call Douglas at 264-5299 or Van Patter at 731-4795.

 

Salvation Army's local service is year-round effort

The Salvation Army was established in Archuleta County in 2001. Funds are raised primarily by bell-ringing from Thanksgiving to Christmas, with some private mail donations.

These funds are disbursed, only in Archuleta County, to people who need assistance with medical, food, auto, rent, insurance, utilities and overnight lodging.

All money raised is spent to help people - except for 0.5 percent which is spent for operating expenses. For example, for $6,000 raised, $30 is spent for operating costs and $5,970 is given to people in need.

The Salvation Army disburses money throughout the year, contrary to some people's belief that the money raised during Thanksgiving and Christmas is spent only during this time.

Finally, volunteer bell-ringers are always needed.

This is an excellent opportunity to spend an hour or two to share in the joy of helping others who are down on their luck. If you are interested, call Jim Haliday at 731-9082.

If anyone wishes to make a mail-in donation, they can send it to Salvation Army, PO Box 1567, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-1567.

 

High Country Reflections

Flyfishing can become a way of life

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It's February now, and lately, my thoughts have increasingly turned to flyfishing.

Of course, winter is only about half over, and more cold and snow are sure to come, but subtle climatic changes of late suggest the slightest weakening in winter's grip on the surrounding landscape. For example, sunny days are notably brighter than those of just last month, and daylight lingers a bit longer every evening. The lower south- and west-facing slopes, if at all, are only thinly veiled in snow, and the thick layers of ice, which have virtually sealed area rivers and streams for months, are now slowly receding. The signs, though tenuous they may be, are unmistakable, and in a few short weeks, a variety of waters will be fishable.

Indeed, some rivers almost unfailingly accommodate flyfishers, even through all but the worst of winter's fury. Tailwater rivers, or those flowing from dams, like the San Juan below Navajo Lake in New Mexico, the Gunnison Gorge near Hotchkiss, and the Frying Pan near Basalt, are renowned year-round trout fisheries, and I have managed to pull several nice fish from their icy waters over the years. Their regulated flows are predictably consistent, water temperatures fluctuate but a few degrees season to season, and conditions overall, afford exceptional habitat allowing for the production, survival, and reproduction of large healthy trout.

But as idyllic as the tailwaters seem, they are too popular with today's wide-ranging angling public. As the human populations of mountain-state cities continually swell, even the more distant impoundments draw large crowds nearly every month of the year. With viable space typically at a premium, fierce competition quickly develops, tempers ultimately flare, and disturbing conflicts inevitably arise. At once, one's "angling" experience can be reduced to something more akin to combat than a satisfying day outdoors.

As with any lifelong ambition, flyfishing becomes a way of life for those who pursue it seriously. Its almost overwhelming complexity commonly effects a course of evolution through which most aficionados pass, before settling on a particular interest or specific style that best suits them personally.

As for me, I first took up flyfishing shortly after moving to Colorado, and immediately devoted every possible moment to perfecting technique. I lived on the Eagle River then, and while working nights, fished from dawn 'til dusk nearly every day. At first, I just wanted to catch a trout on a fly. Then, I hoped to catch every one in the river, and for awhile, I would only take fish on flies I tied. At some point, I worked to refine my tailwater skills, in order that I might land the largest river fish available. But in time, I realized that size and number were really unimportant, and that bringing wild trout up to dry flies was all that mattered. Today, however, while I still prefer fooling fish with classic dry-fly patterns, I am willing to employ a wet fly or nymph from time to time, provided I do so, while incorporating them with the use of a traditional bamboo fly rod and raised-pillar reel.

I don't mean to sound pretentious in view of those preferring other methods or equipment, nor am I suggesting I've figured anything out that others probably haven't. But as I look back over 25 years of innumerable and glorious, if not incredibly diverse, flyfishing experiences, I find the ongoing progression of angling as it relates to my own way of life at least mildly amusing.

And, without a doubt, it's not over yet.

For instance, in recent years I've begun wondering if catching a fish is really that important at all. It seems that on virtually every occasion I am more content with basking in the entire experience, and less apt to simply immerse myself in the course of fishing, as in days past. The chosen venue for a particular foray, usually with inherent solitude and magnificent scenery, lavish vegetation, and abundant wildlife, is most pivotal, while the fishing has become more an excuse to go, rather than the only reason for going. I can say this with some confidence, because on outings that might span eight full hours, I may actually fish only two or three, and the number or size of fish caught invariably holds little relevance to the level of fulfillment achieved.

Of course, I can't deny the feeling of instant gratification that still comes from landing a nice fish now and again, but over time, I have managed to solve most of the mysteries involving procedure. For me, the real challenge remains in actually fooling a fish and invoking a strike, particularly when little or no natural insect activity is apparent, and few outward signs suggest the presence of feeding trout.

Once accomplished though, and a fish is on, any elation quickly turns to concern for its well-being, and an immediate and gentle release becomes paramount. Conventional wisdom suggests that if a fish is freed in good physical condition, there has been no harm, and therefore, no foul. But some are now questioning the morality of catching a fish at all, if it's only to be let go "unharmed." With this in mind, I now grapple with another concept that, once again, may revolutionize my fishing.

In light of modern "political correctness" and mounting pressure from various special interest groups, like anti-hunters and animal rights advocates, some seasoned anglers have turned to fishing with hookless flies. Granted, the idea is somewhat appealing, and would allow the perpetuation of "challenging" fish, without subjecting them to potential injury, physical or otherwise. In fact, I've fished with barbless flies for decades, and this may just be the next step in the progression.

Fortunately for me, there is ample time for the consideration of such potentially life-altering choices, because, as I've said, the availability of a variety of fishable waters is still a few weeks away. Besides, my best buddy, longtime fishing companion, and renowned fly-tyer, Bruce Keep, is apparently still working to create a series of hookless dry flies that will actually float upright. Come to think of it, I haven't heard from him on the issue, since my original phone request months ago.

 

Letters

CR 500's a mess

Dear Editor:

County Road 500 is a total mess. Had to make a trip to Arboles on Jan. 30 and found that the road was all but impassable just past mile marker 31. Again on Feb. 4 I needed to go that way. The road past mile marker 31 was the same, minus the running water, but the mud would make it almost impossible for a small car to pass.

My question to Road and Bridge and the commissioners is why on the way there I passed a front loader cleaning ditches just below Pagosa Junction that did not need it? The machine never made it to the place where it was needed and spent the weekend parked at the place that didn't need it.

A commissioner returned my call and said it would be several days before they could take care of the problem, that they needed owners' permission. Well, they do not need permission to clear the road so motorists can get by without taking their lives in the roads hands. Duh. I made a point of coming back the same way to see if anything had been done. Nothing had been, and at the time of this writing, nothing has been done yet to clear the road.

County Road 500 is in the worst condition I have seen in 30 years, and I have lived down here that long. It needs help and soon. Don't just come down and pretend to fix it. Is this not a road that you all are talking about making a scenic byway?

Don't think a tourist could make the drive without having a cardiac arrest. The people who have to use it everyday are truly brave or do not have a choice.

Another one that needs help is CR 700 which is marginal to say the least. Right now CR 700 is the only way out without beating your vehicle and you to pieces. But it won't be long before it is a total mess.

What happened to the old way when you left equipment in an area, instead of driving it there. By the time you get the equipment here it is time to go back.

All this money that is put into a study by a group that does not live in the area is a total waste. This seems to be the county's way now. Get real, get someone who knows how to do things right the first time.

All of us who live on CR 500 and 700 pay taxes and are entitled to all the benefits the rest of the county enjoys. Get it together and put these roads back to where they can be used and not destroy your vehicle and beat the life out of you.

Thirty-plus years ago the roads were one lane and they are one lane now; you call it progress, to me it is regress. Get it together Archuleta County you are not impressing anyone that has to drive these roads.

Very concerned,

LuAnn Baker

 

Judge responds

Dear Editor:

This is response to Thelma and Robert Smith's letter of last week voicing their displeasure with me that the trial set for Jan. 24 did not take place. I've called Mrs. Smith and explained that I was not the judge presiding in the case, but since I've had many trials cancelled at the last minute, I apologized and tried to explain the reasons this happens. I also extend that apology to the rest of the persons who were called that week and the following week and had no trial take place.

The reasons this happens and will continue to happen despite our best efforts are numerous. Sometime defendants change their minds and decide to plead guilty or accept a plea bargain at the last minute and the court must decide between wasting citizens' time by vacating the trial versus wasting more time by holding an unnecessary trial.

Sometimes essential witnesses disobey subpoenas and fail to appear - I've even had one show up drunk (who was sent to jail). Sometimes new evidence pops up which was supposed to have been given to the defense but was not. Many times these issues don't show themselves until the morning of trial because ours is a part-time court and the attorneys are often from out of town.

But, whatever the reason, I can assure the Smiths that it is not the result of indifference to or disregard for citizens' time. I am acutely aware of the inconvenience, but unfortunately, have to make decisions which I understand will be unpopular in order to uphold due process considerations. But, again, I apologize for it happening and we will continue to try to do better.

Judge Jim Denvir

 

Dissappointed

Dear Editor:

Dear U.S. Senator Salazar:

I was very disappointed to hear that you voted in favor of Secretary Gonzales. Understanding that he is a fellow American/Hispanic, this was still not a good decision. You just voted in favor of a government beyond the law, beyond accountability. We did not send you to the U.S. Senate, with our votes and our dollars, to have you put ethnicity before Constitutional Civil Rights for Americans and other Humans. Please consider carefully all future votes, and know that we are watching all of our elected officials very carefully. Being a Democrat does not guarantee you the support of citizens who are learning to distrust our once beloved government.

Cristy Holden

 

Bush's irony

Dear Editor:

I listened to what President Bush had to say upon his inauguration and his State of the Union address, and the main theme was that of freedom.

It seems ironic to me that what he and the current administration are creating is actually quite the opposite - a drastic and continuing loss of freedom in several places.

Throughout the globe, citizens are being detained, often secretly and without due process and basic rights, right to a speedy trial and to a lawyer. Basic civil liberties and human rights are being curtailed in direct contravention of our constitution and the code of the Geneva Convention.

Other constitutional rights are being severely constrained: the right to peacefully assemble - look at the huge clamp down on protestors during the Republican convention and other politically sensitive events; and the right of free speech - speak out and you may find yourself out of a job.

Freedom of the press is being curtailed as more and more of the media are corporately owned and forced to toe the party line. The media is becoming more and more a propaganda machine. Freedom of information is rapidly being restricted in the name of national security or other glib catch phrases.

It behooves us to keep ourselves informed and protest in whatever way we can against this confront to democracy and liberty. These deficits will burden generations to come unless we stand up and speak out at this crucial time in the history of our nation.

Sincerely,

Udgar Parsons

 

Disbelief

I read with disbelief, the letter from Chris Chavez in last week's SUN. As a longtime resident of CR 500 I had to put up with daily semi truckloads of gravel from the Chavez gravel pit driving past my house from 6 a.m. every day for months this past summer and fall. You bet the road is in terrible shape. We on the road had to put up with the noise pollution, the added dust - which doesn't help my asthma or anyone else's breathing problems - plus I had to put up with a veritable freeway going past my house daily from sunup to sundown. I didn't move 900 miles to live with a lakefront view, which by the way isn't there anymore, and put up with this kind of aggravation.

I didn't see anyone even try to water the road to help with the dust problem, let alone was I ever contacted about permits pertaining to the operation of this gravel pit, so if Mr. Chavez has anything to say it ought to be in the form of an apology to the residents who put up with his moneymaking operation last summer. Or maybe he ought to be made to pay part of what it costs to maintain the road. After all, he was the one profiting from all of our aggravation and loss of peace and quiet and the present shape that the road is in now.

Mike Thompson

 

Community News

It's Winterfest Weekend when snow time's fun time

By Doug Trowbridge

Special to The PREVIEW

As the new year fades and February becomes firmly entrenched, some of us may become a little sick of the white stuff.

This weekend, however, the Chamber has planned a little adventure. So get out and learn to have some fun in the frigid fluff.

Winterfest is a great time to find that spirit of fun again!

A big part of Winterfest is the 35 hot air balloons that take to the awesomely azure Colorado skies on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Nothing compares to the sight of myriad colors floating along with the snow-capped peaks of the mighty Rocky Mountains in the background. Snap some pictures and enjoy the views or jump in and offer to help one of the pilots and you might just earn yourself a free balloon ride

On Saturday, you can enjoy a snow sculpture contest starting 10 a.m. in the Visitor Center parking lot. Watch some of the locals put their creative talents to use or sign up and join in. The entry fee for the snow sculpture contest is $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event and contestants have a shot at taking home a cash prize if their entry is judged the best individual or best team effort.

Viewers can take a quick break for lunch at one of Pagosa's many wonderful restaurants and then return around 3 p.m. for the judging. See which mountain of snow has been transformed into the winning presentation of beauty!

Also Saturday, sportsmen and women can take part in the second annual Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Tournament on Lake Pagosa 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For an entry fee of just $5 ($7 if purchased on the day of the event), participants can vie for numerous cash prizes in the categories of most perch caught and largest perch caught. If you love the outdoors and enjoy ice fishing, this is a great way to have fun and maybe earn some money.

Saturday evening around dusk, you'll want to be out by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center to watch a spectacular balloon glow. If you've never seen one, a balloon glow takes place when hot air balloon pilots set their balloons up and send fountains of flame into their balloons while they sit on the ground. The resulting glow from the balloons is something that must be seen to be believed.

More balloons on Sunday morning and then you'll want to run out to the east side of town to the hill behind the Best Value Inn High Country Lodge for the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race. If you would like to take part in the race, the entry fee is $15 preregistration or $25 on the day of the event. During the race, you are likely to view varying degrees of ingenuity and insanity hurtling down the hillside. In the past we have seen some great homemade sleds, one man who tried to ride an upside-down ironing board and some deranged plumbers who rode a fiberglass shower stall.

It's always fun for participants and spectators alike, so come out and enjoy. Cash and other prizes will be awarded for the fastest sled and the most creative. Don't worry about lunch, free food and drinks will be provided, courtesy of the Best Value Inn High Country Lodge.

Close out your Winterfest weekend by taking in the basketball antics of the Harlem Ambassadors. Sponsored by Troy Ross Construction and Buckskin Towing, this show features some rollicking roundball between the Ambassadors and the Pagosa Ringers.

Enjoy fun for the whole family that is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. The show takes place at the high school gym 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the Harlem Ambassadors are $6 for students/seniors and $8 for adults in advance. Tickets at the door will be $8 for students/seniors and $10 for adults.

So break out of those winter doldrums, kick that cabin fever and plan on having a little fun this Winterfest weekend. For more information on events, call the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360. We'll see you in the snow!

Singing Valentines to support Red Cross

You can surprise your sweetheart with a Mountain Harmony Singing Valentine at your door or your table at a restaurant, Feb. 11-14.

The proceeds will go to the local chapter of American Red Cross for local projects.

Make this Valentine's Day unique with a harmonized women's ensemble bringing treats and singing of love.

Suggested donation is $25.

For details and bookings call Robbye Reedy at 731-4873.

 

Feb. 17 talks set on forming community band

By Robert Nordmann

Special to The PREVIEW

Do you enjoy playing a musical instrument, but don't have a place to play? Was band one of your favorite activities in high school, but now your clarinet collects cobwebs in the closet, or your saxophone sits silently in the cellar?

If the thought of picking up your instrument and making music again sounds like fun, consider joining with other local brass, woodwind, and percussion players in forming a community band.

There are a number of talented Pagosans who truly enjoy sharing their musical abilities with the community.

Those of you who have attended the local Oktoberfest at the Community Center the last few years have heard some of them perform. Those players, along with several others, are trying to form a larger ensemble to perform a variety of music for the public on a more regular basis.

Although the details have yet to be worked out, performance possibilities might include summer concerts in the park, playing in the Fourth of July parade, or indoor spring or fall concerts.

If you are at all interested, please come to a kickoff meeting 7 p.m. Feb. 17, at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

The purpose of the meeting is to find out who wants to play and to work out the some of details for forming the organization such as practice schedules, performance opportunities, direction, music, etc. If you have any questions about joining the group, or want to join but can't make the meeting, please contact Tim Bristow at 731-1280 (e-mail morgtow@ frontier. net).

