October 20, 2005
Front Page

County moves to

improve road and bridge

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Once again, road issues took center stage at Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners Meeting.

The issues at hand, presented to the board by Finance Director Bob Burchett, Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper and Fleet Manager Mike Hanlon, concerned board approval for the acquisition of three, single-axle dump trucks equipped with snow removal and sanding equipment and board approval for hiring up to five, permanent full-time road and bridge equipment operators.

Jasper explained that purchasing of the equipment and staff additions were vital to the county's impending snow removal operations and it's overall push to build a more effective and efficient maintenance program.

In regard to the equipment purchase issue, Hanlon said the road and bridge department was relying heavily on seven regular pick-up trucks affixed with snow plows for winter snow removal and maintenance.

Hanlon and Burchett said the pick-ups were not built for the rigorous demands of snow removal and degraded rapidly under the use. The acquisition of the three trucks, Hanlon said, would provide the county with updated snow removal equipment suited for the job.

In addition, Hanlon said that last year, the county used every piece of snow removal equipment in the fleet, and if breakdowns occurred, immediate repairs were required to avoid delays and gaps in service. The addition of the trucks would provide the county a buffer and would help keep operations running efficiently and projects on schedule.

Hanlon said the trucks, if purchased, would help modernize the fleet and would improve safety of operations and operators. He said the trucks are equipped with automatic transmissions, which reduces operator fatigue, and have much shorter turning radii, making them well suited for snow removal on cul-de-sacs and side streets.

Burchett said the average age of tandem axle trucks in the fleet was 18 to 20 years-old, and although the proposed trucks were not identical equipment, the newer trucks would help fill gaps in the fleet.

The proposed trucks are, by comparison, 1998 model year, low-mileage vehicles that were used by Eagle County.

They are also a great buy Burchett said.

Average retail for a new model of the same truck is about $125,000 while the used models available to the county will sell for $41,500.

"This is a pretty good buy, they're kept indoors and were well maintained," Jasper said. "We're making a big push to better our roads and this helps us get there."

Burchett said there were funds available for the purchase of the trucks in the 2005 budget.

Commissioners Lynch and Zaday were supportive of the move, noted there were finances available and that acquisition of the equipment met the county's mission of improving its road and bridge and road maintenance operations.

"I see no reason to delay; we have the $120,000 in the budget," Zaday said.

Commissioner Robin Schiro said she was concerned because none of the county's equipment operators had driven the vehicles.

Hanlon, whose job it is as county fleet manager to procure vehicles and road maintenance equipment, said he had personally inspected two of the trucks and assured the board he would fully inspect the third prior to its purchase. Hanlon has three years experience as the county's fleet manager and about six years experience as a county mechanic prior to that.

In addition, Schiro said she was concerned the proposed equipment would not be what county operators wanted and maybe wasn't the most appropriate equipment for the job. She added that she couldn't support the purchase until an operator had driven the trucks.

"For some of these guys, it's this or a pick-up truck; I think they'll take this," Jasper said.

Jasper added that delaying the purchase until an operator could view the equipment could mean losing the opportunity. He said because they were on the open market, were priced fairly and were in excellent condition, they were likely to be scooped up by another agency.

J.R. Ford addressed the commissioners and said the operator issue was easily surmountable. He said, standard procedure is to bring an operator along to collect the equipment and a final, pre-purchase inspection could be undertaken at that time.

Ultimately, Lynch and Zaday voted for the purchase of the updated equipment. Schiro voted against the purchase stating her approval would be contingent upon an operator's approval and their having driven the equipment.

Round two of the road and bridge presentation focused on hiring of up to five road and bridge operators.

Jasper said the request to add additional staff was driven largely by new snow removal demands at the expanded airport.

Jasper said the new staff's first task during snow removal operations would be to clear the significantly longer runway. Once done, those operators would be used to clear snow on other projects. Beyond winter, Jasper said the staff would be utilized as regular operators for county road maintenance projects such as patching, gravel, grading and asphalt work.

Jasper explained that adding five additional operators was not a number set in stone, that modifications could be made over time, but that the 2005 budget could weather five, full-time permanent additions to the road and bridge operator staff.

According to Burchett, there is a combined balance of about $2.7 million currently available in road and bridge funds. He said depending on the date and number of operators hired, the move would either require a 2005 budget amendment or would be part of the 2006 budget. Burchett said the hiring of the five operators had been factored into the 2006 proposed budget.

"If it's too much we'll cut. We'll use these operators beyond snow removal and on other road and bridge projects," Jasper said.

Schiro said a complete assessment to determine a more accurate number of needed operators should be completed prior to the hiring, or that hiring should be undertaken once a new road and bridge director arrives. As of yet, no candidates for the position have been announced and Jasper said without the additional staff, the county will have to scramble to find a provider and contract for airport snow removal.

Burchett said last year's $60,000 contract was "a smokin' deal" and that with a longer runway and more involved snow removal requirements that price tag could easily double.

Jasper said he would rather keep the money within the county system, by having county operators undertake the work themselves.

By comparison, Burchett said $60,000 would enable the county to employ about one and half full-time, benefitted operator employees for about a year .

Jasper said additional operator staff would increase road and bridge department efficiency and safety and would help reduce overtime hours. During peak time, some road and bridge operators work 14 hour shifts Jasper said.

After lengthy debate, Lynch and Zaday approved recruiting and hiring for the five positions stating the move met the county's mission to improve its road and bridge capabilities. Schiro dissented.

 

District water alert clarified

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.

-attributed to Mark Twain

Last week The SUN reported on a notice sent out by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District notifying its customers about elevated levels of TTHMs above EPA drinking water standards. The EPA notes that drinking water with elevated levels of TTHMs (total trihalomethanes) may cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage, and may increase the risk of getting cancer. This week, we look at specific aspects of Pagosa's water supply in order to help readers better understand the issue.

In order to convert "raw" water into drinking water, the district operates four treatment plants, with two sourced from lakes, and two sourced from the San Juan River. Because harmful bacteria and other microorganisms may "hide" amidst suspended particles such as silt and other minerals, the water initially goes through a four-stage clarifying process:

1. Coagulation - the addition of chemicals such as alum that bind to suspended solids in the water.

2. Flocculation - a slow mixing process to further bind suspended particles to each other in order to make them heavier so they can be settled out.

3. Sedimentation - the settling process to separate the clear water from the "flocs" created in steps 1 and 2.

4. Filtration - the final step which absorbs most of the remaining flocs where the water passes through a multi-media filter consisting of anthracite coal, sand and garnets, all resting on a bed of gravel.

After the filtration process, which removes 99.5 percent of the particles, including protozoan parasites such as giardia, the water is disinfected with chlorine to kill any remaining biological contaminants. The amount of added chlorine is dependent on factors such as temperature, turbidity and the remaining residual particles in the water.

The chlorine reacts with organic carbons present in the water, forming compounds known as "disinfectant by-products," which include TTHMs. Because Pagosa's water comes from surface sources, such as lakes, rivers and creeks, organic carbons that are naturally present in the environment (e.g. decaying vegetation and animal waste) are picked up by the water as it makes it way to the treatment plants. Dissolved macromolecules of organic carbon (which cannot be removed from the filtration process) react with the chlorine, forming chemicals such as chloroform and other compounds that constitute the TTHM count.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires that there must be detectable levels of chlorine at every point in the system. Because of the large size of Pagosa's water system compared to the population, the residual disinfectant rule necessitates adding more chlorine than would be needed for a smaller water system or one that had more flow-through demand, since the chlorine disintegration rate is time dependent. In some parts of Pagosa's water system, for example, it may take 2 1/2 weeks for the water to travel from the treatment plant to the extreme cul-de-sacs, according to Gene Tautges, assistant manager for the district.

TTHMs are one of approximately 90 groups of contaminants the EPA regulates. Current regulations require monthly sampling of at least four different sites within the water supply system, and the results are quarterly averaged for the entire water system. In 1998, the EPA lowered the maximum level of TTHMs (as well as HAA5s, group of five haloacetic acids which are also disinfectant by-products) to its current level of 0.080 milligrams per liter, or 80 parts per billion. One part per billion is equivalent to one penny per $10 million.

If the test results show excessive levels of any particular contaminant over two successive quarters, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires a public notice such as the one that PAWSD recently sent out.

PAWSD's manager and assistant manager, Carrie Campbell and Gene Tautges, noted that the current situation is not an emergency, for several reasons. The first is that the concern over TTHMs is based on long-term exposure to elevated levels in the water, and may affect people who are "sensitive or immuno-compromised," according to Campbell. EPA notes that TTHMs are present in virtually every chlorinated water supply.

Secondly, the organic carbon content which helps create the TTHMs in the water appear to be related to warmer temperatures, so with the cooler climes coming, the organic carbon content should decrease in the coming months, according to Campbell. Furthermore, the district expects to have improved systems in place before next year's warmer temperatures.

The solutions, still being discussed, may involve intermediate steps that could mitigate the problem, as well as major improvements to the treatment plants. One idea involves moving the Hatcher Lake intake closer to the center of the lake, where the organic carbon content is thought to be less due to the operation of the "Solar Bees" installed in the reservoirs. The Solar Bees are solar-powered water circulators that bring colder water to the surface, and help prevent algae growth. Another option, (noted as not a preferred option by Tautges), is to install intermediate chlorine booster stations so that the initial amount of chlorine added to the system could be reduced.

The long-range plan, currently being analyzed by Briliam Engineering, is to either add a chlorine dioxide process as an initial step, which oxidizes organic carbons, or to install post-filtration, pre-chlorination granulated activated carbon beds ("gac-beds") which removes organic matter, according to Tautges. Both require major improvements to the treatment plants.

For these and other reasons, the district expects to have to raise the cost of water within the district in the upcoming year. In 2007, regulations are expected to require location-specific levels to be below maximum contaminant levels, rather than the currently permitted district wide averaging, in essence demanding that the long term solution be in place in 2006.

Tautges calls our mountain water a "plus and a minus." The minuses arise from the problems such as the one currently faced. "Even pure rocky mountain water needs treatment." The pluses are that "we're the first users of the water after it falls from the sky. Some cities have to deal with many more contaminants."

Election date is Nov. 1

June Madrid, Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder, emphatically notes that this year's Coordinated Mail Ballot Election ballots are due Nov. 1, and notes that the correct date is clearly marked on the ballot itself.

Confusion has arisen because many generic calendars incorrectly show the election date as being Nov. 8 and several local sources have repeated the incorrect date.

Odd-year elections are always on the first Tuesday of November, while even-year elections are on the second Tuesday of November. This being an odd year, numerically, Madrid notes that ballots received after 7 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 1, will not count.

Ballots can be dropped off at the Archuleta County Clerk's Office. If mailing the ballot, it must be received, not postmarked, by Nov. 1, so ask your postmaster to ensure a Tuesday delivery.

 

Mini library closes, new facility opens in November

By Barb Draper

Special to The SUN

The Ruby M. Sisson mini library has served the public since March, during construction at the main library building.

With a move to the expanded facility pending, the mini library, located on the lower level of the Humane Society Thrift Store building, will close tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 21.

The main library will remain closed until the grand reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony in November.

Staff will have access to the new building Oct. 24 and the move will begin. Shelves will be reconstructed and cleaned. Books, computers and operating equipment will be placed in the expanded area.

While circulation services will be interrupted during the process, the book drop will remain in operation throughout the move. The drop box is located inside the front door of the Human Society Thrift Store and will be available during Thrift Store hours, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

 

 Inside The Sun

Community Vision Council refocuses its role

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a recent board meeting, the Community Vision Council announced it will not disband, but will be making additions and changes to the board structure while refocusing its role in town and area planning efforts.

In the past, the council has taken a hands-on approach to guiding growth and development in Pagosa Springs, ultimately coming under fire from some citizens for its role in downtown development and planning and efforts.

Former executive director of the council, Angela Atkinson said, following the board meeting, the organization's essential mission to help manage growth while preserving the character of the community will remain the same, but that the group's role in planning efforts has changed.

"We're focusing our efforts on where we've been most effective, which is serving in an advisory capacity to facilitate the collaboration among various groups in the community," Atkinson said.

Atkinson said the group will still explore growth and development issues but will do it instead via the formation of task forces and ad hoc committees.

"We won't be managing projects, but will work at stimulating a dialogue," Atkinson said.

In addition to the shift in tactics, the group has shifted the structure of the board and made changes in key leadership positions.

In August, Tony Gilbert stepped down from his position as chairman of the board, citing "being able to focus on priorities closer to home" as one of his reasons for resignation.

Atkinson also stepped down from her position as executive director but will work as the interim chairperson until the group holds an election for new officers in January.

In addition, Atkinson said, the group is seeking to add eight new board members, drawing largely on individuals from the group's various action teams to fill the additional posts. In addition, she said, the organization is seeking expanded representation from the school district.

Atkinson said the steering committee will remain in tact with herself and fellow committee members Dave Brown, Lisa Scott, Mike Heraty, Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon and Town Manager Mark Garcia retaining their positions.

Both Atkinson and Garcia said the changes were positive and timely, and Garcia said the addition of new board members could reinvigorate the group and give the organization even greater dimension.

As the town works toward the completion of its Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Master Plan, the reworked Community Vision Council, with its advisory-based focus, will remain a player in those processes.

School board candidates speak at forum

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The League of Women Voters held a public forum at the county Extension Building in Pagosa Springs Tuesday evening and candidates for the upcoming Archuleta School District 50 Joint board election were on hand to answer questions regarding the issues.

Linda Lattin and Ray "Butch" Mackey, both running for the District 5 director seat, took turns addressing questions and concerns posed by the league and members of the public. The only other candidate on the ballot, Matt Aragon, who is running unopposed in District 1, exercised an option afforded him by the forum format and chose not to attend.

Following formal introductions of the candidates, Lattin and Mackey, each in turn, approached the podium to explain their reasons for seeking the District 5 position. Both stated previous experience with business organization and management, participation on various community boards, and the fact that each has now, and has had in the past, children attending school in District 50 Joint.

Lattin stressed her experience in local government (having served as a Pagosa Springs trustee), her comfort with the governmental and administrative process, and her desire "to be involved."

Mackey, on the other hand, emphasized his extensive business administration background, and the fact he is a firm believer in term limits, feeling people should be ready to step up as vacancies arise.

Both expressed a desire to "give back" to a community which has given so much to them and their children over the years.

In the end, the two candidates appeared to have more similarities than differences on issues facing the board, though order of priority varied in some respects. Both agreed that vocational education is important in giving kids a head start in the business world, and both agreed that all-day kindergarten would produce better students in later years.

When asked about drug prevention education however, Lattin feels law enforcement is doing a good job, that parents need to have greater involvement and the schools, specifically the board, can play a significant role. Mackey expressed concern over drugs, but also about underage drinking, and said he believes education in the schools is a large part of the solution. He also thinks a "youth-to-youth" program, in which older school-age children act as role models for younger students, would benefit both age groups.

Both Lattin and Mackey voiced concern over the current locations of, and related safety issues at, the intermediate and junior high schools. Both agreed long-term solutions will be expensive and probably not realized for some time. In the more immediate future though, Mackey suggested investing in the employment of crossing guards to more safely move children from the schools to the playing fields across U.S. 160 .

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 1, and the League of Women Voters urges all registered voters to show up at the polls. According to moderator Mary Beth McAuley, "It is your privilege, your right, and your responsibility."

New Ranch Watch program produces results

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

"Handcuffs with Eyes" is the motto of the Archuleta Sheriff's Department new Ranch Watch Program, commencing this month to help curb crime in rural areas.

Archuleta's Ranch Watch is based on a program created by Phil Stubblefield in Meeker, and is a collaborative effort among the sheriff's department, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the ranchers and citizens of Archuleta County.

Larry Garcia, sheriff reserve deputy and Ranch Watch program coordinator, calls it an "exciting program" that builds on existing community programs, such as the nationwide Crimestoppers and Neighborhood Watch, as well as Colorado's DOW Operation Game Thief.

"What we're seeing is a lot of the old ranches of thousands of acres being sold off into 35 to 100 acre (parcel) developments with a lot of newcomers coming in," said Garcia, "and we're losing the community oriented relationships that you had in the past." With that loss of community, Garcia noted, there is an increase in instances of trespassing, theft, and poaching. Adding to the problem is the increasing amount of vacant second homes that have obvious appeal to burglars.

Ranch Watch's goal is to have rural areas "watched by neighbors, patrolled by deputies," said Garcia. According to the program's press release, the problem for rural law enforcement is the large geographical area of Archuleta County, and the Ranch Watch program will encourage "neighbor helping neighbor, and foster cooperation between the various law enforcement agencies," such as Pagosa Police Department, CDOW, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Southern Ute Tribe, as well as New Mexico's law enforcement agencies, noted Garcia.

With plans to post a large metal sign on every county road notifying people that the area is "Watched by Ranch Watch," Garcia expects the program to significantly deter crime, especially in the upcoming hunting season, where even properly licensed hunters sometimes trespass on private land.

A bigger problem is the poachers who, according to the CDOW Web page, kill almost as many animals and fish as legitimate hunters take during legal season. "Quite often, we find that people who poach are into other criminal activities, such as drugs and theft," said Mike Reid of CDOW, who notes that poachers will often cut fences and drive through private fields. And then there are the trophy poachers, who sometimes kill an animal only for it's antlers, and leave the carcass to rot. In response to a killing of an well known bull elk named Sampson in Estes Park in 1995, Colorado enacted the "Sampson Law", which fines poachers over $10,000 for killing a six-point bull elk or a buck deer with a 22 inch inside antler spread. But even with the hefty fines, the crimes continue.

Citizens can call (970) 264-8437 if they see any suspicious activity in rural areas, or to participate and become a sponsor. Down the road Garcia hopes to incorporate a reward for tips on rural crimes.

Already the program is working. On Oct. 10, Joe Casados and Luis Gonzalez from San Juan Pueblo, N.M, were taken into custody for hunting under the influence, hunting with artificial light and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, based on a call to the sheriff's department. Archuleta County Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp said the case was "the exact type of issues that our Operation Ranch Watch is designed to combat. The community being the eyes and ears for our deputies."

Seeds planted for new building, more childcare

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"It affects all of us," stated Lynne Bridges, executive director of the Seeds of Learning childcare facility at a gathering held Monday, Oct. 17.

"We want people to understand that high quality programs are essential to the health of the community."

Archuleta County is experiencing a critical lack of childcare availability for babies and preschool-age children. An estimated 590 preschool-age children need childcare in Archuleta County. One hundred ninety-two preschoolers are currently being cared for in group settings. Eight preschool children are currently being cared for at Seeds of Learning throughout the year, with 20 preschoolers attending during the summer months.

"The first five years are most significant for brain development. Our program is making a difference in their lives," asserted Bridges, who discussed a High-Scope Perry study that began in 1962-67 and followed preschool-aged children for 40 years. Fifty-eight at-risk, low-income children were placed in high quality programming and were followed until they reached their 40th birthdays. Results showed that high quality preschool education offered the children in the program the step up they needed to succeed in life: higher graduation rates, higher employment rates, higher rate of home ownership and 30-percent fewer felony convictions.

"Why should our community be concerned about early care and education?" asked Bridges. Children who are ready to learn earn better grades, later qualify for higher paying jobs and contribute more to the local economy. "We can't have high quality economic development without high quality childcare. When [children] go to school, they have to be ready to learn, at-risk or not," stated Bridges. "People are desperate [for childcare]."

"Pagosa has a real gem here at Seeds of Learning," said Susan Thorpe, president of the Seeds of Learning board of directors, referring to Bridges. "I'm proud to work with this board and Lynne."

Seeds of Learning has been given a plot of land, located on 7th and Apache streets, by the town of Pagosa Springs on which to build a new facility - a facility that will triple the number of preschool students in attendance to 30, not including 10 toddlers' positions. "We currently have a waiting list of 54 children," said Bridges.

The state of Colorado's Qualistar rating system recently awarded Seeds of Learning with three of four possible stars. "Seeds fell short of four stars in only one area," said Thorpe. "Our space."

The new Seeds of Learning facility will be just over 5,000 square feet in size. Seeds will continue its programming that includes hot lunch for all children in attendance, the Incredible Years curriculum, and training in conflict resolution and problem solving. Seeds' programming goes far above and beyond the federal standard program called "Good Start, Grow Smart," according to Thorpe.

"How do you maintain loyalty and commitment [among your staff members]?" asked Peter Gonzalez, presentation attendee, regarding the nationwide problem of employee turnover plaguing childcare centers across the country.

"The way Lynne has cultivated the environment — it's a truly wonderful place to work. [The teachers] love working here," answered Thorpe. "We work hard on our relationships and friendships. "

" I'm so blessed to have the teachers I do," added Bridges. "I have some of the best teachers in the county."

Seeds of Learning is a non-profit, stand-alone [non-franchise] entity.

"We charge parents $23 per day [to care] for a preschool child. It costs us $35 per day to care for that same child. This is typical across the nation. There is no facility that is self-sustaining," said Bridges. The bulk of the Seeds of Learning budget comes from grants and private donation.

"The cost of high quality early care and education cannot be borne by parents," said Thorpe. "Facilities are underwritten by grants or sponsored by a church or community. Programs without underwriting collapse.

"The goal of this presentation is to inform the community of the critical need for early childhood care and to let people know what Seeds does. These meetings are the beginning of our networking. How can we get people jazzed up about this?" asked Thorpe.

"Reaching out to the retirement community is going to be essential," said Lisa Scott, presentation attendee.

"We've had groups of retirement age people who are beginning to catch the vision," stated Bridges. "[Pagosa Springs] is the most giving community I've ever seen. The public awareness piece is what we're missing."

The new Seeds of Learning facility will cost $910,000, turnkey. The majority of that figure is being raised through grants, although an estimated $115,000 minimum is needed by way of individual donations. "We would love to get more local support because that shows the community is behind us and believes in the value of our children," said Bridges.

"It's our job as a community to step up and take care of these children," stated Bridges. "We're not going to give up - it's for the kids."

Referenda C and D debated at forum

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The League of Women Voters held a public forum at the County Extension Building Tuesday evening, and two candidates for the State House of Representatives faced off with opposing views on Referenda C and D.

Jeff Deitch, a candidate seeking the democratic nomination in District 59, and Ron Tate, a republican candidate in the same district, (both aiming at the November 2006 General Election) stated opinions and entertained questions from the league and several members of the audience.

Tate opened the debate by first describing Colorado's economy as being "in pretty good shape." He accused referenda proponents of falsely considering them an economic fix and affirmed his belief that Referendum C amounts to a tax increase that would not only fail to provide a five-year "time out" from the allegedly crippling fiscal effects of Amendment 23 (TABOR), but would increase the size of government and overall government spending. He said Referendum D would be a poor use of funds, while increasing the state's debt and failing to fix transportation woes statewide.

Deitch answered by listing the state's near-the-bottom ranking in a number of fiscal areas, including spending on K-12 and higher education, school dropout rates, children's immunization rates, Medicaid coverage, highways, and crime prevention. He said Referendum C is not a tax increase and would not affect income taxes or tax refunds. At the local level, Deitch said the failure of C and D would result in a lack of state funding needed to cover the cost of our county extension agent, 4-H and improvements to U.S. 160 and 550.

When asked how the defeat of C and D would affect the local economy, Tate said the proponents' arguments are based on projections which typically hold little relation to actual numbers, and said the people have shown their desire to limit the size and cost of government.

Deitch countered by saying, "If the state doesn't have money to support local projects, local governments will have to bear the full burden themselves."

Other issues involving funding for K-12 and higher education, roads, healthcare and Medicaid, and state debt relief drew heated debate from both sides, but when asked if C and D would relieve the effects of TABOR while not causing a budget crisis, Tate said that even if both passed, "we'd be in the exact same place as we are now in five years, when we should be forcing legislators to address TABOR itself."

Deitch responded by saying, "We may have to readdress TABOR, but that would be a very complex and time-consuming issue. C and D would buy us time to figure things out, while providing funding for important projects."

Both candidates were asked how the failure of C and D might impact them personally, and Tate said it would have little direct effect on him or his family. Deitch noted that he and his family are users of highways and medical facilities, that they, like everyone, benefit from an educated work force, and said he is very sensitive to environmental concerns.

