May 12, 2005
Front Page

'Big Box' team sees six steps to control

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Growth. It's on everyone's mind these days and the Town of Pagosa Springs' "Big Box Task Force" has spent months grappling with the issue of large-scale retail development.

After months of research, data collection and economic analysis the task force presented findings Tuesday night to the Pagosa Springs Town Council and Archuleta County Commissioners.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said the task force represented a wide cross section of community opinion and said members' views spanned the entire opinion spectrum.

After looking at community input via mail and e-mail surveys, case studies from other rural, small towns that had dealt with "big box" retail development and the data collected by the economic consulting firm, Economic and Planning Systems, the group came to six recommendations.

Retail size caps, or square footage limits, was the first and most widely discussed recommendation. The task force suggested that size caps and a retailer's location would be inextricably linked.

The task force suggested a zone system where the downtown core area, from the junction of U.S 84 and 160 to 15th Street, would require a size cap of 5,000 square feet for compliance, whereas areas west of downtown and in the unincorporated areas of the county would allow retail development of up to 25,000 square feet for compliance. (For perspective, City Market in the Pagosa Country Center is 53,250 square feet, and Alco is about 20,000 square feet.)

The task force suggested that downtown projects between 5,001 and 8,000 square feet would require an economic impact report, while projects 8,001 square feet and over would be noncompliant.

A similar tiered system for the areas west of downtown and the unincorporated county areas was advised as well. Any project between 25,001 and 55,000 square feet would require an economic impact report, while projects over 55,000 square feet would be noncompliant.

The impact report would be paid for by the developer and would be followed by a public hearing. Ultimately, the town council would determine if a larger scale project's benefits would outweigh its costs.

Impact fees for retail development formed a cornerstone of the task force's proposal, but both the task force and town manager agreed development of those fees is still in the works.

Creating provisions for vacating a retail site, developing appropriate design criteria and seeking to expand or attract businesses that complement the community were part of the task force's recommendation as well.

Defining what kind of big box retail the town wants still seemed unclear, yet Angela Atkinson, spokesperson for the task force, spoke about balance and compromise.

She cautioned in her presentation that overall square footage devoted to one product could be detrimental to local retailers.

Ideas about bringing in such retailers as Cabela's or REI as a regional draw were entertained, but no hard conclusions were drawn.

Atkinson said EPS' finding recommended that downtown improvement, a main street program and larger scale retail development must work hand- in-hand and that a healthy downtown core was essential to weathering any possible fallout from larger scale retail development.

Kathy Keyes, a second spokesperson for the task force, said development should pay its own way.

Atkinson noted retirees and second home owners will form the backbone of significant population growth in the area during the next 15 years.

"The significance of visitors and second home owners cannot be underemphasized, that's where a lot of money will come from in the future," Atkinson said.

The task force said their findings indicate the Pagosa Springs economy is healthy and looked fit through the next 15 to 20 years, even if they did nothing regarding big box development.

Current leakage rates ( money that leaves the community) of around 47 percent should shrink during that time to around 40 percent. While that is better than Pagosa Springs stands now, it is not the plan of action the town intends to take.

Garcia and the Big Box Task Force agree something must be done to curb financial leakage without compromising the character of the town or the economic health of Pagosa's smaller retailers.

The task force cautioned against bringing in massive, big box retailers, citing that although these retailers provide the most sales tax revenue, the gains come at the cost of a 35 percent loss in sales for other, smaller retailers.

Atkinson said a massive big box project like a Wal Mart would hit downtown hard and it could take five to 10 years for that area to recover.

After a short discussion the town council agreed to direct staff to prepare the legal paperwork for an extension of the current moratorium. The current moratorium is set to expire May 27.

Consensus after the task force's presentation was that the moratorium should be extended to Aug. 3 to coincide with the county's moratorium on big box retail development. Garcia said this would allow the town time to look at the task force and EPS findings and to research and establish parameters for impact fees.

The council called for a special meeting, Tuesday, May 24 ,at noon at Town Hall, to finalize the extension of the moratorium.

Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon said planned growth was the key to Pagosa Springs' future and was pleased with the level of cooperation between the town and the county at the session.

He called it an "historic moment" saying that it was the first time the county commissioners and the town council had worked so closely and cohesively on an issue.

Atkinson added, "It is very symbolic. This is the first time the town and the county have sat at the same table. It shows both parties working together."

  

Whitewater park key in river restoration plan

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Free hot springs, an Olympic quality whitewater park, walking paths, improved fish habitat and easier access are all potential aspects of Phase Two of the San Juan River Restoration Project unveiled by Gary Lacy of Recreational Engineering and Planning.

Lacy outlined the projects' possibilities to a group of enthusiastic boaters, fishermen and interested townspeople Tuesday evening and described potential uses for the river and its banks from Hot Springs Boulevard bridge to the Apache Street bridge - the boundaries of the phase two project.

Phase one of the river restoration project was completed in 1994 and stretched from JJ's Upstream restaurant to the Sixth Street bend. That project focused primarily on improving fish habitat.

Phase two has a multi-use approach. Lacy described a whitewater park with seven to eight structures that could support freestyle or Olympic slalom competitions. This segment would stretch from Hot Springs bridge to McCabe Creek.

The river from McCabe Creek down to the Apache Street bridge would be a "flow through channel" designed to be visually appealing but not necessarily designed for high use or impact by boaters, fishermen and pedestrians. In this area, improving fish habitat and maintaining existing wetlands would be much of the focus.

"We chose Gary because of his strengths in whitewater, his strengths in fishing habitat and his skill in combining river and bank elements," Town Manager Mark Garcia said.

He said the project is about connecting people to the river, not just providing an arena for boaters.

To this end, Lacy's plans included added streamside vegetation, park areas for children and families, terraced walkways and new and easier access points.

Both Special Project Coordinator Julie Jessen and Garcia said restoring the San Juan River through town is a key component of the town's comprehensive plan.

Lacy said the creation of whitewater parks and river improvements are often an economic boon for communities and cited an economic impact study in Golden, where a $170,000 white water park brought $1.7 million into the local economy.

At this point Garcia encouraged public comment to either him or Jessen via e-mail. He said it is critical that townspeople get involved and provide feedback.

He said grant money is in place, equipment from Wolf Creek Ski Area has been donated and the town is ready to charge ahead with the project.

He said once the plans and permits are in place, work should begin by fall or early winter 2005.

One local fisherman inspired by the plans said, "My dream is to sit in that hot pool with my fly rod and catch fish."

 

Bid opening Monday for Dutton Ditch line

By Carol Fuccillo

Special to The SUN

Bid opening for construction of the Dutton Ditch pipeline is scheduled 2 p.m. Monday at the Pagosa Springs Water and Sanitation District offices.

At least six Colorado firms have put their bids in the hat for the projected $3 million project.

PAWS board members hope to make an award early next week and start construction on the pipeline this spring.

According to Gene Tautges, assistant manager, the tight construction window has to do with water rights and water seniority. Specifically, during the summer period, district water rights are out of priority.

There is still a fair amount of snow in certain areas, according to Tautges. Therefore, the tentative plan is to start construction at the lower elevation of the project - where there is a lot less snow - then work up toward the higher elevations.

Also, the National Resource Conservation Service and Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) will hold a public meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Vista Community Center, 230 Port Ave. to present an overview on the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Master Plan.

The watershed project, according to Larry Lynch, property and environment manager for PLPOA, started about three years ago with the formation of a special ad hoc lake study committee whose mission it is to assess the management and protection of the four Pagosa Lakes (Hatcher, Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Lake Forest).

Lynch said that rather than focus on the lakes themselves, the committee is going to review the entire watershed as the lakes tend to be collection areas. According to Lynch, upwards of 40,000 acres of property ends up draining into these lakes.

"What we are seeing is that we are starting to feel the impact of growth and development in the area and we are starting to collect storm water and drainage water from commercial areas and the airport, as well as residential areas," said Lynch.

"We are seeing an increase in suspended sediments in the water, and we are in the process of assessing if there are other contaminants coming into the reservoirs."

The ultimate goal of the project is to create a long-range watershed master plan that will help implement future mitigation efforts and "potentially modify land use regulations to help protect waterways and reservoirs, especially from the impacts of construction." according to Lynch.

Other items considered by the board Tuesday included:

- approval of a main water line extension permit for Colorado Housing, Inc. properties within the Town of Pagosa Springs;

- information indicating PAWS is still waiting for input from Fairfield Resorts regarding a revised raw water irrigation agreement;

- acceptance of a revised version of a multiple use agreement with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

 

 

Schools ask $545,413 in NCLB funds;

obtain grant

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Financing for mandated programs is always a problem for public schools but there are sources of support - both within program support framework and from local contributions.

Those facets were fully appreciated Tuesday when the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint began work to finance next year's operations.

First on the firing line was approval of a grant application drafted by Terry Alley for No Child Left Behind funds totaling $545,413 for the next school year.

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, said the amount requested was down from $562,842 received this year, but indicated Alley feels the actual amount received will be more.

Included in the bid is:

- $346,000 for Title 1 reading teachers - four at the elementary school and two in the intermediate school;

- Title 1 service to private schools Our Savior Lutheran and Summit Christian totaling $19,000;

- Title 1 stipends for staff development ($14,454), assistant superintendent costs of $10,000 and supplies, $8,000;

- Title IIA funds totaling $91,000 for two kindergarten classroom teachers, $7000 for assistant superintendent activity, $1,100 for staff development and $400 for the private schools.

- Title IID funds including $5,971 for staff development and $1,930 for technology equipment;

- Title III funds totaling $2,663 for English Language Learners (ELL);

- Title IV funding of $11,000 for an ELL tutor and $656 for the private schools; and

- Title V funds totaling $6,000 for staff development and assistant superintendent activity and $682 for private schools.

Local funds

At the same time, the board was made aware that director Clifford Lucero, on behalf of the Archuleta County Recycling Group, had made a $1,000 donation to the district.

"In this time of tight budgets and state and national accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act," said Superintendent Duane Noggle, "many districts are facing a narrowing of the curriculum."

The district he said, "is committed to not allowing this to happen. We are deeply grateful that the community has stepped forward to assist in enhancing the music program."

And then, the board received a check for $1,115 from John Hostetter of Wells Fargo Bank, to be added to the local program funding.

Hostetter told the board the funds were from a bank promotion designed to grant a $10 gift for each new account opened in a specified period.

Lucero told the board and audience, "We just want to help out as we understand the budgetary constraints but also realize fine arts play a vital role in the education of our children."

Hostetter said the bank's donation was designed "to enhance the educational opportunities in whatever facet of the program it is most needed."

Noggle told the donors and audience each area of study is on a six-year curriculum review cycle and the music program will enter the first year of study next year.

In the meantime, he said, the district will add a part-time music teacher to supplement the junior high school music program from district funding and community donations like these.

After the initial music review period, he said, the district will make necessary revisions to the music curriculum and the administration will formulate recommendations for additional materials, equipment and staffing and in the third year will budget for the program improvements.

Any others interested in contributing to the district's music program, he said, may mail a check to the district at PO Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or drop it off in the district offices at 309 Lewis St.

 

 Inside The Sun

Bedrock for library 35 feet deep; special pillars will be needed

An open letter from the board of trustees

Dear area residents:

For the past several years, long-time Library Director Lenore Bright championed a worthy cause: maintaining a great downtown location for our library, but with a larger area for books and other resources and for the public gathered to enjoy them.

Lenore received the response of a generous public. Adding to a treasure of individual donations large and modest, she pursued the acquisition of grants from benefactors dedicated to improving access to information in our community.

A year ago those of us who serve as trustees of the library district were interviewing architects and contractors to start the long process of bringing the vision of an improved public library to reality. For months we met as a volunteer board with great support from a dedicated building committee. We interviewed applicants for designing and constructing a remodeled and enlarged Ruby Sisson Memorial Library and reviewed their proposals.

We spent many meeting hours making hard choices to balance our building fund against rising construction costs. Valuable time was spent submitting drawings, securing various building approvals, and obtaining contract advice from our attorney, who worked pro bono for the benefit of the public we serve.

Near summer's end, we made another difficult decision - postpone ground-breaking until this spring rather than increase costs by working in adverse winter conditions. We had arrived — unanimously - at a plan that should meet our community's needs for the next 15 to 20 years and within our building budget. That plan includes enhancing computer access for patrons and creating a special area for children. Inherent in the remodeling and addition design are improvements to meet today's higher standards for accessibility, safety and for more cost-effective long-range maintenance.

We know you are asking why you are not seeing the building taking shape, just vast amounts of shale and rock piled between the old structure and the highway for the past five weeks. We want to tell you why, because this is a public library and you are the public.

The facts are straightforward, but unfortunate and frustrating. Even though we had been given the findings of a soil test performed when the current building was constructed 17 years ago, we followed expert advice and secured a new inspection. We relied on this 2004 test that reported similar favorable findings for the plans we had finally and finely honed, but in March 2005 actual on-site excavation proved that soil conditions were anything but acceptable.

With plans and schedules firm for spring construction of the foundation, we were informed by our conscientious construction management team that a solid base for foundation piers is well below the reported 15-foot depth. A third soil analysis was authorized and performed by Western Technologies, and the findings are startling and will prove extremely expensive: bedrock is nearly 35 feet below the surface at the library site.

You can imagine how everyone felt when faced with this enormous problem that affects the design and construction of the very foundation of the library expansion and remodeling project.

What we can tell you that is very positive is this: We have an architect firm and general contractor who have gone above and beyond any reasonable expectations to help us stay on track and get your library improvement completed. Humphries Poli and Colorado Jaynes have given time and expertise to adjust their design and construction timeline to meet an unforeseen and unforeseeable soils disaster. Dozens of subcontractors are also making every effort to help us be successful.

You will see the most amazing sight in the coming week: a monstrous machine called a caisson driver drilling enormous, 40-foot deep holes where the building additions will rest. That will be followed by the construction and insertion of engineered rebar "cages" to provide horizontal and lateral support to poured concrete pillars. The cost of the redesigned sub-foundation system will add more than $80,000 to our $805,000 building budget.

All of the trustees have struggled with the new financial reality of achieving our goal. Balanced against the increase in cost is the fact that a significant portion of the building fund comes from grants that are project-specific and attached to deadlines. We are taking a leap of faith right now, hoping that any other well-meaning group of individuals faced with this opportunity and its accompanying dilemma would come to the same conclusions:

- keep our community well-informed about our progress and our problems;

- ask that community to support a valuable investment in access to the vast world of education, entertainment and sheer joy that books, computers and other non-print resources provide

- invite our community of individuals, families and businesses to give any additional donations they can afford to help us open the doors of a "renewed" and "improved" library for the Pagosa Springs area.

We thank you for your understanding and your continued support.

The Upper San Juan Library District Board of Trustees:

Joan Rohwer, John Steinert,

Glenn Raby, Scottie Gibson.

Kerry Dermody and Cate Smock

 

Forum on methamphetamine produces plans of attack

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

If you are using, we will find you.

If you are distributing, we will catch you.

If you need education on the devastating effects of methamphetamine, we will help you.

This was the theme at the Archuleta County forum on methamphetamine (meth) and drug abuse held May 2 at the community center.

Representatives from law enforcement, school, the district attorney's office, church groups and health and human service, as well as concerned citizens, met for a third time to plan a communitywide focus on the meth problem and its devastating effects. Educating the public became the No. 1 priority, to coincide with drug education in the schools and ongoing law enforcement activities.

Suzie Kleckner, nurse manager for the local office of San Juan Basin Health Department and group facilitator, played a video received from the La Plata County coalition. That group had developed the video to start the education process in their community and it was offered to the Pagosa group.

The video, "Breaking the Glass," featured interviews with professionals, doctors and recovering addicts about the effects of meth use on community, family and health. The recovering addicts in the video indicated it took intervention, usually jail time, to get clean. It was noted that "given the right circumstances, it would be easy to start again" and that "people must be educated up front so they know the devastating impact meth use can have."

Kleckner ordered at least eight copies of the video for the local project. Lisa Hudson, intermediate and high school counselor, will integrate the video into sixth-grade drug education classes.

Kris Embree, registered nurse for San Juan Basin Health Department, set up a small meth lab for display. Sudafed, charcoal, Coleman fuel, Red Devil lye and matches are some of the household ingredients used in making meth. She called it, "Meth lab will travel" and will show it and/or a two-hour video presentation to anyone interested.

Embree also displayed a baby's bottle, a box of frosted flakes and other food items. Why food items? She said these items will absorb the chemical toxins generated from manufacturing meth. "Children living where there is a meth lab will ingest the toxins from food items and become just as dependent as a user," she said. "These kids will have to go through detoxification as well".

Josh Bramble, child protection supervisor for the Archuleta County Department of Human Services, said there are now mobile decontamination units to treat children and provide a safe haven for them during an intervention. Bramble continued, "there were more kids removed last year from meth drug busts than any other year." (Both he and Embree have received extensive training from a task force in Denver).

Don Volger, Pagosa Springs chief of police, provided a handout developed and circulated by the local police and sheriff's departments. Titled, "Clandestine Drug Labs & What You Should Know," it provides information on what a clandestine drug lab (clan lab) is, what to do if you spot one, why they are dangerous, how to detect a clan lab and where they are located. Volger said it is a first step in detection and prevention and said the brochures are available to anyone.

The brochure contains information on how anyone can help deal with this problem: "Know what to look for, and be alert. Your knowledge and quick action can help close down a lab and prevent serious injury or death to yourself and others. But remember, clan labs are toxic time bombs, frequently booby-trapped and often have heavily armed persons inside or nearby."

Authorities suggest you not investigate a clan lab scene yourself, but that you call the sheriff or police.

Joanne Irons, from Partners in Education at the elementary school, called for a cross-section of community members to generate awareness in the community. She volunteered to lead that group. Irons also cited a need for "shock and awe" actions directed toward meth distributors and manufacturers. Lauri Heraty, from the junior high school group, suggested the video be played at the local theater and agreed to pursue a discussion with the theater owners.

Scott Maxwell, Pagosa Springs police detective, indicated there are drug test kits available to detect meth use. Don Ford, pastor of the Community United Methodist Church, indicated he is willing to purchase as many kits as required to support community needs.

Hudson re-enforced the need to set up focus groups in areas such as education, law enforcement and community. Kleckner agreed and will schedule a meeting in the near future.

The group, to include Irons, Heraty and others, will focus on customizing and distributing the template titled "Break the Glass, Methamphetamine is here," also received from La Plata County.

 

Rice named Pirate volleyball coach; superintendent's contract extended

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs High School has a new varsity girls' volleyball coach today, a superintendent with a two-year contract extension, but no new assistant principal for the high school.

