July 14, 2005
Gas line broken, quick repairs occur
By James Robinson
Firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District rushed to the scene of a broken gas line in east Pagosa Springs last Thursday afternoon.
Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said firefighters were dispatched to an alley just north of the 200 block of Pagosa Street after a resident called saying she smelled gas in her house.
Upon arrival in the neighborhood, firefighters discovered that a crew working in a nearby vacant lot had ruptured a gas line with a backhoe.
The gas line, which ran off the main line in the alley to the vacant lot, once fed a house on the site that the crew had recently tore down.
Grams said, according to the incident report, the crew snagged the line with the backhoe bucket while clearing debris from the property.
Natalie Shelbourn, a spokesperson from the natural gas supplier, Kinder Morgan, said the force of the snag pulled the one-inch service line out of the four-inch main line, but that no damage was done to the main.
Firefighters arrived to a loud hissing sound as gas spewed from the damaged line, and crews worked quickly to contain the leak.
While the hissing roar of gas escaping from the pipe might have been unnerving to passersby, nearby business and home owners, Shelbourn said, "In many circumstances it is better to let the gas blow off." She said while propane is heavy and tends to accumulate at ground level, natural gas rises and quickly dissipates into the air. She added that Kinder Morgan crews go through extensive training to help them assess such situations and to determine if letting the gas blow off or shutting down the main is a better course of action.
Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger closed part of the block and kept pedestrians off adjacent sidewalks, and Grams said some nearby homes were evacuated.
Incident commander Capt. Mike Valdez from the fire protection district had firefighters saturate the ground around the gas leak with water while a crew from Kinder Morgan, in masks and respirators, used an iron bar to dig and expose the ruptured pipe.
"They're soaking the ground to keep the rocks from sparking while they dig," Valdez said.
Valdez said hand digging was required initially because there was a geothermal line and a telephone line running near the gas line and they didn't want to break those while digging for the gas line.
The saturated ground near the firefighters and the Kinder Morgan crew bubbled as leaking gas percolated up from beneath their feet. Above the din of the escaping gas, Valdez pointed to the ground around the crews and said, "See how the ground is bubbling there, that's all the gas coming up to the surface."
Grams said Kinder Morgan crew members used a special meter to locate the geothermal and the telephone line, and once located, they were able to attack the problem more aggressively with a backhoe.
Shelbourn said the natural gas team responded within 10 minutes of being notified and had capped the leak within 45 minutes.
Grams said firefighters arrived at the scene about 2 p.m. and by about 4 p.m. Valdez gave the area an "all clear."
Shelbourn said the gas lines had been marked prior to demolition, but that even with that knowledge, crews need to be extremely careful when working with heavy machinery near gas lines. She said beyond ruptures, heavy equipment can easily nick or scrape a gas line without anyone being aware of it, and that these damages can compromise the line's integrity over time.
Shelbourn did not have an estimate on the damages or on the quantity of gas that leaked.
Town conducts first Comp Plan meeting
By James Robinson
Amidst a bit of confusion and initial apprehension by some of the attendees, the Town of Pagosa Springs unveiled the most basic beginnings of their forthcoming Comprehensive Plan Tuesday night during the first of many upcoming town meetings.
The presentation by town staff and representatives from the land-use consulting firm, Clarion Associates, was offered as an "open house" where citizens could meet the Clarion representatives and get a feel for the issues the Comprehensive Plan might ultimately tackle.
Ben Herman of Clarion Associates said, "We don't have a lot to present to you tonight."
He said he could have brought an hour-long presentation jammed full of facts and figures that would have put the group of about 40 citizens to sleep. But instead, he asked people to wander through the town's community center gymnasium to study the various maps and growth issue boards, to make comments directly on the boards with sticky notes and to talk about the issues with each other.
This loose, informal approach caused a stir with attendees, and one woman said, "I feel like I'm missing something here, like I've come in on the second act."
Cindy Gustafson was startled to learn the meeting she was attending concerned a totally different topic than any planning meeting she had previously attended.
"There are too many things going on, too many meetings," Gustafson said.
Rob Bubb said, "I'm confused too."
Soon thereafter, Town Manager Mark Garcia took the microphone and began a short synopsis of the Comprehensive Plan and the elements involved, and tried to clarify the plan's purpose and parameters as compared to the recent planning efforts undertaken by other, nongovernment, entities.
Garcia said the Comprehensive Plan was a totally separate and independent document that the town will draft as mandated by state statute. He said it would serve as a 10- to 20-year blueprint for guiding growth and development and land-use issues in Pagosa Springs.
"Ideally, what would have happened is that the Comprehensive Plan would have come first. The comp plan is your bible and you work off of that," Garcia said.
He said the suggestions and planning efforts undertaken by non-government citizen groups were offered to the town in an advisory capacity only. He said their suggestions might ultimately be woven into the Comprehensive Plan but that the town's Comprehensive Plan process was separate, and that's what Tuesday's meeting was about.
According to town staff and representatives from Clarion Associates, the Comprehensive Plan is an advisory, not regulatory document, and Tuesday's meeting was a community oriented brainstorming session to identify just what pressures and issues the town faces during a time of unprecedented growth and development.
A 24-person group of concerned citizens, the Citizens Advisory Committee, worked with Clarion, town staff and each other, to develop a list of issues the Comprehensive Plan might tackle. Those issues, ranging from affordable housing, open space, parks, transportation, recreation, land use and zoning, annexation, historic preservation and others, were presented to the public on large poster board stations where small groups and individuals could talk to each other, identify priorities and write their suggestions and concerns.
Among the top priorities were affordable housing, open space protection, the development of parks and recreation, bike path and pedestrian facilities and maintaining Pagosa's small town character.
Bubb said that distinct Pagosan character was one of the main reasons he and his wife moved to Pagosa Springs from Durango. He said they didn't want to live in a town that looked and felt like everywhere else. Bubb was also one of many citizens who voiced concerns over the ability for joint planning between the town and county.
Herman said, "The boundaries between the two become somewhat artificial." And, he added, "The biggest influence is the scale of development just outside of town."
Michael Whiting echoed Herman's sentiments when he said, "What happens in the county has a dramatic impact on the town." And he questioned the viability of joint planning and coordination between the town and county.
Bubb said, "I'm all for this process. I'm glad the plan extends beyond the town, but I'd like to see the county more involved."
State statute allows the town to extend the area the Comprehensive Plan will assess to three miles beyond the town's incorporated boundaries. This allows planners to determine how those nearby areas might ultimately affect the town in years to come. Preliminary maps from Clarion Associates show one key county feature - the airport, within the planning boundaries. Lesli Ellis, of Clarion, said the maps "were a work in progress."
Garcia said he doesn't foresee a conflict with the county on the issue. "We have a good working relationship with the county and we want to continue it," he said.
But he added that cooperative and congruent planning would best be achieved if county staff stayed up to date on the Comprehensive Plan process as it proceeds.
Garcia also encouraged town residents to stay abreast of the process as it develops. "This is your plan," he said to the attendees. "Clarion can't come in and tell you what's best for your community. Town staff can't tell you what's best for your community."
He urged people to send in their comments and concerns to town staff and to stay up-to-date by using the town's Web site.
Two large annexations add area to Pagosa Springs
By James Robinson
The Pagosa Springs Town Council approved two annexation ordinances at a July 6 meeting, adding 116 acres to the Town of Pagosa Springs.
The two annexations, - one known as the Gayhart annexation and the other known as the Cartwright annexation - were approved and were followed by zoning ordinances linked to the individual parcels.
Both annexed parcels lie northeast of the town's main corridor and near County Road 200 (Snowball Road).
Town Planner Tamra Allen said the Cartwright property was about 52 acres and had been zoned for single-family residential use and some multifamily use.
Allen said the Cartwright parcel had a "dedicated development plan," but that the 84-acre Gayhart parcel, aside from five vacation rental cabins currently under construction, did not. The Gayhart parcel, according to the ordinance, was zoned only for single-family residential use and Allen said the property had the potential for "large-scale development if and when the developer wants to develop."
She said the development plan attached to the Cartwright property was preliminary only, and that a full subdivision plan would be required before either of the annexed properties were developed.
Town Manager Mark Garcia said the town does not seek properties to annex.
"We have no formal policy for annexation," he said. Property owners must come to the town with an application and petition and, in the past, annexation has occurred from "single ownership deals," or where 100 percent of the ownership of the area in question wants to be annexed by the town. Ultimately, annexation is still at the town's discretion, Garcia said.
Garcia said annexation and growth issues would play a vital role in the town's recently unveiled comprehensive plan.
"The comprehensive plan will look at what areas of growth we should consider," Garcia said. "We'll rely heavily on the comprehensive plan to see what our annexation future looks like."
The town held a community open house for the Comprehensive plan Tuesday evening at the community center; see the story that begins on this page.
USFS manages Rio Blanco Fire, changes tactics
By Sarah Smith
Pagosa Country is no stranger to forest fire.
It's hard to forget the nearby, frightening Missionary Ridge and South Fork fires of June 2002, not to mention several smaller fires in 2003 and 2004.
So, it's no wonder that news of a forest fire can evoke some scary images in the minds of Pagosans. However, it's improbable that the Rio Blanco fire, which was started south of Pagosa Springs by a lightning strike June 23, will be remembered as devastating. Conversely, this low-heat fire just may be remembered as a good thing.
Rather than immediately suppressing the fire, the Forest Service has allowed the Rio Blanco fire to burn its way through the San Juan National Forest. A fire use team has been employed to constantly monitor the fire, watching elements like weather, heat and fuel, and making sure the fire stays under control.
A fire wall has already been built on the western perimeter of the fire, stopping it from moving towards U.S. 84.
The original plan was to allow the fire to continue moving to the north and east; however, the hot, dry weather conditions have caused fire managers to change their tactics. They are now containing the fire within the already established 1,182 acre area.
According to a July 11 Forest Service press release, Forest Supervisor Mark Stiles stated, "We're not putting the fire out, but we feel we have it sufficiently contained such that it won't grow much larger right now."
But many people would ask, "Why let the fire burn in the first place?" Logic suggests that "fire equals bad." Isn't that what Smokey the Bear has been drilling into us all these years?
Yet, contrary to the popular mindset, forest fires can be extremely beneficial. After all, fire is a natural process, and forests need fire for a number of reasons.
Marty O'Toole, fire information officer, explained that for decades firefighters adopted an immediate suppression policy, and forest fires were never allowed to take their natural courses.
However, it is now understood that fires can have a positive impact on the natural ecosystems of forests.
O'Toole cited many positive effects fire has on the forests. Fire, he said, returns many nutrients to the soil, helping the forest become richer and healthier. In certain ecosystems, fire is essential for some species to regenerate. In the ponderosa pine forests of our region, there are certain plants which need the heat from fire to open their seeds. There are also species of ground-nesting birds that need fire to clear the forest floor for them. O'Toole also added that any trees felled during the fire make excellent habitats for animals.
"Certainly a few animals perished in the fire," O'Toole said. "But they're hardwired to detect fire ahead of time and leave quickly." He continued that reptiles have the toughest time fleeing fires since they move much more slowly. He said it's not uncommon to come across many burnt snakes and blackened frogs.
"But, after the fire, you see the raptors come out for some barbecued snake," he laughed. "They have a good meal. The circle of life continues."
Perhaps the biggest benefit that this fire will have on the forest is protection. The absence of naturally-occurring forest fires creates a build-up of fuel, which creates enormous, damaging, high-intensity fires like the Missionary Ridge fire. Allowing small, low-intesity fires to come in and burn up the fuel prevents future fires from being so destructive.
Mark Rogers, fire safety officer, explained that ponderosa pine are built to withstand fire; they have a very thick bark which protects the living layer of the tree from the fire. Therefore, the aftermath of this fire will not be the desolate field of charred trees that many envision. O'Toole said while some fires do result in a "moonscape" of dead trees, the Rio Blanco Fire will have a less severe effect.
In fact, if you visit areas where the fire has been, you'll see the forest is relatively untouched. There are paths of black where the fire snaked through the brush, white piles of ash, and orange patches where trees have been singed - but the forest has survived.
However, with the weather remaining hot and dry, the number of incidents of tree-torching is increasing, according to Ros Wu, fire ecologist for the San Juan National Forest. This increases the amount of tree deaths. Also, O'Toole reported that ponderosa pine forests are denser than they were a century ago. This increases the risk of high-intensity crown fires, which the forests and the wildlife are not adapted to.
"Low to moderate amounts of mortality is what the ponderosa pine forests need," said Wu. "We don't want to allow any large areas of crown fire if we can help it. We want to put fire back into the ponderosa pine, but we want to make sure it's the right kind of fire (surface fire). Restoration of fire must be done carefully."
"Carefully" certainly describes the monitoring of the fire thus far. The fire use team leaves the area today, turning the management of the fire back over to the Pagosa Ranger District, who will continue the careful patrol of the fire, aided by the Whiskeytown Fire Use Module.
"If the weather becomes more favorable, we'll allow it to move forward," said O'Toole.
But until Pagosa sees some more moisture, the fire will be contained within its perimeter, where it will continue to slowly burn its way through the underbrush, making room for new growth and ensuring a healthier, safer forest.
Further information is available at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/fire or by calling the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.
Town council debates
ordinance, tax increase ideas
By James Robinson
Tree regulations and taxes. The two don't normally go together, but at the July 6 town council meeting both topics received an equally cool reception from some council members.
Town Manager Mark Garcia said the issue of tree regulations had been brought up in the past, but had again come to staff's attention in the last two months.
He asked council members if it was time for Pagosa Springs to adopt a tree registration program or a preservation ordinance that would protect the older cottonwoods or Ponderosa pine trees in the town.
He asked the town council for direction on whether to form a task force to gather input and to help craft an ordinance if that was the council's decision.
Council member Darrell Cotton was first to respond when he said, "We're regulating ourselves into oblivion." And he added, "I wouldn't support anything drastic."
Mayor Ross Aragon said, "We can't tell people what they can and can't do on their private property."
Council member Tony Simmons said he supported forming a task force and some formal policy, either an ordinance or registry. Council member Stan Holt said the issue might be worth exploring.
In closing comments, Aragon said, "The idea is kind of lukewarm as far as I'm concerned."
Despite the less than enthusiastic initial response, Garcia later said the overall tenor of the council was cautious of overregulation but supportive of an advisory committee. And, ultimately, staff was directed to form an advisory committee to explore the issue and various options.
The idea of a sales tax increase also seemed "lukewarm" to Cotton. "I don't like new sales taxes, just so you know," Cotton said.
Garcia said the measure to adopt the increase could be a part of November's ballot, but he said the idea and his presentation to the council was a testing of the waters.
Pagosa Springs, due to its Home Rule status, is allowed to levy sales tax greater than the 6.9 percent statutory limit and Garcia said the increase could be used to pay for additional town staff and a recreation center.
Garcia said, "The town is strapped for revenues to bring more staff on." He said there were administrative shortages for town staff and in the building, planning and police departments.
While part of the tax revenue could be used for staffing, he said, the other part could be used for the construction, staffing and maintenance of a new recreation center.
"You're either in your home or outside during the winter. We don't have a winter venue at all, and I think the public totally supports it," Garcia said.
He said Pagosa Springs' recreation center, if it came to pass, could be modeled on Cortez's new recreation center and might include a lap pool, a kid's pool, ball courts and aerobic exercise rooms.
Garcia suggested the Pagosa facility, if built on the Cortez model, could be a "full-blown rec-center" with the possibility of daycare facilities. He said the pool could also provide a venue for school swimming teams and school-based swim programs.
Garcia was reluctant to talk about specific percentages for the increase. He said the town had to first assess its needs, then determine what level of increase would be required to accomplish those tasks. He said the idea was in the "very preliminary stage," and that the question, if pursued, would ultimately be put to voters in November's election.
In other town business:
- Garcia said the Apache Street intersection road improvement project was "well underway" and that the project should be completed by the time school begins in the fall.
- The full application for Phase II of the River Restoration Project, has been submitted to the Corps of Engineers, and Garcia said he expects more feedback from the public and government agencies.
He said the Corps of Engineers said the permit should be available by October, and that he expects the project to remain on schedule with a November/December start date.
- The town council approved ordinance 637, officially adopting interim impact fees for developers. The impact fees will be levied to mitigate the impacts of new development on roads, parks, open space and public services and facilities.
- Garcia announced the town received two grants. The first, a $15,600 flood mitigation planning grant was awarded to the town from the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Special Projects Director Julie Jessen said of the total grant, $11,700 will come from the board and the town will contribute $3,900. The grant will help the town prioritize flood mitigation planning and will help create community awareness of flood hazard issues and solutions.
The second, the Tony Grampsas grant, totaled $13,385 and the funds will be used for local youth issues.
PSHS Class of '75 to gather
The class of 1975 is having a 30 year get-together July 30 at noon at the Town Park next to the river.
A potluck lunch is the meal, so bring a dish, your own drinks and utensils.
For more information call Patrick or Debbie Candelaria at 264-6844, late evenings.
Dealing with smoke from wildland fires
By Sarah Smith
While the Rio Blanco Fire isn't posing any current threats to homes, the smoke produced can be an annoyance and, for some, a danger.
Anyone exposed to the smoke may experience short-term symptoms like stinging, watery eyes, coughing, scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. The smoke may aggravate heart or lung diseases such as congestive heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma.
Following these basic tips can help you and your family avoid the health issues that smoke exposure can cause:
- Maintain a high fluid intake. Be sure you're getting adequate nutrition and supplements (antioxidants) and enough sleep .
- A general rule is that the worse the visibility, the worse the smoke. Use common sense; if it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to go jogging.
- Children and the elderly are more susceptible to smoke. They should remain indoors during heavily smoky periods.
- Animals can be affected too. Don't force pets or livestock to work or run in smoky conditions.
- When indoors, keep doors and windows closed and run the air conditioner if possible. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean. Avoid using anything that burns; woodstoves, gas stoves, even candles.
- Don't smoke! It puts even more pollution in your lungs and in the lungs of those around you.
- When the smoke levels remain high for a long time, smoke can affect you indoors. If you have symptoms indoors, talk with your doctor. Again, this is especially important for children, elderly, and those with heart and lung diseases.
- Leave heavy smoke areas for at least a few hours a day. If you are being affected indoors or if you have a respiratory or pulmonary ailment, you may wish to leave until conditions improve.
For more information, contact Nathan Ballenger, air quality technician with the San Juan Basin Health Department, (970)247-5702, or visit the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division Web site at http://apcd.state.co.us/wildfire.html.
Services note passing of Ignacio's 'Casey' Brown
The July 9 passing of Ignacio rancher Alton K. "Casey" Brown, long known as a stalwart in the regional Republican Party, will be marked by a visitation Friday, July 15, noon to 8 p.m. at Hood Mortuary in Durango, and a funeral service at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Bayfield Church of Christ.
'Most technical rescue' helps injured man near Chromo
By John Middendorf
After a 45-foot fall over an overhanging cliff to a rock slope below, followed by a steep tumble down through several hundred feet of rough brush and fallen trees, Jeffrey Kieth spent Sunday night scrunched between boulders, unable to move.
Kieth and a friend from Los Angeles, on a visit to relatives in Dulce, had been partying near the rim of Abeyta/Vigil Mesa near Chromo when the fall occurred. Around 1 a.m., Kieth had walked to the edge of the mesa, where a view of the valley far below could be seen, removed his shoes, then fell off the cliff. He remembered trying to get up to walk in the darkness after the initial fall, then collapsing from pain and falling some more.
His friend drove to Dulce and alerted the sheriff there at 4 a.m. By 4:30 a.m., the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue were gathering at the SAR cache at Steven's Field, and by first light were on the rim of the mesa near Chromo searching for Kieth. The information provided from the Dulce sheriff was to look for a yellow Hydro-Axe along the road, and the area where Kieth fell would be nearby.
The Hydro-Axe is a massive ten-ton machine on wheels powerful enough to mulch two acres of seven-inch diameter trees and brush per hour. When the rescuer's traversed the mesa's rim, there was no sign of the Hydro-Axe on the road. Somehow in the night it had been vandalized and driven off the road, lying hidden on its side 30 feet below the road on a steep slope.
Searching without the landmark, the rescuers made contact with Kieth at 7 a.m. by yelling "hello" at the clearing where the road came close to the mesa's edge, and amazingly, the injured Kieth's feeble screams for help were heard from several hundred feet below.
"It's amazing he even lived through that (the fall)", said Tony Rackham, a Pagosa EMT who was lowered down to Kieth. "I think the alcohol and his extra weight helped." Rackham described the patient as a "husky male in his early 30s." Indeed, when the first rescuer who rappelled down to Kieth called in his initial assessment on the radio, "injured male stable and alert, lacerations to the head, labored breathing, with chest and possible back injuries, around 210 pounds, requesting the backboard and rescue litter," Kieth corrected, "I weigh a lot more than that."
Although Kieth's huskiness may have helped him to survive the fall, it made the recovery up the steep forested slope and 45-foot cliff more challenging. By 8:45 a.m., Rackham had stabilized the patient and assessed his injuries, which included a collapsed lung, a "flail chest," a painful injury where a detached section of broken ribs moves asynchronously to normal chest movements, and a broken collarbone.
"I've seen flying bullets in L.A., but out here it's way too dangerous," Kieth told his rescuers. With the help of Les Shepherd, Mike Vega and John Middendorf, Rackham stabilized his spine with a neck brace and backboard, then lifted him into the rescue litter.
Meanwhile, the rope team on the rim, led by Greg Oertel, quickly established a haul system with a three-to-one mechanical advantage rope system. The first challenge was to get the litter into position on the unstable slopes where the team 250 feet above on the rim could assist with a haul rope. Once in position, the four rescuers with the litter guided the packaged Kieth through the steep forested slope as a team of eight people on the rim hauled the patient upwards. Falling rocks and loose terrain made the task both challenging and dangerous.
Tim Schreyer, Jesse Morehouse, and Terry Baker, acting as the safety officer, haul rope manager and safety belayer respectively, supervised the complex haul system and ensured the safety of the rescuers below. The Forest Service contractors whose Hydro-Axe had been vandalized, along with Jeremy Marquez and two EMS personnel - Trevor Wallace and Thad Miller were among those who helped with the haul.
Once at the base of the cliff, the rescuers switched into vertical mode and Rackham and Middendorf attached themselves to the litter for the final 45-foot haul up the vertical cliff. At one point, the litter got wedged in the features of the rock, and it took all the strength of Rackham and Middendorf to safely maneuver the patient and litter over the final few feet to the flat terrain above. "It was an extremely challenging and difficult raise due to the overhanging and loose nature of the cliff" said Morehouse, who added, "It seems that no matter how good your training is, sometimes brute force is still required," regarding the final few feet.
By 11:20 a.m. Kieth was on his way to a helicopter landing zone, where he was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Durango by a Santa Fe-based Lifeflight helicopter. On Tuesday, the hospital reported him in stable condition with a broken collarbone and ribs, with a chest tube for his collapsed lung.
Considering the remote location and the challenges of raising a litter from such an inaccessible spot, the rescue was "so super smooth," according to Oertel. "It was the most technical rescue in Archuleta County I've seen in the ten years I've been working with the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue," he reported. He was also pleased that he had the personnel that he did, whom he considers his core team. "These are the guys that always make trainings, and are really dedicated," he said of the volunteers who participated in the rescue, and whom he rewarded with pizzas during the post-rescue debriefing.
Water, and what to do about it ... for the next 40 years
By Carol Fuccillo
Special to The SUN
As a recent transplant from the Midwest, I never really thought much about water. In fact, we always had more than enough - suffering through ringing wet precipitation, flooding, and the resulting mosquitoes and mold.
