August 4, 2005
Front Page

4-2 vote kills big box law: 'Not our role'

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Efforts to pass an ordinance regulating large scale retail development in the town of Pagosa Springs failed during Tuesday's regular town council session.

The ordinance, as drafted, was the product of a year-long study and numerous negotiations, and a crowd of concerned residents packed the council's meeting room to hear the much-anticipated decision.

Many in the crowd came prepared to voice their concerns, but Pagosa Springs Mayor, Ross Aragon, promptly shut them down and extinguished their hopes of adding more input to the debate.

"There will be no public comment taken during this first reading," Aragon said. And Aragon went directly into taking input on the ordinance from town council members.

Council member Darrel Cotton reiterated his position that it is not local government's role to attempt to regulate commerce. He said he would support regulating design criteria but did not think square-footage caps are the answer.

The ordinance, as written for Tuesday's session, would have divided the town into two retail zones with square-footage limits specified for general retail and grocery establishments within each zone. The ordinance as crafted, would have allowed for "mid-box" retail businesses, and made provisions for projects that did not greatly exceed the specified square-footage limits in the proposal. According to the ordinance, retail development with square footage on the scale of Home Depot or a super Wal-Mart could not have been approved.

Following Cotton, council members Bill Whitbred and Judy James spoke against the ordinance.

Whitbred said, "I don't think the ordinance, the way it is written, is the way to go.

"I don't think we can limit free enterprise in this scenario. I think it's going to hurt us rather than help us."

He advocated taking more time to study the problem and said he would not support big box projects in the downtown area.

James said she didn't think square-footage caps are the answer. She said her constituents want shopping options.

Following the meeting James said, "Design guidelines and land use codes would be more effective at regulating this type of movement into our community."

Council member Stan Holt said the ordinance was fair and that he supported passing it at Tuesday's session.

Council member Tony Simmons challenged Cotton's view, and said, "It is our position to regulate what happens in our town."

Applause and cheers followed Simmons' remarks, which forced Aragon to slam his gavel to silence the crowd.

"This is not a three-ring circus," he said.

With that, Simmons continued.

"Our community is not just town," Simmons said. "The issue is larger than just the town boundaries of Pagosa Springs.

Soon thereafter Aragon called for a vote, and with four "no" votes from himself, Cotton, James and Whitbred dominating the two "yes" votes from Holt and Simmons, the ordinance was defeated.

But, despite the outcome and Aragon's initial "no public comment" statement, some audience members would not accept defeat without comment and tore into council members Whitbred and James.

Visibly flustered and shaking his head, Cappy White stood up and said he wasn't satisfied and wanted an explanation.

"What changed your mind," White said.

White was referring to an informal poll taken during a town big box ordinance workshop held last week, where White concluded that James and Whitbred would vote in favor of the ordinance.

"I'm amazed, I can't believe you backed off your vote," White said.

White asked if there was something going on behind the scenes, and said an "air of suspicion" had descended on the issue. He asked council member's if money was changing hands.

"You're totally out of order Mr. White," Aragon said. And after some in the crowd pushed further, without an audience from the council, they stormed out en-masse.

Town Manager Mark Garcia, said the ordinance could reappear at a later date, and said that decision would ultimately be up to the town council.

The town's current big box moratorium expired yesterday.

 

Junior high CSAP scores signal strong test recovery

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

There was a great sense of achievement wafting through Pagosa Springs Junior High School this week and classes haven't yet started.

The school recorded the greatest improvement of the four in Archuleta School District 50 Joint in the 2005 CSAP scores.

Those data were released to schools last Friday and to the public Tuesday.

At the junior high, the number of students increasing to proficient and advanced levels increased in six of seven tests.

The lone decrease, and one which continues to stupefy districts statewide, came in eighth-grade science, where Pagosa had a slight decrease in the number of students scoring proficient or above.

Reading was another strong point in the junior high with an 8 percent increase in proficiency at seventh-grade level, and a 13 percent jump in the eighth-grade proficiency level.

Going hand-in-hand with that score was a 16 percent increase in writing achievement in seventh grade and a 9 percent increase in eighth-grade proficiency.

Mathematics, one of the key target areas because of low grades statewide in previous CSAP tests, fell by the wayside as a major problem in Pagosa - for now.

Junior high school students here improved an outstanding 17 percent at the seventh-grade level and 14 percent in eighth-grade testing.

Chris Hinger, junior high principal, was pleased with the efforts by students on the tests, but was thrilled with his school staff.

"I am very proud of how hard the staff worked in a collaborative effort to meet our goals," he said. "Change is never easy. We made several adjustments to our approach in addressing math goals. Each staff member accepted his/her role as a team member and worked to assure there would be improvement."

Overall, test scores indicate math scores in the Pagosa Springs schools showed the most growth.

All grade levels (3-10) were assessed in math but it was the first year for third- and fourth-grade classes to be assessed, so there is no previous data to compare growth or decline in performance.

Both grade levels, however, scored slightly lower than the statewide average.

Of the six levels that can be measured, there was marked improvement at five.

At the fifth-grade level locally, 15 percent more students met the requirements for proficient or above than in previous years.

Similarly, 10 percent more ninth-graders scored at proficient or greater on the 2005 test as compared to the previous year.

Until this coming school year, sophomores have competed only two courses of math or were in the last quarter of their second math course when they took the CSAP test.

Starting with next year's freshmen, an additional math credit will be required for graduation ( 3 credits), and will have sophomores taking the 2006 test after completing three math courses or taking the test during the last quarter of their third math course. Only the sophomore math test this year showed a reduction in the number of students rated proficient or above.

School officials say the increased graduation requirement in math was made to improve the achievement level for both freshmen and sophomores.

The initial assessment of CSAP results is an overall representation of achievement levels.

In the weeks to come, a more detailed view of growth and areas of need will be available when all data on students can be analyzed in combination with CSAP results.

A number of factors can affect the compilation and averaging of a school district's overall mirror of performance.

For example, the latest test scores for students in Archuleta County High School (an alternative school) were separated from other high school scores for the first time.

There are no comparable data from previous years to detail growth or decline in achievement levels for this year.

Because the number of students being assessed at the ninth- and tenth-grade levels in the Archuleta County School is less than 16, school scores and disaggregated scores cannot be released to the public.

As with the other schools in the district, students, teachers and parents will receive a detailed report to gauge student performance levels for each test, set achievement goals, and track improvement.

Comparative data from other schools in the region were not available Wednesday. However, some interesting statewide results give reason for pleasure with local scores.

In reading, for example, where local surges have been cited, statewide data indicate one-year increases in proficiency in fourth, seventh and tenth grades.

Sixty-four percent of fourth-graders statewide were proficient or advanced in reading, up 9 percent from the beginning of testing in 1997. But declines in third and ninth grades and unchanged scores in three grade levels, cast some concern on the entire statewide reading program.

Overall, 451,000 Colorado students were tested in grades 3-10 last February.

Data is used to help calculate a school's academic rating.

 

Focusing on Emergency Services

spurs new health board confidence

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

With the Mary Fisher Clinic still dormant, the Upper San Juan Health Service District has focused on the operations of Emergency Medical Services, and the financial numbers are improving.

After director Bob Goodman presented the monthly financials at the Tuesday meeting of the district board of directors, a fresh sense of confidence permeated the room, with Dave Bohl, chairman of the finance committee, summing it up succinctly: "Great shape," was all he said.

The Mercy Management team, led by Rick O'Block, continue to help put things in order, with improved standardized financial reports. Cash on hand has increased over the past month and accounts payable, with the exception of a $7,643 legal bill that carries no interest, are up to date, a "significant improvement" from the $220,000 past due payable accounts that this current board inherited, according to Pam Hopkins, district chair.

Past due receivables still plague the district, with significant amounts likely to remain uncollectible, but with a new funding grant from the Mary Fisher Foundation, the EMS department has obtained new "Sweet-Billing" software from Ortivus that is expected to ensure future vigilance on accounts receivable. The new software is expected to be operational this month, and a new in-house 'biller' employee will be hired. The current out-sourced billing company has been given notice.

Work on the budget will begin this month, with the goals of the district still a matter for debate.

A long-term agreement with Mercy Medical Center is still being considered and discussed. The board set up the "Long-term 'Have Mercy' Planning Committee" consisting of Jim Knoll, Bohl, J.R. Ford, directors Goodman and Jerry Valade, and chair Hopkins.

Ford presented the recommendations of the critical access hospital pathway ad hoc committee, with the opening of a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and forming a Rural Health Care Clinic (RHCC) being the top priorities. The board agreed to look into hiring the specialist consultants the ad hoc committee thought was necessary to put them on the "fast track" to opening a CAH and forming a RHCC.

Intermediate recommendations from the ad hoc committee include upgrading the ambulance services to include a Intensive Care Transport Unit (ICTU) with an experienced nurse on board to fill Pagosa's short-term coverage gap for trauma patients and for those seriously ill.

Another intermediate recommendation is to consider a proposal from Pagosa Springs Family Medicine to provide 24/7 medical coverage and/or opening a Urgent Care Clinic with new providers.

With financial resources of the health district still slim, choices are critical. Ford and Goodman are considering options for a health district fund-raiser, perhaps bringing in a Nashville singer to provide a concert either in Pagosa or Durango for a benefit concert.

Emergency Medical Services Operations Manager Joy Sinnott presented her EMS report, citing "dramatic" increases in both calls and transports this month over the same period last year. In July 2004, call volume was 81, with 21 transports to Mercy Medical Center in Durango. This year, there were 115 calls with 51 transports. Sinnott also announced she is expecting the new, permanent operations manager to be hired soon, with three candidates from a total of 15 applicants still being considered.

Director Dick Blide announced his upcoming move to Vancouver, Wash., and said he plans to resign soon from his position on the board. Knoll thanked Blide, stating, "Dr. Blide has always stood for good quality medical care." Blide thanked his fellow board members for a great year, and his comment, "It was much better than the first year," was met with much laughter and applause.

In other business:

- Existing lease holders in the Mary Fisher Clinic have been given termination notices. A new lease agreement has been prepared for future lessees.

- Mercy Management's human resource director, Kathy Roberts, is preparing a comprehensive employee policy manual for the district board's approval.

- A fiber optic cable has been installed from Mercy Medical Center to Pagosa in preparation for high speed data transfers of medical information from the Mary Fisher Clinic and local providers.

- Three potential candidates have been identified to replace O'Block as the new district business manager when his temporary contracted position expires.

- The board approved O'Block's recommendation to retain the current X-ray technician's services for another 30 days.

- The board is considering Archuleta County Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp's request to rent space in the Mary Fisher Clinic to set up a detox counseling office.

- The Upper San Juan Health District Care Flight Memorial raised $510.54 for the families of the three men who died in the Careflight helicopter accident last month.

 

 Inside The Sun

K of C duck race, picnic set Aug. 13

By Bill Nobles

Special to The SUN

Get ready get set get ready to race to the 13th annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race and Picnic.

Well, more specifically, get ready to race over on Saturday, Aug. 13 to Town Park.

There will be kids games, a gigantic duck race, prizes and of course a food court. The fun will begin around 11:30 a.m. with the food court and kids games. The food court will include the Boy Scouts selling the American classic hamburger and hot dogs and the Flying Burrito with a Hispanic flavor of foods.

A raffle of prizes will begin around 12:30 p.m. with the duck race following at 2:30.

You can purchase tickets for the duck race at several locations around town, including the Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Bar, Silver Dollar Liquor, WolfTracks and Ray's Hair Care. First prize for the duck race will be $1,000, with a second prize of $500 and third prize of $100. All proceeds will go towards the Knights of Columbus charities.

For more information, contact the Knights of Columbus at 731-0253 or 731-3741.

 

Waldorf Initiative to hold Friday benefit auction

By Ashley d'Ambrosi

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative announces a benefit auction at 8 p.m. Friday. Proceeds from the auction will help the group continue to provide community outreach programs, file for non-profit status and pursue opening the Treasure Mountain Early Life Center, a mixed-age, Waldorf-inspired early childhood program.

Gift certificates are part of the auction offerings, from local retailers like Goodman's Department Store and Victoria's Parlor. Other items include an Alpine Lite backpack from Switchback Mountain Sports; a beautiful 12x18 color photograph of Treasure Falls by Bruce Andersen; one hour of integrated bodywork from Nathan Masters, LMT; a one-hour massage from therapist Anna O'Reilly; a fly fishing lesson from Pagosa Outside/Back Country Anglers; passes for two on a Wilderness Journeys rafting trip; two passes for the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and many other fabulous items.

Currently, the Initiative offers a free parent study group, the first and third Saturday of each month at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. These informational sessions are led by Waldorf professionals from around the region. Topics discussed include establishing a rhythm in your family life, guidance and discipline, compassionate communication, painting and drawing in the Waldorf classroom, principles of Waldorf education, community development around the school, and child development. Sessions are led by different professionals who work with families and children of all ages. Free childcare is provided while the parents participate in the group.

The group's ultimate goal is to establish a Waldorf school in the community. The Initiative and parent study group are the first steps in doing this.

There is dire need in our community for more early childhood care options. Treasure Mountain Early Life Center will serve children ages 3-6 and will expand to include a parent-toddler group as well. The auction, held in conjunction with the public lecture and workshop with author Rahima Baldwin Dancy, will help raise the funds needed to accomplish this goal.

For more information regarding the auction and the lecture, contact Ashley at 731-1415.

 

Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the board of county commissioner's meeting room, in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order / roll-call.

- Final Plat review for the re-plat of Lot 558X Twincreek Village Subdivision.

This is a request for the planning commission to review the Final Plat for the re-plat of Lot 558X to recreate Lots 556, 557, 558, 559 and 560 as they were originally platted.

The property is in Twincreek Village along Sumac Court with physical addresses from 32 to 80 Sumac Court. Legal description for the property is Section 7, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Colo.

- Sketch Plan for the Ridge Ventures, LLC Minor Impact Subdivision.

This is a request to obtain approval of a Sketch Plan to legally subdivide a single parcel of 58.70 acres into three lots of 20.7, 18.2, and 19.8 acres, respectively, for purposes of future resale.

This property is located in NW 1/2, SW 1/4, NW 1/4 of Section 15, Township 34N, R1W, N.M.P.M.) The three proposed lots have been tentatively addressed as 357, 483, and 531 Whispering Woods Drive (Lots 1, 2, and 3 respectively).

- Variance for Colorado Timber Ridge Ranch Phase V.

This is a request for a Variance of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations to construct a cul-de-sac to serve Phase V.

The proposed cul-de-sac will be generally located in the SE 1/4 of Section 21 and SW 1/4 of Section 22, T35N, R2W. It is located at the northern end of Cool Pines Drive in Phase V of the Timber Ridge Ranch Subdivision, Phase V, the nearest cross street being Bristlecone Drive.

- Final Plat Review of Colorado Timber Ridge Phase V

This is a request for the Planning Commission to review the Final Plat of Colorado Timber Ridge Phase V — 11 residential lots.

This proposed project is located at the northern end of Cool Pines Drive in Phase V of the Timber Ridge Ranch Subdivision, the nearest cross street being Bristlecone Drive.

- Conditional Use Permit Review of Petrox Compressor Site.

This is a request to review a compressor site, compressor building, compressors, storage tanks, slug catcher and dehydration unit, that will be used to compress natural gas in order to tie into the existing PUC pipeline.

This project is located on approximately one acre and is located in the N 1/2 SE 1/4 of Section 25, T34N, R5W, S.U.L., the compressor site will be located on the north side of Colo. 151, approximately 4.7 miles north of the intersection of 151 and Fosset Gulch Road.

- A Public Hearing for the Conditional Use Permit request for Busted Spur Rodeo Arena.

This is a request for a year-round equestrian arena. Hours of operation will be 6-11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and occasional weekends. This will include a concession stand and a souvenir shop.

The project site is at 1061 U.S. 84. The legal description is Sections 19, Township 35 North, Range 1 West.

- Review of the planning commission minutes of July 13, 2005.

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment

 

Big box concerns part of larger issue

By John Middendorf

Staff writer

Pagosa's big box moratorium has expired, and with no formal big-box ordinances in place, concerns of how to deal with large retail operators are growing in some quarters.

Those kinds of concerns and considerations are more than local.

In New York Times foreign-affairs columnist Thomas Freidman's latest book, "The World is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century," Friedman explains his worldview of the global economy, in which the market effects of big box retailers are cited as one of the world's big "flatteners."

It becomes clear while reading the book that local arrival of big box retailers is not as simple as a choice between the desires of good value versus the desire to support local businesses. The book also disabuses readers of a common view that Wal-Mart, (the retailer that generally comes to mind ever since the term "big-box" was coined) is a conscienceless organization, agressively seeking to uproot local communities by centralizing retail.

In contrast, Friedman looks specifically at Wal-Mart as an ultimately rational organization, supported, in turn, by rational market forces.

Beginning by necessity in what then was rural Arkansas, Wal-Mart began its process of supply-chain innovation by cutting out the traditional distributor "middle man," then continued to improve efficiency not only in their own supply chain, but in requiring the same efficienty in supply chain of their suppliers, encouraged many U.S. companies to improve their competitive edge.

Wal-Mart has embraced the new "flatness" of the world, which refers to the inherent efficiency of our interconnected 21st century global economy. When a consumer purchases an item in a Wal-Mart store, the company's "Retail Link" software immediately relays the information to the supplier anywhere in the world, and the process to restock that item is immediately begun.

Many companies haven't been able to compete in this new "flattened" world and have failed, eventually resulting in entire manufacturing sectors moving offshore. Wal-Mart's expressed goal is to deliver a range of goods at the absolute lowest prices - this is what they do and it is global capitalism at its finest.

It cannot be denied that sometimes Wal-Mart has pushed the boundaries of what is legally and socially acceptable, such as hiring illegal immigrants and their discontinued practice of locking in night-shift employees in warehouses for security reasons. But, upon recognition of such errors, they modify their methods in accordance with the laws set by society, often more rapidly than can be generally be expected from such a large organization.

As a rational organization optimizing costs, pushing social and legal boundaries to their absolute limits is inherent in their policy of cutting prices by any means possible; it is to be expected, not received with shock and outrage.

The Pagosa Springs Town Council and Archuleta County Commission's Big Box Task Force Summary of Findings (available in the documents section on the townofpagosasprings.com website) argue the big box retailers have a net negative impact in many areas, including the social conditions of a small town community. Some of the explanations included in the report refer to possibilities based on intermittent occurrences, such as when a big box moves to a different location within a town, often the previous building is abandoned, "leaving vacant stores fostering blight and crime."

Such events may be true in some cases, but a community has the privilege of setting standards for businesses to operate. Despite the disdain sometimes shown toward the term, setting such standard requirements is, in fact, "social engineering," in the same sense that placement of community centers, schools, residential and commercial zones, landfills and water supplies is social engineering. Social engineering is part of the job of local government, the role of which is determined by citizens. The vision and interests in this society are in the hands of voters and members of the community.

Centralized low-cost shopping has an appeal to many, and local retailers are concerned.

Rhonda Tolan, spokesperson for the local City Market stores, was unable to comment on the specific threat that a big box imposes on their market share, but when asked if she thought City Market could lose business in Pagosa, she mused, "It could very well happen."

In contrast, Trail Daugherty, Colorado media contact for City Market and King Soopers, expressed a fighting spirit when he stated, "We're very accustomed to competing with Wal-Mart", and discussed their highly competitive compensation packages for their employees as well as their competitive pricing for consumers.

Employee compensation is just one of the areas that Wal-Mart has optimized in its quest for low prices, and thus far has been an acceptable one to our society at large.