In a flurry of personnel actions Tuesday, the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint, after a two-phase executive session, named Andy Rice to the volleyball position.

Participating with the board in the closed session were all five members of the selection committee which had recommended Rice from a field of four applicants - including Myles Gabel, Kirsten Hentschel and Nicole Looper.

The selection, on the agenda as part of a consent agenda item in which a single vote approves all topics, had been lifted from the consent action by motion of Director Sandy Caves, noting there had been strong comment from the community on the choice.

The selection committee, comprised of Bob Lynch, Jim Shaffer, Linda Muirhead, David Hamilton and Ming Steen, said in a written report to the board they had interviewed all four candidates.

Before the interviews, the report said, Shaffer and Hamilton contacted each candidate's previous employers, athletic directors, principals and persons of recommendation, notes were taken and questions asked concerning each applicant's qualifications.

Each candidate had excellent recommendations, the committee reported. Each candidate was allotted one hour for interview and identical questions were asked of each one.

The selection committee's written report said Rice was chosen based on three criteria: technical volleyball knowledge, educational philosophy and volleyball advocacy.

Discussion in the executive session was privileged, but the resulting unanimous vote for Rice would indicate the panel stood steadfastly by its initial recommendation.

The written report concluded, "The committee is confident in Coach Rice's ability to not only teach the fundamental volleyball skills to sustain a winning program, but also to push the girls to greater academic and athletic heights. He understands the unique interplay of academics and athletics in the lives of our student athletes. His motivation is simple: he is passionate about the game and passionate about coaching."

From the audience, in a departure from board rules regarding public comment outside a specific allotted time, Rick Jewell spoke glowingly of the successes in the coaching field of candidate Gabel.

"I've had great experience with Myles coaching my daughter in club soccer and viewed him as the best candidate," Jewell said. "He was instrumental in getting her a scholarship based on volleyball performance and academics, and has innumerable contacts in the collegiate volleyball family.

The board vote for Rice was unanimous.

His background includes playing mens' volleyball in college, coaching boys' high school volleyball in California, and coaching locally for Four Corners Volleyball Club, with a number of other sports related experiences added on.

The motion to approve Rice was by director Jon Forrest, seconded by director Matt Aragon.

Contract extension

Superintendent Duane Noggle, apparently had requested the second portion of the executive session to iron out some items in his proposed contract extension.

He will conclude the first four years of his initial contract June 1.

The board returned from the executive session almost 90 minutes after the start, and following the approved agenda, finalized an extension for Noggle through the 2006-07 school year.

The vote was unanimous.

The agenda had also indicated interviews had been conducted for a high school assistant principal and that a recommendation would be made at the meeting.

No such recommendation was forthcoming from the administration, though one applicant, Curtis Maberry was in the audience with a letter indicating a choice would be made.

Director Mike Haynes, board president, professed he did not know the letter had been sent and apologized for the board not being ready to make a choice on someone to replace Hamilton, who has been named principal starting next year.

Other personnel action

The board accepted the resignation of veteran teacher Julie Gates-Zimmer in the intermediate school and named Patricia Davis to the sixth-grade language arts faculty to replace her.

At the same time, Paula Ford was advanced to sixth-grade language arts, leaving a vacancy at the fifth-grade level.

The board hopes to fill from within staff, but is prepared to advertise the position if necessary.

In other personnel action:

- Boys' high school varsity basketball coach Jim Shaffer was named half-time athletic director, filling that portion of Hamilton's previous role, and will serve the balance of each school day as boys' physical education director;

- renewed contracts for 10 teachers who have completed their probationary period and for 12 who are still on probation, as well as extended contracts of 101 other teachers throughout the district; and

- approved a leave of absence for intermediate school principal Mark DeVoti, one of 75 persons selected nationwide to attend a Professional Learning Communities at Work leadership conference Oct. 13-15, 2005, Feb. 12-15 and May 4-6, 2006.

 

School board tables proposed facilities use pact with town

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A proposed revision of 20-year-old joint use agreement regarding school and town facilities was tabled Tuesday by the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Because of the huge growth in use by both governmental agencies during that time, the need for upgraded divisions of responsibility was deemed evident.

But director Mike Haynes, board president, told the board, "This is a big step and this is the first chance we've had to look at it. I believe its something we need to spend more time on."

He suggested the school board arrange a joint session with the town board to iron out "a comfort level on participation and areas of joint and single responsibility."

Director Matt Aragon agreed and suggested the board direct Superintendent Duane Noggle to arrange the joint session.

It was noted that rapidly expanding town recreation programs create a heavy use load on school-owned facilities.

While the initial agreement included the fields at the sports complex with the exception of the football stadium and use of Town Park for intermediate and junior high physical education programs, the facility use has exploded dramatically to include school gymnasiums (except the elementary school) and new soccer fields at the elementary school.

It was noted the high school baseball field has not been usable, and still is not in full repair. In addition, there is a possibility a portion of the field may have to be ripped out this summer for another construction project.

The town is reportedly eyeing the addition of two football programs to its offerings, which would involve more land use.

While the town is in the early stages of developing a new sports complex on South 5th Street, it will not be available for many months.

Under the proposed joint-use agreement, the two governmental entities would be responsible for providing adequate personnel for supervision of any activities on the other's property and be responsible for any damages and repairs thereon.

Each entity would have to acknowledge necessity for full compliance with all rules and regulations imposed by the other on all general users of the properties.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

- approved a new alternative high school agreement with Archuleta County Education Center. Key to the pact is increased cost to the center totaling about $6,000 for computer services and a change in mileage allotment for teachers and student field trips.

- agreed to plan a series of public meetings encouraging potential school board candidates to attend so they can learn beforehand the things they will have to know if elected. Involved would probably be four sessions of about an hour and a half with breakdowns on funding problems, sources and allowable uses of various funds; qualifications for board service; leadership ladders, budgeting, policy and decision making roles, community relationships, and a broad range look at individual member and full board responsibilities. The board hopes to have such sessions in June and July for anyone running for three seats up for election this fall.

 

School board pulls back term-limit extension bid

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A suggestion that the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint place on the fall ballot a public question about extending term limits to three terms was withdrawn Tuesday.

Behind the proposal was growing concern statewide that veteran board members are - under current state law allowing just two terms - removed from office just when they have learned how it operates.

At the behest of board members, the administration had asked district legal counsel Reese Miller for possible ballot question language if the decision was made to proceed.

Miller provided two options. One would grandfather any such extension of term limits to anyone elected to serve on or after Jan. 1, 1995. The second would allow the extension to affect those taking office on or after Jan. 1, 2006.

Both questions, Miller said, would be legal under the state law which allows change of term-limit only by vote of the district's electors.

At the same time, Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board he had asked for rough estimates from the county clerk's office on the cost of running such a question on the general election ballot.

A chart, showing the district's share of general elections costs are determined by the total number of special questions on the ballot, produced a figure that had directors wincing. Sandy Caves, for example, said "the cost is exorbitant when we're trying to save taxpayers money."

Noting this year's election will be conducted by mail-in ballot, she suggested the cost might be considerably lower for the 2006 election because there likely would be more special questions submitted at a full vote process.

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, said the cost would be even more than shown, because it would have to be published in both Archuleta and Hinsdale counties and both would also charge for running the election.

Director Mike Haynes, noting both Jon Forrest and Clifford Lucero are term-limited out for this election and both have indicated they would not run if the term-limit rule were changed, said, "There thus appears to be no need for the question to be submitted at this time. It would make more sense to do it in 2006."

"From my perspective," Noggle said, "I see a dilution of the power of the voters by term limits remaining. Losing good people means you gain new people who have no idea of what it means to serve on a school board."

Haynes responded, "Yes, but people still retain and deserve the right to vote out a person they feel has not done a good job."

Forrest recalled the district has submitted the extension question to the voters twice in the past and it was defeated both times. "Three terms makes more sense to me, but the voters have spoken already.

"On the other hand," he said, "there is always the possibility of getting stale ... fresh blood and new ideas are good."

Both he and Lucero indicated they would not run again even if term limits were extended.

The board then agreed to table the idea and look at it again next year.

 

Alternative high named region's best

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

Archuleta County High School was named Outstanding School of the Southwest-Four Corners Region by the El Pomar Foundation. It also received $8,000 in grant money, not for the school itself but to pass through to local non-profit agencies in Archuleta County.

The alternative high school, which is sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center, competed with six other schools for the honor of Outstanding School. The award is given to the school that best participates in El Pomar Youth in Community Service activities.

The El Pomar Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the Rocky Mountain West, funds grants to support Colorado non-profit organizations. It contributes approximately $20 million annually through direct grants and Community Stewardship Programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations.

Doug Bowen, Archuleta County High School director, said the El Pomar program teaches the students about non-profit organizations and volunteerism. His students evaluated grant requests from non-profit organizations and chose seven that would receive the El Pomar funding. Because the students had to raise $500 on their own to receive the grant from the foundation, it also teaches them about service learning.

"It's their way of giving into the schools," Bowen said.

ACHS freshman Felix Guiterrez spoke before 100 people and presented $8,000 in checks to the Powerhouse Youth Ministry, the Pagosa Springs High School Library, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Whimspire Child Placement Agency, the San Juan Basin Health Department, Boy Scouts of America and Casa de Los Arcos.

Angela Lucero, a sophomore at ACHS was also named Outstanding Student by the El Pomar Youth in Community Service Program.

PSHS student wins AFS stipend to study in Brazil

Sara Baum, a Pagosa Springs High School student, has been awarded an AFS Awards for Excellence Scholarship.

This is a nationally competitive program which awards scholarships for students to study abroad.

Baum will use her scholarship to study in Brazil where she will gain first-hand knowledge of what it is like to live as a member of a school, family and community in another culture.

AFS, a worldwide nonprofit, has been a leading international high school student exchange for more than 57 years, and today remains largely a volunteer-based organization with more than 8,000 AFS Volunteers in the U.S. and more than 30,000 worldwide.

 

Gonzalez seeks GOP nomination for sheriff

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Perhaps the worst kept secret in Archuleta County politics was made public Monday when Peter L. Gonzalez, an investigator for the district attorney's office, announced his candidacy as Republican candidate for sheriff.

His statement said, in part:

"During the 34 years I have served the public, which include the past six and a half years as your District Attorney Investigator in Archuleta County, I have devoted myself to the communities I service.

"I have gained substantial experience in patrol, investigative, administrative and supervisory functions of those entities for which I've worked and I believe this qualifies me for Sheriff of Archuleta County."

His background in law enforcement began in 1972 in California when he was a police academy recruit and was assigned to central jail duties by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.

In 1975 he was assigned to the Industry Sheriff's Office and over the ensuing three years served as a patrol deputy, training officer and deputy training officer.

He was assigned in 1978 to the gang suppression unit and stayed in the capacity for three years, leaving when named to the detective bureau.

For the next 11 years, he was a robbery and assault investigator, burglary investigator, team leader and juvenile diversion program manager. In that time he was involved in robbery probes, and criminal assault and domestic violence investigations; he prepared and submitted cases to the district attorney and composed search warrants.

In 1992 Gonzalez moved to Colorado to take the post as Ignacio Chief of Police, administering daily operation functions of the department, preparing and implementing department budgets, and creating and administering a local D.A.R.E. program.

From 1998 to present he has been an investigator for 6th Judicial District Attorney, doing case investigations, witness interviews, liaison with local law enforcement agencies and assisting Archuleta County citizens with court-related issues.

Gonzalez, who has been named for two Outstanding Law Enforcement awards in California, is bilingual (speaks, reads and writes fluent Spanish); has restructured application processes for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; has been a high school basketball coach; and holds an associate of science degree from Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif.

He concluded his formal announcement saying, "I possess high ethical standards, strong leadership and interpersonal skills, all of which are characteristics successful managers should possess.

"In addition, I pledge my total commitment to the citizens of Archuleta County, as both a proven leader and as an individual who, as a sheriff, will listen to your concerns and provide you with quality law enforcement that meets the needs of our growing community. At the same time, I want to ensure that we maintain the quality of our community."

The candidate is P.O.S.T (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certified in both Colorado and California and is a state-trained missing persons investigation instructor.

 

 Outdoors

DOW plea: Don't feed the wildlife

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is asking the public to do its part to help reduce potentially dangerous wildlife encounters and the message is simple:

Don't feed the wildlife!

"There is mounting evidence that artificial feeding of wildlife contributes directly to the problems between wildlife and people," said Albert Romero, the district wildlife officer for western El Paso County. "We know that artificial feeding concentrates animals and accelerates the spread of diseases. It also causes wild animals to lose their fear of humans, which increases the chance of someone getting bitten or injured."

"Many people who feed wildlife do not realize it does more harm than good," said Romero. "In the case of bears, foxes and coyotes, feeding encourages animals to associate humans with food - an association that often results in the animal's destruction."

Not only is feeding unhealthy for wild animals, it is also illegal. Colorado law prohibits feeding deer, elk, moose, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bears, foxes or coyotes. Wildlife officers can ticket people for feeding wildlife by leaving out garbage, pet food, grain, meat scraps or other food sources known to attract bears and other animals.

"We view this as primarily a human safety issue," said Randy Hancock, a wildlife officer from Buena Vista. "Nationwide statistics clearly show that most of the incidents where foxes or coyotes injured people occurred after the animals had been regularly fed by someone.

"We understand that people often feed wildlife because they think they're helping the animals, but the results are often bad for both humans and the animals," said Hancock.

In the case of deer, elk or other big game species, the animals congregate around an artificial food source, which increases physical contact as they jostle for food. In the wild, deer or elk might feed from the same plants, but direct nose-to-nose contact is very minimal. At an artificial food pile, however, direct nose-to-nose contact can quickly spread diseases like brucellosis, tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease.

Feeding wildlife is not just a rural problem. Coyotes and foxes can turn up in just about any Colorado setting, from mountain hamlets and ski resorts to urban parks and suburban neighborhoods. It is not unusual to get reports of coyotes and foxes appearing in suburban neighborhoods. Citizens living in new suburban developments have reported hearing packs of howling coyotes at night and seeing solitary coyotes or foxes wandering down residential streets. People have even reported seeing foxes and coyotes in downtown Denver.

The mere presence of wildlife does not constitute a threat, but when those wild animals become accustomed to human handouts, the potential for problems escalates.

"It's important for us as residents of Colorado to learn to coexist with wildlife, and that would include not feeding wildlife to reduce possible conflicts. It's easier for us to learn to adjust our lifestyles than to expect wildlife to do so. They are only doing what comes natural to them and they don't know any better," Romero said. "It's our duty to keep the wild’ in wildlife."

 

Interpretive Alliance releases part of summer schedule

The first few events from the Interpretive Alliance for 2005 are scheduled and the first printed calendar of events will be available and posted around town in late May/early June.

In the meantime, events are listed in Kate's Calendar in The PREVIEW section of The SUN and on the Community Calendar on KWUF Radio. Event information is also available at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan. Select Education, then Pagosa Springs Interpretive Alliance. All programs are free.

The following events are provided by participants in the Alliance.

Navajo State Park provides interpretive and educational programs. Contact the park at 883-2208 for information. There is a park entrance fee but programs are free.

Take a 9 a.m. spring wildflower hike with Dick Moseley Tuesday, May 24. Meet at the parking area at the end of the pavement on Piedra Road. The hike will be in the Turkey Springs area and is sponsored by San Juan National Forest and San Juan Mountains. Association. Call 264-2268 for more information.

Through May 31, view an exhibit of the artwork and photography selected for Pagosa Springs Calendar. The exhibit is hosted by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at The gallery in Town Park.

The San Juan National Forest is celebrating 100 years of service caring for the land and serving the people.

On Thursday, June 2, the Fiddlin' Foresters, the official old-time string band of the USDA Forest Service, will be in Pagosa Springs for a free 7 p.m. concert at Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium.

Since 1994, the Fiddlin' Foresters have performed hundreds of concerts across the country. Their music features bluegrass, old-time and country-western music. There will be numerous events in the area during the celebration. For more information, call Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

The summer reading program for children of all ages begins June 7. The theme is "Dragons, Dreams, and Daring Deeds." Parents can preregister their children now at the mini-library. There will be stories and activities Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:30 a.m. Call the Sisson Library at 264-2208 for more information.

For outdoor programs, be prepared for any kind of weather. Bring water, hat, sunscreen, rain gear and wear appropriate shoes. For outdoor evening programs, bring a blanket and flashlight.

These events are sponsored by members of the Interpretive Alliance.

For more information, contact Phyllis Wheaton at Pagosa Ranger District, 264-1528.

 

Public meeting set Tuesday on Stollsteimer Watershed

The San Juan Conservation District will sponsor a public meeting 6 p.m. May 17 for residents who reside within the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed.

The meeting will be held in the Vista Clubhouse.

The purpose is to explain the components of this watershed, invite public comment on resource concerns and begin the process of forming a steering committee to guide the planning effort.

This watershed planning has broad-based support from the community and targets the fastest growing area within Archuleta County, where the bulk of the population resides. The watershed encompasses approximately 82,000 acres from the lower portions of the Pagosa Peak area down to the confluence of Stollsteimer Creek and the Piedra River. It includes portions of the Town of Pagosa Springs, all of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, portions of the National Forest, Southern Ute Tribal lands, large portions of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and most of Aspen Springs.

The objective of this planning effort is to complete a Master Watershed Plan to outline the resource problems in the watershed, identify possible solutions and the cost of implementing these solutions.

This is a multi-entity effort including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA), Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD), the Town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service and the Southern Ute Tribe.

The need for this plan has never been more critical than now. Population growth within the watershed has been extraordinary in the last 10 years and is predicted to continue. With the growth many of the traditional uses of water in the area are being threatened.

This is a long-term plan, with the intention of protecting the watershed well into the future. It is being created to ensure there are clean water resources even after the community becomes more urbanized over the next 20 years.

Letters
Wretched eyesore

Dear Editor:

I appreciate so much the recent objective articles published in The SUN on the Village at Wolf Creek. With Red McCombs’ Clear Channel, owning so much of the media there have been articles in other publications slanted toward the developer.

In this most recent article Davey Pitcher's comments were very to the point, and something many of us have experienced, and have struggled to figure out how to fight. Thank you for allowing these things to be voiced.

We must keep encouraging our Senator Ken Salazar and Congressman John Salazar about our concerns as they are able to urge our public agencies to fulfill due process! It is so important that anyone who cares about this issue keep voicing opinions.

One cannot stand atop the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek without being overwhelmed by the incredible beauty spread below. We have something worth fighting for, and there are enough strong, independent people here who can turn the tide on this plan to obliterate such sacred beauty.

