February 24, 2005
Front Page

 

SUN photographer with troops in Iraq

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

For nearly a month, efforts were made here at The SUN to pave the way for local photographer Steve Cangialosi to make a trip to Iraq, to be embedded there with American troops, to chronicle the situation and, with luck, to connect with men and women from Pagosa Country who are currently on duty in that country.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Marines agreed to allow Cangialosi to travel to a camp near Baghdad, to stay a month and to experience the day-to-day life and operations of the troops.

Armed with his SUN credentials, his cameras, a helmet and body armor, Cangialosi left for Kuwait Feb. 14 and traveled by military air transport from Kuwait into Iraq two days later.

Tuesday, we received our first dispatch from Cangialosi, along with the photo printed here.

Steve is based at Camp Blue Diamond near Ramadi and we arranged for him to connect with Conner Backus, of Pagosa Springs.

Backus, a lance corporal, is with the 1st Marine Division Headquarters Battalion, serving with the commanding general's jump team - an elite force whose mission it is to protect the general. Cangialosi described members of the team as "the best of the best."

Cangialosi informed us he had accompanied Backus in a convoy from Camp Blue Diamond to Fallujah, taking the general to a ceremony at the Blackwater Bridge - the site where, a little more than a year ago, the bodies of several American private contractors were desecrated. The event this week was a swearing-in ceremony signalling the reenlistment of a sergeant major in the division. Backus reported Cangialosi made the trip with him in a light armored vehicle.

The activity proved Iraq remains an extremely dangerous place for our men and women in uniform. According to Cangialosi and Backus, the convoy was attacked as it left Ramadi, approximately 30 minutes into the trip. One of the vehicles at the rear of the convoy was damaged by an improvised explosive device (IED) that went off next to the roadway as the convoy passed. Cangialosi reported the IED did not fully explode and did not kill or injure any Marines.

Cangialosi reported he was preparing to leave Tuesday for Camp Ramadi and from there would accompany a unit to photograph operations in the Ramadi area conducted by Marines and Army troops.

We expect more news from Cangialosi next week and will report on his activities. Upon his return, the SUN will run photos as well as interviews and stories concerning Cangialosi's trip and his experiences.

Do you know of a Pagosan currently based somewhere near Baghdad or Ramadi? If so, we want to try to get that person in contact with Cangialosi during the three weeks that remain in his assignment. Send names and units to editor@pagosasun.com or deliver them to the SUN offices. We will do what we can.

 

Brown, Aragon step down; Gilbert leads vision council

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

It's been one year since the Community Vision Council began stirring the pot of public sentiment in Pagosa Springs.

This week the organization, composed of public and private sector representatives, announced a change in leadership.

Co-chairmen Ross Aragon and David Brown have stepped down and Tony Gilbert - owner of the Elk Meadows River Resort - has stepped up.

The change, according to Brown and Gilbert, signals new blood, new energy and renewed commitment to "growing smart" in Pagosa Springs.

Brown said this sort of public process requires a huge amount of time and energy and he is happy for another board member to take the reins. He said he will remain active on the board but plans to focus more on his own development projects.

"I am a visionary," Brown said. "I enjoy the process of starting things and then turning them over."

According to Brown and Gilbert, some of the heavy lifting involved with growth management planning is done, for now. The conceptual master plan has been submitted to the town and will now work its way through the public process. Brown said the CVC's objective was to get something solid in place that people could react to.

Now in its second year, the CVC has some other goals.

Gilbert and Brown said there are many groups with similar visions working in Pagosa Springs, such as the school board, the Chamber of Commerce and the county economic development association. The CVC wants to work on unifying these groups so they can complement one another. The CVC also wants to focus its attention on affordable housing initiatives, special events and, perhaps, a speaker series.

Gilbert said his personal goals for the CVC this year include creating greater grassroots support. In his opinion, the CVC, in its haste to address a rapidly changing community, "stepped over" some opportunities to cultivate relationships and build support for the group's mission.

Gilbert plans to make the cultivation of those relationships and the creation of that support a personal priority and he wants to dispel misinformation that has circulated around town about the CVC.

"My goal personally is to make a lot of these groups feel included," Gilbert said.

Later, Gilbert added: "It has always been the purpose of the CVC to act in an advisory role for the purpose of supporting initiatives that are both important to and reflect the vision of our community as a whole. To accomplish these goals it is imperative that we seek greater participation in the process."

  

Snowpack getting deeper and deeper ...

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Though not prepared to rule an end to Pagosa Country's drought, state and local water authorities are keeping fingers crossed.

As wet weather systems continue to fortify snowpack in the San Juan Mountains, the water outlook for the southwest corner of the state remains promising.

Snow survey reports released early this month by the Natural Resources Conservation Service indicate above-average snowpack levels stretching from the Dolores River Basin east to the Upper San Juan and Rio Grande basins.

Consequently, the water contents and streamflow forecasts for southwest Colorado basins are also well above average, which means area water supplies may stand to recover slightly from the effects of lingering drought.

Except for Lake Hatcher, which is nearly fully, all lakes and reservoirs within the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District are already spilling.

And, ironically, further wet spells could delay, for several months, the district's plan to encase Dutton Ditch - a project aimed at increasing the efficiency of water delivery to Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir.

During Tuesday night's district board of directors meeting, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but a little bit of dry weather this summer might actually help us out (with Dutton)," concluded Carrie Campbell, district general manager.

According to Allen Green, state conservationist with the NRCS, other water districts in the southern half of the state should also fare well if rain and snow continue to visit on a regular basis.

"While we'll need to closely monitor conditions across northern Colorado for the remainder of winter, this year's snowpack is providing optimism to many water users across the state," said Green.

"This is the first time we've had an above-average statewide snowpack on Feb. 1 since 1997," Green concluded.

Snow surveys conducted this week by Jerry Archuleta, district conservationist with the local NRCS office, offer further good news.

According to Archuleta, water content at the Wolf Creek Summit measuring site amounted to 39.4 inches Monday, far above the long-term average of 24.4 inches.

"There is over 11 feet of snow at the Wolf Creek site," said Archuleta, adding water content at the site has already exceeded the average, yearly peak level of 37.2 inches, normally not observed until early May.

"So it's a heavy, wet snow," said Archuleta. "We've been measuring densities at around 30 percent, which means 30 percent of the snow is water rather than air.

"Normally, we don't see that type of density until March or April," he added.

The Upper San Juan measuring site west of Wolf Creek Pass reflected similar conditions Tuesday, said Archuleta, registering a water content of 38.3 inches, nearly 15 inches over the average mark of 23.8 inches and 5.4 inches over the site's yearly peak of 32.9 inches, normally observed in mid-April.

Water content at the Vallecito measuring site equalled 25.9 inches Tuesday, 174 percent above the average level of 14.9 inches.

The average of the Upper San Juan, Wolf Creek and Vallecito sites reflects the overall snowpack level in the Upper San Juan Basin, which stood at 169 percent of average as of Tuesday afternoon.

"As long as the weather doesn't turn off and unless all the snow comes down at once, I'd say we're going to have some really good streamflows this year," concluded Archuleta.

For example, spring runoff in the San Juan and Piedra rivers was projected at 130-150 percent of average early this month, forecasts that may have increased to higher levels due to the latest bouts of snowfall.

As a result, boating and fishing enthusiasts should find it easier to navigate Navajo Reservoir this spring; the lake's level is currently at 44 feet below full pool but has been on the rise since early fall.

"It's gained 10 feet since September, which is unusual," said Pat Page, head of reservoir operations with the Bureau of Reclamation.

"It won't fill completely this year, but it will basically be at normal or above-normal conditions by summer if we get the inflow we anticipate," Page added.

As of last weekend, Navajo held roughly 1,070,000 acre feet of water, with surface elevation listed at about 6,036 feet. (An acre foot is defined as the amount of water necessary to cover one acre to a depth of 12 inches.)

That's about 63 percent of its maximum capacity of 1.7 million acre feet, reached when surface elevation is approximately 6,080 feet.

Barring the damaging effects to snowpack from an extended spell of dry weather or high winds, "We're projecting it to gain another 40 feet," said Page.

In conclusion, "I'd say back in January we were cautiously optimistic, but not overly excited, said Page.

"Now, we're a little more excited, because even if it didn't snow for the rest of the year, we'd still probably end up with above-average snowpack."

 

... as are potholes with terrain disintegrating

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

For area motorists, a wet winter is spelling a somewhat bittersweet scenario across Pagosa Country.

While a boon to water supplies, abnormally high levels of precipitation have wreaked havoc on portions of Archuleta County's road system.

As summarized in an excerpt from the recently-issued annual report from the county road and bridge department, "Although we are not complaining about the moisture, it did bring on many unforeseen roadway and drainage problems."

For example, a massive rock slide resulting from heavy rains temporarily closed Trujillo Road near mile marker 18 Feb. 16, requiring county road crews to work through the night before reopening the road the following afternoon.

But the most common - and most obvious - results of the prolonged wet weather pattern have been potholes, which continue to emerge at alarming rates on many county thoroughfares.

County road crews are monitoring the situation, "But until it starts to dry up, there's really not a whole lot we can do at this point," said Dick McKee, county public works director.

According to McKee, the list of most-heavily affected roadways includes Piñon Causeway, Trujillo Road, Montezuma Road and Cabezon Canyon Road, as well as U.S. Forest Service portions of Piedra Road, Mill Creek Road and Fosset Gulch Road.

"There are some roads that have stretches of good surface mixed with stretches of bad, but if we run our heavy equipment over the good areas, they won't be good for long," said McKee.

As for the definition of potholes, it is simple; they are depressions that form when the road surface or the material beneath it can no longer support the weight of traffic.

While wet weather is usually blamed for an outbreak of potholes, snow and rain are not the only culprits.

According to Colorado Department of Transportation studies, pothole formation is more dependent upon extreme shifts in temperature rather than snow or rain accumulation, with two key factors then assuming the largest roles: moisture and traffic load.

Freezing and thawing cycles cause cracking in the road surface, allowing moisture to penetrate. When the moisture freezes, it forces the underlying materials to expand.

When the ice thaws and recedes, that space is left empty, causing the surface to crack and fail when exposed to frequent or heavy traffic.

However, according to McKee, cold snaps that result in deep ground frost can prove beneficial to road conditions.

"And this year, the frost never 'went into the roads,' so most all of the roads in the system have experienced some sort of degradation," said McKee.

"When the frost moves into the road and ground beneath the road layer, it helps with stability. You still get shallow surface potholes, but not the deep rutting like we've seen this winter," he added.

Also factoring into the maintenance dilemma is an abundance of mud, a result of unseasonable temperatures and abbreviated frost-thaw cycles.

Because temperatures have consistently registered above average this winter, "We had an early start to the mud season, which usually begins with the thaw in March or April," said McKee.

"But this year, the mud season began in October and hasn't quit, so we've had plenty to deal with already," he concluded.

And with recent forecasts predicting more precipitation, odds remain slim that county road crews will be able to expedite their maintenance schedules in the near future.

Crews will begin repair work on Piñon Causeway within the next few days, but pothole aid for other ailing county roads will apparently have to wait.

 Inside The Sun

 

Cancer Society sets Relay for Life volunteer reception

The American Cancer Society (ACS) will hold its Volunteer Appreciation Reception and Relay For Life Rally 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

The Relay For Life committee invites the entire community to come show support for all the people who help make local ACS programs and events so successful. Committee members will provide food and drink for everyone, so come out and have some fun.

The committee is also seeking volunteers to help with planning this year's ACS Relay For Life, scheduled June 24-25.

Whether you're looking to give just a couple of hours over the next few months, just want to work out at Relay or you're willing to volunteer almost daily, the committee can use your help.

Job descriptions will be posted during the reception for prospective volunteers. No commitment is necessary, so come out and show how much you appreciate what our volunteers have accomplished over the last 12 months.

RSVP to Morna at 731-4718.

 

Account established to aid heart-attack victim

Pagosa Springs resident Leon Kelley suffered a severe heart attack Feb. 19.

Kelley is currently recovering in the intensive care unit at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

An account to assist the Kelley family with medical bills and related expenses has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank.

Anyone interested in contributing can donate to account No. 2577417260.

Donations will be accepted at all Wells Fargo Bank branch offices.

 

Hermosa Court plan goes to town council; Pagosa Street project sent back for revisions

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

It appears that in Pagosa Springs these days, there is a growing vigilance regarding any development project coming down the pike.

Two projects in particular that hit the town planning commission last week, felt it.

The first, an office/retail/residential development slated for the property adjacent to Victoria's Reign on Pagosa Street, received considerable comment from citizens concerned about downtown parking. It was continued to the next planning commission meeting, March 15.

The second project, a multifamily building planned on Hermosa Street, was approved by the planning commission and is headed to the town council for review.

What's interesting about both of these projects is, had they come before the commission a year ago, their approval processes would have been quicker and quieter, said Town Planner Tamra Allen.

"A year ago, people would have been excited and it would have been done," she said about the Pagosa Street project in particular.

Allen attributes the change to the new awareness the community has of town planning and growth management issues.

The Pagosa Street project, according to Allen, did not meet the town's requirements for parking and was sent back to the applicant for revisions.

"This is the tip of the iceberg for addressing parking in the downtown area," Allen said.

The Hermosa Street project, called "Hermosa Court," also received a good deal of comment from neighbors concerned about the "density" of a multi-family structure on Hermosa Street.

The planning commission approved the project because, Allen said, it came before the commission last December and was sent back to the applicant based on concerns of the neighbors.

In response, the project has been reduced in scope from six units to four and roof lines have been changed to visually break up the building. Because the project met all the previous recommendations of the commission, it passed.

But, like the Pagosa Street project, it too was subject to greater public scrutiny. Although the conditions placed upon it in December were met, many people still came out against the project.

Allen said because Hermosa Street is a large part of the Comprehensive Master Plan, many people have difficulty separating the current project from the master plan proposals for Hermosa Street.

The Hermosa Court conditional use permit will come before the town council Tuesday, March 1.

 

NSDAR's Good Citizen Award goes to Levi Gill

The Pagosa Springs High School Good Citizen Award for the 2004-05 school year will go to Levi Gill.

Sponsored by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the award is set aside to honor high school seniors who have exemplified exemplary leadership qualities.

They are chosen by their schools for exceptional qualities of leadership, service and patriotism.

Levi, son of Stan and Linda Gill, has served as freshman class president, student body president and is a member of the National Honor Society.

He has participated in baseball, soccer and basketball, lettering in two of the three, is active in Pagosa High Television News, is active in his church and has participated in numerous service projects.

 

Hunting, fishing contribute $1.5 billion annually to state economy says DOW study

By Tyler Baskerfield

Special to The SUN

Hunting and fishing contributed $1.5 billion to Colorado's economy in 2002 and supported more than 20,000 jobs around the state, according to a county-by-county report that can now be accessed at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Web site.

The Economic Impacts of Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Watching in Colorado, a report commissioned by the DOW, focuses on the year-round, statewide economic impacts of wildlife-related activities.

According to the report, virtually every county in the state reaped some economic benefits from hunting, fishing and wildlife watching in 2002, the most recent year for which information is available.

"Hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers contribute to the state economy every time they purchase licenses, buy equipment, and enjoy accommodations in cities and towns around Colorado," said DOW Director Bruce McCloskey. "Because of their passion for the outdoors, the economic benefits of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching can be felt in virtually every corner of the state."

Though urban Front Range communities generated a large portion of transportation and equipment sales in 2002, the overall impact of hunting and fishing comprised a much larger portion of the economy in many rural communities.

In Denver County, for instance, the economic impacts of hunting and fishing amounted to $126 million and supported some 1,540 jobs in 2002. In relative terms, however, wildlife-related activities had a greater economic impact in rural counties such as Archuleta, Jackson, Rio Blanco, San Juan, Grand, Mineral, Hinsdale, Gunnison, Moffat and Chaffee.

Denver-based BBC Research & Consulting, the company that updated the DOW's economic model and generated the report, relied on data based on trip expenses, sporting equipment purchases, and DOW expenditures that support wildlife-related pastimes. The company also factored in the secondary impact of dollars that were re-spent in the economy.

In 1988, the BBC built the DOW's first economic model to calculate the economic benefits of hunting and fishing around the state. The DOW used and maintained the model and provided the public with periodic updates as new information became available.

The latest update, finalized in October, takes into consideration newly available information, including state and federal hunting, fishing and wildlife watching survey data.

To read the latest DOW report on the economic impacts of hunting, fishing and wildlife watching, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/about/Economic_Impact/index.asp.

 

DOW begins 10-year study of Western Slope mountain lions

By Todd Malmsbury

Special to The SUN

A Colorado Division of Wildlife research team has begun trapping and collaring mountain lions on southwestern Colorado's Uncompahgre Plateau as part of the largest study ever conducted on the native carnivores.

Researchers already have captured and collared four adult lions as they learn more about the areas where the big cats live and hunt deer and elk in prime Colorado wildlife habitat.

"We've had a good start and are beginning to know the study area," said Ken Logan, the nationally recognized puma researcher hired by the DOW to conduct the study. "I expect things to pick up now that we're beginning to better understand where the cats live."

Over the next 10 years, Logan's team will capture, sample, tag and track pumas to learn more about their populations, movements, prey, interactions with people and domestic animals, and the effects of hunting. An additional focus of the study will be to test tools wildlife managers can use to better estimate lion numbers.

The first lion captured was a large 3-year-old male estimated to weigh about 150 pounds. A healthy 4-year-old, 95-pound adult female was captured in early January and is now wearing a radio collar and tag that will allow researchers to track her location.

Since then, two more - a 143-pound male and an 88-pound female - have been collared as well.

"The DOW's wildlife managers want information that improves our understanding of how puma populations respond to hunting, puma habitat needs, and their role in the ecology of prey species," Logan said. "And because of the rapid pace of development in Colorado, wildlife managers want to better understand human/puma interactions and how best to manage them.

"If we are successful, managers will have new information and new tools that will help them in the long-term management of pumas, including lion hunting, human safety and damage to domestic animals," Logan added.

Logan is relying on expert lion trackers familiar with the study area to track and collar lions.

"The houndsmen and their dogs we have been using have worked hard and successfully despite difficult tracking conditions," Logan said.

The research team also has received excellent cooperation and support from local landowners, ranchers and sportsmen.

"Their support of our efforts will be a key to our success," Logan said.

Logan has also brought carnivore research associate Jim Bauer on board to focus on field research on the Uncompahgre Puma Project. Bauer worked for four years on a southern California puma-human interaction study before joining Logan's team in Colorado.

The study has received wide support from hunting and environmental groups. The last major mountain study in Colorado was conducted nearly 20 years ago in the same area by DOW researcher Allen Anderson.

"Studying the puma population under both management scenarios will allow us to better understand the impacts hunting has on the lion population and to evaluate the reliability of population estimation tools," Logan said. "The DOW wants the best science-based management of pumas possible, and this study will help reach that goal."

Logan's previous research has been recognized nationally. Working with other scientists, he completed a research project last year in southern California. Previously he and his colleague and wife, Linda Sweanor, completed a long-term study of pumas for the state of New Mexico.

To learn more about mountain lions, visit the Internet at site at http://wildlife.state.co.us/education/mammalsguide/mountain_lion.asp.

 

Colorado Housing receives grants for energy efficient housing

Energy Outreach Colorado has awarded two grants totaling $112,430 to Colorado Housing Inc. in Pagosa Springs to fund the installation of weatherization measures in new and existing affordable housing units.

These upgrades will make the structures more energy efficient, helping residents use less and save more on energy bills.

Colorado Housing Inc. will use the first grant of $44,930 to install efficiency measures in new self-help housing, in which the future occupants provide some of the construction labor. The measures can include high efficiency refrigerators, furnaces, hot water heaters, windows, doors and proper insulation.

The organization will use the second grant of $65,700 to analyze energy use in seven existing low-income self-help homes and upgrade each with appropriate heating and hot water systems. The firm will use the analysis to create model home designs featuring energy efficiency, combustion equipment safety, healthy indoor air quality and passive solar orientation.

The remaining funds will be used to build 25 more low-income self-help homes in Pagosa Springs by the end of 2005 using these new energy efficient models.