The New York Times (May 4, 2005) reports that, on a nationwide basis, Wal-Mart full-time workers earn an average of $9.68 an hour, and with many of them working 35 hours a week, which comes to a annual wage of $17,600. That is below the $19,157 poverty line for a family of four, but above the $15,219 line for a family of three.

Like many of the realms in which Wal-Mart has innovated market efficiencies, its model of employee compensation is the model that other companies will be required to follow to maintain a competitive edge.

The current average wage for City Market and King Soopers employees in four regional states including Colorado is $14.36 per hour, according to Daugherty. While it was not possible to talk with any representatives from Wal-Mart (all requests for information are funneled to their Web site), the Wal-Mart.com indicates an average wage of $10.71 per hour for 23,502 employees in their 60 stores and two distribution centers in Colorado.

The low prices Wal-Mart offers are a result of optimizing efficiencies and costs in every segment of the consumer supply chain, but often the only way existing companies can compete in the proximity of a store like Wal-Mart is by lowering employee wages and benefits, as well as other community benefits, such as charitable contributions.

Kroger, for example, the parent company of City Market and King Soopers, currently contributes 22 cents on every $100 of revenue to local communities and non-profit organizations. Wal-Mart's percentage is much less: six cents on every $100 of revenue (2004 figures, sources: kroger.com, walmart. com). As local Kroger business segments such as City Market need to compete, their wages and charitable contributions may require restructuring to Wal-Mart's standard.

The same New York Times article cited above reports that a leading competitor of Wal-Mart, the publicly traded Costco, pays employees an average of $16 an hour with 82 percent of the workers covered by company health insurance. In contrast, only 48 percent of the employees of Wal-Mart are covered by health insurance. Studies show that when people can't pay for health care, Medicare and local communities have to make up the difference.

The lower social benefit affects communities in a wholesale manner and is a hidden cost of low prices, often resulting in populations suffering as a whole, but it is a value choice many towns willingly and deliberately choose in order to be recipients of low cost consumer goods. Wal-Mart's deliberate and economically efficient policies are value choices; consumers supporting Wal-Mart are also supporting that value choice.

As Freidman asks in The World is Flat, "As you sort out and weigh your multiple identities — consumer, employee, citizen, taxpayer, shareholder — you have to decide: Do you prefer the Wal-Mart approach or the Costco approach? This is going to be an important political issue in a flat world. Just how flat do you want corporations to be when you factor in all your different identities?"

The choice belongs to individuals in a community.

 

No big box or Wolf Creek action from commissioners

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

About two dozen opponents of future big box development in Archuleta County crowded into the county commissioners' meeting Tuesday afternoon, to demand a hearing of concerns.

Commissioner and board chair Mamie Lynch said, "There has been terrible confusion, somehow, some way," and asserted discussion of a county big box resolution was not on the commissioners' agenda.

She said county attorneys had not reviewed a draft of an ordinance and their review was a necessary first step before it would appear on an agenda.

Some in the audience urged the commissioners to hear their concerns, and one woman said the issue should be a top priority for the commissioners because the county's moratorium will expire on Aug. 3. Despite their statements, Lynch would not yield and proceeded with Tuesday's agenda as written.

Following the meeting, Blair Leist, director of county development, said he was working to create a joint big box resolution work session with the county planning commission and the board of county commissioners. He said the work session was tentatively scheduled for late August or early September and might tackle, among other issues, the task of setting design guidelines.

During the commissioners' meeting, Leist addressed the audience and said the county is not in imminent danger even without a resolution or regulation in place.

"We are fine. The pre-application process will keep things in check," Leist said.

Following the meeting, Leist said, "We are still very protected here in the county." But, he added, "We still need to move as speedily as before. We're not going to sit on this."

While many in the audience left after the big box discussion, a number stayed to hear the approval of a resolution stating the county's opposition to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

Lynch said the county's opposition to the Village of Wolf Creek had been drafted for Tuesday's session in the form of a resolution and, after consultation, the board determined the issue would be better addressed in the form of a proclamation.

Lynch said the county was not backing down from their previously articulated position, and that the statement of opposition in the form of a proclamation would appear on the next agenda.

 

Commissioners work on improving airport economy

By John Middendorf

Staff writer

At a Thursday finance meeting, the financial status of the county was within the "comfort level," a term used by several of those present, including Finance Director Bob Burchett, the three county commissioners, and the previous and new interim county administrators, Kathy Holthus and Bob Jasper.

Road and Bridge, Human Services and Solid Waste operations all looked well within budget.

The General Fund in 2005 is expected to once again end up with a surplus, to the tune of $1 million, if the county can count on revenues generated during the traditional higher sales-tax months coming up.

When the topic of the airport came up in the initial part of the all-morning meeting, the tone changed somewhat, with the Airport Fund cited as the "biggest concern" relative to Archuleta County's financial situation.

After the discussion of current Airport Fund balances and obligations, which include an $308,000 annual debt service payment for the new midfield improvements and the annual operations subsidy, Burchett stated, from a county financial perspective, "We're not sure how we'll keep subsidizing the airport."

Holthus then asked the question apparently on the minds of several of those present: "Do we even want to stay in the airport business?"

It was then clarified that, when FAA and DOLA airport funds were granted, the commissioners were specifically asked if, in fact, Archuleta County intended to stay in the airport business. Some fear was expressed that grant funds would need to be returned if the county extricated itself from the airport business.

The discussion progressed with a brainstorming session on how to better balance operational revenues verses expenditures at the airport, which included increasing user fees and rewriting existing leases on the FBO and the land beneath the hangars.

Burchett recommended rewriting hangar land leases to include a "first right of refusal" on future hangar sales, so that the hangars could be purchased by the county and subsequently rented for fair market value, producing a substantial revenue increase over the existing lease agreements (which are currently transferable).

Additional, businesslike themes were openly discussed, without criticism or judgment, with ideas on improving airport finances "down to the last nickel," according to Lynch.

"We'll just have to wait and see," was the general consensus by those present at the finance meeting as the topic of the airport came to an end. With an increase in airport operations expected with the new improvements, user fees will likewise increase, but the question remains: Will it be enough to relieve the financial burden on the county?

Burchett thinks it will likely be 10 years before the airport financials can become profitable, but concedes "it could be less," depending on the recommendations and actions of the Airport Advisory Commission.

The next airport commission meeting will be 3 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Avjet Corporation Conference Room at the FBO Hangar at Stevens Field.

 

Interim administrator no stranger to road woes

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Between meetings, phone calls and just learning his way around, it's been a busy first few days for Archuleta County's new interim county administrator, Bob Jasper.

Jasper arrived July 29, following an official announcement from the board of county commissioners during last Tuesday's regular commissioner's meeting. Jasper replaced interim county administrator Kathy Holthus, who filed her resignation in late June and whose tenure as interim administrator ended last week. Holthus will provide as-needed consultation services during the transition period and will sit on a search committee established to locate a permanent county administrator.

Jasper will also sit on that committee amongst myriad other duties. And while those duties and the county issues facing the new interim administrator might seem daunting to some, Jasper appears to be in his element.

Most recently, he said he worked as county manager for Mesa County, Colo., and held that position for about nine years. Prior to that, he said he worked for 12 years as assistant county manager in Washoe County, Nev. He added that, before working in Nevada, he was a management analyst for seven years in Monterey County, Calif.

He said his two most recent positions in Colorado and Nevada were held in fast growing counties undergoing tremendous change, and that Archuleta County is probably facing many of the same changes and challenges.

One challenge already on his radar screen is the issue of roads and the creation of a county road map. He said his experiences in Mesa County taught him how important a clear and up-to-date roadmap is to county government and that helping Archuleta County to develop its map is a top priority.

As other priorities, he said providing steady management while helping to locate candidates to fill staffing vacancies, including that of permanent county administrator, would be some of his most pressing tasks.

"I'm going to hold the fort until a permanent position arrives," Jasper said.

Both Jasper and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners said they hope that arrival occurs by December when Jasper is scheduled to complete his interim term.

  

Humane Society's annual auction Aug. 26 shaping up

By Cristina Woodall

Special to The SUN

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs 11th annual Auction for the Animals is just a few weeks away.

The fun begins 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Mark your calendar and get your tickets; you won't want to miss it.

Donations such as art, books, music and games are streaming in for you to place your bid to support the homeless dogs and cats of Archuleta County.

What is the Auction for the Animals?

It is the largest fund-raiser for the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a safe haven for animals in need, to promote adoptions, to reunite lost animals with their owners, and to humanely reduce pet overpopulation through community education and aggressive spay and neuter programs.

The fees the Humane Society receives through adoptions and impound redemptions support the mission but do not completely cover the costs of feeding, housing, spay and neutering, medical expenses and care that the animals receive.

Revenue from the Auction for the Animals and the Humane Society Thrift Store significantly augment the animal fees to help cover the costs at the animal shelter. Your generosity at the Auction for the Animals will be significant in supporting the dogs and cats that come through the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.

Everyone is invited to attend the Auction for the Animals. Ticket prices for this extravaganza will be $25 in advance and $30 at the door for wine and beer, including a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Tickets without wine and beer tasting will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Gourmet hors d'oeuvres will be served throughout the evening.

Advance sales are available until noon, Friday, Aug. 26, at WolfTracks Bookstore, the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and the Humane Society Thrift Store.

Not only will your generosity at the auction be greatly appreciated and put to good use, but donations of merchandise and items to sell are gratefully accepted. Offers of services, gently-used recreational equipment, store merchandise, or that boat that you just don't get around to taking out would be wonderful.

To offer your donation, contact the Humane Society administration office located above the Humane Society Thrift Store or call 264-5549. In order to be listed in the main program, please offer your donations by Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Donations brought in after Wednesday will be added to a program insert. The community support has been overwhelming in past years. Thank you to all who have so kindly support the Humane Society. Your continued gifts are greatly appreciated.

 

County, state, town set new sobriety effort

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, the Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol, will conduct a mobile sobriety checkpoint Aug. 12.

Purpose of the roadside sobriety checkpoint is to maximize the deterrent effect and increase the perception of "risk of apprehension" for motorists who would operate a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs or both.

The checkpoint will be located in Archuleta County.

  

State releases report on ethnic disparities

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Report says flatly, "racial and ethnic groups have not fared well in the state from the worldwide advances in medicine, environmental protection and disease control."

Noting the causes between racial and ethnic populations, the report attempts to determine why the differences exist.

Race and ethnicity are social constructs representing distinct histories, languages, and cultures of groups within the United States. They are not, the report emphasizes, valid biological or genetic categories.

To put the findings of the report in perspective, one must recognize certain basic facts about the state's makeup.

For example, our median age is 34.7 compared to 35.9 for the nation as a whole; median income is $48,282 in Colorado, $43,057 nationwide; 87 percent of Coloradans are high school graduates compared to 83 percent nationwide; 34 percent of Coloradans hold a bachelor's degree or high compared to 26 percent nationwide; 10 percent of the state's residents live in poverty, 12 percent nationally and 43 percent of Coloradans own their own home (40 percent nationally).

Doesn't sound like too bad a comparison, but trouble lurks in statistics.

People of Latino or Hispanic origin make up 18.2 percent of the state's population, a 75 percent change from 1990 to 2,000.

In fact, one study on 2003 demographics shows the numbers of Latino, African Americans and Asian Americans for the first time makes up more than 50 percent - actually 51.1 - of the state's total residency.

Along with that data is the information Archuleta County gained over 25 percent in population, making it one of the fastest growing counties.

The U.S Census Bureau uses the term "linguistically isolated" to describe a household in which members 14 and older speak a non-English language and also speak English "less than very well."

In this era of No Child Left Behind and expanded ethnic classroom preparation, it would seem a small problem.

But in Archuleta County, 88 such families were found - a decrease of 9 percent from the previous census but still a worrisome factor.

Not all news referencing Latino families is bad. For example, life expectancy is higher than the statewide averages. The state average age is 78.2 (75.9 for men and 80.5 for females. The average age for a Latino is 79.9 (75.7 for males and 83.7 for males).

While Colorado as a whole is a healthy state, communities of color are disproportionately affected by disease, disability and death.

These differences in health status between groups are known as health disparities.

The overall death rate for the Latino community of 719.8 per 100,000 persons is statistically lower than the state average death rate of 802.4 per 100,000 after accounting for age.

Latinos have the highest death rates due to diabetes, chronic liver disease, cervical cancer and injuries, including those related to motor vehicle accidents.

Latinas (Hispanic women) have the state's highest rates of teen fertility and cervical cancer. Additionally, Latinos have the highest rate of uninsured persons in terms of medical care coverage.

During the year 2002, the state's Latino population accounted for 27 percent of all new HIV cases reported with a rate of 7.4 per 100,000, a figure 1.8 percent higher than Caucasians, the group with the lower rate.

The study indicates the rate of usage of state public mental health system by Latinos is a little more than their proportion of the population. Yet, more than a quarter - 26 percent - of the Latino population is uninsured. Due partly to that lack, the study concludes Latinos are twice as likely to seek mental health services in publicly-funded primary care settings.

Some report analysts, however, interpret the findings as suggesting acculturation may lead to an increased risk of depression and other mental disorders.

Much of the report is linked to the determinant: socioeconomic status. Together, education, employment/occupation, and income make up indicators conceptualized as socioeconomic status or SES. The three domains are closely related and education becomes a gateway for economic opportunity by way of occupation and income.

As education, job status and income increase, disease and early death decrease. Because SES is as leading determinant of health, SES disparities are substantial contributors to health disparities.

Latinos and African Americans in the state are disproportionately employed in job sectors with less stability (i.e., higher rates of layoffs and lower rates of reemployment after job loss).

A key chart in the report indicates dramatically the costs of all ethnic groups on Medicare .

For the year 2002, 703-490 Coloradans were on Medicaid or uninsured. Of that total, Latinos represented 216,349, Caucasians 392,241, African Americans 49,280 with others totaling 45,620.

Break that down to one specific disease - diabetes - and you find an even more dramatic picture. The per capita medical costs covered under Medicaid is $13,243 in all ethnic groups.

But, for this disease, the annual cost for additional cases totaled $37,24 million for Latinos and $33.28 million African Americans.

 

 Outdoors

Living in bear country involves knowledge, care, consideration

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Bear season is here. And with it comes the higher incidence of "problem bears."

Bears are amazing creatures. Cubs are born in the middle of their mother's hibernation period weighing less than a pound, feeding on their mother's milk while she continues to hibernate, and emerge from their dens in the spring weighing around 12-15 pounds. With their mothers, they then begin exploring their habitat and foraging for food.

By the end of their first summer, the cubs will weigh around 45 pounds, and remain with their mothers during the following hibernation season. By the end of their second year, male bears may weigh around 250 pounds and females around 150 pounds. Their natural lifespan is around 20 years.

Bears are omnivorous and will eat almost anything they can find, preferring to rest in the shade during the day and forage in the cool morning and evening hours. Their natural diet is 90-percent vegetation, with bugs and an occasional deer fawn, elk calf or small bird supplementing their diet.

Initially, after hibernation, black bears consume around 2,500 calories per day (about the same as the average human). But during the late summer months, in preparation for next winter's hibernation, bears will ramp up their food consumption eightfold, up to 20,000 calories per day, spending 20 hours of each day foraging and eating.

The beginning of August is a tricky time for bears, when their instincts for increased food are kicking in, but before the emergence of Gambel oak acorns and chokecherry berries, a large part of their natural diet.

Although naturally wary of humans, bears are opportunistic about their food sources. As their habitat is encroached on by expanding human settlements, and with their sense of smell that is 100 times more sensitive than humans, they will investigate communities in their quest for calories, and become "human-habituated" in the process.

After this first step in a dangerous sequence of events (for the bear), a human-habituated bear is normally not aggressive, unless it is a mother protecting her cubs. Bears can become aggressive after becoming what is known as "food-conditioned," meaning they become used to foraging for human food sources, rather than their natural food sources.

When people are careless about leaving food sources accessible to bears (including bird and hummingbird feeders, leftover scraps on the outdoor grill, reeking trash in non-bearproof containers, and pet or livestock food), bears can easily become food-conditioned, and will remember the sources and return to find them again.

At the local landfill, bears have become accustomed to foraging in the supermarkets' weekly garbage dump, which includes produce scraps, florist cuttings, excess baked goods and other waste, though the bears "haven't been a nuisance since last season," according to Clifford Lucero, director of Archuleta County's solid waste department.

If bears become accustomed to finding food in a particular spot and return to find the food supply suddenly meager, they will often leave; but if they sense that food is still present, they can become troublesome, according to Joe Lewandowski, public information specialist for the Southwest Region of Colorado's Division of Wildlife (DOW). They may start smelling for food in garages or cars, and become destructive in their search, sometimes breaking into homes.

At this point in the food-conditioned bear's career, the DOW will be called in and the bears will be trapped, sedated, tagged in both ears and tattooed on their lips with an identification number. Then they are driven out into the wild, preferably 100 miles away, and released.

The problem with bear relocation, according to Bryan Peterson, director of the non-profit organization Bear Smart Durango, is that "most bear habitat is already occupied by bears."

According to Peterson, "Relocating bears is a Band-Aid approach to dealing with 'problem' bears. It is expensive in both manpower and time and is rarely successful. Regardless of how much natural food is out there, trash and human sources are so easy for a food-habituated bear, so they will often return. Most relocated bears, in the end, end up dead."

Colorado has a "two-strike" policy. When tagged food-habituated bears return to human settlements, and are caught being "troublesome" for a second time, they are euthanized, a polite word for being shot in the head, according to Lewandowski, who adds, "Bears are magnificent creatures. This is not a very pleasant thing for a Division of Wildlife district manager to do."

With a bear population estimated to be between 8,000 to 12,000 in Colorado, on average for the past eight years, 64 bears are tagged and 51 bears are killed each year by the DOW. For 2002, a year with complete statistics available, 55 problem bears were killed, an additional 83 bears were killed by landowners, another 56 killed by federal wildlife services, with an additional 202 "other" bears killed (including road kills and carcass finds, but excluding hunting), for a total of 404 bears for that year, most involving human interaction problems.

Almost all bear conflict is a result of human behavior.

It is illegal to feed or attract bears, both intentionally and unintentionally. After an initial contact or conflict with a bear, law requires securing or removing the food sources including outdoor trash, grills, pet food, or bird feeders.

Beyond the law, communities in southwestern Colorado have the responsibility to share the bears' natural habitat with respect, as the wonder of living in bear county is knowing that they are in the wilderness living natural lives, not as witnessing their downward progression as backyard opportunists.

For tips on avoiding bear conflict, visit bearsmartdurango.org and Colorado's Division of Wildlife site at http://wildlife.state.co.

National Forest drawing notecards are now available

Historic San Juan National Forest Cards are now available at local Forest Service offices.

The cards are printed drawings of artist Dick Ostergaard, depicting historical structures and areas of the San Juan National Forest dating back to the early 1900s.

Each note card has an interpretive message describing the history of the image.

A box of cards is available for $9.99 or you can purchase the images separately for $1.49 each.

Ostergaard is a landscape architect and a 35-year employee of the U.S. Forest Service. As an artist, his main interests have been wildlife and historical rural farmscapes. His drawings of historical ranger stations and fire towers originates from an interest in forest history, as well as course studies in architectural drawing and graphic rendering.

Notecards are available at the Pagosa Ranger District office in downtown Pagosa Springs.

For more information call the Public Lands Center at (970) 247-4874.

 

Women's firearm safety and ed sessions in August

A women's firearm safety and education workshop will take place Aug. 19, 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Aug. 20, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The workshop is made possible through the National Wild Turkey Foundation Women in the Outdoors. It is designed for education; it is not a self-defense course.

