July 28, 2005
Front Page

County appoints a new interim

administrator

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Left rocked and reeling by a string of recent resignations, Archuleta County has been scrambling to fill the vacancies and to keep the wheels of government turning.

In late June, Interim County Administrator Kathy Holthus, county administrative assistant Kathi Creech, and the building and planning department's Julie Rodriquez all bowed out in a wave of nearly simultaneous resignations.

Then, last Thursday, building and planning took another hit with the resignation of Associate Planner David German.

Blair Leist, the director of county development, said, "German was an exceptionally gifted planner," who left to pursue family obligations and commitments.

During Tuesday's meeting, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners announced progress was made in alleviating the staffing crisis by filling the county administrator position. The position, Commissioner Mamie Lynch said, will be filled by Bob Jasper. Jasper will act as Interim County Administrator until December 2005.

Lynch said the board had entered into a verbal agreement with Jasper and that he would arrive today to begin work. She said Jasper had more than nine years experience in Mesa County and that he would bring a wealth of experience in road-related issues.

Commissioner Ronnie Zaday, in a separate statement, said she was particularly pleased with Jasper's arrival. "He has excellent expertise in county management," she said, and added he would bring 20 years of valuable experience to Archuleta County.

The board cancelled Monday's road map meeting to allow Jasper to arrive and to familiarize himself with the county's road issues. Lynch said Jasper could provide valuable insight into the numerous issues involved and that the road map meeting would be scheduled for a later date.

Board members said Jasper is not seeking a permanent position and, with that in mind, created a search committee to locate a permanent county administrator.

Appointed to the search committee were Archuleta County commissioners Mamie Lynch, Robin Schiro and Ronnie Zaday, Jasper, Holthus, one representative from a metro district board (to be named), Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid, and Walt Lukasik, general manager of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. The county attorneys would be used as needed for consultation and interview proceedings.

In a later presentation to the board of commissioners, Leist said the recent staffing setbacks had amounted to a tremendous loss of history and expertise, yet measures were being taken to alleviate the problem.

As part of his presentation, he announced the expected Aug. 15 arrival of a planner from Michigan, then requested commissioners approve spending $13,000 from the existing building and planning staffing budget to hire Colleen Hannon, a contractor who, Leist said, will provide interim development review service during the transition period in planning staff. Leist said Hannon would bring 24 years experience to the county's planning department.

In a separate conversation, Leist said much of Hannon's experience was focused on community development, rural community development and municipal planning. Leist said Hannon had recently served as director of community development for both the City of Gunnison and for Region 10, an association of governments in western Colorado.

Under the contract, Leist said, Hannan will be hired for 150 hours, and the expenditure will cover her hourly rate, per diem and travel expenses.

Lynch said, "We're short a planner, it's the logical thing to do."

With that, the request was approved by the commissioners with the stipulation the expenditure would not exceed $13,000.

  

County expenses at airport rooted out

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Though airport advocates speculate positively on the economic benefits of Steven's Field, in response to public concerns of increasing airport expenditures of the Archuleta County's General Fund, public records available at the county building have been reviewed.

Archuleta's General Fund currently incurs expenditures involving the Steven's Field airport in three areas. The first is to cover the required 5-percent county contribution on the current Airport Improvement Project (AIP 15) involving the expansion of the airport runway.

According to Dennis Hunt, former county administrator, when the airport expansion plans were conceived around 2001, there were funds specifically reserved for the county portion of AIP projects. In the interim period, however, the funds appear to have been appropriated elsewhere by previous county commissioners, according to Kathy Holthus, interim county administrator. Currently, AIP 15 costs are paid via the General Fund.

Under the terms of the AIP 15 grant agreement signed in September 2003 with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the FAA's 90-percent portion of the project is capped at $9.07 million with the State of Colorado and Archuleta County covering the remaining 10 percent.

Therefore, the amount required from the General Fund for the runway improvement will be a maximum of $403,000, payable as payments to the contractors are made in conjunction with FAA and state funds.

The second area of expenditure for the airport involves the new Fixed Based Operator (FBO) and hangar project. The current FBO and eight nearby hangars required a location move due to FAA regulations requiring a proper "clear zone" around the new runway. Although the existing buildings would not pass current building code, the county has an obligation to provide to-code "like buildings" according to lease agreements, and it was decided to build the new structures, along with an improved fueling facility, at a mid-field location.

The original estimate for the FBO, fuel farm and hangar project came in at $2.5 million, and a State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) loan was procured in April 2004. After the bids were received, due to the increase in the price of steel, the amount contracted with Hart Construction involved an additional $248,261 "overrun," $198,261 of which is expected to be financed by a grant from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) - on the condition the county "match" the remaining $50,000, according to the Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday. The match funds will also come from the General Fund.

The debt service for the 4-percent, 10-year, $2.5 million SIB loan involves payments of $308,227 each year, with the last payment due in July 2014. Payments will come from the General Fund until there is an operational surplus from the Airport Fund.

Lease income from the new FBO and eight hangars will not cover the debt service. For 2005, lease income from the FBO and all 35 of the hangars at the airport amounts to only $50,231, according to Bob Burchett, Archuleta County finance director.

Taxes are sometimes cited as "airport income," yet there are no special rates assessed for airport property; hangar assessed value is 29 percent of the actual value, based on sales, according to Keren Prior, county assessor. Total hangar property taxes were $26,456 in 2003 and $26,312 in 2004. Regarding the current airport leases, the FBO has a renewable, 10-year lease which began in 2002 with a $9,600 leasing fee per year, with 18-percent annual increases and a lease fee cap of $22,000 per year.

Hangar land leases are more complicated, each individual hangar having a separate lease on the land beneath with varying terms, depending on when the lease was entered into. Current hangar land lease fees range from 12 to 36 cents per square foot per year, and the hangars range in size from 1,076 to 3,600 square feet. Many of the leases have a 20-year term and are renewable, so a substantial increase in total lease fees for the existing 35 hangars is unlikely, though new Taxiway B hangars currently being built by Tom Broadbent and Ken Smith will involve new land leases with rates and terms to be determined.

The third area involving the airport which incurs expenses to the General Fund involves operational expenses. The Airport Fund is an "Enterprise Fund" which uses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and imposes fees and charges on the users of the services of Steven's Field, with airport expenses paid directly from the Enterprise Fund.

However, when operational expenses exceed revenues, the General Fund subsidizes the difference, according to Burchett. In the completed audit for 2003, Airport Fund revenues (cash received from users) amounted to $53,915, while expenses comprising of salaries, materials and supplies, and purchased services (excluding capital improvements and depreciation) were $252,424.

In 2005, the preliminary revenue/expenditure report indicates an improvement. For the first six months, the Airport Fund report shows $82,492 in revenues (excluding grants), while expenditures have amounted to $144,883 (excluding the "construction in progress" costs).

Costs continue to accrue. On Tuesday, county commissioners approved the airport's Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS), requiring a budget amendment process, since it wasn't included in the original 2005 budget. Despite airport manager Rob Russ' repeated statement to commissioners and the public that the AWOS will cost the county only $14,000, under further public questions, commissioners reviewed the actual AWOS contract with Aviation Systems Maintenance, Inc., and after some discussion, county obligations were revealed as 20 percent of the total contracted cost of $124,202, amounting to $24,840. The remaining 80 percent is expected to be paid by state grants.

The AWOS is required for instrument flying, and in addition to making the airport safer, it will also be available to the general public, which can access the AWOS system with a telephone for an up-to-date weather information recording. Dick McKee, county public works director, said the new AWOS will be "beneficial to the road and bridge department" for road safety during winter storms.

Despite the increasing demands on the General Fund by the airport (the General Fund will spend a total of $7.8 million this year on all county expenditures, according to Burchett), county commissioner Mamie Lynch calls the airport situation "manageable," and said the "potential is there" for the airport to become self-sufficient.

An increase in user fees is expected from the expanded traffic the larger airport will bring. Henry Silver, airport commissioner and businessman, believes the future of airport self-sufficiency lies in attracting businesses there.

"We need to look into additional uses for the airport property in addition to those specified by the current project," he stated. "In my opinion, as the airport grows and we're able to attract businesses to the airport, I really believe we can do better than break even."

  

Ex-superintendent back on firing line

In a special meeting held July 26, the board of directors of Archuleta School District 50 Joint announced the appointment of Terry Alley as interim principal of Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Alley's appointment was necessitated by the resignation of Kahle Charles, who accepted an offer from St. Vrain School District to be the principal of Indian Peaks Elementary School in Longmont.

Alley worked for the district for 31 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He currently serves as the district's grant writer. The appointment will be for one year and will provide the board with ample time to consider all options.

Duane Noggle, district superintendent, said he was delighted with the selection of Alley as interim principal. "Mr. Alley will bring tremendous leadership and expertise to the implementation of the new Reading First Program at the elementary school. In addition, with the resignation of Mr. Charles and such a short time frame, this assignment will give us breathing room and time to adequately consider a potential replacement for Mr. Kahle Charles."

The district had considered other options, including an in-district transfer, administrative reorganization and a nationwide search.

However, with school less than a month away, the board's and administration's primary goal was to come up with a plan that would provide the greatest continuity and ease of transition. With the first day of school Aug. 22, Noggle said, "Mr. Alley's appointment will allow the major innovations at the elementary school to continue with the least disruption to the school environment. I am confident, under his leadership, we will stay on track for a year of successful student learning."

Alley will assume his interim position Aug. 3.

Commissioners to officially oppose Village at Wolf Creek

James Robinson

Staff Writer

County residents packed the commissioner's meeting room Tuesday afternoon to hear decisions from the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners on two issues - the Village at Wolf Creek and a proposed gravel pit at Keyah Grande.

Archuleta County Commissioner and chair Mamie Lynch said, after listening to the opinions of county residents and talking with state Rep. Mark Larson, she felt the board was compelled to adopt a resolution stating clear opposition to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

"We've tried the diplomacy route, we've tried all we can politically and diplomatically.

"It's time to adopt a resolution," she said.

Commissioner Ronnie Zaday expressed serious concern over the impact the proposed development would have on jobs, infrastructure and roads. And she cited particular issues with village roads ultimately intersecting U.S. 160, and she said this portion of the project lacked planning, coordination and negotiation with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Commissioner Robin Schiro criticized the technical integrity of the project's environmental impact statement (EIS).

The current proposal by site owner "Red" McCombs involves 2,000 housing units and more than 250,000 square feet of commercial space adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area about 30 miles east of Pagosa Springs.

Other opponents of the Village at Wolf Creek took Mineral County to task Tuesday afternoon in Creede when 12th District Court Judge John Keunhold heard two complaints, one filed by Colorado Wild.

Jeff Berman, of Durango-based Colorado Wild, said, "Mineral County violated, in our opinion, not only their own subdivision regulations but also state law (regarding highway access to development) and public trust in approving the subdivision."

Tuesday's hearing in Creede is another step in the legal process, and a ruling is expected from Keunhold in the fall.

The Town of Pagosa Springs adopted a resolution in opposition to the Village at Wolf Creek in December 2004.

Followed by resounding applause, the county board unanimously agreed Tuesday to adopt a similar resolution stating opposition to the project and Lynch said one would be drafted as quickly as possible.

Following the decision on the Village at Wolf Creek, it was expected that many in attendance would leave, but about 20 stayed on to comment on the decision to fund a wetland study at the proposed Keyah Grande gravel pit site.

The item in question was whether the commissioners would approve nearly $4,700 to fund the wetland study, which county engineer Sue Walan said is the first step in a multistep process required before any gravel is extracted from the site.

Walan said that part of the proposal, should it ultimately be approved, would allow Keyah Grande to convert the gravel pit site into a lake once extraction and required reclamation is complete.

In a previous commissioners' meeting, Walan explained that gravel obtained from the site would be essentially free in exchange for the lake.

During Tuesday's session, the Keyah Grande gravel pit proved to be a point of contention between commissioners.

Schiro's arguments against funding the wetland study, and the gravel pit in general, stemmed largely from technical concerns. She questioned whether the gravel extracted would ultimately meet road engineering criteria and she said extraction operations shouldn't begin without a plan in place.

She said she was concerned about the site's proximity to nearby residents and said she thought the pit, if ultimately approved, would affect those living within a mile of the site.

Walan said she was confident in her data collection, that she had sought further consultation and had concluded the gravel extracted would meet necessary standards.

Lynch and Zaday both said that seeking low-cost gravel was of paramount importance to the county.

"This is a chance to obtain gravel for the least amount of money possible," Lynch said, and she added she was absolutely in favor of the proposal.

Zaday said she had visited the site and concluded that the site offered a low road, dust and noise impact to county residents and called it a "wonderful opportunity."

During discussion, county residents accused the board of attempting to circumvent the approval process and said the county had not thoroughly considered the noise, traffic and dust impacts on those living near the site and that they had been left out of the input process.

But Lynch and Zaday said the process had barely begun, and although the funding for the wetland study had been approved, the plan would be run through all the appropriate channels and would be open to full public scrutiny before any gravel was removed.

"We are going through the complete process; we are going through the steps just like anyone else," Zaday said.

Lynch added, "It is not our intent to cut anyone out of the process."

During a short recess following approval of the wetland study, Walan said the study could be completed by the end of next week.

SUN Staff Writer John Middendorf contributed to this article.

 

 Inside The Sun

Town, county deal with Big Box issue at joint session

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The debate over Big Box policy took center stage during Monday's joint work session with Archuleta County commissioners and Pagosa Springs Town Council and staff.

Although the Big Box issue was just one item on the work session agenda, it drew much debate and some of the most impassioned statements.

A draft of the town ordinance was presented to the Pagosa Springs Town Council July 13, and the same ordinance was presented to the Archuleta County commissioners Monday, in hopes the two entities can ultimately craft similar or complimentary legislation.

The current draft of the ordinance reflects many of the recommendations of the Town's Big Box Task Force.

In its current form, the ordinance would divide the town into two retail zones with square footage caps for each zone. Retail Zone One, the downtown core area, roughly the area from the intersection of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160 to 15th Street, would allow retail development of up to 5,000 square feet. Under the ordinance, retail grocery establishments in the downtown zone would be capped at 15,000 square feet.

In Retail Zone Two, which encompasses all the town except the core area, the ordinance would cap retail uses at 15,000 square feet, and retail grocery establishments at 55,000 square feet.

The ordinance outlines specific square footage criteria for multiple retail establishments such as malls or shopping centers in each zone.

According to the ordinance, projects going beyond the square footage caps in either zone would be subject to conditional use evaluation and an Economic Impact Report. The report would assess the proposed project on a 19-point economic impact criteria scale. The scale would assess the project in terms of its ability to supply jobs that offer a living wage, vacation, sick time and health insurance to nonmanagerial staff and supplies convenience goods, shoppers' goods and general merchandise. The criteria also assesses whether the project is a locally owned and independent business, whether it meets certain design standards and whether it is environmentally sensitive.

Each item on the scale was given a point value, and if a project earned at least 12 out of 19 possible points, it could be approved.

Rather than discussing the particulars of the ordinance, the dialogue between the town and county focused largely on whether it is government's role to regulate commerce and whether regulating Big Box development is truly the wish of the two bodies' constituents.

"To dictate the retail market in this area is not right," said town council member Darell Cotton.

"We're trying to push Pagosa Springs upscale and to restrict trade is not government's role," Cotton added.

He said, "Social engineering does not work in my mind."

Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch said that dictating design and architechural criteria was acceptable, but that she "was on the same page as Cotton."

Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said tax dollar leakage is a significant problem for the county and said county residents often drive to Durango or Farmington to obtain less expensive goods. "Why are we continuing to send that 47 percent to Durango?," Zaday asked.

Archuleta County Commissioner Robin Schiro said competition between businesses is good and that if an ordinance were adopted she said it should be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. She added that many of her constituents advocated Big Boxes.

Town council members Jerry Jackson and Tony Simmons said they stand behind the conclusions of the town's Big Box Task Force and support the ordinance as a solid compromise.

Simmons questioned why, if many in the town and county actually supported Big Boxes, the data collected by the task force didn't reflect that opinion. He urged the county and town to act based on the research at hand, not on feelings or assumptions that there is an unspoken majority who hasn't been heard.

Town council member Stan Holt enouraged the group not to see it as a black or white issue.

"They're going to come," he said. "What parameters do we want to put on them as far as size and aesthetics go?" Holt said.

Town council members Bill Whitbred and Judy James said the success of the ordinance ultimately depends on both the town and county being in line.

While a conclusion on the ordinance was not reached during the work session, both parties agreed extending the current moratorium is not an option.

Blair Leist, the director of county development, said the county could not legally extend the moratorium.

Although the town's Home Rule status might give it more latitude in extending s moratorium, Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon said "I'm totally against extending the moratorium. It's a total cop-out. We need to honor the time and energy invested."

Both moratoria will expire Aug. 3.

In other matters undertaken at the joint worksession, the town and county discussed:

- developing a joint impact fee program that would be applied to new development in both the town and county. The impact fee study is scheduled for completion by Sept. 15.

- assessing affordable housing needs and the acquisition of properties to be used to provide affordable housing options.

- the possibility of forming a special recreation district in order to provide expanded recreation facilities and opportunities.

- a percentage-based or set-fee lodging tax on November's ballot.

- the benefits of instituting a business licensing program as a method to better monitor and ensure the collection of sales taxes.

- the importance of joint planning efforts during the creation of a county land use code and the development of the town's comprehensive plan.

€the town's future annexation of Cemetery Road, Village Drive, Talisman Drive, Eaton Drive and Piñon Causeway to Village Drive, once the roads are improved and brought up to town standards.

 

2,000 feet of Dutton Ditch project completed

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

In a jovial and chatty meeting Tuesday, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation Board sailed though a contract review agenda.

The Dutton Ditch pipeline construction is going smoothly, according to Greg Mayo, PAWS project manager, with 2,000 feet of pipe installed and "only 27,000 feet to go."

The recent rains did not affect the project and Mayo believes it will be completed by Nov. 1 at the current rate.

Planned enlargement of Steven's Reservoir is still in the process of land negotiations, according to Carrie Campbell, district manager, and bids are still being considered for work at the Hatcher water treatment plant.

Karla Clark, CPA for Clark, Wilson, White and Associates, presented an extensive review of the current PAWS audit. Because of recent changes specified by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), much of her presentation involved explaining the changes to the board. GASB 34 compliance separates the government activity, which includes property taxes and bond issues which involve the General Fund and Debt Service Fund, from the business activities, which involve user fees and expenses. The purpose of GASB 34, says Clark, is to give an overall better picture of the district activities.

Some changes were made to the PAWS district rules and regulations.

Section 3.4 regarding landscaping over easements was clarified to state that PAWSD is not responsible for reconstruction of improper landscaping on public or district owned property. Changes were made to section 12.3.2 regarding fines on illegal draws of reservoir water.

Discussion of raw water for construction purposes followed, with Stevens Reservoir and Lake Pagosa set as the only reservoirs authorized for raw water draws. Currently, four companies have conditional permits for fee-based raw water draws, as does the county, which is permitted to use water without charges.

The meeting ended with a quick approval of Referendums C and D, referring to proposed changes in Colorado's TABOR Amendment coming up for a vote in November.

In other business:

- A joint proposal with SJWCD from Economic and Planning Systems for impact fees was approved.

- No bids came in within the $175,000 budget for the planned 1,184 square foot PAWS office expansion project, so the project will be rebid without time constraints.

  

Special events to benefit United Way programs

By Stacia Kemp

Archuleta County United Way

Although summer is far from waning, plans are ready for several events to benefit Archuleta County's 2005 United Way campaign.

This year's goal for Archuleta County is to raise $66,000, to be invested in our community to further the good work of local agencies that serve human and health services needs.

Each fall, United Way staff and volunteers work together to raise needed money by encouraging workplace and individual giving and by hosting a number of special fund-raising events.

First on the calendar is Fun Night at Bogey's Mini-Golf, 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, sponsored by the hosts. For an admission price of $5 ($2 for ages 6 and under), you'll enjoy a round of golf and partake in the food and drink that will be available. All proceeds of the event are being donated to United Way by Bogey's, located off U.S. 160 at 83 Pike Drive.