According to the Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation, residents can experience an energy cost savings of up to 20 percent with the appropriate measures, with one in four residents experiencing an energy cost savings of up to 37 percent.

"Our effort to improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing is part of our long-term strategy to help low-income families and seniors manage their home energy costs so they won't be put in the position of having to seek emergency funds to keep their heat and lights on," said Skip Arnold, executive director, Energy Outreach Colorado. \"These families often must pay a greater proportion of their income on energy bills and it benefits everyone when they can become self-sufficient and more energy efficient."

This grant is part of the $609,091 Energy Outreach Colorado awarded across the state this year to fund energy efficiency measures in new and existing affordable housing projects, as well as programs that teach residents how to save money by using energy more wisely.

In total, the amount granted this year will help fund 17 different energy efficiency projects and three education programs. Each recipient and a summary of how the funds will be spent can be found on the organization's Web site at www.EnergyOutreach.org/EnergySolutionsGrant.asp.

 

Faith-based, community initiatives get SBA support

The U.S. Small Business Administration has created a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to help nonprofit, grassroots organizations learn about and access SBA-backed programs and loans.

As part of the initiative, all current technical assistance grant recipients - including SCORE, Women's Business Centers, and Small Business Development Centers - have extended their programs to faith-based and other nonprofit organizations that focus a significant portion of their activities on aiding small businesses.

The center is part of the SBA's implementation of the President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative, which supports the compassionate efforts of faith-based and secular grassroots organizations to improve their communities.

The initiative is designed to open government programs to these organizations by ensuring that grassroots leaders can compete on equal footing for federal dollars, receive greater private support and face fewer bureaucratic barriers.

"By working more closely with faith-based and other organizations, we can advance the president's goal of bringing jobs and hope to economically distressed communities all across our nation," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto.

SBA field representatives are already developing workshops, training seminars and open houses to reach out and educate faith-based and community organizations about SBA programs and to ensure that these groups have equal access to the services.

For more information on the SBA's Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, go to the SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov/fbci, or contact the SBA district office in your area.

 

Department of Revenue auction March 3

The State of Colorado Department of Revenue will conduct a public auction 11 a.m. Thursday, March 3 at 301 N. Pagosa Blvd. No. 6 in the Greenbriar Plaza.

The auction will offer property from Rocky Mountain Window & Door Inc.

Property will be offered two ways: bulk bid and piecemeal. The higher bid will prevail.

For details on property items, see the notice in this week's SUN or visit www.treasureauction service. com.

Terms: Cash or certified funds with full settlement on sale day. The state and auctioneer are not responsible for loss or theft of merchandise after sale; not responsible for accidents. All items sold "as is, where is." Neither Treasure Auction Service nor Department of Revenue gives any guarantees or warranties. All announcements made sale day take precedence over printed material. Listings subject to change or cancellation. The Department of Revenue reserves the right to accept or deny any or all bids.

 

Four Pagosa students named for state science fair; one to space camp

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Three sixth-graders and a seventh-grader in Pagosa Springs public schools have qualified for entry in the state science fair April 7-9 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

The youngsters will take the projects which earned them positions in their own science fair and then regional competition last weekend in Durango.

And, one lucky Pagosa girl, Rachel Jensen, also a seventh-grader, has been selected for a $1,400 weeklong trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.

She will be one of 23 students from the region involved in the trip by charter bus to Albuquerque and then a flight to Huntsville, leaving May 20 under the escort of Ignacio science teacher Danny Jaquez.

Heading for the state science fair competition will be the two best-of-show winners in the local science fair - Ryann Charles from the intermediate school and Nick Jackson from the junior high school, both with entries in the physics category.

Also making the trip for state competition will be sixth-graders Kelsea Anderson with a chemistry project and Crystal Purcell, with an environmental science research project.

Students who placed in the regional competition but were not selected to advance to state include:

Sixth-graders Sienna Stretton with a second place in math and computer science, and Kayla Catlin, a third place in zoology and biomedical studies;

Seventh-graders Sarah Smith with a first in microbiology, Julia Adams a third in environmental science, Anna Ball, a third in microbiology, and Katarina Medici, an honorable mention in chemistry.

Overall, 239 students involved in 215 projects were involved in the regional in Durango with students from Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties participating.

 Boy Scouts set pancake breakfast Sunday, March 6 Boy Scouts set pancake breakfast Sunday, March 6

Hungry for some homemade flapjacks and the trimmings? Want to support a growing local youth group?

Boy Scouts of Troop 807 of Pagosa Springs have you covered on both accounts.

The youngsters will host their annual pancake breakfast 7-10 a.m. Sunday, March 6, at Community United Methodist Church.

Tickets will be available next week from any Scout and will also be on sale at the church in advance and at the door.

Price has not yet been set.

 

 Outdoors

 

Study panel will weigh land use changes tonight

A combined San Juan Forest and Bureau of Land Management plan revision meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. today in the junior high school library.

Landscape information for the second community study group meeting includes a map of the landscapes which is available at http://ocs.fortlewis.edu/forestplan/. Go to "View Maps," then click on "Maps of Landscapes for Study."

Changes are being proposed in two Pagosa District Landscapes: Turkey and Ute. Following are descriptions of each:

Turkey Landscape:

Primary Use: Wildlife habitat is an important primary use of this landscape.

Outstanding characteristics: Old growth ponderosa pine in the Dudley area, natural setting, views/scenic resources, and solitude.

Concerns: Motorized use on the Devil Mountain Trail. With motorized use this trail acts as a barrier between the Piedra Area and the Roadless Area that should be added to the protected area.

Opportunities:

- protect the old growth in the Dudley area from any future logging;

- there is an opportunity for an addition to Piedra Area in this landscape. The drainages of East and West Devil's Creek east of Horse Mountain would be added to the boundary of the protected area in this landscape. This addition includes substantial stands of old-growth ponderosa pine and the rugged valleys of Devil's Creek.

- Opportunity to close the Devil Mountain Trail, which divides the Piedra Area and the Roadless Area which should be added to the protected area.

Ute Landscape:

Primary Use: Hiking and backpacking, wildlife habitat, nature observation, and viewing cultural resources are all uses of this landscape.

Outstanding characteristics: Old growth ponderosa pine in southern half of the landscape where we are proposing two Research Natural Areas (RNA) (see opportunity section). Archaeology is another outstanding characteristic, but the Chimney Rock area is already protected as a special interest area.

Concerns: Oil and gas development is a big concern, especially in the southern portion of this landscape.

Opportunities:

There is an opportunity to designate the Archuleta Creek/Deep Canyon RNAs, (Research Natural Area) which are two proposed adjacent RNAs at the lowest elevations (6,300 feet) on the Forest are combined into a single RNA.

Archuleta Creek/Deep Canyon contain the largest acreages of ponderosa pine, pinon-juniper and Douglas fir found on any potential RNA on the Forest.

Sand and shale barrens support unique assemblages of plants. High quality and diverse understory grasslands are also present. A few exotic species exist along boundary roads. No suitable timber occurs in the area. The RNA is closed to motorized recreation use and has low potential for mineral development. The grazing allotment is vacant and would be permanently closed. The RNA is not readily accessible to public recreation use due to adjacent Southern Ute Tribal lands.

For additional information contact Amber Clark at the San Juan Citizens Alliance, 259-3583 or amber@sanjuancitizens.org.

 

Hunter education class March 7-12

A hunter education class will be held March 7, 9, 11 and 12 in Pagosa Springs Town Hall.

The course is open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.

Hours will be 6-9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Students must attend each session.

All programs, services and activities of the Colorado Division of Wildlife are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Justin Krall, Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131 or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239.

To assure the Division of Wildlife can meet your needs, please notify one of the above at least seven days before the class.

Class size will not be limited and no preregistration is required unless you need accommodations due to a disability.

The course is sponsored by Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

 

High Country Reflections

The return of the grey wolf is upon us, but will it matter?

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

There's been a lot of talk about gray wolves returning to Colorado lately, and those interested are surely receiving mixed signals.

For instance, various environmental groups are actively pursuing wolf reintroduction to the wilds of Colorado, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will soon remove certain populations from protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is fast developing a management plan, as livestock producers are loudly voicing concerns over potential impacts future wolf populations might have on their livelihood.

To be sure, with such varied interests and opposing points of view, it's not always easy sorting fact from fiction, or science from sentiment. But perhaps, by first recounting the history of gray wolves, then describing their current status in modern American ecology, I can help lift a little of the lingering proverbial fog, and offer at least one perspective in respect to the inevitable recurrence of these top-level predators.

Before the arrival of European settlers, the only two wolf species known in the world roamed North America, including gray wolves common to most of the United States, Canada and northern Mexico, and the smaller red wolves more characteristic of the mid-Atlantic and southeastern U.S. As the largest members of the dog family, wolves weigh up to 175 pounds, and reach more than six feet in length, including a 14-inch tail. Gray wolves range in color from reddish-yellow to yellow-gray, but can be black, brown, or even pure white. Red wolves have shorter reddish-brown fur with gray or black highlights on the ears, face or tail, and are notably smaller than grays.

The adaptable gray wolves once occupied a wide range of habitats, but mostly prowled the vast prairies, where immense herds of bison, elk, and deer afforded them ample fare. However, as the pioneers' western movement steadily advanced, and market hunters systematically decimated the great herds, wolves necessarily turned to increasingly common domesticated sheep and free-ranging cattle as means of survival.

Of course, their predation on domestic livestock (and the occasional household pet) quickly earned them recognition as loathsome vermin, and outlandish stories of attacks on humans bred unwarranted fear and frustration, all resulting in an unyielding, decades-long war on wolves nationwide. Countless wolves were callously trapped for their fur throughout the 1800s, and by the 1930s organized hunting and relentless poisoning campaigns had virtually wiped them out in all but a few remote pockets of the lower 48 states. By the mid-1940s, Colorado's native wolf population had been totally eradicated, and by 1980, red wolves were considered extinct in the wild.

In 1973, Congress enacted the United States Endangered Species Act, allowing species at risk of immediate extinction, red and gray wolves among them, total protection in the 48 contiguous states. That same year, the USFWS initiated a red wolf captive breeding program, effectively producing their first litters by 1977. Happily, the number of captive red wolves has slowly increased over the years, and with limited success, scientists have since reintroduced them to wilderness areas in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge of North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

By 1987, with gray wolves reduced to a few remnant populations in the northern reaches of Michigan, Wisconsin, and especially Minnesota, the USFWS devised a plan for their reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park and portions of central Idaho. The plan was later expanded to include restoration of the only subspecies of gray wolves, the Mexican gray wolf, to the Apache and Gila national forests of Arizona and New Mexico.

Today, while naturally-reproducing gray wolves inhabit the Great Lakes states earlier mentioned, some have also moved from Canada to isolated areas of northwestern Montana. Meanwhile, the Canadian grays restored to Wyoming and Idaho are reproducing faster than anticipated, and the USFWS may soon downgrade them from endangered to "threatened," essentially transferring their protection and management from the federal government to individual states. Because efforts to recover Mexican grays in the southwest involve captive breeding and are so new, their status south of Interstate 70 will remain endangered, pending further review.

With gray wolves now found in areas virtually surrounding Colorado, many consider it simply a matter of time until they return here. Nonetheless, research studies suggesting a natural imbalance resulting in the overpopulation of certain prey species seem to indicate a clear need for wolf reintroduction, and the 17-member groups of the Southern Rockies Wolf Restoration Project (SRWRP) are advocating just that. What's more, the SRWRP has released results from a recent independent poll, reflecting 66 percent of Colorado and New Mexico residents favoring wolf reintroduction to their natural range.

Whether wolves are eventually restored to the wilds of Colorado, or they ultimately make it here on their own, they will soon, no doubt, rejoin coyotes and mountain lions as the state's top predators, and conflicts with human society are sure to arise. With this in mind, the DOW formed a 14-member working group comprised of ranchers, wildlife biologists, local government officials, environmentalists, and sportsmen charged with studying all potential aspects of wolf management in the state. In January of this year, the group presented 70 specific recommendations to the Colorado Wildlife Commission, drawing praise from both the commission and the DOW.

Among other things, the group unanimously agreed that wolves migrating into Colorado be allowed to establish themselves in suitable habitat, and that ranchers be compensated for livestock losses. Wolf populations should be carefully monitored, and voluntary non-lethal methods be utilized in preventing wolf damage. Management funding should come from sources other than hunting and fishing license revenues, and the public should be kept informed and involved.

As Colorado's human population continues to rise, I am both fearful for, and cautiously optimistic toward, the future of gray wolves in our state. Indeed, the need for protecting virtually all species is increasingly apparent, but in the wake of incessant growth and urban development, critical wildlife habitat is being sacrificed at an alarming rate. If wolves and other wildlife cannot roam, feed, and rear young without undue pressures from mankind, they will simply perish like so many before them.

It seems, as a growing list of threatened or endangered species approach extinction, and the habitat upon which they depend is so rapidly turned under, that there is little hope for the wild places of Colorado.

But a glimmer of faith still sparkles in the eyes of a growing populace ever louder calling for the preservation and restoration of our natural world.

I, for one, hold on to that faith, in hope of one day hearing a wild gray wolf howling deep within a Colorado forest, just before sunset.

 

Letters
Risk or God?

Dear Editor:

Freedom of speech cannot flourish under authoritarian systems. What is most hard to see is that facists come in all sizes and shapes. From your local minister, to the extremes of both major political parties or your own need for security in life.

Man will give up a lot for potential security, even the very basic rights paid for in blood that distinguishes this society from all that came before.

Americans can handle some level of risk and did so very well in the 1990s with productivity exceeding all other nations. However, rather than leveling out, the risk has continually escalated in all facets of life and all this change is happening not over but within one generation's challenges.

The primary problem may be there isn't a single bogey man to confront (Russia/communism). In my opinion there is a direct correlation in the growth of the Evangelicals (God will guide/save us) and the increased risk of being a powerless single power. It may be why we readily accepted attacking a third-rate nation, jumped at another crusade against Satan/Muslims and now seek economic power by focusing on Iran (Brazil has committed to an enrichment program?).

We're confusing risk with God. America is not entering unchartered waters; we've just lost the educational base to see parallels, understand/appreciate our governmental guarantees and are totally lacking in any effective leadership. What is brand new is the conflict between American corporate leaders and what's good for America. On one hand competition/survival and our laws tend to force outsourcing service jobs, while national security and economic health gets tarred in the process. Freedom of speech may be another victim of this confusion.

Regardless of the risks associated with politics, economics, social change and global power, Americans have an under-appreciated resilience. The most personally felt increased risk is economical.

While politicians and preachers are selling a cocktail of illnesses to be concerned about, income security is recalled along with the '57 Chevy. Two family incomes offer more security than being single. Married families with kids under 17 voted significantly Republican while singles/single parents selected Democratic candidates. We should appreciate the natural forces at work and not see divides but rather hope.

Put down your knives, take heart, take risk, think about the junk you're asked to believe and laugh at our own hypocrisy. The rave TV show "Desperate Housewives" was conceived, produced, and is directed by a gay conservative Republican!

Dave Blake

 

Ridiculous roads

Dear Editor:

I'm a longtime citizen concerned with the ridiculous road conditions we are all dealing with in Archuleta County.

I realize that you cannot grade roads immediately after a storm, but you can in a day or two - maximum. They dry out very fast.

We have approximately 11 graders plus another two or three on the way. That is at least 13 or 14 available graders for Archuleta County.

So, put some of our many county workers on some of the graders and grade the roads.

Three or four times a year is simply not enough. We as American taxpaying citizens should not have to drive on roads that are maintained as if we lived in Old Mexico or South America.

It is also absurd that the county will not just grade and maintain our roads without the taxpaying citizens taking time out to call in a complaint to initiate the needed road upkeep work.

In other words, they will not just do their jobs without us having to constantly call Road and Bridge or the commissioners. We should not have to worry with this and to beg and plead for road work.

It seems that the county thinks they can just put down this mag chloride at the end of June and then forget the roads.

Guess what, Archuleta County, the mag chloride is not working out long-term. It is disintegrating the texture of our roads, not to mention the damage it does to our steel and paint on our vehicles. If we lived in an area that received minimal moisture, it might be practical, such as Tucson, Ariz.

So, put down some new gravel, forget the mag chloride, and grade the roads.

Chadd Carnley

Pot Hole Alley (Cat Creek Road)

 

Gravel gripe

Dear Editor:

This is an answer to the letter from Mr. Mike Thompson. He is barking up the wrong tree.

Mike, for your information, I did not go to you or anyone else for input or to get your OK to open a gravel pit on my ranch.

No state or county laws were violated by the permit issued by the state to Kirkland Construction Co. to mine gravel for an Archuleta County airport project. Permits were issued by the state because I have had another gravel pit permitted on my property since 1977.

Sorry you had to go through so much suffering while gravel trucks were hauling, but you never spoke up.

First, it's Archuleta County's responsibility to control road problems and force contractors to water down roads.

Second, did you call the county, health department or OSHA?

Third, the road conditions I spoke of or wrote about are not due to last fall's work. Road conditions presently are due to neglect, no graveling, poor maintenance since 1990 when I left office. I have pleaded with the county commissioners for gravel on these roads but the answer has been "no." Instead, lots of money, too much money, has been spent every year on dust control and mag chloride.

In my 12 years in office we mined gravel in 32 areas of the county and ground crushing was always put out for bids. Now the county is buying gravel from producers 13 miles up County Road 500 and it and Cat Creek Road are a total disaster.

Look for a photo of County Road 500 in your newspaper.

Chris Chavez

P.S.: We have many oil field trucks daily using those 13 miles of County Road 500 just causing extra damage to the road.

 

Need county act

Dear Editor:

I would like to share a letter sent to our commissioners Friday - because I feel this issue is something that all of us need to continue taking action on.

Dear Archuleta County Commissioners:

This communication is in regards to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek. I understand the town passed a resolution against it in December, and have asked to meet with you regarding this issue for, as closely connected, as our town and county are, it behooves us to take a common stand.

Despite the fact that it is in Mineral County - such events profoundly affect us here; and NEPA law states that government and business must respect the views of the people of the region as primary.

Great concern has been quietly voiced by large environmental agencies that there is a severe threat to resolving issues properly, due to extreme pressure coming from the federal level. Rep. John and Sen. Ken Salazar may be of utmost help in this matter; but they have voiced that, in order for them to act upon it, they must hear from their constituency. Sen. Salazar is touring the state, and I would like to urge you to address this issue with him.

We are generally strong-minded, independent people who love the wilderness.

This is an example of big business and governmental interests believing they can just push us out of the way (demonstrated by original circumstances of land trade). I believe we must prove such behavior is not acceptable here.

All concerned should contact Rep. Salazar and Sen. Salazar immediately - so they may have no question that this issue is critical to us: Rep. John Salazar (202) 225-4761, www.house.gov/salazar/1531 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515-0603. Senator Ken Salazar, http://salazar.senate.gov/, 2300 15th St, Suite 450, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 455-7600 (phone), (303) 455-8851 (fax).

A recent news story states that Red McCombs sold the Minnesota Vikings for $600 million. Such an event makes this a critical time for us to act in our own behalf. Besides issues around water, wetlands, traffic, wildlife and economic impacts on all surrounding communities, not yet resolved; trying to build at 10,000 feet with such a short season, and the technical dynamics to deal with such issues would be a monumental, expensive and an ongoing task that will have untold impacts on this region.

I urge you as our commissioners to pass a resolution against the Village development, until impacts to this region can be resolved. Remember East Fork and the work of Betty Feazel and many others who defeated the deep pockets of ATT ... and what remains is one of the most incredible pieces of wilderness on the planet. Let's become known for holding out, and not selling out. And then, if development does happen it will be within reason and harmonious with what brings magic to the lives of all of us here.

Thank you for your serious consideration and taking action in this matter!

Cary Ellis

Editor's note: The corporate interest last involved with the proposed East Fork project was American Express.

 

Green, gold gala

Dear Editor:

With more than 75,000 Colorado State University graduates living in our great state, I wanted to alert your readers to the third annual Green & Gold Gala April 2 at the Denver Marriot City Center.