Then we moved west, where the story changed dramatically. Water is not only a political volleyball in Colorado, it is indeed life.
In Pagosa Springs, steadily increasing development and a projected population growth of more than 4 percent per year over the next 20-plus years has heightened efforts to plan for our water future.
The remnants of the 2002 drought are still with us. During that year, according to Carrie Campbell, manager of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District - the main provider of treated water in Archuleta County - water flow was only 13 percent of average from April through November that year, and during the highest water demand, June through August, the flow was only 5 percent of historic average.
With this backdrop, local water agencies and providers are taking steps that look to the future.
First, let's examine the water sources available to the Pagosa Springs area, other than the rights available to the district from the San Juan River.
Dutton Ditch, which is located near Fourmile Creek, flows through the National Forest and remote terrain to fill Lake Hatcher. Stevens Reservoir is filled by Dutton Ditch and basin runoff. Stevens Reservoir fills Lake Pagosa, and Lake Pagosa fills Village Lake. Lake Forest is filled by basin runoff and spills from Lake Pagosa.
Management of these water sources is essential. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District encompasses 76 square miles of Pagosa Country, into the San Juan Mountains, including the lakes in the Pagosa Lakes area, most of the subdivisions west of town and the town of Pagosa Springs. It serves a client base of approximately 6,000.
The district owns and operates four water treatment plants. The water is distributed through approximately 256 miles of water mains, booster pumps and nearly 1,000 fire hydrants. Eleven storage tanks provide storage of treated water with a combined capacity of more than 4 million gallons. There are 28 sewer lift stations.
Residents within PAWSD boundaries presently use about 2,500 acre feet of water per year, which translates to approximately 215 gallons per day per person. It is estimated that by the year 2040, we will need more than 11,000 acre feet of water per year
According to Campbell, a recently awarded contract to build a six-mile pipeline for Dutton Ditch will allow for more water to be moved more efficiently and effectively, especially during the winter months, to fill Lake Hatcher and Stevens.
Currently, the Dutton Ditch is just that - a ditch - subject to various elements, such as evaporation losses and sedimentation buildup. Because of the sedimentation buildup, Campbell said the ditch is carrying just a fraction of the water the district is legally authorized to transport through the ditch.
Stevens Reservoir, which began as essentially a cow pond, provided the first source of municipal water for the Pagosa Lakes area. Efforts to triple the size of this reservoir, which currently has a capacity of 326,000 gallon/acre feet, are in progress. The water collected from the improved Dutton Ditch will be adequate to fill the enlarged Stevens Reservoir.
Other entities are working to secure adequate water supplies and storage.
The San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) encompasses approximately 96 square miles of Pagosa Country, including the area served by PAWSD. The goal of this organization, according to Fred Schmidt, president, is the preservation of water rights and creation of raw water storage. SJWCD has recently finished a second phase of river restoration along the Lower Blanco River, is supporting the town of Pagosa Springs river restoration efforts, and is currently in discussions to buy land (approximately 450 acres) to build another reservoir near Dry Gulch, east of town.
The Pagosa Lakes Property Owner's Association, the town of Pagosa Springs, National Resource Conservation Service, United States Forest Service, and others are sponsoring the Stollsteimer Watershed Project. The watershed encompasses 82,000 acres, more than 120 miles of diverse terrain, including mountains, valleys and brush. Nearly 30,000 acres in the watershed are owned by the Forest Service, and more than 28,000 acres are privately owned.
The watershed project started about three years ago with the formation of a special ad hoc lake study committee in the Pagosa Lakes area whose mission it is to assess the management and protection of Lake Hatcher, Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Lake Forest. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a long-range watershed master plan that will help mitigate efforts and potentially modify land-use regulations to help protect waterways and reservoirs. The main concern has been the impact of growth and development, and the committee is starting to collect storm water and drainage water from commercial and residential areas.
More than 15 sites along the watershed are currently being tested for flow data, sediment, petroleum and salinity. So far, it has been found that construction is the No. 1 cause of sediment problems in the watershed area.
Several weeks ago, the committee toured several locations along the watershed. According to Larry Lynch, property and environment manager for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, it went well. In Aspen Springs, members viewed deteriorating portions of Stollsteimer Creek and talked about possible solutions. There is some discussion of the possibility of a foot trail being created around the corridor. Along the lower portion of the watershed, there is degradation along the creek channel due to overgrazing. The committee is addressing restoration activities such as stream bank stabilization, rock work to control erosion factors, and fencing solutions.
Conservation is a major key to success, according to water authorities.
Campbell commends the public for reducing water usage by nearly 40 percent in 2002. In addition, the recent PAWSD toilet rebate program resulted in a water reduction of nearly 37 percent. More than 50 households participated by trading in old toilets, and buying more efficient toilets. Each household received a $75 to $100 rebate. Based on the savings and the cost to treat and distribute the water, the program saved the district nearly $5,000, which essentially paid for the effort.
Planting in xeriscape fashion (with plants that efficiently use water), and refraining from overfertilization are other conservation measures suggested by PAWSD.
Patience from the public and planning by water professionals is also essential in these efforts. It takes years of planning, mountains of paperwork and jumping through many federal and state governmental hoops to have these projects approved and implemented.
For example, PAWSD water bond issues were approved in 2002, before which much of the preliminary work on the current district projects had already been completed. Because the proposed 5.9 miles of pipeline crosses federal lands, a special use permit was required from the U.S. Forest Service. The permit was applied for in December 2002. It was received in June 2005.
In 2005, the Dutton Ditch pipeline project is finally becoming a reality, with Stevens Reservoir work on the horizon. A bid for construction was recently awarded to T. Lowell Construction, Inc., ground was broken last week for the project and work is set to begin. With dependable weather conditions, the work could be complete by late fall. If not, the work will be spread over two construction seasons.
While residents of Pagosa Country wait for projects to be completed, there is still a PAWSD moratorium in effect, under which the district will not accept petitions for inclusion of any new properties into the district. That moratorium on inclusions is unlikely to be lifted any time soon until further water efforts are well underway. According to Campbell, the position of the district board members is they will feel more comfortable lifting the moratorium once they are further along with finalizing the Dutton Ditch pipeline project and the Stevens Reservoir enlargement.
Emergency ordinance grants home historic status
By James Robinson
During last Wednesday's town council meeting, council members enacted and passed an emergency ordinance to designate a home, originally slated for demolition, as a historic landmark.
The home, formerly at 239 Pagosa Street, was to be demolished to make room for new development along the eastern portion of the town's main corridor.
Randall Davis acquired the home through an agreement with BootJack Management, the owner and developer of the property, and as part of the agreement, salvaged the building and moved it to a new location at 101 Pagosa St., next to the San Juan River and the First Street bridge.
Council member Darrell Cotton questioned whether designating a building as a historic landmark was an appropriate use of the council's emergency ordinance powers. He asked why the ordinance could not go through the regular, first and second reading process.
Town Planner Tamra Allen said the request was a special situation and that the designation granted with an emergency ordinance would significantly expedite the historic designation process.
The time required for regular ordinance adoption would take about two months, whereas an emergency ordinance would be adopted upon a "yes" vote after the first reading.
She said once the building achieved historic status, Davis, who had already incurred some expense in salvaging and moving the structure, would be eligible for restoration and renovation tax credits after he installs the house in its new location. She said work performed prior to the historic designation would not be eligible for the credits.
In documentation provided by the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board, the home met the board's criteria for historic designation. Among the factors were: the home's age (it was built in 1902); that it demonstrated a distinct architectural style; the original builder and owner, James Colton's, prominence and role in early Pagosa Springs history; and that the home had played a familiar social, cultural and historic role in the Pagosa Springs community.
In other action, the Pagosa Springs Town Council reappointed Gary Fairchild and Shari Pierce to three-year terms on the town's Historic Preservation Board. Karen Cox was also appointed to the board and she will serve the remainder of the three-year term she had recently resigned from. Following her resignation, Cox reconsidered and asked to be reappointed to her previously held position. Cox's term will expire in 2007, while Fairchild and Pierce will serve until 2008.
Local medivac service still uncertain following crash
By John Middendorf
The CareFlight helicopter that crashed due to engine failure near Mancos two weeks ago while en route to aid an injured logger, in an accident which tragically killed pilot Jim Saler and the two medics - William Podmayer and Scott Hyslop - has left the region "stretched thin" for helicopter evacuations, according to Joy Sinnott, operations manager for Emergency Medical Services at the Upper San Juan Health Services District.
A Tri-State CareFlight helicopter has operated from the landing pad at Mercy Medical Center since last July, serving regional patients needing rapid air transport. Tri-State CareFlight is a privately owned and operated Air Medical Transport Service based in Bullhead City, Ariz.
Since the inception of Tri-State service, Pagosa residents have been airlifted to the Durango hospital between one to eight times per month, with five patients airlifted in June.
In cases such as stroke, where every minute is critical, a helicopter can make a big difference. An ambulance's total response and transport time can be as much as 90 minutes from time of call to arrival at the hospital in Durango. Using a helicopter, the hospital delivery time may be as little as 42 minutes from time of call, with patients airlifted from the Mary Fisher Clinic, said Sinnott.
On average, CareFlight had responded to two to three on-scene or dispatch calls in the region per day.
An alternative medical helicopter service serving the region, San Juan Regional Air Care, is based out of Farmington, N.M. But, on Monday, Farmington's Air Care was out of service and a Lifeflight helicopter based out of Santa Fe was needed for the evacuation of a Los Angeles man near Chromo.
There was no official word yet available on when the Durango CareFlight helicopter will be replaced before The SUN went to press Wednesday.
The Upper San Juan Health Services District board of directors has set up a memorial fund for the three men killed in the CareFlight accident.
Pam Hopkins, board president, represented the Pagosa health services community at a memorial service last Wednesday and reported the service was "very moving. She said, "from the many people who gave talks, it was clear how dedicated these men were and how much they loved their job of helping others."
To help the families of these men who served our community, the board established the Upper San Juan Health District Care Flight Memorial Fund at Citizen's Bank (Savings account No. 951384).
Allard aide to hold Pagosa office hours
U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard's (R-Colorado) area representative, Aaryn Richardson, will conduct Senate office hours in Pagosa Springs Wednesday, July 20, from 9-10 a.m. in the county commissioner's meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse.
"I want to extend an invitation to anyone in Archuleta County who is experiencing a problem with a federal agency, or would like to pass along an opinion on a current issue before the U.S. Senate, to stop by and visit with Aaryn on Wednesday," Allard said. "No appointment is necessary."
If you have a question about Wednesday's office hours, contact Sen. Allard's Durango office at (970) 375-6311.
Pagosa brothers receive scholarships
Trevor Peterson, a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, has been awarded two local scholarships at Fort Lewis College. He will begin as a freshman in fall 2005 and has accepted the Craig-Dyer Scholarship which pays the equivalency of in-state tuition. He also has been awarded the Fort Lewis College Alumni Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.
Trevor has just finished a three-year commitment with the U.S. Army. He was released with The Army Commendation medal and The Army Achievement Medal for "meritorious service while assigned as a grenadier and team leader. SPC Peterson's service greatly contributed to the success of the company and battalion in both training and combat operations. SPC Peterson's actions reflect great credit on him, the 187th Infantry Regiment, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the United States Army."
Trevor's brother, Ty Peterson, a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, continues with the La Plata Electric Association scholarship at Fort Lewis College. This is a four-year scholarship covering the cost of tuition, books and fees. He has accelerated to close to junior status within one year and is majoring in business engineering. He has also been awarded other scholarships - the Vectra Bank and the Fort Lewis College Alumni scholarships.
Proud parents of these young men are Pete Peterson and Betsy Carpino of Pagosa Springs.
County announces mag chloride work
The Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department will be applying magnesium chloride to the following roads Thursday, July 14: CR 302 (Mill Creek Road), Easy Street, Holiday Dr., Shenandoah, River Forest Dr., Stagecoach, Mayflower, Clearwater, Terry Robinson and Echo Creek Drive. Starting Friday or Monday there will be work done on Eight Mile Mesa Rd. and CR 326 (Upper Blanco). Monday, July 18, work will be done on CR 335 (Lower Blanco).
Starting Tuesday, July 19, the road and bridge department will be applying mag chloride to CR 359 (Coyote Park), CR 542 (Montezuma), CR 391 (Lower Navajo), and CR 382 (Upper Navajo). The project will last through Friday.
These dates are approximate and may change at any time without notice.
First of four school district governance forums July 19
Have you ever thought about running for the local school board but know little about school board governance?
What are the requirements to serve on the board of education? What laws and regulations govern the operation of school? Do our schools have goals and established plans for educating children?
The board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint will hold the first in a series of forums July 19 to answer questions concerning school governance.
A public forum on school governance will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library at 309 Lewis St.
The two-hour informal discussion group is sponsored by the board of education in cooperation with Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid and the Colorado Association of School Boards.
"With the advent of term limits, this forum is very important to the long-term success of our students and this district" said Mike Haynes, president of the school board. "With two members being term-limited, it is important for us to begin the education process for interested candidates and potential board members. We want them to hit the ground running when they come on board and be able to make informed decisions about the governance of our schools. For new board members to do that, they must be aware of what school governance is all about and then, together, we can take the steps necessary to make the system work better."
The forum is part of a four-part series designed to inform potential candidates about school governance. The first of the series will cover how to run for the board, the district's mission and school accountability. The second in the series will be held July 26 and will cover board member responsibility and board/ superintendent relations. Participants at the Aug. 2 forum will hear from Rep. Mark Larson and learn about school finance issues. The final in the series will be held Aug. 16. Attendees will receive a brief overview of state and federal laws that govern local schools.
All potential candidates, parents and community members are encourage to attend and learn about the ins and outs of school governance.
For more information or to obtain a detailed agenda, you may contact the superintendent of schools, Duane Noggle, at 264-2228.
School board mulls new attendance and graduation policy
By Sarah Smith
Taking new measures to improve attendance, the Archuleta School District 50 Joint board of education is considering raising the graduation requirements and attendance standards for Pagosa Springs High School students.
The proposal, first read at the July 12 school board meeting, includes raising the number of credits required for graduation from 24 to 28.
However, students will have the opportunity to earn these four extra credits by maintaining a good attendance record.
"We think attendance is so important that we're willing to give credit for good and excellent attendance," said Bill Esterbrook, assistant superintendent.
Students who keep their attendance records above 95 percent (missing only eight days out of the school year) can earn four credits towards their graduation. Students with a good attendance record (90-94.9 percent) will earn two credits towards graduation, and students with less than a 90 percent attendance record will earn no credit.
"It's a very creative idea," said Mike Haynes, school board president. "It goes hand in hand, increasing attendance and increasing number of kids in school and learning."
If the proposal passes, this year's incoming freshmen, the class of 2009, will be the first class to need 28 credits to graduate.
While the classes graduating prior to 2009 (2006-08) will not need to meet these extra requirements for graduation, they will still need to meet the new attendance standards the proposal creates.
At Pagosa Springs High School, juniors and seniors are allowed some extra benefits. They are able to sign up to be teacher's aides or elementary tutors, and seniors may opt for a three-block schedule (as opposed to a four-block). However, under the new attendance policy, students would be allowed these benefits only if they met the attendance requirements.
For example, in order for students to register to become an elementary, intermediate or junior high school tutor, they must have at least a 90 percent attendance rate at the end of their sophomore year (to enroll as a junior) or their junior year (to enroll as a senior). The same rule applies if a student wishes to register for corporate apprentice, teacher's aide, early graduation or a three-block schedule.
Also, in order to lower the amount of class time missed, students will not be excused for school-related activities unless they have a 90 percent or higher attendance rate (this percentage will only be factored after the 25th day of the school year, allowing students to miss school during the first days and not be penalized). Students involved in sports, FBLA, band and other school activities will need to keep their attendance up if they wish to attend any event that interferes with school.
Esterbrook added that the absences that hurt students are not sicknesses or emergencies, but rather the illegitimate absences. He stated this new attendance policy will help "tighten things up," eliminating unnecessary absences.
"When they get up in the morning, parents and students will be a little more discriminating on whether it's a good reason to miss or not," he said.
The school board will make a final decision on the proposal at the Aug. 9 meeting.
"It will be interesting to see how attendance improves," said Haynes. "It's bound to."
In other business, the board reluctantly accepted the resignation of Kahle Charles, principal of Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Charles, who has been involved with the Archuleta School District 50 Joint for 20 years, has accepted a position with the St. Vrain School District in Longmont, Colo.
Public meeting to consider Home Rule
Citizens who are interested in Home Rule can attend a public meeting Thursday, July 21, from 6-9 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center Conference Room south.
The following question will be discussed: "Do Citizens of Archuleta County want to form a Home Rule Committee at the next election?"
For a few months now, a small group of non-partisan citizens have been meeting to discuss if there was an interest in forming a Home Rule Committee to explore that form of government for Archuleta County. This public meeting is a natural step forward in the process. If there is no interest, say organizers, then at least there was an effort to find out, rather than assume.
The meeting will be informal and conversational, with petitions available. There are 400-plus registered voter signatures needed in order for this question to appear on the ballot in November.
DOW tracks lynx births in state, 46 this year
By Joe Lewandowski
Special to The SUN
Researchers from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) found 46 lynx kittens during the annual spring survey - the largest number so far. There were likely even more born because researchers cannot track all the female lynx that live in Colorado.
The results give strong indication that lynx are adapting well to Colorado's mountains and are again thriving in their historical range. Field researchers found 16 litters spread throughout the central and southern mountains. A total of 16 mother lynx produced 21 females and 25 males. Three mothers had four kittens; eight mothers had three kittens; five mothers had two kittens.
Researchers are continuing to track one lynx that appears to have established a den far into a wilderness area.
In 2004, researchers documented that 14 mother lynx gave birth to 39 kittens.
"It is another excellent lynx reproduction season," said Tanya Shenk, the DOW's lynx field researcher. "Not only are we finding more litters, but some females are having second and third annual litters in their established home ranges with the same mate. We are starting to see a stable social structure evolve and family relationships become established."
All the mother lynx had been fitted previously with radiotelemetry collars which allow the cats' movements and locations to be monitored. Kittens are usually born between mid-May and mid-June. The first litter of three kittens was found May 21. Since 2003, eight of the mothers have produced two litters, one has produced three litters.
Since the lynx reintroduction program started in 1999, the DOW has released a total of 204 lynx and has recorded 101 kittens born in Colorado. Shenk estimates that as many as 141 of the reintroduced lynx and 28 of the 55 kittens born in 2003 and 2004 could now be living in Colorado. Researchers are currently monitoring 118 lynx with active radio collars. The DOW traps lynx during the winter to replace inactive and failing radio collars. Researchers also collar kittens born the previous spring.
In April 2005 the DOW released 38 lynx. Officials will decide in the fall how many will be released next year. The animals introduced are provided to the DOW by provincial wildlife agencies in Canada.
Of the 204 lynx released, it's believed that 63 have died: 26 from the 1999 release; 24 from the 2000 release; five from the 2003 release; seven from the 2004 release; and 1 from the 2005 release.
Survival rates increased dramatically after the DOW changed release procedures. Lynx are allowed to acclimate in pens in Colorado for at least a month, they are well fed and their health is closely monitored. Release occurs after April 1 when the lynx are in peak condition and when food sources - mainly small, young mammals - are abundant and easily captured.
Take a Pagosa Country geology tour
The Pagosa area has a complex and violent geologic history. On Saturday, July 16, geologist Glenn Raby will explain how the mountains, valleys, rivers and hot springs came to be, and what may be in store for the future of our area.
Meet Glenn by the Arts Council Gallery at Town Park on Hermosa Street at 10 a.m. for a short orientation followed by a driving tour to the east from Pagosa Springs to Wolf Creek Overlook. There will be several collecting and interpretive stops along the way. Visitors of all ages are welcome, but small children must be supervised by an adult. Bring a pack lunch, water, camera and outdoor clothing. No lengthy hiking is required, but wear comfortable walking shoes. This free program is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest.
For additional information, contact Glenn Raby at 264-1515.
Forest Service seeks public comments
The Pagosa Ranger District is seeking comments regarding a proposed ponderosa pine restoration and fuels reduction project in and around the vicinity of the Ute Campground located approximately 15 miles west of Pagosa Springs.
The project will involve thinning approximately 370 acres of oak brush, juniper and small diameter ponderosa pine.
If you would like to comment on this project proposal, please send comments to: Pagosa Ranger District, Attn: Rick Jewell, PO Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or alternately, you can fax them to 264-1538. Forest Service officials would appreciate receiving your comments by Aug. 8, 2005.
For further information, contact Rick Jewell at 264-1509.
Family Shooting Day at Keyah Grande Saturday
Safari Club International Four Corners Chapter and the Lodge at Keyah Grande are cosponsoring a Family Shooting Day Saturday, July 16.
Produced in cooperation with the Cervid Research and Recovery Institute, this event will be held on the grounds of the world famous Keyah Grande Lodge west of Pagosa Springs.
Events will include rimfire rifle, shotgun, introductory women's pistol, and private pond catch and release. Picnic food will also be available.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for those under the age of 18. Brochures and tickets are available at the Ski and Bow Rack in Pagosa Springs.
Contact John Dustin at (970) 884-0393 or Barry Dyar (970) 884-5444 for information.
Trout stocking project pays off in Pagosa
By James Robinson
Pagosa Springs anglers are cashing in on the recent trout stocking efforts of the Pagosa Quality Fishing Project.
Although it's hard to tell if fish recently caught are part of the program, Thaddeus Cano, an organizer of the project, said that following the stocking there has definitely been a flurry of activity.
On June 30, the group released 200 pounds of 14-inch trout, 200 pounds of two to three pound trout and 100 pounds of six to eight pound trout - all rainbows and cutbows, into the San Juan River through town. Soon thereafter, Cano said, the reports of successful fishing outings started rolling in.
"There was a family from Texas fishing behind JJ's Upstream Restaurant who caught their limit very quickly," Cano said.
He said members of another family on vacation, from California, were particularly excited to be catching fish because none of them had ever caught a trout before.
On Monday evening, during a walk through town, scores of anglers worked the water between River Center and the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center with hook, worm, salmon egg and fly.
One fly-fishing angler, Darren Kessler of Denver, worked a deep run near the hot springs pedestrian bridge.
He said he was successful fishing with a double nymph rig - a No. 20 Prince Nymph tailing a No. 20 Pheasant tail. During the conversation, he hooked, played, landed and released a 10-inch rainbow accompanied by cheers and applause from onlookers bathing in the hot springs and from pedestrians on the bridge above.
"This is my first trip to Pagosa Springs. I'm having a blast and I'm definitely coming back," Kessler said.
Cano confirmed Kessler's report and said other fly fishing anglers had done well on similar tandem nymph rigs, and he recommended a No. 14 bead head Prince Nymph tailing a No. 14 bead head Pheasant tail.
Cano said another shipment of trout should arrive within the next five days. He said anglers can look forward to another 450 pounds of trout on the incoming truck - 250 pounds of two to three pound trout and 200 pounds of six to 10 pound trophy-sized cutbows.
The Pagosa Quality Fishing Project is a trout stocking program funded by donations from local businesses and the chamber of commerce. The project is in its sixth year, and in its third year of a truly consistent stocking program.
Volunteers needed for trails project
Treasure Falls, located approximately 13 miles east of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful sights in Pagosa Country. It is one of the most popular areas for both visitors and locals to visit, relax, hike the trails, and enjoy the beauty of the falls and the area around them.
Unfortunately, winter snows and rain take a toll on those trails.
On July 21, a group of volunteers, in partnership with the Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District, and the San Juan Mountains Association, will be doing general maintenance and trail repair - but they need more help.