For more serious and not-quite-so serious golfers, the seventh annual United Way Golf Tournament will take place starting 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Pagosa Springs Golf Club. A four-person scramble, lunch, prizes and exciting silent auction items add to the pleasure of the day.

Three divisions will play: competitive, couples and "just for fun." Fee for the event is $65 ($30 for members) which includes green fees, cart, lunch and plenty of fun. To register as an individual or as a team, call the Pagosa Springs Golf Club at 731-4755. For more information, contact Stacia Kemp, United Way Community Relations Coordinator for Archuleta County at 264-3230.

Horse enthusiasts and those enthusiastic about scenic vistas can join in this year's United Way Trail Ride Sept. 10. Past participants were treated to the beautiful Poma Ranch and this year's participants will be treated to stunning views of another kind as Wolf Creek Outfitters sponsors this year's ride. The ride and lunch costs $95, but you can bring your own horse for $55. Or, come only for the lunch and auction for $15. For more information or to register, call 264-3230.

Proceeds from these events will benefit the 2005 United Way campaign. United Way invests in programs that offer local solutions to issues related to affordable housing, crisis intervention, education, family support, seniors and youth. In Archuleta County, donations to United Way support:

- American Red Cross, Southwest Colorado Chapter: disaster prevention, preparedness and relief.

- Archuleta County Education Center.

- Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program.

- Community Connections: family support program.

- Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Mentoring program 

- Boy Scouts of America, Great Southwest Council.

- Girl Scouts of the Chaparral Council.

- Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County.

- Housing Solutions of the Southwest weatherization program.

- Pagosa Outreach Connection.

- San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging.

- Seeds of Learning Family Center.

- Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.

- Southwest Youth Corps conservation program.

- Volunteers of America: Southwest Safehouse.

For more information, or to volunteer for United Way in Archuleta County, call 264-3230.

 

Home Rule for county gets first airing

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A group of about a dozen residents gathered at the Pagosa Springs Community Center July 21 to explore the idea of a Home Rule government for Archuleta County.

The meeting was hosted by, George Schnarre and Bob Moomaw, two representatives of a local, independent think tank created to explore Home Rule government as an option for the county.

Schnarre emphasized the group was nonpartisan, and was formed by "level headed" people not out to change the world, but to exchange positive, productive ideas for improving county government.

The meeting was one of the first opportunities for the public to meet members of the group, to ask questions and to learn more about Home Rule.

Schnarre said Thursday's session was designed as a public extension of the core group's initial meetings, where participants exchanged ideas and asked questions.

Schnarre said the group is not interested in "stuffing change down people's throats." He said forcing change on county residents would ultimately be destructive, and therefore the focus of the meeting was to provide a forum to familiarize county residents with the Home Rule concept.

"We do not want to do a disservice to the county," he said.

Although the intentions of the group were made clear, many in attendance were not clear what benefits Home Rule would provide for the county.

Fred Ebeling said he does not see a problem with the current county system and said he believes the county is run adequately.

"I have difficulty trying to figure out why it would be better," Ebeling said.

One woman responded by saying, "The county has to be run better than adequately, because the county is growing so fast."

Ron Chacey and Patsy Lindblad asked about the pros and cons of county Home Rule.

"How come there aren't more than two (counties)?" Chacey said. "What are the negatives?"

Currently Weld and Pitkin counties are the only ones in Colorado to have adopted a Home Rule county government. In 2003 Larimer County explored Home Rule, and Eagle County is currently involved in the process.

Some in the group asked why changes and improvements couldn't be made while working within the parameters of the current system.

Moomaw and Schnarre explained that one of the primary benefits of Home Rule is that it allows voters to restructure county government to better address local issues and needs.

Moomaw said the current structure of Archuleta County's government is one that has worked well during the last 100 years, but said recent, intense growth pressures have changed the dynamics of the county. He said these new, unprecedented circumstances called for an updated government structure that would be better able to manage the changes.

The restructuring formula advocated by the group would change county organization from it's current format, to that based on a corporate model.

Under the model, county commissioners would act as a board of directors with a hired county manager as a strong point person directing the individual county departments. Moomaw said this model would provide a clear chain of command. Moreover, projects and functions of the individual county departments, and the county government in general, would not become crippled if the board of commissioners or other elected officials could not get along. The county manager would act as a task master, and she or he would ensure that departments stayed on track and the wheels of government continued to turn. As a hired employee, that manager could be fired and replaced if the manager or the departments were not performing according to expectations.

Moomaw contrasted the proposed, corporate-styled restructuring hierarchy against the current system which he said lacks a clear chain of command and where elected officials are essentially equal in authority.

Ultimately though, Schnarre said, even talk of the form of restructuring is premature, because the specifics of restructuring would occur during the drafting of a Home Rule charter.

The Home Rule charter, if adopted, would state how county government would be restructured and which positions would be elected, which positions would be hired, how many commissioners would sit on the board, and what each official's salary would be.

In short, the charter would provide the blueprint for structuring the Home Rule government. But before being adopted, it would be subject to approval by a vote of the people.

Moomaw cautioned that discussion of specific aspects of the charter was also premature. He said the first task was to get the idea of Home Rule out to county residents. Those in favor of exploring Home Rule, he said, could sign a petition which, given enough signatures, would put pursuing Home Rule on the ballot for November's election.

"Ideas and possibilities can't come about unless we get 435 signatures," Moomaw said.

 

School district continues with candidate education

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

The Archuleta School District 50 Joint Board of Education held an information forum for those interested in running for the board Nov. 1.

Members of the board discussed topics such as school board powers and responsibilities, policy making and the board/superintendent relationship.

They also discussed board procedures and outlined how board meetings are conducted.

The principals of each school in the district gave some background information on the schools' systems.

The next information forum will be held Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. in the junior high library.

District Business Manager Nancy Schutz and state Rep. Mark Larson will provide prospective candidates with insights into the finances of the school district and the state budget process.

  

Youngster's wish brings him to Pagosa Country

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

For many locals, the mountains and rivers in the area are viewed with a shrug; we see them every day, they're really no big deal.

But for some, the beauty of Pagosa Springs is a wish come true.

Ryan Gorham, 16, of East Providence, R.I., visited Pagosa this past week as part of a wish granted by A Wish Come True, Inc.

A Wish Come True, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts since 1982.

Ryan was born with polycystic kidney disease, a disease in which cysts form on the kidneys. Over time the cysts grow and multiply, eventually causing the kidneys to shut down.

Ryan's mom, Maura Gorham, donated one of her kidneys to save her son's life in December 2003. The family's trip to Pagosa, originally planned for last summer, was postponed because Ryan was still too ill from the transplant.

But this summer, Ryan's wish was finally granted. After a trip to a water park in San Antonio, Ryan, the great-nephew of Pagosa's Bob and Annie Booth, and his family came to Pagosa for a long weekend.

"My aunt lives here, and I've never been out west," said Ryan. "There are so many different things here I can't do on the East Coast."

Ryan rattled off the long list of activities that he'd experienced in Pagosa — hot air ballooning, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, hiking the Continental Divide — quite a lot to accomplish in just four days.

"The chances and opportunities for him out there have just been phenomenal," said Rosemary Bowers, founder of A Wish Come True, Inc., who helped organize Ryan's trip to Pagosa.

"He's been laughing all weekend," said mom Maura.

"It's because he's got that Pagosa Springs air in him," said aunt Annie Booth.

A Wish Come True, Inc. pointedly makes any trip they sponsor a family event; a chance for children and their families to set aside illnesses and other worries. Ryan was joined in Pagosa by his mom, his dad Sandy, brothers John and Luke, and cousin Sarah.

Ryan said ballooning was the most unique activity, but he really enjoyed horseback riding.

"The (horseback) guides had guns in case they saw a bear," said Maura. "Ryan told me he felt like he was in a western movie."

Although the activities and adventures many have been the highlights of the trip, it was Pagosa's scenery that continually amazed Ryan and his family.

"I've never seen mountains like this before," said Ryan. "I see the Rocky Mountains outside my window when I wake up in the morning."

Ryan and his family crammed in a few more activities before wrapping up the vacation Tuesday. Before heading to The Springs for a quick dip, the family visited Goodman's Department Store. The store generously let Ryan pick out a cowboy hat to take home, free of charge, to help commemorate his trip to Pagosa.

"It's been a lot of fun, if only for a short time," said Ryan.

Ryan said that he and his family enjoyed the visit so much they are already planning a return trip. Ryan turns 17 on Feb. 17, and he wants celebrate his golden birthday here in Pagosa, skiing at Wolf Creek with his family.

 

Prospective school board candidates can file paperwork

A Coordinated Mail Ballot Election will be held Nov. 1, 2005.

The Board of Education of the Archuleta County School District 50 JT, County of Archuleta, State of Colorado, calls for nomination of candidates for school directors to be placed on that ballot.

At this election three directors will be elected, one for District No. 1, one for District No. 4 and one for District No. 5.

Candidates wishing to run for a position on the school board must live in their respective districts for at least 12 consecutive months before the election and must be a registered elector.

A person is ineligible to run for school director if he or she has been convicted of committing a sexual offense against a child.

A person who desires to be a candidate for school director shall file a written Notice of Intent to be a candidate and a Nomination Petition in accordance with law.

Petitions may be circulated between Aug. 3 and Aug. 26, 2005, and require 50 sufficient signatures obtained at-large throughout the county. Petitions may be submitted to the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder's Office as designated election official, no later than 4 p.m. Aug. 26, 2005.

All candidates must abide by Article 45 which is the Fair Campaign Practices Act. These forms will be supplied when they pick up their petitions.

You may pick up the necessary forms at the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder's Office and return them there also. The Archuleta County Clerk's Office is located at 449 San Juan St., Pagosa Springs. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

New LWV voter guide is available

Do you wonder how to contact your local, state, or national representatives?

Do you have questions about voter qualifications or registration?

The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County has prepared a helpful brochure answering these and many other questions. This free brochure, "YOUR VOICE/ YOUR VOTE," is available at the county clerk's office, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center, the library, the senior center and community center, the Bank of the San Juans, Wells Fargo, the Bank of Colorado, Citizens bank, and Rio Grande Savings and Loan.

Pick one up and keep it for handy reference. If supplies need replenishing at any of these locations, call Maureen at 731-9483.

The printing of this informative brochure was made possible by the generosity of the aforementioned banks and Old West Press.

  

Speaker Series to focus on public art issues

Public art can give a place character and identity, can attract visitors, can generate civic pride and improve the image of a neighborhood.

These factors are often vital to creating places where people want to live, work and visit.

The Community Vision Council Art and Cultural Committee is sponsoring a free Speaker Series in Pagosa Springs. Leading experts in the design of public spaces and the implementation of successful public art programs in Colorado mountain towns will discuss the interplay of art and civic life.

On Aug. 11, Mark Childs, associate professor of architecture at the University of New Mexico, an expert on the design of public spaces the social aspects or urban design, and the author of "Squares: A Public Place Design Guide for Urbanists," will discuss how these spaces are fundamental to a civil society.

Harold Stalf, director of the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority, and Joe Napoleon, planning director for the city of Woodland Park, will discuss their communities' respective successful public art programs Aug. 15.

On Aug. 25, Nore Winter, an urban design and planning consultant with more than 25 years experience, will discuss weaving public art, urban design and streetscape into a livable community.

All events will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. The evening begins with a reception at 6 p.m. The speaker will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so get there early.

For more information, contact Angela Atkinson at 731-9897.

The CVC Art and Cultural Committee is a volunteer committee of artists and art advocates from the Pagosa Springs Community working to integrate art and public life. Members include Crista Munro, Folkwest; Michael Coffee, Shy Rabbit Studio; Kate Petley, artist; Felicia Meyer, performer and director; Leanne Goebel, arts advocate; Cate Smock, Pagosa Springs Arts Council; and Angela Atkinson, executive director of CVC.

 

Pagosa Outreach Connection —

a partnership for the community

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

In its mission statement, the Pagosa Outreach Connection is described as a "partnership of individuals and organizations that provide emergency assistance to people in need."

The description is simple enough; when a family needs help, members of the Pagosa Outreach Connection does whatever they can to get them back on their feet. They work together to empower people and move them toward financial independence and self-sufficiency.

The idea itself isn't unique. Pastor Don Ford of the United Methodist Church formed the Pagosa Outreach Connection after attending the meetings of an outreach program in Durango.

It's the magnitude of the partnership that makes the Pagosa Outreach Connection such a rarity.

Pagosa is lucky enough to have the only outreach program in Colorado that has community-based, government-based and faith-based organizations all working together. There is only a handful of organizations like it in the country.

Community-based organizations include La Plata Electric, Salvation Army, United Way, and Rotary Club; faith-based organizations include Community United Methodist Church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church and Trinity Anglican Church; government-based organizations are Archuleta County Department of Human Services and the Archuleta County Victim's Assistance Office.

"It's a pretty cool thing. We are very, very lucky to have it. They've already given over $70,000, and that's not including all the food pantries and gas cards," said Erlinda Gonzales, director of Department of Human Services.

In fact, from Aug. 1, 2003, to June 30, 2005, Pagosa Outreach Connection helped 123 families and contributed $70,160.61. That comes to an average of about $570.41 per family.

Every Thursday morning, the Pagosa Outreach Connection meets to review applications presented by a member of the Department of Human Services. Coffee mugs, calculators and notepads at the ready, each member carefully listens to the cases, writing down details and expenses.

"Every Thursday, no matter if it's one hundred degrees outside or one hundred below, they're here," said Gonzalez.

The cases are familiar: illnesses, accidents and deaths in the family often cause people to miss work. Add caring for children and extended family on top of that, and often people reach the point where their expenses equal or exceed their income.

"Everything is just snowballing," said Cathy Kulyk of the Department of Human Services, as she described one case.

When an applicant's occupation and income are described, one question always pops up: "Do they get benefits?"

And more often than not, the answer is "no."

"It seems typical that we see someone working full-time, but they have no benefits. They must work; they can't afford to be sick or take a vacation. They're stuck in work mode. We see that time and again in this region, in Pagosa," said Ford.

"What impacts people and brings people to POC the most is that kind of situation," said Sam Conti of United Way.

Ford said many people in the community live from check to check, and when an extraordinary expense comes in, they're thrown off track. The Pagosa Outreach Connection helps families get by the glitch in their finances.

The members sift through the expenses and discuss what takes top priority, which bills need to be paid first. Each organization donates whatever amount it can. It varies; some organizations donate more than others. Money also comes from the "general fund," which is where money donated from individuals is pooled.

On average, the amounts donated by each organization don't seem like a lot; $100 here, $25 there. However, once they're all added up, it's enough to pay off a family's utilities, or one month's rent, or homeowner's insurance — enough to get a family back on track.

After all the money is donated, and a few more families are helped, the members brainstorm new ways to raise money. The standard car washes and bake sales are bypassed, and an idea for a poker game/ski race gets tossed around.

"We're working together to help do something locally," said Ford. "We try to be as creative as we can."

Ford said it's very rare for the organization to receive thanks; in fact, he estimated they've only received five thank-you notes total. He said that although it is nice to be appreciated, that's not the goal of the Pagosa Outreach Connection.

"Our ultimate goal is to drive the Department of Human Services out of business," he said, laughing.

But those in the Department of Human Services don't seem to mind.

"It's a great deal for the Department of Human Services and for the community, frankly speaking," said Gonzalez. "If we did not have this organization, many people would fall through the cracks."

 

 Outdoors

Burns Canyon thinning opens fuelwood supply

A thinning project in the Burns Canyon area of the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest is providing easy access for the public to firewood.

Ponderosa pine in the area was recently thinned to reduce fire hazards. Most of the logs were skidded to decks near roads. Firewood may be cut from the logs in the decks or from scattered logs on the ground.

Those interested in gathering the firewood can do so by purchasing a personal use fuelwood permit at the Pagosa Ranger District office, 180 Pagosa Street. Permits are available for $10 per cord.

Burns Canyon is south of Pagosa Springs by way of Trujillo Road (County Road 500).

For more information, contact Scott Wagner or Gretchen Fitzgerald at 264-2268.

 

Get tickets for lunar standstill at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

An opportunity to view a special sight — the moon rising between the two spectacular stone pillars of Chimney Rock — is available only to limited audiences, for a limited time.

Chimney Rock is the only venue we know of on Earth where a natural observatory frames the view of this lunar phenomena and a public viewing program has been established to enjoy such an event.

The next viewing is Sunday, July 31.

A major lunar standstill occurs on an 18.6-year cycle, and because our viewing tower capacity is limited, you'll need a reservation for this special fund-raising event to support native Puebloan involvement at Chimney Rock.

Limited advance tickets are $50. For details and tickets call Chimney Rock Interpretive Association 10 a.m.-noon, Mondays and Tuesdays, at 264-2287.

Further details on major lunar standstills and future opportunities for viewing at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area can also be found at www.chimneyrockco.org.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is south of U.S. 160 on Colo.151, west of Pagosa Springs.

The major lunar standstill viewing is sponsored by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc. (CRIA), in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.

 

Sportsmen plan clay target shoot Sunday

Dove and grouse season will be here before we know it.

To celebrate, the Upper San Juan Sportsmans Club will host another in a series of sporting clay target shoots 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 31.

Location for the shoot is 1.2 miles south of the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. There will be a sign on the green gate at the site. All clay target shooters are invited regardless of skill level.

This opportunity is all about you, the shooting sportsman. For further information call J.P. at 731-2295 or Nolan at 264-2660.

 

Catch and Release

Subtle poetry in the movement of a river

James Robinson

Staff Writer

It's the things that are closest to us that we often take for granted — a friend, a lover, a wife or husband. In this case, a river.

The San Juan River through town has become a part of my daily life. I walk past it throughout my work day. It runs through the property on which I live. My dogs swim daily in the river and at night I lie in bed and listen to its music through my open bedroom window.

In the partial light of dusk and dawn I sit on the banks and watch it move slowly, like liquid glass, through the willows along the banks and beneath coal black and charcoal grey cliffs. I watch as tendrils of delicate current wrap easily around boulders and logs and, occasionally, in the slower water, I witness a trout rise from the current to take some invisible insect.

Witnessing that act brings great pleasure. It reminds me the river is alive, and there is something utterly playful yet imperative in the rise of a trout. Yet, until recently, knowing full well there were trout to be sought, I had not fished the river.

Fishing, for me, has often meant stepping over the obvious in pursuit of trout farther and farther afield. Part of it is driven by a desire for exploration, but often, in my mind, the farther the stream meant higher mountain peaks, more rugged wilderness and wilder trout. Why settle for brown trout in a tiny New Mexican stream, when you could chase larger, wilder browns in southwestern Colorado? Why settle for brookies in southwestern Colorado, when there were eight-pound lunkers in remote Argentina? But often, it is what is right before us that provides exactly what we need.

It had been a long day at work followed by a quick supper and a meeting scheduled in the evening. I knew I would get out late, but on the off-chance there was some daylight left, I packed my fly rod to have a crack at the San Juan in town, just in case.

I left Town Hall with about 15 minutes of daylight left and walked, fly rod in hand, down to the river near Centennial Park.

I carried my fly rod and fishing vest, but no other gear, and waded into the river in jeans and hiking boots.

I stood in the river, studied the current for a moment and examined the battered Royal Wulff I'd tied on my line weeks ago. After deciding it was sound enough to float, I let it sail off into the twilight. This wasn't about overturning rocks, examining insects or matching the hatch; this was about fishing at its most pure, about the tension of the rod, the movement of the body, the line and, of course, the river.

In the rapidly fading light I let the fly sail back and forth in long slow loops above the current. After a few false casts, I dropped the fly behind a rock and watched as a brown rose to the take. I played the fish, released it, and began again.

I worked my way upstream, casting from the current into the slower water along the bank and in a few more minutes, another slashing rise, a short play and a quick release.