Disciplines covered at the workshop include hand gun, rifle, shotgun and muzzle loaders. There will be an opportunity Aug. 20 for all participants to rotate to all discipline stations.

Instructors are Don Volger, Pagosa Springs chief of police; Mike Reid, Justin Krall and Doug Purcell of the Division of Wildlife; Emzy Barker and Charlie Rogers.

The workshop is open to women 13 and older; women 13-18 must be accompanied by an adult, female family participant.

Cost is $50 per person. The fee includes training, Friday dinner, Saturday continental breakfast and lunch.

Call Kim Lynch, 731-9172, or Pam Lynd, 731-4984, by Thursday, Aug. 11, to register. Payment is due at time of registration.

The Friday workshop session will be held at the Pagosa Mounted Ranger building and enrollment is limited.

Makes checks payable to NWTF and send to P.O. Box 5761, Pagosa Springs CO 81147.

Catch and Release

If you take, are you willing to give back?

James Robinson

SUN Columnist

It's been years since I've killed a trout, and that wasn't my intention when I hiked out into the Weminuche Wilderness one stormy Sunday afternoon.

In fact, my intentions were relatively simple: two dogs, a short, light fly rod for a small, willow-lined creek and a few hours spent casting dry flies to brook trout in alpine solitude.

I left late in the afternoon, planning to hike a couple miles from the trailhead into the Weminuche and then down to a tiny, cold mountain creek. The goal was to follow the trail, then cut across country to catch the creek. From there, I would fish upstream, walking back at dusk, watching for elk, deer and other wildlife.

I set off into the forest beneath black skies heavy with thunder clouds. I followed the trail, dodging intermittent rain drops, as the path zig-zagged down a steep slope into a broad, valley lush with waist-high grass and wildflowers and ringed by groves of aspen standing sentinel around the valley's perimeter. Pagosa Peak stood high above and to the north of the valley, flanked by cliffs glowing vermillion in the surreal twilight of a late afternoon thunderstorm.

I stood just inside the tree line and watched the storm brew and churn above the peaks. I waited for the threat of lightning to pass, then crossed the valley to a thin ribbon of willows, behind which hid the creek.

I crept through the underbrush, tethered the dogs to a fallen spruce on a gravel bar, and let an exploratory cast sail off into a narrow, but relatively deep, mid-stream channel. The fly landed next to a half sunk log resting on the river bottom and lying parallel to the current, and was promptly greeted by a violent, slashing rise of a hungry brook trout. A few more casts yielded similar results and I was confident the fly was correct and my presentation adequate. With that, I turned the dogs loose and we continued, working the channel methodically, slowly inching our way upstream.

That first cast set the tone, and almost every subsequent cast was followed by the flash of trout on the take. I fished that way for an hour or so, working the fly under overhanging willows, in front of rocks and behind, all the while marveling at the brilliant blues and turquoise hues of Weminuche brookies.

But then, in the early evening, the tempo changed. I was standing in the middle of the stream and launched a short cast into a seam of slower current moving parallel to a fallen timber jutting out into the stream. I could see a deep hole underneath the log where the relentless current had scoured out a deep and well sheltered trout lie.

The fly drifted down, and again, a trout rose to the take. The tension on the line was immediate, but there was something different in this trout's fight. The power of a fish fighting when hooked somewhere besides the mouth can be profound, and if you fish often, you can sense when a trout is hooked clean and when there is something awry.

The fish bolted upstream, rocketed out of the air, performed a tail walk and ran through the gamut of aquatic acrobatics but did not tire. Each run and retreat was fueled by a seemingly limitless energy, and I knew in my gut this was not a clean take.

Slowly, I worked the trout in. When it was within reach, I dipped my hand into the water and gently cradled the trout's belly - a beautiful brown hooked not in the mouth, but under the eye.

I took my hemostats, and applied gentle pressure, trying to remove the hook without inflicting greater damage. The shank was buried deep in the eye socket, and even with the point sharpened and the barb flattened, the hook would not budge. I realized I was faced with a choice - remove the hook and destroy the eye, leaving the trout open to infection and a slow death, or take responsibility for the injury I had inflicted and strike the trout myself, killing it quickly and surely in an attempt to mitigate its suffering.

Years ago I decided that I would catch and release and I've stuck to that conviction - trout are all the more beautiful when left alive and free in a mountain stream. Nevertheless, even in catch-and-release angling, sometimes an injury is so severe a kill is unavoidable and you must ask yourself: Is it better to release an injured fish knowing it's chances of survival are scant at best, or do you quickly kill the fish to mitigate its suffering?

My mind raced, and I tried the hook again. It would not budge. The eye was filling with blood as I cradled the fish in the current, cool water rushing through its gills. I debated for another second, but realized what I had to do. I was obligated to honor the trout, to respect its fight, its wildness and its life. I lifted the trout from the water, held my hemostats firm and struck it once on top of the head and just behind the eyes.

The next moments seemed interminable. Immediately after striking the fish, I felt a slow, rolling quiver move from its head down both flanks to the tail where it stopped dead. The trout tensed for a fraction of second more then expired.

I stared at the trout for a moment, realizing I had never experienced something quite like that before. It was almost a transfer of energy, like some sort of cosmic exchange between me and a fish. And I was reminded, while standing there in cold mountain water, that when you take a life there is an exchange. And, if you are going to take, you must ask yourself, what are you willing to give back?

 

Letters

 

Military opt-out

Dear Editor:

There is a little-known provision hidden in the No Child Left Behind Act that requires public high schools to provide student information to military recruiters for the purpose of allowing students to be recruited at home by phone, mail and personal visits. If you object to this for your child, there are two things you must do.

First, write to the school superintendent and instruct him to protect your child's information, which he can legally do. If you have Internet access, go to Leave My Child Alone! with the subtitle "A family project of Working Assets ..." and choose School Opt Out where you will find information and a short form which you can print, fill out and mail. They will even provide the address.

Then, because the Pentagon has illegally created a second database to get around your action with the school superintendent, at the same site choose Pentagon Opt Out for a form to mail to remove your child's name from this list.

It might not be unreasonable, though, to believe that if you do these two things your name might appear on another list.

Henry Buslepp

 

A new road idea

Dear Editor:

The current members of the Board of County Commissioners are to be commended for taking a long overdue first step to address the controversial countywide road problem.

While previous boards talked endlessly about the worsening road problem, this board approached it directly by scheduling three public meetings to receive comments and complaints from taxpaying constituents. Based on comments at the first two meetings, however, it is clear the vast majority of county residents strongly oppose the plan as presented.

The purpose of this letter is to propose a concept to replace the plan presented and discussed at the June 1 and 13 meetings.

The concept we are proposing is for the county to appoint a diverse citizens' committee to address county road problems, with nine members, one representing each of the eight county precincts (in order to ensure countywide representation), plus a chairperson to be selected by the other eight members. Each member of the committee may appoint a subcommittee made up of residents from within the precinct to assist in carrying out the duties of the subcommittee.

In precincts having either a property owners' association or a metro district which represents a high percentage of its residents, that organization will nominate a member to serve on the full committee. In precincts without such organizations, or where no consensus within the precinct can be reached, the BoCC will appoint the member. All nominees will be subject to BoCC approval.

The committee's first responsibility will be to identify, and recommend to the BoCC, a county primary and secondary road system. Another responsibility will be to devise a road maintenance plan to meet the needs of all residents who live on and/or use public roads in the county. This plan will define varying levels of maintenance each public road requires. For example, each road must be assigned a realistic use classification; an assessment of its condition; an average daily traffic count; its population density; its overall level of importance to county residents, etc.

The committee will recommend fair and equitable funding options to finance the maintenance concept; including a commitment that no single political entity or area of the county — such as the town, a special taxing district or some other intergovernmental device — will be discriminated against, either in terms of road maintenance or of measures to finance the county maintenance plan. Nor will any such entity be advantaged at the expense of other entities.

For the benefit of all who depend on public roads, it is imperative the BoCC seriously consider the advantages of this plan. Once that occurs, the organizational structure of the effort will be completed quickly. Work can begin in earnest to define the county's primary and secondary road system, and to develop an effective county road maintenance plan. The committee's work should be completed within 90 days, assuming cooperation and support are forthcoming from the public works department; for example, supplying essential maps, reports on road conditions, etc.

With an early favorable response from the BoCC, the committee will look forward to working with the county to produce a comprehensive plan to meet the road transportation needs of the citizens of Archuleta County. It is our firm belief that our concept will be well-received because it will represent the efforts of a broad-based citizens committee that, in turn, will reflect the views of all parts of the county.

Sincerely,

Pat Ullrich, Judy Reilly, Ralph Goulds, James S. Carson, Bob Nordmann, Dick Mosley and Gary Hopkins

Editor's note: This letter is a modified version of one sent to the board of county commissioners July 22. As of Aug. 1, the writers had not received a response from the board.

 

Yuppie land trip

Dear Editor:

I hope to make another trip into Pagosa before it is completely transformed into yuppie land. When and if I do, I'll be delighted to walk the dogs and dine with that other connoisseur of crow, Mr. Jim Sawicki.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

 

Another tear

Dear Editor:

I, too, shed a tear when I read "Pacing Pagosa" in the July 14 Pagosa Sun.

Dave and Myrtle Hersch lived across the street from us and many memories remain of the good times our families spent together so many years ago.

I am the daughter of Dr. Bert D. Ellsworth and I wept when I heard my old home had met the wrecking ball.

My parents, Bert and Anna Ellsworth, bought their home on May 2, 1918, from Stella Waynick, and I was born in that house on Sept. 20, 1918, delivered by Dr. A.J. Nossaman.

My father was the first dentist in Archuleta County and practiced 1911-1968. He passed away on Dec. 27, 1968 at my home, then in Bellevue, Wash. His dental chair and much of his dental equipment is displayed in the San Juan Historical Museum in Pagosa Springs.

Joseph Hersch's son, Richard Hersch and wife, Dee, live in Marysville, Wash., and are good friends. He, also, felt sad when I told him about his grandparent's home.

"All things are destined to end, but the written word endures, my friend;" so I will continue to write stories and poetry of the family history to pass along to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Thank you for Pacing Pagosa, Richard Walter.

Elaine Ellsworth Kachel

 

Another way

Dear Editor:

My husband and I purchased a home here in March of this year. Work and family responsibilities prevent us from moving here full time just yet but we would if we could.

We researched and chose Pagosa Springs as a respite from Southern California. We want to show our 10-year-old son there is another way of life than McMansions, chain stores, traffic, smog and conspicuous consumption.

We were impressed that there is a dialogue about the development of this town and an expressed desire to retain the beauty, history and character of the area. We are disturbed that there is talk disputing the results of the Big Box task force. Behind all the other reasons, I hear dollars talking in discussions of chain stores, Wolf Creek and real estate developments.

In the short term, a select few get rich from this pro-development course and while the town may collect some revenue it will come at quite a cost. In the case of allowing large chain stores, the long-term impact will be a nonrecoverable loss of charming "mom and pop" stores, a loss of small town values, safety and security, and outright unattractiveness.

People may drive to Durango's WalMart, but that section of Durango is industrial and ugly. Pagosa has the opportunity to be the jewel of Colorado. It will pay in the long run to be a place that doesn't look like every other city in the world. Don't willingly sacrifice the irreplaceable for shopping convenience! Always look for the other reasons businessmen want development to happen which leads me to Wolf Creek.

The proposed Wolf Creek development is environmentally unsound, built at an altitude unsuitable for long-term habitation, and fails to acknowledge the impact on local resources. It is clearly development solely for profit. I would urge everyone to think long and hard about what you want and what you value.

The results will be here long after you and I, the developers, and the corporation heads are gone.

Very truly yours,

Jennifer and Chris Lomeli

 

A real cowboy

Dear Editor:

A letter to Virginia Bramwell and family.

It was with great sadness that I read of Floyd's passing in The SUN. His photo and the history of his life in the article brought back a flood of memories. It was 34 years ago that Phil Brevik and I made our first trip from Chicago to the East Fork in Dan McCarthy's red station wagon. It seems such a short time ago that I can almost see War Paint and Arby tied to the corral fence swatting flies with their tails and probably thinking, "Oh, please, not another couple of tourists playing cowboy."

I can see Floyd's grey truck near the house. No one was around, and Phil and I wondering where everyone went. I went over to the corral. I sidled up to Arby and decided to see what the view was like from the top of those broad shoulders. So, without untying the halter rope, my left foot slowly went in the stirrup and my right hand to the saddle horn. With a little jump and a good pull I expected to be on top like a real cowboy, like John Wayne or Roy Rogers. I never made it.

Soon, I heard some strange sounds: A pretty female voice singing a cowboy song, a young man saying something about, "Shoot low sheriff, we're riding Shetlands" and the deep gruff voice I knew was from a real cowboy, saying, "Aw, get up there now, get up there."

From my vantage point beneath Arby's belly, I realized there were people on horses coming up the driveway. Wiping dust and other goodies from my T-shirt and shorts, I crawled out from beneath the beast and did my best to look like nothing happened. So did Arby, except for the upside down saddle.

Soon, we were caught up in a whirl of western ways that lasted for 10 summers and beyond. Every day, in some way, I visit Pagosa. I might be up on Windy Pass on Old Brown Jug, or jingling the remuda on Blue. I remember the real cowboy never raising his voice, only laughing when we made our inevitable city boy mistakes. Riding in the dark, in the rain, through town, up to Beaver Meadows, never complaining, the real cowboy went; usually smiling that sly grin. In pain or sickness, he still rode on. He rode in a way that showed us the way. Not just the direction for that day, but the direction for every day we live.

Floyd was a friend, a teacher, a wonderful man. He allowed us to understand something of the heritage of the West by allowing us to join him in his world. With his passing, one of the last touchstones to that time is gone. My children can only read of his life. I am lucky: I can still see him on horseback, on that big sorrel named Tim, somewhere up by Treasure Mountain. I say, "Aren't you tired?" He winks and smiles as he tips his hat down low, closes his eyes, falls asleep and keeps on riding. The real cowboy.

My sympathies are with you all,

Tom McCarthy

Manhattan Beach, Calif.

 

Squatter's rights

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing my letter concerning the condition and upkeep of certain streets in Pagosa Springs (Sweetwater and Twincreek Circle).

If Pagosa Springs is not responsible for the streets and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has no legal obligation to maintain roads, just what do they do with the money they require residents to fork over?

Who , then, will object if I set up my trailer in the middle of Twincreek Circle and claim squatter's rights?

As ever,

Georgia Vollers

Laurel, Neb.

Editor's note: Again, it must be noted the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County are separate governmental entities. The town is not responsible for the upkeep of roads in the county, and vice versa. The PLPOA is a property owner's association, not a governmental entity — it does not receive tax revenues.

 

Community News

Tierra Alto, a new school available to all on 'higher ground'

By Dan Loper

Special to the PREVIEW

You may be noticing advertising around town about a G.R.E.A.T. school and are wondering about it.

Tierra Alta School is an independent, parent-run education opportunity designed with a Christian holistic approach to personalized education based on Mark 12:30-31.

In those verses, Jesus, the greatest teacher of all time, was asked what the most important commandment was. His response was, "The greatest commandment is to "love your Lord your God with all your heart (spiritually), with all your soul (emotionally), with all your mind (mentally) and with all your strength (physically)." Then He went on to say that the second commandment in rank and order of priority was to "love your neighbor (socially) as you love yourself."

Many times when people, a business or an organization claim to be "great," they hope you'll simply believe them with no explanation or proof. Even Tony the Tiger expects you to try his cereal simply because he says they're "grrreat!" At Tierra Alta Schools, we don't just want to say we're great without explaining and proving why we make that claim. So, we offer:

Grade improvement and advancement for students behind in school or who wish to make it through earlier.

Real, loving staff members who aren't just in it for the paycheck. We pride ourselves in being a friendly place where anyone who's willing to try will succeed.

Experience with a variety of techniques to get the information across in an easy to learn format. Our style helps many students "pre-learn" material.

Attitude of realistic confidence for a positive self-image is encouraged in every student in all facets of their life - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.

Training that goes beyond the normal classroom. We see life as a continual learning place to make us into important people with eternal values.

Tierra Alta is therefore a very hands-on, character-building, motivationally-based approach to education from a proper global, world view with a Biblical emphasis where it belongs. Students will not only be educated to build their mental capabilities, but they will also be challenged spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially in a well-rounded way.

Because we believe in an active style of teaching for all grades, there is much more hands-on work with a purpose available - including core subjects and electives on the block system for high school students. Part of this new push for an interactive educational experience includes direct use of the material being studied to show other people what we are learning. Although Tierra Alta School is a new choice for the fall of 2005, the staff has been involved in Christian education (K-12) in the Pagosa Springs are for many years.

The name Tierra Alta means "high ground" in Spanish. This name has a double meaning behind it. Struggling students who are about to drown, need to "head for high ground." For those who do well, they need to press on to "higher ground." Because the staff has a proven track record and experience in multiple and diverse educational settings, they bring the best of all possible opportunities for success to all students from all backgrounds.

Tierra Alta School, combined with interested active parents, is in an unprecedented position to impact education in the Pagosa area like never before. Past success has shown that the dedicated, loving staff has done a good job moving students up to high ground in their academics, attitudes and actions, making Tierra Alta School the preferred way for many parents to educate children in Archuleta County.

The core teaching staff of Tierra Alta School has many years of experience in a variety of academic settings including traditional classrooms, self-paced centers, individualized programs for struggling students and multigrade level styles. We are pleased to say that we have been very successful with all types of students, from those who are above grade level and need that extra opportunity for advancement to students who need that extra attention to help them get on top of their academic world.

Although Tierra Alta School is a new school we intend to live up to our name as we continue teaching like we have here in Pagosa for many years with proven success.

Future plans include expanding into preschool, adult education and vo-tech classes. Watch us move to "higher ground" at Tierra Alta School.

We want to make this G.R.E.A.T. opportunity available to all students in the Pagosa Springs area. Contact us if you believe Tierra Alta Schools sounds great for your child.

For more information, including other education opportunities beginning this fall through Tierra Alta School, located at 1860 Majestic Drive, you can contact us at (970) 903-3383, tierraltaschools @yahoo. com.

 

Lecture, workshop, auction planned by Pagosa Waldorf Initiative

The Pagosa Waldorf Initiative has announced a public lecture and workshop to be led by Rahima Baldwin Dancy on Aug. 5 and 6.

Dancy, author of "You Are Your Child's First Teacher," is one of the leading interpreters of the principles of Waldorf early childhood education. She received her training at the Waldorf Institute before teaching kindergarten at the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor and leading a Waldorf home preschool. She is the founder and president of Informed Family Life and author of "Special Delivery and Pregnant Feelings." She was a primary midwife and co-director of The Birth Center in Michigan for nine years. She currently lives in Boulder. Together with her husband, Agaf Dancy, she has raised four children who are now 25-35 years old.

All parents and educators want what is best for their children and students. Yet it is easier to define and meet basic physical and emotional needs than it is to know how, what and when to teach children in the preschool years.

What do young children really need? What will really prepare them for life in our rapidly changing world? These and other questions and topics will be explored in Dancy's Friday evening lecture.

Following this event there will be a live auction, with proceeds to benefit the Pagosa Waldorf Initiative - a budding nonprofit working to bring Waldorf education to the community.

On Saturday morning, the topic Family Matters: Creating a More Harmonious Home Life will be discussed. The pace of life and the many demands we all experience leave many parents too busy to notice that their home life has become chaotic and draining instead of being a haven of calm and renewal. Join other workshops participants to learn practical ways in which home life can be a supportive foundation for all members of the family.