Anyone willing to help maintain this natural treasure should meet at the Pagosa Springs Ranger District Office, located at 180 Pagosa St. at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, July 21.
Volunteers should dress appropriately in sturdy boots and bring gloves, water, a sack lunch, sunscreen and sunglasses or some other form of eye protection. Some kind of rain protection is also a good thing to have. Also, if you have a sharp pointed shovel and/or a pick, please bring them. Join in for a day of fun and hard, but very satisfying and appreciated work.
To volunteer or for more information, call Bob Henley at 731-9411 or the Ranger District Office at 264-2268.
Sporting clay shoot set for Sunday
The Upper San Juan Sportsman's Club will host another in a series of sporting clay target shoots Sunday, July 17, at noon.
The location for the shoot is 1.2 miles south of the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. There will be a sign posted on the green gate at the site. All clay target shooters are invited regardless of skill level.
For further information call J.P. at 731-2295 or Nolan at 264-2660.
Rehab center a glimmer of hope for displaced wildlife
By Chuck McGuire
As a burgeoning human population unwaveringly sprawls ever deeper into the natural world, close human/wildlife encounters are increasingly common. Of course, only a minute percentage are ever considered dangerous or even undesirable in the minds of man, but to myriad creatures upon whose native environment we're constantly encroaching, we are a growing threat to survival.
While it's true, as a result many indigenous species have been lost or driven to the brink of extinction in recent years, I won't debate the incredibly diverse causes and effects here. Nor will I enter the realm of zero-population-growth advocacy, or the current administration's alleged disregard toward irreparable wilderness exploitation. Such matters will likely be topics of later discussions.
Instead, I wish to emphasize a promising upturn of circumstances; a development that offers a glimmer of hope for the birds and animals that, in spite of our inexorable invasion, have demonstrated abilities to coexist, if we'll just let them. It is a point of light in an otherwise dark and uncertain future for the sick and injured, and for those displaced by human expansion. It is the culmination of compassion and extraordinary effort by at least one woman wanting to make a difference in the lives of the ill-treated and unwanted. It is the advent of the St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation.
Executive Director Pat Jackson moved to Pagosa Springs in 1982, and along with her husband, Rolly, has been a prominent part of the local business community ever since. Pat managed to retire recently, but with an abiding love of animals and "a desire to help with something worthwhile," she decided to create an animal sanctuary and rehabilitation center.
The seeds for Pat's idea were actually sown back in 2002 when she and Rolly, owning acreage near Arboles, took in two horses facing premature euthanasia. Apparently, the owners were moving out of the area and, for whatever reason, could not take the horses along. Subsequent rescues of horses, a donkey, and a variety of animals from the local humane society moved Pat to attend a workshop at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, where a week-long program instructed participants in the formation of an animal sanctuary.
Eventually, Pat talked to area officers of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW), and quickly realized a critical need for local wildlife rehabilitators. As expected, the DOW has strict requirements of those participating in such work, and closely monitors every facility. Accordingly, Pat went to Orlando and Minneapolis, attending conferences presented by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), and continues work under a Durango sponsor in the rehabilitation of raptors. Meanwhile, she has applied for her own license.
Today, Pat's small non-profit organization provides rescue and rehabilitation services for domestic and exotic animals and local wildlife that have been abandoned, abused, injured, or orphaned. With the aid of two veterinarians and an all-volunteer staff, domestic and exotic animals are given necessary care and permanent homes to live out their natural lives, free from neglect or other intolerable conditions. Upon successful rehabilitation, wild species are released back into their natural habitat, hopefully to propagate their own kind and contribute to the maintenance of a balanced ecosystem.
In recent months, Pat has worked in the rehabilitation of two Canada geese, a red-winged blackbird, a barn swallow, several baby starlings, a fledgling kestrel, a red-tailed hawk, and a golden eagle. Some, whose injuries were irreparable, were ultimately euthanized, but many others have fully recovered and again adorn the skies over Colorado. At this writing, Pat is caring for two injured great-horned owls, a young mountain bluebird (nearing release), and a crow.
Treating injured or distressed animals is, of course, the primary charge of St. Francis Sanctuary, but Pat also intends to provide healing for at-risk and abused children by including them in her work as special caretakers, responsible for the tender care and ongoing therapy of select animals. She believes as youngsters quickly earn trust and unconditional love from these special creatures, they will also recognize their own abilities to recover from life's misfortunes.
Indeed, the creation of Pat's sanctuary is a great thing, but vital preparation remains undone. Before Pat can actually acquire her own rehabilitator license (remember, she's still working under a sponsor), she must complete the construction of a 560-square-foot medical facility and a series of flight cages that will aid in the treatment of various raptors. When finished, appropriate furnishings, medical equipment, and supplies will be needed, and all must conform to DOW specifications and NWRA guidelines.
At this point, and this comes as no surprise, the principal obstacle to the completion of sanctuary amenities is a lack of funds. Pat has applied for (and received) a couple of small grants, and has also accepted a few private donations. She's hopeful that two more funding applications will be granted, and if so, she'll only need an additional $10,000 to complete the initial phase and acquire her license. Once fully operational, she'll begin working with raptors, and gradually expand to accommodate small and large mammals like raccoons, bobcats, foxes, elk, bear, and mountain lions.
Through Pat Jackson's expanding knowledge, undying dedication, and continued training, the good work she's already doing is making a difference in a natural world increasingly crowded by a sea of humanity. What the future holds for those delicate species living near the creeping fringes of civilization is yet undecided, but I believe we can coexist with most wildlife, particularly if we're willing to set aside sufficient buffer zones, and help mitigate the damages done in the so-called path of progress.
For true wildlife emergencies, to make a donation, or to offer in-kind materials or services, Pat Jackson and the St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation can be reached by calling 946-7452 or 731-2058 (evenings). Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we all know, Pagosa Springs will change, how we manage that process is crucial to all who live here Š either we'll have another "toy town" or a successful version of the extraordinary community that made and came out on July 4. It will involve our best virtues.
In comparison to our aging, Pagosa, like ourselves, progressed from youth to age without thought of the middle ground. Like us who so carefully nurture our youthful aspects and ignore the middle ground, some Pagosan's seek to preserve the past of the city's youth by seeing or seeking only a replay. Let's thank those town managers willing to empower committees to look ahead Š that's wisdom.
Our town, like mankind, seeks a connection to what's around us, for man some call that God, for a city that means preserving the past while struggling to make it to the future. For mankind, the stages are simple; first we face a need, then seek a path, next proselytize and condemn unlike brethren (most of us stop here) but some go on to subdue the ego and then maybe Š maybe there will be the opportunity for wisdom.
In a sense, Pagosa Springs has entered middle age and can be likened to that magical time between the fertile promise of youth and the empty promises of muscles in old men or large breasts in old women. In the magic time, there are echoes of youth and waves of relief in never having to fulfill those obligations. The suitors are many, some with more money than others, money can overcome but isn't ever automatically the best choice.
The middle ground or future success of Pagosa Springs to merge old and new lies not in the strategic or planning committees imaginative foresight drafting plans but rather in those same members' presentation and management of those recommendations that make it through the mill of opportunism and youth vs. age debates. When tempted to condemn others, may we remember our best virtues: humanity, politeness, fidelity, prudence, temperance, generosity, compassion, mercy, courage, gratitude, humility, simplicity, tolerance, purity, gentleness and humor.
Good luck, we'll all continue to be at the meetings.
This letter is in response to the "Unwelcome" letter in last week's paper. I think I know the restaurant they are referring to. I am not going to say the name but I know anyone (local and tourist) who has eaten there over the past two months knows. Last week a large group went into the restaurant about 8:30 p.m. and ordered drinks and food. They were brought the drinks from the bar but at 9 the waitress said the kitchen had closed and no one received any food. This week we tried again (we really don't want to give up on them). The poor waitress was the only one on staff and was swamped. She was practically in tears. This was a Wednesday night and they were out of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, ranch dressing, curly fries, onion rings. etc. In addition, there was a repeat of the previous week where orders were taken, the kitchen closed and the table full of people received no food. We gave their children our chips to assuage their hunger. When we have guests stay with us we have always recommended that they eat the great hamburgers that this restaurant once served. In our own personal restaurant guide we had always rated it with the only 5 star rating. But unless changes are made we will no longer eat there or recommend it to anyone. I am writing this letter to beg the owner to save the restaurant that has been a local, national and international legend. I know there are others in this town who agree.
Hungry in Pagosa.
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the government can seize and demolish homes and businesses and turn the property over to commercial developers if it deems such a taking "an economic benefit" to the public. In other words, you must sell your family home or business to the government if it wants a shopping mall built in its place.
In her dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the decision bowed to the rich and powerful at the expense of middle-class Americans. She wrote, "As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result."
Clearly, the Supreme Court is challenging us to stand up to the forces of commercial development and government graft in protecting our property rights.
We will meet the challenge. The Colorado Legislature must protect individual rights and prohibit the taking of private property to serve commercial greed and government fraud.
Makes America great
How nice that the Arizona family could fly right to Pagosa for the weekend. And how much nicer it will be when they can fly their jet to Pagosa and land on that 8,100 foot long runway.
What Mr. Middendorf didn't mention was the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars used to pay for all the new facilities and the extension of the runway. Nor did he mention that all those dollars are being spent for a few dozen people. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, the county commissioners are trying to convince the county citizens that there is no money for maintaining our gravel roads.
That's what makes America great.
Everyone knows that the Federal Aviation Agency is supplying 95 percent of the money for the work, and that the state of Colorado is paying 2 1/2 percent for their share, which means that Archuleta County is paying 2 1/2 percent of the cost. Let me point out that 2 1/2 percent of millions and millions of taxpayer dollars is a lot of pocket change. And let me also remind the people spending the money that the FAA gets all of their money from taxpayers. Remember those IRS 1040 forms every taxpayer fills out every year?
That's what makes America great.
Seems to me that our Road Warriors are really Closet Jet Jockey Wannabees. Isn't it time for our county and city leaders to get their heads out of the clouds and focus on what is important for the majority of the citizens ... not the few dozen who gain from the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars spent on Stevens Field.
P.S. The dust (cough) from those (cough) dusty roads (cough) doesn't bother me a bit (cough). That's what makes America (cough) great.
My eldest child will be attending school for the first time this fall. Although I was thrilled to have my four-year-old enrolling for her first experience of public education I was a bit puzzled by the format that was emerging. I read in disbelief that some children would be able to attend full day kindergarten while others would be able to attend half-day classes. This seemed perfectly logical until I discovered what the determining factor would be in the final decision of who was placed where. Money.
Yes, if I wanted my child to attend full-day kindergarten it would be on a first-come, first-served basis, and added to this was tuition for full-day classes. Tuition for something that used to be free? I'm sorry, but something has to be said about this disturbing trend. I am currently attending Fort Lewis College to attain a teaching degree and this struck me as very odd and truly unfair. Believe me, I do not have $150 extra dollars each month; not too mention the $100 deposit that is required at the time of registry, to facilitate the requirements of a full day of school for my child. And maybe I could have easily been over at the school at seven in the morning, all three of my children in tow, and demanded my all-day kindergarten privileges ... but I lacked, as many others may, the funds to make this a reality. I am not blaming the school, staff or teachers of Pagosa Springs Elementary School. You have only to look at the extensive information they provide in their handbooks and handouts to truly understand their dedication and hard work towards their future students. They presented their curriculum sternly and clearly and I appreciate the sacrifices of their personal time to the school and the students. And though I am skeptical that three hours of education can be equal to the typical six hours of the full-dayers, I am convinced that if it can be pulled off, it could only be the Pagosa Springs Elementary School staff that could accomplish this huge undertaking. Yes, there was a lottery and a few scholarships were awarded to families in need, and this in itself should most definitely be recognized. I am a student and full-time stay-at-home mom. I am blessed with the ability to supplement my child with any education that I feel may be missed. There have been numerous leaps and bounds in the benefits of quality early childhood education so this is not a trivial issue. I understand education has taken too many hits financially and it is unfair to the underpaid and overworked staff of our schools to have to constantly bear the burden of that lack of funding. My point is, let us attempt to make the education process as fair as possible. Instead of the fastest car to the school, with the most money in hand, how about making half-day kindergarten for all?
Crossroads: a place where people and events come together. Crossroads is most aptly the name of the new residential psychiatric and detox facility to be operated by Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center. Crossroads will be located adjacent to the new Mercy Hospital with easy access to that wonderful medical resource as well.
Things will be better. Families devastated by mental illness crisis will have enhanced quality local support available. Individuals facing the challenges of chemical dependency will be better served in a modern and attractive environment conducive to healing.
To learn more about the important new resource coming to our community or to get involved, call Beth at (970)259-2162. Capital campaign construction contributions are now being accepted.
The Upper San Juan Health Services district has set up a memorial fund for Jim Saler, Bill Podmeyer and Scott Hyslop, to pay tribute for their tremendous contributions to our community. These three men lost their lives in the line of duty, when their Tri- State Careflight helicopter crashed June 30.
I attended a memorial service for the men in Durango last Wednesday where each was remembered as professional, caring, funny, loving men who touched countless lives in the course of their job. "They were the best of the best."
Each man leaves behind a family: Jim Saler leaves his wife, Janet, and three daughters. Bill Podmeyer leaves his wife, Judy Hill. Scott Hyslop leaves behind his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Ceilley, and a 5-month-old son.
Please send your contributions to the Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs, P. O. Drawer 1508, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 for the Upper San Juan Health Services Careflight Memorial Fund. The savings account, No. 951384, will be kept open until Aug. 5, 2005, and then will be distributed to the three families equally.
Congress needs to act quickly before it is too late for some of our country's veterans. Today, thousands of veterans are dying from diseases caused by asbestos, a deadly substance, to which they were exposed during their service in the military.
Asbestos has especially taken a heavy toll on our nation's veterans. This dangerous substance was widely used by the military during and after World War II, particularly in insulation aboard U.S. Navy ships. Because of the long latency periods of asbestos-related diseases, many veterans are still being diagnosed today with life-threatening diseases caused by exposure that occurred during military service decades ago.
Because veterans were employed by the federal government, they have very limited recourse to seek compensation from the government for their illnesses. Other avenues where veterans might seek compensation have are time-consuming and all too often fruitless. The companies that actually produced and supplied asbestos to the military have mostly gone bankrupt and provide only pennies on the dollar to victims, if any money at all. In addition, because the courts have been flooded with asbestos claims many veterans die before their cases are even heard in a court.
Veterans don't deserve this kind of treatment from their country. Many of our men and women in uniform fought hard to defend our country and our freedom and now it is time that our Colorado Senators fight for our veterans.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, or FAIR Act, a bill that would require much needed relief for veterans who were exposed to asbestos and other sick asbestos victims.
The FAIR Act would establish a privately-funded, no-fault, national asbestos victims compensation fund to replace the current, broken asbestos litigation system. The fund would provide prompt compensation for asbestos-related injuries based on claimants meeting reasonable eligibility criteria. All sick victims of asbestos exposure, including veterans, would be eligible under the fund.
The trust fund will not cost taxpayers a cent and will be funded by the businesses and insurance companies who are facing asbestos lawsuits.
Some in Congress have suggested that a federal medical criteria bill, which would leave consideration of asbestos claims in the courts, is a better solution. But a medical criteria bill would do nothing for veterans. A victims' trust fund is quite frankly the only solution to the asbestos problem that will ensure veterans receive the compensation they deserve, quickly and fairly.
In addition, the FAIR Act protects current veterans' benefits and legal assistance is available to those who need help with their claims. Veterans would be reimbursed for medical monitoring costs, allowing them to seek medical attention at the hospital of their choice.
And the fund would make sure there will be money available well into the future to take care of the victims who don't know they are sick yet.
Colorado veterans need this bill. Congress is now in a position to do something to help veterans suffering from asbestos-related illnesses. Colorado's Sen. Allard is already a co-sponsor. As a Coloradan and a veteran, I urge Sen. Salazar to join the growing, bipartisan list of bill co-sponsors. And I encourage both of our Senators to do the right thing and vote yes for S. 852 when it comes to the Senate floor.
James L. Mitchell
Set aside the past
As I listen to all of the opinions surrounding "county business" these days, I am reminded that we live in a very contentious and adversarial society. I am not alone in wanting to live in a world that is not so full of conflict in every arena of life. Who is to "blame" for the type of society we live in, and who can change it? The answer to both questions is "all of us." As long as there is more than one person alive, there will be controversy and that is okay. Controversy is not the problem. Differences of opinion will always be present in one form or another. Do we use it to guide us through a process that results in a win-win situation for all parties or do we allow it to bring out the worst in us, to the point where the end result is somehow lost in our struggle to be "right?" Or, worse yet, do we do nothing to improve a given situation because we would rather have no progress on an issue than to risk conflict?
I believe that our elected officials act out the values of those they represent as they conduct our business. Therefore, we must all take responsibility for the conduct of our officials. I'm old-fashioned enough to believe that our public officials serve as examples and role models for everyone. You might say that they did not sign up for such a responsibility. I say that by putting themselves forward for election to public office they absolutely did take on that responsibility. So what is our responsibility in these matters? As citizens of this community, our responsibility is to expect and demand a constructive teamwork approach to resolving public issues. We should neither encourage, nor allow, nor reward negative behavior which seeks to destroy trust and cooperation between parties or advance anyone for personal gain or recognition.
We must demand that our public officials work cooperatively for the good of all concerned. They must bring dignity, integrity and respect to every aspect of their job. Furthermore, they must stay engaged in the process until a win-win solution is reached on every issue.
This county has a long history of county commissioners who don't get along with each other. As a result, lots of county business hasn't gotten done. Many voters who went to the polls last year wanted that to change. Are we encouraging positive change these days? Do we really believe using tactics such as threatening recall or lawsuits is an effective means to conduct business and get things done? Perhaps we would all be better served if we set aside the past and get on with the present.
Our community is a microcosm of the world. We can't just complain about what a violent and self-serving world we live in. We must take action. Let's set an example for other communities on how we work together and handle tough issues. Think about it.
Get out of way
Although my permanent residence is Phoenix, I own property in Pagosa Lakes and have regularly spent wonderful time in beautiful Pagosa since 1989. As a subscriber to your fine paper I stay abreast of the current events in the area.
I have been totally amazed at the comments and intended actions of the county commissioners. It is my understanding that "public officials" are elected by the people to perform the services required of the people. These commissioners should be determining how certain routine and expected services such as road maintenance and snow removal should be performed. To say that they cannot provide road services for any road in the county, much less 70 percent of them, is clearly not doing their jobs.
As a taxpayer I do not want to hear my public servants telling me that they cannot provide basic public services.
Would these commissioners please do us, the people, a favor by resigning from office so that we will be spared the expense and inconvenience of having them impeached. Quite simply, if they cannot do the job, then get out of the way so that we can find someone who can.
This is the second year we have visited our daughter in your beautiful city.
Unfortunately we were greatly disappointed to find the route to her home in worse condition than ever.
If her life is ever endangered because emergency vehicles were delayed because of the conditions of Sweetwater and Twin Creek Circle, your city and county will be sued and also your property owners association.
Editor's note: The streets noted in the letter are not within the Pagosa Springs town boundaries. The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has no legal obligation to maintain roads.
Volunteers Needed for Home Delivered Meal Program
Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life?
The Archuleta County Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivered meal program for our senior citizens.
Applications are currently being accepted from individuals as well as businesses, churches and other organizations that would like to make a difference. All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available in one hour increments once a week. We are also accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.
Adopt a home delivered route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information contact Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167.
Wolf Creek Pass closures, delays through fall
Wolf Creek Pass will be closed overnight throughout the summer for construction work on the east side of the pass near the tunnel.
These closures began Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m.
The overnight closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday nights only from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Labor Day. (Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7, the pass will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday).
During these closures, overnight traffic traveling from the Front Range to the west side of Wolf Creek Pass can go south on U.S. 285 to Colo. 17; Colo. 17 to U.S. 84 west to Pagosa Springs. Eastbound overnight traffic should follow the same alternate route in reverse.
In addition to these overnight closures, motorists should expect daytime travel delays of at least 30 minutes or more throughout the summer as traffic queues are cleared in each direction Monday through Friday.
This construction phase includes a one-half-mile stretch of U.S. 160 east of the new tunnel, from the Big Meadows Reservoir access road (mile marker 174.7) east. Crews will be widening lanes, shoulders and upgrading guardrail to meet current federal safety standards. The project began June 6 and completion is scheduled for summer 2006.
Updated project information can be found at www.cdot.info/wolfcreekpass/ or by calling the project hotline at (719) 849-1778. Information is also available on the Colorado Department of Transportation's toll-free road condition hotline at (877) 315-ROAD.
Parelli seeks local horse owners for TV show
Parelli Natural Horsemanship is taping a brand new TV show for RFD-TV (Satellite DISH and DIRECTV), and is looking for local horse owners who have an issue or problem with their horse.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work one-on-one with internationally acclaimed horse experts Pat and Linda Parelli.
If you are interested in auditioning to be a candidate for the show, please send a VHS tape, no longer than five minutes in length, showing you and your horse having the problem.
Send your tape to: Attn: Video Dept., Parelli Natural Horsemanship, PO Box 3729, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
World-class concerts, programs highlight summer season
By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
Classical music enthusiasts might be excused if they look at the Music in the Mountains concert plans for this summer and think they have been transported to a big city like New York or to a European capital.
That's because the world-class caliber of the many soloists and groups who are performing here ranks right up there with the best.
Wide variety of talent
Take the plans for Friday, July 22, as an example. Pagosa will host internationally famous violinist Vadim Gluzman, whose performance will include Bruch's "Octet." He is flying in from Europe just to perform for Music in the Mountains. Gluzman has been hailed as a clone of the late virtuoso Isaac Stern, and lauded by critics and audiences as one of the most inspiring, dynamic artists performing today.
Joining Gluzman on the program for this special evening will be a trio composed of Erin Hannigan on the oboe, Greg Hustis on the horn and Edward Neuman on the piano. Hustis and Hannigan are leading members of the Dallas symphony orchestra. These musicians have performed in venues all over North America and also, in the case of Hustis, in Rio de Janeiro. Hustis and Newman also have made recordings of their performances.
Another example of an extraordinary blend of talent will take place on Friday, Aug. 5, when Antonio Pompa-Baldi brings his piano mastery back to Pagosa. His performance will include Mozart and Chopin. Having performed with orchestras around the world and in the PBS "Concerto" series, he too was a great hit with local audiences the last two summers. A Van Cliburn silver medalist, he recently was praised as a "pianistic messiah."
Pompa-Baldi will be joined by a trio composed of Theodore Arm on the violin, Barbara Hustis on the viola and Jan Simiz on the cello. Together they will play the Schumann "Piano Quartet in E Major." Each of these players is well-known in the music world, having made names for themselves performing solo and in chamber groups on stages around the world.
Both these concerts begin at 7 p.m. at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch.
Cost of these concerts is $40 and tickets are available at the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce.
Full orchestra to perform
Adding to the wealth of talent visiting Pagosa, on Saturday, July 30, Israeli-born pianist Aviram Reichert will perform Dvorak's "Carnival Overture" and Beethoven's piano concertos No. 3 and No. 5 (Emperor) at 6 p.m. with the full festival orchestra. Reichert, a perennial favorite who has won numerous awards and performed with major orchestras in Israel and Europe, wowed Pagosa audiences when he played here the last two summers.
This concert is sold out, but the Chamber is maintaining a waiting list. This list will act as a clearing house to help ticket holders who must cancel get the names of people wanting tickets. Or, if you are unable to use your concert tickets and would like to donate them to Music in the Mountains, you will be provided with a tax letter for the full amount of the purchase price. The Chamber can provide you with further details.