In minutes, darkness was complete and I found myself below the hot springs pedestrian bridge. I continued for the simple pleasure of casting, and sent the line aloft, the fly sailing gently toward the stone wall on the far bank. A few casts, and another zip from the reel, and I worked a small rainbow out of the current and to the shore.

I had spent half an hour in town, with other fishermen, traffic noises and town lights but I might as well have been miles into the Weminuche Wilderness. In just a short time, I had reached the mental place that many fishermen seek, where it is just you, the flex of the rod, the tension of the line and the subtle poetry found in the movement of a river.

It's often the things that are closest to us that we take for granted — a friend, a lover, a wife or husband. Yet never again will I take for granted our local San Juan River.

 

High Country Reflections

Encountering wildcats, whether real or the stuff of legend

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Roughly half a century has passed since the encounter and details are now a bit sketchy, but apparently I was bitten by an angry bobcat.

Of course, romantically speaking, I'd like to think the situation arose from one of my earliest outdoor adventures somewhere deep in the midwestern primeval forests of the Mississippi River basin near my childhood home. But in reality, it was more likely the result of my own careless behavior at a local wildlife enclosure or petting zoo. Unfortunately, the two people most apt at relating the story have since passed on, and the facts of the incident have ostensibly gone with them. But even while I don't recall the actual affair itself, I do vaguely remember mom and dad telling of it, and have therefore, carried a particular affinity for bobcats ever since.

The furtive bobcat (Felis rufus) is shy and rarely seen, yet it is the most common wild cat throughout much of North America and Mexico. Slightly smaller, mottled, and more colorful than its revered and endangered cousin, the lynx (Lynx canadenis), an average bobcat is approximately 30 inches long and weighs between 15 and 35 pounds. Its five-inch "bobbed" tail is doubtless the origin of its most common nickname, while its fierce and ferocious demeanor probably accounts for the term "wildcat" as another.

There are many similarities between the bobcat and lynx, and each is often confused for the other. But size and color variations notwithstanding, habitat preferences and diet are among the most significant differences, both of which contribute greatly to their overwhelming population disparity.

Lynx are highly specialized creatures, preferring colder subalpine environments where their primary prey, the snowshoe hare, is found. Naturally, when hares are scarce, they'll resort to eating mice, ground-dwelling birds (like grouse), and even carrion, but their unique dependence on the snowshoe hare causes their own numbers to fluctuate along with those of the hare. According to records of the Hudson Bay Company, a sharp decline in both populations (first hares, then lynx) occurs about every nine years. Unfortunately, while snowshoe hares are prolific breeders and typically rebound fairly quickly, lynx are not. Thus, they are now listed as "threatened" in the U.S., and endangered here in the Centennial State.

Certainly, the profusion of bobcats in North America (and Colorado) reflects their ability to adjust to various climates, changing weather patterns, and any instability in prey species. They seem as much at home in sparse low-level deserts as they are in high mountainous terrain, only avoiding the uppermost elevations during the snowiest winter months. Their diet varies widely, ranging from snakes and insects, to birds and small mammals, young domestic livestock or poultry, carrion, and even adult deer.

As skilled hunters, bobcats are highly efficient predators. Their acute eyesight allows them to spot prey in the low light of dawn or dusk, and especially sensitive hearing helps them home in on high-frequency sounds like the squeak of a mouse. They'll commonly crisscross a home area of eight or 10 square miles, often stopping to observe well-traveled game trails. Once they've located their quarry, they'll sometimes stalk it, but ambush is the preferred technique. With powerful legs, they can attain blinding speed over short distances, but if a sudden dash proves unsuccessful, wildcats will abruptly end the chase in favor of pursuit of another animal. Of course, typical of all cats, once they capture an unwary prey, they'll hold it with razor-sharp front claws, while quickly dispatching it with a bone-crushing bite to the back of the neck.

Even as bobcats hunt to assure their own survival, and in the process play a vital role in the balance of nature, they have long been hunted solely for the price of their hides. According to government officials, a bobcat pelt provides strong leather, but its fur is brittle and wears poorly. Yet, in the 1970s, the demand for bobcat furs increased dramatically, largely because of a ban on the importation of pelts of various other cat species found outside the United States. At once, paid bounties on bobcat pelts rose from $20 to $600 a piece, and accordingly, the number of bobcats killed annually rose from 10,000 to more than 90,000 nationwide.

Thankfully, out of increasing awareness toward the cruel and inhumane nature of indiscriminate trapping, public attitudes are changing today. The annual bobcat harvest has dropped to about 40,000, and in Colorado at least, new wildlife management policies now prohibit trapping solely for recreation or the sale of furs. Seasons on a variety of species have been eliminated altogether, and, while the trapping of certain others (including bobcats) known to damage property or agriculture continues, seasons are significantly reduced.

Personally, I lost all interest in hunting several years ago, and never could understand the desire to kill an animal simply for the function of display or to follow some frivolous fashion trend. To me, wasting the essence of a beautiful and highly-evolved being for such trivial motives is impertinent and disrespectful of Mother Nature. While I'm not adverse to hunting game for the table, I've always found the viewing of living creatures foraging in their natural habitat far more memorable and rewarding, and have come to value life, all life, as sacred and of profound purpose.

To my recollection, I have been fortunate to see a wild bobcat once in my adult life. Just a few years ago, as I approached the turnoff to my desert home, it emerged from the roadside brush for a fleeting moment, then turned and vanished as quickly as it had appeared. I still remember my excitement upon realizing what I had seen, and I'll never forget the image of that tawny feline figure, roughly twice the size of a house cat.

While I may, or may not, have been bitten by a ferocious bobcat in my youth, and while I may, or may not, ever see another truly wild one in my time remaining, I do enjoy knowing they're out there Š and I hope we'll always preserve sufficient space for the most common of our wild cats.

 

Letters
All responsible

Dear Editor:

A huge thank you to Susan Neder for bringing to our attention the need for better and more positive ways to deal with conflicts within the community. I would like to add that we can all benefit from a little self-assessment as to how we each deal with conflict.

There is incredible acceptance in our society of angry conflict and the abuses that follow. As a matter of fact, conflict frequently escalates to forms of abuse that have become so accepted as to be a part of everyday life. Ms. Neder points out how conflict is dividing our community to the point that any positive actions are lost in the heat of the controversy. And for what? A few moments of "glory" for the attacker? Public shame for those who are engaged in the conflict? Does that really make anyone feel better? I doubt it.

As a psychotherapist, I see the results of destructive conflict in so many areas of everyday life. There are just too many of us who no longer celebrate our differences, no longer respect that we all have valid points to express, no longer delight in the variety of thought and beliefs that made our country strong. Instead, so much energy is poured into tearing down another's beliefs, degrading a person because they see things differently and narrowing the vision of possible solutions that it has become personally, emotionally dangerous to express one's views in public; and a certain risk to write a letter to the editor.

You notice above I said "destructive conflict." There is also constructive conflict, where individuals use the differences we have to create solutions that support consensus, cooperation and respect for our differences. By listening, creatively working through problems in ways that generate consensus and investing ourselves in a constructive process, we become part of the solution rather than remaining part of the problem.

You see, griping, blaming, disrespecting others and avoiding responsibility as citizens, neighbors, family members and individuals only adds to the problem. It doesn't matter if the issue is roads, water, development or criminal behavior. We are all responsible for helping this community develop solutions to the problems which breed conflict.

Involvement does not mean you have to attend every meeting or lobby your elected officials or beat down the doors of government. It does mean that each one of us must sincerely and honestly look at how we think, talk and act when it comes to disagreements and conflict. Nothing is gained by attacking the beliefs and opinions of others. Negativity, scorn, disrespect and disregard for the beauty of diversity does not in any way promote cooperation for the resolution of conflict.

But, by becoming aware of your own beliefs and putting them into action through your thoughts, words and behavior you can bring about change. We can only change ourselves. We can only be responsible for ourselves. We can only transform conflict into positive outcomes by employing positive thoughts and actions to provide the solid foundation needed to build a strong community.

S. G. "Sam" Conti

 Service recalled

Dear Editor:

My wife, Eileen, and I wanted to write this letter of appreciation and gratitude to the Pagosa Springs community. For about ten years, we have been at the helm of "Pagosa Springs Funeral Options." That ended when we handed the wheel of command over to another family in April of this year.

We have been privileged to serve our community's families through some of their most difficult times. It is always an honor to be asked by a family to care for their loved ones, and to help the living through those initial "dark nights of the soul." I have had the awesome favor of officiating hundreds of Pagosa family funerals, and their marriages, and their baby dedications these last ten years. We have been privileged to work closely with our law enforcement, medical services, victim advocates and various other agencies of our community.

Because of these experiences, we have seen the "warp and woof" of Pagosa that not many get to see; we have observed close-up, the best, and the worst, of Pagosa.

Like every other family on earth she has both her many beautiful attributes, and her few blemishes. We love her for it and call her friend, family and home. We believe anyone who cannot love Pagosa as is, is either short-sighted or overly idealistic.

Now, while it is true we have plans to move to the Honduras as missionaries, at present we will remain here in Pagosa and I will continue to serve as a, "pastor-at-large" and no longer as funeral director.

Thank you, Pagosa, for the honor of serving you, and for some of the most meaningful years of our lives.

Louis and Eileen Day

 Taste for crow

Dear Editor:

I forgot to mention in my letter of last week that a neighbor took me out on his boat to watch the fireworks at Navajo State Park. They were spectacular! Naturally, I was against them and had written a letter to the sponsors stating such in no uncertain terms. When I was telling my daughters about the fireworks and my letter, and that I had to eat crow, they pointed out that by now I was no doubt "developing a taste for crow."

The Friends of the Navajo and TARA sponsored the fireworks and are planning to do so next year if they can raise the considerable amount of money needed. So come on down, enjoy the lake and the fireworks. I'm sure the sponsors will appreciate any and all contributions.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

 Many served

Dear Editor:

I am prompted by the recent letter to the editor entitled "A Challenge" to take this opportunity to commend the many local organizations that offer solutions to issues related to youth and to thank the many volunteers and donors who support the continued good work of these organizations.

Many of these organizations are supported by United Way. Boy Scout and Girl Scout chapters are providing varied recreational opportunities for kids and helping to build character and self-esteem in today's youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides one-to-one or two-to-one mentoring for kids in need of a caring and safe role model.

The Archuleta County Education Center is supported in part by United Way and makes lasting changes in the lives of kids by providing tutoring and enrichment activities and by preparing adolescents for the GED test. Seeds of Learning provides a safe and stimulating environment for young children whose parents are working. Community Connections helps to provide financial support and coordinate resources for families of children with developmental disabilities.

In addition, many children from this community are far better off today because of emergency assistance provided by the Pagosa Outreach Connection or the crisis services that were provided for their families by Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center or the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program.

United Way helps programs in Archuleta County that focus on youth as well as those that focus on issues related to seniors, affordable housing, crisis intervention, education and family support. As the community grows and changes, United Way will continue its partnership with the community to ensure that the money that is raised in Archuleta County supports effective programming that serves the needs in this county.

Local volunteers who work hard to raise the money needed to support these agencies will also continue to review the needs of agencies, evaluate program outcomes and make recommendations for funding.

The 2005 United Campaign will begin soon, with the goal of raising $66,000 to support the good work of these organizations. Volunteers are always needed to help and input from the community is always welcome. For more information about United Way in Archuleta County, contact me at 264-3230.

Stacia Kemp

Archuleta County Coordinator

United Way of Southwest Colorado

 Credibility

Dear Editor:

Your last few front page stories are very telling regarding the Big Box Task Force. A couple weeks ago featured a story on Terry Smith getting an exemption from the Big Box moratorium allowing him to open a Big Box store. Last week featured quotes by Smith (a Big Box Task Force member) pushing for a permanent ban on Big Box stores. He has his Big Box (an uglier Big Box than any Wal-Mart I have ever seen), now let's make sure no one will be able to compete against him. The task force has lost any credibility it may ever have had. It is obvious the "task" of the Big Box Task Force is to artificially restrict free enterprise for their own selfish interests all the while telling us it is for the community's benefit. I have one very simple question for the task force. Why haven't all your dire predictions concerning Big Box stores played out in Durango? I was there the other day and their downtown was packed with tourists. I didn't see a single boarded-up building or going out of business sign. There were lines at the cash registers in every store I was in.

Mark Peterson

Editor's note: For accuracy's sake, it must be noted that the "Big Box store" acquired by Mr. Smith is an existing structure. The primary focus of the task force, it seems, should be on new construction. The legal problems inherent in adopting ordinances that attempt to include existing buildings should be obvious.

 Respect what?

Dear Editor:

Welcome to the 21st Century, the land of the free, home of the knave. Where everything is for sale and nothing seems to matter except for the bottom line of every Big Bucks Good Ole Boy. Where Dubya can lie to the whole world and 60 percent or more of the population buys it.

Or, is it?

I, for one, see large amounts of good being done on a regular basis, but have yet to see a pervasive attitude of "say one thing, do another" as a constant. Or, as the song says, on the other hand, I see people "coming together to make a difference with a neighbor, or friend, or even a stranger." I believe that Pagosa exemplifies, in a microcosm, everything that is working in our world and what isn't.

For example, how many times in the last month have you been passed on Put Hill by a person driving at least 10 mph over the limit with a "Respect Life" tag? Now, I would suggest that any individual who (based on results) does not respect the basic rules of the road has no respect for anything, including their own life. But, on the other hand, we are blessed with people who have an absolute commitment to excellence and making a difference.

Case in point, our current county commission. We have Mamie (yeah!), Ronnie (yahoo!) and Robin (boo hiss). Mamie went into office believing she could make a difference. Ronnie, a mortgage professional, comes from a place of absolute integrity and a sincere desire to make a difference. And, on the other hand we have Robin Schiro. We have long standing, well-respected county employees leaving en masse due to "stress." Her "Road Warrior" plan could set us back to the era of rakes and shovels.

Okay, where are we going? What are we doing? Where's the respect, the integrity? And why are we, the voters, now hearing about a possible recall of the commission when it makes no real sense?

I, for one, as an unaffiliated voter, do not want my tax dollars wasted on yet another useless power play. I pay my taxes, I vote and if you do too, then I would ask that you simply think. Do we waste more time with political infighting and backstabbing, or do we support our commissioners to create the teamwork required to move forward and face the challenges that we as a community face (such as growth, etc.)?

As a six-year resident I remember Pagosa having one traffic light and a huge heart. Now we have five lights and still have a big heart - but it seems to be getting more calloused by the day.

I say stop talking and start doing. Show up like you truly care, volunteer, vote, do something. Don't just stand there talking. Where does this start? I declare that it starts with me. What do you respect?

Mark Wagner

 Hersch heritage

Dear Editor:

In answer to your letters and articles regarding the Hersch House, your readers would appreciate a simple but gracious apology when you are wrong instead of passing it off on John Motter (whom I do believe tries to write factually).

Joseph B. Hersch was my uncle and he was born Jan. 15, 1903. (Jan. 15 was also his father's birthday, but he was born in 1887. That was David Hersch).

I also want to thank the many people who have stopped me to say how they will miss my family's home. Although we did not want to sell it after my mother's death (Marguerite Roselia "Peggy" Hersch Wiley, born March 30, 1906) my brother (Milton Leo Wiley, born July 16, 1929) felt we must. I felt so sad about not keeping it in the family, but I never imagined it would be totally destroyed. I thought other owners and their offspring and their friends would continue to enjoy the house where my family and friends had such fond memories of glorious occasions.

I was the last person to grow up in that house, but all of us, including my cousins and my brother, spent wonderful childhood years there as did our own children.

My grandmother (Myrtle Stogsdill Hersch, born Nov. 6, 1886) made life a series of gatherings - some for learning and some just for fun. She gave the best parties and was undoubtedly the best cook as all the traveling salesmen made sure they got to the Hersch Mercantile in time for David to take them home to dinner.

Pagosa Springs will change and we must accept it so we also must hope the new buildings will be an improvement, but they won't evoke the memories the rest of us will hold dear.

Sincerely,

Joan Wiley Seielstad

 Put on the dog

Dear Editor:

Was glad to see that Bob Dungan enjoyed his recent visit to the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. However, he failed to take advantage of a splendid opportunity to become acquainted with some really incredible canines.

Hope Dungan makes a return visit and will enjoy a stroll along the reservoir surrounded by spectacular scenery with some friendly, liberal-loving mutts to which he'll easily relate. They love to exercise and it's his chance to put on the dog.

Should this not prove to be ample social entertainment, it would be my sincere pleasure to share an ice cream cone on the streets of the "Best of Colorado" where we could enjoy watching the bulldozers in their continuing demolition of Pagosa's historic areas.

Jim Sawicki

 Humor

Dear Editor:

Usually the front page of any newspaper carries sadness and bad news. News of taxes, drug busts, lack of road maintenance ... serious stuff.

My husband and l found that to not be true on your July 21, 2005, front page.

Send thanks to Terry Smith for causing great laughter in our home.

He, who has already acquired his "big box" is telling Pagosa we don't need any evil "big box" stores ... thanks, Terry, for your concern!

Mary Lou Sprowle

Editor's note: Please see response to "Credibility," above.

 Reflect with pity

Dear Editor:

Little bitty minds in zero visionaries, self beatifying fools, little town wanna-be's, big town dropouts, you name them.

They're to be found in the glory of small town America, but unfortunately, where there is a greater percentage of the population who are the perennial holdbacks, the empty headed ones who are incapable of forward thinking and accepting the fact that mental as well as physical maturation is a better plan than cerebral, cultural and urban stagnation when faced with the inevitability of growth.

To those of you who fit into this myopic little world filled with jealousy and envy, life will not only sneak up on you, but will leave you out in its smelly exhaust unless you are ahead of the crowd and breathing in fresh mountain air.

Your penchant for trying to live vicariously by rumor mongering brands you as one with a minuscule imagination, and a recognizable brand of social ineptitude. Any ideas of self aggrandizement are lost in the headlights of reality. All others have to do is to observe and reflect with pity.

R.M. Wood

 

Community News

Elaine Nossaman named 2005 Archuleta County Fair Lady

By Lisa Scott

Special to The PREVIEW

Elaine Nossaman, longtime Archuleta County resident with a rich and lengthy history in this county, has been named this year's Fair Lady.

Her father, Charles B. Johnson, homesteaded in 1909 just west of Pagosa Springs, south on County Road 139. Elaine's mother, Elizabeth King, first came to Pagosa in 1917 to teach at Bayles School. Elaine was born in 1926 on the Johnson homestead just before Dr. Mary Fisher arrived at the house.

Elaine taught school in Arboles where she met Royal Nossaman who she later married, in 1945. Royal's great uncle, Welch Nossaman, was one of the first Anglos in the territory.

They raised two daughters, Susan (Felts) and Cindy (Spear), in a log cabin on their 240-acre farm located at U.S. 160 and County Road 139. They manually milked cows and sold the cream, drank unpasteurized milk until about 1961, raised sheep, put up hay and raised other field and garden crops. Royal also worked as a logger and carpenter until he passed away in 1993.

As a member of the first 4-H club in the county, Elaine recalls that Ethyl Poma taught her to make a perfect slipstitch and remembers taking classes in Durango from a skilled teacher at Fort Lewis College. She always said she loved to sew more than anything. She contributed her talents as a 4-H leader in sewing and knitting for many years.

Her daughters and all five grandchildren were 4-H members, having participated at state fairs. Elaine enters her handicrafts in the county fair every year, most often her preserved foods.

Elaine is a member of the Territorial Daughters Association, a regular participant at the senior center, and was crowned one of the Belles at the 2004 Senior's Prom.

We are thrilled to honor a woman who continuously upholds the western family traditions and who so generously shared her time and talents with the 4-H program and at the county fair.

 

Early precautions can save discomfort at the county fair

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The Archuleta County Fair is in its final stages of preparation, providing a venue with a nominal price of admission so people can enjoy the festivities without breaking the bank.

The assurance that everyone has a wonderful and a safe time is the fair board's goal. Below are regulations and some helpful advice to make your experience a pleasant one.

