March 10, 2005
Front Page
River restoration project is underway downtown

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Make hay while the sun shines.

Rather, get your work in the river done before the water rises.

That's what a crew has been doing as they complete a restoration project in a short stretch of the San Juan River in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is a big part of the process, donating three pieces of equipment and a three-person crew. The crew began a process this week to modify in-river structures between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the pedestrian bridge behind the county courthouse. The project includes stabilization of the bank on the north side of the river.

Work has included replacing a "W" structure near the property boundary between The Springs and the Chamber of Commerce.

"We're modifying the structure," said Town Manager Mark Garcia, "replacing it with a drop structure, lowering material into the river to create wave effects at varying flows."

According to Garcia, the crew will reinstall deflectors in the river directly in front of the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

"We're on hold till Monday," Garcia said March 9, "but we want to install another drop structure just upstream of the pedestrian bridge."

The town of Pagosa Springs is providing funding for the current project along 500 feet of river channel.

Design of a major project to restore the San Juan River from Hot Springs Boulevard to Apache Street is nearly complete. The design is being produced by Recreation Planning and Design, a Boulder firm, and is expected to be delivered to the town by April 1.

"When we have the design in hand," said Garcia, "we will take it through a public process involving the Division of Wildlife, the Southwest Land Alliance and the town's advisory committee."

  

Single-family areas need protection plan

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Parking, open space and one town's struggle to balance its need for tax revenue while protecting its small town values were the topics of a special town meeting Tuesday night.

About 75 people attended the first in a series of meetings prompted by the Downtown Conceptual Master Plan for Pagosa Springs. The focus of the meeting, hosted by the town planning department, was not the downtown core per se. That will come up at a later meeting.

Instead, locals were given a worksheet to jot down their thoughts on what is outstanding, what is a concern and what opportunities exist in the neighborhoods and parks, and with schools and cultural programs downtown.

In the neighborhoods, traffic and parking were, as usual, the primary concerns. Protecting the mixed-use nature of the downtown by not allowing commercial development to drive out the single-family homes was an important issue to Humane Society Director, Robbie Schwartz. Local businessman J.R. Ford agreed, adding that single family neighborhoods still exist along the San Juan River and the town should strive to protect them.

Where the rivers and trails were concerned, residents voiced over and over what a valuable asset the river is to the community. Not only should it be protected from overuse and development, they said, but public access to it should be protected as well.

The cultural aspects of the conceptual plan were also discussed. Many residents support the concept of the town cultural center drawn on the conceptual plan. But Town Manager Mark Garcia said he has received some letters of concern regarding private galleries having to compete with a publicly subsidized center.

Cate Smock, local massage therapist and downtown resident, disagreed saying, "If you don't support the arts as a town, you won't get the galleries." Other residents echoed Smock's sentiments.

Inevitably, the conversation turned briefly to the hot button topic of growth in Pagosa Springs.

Joyce Hopkins, owner of the Log Park Trading Company on Lewis Street, asked Garcia about the possibility of "freezing development" along the San Juan River corridor to make better plans for preserving it.

Garcia said "freezing" or a moratorium on the corridor would be considered a "taking" by the town. Instead, he said, the town would have to purchase those properties for open space. But as with the other suggestions bandied about, he said staff is willing to hear suggestions and study feasibility if that is a priority for the town.

Developer Chris Smith, of the River Walk project downtown responded.

"If you freeze development in town you are basically strangling the primary funding source for the infrastructure plans you have in town," he said.

Funding for the myriad plans the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan presents is another hurdle. One resident suggested the town consider hiring a full-time grant writer to seek the funds for parking improvements, the cultural center, and park and river enhancement. Garcia said that Special Projects Manager Julie Jessen is already writing the town's grants with considerable success. But Garcia admitted that he, Jessen and Town Planner Tamra Allen are often "one-man shops" and town staffing is a topic for another meeting.

Garcia did say a business improvement district or redevelopment agency are possible funding mechanisms for Pagosa's master plan dreams. The economic baseline study of Pagosa Springs is due out in April and will help staff make informed recommendations about the best approach for funding capital improvements.

The next public meeting on the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan will be held in April and the public is encouraged to attend.

  

Gradual approach urged for business parking woe

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

A refreshing spirit of cooperation permeated a neighborhood parking meeting Monday night in Pagosa Springs.

The meeting, hosted by the town planning department, was designed to air the concerns of residents and business owners located along Pagosa Street from 1st to 3rd streets, then brainstorm solutions and develop a plan to implement them.

Town staff gave a report detailing the current parking deficiencies in the area, then showed how much more deficient it might become as Pagosa grows. They then opened the floor to comment.

One of the main comments repeated, politely, again and again is that the town of Pagosa Springs is going to have to purchase some property for town parking lots, and fast.

But while earmarking property needs to happen quickly, many residents suggested a gradual approach to the big changes needed to address the parking problem.

Using a model he had seen in Miami Beach, local real estate agent Carl Valldejuli suggested the town begin by restricting the alleys from 1st to 3rd streets to just deliveries, stating as the town grows the delivery trucks will be bigger and more frequent. He then suggested placing parking meters along the streets, a measure that will keep employees from parking on the streets all day. Then, during high seasons, businesses could "purchase the meters" from the town for the spaces in front of their stores. Revenue from that would be used for parking improvements.

Town Planner Tamra Allen cited a model used in Durango wherein a developer provides 75 percent of the parking required for a facility and pays an in-lieu fee to the city for the remaining 25 percent. Such revenues could also be designated for parking improvements.

Another resident suggested that town staff find out if 1st, 2nd and 3rd streets are wide enough to accommodate diagonal parking on one side.

Hermosa Street resident Charlie Webber came up with an idea to build a concrete parking structure over Town Park, so people could park on top and the kids could play underneath it all year long.

While the room and even Webber laughed about the idea, it got everyone thinking about the many existing steep hillsides that might accommodate a built-in parking structure. Several possible locations were then discussed.

Walking and transit for downtown employees were also brought up as ways to ease the burden. Building no-charge lots and metering the streets, then improving signage to the free lots was also suggested as a way to utilize good parking areas on Lewis Street and San Juan Street.

Staff plans to sort through all the suggestions and test their feasibility. They will return to the town for another planning meeting with their recommendations.

 

Fluoridation: Pros and cons debated

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

A figurative fluoridation fence has sprung up recently in Pagosa Country.

And directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District have plenty to ponder from both sides following Tuesday night's public meeting on the issue in Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Over 100 people turned out for the informational hearing, which was dually organized by PAWS officials and the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County.

For roughly two and a half hours, attendees heard arguments both for and against the use of fluoride in public water supplies from a panel comprised of two local residents, a local dentist and two visiting public health professionals.

Making their case for the discontinuation of fluoridation were Pagosans Cathy Justus and Crista Munro, founding members of a recently-formed activist group known as Pagosa Springs Clean Water Advocates.

Presenting arguments for the continued use of fluoride were Glenn Rutherford, a local dentist who holds a doctorate degree in dental surgery, and Daniel Felzien, fluoridation engineer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Also presenting in favor of fluoridation was Dr. Ned Calonge, state epidemiologist and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Each side was given 40 minutes to present facts, findings and opinions, and the proponents got first nod, Rutherford being first to speak.

After explaining that fluoride is a naturally-occurring compound found in nearly all local bodies of water, Rutherford stated his belief in the benefits of fluoridation is based primarily on "a huge body of evidence in research since the 1940s that overwhelmingly supports the use of fluoride."

Fluoridation is a safe and effective method for prevention of dental caries for children and adults, said Rutherford, as long as it is administered in what are considered "optimal" amounts - 1.1 parts per million, or 1.1 milligrams per liter, for example.

When used in such amounts, said Rutherford, fluoride has been shown to result in a 35-percent lifetime reduction in cavities among adults and a 60-percent reduction in cavities among children.

In addition, Rutherford said fluoridation is a relatively inexpensive means for prevention of tooth decay, estimating fluoridation costs per person average 20 to 50 cents per year in the United States.

The cost of not fluoridating, said Rutherford, can be "extraordinarily high" because of a trickle-down effect on health insurance rates, as well as a potential need to subsidize community health care with additional tax dollars.

Fluoride supplements are costly as well, said Rutherford, and if fluoridation is discontinued, "the people who are going to suffer are going to be the poor children."

Rutherford concluded his comments by listing some accredited health organizations which support fluoridation, including the American Dental Association, American Medical Association, World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society.

Echoing Rutherford's sentiments, Calonge cited studies suggesting that "communities which had fluoridation and stopped it experienced an 18-percent increase in dental caries."

Furthermore, "We now have evidence that fluoride helps prevent root caries in the elderly," said Calonge, before adding that fluoridation has become the "most studied" public health intervention in the United States.

Acknowledging that fluoride can have toxic, detrimental effects if ingested in excessively high amounts, Calonge said there has been "no credible" evidence to suggest fluoride is hazardous when used at the suggested, optimal amounts.

"I think it would be a tragedy for your community to take a 60-year step backward in public health," Calonge concluded, "especially if it is based on misinformation."

Likewise, Felzien produced numerous statements and reports from federal health authorities reaffirming support for fluoridation and stated those opposed to fluoridation are often "misinformed" and/or perhaps "uneducated" as to the benefits of fluoride.

Felzien concluded by stating he believes fluoridation "ranks in the top 10 in public health achievements of the last century."

Munro and Justus have a different perspective, however, and made it known shortly after Felzien ended his presentation.

Munro spoke first, indicating she believes fluoride is an unnecessary additive to water supplies since it is nonessential for proper biological function.

Munro said she believes fluoridation equates to "mass medicating" the public without a license to practice medicine, producing documents indicating sodium fluorosilicate, the form of fluoride used by PAWS, has a higher relative toxicity than lead.

Munro also referred to studies that showed no apparent "significant reduction in tooth decay" between fluoridated communities and those that do not fluoridate, noting there are many other sources of fluoride in an average person's diet.

After asserting fluoride has detrimental, cumulative effects on the body, Munro stated her opposition to the use of fluoride is based mainly on the concept of free choice, "the right and opportunity to have pure water with minimal processing."

Attendees were then shown a video in which Dr. J. William Hirzy, senior vice president for the EPA Headquarters Union, comments on fluoride and gives testimony opposing fluoridation during a U.S. Senate hearing held several years ago.

During his commentary, Hirzy asserts fluoride is essentially industrial "scrubber liquor," a toxic by-product of the fertilizer industry which can cause a variety of ailments ranging from Alzheimer's disease to antisocial behavior in children.

Hirzy also disputes the dental benefits of fluoride, states he believes fluoride to have a high "carcinogenicity" that is linked to cancer, and concludes by saying he views the addition of fluoride to public water supplies as a method of "managing" what would otherwise qualify as industrial waste.

"Is it worth the risk?" asked Justus after the video, adding she believes the "prudent choice" is to have fluoridation end within the PAWS district.

"We have the right to say what we put into our bodies, as individuals," concluded Justus.

Questions and comments to both sides from the public were the next order of business and, while a few indicated support for continued fluoridation, the majority of those who spoke expressed skepticism or outright disdain for the practice.

"When will you make a decision on this?" was a final question posed to the PAWS board.

"We don't know yet; we're going to address this," replied board member Don Brinks, indicating the board's evaluation may take up to a month.

"We're open-minded people," Brinks concluded. "We'll come up with something."

 

 Inside The Sun
Water conservancy board working to strengthen identity

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

The board of directors of the San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) met March 8 expressing the intent to strengthen their identity in the community.

The meeting agenda included consideration of a revised mission statement, a district staff position, a new logo for SJWCD and a water rights application. The board chose to go into executive session for the water rights application discussion.

A revised mission and purpose statement is being developed by the board. The last published statement was in 1987.

The purpose of this statement, said Director Windsor Chacey, is to "focus on water needs, Colorado water law and water conservancy." She also indicated "a need to differentiate between the SJWCD and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation since there seems to be some question as to who does what for whom."

The statement is still "a work in progress" and will be published in a future district newsletter.

The Southwestern Water Conservancy District (SWCD), which supports Durango, Cortez and the SJWCD, is proposing a new staff position to service all areas supported by it. The position would replace one recently held by Denise Rue-Pastin, who is leaving PAWS later this month. The issue was tabled as there was not enough information available for the board to approve. PAWS has given its approval.

A new logo is being proposed for the district. Again, the idea is to strengthen the SJWCD identity with a focus on water and to provide a differentiation from PAWS and other agencies. The logo was approved by the board's president, Fred Schmidt, with the understanding that "future changes could be identified."

Also included in the masthead of the district newsletter will be a motto, "Water Matters."

A final discussion concerned the upcoming newsletter and the need to include in it mention of "developing conservative uses to replace loss of water rights" and "potential methodologies to pay for construction of reservoirs in the future."

  

GOP women invite everyone to join in thanking military

Southwest Republican Women invite you to come and say "thanks" to the young men and women in the U.S. military who make so many sacrifices on our behalf.

SWRW will host a letter writing campaign April 2 at Durango VFW Post 4031, 1550 Main Ave. (top floor). You can drop in anytime it is convenient for you between 1 and 6 p.m.

You will have the opportunity to write letters of encouragement and appreciation, which will be sent to soldiers who get little or no mail from home. Kids can sit down with a piece of paper and crayons to create their own masterpieces, which will also be mailed to soldiers.

In addition, you can find out how to send a "care" package to a soldier, as well as learn about organizations that support the needs of wounded soldiers and the families of those who have been deployed.

Donations to those organizations will be accepted. Bring a Beanie Baby (or two, or three orŠ.), which will be sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they can give them to the children.

The local Blue Star Moms and Homefront Heroes will both be showing slide presentations honoring our soldiers. The Blue Star Moms invite friends and family members of area soldiers to bring along a picture of their soldier for display.

"This will be a nonpartisan event, and anyone who wants to share a kind word with a soldier in need of a little encouragement from home is welcome to participate," said Susan Hamilton, cochairman of the event. "This is a wonderful opportunity for us to all come together for a common goal," she added.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the Southwest Republican Women's overall troop support project can call Susan Hamilton at 259-7688, or Shannon Richardson at 884-4663.

  

Esterbrook named assistant school superintendent

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Bill Esterbrook, veteran Pagosa Springs High School principal, climbed the administrative ladder Tuesday.

After a personal interview last week, and on the recommendation of Superintendent Duane Noggle, the board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint named Esterbrook to fill a new "number cruncher" post.

Effective July 1, he becomes assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, a new post designed to deal with all available data in developing school programming and apply it to district educational programs.

In order to make the appointment, the board had to first remove from the agenda the planned reappointment of Esterbrook as principal.

The administration will now advertise the high school principal post in-house for two weeks and then will conduct interviews of all applicants.

Officials say there are several qualified persons already on staff. After the interviews it is expected a choice will be made. But there is still a possibility of advertising the post outside the district.

At the same time, the board approved the reappointments of Chris Hinger as junior high principal, Mark DeVoti as intermediate school principal, Kahle Charles as elementary school principal and David Hamilton as high school assistant principal and athletic director.

In other personnel action Tuesday, the board accepted the resignations of veteran high school girls' volleyball coach Penné Hamilton, Amber Anderson as part-time junior high computer science teacher and Barry Yount as transportation mechanic.

No decision has been made as yet regarding the approach to selecting a new volleyball coach, but it appears that position, too, will first be advertised in house.

Yount had been picked for the mechanic job in December after six prospects were interviewed. After about 30 days with the school district, he informed his supervisor he had applied with Colorado Department of Transportation at the same time and had been selected for that job.

He was replaced by Steve Gallegos who had been the number two choice originally.

In a related matter, the board approved hiring Robin Davis as a substitute bus driver.

And, directors approved attendance at a Las Vegas Nike Coaching Clinic for junior high basketball coaches Rok Wilson, David Snarr and Yul Wilson. Board approval is required for any travel in excess of 500 miles.

  

School calendar approved with some dissent

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A school calendar for the 2005-2006 school year was approved on a 4-1 vote Tuesday by the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

The dissenting vote was from director Jon Forrest who, despite administrative assurances, said he had been approached by several teachers who indicated to him they had not been consulted on the issue.

Superintendent Duane Noggle had told the board the schedule, ironed out with the calendar committee and administrators, was the result of a committee decision that the final product should be an administrative action.

At all stages of the program development, he said, building principals took proposed changes back to their own in-house committees which then corresponded with the teachers in each building.

It was noted the schedule calls for 167 student attendance days, in comparison to the national average of 180 days.

But the main bone of contention appeared to be the school year start time - Aug. 22 - in the approved schedule.

Forrest said many of those who approached him indicated they would rather go later into the late spring with classes than to lose the good weather of August for family vacations.

And, he said, "in an area where teachers make barely enough to get by and summer supplemental employment is a necessary adjunct, cutting their earning time is making it difficult to break even."

Many of those who contacted him, Forrest said, "indicated they were never contacted and had no part in any decision regarding the calendar."

At least one, he said, told him he was advised, when attempting to make a comment on the calendar, "Don't bother, it's already been decided ... it's a done deal."

Noggle responded, "That's absolutely untrue. It was the calendar committee which, after repeated consultation with teachers, recommended the final action be an administrative move."

Still, the need to conclude the first semester before the Christmas break was prominent in the board's final decision.

When the semester break comes after the holiday, Noggle said, it is proven that student absenteeism is higher and test scores lower because of the distractions of the long break before midterms.

The calendar adopted also adds three teacher days to the schedule, making the calendar total 175 teacher days, 167 student days and 195 administrator days.

No school days will include Labor Day Sept. 5, Columbus Day Oct. 10, Thanksgiving break Nov. 23-25, Christmas break Dec. 19-30, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 16, President's Day Feb. 20, Spring Break March 20-24; and Easter break April 17. Graduation is scheduled May 21.

  

School board opts to keep local auditor

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

After requesting bids from a dozen auditing firms on potential annual review of school district finances, school board officials decided Tuesday, "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

The board of education of Archuleta District 50 Joint had sought the bids, not because of any dissatisfaction with current auditor Michael Branch, but because it was felt occasional review by other eyes might provide new insight.

That insight, when four bids were received, was that all of the other prospective bidders were much higher in their cost quotes.

When Mike Haynes, board president, asked if members had any desire to interview other bidders, the decision was a resounding "No!"

The Branch bid was $6,000 with no additional incidental costs. Other base bids ranged from $12,750 with an annual inflation increase to a high of $18,950 with a four percent increase per year.

When Director Clifford Lucero asked Nancy Schutz, business manager, for her thoughts, she said, "Branch meets all the guidelines of the law and has peer review. I'm happy with what he does, but it is a board decision. Its up to you to decide."

Director Jon Forrest noted Branch is local and the others who bid are out of town and would require additional expenses for travel and housing to conduct an audit.

Schutz added, "I think Mike sees it as a public service. I checked with the Board of Cooperative Services, and it paid over $15,000 last year for an audit of a much smaller financial operation."

And, the board agreed, there is no need to make a change.

In other action Tuesday the board:

- opted to wait a month before approving a new science curriculum recommended by a staff study committee to give board members more time to review the plan;

- amended a staff policy on support staff salary incentives by correcting the inadvertent omission of cooks from the original document. The code provides salary incentives for those who obtain training to improve job related skills;

- scheduled a visit to the intermediate school for 9:45 a.m. April 26 as the last of the board trips to individual school buildings this year;

- scheduled a 7:30 a.m. work session Monday to work on revisions in superintendent and board self-evaluation policies;

- saw a brief demonstration of the new Polycom system which allows interbuilding consultations, offers students a chance to study special courses not available here by remote live telecast and offers the chance of conferencing with others live without leaving their own offices;

- offered salutes to the high school FBLA chapter for outstanding performance; heard a presentation by several PHTV students and teacher Curtis Maberry on their recent trip to the National High School TV convention in California; saluted winners in recent local and district science fairs and wished well those qualifying for state competition.

- heard Forrest announce the executive director of BOCS had tendered her resignation the preceding day because of health problems affecting her husband. Forrest suggested the Archuleta district might want to reexamine its membership in the district compared to the percent of benefit it receives. He was not recommending withdrawal, he said, but a review of cost and benefit.

  

Fall election critical to school board

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It is still months away, but the fall election of three members to the board of education for Archuleta District 50 Joint will have a dramatic effect on schools in the county.

Director Mike Haynes, board president, asked Tuesday that any persons in the district planning to seek election start attending meetings so they can become familiar with process and problems.

With veteran board members Jon Forrest and Clifford Lucero term limited out, and board appointee Matt Aragon required to run for the District 1 seat he now fills, there will be a vast change in board makeup.