Organizers of the event invite all those interested in the guidance and well-being of our young children to attend. Certificates of participation and CEUs will be available.

Tickets are on sale now at Pacific Auction Exchange (731-3949) and will also be sold at the door before the events. Cost is $10 for Friday evening 6-9 p.m. and $15 for Saturday morning 8:30 a.m.-noon. All events will take place in the Pagosa Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd.

For more information, call 731-1415.

 

Fun-filled fair opens with ceremony today

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

By the time this issue of The PREVIEW is on the streets Aug. 4 the opening ceremony for the Archuleta County Fair will be hours away.

The fair board has worked arduously, planning to make this year's fair one of our finest.

This article will recap some of the daily draws to the fair that will make it easy to pick from venues that may suit your personal tastes. We on the fair board think the residents and visitors will want to attend the fair daily. The fair really has a lot to offer from vendors, entertainment and crafts, while still staying centered on activities involving livestock and 4-H that are the heart of traditional county fairs.

The fairgrounds officially open today at 9 a.m. Throughout the morning, vendors will open and 4-H projects will be underway. The Education Tent will open at noon with a plethora of information and resources. At 4 p.m. the opening ceremonies will begin on the grounds with an elaborate cadence and The Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule and Carriage Association carrying local favorites, including our fair royalty, as passengers.

The opening parade features our 4-H participants representing their respective groups, marching into the Activity Tent to commemorate this year's theme of Old West Fest. The evening continues with entertainment featuring Wild West performers and the Pagosa Hot Strings, to mention a few of the many talents highlighted during the event. Door prizes will also be given out, with everyone having a chance to win during the festivities. As the opening ceremony concludes, the fun continues at 7 p.m. with the Bucking H Rodeo in the rodeo arena.

Friday, Aug. 5, brings many events you can explore as a family, including 4-H activities, Four Corners Draft Horse and Mule Carriage Association performances, demonstrations and Wild West performers. Children's games and contests will be held intermittently between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Colgate Country Showdown will begin in the Activity Tent at 5 p.m. Hot air balloon rides are available 6-8 p.m. A very special guest, racing legend Bobby Unser, will be at the Demolition Derby, which starts at 7 p.m.

Saturday Aug. 5, is packed with continued performances and events to draw in a crowd. One of the major highlights of the day is the 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner beginning at 4 p.m. At 6, choices include the Hypnosis Show, where you might see a neighbor moo like a cow or cluck like a chicken. If you prefer to see the genuine article and buy it, then you will want to attend the livestock auction held in the Livestock Tent. From 9 p.m. to midnight, enjoy the fair dance featuring Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge.

Sunday, wake up early because, from 8-10 a.m. we'll have the traditional pancake breakfast. Keep your appetite going for some chili sampling from noon to 2 p.m. during the Chili Cook-off. In addition, do not miss the children's rodeo from 1-4 p.m.

There are far too many things happening at the fair this year to mention them all in one article. The Bill of Fair has detailed information and times for every event. These brochures are available at many businesses around town and at the information booth at the fairgrounds. Along with the Bill of Fair detailed information can be accessed through our Web site, www.archuletacountyfair.com The fair board hopes everyone will attend this year's fair and celebrate our western heritage.

 

Young Pagosa musician to play at next Roots fest

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

When 17 year-old Chris Baum takes the stage Aug. 28 at American Roots Music Festival, Pagosa concertgoers will get a chance to hear a local talent who is among the most promising and creative musicians of his generation.

Going into his senior year of high school, there is no doubt what Chris Baum wants to do with his life.

"Music is really inspiring to me and it's a huge part of my life," he said. "I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Chris' musical mother, pianist and flautist Melinda Baum, recalls that Chris became inspired to play the violin at the age of 2 after seeing some children playing the instrument. At age 4, he began taking lessons on a one sixteenth-size violin. Now Chris plays with the Durango High School orchestra, the Western States Honor Orchestra and the All-State Orchestra. He also participates in the highly intensive Music in the Mountains Conservatory, and just passed the audition for the San Juan Symphony. Soon he will audition for the Durango Youth Symphony. Rehearsals take place in Durango, Farmington and on the Front Range.

"It's a little easier on my parents now that I have my driver's license," said Chris.

Although his main instrument is violin - and his primary focus is classical music - Chris is also interested in alternative rock, jazz and bluegrass. Besides violin, he also plays electric and acoustic guitar and trumpet.

With his ever-expanding musical interests and the doors of opportunity opening for him, Chris feels no need to set boundaries on his musical goals.

"I'd love to tour the world with a rock band. There are a lot of things I could do. I'll try them all out and see which ones I get into."

One of his goals is to compose music for film. He enjoys composing original orchestral works on a computer.

"The computer teacher at our high school, Mr. Sarnowski, let me take his advanced computer class and we set up a recording lab in the band room. So for a block of each school day, I either record or compose," Chris said.

From whence does this youthful composer derive his inspiration?

"I think the biggest tool I use to compose is emotion, because that's all real music is. It's emotion put into some form. If there's passion, if there's emotion in the music, it's going to turn out all right," he said.

Describing his creative process, he related, "Sometimes I sit down and have no idea what to write, so I'll sit there for half an hour deleting stuff from the computer. And there's other times when it just comes out. Then there's other times when I read a book or listen to something that gives me an idea for what I'd like to write."

Chris has definite ideas about what he likes about a piece of music. He said, "I think music needs to flow and go somewhere. It's got to read like a movie or a book."

He's a big admirer of Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, plus a few modern composers, some alternative rock groups and the Beatles.

Performing comes quite naturally for Chris. He not only performs music, but also acted in local high school and community theater productions.

During the Aug. 28 Roots concert, Chris will perform on his violin with multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts."There's a ton you can do with the violin," said Chris. "I just think it's such a gorgeous instrument."

Also performing will be bassoonist Valley Lowrance. Other performers will be announced in future editions of The Preview.

American Roots Music Festival takes place at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista then left on Port.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $12 for families. Children are admitted free of charge.

American Roots Music Festival is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.

For further information, call 731-3117.

 

Music lovers to hear Emmitt at folk fest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

What do Washington, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Utah, South Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, California, Arizona, Nevada, Iowa, British Columbia, Oregon, New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and dozens of other states have in common?

Residents from each one of those states (and many others besides) are represented in the audience at the Four Corners Folk Festival. The longest distance traveled to attend the festival, as far as organizers know, is by Jack and Jacque Paquet, who have made the trip from France four times, starting with the first Four Corners Folk Festival in 1996.

You may wonder why people travel so far to attend this event that takes place in your own backyard, now celebrating its 10th year. The answer is many-faceted: the natural beauty of the area, the fantastic music lineup, the outstanding on-site camping on Reservoir Hill, dozens of music workshops, late night campfire jams and the friendly, laid-back feel of the festival are some of the many favorable comments festival organizers hear from ticket buyers each year.

But audience members aren't the only ones who love returning year after year to Reservoir Hill. Many performers insist that the Four Corners Folk Festival is one of the best festivals they play, citing its professional organization, stunning backstage views, friendly staff and overall high caliber of the performing musicians among the things that make it stand out in a field of hundreds of festivals around the nation.

One of those returning musicians who the festival is proud to call a regular is Drew Emmitt, the dynamic lead singer and mandolin player with the popular jam band Leftover Salmon.

Drew is a true renaissance man on musical instruments, playing mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, flute and electric guitar. He's a string man to be reckoned with, excelling in unique, energy-driven mandolin licks. His influences include a pantheon of musical heroes like Lowell George, Steve Morse, Duane Allman, John Cowan, Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Hot Rize and New Grass Revival.

"I started playing when I lived in Nashville, where everybody played music," he said. "Then we moved to Boulder and there were a lot of really influential musicians floating in and out. I started going out to see bands like Hot Rize and really getting into bluegrass."

In 1984, Drew Emmitt founded the progressive bluegrass ensemble, The Left Hand String Band. Six years later, Vince Herman's serendipitous scramble for musicians to fill in a gig with his band, SalmonHeads, yielded a glorious amalgam: Leftover Salmon. According to Jambands.com, "Emmitt's mandolin prowess and songwriting gifts are two particular sources of the group's success." Emmitt is an extremely gifted musician and songwriter and one can't help but being swept away by his incredibly pure voice.

On his debut solo release, "Freedom Ride," Emmitt showcased a disc full of newgrass and bluegrass gems. "Freedom Ride," the album's lead track, features a hot duet vocal with former New Grass Revival lead singer John Cowan, a long-time hero of Emmitt's. Drew recently released a second solo effort entitled "Across the Bridge," which features appearances by heavy hitters like Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Cowan, Jim Lauderdale, Stuart Duncan and Ronnie McCoury.

Emmitt's dedication and love for music have helped him become one of our nation's top mandolin players. The Boulder-based quintet of Leftover Salmon has been a force in the Colorado music scene for over a decade. With solo CDs "Freedom Ride" and "Across the Bridge" under his belt, Drew Emmitt is becoming a force to be reckoned with himself. Fans can catch Drew's set on the main stage Saturday, Sept. 3, at 3:30 p.m.

Another Colorado band, Sweet Sunny South, plays original and traditional style old time and bluegrass music.

Based in Paonia, the group has been performing extensively throughout the region for the past three years and continues to build momentum. Their latest CD, "Bell Creek Dance Club," is enjoying strong reviews and is getting heavy airplay on radio stations across the nation and around the world. Within their sets you'll hear traditional old time fiddle tunes, straight-up bluegrass, driving mandolin instrumentals, swingy little ditties and soulful ballads. Without a doubt, the main focus of the group is the original songs of Powers and Miller and the arrangements by the group as a whole.

Sweet Sunny South is well known for their lively and entertaining performances. They have appeared at many fine festivals throughout Colorado and placed at the prestigious RockyGrass band contest in both 2003 and 2004. Sweet Sunny South is noted for their ability to entertain audiences with wry wit, solid musicianship, tight vocal harmonies and great song selections. Band members play around a single microphone in the style of the Grand Ole Opry, giving them a decidedly old-fashioned look and appeal.

Banjo and mandolin player Bill Powers writes most of the bands' original songs which take the listeners on scenic journeys into dusty old American music. Cory Obert plays a mean old-time fiddle and sings a solid high tenor. Rob Miller writes songs, plays rhythm guitar and sings lead and harmony. The newest member, Shelley Gray, plays bass and sings and puts the "Sweet" in Sweet Sunny South. The band will play on the festival's main stage Friday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m.

The 2005 Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, on Reservoir Hill, and is appropriate for the whole family. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets are available in Pagosa Springs downtown at Moonlight Books or in the Pagosa Country Center at WolfTracks Coffee and Books. To purchase tickets with a credit card, or for additional information, visit www.folkwest.com or call (877) 472-4672.

 

Pumas parade into Pagosa, but public art project has problems

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Want to buy a six-foot-tall, four-ton puma?

Twenty-six of the 29 pumas from the San Juan Mountains Association "Pumas on Parade" will be auctioned online starting Aug. 15. Until then, puma sightings around Pagosa include the Visitor's Center at the Chamber of Commerce, the Pagosa Springs Community Center and Town Hall.

Originally designed as a fund-raiser for the San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA), to bolster tourism, support local artists and to enhance the public awareness of caring for our natural resources, "Pumas on Parade" has become a financial drain for the nonprofit organization.

The mission of SJMA is to enhance personal and community stewardship of natural, cultural and heritage resources on public lands in southwest Colorado through education, interpretation, information and participation.

SJMA volunteers build trails, monitor cultural sites and ruins, host field seminars, serve as public land ambassadors, lead naturalist hikes and host the Clean Forest Hunter Information program and the Wilderness Information Specialists program - both providing experts in backcountry and wilderness survival to educate hunters and hikers alike of the importance of "leaving no trace."

With more than 500 volunteers, SJMA development director Felicity Broennan, believed her idea to pattern a public art project, based on the highly successful "Painted Ponies," in New Mexico, would be easy.

The native of Santa Fe consulted with Ponies executive director Rod Barker and other cities around the country that have launched successful public art programs such as this - cows in Chicago, orcas in Vancouver, trout in San Luis Obispo, horses in Aiken, S.C. and alpine swine in Grand Junction. In Aiken, 30 horses were sponsored by local businesses based on the concept alone. The business sponsorships paid to have each horse sculpture-cast and provided a stipend for the artists to design, decorate or embellish the sculpture.

"I thought my volunteers would help out, but they want to hike, monitor and build trails, not throw parties, do public relations and drive sculptures around," Broennan said.

And business sponsorship didn't work quite so well in Southwest Colorado as it did in Aiken. "We really overestimated the capability of the business community," Broennan said. "This is a very sophisticated project and people didn't get the value of what this is and what it can do for the community."

The original program concept was to bring communities together, to bring tourists to the area to see the pumas, to increase visibility, traffic and cash flow, to form partnerships and alliances among businesses, the arts community and public land agencies, to celebrate the centennial of the San Juan National Forest and ultimately, to raise money for SJMA's ongoing educational outreach and heighten the visibility and effectiveness of SJMA as an organization.

The pumas were unveiled on the Fourth of July and in the past few weeks have been put on display in locations from Cortez to Pagosa Springs, Telluride to Durango. To date, three pumas have been sold. Most businesses don't see the benefit of paying $3,000-$10,000 to have a six-foot tall, five-foot long puma taking up space.

This is the height of tourist season in southwest Colorado and businesses are booked all summer. As Broennan bemoaned, a bank in Cortez didn't understand the concept and felt it was more important to give $10,000 to resurrect the local rodeo than buy a puma for which they would have to find a permanent home, insure against vandalism and maintain. And people who frequently give $5,000 to Kiwanis, felt that was too much money for Pumas on Parade.

"We have 2.2 million visitors to our public lands every year," Broennan said. "The businesses didn't understand that they could support tourism and the stewardship of public land."

The problems are multifaceted.

"Public land is not that sexy," Broennan said. "SJMA is not a well-known organization. This is the biggest fund-raiser we've undertaken. Music in the Mountains would have had a different response."

Maybe, maybe not.

"None of us recognized what we were taking on," Broennan admitted.

In 2004, Broennan went to work for SJMA as their program director. She had been on the job just two weeks when the call for grant applications from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Forest Service for a joint Arts and Rural Community Assistance Initiative came across her desk. This special grant program supports arts-based rural community development projects utilizing the arts as an economic and community development tool, and as a steward of natural resources.

While SJMA executive director, Susan Bryson and the board of directors embraced the proposal, no one evaluated the organization's readiness to take on a project of this magnitude from a community perspective. No one had the artistic experience to handle complicated molds and sculptural casting. No one thought about hiring a public relations expert to insure the major media exposure that other public art events such as this have garnered.

They focused their time and energy on choosing an appropriate animal, considering lynx, bear and even a giant pine beetle. But they chose the mountain lion for its powerful aesthetic and symbolism. "This elusive predator, a native to the Four Corners, is integral to our ecosystem and arguably the most majestic animal on our lands. Cautious and cagey, the graceful puma embodies the beauty of nature, while epitomizing the intense conflicts triggered by human-wildlife proximity," Broennan writes on the SJMA Web site.

Twenty-nine artists were promised a stipend of $500 for materials to enhance their puma. Many were surprised at the size of the sculpture. Many spent more than 500 hours and thousands of dollars to create their original work of art. Most have not received their $500. Some artists have offered to donate their stipend to the cause.

"Pumas on Parade has been a capital intensive project. We are trying to make our payroll," Broennan said. "Layoffs are not okay."

Some artists have questioned why it's okay for SJMA staff to get paid when the artist is already receiving a mere token for their time and effort.

"We feel horrible," Broennan said. "The hardest phone call I had to make was to tell the artists we didn't have money to pay them and that we were in breach of contract. It's the hardest thing in the whole world."

Broennan feels lucky to have worked with such terrific artists and believes the finished products speak for themselves. They are each unique and beautiful. "I have worked with the most phenomenal artists," Broennan said. "Other communities had challenges with artists. We didn't.

"And $500 doesn't even come close to what they deserve," Broennan added. "They should get $1,000, but that's almost $30,000. All of this was predicated to bringing in $90,000 of business sponsors."

They have only raised one-third of that amount.

What about the original $10,000 NEA grant?

"I didn't know how much this would cost when I wrote the grant," Broennan admits. "It was my naivete about the art world."

Broennan thought artists might donate their mold or create an original sculpture to be used as the form for each puma. In most cities the artwork is created specifically for the project. Painted Ponies had Santa Fe sculptor Star Lianna York create two original horse sculptures, one standing one running, for the project. Broennan chose an existing sculpture by Loveland artist Rosetta. Rosetta's "On the Alert," is of a mountain lion, a cougar, a puma, frozen mid-stride, ever alert to the slightest sound or movement.

Rosetta's original sculpture was limited to an edition of eight and the mold was unusable. A new mold had to be created. The NEA funds covered Rosetta's fee and the creation of a new mold by a second artist in Loveland. Then each puma had to be hand cast by a third pair of artists. SJMA has picked up the tab for casting, shipping and crating.

Broennan still believes this is a viable project.

"I still feel honored. I still think it's the right animal. I'm proud that we were able to give each artist something of this stature. These are handmade sculptures. They are not hot fiberglass poured. Each is its own unique work of art from start to finish."

Pagosa Springs artists Paula Bain and Kathy Steventon are still supportive of the project, despite all the problems.

"I think it was a great idea, but publicity is absolutely essential," said Bain, whose puma is on display at Town Hall. "It can't survive without this. Everyone worked very hard and it turned out great."

"I suspect it can turn around," Steventon added. "Most of the artwork is beautiful, but marketing is a mess. Publicity costs lots of money and where is this coming from?"

Steventon, whose puma is on display at the community center, found the project to be enriching on many levels: personally, she is proud of her work; socially, she enjoyed working and getting to know other artists; philanthropically, she felt she was supporting a worthy cause.

"It really made me realize how difficult it is for nonprofit organizations to get the support that they shouldn't have to ask for," Steventon said. "Many in the community can support this and they haven't come forward."

Her concerns are that SJMA is not using the resources available in the community to help this project succeed. "They didn't handle this professionally. There didn't seem to be a strategy. Everything was a crisis and reaction."

"Every project has a risk," Broennan said. "I still believe in this model. It will teach people about mountain lions, it is beautifying to the community and I've loved working with the artists and the business community. I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Broennan added she would get the capital up front and take a more cautious route. She would start smaller and would know what is involved in the process. She would know what mold they were going to use and exactly how much it would cost to cast. She would hire a public relations expert. She would raise funds for something more appealing than the stewardship of public lands where the community falsely believes their tax dollars pay for upkeep and maintenance. She would allow two years for completion of the project and the ability to have the sculptures on display. She would have a track record of getting her board of directors to invest time and money in the project. She would have a larger staff. She would want a more connected, more active board.

"All these things have added up to NOT the plan."

Broennan hopes the online auction, sponsored by Alpine National Bank, will be a success. The auction will begin Aug. 15 at www.sjma.org. SJMA is looking for more people like Dick and Connie Imig of Durango Coca Cola who purchased a puma and donated it to the City of Durango for their permanent collection.

"They see it as the cat's meow," Broennan said with straight face.

For more information on Pumas on Parade, contact Broennan at the San Juan Mountains Association, (970) 385-1256 or log on to www.sjma.org.

 

Mule, donkey halter classes featured in fair

The Four Corners Draft Horse Mule and Carriage Association will be one of the many highlights of this year's county fair.

Various categories of Mule and Donkey Halter classes are represented throughout the four days of the fair. Below is a list of classes and subclasses included in this year's event.

Mule and Donkey Halter Classes:

- Mule and donkey foals under one year.