Annual Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet Friday

By Lynn Shirk

Special to The PREVIEW

The annual Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scout Troop 807 will be 5:30-7 p.m. Friday in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds, with an Italian cuisine pot luck menu.

As always, the Feller's Cake Bake will be a highlight of the evening. This is a fun cake raffle where only the scouts and their dads are allowed to create a confectionery masterpiece. The cakes are auctioned to the highest bidder, which can sometimes get intense. Some in the past have gone for as much as $200.

This a great fund-raiser for the scouts and helps defer the costs of day camp, supplies and badges throughout the year.

What will make the evening even more special is that Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The troop is inviting and will acknowledge all Eagles Scouts, young or old to the event, and give them special recognition for a job well done.

For more information, contact Lisa Scott, Cubmaster, at 264-2730 or Carrie Toth at 264-9042.

Also coming up is the annual Pinewood Derby scheduled Feb. 26 at the Extension building. Youngsters create a race car from a block of wood and race for a chance to compete in regional competition March 12.

 

Veteran area musicians form Hot Biscuits trio

By Erin Quirk

Special to The Preview

In a song she wrote once about the music industry, folk/rock musician Ani DiFranco said, "Maybe I should put a bucket over my head and a marshmallow in each ear, and stumble around for another hum drum year waiting for another hum drum hit song to appear."

DiFranco, a frequent critic of superficiality of any kind, was railing against a repetitive, oversold, superhyped and shallow pop music world. But if DiFranco happened into Pagosa Springs, a local trio called the Hot Biscuits might cause her to pull those marshmallows out.

The Hot Biscuits are a new trio of veteran, hard working Four Corners musicians. Their recent shows at The Office Lounge have established that they are musicians' musicians who use their considerable talent to fashion something exceptional in a world that sometimes isn't.

The Hot Biscuits are Dan Appenzeller, best known locally for founding, with his wife Crista Munro, the Four Corners Folk Festival. Appenzeller, who composes the band's all-original music and fronts it on vocals and guitar, is also officially in remission from a 15-month battle with cancer.

Suzanna Ninichuck is a New Mexico bass player, who Appenzeller said, "gets" the music and "keeps it all in line." Ninichuck plays the bass like nobody ever told her that men usually handle that instrument.

The third Hot Biscuit is a long-time Pagosa favorite, tenor and soprano saxophone player, Bob Hemenger. Many locals may recall seeing him play with Dog at Large, Rio Jazz at JJ's Upstream and recently with the Dutton Ditch Blues Band.

What the Hot Biscuits play exactly isn't easy to describe. In fact, that question stumps the band for a minute.

"It's very tight and concise and complex," Appenzeller said taking a stab at it. "It's beautiful and sexy."

The Hot Biscuits vaguely resemble the Dave Matthews Band in that the sax and bass rift off in unusual directions but are obviously orchestrated that way. The trio's tight, sprightly transitions are the mark of players who not only know what they are doing but are driven to do it well together.

In another way the Hot Biscuits are a little like Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, not in style or sound, but in that the band is climbing into one man's head, collaborating on what they find there and performing it in a way that no one else is. That freshness is exciting to all three members.

"It's like having a palette of paint and all the colors are available," Ninichuck said.

Hemenger added that the music Appenzeller arranges lends itself to a completely unique style of play. He said Appenzeller stacks unusual chords and weaves in depressions and inversions where they're not expected.

"It's creative, dynamic, fluid and soulful," Hemenger said.

When trying to describe what he believes to be this distinctive approach to music, Appenzeller tells of a teacher who once told him "all the music has been written."

He snorts with indignation at the idea because he said, without a trace of conceit, the music literally pours out of him as a composer. He scores it for himself and Ninichuck and then leaves gaps for Hemenger.

"We've got three or four hours of material and it seems to never stop," he said.

Appenzeller said a lot of his mentors were people nobody's ever heard of, like a Latin percussionist from Holland that he met in Cuba and another Brazilian percussionist. The men, he said, taught him everything about rhythm.

"I learned how to be different," Appenzeller said.

But being different isn't easy, because people want to hear what they know, which goes a long way in explaining pop music. But the trio believes that they will find their niche and help cultivate a greater appreciation for original, live music in this region. That in fact, Appenzeller said, was the very reason for the Four Corners Folk Festival. Many of the bands that perform there are not easily categorized either.

"Hopefully, the people that want to hear live, original music will find us or we'll find them," Hemenger said.

In pursuit of those fans, The Hot Biscuits plan to get busy playing festivals, but in the meantime they will appear at The Office Friday, Feb. 26. In March, the band will open for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on the 24th and 25th at the Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall.

Hemenger and Ninichuck agree that Appenzeller is even more prolific as a writer since cancer nearly took his life last year.

"We have added a dimension of beauty that wasn't there before," Ninichuck said.

Appenzeller, who one year ago couldn't lift his head off a pillow, is stoic when talking about the experience. He added, "You're whole interpretation of life is different when it's about to be ripped away from you."

The three players believe deeply in what they are doing. Ninichuck said she believed even during Appenzeller's recovery when rehearsals could last only 30 minutes. Appenzeller recalls those rehearsals leaving him unable to climb the stairs when he got home.

But the cancer is now in remission, Appenzeller's hair has grown back curly and Ninichuck is "psyched" even during her 90-minute commute to rehearsals.

"I firmly believe we're going," she said. Hemenger agreed adding, "I haven't been this excited about a project in a long time."

To get more information on the Hot Biscuits e-mail Appenzeller at dan@folkwest.com.

 

Early Bird folk fest tickets are available

Tickets for the 10th Annual Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale at Early Bird prices through March 31.

Thrifty festival fans can save up to $10 on a multiple-day pass to the music festival scheduled for Sept. 2-4 on Reservoir Hill. Children 12 and under are free.

The musical lineup is nearly complete and includes many returning favorites like The Bills, Eddie From Ohio, Darrell Scott, Ruthie Foster, Darol Anger, Drew Emmitt, Marc Atkinson and the Pagosa Hot Strings.

There is plenty of fresh talent making their debut on the Four Corners stage this year including Crooked Still, Old School Freight Train, Broke Mountain Bluegrass and the Mollie O'Brien Band (although Mollie appeared in the past with brother Tim O'Brien and the O'Boys).

The three-day event features camping, free children's activities, free workshops with admission, vendor expo and food court. The late night stage will happen this year on Friday and Saturday nights as four bands unplug for intimate sets following the end of main stage performances.

Festivities will get underway Thursday, Sept. 1 with the traditional camp rush as 50-plus vehicles line up awaiting the opening of the gate at 11 a.m. The music starts noon Friday, Sept. 2.

Over the past nine years, the Four Corners Folk Festival has attracted a dedicated following of people from all over the country who come to experience great music the beautiful setting of Reservoir Hill.

Early Bird festival tickets are available downtown at Moonlight Books. For additional information or to purchase tickets outside the area call toll-free (877) 472-4672 or visit the festival Web site at www.folkwest.com.

 

Daffodil Days provide funds for cancer fight

The Archuleta County unit of the American Cancer Society will bring a touch of Spring the second week in March during the annual Daffodil Days celebration.

You can donate to the fight against cancer by purchasing a bouquet of these beautiful flowers.

The daffodil is one of the first and brightest flowers of spring, thus signaling hope and renewed life. They were chosen as the symbol of this event because the represent nature's rebirth and the hope for a cancer-free future.

Fresh daffodils shipped from the flower fields of the Pacific Northwest will be available beginning March 14.

Pre-order your bouquets by calling Suzan Gray at 264-6255, Lili Pearson at 731-5159 or by stopping by the Chamber of Commerce. Flowers are available in bunches of 10 and the suggested donation is $9.

Peak of the Daffodil Days celebration is when bright bouquets are delivered to businesses, churches, schools and homes. This is a perfect way to recognize special people and a terrific way to celebrate life and help point the way to a healthier future.

Money raised during the event supports research, education and services for local cancer patients, survivors and their families. Your donations have helped the American Cancer Society become the world's largest source of private, nonprofit research funds. Research is a vital tool in the battle against the disease.

Join this year's Daffodil Days celebration and chase away the winter doldrums. Become part of the "flower power" movement in the fight against cancer by displaying this symbol of hope for cancer patients.

 

Unitarians will host Surat Schabd meditation

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a special meditation service, to be led Sunday by Christiane Karas. An active student of Surat Schabd Yoga, she has been practicing since 1972.

She explains that Surat means "attention" and Schabd means "the Word." This tradition teaches "in the beginning was the word and the word was God."

Surat Schabd is known to students of meditation as "the Yoga of Light and Sound." Christiane's teacher is Kirpal Singh, past president of the World Fellowship of Religions.

The service will begin 10:30 a.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in Pagosa Lakes. The address is: Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

All are invited to experience this heartfelt approach to meditation.

 

First aid, CPR classes Saturday at Ed Center

Have you ever wondered what you would do in an emergency?

It is essential to know what to do when injuries and sudden illnesses occur.

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering first aid and CPR training Saturday.

This eight-hour course will provide the knowledge and training in case of an emergency.

Tuition is $45 for both sessions and includes a three-year first aid certification card, two-year CPR certification card and a textbook.

If attending a class on the weekend is difficult, there are also classes offered during the week. The center will offer classes Wednesday and Thursday, March 2 and 3. Classes are four hours each and begin at 5:30 p.m.

If you would like to register or for more information call 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th and Lewis streets.

Growing Up Smart class helps youth make life choices

By Sky Gabel

Special to The PREVIEW

Growing Up Smart, a program of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, proudly announces classes for fifth- and sixth-grade students every Monday afternoon from Valentine's Day until May 16.

The program enables young people to make healthy life choices to support their passage into positive adulthood. The program assists youth in developing healthy interpersonal relationships which is fundamental to preventing high-risk behaviors.

Communication with caregivers, abstinence and puberty facts are emphasized. Professional sexuality health educator, Joelle Riddle will lead the interactive, fun, free, age-appropriate classes in south conference room in the community center.

Register now by calling Joelle at 385-4760, or call Sky Gabel at 731-2202.

Good sexuality education means loving parents discover a child's needs for information and find ways to fill these needs. Human development is a lifelong process and just as it is important to enhance a child's physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, so it is important to lay foundations for a child's sexual growth. Adults have a responsibility to help young people understand and accept their evolving sexuality.

If you wonder what sexuality health has to do with 10- and 11-year-old kids, consider last week's Focus article about sexual assault.

The best way for parents to protect our children from harm is to have open, ongoing communication with them.

Solid sexuality education from parents delays sexual activity as studies show that informed teenagers are less likely to have sex while uninformed teens are at greater risk of early sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, sexual exploitation, and abuse. (American Social Health Association)

The strongest approach is to teach values at home and offer sexuality education with a trained expert and peers so children can practice decision-making, talk in small groups about good friendships, identify supportive adults, and actively learn about the changes in themselves and their friends.

Between the ages of 9 and 12 years, children gain more independence than ever before, they desire privacy and separation from the family as part of their push for independence but they still need parents' guidance. Children between ages 9 and 12 will usually want to be seen as "normal" while also needing to be unique.

They will experience mood swings, partially as a result of changing hormones in their bodies. They may be self-conscious of bodily changes and girls especially may feel insecure as their bodies develop.

This highly acclaimed class is coming to Pagosa Springs to help your preteen understand themself a little better, express their individuality in a positive way, and enjoy this time of life with supportive friends and caregivers.

The class is free, snacks are provided, and there is no class on most school holidays.

 

Photo contest winners by show category

Winners in the annual photo contest now on display at Moonlight Books, sponsored by Pagosa Springs Arts Council, were, by category:

Domestic Animals - Deb Knoblauch, first; Joanie McAteer, second; Jerry Dermody, third; and Deb Knoblauch, honorable mention.

Architecture - Mike Pierce, first; Maria Kolpin, second; Barbara Conkey, third; and Enza Bomkamp, honorable mention.

Autumn Scenic - Barbara Rosner, first; Lili Pearson, second; Beth Moore, third; and Mark Roper, honorable mention.

General Landscape - KD Bellar, first; A.C. Olson, second; Janet Nordmann, third; and Margaret Webb, honorable mention.

Patterns and Textures - Bill Woggon, first; Mark Roper, second; Michael Ybanez, third; and Becky Van Blaricon, honorable mention.

Sports - Kim Johnson.

Flora - Kahle Charles, first; Helen L. Richardson, second; and Freda Whisman, third.

People - KD Bellar, first; Don R. Long, second; Mike Heraty, third; and Tim Schreyer, honorable mention.

Up-Close - Ann Castor, first; Scott Allen, second; Linda Roper, third; and Don Dodson, honorable mention.

Winter Scenic - Darlene Wilkins, first, Melinda Schnarre, second; Maria Kolpin, third; and Ray Diffee, honorable mention.

Black and White - Lili Pearson, first; Joanne Irons, second; and A.C. Olson, third.

Open - Susie Long, first; Sharon Garrison, second; John L. Mathis, third; and Zakary Sulak and Judy L. Clay, honorable mentions.

Wild Fauna - John L. Mathis, first; Susie Long, second; and Robert Horstman, third.

Sunrise/Sunset - Melinda Schnarre, first; Joanie McAteer, second; and Julieandi Olds, third.

Special Techniques - David Hunter, first; Alex Coville, second; and Barbara Rosner, third.

 

4-H members selling tubs of cookie dough

By Pamela Bomkamp

Special to The PREVIEW

One of Archuleta County 4-H's most successful fund-raisers is underway. Local 4-H youth have started their annual cookie dough sale.

Every 4-H member participates in selling $10 and $11 tubs of cookie dough to everyone in their community and beyond. The overall 4-H goal this year is 2,000 tubs.

Members will be selling six different types of cookie dough: Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&Ms, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar and White Chocolate Macadamia.

The cookie dough comes in three pound tubs (makes about 96 half-ounce cookies each) that can be refrigerated or stored in the freezer. The cookie dough can even be eaten raw because it is made with pasteurized eggs instead of raw eggs. Supporters have until Feb. 28 to order as many tubs as they want.

The cookie dough will be delivered March 15 by 4-H youth. If anyone would like to order cookie dough but cannot find a 4-H member to order from, contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931 to place an order.

All funds raised will be dispersed between the seven different 4-H clubs and the 4-H Council. They will use it to send 4-H members to educational programs such as YouthFest, Leadership Development Conference, Colorado 4-H State Conference, for an overnight trip to the State Fair, to pay for 4-H member re-enrollment fees for next year and other individual club projects.

Archuleta County 4-H has 160 youth enrolled in projects this year. Their ages range from 5 to 18.

For more information, contact the Extension office at 264-5931.

 

Local Chatter

How parents react to first, second and more new children

By Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

Class reunion for all Pagosa Springs High School graduates will be Sunday, July 3, 2005. Some individual classes will hold additional reunion events. Plans for all activities are in the making. Please watch The SUN for more details in the coming months.

Fun on the Run

The birth order of children

Your clothes

First baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.

Second baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

Third baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.

Preparing for birth

First baby: You practice your breathing religiously.

Second baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.

Third baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The layette

First baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.

Second baby: You check to make sure the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.

Third baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

Worries

First baby: At the first sign of distress - a whimper, a frown - you pick up the baby.

Second baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

Third baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

Pacifier

First baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home, wash and boil it.

Second baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.

Third baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

Diapering

First baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.

Second baby: You change their diaper every two or three hours, if needed.

Third baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

Activities

First baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing and Baby Story Hour.

Second baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

Third baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going out

First baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.

Second baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

Third baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At home

First baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

Second baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking or hitting the baby.

Third baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing coins

First child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand X-rays.

Second child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

Third child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance.

Senior News

Older Americans national photo contest opens

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Bodil was here Feb. 4 to talk about "Spiritual Death and Dying." She had a good crowd who were interested in the subject. Thank you Bodil, for your presentation.

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) is pleased to announce the 2005 Older Americans Month National Photography Contest. The purpose of this contest is to enhance the image of older Americans to all generations through pictures. The photographs are to reflect the photographer's interpretation of the 2005 Older American's Month theme: "Celebrate Long-term Living."