Forrest serves a district encompassing most of the eastern portion of the county and Lucero the area centered on downtown.

Specific maps of district boundaries are available in administrative offices for those not sure where their homes lie with reference to district lines.

Haynes urged anyone with an inclination to seek a school board post to become regulars at meetings beforehand.

"You can learn a lot watching and listening," he said. An appointee himself, he said, "I would have been here a lot more had I known I would be selected."

  

'Mini' library will open in Pack Rack during construction

By Phyllis Wheaton

Special to The SUN

Ground breaking for the expansion and renovation of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library will occur in a few days. To allow construction to move as quickly as possible, the library is moving out of its current location.

The Humane Society is generously providing space in the lower level of the Pack Rack Thrift Store at 269 Pagosa Street as a temporary location for a "mini" library. A small collection of materials and limited services will be available to library patrons.

The mini library has two entrances. From the street level, patrons can go through the entrance to the store, turn right, and then down the ramp and steps to the library on the lower level. From the alley, there is another entrance with steps, which will be improved.

Peggy Bergon, interim co-director of the library said, "Our staff will do everything they can to accommodate those who have difficulty accessing this temporary facility. Please call us with your needs."

The phone number of the library will remain the same at 264-2209.

Public computers and access to the Internet will not be available..

Joan Rohwer, chairman of the Upper San Juan Library District Board of Trustees, said "as a board we are asking so much of the staff as we go into the construction phase. We are pleased with the fantastic, efficient and professional job they are doing on such short notice."

The library will be closed Saturday, March 12 while staff and volunteers move the collection from the present building. The mini library will open Monday, March 14 and will remain in the interim location until construction is complete. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

More information on services that will be available at the mini library is included in the Library News column in this week's PREVIEW.

  

Four Pagosans capture Special Olympics gold

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Four Pagosa Springs athletes put their town on the Special Olympics map with medal-winning performances at the state meet Feb. 26-27.

In fact, two were double gold medal winners and two more, in a unified partners team, captured a silver the first day and gold the second.

Delta Buck, a high school senior, was first in both events - slalom and giant slalom.

George Stevens, a fifth-grader, was a similar dual winner, capturing gold in both events in intermediate competition.

The unified partner team of Charise Morris and Christopher Brown captured silver the first day in slalom and gold on day two in giant slalom. Both are fifth-graders.

The Colorado Special Olympics were staged at Copper Mountain above Leadville.

Each of the Pagosa entrants, coached as part of the Four Corners Regional team by Brian Looper of Pagosa Springs, has been a competitor in the past and all had to place in regional competition to advance to state.

  

Pagosa FBLA members in strong district showing

Pagosa Springs members of Future Business Leaders of America were cited Tuesday by members of the board of education for Archuleta District 50 Joint for superb performance in district competition.

Pagosa entrants captured 11 first-place, 10 second-place, 14 third-place, 10 fourth-place and five fifth-place awards in their top ten showing.

Sixty-one Pagosa students were in competition and over half will advance to state competition.

First-place awards went to Elise McDonald in business math; Rosie Lee in business procedures; Daniel Aupperle, Matt Nobles and Elijah Olachea in emerging business issues; Tad Beavers in international business; Adrienne Young in impromptu speaking; Shanti Johnson in job interview; Veronica Zeiler in public speaking II; and to Sara Baum and Katie Vowles in Website.

Second-place awards went to Ryan Ranson in accounting II; Aaron Miller in business procedures; Kelli Ford and Mark Truax in emerging business issues; Ben DeVoti, Elise McDonald and Chelsea Taylor in entrepreneurship; Brittany Corcoran in international business; Jessica Lynch in public speaking 1 and Kelli Ford in public speaking II.

Third-place finishers were Heather Andersen in business calculations; Trey Quiller in business math; Aaron Miller, Paul Przybylski and Craig Schutz in entrepreneurship; Kerry Joe Hilsabeck in introduction to business communication; Liza Kelley in marketing; Kyrie Beye, Josiah Burggraaf, Brooke Cumbie, Alaina Garman and Tesh Parker in parliamentary pro team 1; Sara Baum in public speaking II and Heather Andersen in scrapbook.

Fourth-place finishers were Chelsea Taylor in business calculations; Paul Brinton, Brittany Corcoran, Jamilyn Harms, Anna Hershey and Veronica Zeiler in parliamentary pro team 2; Hayley Goodman and Veronica Zeiler in posters; Emily Schur in public speaking II and Claire Versaw in word processing 1.

Fifth-place finishers were Kimberly Judd in FBLA principals; Jamilyn Harms in job interview; Jennifer Hilsabeck and Emilie Schur in poster and Anna Hershey in public speaking 1.

The group captured eleven other awards, including top 10 placings by Brett Garman, sixth in business communication; Michael Spitler, sixth in business procedures; Jennifer Hilsabeck, sixth in economics: Kyrie Beye, sixth in international business; Matt Nobles, seventh in business calculations; Mercedes Haider, eighth in business communications; Alaina Garman eighth in business math; MacKenzie Kitson, ninth in intro to parli pro; Melissa Maberry, ninth in public speaking and Manny Madrid tenth in business calculation.

In all, there were over 500 students in the district competition.

Dorothy Christine and Lisa Hudson, advisers for the program, said they will be taking a strong delegation to state competition in Vail next month with, in addition to qualifiers from Alamosa, students designated for state-only competition, voting delegates and committee members.

  

Local man arrested, charged with sale of cocaine

Augustine Ornelas, 27, of Pagosa Springs was booked into the Archuleta County jail March 2 on a charge of sale of cocaine following his arrest by local law enforcement officers.

Ornelas was booked on an arrest warrant out of Archuleta County following an investigation by the Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department.

Ornelas was also arrested Feb. 5 in a separate case by narcotics investigators in Albuquerque on cocaine trafficking charges.

Ornelas is also being held on an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hold order.

  

Seminar Saturday addresses understanding public land issues

A seminar entitled "In Quest of Quiet Places" designed to foster understanding of public land issues will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in the Durango Community Recreation Center.

Sponsored by San Juan Chapter of Colorado Mountain Club, the first half of the program will examine federal land issues.

U.S. Forest Service team leader Dave Baker will address the planning process for San Juan National Forest and Joe Griffith of Seniors Outdoors will lead a discussion of concerns over conflicts among skiers and snowmobilers on Molas Pass.

At noon, Jeff Berman of Colorado Wild will present a slide show on proposed residential and commercial development at Wolf Creek pass adjacent to the ski area.

  

Lutheran school enrolling students

Our Savior Lutheran School and Preschool are now enrolling students for the 2005-2006 school year.

For information about the preschool, call Anette McInnis, director, at 731-3512. For information about the school, call the principal, Sheri Bahn, 731-5910.

  

$3,600 grant will aid in transporting kids to medical care

LPEA Round-Up Foundation has awarded a $3,600 grant to Community Connections Inc., to aid children up to age 3.

The money will be used to help families of children with developmental delays or disabilities meet expenses of their transportation for medical and developmental needs.

The grant is available for families residing in Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties.

For applications or more information call Rachel Cameron, Early Intervention Resource Coordinator at 385-3450 or by e-mail at rachel@cci-colorado.org.

  

Pagosa teen picked for Sound of America Honor Band, Chorus

Esther Gordon of Pagosa Springs has been selected to perform with the national organization known as The Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus.

This group selects elite high school band and chorus students from across America to represent their town, state, and country in an exceptional performance opportunity.

Esther has been playing her trombone in the Pagosa Springs school bands for the past five years. She has had the privilege of being selected to play in the State Honor Band, Ft. Lewis College Honor Band Wind Ensemble, Intermountain League Honor Band, Air Force Academy Band Day, as well as numerous other church, high school and community events.

The Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus begins its 2005 European concert tour this July. Selection into The Sound of America tour is a distinguished honor for all participants. The applicants are carefully screened and chosen after a rigid character and musical evaluation.

Esther is currently the only band member representing the state of Colorado.

Performers will meet on the campus of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania July 1. After four days of intensive rehearsal and orientation, the group will depart from the John F. Kennedy International Airport, N.Y., for Frankfurt, Germany. The group is scheduled to present ten performances in some of Europe's finest concert halls and major cathedrals during the 25-day concert tour.

These students will travel in and experience the cultures of six countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Luxembourg. Some of the cities they will visit during the tour are Paris, Venice, Strasbourg, Innsbruck, Stresa, Verona, Rothenburg, Grindelwald, Cortina, LaChaux-de-Fonds and Disneyland Paris.

Qualified students for The Sound of America tour are responsible for raising their own travel expenses of approximately $4,000 per participant. Traditionally, civic clubs, local businesses and individuals have been very helpful by providing these honored students with financial sponsorship. For the student representing their local community, state and country this is a great help.

To learn more about Esther's musical goals or how her fund-raising efforts are going for the Sound of America tour, call her at 264-4252.

The Sound of America, Inc. is registered with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation. If you desire to support Esther in representing our area and state, your contributions will be tax deductible if checks are made out to:

Esther Gordon/Sound of America, 76 East Log Hill Road, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

  

AARP Driver Safety course set April 20-21

The AARP Driver Safety Program, the nation's first and largest classroom refresher for motorists 50 and over will be offered in Pagosa Springs April 20-21.

Sessions will be noon-4 p.m. each day in Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street.

Participants will learn how to avoid driving hazards, pay a minimal fee, take no tests and qualify in many cases for insurance discounts.

Call Bob Newlander at 731-2479 for more details.

Comment sought on Petrox oil site proposal

The San Juan Public Lands Center is accepting public input on the scope of issues to be studied in an environmental analysis (EA) of a proposal by Petrox Resources, Inc. to access private and state mineral leases within the San Juan National Forest lands in the Fosset Gulch and Bull Canyon area of the HD Mountains.

The project involves private mineral estate lease under National Forest land and a state inholding. The project area is 10 miles east of Bayfield, in Archuleta County. The proposed activities would take place this summer.

To access their leases and drill up to five wells, Petrox is requesting access across the National Forest for a pipeline, gas-gathering lines, and water lines. About 1.6 miles of new road would be constructed, and about three quarters of a mile of existing roads would be improved.

The main pipeline system would be constructed adjacent to southern edge of Fosset Gulch Road right-of-way, with lateral gathering lines constructed adjacent to existing and newly constructed access roads associated with this project. The main pipeline would cross about 3.5 miles of National Forest and four miles of private land.

The Forest Service is required by law to provide reasonable access to state and private lands and mineral estate. The agency does not have discretion over the location or design of facilities on private or state land, and has limited discretion over those locations and facilities on National Forest lands that overly private mineral estate.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the responsibility and regulatory authority to issue permits to drill on private or state mineral estate.

The Forest Service does have discretion over the location and design of those facilities and of any use of National Forest Service roads that are located off-lease of the private mineral estate.

Issues that will be studied in the EA include potential impacts to surface water resources, human health and safety, wildlife and fisheries and their habitats, agricultural and residential use, vegetation, and the area's scenic values.

The Forest Service will accept comments on the scope of the issues to be considered until Friday, March 25. Comments may be sent to: San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO. 81301, Attention: Walt Brown. They may also be e-mailed to: wabrown@fs.fed.us.

All comments will be addressed in the EA. When completed, this EA will be available for public review and comment for at least 30 days. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record for this proposed action and will be available for public inspection.

For more information, contact Walt Brown at (970) 385-1372.

Conservation district taking seedling orders

The San Juan Conservation District is taking orders for high-quality, reasonably priced seedling trees and shrubs to be planted especially for conservation planting.

Conservation plantings include windbreaks, hedgerows, living snow fences, dust and visual screens, wildlife habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, reforestation/afforestation projects and Christmas tree plantations.

The seedlings are grown in Fort Collins at the Colorado State Forest Service nursery and are then sold and distributed by cooperating Conservation Districts in Southwest Colorado.

To participate, landowners need to own at least two acres of land, use the seedlings for conservation purposes and not landscaping, and agree not to resell seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.

The seedlings are available as either bare root or potted planting stock, and include a wide variety of native and introduced coniferous and deciduous trees and deciduous shrubs.

All bare root stock is sold in bundles of 50 seedlings of the same species. Deciduous trees and shrubs are $29.40 per bundle, plus tax and coniferous trees are $30.40 per bundle, plus tax. The potted stock is sold in containers with 30 seedlings of the same species, and sells for $38.04 per regular container plus tax and $26.28 per container, plus tax, for small potted seedlings.

The last day to order is March 25. The trees will be available to pick up around the middle of April.

Landowners can obtain a seedling ordering application from the San Juan Conservation District located at 505A Piedra Road or the CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the Archuleta County Fair Building.

The sooner the seedling orders are placed the better your chance of getting the desired species.

For more information, please call the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615.

San Juan Gobblers plan annual banquet, auction

By Bob Curvey

Special to The SUN

With money raised at last year's San Juan Gobblers banquet, the chapter was able to contribute to the Pagosa community in a variety of ways.

The Turkey Hunter's Care program provided five turkeys for the Thanksgiving Operation Helping Hand effort and six turkeys for Helping Hand Christmas food baskets.

The local chapter put on two educational programs. The first was for a group of 15 home-schooled children, the second for 120 fourth-grade students and their six teachers at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

The funds allowed the organization to sponsor its first Women in the Outdoors event, at which nine participants learned to fly fish.

The San Juan Gobblers helped the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department for a second year, assisting with the fishing derby that drew 90 youngsters and 30 adults. The chapter provided lunch and assisted the youngsters with fishing poles.

The San Gobblers also donated money to local 4-H programs, made a donation to the Pagosa Pathfinders who participated in a national shooting competition in Pennsylvania and put on an inaugural ice fishing event for Jakes members.

The local chapter is active and growing and everyone is invited to the seventh annnual Super Fund Banquet to enjoy the evening and help support the Wild Turkey Conservation Program.

The banquet will be held in the fairgrounds building April 2. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is set for 7:30 with an auction to follow.

Local Girl Scouts join 'Gift of Caring' project

Girl Scout 1279 of Pagosa Springs will be participating March 12 and 19 in the "Gift of Caring" community service project.

If you buy extra boxes of cookies, Girl Scouts will deliver them to nonprofit organizations throughout the area, such as food pantries and shelters.

Keep your eyes peeled for Girl Scouts outside City Market West 10 a.m.-4 p.m. those two days.

It is a chance to support local Girl Scouts and help other local organizations simultaneously.

The local troop is part of Chaparral Council Inc., which serves more than 6,800 girls and 2,500 adults in nine counties in New Mexico and five in southwestern Colorado.

 

 Outdoors
2005 big game regulations are now available

Those who applied for big game licenses in Colorado last year should receive a copy of the 2005 regulations in the mail.

For those who did not apply for a license or who have not received them, copies of the regulations are now available at license agents and at Division of Wildlife (DOW) offices.

The most significant change to the big game regulations in 2005 is that all elk tags for the fourth combined season are available by draw only. In the past, there were over the-counter tags available for the fourth season. Hunters who bought over-the-counter tags for the fourth season during the past two years will be sent a post card by the DOW informing them of this change to the regulations.

The deadline for all big game applications is April 5. Nonresidents interested in big game hunting in Colorado during 2005, and who did not apply for a license last year, can receive a copy of the 2005 regulations by visiting the Web site at www.wildlife.state.co.us.

Click on "hunting," then on "regulations brochures," then on "on-line form." A PDF file copy of the brochure can also be viewed by following the preceding steps. Hunters can also request a copy of the brochure over the phone by calling (303) 297-1192. The Internet order form and copy of the brochure on the DOW Web site allow hunters to avoid long distance phone charges.

Hunters will also have the opportunity to apply for and purchase big game licenses over the Internet. Hunters can learn more about applying over the Internet by visiting www.wildlife.state.co.us/total_licensing/. More than 25 percent of Colorado's big game hunters applied for their big game license over the Internet in 2004.

Customers are reminded that by applying over the Internet they are much less likely to make an error that would have their application voided. The Internet application has been updated and will accept four hunt codes per application in 2005. Youth and military personnel will also be available to apply on line in 2005.

Those who do choose to use the convenience of the Internet to apply are asked to complete their application sometime before the April 5 deadline to help avoid computer problems at the last minute.

Hunters are reminded they must meet the Colorado resident criteria before applying for a resident license. The residency qualifications can be found on page two of the 2004 Big Game Brochure. Hunters who do not follow the regulations or those that are looking to pay less expensive resident fees should be aware that they may face charges for doing so.

There are several other new regulations that hunters should be aware of in 2005, including some important changes to the bear hunting regulations.

  

Sandhill Cranes paying annual visit to San Luis Valley

By Joe Lewandowski

Colorado Division of Wildlife

The elegant Sandhill Cranes are now arriving in the San Luis Valley on their spring migration, displaying one of nature's great annual rites of passage. The cranes usually leave by the end of March.

This weekend is traditionally the time when the cranes start arriving en masse, according to officials from the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The cranes will continue to pass through the area for the next two weeks.

To celebrate the arrival, volunteers put on the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival. It starts Friday and continues through Sunday. Events include tours to see the cranes in the Monte Vista National Wildlife refuge, workshops, raptor tours, educational displays and banquets.

Morning tours will start at 6 a.m. all three days. Evening tours start at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For information about the festival and to register for events, go to www.cranefest.com, or call (719) 852-3552. Festival headquarters are located at the Ski- Hi Recreation Building on Sherman Avenue just east of downtown Monte Vista.

If you can't go this weekend, you can still visit the refuge on your own during the next two to three weeks to see the cranes. At the peak migration, more than 20,000 cranes will land throughout the area for their short stay. The big birds, which stand 4 feet tall and have a wingspan of 6 feet, stop in the San Luis Valley on their travels from their winter home in Mexico to their summer home in southeastern Idaho.

Call the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for information, (719)589-4021. The refuge is located six miles south of Monte Vista on Colo. 15.

  

Isgar sponsored bill would hike resident hunt-fish fees

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is supporting legislation that would further protect the state's wildlife resource.

House Bill 05-1266, sponsored by Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Joe Stengel would raise resident hunting and fishing license fees for the first time since 1992. It would also create a fund to protect vital wildlife habitat and help fund public education efforts regarding wildlife management in the state.

The bill was drafted by sportsmen's organizations, conservationists, and members of the public. Concepts were developed and debated during local, regional and statewide Sportsmen's Advisory Group (SAG) meetings.

Background

Colorado's wildlife needs help. Rapid human population growth, emerging wildlife diseases, and inflation all pose new challenges which must be managed properly to minimize negative impacts on wildlife.

When a lack of regulation nearly wiped out many of Colorado's fish and game species in the late 1890s, it was sportsmen who responded and urged the creation of the Colorado Game and Fish Department. Since that time, sportsmen and sportswomen have led the charge to protect Colorado's wildlife resource.

Sportsmen's groups from across Colorado have again come together. This time sportsmen met to develop a three-pronged plan to address growing challenges facing the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Without this approach, services provided by the DOW may have to be reduced or eliminated. Beyond cuts to existing programs, many future plans are jeopardized without a solid solution like the one being proposed.

In 2001, hundreds of people from around Colorado came together to help develop a blueprint for the future of the state's wildlife and the DOW. The Colorado Division of Wildlife 2002-2007 Strategic Plan was officially adopted by the Colorado Wildlife Commission Jan. 11, 2002.

That plan includes such important goals as: researching and eliminating diseases, protecting deer and elk habitat, increasing hunter satisfaction through customer service, protecting fish habitats, increasing the number of healthy stocked fish, and expanding the number of Colorado school students who learn about wildlife issues.

Without changes in funding for the DOW, progress on many of these issues could be halted by rising costs associated with day-to-day expenses such as utilities, fleet maintenance, and health insurance.

To develop a financial solution, the DOW contacted sporting groups, outdoor organizations, conservationists and other interested members of the public. They were asked to select representatives to serve on a statewide Sportsmen's Advisory Group. Four SAGs were created so that meetings would draw participants from all reaches of Colorado. SAG meetings were widely attended by sportsmen and were always open to the public. The regional SAGs met several times to forwarded recommendations and provide feedback to the statewide Sportsmen's Advisory Group.

That constant dialogue led to the concepts set forth in legislation under consideration by the Colorado General Assembly. The bill's final text was reviewed at a statewide SAG meeting held in Buena Vista Nov. 13, 2004.

