June 9, 2005
Front Page

County plan ends Secondary Road

maintenance

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It was a beginning - 52 years late.

With an estimated 100 or more in the audience, county officials presented for first view Thursday a proposed county road map designating arterial streets for maintenance.

It also indicated, as did staff comment, that roads not on that list - Secondary System Roads - would receive little or no county maintenance, including snow plowing.

Held in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, it was the first of two scheduled public hearings on the roadway plans (the next is 7 p.m. June 15 in the Extension building at the county fairgrounds) with a third possible to consider a resolution to adopt the map.

A handout distributed at the hearing indicated state law (CRS 43-2-109) requires the board of county commissioners to prepare a map showing each road in the county Primary and Secondary systems.

"Currently," the sheet said, "Archuleta County can not produce this document for its constituency or for the state."

In fact, one county official said, "There has been no official county road map since 1953."

Cheryl Rogers, county attorney, explained in advance that many roadways in the county are neither Primary nor Secondary for the county, but are privately owned or fall under other governmental jurisdictions such as Forest Service or State Park routes.

"The county," she explained, "cannot exercise power of any kind over roadways it does not own."

With that setting the stage, commissioners called on Dick McKee, road and bridge department director, to explain the proposed map and how it was produced.

He began by telling the crowd "The list you see tonight and on the maps posted is not set in stone; but it is the best bet we see for maintenance under existing financial means of the county."

The Board of Archuleta County Commissioners, he said, can amend, remove or add to the list on basis of proof of need on a selected review basis, i.e, yearly, on special needs data, or at any other chosen time.

He noted that a year ago plans for a mill tax increase referendum were abandoned when public outcry deemed success impossible.

"Talks with some here tonight before the meeting," he said, "indicate there is lots of opposition to what we are now proposing. But we must argue this is the best we can do with funding available."

In short, he said, "The primary system as presented (see separate story) is what we (the county) can afford."

McKee said the county has two primary industries - tourism and agriculture - with tourism far and away the most prominent. Roads used by visitors, he said, lead to more spending in the county and their presence becoming a bigger part of the tax base.

A theme repeated regularly throughout the session began with McKee urging residents living on roadways not designated for maintenance to form metro districts to provide maintenance on their own, at their own selected level and tax levy.

"We are recommending this approach for all subdivisions or groups thereof," he said. "A special taxing district under your own control can give you the types of roadways you want at the price you are willing to pay."

He noted some residents want rural character with gravel roads; others want fully paved and improved roads with curb and gutter and sidewalk; still others want stabilized dirt roadways - and all probably want snowplowing.

"This plan allows individual owners to be in control of their own road system, responsible for its maintenance, improvement and overhead," he said.

The county, he said, will collect Highway User Tax Funds (HUTF) for the Primary System and for redistribution to special taxation districts that may be formed. Each such district must enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the county promising to maintain any roads in the district at a condition level set by the state.

McKee said roads may, in the future, be upgraded into the Primary System as their character and use patterns change.

At the same time, he said, it is "staff's recommendation to reduce the county's road maintenance responsibilities to match projected revenues and expenses."

If the county financial picture changes, McKee said, "we might be able to add a level of service to Secondary System roads, but there is no promise of that."

If this plan is approved and the map accepted by county commissioners, he said, it is proposed to go into effect upon such approval with the implementation of maintenance aspects delayed until July 1, 2007. In the interim, the current operational maintenance program would continue.

Public roads not maintained by the county would receive, during that time, full service adequate to allow for emergency vehicle response, i.e., fire, ambulance and law enforcement.

When Rogers said Secondary roads would not be abandoned, audience response included, "It sounds like abandonment to me," and "This is nothing but a big time cop-out."

Rogers replied, "To be abandoned, the board of county commissioners would have to hold public hearings. I reiterate, no one loses access."

With the basics of the plan presented, board chair Mamie Lynch reminded the audience "nothing will be acted on tonight. We're here to hear the public. We will collect your feelings, questions and criticisms before any decision is made."

Search for missing teen continuing

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The search continues for a Pagosa Springs man missing from a camping party on the lower Blanco River.

David Kramer, 19, formerly of Pagosa Springs and most recently residing in Durango, went missing during the early hours of Sunday, May 22.

Friends at the party said they last saw Kramer sleeping on the ground on the edge of an embankment about 30 feet above the river.

Archuleta County's director of emergency operations, Greg Oertel, said, until recently, high flows on the Rio Blanco have prevented an exhaustive search of the area, but current reductions in water levels have opened up search opportunities.

Oertel said a dog team from El Paso County, near Denver, will arrive later in the week to assist with the search.

He said the team is part of an extensive search and rescue program in that county and added that the team has volunteered to assist Archuleta County personnel in their efforts.

After investigating the scene, Oertel said Kramer probably rolled off the embankment and into the Blanco River while sleeping.

Kramer was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt and black leather jacket. He is about six feet tall, thinly built, Caucasian with short black hair.

Oertel asked anyone who has information concerning Kramer's wherabouts to contact him at (970) 731-4799.

 

Health service district tabs Mercy

aide as its new business manager

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"First things first," sums up the strategy of the board of the Upper San Juan Health Service District during its meeting Tuesday night.

Determining financial capability to meet district goals and implement plans is now the highest priority and Mercy Management, a business adjunct of Durango's Mercy Medical Center, will play a large part in the short-term management and reorganization of the district's health services.

Rick O'Block, from Durango's Mercy Medical Center, was approved as the new district business manager, on a six-month contract. Allen Hughes, the previous business manager, stepped down but will play an active role in assisting O'Block in the transition.

O'Block has been a resident of the region since 1976 and has 20 years experience in health care management. "We need to prioritize, and creating a realistic budget will be the focus of the next six months," he said.

With O'Block in place, the board then immediately assigned a number of challenging tasks for him to manage, including the hiring of an operations manager for the Emergency Medical Services, providing recommendations for streamlining the board's committees, investigating improvement of Veteran's Administration services, and making decisions about the dismal state of affairs with district's billings and collections.

Even though the district's billing for services has increased in recent months, actual collections have decreased. Because the billing is outsourced, the district is in the dark regarding the cause of lack of payments.

"We're on the downslide with EMS collections," stated Pam Hopkins, board chair.

"Is it a tightness problem or a fraud problem?" asked board member Jerry Valade, whereupon the challenges of EMS billing in contrast to clinic billing were discussed. One staff member commented that, even when people come in with cash in hand to pay their bills, they are given an 800 number to contact, and commented that people may hesitate to trust an out-of-state collection agency.

"Nobody has screwed up our billing as much as we have," said J.R. Ford, a Finance, Audit and Budget Committee member. With an average on-call ambulance bill at around $2,000, each non-paid bill can be a substantial loss to the district. Considerations of proposals to purchase or lease a new in-house billing system were assigned to O'Block.

Brian Sinnott presented a report on the status of EMS staffing. Eight new staff members were hired, but only two are local residents. Because of the difficult high-stress nature of their work, the distance many EMS staff have to travel from neighboring towns, and budgetary issues, Sinnott presented four alternatives to the immediate need for two ambulances ready to go at a moment's notice, 24 hours a day.

Because of budget cuts, Pagosa currently has two fully-staffed ambulances available at any time between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., with on-call services available at other times (adding about 15 minutes to the response time). Peak demand time is generally between 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. One of Sinnott's plans would have the two crews available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a "mandatory callback" system 8-11 p.m., so if one of the ambulances went out during that time, a second crew would be called in and ready to go whether or not there was a second call.

With minimal additional cost, greater staff morale with the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. main hours, and the extended range of two fully staffed ambulances (8-11 p.m.), the board agreed Sinnott's plan looks reasonable.

The reopening of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic, which closed as a clinic April 1, except for X-ray services, is still up in the air, with no confirmation on a specific date. "We're losing money keeping it closed," said Hopkins, "but we could be losing more if we open it."

Residents will need to get involved. "We have fund-raisers for every cat and dog in this town, but not a single one for health care," said Ford, who will help establish an annual fund-raising drive.

The board was scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a new Critical Access Hospital, which would have up to 25 beds for patients needing immediate care for 72 hours or less. A 25-page report, created by Rural Health Consultants, outlines how Pagosa residents are currently served by only five primary care physicians and three mid-level practitioners, and are isolated from hospital services, with the nearest facility at least a one hour drive under ideal conditions.

The report concludes, "Development of a Critical Access Hospital could spur development of additional services and attract more providers to the area."

"We are at that fork of needing a critical care hospital", says Hopkins, "I really believe that's what we need to bring our community to the 21st century".

In other business Tuesday, the board:

- heard a request from board member Dick Blide to consider creating a manual so that policies, procedures, executive limitations, and other board matters are documented;

- were told by Hughes that a third, fully-staffed ambulance will be available during the Fourth of July holiday;

- received a report from Hughes on the progress of a $5,000 grant to facilitate health-related communication by integrating aspects of the Upper San Juan Health Service District, the sheriff's department, the fire protection district board, the board of county commissioners and Mercy Medical Center.

  

Town approves impact fee plan for developers

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

By voting in favor Tuesday of a new ordinance allowing the town to levy impact fees, the Pagosa Springs Town Council sent a clear message to developers — you will pay your own way.

The current schedule of fees is the product of workshops, analysis and discussion between town staff and the town council dating back as far as 1998 and 2001.

Two studies undertaken during that time provided a basis for an earlier schedule of impact fees, but Town Planner Tamara Allen said the numbers in the current schedule are 50-percent less than those originally proposed to the council.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said the first ordinance with the higher fees was brought to the town council last month. He said town staff and the council met again last week and had come to the reduced figures.

He said the current schedule is conservative when compared to some Colorado towns and that the impact fees could be adjusted over time to take new circumstances and new data into consideration.

The intent of development impact fees is to mitigate the impacts of new developments on roads, parks, open space and public facilities and are a key component of the town's big box plan.

In other business Tuesday:

- The final plan for Riverwalk II condominiums was approved after review by the town council. The project originally entailed construction of 59 units. Under the final plan that number was reduced to 39 units. In addition, the final plan addresses and remedies previous town concerns about older cottonwoods threatened by the project, wildlife habitat and trail modifications.

- The council was informed that Phase II of the San Juan River Restoration Project is in the final planning stages and material is nearly ready for submission to the Corps of Engineers for permitting.

Formal review of the project begins when the Corps of Engineers seeks input from various agencies. At issue might be the use of concrete in constructing some of the proposed whitewater features. In the past, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has expressed concern on the use of concrete in the Phase I water features. Town staff anticipates funding and permits to be in place for work to begin in November or December.

- The council approved a conditional use permit for the construction of five rental cabins at the Gayhart Cabins site on 403 County Road 200.

- A conditional use permit was approved for three residential townhome units and three garage units on 14th Street, Lot 4 Block 2.

Now that school is out, the town will be rebuilding the intersection of 8th and Apache Streets, as well as realigning a portion of Apache Street. Concrete pavement will replace damaged asphalt and new curbs and gutters will be installed. T.C. Pipeline, the Monte Vista firm undertaking the project, said it should not take longer than two months to complete.

In the meantime, traffic will be detoured onto 9th Street and Zuni Street for access to Trujillo Road from 8th Street, or to the alley between Seventh and 8th streets for access to Apache Street. For more information, go to www.townofpagosasprings.com.

 Inside The Sun

Road Plan would support these Primary roadways

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The proposed new Archuleta County Road Map, presented publicly for the first time Thursday in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, was a sweeping disappointment to many in the crowd of about 100.

The proposed Primary Road System would contain those public roads which county staff believe are of greatest importance to intracounty transportation.

All other county roads will be designated as Secondary System roads, according to the plan.

Roads accepted into the Primary System will be those county-accepted roads identified on the map as Arterial, Collector, Agricultural Access and Recreational Access.

Those classifications are described as:

Arterial - Link cities, towns and other traffic generators, such as neighborhoods.

Collector - Provide a link from local roads to arterial roads, and allow for the movement of through-traffic in neighborhoods.

Agricultural Access - Primary intent of these roads is to serve three or more parcels, each 160 acres or larger,

Recreational Access - Primary intent is to access a developed public lands road network or recreation area.

County roads not meeting any of those criteria will be deemed secondary.

Primary roads, under the plan, would receive full maintenance, participate in the 20-year road management plan and be scheduled for road capital improvements.

Following are the roads, under the plan, which meet the criteria for Primary Road classification in the county:

Arterials

CR 500 (Trujillo Road)

CR 600 (Piedra Road, U.S. 160 to Forest Service boundary)

Collectors

Buttress Avenue from South Pagosa Boulevard to Cascade Avenue

Cascade Avenue

CR 119 (Light Plant Road)

CR 335 ( Lower Blanco Road)

CR 359 (Coyote Park Road)

CR 700 (Cat Creek Road from U.S. 160 to Orange Court)

Meadows Drive

Mission Drive

North Pagosa Boulevard

Park Avenue from North Pagosa Boulevard to Carlee Place

Pinon Causeway

South Pagosa Boulevard

Trails Boulevard from U.S. 160 to Ranger Park Drive

Vista Boulevard

Agricultural Access

CR 391 (Edith Road)

CR 542 (Montezuma Road)

CR 551 (Juanita Road)

CR 700 (Cat Creek Road from Orange Court to CR 500)

Recreational Access

Cr 113 (Fawn Gulch Road)

CR 146 (Turkey Springs Road)

CR 166 (First Fork Road)

CR 200 (Snowball Road)

CR 302 (Mill Creek Road)

CR 326 (Blanco Basin Road)

CR 382 (Upper Navajo Road to Forest Service Road 731 - Price Lakes Road)

CR 400 (Four Mile Road)

CR 982 (entrance to Navajo State Park)

CR 988 (entrance to Navajo State park south of Colo. 151

Eight Mile Mesa Road

All other roads, designated as Secondary System roads would, under the plan, receive very little maintenance from the county, including snow plowing.

Secondary roads are designated county roads for the purpose of regulating activities within the right-of-way, providing legal access to properties and retaining police powers over the roadways.

Public cool to county road map; second hearing set

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When area residents got their first chance to comment on the proposed county road map Thursday they found it in a quasi-legal setting.

Archuleta County Court Judge Jim Denvir had been asked to moderate the questions from the audience and the responses from commissioners.

He immediately decreed civility to be the primary trait for the question-and-answer period "in which we take as much testimony as possible within a 1 1/2 hour deadline of 9 p.m." (It actually stretched 15 minutes beyond that).

Before anyone from the audience could comment, Commissioner Robin Schiro suggested the county may not be getting all the Highway User Tax Funds to which it is entitled.

She said it is her belief "we could be getting funds for some of the secondary roads and are not utilizing that opportunity."

She asked Dick McKee, county road and bridge director, to explain the position.

He responded that such funding could be available if the roads were accepted for maintenance. Since they are not, he said, the county could only pass along such funds to a duly-formed governmental agency such as a metro district.

Schiro disagreed with his concept of the state law, charging, "we are losing funds and we need to correct that."

Before the audience could ask questions, Schiro also demanded from McKee "the cost studies report we (the commissioners) requested some time ago. We need to know how much it costs to do a mile of road in any of a variety of surface formations."

First public response came from Tim Shumaker, a resident on Belford Place in Meadows 4.

"Having no snow removal service," he said, "is a critical safety issue. Suppose there's a fire and the fire truck can't get to the scene."

Without a direct answer, county board chairman Mamie Lynch told the crowd, "We would not be the first county not to plow snow ... La Plata County does not take any new subdivision roads into its maintenance program."

"What if I or a neighbor used a personal plow to clear the road?" Shumaker asked. He was told it would be illegal.

"It sounds like a Catch 22," he replied. "You won't let us care for our own roads and won't maintain them."

Commissioner Ronnie Zaday asked Cheryl Rogers, county attorney, to comment.

"You've pinpointed an important issue," she replied. "Who will maintain? Despite the best intent, personal road work can damage the roadway and make it worse. You can, however, apply for a permit to work on a county right-of-way. There is a mechanism for it to happen involving a public-private cost agreement and boundary priority."

Next from the public was Richard Bond, a resident on Pueblo Court, who noted he is a part-time resident who maintains a home in Los Alamos, N.M., "where all the streets are paved, yet I pay more taxes here than there, for no maintenance. There are now three times more people using our 'non-maintained' roads than before and less service for them," he said.

Schiro agreed with the need to more closely examine road use patterns "in all subdivisions."

Jerry Fier told the board Sweetwater and Twin Creek drives are "among the worst streets, not only in the county but in the nation." These roadways, he said "are pathetic ... a full case of disintegration and political disinterest. You have two new board members who campaigned strongly on road improvement but we've seen no evidence they can produce."

Judge Denvir interceded at that point, saying its was an "emotional issue like many we've seen in the 26 years I've lived here. We're not going to play to the public sympathy. Let's ask the board to get information on how it can be corrected."

Zaday, however, answered, "Yes, you have two new commissioners who came in caring about roads. This hearing indicates we're getting something done. We're creating a road map for the county it should have had since 1953."

Ann Allison of Twin Creek asked the cost per mile to maintain roadways. "I'd like to know how the commissioners can go forward without knowing those figures."

Zaday said commissioners have repeatedly asked for those figures and "it depends on evaluation of current qualifications for maintenance, where and the degree of traffic the roadway is expected to support."

She said new data indicates a mile of 4-inch asphalt pavement on proper base would cost $375,000, with costs dropping to $110,000 per mile for resurfacing. Aggregate gravel surfacing costs would range from a high of $215,000 per mile to a base of $75,000. "We just got these figures today," she said, "and have not had time to analyze or compare them."

Schiro said she did not feel the figures were accurate and wondered where they came from.

McKee said they were based on actual cost for projects South Pagosa Boulevard and Meadows Drive.

Nancy Strait, another resident of Belford Place, said she understands the need for primary and secondary roads, "but it is unacceptable to hear you saying we'll probably have emergency services but not snow plowing. If tourism is such a panacea," she said, "we should be telling the potential buyers the conditions they will encounter and discourage them from coming here."

Jeff Knaak wondered why Escobar was not a Primary Road. "It carries more traffic than Mission," he said.

Schiro said traffic counts are needed on many area roads as part of "basic criteria for determining where and how much growth is occurring."

Zaday agreed, saying "roads with high traffic counts need to be added to higher priority lists."

Judy Wagner of Arboles questioned reducing maintenance "to projected revenues of Archuleta County. If it's one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, as has been indicated, why aren't the revenues going up?"

Zaday answered the fast growth rate increases the use of "facilities like roadways, and thus increase the cost of maintenance. The question is how many roads can we maintain?"

Lynch said another factor is the TABOR Amendment which hurts all public agencies by limiting the amount of revenue they can collect. "The mill levy is set across the board," she said. "We can't go higher without a vote of the public to increase that levy."

Rogers said there is one tool the county has not yet utilized - the impact fee program, "but it does not mitigate the amount of use, merely arranges up front for a specific fee from a developer for perceived future impact on a specific area." And, she said, "Impact fees cannot be used to bring a substandard road up to spec."

John and Terri Hoehne of Peninsula Place testified separately.

He charged the county plan will "improperly force residents to create mini-districts to meet the challenge the county has reneged on."

Lynch said nothing has been adopted, but, "If the people are willing to pay, they can have almost anything they want. There would have to be countywide approval of a tax (mill) rate increase."

Terri Hoehne said she sees great deterioration of neighborhood roads due to contractor traffic. "The heavy trucks break down the roads. They scoop out ditches for utility lines and cover them with sand so they soon become sinkholes. Can't the county control such actions? Is there no means of policing the contractors and not allowing occupancy until all roadways affected are returned to original status?"

Schiro agreed, saying she's seen similar incidents in subdivisions across the county. "We need to discuss truck weight limits, with enforcement."

McKee said there is a degree of quality control on all roads, that the county is trying to get more people trained to inspect projects, "but right now there is just one person trained and he is covering the entire county."

Mary Sealey, another resident of Peninsula Place, said she and her neighbors raised money last year to have their street repaired under a county program. "More construction in the ensuing year has brought back the original mess," she said.

Zaday said it is "obvious we need to police better."

"Why" Sealey asked, "can't we have some speed limits posted and enforced? Some of these people think nothing of driving 50 miles per hour on neighborhood roads. If we can slow traffic, we may be able to stop some of the deterioration of roadways."

Lynch said speed is a problem across the county. "I believe all speed limits should be lowered."

"At least limits posted would be a reminder to some," answered Sealey.

Michael Piper of Lakewood Village, "one of the infamous red-tagged communities," cited what he called "taxpayer disparity." The subdivisions of Pagosa Lakes, he said, "have the major portion of the county's population and pay the majority of taxes received by the county. But there is inequitable distribution of that tax income. What you're trying to do here is at least ten years too late," he said. "The county should give a higher percentage to the areas paying the most taxes."

Lynch said, "if you're talking about the 50-50 split of sales taxes between the county and Pagosa Springs, keep in mind 85 percent of sales taxes collected in the county are collected in the town. If you're talking about property tax, the town and county each levy their own. I live in the town and pay both."

Fred Ebeling of Lake Pagosa Park noted, "several here have extolled the special district route as a solution. They are not a panacea. I have reviewed the cost of forming such a district and just getting it on the ballot and conducting an election would have total cost of $15,000-20,000."

He said there are two other kinds of districts - Local Improvement and Public Improvement - both of which, if formed, must be administered by the county.

Shiro said she doesn't think the county is ready to pay any portion of such action and not have any say legally about operation.

Zaday told the crowd she lives in a metro district and pays "a higher level of taxation to take care of our own roads."

Shumaker, allowed to speak a second time, said "you folks spent millions on resurfacing Meadows just last year and already there are potholes. One is more than a pothole, it's a sinkhole. Someone has used a white marker to outline it so drivers can go around. Don't you have follow up on construction projects to prevent this?"

McKee said the contractor is under a two-year warranty and has not received final payment. "He has been notified of some problems. I was not aware of this one."

Property owner Walt Lukasik asked when commissioners will make a decision to hold builders responsible for street cuts made by their contractors which lead to degradation of roadways.

Schiro said, "It seems all developers here have done what they pleased. I hope we will one day have land use rules in effect, but I don't see it happening soon."

"Can't you withhold certificates of occupancy?" asked Lukasik.

Rogers said state law makes it illegal to damage a county road. "We could make an example of one offender in hopes of discouraging others. But it is a difficult legal action to prosecute. You have to prove the specific contractor did, in fact, damage the road."

Lynch agreed, and said she is asking for a policy directing our road and bridge department to take action against any developers and their contractors who damage roadways.

Zaday said such a directive should include "repairs to meet county standards before granting occupancy."