First, August is statistically the hottest month of the year. Patrons of the fair should dress appropriately to avoid the perils of heat. Light-colored clothing reflects the heat and natural fabrics such as cotton are breathable, allowing one not to retain heat. It just makes sense to be as comfortable as you can when outdoors.

Secondly, proper shoes are necessary. I was surprised at the number of people who had plastic flip-flops on last year. Invariably, we had incidents of people tripping over their own feet or getting pieces of ground debris wedged into their foot.

I also had a woman hobble up to me with a two-inch heel in her hand asking if I had anything to fix it. Why anyone would wear a high heels to the fair is beyond my comprehension. The fair grounds are covered with gravel and wood chips. Please wear shoes that are appropriate for this environment.

Sunscreen is also very important. Living in high terrain also means living nearer to the sun. Dermatologists recommend a minimum of SPF 15, with reapplications when needed. A nasty sunburn can spoil a good time. A little preparation can save you from days of grief.

Hydration is one of the most important things you can do in the summer heat. Water is of course the best way to hydrate your system. Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine deplete your body and are dehydrating to your system. If you do drink, alternate with water to assure proper fluid intake.

House pets are prohibited on the fair grounds.

Some people have even tried sneaking their pets into the fair under coats or in handbags. There is an obvious sanitation issue with pets along with the fact that some animals are unpredictable in temperament in crowds, creating a safety issue. I have many pets and love them too, but I am not bringing them with me to the fair. The only exception to this rule is if you are visually impaired and require a trained dog to assist you.

Smoking is permitted at the fairgrounds in outdoor areas away from livestock and food.

Please use common sense when extinguishing your smoking materials. Again, the grounds contain wood chips which of course are an accelerant for fire. Smoking any substance that is deemed illegal will be immediately reported to law enforcement who are on the grounds at all times.

Alcohol will be served during the fair in the Beer Tent and during the Demolition Derby, on site.

If you are not of legal age to drink, do not attempt to do so. If you are an adult, do not buy alcohol for someone underage. It will not be tolerated and again it will be taken care of by the law enforcement officials. Furthermore if drinking alcohol please do so responsibly.

Firearms are not permitted at the fairgrounds. There is no reason why anyone would need to have them on the grounds. This is an obvious safety issue. In the past people who carry firearms have been very compliant with this rule and the fair board appreciates their cooperation and responsible behavior.

Coolers are also not permitted on the grounds. This is the fair, not a family picnic. Plenty of food and beverages will be available through vendors and other venues during the fair. Out of respect to the food handlers who are offering their services, we ask that no food is brought in.

Special needs parking is available at the fair. If you are handicapped or have a need due to injury, etc., please let the parking attendant know so that you may be directed to the appropriate parking. Shuttles are also available to everyone from the parking lot to make the trek to the fair grounds less arduous.

The Archuleta County Fair is a family-oriented, enjoyable event. The fair board is committed to creating an atmosphere with fun and safety and has incorporated that into a mission.

If at any time during the fair you have a need or question please ask one of the fair staff on duty. Emergency medical staff as well as law enforcement are also on the fair grounds if the need arises. Further information encompassing the fair and activities is available through our Web site at www.archuletacountyfair.com.

We have also been informed a very special guest will be joining us as a host for the Demolition Derby - racing legend Bobby Unser.

Any fan of racing will know Unser from his Indianapolis 500 winnings to his induction in the Motor Sports Hall of Fame, to name a few of this legend's accolades. This is something that you do not want to miss.

We look forward to seeing the community and visitors at the fair.

 

Operation Helping Hand collecting school supplies for the less fortunate

Operation Helping Hand is collecting school supplies for less fortunate students in the Pagosa Springs school system.

Drive organizers will accept donations through Sept. 30.

Items may be dropped off at The Pagosa Springs SUN, 466 Pagosa St.

Lists of supplies needed by students in various grade levels are available at local stores that sell school supplies. Items needed include:

Backpacks

No. 2 pencils

8-count crayons

16-count crayons

24-count crayons

4 oz. bottles of glue

Small pointed scissors

12-count colored pencils

24-count colored pencils

Family-size box of Kleenex

Gallon-size zip lock bags

Quart-size zip lock bags

Supply box

Fiskars scissors

8-count markers

Large pink erasers

One-inch hard cover 3-ring binder

Pencil top erasers

Glue sticks

Loose leaf wide rule notebook paper

Loose leaf college rule notebook paper

Scientific calculator

Pencil pouch

Pens

7-subject dividers

Spiral notebooks

White out

Ruler with standard and metric scale

Erasable pens

Index cards

8-count classic, watercolor markers

Pocket portfolios, pockets on bottom

Red lead pencils

40-page spiral notebooks

Thin-tipped markers

Clipboard

Four dry erase markers

Basic calculator

Pad lock or combination lock

No. 3 pencils

Small pencil sharpener with shavings holder

Wide rule composition notebooks

Elmer's glue

Paper towels

Large scissors

Clear ruler wih standard and metric scale

Medium size pencil box

Graph spiral notebooks

Pocket folders with brads

Small dixie cups

Small, rounded scissors

Those who wish to make monetary donations to the drive may send them to Operation Helping Hand, Wells Fargo Bank, account number 6240417424, or Bank of the San Juans, account number 20014379.

 

Archuleta County Fair schedule of events

Wednesday, Aug. 3

Exhibit Hall

- 1-8 p.m., Open Class check-in. All exhibits (except baked goods) must check-in today.

Livestock Tent

- 5 p.m., Dog Rally obedience trials

Thursday, Aug. 4

Livestock Tent

- 8 a.m.- noon, 4-H animals arrive

Exhibit Hall

- 8-11 a.m.., 4-H projects judging

- 7:30-9 a.m., Open Class Baked Goods check-in )All others on display)

Fairgrounds

- 9 a.m., fair opens

- 10 a.m., vendors open

Education Tent

- noon today, 9 a.m. Friday-Sunday - four-day, full-time exhibits include San Juan National Forest, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Navajo State Park, Mesa Verde National Park Centennial, Colorado State Patrol, CSU Cooperative Extension, 4-H Information Display, Milk-A-Cow display, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Upper San Juan Health Service District, U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, Table Setting display, Ron-D-View's Miniature Donkeys, Archuleta County Sheriff's Division of Emergency Operations, and more.

Education Tent

- Afternoon Fiber Goats demonstration

Activity Tent

- noon, judges' lunch, Beer Garden opens

Livestock Tent

- 1-6 p.m., 4-H weigh-ins

- 1 p.m., Swine/steer/heifer/goat

- 2 p.m., Lamb

- 3 p.m., Rabbit Showmanship

Fairgrounds

- 4 p.m., 4-H Clubs Parade/Fair Royalty arrives by fancy carriage

- 4 p.m., dunking booth open

Activity Tent

- 4:30-6:30 p.m., Old West Fest. Preferred seating available. Valuable door prizes.

- 4:30 p.m., Wild West performance, scarecrow contest for kids

- 5 p.m., Pagosa Hot Strings play hometown newgrass

- 6 p.m., cowboy poet

- 6:30 p.m., Pagosa Hot Strings

Education Tent

- 4-7 p.m., fly tying demo, GPS demo

Livestock Tent

- 6 p.m. Nonmarket Goats

Exhibit Hall

- 6 to 8 p.m., Open Class exhibits open

Rodeo Arena

- 7:30 p.m., Bucking H Rodeo

- 10 p.m., fair closes

Friday, Aug. 5

Livestock Tent

- 8 a.m., rabbit judging

- 8:30 a.m., 4-H Market Swine show

Fairgrounds

- 9 a.m., activities and vendors open

Exhibit Hall

- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Open Class exhibits

Rodeo Arena

- 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule Association performances and demonstrations

Education Tent

- 9 a.m., llamas demo all day

Activity Tent

- 9-10:30 a.m., cake decorating

Fairgrounds Patio

- 10 a.m., Fire and Ice Show

Education Tent

- 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Wacky Knitwits demo

Livestock Tent

- 11 a.m., Goat show

Activity Tent

- Wild West performers

Fairgrounds

€10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., children's games. Scheduled between shows. May include hula hoop contest, apple bobbing contest, pie eating contest, 3-legged race, egg toss contest or other fun activities for youngsters. Check information booth for exact times.

Fairgrounds Patio

- Fire and Ice Show

Activity Tent

- Creative Cooks

Livestock Tent

- 2:30 p.m., Poultry judging

Education Tent

- 1 p.m., Slick's Story Time

Fairgrounds Patio

- 1:30 p.m., Wild West stunts and trick roping show

Education Tent

- 2-4 p.m., felting demonstration

Fairgrounds Patio

- 3 p.m., Fire and Ice Show

Education Tent

- 4-7 p.m,. GPS demonstration

Livestock Tent

- 4 p.m., heifer judging

Education Tent

- 4-6 p.m., weaving demonstration

Rodeo Arena

- 4:30 p.m., Parelli Horse-Man-Ship demo

Fairgrounds Patio

- 5 p.m., trick roping show

Activity Tent

- Country Colgate Showdown

Livestock Tent

- Steer judging

Derby Arena

- Demolition Derby drivers and judges meeting

Rodeo Arena

- 6-8 p.m., hot air balloon rides

Derby Arena

- 7 p.m., demolition derby

- 11 p.m., fair closes

Saturday, Aug. 6

Fairgrounds

- 9 a.m., activities and vendors open

Exhibit Hall

- 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Open Class exhibits

Rodeo Arena

- 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule Association performances and demonstrations

Education Tent

- 9 a.m., Alpacas demo all day

Livestock Tent

- 8:30 a.m. Market Lamb show

Fairgrounds Patio

- 10 a.m., Wild West performers

Education Tent

- 10-11:30 a.m., weaving demonstration

Fairgrounds Patio

- 11 a.m. , Spin, Bob, Boom Show

Livestock Tent

- Round Robin

Fairgrounds

- 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., children's games. Scheduled between shows. May include bubble gum contest, sand castle contest, needle-in-a-haystack contest, bat race, potato race, or other fun activities for youngsters. Check information booth for exact times.

Activity Tent

- noon-2 p.m., magic/comedy hypnotist show

Education Tent

- noon-2 p.m., felting demonstration

Livestock Tent

- 2 p.m., rabbit catch-it

Fairgrounds Patio

- 2:15 p.m., Wild West performers

Livestock Tent

- 2:30 p.m., poultry catch-it

Fairgrounds Patio

- 3 p.m., Spin, Bop, Boom Show

Education Tent

- 3-5 p.m., Wacky Knitwits demonstration

Education Tent

- 4 p.m., Slick's Story Time

Activity Tent

- 4 p.m., 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner

- 6:30 p.m., livestock auction

- 7:30 p.m., hypnosis show

Livestock Tent

Activity Tent

- 9 p.m.-midnight, fair dance featuring Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge

- midnight, fair closes

Sunday, Aug. 7

Activity Tent

- 8-10 a.m., pancake breakfast

Fairgrounds

- 9 a.m., activities and vendors open

Exhibit Hall

- 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Open Class exhibits

- 4-6 p.m., Open Class exhibit pick-up

Rodeo Arena

Education Tent

- 9 a.m., Scottish Highland cattle and angora rabbits demonstrations all day

Livestock Tent

- 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Livestock record book interviews

Fairgrounds Patio

- 10 a.m., Wild West performers

Activity Tent

- 10-11 a.m., gospel songs and service

Activity Tent

- 11 a.m.-noon, magic show

- noon-2 p.m., chili cook-off

- 2-3:30 p.m., hypnosis show

Education Tent

- 1 p.m., spinning demonstration

Rodeo Arena

- 1-4 p.m., Kids' Rodeo with Wild West small acts between events.

Education Tent

- 2 p.m., Slick's Story Time

Livestock Tent

- 4 p.m., 4-H members pick up projects and/or animals

- 6 p.m., fair closes

 

Scripture scholar to speak at Immaculate Heart of Mary

A popular author and Sacred Scripture teacher will speak on "How to Read the Bible: A Look at the Big Picture of Scripture" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.

According to Father Carlos Alvarez, IHM pastor, community residents as well as parishioners are invited to hear Gray in the Parish Hall at 451 Lewis St.

Tim Gray is director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and a professor of scripture at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. He holds a Th.M. degree in scripture from Duke University and an M.A. degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is currently a doctoral candidate in biblical studies at Catholic University of America.

He is the author of "Sacraments in Scripture" and "Mission of the Messiah." He is co-author of "From Boys to Men: The Transforming Power of Virtue." He is a contributing author for the Catholic for a Reason series. He has appeared on Mother Angelica Live and Life on the Rock, and filmed a 13-part series on the Mission of Christ as presented in the Synoptic Gospels that first aired on EWTN.

 

Madden honored, hospice training coming Aug. 19-20

Hospice of Mercy Volunteer Coordinator Julie Madden has been honored with a gift from local Pagosa Springs artist Jeanine Malaney.

Julie has worked with Hospice for 25 years, starting as a volunteer in 1980. She has been the bereavement coordinator for 17 years. She also coordinates the volunteer program for Durango, Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area, including all of Archuleta County.

Malaney says she has been moved by the dedication, sincerity and warmth of all the hospice staff she has met, and especially by Madden, who was the inspiration for the painting. Julie received a fabric painting entitled "The Hand of Hospice." Malaney utilizes a mixed-media technique she calls "painting with fabric." She also does watercolor painting and has exhibited throughout Colorado and Arizona.

Hospice is a health care service dedicated to helping dying patients live every day to its fullest in comfort and with dignity. A life-threatening illness can bring overwhelming challenges, including difficult medical decisions, changing emotional and physical needs, fear and anxiety. Hospice is a place for patients and their families to turn to.

Hospice of Mercy can be reached at 382-2000. If you are interested in being a volunteer, contact Madden at 382-2032. Volunteers provide companionship, respite for families and follow up with families after the death of their loved one.

A training class will be offered at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Center Aug.19-20. To register for the class and learn more about becoming a Hospice volunteer or for more information, call Madden at 382-2032.

  

K.J. Denhert debuts at folk fest, Darol Anger returns

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

K.J. Denhert earned her spot in the 10th annual Four Corners Folk Festival lineup by being selected from more than 500 musicians who submitted press kits to the event through Sonicbids.com.

The festival first partnered with the online service in 2004 and found it to be an environmentally sound way to audition musicians. "I can listen to hundreds of bands without ever opening an envelope or throwing away packaging," says promoter Dan Appenzeller. "And the quality of the artists who use Sonicbids is very high - I had a hard time choosing just one band." But the musician that Dan came back to again and again during the selection process was Denhert. Luckily, when he notified her, she was up for making the trip west from New York City.

Even before Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones and their various guitar-playing accompanists nudged the category into national prominence, New York native Denhert was calling herself an "urban folk and jazz artist."

"The jazz," she explains, "comes from people's perceptions of my guitar voicings and the structure of the tunes themselves Š using extended solos and players working off of each other. Urban reflects my childhood, growing up in NYC, and folk, I really adored James Taylor, my first guitar influence."

The diva plays guitar, strumming and picking her acoustic in settings that include electric guitars and bass, keyboards, drums, percussion, and occasional sax and cello. She personalizes the Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell influences in her original songs with funk beats and soulful vocals that sound both streetwise and sophisticated. Her sense of joy on stage is infectious, bringing honesty and charisma to her talents as a songwriter, singer and guitarist. And as an experienced bandleader who plays without a net, she always takes you on a fun ride.

K.J. grew up in the Bronx, the second child of Grenadian immigrants. "I come from a racially mixed West Indian family with lots of musicians on my mother's side," she said. At 10 she started playing the guitar and writing her own songs. Denhert enrolled at Cornell University but dropped out after her sophomore year when her musical interests began to eat away at her studies.

She led her own folk-rock band for two years before joining an all-female rock quartet called Fire and spent the next six years touring all over the world with the band. "Because I could play guitar I was able to see the pyramids and swim in the Red Sea," she said. Today, she again heads up her own band, the New York Unit.

At the 2003 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, audiences voted Denhert into the top four of the Emerging Artist Showcase. The song "Violet," from "Girl Like Me," has secured Denhert a 2003 Independent Music Award and a 2004 Out Music Award nomination for singer/songwriter of the year.

In 2003 she walked away from a successful corporate career to launch the record label Urban Folk and Jazz, with several new recording projects underway. She is motivated to provide her musicians a decent living that includes health care. She dedicates her life mostly to music and explains her passion, "I get to do what I really love. I've lived the truth of the slow build as a marketing strategy. I work hard to put out the best material I can, whether we're playing live or in the studio."

K.J. Denhert and the New York Unit will play the main festival stage at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2.

Violinist, fiddler, composer, producer and educator Darol Anger is also at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent.

With the jazz-oriented Turtle Island String Quartet, Anger developed and popularized new techniques for playing contemporary music styles on string instruments. The virtuosic "Chambergrass" groups Psychograss and Newgrange, and the plugged-in Anger-Marshall Band feature his compositions and arrangements. His Grammy-nominated folk-jazz group Montreux was the original musical model for the New Adult Contemporary radio format.

Working with some of the world's great improvisational string musicians - among them Stephane Grappelli, Mark O'Connor, Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, David Grisman and Vassar Clements - has contributed to the development of Darol Anger's signature voice both as player and composer. His published works include jazz originals and arrangements, a fiddle tune collection, and, of course, recordings. Anger has produced dozens of critically lauded recordings since 1977 which have featured his compositions and performances. Highlights include: the Heritage project, which brings together some of the most important voices in the traditional, contemporary folk and bluegrass music scene; the Anger-Marshall Duo's Compass Records releases "JAM," "Brand New Can" and "The Duo," which set new standards for the Newgrass/jazz genre; "Diary Of A Fiddler," which sets Anger in duet with the most prominent and innovative fiddlers of our time; and his latest release, Republic Of Strings, an intergenerational group featuring Anger's compositions and string music from all over the world.

Anger currently holds the string chair of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He has led seminars at the Stanford, Oberlin and Amherst jazz workshops, regularly teaches at the Berklee School of Music, the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp and at workshops and clinics from Campo Do Jordao, Brazil, to the Music Conservatory at Bremen, Germany. He is a contributing editor for Strings magazine, and is on the ASTA Editorial Board. The recipient of a 1995 California Arts Council Composer Fellowship, Anger was nominated in 1997 for the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts. He is a MacDowell Fellow, and obtained a composer residency at the Virginia Center for the Arts.

Anger has been a featured soloist on a number of motion picture soundtracks, and he wrote and performed the score for the Sundance Award-winning film "Best Offer." He was the winner of the Frets Magazine Readers' Poll for Best Jazz Violinist for four years running.

Anger's work has expanded not only the acoustic violin's boundaries, but has contributed to the development of violin synthesizer repertoire and technology. His writings on these subjects and string education issues appear regularly in prominent music periodicals and on the Web. His current projects include Darol Anger's Republic Of Strings; The Duo with Mike Marshall; The Fiddlers 4, with Michael Doucet and Bruce Molsky; and the Prairie Trio with Pianist Phillip Aaberg and cellist EugeneFreisen.

Anger's music remains accessible even as he continues to break new ground on the frontier of strings. He is no stranger to the Four Corners stage, having played with Psychograss, the Anger/Marshall Band and as a duet with Mike Marshall in prior years. He will perform on the main stage with the Republic of Strings at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3.

Tickets to the 2005 Four Corners Folk Festival are available downtown at Moonlight Books or at WolfTracks Coffee and Books in the west City Market Plaza. The Durango ticket outlet is Southwest Sound on Main Street. Additional information and tickets are also available online at www.folkwest.com or by calling (877) 472-4672.

Blues, jazz set stage for more 'Roots'

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Sunday's blues and jazz concert at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse drew a large, enthusiastic crowd as part of a series entitled "American Roots Music Festival." The series is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.

Concertgoers were delighted by an expert rendition of the Charleston performed by Jesse Morris and Kimberly Judd. The dance was choreographed by Dale Morris, whose direction of local theater productions has helped elevate the cultural status of Pagosa Springs to the upper tier of communities in southwest Colorado.