Along with many individual Coloradans, representatives of the following organizations attended regional or statewide SAG meetings:

Colorado Wildlife Federation, Colorado Trout Unlimited, Colorado Mule Deer Assn., Wild Turkey Federation, Colorado Anglers Coalition, Colorado Bowhunters Assn., Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society, Colorado Walleye Assn., Colorado Sportsmen's Wildlife Fund, Colorado Outfitters Assn., Mule Deer Foundation, Colorado Muskies Inc., Eagle Claw, International Order of Rocky Mountain Goat, Bear's Ears Sportsmen's Club, Colorado BASS Federation, Western Colorado Sportsmen's Council, Firearms Coalition of Colorado, Colorado Traditional Archers Society, Colorado Shooting Sports Association, Colorado Hawking Club, Adventure Travel Society, and SCI - First For Hunters.

SAG members held lengthy, sometimes heated discussions about the best way to address Colorado's wildlife challenges. Not all members agreed on every element of the solution, but they worked through issues to come up with a wide-ranging, comprehensive solution that breaks down into three key provisions. Legislation, if approved, would take effect in 2006 and would:

- increase select hunting and fishing license fees;

- create the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp; and

- establish a 75-cent surcharge to fund the Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council.

 

High Country Reflections
There's more to life in the mountains than citylike behavior

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

We lead such harried lives.

Even here in this small town, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, we rush around as though our very essence depends on some preordained schedule. We eat poorly and drive fast, often assuming perilous risks, all in the interest of "getting there" ahead of someone or something. Working long hours, we find little time for family and friends, quiet or calm. Weekends, holidays, and vacations have become marathons, rather than periods of rejuvenation. With noise and commotion constant, and stress ever present, near total fatigue seems the common complaint.

Meanwhile, the innate beauty of our physical surroundings, and the extraordinary ecological events routinely unfolding before us, are often overlooked or taken for granted. We look upon weather fronts as wearisome annoyances, and not the true spectacles of nature that they are. Sunrises and sunsets, along with the cycles of the moon, may capture us but briefly, then slip into the subliminal, all too quickly forgotten. Days and nights pass. The seasons come and go, and we struggle to maintain balance between a society always demanding more, and an environment that nurtures us spiritually and emotionally.

We are infatuated with time. We wear watches, carry cell phones, stare at computers, and overindulge in radio and television, all of which constantly tell us the time. During the space between engagements, we frequently "kill" time, and when a particular affair ends in disappointment, it is at once considered a waste of time. Our busy lives revolve around time, and we're always alarmed with how fast it flies, as though there is never enough in the course of a day.

Only when we immerse ourselves in wilderness is the passage of time ostensibly slower and more deliberate. If we can fully appreciate a spectacular vista, the lushness of a deep green forest, or the great silence over an ancient gorge, calm and simplicity become the norms, and precious time is never something to kill or waste.

Our son, Tim, was married last November, and on our way to attend the momentous event, we spent a night on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. As always, there were other sightseers at each of the vantage points we visited, but crowds are reasonably small that time of year, and our timing was such that we managed to behold the better part of a rare and beautiful sunset. There before us, as varietal layers of gold, orange, and red slowly gave way to endless shades of violet and lavender, all stood in silent reverence, with only the song of the wind wafting through nearby junipers.

The next morning, in the half-light before sunrise, we dashed to the nearest overlook in hope of witnessing a similar scene. But there, crowded against a railing at the outermost viewpoint, nearly a hundred foreign exchange students, all in uniform, were talking aloud and laughing, apparently oblivious to the unparalleled grandeur that lay before them.

The students stayed just long enough to gather a few group photos, then hurried aboard some buses for the next leg of their journey. I felt for them as they departed, thinking how few could have savored what they actually came to see, so far from home. Today, each doubtless boasts of having been to the Grand Canyon, but almost certainly, none has ever truly experienced it.

For reasons that now seem unknown, Jackie and I moved to the city for a few years, where beneficial vocational growth, and valuable time with family and friends, made the move largely worthwhile. We even found the cultural and climatic changes exciting at first, but it wasn't long before throngs of people, continuous noise, and the interminable traffic stifled us beyond tolerance. We felt drained of silence and serenity, and knew that if we were ever to achieve total gratification, we must return to the majesty and comparative quietude of the Rocky Mountains.

Of course, with our arrival here, quality of life has been restored. It's true, our collective income is less than that of the city and living expenses are somewhat higher, but the air is fresh and clean, and the alluring landscape, with its vast array of alpine summits, sprawling green forests, and crystalline trout streams, is unrivaled by any burgeoning metropolis in the world. Here, there is room to breathe, and with minimal effort, solitude is still attainable by those who seek it.

In this distant corner of the southern Rockies, there is more to living than simply generating an income. Naturally, we are still part of the modern world, and to survive here, as anywhere, one must manage financially. But in these mountains, sufficiently removed from city life, where the frenetic rush to accumulate material wealth seems directly related to self fulfillment, I measure prosperity in other terms.

For the past two years Jackie and I have lived on a small commercial property a few miles from town, and as the owners have gone south for the winter seasons, we have cared for their quaint country home on the banks of a small river.

It is not an isolated parcel, and two or three neighboring homes are within a few hundreds yards of it. But the house rests at the base of a steep heavily-forested slope, and is literally inundated with towering spruce trees. Wildlife abounds, and surrounding views include the river, nearby hay meadows, thick conifer forests, and distant snow-covered mountains. The air is cool and fresh, and on clear nights the ebony sky is crowded with countless bright and twinkling points of light.

As wonderful as the property is, its greatest qualities are peace and quiet. Most of the year highway traffic is minimal, and only singing birds and croaking ravens compete with the gentle sounds of a flowing of the river. There is perpetual calm, and whether I am sitting outside, or walking the lane, whenever I am there, I'm always in harmony with the ancient rhythms of this mountain environment.

In this valley, where nearly everywhere is only 10 minutes away, rushing anywhere seems pointless. Wouldn't you agree?

Letters
School cited

Dear Editor:

We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Pagosa Springs High School, Principal Bill Esterbrook and David Hamilton, athletics director, for their efforts on Feb. 19 recognizing and celebrating the golden anniversary of our 1955 PHS boys basketball team.

It was a thrill and an honor to be together again with our teammates and coach on the home court of PHS in front of a marvelous crowd.

Thank You,

M. Archuleta, H. Catchpole, L. Cox, C. Erdman, B. Lynch, V. Montano and T. Gribben, coach

 Bush's hidden tax

Dear Editor:

President Bush wants to privatize Social Security.

He wants us to load our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars of debt.

Young folks take notice: According to the initial Bush plan, your privatized Social Security is actually a government loan to be repaid upon your retirement at three percent interest. This sounds like a huge balloon tax payment just as you want to retire.

The Bush plan borrows trillions, slashes benefits, and creates a huge debt for our children.

Bush calls it privatization, I call it a hidden tax.

Dan Lavielle

Seattle, Wash.

 Squelch screech

Dear Editor:

I thank publicly the county road crews for working long hours on given-up days off, eating bologna (baloney?) sandwiches in the cab of a motor-grader instead of Sunday dinner with the family.

All to squelch the rough road screeches heard 'round the county.' "Progress gone to Potholes."

Now, let's get the county bosses (blame the new ones? or the gone good 'ole boys?) to fess up to causing the soft ground and this horrible mud. Didn't they use our hard-earned money for cloud seeding?

If they agree to free all private roads of ruts as well, we can put away the tar and feathers for now. Give that some thought as you watch the water run out of your garden hose this summer.

Are you thinking more county roads should be covered with pavement? Do you think elk are trespassing on your property? Have you fled in fear from a domestic cow (slow elk) with your neighbor's prize petunia in its mouth? Do you love "Pagosa Country" but are overcome with visions of sugarplums? Maybe you moved a little far West; or East.

Regardless of their efforts on your roads, if March is moist, I suggest you get your fill of coffee before you begin your drive.

Dennis Schutz

Chromo

 Fluoride response

Dear Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to challenge certain statements made by the Pagosa Springs Clean Water Advocates in their ad, "You be the judge Š"

The advocates characterize fluorine as a very bad substance derived from toxic waste, and "only slightly less poisonous than arsenic."

Although sodium fluorosilicate is indeed a by-product of phosphate fertilizer manufacture, that is irrelevant to its use in water fluoridation, as long as the product meets applicable requirements for purity.

As a chemical, fluorine is very similar to the better known elements: chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all of which contribute to maintaining healthy populations in developed nations. The human requirement for ordinary salt (sodium chloride) is legendary. Today it is sold as iodized salt, because iodine deficiency causes goiters and mental deficiency. Chlorine is widely used to destroy pathogens in public water supplies and swimming pools; bromine is also used to treat swimming pools. Hence, far from being a rogue element, fluorine belongs to a group of elements essential to life.

Fluorine is in no way chemically related to arsenic. To state that "fluorine is slightly less poisonous than arsenic" is an extreme exaggeration. EPA standards allow a fluoride concentration of four parts per million; that is, one ounce of fluoride per 1,875 gallons of water. The current maximum allowable concentration of arsenic is 50 parts per billion, or one ounce of arsenic per 2,400,000 gallons of water. Moreover, many believe that EPA should reduce the allowable level of arsenic to 0.5 ppb, or one ounce of arsenic per 240,000,000 gallons of water. Incidentally, EPA standards allow identical concentrations of fluorine and chlorine in drinking ( 4 ppm).

The advocates claim "More than 60,000 worldwide studies link fluoride intake to serious health problems Š". Since the results of scholarly studies are accepted by the scientific community only after they have been competently reviewed and published in a reputable journal, we might expect 60,000 studies would have produced a large number of published papers. Using the resources of the University of Texas Online Library (Medline) I retrieved articles published after 1984 that contained the word fluoridation, with a focus on adverse effects.

Instead of the several thousand papers one might expect from 60,000 valid studies, I found only 137, including a fair number of duplications, brief comments and letters. With the exception of two papers written by Japanese investigators, those papers all concluded that no relationship could be established between fluoridation of drinking water and the following medical conditions: cancer, hip fractures, aortic sclerosis, osteoporotic fracture, osteosarcoma, compromised immunity, allergies, congenital abnormalities, sudden infant death syndrome, Down's syndrome, and stillbirth. To check those results I did another search on Alzheimer's Disease, with a focus on chemcial causes. That search turned up 124 papers, only one of which casually mentioned fluorine.

So, you be the judge, but in doing so take the advocates' statements with a grain of salt.

Gene Wissler

Community News
Benefit dance for Cody Snow set March 11

A benefit dance will be held Friday, March 11 to raise funds to help defray medical costs incurred by the family of a local youngster, Cody Snow, 11.

Cody, the son of Jene and Shonna Snow has lost hearing in his right ear and is in imminent danger of losing hearing in his left ear. Cody has had one surgery to date and faces as many as three or four more surgical procedures as part of an attempt to restore his hearing.

The dance will be 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at Dorothy's Restaurant in the Pagosa Plaza. The band will be CC Swing, providing country western music for the event.

There is a $5 cover charge with proceeds to assist the family.

  

An answered prayer brings free dinners at Frankie's Place

A tradition founded in the Middle Ages in drought depressed Sicily was reborn in Pagosa Springs last year and will continue March 19.

St. Joseph's Day was created to provide food to the hungry multitudes who could not grow crops during the drought.

In desperation, the people of Sicily asked St. Joseph, their patron, to intervene.

They promised, if rain came, they would prepare a big feast in his honor. The tradition says these prayers were answered with rainy weather.

In gratitude, huge banquet tables were set up in public and poor people were invited to come and eat as much as they wanted. Today, special foods, linens, flowers and statuary adorn the St. Joseph's Altar which is built with three steps representing the Holy Trinity.

In many Italian villages, especially in Sicily, everyone of any means contributes to a table spread in the public square as an offering for favors received from prayers to this kindly saint.

The bread made for this day is often shaped like a scepter or a beard; villagers representing Jesus, Mary and Joseph are guests of honor at the feast and other guests are the orphans, widows or beggars.

Although all kinds of lentils and dried beans are eaten on Saint Joseph's feast, cheese, usually a popular a part of the Italian diet, is not served; instead of grated Parmesan, the minestrone is served with dry toasted bread crumbs.

Generosity marks this day, as it did the character of Joseph himself. In many nations it's a day of sharing with the poor and needy, a tradition now being kept alive at Frankie's.

On the celebration day, March 19, food traditional to the occasion will be served free to all comers ,11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the restaurant at 2nd and Pagosa streets.

Frankie's Place offers Pagosa the tradition free, just as was the original. Last year, the restaurant served over 450 on the special day.

 

Pumas (sculpture) await painting by community artists

By Sabine Baeckmann-Elge

Special to The PREVIEW

It was an amazing sight at Ponderosa Do-It-Best's parking lot early Thursday, March 3.

The tractor trailer that had been quietly over-nighting in the parking lot opened its back doors to reveal four very large, white pumas, eager and waiting to pounce on our quiet community - or maybe they just needed to be helped down with a forklift.

Actually, the much anticipated arrival of these incredible creatures marks the beginning of what will be a marvelous, exciting and creative journey for four artists from Pagosa Springs, as well as 24 other artists from the surrounding area.

These beautiful beasts, you see, are actually replica sculptures cast from an original, larger-than-lifesize bronze sculpture by the Colorado sculptress Rosetta. The replicas were brought to the studios of Kathleen Steventon, Paula Bain, Judy Scholfield, and myself We are participating in the San Juan Mountains Association's Pumas on Parade.

This public art/ environmental education project will use the public display of painted (or otherwise decorated, adorned) fiberglass-like mountain lion sculptures to showcase the work of the artists while highlighting the importance of careful stewardship of our vulnerable public lands. The project is also designed to enhance community development and build strategic partnerships among artists, businesses, and communities.

Why pumas? The form of the mountain lion was chosen for its aesthetic presentation and its controversial interpretation. As inhabitants of our public lands pumas attract hunters and naturalists alike. Enshrouded in a world of controversy, the lions beautifully symbolize the grace of nature while also highlighting the challenges of the human/wildlife interface.

So, in keeping with the precedent set by other cities, this project has been modified to suit the particular focus of the San Juan Mountains Association by featuring the puma.

Since the mission of the San Juan Mountains Association is to enhance personal and community stewardship of natural, cultural and heritage resources through interpretation, information, education and participation, two mounted plaques will accompany each lion. One will contain educational facts about mountain lions’ natural history, Forest Service management of their habitat and about San Juan Mountains Association.

Each lion will display different facts. Thus, traveling from community to community to view all of them will be like reading progressive chapters of a book. The second sign will include the artist's name, the specific art media used and the name of the business sponsor.

In short, SJMA sees this as a perfect opportunity to utilize the medium of art in educating the public about the many aspects of forest management, stewardship, mountain lions, and about the rural/urban interface zones in which we live.

Everybody loves a parade, so the finished pumas will debut July 4 in the Durango Independence Day Parade. After the parade, the pumas will be placed on display for three months each in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Mancos, Dolores and Cortez, creating the effect of a trail along the U.S. 160 corridor.

In mid-October, the pumas will once again be gathered together so school groups and the public can view them in one place (location information to come). A naturalist on the premises will talk about the project and lead activities that teach about real mountain lions, the Forest Service and the importance of public land stewardship. To promote art education, the artists will discuss their designs and artistic process with the children.

A gala event Nov. 12 will be held in Durango to auction the sculptures not previously purchased through business sponsorship. It will be a gala to remember. Watch for more information on this event.

SJMA invites your participation in this event through sponsorship of an individual sculpture, or by volunteering for one of the many events.

Contact Felicity Broennen at SJMA at 385-1256 for more information.

  

Community band's first

rehearsal scheduled Monday

By Bob Nordmann

Special to The PREVIEW

A few weeks ago we reported that a group of local musicians was in the process of forming a community band. Their goal is to provide an opportunity for instrumentalists to perform in a large ensemble and to provide a variety of musical entertainment for the community.

So far, over 20 people have expressed interest in joining the band. At a recent kick-off meeting, several organizational details were decided. Larry Elginer, a retired high school band teacher, agreed to be the principal conductor, but one or more alternate conductors will also be sought.

The band's first rehearsal is scheduled 7-9 p.m. Monday, March 14, in the junior high school band room. Subsequent rehearsals will be held the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the same time and place.

Although the details have yet to be worked out, the group is targeting the Fourth of July for its inaugural performance.

If the thought of picking up your instrument again and making music with others sounds like fun, come to the first rehearsal. Instrumentalists of all ages are welcome.

If you have any questions about joining the group, contact Tim Bristow at 731-1280.

  

Grace Evangelical sets Easter service with Dallas theologian

Grace Evangelical Free Church will welcome Dr. Timothy Ralston, chair of the Pastoral Ministries Department at Dallas Theological Seminary, 10 a.m. March 20.

Ralston will be sharing a message from God's Word entitled "The Return of the King" at Grace's Palm Sunday service in the community center.

Ralston currently teaches courses on preaching and leading the church in worship to students preparing for full time vocational ministry. He is a scholar with a pastor's heart, having served as pastor in Ontario, Canada, and as director of adult education in Dallas.

He is an active member in a number of professional societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Evangelical Theological Society, North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Evangelical Homiletics Society.

Grace Pastor Jeff Daley studied under Ralston during his time in Dallas. "Dr. Ralston is an outstanding scholar in the history of Christian worship. He has the ability to weave history, theology and practical application together in a way that is inspirational and easy to understand. I am thrilled to have him share his passion with believers in Pagosa," said Pastor Daley.

Prior to Palm Sunday, Ralston will be lecturing March 15 on the importance of having a theologically informed ministry of music in the local church. There will be a time of questions and answers immediately following his presentation.

Tuesday night's lecture will be 7 p.m. in the community center, 451 Hot Springs Boulevard. All are welcome to attend.

  

Meditation the topic at Unitarian service

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a special meditation service Sunday, led by Marianne Calvanese, a naturopathic physician, hypnobabies childbirth educator, wife and mother of three children.

She will first lead a guided relaxation for the body and mind. She points out that "when we are deeply relaxed we are able to experience the stillness within." She will then teach the "heart" meditation, which "opens the heart and allows the heart's qualities to melt old patterns of thoughts and emotions that obscure this inner peace."

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

  

Campfires and Carnegie Hall - Tim Sullivan

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

If you spend any time around cowboy dances, campfires or at the Parelli's in the summer, you've probably crossed paths with Pagosa Springs' most beloved cowboy singer. With a black hat, a lonesome yodel and a guitar, Tim Sullivan can make you forget you ever had a city job.

But if New York City and Carnegie Hall are more your style, well, you might meet Sullivan there too.

Sullivan is a true cowboy in that he's not one to brag. After an hour of conversation you might find out that he has played on stage with Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Tammy Wynette and Alan Jackson. Or he might let slip that last year he played 219 shows all over the United States, and he may or may not tell you that he wrote the theme song, "Cowboy Up," for the Boston Red Sox 2003 season.

"I was five outs short of getting to perform it at the World Series," Sullivan says with a moan.

In May, this modest cowboy singer is on his way to Carnegie Hall where he will perform with five of his brothers and sisters and his mother, Elizabeth, before about a thousand people. The group is called the Sullivan Family and this May will mark their third performance at the world-famous concert hall in New York City.

In addition, The Today Show arrived in Durango last week to film Sullivan and his sister, Heather, as they performed in the Stater Hotel. The Today Show is traveling all over the country to catch up with the seven members of the Sullivan Family to feature them on the show prior to their May 22 concert at Carnegie Hall.

So for all of the Pagosa folk who thought Sullivan just plays Johnny Cash tunes consider this: entertainment writer John Hoagland said in Backstage Magazine that Sullivan is "one of those titan talents disguised as a good old boy."

Sullivan is the fifth of eight children raised in Boggy Depot, Oklahoma, population 70 - a town that still does not have a stop sign. Sullivan began singing, at age 6, in gospel concerts at churches in several states and Mexico. At the time there were nine people on the stage - eight children and Elizabeth Sullivan, their mother, who will turn 74 years old on May 22 , the day the family performs at in Carnegie Hall.

Today, four of the eight Sullivan children are full-time, professional singers. Another of the Sullivan brothers is a doctor, but still sings with the group whenever they perform. One sister-in-law and the elder Mrs. Sullivan round out the group.

"All of the singers are so good you can't believe it," Sullivan says as though he weren't one of them. "Everyone is so good it just rips your heart out. Plus, my sisters are drop dead gorgeous."

Growing up, Sullivan said, his house was filled with music. The family didn't have a lot of money but every extra dime they had went for vocal, guitar and piano lessons for the eight children. All of them were classically trained by their mother and had to graduate through her before earning formal music lessons.

Sullivan is the only one in his family who followed the folk/country path. He loves James Taylor and Willie Nelson and even has a song where he lists, by name, almost without taking a breath, 100 of his musical influences. The song is called "My Best Friends" and is on his upcoming album entitled "The Road to Paradise," which is due out this summer.