The purpose of this black-tie event is to bring CSU alumni and friends together for an evening of dining, dancing, socializing, networking and celebrating the accomplishments at CSU. The first two Galas were sellouts (more than 600 Ram Faithful each year) while the '05 Gala will be even bigger and better, including another impressive Silent Auction full of unique items.

This year's honorary co-chairs are Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, '76, and world renown Fort Collins jeweler John Atencio. In addition, CBS Channel 4 News Anchor Jim Benemann, '78, will serve as master of ceremonies.

For more information or to make reservations, please call the CSU Alumni Association at (800) 286-2586.

Best wishes,

K.C. Ingraham

 

Pirate praise

Dear Editor:

Just a quick note of praise and congratulation for the Pagosa varsity basketball team and their coaches.

My wife and I were honored to have seen most of the games this season. We saw a team that not only has won all but one of its games so far this season, but also a team showing great sportsmanship and poise.

I have been watching high school basketball for 50 years and the excitement of this year's Pagosa team is unrivaled. We wish these young men and their coaches the very best as they close out the season.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lerno

 

Fluoride facts

Dear Editor:

At its upcoming meeting March 8 (public invited), the PAWSD board of directors will consider the issue of discontinuing fluoridation of our public water supply.

There are two sides to this issue. On the one hand, fluoride has long been known to harden tooth enamel. On the other, there is mounting evidence that the form of fluoride added to public water supplies does enough damage to other parts of the body that the dental benefits aren't worth it.

For those Pagosans who are unaware of the controversy surrounding water fluoridation, I recommend typing "fluoride" into Google or some other search engine. You'll find a large collection of information and opinion both for and against fluoridation of public drinking water. If you want to read an interesting account of the history of fluoridated water, read "The Fluoride Deception," by Christopher Bryson.

Pagosans should know that the fluoride PAWS puts into our water comes from industrial waste. Specifically, it is sodium silicofluoride and is produced as a by-product of chemical fertilizers and other industrial processes. It behaves differently in the body than naturally occurring forms such as calcium fluoride.

The city of Telluride recently elected to stop putting fluoride in their water after several local physicians and dentists testified that by doing so, there is no way to control the amount of fluoride that each individual consumes. They stated that no reputable health care practitioner would prescribe medicine without considering numerous factors unique to each patient, and therefore they could not support fluoridation of public water. They prefer to administer fluoride the same way other medicines are prescribed - one patient at a time.

Colorado Springs also recently stopped fluoridating its water and other Colorado counties are considering following suit.

I've read a wide range of the material both for and against fluoride and believe that the case against fluoridation of water is simply too strong to ignore. For Pagosa, I believe the issue is one of choice. Those who wish to take fluoride have ample sources, including their dentist. For those who don't want fluoride, or who want smaller doses than contained in our water, PAWS should not have the right to force us to ingest this potentially toxic substance.

The PAWS board would do the right thing to recognize that its job is to provide clean, safe drinking water - not to medicate an entire population without regard to age, genetic profile or special medical conditions. What we ingest and which expert we choose to believe should be a matter of personal choice. I hope the PAWS board will follow the lead of some other Colorado counties by discontinuing the fluoridating of our water and respect the rights of Pagosans to take responsibility for their own health care.

Alan Suslow

Editor's note: PAWS officials report they are currently using sodium fluorosilicate and that the manufacturer's Web site indicates the substance "is generally obtained by the neutralization of fluorosilic acid with sodium carbonate."

 

Defending Bush

Dear Editor:

Michael J. Greene's letter (2/17/05) reiterating hackneyed propaganda that federal funding cuts hurt older people, the poor and children, and that tax cuts benefit mostly higher-income families, needs correcting.

Bush's budget, cutting or eliminating 150 federal programs which are wasteful, useless or combined with others for management efficiency, raises spending for all programs affecting the poor, including one which increases funding 650 percent over Clinton expenditures. His plan for Social Security, tried by 25 percent of the people in Galveston and parts of South America, was so successful that voluntary participation jumped to 95 percent.

Concerning tax cuts, 9 million poor were removed from tax rolls. The middle class received unexpected rebates due to reduction of tax brackets and increases in the "married filing jointly" allowance/removal of the marriage penalty. Liberals never report that 20 percent of the population pays 80 percent of the taxes, the very people who create jobs and pay medical benefits. Sometimes, benefits have been cut or dropped because of excessive employer taxes. One manufacturer reported that, were his excessive tax burden lessened, he would immediately hire 200 people and pay medical premiums. Forty million lost health insurance during the Clinton years; cut to five million in Bush's first term.

If elected, Kerry said he would fund his $2.2 trillion spending increases by raising taxes of the very 20 percent who provide 75 percent of the jobs. Employers would not have been able to increase jobs or pay medical premiums. Tax cuts will spur the economy and generate more tax revenue than tax increases.

Despite the Clinton recession, 9/11 attack and war on terror, Bush's tax cuts effected the most dramatic economy recovery in over 20 years. His 5.4 percent unemployment rate, with over two million new jobs, is slower than the rate at any time during the Clinton years.

Concerning Iraq, contrary to Pat Buchanan, terror antedated intervention. Who wants to return to the days of unchallenged attacks on our embassies, ships or buildings, or unspeakable atrocities against millions?

Eight million exuberant Iraqis voted for the first time in a free election despite the threat of murder. Shi'ites won 48 percent of the vote. Their main spokesman, the cleric al Sistani, said he and his people do not want a theocratic government. The 147-member elected assembly will write a constitution and oversee the election of the permanent representative government.

Lt. Col. Bob Stephenson, who led troops to liberate Fallujah, describing it as "going down in history as one of the most successful military campaigns ever," profusely complained about liberal media "portrayals of Bush as a failure." He added that "conflicts between Muslims, tribes, Sunnis, and Shi'ites are not political idealisms but brutal criminal acts of hatred" which will come under the control of an elected government. He concluded that he prays for the day "when all in the world will come to know God, His infinite goodness, and His eternal plan for us all."

May we all join him?

Eugene Witkowski

 

Community News

Protect pets; you're not the one living outside

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The SUN

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but you're warm and toasty inside.

The real question is where is your pet?

Is he or she inside warm and toasty, or outside cold and lonely?

Every year the humane society, sheriff's department and animal control receive numerous calls from concerned citizens, regarding their neighbors' pets being housed outside during the winter months. Being good neighbors, many times people don't feel comfortable approaching someone else in regard to their pets.

Colorado law 18-9-202 states, "A person commits cruelty to animals if he knowingly or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, needlessly mutilates, needlessly kills, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal, or causes or procures it to be done, or having the charge or custody of any animal, fails to provide it with proper food, drink, or protection from the weather or abandons it."

There are several more sections to this law. Unfortunately, the law that is meant to protect is very vague. It doesn't clarify what necessary sustenance or protection from the weather really is.

Many of us mimic the manner in which our parents cared for our pets as we grew up. If you were raised on a farm or ranch, most likely your pet stayed outside or in the barn at night, and if you lived in the city, your dog slept by your bed every night.

Since November the humane society has been contacted by passersby and neighbors a minimum of nine times regarding two dogs being housed outside 24-7 with no one living on the property.

Even though the owners were contacted and told that this particular breed of dog is not suitable to living outside in this climate, we have not been able to correct this situation.

"Protection from the weather" simply means living in a dog house, lean-to or under a deck, which allows the animals to get out of the sun, rain, or snow.

But of course this doesn't protect them from the cold, especially when it is minus zero or the weather blows into their area.

As a humane society this is a very difficult issue for us. Obviously these dogs aren't pets when they spend all their time alone, except when being fed and watered once a day.

So why would someone even have these animals or make such a bad impression on their neighbors or future neighbors?

It is one thing to think you're macho and you can do what you want with your property or animals, but you're not the one living outside.

  

Reception to honor retired library director

For a quarter-century, Lenore Bright dedicated herself to the welfare of Ruby Sisson Library.

She began as a volunteer in 1980, then assumed the post of library director in 1983, retiring from that position last month.

Often with the help of her husband, Gil, she worked to get the current building and then to make it the outstanding library it is today. She has been tireless in raising funds and making plans for the upcoming expansion.

Now the Brights are beginning an adventurous new segment of their lives; please come and wish them well Sunday, Feb. 27 from 2-4 p.m. in the Commons Area in Pagosa Springs High School.

If you would like to do something special for Lenore, put your card or letter of memories into the basket at the library or during the reception, or make a donation to the Library Building Fund in her name.

Also, library volunteers, Friends of the Library and the Woman's Civic Club plan to present Lenore a personal gift at the reception; ask at the circulation desk in the library if you wish to participate.

  

PSHS Drama Club will host IML competition

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs High School Drama Club will host the Intermountain League One-Act competition Saturday in the high school auditorium.

In addition to Pagosa, there will be entries from Bayfield and Centauri this year. Local theatrical talent will judge the performances and give insight and feedback to the actors in order for them to grow in their craft.

Judges will be Oteka Bernard, Candy Flaming and Jon Nash- Putnam.

For the past three years, Pagosa entrants have performed exceptionally well, placing highest in most categories. Pagosa's entry this year is titled: "A Canterbury Tale from the Wife of Bath," by Herman Amman.

The drama club is well known for producing plays focusing on extremely serious issues involving young people and their lives. Pagosa has strayed from the pattern this year, opting instead for a lighthearted comedy.

The cast includes: Melissa Maberry, Ben DeVoti, Veronica Zeiler, Jesse Morris, Chris Nobles, Darran Garcia, Katie Erickson, Kelli Ford, Hilary Matzdorf, Anna Hershey, Tim McAlister, Joe Quick and Havi Kornhaber.

The play is directed by student director Randi Andersen, and Dale Morris. Once again, the Drama Club will perform for the public 7:30 p.m. Wednesday March 2, in the auditorium. Cost is $3, with all proceeds going to the drama club.

  

Auditions set March 4 for 'Once Upon a Wolf'

Auditions for "Once Upon a Wolf," the upcoming Pagosa Springs Music Boosters production, will be held 6-9 p.m. March 4 in the Pagosa Springs High School band room.

The actual performances will be presented the evenings of April 21, 22, and 23, in the Parish Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

This zany satire of familiar children's stories, which falls into the category of "fractured fairy tales," has a cast of seven, from high school age on up, and includes both male and female parts. Those auditioning will be asked to do cold readings from portions of the script.

This is not a musical, but following the performance of the play there will be a short "olio" presentation of vaudeville type acts, so if those auditioning have a prepared act or song, it will also be considered.

For additional information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.

  

Carole Cooke: Painting in Plein Air

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

It's always gratifying to see the career of a hardworking, local artist explode into the national arena. It's especially gratifying when that artist paints your hometown.

Such is the case of Pagosa Springs oil painter Carole Cooke.

Cooke has just returned from a trip to Southern California where she displayed her work at the Autry National Center's "Masters of the American West" exhibition. The event is recognized as one of the country's most important art shows and a prime opportunity to link artists and collectors. The annual exhibit showcases 70 contemporary sculptors, watercolor and oil artists whose work depicts the people, culture and landscape of the American West.

Cooke applied for three years for an invitation to the show with no luck. This year the invitation found her.

"This was big time for me," Cooke said. "It was amazing."

To provide a sense of exactly how amazing, Cooke said one piece in the show sold for $400,000. Unlike a typical auction, bidders stuffed tickets in a box in front of the piece, like a raffle. Only if their ticket was drawn did they have the opportunity to purchase the piece for the full retail price.

"That's the caliber of work that's in the show," Cooke said, adding with excitement that both pieces she exhibited sold as well.

While Cooke is a diligent businesswoman and dedicated to the promotion and sale of her work, her passion is the art itself.

"If a couple of days go by and I haven't painted," Cooke said, "I get cranky."

Cooke is a landscape painter and is deeply influenced by the early California Impressionists. Impressionism is, quite simply, a method that was developed by the French in the 1860s. It is a light, spontaneous manner of painting that attempts to capture light on a scene. Famous Impressionists include Monet, Degas and Renoir. Cooke said it was the invention of the tube that birthed the impressionist period in France, as artists could finally go outside and take their paint with them.

Outside, in the light and shadow and air, is where Cooke works best. She classifies herself as a Plein Air Painter (pronounced plen-eir), which is a French term meaning she goes outside to paint. Often landscape painters will photograph a scene and then paint it later in the studio. But Cooke said the human eye registers many important values that a camera misses, like details hidden in shadow or the movement of clouds.

"It is, in my opinion, the only way," Cooke said about Plein Air painting. "You can't beat your own eyes."

However, as a Plein Air artist Cooke realizes that all the energy and spontaneity of the outdoors sometimes needs to be refined. So she will often paint a smaller picture in the field and recreate it later on a larger canvas in her studio.

What's interesting about Cooke is that her list of achievements, recently capped by her invitation to the Masters of the American West, has come in relatively few years. It has taken Cooke only seven years to earn the acclaim that takes some artists decades.

Cooke's paintings have been exhibited at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and The Laguna Beach Art Museum. For the last two years Cooke has received the "Collectors Choice" award at the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Invitational in Estes Park. She has also been a featured artist and named "Artist to Watch" in Southwest Art Magazine.

But until 1997, Cooke was working as an art director in the film industry in Los Angeles. She also built sets and painted backdrops for music videos. She says that whenever a set needed repainting or touch up, she would be called in.

"I was able to match color really well," she said.

Cooke loved that aspect of her work and decided to pursue it with a Saturday painting workshop. She was intrigued by landscape painting and began selling a few. She soon realized people would pay for what she could do on canvas, so she took the chance and began painting full time.

"It just makes me happy," she said. "I'll be out painting and I'll say, 'I can't believe this is my office.'"

Although she paints in the Eastern Sierra, Mexico and all over the Rocky Mountains, Cooke said the Upper Blanco Basin is one of her favorite places to paint in Pagosa Springs. It has it all she says - rivers, snow capped mountains, trees and sky. Nearly all of her paintings feature the world in its natural form, although she'll occasionally paint an old fallen down building as part of a landscape.

Cooke has a backpack that holds an easel and all of her paint and brushes. It allows her to hike to a secluded spot and get lost in her work. Painting in plein air can have its surprises though. Cooke tells of painting in Montrose once in 12-degree weather. She said the snowflakes were landing in her paint and as oil and water don't mix, they were making little paint snow cones. Nonetheless, the painting she did that day is one of her favorites.

In all of this Cooke is a consummate student. While she said her education has come much from the seat of her pants she has been relentless in her studies as a painter. She travels to museums all over the world to study not just what she likes, but what she doesn't and why. She also feels that her growth as an artist happens lightening fast.

"I paint something and a month later I don't like it," she said adding that she isn't hypercritical; she just quickly sees how she can do better.

Cooke also has a calculated plan for her career as an artist. She has a little turtle that sits in her studio to remind her of the tortoise and the hare. She said she doesn't want to flash onto the art scene and burn out. She wants to win the race by slowly and steadily offering a better and better body of work.

"I want 50 paintings in the studio before I really break out," she said. "I want to push my career in directions that will be more advantageous in the long run."

To view more of Cooke's work on-line visit www.CaroleCooke.com.

  

Piecemakers to get quilt story from pro

Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild will hear March 12 from someone who knows the patterns.

Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, a perennial prize-winning quilter active in the craft for 40 years, will talk about the history of quilt making, especially in America, and will display quilts she has made and collected.

The program will begin 10 a.m. in St. Patrick's Episcopal Church on South Pagosa Boulevard.

Anyone interested in learning more about the art of quilting is welcome.

For more information, call Leslie Montroy at 264-5600.

  

Dance Club will focus on 'West Coast Swing'

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

The West Coast Swing is one of Bob and Betty Santee's favorite dances, and is slated for the In Step Dance Club's new dance beginning in March.

Because of the popularity of the next two dances, I plan to teach West Coast Swing for six weeks, then switch to East Coast Swing in mid-April for an additional six weeks. The class schedule for West Coast Swing is 7-9 p.m. March 3, 9, 17 and 24, and April 3 and 13.

There will be extra practice sessions 3-5 p.m. March 6,13, 20 and 27, and April 10 and 17. The public is also invited to join for the "Swing Into Spring" dance Friday April 1, at Montezuma's.

The East Coast Swing sessions will begin April 21, and continue 3-5 p.m. April 28, and May 5,11, 19 and 26; (also, extra practices April 24 and May 1,8 and 15).

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 28, as we welcome back national champions Bob and Cindy Long to share their expertise in teaching an East Coast Swing workshop. Also plan on enjoying a potluck dinner and Sock Hop Dance Party that evening at the PLPOA Clubhouse. There will be a costume contest, among all the festivities; so dig out your poodle skirts and come join the fun. More on that later.

All classes and practice sessions will meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Club dues are $60 per couple or $35 individual for each six-week term, (or you can pay by the month). For more information, call Deb Aspen 731-3338.

Dancers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing, and shoes with smooth or split leather soles (something that does not leave black marks).

What is West Coast Swing? How is it done? To what kind of music?

Sometimes described as the "Cadillac of swing," the California versions of the West Coast Swing stay in a narrow slot, suitable for a crowded night club and have the lady move from one end of the slot to the other. The dance has remained pretty much the same since its creation in the '40s, with six-count and eight-count patterns, lots of footwork, turns, body waves and syncopations.

The man stays relatively in place, while the lady moves back and forth in the slot, therefore, the woman's movements are more emphasized. The end of patterns typically use an "anchor step" to discourage the follower from moving forward under her own power. Instead she "hangs out" until the guy remembers to lead. The man either leads her down the slot or starts her down the slot then blocks her path, forcing her to go back to where she started.

Then her assignment, (should she decide to accept it) is to get from one end of the slot to the other, preferably with something stylish in the process.

Other than the slot, another important distinction between styles of swing has to do with the "rock-step." Purists in the swing community claim there is never a rock-step in WCS but, by definition, the rock-step is strictly East Coast Swing. It may be that WCS was not really invented but more than likely grew out of stylistic developments in the Jitterbug, Lindy Hop and Shag.

West Coast Swing dancers themselves do not consider it a ballroom dance in that the steps cannot be canonized because, as part of a "living" dance, they are always developing, transforming, adapting, etc. Regional swing dance clubs feel like they serve two groups: those interested in social dancing, and those interested primarily in competition.

Ballroom dancers work toward an "ideal" of prearranged patterns, while social West Coast 'swingers' are encouraged to invent new patterns, body positions, footwork and syncopations. This dance can be choreographed to a wide range of tempos and styles of music (15-45 measures per minute). Blues is a traditional style with its grounded "earthy" feel, but some like more contemporary rock, or it can be danced to oldies from the '40s, '50s and '60s.

There are no set rules; improvisation is the name of the game. Once you learn the basics, the dance is all yours.

There will be no admission for the dance at Montezuma's which will start at 7:30 p.m.

Information on the East Coast Swing and its history will be coming up in mid-April.

  

Bowl for Big Brothers Big Sisters March 18-20

Start loosening up your arm, call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Archuleta County to register, go out and raise some pledges and then bowl for the kids March 18-20.

You can form a team, or be placed on a team.

Since there is no longer a bowling alley in either Pagosa Springs or Durango, the event will be staged at The Den in Bayfield.

In keeping with tradition, the organizers try to keep all Pagosa bowlers active on the Sunday of the tournament, a means of creating a town champion in terms of funds raised, not score achieved.

In fact, score is no longer important. All participating bowlers will have raised pledges ahead of the lane action, pledges aimed at providing activities and relationships for the youngsters of Southwest Colorado.

Once you have formed your team, call the Pagosa Springs BBBS office at 264-5077 to reserve your one-hour time slot (or call the Durango office at 247-3720). If you get a voice mail, leave name and number for a return call.

You may also send an e-mail to Dearle Ann Ricker at bbbsdar @centurytel.net.

The three top pledge earners will receive prizes as will those with "best costume" in keeping with the "Celebrity Bowl" theme (costume is optional). There will also be door prizes, face painting, a silent auction and a raffle table on which area businesses are invited to display their goods.

The bowling is free, thanks to generosity of owners of The Den.

Teams may have four or five members, but no more.

The annual Bowl for Kids' Sake event is the major fund-raiser of the year for the program. Hours for Pagosa bowling on Sunday will be noon-4 p.m. with last team bowling 3-4 p.m.