Jesse Morris and Kimberly Judd represented the younger generation of performers during the concert. Jesse recently graduated from Pagosa Springs High School. Kimberly is going into her junior year. Besides their stunning dance routine, Jesse also performed on drums; Kimberly played alto sax and clarinet, and performed another dance routine.

Carla Roberts charmed the audience singing her original songs and traditional blues. She also performed on her marimba and bass recorder.

Local guitarist and instrument builder Steve Rolig performed authentic arrangements of early blues and ragtime music. Steve performed on two guitars he handcrafted himself - an exquisite acoustic steel string and an unusual metal resonator guitar. The depth and sophistication of Steve's music really shone through, and his set was warmly received.

John Graves - headliner for the show - took the audience through a fascinating musical history of blues and jazz in his inimitable, witty style. Trumpet virtuoso Larry Elginer lent his musical brilliance to Graves' performance and also accompanied Paul and Carla Roberts. Concertgoers got a chance to become more familiar with another talented local musician, Dan Fitzpatrick, who performed on acoustic bass.

American Roots Music Festival continues Aug. 28 with international music and dance. Watch for forthcoming articles in The Preview.

For further information on American Roots Music Festival and Elation Center for the Arts, call 731-3117.

 

Local dancers succeed at national competition

By Deb Aspen

Special to the PREVIEW

In Step Dance Club's Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson received high awards recently at the Arthur Murray's Unique Dance-O-Rama. The Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa, Calif., hosted 120 gentlemen and 238 lady amateurs, plus 69 gentlemen and 56 lady professional dancers from 36 different cities in he U.S. and Canada.

A Tribute to Male Artists Dinner and Showcase kicked off the event Thursday, July 14. Some of the artists represented in the 33 solo events included tribute dances to Desi Arnaz, Phantom of the Opera, Prince, Elvis, Van Gogh, Jim Carey ("The Mask"), The Rat Pack, Tom Jones, Tchaikovsky, James Bond, and to Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," which won the awards for best performance and best costumes.

Friday's schedule of events boasted 30 more solo events, including Charles' and Deb's fast moving International Quickstep routine to the music "Dancin' Fool." All of the closed category divisions took place - 182 heats in all. Out of 21 options, Deb and Charles selected 10: the waltz, fox-trot, American Tango, cha cha, rumba, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Country Western Swing, polka and hustle. Then the associate and full bronze all-around championships proceeded with a total of 44 couples competing; followed by four separate formation or group dances. James Bond was the theme of the Friday evening Dinner Ball. The ballroom was appropriately decorated form scenes of all the different characters in that era of film. It was more than well worth attending the dance-o-rama just to see this grand spectacle'

The Friday evening show featured the Amateur Three Dance competitions and the Scholarship Championships. This is when all couples of any age, at any level, are on the floor at the same time, competing. Charles and Deb placed sixth in the smooth (waltz, tango, fox-trot), and seventh in the rhythm (cha cha, rumba, swing) categories - better than their eighth places last year.

Saturday's line up sported 39 more solo routines and all of the open competitions during the day, with a cocktail party followed by the formal awards dinner ball. The presentation of awards filled Charles' and Deb's trophy case with a total of 20 (out of 20 entered) first places in the closed and open freestyles collectively, the top Full Gold Couples Award, and top Male Student Award for Charles.

Just when you thought you'd already seen some really terrific dancing, the professional championships rolled out the carpet for some of the world's top dancers. With 12 consecutive year Latin champs Julia Gorchekova and Bob Powers recently retired, it was anyone's guess who would be the new winners. By the final round, however, it was becoming evident that Juan de Dios Garcia and Cari Jo Melgoza-Garcia from San Jose, Calif., had stolen the show. Charles and Deb had a sneak preview with the privilege of seeing them perform in Albuquerque in June, while Juan and Cari Jo held workshops there, so they were local favorites. Performances by all 12 of the couples were outstanding, but in the end Juan and Cari Jo were the judges favorites as well.

The Dance-O-Rama ended with a Sunday morning breakfast, which offered everyone the opportunity to give final congratulations and say farewell to all. It was truly a grand event.

On Aug. 6 and 21, Charles and Deb will compete in two Arthur Murray Summer Showcases first in Albuquerque, then in Denver.

August practice and class schedule is as follows: Thursday Aug. 4, 7-9 p.m. and Wednesday Aug. 10, 7-9 p.m., dance reviews with Les Linton; Thursday Aug. 18, 7-9 p.m. dance reviews with Deb Aspen; Thursday Aug 25, 7-9 p.m. hula class with Deb Aspen (gents and ladies welcomed). All practice sessions and the class will meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

On Sunday Aug. 28, 3-7 p.m., Deb and Charles will host a Hawaiian barbecue pot luck at their house at 623 Northlake Ave. Deb will teach class No. 2 of the hula in preparation for a demo at the Luau Sept. 2. The hula was traditionally taught only by the men in Hawaii, and is known for telling wonderfully descriptive stories.

The In Step Dance Club will host a Luau Dance Party Sept. 2 at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. There will be a hula exhibition, a Limbo contest and a Crazed Tourist costume contest. All interested parties are welcome.

Call Deb Aspen to RSVP and for more information at 731-3338.

 

Local Chatter

Trying to keep it all together

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

How to keep it together as you grow older. A good subject, don't you think?

The idea that started me thinking about this column was when I realized (for about the hundredth time) how marking off the past days on my calendar has been a blessing in my life. I got the idea from the Sisson Library calendar, from the efficient staff they have at the Sisson Library.

I told a friend and she quickly told me how she handles her medications - that is, remembering when to take them. She has continued this description for this column.

"So the doctor has given you a new prescription and you can't remember if you took it this morning. Count days from the day you filled the prescription. Then count pills left in the container and you'll know if you took it or not."

Then there is the friend who takes many pills. This is his system: The night before he lays out all his pills for the following day and sets aside the pills he is to take in the morning. Morning comes and he takes those pills and sets aside the ones to be taken at noon (or other special time). When these are taken he knows the remaining pills are to be taken at the end of the day.

And many people I talked with say they use a daily pill box. Remembering when to take the first pills is another thing. You can take them with you, to breakfast for example. Filling the box is another thing. One woman fills it Saturday after all Saturday pills are taken.

And then there is the subject of birthdays. More than one woman said she fills out her calendar at the beginning of each month and at this time includes birthdays for the month.

But another woman says that at the beginning of the year she writes in (in red ink) all the names of relatives and others to be remembered. She prints names so they will stand out. The same woman draws a circle (using the same red pen) around days she will be receiving retirement checks.

There are different ways to use a calendar. Some write in everything. Some save calendars for reference. The important thing is to make the calendar work for you.

Then there is the matter of keeping lists. Everyone keeps lists. Some people keep lists so they can lose them or forget them. But there are people who make lists work for them.

Some make out grocery lists by aisles so they can start at one part of the store and move to the other side quicker. One person says she sticks her grocery lists in her pocket. Some put notes on refrigerator doors or stick them on a dashboard.

One woman talks about storing things in boxes. She labels the boxes and, incidentally, she doesn't throw anything away.

And then there is my friend who keeps everything to go out in a drawer in her living room. This includes her lists. She says that if it doesn't get in the drawer, it doesn't get done.

It all boils down to making things work for you - a calendar, Post IT notes, lists you don't want to lose, and the ability to remember why you started all this.

And, of course, there is the day planner. Some people keep them as constant companions.

Good luck!

Fun on the run

Dan Jenkins, golf writer, describes golf on the PGA tour this way:

The golfer has more enemies than any other athlete.

He has 14 clubs in his bag, all of them different; 18 holes to play, all of them different, every week.

And all around him is sand, trees, grass, water, wind.

And 143 other players. In addition, the game is 50-percent mental, so his biggest enemy is himself.

 

Community Center News

New events being considered at community center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

The midsummer Read-a-thon sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is tonight, 5:30-7 p.m. at the community center. All elementary students are invited. Bring a favorite book. Dinner will be served, and it is free!

Volunteers needed

The community center is looking for volunteers to be part of the advisory and fund-raising committee.

This group helps decide what programs and special events we offer the community and what fund-raising efforts we conduct for the community center. Committee members also provide assistance during these events. We need new people with lots of ideas. Please call me if you want to participate at 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Talking about events - the advisory committee decided not to have the community center anniversary celebration next month due to lack of interest from the public. This decision was made based on last year's celebration where the crowd was not big enough to warrant making this an annual event. Another reason for the lack of interest may be the fact that people do not want an indoor celebration in the middle of summer. So, there will be no anniversary celebration, but we will recognize our volunteers at some point in conjunction with another event. Any comments or suggestions from the community are welcome.

The committee is looking into the following events and we need input from the community.

- A Hunter's Ball in late October during the big hunting season, probably Oct. 26. This will be a fund-raising event. We are looking for a sponsor to provide the band so we can have live music.

- A community Halloween Party Monday, Oct. 31. This activity was so successful last year that we plan to make this year's bigger and better. All those interested in participating at this party, call now to reserve a booth. It's free.

- A Nonprofit Day - a gathering of all non-profit organizations in Pagosa to share information such as concerns and successes, and to learn everything about nonprofits. I thought of having this in November but timing is a concern, since people are gearing up for their Thanksgiving celebrations.

- A Christmas Tree Contest and Around the World in Pagosa event are both fund-raising ideas. The first one is self-explanatory and the latter is a show or parade of traditional costumes and displays, with tastes of food from around the world. Sounds interesting and fun. Anyone interested in any of these events, please call me.

Teen Center update

Since the closing of the Teen Center last January the steering committee headed by Julie Jessen, town special projects director, has been meeting to discuss the future of the center. The first questions the committee dealt with were whether the center meets a need in the community and whether we need a teen center?

Of course, the answer is a definite "yes." So, the group defined its mission, goals and vision. They also put together bylaws. Afterward, a decision was made to hire a professional part-time teen center coordinator who will run the program and who has experience in both indoor and outdoor activities. Prior experience in dealing with special teens is important. The hiring process has begun.

Julie is recruiting volunteers to be members of the Teen Center board. Those of you interested in reopening the center should come forward and volunteer to help. Julie can be reached at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext. 226. Or you can call any of the steering committee volunteers: Candace Dzielak, 264-4151, Ext. 247; Chris Figliolino, 731-9567; Mercy Korsgren, 264-4152, Ext. 22; and Bob Hemenger, 264-5432.

Computer lab news

Last Tuesday was the second of our basics classes which will continue for the next two or three weeks. We looked at what's inside a computer; learned how to customize a desktop, wallpaper and font sizes; investigated shortcuts (how to create and delete them); and got our feet wet in the Internet.

What is the Internet anyway? What's the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet? What's a search engine? A browser? We touched on all these topics and more in the class.

If you're attending the class and want to know future topics for discussion, take a look at the town's Web site - www.townofpagosasprings.com - under the Events link. Double-clicking on the event itself will bring up a description of that particular week's class.

Lately, we've been looking for a screen capture program in order to install it on the community center's computers. It had to be simple and, of course, free. Finally, we found one that is easy to download, install and use. It's called Gadwin PrintScreen, version 2.6. This program will allow you to print your whole screen or just a portion of it. Or, you can save the screenprint to several different file types, depending on what you want to do with it. Of course, you can also e-mail the image. This kind of program is especially useful here at the center when someone using a computer has a problem. We can capture what's on the screen at the time and facilitate a fix. See www.gadwin.com/download/ to try this program. You'll have to scroll down a bit; the freeware program is at the bottom of the list. Let us know how you like it.

Upcoming events

Here are two important dates not to be missed: Aug. 11 and 15. A reception begins at 6 p.m. and a presentation takes place 6:30-8:30 for Creative Spaces. This program brings a series of speakers to town to talk about public art and civic spaces fundamental to a civil society and successful public art programs. The program is sponsored by the CVC Arts and Culture Committee.

A cooking class with Edith Blake will start soon. Edith loves to cook and would like to share her favorite Italian recipes in September. Space is limited to 20 members on a first-come, first-served basis. The class is free but members will be asked to share the cost of the ingredients. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21, if you're planning to attend the class.

Do you have a special talent or hobby that 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 creating groups and activities. Someone even asked me about the possibility of staring an Irish/Scottish dancing group for fun. Call me at 264-4152. Ext. 22.

The gym is open everyday, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-noon, for walking and open basketball except when reserved for special events. Call 264-4152 for information and to reserve a room. The center needs your input on other programs and activities you would like to see happening here. If you have ideas, tell us about them.

The center is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition and managed by the Town of Pagosa Springs. It provides spaces for the Archuleta County Seniors Program, Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Teen Center and other groups and organizations in the community. Rooms are available for rent to anyone or any group on first-come, first-served basis. There is a nominal charge to rent a room and monies collected pay for the utility bills and other operating costs.

Have your party or meeting here. We have very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large 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. Call 264-4152.

 

Education News

Education Center graduates 20 with GED

Archuleta County Education Center held its annual GED graduation celebration July 10 at the Community United Methodist Church. Over 70 community members gathered to honor and celebrate the success of the 20 2004-05 graduates.

This year's graduates were Andrew Baird, Jessica Bennett, Lara Burk, Kimberly Crew, Emily Culwell, David Gardner, Chris Gnos, Cole Graham, Tandie Hucke, Nisa Hucke-Abbott, Christine Jones, Matthew Lee, Ryan Lister, Bettie Jo Mack, Jessica Martinez, Tammy Rose, Michael Rowley, Bethany Steed, Cana Steed and Greg Vliss.

Sherry Waner, a local bank vice president and treasurer of the Archuleta County Education Center Board of Directors, had words of encouragement for the graduates during her commencement address.

Wally Lankford, GED coordinator, also spoke to the group congratulating each of them on their hard work and success at earning their degree.

Cynthia Sharp, secretary to the Education Center Board of Directors, presented certificates of achievement to the graduates. Waner also presented each graduate a lamp of knowledge medallion.

Local, popular pianist and board member John Graves provided the music for the afternoon event.

For more information about the Adult Education program at the Archuleta County Education Center, call 264-2835. Volunteer GED tutors are currently needed. The center is at 4th and Lewis streets, in downtown Pagosa Springs.

 

Senior News

Plenty to do as new month begins at The Den

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, Pagosa is the perfect place for hot air balloon adventures.

You have a unique opportunity to break the bonds of gravity as you climb aboard a basket for the 30-minute flight of a lifetime, enjoying the sights and tranquility that can only be experienced from a hot air balloon.

Our hot air balloon adventure begins at Fairfield 7:30 a.m. Aug. 10 and the cost is $65 per person. Sign up in The Den by Tuesday, Aug 2. The trip is limited to 20 lucky folks. Have your cameras to capture the awe-inspiring views as you experience the excitement of a ride in a colorful balloon. Up, up and away!

Creede Theatre

Created in 1966, the Creede Repertory Theater is now one of Colorado's oldest and most reputable art organizations and produces the best of classic and new dramatic literature.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, "Broadway Bound" by Neil Simon is playing at 2:30 p.m. in the scenic mountain town of Creede. This show is the third of Simon's celebrated biographical trilogy, set in 1940s Brooklyn. It provides belly laughs and tears that capture the love each of us has for our family. Sign up at The Den by Tuesday, Aug. 9, and tickets are $15.50 per person. Carpooling is available for transportation. Join us for a spectacular show in a beautiful setting.

Mystery trip

Wow, what a turnout for this mystery trip!

We had a wonderful trip up to the Indian Head Lodge where 44 folks enjoyed a superb meal followed by a visit to the Teal Campground at Williams Lake. Jimmy and Marie Corcorran were our hosts and they provided us with a nice campfire so we could toast up some scrumptious s'mores. A few us dug up our ol' girl scout talents and got the fixin's goin'. I was grounded from roasting any more marshmallows since I was so proficient at burning them. Wayne enjoyed his very first s'more ever and I believe he went for seconds. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Here's a hint for next month's trip: Nearby we will take a trip, about a one hour drive to take a dip, chocolates and sweets we do like, maybe even a little hike.

Meet at the Den Thursday, Aug. 25, at 9 a.m. and return around 3:30 p.m. Maximum participants is 15 and lunch is provided. The cost is $5 with annual $3 membership required to Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Call The Den for further information at 264-2167.

Computer lab news

Last Tuesday was the second of our basics classes which will continue for the next two or three weeks. We looked at what's inside a computer; learned how to customize a desktop, wallpaper, and font sizes; investigated shortcuts (how to create and delete them), and got our feet wet in the Internet.

What is the Internet anyway? What's the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet? What's a search engine? A browser? We touched on all these topics and more in the class.

If you're attending the class and want to know future topics for discussion, take a look at the town's Web site - www.townofpagosasprings.com - under the Events link. Double-clicking on the event itself will bring up a description of that particular week's class.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in July, come on down to The Den for lunch to celebrate your birthday Friday. We will sing to you and Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch during your special month.

Home Rule

The Den will host a presentation on Home Rule 1 p.m. Friday. Come learn about Home Rule and the impact it would have on Archuleta County; stay informed.

Den shirts

We have a variety of shirts for you to choose from and wear proudly. All of these handsome shirts are embroidered with our logo and may be ordered through The Den. The white polo with pocket is $19; indigo blue polo with no pocket is $17; indigo blue T-shirt is $15; last year's screened T-shirt is reduced to just $8 with limited sizes available. All proceeds benefit the Archuleta, Seniors Inc.

Yoga class

We normally meet every Wednesday at 10 a.m. but our instructor has a commitment on the third Wednesday of every month. Anyone willing to volunteer time on the third Wednesday of the month to teach this class?

Bridge 4 Fun

Hey you bridge fanatics - since you just can't seem to get enough Bridge 4 Fun on Mondays, we've expanded to Friday's too. All levels are welcome to join in on Mondays and Fridays at 1 p.m. The room location is subject to change here at The Den due to availability.

Activities

July 29 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; celebrate July birthdays, noon; Home Rule information, 1 p.m.

Aug. 1 - Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Aug. 2 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Seeds of Learning children come to sing, noonish; canasta, 1 p.m.

Aug. 3 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; pinochle, 1 p.m.

Aug. 4 - -Meal served in Arboles and ice cream social, please call for menu. Reservations required 24 hours in advance.

Aug. 5 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk 11:15 a.m.: veteran's services, noon; ice cream social with music by John Graves, 1 p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Menu

Subject to change.

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

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

July 29 - Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, brussels sprouts, roll and orange wedges.

Aug. 1 - BBQ Chicken, oven potatoes, chopped spinach and pears.

Aug. 2 - Roast Pork and gravy, mashed potatoes, parsleyed carrots, gelatin salad and dinner roll.

Aug. 3 - Lasagna, green beans, seasoned cabbage and banana.

Aug. 4 - Meal served in Arboles, call 24 hours in advance for reservations.

Aug. 5 - Salmon patty with cream sauce, brown rice, mixed veggies, tangerines and raisin nut cup.

 

Veteran's Corner

Means tests for veterans explained

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

Nothing is more confusing in the VA health care eligibility process than the financial "Means Test" and how it affects enrollment or co-pay requirements.

All veterans enrolling in VA health care must provide their financial "Means" information unless they are 50 percent or more VA rated service-connected disabled.

Since probably less than 5 or 10 percent of Archuleta County veterans fall into this disability classification most are required to provide this information for initial enrollment or on an annual basis for continued eligibility purposes. This information is usually required on the anniversary enrollment date.

Changed Jan. 17, 2003

As I have often repeated in this column, prior to Jan. 17, 2003, virtually any honorably discharged veteran could enroll in VA health care. However, after that date, the VA based enrollment on VA rated service-connected disabilities or income limitations due to the increasing demands on the VA health care system.

A veteran with any rated service-connected disability can enroll in VA health care. If the disability is below 50 percent, they may be required to pay a co-pay fee for any services not associated with the disability. In some cases it may be for only for prescription drugs, or it also may be for doctor visits and specialist care.

Low income

If the income threshold is below a certain level the eligible veteran may not be required to pay any co-pays and receive the services at no charge. The financial Means Test is normally based on the previous year's income. In some cases if a veteran's financial situation has dramatically changed because of severe loss of income, a special hardship of normal requirements can be applied for.