"We're incredibly lucky to have first-class musicians who have performed to rave reviews around the world come to Pagosa to play for us," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains. "Thanks to the Browns, we will enjoy this outstanding music in a spectacular mountain setting at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass."
"Peter and the Wolf" returns
In addition, in response to popular demand after last summer's successful event, Music in the Mountains will host a free outdoor community concert for "kids of all ages" and their families at Town Park on Thursday, July 28, at 11 a.m.
Highlight of this event will be the performance of "Peter and the Wolf," a work created by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev to teach his children about the symphony. Each character in the story - Peter, his grandfather, the wolf, a cat, a bird, a duck and some hunters - is represented by an instrument and will be acted by local children.
"We are repeating our performance of 'Peter and the Wolf' at the request of families who loved last summer's show, and also because many people who missed the performance last year heard so many rave reviews that they asked for a reprise," said Lisa Scott, co-chair of this event with Claudia Rosenbaum.
Clinkenbeard pointed out that ticket prices pay for only a small portion of the cost of the concerts. "That is why our benefit fund-raiser on June 25 and the contributions we receive from individual donors, businesses and other organizations are so crucial to our Pagosa festival," she said.
Local donations, volunteers critical to festival
"We're especially grateful to our major sponsors, including BootJack Ranch, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship, Coleman Vision, Avjet Corporation, Bob Hart- Hart Construction and Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat, Bank of the San Juans, The Source, the Town of Pagosa Springs, LPEA, Wells Fargo Bank and the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs," said Clinkenbeard.
As well, all of the planning and organizational work is done by Clinkenbeard's local volunteer steering committee composed of Melinda Baum, Mary Jo Coulehan, Lauri Heraty, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft and Lisa Scott.
If you are unable to visit the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce to purchase tickets, they also are available on line at www.tix.com or through the Music in the Mountains Web site at www.musicinthemountains.com.
For more information on the concerts, or to get on the waiting list for the full festival orchestra event, please call the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360 or (800) 252-2204.
To be put on the mailing list for the concerts and future Pagosa Music in the Mountains events, call (970) 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.
Music in the Mountains - steady growth in programs, audiences
By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
Since its inception 19 years ago, Music in the Mountains has built a rich history of classical music excellence first in Durango and now also in Pagosa Springs. Highlights in the development of this world-class summer festival and its related youth programs include:
1987: Music in the Mountains classical concerts launches in Durango with five performances showcasing 11 Dallas musicians under the direction of artistic director and conductor Mischa Semanitzky. By 2005, the festival has become a major Four Corners summer event, encompassing 34 performances, with the festival orchestra numbering more than 50 world-renowned musicians born and trained all over the globe.
1996: Conservatory Music in the Mountains debuts in Durango, offering musical education opportunities and scholarships for string players and pianists, both teachers and younger students, from Pagosa Springs and other Four Corners cities and towns.
1999: Music in the Mountains Goes to School program begins for students in Durango, and expands to Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Mancos, Ignacio and Farmington. By 2005 it has reached 4,000 elementary and secondary school students in the Four Corners region during the regular school year.
2002: Music in the Mountains debuts in Pagosa Springs, with two concerts at the Lodge at BootJack Ranch.
2003: Second year of concerts in Pagosa, with three performances now under the tent at BootJack Ranch. Our town's first benefit supporting the festival takes place at Bear Mountain Ranch, the home of Jon and Fran Jenkins.
2004: Third year of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa - three concerts and a benefit event at the Keyah Grande home of Alan and Barbara Sackman. Family Festivo, a free community musical event featuring "Peter and the Wolf" and local youth groups, debuts in Town Park to rave reviews from an audience of 600 families and "kids of all ages."
2005: Fourth year of concerts in Pagosa, and the first-ever appearance of the full festival orchestra here, under a new bigger tent seating 350 at BootJack Ranch, increasing seating capacity by 50 percent. In three and a half weeks, more concert tickets are sold in Pagosa than seats were available last year. Also, the largest and most successful benefit ever takes place at the BootJack Ranch Aquatic Center, thanks to David and Carol Brown. Funds raised support of classical concerts, children's musical events and music scholarships in Pagosa Springs.
2006: Music in the Mountains will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Durango and fifth anniversary in Pagosa Springs with special classical musical events next summer. Stay tuned!
Creative leadership behind success of Pagosa's "Peter and the Wolf"
By Carole Howard
Special to The PREVIEW
Last summer almost 600 people - families and "kids of all ages" - came to Town Park to enjoy our community's first-ever performance of "Peter and the Wolf."
Local children played all the parts, accompanied by 15 members of the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra. The event was such a success that it is being reprised on July 28 - back by popular demand from those who loved the initial show and those who missed it the first time around. Here are five people whose creative leadership makes our local "Peter" so special:
- Artistic director and conductor: Mischa Semanitzky launched Music in the Mountains in Durango 19 years ago, and then expanded to Pagosa Springs in 2002. The son of a Russian Orthodox priest, he began his musical training on the violin at age 5 and his conducting career at age 10, leading his father's church choir. He has conducted scores of orchestras in cities throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and has created many programs over the years to build young people's knowledge and love of classical music. The New York Times has called him "a musician of impeccable taste, with a dramatic flair."
- Costumes: You may not recognize Michael DeWinter by name, but everyone who attends theatrical events in Pagosa is familiar with his outstanding costumes and sets. He has been involved in theater since elementary school, studied costume design professionally and also acted in commercials. DeWinter moved to Pagosa from Dallas with his family eight years ago. He is the owner of Plaid Pony, a shop specializing in gifts, flowers, tuxedo rentals and his interior design business.
- Narration: Rarely does a great musical event take place in Pagosa without the benefit of Larry Elginer's superb directing, singing or trumpet playing skills. For 38 years he taught instrumental music and speech in California, where he also played and sang professionally in numerous bands and orchestras. Here in Pagosa he is actively involved in everything musical, co-directing the Pagosa Springs Community Choir, conducting clinics in schools, and playing and singing with local jazz groups.
- Program coordinators: Felicia Meyer and Melinda Baum both are well known in Pagosa for their artistic talent and creative flair, so their excellent coaching of the children in "Peter and the Wolf" is no surprise. Baum, who has lived in Pagosa for seven years, works part-time in the school district accompanying the high school choir. She is very involved with most of the musical happenings in our community, and also with her three kids, who keep her running. She says she cannot imagine life without music - or kids. At present she is spearheading an effort to hire another full-time music teacher for our local schools.
Meyer recently returned to Pagosa after six weeks of rehearsal and performance with the Skins ensemble at La Mama Theater in New York City. While there, she performed in some "street theater" in Central Park for the opening of Christo and Jeanne Claude's The Gates, and she hopes to create that same sort of magic in Pagosa's "central park" on July 28. Locally, she teaches acting workshops and yoga, as the owner of Standing Mountain Yoga Studio downtown, and is working with other groups in the community to create more opportunities for arts in Pagosa.
Mule, horse, carriage group plays big role at fair
By Jim Super
Special to The PREVIEW
The Archuleta County Fair is gearing up to provide some spectacular fun for all to enjoy.
One of the many highlights of this year's fair is a presentation by the Draft Horse, Mule & Carriage Association - a major part of the activities set Aug. 4-8.
Unfortunately, venues and times printed in the new Fair Book and Exhibitors Handbook are inaccurate. To rectify this situation, here is an outline of scheduled events . Please use this information as you make plans to enjoy the association program.
Several members of the association will play a vital role in the opening ceremony for the Archuleta County Fair at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. Anyone with a team or single driving horse or mule is welcome to participate in the event. You do not have to be a member of the Association to join in on the fun.
Friday, Aug. 5, will be the day for all fair guests to visit the association booth where they'll find a plethora of information and members to answer any questions regarding the organization. Furthermore, you can admire the draft animals or look at a variety of wagons, carriages and equipment on display. You can also enjoy a wagon ride around the fairgrounds and make believe that you are living in the old west.
Members of the association will give demonstrations from noon until evening and will be available for questions.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, the FCDHMCA will conduct a Halter Class Show for mules, hinnies, draft animals and breeding stock. Miniatures are also welcome at this event. Entrants will be divided into some 26 classes, including a class for the best-matched draft team and mule team. There is a place in this event for every animal to be judged against like animals. The entry fee is $10 per class with first, second and third place ribbons presented in each class. A Peoples' Choice Award will be presented at the conclusion of the halter show.
Driving events will begin at 12:30 p.m. with 10 competitions to enter. Among the varied events are log skidding, pleasure driving and an obstacle course. All events will be divided into single or team events, including those for two-wheel or four-wheel vehicles and those for different size draft animals and mules. There will be awards for first, second and third places as well as a Peoples' Choice Award. Entry fees are $10 per event.
Another highlight of the afternoon will be the kids games held during the driving events. Prizes will be awarded to youngsters who participate, compliments of The Bank Of The San Juans. Also gift certificates will be given out at random during the day, the gifts provided by generous merchants from around the Four Corners region.
The association invites all draft horse, mule, hinny, donkey and mini animal enthusiasts and owners to take part in these activities at the Archuleta County Fair. Again, you do not need to be a member to join in.
Information and registration will be available at the association booth Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6. until an event begins. For more information, call Bob Cooper at (970) 749-5133 or (970) 884-2655
In addition, opening ceremony tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Extension office. Tickets are $10 and guarantee a front row seat for the evening events. One of the many featured acts at the ceremony is The Hot Strings.
We hope to see all of you at the fair. For current information on events and festivities, go to www.archuletacountyfair.com.
To the memory of a great friend of the fair
By Lisa Scott
Special to The PREVIEW
This year's fair is dedicated to the memory and the many contributions of Faye Mattie Teeson Brown. She was proud to be a rancher; a lifestyle she felt was her destiny. There was nothing that Fay couldn't ride, tame or love.
Faye was born in Chromo, March 9, 1905, and lived most of her life in Archuleta County. She married Raymond Theodore Brown on Oct. 29, 1922, in Pagosa Springs. She has two sons, Raymond and Warren, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
She lived through tremendous hardships and poverty and did whatever had to be done to make ends meet. She always had her cattle, horses, vegetable garden and crop of hay. It's been said that the milk, butter and cream that Faye made from her cows helped to raise half the population of Pagosa Springs. Her love for her animals was legendary. She spent as much time on horseback as on foot and was an expert horsewoman.
Faye and her family were very involved in 4-H and the county fair in every way imaginable over the decades. What is currently the "Fair Lady Award" was originally titled "Pioneer Lady" and was established in 1984 and awarded to Faye. That year, during the "Dress Review" event at the fair, Faye as Pioneer Lady modeled pioneer style clothing, told her family history in the days of 1800-1930 and described their personal contributions made to the county.
We will remember her on horseback, in her bonnet and vest, and waving to the crowd in the annual Pagosa Springs Fourth of July Parade which she rode in for the last time in 2004 at the age of 99. Faye did remarkable work in Archuleta County as a dedicated woman with traditional western family values.
County fair Super Volunteer Mark Crain
By Lisa Scott
Special to The PREVIEW
The Archuleta County Fair Board would like to salute Mark Crain for his over-the-top efforts on behalf of the 4-H program and the county fair.
Mark Crain has been a fixture in the 4-H program and the fair since 1986 when his oldest daughter, Cherie, started in 4-H with their first horse. His other daughter Sarah followed in the 4-H footsteps and both girls were dedicated and successful 4-H members, participating in a variety of projects but primarily livestock.
Mark claims his inspiration comes from Betty Shahan, his daughter's first 4-H club leader, and Sandy Bramwell - both of whom were extremely dedicated to the 4-H program and the youth involved.
Since his children graduated from high school and the 4-H program, Mark continues to be a fixture in the 4-H livestock tent and at the 4-H livestock auction. Mark proclaims that he and his kids got so much from the program that he wants to give back. He loves the kids, the animals and all the tent and fair activities.
For a decade, Mark has taken a week's vacation from work during the fair in order to be at the fair full time. He works primarily in the livestock tent doing anything and everything for the 4-Hers and anyone who might need the assistance. He always has a smile on his face and something nice and encouraging to say.
Mark and his wife, Wanda, who have been married for 26 years, moved to Pagosa in 1979 from Ft. Worth. Mark worked as a mail carrier and at the Curio Corral before starting on the opening day at Ponderosa Do-It-Best where he has been employed for 21 years and is now assistant manager. Mark is very proud of the time he and his family spent in Moscow in 1993-94 opening a Christian school.
The fair board is indebted to Mark for his tireless work, enthusiasm and generosity that he extends to the 4-H program and the youth of the community.
Cowboy poet Bob Huff performs at Williams
Bob Huff shares his experiences in life and on the trail through cowboy poetry in a special evening July 16.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. at Teal Boat Ramp at Williams Reservoir.
Allow about 40 minutes for the beautiful drive north of Pagosa Springs on Piedra Road to Williams Creek Road and the reservoir. Dress warmly, bring a chair, flashlight and blanket for this outdoor program.
The program is sponsored by the San Juan National Forest, a partner in the Interpretive Alliance. The Interpretive Alliance provides provocative, enjoyable and memorable programs focusing on Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas - for free. Watch for colorful calendars posted throughout the area during the summer.
For additional information about programs, check online at www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/education or contact Phyllis Wheaton at Pagosa Ranger District Office, 264-2268.
UU to discuss fundamentalist religious movements
By John Graves
Special to The PREVIEW
For their service on Sunday, July 17, The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will have as guest speaker Professor Jim Cross, from Fort Lewis College in Durango. He will address the topic of fundamentalist religion.
Cross points out that members of fundamentalist groups see themselves as saviors of society. For this reason they are able to justify almost any action, however extreme, and any personal sacrifice, however great, for their cause.
Professor Cross will present a thorough look at fundamentalist religious movements, their characteristics and traits, and the reasons they occur. Using examples from fundamentalist Mormon, Christian and Islamic religions, Cross will make comparisons, cite common aspects, and explore possible conclusions and ways to deal with them.
Cross has been a professor in the exercise science department at Fort Lewis College for the past 17 years and an educator for 31 years, including periods at Queens College in New York City and Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He teaches courses in exercise physiology, science of sport performance, sport sociology and sport ethics.
The service and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is 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.
Please note that there will not be a potluck luncheon following this service. For more information, call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589, or John Graves at 731-9863.
Native American Cultural Gathering at Chimney Rock
By Caroline Brown
Special to The PREVIEW
It's been almost 10 years since Hopi singers and dancers came back to the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.
The first puebloan drumbeat in over 900 years was heard Sept. 16, 1995, at the Chimney Rock site and a group led by Eldon Kewanyama from the village of Shungopovi on Second Mesa in northwestern Arizona, performed the Buffalo Dance near the great house kivas at the top of the Chimney Rock mesa.
Since then, many different pueblo groups and other tribes including Zuni, Yaqui, Aztec, Maya, San Juan, Santa Clara, Acoma, Laguna, Taos, Picuris and Southern Utes have come back to sing their songs, perform their traditional dances and share their stories.
The 10th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering will be July 23 and 24 this year. Kewanyama, whose voice was first heard at Chimney Rock in 1995, will not be at Chimney Rock that weekend, as he has religious commitments at his village. However, Kewanyama has many friends in the Pagosa area and when the traditional singers and dancers are here, he has asked that everyone pray for moisture and good health and abundance as the groups dance, and he asked them to remember the Hopis who were the first to bring the songs and dances back to Chimney Rock.
This year's event will include traditional peoples from Zuni, San Felipe Pueblo, San Juan Pueblo, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos, as well as Aztec dancers. Admission is $10. For more information about the event, call Caroline Brown at (970) 731-4248.
Lecture, workshop, auction planned by Pagosa Waldorf Initiative
The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative has announced a public lecture and workshop to be led by Rahima Baldwin Dancy on Aug. 5 and 6.
Dancy, author of "You Are Your Child's First Teacher," is one of the leading interpreters of the principles of Waldorf early childhood education. She received her training at the Waldorf Institute before teaching kindergarten at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor and leading a Waldorf home preschool. She is the founder and president of Informed Family Life and author of "Special Delivery and Pregnant Feelings." She was a primary midwife and co-director of The Birth Center in Michigan for nine years. She currently lives in Boulder. Together with her husband, Agaf Dancy, she has raised four children who are now 25-35 years old.
All parents and educators want what is best for their children and students. Yet it is easier to define and meet basic physical and emotional needs than it is to know how, what and when to teach children in the preschool years.
What do young children really need? What will really prepare them for life in our rapidly changing world? These and other questions and topics will be explored in Dancy's Friday evening lecture.
Following this event there will be a live auction, with proceeds to benefit the Pagosa Waldorf Initiative - a budding nonprofit working to bring Waldorf education to the community.
On Saturday morning, the topic Family Matters: Creating a More Harmonious Home Life will be discussed. The pace of life and the many demands we all experience leave many parents too busy to notice that their home life has become chaotic and draining instead of being a haven of calm and renewal. Join other workshops participants to learn practical ways in which home life can be a supportive foundation for all members of the family.
Organizers of the event invite all those interested in the guidance and well-being of our young children to attend. Certificates of participation and CEUs will be available.
Tickets are on sale now at Pacific Auction Exchange (731-3949) and will also be sold at the door before the events. Cost is $10 for Friday evening 6-9 p.m. and $15 for Saturday morning 8:30 a.m.-noon. All events will take place in the Pagosa Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd.
For more information, call 731-1415.
Four homes on Home and Garden Tour
By Marti Capling
Special to the PREVIEW
Tickets are now available for the fifth annual Home and Garden Tour Sunday, July 24, from noon to 5 p.m., sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Tickets for PSAC members are $10 and $12 for nonmembers. They can be purchased at the PSAC Art Center/Gallery in Town Park, the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, and WolfTracks. Plan to get them early, as ticket sales will be limited to 300.
In addition to four uniquely styled homes, one with a Japanese teahouse, and each with landscaped yards, decks and wonderful views, one of the special features of the selected homes is that each contains a cross section of paintings and sculpture by well known local artists. Look for works by Pat Erickson, Clair Goldrick, Wayne Justus, Milt Lewis, Ginnie Bartlett, Denny Rose and Kent Gordon. Several other local artists will be exhibited at the refreshment center which will be set up in a fully furnished and decorated luxury town home model.
Another addition to the tour is a garden-only property in the Pagosa Lakes area. The owner has been working and reworking the garden for several years and it has become quite a showplace. It contains a large variety of flowering plants, shrubs, ground covers and walkways, and most of the plantings thrive in this climate with minimum watering. Participants are encouraged to drive by or park and walk through the yard and garden area.
Tickets provide detailed directions to all the homes and gardens, which participants can visit in any order.
Sunday, July 24, promises to be a special celebration of art and music in Pagosa, so plan to gather up your friends and neighbors and attend the Home and Garden Tour in the afternoon and the American Roots Music Festival in the evening. What better way to spend the day.
Early blues and jazz at American Roots Music Festival
By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Early blues and jazz is the theme for the American Roots Music Festival Sunday, July 24, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
Local celebrity John Graves will trace the evolution of these distinctly American musical forms through his entertaining piano renditions and witty monolog style. Along with Graves, several other musicians and dancers will be performing: acoustic blues and ragtime guitarist Steve Rolig; dancer and singer Alissa Snyder; trumpet player Larry Elginer; saxophonist, dancer and singer Kimberly Judd; bassist Dan Fitzpatrick; and Paul and Carla Roberts.
The concert begins at 6 p.m. It will be preceded by a guitar workshop featuring old-time blues and ragtime with Steve Rolig at 4 p.m. A community potluck social begins at 5 p.m.
The potluck will be an opportunity to make new friends, network and share some good food. Concert goers who arrive later can gobble up the leftovers.
An evening of cool music should be the right antidote for the high temperatures we're having. After a few bellows from Kimberly Judd's alto saxophone, the always-refreshing presence of John Graves, some tingling melodic arpeggios from Larry Elginer's trumpet, and a little soft-shoe by Alissa Snyder, we'll soon be swinging along with a summer breeze.
So, come out and enjoy some of the best music in the American tradition. Bring the whole family!
Tickets will be available at the door. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $12 for families. Children are admitted free of charge.
Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is in the PLPOA complex in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. From the Pagosa Country Center City Market take U.S. 160 west to Vista Boulevard. Turn right (north) on Vista Boulevard. Turn left at Port Avenue. The clubhouse is at the end of Port.
American Roots Music Festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.
For further information and advanced tickets, call 731-3117.
Martinez featured in Chimney Rock programs
By Karen Aspin
Special to The PREVIEW
This summer, flow to the soulful Native American flute melodies of Charles Martinez, at spectacular Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, in a special concert event and at every full moon celebration.
Martinez is a native Pagosan of Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage, whose message of harmony is masterfully shared in the traditional style.
The winning combination of Martinez's enchanting music and the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock provide locals and visitors with some exceptional events to mark on their activity calendars.
First, on Saturday, July 16, spend an enchanted evening listening to Martinez, in a solo performance on the Native American flute at the Great Kiva at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, west of Pagosa Springs. The gate will be open from 5:30-6 p.m. only to allow concert-goers sufficient time to drive to the upper parking lot and be seated prior to the concert, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are advised for this performance. Tickets are $15 for adults; children under 12 are $7.50. Should weather conditions force cancellation of the concert, the performance rain date will be July 17.
Another occasion offering an opportunity to listen to Martinez's flute playing - this time accompanied by the moon - arises at the next Full Moon Celebration at Chimney Rock, scheduled for Thursday, July 21.
During this informative and entertaining program, guests can watch the full moon rise at the Great House Pueblo site, learn about the ancestral-Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, archaeoastronomy theories, and area geology - all intermingled with Martinez's magical flute melodies.
USDA Forest Service Geologist Glenn Raby, from the Pagosa District, is the program presenter. The gate will be open from 7:45-8:15 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated.
Moonrise is at 9:14 p.m. on this evening, and the program runs about two hours. Tickets are $15, and reservations are required. Children under 12 are discouraged from attending the full moon events. Flashlights are also required for participant safety. This program should not be confused with the Major Lunar Standstill programs where the moon rises between the spires, which will not occur during the full moon events.
Folk festival receives state arts grant
The Four Corners Folk Festival has been awarded a matching grant of $12,090 from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency. This grant was awarded through the CCA's 2005-2006 Grants to Artists and Organizations Program and it will support artist's fees at the 2005 Four Corners Folk Festival.
State grants are awarded through a competitive process. This grant signifies that FolkWest provides a high level of quality in its programs, community service and administrative ability. The Four Corners Folk Festival marks its tenth year in 2005, and has transformed Labor Day in Pagosa Springs from a low visitor weekend to one of the busiest times of the year, demonstrating that cultural tourism is an important component of a tourist-based economy.
An independent study by J.R. Porter & Associates conservatively estimated that the 2004 Four Corners Folk Festival generated nearly $736,000 in economic activity in Pagosa Springs and $110,000 in the region, not including revenue from ticket sales.
When notified of the award, local state representative Mark Larson offered the following comment: "Southwestern Colorado depends heavily upon tourism dollars to ensure a healthy economy. Cultural tourism plays an incredibly important role in attracting those tourism visitors to our part of the state. Public funding of the arts is critical to stimulate the significant impact the arts community has on this economic base. We must continue to provide that public funding stimulus."
The Colorado Council on the Arts is funded through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Information about the 2005 Four Corners Folk Festival is available by calling (877) 472-4672 or online at www.folkwest.com.
Mini Sculptures in the Making - - John Pingenot
By Erin K. Quirk
John Pingenot is a craftsman with a grey beard and a quiet manner - not unlike you'd imagine Gepetto, Pinocchio's creator to be. Pingenot works steadily every day building handsome, original works of art out of gold, jewels and elk ivory.