- Yearling mules and donkeys.

- 2-year-old mares.

- Breeding Jenny.

- Breeding Jack.

- Gelded donkeys.

- Model saddle mule under 14 hands.

- Model saddle mule over 14.1 hands.

- Model pack mule under 14 hands.

- Model pack mule over 14.1 hands.

- Mini mules or donkeys under 42 inches

- Mode 4L saddle mule class.

Draft Horse Class

- Foals under 1 year

- Yearling foals

- 2-year-old Foals

- Brood mares

- Mares

- Geldings: 4 years old and younger, five years old and younger.

- Stallions

- Mini horses under 42 inches

The grand and reserve categories in both mule and draft horse classes will be awarded with first, second and third class winners. Grand Champions of the above-mentioned categories will also receive separate awards. Spectators will be able to vote for their favorites with the Peoples Choice Award.

Other events will include obstacle courses, team riding and log skidding, to mention a few. Children can also enjoy the many games and contests in intermittent stages throughout the event.

The association has a new member of their brood that it will present at the fair. A newborn baby miniature donkey has arrived and does not have a name yet. If someone thinks of a clever name for the donkey, they will walk away with a framed picture of the little guy.

 

Interpretive Association to man Chimney Rock booth at fair

By Karen Aspin

Special to The PREVIEW

What do you know about our precious local asset, Chimney Rock?

Would you like to know more? No problem. This weekend, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association volunteers will stand ready to answer your questions at the Archuleta County "Old West Fest," where they will host an information booth in the shade of the Education Tent.

Designated an Archaeological Area and National Historic Site in 1970, Chimney Rock is situated on San Juan National Forest lands surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, three miles south of U.S. 160, on Colo. 151.

CRIA's mission is to provide to members of the general public who visit Chimney Rock Archaeological Area an enjoyable and educational experience - one sensitive to native cultures - and to assist the U.S. Forest Service in protecting the site.

In pursuit of these goals, CRIA conducts daily tours of the site ($8 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-11 - younger children tour free), displays artifacts as they become available, provides educational materials for sale, and presents historical seminars and exhibits when possible.

In August, CRIA offers a monthly Full Moon Program with an "Early Tour" option Aug. 19. On Aug. 27, a Major Lunar Standstill fund-raiser and a free geology tour with USDA Forest Geologist Glenn Raby are scheduled. Details on these programs will be available at the fest booth, with specifics provided on the CRIA Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.

CRIA operates its interpretive program through a special-use permit with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District. Volunteer association tour guides serve thousands of visitors each season on four, two-hour walking tours each day, seven days a week, May 15 to Sept. 30. Cabin hosts greet thousands more at the visitor cabin. The program's operating funds come from tour fees, donations and sales at the gift shop. CRIA workers also arrange for and provide their own training in interpretation, guiding, and visitor service needs and safety. The program has served almost 100,000 visitors since its inception in 1988.

Volunteers are the heart of the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program, and a wide range of interesting volunteer opportunities exists. Nearly 100 local residents who love Chimney Rock make up CRIA's cadre of volunteers. Still, there are many volunteer opportunities remaining.

Friends of Chimney Rock and CRIA memberships provide the deeper satisfaction of supporting ongoing training of volunteer tour guides and free educational programs for school children, while contributing to the preservation and stewardship of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

This weekend, these loyal friends and "Chimney Rockers" will be happy to share the many reasons why visiting and supporting Chimney Rock can be so fulfilling.

Mark your calendars: the Education Tent opens at noon today, Aug. 4, and at 9 a.m. Friday through Sunday. Make sure to stop by the CRIA booth and find out why Chimney Rock really rocks.

 

Local Chatter

Try tennis for polite sport action on TV

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

This summer, the TV networks ESPN and CBS will be carrying the U.S. Open series on weekends.

This will make tennis fans happy and fill in the time until the U.S. Open 2005, Aug. 28-Sept. 1 in Flushing, N.Y.

With the added exposure, new viewers will be watching, and for those who don't know the rules, here are some guidelines.

Tennis is played on a court divided by a net. Two players can play against each other, called singles; or four players can play each other, called doubles. The rules are basically the same for both.

The court is divided by a net. Each side has two service courts next to the net and a backcourt. The narrow strips along the sides are called alleys; the inside boundary of the alley is the boundary for singles play and the outside boundary of the alley the boundary for doubles play.

Servers stand behind the back boundary line. They alternate right to left when they serve. The ball has to be served into the diagonal service court of the opponent. If it doesn't hit there, this is called a fault; the server tries again. If, again, the ball doesn't hit there, the call is double fault and the opponent gets a point.

If the ball goes in the right service court and is not returned by the opponent, this is called an "ace." "To ace the ball" is an expression used in such cases.

Some players serve mighty hard and Andy Roddick reportedly has a 150-mph serve.

Keeping score in tennis is like learning another language. It's been that way forever and, so I've read, the idea to simplify the scoring is proposed and the idea knocked down quickly.

A game has four points, but they don't have numbers such as 1-2-3-4. Rather, the points are 15-30-40 and game.

Zero is called "love." The server's serve is reported first - so let's say the server makes a point. The score is then 15-love. Let's say both players have a point. Then the score is said to be 15 all. If the server has a score of 40 and makes the next point, that's game. But if both sides have 40, this is called "deuce." When deuce is the score, whichever side gets the next point, the score is reported as "add," followed by player's name. If the opponent makes the next point, he or she has won the game and the expression "breaks" is used, meaning the opponent broke the servers' serve.

If the server, wins the expression "holds" is used, meaning the server held his serve.

A game is six points. To win a game, a player has to be two points ahead.

Two won games make a set.

Tennis is a polite game. It can be played on clay (as the French Open) grass (as Wimbledon) or on a hard surface, as the U.S. Open.

Listen to the announcers and you can learn a lot about tennis.

Enjoy.

Fun on the run

Seen on hospital charts ...

- The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

- Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

- On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

- The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

- Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.

- Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

- Patient left white blood cells at another hospital.

- Patient's medical history has been remarkable, with only a 40-pound weight gain in the past three days.

- Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

- She is numb from her toes down.

- While in ER, she was examined, X-rated, and sent home.

- The skin was moist and dry.

- The patient was alert and unresponsive.

- She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

- I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

- The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

- Patient was seen in consultation with Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit on the abdomen, and I agree.

- Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

Community Center News

Waldorf workshop highlights week at community center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Waldorf Initiative's Parenting Workshop is set for Aug. 6 and 7.

Rahima Baldwin Dancy, author of "You Are Your Child's First Teacher," is coming to Pagosa to conduct these public workshops. Call Ashley D' Ambrosia, 731-1415, to buy your tickets to these workshops. Tickets are $10 for the Friday session and $15 for Saturday. There will also be a live auction on Friday evening to benefit the Pagosa Waldorf Initiative.

Concerning the Friday session, 6-9 p.m., Dr. Marianne Calvanese writes, "All parents want what is best for their child. Yet it is easier to define and meet basic physical and emotional needs than it is to know how, what and when to teach children in the pre-school years. What do young children really need? What will really prepare them for life in our rapidly changing world?"

Saturday's session, 8:30 a.m.-noon, is about family matters, writes Calvanese. "Creating a more harmonious home life will be discussed. The pace of life and many demands we all experience leave many parents too busy to notice that their home life has become chaotic and drained instead of being a haven of calm and renewal. Join us as we learn practical ways in which home life can be a supportive foundation for all members of the family."

CVC speaker series.

This Community Vision Committee sponsored event is Thursday, Aug. 11, from 6-8 p.m.. It is the first of three evenings in a series in which speakers will talk about Creative Spaces. Mark Childs will talk Aug. 11 on the topic of "Public Art and Civic Spaces: Fundamental to a Civil Society." Childs is an associate professor of architecture at the Univ. of New Mexico. He is one of the leading experts in the country on the design of public spaces and the social aspects of urban design. As director of the Design and Planning Assistance Center he works with communities to restore life to town squares and central places.

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 are offered at the community center and what fund-raising efforts to conduct for the center. Committee members also provide assistance during these events. We need new people with lots of ideas. Please call me, 264-4152 Ext. 22.

Computer news from Becky

This week, the Tuesday morning class tackled the fine art of searching the World Wide Web. I once took a searching course which lasted a week, so you know this is a bigger topic than can be covered in a couple of hours. Anyway, we talked first about options: that it's worthwhile to take a look at those, to read carefully about what is offered and to make some choices. For example, how you want your results displayed. Do you want all languages or just Web sites in English? Do you want text or just images? Lots of decisions.

Another interesting thing to think about is key words. The more specific your search terms are, the more easily and quickly you will get to the pertinent information. I tried a search on "marbles," since the subject had come up in conversation last week. My results included sites having to do with countertops, various types of marble used in sculpture, the Parthenon, etc. There were 1,310,000 hits. But of course I was looking for glass marbles - specifically the rules for a game of marbles. A search on "children's game marbles" yielded 274,000 hits - much more workable. I further narrowed this group by changing my preferences to just Web sites in English. Now I had lots of variations on the game I used to play. Sometimes what you want is right at the top of the Web site list; at other times, this narrowing of your search will get you where you want to go.

Upcoming events

A cooking class with Edith Blake will start soon. Edith loves to cook and would like to share her favorite Italian recipes with the class 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.

Pat Wissler, a part-time Pagosa resident writes poetry and short stories and would like to share this talent with the community. Watch for further details as to what day and time her program will be available. Thanks Pat for responding to the center's needs for free programs.

Programs needed

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 to form groups and conduct programs. Someone even asked me about the possibility of staring an Irish/Scottish dancing group for fun. Call 264-4152.

This week

Friday, Aug. 5 - 11:15-11:35 a.m., senior walking program; 6-9 p.m., Waldorf Parenting Workshop.

Saturday, Aug. 6 - 8:30 a.m.-noon, Waldorf Parenting Session; 6-10 p.m., elk calling seminar.

Sunday, Aug. 7 - 9 a.m.-noon, Church of Christ Sunday service; 9 a.m.-noon, Grace Evangelical Free Church service; 2-4 p.m., United Pentecostal Church service.

Monday, Aug. 8 - 11:15-11:35 a.m., senior walking program; 12:30-4 p.m., Senior Bridge Club; 4:305:30 p.m., Building Blocks 4 Health; 7-9 p.m., Loma Linda HOA meeting.

Tuesday, Aug. 9 - 10 a.m.-noon, senior computer class; 11:15-11:35 a.m., senior walking program; 1-4 p.m. computer Q&A with Becky.

Wednesday, Aug. 10 - 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Basic II Watercolor Workshop; 10 a.m.-3 p.m., bridge club; 5:30-7 p.m., photo club meeting; 6-8 p.m., arthritis class; 7-8 p.m., Church of Christ Bible study; 7-9 p.m., Grace EV music practice.

Thursday, Aug. 11 - 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Basic II Watercolor Workshop; 6-8 p.m., CVC Creative Spaces speaker series.

The gym is open every day, 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.

 

Education News

Education Center gearing up for a new school year

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

Another summer is coming to a close and the Archuleta County Education Center is gearing up for a new school year with fun and exciting after-school activities.

Starting Sept. 6, the third week of school, our elementary tutoring program will open the year under continued leadership of Lucille Stretton, coordinator.

As usual, there will be enrichment classes 3:15-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, including art, drama and cooking. And, Fun Friday will continue, 1:30-5 p.m.

We also have exciting activities for students in grades 5-8 every Friday 1:30-5 p.m. at the junior high school. Classes include horseback riding, fly fishing, babysitter's workshop and more.

The Homework Center for kids in grades 5-8 who need assistance with homework or school assignments starts Sept. 19 with Becky Johnson, coordinator.

Family, adult classes

The center will also offer Parent and Child Together Nights each month. These evenings are filled with fun and games, giving parents and children time to learn together.

Dinner is provided at no cost for these events on the third Thursday of each month. The first dinner is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 20, with the theme of transportation.

Throughout the year we offer a number of computer, foreign language, first aid and CPR classes held 5:30-9 p.m. or on Saturdays. The next such class will be Aug. 24 and 25.

We also offer classes for anyone needing to complete their GED or learn English as a second language. Call the office for the fall schedule.

The Archuleta County Education Center looks forward to another successful year in the community.

Call 264-2835 or stop by offices at 4th and Lewis streets for complete class listings.

 

Senior News

Traveling's on our minds this week

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

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 theatre.

"Broadway Bound" by Neil Simon is playing at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, in the scenic mountain town. This show is the third of Simon's celebrated biographical trilogy, set in 1940s Brooklyn and 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

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 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, and return around 3:30 p.m. Maximum number of 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.

Grand journey

Charly Heavenrich, from Boulder, first rafted the Grand Canyon in 1978 and it changed his life. Since then he has been sharing the experience of the canyon as a speaker, author, coach, photographer and professional raft guide.

Charly will make a presentation on the "Spirit of the Canyon" at The Den 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. Don't miss this inspiring and uplifting journey as he takes you down the Colorado River on a virtual tour through the Grand Canyon.

Computer lab news

This week, the Tuesday morning class tackled the fine art of searching the World Wide Web. I once took a searching course which lasted a week, so you know this is a big topic that can't be covered in a couple of hours.

Anyway, we talked first about options: that it's worthwhile to take a look at those, to read carefully about what is offered and to make some choices. For example, how you want your results displayed? Do you want all languages or just Web sites in English? Do you want text or just images? Lots of decisions.

Another interesting thing to think about is key words. The more specific your search terms are, the more easily and quickly you will get to the pertinent information. I tried a search on marbles, since the subject had come up in conversation last week. My results included sites having to do with countertops, various types of marble used in sculpture, the Parthenon, etc. There were 1,310,000 hits. But, of course, I was looking for glass marbles - specifically the rules for a game of marbles. A search on children's game marbles yielded 274,000 hits - much more workable. I further narrowed this group by changing my preferences to just sites in English. Now I had lots of variations on the game I used to play.

Sometimes what you want is right at the top of the Web site list; at other times, this narrowing of your search will get you where you want to go.

Thanks Troop 1279

We were the lucky recipients of cookies donated by Girl Scout Troop 1279. Thanks for letting us be the organization that allowed you to complete your badge. Congratulations!

Calling all writers

If you are a writer and would like to meet with other writers in the area, it's time to get the Writer's Club started. Dr. Alvin Franzmeier is an author with three novels under his belt. For more information contact Al at 731-9766. Learn more about Al at www.alfranzmeier.com.

Yoga class

We normally meet 10 a.m. Wednesday, but our instructor has a commitment on the third Wednesday of every month. Is there anyone willing to volunteer their 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 Fridays too. All levels are welcome to join in at 1 p.m. Monday and Friday. The room location is subject to change here at The Den due to availability.

Activities at a glance

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

Monday, Aug. 8 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 9 - Basic computer, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Canasta, 1 p.m. Final sign up for Creede trip.

Wednesday, Aug. 10 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; Pinochle, 1 p.m.; last day to sign up for Durango trip.

Thursday, Aug. 11 - Enjoy the day in Durango.

Friday, Aug. 12, - Qi Gong 10 a.m.; blood pressure checkup, 11a.m.-noon; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; senior board meeting (local council on aging), 1 p.m.; journey through the Grand Canyon with professional photographer, Charly Heavenrich, 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.

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

Monday, Aug. 8 - Meat loaf, cheesy potato, broccoli and pineapple tidbits.

Tuesday, Aug. 9 - Hot turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, asparagus almandine and fruit compote.

Wednesday, Aug. 10 - Combination burrito, brown rice, lettuce/tomato and peaches.

Friday, Aug. 12 - Beef stew and veggie, citrus cup and biscuit.

 

Veteran's Corner

Veterans deserve a better health care system

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I noted American Legion National Commander Thomas P. Cadmus recently said he is encouraged that Congress and the administration acted swiftly to cover a recently revealed $1 billion shortfall in this year's VA health-care budget. However, the leader of the world's largest veterans organization added that emergency spending bills are merely a short-term fix to a long-term problem.

I say amen to that! As my frequent readers here know, I have been a long-time advocate of fixing the messy VA Health Care program that keeps many of our aging wartime and peacetime veterans from obtaining their promised health care by the VA. No veteran should be left out of the system, regardless of income; none should be kept from obtaining his or her earned health care. Yet, the threshold of income is set so low that many aging married veterans living on fixed incomes cannot enroll in VA health care.

All veterans

"Timely, compassionate care must be delivered to the heroes of past wars and to today's newest veterans, 85,000 and counting, who have come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and now entrust their care to VA," Cadmus said.

Cadmus went on to say, "These shortages are becoming annual events because the current discretionary funding formula used to se the budget is inherently flawed. They must change the funding formula. VA health care funds must be assured. This is about human lives."

Estimate low

The VA had estimated the number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to be about 23,000 while the actual number is 103,000 - 78-percent difference.

"We know firsthand that VA's health care system is underfunded and that care is now being rationed. VA health care is not a partisan issue. No American, Democrat or Republican, veteran or not, wants rationing," Cadmus said.

VAHC plus Medicare

Of course, as many of you know, I advocate that the VA health care and Medicare systems should work together, share necessary common patient information, and allow aging and disabled veterans to obtain prescription drugs and perhaps other specialized needs through their Medicare health care providers. It would reduce VA costs and help Medicare as well.

After all, two federal budgets shouldn't be chasing the same patient and crying for more money to do it with.

Collect unpaid bills

Cadmus said VA must now make a priority of collecting some $3 billion in unpaid bills from insurance companies and other third-party payers. Also, he added, veterans must be permitted to use their Medicare benefits at VA facilities.

I'm glad other veteran advocates with more powerful voices than mine are echoing the same message.

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 please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-8375, the fax number is 264-8376, and 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

Talk to me Pagosa: I'm still listening

By Christine Anderson

SUN Columnist

As a little girl, I listened to my Dad and the other farmers around the kitchen table on winter mornings. Piles of warm doughnuts vanished as they hollered at each other about politics, bellowing about Ike, pounding the table. What fun. Truman and Dewey. Oh man!

I listened to the Baptist preacher talking up a storm when I went to church with Gramma Anderson. I listened to readings of Mary Baker Eddy when my other grandmother came to town. I listened to Latin at the Catholic Church when Grampa Duffy visited. And I listened to my father harrumph about the whole lot of them, as had his father before him.

I listened to my aunts and uncles talk about "The Communists" after church on Sunday, all of us jammed together at Gram's little table, eating fried chicken. I listened to my darling, tiny, blue-eyed, utterly gentle, forgiving, and all generous Gram say, to our collective shock, she thought it was OK that those cousins died of swine flu around WW I, because they didn't go enlist to fight.

"Why, Gram," said a startled Uncle Eddie, "are you saying they should have died because they wouldn't be cannon fodder?"

"Yes," she said, smiling up gently.

Boy, life was interesting, if you could just listen to enough different people talk for a while.

I debated in high school, traveling the circuit around Illinois, with my best friend, doing cross-x, or switch-side, cross-x. The word debate makes it sound like you talk a lot, but mostly just you listen as hard as you can, getting ready for the few minutes when you're going to talk as fast as your mouth can move.

About this time, also, I decided I would own a little country diner.

I'd have fun cooking wonderful food. I'd live in cozy little quarters behind the diner with my cats and dogs. I'd have a garden for greens and herbs to serve to my customers, who'd be local characters, coming in for breakfast and lunch. I'd spend time listening to their gossipy, gnarly tales, as I fed them wonderful food. I'd only be open for a couple of dinners, because most evenings I'd be busy writing.

I'd be busy writing up stories I listened to during the week. So, I was going to be a cook, a gardener, and a novelist. Oh, what a wonderful plan.