Participants should arrive at least 15 minutes early to register and get shoes, if they don't have their own.

 

Unitarians will hear of 'purpose driven faith'

"Are Unitarian Universalists a Purpose Driven Faith?"

This question will be the subject of the UU service Feb. 27, led by the Rev. Charlie Archibald.

He will explore such questions as: Does UU diversity preclude group or individual purpose, or do UUs instead have the religious purpose closest to what makes American religion unique in all the world?

The Rev. Archibald serves as Ministerial Associate of the Albuquerque Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. He trained at a Baptist seminary in the 1950s, served for a while as a Methodist minister, and in 1960 became a Unitarian. Ordained also as a Humanist Minister in 1988, he is a past president of the Humanist Society of New Mexico, and will host their national conference in May, 2005.

In addition, the Rev. Archibald earned a Master's degree in Psychiatric Social Work, and worked in mental health for the U.S. Public Health Service at the Clinical Research Center of the National Institute of Mental Health, treating heroin addicts. Subsequently, he lived and worked on 26 Indian reservations as a mental health consultant. He is a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

The service and children's program will begin at 10:30 a.m. in 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. As always, all are welcome.

 

Kindergarten open house set at Our Savior school

Our Savior Lutheran School will present a kindergarten open house 6-7 p.m. March 9 for interested parents.

Care will be provided in the preschool for the children until 7 p.m. when they may visit the classroom. There will be a presentation of the programs offered, followed by question and answer time.

Teacher Mary Jo Janowsky has had nine years of experience in full-day kindergarten, as well as another nine years in pre-first and first grade classrooms.

She received her master's degree in elementary education from Adams State College with concentrations in Spanish and music. The program included a field study project in developmentally appropriate kindergartens and she was a presenter at the 1993 Colorado State Kindergarten Convention in Breckenridge.

Her first two years of college were in Christian education and Biblical Studies at Houghton College in New York, in preparation for a career in church work.

"Helping children develop with a knowledge of Scripture and of God's love, while teaching them to read combines two of my most satisfying pastimes," she said.

For more information call the school at 731-5910.

 

Fly fishing class begins March 8 at ed center

Whether fishing a small, high-country stream for little brookies, or a large river for giant steelhead trout, fly fishing has something to offer every angler.

Trout, bass, panfish, salmon, even carp - all can be fished successfully using hand-tied, artificial flies and a fly rod. All it takes is some basic knowledge, good equipment, and days spent enjoyably on the water honing your skills.

Some are lucky enough to learn the sport at the knee of a wise and patient mentor - a father or grandfather perhaps. Others have picked up the sport along the way by lessons or even by trial and error, usually more error than we care to admit.

Fly fishing is a wonderful experience for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. You never know what lies ahead, just around the next bend. Even on a stream that is a familiar friend, you never know what has changed since the last season, or even the last storm.

Fly fishing is a meditative sport; it is a way to find relaxation and solitude while studying the beauty of nature. When fishing, the cares of the day slip away. Nothing else seems to matter except your immediate surroundings and the task at hand. In the angling world nothing compares with the beauty and grace of fly fishing.

This is one sport where a lot of strength or bravura is unnecessary. Skill, timing of the cast, and a delicate presentation of the fly will always win out over muscle and brawn. Fly fishing is appropriate for any age or gender. Women tend to be naturals - their intuitive nature and attention to detail often lead to rapid mastery of the sport. Just watch out - fly fishing can become an obsession if you are not careful.

The Archuleta County Education Center will offer a fly fishing class beginning March 8, taught by Debra McNaughton. There will be four three-hour classes from 6-9 p.m on Tuesdays with one six-hour class on a Saturday.

Topics will include choosing and using the fly rod and reel, knots, gear, trout anatomy and behavior, fish habitat, insects, casting, fish lies and fisherman lies! The course will provide a good foundation for students so that they can comfortably begin fly fishing right away.

Class size is limited to eight students so that each receives a lot of personal instruction. Call 264-2835 to enroll. The cost is $45 and includes the use of rods and reels.

There is no need to be intimidated by the gear and all of the jargon. Fly fishing is not an elite sport, it only requires a desire to experience nature and the willingness to try something new.

 

Local Chatter

Longing to see the Christo Gates in NYC

Kate Terry

SUN Columnist

When the weather in Pagosa Springs turns blah, people take off. Everyone seems to have connections in Texas, so off they go. As for me, I'd use my frequent flier miles and go to New York City to walk under Christo's Gates, New York's fabulous art project which opened Feb. 12.

This project was proposed 25 years ago after Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, moved to New York City from Europe, but after a two-year study, the city turned it down, saying Central park was a mess and not prepared for such a project. Since then the necessary restoration - a $350 million restoration - has made the park ready and when Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Christo fan, took office, he gave his approval.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who go by their first names, are artists who use large amounts of fabric to create their projects. They are well known in Europe, having wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995, for one thing.

The gates are freestanding steel posts topped with rectangular pieces of saffron colored fabric. Each gate is 16 feet tall and the fabric hangs from the top of each to about seven feet above the ground. The gates are spaced about 12 feet apart along the 23 miles of pathways in Central Park. There are 7,500 gates.

When Christo and Jeanne-Claude moved to New York, they noticed the rushing pedestrians. Christo said, in an interview in the New York Times, "The only place where the people walk leisurely is in the park ... we tried to ... create some kind of intervention so suddenly the people would appreciate the process of walking."

An amazing thing (to me) about the project is that the artists do not accept sponsorships - paying for everything from the installation of the gates, the insurance, extra security, the tearing down - everything. The project cost is $20 million and the artists have donated $3 million to the city for the use of Central Park.

The gates represent Christo's biggest project. The last one in the U.S. was 1,760 giant yellow umbrellas north of Los Angeles. In 1976, the artists erected a 14.5 mile fabric fence in Northern California and in 1983 surrounded 11 Florida islands with floating pink skirts.

And in 1972 they did a one-day project, "Valley Curtain," in Rifle, Colo.

The list goes on and on.

I first learned about Christo when a friend sent me an article from the New York Times about the upcoming gates project. "Are you a Christo fan?" she wrote in the margin. No, I wasn't, but since then have read everything I can about Christo and Jeanne-Claude, even buying their coffee table book describing their preliminary work on the gate project.

A funny story that Jeanne-Claude tells in the book is that when they were first in the U.S. they were invited to dinner at the home of a wealthy Chicago collector. When the woman learned they had a small son, she invited him. He told her his parents had ordered his supper (they were staying in a hotel) and that he was going to watch TV. But when she told him she had a dog, he decided to go. It rained that night and when they got to her house, Cyril Christo asked to see the dog.

The woman said, since it was raining, the dog couldn't come in the house but she said she had a TV upstairs and said would send up Cyril's supper.

To show that Cyril Christo had inherited a creative bent, he swapped the contents of the boxes in the room (one of her collections) around. It took two people two weeks to straighten things out.

What's next for Christo and Jeanne-Claude? Hang on! The project is to suspend 6.7 miles of fabric across a section of the Arkansas River in Colorado - a project first proposed in 1992.

Back to me and my dream of walking under Christo's gates. The weatherman says snow is moving that way and if I'm going to have to walk in the snow, it would be fun to join all the tourists coming from Europe and the other walking tours. I'd love to see billowing fabric while it's snowing.

Oh well! Dream on.

The gates will go down this weekend. New York City expects millions of tourists to have viewed the project.

  

Senior News

Accolades to Shady Pines 4-H and 'Flower Fairy'

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

I want to start the column this week with a big thank you to the Shady Pines 4-H club for making cookies and decorations for our Valentine's party.

Everyone had a good time and a lot of cookies were consumed. We would also like to thank the "Flower Fairy" for giving our homebound seniors and the drivers of the day beautiful flowers for Valentine's Day. Everyone called to thank us, so we know the gifts were very much appreciated.

Movie day sure was a hit this month, with 17 of you moviegoers joining to watch " Terminal." Join us next month for the sequel of "Cocoon" that we showed in January, "Cocoon the Return."

For those of you seniors with a February birthday, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. has discounted your lunch; you pay only $1 Feb. 25 when we celebrate all senior February birthdays.

That same day everyone is invited to say good-bye to me. Note from Musetta: "Bring along your favorite Laura pictures, stories (there are plenty), make up a skit, whatever - just be here to wish Laura a fond farewell. As so many of you know, Laura and I have been two peas in a pod for the past three years and I'll miss her tremendously as she embarks into a new adventure."

We are always happy to see the youngsters from Seeds of Learning come in for lunch, and barring any bad weather, we'll see them Tuesday, March 1. They sing for us then give hugs afterward, so be sure to come and listen to the kids sing.

If you are interested in Australia, then you might want to come in March 4 to hear Robert Dobbins talk about his experiences there. Robert is a member of the International 4-H Youth Exchange and has pictures and stories to tell. Sounds like fun!

Remember it's that time of year again - tax return time. The volunteers of the AARP Tax Aide program are here in the arts council room of the community center every Thursday to prepare taxes for those with low to moderate incomes. If you file for the PTC they ask that you have your tax return prepared sooner than later because there have been some changes. A sign-up sheet for appointments is available in the dining room of the senior center. Stop in soon and sign up for your tax appointment.

Events

Friday, Feb. 25 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; celebrate February birthdays, noon; say good-bye to Laura, noon.

Monday, Feb. 28 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 1 - Yoga, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10:30; Seeds of Learning kids sing, 11

Wednesday, March 2 - Canasta, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 3 - Arboles Meal Day (call for reservations); AARP tax day (sign up in the dining room).

Friday, Mar 4 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; veterans' benefits, noon; talk about Australia, 1 p.m.

Menu

Monday, Feb. 28 - Chili con carne, Mexicorn, apple slices/banana, tossed salad and crackers.

Tuesday, March 1 - Meat Loaf and gravy, parsleyed potatoes, green beans, pineapple tidbits and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, March 2 - Chicken with rice, glazed carrots, Waldorf Salad and muffin.

Thursday, March 3 - Arboles Meal Day, reservations required; call for menu.

Friday, March 4 - BBQ riblets, mashed potatoes, broccoli and spiced applesauce.

 

Veteran's Corner

Defense Act authorization affects concurrent payment

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

One of the key provisions of the Fiscal 2005 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes full concurrent receipt for 100 percent disabled military retirees, eliminating the nine-year phase-in for full concurrent receipt payments to eligible retirees rated at 100 percent disabled by the VA, as of Jan. 1, 2005.

However, the nine-year phase- in schedule is still in affect for retirees with disabilities rated at 50 to 90 percent.

Concurrency

Concurrent Receipt issues are for veterans to receive both military retirement pay and VA payments for their service-connected disabilities. In the past, military retirees were not paid both, and had to choose which payment to receive. Most opted for the VA disability payments because those payments are tax-free.

Most retirees and veteran service organizations felt military retirees should be entitled to both and ultimately won their case a couple of years ago.

CRSC

It is now considered Combat Related Service-Connected disabilities since the concurrency is based on service-connected disabilities that occurred during or associated with combat duty.

Not quite the full benefit for all retirees, but getting close.

Many excluded

The new legislation excluded approximately 30,000 retirees being paid at the 100 percent disability rate because the VA rated them as "unemployable." Unemployability is often associated with higher ratings of VA disabilities. If a veteran is rated for one disability for 60 percent or more, he may be eligible for unemployability to increase his benefit to 100 percent disabled. If the veteran is rated with 70 percent total combined disabilities, of which one disability is at least 40 percent rating, than he may be eligible for unemployability.

CRSC reconsidered

At any rate, sources now report this issue is being reconsidered, and the Pentagon and the White House's Office of Management and Budget are talking of extending concurrent receipt to all 100 percent disabled retirees, including those with the rating based on unemployability. A big hurdle crossed if it happens.

It is hoped a decision on this benefit will be made on this soon.

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 Archuleta County 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

Tribute to Lenore Sunday at PSHS

By Barb Draper

PREVIEW Columnist

The place to be Sunday, Feb. 27, from 2-4 p.m. is the Commons Area of the high school for Lenore's retirement reception!

Everyone is welcome and urged to stop by and visit with Lenore and husband Gil. Beginning about 2:35 there will be a short program when various local organizations will make brief presentations. There will be time both before and after the program for you to convey your personal messages of thanks for the many services Lenore has provided to you and to the entire community over the years.

There will also be a card basket at the guest table for any of you who wish to leave a card. Refreshments will be served and John Graves will provide musical entertainment. Do not miss this memorable event. Even if it is snowing (could that be possible?) remember that there is plenty of parking and easy building access.

Continuous book sale

We have been busy cataloging many of the books recently donated to us. Due to the upcoming construction project (more specific news about this soon), we are unable to store donated materials and, regretfully, we will not be able to have our annual book sale this summer.

So, there are several carts of books for sale near the circulation desk. There are some great titles - at unbelievably low prices. "Tradebook" size paperbacks are 50 cents each, as are children's books. Most other softbound and hardback books are $1 unless they are specifically marked otherwise. Books come and go daily, and we are constantly restocking the carts. Come in often to see the ever-changing selection. We continue to accept and appreciate your donations and your support of our sale.

Book donations

The following are responsible in part for the wide selection of books on the sale cart and on the "new arrivals" shelf in the circulation area: Meryle Backus, Paula Bain, Maureen Balog, the Bledsoes, Peggy Case, Barb Draper, Susan Dussell, Kay Grams, Carole Howard, Judy Horky, Carolyn Johnson, Mari Khoury, Judy Lynch, Mary McClellan, Kathie Marchand, Paul Matlock, Karen Miller, Marcia Ray, Janet Rohrer, Karen Rohrer, Rex Shurtliff, Dawn Truax, the Tysons, Kippie VonDuhn, our Anonymous Donor and several of you who did not leave your names with us. Wow!

Financial supporters

People have been dropping by in person and sending donations through the mail for the building fund, for gifts in honor of Lenore, and for material purchases.

We will have a complete list of February donors next week but for now, you know who you are and we hope you know how much we appreciate you.

 

Arts Line

Drawing with Davis moved to Saturday

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Drawing with Randall Davis has been changed to 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 26 at the community center.

This month's class will focus on drawing horses. All you need to bring is a drawing pad, the drawing pencils of your choice, preferably No. 3, 4 or 6 in hard and bold leads, eraser, ruler and a sack lunch. Class with Randall is always enjoyable and instructive. Call PSAC at 264-5020 to make a reservation or space allowing; walk-ins are welcome.

Note from Victoria

Dear members and artists,

We hope you have caught wind of all past, recent and future events either through snail mail or e-mail, or even through the grapevine. We would like, though, to update our methods of contact as much as possible this year. Some of our mailing and e-mailing addresses are invalid (mostly e-mail), and we would like to fix this as soon as possible in order to inform you of current and upcoming events. So, if you would, contact PSAC to update your information. Our phone number is 264-5020, and e-mail is psac@centurytel.net.

Thank you very much!

Victoria Stanton,

PSAC Staff

PSAC calendar

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a 2006 calendar illustrating 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. Artwork will be presented in an 8 1/2 x11 inch format in the calendar.

Entries will be accepted in the following categories: Graphic art (water media, oil, pastels and drawings) and photography.

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.

Submit slides, photo or Jpeg, by e-mail (psac@centurytel.net).

Entry forms were mailed to members Feb. 10.

Entry forms are now available at the gallery in Town Park, as well as posted on our Web site www.pagosa-arts.com.

Entry deadline is March 15.

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

The schedule is as follows:

- through 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.

Here's a checklist for those wanting to enter:

- 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).

Have questions? Call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC at psac@centurytel.net.Questions call 264-5020 or e-mail PSAC, psac@centurytel.net.

Workshops with Slade

March 9-11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Intermediate watercolor workshop with local artist Betty Slade. Theme: "Seasons in Poetry."

Cost is $120 PSAC members; $125 nonmembers; for a minimum six students, maximum 15.

Slade has four workshops scheduled this spring. The first of these will be the three-day intermediate watercolor workshop in March.

Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for workshops. Dates, times and fees are listed below in the calendar section.

A 15-percent discount will be applied to anyone signing up for all three of the oil painting workshops.

DAC exhibits

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 for the 2006 Group Exhibits Program at the Durango Arts Center is April 1.

The Durango Arts 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.

Peer assistance network

The Colorado Council on the Arts has re-launched 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, act soon! For details go to www.coloarts.org, go to Resources, click on Peer Assistance Network.

Groups interested in collaborating to obtain Pagosa funding may contact Leanne Goebel at lgoebel@centurytel.net.

Artist opportunity

Are you a contemporary artist? Do you want to get together with other contemporary artists for exhibitions, performances, happenings and educational events?

If so, contact Jules Masterjohn at 382-0756 and join DECAF (Durango Exhibitions and Contemporary Arts Forum).

PSAC Calendar

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

Feb. 26 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35 per student.

March 9-l1 - Intermediate watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, "Seasons in Poetry," 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $120 per student for PSAC members, $125 for nonmembers.

March 17-18 - "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

April 14-15 - Oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts Two," with Betty Slade critiquing work from March class and new paintings; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers

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 for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

A 15-percent discount will be given to students preregistering and attending all three of the oil painting workshops.

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

Memory fades in the fourth quarter

Cauliflower.

OK, I admit it's not much of an idea for a column, but it's a small hook on which to hang the hat. And there are times a small hook has to do.

Two weeks ago, I thought about cauliflower, came up with a few notions about where I could go with the piece, then promptly forgot everything.

I do that a lot these days.

I'm at the office, thinking about cauliflower and I get a phone call before I can jot down any notes; after the call, I talk with a Pirate alumna about my favorite subject - high school girls' volleyball - and the core of the column vaporizes and floats away. Another idea gone.

As I move deeper into the fourth quarter of the game of life, with no hope of returning to the locker room for a shower, I find my short-term memory is increasingly faulty. To compensate, I make lists of things I need to do, things I need to buy at the store.

It is a simple, theoretically effective ploy.

Theoretical, because I usually forget the lists. I leave them in my wake like debris floating from a sinking ship.

I don't recall names. I see a familiar face and, too often, I can't pull the name from the black hole that passes for my mind.

It's cruel.

And yet, my memory of things distant is accessible. I dredge up crud from the past with relative ease. Especially when I'm on mnemonic autopilot.

All it takes is a scent, a sound, a taste. I hear a tune, a familiar voice and the process begins. At the mention of a place or an event the associations flow; the current of the stream of consciousness, coursing rearward, sweeps me up. Sure, the memories have been edited, tidied up and altered, but they are vivid and they meld without obvious connection one into the next.

I'm driving home from work the other day. An hour or so earlier, I mentioned something about the Denver of my childhood and now I am recalling one scene, one event after another. From 50 years ago. I can't remember what my wife asked me to get at the store a mere four hours ago, but I can take a mental trek through a world a half century gone.

I open the door of a closet at my grandmother's house. The closet is above a stairwell and the floor rises at a steep angle. It is a useless space, but for the recreational opportunity it offers an 8-year-old. From there, I am transported to a bed in the basement of that house. I am younger, perhaps 6 years old. I am tucked beneath the covers; my 2-year-old brother is in another bed in the room. There is a party going on upstairs. I hear laughter, music, a scramble of conversation, ice clinking in glasses. I smell cigarette smoke. The guests' coats are piled on the end of the bed. I smell perfume on the furs.

In a flash, I'm in the pool hall in Central City in 1958. Stinky Menigotti's grandfather owns the joint. Old-timers play poker at tables set in an alcove at the back of the hall. I hear the click of chips, raspy coughs; late afternoon light is buffered by brittle yellowed curtains hung across windows in the alcove. There are spittoons on the floor next to the painted wainscoting, a glass counter at the front of the long, narrow space near the front door. Behind the counter sits Stinky's grandpa, a transparent green visor above his eyes. I remember the way the hall smells. I fetch beers from the Toll Gate bar for the card players, shoot snooker with Stinky and my cousin, make the long climb to my grandmother's house on Second High Street as the summer evening deepens - trudge up the long wood stairway between Williams Stables and the building that houses the Register Call newspaper office, where my great-grandfather once worked. I negotiate the wreckage of stone steps next to the Ushers' House, huff and puff my chubby-guy way up the rocky steep slope to Second High then make a final ascent of steep stairs and walkway to the house. I stop there, get a drink of water from my aunt Hazel, then I'm off again, up the slope of the back yard, past the outhouse, up to Third High Street in front of old Hugh Lorrie's house with a wave to Viola Laird who stands shadowy in her yard atop the Cornish rock wall that rises like an unmortared brown battlement from the street. I walk past the house that was once owned by my great-grandfather, to the end of the street, to my parents' house. I smell the air, hear the cars far below me as they drive into town from Blackhawk, hear voices from downtown and the ragtime piano music coming from a bar where ancient Dolly sits, terminally wrinkled, dressed in a Gay '90s getup, drinking bourbon and tickling the ivories for tourists from Kansas.