Two of Sullivan's sisters, KT and Stacy, are Broadway and stage actresses and singers in New York and Los Angeles. KT Sullivan is a New York Cabaret superstar. Heather, another sister in Los Angeles, is a pop singer, whose work can be heard on the Sopranos and who has been short-listed for an Emmy on Days of Our Lives. Their fame in New York City opened the door to the Carnegie Hall.

But Sullivan is a happy country/folk singer who lives in Durango and travels to places like Steamboat and Pagosa Springs to work. He jokes that his sisters are far more famous than he is because of that choice.

"I don't play all over the world because I play country music," he said. "Country's not very big in Paris."

Sullivan said country music just speaks to him and, while he is best known locally for playing everything country from Marty Robbins to Robert Earl Keen, in his shows he usually plays all his own material. He said his songwriting is a result of the feelings that bubble up in everyday life, like joy or melancholy or frustration. Sullivan has even written and routinely performs a one-man show entitled "Diary of a Songwriter." Through the play Sullivan just wants to make clear his desire to play music and make it his life. And by the way, in January, he performed "Diary of a Songwriter" off-Broadway.

A Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for the Wall Street Journal showed up at the Carnegie Hall show last year and was so impressed with the Sullivan Family's performance, he wrote a front, editorial page story on it. He called the performance "a compact case study in minor musical genius."

Sullivan is flattered as anyone would be with that sort of recognition, but the important thing to him is just getting to play for people.

"I love all of it," he said.

"I love to play and sing. If somebody will listen to me sing a song I have written, it makes me happy. I don't care if it's 20 people around a campfire at the Parelli's or 1,000 people at Carnegie Hall. It makes me equally happy."

Sullivan will play for Pagosa Springs every Wednesday at Montezuma Vineyards at 8 p.m. He will play an additional show there Friday, March 18.

For more information about Sullivan visit www. diaryofasongwriter.com.

  

Community center is becoming area's activities haven

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The community center is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition (PSPFC) and managed by the town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community.

Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a nominal charge to rent a room and monies collected pay for the utility bills and other operating costs.

Have your party or meeting at the center. We have rooms for small, midsize and large groups.

A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, portable stage, dance floor and audio visual equipment are available as well.

We also provide some services and programs for the public like the free use of the computer lab with high speed Internet access, Patriotic Sing-A-Long - a prelude to July 4 celebration - Volunteer Appreciation and Potluck Night, the Kids' Halloween and Christmas parties. It is a wonderful facility, open to the public - no membership required except for computer use.

Mark your calendar for April 22 and 23 when the center sponsors a pre-spring rummage sale.

Clean out cupboards and closets and put things in order. Then rent one or more tables at $15 per table for both days and make a few dollars from stuff you don't need or want while providing others with useful items. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

Also, watch for The Springs Art and Crafts Show 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 28. The community center invites all artists and artisans to display their handcrafted items for sale. Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds will benefit center programs offered to the community. Call to reserve your spot.

What's happening at the center?

Last week we had 4-H Clover Buds, the toddlers and kids play group, Planned Parenthood GUS ("Growing Up Smart" program), Wednesday Ladies Bridge group, adult men's open basketball, high school girls from the San Luis Valley here for basketball practice, AARP tax aid, an Archuleta County Road and Bridge meeting about "Call Before You Dig," an assessor's training class, Pagosa Clean Water Advocates meeting and a Beauticontrol Seminar. We also have four different church groups that use the center on a regular basis.

It is a delight to see 4-H Clover Buds, children ages 5-7, working on sea creatures. I sure know if it is Friday. They also tried to eat seaweed soup prepared by their teacher, Lisa Scott. Some kids liked it, some just shook their heads and said, "yaaak." The kids had fun making egg boats out of hard boiled eggs.

The toddlers and kids play group is another hoot. A dozen of them seemed to fill the multipurpose room with their nonstop running around and playing, which gave moms a chance to chit chat with other moms.

The GUS program for fifth- and sixth-graders sponsored by the Pagosa Unitarian Fellowship and Planned Parenthood is becoming popular. This program is fun and answers questions about growing up and understanding yourself, your body and those around you. They also talk about healthy relationships, peer pressure, decision making and lots of other important stuff.

We do have adult groups sharing the facility. The Wednesday Ladies Bridge Group is one of our regulars. Once in a while I check into their room to make sure everything is okay, but the truth is I just want to have some of their treats.

Have you submitted your income tax return or are you still procrastinating? Time flies and before you know it April 15 will be around the corner. Need help? Sign-up for free tax aid here at the community center (Senior Center table) and qualified AARP volunteers will help you.

All work and no play isn't fun. So, I admire the group of men who meet Friday at noon to play basketball. I believe they all work but they manage to take some time off to play, have fun and be healthy.

Here's a list of happenings this week at the center, from today to the next Thursday.

Today - Watercolor workshop, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.; AARP tax aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.; Softball parents' meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 11 - Watercolor workshop, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Friends of Community Center meeting, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; adult men's open basketball. 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sunday, March 13 - Church of Christ Sunday Service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church Service, 2-4 p.m.

Monday, March 14 - Seniors Bridge group, 12:30-4 p.m.; The GUS program, 3:30-5 p.m.; kids tee-ball clinic, 4-6 p.m.; Loma Linda Homeowners meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, March 15 - Kids tee-ball clinic, 4-6 p.m.; 4-Wheel Drive Club meeting, 6-9 p.m.; digital photography class, 6-10 p.m.

Wednesday, March 16 - Watercolor workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; toddlers and kids Play group, 10 a.m.-noon; Ladies Bridge group, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; PSPFC board meeting, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; kids tee-ball clinic, 4-6 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible Study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, March 17 - Oil painting workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; AARP tax aid, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; kids tee-ball clinic, 4-6; p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

The gym is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events.

Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about it.

  

Red Cross forming local Disaster Action Team

By Edie Corwin

Special to THE PREVIEW

A Pagosa Springs family stands in the street, feeling horrified while at the same time feeling lost and alone as they watch local firefighters try to squelch the flames that are destroying their home. What will they do? They have nothing. Their relatives live elsewhere. They have no clothes, money or food. Everything they know and love is burning before their very eyes. It is cold and dark. The only heat or light is from the flames that are consuming their first and only home and all of their most precious belongings and memories.

The family is unaware that, behind the scenes, Central Dispatch in Pagosa Springs has sent out a page to the Southwestern Chapter of the American Red Cross in Durango. Members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team - the DAT Team - are on call and do not hesitate for a second as they prepare to make the hour-long drive to Pagosa Springs. Upon arrival, they meet with the family and assess their needs, not only for clothes and a warm place to sleep, but also for food, medical and other needs. They will give the family enough vouchers for food, clothing and shelter for three days so the family can begin to assess what they will need to begin the task of getting back on their feet.

This scenario has happened for years. Time and time again the Durango chapter of Red Cross volunteers have selflessly come to the rescue of residents outside their own area. In fact, the chapter has been given the responsibility of handling not only La Plata County where they reside, but the five surrounding Colorado counties as well.

And yet, they are taken for granted. Few know who responds and how people get help in the event of a disaster. The volunteers respond, then they go silently home, hardly ever being acknowledged for the crucial services they provide. Until now. Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County say "Thank you Red Cross!" and acknowledge it is time to get involved and show support through volunteering and monetary donations to the Southwestern chapter.

With the guidance and direction of LeeAnn Vallejos, executive director of the Southwestern Chapter, Archuleta County is now forming its own DAT Team. Vallejos started an advisory board of local citizens and that board has continued to grow from month to month. The advisory board includes, among others, Edie Corwin, Mary Jo Coulehan, Gene Crabtree, Kathi DeClark, Frank Elge, Gloria Haines, Mercy Korsgren, Kathy Saley and Robbie Schwartz. Corwin is on the board of directors for the Southwestern Chapter and Elge is a nominee to represent Archuleta County as well. The chapter board of directors meets monthly in Durango.

The advisory board now meets weekly at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. as members prepare to have the DAT Team ready to respond to single event disasters by May 1. In its next phase, the advisory board will focus on the processes necessary to respond to mass care disasters such as wildfires and floods, as well as fund-raising efforts to support the Southwestern Colorado Chapter's efforts.

There have been two DAT Team trainings thus far. The first was an all-day training to provide an overview of the services the DAT Team will provide The second training was in the evening, with hands-on role playing training to get the team used to the "what ifs." There will be other trainings in Pagosa Springs and Durango as more people become interested in participating. Future trainings will be announced in The SUN.

Thank you Red Cross, to the Archuleta County Red Cross Advisory Board and other local citizens who have already shown their interest - Sharon Fairchild, Lou Haines, Greg Oertel, Jeshua Thomas and Kevin Torrez.

If you would like to make a donation to the American Red Cross or volunteer as a DAT Team member or in any other capacity, call Vallejos at (970)259-5383 or send correspondence to P.O. Box 2552, Durango, CO 81301.

 

Local Chatter

Just who is Pierre Mion?

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

This is great news. Thanks to the generosity of the Humane Society Thrift Store the Ruby Sisson Library can open a mini-library in the lower level of the store. Please watch The SUN and PREVIEW for information of an official opening date and time.

A Chatter profile

Pierre Mion will have the program at the next civic club meeting, 1:30 p.m. March 17 at Community United Methodist Church.

He will talk about the trip he and his wife, Sandy, made rafting the Colorado River in Grand Canyon and will show slides. Visitors are always invited to attend civic club meetings but this one would especially appeal to outdoor people and photography buffs.

The Mions have been here since April 1996. There were on their honeymoon, headed toward Montana, where they thought they might settle.

They didn't make it. Their motorcycle broke down in Durango and, while waiting for it to be fixed, they discovered Pagosa Springs, liked the people and have been here ever since.

Pierre hadn't been here long before he was involved in the community and this he has been ever since. But professionally he is an artist. His subjects have included western landscapes; farm scenes, old buildings and houses; street scenes; boat, water and seashore scenes; people; portraits and animals in all media.

Most important is that Pierre is a recognized free-lance illustrator for National Geographic magazine, having completed over 60 assignments for them. He was still doing assignments when he moved to Pagosa Springs.

Two illustrations National Geographic readers might remember are the double-page painting of the Titanic (Dec. 1986 issue) and the double-page painting of the astronauts (Sept. 1973 issue).

He was best known for his outer space painting and worked with many important people, Jacques Cousteau, Carl Sagan, Werner von Braun, Isaac Asimov and even Norman Rockwell. The list goes on and on. And on top of all this he was the National Sports Car Champion in 1959 and 1961 and Regional champion in 1962, 1963 and 1964.

These days Pierre teaches watercolor classes and paints. He's a most interesting person with a more than average background, wouldn't you agree?

Senior News

Cons prey on seniors; know the tactics, avoid the trouble

By Laura Bedard

SUN Columnist

Why do cons target seniors?

Accessibility - being retired or suffering from physical limitations, seniors are the group of people most likely to be at home to receive a telemarketer's call or a visit from a door to door sales person. Con men prey on vulnerability and loneliness. They may spend hours talking to potential victims. At first, they try to secure a small contribution and establish some sort of trusting relationship with an elderly person. They may even seek to substitute their guidance in place of family members.

Isolation - isolation is an increasingly sad fact of life for seniors. Loneliness can sometimes cause them to reach out to telemarketers for company, and thus lay the groundwork for being conned. Furthermore, seniors may not have regular contact with relatives and friends with whom they discuss investment schemes or financial affairs. They often have no one they can entrust to double check their financial affairs.

Money - cons target seniors because they believe seniors have a ready and large supply of money from their life's savings or they have valuable property. Investment schemes may appear particularly tempting to seniors because they are frequently on a fixed income but would like to make more money for their future security.

AARP ElderWatch is here to help. Call them Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4p.m. They will listen. 1-800-222-4444.

Robert Dobbins gave a presentation about Australia March 4 that was well attended.

Robert is a member of 4-H International, which gives kids a wonderful opportunity to learn about other people and cultures, and our seniors enjoyed it too. Thanks Robert, for your talk!

The Southwest Center for Independence will be putting on a book exchange at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center 11 a.m. March 16, along with their monthly "White Cane Society" support group meeting. If you have a talking book you've finished, you can exchange it for a new one. Questions? Call Gail at 259-1672.

Great food news

Thanks to Seniors, Inc., and in cooperation with our county kitchen, we have a salad bar ordered. We are hoping this wonderful addition to our meal options will be coming in soon. Fortunately, it won't add to your cost, which is a very reasonable $2.50 suggested donation for folks 60 or older, and $4.50 for the kids under 60 and over 12. We'll let you know as soon as it comes in.

Screening

Screening for osteoporosis prevents hip fractures in older adults

Using bone density scans to screen for osteoporosis is a procedure recommended for those at risk of the disease. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have determined that screening for osteoporosis in men and women age 65 and older can prevent a large number of hip fractures.

Researchers examined the records of 3,107 older adults who live in community settings and did not have a previous diagnosis of osteoporosis or hip fracture. About half (1,422) of the study group participants received bone density (DEXA) scans and results were sent to their physicians for action. The remaining participants (1,685) received "usual care." The researchers collected information about hip fractures by using hospital records.

The Johns Hopkins team found a 36 percent reduction in hip fractures over six years for those who had been screened compared with usual medical care. Hip fractures occurred in 33 screened participants and 69 usual-care participants.

"Surprisingly, differences in prescription of vitamin D, calcium, estrogen and biophosphonates (drugs to slow or reduce bone loss) did not account for the entire difference in hip fractures," commented lead investigator Lisa Kern, M.D., M.P.H. The study did not collect information on behavior changes, such as increased physical activity or use of fall-prevention strategies, which might help account for the benefit in people who were screened.

While the reasons for the difference in hip fracture are not clear, the researchers hope that the knowledge of a direct relationship between screening and hip fractures will help guide primary care physicians and organizations that draft clinical guidelines.

Excerpted from the ICAA Newsletter.

For information on where you can get a bone scan, please call the Den at 264-2167

Senior travel newsletter

Go to Cape Cod and New York City - eight days, seven nights for $1310. Dates: Oct. 3-10.

Includes airfare to and from Albuquerque, 14 meals, tours and much more.

If you are interested you must respond promptly, the airline tickets are only being held until Friday! There must be a $100 deposit made by that time for the tickets. This deposit is refundable 100 percent if cancelled by June 30. Questions? Call (970)565-4166 for more details.

We lost our massage therapist at the center, as Penny has relocated to Aspen. Does anyone want to take her place? You need to bring your own table or chair, but you will receive a lot of love, as our seniors truly love this free service. Call 264-2167 for more details, help someone feel better.

Here are the new Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays for 2005. Of particular note is the Part B premium, which will rise $11.60, or more than 17 percent, the largest premium increase in the program's history.

Part B premium: $78.20 per month; Part B deductible: $110; Part A deductible: $912; Co-payment for days 61-90 of a hospital stay: $228 per day; Co-payment for days 91 and beyond: $456 per day; Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $114 per day.

We have Medicare counselors available 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every Monday to answer any questions you may have about Medicare or prescription drug coverage.

The senior board will meet 1 p.m. Friday in the dining room. All seniors are welcome to participate. You can also have your blood pressure checked from 11 a.m.-noon the same day.

Don't forget our trip to Sky Ute Casino March 15. Hopefully you will feel lucky on the Ides of March; get signed up in the dining room.

The White Cane Society Support group meets 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 16. If you or someone you know is visually challenged, come in and check out this group.

On the same day Nathan Trout, one of the physical therapists in town, will presenting "Fall Prevention." Nathan will show you exercises to help you keep your balance, and give you tips on how to keep from falling down. Nathan will be in our lounge at 1 p.m.

Free movie day is March 18, and since everyone loved "Cocoon," we will be showing the sequel, "Cocoon: The Return." Find out what happened to everyone who left Earth for paradise. Check out the movie at 1 p.m. in the lounge, and remember that Seniors, Inc., will be paying for your popcorn!

Events

Friday, March 11 - Qi Gong, 11 a.m.; blood pressure check, 11 a.m.; senior board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, March 14 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; bridge for Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 15 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; basic computer, 10:30; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, March 16 - White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; "Fall Prevention" with Nathan Trout, physical therapist, 1 p.m.

Friday, March 18 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; free movie day: "Cocoon: The Return," 1 p.m.

Menu

Friday, March 11 - Salmon patties, brown rice, mixed vegetables and citrus cup.

Monday, March 14 - Chicken fillets, rice pilaf, carrots, biscuit and apricots.

Tuesday, March 15 - Liver and onions, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, whole wheat roll and fruited Jell-O.

Wednesday, March 16 - Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli cauliflower, strawberry applesauce, whole wheat biscuit.

Friday, March 18 - Roast Beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, dinner roll and cherry cobbler.

 

Veteran's Corner

Many benefits are available

to family at veteran's death

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The death of a loved one is a very difficult time. If the deceased is a veteran there is often a lack of knowledge about what the VA will provide in benefits.

It is important for the family and loved ones to know that, for most VA related death benefits, there is no time limit. Decisions do not need to be made hastily. A DD214 to verify military service is all that is usually required for basic VA death benefits. Most often this office has a file with this document on hand for local veterans.

VA benefits free

Like all VA related benefits, there is never a charge for VA services.

Usually those who are attending to funeral arrangements will arrange for a burial flag and an honor guard. Sometimes they contact the Veterans Service Office for assistance in these matters.

Burial flags

I keep a small supply of burial flags on hand in my office. Application for burial flags is actually handled through the U.S. Postal Service. Generally, I can respond to the need for a flag immediately. That is followed up later with an application to the Postal Service for a replacement to my supply.

Generally speaking all members of the armed forces and honorably discharged veterans are entitled to burial honors, consisting of a minimum of two members of the U.S. Armed Forces, at least one of whom represents the branch of service served by the deceased. Sometimes the honor guard is provided by nearby military bases. At other times local veterans' organizations may provide honor guards.

Memorial certificate

Additionally there is a Memorial Certificate honoring the deceased veteran's service to his country signed by the President of the United States. Multiple copies of this certificate are available for family members and survivors.

A headstone can be ordered for the veteran at any time if the deceased is going to be buried in a private cemetery. If the burial is in a VA or National cemetery a headstone will be provided by that location.

Headstones

There are several types of VA headstones available, in marble, granite and bronze. Inscriptions on VA headstones are uniform in nature, which is determined by the VA application form. Headstones can take from 30 to 90 days or more for delivery. Upright marble headstones weigh several hundred pounds and arrangements for handling should be made in advance of delivery.

Little known is the fact that a surviving spouse can be named on the headstone with the veteran. The spouse's name and date of birth are listed at the time the headstone is ordered for the veteran. Date of death is entered on the headstone at that time by private means.

Basic benefits

These are the basic VA death benefits for deceased veterans who served in the military forces. There are other additional VA benefits for veterans who died in combat or from service-connected disabilities.

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office stands ready to assist families and loved ones with any and all VA benefits when the need arises.

Share-A-Ride

Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride 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 located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, Colorado 81301. Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

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

Library News

Library moving to Pack Rack - for now

By Phyllis Wheaton

PREVIEW Columnist

Groundbreaking in March!

Events are moving along at an incredible speed here at the library and we ask that you check this column weekly for the latest updates on the building project.

"Mini library"

Thanks to the Humane Society Thrift Store, we do have a temporary location to set up your library.

The Humane Society is allowing us to use the lower level of the Pack Rack Thrift Store. Be sure to let them know of your appreciation when you visit the "mini library."

A small collection of materials and limited services will be available to our patrons. The collection will include new books, paperbacks, audio books, children's and young adult fiction, and a very limited selection of nonfiction. Current magazines and newspapers will be available as well.

Patrons can continue to request items that are not available at Sisson Library through the Interlibrary Loan service.

Parking will be limited, so please use street parking when it is available.

Unfortunately, wheel chair access is not available. The staff will do everything we can to accommodate the needs of those who have difficulty accessing this temporary facility. Please call us with your needs. The phone number of the library will remain the same: 264-2209.

Public computers and access to the Internet will not be available.

Currently, Internet service is provided at the Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard, at Wolf Tracks Coffee Company in the Pagosa Country Center and Higher Grounds Coffee on Talisman Drive.

The Sisson Library will be closed while staff and volunteers move the collection from the present building. We plan to open the mini library Monday, March 14. Hours will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. We will remain in the interim location until construction is complete.

Tax forms

We will continue to offer state and federal tax forms at the interim facility. The second part of the notebook of federal forms has arrived, so additional special forms are now available for copying.