AoA is partnering with the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC), a program of the National Council on Aging. NISC represents the senior center field, which serves several million older Americans each year through community-based, senior centers nationwide.

This contest is open to nonprofessional photographers, age 60 and older representing a senior center. Intergenerational photos are allowed and encouraged. Only senior center nonprofessionals can submit entries and only one entry per senior center will be allowed.

Birthday meals

Seniors Inc. has graciously volunteered to cover birthday meals, so that whenever seniors come in on the last Friday of the month to celebrate their birthday for that month, they only have to pay $1 for their meal. If you are celebrating your birthday next month, be sure to come in the last Friday of the month to celebrate.

Do you have some free time to donate to our home bound seniors? We need someone to fill our Tuesday out of town route to deliver a meal to our seniors who can't get out. Spend an hour or so a week to brighten up a senior's life! Come in to the Den today and pick up your application.

Do you want to play with little ones at the Community Center on Wednesday? "Pagosa Brats" are playing in the gym Wednesdays 10 a.m.-noon and could use some grandparents to hang out with them. Just sit and just enjoy their antics if you like, or interact - but feel free to come in and say hi on Wednesday mornings.

Tax prep program

The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program is returning again this year. This service is offered via IRS/AARP trained and certified volunteers who reside in Pagosa. Most of the counselors are returning this year. The program is free and confidential and is provided for low and moderate income people. There is no age restriction; but preference is given to seniors who request it.

The service includes tax form preparation or review for federal, Colorado, and sometimes New Mexico returns. E-filing is available. If someone has prepared their returns but has a question they may come in for assistance.

The application for the Colorado Property Tax, Rent, Heat Rebate Program will also be prepared when appropriate. Colorado residents for all of 2004 (brief absences OK), who are over 65 or a qualifying widow(er) over 58, with income less than $11,000 single or $14,700 married, and who pay property taxes or rent and heat are usually eligible. If the 2003 application has not been filed we can assist with this year, too. A disabled person for all of 2004 may be eligible; regardless of age. If you are unaware of this program but think you might qualify please come in to ask us about it.

People who only plan the Colorado Property Tax Rent Heat Rebate application should come in early, as there are four payments rather than one this year. Also, people who do not have statements from brokerage companies (1099B) but who have all their other statements should come in early as well.

National Heart Month

About 1.25 million people in the U.S. suffer heart attacks every year, and about half of these occur in persons who are already known to have Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). For men and women with CHD, the risk of a heart attack is five times higher than for people of the same age and sex who do not have CHD. CHD is a type of heart disease caused by narrowing of the coronary arteries that feed the heart. When the coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged by fat and cholesterol deposits, not enough blood can get to the heart. Dietary and lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of developing CHD. For example, by lowering your cholesterol, you can reduce your risk of having a heart attack.

On Friday, Bodil Holstein will be back again to talk about reflexology, which is a form of massage to your feet. Reflexology is a form of acupuncture (without penetrating the skin) performed on the soles of your feet, where almost all illnesses can be helped. In Scandinavia this is a three-year education on an RN level. Come visit Bodil in the lounge at 1 p.m. and hear her talk about this fascinating subject!

Our senior board will also meet that day at 1 p.m. in the dining room.

We will be celebrating Valentine's Day Feb. 14. Show someone you care through a Valentine card exchange; we're expecting about 55 people that day. Even if you don't want to bring cards, we will be having a drawing for some small gifts, so be sure to come in wearing red!

On Feb. 15, Penny will be back to give massages and healing touch to our seniors. She will be here 11 a.m.-1:30, so be sure to come in a get a free massage.

We will also send folks to Sky Ute Casino 1 p.m. Feb. 15. You can still sign up in the lounge to get on that bus, and they'll get you back to Pagosa around 5:45 p.m.

The White Cane Society support group will meet 11 a.m. Feb. 16. This is a support group for the visually challenged, so if you need information about visual aids or need to talk, join this group in our lounge.

We will have our free movie 1 p.m. Feb. 18. This month we are showing, "The Terminal," a romantic comedy revolving around an Eastern European man whose plans of immigrating to N.Y. were hastened by a violent coup in his home country. Due to a technicality, when he arrives at Kennedy Airport, he is not allowed to leave the airport or return home. As weeks turn into months, he finds friendship and love in his temporary "home." Popcorn is only 25 cents.

Patty Tillerson will also be here Feb. 18 to check your blood pressure. This is a free service, so take advantage.

Events

Friday, Feb. 11 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; reflexology with Bodil Holstein, 1 p.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 14 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; celebrate Valentine's Day, noon; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 - Yoga in Motion, 1 p.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; massage and healing touch, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 - White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Feb, 17 - Arboles Meal Day; call by Wednesday morning for reservations.

Friday, Feb. 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure check with Patty T., 11 a.m.; free movie day- "The Terminal," 1 p.m.

Menu

Friday, Feb. 11 - Scalloped potato/ham and cheese, seasoned spinach, whole wheat roll and citrus cup.

Monday, Feb. 14 - Chicken fried steak with cream gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetable blend, strawberry/apple sauce.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 - Chicken Ala King, whipped potatoes, tossed salad, biscuit and apricots.

Wednesday, Feb. 16 - Spanish rice. lettuce/tomato and peaches.

Friday, Feb. 18 - Catfish fillet, mixed vegetables, parsleyed noodles. Waldorf salad and sherbet.

 

Veteran's Corner

Gundling memoriams will aid in travel costs

Andy Fautheree

SUN Comumnist

As many of you may know fellow Archuleta County veteran David Gundling passed away recently after losing a battle with cancer.

Many of you may also remember that David was the former Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer. Some of his records and the assistance he gave to our local veterans are among the records I work with today.

I felt fortunate to be able to assist David in obtaining VA Health Care to help him with his cancer treatments. He made many trips to Albuquerque VA Medical Center and frequently used our Veteran Service Office vehicles for reliable transportation to those appointments.

Honored to assist

I was honored to be able to assist a fellow veteran and fellow Veterans Service Officer. We worked together right up to the end in seeing to his travel needs for those long trips to Albuquerque for treatment.

It was with great honor his wife, Carol, named this office to receive any memorial donations in his name. So far I have received monetary gifts in his name from G. Kenneth and Barbara Brashar, and Herman Riggs.

Contributions

On behalf of the Gundling family I would like to thank you for your contributions. I can assure you the money will be used carefully to help other Archuleta County veterans who are facing similar health problems.

Assistance needed

Many of our local veterans are at a disadvantage when traveling to their VA health care appointments because of the distance and their financial or health burdens. Albuquerque VAMC no longer provides overnight accommodations except in very special cases (cancer treatment being one of the exceptions). Also, they only allow a very small travel allowance to those veterans meeting minimal income levels who must travel the 565 miles for their appointments. No travel allowance is paid for trips to Durango, Farmington or other VAHC facilities.

The money I receive in David Gundling's memory will be used to assist our local veterans faced with these travel needs.

Share-A-Ride

Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the "Share-A-Ride (SAR) program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301. Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800)465-8262.

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. The office number is 264-8375, fax 264-8376, e-mail 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.

 

Library News

Lemony Snicket books bridge the age gaps

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

Who or what is Lemony Snicket?

Oftentimes there are materials in our library that bridge the gap between children, teens and adults. Some materials are entertaining, some are informative, and some are both. Two such items are worth mentioning this week.

The first is a series of books by Lemony Snicket. He has nothing to do with lemonade or Snickers bars, and very little to do with snickering. Rather, he writes about misfortune and misadventure, one incident after another, that befalls a recently orphaned trio of delightful, bright, inquisitive children. These stories can perhaps be compared to fairy tales many of us grew up with - "Cinderella," "Hansel and Gretel" or "The Big Bad Wolf" - the main difference being the endings. Snicket tells readers at the beginning that, if they wish to read a nice story with a happy ending, to "stop right here."

Snicket includes incredible vocabulary lessons in a clever way, as well as subtle lessons in issues of life, amazing insights into the insights children possess, and the cruelties sometimes imposed on children by greedy, less than honorable adults. There are lessons here to be taken to heart by readers young and old. We have the series in book form as well as on audiocassettes. These can be found in the JF section of the library.

The second, on a more serious note, is located with our new materials. It is a book titled "Connecting With Your Kids." There is evidence that children of separation, divorce and never married parents face the possible loss of contact with one parent, and may suffer from emotional and developmental issues as well. These parents often need help and support finding their way through forms and procedures, which will secure them a relationship with their children. This book addresses Colorado law, the creating of a parenting plan, communication, interventions, and directions on completing court forms. Numerous other resources are also referenced.

Big book donation

One of our regular volunteers, Jeanie Alexander, has given us a new, big book, "The Giant Book of the Human Body" (literally big - 16 by 24 inches). This "library use only" book is filled with wonderful descriptions and illustrations, and can be found on one of the tables in the children's area.

Key Club Read-a-Thon

The high school Key Club recently sponsored a read-a-thon at the intermediate school. One of the readers, Ryann Charles, single-handedly raised $65 for us through his reading. This money will be used to purchase items for the new children's area. We appreciate both his efforts and the willingness of the Key Club to support the library. It is so great to see the youth of the community involved in our expansion efforts.

Storage needs

As we prepare for construction, we will need to shift boxes upon boxes of materials, as well as furniture and equipment, into and out of storage from time to time. We are so grateful to Jere and Lois Hill for their offer of storage units for our use. Sounds like there's some good healthy physical labor ahead for us, doesn't it?

Additional donations

Contributions to the Building Fund continue to arrive. During January we received financial assistance from James and Ione Adams, Bank of the San Juans, Thomas and Judith Clarke, Mrs. Terry Hershey, Karl and Kathleen Isberg, Dallas and Lucille Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury Pitcher and Judith Oppenheimer. We truly appreciate all of you.

We also thank Gerry Adams, Maureen Balog, Delta Buck, Dennis Clark, Joel Granquist, Sandy Martin, Brielle Rubenstein, Bill Ryan, and Martin and Gerda Witkamp for book donations.

 

Arts Line

Bill Woggon wins best of show award in photo contest

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

If you didn't make it to the photo contest reception at Moonlight Books Saturday evening, you missed a good time. Good fun, good food, good friends and good photos.

It was so well attended, people were gathering on the sidewalk outside. As a 10-year resident, I'm still amazed at all the talent in a town this size.

Bill Woggon won best of show with his Road Town Harbor photo. There were first, second, third and honorable mention ribbons in 15 different categories: Domestic Animals, Architecture, Autumn Scenic, General Landscape, Patterns & Textures, Sports, Flora, People, Up-Close, Winter Scenic, Black & White, Open Category, Wild Fauna, Sunrise/Sunset and Special Techniques.

The exhibit will be up all month at Moonlight Books, so stop by, see the photos and cast your vote for People's Choice.

Those votes will be tallied midway through the event and the winner announced Saturday, Feb. 19. Treat yourself - drop in and enjoy!

Calendar call

Haven't you always wanted a specialized Pagosa Country calendar?

You could be chosen to have your artwork included in it. We're calling all artists for 2006 calendar entries.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring the calendar which will illustrate the beauty of Pagosa as seen by local artists. The goal is to produce an annual project that will promote and encourage the work of local artists, showcase the artistic talent in Pagosa Springs, raise money for the operations of the Arts Council and fill the need for a calendar focusing on Pagosa Springs.

Eligibility

- Multi-media, graphic art (watermedia, oil, pastels & drawings) and photographic art;

- the entries must represent Pagosa Country (landscape, monuments, etc.)

Limit two entries per artist.

Selected entries up to the limit of our exhibit space will be on exhibit in May. PSAC will retain 30-percent commission on entries for sale.

Entry directions

- submit slides, photo or jpeg, e-mail (psac@centurytel.net);

- entry forms will be mailed to our membership today;

- entry forms will be available Feb. 15 at the gallery in Town Park, as well as posted on our Web site (www.pagosa-arts.com);

- entry deadline is March 15.

Entry fee

Free to PSAC members; $25 for non-PSAC members which covers up to two entries and includes a one year membership to PSAC.

Schedule

Feb. 15-March 15, entry period.

March 16-18, judging for 13 calendar winners (12 months plus cover).

May 5 - Reception for artists, gallery in Town Park.

Checklist

- submit slides, photos or jpegs;

- entry form completed and attached;

- entry fee for non-PSAC members;

- artist statement enclosed (to be used for viewer, publicity and calendar).

Questions? Call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC (psac@centurytel.net)

Group exhibits program

Applications are now available to artists wanting to participate in the Durango Arts Center's 2006 Group Exhibits Program.

The deadline for artists interested in submitting work at the Durango Arts Center is April 1, 2005. The center's exhibits committee will review portfolios by artists in any medium. Selected artists will be scheduled for an exhibit in the Barbara Conrad Gallery in 2006.

Applications are available at www.durangoarts.org, can be picked up at the Durango Arts Center, or can be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 2006 Group Exhibits Program, Durango Arts Center, 802 East 2nd Avenue, Durango, CO, 81301.

For more information call 259-2606.

Digital photo seminars

Bruce Andersen will lead a two-part seminar in digital photography called Digital Basics. This class will be taught 7 p.m. Feb. 15 and 22, in the community center.

"This is a very basic workshop," says Andersen. "It is designed for the person who wants to learn how to use their new digital camera and the photo options on a computer as well as those who want to improve their digital photo skills. New camera owners and recent converts from film cameras will benefit equally from the classes."

Feb. 15, the focus will be on the camera, learning how to run the thing and how to make good choices with the various settings. Andersen will also cover composition and lighting issues as well.

Then, Feb. 22, he'll turn the participants' attention to the computer and what to do with the image files once they're in the camera. Topics will include downloading, working the image file to liven up the photo, and preparing the photos for screen viewing and printing.

Cost is $25 for each class or $40 for both sessions. Contact Bruce at baphoto@centurytel.net or call 731-4645 for more information or to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Betty Slade workshops

"Seasons in Poetry," March 9-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This is an intermediate watercolor workshop.

Cost: $120 PSAC members; $125 nonmembers. Minimum six students; maximum 15.

They say poetry is to be finished by the hearer. The artist should give freedom to the viewer to complete the subject in thought and emotion. Come join the class and be surprised how colors or a simple line will define the subject.

In order to paint loosely and control the paints and water on paper, an artist must know the rules, then he or she is free to break them.

The first day's theme is winter landscape and winter still life; second day - fall landscape and harvest still life; third day - spring/summer flowers and summer still life.

Peer assistance network

The Colorado Council on the Arts has relaunched the Peer Assistance Network (PAN) and Maryo Ewell is helping to administer the program. A PAN consultation enables organizations to obtain low-cost assistance on a host of issues from planning and board development to considering a facility. They have a network of advisors around the state, seasoned arts managers representing a great breadth of expertise. Maryo will work with groups to identify the advisor best suited to come to their community and work with their board or staff.

They have funds for eight more sessions before June 30 - if your organization is interested, please act soon. For details go to www.coloarts.org, go to Resources, click on Peer Assistance Network. Groups interested in collaborating together for Pagosa funding may contact Leanne Goebel at lgoebel@centurytel.net.

PSAC calendar

All classes and workshops are held in the community center arts and craft space, unless otherwise noted.

Feb. 16 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m.

Feb. 19 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 per student.

March 9-11 - Intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, "Seasons in Poetry," 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $120 per student.

March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $80 per student

April 14-15 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two," with Betty Slade, critiquing work from March class and creating new paintings; $80 per student

May 12-13 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts & More," with Betty Slade, continuing work in progress, learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings; $80 per student

June 23 - 2005 PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home & Garden Tour.

PSAC supports all art activities in Pagosa. For inclusion in Arts line, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

Food for Thought

Romance is alive with 5-2 odds

It's not often I get a phone call from my youngest daughter's boyfriend, Mark.

Not to say we don't have a cordial and positive relationship, but I generally talk to Ivy when a call is made.

Mark has been in Turkey for a couple months now, working on a movie. He phoned me from Istanbul last month to harass me about the Denver Bronco loss to Indianapolis, but he doesn't make it a habit to connect with Karl. Can't say I blame him: I don't chat well.

So, I get a message to call Mark. For some reason, he's flown home to West Hollywood from Turkey; he wants to talk to me. My warning bell goes off: something's up.