In conclusion, Tate advocated limiting the size of government and forcing lawmakers to address the larger issue of TABOR reform. Deitch stated his belief in a functional society with responsible government. He said, "If C and D fail, the money simply isn't there to support important governmental functions."

Voters in Colorado will decide the fates of referenda C and D when the polls close Tuesday, Nov. 1.

  

Five Pagosans sentenced, incarcerated

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

In District Court actions relating to joint Pagosa Springs Police Department and Archuleta County Sheriff's Department investigations, five Pagosa residents were sentenced this week and given prison time for their crimes.

On Monday, Duane Ray Eddy, 27, and Maranda Allen, 27, both of Pagosa Springs, were sentenced for charges related to methamphetamine.

Eddy was sentenced to a total of five years in the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC). Eddy received a one-year sentence relating to his Nov. 17, 2004, arrest for possession of methamphetamine, as well as a four-year sentence in the DOC for a May 16, 2005, case involving possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Eddy's sentences will be served concurrently.

Allen, a co-defendant in one of the cases involving Eddy, was sentenced to four years in the Colorado Department of Corrections Community Corrections Program . She was arrested Nov. 17, 2004, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Steven Victor Crouse, 23, Jonathan David Jackson, 19, and Cody J. Dutton, 20, all of Pagosa Springs, were sentenced for crimes and their Mar. 17 escapes from the Archuleta County Jail.

As SUN readers may recall, the escapees were housed in a three-cell block, two in the same cell. Over an undetermined period of time, the inmates forced the edge of a rolled steel ceiling away from a wall above a bunk in one of the cells. They used a stack of books to hold the edge of the ceiling away from the wall then made their way through the opening and used blankets from cells to lower themselves down a 25-foot airshaft, breaching a broken rebar barrier and leaving the building through a sally port. Two of the escapees, Crouse and Jackson, were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents two days later as they approached a checkpoint at the Canadian border near Scobey, Mont., while the third escapee, Dutton, was taken into custody the next day in Commerce City, Colo. during a sting operation conducted after he was suspected of making contact with a relative who was also wanted by law enforcement authorities.

Crouse was sentenced to two years, nine months in DOC for the escape, and a year on a Feb. 18 police department felony menacing and domestic violence case in which he threatened his wife with a knife. Crouse's sentences are to be served consecutively.

Jackson was sentenced to five years for the escape, and was given three years DOC for a robbery case involving the theft of a purse from an elderly woman in the parking lot of the Pagosa Springs Alco store, where the woman was injured during the course of the robbery. The motive for the robbery was allegedly to obtain money to purchase marijuana. Jackson's sentences are to be served consecutively.

Dutton was sentenced to five years for the escape, to three years for a July 3, 2004 burglary at the Eagles Loft Apartments, and given two years for a first-degree criminal trespass during a July 7, 2004 theft from a motor vehicle on Lewis Street. Dutton's five-year sentence for the escape will be served consecutive to the three-year sentence.

  

Sides differ on impact of Village at Wolf Creek decision

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With both sides claiming victory, it might be difficult to determine the true state of affairs following a recent judge's ruling on the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

The ruling came Oct. 13 when 12th Judicial District Judge O. John Kuenhold struck at the very core of Mineral County's approval of the project's final plat by stating Forest Service Road 391 did not constitute meaningful year-round access to a development consisting of 2,200 residential units, more than 500,000 square feet of commercial space and up to 10,000 residents.

Kuenhold's ruling was the product of two lawsuits filed this past summer, one filed by Wolf Creek Ski Corporation and the other by Colorado Wild Incorporated and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem against Mineral County and the village developer, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture.

According to the ruling, "The Court further reviewed and found the findings and determinations of the Board are supported by competent evidence in every instance except the finding regarding access ... With regard to the access for the PUD, the record does not support the decision of the Board. The decision to abandon a requirement for meaningful year-round access was arbitrary and capricious and misconstrued the state statute and the Mineral County Subdivision Regulations. The conclusion is so devoid of evidentiary support that it can only be explained as an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority. For this single reason, the Court must reverse the approval of the Final Plan, Final Plat and ADNP for Phase 1... "

The document further states, "The recorded Final Plat for the Village at Wolf Creek is vacated and the supporting resolutions for the Final Development Plan, Final Plat and ADNP for Phase 1 are similarly vacated."

Jeff Parsons, an attorney representing two of the plaintiffs in the case, Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, said "We see it as a major victory. There were many issues in the case. A lot of those claims were procedural, but the judge ruled on substantive issues." And Parsons said the judge's ruling on the substantive issue of access and the wholesale rejection of Mineral County's approval of the project were the most crucial point in the case.

Bob Honts, the developer's front man for the project, didn't see things in the same light. He said the plaintiffs had won only one claim in a 14 or 15 claim lawsuit and that Kuenhold's ruling "was extremely positive."

"We gave them the sleeves on our vest," Honts said and added that he and the developer, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, disagree with the judge's statements on year-round meaningful access.

He said Forest Service Road 391 was never intended to serve as primary year-round access to the development and that it was intended only as summer access for the site.

Honts said they have other access options, that access issues will be resolved soon and that the project is continuing as planned and on schedule.

"The judge's ruling doesn't even slow us down," Honts said.

Unfortunately for the developer, the process may not be as effortless as it seems. According to John Wilder, Mineral County attorney, the developer must first obtain a Forest Service road permit, followed by the Forest Service and CDOT finalizing access agreements for the junction of the concerned Forest Service roads and U.S. 160. After those pieces of the puzzle are in place, Wilder said the developer can then come back and request final approval.

Parsons said this puts Mineral County in the enviable position of allowing them to reexamine their prior approval and to address many of the economic, environmental and safety concerns that have been recently voiced by area residents and lawmakers.

Tom Malecek, district ranger for the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest, said Judge Kuenhold's ruling would not affect the completion of their forthcoming Environmental Impact Statement.

Malecek said some of the language of the document may need to be "tweaked" to reflect the judge's decision, but the substance of the document will not change.

"County PUD approval is really irrelevant as far as we're concerned," Malecek said.

Malecek said the targeted completion date was late November or mid-December and that he hoped the document would be completed before Christmas.

  

Health department to conduct radon presentations

Do you know your number?

Here is another number to know - beyond your cholesterol and your blood pressure, do you know the level of radon in your home. Take steps now to protect your family. Whether you own or rent your home, you need to know what your radon level is.

When we hear the term environmental pollutant, several images may come to mind; an image of your home is probably not one of them. Did you know elevated levels of radon (>4pcu), a naturally occurring environmental pollutant in a home is the No. 2 cause of lung cancer. Colorado overall is ranked at high risk by EPA as to radon risk and our county is moderate risk. Homes can be positioned right next to each other - one might have a level of 2 (acceptable) while the next door neighbor has a level of 13 picocuries per liter of air (recommend correction and mitigation).

Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium. Uranium occurs in rock (particularly granite), soil, and water all over. The Radon is harmlessly dispersed into the air outdoors but since it enters closed buildings and homes the same way air seeps in, it can be harmful. Radon enters your home through cracks in foundation floor or walls, hollow walls, and openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. It also enters in the water such as shower flow. The better insulated your home, the more the radon seeps in and builds up to toxic levels. The amount of radon in the soil is determined by the geology under and near your home. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon levels. The only way to know for sure how much is in your home, and to protect your family from radon, is to test.

Testing for radon is simple and inexpensive. It involves opening a package and following instructions (hang in designated area for three days, close and mail). Results are confidential and sent to homeowners only. If level is high you can opt to mitigate (averages $1,200).

Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy that can damage lung tissue leading to lung cancer.

La Plata County CSU Cooperative Extension and The San Juan Basin Health Department are partnering to bring radon facts and kits to community residents. They kick off Radon Awareness Week with a detailed four-hour training for realtors, home builders, and consumers if they choose. The entry fee covers cost of materials and facility fee. An EPA approved Radon test kit will also be distributed. A nationally renowned radon specialist will discuss radon, impact on area realtors and their clients, as well as discuss testing and mitigation options.

The results of the test are completely confidential. A home will not be condemned or boarded up. January is National Radon Take Action month and presentations including radon kits for community use will be provided. Short Classes are scheduled in January and February in Durango. Pagosa's presentation will be Feb. 8.

 

4-H club to hold benefit Halloween dance

Pagosa Peaks 4-H club will hold a Halloween dance Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at the county Extension Building.

The theme for the dance is "Halloween with a Heart" with the club donating all proceeds to 4-H families affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Admission is $5 per person or $15 per family. There will be a costume contest, door prizes and games.

Michael Murphy, a local DJ, is donating his time and services.

Club members would like local youngsters to attend along with their parents.

For more information, contact Misty evenings at 731-0742, or Becky at 731-9070.

 

Personal protection firearm course in November

In cooperation with the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, the NRA course, "Personal Protection in the Home," will be offered Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5-6.

This course is for those with some experience with handguns. It covers firearm safety, the legalities of use of lethal force, defensive versus target shooting, and stresses safety and planning for personal protection. This course satisfies the training requirement for the Colorado Concealed Weapon Permit. Students must attend both days to pass the course.

The cost is $100 per person, or $150 for husband and wife. Space is limited and you must be preregistered to attend. If interested, contact Duncan Lawrie, 264-2131 mornings, 731-3565 afternoons, or e-mail Duncan@Lawrie.com.

Also note that the sheriff's department will be doing firearms qualifications satisfying the federal "218" legislation for retired law enforcement officers who reside in Archuleta County. Contact Lawrie at the above numbers.

Airport opening soon, new development possible

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The blacktop on airport's new runway is complete and the airport should reopen Saturday, according to Bob Howard, airport commissioner.

The expected three-day lag beyond the official opening date of Oct. 19 is due to a weather delay related to the clearing of old fuel tanks within the obstacle-free area near the site of recently demolished hangars. Meanwhile, the Piedra Road asphalt batch plant has been dismantled and is in the process of being shipped off to another site.

When the new 8,100-foot runway officially opens, Stevens Field will be designated a C-II airport. The "C" status refers to runway's ability to handle airplanes with an approach speed of up to 140 knots, such as Gulfstream jets, while the "II" indicates a maximum allowable wingspan of 79 feet, according to Howard.

In a separate development, at last week's Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District meeting, a proposal for a new development adjacent to the airport was presented by Tom Thorpe of the Gustafson Consulting Group, representing an unnamed client.

The client is interested in developing 245 acres of the Cloman Inclusion surrounding the northeastern end of the runway into seven 35-acre ranches. Thorpe requested the board to consider reassessing an older distribution of the inclusion's water rights. According to Thorpe, the original inclusion of 693 acres had 20 "Equivalent Units" (EU) of water rights. The inclusion was subsequently divided into three separate parcels: the northern parcel with four EUs, which is where the developer wants to build, the Knolls Ranch with eight EUs, and the Knolls Subdivision with eight EUs. In order to build the seven ranches, seven EUs are needed for the northern parcel.

Thorpe requested the water board to verify whether some of the eight EUs associated with the Knolls Subdivision, located between the main runway and Taxiway Bravo according to a map provided by Thorpe, are being utilized for their "intended use." The board said that some of the water use within the Knolls subdivision was originally specified for "efficiency apartments," and also noted that there were some hangars within the Knolls Subdivision currently using water on an average monthly basis.

Thorpe asked the board to consider a reallocation of three EUs from the Knolls Subdivision to the northern parcel, so that the full seven parcels could be developed, as well as a main line extension permit for the property. The board approved the main line extension permit, but denied a reallocation of EUs until the developer requested an agreement with those who currently own title to the EUs.

The blacktop on airport's new runway is complete and the airport should reopen Saturday, according to Bob Howard, airport commissioner.

The expected three-day lag beyond the official opening date of Oct. 19 is due to a weather delay related to the clearing of old fuel tanks within the obstacle-free area near the site of recently demolished hangars. Meanwhile, the Piedra Road asphalt batch plant has been dismantled and is in the process of being shipped off to another site.

When the new 8,100-foot runway officially opens, Stevens Field will be designated a C-II airport. The "C" status refers to runway's ability to handle airplanes with an approach speed of up to 140 knots, such as Gulfstream jets, while the "II" indicates a maximum allowable wingspan of 79 feet, according to Howard.

In a separate development, at last week's Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District meeting, a proposal for a new development adjacent to the airport was presented by Tom Thorpe of the Gustafson Consulting Group, representing an unnamed client.

The client is interested in developing 245 acres of the Cloman Inclusion surrounding the northeastern end of the runway into seven 35-acre ranches. Thorpe requested the board to consider reassessing an older distribution of the inclusion's water rights. According to Thorpe, the original inclusion of 693 acres had 20 "Equivalent Units" (EU) of water rights. The inclusion was subsequently divided into three separate parcels: the northern parcel with four EUs, which is where the developer wants to build, the Knolls Ranch with eight EUs, and the Knolls Subdivision with eight EUs. In order to build the seven ranches, seven EUs are needed for the northern parcel.

Thorpe requested the water board to verify whether some of the eight EUs associated with the Knolls Subdivision, located between the main runway and Taxiway Bravo according to a map provided by Thorpe, are being utilized for their "intended use." The board said that some of the water use within the Knolls subdivision was originally specified for "efficiency apartments," and also noted that there were some hangars within the Knolls Subdivision currently using water on an average monthly basis.

Thorpe asked the board to consider a reallocation of three EUs from the Knolls Subdivision to the northern parcel, so that the full seven parcels could be developed, as well as a main line extension permit for the property. The board approved the main line extension permit, but denied a reallocation of EUs until the developer requested an agreement with those who currently own title to the EUs.

 

 Outdoors

Pagosa Country is lion country

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

An apparent rise in the number of mountain lion sightings has stirred some excitement in recent months, but seeing mountain lions in Pagosa Country is nothing new. In fact, they've been here all along, and if anything's new, it's you and me.

Back before the U.S. was settled, the mountain lion (or puma, panther, cougar, catamount, or painter) had plenty of room to roam and was the most widely distributed native mammal in the western hemisphere. Ranging from the mountains of British Columbia to the southern tip of South America, it inhabited nearly all of North America, and is still the second largest of eight wild cats on the continent. Only the exceedingly rare jaguar of extreme southern Texas, New Mexico, and California is slightly larger.

Adult mountain lions are a solid tawny color with white underbelly, and range from seven to nine feet in length. Weighing between 80 and 200 pounds, their uncanny agility allows them to spring forward 25 feet (from a standstill), leap 12 feet in the air, and jump safely from a height of 60 feet. As silent and secretive hunters, they are active any time of day, but prefer hunting at night.

Research indicates that 80 to 90 percent of a lion's diet consists of deer, with elk, bighorn sheep, smaller mammals, and the odd domestic livestock rounding out the menu. As efficient predators, lions typically stalk their prey or pounce from an elevated perch. With sharp retractable claws, they'll hold on to a victim, while powerful jaws and strong canine teeth deliver a bone-crushing bite to the back of the neck. Death is almost instantaneous, and on average, an adult lion with an established territory will kill a deer every 10 to 14 days.

Each male lion claims a home territory of 25 to 40 square miles or more, and fiercely defends it against intrusion by other males. Boundaries are marked with scent and urine-soaked debris piles, or scrapes, and battles over turf can sometimes be fatal. Females also protect a smaller range, particularly when caring for young.

Females are sexually mature at two years of age, and will only bear young every other year. Litters of two or three kittens are typical, but early life is wrought with peril, and the survival rate is low. Those that do survive will remain with mother for two years, before being driven out to search for a territory of their own.

Hundreds of year ago, as settlers pushed west, the mountain lion's territory gradually dwindled. Partly out of fictional folklore, which gave rise to unfounded fear, ranchers and farmers considered them extremely dangerous and a grave threat to livestock. In 1929, the Colorado legislature established a $50 bounty on lions and for decades, they were killed in alarming numbers. The bounty was lifted on July 1, 1965, when mountain lions were reclassified as a big-game species.

Mountain lions are incredibly adaptable and can live in a variety of climatic zones. As long as adequate prey is available, they'll thrive in high alpine forests, temperate mountains, foothills, tropical rainforests, grasslands and deserts. They are not, however, entirely tolerant of human society, and instead, prefer remote country with sufficient cover. No doubt, that is why most mountain lions in the U.S. live here in the four corners region today.

Though mountain lions are carnivorous and prey primarily on deer, they are considered an essential "umbrella" species in the balance of nature. Their predation has little appreciable effect on deer populations, yet their tendency to take older, slower, injured or sick animals helps maintain the overall health of the herd. Too, by keeping their quarry on the move, herds are dispersed, thereby protecting the surrounding flora. When the larger ungulates (hooved animals) are scarce, lions will snack on smaller mammals like rabbits or rodents, thus helping to control their populations.

In respect to their own numbers, mountain lions are considered stable for now. Of course, relatively little is known about the secretive felines, and estimates are fairly fragile. However, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) recently released a draft management plan for them, and through the use of GIS mapping technology, gained a better understanding of lion habitat and their estimated prey base. As a result, the DOW has concluded that the adult lion population in Colorado is between 3,200 and 3,500 cats, a much tighter range than previously supposed.

This new data, along with growing public sentiment, prompted the Wildlife Commission to approve a 28 percent reduction in the statewide lion hunting quota for 2005. Quotas had risen steadily from 1980 to 2000, then leveled off near an all-time high of 794. Meanwhile, a 10-year study now underway will further refine DOW knowledge, and allow still better management in the future.

While population estimates appear more realistic and hunting quotas are being adjusted accordingly, other concerns for the long-term stability of mountain lions still linger.

Colorado's lion hunting regulations, unlike those pertaining to all other big-game species, do not provide protection for females, which propagate the species. Statistics show that on average, 45 percent of lions killed by hunters each year are females, and 38 to 56 percent of those are mothers with dependent cubs.

Mountain lions can reproduce any time of year, but females typically give birth in late summer or autumn. Kittens must remain with the mother for at least six months, and more often up to a year. With the current lion season running from mid-November through March, and a lack of protection for females, the killing of a mother could result in the unintentional death of one to three kittens. Any viable solution would have to include sub-quotas on females.

Aside from hunting, which accounts for 91 percent of all recorded mountain lion deaths in Colorado, human development (or loss of habitat) is perhaps their greatest threat. Hunting can be regulated, but for lions themselves to hunt and survive, they and their prey base require broad reaches of primitive terrain, free from human encroachment.

Mountain lions have lived in the four corners region for thousands of years, and their habitat has always seemed secure. But something new has entered their domain, and for now, their long-term future appears in doubt.

That something new, of course, is you and me.

Hunters asked to test deer, elk heads for Chronic Wasting Disease

By Joe Lewandowski

Special to The SUN

Hunters in the Four Corners area are asked to bring in the heads of harvested deer and elk for testing for chronic wasting disease.

There is no evidence that CWD exists in the southwest area. But CWD has been found in deer in the northeast and the northwest corners of the state, so the Colorado Division of Wildlife is monitoring areas throughout the state.

There is no charge for testing of deer heads. The fee for testing elk heads is $15.

All hunters who bring in a head will be eligible to win a Weatherby Vanguard .270 Winchester rifle. The rifle is being donated by the Four Corners Chapter of Safari Club International.

Hunters are asked to follow these guidelines:

- Avoid shooting the animal in the head.

- Keep the head cool, not frozen; and bring it in within five days.

- Do not place the head in water.

- Antlers can be removed by cutting the crown of the skull.

- If a hunter wants to mount the entire head, he/she should consult with a taxidermist on how to properly remove the cape.

- Cut the head off just below the first vertebrae.

- Attach CWD testing tag. This tag is below the carcass tag on the license.

- Record the kill date and the location of the kill. Hunters should be able to identify the location on a topographical map or provide GPS coordinates.

Hunters can turn in heads to these locations through hunting season which ends Nov. 20: The DOW office in Durango, 151 E. 16th Street; AA Taxidermy in Gem Village near Bayfield, 39728 U.S. 160; Bones Custom Meat Processing, 11063 County Road 25, Cortez; Buck Stops Here Custom Meat Processing, 10501 W. U.S. 160, Pagosa Springs.

For questions, call the DOW at 247-0855. Information about CWD can be found on the DOW's Web site at: http://wildlife.state.co.us, click on Chronic Wasting Disease on the menu on the left side of the page.

 

San Juan Federation to hold fly fishing seminar

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Fly fishing the San Juan River below Navajo Dam can be a humbling and puzzling experience. Not all anglers are accustomed to casting a size 22 fly tied on 6x or 7x tippet to super selective trout sipping microscopic insects. Add cold water, strong currents and wading on super slick rocks and the San Juan can be a challenging, if not mystifying experience.

But the San Juan Fly Fishing Federation is offering help.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the federation is hosting a free, day-long fly fishing seminar custom tailored to helping anglers of all skill levels learn the intricacies of fishing the San Juan River below Navajo Dam.

Fly fishing guides, federation members and representatives from the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game will be on hand to teach attendees the fundamentals of the river. Work sessions covering: aquatic life of the river, appropriate gear for fishing the San Juan, casting and knots, dry fly techniques, nymphing techniques, streamers fishing and float tubing will be offered. Catch and release angling techniques will be discussed during the seminar and many of the work sessions will take a how-to, hands-on approach.

The program will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Cottonwood Campground on the San Juan River. Free parking will be provided at the campground for attendees during the seminar. Those wishing to stay after the seminar will be required to purchase a day use park pass.

Attendees are asked to bring a chair, notepad, lunch, water and clothing appropriate for the weather.

To reserve a spot for the seminar, or for more information about the event, contact either Ray Hood at (505) 334-6934 or Gary Jantz at (505) 334-8902.

The event is sponsored by the San Juan Fly Fishing Federation whose goal is to teach and promote the sport of angling.

Catch and Release

Take it all in ... and never forget

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

We move like shadows in the fading light. Golden leaves drift down from the cottonwood canopy high overhead. The breeze carries the leaves, and they fall lazily like someone has unleashed the crystals from inside a kaleidoscope and thrown them to the wind. The leaves drift lazily and shades of orange and amber, ochre and red shift and shimmer in the last rays of sunlight. A sudden gust rattles the gnarled trees, a flurry of leaves fall and we are inside the kaleidoscope.

I stand in the dazzling, golden light, and I am gripped by the evening's staggering beauty, yet I am stricken at the same time with a profound sadness and I don't know why. Perhaps it's because fall marks a time of transition. Perhaps it's because there is a sense of finality when the cold winds begin to blow at the end of the autumn season.

Whatever the case, on this trip, there is no casting; there is no catching, only release, and a desire to etch this place and the fleeting beauty of the moment permanently in my mind.

It is said the sense of smell is powerful and just a whiff of a particular scent can bring one vividly back to a moment seemingly forgotten from decades ago. I stand in the forest near the river and breathe deeply, inhaling the heavy scent of wet leaves and damp, black earth. It is like breathing the perfume lingering on the neck of a lover from long ago. It is the scent of all rivers moving through damp forests cloaked in autumn. The aroma is unmistakable, almost tangible, and memories of rivers fished in fall come flooding back. But it is also undoubtedly the scent of my own river here, and the memory of this place, now linked to this distinct, organic scent, is richer and uniquely my own.

We walk, and in the northeast, heavy, slate-colored clouds gather like armies massing at a front. Directly overhead, the sky is mottled with patches of grey and blue. The clouds above lack the foreboding mood of those in the distance. The rain will come, and later the snow, of that I am sure, but there is still time tonight, and we continue.

Our passage takes us streamside, and we discover the river has changed. Just hours before it ran crystalline, with delicate fingers of current, bejeweled with boldly colored leaves, wrapping easily around familiar boulders and gravel bars along the shore. With the clarity, we could see deep below the surface, into pools and channels - prime holding water - that had gone unnoticed before. But now, hours later, high-country rain had swollen the stream, turning the water a turbid, silty, unfishable gray.

And that is fine. I am not here to fish. I am here to walk the country into my body, to remember every detail, every color, every shade, every shadow, and every scent.