It was bluntly though well-put by Luther Davidson of Lakewood, Colo., on May 4, in response to "Wolf Creek Braces for Battle", May 2 Denver Post Business News:

"The efforts by businessman Red McCombs to build a 'city-sized village' atop Wolf Creek Pass boggles the mind of all Coloradans who love their state's mountainous beauty. Wolf Creek Pass is one of the few areas that has not yet been invaded by the money-grubbing land developers who would love to plaster every Colorado skyline with their trash. Why have the governor, the senators and the representatives not stopped this absurd violation of the state's vanishing heritage? Why is it that every time a Texas billionaire wants to destroy another area of Colorado we are told it is all for the good of the people and that we must never stop development? McCombs gets the money and we get the eternal, wretched eyesore he leaves behind as well as the costs of the roads, social services and schools. The forest damage that occurs will remain forever. Our civil servants are allowing this unholy desecration of the beauty of Colorado for a few pieces of silver that they will not even get. It is time for Coloradans to rise up in anger against this injustice to the environment and the citizens of the state."

There is no telling what small glitch will dismantle this - well-planned’ travesty - so whatever each of us is inspired to do or communicate is essential to the process.

Development is not inherently bad, but turning wilderness into a city is poorly conceived with no vision for the future.

May we who live here continue to defend that which we have come to understand as something rare and precious remaining for ourselves and future generations to enjoy without being buried in the imprint of "civilization."

Cary Ellis

 Passionate care

Dear Editor:

We would like to thank publicly the doctors, nurses and staff at Mercy Medical Center who worked in giving care to Glenn Bergmann. Glen spent three weeks in ICU at Mercy, ending with his passing on April 18.

While we are not medical experts, we believe Glenn received focused, up-to-date care of the highest professional quality. Just as important to us, we saw a passionate commitment to Glenn's well-being as a human. His wishes as a patient were honored carefully, and he was given treatment each step of the way with a deeply caring personal touch.

We would particularly like to thank Drs. Brown, Hallin and Bustamonte. We believe their passion for healing, their specialization in intensive medicine, and the relatively small size of the ICU led to Glenn's receiving very high quality care. Further, we are thankful for how they made themselves available to explain personally what Glenn was facing medically. Their answers to our questions were direct, thorough and compassionate.

We would recommend without reservation the care and treatment we observed at Mercy Medical Center.

Merilyn Moorhead and

Bill Bergmann

 Ought to resign

Dear Editor:

Based on your editorial (May 5, 2005) and some of your previous editorials, I think it's time for you to resign your position at The SUN, and offer your services to the local developers as their PR man.

Oops, I'm sorry, I guess you're already their PR man. Oh well, I guess all you need to do is resign your job at The SUN ... it's really very difficult to serve two masters.

I guess you must really love the robin's egg colored, California beach-style, Riverwalk Townhomes. I understand you support the idea that these developers should be free to do as they wish, but you'd think the least they could do is to build something that fits into our local architecture.

Do ya think these townhomes give us some insight as to what our poor city is going to look like in the future?

Gary Waples

Editor's note: A careful reading will show that nowhere in the May 5 editorial is it stated, or implied, that "developers should be free to do as they wish." As for colors: We've always been a sucker for teal.

 Exposing hypocrisy

Dear Editor:

Zach Maynes' comments in last week's SUN are a fairly frightening symptom of some perhaps ugly times ahead. He falls prey to the fashion of painting anybody who disagrees with him as not being "appreciative of living in this great country" and complaining about "everything to do with it".

Nothing could be further from the truth. I love this country, and its heritage enough to be willing to fight for it. This country needs checks and balances, and we need people on the "right," "left," middle and every other which way to be airing their views and help collectively keep us on course. I would not want to see this country dominated completely by liberal ideals any more than I want to see it dominated completely by conservative ideals.

This was not an "attack" upon Mr. Mayne, nor random. Nor was it an attempt to try and make excuses for anybody's wrong doings, but rather to expose the hypocrisy involved in such selective application of one's morality.

Lying to fight a war but acting patriotic while slashing veterans' benefits? Pretending to care about life when it's unborn, but being indifferent to it once it's born? And more examples abound ... I think one is unpatriotic, and un-American if you DO support such actions.

And Mr. Mayne's closing salvo is "Besides, your logic obviously makes a lot more sense than mine. That must explain all the elections the left have won recently."

So might makes right? If you are not in power you are wrong? Popularity means righteousness? So in Germany in the late '30s ... anybody swimming against the tide was wrong? For that matter, two thirds of humanity are not Christians. Now, does this fact mean Christianity is "wrong?"

I think its Zach's logic that needs some fine tuning. But then again, I'm now just a wayward former Pagosan ...

"Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty" - Benjamin Franklin

Todd Murchison

 Raise tax for roads

Dear Editor:

Everyone talks about how disgraceful our roads are, including our county commissioners who said they had lots of ideas on how to get them in good shape with out additional costs to the citizens of Pagosa.

Obviously that is not going to happen. Since everyone uses the roads - residents, contractors, deliveries and many people from out of town - why not raise the county taxes so that everyone shares the burden of getting our roads fixed, not just the property owners.

The county needs to know how to correctly repair the roads and do the needed maintenance to keep the roads in much better condition.

When we moved here we picked our location, based on it being a paved road that had been chipped and sealed. Yes ours is a county maintained street. But every winter the snowplows have torn up our street. I spoke with a snowplow driver and he advised whatever they damage will be replaced.

I have submitted letters to both the county commissioners and the head of road and bridge - but they do not seem to have any interest. I also have made phone calls but to no avail.

Just drive up our street and you can see all the blacktop chunks everywhere and now lots of mud holes. I know we are not the Lone Rangers and others must feel this way.

So let's see what we can do to get this issue on the ballot and raise county taxes, not property taxes, to get our roads fixed.

Lili Pearson

 Mayne observation

Dear Editor:

Life would certainly be easier if we all adopted Zach Mayne's one-dimensional, black and white, Conservative good, Liberal bad view of the world.

After all, thinking takes a lot a mental energy, and sometimes mental anguish. I was tempted to respond to each of the items in his latest tirade. However, since I am sure he regards these "facts" as indisputable, I decided to save the intellectual effort and just make two simple observations.

First, "patriotism" in a free, democratic society like ours doesn't just mean blindly following the president and the government, never questioning our nation's actions and believing that we can impose our will on the rest of the world. This is the brand of jingoistic patriotism that spawned Hitler and other despots. After all, wasn't everyone in Nazi Germany just "following orders?"

It certainly is not the brand of patriotism followed by our revolutionary founding fathers, who waged armed insurrection against the duly established government.

Second, being "godly" doesn't just mean attending church each Sunday, spouting Bible passages to justify every action, and condemning anyone who doesn't share your view of religion. In my view, godliness includes tolerance, kindness, compassion, generosity, love of neighbor, being your brother's keeper, care for our God-given environment, etc., qualities that I often find lacking in the conservative agenda these days.

So, Mr. Mayne, everything in life is not so black and white, but really many shades of gray. Ponder a bit more and you might find that your "enemies" are not all wrong after all.

John Porco

 

Community News

Ancient cultures come to life through sixth-graders excitement

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

An exciting social studies program at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School culminates 7 p.m. Friday when over 120 sixth-grade students perform "Ancient Cultures 2005: Greece, Mongolia, Europe, India and Africa."

The performance will be in the high school auditorium. The Pagosa community is invited to experience this exotic and colorful presentation of dramatic skits, dance and music. Spectacular costumes abound, as local youth bring history to life.

Admission is $3; children under 7 are free.

Pagosa Springs Intermediate School sponsors Ancient Cultures in collaboration with Elation Center for the Arts. Teacher Leeann Skoglund and Elation Center arts specialists Paul and Carla Roberts, combine their creative talents in a multi-disciplinary approach that brings theater arts, visual arts, music and dance into the traditional social studies curriculum.

The three have worked together for the past three years, to develop a positive learning experience that extends students' knowledge of social studies, as it encourages their creative abilities and sharpens life skills.

One of those life skills is teamwork. Others are perseverance, physical strength and flexibility, resourcefulness, sensitivity, problem solving, organization, responsibility, initiative, creativity, courage, patience and humor - to name a few.

Ancient Cultures offers a chance for students to stretch out into many areas of self-expression and artistic creativity, as they develop greater cultural understanding, and further their knowledge and appreciation for history. And the program gives students a chance to develop some of their hidden strengths and talents.

It has certainly earned high marks from Principal Mark DeVoti who said, "I think this is a great way to learn. I'm so impressed with how in-depth a study this has become, and how engaged and excited the students are about the program."

See for yourself how 120 students bring history to life Friday, in the high school auditorium.

Women's barbershop chorus sets reception for new members

By Natalie Tyson

Special to The PREVIEW

Mountain Harmony, Pagosa Springs' women's barbershop chorus, will begin its 2005 summer season Monday with a reception for new members.

The group meets 7-9 p.m. in Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

"Several of our members have moved or are moving away from Pagosa Springs, so we are actively seeking to replace them, as well as to enlarge the group," said Robbye Reedy, Mountain Harmony's director.

"Many new people with talent have moved here, and several have already expressed an interest in singing with us," Reedy said. "We have so much fun just singing together. The only requirements are to be able to sing on pitch and to be able to memorize the music. Those who can't read music can learn their parts from listening to tapes."

The group sings for the Fourth of July and other special occasions, holds concerts and is planning a regional workshop and festival.

Barbershop harmony, in their terms, is sung with tenor, lead, baritone and bass voices; these are equivalent to high soprano, lead soprano, alto, and low alto or tenor. The chorus is part of Pagosa Springs Choral Society.

For more information, contact Reedy at 731-4873 or me at 731-6273.

Piecemakers set sewing gear sale 10 a.m. Saturday

Pagosa Springs Piecemakers Quilt Guild is sponsoring its first of what it expects to be an annual "Spring Clean Your Stash" Saturday.

Members are cleaning their own sewing studios and will be offering fabrics, notions, patterns, appliances, sewing related books and magazines.

Unfinished quilts, gadgets and anything related will be bargain priced.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the guild.

The session will begin 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

The sewing public is invited.

 

Navajo rug auction highlight of fiber festival

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Fiber Festival introduces a major new attraction this year - the Navajo Rug auction. Organizers expect the auction to be a great success and plan to make it a permanent part of the festival, which falls every year on Memorial Day Weekend. The auction itself will be held 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds

The decision to include the auction was made after several conversations with Roy Kady, Sharon Begay and Beverly Allen, directors of Dinè be' i inà Inc., the Navajo Lifeway or DBI . These directors explained that DBI's mission is to restore the balance between Navajo culture, life and land. This balance, they believe, depends on encouraging their people to continue raising and herding sheep, preparing the wool and weaving it into their beautiful Navajo rugs.

DBI is in the first year of its three-year project. Sheep is Life brings together Navajo sheep producers, weavers and specialists to develop the procedures, process, markets and business skills need to add value to sheep and wool produced on the Navajo Nation. While the U.S. commercial wool market has declined substantially in the past few years, markets for specialty wools, yarns and branded agricultural products have been growing.

Over the three years the project will work intensively with 120 families from 10 chapters from some of the most remote areas in the Navajo Nation. Outcomes will include improved wool quality, grading, sorting and processing methods. Producers and weavers will be introduced to new markets and, thus, derive greater economic return from their labors. The Pagosa Fiber Festival venue is one such market.

Rugs to be auctioned will be on display Saturday with many more arriving Sunday for display between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Approximately 200 rugs will be up for auction. Registration for the auction will open 3 p.m. Sunday. Those interested in joining the auction are encouraged to arrive early, examine the rugs, register for the auction and be seated by 5.

The auctioneers Burnham and Blair will spend the first half hour talking about Navajo rugs - styles, qualities, materials, etc. as well as the auction process itself. All rugs are 100-percent wool; most will be woven of commercially spun and dyed yarn, some will be naturally dyed and woven with yarn from Navajo-Churro Sheep.

Prices are close to wholesale. Weavers establish their reserve - the minimum acceptable value for their rugs. Minimum bid is the reserve plus the auctioneer's fee. At check out, a fee is added to help defray the cost of the auction. Sales tax must also be added since the Pagosa Fiber Festival is a Colorado nonprofit but does not have federal 501(c)3 status.

 

Pagosa Kiwanis awards local scholarships

By Frank Schiro

Special to The SUN

Three Pagosa High School graduates from the class of 2005 will move to their next stage of education with scholarship help from the local Kiwanis Club.

John Archuleta, Jessica Harms and Kyle Wiggers will pursue their respective two-year programs with $1,000 paid to their chosen institutions by Kiwanis.

Each year, for a number of years, the Pagosa Springs Kiwanis club has given at least one scholarship specifically targeting students pursuing a two-year degree or certification program. Initially, the club provided only one scholarship per year. Recently, major annual fund-raising and personal and business donations have provided the opportunity for the club to award three scholarships.

This year's three recipients will move in very different directions in their educational endeavors.

Archuleta will apply his scholarship money at San Juan Vocational Technical School in their Diesel mechanics program.

Harms will attend Colorado Mountain College to pursue an associate's degree as a veterinary technician.

Wiggers will look to Pueblo Community College, where he hopes to receive his associate's degree in machining technology.

A committee of Kiwanis members selected these three qualified recipients from applications forwarded to them by Pagosa High School counselor Mark Thompson.

At the Kiwanis meeting last Thursday, the scholarship recipients, their parents and Thompson were treated to lunch where the graduates formally received notification of their scholarships. Audrey Miller, a member of the Pagosa High School Key Club, also received $300 at the lunch meeting to assist her in her educational quest.

With new members being added all the time, additional fund-raising, and ongoing generous donations from the community, the Pagosa Kiwanis Club hopes even more students will benefit from scholarships in future years.

 

May activities at Congregation Har Shalom

The following activities are on the May calendar at Congregation Har Shalom in Durango.

Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m.-9:55 a.m. - Torah study with Rabbi Baskin at Har Shalom.

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - Saturday morning worship and Torah Service.

Saturday, May 14, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. - Rabbi available for counseling. Call Mark Barendt for appointment at 375-2868.

Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m. - Israeli cooking lesson. Learn favorite recipes.

Saturday, May 14, 5 p.m. - Yom Haatzma'ut BBQ. Bring your own dinner to grill and a side dish or dessert to share.

Saturday, May 14, 6:30 p.m. - Traditional Israeli celebration.

Sunday, May 15, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. - Shalom Yeladim (ages 2-6) with Rabbi Baskin at Har Shalom. Call Marla Stills at 247-2992 for further information.

Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. - Judaism 180 at Har Shalom.

Friday, May 20, 7 p.m. - Torah study at Har Shalom. Call Harold Shure at 385-6793 for details.

Sunday, May 22, noon - Jewish Youth Group (ages 12 and up) and B'nai Mitzvah students meet at Santa Rita Park. For details contact Carolyn Cohen at 375-0613 or e-mail youth@ harshalomdurango. org.

Sunday, May 22, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. - Shalom Yeladim (ages 2-6) at Har Shalom. Call Marla Stills at 247-2992 for further information.

Friday, May 28, 7 p.m. - Shabbat service led by members of the congregation at Har Shalom, followed by dessert oneg.

Shalom Yeladim for children ages 2-6 years old will have their last class Sunday, May 15. Rabbi Baskin will join Shalom Yeladim to sing, dance and teach. Please note that this class will meet early, at 9:30 a.m., and end at 11 a.m. For more information, call Marla at 247-2992.

The congregation will hold a traditional Israeli celebration of the birth of the State of Israel Saturday, May 14, at 4 p.m., with barbecue and other fun activities.

- 4 p.m. - Israeli cooking lesson. Learn some of out favorite recipes.

- 5 p.m. - Time to test out your cooking at dinner/barbecue. Bring your own dinner to grill and a side dish or dessert to share.

- 6:30ish - Traditional Israeli celebration.

 

UU Fellowship to hold Flower Communion Service Sunday

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a Flower Communion Service Sunday, May 15, at 10:30 a.m. De Anna Hoyle will be the program leader in this traditional Unitarian Universalist ceremony, which was created by Norbert Capek (1870-1942), founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia.

Everyone attending is asked to bring a flower of his or her choice (long stemmed if possible) to participate with Pagosa's liberal religious community in this very special program.

Both young and old, and all ages in between, are invited to attend this celebration of spring which, it is hoped, will become an annual event. A potluck luncheon will follow the service.

The UU Fellowship's permanent home is Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.

For more information, call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589.

 

LDS Church will host survivor of Nazi invasion

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Pagosa Springs will host a special speaker 6 p.m. May 15.

Fritz Sluyter, now a resident of Dolores, was born in the Netherlands during the depression and was a youth when the Nazis invaded early in World War II.

His experiences allow him to present to the youth an opportunity to understand and appreciate their heritage as American citizens. It should help them gain a greater appreciation for the liberties most of us take for granted; liberties paid for by millions of soldiers on battlefields from where hundreds of thousands did not return.

This is an opportunity for young and old alike to hear from someone who was thee during this very important time in history, a part of history rapidly being forgotten.

Sluyter is a frequent speaker to youth and church groups in Colorado and Utah.

The event will be in the church on Majestic Drive and is free. Refreshments will be served at the conclusion.

 

Local Chatter

Habitat home 14 has large family waiting

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Sunday was Mother's Day and Kelly Martinez got a special Mother's Day gift - the ground-breaking for her new house. It's a Habitat for Humanity house to be located at 86 Flintlock Place in the Lake Hatcher subdivision. This is the 14th house Habitat has built since the program started in Pagosa Springs in 1994.

The house will have four bedrooms. Kelly has a large family. Besides husband Steve, there are five children: Bryan, 16; Andy, 15; E.J., 11; Chris, 9; and Stevie Mae, 3. All the boys are into sports and on teams. The whole family enjoys swimming, camping and fishing.

The ground-breaking took place at 2 p.m. and was well attended. Even Kelly's father, Ernie Woodley, of Albuquerque, came up for the day. It was a great day for all.

The vivacious Kelly is the operational manager of the Methodist Thrift Store. Her job is a busy one with donations coming in daily. At present, the plan is to extend the back of the building to the alley to add working space and a place for vehicles to unload donations. Kelly has been manager for two and a half years. Before that she worked five years for Mesa Propane as office manager.

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County is a part of Habitat for Humanity International. It is an ecumenical Christian organization that relies on volunteers, and donations of money and materials to build homes in partnership with a selected family. These families meet financial qualifications and they donate 400 hours of their time toward building the house.

HFH reaches out to everyone, regardless of race or creed. The board of directors is quite large, covering all phases necessary to building a house and running the operation. Bob Moomaw is president of the local HFH chapter.

Anyone with questions about HFH locally may call 264-6960 and leave a message on the answering machine.

Around town ...