Lenore Bright

We all had a wonderful time with Lenore at her retirement party.

Our thanks go to all who attended the festivities and to the many "behind-the-scenes" volunteers. Special thanks go to the Friends of the Library, the Woman's Civic Club, Pagosa Springs High School, the Key Club, Dave Krueger, John Graves and a host of library volunteers. We appreciate contributions from Summer Phillips, the downtown City Market, the Genealogy Society, Pagosa Baking Company and the Plaid Pony.

Volunteers, donations

Thanks to the many volunteers who are helping pack and carry the library. We greatly appreciate your muscle, endurance and good company.

The library received donations of materials from Michael Roberson, Jean Payne, Tom Knudson, Barbara Draper, Jeanne Simpson, Bob Woodson, Janis Nicholls, Jan Koch, Beverly Warburton, Kate Terry and Judy Lynch.

 

Arts Line

Time for The Pretenders

'Evening With The Stars'

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre will present the original play "An Evening With The Stars" a movie awards show parody, 7 p.m. March 10-12 in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for Pagosa Springs Arts Council members, and $3 for children 12 and under.

Tickets can be purchased prior to performance at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co., the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, and Moonlight Books. On nights of performance, tickets will be available at the door.

This show is based on an idea by Susan Garman and was developed with the directors and the cast through brainstorming sessions and improvisation. It will include not only a live cast but also video clips developed with the Pagosa High School broadcast media class, under the guidance of Curtis Maberry. These clips will be shown throughout the performance and will be in competition for the "Movie of the Year" award.

The production is directed by Carol Anderson, Waynette Nell, and Jane Schur with executive director/producer Susan Garman.

Pretenders is a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, is nonprofit and run by volunteers wishing to bring families together with theater.

Calling all artists

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 promoting and encouraging 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 X 11 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.

Attention watercolorists

The PSAC Watercolor Club was formed in the winter of 2003. Since that time Pagosa Watercolorists have met 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The rooms are available to us for the day and we each contribute $5 for the use of the space.

The venue for the day varies with watercolorists getting together to draw and paint.

We sometimes have a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Sometimes a few people bring still lives or photos or just projects they want to complete.

Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 16.

Drawing class

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, March 19. Drawing with Randall Davis begins 9 a.m. and usually finishes around 3 p.m. at the community center.

The subject of learning to draw horses continues this month. If you were unable to attend last month, that's okay, you won't be lost. All subjects, whether people, places, animals or objects, can be explored continually.

If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils - preferably a mid-range No. 2 or No. 3 in a bold lead and in a hard lead - a ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, since you'll be having so much fun you won't want to take the time away from drawing.

Last month's class was at capacity, so it's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.

Oil painter wannabes

There are three oil painting workshops for beginners taught by Betty Slade this spring.

The oil painting workshops will make use of the brush as well as the palette knife and will focus on the color wheel, composition, and painting a landscape and Pagosa Peak. For those taking all three workshops, Betty is available to the students as needed to finish the paintings started during the workshop. Plans are to have a two-week gallery showing this fall to showcase the works painted in the workshop

The workshops are two days each, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the arts and crafts space in the community center.

Cost for a two-day workshop is $90 for non-PSAC members and $80 for PSAC members. A description of the classes follows and a supply list will be supplied upon registration. A 15-percent discount will be applied to anyone signing up for all three of the oil painting workshops.

- March 17-18 - The Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting, a beginning point in learning to oil paint. A homework assignment will be given and will be critiqued in the April class.

- April 14-15 - Nuts and Bolts Two. In addition to critiquing the homework assignment, students will begin a new painting.

- May 12-13 - Nuts and Bolts and more. This class will continue the work in progress as well as learn more in-depth painting techniques and begin the final painting.

Each workshop may be taken independent of the series, so if you can't attend all three, then sign up for what will work for you.

Contact PSAC at 264-5020 to sign up for the workshops.

PSAC Calendar

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

Today-Saturday - "An Evening with the Stars" 7 p.m. high school auditorium; $7 adults, $6 PSAC members, $3 children.

March 16 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m.

March 17-18 - Beginning oil painting, "Nuts and Bolts of Oil Painting," with Betty Slade; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers

March 19 - Drawing with Randall Davis 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35.

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 and learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings; $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers. A 15 percent discount to students preregistering and attending all three of the oil painting workshops.

June 23 - 2005 PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home and 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

Compulsion and the kitchen, a sad tale in three parts

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I live in Siberia with a View, a small community nestled a few miles from the Continental Divide, comfy in the embrace of the San Juan Mountains.

This is a place, a gulag of a sort, where nearly everyone was once someone else. Per capita, we have more folks here who were once important (and can't forget it), than any place I know.

Most introductory conversations here begin with the words: "I used to beŠ" Fill in the blank with whatever job description you want. Teacher. Actor. Editor. Financier. Explorer, G-man. Snake handler extraordinaire.

To make matters more entertaining, the longer someone lives here, the more important and accomplished they were when they used to be someone else. It is the old-athlete syndrome, writ large - the more distance from the actual event, the greater the skill, the more monumental the accomplishment - an heroic tale delivered from a barstool, a trip taken with a full tank.

I live in a magical place that enhances a person's achievements, burnishes a career, inflates an ego.

It must be something in the water.

There is not, however, enough additive in the water to prevent all but the most naïve from recognizing that "used to be," in truth, means "no more."

But, those who migrate here also bring characteristics that are not the products of a need to aggrandize, that are not exaggerated epiphenomena - desperate steam rising from a nearly dry kettle.

They bring their foibles, their quirks. Once the exaggerations of a past are dismissed, these are what remain.

In my case - when my enormous ego is deflated and the true nature of my achievements (or lack of same) is unveiled - I'm revealed as obsessive and compulsive, with the emphasis on compulsive. On compulsive. On compulsive.

I was obsessive and compulsive before I got here many years ago and I have managed to sharpen my focus since. Add to this my fruit fly's attention span, and this refuge in southwest Colorado has been quite good to me, a greenhouse in which I have fully blossomed.

If you need, I'll admit it again. And again. And again.

I'm likely to admit it all day long, in series of three admissions at a time, each series broken by three helpings of three cashew nuts per helping. Never four admissions, four helpings or four nuts per helping: Four is an unlucky number in many parts of Asia. Four is to be avoided at all costs.

As I review my past or, more accurately, as I review the past I have carefully revised and refined over the years, I think I've found the root of my quirks. I remember, for example, refusing to take one stair at a time as a lad, forcing myself instead to ascend a staircase three stairs at a time. I also remember attempting the descent in the same fashion. A couple of bruising falls were all I needed to reject the idea.

I recall wandering the sidewalks of South Denver, doggedly intent on taking three steps per square of cement. Not two, not four Š three. It must have been amusing to watch me walk around the neighborhood striding normally one moment, tiptoeing the next, leaping an instant later.

But, if I single out one experience that cemented this foible it is my participation, from age 10 to age 14, in the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. The group was started by a Denver children's television personality, Fred Taylor, a short, gravelly-voiced and intense fellow who spent his working hours on the Fred and Fay Show with his abbreviated arm jammed inside a crude puppet named Wally the Weather Gator.

In order to create a corps worthy of competition, Fred put the screws to the very children he was paid to entertain, i.e. those of us dumb enough to be members of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. Fred was aided by a group of disgruntled, overweight World War II veterans who, intent on compensating for the abuse delivered by their drill instructors, gleefully took on the task of teaching the young 'uns to march.

It requires little effort, nearly 50 years distant, to recreate a dusty dirt road next to the American Legion Post in Lakewood. It's a Tuesday evening in July; the sun is still up and it's 95 degrees. I hear those paunchy churls barking in my ear - me, a short-legged, wide, myopic moron, clumsily toting a drum on a chubby thigh, struggling to stay up with the tall guys, severely dehydrated and panting like a dog that's been locked in a car for three days.

There is a compulsive element to close-order drill, and those deranged vets burned it into me. The ironclad dictate that movement begins with the left foot is a cornerstone of my present-day tendencies. It was cemented in place when, some years after my days in the corps, I reinforced the rudiment with a stint in ROTC.

I still try to begin every physical movement on my left side. If I fail, I am distressed, i.e. I am compulsive.

Putting on my socks and shoes? Left foot first. Putting on my pants? Left leg first. Dumbbell presses or curls? Start with the left arm. Leaving a doorway? Left foot first. Same with stairs and curbings. Same with the squares on the sidewalk (though, as an adult, I've come to terms with two steps per square).

My compulsive behaviors are further influenced by my teensy attention span. Each day, each hour, each minute in fact, facets into a series of interlocking, compulsion tinted activities.

It is reassuring Š like an infant's security blanket.

I get things done because I come back to each of the many projects I am working on, time and again throughout the day, adding to each until it is complete. When one is finished, another project is mashed into the machine, taking its place in line, getting periodic attention, growing all the while, waiting its turn to fall off the end of the assembly line.

Then there's the obsessive side of the coin.

It's only reasonable (or unreasonable, to be accurate) that I become obsessed with foods, recipes, cooking processes.

Luckily I am not trapped by my obsessions. I am, at some point, able to let go - when my wife threatens me.

I latch on to a product or a recipe and cook it over and over and over, fitting it into my weekly recipe schedule, repeating it - but varying it slightly - shepherding it through a series of permutations.

The end result of the attachment, once Kathy forces me to desist, is a facility with a great dish that has many faces, each subtly different from its brother.

I remember one notable fixation: macaroni and cheese. I glued myself to this type and its many tokens for two years, making it every other night or so, varying the type and amount of pasta, trying different mixes of cheeses. I made it with and without cream and/or milk. I used dry mustard one time, Dijon the next. Garlic Tuesday, no garlic Thursday. Onion tonight, no onion two nights later. I produced a version on the stovetop; I baked the next version in the oven. I tossed cooked and buttered pastas with grated cheeses.

Kathy finally put her foot down, concocting a story about a potentially deadly reaction to dairy products, ordering me to cease. I stopped, but I possess an arsenal of pasta and cheese dishes that is the equal of any.

I have locked on to high-grade products - tenderloins, wild mushrooms, rich, labor-intensive stocks and sauces. (Kathy now has a medical reason for avoiding fungi). I have doubled our utilities bill with repeated experiments requiring long, slow cooking.

I have been captivated by low-end products, the most notable being Fritos and aged cheddar cheese, the two devoured together in artery-clogging amounts.

I get hooked on wines, on one varietal or another, on one product from a winery. One month it's a syrah, next month a zinfandel, the next a pinot noir. Barolo? Oh, yeah. Malbec? Argentina's great gift to mankind. How about a Mouvedre? Indeed.

Over the course of several weeks, I buy up everything the liquor store has to offer of one choice then, bing, the selection changes when the stock disappears. I've found wonderful bargains this way and, returning to the selection the next year, I have grounds for comparison.

My current obsession?

Chicken paillards. In one glorious application after another.

They've been so tasty, Kathy hasn't realized she's eating the paillards at least five times per week. I figure I can ride this one for another month.

As I've noted in previous columns, I've done up paillards (chicken breast pounded between two sheets of plastic wrap until uniformly thin) with a variety of sauces, accompanied them with various sides. I've whipped up, among others, chicken Marsala, chicken Nicoise, chicken with a sauce of reduced stock, white wine, shallot, garlic and chicken demi glace.

I came up with a great quickie using the paillards - a chicken in tomato sauce with two cheeses. Nothing unique, mind you, but tasty.

I pound out the chicken breasts (which I've halved prior to the pounding), season them with salt and pepper and dredge them in seasoned flour. The cutlets are browned in a mix of extra virgin olive oil and butter and put aside on a warm plate. I've prepared a simple tomato sauce adding a small can of tomato paste to a 303 can of tomato sauce. Into the tomato mix I've thrown six or seven cloves of garlic, minced, a handful of parsley, chopped, a quarter cup of red wine, a mess of dried oregano and dried basil and a bay leaf. A bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper and the sauce is set to simmering for at least 30 minutes, until it reduces and sweetens. If it needs a pinch of sugar, it gets it, as well as additional herbs, if necessary.

I oil a gratin dish and slice a brick of the real deal - a chunk of Polly O whole milk mozzarella cheese. Per ounce, the stuff is darned near caviar expensive, but it is well worth the cost. I use my high-tech vegetable peeler to shave a stack of paper-thin pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I slice half a white onion very thin.

I use a few spoons of sauce to coat the bottom of the gratin dish. On top of the sauce go the browned paillards. The chicken is covered with a layer of sauce and a layer of sliced onion. If I'm in the mood, I'll place several fresh basil leaves in amongst the slices of onion. Next on is a solid layer of the mozzarella and on top of that, the Parmesan. I pop the dish into a 375 oven for 40 minutes, covered loosely with foil. The last 10 minutes or so, I take off the foil and allow the cheese to do wonderful things in the heat.

What emerges is a great treat. Serve it with pasta, a salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette, a few oil-cured olives and some cherry tomatoes. Plop a stack of haricots verts next to the chicken and you're happy.

Then, do it again the next night. And the night after that.

Sometimes, compulsion pays big dividends.

Sometimes.

Sometimes.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Weed management symposium is Tuesday

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Today - Veterinary Science Project meeting at SJV, 5:30 p.m.; Red Ryder meeting, 6 p.m.

March 11 - Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Foods Unit 1 at Methodist church, 3:45 p.m.; Shooting Sports - Group B - Ski & Bow Rack 4 p.m.

March 14 - Sports Fishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.; Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 15 - Weed Symposium at La Plata County Fairgrounds, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; 4-H Council Meeting, 6 p.m.; Leaders Appreciation planning meeting, 7 p.m.

March 16 - Garden Club meeting, 10 a.m.; Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5:30 p.m.; Fair Royalty meeting, 6 p.m.

March 17 - Vet Science Project meeting, 5:30 p.m.

March 18 -- Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.; Poultry Project meeting, 3:30 p.m.

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

The 13th Annual Four Corners Weed Management Symposium will be held Tuesday, March 15, at the La Plata County Cooperative Extension Fairgrounds in Durango.

Topics include: Colorado and New Mexico Department of Agriculture Laws and Regulations, Integrated Weed Management and ID, Weed Control in Turf and Ornamentals, Herbicides and Their Mode of Action, New Weeds Coming Your Way, Establishing Perennial Dry Land Grasses and Chemical Update.

Cost for the symposium is $20 with lunch and refreshments provided. Colorado and New Mexico CEC's for Commercial Pesticide Applicators will be available. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register.

Scrapie meetings

Twelve meetings are planned across the state to educate producers on scrapie, which costs the industry about $25 million annually. Officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture are holding the meetings for sheep and goat owners to discuss the disease, eradication and a cost-share program to protect their animals.

The locations and times of the meetings closest to Pagosa Springs are as follows:

- Alamosa: 7 p.m., April 4, at the Clarion Inn;

- Cortez: 7 p.m., April 8 at the County Annex building;

- Durango: 7 p.m., April 6, at the Extension office;

- Grand Junction: 7 p.m., April 12, at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Jockey Club.

The meetings are open to the public free. Topics of discussion include genetics education, U.S. Department of Agriculture funds available for ram and ewe lamb testing and the importance of scrapie eradication.

Scrapie is a fatal, infectious disease of sheep and goats, which causes a degeneration of the central nervous system. Symptoms include weight loss, itching and rubbing, loss of coordination and behavioral changes, and there is no cure or treatment. The disease is a member of a family called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). In 1947, the first case of scrapie was diagnosed in the United States in sheep originating from Britain via Canada.

For those on the Western Slope, contact Ed Kline at (303) 249-0685 or Ed.Kline@ag.state.co.us for additional information on the state's eradication program.

Bull test report

The 55th Annual Four Corners High Altitude Bull Test is complete. The bulls have been entered in a 112-day performance bull test conducted by the Four Corners Beef Cattle Improvement Association at the BCIA facility at the San Juan Basin Research Center, in Hesperus.

Once off test, bulls were also evaluated for breeding soundness, scrotal circumference, pelvic area, pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), tested for Trichomoniasis, and they will be ultrasounded for ribeye area, backfat, rump fat and percentage of intramuscular fat. The heifers enrolled in the development program were also weighed and evaluated for pelvic area, PAP and reproductive tract score. Additionally, all cattle at the test have tested negative for PI-BVD.

The 131 bulls on test averaged 2.70 lb per day for the 112-day period.

Breeds included Angus, Hereford, Polled Hereford, Red Angus, Salers, and Crossbreds. High performing cattle were determined using a within breed category Test Ratio that consists of 60 percent gain ratio and 40 percent WDA Ratio.

The high performing bull is a Red Angus owned by LPB Red Angus (Farmington). The 28-3 bull gained 3.72 lb/day, has a WDA of 3.04 and a Test Ratio of 137. Other high performing bulls within breed include the 5-4 Hereford owned by OXO Hereford Ranch (Ridgway). He gained 3.70 lb/day, has a WDA of 2.88 and a Test Ratio of 123. 16-5 is an Angus bull owned by Greer Ranches, (Hesperus) with an ADG of 3.54, a WDA of 3.57 and a Test Ratio of 128. The high gaining crossbred bull 30-2, a Hereford/Angus owned by Fuchs Herefords (Del Norte. He gained 3.99 lb/day with a WDA of 3.43 and a Test Ratio of 130.

The high performing sire group is owned by Greer Ranches (Hesperus). The three Angus bulls out of Tybar Stockman 814ZX13 averaged 3.09 lb/day, 3.44 WDA and a 116 Test Ratio within the breed. Additionally, Monroe Cattle Company (Scipio, Utah) have three Polled Hereford bulls out of 23C Devo Quest 900 that averaged 3.01 lb/day, 2.98 WDA and a 109 Test Ratio. The Saler sire, T+ Mr Highroller 36L owned by T-Cross Ranches (Colorado Springs) has three sons, gained 2.22 lb/d, a 2.93 WDA and a 98 Test Ratio.

Additional programs at the Four Corners facility include the Four Corners High Altitude Heifer Development Program and the Calf to Carcass Program with eight steers being fed to a predetermined backfat of .4 inches.

The 55th annual sale is April 2, 2005, at 12:30 in Hesperus. We expect approximately 100 bulls and 10 open Angus, and Hereford heifers to sell. This year's auctioneer is John Korrey (Iliff, Colo.).

Call (970) 385-4574 or send an e-mail to sjbaes@coop.ext. colostate.edu for a catalog. Visit our Web site at http://oldfort.fortlewis.edu/4-corner.htm for the latest information.

 

Education News

GED program growing at education center

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

The Archuleta County Education Center operates a basic literacy and GED program on a year-round basis so that students who have dropped out of high school are able to continue their education locally. Twenty-six adult learners in our community completed their GED requirements during the last school year.

We now offer GED tutoring 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday. Wally Lankford, GED coordinator is available during these hours to assist students with their studies.

If our tutorial hours do not work for a particular student we are able to pair the student with a volunteer tutor to accommodate a different schedule. Registration and counseling is available at the Education Center 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday as well as 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

The GED tests measure the major academic skills and concepts associated with four years of regular high school instruction. They provide an opportunity for persons who have not graduated from high school to earn a high school equivalency diploma. The tests measure competency in five subject areas: language arts-writing, social studies, science, language arts-reading and mathematics. A person is eligible to take the GED tests if they are 17 years of age or older and are not enrolled in an accredited high school and have not already graduated from an accredited high school nor received a GED high school equivalency diploma.

Upcoming GED Test Dates in Pagosa Springs:

- Saturday, March 19;

- Saturday, May 21; and

- Saturday, August 20.

Thanks to friends

Many community members financially support our programs each year and without their support those programs would not be possible.

Thank you to the following Archuleta County Education Center friends who have made recent donations: Gary and Pam Hopkins, Shields Daltroff, Tom and Ming Steen, CenturyTel, Kathy Platz-Calderone, Dick Babillis and Bonnie Masters, Erv Hinds, Ron and Windsor Chacey, John and Judy Clay, Steven and Ellen Rolig, Todd and Terri House, Martin and Gerda Witkamp, Ralph Gibson, Gerald Sawatzky, Bob and Jessie Formwalt, Bob and Livia Lynch, Mike and Susan Garman, Jo Bridges, Bud and Barbara Brashar, Jim and Pam Martin, Bob and Patty Tillerson, Marge and Don Jones, Vic and Stevie Noblitt, Lee and Kristin Vorhies, Rice Reavis, Jim and Jean Carson, Ken, Angie and Tamara Gayhart, Maria Isabel Garcia, Ken and Anita Mathers, Ernest and Dot Jones, Larry and Rhonda Ash, Andrew Raby, Ken and Jan Brookshier, Glenn and Lynda Van Pater, Gary and Firma Lucas, Jack and Katy Threet, and Pamela Lynd.