Russ Freeman, a resident on Twin Creek Circle, expressed concern about the county's "so-called first step. I think the county first has to decide if it will stay a growth county or opt to become no-growth. Forming districts to make us pay for our own roads is not a priority. Give the people a chance to respond."

Zaday said, "I was asked if I am afraid to go to the people with a plan and the numbers to present to voters. I am not. If people want to pay for it, we can provide it. But the cost will be high."

Mary Bonds said she had been quiet, trying to develop a statement to express her concern. "You've taken out almost all the roads in the county," she said. "Part of the problem is that taxpayers are maintaining the roads, using them, but there are three fully developed subdivisions here with no roads accepted. Those people are being taxed without benefit." When planning road maintenance, she urged, "Look to where the taxes come from. Most of the taxpayers don't live in Pagosa Springs. The majority are in Pagosa Lakes. I think Pagosa Springs should be distributing a portion of the taxes they collect from those who drive our roads, to road maintenance out here."

Lynch came to the town's defense, saying the town didn't come out and grab up business property, the business owners requested annexation. The town accepted."

Rogers said there is room for better town-county cooperation. "The town does not take in roadways when it annexes properties. I believe they should take in the roads. It would mean less miles for the county to maintain and thus more money for those miles still in the county."

Pam Eaton asked, "If the people choose to form a special district and get the roads up to spec, will the county accept them? Would it be more likely to if they were paved?"

She got no direct answer, though Lynch said, "We encourage bringing every road up to county standards."

At the end, Ebeling cautioned commissioners, "I hope you realize there hasn't been a single comment in favor of your plan."

 

Roundup royalty practices start; four prizes offered

Past Red Ryder Roundup Royalty is welcome to ride in the annual July 4 parade with present royalty and court. Please meet east of the high school football field on the day of the parade.

Royalty can ride their own horses or ride on a wagon provided by Pagosa Springs Enterprises, to be pulled by a team of horses.

Royalty participating in the parade are asked to wear their banners if they have them. If they do not, they should notify Sandy Bramwell at 264-5959. If they intend to ride their own horse, they are asked to tell Sandy as soon as possible.

Practices for this year's royalty contestants began June 3.

Riding competition will take place at 6 p.m. June 30 at Red Ryder Arena and the personality competition will be 2 p.m. July 2 at the Extension building. Contestants will take a written test prior to the riding contest.

Young ladies in competition this year will have a chance to win four prizes in addition to the prestigious titles of Queen and Princess.

Prizes will be given for the top score in riding competition, personality, written effort and congeniality. Miss Congeniality will be chosen by vote of the candidates themselves. There will also be a hair and makeup session for contestants.

The public is encouraged to support the contestants at all the contests, and all competitions are free. If you have questions call Bramwell (number above) or Belinda Thull at 731-5269.

Royalty will be crowned at the rodeo July 4.

 

Free dumping at landfill was a huge success

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When Archuleta County residents decide to clean up, they do it in big-time style.

Clifford Lucero, director of the county's solid waste department, said Saturday's drop-off at the landfill involved nearly 75 vehicles per hour.

"We took in about 2,000 yards of waste on the free dumping day," he said. "That constitutes about $22,000 worth of dumping on a single day."

Lucero said the citizenry was well behaved, waited patiently in line "and has our utmost thanks for helping clean up the areas where recent community collections didn't get everything."

He also noted many residents took advantage of the opportunity to rid themselves of a total of "about 20 yards of unused paint and used oil.

"This is a good example of the public and a governmental entity working together for the good of all," Lucero said, as he again thanked all the residents for their patience while waiting to get into the site to dump.

 

Man taken to hospital following Lake Forest incident

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Local fire fighters, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers rushed to Lake Forest west of Pagosa Springs Wednesday afternoon after a boat carrying two fishermen reportedly in their 50s capsized, leaving one man unconscious at the scene.

Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations for Archuleta County, said after the boat overturned one man was able to swim to shore, but the other was having difficulty and was hauled out by a passerby.

Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said the passerby was a woman who saw the incident, swam out to assist the man and helped bring him to shore. Despite her efforts the man arrived on shore unconscious.

Grams said the man was flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Durango for treatment.

Identities of those involved in the incident, and their places of residence, were not available at press time. Neither was any information concerning the condition of the man transported to Durango.

Personnel from the Pagosa Fire Protection District, Emergency Medical Services, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado State Patrol, as well as local search and rescue volunteers, all were at the scene.

 

County project included in appropriations bill

U.S. Senator Wayne Allard, R-Colo., secured funding for a long list of conservation projects in Colorado in the FY 2006 Interior Appropriations Bill approved Tuesday.

One of the projects will take place in Pagosa Country.

"Despite an incredibly tight budget year, we still managed to provide the means to carry out and continue numerous conservation projects vital to our state," said Allard, a member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.

The Interior Appropriations Bill provides funding for the following Colorado projects:

- $1.5 million for Banded Peaks Ranch in Southeastern Archuleta County to complete a two-phase conservation easement. Protection of this area complements the Navajo River Protection Plan and helps insure sustained flows of clean water downstream;

- $1.5 million for the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area in Western Colorado so the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) can complete acquisition and protection of nearly 1,500 acres of private holdings;

- $500,000 to acquire land for the High Elk Corridor in the Elk Mountains between the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area and the Raggeds Wilderness Area in the White River National Forest. The FY 2006 funding will complete the federal portion of this purchase, with the remaining portion to be purchased with privately raised funds;

- $982,000 for the Platte River Fish Recovery, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Colorado Department of Wildlife cooperative program to implement recovery of four species, the Whooping Crane, Piping Plover, Least Tern, and Pallid Sturgeon, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act;

- $691,000 for the Upper Colorado Fish Recovery, a four-state program operating on all reaches of the Upper Colorado River Basin and the San Juan River. This program serves as an Endangered Species Act compliance mechanism for more than 800 water projects on the Upper Colorado River, including all major Front Range water development initiatives.

The bill also includes a substantive increase in funding for the Department of Interior's Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

"We obtained $35 million above and beyond the amount asked for by the president in his FY 2006 budget request," said Sen. Allard. "This is $8.2 million more than was provided last year for PILT."

The PILT program provides federal payments to local governments to help offset the property tax revenue they are unable to collect because there are nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. These payments help local governments provide services such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. The FY 2006 bill contains $235 million for the program nationwide next year.

  

Former commissioner Alden Ecker passes away June 4

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

He was a man who grew on you.

The cowboy hat and the big-bore pickup might have given the image of a power broker from the Old West.

But no, he was a people person. When he sat down to talk, it was about people, political friends and foes, the man on the street and the children who were representing his community in athletic endeavor.

Former Archuleta County Commissioner Alden Ecker died June 4 in Tulsa, Okla., after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 74.

Ecker had a background in religion and education, farming and construction.

He wanted to serve the people and did so to the best of his ability, even in the face of those who would have skewered him simply because he did not agree.

He made friends aplenty, and enemies alike in his term and a half as a county commissioner.

Bill Downey, a compatriot during that term, remembered Ecker as "a man who was always thoughtful, who wanted to get along with everyone, to have everything run smoothly."

Most of all, Downey said, "I remember his genuine concern for other people and their problems."

Others remembered his dedication to young people. He thought nothing of driving, often alone, to watch Pagosa Springs High School athletes in action somewhere on the road.

Gene Crabtree, who also served with Ecker, was en route to the latter's funeral in Oklahoma when reached by cell phone.

He said, "Basically, I remember him most for his honesty and loyalty. He wanted to help anyone if it was for the good of the county.

"Perhaps," he said, "Alden's common sense is what we'll all miss most of all."

Mamie Lynch, current board chair, and the other incumbent commissioners were at a workshop in Vail and unavailable for comment.

Kathy Holthus, interim county administrator and longtime administrative assistant, said "I remember him as being absolutely passionate in his quest to maintain all county roads.

"He made it a personal responsibility," she said. "He formed a community road advisory committee, and was a hands-on man in trying to find the answers."

Finally, our own observation:

"He was a gentleman - and a gentle man."

 

New project, more closings of Wolf Creek

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They're baaaaccckk!

A new phase of construction with its hourly delays and overnight closings has begun for Wolf Creek Pass.

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Kiewit Western Companies, the contractor, have begun an $11.3 million safety improvement project on a half mile east of the lower end of the new tunnel.

Crews are blasting and removing rock, widening lanes to 12 feet, and shoulders to 8 feet and upgrading guardrail installation to meet current federal standard.

Motorists can expect delays of 30 minutes or more (as traffic queues are cleared in each direction) both day and night, Monday through Friday, except the July 4 holiday.

After Sept. 5, (Labor Day) there also will be traffic delays 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. That schedule will continue until approximately Nov. 22 (or before, depending on weather conditions); then the project will shut down for the winter.

"Our goal," said Chuck Krumwiede, project superintendent for Kiewit Western, "is to minimize inconvenience to the traveling public as much as possible. We greatly appreciate motorists' patience and the use of safe driving precautions during construction."

That said, the project will also involve overnight closures beginning in July from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday throughout the summer.

And then, beginning Sept. 7, the pass will be closed 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights through Nov. 21. Overnight pass closures will resume in spring of 2006 when the construction schedule resumes. Completion of the project is anticipated in summer 2006.

The construction site will stretch eastward from Big Meadows Reservoir access (mile marker 174.4) for a half mile.

In past projects resulting in overnight closures, traffic warning signs have been posted just outside Pagosa Springs, and at Alamosa and South Fork in the San Luis Valley.

The bypass route for eastbound traffic will be south on U.S. 84 to Chama, N.M., and thence northward over Cumbres-La Manga Pass into the San Luis Valley on CR 17 and connecting routes out.

Traffic heading toward Pagosa Springs from the east would reverse that route, picking up U.S. 285 in Alamosa at U.S. 160 and following it back through La Jara and Antonito to CR 17 and over the border pass to Chama to reach the San Juan Basin.

For updated project information or to leave questions or comments, the public may call the construction site hotline at (719) 849-1778 or log on to the Web site at www.cdot.info/wolfcreekpass/.

 

Sculpture emerges from lightning-struck tree

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Hidden away in the big pines on top of Reservoir Hill, where patches of sunlight illuminate the forest floor, a lone sculptor plies his trade on a tall stump of an old-growth Ponderosa Pine. The buzzing of his chain saw melds into a rhythmic hum as one steps closer and is captured by the transformation taking place.

The tree began its metamorphosis when a bolt of lightening split it in two, requiring the town to fell its dead main trunk last year. But, instead of removing the 10-foot base, the town parks and recreation department contracted local sculptor Chad Haspels and asked him to design and carve a sculpture from the remaining timber. Creating sinuous curves with his chain saw, Haspels carves from his ladder, and a beautiful life-size form of a mountain lion with her two cubs is emerging from the once lifeless stump.

The sculpture will be finished by the time the Four Corners Folk Festival takes place on Reservoir Hill over the Labor Day weekend. Haspels is also planning to carve a sitting bench out of the main stem of the tree, which lies nearby. The ensemble will be an elegant addition to the beauty of the area, and those wandering about are sure to be pleasantly surprised when they come upon the artist's work.

Haspels has sculpted in bronze, clay and stone, yet he prefers working in wood. "My inspirations come from nature, that's why I work with elements of nature, such as wood, where one has to respect the natural grain and flow." After finishing a degree in fine arts in Montana in 1999, Haspels apprenticed with a master native woodcarver in Ghana, James Acheampong, who he contacted through the School for International Training.

The sculptor uses a chain saw because "As an expressionist, I see the chain saw as a valuable expressionistic tool, where I can work spontaneously and make quick strokes for expressive forms and cuts." Sometimes beginning with clay study models, his sculptures take on a life of their own as he progresses. "The finished product always changes from the initial sketch or model," he said. In the case of his present work-in-progress, he is working only from sketches, contrasting with the depth of his actual work, which clearly captures the expressionistic intent.

Haspels enjoys taking part in public art and is inspired by "working with trees in the environment where they once lived." Haspels has also completed two sculptures in Town Park, created from cottonwood trees that were victims of past droughts. One sculpture, a perched eagle, is called "On Watch," while the other, close to the river, shows an eagle with a fish in its talons and is called "Fishing the San Juan." His current work, with lion and cubs, is as of yet unnamed.

 

Two mid-month blood draws set

United Blood Services has scheduled two mid-month blood drives in Pagosa Springs.

The first, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 14, will be in the Pagosa Fire Protection District building at 189 N. Pagosa Blvd.

Two days later, Thursday June 16, UBS units will be at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., 1-5 p.m.

United Blood Services is the Community Blood Center for the Four Corners Region.

All potential donors must have current identification. Donors may sign up for local drives online at www.unitedbloodservices.org.

For more information, call 385-4601 or (800) 863-4524.

 

Kiwanis plans Sunday horse camp for kids

The Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs is sponsoring an afternoon horse camp for children of all ages at Sue Liescheidt's home.

Parents are welcome to join the fun 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Go west on U.S. 160 to Ron Oak Drive in Aspen Springs then half a mile to the first house on the right, 545 Oak.

The Kiwanis Club will provide free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks.

Parents, please bring a side dish or dessert.

Bring folding chairs and be prepared in case it rains.

Come one and all. Please RSVP and tell us how many are coming. Call Carolyn, 264-6465, wait for seven rings, then leave a message or call Debbie at 731-9253.

 

Democratic House candidate Deitch explains positions

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

One of two candidates seeking to replace state Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, has a diversified employment background and, he thinks, the ideas and answers that will keep southwest Colorado well-represented.

Jeff Deitch, now a practicing trial attorney in Durango, grew up in Washington, D.C. and was bitten by "the bug to serve" as a youngster.

He is a registered Democrat but believes "Republicans and Democrats should stay away from ideologies and work together to get things done."

His father fought in World War II, he said, and "my parents taught us that hard work never hurt anybody ... we learned that helping your neighbor and taking care of the world God gave us didn't make us do-gooders. It made us decent people."

From the seat of American government, he went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree from Stanford University and, later, a law degree from Vanderbilt.

He moved to this area 26 years ago and that's where much of that varied background began. He and his brother operated a restaurant in Durango for over 10 years; he has worked as a radio and television news reporter; and as a professional musician.

He said his move to southwest Colorado led to an appreciation that his neighbors wanted to create better communities and preserve family ranches and businesses.

"I went away to law school," he said, "with the intent of coming back to serve the place that had become my home."

Deitch says he's running for the Colorado House of Representatives "to represent individuals who work hard and deserve a liveable wage, affordable housing, access to health care, and quality education for their children. I also represent retired people who deserve attention, respect, and security from their government."

He believes the primary problem with Colorado state government today is that "it is broken, and broke."

He said many state funding proposals are flawed ... "and I'm troubled by the fact the Legislature seems to have known this for a long, long time."

Rep. Larson, and Sen. Jim Isgar, he said, have "stood for reform, an effort we must continue."

And he's pleased there has been a compromise of sorts to get TABOR amplifying measures on the ballot this fall.

"Let the voters decide. Step one is getting a better understanding of the problems TABOR was to solve and those it has created. That will mean more progress in leveling the financial field for those legislators who must decide what to spend and where from the limited amounts available. I think it would be hard to find anyone anywhere in the state who really knows what TABOR is and has done."

He thinks "voter sentiment creating TABOR was genuine ... that it sent a message to Washington that states need more leeway to operate on their own."

A man who handles many bankruptcies in his legal practice, Deitch said it is hard for the little man or woman to make it in today's rural business world.

The ideas they have may be great, "but working on credit for the business, the materials, the employees, the bookkeeping and the costs of keeping the doors open are often more than anticipated."

"Why not try a better system?" he asked. "Why can't the Legislature provide a better climate for small business? Why can't we have better state usury laws that prevent interest rates of 15-25 percent or more?"

All those situations exist now. "We have to change it," he said. "We have to help people help themselves without breaking the government bank to do so. We've created a loan shark society at the highest level and we need to bring it down."

He's sold on expansion of vocational education programs as a means of improving the local work force in rural and remote areas.

Asked about the idea, often discussed, of a regional vocational education center, he said, "Anything that will help skilled people find jobs which will support them and their families with a living wage will get my full attention."

Deitch said he's definitely not "the candidate of huge corporations. I think that helping small businesses is the key to economic prosperity of all of southwest Colorado."

The people of this House district - Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties - he said, deserve a state government that provides quality schools, affordable higher education, and proper maintenance of roads, bridges and infrastructure. "We can have effective government which is fiscally responsible," he said.

"In representing Archuleta County and the rest of the district," he said, "my job will be to protect everyone's personal rights and freedoms and promote our economic interests."

He said everyone in the district "will have my full attention and will benefit from my commitment to hard work on their behalf."

The 48-year-old candidate is married to Paula Cummins, also a political science degree holder "who fully supports my candidacy, what I'm doing. But I've urged her not to go on the campaign trail. I need a levelheaded person at home to keep me on the beam."

The final need he discussed is the statewide shortage, particularly in a rural district, of "affordable, available and accurate health care".

Too many of our people, he said, are unable to afford insurance because of the staggering costs. "And if they spend for that insurance, they find themselves cutting other necessities out of their lives.

"That is no way to run a state. We need to make sure all our constituents can afford the care they need, the insurance to cover the major portion, and the rehabilitation facilities to keep them alive."

To date, Deitch is the only Democrat to announce for Larson's seat.

Another Durango attorney, Ellen Roberts, has announced as a Republican candidate for the seat.

Larson is term-limited out of office, but has indicated he may run against Isgar for the Senate seat.

 

Funeral home returns to original site

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

They say history has a way of repeating itself and sometimes it seems to happen that way even in Pagosa Springs.

Recently arrived father and son team, Jerry and Kevin LaQuey, are the new owners of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. They are also relatives of Ben K. Lynch, the owner and founder of Pagosa Springs' first funeral home.

That first funeral home, founded in 1939 and located in downtown Pagosa Springs at 421 Lewis Street, still stands and is the home of the LaQuey's new business. It seems that things do come full circle.

Tracing the LaQuey's family history back to the area's first Lynch's can get confusing for some, but at its simplest, the elder LaQuey, Jerry, is the cousin-in-law of Pagosa Springs' Ben Larry Lynch. Kevin LaQuey's grandmother was the sister of June Lynch, Ben K. Lynch's wife.

Although names and dates can blur over time, one aspect of the family history has remained constant - the location of the funeral home.

The LaQuey's current endeavor is housed in the original building and is situated on the original site as the 1939 funeral home.

Much has changed since then and now the neighborhood is considered an historic district.

The elder LaQuey said the neighborhood's new designation was cause for a complete remodeling project to meet neighborhood codes, but also to set their funeral home apart. He said bright, fresh paint, stained glass windows and historic touches would be a refreshing change from the overly somber industry standard.

He said the building has gone through many changes over the years, being first a funeral home, then later a pawn shop and law offices just to name a few of its past incarnations, but it had always remained in the family.

He said it took a fair amount of work to get it up to their standards but he and his son are proud of the results.

During the remodeling project they said they discovered bits of Pagosa Springs' history. In order to refinish the floors, they had to remove the old linoleum. They said they scraped off one layer, then two and finally three layers. Beyond the third, the elder LaQuey said they found layers of perfectly preserved newspapers from the 1940s that, he thought, might have been used as insulation.

Some of the papers came from New York, others from Dolores, Colo. and many were past issues of The Pagosa Springs SUN. Coincidentally, one of the issues they saved contained a story about their relatives, Ben K. and June Lynch, the original founders of the funeral home.

While the neighborhood and Pagosa Springs has changed since those early days, there is much history and continuity in the building and the men who run the business.

Both father and son come from a long line of men and families involved for decades.

The elder LaQuey said he started working part-time after his regular job at his father in-law's mortuary business in Farmington, N.M. He said the years passed and the next thing he knew he had bought the business and was running it himself.

The junior LaQuey, Kevin, said he is a third generation funeral director, and it is something he did because of his family history and because of his father.

"You start as a kid mowing the lawn and washing the hearse. Then you're vacuuming the carpets and cleaning up, and next thing you know, you're in," Kevin said.

While the family profession has remained constant, so have some of the tools of the trade, namely a 1962 Cadillac hearse.

"It has 79,000 original miles on it," said Kevin LaQuey, but he added, with just a hint of regret, they don't use it any more. He said it is in storage and is part of the business and part of the family history.

The LaQuey's opened their funeral home in February, and although they are new residents, they aren't strangers to the community.

The elder LaQuey said they have kept in touch with the Lynch family over the years during family reunions and picnics.

Kevin LaQuey said when Ben K. Lynch started the business, back in 1939, he did it as a community service. Although times are different and the funeral business has changed, both men said they are committed to continuing the tradition of service their relative started decades ago.

"It's about building relationships," Jerry LaQuey said.

 

 Outdoors

Sheep Creek Trail work, new bridge in Forest Service plans

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Sheep Creek Trail and bridge need help, and the Pagosa Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input on the proposed reconstruction project.

According to Forest Service documents, preliminary plans call for the removal of the old bridge across the Piedra River and installation of a new structure along with trail reconstruction from the bridge to about one mile east.

The project is currently in the public comment phase, and Rick Jewell, U.S. Forest Service environmental coordinator, said an environmental assessment will be published by late June or early July.

If things go according to plan, Jewell said he would like to have the old bridge removed this summer.

He said capital improvement funds are tight right now so funding for the complete project has not been established yet, but he said he hopes money for installation of the new bridge and trail reconstruction will be available for the work to begin next summer.

According to Forest Service documents, the existing bridge is supported by only three of its four support towers. Overgrown with vine and Gambel's oak and tilting in the middle at a 45 degree above the Piedra River, it looks like a bridge out of an Indiana Jones movie, and for some, the temptation to attempt a crossing might be too strong too resist.

And that is exactly what worries the Forest Service. Staff assessments indicate the bridge will ultimately sink slowly or collapse completely into the river and no one is sure what will trigger those events.

"You could cross that bridge ninety-nine times, but on the hundreth, that could be it," Jewell said.

If the bridge sinks or collapses, Jewell said the dangers to kayakers and rafters could be severe.

In addition, the defunct bridge forces fire crews, trail maintenance crews, hikers and other forest users to ford the river in order to travel the trail farther west. High river flows, such as the area has seen this spring, can make the crossing dangerous or impossible.

Jewell said the bridge has been closed for about six or seven years.

The other facet of the plan focuses on redesigning and relocating a one-mile section of Sheep Creek Trail as it approaches the Piedra River bridge from the east.

The current path shoots almost straight down the hillside and Forest Service studies indicate the current route is adding to a serious soil erosion problem.