Community United Methodist Church celebrated Mother's Day with a buffet and special attention was given Jody Hott for her contribution to the church's Quodlibet Handbell Choir.

She started the choir in 1984. In her honor, the church gave the choir a fine bell - a D3 bell, the large bell that plays bass. Jody also was the manager of the thrift store 1990-99, and before that she was a thrift store volunteer from the time it started in 1972.

Well done

Hats off to the Pagosa Springs Community Choir and the Children's Chorale for their concerts Friday and Saturday. Overheard was, "They get better and better."

Fun on the run ...

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." E.B. White, author of "Charlotte's Web."

 

Community Center News

Free food tasting party is today

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The free Food Tasting Party will be held at 4:30 p.m. today. Sorry, I goofed in the column last week.

Cindy Hasselbach, a certified health advisor will be the guest speaker and will serve guests samples of high protein, low carb and low calorie soups, bars, shakes, crackers, etc. Cindy will also introduce a medically supervised weight management program, an individualized plan with the support of a certified health advisor and balanced meal replacement foods program. The speaker will also provide information on weight loss and management, hot flashes, high blood pressure and cholesterol programs for children. RSVP at 264-4152 or Kathee at 264-6209.

Everyone is welcome to attend the party.

Town meeting

The Town of Pagosa Springs is sponsoring an Economic Baseline Study presentation 5-7 p.m. Monday and the public is invited.

Computer news

We have a variety of operating systems at the center now, which makes administering the computer lab challenging. Therefore, we would appreciate any donations of PCs that have sufficient memory and speed to accommodate an upgrade to Windows XP. With Microsoft stopping its active support of Win2000 June 30, and the release of another Microsoft OS looming, we are trying to keep our operating systems resources as current as possible. If you have questions about any of this, call Becky at 264-4152, Ext. 21.

Several people have visited the lab to download pictures from digital cameras. Some have printed the pictures (we provide color printing), some have sent the image files off to friends and families via e-mail, and others have burned the image files on to CDs. If this idea is right up your alley, come see what we have to offer and use our card reader (it accommodates several types of cards) and image editing software.

The basic computing classes provide fun and lots of opportunities to learn new and different ways of doing things. In the course of getting ready for each class, Becky has put together some handouts which you might find useful. Stop by and see the list of what's available and pick up some tips for using Windows, shortcuts for those of you who prefer a keyboard to a mouse, and tips on finding what you are looking for on the Internet. Or, better yet, come join us in a class.

Thank you

Thank you very much to Jackie and Peter Welch for their donation of a renovated CPU. We'll make it a part of the lab within a few days. Of course, many thanks again to Becky Herman, our volunteer computer guru, who works many hours maintaining our computers.

Kudos to Kathee Ferris and her ladies for organizing the Building Blocks 4 Health program. Please come to the food tasting party today and show your support.

Previous highlights

The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative met last week and will continue to offer a free parenting study group, including child care and snacks, the first and third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon. The study group meets with professionals from the Waldorf educational community to help parents understand healthy child development; how to nurture a child's imagination; how to move from parenting with discipline to parenting with collaboration and how the Waldorf approach addresses a child's body, mind and soul. The group is open to all in the community. The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative is comprised of a group of committed, dedicated parents and educators who are working toward starting a Waldorf early childhood program in the fall for children ages 3-6. For more information call Marianne or Edward, 731-3070.

Upcoming events

- Arts and Crafts Show, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 28. Food and drinks will be sold so don't worry about packing your lunch and snacks - we'll have them available for your convenience.

We have 27 vendors participating thus far: Vicki Harding, Brookshier Photo, JC Stoneware, Jennifer Hedrick, Edelweiss Needlework Chalet, Greg Coffey, Loma Clay Works, Syl's Echoes of Nature, Nancy Green, Brenda McCooey, Rita Strickland, J. Darcy Christensen, Rod and Connie Gabriel, Sharon Parker, Candy Underberg, Darlene Cotton, Candy Hemphill, Ellen Rolig, Catherine Keyawa, Anita Lamprell, Queen Bee Sauce and several others still pending. There is a great array of arts and crafts, including paintings, jewelry, copper window charms, garden ornaments, stoneware tiles, painted wood pieces, scarves, purses, hats, candles, cabin crafts, leather works, stained glass and crochet dolls. Make sure you come to this great event. This is an opportunity to shop early for your holiday gifts.

There are still spaces for artists and crafters. The more we have the better, and more fun. Call now and reserve your space to display and sell your handcrafted items. Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost is $35 and $50 for an 8x8 or 10x10 space respectively, including tables. Proceeds will benefit center programs. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

The annual Patriotic Sing-A-Long Night will be 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30, as a prelude to the Fourth of July celebration. The center is inviting music lovers - individuals and groups - to participate in this symbolic and popular evening. Last year's event was a great success. Let us make this another success with lots of fun and good memories. We especially invite families of those on active duty. Share your stories and photos. I'm also looking for a volunteer emcee since Andy Fautheree, who did a great job last year, will be out of town. Watch for more information next week.

Activities this week

Today - -High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; oil painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

Friday, May 13 - Oil painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Twins Club play time, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; men's open basketball, 11:45 a.m-1 p.m.; 4-H Clover Buds, 12:30-3 p.m.

Saturday, May 14 - Substance abuse education class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; drawing class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sunday, May 15 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 9 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.

Monday, May 16 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:45 a.m; Seniors Bridge Club, 12:30-4 p.m.; Planned Parenthood workshop, 3:30-5 p.m.; Planned Parenthood parents' meeting, 5-8 p.m.; Economic Baseline Study presentation, 5-9 p.m.

Tuesday, May 17 - High school private tutoring session, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; seniors' computer class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; basic computing, 1-4 p.m.

Wednesday, May 18 - Watercolor club painting workshop, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Pagosa Brat Play Group, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday Bridge Club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, May 19 - Legal depositions, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pagosa Springs Area Board of Realtors training, 1-5 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

The gym is open 8 a.m.-noon everyday, Monday to Friday, 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 them.

The center is a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition 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 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 here. We have very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large group. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available too. The center is at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.

Lost and found

Please check at the front desk if you're missing something that might have been left at the Center. We'll hold lost and found items for a month, then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores. Call 264-4152.

 

Senior News

Kite flying was a blast, lightning couldn't stop us!

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnistt

Kite flying was a blast!

Thanks to Robert Webb for stopping by and joining us with his cool stunt kite. Jeni's fiance, John, stopped by too. John brought along his stunt kite and darn it, it was too windy for that kite. He also brought his parasail and it wasn't windy enough for that. We'll have to have you try again John.

Last year Bruce Muirhead donated a biplane kite that Wayne Greenhaw and Bruce took out for the maiden voyage. We just barely made it when it came to kite flying weather, the wind was pretty good and the lightning held off just long enough to see that biplane sail. No one wanted to be Ben Franklin so we came in after 45 minutes of fun. The next time you are in the mood for kite flying just ask and we'll get out the kites for you.

Council on Aging

Our local council on aging, Archuleta Seniors, Inc., will meet 1 p.m. Friday. This council is comprised of 10 area residents, two residents from Arboles and members of the Area Agency on Aging and Regional Advisory Council. These folks make recommendations to the Senior Services Office regarding the needs of Archuleta County seniors. If you have ideas or would just like to sit in please join us Friday.

White Cane Society

Do you or someone you know have low vision? If so, won't you join us 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, in our lounge? Gail from the Southwest Center for Independence will be here to lead the group. Feel free to share ideas with each other and look at some of the helpful aids Gail brings with her.

Forest presentation

Phyllis Wheaton, from the San Juan National Forest, will visit the senior center once a month and offer presentations on the natural history of our scenic mountain area. Topics will include wildlife, wild flowers, volunteer opportunities, migratory birds and much more. Her first presentation will be 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 18. Come learn the natural wonders of the area you call home.

Free movie day

This month our free movie is "Sea Biscuit." This movie is rated PG-13 and is a true story of an undersized depression era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the three- man team behind it, but also those of the nation as well. This excellent award winning film will be shown in the lounge with free popcorn! Join us 1 p.m. Friday, May 20.

Garden

We have a small garden area that needs your help. We need a number of green thumbs who would like to maintain the garden, plant, etc. At this point we are in the planning stages and need to know what you would like to plant! If you can help us out in anyway give us a call.

Home chore

Through our funding sources we are able to offer home chore services to those folks 60 years of age and older. If you need assistance with minor home repairs, yard work, heavy household cleaning or minor home modifications, give us a call and see if you qualify. The suggested donation for this great service is $5 per hour.

New assistive devices

The OIB program of the Southwest Center for Independence has received a donation of several new assistive tools for people with low vision. They're available for short term loans. For more information call 259-1672.

Fun for hearing impaired

Captioned Media Program is a free loan video service for the deaf or hard of hearing. Register to check out 4, 000 open-captioned videos, CDs and DVDs for free at www.cfv.org or by calling (800) 237-6819 (TTY) or (800) 237-6213 (voice). The program does not charge rental, postage or registration fees.

E-mail

Are you interested in receiving the newsletter via e-mail? Let us know your e-mail address and we'll get you on the list, otherwise you can check it out at http://archuletacounty.org/Seniors/senior_center.htm.

Activities at a glance

Friday, May 13 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11 a.m-noon; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; local council on aging meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, May 16 - Medicare and Drug Card counseling, 11 a.m.-1p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun 1 p.m. all levels welcome.

Tuesday, May 17 - Yoga in Motion, 9:30 a.m.; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 18 - White Cane Society Support Group, 11 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Forest Service monthly presentation, 1 p.m.

Thursday, May 19 - Silver Foxes Den Southwest, meal served in Arboles, call for reservations.

Friday, May 20 - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; blood pressure checks 11 a.m.-noon; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; free movie day, "Sea Biscuit," 1 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50.

Salad bar everyday - 11:30 a.m.

Friday, May 13 - Beef Stroganoff with noodles, steamed carrots, plums, and mini bread.

Monday, May 16 - Beef and Cheese burrito, Spanish rice and mixed fruit.

Tuesday, May 17 - Chicken friend steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli blend, sherbet and roll.

Wednesday, May 18 - Meatloaf, baked beans, asparagus, roll and applesauce.

Thursday, May 19 - Silver Foxes Den Southwest, meal served in Arboles, call for reservations.

Friday, May 20 - Chicken with rice, vegetable blend, peaches and roll.

Veteran's Corner

Make sure health care status is up to date

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Perhaps you are feeling fine, and haven't felt a need to make a VA health care appointment for some time. It's easy to put aside our health needs when we are feeling good and have no current medical issues. But as the adage goes, preventative medicine is the best cure (or something like that).

Anyway, I urge all of my fellow veterans to make an appointment with the VA for an annual physical if you haven't had one in more than a year. The doctors can often detect something you might not be aware of, that could head off bigger health problems down the road.

Maintain eligibility

It is important to maintain your current patient status with the VA health care system. If you do not use it for several years, you could be dropped from active patient status, and may have to reapply under new rules. Or, it may be difficult to get into the VA clinic you want because they have a full patient load. That happened a couple of years ago with the Farmington VA Clinic and we had to scramble to get new applicants into other clinics. Luckily, the Durango VA Clinic finally opened to relieve the pressure.

Grandfathered status

Generally speaking, I have not found any patient dropped from the VA health care system because they did not continue to use the service. Once enrolled a veteran is "grandfathered" into the VA system. However, I have been told there is a remote chance under certain conditions a grandfathered veteran could be dropped, but the rules appear to be varied and vague at this time. If a veteran was ever dropped from the system, he would then be required to reapply under the Jan. 17, 2003, guidelines, which have income and asset limitations, if the veteran does not have any service-connected disabilities.

How to transfer

I'm often asked how to transfer to the local (Durango) clinic. All you need to do is call the Durango Clinic, 247-2214, and request to transfer to their location. All of the VA clinics are on a common computer data base and they will find you in the system and make the necessary changes to the VA.

Means test important

A reminder also to be sure and complete a VA financial Means Test each year. This ensures uninterrupted appointment scheduling. Failure to provide this information for most veterans could result in denial of VA health care services until it is completed.

The Means Test requires previous year's income from all sources for you and your family, out-of-pocket medical expenses that can include medical and dental, prescription drugs, supplemental health insurance premiums and any other medical costs that were not paid for by any other source. Cash assets such as bank account balances and investments, secondary property ownership and the like are also required. The only enrollees not required to provide this information are those with 50 percent or more service connected disability.

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

Further information

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

 

Library News

Cutty Sark model from kids' section is now for sale

By Peggy Bergon

PREVIEW Columnist

Approximately 16 years ago one of our patrons donated a museum quality model ship to the library. (The library's model is built in 3/16" scale to the foot from the original plans at the Smithsonian.)

The original clipper ship weighing 963 tons was launched Nov. 22, 1869, at Dumbarton on the Scottish Clyde.

Her name came from a Robert Burns poem. In the poem, "Tam O'Shanter," Tam meets a group of witches, most of whom are ugly, but for Nannie who is young and beautiful and is described as wearing only a "Cutty Sark", i.e., a short chemise or shirt.

The Cutty Sark was built for John Willis, a seasoned sailing shipmaster, who had "swallowed the anchor" and had set up as a fleet owner in the port of London. His previous vessels had not had the performance results he wanted so he had the bowlines of his earlier ships redesigned into the mid-ship attributes of fishing boats. The resulting new hull shape was stronger, could take more sail and could be driven harder than any other.

The sleek new lines made her the fastest ship in the race via the Cape of Good Hope to bring home the first of the new season's tea from China.

Unfortunately for her owner, the Suez Canal was opened the same year as her launch, and is not navigable by sailing ships. The "Cutty Sark" is the most famous of the English tea clippers, and is the only one to survive.

Currently, she is in dry dock in Greenwich undergoing massive restoration.

The three masted model has fully detailed rigging, the figurehead "Nannie" with her arms outstretched, brass fittings, mahogany and basswoods and 3,000 copper plates on the hull. It is truly spectacular and was on display in the children's area at the library. When our building project began, the ship needed to be moved and the Bank of the San Juan's generously put in on display. The library is looking for someone interested in purchasing this fascinating piece of maritime history.

New policies

Because of our limited collection size in the "mini" library, we are changing a few of our checkout policies. Please bear with us. The total number of books that may by checked out on an account is now 12. The checkout period of three weeks remains the same and a one-time renewal will be allowed.

For your convenience and that of the library we found it necessary to limit the amount of overdue fines to $5. Patrons with fines exceeding this amount will need to make payment arrangements before more materials may be checked out.

Donations

We are always appreciative of donations. This week materials came from Charlene Baumgardner, Kelly Evans and Cate Smock. Thanks for your support.

 

Arts Line

Calendar artists named, feted

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The 13 images (12 months and cover artwork) for the Pagosa Country annual scenic calendar were announced at the gallery opening reception Thursday. It was a wonderful evening with most of the artists in attendance to discuss their work.

Artwork exhibited included photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media. Chosen artists were Bruce Andersen, cover and September; J.D. Kurz, January and October; Jan Brookshier, February; Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, March; Jeanine Maloney, April; Jeff Laydon, May; Ginnie Bartlett, June; Claire Goldrick, July and November; Barbara Rosner, August; and Tom Lockhart, December.

The exhibit will be on display through the end of May, so if you couldn't attend the reception stop by the gallery in town park Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

The calendars will be available for purchase through the Arts Council in June, at a price of $9.95 plus tax. This is the first season of an annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar.

Kelcie King honored

"Riding for the Blue" by Kelcie King, received the Peoples Choice Award at our recent high school exhibit.

Kelcie is a high school junior, in Art III. She received a $50 award from the Pagosa Springs Arts Council as winner. For those of you who missed the exhibit, the artwork was amazing. There were many excellent paintings entered by a number of very gifted artists, and several paintings were sold during the exhibit. Congratulations to all who exhibited, you are all winners in our eyes!

Drawing class

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 14. Randall Davis teaches a drawing class one Saturday a month, usually the third Saturday, but due to his schedule, it sometimes changes. This month he needed to schedule it this Saturday. Drawing with Randall Davis begins 9 a.m. and usually finishes about 3 p.m. at the community center. The subject last month was perspective and composition of physical structures in relation to their surrounding landscape. This will be utilized in the May class when, weather permitting, plans are to go to an old nearby church to draw.

We will still meet at the community center and go from there. Take the normal outdoor things such as water, sunscreen, hat, a folding chair to sit on and something to support your sketchpad if needed. If you have never attended one of his classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. In addition to the suggested outdoor items, bring a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils; preferably a mid-range No. 2, No. 3 and No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, ruler, eraser. Bring your own sack lunch. It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Or space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome. Cost for the class is $35. All those interested are welcome, even if you have not attended previous classes.

'Fiction to Art'

The Shy Rabbit Studio will host an opening reception for the group's "Fiction to Art" project 5-9 p.m. Saturday.

A call to artists (in all mediums) went out last month asking them to interpret a short fictional piece written by local author (and group member) C.J. Hannah. The show filled up within four days, resulting in 29 participating artists whose work will be shown. Each was provided with an 81/2- x 11-inch board on which to work. The pieces will be displayed as though they were illustrations from a book, and each artist will discuss their piece as an interpretation of the fiction text entitled, "The Mortality of Kodak Moments."

The monthly Artists' Salon/Round Table will follow the group show 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Guest speaker will be Karyn Gabaldon, of the Karyn Gabaldon Fine Art Gallery in Durango. The Shy Rabbit Studio is at 333 Bastille Drive, just west of Hopi. For additional questions, please call or e-mail Michael or Denise Coffee at (970) 731-2766.

Watercolor club

The PSAC watercolor club was formed in winter 2003 meets 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The rooms are available for the day and each participant contributes $5 for space use. 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 lifes 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, May 18.

Watercolor workshop

Watercolorists should reserve June 8, 9, and 10 for the next workshop by Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett continuing their successful series of watercolor workshops, Basics I and Basics II, with Intermediate I.

This workshop will build on the knowledge gained in the two previous ones with emphasis on painting from your own photographs and putting people in your paintings in the correct proportion and scale.

There will be the usual informative handouts of the lectures followed by hands on painting every day incorporating the ideas presented in the lecture.

If you have been painting for some time but have not taken Basic II and feel you could benefit from this Intermediate class call Denny (731-6113) or Ginnie (731-2489) to discuss enrollment.

Classes will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the community center. Supply lists will be furnished when you register but will probably be basically what has been used in the previous workshops and the cost will be $130 for non-PSAC members and $123.50 for members.

Contact the Art's Council at 264-5020 to register or drop by during regular gallery hours.

PSAC workshops

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sponsors and manages workshops in the arts and crafts space at the community center. From the outset, the council has been a partner and supporter of the community center.