Mostly, I figured, I'd just have to be a good listener to write novels.

The diner counter turned into a library check-out desk, the stack of rejection slips grew, the kindest of them urging revision, others just rude, rude.

Ever hopeful, I worked hard on developing a phonographic ear. I worked hard at the work of listening. I became a listener.

So Pagosa, your new librarian is delighted to be here. And, she is listening to you.

She is listening to the tourists on the main streets. She is listening to the sounds of Spanish in restaurants. She is listening to the business people she sees as she goes about town on library business. She is listening to the patrons who come to the library desk. She is listening to the volunteers, the Friends, the staff, the board.

Talk to me Pagosa.

Tell me what you like about the library you and Lenore built, what you want to see in the future. Tell me what the library hasn't given to you that you need. Tell me how much you loved the Summer Reading Program with chickens in the library and ponies in the parking lot. Tell me how long you had to wait to use the computers, that one interlibrary loan at a time isn't enough, that you don't want to drive from the Pagosa Lakes area to return books. Tell me there aren't enough Spanish books, that there is no way for your Gram in the nursing home to get audio books, that you'd like some Italian films in the collection. Tell me when you need to have the library open. Tell me you'd like to see a sustainable kids' garden project, a la Alice Water's Oakland and Berkeley projects, as part of the library landscape.

Teachers, tell me how we can support you better. Music lovers, tell me you want the Great Opera Lecture Series on audio, or the documentary films on Roy Orbison or Chuck Berry. Teenagers, tell me what you need and want from your library. Artists and artisans, come tell me how you'd like to help decorate the new space. Retired professors, come tell me you'd like to do a night lecture on astronomy, looking out to the skies from our huge glass-walled public area facing Wolf Creek.

The renovated library will reopen and it will be wonderful.

You've all been working so hard, for such a long time, to see this triumph. The State of Colorado requires a three-year plan shortly, though, and they want to know what we are going to do with our wonderful new space that they have contributed to also. We know what we are going to do with our wonderful new space: something wonderful.

Come and tell me what that wonderful thing you'd like!

 

Arts Line

Two new PSAC exhibits on display starting today

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The PSAC sponsored, second annual Juried Art Exhibit opens tonight at the Wild Spirit Art Gallery.

Exhibits are usually held at the Arts Council gallery in Town Park, but this month we are sponsoring two exhibits: the Juried Art Exhibit at Wild Spirit and the Photo Club Exhibit, in combination with jeweler Cynthia Harrison, at the Town Park gallery.

The Juried Art Exhibit features fine art in water media, oil, pastels and drawings and PSAC is awarding prizes totaling $1,800. The first-place award is $1,000; second place is $500, third place $200 and the People's Choice is $100.

Pagosa artist Carole Cooke was the selection juror. Carole is known for her evocative plein aire landscapes. She is a participant in such prestigious annual exhibitions as the Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, the Western Visions Exhibition at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, and the Colorado Governor's Invitational Show at the Loveland Museum of Art in Colorado. Carole has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine and was recently profiled again in the May/June 2005 issue of Art of the West Magazine.

The reception is 5-7 p.m. so don't miss it.

Photo club show

Seven members of the Pagosa Springs Photography Club will exhibit prints today-Aug. 31 at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery. 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 his or her fine art prints. The gallery will also contain handmade jewelry by local artist Cynthia Harrison. She uses a lost wax and fabrication method to create jewelry in sterling silver, fine silver and 14-karat gold, as well as with stone insets. This show will feature jewelry with a horse theme.

The opening reception will begin 5 p.m. Aug. 11. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Home, garden tour art

This year, the home and garden tour focused attention on local artists.

Each home had a good representation of local art in private collections. In addition, 14 local artists graciously loaned a total of 33 works of art for display at the Whispering Pines Townhome models.

Tour participants were able to enjoy refreshments while perusing oils, watercolors, photography, pastels, fabric and watercolor collages, delicate pencil drawings and silk mélanges while familiarizing themselves with the wide range of local talent.

Thanks to the following artists, who donated work: Pat Erickson, Wayne Justus, Anita King, Brenda McCooey, Jeanine Malaney, Virginia Bartlett, Anne Shurtleff, Bruce Anderson, Sandy Applegate, Inge Tinklenberg, Ken and Jan Brookshier, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Sanborn and Kayla Douglass.

This was the first attempt at showcasing local artists as part of the home and garden tour, and the response was most favorable. We hope to expand next year's exhibit. We'll be looking for more art work to display so, local artists, keep that in mind for next year's tour.

We hope you enjoyed the fifth annual tour. Thanks to all who participated. We hope to see you again next year!

Creative Spaces

The Community Vision Committee Arts and Culture Committee is proud to present a series of three talks in August.

Each evening begins with a reception in the community center 6 to 6:30 p.m., and the presentation will take place at 6:30 . The first talk will be Aug. 11 and is titled "Public Art and Civic Spaces: Fundamental to a Civil Society." It features speaker Mark Childs, associate professor of architecture at the University of New Mexico. Childs is one of the leading experts in the country on the design of public spaces and the social aspects of urban design. As director of design of the Planning Assistance Center, he works with communities to restore life to town squares and central plazas.

The subject for Aug. 15 is "Successful Public Art Programs: Perspectives from Two Colorado Towns" with Harold Stalf and Joe Napoleon. Stalf is the director of the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority, and has served as assistant city manager in Aspen and as town manager for Milton, Wisc. and Crested Butte. Stalf is the former executive director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colorado's Ocean Journey, the Denver Film Society and the Denver International Film Festival. Napoleon is planning director for the City of Woodland Park and staff liaison between the city and the Downtown Development Authority. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Colorado Community Revitalization Association and is involved in the Colorado Festival of World Theatre.

The final evening in the series is Aug. 25 - "Creating a Vision for Downtown: Weaving Public Art, Urban Design and Streetscape into a Livable Community" with Nore Winter, an urban design and planning consultant for more than 25 years. Winter specializes in services to communities with special amenities, distinctive natural settings and traditional neighborhoods that seek to protect their heritage.

For more information contact Angela Atkinson at 731-9897.

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, Okla., 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.-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.

PSAC Watercolor Club

The club was formed in the winter of 2003. Since that time, Pagosa watercolorists have met at 10 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The rooms are available to us for the day and we each contribute $5 for the use of the space. The venue for the day varies as watercolorists get together to draw and paint. We sometimes have a demonstration of technique from a professional watercolorist or framer. Other times, a few people bring still lifes or photos or projects they want to complete.

Come join us, bring your lunch and your watercolor supplies for a fun day. The next meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Drawing with Randall Davis

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, Aug. 20 and drawing with Randall Davis.

The class begins 9 a.m. at the community center and usually finishes up around 3 p.m. In the summer months, we meet at the community center, then go outside to draw at a nearby location.

Randall is doing a continuing study of perspective and composition in nature. If you have never attended one of his classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance. All you need to bring is a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils (preferably a mid-range No. 2 or 3 and a No. 6 in a bold lead and in a hard lead), ruler, eraser and an attitude to enjoy the day. Bring your own sack lunch, since you'll be having so much fun you won't want to take the time away from drawing to go get one. And of course bring the usual outdoor items such as hat, water, sunscreen and folding chair.

It's best to make a reservation through PSAC, 264-5020. Space allowing, walk-ins are always welcome

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 in which Pagosa's finest woodworkers can show their newest wares. The Fine Woodworking Exhibit starts Sept. 29 and continues through Oct. 31.

The Arts Council is requesting applications from area woodworkers. Selection will emphasize a balance between art and craftsmanship.

For more information, contact the gallery at 264-5020, e-mail PSAC@centurytel.net, contact David Smith at 264-6647 or e-mail him at 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, Wild Spirit Gallery.

Aug. 4-31 - Photo Club Exhibit, Town Park Gallery.

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

Aug. 2 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Meet at 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

When there is no kitchen, there is always the grill

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I can move any time I want.

I can roll to my side. I can sit up and stand up. I can wave my arms.

Really, I can.

At the moment, however, it would be extraordinarily painful to do so. Perhaps I'll wait a bit.

I am on my back, stretched out on a bare mattress. The mattress sits in the middle of a stuffy, dark room. The room is filled with large, cardboard boxes. It smells like a warehouse.

It is eight in the evening. Kathy tells me it is a beautiful evening.

To rise and walk to the deck to confirm her appraisal would be a less-than-desirable experience.

My only goal at this juncture is to take shallow breaths, little baby breaths so as not to cause a ripple of pain to flow from neck to feet. I am buoyed by clinging to the notion that the human body is a remarkably durable machine, capable of recovery from considerable trauma, even at my age.

The trauma?

I just finished twelve hours of physical labor - making the move to a new house.

With the help of a bevy of friends, Kathy and I have toted what seems to be at least 100 tons of mostly useless crud from one dwelling to another.

The process alters my body and alters my perception of the character of our possessions.

What were once delightful pieces of antique furniture, for example - china cabinets, 19th century oak dental cabinets and the like - have morphed from lovely period delights into cumbersome monsters. If I had a hatchet, and could move without experiencing mind-numbing pain, I would hack the beasts to bits, create a bonfire, roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Maybe even sing a couple rousing choruses of "Kumbayah."

I was reminded today, too, that pianos are heavy.

Especially when they have to be taken to the lower level of a house. As in down a steep slope on a gravel path, around the house and in the back door.

Hardbound books are a lot heavier than you think. A box of these beauties could anchor a yacht. Fifty boxes could anchor the fleet.

I thought I was up to it. But, I was oh so wrong. Despite the fact I am an aged gym rat, obsessed with picking up heavy objects and putting them down again an average five days a week, this drill has beaten me. I surrender. Unconditionally.

To make matters worse, the project is far from over. Lurking in the shadows, out beyond the shallow horizon of this world of profound physical pain, lies the utterly distressing prospect of unpacking the 42,000 boxes we moved today and finding places for the useless crud we apparently need to make us feel "at home."

For the first time since Kathy and I moved to Pagosa nearly two decades ago, we have a two-car garage. Our vehicles are parked at the front of the house, however, since the two-car garage is packed with useless crud. Boxes are stacked five and six high; there is barely room to walk between the stacks. There is no order to the boxes, though we began the day and the move with the best of intentions, trying to engineer the event, endow it with a practical design. We were going to put all the boxes of books in one section of garage, all the boxes of kitchen items in another section, the linens in another, clothes in yet another, etc.

Needless to say, we failed. Miserably.

What we created is a Mt. Everest of boxes, everything mixed together. Total confusion. Not a state with which I am unfamiliar but, in this case, it is certain to cause sustained grief.

For me, that grief has begun.

I could care less about any of the rooms in a house except the kitchen. Thus, I need to put the new kitchen in order first thing, get the nerve center of my life in working order. My last effort today, using up the little bit of energy I had left, was to seek out the boxes containing my basic implements.

Fat chance. I got lost in the garage. After an hour, I found one spatula, a chef's knife and a single, crumb-ball frying pan.

That's it. Everything else I need is somewhere in that frightening space, sedimented between layers of junk.

It's going to be tough sledding for a while.

I have only one option: retreat to the grill.

Incidentally, have I mentioned how heavy a grill is? A lot heavier than it looks, believe me.

Mine is set up on the upper deck. I ponder the possibilities, should I need to play the instrument for, say, five or six months.

I suppose it could be interesting: the grill fired up, flesh searing, smoke rising. Beef, pork, fish, fowl - they can all take a turn over the heat.

I admit, though I prefer braises and sautes to grilled flesh, I read so darned many books and magazines about food and cooking that I fall prey now and then to the ever-present praise for the simplicity of grilled flesh. And, I have to admit simplicity is a sturdy principle when it comes to preparing delicious fare. Get past six ingredients in a home-cooked dish and you risk sliding off the road into the ditch, tastewise.

So, the grill it will be. Meats, fish (firm, please) fowl, merely seasoned with salt and pepper or, given the time and inclination, sloshed around in a marinade for a while, will go on the grill I bought last year and struggled to move to my new house today. It's a gas grill and I will use it without shame. Regardless of the flavor-enhancing characteristics of wood and charcoal, I am not up to the mess and the fuss. I spent enough years with fire in the Boy Scouts. I'll leave the smoking and fire work to my friends Michael C. (the Michelangelo of Meat) and Toby. It is their turf; they do it well.

With the gas grill and its fairly precise temperature control, the meats are a snap as long as they are not overdone The challenge with grilled flesh, as I see it, is the choice of accompaniments. The sides. Vegetable matter.

OK, there's the obvious answer when considering options: grilled veggies - cooked adjacent to the flesh, just as simple, minimally seasoned, oiled lightly, charred slightly. Asparagus and yams give up their sugars willingly to the extreme heat and are toothsome. Broccoli is tremendous cooked on the grill.

But, there are others side options for grill, oven or stovetop that I have taken a real liking to.

For example, grilled peppers. Easy business with the heat cranked up to thermonuclear levels. Bell peppers of all colors are excellent; better yet, poblanos and pasilla. Best yet, a mix of as many as you can find.

Wash the peppers, dry them, seed them and plop them on the grill. Char the skins then put the hunks of pepper in a paper bag; close the top of the bag and allow the steam generated by the warm pepper flesh to loosen the skins. Skin the beauties, cut them into strips, put them in a shallow dish, slick them up with extra virgin olive oil, slip them into the fridge for a while. Maybe roast a couple heads of garlic and add the roasted cloves to the pepper mix. Want something swell with grilled beef or grilled pork tenderloin? This is a great start.

How about a grilled beef tenderloin, with a cabernet reduction, all syrupy cab, shallot, herb du jour, garlic, glace de viand? What fits this picture?

A puree of cannelini or white kidney beans.

A couple cans of the beans are rinsed and dried. Olive oil is heated in a saucepan over medium high heat and minced garlic and white onion are added. When the garlic is golden and the onion bits are soft in go the beans, salt, black pepper, a pinch each of dried oregano and red pepper flakes and the mix is heated for several minutes. In goes some chicken stock, (maybe a splash of dry, white wine - not much, just a splash) and the mess is simmered until the stock is nearly gone. Take two-thirds of the bean mixture and puree it in a blender or with a hand processor. Add back to the remaining beans, moisten if necessary with a touch more stock. Adjust seasonings.

Yeah. Goes great with grilled salmon as well, with tarragon added to the beans, instead of oregano .

How about baking some tomatoes? Cooking tomatoes (sold at the store as "vine ripened,"- a joke only a corporate grocer can enjoy) improves these window breakers. Crank the oven up to 350. Halve some of those mutant tomatoes you buy at the store, seed them and drain them for a while. Make a mix of freshly made breadcrumbs, finely minced garlic or shallot or both, minced parsley, salt and pepper. Add your herb du jour - perhaps limit yourself to a choice of tarragon or basil. Liberally moisten the mix with extra virgin olive oil. Top the tomatoes, put them on an oiled baking sheet and bake them for about a half hour, or until everything is toasty swell. Dare I suggest this? Try adding a smidge of finely minced anchovy fillet to the crumb mixture. Just don't tell the food retards in the crowd the fish is in there; they'll love it. It's entirely possible this dish could be made on the grill. I'll try it as soon as I can move and I'll let you know how it works out.

As soon as I can leave the mattress - perhaps tomorrow or the next day, I intend to grill a stuffed burger suggested by my daughter, Ivy.

Ivy is enamored of stuffed burgers. She spied the last of a wedge of Wisconsin blue cheese in the fridge, and discovered a jar of a sun-dried tomato mix nearby.

"Here's what you do, dad if and when you can," she said. "Get yourself some ground beef - no hormones or antibiotics, please. Make large thin patties and season them. Make two for every burger you'll build. Make a mixture of crumbled cheese and the sun dried tomato paste, adding salt and pepper, maybe some super-fine minced garlic. Put a large wad of the mix in the center of a patty, cover it with another patty and seal the edges. Zip up the burger with a bit more fresh-ground black pepper and grill it. We're talking a serious burger here, pops. Pair it with some grilled yam wedges and a salad with a Dijon vinaigrette, pull the cork on a bottle of syrah and we're off to the races."

Sounds like the fuel I need to climb that Mt. Everest of boxes, become the Sir Edmund Hillary of the two-car garage. I need to find my favorite saute pan, my saucier, my other knives as soon as possible. My whisks are somewhere out there, calling to me.

It won't matter tonight, however, since I am not moving.

Tonight I'll gum down a piece of cold pizza and try not to choke, since I can't raise my head off the pillow.

The burgers will wait for another day. As will I.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Chuckwagon dinner, livestock auction top 4-H fair events

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

Aug. 4 - County Fair officially opens with Old West Fest, 4 p.m.

Aug. 5 - Check the Bill of Fair for specific times for 4-H shows and events

Aug. 6 - Chuckwagon Dinner, 4-6:30 p.m.

Aug. 6 - Livestock auction, 6:30 p.m.

Check out the Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and info.

The Archuleta County Fair is here!

The 4-H program has geared up for this big time event. So come on out to the fair and see the displays, projects and the animals.

It will be well worth your time. 4-H is America's largest out-of-school educational program for boys and girls. It's a worldwide youth development program available in every state and many countries.

Youth who participate in 4-H get what all young people need to succeed in life - the confidence, compassion and connections with caring adults to make contributions to their communities.

Chuckwagon dinner

Join your fellow Archuleta County citizens for a good meal and great conversation at the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, 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, at the Chamber of Commerce, Cooperative Extension Office and Shell station, and at 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 at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate as a buyer in this year's auction by registering at the livestock tent before or during the auction.

Livestock animals can also be "split" for purchase. You and your family or friends can get together that way, and purchase some top-quality meat.

 

Obituaries

 

John D. Apodaca

John David Apodaca died at his home Monday, Aug. 1, 2005.

He is survived by his father, Mariano Phil Apodaca, and his mother, Muriel "Mickey" Apodaca, of Albuquerque; and a sister, Marie Apodaca, of Albuquerque.

John was an avid fisherman who loved Pagosa Springs as his home. He loved his little dog, Leia, and always had her with him.

Funeral services are pending at La Quey Funeral Home in Pagosa Springs.

 

Gary Reeves

Gary Reeves, 58, died at home in Pagosa Springs Thursday, July 21, 2005, 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 Gunn of Portland, Ore., and David Gunn of Salt Lake City, Utah; sisters, Debra Letner of Gilbert, Ariz., and Jana Gunn of Glendale, Ariz.; grandchildren, Tamara Burge, Ashlee Burge and Timmy Burge, all of Payson, Ariz.; Tayler Reeves, Maci Reeves and Jordan Reeves of Chino Valley, Ariz.; Haley Lawless and Thomas Lawless, both of Washington state. The family held a private memorial service.

Mr. Reeves' family requests contributions be made to the Pagosa Hospice, 35 Mary Fisher Circle, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

The Pumas are here for display

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Yes, the pumas have made it to Pagosa and are visiting three public buildings near you.

Pumas on Parade is a public art and environmental education project put on by the San Juan Mountains Association and is designed to enhance community development and build strategic partnerships among artists, businesses, communities and public lands in Southwestern Colorado.

This "parade" was timed to help celebrate the San Juan National Forest Centennial in 2005. These pumas are displayed around the southwest part of the state in Durango, Cortez, Mancos, Dolores, Bayfield, Silverton and here in Pagosa Springs. This project is similar to the dozens of other similar art projects such as the Trail of the Painted Ponies in New Mexico, the Orcas in the City in British Columbia, and the Cows on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

The mountain lion, a Four Corners native, was chosen for its powerful aesthetic and symbolic value. It is a majestic animal that is cautious, elusive and graceful; it embodies the beauty of nature while epitomizing the intense conflicts triggered by human-wildlife proximity. These larger-than-life-size sculptures are decorated by artists who live in the Four Corners area. Four local artists — Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, Paula Bain, Judy Schofield and Kathleen Steventon — were selected to adorn the pumas in their style of art.