In many places, deep cracks crisscross the trail and parts of embankments have been washed down hillsides. The area looks like an earthquake zone, with upended trees and a 48-inch diameter ponderosa pine split at its base from the force. Jewell said the tree is probably 300-400 years old and it leans precariously over the hillside and above the trail. Its condition is terminal.

Jewell said the new trail would alter the route to include a series of long, lesser grade switchbacks, with water bars spaced at regular intervals. The bars would disperse water over the landscape and would help mitigate soil damage.

The Forest Service is calling for comments between now and June 20. For further information, and to comment, contact the United States Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District at 970-264-1539.

 

High water cancels shoreline camping at Navajo State Park

Navajo State Park in Arboles will no longer allow dispersed shoreline camping due to the high water levels and overcrowding in the park.

"The water level has risen to the point where shoreline camping is beginning to spread to higher areas where intense use causes resource damage," said John Weiss, Navajo State Park manager. "Above the high water mark of the reservoir, camping is restricted to designated sites only."

Dispersed, shoreline camping had previously been restricted to the Arboles Point Area of the park. The closure of the Miller Mesa Recreation Area in New Mexico displaced many Navajo Lake visitors, and the Arboles Point Area became overcrowded.

"Arboles Point is far from adequate to handle the number of visitors Miller Mesa saw," said Weiss. "With the lake nearly full and rising, there is no longer any room for shoreline camping."

Camping will now be restricted to the developed campsites in the park - 117 campsites near the visitor center, 15 sites at Windsurf Beach and four designated campsites at Arboles Point.

A maximum of one camping unit, with two vehicles and six people, are allowed at each site.

Sites near the visitor center can be reserved by calling the Colorado State Parks Reservation line at (800) 678-CAMP or at 303-470-1144. Sites can also be reserved online at www.parks.state.co.us. Reservations must be made at least three days in advance and can be made as far ahead as six months. All other sites are on a first-come-first-served basis and cannot be reserved ahead of time.

With a full reservoir and a new marina, Navajo State Park is more popular than ever. Campground reservations are strongly suggested any time, and are a necessity on holiday weekends.

Attracting more than 11 million visitors per year, Colorado's 41 State Parks are a vital cornerstone in Colorado's economy and quality of life, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state.

Colorado State Parks manages more than 4,000 campsites, 57 cabins and yurts, encompassing 246,000 land and water acres. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.parks.state.co.us.

 

PathFinders score big in regionals, set to host state events

The Pagosa PathFinders Youth Hunter Education Challenge Shooting Club brought home 34 of 50 possible awards from YHEC regional competition May 14-15.

The club was represented by nine junior division and seven senior members.

Juniors took five first-place ribbons, five seconds and had seven third-place finishes with Dustin Anderson and Joshua Trout placing second and third overall.

In the senior division, PathFinders took four firsts, six seconds and seven thirds with Zane Kraetsch and Dusty Bauer second and third respectively overall.

The YHEC events are comprised of eight areas of outdoor skills, including shooting muzzleloaders, .22 rifles and shotguns, archery, orienteering skills, wildlife identification, hunter safety trail test and a hunter responsibility exam.

Colorado State YHEC competition will be held in Pagosa Springs this weekend with up to 80 competitors 8-18 and their families here for the annual event.

The public is welcome to come out and watch the competitions on the Laverty property east of Pagosa Springs.

PathFinders will compete, Friday and Saturday.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help at any of the venues or in general at the event, should contact Mike or Lisa Kraetsch at 264-5717.

 

Fishing should improve soon in area rivers

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Area rivers are running high, and lakes are still probably the way to go. Nevertheless, with flows decreasing, the near future looks good for river-bound anglers.

Recent conditions have left anglers facing fast water and muddy, roiled rivers, but the streams in the middle Piedra watershed, although still running high, are beginning to clear. Although "crystalline" would not be an accurate description, conditions are improving.

In this watershed, browns and rainbows took orange, dark brown and black stonefly nymphs in sizes 14, 12 and 10. Simple bead-headed patterns and rubber legged patterns worked well, but smaller patterns in either variety were more consistent producers.

The action started about mid-day and continued until the early evening. Subsurface fishing was challenging but worthwhile, and as of yet, dry flies were ignored.

With warmer temperatures, wet-wading and hiking made for a pleasant day's fishing, but with fast currents and high water a wading stick and appropriate footwear are highly recommended.

Although water levels have dropped, the upper San Juan Watershed is still blown out. Stonefly nymphing in pocket water might pay, but anglers might have more success in areas such as Williams Creek below the dam.

 

Ladies in Wading set summer dates

The following is the schedule for Ladies in Wading Pagosa Flyfishers for the Summer of 2005:

- June 18, July 12 and 23, Aug. 2 and 20, Sept. 13 and 24.

The group will be fishing on all of the dates mentioned with the destinations to be announced.

Contacts are Jody at 749-4470 and Jackie at 731-2042.

 

Avoid back country trouble, be prepared

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The start of summer has kept Archuleta County search and rescue and emergency operations personnel on their toes.

With the season just beginning rescue workers have already been in the field on at least four occasions searching and aiding lost hikers on Fourmile trail, a kayaker on the upper Piedra, a mountain biker near Vallecito Lake and evacuating stranded rafters on the San Juan River east of Pagosa Springs.

If this year is similar to last year, search and rescue teams will head out at least another 20 times in search of lost or injured backcountry enthusiasts. In order to keep from becoming a statistic, Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations for Archuleta County, offered a few suggestions.

First and foremost, he said, be prepared - that is the most important factor in any outdoor activity.

"No hike is too short to be prepared," Oertel said.

"Summer season hikers should be prepared, even on a short day hike, to stay over night."

At a bare minimum, Oertel recommended hikers carry extra food, clothing, water, a plastic whistle and at least two ways to start a fire. He said waterproof matches and a magnesium stick are excellent. (Pack a pocket knife in order to use the magnesium.)

Oertel said many hikers and hunters carry a global positioning system monitor, but some don't know how to use it. He said GPS technology can lead many into a false sense of security and people take risks that might be beyond their experience and orienteering skill level. Once lost, he said, they can't use the technology to find their way back out.

Ron Bubb, an outdoor enthusiast and owner of Switchback Mountain Apparel, said hikers should wear and pack appropriate clothing for constantly changing mountain conditions. Cotton is essentially worthless once it's wet, and even casual hikers should try to wear inexpensive synthetic or wool options.

Oertel said a mother and daughter rescued from Fourmile trail spent the night in cotton jeans and cotton sweatshirts; there was still snow on the ground, they were wet, and had no way to start a fire. The mother was hypothermic but was revived and Oertel said both were lucky not to have needed more extensive medical care.

Bubb said many of Pagosa's summertime backcountry users are often casual visitors or one-time visitors from out of state who may not be familiar with the outdoor basics, the necessary gear, local trail conditions and local weather patterns. He encouraged those from out of town to seek local advice before heading out into the mountains.

Captain Mike Valdez of the Pagosa Fire Protection District said every search or evacuation involves more than just those being rescued - it puts the rescuers in harm's way as well.

 

Elk Foundation awards scholarships

The San Juan Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has awarded scholarships to two local high school students.

Kelli Michelle Ford was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to attend Fort Lewis College. Kelli intends to become an archeology major.

Jessica Harms was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend Colorado Mountain College to pursue a degree as a veterinarian assistant.

Funds for the scholarships are raised with a raffle conducted each year by the San Juan Chapter. All funds raised from the raffle are awarded to local Pagosa Springs graduating seniors.

The winners of this year's raffle, drawn at the local annual RMEF banquet June 4, were David Smith, Ken Canada, and Willie Swanda.

The San Juan Chapter also raised a net of $22,478.13 at its banquet for the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitats. A $23,000 grant was recently awarded to the U.S. Forest Service by the organization to be used by the Pagosa Springs Ranger District to conduct controlled burns in this area.

On an annual basis, the San Juan Basin receives more funding from the RMEF than is raised through the local banquet.

 

HD Mountains annual campout set this weekend

The annual HD Mountains campout will begin noon Saturday and continue Sunday in Fosset Gulch.

The noon-5 p.m. schedule the first day includes a group hike exploring the HD Mountains, and after 5 p.m. a picnic potluck with libations, music, campfire and plain good times.

Sunday's schedule includes morning discussions of the status of the Environmental Impact Statement and current proposal for well-drilling in Fosset Gulch. Self-guided hikes are encouraged.

Attendees should bring food for the potluck, drink, warm and cool clothes (we'll be at 8,000 feet) musical instruments and camping gear.

Directions: Take U.S. 160 west from Pagosa Springs to the base of Yellow Jacket Pass watching for Fosset Gulch Road (Forest Service Road 613) turning to your left. Take a left and go south for 3.5 miles to a fork in the road. The campout will be found there in an open meadow.

For more information contact Amber Clark with San Juan Citizens Alliance at 259-3583 or send to amber@sanjuancitizens.org.

 

Pagosa Springs mill receives Forest Service grant

Loblolly Logging and Lumber of Pagosa Springs is one of 20 enterprises across the country to receive a share of $4.4 million in federal grants from the U.S. Forest Service.

The grants are to develop innovative uses for small timber removed from National Forest hazardous-fuels reduction projects.

Steve Wright, owner and manager of Loblolly Logging and Lumber, will receive a $120,000 grant to purchase a dowelling mill for the manufacture of ponderosa pine railings and fencing.

Acquisition of a dowelling mill will allow him to make merchantable products from small-diameter timber harvested from hazardous-fuels operations on the San Juan National Forest.

Wright and other recipients were required to find additional funding to augment at least 20 percent of their proposed project.

Currently, it is not economically feasible for the Forest Service to transport, chip or dispose of the 4- to 8-inch diameter trees that result from its thinning projects.

Wright plans to be able to produce more than 7,000 poles and rails from these trees per week, which will ensure a sustainable market outlet for these small-diameter materials for many years.

The grant program was authorized as part of the Biomass Utilization section of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 and funded in the fiscal year 2005 Appropriations Bill.

Goals of the new program include reducing management costs, creating incentives, and decreasing business risks by removing economic and market barriers to use small-diameter trees and woody biomass.

Such projects are expected to help revitalize rural communities whose forest-based economies have suffered in recent years.

For more information, contact Steve Hartvigsen, Pagosa Ranger District Office, 264-1513.

 

Letters
Musical priority

Dear Editor:

This is addressed to the community of Pagosa Springs:

When the community is called upon to raise money for the school music program, Pagosa Springs answers. A heartfelt thank you for helping to make music a priority in our schools.

After a wonderful attendance to the Kaleidoscope Benefit Concert, I am happy to announce that over $7,000 has been raised through ticket sales, refreshment sales, advertisers and many donations to this cause. So many people donated their time and talents to make this happen.

Fifty-one individuals were on stage entertaining us: Rio Jazz, Hot Biscuits, Bluegrass Cadillac, Mark DeVoti, Michael DeWinter, Roger Jenson, Susie Long, Lee Bartley, Don Weller, Bob and Michelle Thom, Danae Holloman, Alex Baum, Dave Krueger, the Community Jazz Ensemble and our wonderful student performers.

Eight individuals kept things running smoothly backstage, in the sound booth and organizing costumes: Dale Morris, Don Weller, Shawna Carosello, Jacob Smith, Scott Farnham, Patrick Ford, Alex Silver and Donna Clark. I certainly hope I didn't miss anyone.

It has truly been a heartwarming experience to see a school district and community join hands, realize a need and overcome it together and boy was it fun!

I believe we live in the greatest community on earth!

Sincerely,

Melinda Baum

 Urged to attend

Dear Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to urge county residents to attend the second Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) public hearing on the proposed Archuleta County Primary and Secondary Road System scheduled to be held 7 p.m. June 15, in the Extension Building at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

I attended the first hearing June 2. I wouldn't know anything about the proposed Road System if I hadn't been there. Richard Walter of The SUN was there taking notes and likely will have an extensive article in this issue.

The road system map, which defines the system, is required by law. The Board of County Commissioners is required to hold such a hearing before adopting the map. During the June 2 hearing it was emphasized that the BOCC will base its final decision on the input from the public at these hearings and from written comments and arguments addressed to the BOCC. They requested that we not lobby them individually or informally.

On the map all county-owned roads are designated as Primary or Secondary.

Most of the roads are designated Secondary. Two documents, "Archuleta County Primary and Secondary Road System" and "Archuleta County Road System, Frequently Asked Questions," were available at the June 2 hearing. These documents make it clear that maintenance and snow removal for Secondary roads will not be provided by the county.

Clearly it is the intent of the BOCC to force "the different communities within the county to form special districts that will be in control of their own road system's character, service level and amenities; however, each of these districts will be individually responsible for their own administrative, maintenance and improvement overhead." (Page 5, Executive Summary).

We citizens don't get to vote on this. In the past BOCC has been urged to tell us what they will do and won't do. They are doing it now, and seeking public input.

Report documentation is available at the following sites: (1) county courthouse at the BOCC office and at the GIS Department office; (2) public works facility on U.S. 84 in the Road and Bridge office; (3) Pagosa Lakes Community Center building; and (4) electronic copies on the Archuleta County Web site, www.archuletacounty.org under "Announcements."

Sincerely,

Earle Beasley

 No firm cost

Dear Editor:

Our commissioners apparently decided to replace very expensive road and bridge equipment. They did so without seeing a firm quote on cost of new equipment or the cost of reconditioning present equipment.

When hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars are at stake I would like decisions made on facts rather than staff opinions.

This is no way to run a business. (And, where was our county administrator during this debate)?

Jim Carson

Editor's note: According to information received from the county commissioners' office Tuesday, the board did have a "firm quote on cost of new equipment." A quote on cost of reconditioning old equipment was received June 3 and reportedly indicates a probable cost higher than previous estimates.

 Breach of faith

Dear Editor:

I am sorry I was unable to attend the road presentation held by the Archuleta County Commissioners at Pagosa Lakes recently. However, I've read through the proposal posted on the Archuleta County Web site and find it to be amusing, frustrating and downright disappointing.

My amusement faded rapidly as I read that the county is essentially abrogating its commitment - on whatever basis it has been done in the past - to maintain the roads it historically has maintained over the years. When we purchased our home, part of that decision was based upon the county maintaining the road, and it seems that the commissioners are considering breaching that service.

The county now proposes to form multiple "mini-government" agencies - duplicating the county road and bridge staff - and pass along the cost by duplicating overhead and capital expenses for maintenance, improvements, equipment and staff to those county residents who have been faithfully paying taxes for the meager support we've received in the past. This is a breach of faith.

Do I understand that the commissioners will not provide road maintenance - specifically snow plowing - on "secondary" roads used by school buses? Are the commissioners willing to compromise the safety of the county's children?

Having checked the calendar, I surmise this proposal is not an April Fool's joke, unless its an early one for the coming years. I am truly disappointed by this proposal, and urge the commissioners to be more creative, rather than simply cutting services with what is essentially a hidden tax hike on selective residents of Archuleta County.

If I have misread the proposal, I seek to be enlightened.

Joe Hannigan

 Courage Classic

Dear Editor:

Every year in the latter part of July there is a bicycle tour to benefit the Children's Hospital in Denver. I have participated in it for the last seven years.

The tour consists of three days of riding, which totals 156 miles. The event is based at Copper Mountain. The first day's ride begins in Leadville and climbs over Battle Mountain and Tennessee Pass into Minturn, then over Vail Pass and back to Copper Mountain. The second day is from Copper to Frisco, Breckenridge, Keystone, Frisco and back to Copper. Our last day is from Copper, over Fremont Pass, out and around Turquoise Lake and back to Leadville.

As most of us are familiar with that part of the state, you know that these are some of the highest passes around. It is a grueling ride to say the least.

There are 2,000 riders who participate in this event and it is a wonderful experience because of the good we are doing for such a great cause. Every year there are riders who wear placards that have Team Courage printed on them. These are current or past patients who are riding on their own or have a teammate pulling them on a tandem bicycle along the course.

During last year's ride, I kept passing a pretty young woman who was around 20 years old. She was riding every one of those passes in a specially made wheelchair designed for road rides. I don't know where she found the strength. I mentioned her to others and found out she was a past patient and was proud to wear the Team Courage placard.

When I came into the lunch spot on the last day, there she was again. She was having a real tough time getting onto the pavement because of the gravel next to the road. I know how tired I was and couldn't even imagine how much of a struggle it was for her.

I got off my bike and asked if I could push her up to the pavement. She said no, that she was fine. I felt so bad for her, that I asked again and she sternly said, "No, I can do it."

I walked away with my feelings hurt until I realized that she was out to prove to herself that she was going to do this all on her own and that meant every inch of it. I have to admit it brought a tear to my eye and gave me even more inspiration to ride on even harder.

This is what the Courage Classic is all about. We are out there riding every inch of the course, because whatever we can contribute to the Children's Hospital and what they do for the kids is what it's all about.

If you would like to contribute to this great fund-riser, please send whatever you can to The Courage Classic Hospital Fund, or TCHR, care of Steve Monjaras, 230 Clearwater Drove, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. You can also call to get more information at 264-6632.

Steve Monjaras

 Concern shared

Dear Editor:

Thank you for taking the time to read and reread the letter we sent to the community. We have received a great deal of positive response from our effort to keep all interested parties informed of the status of the expansion and renovation of the Sisson Library.

We share your concern in relation to the inaccurate information on the earlier soils surveys. We have requested our attorney to explore the possibility of recovering some of our costs incurred as a result.

The board and staff of the library are currently working toward obtaining grant funds to help cover the cost of the additional foundation work. We are also exploring any additional avenues that may help us obtain funds.

The majority of the library funding is obtained through property taxes and is utilized for the daily operation of the library. Construction funds have been obtained over a several year time frame from granting entities, generous donations, and savings resulting from careful use of operating funds. As a board, we are continuously monitoring the budget to assure the most judicious use of the monies available.

Our support of the team working to design and construct an improved library is unwavering. Both the architectural firm, Humphries Poli and the construction company, Jaynes of Colorado, as well as the varied subcontractors employed by them have given more of their time and expertise to this project than any of us could ever have anticipated. The library and the community have benefitted from their generosity in more ways that we could ever repay.

This project has been a challenge in many ways, from beginning to today. Members of the volunteer board of trustees and building committee have spent untold hours analyzing options for every aspect of the construction project.

We have every intention to obtain a finished product that will enhance the community, function in a worthy fashion and utilize our supporters' funds in a responsible manner.

Joan Rohwer,

Chair, Board of Trustees,

Upper San Juan Library District

 Just say 'No'

Dear Editor:

I love the Democratic Party!

They say no to Social Security reform; no to the president's judicial nominees; no to the president's U.N. ambassador nominee; no to other cabinet appointments like Lester Crawford at the Food and Drug Administration; no to the president's foreign policy, I don't care where: Iraq, Syria, South Korea, Europe, China, Russia. "No" is all they've got.

The judicial filibuster demonstrates perfectly the Democrats' disease. They're out there practically worshipping the filibuster, claiming it is a precious legislative tactic that is essential to our democracy, a critical element of our Constitutional system of checks and balances that they're duty-bound to protect to their last dying breath. But it's all a crock.

This isn't a "no" on principle. They don't want to protect the filibuster on Constitutional grounds. They just want to stop Bush's judges. What they want to protect is their last vestiges of power, the activist liberal judiciary, the only vehicle by which liberalism has been injected into the fabric of society.

These are the same guys who used to hate the filibuster. You could say they were against it before they were for it. On Sept. 21, 1999, Ted Kennedy intoned: "When the founders wrote the Constitution and gave the Senate the power of advice and consent on presidential nominations, they never intended the Senate to work against the president, as this Senate is doing, by engaging in a wholesale stall and refusing to act on large numbers of the president's nominees." Oh what a difference a change in administration makes.

Sure, I'd like it if Democrats were seen as the party of faith, family and the flag - they're not. And I'd like it if Democrats would fight corporate interests more and take their special interest money less - they don't. But the biggest problem the Democrats face is not that they're seen as standing for too many liberal issues or standing for too many conservative positions. It's that Democrats aren't seen as standing for anything. There is no positive agenda, nothing inspirational, no ideas, no proposals, no juice. The public doesn't get a clear message from the Democrats beyond - "just say no to Republicans."

Let's look at the historical results of obstructionism like that by ex-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. In 2004, some 2,500 of 3,000 U.S. counties voted to re-elect President George W. Bush. Indeed, Bush carried 255 Congressional districts to Kerry's mere 180. In Ted Kennedy's own words: "Republicans control the Executive, they control the House of Representatives, they control the Senate, and they want to control the judiciary."

Learn it, love it, live it. And to the Democrats, I say: Keep it up. Just say no!

Jim Sawicki

 

Community News

Arborglyph photo display to open at museum

By Shari Pierce

Staff Writer

The fabric of early Archuleta County history is woven of sheep and cattle ranching, railroading, logging, the military, miners and more.

One thread of this cloth will be explored in a special exhibit at the San Juan Historical Society Museum this summer. Photographs of arborglyphs - carvings done on aspen trees by sheepherders - will be on display beginning June 17 and will continue through July 30.

Peggy Bergon has spent over 25 years searching out, studying, photographing and cataloguing these intriguing carvings done by shepherds.

According to Bergon, these Hispanic shepherds drove their flocks through the wilderness surrounding Pagosa Springs as they headed toward their permitted summer grazing lands. These drives took place as early as 1880. The earliest carving Bergon has discovered thus far dates to 1902.

The arborglyph subjects include buildings, animals, religious icons, geometric designs, self-portraits, numbers, mathematical equations and more. Bergon has sifted through her collection of approximately 4,000 photographs and selected 25 for this special show.

The photographs on display will be available for purchase by the public. In addition, some of the photographs have been made into greeting cards that will also be offered for sale. Proceeds from the sale of the photographs and cards will be used to further photograph and catalogue this cultural resource that will, due to its fragile nature, disappear over time.

The opening of this special exhibit will be Friday, July 17, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. Bergon will be on hand to answer questions about the arborglyphs and photos. There will be no charge for this evening, refreshments will be served.

Regular museum hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; adult admission is $3.

 

Why not win a title for your talent?

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

Traditions, as I see them, are a treasure chest into which we peer, witnessing the joy of continuum and the gifts from the past. They are journeys of the heart and a sum part of the total that creates a family story.

Many traditions have been passed down from one generation to the next with their own unique dialogue, preserving memories of a bygone era.

Some traditions we start when we create our own families, others are steeped in years of genealogical history.

The Archuleta County Fair is rich in history carrying its own lineage. Fairs themselves have their roots in Europe, and were the social event of the season during the Renaissance Period.

The very first county fair in America was in 1810 in Pittsfield, Mass. The purpose of the fair was to provide a medium to show cattle.