The workshops started in 2002 and have grown substantially. They service the arts in the community and the community has responded favorably. It gives those who want to teach a venue to do so and at the same time gives our residents a venue for learning something they have always been interested in whether it is watercolor, acrylic, oil, drawing, drama, photography, etc. The space also provides a home for the Photo Club, Watercolor Club and meeting location for various clubs.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, please secure a Workshop Application Form from the gallery in Town Park (264-5020) or download the form from pagosa-arts.com. If you are a resident and have ideas and suggestions for a class or workshop not offered, please let us hear from you. The Arts Council mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147 or e-mail (psac@centurytel.net).

PSAC calendar

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

All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.

May 5-31 - 2006 Pagosa Springs Calendar exhibit continues in the gallery.

May 12-13 - Oil Painting, Nuts and Bolts and More, with Betty Slade, continuing work in progress, learning more painting techniques and beginning new paintings. Cost: $80 per student for PSAC members, $90 for nonmembers.

May 14 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $35,

May 18 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m.

June 2-29 - Adrienne Haskamp and Jeanine Malaney exhibit in gallery.

June 8-10 - Intermediate watercolor workshop, Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m-3:30 p.m. $123.50 PSAC members, $130 nonmembers,

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

Aug. 29-Sept. 1 - Joye Moon Plein Air Watercolor Workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

October - Artist studio tour.

November - 2005 Gallery 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

Beef's medicine for tortured muscles

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

It's my only option.

I'm inspired, somewhat desperate, and it's all I've got.

I enter the store and make a beeline to the back of the building in search of high-density protein. Animal protein. Yeah, I know, I'm an omnivore - but this is no time for nuts and berries and all manner of fibrous, dry matter. Certainly no time for tofu and its bland brethren.

First stop: The fish case.

Whooweee. Most of this stuff hasn't seen open water in Š what? Š a week or so? Plus, when I see a sale sticker on a pack of "fresh" fish, I head in another direction.

I find some pork where the label on the package touts the fact the meat is "natural." That's comforting: Unnatural animal flesh is trouble doubled. I move on.

Chicken. There's packs of parts labeled as containing "no hormones, no additives." Nice to know I won't grow more excess breast tissue than I've already got if I consume a drumstick or four, but we've had chicken three times in five days. Enough is enough.

I'm in no mood to pay exorbitant prices for low-grade beefsteaks (there's prime, choice, then, a few steps down the grade ladder, you find plebe - a common grade of meat here in Siberia with a View). I don't have time to braise plebe-grade cow. It takes a day or two.

The frozen fish products are just that - frozen. The few that can be thawed quickly in cold, salted water - shrimps, scallops, crawfish - Kathy won't eat. She's been reading the "Oh, my God, that's not food, that's poison" book of the month club selection and she's on yet another dietary toot.

Her latest regimen also proscribes red meat of any kind, but I could care less. I'm down to the wire here. I need high-density protein.

I spot it from ten yards distance, gleaming like a traffic light from its place in the refrigerated case. A pack of scarily red flesh, the meat plopped in a perfect rectangle in a plastic-wrapped package - totally divorced from its charnel source, completely dissociated from the killing floor, the bolt, the volt, the brutally quick knife, the unforgiving grinder.

A pack of ground beef.

Four-percent fat and - thank heaven - clean of hormones and antibiotics.

Fresh as a spring breeze. If you could kill a spring breeze and grind it up.

Ground beef.

And special ground beef, at that - the package emblazoned with the image of a smiling woman. This is not your sinister, heaven-only-knows-how-many-cows-contributed-to this-chub kind of ground beef. Neither is it your we're-going-to-hide-this-roll-of-chemically-enhanced-flesh-from-Nebraska-in-an-opaque-plastic-tube kind of ground beef.

Nope, this meat is in full view and comes from a smilin' gal with an all-American name - Jenny, Bitsy, Muffy Š I can't recall. We can assume, though, she personally leads the happy animals to pasture every day then, when the hour rolls round, convinces each one, deploying her loving manner, that their sacrifice is justified - that it is, indeed, their destiny, the fulfillment of their role on this earth. Come, my little bovine buddies Š it is time. Clara, Melvin, you first. Go on now, walk up the ramp. Everything will be just fine.

This is ground beef.

And, in Siberia with a View, there are times it is the only option.

It is particularly appropriate today.

I've been off to Bayfield to take photos of high school kids gallivanting about, leaping and darting hither and yon, competing in track and field events.

This is sport to which I have virtually no link. True, my profile screams "shot put," but even with my love of picking up heavy objects and putting them back down again, I can summon little interest in the task of heaving a metal ball as far as one can.

Running? The most I've run in the last ten years was a short sprint across a street in La Jolla to beat a large party to the door of a favorite restaurant. I am not built for speed.

I observe the pole vault at Bayfield.

Who do they think they're kidding?

I park myself next to the standards watching as one after another of the girls tries her vaults, each slamming into the bar. I have a vision of a young, stout me, lumbering down the runway toward the pole vault pit, various body parts swinging in wild abandon beneath my skimpy track outfit. I waddle up to ground zero, the end of the vaulting pole goes down, I keep charging ahead, waiting for the pole to reach max compression then unleash all that potential energy, sending me soaring up and over the bar.

I then imagine a pole bent over in a U shape with me as its immovable anchor. The pole is not going to lift the load and I cannot let go for fear of killing someone with the pole when it is loosed, shooting skyward like a spear. Not a pretty sight.

I watch kids scamper, throw, jump. I take photos. I head home.

Witness to all that exertion, I am inspired. I stop at the gym and indulge the aforementioned passion. I lift heavy objects and put them back down again for a couple hours. I hit the squat rack and rip off six sets, pyramiding up to a fair amount of weight for an old guy. I do six sets of lunges on the Smith machine and five sets each of hamstring curls and calf raises.

I pretty much demolish my lower body.

The next step? Cram some protein into the system to avoid complete muscular meltdown.

To the market.

And there I procure the ground beef.

But what to do with this stuff?

A loaf of some sort? No time. This is a certified Code Blue situation and I need protein, stat!

I could crumble and sauté the meat, season it with salt, chile, onion, oregano, cumin, garlic, cilantro, add tomato and beef stock, simmer it until the liquid is gone, cradle it into soft corn tortillas, add a wad of cheese, some chopped tomato, guacamole. Boring.

I could do a quick curry, sautéing the meat, adding salt, pepper, some of my Malay curry powder, a lot of chopped garlic, some basil leaf, coconut milk, a bit of lemon juice, cook it down to a thick and creamy goo. But, that would be a waste of some mighty fine curry powder. If I had a batch vindaloo paste, that would be the ticket!

Stroganoff? Why insult the noble tenderloin?

I could stuff sautéed, cored eggplants with a spicy beef and eggplant mix and bake them with a blanket of Parmesan-spiked béchamel. Maybe flip in some toasted pine nuts. Seems like a lot of work.

I force a decision. It's gonna be the obvious: a patty of some sort. But, if I'm going to put this material in patty form, I am determined to do something to gussy it up.

M.F.K. Fisher writes about patties thrown into an extraordinarily hot heavy pan and crisped on both sides, emitting a fearsome cloud sure to set off the smoke alarm. The patties are removed and into the hot pan go fresh herbs, butter, then a liquid - red wine, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, maybe even half a cup of strong coffee. The pan sauce is reduced and poured over the burgers.

But, I decide to climb a higher peak - hamburger a cheval. If I could figure how to put the goofy little accent grave over the "a," I would. I'm an idiot and I can't, so just imagine it's there.

James Beard mentions this preparation in several of his works and it's an artery buster of the highest order. Perfect for someone who lifts heavy objects and puts them down again - and wants to risk a heart attack and/or stroke.

That's me.

I add a bunch of finely minced white onion and a well-mashed clove of garlic to the beef, along with some freshly ground black pepper and a teeny bit of kosher salt. I form a pound of the meat mix into two large patties. Yes, two. If I started with a pound and a half of meat I would divide it into two patties. Yes, two. I'm am prepared to eat beef.

I heat a heavy pan over medium high heat and, since the meat is only 4-percent fat (without hormones or antibiotics!) I put a bit of olive oil in the pan and add the patties. I cook them on one side for about five minutes then, just before I flip them, I plop about three tablespoons of butter in the pan. When it melts, I turn the meat and cook it for five minutes on side two, then I flip back to the other side, just to take advantage of the butter for a minute or two more.

These babies are seared nicely on the outside, rare in the interior. (I'm sure, at this point, you realize Kathy will not be eating hamburger a cheval. She can warm a soy burrito in the microwave.) I'm also sure some of you will recoil in horror at the notion of rare ground beef, the specter of all manner of bacterial infection haunting your thoughts. Me, I don't care. Like I said above: I'm an idiot. An idiot who knows how to eat well.

Here's the kicker: The beef is removed to a heated plate and tented with foil. I turn down the heat under the pan, add a bit more butter to the pan and I fry two eggs, over very easy, salting and peppering the beauties. On top of a patty go two eggs. A sprinkle of rinsed capers and an anchovy fillet or three and it's time to bust yolk and eat beef. A glass, or three, of red wine, a simple green salad with a mustard vinaigrette and the meal is pretty darned good fare. The vinaigrette is easy. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a shallow bowl and add twice the volume of extra-virgin olive oil. Add a bit of minced shallot, a bit of mushed garlic if you like, kosher salt, black pepper, a teaspoon of coarse mustard. If you're in a precious mood, toss in a bit of dried tarragon. Whisk it up and its ready to go. The salad benefits from the addition of some cherry tomatoes, oil-cured olives and crumbled feta cheese.

But, it's the beef that's medicine for tortured muscles.

It's just not enough to make me run.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Mission possible: Prevent, control high blood pressure

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

May 12 - Cake Decorating Project meeting, 5:30 p.m.; Veterinary Science Project at San Juan Veterinary hospital, 5:30 p.m.

May 13 - Cloverbuds at community center, 1:30-3 p.m.; Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2 p.m.; Goat Project meeting, 3:15 p.m.

May 14 - Small Livestock Project animal weigh-in, 9 a.m.

May 16 - Shooting Sports Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4 p.m.; Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.

May 17 - 4-H Council meeting, 6 p.m.

May 18 - Garden Club meeting, 10 a.m.

May 19 - Quilting Project meeting, 4 p.m.

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

May is National High Blood Pressure Month, and a good time to take action to find out what your blood pressure numbers are, what they mean, and what you need to do to prevent or control this all too common condition.

More than 65 million American adults, about one in three, have high blood pressure, defined has having a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg.

While anyone can develop high blood pressure, factors increasing one's risk include being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, consuming a diet that's high in salt or sodium and low in fruits and vegetables, excessive alcohol consumption, and diabetes. Aging also is considered a risk factor; in fact, if you're over age 55, you have a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pressure at some point in your life.

Why care about your blood pressure? High blood pressure is a factor in two-thirds of the heart attacks in the United States and three-fourths of the strokes. If that's not reason enough, high blood pressure is the second leading cause of chronic kidney failure and affects circulation - creating a higher risk for mental deterioration and Alzheimer's.

The good news is that high blood pressure can be treated and often delayed or prevented through medication and lifestyle changes. The best solution is to prevent high blood pressure before it occurs.

Now, during High Blood Pressure month, is a good time to resolve to make those changes in your eating habits and lifestyle that will help lower your risk of becoming a heart patient statistic. These include:

- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping reduce and prevent high blood pressure.

- Be more physically active. Physical activity helps both with losing weight and in lowering other risk factors associated with heart disease, such as blood cholesterol levels. Again, you don't have to become a marathon runner to see an effect. Even light activities, if done daily, can help lower your risk of heart disease.

- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and lead to chronic high blood pressure. While there's evidence that some alcohol, especially red wine, may be good for heart health, more is not. For overall health, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that men limit their alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day, and women to no more than one drink a day.

- Do the DASH, diet that is. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Clinical studies have shown the DASH diet to be quite helpful in reducing blood pressure. In fact, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the DASH Eating Plan as one example of a balanced eating plan consistent with the new guidelines.

The DASH diet looks very similar to a low-fat version of the Food Guide Pyramid in which low fat or fat free dairy products and lean meats are recommended. The main difference is that recommended servings of fruits and vegetables are increased to eight to 10 servings daily over the five to eight listed in the Food Guide Pyramid. In addition, four to five servings of nuts, seeds and dry beans are recommended weekly as rich sources of magnesium, potassium and fiber. The high levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium in the DASH diet are thought to be at least partially responsible for the results seen with the DASH diet.

Single copies of the DASH diet are available free from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Information Center, PO Box 30105, Bethesda, MD 200824-0105. Ask for fact sheet 03-4082 or visit the DASH Web site at www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash

Bindweed management

The Archuleta County Extension Office will be receiving 200 releases of bindweed mite at $15 per release for use in managing field bindweed. Each release will treat 25 acres, and are 75 percent effective in controlling field bindweed after two years. These will be delivered the end of May or June. Releases will be limited to 10 per person and must be prepaid. If you are interested in purchasing the bindweed mites, contact the office at 264-5931.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

PLPOA to host watershed master plan deliberation

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association along with the Natural Resource Conservation Service will sponsor a public meeting next week to present plans for a Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Master Plan.

This important watershed encompasses over 82,000 acres and includes all of Pagosa Lakes, most of Aspen Springs, parts of the Town of Pagosa Springs, large portions of public lands and large areas of the county including the airport. The purpose of this watershed master plan is to protect our water resources and plan for the effects of future growth and development in our watershed.

As more and more people move into the area, and lands that were once open and undeveloped are built upon, many negative impacts to our waterways and water storage reservoirs can occur. New buildings and parking lots shed water that once was absorbed into the ground naturally. This water is accelerated and flushed into ditches, waterways and lakes and can have serious effects on one of our most important resources, the water we use to drink, bathe and irrigate.

We are already seeing the effects of this problem; many creeks, ditches and inlet streams in the watershed are becoming degraded and eroded, washing large amounts of sediments into lakes and reservoirs. Additionally, contaminants that collect on parking lots are being washed into ditches and streams which in turn feed our lakes. These lakes are important storage reservoirs for the water we drink and use for other purposes as well.

This watershed plan is a multi-entity effort with support and funding from several organizations in our community including the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, PAWSD, the Town of Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County, the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, the Southern Ute Tribe and the San Juan Conservation District. Last year we were successful in securing a $20,000 Watershed Protection Fund grant to help fund this master planning effort in addition to approximately $50,000 in separate contributions from the various participating entities.

It has turned into a fairly large planning project involving a high degree of monitoring and assessment work as well as plans to improve land use regulations in an effort to protect the watershed from the impacts of construction and development. Construction is the number one cause of sediments and contaminants entering a watershed.

A local engineering firm is creating a computerized hydrologic model of the watershed and last year completed a detailed contour map of four lakes in the Pagosa Lakes area. Additional work has been done collecting water samples from multiple locations in the watershed and testing for heavy metals, petroleum products, nutrients and fecal coliforms.

The plan has several additional objectives including an inventory and assessment of private lands, assessing stormwater and runoff control and water quality mitigation efforts in the upper watershed, developing a watershed public education plan for key personnel on watershed issues and quantifying and prioritizing water quality improvement goals for the lower watershed

The public meeting will detail the watershed planning efforts in a power point presentation and will provide those attending a working knowledge of our watershed and the efforts to protect it.

The meeting will be 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse in Vista. Everyone is welcome and we will be serving drinks and other refreshments. If you have any questions, call the San Juan Conservation District office at 731-3615.

Fish stocked

On a bit of a side note, I would also like to let everyone know all four lakes in Pagosa Lakes have been stocked this spring. Lake Forest was supplied with over 2,000 pounds of 14- to 16-inch Kamloop trout, Village Lake was stocked with 1,800 pounds of Kamloop, Lake Pagosa was stocked with over 3,000 pounds of cutbow trout and Hatcher Lake was stocked with 2,800 pounds of Kamloop rainbow and 500 pounds of 16-inch brown trout. Additionally, all four lakes were stocked with largemouth bass in the 6- to 8-inch size class. The fishing has been excellent so far this spring and should continue to be well into the summer.

Top swimmers

Congratulations to the Pagosa Lakes Porpoises who did well at their first swim meet April 30 in Durango. Ten of them opened with a bang.

Highlights include DJ Brown placing first overall for boys 8 and under; Austin Miller sixth overall in the 11-12 group; and Briana (Brezy) Bryant sixth in the the girls 11-12 group. Dane Murdock took off a total of 13 seconds combined in the three events he swam.

"I could not be more excited for the coming season with these athletes or more proud of them for their hard work and determination," said Coach Jennifer Fenton.

The next meet will be Saturday and Sunday in Farmington.

PLPOA meeting

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

The following agenda was approved by PLPOA:

- call to order;

- approval of agenda;

- approval of minutes of April 14, 2005, board meeting;

- general manager's report;

- public comments;

- property owner Jennifer Matcham phoned and asked if the board would consider putting up signs in different areas announcing the leash law of Archuleta County will be strictly enforced in Pagosa Lakes and adding the phone number to the Sheriff's Department to the sign;

- treasurer's report.

Committee Reports

- Recreation Center Committee;

- Lakes, Fisheries & Parks Committee ;

- Ad Hoc Lake Study Committee;

- Road Committee.

Old Business

- Village Lake buoy line;

- Senate Bill 05-100.

Recurring Business

- current returns from the survey for the "Property Owners Involvement and Input Initiative";

- mail boxes.

New Business

- request from ECC liaison Earl Eliason for a joint ECC and board work session;

- subdivision signs in Pagosa Lakes.;

- results of audit on unfinished roads;

- discussion of possible Articles of Incorporation amendment to be placed on ballot;

- affirmation of seven DCC unprotested fines;

- adjournment.

Special Olympics

The recreation center will host a tri-team swim meet for Special Olympics 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Swimmers from Cortez and Durango will take on our local Special Olympians. Good fun to all the athletes and you are invited to cheer them on.

 

Obituaries

 

Walter W. Hakala

Walter W. Hakala, age 92, a resident of Kerrville, Texas for two years, passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2005, in a local hospital.

He was born April 22, 1913 in Highbridge, Wis., to Henry and Johanna (Juoni) Hakala. On Oct. 18, 1958, he married Carol Kreutzer in Bonduel, Wis. He was a former resident of Pagosa Springs.

Walter was a retired diesel mechanic and had been employed by International Harvester Sales and Service in Green Bay, Wis. He was a member of Hosanna Lutheran Church in Kerrville.