We live on borrowed time. The moments of our lives slip away like grains of sand through our fingertips, but I will hold this moment, and savor this last breath of autumn as long as I can. I will take it all in and never forget. I will walk the country into myself and I will remember. I will walk this riverbank and my feet will remember the gentle undulations of the ground. My knees will remember the scramble up the boulders of the levy, and my lungs will remember being winded and at the top. My skin will remember the chill as autumn's evening breeze gripped the sweat on my neck, leaving me feeling cold and damp while looking out over the river and to the mountains beyond. My eyes will remember the multi-hued mosaic of leaves scattered on the forest floor, the Canadian Geese settling in for the night, the muskrat slipping stealthily into the river and the storm brewing overhead. My nose will breathe deeply of riparian perfume and the memory of this place will be fixed and profound. My ears will hear, they will listen and I will memorize the haiku of the river. The words will be few, simple and succinct, the meaning complex, and in the poetry heard in a river's passage I will realize there is everything, yet nothing at all.

We leave the riverbank, and the voice of the river echoes in my head like a mantra. It is nothing; it is everything, and we emerge from the forest and walk toward a clearing in hopes of one last glimpse of the mountains.

We arrive in the clearing and discover the peaks are totally obscured. The storm has advanced and moved decisively down the valley. A few, tentative needle-like slivers of autumn rain pelt the canvas of my jacket and we walk toward home.

I enter the yard and more wind moves down the valley. I am greeted by aspen leaves quaking in the wind like the delicate rattling of fine china. We arrive on the porch and darkness slinks in. It is still warm, so I sit on the porch and let myself be taken by the night.

Nothing stirs and the quiet is absolute except for a fine rain beating a delicate staccato on the metal roof of my home. I light a cigar and retrace my walk in my head. I will remember. I smoke and sip fiery Spanish brandy. The liquid burns and the rain comes down.

High Country Reflections

Illegal stocking is done, but damage assessment will take time

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

A Colorado man pleaded guilty to numerous charges in federal court last month, and his sentence included nearly $30,000 in fines and restitution, and three years probation with the U.S. Justice Dept. Unfortunately, only the passage of time will tell if the punishment truly fit his crimes.

Dwight Babcock, 59, owns the Cannibal Canyon Ranches and a private fish-production facility in Marvel, Colo. According to court documents, his fish hatchery tested positive for Whirling disease in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2002. Nevertheless, between 1997 and 2003 he willingly sold, transported and stocked thousands of trout to dozens of locations in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. He's admitted to stocking fish at least 125 times in Colorado alone, and eventually, his actions could devastate Wild Trout waters and important Cutthroat Trout Conservation waters in southwestern Colorado and elsewhere.

Whirling disease (WD) is a disorder in salmonids (trout and salmon) caused by the microscopic parasite Myxobolus cerebralis. Evolving in Europe, it was first reported in the eastern U.S. in the mid 1950s, and has since been found in at least 24 states, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

Based on innumerable studies of the malady since its discovery here, its histologic development causes damage to maturing cartilage, and induces a strong inflammation in infected fish. That damage leads to numerous and sometimes serious skeletal deformities in the head and spinal vertebrae, which in turn causes erratic swimming behavior (or whirling), thus giving the disorder its common name. Many younger fish simply die.

The severity of infection depends on fish species, age and immune status, and also the dose of infective spores and water temperature. Young rainbow trout (less than four months old) appear most susceptible, brown trout seem least susceptible, and the vulnerability of golden, cutthroat and brook trout lie somewhere in between. Recent studies suggest that mountain whitefish are also at risk.

The parasite has no effect on humans or mammals, and is not spread from fish to fish. Instead, at least one bottom-dwelling worm, Tubifex tubifex, serves as an intermediary host, within which an infective stage of the parasite develops. Scientists believe some worms release infective spores into the water, while others are eaten by vulnerable fish. As infected fish die or fall prey to predators, additional spores are released, further spreading the disease. Once WD has contaminated a stream, it is virtually impossible to eradicate.

While impacts of WD vary widely in different regions of the world, scientists have determined that in the early 1990s it was a major factor in the catastrophic collapse of wild rainbow recruitment (regeneration) in the upper Colorado River, and the Madison of Montana. In fairness, other environmental factors appear to have contributed, but WD has since been confirmed in 13 of Colorado's 15 major river drainages, and its adverse influence on trout populations in the South Platte, Gunnison, Arkansas and Rio Grande rivers is widely recognized.

The investigation leading to Babcock's arrest shows that he sold fish to private landowners and stocked them in at least 72 locations in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, and Montezuma counties. Various reaches of the Animas, Piedra, Rio Blanco, San Juan and West Dolores rivers were among the areas involved, and some were stocked more than once. According to Colorado law, private hatcheries stocking trout anywhere in the state must do so in accordance with a required permit, and fish must be certified WD free.

While living in Vail from 1976 to 1995, I traveled to Grand County and the upper reaches of the Colorado River many times. Most trips were in the early '90s, especially after the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) had gained new public access to three miles of river through a purchase in 1993. Called the Kemp-Breeze State Wildlife Area, the new addition increased public fishing to approximately 10 miles of magnificent country through Middle Park. There, in the midst of spectacular scenery and idyllic fishing conditions, prolific hatches and bountiful trout provided outstanding angling at least half the year.

Of course, word traveled fast and Middle Park quickly became a popular flyfishing destination for anglers from across the country. Even after the first season, with catch-and-release regulations governing much of the water, angling pressure and improper release methods began taking a toll.

Then, later that same year, a routine study of the river showed a sudden and massive population decline in young rainbow trout. In September, researchers found up to 12,000 young-of-the-year rainbows per river mile, and as many as 10,000 young brown trout. By November, the number of browns remained unchanged, but the rainbows had largely vanished. Apparently, three separate age classes were missing and researchers determined that, while rainbow trout were reproducing normally, young fish simply weren't surviving.

In the studies that followed, scientists discovered WD spores throughout sample fish populations, and young fish displayed the circular swimming behavior characteristic of WD. In 1995 tests reported catastrophic losses among brook trout, some Colorado River cutthroat trout and even brown trout in certain sections of the river. Similar declines have since been noted on the lower and upper Gunnison, Poudre, South Platte and Rio Grande rivers. In each case, while other factors may have been involved, WD was the common thread in all waters tested.

All is not doom and gloom, however. In the past nine years hundreds of researchers have engaged in dozens of studies, and all are sharing information and results at an annual symposium each year. While everyone agrees WD will probably never be completely eradicated from the wild, new methods of management and control, including the identification of genetically resistant trout species, the interruption of the parasite's life cycle, and the identification of environmental factors which allow the disease to prevail, are the current focus.

Meanwhile, the DOW has spent approximately $11 million on modernizing and eliminating the disease from their hatcheries, and they do not permit stocking of WD-exposed trout from private hatcheries to waters which have not tested positive for the pathogen. At least until recently, that would've included most of the waters Babcock stocked illegally between 1997 and 2003.

Only time will tell what impacts his actions will have on our local waters.

Letters
Shop local

Dear Editor:

The holiday shopping season is soon to be on us, whether we like it or not. It is a "make or break" time for businesses, particularly small ones, a time that carries one through the winter economic doldrums.

This season usually sees a pilgrimage to our nearest big city so the shoppers can, in one fell swoop, complete their obligatory buying binge. It is often completed in a "big box" store.

The benefits of big box shopping have been enumerated; cheaper prices under one convenient roof, for one. The rewards of doing that this year for Pagosans may not be that great.

With high fuel costs, longer travel time due to interminable road construction, more traffic from population growth, and indeterminate weather, doesn't it make more sense to shop locally?

Support your local merchants and you will reap some wonderful benefits: more time, energy and money savings to truly enjoy the "season."

Scott Allen

 Unnecessary

Dear Editor:

The members of the PAWSD Board who voted earlier this year to discontinue adding fluoride to our water should be applauded for supporting a policy that allows individuals to decide for themselves what is right. I encourage everyone, despite which side of this discussion you concur with, to read the Oct. 24, 2005, article in Time Magazine titled "Not in My Water Supply." A growing number of communities question the need for people to receive additional fluoride beyond what non-ingested toothpaste provides. There continues to be a debate about the health advantages and toxicity of fluoride and additional research will continue to add fuel to opponents' and proponents' fires. Having lived with a mother who hated smiling until she could afford caps to hide the destruction to the enamel of her teeth caused by overfluoridated water in 1940-50's Wisconsin, I personally believe that fluoride has no business in our drinking water. Let us be grateful that we have the right to disagree in this country and the right to make choices. A government, a city, a community determining what its citizens "need" to ingest is unnecessary when the easiest, and most efficient, way to deliver cavity protection is toothpaste.

Jennifer Bogda Lomeli

 Lodger's tax

Dear Editor:

As the President of the Pagosa Springs Lodging Association for the past several years, I have come to know and admire our community even more all the time. We are a hard working and diverse town with many wonderful resources and amenities. As lodging and visitors are a significant part of our local economy, things which affect the lodging businesses can affect the town as well. The proposed town ordinance that would install a 3-percent surcharge on lodging visitors to be used to help support tourism and our community is something that the Lodging Association supports wholeheartedly.

The visitors would pay the tax, not the locals. It would go to help our economy and our community in many ways.

It will be used exclusively to help tourism which helps our economy and helps the community as a whole. When our local economy does well, we all benefit and our town receives funds to help maintain and improve the services and amenities we all enjoy and hope to continue to improve. Please vote to support this measure, Ordinance 647, in the upcoming election. There will be no local cost and much benefit for us all.

Chris Gerlach

 More on fluoride

Dear Editor:

In response to the fluoride letter of last week, I have studies, scientists and personal experience to back up everything I have said in the past weeks. None of it was misleading or made up in any way. There are calculated risks in a lot of things but putting a known carcinogen in drinking water is not calculated, it is out and out poisoning. You may not feel bad or get sick quickly, but over time, since fluoride is cumulative, you will get sick. Not one or two but all of my animals have proven that. The study saying "there are gaps in the knowledge and uncertainties " is ridiculous. I would say that over 60,000 worldwide studies by independent scientists, over 7,000 scientists of the EPA unions and the recently declassified top secret government info documented in "The Fluoride Deception" book, would be more than enough to fill in those gaps on fluoride.

How many lives is a tooth worth even if fluoride did stop cavities? You will never be able to convince me that fluoride is in any way good. You may have forgotten I have spent over 15 years studying the subject and spent thousands of hours with sick animals trying to find the source of their illness and deaths, finally to have my suspicions scientifically proven.

You are also right that biomedical research is challenging, being individuals respond differently to conditions that affect their health. You are also right in saying ignoring evidence only increases the probability of making unwise choices. As Americans we must start taking our lives into our own hands and stop being persuaded by others so they can make money. We need to think for ourselves, take time to research and be independent of the good or bad opinions of others.

We are the most conditioned, programmed beings the world has ever known. The doors of perception are carefully and precisely regulated and most issues of conventional wisdom are scientifically implanted in the public consciousness by a thousand media clips per day. Fluoride is no stranger to this. Conventional wisdom that has mass acceptance is usually contrived, somebody paid for it. Often saying, "Trust us, we're experts." Read the book by this quoted name where the authors trace modern public influence back to the early part of the last century, highlighting the work of guys like Edward L. Bernays, the "Father of Spin" who took the ideas of his famous uncle Dr. Sigmund Freud, and applied them to the emerging science of mass persuasion. Bernays was hired to do this for fluoridation.

A little known fact, after 9/11, the government and armed forces decided that they wanted all troops to get anthrax and other vaccinations. A lot of troops refused and were court marshaled. The final court decision was that no one, not even the government, can force you to take anything internally. A huge step forward toward the freedoms our forefathers intended. Fluoridation is a true matter of choice and personal freedom. If you want fluoride, there are a multitude of places to get it. If not, as Americans, we deserve and legally have the right to refuse it. When you go to the doctor if he prescribes something you have the right to take it or not, even though he is the "expert." Why is fluoridation any different?

Cathy Justus

 Appalled

Dear Editor:

I just have to say I am appalled that we pay our taxes to a county government who shucks their responsibility and expects homeowners who know nothing about road maintenance to take care of their roads themselves. Shame on you! Can't you take lessons from other counties who handle their growth in a positive way? We property owners in the upper Mill Creek Road area are being railroaded by the Forest Service, who is being railroaded by the county commissioners.

Maybe all the neighborhood metro districts in Pagosa should be dissolved so the county can take over their responsibility of road maintenance. The whole town agrees that maintenance costs money. The standard is that taxes get raised to meet the need. Shouldn't our road maintenance be handled by the so called professionals?

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion.

Maryla Robertson

 Recall

Dear Editor:

Many individuals in Archuleta County have approached me recently requesting a brief explanation of my reasons for serving as a committee member in our effort to recall County Commissioner Robin Schiro.

During her nearly 10 months as commissioner, the vast majority of those who have observed her behavior agree that she is consistently obstructionist and counterproductive in her actions and destructively divisive in her interpersonal relations in the county government. Contrary to her defensive argument that she just "asks the tough question" the other commissioners don't, and then votes in opposition to the others, I have no problem with the commissioners' votes often being two-to-one, provided there are valid reasons. Rather, it's the real consequences, and the attendant costs incurred by county taxpayers, of her arbitrary negativism and obstructionism that I can no longer sit by and passively observe.

Last week's performance by Schiro offers a good case in point illustrating tangible consequences of that obstructionism. Two weeks ago, the county engineer appeared before the board to request that the commissioners adopt a set of "Road and Bridge Specifications," thereby enabling the board to start formulating new road improvement and maintenance policies utilizing the specifications. Commissioners Lynch and Zaday supported adopting the specifications that day. But Schiro complained that she hadn't had adequate time to review the draft specs, and complained that the other commissioners were essentially trying to ram the specs down Schiro's throat without ever giving her a chance to, you guessed it, "ask the tough questions." Schiro persuaded the other commissioners to postpone acting on the specs and instead schedule a public work session the following week. The truth is, those specifications were first posted on the county Web site almost a year earlier, public comment on the specs had been repeatedly solicited and received, and even the latest draft, incorporating numerous public comments, had been publicly posted for the past month. Schiro had simply never bothered to review the specs, preferring once again to grandstand that she "hadn't been given" adequate time to review them. Result: county staff, commissioners, and the public were subjected to an evening session last week to once again rehash the draft specifications. A number of comments made that evening were along the lines of "my comments from months ago still stand." The specs now likely won't be adopted by the county commissioners for at least a couple more weeks. Does this ridiculous delay save anyone money? No, it costs all of us time and money, and sets back any progress on our road problems even further. Schiro even said at one point that evening that she "isn't allowed to talk to staff" - her excuse for repeatedly failing to do her homework in a timely manner. Many of us are increasingly tired of her repeated public portrayals of herself as victim. Her counterproductive actions don't cost her a thing; they only cost the rest of us.

It's time for the voters of Archuleta County to re-examine and reconsider the self-portrayed victim that is now Commissioner Schiro.

Juliana Rodriguez

 Rude

Dear Editor:

This is my first letter to the editor. I try to let things roll off my shoulders - and it usually works. Except this time.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, my son drove me and my mom, who is handicapped, to the flu clinic held at the community center. We parked in a handicapped spot. My son got out of the car first and I was in the process of getting out to help my mom when this elderly couple walked by, looked at my son, and made the following comments:

Wife, "He sure don't look handicapped to me."

Husband: "Oh, sure he is. In his mentally (insert obscenity) head.

Wow. Wonder if his foul language made him feel more like a man? Or maybe he was showing his IQ.

Maybe they should have hung around for a few minutes and pulled their heads out of their posteriors. Gee, maybe there actually could be a handicapped person getting out.

If you readers are thinking that had they known, they would have apologized, you'd be wrong. We saw them as they were leaving. I told them they owed my son an apology. Know what he said? "Yeah, whatever. Now move along."

Some big man he turned out to be. Can't even apologize when he's made a mistake.

So Mr. and Mrs. Whoever You Are, might I suggest the following: When you go out, park in the handicapped areas. You obviously need it more than my mom.

Ruby Thompson

 Valade goodbye

Dear Editor:

It was with a great deal of regret that I recently resigned from the Upper San Juan Special Health District Board of Directors. Susan and I have resided in Pagosa Springs for a little over two years during which time we were fortunate to make many new friends and hopefully were successful in providing a small measure of support to the community. Our decision to move was prompted by a family medical need, and although we love Pagosa Springs, the move is the right decision for us at this time.

I am proud of the progress made during my tenure on the board, and especially of the efforts made by my fellow Directors. I am also proud of the dedicated service made by the many volunteers that serve on numerous important committees. As a result of the efforts of many, your health district is out of debt, and has made significant progress to improve the quality of medical services in the community. I could list many accomplishments, but what I am most proud of was to play a small part in fostering a partnership with Mercy Regional Medical Center, and of the progress we have made to realize the vision of former director Dr. Richard Blide, to build a Critical Access Hospital for the community. I hope the citizens of Pagosa Springs will continue to stand behind these dedicated volunteers as they move forward with the district's work.

Finally, I want to thank and congratulate a few specific individuals for their extraordinary efforts: Pam Hopkins for duty above and beyond; Dr. Jim Knoll for his visionary advice; Brian and Joy Sinnott for recreating EMS; David Bohl for his conservative financial advise; J.R. Ford for too many things to mention; and Dr. Jim Pruitt for his medical dedication to the citizens of this community, and for keeping an open mind. Although I only mentioned a few, this journey continues to be a collective effort of the many, and I thank them all.

Jerry Valade

Community News
Visit creative spaces, meet local artists

on studio tour

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

Attention all art lovers: the Studio Art Tour, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, is happening this weekend, Sunday Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Run, don't walk, to purchase your tickets at the PSAC Art Center Gallery in Town Park, the Chamber of Commerce, and WolfTracks, at $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers. The tickets include detailed directions to the studio locations and will be available up to and including the day of the tour.

You've seen and admired the works of our fine local artists, and this tour offers an opportunity to meet and greet them up close and personal in their own studio work environment.

While some artists have a real studio work space, others work in a corner of their living room, a spare bedroom, or the dining room table. In all cases, they've generously offered to open their studios and share their artistic endeavors. Many of them will have originals, prints and cards for sale so bring your checkbooks. This will be a great opportunity to get a jump start on your holiday shopping.

We're fortunate to be featuring 10 local artists at eight different studio locations.

Nationally and internationally known artist, Pierre Mion will open his home studio in the South Pagosa Boulevard area. Pierre has wonderful stories to tell about his work experiences throughout the years with NASA, National Geographic, Norman Rockwell, etc.

In the North Pagosa Boulevard area you'll visit the home studio of Sandy Applegate. Sandy's artistic style is billed as "reality with a twist," lending her unique interpretation to a wide variety of subject matter. She was awarded second place in the PSAC Juried Art Show in 2004 and is currently focused on creating and marketing her art work.

Patricia Black and Donna Wagle will showing their work in Pat's home in the Pagosa Lakes area. Both are watercolorists and both won People's Choice Awards in the PSAC Juried Art Show - Donna in 2004 and Pat in 2005. Pat was a former graphic designer for a major giftware company and now owns a shop in Pagosa. Donna is the art teacher at the junior high school.

Roberto and Ana Garcia, both sculptors, have opened a new gallery in downtown Pagosa. Roberto also has a foundry in Aspen Springs and will be happy to discuss the bronze casting process with tour participants.

The PSAC Art Center Gallery in Town Park will host Claire Goldrick, well known in Pagosa for her oil paintings of horses and landscapes which reflect her love of animals and nature.

The PSAC Gallery will also serve as the refreshment center for the tour and, while there, you can view the current exhibit features woodworking by various local artists, as well as oil paintings by Betty Slade's students.

On South 2nd Street you'll visit Soledad's Art Studio and Gallery, where accomplished artist Soledad Estrada Leo works. Her paintings, mainly of people and horses, line the walls. Soledad also does portraits of both people and animals.

Two more home studios are located down U.S. 84 . In the Loma Linda area, Jan Brookshier, well known local photographer and framer, will be host an open house where her photography studio will be on display.

Betty Slade, known for her oils and watercolors, has turned her entire home into The Blanco Dove Studio in the Lower Blanco area. Her paintings fill the house and the special décor of the different rooms make it a real delight and well worth the drive.

Plan to spend a Sunday afternoon traveling through Pagosa Country, supporting these local artists and the art community in general. Gather up your friends and neighbors and make a day of it, enjoying brunch or lunch at one of Pagosa's fine restaurants. You'll be glad you did.

Harvest Fest set for youth on Halloween

Several area churches will again sponsor the annual Harvest Fest 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31 in the gymnasium at Powerhouse Youth Center.

The Harvest Fest offers candy, balloons, games, prizes, food and refreshments for youngsters preschool through sixth grade.

Everything will be free except the hotdog dinner at $1.50 per plate.

Costumes are optional but encouraged. However, it is asked that the costumes not portray evil.

A fun time is planned for all. For more information, call Donna at First Baptist Church, 731-9042.

Powerhouse is behind the Humane Society Thrift Store and adjacent to Town Park.

Music in the Mountains sponsors scholarships, school programs

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

When you think of Music in the Mountains, you probably recall wonderful outdoor classical music concerts at BootJack Ranch in the summer. But, for many Pagosa children, the festival's benefits are available all year round.

That's because scholarships and school programs are a major component of the Music in the Mountains annual calendar in Pagosa Springs.

These activities include sending our children to a Taste of Music concert in Durango, providing scholarships for Conservatory Music in the Mountains programs at Fort Lewis College, and bringing professional musicians into the schools to conduct workshops. The programs are made possible by a generous contribution from the Rotary Club as well as funds raised at the annual Music in the Mountains benefit event every summer.

This year, four Pagosa youth were awarded scholarships to the highly acclaimed Conservatory program at Fort Lewis College. They are Chris Baum, 17, son of Melinda Baum and Don Weller; Chantalle Rizzo, 17, daughter of Philip and Marie Rizzo; Courtney Spears, 11, daughter of Will and Christie Spears; and Sawyer Smith, 13, son of Chris and Michele Smith.

Chantalle won a piano scholarship. Chris, Courtney and Sawyer won violin scholarships. Chris had the additional honor of being one of only two students asked to join the San Juan Symphony after making a guest appearance with the orchestra last year.

Music workshops

Students with a love of music are looking forward to Monday, Nov. 21, when John Pennington and his percussion ensemble will visit Pagosa as part of the Music in the Mountains Goes to School program.

The musicians will work with the high school concert band in the morning. Then all high school students and teachers will be invited to a performance in the afternoon.

Pennington is an associate professor at Fort Lewis College where he teaches percussion and music theory, as well as artistic director of Animas Music Festival. He has performed throughout the U.S. and around the world, and also recorded several CDs, including the percussion soundtrack of "Dinosaurs" for Touchstone Films.

Another special Music in the Mountains event occurred in September when Pagosa's fifth-grade students had a unique opportunity to learn about and play almost any band instrument they could dream of.

It happened at an Instrument Fair sponsored by Music in the Mountains that involved students and more than a dozen Pagosa musicians and their instruments. Local community musicians performed two or three pieces for the students. Then those especially interested in taking band and learning more about each individual instrument broke out to various rooms to meet with the musicians.

Instrument Fair

"This Instrument Fair was a dream come true for kids interested in the band," said Melinda Baum, a member of the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains steering committee and the organizer of the event. "It gave our youngsters the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with musicians who are eager to share their knowledge and love of music.

"It also allowed young people who want to play in the band to try out different instruments to see which one they liked best. The fact that we now have about a dozen more students than unusual in the band proves the event's success."

While playing instruments and enjoying music are joys unto themselves, Baum points out that there are additional serious benefits to these Music in the Mountain activities for Pagosa's school children.

"Research has shown that early introduction to music helps young people perform better in their core classes and also encourages them to become concert-goers and performers," Baum said. ""Best of all, the children have fun while they are learning about music and experiencing great performances."

 

Annual Civic Club Bazaar, first week of November

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

One-stop holiday shopping will again be available to the community at the annual Civic Club Bazaar, Saturday, Nov. 5.

Doors open at 9 a.m. on a true shopping extravaganza.

All 50 booths have been spoken for, and there are both returning and first-time crafters and vendors this year.

In addition to the booths, there will be a bake sale, a raffle and the Civic Club Cafe. The ladies are beginning their baking, and there will be the perennial favorites - pecan bars, pies and cakes, bread and cookies, and jams and jellies - along with new treats from some of our new members.

Darhl Henley and her cafe crew will again offer their famous barbecued brisket sandwiches, chili, sloppy joes, nachos and soft drinks - just to mention a few of the items.