Later years provided opportunities to show horses, oxen and sheep. The fair also added an emphasis on crop production. With the age of industrialization, the fair grew to incorporating manufacturing expositions. One hundred ninety-five years later, we celebrate this heritage of the fair and continue its traditions.

As a resident of Archuleta County, you can become part of your own history-making effort by entering the Open Class category in the fair. If you are a new resident, you may be completely unfamiliar with the meaning of "open class category." I am a transplant from a major metropolis, and two years ago I didn't know anything about rural life except that my spirit yearned for a more simplistic reality. Shortly after moving to town, I was indoctrinated into the fair board. I quickly learned the meaning behind statements that I was unfamiliar with such as "open class category."

Simply stated, it is an entry level for all people in numerous categories, rewarded with titles such as "first place."

Has anyone ever said you make the best pies in the world? Well, you can at least place first in our county. It is not the world, but it is a start.

Perhaps you have a talent with photography, crafts, fine arts or floriculture. You may be the master of microbrewing or wine making. Your gift may be in gardening, producing the best variety of fruits and vegetables. Why not win a title for your talent? Youths, teens and adults are encouraged to join in at the fair. It is enjoyable to see what others display and for the children to receive recognition for their hard work.

The categories for open class are very broad and encompass many areas of interest. Any child who enters will receive a ribbon regardless of placement; in addition, first-, second- and third-place prizes will receive monetary awards in the children's division.

Whatever is entered must have been made after last year's fair. The rules and regulations handbook will be available at the Chamber of Commerce, the Extension Office and throughout town by the end of June. This handbook has a plethora of informational details, outlining each category and procedural information for entering.

With so many talented people in Pagosa, we anticipate a large response to the open class category this year. This event truly has something for everyone at this year's fair, Aug. 4-7.

Therefore, it is up to you to pick the class you excel in and enter. Please visit our Web site for additional information on the Web at www.archuletacountyfair.com. The fair board extends best wishes to all entries, and congratulates you on your effort.

 

Boosters ready 'Oklahoma!' for July run

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

"Oklahoma!," winner of a special Pulitzer Prize, changed the face of stage musicals by telling an emotional story through music, lyrics and dance as never before. It marked the first Rodgers and Hammerstein® collaboration, starting the most successful creative partnership in the history of musical theater.

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will present a full-scale production of this musical classic July 1,2,7,8 and 9 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

Out of the 62 aspiring singers, dancers and actors who auditioned, 37 were cast. The ages of the cast range from 6 to the 60s. Some will be first-timers on stage; many have extensive experience.

This production, directed by Dale Morris, will truly be a tale of two cities, as the two leads, Bob Thom and his wife, Michelle, (playing Curly and Laurey) now live in Durango and will be commuting for rehearsals and performances. Their appearance this year will also mark their wedding anniversary, as they were married on stage following the closing night curtain of last year's Music Boosters' hit, "The Hills are Alive ..."

Reserved seat tickets may be purchased at the Plaid Pony in Pagosa Springs. They are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors over 60, and $6 for students and children. For tickets or more information, call Michael DeWinter at 731-5262.

 

Men's barbershop choir is forming

The first meeting of a new Men's Barbershop style Chorus will be 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, at Casa de los Arcos, 503 S. 8th St.

If you enjoy singing, join in. If you can't sing, come anyway and bring a friend who can. There is no age restriction for participants.

Anyone with questions should call Joe at 264-2556 or Kurt at 264-4765.

 

CD Garcia goes 'Into the West'

By Erin Quirk

Staff Writer

Once upon a time, the phrase "The West" meant a whole lot more to folks than just sweet real estate deals, 35-acre fenced investments and open land for new golf courses.

To some, The West is still something you can't buy. It is earned through a life lived simply, with diligence and honest work. It comes from years of moving cows through open range and running perfectly worn ropes through calloused hands. If The West is owned at all, it is by those with deep body knowledge of horse sweat, broken bones, fierce wind, rising rivers, cattle and space.

Local artist and cowboy CD Garcia's work is an elegy of sorts for The West. His silver jewelry is clean and lovely like a high mesa in spring. It is deeply rooted in Spanish and Native American tradition and flows from the rivers of his heart.

But on recent trip to Taos to meet with a gallery owner, an unexpected door opened to the cowboy silversmith. Walking down the street, a stranger approached Garcia and suggested he audition for Steven Spielberg's latest film project entitled "Into the West." The six-week television event begins Friday June 10 on TNT and Garcia is in it.

Garcia, who always wears a black hat over his handlebar mustache and cowboy vests, said he got a job as a movie extra almost on the spot. Like everyone else at the audition, he was asked to ride a horse; but he was the only person to check his cinch before he got on. Garcia would know to do that.

An old, practically demolished cowboy hat hangs on the hat rack at Garcia's home. It belonged to his father. The band of dark sweat, the torn and stitched crown and withered brim attest to the long hours Garcia's father spent ranching.

Garcia talks about his father who, at age 10, was sent out to watch the herd on the open range. He recalled him talking of the caves he slept in and crying for his mother out of sheer loneliness. But he also recalls his father saying "that's the way it should be."

Garcia, who was born in New Mexico, is of Navajo and Spanish descent. He worked for the UUBar Ranch, which at one time grazed 8,000 head of cattle in the summer. Garcia was in charge of the southern end of the ranch and 3,500-4,500 head. Garcia, who is an heir to the Atrisco Land Grant, knows what rain smells like before it falls, how to rope and brand calves and what it feels like to see a giant cattle ranch sold and her cowboys laid off.

"There was a lot of open space at that time," Garcia said about working ranches in New Mexico in the 1970s and the Atrisco Land west of Albuquerque. He said helicopters, 4-wheelers and squeeze chutes have changed the face of ranching. "In Santa Fe and Taos it's not like it used to be. It's changing."

Garcia is a familiar face around Pagosa Springs. After working for the Parellis for four years, Garcia has struck out on his own, teaching people and their horses. But his other gift happens inside his home in a small, spare studio at a tidy table laden with tools.

As a child Garcia said, he was always fiddling. As descendents of Navajos, Garcia and his brother danced and chanted at Pow Wows all over the country. The two did the leather and beadwork for their costumes. But Garcia was also fascinated by the silver jewelry of the Navajos.

"Just about everything we wore we made ourselves," said Garcia who also builds fine working cowboy saddles.

In his early 20s, he sought out the tutelage of a Navajo silversmith named Clyde Sampson. He persuaded Sampson to take him on as an apprentice. For a year, Garcia lived with Sampson's family of nine in a hogan in the middle of nowhere. He herded sheep, rode fence, and built hogans to pay for his education.

"It was quite a beautiful experience," he said adding that he learned about the simplicity of life and many of the native ways from the family. "It was all about the family pulling together and enjoying what you have and not focusing on what you don't. That's probably the most important lesson I learned."

That was 34 years ago. Today Garcia, who is not a registered member of a tribe, does not call his work Native American art; he simply calls it "my work." While the evidence of his native tutelage is clear, the jewelry he creates from sterling silver, turquoise and onyx is smaller, simpler and more refined than is typically seen in Native American jewelry. In one particularly stunning piece, a turquoise pendant with brown veins running through it dangles from a necklace of caramel colored stones. Sterling silver rounds punctuate it.

Garcia calls his work, whether in leather, horsehair or silver, "a reflection of my own heart."

Garcia has always found a demand for his work, especially among those enamored with the idea of The West. He said his work has shown in galleries in New York, Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

The Spanish, who wore silver conchos on their bridles and chaps, taught the Navajos the art of silversmithing, Garcia said. In fact, the turquoise Squash Blossom necklace often worn by Native American women is actually a Moorish Design introduced by the Spanish. In 1850, a Navajo trader wandered into Fort Defiance and became a student of a Spanish blacksmith there. To Garcia, the fact that he, part Spaniard, learned from a Navajo man completes the circle.

Perhaps Garcia's roles in a film about white settlers and natives in the American West gives that circle three dimensions.

Garcia spent two and a half months on the Bonanza Creek Ranch and the Eaves Ranch in New Mexico filming. "Into the West" follows two families - one American and one Lakota - through the often-painful events that shaped the American West.

In the film, Garcia plays a member of the Colorado militia that murdered 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women and children at the Sand Creek Massacre. Later a tribe of Sioux murdered him in the Federman's Massacre. Garcia said the cavalry charges were absolutely real and the some of the scenes were gruesome because the events they depicted were real.

Though Garcia has not seen the finished product he felt the intent of the film was to be as accurate as possible.

Garcia said the best part of being in the film were the "surreal" moments. One evening when filming stopped Garcia stood on the porch of an old "hotel" sipping coffee and watched all the "settlers" dressed from the 1800s mill through the center of town. Another time he paused to watch a wagon train of settlers wind its way out of a canyon.

"It felt so real," Garcia said. "I think that was really exciting for me. I was just feeling like I was back there."

Back there is a place Garcia and some of his cowboy buddies long for at times.

"I've talked to a lot of guys, especially cowboys about it. They just think they were born at the wrong time." Garcia said. "I think we all think that occasionally."

For more information about Garcia's silver work contact him at 264-3015. "Into the West" begins June 10 at 8/7 central on TNT.

 

Kundalini Meditation for Unitarians

Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold a special meditation program Sunday led by Ilene Haykus and created by Enlightened Spiritual Master, Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh).

This is a follow-up to last month's meeting in which Haykus presented a program based on a philosophical discourse given by Osho. She was one of his disciples in India and, along with her husband, Peter, lived and worked in his commune in Oregon.

In the Master's Kundalini Meditation, a period of silence is preceded by a period of activity designed to quiet the mind. Ilene warns that meditators should wear loose, comfortable clothing, and come prepared to move!

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

 

Clogging comes to Pagosa

The American Roots Music Festival free children's concert, 11 a.m. June 18 at Vista Clubhouse, features an early American dance form known as "clogging."

One of the performers will be Alissa Snyder, a local dancer who will demonstrate her fast footwork and exciting rhythms. Alissa is a talented Pagosa seventh-grader who loves to sing and dance, and whose goal is to become a professional entertainer.

The clogging you see today is an evolution of the Appalachian Mountain folk dances of the 1800s, a blending of Irish, German, English, Dutch and African American influences. Clogging has the influence of several other dance styles including Irish, Square Dance, Jazz and some tap.

The word "clog" comes from the Gaelic, and means "time." Clogging is a dance done in time with the music - to the downbeat, usually with the heel keeping rhythm.

Accompanied by rousing fiddle music, clogging was a means of personal expression, in a land of newfound freedoms. This truly American dance form, with it's "melting pot" of dance steps, evolved as an individual form of expression, with a person using his feet as an instrument to make rhythmic and percussive sounds to accompany the music.

At the turn of the century, many cloggers began to add this developing step dance to the square dances that had been enjoyed in their communities for decades.

Elation Center for the Arts is proud to announce the formation of a new clogging group in Pagosa Springs called the High Mountain Cloggers.

Led by local musician and dancer Carla Roberts, who has been clogging for 20 years, this group will feature freestyle, improvised clogging and precision, choreographed clogging. A children's group and another adult group are now forming and are open to anyone ages 6-80. Call 731-3117 to register.

If you would like to experience clogging in a relaxed setting, a special one-hour workshop is offered during the American Roots Music Festival at the Vista Clubhouse. This introductory workshop, 3 p.m. Saturday, June 18, will cover the basic steps and history of the dance, with old-time banjo accompaniment by Paul Roberts. No special shoes are needed.

For more information call 731-3117. Log on to elationarts.org for the full festival schedule. Vista Clubhouse is at 230 Port Avenue. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista and left on Port.

 

Fiddler Carl Seager set for Roots Festival

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Fiddler Carl Seager will be one of the featured musicians at the American Roots Music Festival, June 18, at the Vista Clubhouse.

Seager will perform at the 5 p.m. festival potluck with the Pagosa Springs Old Timey Chamber Orchestra, and during the 7 p.m. concert. Please bring your favorite dish to the potluck.

Seager is president of the Southwest Traditional and Bluegrass Music Association, which has produced concerts and music festivals in New Mexico for over 20 years. A fresh face in the Colorado music scene, Seager divides his time between Albuquerque and his new home in Pagosa.

Seager's musical abilities were cultivated by formal instruction in his early years.

"I started playing the fiddle when I was about eight years old," he said. "My dad was a semiprofessional musician, and we played music together throughout my youth. Until college, I had only played classical music, but there I first heard albums by bluegrass legends, Flatt and Scruggs.

"I quickly became hooked and listened and played bluegrass often, sometimes at parties with an informal band made up of my guitar playing roommate and other friends. After college, playing music took a back seat to work and other hobbies. When I took up the fiddle again - and started to learn the mandolin - I realized how much I had missed. I have made some wonderful friends and had some tremendously satisfying experiences playing bluegrass and old time music in the last few years."

Also featured at the American Roots Music Festival are performers Paul and Carla Roberts, Randall Davis, and Alissa Snyder; Johannah, Allison and Benellen Laverty in the band WildFlower; and Lincoln Frye, Ron Sutcliffe, Charles Brannon, Brian Smith and Dan Fitzpatrick in the band String Theory.

The festival includes a free toddlers' class at 9 a.m., a free children's workshop at 10 a.m., and a free children's concert at 11 a.m.

The afternoon program begins at 3 p.m. with a clogging workshop by Carla Roberts, and a workshop on playing folk instruments at 4 p.m. The community potluck social is 5-6:30 p.m. and the evening concert begins 7 p.m.

Admission for the afternoon-through-evening events is $8 for adults and $10 for families with children.

The program is the first of three American Roots Music Festival dates set for this summer at Vista Clubhouse. On July 24, John Graves, Dan Appenzeller and Steve Rolig will perform at a program featuring early blues and jazz. On Aug. 28. the theme is international music and dance.

The festival is produced by Paul and Carla Roberts of Elation Center for the Arts, to help support the center's educational programs for children in Pagosa Springs. Call 731-3117 for further information.

 

In Step Swing Festival, revels in the '50s

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

More than 50 revelers attended the In Step Dance Club's Swing Festival May 28.

Arthur Murray dance instructors, award recipients and national champions, Bob and Cindy Long, from Albuquerque taught a dynamic three-hour workshop on East Coast Swing, ending with a superb demonstration showing how to add bits of humor, interest and styling to the dance.

The PLPOA clubhouse was decorated to the nines with '50s memorabilia. As guests walked through the front door, they were taken back in time, greeted by Dennis Eichinger dressed in a letter sweater with a big "D" on the front. How appropriate, I thought, since his name is Dennis! Turns out the "D" stands for Denby High School in Detroit. Oh, well ...

After signing in and making sure their names were in the pot for the door prize drawings, participants entered the dance hall under an immense archway of white and pink balloons flanked on either side by two, huge silver soda mugs complete with two giant red and white straws and a red "cherry" balloon on top - reminiscent of the old soda fountain days. At one of the side doors they could see Betty Boop on roller skates, car hopping, and a life-size juke box standing in another corner. Balloons were everywhere, celebrating the decade of the jitterbug, and the walls were postered with Chevys, pink Cadillacs, drive-ins and a 10-foot black and white of swing dancers on a checkerboard floor.

What? A sock hop without Elvis? No way! He was as big as life, hanging out in the music section overlooking the rest of the band, which to our great delight was the John Graves Quartet.

John, playing his fabulously melodic keyboard, was accompanied by Susanna Ninechuck (bass and vocals), Walt Lukasik (percussion) and Larry Elginer (trumpet and vocals). They certainly added dancing dimension to the party and were greatly enjoyed by all.

Dinner was wonderfully created, catered by Christine's Cuisine, boasting an old-time menu: pot roast, potatoes, carrots and gravy, juicy country fried chicken, Jell-O fruit salad, luscious green salad, an assortment of rolls and bread, and scrumptious home-made apple pies greatly satisfied everyone's appetites. It was topped off by a "create your own" sundae buffet. Centerpieces included a stack of 45s with swing dancers on top.

Almost everyone dressed '50s in anticipation for the costume contest. Steve Butler and Billy Jo Brookens were the sock hop costume winners, swinging away with their own personal copy of the hit movie "Shall We Dance?" and an original '50s eight-ounce bottle of Coca Cola.

Throughout the evening, exhibition dancers Les Linton and Linda Carter treated the audience with their beautiful arrangement of Argentine Tango; and Charles Jackson and I donned three different outfits to perform numbers in Country Western Swing, West Coast Swing and the long-awaited East Coast Swing act to Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman." Toward the end of this 'scene', poodle skirt, crinoline and all, I flipped over Charles' back, then on the last note of the music, we finished like the old-time movie ender where the guy gets to kiss the girl, and the girl's leg always slowly rises. Remember those old movies? Keep in mind, these two "swing flippers" are no spring chickens, but how we love to please (or maybe shock is a better term) our audience.

Talk about great surprises, here's the last part if this story. There was a gent who found himself laughing at himself for spelling his name wrong on the door prize entry. The correction of the little misnomer, however, paid off later in the evening when he won one of the door prizes: a copy of "Shall We Dance," one month group dance lessons, one private dance lesson, and a bottle of the now coveted '50s Coca Cola. When the second name was pulled from the pot, I said "no way, no way," thinking "what are the odds of this?" As soon as I could collect myself, I announced, "Would the fiancée of the gent who had trouble spelling his name please come forward." Congratulations to Wayne Lauffer and Liz Parker.

Thanks to all who helped make this the best In Step dance party ever, and for a great year. There will be no regular classes until Thursday, Aug. 25, 7-9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 28, 3-5 p.m. when I will teach the Hula in preparation for a Luau Dinner Party scheduled for Sept. 2. This will kick off Salsa classes in September, Country Swing in October, Bolero in November and Fox-trot in December. Stay tuned for more details.

Barbershop show June 11

Durango barbershoppers will take barbershop to the Great White Way 7:01 p.m. June 11 in the Fort lewis College Concert Hall.

The group will present "Barbershop Goes Broadway," featuring show-stopping songs from the past including "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now."

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and those 65 or older. They are available at the concert hall box office (247-7657).

For more information call Carroll Peterson, 247-5073, or cmpwete@frontier.net, or Niles Bruno 259-0313 or njbruno@ gobrainstorm.net or visit durango barbershoppers.org.

 

Regional guide for xeriscaping published, available locally

By Chris Aaland

and Ken Francis

Special to The PREVIEW

A free xeriscape guide for landscaping in southwest Colorado has been prepared by the Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Copies of the 12-page color guide can be picked up at libraries, county extension offices, municipal governments offices and most nurseries in Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma and La Plata counties.

Founded upon seven fundamental horticultural principles, the San Juan Basin Xeriscape Guide can not only help property owners save water, but also to produce attractive landscapes using a variety of plants and materials that enhance the built environment.

These principles include developing a comprehensive landscape plan, conditioning soil with soil improvements, limiting lawn size, applying irrigation water efficiently, using appropriate plants grouped according to water needs, applying mulches to reduce evaporation, and maintenance according to good horticultural practices.

According to the guide, the Four Corners region has a diverse landscape that covers parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. With elevations ranging from 4,000 feet to over 14,000 feet, the landscape character can change from alpine to desert within a few miles.

The Four Corners climate is generally semi-arid. Precipitation averages may range from as little as eight inches per year in the lower elevations to 15 inches or more in the mountain ranges. Periods of limited rainfall and drought pose challenges for the expanding population of the region. The potential for catastrophic wildfires and insect epidemics compounds these problems.

Xeriscaping is a holistic approach to landscaping for the purpose of achieving water conservation and enhancing the relationship between humans and their built environment.

It is sometimes stereotyped as growing nothing more than cacti in a sea of gravel. In reality, good xeric design practices result in a rich tapestry of colors, textures and plan materials that are adaptable to any style of landscaping. Good xeric design includes practical landscape considerations that affect the home as well as the outdoor human-built environment.

Hard copies of the San Juan Basin Xeriscape Guide are available locally at the following businesses and offices:

Ace Garden and Home Center, Archuleta County Extension, Archuleta County government offices, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Pagosa Nursery Company, Ruby Sisson Library, Rito Blanco Nursery and the Town of Pagosa Springs.

 

Local Chatter

It's easy to plant a musical Baum in town

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

The town is alive with music and Melinda Baum is one of the ones who helps vibrate the sound.

Mrs. Baum is a brilliant musical talent who focuses it on fortunate Archuleta County students.

A week after her husband, Don Weller, and her three children moved to Pagosa Springs from State College, Pa. - that was seven years ago - she met Lisa Hartley, "the high school music teacher." Lisa needed an accompanist and the rest is history.

Not only has Melinda played piano for high school and Music Booster productions, she has directed a few - "A Christmas Carol", "Wonderful Life", and just a week or so ago, "Kaleidoscope," abenefit show to raise money to support the arts. The $7,000 raised will be used to pay the salary of a half-time music teacher in Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

"Kaleidoscope" was a wonderful example of adults and kids working together, as so many of the shows have been.

Melinda is an excellent teacher. The kids love her. She makes herself available to their musical needs, giving them much extra time and even helping them at her home.

Her three children are Chris, Sara and Alex. Chris is a senior next year who made all-state choir and orchestra this year. Sara is his 17-year-old twin and will be an exchange student in Brazil next year. She sings, acts and plays clarinet and has played violin since she was four years old.

Alex is 14 and a drummer. He has played drums for Lisa Hartley in three productions while in junior high school.

We can easily say the family is musically inclined.

Melinda absolutely loves living in a town with so many musical talents who are so willing to give their talent back to the community.

She adds that "this is a wonderful place to live because the community supports and values the important part music plays."

Fun on the run ...

Thoughts for the day:

- Birds of a feather flock together and mess on your car.

- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

- Don't assume malice for what stupidity can explain.

- The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

- The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

- The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

- If all weather forecasters were laid end to end, they still would not get the weather prediction right for three straight days.

- Imagine what we could do if all the stupidity on the planet was converted into useful energy.

- Unexpected surprise? What surprise is expected?

- When you attend a convention, it's amazing how many unconventional people you meet.

 

Community Center News

Arts-crafts room expansion is nearly complete

By Mercy E. Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The renovation of the arts and crafts rooms is almost complete. The wall that separates the two rooms was removed and we now have one big room. After the work is complete, we'll have a room that can accommodate 70-plus people for parties, meetings and other events.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council can now conduct bigger art classes with this improvement.

The community center is open for all to use. We are looking for individuals who have special talents to utilize the center and to share these talents in the community. We need free programs for the community and the only way to do this is for these people to come forward and share their time and talent.

During this time of the year, the center is not busy and we invite you to use the center free by conducting programs under the center umbrella. Yoga instructors, cooks, artists and crafters, sports enthusiasts, music and dance lovers and others are just a few the public would be interested in. This is your community center, use it.