Survivors include his wife, Carol Hakala, of Kerrville; sister, Mildred Warren, and brother, Ralph Hakala, both of Mellen, Wis., and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial services were held Friday, May 6, 2005, at Hosanna Lutheran Church, officiated by Pastor Todd Ditloff. Burial will be in the Mellen Union Cemetery, Mellen, Wis., at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Hosanna Lutheran Church, 134 Camp Meeting Road, Kerrville, TX 78028.

The family invites condolences at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com by selecting the "Send Condolences" link.

 

Ann Alice Seavy

Ann Alice Seavy, 91, was born Sept. 14, 1913, in Pagosa Springs and passed away peacefully May 9, 2005, at her home in Bloomfield, N.M.

Memorial services are pending at Alternative Choices of Farmington, N.M.

Correspondence can be mailed to 417 Jordan St., Bloomfield, N.M. 87413. Telephone contact numbers are (505) 632-2521 or (505) 634-1075.

 

Monique Ulrich

Monique Ulrich, 54, passed away Thursday, May 5, 2005, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

Monique is survived by her husband Mike, of Pagosa Springs; two sons, Yann Ulrich of Colorado Springs and Nicolas Ulrich of Laramie, Wyo., and one grandson, Axel, and many friends and family in Switzerland. As Monique wished, she was cremated with no other services.

 

Business News
Chamber News

'Images of Pagosa' make great business gifts

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I can't believe we are almost to graduation and to Memorial Day! Did I skip a page somewhere on my calendar?

First, I want to thank the Rotary Club for hosting a great Casino Night. Although my table was not too happy with me as a dealer when I won a hand or two - or 10 - I do hope everyone had a good time and thank you to so many for participating and putting these funds back into the community.

'Images of Pagosa'

We have not mentioned these items for a long time, so I'll bet a lot of people don't even know that we have them available at the Chamber. I would like to highlight three products I consider "images of Pagosa" and great reflections of our community.

First, we have a video of Pagosa Springs. This 17-minute production is a great pictorial of our community as well as giving a good narrative of the area. It is great for Realtors, builders, or any other business interested in informing or wooing their customer to Pagosa. The videos (sorry, they are not available on CD) can be purchased at the Chamber for $10.

We also have screensaver CDs available. These mini discs have over 30 pictures of Pagosa scenery and lifestyle and are also only $10. The great thing about these CDs is that you can put one in an envelope, mail it and it still will only cost you 37 cents in postage. People who come into my office are always commenting on the beauty of the pictures. They make great welcome to Pagosa gifts, thank you for using our business gifts, great stocking stuffers, or perhaps a card stuffer gift to a grad so they can take a piece of Pagosa with them when they go away to school.

The final "image of Pagosa" I will mention is, in fact, many images - on our Pagosa posters. The different posters resulted from a project involving the Chamber, the Arts Council and the local schools.

Two local students, Randi Andersen and Charel Fawcett, produced photos to grace the poster. This poster has "artsy" photos of a lynx, flora, an ice overhang and fall leaf colors. What a great way to thank someone for their business, to welcome someone to Pagosa, or to remember the beauty of Pagosa to those grads who will need "stuff" for their walls. Posters are $10 unsigned and $15 for signed editions. Framed posters are not available.

Just a reminder: another great graduation gift is our Pagosa Perks. The grads can use the Perks for what they want: gas, groceries, meals out or a gift.

Remember, whether you buy from the Chamber or another local business, try to shop in Pagosa for graduation. Your dollar stays in the community, supports local merchants, and we have great gifts from cards to computer supplies, to jewelry to booking cruises and trips.

Chimney Rock opens

Chimney Rock Archeological site opens for the season Sunday. Tours this year will be held at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m.

The Full Moon Programs also return with the first tour scheduled Monday, May 23. These tours are very popular and need to be booked in advance. The Full Moon Tours will be especially popular this year as we highlight the lunar standstill phenomenon peaking this year and next. Give the folks with Chimney Rock a call at 264-2287 for more information on booking a Full Moon Tour or for their complete full moon and solstice schedules.

Hot Strings at Springs

The Springs Resort and surrounding area will be alive 5-8 p.m. Tuesday as The Hot Strings bring their lively music to the resort to kick off Local Appreciation Week.

The Strings will celebrate the release of their new CD, "Uncharted," The Springs Resort will host a live remote by KWUF radio and will offer giveaways, prizes and, with every ticket purchase, a chance to win an annual pass. Soaking tickets will be $7 for locals (living within 60 miles) this night and every night until May 24. Don't miss this great opportunity to hear one of our local favorite musical groups, have a great soak and maybe win a prize or two.

Membership highlights

I would like to thank those businesses represented at our new member orientation last week. We hope the information we gave you was helpful and informative. Morna, Doug and I will put on these sessions once a month and will invite renewal members to future gatherings. The orientation lasts about 90 minutes and is chock full of information about ways your chamber can work for you and the services we offer.

Just because you have been a member for years, do you know all the ways that we can help you and your business? For example, if you do not have a personal scanner, do you know that the Chamber can scan a document or picture for you and it can be saved via e-mail or put onto a disc, all for a nominal fee?

The meetings will be held the first Wednesday of every month, so even if you missed a meeting in the past and would like to attend another one, you can call and let us know, or just show up. We'll be sending out the next round of invitations in a couple of weeks. Look for yours in the mail.

Our new member this week is Personal Services Unlimited. Run by Pat Fregia, this helpful service is geared toward vacation travelers and part-time residents. Personal Services Unlimited will help you with the details of vacationing, opening up a house, arranging trips or with home needs. In addition, they will help anyone who needs to tidy up their space. Vacationing or part-time residency is often a time consuming and difficult job when you are at a distance or when you may not know all the players you will need to set up your trip. Let Personal Services Unlimited help you by calling 731-4927.

Returning to the Chamber fold again are Copper Coin Discount Liquor Store; Coldwell Banker The Pagosa Group; a "three-for" with all the renewals of Nan and Gary Rowe including Oso Grande Ranch Outfitting, Oso Grande Ranch dude ranch and Rocky Mountain Reefs and Ponds.

Fiber festival

I will be talking about this event for the next couple of weeks - Pagosa Fiber Festival. It is held every Memorial Day weekend and continues to grow in popularity every year. This organization promotes the use of the fiber and related products. The festival will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

We have flyers about this festival available here at the Chamber. Stop by and get your brochure, call Pauline Benetti at 264-5232 and stay tuned to this column for more information. Thank you for renewing as a non-profit agency and good luck again this year for a successful event.

I've given everyone a break this week from my long articles. But that's only because there is a lot on the horizon as far as events go and you'll need your strength. We welcome in advance all our great diplomats who will be gracing the Chamber lobby starting Monday. Welcome to the newbees and welcome back to the oldbees! We look forward to a bustling and fun summer.

 

Biz Beat

Waggin Tails Pet Grooming

Brenda Decker, right, is moving and expanding Waggin Tails Pet Grooming. The new location is 97 Hopi Drive, behind the Montezuma's Restaurant building. Decker is shown here with staff members Barb Fleitman, left, and Misty Talbot.

Waggin Tails is adding a new line of anti-shedding relief for dogs and cats, pet supplies and toys. Also new will be a pick-up and delivery service within a six-mile radius of the shop.

Waggin Tails still offers its creative styling service and the staff remains dedicated to pleasing you and your pet, with 18 years of experience making pets beautiful.

The folks at Waggin Tails have warm hearts for cold noses. Call them at 731-DOGS (3647) or 264-9529.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
Lujan families

We would like to take this opportunity to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped us get through our difficult time of sorrow. Thank you all for the phone calls, visits, flowers, food and all the prayers.

A special thanks to Pine Ridge Extended Care and staff and a special thanks to Ernie Garcia; to Pagosa Funeral Options, Pagosa Inn and Suites, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, sheriff's department, town police and fire department, Guadalupanas for the meal, Hank Rivas and the band for the music, Farther Carlos of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and the deacon, Jimmy Lucero, Anthony Poma, Dave Medina for help and Joseph Rivas for all the wonderful help.

A very special thank you to Clarence and Angie Espinosa and Ernie and Valerie Garcia for helping with grandma when she was going through hard times and to Blailand Espinosa for being the sunshine in her life.

A huge thanks to Darlene Lujan, Marcella (Lujan) Silva, Fred and Lenore Martinez, Maria and Angela and family, Manual Trujillo, BJ and Company, and all the pallbearers and honorary pallbearers. Also, to the families of Francis (Stollestiemer) Lujan and of Phil Lujan for their support.

We are so blessed to live in a community with such caring and giving people. Without your support we would not have been able to go through this again. If we have overlooked anyone, please forgive us. Again, thank you all very much.

Lance and Elisha Lucas and family

Emilo and Crusie Lujan and family

Marvin Lujan and family

Rudy and Janett and family

 Blood services

As high schools in the Four Corners area finish up another school year and seniors begin to scatter, we at United Blood Services wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate and thank them.

Over the 2004/2005 school year, the high schools in our area donated 401 pints of life-saving blood. Students at Pagosa Springs, Mancos, Durango, Monetezuma-Cortez, Norwood, Bayfield, Ignacio and San Juan high schools planned, organized and conducted 13 blood drives. The next generation of leaders have already begun to make their positive mark on our community. We have no doubt that the world is abetter place because of the efforts of our high school students.

From all of us at United Blood Services and the hundreds of people whose lives have been saved by your efforts, thank you and good luck.

United Blood Services staff

 Bergman clan

Thanks to the people of Pagosa who have once again shown how special they are.

To the EMTs and Dr. Picarro who responded to a 9-1-1 call at 4 a.m., to all who called, sent cards, e-mails and food and who drove to Durango, thank you.

A special thanks to my neighbors, the Buslepps, who cared for my animals and the house so I could be in Durango with Glenn. You all helped to make a difficult time more bearable.

Merilyn Moorhead and

the Bergmann clan

 Glad it was here

On Saturday, April 30, it was necessary for me to call 9-1-1 because my husband became ill in our home. This is the first time ever that I used that emergency number and I am glad it was here in Pagosa Springs.

I would like to thank the 9-1-1 operator who answered the call. I don't remember her name, but I do remember how very professional she was. She instructed me on how to care for my husband until the EMT's arrived and stayed on the phone with me until they pulled into our driveway.

Next, I would like to give a very big thank you to Pagosa EMTs Jill, Gary and Carol for their quick response and from the minute the walked in our home they were respectful, professional and very thorough when examining my husband. They kept me and my husband well-informed as to every procedure they were diong.

My husband is fine and says the worst thing about the whole ordeal was having to ride backward for 60 miles in the ambulance to Durango.

We appreciate our area Emergency Medical Services.

Gail L. Wilcox

 Stage improvements

Last fall and this spring the counterweight fly system in the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium was expanded from 13 to15 battens and from one curtain that opens side-to-side, to two. These additions were due to the generosity of the following organizations and individuals:

The cost of one added batten was split between the Pretenders and the Music Boosters. Music Boosters purchased the second batten.

The traveler is what makes the curtain on the fly system open side to side. Donations from the following people made it possible: Don and Susie Long Galles Properties, Galles Chevrolet Friends of Youth Fund, Dallas and Lucille Johnson, Bob and Carol Howard, Bob and Patty Tillerson, Jack and Kathy Threet, Mike and Connie Williams, Rod and Barbara Preston, Robert and Ruth Yarbrough, Malcolm and Joan Rodger, Bob and Lisa Scott, and Ron and Windsor Chacey.

The fly system is backstage in the auditorium. It is located in the tallest part of the building. By flying sets and drops you provide more room on the stage for larger casts in productions. Opening the middle black curtain side to side reveals sets and people on stage in another way. If you were in the audience at the last high school production, "Beauty and the Beast," you may have noticed how smoothly changes between scenes and sets were revealed during this show. This helps the flow of a show, trasporting you as an audience member wherever the actors, actresses, crews and music might take you.

Thank you for the generosity of those who made these additions possible.

Lisa Hartley

 

Locals

 

Gillian Berrich

Gillian Justine Berrich will graduate from Colorado State University in Moby Arena in Fort Collins at 5 p.m. Saturday with a bachelor of liberal studies in speech communications.

The 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School is the daughter of Ed and Esmeralda Berrich.

 

Sports Page

Pirates capture two titles at IML track meet

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The weather was less than adequate, but the same can't be said of the Pirate track team's performances at the Intermountain League championship meet Saturday in Bayfield. Both the boys' and girls' teams brought home league crowns.

Pirate girls dominated their competition, taking the IML title with 163 points. Runner-up Centauri scored 98 points and Bayfield's 68 point total was good for third.

The girls' win was powered by eight individual first-place finishes and top honors in three relays.

Mia Caprioli continues to lead the field in the 100-meter dash. Caprioli won the event in 13.38 seconds. Her teammate, Nikki Kinkead, finished second in the race with a time of 13.67.

Kinkead got her first-place finish in the 200. The Pirate won the race with a time of 28.41. Pagosa's Kim Fulmer took third, at 28.76

Jessica Lynch nailed down first place in the 400 with a time of 1 minute, 4.57 seconds. Camille Rand was third at 1:05.41.

Emilie Schur had a strong performance in the 1600-meter run. She won the event with a time of 5:35.53.

Pirate hurdler Janna Henry brought home two wins. Henry won the 100-meter hurdles in 17.10 and took first in the 300 hurdles at 49.86. Lyndsey Mackey was third in the 100 hurdles at 19.68 and Chelsea Cooper took third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.24.

The Pirate girls' 400-meter relay team of Caprioli, Fulmer, Henry and Kinkead crossed the line in first place with a time of 53.18.

The 800-meter relay team of Henry, Lynch, Kinkead and Caprioli beat their opponents, taking first in 1:52.29

Another first went to the 800 medley relay team of Henry, Mackey, Caprioli and Katie Ehardt. Their winning time was 2:01.80.

In field events, two Pirate girls finished in first place.

Mackey leaped 15 feet, 11.5 inches to capture the long jump. Liza Kelley took second with a distance of 14-4.25.

Kelly came back strong in the triple jump, posting a distance of 33-0.25 to win the event. Camille Rand was second with a jump of 29-11.5.

Other team points were earned by the second-place 1600 relay team of Fulmer, Rand, Lynch and Kelley (4:20.12) and the second-place 3200 relay team of Bri Scott, Jen Shearston, Lynch and Schur (10:05.88). Schur took second in the 800 (2:27.45) followed by Scott, in third (2:34.05).

Jessica Low earned points with a second-place finish in high jump. Low cleared the bar at 4-8. Kristen DuCharme took third in discus with a throw of 99-7.

"Our four-by-eight hundred relay team qualified for state with their time even though they came in second in the race," said Coach Connie O'Donnell. "The Centauri girls really pushed us and just by keeping up with them we ran a fast enough time to guarantee a spot at the state meet.

"Lyndsey Mackey jumped a distance in long jump that would have qualified her for the state track meet, but the wind gauge reading was just a bit over the limit they will allow for a prequalifying jump. I think she'll jump even farther next weekend; her performance at this meet gave her a lot of confidence.

"We placed several kids in each event at this meet and I know that's because they train with each other. They've pushed themselves at practice and it shows at the meets. Even if a Pagosa girl didn't win a race, we would finish second and third and get eleven points for the eight that went to the winner. When you get multiple scores in an event, the points add up quickly."

The boys' title came to Pagosa with 150 points. Bayfield finished second at the league meet with 112 points, Monte Vista third with 59. The Pirate boys had nine first-place finishes in individual events, four in relays.

Jared Kinkead once again came out ahead of the pack in the 100. Kinkead won the race in 11.32. Daniel Aupperle was second at 11.83, Paul Armijo third at 11.87.

Paul Przybylski took top honors in the 200, winning in 23.49.

Otis Rand pulled off two wins in individual events at Bayfield. Rand captured first in the 400, in 52.47. The senior then led a 1-2-3 Pirate sweep of the 800 finishing first in 2:05.07. Second went to Travis Furman ( 2:10.59), third to Daren Hockett (2:12.12).

Senior Manuel Madrid scored eight team points with his first-place finish in the 300 hurdles. Madrid's time was 43.70.

Caleb Ormonde topped the field in the high jump. The Pirate won the event with a jump of 5-10.

First in the long jump went to Daniel Aupperle with a leap of 21-1.75. Corbin Mellette took second for Pagosa, jumping 19-6.75.

Casey Schutz was tops in the triple jump. The Pirate went 40-7 to take first. Ormonde finished second, at 38-1.

Craig Schutz added another first in a field event, winning the discus with a throw of 139-1.

The boys' 400 relay team of Aupperle, Kinkead, Przybylski and Armijo crossed the finish line first, in 44.08. The same lineup won the 800 relay with a time of 1:32.19.

Madrid, Hockett, Rand and Gunnar Gill won the 1600 relay with a time of 3:42.38.

Rand, Hockett, Furman and AJ Abeyta were first in the 3200 relay, at 8:42.25.

Additional team points were earned by Orion Sandoval (third in the 1600 at 5:02.34).

"Daniel Aupperle qualified for state in the long jump," said O'Donnell, "and he is very close to breaking the school record."

The coach had high praise for her 100 and 800 runners. "I thought it was great to finish one-two-three in the 100 and 800. It shows the depth of our team and it also shows how hard they work together and push each other in practice. We also won every relay on the boys' side."

O'Donnell noted her first-place winners received an additional laurel. "Everyone who placed first this weekend is named all-conference for that event," she said. "Do you know what fun it is to go to the athletic director and tell him you need almost fifty all-conference certificates to hand out at the track awards ceremony?"

Next up for the Pirates is the regional track meet at Bayfield, Saturday. "I really feel good about this weekend and I think the kids are excited as well. The regional meet is our league (Pagosa, Bayfield, Monte Vista, Centauri and Ignacio) with the addition of Salida, Buena Vista and Lake County. The top three placers in each event qualify for the state track meet in Pueblo May 20 and 21. If we compete up to our potential Saturday, we could qualify most events."

Field events at Bayfield start at 10 a.m. Track events start at 11.

Pagosa avenges losses to Monte;

extra inning win means Sweet 16

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Pirates rode the strong clutch pitching of Randy Molnar, two hits, two Monte Vista errors and three fielder's choice plays in extra innings into state Class 3A baseball playoffs Saturday.

For the baseball purist, save the last inning, the game was one of the finest prep contests seen in the Intermountain League in years.

It featured outstanding fielding, clutch hitting overcome by strong pitching and came down to a gutsy performance by Molnar protecting his lead in the eighth.

The outcome, following a second-game loss to Bayfield, gave Pagosa (11-6) the 15th seed, matching them at 12:30 p.m. Saturday against Eaton (20-1) the number two seed and a visitor four consecutive years to the Final Four.

All Saturday 3A Region 4 games will be played at the Runyon Field complex in Pueblo starting at 10 a.m.