Anyone interested in a true Pagosa art treasure will want to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win Virginia Bartlett's original oil painting of Treasure Falls.

For individuals interested in cash, there will be a wreath and a beautiful basket raffled, each decorated with 50, one-dollar bills.

Other gift baskets containing jewelry, food items, knitted creations and artwork, will be among the raffle prizes offered at the Bazaar. Raffle tickets are available from Civic Club members, or you can call the library at 264-2209.

A detailed list of Bazaar items will be published in The PREVIEW next week, along with an in-depth preview of items to be offered for sale by craftspeople and vendors.

 

SHY RABBIT shows "Prints" through Nov. 12

SHY RABBIT will continue to show "Prints," works by Ron Fundingsland, with Saturday hours through show closing.

This ground breaking exhibition will be open at the SHY RABBIT Showroom Saturdays from 1-4 p.m., starting Oct. 22 and continuing through Nov. 12. Private viewings are also available upon request. Call 731-2766 for additional information or to make an appointment.

Born in Burlington, Colo., in 1947, and currently residing in Bayfield, Fundingsland has exhibited work in Taiwan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Brazil. He has participated in numerous national print exhibitions in the U.S. where he received a number of prestigious awards. His work is included in several major art museums including the Denver Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

Call for entries

SHY RABBIT is accepting submissions for its Artists' Invitational and Open Juried Exhibition, which will run Nov. 19 through Dec. 17.

The opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, from 5-9 p.m. This exhibition will bring established Invitational artists together with emerging regional artists in the Showroom and the Space @ SHY RABBIT, and seeks to become an annual event.

Among the artists invited to show are still life photographer Emilio Mercado; painter Greg Gummersall; mixed-media artist Susan Andersen; installation artist Shan Wells; and painter Sarah Comerford. Both spaces will be open regular weekend hours following the opening. SHY RABBIT will solicit volunteers from among the accepted artists for open gallery hours. This show is open to all artists. All media except video and film are accepted. No size limits.

Artists may submit slides or photographs of their work. Photographs must be at least 5x7 inches. 3-D work may have one additional detail slide or photo.

Entry forms can be picked up at SHY RABBIT Studio, 333 Bastille Drive, B-1. All entries must be received by Monday, Oct. 24. All letters of acceptance will be e-mailed on Monday, Oct. 31. All accepted works must be hand delivered to the Space @ SHY RABBIT Monday, Nov. 14, between 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., unless other arrangements have been made prior to the event.

For more information, or to request an entry form via fax or e-mail, call 731-2766 or e-mail: shyrabbit01@aol.com.

The SHY RABBIT Studio is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1.

'Mystery Night, for film society showing

Tuesday night, Oct. 25, is Mystery Night at the Pagosa Springs Film Society meeting.

No, the mystery is not some dark intrigue unfolding on the screen. The mystery is what the movie to be screened and discussed will be.

Due to some shipping glitz, "Tom Jones," the film that was ordered, will probably not arrive in time. If that is the case, the selection committee will choose another offering from its list of requested movies.

The screening will start at 7 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn right off of North Pagosa Boulevard onto Greenbrier Drive, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. A suggested donation of $3 will benefit The Friends of the Library.

 

Sports Swap Saturday at Fairgrounds

The San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its annual Ski and Sports Swap 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Exhibit Hall at the fairgrounds on U. S. 84.

Anyone wishing to sell items can bring skis, boots, poles, outdoor clothing, and other outdoor sporting goods to the fairgrounds 4:30 to 6:30 p. m. Friday, Oct. 21, or 7:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday. All items are sold by the SJOC for a 20-percent commission used by the club to support the Swap, with extra funds going for college scholarships for local seniors.

There will be outdoor and sports bargains galore, offered by individuals and by various Pagosa and Durango businesses. Participating Pagosa businesses include Alpen Haus Ski Center, Humane Society Thrift Store, Ski and Bow Rack, Summit Ski and Sports and Switchback Mountain Gear. Those from Durango are Bubba's Boards, John Dunn Sports and Second Avenue Sports.

Items brought to sell, but not sold, should be picked up 1-2 p. m. after the Swap. Items not sold and not picked up will be donated to the Humane Society Thrift Store where proceeds benefit homeless dogs and cats.

The event will also feature a sale of baked goods prepared by SJOC members.

Report from UU district conference

"Cobalt Dreams and Desert Dances." That was the unusual title of the annual conference of the Unitarian Universalist Mountain Desert District, of which the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is a part.

On Sunday, Oct. 23, attendees Phyl Daleske and Susan Junta will provide an up-to-date view of Unitarian Universalism and present highlights from their conference experience in Grand Junction, which, they report, "spoke to the poetic expression that our spirituality inspires in each of us." Music, art, dance, drama, poetry, stories, and even scientific theories were all presented as ways UUs can celebrate their faith.

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

 

Local Chatter

Loaves and Fishes - a volunteer effort

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Much has been written about Loaves and Fishes, the food kitchen that was held last January, February and March at the Parish Hall (and has started up again).

The subject needs to be written about once again, for I keep hearing things about the program that are not true.

Assumptions are so easy to make, you know.

First, Loaves and Fishes is not sponsored by any church, nor by any other particular organization. It is run entirely by volunteers.

Second, Loaves and Fishes is held in the Parish Hall because the facility has a commercial kitchen and is located in downtown Pagosa Springs.

A note here: Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church graciously waives all fees for use of the Parish Hall because Loaves and Fishes is a wholesome, community service.

Volunteers come from many different organizations and areas. The program is just getting in gear, if you are interested in volunteering, contact Muriel Cronkhite at 731-4727.

A few more notes are in order.

The community center does not have a commercial kitchen. Their kitchen is for the senior program. And, the Parish Hall has long been a facility for hosting large groups of people.

Library

Sisson Library will be moving into its newly-renovated and expanded building soon.

Tomorrow, Oct. 21, is the closing date for the temporary, small facility in the undercroft of the Humane Society Thrift Store.

Business as usual will resume at the new building Monday, Nov. 12.

It's going to be wonderful!

Fun on the run

Today in the Stock Market:

Helium was up, feathers were down.

Paper was stationary.

Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.

Knives were up sharply.

Cows steered into a bull market.

Pencils lost a few points.

Hiking equipment was trailing.

Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.

Weights were up in heavy trading.

Light switches were off.

Mining equipment hit rock bottom.

Diapers remained unchanged.

Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.

The market for raisins dried up.

Coca Cola fizzled.

Caterpillar stock inched up a bit.

Sun peaked at midday.

Balloon prices were inflated.

Batteries exploded in a attempt to recharge the market.

Education News

Parent and Child Together, tonight at ed center

By Livia Cloman Lynch

PREVIEW Columnist

Since our inception in 1989, the Archuleta County Education Center has served adults in need of basic education and has been a part of the Adult Education and Literacy System in the United States.

Adult education system

The adult education system is guided by three purposes contained in Title II of the Workforce Investment Act. This legislation was enacted to "create a partnership among the Federal Government, States and localities to provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education and literacy services", in order to:

(1) Assist adults to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self sufficiency.

(2) Assist adults who are parents to obtain the education skills necessary to become full partners in the education of their children.

(3) Assist adults in the completion of a secondary school diploma.

Although the program purposes allow for more than workforce-related activity, so many enrollees come to adult education and family literacy to qualify for jobs or better jobs that the Congress placed the program in the Workforce Investment Act.

Locally, Kathy Calderone, literacy/GED coordinator, is available to help students Tuesday and Wednesday each week from 2 to 8 p.m. and Thursdays by appointment.

Effect on school reform

The single greatest predictor of the educational success of children is the level of education of the mother.

Reaching the national goal of leaving no child behind is highly dependent upon having parents read to their children. Parents whose own reading skills are limited may be unable to, or reluctant to, perform this essential service. Family literacy programs not only help adults to improve their reading skills but give them valuable practice in techniques of supporting their children's education through Parent and Children Together time.

The first Parent and Child Together family literacy night is tonight, Oct. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Education Center located on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

Parents and children are invited to come together to enjoy an evening of fun and food. This month's theme is employment and the evening will include hands-on games and activities for you and your child to enjoy together as well as a free dinner. Students from our Whiz Kids class at the elementary school will be attending the event and displaying some of their work and assisting with activities. There is no cost for this family event but please pre-register by calling 264-2935.

Upcoming computer classes

A Personal Web Page Design class is being offered Tuesdays and Thursdays, Oct. 25-Nov. 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cynde Jackson is the instructor and she will teach you to design your own web page. The class covers the essential background information, steps to get you started and some basic HTML codes commonly used to create Web pages.

Microsoft Publisher XP is being offered Nov. 7-16. This Monday-Wednesday class is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and will teach you how to produce professional-looking publications.

Anyone needing more information about our youth or adult programs, or wanting to learn about volunteer opportunities, should give us a call at 264-2835 or stop by the Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets.

Community Center News

Adult Fall Fling Dance tomorrow at center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Our Adult Fall Fling Dance is set for 7-10 p.m. tomorrow night, Oct. 21.

Cost is $5 per person and includes soft drinks and some snacks. BYOB and bring your favorite finger food to share. Come, dance and enjoy a wide range of music with DJ Bobby Hart.

This is an adult dance for those age 21 and above. Again, this is a trial program that several people had suggested. Come support this evening of music and dancing and show me this should be a regular activity here at the center.

Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking Club meets Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Carla Shaw will demonstrate how to design a Halloween scrapbook page. Please come and see how die cuts/embellishments can add depth to your scrapbook pages.

If you are interested in joining, contact Melissa Bailey at 731-1574 before Saturday, so she can save a space for you. Scrapbooking is a center-sponsored program and Melissa is our volunteer in charge of this activity. The next work sessions are Nov. 5 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Melissa is still looking for volunteers for the scrapbooking booth at the community Halloween party. You don't have to be involved in this activity to help - just share your interest in having fun and give something back to the community for two hours. Call the center, 264-4152, or call Melissa at 731-1574.

Caring Fair

The United Way Community Caring Fair is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in the multipurpose room. Attend and learn about how this non-profit organization and its partner agencies are helping our community to be a better place to live.

Representatives from about 15 different organizations that are United Way partners in Archuleta County will be available during this information fair. Also at this event you will learn how to get involved and/or support United Way efforts.

Call Stacia Kemp, Archuleta County United Way Coordinator, 264-3230, or e-mail her, staciak@unitedway-swco.org, for more information about United Way.

Center activity update

Aus-Ger Club gathering: Friday, Oct. 28, at Berliner-German Restaurant in Oxford (close to Durango airport) to enjoy a real German lunch. Those interested are asked to meet outside Alco at 10:30 a.m. to car pool. Call the center at 264-4152 or call Bodil, 903-8800, to sign up. The club is having a booth during the community Halloween party as part of its community involvement. Members also participated in the recent Oktoberfest celebrations. Thanks, Bodil and thank you Aus-Ger Club.

Italian cooking class: The menu for today is four-cheese stuffed shells with smoky marinara sauce. The cheeses will be low-fat cottage cheese, ricotta, shredded Asiago and Parmesan. There will also be spinach in the stuffing. The pasta will be served with a plain green salad, with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Last week's pasta making class was labor intensive but the women had so much fun. The group prepared fresh fettuccini made with a combination of semolina and unbleached flours, using a pasta machine. After preparing the pasta, they cooked and served it with Bolognese sauce made with ground elk instead of beef. Well, I can't tell the difference. It was delicious - makes me wonder if I should go hunting for elk.

The class is limited to 10 people and though it's full right now I encourage those interested to call 264-4152 and ask to be on the list for alternates. After today, there is only one class left - on Oct. 27.

Upcoming events

Second annual Halloween party, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

We need your help. We invite everyone - individuals, schools, non-profit groups, businesses and other groups, to participate in the most popular event of the year. The center will provide the space, you take care of your booth including decorations, prizes and the manpower to run it. Those who participated last year and who are interested again this year will be considered first. Remaining booths will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. BootJack Ranch will again sponsor the inflatable bounce house and the Kiwanis Club will provide free hot dogs, chips and drink. It is free. Call now to reserve your spot, 264-4152.

Cajun music and dancing, as John Gwin said to me, is "fais do do." Our next event is Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The first event last month was a success and the people who attended would like to make this a regular activity. All right, so, mark your calendar. John would like you to bring your favorite Cajun dance music and he'll mix it up. The attendees last month were so happy and supportive they suggested I should collect $3 per person to help defray the center's cost and to give something to the musician.

Community New Year's Eve Dance. It may sound too early to talk about this, but with so many activities going on every day in our beautiful, small town, I would like to be the first to announce our dance. It will be held, of course, on Saturday, Dec. 31. It will start at 9:05 p.m. and last until 12:30 a.m. Guess who's playing? Our very own professor John Graves with Larry Elginer, John's son and a lady. I will have more information next week. Mark your calendar now and avoid conflicts.

Computer lab

(By Becky Herman.)

Are you familiar with PDF files? PDF stands for Portable Document Format, a file format which was developed by the Adobe people a number of years ago so that files could be easily sent from one person to another across platforms and operating systems (translate easily to mean without unwanted changes happening during the sending process). The webopedia Web site suggests that we think of putting a document into PDF format as taking a snapshot of it. The viewer can see the document exactly as it was formatted with not just text but also images in place.

It used to be that only the privileged few - those able to afford Adobe's software - were able to create PDF documents. Now we can all do it. For example, I just finished working on a quarterly newsletter for a non-profit organization; the large, 10-page file was created and saved in MS Publisher. It was somewhat complicated in that it contained many photographs and a few drawings around which the text was neatly wrapped. The text was in nine different fonts and font sizes, some of it surrounded by boxes, circles, arrows, etc. Some of the text was up-side-down. All of this is relatively easy to do in Publisher. But the catch was that the folks who were printing the newsletter wanted it in PDF format.

I downloaded a wonderful, free tool called CutePDF Writer. After it is installed on your computer, all you have to do is go through the motions of printing your MS Publisher or MS Word file, i.e., click on£File and then Print. CutePDF Writer appears in your list of printers. You simply choose to "print" to CutePDF Writer and after clicking on the Print button, a Save As window appears. In that window you will need to choose a location in which to save your file as well as a name for the file. The pdf file extension will automatically be added to the end of the file name. For example, my newsletter file name which was 2005_fall.pub when saved as an MS Publisher file became 2005_fall.pdf when saved in PDF format.

The program needed to view PDF documents is called Acrobat Reader. It's a free download, available on the Adobe Web site, adobe.com. Reader is one of those extra bits of software which assists a browser to make all sorts of files available to you; these are generally called plug-ins. More about plug-ins next week.

Our Beginning Class for Seniors is still working on e-mail. This week we all signed up for a free e-mail account and practiced creating a contacts list, sending and viewing messages, and sending and opening e-mail attachments. We will be starting an e-mail newsletter very soon. Let me know if you would like to be included in the mailing list for newcomers to computing; you don't have to be a class member to receive the newsletter. The community center's phone number is 264-4152.

Center's new hours

We have extended our hours of operation: Monday, we re open 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 8-5:30; and Saturday, 9-5:30. We encourage everyone, especially those interested in basketball, volleyball or computer use to take advantage of the new hours.

New programs/activities

Do you have a special talent or hobby you would like to share? How about singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming interest groups. Call me, 264-4152.

Activities this week

Today - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; high school Future Business Leaders of America workshop, noon-3 p.m.; town master plan meeting, 5:30-7 p.m.; Anglican fellowship, 6-8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 21 - Seniors' walking program 11:15-11:35 a.m.; adult open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; teens' mage knight game, 4-7 p.m.; adult fall fling dance, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 22 - women's conference, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; scrapbooking, 10 a.m.-2p.m.; private Halloween party, 5:30-11:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 23 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 9 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; United Pentecostal Church service, 2-4 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 24 - United Way community caring fair, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.; Building Blocks 4 Health, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; prayer gathering, 7-10 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 25 - seniors' computer class, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; computer Q & A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; PSAC board meeting, 5-7 p.m.; nondenominational bible study, 6:30-8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 - Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Durango Planned Parenthood workshop, 3:30-5:30 p.m.; adult volleyball, 6:30-9 p.m.; Church of Christ bible study, 7-8 p.m.; Grace EV music practice, 7-9 p.m.

Thursday, Oct 27 - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon.

Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.

Senior News

Last Mystery Trip of season this month

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Our movie at The Den 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, is "The Princess Bride," rated PG. In this enchantingly cracked fairy tale, the beautiful Princess Buttercup and the dashing Wesley must overcome staggering odds to find happiness. Giants, swordsmen, six-fingered counts, murderous princes, Sicilians, pirates, rodents of unusual size and even death cannot stop true love from triumphing. Don't let the name of this flick fool you - it is full of adventure, suspense, laughter and love which is all the ingredients for an incredible film. Please join us for free popcorn in the lounge while enjoying this comedy adventure flick.

United Way fair

Fall is United Way campaign time in Pagosa Springs and there is no better time than now to learn more about how United Way and its partner agencies are helping to make our community a better place in which all can live.

Representatives from many of the 15 organizations that are United Way partners in Archuleta County will hold an informational fair Monday, Oct. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Den. Stop in and find out about what each agency does, the positive impact these organizations have in Archuleta County, and how you can get involved or support their efforts.

United Way supports 17 programs that address local needs related to senior services, education, crisis intervention, family support, youth services and affordable housing. United Way helps to support the nutrition program, home chore program and transportation services of the San Juan Area Agency on Aging. Other United Way partner organizations that serve the citizens of Archuleta County include: American Red Cross; Archuleta County Education Center; Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program; Community Connections; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts; Habitat for Humanity; Housing Solutions of the Southwest; Pagosa Outreach Connection; Seeds of Learning Family Center; Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Southwest Youth Corps; and Southwest Safehouse.

The organization hopes to raise $66,000 in Archuleta County in its 2005 campaign, which is being led this year by Susan and Mike Neder. The Archuleta County United Way Advisory Council includes Dick Babillis, Sam Conti, Mary Jo Coulehan, Gene Crabtree, Lori Doles, Bob Eggleston, Carmen Hubbs, Bonnie Masters, Mary McKeehan, Don McKeehan, Lisa Scott and Don Thompson. Stacia Kemp is the Archuleta County Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Colorado. For more information about the Community Caring Fair or United Way in Archuleta county, call Stacia at 264-3230.

EMS

Brett Murphy, Emergency Medical Services operations manager, has put together a program about medical emergencies and what we can do to help ourselves and loved ones when it's too late to speculate.

There is no one who will touch your life more closely in the moment than a paramedic responding to your call for help. When faced with a medical emergency, wouldn't it be better to have fewer questions and more answers?

This seminar is a must for the whole community and will be presented 1-3 p.m. at The Den Wednesday, Oct. 26. The agenda includes the following topics: What to do in an emergency; a discussion on CPR and AED; mock cardiac arrest; and ambulance viewing and discussion. Join us to learn more about how to handle emergency situations and what to expect.

White Cane Society

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision and their supporters will be Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m., Gail from the SW Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call her at 259-1672.

October Mystery Trip

Let's make our Mystery Trip a very special occasion. It is our last Mystery Trip of the year and we have 32 folks from Pagosa and Arboles heading out on the final adventure of the season. The only clues to where we will go are as follows: On Thursday, Oct. 27, everyone will meet at The Den at 10:15 a.m. and we will leave promptly at 10:30 and arrive at our final destination by 11:30. Lunch will be provided and we will return by 3 p.m. Any guesses? All you need is your smiling face, your sense of humor and your appetite and you are guaranteed a great time!

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in October, come on down to the Den Friday, Oct. 28, for a delicious lunch and celebrate your birthday. Not only will we sing to you, but Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch and lots of fun.

Scavenger hunt

Get ready, get set, go!

At 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, The Den will host Pagosa's first Bigger & Better Scavenger Hunt to start off the festivities for Halloween. What is a Bigger & Better Scavenger Hunt, you ask?

Well, first you need to organize a team that will fit in one vehicle. If you don't have a vehicle or a team, we will have the Fox Den Bus as a team.

Each team will meet at The Den and be given a paperclip. Then your team members will have approximately 1 1/2 hours to roam the town limits of Pagosa beginning by trading the paperclip for something bigger and better and keep trading each bigger and better item that they obtain for the Biggest & Best to bring back to The Den with a chance to win some great prizes.

Confused? Well, we will give more instructions before the hunt begins. But the most important thing to know is that it is a blast. So join us for our scavenger hunt and an afternoon of great fun. Please sign up your team at The Den office by Wednesday, Oct. 26, to participate in the hunt and the excitement.

Flower Fairy

Who is the Flower Fairy? The Flower Fairy is an anonymous person who brightens the days of many people by giving them beautiful flowers.

The Flower Fairy struck again Oct. 14 and delivered attractive, fall-colored flowers to those who receive home-delivered meals. The flowers brought smiles and joy to many folks who were delighted to receive such a lovely bouquet. A big thanks to the Flower Fairy for helping bring cheer to someone's day.

Research books

Local attorney Mary Deganhart donated the informative books, "Colorado Revised Statutes 2003" and "Colorado Court Rules 2004" to the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center. These educational books are available to you for use and research.

Volunteers needed

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate your time for our senior citizens. Make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango to help those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves. A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. Must have good people skills and be a safe driver. All applications are currently being accepted in The Den office. (A background check will be completed on all candidates.) For more information contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Oktoberfest

The fourth annual Oktoberfest was a big success (and a lot of fun) Saturday night at the community center. There were approximately 360 people who participated in the party and supported the fund-raising event for Seniors Inc. The celebration included some of the best brats, sauerkraut and German potato salad I have ever had and two types of beer in complimentary official Oktoberfest glasses. The band included about eighteen locals with a professional big band sound of festive German music and a few couples who entertained the crowd with authentic and playful German dancing. The Oktoberfest was fun for all and a great way to get out and celebrate the annual festival. A big thanks to all of the volunteers and Seniors Inc. members who worked so hard to organize the Oktoberfest and volunteer their time to make this event such a success.

Activities

Friday, Oct. 21 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; Seniors Inc. board Meeting, 1 p.m.; free movie, "The Princess Bride" (rated PG), 1 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 24 - Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; United Way Care Fair, 11:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, October 25th - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30-noon; Canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; EMS presentation, "What You Really Need to Know in an Emergency," 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.; final day to sign-up for Bigger & Better Scavenger Hunt.

Thursday, Oct. 27 - Mystery Trip, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Menu

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

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

Friday, Oct. 21 - Baked fish, whipped potatoes, veggie blend, and pineapple and mandarin orange compote.

Monday, Oct. 24 - Meatloaf, broccoli cuts, apple, raisin nut cup and wheat crackers.

Tuesday, Oct. 25 - Chicken and noodles, chopped spinach, yellow squash, orange and Lemon pie.

Wednesday, Oct. 26 - Tuna salad, pasta salad, orange juice and peach.

 

Veteran's Corner

VA trying to shift rulings on PTSD

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The following is some recent news concerning VA Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It appears the VA would like to back up on some of its rulings for PTSD with some veterans.

Reversing decisions?

The Veterans Affairs Department is reviewing a third of the cases of veterans who are receiving disability benefits for PTSD.

After conducting an internal study the VA believes it was too lenient in deciding which soldiers were eligible for PTSD benefits. Last year, the VA spent $4.3 billion on PTSD disability and the VA hopes to reduce these payments by revoking PTSD benefits for many veterans. This could be the final insult to soldiers who were asked to fight a war in Iraq on false premises.

Increase of PTSD

Owing to the war in Iraq, the number of veterans receiving compensation for PTSD has increased by almost 80 percent in the last five years.

By comparison, the number of veterans receiving compensation for all other types of disabilities only increased by 12 percent. Under the guidelines of the current review, soldiers who cannot prove that a specific incident, known as a "stressor," was sufficient to cause PTSD, their benefits will be revoked. Given the nature of warfare in Iraq, it's not surprising that many returning soldiers are suffering from mental illness.

Gulf War PTSD

In the July 2004 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Col. Charles W. Hoge, M.D., the chief of psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Institute, published a preliminary study of the effects of the war in Iraq on military personnel. The study concluded that almost 20 percent of soldiers who served in Iraq returned home suffering from PTSD. The study found that there is a clear correlation between combat experience and PTSD. The study concluded that, "Rates of PTSD were significantly higher after combat duty in Iraq."