You won't see work like Pingenot's anywhere else because each is a singular creation, sans mold, that comes directly from the mind of a man not formally trained in the art of jewelry making. To Pingenot, that is an advantage as his work is strictly his own.
"Being self-taught takes a lot longer, but you can see the difference in my designs," he said.
For example, an 80-carat Ametrine stone, which is an alluring combination of dark lavender and yellow, sits in a substantial 18-carat gold setting. The piece is unquestionably grandiose and it's hard not to feel a little royal wearing it. The stone is asymmetrical with a few sharp cuts interrupting its smooth heaviness.
People told Pingenot the stone was far too big and the ring too heavy, but he doesn't mind. He has plans for one twice its size.
"I just work with a stone," Pingenot said. "I try to cut a stone until it's really clean. Whatever shape comes up, as long as it looks nice, that's what I do."
That giant Ametrine is cradled in a generous setting of gold which Pingenot designed after he got the stone right. Nearly all of his pieces feature heavy gold work and geometric, bold designs, although most are markedly smaller than his Ametrine.
Pingenot believes part of the value of his work lies in his willingness to spend extra money to ensure the gold in a ring is solid. One of his rings on your finger will hardly let you ignore its presence. In his mind, the extra gold means quality and durability of his pieces.
Another ring, with a square gold band holds a 23-carat round blue topaz, which looks like a cathedral ceiling. The piece is heavy with gold and features one of Pingenot's other trademarks. Pingenot cuts his own stones into intricate masterpieces all their own.
Over the years, Pingenot has developed considerable skill in the art of gem cutting. He started practicing on cubic zirconium and now has a machine that will cut a stone within two millionths of an inch, he said. Gems with hundreds of facets emerge - a result for which most gem cutters have neither the time nor patience.
The tiny cuts in these stones make patterns in topaz, citrine or tourmaline. They look as though a thousand tiny flowers are growing under the surface of the stone. Some of the stones, he said, have as many as three times the cuts of an ordinary diamond.
"Everyone tells me to call this the flower cut," Pingenot said about one of his designs in a pink cubic zirconium. "But I can't quite do that."
Pingenot, who got a start from his silversmith mother and has been at his craft for 30 years now, is confident in his designs. He enjoys seeing the work of other artists but doesn't imitate them. He accepts a good deal of commission work but will not allow the customer to dictate the design. Customers bring in elk ivories for him to set in gold or with just an idea for a stone. Pingenot said he rarely knows what the piece will come to until it is finished. He simply starts with a block of wax and drills a hole in it. He sets a stone in the wax and begins carving until, as he says, "it comes out the way I want it.
"It constantly changes when I'm working on it," Pingenot said. "I kind of just go with the flow now."
Pingenot, who moved to Pagosa a few years ago from Sedona, Ariz., likes to fish in his spare time, but doesn't feel compelled to escape the work he loves. While he has worked an odd job or two in his early days, Pingenot has never done anything but create custom, one-of-a-kind jewelry. He said he has no desire to do anything else. He said it took about 10 years to become really happy with his work.
A local artist came into Pingenot's shop the other day and purchased a ring on the spot. Pingenot was pleased. The piece was slightly smaller and more delicate than some of his other pieces and featured a stone carved like a tiny barbell that spun on its golden core.
"People tell me I don't make jewelry, I make mini sculptures," said Pingenot who added that he doesn't really consider himself a jeweler, but a man who just likes to cut stones and work with metal.
For more information about Pingenot visit www.distinctivejewerly.biz.
Celebrate anniversary with festival favorites
By Crista Munro
Special to The PREVIEW
It wouldn't be right to celebrate a tenth anniversary and not invite back some of the folks who've helped make the Four Corners Folk Festival so dang special over the years. With that in mind, two all-time festival favorites - Eddie From Ohio and Tony Furtado - will be featured at this year's event, scheduled for Sept. 2-4 on Reservoir Hill.
Eddie From Ohio's sound has been poetically described as "streams of music rushing over the common ground of folk and rock." But EFO is beloved for so many things, not the least of which are their spectacular harmonies, crisp instrumental performances, and songs that range from thoughtful to joyful, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Their most recent release, "This Is Me," is the group's first collaboration with Lloyd Maines, winner of a Grammy Award in 2003 for his production of the Dixie Chicks album Home. His contributions as both producer and performer fueled a process of mutual inspiration that mark "This Is Me" as EFO's finest achievement to date.
In fact, count on "This Is Me" as the long-awaited breakthrough moment for a band whose enduring excellence defies all the rules of pop notoriety and adds up to an intriguing story. Take it all the way back to fifth grade; that's when Michael Clem and Robbie Schaefer met as classmates in McLean, Virginia, just west of D.C. Their friendship, cemented even then by a love for music, carried on to James Madison University, a couple of hours from McLean, where each enrolled as a communications major. There they met Eddie Hartness, a music student moonlighting on weekends as a drummer with local bands. And Robbie had kept in touch with high school acquaintance Julie Murphy, who was studying hotel restaurant management at Virginia Tech.
Although all four future EFO members had become friendly, the idea of forming a group didn't occur to anybody until one night at one of Robbie's solo gigs. Michael and Julie had gone to the show together, and as they began singing along during his set, a light bulb suddenly flicked on in Michael's imagination. "There were groups doing heavy harmony vocals with acoustic guitars," he remembers, "I sensed that there would be an audience for that kind of an act. Turns out I was right." With Julie on board as the most frequently designated lead singer, the group asked Eddie to join on percussion. Though he'd only played the traditional drum kit up to that point, he accepted their invitation, borrowed some bongos from Michael's brother, and before long they were playing their first jobs.
Things went pretty well for EFO from the start. They stood out immediately: Their vocal blend, rhythmic vigor, and prolific, original material was unlike anything else on the market - sort of like Peter, Paul and Mary on high-octane French roast. After reaching a crossroads that leads either toward music as a weekend hobby or a way of life, all four members convened one day at Chili's to pledge their full commitment.
Playing mainly covers at first, they soon began to emphasize Michael's and Robbie's originals in their sets. New songs came thick and fast - songs about a funeral for someone nobody liked, about being devoured by a crocodile, bombs that explode too quickly, the weatherŠ no subject was too bizarre or mundane. They pulled six of these tunes off a board tape, copied them onto cassettes, and sold them at gigs. Just like that, word began to spread.
In '96, having caught media attention with their first three CDs, EFO signed with a major booking agency and began to expand their performance horizons. By late 1998, after the Washington Area Music Association picked EFO as Best Contemporary Folk Group, they were in high enough demand to give up Bad Habits and hit the road beyond the DC territory. They shared stages with Roger McGuinn, Arlo Guthrie, Roseanne Cash, and other headliners at major folk festivals. They opened for acts as diverse as Los Lobos, Dar Williams, Collective Soul, and the Posies. They spread the Edhead gospel far and wide, through performances at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, the Bottom Line and B. B. King's in New York, and Wolf Trap and the Birchmere in their own backyard. They stirred up critics all across the country who were lucky enough to catch their act.
"Things we shied away from in the past, electric guitars, drum sets, even me jumping from the acoustic to the Precision bass didn't scare us off this time, as long as they served the song," Michael explains. "To be honest, a lot of that comes from working with Lloyd (Maines). It's the mark of his genius to help us embellish our sound, rather than cover it up. And that gave us an adrenaline push like we've never had before."
EFO will bring their trademark sounds and shenanigans to the Four Corners stage Sunday, Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m., with an a-cappella vocal workshop at noon that same day.
String-bender extraordinaire Tony Furtado is a road dog.
Playing between 200-250 live dates a year, from the western ski resorts in the winter to the summer festivals throughout the Midwest, through gritty Chicago and glitzy New York, to New England seaside towns and up and down the West Coast, Furtado's passion is playing his music live and bringing it out there to the people. Accordingly, he's wooed music lovers and won fans all over kingdom come.
Tony's latest CD release, "Bare Bones," is a sampling of live solo acoustic shows that Tony recorded himself during some gigs last summer. Considering he'd just done a studio recording within the past year, he wasn't necessarily due for a new record. But his extensive solo touring had left folks wanting more of the same, and both new and longtime Furtado fans started asking for a recording that captures what he does best - play his heart out on stages in clubs, at festivals and just about every place in between.
Furtado started playing the banjo at about 12 years of age; by the time he was 19, he had established himself as a gifted musician. As he solidified his chops and sound by playing constantly, he was also raking in top awards for his banjo playing. But Tony started to feel constrained by his instrument as his musical sensibilities broadened. A former Grand National banjo champion, he began to venture deeper into his eclectic bluegrass-rock-blues fusion and mastered the slide guitar as well. He also applied his considerable prowess to writing and singing his own material. His last studio effort, 2004's "These Chains," was the product of an established artist's conscious expansion of his boundaries.
"Bare Bones" is a reflection of Tony's boundless enthusiasm playing music for folks and traveling far and wide to do it. His tours have included stints with the likes of Gregg Allman, Taj Mahal, Alison Krauss, Derek Trucks, Eric Johnson, String Cheese Incident and many others. Whether or not you've seen Tony live, you'll want to catch his returning performance on Reservoir Hill on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 6 p.m.
The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation form the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets to the Four Corners Folk Festival are available locally at Moonlight Books downtown or WolfTracks Coffee and Books in the Pagosa Country Center. Additional information and tickets are also available by calling (877) 472-4672 or online at www.folkwest.com.
A fine soprano voice and a lot of know-how
By Kate Terry
Amongst those who make music sound in this community is Kathy Isberg. She participates, she directs, she assists and is a fine actress to boot. She has a fine soprano voice and a lot of know-how!
Kathy and her husband, Karl, moved down from Denver to Pagosa Springs 19 years ago - she to teach French and Spanish at Pagosa Springs High School and he to write for the Pagosa Springs SUN. Now, she still teaches languages at the high school and he is editor of The SUN.
Pagosa Springs has always had some good musicians and a few organized bands, but they mostly played country style, and it wasn't until about 1995 that a group organized to do musical stage shows. Thus was the beginning of the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters and Kathy played a key role in the group, serving as president for two years.
"Brigadoon" was their first production, performed in the Community United Methodist Church. It was a fantastic production described in the newspaper as "incredible talent applies to all areas of this production." Kathy sang and acted in "Brigadoon."
Since then she acted and sang in "Nunsense I" and Nunsense II," "The Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Meet Me in St. Louis," and she had a leading acting role in "The Good Doctor."
With Joanne Laird and John Graves she co-wrote and co-directed "The Gershwin Review." They all acted in this as well.
Along the way, the Music Boosters began working with the Pagosa Springs High School music department (which had always produced good shows) and now Kathy works with Lisa Hartley (the high school music director) as a voice coach for both high school and Music Boosters productions.
Kathy is a rehearsal piano accompanist for Music Boosters and the high school, she plays the piano for Community United Methodist Church services, and she teaches piano - being one of the founders of the recently organized Pagosa Professional Piano Teachers Association. She is described as a very strong accompanist.
There are two children - two girls: Aurora, who lives in Denver, has a six-year-old daughter named Forrest Amber. Kathy calls her Fassie and grandaddy Karl calls her Forrest.
The other girl is Ivy, who graduated from Pagosa Springs High School, went off to California to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and plans to marry this August.
Besides all this, Kathy is on the Music Booster's board of directors.
About her teaching, she describes herself as a demanding teacher. She is inspired when former students major in languages and gratified when some return and say that they wish they had paid more attention.
She absolutely loves what she does. The music and teaching is a large part of her life and she's proud to live in this gifted community.
Fun on the run
Once upon a time there was a young man who wanted to become a great writer. "I want to write things the whole world will read," he declared.
"Stuff that will elicit strong emotions from people in every walk of life. I want my writing to make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger."
He now lives happily ever after in Redmond, Wash., writing error messages for Microsoft.
Meeting to address home ownership
By Mercy Korsgren
Tonight the USDA Rural Development Homeowners program will take place at 7 p.m. in the community center. Come to an open meeting to discuss programs available for Archuleta County. Residents who have a very low or low income and are unable to obtain conventional financing may qualify for a direct home ownership loan from this agency. Residents who own a home and belong to low income level and can't afford to do repairs or remove health and safety hazards may also qualify for a loan or grant from USDA Rural Development.
Anyone who cannot make the meeting or would like more information may contact (970) 565-8416, Ext. 4. For more information about the meeting call Julie Jessen, Pagosa Springs special projects director, 264-4151, Ext. 226
Building Blocks 4 Health
Building Blocks 4 Health is now meeting Mondays 4:30-5:30 p.m. This is a health support group. There are no quick fixes or guarantees at Building Blocks 4 Health. Choosing to become healthy and maintain a healthy weight is up to the members. The group provides incentives, lively meetings and materials to keep you going.
Building Blocks 4 Health weekly meeting begins with a confidential weigh-in. Then, a 30-minute exercise program may be presented. That is followed by a topic discussion, presented by a member of the group. Periodically, the group will have a special speaker.
Building Blocks 4 Health is a community center sponsored program and the leader is a volunteer from the group. The group provides support, encouragement and educational opportunities one needs to make healthy, permanent lifestyle changes. Anyone is welcome to join the group. Call Kathee Ferris, 264-6209
Have limited income? Social Security can help with Medicare prescription costs. Find out if you are eligible by attending a workshop where you can gain information on the new Medicare drug card.
The session will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center in the community center. Remember, if you ever have any questions or need assistance, visit with well-informed Medicare counselors Mondays at The Den from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167 or 264-4152, Ext. 27
Computer lab news
In the morning class for seniors, we will be going over the list of class objectives which was introduced in March. When the list was first put together, the goals included basic tasks such as manipulating the PC and mouse; opening and closing windows; file names, types, and structure; and using e-mail including options, filters and attachments.
The time has come to take stock: where are we and where do we want to go from here? I would like input from anyone who has attended the class and anyone else who plans to attend.
Once or twice the class has discussed the possibility of splitting up into two groups - one would continue with basics, perhaps honing skills or going over topics a second time. The second group could branch out into new areas. Please let us know if this idea appeals to you. Any input from class participants is welcome.
Last week in the afternoon Q and A sessions we delved into network settings; that prompted creation of a small how-to for those folks coming into the community center with laptops. We welcome laptop users; you will need a network interface card - the plug-in variety, not wireless. You will also need to change your DNS server setup. Please ask for help if you need it.
Don't forget to check out all the community center's activities listed on the town's Web site - townofpagosasprings.com. The events link lists the computer lab classes as well as other events.
The community center's third anniversary and volunteer recognition will be Friday Aug. 12. This is another free program for the community. The highlight of the event will be the recognition of the center's volunteer of the year. Mark your calendar for another evening of fun, camaraderie and food. Watch for further details.
Free programs/activities needed
Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming groups. Someone even asked about the possibility of staring an Irish/Scottish dancing group for fun. Call me at 264-4152.
Activities this week
Today - 7-9 p.m., USDA Rural Development program
July 15 - 11:15-11:35 a.m., senior walking program
July 16 - 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Crowley Ranch HOA meeting
July 17 - 9 a.m.-noon, Church of Christ Sunday service; 9 a.m.-noon, Grace Evangelical Free Church service; 2-4 p.m., United Pentecostal Church service
July 18 - 11:15-11:35 a.m., senior walking program; 12:30-4 p.m. senior bridge club; 4:30-5:30 p.m. Building Blocks 4 Health
July 19 - 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. senior computer class; 11:15-11:35 a.m. senior walking program; 1-4 p.m. computer questions and answers; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Medicare information
July 20 - 10 a.m.-4 p.m., oil painting workshop; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday bridge club; 6-8 p.m., arthritis class; 6-10 p.m. Builder's Association banquet; 7-8 p.m. Church of Christ bible study
July 21 - 10 a.m.-4 p.m. oil painting workshop
The gym is open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. to noon for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.
The center is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition (PSPFC) and managed by the Town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors Program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community. Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on 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 groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available too. The center is located 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.
Classes, trips and activities galore at The Den
By Musetta Wollenweber
In a new scam, people are calling seniors and claiming to sell Medicare prescription drug benefit cards. The callers say the card is required, then ask for victims' bank account numbers to cover the cost. One West Virginia woman lost $398, and five others in the state have closed their bank accounts for the same reason, according to an article in the June 23, 2005, Charleston Gazette.
At least 13 states have reported similar incidents - bogus door-to-door or phone sales of drug discount and benefit cards. People on Medicare should never give out their bank account numbers or any other personal information to callers or salespeople.
A phone script the federal government created to address beneficiaries' concerns says the Social Security Administration (SSA) may call to clarify answers on the applications submitted for the extra help or to check differences between answers submitted and information federal agencies have on income or resources. However, the SSA will never ask for bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or life insurance policy numbers. SSA will ask for a Social Security Number only if the number on the application is invalid. Anyone who receives a suspicious call should hang up and call SSA at (800) 772-1213.
(from "Benefits Alert" by the Access to Benefits Coalition)
Here we go again: it's time for our monthly picnic in Town Park Friday, July 15, at noon. Ninety-nine folks showed up for the last picnic. Can we top that? The Silver Foxes Den Southwest-Frugal Grazers of the Arboles area will be joining us this time. This great group of people hosted the mystery trip in June to Navajo Lake and what a great time that was. We'll bring out the croquet, the horseshoes and bubbles; you bring the laughter and squirt guns!
Get out of town and enjoy a trip to the Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, July 19. The casino shuttle will arrive at The Den just after lunch and head over to Ignacio at 1 p.m. The transportation is always free and you'll be treated to some freebees once you arrive. The return trip arrives back at The Den around 6 p.m. This trip always fills up fast, don't delay, sign up today.
Medicare drug insurance
Have limited income? Social Security can help with Medicare prescription costs. Find out if your are eligible by attending one of the following workshops to gain knowledgeable information on the new Medicare drug card at The Den in the community center Tuesday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m. And remember, if you ever have any questions or need assistance, visit with our well-informed Medicare counselors Mondays at The Den, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
White Cane Society
Folks with low vision and those who support them will meet for their monthly meeting Wednesday, July 20, at 11 a.m. This support group is lead by Gail from the Southwest Center for Independence.
Information from volunteer instructor Becky: In the morning class for seniors, we will be going over the list of class objectives which was introduced at a class in March. When the list was first put together, the goals included basic tasks such as manipulating the PC (personal computer) and mouse; opening and closing windows; file names, types, and structure; and using e-mail including options, filters and attachments.
The time has come to take stock: where are we and where do we want to go from here? I would like input from anyone who has attended the class and anyone else who plans to attend.
Once or twice the class had discussed the possibility of splitting up into two groups - one would continue with basics, perhaps honing skills or going over topics a second time. The second group could branch out into new areas. Please let me know if this idea appeals to you. Any input from class participants is welcome. Class is held every Tuesday morning at 10:30 in the computer lab of the community center. For further information, contact Becky at 264-4152.
Buzz of bees
Pssst, did you know? Bees do not create honey; they are actually improving upon a plant product, nectar. The honey we eat is nectar that bees have repeatedly regurgitated and dehydrated. To make one pound of honey, workers in a hive fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers. There are many interesting facts about bees and at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, Charlie King will visit The Den to share his knowledge and experience as a beekeeper. Don't be afraid to get stung by the fascination of bees.
Arthritis self help
For people with arthritis, living the most active life with the least amount of pain and disability involves becoming an active partner in their arthritis care. The Den is offering a six-week arthritis self help course beginning Wednesday, July 20, from 6-8 p.m. to encourage people affected by arthritis to be proactive in their health and well-being.
The arthritis self help course is a group education program led by trained instructors designed to help you learn and practice the different skills needed to build your own individualized self-management program and gain confidence to carry it out.
Participating and completing the six-week program will aid you in the following skills: learning and practicing the skills needed to build your own individual self-management program; gaining knowledge of different types of arthritis and osteoporosis; learning to manage pain, relaxation, stress and fatigue; gaining exercise and nutrition knowledge; developing problem-solving skills; obtaining information on doctor-patient relationships; obtaining information on the latest developments in alternative therapies.
Anyone with any type of arthritis or persons in support roles are encouraged to attend. Class size is limited to 18 participants and is filling up fast, so please call The Den at 264-2167 for registration and further information. We hope you take advantage of this educational and supportive opportunity to help you overcome some of the challenges of arthritis. The course fee is $15 and reimbursable upon completion of the class.
Arboles meal day
Join us for a great meal and good company Thursday, July 21, in Arboles. Advanced reservations are required, please call 24 hours in advance.
Mystery trip reminder
For those of you adventurous ones who are signed up to join us on the mystery trip, remember to be at The Den by 2:45 p.m. Thursday, July 21.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring along a light jacket and insect repellant too. If you didn't sign up in time for this month's trip, get ready for the mystery in August. Pick up a copy of the July newsletter for hints on the August trip or visit us online at www.archuletacounty.org/Seniors/senior_center.htm
Our free movie at The Den this month is Robert Redford's beautifully filmed fantasy titled "The Legend of Bagger Vance," rated PG-13. The film is about a World War I shell-shocked golfer who's lost his edge and the mysterious caddy who can help him regain his perfect swing. Included is Jack Lemmon's unbilled final performance. Join us on Friday, July 22 at 1 p.m. for free popcorn, good company and a great show.
Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life?
The Archuleta County Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivered meal program for our senior citizens.
Applications are currently being accepted from individuals as well as businesses, churches and other organizations that would like to make a difference. All applicants must provide their own vehicle and be available in one hour increments once a week. We are also accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.
Adopt a home delivered route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information please contact me at 264-2167.
Blood drive thanks
Thank you to all of you who volunteered your time and blood to our blood drive July 6. Donating blood is so valuable, especially this time of year when the blood banks are so low. For those of you that were not able to help out this time, we look forward to seeing you at our next drive in November.
Friday, July 15 - Picnic in Town Park with guests from Arboles, the Silver Foxes Den Southwest-Frugal Grazers, noon.
Monday, July 18 - Medicare counseling 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; gym walk 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m., all levels welcome.
Tuesday, July 19 - Basic computer instruction 10:30 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.; canasta 1 p.m., all levels welcome; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.; Social Security presentation on Medicare drug insurance 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20 - Yoga in Motion 10 a.m.; White Cane support group, 11 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m., all levels welcome; The Buzz of Bees, by Charlie King, 1 p.m.; Self-help arthritis class, 6- 8 p.m., first in six-week series, advanced registration required.
Thursday, July 21 - Mystery trip, 3 - 9 p.m., advanced registration required. Arboles Meal Day.
Friday, July 22 - Qi Gong 10 a.m; gym walk 11:15; free movie and popcorn, "The Legend of Bagger Vance," 1 p.m.
Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50
Salad bar every day - 11:30 a.m.
Friday, July 15 - Picnic in Town Park, Barbecue rib on a bun, baked beans coleslaw and cantaloupe.
Monday, July 18 - A salad kind of day: Pasta seafood salad, three bean salad, muffin and a chocolate sundae.
Tuesday, July 19 - Beef tamale pie, mexicorn and pears.
Wednesday, July 20 - Baked fish fillet, baked potato, steamed carrots and spiced applesauce.
Thursday, July 21 - Meal served in Arboles, please call 24 hours in advance for reservations.
Friday, July 22 - Roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, citrus cup and wheat roll.
Burial information and veteran cemeteries
By Andy Fautheree
Most veterans without any VA rated service-connected disability ratings and who are discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, are eligible to be buried in any VA or national cemetery. I would say most veterans in our community are in this category.