Geographic Means test

The VA uses HUD's "low-income" geographic-based income limits as the thresholds for VA's Geographic-based Means Test (GMT). In other words the GMT may not be the same for Las Vegas, Nev. and Pagosa Springs, as an example.

Income limits

For Archuleta County the GMT income limitations for enrollment in VA health care are the following:

- Veteran alone - $28,950.

- Veteran w/spouse - $33,100.

- Veteran w/spouse and one additional dependent - $37,200.

- Veteran w/spouse and two additional dependents - $41,350.

And so on with additional dependents.

Also a factor in the GMT is "out of pocket medical expenses" for the veteran, spouse and dependents. An applicant would list a total for all out-of-pocket medical expenses that can include medical, dental, drugs, co-pays and supplemental insurance (including Part B Medicare costs).

Medical expenses

From the total medical expense there is a deduction similar to declaring medical expense to the IRS. Of the total declared expenses the following deduction (subtract from total medical figure) is made:

- Veteran alone - $495.

- Veteran w/spouse - $648.

- Veteran w/spouse and one additional dependent - $732.

- Veteran w/spouse and two additional dependents - $817.

And so on with additional dependents.

The balance would be deducted from income for net income considerations.

Assets considered

There are a number of other enrollment criteria that include assets of real estate other than primary residence, net worth and cash or investment (IRA) assets. VA health care eligibility and priority level (1-8) is determined when benefit and eligibility specialists enter the enrollment (1010EZ) or Means Test form (1010EZR) information in the computer.

This information should only be considered a general guideline. I encourage all veterans to come see me for a complete explanation of this information and assistance with enrollment and/or annual Means Test. I can save you a lot of time and trouble since I have computerized most of your veteran's information.

Share-A-Ride

Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is at 400 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite G, Durango, CO 81301 (next to Big 5 Sports). Phone number is 247-2214. Albuquerque VAMC phone number is (800) 465-8262.

Further information

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

 

Library News

Take advantage of neighboring libraries

By Nancy Cole

PREVIEW Columnist

In spite of the heat we had another successful summer reading program.

A huge thank you goes to Barbara Draper for all her hard work on the summer reading program. As always, she does a wonderful job and has lots of enthusiasm and ideas.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is here, and the library has our first copy available. We currently have one copy and the list of people who want to read it is growing daily. We hope to have more copies available soon, so let us know and we will put your name on the list.

Did you know if you visit the Durango library, you can apply for a bar code to put on your Sisson library card so you can check out books there?

You can return them to our Sisson mini library and we will send the books back to Durango. Bayfield's library will do the same, so don't overlook this additional resource while we are offering modified services. Remember, if you drop books off in Pagosa to go back to Durango or Bayfield, allow extra time or renew your books before sending them back to avoid any late penalties. Both Durango and Bayfield have wonderful libraries with books we may not have available, so check them out.

Books of interest

"Judgement Calls" is a new book by Alafair Burke, daughter of James Lee Burke. Several people have read this and have given it high recommendations. If you like a mystery you might want to try this new author.

John Sandford has another book out in his "prey" series called "Broken Prey." If you are a fan of this series or want to try a new author, it is available for checkout.

In nonfiction, we have a copy of "Farley, the life of Farley Mowat." This is a biographical look at the man who wrote 38 books that spotlight environmental and animal rights concerns. He is best noted for "Never Cry Wolf."

Another nonfiction book is "Reinventing the Enemy's Language," a book of contemporary Native women's writings in North America. This book is a collection of poetry, fiction, prayer and memoirs from Native American women.

Another book of interest is "I See by Your Outfit: becoming a cowboy a century too late," by Boulder columnist Clay Bonnyman Evans. A memoir of his days as a modern day cowboy, this book explores a young man who is attracted to the Marlboro Man persona and combines it with a coming-of-age story.

Donations

A big thank you to the following people for book donations: Margaret Rourke, Margaret May, Matthew Fackler, Carol Talamante in memory of Ben Talamante, Barbara L. Draper, Lynda Van Patter, Paul Matlock, Charlene Baumgardner, Jean Carson, Lori Moseley, Medora Bass, Carol Curtis, April Owens, Sam Matthews, Judy Clay, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Hart, Barbara Lindley, Jan Aarvold and Linda Patrick.

 

Arts Line

Exhibits, workshops on arts council calendar

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

This year's home and garden tour again featured beautiful homes and gardens in the Pagosa area.

Comments heard by attendees included "This is my favorite summer event;" "The selection of homes was fabulous;" "How wonderful for the arts council to sponsor this event."

A very special thank you goes out to the homeowners: Malcolm and Joan Rodger, Pat and Marge Alley, Bill and Carol Barrows, and Pat Jolliff for sharing their homes with us; and to Whispering Pines Townhomes and Brigitte Friesl for her garden. A very big thank you once again to Marti Capling, chairman, and Charlotte Overley, co-chairman, for their efforts in putting together this spectacular event. And thanks to the volunteers: Doris Green, Katie Deschler, Kayla Douglass, Carolyn Beach, Sara Scott, Cristina Woodall, Judy Horky, Barbara Mason, Joanna Allen and Jeanne Kaiser.

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.

Photo club exhibit

Seven members of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will exhibit their prints Aug. 4-31 at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council building. Club members who have committed to the exhibit are Scott Allen, Bruce Andersen, Jan Brookshier, Barbara Conkey, Al Olson, Jim Struck and Bill Woggon. Each participant will show up to three of their fine art prints.

The opening reception will be held Thursday, Aug. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. The week's delay for the opening is due to the opening reception for the PSAC annual Juried Art Show being held Aug. 4 at the Wild Spirit Art Gallery. Please join us to support fine art photography in Pagosa Springs.

Photo exhibit

Stop by the Town Park art gallery through Saturday 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.

Business of Fiction

The Business of Fiction workshop with Marcia K. Preston will offer an overview of the creative and the business side of writing fiction for publication.

Topics for discussion include techniques for plotting, writing dialogue and structuring scenes, as well as advice on marketing and publishing.

Preston grew up on a wheat farm in central Oklahoma, near a town not too different from the setting of her mystery series featuring Chantalene Morrell, daughter of a Gypsy mother and a redneck father. "Song of the Bones," the second title in the series, won the 2004 Mary Higgins Clark Award for suspense fiction and the Oklahoma Book Award in fiction. The first book in the series, "Perhaps She'll Die," was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and for Macavity and Barry awards in the Best First Mystery division. Marcia's first general fiction, "The Butterfly House," was released in January 2005 and has become popular with book clubs and reading groups. Her next novel, scheduled for release in April 2006, deals with the ripple effects of a heart transplant.

Since 1986, Marcia has edited and published ByLine, a monthly magazine for aspiring writers (www.bylinemag.com). As a freelancer, Marcia's work has appeared in a long list of national magazines, including Delta SKY, Southwest Art, Wildlife Art, Woman's Day, Flower and Garden, and Highways. She lives in Edmond with her husband, Paul, where they garden and dodge tornadoes. Marcia is the sister of Pagosa's own Jan Brookshier.

The workshop will be held 8:30 a.m. until noon Thursday, Aug. 18, at the community center. Cost of the workshop is $25. Call PSAC at 264-5020 to register now. Space is limited.

Calendar available

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.

Watercolor workshop

This adult workshop, Beginners II, builds on Beginners I - The Basics of Watercolor, and uses everything learned in those classes. It is taught by Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett,

In Beginners II we continue to work together to make it easy for students to create independently. We use all the materials from the previous class and just a few more things. Remember, watercolor is magic and fun.

Each morning, there will be lessons and exercises about shapes, composition and design, choosing subjects, further study about value and color, and more advanced techniques such as lifting, scraping, masking, glazing, working with sponges, salt, plastic wrap and waxed paper. Afternoons will be spent painting, using the morning's lessons.

The workshop is 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Aug. 10-12 at the community center. Cost is $130 for the three days, $123.50 for PSAC members. Bring your own lunch. Call 264-5020 to register.

Joye Moon workshop

Joye Moon will once again conduct a four-day watercolor workshop for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. She will 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 the 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.

Call for entries

Pagosa Springs is home to many woodworkers who design and construct a wide range of products including furniture, turned bowls, carvings, etc.

PSAC will again sponsor an exhibit where Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares. The Fine Woodworking Exhibit opens Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 31. PSAC is requesting applications from area woodworkers. Selection will emphasize a balance between art and craftsmanship.

For more information, contact the PSAC gallery at 264-5020, e-mail at PSAC@centurytel.net, or contact David Smith at 264-6647 or dsmith7@unl.edu.

PSAC events

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.

Aug. 4-31 - 2005 Juried Art Exhibit.

Aug. 10-12 - Beginner's II Watercolor Workshop with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., community center.

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. 12-14 - Intermediate Watercolor Workshop with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., community center.

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 psac@centurytel.net. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

Food for Thought

If you go to Pierre's, don't eat

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

In my trade, a person reads all the time.

I repeat: All the time.

I spend the greater part of at least six days a week reading - text displayed on a computer screen.

All too often the text is something I would never choose to read, though others might.

It is my work.

Often, when I find time to read something of my own choosing, I am too tired to do so - certainly too tired of reading, yet I forge ahead.

My personal home reading regimen consists of a mandatory minimum 30 minutes each night, before I sleep. What I end up perusing before snoozing is ameliorative fare - material designed to counteract what I have dealt with during the day: daytime, work-related reading often accompanied by the sound of grinding teeth, occasionally a puppylike whine.

I appreciate Milan Kundera just before bed. He works well as a balm. So do Nabokov, Wallace Stevens, Mencken.

This last week I've used a reread of Hunter Thompson's "Generation of Swine," snippets of James McManus' great work on murder and the phenomenon of all-in Texas Hold 'Em poker, "Positively Fifth Street," and Jacques Barzun's "From Dawn to Decadence" to add some balance to my mental life.

The other two places where I get some non work-related reading done are at the recreation center, while I ride the recumbent bike, and at the doctor's office waiting room.

I hit the bike several times a week, for a half hour or more, and reading is mandatory. Otherwise, I am stuck watching someone's rear end as they use the stair climber in front of me. Generally, this is not a pretty sight. Not always, mind you Š but generally.

I've been to the doctor's office twice in the last two weeks, giving me other chances to do some reading.

The first visit, I was there because I thought my nose was going to explode, rot and fall off. A major league Š thing Š was developing on the side of my nose, growing larger, darker and more painful by the day. At first I thought it was the mark left by the bite of the shifty and insidious Brown Recluse. Then I imagined it might be carcinoma of the nostril. I hustled to the doc. Jim gave me antibiotic ointment made from the slime found on a particular frog's skin and everything cleared up just dandy.

Less than a week later, I suddenly lost all hearing in my left ear. To me, this signaled either a stroke or crushed cilia (or whatever you call those little hairy things inside the ear), caused by years spent as a careless youth in the rock and roll business. Sitting night after night within four feet of a bank of Marshall amps has been known to do a bit of damage to hearing.

But, the problem was resolved when a nurse washed a huge blob of wax out of my ear and, Kazaam!, I could hear. Jim and Dan and I decided to give the thing a name: Little Karl. They assured me they would keep it at the office, nurture it, love it and raise it as their own. I will be allowed to visit now and then, if I am careful not to dent the little one's self-esteem.

Each office visit to the doctor I had to spend an incredibly long time in the waiting room.

What to do, but read.

Magazines.

Old magazines.

I was raised by a physician and I remember my father told me he had to take a class at Jefferson Medical College titled Waiting Room Literature 101. The course remains a premed requirement to this day, and budding doctors and doctorettes are schooled in the need to provide their patients reading materials that are at least three years old, on the premise it is soothing to read things you already know.

Imagine the shock to my system had the information I encountered last week in Jim's waiting room been up to date. According to what I read, our nation is considering going to war in Afghanistan, Ben and Jennifer are planning a wedding. ATT is a strong stock pick, the Democratic Party is working overtime to find an imposing candidate for the next presidential election.

Shock is not a good thing when you are waiting to see a doctor.

Not so with the reading material at the recreation center.

Oh, sure, the Smithsonian magazines are relatively ancient, and all the good photos have been torn out, but the rest of the reading material is brand-spanking new and in harmony with a poignant and ultimately futile quest for fitness and health.

My favorites are the women's health publications. It's a true hands-across-the-sea situation, a festival of irony: I pedal like a man possessed and study one article after another about how to deal with menopause with a strictly structured program of exercise and diet. I read about how to walk my way to fitness with my girlfriends from the office. I absorb the latest findings on the therapeutic value of endless, public confession.

If I tire of this fare, I switch to the yoga journals, stare at photos of people with their legs wrapped around their necks, read recipes that include grains no sane person would eat. They won't eat buckwheat groats in Belarus or Tanzania, but they're wolfing them down by the ton in Santa Barbara. And they are eating while they put their feet behind their heads!

I also enjoy a couple issues of a magazines touting "light" cuisine. I snag these before mounting Ol' Recumbo and I read recipes while I pedal. It is like entering another universe.

Who had the audacity to come up with "light" cheesecake? Is someone pulling my leg here?

A reduced calorie pot de crème? Blasphemy!

But, then, I stumble on an interesting recipe: wild mushrooms and creamed spinach. I read the columnist's fevered description of the dish - healthy, low cal, blah blah blah. I turn the page to scan ingredients and get a fix on methods.

Someone has torn the recipe out of the magazine!

Initially, I am disappointed. Then I am inspired when I realize I can take the basic form of the recipe and run with it. All the way to high-fat city. I hustle home and hit the Internet for additional ideas. I Google mushroom recipes and get - oh, I don't know - 55,000 options. It takes me a while to peruse the offerings.

One site is intriguing: It provides a chat room with comments concerning various attempts to cook with psilocybe mushrooms - the source of a psychedelic sledgehammer, psilocybin, that has reduced many a sturdy brain to mud. One chatter relates how, as the manager of a chain pizza restaurant, he whipped up an after-hours psilocybe pie. After the third slice, the keyboard of the cash register melted, a piece of pepperoni growled at the guy and he fled the restaurant, never to return.

This intrigues me. It brings to mind a pal of mine from college, Pierre, who attempted one too many times to introduce the noble but frightening fungus and its kin into his diet. If you knew Pierre, you never accepted food or drink from him unless you were prepped for an unstable interior adventure. Many were the times I left Pierre after watching him ingest a psilocybe and farm-fresh egg omelet, only to find him an hour or so later, a block or two away, on hands and knees on a sidewalk, talking to cigarette butts. In Armenian.

Pierre was a philosophy major.

Pierre tried another noteworthy food experiment, introducing the button of the peyote cactus into Tex-Mex cuisine. He was particularly proud of his salsa.

He continued to stretch the culinary boundaries when he procured a pound or two of the ugly cacti from a Boo Hoo in the Native American Church, ostensibly to hasten his enlightenment, and made a peyote tart. It was well done - with a perfect crust and a lovely, eggy but spiny filling. When no one would share a wedge, Pierre devoured the entire nasty thing himself. In one scorching moment, he understood Immanuel Kant and Martin Heidegger, and the next we heard from him he was fishing for lobster off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He was convinced he could learn to communicate telepathically with lobsters and convince the idiotic crustaceans to claw their way into his boat.

Didn't hear much from him after that.

Freed from my reverie, not wishing to engage psilocybe cuisine, I skipped around on the Google list and landed on another Web site, and hit pay dirt, funguswise.

I found an ad for the Morel Mushroom Festival in the Village of Muscoda, Wisconsin. (The fest is traditionally set for the weekend following Mother's Day, and will be held May 20 and 21, 2006. I intend to ask for a vacation next spring so I can attend).

Muscoda bills itself as "The Morel Mushroom Capital of Wisconsin" which leads one to believe there is potential to stir up a rivalry with some small burg in Minnesota.

The site provides interesting tidbits about Muscoda, including the fact it is home to metal sculptor Ellis Nelson. Ellis, it seems, is a retired auto mechanic who took up the torch and now produces lovely and increasingly abstract pieces reminiscent of dinosaurs, robots and things that fly about in the sky. Muscoda is very proud of Ellis.

And of the annual Lion's Club dart tournament, the St. Patrick's Day celebration at St. John's Catholic Church and the Wisconsin River Canoe Race. Apparently, there's never a dull moment in Muscoda.

And they are particularly proud of the morel.

My kind of mushroom - the remarkable morel.

We can get morels here, dried and at a royal price. Rehydrated, they are just peachy, and the liquid used to rehydrate them is a bonus, there for gravies, sauces, soups, etc.

Forget the morel when it comes to creamed spinach and mushrooms - simple buttons or cremini will do the trick here, sauteed and added to a creamy good spinach, kissed by a bit of fresh-ground nutmeg and fresh ground black pepper.

Nope, I see the morels used in a tribute to Pierre, in a variation of a recipe offered up by the good folks from Muscoda, Wisconsin. A tart, this time full of morels rather than mind-melting psilocybe.

Make your favorite short crust recipe and blind bake it at 425 in a parchment-lined tart pan. When done, reduce the heat to 300. If you are too lazy to make your own crust, purchase pie crust at the grocery.

Rehydrate, drain and dry 1 1/2 ounces dried morels. Take out a second mortgage on the house in order to buy the shrooms.

Saute about a quarter pound pancetta and a minced shallot, drain on paper towel. Saute the sliced morels in butter, When the fungus has given up its moisture, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, throw in the pancetta and shallot and add about a third of a pound of shredded Gruyere. Scald a couple cups of heavy cream and cool it down. Beat together three whole eggs and two yolks, temper with a bit of the warm cream, then add to the remainder of the cream.

Here's where the folks from Muscoda provide a nice touch. Sprinkle the tart shell with a couple tablespoons dry breadcrumbs, spread the mushroom mix on the crumbs, then ladle on the egg and cream mix. Bake at 300 until the egg mix is firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the tart in the oven until it is well set. Sprinkle the top with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, let the cheese melt, and serve. With a nice, cool, dry white.

And remember to count your lucky stars: If Pierre were your cook, you'd soon be speaking Armenian to a cigarette butt.

But, you would understand Immanuel Kant.

 

Extension Viewpoints

County agent wins national

Distinguished Service Award

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

July 28 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

July 29 - Rabbit Project meeting, 2 p.m.

July 30 - Fair Quilt entries and judging, 8 a.m.

Aug. 1 - Dog Obedience Project meeting. 4 p.m.

Aug. 3 - Rally Obedience Dog trials. 5 p.m.

Aug. 4 - Fair officially opens; check the Bill of Fair for exact times of events.

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

I , as your county extension agent, was recognized Thursday, July 21, by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents at its 90th Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference in Buffalo, N.Y. by receiving the Association's Distinguished Service Award.

The award is presented to the top 2 percent of the county agents from each state with more than 10 years service in the nation's Cooperative Extension Service. The selection is made by county agent peers in that state and endorsed by the state extension director. This year, 71 individuals from throughout the United States were presented the Distinguished Service Award.

Open Class exhibits

Have you been canning, painting, brewing wines, beers or spirits, baking, making crafts, snapping pictures, sewing, knitting or crocheting? What about occupying your time by building home furnishings, doing ceramics, growing flowers, plants, fruits or veggies? Have you cultivated field crops or completed needlework? Did you make any quilts to keep your toes warm this winter? Have you been working on merit badges for Boy or Girl Scouts?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then enter your item(s) in the Open Class exhibits for the Fair. You can pick up the Fair Rules and Regulations book around town or at the Extension Office. They even have it on-line this year at www.archuleta countyfair.com.

Read the rules and regs, bring your item to be registered 1-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3. No items will be registered on Thursday, however, due to freshness issues. Baked goods, field crops, fruits, vegetables and floriculture must be registered on Wednesday but brought in Thursday morning 7:30 -9 a.m. Set up and judging for Open Class will begin Thursday and available for viewing from 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

Chuckwagon dinner

Don't forget the 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner and Livestock Auction.