Paula's puma, "Living Geometry," is being displayed here at Town Hall; Kathleen's puma, "Ocean Prowl," has also remained local and is at the Community Center. Sabine's puma, "Alpine Explosion," is at the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango. Here at the Chamber we are hosting Judy's puma, "Springtime in the Rockies."

Without even being asked which one we would like to host, it is apropos that the Chamber is hosting Judy's pansy and foliage covered cat because pansies are one of my favorite flowers. Thanks to the San Juan Mountain Association for their ability to read my mind!

The pumas will be gathered together again in early November for school and group field trips. The SJMA will then have the gala event and live auction in mid-November. Online auctioning of the sculptures begins Aug. 15. You can get a map of the puma locations online at www.sjma.org.

Locals, visitors, parents — everyone — take a little field trip down Hot Springs Boulevard and stop by these three locations to view Pagosa's portion of the Pumas on Parade. Learn about this native animal and enjoy and pay tribute to the art and to artists who worked so hard to help make this project happen. It sure is a camera grabber for the visitors who stop into the Chamber.

Newsletter Inserts

It's that time again, if you would like to place a business insert into our quarterly newsletter. Inserts need to be at the Chamber by Friday, Aug. 26. They need to be 8 1/2 by 11 flat paper (please do not fold) and they may be two-sided if you have lots of information. We will need 750 inserts. The cost of placing your inserts in the newsletter is $40.

Our newsletter will be going out the first week in September and will highlight the Colorfest activities with some changes in the scheduling of the events, some more Chamber membership enhancements as well as an introduction of the new staff. Please call us for more information about newsletter inserts if you are interested.

It's fair time

I could take this whole article talking about all the great things that are going to happen at the county fair. But the paper is already chock full of information, so I will just mention some highlights.

Tonight is the kickoff for the fair with the Old West Fest, the Four Corners Draft Horse Association and the Hot Strings entertaining the crowd. Don't miss the opening ceremony, the Wild West activities, or me. I will be in the dunk tank at 5:30 p.m. Be careful if you get me in the water. The evening ends with the Bucking H Thursday Night Rodeo series.

Friday, during the day, there will be great games, a petting zoo, shows and events from the Draft Horse Association, craft exhibits and, of course, livestock shows all day for the 4-H participants. The evening culminates with the Colgate Country Showdown and the Demolition Derby. Watch those ladies drive in the Powder Puff Division.

Saturday is again full of magic and comedy shows, Mad Science shows, the Wild West performers, and lots of games and exhibits. Don't forget the 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. followed by the livestock auction. The night winds down or kicks up its heels, rather, to the boot-scootin' music of Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge, starting at 9 p.m.

Sunday events start with an 8 a.m. pancake breakfast, more games and shows, and the Lee Sterling Chili Cook-Off beginning at noon. At 1 p.m. the ever-popular Kids' Rodeo gets started with mutton busting, steer riding and all the other popular timed, skilled and family events.

No matter what day or days you choose to attend the fair, a good time will be had by all. Don't miss this big-time, annual event in Pagosa Country. A special advance thank you goes out to all the fair board members and the volunteers who make this event happen year after year.

Hi-Tri

If you're not at the fair Saturday, then you may be participating in the Pagosa Lakes Hi-Tri. There will be a seven-mile run, a 14-mile mountain bike ride and a half-mile swim. You may participate either as an individual or a team. You can still call Ming at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center at 731-2051 for more information and times for the event.

Good luck to all the participants. I will be competing with you in spirit.

Ducks in the river

Get ready for the parade of ducks Saturday, Aug. 13, when the Knights of Columbus sponsor their annual Duck Race in Town Park.

There will be door prizes, games for the kids, a food court and, of course, the highlight of the afternoon, the duck race starting at 2 p.m. First prize for the winning duck is $1,000, second prize is $500, and third is $100. All kids will receive a free duck whistle (sorry, parents), and the winners of the games will all get a free hot dog or hamburger. You can sponsor a duck for $5 and purchase raffle items for $1 each. Don't miss this fun day in the park with your family where you'll have a chance to win some great cash prizes. We have tickets to sponsor a duck here at the Chamber.

Member information

Our first new member is the winner of the Chamber car wash raffle, Pat Haney. Pat just moved to Pagosa and was interested in getting involved in the community. So never having won anything before, (he says), we gave him a big Pagosa welcome by drawing his name from the raffle entries. Welcome Pat, we hope to see you at many more Chamber events.

A new lodging facility joins us this week — the O'Neal Park Cabin, run by Bob and Livia Lynch. This cabin is eight miles north of town on Piedra Road and located on a cattle ranch. It sleeps seven with three bedrooms. For more information, you can call 731-3007. Start checking on lodging facilities now for the holidays. Don't get left out in the cold for lodging facilities during the busy season.

We also welcome a new retail store, The BackDoor Collectables and Non-essentials. Patricia Black is the owner and offers original art and jewelry, collectables and architectural salvage for you, your home and garden. This interesting business is at 150 Pagosa St, Suite 5, and you can contact her at 264-2787. I need to go see what architectural salvage is? I think it might be right up my alley.

This group has been around for years, but now we welcome them to the Chamber fold. LASSO, or Large Animal Support Southwest Organization, rescues and rehabilitates large animals, primarily horses. They are charged with community awareness and education regarding the treatment and care of large animals. They also get a number of calls regarding animal neglect investigations. For more information on joining this very useful organization, or to find out more about their services, give Diane Hitchcox a call at 264-0095.

It was a busy week for renewals. Let's start out with the lodging facilities.

Returning are Blanco River RV Park, Colorado Pines, Redbird Cottage, Astraddle A Saddle; Sharon Garrison and Sharon's Cottage Creations, Edelweiss Construction and Roofing, The Flaughs' Holy Smokes Stoves and Fireplace, AAA Propane, Kirk Becker and Farmers Insurance and Financial Service.

Rounding out the renewals this week are two nonprofit agencies — Big Brothers and Big Sisters serving Archuleta County and San Juan Historical Society.

Get ready for a busy weekend. It is time for family and for supporting our local 4-H youth as they show off all their hard work at the livestock exhibition. Adults can also show off at the crafts exhibition. The county fair is part of our community heritage. Involve and enjoy yourself all weekend long. See you at the fair.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

 

Tour success

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council wishes to express deep appreciation to all those who helped to make the 2005 House and Garden Tour such a successful event.

Special thanks go to the following homeowners who so graciously opened their homes and gardens: Malcolm and Joan Rodger, Bill and Carol Barrows, Patricia Jolliff, Bridgette Friesl, and Pat and Marge Alley for use as the refreshment center and an exhibit of works by local artists, and also to those artists who generously provided the art for our viewing pleasure.

Gratitude also goes to the volunteers who prepared and served refreshments and acted as hostesses in the participating homes: Charlotte Overley, Sara Scott, Cristine Woodall, Carolyn Beach, Barbara Mason, Doris Green, Katie Deschler, Kayla Douglass, Joanna Allen, Judy Horky and Jeanne Kaiser.

Finally, our very special thanks to Victoria Stanton at the PSAC Art Center Gallery for designing the flyers, tickets and the map. Her assistance was invaluable throughout.

Marti Capling, chairman

Doris Green, co-chair

 

Great success

On behalf of the kids of Pagosa Springs, a huge thank you to our sponsors who 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 Whittington 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

Hat's off

Thanks to the many people that made the "Peter and the Wolf" performance such a huge success last week in the park. The show wouldn't have been such an accomplishment without the hard work and energy of many local people. (If you weren't able to attend, you'll just have to wait until next year's Family Festivo.)

The characters who made the music come alive were Leslie and Billy Turner-Baughman, Dylan Reed-Lindberg, Emma Donharl, Sierra Hewitt, Ian Roth, Maia Pitcher, William Meyer and DJ Brown. Thanks for a job well done. Thanks also go out to the parents who allowed their children to get involved and got them to rehearsals. And speaking of rehearsals, the Community United Methodist Church once again provided a place for us to rehearse. I believe church secretary Karen Streiff must have the music memorized by now.

Our local musicians also helped make this event a success. Joy Redmon, Kathy and Larry Baisdon, Sue Martin, Valley Lowrance and Karen Mesikapp are such professional musicians and spent their valuable time and talents joyfully with the children of our community. Larry Elginer once again provided narration and Sue Anderson's talented Children's Chorale provided our pre-show entertainment. Hat's off to all of you.

The Community Choir graciously allowed us to use their risers. With the use of these risers, the symphony became part of the action and the risers allowed better viewing for our large audience. However, in order to use these risers, it took "roadies." These community members undid the storage unit "puzzle," hauled it to the park and set up for the performance, and shortly thereafter returned it to the storage unit only to try and create a new puzzle. They even did it without twisting their arms! Thanks go out to Bob Nordmann, Tim Bristow, Ed Lowrance, Lisa Hartley, Don Weller, Sara and Alex Baum as well as Don Ford for the use of his trailer.

And last, but certainly not least, it was truly an honor to once again work with Felicia Meyer.

As you can see, an hour-long show takes many people to pull it off.

Melinda Baum

 

Kid's delight

Kids of all ages attended the second annual Family Festivo to pronounce the event an enormous success.

Special recognition goes to Melinda Baum and Felicia Meyers for directing and choreographing the performance; Michael De Winter for the costumes; Larry Elginer as the narrator; and the musical talent taken from the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra.

The children were superb and included Billy Baughman, Leslie Baughman, DJ Brown, Emma Donharl, Sierra Hewitt, William Meyer, Maia Pitcher, Dylan Reed-Lindberg and Ian Roth.

Making the event possible are the volunteers and sponsors. Volunteers assisted with set-up, staffing games, food and beverage stations and clean-up. Their assistance was invaluable. Special thanks to Shady Pines 4-H Club for adopting this event as their community service project.

Sponsors donated funds and supplies making it possible to offer this event free for everyone. Event sponsors included Bank of the San Juans, LPEA Roundup Foundation, Town of Pagosa Springs, The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, Van Bortal family, The Springs Resort, Page's Leaf Custom Catering, Edward Jones Investments, A&P Tents and JJ's Upstream.

Pagosa's Town Park is a fabulous centerpiece for our town and Junior Lister and Jim Miller of Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation are to be thanked for the wonderful maintenance of our parks facilities. Music in the Mountains is thrilled to offer this event to our community, as are we. See you next year.

Lisa Scott and Claudia Rosenbaum

co-chairs

 

Sports Page

Sport practices set at high school

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You can hear it now, the thunder of galloping high school students racing toward the practice fields.

For all fall sports, practices are just around the corner.

Before an athlete can participate in any fall sport, administrators warn, all required paperwork must have been submitted to the high school office, or to the head coach of the sport in which the athlete wishes to participate.

That paperwork includes a physical examination report signed by a physician and a parent, the athletic handbook contract, the student travel contract, the warning to students and parents waiver, the athletic emergency consent form, and a blue card. All forms are available in the high school office.

Special times to note for each sport are:

Golf - first practice Aug. 8, meeting at the putting green of Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Football - A football camp for all interested high school players is scheduled Aug. 8-11, 6-8 p.m. daily There will be a meeting for the parents of all football players 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, in the high school auditorium. Mandatory two-a-day practices begin Aug. 15 running 6-7:30 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.

Volleyball - A special meeting for parents of all volleyball players was scheduled 6 p.m. Wednesday. Mandatory two-a-day practices begin Aug. 15, 8-10 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Beginning Aug. 16, the second practice will be moved to 3:30-6 p.m.

Soccer - A meeting for all parents of soccer players is scheduled 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, in the high school auditorium. Practice that day will be 4:30-6:30 p.m. The following day, two-a-day practices will begin at 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Cross country - Practices begin 7 a.m. Aug. 15. Interested athletes should meet in front of the high school.

The SUN will publish a complete lineup of contests in upcoming weeks.

 

Pagosa women blast away at par 71; score well at national seniors events

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a scramble for its weekly league day July 26.

The three and foursomes were paired according to their current handicaps and played the Piñon/Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating.

Jan Kilgore, Lyn Mollet and Doe Stringer captured first place with a 69. Second place went to Barb Lange, Cherry O'Donnell and Marilyn Smart with a 71.

Then they repaired to the Greenskeeper Restaurant for lunch and their monthly general meeting.

But their golf wasn't finished for the week, with six Pagosa golfers attending the Senior Golfers of America tournament hosted by Coeur d'Alene Golf Club in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho July 25-27.

The 49-player field competed in the 45-hole tournament in a low gross, low net format, and was divided into two flights: seniors 50-70, and super seniors, 70 and over.

Carole Howard of the Pagosa delegation captured Champion low net in the seniors' flight.

In the super seniors division, Lee Wilson won first net and Katy and Jack Threet placed third and fourth respectively.

Bob Howard said, "It was a wonderful golf course, beautiful to play, and that one of the spectacular features of the course was a floating green operated by computerized cables, where 50,000 golf balls end up in the lake every year."

 

Scorecard playoff gets a workout in men's golf league

By Bill Curtiss

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League played a two-man, best ball event July 27.

In the low gross category, first place was captured by Gene Johnson and Don Ford with a score of 70, winning by way of a scorecard playoff over Truett Forrest and Dennis Yerton, who also had a 70.

In third place were Ron Ault and Chris Paublo with a score of 73.

Dave Prokop and Gene Johnson won first place net, also by scorecard playoff over Ray Henslee and Bill Curtiss. Both teams had a score of 59.

Third place net went to the team of Jack Taub and Bob Mollet, with a score of 61.

 

Junior high football practice starts Aug. 15

All students interested in playing junior high football must report to the junior high school gym Monday, Aug. 15. Practice starts at 4 p.m. and will go until 6.

Please come to practice with the physical and parent permission form completed. This form can be obtained through your local physician and it must be given to a coach before a student can practice.

Students should come to practice in shorts and T-shirts and with the enthusiasm to play football.

If there are any questions regarding practice, call Coach Jason Plantiko at 731-9592.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Parent-child sports talks must be two-way events

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

Conversations are the glue between people, the essential element in a strong relationship. Many parents fall into the trap of thinking it is their job to talk and their child's to listen. Actually that's only half-right.

It is also our job to listen and the child's job to talk. It's a wonderful thing when a parent and child can really talk to and hear each other.

It is important that parents intentionally seek out conversations about sports with their athletic children. Here are some suggestions for how to engage your child in a conversation about sports.

1. Establish your goal - a conversation among equals. Prepare yourself for a conversation with your child by reminding yourself that sports is their thing, not yours. Remember you want to support them, to let them know you are on their side. Think of your conversation with your child as an Olympic event with judges. A conversation that rates a 9 or a 10 is one in which the child does more talking and the parent more listening. Set your goal before you start, and go for it.

2. Adopt a tell-me-more attitude. Brenda Ueland penned one of the most important essays on relationships ever written, "Tell Me More." In it, she wrote "When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life." Adopt the attitude that you want your child to tell-you-more ("I really want to hear what you have to say."), and then really listen to what they have to say.

3. Listen! In many instances you may know exactly what your child can do to improve. However, this is a conversation, remember? Your goal is to get your child to talk about their sports experience, so ask rather than tell.

4. Use open-ended questions. Some questions lend themselves to one-word responses. "How was school today?" "Fine." Your goal is to get your child to talk at length, so ask questions that will tend to elicit longer, more thoughtful responses.

- "What was the most enjoyable part of today's practice/game?"

- "What worked well?" or "What didn't turn out so well?"

- "What did you learn that can help you in the future?"

- "Any thoughts on what you'd like to work on before the next game?"

5. Also ask about life-lesson and character issues. "Any thoughts on what you've learned in practice this week that might help you with other parts of your life?" Even if you saw the entire game, the goal is to get your child to talk about the game the way they saw it, not for you to tell them what they could have done better.

6. Show you are listening. Make it obvious to your child you are paying attention through use of nonverbal actions such as making eye contact as they talk, nodding your head and making "listening noises" ("uh-huh," "hmmm," "interesting," etc.).

7. Let your child set the terms. William Pollack, M.D., author of "Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood," notes that children have different "emotional schedules" that determine when they are ready to talk about an experience. Forcing a conversation right after a competition is often less successful than waiting until the child gives an indication that they are ready to talk.

8. Connect through activity. Sometimes the best way to spark a conversation is through an activity that your child enjoys. Going on a hike, playing a board game or putting a puzzle together can allow space for a child to volunteer thoughts and feelings about the game and how they performed.

9. Enjoy. The most important reason why you should listen to your child with a tell-me-more attitude: because then they will want to talk to you, and as your children (and you) get older, you will find there is no greater gift than a child who enjoys conversations with you.

Reference: Positive Coaching Alliance.

Positive Coaching Alliance was established at Stanford University in 1998. PCA believes winning is a goal in youth sports but there is a second, more important goal of using sports to teach life lessons through positive coaching. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) provides live, research-based training workshops and practical tools for coaches, parents and leaders who operate youth sports programs.

Need cleats?

Tired of buying another pair of cleats or shin guards?

Then come to the "Cleat and Shin Guard Swap" 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at the soccer fields at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

How does this work, you wonder? First clean, as best you can, all unwanted cleats and shin guards and place them inside a bag along with your name and phone number.

Take this bag to a drop location between today and Aug. 21. Place in drop box and you will be "credited" for the number of pairs you drop. On swap day, you will be allowed to shop for the same number of items you donated. There will be a $2.50 charge for taking a pair over your "credited" amount and/or a $2.50 "credit" for taking less then what you donated.

Drop locations will be Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street or Shell Gas Station, U.S. 160 and North Pagosa Boulevard.

If you have additional questions concerning the "Cleat and Shin Guard Swap," call Carrie, 264-9042, Lisa, 264-2730, or the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer signups ended July 29. If you would still like your child to play during the 2005 youth soccer season you must come to Town Hall and put your child on our waiting list. We will attempt to accommodate every child who wants to play soccer this year.

The 2005 youth soccer season will start earlier than in past years beginning with practices Aug. 8 and with opening games scheduled Aug. 22 The season will run only through the first week of October due to the cold weather and shorter days. Call the recreation department with any questions: 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Soccer assessments

Final assessment day for all 9-14 year olds will be held this Saturday as follows:

- 9 a.m.-10 a.m. for 9-10

- 10 a.m.-11 a.m. for 11-12

- 11 a.m.-noon for children 13-14 (seventh- and eighth-graders).

Soccer 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 volleyball

Anyone interested in playing four-person coed adult indoor volleyball, should attend an informational meeting 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, in 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, please contact Myles Gabel, recreation supervisor, at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Editorial

The next wave breaks

As more development occurs in Pagosa Country, as more people of all types move here, the character of the town alters. Lately those alterations - economic, social and physical - have shaken many old-timers. The pace of change has surprised the most cynical of we native Coloradans, most of whom are accustomed to the parade of change that has characterized our state for a very long time.

The business community has undergone significant expansion and change during the last couple decades in terms of its members and the kinds of goods and services offered. For those of us who reflect on at least a couple decades in Pagosa Country a review of recently opened shops and restaurants is an eye-opening experience. A number of business interests, several of them important on a regional or national scale, have relocated and are doing landmark trade. The number of construction companies and the types of dwellings and commercial structures being built have bloomed, as has the price of those buildings. Sales of homes and land have gone off the charts.

This change has been like a wave. And we sense the chance another, richer wave is to soon to break.