Computer lab news

Becky would like to thank Bill Korsgren who covered for her and handled last Tuesday's classes. Becky will be back next Tuesday and she will have computer news for us.

Upcoming event

The second annual Patriotic Sing-A-Long Night needs pictures, pictures, pictures.

I need to borrow pictures of our local veterans and those on active duty - digital photos, if possible. I need them by Monday, June 13. Please call 264-4152, Ext. 22 if you have some to loan.

This event is a prelude to the July 4 celebration. Let us make this another successful celebration of our freedom and honor our veterans and all the men and women in active military duty.

We also invite children ages 7-12 to participate in the question-and-answer part of the program and win a prize. We will ask 12 kids to come on stage and relate their ideas about the following question: Why do we celebrate July 4 and what does it mean to you? So, moms, plan to attend and get the kids ready for this event.

Just 21 days to go till the event - 7-9 p.m. Thursday, June 30 is the time and date. Please bring your favorite dessert to share with everyone. The center will provide free hot and cold beverages.

This program is for the whole family including visiting guests. Show your support and wear something red, white and blue. For added fun, three winners will be picked by a mystery judge. Winners will be the three attendees with the most colorful and patriotic attire for this evening.

For the entertainment and sing-along part, I have invited the Habit Tappers to participate in this program in addition to the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Choir. I haven't received a commitment yet from this group of local nuns but I am hoping they will come to entertain and lead us in the songs from the different branches of the military. After all, it is a patriotic sing-along night.

Thanks to the Mountain Harmony Ladies for their interest and commitment. We're looking forward to this fun evening of music and patriotism.

Activities this week

Today - Painting workshop 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Colorado Revitalization Association meeting, 6-8 p.m.; girls softball meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Friday, June 10 - Painting workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.

Sunday, June 12 - 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, June 13 - Seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Seniors bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Tuesday, June 14 - Seniors computer class, 10:30 a.m.-noon; seniors walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Creeper Jeepers meeting, 7-8 p.m.; Mannatech meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15 - Watercolor club, 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

Thursday, June 16 - 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, for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.

The Center is a non-profit 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, and then all unclaimed items will be donated to the local thrift stores. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Come to our open house June 14

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

The Den is a great place to enjoy a yummy meal, meet new friends, participate in a presentation, an activity or just hang out. We invite you to come and join us at our June 14 open house 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Come in at lunch time and you'll enjoy a wonderful meal of roast turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, wheat roll, cranberry sauce and salad bar for a suggested donation of just $2.50 if you are 60-plus or $4.50 for younger folks.

We'll have loads of information for you on all the different programs available. We currently offer the home chore program, home delivered meals, transportation services, information and referral services, Medicare counseling, information on the new Medicare Drug Insurance and so much more.

But that's not all we do here. So many have said they aren't old and don't want to be associated with the senior center. I say "phooey." Age is a just number, you are as young as you feel and we feel young at the Den. We enjoy a variety of programs, indoor and outdoor activities, (rafting just last week) and great meals together. And if you haven't already, I hope that you will decide to become part of this extended family.

It is sometimes difficult to take that first step of coming in to visit us. We're here to welcome you and introduce you to the rest of the family. Bring along a friend, neighbor, family member, whomever - come check us out!

Last week I enjoyed watching George waltzing with my assistant Jeni and he even threw in the Golightly Gallup. Be here on the 14th and find out just what the Golightly Gallup is.

Council on Aging

Friday is the next local Council on Aging board meeting. I personally would like to see more folks from the community participate and contribute their input on what the needs are of our senior (age 60 -plus) community. See you at 1 p.m. in The Den.

Mystery trip

Our next mystery trip is scheduled 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Thanks to your local Council on Aging, Archuleta Seniors, Inc., this trip is a freebie other than the potluck item you bring along, and also includes free transportation. Transportation is limited to the first 18 who sign up and others are welcome to carpool. We'll even coordinate that for you.

The most we can tell you about this little secret excursion is that you can expect to be riding for approximately 45 minutes each way and you'll have wonderful hosts and hostesses on the other end. You'll also need to bring along sunscreen, a hat, comfy walking shoes and the right attitude for a great time. Walking around once you arrive at your destination is optional. Sign up in The Den office by Friday, June 17 and let us know what kind of a yummy you'll be bringing along. Remember, it's a freebee and a great time.

Yoga break

Please note the Yoga in Motion class is on a small break and will begin again 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 28. Qi Gong is also on break and will begin 10 a.m. Friday, June 24. See you then.

White Cane Society

If you or someone you know has low vision we have help for you. Gail from the Southwest Center for Independence will be here to conduct the White Cane Society Support Group 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 15.

Gail not only shares ideas on ways to be self sufficient with low vision, she also brings along information on visual aids that you may find helpful.

Arboles Meal

Thursday, June 16, is a special meal day in Arboles. Not only are we celebrating June birthdays that day, we'll also celebrate our one-year anniversary of nutrition services in the southwest area of the county. Advance reservations are required; please call 264-2167 for further information.

Celebrate Father's Day

We'll be celebrating Father's Day Friday, June 17. There will be a special gift for all the men who attend lunch on this special day in honor of all the support, love and guidance they have given.

Free movie day

The free movie at The Den this month is "Calendar Girls," to be shown 1 p.m. Friday, June 17, in our lounge; we'll serve free popcorn too. Based on a true story, this funny and touching movie depicts the adventures of a group of British homemakers who decide to pose for a nude calendar to raise money for the local hospital after one of the women loses her husband to cancer. Rated PG-13.

Picnic in the park

The summer's first picnic in the park is fast approaching. Mark your calendar for a good time and a great meal at noon Friday, June 24. You'll enjoy oven-fried chicken, potato salad, broccoli salad (a personal favorite of mine), a roll and fresh fruit. We'll have horse shoes and croquet available along with bubbles to entertain each other at each table. The suggested donation remains the same at $2.50 for those 60-plus and $4.50 for the younger folks. Come early or stay late, just be sure to join us at Town Park June 24.

Activities at a glance

Friday, June 10 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m; blood pressure checkups, 11 a.m.-noon; local Council on Aging board meeting, 1 p.m.

Monday, June 13 - Medicare Counseling 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, all levels welcome, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, June 14 - No Yoga in Motion today, see you June 28; basic computer instruction, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; open house, bring a friend, 11-1:30; Canasta 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 15 - White Cane Support Group 11 a.m.; Pinochle, 1 p.m.

Thursday, June 16 - Arboles Meal Day and celebration of one-year anniversary and June birthdays. Call 264-2167 for reservations.

Friday, June 17 - No Qi Gong today see you June 24; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; celebrate Father's Day at noon, free movie "Calendar Girls and free popcorn, 1 p.m.

Menu

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

Salad bar every day-11:30 a.m.

Friday, June 10 - Swedish meatballs, rice, wheat roll and apricot.

Monday, June 13 - Stuffed peppers, corn, wheat roll and applesauce.

Wednesday, June 15 - Roast Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, wheat roll and cranberry sauce.

Thursday, June 16 - Arboles Meal Day, call for reservations at 264-2167.

Friday, June 17 - Green chili stew with veggies, corn bread, tapioca pudding and apples.

 

Veteran's Corner

Free veterans' picnic Saturday in Arboles

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The Patriotic Picnic will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Viking J Ranch in Arboles, sponsored by the Archuleta County Republican Party.

Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said with a big grin, "no politicking allowed."

This is all about supporting our hometown military persons, recent dischargees, veterans and their families.

Barbecue at 2 p.m.

The festivities will run until about 7 p.m. with a barbecue feast to follow the Honor Guard presentation at 2 p.m. This is free to all current military persons, veterans and their immediate families. I have tickets to give out at my office. I plan to be there in my Navy whites. You can find The Viking J Ranch by taking Colo. 151 to Arboles, turning north on Colo. 975 for 1.5 miles to County Road 973, then west one mile to the ranch. Just follow the red, white and blue balloons.

Free admission

Veterans and military persons need only show their military or VA ID card for free admission if they do not have a ticket, according to Melanie Kelley, one of the picnic coordinators. Invitations have been sent out to military and veterans' groups throughout this part of Colorado.

Flyover planned

In addition to the food will be a live band and dancing, and military flyovers are planned at 2 and 4 p.m. Let's all show our appreciation of this fun event by attending.

Second Sing-A-Long

The second annual Patriotic Sing-a-long will be held 7-9 p.m. June 30 in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

All veterans and military persons and their families are also urged to attend this fun evening. Mercy Korsgren, community center director, is in charge of the affair. Besides the singing there will be a potluck dinner. A real old-fashioned community patriotic evening of fun, at no charge. Just bring your favorite potluck dish.

VFW elections

Last week I wrote about election of officers at the Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108.

The Archuleta County chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars also recently held elections for the coming year. Elected were Tom Broadbent, commander; Dee Archuleta, quartermaster; and Larry Jelinek, junior vice commander. There may have been others elected to office, but those are the only names I had at press time.

Open house planned

Speaking of the VFW, this chapter plans to hold an open house in their new facility, hopefully in time for July 4. Location of the VFW Hall is on South 7th Street in Pagosa Springs. VFW meets the third Thursday of the month. It has about 50 current members and welcomes new veteran member enrollment.

Both the VFW and American Legion organizations do good things for our community and our veterans. They deserve our support!

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 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

More 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 is 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

New online service allows database search

By Jackie Welch

PREVIEW Columnist

The staff at Ruby Sisson Library is pleased to announce a new service just made available to library patrons.

Remote Patron Authentication, or RPA, allows you to access our collection of online databases from anywhere outside the library.

All you need is a connection to the Internet, a Ruby Sisson Library card and a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

The library subscribes to several online databases allowing you to search magazines, newspapers, periodicals, encyclopedias and books for material on general business, academic, health and consumer matters. Here are just a few of the databases you will be able to access:

- Academic Search Premier, the world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database providing full text for nearly 4,700 publications.

- Business Source Premier, the world's largest full-text business database providing full-text for nearly 7,800 scholarly business journals and other sources, including full-text for more than 1,125 peer-reviewed business publications.

- Newspaper Source, which provides selected full-text for nearly 30 national (U.S.) and international newspapers.

- Funk & Wagnall's New World Encyclopedia, which indexes over 25,000 records, covering an array of topics. The database contains various images, offers brief biographies as well as information in a variety of subject areas.

- Fuente Academica, a unique collection of scholarly academic journals from renowned Latin American, South American and Spanish publishers.

- Health Source - Consumer Edition, the richest collection of consumer health information available to libraries worldwide. This resource provides access to nearly 300 full-text, consumer health periodicals.

- Searchasaurus, a magazine index made especially for kids. It searches Primary Search and Middle School Plus for full-text magazine and encyclopedia articles, pictures and Encyclopedia of Animals.

So how do you access these outstanding resources?

- Go to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library Web site at www.pagosalibrary.org, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Database link.

- When the Magazines, Journals and Databases screen opens, select one of the database links that appears in the middle of the page.

- The Remote Patron Authentication screen will open and you will be asked to enter your library card bar code (you'll find it on the back of your card) and your personal identification number. Call the library if you've forgotten your number or don't have one.

- Once your card number is authenticated, the database you selected will become available. You may be unable to access these databases if your card has expired, if you are from out of state, or if your account is not in good standing - in which case, you should contact the library for assistance.

If you have any questions on how to use this service, call the library at 264-2209 or ask one of the staff to give you a demonstration the next time you visit the library.

Donations:

We would like to thank the following individuals for their donation of materials: Mike Branch, Claire Bennett, Mary McLellan, Carol Curtis and Stan Stocki.

Arts Line

Arts Council annual meeting set June 23

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

Please come and join the fun at the Arts Council annual meeting June 23. The evening always includes good company, good food and an all-around fine time.

The activities begin 5 p.m. at J.J.'s Upstream Restaurant. This year's food fare includes an hors d'oeuvres buffet with smoked salmon, wonton pecan brie, fruit and vegetable tray, crispy hand-rolled chicken spring rolls, spinach artichoke cheese dip, potato blocks and assorted house-made desserts. A cash bar is available and will be open until 7 p.m.

This year we are pleased to have the Blue Grass Cadillac band performing, with PSAC's own vice president, Randall Davis, on banjo. Tickets are $15 each and should be purchased at the Arts Council by June 20. You do not have to be a member to attend, but there is limited seating, so make your reservation now. Hope to see you there.

Current exhibit

If you were unable to attend last week's exhibit opening you missed a great time.

You can still view the exhibit at the gallery in Town Park until June 29. Work of three local artists - Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp and Randall Davis - is featured.

Jeanine Malaney has several fabric paintings on display and says, "This technique allows me to paint a picture with fabric. I cut fabric pieces and compose a collage by gluing and rearranging pieces on a background fabric (my 'canvas'). After adding shading and detail features with fabric paint, I secure the image with clear or smoke monofil thread. After squaring up, I add fabric borders for matting and layer with backing and batting. With a quilting process I can then increase texture and highlight features creating a three-dimensional effect.

" I produce my own continuous binding to match or complement borders. Each unique piece is titled, signed, and framed.

"The spirit of the American West is bound up in the land wide open spaces, big skies, purple mountains' majesty and plenty of sunshine. Horses running with the wind or wildlife symbolize our freedom to enjoy the vastness of the western landscape and our national forests and national parks. Indian and cowboy lore fan the fire of our infatuation with the West. These are the themes I explore in my work."

Davis is showing a bronze sculpture, several oil paintings and a watercolor painting. Haskamp, a professional metal artist, has jewelry, beaded work and ceramic pieces on display with 25 percent of her sales to be donated to Colorado Wild.

Oil painting workshop

The Arts Council is proud to sponsor Tom Lockhart, well-known oil painter, in his first Pagosa Springs oil painting workshop next month.

A Colorado native, Lockhart was born and raised in Monte Vista. His love of nature and the outdoors is evident in his paintings. Striving to convey a feeling for light and atmosphere is always a challenge for any artist but for Tom it is even more challenging because he works in oils, pastels and watercolors.

Lockhart enjoys painting his local surroundings but also travels throughout the United States to capture additional images with brush and paint. He travels the southwest canyons of Arizona and Utah and the villages of northern New Mexico as well as the Rocky Mountains and the coast of Maine. He looks for every opportunity to search for new and inspiring subject matter, often painting on location.

Lockhart has been included in many national and regional juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards including Region III Winner for the National Arts For the Parks. He is a member of the prestigious Northwest Rendezvous, a group of 44 of the country's top artists. He is a signature member of The Oil Painters of America and Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. He has received the Director's Choice Award and an Award of Excellence at Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters in Estes Park. Lockhart has also been included in the Colorado Governor's Show in Loveland and the Greeley Western Stampede Show.

He was chosen by Watercolor Magazine and the Forbes family to paint for a week at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch, and to exhibit his watercolor paintings in their galleries in New York City and San Francisco. He was named Colorado Artist of the Year for Ducks Unlimited and his art has helped benefit the Colorado Wildlife Society. "Subliminal Drama," an article about Tom, was featured in Art of the West Magazine. He was also featured in Watercolor Magazine's "Colorado Markings" and in an article about the Forbes Trinchera painting trip.

Tom's work is included in many corporate and private collections in both the United States and abroad. He enjoys teaching plein air workshops throughout the year. Tom has his own gallery and studio, La Casa De Luz, in Monte Vista, and galleries in the Southwest, Rocky Mountains and Maine represent him.

Here is what Tom says about the workshop:

"Teaching the basic fundamentals of design, color, value, mass and perspective is only the beginning. Applying this acquired knowledge to painting the landscape both outdoors and in the studio will make painting easier and more fun. I will help each workshop participant with the specific needs by strengthening their strong points and help improve on their weaknesses. We will enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding area. I will demonstrate as much as possible. We will share a wonderful time of learning and camaraderie. Some experience is required. I take novice, to advanced." (Novices should be able to mix and understand paint and its application, some painting skill is required). Students should be age 18 and over.

Cost for the workshop is $300 for PSAC members and $325 for others. Class is 9 a.m.-4 p.m in the community center with some indoor and outdoor instruction. Call 264-5020 or e-mail psac@centurytel.net to sign up now. Class size is limited, so make your reservation early.

Kudos to locals

Jeanine Malaney has two paintings accepted into the Durango Arts Center's 29th Annual Juried Exhibit, June 3-July 7. One is a fabric collage painting titled "Grand Canyon Vista" and the other a watercolor painting titled "Thistle on Saguaro."

Photographer Al Olson and writer Jerry Hannah are also exhibiting. So if you're in Durango go by their Art Center and view local entries.

Watercolor Club

The PSAC Watercolor Club was formed in the winter of 2003 and 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 use of space.

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. Some times a few people bring still lifes or photos or projects they want to complete. Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is Wednesday, June 15.

Drawing class

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, June 18 and drawing with Randall Davis at 9 a.m. He usually finishes around 3 p.m. at the community center.

In the summer months, weather permitting, class meets at the community center, and then goes outside for drawing lessons. The subject this month will be perspective and composition in relation to outdoor scenery such as trees, ponds and other elements of nature.

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. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils; preferably a mid-range No. 2 or No. 3 and No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, and appropriate outdoor items, such as hat, sunscreen, water and a folding chair. It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome.

PSAC Calendar

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

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

Through June 29 - Jeanine Malaney, Adrienne Haskamp, and Randall Davis exhibit.

June 10-11 - Spring Flowers photo workshop field trip - Call 731-4645 for information. Friday 7-9 p.m., Saturday morning; $50

June 15 - Watercolor club 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

June 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; $35.

June 23 - PSAC annual meeting.

June 30-July 1 - Wendy Saunders photography exhibit.

July 20-23 - Tom Lockhart Oil Workshop 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.

Aug. 4-31 - Juried art exhibit.

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

September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and Art Auction.

October - Artist Studio Tour.

November - 2005 Gallery Tour.

December - We are exploring the possibility of putting on a Festival of Trees in conjunction with the community center.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

Food for Thought

Adventures in adult education

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

Adult education.

An oxymoron if ever there was one, eh?

I thought so until last week; now, I'm eager to counter that depressing point of view.

Not only is education possible in the twilight years, but any effort in that direction can reap huge rewards.

It's never too late to change.

If I seem eerily positive, it's because I am! I've changed. I've shrugged off my cynicism, sloughed off the skeptic's skin. I am proof it is never too late to learn, to change, never too late to improve and thrive.

I'm an improver, an achiever - I'm a thriver. Finally!

I'm about to receive a new college degree and then, watch my dust! I'm on my way to a brand new life, and it's about time.

I earned my first degree more than 30 years ago and promptly embarked on a tattered career as a ne'er do well. Since then, it's been a slow, dismal trip down a poorly lit path. And that path led to Nowhereville U.S.A., to stagnation and disgrace.

Why did I take that sordid journey? Well, first, because I was an idiot, endowed with a gift for making poor choices. And, second, because I didn't realize the power of the right college degree, the proper certification. I stumbled along, earned a degree in the humanities of all things. For crying out loud! Philosophy, English literature, art?

What was I thinking?

Well, friends, the truth of the matter is, I wasn't thinking at all - a characteristic shared by humanities majors. Need I mention there are 60-year-olds with doctorates in comparative literature who spend their days whipping up espressos at Starbucks for minimum wage, tips and no bennies? There are art historians and poets asking people if they want paper or plastic bags at the supermarket checkout stand. When confronted with their abysmal failure, all they offer is a lame comment about there being no relation between money and success, or they serve up a pea-brained Marxist slap at "capitalist oppressors."

Like them, I got blind-sided by the '60s and all that prissy, artsy-fartsy nonsense, and it's taken me nearly four decades to wise up. But, believe me, I have seen the light now, while most of them are still doing minimum wage work and stumbling around in the dark.

My turnaround has been meteoric. The fact of my all-consuming ineptitude hit me like a speeding Chrysler the other day as I sat in my decrepit little office, slumped in my chair, gazing at the bare, gray walls, the light from an outdated Macintosh screen sparkling on the greasy surfaces of my eyeglasses.

Then a miracle! (Since I am no longer a skeptic, I cannot refer to what happened as coincidence.)

I'm sitting there, lamenting my self-induced ill fortune, contemplating a trip to the fairgrounds to shoot photos of alpacas and their fiber-producing kin, when I have an epiphany: I gotta retrain! The only way to break out of this slump is to acquire new skills (or skills, period, since a strong case can be made I've exhibited no tangible skills thus far in my life).

The revelation gripped me, until I examined it.

I have the attention span of a sand flea. There is no way I could attend classes, listen to hemorrhoidal feebs drone on about one boring thing after another, read textbooks, study. If I make a Herculean effort, I can concentrate for approximately four minutes before my brain begins to short out; no way I could do something like go back to school.

Thus, a dilemma.

Or so I thought, until I realized there was a way out of this mess. A cutting-edge, effortless, quivering-spear-point-of-progress solution to my problem.

The Internet.

I asked myself: Where does your with-it, glib ne'er do well go to acquire flimsy information and oversimplified solutions to nearly every problem?

The Internet.

Treasures await. If you want poorly conceived thought, ill-wrought and bogus materials of all sorts, the Net is a gold mine. Every muttonhead I know is locked into Web sites and blogs and uses the Web as a source for goods and ideas. Why not education? Why not me?

It takes me no time to hit pay dirt. Thank goodness - any longer and I would have lost interest.

There it was, spam in my e-mail, an Internet site promising me advanced degrees with no investment of work or time, and no chance of failure. Whooo hooo!

I logged on and, within minutes, my e-mail box was brimming with offers from other Internet purveyors. They were all dubious, probably frauds. I liked them. A whole lot. In this new day, the idea of authenticity, of accountability, evaporates in the Cyber universe.

Take, for example, Carlyle X. Butler.

I was immediately drawn to Carlyle X. Butler, possessing as he or she did the last names of two English writers - one whom I detest, the other whom I love. (See, there's that darned useless education again!)

The subject of Carlyle's missive was "Ph.D. for sale."

Carlyle enlightened me, saying "If it seems to you like most good jobs are not within your reach, that's probably because you lack a postgraduate education."

Bingo, Carlyle. Just what I'd been thinking!

This looked promising, but then I received a better offer from Cynthia T. Maxim. This message did not require connecting with an e-mail address that would infect the office computer system with a virus concocted by a bitter, acne-riddled teen-age hacker from Bulgaria.

Cynthia got right to the point.

"Have you ever thought that the only thing stopping you from getting a great job and better pay was a few letters behind your name?"

As a matter of fact, I had. I often wondered what my life might have been without the "berg" at the end of my name. Where, for example, might I have gone, what might I have accomplished, had my name been Isborough, or Isington?

This, of course, was not what Cynthia was referring to and she made that clear in her next incomplete sentence.

"BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MBA, PhD."

Cynthia offered me a plethora of academic accomplishments to choose from. "These are real, genuine degrees," she wrote.

What is better than real, if not "real, genuine?"

"They include bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees," she continued. "They are verifiable and student records and transcripts are also available."

How can this be?, I wondered.

Cynthia explained: "This little known secret has been kept quiet for years."

Excellent news. Any decent secret is kept quiet and, if possible, is kept quiet for years if not decades.

"The opportunity exists," said Cynthia, " due to a legal loophole allowing some established colleges to award degrees at their discretion."

Obviously, this was a legitimate enterprise. I once taught at a state college, and I know for a fact the joint awarded degrees at its discretion.

Then, a note of alarm. "With all the attention that this news has been generating," warned Cynthia, "I wouldn't be surprised to see this loophole closed soon."

Cynthia signed off with: "Order yours today! Just call the number below. You'll thank me later."

So, I did just that.

Cynthia did not answer the phone.

In fact, I heard a male voice, and the salutation was less than academic.

"Yo. You wanna degree? Whakine yawan?"

I figured it was the registrar. I asked to speak to Cynthia.

"Huh?"

"Cynthia. Cynthia Maxim. She e-mailed me about obtaining an advanced degree."

"Ain't no Cynthia here. Whaddya wan?"

"Well, I was hoping to receive some counseling prior to matriculation and my eventual graduation. Can you connect me to the school counselor?"

"Look, I dunno nothin' specially 'bout no marficulars. You wanna degree or not? Whakine yawan?"

"Well, I've given some thought to career and income possibilities and I've boiled my choices down to two: a doctorate in advanced outer space studies or a degree certifying me as a heart surgeon. And I'm not sure if the heart surgeon requires a doctorate or just a master's degree. What do you think?"

"I dunno. How d'yuh spell 'surgeon'?"

It was incredible: As it turned out, marficulation was unnecessary; all I needed to do was provide a credit card number and the fellow said he would print up my degree from a prestigious college and send it my way. Of course, he said "prediligeeous," but I got the drift. The Ph.D. was thirty-five dollars, the master's only twenty-five. I figured, why not shoot for the moon; I opted for the doctorate.

When my heart surgery degree arrives, I intend to have it framed, then I'll tote it to our local clinic where I'll establish office hours. If I'm rebuffed by the so-called "doctors," no problem: I'm positive some of our alternative healers here in Siberia With a View will be more than impressed (who knows, some may have graduated from the same prediligeeous institution) and they'll readily accept me into their practice.

I intend to throw a big party when my degree arrives - a graduation party if you will. It will be a celebration of my suddenly brilliant future.

This will require beverages and snacks.

I'm thinking about something classy, but not snooty. I don't want to appear too proud of my accomplishment but I need to elevate the occasion with something better than burgers and beans.

How about a lightly chilled rosé? It's the ideal time of year for rosé - fruity cool and refreshing.

Snacks?

I'm thinking a terrine - a takeoff on ratatouille with roasted eggplant, tomato, zucchini red and green peppers, goat cheese. A nice country paté and something swollen with chicken livers should be on the menu as well.

And, as a grace note, some kind of seafood or shellfish custard. Perhaps a takeoff on one of Emeril Lagasse's recipes.

The base: cooked shrimps or crawfish, about a half pound for four custards. Add to that about a quarter pound of a raw, firm white fish like halibut.

I'll have a large clove of garlic chopped and ready, along with the whites of one and a half large eggs, a cup of heavy cream, a tablespoon of dry, white wine, a little bit of minced green onion or a small amount of lightly sauteed, minced shallot, and a teaspoon or so of minced fresh dill or tarragon.

Into a food processor goes half of the shellfish and all the white fish, and the mess is pureed. The machine is still on and I add some salt, pepper, garlic, a bit of cayenne or ground red chile, the cream and wine. Last in is the egg white and the blended load is put into a bowl. The remaining shellfish, the herbs and a bit of the green onion or shallot are folded into the mix which is then divided evenly into four buttered ramekins. They, in turn, are put in a bain marie (pour hot water in the baking dish or roasting pan, two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins) and baked at 350 for about 20-25 minutes, until the custard is set and kind of puffy.

Bingo, into the fridge go the ramekins. These critters will be served chilled.

Lagasse recommends a homemade herb mayonnaise but there's no reason not to cut corners here, seeing I'll be entertaining a huge crowd of admirers. I'll use a commercial mayo. I won't mention the brand, but it might be Hellman's, sold under another label here in the western states. Into the mayo goes Dijon mustard and chopped herbs. If I use dill or tarragon in the custards, I'll be sure to duplicate the herb in the mayo. I'll toss in some chopped basil, some chopped parsley, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, add a bit of chile or cayenne, a bit of white pepper. The herbed wonderblend will sit in the fridge for a while to allow the flavors to meld.

Once my degree arrives and is framed and ready for inspection and admiration, expect your invitation to my graduation party.

Be forewarned: Since there will be free food, I expect to be addressed as "Doctor."

Once we get to know each other, "Doc" will do just fine.

Got a heart problem? You'll need to make an appointment.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Colorado gardening: challenge to newcomers

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

June 9 - Quality Assurance meeting for 4-H Livestock, 7 p.m.

June 10 - Colorado Kids Club meeting, 2 p.m.

June 13 - Foods Unit 1 at Community United Methodist Church, time to be announced; Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.

June 14 - Rocky Mountain Riders Club meeting, 6 p.m.; Junior Stockman Club meeting in Chromo, 6:30 p.m.; public meeting, Forest Service land issues, 7 p.m.

June 15 - Garden Club meeting, 10 a.m.; Entomology Project meeting, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; public hearing - Archuleta County Roads plan, 7 p.m.

Gardening in Colorado can be challenging. The average elevation of the state is 6,800 feet. Three-fourths of the nation's land above 10,000 feet is within its borders.

Sunlight is frequently of high intensity and the humidity generally is low. These features, along with rapid and extreme weather changes and frequently poor soil conditions, make for challenges in growing plants.

Newcomer's dilemma

Newcomers to Colorado often have trouble getting plants to thrive or even survive. More often than not, they previously gardened where "you stick a plant in the ground and it grows." Often, those from northern states such as Minnesota or Michigan are puzzled why certain trees that did well for them there do poorly in Colorado. Temperature is not the only factor that determines plant survival in Colorado, for rarely is extreme cold the limiting plant growth factor. Combinations of low humidity, drying winds and physical properties of the soil influence how well plants perform here.

Soil properties

Many of our population centers are on heavy, clay soil. These soils have poor aeration that limits root growth. Thus the ability of plants to replenish water loss brought about by low humidity and prevailing winds is limited. Adding more water to such soils further complicates the problem because the water that is added reduces the amount of air in the soil and causes oxygen starvation to the roots. Little can be done to modify humidity and wind, so the obvious solution is to improve the soil.

Salt accumulation

Soil modification is a problem in our semiarid, highly alkaline soils. Organic matter, if added in large amounts all at once, can provide for a more porous soil. However, this practice can lead to the accumulation of natural, soluble salts. Unless the soil is porous so that salts can be leached away with water, the salts tend to accumulate in the amended soil layer. The soluble salts may remain in the organic matter much like water remains in a sponge. Rapid evaporation may concentrate the salts in the root zone, where they can injure plant roots.

A solution to this problem is to slowly, over a period of years, improve the soil tilth. An alternative to leaching the salts and improving the soil is to choose plants more tolerant to saline soil conditions. For instance, instead of planting a pine knowing that it would do poorly under such conditions, one may have to settle for a juniper.

Iron problems

The name Colorado comes from the Spanish words "color rojo," meaning color red, referring to the dominant red soils. The red color is due to high amounts of iron in the soil. Yet, a yellowing condition in certain plants, known as iron chlorosis, is brought about by an iron deficiency in the plant. Colorado's highly calcareous (high calcium) soils tie up the iron in a form unavailable to the plant.

Trees with high iron requirements such as pin oak, silver maple and Washington hawthorn perform poorly in Colorado's calcareous soils. Making iron more available is not easy and usually not economical. Adding available forms of iron such as iron sulfate to the soil is, at best, a temporary measure. The soil itself will quickly cause much of the added iron to become unavailable. The best alternative is to select plants tolerant of Colorado's alkaline soil. Instead of pin oak, choose bur oak, or Norway maple instead of silver maple, etc.

Rhododendrons?

Newcomers, particularly those from coastal states such as California, Oregon, New York and the Carolinas, frequently express surprise and disappointment in the dearth of broad-leafed evergreen plants such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, pittosporum and similar plants. The highly calcareous soils are partly responsible for this, and, to some degree, the colder climate. The primary limiting factors are the low humidity, drying winds and intense winter sunlight.

Mountain laurel, rhododendrons and similar types of plants can grow in Colorado where the soils are carefully amended to make them more acid and where the plants are protected from winter wind and sun. Even broad-leafed evergreens that can tolerate the more alkaline soils and lower humidity, such as wintercreeper, English ivy and Oregon grape holly, will perform best in a shaded north or east exposure.

What about freezes?

Occasionally, Colorado will experience frosts when plants aren't ready to cope with them. It is not uncommon for mountain communities to have an already short growing season interrupted by a killing frost. In Leadville with an elevation of 10,177 feet and whose average growing season is about 78 days (compared with over 150 in many areas on the plains), a frost may occur in July. In Pagosa Springs the average growing season is around 105 days give or take a week.

The air drainage phenomenon can make a difference in location of a garden. Gardens in areas where cold air is trapped may have earlier frost kill than gardens even a short distance away. Cold air may be trapped by any obstruction on the down-slope side of a garden, such as a hedge, wall or solid fence. To avoid early cold injury to gardens, do not put hedges, fences and other landscape features where they may obstruct the flow of air.

The real killers, however, are the infrequent but rapid changes from warm, balmy weather to cold, subzero readings. Such freeze injury leaves crippling marks on trees and shrubs for years and serves to eliminate many plants with borderline hardiness. Most severely injured in such freezes are the rapid, lush-growing trees. It's better to select the slower-growing but more reliable plants. To help reduce injuries from such sudden temperature changes, gradually reduce water in late summer and avoid late applications of fertilizers high in nitrogen.

The brighter side

Up to this point, gardeners might want to throw up their hands and say, "What's the use?" But there is a brighter side. Colorado's many days of sunshine, while leading to some problems already mentioned, enables gardeners to grow some of the best flowers in the nation. The high light intensity produces strong-stemmed plants and flowers with extra brilliance.

Vegetables, with some care in variety selection, grow luxuriantly in most locations. Winter sunlight melts snows at lower elevations, reducing snow mold diseases in lawns. Growers of roses, carnations and other greenhouse crops produce some of the best cut flowers in the world.

The cool, crisp nights and warm days produce the nation's best lawns. These same climatic conditions enable the home gardener to produce excellent potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and other cool-season vegetables.

The lower humidity not only helps to make the cold days seem less cold and hot days less hot, but discourages many landscape plant diseases that are common in more humid areas. Perhaps the brightest side lies in the challenging problems in growing plants. Gardeners who are patient, know how to select plants that will do well, and manipulate the soil and microclimate, will be amply rewarded.

Collecting Dust?

Do you have new or used fly fishing rods or tackle collecting dust at your home, in your garage or storage unit? The Archuleta County 4-H Sportsfishing Project is in need of your equipment. Please bring any fly fishing gear you no longer want down the to extension office for local 4-Hers to use to complete their yearly projects. We will even provide you with a donation receipt. The office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have questions, give us a call and we will try to answer them.

4-H judges needed

The Archuleta County 4-H Program is in need of a few more Livestock Record Book Judges to accommodate the increase in 4-H livestock members. Anyone who is familiar with 4-H and livestock is encouraged to volunteer as a record book judge at this year's fair.

The judging is two-fold: an interview with the 4-H member and then judging of the 4-H record book. The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. Each judge is assigned a species: beef, swine, sheep, goat, horse, or rabbit. We provide breakfast and lunch for all the judges on that Sunday. If you are interested, please call Pamela at the Extension office, 264-5931.

Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Catfish stocking in Village Lake this week

By Larry Lynch

PLPOA Environment Manager

The long anticipated catfish stocking for Village Lake will take place by week's end. We plan to stock about 500 individual channel catfish that will average about a pound and plan to stock about the same number next year.

There are two reasons for the catfish introduction: one is to provide another popular recreational fishing opportunity; the second is to introduce another predator into the lake to help control rough fish populations, primarily the western white sucker.

We were a little surprised to learn last year during a fishery survey of the lake that we had a large population of white suckers. We knew some existed, we saw them regularly swimming up the inlet channel in the springtime to spawn, but we did not believe they were a large or significant occupant of the lake. Nobody was catching them and they weren't showing up in many creels.

The fishery survey revealed that, in addition to the expected large yellow perch population, white suckers constituted over 36 percent of the sample by weight. Other species that figure into the Village Lake equation are largemouth bass (16 percent ), yellow perch (39 percent ), green sunfish (4 percent ), bluegill (4 percent ) and black crappie (1 percent ).

A limited number of trout were captured in this sampling effort primarily because it was late in the season and we presumed that most of the trout stocked in Village Lake were harvested by sample time. Village Lake is not stocked as heavily with trout as the other lakes and it has historically been a better warm water fishery.

In order to improve conditions in Village Lake it was determined the addition of another predator to help control the overpopulated yellow perch and white suckers would go a long way in improving the overall fishery and encourage the growth of our popular bass and crappie. It also will help stabilize yellow perch populations, providing for additional size and fewer numbers.

We do have a number of die-hard perch fishermen out here who won't mind if the average perch size goes up even if the numbers go down. We certainly have some success stories in the other lakes, especially Lake Pagosa, where over the past several years we have seen the numbers of rough fish such as yellow perch go way down, yet the size of those fish has dramatically increased. This has been primarily due to the establishment of a solid predator such as the largemouth bass and, in the case of Hatcher Lake, both the largemouth bass and brown trout.

We still have a way to go in controlling rough fish populations but small steps implemented over time and with science behind them can slowly turn things around. The survey work in Village Lake was provided by Queen of the River fishery consultants of Longmont.

Other steps are being taken to help improve the fishery in the four lakes of Pagosa Lakes. Last year, a catch-and-release regulation was implemented at all four lakes for largemouth bass between April 15 and June 15 - the bass' spawning period. This policy has encouraged bass populations, protecting them when they are most vulnerable. The largemouth bass is our most important predator fish.

Another proposal being discussed is the possibility of establishing a slot limit or other catch-and-release regulations at Hatcher Lake next year for both trout and bass. A public meeting has been scheduled 7 p.m. July 13 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse to discuss the proposed Hatcher Lake regulations and a survey form will go out in the upcoming newsletter seeking property owner feedback. More information will come out on these proposed regulations later this month and into the next.

On a separate note, I want to remind everyone about our Pagosa Lakes annual Kid's Fishing Derby, scheduled 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Hatcher Lake. It is a free event and open to any child 16 and under.

We will have prizes for the kids in four different age categories and a hot dog lunch at noon. It should be a fun day on the lake. Make sure to bring a fishing pole, tackle and bait for each child as well as sunscreen and a hat. In addition to the many fish stocked earlier this spring we are going to be bringing in about 450 pounds of 11- to 14-inch rainbow trout to be stocked a day or two before the derby to help make things a little more exciting.

The board of directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will hold its monthly meeting 7 p.m. today.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order.

- Approval of agenda.

- Approval of minutes of May 12 regular board meeting and special meetings of May 18 and May 31.

- General manager's report.

- Public comments.

- Treasurer's report.

- Road committee - Chairman Bill Ralston will either appear in person or furnish a report in writing.

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

Old business

- Senate Bill 05-100: See comments in general manager's report.

- Leash law signs request.

Recurring business:

- Report on the "Property Owners Involvement and Input Initiative" will be given at annual meeting with plans for upcoming year.

- Mail Boxes - due to continuing negotiations with the Postal Service, an update on the status of mailboxes for the subdivisions contained within the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will be given the night of the meeting.

New business:

- Appointments to committees.

- Ratification of ballot issue to amend language contained in Articles of Incorporation as noted in special board meeting minutes of May 18, 2005.

- Ratification of action taken at special board meeting regarding postal boxes as contained in minutes of May 31, 2005.

- Review of Reserve Forecast format to be used for the 2006 budget approval process. Also see notes in general manager's report.

- Discussion of general manager's draft of letter regarding greenbelt acquisition from Fairfield Resort Communities.

- Affirmation of one DCC unprotested find. Correspondence and notice of violation and hearing attached.

- Resignation received from Director Gerald Smith.

- Minutes of Association 2004 annual meeting are attached for review. They will be motioned for acceptance at the 2005 annual meeting.

- Adjournment.

 

Births

Kaeden Randall Thomas

Anika Thomas would like to announce to Pagosa that her baby brother, Kaeden Randall Thomas, was born April 25 at 2:25 am. Parents Nathan and Katrina Thomas were relieved that he waited to be born at Mercy Medical Center shortly after the snowy midnight drive. Kaeden weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 20 inches. Proud grandparents are Ray and Judi Thomas of Sandia Park, N.M. and Ernie and Connie Lacy of Albuquerque, N.M.

 

Obituaries

 

Alden Ecker

Alden Ecker, beloved husband, father and friend, went to be with his savior June 4, 2005, in Tulsa, Okla., bringing to an end a life full of accomplishments.

Having a great thirst for knowledge, Alden approached life with incredible drive and determination to succeed in any endeavor, be it personal or business. He was a leader in every sense of the word, a man of integrity, leaving behind the finest example of good work ethic for the many he influenced.

Alden was born in Smith Center, Kan., spending his early years in nearby Gaylord, Kan. Following his service in the U.S. Army, Alden moved his young family to Oklahoma to pursue a degree in theology from Southern Nazarene University, later earning a master's degree in education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Through the course of his 74 years, Alden pursued many interests and careers, each with the same enthusiasm and dedication. Early he enjoyed a life as a cattle rancher, minister and teacher. In addition, as a private pilot, his love of flying led him to serve as an officer in the Civil Air Patrol.

A man who saw few boundaries, Alden advanced his career, owning and operating several successful businesses, including those in the oil and gas and heavy construction industries. In his later years, Alden and his wife Jo Ann moved to Pagosa Springs, where he retired after serving as a county commissioner of Archuleta County.

Preceding him in death were his parents and a brother, Donald E. Ecker.

Alden is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; sons Collin Keith Ecker, of Pagosa Springs, Alden E. Ecker and wife, Diane, of Geronimo, Texas, and Kenneth L. Ecker of Arcadia, Okla; a daughter, Coleen Magness, of Oklahoma City; a stepdaughter, Gaylynn Catlett, Chattanooga, Tenn.; a sister, Evelyn Slothower, Bethany, Okla., seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Alden was loved and admired by his many friends and family. He will be greatly missed and forever known and remembered by his children and grandchildren as "The Legend."

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Assistance in Healthcare via The Cancer Treatment Centers of America, c/o Administration, 10109 E. 79th, Tulsa Oklahoma 74033.

Services were scheduled 2 p.m. today at Mercer-Adams Chapel in Tulsa, followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery.

 

Edward Iske

Edward Iske, 87, passed away Saturday June 4, 2005, at the Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. Mr. Iske was born June 24, 1917, at St. Joseph, Mo., to George and Frances Iske. He was retired as a superintendent with the U.S. Postal Service. He is survived by two grandsons, Chris and Michael Kelly, of Pagosa Springs. A private memorial service will be held.

Arrangements are under the direction of Pagosa Funeral Options, 421 Lewis St.

 

Richard Maez

Richard Maez, 52, passed away at his home Saturday June 4, 2005. Richard was born June 23, 1952 in Saguache, Colo. to John and Susie Maez. He worked as a mechanic for United Airlines in San Francisco before moving to Pagosa Springs.

He is survived by son Richard Maez Jr. of San Jose, Calif.; brothers, Floyd Maez of Denver and Barry Maez of Greeley.

Funeral services will be held in Denver with burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

 

Paul J. Medlock

Paul James Medlock, 86, passed away Sunday June 5, 2005, at the Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. He was born in Wright County, Mo.

He is survived by three sons. Paul James Medlock of Baltimore, Md., Michael Medlock of Wenden, Ariz., and Joe Medlock of Fresno, Calif.; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren; two sisters, Mary Card of Arizona and Joan Lenhart of Illinois.

Paul was a longtime commercial pilot and was also a pilot instructor. He was a bush pilot in Alaska. He owned and operated a mine in Nevada. He was a resident of several states in his lifetime: Missouri, California, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska and Colorado.

He will be buried in the Robinette Cemetery near Hartville, Mo., beside his parents.

 Business News
Welcoming Service celebrates 30 years

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

They've been welcoming new Pagosans for three decades, and last Monday, past and present greeters from the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service celebrated their 30th anniversary in grand style with a private, four-course luncheon at JJ's Upstream restaurant.

Lyn Delange, owner of the welcoming service said it was a time to have fun, to share memories and to thank her greeters who have made newly-arrived Pagosans feel welcome during the last 30 years.

Although 14 greeters were invited and 12 ultimately attended, the welcoming service has never run with that large a crew at one time.

In fact, when the business began in 1975, DeLange was the only greeter and Pagosa Springs was a much different place.

"I started it back in 1975. At that time there were 21 homes and 75 people in Fairfield," DeLange said.

She said she quickly learned that when new couples arrived in Pagosa, the husbands thought they had died and gone to hunting and fishing heaven. Their wives on the other hand, didn't always share the same sentiments.

She said she wanted to start a business that could get these women interested in Pagosa, that would keep them in town and would help them become involved in the community. Shopping was her solution, and the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service was born.

Working with then publisher of The SUN, Glenn Edmonds, as a mentor, DeLange created a business with two goals in mind: making newcomers feel truly welcome and encouraging newcomers to shop locally.

DeLange said her message created then, and continuing now, is that supporting local businesses is integral to creating and keeping a vibrant and dynamic economic and social community. Local businesses stay in business, tax dollars stay in the area and in the end the community reaps benefits and the dollars spent come full circle, DeLange said.

"When you shop locally," DeLange said, "everyone's a winner."

For the first 18 years, DeLange worked on her own as the only greeter. The number of newcomers arriving during that time was manageable, but by 1989 she saw the number of arrivals steadily climbing.

In 1989 she made 193 welcome calls. By 1993 she hit nearly 250, and by 2001 she broke the 500 mark.

Her staff has increased to manage the influx of people, and now she employs three greeters to roll out Pagosa's red carpet.

She said her business strategy is simple - provide a service people can use, staffed by the best possible people she can find.