The Pagosans, who had dropped out of a first place tie in the IML with a doubleheader loss to Monte Vista a week earlier, were not about to let the San Luis Valley Pirates dislodge them, again. But it took some doing to bump Monte from the playoffs.

Adam Trujillo struck out to open the game but Karl Hujus followed with a single to right off Monte starter Sigi Rodriguez. Casey Hart singled to center, Hujus holding at second. But Jacob Reding bounced into a 6-4-3 double play and Pagosa's first was over.

Myers opened Monte's first with a single to center on a 2-2 pitch but was left there when Cooper was called for runner interference on a bunt, Rodriguez popped to second and clean-up hitter Jiron fanned on four pitches.

John Hoffman reached to lead off Pagosa's second on an error by Niko Gonzales at second, stole second, and scored on an infield groundout by his brother, Josh, and a throwing error by the first baseman. Levi Gill beat out an infield hit, but Pagosa was unable to push across another run, Jim Guyton and Molnar both out on strikes.

Pacheco led off Monte's second with an infield single but Anderson fanned, Phil Vigil popped to second and M. Gonzales bounced to short.

Pagosa's third went quickly, a strikeout and two bounceouts and Monte's almost as quickly, with two strikeouts by Molnar, a single to left by Myers and a fly to right by Rodriguez.

The scoreless string held through the fourth, despite a long double to right center by Reding. John Hoffman walked, but Josh hit into a fielder's choice. Gill popped up bunting and Guyton hit into a fielder's choice to leave Reding at third. Monte went quickly on a grounder to second, a fly to right and a strikeout.

Pagosa had four base runners in the fifth but could not score.

Molnar bounced out to lead it off.

Travis Richey, batting for Trujillo, was drilled in the face on a full-count fastball by Rodriguez. He was down several minutes and then assisted to the dugout. He was taken for X-rays, and replaced on base by Trujillo, who was picked off first.

Hujus walked and the suddenly wild Rodriguez plunked Hart in the back. Reding, however, hit into a fielder's choice and Rodriguez escaped.

Monte Vista tied the contest in the bottom of the fifth, keyed with a leadoff triple by Vigil. He scored on a sacrifice fly to center but the next two hitters were out on easy fly balls.

John Hoffman reached on an error to open Pagosa's sixth, held as Josh popped to second, and was out on a fielder's choice on Gill's ground ball before Guyton popped to first.

Molnar threw only eight pitches in the Monte sixth, walking Cooper but getting Rodriguez to hit into a fielder's choice and Jiron to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

Cody Bahn, batting for Molnar, drew a walk to lead off the seventh but after Trujillo struck out, Hujus hit into a quick double play.

Pacheco singled to center to open Monte's seventh but Anderson and Vigil both fanned and M. Gonzales bounced to first sending the game to extra innings tied 1-1.

Hart opened Pagosa's eighth with a single to left and advanced when Reding's ground ball was booted at short. John Hoffman hit into a fielder's choice, both runners advancing. Josh Hoffman also hit into a fielder's choice, Hart scoring the lead run. Gill singled to left to drive in the second run before Guyton and Molnar both hit into fielder's choice plays.

Pagosa had a 3-1 lead and took the field for Monte's eighth. The foe was not to go easy. In fact, it took 19 pitches for Molar to get out of the game - his biggest pitch total of the game.

He got Niko Gonzales on a strikeout on four pitches and Myer bounced out to short. Two gone, victory near but yet so far.

Cooper singled to right and Rodriguez and Jiron both hit to left. One run in and two on with two out. Pacheco, 2-for-3 in the game, steps to the plate. Knuckle curve for strike one, fast ball high and the count is 1-1. He swings and misses a curve but the count evens at 2-2 on a fastball high.

Ball cracks on bat, fly to right caught for the third out and Pagosa goes on to face Bayfield for the IML tournament title, a trip to state already locked up with the win.

Pagosa's three runs came on six hits; Monte's two on the same number. Rodriguez fanned five Pagosa hitters, Molnar got seven Monte Pirates on strikes as both hurlers went the distance.

 

Pirates bow 9-1 to Bayfield in IML tournament finale

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa and Bayfield were scoreless for two innings in the Intermountain League championship game Saturday in Ignacio but the Wolverines scored nine runs in the third through fifth innings for the title.

John Hoffman and Karl Hujus both bounced out to open the game and Casey Hart fanned against Bayfield's Cody Moore.

With Josh Hoffman throwing for Pagosa, Lee Ramsire opened with a single to left. Jason Cathcart flied to left but Dan Byrd was hit by a pitch, Ramsire moving to second. A wild pitch advanced him to third but teammates couldn't capitalize as Moore popped to short and Clay Rampone fanned.

Jakob Reding walked to open Pagosa's second. Josh Hoffman singled to center but Reding rounded too far and was cut down on the throw from center. Levi Gill struck out and Matt Gallegos bounced to first.

Bayfield had runners on two Pagosa errors and a single by Jacob Posey in the second, but again could not score.

Jim Guyton, leading off for Pagosa in the third, worked Moore for 11 pitches before bouncing second to first. Adam Trujillo was hit by a pitch, John Hoffman hit into a fielder's choice and Hujus grounded to short.

Bayfield broke the 0-0 tie with two runs in the bottom of the third. Cathcart singled to left but Byrd popped out. Moore singled to left and both runners came around on a throwing error by Hujus after the outfield throw-in. Rampone bounced out and Eric Yarina flied to left.

After Hart flied to left and Reding bounced out Pagosa mounted a mild threat in the fourth with Josh Hoffman and Levi Gill drilling back-to-back singles to center. Gallegos left them there fanning on a full count.

The Wolverines' fourth was the backbreaker as nine Bayfield hitters went to the plate.

It started with Posey's single to center and then Trujillo misplayed Cody Tinnin's liner to left. Simon Van Abbama and Ramsire both singled to center, Cathcart reached on a fielder's choice, Van Abbama out. Moore bounced to second and Rampone was hit by a pitch before Yarina flied to right after four runs had scored and Pagosa was down 6-0.

The fifth was a 1-2-3 affair for Pagosa with a groundout and two strikeouts.

But Bayfield wasn't through, plating three more runs in their half of the frame.

Posey opened with a bounce-out but Tinnin doubled into the left field corner and Van Abamma singled to right for one run. Ramsire bounced out but Cathcart was hit by a pitch. That was the end on the mound for Josh Hoffman, Trujillo was called in for relief.

Byrd singled on a 2-2 pitch for the second run in the inning and Moore took the first pitch to center for another run before Rampone struck out.

Pagosa battled back for a run in the sixth after Hujus and Hart were out on a ground ball and pop-up, respectively.

Reding doubled off the fence in left and moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Josh Hoffman beat out an infield single. Gill struck out and the rally was over.

Trujillo issued a one-out walk to Posey in the Bayfield sixth but got an infield out, a popup and a strikeout to escape trouble.

Pagosa had the seventh inning left and a big rally in order - but didn't get it.

Gallegos bounced to second but Guyton fired Pirate hopes with a single to right. Trujillo struck out and John Hoffman bounced to second and Bayfield had a 9-1 win and later was awarded the number 4 seed for state playoffs.

The Wolverines, (18-2) face ninth seed Denver Christian (13-6) at 10 a.m. Saturday in Pueblo.

The one highlight of the game for Pagosa was the return to the dugout of the bloodied and swollen Travis Richey who wanted to be on hand to support his teammates even if he could not play. He'd been hit in the face by a fastball in the opener against Monte Vista. X-rays were negative and he hopes to be able to play at state.

 

Pagosa hosts Manitou in soccer Sweet 16 game 1 p.m. Saturday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Get out your Saturday go-to-soccer gear and get ready for some high-powered thrills in Golden Peaks Stadium at Pagosa Springs High School.

The homestanding Pirates, champions of the Southwest Mountain Conference, carry a 10-4-0 record and the Class 3A No. 7 seed into action against Manitou Springs, 13-1-2, with the No. 10 seed.

Game time is 1 p.m. Many fans had hoped for a game Thursday or Friday so they could travel to Pueblo Saturday to watch the Pirate baseball team, also in Sweet 16 action, against Eaton.

David Hamilton, athletic director, said Manitou rejected day games Thursday and Friday and a potential night game Friday. Pagosa rejected a Saturday morning game before the 1 p.m. starting time was agreed on.

The two soccer teams colliding in Pagosa had one common opponent during the season. Pagosa lost 4-0 at home to Salida early in the season, before putting together a 10-1 run down the stretch. Manitou defeated Salida 1-0 in Tri-Peaks League action.

Two of Pagosa's four losses have been to Class 4A Montezuma Cortez, which is in the state finals for that class. One victory was over a combined varsity-junior varsity squad from Class 5A Durango.

One Manitou victory was over a Class 4A school, Widefield.

Pagosa has not played any of the other schools in the Sweet 16 this year. Manitou lost to St. Mary's of Colorado Springs (the No. 5 seed), and was tied by Colorado Springs Christian (No. 12) and Buena Vista (already eliminated from action).

Both teams have a bevy of scorers, Manitou with nine players who have scored five or more goals. The top four on the visitors have nine, eight, eight and seven goals respectively. Katie Niebuhr is the team's assist leader with 11.

The Pirates have 14 girls who have scored at least one goal, four with eight or more goals. Two of those four, sophomores Laurel Reinhardt and Iris Frye, tied as assist leaders with 10 each.

Manitou's Mustangs have used five players in goal, the primary keeper recording 41 saves in 993 minutes playing time.

Pagosa has used three girls in goal, with sophomore Erin Gable recording 85 saves in 715 minutes (30 of those coming in one contest, the second Cortez game). Two other keepers have a combined total of 30 saves in 310 minutes.

 

Special Olympics aquatic meet, torch parade here Saturday

Special Olympics Colorado welcomes the Flame of Hope into Pagosa Springs Saturday as law enforcement officers and the fire department personnel parade Special Olympic athletes through the downtown area at 1 p.m.

The parade will follow the Southwest Area Regional Aquatics meet at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center Saturday morning.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is one of Special Olympics' biggest fund-raisers. Officers from each community around Colorado run the torch from town to town and raise money for all the athletes involved in the organization.

The money is used for uniforms, equipment and transportation for the athletes and coaches in their areas. The torch is coming from Durango Saturday morning, making it's way through Pagosa Springs and over Wolf Creek Pass.

The torch will eventually end up at the 2005 State Summer Games in Greeley, June 3-5.

Four athletes from Pagosa Springs - Zachary Irons, Jesse Carter, George Stevens and Christopher Brown - will have the opportunity to compete in aquatics at the State Summer Games in June. Come out and support Special Olympics Saturday .

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

 

Junior golf program will open fourth year

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club will again conduct a junior golf program, open to youngsters who are interested in learning to play golf or who already play and want to enhance their skills.

The allowable age groups are from 5 years old (by June 1, 2005) through 18 years old.

Players will receive direction from Jim Amato, club pros and local volunteers.

The program will run June 2-July 12, a six-week session with a season ending tournament. Age group days will be:

- 5-7 - (depending on skill level) Tuesdays, 12:15-1:30 p.m. Four weeks will be at the gym and two weeks at the golf course;

- 8-12 - Thursdays, 2-3 p.m. at the golf course;

- 13-18 - Thursdays, 3-4 p.m. at the golf course.

The cost is $60 if you sign-up before May 25 and $65 thereafter.

All interested golfers should come to the Pagosa Springs Golf Club and register.

A deal has been made with a junior club manufacturer to get clubs at a volume discount. These clubs will be available at cost to anyone in the program.

If anyone would like to get in on the order, call Jim Amato 731-4888.

Boy Scouts set disc golf tourney this Sunday

Great Southwest Council, Mesa Verde District of the Boy Scouts of America, plans a Disc Golf Tournament Sunday, May 15, at the Colorado Timberline Academy, 3554 U.S. 550, Durango.

The tournament will be a two-person team, best-disc format with three skill divisions: professional, advanced and amateur/beginner. The entry fee per team in each division is $30. Registration for the event is 9 a.m., tee time at 10.

Trophies will be awarded to the top team in each division and lunch will be provided. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to support the programs of the Boy Scouts of America in southwest Colorado.

For more information, call Daniel Bruce at (970) 382-2637.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

'Papa Gene' taught that I could make a difference

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

"Eugene Lawrence 'Gene' Ashmore, 84, known as 'Coach' to many a young athlete in Texas and New Mexico, passed away Wednesday, May 4, in Silver City Care Center."

I remember growing up and listening to stories my grandfather told about his athletes, his coaching cronies, his long but humorous road trips, his many victories and defeats. I thought to myself, what a great life that would be, to be around sports my entire life. At the time, I didn't think that was possible, but my "Papa Gene" told me that while you don't make a lot of money, you could make a difference in many athletes lives.

"Mr. Ashmore took his first coaching/teaching position in 1946, in Bryson, Texas, where he also built the football field, drove the school bus, and often received his pay in chickens, milk and eggs. From 1951-62, he was a teacher/coach/counselor with the Hobbs School District. He coached basketball with Ralph Tasker, and was part of the great Hobbs High School basketball dynasty. He moved to Silver City and spent 22 years with the Silver Schools as a teacher, football coach, basketball coach, and the first principal of La Plata Junior High School."

When I received my first head coaching position at New Mexico State University, I held my first real press conference. I made sure that I told the Albuquerque, El Paso and Las Cruces papers about my grandfather, his coaching legacy and his New Mexico High School Hall of Fame credentials.

Well, as newspapers will do, the condensed version came out as "Coach Gabel has a grandfather that lives in Silver City." Of course, his golfing buddies made fun of this but he waved them off. He had his head coaching career, and mine was just starting. Throughout my coaching career, I knew he was proud the many times he was able to watch me coach from the stands.

"He was strongly committed to well-educated athletes, good sportsmanship and fairness. He loved to announce sports events and also to write sports articles for the media. Mr. Ashmore was known for his discipline and integrity, but also his keen sense of humor."

I remember meeting Bill Bridges in the Los Angeles Lakers locker room and him telling me what an impact my grandfather had in his life.

Why do I write so often about "well-educated athletes, good sportsmanship and fairness?" Why do I spend the time mentoring to young athletes? Well, it all started because I had an unbelievable role model: my personal coach, mentor and counselor. He will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

Though you now must leave, and we must part, a little piece of you remains behind,

Held with gratitude within my heart, A portrait of "good and kind." You will be part of everything I do. When I need strength, I'll look inside for you.

Eugene Lawrence "Papa Gene" Ashmore, 1920 - 2005.

Softball manager's meet

Adult softball is right around the corner. Put your teams together for the upcoming adult leagues. Mens' and coed leagues will be offered beginning in mid-June. A managers' meeting for all softball leagues will take place 6 p.m. today in Town Hall.

Umpires needed

Now that the weather has cooperated, our 6-8 Coach-Pitch, 9-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 Pony Baseball leagues have begun play. They will continue through the end of June.

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is seeking individuals interested in officiating 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.

Adult soccer

Adult Soccer is back. Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer, call and have your name placed on our team lists. For more information, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Sports Hotline

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

For additional information about any of the department's adult or youth sports programs, call me at 264-4151, Ext. 232

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

Weather hampers park use; schools events go on

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The first-grade team of teachers reserved the park for May 3, an outdoor setting for a small concert featuring the Bar D Wranglers from Durango. Our weather did not cooperate so the first-grade and fourth-grade group was moved to the high school auditorium.

What a treat to watch all these children clap their hands and stomp their feet to the old cowboy chuck wagon tunes of the Bar D Wranglers. I have always been impressed with the special activities our creative teachers help organize for the benefit of our children.

The performers were treated like modern day rock stars, with the children enjoying the songs and stories of the old west.

The end of school brings us a lot of special events put on by local schools that help introduce new activities to the children of Pagosa Springs and their parents. Seventh-graders will soon travel to and camp at Bandelier State Park in northern New Mexico. The campers will experience Los Alamos museums, camping, hiking, cooking, and most important, bonding with teachers and fellow students.

Lessons learned from this trip may include the students' and parents' first time camping. I am sure it will be a special memory for everyone who goes.

Many of the activities that are being done within the school system are programs that YMCAs, Boys and Girls Club, and larger parks and recreation districts program in their summer guides.

It is a great joy to see our children, who live in such a beautiful recreational part of the state, get to experience great outdoor and cultural activities, all within a couple hours' bus ride from Pagosa Springs.

Parks

Teachers from our district start reserving different parks in February for their end-of-year class picnics. We like to work with the different age groups by reserving the parks for classes that are close in age, for safety reasons.

Jim Miller and crew have been great, working to get parks ready for the youngsters, and on graduation day all our parks are reserved for private graduation parties. Jim knows the routine well, and parents putting on their first party are well educated on the good ideas and the failed ideas. Just asking Jim a simple question gives everyone involved great feedback on what has worked in the past and what can be a problem.

As you prepare for your special event in the park or if you would like to rent the park for a private party, call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231. We will talk over the party, the availability of the park you want to rent, and last but not least, meet with Jim to go over the park regulations if your party requires putting up tents or moving tables.

 

Editorial

Risk a novel step

It is interesting to read and hear comments relating to ideas ex-pressed in this space last week. When a point is made that those opposed to increased development are often misguided when they direct their ire at developers and those who profit from the inevitable spinoffs of population growth, reactions are predictably intense.

But, we continue to maintain that complaints concerning development are best directed at government; developers must act within the boundaries established by governmental regulation and must be constrained by government's enforcement of those rules. We maintain that objection to development - residential or commercial - is, at root, a complaint about inadequate regulation or a lack of enforcement. We continue to maintain that, when government fails, we must ask who it is that puts government in place. The answer is clear.

The topic will continue to attract attention and we urge those interested in the amount and character of development set to occur here in the near future to pay close attention to the workings, or lack of same, of state and local governments - from the moves to be made by our governor relative to the unraveling of roadless forest rules, to town and county where, in one case, efforts are underway to add information and tools necessary to deal with growth and development and, in the other, where little of a constructive nature has occurred for several years.

The first example is the town of Pagosa Springs. Development in town is attracting attention, much of it from those who do not live within town boundaries. And yet, it is the town that is working to improve its ability to deal with change. Studies are underway to enhance town control via a comprehensive development plan.

The county, on the other hand, has been stalemated for several years in an attempt to produce expanded land-use regulations. A Master Plan was developed in a public process years ago, then abandoned in order to start from ground zero - to return to the public (this time a different set of faces) and acquire information for yet another plan. That has led nowhere; the public has not seen a comprehensive proposal and it is debatable how long it will be before it does. The sole bright light has been the recent cooperation of county and town on the "big box" issue.