Horrors of war

Approximately 86 percent of the soldiers in the study were involved in combat in Iraq. On average, soldiers engaged in two firefights for each tour of duty. And 56 percent of soldiers had killed an enemy combatant. An estimated 28 percent were directly responsible for the death of a civilian.

Additionally, 68 percent witnessed fellow soldiers being killed or seriously wounded.

Not treated

Although the number of soldiers suffering from PTSD is high, Dr. Hoge's study found that a majority of veterans are not seeking treatment.

Only 40 percent of returning soldiers acknowledged that they need mental health care, and only 26 percent were receiving care. As such, the number of veterans approved for PTSD compensation by the VA is relatively small. Yet the VA believes too many soldiers were approved for PTSD disability compensation and is now seeking to deny soldiers this benefit.

Why now?

It's easy to understand why the VA has seen an increase in soldiers seeking benefits due to PTSD.

What's difficult to comprehend is why the very agency responsible for meeting the needs of our veterans is now turning its back on them. Perhaps the administration is seeking to reduce compensation to soldiers for PTSD so that more money can be diverted to the ongoing war in Iraq. Or, perhaps the effort to revoke PTSD benefits is an attempt to assert that the war has not been that devastating.

What is certain is that the very people asked to sacrifice their lives, if necessary, for the nation are now being punished for doing so.

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

Further information

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

Library News

Gardens and libraries ... and community

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

SUN Columnist

Dirt that's what I called it.

Maybe some little kids are taught to call it soil, but when I was very young, I was taken out to help plant the garden in the dirt.

I spent the first 10 years of my life on a 240-acre corn and bean farm, 80 miles south of Chicago. I thought it was the most wonderful place in the world. It was huge and open and I could go in any direction, alone, to explore the universe. Nothing was off limits, not the stream, the sand pits with flint arrowheads for the finding, the pine grove where we went for our Christmas trees, the barn and hayloft, the apple orchard, our merry-go-round that Mom bought for 50 cents at an old school auction (Dad spent considerably more putting it up in the center of our large yard, painting a silver and red barbershop stripe down the center).

My favorite place, though, the place I got out of bed and went straight out to in the summer, before anyone else was up, was the garden.

Of course I didn't know that Illinois had once had 30 feet of topsoil and that my dirt was rich beyond treasure. I knew that I loved being out there with Mom showing me how to carefully put the little seeds in the furrow, and watching Dad show me how to edge the dirt over the seeds and walk the row to tamp down the soil. It was incredibly exciting to see the little green heads come up. Even when Dad bought 400 strawberry plants and put hoes in the hands of his little daughters, still I loved the garden.

When my parents divorced, I lost the farm and the garden.

Many years passed before I went back to gardening. Then, I had a little piece of property in the south end of Santa Monica, with three little houses. I put up a white picket fence, painted the houses ocean blue, with white trim and pink edging, like the flip of a can can, and I started gardening again. I studied Gertrude Jekyll's color schemes. I created an English cottage garden. I read Henry Mitchell and loved him dearly. I don't remember the titles of the books, but I am sure he is right, "Your garden will reveal yourself." Even more I loved his description of a long, tiring day in the garden, coming in to take a shower, "And the gardener eats his tuna fish sandwich with joy." Yes, joy!

When I moved to Vallecito, I studied my steep slope over the water with consternation and thought and thought. I didn't seem to have a place for any garden at all. Then, I read Elliott Coleman's "Four Season Harvest." He said the French farmers garden year round on 5-degree slopes. Suddenly, my impossible steep slope, with its concrete block retaining wall, facing south-southeast, changed from a frustration to a perfection. Up went my raised bed (high enough to avoid a certain dog behavior!) next to the concrete, twin- wall went over the whole rickety affair and, voila, to my delight I had a year-round, successive, seasonal vegetable garden.

I just put the winter seeds in last weekend, when I was came back from Pagosa, and this weekend the soil is speckled with tiny green plants. I am delighted.

So, what do you think I saw when I interviewed to be your new librarian and all of that "dirt" was lying there around the construction project!?

Of course, I saw all of us gardening together. What a joy, an open field so to speak, for kids and volunteers and teachers to create a solar vegetable garden like mine at Vallecito, an edible landscaping project a la Rosalind Creasy, a fruit garden with benches and tables where people can read books and eat outside, a fence lined with grape vines, a wildlife habitat area, a tiny farm market for the kids to sell produce raised in the garden, math problems on how many BTUs are saved by growing local lettuce instead of shipping it from California, history lessons like the ones in "Seeds of Change," food chemistry projects like the ones I wish someone had taught me, maybe even a harvest festival for the community.

I see a great big community project, fun for all of us and a living laboratory where we will put all of the information in those books in the library to use.

Now, as you can imagine, this will not come together overnight. But the Board and the staff and some people in the community are beginning to give this thought. And then, we will move into a planning stage where we will want to begin talking to donors, write grants, work with teachers and classes, ask for volunteers, look at ideas. After that, there will be actual designs for how and where the plants should go into the ground. Then the kids and the volunteers can begin planting and taking care of the gardens.

For instance, maybe some of you will help think about what kind of grape will grow in the climate at Pagosa, and how much water it will need to get it started. And when the first tender grape leaves are big enough, we will all learn how to brine them together and make dolmas and learn about Greece and Greek food and food myths in a library lecture series. Then will come the grapes and then the pruning and then what to do with grape vine cuttings.

Oh, there will never be enough time for us to garden all we want, and learn all we want to learn from books in the library that will tell us about what the garden can teach. But I know we will have fun playing in the dirt together.

Arts Line

Studio tour affords chance to see creative spaces

By Kayla Douglass

PREVIEW Columnist

The arts council is sponsoring an artist's studio tour Sunday, Oct. 23.

Pagosa Springs is home to many talented artists working in all mediums. We are currently putting together a list of participating artists who will open their studios for your viewing. This will be a self-guided tour from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Cost is $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers.

Artists such as Sandy Applegate, Soledad Estrada, Pat Black, Donna Wagle, Wayne Justus, Pierre Mion, Jan Brookshier, Betty Slade and Clair Goldrick will be at the PSAC gallery. Refreshments will be available at the gallery, as well as at some of the participating artists' studios. You will pick up the studio tour map when you purchase your ticket. So, stop by the PSAC gallery for tickets, or call 264-5020 for further information.

Young Performers Lab

Felicia Lansbury Meyer is offering a Young Performers Lab for enthusiastic performers of all skill levels.

The workshop provides students ages 14 and up the unique opportunity to create an original performance piece. Students will write on a chosen subject, (i.e. a humorous look at offer a unique perspective on express a political view about) then hone their material into a monologue within an ensemble atmosphere.

The three-week workshop will culminate with an informal presentation for family and friends.

The workshop runs Nov. 7-30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (No classes Nov. 23 or 25) at the Standing Mountain Yoga Studio, 450 Lewis Street, second floor. Cost is $120. A few partial and full scholarships are available, courtesy of the Rotary Club.

Meyer has performed on stage in New York, Los Angeles and Europe, and has appeared in numerous television roles. She received her M.F.A. in directing from the American Film Institute, where she directed the award-winning short film "Desert Snow." She recently performed at La Mama in New York City as part of the "Skins" ensemble. Class size is limited. For more information call Felicia at 946-7359.

Season's last exhibit

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

PSAC is again sponsoring an exhibit in which Pagosa's finest woodworkers are showing their newest wares, emphasizing a balance between art and craftsmanship. The exhibit includes bowls, woodturnings, bookends, clocks, sofa tables, a corner cabinet and period furniture dresser.

In addition to the woodwork, Betty Slade has works from her oil painting students on display as well. Betty began teaching oil painting through PSAC last spring in a three-day workshop. She has continued teaching classes this year. Several of her students are displaying their oil paintings for the first time in this exhibit.

The Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painting Exhibit continues through Oct. 31.

PSAC workshops

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

We started the workshops in 2002 and they have grown substantially since that time. We service the arts in the community and the community has responded favorably to this program. It gives those who want to teach a chance to do so and at the same time gives our residents an opportunity to learn something they have always been interested in - whether it is watercolor, acrylic, oil, drawing, drama, photography, etc. The space also provides a home for the photo club, watercolor club and serves as a meeting location for various other clubs.

If you are interested in teaching a workshop or class, secure a workshop application form from the gallery in Town Park (264-5020) or download the form from our Web site, Pagosa-Arts.Com.

If you are a resident and have ideas and suggestions for a class or workshop we haven't offered, let us hear from you. The Arts Council's mailing address is: P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, Co., 81147 or e-mail psac@centurytel.net.

Calendar available

This is the first year for a calendar produced by local artists with subject matter reflecting Pagosa Country.

Our 14-page full color calendar features images for the 12 months, as well as a cover image. Works featured are from local artists Bruce Andersen, J. D. Kurz, Jan Brookshier, Sabine Baeckman-Elge, Jeanine Malaney, Jeff Laydon, Ginnie Bartlett, Claire Goldrick, Barbara Rosner and Tom Lockhart.

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 members. They make great Christmas gifts.

Pine River Library

The Pine River Library (Bayfield ) welcomes artists of all ages to display their art work. Painting, drawing, photography, fabric art, wall quilt, weaving, tapestry, jewelry, beadwork, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodwork, glass art, stained glass, metal art, and silversmith are welcome.

If you wish to display your work, call Chrissy Moiseve at 884-2222. She will be happy to fax you a display request form. Art is displayed for two months.

Calling all artists

The Durango Arts Center is looking for artists and craftspeople to share their inspired and creative work in the Holiday Art Olé Boutique, Dec. 2-24.

This juried sale will feature fine crafts and art in the Barbara Conrad Gallery. Artists creating original, unique gift items in ceramics, jewelry, fiber, metal, glass, wood, paper, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing are invited to apply. Fine craft items are the focus of the sale.

Deadline for submitting an application is Oct. 15. Application forms are available at the DAC lobby information rack or on the on-line forms page at www.durangoarts.org. For more information, contact the exhibits director, 259-2606.

The Gallery Shop and the Durango Arts Center would like to invite all artists in the Four Corners area to submit slides of work to be juried and selected to sell on a consignment basis at the Durango Arts Center Gallery Shop. Submission deadline for this round of jurying is Oct. 15. The next opportunity and deadline is March 1.

The Durango Arts Center is a nonprofit, community-based arts organization dedicated to advancing the visual and cultural arts for the enrichment of the individual and the community. The Gallery Shop is committed to providing a quality fine arts and crafts venue for the Durango area. In pursuit of this goal the shop is always working towards a wider variety of work offered on consignment.

A committee comprised of local professional artists and craftspeople, business professionals and/or DAC members is responsible for jurying the consignment merchandise from local and regional artists. The jurying committee will meet three times a year to review consigned work and jury new artwork. Artwork to be considered includes ceramics, drawings/pastels, wearable fiber, non-wearable fiber, glass, graphics/prints, jewelry, 2D and 3D mixed media, metal, paintings, photography, sculpture and wood. There is limited space for 2D artwork. No large sculptures or large furniture can be accepted. The Gallery Shop sells work best in a price range up to $500. If you are interested in consigning your work to the shop, call or stop by the Durango Arts Center to pick up a detailed information sheet, or visit www.durangoarts.org. Call Susan Andersen at 259-2606 with any questions or more information.

PSAC calendar

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

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

Through Oct. 31 - Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painters Exhibit.

Oct. 15 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., community center.

Oct. 19 - Watercolor club, 10 a.m., community center.

Oct. 23 - Artist studio tour, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Dec. 1 - Gallery tour, 5-8 p.m.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC at psac@centurytel.net. We want 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

I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm broke

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

I'm hungry.

Very hungry.

And I am confused.

Very confused.

I'm wandering aimlessly through the aisles of the market. I am overwhelmed by the play of bright colors, but the stunning variety of goods available.

I am tired. To the bone.

My brain has short-circuited for lack of fuel.

I need to find something, buy it, take it home, cook it.

Me need food.

Fast.

I have another problem: I am broke.

I have a checkbook full of checks, and little in the way of funds to back them up. It is Tuesday. If I write a check for some food, I am counting on a slow delivery of the check to the bank. It's called "floating" and, oh baby, I am floating big time. In this electronic age, one can float a perilously short while. I am hoping it is Thursday - payday - before this economic life raft runs aground on the reef of my account.

It is not unusual for me to run low on funds. There are several projects I work on with regularly that drain my account - wagering and eating, among them. I find the allure of a noisy casino, a sure bet on a football game and a high-end restaurant nearly irresistible. While my jones is not so powerful that I give away the farm, I am tragically flawed.

I am weak.

This time, I have no money for one of the best reasons I know of.

Wine.

French wine. I have surrendered a tidy sum as part of a group ordering an impressive number of bottles from Kermit Lynch, Wine Merchant, Berkeley, California.

I can hear the pinheads squealing now, "French!!! Whaaa? Hey, them there French are no good. Ain't you hearda freedom fries, buster? You remember what them no-good-fer-nuthin' !&**##@^^! did when we hadda go over there and give the boot to that bum Saddam? Huh? You remember? It's downright unamerican to buy somethin' from them frogs. Unamerican, I tell ya."

To which I reply: "Phooey." And "pshaw."

A cretin's reaction to the French is the result of absolute ignorance of history, the product of a peculiar form of reverse political correctness spawned in the small and unfertilized minds of the listeners of talk radio.

The problem with this moronic attitude is the unexamined presupposition upon which it rests, namely that the French have shown the slightest talent for effective warfare since the triumphs of the early Napoleonic era. Did our anti-French hooters and hackers miss the day in high school history class when small incidents like World War II were discussed?

The point: When you go to war, you take the French along to run the food and beverage division. They cook and provide wine. They do it better than just about anyone else. An army runs on its stomach. Let the French do what they can to make the army run more effectively and stop expecting them to fight. Hire them, if you must. It's worth the ticket.

And so was the lure of nine or ten bottles of French wine. They should provide me a measure of pleasure for - hmmm, let's see - nine or ten days.

So, I am staggering through the store, increasingly disoriented; I have fifteen bucks to work with and I am fading fast. I have to feed three of us and I have to produce the meal pronto - Kathy has choir practice, Coach Ivy's volleyball team has a match, I have to scurry down to the high school gym to take some photos.

This is a challenge, so the first thing to do is review, as best I can, the ingredients I have on hand at home.

The review is not easy; I am continually distracted by shiny objects.

I realize I am in luck. My pal Ronnie has returned from a trip south and has brought me a pound of outstanding, hot Espanola red. I'll work around that.

Let's see: I have half a carton of chicken stock in the fridge along with some two-day old romaine lettuce and half a wedge of menonita cheese. I also have some leftover fire-roasted crushed tomatoes that have been in the fridge for a week. Maybe two weeks. They'll be OK, won't they? There's no fuzz growing on the surface. Plus, I have half a giant pack of white corn tortillas. They're only a week or so old. Perhaps a bit stiff, but who cares?

Protein? Hmmmm.

I waddle to the meat department.

Beef?

No, not in the mood.

Chicken?

Egad, look at the price for those hormone-free, skinless chicken breasts! Did they spoon-feed those birds? Were they driven to the slaughterhouse in a limo?

That leaves turkey. Ground turkey. And you know when you purchase ground turkey two things are certain: first, there are parts of birds in there you don't want to know about - not even the turkeys were proud of them. Second, since there are enough additives pumped into those mutants to force them to grow breasts that rival Anna Nicole Smith's, there are enough additives remaining in the meat to cause you to grow a tail.

Hey, when you have no cash, a tail becomes a plus - a way of maintaining balance in high winds. After you are evicted from your home for nonpayment of the mortgage and you are standing alone on a storm-whipped, barren plain.

I purchase the turkey.

And an onion, a bunch of cilantro, a head of garlic, a lemon, a can of black beans and - as the coup de grace to my fifteen bucks - a pack of "fresh" guacamole. It is disgraceful, but the "ripe" avocados this time of the year are not suitable for eating. As weapons in a riot, yes. For the table, no.

I am lucky to find my way home. Everything on the periphery of my ever-narrower field of vision has turned into soft mush.

I make the meal in 30 minutes.

First, the onion is sliced, some cilantro chopped, six or seven cloves of garlic are smashed and finely minced. Into a frying pan goes some olive oil and the onion is sauteed over medium-high heat until translucent. In goes the ground turkey. I break it up and season it with salt and pepper, adding a bit of dried oregano and a bit of ground cumin.

When the turkey turns that distressing gray color (the British painter Constable would have distinguished it as "the grey of the morning's mist on the moor") in goes a splat of the tomato and it is cooked a bit to bring out its alleged sweetness. In goes the garlic and a profound amount of the Espanola red is sprinkled atop the mix. In goes the stock and the cilantro and - look, there it is, hiding behind the oil-cured olives - a tablespoon of chicken demiglace.

I simmer the mix over medium heat, partly covered, while I heat the black beans, rip up a bunch of romaine, make a simple dressing with lemon juice, olive oil and oregano, open the guacamole and slice the menonita.

I cook the turkey for about twenty minutes, adding a teensy bit of broth in order to keep it somewhat soupy. I taste, adjust the seasonings.

Then, it's assembly time.

Instead of flash frying the tortillas in oil (I don't have anything but olive oil, and it is not suitable) I use tongs to dip a tortilla in the sauce. I plate the tortilla, spoon some of the turkey on it, add some slices of the cheese, repeat, and repeat again. Then, since I am lowballing this baby all the way, I pop the mess in the microwave and punch it on high for two minutes.

A dollop of sour cream (who knows how long that has been in the fridge?) a hit of guac, a big spoon full of black beans, some of the dressed greens. Not bad. A fried egg, all yolky good and messy, would be an outstanding topper, if one had an egg.

The Espanola red sings a throaty tune, pushing the aromatics and spices up through the heat. The turkey provides oh, let's be honest - it provides nothing but protein. And a tail.

But, the whole affair is quick.

And cheap.

And easily produced by someone addled by poverty and work.

Oh, and how about some wine?

Maybe next week.

Extension Viewpoints

Pumpkin lore and more

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

The pumpkin has been a longtime favorite of children, featured in their literature (Cinderella's coach) and in song (the keeper for Peter Pumpkin Eater's wife). The Jack-o-Lantern is their Halloween celebrity. In China the pumpkin is still called the emperor of the garden.

Pumpkin technically belongs to the squash family, but performs so beautifully as pie filling it is often considered a fruit. It is also a good main course vegetable and an ingredient in soup, quick breads, cookies, cakes and pudding. It is an excellent source of many nutrients including Vitamin A, iron, potassium, Vitamin C and others. It is low in calories, sodium and fat.

Historically, pumpkin seeds have been used medicinally: American Indians chewed them to ward off kidney infections and parasites, and they were an official drug in the 19th century as a diuretic and worm remedy. They are rich in phosphorus, iron and some B vitamins, including niacin, are thirty percent protein and forty percent unsaturated fat. They can be purchased raw or roasted, or you can prepare them yourself. They are a great snack and the kernels make a crunchy complement to cooked dishes and salads.

Harvesting and storing

Pumpkins are ready to harvest when they are orange in color and the skin is hard, anytime before frost. The rind should not be easily penetrated by a thumbnail. Smaller varieties of pumpkins are best for storage and cooking. They store best when part of the stem is left on and carefully handled. By storing at about 55 degrees F. in a dry place they have a two to three month storage life. Prepared pumpkin pulp may be frozen, canned and even dried for future use. Pumpkin must be canned in a pressure canner as cubes, not mashed or pureed. A five-pound pumpkin will yield about 4 1/2 cups of cooked, mashed pumpkin. About 2 cups of cooked pumpkin is required for a 9-inch pie.

Roasting pumpkin seeds

Rinse two cups pumpkin seeds until pulp and strings are detached. Boil seeds for ten minutes in six cups of water with 1 teaspoon of salt added. Drain and dry seeds on paper towels. In a bowl add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine. Add pumpkin seeds and stir well. Spread on baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until seeds are light brown. Seeds should be crisp when fully roasted.

Cooked pumpkin

An easy way to prepare pumpkin for recipes calling for cooked pumpkin is to cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp, and cook the halves face down in a conventional or microwave oven until pulp is tender (about an hour in a 350 degree F oven, or 6-7 minutes per pound in the microwave). After the cooked pulp is scooped out of the shell it may be mashed or put through a mill or strainer. It is then ready to be used in a recipe, or frozen for later use.

Pumpkin Cookies

1/3 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (or canned)

2 1/2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup seeded raisins

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream shortening and sugar, beat eggs in well. Stir in the vanilla and lemon extract. Put pumpkin through a sieve and add, mixing well. Sift dry ingredients and add with the raisin and nuts. Mix thoroughly. Drop by the teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake about 15 minutes in a 375 degree F oven. Makes 4 dozen.

Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 cups mashed or canned pumpkin

1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons shallots

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup milk

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk

1 cup canned tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter or margarine in heavy skillet and sauté green pepper, shallots, parsley and bay leaf until vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Add tomatoes, pumpkin and chicken stock. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Put mixture through food mill or blender and set aside. Combine flour, milk and cream, stirring with a whisk. When blended, add to soup, along with salt and pepper. Heat slowly, stirring until mixture just reaches a boil. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Swim team embarks on practice season

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Swim Club is looking for youngsters who enjoy swimming and who like to compete. Started in 1988, when swimming meant splashing around in Cotton Hole (ask an old-timer if you don't know), the club has developed into one of the strongest competitive swim clubs on the western slope of Colorado.

The current roster shows 18 swimmers ranging in age from eight to 18. The team size is probably smaller than it's been in the last couple years, but each child on the team has improved beyond expectations.

The Pagosa Lakes Swim Club had an outstanding season this past summer, with many of the new swimmers achieving an amazing jump forward in a short time. The season cumulated with the Seasonal Championships in Canon City. Almost all the swimmers on the team were able to compete in either the Western Slope Championships or the Seasonal Championships.

That every swimmer worked hard was evident in individual times that kept improving as the swim season progressed. The team had individual high point winners at both the Western Slope Championships and the Seasonal Championships. Every swimmer who competed this summer recorded best times, and in the process there have been many team records broken.

The club's efforts in developing young swimmers also paid dividends this past summer while there have always been a couple outstanding swimmers in the program, in past years the club ha not been able to field swimmers in every age group. This past summer, each age group was represented by swimmers from Pagosa Lakes Swim Club.

Congratulations to all the swimmers for their outstanding efforts. The team has set a goal of no less than 25 individual event swimmers for the 2006 summer season, with a qualifying relay in each age group.

The team currently trains Tuesday and Thursday, 4-5:15 p.m., with a number of team members involved in other fall school sports, it's a group of about 10 that is in the water. Lap swimming will continue to remain available for recreation center members throughout the day.

In February, when all the children on the team return to swimming, the swim team size will necessitate closing the pool from 4-5:30 p.m. for their sole use. From February until May, practices are conducted 4-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Friday from 2:15-3:45 p.m. Once school is out, beginning June 1, practices will be held 7:30-9:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Each swimmer is expected to attend three practices a week.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the swim team, the following are some requirements. New swimmers are expected to have the ability to swim 25 yards freestyle and 25 yards backstroke without stopping. If you child is unable to do so, private swim lessons should be arranged beforehand.

There will be a two-week trial period for a new swimmer before the following requirements have to be met. Every swimmer is required to have a current recreation center membership, U.S. Swimming Association registration, and to pay a monthly $20 team fee ($15 for every subsequent child in the same family). USSA registration is $25 for the year and this is required for insurance purposes.

Swimmers are also required to purchase their own team suits. Mandatory participation in the annual fund-raising swim-a-thon is expected. While the recreation center pays the coaching costs, the money from the swim-a-thon covers travel expenses for the swim team coach and cost of any additional training equipment.

When competition gets going, generally in late spring, registration fees at meets run about $2 to $3 per event entered. Parents should add to that the cost of travel and lodging. At most swim meets in the summer, camping areas are available and lodging costs can be kept to a minimum by camping. Each swimmer must compete in at least three meets each season.

The continued success of this swim program, as it begins its 18th year, will depend on the hard work of the swimmers, the support of the parents, and the quality of the training provided by coach Jennifer Fenton and assistant coach Steve Williams.