Join your fellow Archuleta County citizens for a good meal and great conversation at the annual event Aug. 6 at the County Fair. The planned menu includes: smoked beef brisket, Colorado-grown baked potatoes, cole slaw, dinner roll, and the classic summer dessert, strawberry shortcake. All that and a drink for only $8 for ages 13 and up and $6 for ages 12 and under.

Tickets can be purchased from any 4-H member, Chamber of Commerce, County Cooperative Extension Office, Shell station and the Activity Tent Saturday night at the Fair. So come out 4- 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 for an excellent time. Then stay for the excitement of the 4-H Livestock Auction starting 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in this year's auction as a buyer by registering at the livestock tent before or during the auction. Livestock animals can also be 'split' for purchasing. So you and your family or friends could get together and purchase some top-quality meat.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

PLPOA annual meeting set for Saturday

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Just one more week before the High Tri - our local triathlon. Some of you have trained for it, some are still training, and then there are others who will participate just for the fun of it, with very little preparation.

The High Tri, in its 13th year, follows a unique format of run, bike, swim (breaking away from the traditional swim, bike and run format). Because none of the open water in Pagosa Lakes is available to swimmers, we chose to use the indoor pool at the recreation center instead.

With an annual average of over 80 participants (last year we peaked at 93) and a four-lane, 25-yard pool, it made sense to put the swim last so the athletes have a chance to spread themselves out over the run and bike portions. This year's participation will not be as high, by design. Feedback from some local participants last year indicated a desire for a return to a small event.

The triathlon starts out from the recreation center with a seven-mile run on residential roads and forest trails. Then you transfer to a mountain bike for two loops of the same course - ending up at the recreation center where the final leg, a half-mile swim, takes place.

For information and help getting a team together, contact the center at 731-2051. You can compete as an individual or as a team. Course maps are also available at the center.

The single-track portion on the rim of Martinez Canyon is currently intermittently closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for wildfire fuel reduction work. Trail closures will be on an as-needed basis when work near the trail is taking place. The trail will be flagged and roped off during these times. Estimated completion date on this project is Aug. 5.

The PLPOA annual meeting will be held Saturday, July 30, at the Pagosa lakes Community Center on Port Avenue. Social hour and voting will begin at 9 a.m. with a prompt start of the meeting at 10 a.m.

Purpose of the annual meeting is to elect two property owners to the board of directors; vote on proposed amendments; hear reports from the board and its standing committees; and consider other business.

Property owners in good standing as shown on a voter list certified Tuesday, May 31 (60 days prior to the election), are encouraged to vote in person at the annual meeting, 9-10 a.m.

Please plan on attending your annual meeting - a meeting of property owners to voice their ideas and to give direction for the future planning of the association.

 

Obituaries

 

George Chenoweth

George Ellis Chenoweth, 90, died July 23, 2005 surrounded by his family at the Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.

George was born July 7, 1915, in Hinton, Okla., to George and Cora (King) Chenoweth. He was united in marriage to Frances Cox July 7, 1934, in Clinton, Okla. They lived in Hinton until his retirement in 1982.

George moved to Pagosa Springs, where he enjoyed fishing, hunting, snow skiing and looking at the beautiful mountains every day. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. They recently moved back to Hinton to be closer to his family. He will be remembered for many things but most of all as a loving son, brother, husband, father and grandpa. We will all miss him until we see him again.

George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Cora Chenoweth; two brothers, Earl and Raymond Chenoweth; sisters, Opal and Maude; and his beloved son, Charles Chenoweth.

He left behind his wife Frances Chenoweth of Hinton, Okla., with whom he recently celebrated 71 years of marriage; two sons, Billy George Chenoweth and his wife Evelyn of Oklahoma City, and Harold Ellis Chenoweth and his wife Molly of Hinton; his grandchildren, Pam Chenoweth Brewer and husband Brian of Oklahoma City, Craig Chenoweth and wife Carla of Hinton, Mike Chenoweth and wife Jenny of Houston, Texas, and Ramie Chenoweth and wife Tracy of Binger, Okla.; 11 great-grandchildren; one brother, Roy Chenoweth of Carnegie, Okla.; three sisters, Evelyn Felix of Bixby, Okla., Betty Kasperiet of Oklahoma City, and Ola Graham of Okeene, Okla.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins.

George will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Services were scheduled at 2 p.m. Tuesday in First United Methodist Church, Hinton, the Rev, Liz Tate officiating and burial will be in Hinton Cemetery.

 

Gary Reeves

Gary Reeves, 58, died at home in Pagosa Springs Thursday, July 21, after a long illness. Gary is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Pagosa Springs; son Gary Reeves, Jr., of Chino Valley, Ariz.; two daughters, Christine Burge of Payson, Ariz., and Darla Lawless of Whidbey Island, Wash.; two brothers, Richard Gun of Portland, Ore., and David Gun of Salt Lake City, Utah; sisters Debra Letner of Gilbert, Ariz., and Jana Gun of Glendale, Ariz.; grandchildren Tarara Burge, Ashlee Burge and Timmy Burge, all of Payson, Ariz.; Maci Reeves and Jordan Reeves of Chino Valley, Ariz., Haley Lawless and Thomas Lawless, both of Washington state. The family will hold a private memorial service.

 

Emma Lou Wright

Emma Lou Wright, 79, slipped from this life to Heaven's streets suddenly Wednesday, July 20, 2005, at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M.

She was born in Oilton, Okla., Oct. 5, 1925, but soon moved to Southern Colorado and was "good honest folk" who invested her entire life in family and friends.

She and husband, Harold, made Southern Colorado their home in communities of Pagosa Springs and Ignacio. Emma could have been a poster girl for the modern pioneer woman. Her "profession" was one she made for herself by her husband's side and one of motherhood.

She and Harold raised eight children to be good people. She marveled at all the changes she saw in the world around her and all the inventions she saw unfold during her lifetime. Some of her favorites were the modern kitchen (including the refrigerator) the telephone, television, electricity, modern medicine and the computer. She had a lifelong love for words as evidenced by the book she wrote for her family "The Old Farmer's Wife," and her collection of poetry.

Emma was a wife for over 54 years when her husband Harold was taken in an accident. She loved to cook and was one of the best cooks in the Southwest. She was a cook for the El Dorado Cafe in Ignacio for over 20 years and was famous for her cinnamon rolls.

Emma was preceded in death by her husband Harold, a son Jerry and her daughter, Brenda.

She is survived by her children John (Jen) Wright of Campbellsville, Ky., Dennis (Dottie) Wright of Arboles, Terrance (Verda) of Conifer, Kay Britton of Scottsbluff, Neb., Barbara (Sid) of Farmington, N.M, Mike Wright of Ignacio, and Benita Wright (Jeff) of Maple Valley, Wash. She is also survived by 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

They will always remember the smart, kind, thoughtful, sharp-witted and wonderful woman she was to the very end. Throughout her life she possessed a natural gift to bring out and see the best in her fellow man. To all who knew her she was simply irreplaceable and we will hold her gently in our hearts forever.

 

 Business News
Chamber News

Enjoy slower pace, prepare for fair

We've definitely had some hot weather these past couple weeks, and the recent rains have cooled the area off just a little.

The river running through the center of town looks like a water park and I don't think there was an empty rock to be had the other day as tubers, fishermen and viewers enjoyed the river activities. Here at the Chamber we smile at the squeals of delight we hear as people experience the cold water and the few, fast-flowing water areas. Just remember, it is the river and experienced and inexperienced swimmers should always show caution. Have fun, yet be safe with this town's enticing natural attraction.

I would like to thank the Chamber board of directors, the volunteers and the participants for making this year's membership car wash a fun, albeit hot, event. Believe it or not, we actually washed more visitor cars than member cars this year. It was fun, we met lots of new people and Pat Haney was the winner of the free yearly Chamber membership giveaway. Next year, don't forget to let us wash your car. It's just one of the little ways that we can say thank you to our members for your support. Besides, we all get to wear some pretty funky hats!

We will experience a slightly slower activity pace this week, but it is only to rest up for all the events that will be occurring with the Archuleta County Fair being held Aug. 4-7. Don't forget to stop by the Chamber and pick up your Old West Fest special passes. Tickets are $10 and allow you preferred seating, admission to the concert by The Hot Strings and lots of action provided by the Wild West performers.

For anyone that thinks they would like to settle a score with me, the Fair is also your opportunity. I will be in the dunking booth on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 p.m. But just wait; I may have something in store for anyone who dunks me!

Chimney Rock program

There are Chimney Rock full moon programs and then there are the lunar standstill programs.

The first of these special programs will be held Sunday, July 31. Gates open at 1 a.m. and close at 1:30 a.m. and the program will last about 2-2 1/2 hours. Experience and photograph the full moon rising between the two stone pillars. Attempt to find out more about why these ancestral people built the Great House atop Chimney Rock's high mesa.

Tickets are $50 and can be obtained by calling 264-2287. No children under 12 will be admitted and proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the Native Puebloan involvement at this event and site. Who knows if you will be around in another 18.6 years to experience this phenomenon? Get out there this year and partake of a major astro-archeological event.

Music in the Mountains

The last in the series of Music in the Mountains concerts will take place at BootJack Ranch Friday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m.

Antonio Pompa-Baldi will wield his piano mastery on the audience, and he will join forces with three other accomplished pianists during the concert.

There are still tickets available; however, they are selling at a steady pace. Don't wait until the last day to try and purchase tickets. Stop by the Chamber where we can reserve your ticket.

While at the concert, remember there will be light food and desserts available for sale as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. These concerts have been such a coup for Pagosa to secure and I can't wait until next season to see who will enthrall us with their musical gifts.

Special thanks to Jan Clinkenbeard for all her hard work in making this concert series happen. She has a wonderful advisory board and great volunteer staff, but it is Jan who spends endless hours of her time ensuring that this concert series works flawlessly. Her attention to detail enhances the attendees' experience and we are lucky to have this dedication in our community. Come out for this last concert and experience Music in Our Mountains.

New members

and renewals

I want to start off this section by passing on information about the Grand Opening Gala at Wild Spirit Gallery Friday, July 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you haven't been by this newly-remodeled building (where Classic Stoves used to be), you are missing a real treat. Join them in their celebration as they show off the renovation, the great artists and the opening of the gallery. Come out and see the talent of the artists and the talent of the gallery design team. You will be impressed.

Two new members and seven renewals are the talk of the memberships this week.

First off, if you are in need of a wedding or specialty cake or need some desserts for a party, then give Cakes & Company a call. Sheri Peed is the creative genius behind this business. Creative designs that also taste great are what Sheri strives to deliver. She makes cakes, cobblers, crisps, cupcakes, cookies and more. She is also available to help cook, serve or get ready for that party or company where you need to be a hostess and not bogged down by the "rest" of the party details. Give her a call at 264-2806 for more information on her sweet creation services.

Searching for insurance or a legal plan? Give new member Paul Matlock a call at 731-0237. Paul has years of insurance experience and he specializes in ranch, life and disability insurance. He is now also offering prepaid legal plans and identity theft protection plans. With identity theft unfortunately becoming more common these days, this is something that you may want to check out. You never think that it will happen to you, but Š So give Paul a call for the rundown on his coverage opportunities.

Starting off the renewals this week is our landmark lodging facility, the San Juan Motel.

Gracing the cover photo for our Pagosa Springs brochure for years is the work of Jan Brookshier and she renews with her photography and framing business.

We welcome back some of Pagosa's most involved citizens, David and Charlotte Overley. They're quietly involved in the community but you'll see them everywhere. We appreciate the associate membership renewal of this couple. Charlotte is also a volunteer Diplomat here at the Chamber. Thank you for all your volunteerism and your support.

Close to town, quaint and cozy we welcome back Rock House Haven.

An associate member renewal affiliated with Coldwell Banker, the Pagosa Group, is Al Baird. We welcome him back.

Our only out-of-town member this week is our neighbor to the south, the Chama Courier newspaper.

The last, but certainly not the least renewal, is the insurance company of Vega Insurance & Financial.

 

Biz Beat

Wild Spirit Gallery

Jean Magnelli manages Wild Spirit Gallery, located at 480 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The new Wild Spirit Gallery has just opened across the street from the county courthouse. This premiere gallery exhibits artists' original paintings, limited edition etchings and sculptures.

The gallery currently features 27 artists, both locally and nationally known, in a celebration of the fine art of the West.

In a newly renovated building, Wild Spirit offers a serene environment in which to view the exceptional talent available. Please welcome this fine addition to Pagosa Springs.

Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 264-9453.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
Wrestlers

On behalf of the Pagosa Springs Wrestling Club, thank you to all who supported our dance and auction last Friday night.

The funds raised are all spent on Pagosa Springs youth, providing them with opportunities to broaden their horizons and enabling them to compete with other youth from around the country. Over the past years, numerous athletes from Pagosa have been able to compete in national events and earn collegiate scholarships, thanks to your generous donations of time and money. We appreciate your support.

Hope you had a good time.

Sincerely,

Dan Janowsky

 Name misspelled

On our thank you from last week it should have read Boothill/Pet Parlor not Pete Parlor. I would also like to apologize to one of our longtime sponsors, The Pagosa Springs SUN, for omitting its name.

Julian Archuleta

American Legion Post 108

 CARE

On behalf of CARE Board Members and our families, we sincerely thank all who helped make CARE's International Tea and Fashion Show Fund-raiser a success.

Thank you for your creative minds, hard-working hands, tireless spirits and selfless giving. Together we raised over $10,000. These funds will be used to bless children with forever families.

God bless you for your generosity!

The CARE board: Cheryl Class-Erickson, Lisa Hauger, Anita Hinger, Robbie Parker, Ellen Schmidt

 Willingham

I would like to say thank you to all my friends and family who came to my support in my time of need. All the cards, gifts, flowers, food and trips to the hospital gave me such pleasure and hope for my recovery.

Thanks to God and all those who have been praying for my health and recovery. Thank you. I would also like to give a special thanks to my wonderful husband, Jim Willingham. I love you.

God bless you all.

Lala Willingham

 Pagosa Baseball

On behalf of the kids of Pagosa Springs, a huge thank you to our sponsors that made our summer baseball program a great success. In addition to the many hours of baseball we played this summer, we also were extremely fortunate to host one of the best teachers in the college ranks, Scott Crampton, and his pitching coach, Donnie Alexander, in a camp that was attended by over 60 area baseball hopefuls.

Special thanks to Nerissa Whitttington of the Springs Resort, Marlene Jorgensen of the Pagosa Lodge, the folks at the Bear Creek Saloon, Higher Grounds Coffee, and The Getaway for their generous support of the coaches' stay while in Pagosa. We just received a thank you from the coaches and their families for the generous hospitality they received and great time they had in Pagosa Country.

Please look for our full-page ad published again this year in the high-school football program, acknowledging the full slate of supporters of summer baseball. Please take the time to thank them for their support — they make Pagosa Springs a better place for our kids.

Pagosa Baseball

 Dental success

A special thank you to the many dentists in southwest Colorado who have once again made our Old Age Pension Dental Program a success. They have donated time and reduced their fees, making it possible for many seniors to receive dentures and dental care otherwise unaffordable.

For the grant year ending June 30, 2005, 37 seniors received financial assistance through the award of $15,000 received by the Area Agency on Aging. The following Pagosa Springs dentists participating in the program this past year: Glenn Rutherford and Gerlinde Ehni.

For information regarding the dental program, call the Area Agency on Aging, 259-1067 in Durango.

 

Sports Page

Two pairs card top scores in Chili Pepper event

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The annual Chili Pepper Challenge women's golf tournament lived up to its title this year; the weather and the very competitive field were hot, hot, hot!

The invitational was hosted July 19 by the Hillcrest Club in Durango with 118 participants from the Four Corners area playing the par 71 course as twosomes in a best ball gross and net format.

Pacing entries from the Pagosa Women's Golf Association were Lynne Allison and Audrey Johnson who garnered second-place gross in the first flight with an 85. Carole Howard and Jody Lawrence placed in a two-way tie for third net in the third flight with a 59.

Other participants from Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Jane Stewart, Jane Day, Julie Pressley, Sue Martin, Carie Weisz, Sally Bish and Nancy Chitwood.

The association featured a "throw out all par 5s" format for its league day July 19.

The ladies played the Pinon-Ponderosa course with a par 71 rating. At the end of each round, each player deducted the total from the three par 5 holes and her full handicap for her aggregate score.

Cherry O'Donnell and Claudia Johnson tied for first place, each with a 49; there was a three-way tie for third among Loretta Campuzano, Josie Hummel and Sheila Rogers, all with 53.

Photos used with women's golf coverage last week were courtesy Jack Threet.

 

Pagosa couples fire key rounds in invitational

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Six Pagosa golfers played in the annual Western Roundup Couples Invitational tournament hosted by San Juan Country Club in Farmington, N.M., July 16-17. The meet featured 53 teams from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, with couples playing a best ball format the first day and an alternate shot format the second day.

Sally and Tom Bish placed third net in the second flight with a 127 (par for the course for each day was 71). Tom also won the closest to the pin special event the first day on the par 3 eighth hole.

Barbara and Ranza Boggess (nee Sanborn) tied for third gross in the third flight with a 166. Both also won closest to the pin events the first day on the par 3 fourth and eighth holes respectively.

Carrie and Dallas Weisz were second net in the fourth flight with a 125.

Other Pagosans included in the invitational were Sue Martin, Rich Broom, Leslie and Jim Fluharty, and Katy and Mike Giordano.

 

Women's team holding 2nd in league

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Team and Pagosa Golf Club hosted team play for the eight teams in the Southwest League July 21.

Pagosa garnered 39.5 points against San Juan Country Club, with several closely contested matches.

Representing Pagosa were Jane Stewart, Barbara Sanborn, Lynne Allison, Marilyn Smart, Jane Day, Carrie Weisz, Loretta Campuzano and Josie Hummel.

Sanborn, team captain , said she "is very pleased with team's performance and great team spirit, although there are some very challenging matches and courses to -play the remainder of the season.

The Pagosa team currently stands alone in second place in the league with the next match Aug. 18 at Dalton Ranch in Durango.

 

Major League Soccer camp returns to Pagosa

Pagosa Sting Soccer Club presents the eighth year of MLS Camps, Aug. 8-12 at the high school soccer fields.

There are several divisions available as part of the program:

- Recreational, 5-6 years old, 9 -10:30 a.m., $74.

- Recreational, 7-11 years old, 9 a.m.-noon, $114.

- Competitive, 12-18 years old, 5-8 p.m., $114.

- Extended day: team training. Minimum of 10 participants per team, 10 years and older, 9 a.m.-noon and 5-8 p.m., $154.

Shinguards are mandatory for all MLS camps programs.

Coaches are British certified, licensed, first-aid certified and trained in the MLS Camps Kidriculum.

All campers receive a ball and T-shirt, a program evaluation and a free companion ticket to a Colorado Rapids game. An MLS Camps Stadium Graduation will be held at Invesco Field in Denver in late August.

Registration deadline is July 26 (call after for availability). Checks should be made payable to Pagosa Springs Soccer Club and sent to 123 Cascade, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

For more information, call Lindsey Kurt-Mason, 731-2458.

 

Bobby Unser to visit Archuleta County

Fair derby

By Marti Gallo

Special to The SUN

Bobby Unser will visit Pagosa Springs from his home in Albuquerque Aug. 5 to make a special appearance at the Archuleta County Demolition Derby where he will start the action.

Unser, a three-time Indy 500 winner and two-time Indy Car World Series champion, has been the featured Indy Car race analyst/commentator for ABC for roughly a decade.

With 35 overall Indy Car victories, Unser was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994 and is two-time winner of the International Race of Champions (IROC) as well as a 14-time Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner.

It is anticipated that Unser will spend a few minutes in the derby pit area with drivers before heading to the podium to signal the start of the action with a "drivers, start your engines" announcement.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

For youngest athletes, its effort that counts

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Is winning the most important aspect of youth sports?

The answer to this question depends upon who is answering.