I'm carried in the stream to a cafe in Pontiac, Michigan. I've been in a bus since 5 a.m., traveling from Grand Rapids to Sault Ste. Marie to play hockey. It's snowing. It will snow all the way to the Soo. It's time for breakfast and the waitresses bring everyone the same meal: creamed chipped beef on day-old biscuits. The windows of the café are frosted over; a Patsy Cline song plays on a jukebox.

The music on the Michigan jukebox, circa 1964, segues to music three years later in Manhattan, 1967. It's raining, 3 a.m., and I've walked from The Balloon Farm, a club on St. Mark's Place to The Tin Angel, a restaurant over on Bleeker Street. I can see and taste the omelet I order. Then I'm in Room 204 at the Albert Hotel. Joni is there. She's written a song. Wanna hear it? I don't wait around; the stream pulls me to a Howard Johnson's restaurant just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I share an order of rubbery clam strips with a girl who looks like she jumped out of a Rossetti painting. Suddenly, the barge of memory docks in Manhattan six years earlier. I'm waiting for my family to get back from Europe, staying alone at the Waldorf Astoria. A childhood friend of my father's, Norman, drives over from Jersey and takes me to eat at a place called Peter's Backyard, down on 14th Street. I can taste the bernaise sauce - it's the first time I've eaten bernaise sauce, my initial touch of tarragon. I remember the tomato - the best tomato I'd ever eaten. Norman invites me to spend the night at his place. His wife, Betty, serves fresh blueberries and cream for breakfast.

Memories course one into the next, details are sharp.

And yet, ask me about a phone number I thought I memorized less than an hour ago and I babble like an idiot.

Who's that guy sitting at the next table? I've met him, more than once. Beats me if I can remember his name.

Oh, a meeting at 5:30? Yes, now you remind me, I remember. Sorry I missed it.

These failures of mind are distressing but the trick is not to dally, to move on to something else; the name of the person or song, the address or phone number will appear later, without rhyme or reason.

Thus, I finally remember cauliflower. I'm reading "Cloud Atlas," by the British writer David Mitchell and, kablam, there it is, front row center in the mind, out of nowhere Š cauliflower.

But, what was I going to write about cauliflower?

That, I don't recall.

So, I decide to sit back and see where the stream takes me with the vegetable as a touchstone.

I hated cauliflower when I was a kid. Didn't take a shine to it until I was well into adulthood.

Maybe it has something to do with the nasty way the simple vegetable was treated in the kitchens of my childhood.

Put simply, the cauliflower I experienced as a lad was overcooked (and that's hard to do), watery and stinky.

If state statute prohibited cruelty to vegetables, my mother would have done hard time in the state pen. She tortured all vegetables but saved the lion's share of her wrath for broccoli and cauliflower. Fortunately, my mother's kitchen labors were limited or her crimes would have multiplied. Still, to her credit, the damage she inflicted was horrific.

Mom boiled cauliflower (note, the word is "boiled," not "steamed") until the vegetable was barely recognizable. Plus, she never began with a fresh product, preferring to use frozen cauliflower. Flavor and texture were annihilated before waterlogged, sludgelike remains were slopped on a plate next to a piece of beef cooked so long and at such high heat it was no longer identifiable as having once been part of an animal.

Even after Mom went on her Metracal and Pepperidge Farm cookie diet, she persisted in offering up vegetable matter as a side to whatever distressed main course she produced for the family. By then, she had discovered "boilin' bags"- allowing her to continue to practice her primary technique. The cauliflower in the bags swam in cheese-like gunk. Beyond boilin', Mom's home cookin' repertoire was reduced to using a pair of scissors to free the contents of a bag into a bowl.

Mmmm, deeelish.

Thankfully, we went to restaurants frequently.

It was a long time before I encountered cauliflower I liked. It is a difficult vegetable to appreciate; James Beard referred to it as "a somewhat freakish variant of the same cruciferous family as the cabbage."

My perspective finally changed at an Indian restaurant, with a curried cauliflower and potato mix, the cauliflower florets intact, the flavor heightened by the lively spices. It was the first time I realized cauliflower wasn't a paste.

Then I discovered that cauliflower, gently steamed after the leaves and dark spots have been removed, either as a whole head or as florets, is delightful simply buttered or, better yet, slathered with anchovy butter - melted butter into which a healthy wad of anchovy paste is incorporated. A bit of fresh-ground black pepper Š yesiree.

M.F.K Fisher wrote about making a simple cauliflower gratin with barely steamed florets placed in a shallow casserole. Heavy cream is poured over the florets, grated Gruyere is added, as is some salt and pepper, and the ingredients are baked until the top is brown and the cheese and cream have amalgamated into a silky sauce. I tried it and it's great.

Better yet, the cream sauce can be prepared ahead of time, cooked with sauteed shallot, some fresh thyme and bay leaf (which are fished out before the baking takes place), a bit of Dijon mustard or a dollop of horseradish, a bit of salt and pepper, perhaps a touch of nutmeg or (as in Thomas Keller's gratin recipe) a teeny bit of curry powder.

The florets are blanched in salted water for a couple minutes and drained well. Into a buttered casserole they go and the cream sauce is poured over till the florets are partly covered. The grated Gruyere is sprinkled on top and the mix is baked at 425 for about 20 minutes. To finish, the cheesy top of the gratin is browned beneath the broiler.

I intend to make the modified Fisher gratin soon.

If I can remember to do it.

Maybe, I'll write myself a note.

Extension Viewpoints

Premises system can make livestock ID easier

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Feb. 24 - Veterinary Science Project meeting at San Juan Veterinary Clinic, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 25 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.

Feb. 26 - Cub Scouts meeting in Exhibit Hall, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Foods Unit 1 Project at Methodist church, 3:45 p.m.; Fair Royalty, 6 p.m.

March 1 - Lamb Project meeting, 6 p.m.

March 2 - Fair board meeting, 6 p.m.

March 3 - IFYE Delegate Program - free to community, 6 p.m. Shady Pines Club meeting, 7 p.m.

March 4 - Entomology Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Goat Project meeting, 3 p.m.;

March 5 - Beef Weigh-In, 9 a.m.

Check out all posted 4-H project and club meeting dates and community meetings at www.archuleta.colostate.edu/calendar.htm.

Identifying every location farm animals would inhabit will enable officials to track all livestock diseases within hours.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is educating livestock producers on the need and process of registering with the national premises system, which is one component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

"The process to register a ranch, grazing area or livestock market is extremely simple," said Carl Heckendorf, CDA veterinarian. "Although the program is voluntary, it's important for livestock owners to realize that their livelihood can depend on providing and improving as many safeguards as possible to our food supply."

The national premises system identifies each location, where animals are born, managed, marketed or exhibited. Producers register premises in their individual states.

In Colorado, livestock owners can register their location in just a few simple steps. First, access the information at www.livestocktrust.com and click on Colorado. Next click on New User Registration and fill in the required fields, using your 9-1-1 address. If a producer has multiple sites, contact CDA to learn about the specific premises guidelines, since each ranch and production system is unique.

Once completed, allow about one week for the information to be processed. Return to the Web site and login, using your designated name and password. You can access information on your premise(s), account maintenance and livestock activity.

The goal of NAIS is to create an effective, uniform national animal tracking system that will help maintain the health of U.S. herds and flocks. When fully operational, animal tracing can be completed within 48 hours of a disease detection, ensuring rapid containment of the disease.

For more information, visit the Web at www.usda.gov/nais or contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4161.

Cookie dough deadline

The 4-H youth Cookie Dough sale will soon be ending. The deadline for ordering will be Feb. 28. Monies generated from cookie cough sales will be dispersed to each 4-H Club (there are seven) and the 4-H Council. The cookie dough comes in three pound tubs (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. Tubs are $10 and $11 each. Types of cookie dough include: Chunky Chocolate Chip, Made with M&M's, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar, and White Chocolate Macadamia. The cookie dough will be delivered on March 15th by 4-H youth. If anyone would like to order cookie dough but cannot find a 4-H member to order from, then contact the Archuleta County Extension Office at 264-5931.

New DNA technology

Officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture are evaluating the use of a new DNA analysis that can track and identify cattle within 48 hours.

"As we progress with our animal identification program, it's important for us to explore a variety of new technologies and test to see which ones are the most viable," said Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "The use of this new methodology complements the systems that we have in place."

A study was conducted, involving the collaboration of three additional organizations: Colorado State University (CSU), RMS Research Management Systems USA (RMS) in Fort Collins, Colo., and MMI Genomics in Beltsville, Maryland.

During a two-month period, the double-blind study successfully matched 34 cows, solely on DNA analysis. In addition, the results were reported within 40 hours. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System (NAIS) recommends a 48-hour trace back window.

"This study tested the capability of integrating a USDA-approved system for NAIS with other database and ID companies," said Cunningham. "As foreign animal diseases continue to be a major health concern, we need to research avenues that allow for a more timely and effective response to an animal health emergency."

Although the test was conducted with cattle, the technology can be used on elk, horses, sheep, swine and other species as well. At this time, the Colorado Department of Agriculture uses a livestock identification and tracking system, created by RMS called LivestockTrust(tm).

Colorado State University will publish complete results of this study. For additional information, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4161 or visit the RMS Web site at www.rmsusa.com.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Swim club opens 17th season with new coach; seeks members

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Swim Club is inviting youngsters who enjoy swimming and who like to compete, to join the swim club. Started in 1988, the club is one of the best competitive swim teams in Colorado.

The returning swimmers have started their training under a new coach, Jennifer Fenton. Jennifer and her husband, Jake, and baby daughter, Sienna, are recent transplants from Wyoming. We welcome them to our community.

With a long personal history of competitive swimming, Coach Jennifer brings a love for the program that is evident in her coaching style. The swimmers smile when they talk about their coach - no easy accomplishment, especially coming from teen-agers.

The swimmers practice five days a week, 4:15-5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2:15-3:45 p.m. Friday. Once school is out, beginning Monday, May 23, practice will be held 7:30-9:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

The swim team meet schedule begins at the end of May and continues through the first week in August. This includes possible travel to Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, Durango, Grand Junction, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Farmington. Following the regular season, swimmers who have achieved qualifying times are eligible to participate in the Western Slope championship and the Division I, II and III championship meets.

Every swimmer is required to have a current recreation center membership, U.S. Swimming Association membership, and to pay a per-season swim fee. Swimmers must also purchase their own team suits and support the team in its fund-raising efforts. The recreation center covers a significant portion of the coach's salary but additional funds are still required to cover travel expenses to road swim meets and any other related costs.

When competition gets going in the summer, registration fees at meets run about $2-$3 per event entered. Parents should add to that the cost of travel and lodging. At most swim meets, camping areas are available and lodging costs can be kept to a minimum by camping.

The continued success of the swim program, as it begins its 17th year, will depend on the hard work of the swimmers, the dedication of the parents, and the quality of training provided by Coach Jennifer.

Although this is clearly a major family commitment, the rewards justify the efforts. Competitive swimming encourages self-discipline and builds self-confidence. Supported by the camaraderie of the team, swimming brings out the best in every individual.

Interested parents and swimmers can call Coach Jennifer at 731-0717 or David at the recreation center, 731-2051, for more information.

 

Obituaries

Letha May Adams

Letha May Allen Adams, 93, was born Nov. 27, 1911, to Willis and Flossie Jewell Allen in rural Big Springs, Neb., and died Friday, Feb. 18, 2005, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.

The Allens were farmers and Letha May attended one-room schools in the Big Springs area. In September, 1928, she married William Arthur Adams in Julesburg, Colo., and to this union three daughters were born.

In 1934, during the Depression and Dust Bowl days, they packed up their meager possessions and three girls, all under 5 years of age, and traveled to Pagosa Springs where they lived the rest of their lives.

Mrs. Adams loved the outdoors and horses, so as the wife of a rancher she was able to have the best of both worlds. Her hobbies in later years were quilt top making and making footstools out of tall juice cans. She was a familiar personality as a waitress and clerk, primarily at Jan's Cafe and the Drive-In Liquor during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Mrs. Adams was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Harold Allen; her husband, Bill, in 1966; a daughter, Virginia Suhre, in 1981; and a daughter, Wanda Rambo, in 1992.

Survivors include her daughter Leona Thayer of Anadarko, Okla; grandchildren Denise Gardiner of Sacramento, Calif.; Lori Davis of Fairbanks, Alaska; Kim Rambo of Cincinnati, Ohio; Pat Prentice of Monte Vista, Colo.; and CD (Deighton) Thayer of Anadarko; numerous nieces and nephews; a cousin, Millard Condy of Rancho Cordova, Calif.; a cousin, Glenn Jewell of Carpenter, Wyo.; her sister-in-law, Bessie Allen of Ogallala, Neb.; 12 great-grandchildren, including Lori Manzanares of Pagosa Springs; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. today at Pagosa Funeral Options in Pagosa Springs and a memorial service is scheduled June 11 in Pagosa Springs. Contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to San Juan Historical Museum.

 

Felima Gardner

Felima Archuleta Gardner, 85, former longtime Archuleta County Clerk, died Jan. 27 2005 in Webster, Texas.

She was born to Maximo and Albinita Archuleta April 26, 1919, in Tierra Amarilla, N.M.

Survivors include her daughters, Nancy House (husband Gordon) and Carlene Bishop; grandchildren Jennifer, Haven and Kevin; and numerous friends.

She became Archuleta County Clerk in 1959 and served 19 years, leaving office in 1978.

Felima had a love for painting, quilting and traveling (especially motor-homing) but her biggest love was meeting new people and just visiting with them.

Funeral services were held Jan. 29, 2005 in Webster, with the Rev. Bill Cole officiating.

 

Gerald Martinez

Fourth generation Pagosa Springs resident Gerald "Jerry" Ray Martinez died at his home Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005.

Born in Pagosa Springs on Oct. 3, 1929, to Emmett and Betty Martinez, he married Diana Spore Martinez on June 12, 1953, in Dallas, Texas.

Jerry attended the University of New Mexico on a football scholarship and obtained his degree in range wildlife management from Colorado State University.

Always active in his community, he served as an Archuleta County Commissioner from 1988-1992. He also worked as a PLPOA fisheries biologist 1986-1992, was an environmental consultant for Snyder Oil Co. and worked 30 years for the U.S. Forest Service.

He was involved with Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and an active member of Rotary International. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and served as president, vice president and was on the board of directors of Rotary. He enjoyed fly fishing, salt water fishing, hunting, horse pack trips, golf, camping and skiing.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Emmett and Betty.

Survivors are his wife, Diana of Pagosa Springs; son, Kirk Martinez of Rhame, N.D.; daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Shane Johnson of Edmond, Okla; his son, Brad of Pagosa Springs; his wife's sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Rudy Schenken, of Dallas, Texas; his grandchildren, Shane Johnson Jr. of Pagosa Springs, Justin Martinez of Denver, Jessica Martinez of Pagosa Springs, Kaytlyn Johnson of Edmond, Okla., Samuel Martinez and Maxwell Martinez, both of Durango, Colo.; cousins Gilbert and Mickey Martinez of Farmington, N.M., and numerous other cousins, nieces and nephews.

A vigil service will be held 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and Mass of Christian Burial will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, both in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Hilltop Cemetery with services officiated by Father Carlos Alvarez.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Rotary Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 685, Pagosa Springs CO 81147, or the P.W. Luter Cancer Center in Durango.

 

Merl L. James

Merl LeRoy James, 90, died Friday, Feb. 18, 2005, at his home in Bayfield, Colo. Mr. James was born Dec. 19, 1914 in Center, Colo., the son of Fred A. and Susie Murray James. He married Janice Ewing on June 1, 1940 at Colorado Springs.

Mr. James grew up on a potato farm during the time when most farm work was done with horses, beginning his "education" into the real world of labor and horsemanship. He graduated from Center High School in 1932. His early life experiences were extremely varied. The early years began as a wrangler on dude ranch at Creede; packed supplies from Lake City to mining camp of Beartown; packed high-grade ore from miners into Silverton; equipment from near Rio Grande Reservoir to build a diversion canal from head of Pine River across continental divide to Rio Grande; and worked later as manager of French's Hardware in Lake City. Mr. James served in the Navy during World War II and moved to Bayfield in 1946 following his enlistment. He owned and operated James Hardware until it was destroyed by fire in 1954. His last 25 years of employment were spent as a Port of Entry Officer until his retirement in 1979. In addition, he also farmed property near Ignacio until the last few years.

He was a charter member of the Bayfield Lions Club; an active member for over 50 years, holding many local and district offices. Mr. James was a recipient of two Melvin Fellows Awards by the Bayfield Lions Club and Lions District 6. He also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Lions Camp For The Blind at Woodland Park. In addition, Mr. James was a member of the Odd Fellows, the Grange, the B.P.O.E., and the American Legion, the 4 Corners Horseman Assoc., the Appaloosa Horse Club, and a board member of the Pine River TV Assoc.

Mr. James' love for community and basketball led to his involvement on the committee that organized the building, and donation to the district, of the first gymnasium for the Bayfield School District. He also enjoyed the outdoors, touring the back country of Colorado by horseback and later by Jeep. According to Mr. James, "If you can't get there by horse or jeep, it's not worth going there." Mr. James' elk hunting, from the early 1940s, was done by horseback. During his post retirement years he raised sheep, providing local 4-H'ers the opportunity to purchase lambs for their projects, and served as an adult 4-H leader.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, four brothers, and three sisters who died in infancy.

Mr. James is survived by his wife Janice; son, Keith James, of Casper, Wyo.; a daughter, Sophra Farmer of Enid, Okla.; and several nieces and nephews of Enid, Oklahoma.

A funeral service was to be held 2 p.m. today at the Calvary Presbyterian Church, Bayfield, Colorado. Burial was to follow in Pine River Cemetery in Bayfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lion's Camp For The Blind, P.O. Box 9043, Woodland Park, CO, 80866, or the American Cancer Society, District II - Southwest Colorado, 3801 Main Ave., Durango, CO, 81301.

 

Business News

Chamber News

A daylight serenade supporting American Red Cross

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

I have to pass on a most delightful experience that happened to us here at the Chamber. Right around the lunch hour Monday Doug, Morna and I were serenaded by the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus in a belated singing Valentine greeting.

This group of six carolers sang us two songs in beautiful harmony as they had for others on Valentine's Day weekend. The money they raised from this effort was donated to the Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross. So not only did they give of their time and talent, they gave of their proceeds as well.

Think about this delightful way to surprise your sweetheart at work or at a restaurant on Valentine's Day next year. The songs and the heartfelt way in which they are delivered will bring a flutter to the recipient's heart and maybe even a tear to the eye.

Thank you ladies for brightening our day here at the Chamber and for your generous donation to the American Red Cross. These funds will stay in the county to help with training or any disaster relief projects that may arise.

Web site enhancements

We sure don't like any grass to grow under our feet here at the Chamber. We have been busy little bees working on ways to make the services we offer user friendly and as current as we can for you, the members. In that vein, let me update you on some of the techno enhancements we have been working on and will be offering to you.

First, remember you can now update your organization's event information on-line. Just go to the Chamber's Web site, pull up the calendar of events and fill out the event request form. Morna will put your information in our calendar of events and call you if there are any questions. As you plan your group's event, please check this calendar to see what else is happening that day or week.