Following a trip to last Saturday's music in the Mountains performance at BootJack Ranch, the fact our cultural climate has changed is more obvious than ever. There, in the company of more than 300 people, we listened to a world-class pianist work with a wonderful orchestra, producing music our host accurately defined as "a blessing."

After the concert, a fellow spectator asked: "Did you ever think you would do something like this in Pagosa?"

No, not 19 years ago. But our cultural life is catching up with the physical and economic expansion, and what will come is anyone's guess.

The cultural/arts bar has been raised. Perhaps the first event to raise that bar is now approaching its tenth anniversary. The Four Corners Folk Festival has drawn world-class acts to its stage for a decade and continues to improve, taking its rightful place as one of the notable festivals in the nation. With it, Pagosa Country ascends a cultural ladder.

We like to speculate on what additions will be made to our cultural community. Our expanded library comes to mind, There are several galleries in town and we await the arrival of contemporary art establishments to add to the fine traditional establishments in place. Recent efforts at Shy Rabbit Studio are an energetic addition to the local scene with more promised in the near future.

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters have provided wonderful entertainment with homegrown musical productions. We anticipate the arrival or creation of a professional theater company to supplement local amateur efforts, perhaps a company similar to one so successful in Creede. It can happen here - there are now a handful of trained, professional theater people in the area and more are sure to arrive. If they are able to coordinate efforts, the results could be magical. A theater space, even a small one, given over to professional productions, would be another step up for us.

Why be concerned about this aspect of development in Pagosa Country? Because the cultural climate of a community is a signal of its nature, a pulse monitored to determine the overall character of a place. While there are numerous artistic flat spots in the regional map - some close by - it is a fact that significant cultural communities can grow here in the Southwest. Taos and Santa Fe stand as examples, each reflecting a character peculiar to its origins.

The nature of Pagosa Country is still to be determined, with many people and interests still barely settled here. With what is occurring, it seems the cultural character of this place could develop quite rapidly into something wonderful. We will wait and watch and hope for the best.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Sights set higher for a reason

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

Sounds of life abound everywhere these days as school nears a return. Lithe young bodies - and some a little worse for the summer break - are desperately striving for some form of game condition.

Competitive sports are just around the corner and coaches are going over game plans, comparing the players who returned to the talents available initially to carry out those plans,

Some students have moved away, prospects for starting positions now in other communities. But others have gravitated to our town and want to show what they learned under different systems.

The normal is a quick adaptation of those on both sides and the student body begins again - unrealistically - chanting for another title.

I say unrealistically, because relatively few programs can sustain an continuum of success without a bad year or two tossed in now and again.

This school district, however, has been blessed for many years with a series of gifted athletes, both male and female, and the sights are always set higher than they probably should be.

Why build up the hopes of the team if their chances are so low?

Because they deserve to hope, to strive, to have a target. The little 87-pound football freshman at the end of the bench has as much hope of getting in the game as I, but he gives it the same shot in practice, being bounced from pillar to pillar for just one shot - just one - of impressing the coach with all he's learned, if not in how he has matured physically.

Youngsters like our bench hugger, often become some of the biggest assets to a team because they apply themselves more, prepare themselves for that one chance, and watch every play like a hawk. I've heard them calling out a foe's offensive set before the defense on the field has recognized it.

It is a time of high passion in every sport. Because we of Pagosa's success, it has become a target for the other regional schools in each competition. Beat Pagosa is the cry for all of the Intermountain League and the others which provide competition for us.

The athletic program has been recognized, in every sport. Front Range teams which once passed Pagosa over with disdain, now weigh carefully their league status, prospects, and what a win or loss against Pagosa might mean to the overall season and its chances.

The Pirates have generally found a way to deal with this new respect, but every player knows success is not a given - and winning is not everything. An injury to a key operative here and there can cut the ranks in a hurry and being shorthanded often leads to even more injuries.

What everyone of these teams needs is your support. It's hard to play for good old PSHS when there are little or no people in the stands. And it's even more embarrassing when the enemy fans who traveled here to see the match outnumber those sitting on the mountain view side of Golden Peaks Stadium.

Community pride is a wonderful tool. And it begins with you - all of you.

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 6, 1915

I have put in a lunch counter in the first house across the bridge, east of town and will serve chili lunches and short order. Also rooms to rent at reasonable prices. Mrs. N.G. McBroom, prop.

Although somewhat belated, it will be news to many that Mrs. Grover Jones was granted a divorce from Grover Jones in the county court on June 16th - again.

Alf Mee has taken over by purchase the entire C.A. Port holdings in the Blanco country except the cattle. The ranch consists of 640 acres of the finest hay and range land in that splendid region. Mr. Mee is a hustling, progressive citizen and we predict that with his extensive knowledge of the ranch and stock business he will make a few of our old farmers sit up and take notice.

 

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 8, 1930

A commercial oil well was struck on the Chromo structure, southeast of Pagosa Springs, Tuesday, which has caused a great deal of excitement not only in Pagosa, but in Durango, and the entire basin.

While it was intended to close Wolf Creek Pass highway yesterday for the remainder of the season in order to blast out at one time the entire project in the box canon of South Fork, that order has been rescinded by the state highway department.

It is with extreme regret that we report that Dr. B.F. Jackson and family are making preparations to depart from Pagosa Springs and will shortly remove to Las Animas, where the doctor will enter the medical corps at the U.S. Veterans Bureau hospital at Fort Lyon.

 

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 4, 1955

The petitions for the formation of a proposed cemetery improvement district are being prepared and will be circulated within the next week, according to an announcement by the proposed district board. The three members were in agreement that a one half mill levy would be all that was needed. The program would include: repairing of fences; extension and repair of water system; keeping weeds cut; a correct survey and marking of plots, streets and alleys; marking of all unmarked graves with small iron markers. The men also agreed that any attempt to change the natural beauty of the town cemetery be discouraged. Their plans call for the cemetery to be cleaned up, but no trees, unless dead, are to be touched and no leveling done.

 

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 7, 1980

It was a long meeting for the Town Board Tuesday night, with parking regulations, street improvements, police, dogs, dump and finances discussed. The Board said that it would take another look at a two-hour parking limit for weekdays on the parking fill, but would also look at alternative parking areas.

It is County Fair Week in Archuleta County this week, with the fair scheduled to run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The fair is an event for all the residents of the county. Many of the exhibits are of crops and livestock, but there are also entry classes for gardens, flowers, home ec products, arts and crafts, miscellaneous and others. There will be a 4H operated concessions stand operating at the Fair during the three days.

 

Features

Susan's Survival

with the help of heart & hand

By Sarah Smith

SUN Intern

Everyone loves a good wilderness survival story. As human beings, it is inherent in our nature that we enjoy these testaments to the power of the human mind and body. Whether it's cutting off an arm or eating a rugby teammate, we like to be reassured that we are capable of triumphing over nature.

However, even more reassuring is a survival story in which the awesome power of human kindness and helpfulness prevails.

Such is the case with the story of Susan Kuhns.

Susan, a well-know health practitioner in Pagosa Springs, was involved in a near-drowning incident July 2. The fact she survived is astonishing - as is the incredible help she received from others.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Susan and her family took a vacation to Lake San Cristobal, a few miles south of Lake City in the Gunnison National Forest. They brought with them various canoes and dinghies, and Susan brought along her sea kayak.

The family camped near a river several miles from the lake.

For Susan, the details of the accident are vague; she was given Versed, a sedative administered before surgical procedures. The drug causes memory loss; therefore, she has no recollection of the accident.

However, with the tales recounted to her by family members, Susan was able to reconstruct the story.

Her brothers-in-law came around a bend in the river to find her kayak upside-down in the river, wedged into a submerged stump. The front of the kayak was bent at a right angle from where it had struck the stump.

And then they saw Susan. All they could see was her thigh sticking out of the water; she was trapped underneath it. She said the current of the river was so strong the men could barely stand up in the water, let alone extract her from the kayak. Yet, somehow, they managed to get her out.

"It's pretty amazing," said Susan. "It must have been an adrenaline rush, like when people lift cars off of children."

Susan had no pulse and was not breathing when her brothers-in-law got her out of the water. John, who knows CPR, immediately began trying to resuscitate Susan while Rod ran back to the campsite for help.

"He ran into my niece riding her bicycle around the campsite. So he grabbed her little pink bike and began riding back. He met my sister, his wife, on the trail. He told her 'Sue's drowned. We need to get help.'"

Since the family was camping in such a remote location, there was no cell phone service to call an ambulance.

And yet, incredibly, there happened to be a group with ATVs nearby, and a Red Cross vehicle was with them.

Again, some pieces of the story fall out. Susan believes the Red Cross vehicle put in the call to the Lake City EMTs. But one thing is certain - it is truly amazing that all the little pieces fell into place.

"Everything worked so well," said Susan. "So many things could have gone wrong. There are always what-ifs. But I'm here today because everything went right."

Soon, EMTs were showing up left and right. John's performance of CPR sustained Susan until the EMTs were able to intubate her (a tube was inserted in her throat so a device could breathe for her). She said it seemed like the whole town showed up to help in some way, even a local doctor.

"The town (Lake City) was so impressive. Everybody just helped."

The artificial ventilation was continued until a helicopter arrived to take her to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where she was immediately taken to the ICU. Both of her lungs were collapsed, and she had air tubes placed on either side of her chest.

Susan was unresponsive. The doctors had no idea what the outcome would be.

"They didn't know if I was going to make it, if I was going to be a vegetable," she said.

And yet, around 2 a.m. Sunday, Susan woke up. The pulmonologist she worked with at St. Mary's was amazed at how quickly she responded.

With the exception of some scrapes, bruises and a chipped tooth, Susan had emerged from her ordeal physically unscathed.

Susan remained in the hospital for a week and returned home July 9. She said she felt an outpouring of love, from both Lake City and Pagosa.

"I felt so much energy; it's hard to explain. There was a lot of good energy coming my way," Susan said.

Although Susan was physically unharmed, she is still feeling the emotional toll the accident has taken on her.

"It was a traumatic thing to go through. I'm still very emotional. That's going to take the longest time."

However, Susan said she feels 80 percent her normal self.

"I need to get some energy back, but I feel like I'm getting better every day."

She returned to work two days after she came home, July 11, and is now working her normal schedule.

And she said the answer is "yes," she will kayak again (with a different kind of kayak, of course). And she said she'll be smarter in the future. "I've always had significant respect for rivers."

While Susan has no memory of the event, a family member took several pictures, which Susan has seen. She plans to enlarge some of these pictures and place them in a prominent place, to help her "remember how things can change so quickly. A daily reminder that things can be worse. I'm very fortunate to have come through this."

Susan's recovery is most certainly fortunate, miraculous even.

But it is also a reminder that, in desperate situations, the sheer power of the human will and gut can do remarkable things, but it's the human heart that makes miracles happen.

"It was a bad experience," said Susan. "But it was a good experience, seeing how much people care."

 

Blood draw set Aug. 11 at

First Baptist Church

United Blood Services personnel will visit Pagosa Springs for blood draws 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11.

They will be at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs, 2772 Rock Road.

United Blood Services, the community blood center for the Four Corners Region, urges donors to become regular, saying, "We need your support."

Current identification is required of all donors and as a convenience, you may sign up on line at www.unitedbloodservices.org.

 

WolfWood benefit Saturday

A barbecue and silent auction will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at 5 Branches Campground at Vallecito Lake as a benefit for WolfWood.

There will be a $4 donation for the lunch with all proceeds going directly to the animals' care.

 

Childcare provider classes set

Southwest Office of Resource and Referral will offer a series of courses for childcare providers.

Included will be:

- Universal precautions training. 8:30-10 a.m. Aug. 27; cost $10.

 

Pagosa's Past

Soldiers and citizens at the first Fort Lewis

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Separating soldiers from civilians was a major problem for the commander of Fort Lewis, established during the winter of 1878 in Pagosa Springs. The fort was located on the west side of the river, generally on the block now housing the main business section of Pagosa Springs.

The town was located on the east side of the river mostly along San Juan Street between the river and what is now known as Reservoir Hill. Of course, the town had no central water system in those days; consequently, there was no reservoir on the hill. I have heard the hill referred to as Robidoux Hill, named after the famous fur trapper.

In any case, a letter from post commander, Capt. Dodge, Co. "D", 9th Cavalry, dated June 25, 1879, talks about the problem.

"To prevent any complications with citizens or the Interior Dept., I would respectfully request instructions with reference to the limits of this cantonment.

"The temporary buildings now occupied by the troops are situated on the townsite reserved by the President in 1877 and on the right bank of the San Juan river. Since the receipt of General Order #2 c.s. from Headquarters Dept. of the Missouri, defining the limits of the military reservation at Fort Lewis, the settlement of so much of the townsite as lays on the left bank of the river has not been interrupted with, but all on this side has been held intact, and as belonging to the military authorities. As a large portion of the townsite now held for military purposes is of no possible use to the post, it is suggested that a small creek emptying into the San Juan from the west just below this post (now known as McCabe Creek but shown on the Fort map as Lomas Creek) be fixed upon as the southern boundary of the cantonment. A survey of the townsite, or at least a portion of it, its division into lots, and the sale of these lots has been recommended to the Secretary of the Interior by the Chief Engineer Officer of the Dept. and other petitions of like import have been made to the same authority by citizens living in this vicinity. Should this be done, the present limit of the cantonment will possibly be infringed upon. It seems to me that by curtailing the limits of the cantonment as suggested above, that enough land, and to spare, will be left open to all the settlers who may wish to come in here, and prevent any necessity for an encroachment upon what is left of the post."

Dodge reported a disturbance created by enlisted men of Co. "D" apparently celebrating July 4, 1879. Four men were arrested and held for trial. Stoppage of pay was recommended for seven men. The event where the disturbance took place was apparently a ball, which Dodge believed to be private even though admission was charged.

On Oct. 10, 1879, the post adjutant informed James J. Hefferman, Deputy U.S. Marshal of Animas City, that Fort Lewis has "no spare ordnance," (i.e. guns and ammunition). Hefferman was informed that more troops were on their way from Fort Wingate for the "protection of the settlements west of this point."

Motter's note: The Meeker Massacre took place in September of 1879. Folks in southwest Colorado, including Pagosa Springs and Animas City, feared a general uprising of the Utes. A relatively large number of troops was moved into the area in an effort, apparently successful, to convince the Southern Utes to remain peaceful.

As to citizen settlement on fort property, that settlement was extensive enough to be one of the reasons for abandoning Fort Lewis at Pagosa Springs and moving the post west to Hesperus.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

The Perseids: Sit back and enjoy the show

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Moon: There will be a new moon over Pagosa Country tonight and along with it, dark skies and, weather permitting, excellent sky watching conditions.

Sky watchers keen on witnessing next week's Perseid meteor shower can take advantage of the weekend's dark skies to become familiar with the radiant of the Perseid meteor shower which will peak on Aug. 12.

Planets

Venus: Venus can be found low in the west during evening twilight. As twilight fades, so will Venus as it gradually sinks below the western horizon.

Jupiter: During and after the evening twilight, look for a very bright object above and to the left of Venus. Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in the night sky.

Mars: Around midnight, fiery-orange Mars rises in the east, and by dawn it should hold a fairly high position in the east-southeastern sky. Throughout the coming months, Mars will rise earlier and will appear larger and brighter in the night sky, giving Pagosa sky watchers many more opportunities to observe the red planet.

Stars and Constellations

The Perseids, one of the year's most prolific meteor showers, will soon begin. It will reach it's peak Aug. 12, and in order to maximize viewing of the event, it is key to know the location of the shower's radiant.

Radiant is a term used by astronomers to describe the location in the night sky from which the meteor shower appears to originate. In the case of the Perseids, the radiant, or point of origin, lies near the constellation Perseus, hence the name given to this annual event.

With the weekend's new moon and the prevailing dark skies, sky watchers can use this to their advantage to help them locate the constellation Perseus, in preparation for the following week's show. As an added bonus, you will probably see a few preliminary Perseid meteors racing across the night sky. Don't expect many meteors this weekend, but next week, during the shower's peak, it is possible to witness 60 to 70 meteors rocketing through the earth's atmosphere every hour.

Locating Perseus is not difficult, but for those who have not located it before, it will require a bit of celestial leap frogging.

Start your sky watching at about 11:30 p.m. August 4, by first locating the familiar asterism, the Big Dipper. Using the dipper's two pointer stars, Dubhe (the upper star) and Merak (the lower star) extend the line those two stars create up and somewhat southeast to the next bright object Polaris, the North Star.

Once you've located Polaris, go directly east to a grouping of five stars arranged in a "W" shape. This is the constellation Cassiopeia, the legendary Queen of Ethiopia, wife of King Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. The five brightest stars in the constellation depict the queen sitting in a chair.

Moving just a bit north from Cassiopeia to the next grouping of stars lies the constellation Perseus and the radiant of the Perseid meteor shower.

Perseus, the mythological Greek hero, slayed Medusa, whose look could turn a person to stone. He then used the still deadly, severed head as a weapon to save Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus.

The constellation is comprised of more than a dozen key stars, yet gamma Persei, high in the constellation and relatively near to Cassiopeia is thought to mark the true heart of the Perseid radiant.

With a little prior practice, sky watchers will be able to quickly locate the shower's radiant, and then, during its peak, instead of scrambling to find the constellation, just sit back and enjoy the show.

Weather

Date High Low Precip
Type
Depth Moisture

7/27

79

49

-

-

-

7/28

82

46

-

-

-

7/29

86

46

-

-

-

7/30

87

46

-

-

-

7/31

84

51

-

-

-

8/1

83

49

R

.08

.08

8/2

85

49

R

.04

.04

Tide may rise as monsoon brings us new rainfall

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A word with more meaning in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia is beginning to creep again into the weather forecaster lexicon for southwest Colorado.

"Monsoon," or "monsoonal," having to do with periodical winds and associated rains was heard several times this week.

And the forecasts issued for the coming week seem to bear out the probability monsoons are here - a normal but discouraging angle for the annual Archuleta County Fair.

Only Sunday in the coming week appears to have a chance to be without rain. The balance of the week may require added use of windshield wipers, daytime auto lights, and plenty of towels if you plan to be outside at all.

It all begins with a 50-percent chance of showers and thundershowers until midnight tonight, some very heavy with winds up to 20 mph. Daytime high will be 83 today, the overnight low 52.

And then, the forecasts read like pretty much of a broken record:

- 30-percent chance of thundershowers Friday and Friday night with winds up to 20 mph, a daytime high of 82 and an overnight low of 52.

- Saturday, the prediction is a carbon copy right down to rainfall, percentage chance of precipitation and forecast temperatures.

- Sunday, forecasters say, without using the word "rain," will be partly cloudy with a high of 85 for the day and partly cloudy with a low of 52 at night.

- Showers and thundershowers are back for Monday's forecast, with a high of 84 and an overnight low of 52.

- For Tuesday, last day of the extended forecast, showers and thundershowers are forecast with a high of 86.

The area received .12 of an inch of rain in the past week, coming Monday and Tuesday. That followed .77 inches July 25-26, a combination that turned many brown lawns green - at least temporarily.

Warmest temperature recorded locally in the last week was 87.4 degrees July 30; the coldest, 45.8 on both July 29 and 30. Highest wind recorded in that time was a 34 mph reading at 7:30 p.m. July 31.

With 1.05 inches of precipitation in July, .77 already this month, and the monsoonal storms of early August upon us, it would appear major fire danger is declining and reservoir content is holding steady.

Down at the New Mexico state line, Navajo Reservoir, which takes runoff from all major streams in the county, was at an Aug. 1 water surface elevation of 6,075.35; content was recorded at 1,556,295 acre feet; inflow measured at 652 cubic feet per second and outflow at 504 cfs.