To that end, the welcoming service hand-delivers a local information packet full of coupons for goods and services in the area. The packet is delivered during an hour-long, get acquainted session, with the newcomer and the greeter.

The packet includes everything from church directories and listings of nonprofit organizations, to lists of health care providers, to coupons for discounts at restaurants, automotive services, ski rental, propane, to dry cleaning and investment and banking services.

The greeter is also a resource who can probably tell you where to recycle those two-liter plastic bottles or where to take a day-hike on the weekend. And if they don't have the answer, they'll find out and call you back.

DeLange said the welcome packets are important, but it is the greeters and their personal investments of time who are the heart of her business.

She said welcoming services can be found across the country and around the world, but these days many aren't willing to invest the time to make that one-on-one contact.

"Some agencies lack the personal touch, they leave the packages on the door. That's not us, no way!" DeLange said.

That personal touch has been the hallmark of her business, and that's why she recruits the best and the brightest in the community.

She said she seeks women who are sharp, engaging and have great people skills and she trusts them to do what they do best.

One look around the room and the proof was in the pudding. Of the 12 past and present greeters attending, all had gone on to positions of success and leadership in the community.

And that is a tradition DeLange said she hopes to continue for another 10 years.

In the end, her business is about business, but it is also about service.

"It's about service to the community and service to people. I'm looking forward to the fortieth anniversary," DeLange said.

 

Chamber News

Can you give Pagosa a new creative 'tag line'?

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I gave everyone a week's reprieve from a busy schedule; now you have to pay the price!

Actually, it is the Chamber this week that is in the spotlight, with all the upcoming activities and plans we are working on. So let's just get right into all the information.

Pagosa in four words?

You've heard and seen phrases called "tag lines" describing Pagosa: "The Best of Colorado," "A Paradise for all Seasons" and more. Well, now you can try your hand at naming this beautiful place where you live. We are looking to create a "brand" concept for our community.

For example, here are some communities that capitalize on a characteristic of their area: Durango is home to the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad; Mancos calls itself "The Gateway to Mesa Verde"; Alamosa is "In the Middle of Everything"; and Grand Junction is "Colorado's Wine Country."

Can you come up with a tag line that describes Pagosa? What makes this community different than all the other Colorado towns that are also beautiful? We would like your input. We are in the process of determining the prizes should we choose a local's "tag line." When you create a brand or tag line, remember the following points: Can this tag line be expanded upon with a number of activities in the area; is it visual, is it simple; does it describe Pagosa and not just another town in Colorado; does it create an image in the viewers mind?

Submit your idea to the Chamber of Commerce or give me a call and I will try to answer any questions you may have. Who knows, you could create the next marketing term for our community and it could be fun!

Adopt those lampposts

We had a bit of a cool snap, but that won't deter us from getting the hanging baskets out, hopefully within the next week. Along with the hanging baskets beautifying our community we have one more opportunity to enhance our town.

We already have quite a few parents out there, but this is your opportunity to "adopt a lamppost." With only five slots remaining, you can get the credit of being an adoptive parent for two years with your name on a plaque at the Chamber identifying your lamppost and then the Chamber will do all the hard work of taking care of the "child." Throughout the downtown area these colorful banners with a Potentilla flower will adorn the street lights.

The Chamber will put up the hardware and hang the banner, perform any repairs should the weather take a toll on the flags, and clean and store the banners until the following year. Adoptions are open to individuals or businesses and the cost of adopting a lamppost is only $225 for a two-year period. The process is simple: Stop by the Chamber and fill out the paperwork or give us a call and we can fax you the forms. This is just another great way to show your town spirit and beautify Pagosa all at the same time. This summer is going to be so lovely and we should be proud of our town. I look forward to interviewing prospective parents!

Events and Community

We really have some great events out there to celebrate our community. We have Winterfest, Colorfest, July 4 activities, the Archuleta County Fair, Music in the Mountains and so much more.

One event that has grown significantly through the years is The Four Corners Folk Festival, held over the Labor Day weekend. This event has grown in terms of the stature of musical artists who play at the concert as well as in the number of people attending the festival.

This year, Crista Munro and I would like to meet with retailers, restaurant owners and lodgers to see how we can make this event better for the festival, the businesses and the community.

Every year at Labor Day time the Chamber also encourages retailers to participate in the annual Sidewalk Sale. Related businesses will receive notices to attend the following meetings: Retailers at 5:30-7 p.m. and restaurants 2-4 p.m. Monday, June 20. Both meetings will be held here at the Chamber. I hope many of you will be able to attend. We want good things for our community and prosperity for the businesses here. We need input in order to move forward and make events such as the Folk Festival even bigger and better for our community. Should you have any questions and cannot attend, but would like to give your input, please call me at the Chamber, 264-2360.

Other events

Just a reminder: The Chamber newsletter will be coming out soon with lots of interesting information. There are training tips on "how tos" for customer service that I hope you will read and share with your staff. I cannot encourage you enough to look at the business inserts. There are businesses that have moved, there are new businesses (one of them may be just what you have been looking for), and some of the businesses are offering specials. Don't miss this quarter's Chamber Communiqué!

Now is the time to sign up children for the library's 2005 summer reading program: "Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds." The program started June 7 and will continue through July 12. The themed programs of stories, crafts, activities and games are 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and will last about an hour. Children will have an exciting time learning about dragons, castles, knights, unicorns, and royalty. The programs are free to all children, you can register throughout the program at the temporary library at 269 Pagosa St. in the lower level of the Humane Society Thrift Store, or you can call the library at 264-2209. What an exciting theme the library staff and volunteers have planned for our youngsters this year!

There will be two picnics Saturday. The first, sponsored by the First Baptist Men's Ministry Group, will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs, cake and lemonade will be served to all local community kids and families. The picnic will be held in South Pagosa Park where there's a lot of room to play. For more information, contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

The second picnic is sponsored by the Archuleta County Republican Party and is their annual outing. Scheduled this year at Steve Jaramillo's ranch in Arboles, it will honor veterans and our military troops in Iraq and their families. The picnic begins 2 p.m. For more information contact Melanie Kelley, Republican committee chair, at 731-9956.

Don't forget to get your reservations in now for the Chimney Rock full moon programs. The next is a heavy hitter - the Summer Solstice and full moon June 21. Space is limited and reservations are required. Please call Chimney Rock offices at 264-2287 to reserve your space.

Membership

Lots of renewals this week, starting with Alan Ivie with Arrow Mountain and Dave Maley with Davis Engineering Services, Inc. We also welcome back The Pinewood Inn and Charles Craig, and Pagosa Health and Fitness Center: The Club. They are joined by Cool Pines RV Park.

Welcome back to Lavonne Wilson and Home Again and Willie Swanda and Crazy Horse Outfitter.

Another returnee is Harmony Works Organic Café and last but not least is another downtown mainstay: The Rose Restaurant owned by Jerry Fankel.

I just want everyone to know I'm sure that I have gained at least 10 pounds eating my way through Pagosa since I took this job. Thanks guys! When I catered I wasn't eager to eat my own food. Now I go out and enjoy everyone else's. We are lucky to have so many fine and fun places to eat. Thank you to all for supporting the Chamber.

 

Biz Beat

Satori Boutique and Gifts

Michele Smith owns and operates Satori Boutique and Gifts at 150 Pagosa St., in front of the Old Town Village Mall. Satori Boutique and Gifts welcomes you to the new location, in the same building as Artmesia Botanicals.

Satori reflects Michele's love of travel and her desire to help artisans from Third World countries. Working with other companies and their own wholesale clothing company that imports from Nepal and India creates one big circle where artisans globally receive proper livelihood and local consumers benefit from handcrafted goods.

Come explore the many unique offerings - from gifts, handicrafts and clothing to jewelry, instruments and home decor items - at Pagosa's most eclectic shop.

Satori Boutique and Gifts is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call 264-9227.

 

Artemisia Botanicals

Jennie Blechman, clinical herbalist, owns and operates Artemisia Botanicals, now located at 150 Pagosa St.

Artemisia Botanicals is in its fifth year of providing Pagosans with high-quality, handcrafted organic and wild harvested herbal medicine and luscious natural body care products - most made in house. Only the best organic ingredients or wild harvested plants gathered by the Artemisia staff are used.

The professional staff is happy to assist customers with general health questions and a certified clinical herbalist is available for consultation, by appointment.

Artemisia Botanicals is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 264-1150.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
Garage sale

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who donated items for the garage sale a couple of weeks ago. It was so overwhelming to see so many come out and donate. Then, the garage sale itself was just amazing.

We were so glad that Mike and Muriel Hayward, Carol and Donna were there to help. To Patsy Harvey, also, you did a lot of footwork and phoning. Thank you all.

We would also like to thank the Paint Connection for donating the portable hot tub. We did a raffle for it; also to Maria at Happy Trails for donating new coats to be raffled.

Once again, we can't thank you enough. The community just comes out and helps so much for people they don't even know.

Rachel and Mark Howe

 Appreciation

Frances and I want to express our sincere appreciation to each of you for all of your thoughtfulness during my recent illness. Your cards prayers, gifts and phone calls were gratefully received. I feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful and caring friends.

I am presently convalescing at home, and will remain under doctors' care for the next several months. I will also need to undergo an extended rehabilitation program that will begin next month. I am looking forward to the time when I can again be involved as an active member of our community

Sincerely,

Richard Wholf

 Proud service

I would like to thank all the volunteer members of Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Inc. who turned out during the week of May 22- 29. This was a very busy week for us, and you responded on incidents every day of the week, including four days of sandbagging operations, one river rescue and two missing person searches.

I want to thank all of you for your time, sore muscles, and for putting up with the endless phone calls from me requesting your help. Your willingness to take time away from your busy schedules in order to help others made me proud to be a member of this community.

I would also like to thank the newly-formed Pagosa chapter of the American Red Cross for organizing meals, the local restaurants that donated these meals, the employers who allowed our volunteers to take time off from their jobs, and the following organizations for giving us the opportunity to work with you: Pagosa Fire Protection District, Archuleta County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Mounted Rescue, Inc.

Tim Schreyer

interim chairman

Upper San Juan Search And Rescue, Inc.

 Care from home

We, the Earley family, would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the individuals and organizations who have sent care packages, correspondence and continued prayer for our son, L.Cpl. Jared Earley, USMC, serving in Iraq.

A special thanks to Our Savior Lutheran Church and school. Jared says in the midst of this war it is so uplifting to receive items from his homeland.

The Earley family

 Softball program

The Pagosa Springs Girls Softball organization would like to thank all its sponsors for making the program available. They include Lone Pine Custom Millworks, Whispering Pines, Envelopment Architecture, orthodontist Vaughn Johnson, Pagosa Baking Company, Wolf Creek Interiors, Pagosa Dental, Pagosa Electrical Service, Harold Thompson DDS, Ears 2U Hearing, S.W. Silver Gallery, PowerHouse, KWUF, Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation and the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs, The Tile Store, Paint Connection Plus and Southwest Custom Builders.

If you'd like to sponsor a team, call 803-8878.

 

Weddings

 

Jackl-Sarnow

Jamie Jackl, daughter of Joe and Ginny Jackl of Custer, S.D., and Pierre Sarnow, son of Stuart and Marcella Sarnow of Pagosa Springs, were married Dec. 18, 2004, in Custer with Father Don Highberger officiating. The new Mrs. Sarnow is a 1999 graduate of Custer High School and of University of Northern Colorado in 2003. She is an eighth-grade math teacher in Lakewood, Colo. Her groom is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and of Colorado School of Mines in Golden in 2003. He is an engineer in Lakewood.

 

Locals

Scott Hollenbeck earns master of divinity degree

Former Pagosa Springs businessman Scott Hollenbeck has successfully completed three years of study and, on May 17, received a master of divinity degree from Episcopal Theological Seminar of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.

In addition to the academics, Hollenbeck completed clinical pastoral education at University Hospital, Denver; immersion ministries at Crossroads Ministry in Atlanta, Ga., an inner city ministry working with the homeless, and immersion ministries in New Mexico and Mexico.

His field education was at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, Texas, where he participated and trained in all aspects of church ministry.

In preparation for ordination, he will serve in the San Luis Valley under the Rev. Warren Hicks and here in Pagosa Springs, at St. Patrick's, under the Rev. Robert Pope.

Scott is most grateful to be reunited with his wife, Dawn, and daughter Kara and the Pagosa community.

 

Pagosan teaching in Dulce awarded $7,000 fellowship

Sharilyn Smith, a Pagosa Springs resident teaching English at Dulce High School in Dulce, N.M., has been awarded a $7,000 Middlebury College grant to attend Bread Loaf School of English at the University of Alaska in Juneau this summer.

The grant, in conjunction with Educational Testing Service, is the fourth for Smith who is working on a master's degree in literature.

"Bread Loaf has radically changed the way I teach," said Smith. "I know what it takes to produce good writers, and the authentic audience of students writing to students about literature makes students attend to detail and write more than they would otherwise."

Smith has taught in Dulce three and a half years, after seven years in Colorado schools before her move to Pagosa Springs.

She is also a recent nominee to Who's Who Among American Teachers.

 

Montgomery Sharp

Montgomery Sharp is a recent graduate of Colorado State University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

The son of Cynthia Sharp and a Pagosa Springs High School graduate, he is currently employed by JP Morgan Chase in their executive management training program in Phoenix, Ariz.

 

Sports Page

Girls 8-12 can sign now for ASA softball

Southwest Colorado ASA Girls Softball is now registering girls 8-12 for the second summer season of fastpitch softball.

All interested girls and parents are invited to a team/coach meeting 6:30 p.m. today in the community center.

You can meet the coaches and the board of directors and get signed up to play.

Pagosa will play the Durango Lady Demons 6 p.m. Monday at the high school field.

 

Pine Cone Classic set July 11-13

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pine Cone Classic, traditionally the big event of the year for the Pagosa Women's Golf Association, has been scheduled July 11-13.

This year's tournament will have a new format: It is now for teams of two women who play a best ball gross and net.

The Pine Cone Classic has attracted 110 to 124 participants annually and the co-chairs for this year's event - Marilyn Pruter and Doe Stringer - expect another great turnout for the tournament.

All inquiries about the tournament and requests for registration forms should be directed to Pruter at tornadolynn@juno.com or call 731-2119.

 

Gymnasts hog-tie awards at Wild West tune-up for state

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa gymnasts completed their final preliminary competition before the June 25 state championships by vying successfully in the 11-team Western Slope Championships Wild West Roundup last weekend in Grand Junction.

And success is the right word, proven by the load of awards wending its way back to Pagosa Springs.

The Level 4 team competed in the opening session, bringing home the fourth place trophy.

"I can't stress how proud I am of these girls," said coach Jennifer Martin. "In this event the top three scores were taken for each event to calculate the team score.

"This means, for example, that the Grand Junction team with 12 girls competing was able to take the three highest scores of their top 12 in each event. Thus they could choose gymnasts who excelled in a single event whereas, on our team of just three, each score must count."

And count, they did.

Becky Riedberger brought home the silver medal in the 12-plus all-around with a 36.50 based on a 9 or more in every event. She was second in floor with 9.1, second on bars at 9.2 and third on beam at 9.2.

Satara Vanderbeek also reached the 9 plateau in every event, placing third in the all-around for 10-year-olds with a 36.50. She was second on beam at 9.3 and third in floor with 9.0.

Caitlin Cameron was sixth of 14 in the 11-year-old group with a consistent meet scoring in high 8s on every event.

Optional A Team had a solid performance despite high scoring member Danielle Pajak being unable to complete competition because of an injury. After three events it was decided she should drop out and heal before state competition.

Toni Stoll stepped up and beat her personal best all-around with a 34.90, placing her second in the 8-10 division. She was floor champion with 9.1, third on bars with 8.6 and fourth of vault with an 8.90.

Gabrielle Pajak placed fourth in all-around with 34.30 and third on vault with a 9.0. There were 13 total competitors in the bracket.

Re'Ahna Ray brought home silver in the all-around competing against 20 gymnasts in the 11-12 age group and notching a 35.20 total. She was beam champion with 9.1 and placed well in every event.

Casey Crow again bettered her last competition placing fifth all-around in the teen division with a score of 35.0. She place third on both bars and beam.

Shelby Stretton, working in Optional B against 10 other girls in the 13-plus division was third with 35.10.

"Shelby amazes me," the coach said, "in that she places so well despite a few major errors. She's so smooth the errors seem to fall aside."

In this meet Stretton was second in vault with a personal best of 9.45 and third on bars at 8.3.

 

'Choose Your Nine' gives lady golfers a new way to score

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

What a deal!

"Choose your Nine" was the format for Pagosa Women's Golf Association League Day May 24.

The women played the Meadows and Pinon courses with a par rating of 72. After the round, each player chose her best two par 3 scores, her best two par 5 scores, and her best four par 4 holes from the 18 holes. The scores from these nine holes were then totaled, less one half of each player's handicap, for an aggregate total.

Linda Duplissey was first with a 24; Barbara Sanborn and Barb Lang tied for second with 28; and there was a three way tie for fourth at 29 by Sue Martin, Marilyn Smart and Carrie Weisz.

The following week's league day featured a scramble format with teams comprised of A, B, C and D players.

In this format, all players on each team hit a drive and the best is chosen; then all players on each team hit the second shot. After the best second shot is selected, all players hit a third shot and so on, until the team reaches the green.

All players then get to putt until the ball is holed out. Each team player has to have at least one drive per nine holes. The ladies played the Meadows and Ponderosa courses which have a par rating of 71.

First place went to Barbara Sanborn, Audrey Johnson, Linda Duplissey and Claudia Johnson with a 73. Jan Kilgore, Barb Lang, Lyn Mollet and Jay Wilson were second with a 74.

A general meeting and lunch followed at the Greenskeeper restaurant at Pagosa Golf Club.

Forrest low gross in two men's events

By Larry Waddell

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Men's Golf League played low gross and low net May 25 with Truett Forrest's 74 the low gross winner and Ray Kilgore the low net winner at 67.

A two-man Chapman format was played June 1.

Low gross winners at 73 were Forrest and Dennis Yerton. Low net winners at 62 was the team of John Bower and Warren Grams.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Successful team represents all its many members

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

It takes more than the players on the court or the field of play to make a winning team. It takes the whole team to contribute to a winning program.

A team is like an iceberg. You see the starters on the court, but underneath it all is that big, wide, strong base, the rest of the team. This is the part of the team that builds the character of a lasting winner. The more dedicated the player on the bench, the harder they work, the more they push and strengthen the starting player in practice, the better the team becomes.

If the player on the bench quits, doesn't give their all, or becomes complacent in their position on the team, they erode that strong team base and erode the character of the team.

The player on the bench must be always be mentally into every game, cheering, watching, waiting, and hoping, sometimes agonizingly, for that chance to use their special skill to better the team effort, to help build the character of the team. They may even be the player who's hurt but working twice as hard to be physically fit in time to play in the playoffs.

Even more important they may be the person on the bench the starting player looks to late in the game when they are hurting, out of breath, and burning inside for that spirit, that push, that enthusiasm, and that love necessary to make the big play and win the match for the whole team.

When the match is over, when the season ends and all the fans and sports writers are talking about the top of the iceberg, the stars and heroes, the players will know that the real winner is the team, the whole iceberg, especially the base - the players on the bench who build the character of the program and help to make the team a lasting winner.

Adult softball

Adult Softball will be starting Monday (men's league) and Wednesday (coed league). If by chance you have missed all previous information concerning the adult softball leagues and are still trying to reserve a spot for your team, please call 264-4151, Ext. 232 immediately. Schedules will be ready for pick-up by all previously signed-up teams by noon Friday.

Rockies Skills Challenge

Young baseball fans can exhibit their baseball skills when Pagosa Springs Recreation Department hosts a Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge competition at the Pagosa Springs Sports Complex 10 a.m. Saturday. The competition is free and open to boys and girls 6-13. Boys and girls have separate divisions. Age classification is as of Dec. 31.

Rockies Baseball Skills challenge is a baseball competition that allows youngsters to showcase their talents in base running, batting and throwing with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. Top scorers from each age group advance to a sectional competition. All interested players should be at the Sports Complex by 9:30 a.m. .Saturday.

Baseball underway

Pagosa Springs 6-8 Coach-Pitch, 9-10 Mustang, 11-12 Bronco and 13-14 Pony baseball leagues have begun and will continue through the end of June. The Department still seeks 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, please go the soccer practice field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School football stadium 6 p.m. every Tuesday. If you need additional information call the Town of Pagosa Springs Recreation Department and have your name placed on our team lists.

Sports Hotline

Information concerning the 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 recreation department adult or youth sports programs, contact me at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Pagosa Springs Parks

Plan now for your July 4 celebration

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

It is time for the public to start 4th of July planning. The Town of Pagosa Springs is readying a huge celebration.

Many families have established traditions, from the spot from which they observe the parade to where they watch the fireworks, among others.

We at parks and recreation are also trying to establish tradition and it looks like the fireworks will stay in town again this year. We anticipate the event being held at the Sports Complex for years to come.

Also, the fireworks show will be July 4. I don't believe it has ever been on any other date.

We are accepting donations to offset the cost of the fireworks and entertainment. We anticipate a pledge from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, and are awaiting word from Fairfield-Cendant (Fairfield Pagosa). If you or your company would like to make a donation, feel free to call me at 264-4151, Ext. 231

We are always at the mercy of weather conditions and drought, wind and rain have all been factors in years past. For the time being drought and fire danger do not seem to be a problem.

This year's holiday events include:

- The annual Fourth of July Parade, 10 a.m., sponsored by Rotary Club.

- Siebrand's Shows Carnival from Chandler, Ariz.

- Park-to-Park Art Fair in Town Park and Centennial Park along the Riverwalk sponsored by Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

- Picnic in the Park, Kiwanis Club sponsoring at the Sports Complex, times to be announced.

- Games in the Park, Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation, 6-8 p.m. at the Sports Complex

- Music in the Park with Pagosa Hot Strings, 7 p.m.-dark, sponsored by Chamber of Commerce.

- Fireworks at dusk, sponsored by Town of Pagosa Springs/Fairfield-Cendant.

- Music and dance following fireworks at the Sports Complex until midnight.

Parking and traffic at the fireworks display area has always been a problem and we are working with the Pagosa Springs Police Department, Colorado Mounted Rangers, and Kiwanis to help improve the situation.

Park Fun

Park Fun is completing its first full week of "Summer 2005." We have had as many as 45 participants and as few as 20 on our daily charts. Our veteran crew plans out a full summer of fun; special thanks go out to Becca Blauert for all the time and effort put into this year's program.