And speaking of weeks, this calendar of events now has the capability to be viewed a week at a time. How great is this service to our visitors and business customers? If you are planning a trip to Pagosa, you can see in advance what is happening here a week at a time instead of only daily. If you are a lodger, pull up the calendar of events by the week, print it out and put it at the front desk or in the guest rooms so your guests know what is going on in Pagosa.

If you're a real estate broker, do the same thing and have it available for your clients to view when they come in to look at property. The benefit list goes on and on. We would like to thank the Lodger's Association for giving us this suggestion and Web Durango for creating the capability. We hope this enhancement will be used frequently.

Also on the techno side of things, the Chamber now has the capability to send out mass or particular group e-mails. This function will be of great use to us. We will be able to send out reminders to the members, notify certain businesses if there is a big event coming to town so they can review their scheduling, send out questions or surveys to our members - the list goes on and on. We will use this e-mail system with discretion and no "junk" or "spam" will be sent out. We believe this to be another efficient way to communicate with our members. We hope you will like this added service as well.

In the hope category, I also hope all the members know that included in their membership dues is the added service of listing their business one time on our Web site at no additional charge (many chambers tack on an additional fee should you want this service). However, many businesses may want to have an additional Web site listing. This can be done for a $25 yearly listing fee. We have several businesses listed in two or three categories: outfitters, lodgers and restaurants for example. If you would like to have an additional listing, please call Morna, the computer queen, here at the Chamber. As a business owner, you should also review the information we have on you, and if you would like to update this information, give us the new verbiage and we can add or change something for you for a very small handling fee.

The techno age changes so quickly. We are trying to offer our members and visitors current, useful and easy ways to obtain and disseminate information. Check out our Web site at www.pagosachamber.com. We are constantly trying to improve. Let us know what you think.

Visitor Center spruce up

This year, we will also be trying to spruce up the information we give to our visitors from lobby racks. We cannot complete this task without your help. So here is the drill: Doug has valiantly agreed to take on the huge task of reorganizing and recategorizing the information from many businesses on display in our lobby. However, business owners and managers need to look at their information and make sure it is current and then give us that latest and greatest brochure or business card.

There are also some very outdated pictures here, so we may be calling you to send us a new photo of your event or property. Currently, we have the information broken out into areas such as local attractions, nearby attractions, lodging, dining, real estate and others. We may be creating new categories as well. We want to make sure that, if you want the information about your business available to our visitors, we have your material. A more detailed description of how we will be attacking this project will come out in the March Chamber newsletter. I wish I could say this project will take a day or two to complete, but Doug will be working on this for a while. Please respond when he calls or e-mails you. We don't want to leave anyone out of this updating process.

Upcoming events

I'm sure you've seen the posters, but make sure you mark on your calendar the reception honoring Lenore Bright. This meet-and-greet will take place 2-4 p.m. Sunday, in the high school Commons Area. A nice way to thank Lenore would be to make a donation in her honor to the Ruby Sisson Library or the capital campaign fund for the library expansion. If you attend the reception, bring a congratulatory card and let her know how much you appreciate all she has contributed to this community for over 22 years. Come on out, wish this great lady well, and visit with your friends.

Don't forget ski season ends early this year with the last day to ski at Wolf Creek being April 3. The fourth race in the Wolf Creek Fun Series will be held Saturday. It is open to skiers of all ages and abilities. Then, Sunday, Wolf Creek will have College Day where, with a valid college photo ID, tickets will be just $22. Come enjoy all this great snow.

Also, if you are a young lady between the ages of 6 and 18, you can participate in the work sessions and tryouts to compete in the Archuleta County Fair Royalty Pageant. Orientation meetings will be held 6 p.m. Monday, and on Feb. 28 at the Extension building. Applications may be obtained from all the schools, the Chamber of Commerce or the Extension service. Meetings will be held weekly until the pageant April 23-24 in the high school auditorium. Winners of the pageant will represent Archuleta County at the fair as well as at events throughout the year. These meetings are mandatory and will help develop your public speaking skills, presentation skills and teamwork abilities. For more information, give me a call here at the Chamber, 264-2360.

New, renewal members

We have almost another record-breaking membership week with four new members and 16 renewals. And what interesting businesses we have joining us for the first time.

First is a nonprofit agency called Clean Canyons and Forests with Ed Preston at the helm. Keep with me on this. The organization is dedicated to litter removal projects on public lands. Money to fund these projects comes from their travel Web site through their "Adopt-A Mile for the Information Highway" concept. You may advertise on their site, which focuses on travel in the Southwest area, for a very reasonable fee. Ed is a Web site positioning guru ranking in the top three listings with search engines such as Google and MSN. While you get coverage for your business, you are also helping to fund a worthwhile project to keep our public lands pristine. Give Ed a call at 264-1915 for more information.

Another unique business this week is Southwest Property Trust, Inc. What makes this company unique is they are not finance agents - they are investors helping people achieve their dream of home buying. They offer no bank qualifying, rent-to-own and seller finance homes. You can get additional information at their Web site: www.homeswithoutabank.com or give Scott Tonges a call at 731-4421. See if their home-buying alternatives can help you secure some equity.

Next among the new members is Mary K. Carpenter and her beautiful business, Rito Blanco Nursery, on Blanco Basin Road. Rito Blanco Nursery offers organically grown roses, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and vegetable starts that are suited for our short growing season and high altitude. Mary K. has a nursery and greenhouse on her property in the Blanco Basin, so just to take the short drive out to that stunning area is worth the visit. Look for more information on her business in this quarter's newsletter where she has placed a flyer or give her a call at 264-2933.

Then once you have obtained your flowers and greenery, you can call Joshua Abrell with Colorado Dreamscapes to come out and landscape your home or business.

Colorado Dreamscapes is a full service landscaping company offering landscape construction, lighting, waterscapes, irrigation systems, hardscaping and much more. All landscaping projects come with a warranty and Joshua is also a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. From the start of your landscaping dreams to the final product of maintenance give Colorado Dreamscapes a call at 264-0310 to see if they can help you with your outdoor projects this upcoming summer.

And now for the renewals this week. Starting the list is Cody Ross and Buckskin Towing and Repair.

Medray Carpenter and Romar Properties join again this week.

Once you obtain a piece of property, you can then call Rocky Mountain Home & Leisure and owner Wade Duncan.

From the lodging industry we have Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites and 4 Seasons Rental.

Circle T/Ace Hardware and Terry Smith also re-up as does Alpen Haus Ski Center.

Also rejoining are Wayne Wilson CPA services and Sally Bish at Cruise Planners.

Our out-of-town renewal this week is the Creede Repertory Theatre opening its 40th season.

Also returning is Azure Engineering and Environmental Associates with Robin Shiro.

Barbara Husbands and Media America are back with Pagosa Springs Activity Channel - Channel 19.

In the fellowship category this week we have several renewals. The first is the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Another is Community United Methodist Church and, last but not least, are associate members Curl and Dot Jones.

Thank you again to all our new and return members. I look forward to keeping you abreast of all the enhancements here at the Chamber and in our community. Have a fun and productive week as we look forward to March and all the visitors coming to the area.

 

Biz Briefs

Alternative home building methods

lecture set at FLC

The Fort Lewis College Environmental Center will sponsor a panel lecture on alternative home building methods 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

The lecture will take an in-depth look at adobe and straw bale construction with speakers from the Southwest Natural Builders Guild.

Cost is $25 per person, $45 per couple and $15 for students.

For more information call Tom Riesing at 259-5445, or the Environmental Center at 247-7676.

 

 

Not-for-profit nominations due,

banquet slated

Nominations for Southwest Colorado's Not-For-Profit Director of the Year and Not-For-Profit Success award are now being accepted.

Nominations must be received by March 1 and winners will be recognized at the March 14 Southwest Colorado Celebration luncheon.

Nomination forms are available by contacting Operation Healthy Communities at 382-0585.

Keynoter for the luncheon will be Charley Shimanski, president and CEO of Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

The luncheon will be noon-5 p.m. in the Durango Community Recreation Center. Tickets are $20 and reservations can be made at the number above.

 

 

Another honor for Lukasik

Walter Lukasik, general manager of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, recently joined the skilled group of community association managers with the Association Management Specialist (AMS) designation from Community Associations Institute.

Lukasik is one of just 2,850 managers nationwide who have earned this level of professional recognition in the community association field.

Professional managers provide administrative, operational and managerial counsel to community association boards. They typically are responsible for managing budgets and contractors, directing association personnel and overseeing compliance with association covenants and restrictions.

 

 

Biz Beat

Angela Summer

Angela Summer owns and operates Advantage Employment, located at 802 Rosita St. (lower entrance) in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Advantage Employment offers staffing and human resource management services to local businesses, providing professional and experienced workers for offices and to the retail and construction industries.

Advantage Employment specializes in recruiting and placement and is accepting applications from individuals seeking career and employment opportunities in the Pagosa Country job market.

Call Summer at 264-0804, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m

 

 

People
Cards of Thanks

 

Red Cross

The Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many businesses, organizations, schools, libraries and individuals who opened their hearts and wallets to support Red Cross relief efforts in South Asia and East Africa.

The outpouring of support from our communities to our distant neighbors has been commensurate with the support we have provided for each other in the midst of local disasters. This generosity has enabled the Red Cross to deliver immediate lifesaving aid to tsunami survivors, as well as prepare to provide longer-term assistance to help rebuild the families and communities affected by this disaster.

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies announced on Jan. 26 that the monies pledged to date, by people across the globe, will be sufficient to meet the costs of the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent Tsunami Relief Program.

The American Red Cross is able to continue its commitment to be present for victims whenever and wherever disasters strike, due to the munificence and compassion of the American public. For more than a century, communities like ours have rallied behind the American Red Cross to help disaster victims across the country and around the world. This latest disaster is a perfect example of that. Thank you Southwest Colorado.

LeeAnn Vallejos

Executive Director

Southwest Colorado Chapter of the American Red Cross

 

Road and Bridge

The Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department would like to say thank you to Sutherland Construction, Hart Construction, SmithCo Construction and the Town of Pagosa Springs for the use of their signs and barricades on County Road 500.

We called several different places and we appreciate the community cooperation during this emergency road closure. A big thank you also goes out to bus driver Vickie Fine and all the parents with children on her route for your cooperation and understanding.

We would also like to thank Rusty Bauer with Bedrock Blasting for responding so quickly.

 

L.A.S.S.O.

Thank you so much to the following who all purchased dinner tickets for the L.A.S.S.O. dinner and auction. It was a huge success and your contributions made it possible: Linda Love, The Hide Out, Slices of Nature, Coyote Appliance Repair, Janet Richardson, Dale Putman, Larry Simms, San Juan Veterinary Clinic, Pagosa Electric, The Lighting Center, Snips, Lori Stannard, Elizabeth Young, Ellen Warren, T.J. Jimerson, Patty Stewart, C.D. Garcia, Terry Wilson, Home Again, Renee Weger, Eva and Jim Iwicki, Taminah Gallery, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Log Park, Laura Laydon, Shear Talk, Ace Hardware, Boothill, Springs Resort, Full Moon Salon, Artemsia, Lou Jean's Salon, Elena Kleckner, Upscale Resale, Alex Mossman, D. Raes, The Pagosa Springs SUN and Montezuma's.

 

Sports Page

Ladies blast Ignacio 77-39 to grab a share of IML title

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They are co-champions of the Intermountain League and poised to put that honor on the line Friday when the league tournament opens in Pagosa to decide which three teams advance to regional action.

The title, shared with Centauri, came with a 77-39 pounding of Ignacio on the Pirates' home court Saturday as all 12 Ladies suited for Coach Bob Lynch broke into the scoring column.

The no-contest contest had Pagosa leading 18-0 before Ignacio's freshman Angela Vigil scored with 3:10 remaining to put her team on the board.

Pagosa, featuring a balanced attack, had opened with four points from senior Lori Walkup, eight from junior point guard Liza Kelley and six on strong moves inside by 6-2 senior center Caitlyn Jewell.

After Vigil's opening basket for the Bobcats, junior high post Emily Buikema answered with a deuce for Pagosa. Vigil scored again and junior forward Caitlin Forrest answered for the Pirates.

Vigil added a trey just before the buzzer and Ignacio had seven points on the board, all by the freshman.

A 21-4 Pagosa onslaught in the second period sealed Ignacio's fate, another period featuring balanced scoring by Pagosa and just two field goals, one by Vigil and one by junior Kalynn Tucson for Ignacio.

Walkup turned in two more field goals, Jewell a pair of field goals and a free throw, Forrest a pair of each, and Buikema her second from the field. The result was Ignacio trailing 45-11 after two periods and a chance for Pagosa reserves to get more playing time before tournament action begins.

With new player combinations on the floor most of the third period, Pagosa had an 18-15 margin, with 10 of Ignacio's points coming from senior guard Maria Rivera who had been silenced in the first half and would score only one more point in the game.

Her pair of treys on consecutive Bobcat possessions gave the visiting crowd a moment to cheer about, but her only help in the period came from junior center Amanda Russell with a field goal and free throw and freshman Mandy Naranjo with a field goal.

Jewell paced Pagosa in the period with five, Walkup added four more, Lynch drilled a long trey, Scott added her second field goal, Buikema her third, and Kelley was two-for-two from the stripe.

With the score at 63-26 after three, the starters sat to enjoy the final stanza and watch the reserves match Ignacio 14-14 with everyone on the roster getting into the scoring column.

Ignacio's 14 points came on a pair of field goals, one each by Russell and junior Rebecca Kenner and a flurry of charity tosses, including four each by Kenner and Vigil.

Pirate sophomore guard Lyndsey Mackey hit two from the stripe in the period. Scott added a driving lay-up before sitting out the last seven minutes. Sophomores Kim Canty, Alaina Garman and Jennifer Haynes each chipped in a field goal and fellow sophomore Kristin DuCharme had a field goal and two from the stripe.

Coach Lynch said he liked the action by his reserves, "everyone of them contributing to a full team effort. They are all going to count down the stretch as we face tournament action."

He was also very pleased by his team's shooting from the foul stripe, where they converted 12 of 15 attempts at what has been a periodic downfall site off and on this season.

"And, I liked the way the reserves blended with the starters," he said. "Then, left on their own after Scott came out, they continued to hold the margin, although there were some fouls which I felt were unnecessary. Still, they were playing for the chance to get more playing time, and all performed admirably."

For the game, Pagosa shot 32 of 65 from the floor for a .492 percentage. Ignacio was 12 for 32 for a .375 percentage. Both teams converted 12 of 15 opportunities from the foul stripe.

In a 27-14 margin, four Pirates - Walkup, Jewell, Forrest and DuCharme - had four rebounds while Tucson matched that total for the visitors.

Walkup and Jewell were the game's assist leaders with three each, and Walkup and Scott each turned in four steals in the contest.

The victory gave Pagosa a 13-6 record for the season and a 7-1 tie for IML honors, the Pirates and Centauri having exchanged victories over each other.

Centauri (15-2 overall) will get the top seed in the league tournament, playing the fourth place team, Ignacio, which defeated Bayfield Tuesday night and Pagosa playing the third place team, Monte Vista (4-4 in league, 10-11 overall).

Coach Lynch said he thinks it will be good for the Pirates to face Monte Vista again. "They present some defensive matchups the other teams do not and they have some capable scorers who can challenge us to be at our best."

Summary

Scoring: P- Lynch, 1-2, 1-3, 0-0 , 5; Mackey, 0-0, 0-2, 2-2, 2; Scott, 0-3, 3-5, 0-0, 6; Kelley, 0-0, 3-10, 4-4, 10; Walkup, 0-0, 6-9, 0-0, 12; Canty, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 2; Faber, 0-0, 1-4, 0-0, 2; Jewell, 0-0, 7-10, 2-4, 16; Buikema, 0-0, 3-5, 0-0, 6; Forrest, 0-0, 3-6, 2-2, 8; DuCharme, 0-0, 1-2, 2-3, 4; Garman, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Haynes, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 2. Total fouls: P-13, I-13: Total turnovers, P-13, I-26.

 

 

Pirates ride Walkup barrage to 64-40 win over Bayfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The scoreboard showed a final victory margin of 64-40.

Forget that. It could have been just about any figure Coach Bob Lynch chose Friday night in Bayfield.

His Pagosa squad played most of the third quarter and nearly all of the fourth with reserves on the floor against a game, but outmatched, Wolverine team.

Five first period turnovers by Pagosa kept the game close early, but by the end of the period Pagosa, riding the newly rejuvenated Lori Walkup's drives up the middle, led 18-7 and the final outcome was clearly visible.

Working some new offensive sets, including utilizing Walkup at the high post and running her off screens on give-and-go plays, opened up the middle.

She hit her first four shots in the period and would hit seven in a row before missing.

But she was not alone.

Liza Kelley's sharpshooting from outside and Caitlyn Jewell's drives to the board inside in the opening stanza had Bayfield on its heels, unsure of whom to guard - or how.

Walkup, Kelley and Jewell, with eight, six and four points respectively, had the measure of Bayfield.

Sophomore Carrie Bulwan carried the load for the hosts, getting four of her game high 18 in the period. Junior Estelle Harrmann with a field goal and 5-10 freshman starter Rheanna Moe with two free throws were the Wolverine offense.

A 19-5 second quarter outburst by Pagosa put the game out of reach for Bayfield which found itself trailing 37-12 at the half and Lynch looking at new combinations on the floor.

Walkup added six more points in the frame, dished out assists like a WNBA guard when the defense tried to stop her drives, and picked off three of her four game rebounds in the period.

Senior forward/guard Bri Scott contributed four points on a pair of pull-up jumpers off three-point shot fakes and Jewell hit two spin move shots in the lane, adding a free throw. Junior Kari Beth Faber, in a strong backup role, scored a lone field goal, had a blocked shot and grabbed two offensive rebounds in the period while Caitlin Forrest chipped in with a field goal from 12 feet.

Bayfield's points came from single field goals by Bulwan and junior guard Ashley Shaw and a free throw by Moe.

The Pirate road show went on with a 19-8 third period performance including four points each by Walkup, Jewell and Kelley, a deuce from Scott and a long trey by sophomore guard Lyndsey Mackey as Lynch continued working reserves into varsity action.

Sophomore forward Kristin DuCharme added a solo free throw and ripped down rebounds at each end. The last Pirate point of the period, her only score of the game, was a free throw by junior high post Emily Buikema.

With reserves on the floor most of the final stanza, Bayfield turned in a 20-8 margin to make the final margin respectable.

Bulwan led the assault with three field goals and four charity tosses in the period. Sophomore Whitney Howard chipped in with a trey as did freshman guard Alexis Pommier. Moe added two from the charity stripe and sophomore Shallin Bowen hit a driving lay-up for a pair.

Pirate sophomore forward Alaina Garman had Pagosa's only field goal of the period. Mackey added three free throws, Jessica Lynch added one from the stripe as did Forrest and sophomore guard/forward Kim Canty.

Pagosa was 23 of 54 from the floor for a .426 percentage and Bayfield 12 of 28 for .428.

The Pirates hauled down 32 rebounds, paced by seven from Forrest and five by DuCharme. Bayfield had 15 boards, seven by Bulwan.

Pagosa shot 13 of 27 from the foul line, Bayfield 12 of 25.

Walkup led all players in assists with five.

Coach Lynch, after the game, was "very pleased" with his team's offense, particularly how it ran new plays "as if they'd been in the book all year."

And it was "energizing" he said, "to get floor time for all the reserves with the Intermountain League tournament coming up this weekend in Pagosa. The more playing time each one gets, the greater should be our bench depth."

He was particularly pleased with the play of Mackey "who was coming off a week of being extremely sick. At one point she begged to come out of the game for a breather but just as quickly wanted to go back in."

And when asked about Walkup's performance, he said, "She's a senior and a leader and she's been unhappy with her own play. She apparently decided nothing was going to stand in her way tonight."