Let's see, he's making money, so he isn't calling for a loan. He wouldn't do that anyway. Ivy, yes. Mark, no.

It can't be an emergency involving my daughter - the message would have been more urgent; I'd hear from Mikiko or Posie if something unpleasant occurred.

Hmmmm.

I got it.

Indulge me for a moment here, allow me to brag: I have a keen sense concerning motives. Call it intuition if you will, or perhaps it's too many years in the newspaper business where you learn not to believe anything and to search for the reality behind the rhetoric - it doesn't matter: More times than not, I'm spot on when it comes to assessing the reasons people do things.

It doesn't take long to figure this one out.

He wants to marry her.

It makes sense: Mark is from Georgia, tinted with the fading hues of the landed gentry, prone to indulge niceties, mannered when he feels inclined.

Plus, he's an actor. The show must go on.

Yep, he wants to ask me if he can propose to my daughter.

Sure enough, when I return the call, that's just what the rascal is up to.

"Karl, I'd like your permission to ask Ivy for her hand in marriage."

"Just her hand? You've been together five years, and it's her hand you want?"

"No, come on, I'm serious. I thought it would be appropriate to ask. I would like your permission."

"You don't need my permission to do anything, Mark. You wanna ask her ask her. Whatever she wants is fine with me."

"Whew, that's a relief. And I need some advice. I've got a ring and I think I'll either take her to Malibu for a picnic or take her to The Little Door to propose. Which one do you think is best?"

He throws me off track with the reference to The Little Door. This is one of my favorite restaurants in LA, located in the 8100 block of West 3rd, near the Beverly Center. The food is great, the ambience second to none; much of the menu changes every two weeks. I'm thrown into a reverie; I remember several exceptional items I ordered and consumed at the place. I once enjoyed a fabulous duck prosciutto and truffles as a second course and swooned over one of the finest lobster bisques imaginable. How about a paupiette of turbot, scented with bourbon vanilla and served with fennel confit? How's that sound, huh? It's on the upcoming Valentine's Day menu at the restaurant.

I chart some options for the impending event. What would I select? Let's see I'm going to ask someone to marry me. I do the ordering for the two of us: I pick the lobster Thermidor in puff pastry with morels. But, that's not what Ivy and Mark will have. They're Little Door veterans; they're predictable.

I chart the odds.

I say it's 25-1 Ivy orders the grilled filet with merlot and truffle sauce, set next to potato mousseline and some perfectly cooked vegetables - whatever is freshest that day. She'll want that fantastic and stunningly simple roasted three-beet salad with the gem lettuce and goat cheese, no question about it. Same odds, 25-1, Mark will go for meat. My money is on lamb. It too will come with the potato mousseline.

The potato mousseline at The Little Door is a dandy - a gossamer, but fat-kissed version of mashed potato.

"Mousseline" is French for "muslin." Mousseline de Soie, for example, is silk muslin. "Mousse," means "froth." You get the picture: we're talking about something gauzy, airy. Your aunt's lace curtains.

The classic mousseline sauce is a hollandaise or mayonnaise poofed with unsweetened whipped cream - great on fish, chicken. Other mousselines are forcemeats, rendered less dense with whipped cream or beaten egg whites. So it is with the potato mousseline.

I've made a nifty yam mousseline, gently blending beaten heavy cream into stoutly buttered mashed yam, seasoned with salt, pepper and a touch of fresh-ground nutmeg. I ponder whether I want to go to all that work again. If I make a potato mousseline, I'll add a load of pureed roasted garlic and an artery-clogging amount of butter to the seasoned potato before folding in plenty of cream.

I realize I'm getting carried away and, no doubt, Mark wonders about the more-than-pregnant pause. I snap back to the reality at hand.

"What are you doing?" I ask. "You need a set, a script? You actors need to rely on someone else's brilliance, don't you? Always with the writers, the directors, the costumes, the set. Forget the trappings; just ask her. Walk up to her, and ask her. That's the easy part, isn't it?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, your guess is as good as mine as to what she'll say, don't you agree?"

"Well, I'm a bit nervous. It's Ivy, after all."

"You should be nervous. Good luck. Let us know what happens."

I hang up.

Then, I make a big mistake: I tell Kathy about the conversation. In doing so, I intend to revisit my Little Door memories, wax poetic about the restaurant's unbelievable number of high-quality, by-the-glass wines. Kathy goes another direction with the information.

"What? You said what? You told him to do what? Oh, for heaven's sake, why on earth did he call you? What possessed the man to consult The King of Romance?"

I detect a note of sarcasm. She's never got over the fact my proposal to her - it was the '70s, after all - was "Hey, whaddya think about gettin' married? We can see the judge during his lunch hour." (In my defense, no one can say I haven't tried to make romantic recompense for my youthful clumsiness. I've offered several times to wheel my love to Las Vegas, meet the daughters and granddaughter there, and hit the drive-thru wedding chapel for a renewal of vows. The ball is in Kathy's court.)

She rips the phone from my hand and dials Mark's number. I leave the room, ashamed I've betrayed the poor lug. And, of course, mentally reviewing The Little Door's wine list.

A while later, Kathy finds me.

"Thank goodness I got to him. If he had listened to you, there's no telling what kind of disaster might have occurred. You have the romantic sensibilities of a reptile. The Little Door is great, but a catered picnic would be beautiful too."

She has a dreamy, goofy look on her face. Her pupils are dilated. I wonder if it is the right time to remind her of the Vegas offer, but I resist the urge.

I turn on the TV and tune to an episode of Cheaters, something to remind me of the dark underbelly of love. Nothing works better to return the eye to solid ground than to examine the ashes of a once brilliant blaze.

I calculate odds on the successful outcome of Mark's proposal.

I come up with Mark at 5-2 to win. I figure I'll bet him to show.

We wait for the call.

It comes late afternoon the next day. Mark leaves a message. He sounds agitated.

"Hey, guys, I just wanted to phone and tell you the weather is bad. I can't do the picnic, so I'm going to do it tomorrow. I thought I'd better let you know, so Kathy didn't call and tip Ivy off."

Coward. And the pathetic thing is - I know my daughter - Ivy probably has the whole thing figured out. She's just waiting for her chance to pounce on the poor guy, like a Rotweiler on a wounded bunny.

"He just wants everything to be perfect," says Kathy, that goofy look on her mug again.

"I have him at 5-to-2. My money's on a show bet."

"What?

"Never mind."

Thursday night, the phone rings.

It's Ivy, calling on the cell from The Little Door. I answer.

"Hello?"

"You're a jerk."

"Who's this?"

"You're a jerk."

"Oh, hi honey. What's going on?"

"You told Mom, and she called Mark and suggested he go ahead with his romantic plan. You're a jerk. You set me up. He brought me here, fed me and asked me. He asked me in front of the waiter and now the guy is crying into a napkin and running all over the restaurant blubbering and telling everyone. I'm getting sick."

She hands the phone to Mark.

He's pretty excited. "When I asked her, I was really nervous about it. I was hoping she wouldn't react like you, Karl, but I know the two of you are alike so, when she was difficult about it, I told myself over and over 'This is the love of my life, the woman I love.'"

"What did she have for dinner?"

"The grilled filet and the roasted three-beet salad."

Bingo!

"And you?"

"I had the lamb."

"Ah hah. Very good. And, what did she say when you popped the question?"

"Well, I'm halfway there - I mean, at least we're engaged. She agreed to that. I explained to her that, this way, she has time to consider things."

"So, she got the ring?"

"Yes, she got the ring."

"And, she got the dinner at The Little Door?"

"Yep. We're about to have dessert and some champagne."

"And, she got a nine-month right of refusal?"

"Uh, I guess you can look at it that way."

Yahtzee! I'm two-for-two.

"Mark, I wish you the best of luck."

"Well, Karl, I think everything is going to go well. You know, I'm a betting man."

"Me too, Mark. Me too."

In fact, I'm headed for the imaginary Pay Window to collect on my bets.

I need to get to work figuring odds on the marriage.

Call me if you want to put any money on it.

 

Extension Viewpoints

23rd Annual beef cattle symposium set Feb. 17

Feb. 10 - Vet Science Project at San Juan Veterinary, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Colorado Kids' Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Quilting project at Jean Brooks' residence, 3:45 p.m.; Beef Project, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 14 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 - 4-H Council program, 6 p.m.; Swine Project, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 - Garden Club meeting, 10 a.m.; 4-H Livestock meeting - mandatory (rescheduled from Feb. 6), 6 p.m.

Check out all posted project and club meeting dates at www.coopext.colostate.edu/archuleta/calendar.htm.

The 23rd Annual Beef Cattle Symposium will take place Feb. 17 in Hesperus.

This year the focus will primarily be on reproduction and restocking. Registration cost is $10 before Feb. 11 or $15 afterward. This cost includes six informative presentations, lunch and refreshments. Stop by and pick up your registration form today at the Extension Office.

Landscape, garden show

Rock gardens, new and unusual trees, shrubs and fruit varieties, garden retreats" daylilies, waterwise gardens and much more. Nationally known authors and speakers as well as the best garden show in Western Colorado. Check it out Friday through Sunday at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. For more information log on to www.westernslopegardening.org or drop by the Extension office for a brochure.

Water well bacteria

Public drinking water supplies are required, by law, to be free from microbial pathogens. However, private water systems, while also vulnerable to contamination from bacteria, usually have no governmental oversight. If you rely on a private well, it is your responsibility to ensure the water is safe to drink.

You should inspect the condition of your well regularly and test a water sample every one to two years. More frequent testing is recommended when well condition is poor, the well has been inundated with floodwater, the septic system has malfunctioned, abandoned wells or feed yards are located nearby, or visitors have complained of stomach or intestinal distress.

Bacteria in your water may indicate your well has become contaminated with fecal matter, possibly introducing harmful viruses and protozoa such as Cryptosporidium or Giardia.

Protect water supply

Periodically inspect exposed parts of the well for problems such as:

- a cracked, corroded, or damaged well casing;

- a broken or missing well cap;

- settling and cracking of surface seals;

- slope the area around the well to drain surface runoff away from it;

- keep accurate records of well maintenance and water quality analysis;

- hire a licensed water well contractor for new well construction, modification, or abandonment and closure;

- avoid mixing or using pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, fuels degreasers, and other pollutants near the well;

- do not dispose of wastes in dry wells, abandoned wells or sinkholes;

- do not cut off the well casing below the ground's surface;

- pump and inspect septic systems as often as recommended by your local health department;

- never dispose of hazardous materials in a septic system;

- have the well tested once a year for coliform bacteria, nitrate and other particles of concern.

Testing well water

Laboratories that test for coliform bacteria usually have specific times and days where they accept these water samples. It is critical that you contact the local health department, or private lab, prior to collecting the sample. Most labs give you a sterile sample bottle and instructions for collecting the sample.

If you have not sampled your well for bacteria recently, collect a water sample at a bathroom faucet with the aerator removed. If you are retesting a well that has previously tested positive for bacteria or after a disinfection treatment, sample as close to the well as possible.

If you have a holding tank or in-house water treatment system, you may want to collect separate samples at the well and at the bathroom faucet. Kitchen faucets with swivel arms are not recommended locations for sampling.

Before filling the sample bottle, run cold water though the faucet at full flow for three minutes, then reduce the flow to a trickle and let run for one additional minute. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before opening the sterile sample bottle (do not touch the inside of the bottle or lid). Do not rinse the sample bottle before filling to the level indicated on the bottle.

Cap the bottle tightly and label it with your name, address, date and time of sampling. Keep the sample cool and deliver it to the lab within 24 hours.

Lab results

There are a variety of bacteria, parasites and viruses that cause health problems when humans ingest them in drinking water. Testing water for each of these germs is difficult and expensive.

Instead, water quality and public health workers measure coliform levels. The presence of coliforms in drinking water suggest there may be disease-causing agents in the water. Coliforms are a broad class of bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of humans and many animals. Labs may test for total coliforms, fecal coliforms, or E. coli, any of which indicate microbial contamination.

Results are generally reported as no coliforms present, the actual number of organisms detected per 100 ml of water, or as too numerous to count. Some labs may simply report results as bacteriologically safe or unsafe. If your drinking water contains more than 1 total coliform org/100 ml or is reported as unsafe bacteriologically, the well should be disinfected and retested in one to two weeks. If subsequent tests indicate bacteria are still present, the source of the contamination must be identified and eliminated before the water is safe to drink.

Disinfecting wells

There are several options for private water supply disinfection. These include continuous chlorination, shock chlorination, ultraviolet radiation (UV), ozonation, boiling and pasteurization.

Each of these methods has advantages and limitations, but they are all intended for use on clean, clear water. Water supplies must be sealed and protected from sources of bacterial contamination for disinfection methods to function properly.

Chlorination is the standard method for disinfecting wells because it is highly effective against bacteria. However, the drawbacks include: safety issues in handling concentrated chlorine; the taste it gives the water; the required contact time; its variable effectiveness against other microorganisms; and chlorine's reaction with organic matter to form trihalomethanes, THM (THMs are known carcinogens).

Continuous chlorination is accomplished with a chemical feed pump that dispenses chlorine directly into the well or into a baffled tank. The contact time required to kill microbes varies depending on the chlorine concentration, water temperature and pH. Simple chlorination maintains a low level of chlorine at a concentration of 0.2 to 0.5 ppm for at least 30 minutes of contact time. Super chlorination produces a chlorine residue of 3 to 5 ppm for approximately 5 minutes of contact time.

Chlorine odor and taste can be removed with an activated carbon filter at the point of use. Shock chlorination is recommended for newly installed wells, whenever a well is serviced or flooded, or when a well test shows the presence of coliform bacteria.

Other disinfection methods for household water systems:

Ultraviolet radiation

- uses UV light to kill microorganisms;

- lamp has 9- to 12-month lifetime;

- needs UV sensor to determine germicidal dose;

- effective for bacterial contaminants (viruses more difficult, cysts and worms unaffected);

- advantage is that no chemicals are added to the water;

- disadvantage is that there is no residual disinfection; cloudy or turbid water decreases effectiveness.

Ozonation

- ozone, is a more powerful disinfectant than chlorine;

- disadvantage is ozone cannot be purchased, must be generated on site;

- machinery to generate ozone can be complicated and difficult to maintain;

- spa ozonators can easily be placed in cisterns or storage tanks;

- effects of ozonation by-products not fully understood.

Boiling

- two minutes vigorous boiling assures biological safety;

- kills most organisms (chlorination reduces them to safe levels);

- practical as an emergency measure only;

- once boiled, cooled water must be protected from recontamination.

Pasteurization

- uses heat to disinfect but does not boil water;

- flash pasteurization uses high temperature for short time (160 F, 15 seconds);

- low-temperature pasteurization uses lower temperature for longer time (140 F, 10 minutes).

Shock chlorination

Unlike continuous chlorination, shock chlorination is a one time treatment designed to kill bacteria in the well and water system. Shock chlorination is the preferred disinfection treatment for private well systems because it is simple, cheap and effective for most situations.

The amount of chlorine used in well treatment is determined by the well's diameter and depth of water. A 200 ppm solution of chlorine in the well and plumbing system for a period of at least 2 hours is desired - preferably overnight. For more information contact your extension office.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

We provide the picturesque backdrop for winter events

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Wow, with all this new snow we've received, this weekend's Winterfest will have all the desired conditions to create the perfect ambience - a pristine winter wonderland. A picturesque backdrop for the activities planned.

Don't miss the second winter perch tournament on Saturday, from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Local anglers have been reporting phenomenal successes and since I've been sworn to secrecy I'm not going to tell you where and which lake. It's there and it won't be difficult to find.

A 9:30 a.m. start will still give you time to enjoy the colorful hot air balloon rally which will launch from behind the recreation center. However, plan in advance. Pick up the tournament ticket, put your fishing gear together and if you are including children in this event, get them pumped with fish tales.

Tournament tickets are $5 pre-event and $7 on tournament day. Kids 16 and under are free and will compete separately for fishing gear prizes. Adult fishermen will be eligible for cash prizes, the amount of which will depend on the size of the pot. All money from the ticket sales will go into the pot.