Although this is clearly a major family commitment, the rewards justify the efforts. Competitive swimming is a marvelous sport; it encourages self-discipline and builds self-confidence.

Interested parents and swimmers can call the coach at 731-0717, or stop by after practice on Tuesday or Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

PLPOA board of directors and staff will be working on 2006 operation budget for each department on Monday, Oct. 24. The work session will begin at 12:30 p.m. and is expected to run through 4 p.m. It will be held at the Pagosa Lakes clubhouse and property owners are invited to attend.

 

Obituaries

Herbert Lattin

Herbert Nick Lattin, age 74, of Edmonton, Ken., died Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005, at his home. He was the son of the late Melvin Herbert and Ida Florence Lattin. He was born in Pagosa Springs and was a retired U.S. Forester and member of the First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs. He is survived by his wife, Faith Lattin, of Edmonton. Four daughters: Frosty (Greg) Garrett of Edmonton, Rachel (Bob) Snow, Charity Lattin and Hope Lattin all of Pagosa Springs. One brother: Raymond (Doris) Lattin of Pagosa Springs. Eight grandchildren: Cimarrona, Sierra, Katie, Lacie, Jason, Nixe, Michael and Bethany. One niece and nephew, Doug and Lori Lattin, both of Pagosa Springs. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Herbert Roane Lattin, a brother, Harvey Lattin, and an infant sister. Cremation was chosen and an informal memorial service was held at the VFW Building on the Cedar Flat Road Oct. 18. Memorial contributions can be made to the Kosair Childrens Hospital.

 Joseph Monteleone

Joseph Patrick Monteleone, long-time resident of Wilton, Conn. died Friday, Oct. 7, of respiratory failure after a short illness. He was 76 years old.

Born in Brooklyn to Joseph and Josephine Monteleone, Joe (Patty to his family, Dad to his children, and Papa Joe to his grandchildren) joined the USMC after graduating from Brooklyn Technical high school. After receiving his honorable discharge, he worked for the Colgate Palmolive Company and began attending Cooper Union College at night. He graduated with a bachelor of chemical engineering degree in 1955.

Upon receiving his degree, Joe joined Stauffer Chemical Company. As he climbed the corporate ladder at Stauffer, his career took him to Manhattan; Akron, Ohio; Ridgewood, N.J.; Huntsville, Ala,; and eventually to the corporate headquarters in Westport, Conn. He retired in 1987 as president of Stauffer's huge International division.

Joe was a long-time member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church of Wilton, where he was instrumental in forming their Home School Association and in the fund-raising for their 1980s renovations. For a time he served on the board of the Parish Council and has most recently been the numbers caller at the Wilton Senior Center for the Senior's Thursday Bingo activities.

Joe married the former Dolores Van Pelt of Jersey City, N.J., in 1955. They celebrated their 50th anniversary this past June.

Joe was known among his large extended family, his business associates, and his many friends as being very generous, compassionate, highly intelligent, having a great sense of humor, and being almost unbeatable at gin rummy. His family was always his number one priority and despite his many personal and professional achievements the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren were his greatest pleasures.

Joe was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Christopher. Joe is survived by his wife; his children, Joanne Irons of Pagosa Springs, Joseph Monteleone, Jude Monteleone of Weare, N.H., Christopher Monteleone of Landing, NJ, and Patricia Butler of Easton, Conn.; his grandchildren, Zachary and Blake Irons, Grace, Olivia, and Elizabeth Monteleone; step-grandchildren Brittany and Shane Butler; sister in-law Dorothy Monteleone; and nieces Donna Randle, Doreen Nyman, Denise Ferguson.

Services were held at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk, Conn., on Monday and Tuesday, October 10 and 11. Mass was at Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, on Oct. 12. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to St. Jude's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.; Wilton Library; or Nursing and Home Care, both of Wilton, Conn.

 Business News
Chamber News

Diplomats make the difference

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I have been quite long winded in my articles lately. It seems there is always so much going on that I want to keep the community informed about. However, this week, everyone gets a reprieve. Let's just focus on a few reminders, some great upcoming events and some membership information.

Diplomat Week

The community has been overwhelmingly generous thanking our wonderful diplomats for serving us so faithfully and diligently this past summer.

Quite a few of the diplomats have graciously agreed to stay on and help us throughout the winter months. Now that's dedication for you!

Next week we will print a list of the volunteers who helped us this past summer. If you see them out and around town, give them an extra pat on the back for servicing our community so well. They have helped over 33,000 visitors in just five months, and these are just the people who signed our guest book. Who knows how many more thousands they helped who didn't sign in. This figure is a jump of over 10 percent from visitors through the doors last year. We have one of the best Visitor Centers in the state, and some of the most awesome volunteers to represent your businesses and our community. Thank you, diplomats.

Reminders

The first reminder concerns the October SunDowner. This month's SunDowner will take place at the Mountain View Plaza on Put Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 26, starting at 5 p.m.

Four businesses in the center will join forces to put on one great SunDowner. The businesses hosting the festivities are Ensignal, Howlin' Wolf Music, The Sewing Source, and Trophies Tomorrow. Remember, anyone can attend this "Business After Hours" for the fee of $5 per person. Come out and see what the host businesses have to offer our community and meet some other business owners and employees. Who knows, you might just meet the owner of a business to match just what you've been looking for. Join the fun, listen to live music, enjoy good food and drink and see if you can meet at least one new person.

I can't believe we seem to already be so focused on events for 2006, but it's true. If your organization has dates for next year for an event, please let us know at the Chamber as soon as possible. I am already getting requests for the Calendar of Events for next year from many publications. I would like to highlight as many community events as possible.

The Chamber calendar, which is online, is a great way to check and see if there is a conflicting date for an event you are planning, hosting or attending. Also remember, you can print the calendar out for a weekly schedule. This enhancement is great for lodging facilities, Fairfield activities, or any business that is primarily customer related. Inform your staff members so they, in turn, can inform our visitors. Try to avoid the "I don't know" or "there's nothing going on" syndromes.

Artists' studio tour

You now have the chance to peek into the inner sanctum of many of our local artists' studios. On Sunday, Oct, 23, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., view the local scenery and studios as you drive around our area visiting the workshops used many of our acclaimed talents.

See the studios of Pierre Mion, Sandy Applegate, Patricia Black and Donna Wagle, Roberto and Ann Garcia, Soledad Estrada, Jan Brookshier, Betty Slade and Claire Goldrick. Tickets for the tour are available at the Chamber of Commerce, the PSAC gallery and WolfTracks. Tickets are $8 for PSAC members and $10 for nonmembers. Take this rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of our local talents.

Civic Club Bazaar

Start making out your shopping lists - there is not too much time left until the Women's Civic Club Bazaar, to be held Saturday, Nov. 5. Starting at 9 a.m. the community center will be filled with artisans and craftspeople, with goods running the gamut of gifts.

There will be over 50 booths displaying items such as paintings, knitted crafts, wood objects, jewelry, soaps and lotions, stained glass, needlework, pottery, and so much more. So that you can sustain your energy in your shopping groove, there will be a bake sale and food court.

Don't forget to buy raffle tickets for the beautiful fall leaf quilt donated by the Pagosa Piecemakers.

This annual event will help fill the shopping lists of many a Pagosan, so get your shopping shoes on and head over to the community center Nov. 5. The morning is a madhouse, but the best selections are to be had early. Don't miss the fun.

Fashion show

Another highly anticipated fall event will take place Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

This year's fall fashion show is titled "A Tuscan Afternoon." A delectable Italian luncheon will be served; decorations will transform the Parish Hall into an Italian setting; John Graves will entertain on the keyboard with Italian and other favorite musical selections; and Barbara Witkowski will highlight the program with her stunning voice. All of this comes as part of your ticket price of $20.

Of course, there will be lots of prizes donated by many Pagosa merchants.

And the fashions! Astara's Boutique, Satori's Boutique, Goodman's, Miss Jean's, Happy Trails, Upscale Retail, Lantern Dancer, and Puttin' on the Rydz will all display stunning clothing and jewelry. Come by the Chamber to purchase your individual or group tickets. Questions regarding the fashion show can be directed to Joan Slavinski at 731-2255 or Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324.

Parade of Lights

It's not too early for businesses to start thinking up themes for their float entries in the annual Parade of Lights.

This year, the parade will be held Friday, Dec. 9. Following the parade, the Kiwanis Club will a host a chili supper at the community center to warm up all the parade participants and viewers. We will let you know when the float applications are available. As always, cash prizes will be given out in different categories. Get your thinking caps on and think lights.

Members, members, members

A few new members, and lots of renewals to highlight this week.

Our first new member is Whitney Galena Wolf, massage therapist. Offering respite for the body and mind, Whitney specializes in body/mind awareness, integrative body centered therapies, reflexology, acupressure, energy, polarity, intuitive, aromatherapy, neuromuscular, deep tissue, vita flex, raindrop and somatic therapies. She also works with hot and cold stones. To give reprieve to the body and mind, give Whitney a call at 731-9647 or 385-7180. She looks forward to sharing her massage therapy talents with the community.

We welcome Marjorie Adair and Pagosa Experience Rentals. Pagosa Experience Rentals has a log home located on five acres. Fully furnished, it has the added benefit of a fenced area for dogs and a fenced area for horses. It is often difficult for people to find space for their four-legged companions when traveling or when making an extended stay in Pagosa, so Marjorie has the facility for you. Call 731-9878 for reservations or more information.

Joining us this week as a new member is Jode McKee and Mountain View Mini Storage. Conveniently located at 669 U.S. 84, near the Extension Building, Mountain View Mini Storage offers units from 5x10 to 12x30. There is security lighting and paved access to units that will also accommodate large trailers or U-Hauls. For storage information and prices, give Jode a call at 264-4476. Clean, convenient, secure - these traits are what Mountain View Mini Storage offers Pagosa storage renters.

Last of the new members this week is Guaranteed Realty Group, run by Marsha Blevins. Located out of Euless, Texas, Guaranteed Realty Group will help you find your way to Pagosa by selling your home in Texas or they'll buy it, guaranteed. Now that's the way to help people achieve their Pagosa dream. Give Marsha Blevins a call at (817) 545-5888 or visit the Web site at www.marshablevins.com. Thanks go to Kathryn Heilhecker for referring Marsha to the Chamber. She will receive another complimentary admission pass to the SunDowner of her choice.

Kicking off the renewals this week is Piedra Automotive and Bill and Susan Schwab. Long established in the community and community service entrenched are Ken and Linda Morrison of Pagosa Insurance Agency. We welcome back an old member with a new owner, Dr. Thomas Yost and Pagosa Veterinary Clinic. We also welcome back Roger Behr and Behr Enterprises.

Another long established business in this community is renewing - Pagosa Glass.

Welcome back to Steve Schwartz and Spectrum Construction. One of the hosts of a SunDowner this year, Pacific Auction Exchange, is also renewing with us. Centurytel returns to the chamber fold as does past Chamber board president Shari Gustafson, now with the Gustafson Consulting Group, and her husband Richard (or Gus, as most know him).

We welcome back Crista Munro and the Pagosa Springs Dining Guide, and the Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant is also renewing its membership. Welcome back to the communications medium for San Juan County, N.M., and the Four Corners Area: The Daily Times.

A few non-profit organizations renew this week. The first is the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. Then we have Echo Canyon Ranch Association renewing and we also welcome back Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Congratulations to Padre Carlos Alvarez who has just celebrated his one year anniversary with our community. The ladies of this parish will also be hosting the Fall Fashion Show. Proceeds from this event benefit the whole community, such as making an improvement to the Parish Hall, which is available for rent to the community, or helping out different youth groups. Many enjoy the Spring Fiesta and we thank the Knights of Columbus for the fun Duck Race and the Lenten season would not be complete without those famous fish fries!

Our membership renewals would not be complete without our associate members. This week we welcome back Elmer Schettler and one of our own special volunteers, Karen Kelley and her husband Mike.

Thanks to all our renewals. We will have a new member orientation Thursday, Oct. 27, at 5:30 p.m. If you are a new member and have not received an invitation, give Maryla a call to reserve a spot.

 

Biz Beat

P.R.E.C.O Plumbing and Heating Inc.

Doug Saley owns and operates P.R.E.C.O. Plumbing and Heating Inc. - professional, reliable, efficient, customer oriented.

P.R.E.C.O. specializes in plumbing and heating 24-hour service, promising to ... "work on your time, not Pagosa time."

Plumbing service includes repair, replacement and maintenance of plumbing systems. The service department will fix any plumbing or drain problem: faucets, fixtures, water heaters, boilers, broken pipes, leaks, drips or hydronic/in-floor heat systems.

Customers are considered to be people worthy of respect and employees are friendly, cooperative and professional in the service relationship. The company builds on values, evident in the attitude toward service, in honesty and responsibility.

P.R.E.C.O. is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. P.R.E.C.O. is located at 543 Park Ave., Suite 9. Call (970) 731-9809, or (970) 385-8126 after regular business hours.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
EMS help

Thank you to the EMS crew who took me to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance on Sunday, Oct. 2. Jill Young, Valerie Niesen and Erik Hornbaucker responded to my 911 call and their professionalism, knowledge, caring attitude and calmness were a great help to me.

You are greatly appreciated and keep up the good work.

Jim Haliday

 Focus group

Seeds of Learning would like to thank the following people for attending the Focus Group meetings held Oct. 11, 12 and 17: Bob and Valerie Goodman, Al and Sharon DeBoer, Kathy Allen, Herman Riggs, Jim and Becky Dorian, Donna Wilson, Lauri Heraty, Cheri Lewis, Bob Bigelow, Mercy Korsgren, Carrie Campbell, Renae Roehrs, Steve Wadley, Pete Gonzales, Duane Noggle, Bob and Lisa Scott, Kate Collins and Matt Bridges. Taking the time to know and understand the importance of high quality early care and education is so important to the future of Pagosa Springs and Seeds of Learning. Thank you for your time and commitment.

 

Engagement

Pagel-Lythojohan

Jean Pagel (formerly of Thorp, Wis.) and Scott Lythjohan (formerly of Lakeville, Minn.) have announced their engagement.

Jean, the daughter of George and Carol Pagel, of Thorp, is a speech clinician at North Trail Elementary School in Farmington, N.M. Scott, the son of Char and David Hemauer of Pagosa Springs, and David Lythjohan, of Prior Lake, Minn., is employed at RMS in Farmington.

A May 13, 2006, wedding is planned at Highview Christiana Lutheran Church in Farmington.

The couple will reside in Farmington.

 

Sports Page

Pirate girls first in IML, Schur Runner of Year, regionals Saturday

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Members of the Pagosa Springs varsity girls' cross country team won some bragging rights when they won the Intermountain League championship in Monte Vista last Saturday, for the third year in a row.

And, with Emilie Schur winning the league's female Runner of the Year award for the second time in her cross country career, it was an inspiring day for the Pirates.

Schur led the race wire to wire, breaking the 20-minute barrier at 19:52 for her annual best time.

Jaclyn Harms ran another breakthrough race coming in third overall at 20:36, a personal record, followed three seconds later by Laurel Reinhardt. Pirate Coach Scott Anderson's training and discipline has paid off well with the girls' team, whose top three girls won all-conference awards and have managed to steadily decrease their pack time over the season to less than a minute.

Coming in next for the Pagosa girls was Del Greer at 22:20 ,side by side with Chelsea Cooper at 22:21, both setting personal records. Heather Dahm, who began the season consistently in fourth place for the Pirates, came in sixth at 22:48, taking the alternate spot for the regionals, and she will be sharing her maturity, experience, and leadership when the team competes next week.

The boy's team took third-place in the league standings, behind Bayfield and Monte Vista, with strong performances all around.

It was the team's first race against Monte Vista this year, and the Pirates were taken a bit by surprise when their opponents jumped into second place.

AJ Abeyta again led the Pagosa boys with a time of 17:45, his best time of the year, while the ever-steady Travis Furman ran a personal record, breaking the 18-minute mark with a time of 17:58. Orion Sandoval came in next for the Pirates at 18:24 followed by Logan Gholsen, who has made exceptional progress during the year and ran a personal record of 18:42. Chase Moore and Aaron Miller also ran personal records, with times of 18:48 and 18:51 respectively, and will be part of the regional team.

Anderson thinks the boys are steadily buying into his coaching strategy as the team gears up for the upcoming regional meet. For much of last week's race, Abeyta and Sandoval kept inside of the "Bayfield Three," led by the "uncatchable" Steve Flint, one of the top runners in the state. After starting out strong, Sandoval got passed by Bayfield's second and third runners around the two-mile mark, while Abeyta was passed in the final 200 meters. Meanwhile, Furman, who started out conservatively, was able to bridge up to the Bayfield runners mid-way, only to lose them in the final 800 meters.

With the psychological competitive aspect added to the physiological challenges of distance racing, Anderson stresses a focused, consistent effort throughout the 5-kilometer course as part of his team philosophy, in order to win top spots for an optimal team score, in contrast to one-on-one competition.

Next week's race is the long-awaited regional meet, and it will be held on the Pagosa Springs Golf Club course. Anderson urged people to come and cheer on the seniors as they race their last home race, and to see Schur, whom he notes is one of the best high school runners in Pagosa's history.

The first race of the regionals starts at 10:30 a.m. Volunteers are welcome to help; call Scott Anderson at 264-2604 for more information, and plan to show up around 9:00 a.m.

 

Pirates outclass Alamosa 44-21, improve to 6-1

By Randy Johnson

Special to The SUN

What were you doing 20 years ago?

Twenty years seems like forever for the Pagosa Springs High School football Pirates. That was about the last time the Pirates had beaten the Class 3A Mean Moose from Alamosa. Every year, whether at home or in Alamosa, the Mean Moose would have their way with the 2A Pirates and simple 'outclass' them.

But times have changed.

The Pirates (6-1, 2-0 in Intermountain League) finally put together a complete game to return the favor and outclass Alamosa (4-3, 1-2) last Friday night at Golden Peaks Stadium by a score of 44-21.

This was one of the better football games to watch, as both teams entertained the capacity crowd.

Mean Moose junior Clay Garcia lived up to his billing as an outstanding young quarterback by putting up college numbers. Garcia had 23 completions on 41 attempts for 326 yards. His "go to" guys were tight end Dustin Bolt and wide receiver Lane Wasinger. Bolt had 12 catches for 167 yards and Wasinger eight balls for 144 yards and a touchdown.

The Alamosa running game produced 115 yards on 31 carries. Garcia called his own number 11 times for 29 yards and a score. Running back Sonny Yohn accounted for 50 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown.

These numbers are impressive and could have won the football game, if it weren't for turnovers.

The Pirates' defense intercepted Garcia five times and recovered a fumble. Junior defensive back Kerry Joe Hilsabeck had two picks while John Hoffman, Paul Przybylski and Casey Schutz each had one. Senior linebacker Bubba Martinez recovered the Garcia fumble. One of Hilsabeck's interceptions looked to be a 90-yard return from the sideline but the referee ruled him out of bounds at the Mean Moose 28 yard line. Four of the Mean Moose turnovers resulted in Pagosa scores.

Alamosa Coach Manny Wasinger blamed Garcia's woes on a "slippery football" and tried to use a pigskin that was determined to be illegal by the referees. The ploy failed.

Offensively for the Pirates, junior quarterback Jordan Shaffer had another outstanding game. He completed eight of 13 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He ran the ball six times for 26 yards.

Pagosa carried the ball 40 times for 192 yards and four TDs.

Junior running back Corbin Mellette had his breakout game. Mellette had 100 yards rushing on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught two balls for 27 yards and a third touch. Senior Daniel Aupperle continues to be "Mr. Everything" for the Pirates. Aupperle caught a 35-yard touchdown pass, kicked a 25-yard field goal and scored from 23 yards out on a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Running back Josh Hoffman had six carries and a 19-yard touchdown run before bowing out in the second half due to injury. Senior wideout Craig Schutz caught three balls for 41 yards.

Pagosa's offensive numbers weren't nearly as impressive as Alamosa's but the Pirates played virtually mistake free with only one turnover in the contest, and scored when they got inside the red zone to win going away.

Coach Sean O'Donnell and his coaching staff put together a great game plan and have made the necessary personnel adjustments to counter attack opponents, especially since the Montrose game. The Pirates' momentum and confidence continue to grow with each win.

First quarter

Alamosa received the kickoff after Pagosa won the toss and chose to defer until the second half. They had a seven-play drive going when Garcia threw his first pick to John Hoffman who returned it to the Mean Moose 40 yard line.

The Pirates went three and out.

On the next series Garcia threw another interception. Przybylski picked this one and then returned it 43 yards to the Alamosa 7 yard line. Two plays later Mellette had his first score of the evening from the 2 yard line. Aupperle's kick made it 7-0 at the 6:08 mark

Garcia made another error on the Mean Moose's third possession by fumbling the football. Martinez pounced on it on the Alamosa 34 yard line.

On the Pirates' drive Shaffer hit Craig Schutz for a 13-yard gain and two plays later Josh Hoffman scored on a nice run from 19 yards out. Aupperle's kick put the score at 14-0 with just under three minutes remaining.

Alamosa put a drive together that culminated with a 53-yard strike from Garcia to Bolt at the Pagosa 8 yard line to end the quarter.

Second quarter

The Mean Moose opened the quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by Yohn. Donovan Marquez's kick put Alamosa back in the game at 14-7.

The momentum seemed to change as Alamosa fought back to a 14-14 tie with 8:29 left when Garcia scored on a keeper from 13 yards out. The drive was highlighted by a 22-yard run from Yohn and a 49-yard pass completion from Garcia to Wasinger.

With 4:29 left, the Pirates took possession on the Mean Moose 28 yard line after the Pagosa D stepped up and held on an Alamosa fourth-down try. Shaffer found Craig Schutz again for a 12-yard gain but they couldn't convert on third and three from the 9 yard line. Aupperle's 25-yard field goal attempt was good to put the Pirates up 17-14 at intermission.

Third quarter

The Pirates received the third-quarter kickoff and the offense went back to work. Pagosa put together a seven-play scoring drive that ended when Shaffer found Aupperle for 35 yards and the touchdown. Mellette was a workhorse on the drive with six straight carries for 36 yards. Aupperle's kick increased the score to 24-14

Alamosa could not convert on another third down try and Pagosa took over on the Mean Moose 49 yard line with just over seven minutes remaining in the period. Mellette and Shaffer both shared the load on this drive. Mellette had runs of 14 and 7 yards then Shaffer called his own number for 23. Mellette put his second touchdown on the board from 1 yard out and score went 31-14.

After the ensuing kickoff, the Mean Moose took over on their 23 yard line and put together an 11-play drive to the Pagosa 31 yard line. Garcia, Yohn and Bolt all looked impressive as they seemed to move the ball at will and take almost four minutes off the clock. The drive ended, however, when the Pirates' Hilsabeck had his second interception and the big return to the Alamosa 28 yard line.

Shaffer found Mellette for a 13-yard gain to put the down and distance at fourth and four from the 23 yard line to end the quarter.

Fourth quarter

With fourth down showing, O'Donnell sent in the field goal unit for what appeared to be another try. But O'Donnell called for a fake attempt the Pirates had worked on during the prior week's practice. The holder, Casey Schutz, flipped the ball over his shoulder to Aupperle who ran outside right. It caught the Mean Moose off guard and Aupperle raced untouched for the score. The point-after attempt failed, leaving the score at 37-14 with almost no time gone off the clock.

The key to this trick play was the successful field goal attempt in the second quarter. The Mean Moose knew from the first attempt that Aupperle could kick the ball well. To try and disrupt this one they needed to put pressure on the kicker. The pressure would have to come up the middle which left the outside wide open.

Another good Alamosa drive was thwarted when Casey Schutz picked Garcia yet again and Pagosa took over on their 43 yard line with just under 10 minutes remaining. A five-play drive put the Pirates in the end zone again when Shaffer found Mellette for 15 yards and his third TD. The point after was good increasing the home town lead to 44-14.

Alamosa's next possession started on their 10 yard line. Garcia completed three straight passes for 82 yards, two to Bolt and one to Wasinger that put the ball on the Pirate 7 yard line with a first and goal. The Pirate defense dug in and held on a fourth and goal from the 3 yard line.