Summary

Scoring: P-Lynch, 0-1, 0-4, 1-4, 1; Mackey, 1-1, 0-2, 3-7, 6; Scott, 0-1, 3-8, 0-1, 6; Kelley, 1-1, 2-4, 1-1, 10; Walkup. 0-0, 9-11, 0-1, 18; Canty, 0-0, 0-21, 1-1, 1; Faber, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 1; Jewell, 0-0, 4-8,, 1-2, 9; Buikema, 0-0, 0-1, 1-3, 1; Forrest, 0-0, 1-2, 5-5, 7; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-3, 1-2, 1; Garman, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Haynes, 0-0, 0-1, 0-0, 0. B-Howard, 1-4, 1-1, 0-4, 5; Shaw, 0-0, 2-2, 0-1, 4; Bulwan, 0-0, 5-11, 6-7, 18; Moe, 0-0, 0-3, 4-8, 5; Bowen, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Harrmann, 0-0, 1-2, 0-00, 2; Parsons , 0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 2; Pommier, 1-2, 0-0, 0-2, 3. Total Fouls, P-20, B-22; Total turnovers, P-16, B-22.

 

 

Pirates pound Bobcats 79-26, ready to host IML tourney

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Head Coach Jim Shaffer and the Pagosa Springs Pirates have been down this road before.

Once again, they're coasting into the postseason touted as the No. 1 Class 3A team in the state, with the Intermountain League regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the IML tournament sewn up.

In addition, the Pirates host the IML tourney this year and, if they win out, will host regional playoff action as well.

Will motivation be a factor down the stretch?

If Saturday night's 79-26 home win over Ignacio is any indication, the Pirates aren't about to enter the postseason satisfied with where they rank on paper.

In a scrappy game marked by frequent contact and chatter, the Bobcats kept it close early, but a two-point second quarter for the visitors enabled Pagosa to cruise to its second 53-point victory in as many nights.

The Pirates took the tip and led 6-4 three and a half minutes into play after four points from senior Caleb Forrest, a deuce from Craig Schutz and four from Ignacio's Mitch Davis.

Four straight from Forrest put Pagosa in front 10-4 at 2:39, Davis cut the lead to four with a deuce, then Casey Schutz put the Pirates up 11-6 with a free throw at the end of the first quarter.

Ignacio got a jumper from Kyle Lucero early in the second, but would not score again in the frame and fell behind 22-8 at 4:35 due to a combined 11 from Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz and Forrest.

Pirate sophomore Kerry Joe Hilsabeck extended the lead with a free throw, then Forrest followed a trey with a break-away jam and Pagosa led 28-8 with 3:05 to play in the half.

Nothing would fall for the Bobcats, and the Pirates upped the lead to 34-8 at the half with a drive by Casey Schutz, then a fast-break deuce by Jordan Shaffer resulting in a technical foul call on Ignacio and two free throws from Forrest.

Apparent confusion on behalf of the Bobcats at the start of the third led to Craig Schutz's easiest basket of the year and a 26-point Pirate lead, then Lucero and Derek Rodriguez each hit treys to make it 36-14 with a minute burned.

But the Pirates responded with a 21-0 run, getting the first 10 via six from Craig Schutz and two apiece from Casey Schutz and Forrest.

The streak continued as Forrest got two on the break off a dish from Hilsabeck, Paul Przybylski sank a pair at the line and Casey Schutz completed a three-point play to make it 55-14 at 1:40.

Przybylski fed Craig Schutz for two inside, then scored with a drive before Ignacio's Ben Searle got two in the lane with under 15 seconds left in the stanza.

The Pirates weren't finished, however, and took a 62-16 lead into the final quarter after a deep trey from Rand found nothing but net at the horn.

Shaffer and fellow sophomore Casey Hart inked the first Pirate seven of the fourth, giving Pagosa a 69-22 edge after a combined six from Lucero and Davis.

A deuce from Pagosa's Caleb Ormonde and a three-point play by James Martinez pushed the lead over 50, then a trey from Jim Guyton gave the home team a 77-22 edge with 1:43 to play.

Hart booked Pagosa's final deuce between a quartet of free throws from the Bobcats, and the game ended with the Pirates on top 79-26.

Forrest led the Pirates with 23 points and 11 boards, followed by Casey Schutz with 15 points and Craig Schutz with a dozen.

Przybylski and Hilsabeck each tallied five assists in the win, while Shaffer dished out four.

Rand, Shaffer and Hilsabeck led the Pirate defensive effort with three steals apiece, followed by Forrest, Craig and Casey Schutz with two each.

Pagosa closed the regular season at 18-1 overall and 8-0 in IML competition with the victory, the lone setback coming against Class 4A Montezuma-Cortez.

Summing up the Pirates' hopes heading into the IML tournament this weekend, "We feel like the only team that can beat us is ourselves," said assistant coach Wes Lewis after the game.

"So we really don't have any preference who we play; the No. 2 through No. 4 seeds are all going to be fairly even," Lewis added.

"We just want to come out, take care of business and build the type of momentum we'll need to move deeper into the playoffs this year," Lewis concluded.

The playoff push begins this weekend, when the Pirates host the IML tournament.

Since the Pirates are the No. 1 seed in the tournament, they automatically advance to Saturday's title game and do not have to play in the first round of action Friday.

Pagosa will face the winner of Friday's Ignacio-Centauri contest in the championship game Saturday at 6:45 p.m.

Ticket rates are $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and students; CHSAA and CHSCA passes accepted. (IML and family passes will not be accepted.)

Summary

Scoring: Forrest 9-11, 6-6, 23; Craig Schutz 5-11, 2-2, 12; Casey Schutz 6-9, 3-6, 15; Hilsabeck 0-0, 1-2, 1; Przybylski 1-2, 2-2, 4; Shaffer 3-7, 1-2, 7; Rand 1-2, 0-0, 3; Hart 3-4, 0-1 6; Richey 0-1, 0-0, 0; Abeyta 0-0, 0-0 0; Martinez 1-2, 1-1 3; Ormonde 1-2, 0-2, 2; Guyton 1-2, 0-0 3; Gallegos 0-2, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Rand 1, Guyton 1, Forrest 1. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 23. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 35. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 15.

 

 

Pirates crush Bayfield 88-35 to clinch regular-season IML crown

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Facing Pagosa Springs with a full and healthy roster has been difficult enough for Intermountain League teams this year.

But trying to keep up with the Pirates when you have an injury-depleted lineup is virtually impossible.

Such was the case Friday night for the Bayfield Wolverines, who competed against visiting Pagosa without the services of varsity regulars C.J. Bell, Cory Steward and Jacob Posey.

And the Pirates were anything but sympathetic, often employing full-court pressure while getting 27 points from junior Craig Schutz plus 20 from senior Caleb Forrest en route to an 88-35 win.

The Wolverines took the tip, but missed a chance to take an early lead at the foul line and trailed 7-0 after a deuce from Craig Schutz, a trey from Paul Przybylski and lay-in from Otis Rand.

Bayfield's Troy McCoy put his team on the board with two inside, but four straight from Craig Schutz put the Pirates up 11-2 with five minutes to play in the first quarter.

Bayfield countered a three-point play by Craig Schutz with a combined five from Rich Stange and Kyle Guilliams, but the period ended with Pagosa up 24-7 after four from Jordan Shaffer plus a deuce each from Przybylski and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck.

Craig Schutz, Forrest and Bayfield's Colton Bell each scored four in the opening minutes of the second, then Forrest crushed a two-handed jam and sank two at the line to put the Pirates in front 36-11 with 4:38 left in the half.

Pirate junior Casey Schutz traded a jumper for a free throw from McCoy, then Stange, Lee Ramsier and Guilliams got two each to cut the Pagosa lead to an even 20 at 1:15.

But Craig Schutz completed a three-point play at the line with under a minute to play, and the half closed with the Pirates on top 41-18.

Craig Schutz got an interior deuce, Rand hit a jumper and Shaffer sank two at the line as the Pirates widened the gap early in the third, then Stange ended Bayfield's lull with a deuce at 5:16 to make it 47-20.

Forrest buried two free throws and Rand put home an offensive board, then McCoy finished a three-point play and Forrest added two more at the stripe as Pagosa boosted its lead to 53-23 midway through the period.

Bayfield's Travis Phelps temporarily narrowed the margin with a put-back, but Craig Schutz inked a quick eight with a reverse then two treys to follow a three-point play from Forrest and Pagosa led 64-25 at 2:20.

McCoy and Stange added two apiece in the final two minutes, but the Wolverines trailed 73-29 at the start of the final quarter after four more from Craig Schutz, a three ball from Casey Schutz and two late charity tosses from Shaffer.

After two scoreless minutes in the fourth, Rand answered a Wolverine deuce with four straight and Casey Schutz countered a Bayfield drive with a rare, four-point play after being fouled on a successful trey; Pagosa led 81-33 at 4:10.

Bayfield's Mickey White scored the final deuce for the home team at 2:21, and the Pirates got a combined six down the stretch from sophomores Casey Hart and Caleb Ormonde, plus a free throw from freshman Wes Walters to take the 88-35 win.

In addition to Craig Schutz's 27 and Forrest's 20, Rand tallied double figures in the win with 10 points and also added four steals at the defensive end.

Not far behind Rand in the Pirate scoring column were Casey Schutz with nine points and Shaffer with eight.

Hilsabeck and Przybylski were tops in the assists category with six, followed by Forrest with four and Casey Schutz with three.

The win sealed the regular-season IML title for Pagosa, improving the Pirates' season record to 17-1 (7-0 IML).

Commenting on his team's stellar defensive effort, "It's a credit to the way our kids have bought into the defensive philosophy we've tried to develop over the years," said Shaffer after the game.

"It takes a lot of work, and they've really stayed in shape and have worked their rear ends off this year to be successful," he added.

Regarding his team's offensive prowess in the win, "Again, it's because we have such an unselfish team; we have a group of guys who really like each other and have fun playing together," said Shaffer.

"And from a fan's perspective, I think it makes the game more exciting and more fun to watch when we can get our system working," said Shaffer.

"It's also been fun for me to coach them," concluded Shaffer.

Pagosa will look to have more fun this weekend while hosting the IML tournament.

Since the Pirates are the No. 1 seed in the tournament, they automatically advance to Saturday's title game and do not have to play in the first round of action Friday.

Pagosa will face the winner of Friday's Ignacio-Centauri contest in the championship game Saturday at 6:45 p.m.

Ticket rates are $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and students; CHSAA and CHSCA passes accepted. (IML and family passes will not be accepted.)

Summary

Scoring: Forrest 6-12, 8-8, 20; Craig Schutz 12-17, 1-1, 27; Casey Schutz 3-8, 1-1, 9; Hilsabeck 1-4, 0-0, 2; Przybylski 2-4, 0-0, 5; Shaffer 2-5, 4-4, 8; Rand 4-5, 2-4, 10; Hart 2-3, 0-0 4; Richey 0-0, 0-0, 0; Martinez 0-, 0-0 0; Ormonde 0-4, 2-2, 2; Bahn 0-0, 0-0, 0: 0-1, 1-2, 1; Mendoza 0-1, 0-0 0. Three-point goals: Przybylski 1, Casey Schutz 2, Craig Schutz 2. Fouled out: None. Team assists: Pagosa Springs 20. Team rebounds: Pagosa Springs 29. Total fouls: Pagosa Springs 11.

 

 Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial tourney slated April 14-16

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A decade of scholarship-supporting basketball in memory of two outstanding high school athletes will be marked April 14-16 with the 10th annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament.

All proceeds go to a scholarship fund to benefit youngsters in Pagosa Springs.

As in the past, tough competition is expected in three divisions: Open, 6-foot and under, and 35 and over.

And, as usual, college competitors are expected.

Team entry fee will be $250 with a 10-player maximum for each team entry for the double elimination format.

All games will be played in the two gymnasiums at Pagosa Springs Junior High School, with certified referees from across the Four Corners area calling the games.

A $125 nonrefundable deposit is payable by April 1 for the first 30 teams to qualify.

Prizes will be awarded for first- through fourth-place teams, and all-tournament team, tournament most valuable player, Mr. Defense, Mr. Hustle, slam dunk contest and 3-point shootout competition.

There also will be door prizes for lucky fans.

T-shirts, jackets, bags and hooded sweatshirts will be available for all players and for public purchase.

For more information, contact Troy Ross at 264-5265, by fax at (970)264-2123, or write to PO Box 727, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

  

Pagosa's High Peaks Volleyball Club hits well in first tourney

By Myles Gabel

Special to The SUN

High Peaks Volleyball Club, a local USA Volleyball sanctioned Junior Volleyball Organization, competed in the Rio Grande Volleyball Festival over President's Day weekend.

Twenty-Two players ages 12-16 took part in this two-day tournament comprised of teams from Colorado, Texas, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

Competing with three teams - two in the 16 and Under Division and one in the 14 and Under Division - High Peaks Volleyball Club 16 Gold captured a runner-up finish in the Silver Championship Division.

All teams were very competitive and represented Pagosa Springs admirably. Next up for High Peaks will be the 4 Corners Volleyball Festival in Durango March 12 and 13.

High Peaks Volleyball Club 16s include Mariah Howell, Erin Gabel, Laci Jones, Kyra Matzdorf, Danielle Spencer, Shelby Stretton, Iris Frye, Cherese Caler, Alison Hart, Kala Matzdorf, Meggie Jehnzen, Becca Stephens, Hayley Goodman and Katelynn Little

High Peaks 14s include Jenny Low, Savannah Maez, Casey Meekins, Sienna Stretton, Julia Nell, Briana Bryant, Megan Bryant and Anna Ball.

  

Pagosa hosts IML basketball tourney opening 2 p.m. Friday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Here it is fans.

Playoff basketball opens at Pagosa Springs High School with a 2 p.m. game Friday in the girls' bracket featuring top seed Centauri against Ignacio.

The undefeated league champions and No. 1 ranked Pagosa boys squad will not play, under a new bracketing format, until meeting the winner of Friday's 3:30 p.m. Ignacio-Centauri matchup in the championship game at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

Pagosa's girls, with the same 7-1 league record as Centauri, will take the No. 2 seed into 5 p.m. action Friday against Monte Vista with the winner meeting the first game victor at 5 p.m. Saturday.

In girls' competition, Ignacio defeated Bayfield 41-35 in a Tuesday night pigtail game to draw the fourth seed, pushing Bayfield out of the action.

In boys' action, all five league teams are still alive, though Bayfield is just 1-8 after losing to Centauri 55-46 Tuesday night while Ignacio was upsetting Monte Vista 47-40.

That puts Bayfield in action 6:45 p.m. Friday against Monte Vista in a loser's bracket with the winner to play the loser between Centauri and Ignacio at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

In girls' action, losers of games between Centauri and Ignacio and between Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista will clash at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The winners of both Saturday girls' games will advance to regional action, foes and sites to be determined.

In boys' action, Pagosa Springs is assured of advancing but will gain a higher seed if it defeats the winner between Ignacio and Centauri.

The third team advancing in the boys' bracket will be the winner of the losers' bracket.

Admission to the tournament, under Colorado High School Activities Association guidelines, will be $6 for adults and $4 for senior citizens and students. Intermountain League and family passes will not be honored. CHSAA and CHSCA courtesy cards are the only passes that will be accepted.

  

Tryouts Saturday for boys 13-14 baseball squad

Tryouts will be held 8 a.m. Saturday in the junior high school gymnasium for 13- and 14-year-old boys wishing to participate on a summer traveling league baseball team.

Players will need to bring a pair of clean gym shoes, baseball glove, baseball bat and gym attire.

If the boy turns 15 before Aug. 1, he will not be eligible to participate on this team.

Any questions should be directed to Kahle Charles at 264-2718.

Note: This team is not associated with the school district or with the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department, but is an independent club team.

 

 

Girls' fast pitch softball teams forming

March is registration month for girls' fast-pitch softball spring leagues.

Southwest Colorado ASA Girl's Softball Program will be accepting registration forms for girls 16 and under and 14 and under.

Parent orientation will be 6:30 p.m. March 10 in the community center. A free girls' fast pitch clinic will be held 2-5 p.m. March 12 in Town Park.

Bring your mitt, water bottle and your let's-play-ball attitude. A registration drive will follow immediately.

For more information or a registration packet, call 903-8878.

 

Today is last day to register for Pee Wee wrestling

The Pagosa Pee Wee Wrestling Club began practices Monday, in the junior high school gymnasium mezzanine.

All practices will take place Mondays and Thursdays. Wrestlers born between 1997-2000 will practice from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wrestlers born between 1992-1996 will practice from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

If you have not already preregistered, you may do so before your child's practice begins. Bring a copy of your child's birth certificate and pay the $25 registration fee. Registration will end today.

If you have any questions, call Lanette at 731-3121 or Shonna at 264-6968.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

To score or not to score

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Just think of this: As the final buzzer sounds at the community center gymnasium, parents burst into applause for all of the children who participated as these kids in red and blue T-shirts line up to shake hands.

They have just played an entire hour of exciting, exhausting basketball. Their cheeks are flushed, their hair damp with sweat, and all of them are grinning.

But what's this Šthe scoreboard is blank. What if scores were just kept in our minds or kept by just a few parents, secretly of course, on tiny notepads. What if we didn't have parents yelling across the gym if the score is not changed within 1.3 seconds after little Johnny has scored a basket? What if we took a totally different approach to youth sports, toning down the competition to stress sportsmanship and continue with our equal playing time for every child, regardless of talent as the most important component rather than winning and losing?

According to sports organizers, such changes might help keep children involved in athletics longer and reduce the violence that sometimes occurs at sporting events. As I have stated in previous articles, a 2001 survey conducted by Sports Illustrated for Kids found that 70 percent of children quit organized sports by age 13 because they are no longer having fun. Often, that's because coaches and parents are too intense.

Here in Pagosa Springs we don't keep score in our 4-8 divisions. Of course, there are still people who yell out the scores at the end of the games as if that was a requirement to satisfy all of the curiosity surrounding the sporting event. I have heard all of the arguments for keeping score, like this one,

"There are winners and losers in life and the kids need to learn that." My reaction: "But these are elementary aged children. They'll learn soon enough."

For millions of children, sports illustrate the value of teamwork, discipline and dedication. Sports keep children active in a time when many schools are cutting physical education and the American Heart Association says 15 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds are overweight or obese. For our kids, competition can be a very healthy thing, but there's plenty of time throughout junior high and high school sports to learn that.

Again, according to the Sports Illustrated for Kids article, "When winning becomes most important ... above all else, above having fun, above friendships ... kids won't want to come back." Additionally, one sports psychologist quoted in the article found that 84 percent of 8- to 12-year-olds surveyed would rather play as much as possible for a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning team. Fred Engh, president and founder of the Florida-based National Alliance for Youth Sports, says "We're going to compete all of our lives. Do we have to learn at age 9 that it's OK to push the fine line of the rules? To play when injured? To taunt the other team? Winning at all costs is probably the ugliest thing we can teach children. Parents and coaches impose their values on children. We're the ones who create the standings and scoreboards," Engh said. "Do you really think kids would have world championships?"

Remember back to your childhood, when we as kids just played. When a day of "Over The Line," pretending to be your favorite baseball player was the best thing you could do? Or football in the mud after a great rain. To score or not to score? It is something to think about.

Sports hotline

Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.

Tee Ball sign-up

Tee Ball sign-ups began this week and continue through March 11. Tee Ball Skills Camp will take place the week of March 14. Teams will be put together, practices will begin and games will start indoors March 29. Tee Ball will be for 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds depending on birthdates. Look for flyers through our schools or come by town hall to sign up your child.

Hiring officials

This department continues to seek individuals interested in officiating youth and adult basketball, youth baseball and/or adult softball. High school students may apply. Compensation is $10-$25 per game depending on age group and experience. Call immediately if interested.

For any questions, concerns or additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, please contact: Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor at 264-4151, Ext. 232

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

There are no excuses for failure to register

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

Every year, every season, people call us and ask, "What's this I hear about Š ?"

People usually find out about something at the grocery store or at the barbershop.

In most cases, comments are made by mothers who do not always keep up with their children's sport activities that are such a big part of their busy schedules.

"Well, little Joey's mom said that they were already practicing."

"Sarah's coach has called them up, and we have not heard from a coach."

"Did you lose our form?"

You name it and we have probably heard it. It is part of the fun, watching a new set of parents get their children involved.

The part that is frustrating is when someone in their sixth year of participating in a recreation program uses excuses for their child being late, or for not registering the child at all.

Here are some excuses and let the record show they are not original:

Do not read the newspaper.