You can pick up your tickets from the recreation center, PLPOA administrative office, Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Ponderosa Do-It-Best. If you are lucky and win, you can take your sweetheart or sweethearts (and I mean your wife and your sweet children) out to dinner. And if you don't win one of the cash prizes, fix her a perch dinner. You can dress it up, make it special, bring out the candles and she'll be all yours for another year.

The racquetball courts are refinished and will be ready for use by Friday morning. Thank you recreation center members for your cooperation. Although a handful whined about having to put their playing on hold for one whole week, I really think they were merely playing games with the staff. Some people just love playing so much they don't know when to quit.

If you are interested in supporting Seeds of Learning Family Center and shedding a few pounds in the process, come by the recreation center to pick up your event packet or call for more information (731-2051). The Slim for Seeds program will start Feb. 15 and end March 29, a six-week-long challenge which hopefully will transfer into some lifelong, lifestyle changes for you.

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The meeting is open to all members and observers. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

The following agenda for the meeting was approved by PLPOA:

- Call to order;

- Approval of agenda;

- Approval of minutes of Jan. 13 board meeting and Jan. 28 special board meeting;

- General manager's report;

- Public comments;

- Treasurer's report;

Committee reports:

- Recreation Center - no meeting since last board report;

- Lakes, Fisheries and Parks - Committee will present the basics of a proposal to convert Lake Hatcher into a trophy fishing lake; a discussion item only;

- Ad Hoc Lake Study Committee - no meeting since last board meeting;

- ECC agendas and minutes included in packets; ECC liaison Earl Eliason's report also included.

Recurring business:

- Continued discussion of "Property Owners Involvement and Input Initiative" - details in GM report.

New business:

- At the special meeting Jan. 28 the board approved a purchase offer for the sale of association owned 3G property in Central Core. A resolution is required to authorize the board president to sign all documentation for the closing of the sale on behalf of the association.

- Discussion of submitted Colorado Senate Bill 05-100 - "A Bill for an Act Concerning Increased Protection for Howeowners," and accompanying news articles;

- Affirmation of two DCC unprotested fines. Notice of own violations and hearing provided for review.

Correspondence:

- Anonymous request received;

- Adjournment.

The recreation center pool will host a dual-team swim meet this Saturday morning, 8:30-10:30. Our local masters swim team will face off for some friendly competition against the masters from Farmington. If you want to watch older (and I mean men and women in their thirties and upwards) swimmers strut their stuff, here's a chance.

The main pool will be closed to open swim and lap-swim until 10:30. However, the hot tub and kiddie pool will maintain regular business hours by opening up to the general membership at 9 a.m. Good luck and good fun to all our swimmers and fishermen/fisherwomen on Saturday.

 

Obituaries

Unity Sjoblom

Unity Serene Sjoblom of Pagosa Springs died Feb. 1, 2005, at University Hospital in Denver. Born July 19, 1972 in Minneapolis, Minn., she was 32 years old.

Unity was the daughter of Harry and Dolly Martin of Pagosa Springs. She was married to John Richard Sjoblom Sept. 21, 1996, in Elk Mound, Wis., and the family had moved from Northfield Minn., to make their home in Pagosa Springs in August, 2004.

Mrs. Sjoblom was a homemaker and loving mother. She enjoyed drawing, crafts and listening to others.

She is survived by her husband, John, three-year-old daughter Brittney and seven-year-old son Braden, and her parents, all of Pagosa Springs; her sister, Faith Forster of Mondovi, Wis.; two brothers, Leon Martin of Durango, Colo., and Justin Martin of Eau Claire, Wis.; a sister, Allynda Worcester of Springfield, Mo.; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A memorial fund has been established at Citizens Bank for The Children of Unity Sjoblom.

A funeral service was held Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, at Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs officiated by Dwight Dean, pastor. Interment followed at Hilltop Cemetery.

 

Mildred Wiggers

Mildred R. Wiggers, 94, of Peoria, Ariz., formerly of Clymer, N.Y., and Pagosa Springs, died 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, in Good Shepherd Care Center, Peoria.

She was born Aug. 12, 1910, in Clymer, the daughter of the late Ervin and Jennie Legters Cady.

She was a graduate of the former Sherman Teacher Training Class and before her marriage was a rural schoolteacher. She was a member of Abbe Reformed Church and had taught Sunday School. After leaving Clymer, she resided in Kalamazoo, Mich., working in a school until her retirement. She then volunteered with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua, New Guinea for one year and with Campus Crusade for Christ in California for six years. She then moved to Pagosa Springs where she worked in a gift shop. From there she went to a retirement home in Texas and then to the nursing home in Arizona.

Survivors are two sons, Kenneth (Pat) Wiggers and Curtis (Lynell) Wiggers, all of Pagosa Springs; two daughters, Luella (Dale) Overbeek of Kalamazoo and Carol (Larry) Caywood of Peoria; nine grandchildren, Rodney, Dirk, Tiffany and Kyle Wiggers, Todd, Chad and John Overbeek, David Caywood and Laura Brook Butler; 17 great-grandchildren; a sister, Myrtle Tryon of Clymer; and a brother, Merle Cady, of Sherman, N.Y.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Cornelius H. Wiggers, whom she married Sept. 11, 1934, and who died March 16, 1964; a brother, Henry Cady; a sister, Geneva Schruers; and a granddaughter, Judi Wiggers.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, in Spitzer Funeral Home, Clymer , with the Rev. Walter Jones, pastor of Abbe Reformed Church officiating. Burial will be in Holland Cemetery. Family will receive friends one hour before service.

Memorials may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628200, Orlando, FL 32682-8200 or the Campus Crusade for Christ, PO Box 62822, Orlando, FL, 32862-8222.

 

Business News

Chamber News

Snow bodes well for a fun winter weekend

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

Sweet! As I write my article this week it is snowing.

Just in time for all the Winterfest activities planned for this coming weekend.

I will not dwell too much on the schedule of events since there is a separate article listing all the events, their locations and their times printed in The PREVIEW.

Just remember, there are events to please and involve everyone. We have the hot air balloon mass ascensions Saturday and Sunday mornings and the balloon glow Saturday evening.

During the day Saturday join in the fun at either the snow sculpting contest at the Chamber or the winter perch tournament at Lake Pagosa. Both events are offering some great prizes.

If you must ski in powder again, Wolf Creek is running telemark demo day with Switchback Mountain Gear and also offering a Lincoln's Day Race.

Sunday, after the balloon rally, come on out to the Best Value Inn High Country Lodge for the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race where there will be prizes and free food and drink.

Rounding out the weekend will be the Harlem Ambassadors Sunday evening at the high school gym. This is a great time for you to gather the family or a group of friends, have some fun and potentially win some cash or other prizes for your efforts. Put all this snow to some good use and come on out and join in all the various events going on around town.

Photo show

Just a great thank you to Moonlight Books, Page's Leaf Catering, and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council for putting on another great reception to kick off the photo contest this past Saturday.

With 300 entries, I'm glad that I did not have to judge. What talent we have in this community! Newby to the photo world, Bill Woggon won Best of Show. Is that beginners luck Bill?

So, for everyone else in the community, stop by Moonlight Books and leisurely view all these works of art. The photos will be exhibited until the end of the month.

Chamber flyers

If you want to have an effective, wide-ranging way to advertise your business, don't forget to bring your flyers to the Chamber by Feb. 18. For $40 you can bring 750 single page 8 1/2 x 11 flyers to the Chamber and we will put them in the quarterly newsletter that goes out to all Chamber members in March. If you have any questions, please give Doug a call at 264-2360. He is our newsletter guru.

Here at the Chamber we also have an enhancement to our Web site and the calendar of events. You can now look at the event calendar by the week not just day by day. Click on the Calendar tab then click on "Show events for the entire week." You can then view and plan your week even if it is later on in the year. This is a great tool for those organizations trying to plan events in our community. Just go to this site and view the information then you can e-mail us the details of your function and we will list it in the calendar.

We will be adding more information to this site in the very near future. I hope this added feature aids our guests, organizations, and businesses in what's going on in Pagosa.

Fish fry

For all you diehard fish eaters, it's time for the Knights of Columbus to put on their tasty fish fries from 5 to 7 p.m. starting tomorrow, Feb. 11 and continuing every Friday until March 18. This annual event is anxiously awaited by many and occasional depression sets in at the end of the fish fry season.

The sumptuously seasoned fried catfish, crisp home-fries, tangy cole slaw, zesty hush puppies and dessert is a treat to eat and this is a great time to enjoy yourself while gathering with friends and family. Take out service is also available. So, come on out and have a great meal every Friday until mid-March at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Just look for the line of hungry eaters!

Tax service

Most everyone has those W-2s now, so don't forget about the free tax preparation service available at the senior center. This service is offered to taxpayers of low to moderate income and to those with disabilities.

There are sign-up sheets at the senior center dining room, and you do need an appointment. You can find more information on this service at the library, the community center and the post office, or by calling Bob Henley at 731-9411. Volunteers to help perform this service are also encouraged to get more information and training is available.

Daffodil Days

Another important time of the year is upon us - Daffodil Days, supporting the American Cancer Society.

These flowery first signs of spring are a pleasant way to fight against cancer while spreading the symbol of hope and rebirth.

Daffodils will be available starting March 14, however, you are encouraged to order your bouquets early. You can order your flowers by calling or stopping by the Chamber to put your name on a list. Call Suzan Gray at 264-6255 or Lili Pearson at 731-5159.

Here is a breakdown of where your money goes: 54 percent to local patient services, support groups and education; 40 percent to research; and only 6 percent toward administrative costs. Cancer has now replaced heart disease as the No. 1 life-threatening disease. Volunteers are still needed to sell flowers and deliver them starting March 14. Show your support to fight this horrible disease by displaying the colorful daffodils and give us a call to place your order.

Fair royalty

And you thought all the activity for the Archuleta County Fair was in August.

Not so, well at least not the preparation for the fair. On Monday, Feb. 21, there will be an orientation meeting for those young ladies interested in representing the fair and the community on the Fair Royalty Court. The meeting will take place in the Extension building at 6 p.m. Interested youngsters may obtain registration forms at any of the schools, the Extension building or here at the Chamber.

Young ladies may compete for Junior Princess, ages 6-9; Princess, 10-13; and Queen, 14-18, no graduating seniors are eligible.

The Fair Royalty Pageant will be held April 23-24 at the high school.

For more information, give me a call here at the Chamber.

New members

We have two new members and seven renewals to rave about this week.

First on the list is High Altitude Property Services. Run by Steve Romanchuck, High Altitude offers property maintenance that runs the whole gamut of services needed to take care of your facility. If you need it, they can get it done - from snow removal to washing windows. Give them a call at 731-5226 to entrust your investment to professionals that care.

Also coming on board as a new member is Karen Thomas and Oasis Graphics. Karen offers graphic services with everything for your printing and advertising needs, from conception to completion. She offers the graphic design, arranges full-color printing and publishing as well as direct mail pieces and copywriting. For your advertising or informational needs you may find Karen at 731-1003.

We welcome both businesses to our Chamber family.

We are happy to have back Woodruff Enterprises, Ensignal Inc., the Bucking H Rodeo (formerly the Bad Moon Rodeo series), Bruce Andersen PhotoGraphics, The Pagosa Lodge and Chez Pagosa.

And finally we appreciate Jamie Dinkler for joining up as an associate member.

We hope you will join us for lots of fun Chamber events this year. On that note, I need to go shovel some snow. We should have lots of the fluffy white stuff for the snow sculpting contest this weekend.

I look forward to seeing much of our community out and about at all the events this weekend and to have a chance to welcome all our visitors to this fun time of year. Be safe and have fun.

 

Biz Briefs

United Way's annual meeting

slated Feb. 16

United Way of Southwest Colorado, in accordance with its bylaws, will hold its annual meeting Feb. 16 at its Durango office, 281 Sawyer Drive, Suite 400, Larkspur Conference Room.

At the annual meeting, new board members and the 2005 slate of officers will be presented for approval. The public is invited to attend this meeting to vote on the new officers.

Call 247-9444 for more information.

 

Funding delayed for Women's Resource Center loan program

Applications for the Women's Resource Center microloan program are available but the Center has been informed funding from Region 9 Economic Development District may be delayed a few weeks.

Loans between $500 and $5,000 will be made available to existing women-owned businesses or to those just starting out.

Region 9 officials say they are awaiting funds from a grant received for Colorado Alliance for Microenterprise Initiatives.

Once the grant is finalized, WRC will be able to start approving loan applications.

Please call WRC at 247-1242, Ext. 204, for more information or to submit a loan application.

 

PUC sets Durango hearing on Qwest deregulation bid

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will hold a series of hearings around the state to take public comment on Qwest's proposal to deregulate most retail telephone services.

Hearings will be held Feb. 15 in Grand Junction, Feb. 16 in Durango, Feb. 17 in Colorado Springs, March 8 in Leadville, March 9 in Fort Collins and April 18 in Denver.

The Durango hearing will be 7 p.m. in Miller Middle School auditorium, 2608 Junction St.

Qwest is seeking deregulation of virtually all retail services - including local residential and business primary and additional lines; bundled and packaged services; features such as call waiting, non-optional operator services; operator services necessary to provide basic local service; tariffed and customer specific contracts; public access lines for pay telephones; and analog private lines with a capacity of less than 24 voice grade circuits such as those needed for traffic signals and burglar alarms.

The Qwest proposal would also end regulation of in-state long distance service offered by Qwest.

It also would eliminate all PUC price and service quality regulation of all Qwest retail services, meaning PUC would no longer set the prices or terms of service for those services.

The PUC decision in the Qwest application also could affect customers of other telephone companies within Qwest's territory. The PUC has ruled that if it grants Qwest's proposal, the same services of all local telephone providers within the territory would be deregulated.

The PUC would still regulate the telecommunications services that provide 9-1-1; other N-1-1 services such as 2-1-1; and switched access service, the plan that enables telephone companies to use each other's networks. The PUC would still regulate long-distance service within the state offered by companies other than Qwest.

The PUC is seeking public comment at the hearings on availability and effectiveness of competitors in the local telephone market.

Those wishing to comment but unable to attend can submit written statements to PUC, 1580 Logan St., Office Level 2, Denver, CO 80203. Comments should be addressed to Docket No. 04A-411T.

  

Biz Beat

Judy O'Neill

Judy O'Neill is offering therapeutic massage and bodywork at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

O'Neill is a nationally certified massage therapist and natural therapeutic therapist. She offers Swedish, deep tissue, sports, Shiatsu neuromuscular therapy, reflexology cranio-sacral and prenatal - utilizing the modalities as she customizes each session for every customer. She also offers consultation on natural healing remedies and nutrition.

Sessions are available Monday-Friday, with $10 off on a one-hour massage for new clients - rec center members and nonmembers alike.

Call the recreation center at 731-2051 to schedule an appointment.

 

People
Cards of Thanks

 

Kiwanis

Kiwanis of Pagosa Springs would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring the spaghetti supper:

Alternative Home Builders, Bank of The San Juans, Bechtolt Engineering, Citizens Bank, Coleen Myers Wells Fargo Private Client Services, Colorado Land and Title, Cool Heads, Copper Coin Liquor, Coster Surveys, First Southwest Bank, George Johnson Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Goodman's Department Store, Great Divide Title, Harold Thompson DMDPC, High Country Title, Jim Smith Realty, JTL Appraisals, Kermit Littleton Construction, Knights of Columbus, Land Properties, Laurie Phillips Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Mountain West Insurance - Larry Page, Pagosa Family Medicine Center, Pagosa Office Supply, Ralph and Son Enterprises, Rod Rea and Associates, Romar Realty Group, Saddleback Ranch - Gene Crabtree, State Farm Insurance - Truett Forrest, Subway, The Corner Store and Wells Fargo Bank.

Thanks also to KWUF radio, The Pagosa Springs SUN and Natilie and Jared Tyson.

The following programs and individuals were helped with funding: Seeds of Learning, Head Start, Victims Advocacy, Outreach Connections, Pagosa Education Center, Incredible years, Eli Velasquez and Sara Baum.

 

Anderson-Andresen

We would like to express our sincere thanks to those who have contributed to Colby's account at Citizen's Bank. Your generosity has meant so much to us and has greatly eased what has been such a tremendous burden hanging over us.