Burial and funeral allowance
Surviving family of veterans as described above are also eligible for a burial flag and memorial certificate signed by the President of the United States honoring their service to our country, as well as a military burial honor detail. Additionally, if buried in a private cemetery, the VA will provide a headstone for the veteran. There are several kinds of headstones available, including marble and bronze. There is no charge for this service. I have all the information and application forms on hand in this office.
No burial allowance
What the official information does not say about veterans' burial benefits, unfortunately, is that there is no reimbursement for burial expense under the above conditions.
$2000 burial allowance
If the veteran's death is service-connected there is a VA burial allowance of up to $2,000. Survivors or agencies may apply for this benefit. There is no time limit for application.
Non service-connected death
However, if the veteran's death was not service-connected, but they were receiving a VA pension or compensation, or died in a VA health care facility, the survivors may apply for a $300 burial and $300 plot allowance benefit. There is a two-year limit on applying for the plot allowance, but no limit to apply for the burial expense allowance. Cremation costs are also covered by this VA benefit.
Active duty death
The VA does not pay a burial or plot allowance if a veteran dies while on active military duty. However, such a veteran is entitled to certain benefits from the military. Information should be obtained from the branch of the armed forces in which the person served at time of death.
The VA will provide a headstone for any eligible veteran who died while on active duty, is buried in a private cemetery but does not have a headstone, or is in an unmarked grave. An example of this would a veteran who died many years ago and whose unmarked gravesite has just been located. The local American Legion has an ongoing project to locate unmarked veteran graves and obtain a headstone for the grave from the VA.
Three vet cemeteries nearby
We are fortunate to have three nearby VA or national cemeteries. There is a national cemetery in Santa Fe, N.M. and VA cemeteries in Grand Junction and Homelake at Monte Vista . The VA cemetery in Grand Junction is brand new. Homelake is the oldest Colorado VA cemetery and includes the graves of veterans back to the Civil War period.
Funeral homes generally have the information and the knowhow to arrange for burial in veteran cemeteries. No special arrangements are required in advance. This office usually supplies the burial flags for this area.
Discuss ahead of time
I would like to urge veterans and their families to discuss some of these options and benefits ahead of time so the proper decisions can be made. In some cases it may require sending off for official discharge papers for proof of military service. Keep the information in this article handy for the time it may be needed.
This is just a thumbnail sketch of basic burial benefits and other VA benefits and programs may apply to certain veterans or survivor situations.
Vet cemetery locations
The locations and contact information for the three nearest veteran cemeteries are:
Homelake VA Cemetery
3749 Sherman Ave.
P.O. Box 97
Homelake, CO 81135
Colorado Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado
2830 D. Road
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 263-8986 or (970) 263-0089
Santa Fe National Cemetery
501 North Guadalupe St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Durango VA Clinic
The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, Colorado 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 to 4, 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.
New books and old favorites at library
By Nancy Cole
Keep checking the "new" shelves at the library.
I have been working at home two days a week cataloging all the donated books as well as the new ones we will soon be purchasing.
There have been some generous donations lately of new best sellers as well as some new unabridged books on CDs.
Thank you again for your support by donating newer items so we can spend our money wisely and can purchase even more new items for the library.
Needless to say, when the new books come in, we rush to catalog them so our patrons can enjoy reading newer books.
I know when I work at the mini library many of you are searching for new books, although there are still a lot of good books available that are not new.
One book that caught my eye when I was cataloging was "Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan." I hardly have time to read lately, but I had to stop and read this book. If you like travel and enjoy reading about different cultures you may find this an interesting book. This is not a new book but was well worth reading.
There were two other books that may catch someone's eye, "Harley-Davidson," which features many photos and the history of this classic motorcycle, and "Dangerous Curves: theArt of the Guitar," which shows some of the extremes that guitar design has explored.
I have missed seeing a lot of people when I work at home, but I get a lot of cataloging done. My old dog has enjoyed my working at home and spends her time at my feet while I work at the computer.
I know everyone is eagerly waiting for the remodeled library to reopen, and things are moving at a good pace on the construction.
The staff has been making every effort to serve the needs of the public in our mini facility. We are fortunate to have modified services available. I know we will all be pleased when the library reopens with more space and a fresh new look.
Everyone manages to find our mini library and I am pleased by the number of people who come in and spend some time there.
A big thank you to all of the kids who entered our contests, participated in the program activities , and entered the drawings for "Reader of the Week."
The latest contest winners are:
Contest, Week 4 - unicorn mobiles: Colby Anderson-Andresen, Karringten Castro, Kyle Garcia, Joshua Pike, Kai Wagner, Kudra Wagner.
Princess slippers: Karringten Castro, Colton Castro, Brock Cordova, Zachary Curvey, Christian Fast, Jacqueline Garcia, Julia LeLievre, Hannah Sarnowski, Joe Sarnowski, Ivory Stauner, Patrick Stauner and Ethan Sullivan.
Readers of the Week from Week 4: Kyle Anderson-Andresen, Eric Montoya, Christian Woody, McKenna Moore, Kudra Wagner, Katherine Harnick, Austin Courtney, Brock Cordova, Madison Corbett, Taylor Heitz.
Readers of the Week from Week 5: Austin Courtney, Brandon Courtney, Liam Doctor, Kyle Garcia, Katherine Harnick, Robert Harnick, Shylynn Notshioheh, Mikayla Rideshorse, Hannah Sarnowski, Anne Townsend.
All contest entries, dragon photos and reading log packets that were not picked up at the Renaissance Fair are now available for pickup at the mini library.
A special thank you to the following people for donating materials to the library: Kathy and Karl Isberg, Kelsey Lyle, Paul Matlock, Carl Nevitt, Fran Jenkins, Ron Tinsley, Marilyn Falvey, Jean and Jim Scott, Onalee McEwen, Jim Jacober and, as always, our anonymous donors.
PSAC Home and Garden Tour on horizon
It's time to get ready for the next big PSAC event - the annual Home and Garden Tour.
If you've been checking the calendar at the end of this column, you'll know the tour has been scheduled for July 24. This will be the fifth annual event and once again we have five lovely properties scheduled for your viewing pleasure, along with a new feature this year. Flyers will be available and tickets will go on sale soon. Save the date, and watch this column for more information
Stop by the Town Park art gallery this month and view an exhibit of rodeo photography - "Extreme Emotion of the Ride." The show features mostly black and white photographs taken by Wendy Saunders during actual rodeo events, including the Denver National Western Stock Show, the Greeley Stampede and National Western Finals (Las Vegas). Through the photographs, you'll experience rodeo before, during and after the ride.
Saunders has been a photojournalist covering life's events for over 25 years. She custom prints black and white images in her darkroom (almost a lost art in today's world) then hand selects framing which best presents the image. Each image is from a limited collection of 100 prints.
American Cowboy Magazine featured several of the images in their April 2004 edition. Saunders' images go beyond the "ride" of rodeo, as she photographs moments before and after the action. For a sneak peak of the show visit www.wensaunders.com and click the RODEO button.
The exhibit continues to July 30.
Drawing with Randall Davis
Don't forget to mark your calendar for Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at the community center.
Weather permitting, we meet at the community center then go outside for our drawing lesson.
The subject this month is perspective and composition, with a focus on mountain views. All subjects are considered - places, animals, things can be explored continually. If you never have attended one of Randall's classes, let me tell you it is 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 3 and a No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead, a 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 Watercolor Club
The PSAC Watercolor Club was formed in the winter of 2003. Since that time Pagosa watercolorists have met at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center.
This month's meeting was rescheduled to the fourth Wednesday.
The rooms are available to us for the day and we each contribute $5 for the use of the space. The schedule for the day varies when the watercolorists get together to draw and paint. We sometimes have a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Sometimes, a few people bring still lifes or photos or just projects they want to complete. Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is Wednesday, July 27.
Summer Snapshots show
The Shy Rabbit Studio will host "Summer Snapshots," a collaborative group show, July 16 - Aug. 5. Opening Reception is July 16, from 5-9 p.m. The Pagosa Springs Salon + Artists' Round Table will follow on July 17, from 1-4 p.m. Guest speaker is Steve Scearce, editor of Pagosa Springs Magazine.
A call went out last month to artists, photographer and all interested parties and resulted in 45 local and regional participants. Each entrant was provided with a 27-exposure disposable camera, and one week in which to take photographs. Subject matter was not theme and/or geographically restricted, but had to be tasteful and appropriate for gallery display.
The studio is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. For more information, call Michael or Denise Coffee at 731-2766. Additional showings will be scheduled and announced by demand.
The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will resume its meeting schedule at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the art room at the community center. The tentative program schedule includes a presentation by Paul Boyer of Durango for the September meeting; "Digital Basics" by Bruce Andersen for October; "Family Photos/Scrapbook" for November; and a Christmas party with show and tell for December.
In conjunction with every meeting, the club holds a photo competition for club members. There are two competition categories: an open category where any subject is allowed and a theme category where the subject must conform to the stated theme. To assist members and prospective members in preparing prints for the theme competition, the club is announcing in advance the themes that are scheduled for each month. The theme for September is Summer; for October it is Balloons; November is Fall Color; December is Multiple Exposure; January is Holidays; February is Winter; March is Sunrise/Sunset; April is Green; May is Wild Flowers. Following the May meeting there will be a summer recess until the season begins again in the fall.
Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are invited to join the club for a very modest annual fee. For more information, contact club president Jim Struck at 731-6468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the first year for a Pagosa Springs Arts Council calendar produced by local artists, the content reflecting Pagosa Country.
This 14-page, full-color calendar features images for the 12 months of the year as well as a cover image.
Works featured are from local artists Bruce Anderson, J. D. Kurz, Jan Brookshier, Sabine Baeckman-Elge, Jeanine Malaney, Jeff Laydon, Ginnie Bartlett, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Rosner and Tom Lockhart. Artwork includes photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media.
The 2006 calendars are available through the Arts Council at a price of $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for PSAC members. This is the first season for what will be and annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar; stop by and pick up yours now. Don't forget, they make great Christmas gifts.
Juried art exhibit
How would you like to win $1000?
That's the first-place award for the second annual Juried Art Show; second place is $500; third place $200 and People's Choice is $100.
Eligibility: Watermedia, oil, pastels and drawings.
All work must be original in concept and must have been created without the assistance of an instructor. All work must be dry, properly framed and wired for hanging. Exceptions are allowed for work specifically intended to be unframed.
Size limit is 4' X 4', including mat and frame. Limit of two entries per artist. All entries must be for sale.
PSAC will retain 30-percent commission on all sales. Artwork is to be dropped off between July 30 and Aug. 1 at Wild Spirit Art gallery. Entry fees: PSAC member $15 one entry, $25 for two. Nonmembers $20 for one entry and $30 for two. Entry form with complete checklist is available through PSAC.
The Ouray County Arts Association invites you to participate in the 45th annual Artists' Alpine Holiday, Aug. 6-13 at the Ouray Community Center.
Registration deadline is July 18.
This is a national juried exhibition open to all artists. This year's judge is Lee Johnson, a retired professor emeritus at Western State College.
First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded based on the number and quality of entries in the various categories, as justified in the opinion of the juror.
First place is $500; second is $250, third is $100. The award for Best of Show is $1000.
Student work will be judged and shown in a separate category, awards totaling $100. Also, The Ouray County Arts Association and the Mildred M. Baker Memorial will each purchase an exceptional work for the permanent collections. The following will also purchase pieces for their collections: Attorney's Title Agency, Citizens State Bank, and First National Bank. Contact the Ouray County Arts Association for forms and other information at www.ourayarts.org, or call DeAnn McDaniel (970) 325-4372, Gary Wade (970) 252-9095 or Laurie A. Bunten (970) 325-0808.
Joye Moon workshop
Joye Moon will once again conduct a four-day watercolor workshop for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. She will be present a Plein Aire (painting outdoors) workshop Aug. 29-Sept. 1.
This fast-paced class will take us to a new location each day, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m . The community center will serve as our back-up studio space in case of inclement weather. You will learn the ins and outs of painting outdoors. The class will deal with how to create textures found in nature, perspective, and how to easily paint mountains, rock, creeks, grasses and beautiful skies. Joye will demonstrate techniques at each location several times during day and prides herself in giving each student individual attention. There will be a gentle yet informative critique at the end of each day.
Don't miss this one-time opportunity to paint en plein aire with Joye Moon. Cost for the four days is $200 for PSAC members and $225 for nonmembers. Cost per day: is $55 for members, $60 for nonmembers. Space is limited, so sign up early. Call 264-5020.
The Arts Council is proud to sponsor Tom Lockhart, well-known oil painter, in his first Pagosa Springs oil painting workshop, set for July.
A Colorado native, Lockhart was born and raised in Monte Vista. His love for 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 Lockhart it is even more challenging because he works in oils, pastels, and watercolors. He 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 (NWR), 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 Aire 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' to paint for a week at the Forbes Trinchera Ranch, and then 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 an article about the Forbes Trinchera painting trip.
Lockhart has his own gallery and studio, La Casa De Luz, in Monte Vista and galleries in the Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Maine represent him. To view a sample of Tom's work go his Web site: email@example.com.
The workshop includes the basic fundamentals of design, color, value, mass and perspective. Applying this acquired knowledge to painting the landscape both outdoors and in the studio will make painting easier and more fun. He will help each workshop participant with the specific needs by strengthening their strong points and help improve on their weaknesses. Attendees will enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the surrounding area. Lockhart will demonstrate as much as possible. Some experience is required.
All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space, Community Center, unless otherwise noted.
All exhibits are shown in the PSAC Gallery at Town Park, unless otherwise noted.
July 16 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. community center, $35
July 20 - 23 - Tom Lockhart oil workshop, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. community center.
July 24 - PSAC Home and Garden Tour.
July 27 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m. community center.
Aug. 4 - 31 - 2005 Juried Art Exhibit.
Aug. 29 - Sept. 1 - Joye Moon plein aire watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. community center.
September - Celebrities Cook for the Arts and art auction.
Sept. 14 - Photo club meeting, 5:30 p.m. community center.
Sept. 1-29 - Watercolor club exhibit.
Sept. 1- 28 - Juried art exhibit.
Sept. 29 - Oct. 31 - Fine woodworking and Betty Slade student oil painters exhibit.
October - Artist studio tour.
November - 2005 gallery tour.
December - Possible 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 by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
When the going gets tough, head for comfort food
By Karl Isberg
Food is so much more than fuel.
Think of all the ways we use food; ponder its social and emotional power.
Think of feeding someone and the capacity that act has to convey interest, care and concern. Think of food's healing power, of the way in which cooking for and eating with someone binds you together.
Feeding someone is an act of love. To eat what someone has cooked is to accept love if all is done well.
Food is the center of the social universe, as it should be. When friends gather, they eat. When families gather, they eat. When people discuss their business futures, they eat together.
Plans are made over food, fortunes designed, empires built, marriage proposed.
When an attraction to someone is felt, one of the first things that occurs is a trip to a restaurant, a shared voyage to the table. The attraction is propelled by the act of eating together, interest is intensified, the object of one's affection is observed, clarified, touched and understood.
The best business of the family is rightly conducted at the dinner table.
When food is shared, conversation flowers, the symposium is born. The greatest of ideas are exchanged when accompanied by food and drink.
To cook for someone is to send a signal to him or her, to let them know of a desire for a connection, to illuminate a connection already made and to fertilize it.
In times of need, food is a gift that can ensure survival, as necessary as clothing, shelter and warmth.
When tragedy strikes, food is proffered. When loss is experienced, food is provided.
Food is love and food is comfort.
And some foods serve the purpose of providing comfort better than others. There are foods that, when prepared, provided and shared, sustain the body and the soul.
In times of emotional need or, as in my case at present, in times of stress, celery hearts and aspic will not do the trick. Watercress is weak, salads lack the necessary muscle.
You want to provide solace? You wish to fortify heart and soul?
Chicken salad will not fit the bill. Save it for bridge club.
No. It has substance; it provides enormous satisfaction when spirits are high, when the atmosphere is charged with frivolous particles. But, it is not a bedrock comfort food; it offers no embrace.
Our finny friends do not produce comfort. A piece of fish, no matter how well cooked, does not wrap itself around a wounded heart and warm it. It cannot dissipate pressure.
Comfort food must be like an old friend: absolutely familiar (no newly developed Thai masamam can pay the ticket, no rocket or arugula dressed with a newfangled emulsion will suffice, sushi will have to wait for another occasion), hot, dense with associations deeply anchored in a long and sturdy past.
What will do?
Meats, braised long and slow, awash in a reduction or sauce shot through with familiar flavors - onion, garlic, wine, broth, celery, carrot, parsnip. Chicken, browned in oil and butter, then cooked slowly in the oven, with vegetables, garlic, cream, wine. A bird roasted till the skin is crisp, the meat incredibly tender.
Casseroles of all kinds fill the bill.
Things baked in creamy combinations until they begin to fall apart, their essence amalgamating with the degrading substance of other ingredients. Potatoes, onion, garlic, cream, cheese, spices married by heat. Pastas, cooked al dente then baked with all manner of sauces - tomato, cream, béchamel - with cheeses, poultry, seafood, sausages or other meats, with eggplant and onion and garlic, basil and oregano, flecks of hot pepper that light up the tongue.
These foods are heavy on the plate and palate and, once eaten, protect us like a thick blanket on a cold winter night.
Breads will do: heavy breads with thick, chewy crusts, warmed and slathered with sweet butter. Something to dip in the sauces, soppers for the juices, the gravies. Something to absorb the delicious liquids, something that can fill and expand, become more than itself.
Wine helps, too.
When we encounter difficult circumstances, or someone we know and love has met with troubled times, we and they need the consolation food can bring. We need food prepared with love, food that is medicine to an aching heart, an exhausted spirit or body.
We need macaroni and cheese. Large elbow macaroni or small ziti. Start with a béchamel, a white roux made with butter, mixed with cream and milk, with a smidge of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Into the sauce goes some shredded cheese. What kind? Cheddar, some mozzarella, a handful or two of freshly grated parmesan. Lots of cheese, and maybe just a whiff of mushed up garlic. Put it in a buttered casserole and layer the top with crumbs and dots of butter and bake it until the top is toasty brown and the sauce bubbles from beneath the crust. That'll do the trick.
Veal shanks. Who knows where to find them? If a search of the region is called for, then so be it. If they cost a small fortune, so be it.
When procured, three inches thick, the shanks are tied into shape with twine and seasoned, then dredged in seasoned flour. Into a deep pot they go, to be browned on all sides. With the shanks brown and removed to a heated platter a bit more olive oil goes into the pot and in go minced white onions, chopped celery, minced carrot, some minced red pepper. When these vegetables are limp and on their way to being cooked, in goes a whole bunch of minced garlic and a wad of tomato paste. Cook the mix until the paste begins to deepen in color, begins to emit a sweet, heavy odor. The odor of fatigue and frustration dissipating in the dense, fragrant air of the kitchen.
In goes a hefty portion of white wine and it is reduced by half. In go the shanks and some veal or beef stock - enough that the shanks are nearly covered, but not quite. Bring the liquid to a slow boil and make a bouquet garni with parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic and submerge the neat little bundle in the liquid.
Cover the pot and into a 350 oven it goes. Turn the shanks occasionally to keep them moist and cook them for three hours or so.
When the meat is so tender it disintegrates at the touch of a fork, take out the shanks and reduce the liquid.
Oh, those shanks. Oh, that sauce.
If the comfort level needs to be jacked through the ceiling, make gremolata to serve with the veal: garlic, lemon zest, parsley and anchovy, chopped up fine together, the perfect finishing touch.
Serve the macaroni and the shanks in a deep, heavy bowl, with bread and mounds of butter on the side. Don't forget the wine.
This week, just to be safe - for an extra blanket on the proverbial bed, if you will - I'll make the gremolata. Why? I'm moving, leaving a house we have lived in for more than 12 years.
I'll leave the sentiment and emotional suffering to Kathy. I am sure she will shoulder the burden and perform well. She's a Magyar, after all; her kind have suffered for centuries.
Me - I'm looking at having to move an unbelievable amount of junk in a very short period of time. Despite the fact we are the height of the summer's heat, I'm making veal shanks as soon as I can get some pans and implements unpacked.
This week needs all the ammunition I can muster.
Positive program for effective weight loss
By Bill Nobles
Today - 10: a.m., Shooting Sports at Ski and Bow Rack
July 15 - 2 p.m., Rabbit Project meeting; 3:15 p.m., Poultry Project meeting; 5:30 p.m., Cake Decorating Project meeting
July 18 - 4 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting; 4:30 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting
July 19 - 4 p.m., 4-H Fairgrounds Clean-up; 5 p.m., 4-H Council meeting
July 20 - 10 a.m., Garden Club meeting; noon, 4-H Livestock meeting; 6 p.m. 4-H Livestock Weigh-in
July 21 - 8:30 a.m., Entomology Project meeting
Check out our webpage at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and info.
Weight management is all about you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. Americans spend over $33 billion each year on weight control products, which seem to have no effect on weight loss. Most people who lose weight in traditional weight loss programs regain all of the lost weight within three to five years. Only 20 percent of all Americans get enough exercise to improve health and maintain a healthy weight.
What determines if you are overweight or obese? One of the gold standards is the Body Mass Index or BMI. To determine BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters, squared. This calculation standardizes weight based on height. For more information or a chart on BMI contact the extension office at 264-5931.
The federal guidelines on overweight and obesity classify overweight as a BMI of 25 and above and obese as a BMI of 30 and above. These guidelines were developed because of the potential severity of excess weight on overall health. Higher body weight substantially increases your risk of death from high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Do I have to lose weight?
Just because you may be considered overweight does not mean that weight loss is mandatory. Weight loss is suggested only for individuals with a BMI in the 25-29 range who have two other weight-related risk factors for illness, or for individuals who are considered obese. Weight-related risk factors include hypertension, high total cholesterol and a family history of obesity-related disease. Overweight individuals with high waist circumferences also are encouraged to lose weight.
Where your fat is distributed plays an important role in determining whether your weight is healthy. Pear-shaped bodies have more fat in the hips and thighs, while apple-shaped bodies store it in the upper body and abdomen. Research shows that people with apple-shaped bodies are more at risk for health problems. To determine if you are at risk, measure your waist circumference. You are at disease risk if your waist circumference is greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
In all cases, weight management means adopting a lifestyle that includes a healthy eating plan and regular physical activity both key to a healthy, productive, energetic life. This also is important because it helps you be more confident, energetic and productive. This, in turn, can lead to increased self-esteem, satisfaction and happiness with your life, both at work and at play. Your healthy weight depends on many things, including genes, physical activity, age and the foods you eat. It is different from anyone else's, even someone who may be the same height. Accepting limitations of your body and body size will help you set realistic goals.
What's In It for Me?
If you and your doctor believe your weight is an issue, even small, sustained weight changes can improve health status by lowering the risks for weight-related diseases. Healthy prolonged weight reduction can result in decreased blood pressure. For diabetics, it can decrease the need for insulin. Improving your eating habits even slightly can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Develop an eating plan
This does not mean dieting, but rather managing your lifestyle with the foods you eat. Nor does it mean giving up the great-tasting foods that you love. It does mean developing a sensible, balanced eating plan.
Use the Food Guide Pyramid as your basis for meal and snack planning. The pyramid shows a diet high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, such as whole grains, high in fruits and vegetables, and low in fat. Watch for foods high in fat. They may contribute to excess calories and weight gain. Include lean meats or meat substitutes and low-fat dairy products rich in calcium. Planning meals and snacks that include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains may help replace higher-fat foods. Make sure to follow suggested serving sizes.