The Mean Moose took over again on Pagosa's 18 yard line after the Pirate offense went three and out and a short punt. This time, Alamosa would not be denied as Garcia hit Wasinger from two yards out for the score. Marquez's kick put the score at 44-21 with 2:36 showing.

Instead of trying an onside kick to regain possession, Alamosa's coach, Wasinger, chose to kick the ball deep. The Pirates took the ball on their 29 yard line and ran out the clock.

O'Donnell could not be more proud of his charges with their effort against Alamosa. He said that "with the way we are playing, we can make a lot of noise in November, if we continue to work hard at practice and play mistake free ball." He pointed out that the Pirate "offense had a breakout game and the offensive line did a great job against a bigger team." He also indicated that the defense and special teams played outstanding football. "Corbin Mellette really stepped up his game for us tonight with three touchdowns and a one hundred-yard rushing night."

The Pirates travel down Highway 151 tomorrow night to face the Ignacio Bobcats. The Bobcats are currently 0-2 in league play and are looking to rebound. A win for Pagosa would clinch at least a tie for the Intermountain League championship with one regular season game remaining at home against Centauri Oct. 28.

Kickoff at Ignacio is set for 7 p.m.

In other IML action last week:

Monte Vista (5-2, 2-1) def. Ignacio (4-3, 0-2) 48-0.

Centauri (5-2. 2-1) def. Bayfield (1-6, 0-2) 17-14 in OT.

Score by quarters

Alamosa 0, 14, 0, 7 - 21

Pagosa Springs 14, 3, 14, 13 - 44

Scoring summary

First quarter

6:08 PS - Mellette 2-yard run (Aupperle kick)

2:54 PS - Josh Hoffman 19-yard run (Aupperle kick)

Second quarter

11:16 AL - Yohn 3-yard run (Marquez kick)

8:29 AL - Garcia 13-yard run (Marquez kick)

2:52 PS - Aupperle 25-yard field goal

Third quarter

8:50 PS - Aupperle 35-yard completion from Shaffer (Aupperle kick)

5:31 PS - Mellette 1-yard run (Aupperle kick)

Fourth quarter

11:56 PS - Aupperle 23-yard run (kick failed)

7:06 PS - Mellette 15-yard completion from Shaffer (Aupperle kick)

2:36 AL - Wasinger 5-yard completion from Garcia (Marquez kick)

Pirates and Bayfield in scoreless tie, playoff match tomorrow

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The weather was ugly.

The game ended in a scoreless tie.

Everyone involved left the scene fairly happy with the result.

Pagosa's soccer team met Bayfield Tuesday, at Bayfield, in the final regular season league match of 2005.

Despite the fact no goals were scored, fans on hand watched an entertaining match - one defined by two weather-related halts in play.

"It was a great game," said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "We played in their end most of the time and had numerous shots."

Kurt-Mason's strategy for the match was to put two extra defenders on the field, giving the Pirates five players to thwart any Bayfield attempt to break out of midfield.

"We kept it in their end of the field," said the coach. "It was a good, conservative game plan. The defenders got the ball up field and our forwards and wings were shooting from everywhere."

That fact was reflected in the 12 saves made by the Bayfield keeper (compared to six by Pirate Felix Gutierrez - most of them on Bayfield breakaways).

"Their goalie was excellent," said Kurt-Mason. "Coach Springs is a great goalkeeper coach. We were firing away. You've got to realize you only count those shots touched by the goalkeeper - but we had a lot of attempts that went just wide or went off the crossbar."

Numerous Pirates had close calls on the attack. Keith Pitcher had two good tries on net. Kevin Blue took an angled centering pass from Chavolo Ortiz and fired a rocket on a line from 40 yards. The shot was destined for the upper corner and was tipped away by the Wolverine keeper.

Second half action was halted for 40 minutes as storm clouds rolled over the landscape, bringing lightning, rain and finally snow. Play resumed, then was halted by lightning a second time.

The game was called at 8:45 p.m. with the tie going into the books.

"Our guys were up for this one," said Kurt-Mason. "I told them I wanted them to play with heart, and they did. Shon Webb was incredible, taking a lot of shots. Everyone was playing with emotion. I don't know, but if they continue to play like they did at Bayfield, there's no telling how far they will go."

The first chance to see if the emotion carries over is tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 21, as the playoffs begin.

Pagosa (5-4-1) will entertain James Irwin Charter School, from Colorado Springs, in a first-round playoff match at Golden Peaks Stadium.

James Irwin (10-5) finished fifth in the Southern League, splitting its league schedule 3-3.

The match begins at 3 p.m.

 

Pirates lose 4-2 despite second-half effort

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

You're down 4-0 at halftime and you're looking at climbing a mighty steep slope if you want to make the summit.

Such was the case for the Pirate soccer team Saturday as they fell behind the Telluride Miners 4-0 in the first half of a league game at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Pagosa climbed part way up that slope in the second half of action, closing the gap to 4-2, but didn't have the time to make the full ascent.

The first half of the match was a matter of timely, opportunistic play on the part of the Miners, and generous, unfocused play on the part of the Pirates.

"In the first half," said Pirate Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, "we gave them four goals. The first and third goals were totally our fault, and the fourth goal was a screwup on our part as well. It came on a corner, and the Telluride guy was totally unmarked. Telluride didn't even have to show up for the first half - we would have given it to them. We won some air balls, then didn't do anything with them."

The first Miner goal came near the outset of action - the second on a rebound of a direct kick, hit the back of the net with 19 minutes, 58 seconds left in the half. The third Telluride goal came off a cross with 9:59 remaining, the fourth followed a giveaway at midfield and a 30-yard shot with 9:35 on the clock.

Pagosa had its chances. Shon Webb, playing with intensity, had a run up field midway through the half and, with 12:45 left, put the ball out front, ran on it, got the Telluride goalie out of position and shot just left of the net. Webb took a feed from Chavolo Ortiz and shot wide left at 8:30 and made yet another good run into the Telluride end of the field. Webb was fouled. Paul Muirhead took the direct kick for Pagosa from 20 yards out, but the Miner wall undid the opportunity.

The Miners came back with a chance with six minutes remaining but the high shot was stopped by Pirate keeper Mike Schmidt. The half ended with Ortiz firing a blast just high and over the outstretched hands of the Miner keeper.

For the most part, however, the Pirates had trouble penetrating the Miner defense during the first half and only Telluride was able to effectively break out of the muddle at midfield.

That story changed in the second half after Kurt-Mason delivered his halftime talk and after the coach had his charges run a series of 40-yard sprints prior to the start of second-half action.

With Felix Gutierrez in the nets, the Pirates worked to fight through the midfield jam during the first 10 minutes of action.

Webb ran on to a ball delivered by Ortiz, was tripped and the Pirate direct kick went over the net. But, the action had shifted to the Miners' end of the field.

Webb then made another run down the middle, was tripped but, to the surprise of spectators, was called on the penalty. The Pirate got his revenge, however: A ball was deflected at the front of the Miner net and the sophomore slammed it home for Pagosa's first score.

The second Pagosa goal came off the foot of freshman Drew Portnell, his first-ever in his high school career. The Pirates were gaining ground, but the clock undid the effort.

"The guys started to play better in the second half," said the coach. "We beat them in the second half. We went up the sides, we went to the corners, we played a possession game. We missed a few chances, but we played much better."

The loss to the Miners left the Pirates at 5-4-1, waiting for Tuesday's critical game against Bayfield, at Bayfield.

 

Pirates rip Vikings 3-0, poised for postseason play

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Pirate soccer team defeated Center 3-0 in an Oct. 13 match at Golden Peaks Stadium and positioned itself to make a run at postseason play.

Center brought a scrappy but fairly unpolished team to the pitch. Pagosa, for its part, welcomed back sophomore striker Shon Webb for his first action of the season.

Webb made his presence known immediately, playing with speed and enthusiasm. On one of his first touches of the year, Webb took the ball at midfield, drove past the Viking defenders and blasted a shot into the upper reaches of the net from 30 yards out.

Pagosa controlled the midfield area and worked the ball effectively into Center territory. Chavolo Ortiz put a shot off the crossbar with 32 minutes remaining in the first half.

Eight minutes later, Ortiz managed a brilliant possession at the Center goal line and fired a cross to Webb whose header was just off the mark.

It was Ortiz again, less than a minute later, his shot going just wide from 25 yards.

Caleb Ormonde continued the Pagosa assault, making a run on goal from midfield with 19-plus minutes on the clock.

Pagosa controlled the pace and tempo of the game, working the ball forward relentlessly, tiring the Vikings with the attack.

Finally, the pressure caused Center to cave in. Thomas Martinez streaked down the sideline and fired a cross to the front of the Viking net. Midfielder Paul Muirhead, crashing the zone, drove the ball home with 15 minutes remaining in the half. Pagosa 2-0.

The onslaught continued: Ortiz, a drive wide with 14:32 left; Ortiz, scoring chance with 6:50 remaining; a flurry of Pagosa shots, all missed or blocked with 6:15 on the clock. Keith Pitcher took his shot on net following a Pirate corner with little more than five minutes left in the half. Center managed one decent scoring attempt as the half waned, but Pirate keeper Mike Schmidt smothered the shot.

A Pirate drive went over the net as the half came to an end.

The second half remained Pagosa's match, with Ortiz nailing a cross from Kevin Blue to finish the scoring in what could easily have been a 6-0 final.

"We played real aggressive against Center," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "Center plays a physical game and we kept our heads. They try to get you angry and we did pretty well."

The Vikings managed to cause one slipup, goading Pirate forward Blue into his second yellow card of the match near game's end, earning the Pirate a red card, an ejection and denial of the right to play against Telluride Saturday - a loss that would hurt the Pirates in their match against the Miners.

"We did well against Center," said the coach. "Shon scored. We got the goal from Muirhead and one from Chavolo when he scored off a cross from Blue. We needed the win, and we got it."

 

Pirates lose at Centauri, head for final IML match

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was on the line Saturday night at La Jara.

The Intermountain League regular season title.

The Pirates seemed ready to make a run for the bragging rights, fashioning a convincing 25-15 win as the match began.

Then, the ceiling caved in on Pagosa when the Falcons put a solid all-around game into high gear and the Pirates lost their focus. The home team took the match 3-1, with 25-16, 25-13 and 26-24 wins.

In the first game of the match, it seemed the Pirates were going to exhibit the consistency that has eluded them all season - a problem prompted by the loss of two starters to key injuries, and continuing to hamper the team through a rough nonleague schedule against 5A, 4A and state contenders in other classifications.

Centauri forged a 6-3 lead then led 9-8 when Pagosa fought ahead in the game 11-9, courtesy three Falcon errors. Two multi-point runs boosted the Pirates to a 20-12 advantage, a four-point run and a three-point run, each given over as unearned points resulting from Falcon mistakes.

Centauri put three unanswered points on the board, one with a kill inside the Pirate block (a sign of things to come).

With her team ahead 20-15, Pagosa's Caitlin Forrest nailed a 1 to score and take back serve. Forrest then put an ace down and the Falcons committed a hitting error. Kari Beth Faber killed cross-court from the right side then put a blast to the floor, center court, to end the game.

Pirate Coach Andy Rice made numerous substitutions in the first game of the match, getting contributions from junior outside hitter Kim Fulmer, junior middle hitter Alaina Garman and junior defensive specialist Mariah Howell.

The coin flipped in the second game. Centauri's always formidable back court tightened and a combination of quick sets and shoot sets confounded Pagosa blockers. The Falcons wrested the momentum from the Pirates and, with a sizable crowd lending support, cruised to an insurmountable 13-4 lead.

Fulmer came back with a kill from the strong side then combined with Kim Canty for a point on a block. Centauri then got two charity points, one on a net violation - another problem that would thwart the Pirates the remainder of the night.

The Falcons continued to score inside or around the Pirate blocks and took a 21-11 lead. At that point, the Pirates made their only significant run of the game: Forrest put a Falcon overpass down with her left hand; Faber killed three times - two cross-court, one down the line - but the Pirates stopped themselves with a hitting error. Forrest scored the 16th and final point for the Pirates when she nailed a 1 but two Pirate net violations gave up points and a ball dropped untouched at the feet of two Pirates to give up the final point of the game.

The third game was more of the same for both teams. Pagosa failed to get an effective block to the point of attack, and the Falcons continued to move the ball quickly and effectively to hitters. The home team took full advantage of a disjointed Pirate six, going ahead 18-9 and 22-10. Faber got a point on a kill and Fulmer scored twice from outside but two scores on balls falling off the block put the Falcons ahead in the match 2-1.

The fourth and final game of the evening was a contest once again. Pagosa scored first when Danielle Spencer hit a 1. With her team down 3-1, Emily Buikema put a quick set to the floor to close the gap.

But, the Pirates couldn't deal with the shoot set and the Falcons used it to their advantage again, hitting successfully off the Pirate block.

Forrest ran a slide and scored down the line, then converted a quick set from Canty. The Pirates trailed 6-5.

Centauri put four unanswered points on the board - one on a Pirate hitting error, one with a tip, two on ace serves.

Pagosa responded with a four-point run. A Falcon hit went out, Buikema crushed a quick, Fulmer killed cross-court then hit inside the Falcon block.

Centauri answered with an unblocked hit of a quick set in the middle then committed a serve error to surrender a point.

Iris Frye aced a soft serve to tie the game 12-12, but an errant Pirate pass was put to the floor by the Falcon middle hitter.

The teams continued to exchange the lead. Faber killed and Forrest scored on a tip. Two Pirate errors put the Falcons back in the lead,

Forest tied the game with a kill but a Pirate serve error gave it back. The Falcons committed a net violation and the game was tied.

A Falcon shoot set went outside and the hitter was not blocked. The Pirates committed a passing error: Centauri 18, Pagosa 16.

Forrest scored with a kill from the middle; the Falcons hit a ball out. Game tied.

Centauri scored with an unblocked hit, Jennifer Haynes tipped a missed quick set for a point. Buikema scored from the right side and the Pirates were ahead 20-19

Not for long. A Pirate attack went out and the game was knotted at 20-20. A Falcon miscue in the back court gave the Pirates a lead heading into the crucial end game, but they could not capitalize.

A net violation gave the Falcons the tie, a passing error gave Centauri the lead. The Falcons converted a quick attack in the middle to go ahead 23-21.

Faber halted the home team, stuffing a Falcon overpass. Centauri committed a hitting error and the game was tied 23-23.

The Falcons scored next, with a kill off the block but Faber replied with a blast from outside.

Then, a call, and a missing call, that will be argued by Pagosa fans. A tough serve went to the Falcons back row and appeared to roll up the arms of the defender into her chest. No call on the lift. Then, a call on Pagosa for a lift argued by Pagosa players and coaches. Point Centauri.

The game ended with a Pirate hitting error.

Centauri had earned the league title and the Pirates would be looking to battle for a second-place seed at the upcoming district tournament.

Rice gave credit to Centauri for an important win. "They have excellent defense and passing," he said of the Falcons. "What they do well is, even when they don't get the good pass, they get good swings on the ball. And, their experience and savvy showed. They didn't get rattled when we beat them in that first game. They ran the slide as well or better than any team we've seen and caught us in some bad matchups."

Regarding his team, Rice noted: "we need to put it down. We came out prepared to play focused, but we didn't close. Mariah Howell played very well for us against Centauri. She's out there hustling, and she's talking. Caitlin (Forrest) stepped up in this match. She was in on 18 blocks, had five solos and had 12 kills, and that is a formidable performance."

The Pirates are now facing a final IML match Saturday, at Bayfield. A win against the wolverines in what is always a difficult environment, would put the Pirates in sold second place going into the Oct. 28-29 district tourney in Monte Vista.

Summary

Kills: Faber 13, Forrest 12, Fulmer 7

Assists: Canty 32

Ace serves: Garman, Forrest, Frye 1 each

Solo blocks: Forrest 5

Digs: Frye 15, Faber 12, Canty 11

 

Pirates beat Monte Vista 3-0 for fifth IML win

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

A 3-0 victory over Monte Vista Oct. 14 boosted the Pirate volleyball team's Intermountain League record to 5-1, keeping the team within striking distance of league leader Centauri.

Two of the games in the match at the PSHS gym were close, with the visitors from the Valley entering the contest 2-3 in league competition.

The Pirates had a comfortable edge in the first game, leading 24-20 but, with only one point needed for the win, gave away three consecutive scores with passing and hitting errors. Kari Beth Faber provided the win for the home team. The senior outside hitter put a ball to the floor to finish the struggle. It would be one of her team-leading 11 kills.

In the second game, the Pirates played as fans expected, ripping off an insurmountable 15-3 lead.

Monte got on the board first on a Pirate passing error, then the show began.

Emily Buikema killed from the left side and Faber scored off the Monte Block. A Pirate receive error surrendered a second point to the visitors.

Buikema scored and took back serve. Mariah Howell went to the serve line for Pagosa and stayed for 10 points. The junior hit two aces in the run. She was joined in the scoring column by Buikema, with a hit inside the block and by Faber with a stuff of a Monte overpass and a wicked kill down the line. Buikema and Caitlin Forrest contributed a point with a block of a Monte hitter.

Monte managed a point but Faber responded and Forest tipped a short set to the floor.

Monte's points thereafter all came courtesy Pagosa unforced errors. Pagosa got earned points on an ace off the tape by Faber, a kill on a 1 by Forrest, a solo block by Jennifer Haynes, a kill of a short set by Buikema and a 1 by Haynes. Pagosa 25, Monte 13.

The Pirates seemed to be in control of the third game of the match after struggling to keep up with Monte in the early going.

With the score tied 10-10, Monte gave up a point on a serve out of bounds and on an ace by Alaina Garman. Another point went to the home team on a hitting error and Garman served up a second ace.

Coach Andy Rice substituted freely in the game, bringing Pirate swing players off the bench, giving them a shot at proving their worth in a varsity contest. Faber tipped for a point and Monte surrendered two more scores with mistakes. Pagosa led 18-11 and seemed on the way to an easy victory.

That is, before a rash of unforced errors, limp execution, the disappearance of focus and a spate of poor passes allowed Monte back into the game. The momentum turned entirely and the visitors took advantage of a nonexistent Pirate block to tie the game at 20-20, then go ahead 24-20 to hang on the edge of a thrilling comeback win.

Then, a Monte serve went out. Buikema nailed a quick set to the right side and a Monte attack went out of bounds.

New game: 24-24

A Pirate stuff block by Lindsey Mackey and Kim Canty led to a call on the lift against Monte. The set then went up from Canty to the outside; Faber fired a cannon blast cross-court to salvage the 26-24 win and end the match.

"We let them hang around," said Pirate Coach Andy Rice of Monte Vista. "But, we got the job done. We played everybody, trying to save legs for the Centauri match. Our swing players did well. Two of the games were close, and we kept giving it to them. Kari Beth stepped up for us. She's learning to deceive the blockers better and she's able to turn and put the ball line. She did an excellent job. And Mariah Howell played well. She destroyed them with the deep serve in the second game."

Summary

Kills: Faber 11, Buikema 10

Assists: Canty 28

Ace serves: Garman and Howell 2 each

Solo blocks: Faber 2, Haynes 1

Digs: Faber 9, Frye 4

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Take right approach to youth strength training

By Myles Gabel

SUN Columnist

I wrote in this space a couple of months ago concerning the use of steroids in today's youth sports society and how detrimental this was to a young athlete's health. As was stated in the previous article, using drugs to build a more muscular frame is a terrible mistake. But there's nothing wrong with active youngsters trying to increase their strength, because they can do so in healthy ways. Here's how.

According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, "Most people used to believe that kids shouldn't lift weights until they were at least 16 or 17. Any younger than that, the thinking went, and they could seriously damage their developing bodies. Some even thought lifting could stunt a youngster's growth. But times have changed. Fitness coaches and pediatricians now generally agree that children ages 12-14 can start working with weights." Dr. Michael Axe, author of "Weight Training: Designing a Program for Children and Adolescents," stated his three kids all started at this age. "The point of importance is that they're mature enough to know how to do it safely," Axe said. "And the equipment has to be the size for young children."

Parents also must make sure the youngsters aren't lifting on their own. "Young adults should lift weights only under the strict supervision of a qualified trainer," said Greg Brittenham, a New York Knicks assistant coach who directs the team's training and conditioning. "And make sure your child's doctor is aware of it."

The value of training with weights extends beyond the obvious. Along with building muscle, when done correctly and using a full range of motion, it can also improve bone structure and density and help develop a youngster's flexibility, exposing another old myth - that lifting weights has the opposite effect.

Brittenham and others in his field advocate a more functional approach to strength training for kids. Introduce them first to basic exercises that have little or no weight. The emphasis must be on using proper technique. As they get older, the weights can gradually get heavier and the number of different activities can increase. "I like a youngster to develop a strong foundation for his or her body, and a good, solid program to do that includes working with medicine balls, stability balls, balance boards and so on," Brittenham said.

He recommended that kids do at most three sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise. They shouldn't lift more than three times a week, and they should never sacrifice technique for additional reps or weight. For safety reasons, Brittenham also discourages youngsters from lifting any weights over their heads or faces or any other lifting that unnecessarily strains their spines (for example, bench presses and shoulder presses).

According to Cedric Bryant, the vice president of educational services at the American Council on Exercise, kids ages 11-13 can begin doing some of the more traditional strength training exercises, "really keeping the resistance loads light." "When they hit about 14 or 15, you can start to think more in terms of some developmental-type resistance training programs. Then when they're 16 or older, they can move to entry-level adult programs."

And what can parents tell the skinny teenager who weight trains all summer but is disappointed in the fall when he doesn't see bulging biceps? Just tell your youngster to relax. Just because they don't immediately see the results of strength training doesn't mean it's not working. But don't worry - you are getting stronger, you are doing it the right way and that's what counts in the end.

Passing league football

Anyone interested in playing in a passing league football tournament in late October/early November should call the recreation office immediately. The one-day tournament will feature six-person teams, so get your group together as soon as possible and call to reserve a spot for your team.

Youth basketball

Youth basketball continues this month. The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is sending out registration forms for all ages through the schools in October. Our 7/8 youth basketball will begin in late October and continue through early December. The 9/10 and 11/12 basketball will begin in early-January. We need coaches and sponsors for this exciting league, so begin thinking about how you can help with this great league.

Adult volleyball

We have had great turnouts for our open volleyball nights. Anyone who is still interested in playing coed adult indoor volleyball should come to the community center gymnasium Wednesdays at 7 p.m. We will continue open play for all skill levels and will discuss the formation of a volleyball league.

Basketball referees

If you have a background in basketball as a player or coach, we need you. The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is hiring referees for the 2005/2006 youth basketball season. High School students and adults are welcome and training is provided. Pay is $10-$25, depending on experience, certification and the level of games you officiate. Contact the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department at 264-4151 Ext. 232, if interested.

Sports Hotline

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

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

 

Editorial

We must make it better

Of late, we have noticed a sticker adorning the bumpers of a num-ber of local vehicles. Being fans of bumper sticker philosophy, we are intrigued by this new entry. It reads, in effect, "Keep Pagosa Pagosa." It leads us again to consider a familiar topic, one we will not fail to visit, given the opportunity: growth, development and change, and their management.

We ask what this sticker message means. First, we realize there is a simple and sweetly sentimental meaning to the message. Namely, keep things the same, keep things the way we knew it when. And there, the door opens.

Keep Pagosa and environs the same as what?

When the question is entertained, the ambiguity, and the uninformed nature of the sentiment emerge.

Keep Pagosa the same as it was when the Utes and Navajo roamed the area, prior to the arrival of Europeans? Or the same as when the Army built Fort Lewis here?

Keep it the same as it was when sheepherders and cattlemen roamed the range?

Perhaps keep it the same as it was when the timber companies dominated the landscape, the mills and trains running constantly?

Which Pagosa will it be?

Perhaps it is the Pagosa that existed when one arrived here - by birth or by auto. Is it the now personalized and partly fictional Pagosa, buffed by memory, shaped by intention? How can one avoid the stark truth that the Pagosa that existed when one arrived was changed, if only imperceptibly, by the arrival?