We hope to be able to do the same for others some day. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Sincerely,

Donna Anderson and

Chris Andresen

 Engagement

 

Perrins-Ross

Tyrel Ross and Samantha Perrins would like to announce their engagement and upcoming wedding Friday, Feb. 11. The wedding will take place in the Spokane, Wash., LDS Temple. Parents are Troy and Loretta Ross of Pagosa Springs and Sam and Dianne Perrins of TeKoa, Wash. Tyrel is a 2001 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School. The couple plan to attend Dixie State College in St. George, Utah in the spring. In their honor, an open house will be held 6-9 p.m. March 12 in the Archuleta County Extension exhibit hall.

 

Anniversary

Carter

Ken and Freddie Carter recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a "Hawaiian" party at Holly Tree Chapel in Holly Lake Ranch, Texas. They married on Valentine's Day 1955 in Houston. Ken is a retired Methodist pastor and former vice president with Resource Services, Inc. Freddie is a homemaker and Ken's supportive partner in life. Both Ken and Freddie teach Bible studies and lead classes both in Holly Lake Ranch and Pagosa Springs, where they divide their time each year. They enjoy playing golf and getting together with friends.

They have two children, Kathy Carter of Champaign, Ill., and Buddy Carter and wife Lori, of Coppell, Texas. They have three grandsons: Josh, Sam and Ben Carter.

 

Locals

 

Mesker

Navy Seaman Recruit Matt E. Mesker, son of Michelle D. and Mark L. Mesker of Pagosa Springs, Colo., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Mesker completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

Mesker is a 2003 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

  

Former teacher to mark 90 years

Mrs. Billie Breedlove, former longtime Pagosa Springs resident and teacher in the local schools, will celebrate her 90th birthday Feb. 19.

She would enjoy hearing from friends and former students.

She can be reached at 8701 S. Kolb Road, Space 5-227, Tucson, AZ 85706 or by telephone at (520) 574-5487.

  

Sports Page

Pirates finish third in region, qualify eight wrestlers for state

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

When Pirate coach Dan Janowsky predicted the race for the regional wrestling title would come down a struggle between Intermountain League teams, he was right on the money.

Following two days of action in the Monte Vista gym, the IML provided the strongest teams with Centauri taking the regional crown with 207 points, Monte Vista finishing second with 194 and the Pirates placing third with 171.

More important for the Pirates, however, is the fact eight wrestlers qualified for this week's state 3A tournament with one Pirate in first place in the region in his weight class, four taking second place and three placing fourth at tourney's end.

Pirate junior James "Bubba" Martinez is the regional champ at 215 pounds.

There were only eight wrestlers in the bracket at 215, so the matches for Martinez were few. Rock Canyon's Joe Valdez was first to fall as Martinez pinned him at 1:35 of the first-round match.

That win put Martinez in a fight against Byron Meals, of Manitou Springs. Martinez was in control throughout the match, countering his opponent's shots, getting behind Meals to take him down. The Pirate scored with two takedowns in the first period, allowing Meals a point on an escape. Starting down in the second period, Martinez reversed Meals, then let him up to set up another takedown. That takedown came as the period ended, giving Martinez an 8-2 advantage. Martinez let Meals up at the start of the third period then took him down yet again. Unable to turn Meals for points, Martinez again intentionally released his opponent but time ran out before the Pirate could score again. Martinez advanced to the championship match with a 10-4 win.

In the bout for the tourney title. Martinez battled a familiar opponent - Brandon Luter, of Bayfield. The Pirate won the match 4-2, getting two points with a takedown and single points with an escape and a penalty point awarded when Luter was called for stalling.

Martinez (25-5) opens action at Denver today with a match against Anthony Fresquez (19-16) of Frederick.

Daren Hockett finished second at 125. The senior began his day with a first-round bye then dispatched Bayfield's Dylan Symons, pinning the Wolverine 1:47 into their match. In the championship bracket semifinal, the Pirate met Chay Caler, a junior from Manitou Springs with a 21-3 record. Hockett took a 10-6 decision from Caler to advance to a much-anticipated rematch with Kyle Francis, of Monte Vista.

The wrestlers fought to a scoreless tie at the end of two periods. They started in the neutral position and Hockett scored with a takedown. Francis escaped to close the gap to 2-1. Francis shot, got deep on Hockett but the Pirate countered. Francis shot again and, with approximately 20 seconds left in the match it appeared the wrestlers were at a stalemate. Not to the referee, he awarded Francis a takedown, claiming the Pirate momentarily released his hold. Francis had the 3-2 decision.

If both wrestlers do their work at the state tournament, it could set up a state title bout between the two. To get there, however, Hockett (28-3) has to begin with a victory today over Levi Treadway (19-9) of Gunnison.

Raul Palmer, second at 135, entered the regional tourney with a 25-5 record. The senior quickly made it 26-5, pinning Drew Minton of Bayfield 42 seconds into the match. Palmer continued to impress as he pinned Jacob Larson of St. Mary's 58 seconds into the championship quarterfinal match. Next up was Omar Gonzales of Monte Vista, in the semifinal. Palmer advanced to the championship bout, pinning Gonzales at 3:41. That match was against Jacob Sheridan of Centauri. Sheridan was too much for Palmer Saturday; the Falcon scored a 16-0 technical fall in the second period of the match.

Palmer (28-6) faces Raphael Munoz (30-14) of Brush this afternoon.

Manuel Madrid overcame injuries this season to fight at the regionals and take second at 145. The senior entered the tournament at 9-9 and boosted his record with a win, by pin, at 3:17 over Dylan Orlady of Rock Canyon. In the championship semifinal, Madrid faced Nick Wilson, of Florence. Madrid had a 4-2 lead after one, scoring with two takedowns and letting Wilson up to set up another move. Madrid reversed Wilson to start the second period and, with two takedowns and a three-point near fall, established a 13-4 advantage going into the final period. Wilson got the first takedown of the period and Madrid escaped. Madrid got the next takedown and put Wilson's shoulders down at 5:29.

Madrid's opponent in his final bout of the day was a tough veteran, Joe Kelso of Monte Vista. Kelso had lost only once all season and he kept up his pace, getting the 15-0 decision over Madrid.

The Pirate starts his state tournament adventure today, battling Tress Gadash (28-6) of Lamar.

Paul Armijo drew a first-round bye to start his run to second place at 152, then fought Eric Yarina of Bayfield in the quarterfinals. The Pirate dispatched Yarina at 1:06 to advance to a semifinal match with Zach Scholl of Monte Vista. Scholl had the best of it in the first period, scoring five points with a takedown and three back points. Armijo escaped at period's end for a single point. Armijo escaped to start the second period and took over. The Pirate's aggressive style paid dividends as he took Scholl down then nailed the fall at 3:04.

The fight for first at 152 was, in many spectators' minds, the most exciting of the evening. Armijo built a 5-0 lead in the first period, throwing Josh Lopez of St. Mary's and getting the three-point near fall. The fighters went at it for the remaining two periods, Lopez taking an 11-8 lead late in the third period - one point on a penalty when the Pirate was called for stalling. Armijo got the final takedown to close to 10-11 but time ran out.

Armijo takes his 14-3 record to the mat today against Aaron Quinlin of Brush (23-14).

Ky Smith took fourth at 140, starting with a first-round bye. The junior then dealt with Joseph Vajdic, of Bayfield. Smith advanced to the championship semifinal with a 16-3 major decision. The Pirate forged a 6-4 first-period lead over Ignacio's Jacob Appenzeller but was caught in a headlock in the second period and lost in a fall. Dropping to the consolation semifinal, Smith fought Tony Magno, of Florence. He nailed a takedown and a three-point near fall and gave up a reverse to lead 5-2 after the first period. Following a takedown, Smith pinned Magno at 2:47 to make his way to the third place match against James Pacheco of Monte Vista. Pacheco secured third, pinning Smith in the third period.

Smith (21-13) meets J.J. Pursley (33-2) of Brush in a state tourney match today.

Matt Nobles got his only breather of the day at 160 with a first-round bye; the rest of the way, the junior battled for fourth place and his spot at the state tournament. Nobles drew John Applegate of Platte Canyon in the championship quarterfinal and got the victory with a pin at 3:56. That put the Pirate in the semifinal against Bayfield's Cody Moore. Nobles fought well, trailing 2-0 after one period, 5-0 after two, making up ground with two reversals in the third period, but falling short in a 5-8 loss. Nobles went to the consolation semifinal to fight German Gutierrez, of Monte Vista. Nobles got a takedown and a three-point near fall in the first period. The same combination forged a 10-1 lead after two periods. The wrestlers started in the neutral position in the third period. Nobles got a takedown, then the pin, at 4:47. Nobles lost to Ignacio's Jared Jones in the fight for third, but wasn't done yet. In wrestleback action, the Pirate fought Jake Webb of Florence and won in what his coach called "the best match he's wrestled all year." Nobles dominated Webb to earn a 17-2 technical fall.

Nobles (17-14) opens state action today against Robbie Wilbur (35-3) of Lamar.

Marcus Rivas got a bye in the first round at 189 then fought Taylor Austin, of Colorado Springs Christian. The match didn't make it to the second period as Rivas pinned Austin at 1:02. Centauri's Louden David was the opponent in the championship semifinal. David had the better of it in the first period, taking the Pirate down and scoring three back points. Rivas, for his part, gamely fought off the pin as the period came to a close. Rivas started down in the first period and Louden effectively rode him until, with two seconds remaining, Rivas finally managed an escape to trail 5-1. Louden got the only other point in the match with a third-period escape to win with a 6-1 decision. Rivas was far from finished; the senior faced Nick Karpilo, of Florence, and dominated the action. Rivas scored with two takedowns in the first period for a 4-1 lead. That lead was extended to 9-4 at the end of the second period as the Pirate scored with a takedown and managed three back points. All Karpilo could do in the third was answer Rivas takedowns with escapes and the Pirate forged the 13-6 decision to advance to the match for third place. Rivas lost that match to Seth Minton, of Bayfield.

Rivas ((14-11) takes on Taylor Hefftner (25-7) of Gunnison in preliminary round action today.

Other Pirates won matches at the regional tournament.

Freshman Travis Moore defeated Rock Canyon's Andrew Cloyd, getting the fall at 1:35 in the consolation quarterfinals at 103.

Josh Nelson, a freshman, scored a win in the 112 consolation quarters, pinning Richard Hartford of Platte Canyon at 4:33.

Orion Sandoval captured fifth place at 119 with a 2-2 record. The junior beat Roy Westbrook of Bayfield 6-2 in the championship quarterfinals. Following a difficult 9-7 loss in overtime in the consolation semifinal( where he tied the score with a takedown with 10 seconds remaining in the match) Sandoval beat Westbrook a second time in the match for fifth, scoring a win with an 8-2 decision.

Joe Romine got a victory at 275. The junior met Gilbert Martinez of Trinidad in the consolation quarter final and dominated action in the first period, getting the 5-0 lead with a takedown and a three-point near fall. Romine's point total swelled by two points at the outset of the second period as the Miner was assessed penalty points for locking his hand. Romine, who started down, reversed Martinez, put him on his back and put his shoulders to the mat at 3:33.

"We had a very solid regional tournament,"" said Janowsky. "To do any better than we did, we would have had to have some upsets. We didn't but, you know, we got closer. We closed the gap on some people who had beaten us this season and I'm pleased with the results."

As far as state action goes, Janowsky realizes his charges face some tough fights right out of the chute. "We're paired tough," he said. "But, I believe we have eight guys going to state, with each guy having a chance to medal. Hopefully, we'll wrestle hard, catch some breaks and earn some medals. I think we have guys who can make the finals, but we need to work hard and remember we can't make mistakes at this level."

The team left for Denver last night, stopping at either Chaparral or Columbine high schools to practice before checking in at a motel for the night.

First round action starts today at the Pepsi Center at 3 p.m.

Championship quarterfinals and first round consolation begins at 10 a.m. Friday, with second round consolation at 5:45. Championship semifinals are set for 7 p.m.

Consolations and matches for third and fifth begin Saturday at 11 a.m, with the finals slated for 6:30 p.m.

 

Scott keys Pirate win with Bobcat rims in her eyes

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

There's a special glint in her eye, an added element of body language evident in the mix when she's on her game.

The most casual observer can tell when Bri Scott has dialed in the rim and is ready to roll.

Ignacio found that out quickly Friday as the 5-9 Pagosa senior guard leaned into two long treys and then drove past a defender and pulled up for a 10-foot jumper - all in the first three minutes of the contest in Ignacio.

Those eight early points, paired with two from sophomore guard Jessica Lynch and a deuce and free throw from 6-2 senior post Caitlyn Jewell gave Pagosa a 13-3 lead over the Bobcats after one period.

Ignacio's first score had come with 1:23 remaining on the clock, a charity toss by flashy freshman Angela Vigil. The last two Ignacio markers of the period came on a driving layup by Miranda Russell, her only field goal of the game.

As if to prove her eye was still sharp, Scott opened the second stanza with another trey and was halfway to her game final total 22, a season high for Pagosa.

Ignacio decided to double team her thereafter and she did not score again in the half. But the doubling left guards Lynch and Liza Kelley free to roam and they took advantage.

Lynch had a baseline jumper and Kelley four buckets on a variety of drives and pull-ups, the last one included an Ignacio foul and a converted free throw to give her nine points in the period.

Ignacio would not quit as senior guard Maria Rivera, en route to a Bobcat high of 16 in the game, drilled a three-ball of her own and then drove the baseline for a reverse layup.

Jewell answered with a pair of spinning jumpers from the lane before Josie Pinnecoose hit a 10-footer and a pair of free throws for the 'Cats.

Jewel countered with a left-handed putback of an offensive rebound, but Vigil hit four free throws in a row and Russell added one and the Pirate lead after two was 35-17.

That would have been enough, but Scott was on a roll, pacing a 27-point Pirate third period with nine more points, including a fourth trey without a miss from outside the arc.

Rivera tried valiantly to keep Ignacio in the game, scoring two deuces and one from the stripe but the only help she got in a seven-point period was a deuce from Vigil.

Pagosa, meanwhile, rode Scott's right hand right out of the range for Ignacio, but she wasn't alone. Her three deuces were backed by another from Lynch, two and a free throw from Kelley, a deuce by senior forward Lori Walkup (her only score of the game) five points from Jewell, four from junior high post Emily Buikema and a spinning hook from Caitlin Forrest.

Before going to the fourth quarter details, it must be noted that while Walkup was only one for nine from the floor and did not go to the foul stripe, much of the Pirate success was attributable to her floor play.

She had five assists, five steals and nine rebounds, five at the offensive end, an effort that kept the ball in Pagosa hands most of the game.

With reserves playing must of the final period for Pagosa, Ignacio managed a 13-11 margin, keyed again by Rivera with three deuces. She got help off the Bobcat bench from Jamie Lucero who converted two from the field and from starter Rebecca Kenner who got her only three points of the game in the period.

Pagosa's fourth featured an opener by, who else, Scott with her 22nd point of the game.

Lynch joined her in double figures with a trey and a deuce after struggling from the floor in recent games. Buikema dialed another pair and Forrest added to the Pirate total and final score of 73-37.

All but one of the reserves, who saw three minutes or more playing time, are represented in the game statistics, none of them scored.

Lyndsey Mackey had a foul and a steal; Kim Canty a defensive rebound and two fouls; Kristin DuCharme was 0-1 from the field and 0-4 from the line, had two steals, two offensive and one defensive rebound and two fouls. Jennifer Haynes was 0-1 from the floor and had one offensive rebound. Alaina Garman played but did not record a statistic.

The Pirates played without junior China Rose Rivas who reinjured her ankle in practice and was scheduled for an MRI this week.

Pagosa outrebounded Ignacio 41-14 with Buikema (7) and Jewell (6) backing up Walkup's nine-grab performance.

Pagosa shot 32 of 73 from the field for a .430 percentage while Ignacio was 13 of 38 for a .342 percentage.

Pagosa's lone black mark of the night came from the foul stripe where they converted only four of 15. Ignacio was not much better, hitting just nine of 23.