Do not have a computer.

Do not listen to the radio.

We home school.

We do not have a phone.

We were out of town last week, (the forms have been out for a month.)

The best one is when we counter with all the sources we try to use to get word out, and they finally admit, "We blew it, but can we still register?"

Any and all information is one phone call away; our lines are always open and we will return your call.

One of the main complaints on the 2000 survey was that we needed to get the information out there more effectively.

Suggestions were:

- Have a sports hotline; (we have had one since the early 1990s, 264-6658. This line is used for registration news, and changes in schedules due to weather or other events that may be a conflict.

- Put schedules on the Internet; (they can be found at townofpagosasprings.com) log on to recreation link.

We have handed out forms in the schools, private and public, and at high school activities. We also get on the radio, and we make morning announcements at school.

We are trying to get the word out.

We offer three sports for children ages 5-13, they are; Tee ball/ Youth Baseball in the late spring and early summer; soccer from early fall to mid-October; basketball from November to late February.

We offer starter programs for learning the basics, and all sports we offer have sprouted out to club sport status where teams are formed to travel and play in more competitive situations.

Among the adult sports we have offered are volleyball, basketball, softball and, in some years, soccer and flag football.

Some of the adults also team up and play in area tournaments.

If we end up with some more help, as well as facilities for our growing population, I foresee Pagosa invitational tournaments being hosted by the town parks and recreation department.

The following numbers are available 24 hours a day, with voice mail capabilities and will be answered 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, holidays excepted.

Town Hall, Parks and Recreation Department 264-4151 - Joe Lister Jr. director, Ext. 231; Jim Miller (parks), Ext. 233; Myles Gabel (recreation) Ext. 232.

Sports Hotline: 264-6658 (recording).

Web Page: townofpagosa springs.com, then go to the recreation link.

Park rentals

Many sponsors of annual events in Pagosa Springs get requests in early to reserve the parks. Reservoir Hill and Town Park have already been reserved for graduation. Centennial, Riverside Park and South Pagosa Park are available that weekend.

Knights of Columbus, Power House Auction, Archuleta Seniors, Sports Camp and other regulars have reserved parks space for their big events this summer.

So, if you are planning a special event for the summer of 2005, such as class reunions, weddings, birthdays, etc., just call us at the numbers posted above.

Editorial

We lose a friend

Pagosa Country has lost another native son. In this case, one of its finest. Many of you who read this never met the man written about here. A fourth-generation Pagosan, he was raised here and left long before most of you heard of the place. He returned and worked here before many of you moved here. His visits to Pagosa Country since he left nearly 10 years ago due to health concerns did not bring him into contact with you.

It's a shame: knowing him would have made your life better. Talking to him would have deepened your knowledge of this place and its history.

Gerald "Jerry" Martinez died this week in the community he loved, in his own home, with family and friends nearby. With his passing an irreplaceable community figure is gone. A truly fine person has left us - a man of deep concerns, splendid talents, genuine humor - a public servant and civic leader all of us would be wise to emulate.

Jerry's roots course deep in Archuleta County soil. He was the grandson of J.T. Martinez, Archuleta County Judge from 1934-1954. His father, Emmett, was one of Pagosa's most beloved personalities, one of the greatest storytellers to spin a tale, to illuminate and embellish the local scene.

Jerry left Pagosa for college then went to work for three decades with the U.S, Forest Service. After a career of distinguished civil service and work as a consultant he came home with his wife, Diana, in 1984. His contributions continued: He worked as a fisheries and environmental consultant for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, putting skills developed over the years to work here. He took an active role in church and civic organizations. That should have been enough, but there were bigger things awaiting Jerry. He met those bigger challenges in a way worthy of careful study by our current political leaders.

In 1988, Archuleta County Commissioner W.H. Diestelkamp succumbed to illness. Martinez was named by the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee to fill the vacancy on the commission. Martinez was sworn in by Judge Bert Hyde and took his seat during a tumultuous period in the commission's history. Jerry served out the appointed term in office, then ran as the Republican candidate and won another four years with a 1,634 to 627 victory. That extended Jerry's tenure on one of the most effective county commissions in recent memory. Serving with Bob Formwalt and Mamie Lynch, Jerry faced some of the stickiest, most emotionally-loaded problems of the time.

Not only did Jerry and his colleagues deal with a succession of situations - airport expansion, failed subdivision improvement agreements, sales tax increases, construction of a new jail, among others - but the manner in which they did it is noteworthy. Jerry had well-defined opinions regarding road maintenance (with insight into budgetary constraints), the need for land-use planning and regulations, that foreshadowed many of the issues alive today. And he and his colleagues made decisions, despite disagreements, with ultimate civility, displaying humor and friendship, negotiating without rancor. Witnessing their interchanges, there was only one conclusion to reach: much of the credit went to Jerry Martinez. It was his character, his personality that helped shape that atmosphere.

What Jerry brought to bear most of all was a love of place - the place of his birth, his ancestral home. He also made productive use of the years spent away from Pagosa Country. "I have the perspective of a long-time resident," he said, "and since I've come back, I have the perspective of a newcomer." He could see a situation from both sides and appreciated concerns from either. We need more like him. He was a rare man who made a big and lasting mark. He will be missed by those of us who knew him and respected him.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Savor Pagosa memories now

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

As one ages, memory begins to play tricks and imagination vies with the other sense to cloud events of the past.

But still, it is fun sometimes to study facts from Pagosa's past and try to relate them to those aborning today.

Do you, for instance, remember when Pagosa had four restaurants and considered itself a big-time server of the hometown and motoring public? Today the residents of that era would wonder where we get enough people to keep 59 eateries of one form or another going in the stretch from Fawn Gulch Road to Meadows Drive.

Who can remember when Pagosa Springs had not one, but two new car and truck dealerships, Chrysler products on one side of the street and Chevrolet models on the other. Today anyone wanting a new vehicle must go elsewhere to find it, though late-model used vehicles are still available here.

Where once the town had two bridges across the San Juan, then just one, now there are three. Historians say there once was another near the terminus of the old Light Plant Ditch, but that was before even my time.

As everyone clamors for paved roads and tax-supported upkeep today, many of us remember when U.S. 160 was the only paved roadway in the area and even parts of it - Yellow Jacket Pass, for example - were kept gravel surfaced to provide more traction in tough winter driving.

Many people today are surprised to find wildlife - deer, elk and turkey - within town limits. But they were here before us and have been with us down through the years. We once had an aging doe live on our front porch an entire winter, sheltering herself from the elements and scrounging the neighborhood for sustenance during the day.

Who remembers that downtown Pagosa Springs, long before the adjunct parking area was constructed on the south side of Pagosa Street, had diagonal parking ... and for a while, parking meters? My, what a big city it seemed to be then.

The gymnasium in the old Pagosa Springs School (then the only building, now the intermediate school) had a unique gymnasium which served every student, K-12, from its below ground level. It was later filled in and classrooms built atop the fill.

Where then, did the games go?

To an all new stand-alone gymnasium, industrial arts and performing arts building completed in 1952. It is now the upper gym at the junior high school, a predecessor of the Mamie Lynch gymnasium and later the new high school with its state of the art facilities.

Of course, the new high school (now the junior high) was a latecomer on the education scene, as was the elementary school. But finally, all educational levels had their own independent structures, however illogical their locations may now seem to those who would replace all but the new high school.

Progress in the past, it seemed, was to benefit the majority of the population as opposed to current plans seen to benefit only a few.

What will memory show 50 more years ahead? Will anyone recognize "Old Pagosa"?

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Feb. 26, 1915

Tom Holliday is breaking broncos for Wm. Dyke.

Dr. A.J. Nossaman is moving his office into one of the Dr. Lacy properties next to the residence of Dr. Ellsworth.

The only mail arriving on Tuesday from the east was a fe-mail - Miss Estella Reese, if you please, Pagosa's popular milliner.

Mrs. Myrtle Schonefield is expected home tomorrow night with a fine new stock of spring millinery and ladies' house dresses, waists, etc.

Eugene Grimes of Silverton has taken over the management of the retail grocery department of the Hatcher Merc. Co.

Grant Shields is paying $1.10 cash for oats.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 28, 1930

One thing about New Light & Power Company is that they furnish power under all circumstances. When a transformer went on the bum near the Sun office the other day, leaving this emporium without juice for the power line, Manager A.W. Olson and his assistant, Billy Packer, came to the rescue and furnished the necessary elbow grease to run our printing press.

The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Co. has served notice upon County Treasurer L.L. Marsh that the company will not pay its 1929 taxes to Archuleta County until the present litigation, instituted by fourteen northern Colorado counties against the state tax commission and involving all common carriers of the state, is settled.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 25, 1955

Pagosa Springs put the clincher on a record that will stand for many years when they defeated Dove Creek last week by a score of 56-41. This was the last game of the season and was played at Dove Creek Thursday afternoon. The record the Pirates piled up this year was an amazing 19 games out of 20. This weekend will see the Basin Tournament at Ignacio.

The coaches of the San Juan Basin teams chose an all-star five. Alva Lee Cox received the most valuable player and Charles Erdman was a close second. All-conference players named were Leonard Kinser and Sammy Trujillo. Norman Jones received honorable mention, thus making the entire Pagosa first five in the coaches' selection.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Feb. 28, 1980

V.A. Poma has sold his Texaco Station in town to Leonard Keep, from California. Poma is one of the long time businessmen of the area and has owned the station for better than 30 years. He will continue to operate his Texaco bulk plant business and other business enterprises in the area.

Snow course surveys showed that the snow depth and moisture content on the high mountains is rapidly approaching the records of last winter. The moisture up there is very close to double the 1963-77 average and there should be no shortage of runoff water this year.

There were several power outages last week caused the heavy snow that hit the area, and travel was somewhat slow on the highways.

Features

WISE: to share, to encourage, to empower

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Women in the Support of Each Other. That's WISE, a local group that's been a resource for female victims of domestic violence for more than a decade in Pagosa Springs.

"It's not a therapy group," said organizer Sam Conti, a master's level psychotherapist and domestic violence treatment provider. "It is an education, support, resource, and skill building group."

It's also a place for women to help other women. To share. To encourage. To empower.

"If even one woman a year gets it - wow - she's going to change her feeling and her kid's feeling. She's going to talk to other women. It's really about empowerment."

Conti said the group is meant for any woman who has experienced domestic violence at any time in her life. They meet twice a month for an hour and a half. No reservations are required.

"We've had nobody show up before," Conti said, "and 11 was the highest we've had in a group here."

What is discussed depends on the group needs. They may discuss certain situations. Certain needs. Education.

"I'm always prepared to present an education piece," Conti said, "but I don't always present it. I really respond to the needs of the group."

Conti started WISE in Pagosa Springs 11 years ago to address a lack of resources in the community. She also wanted to raise awareness of domestic violence issues which were, and continue to be, a highly underreported crime.

"Domestic violence is just a huge problem," Conti said. "It crosses all age lines and cultural lines and socioeconomic levels." Not only that, she said, but the effect on women and children is the same across all ranges and levels.

Every three seconds, an act of domestic violence is committed across the United States, she said. And the average number of incidents before a woman dials 9-1-1 the first time is seven.

"The most dangerous thing about domestic violence is that it never stops at one level," Conti said. "It always escalates."

Many times, she said, women will leave the abuser. Later, an apology is accepted, promises are made and the woman returns, believing limits have been set. "Often, the next time they don't see it until they are way further along than when we set the limits before.

"Being a victim of violence does not end without treatment and being a perpetrator of violence does not end without treatment," Conti said.

According to some of her commonly-used handouts, domestic violence means not only physical violence, but sexual violence, psychological violence and economic or financial abuse.

Domestic violence, legally defined, is "the infliction of bodily injury or harmful physical contact or the destruction of property or threat as a method of coercion, control, revenge or punishment upon a person with whom the perpetrator is involved in an intimate relationship." This may be a present or past relationship.

According to other statistics, 50 percent of all willful homicides of females are committed by a past or present intimate partner. Sixty-five percent of boys age 11-20 who are arrested for murder killed the man assaulting their mother; 20 percent of all murders in this country each year are domestic violence related.

Warning signs of unhealthy relationships include: controlling behavior, extreme jealousy, explosive anger, threatening, giving orders, blaming others, mood swings, name calling, isolation from others, manipulation, intimidation, alcohol/drug abuse, constant criticism, pushing, slapping, hitting, grabbing, throwing things, hair pulling, kicking, biting, forcing sex, humiliation, living in fear, accusations, emotional abuse, breaking promises.

A healthy relationship includes: mutual respect, enjoyment of each other, freely voicing opinions, equality of needs, freedom to be with family, freedom to be with friends, freedom from fear, financial independence, freedom to come and go, making mutual decisions and independence.

WISE has also expanded this year, with the help of some extra grant money.

A children's program was added to the mix in January. Children 3-13 are invited. It may be possible to accommodate younger children as well, Conti said; people simply need to call ahead.

Debra Ewing, a special education teacher, leads the children. After opening as a big group, they move next door to the women.

"It's a time for them to share, relax, feel safe and learn some tools for expressing their feelings appropriately," Ewing said. The time generally begins with a musical activity to bring the group together. Ground rules are reviewed and snacks served. Later, the youth work on a skill-building activity, then play a game.

Next door, mothers explore themselves, their relationships safety, self-awareness and setting limits. Conti said, women regularly attending the meetings represent all levels of domestic violence from recent experiences to those long in the past.

"I love the group," Conti said, giving the example of one woman who, after being "through the ringer" many years ago, continues to come for focus and support. "She shows some of the others you can reclaim yourself and move on with your life," said Conti.

WISE meets for a hour and a half the second and fourth Thursday evening of every month.

For more information, call Conti, 731-2114. The program is an outreach of the Archuleta County Victim's Assistance Program.

 

Farm Bureau scholarship applications

due April 13

The La Plata-Archuleta Farm Bureau is offering scholarships to high school seniors in Archuleta County and to those from this area now attending college.

Scholarship applications can be obtained at Pagosa Springs High School and at the Fort Lewis College Financial Aid office.

Applications are due by April 13. Students must attend a Colorado college and those interested in or going into agriculture will be given preference.

This is one of the major programs for the La Plata-Archuleta Farm Bureau. Last year six scholarships were awarded in the region. For more information call Marty at 883-5406 or Barbara at 247-2816.

 

NOW invites public to share at March 8 meeting

Join the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in celebrating the many inspirational women of the past and present.

Attendees are also invited to bring stories to share. The public is invited to this gathering 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 at 465 East 6th Ave., Durango (use the side door entrance).

Call Cynthia, local coordinator, at 375-7822 or 749-2708 for directions or more information.

American Red Cross emergency responder, Wilderness certifications

Be trained as a Red Cross certified First Responder including first aid, CPR, AED, vital signs, blood pressure measurement, breathing emergencies, basic and supplemental oxygen, preventing disease transmission, spinal injury management, emergency childbirth, muscle, bone and joint injuries, critical incident stress debriefing, EMS operations and special considerations for seniors and children.

The Southwest Colorado Chapter is also offering Wilderness First Aid training. This is a two-day course where you will learn to administer first aid when help is delayed.

Call the Red Cross office at 259-5383 to register and for dates and times.

 

Pagosa's Past

 

Descent on foot gave credence to Wolf Creek as new route to Basin

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The decision to locate Wolf Creek Pass along its present route was made in 1914 by Colorado Department of Highways engineer J.E. Maloney in the following fashion.

A decision had already been made at the state level to rebuild the old Elwood Pass route down the west side of the San Juan Mountains to Pagosa Springs. The only remaining question was how to reach the head of Elwood Pass from the east side. Several proposed routes were under consideration.

Not being considered was the Wolf Creek route. Wolf Creek had never previously been used as a pass and it never occurred to anyone that the tortuous, tumbling route followed by Wolf Creek down into the West Fork Valley of the San Juan could ever be converted into a route suitable for goats, much less automobiles.

It was Maloney's job to survey the mountains for the best way to reach the eastern summit of Elwood Pass. With that in mind, and Elmer Chapson as a guide, Maloney saddled up in July of 1914 and rode into the mountains.

In addition to guides, Maloney was accompanied by a construction board and a Mr. Wyman of Silverton who was supervisor for the State Highway Department.

The party started from Chapson's ranch traveling upstream on the West Fork of the San Juan River, climbed the hill to Windy Gap and followed a survey line around the base of Treasure Mountain. Chapson took his pack string over Treasure Mountain. Maloney and Wyman made their way around the base of Treasure Mountain, camping the first night in the vicinity of Silver Pass. They rejoined Chapson the next morning, proceeded to Silver Pass, then from Silver Pass to the South Fork of the Rio Grande River. They then journeyed to the box canyon of the South Fork.

On the return trip, they left the South Fork and went up Pass Creek, then followed a trail to the headwaters of Wolf Creek on top of the Continental Divide. From there they intended to return to Windy Gap by way of Treasure Mountain and return to the West Fork of the San Juan River.

Upon arriving at the head of Wolf Creek, Maloney asked Chapson the name of the creek and if there was a trail down that could be followed by horses. He said there was not, if we wanted to go that way we would have to take the horses down by a different route.

Wyman and Maloney left from that point early in the morning - on foot. Maloney carried an aneroid barometer which gave approximate altitudes. By timing themselves going down, they calculated the approximate fall of the creek. It took until 5:30 that evening to reach the West Fork of the San Juan. From there, they walked to Chapson's Ranch for dinner. That evening they met with the construction committee in Pagosa Springs and discussed the various routes.

"There was a considerable difference of opinion," Maloney said, "but I strongly advised selection of the Wolf Creek route and a survey to determine its feasibility. W.W. Reilly conducted the survey and the Wolf Creek route was finally selected."

From the top of Wolf Creek, the road went down to the South Fork of the Rio Grande, then followed that stream into South Fork where it joined the main road from Alamosa to Creede.

There was not a great difference of mileage among the various routes. There was a considerable difference in estimated cost, according to Maloney. The primary consideration leading to selection of the route chosen was that the road would serve the other communities along the line and give a good connection to the San Luis Valley.

Another advantage attributed to the chosen route was that it was several hundred feet lower in elevation than Elwood Pass, 300 feet lower than Bonita Pass, and about the same as Silver Pass.

"It is interesting to note," Maloney said, that the D.& R.G.W.R.R Co., in their surveys for the broad gauge connection from the San Luis Valley to the San Juan Basin, ran their line up the same South Fork, crossing Silver Pass and dropping to the San Juan River.

Construction work started on the West side of the Wolf Creek road. The opening ceremonies took place Aug. 21, 1916.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

2/16

40

28

S

3"

.35

2/17

46

23

-

-

-

2/18

37

20

R

-

.5

2/19

34

31

S

2"

.35

2/20

36

22

S

.5"

.05

2/21

41

21

-

-

-

2/22

42

27

S

.5"

.05

More snow, rain possible in coming week

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Had enough?

If not - no worries.

According to the latest forecasts for southwest Colorado, more precipitation is on the way.

Reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction suggest good odds for snow or rain throughout today and into Friday.

Showers are not expected to be as widespread over the weekend, but there will apparently still be a chance for isolated drizzle and flurries through Sunday.

Today's forecast calls for scattered snow showers, highs in the 30s and lows around 15.

The forecasts for Friday and Saturday predict mostly-cloudy conditions, a 30-percent chance for isolated showers, highs near 40 and lows in the upper teens.

Sunday calls for partly-cloudy skies, a chance for light flurries, highs in the 40s and lows ranging from 15 to 20 degrees.

Monday's forecast indicates partly-cloudy skies, highs in the 40s and lows in the teens.

A return to snow and rain is possible for Tuesday and Wednesday as the chance for both days is listed at 40 percent; highs should hit the upper 30s while lows should fall into the teens.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 39 degrees. The average low was 24. Moisture totals for the week amounted to eight-tenths of an inch.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 170 inches, a midway depth of 153 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 376 inches.

For daily 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 "moderate" well below timberline, and ranges from "considerable" to "high" near and above timberline.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Tuesday afternoon, was 169 percent of average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture describes regional drought conditions as "abnormally dry."

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 135 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 160 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of Feb. 24 ranges between 55 and 60 cubic feet per second.