Anyone who would like additional information about our adult basic education and adult secondary programs should give us a call at 264-2835. Or stop by our office at 4th and Lewis streets downtown Pagosa Springs.

 Pagosa Lakes News

Trash surfacing faster than crocuses

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Five and a half years ago the Pagosa lakes Property Owners Association began sponsoring the adopt-a-street program. Since that time a number of individuals, couples or groups have signed up to adopt a mile or half mile section of street in their neighborhood.

The trash that is surfacing faster than the crocuses will soon require attention. That which you see out your windows, on your street, in your neighboring vacant lots - if it is starting to bother you, then it's time to do something about it. Carry a couple of those plastic grocery bags with you when you are outside.

I would like to thank and acknowledge those individuals who are helping to keep our neighborhoods beautiful. Your caring and efforts are appreciated.

Spring is both a happy and an exhausting season. Happiness is everywhere - in the sounds of children playing outside, the singing of the birds, bubbly spring run-off, sighing of those happy couples who somehow paired up in February and are now kissing and holding hands. Spring flaunts babies, as well, also born under cover and now out to torture grandchildless women like I.

Spring also brings hundreds of visiting time-share families to the recreation center. These visitors, faces smiling and red from the sun and wind, descend on the center in the early evening to soak out the day's punishment. For the local members who are schedule-flexible, I encourage a morning or early afternoon workout. Otherwise take pleasure in the added company and watch the chap on the treadmill next to you turn green with envy when he finds out you're local.

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

The following agenda for the meeting was approved by PLPOA:

- Call to order;

- Approval of agenda;

- Approval of minutes of Feb. 20 meeting;

- General manager's report;

- Public comments;

- Treasurer's report;

- Committee reports;

- Road committee report on March 2 meeting with county commissioners;

- Old Business: Village Lake buoy line review by counsel and insurance, copy of revised Senate Bill 05-100;

- New Business:

1. Proposal for additional leased space to Colorado State Patrol;

2. Proposal to utilize the law firm of Cavanagh, Richmond and Holmes

3. Multiple use agreement between PAWSD and Pagosa Lakes POA concerning lake usage and maintenance. This is a revision of a previous 1992 agreement;

4. Affirmation of three DCC unprotested fines. Correspondence and notice of violations and hearing attached for review.

- Correspondence re: recreation center;

Adjournment.

Property owners who are concerned about the pot holes and general deterioration of local roads may wish to air their concerns to our county commissioners at their regular meetings. The commissioners meet 1 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month in the commissioner's room of the county courthouse.

The next meeting will be March 15. To obtain a copy of the meeting agenda, visit www.archuletacounty.org.

 

Obituaries

Thomas Confar

Thomas Charles Confar was born Aug. 6, 1914, at Chromo, Colo., to Thomas Fredrick Confar (Fred) and Ellen Josephine Virden Confar, on the family homestead (now the Ernest Schutz Ranch).

He was descended from some of the earliest Anglo settlers in Archuleta County - the Confars - who were hunters and ranchers. Fred was pictured in John Motter's book "Pagosa Country" with two wolves he killed around Chromo.

The Confars departed Archuleta County in the late 1920s and moved to San Diego, Calif., where they started a fur shop. Young Tom worked as a furrier in the shop and while still in his teens traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and met Ethel Florence Murray. They were married at Holy Cross Church on Sept. 5, 1936.

The young couple moved to California to start their new life. Tom was an experienced trapper from his early days in Chromo and trained as a furrier at a Beverly Hills establishment when furs were in high style. He was well known for his ability to design and make fur pieces for the Hollywood stars. When the first white Persian Lambs were bred, Tom was chosen to make a fur designed by Edith Head, to be worn by Arlene Dahl.

When furs started going out of style he found a position at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City and worked on the Spruce Goose. He met Howard Hughes on several occasions (before Howard's seclusion) and had many fascinating stories to tell. He later transferred to the Hughes Aircraft plant in Tucson, Ariz., where he worked for 17 years. In l967 he transferred to Santa Barbara, Calif., where he remained until his death.

Tom and Ethel were blessed with two children, Thomas (Tommy) and Carole. Tommy presented them with four grandchildren: Brady, Thomas, Kelly and Jonathan and six great-grandchildren.

Tom is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his brothers, Leonard Sims Confar and Earl Confar; a sister, Jackie Schlueler; and a cousin, Lucille Henry Drake.

On Feb. 26, after a valiant battle with cancer, Tom passed away at his home with daughter Carole in attendance. He is once again with his beloved wife "Ethel."

 

Business News

Developing Pagosa:

Town's biggest developmentwill mix commercial, residential and retail

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

If you've visited a major city lately you can't help but notice a new trend in urban development. That trend is about to visit Pagosa Springs.

Aspen Village is the 79-acre development planned for the south side of U.S. 160, between the First Baptist Church and Alpha Drive. It is the largest single development Pagosa has ever seen and is the town's first major commercial, residential and retail mixed-use development.

Locals John Ranson and Dan Sanders, pastor of First Baptist Church, are two of the three managing partners responsible for the development.

Their idea with Aspen Village is to create a place where people will walk from home to work, walk out to get a cup of coffee and walk to the grocery or the jewelry store on their way home.

The development will consist of 62 total acres of residential, retail and professional offices, and more than eight acres of open space parks and walking paths.

Outdoor decks and patios will dot the development along with a central plaza, which is a four-acre retail center with room for Saturday night entertainment and special events. Ranson is quick to mention that the Pagosa Hot Strings are the first act booked for the Plaza.

"My personal dream is to sit on an outdoor deck, in one of the restaurants, in 10 years with grandchildren, looking at the fall colors," said Ranson who moved from Kansas to Pagosa Springs in 1996.

The residential portion of the development, as planned, will include 54 single-family homes called "The Cottages," which will occupy 10.2 acres. "The Enclave" will include 48 townhomes on four acres.

Emil Wanatka, president of Timberline Builders, is responsible for the housing element in Aspen Village. Wanatka has been building in Durango for 14 years; this marks his first foray into Pagosa Springs.

Wanatka believes the demographics of the area point to the need for more central housing with amenities nearby. He agrees that the concept of a walking village will be a good one for Pagosa.

"We just think the time is right," Wanatka said. "People are changing the way they live."

The residential element is phase three of the Aspen Village project and is heading to the town planning commission March 15 for review and public comment.

For the retail element, Ranson and his partners are currently negotiating with Marriott and Hilton for a mid-range hotel and with a national grocery store chain. They also expect a national chain restaurant, like a TGIFridays or Bennigans, and a movie theatre as well.

Several existing Pagosa retail businesses, like Sears, intend to move into Aspen Village. The focus of the development is small local shops, which will service the existing community. Ranson believes the development will complement the downtown businesses that service more of the tourist community.

For the commercial element of the project, the developers are courting companies from Durango, Denver, Kansas City, Texas and Louisiana. Ranson is particularly excited about the possibility of a high tech firm moving its operations into Aspen Village.

"This town is on everybody's radar screen," Ranson said.

The major anchor for the commercial element of Aspen Village is Parelli Natural Horsemanship. The new Parelli International Headquarters will occupy 30,000 square feet of office space. "Parelli Park" will be a five-acre open space section adjacent to the new building.

According to Mark Weiler, president of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, the Parellis were considering moving their corporate headquarters to Florida, near their other study center in Ocala. The Parellis were offered a large sum of money and space on the Central Florida Community College Campus to relocate.

Weiler said several public officials in Pagosa Springs cooperated to create incentives for the company to remain in Pagosa. That combined with the fact that Pat and Linda Parelli both love Colorado, and the company chose to stay and build their headquarters at Aspen Village.

Using state-recommended software designed by Arthur Anderson Consulting, Weiler said it is estimated Parelli Natural Horsemanship has an $18 million annual impact on Archuleta County. By 2008 it is estimated that figure will jump to $100 million.

"You need to create an environment where people want to be," Weiler said about the pedestrian and village design for Aspen Village. The fact that the project is 60 percent sold out, he added, indicates that "Pagosa wants it."

Aspen Village, according to Ranson, has been in the works since 1997 when Pagosa Partners acquired 38 acres and provided seven of them for the construction of First Baptist Church. The partners have acquired adjacent properties since then. Many people were confused last summer by the two-story log cabin that sprung up in front of the Baptist Church. Ranson said some people thought it was a monastery. It is actually the Aspen Village sales office and home to Great Divide Title.

That log building is a sample of the architectural feel of the entire Aspen Village development. Ranson said the partners wanted the development to complement what is already beautiful about Pagosa, so they heightened the architectural and design standards for all the buildings to include stone, log and green roofs, like the sales office.

"The design is not too elaborate (we are not Vail or Telluride) but simply will match our town's beauty," Ranson says in a statement about the project.

In fact, Ranson said the partners were approached by Wal-Mart for space in the retail sector of the development. The partners turned Wal-Mart down.

"We just didn't want to do it," Ranson said, adding that it was tempting. In the end he said, the Wal-Mart representatives agreed that the site, with the nearby golf course and lake, was too pretty for the store.

The 30,000 square foot Parelli building is designed much like the Cabelas buildings that can be seen in Nebraska and Missouri. Weiler said the building's design was intentionally part Cabelas and part Bass Pro Shops.

Dan Sanders, who not only pastors The First Baptist Church, but also owns a manufacturing business in Pagosa Springs, said their intention for Aspen Village is not just to line their pockets and run.

"We really want to leave a legacy," he said adding that they are not just building at minimum cost for maximum dollars. "We're really wanting it to be a community concept, a benchmark for development planning that's good for Pagosa."

Town Planner Tamra Allen confirmed the developers are going "far and beyond what we would require for a larger scale development."

Allen said on top of their self-imposed, stricter architectural guidelines, the developers are requiring better landscapes, installing higher quality street lighting and have even hired a company from Durango to help with signage.

Phases one and two of Aspen Village have already completed the planning process. The Colorado Department of Transportation will require a new stoplight to handle the additional traffic from the development, Ranson said U.S. 160 will be widened to accommodate turning lanes and the new light will stand at the current entrance to the Timber Ridge sales office.

Construction on the highway and work to install the new light will begin in May and is expected to finish by August. Construction grading for the Enclave and the Cottages is planned for June.

 

Chamber News

River restoration has downtown abuzz

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Sun Columnist

If you haven't taken a walk or drive downtown to see the river restoration, you should do so. Those big machines aren't just for the guys and their big boy toys!

It is really fascinating to watch those huge dozers move the rocks in the river and see the river bed reshaped and improved.

There are many people to thank for this improvement and for allowing it to happen this year. The town of Pagosa Springs planned this project and Wolf Creek Ski Resort came in with equipment and bodies to make it happen now. This is really a team effort.

We look forward to seeing the results when the spring runoff starts. Bring on the kayakers, all the fishermen and women and all the summer fun. We can't wait to look out our windows here at the Chamber and see everyone enjoying our natural playground.

St. Patrick's festivities

Let's hope the weather holds for at least another week so we can have the St. Patrick's Day Parade Thursday, March 17 - rain or snow free.

What a great time to entertain all our spring breakers as this is also the busiest spring week. The parade will be a sea of green with floats, walkers or other forms of transport decorated in the usual representation of the beautiful green lands of Ireland. The parade will start lining up on 6th Street at 3:17 p.m. and we will start the festivities down Pagosa Street at 4 p.m. The parade will end at 2nd Street.

There will be prizes for the best float, the most green and the most bizarre. You notice I didn't say "float" for the most green and most bizarre. Individuals are certainly welcome to participate in all the frivolity.

Registration forms for the parade are available at the Chamber and the entry fee is only $3.17. For more information you can contact our own leprechaun, Doug O'Trowbridge, at 264-2360.

After the parade you can trot around the corner to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street where the church's LifeTeens will be dishing up the traditional corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, dessert, and drinks. There will also be hot dogs available for those children who can't stomach the corned beef or cabbage. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber and A Shoe or Two Plus, and the Parish Hall the day of the event for $10 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under, and $5 for the hot dog plate. Dinner starts 4 p.m. and will be served until 7 p.m. So thank St. Patrick and the Irish for giving us an excuse to party and have a fun family day. Remember, this is the day you can never wear too much green.

Other events

There is still time to catch the play, "An Evening with the Stars" performed by the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater. This movie awards show parody has both a live cast and video clips developed with the Pagosa High School broadcast media class. The show starts 7 p.m. today and runs through Saturday in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for PSAC members, and $5 for children 12 and younger. Don't miss this always entertaining family performance.

Wolf Creek winds down the season with its fun race series. Every Saturday in March from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. racers of all ages and abilities can fly down the Wolf Creek course for no additional charge. What a great series this has been for all who get involved. Thanks Wolf Creek for giving us these events.

Now is the time to get your team together to "Bowl for Kids Sake." This yearly bowling event is a fund-raiser sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters benefiting both Archuleta and La Plata Counties. The bowling extravaganza will take place March 18, 19 and 20 in Bayfield at The Den. To get your team registered and to receive your pledge cards call Sandy Parziale at 247-3720. I know that we have a lot of bowlers in this area. Now is the time for you to help out our young people and have fun doing so.

Spring will raise its colorful head March 12 at Ponderosa Do It Best when the 2004 Archuleta County Fair Royalty will man a booth for the American Cancer Society's kickoff for Daffodil Days. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can purchase these beautiful symbols of hope and life renewed for $9 a bunch. If you pre-ordered your flowers, delivery will start Monday, March 14. With all the great weather we have been having, what better way to brighten your office or business than with these beautiful flowers?

And don't forget to drop off your nonperishable food items either here at the Chamber or at Curves on Navajo Trail Drive for the seventh annual Curves Food Drive. With food banks being depleted over the holidays, now is a great time to pick up an extra food item to donate to the food bank. Let's help our local Curves achieve the goal of collecting over 1,800 pounds of food this year.

Membership

We have three new members and eight renewals this week to complement our ongoing membership.

The first new member is a two-part venture. The first part is Eagle's Nest Realty at 320 Village Dr., No. C-5, run by Jim Stacy. Eagle's Nest Realty provides "service that soars" to Pagosa, Durango and the San Luis Valley. They market all types of properties and they pride themselves in helping their clients find that "perfect" property. Then we have Eagle's Nest Realty Rentals with three properties: one condo and two cabins. The cabins are four miles from downtown Pagosa next to the national forest. Each cabin sleeps two to four people and is complete with kitchen, decks and porch swings. The three-bedroom condo is on the golf course and sleeps two to 12. This condo also has a deck and gas fireplace and pets are allowed with permission and a deposit. For more information on either business, give Jim a call at 731-0500. Who knows, they may not be filled up yet for spring break.

We also welcome Southwest Metal Builders. Jim Standifer is the authorized dealer of Armor Steel Buildings. He offers turnkey steel buildings with financing options available. If you're looking for this type of construction, call him at 264-1045.

Starting out our renewals this week are our friends at The Fred Harman Art Museum.

High Plains Nursery in Allison returns this year with Bonnie Davies.

Also renewing are Colorado Jaynes Construction Co., Troy Ross Construction and Roofing, Cool Heads clothing store, Christine Powe with Christine's Cuisine, Mark Holladay at Holladay Auto and Truck and associate member Juli Morelock with Galles Fine Properties.

And that's all for this week. I'm back outside to enjoy this weather and see what other rocks have been moved in the river.

Don't forget to come by the Chamber and get your St. Patrick's Day entry form.

  

Biz Briefs

Nonprofit workshop March 14

As part of Southwest Colorado Nonprofit Week, the Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations will present an overview on how to meet the specific needs of your nonprofit organization.

The workshop will be held 8:30-10 a.m. March 14 at Durango Recreation Center. Cost for CANPO members is $10, nonmembers are $12. To register, call Operation Healthy Communities at 382-0585 or e-mail ohc@gobrainstorm.net.

  

Rep. Larson will conduct town meeting

in Pagosa

Rep. Mark Larson has announced he will hold a 10 a.m. town meeting in Pagosa Springs Saturday, March 12, in town hall.

Larson will discuss activities at the Legislature and the upcoming budget process before opening the floor to public comments and questions.

  

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge

Railroad slates annual job fair

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is holding its annual job fair 4-7 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the railroad museum.

Seasonal employees are needed for a variety of job duties. Some of the openings include: concessions, coach cleaners, firemen, brakemen, museum attendants, reservations, maintenance of way, and parking lot attendants.

The museum is located in the Durango rail yard. Attendees should enter through the depot at 479 Main Ave. and will be directed to the museum.

  

Biz Beat

Southwest Midwives

Heidi Zink, CNM, MS, top, is seen here with Mary Louise Walton, front left, and Amy Ginn, MSN, the owners of Southwest Midwives.

Southwest Midwives is announcing office hours in Pagosa Springs beginning this month. They will be seeing patients one day a month at the Riverside Health Practices building at 103 Pagosa St.

The first day for office hours in Pagosa will be Wednesday, March 30.  Call the Southwest Midwives office in Durango at 247-5543 to schedule your appointment.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
Troop 807

The Scouts, parents and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 807 wish to thank the community for the wonderful support given us last Sunday at our annual Pancake-Sausage Breakfast fund-raiser.

Your generous help has given us a great start in our efforts to raise operating and summer camping funds. Your ongoing support is genuinely appreciated.

Troop 807 is proud to be a part of the community of Pagosa Springs.

Sports Page

Pirates buffalo Machebeuf 69-49, advance to Fort Collins

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Bishop Machebeuf may have superior athletes, but Pagosa Springs has the better team.

That being the case, the visiting Buffaloes were packing for home - instead of Fort Collins - after Saturday night's 69-49 Pagosa victory in the Sweet 16 round of Class 3A regional playoffs.

The Pirates, however, are in Fort Collins for Great Eight competition today, facing Denver Lutheran at 4 p.m. in Colorado State University's Moby Arena for the right to advance to Final Four action tomorrow.

If there were any uncertainties regarding how the Pirates can handle flashy, athletic playoff teams such as the Buffaloes, they were laid to rest almost immediately Saturday.

Before a raucous and capacity home crowd, Pagosa turned in what was undoubtedly its best overall performance of the season to date, taking an early 4-0 lead on a pair of interior baskets by Pirate junior Craig Schutz.

Machebeuf's Devin Brunson put his team on the board with a deuce, Pagosa's Casey Schutz tacked on a free throw, then Pirate junior Paul Przybylski hit one of two at the line after an intentional foul call on Bishop's Ben Huebner.

Senior Caleb Forrest put home an offensive board on the ensuing possession, and the Pirates led 8-2 with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Machebeuf's Ryan Hess cut the lead in half with two in the lane, then Pagosa began to crash the glass and built the lead to 14-4 with four from Forrest and a deuce by Craig Schutz off a dish from Jordan Shaffer at 2:15.

Machebeuf temporarily cut the lead to six with a steal and deuce by Steven Pullman and a jumper by Randy Jones, but the quarter ended with Pagosa up 16-8 after a jumper from the elbow by Forrest.

Pirate senior Otis Rand found Craig Schutz inside for an 18-8 edge a minute into the second, then Forrest and Pullman traded three-point plays - Forrest's coming from behind the arc - and Pagosa led 21-11 at 6:05.

Pullman sliced the lead to eight with a quick drive, but Kerry Joe Hilsabeck's assist to Shaffer for a trey made it an 11-point game, then an interior feed from Paul Przybylski to Craig Schutz put Pagosa up 26-13.

Pullman sank the second of two free throws after what appeared to be a charge at 2:49, but the Buffaloes were held scoreless for the rest of the period.

The Pirates played hard in the final two minutes and left the floor to rousing halftime applause, ahead 33-14 due to a combined seven from Forrest, Shaffer and Casey Schutz.

Machebeuf gained confidence early in the second half as Hess and Brunson scored two apiece, Casey Schutz got a fast-break deuce, then Hess hit one of two at the line to make it 35-20 Pagosa with 6:56 remaining in the third.

But the comeback attempt was short-lived; Craig Schutz drilled a trey, then Forrest stuffed a Pirate miss on the break and Pagosa's lead was 40-20 at 4:45.

Jones tallied a pair of deuces, Craig Schutz hit a trey, and Forrest gave the Pirates a 45-24 edge with a pair of free throws at 3:23.

Craig Schutz worked inside for Pagosa's next four, Lamar's Matt McDonald hit a floater, Casey Schutz struck for two along the baseline and Bishop's Tyler Hensen buried two charity tosses; Pagosa led 51-28 after three.