The victory pushed Pagosa's season record to 10-5 and kept them with an unblemished record in the Intermountain League. They will try to solidify that mark on the road this week, playing co-favorite Centauri in La Jara at 5:30 p.m. Friday and then staying on the road for a 2:30 p.m. Saturday game in Monte Vista. Pagosa upset Centauri 45-42 in Pagosa when the squads met Jan. 22.

That will leave just two games on the Pirate agenda before hosting the IML tournament Feb. 25-26. They meet Bayfield in Bayfield at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and host Ignacio at 5:30 p.m. the following day.

Summary

Scoring: P-Lynch, 1-2, 4-9, 0-0, 11; Scott, 4-4, 5-11, 0-0, 22; Kelley, 0-2, 5-8, 2-5, 14; Walkup, 0-1, 1-8, 0-0, 2; Jewell, 0-0, 6-10, 2-4, 14; Buikema, 0-0, 4-5, 0-0, 8; Forrest, 0-0, 2-10, 0-2, 4 ; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-2, 0-4, 0. I-Rivera, 1-2, 6-7, 1-3, 16; Pinnecoose, 0-0, 1-3, 2-3, 4; Kenner, 0-1, 1-7, 1-5, 3; Tucson, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0; Vigil, 0-4, 1-4, 4-6, 7; Russell, 0-0, 1-3, 1-6, 3; Lucero, 0-2, 2-4, 0-0, 4. Total fouls: P-19, I-11. Turnovers, P-17; I-26. Blocked shots, P-Buikema, 1.

 

Pirates at 14-1 after drubbing Ignacio 75-41

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Can anyone in the Intermountain League slow down the Pagosa Springs Pirates?

Based on what has transpired during the first half of the IML schedule - no.

In their first three IML affairs, the Pirates beat counterparts Centauri, Monte Vista and Bayfield by an average of over 30 points.

And in their fourth league contest, a dominating 75-41 road win over Ignacio Friday night, the Pirates did little to raise doubts regarding which team is likely to wear the conference crown at the end of the regular season.

After a scoreless first minute, Pirate junior Paul Przybylski hit senior Caleb Forrest inside for the game's first deuce, then the Bobcats got a free throw apiece from Abel Romero and Derek Rodriguez to tie the game with 5:34 to play in the first.

But Pagosa would get the next nine, taking an 11-2 lead at 3:56 after four at the line from Forrest, an inside deuce from Casey Schutz and a trey from Przybylski.

Ignacio's Juan Guzman cut the lead to seven with a jumper at 3:25, but with Forrest contesting nearly every Bobcat offering in the paint, the home team was held scoreless for the remainder of the period.

Due to a combined eight from Forrest, Craig Schutz and sophomore Jordan Shaffer in the final three minutes, Pagosa held a 19-4 edge after one.

The Pirates put the game well out of reach in the second frame and led 34-4 at 3:35 after a 15-0 run featuring a three-point play from senior Otis Rand, then a mix of deuces, treys and free throws from Casey Schutz, Forrest and Craig Schutz.

Guzman broke Ignacio's scoreless spell with a drive at 3:23, then the Bobcats put together a short run to make it 34-11 at 1:50.

But the Pirates quashed any hopes of a comeback, getting a trey from Casey Schutz on an assist from Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, then a free throw from Craig Schutz to go up 38-11 in the final minute.

Ignacio's Kasey Lucero scored with a late baseline drive, but Przybylski's jumper at the buzzer put Pagosa on top 40-13 at the half.

Forrest and Craig Schutz alternated for Pagosa's first six of the second half while Guzman added four to Ignacio's total; the Pirates led 46-17 with 6:02 left in the third.

Lucero scored Ignacio's final points of the quarter with a jumper at 4:20, then Hilsabeck started a 13-0 run that would put the Pirates up by 40 with an assist to Craig Schutz for two inside and a dish to Forrest for three beyond the arc.

Forrest added four in the final two minutes to go along with two each from Przybylski and Shaffer; Pagosa led 59-19 after three.

The final quarter was merely a formality, and Pagosa led 67-27 with 4:57 to play after a combined eight from Craig Schutz, Casey Schutz and Przybylski to match the same total from Rodriguez, Lucero and Guzman.

The Bobcats were eventually able to cut into the 40-point advantage, but Pagosa stayed comfortably ahead down the stretch, getting free throws by Travis Richey and Casey Hart plus five points from James Martinez to take the 75-41 win.

Forrest paced Pagosa with 23 points, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked eight shots in the win, which improved the Pirates' record to 14-1 overall and 4-0 in IML competition.

Craig and Casey Schutz supplied 14 points each to the winning total; Przybylski tallied nine points and nine assists.

Hilsabeck was also instrumental in the win, finishing with seven assists and two steals.

Summarizing his team's performance after the game, "Offensively, I thought we did a good job of using our inside-outside game to keep them off balance, and obviously our defense got it done tonight as well," said Pirate Head Coach Jim Shaffer.

"I think we gave up a few too many offensive rebounds in the first half, but then again any time you can hold a team to four points in a quarter, you've got to be pleased with the effort," he added.

As for what the Pirates must do to stay sharp as tournament time approaches, "It can be difficult to stay focused when you're beating people like we have," said Shaffer.

For example, "You want to keep your starters in the game for conditioning and stamina purposes, but you also don't want to run up the score, so it's kind of a tough deal and a fine line you have to walk," he added.

"So we'll just have to take care of the things that we do well and keep trying to make people adjust to us," said Shaffer.

"And we'll continue to work on what we think we need to be doing better in mid-March to be successful," he concluded.

The second half of Pagosa's IML schedule begins Friday in Centauri, with a 7 p.m. contest against the Falcons.

Saturday the Pirates face Monte Vista on the road, with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.

Summary

Scoring: Forrest 9-14, 4-4, 23; Craig Schutz 7-10, 0-0, 14; Casey Schutz 4-9, 3-4, 14; Hilsabeck 0-0, 0-0, 0; Przybylski 4-6, 0-0, 9; Shaffer 2-8, 0-1, 4; Rand 1-2, 1-1, 3; Ormonde 0-1, 0-0 0; Hart 0-1, 1-2 1; Trujillo 0-0, 0-0 0; Martinez 2-2, 1-1, 5; Richey 0-1, 2-2, 2; Bahn 0-0, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Casey Schutz 1, Forrest 1, Przybylski 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 25. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 29. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 11.

 

Pagosa Ringers meet Harlem Ambassadors Sunday in court classic

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

What's the next big Sunday after Super Bowl Sunday?

Well, it's this Sunday at the Pagosa Springs High School Gym at 5 p.m. when the Pagosa Ringers meet the Harlem Ambassadors on the basketball court.

Co-captains Troy and Cody Ross have been working the Ringers hard in preparation for the game. The team - Yul Wilson, Rok Wilson, David Snarr, Jon Forrest, Les Lister, Wes Lewis and Charles Rand - is ready and so is the opposition.

This is going to be a game the whole family will enjoy with its high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling and comedy routines led by K.B. Buckner, the "show Basketball Princess."

"K.B. has all the tools we were looking for and is definitely going to be a star," said Dale Moss, Ambassadors president and general manager. "She's a great ball handler and passer, a solid outside shooter, and not afraid to lace them up against bigger male opponents," Moss observed. "Plus she has a great personality, a flashy game, and the kind of easy smile that can light up a gym," he added.

Buckner enjoyed a stellar career at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, including American Southwest Conference Championships in each of her four seasons as a Cowgirl, and being named Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2003. After serving as an assistant coach last season, she toured with the Ambassadors in April and May 2004, understudying the lead performer role for Ladè Majic. Now it's her turn to shine.

Moss was asked where he found his male players:

Moss: Unlike some other team, remember we aren't saying the "G" word, which seems to be loading up these days with overweight NBA castoffs, we look for the overlooked, talented player who just needs a chance. A lot of these players went to the smaller NAIA or Division 2 or 3 schools. They love basketball and might just be an inch or two undersized for their position or one of a thousand other reasons that have left them passed over. These athletes don't have the big egos and attitudes that you may see with the Division 1 or the NBA players. We have some agents contact us about players that previously have been with that other Harlem team. While the agent thinks that is a positive attribute, we consider it a negative. We want the player that is hungry, brings a positive attitude, and desires the training we can provide so that the player truly does become an "Ambassador" in the communities we visit.

In addition to Buckskin Towing and Troy Ross Construction, our platinum event team sponsors, other event sponsors have come forward to bring this game to Pagosa Springs. The Springs Inn and Best Western contributed lodging for the Ambassadors. Following came Ace Hardware/Circle T Lumber, Banks of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, Citizens Bank, the Corner Store, Edward Jones Investments, First Inn, Ponderosa Do It Best, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, Tequilas, Sharee Grazda-Independent BeautiControl Consultant, Raymond Rent-A-Nerd, City Market, At Your Disposal, Colorado Land Title, Paint Connection Plus, CenturyTel, Wells Fargo and Jim Smith Realty.

These sponsors will receive special seating at the event, promotion and the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped to bring this popular and fun event to Pagosa Springs. In addition, this event is a major fund-raiser for the community center and proceeds will be used to expand community programs.

There is still time for other interested individuals and businesses to become sponsors. Simply call the center at 264-4152. There is also still time to buy tickets early and save. Advance ticket prices are $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults. At the door prices will be $8 and $10. Kids under 5 are free and family discounts are available only at the community center.

Tickets are now available at most banks, Moonlight Books, the Ski and Bow Rack, the Chamber and the community center.

  

Special Olympics winter games are Saturday

Traveling ski teams from Pagosa Springs, Durango, Montrose, Telluride, Cortez and Farmington will compete in the Southwest Region Special Olympics Games Saturday.

The event involving alpine skiing and snowshoeing 10 a.m.-3 p.m. will be at Durango Mountain Resort, hosted by Adaptive Sports Association.

After the awards ceremony, there will be a victory celebration at the Elks Lodge in Durango for the athletes and their families.

Athletes competing in the winter games will qualify for state competition Feb. 27 and 28 at Copper Mountain Resort.

For more information on Special Olympics, call Bryan Looper, area manager, at 385-8545.

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

Words of praise deadened by confrontation with Type A

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Springs is feeling the heat of competition. We are experiencing what the TV refers to as "March Madness."

As I have written before, the minute you mention the word "tournament" everyone seems to get a little too competitive.

It is one of the most fun times for people who participate - coaches, referees, parents, grandparents and employees of the town's recreation department.

I was told by one proud grandparent (Darlene Archuleta) that last week's article on sportsmanship, fair playing time and selection process was so helpful to her she immediately called her daughter, who had already read the article. Both had a good sense of what we are trying to accomplish from our programs.

I was excited to know someone reads these things and understands we are trying to provide a program that all can participate in and afford. These programs have been in place for over 20 years as the Town of Pagosa Springs has sponsored recreational activities. Every year we try to structure the program with modified rules, to enhance the learning experience for all participants.

I was feeling pretty good when Cindy Gustafson came to the games and offered her comments on what a wonderful, fun, activity the department has going for the kids.

I was proud of the effort Myles Gabel and crew had put together.

Just when you are feeling good, the whole thing blows up in your face when that evil, combative behavior comes out and stings. As adults we must understand our personality traits and learning styles, as well as select a proper time and place to show our competitive nature. I was told that I was a whiner, stupid and had no business stepping into a confrontation with a coach, some fans and a referee, and that my philosophies on recreation sport and articles are nothing but "!@#$!". So much for the other compliments.

My opinion is that people with this Type A personality should sit back and know that 75 percent of the rest of the world does not think the same way as they do. They should also keep in mind that sitting next to them in a small gymnasium could be a parent, a grandparent or other relative who does not appreciate the verbal opinions of these Type A's.

My experience in a recreation setting tells me that our culture, in general is too up-tight, and this behavior is prevalent in high school, college and pro sports. We must pull back a bit and remember this is for the kids.

Games are designed to be evenly matched and the referees are calling the games very consistently. Again, these employees have the most thankless jobs in the department, yet they step up bigtime to help create that experience for our children. All calls are judgment calls, therefore should not be disputed, especially in an aggressive manner. Coaches use a timeout, call the referee over, discuss disagreements or make suggestions on what to look for.

One last thing, please remember the Golden Rule next time you have the urge to yell out at a player, a coach or a referee, because the person you may be sitting next to could be a relative or friend of the family.

What I have noticed in the past 48 years living in Pagosa is, if you stay here long enough, that person sitting next to you may end up being your future boss, or maybe even a future in-law.

Carvings

Carving No. 1 in Town Park is shaping up and starting to resemble an eagle. Please take the time to go down to the park and see the artist at work. If the weather holds up the first carving should be done within the next couple of weeks, so hurry on down to see the process.

We are planning a total of four carvings, two in Town Park on old dead cottonwoods and two in Reservoir Hill Park.

Editorial

Protect the freedom

Our topic dovetails neatly with Richard Walter's column, printed below. Free speech: Guaranteed as part of our First Amend-ment, the right is one of our most important but, at times, is also a freedom the exercise of which produces irritation and anger, and cries for censorship from offended parties.

So it is with University of Colorado at Boulder professor, Ward Churchill, who wrote a work containing statements offensive to many readers. The furor over that work has increased during recent weeks.

Some citizens no doubt agree with Churchill's thesis that attacks on America are responses to our history and foreign policy. And, perhaps, with remarks in which, from his secluded aerie in academia, Churchill labels victims of the 9/11 murders "little Eichmanns" who deserved their fate. A great many are deeply offended. Some are enraged.

Many are dismayed to read that terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center were not terrorists at all, but were justifiably responding to "genocide in Iraq" and did not kill innocent civilians. Regarding the victims, Churchill says "Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire." He writes the victims were blinded to their roles "because they were too busy braying incessantly and self-importantly into their cell phones" doing business that translated "into the starved and rotting flesh of infants."

Continuing his own braying, Churchill states that "men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not 'cowards,'" and affixes the title of coward to U.S. military personnel who have fought in Iraq.

As he moves to the end of his diatribe, Churchill asserts that "Middle-Easterners, unlike Americans, have no history of exterminating others purely for profit, or on the basis of racial animus," says that attacks on the U.S. can be characterized as "medicinal" and "reality therapy," states that "the dosage of medicine administered was entirely insufficient to accomplish its purpose," and writes that, considering his list of American atrocities, "No matter what its eventual fate, America will have gotten off very, very cheap."

Our governor and a number of legislators are pressing for punitive action against the professor. Churchill has been threatened.

While many of Churchill's pronouncements are ugly, though not all of them unsubstantiated, and the products of an overpaid and pompous ideologue sheltered by an archaic tenure system (one who, like ideologues of all stripes, oversimplifies his subject and inflates his rhetoric), we worry at calls for his punishment. Churchill's performance - likened to political pornography by many who read it - illuminates the extreme of free speech and, in so doing, tests our resolve. But we remain convinced his right must be guarded if all other forms of expression are to enjoy protection as well.

It is a dangerous game to engage in punitive practices where politics are concerned, despite arguments that such action is defensible. It is dangerous on legal and intellectual grounds.

We continue to believe, in this case and others, despite suspect performance, motives and character, even dishonesty, an individual's right to expression must hold. The freedom does not absolve a person of indiscretions, it does not validate his point of view, it does not erase his past but he must be able to express his political opinions.

We cannot surrender or abuse the right to political expression at any level, in any way. To do so is to hamstring public dialogue that must admit all political utterances, including the flawed or distorted, in order to produce an overall product that, realize it or not on the occasion sensibilities are offended, benefits us all.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Core freedoms confuse students

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

What do you know about the First Amendment, the one often called the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States?

That, in essence, was the theme of the annual State of the First Amendment survey, a nationwide sampling of understanding and opinion.

What makes it unique is that it was conducted by researchers from the University of Connecticut among high school students - 100,000 of them - along with 8,000 of their teachers and 500 administrators in 544 schools.

You may have seen reports about the survey last week. Some data was not included that might be of interest.

For example, researchers say, only 1 percent could name "petition" as one of the specific rights granted by the First Amendment. Only one of the five freedoms, "speech", was identified by more than half. Percentages for the other rights were, religion,17; press, 15; and assembly, 10.

For those of us in the business of disseminating news, it appears the right most at risk may be freedom of the press.

As noted by Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center senior scholar, 42 percent believe the press has too much freedom. In fact, 50 percent said newspapers should not be allowed to publish without government story approval.