For the young athletes the answer is usually "Not very." According to a poll conducted by the AAU, when kids aged 10 to 18 years were asked why they participated in sports, "to win" was not among the top 10 reasons for girls and was only seventh on the list for boys. Moreover, when these same young people were asked what they would change about sports, "less emphasis on winning" made the top 10 on the list for both genders. Attitudes about the importance of winning change with the athletes' ages. Many young athletes say that they would rather "play" on a losing team than "sit the bench" on a winning team.

Here in Pagosa Springs we emphasize participation over competition in the rules for contests and the guidelines we prepare for coaches. For our youth sports, our rules require equal amounts of playing time for all, while discouraging keeping scores or records in our younger age divisions.

The number of programs taking this approach around the country seems to be growing. However, even as we refuse to keep game scores or win-loss records, somehow most adults (coaches and parents) know exactly what the results are. For them, winning in youth games is important which, over time, develops into "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," as legendary football coach Vince Lombardi is supposed to have observed.

The way out of this narrow view of winning in youth sports may lie in what Coach Lombardi actually said: "Winning isn't everything, but striving to win is." Vern Seefeldt, director of the Youth Sports Institute, reinforced this point when he observed, "Striving to win is the essence of sports. By placing the emphasis on the athletes and their effort, winning is redefined in such a way that it comes within the reach of all."

The proper questions for adults to ask are not "Did you win?" or "How many points did you score?" Rather, coaches and parents should want to know "Did you give your best effort?" or "Did you do something better than you previously could?" Young athletes often can answer "Yes" to these questions, no matter what is on the scoreboard.

The result of defining "winning" in terms of effort rather than outcome is to make youth sports more humane, meaningful, satisfying and enjoyable. Striving to win and giving one's best effort are objectives that every administrator, coach, player, parent or adult can, and should, support.

Reference: AAU and Institute of Youth Sports Study

Baseball All-Stars

Pagosa Springs' Youth Baseball 11-12 All-Stars captured the runner-up trophy at the Monte Vista Regional All-Star Tournament July 21-22.

"All of the players contributed to the success of the weekend tournament" said co-coach Cliff Lucero. "The team represented the town of Pagosa Springs with great pride and determination. It was a great experience for all."

Pagosa Springs took an undefeated record to the championship round at Monte Vista before losing a double elimination game to eventual regional champion Monte Vista. The 2005 11-12 All-Star team included Michael Gallegos, Zach Lucero, Nathan Keyawa, Ricky Belarde, K.C. Lord, Gabe Lister, Tanner Vrazel, Kain Lucero, Dakota Miller, Liam Frey, Trace Maltsberger, Daniel Puskas and Waylon Sutton. The team was coached by Scott Miller and Cliff Lucero.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer signups are continuing through tomorrow. 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 shorter daylight hours. Pick up applications at the Town Hall 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 group of 13/14s if there is interest. Call the recreation department with any questions at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Soccer clinics/ assessments

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will hold a youth soccer mini-clinic and assessment for players 5 -12 years old Saturday, July 30, at the elementary school fields. All clinics and assessments are free.

Times are as follows:

- Mini Clinic: 5/6 and 7/8 from 9 to 11 a.m.

- Assessments: 9/10 from noon to 1 p.m.; 11/12 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m.

Coaches needed

Coaches for all age groups are needed for the 2005 soccer season. No previous experience necessary - we will guide you through the process. Contact me at 264-4151 if interested.

Adult soccer

Anyone interested in playing coed adult soccer should go the soccer field adjacent to the Pagosa Springs High School Football stadium every Tuesday 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.

Adult volleyball

Those interested in playing four-person coed adult indoor volleyball should attend a 6 p.m. informational meeting Thursday, Aug. 18, at Town Hall.

Sports hotline

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

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

 

Editorial

Create opportunity

Recent departures of county personnel continue an exodus that began some time ago. We note many of the departures are probably for the best - for those who leave and for the organization. There is no personal satisfaction in remaining in a job that does not satisfy more than basic economic needs, and disgruntled employees are of little value to an organization.

One departure lamented by us is that of Kathy Holthus, the interim county administrator. She has been at the center of the county process for years, through many regimes; her value is inestimable. She is, above all else, a repository of knowledge about county business; she knows the history of county issues better than anyone and knows the people involved in county government as well as anyone. She is smart, she is principled and, absent handcuffs, able to steer the ship. She should have been given the opportunity to ascend to the county administrator's position with the freedom to do the job in the best way she knew how. It did not happen and her departure is our collective loss.

Another interim administrator has been hired, one with experience and suitable skills. We wish him all the luck in the world. He will need it. The county faces enormous obstacles. This is not to say the job can't be done well - it can. But success will require levels of cooperation and unanimity not seen lately in county government.

What else can be done to improve chances we'll deal effectively with our problems? One thing on the table is a move to explore the concept of county Home Rule government.

There are those who believe the current system of government is sufficient. Some supporters of the current form of government also urge current elected officials to resign and be replaced by their political party. Others urge recall of commissioners. Neither approach is positive in nature and both smack of a degree of disdain for the democratic process that put the current commission into place. Some of the individuals who tout resignation should remember their wisdom was not effective when it came time to pick candidates for the last election as well as remember no one in this county elected a party committee to act as surrogate commissioners.

We believe efforts such as the current move to explore Home Rule are viable, at least as far as bringing the matter to an election. The election would give voters a chance to first decide whether a Home Rule Commission will be formed to write a draft charter and, second, to pick 11 members to sit on that commission.

Is a restructuring of county government under Home Rule a reasonable option? Do we want to redistrict and add members to the county commission? Do we want to elect our sheriff, treasurer, clerk and recorder, assessor? The only way to know is to approve and form a commission so we can consider a draft charter, so we have the choice. We may approve, we may not. The debate itself will clarify many things that are now murky. At this point, we should create the opportunity

The group seeking to create a commission in November is holding information meetings and, more important, is circulating petitions to be presented to the county commissioners asking for a vote. They need 435 valid signatures - 5 percent of the county's registered voters. If you meet someone circulating a petition and you are registered to vote in Archuleta County, sign the petition. You are not signing in favor of Home Rule or any aspect of a Home Rule government. You are signaling your willingness to think openly about government and to consider options. We are at an exciting time in this county's history - an unsettled and sometimes maddening time. Options are what we need.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Sleep, what's that alien idea?

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

We have a new male cat on the prowl in our neighborhood and our own feline favorite is none too happy about it.

When the newcomer strolls, somehow easily getting through the fence, into the yard, there must be a mutual scent society nearby.

Unfortunately, the visits are nocturnal, very nocturnal - like 2 or 3 a.m., and they give rise to some of the most unsophisticated sounds you've ever heard.

Inside, Sweetie Pie leaps into the front window and begins slapping at the glass in a none-too-subtle "Get out of here you interloper!" stance.

Outside come howls, inside growls.

Most of those coming from the adults who have by now been awakened and probably will not be able to go back to sleep.

It is another night in Sleepy Hollow.

Oh, sure, at just about 12:15 a.m., almost like clockwork, the supercharged mobile boom box will come through the area two or three times. If you were almost back to sleep after that, the cats will take care of the rest of the night.

Indeed, watching the Tour de France with its early morning broadcasts became much easier in our neighborhood where Lance Armstrong soon raised a proud Pagosa following of early risers - or those who were never able to get to sleep.

You didn't have to have an alarm set ... just roll over a couple of times and there appeared on the screen the vast grandeur of the French countryside. Not to mention the streaker who got air time for a few seconds before otherwise sharp coverage realized what was happening.

Correctly, at least on the initial broadcast I saw, the commentators made absolutely no reference to the incident.

Ah yes, Pagosa where the sound of crickets can send you searching in a zillion places because they all sound like they're right in the house. The same Pagosa where birds line the trees as far as you can see around 7 a.m. and then descend on the area with a collective chatter as the designated human comes to the feeder with the daily ration of food - another "you've got to care for our fine feathered friends program that grew right out of all realistic expectation."

It is the same Pagosa that can give you 90-degree temperatures by noon, a couple of ominous thundershowers and suddenly cool breezes for a glorious evening on the porch - if you can find it under the grasshoppers.

I remember as a child searching the hoppers down and forcing them into a tobacco can with holes poked in the top to use as fish bait. My mother was happy to see them gone because they were destroying her plants.

They must have a strong union, because now they're considered live bait and too tempting for our fish to have to deal with.

And so they gobble on rhubarb leaves, attack the flowers surrounding the porch, and, in general, have taken over outside - except for the cats - and one very brave skunk.

This guy must have been cast as Pepé Le Pew, cause he has all the moves. You always know he's been there, but you can't see him.

Oh well, goodnight from the Pagosa Sleepless Society.

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from The Pagosa Springs SUN files of July 30, 1915

The proper authorities, whoever they are, had better uncouple themselves from that hookworm and visualize a few of the holes in our rotten sidewalks, and, if the attractions within the cement pavement district will permit, have some cracker-box pieces nailed over them.

The Archuleta notch on Pagosa Street is popular as a source of physical exercise - nobody but an acrobat can get out after falling in.

Pagosa Springs real estate will never be lower in price than right now. Good time to get in before the whistle blows north of town.

The new Grant Shields sawmill is now being erected up the river near the steel bridge. He has a two-year set and will begin sawing next week.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 1, 1930

Mrs. Wm. Mullins, the only gold star mother in Archuleta County who will make the pilgrimage to France as a guest of the United States, will leave Pagosa Springs on Friday, August 22nd, for New York, from which city she will sail on the 27th. She will be accompanied by Mrs. Sheets of Durango, La Plata County's representative.

Hon. Chas. F. Rumbaugh departed Saturday for Colorado Springs to attend the Democratic state assembly, following which he continued to Denver to attend a convention of theatre owners of Colorado.

Irvin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Pet Crowley of Chromo, sustained a broken leg Saturday afternoon when he fell from a hay derrick.

 50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 28, 1955

Swimming lessons are underway at the Spa. The children of the community are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn and a large attendance is present at each lesson. The people responsible, the instructors, Dr. Thompson and Mr. and Mrs. Giordano certainly deserve a vote of thanks for making the lessons possible. It will do you good to go over at lesson time and see what a little cooperation, some public spirit and the skill of the instructors accomplish.

While the rain this week has brought much needed moisture, it is doubtful how many ranchers welcome it at this particular time with a lot of hay down. Anyhow it sure dampened things down. Lightning hit one of the REA power substations, causing an outage in parts of town.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 31, 1980

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center board of directors will soon be presenting a proposal to the county commissioners of Archuleta, Hinsdale and Mineral counties to form a hospital district. They said, however, that this is not a proposal to build a hospital, but rather to establish a district that could have a medical facility that is licensed by the state. Use at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center has increased drastically in recent months, especially the use requiring emergency type treatment when there are a number of people involved. Too, the present facility does need more room for office space, examining rooms, and is in the same position because of the rapid growth as other facilities in the area.

 

Features

Going for the Gold

One of Pagosa's best of the best

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You can call this young woman an achiever, the kind communities like to single out as the best of their best.

Or, maybe you should make that overachiever, one who tackles a problem and does better than could reasonably be expected.

And one of these days, based on the outpouring of letters and cards of congratulation, you might logically be excused for calling her a name-dropper, too.

Who is this new element of Pagosa Pride and why all the hullabaloo?

She's Randi Pierce, daughter of Shari and Buck Pierce of Pagosa, and right now a midterm sophomore at Ft. Lewis College in Durango.

Her achievement, and it was no easy task, was to be named for Girl Scouting's Gold Award, the organization's highest and most prestigious honor. Our research indicates she may be the first Pagosan ever to receive the award for a local project.

She was a member of Troop 5098, a member of the Chaparral Council home-based in Albuquerque.

The Gold Award honors girls who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to their communities and outstanding dedication to achievement. Pierce was one of four Chapparal members cited.

To receive the Gold Award, a Senior Girl Scout must earn seven other recognitions and carry out a project which requires at least 50 hours of work.

For Randi, that was no problem.

Always interested in biology and science, when the opportunity to help with the planned Pagosa Springs Wetlands arose, she jumped at the chance.

She learned that trails were being planned in the wetlands; however, water level measurements and observations of wildlife had to take place to determine the best places to build the trail and place signs.

She was put in charge of making water gauge readings each week and recording the information for Town of Pagosa Springs officials.

She checked groundwater levels, checked all bodies of water for mosquitoes, noted any deer, frogs, nests, snakes and other wildlife and reported her findings to the town.

As the project progressed, Randi wanted to help build the trails through the wetlands, but the town had already hired an engineering firm to complete that portion of the project.

Undaunted, she decided to create signs to be placed along the trail to increase awareness of the unique qualities of the wetlands, the wildlife in the area, plant life and the San Juan River Restoration Project, as well as provide a map and rules for visitors to the wetlands.

She researched signs at other nature centers, worked diligently on the appropriate wording, and took photographs to be used for the signs.

The signs she created will be posted along the trail as it is built.

The Gold Award reports, in part, "She used leadership skills, including communication, decision-making, initiative, persistence and more" to complete her project.

Randi enjoys photography (with many awards to her credit), scrapbooking and quilting in her spare time.

She currently volunteers with a multicultural club, her church, helping less fortunate families, and is a regular participant in Relay for Life.

But what about all those names we hinted at? The names of those who sent letters and cards?

Well, how about George and Laura Bush for openers? Or maybe Vice President Dick Cheney? New Mexico U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson's in the list, too.

Maybe you'd prefer New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, or New Mexico U.S. Sen. Peter Domenici.

Not enough? How about Gale A. Norton, U.S. Secretary of the Interior or New Mexico U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman?

Included in the list, too, are a number of U.S. military organizations, headed by none other than Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. There also are many mayors from throughout the council including Mayor Ross Aragon of Pagosa Springs.

These are the types of young people every community hopes to have a chance to write about.

Ours is one of the lucky ones.

 

New students

can register at PSHS

Aug. 15-16

Any new students who have not registered for the 2005-2006 school year at Pagosa Springs High School can do so 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 15 or 16.

Registration is done on an appointment basis. At the time of registration a student will also receive a class schedule. Reserve your time-slot by calling the high school secretary at 264-2231, any time after Aug. 3.

You must have your immunization records to begin school and previous academic records would be helpful.

Study group to hold final Pagosa meeting

The local San Juan Public Lands Community Study Group will hold a wrap-up meeting in August. The final meeting will cover:

- a discussion as to how study group input will be used in the Plan Revision and the next steps in the Revision process;

- a comprehensive look at preliminary management theme ideas for each Forest Service Ranger District and BLM Field Office; and

- future opportunities for public input as the plan is being drafted.

Anyone who has participated in any of the earlier meetings is encouraged to come to the meeting, which will be held 7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2, in the Pagosa Springs Junior High Library.

Participants in the Community Study Group process have been meeting since January to help the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management identify issues to be studied in a joint long-term planning effort.

Meetings are facilitated by the Fort Lewis College Office of Community Services, with USFS and BLM staff on hand to offer information about specific landscapes and management issues.

The two federal agencies work together in southwestern Colorado to jointly manage 2.5 million acres of National Forest and BLM lands. The joint planning process will produce plans to guide management of these public lands for the next 10 to 15 years.

Pagosa's Past

Mail in short supply at new Fort Lewis

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Mail, or the lack thereof, was a major gripe when the frontier Army established Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs in 1878.

"A person might as well be in Alaska as at Fort Lewis as far as any benefits from the public press are concerned," complained the newly arrived commander, Capt. Dodge. Dodge would later receive a Congressional Medal of Honor for his part while commanding Co. "D", 9th Cavalry during the September 1879 Meeker Massacre, politically more correctly known as the Milk River Indian War.

In a March 4, 1879, letter to the Postmaster General of the United States, Dodge reported, among other things:

"I am informed by two gentlemen whom I know to be reliable that in January last when passing through Ojo Caliente they saw a large amount of mail which had accumulated in that office. One of them was allowed to look it over and take out letters addressed to himself and friend. They report that the business of the office was conducted in a loose manner, registered letters receiving no more attention than newspapers, and all of the mail stored in such a manner as to be easily pilfered. I should have made an earlier report of this matter, had I not been informed that the postmaster of Ojo Caliente had changed as well as the contractor over the route, and hoped for some improvement.

"I am told that the mail sometimes comes through in ordinary grain sacks, and I have deemed it necessary to send a courier with a letter to Santa Fe (Fort Marcy ... Motter), because of the uncertainty attendant on its delivery by the mail.

"In conclusion, I would make the suggestion that the contractor be required to carry the mail in buckboards or some light vehicle, and not on horseback as is now customary. We might then hope to get what belongs to us, and there is also a possibility that we might get it on time, something as yet almost unknown."

(Motter - Every time I consider the mail and supplies coming to Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs through Ojo Caliente, I wonder at the route used in those days. Did the route go from Ojo Caliente, in New Mexico, to Abiquiu and then north to Pagosa Springs, or did they take the winding mountain road from Ojo Caliente to Canjilon and on to Pagosa Springs? I have driven the existing route through Canjilon and, while it is very scenic, it would be extremely challenging during bad weather. Several times I have made a mental note to research the route, but never get around to it.)

Meanwhile, the problem of obtaining feed for horses was dealt with in the following fashion: During December 1878, the horses were sent to Animas City; on Feb. 5, 1879, the horses were sent to Fort Garland, and on April 16, 1879, Dodge asked for his horses back so he could train "new recruits who have arrived here." He had enough hay and the spring grass was growing. On the same date he reported the following inventory of transportation at Fort Lewis. The count did not include Co. "D's" horses, still at Fort Garland.

"No. of mules 35, 2 unserviceable; No. of horses 4, one unserviceable; Army wagons 6, one unserviceable; ambulances 1, unserviceable; carts 1, unserviceable; sets of ambulance harness and wheels 2; wheel, 16; and lead 2."

Finally, Dodge sent to John Peterson, keeper of sleeping quarters on the Piedra River between Pagosa and Animas City, a check for $10 to cover board for Col. Edward Hatch, commander of the 9th Cavalry and commissioner to the Ute Indians.

Weather
 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

7/20

93

50

-

-

-

7/21

90

51

R

.03

.03

7/22

88

48

-

-

-

7/23

85

54

R

.08

.08

7/24

81

49

-

-

-

7/25

74

52

R

.75

.75

7/26

80

52

R

.02

.02

Put away the boat and head for the weed patch

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

So, your lawn's getting tall and the mower, you're sure, won't go through it.

You asked for it.

Rain, and then some more rain, and a little more before the spigot halted the precipitation for the last week just short of an inch - .88-inch in fact.

It also made the weeds grow at an alarming rate, and brought out more grasshoppers than seen around these parts in many years of drought.

But, down to the basics. How much rain did we get when? Is there more on the way?

The largest rainfall the past week was three quarters of an inch on Monday, when it started about 6:15 p.m. and continued off and on through the night.

Earlier, three hundredths of an inch fell July 21 and eight hundredths July 23. A skimpy two hundredths of an inch followed July 26 - and, according to forecasters, may have ended the wet spell temporarily.

All that rain was accompanied by only the second official 90-plus degree day of the month, a 90.3 reading July 21. The next warmest was the following day when the temperature topped out at 88, That same date recorded the lowest overnight temperature of the week, 48.3 at 6:30 a.m.

Looking ahead?

The rest of this week and early next week would be good times to get yard work done.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction see little chance for more precipitation in the days leading up to the Archuleta County Fair, but cut off their forecasts with Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Today, for example, the high should be near 87 under mostly sunny skies. Tonight should be clear with a low of 51.

Friday will be mostly sunny with a high of 86; Friday night partly cloudy with a low of 48.

The partly cloudy, without reference to precipitation, holds through the rest of the forecast period.

Saturday will add a high of 86 and low of 49 to the forecast; Sunday a high of 86 and a low of 48; Monday, a high of 86 and a low of 51; and Tuesday, a high of 84.

Navajo Reservoir elevation stood Wednesday at 6,076.14 feet. Inflow was measured at 713 cubic feet per second; outflow at 504 cfs. Content of the lake which is collector for all county rivers, stood Wednesday at 1,568,050 acre feet.