Jones got the first two baskets of the deciding frame, Rand answered with two in the paint, then a deuce from Lamar's Matt McIntyre made it 53-34 with 6:15 to play.

The margin grew to 57-34 as Forrest got two on the block off an assist from Rand, then added two more at the line after a technical on Brunson at 5:47.

Jones gave the Buffaloes something to cheer about with a steal and jam 30 seconds later, but two for Craig Schutz off a feed from Przybylski soon had Bishop fans back in their seats.

A layin by Casey Schutz to follow a drive by Pullman made it 61-38, then the Buffaloes scored seven straight to trim the lead to 61-45.

But the Pirates would prevent additional damage, and Craig Schutz completed a three-point play with a free throw after a drive from the top of the key to give Pagosa a 64-45 lead at 3:02.

After a deuce by Hensen and three-point play by Forrest, the Pirates spread the floor and a standing ovation from black and gold fans intensified further when Przybylski hit Craig Schutz for a deuce with under a minute to play.

Pagosa's Travis Richey, Caleb Ormonde, James Martinez, Adam Trujillo and Casey Hart managed the lead in the final 50 seconds, the Buffaloes got a late pair of free throws from Hensen, and Pagosa took the regional championship with the 69-49 win.

Forrest led all scorers with 27 points while Craig Schutz added 25 to the victory, which improved Pagosa's season record to 21-1.

"We probably weren't as talented individually, but we got it done tonight as a team," said Pirate Head Coach Jim Shaffer after the win.

"We took away most of what they wanted to do on offense, and we didn't waste too many opportunities when we had the ball at our end," he added.

"Everyone contributed; everyone did a great job," said Shaffer.

In summary, "It's just great to be going back to Fort Collins," said Shaffer.

"I really believe if we go to play like we did tonight, we'll be in good shape no matter who we play," he concluded.

If the Pirates beat a tough Denver Lutheran squad this afternoon, they will face the winner of this morning's Buena Vista-Denver Christian clash tomorrow at either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. for a spot in Saturday's state title game.

If the Pirates lose, they'll begin consolation play tomorrow morning.

  

Pirates gain Sweet 16 berth with 81-60 win over Lamar

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

As the No. 1 seed, the Pagosa Springs Pirates wanted to prove worthy of their ranking.

As the No. 8 seed, the visiting Lamar Savages wanted to show they're better than a sub-.500 record suggests.

And in some respects, both teams got what they wanted during Pagosa's 81-60 win Friday night in the opening round of the Class 3A regional playoffs.

After Pagosa took the tip, Pirate junior Casey Schutz served early notice he'd be a constant problem for the Savages, scoring the first of his game-high 25 points with a trey twenty seconds into competition.

Craig Schutz followed suit with another three ball half a minute later, and Pagosa held a 6-0 advantage with 7:10 to play in the first.

Lamar's Kameron Nolder cut the lead to 6-4 with a pair of inside moves, but the Savages were forced to burn a time-out at 3:26 after the Pirates went up 14-4 behind a deuce from Caleb Forrest and another six from Casey Schutz.

Humberto Calvillo hit a trey for the Savages when play resumed, Forrest sank two at the line matched by Lamar's Jordan Romine, then Pagosa took an 18-9 lead at 2:20 when Kerry Joe Hilsabeck hit Craig Schutz underneath for two.

Calvillo answered with a three-point play, but the Savages trailed 22-12 after one due to a drive from Pirate senior Otis Rand and a put-back from sophomore Jordan Shaffer late in the frame.

The Savages would not fold, however, and cut the lead to 22-16 early in the second before Pirate junior Paul Przybylski drove the lane for a deuce and Forrest hit a pull-up jumper on the break for a 26-16 edge at 5:10.

Lamar's Travis Whitman countered with a jumper seconds later, then neither team was on target until Forrest finished a dish from Craig Schutz in the lane for a 28-18 lead with 2:50 to play in the half.

Then Przybylski hit Shaffer for two with a deep pass on the press-breaker, Romine and Forrest got two each at the line, Nolder added a late deuce for the Savages and the half ended with Pagosa in front 32-22.

Forrest and Nolder traded baskets to open the third frame, then the Pirates throttled up as Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz and Shaffer embarked on an 11-0 run to put Pagosa on top 45-24 at 5:06.

Lamar's Will McLean ended the streak with a deuce at 4:40, but a combined five from the Schutz brothers had Pagosa up 50-26 at 3:40.

McLean connected with a trey, Rand put in an assist from Shaffer, the Savages answered with four straight, then Shaffer buried a free throw and Pagosa led 53-33 at 1:31.

Four from Casey Schutz negated a trey from Calvillo in the final minute, and the quarter ended with the Pirates up by 23 after Hilsabeck finished a quick-hit set with a lay-in to make it 59-36.

Lamar's Jim Anderson got the first two of the final period, but Craig Schutz, Forrest and Casey Schutz put together a nine-point run and Pagosa led 68-41 with under six minutes to play.

The Savages responded with a short scoring burst, but trailed 71-49 midway through the period after free throws by Casey Schutz and Pirate sophomore Casey Hart.

The next eight points of the contest came at the foul line, with Hilsabeck knocking down six of six and Przybylski and Lamar's Herrera each hitting one of two; Pagosa led 78-50 with 2:05 to play.

Sophomore Caleb Ormonde scored Pagosa's last field goal with a kiss off the glass, Przybylski added another free throw, Lamar rallied for 10 late points and the Pirates advanced to Saturday night's Sweet 16 round with the 81-60 win.

During a postgame interview, Pirate Head Coach Jim Shaffer indicated he was happy with some aspects of the game, but concerned with others.

"I liked how we found a way to get our guards open looks when (the Savages) were trying to limit our inside game," said Shaffer, referring primarily to Casey Schutz's 25-point outburst.

"When they took away Craig and Caleb, it left Casey open for a lot of good scoring opportunities, and he took advantage," he added.

"So there were some stretches where we did good things, but we're going to have to play better defense than we did tonight if we want to win tomorrow," said Shaffer.

Noting the fact the Pirates knew they'd face Bishop Machebeuf if they topped Lamar, "Maybe we were looking ahead a little bit, but there's no way we should have been, especially this time of year," said Shaffer.

Machebeuf, which downed Florence 48-43 earlier in the day Friday to earn a spot in Saturday's Sweet 16, is the only team, thus far, to have handed powerhouse Kent Denver a loss this season.

"Machebeuf's always a really good basketball team," said Shaffer. "They're athletic, and when they shoot the ball well, they become a great basketball team.

"All I can say is our kids had better come out focused and ready to play tomorrow," concluded Shaffer. "And I think they will."

 

Deep freeze shooting kills Great Eight dream for the Lady Pirates

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Like an automatic powersave setting on modern electronic office gear, Pagosa's Lady Pirates seemed Saturday to be waiting to find the switch to go to full force.

Unfortunately, their bid for a return to Class 3A's Great Eight was thwarted by their sudden inability to trip the power surge against Colorado Springs Christian.

Shooting only 15 for 51 from the floor, the Pirates regularly shot themselves in the foot with blown lay-ups, balls clanking off the rim and air balls.

Still, for three periods they were in the game and the crowd waited in breathless anticipation for the offense to kick in and surge to victory.

Senior forward Bri Scott got Pagosa on the boards first with a long trey from the right wing just past two minutes into the action as both squads worked ball possession seeking the chink in the other's armor.

CSC's first marker would come 2:33 into the game when Megann Alberts converted a pair of charity tosses to put the Lady Lions on the board for the first time.

Sophomore guard Jessica Lynch answered with a trey for Pagosa and Holly Valdez countered with a deuce for CSC.

Senior center Caitlin Jewell, heroine for Pagosa the night before against Salida, stuffed an offensive rebound for a deuce. Alberts added another free throw and Valdez a pair before junior forward Emily Buikema closed the first period scoring with a 10-foot jumper and Pagosa on top 10-7.

The second period was a give-and-take with both teams still looking for someone to catch fire.

Lynch hit a deuce for Pagosa and Alberts answered with a drive inside. Steph Friesen knocked down a trey for CSC to make it 14-12 Pagosa and senior forward Lori Walkup answered with a deuce to put Pagosa up by four.

Alberts hit a pair from the stripe and Kari Beth Faber answered with a short jumper for Pagosa. Valdez and Alberts scored for Salida but Buikema countered with a Pagosa deuce and the Pirates lead 20-18 at the half.

From that point on the Pirates found it hard to beg, borrow, steal or score a basket, going from eight-for-15 shooting from the floor in the first half to seven of 46 in the second half.

Surprisingly, the final statistics would show both teams hitting only 15 from the field.

Colorado Springs Christian, on the other hand, found a lane inside to Alberts and she poured in eight points in the third, three on power moves to the rim and two from the line. Sarah Goetsch added a deuce and Friesen a layup and pair of free throws for 14 Lion points in the frame.

Pagosa got only nine, on a trey by Lynch, a short jumper from Scott, two from the stripe by Kelley, Walkup's second (and final) basket of the game and a get-out-of-my-way power move deuce by Buikema.

Still, with eight minutes to go, the Pirates, despite losing their shooting touch, trailed at the end of third period by only three, 32-29, and hope was kindled when Jewell immediately trimmed the margin to one. It turned out to be her final score of the game in a two-for-eight performance from the field.

Colorado Springs Christian was about to go on a 16-point spree for which Pagosa could find no answer.

Their shot in the arm came from Lindsay Hestermann, silent offensively to that point, who drilled two quick field goals off fast breaks and added one from the stripe.

Lynch got a deuce for Pagosa to cut into the margin, but Goetsch answered with an old-fashioned trey off a driving layup and charity toss after being fouled on the shot.

Kelley drilled a return baseline drive to cut into the lead, but Alberts answered with a deuce an free throw for CSC and then Valdez did the same, both baskets coming on open drives up the middle.

Pagosa was to get only two more points, single free throws by Faber and Buikema, and CSC had a 48-37 victory and a trip to Fort Collins for Great Eight play starting today.

Coach Lynch was stymied by how the girls suddenly shut down in the second half offensively. "Nothing would go down," he said, "not even the wide open bunnies."

With just over three minutes left, he called a timeout and instructed his players to foul if necessary to get possession.

They failed to carry out that directive in the closing minutes but, statistically, it can be argued they lost the game at the foul line where they were four of eight while CSC was 17 of 25. Twenty-two fouls were called on Pagosa, just 12 on Colorado Springs Christian.

The 11-point Lion margin at the line was the exact difference in the game's final score.

Still, it was Pagosa's misfiring from the field that cost them a trip to state. They were three of 10 from three-point land and 12 of 41 from the floor.

Pagosa outrebounded their foe 23-18 but, for the first time in several games, had no blocked shots and only four steals.

A 16-7 final record for the season is nothing to frown at, but the Pirates were anticipating smiles, instead.

Summary

Scoring: P-Lynch, 2-7, 2-7, 0-0, 10; Scott, 1-4, 2-4, 0-0, 5; Kelley, 0-3, 1-6, 2-2, 4; Walkup, 0-2, 2-9, 0-0, 4; Faber, 0-0, 1-1, 1-4, 3; Jewell, 0-0, 2-7, 0-0, 4; Buikema, 0-0, 3-3, 1-2, 7; Forrest, 0-0, 0-2, 0-0, 0; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0. CSC-Hestermann, 0-0, 2-3, 1-2, 5; Goetsch, 0-0, 2-4, 1-2, 5; Alberts, 0-0, 6-18, 8-10, 20; Friesen, 1-1, 1-3, 2-2, 7; Valdez, 0-0, 3-9, 5-10, 11; Dickenson, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1, 0,

 

Jewell's sparkling performance boosts Pirates into Sweet 16

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Salida's Lady Spartans marched into the Pirate's den Friday intent on upsetting the home standing top seed in the Class 3A regional.

But 6-2 senior Pirate center Caitlin Jewell had other ideas and by the end of the first period had single-handedly outscored the Spartans, 12-7.

With sophomore guard Jessica Lynch knocking down a long trey, senior Lori Walkup hitting a pull-up 10-footer and junior forward Emily Buikema scoring on an offensive rebound putback, the Pirates were up 19-7 at the quarter.

Krista Quintana matched Lynch's trey with one for Salida, but the visitors from the Tri-Peaks League Western Division got only a deuce from Savanah Lowe and two free throws from Rosie Mosier to back her up in the opening frame.

But they were not going to roll over and play dead, coming back with a fury in the second period but falling one point further behind at the break, 35-22.

Aimee Davis, who had been blanked in the opening frame, got eight in the period for Salida, four coming at the foul stripe and two on driving layups off steals. Heather Granzella added a field goal, Tina Granzella a trey to cut the Pagosa margin to 35-20, and Jillian Jones scored at the buzzer to make it 35-22 Pagosa at the half.

The Pirates 16 points in the period were evenly distributed - four each for Lynch, senior forward Bri Scott and Jewell, hiking her first half output to 16; and two each by Walkup and junior forward Kari Beth Faber.

Thus, leading by 13 at the half, Pagosa could put the game on ice down the stretch, with coach Bob Lynch running a bevy of supporting players in and out of action.

Quintana opened Salida's third with her second basket, a deuce off an offensive rebound but five quick points by Jewell took care of that margin.

Scott added a pair on her third field goal, junior point guard Liza Kelley, after a quiet first half got the first two of an eight-point outburst in the second, and Buikema added three on a deuce and a free throw to hike the Pirate lead to 46-30 - after four consecutive free throws by Quintana at the beginning of the fourth period.

Kelley opened the fourth with a driving deuce to make it 48-30 and then added a pair from the line to hike the lead to 20 at 50-30.

But Quintana and a suddenly fired-up Jones started firing back, each netting six down the stretch, two of Quintana's coming at the charity stripe and all the rest of the scores for both on traditional deuces.

Lynch answered with a trey for the Pirates and Kelley dialed another pair on a baseline drive and reverse. Lowe countered with a deuce and pair of free throws for Salida but Walkup and Buikema answered with deuces of their own.

Mosier netted a Salida free throw but that was it for the visitors.

Jewell, however, wasn't quite finished with her best game of the year. She drilled a pair from the stripe and then nailed the lid down with a spinning move out of the lane to her left and a clean turnaround jumper.

Sophomore Kristin DuCharme closed the Pirate scoring with one of two from the stripe and the Pirate Ladies had forced their way into the Class 3A Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.

Jewell's performance offensively was matched by her show on the boards where she hauled down 11 to finish with a double-double.

The senior hit 10 of 14 from the floor and five of six from the stripe. Six of her 11 rebounds came at the offensive end, giving her team additional chances to score.

And, just to round out her performance, she had two blocked shots and an assist on her career evening.

Walkup was the assist leader for Pagosa with six, Kelley and Faber netting three each.

Scott with four and Buikema with three led Pagosa in steals with Lynch and Kelley each adding a pair. Scott was also number two in rebounds behind Jewell, with five.

Pagosa shot 26 of 51 from the floor for a .509 percentage while Salida was 15 of 38 from the floor for .395. Pagosa was nine of 10 from the stripe and Salida 14 of 21.

The victory hiked Pagosa's record to 16-6 on the season and boosted them into the Sweet 16 for championship action Saturday against Colorado Springs Christian which defeated Valley 56-38 in the regional's opening game.

Summary

Scoring: P-Lynch, 2-4, 2-5, 0-0, 10; Scott, 0-4, 3-6, 0-0, 6; Kelley, 0-0, 3-4, 2-2, 8; Walkup, 0-0, 3-5, 0-0, 6; Faber, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 2; Jewell, 0-0, 10-14, 5-5; 25; Buikema, 0-0, 2-7, 1-1, 5; DuCharme, 0-0, 0-1, 1-2, 1. S-Davis, 0-0, 3-7, 4-4, 10; Gross, 0-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0; Mosior, 0-0, 0-3, 3-5, 3; H. Granzella, 0-0, 1-4, 0-1, 2; Lowe, 0-0, 2-8, 2-4, 6; T. Granzella, 1-2, 0-2, 0-1, 3; Quintana, 1-1, 3-4, 6-7, 15; Jones, 0-0, 4-7, 0-0, 8. Total Fouls, P-19, S-10. Turnovers, P-14, S-20.

 

Pirates bow 7-5 in diamond opener

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"On the Road Again," lamented Willie Nelson in one of his hits.

And it will be the tune of choice for the Pagosa Springs Pirate baseball squad for most of the season which opened Monday with a 7-5 loss to Aztec on the latter's home field.

Despite the loss, new head coach Charlie Gallegos was pleased with most of his squad's performance.

"We played good ball for our first game on a real field," he said, and "had it not been for a pair of questionable calls, we might have kept a late rally alive and pulled off an upset."

Still, Pagosa was in the game all the way.

The Pirate first inning opened with Josh Hoffman and Cody Bahn striking out.

Karl Hujus drove a single through the right side to give Pagosa its first hit and first base runner of the season, and senior clean-up hitter Levi Gill worked Tiger starter Dustin Horton for a walk on a 3-2 count.

The rally died, however, when Hujus was picked off at second by Horton.

Aztec got two runs in the bottom of the frame which opened with Pagosa hurler Randy Molnar fanning Sam Cordova and right fielder Matt Gallegos making a fine sun-field play on a drive by Horton.

Molnar got into trouble when he walked Seth Cain on a 3-2 pitch and then grooved a splitter to Tucker Frazier which was summarily dispatched over the left field fence. He then walked designated hitter Carl Anderson and wild-pitched him to second.

But Gallegos bailed him out with a fine running catch of a short liner to right by Gabe Cortez, setting the stage for a Pirate comeback.

It began with Marcus Rivas, early inning designated hitter for Pagosa, ripping a single up the middle that was misplayed by the center fielder allowing Rivas to advance to second.

Josh Hoffman reached on an error by the Tiger third baseman putting Pirates on the corners for Jakob Reding.

Coach Gallegos flashed the bunt signal for the squeeze play and Reding got the bat down. Contact with the ball, however, sent it directly up at an angle to his forehead and forced him out of the game with swelling and brief loss of memory. Fifteen minutes later he remembered the bunt signal, but not the action itself.

Avery Johnson, brought in to bat for Reding, took a ball and the catcher threw to second trying to catch Hoffman. The throw was wild and both Rivas and Hoffman scored to tie the contest. Johnson then fanned.

But Gallegos had Aztec hearts stopped momentarily when he drilled a long drive to left center that was hauled in on the run by Seth Cain. Molnar struck out and the game went to the bottom of the second in a 2-2 tie.

Aztec got a go-ahead run in the third without benefit of a hit.

David Castillo opened with a long fly to right hauled in by Gallegos.

Riley Hegarty reached on a fielding error and went all the way to second. He then advanced to third when the throw from Rivas, now catching, was not handled. Hegarty then scored on an error by Molnar.

The Pirate hurler then settled down and fanned Andy Lee, gave up a walk to Cordova and got Horton on a fine play by Rivas tracking a high foul pop being carried back in by winds from the west.

Pagosa threatened in the third after Josh Hoffman and Bahn each fanned for the second time. Hujus drilled a double to center but was left on second when Gill also struck out.

Cain got another Aztec run in the bottom of the third without benefit of a hit. He drew a walk and stole second and was wild-pitched to third. Frazier popped to Gill at short but Anderson drove in the run with a ground ball fielder's choice to Bahn at second. Cortez then fanned to end the inning.

Pagosa's fourth was quick with Rivas driving a vicious shot off the pitcher who recovered in time to throw him out. John Hoffman worked Horton for a walk, but then was picked off first and Johnson struck out.

Aztec's fourth was uneventful, Castillo grounding to third and Hegarty and Lee striking out.

Pagosa went quickly again in the fifth, Gallegos flying to center, Molnar striking out and Josh Hoffman popping to the second baseman along the right field line.

The game's turning point came in Aztec's fifth.

Cordova opened with a fly to John Hoffman in center for the first out.

Horton singled to left and Cain bounced to Johnson at third. The first base umpire called Cain out at first but asked for a conference with the plate umpire who had been down the third base line. He overruled the call, giving Aztec two runners, both of whom advanced a base on an error.

Frazier then drove in both with a single to left. Anderson grounded out to second, Frazier moving up where he was driven in by Cortez' single up the middle before Castillo fanned to end the uprising.

The Pirates rallied for three in the sixth which included a change in pitchers with Cain replacing Horton on the hill.

Bahn drew a walk as the first hitter to face Cain and moved to second when Hujus was hit by a pitch. Bahn advanced as Gill reached on a fielder's choice, then Rivas was hit by a pitch to load the bases with Pirates.

Two runs scored as the center fielder misplayed John Hoffman's line shot up the middle and a third scored when Johnson grounded into a fielder's choice. Gallegos singled but Hoffman was caught off base for the third out.