And, he said, 41 percent said newspapers should not be allowed to freely criticize U.S. military strategy and performance. But, nearly half indicated a desire to know more about what our government is doing and say they have too little access to information about the "war on terrorism."

Freedom of speech fares little better. Large numbers, Haynes said, are for it "unless it might offend someone (which covers, of course, most speech)."

For example, the report reveals 38 percent would bar musicians from singing songs "with lyrics others might find offensive"; 44 percent wouldn't allow public comment that "might be offensive to religious groups"; and 63 percent say people shouldn't be able to say things in public that "might be offensive to racial groups."

Paul K. McMasters, First Amendment Ombudsman, in an analysis of the results, said, "There is, in these surveys, solid evidence of confusion about, if not outright hostility toward, core First Amendment rights and values."

Who is responsible for the lack of understanding?

McMasters says data indicates students believe parents, not government should be shielding children from inappropriate material. In fact, 87 per cent said parents should be responsible for printed material read, 81 percent for television programming, 77 percent of radio programming and 71 percent for movies watched.

The report indicates American schools are at least partly responsible. Only 28 percent of respondents rated the education system as doing an "excellent" or "good" job of teaching the First Amendment freedoms.

Haynes perhaps best summed up the statistical review saying: "Many Americans seem to suffer from a bad case of civic indigestion."

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Feb. 12, 1915

The commissioners are this week advertising for bids for a steel bridge across the San Juan River at some point near Arboles. The decision to build this bridge is one of the most important acts of our county board for years.

The town has purchased a Smith & Vaile Duple steam pump from the Hendrie-Bolthoff Company of Denver. Its capacity is 300 gallons per minute, 80 gallons per minute more than the present pump and it can, if necessary, pump 400 gallons per minute. This pump is to be used as an auxiliary when the electric power is out of commission.

This morning found about six inches of new snow on the ground.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 14, 1930

J.T. Martinez has been appointed enumerator for Archuleta County to take the mining and industrial census in connection with the population census to be taken this spring. Mr. Martinez will shortly begin the work, which must be completed about April 1st.

In the lottery conducted at Washington to determine the order in which gold-star mothers will be permitted to visit the American cemeteries in France, Colorado received last place on the list. Nebraska being first. Mrs. Wm. W. Mullins of Pagosa Springs is included in the Colorado quota of women who will make the trip, but the time of the visit has not yet been determined.

The cottage prayer meeting will be held at 2:30 next Wednesday at the home of Mrs. J.P. Sisson.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 11, 1955

The town board held their regular meeting this week at which all routine business was handled and bills paid for the month. They also met with T.L. Rudolph regarding the cesspool on his property which has been overflowing into the alley for some time. Mr. Rudolph stated that he had made arrangements to have a deep hole drilled to see if this would handle the problem. He was informed that the board expected the situation to be corrected in the very near future or other steps would be taken.

Harry (Bud) Patterson, chief of the volunteer fire department, gave the annual fire report and activities report of the department. This showed that the fire loss in Pagosa Springs for the entire year was only $284.50.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 14, 1980

Road kill of big game has been lighter this winter than that in many years. However, dog packs have been numerous and have caused several deaths in deer herds throughout the county, especially close to town.

The police department will start sending Violation Notices to Owners of Pagosa Springs Buildings and Houses that have not complied with the House and Building Numbering Ordinance, #316. Under the Ordinance the numbers should be placed near the front door and easily seen from the Street. Main entrances that are entered from an Alley shall have an additional number "1/2" Added to the Street Address. The Police and Fire Department must have the Building Numbers in place to provide the Citizens with better Protection and Service.

 

Features

Festival director faced fears, prejudices in Iraq plea for peace

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An opportunity of a lifetime. Obviously dangerous. An extraordinary experience. My worst nightmare. A call to peace.

Those are only some of the phrases Sofia van Surksum, used to describe her trip to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Spain and Holland last spring. A two-week trip that turned into two months. A spur-of-the-moment jaw-dropping journey that centered on peace in the middle of war.

A journey she talked about publicly for the first time in December in Pagosa Springs at a Rotary Club meeting. After an hour and a half, with no visual aids to entertain them, people still were reluctant to leave their chairs.

Van Surksum, executive director of the Durango Film Festival, said the invitation to speak came from Jann Pitcher, one of the film festival sponsors. "She said, 'More people need to hear about this than me,' and invited me to Rotary. I told her, 'I don't quite know what I'm going to say, but I'll do it.' I didn't know how anyone was going to react." Following the talk, she was peppered with questions. Since then she's received thank you notes and responded to a few more questions. Like her trip, it simply wasn't what she'd expected.

Almost a year ago, with three weeks to go before the annual film festival, van Surksum was on the phone trying to schedule travel arrangements for James Twyman, a producer of one of the films being shown, when his assistant mentioned he was leaving almost directly after the film festival to spend a week in Iraq. The goal of the trip was to bring together representatives of all different religions and all seven continents to plant a peace pole in the country one year after this most recent war began.

"I said, 'Oh, can I go in your suitcase,' as kind of a joke." About a week and a half later, the offer was made. Van Surksum was invited to go as an assistant. That's when she found out she'd have to leave the day after the film festival ended - a date less than two weeks away.

"I just knew I needed to go," van Surksum said. "It didn't make sense, but I knew I had to go."

Then, three days before the plane was to take off, Twyman's executive met with her to say there'd been a change of plans. Van Surksum wouldn't be assisting with organization, she'd be in charge. The other woman had to stay behind in the states.

"Don't worry," she said, "I'll e-mail you the stuff you'll need." Just to be safe, van Surksum also had some of her own staff download travel advisories. Because of the tight schedule, van Surksum was late catching her plane in Albuquerque and got split up from the larger group. It wasn't until she was on a flight from Paris to Iman, Jordan, that she actually had a chance to look at the warnings and what they'd been given to provide them access to Baghdad.

"Every possible sheet of paper said, 'Don't go,'" van Surksum said. The packet allowing them access included, "one letter from a nongovernment organization requesting that the group come and some press passes from an organization I've never heard of. I thought, you've got to be kidding me." It was the first of many times her resolve would be tested. The next came just a few hours later when the group, finally together in a hotel in Iman, was told of another bombing in Baghdad.

"I just knew it was the right thing to do," she said. The next day the group, with each of the religious leaders dressed in their official costume, piled into two Suburbans for the 17 and a half hour drive across the desert to the capital with only one stop. Their drivers were Iraqi. Both, she said, spoke perfect English in addition to several other languages.

The border-crossing was a surprise, she said. Instead of facing 100 questions and in-depth searches, the group passed through with just a quick check of passports. Only two soldiers appeared.

As they began to travel across the desert, little evidence of war was visible. Then, she noticed the towers for telephone lines had been cut off at the top, and the wires were missing.

"Did the terrorists do that?" she asked, only to be told it was the Americans who cut off communications early in the war.

As they neared the city, patches of black cut into the desert sand, sites of car bombings and skirmishes. The city itself was perhaps the biggest surprise.

"I was really expecting this Third World country," van Surksum said. "Here it was like driving into a big city like Denver. Here are high rises, palm trees, Mercedes on the streets and junkers. This is a sophisticated community. Think of Denver and someone comes and bombs Denver. Here are people trying to live their lives in a place that's at war."

Their hotel was two blocks away from another hotel bombed the night before. Smoke still hung in the air. Still, she said, the owners of their hotel apologized for the dirt in the streets and offered anything they needed.

"We pretty much walked everywhere," van Surksum said. "Everyone spoke English. You would find two or three blocks that were nothing but rubble and then these little mom and pop stores." Iraqi people constantly apologized for the condition of their city. Infrastructure had been destroyed, knocked out again by the Americans.

They walked right in to the hotels occupied by national media. Knocked on doors. Asked for coverage of their peace conference. Saw protests in the streets outside.

One day, van Surksum said, about 2,000 men demonstrated against the United States. It lasted less than 45 minutes and then everyone was gone. She was standing on a balcony video taping the event and turned around to see it shown "live" on CNN as a "riot" with the camera focused tight on two men arguing.

"I've never been a political person," van Surksum said. "I've generally not taken a stand one way or another, but that we can be as sophisticated as we are, with our technology and level of intelligence and still function in this archaic way is unacceptable. There are other ways, peaceful ways, for resolution to happen."

An Iraqi taxi driver stunned her one day putting it, as she remembered, "We are all being demonized for the few that have black hearts. Please go back and tell the American people we don't hate them and we want peace. We want families. We want businesses. We want peace as much as you do."

The peace conference was meant to offer a counterpoint for all the bad news being broadcast out of Iraq. In many cases, van Surksum said, the media turned down invitations to attend. Still, goals were reached. A peace pole was planted outside the Baghdad National Theater. Representatives of worldwide religious sects met and communicated. Understanding, at least among some individuals, was reached. At the end, van Surksum said, men who had started the day with crossed arms and sour expressions embraced not their differences, but their common desire for peace.

Before leaving Baghdad, van Surksum also visited a children's home to present donations raised at a benefit in Durango. The children, she said, were continuing their education, working on art projects and reading.

Again, "It was no different than any school here," she said. "There was so much enthusiasm for what they were trying to do and yet there was a tremendous amount of loss they had to deal with as well. They were coping with the situation as best as they could."

The children were thrilled to see an American. They came forward to touch van Surksum's hair and face, repeating over and over, "I love you. You're American. I love you."

Not only did she leave the money she brought, she left everything in her pockets, too. "I just want them to have that memory," she said. "I wanted them to know we're not all bad and horrible just like they aren't all bad and horrible."

The emotions from her journey which lasted six weeks and took her not only through Iraq, but Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Spain and Holland, were too much to talk about, impossible to talk about for a long time. Now, she said, almost a year after her journey began, she's beginning to tell the stories without tears, beginning to process what might be the next step toward peace.

It may be through the film festival, through showing films focused on different lifestyles or points of view. And it may be something else.

"I'm not sure what I'm called to do next," van Surksum said. "I didn't anticipate the incredible growth personally, and it completely changed my worldview. I thought I was a fairly open-minded person until I took this journey. The story will continue."

Her story will continue locally Sunday, March 20, from 12:30-3 p.m. at the Abbey Theatre where she will present "Beyond the Borders: My Journey to Baghdad and the Middle East." She will be doing a talk about her trip as well as showing a film.

The Durango Film Festival, a 10-day juried event in downtown Durango, is scheduled March 4-13. Independent feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation, regional and children's programs from filmmakers all over the world will be featured.

Events will also include filmmaker panels, parties, receptions and audience awards given to the best films in each category. All films will be showcased in various venues in the downtown Durango area. For additional information about show times, tickets and film descriptions, visit the Web site at www.durangofilmfestival.com, or call the festival office at 259-2291.

 

GED testing at Ed Center March 19

The Archuleta County Education Center will be administering GED tests Saturday, March 19, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Completed registration forms, and payment of testing fees are required. Preregistration and payment of fees must be completed at the Education Center no later than Tuesday, March 15. Tutoring is available Monday-Thursday each week.

For additional information or to register contact 264-2835 or stop by the office at 4th and Lewis streets.

 

Public invited to regional science fair

The San Juan Board of Cooperative Services (BOCS) would like to invite the public to view exhibits and visit with students the afternoon of the 2005 San Juan Basin Regional Science Fair.

The fair is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 17, at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango and is open to students in sixth through 12th grades from Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan Counties. Students will show their exhibits 1-2:15 p.m. and the awards ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3.

For more information, contact Sheila Weahkee at 247-3261 ext. 222 or sciencefair@sjbocs.org.

 

Tonight's Together theme focused

on housing

Parent and Child Together Night at the Archuleta County Education Center is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. today.

Hands-on activities with a focus on housing will be the theme. Students from Kids In the Kitchen will prepare the dinner.

Guest speaker Barr Bentley will present information to the attendees. There is no cost, but families should preregister by calling the Education Center at 264-2835.

 

Pagosa's Past

Act of God doomed Elwood Pass as key route into Pagosa

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The need for a road crossing the southern San Juan Mountains capable of supporting automobile and truck traffic became more and more evident during the early years of the 20th century.

Wagon traffic entered Pagosa Country from four directions: from the San Luis Valley by way of Elwood Pass and down the East Fork of the San Juan River; from the San Luis Valley by way of Cumbres Pass, Chama and a route approximating today's U.S. 84 from the south; from New Mexico via the U.S. 84 route; and from the west along a route approximating today's U.S. 160 connection to Durango.

Maintenance of the route over Elwood Pass was partially funded by the Colorado Highway Department. That route had first been surveyed by the Army during the late 1870s as a supply route connecting Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs with Fort Garland on the eastern rim of the San Luis Valley.

Just as with many states, Colorado was faced with the problem of building roads to accommodate automobiles, a relatively newfangled contraption rapidly proliferating across the state and nation.

I'm not sure who owned the first automobile in Pagosa Springs or when it was purchased. Somehow I think I remember hearing members of the newly formed historical society talk during the 1970s about the subject and the name Hortense Lowenstein comes to mind. Hortense was the then unmarried daughter of the Lowenstein family, founders of Goodman's Department Store.

I suspect those first local automobiles arrived shortly after 1910. It was said at those historical society meetings that the owners mostly drove up and down Pagosa Street; they didn't attempt to drive to neighboring communities. I have an account of one family who shipped their cars out of town by rail to a New Mexico destination during spring when local roads were muddy and impassable.

The family went on the train with their cars, unloaded them in the sunnier climate, and toured parts of the southern states by automobile. It was summer when they returned and so they were part of the first caravan over Wolf Creek Pass in 1916. In any case, there is an old ledger in the county courthouse which records the purchase of automobiles during that time.

The state highway department faced a decision concerning Elwood Pass: Should they upgrade the old wagon route to make it passable for motor cars and trucks? According to the Pagosa Springs newspapers of the time, a sum of state money was spent on the Elwood route each year, but not enough. Negotiating for Archuleta County was the founder of Citizens Bank, Fred Catchpole. Catchpole was county commissioner and one of his jobs was to represent the county with state highway folks.

During 1911, an act of God took an active role in the decision-making process. During October of that year, torrents of water fell on the San Juan Mountains, more than anyone could remember before or since. Most of the bridges in the San Juans succumbed to the deluge - north, south, east and west.

On the East Fork of the San Juan just before it joins the West Fork, the Elwood Pass route followed the river as it snaked through a sometimes narrow canyon. The rampaging water turned the bottom of the canyon upside down, destroying any evidence that a road bed had ever traversed the old wagon route.

Now the state had a new problem: Should they rebuild through the canyon and take a chance of a future washout? Or should they look for a new route?

More next week on the building of Wolf Creek Pass.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

2/2

37

1

-

-

-

2/3

43

0

-

-

-

2/4

44

2

-

-

-

2/5

44

16

-

-

-

2/6

40

19

-

-

-

2/7

31

24

S

7"

.7

2/8

34

6

S

2"

.2

Forecast bodes well for Winterfest plans

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

This weekend's Winterfest activities should live up to their billing.

Urban areas across southwest Colorado received as much as one foot of snow during the past week, with amounts approaching two feet reported at higher elevations.

And according to the latest forecasts for the Four Corners region, Pagosa Country is once again the target for an approaching wet weather system, with snow expected to arrive by Friday afternoon.

Reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction suggest today's weather will include partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 40s and lows around 20.

Friday calls for increasing clouds, a 50-percent chance for snow, highs in the upper 30s and lows in the 20s.

Scattered snow showers are expected to continue through Saturday; highs are predicted in the 40s while lows should fall into the upper teens.

The forecasts for Sunday and Monday include a slim chance for isolated snow showers, highs predicted in the 40s and lows ranging from 5-15.

The chance for snow climbs to 30-50 percent for Tuesday and Wednesday; highs each day should top out in the 40s while lows should fall to around 10.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 39 degrees. The average low was 11. Moisture totals for the week amounted to just under one inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit depth of 151 inches, a midway depth of 134 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 316 inches.

For updates on snow and road conditions at the ski area, visit the Web at www.wolfcreekski.com.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports the current avalanche danger in the southern San Juan Mountains is "considerable."

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Wednesday afternoon, was approximately 165 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 85 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 145 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Feb. 10 is roughly 50 cubic feet per second.