Here's an idea to chew on: Perhaps it is time to make a radical change in the kind of government operating in our town and county. Perhaps it is time, as in 1993, to examine a consolidated form of government - home rule government - that unites town and county, avoiding duplication of services, making for more equitable distribution of sales tax and other revenues. Redistrict the county to identify communities of interest and fairly apportion votes - keeping several seats on a council on an at-large basis. Unite administrations and departments and cut costs. Bring more of the dynamism that now propels town business to the county; bring talent from county to town.

In 1993, voters turned down an idea to form and fund a home rule charter commission for the county. It's a shame - we would be farther down the road if we had approved the idea. Then, the population of the county was 5,000-plus. Now it's more than double that, but our countywide population is still less than that of many moderate-sized towns. Why not join governments in a county home rule system? Energize the process, restructure local politics. Put into place a system that can more efficiently respond to the growth and development looming on the horizon and deal with problems that have plagued us for years.

Perhaps, rather than griping about developers and new arrivals, we should risk a truly novel step and initiate a form of government that better serves us all.

Karl Isberg

Pacing Pagosa

75-year-old links to past felled

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

One story says they came as seedlings from Wolf Creek Pass soon after the first roadway was established across it.

They were dug out, brought into town and transplanted into a large residential double lot in the 200 block of Pagosa Street.

In the last few weeks these statuesque 75-year-old evergreens fell to the developer's power saws, along with weeping willows and a giant cottonwood on the same tract.

Some might look at it as the beginning of the end of a Pagosa Springs developed from scratch, a homey mountain town which had a river running through it before that became a movie theme.

I watched as those trees grew through my middle and high school years. I traded stamps with one of the Knowlton boys who lived there. I even bought nightcrawlers from their dad for use as fishing bait. The coolness of the house was supplied by the trees surrounding it.

When the home on the property burned while I lived out of state years later, I recall being relieved when my mother told me they had managed to save the trees. In the years since, the property has remained empty, often a hangout for the passing drunk or a vagabond of the road.

Passersby tossed soda, beer and whiskey bottles onto the lot. Skunks took up residence as the sole proprietors. Children played hide and seek in the tall, uncut weeds and for some of the older trees, it was a death knell. Branches fell in the winds, stately willows sagged from never being pruned.

Only the evergreens kept sentry, hiding the story of their birth, transforming into residential beauty, and now, demise to make way for more development.

They stood next to the often remodeled version of one of the older structures in town, the former home and dental offices of Dr. B.D. Ellsworth. I've seen him digging for worms in the leaf-enriched soil of his backyard, soil kept fertile by the shedding of leaves from the trees next door.

I remember sitting in his dental chair as he talked about the beauty of the land and pleaded with we youngsters not to let it be destroyed.

We, it would seem, have failed him.

Pagosa Springs is about to grow by leaps and bounds. There are other treed lots where the pines will fall, other sites where old-timers dug for worms. There are plots once utilized as gardens to provide homegrown sustenance to be canned for use throughout the cold winter months.

There was a warm collegial feeling in the community. Everyone knew everyone. That was both good and bad. You knew when someone needed help and they knew when you had acted the fool.

Progress, they call it; enterprise designed to enrich. But the development comes at a tall price - the dessssssssssssssruction of memories, their telltale physical signs gone forever.

We can't stop development. Man has a right to benefit from his property. We can hope future projects will take into consideration the tales of the past.

A town surrounded by treed hills with none left on its lots, is a bare, cold environment.

 

Legacies
90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of May 14, 1915

The cement pavement proposition in Block 21 is assuming tangible shape. The stone-crushing machinery to manufacture the material for the work has been ordered by Mr. Parr of the Pagosa Pressed Stone Co.

The Springs hotel bath houses have been given a thorough repairing and a separate plunge is available for men and women. Mrs. Sarah Nickell, proprietress, has spared no expense to make the premises convenient and perfectly clean.

In addition to the new cement sidewalks that are going in, now if the businessmen in Block 21 will only soak up sufficient inspiration to give their places of business a fresh coat of paint 'twould cut out a lot of adverse comment from those who visit our town from the outside.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 16, 1930

The new Arboles store, built by John E. Walker, is now open for business with Maurice Levey of Ignacio in charge.

Great strides have been made the past week in the construction of the new concrete store building of L.J. Goodman. Most of the foundation is now in place and the forms will soon be in position for the pouring of the concrete walls.

Those who were out to the local baseball diamond Sunday afternoon witnessed a big-league game of thirteen innings when Bayfield and Pagosa crossed bats. The score stood 7 to 7 at the end of the ninth inning, four more innings being required before Bayfield received the winning score.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 13, 1955

The Forest Service announced this month that a new fire lookout tower will be constructed on Devil Mountain to take the place of the Chimney Rock Lookout. The new lookout station is to be located on top of the mountain according to Piedra District Ranger Tom Sears. The new station is expected to be constructed before July when the fire season starts. It will enable the Forest Service to have a much better coverage from lookouts than was able to from the Chimney Rock Lookout.

The Indian service is also contemplating a new lookout in the Archuleta Mesa area and if this is built this summer, this section of the San Juan National Forest will have increased their lookout coverage considerably.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 15, 1980

Streamflow in the San Juan River has not been very high so far this spring and unless there is some unusual weather it appears that the near record snowfall of last winter will runoff without causing any major problems. A plentiful supply of irrigation for the spring season is assured.

The first meeting of the Pagosa Springs Revitalization Committee was held this week. The committee will be meeting the second and fourth Tuesday night of each month and citizen participation is encouraged.

Both the town and sanitation districts are calling for bids to extend services in the south part of town. Any contractor interested in bidding on these projects should contact town water commissioner Modesto Montoya.

Features

22-member advisory panel will help develop town's new comprehensive plan

By Erin K. Quirk

Staff Writer

With all the growth facing Pagosa Springs, many residents are surprised to learn the town has no comprehensive planning document in place to manage it.

There are regulations for developers, guidelines for architectural character and town staff works hard to handle traffic and parking on the highway that runs through town. However, Pagosa Springs has no one document that citizens, planners and elected officials can use to integrate all of the elements - positive and negative - that define Pagosa Springs.

That is about to change.

Last year, Pagosa Springs received a $60,000 grant to help the town establish a comprehensive plan that will serve as the controlling document for future planning. The plan will address, among other things, affordable housing, economic development, parking and traffic, open space preservation, land-use and zoning and historic preservation.

"It's really a road map or a vision," Town Manager Mark Garcia said about the comprehensive plan. "Without it you can have regulations but no direction."

A comprehensive plan is required by the state due to Pagosa's home rule charter and must be revisited every three years. In 1979 the town developed a comprehensive plan but it was never adopted. Garcia said the issues in the old plan are similar to the ones the town faces today. Clarion Associates, a consulting firm from Denver, washired to manage the process and will work in conjunction with another firm that specializes in rural planning. The town originally gave the process nine months but Garcia said they got a late start. He still hopes the plan can be complete by the end of the year.

A 22-member citizens advisory committee composed of residents from within and outside of town boundaries is now in place to work with the consultants. The group also includes an appointed member from the town council and one from the town planning commission. It will provide local input and serve as a sounding board before the plans come to a larger audience. The committee met for the first time at the beginning of May.

The time required of the volunteers is no small commitment, Garcia said, and he is pleased with the makeup of the committee. Some, he said, have land-use and planning backgrounds and some are just concerned citizens.

One of the committee members is Steve Graham, owner of Steve Graham Electric. Graham said he has no agenda for his participation on the committee but believes he represents an unusual demographic in Pagosa Springs. Graham was born and raised in Pagosa and is a 27-year-old business owner with six employees.

"Pagosa's been good to me, now it's my turn," he said.

Robert Moomaw, another committee member, was a city councilman in a small tourist town in Florida in the 1970s. He has also worked as an aide to Republican Congressman Scott McGinnis. He said he and his wife Janis moved to Pagosa because it's a beautiful place, and he is very interested in the direction of the county and town.

"When development is going to happen, which it is, you can handle it in one of two ways," Moomaw said. "You can have development with guidance or just allow it to happen. I prefer to see planned development."

Some residents were surprised when the Community Vision Council submitted the Conceptual Downtown Master Plan to the town in January. Many public hearings and workshops ensued.

The Conceptual Plan is different from the Comprehensive Plan in that it focuses specifically on the downtown core. The Comprehensive Plan is much more of a policy-based document and typically would serve as a basis for any other planning document.

"The CVC really prompted the process, they raised a lot of relevant questions," Garcia said.

Pagosa dentist Bill Thornell volunteered for the advisory committee because, he said, he didn't understand how the town could process a downtown master plan without having a comprehensive plan in place.

"I had no idea the town had no comprehensive plan whatsoever," he said. "Development is coming and we need to do it in a responsible way that benefits everybody, not just a select number of people Š The general public is not as informed and represented as they should be."

Garcia said the town has accepted the conceptual downtown master plan and is using it as a working document. For instance, much of the data collected from the economic impact study commissioned by the CVC will be used in the comprehensive plan.

Here's why all this matters: In early May, two local property owners came before the town council requesting their properties be annexed to the town and re-zoned. Both properties lie on the town's northern boundary on Snowball Road, near First and Second Streets. Though no formal development plans have been submitted for those properties, it is likely that one of them will include some new single and multifamily homes.

One council member asked town staff if that site is appropriate for that use. The answer given by staff illustrates the need for a comprehensive master plan.

Absent a document that clearly defines what parts of town are appropriate for what developments, staff said, applicants must simply meet current regulations for their site. It is then up to the council to decide, based on public input, if the site is appropriate. Once the comprehensive plan is in place, the community as a whole will have already made some of those decisions.

Garcia said another development on Hermosa Street, which came before the town council this spring, faced a similar problem. Without an overall guide for an older neighborhood, with many different existing structures, that sits right along the San Juan River, town staff, officials, the applicant and neighbors had to work it out among themselves. Although everyone wasn't happy with approval of the project, Garcia said he felt "the council and the applicant did a good job of finding a compromise."

In any public process, like the one the town is about to undertake, it is unlikely all parties will agree, but Garcia said Clarion Associates, which has done many comprehensive plans in other communities, will be excellent facilitators.

The process will go something like this: The consultants will look at a broad issue like traffic and parking. They will cull suggestions from the advisory board, town staff, the public and their own experience.

Using the citizens advisory committee, the consultants will refine their information into a few proposals for each area of study. Periodic public hearings will then be held to allow for input from a larger audience. Garcia said it is important that people who plan to be involved in the process commit to staying abreast of all of the changes the proposals will undergo.

"The onus is back on the people to stay up to date on that," he said.

To that end, the town's Web site, which has a comprehensive plan link, will be kept current. Garcia said they also intend to post a recent plan created for another community by Clarion Associates. Garcia said that will give people an idea of what to expect for Pagosa Springs.

To keep up with the comprehensive plan process visit www.townofpagosasprings.com.

Red Ryder Royalty hopefuls have first

meeting May 23

Pagosa Springs Enterprises will start its search for the 2006 Red Ryder Royalty with a mandatory 7 p.m. meeting May 23 for all candidates.

All contestants below age 21 must have a parent or guardian at the meeting.

Practices will start 4:30 p.m. June 3 at the rodeo grounds with additional practices June 10, 17 and 24.

Riding competition will be June 30, personality competition 2 p.m. July 2, and crowning of royalty will take place July 4 during the rodeo grand entry.

All competitions are open to the public and are free. Selection committee members encourage you to come support your favorite.

Winners will represent Red Ryder Roundup in many parades and grand entries in Colorado and New Mexico. They will receive crowns, belt buckles, jackets and flowers.

The queen will receive a saddle with matching head stall and breast collar, donated by Goodman's Department Store; the princess will receive a head stall and breast collar donated by Boot Hill Tack and Feeds.

For more information call Sandy Bramwell at 264-5959 or Belinda Thull, 731-5269.

Forest Service, BLM study group

meets here May 26

Community study groups are meeting again this month in Pagosa Springs, Durango and Cortez to help the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management identify issues to be studied in a joint long-term planning effort that began in January.

The study groups will meet on a monthly basis to help the agencies identify potential changes in existing management direction.

The next meeting in Pagosa Springs is scheduled 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, in the junior high library.

Pagosa's Past

Ninth Cavalry got little frontier praise

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Buffalo Soldiers, Company D, 9th Cavalry, marched into Pagosa Springs late in 1878. Except for the ever present new recruits, Company D was already a seasoned outfit with years of experience battling Comanche, Cheyenne, Apache, Kiowa, Mexican renegades and Texas outlaws.

By 1878, the focus of military concern in the West was shifting to Colorado and several bands of well armed Utes. The Utes were already on reservations, sort of. Northern Utes were located on a reservation centered at Meeker, Colo., and Southern Utes were located on Los Piños Creek just west of Cochetopa Pass.

The Tabeguache Utes were located near Grand Junction. Anglos, especially miners, were probing under every rock in the Rocky Mountains looking for gold. The miners didn't pay much attention to Indian reservation boundaries.

Neither did the Indians, especially when they saw white men violating boundaries everywhere. U.S. Army officials knew the Utes were restless. They created Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs and beefed up already established forts, such as Fort Garland in the San Luis Valley, just in case a war should break out. And they sent Company D to Fort Lewis. Last week we related some of the adventures faced by the 9th Cavalry, especially Company D, before coming to Pagosa Springs. We're doing more of the same this week.

Upon arriving at Pagosa Springs, Company D was commanded by a Capt. Francis Dodge. A native of Massachusetts, Dodge rose through the ranks and was a captain of the Second Cavalry when the Civil War ended. He accepted appointment as a first lieutenant in the Ninth Cavalry in July, 1866, was promoted to captain in July, 1867, and a major in January, 1880, at which time he was transferred to the Department of the Paymaster General. On March 22, 1898, nearly 20 years after the fight, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his gallantry against the Utes in the 1879 Milk River Battle near Meeker.

During 1869, according to author William Leckie, the 9th Cavalry Regiment "literally rode their mounts into the ground over thousands of dusty miles in blistering heat, pursuing war parties that seemed everywhere and yet nowhere, and the usual result was a bleak sentence or two such as appeared in the Post Returns for Fort Concho in July, 1869: Indians ran off mail mules and government horses from mail station at head of the Concho July 29. Pursuit by Captain Gamble, Company "B" 9th Cavalry with detachment failed to overtake Indians."

As we said last week, the 9th Cavalry was working between San Antonio and El Paso. The enemy were primarily Mescalero Apaches, Kiowas, and Comanches. They were spread thin across such forts as McKavett, Concho, Davis, Stockton, and others. Fort Concho was in San Angelo, Texas.

December and January of 1869 brought bitter cold, but Col. Hatch, commanding the 9th, pressed his campaign. On Jan. 20, 1870, Capt. Dodge with 200 men from Companies D, H, I and K marched northwest from Fort Davis into Mescalero country, the almost inaccessible Guadalupe Mountains.

On April 12, commanded by Lieutenants Gustavus Valois and M. B. Hughes (both officers later served at Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs), elements of the 9th again scoured the Guadalupe Mountains in search of the elusive Mescalero.

Following these campaigns, Capt. Morrow (at that time commander Company D) stated the men had: "marched about 1,000 miles, over two hundred of which was over country never explored by troops, drover Indians from every rancheria ... destroyed immense amounts of ... food, robes, skins, utensils, and material and captured forty horses and mules. I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men under my command, always cheerful and ready, braving the severest hardships with short rations and no water without a murmur. The negro troops are peculiarly adapted to hunting Indians knowing no fear and capable of great endurance."

By the close of 1871 the 9th had seen nearly five years of the hardest kind of service with no respite. Most of the men had not seen their homes since enlistment, and efforts of their officers to obtain extended furloughs for them were denied. Their stations were among the most lonely and isolated to be found anywhere in the country. Discipline was severe, food usually poor, recreation difficult, and violent death always near at hand. Prejudice robbed them of recognition and often even of simple justice.

More next week on the Buffalo Soldiers before Company D, 9th Cavalry was stationed in Pagosa Springs.

 

Weather
 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

5/4

58

37

R

.01

.01

5/5

64

35

-

-

-

5/6

59

38

R

.06

.06

5/7

52

33

-

-

-

5/8

61

28

R

.01

.01

5/9

66

31

-

-

-

5/10

64

32

-

-

-

 

Sunbathers rejoice! High 70s temps due for weekend

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You may not believe it, but this weekend's dress of the day may be shorts and a halter or T-shirt.

In fact, there is a slight chance of area temperatures reaching the 80-degree mark Sunday, though forecasters expect it to hold at about 76.

While that is a boon for the sunbathers, it may mean increased runoff from high country snow pack and higher river depths on the four major streams in the county.

In fact, except for the Navajo, which is being controlled at 89 cubic feet per second with outflow from Oso Diversion dam, all are climbing already - but not yet back up to peaks for the year to date.

The Blanco, for example, climbed from 120 cubic feet per second May 1 to a reading of 352 cfs at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The Piedra, measured north of Arboles, was running at the same hour at 2,180 cfs, up from a low for the week of 1,510 on May 4.

The San Juan, in downtown Pagosa Springs, had dropped to 1,510 cfs May 4, but by Wednesday morning had rebounded upward to 1,710 with average flow depth at 5.79 feet, up 1.2 inches in the week. Flood stage for the San Juan is 8.96 feet.

Highest temperature recorded in Pagosa Springs since May 1 was a 65.6 degree reading at 4 p.m. Monday. The lowest was 27.5 at 6 a.m. Sunday.

Precipitation in the past week measured .17 inches, with the bulk, .10, coming early Wednesday.

Readings at the Upper San Juan Snotel site at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday showed snow depth remaining at 210.7 inches with snowwater equivalent of 50.8 inches. Temperature at time of reading was 31.7 after a Tuesday high of 53.8 at the site. Meltdown was increasing slowly but runoff had not yet shown markedly higher flow.

Starting today, National Weather Service forecasters say, you can expect a little precipitation before the anticipated weekend warm-up, most expected this morning with a mix of snow and rain before clearing and a temperature rise to 63 this afternoon. Tonight is expected to be partly cloudy and colder, with a low of 30 and westerly winds gusting to 30 m.p.h.

For Friday the forecasters say partly cloudy, high of 68 with light southwest winds. Friday night should be clear with a low near 32.

Saturday, forecasters say, will see the temperature flirt with the 70-degree mark under partly cloudy skies before dropping to an overnight low of 35.

After the Sunday warmth, temperatures should drop a degree or two Monday, but skies will be mostly sunny. Scattered cloud cover may return Monday night but the temperature will remain above freezing.

Tuesday will be partly cloudy, with a high of 72 and possibility of nighttime rain moving into the area.

This may be the weekend to wash the last six months worth of dust and mud off the old buggy - or you could just lie in the yard and soak up the rays, with plenty of sunscreen, of course.