Anyone wishing to enroll can do so by going to the Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Enter from the Pagosa Street side, and go up the hall toward the gymnasiums. You will see where all the action is taking place and can sign up your child. Forms and registration can be filled 7:45-8:15 a.m. weekdays. Bring a water bottle, lunch, sunscreen, swimsuit and a towel, and you are ready for Park Fun. We issue lockers, so all the supplies can be saved for your child's use.

Horse camp

The Kiwanis Club is sponsoring an afternoon of fun 1-4 p.m. Sunday with a horse camp at Sue Liescheidt's home. Directions: Go west on U.S. 160 to Aspen Springs, take a right on Oak Drive, drive a half mile to the first house on the right, (545 Oak).

Please RSVP by noon Saturday by calling Carolyn at 264-6465 or Debbie at 731-9253.

Free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be provided; parents are encouraged to bring a side dish or desert. Also bring folding chairs and prepare for the weather.

Sports Complex update

The numbers for the first phase of the project have come in a lot higher than expected. We met with Morgan Sykes of Davis Engineering Service and Mark Di Lucido of Signet Environmental, Inc. to try to scale down some of the park to a new phase that, when complete, would include a plaza area, soccer field and youth baseball field.

We could receive the new budget any day, then grading and drainage work can begin, hopefully done by the town's street department crew in cooperation with Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department.

A very big boost to our project is the donation of up to 2,000 cubic yards of topsoil by Aspen Village Partnership; the short haul and the availability of the topsoil is great timing for our project. Special thanks to Mike Church for the offer.

My goal is to see sod down in time to set for mid-September use. The Pagosa Springs High School soccer team and our community youth soccer programs could benefit by using the fields this year if we stay on schedule.

The added turf could open the door for a youth flag football league, adult soccer leagues and possibly a fall softball league; once we have the turf space, the possibilities are endless.

 

Editorial

Time to bite the bullet

Last week's meeting concerning plans regarding the county road system - the first of two scheduled - proved informative. Not only did the meeting reveal indications of what Archuleta County might do, and not do, relative to road maintenance and plowing, it highlighted some of our persistent, wasteful attitudes and illuminated an approach many have advocated for some time - the need for groups of people united by common interest to take the initiative and solve their problems, their own way.

The list of roads tentatively advanced at the meeting for maximum county attention is short, its brevity purportedly made necessary by economic realities. There is, it is said, not enough money available to do much more than the plan entails.

That revelation brings out two of our most wasteful ideas - they lead nowhere; they squander time and energy and produce only a low-level background noise.

First is the notion held by some residents of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions that the town of Pagosa Springs is, in part, responsible for the inability of the county to deal with road problems. Why? Because, they say, the town and county split sales tax revenues 50-50. "We pay the lion's share of those revenues," goes the argument, weakened by the fact a significant portion of sales tax is paid by visitors, "and we deserve the lion's share of the return." Much the same is heard in another form: "We pay a large percentage of the property tax in the county, we deserve that same percentage back." These arguments ignore fundamental facts. First, since the town is now a home rule entity, that the municipality is generous in splitting sales tax evenly. It could easily go point-of-sale (with the vast majority of sales tax collected inside town limits) taking more than 50 percent of a portion of the total. And it could exceed the state limit on sales tax within town boundaries.

The argument regarding property tax is specious given that residents of the town pay county property tax yet get little in return from the county in terms of street maintenance. Metro districts such as Aspen Springs and Alpha assess tax to maintain and plow their roads, while property owners pay their taxes to the county.

Then, like someone backing up again and again to run over the same bit of road kill, there are those who dwell on failures in the use of Fairfield settlement monies. How soon will these complaints bear fruit? How effective have they been thus far? Give it up, and get to the situation at hand.

The solution, like it or not, begins with paying more. The question is how much, and to what entity, we pay more in order to get what we want. To muddle about, wasting time on dead-end avenues is to allow our road problem to grow worse and the cost of solutions to increase. People knew years ago the problem was worsening and many fought the idea of forming districts to deal with it .

The answer, like it or not, is to vote to pay an increased county mill levy or to form districts, elect boards, fix the roads and assess ourselves for upkeep and plowing. With a sensible approach to the type of roads we need - i.e. in accord with the fact we live in a rural setting - we can pull ourselves out of this mess. We should have done it years ago and saved ourselves this greater grief. It is time to bite the bullet, seek whatever compromise is possible in the proposed plan, stop dragging our feet, decide what we want, vote on it and move on. Wait any longer, and the cost will grow greater yet.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Seeing town change from above

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

A glen filled with wildflowers stood behind me while just across the valley one could see and hear the heavy equipment removing a downtown building.

It was the first of many such structures apparently facing the same end.

It had housed the original version of the Pack Rack, the local Humane Society's outlet store. It had housed a shirt sales facility and animal grooming unit.

It was once home to a division of LaPlata Electric, but now all that remains is a pile of rubble.

This is not an essay on what will happen to Pagosa Springs as new development leads it along a different path.

It is, perhaps, more a mosaic of memory of what Pagosa Springs was and what it may become.

The viewpoint for the above observation was Reservoir Hill and the many town-maintained trails thereon, trails that provide exercise, challenge and beauty right here inside town limits.

Again, in retrospect, it was once a regular picnic area for townspeople. The road to the top was not closed until it became a hangout for illegal activities by youth - and some older members - of the community.

It has become home to secluded trails where the cares of the day can be lost at least momentarily in the silence of a robin soaring above or a squirrel standing stock still until it sees if you are a threat. The hill is home to deer, foxes, most likely a bear or two and, in season elk, owls and other wildlife more normally associated with remote areas than with unfettered life in a growing community.

From the heights one can see up most of the regional valleys, pick out homes which were not there a year or two ago, and see where new growth has cut into the landscape even if no buildings are yet under construction.

From Trail 14 up the back side of the hill, one traverses a series of switchbacks designed to make the several hundred foot rise easier to handle.

And, as you go up, a scampering in the underbrush freezes your step. You don't see anything, but suddenly there is a new element to the leisure walk. From across the eastern valley comes the unfettered voice of a rodeo announcer ... "Nice try Linda. Next up is Randy." If that is not a nuance from the past, what is?

As I stood looking down on the community, remembering its past and wondering about what view I'll see in the future, I suddenly felt I might be like one of the Native Americans who gave the town its name.

Picture one of them atop the hill as the military contingent moved in to establish Fort Lewis here. Wonder how you say "there goes the neighborhood" in whatever native tongue was prevalent at the time. Perhaps it was many melded into an amalgam of tongues.

And what about those who came in after the soldiers, established support businesses, and founded their future on military needs, only to see the fort move on?

Who knows what we'll see from the hill next month or next year. How many more buildings with a part of Pagosa's past entwined in their rafters will have fallen by then?

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of June 11, 1915

Prosperity is plainly the order of the day in Pagosa - how else can we account for the virulent epidemic of that luxury of luxuries, the auto.

Both the Methodist and Baptist churches are being renovated inside with varnish, kalsomine, etc.

The finest and biggest celebration in the history of Pagosa will be held here July 1, 2 and 3. The committees have arranged for everything in the way of sports and entertainments and are expecting to take care of the biggest crowd ever seen in the county.

The Hill Top Cemetery Association hereby extends a cordial invitation to all citizens of Archuleta County to meet at said grounds Wednesday for the purpose of cleaning up the grounds.

 

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 13, 1930

The Pagosa baseball boys donned their fine new suits Sunday intending to mop up with Monero, but the latter team failed to make its appearance. However, a practice game was indulged in to the enjoyment of all attending.

A load of buckshot, administered in the proper anatomical portion might aid in eliminating considerable petty pilfering of cars in this city. During the past week-end gasoline, tires, tools, robes and other equipment were stolen from numerous cars.

A group of geological students and instructors from the Texas School of Technology are at present camped in Pagosa Springs while on a summer's tour of southern Colorado in connection with their course.

 

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 10, 1955

Official word was received from the Colorado State Patrol last week-end that a Courtesy Patrolman would be assigned to Pagosa Springs as a permanent station. This project had been one that several local people and organizations had worked on for some years. The stationing of a patrolman here has long been needed and will be a big help in traffic law enforcement.

The road crew has been busy finishing putting crushed gravel on all the county roads in this area. This is surely a great help and will be more so during winter when the side roads become nearly impassable. The community is grateful to all responsible for this work.

 

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 12, 1980

A drilling rig moved in last weekend and is now drilling two more wells as part of a proposed geothermal heating project. The wells will have a maximum depth of 300 feet, or less if sufficient hot water is encountered before that. They are located along the river in back of the court house.

The San Juan River through town is at its high point thus far this year and warmer weather this week may cause it to rise some more.

The school board hired four teachers, established a counselor position for the middle school and briefly discussed future building plans for the local district. This was the first meeting for the new superintendent, Terry Alley.

 

Features
Welcoming Service celebrates 30 years

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

They've been welcoming new Pagosans for three decades, and last Monday, past and present greeters from the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service celebrated their 30th anniversary in grand style with a private, four-course luncheon at JJ's Upstream restaurant.

Lyn Delange, owner of the welcoming service said it was a time to have fun, to share memories and to thank her greeters who have made newly-arrived Pagosans feel welcome during the last 30 years.

Although 14 greeters were invited and 12 ultimately attended, the welcoming service has never run with that large a crew at one time.

In fact, when the business began in 1975, DeLange was the only greeter and Pagosa Springs was a much different place.

"I started it back in 1975. At that time there were 21 homes and 75 people in Fairfield," DeLange said.

She said she quickly learned that when new couples arrived in Pagosa, the husbands thought they had died and gone to hunting and fishing heaven. Their wives on the other hand, didn't always share the same sentiments.

She said she wanted to start a business that could get these women interested in Pagosa, that would keep them in town and would help them become involved in the community. Shopping was her solution, and the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service was born.

Working with then publisher of The SUN, Glenn Edmonds, as a mentor, DeLange created a business with two goals in mind: making newcomers feel truly welcome and encouraging newcomers to shop locally.

DeLange said her message created then, and continuing now, is that supporting local businesses is integral to creating and keeping a vibrant and dynamic economic and social community. Local businesses stay in business, tax dollars stay in the area and in the end the community reaps benefits and the dollars spent come full circle, DeLange said.

"When you shop locally," DeLange said, "everyone's a winner."

For the first 18 years, DeLange worked on her own as the only greeter. The number of newcomers arriving during that time was manageable, but by 1989 she saw the number of arrivals steadily climbing.

In 1989 she made 193 welcome calls. By 1993 she hit nearly 250, and by 2001 she broke the 500 mark.

Her staff has increased to manage the influx of people, and now she employs three greeters to roll out Pagosa's red carpet.

She said her business strategy is simple - provide a service people can use, staffed by the best possible people she can find.

To that end, the welcoming service hand-delivers a local information packet full of coupons for goods and services in the area. The packet is delivered during an hour-long, get acquainted session, with the newcomer and the greeter.

The packet includes everything from church directories and listings of nonprofit organizations, to lists of health care providers, to coupons for discounts at restaurants, automotive services, ski rental, propane, to dry cleaning and investment and banking services.

The greeter is also a resource who can probably tell you where to recycle those two-liter plastic bottles or where to take a day-hike on the weekend. And if they don't have the answer, they'll find out and call you back.

DeLange said the welcome packets are important, but it is the greeters and their personal investments of time who are the heart of her business.

She said welcoming services can be found across the country and around the world, but these days many aren't willing to invest the time to make that one-on-one contact.

"Some agencies lack the personal touch, they leave the packages on the door. That's not us, no way!" DeLange said.

That personal touch has been the hallmark of her business, and that's why she recruits the best and the brightest in the community.

She said she seeks women who are sharp, engaging and have great people skills and she trusts them to do what they do best.

One look around the room and the proof was in the pudding. Of the 12 past and present greeters attending, all had gone on to positions of success and leadership in the community.

And that is a tradition DeLange said she hopes to continue for another 10 years.

In the end, her business is about business, but it is also about service.

"It's about service to the community and service to people. I'm looking forward to the fortieth anniversary," DeLange said.

 

Mutton busters urged to sign up

for Red Ryder Roundup event

Calling all mutton busters.

The Red Ryder Roundup is less than a month away and local youngsters are urged to sign up for one of the rodeo's favorite events: mutton busting.

Contestants in the mutton busting event must be 6 years old or younger and must complete and submit an entry form by Friday, June 24 in order to compete.

This year, there will be 12 riders per day on July 2, 3 and 4, and there will be prizes for all contestants. First-place winners will receive belt buckles, all others will receive a trophy.

There is no entry fee for the mutton busting event. Helmets, vests and ropes are provided at no charge to each rider.

Entrants will be selected in a draw to be held Monday, June 27, and will be notified by telephone of the day they will ride.

See the ads in this week's SUN and PREVIEW for an entry form.

 

Advanced weather spotter training

set in Cortez

An advanced weather spotter training class, provided as a free service by the National Weather Service, will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. June 22 in the Cortez Journal Building, 123 N. Smith Avenue Cortez.

There is no need to register for these classes, just come on in.

This class is designed for anyone who has already attended a basic weather spotter training class.

For more information on weather spotting, visit www.crh. noaa.gov/gjt/spotter.php.

 

Pagosa's Past

Company D marches off to New Mexico

By John Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

The 1879 Milk River War in northwestern Colorado, also known as the Meeker Massacre, was probably the most deadly confrontation between Ute and Anglo in Colorado.

When the last shot was fired, 14 soldiers were dead, another 43 wounded. Back at the White River Ute Agency, where it all started near Meeker, 12 civilians, including Agent Nathan Meeker, were dead.

For Company D, 9th Cavalry, the Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs the previous winter, the battle was just one of a long string of deadly confrontations. Members of the company received two Medals of Honor for their heroics during the battle. One was awarded to Sgt. Henry Johnson, the other several years later to company commander Capt. Dodge.

Company D scarcely had time to lick their wounds and acquire new mounts - all of theirs were killed during the battle - before galloping back to New Mexico to engage the still menacing Apaches.

In late August of 1879, Victorio and his Warm Springs Apaches, accompanied by a number of Mescalero Apaches, fled the Fort Stanton Reservation, determined to die rather than return. Under indictment for murder and faced with the threat of forced commitment to the hated San Carlos Reservation south of Tucson, Ariz., Victorio chose to run and fight.

Gen. Pope called on the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments to chase Victorio. On Sept. 4 Victorio, with 60 warriors, struck Capt. Hooker's Company E at Ojo Caliente. In a matter of eight minutes, eight troopers were dead or wounded and 46 mounts were gone. Capt. Hooker's command was virtually dismounted. In the next six days, the Apaches killed nine citizens. Col. Hatch put all of his regiments into the field. It took them more than a year to run Victorio to the ground, as grueling a campaign as the U.S. Cavalry ever fought.

The 9th's first encounter with Victorio ended in near disaster. After two days of pursuit, Companies B and E ran into strongly entrenched Apaches. Two more companies joined the battle but were unable to dislodge Victorio. Five troopers and three scouts died before the four companies withdrew, leaving Victorio in charge of the battle site.

Battle after battle followed as the black horsetroops remained doggedly on Victorio's trail.

Col. Hatch wrote Gen. Pope the following description of the hardships faced by the Buffalo Soldiers in their warfare against Victorio.

"Major Morrow's command shows that the work performed by these troops is most arduous, horses worn to mere shadows, men nearly without boots, shoes, and clothing. That the loss in horses may be understood when following Indians in the Black Range the horses were without anything to eat five days except what they nibbled from piñon pines, going without food so long was nearly disastrous as the fearful march into Mexico of 79 hours without water, all this forced marches over inexpressibly rough trails explains the serious mortality among the horses ... Morrow has overexerted himself to such an extent as to produce a dangerous hemorrhage, long night marches have been made on foot by the troops in their efforts to surprise the Indian camp. Morrow deserves great credit for the persistency with which he has kept up the pursuit and without foot Indians and constant vigilance must have fallen into ambuscades resulting in the destruction of his command. The Indians are certainly as strong as any command Major Morrow has had in action. We always fight in extended skirmish line, the Indian line is always found to be of same length and often longer, extending in some actions more than two miles hence the efforts to extend his flanks with the object of surrounding them fails."

More next week on the black cavalry fighting Apaches in New Mexico and Arizona. Much of the information concerning the black cavalry including the quote from Col. Hatch is taken from "The Buffalo Soldiers" by William H. Leckie.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Skies above Pagosa Country tell their own story

By James Robinson

SUN Columnist

Moon:

This week in June is prime time for Pagosa Springs sky watchers. June 6 is the day of the new moon and through the end of the week, observers should enjoy predominantly dark skies as the moon moves to its waxing crescent phase. Taking advantage of the dark skies during the first moon phase is the key to seeing smaller or hard to find objects.

As the moon takes a more prominent position in our night sky, the sunlight reflected off its surface obscures the surroundings. This makes viewing objects near or around the moon during fuller moon phases difficult for even the most well-equipped observer.

Planets:

The following planets can be seen with the naked or partially aided eye, namely with binoculars or a basic telescope.

Mars: Mars can be found rising in the east-southeast in the constellation Aquarius several hours before the sun. Night owls or early birds can observe this event.

Saturn: The planet Saturn is found in the constellation Gemini. During the spring season it rapidly approaches the setting sun and can be seen in the evening twilight in the west-northwest.

Jupiter: Right now Jupiter is king of the skies. It is found in the constellation Virgo and is the brightest object in the night sky, aside from the moon and Venus.

Jupiter is also the star of another show this summer - the moon and Jupiter's convergence. The event is also known as an occultation, and this occurs when one body passes in front of another and blocks it from view.

Between Nov. 9, 2004 and Aug. 10, 2005 Jupiter will disappear behind the moon eleven times.

Unfortunately for Pagosans, the best viewing for this event was in December of 2004.

Nevertheless, the occurrence give us an opportunity to observe how these two objects move through the sky and makes for locating a planet an easy task.

At one point in late May, the moon and Jupiter were just a few degrees apart, basically the distance of two fingers held together and looked at with the night sky as a backdrop.

At the minimum, with binoculars or a basic telescope, sky watchers should have a beautiful view of our moon and nearby Jupiter as a bold bright object. If you are lucky, you might also get a glimpse of Jupiter's bands, or one of its' four major moons.

To view Jupiter, look south and locate the brightest object, aside from the moon, in the nighttime sky.

Constellations:

Many constellations, or parts of them, are visible every night. The best time to see a constellation in its entirety is when it is on meridian, or, at its highest possible point in the sky. When a constellation is on meridian the whole constellation is visible and the least amount of atmosphere is between it and the viewer.

This month, on June 15 at about 10 p.m. in Pagosa Springs, the constellation Bootes will be almost directly overhead. This date marks its highest point but it will be easily visible both before and after that date.

Bootes is an ancient constellation representing a herdsman driving a bear, Ursa Major, around the sky. The constellation's brightest star, Arcturus, means "bear keeper" in ancient Greek.

According to the mythology, Bootes represents Arcus the son of Zeus and the nymph Callisto. Callisto is represented by Ursa Major.

The story goes that after Zeus seduced the nymph Callisto, Zeus' jealous wife Hera turned Callisto into a bear. One day while Arcus was out hunting, he almost killed the bear unaware of who she was.

It was then that Zeus set them both in the sky. There Arcus acts as the "herdsman," or "bearkeeper" charged with keeping watch over the other animal constellations.

To locate Bootes, trace the handle of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) southward. The next brightest object in the sky is a large, orange-colored star. This star is Bootes alpha, also known as Arcturus, and this is the heart of the Bootes constellation.

Constellation highlights:

Arcturus: A -0.05 magnitude star, and the fourth brightest star in the entire sky.

It is yellow orange in color, and can be seen with the naked eye, binoculars, or better yet, with a telescope. It is an orange giant, 37 light years away and about 27 times the diameter of the sun.

Astronomers believe our sun will swell to become a red giant like Arcturus in about 5,000 million years.

For skywatchers with more sophisticated means, the constellation Bootes offers many challenges such as numerous double stars, many of which can be resolved with a hobbyist's telescope.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

6/1

73

33

-

-

-

6/2

71

39

-

-

-

6/3

63

33

-

-

-

6/4

60

27

-

-

-

6/5

71

31

-

-

-

6/6

71

37

-

-

-

6/7

69

34

-

-

-

 

Dry skies have water levels on the decline

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The flow in San Juan and Piedra rivers remains above normal for the period, but the need for more precipitation is becoming apparent.

There has been no measurable precipitation this month, and only .58 of an inch since May 15.

While that was great for areas threatened by flood, the rapid runoff without some replenishment could mean dry fields by midsummer.

The San Juan in downtown Pagosa Springs was flowing Wednesday morning at 2,080 cubic feet per second. The average flow for the date is 1,596 cfs.

The Piedra at the same time was running at 1,630 cfs, also above longtime average of 1,246 for the date.

Depth of flow was holding just over six feet for the San Juan and at 3.59 feet for the Piedra.

The Blanco and Navajo rivers had declined markedly since high water marks two weeks ago, the Blanco running Wednesday at 400 cfs and the Navajo controlled at 100 cfs below the Oso Diversion Dam.

Navajo Lake, into which all country tributaries flow, was actually down about six inches in the past week. It was, however, a planned control measure. The surface level Wednesday morning was at 6,074.58. Full pool is set at 6,083.2.

Inflow at the reservoir was at 4,256 cubic feet per second, outflow being controlled at the maximum 5,042 cfs.

Highest temperature recorded in Pagosa Springs in the past week was 71.1 June 2. Frost was found on car windows almost every morning, and the temperature slipped below freezing three times in the week: 26.6 June 4, 31.2 June 5 and 31.8 June 8.

Strongest wind in the period, 27 mph, was recorded Tuesday in mid-afternoon.

Will there be more precipitation?

If so, according to National Weather Service forecasters, it will come after midnight tonight and Friday.

But even then, the chance of precipitation is considered only about 20 percent and that is the only sign of relief in a week of cooler temperatures and continued afternoon winds ahead.

Friday's high, under partly cloudy skies is forecast at 69, the overnight low to fall to 35.

Saturday will be partly cloudy and slightly warmer at 71, the overnight low falling to 39.

Sunday, they say, will be partly cloudy with a daytime high of 74 and an overnight low of 41.

Then, the temperature will begin to rise again, forecasters say.

They anticipate a high of 79 Monday with an overnight low of 43, then predict an 83 top mark for Tuesday and perhaps two degrees warmer Wednesday.

Finally, if you want a really cool drink of water it still can be found at high altitude.

The Upper San Juan Snotel site at 10,300 feet elevation, was showing a snow depth of 30.6 inches Wednesday morning, with a snowwater equivalent content of 17.3 inches.