Perhaps keeping Pagosa Pagosa means retaining the atmosphere and spirit that reigned in the '70s when large ranch properties began to be subdivided, when roads, streets and cul de sacs replaced grazing land. Given the number of years a person has spent here - since approximately half of county residents have been here less than 10 years - Pagosa means 35-acre ranchettes, suitable for raising prairie dogs and skunks. Perhaps it means horse properties and massive houses built on ridgelines; perhaps it is an area with a burgeoning population that relies on growth as an economic engine, on home construction, a migrant retirement community with extreme demands, on tourism and a commercial community that adapts to suit the needs of so many new arrivals. This too, is Pagosa, after all.

A Pagosa we cannot "keep."

There are those of us here who are third, fourth and fifth generation Coloradans who have always wanted Colorado to stay Colorado. Thus, we understand all too well the futility of hoping that things remain "the same."

The bottom line: Pagosa has never been the idealized entity that flowers in the minds of some residents. It has always changed into a new Pagosa, a place defined by new people, new interests, new requirements.

The task is not to "Keep Pagosa Pagosa." The problem that faces us is to manage the Pagosa that will be, as best we can. And the only way to do that is to jump into the mix, to participate in the political process that drives the engine of change, that develops the ordinances and rules and requirements that shape this community's future. Nothing is to be gained with poorly focused sentiment.

The sweet, but powerless sentiment that yearns to retain an illusion ignores the fact this county does not have effective land use regulations, that design requirements in town and out need amplification, that development must pay its own way. The trick is to participate in the ongoing, often frustrating processes that produce and identify community values and to create political decisions that best serve the greater good.

We can't keep Pagosa Pagosa. We must make Pagosa a better Pagosa.

Karl Isberg

 

Pacing Pagosa

Fact interpretation differs

By Richard Walter

SUN Columnist

"He climbed higher and higher until he felt his lungs would burst."

That simple sentence was a high school eye-opener for me and one people might want to think about when viewing the news today.

The sentence was an assignment. Gladys Styduhar wrote it on the board for a journalism class when I was a junior.

Each student in the class of 22 was to write a story based on that quote. A story of 500 words or less.

It was just one of many such writing assignments in her class, but one which produced 22 different final articles.

Not one of us developed the same evolution of thought based on the "facts" in the sentence.

Stories ranged from the tale of an air force pilot striving for higher altitude to escape an enemy gunner, to that of a house painter working on the tallest structure he'd ever seen.

The point is that given the same basic "facts" at least 22 people had totally different interpretations of what did, or could have, happened. That's the point - 22 or even 220 persons attending the same meeting or hearing the same "facts" can come up with totally different interpretations.

That makes the newsman or newswoman's attempt to accurately describe what happened even tougher. They need to analyze, interpret, question and then write coherently what they understand to have happened.

Those on either side of a contentious issue which is the subject of public scrutiny will have their own interpretations of what happened and often they will disagree with the news coverage. It reminds one of the old Sgt. Friday line, "Give us the facts ma'am, just the facts."

Even a fact can have different interpretations, depending on your understanding of the word. The Merriam Webster desktop dictionary, for example, gives the word three definitions: 1) the quality of being actual; 2) something that exists or occurs; or 3) a piece of information.

In the classroom exercise, Pagosa Springs High School circa 1951, the latter definition applied. We got a piece of information and were told to run with it.

But what if it hadn't been all of the base quote? What if, perhaps, the quote had continued " ... and then he awoke from the dream and realized the threat had been unreal."

What would have happened? Twenty-two stories would have had a different twist to deal with. Many would have had a different ending.

But the basic "facts" would not change.

The meat of the story will stay the same no matter who is interpreting the "facts" presented. It is only in the telling that the trail of fact to conclusion is amended depending on the one telling the story.

Do not, therefore, kill the goose which delivers the egg. The story is written with skill, based on the "facts" available at the time - one person's understanding of those facts.

What was my ending for the original quote? It told of an elk running from a trio of hunters, climbing as high as it could in the deep snow, still hearing the crush of the hunters behind - and then, cresting the hill and finding a familiar trail to escape, wary but wiser.

 

Legacies
90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 22, 1915

A world of grief is being laid up for a few of the speed maniacs who, unmuzzled, continually persist in running amuck within the slow limits of the town.

A move right in line with the excellent work being done by Town Marshal Thayer would be a thorough inspection of all the flues in town to locate the defective ones.

Dr. Cora Parmelee returned on Tuesday from Denver, where she attended to business matters connected with her profession osteopathy.

There is reported to be a forest fire burning somewhere out near the Dowell ranch.

Al Bayles is temporarily tangled up with a mixture of rheumatism and crutches.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 17, 1930

L.J. Goodman returned home Friday from St. Louis, where he went on business for the Goodman store and where, incidentally, he attended two of the baseball games of the world's series.

George Alley and Kenneth Day properly observed the open deer season by returning home early Monday morning with a fine buck, killed the afternoon before on Middle Fork of the upper Piedra. A short time before sighting the deer they had shot at a large bear that came upon them while they were resting. It was while in pursuit of the bear, which they thought wounded, that the lone buck came across their trail and was bagged. It is also reported that Carl Ecklor succeeded in killing a deer on West Fork Sunday, but we have heard of no further kills.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 20, 1955

Big game season opened here this morning with a large number of hunters, local and out of state, in the hills. It is exceedingly dry and fire hazards are great. This will tend to make hunting a little more difficult as the game animals will be staying high and the brush is so dry that hunters can be easily heard by the deer and elk.

At a meeting of the County Health and Safety council last Thursday night the matter of sanitary sewers for the town was discussed and films were shown on sewer systems. Members of the town board also attended the meeting to hear the discussion. Mayor Morehart gave some of the cost figures on such a system and explained both the need for such a system and the problems of getting such a system.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 23, 1980

More than 30 inches of new snow fell on Wolf Creek Pass and all high mountains are now snow capped. This storm may indicate that an early winter is ahead, and that more snow can be expected.

Road construction within new subdivisions, and on county roads, was one of the main topics of the county planning commission meeting Monday night. Recently the planning commission started requiring that subdividers and developers construct roads to county standards that go through subdivisions to adjacent property. However, the term, "When required" was used and this has created some problems in that it is difficult for the county to insure that these roads will be built some years down the road.

 

Features

Young Pagosan to compete in national rodeo event

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Tyreese Tyndall holds the video camera and his eyes are riveted to the small playback screen.

The scene depicts a placid rodeo arena about to be violently shattered by a bull and rider erupting from the chute.

The seconds tick by and, suddenly, the bull explodes from behind the gate. Shrouded in a cloud of dust, the animal twists and turns like a cyclone in an attempt to throw the rider. The rider is dwarfed by the bull's girth, but appears glued solidly to the animal's back. Tyreese traces the bull's passage across the screen with his finger and analyzes every aspect of the rider's technique like a football coach watching a team training video. Tyndall is the rider and he is blunt and critical of his performance.

"See that? My hand is too high," and he shakes his head in dismay.

"Watch. See the bull? See his head? He's looking one way and I'm looking the other." Bad form, Tyndall says.

The error proves critical, and in the video, Tyndall flies off the animal, landing in a heap amidst 800 pounds of angry bovine flesh, churning hooves and rodeo dust.

"I was watching my shadow," he says matter-of-factly and closes the screen with a click - end of analysis. It's time to go out and play.

These are the two faces of 9-year-old Tyreese Tyndall. During the week, he is a regular, baggy-pants-wearing, skateboarding third-grader at Pagosa Springs Elementary School who likes to play outside after school with his friends. On the weekend that all changes, and he is transformed into a chaps-wearing, bull-riding rodeo champion — a champion on his way to the Junior Bull Riding Association nationals in Shawnee, Okla. on Nov. 9.

His grandmother, Pat Sheppard, and his coach and uncle, Steve Tyndall, describe the rodeo Tyreese as intense.

"When he's behind those chutes and hears the roar of the crowd, he changes into a very serious kid," Sheppard said. "He doesn't consider himself a cowboy; he's a rider and it's business. And I'll tell you from the get-go, he won't wear Wranglers at school."

Judging by a wall in Tyreese's home dedicated to his rodeo achievements, it appears that his intense, businesslike approach has paid off.

The wall resembles a shrine and is papered with glossy photographs from rodeo competitions around the region. In the center stands 4-foot wide shelving traveling the eight feet between the floor and ceiling. The shelves are packed with award buckles and trophies, with six of the buckles and three of the trophies won during this year alone. And it is these awards, including the recently won, New Mexico State Junior Bull Riding Association championship buckle, that have helped pave the way to the upcoming national competition.

On each side, near the bottom of the shelves, hangs a pair of retired chaps. One pair, made from reddish-brown suede, are from his days as mutton buster. On them hangs a heart-shaped locket that holds a picture of his mother-- - for good luck.

It's those chaps that mark the beginning of Tyreese's rodeo career.

Sheppard said Tyreese got his start in Pagosa Springs at age three, when they took him to a Bad Moon Rodeo and put him on a sheep during the mutton busting event.

"He got on with tennis shoes, a T-shirt and no safety equipment, and we've been rodeoin' ever since," Sheppard said.

Both his uncle and grandmother said Tyreese was a natural and seemed suited to riding almost since the beginning.

"When he was little enough to start walking, he was riding the arms off my couch," said Sheppard.

Tyndall said after the first mutton busting event, they never had to push Tyreese to ride. He said his nephew took to it because he loved to ride and compete.

Within a year Tyndall said, Tyreese had set a new standard in Pagosa Springs by being the first mutton buster to ride one handed and he continued mutton busting at the Bad Moon Rodeo events until age 7.

Following mutton busting, Tyreese stepped up to calf riding and ultimately garnered 11 consecutive wins and numerous buckles, trophies, jackets and a small stash of prize money along the way.

With experience under his belt and a new pair of chaps, bought with money saved from his winnings, Tyreese had entered a new age division and developed a new hunger for competition, but at that time, regular local rodeo opportunities had become scarce.

Eventually the Bad Moon Rodeo events petered out altogether and Tyreese and Tyndall traveled to rodeos in New Mexico and on the Navajo Reservation and ultimately joined the New Mexico Junior Bull Rider's Association.

Sheppard said those events were tough and the Navajo kids were fierce competitors.

She and Tyndall said Tyreese learned much about sportsmanship on those trips and learned also about taking a fall and getting back up and doing it again.

After two years on calves, Tyreese made another important transition. At age nine, he became eligible to ride not just calves, but steers and pee-wee bulls.

The term "pee-wee bull" sounds like a misnomer. And in fact, the beasts weigh in at 800 to 900 pounds. Tyreese, by comparison, is tiny.

"He weighs 62 pounds soaking wet," Sheppard said.

But despite the disparity between boy and beast, Tyreese said he isn't afraid to ride, although he remembers his first bull ride vividly.

"I got the wind knocked out of me and flew about 50 feet in the air. I thought I was gonna get stepped on," Tyreese said.

Add being kicked in the chest so hard it tore his padded, cordura safety vest, add being dragged against a steel corral fence while stuck on a rampaging bull, and Tyreese truly understands the dangers and the thrill of the ride.

Ultimately, it was this passion that compelled him and his uncle to travel to Moriarity, N.M. for the state junior bull riding finals.

"He was craving a rodeo," Sheppard said.

Tyndall said that it was as simple as that. He explained that he and Tyreese went to the competition more for the sake and fun of competing rather than with the intention of taking home a state title. Events turned out differently, Tyreese rode hard, and ultimately took the state's championship buckle for calf riding.

Following the win, the New Mexico State Junior Bull Riding Association asked Tyreese to represent New Mexico as a calf rider at the national event in Oklahoma.

How could a nine-year-old with his sights set on winning the Professional Bull Riding Association world championship by age 18 resist? He couldn't. It was the opportunity he needed to push his career up another notch. In the end, the deal was struck, he counted his stash of prize money and now he is preparing to go.

With the national competition just a few weeks away, Tyndall and Tyreese have been watching the videos, discussing technique and checking gear. Ample time is also being made to play.

Tyndall said Tyreese is thorough, methodical and focused in his approach, both before the event and when he's in the chute on the back of a bull.

"He's so calm, he blows me away," Tyndall said.

And it's Tyreese's skill and temperament that makes Tyndall think his nephew can compete and excel on a national level.

"I firmly believe in my heart he can win nationals," Tyndall said.

Whether Tyreese will win the national calf riding buckle, no one can tell. But all along on his rodeo journey, win or lose, there have been a few themes that have remained the same: the thrill of competition, the hunger for the roar of the crowd and a passion for the ride.

And although the bond between Tyndall and Tyreese travels far beyond the rodeo arena, it is this passion for rodeo that started it all, and it is this same passion that underscores and binds their relationship today.

"We took him for the love of the rodeo and now he's on his way," Tyndall said.

 

Chad's tale: A Katrina dog finds foster care, and his family

By Maggi Dix-Caruso

Special to The SUN

There had been a call for help so, like many others, I arrived at the La Plata County Airport.

We had been told to go to the old section where the cargo planes unload. I could tell by the sound coming from the hangar that I was at the right place.

The room was filled with doctors and their assistants carefully evaluating and treating the frightened patients. Volunteers tried to calm the anxious crowd that had traveled so far to find refuge having survived one of nature's most devastating natural disasters. All were victims of Hurricane Katrina.

A volunteer led me to a cage where a terrier/chow mix sat looking rather bewildered as his eyes searched the sea of faces for a glimmer of familiarity. I spoke to him and he seemed pleased to hear a kind voice offering the prospect of freedom. I signed the foster care paperwork and took him home.

He looked like a character from a Disney movie and had obviously been well cared for. At first, he was very excited, glad to be out of a cage and with someone who would talk to him and scratch his tummy. He tried to bark but the only noise that came out was an almost inaudible squeak. I assumed he had been surgically de-barked until a few days later when his voice gradually began to reappear. Somewhere in his ordeal he had developed a serious case of laryngitis.

As each day passed, he became more comfortable with his new home. I was concerned that he might run away so I carried bits of hot dog in my pocket to reward him for coming when I called. I didn't know his name but he soon learned that "come 'ere boy" was his cue for a treat and that it paid to stay close by, just in case.

Soon I was able to allow him to occasionally run free. He quickly learned that he was not allowed to chase the chickens and that it was a really bad idea to run between the legs of the horses.

His favorite toy was Scooter, the kitten. I was concerned that his good-natured mauling would hurt the little cat. Every time I rescued Scooter from the pup's slobbery grip the cat would run back to his new friend for more. The pup seemed to think Scooter was his very own animated, fuzzy chew toy, and Scooter didn't seem to mind.

Sassy, my typically jealous, wire-haired fox terrier, accepted this addition to our menagerie with unexpected grace. She seemed satisfied with the knowledge that she got to stay inside while he remained confined to the courtyard.

He soon relaxed and grew accustomed to his new surroundings and my silly rules. I reminded him daily that his family was out there somewhere, and I was sure they would find him. I couldn't imagine how he must have felt; first, his home was destroyed, and then his family, who obviously loved him very much, left him behind.

Just two short weeks after he came home with me, I got the call.

They had found his family and his name was Chad. Of course, I went right outside and said "Come 'ere Chad." His ears perked up and he came running, tail wagging. I could swear he even had a smile on his face.

I got the phone number and permission to call his owners, Charles and Wanda, who now live in an apartment in Houston, Texas. I wanted to personally tell them that their sweet Chad was with me, that he was okay and would soon be on his way home.

Charles told me that, when the storm hit, he and Chad stayed behind to guard their house from looters. They sat together on the porch and watched the rising water. Then, as the floodgates opened and the water continued to rise, Charles had to evacuate. Charles had no car and he had to leave his friend behind. Not knowing how long he would be gone, he left Chad shut up in a back bedroom with plenty of food and water. Then the second storm hit. When Charles was finally allowed back into his house to gather up some clothes and valuables, he fully expected to find their beloved pet dead. Instead he found that Chad was gone and in his place was a note posted on the wall with Chad's identification code and a phone number to call for information on his whereabouts. A couple of phone calls later they were surprised to find their lost boy in Pagosa Springs.

Wanda told me that Chad was 4 1/2 years old. She'd had him since he was a tiny puppy and she used to carry him around in her pocket. A groomer came to their house every two weeks to bathe, trim and brush him and he slept on his own Disney comforter at the foot of her bed.

Charles and Wanda are retired, with two grown daughters and five grandchildren - all living in Texas. They are currently waiting on the insurance settlement for the flood damage to their home and intend to sell what's left of it.

They and Chad have no intention of ever moving back to New Orleans.

Good luck, Chad. We miss you.

 

State Rep. Lundberg visits Pagosa

State Rep. Kevin Lundberg will be in Pagosa Springs Sunday, Oct. 30. The public is invited to attend a 5 p.m. meeting in the South Conference Room of the community center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

Lundberg will discuss HearthFund.org, which helps those candidates who "defend the interests of the homeschooling and Christian community." Attendees can also meet Ron Tate, a candidate for the District 59 seat state House seat (which has no incumbent for 2006).

The meeting will focus on good government and good citizenship. For more information, call Mick Abraham at 731-4675.

 

Boot Camp set for dads

A Boot Camp for New Dads workshop is scheduled in Durango 9 a.m.-noon, Oct. 29. Fathers expecting a baby in the next six months and fathers with infants 1-6 months of age are invited.

This program uses a man-to-man training approach for new dads to learn skills and gain insights that prepare them for the challenges of fatherhood. Registration deadline is Oct. 27.

For additional information, or to register, contact Tecumseh Burnett, Tri County Head Start and Quality Early Childhood Programs (970) 247-5960, Ext. 13

Pagosa's Past

McCauley describes early-day Pagosa

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Springs was the center of attention for military minds such as Gen. William T. Sherman, and generals Sheridan and Pope during the latter part of the 1870s when Colorado Utes threatened an uprising.

Colorado had become a state in 1876. By that time, prospectors searching for the next gold field pressed deep into the San Juan Mountains. In the process they trammeled what was left of huge Ute land holdings in western and southwestern Colorado.

The Utes, understandably, were ready to fight back.

In a move to dampen tensions in the San Juan Basin, the Army built a fort in Pagosa Springs.

Prior to and during the first stages of building, the area was visited by Army engineer Lt. C.A.H. McCauley. McCauley left us a wonderfully detailed description of the area, including a description of the great hot springs and how they were used. We continue with excerpts from McCauley's report.

"Around the eastern edge of the water (Fig. 8) are a number of holes or cavities in the honey-combed rock, which in their laudable ambition, have served the Red-men as bathing houses. Those marked a in Fig. 8 are circular and separated from the main spring by a partition, rising almost to the surface. With mud or sod, the water is dammed and allowed to cool in these holes to a temperature sufficiently low for use. That at the southern end of the spring (marked c, Fig. 8), is a point of escape for hot vapor, and has been used as a 'sweat-hole,' the Indians crouching within and covering themselves with a blanket above, exemplifying the Turkish bath of the untutored savage, enjoyed without expense."

A number of springs surround the main spring were described by McCauley including "the most eastern outlet of the main spring, issuing forth at the base of the cliff or edge of the plain, here 15 feet above the water's level. Having been dammed for bathing purposes, the water has backed up, being 10 feet wide and 6 inches deep for some distance, the outflow over the dam being a little less than a foot wide and 2 inches deep. At the point of exit from the cliff in the bath-house, midway between the exit and the river, the temperature of the water, constantly running, was 115 degrees Fahrenheit."

Another spring identified as No. 17, some distance southwest of the main spring, was described as deep enough in several places for bathing, "it was in former times a favorite resort and frequently utilized by visiting Indians."

As more white people settled in the area, their custom was to erect a small bath house to provide some privacy from unwanted views. A tub within the bathhouse was filled by bucket with water from the main spring and allowed to cool from the 144 degree natural temperature to a cooler temperature suitable to the sensitivities of the human body.

In those first years, the main hot spring was treated as a public pool available to anyone. Later, the springs passed into private hands and their use was restricted to paying customers.

Next week we will report McCauley's description of the work of building Fort Lewis.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Weekend meteor viewing could be difficult

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The moon is waxing gibbous tonight, and according to data from the United States Naval Observatory, about 88 percent of its visible disk will be illuminated.

Full or nearly full moons often prove problematic for effective sky watching, and unfortunately, the size and position of this weekend's moon could make viewing the Orionid meteor shower difficult at best.

The shower will be at its peak in the pre-dawn hours Friday morning. But unfortunately, the moon will also be burning bold and bright near same part of sky that could provide some of the best views of the show.

Despite the presence of the moon, sky watchers should still be able to catch glimpses of a few Orionids streaking across the sky. This is because Orionids, although not particularly prolific, often burn through the atmosphere with long, glowing incandescent trails. What they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality and their fantastic tails are hard to miss.

The reason for their showy trajectory is that the Orionids typically slam into the earth's atmosphere at about 148,000 miles per hour. Even though individual Orionids are often barely larger than a grain of sand, it is their profound speed that makes them some of the fastest moving and most visually stunning of all meteor showers to watch. Some even look like tiny comets as they race across the sky. This would be appropriate because, in fact, astronomers believe the Orionids are bits of ice and debris shed from Halley's Comet.

Halley's Comet travels vast distances on a long elliptical orbit, well past Saturn and into the far reaches of our solar system. As it hurtles through space, it sloughs off ice and debris, leaving a trail of potential Orionids lingering in space.

In 1986, on its most recent pass by the sun, astronomers estimated as much as six meters of dust-laden ice was evaporated from the comet's nucleus. Although the ice is gone, the dust remains and eventually becomes the stuff of future Orionid meteor showers. This process repeats itself every 76 years as it has for millennia.

With the comet's regular and predictable sloughing off of ice and debris, there is plenty of fodder for the Orionid meteor shower, which is also regular and predictable in itself. That predictability is due to the fact that the comet's debris trail remains essentially in the same part of space, and as the earth makes its orbit around the sun, it passes through this debris trail. This passage occurs twice a year and thus, earth enjoys two Halley-born meteor showers. The first shower, known as the eta Aquarids, occurs in May. The second, the Orionids, occurs in October.

In order to see this October's Orionids, it will be best, despite the moon, to begin sky watching after midnight tonight, or just before dawn Friday morning. Some experienced observers say the best shows often occur an hour or so before sunrise.

The Orionids, as is the case with all meteor showers, are named for the constellation that appears to be their source. In this case, the shower's source, called the radiant, lies near the left shoulder of the hunter depicted in the constellation Orion.

While observing, it is best not to look directly at the radiant. When facing the radiant, the meteors will be approaching head on and their paths will appear short and lackluster. For best views of a meteor with a long burning tail, look about 90 degrees to either side of the radiant. Then, the meteors observed will be travelling horizontally across the sky and sky watchers can enjoy the full effect.

On Oct. 21, at about 4 a.m. Orion will appear almost due south and somewhat low in the sky. The constellation is distinct and marked by three clearly visible stars that appear close together and run horizontally across the sky. These stars mark the hunter's belt. The waning gibbous moon will be above and to the right of the constellation. With the constellation located, simply shift your gaze 90 degrees, essentially due east or west, whichever area seems darker, and enjoy the show.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

10/12

57

28

R

.02

.02

10/13

62

30

-

-

-

10/14

68

30

-

-

-

10/15

60

31

R

.02

.02

10/16

60

39

R

.05

.05

10/17

66

33

R

.01

.01

10/18

64

32

R

.15

.15

Expect typical fall weather during week

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Autumn is definitely here, and the high peaks around Pagosa Springs continue to receive snow.

Nevertheless, rain and sub-freezing temperatures remain the primary weather features of interest here in the valley, as surrounding fall foliage reached its peak colors last weekend.

Since last Wednesday, Oct. 12, the area received a total of .25 inches of rain, with 0.02 inches coming on Wednesday and Saturday, .05 on Sunday, .01 on Monday, and a whopping .15 on Tuesday.

Weeklong temperatures ranged from a low of 27.5 degrees Wednesday morning to a high of 66.4 degrees Sunday afternoon. On the average, daytime highs ranged from the mid 40s to mid 60s, while recorded lows were primarily in the low 30s.

The forecast for the coming week shows typical October weather, with daytime highs in the upper 40s, and nighttime lows hovering around the freezing mark.

Skies should remain clear to partly cloudy for the rest of the week, clearing by Sunday.

Enjoy the calm before the storm. Last year's first measurable snow in Pagosa Springs was recorded on Oct. 22.