Despite a hit batter in the sixth, Aztec was quickly out on two pop-ups and a strike out and Pagosa had a final chance awaiting.

The chance died quickly, Molnar grounding back to the pitcher, Josh Hoffman out on a fly to right, Bahn drawing a walk but dying at first when Hujus, too, grounded back to the pitcher.

Pagosa had lost 7-5, but coach Gallegos told his squad he was impressed by "your intensity and your desire. This is going to be a team to make Pagosa proud," he concluded.

 

Girls' fastpitch softball parent meeting tonight

The Southwest Colorado ASA Girl's Softball Association is announcing its opening season.

Representatives of the association toured area schools last week to give informational presentations.

Since ASA Softball is new to Pagosa Springs, league reps expect many questions regarding what it takes to be a league member and have scheduled a 6:30 p.m. parent meeting tonight, March 10, in the community center for questions and answers. Registration forms will be available at the meeting.

The spring practice schedule for girls 16/14 and under begins April 18 and continues through May 14. Games are scheduled to begin May 16 and the season will end June 16.

To finish off the inaugural season in style, the organization plans to attend the Diamond in the Rockies Tournament in Gunnison June 18-19.

Filing a registration by today nets a $5 discount. Encourage a friend to register and get an additional $5 off each registration. Registration will close March 28.

The 12/10 and under summer league will have a later season with practices starting June 13. Registrations times will be announced later.

Drew Ricker, a former professional baseball player, will conduct an introductory clinic for girls' fast pitch softball 2-5 p.m. March 12 in Town Park. Bring your glove, sneakers, water bottle and "can-do" attitude and be prepared to have fun and be ready to learn.

Parents can assist by volunteering to coach. If you don't know the rules, there will be a coach's certification clinic March 13 at Lone Pine Custom Millworks. Cost is $38 per coach including the class, drills trading card, book and video instruction, additional liability insurance and ASA membership.

The clinic will be taught by Loree Swope, Colorado ASA Junior Olympic Commissioner. To sign up, call 731-4912.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Tee-ball coaches are in demand

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Tee-ball season is upon us and at this time we are always looking for new coaches and managers. When the applications are sent out, people always ask about the possibility of coaching, but don't know what is involved. Hopefully, after reading the following information, we will have more coaches than we know what to do with.

Just remember we do not expect our tee-ball coaches to be professionals. Typically, they are somewhat reluctant volunteers who give in to the opportunity to coach their children while the stakes are fairly low. We hope they discover along the way that this experience can be fun and rewarding.

Where do we find coaches?

Usually our coaches get involved with tee-ball this way: You told someone that it would be neat to coach your kid some day and after saying it a few too many times to too many people you received a phone call shortly before the season begins and are asked to manage a team. You hesitate because your work schedule is so rigorous but you agree to finally take the job to spend more time with your child.

You agree to take the job and find out that most kids are in baseball/tee-ball for the first time. So you build a team of players practically from scratch without knowing how to begin. Luckily you have a recreation department that recognizes this and puts together a clinic for tee- ballers in order to let you watch and learn some of the basics.

If that is not enough, before you start, we give you an abundance of reading material to help you delve into the minds of our 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds. Now you may not understand three-quarters of what we go over or what you read, but it doesn't matter because your kids will only pick up so much. The nice thing about tee-ball is "it takes a village" to coach this age group so you will have many parents volunteer as much as they are able. This is where you will be able to find some great help.

Still want to coach?

Just remember a couple of things and you will be fine.

A tee- ball coach has to be a good teacher, has to be patient, has to be confident and decisive, has to be nurturing when his players get hurt or make mistakes, has to be able to get as much information to their players without losing them, all this while having fun! Just be willing and able to adopt these qualities and adapt to a differing environment every day. No problem right?

So, don't miss your chance to sign up for this wonderful experience. Step up and take a chance. You are all coaches in some part of your life. Now is your chance to make a difference. Sign up now.

Tee-ball sign-ups

Tee-ball sign-ups began the week of Feb. 21 and will continue through Friday. Tee-ball Skills Camp will take place next week.

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. Games will be played on Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturday mornings. Look for flyers at our schools or come by town hall to sign up your child.

Baseball sign-ups

Sign-ups for our 6- and 7-year-old coach pitch and 8-14 baseball leagues will begin March 21. Look for flyers at the schools or come by town hall to sign up your child. More information to follow!

Galles grant

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department would like to thank Galles Properties, Galles Chevrolet Friends of Youth Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Rick Galles for a grant of $450 to be used in supporting our youth tee-ball, youth soccer and youth basketball programs.

Women's basketball

We are still accepting players in our adult women's basketball league. If you are interested in playing in this league contact the department as soon as possible or come to the junior high school Monday nights at 5:45 p.m. to sign up. You must be at least 16 or a sophomore in high school to be eligible for this women's league.

Sports hotline

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

Hiring officials

The Pagosa Springs Recreation 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 more information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

Youth programs set foundation for learning

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

During the youth basketball season we are constantly writing about sportsmanship, fair play, equal playing time and parental behavior.

Last week a parent approached me asking if everything is all right with the youth sports program in Pagosa. It was asked because of all the columns about the above-mentioned problems that show up week after week in the paper.

It made me think of the constant learning that goes on throughout our life. First, you are a young parent putting your precious child into a recreation program for the first time.

Within a few years they are the veterans of the leagues and we go on teaching new parents the ways of our programs.

It seems the older the kids get, the more competitive the parents get, even seasoned veterans. So the learning goes on. The coaches and employees are well versed in our goals and the objectives of the program, so the parents can sit back and enjoy watching their children play.

If you think you might want to step in and learn or volunteer, do not be intimidated - stop by and sign up. It will be one of the highlights of your life, the time you spend with your child on the field or on the gym floor.

The most positive part of the program is the joy the parents and employees of the program experience when a child makes their first basket. Or, to realize how far the kids come from the start of the season to the end of the season. It really is a great feeling to see child and parent walk out of the gymnasium on cloud nine.

Pirate pride

Watching the Pagosa Pirates host the regional tournament gave me another reason to write proudly about being able to live in Pagosa Springs. I tend to watch a game through many lenses; including through the eyes of the referees. Pagosa has its share of hecklers, but I didn't hear anyone attack a referee's integrity or attack him personally.

Second, I watch as an administrator, and to see our school administration start working the minute they knew we would be hosting this level of the tournament was amazing. The hospitality room, and the hospitality in general, is second to none.

Third, I watch as a coach or a coach wannabe.

Our coaches were constantly teaching and putting every effort, every thought into getting our Lady Pirates and the Pirates into a position to succeed.

Listening to coaches arrange scouting reports, adjusting to a situation on the floor, I'm sure they are committed to getting the best out of these young athletes. We are very fortunate to have coaches and administrators of this caliber here in Pagosa Springs.

So there is some joy in running youth leagues and trying to set a pattern that allows everyone to have the chance to experience learning good fundamentals and fair play, and to develop a true love of the game.

The table has been set, and the fundamentals have been taught; a few minor adjustments have been made to counter the game plans devised to derail the Pirates. If everything falls in place this week, with a little luck, the Pirates could come home as state champions.

The parks and recreation department would like to wish the Pirates luck, and offer thanks for representing Pagosa Springs in the 2005 state finals. Go for it; we will be cheering you on.

River project

Even though our department has not been involved in the planning of the river restoration project, we are proud of the work that Julie Jessen, Tamra Allen and Mark Garcia have done to get this gigantic project moving.

Work has begun on the river just south of the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge; the runoff is at a good flow to begin some of the work before the main flow starts. In just a few working days you can see major changes in the river, especially below the off-street parking.

Drawings can be seen at town hall. The river restoration will add another great amenity to our community.

Carvings

Half of the carvings commissioned by the town for the parks are now complete. Two different trees in Town Park have been carved into two gorgeous eagles that will forever keep up the legacy of the stoic trees that once stood there.

Stop by and enjoy the great work that was done by local artist Chad Haspels.

Reservoir Hill carvings will begin when the thaw allows use of Spring Street up Reservoir Hill.

 

Editorial

Do we really care?

After watching newscasts the last seven days or so, some questions come to mind: most specifically, what is important to Americans and what is happening to our sensibilities? It seems many of us find it difficult to distinguish things that have genuine impact on lives, that affect our affairs today and will in the future. And if a good number of us remain able to make critical value judgments, why have we become so complacent in the face of the trivialization of our collective life?

What occasioned these thoughts?

An overdose of Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart.

We ask: Who cares?

And yet, there they are - or celebrities like them, with similar problems - regularly on the front pages, at the top of the newscast. Eager reporters fill us in on the details. Michael is accused of child molestation but he has the flu. Martha committed a form of insider trading, cheating honest stockholders and now she is out of prison; she's wearing an ankle monitor, lamenting the loss of "the idea of cappuccino."

We are hit in the face at every turn by the evidence of decline - a preoccupation with trivia, with everything cheap.

To make it obvious we are increasingly unable to cut to the moral chase and highlight what is important and what is not - buried on page 9 in a daily paper, mentioned almost in passing on a newscast: three young Americans killed in Iraq, numerous others wounded.

Let's say it again about the celebrity news: Who cares?

In a world plagued by poverty, disease and seemingly endless conflict, who cares?

Neck deep in a cesspool of crude entertainment that panders to the lowest common denominator, who cares?

Likewise, why should we care when standards of civil behavior continue to degrade, when a casual conversation with a teacher or school administrator provides us with horror stories about a pervasive and growing lack of courtesy and respect from students and parents alike.

We witness the same in public discourse. Political discourse in general is falling prey to simpleminded ideologues, averse to complexity, willing to trade in slogans and stereotypes, anxious to subvert fruitful dialogue, intent on the triumph of their limited point of view.

Why should we care, when the quality of education for our children has declined precipitously, due largely to a combination of parental pressure and inept political leadership. Who can care, when education is handcuffed by absurd legislation, most of it aimed at the glorification of politicians seeking reelection, bringing with it an avalanche of regulation and paperwork, rote learning rather than enhanced experience for the student.

Who cares about the Michaels and Marthas when our healthcare systems become more Byzantine and ineffective every day, less accessible to a growing number of citizens, more and more of them without insurance.

Who cares about celebrities and their travails, when we are compiling a national debt that could crush our children and grandchildren, when there are legitimate concerns about the future of Social Security, when international competition for oil is intensifying, when greedy corporate pirates destroy the futures of masses of people, when power and wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands Š who cares about Michael and Martha?

The answer: Whether we are ignorant, or we wish to avoid harsh reality, too many of us care. And we are fed at a frantic pace by the profit takers of media, lured away from consistent, reasoned approaches to our true problems.

There are too many examples in history of what happens when reasonable people fail to act. When reason cedes the field, when fixation on entertainment and celebrity and self-indulgence wins the day, nothing good can come.

Who cares?

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Some words just aren't needed

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Now, just a dadburned minute, podner.

No reflection on yur upbringin' but people hearabouts don't talk like that.

You wanna use that kinda language, you jist go on out to the outhouse and talk to yourself.

From the day of Rhett Butler's classical, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" response to Scarlett O'Hara stunning a movie-going world in "Gone With The Wind," the public vernacular has been on a rapid downhill slide.

No matter where you go these days, it would be easy to make the comments starting this column. Sit in a coffee shop, stand in line at the supermarket or converse with a friend on the street.

Notice how many times once-verboten words come up.

Try watching television or listening to nationwide talk radio and feel your ears burning. One of the best received and critically acclaimed programs on HBO can't go more than a minute without some form of the once-dread F-word being muttered or shouted. In a recent one-minute portion of that program, the word was uttered more than a dozen times.

While the producers have argued in the national press that such was the habit of speech in the early days of this land, I never met anyone from that era who spoke that way.

Teen-agers and even preteens use the same word as if it were part of an English Department must use list of improper profanity.

We have, over the years, apparently become a land where swearing, even by those too young to understand the meaning of the words they utter, has become so commonplace as to be considered acceptable.

You do not find such language in most newspapers, certainly not this one. But find it you will in many of the national magazines, including some specifically aimed at the young teens in our land.

No, I'm not condemning all teens or English teachers or publishers. I am saying we've become a nation of those who have trouble expressing themselves on any subject without dotting their commentary with crude expletives.

Many teachers today lament the fact they get students who have trouble writing a complete sentence. It is likely, however, that the same student could probably put together a sentence of nothing but vulgarity and do it perfectly because they have been exposed to it in every possible form.

This is no indictment of the students. In fact, it is evidence they have the capacity to learn. It is an indictment of our own lack of concern about what we are teaching them at home.

Greeting cards, get well cards, birthday cards - even graduation cards - can be found which exude vulgarity and dirty language because it is becoming the accepted norm.

I had a grandfather who took part in the Cripple Creek gold rush and I never heard him say anything worse than "that confounded cuss ..." So, don't tell me everyone talked that way while the West was developing.

And don't tell me we all have to talk that way today. I can't buy that idea.

I think it's time we all clean up our doggone language.

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of Mar. 12, 1915

On account of the poor conditions for logging, the Pagosa Lumber Co. has closed its camps for the present. The big mill will also cease running as soon as the timber now on hand is consumed. But this annual spring shut-down will not be spent in idleness, for all repairing and cleaning-up will be completed for the re-opening in a few weeks.

Doll Pargin was up from the Piedra again this week and reports that the deer, which were feeding in his pasture and vicinity, have been entirely cleaned out by the wolves, the last of the number having been killed Monday at the Devil Creek bridge. The wolves are known to be quite numerous in that vicinity and efforts will no doubt be made to exterminate them.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 14, 1930

While carrying one of the heavy Aztec stone corn-grinders into his home Saturday, Dr. B.F. Jackson let it fall on his right foot. As a result he sustained a fracture of the big toe, necessitating the use of a crutch this week.

Owing to inability to secure sufficient funds to send the county champion and chaperone to Denver, Mrs. Myrtle DeFoe, county superintendent of schools, informs us that the annual spelling contest will not be held in Archuleta County this year.

We are informed that Archuleta County's share of the state gasoline tax to be spent in the incorporated town amounts to $446.78 for the year 1929. This amount is now available and will be spent on the state highway within the corporate limits of Pagosa Springs.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 11, 1955

Geiger counters were really clicking in this part of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday after the detonation of another Atomic bomb in Nevada. On Tuesday afternoon Geiger counters and scintillators at the SUN office showed a background count of about ten times normal reading. Scientists say that the extra radioactivity in the air is the result of the fall-out from the explosion. The bomb was detonated early on Monday morning and residents in the Cortez area and as far north as Grand Junction reported seeing the flash in the sky. The fallout was not considered by scientists to be in sufficient quantities to be dangerous.

The past few days of thawing have sure made it muddy from here to there and back again.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of Mar. 13, 1980

Terry Alley was named as the new school superintendent by the school board Tuesday night.

Total snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass this winter, through Wednesday morning, is 603 inches. This will be the fourth time since 1959 that snowfall on Wolf Creek has exceeded 600 inches, and there are still several weeks ahead in the snow season. Record fall for any one winter on the Pass is 846 inches and that was last winter.

A meeting of downtown property owners and businessmen has been set by the Town Board to discuss further action on a downtown revitalization program. Mayor Aragon appointed Ben Lynch, John Motter and Joe Dan Martinez to spearhead the program.

Features
Pagosa's Past
Poetic license and early autos in county

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

Man's love affair with the automobile was just gathering a good head of steam in 1916, the year Wolf Creek Pass opened.

Pagosa Springs boasted of a few cars by that time. In fact, the purchase of a car was front page news. Apparently, the cars were not used much for cross-country travel in the mountains, even to cover the 60 or so miles separating Pagosa Springs from Durango.

Roads in this part of the Rocky Mountains were a serious problem. Back in the days (1881) when two stagecoaches a day passed through Pagosa Springs while completing their task of joining the end of the coming railroad at Chama with the fledgling community of Durango, the horse-drawn system became known as the "Lumber Line." The coaches carried an assortment of loose boards. When a coach reached an impassable mud hole, the driver dropped in lumber until the coach could cross the obstacle. Those of us who remember the 1930s remember doing the same thing with autos and roads of the day.

Some folks still talk about the McCoy Ranch located at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass. The McCoys picked up extra money by using a team of horses to pull autos out of mud holes where the highway crossed their ranch. Old-timers say that when roads were dry and times were bad, McCoy primed the pump by flooding the road from a nearby irrigation ditch.

In any case, in 1916 automobiles were a "sight to behold." The following poem taken from an early newspaper tells something about the town attitude regarding autos. Written by Carl Cather, the poem was titled A Sad Event:

"A car broke loose from Smith's garage, Last night at ten o'clock. Sol Thayer saw it pass, Five times around the block. Sol said he tried to stop the thing, By looking at the brake, So swiftly did the wheels go round, No progress could he make. He called on G.S. Jones, to see what he could do. So Sherman got his Saxon out, and after it he flew. The Ford then thot it'd take a spin, Upon the Great Divide. So G.S. thot he quit the job, For the road was none too wide. So Sol got sore at G.S. Jones, And hired Doc Taylor's Dodge, But Taylor hit a Cadillac, and there they had to lodge. Then Sol walked back to town again, Praying to the Lord. That he might have a little luck, to catch that gol darn Ford. He woke up Hortense Lowenstein, and hired the runaways mate; He said I'll let you speed a bit, For it's getting late. When they reached the summit of the hill, They found the Ford there, lying dead. They sadly they came home again, Of the Ford no more was said."

The poem just quoted will be fun for the few remaining old-timers who will recognize the names. One can only wonder at what incident prompted Cather's literary effort.

I think Cather operated one of the first car dealerships and garages in Pagosa. I know little about him, but think he came to Pagosa Springs from Del Norte shortly after 1910.

Sol Thayer was town marshal at the time the poem was written. The Thayer's had a ranch on the Upper Piedra. I don't know anything about G.S. Jones, but know there was a Jones with a home across the highway from today's Echo Lake. Mrs. Jones may have been the sister of Howe, killed in the 1892 Montoya-Howe Sheepmen's Cattlemen's War.

Sherman may be the first name of Sherman Morehouse, another car dealer, garage operator, I think. Doc Taylor would have been Eudolphus M. Taylor, E.M., pioneer, town clerk, county clerk, etc., etc. Hortense Lowenstein was Bob Goodman's grandmother before she married Goodman.

Most of the car makes are still around, i.e., Ford, Cadillac, and Dodge, but what was a Saxon?

Next week we'll give the remembrances of an auto trip over Wolf Creek Pass in 1916, the first trip for any member of the general public.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

3/2

46

9

-

-

-

3/3

42

17

-

-

-

3/4

48

12

-

-

-

3/5

42

22

-

-

-

3/6

52

22

-

-

-

3/7

53

19

-

-

-

3/8

54

20

-

-

-

Drought downgraded; return to wet weather expected

By Tom Carosello

Staff Writer

Are Pagosa Country's drought conditions nearing an end?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture thinks so; the department's drought monitor, updated weekly, suggests Archuleta County rates as virtually drought-free for the first time in over three years.

And that rating may hold for quite some time, given the weather outlook for the coming week.

According to reports provided by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, snow and rain will return to the Four Corners region by early next week.

Through Saturday night, however, conditions should remain dry and breezy.

Today's forecast predicts partly-cloudy skies, highs near 50 and lows ranging from 15 to 25 degrees.

Friday calls for mostly-sunny conditions, northwest winds at 10-15 miles per hour through the afternoon, highs in the 50s and lows around 20.

Saturday should bring an increase in clouds, highs in the 50s and lows in the upper teens to low 20s.

The forecast for Sunday predicts overcast skies, a chance for flurries by afternoon, highs in the 40s and lows in the upper teens.

Monday and Tuesday are expected to usher in scattered snow or rain showers, highs in the 40s and lows in the 15-25 range.

Wednesday's forecast indicates an end to lingering showers, highs in the upper 40s and lows in the 20s.

The average high temperature last week in Pagosa Springs was 49 degrees. The average low was 19. Moisture totals for the week amounted to zero.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reports a summit snow depth of 161 inches, a midway depth of 141 inches and year-to-date total snowfall of 392 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" to "considerable" near and above timberline, "low" to "moderate" below timberline.

According to SNOTEL data, the snowpack level for the Upper San Juan Basin, as of Tuesday afternoon, was 164 percent of average.

San Juan River flow through town ranged from a low of about 105 cubic feet per second to a high of approximately 150 cubic feet per second last week.

The river's historic median flow for the week of March 10 ranges between 75-85 cubic feet per second.