Add activity to your life
Regular physical activity is important to good health. Combined with healthy eating, it is a great way to regulate weight because it can help you feel more energetic. It also can reduce your percentage of body fat, which can lower your risk for heart disease even if you are overweight. Physical activity helps improve stress levels, too. Any activity that gets you moving helps you on the way to a healthier lifestyle. Start slowly and gradually build up to 30 minutes of physical activity each day. You may choose to do your activity during three 10-minute segments. Gardening, housework, walking and climbing the stairs all count as physical activity. Try combining various activities to reach your 30 minutes a day. Choose activities you enjoy doing. Physical activity can and should be fun! Even simple things, such as parking your car in the furthest spot from the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, are steps to a more active lifestyle. Some examples include: walking briskly, conditioning or general calisthenics, home care, general cleaning, racket sports, mowing lawn, golfing, home repair, fishing, jogging, swimming, cycling, gardening, canoeing and dancing.
The key to managing good health and maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life begins with a positive attitude and realistic goals. Set incremental step-by-step goals. When you achieve one, celebrate your success. Rather than focusing on a certain target weight, increase your chances for success by focusing on improved health through healthy eating and increased activity. Set other goals, too, such as improving your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol can be assessed through simple blood tests. Motivators, such as improved health and increased energy, self-esteem and self-control, will help you manage your healthy lifestyle.
Everyone can adopt a healthy lifestyle. Let your friends and family know what you are doing, and ask for their support. Long-term success is more likely with supportive family and friends. They can encourage healthy eating and regular exercise. They may even join you!
Make small changes over time. Give yourself a reward when you meet your goals. As you reach your goals, add new, small changes. Realize that all your goals will not be met overnight.
Don't be afraid to try new foods. One may turn out to be your favorite. Try a fruit or vegetable you haven't had before. Make this a monthly goal. Enjoy a meal at a Thai, Indian, Japanese or other ethnic restaurant. Prepare one new recipe each month from a favorite magazine or newspaper article.
Balance what you eat with the physical activity you do over several days. Don't worry about just one meal or one day. It's all about being balanced. Eat a lighter breakfast and lunch to allow for "pizza with the works" for dinner. Don't track every food you eat. Don't pack on extra pounds during your vacation. Plan ahead to walk, bike, hike or play volleyball to balance out special vacation meals. If you don't want to give up whole milk, balance it out with lower-fat food choices you like. Enjoy a short walk with a friend before dinner. Allow yourself to indulge sometimes. Just think "balance."
Enjoy all foods, just don't overdo it. You can enjoy a balanced menu with many great-tasting foods - in the correct amounts. Slow down! It takes 20 minutes for your brain to send the signal that you've had enough to eat. Enjoy your steak twice as much. Eat half in the restaurant and take the rest home to enjoy the next day. Have one helping and savor every bite. Wait a few minutes after finishing your helping to decide if you really need another one. Make your ice cream cone a single dip, not a double. Serve your snacks on a plate to control the amount you eat, rather than eating straight out of the bag.
Walk the dog, don't just watch the dog walk. Get out there and have some fun! Take a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break. You'll feel good and have more energy, too! Hop off the bus a few blocks early and walk briskly the rest of the way. Keep active around the house: sweep the garage, scrub the floors, vacuum the rugs or trim the shrubs. It all helps you get fit, and the house will look great, too!
Try a fun new activity. How about ballroom dancing, roller-blading, ice skating or line-dancing? Get energized.
Choose a lifestyle
Good health and weight management include a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Remember, the best way to achieve a healthy weight is to eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, includes all food groups, and has plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Enjoy at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day to achieve or maintain good health. Follow these simple guidelines to put you on the road to a healthy lifestyle and a healthier you.
Power walking on the way to a 'normal' life
By Ming Steen
It's clear that I need to have an athletic goal driving me in order to feel like I'm leading a fulfilling life. Work, family and Rotary keep me plenty busy, but it lacks the edge of competition.
I had endured a couple years of nonstop pain in my right foot and finally in November of last year, I took the plunge and accepted the scalpel. In this case, it involved saws, drills, pin and screws in a human carpentry project.
Through eight months of slow recovery and two more surgeries, I was beginning to believe that I had long passed my "use by" date and needed to move on. I wasn't going to be any good as a runner, and as a biker it hurt on both the downstroke as well as the upstroke. Swimming wasn't working out either. Each time the suture wounds were closed, new openings were being created. My right foot saw more rubbing alcohol and peroxide than it did water.
My progress toward living a "normal" life, which even included wearing "normal" clothes, was slipping backwards. My tenuous grasp on the new life that included Scrabble and crossword puzzles left me hungry - craving the more substantial diet of long, hard runs. Nothing in my "normal" life provided a substitute for the athletic demon lurking within.
So I've tossed out the notion of "getting it out of my system." I've started power walking. It feels so good to be moving. In a moment of post-powerwalk euphoria, I've made a public declaration to compete in the Aug. 6 Pagosa Lakes Triathlon. I shall walk instead of run. I shall bicycle with great caution. I shall work on making the pull count in the swim. I will finish the race.
From where I stand right now, there is a lot of room for improvement. The list is long to take those steps toward reaching that all-elusive potential. I have to draw the line somewhere.
Balance, that's the state I'm in - the middle ground between fitness craze and workaholic. It's all about setting goals defined by mediocrity though, isn't it? Balance is about accepting less of everything to equal things out. It's ghastly.
If you are looking for something rewarding to balance your life, will you consider being a volunteer for the 13th annual Pagosa Lakes Triathlon? Volunteers are needed throughout the entire event as race marshals, timekeepers, lap counters, traffic controllers and cheerleaders. The date is August 6 and your commitment is from 8 a.m. until about 11 a.m. For more information on this fun-filled event, please come see me at the recreation center or call 731-2051.
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 June 9, 2005 board meeting minutes
- Appointment to board of directors
- General manager's report
- Public comments
- Treasurer's report
- Committee reports
- Old business
Senate Bill 05-100 information from counsel.
Ad hoc Subdivision Signs Committee report.
- Recurring business
- New Business
Ilene Haykus to give presentation giving information regarding Home Rule.
Draft of 2005 annual owner's meeting agenda.
Humane Society request for funds.
Affirmation of eleven DCC unprotested fines.
Aspyn Olivia Cottom
A girl, Aspyn Olivia, 7 pounds, 2 ounces, was born at 1:31 a.m. May 13 at Southwest Memorial Hospital, Cortez, Colo., to Gary W. and Tracy Reavis Cottom, Bloomfield, N.M.
Grandparents are Rice Reavis, Pagosa Springs; Merline McCurly and Bill Taylor, both of Pauls Valley, Okla.; and Owen Cottom and Bob and Rosetta Paulsen, all of Meno, Okla. Great-grandparents are Irl Wayne and Kay Cottom, of Meno; Jim Sr. and Marie Roberts, of Enid, Okla.; and Veniece Ellis, of Pauls Valley.
Pagosans to compete in high school National Finals Rodeo
By Mary Jo Coulehan
With the Fourth of July festivities over, we are now back into the regular routine of Pagosa life, which is still really busy.
Time is flying by as well and, before we know it, school will be back in session.
Speaking of school, I would like to congratulate three local young adults who leave this weekend for the National High School Finals Rodeo.
This is not state level folks - it's national level. These three local competitors are Cory Bramwell in team roping, Ryan Montroy in saddle bronc riding and Charmaine Talbot in pole bending. They will be among more than 1,500 contestants from 39 states, five Canadian provinces, and two other countries at the rodeo in Gillette, Wyo.
On behalf of our community, I wish these talented students all the luck for themselves, their horses and the stock they draw. These athletes work hard all year long, not just seasonally, to accomplish this feat. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to be placed in front of college scouts who will be giving away over $750,000 in scholarships.
For more information on these young adults, the rodeo, or how you might be able to help sponsor them personally or with your business, give Leslie Montroy a call at 731-6555. Good luck kids. You should be very proud of yourselves for having made it to the National Finals. Pagosa sure is proud of you.
As for the rest of us weekend warriors, we'll stay here in Pagosa and enjoy the activities our community has to offer.
Let's start off with shopping, a potentially rigorous sport.
Extra shopping opportunities will be available - in addition to our "day-in and day-out" great local merchants - at the Fairfield Resorts annual Arts and Crafts Festival 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, July 16, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, July 17. The Fairfield Resort property will be filled with local and visiting craft artisans. There will be booths offering jewelry, clothing, fine art, metal art, pottery, food and much more. There will also be activities for the kids like face painting, fish pond and coin toss, and a magic show. Kids of all ages will love the alpacas provided by the Navajo Lake Alpaca Ranch. So don't miss out on another shopping opportunity here in Pagosa Springs.
Give back to the land
Next Thursday, July 21 a group of volunteers, in partnership with the Forest Service, the Pagosa Ranger District and the San Juan Mountains Association, will perform general maintenance and trail repair up at Treasure Falls. They could sure use some help.
Volunteers will meet at the Ranger District Office at 180 Pagosa St. at 8:30 a.m. You need to dress appropriately, with sturdy boots and work gloves. You should also bring water, sun screen, sun glasses or other protective eye wear, a sack lunch and a sharp pointed shovel and/or pick if you have one.
Join a bunch of fun people working hard to keep one of our local treasures (no pun intended) in good condition for our community to enjoy. For more information you can call Bob Henley at 731-9411 or the USFS office at 264-2268.
Concert at Chimney Rock
Also on Saturday, July 16, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, the San Juan National Forest and the Pagosa Ranger District will host a flute concert by Charles Martinez.
Charles is a native Pagosan with Jicarilla and Navajo heritage and has worked for years playing and receiving spiritual guidance to become a master flute player. His concert will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Kiva. The gates for Chimney Rock will open at 5:30 p.m. and will close at 6, so that all attendees can get to the concert by 6:30. It is recommended you make reservations by calling 883-5359. Tickets are $15 for adults and children under 12 are $7.50. You may also want to bring flashlights, insect repellent, blankets and water. No food or alcohol will be allowed at the Kiva. Enjoy this magical concert at a landmark right in our back yard.
Tickets, tickets, tickets!
Here are some other opportunities to get tickets and we have them here at the Chamber of Commerce, your local "Ticket Master."
The PSAC annual Home and Garden Show will be held Sunday, July 24, from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for PSAC members and $12 for nonmembers. I love going to these shows to see some of Pagosa's showcase homes, then trying to incorporate some ideas into my home. Haven't tackled the garden yet though. What a perfect time to look at colors, design ideas, gourmet kitchens and landscaping ideas. We'll be talking about the homes on the tour starting next week, so stay tuned. Tickets may also be purchased at the PSAC office in Town Park, Moonlight Books and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee House.
There are also tickets still available for the Music in the Mountains violin concert Friday, July 22, with Vadim Gluzman. In addition to Vadim, there will also be a string octet performance with accompaniment by a French horn, piano and oboe. With Vadim Gluzman being touted as the next Isaac Stern, classical music lovers would be hard pressed to miss such an inspiring concert here in Pagosa Springs. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at the Chamber, or just call us at 264-2360. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. If you have a late day at work, never fear - you can dash over to the concert at BootJack Ranch where there will be food and dessert available for purchase as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Come out to experience a fabulous venue and incomparable music. Tickets are also available for the Aug. 5 piano concert with Avrim Reichert.
We now have tickets, or wrist bands as the case may be, for the Archuleta County Fair, to be held Aug. 4-7. The "Old West Fest," featuring a concert with The Hot Strings, Wild West performers and lots and lots of door prizes and giveaways will kick off the fair Thursday at 4 p.m. After all of the opening festivities, you can stay for the Bucking H Thursday night rodeo. For more information on the rodeo, the Demolition Derby, the Kid's Rodeo, the Lee Sterling Chili Cook-Off or other events, log on to the fair's Web site, www.archuletacountyfair.com. The Chamber and the Extension Building also have fair and exhibitor's handbooks available. If you're going to participate, this handbook is a must. Stop by and pick up your copy.
We have two new lodging facilities joining us this week. The first business is not even in business yet, but is planning ahead and getting into our accommodations guide early. Welcome to Angie and Ken Gayhart and the Cabins at Hartland Ranch. The cabins will be opening up the end of 2005 or early 2006. Each of the five cabins will be fully furnished, including washers and dryers. Each bedroom will have its own bath and a gas fireplace. The cabins will be located less than a mile from town on Snowball Road, with spectacular views and covered decks. Plan ahead if you have family coming to ski and give Angie a call at 264-1111. We'll let you know when they officially open.
The other new lodging facility that is joining is The Enchanted Cottage Bed and Breakfast located close to town at 266 N. 5th St. Quaint and comfortable, the Enchanted Cottage has two guest rooms that each includes cable, DVD, VCR and a mini fridge. They are also offering a continental breakfast every morning and access to washer and dryer facilities. They also offer nightly and weekly rates. Give Teena Roemer a call at 759-2639 to make reservations. This delightful home is within walking distance to town which is often an added incentive to people staying in our area.
Our last member this week is a wonderful renewal - Pamela Novak and Equus Realty.
We thank all our new members this week and remind other members to join us for the Chamber orientation session each month. If you are a renewing member and would like to review your membership benefits, give us a call and we'll add you to the party list.
And don't forget - don't wash your cars until you bring them nice and dirty to the Chamber's annual Membership Car Wash to be held Saturday, July 23. The board of directors and the staff are ready to tackle the Pagosa mud and dust that coats your car or truck. Mark your calendars and come by and visit us that day at the Chamber. Until then, the lean mean, cleaning machines will be getting ready!
Daniel and Renae Roehrs, and Ardella Simacek, own The Getaway, at 27B Talisman Drive, No. 4.
The Getaway's decor and atmosphere were created to reflect a mountain retreat experience that is unique to Pagosa Springs. As you enjoy breakfast and coffee seated in a hand-crafted log booth, be sure to look up to see the vintage canoe hanging from the rafters.
For lunch and dinner, customers can savor 100-percent natural, never frozen, hand-formed burgers and beer-battered onion rings while sitting on the spacious outdoor patio. For those with a sweet tooth, there are delicious frozen custard cones, sundaes, shakes and avalanches. If you are in a hurry, order at the convenient drive-thru window.
The Getaway is open with special summer hours, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Call 731-2737.
"Serengeti Trekkers" of Community United Methodist Church take this opportunity to thank the following for helping to make our Vacation Bible School grrreat and a roaring success!
Rito Blanco Nursery and Mary Kay Carpenter for the loan of potted grass plants; Pagosa Springs SUN and Sarah Smith for the wonderful photo page and for printing our article; Ponderosa Do-It-Best Hardware for the loan of a barrel trough and stand; First Baptist Church and Donna Sanders for donating props and supplies left over from their own Serengeti Trek; Robbye Reedy for her set-up help and loan of mosquito netting hats; The United Methodist Thrift Shop for loaning stuffed animals, figurines and fabrics; St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for volunteers and financial support; Jerry and Lil Smith for loaning an elephant-load of paraphernalia from the real Serengeti in Africa; and countless members of Community United Methodist Church for loaning or donating items and/or contributing their valuable time.
Thanks to you, this Vacation Bible School helped children from 11 different denominations, and some unchurched, learned how to love God, talk to God, talk about God and work for God. They will remember this for a long time.
Serengeti Trek Staffers
Community United Methodist Church
A big thanks to all the sponsors that made the 2005 Celebración del Rio San Juan a big success! Everything from the onsite contributions such as the solar-powered band (Arrowhead Solar) and the donated burgers (JJ's), the discounted river trips (Canyon Rio), and the prize and cash donations from local and national businesses contributed to the festive event. We couldn't have done it without you.
ACE Lumber and Hardware, Arrowhead Solar, Artemesia Botanicals, Bear Creek Saloon & Grill, Big Water Gear, The Buffalo Inn, Canyon Rio, DR Builders, Design-a-Sign, Dogwood Café, Farrago's Market Café, The Flying Burrito, Garcia Construction, The Irish Rose, JJ's Upstream Restaurant, Juan's Mountain Sports, Jack's Plastics, KWUF FM, Laura Bedard, Let It Fly, Moonlight Books, Pagosa SUN, Pagosa Outside, Pinewood Inn, Professional Plastering, San Juan Motel, San Juan Veterinary Hospital, SKA Brewery, The Source for Real Estate, The Springs Resort, Summit Ski & Sports, Switchback Mountain Gear and Apparel, Tannin' on the Corner, Touch of the Tropics, The Unfortunate Sausage, Wolf Creek Backcountry, Wolf Creek Ski Corporation, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee shop.
With the help and unselfishness of many people, the Red Ryder Royalty contest was a great success. Sandy Bramwell and Belinda Thull would like to thank, first, the talented young ladies who came and tried out for queen and princess: Charmaine Talbot, Katlin Simmons, Mellissa Dennison, Kylie Corcoran, Breann Decker, Payton Shahan and Tiffany Thornton. We also received support from some outstanding businesses: Goodman's Department Store donated a beautiful saddle, breast collar and head stall to the queen; Boot Hill Feed and Tack donated a wonderful breast collar and head stall to the princess; Agape Gifts gave a candle to Miss Congeniality; Sue's Horse School a horse supply tote; Hideout donated a purse; Pagosa Land and Cattle a photo album and two horse ornaments; Parelli Natural Horsemanship gave a halter and lead to queen and princess; Jim Bramwell Outfitting gave visors to queen, princess and both runners-up, and Snips gave hair and makeup hints to all the girls. It was a tough job for the judges - Jack Adams, Faye Bramwell and Megan Wolf for the riding competition; T.R. Lansford from College Station, Texas, Stacie Castro and Christine Lucero for the personality. Made In Colorado Shoppe gave the judges delicious fudge. Western Heritage Committee gave the queen and princess a belt buckle, crown, jacket, sash and money for representing and promoting the Red Ryder Roundup. We are proud to have Charmaine Talbot as the 2006 queen and Mellissa Dennison as the 2006 princess.
A great big thank you from the American Legion Post 108 Pagosa Springs, to all of the good people of Pagosa, tourists and surrounding neighbors who donated to our water wagons and to the good folks who dined at our food booth at the Legion Hall.
You made our Fourth of July a financial success. All proceeds go to finance veterans' needs and programs. Your donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you Hogs Breath Saloon for purchasing the food for our booth. We would also like to thank Timber Homes for their generous donation for veterans in need.
We will be hosting a food booth at the Archuleta County Fair next month and hope that all of you good people will support us again.
Please support our troops.
Thank you and God bless all of you.
Charles E. Dailey
Dear Pagosa Springs: I can't thank you enough for the support I've received after my accident. I've been overwhelmed by the cards, flowers, phone calls, offers of help and outpouring of love I've received from so many of you. I've truly been blessed in so many ways.
Thank you all.
P.S. I'm doing well, also.
Once again the Rotary Independence Day parade was a big success thanks to a lot of wonderful and dedicated people in Pagosa Springs including the Pagosa Springs Police, Colorado Mounted Rangers, Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, Colorado State Patrol, American Legion, San Juan Hospital District, Fire Protection District, Chamber of Commerce, County Extension Center, Pagosa SUN, KWUF, Rotary Club volunteers, announcers Karl Isberg and Mike Branch, Day Lumber, all of the residents along 8th Street where the parade forms, the parade Marshal Ross Aragon and, of course, all of the entries that made up the parade.
Together, we celebrated a very significant day for our country.
Rod Preston, Chairman, Rotary Parade Committee
Ming Steen, Rotary President
Sometimes we complain about the frustration of getting things done in Pagosa. Workers don't show up, don't call and maybe don't do much when they do appear.
And then comes the Prince on the White Horse in the form of Jeff Ross. In spite of a shrinking crew and a dinner commitment, he stayed to finish our sprinkler repairs, knowing that we were committed to leaving on a three-month trailer trip the next day.
Above and beyond - thank you Mr. Ross.
Dick and Gerry Potticary
Alexia O. Huffman
Alexia O. Huffman, of Pagosa Springs, a Dartmouth College student in the class of 2005, has been cited for outstanding academic achievement in Arabic 3 during the Spring 2005 term.
Huffman is the daughter of James A. Huffman and Dagmar E. Huffman.
Members of the Dartmouth faculty are invited to submit citation reports only when a student's work is sufficiently distinguished to merit special recognition. Such citations are rare; typically only a few undergraduates received citations each term.
Volleyball camp to train young players, grades 5-8
It's time to dust off the gym shoes and dig out the old knee pads.
Pagosa Springs Summer Volleyball Club will host a junior high school volleyball camp for girls and boys, fifth to eighth grades, Aug. 1, 2 and 3.
Sessions will run from 9-11:30 a.m. in the junior high gym.
Pagosa Springs High School varsity volleyball coach Andy Rice will direct the camp along with high school assistant coach Kristen Hentchell and Pagosa Springs Junior High School coach Mikaela Russler.
Registration will be on site, starting 8:30 a.m. Aug. 1. Parents are asked to come to the gym that morning to fill out the registration form. Cost is $30, payable to Pagosa Springs Summer Volleyball Club.
The junior high camp will focus on an introduction to the rules of the game and basic volleyball fundamentals, with the camp culminating with full six-on-six play for those campers deemed ready.
For more information, contact Rice at 264-1951 or Hentchell at 731-2595.
Christmas in July for women's golf group
The Pagosa Springs Women's Golf Association featured a "Christmas in July" format for its league day July 5.
At the end of the 18-hole round, each player was entitled to reduce three of her highest scores to par, and then deduct her full handicap. The ladies played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating.
Claudia Johnson garnered first place with a 52, second went to Lynne Allison with a 60, Sharon Utz was third with a 61 and Audrey Johnson was fourth with a 63.
Help a young soccer player enjoy the sport
By Myles Gabel
Want to help your child get ready for the upcoming Pagosa Springs youth soccer season?
The following can provide a helpful perspective. Kids learn by doing. It is critical that your kids get to play soccer as much as possible before the season starts. Here is a to-do list to get you started.
Buy a soccer ball. One soccer ball (minimum) should be a requirement around the house at all times to get ready for the season.
Play soccer with your child. Just 10-20 minutes every other day of passing the ball back and forth and dribbling will greatly improve their ability to pass, receive and control the ball - and it's good exercise for all of you all-star soccer moms and dads.
Buy some orange practice cones - then the kids can practice dribbling in the yard. If you can't afford the cones, be a creative soccer mom/dad and use whatever you have around the house as markers. The cones have a multitude of purposes. Use them to mark a boundary, as goal posts or to make a square or circle.
Make or buy a small soccer goal for the yard. This makes the fun factor go way up. Size doesn't matter. A soccer goal is often a kid magnet for the neighborhood, friends and teammates. Have fun with it.
Send your child to camp. Right here in Pagosa Springs there is an excellent Major League Soccer Camp Aug. 8-12 for ages 5-18. Your child will have the chance to learn from the very best coaches in this area. All players receive a ball, T-shirt and a free companion ticket to a Colorado Rapids game. Pick up applications at Town Hall or call Lindsey Kurt-Mason at 731-2458.
Not so immediate to-do list, but very important.
Learn the game yourself. This is really equal in importance but it's an item specifically for you as a soccer mom or dad. Learn the positions on the field. Learn what the players do. Here's a little history you can use: The earliest evidence of soccer dates from about 200 A.D. in China, where a form of the game was played that emphasized the ability of players to dribble a leather ball.
Attend soccer games. The game itself is a great teacher, not just for playing but also for watching. Go to the high school games or the regional college soccer games and learn some valuable lessons from watching others play the sport. Discuss the game afterwards to point out specific plays or tactics that were used.
Watch soccer on TV. The next best thing to being there. At times even better because both you and your child can learn from the commentators. There are also many excellent instructional soccer videos and soccer DVDs on the market for the soccer mom or dad. Not only are there excellent instructional books for the soccer mom, dad, coach, or player, but there are also great motivational books about past and present soccer stars. Ever heard of Mia Hamm? How about Pele?
Youth baseball all-stars
Monte Vista will be the host of the 2005 Youth Baseball Competition July 21 and 22. This will be the final competition for our 11/12 participants for the 2005 season. Teams are comprised of members of Pagosa Springs Youth Baseball 11/12 teams from this past baseball season. Members of the 2005 Pagosa Springs 11/12 all star squad are Ricky Belarde, Liam Frey, Michael Gallegos, Nathan Keyawa, Gabe Lister, K.C. Lord, Zach Lucero, Kain Lucero, Trace Maltsberger, Dakota Miller, Daniel Puskas and Tanner Vrazel. Waylon Sutton has been named as an alternate and will be active if available. Coaches are Cliff Lucero and Scott Miller.
Youth soccer signups are continuing through July 29. The youth soccer season will start earlier than in past years, beginning Aug. 15 and running through the end of September due to the cold October weather and shrinking daylight hours. Pick up youth soccer applications at Town Hall after July 5 or go online at townofpagosasprings.com to download an application. Age groups are 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and we will attempt to form a new 13/14 group (seventh and eighth grades) if interested. Call the recreation department with any questions 264-4151, Ext. 232.
Adult soccer is back. Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer should go the soccer field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School football stadium Tuesdays at 6 p.m. If you need additional information call the Town of Pagosa Springs recreation department and have your name placed on our team lists.
Information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department may be found by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the Parks and Recreation link. All schedules and upcoming events are updated every Monday morning.
For additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.
Teamwork makes sports complex project possible
By Joe Lister Jr.
Every Pagosa coach the past 40 years or so has said at one time or another, "there is no 'I' in team," meaning that no individual should stand above the rest .
If you look at the start of development at the new sports complex on South 5th Street, at where we are to date, this saying is typical of the teamwork we have experienced.
In the sport of football you have an offense and a defense; each studies different techniques and game plans. Then, a couple days before the game, the coaches mesh their ideas and put the game plan together to give the team a solid chance of competing and, hopefully, winning.
In our sports complex project, the conceptual portion of the park, as well as the financial specs, were put together by Julie Jessen, special projects director for the Town of Pagosa Springs. EDAW, of Fort Collins, was hired to put together the master plan. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the town council approved the master plan.
We applied twice for GoCo grants, and I guess the third time's a charm; Jessen was instrumental in our receiving the award in December 2004. The school district, Archuleta County, the Town of Pagosa Springs, all joined hands in an intergovernmental agreement, with each team member pledging $20,000 per year to the project for three years. A three-year total of $160,000 will be leveraged or used as capital improvement money for the complex. The local chapter of Rotary International came aboard with a three-year pledge total of $15,000.
Davis Engineering Service and Sugnet Environmental Inc. put together all the building specs for our new park.
The good news is we are ready to roll. The bad news is the cost of construction and the lack of topsoil has added to our cost estimates from 2004. For example, top soil is now running about $25 per cubic yard. We are in need of 6,000 cubic yards, and that adds up to a grand total of $150,000 just to purchase and haul needed top soil.
Preliminary bids for construction came in at $909,303; a second set came in at $762,771. The most recent estimate is $490,578. These numbers are due to the savings made by another couple of key players. Archuleta County, Pagosa Springs Streets Department and Aspen Village came together to haul over 2,000 cubic yards of topsoil. The topsoil, valued at $50,000, was donated by Aspen Village, and the hauling was donated in-kind by the town and county.
Our next step is to look at some items on the list and determine what the county and town can do "piece meal," at little or no cost relative to our budget.
Grid layout will take place this week, with rough grade provided with county equipment and the town operators planned to begin as soon as possible. Drainage, electrical and rough-in irrigation will be done in-house. Irrigation, final grade, fencing and landscaping will be bid out.
So, you can see there is no "I" in team. We are getting the biggest bang for our dollar, and we could not even come close to being within budget without the help of all the team players who have stepped up to help this project be a success.
The Colorado Parks and Recreation Association presents awards each year in categories such as administrative management, education, maintenance, programming, and park and recreation design.
This June we had the pleasure of hosting the first-ever Presidential Tour. We hosted Terri Olander, 2005 CPRA president, and Stephanie Stephens, executive director of CPRA. We toured Town Hall, the community center, the sports complex and Reservoir Hill Park.
We got to see the street crew and artist Chad Haspels putting a bench into place, as well as see the carvings of a huge mountain lion and other wildlife. They were amazed at the work, and told us to enter the preservation of the old growth pine that was struck by lightning into a functional piece of art in their contest.
We are proud to say the carvings have met all our expectations, and we invite the public to go up Reservoir Hill to see this gem. We are going to retain Haspels' services for other projects, hoping to preserve the integrity of these stoic trees for generations to follow.
Myles Gabel is working on our contest application, which is due this week. If everything goes well, we could receive an award for the concept and follow through with more additions to our parks. Awards will be announced at the annual CPRA fall conference, held in late September.
Our Fourth of July fireworks show was a great success. As I mentioned last week, we thank the pyro-techs who helped with the show. I will probably forget someone, but please know your help was appreciated.
Thanks go to: Dennis Ford (fireworks coordinator), Dylan Pruitt, Chris Gallegos, Tye Davison, Dreux Williams, Jim Miller and all town employees
Volunteers included Jon Haner, Jon Reed, Gary Lattin, Anthony Doctor, Joe Maloney, Leroy Lattin, Mike Gelach, Michael Ford, Shane Martinez and J.P. Rappenecker. Thanks again to all these people behind the scenes.
Two letters to the editor in the July 7 SUN reflect opposite sides of the spectrum of opinion concerning the role of a publication such as this in providing a forum for public dialogue. The letters were reactions to an editorial printed June 30 urging civility and respect in public discourse, conveying our opinion that, with very few exceptions, positive suggestions concerning a problem are more productive than their opposites.
One of the letters expressed exasperation because we advocated a respectful approach to the principals involved in controversial situations and the writer implied this publication approved of public dialogue only so long as it fit our definition of what is proper. It implied we censor opinions and filter out those of which we do not approve.
The other letter writer lauded the call for civility then urged us to act as a censor when expressions do not conform to that standard, however it might be defined. The writer asserted it is within our power to control the dialogue, at least in terms of its tone - to limit comments to expressions we find acceptable.
The writer of the first letter is patently wrong. The writer of the second letter is correct, insofar as we select what goes into this publication and, therefore, have the ability to omit statements that violate our personal standards, our sense of decorum.
We do not, however, accept this role. We think it is our job to facilitate and maximize public dialogue, unveil as many expressions as possible. We prefer to stand on the middle ground and an explanation of The SUN's opinion section and the standards we bring to bear on it is, again, in order.
Our Letters to the Editor section, is a vital forum of public opinion and one indulged by the greatest number of readers in the community; it must be kept open to all but a very few missives.
Our standards are clear - they do not rest on a relative foundation. Here are the only reasons a letter might be omitted from this forum.
It exceeds the 500-word limit.
It is not signed (if hand delivered or delivered via mail) and does not include a telephone number for verification, if necessary, of name and place of residence.
It violates Colorado law relating to libel.
It contains terms commonly recognized as obscene.
It is incoherent (yes, we are confident in our ability to detect incoherence).
There is not enough space to print all the letters submitted in a given week. If the letter's content remains pertinent, it is printed the following week.
That a letter is rude, its tone abrasive and negative, will not lead us to refuse to publish it. Such a decision veers into bias; it is potentially too colored by preference for personalities and sides in issues.
We believe in the principle of free speech, absent libel and slander, and wish free speech to thrive in these pages, be it sometimes brash. We will not censor on the basis of a dislike of a writer or an aversion to a letter's tone. We will not censor comments made about our friends if those comments do not cross the legal line. We will not select letters in order to illuminate criticism of those whom we oppose, or to eliminate criticism of ourselves. This is the essence of public dialogue. And in times like these in Pagosa Country, the more dialogue the better. We are on the cusp of great change, and we need all the input we can get.
What we will do is continue to urge writers to exhibit a measure of kindness if possible, compassion and respect as often as possible. To deal with issues, not personalities, and to do so in a positive manner.
A tear links two local growth eras
By Richard Walter
There, did you hear it?
Another Pagosa tear falling silently into the denuded land, simple protest without expectation.
There were some things different about this one, however. For one it came at 6:30 on a bright July 3 morning, a Sunday bringing neighbors stumbling out to see what could be happening at that hour of the Sabbath.
Second, it was part of the growing tide of actions taking away what little was left of the old, real Pagosa Springs. Falling this time was one of her last homes from the era of construction, the Hersch house on East Pagosa Street.
Finally, it was a direct connection to my own past.
Records indicate Joseph B. Hersch was born in Pagosa Springs early in 1921, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Hersch, who had moved here in 1898 after firm financial success in the Santa Fe region.
At the time of his death in 1974, he was president of Citizen's Bank and had served on most of the areas' governmental agencies, i.e., county commissioner, town board and the boards of most community service organizations.
The Hersch's were a different breed of land owner, buying vast areas for grazing their own stock, providing a means for its shipment to market, and jobs for many of the area's residents.
My father came to this area from the Midwest seeking his own fortune and was befriended by Hersch.
When the new bank at Pagosa and San Juan Streets was constructed, dad was given the contract to paint it. Likewise, when the new courthouse was under construction he won the painting contract for that structure, too.
The relationship extended. The Hersch family established a general store, rail stop, post office, cattle and lumber shipping point for their operations at La Boca, and many parents were entrusted with running that joint operation.
Then came the crisis of the era for the Walter family. Doing some welding at the La Boca site, my father was hit in the eye by a flying piece of metal.
Mr. Hersch had him rushed to a specialist in Denver where attempts to save the eye were futile. It was another of those links to the past that cannot be recovered, a simple case of a man helping a friend who was also an employee, because it seemed the right thing to do.
There are rumors another of the dwindling number of Pagosa's old grand dame homes, the manse of former State Senator, Representative and Mrs. Charles Rumbaugh is on the market and if not sold will also fall to the wreckers' ball on North 1st Street. That would leave perhaps two such structures - both at Pagosa and 3rd Streets as he sole survivors of an era.
There are occupied structures in the county older than these residences, but for many of them their sole claim to fame is that they survived the Great Flood.
Progress, it seems, has come again to Pagosa Springs. Grandiose plans have vast new shopping areas for our visitors but little place provided to house the people who will work in them - or will they be bused in from Mexico?
Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of July 16, 1915
Cut every official salary in two and apply the half to good road work. The benefit of good roads to the public is greater than the money to the individual.
Ice cream and cake will be served in the park tomorrow afternoon, beginning at four o'clock, for the benefit of the M.E. church. Price only 10¢.
The new cement sidewalk on Pagosa and San Juan streets in Block 21 is all completed or in course of completion, except the 100 feet fronting the Archuleta property.
A distinguished honor has just been paid to one of our local physicians, Dr. A.J. Nossaman having just received notice of his election as Fellow of the American Academy of Medicine.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 18, 1930
Lightning played havoc with three transformers of the New Light & Power Co. Saturday evening, putting one completely out of commission. The following night the lightning put the entire town into darkness by damage done at the light plant, necessitating the employment of the steam plant for a few days until repairs could be made.
Charged with drunkenness and driving a car while in that condition, an offender appeared before Police Magistrate R.C. Hill Wednesday and received a jolt of $150 fine and costs. In addition he has to pay the damages to his own car and that of a Pagosa citizen, making his Tuesday's circle around a Pagosa block quite an expensive trip.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 15, 1955
The large bath house, office and main building of the Spring Resort were completely destroyed by a fire of unknown origin Monday. The alarm was turned in at 8:30 p.m. and within an hour the building was completely destroyed. The fire department kept the blaze from spreading to any other building except the main building, but were unable to stem the blaze. The ancient bathhouse was a familiar sight to many tourists and parts of it had been there about as long as anyone can remember. The fire was a big loss to the owners of the resort and one that will cause adverse effects on summer tourist business until its facilities can be replaced. It is the largest fire loss in the community since the Goodman home burned some four or five years ago.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 17, 1980
The Conejos County court house burned last week. Many of the records there were preserved, although the exact number has not been determined. Archuleta County was once part of Conejos County and some of the early day records of this area are filed in the court house there. Archuleta County was carved out of Conejos County in 1885, and official records prior to that time would have been filed there.
A construction worker suffered injuries Monday night when a charge of explosives practically buried his pickup with rock and dirt. He had actuated the detonator for the charge and was attempting to leave the scene in a pickup. The vehicle failed to start and he was trapped in it when the charge went off.
No bull riding and no football:
Sisters & the gift of life
By James Robinson
After donating a kidney to her ailing sister, 34-year-old Dawn Thomas, of Pagosa Springs, lives under strict doctor's orders - no bull riding and no football, period, end of discussion.
But with those as her only restrictions, Thomas is pleased.
"No bull riding and no football, for giving an organ, that's pretty good."
The decision to donate the kidney to her sister, 45-year-old Tina Corbett, of Durango, came last winter Thomas said, when she watched her sister's life and ambition slowly slipping away.
She said her sister had been stricken with lupus when she was 28 and the disease ultimately led to kidney failure and two unsuccessful transplants - the first in 1996, and the second in 2001.
"She didn't have any functioning kidneys when we started, she was in dialysis," Thomas said.
Thomas described her sister's three weekly trips to the Cortez dialysis clinic. She said between the driving and the time spent at the clinic it was practically an all-day affair.
"It was a part-time job for sure," Corbett said.
Thomas said her sister had difficulty walking, high blood pressure had swollen her hands and feet, and the physical limitations of her condition were affecting her attitude.
For a woman such as Corbett, who had always been active and athletic (Corbett medaled on three different occasions at the World Transplant Games in 2001, 2003 and 2004), her deterioration and the life-consuming regimen of dialysis was grinding her down.
"Even when you're on dialysis, you're not in the best of health," Corbett said. "It's a subsistence existence to keep you alive."
Thomas had observed the decline, and when her sister asked her last winter to donate a kidney she agreed.
Initial blood tests began in Durango and the results looked promising. In January, Thomas traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. for two days of rigorous and extensive testing.
Thomas said she had never been so thoroughly examined.
"I never gave so much blood in my entire life," Thomas said.
But, after being prodded and poked for 48 hours, doctors studied the results and a week later informed her she was "a perfect match."
Thomas said after that, there was no looking back.
"Once I got tested and knew I could save her life, there was no question," Thomas said.
In March, Thomas and Corbett returned to Scottsdale for the transplant surgery.
Thomas said she was nervous but was committed; "It was like having a baby, you forget about the pain."
"I was excited but nervous for Dawn," Corbett said. "I didn't want her to be in pain. She's my little sister, and I'd always taken care of her, and now she was taking care of me."
Thomas said the surgery was the toughest part of the whole procedure. She said she spent two days in the hospital and that it took about two weeks to recover, but seeing the near instant results in her sister made it worth it.
Corbett, Thomas said, was up and out of bed that first evening and within two weeks she said her sister was walking two miles a day.
"She was really an inspiration to people in the hospital," Thomas said.
Thomas said both sisters have recovered well and that the first 30 days are the most critical for the transplant recipient.
Corbett said she has overcome that first hurdle, and regular checkups and a recent trip back to the Mayo Clinic ensure the transplant is going well aside from a few oddities.
"My sister never liked ice cream before. I love ice cream, and now she's an ice cream freak," Thomas said.
Thomas said she also has unusually low blood pressure, and now her sister, who's pressure was always high, shares that trait.
Both sisters said their lives have been transformed following the transplant.
Thomas said she and her sister had always been close, but during the last 10 years and through the transplant process they've grown closer than ever before.
Corbett agreed. "We were close before and now were that much closer. We have a huge connection," she said.
Thomas said they also share a renewed sense of confidence, optimism and overall well-being.
Corbett said she senses something extraordinary about this transplant. She said the medical care at the Mayo Clinic is probably partly responsible, but she attributed her feelings largely to the donor.
"I know this one's different because it's Dawn's," Corbett said.
Thomas said the two stay in constant contact and their futures are forever intertwined. She said they have already discussed tackling next year's Durango Iron Horse Bicycle Classic; and Thomas said a local athletic event to raise organ donor awareness might be in the works
Thomas said she has learned much from her sister about perserverance and determination.
"I probably would have given up. She never gave up. Now that we've been through this together I understand," Thomas said.
USDA group to discuss home ownership
USDA Rural Development is committed to help Colorado's rural residents enjoy the security of home ownership and gain the economic benefits of long term savings and capital growth.
The Cortez Rural Development Office staff will host an open meeting to discuss housing programs available for Archuleta County residents 7 p.m. tonight, July 14, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.
If you are tired of renting or think your income is too low, home ownership may be possible. In addition, USDA Rural Development offers assistance to very low income homeowners who need repairs made to their homes to remove health or safety hazards.
For more information on the meeting or other USDA Rural Development programs available, contact the Cortez USDA Rural Development Office at (970) 565-8416, Ext. 4.
Tour set for Missionary Ridge burned area
The San Juan Mountains Association and San Juan Public Lands are sponsoring a free tour of the Missionary Ridge burned area at Vallecito. There will be an emphasis on fire ecology and rehabilitation efforts. The tour will leave from the Vallecito Community Center Saturday, July 16, at 10 a.m. and last until noon.
For more information or to register, call 385-1210.
Cowboy mounted shooting group
forming in area
Cowboy mounted shooting is the fastest growing sport in America. Anyone interested informing a club in the Pagosa area should contact Dick Isaacs at 731-1067. The club will be open to men, women and young people looking for a safe way to hone their riding and shooting skills, and bomb-proof their horses. Balloons are the only things shot at in this sport and only black powder .45 caliber blanks are used. Participants dress in late 1800s cowboy attire to further enhance the experience.
A tough winter at the new Fort Lewis
By John M. Motter
A new Army post soon to be called Fort Lewis was started in Pagosa Springs during October of 1878. The season was late, the area remote, and supplies hard to obtain, especially forage for the 100 or so horses assigned to the post.
By Dec. 30, post commander Capt. Hartz, 15th Infantry, summarized his problems in a six-page letter to his commanding officer at Fort Garland.
After reviewing the failure of what he supposed to be binding and performable contracts for corn and hay with W.S. Peabody, the post trader, T.D. Burns, a Tierra Amarilla, N.M., merchant, Joseph (Josiah) Mann, the forage agent, J. Baker and T. Rogers, J.M. Treu, presumably farmers near Animas City, Hartz concluded drastic measures were needed and sent the government horses to Animas City. His explanation is a gem.
Before summarizing his reason for moving the horses, Hartz reported the arrival of one load (about 2,000 pounds) of a purchase of 50,000 pounds of grain from Treu at a cost of five cents per pound delivered to Pagosa Springs. In Hartz' words, "One of his trains (horse-drawn wagons) arrived yesterday having been thirteen days enroute, a distance of about 55 miles - owing to the bad condition of the road and the heavy fall of snow."
Later in the letter, Hartz explained, "This is a new country and the great trouble to contend with in obtaining supplies of this character is the want of transportation and the bad character of the roads. There is plenty of grain and hay in the country, but the great difficulty is to get it hauled to the points where it is wanted for use, and like Mohammed, as the mountain would not go to him he had to go to the mountain, so with us, as the forage will not come to us, we will have to go to the forage, unless the restriction as to price is removed and I am allowed to offer larger prices to assure delivery. The snow here is about 14 inches on the level, and at points in the vicinity higher up in the mountains, it is much deeper, and from the present appearance of the clouds we anticipate an additional fall, in fact, light flakes are now falling."
Hartz made the following recommendation:
"I am satisfied that sufficient hay to subsist all the animals assigned to this post until the grazing season opens cannot be obtained delivered here at this late season, except at very exorbitant prices, and in view of this fact I would respectfully recommend that the horse of Co. 'D' 9th Cav. be either retained at Animas City under the present arrangement or they be sent to Fort Wingate or Fort Garland for the winter, with a sufficient number of men to care for them."
Motter's note: Hartz was under pressure from his superiors to bring the cavalry horses back to Pagosa Springs from Animas City. This letter was his justification for not doing so. As far as I know, he succeeded and the horses remained at Animas City for most of the winter.
Josiah Mann is acknowledged by old-timers as one of the earliest settlers in the area and was well-known in Pagosa Springs, Summitville and Del Norte. An 1870 census of San Juan country listed a "Joe Menn."
Of Joe Mann, Hartz reported, "I received from Joseph Mann, the regular appointed forage agent at Pagosa Springs, 11 and 449/2000 tons of hay and 456 tons of corn, but this source of supply is now cut off, as Mr. Mann has left the country and virtually abandoned his agency and no one left here to represent his interests."
I don't know where Joe Mann disappeared to during that particular winter, but he remained a character and a fixture in Pagosa Country for more than 30 years after the founding of Fort Lewis.
More next week on the obstacles faced while starting Fort Lewis at Pagosa Springs.
Use the moon to navigate the skies
By James Robinson
Moon: The moon will be in its first quarter on July 14. According to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Astronomical Observations Department, 32 percent of the visible disc will be illuminated.
While many astronomers often bemoan the moon for interfering with other celestial observations, backyard astronomers will appreciate the moon as a tool for locating many interesting objects in this week's night sky.
On July 14, about an hour after sunset in the south west, the moon lines up nicely with Spica (alpha Virginis) and Jupiter.
Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, is a bright blue-white star and can be found almost immediately to the right of the moon.
From Spica, move to the right again and Jupiter will be the next, very large and very bright cream-colored object.
Just a few degrees above and to the right of Jupiter lies gamma Virginis, or Porrima, also part of the constellation Virgo.
For decades, this has been a popular star for backyard astronomers, because a small telescope reveals not just one star, but a pair of matching, magnitude 3.5 white stars.
Unfortunately, times have changed and this year it will require at least a 250 millimeter telescope to discern the pair. The reason is that the stars orbit each other every 169 years and in 2005 they are closest together. In about six years, a 60 millimeter telescope will separate the objects and backyard astronomers will have no trouble separating the objects for the rest of the century.
Once you have located the Moon and Jupiter it should be fairly easy to locate the constellation Corvus, the crow.
Corvus will appear very low in the southwest about an hour after sunset, and can be located by drawing two imaginary lines down toward the horizon from the Moon and Jupiter. Where the lines would intersect, low on the horizon, is Corvus, a rectangular shaped constellation with four main stars, one on each corner, outlining its shape.
In the Greek mythology, Corvus is associated with the nearby constellations Hydra, the water snake, and Crater, the cup. The story goes that Apollo sent the crow to fetch water in a cup, but on the crow's return journey, it stopped to relax and snack on figs.
When the crow returned to Apollo it carried the water snake in its claws instead of the water-filled cup. The crow told Apollo the snake would not allow it to get to the spring and that is why it was delayed.
Apollo knew the crow was lying and ultimately banished all three - the crow, the snake and the cup - to the sky.
Looking in the sky, the crow and the cup lie on the snake's back, and the cup is just out of the thirsty crow's reach. According to the legend, because the crow lied, all crows are condemned to be forever thirsty and this explains why crows make such a harsh croaking sound.
The four main stars in Corvus are all easily discernible with the naked eye, but perhaps the most interesting object near the constellation, the Antennae, is not.
The Antennae is the site of a galactic collision between the galaxies NGC 4038 and NGC 4039. The dust, debris and other matter being flung out from the collision appears like two antennae stretching out from a central core. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered more than 1,000 young star clusters born from the collision.
And lastly, for those sky-watching nightowls, Mars makes its seasonal debut in the early morning hours. The fiery orange planet will rise almost due east soon after midnight. Just before sunrise, early risers can look for the burnt-orange planet in the east-southeast.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture