Dialogue continues on river restoration project
By James Robinson
A dialogue has begun between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Town of Pagosa Springs as the town seeks approval and a permit from the agency for phase two of its river restoration project.
The dialogue, marked most recently by a conversation between the town's project designer and river consultant, Gary Lacy, and Kara Hellige of the Corps, follows two bouts of heated correspondence between the town and the Corps.
In a letter dated Aug. 26, 2005, following the town's submission of the phase two plan and permit application, the Corps charged the town with violations stemming from work done during phase one of the river restoration project.
Those violations included unlawful removal of a U.S. Geological Survey flow gauge on the San Juan River, and the installation of a U-shaped structure that the Corps contends has increased the flood stage of the river.
In addition to addressing concerns about phase one of the project, the Corps' letter said phase two of the plan lacked sufficient and critical hydrological and biological data for the Corps to support and approve the project as presented.
The town responded to the Corps on Sept. 23, 2005, with a letter of their own, stating that phase two of the project had suffered undue scrutiny, and that the Corps' assertions and concerns were based largely on opinions from biased individuals and not proven science. The town also stated that if scientific data was used by the Corps to develop their conclusions, the town wanted to be privy to those documents.
Although Hellige said her conversation with Lacy was positive and an important step as the town and the Corps work through the approval and permitting process, she said the burden of proof ultimately falls on the applicant.
Following the conversation with Lacy, Hellige said the Corps is drafting a letter to the town which elaborates on the agencies previous requests.
"We're requesting additional information we didn't receive in the Sept. 26 submittal," Hellige said.
That information, Hellige said, pertains largely to hydrologic studies and data related to 100-year flood impacts and bankfull discharge.
"The Army Corps is requesting calculations and hydrographs to support their (the town's) statement that there are no negative effects to the 100-year flood plain," Hellige said.
Hellige said the Corps wants to see the project's overall effect on the river's hydrological regime.
Once the town has received the letter, which should arrive early next week, and has had an opportunity to review its contents, Hellige said all parties concerned can meet to hammer out the issues and to elaborate on how the town can best meet the Corps' most recent requests.
If approved as proposed, phase two would include bank stabilization and the installation of in-stream structures to support expanded recreational opportunities between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the Apache Street bridge. The target start date for construction of the project is December.
County announces policy on private and USFS roads
By James Robinson
As part of its push to fine tune road maintenance policies and department of road and bridge operations, Archuleta County has formally announced it will stop maintaining private roads and will not obtain the necessary permits to undertake snow removal on United States Forest Service roads that were not designed as all-weather roads.
One of the key issues in the decision to halt maintenance on private roads, is that of legality.
Interim County Administrator Bob Jasper said, despite years of informal maintenance agreements between the county and property owners, it is illegal for the county to perform maintenance on private roads.
Jasper said it is a gift of public funds for the county to do so, and likened private road maintenance to having a county crew maintaining a private driveway or mowing a private yard.
The decision to cease private road maintenance will take affect immediately, but Jasper said if all home owners on a private road agree, there is a mechanism that allows the private road to be dedicated to the public. However, Jasper said dedication is not a guarantee the road will be accepted for maintenance.
While legality and jurisdiction are components of the Forest Service road decision, perhaps the crux of the matter lies in the potential for damages and liability should the county maintain a Forest Service road that was not designed for winter use and maintenance.
The Forest Service has said winter plowing and increased winter traffic on these kinds of roads can lead to road bed damage and environmental and safety impacts.
Both agencies acknowledge that snow removal operations have been undertaken by the county without Forest Service authorization for years, yet even with a permit, when a road is plowed that was not designed for winter use or maintenance, and damages occur, the county as the permittee, would ultimately be liable.
With winter fast approaching, the county is urging affected property owners to make arrangements with private contractors for snow removal.
For those on Forest Service roads, property owners must first contact Glenn Raby at the Pagosa Ranger District at (970) 264-1515, or for those on Fosset Gulch Road, Cindy Hockleberg at (970) 884-1418.
The roads subject to the recent decision are as follows.
-Blue Mountain Place
-Rodeo Grounds Drive
-Bear Run Place
Forest Service roads
-FS 613 - Fosset Gulch Road
-FS 629 - Turkey Springs Road
-FS 649 - Burns Canyon Road
-FS 662 - Mill Creek Road, beyond the temporary gate
-FS 666 - Fawn Gulch Road
Clarified directive expected on Forest Service ruling
By Chuck McGuire
Local hunters, firewood gatherers and Christmas tree cutters have apparently been spared the dire consequences of a recent U.S. District Court ruling in eastern California.
The July 2 ruling rendered by Judge James K. Singleton inadvertently caused the suspension of permits for approximately 1,400 National Forest activities nationwide, including certain forms of recreation and the gathering of forest products in and around Archuleta County. The ruling was the result of a 2003 lawsuit levied against the United States Forest Service by Earth Island Institute, the Sierra Club and others.
In the suit, environmentalists represented by Matt Kenna, a Durango lawyer, challenged a USFS decision to allow logging of burned trees in California's Sequoia National Forest without public review. Kenna also argued that the Bush administration violated federal law when it denied public comment on other major Forest Service projects like hazardous-fuels reductions and oil and gas development on thousands of acres of Colorado forest.
The 20-plus page document handed down by Judge Singleton essentially ruled that the Forest Service must allow public comment on all projects, regardless of size. Environmentalists initially viewed it as a major setback to Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative, but the USFS interpreted the judgement as a requirement applicable to even "categorical exclusions," or noncontroversial decisions like hunting, mowing lawns and even painting a ranger station. Accordingly, Forest Service chief Dale Bosworth issued a national directive suspending activities in Colorado's nine national forests and elsewhere.
As a result, hundreds of forest activities were temporarily halted, and permits for those wishing to gather firewood, harvest mushrooms or cut a Christmas tree were suddenly subject to a bureaucratic process inviting a 30-day public comment period and possible appeals.
Following the ruling, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary of National Resources Mark Ray suggested the only good from it might be a lesson for young lawyers pursuing litigation to do so wisely, thus avoiding unintended wide-ranging consequences. The Forest Service has appealed the judge's decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, western lawmakers, including U.S. Reps. Mark Udall (D-Boulder) and John Salazar (D-Manassa), and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) sent a stern letter to Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, demanding an explanation for what U.S. Rep. Udall described as an "overreaction and overreaching" Forest Service directive that lead to a virtual shutdown of thousands of permitted activities.
In a separate letter to the president, U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) accused the Bush administration of advancing its political goals by, "causing maximum disruption to persons and economies that rely on access to the National Forests for noncontroversial activities such as hunting."
The Forest Service, on the other hand, believed it was simply following the letter of the law.
"There is a lot of hyperbole going on," Dan Jiron, national spokesman for the USFS said. "The fact is, the court did not give us the latitude to make a distinction between different types of categorical exclusions."
As the dispute simmered, Kenna filed for clarification of the judge's ruling, and the Forest Service filed for a stay, pending appeal. Last Wednesday (Oct. 19) Judge Singleton addressed both motions.
In respect to Plaintiffs' motion for clarification, the judge explained his interpretation of relevant law and described 11 activities still subject to notice, comment and appeal. Among them are timber sales, prescribed burns, the designation and construction of travel routes for off-highway vehicles, trenching to obtain evidence of mineralization, oil and gas development, and forest thinning. He also stated that the Forest Service need not suspend actions such as state-licensed outfitting or guiding, or the gathering of forest products for personal use.
Judge Singleton deferred ruling on the Forest Service's motion for stay pending appeal until both parties have an opportunity to file further briefing regarding the relative hardships involved in light of the above clarification.
Kenna hailed the judge's clarification as another reprimand of President Bush's forest policies. "We feel this is a complete vindication," he said. "I wish the court had been a little more conversational in scolding the Forest Service, but the judge was straightforward."
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Ray said "We are relieved that Judge Singleton provided a necessary clarification to his earlier orders to make it clear that a limited number of truly inconsequential activities on national forests and grasslands are unaffected."
The Forest Service is now drafting a new directive for distribution to its field offices, that will explain which of the 1,400 suspended activities are not subject to public comment and possible appeal.
Speaking for the Rocky Mountain Region of the USFS, Jim Maxwell said many of the 150 suspended activities in Colorado will be reopened soon. However, he expressed concern over potential delays for prescribed burns and forest-thinning, which could cripple the agency's ability to prevent summer wildfires.
"It's a tidal wave of paperwork," he said. "Someone in New York could comment every time we do a prescribed burn, and then we have to provide 45 more days, and if they appealed it, another 60 more days. That could take you right out of burning season."
Maxwell added, "Activities like Christmas tree cutting and wood cutting should have great hope for this ruling, but I would be going ahead of our national folks who are currently sorting through the ruling to separate the sheep from the goats."
In a phone conversation earlier this week, Jo Bridges, district ranger for the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest said, "While the new directive isn't out yet, we assume things are pretty much back to normal."
Bridges added that those wishing to harvest mushrooms, gather rocks for personal use or pick out their annual Christmas tree could obtain the necessary permits at the Forest Service office at 180 Pagosa St. and confidently venture forth.
Kiwanis Club keeps helping local kids
By Frank Schiro
Special to The SUN
The Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs will once again help give the children of Pagosa a safe place and a safe way to enjoy Halloween. The annual community center Halloween Party will take place Monday, Oct. 31, at the community center from 6 to 8 p.m. The Kiwanis Club of Pagosa will provide free hot dogs, chips and punch.
Kiwanis Club International is dedicated to "serving the children of the world" and the local Pagosa club is no exception. The club's motto and driving passion is "Young Children: Priority One." Throughout the year, the local club sponsors events and holds fund-raisers in Archuleta County committed to this end.
Pagosa Kiwanians will once again demonstrate this commitment by sponsoring the annual Halloween Party at the community center. Children who attend will be treated to fun, games, food and festivity, all in a safe, controlled environment.
Children who attend will enjoy all the traditional Halloween fun, from bobbing for apples to a haunted graveyard. There will be games and prizes, an inflatable bounce house and a maze to entertain Pagosa's little ghouls and goblins.
This is just one small way that the local Kiwanis Club reaches out to the youth of Archuleta County. Throughout the year the club hosts or helps with events targeted at reaching out to young people. The capstone of the year occurs when the Kiwanis Club of Pagosa awards scholarships to graduating high school students that will be attending technical or trade schools.
Stevens field reopening delayed
By John Middendorf
"The best hope is that the airport will open on Friday," said Bob Jasper, Interim County Administrator.
A representative from the FAA has reportedly prohibited the opening until the old fuel tanks near Nick's Hangar are moved from the obstacle free zone, with part of the delay caused from last week's muddy conditions. In addition, Avjet, the Fixed Based Operator, has had some safety issues with the new fuel farm, delaying the transfer of the fuel from the old tanks, according to Jasper.
"The hangar thing slowed us down, too," said Jasper, referring to the legal embroilment that took place earlier this month. The hangar leases have still not been signed. After the resulting conceptual agreement, the legal details were still in the hands of attorneys as of Monday, according to Jasper. On Monday, he said he thought the legal aspects of the hangar leases could be completed by the end of the week.
School district announces delayed schedule, cancellations plans for winter
The most recent storms and the first smattering of snow reminded school district officials of the need to inform parents and the community of the possibility of a delayed schedule or the cancellation of school this winter season.
A delayed schedule will be announced when weather conditions are bad in the morning but there are prospects for better road conditions as the day progresses. School cancellations will take place when there is little or no prospect of improved weather and road conditions.
If school is closed or delayed, announcements will be made between 6-8 a.m. To hear information regarding school closure:
- listen to KWUF 1400 AM or 106.3 FM;
- watch the morning news on WB2, Denver, or 9 News, Denver;
- call the Archuleta School District Transportation Department at 264-2305 for a prerecorded message.
No announcement will be made if school is in session within the normal hours of operation. Make sure your children know what to do and where to go if the school day is canceled or if the scheduled starting time is delayed. Officials ask parents to not bring their children to school until the scheduled time, as teachers will also be on the delayed schedule and will not be available to supervise children.
On the delayed schedule, start times will be:
- High school - 9:50 a.m.
- Junior high school - 9:55 a.m.
- Intermediate school - 10 a.m.
- Elementary school - 10:10 a.m.
Breakfast will not be served on delayed schedule days, but lunch will be served. Students will be dismissed at the normal time and after school activities will be held when the school district is on a delayed schedule, unless otherwise noted in the announcement.
For more information, contact the superintendent's office at 264-2228.
Water district board considers projects, budget issues
By Kate Collins
The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) board of directors met Tuesday, Oct. 25, to discuss issues regarding current projects, those that are forecast for the remainder of 2005 and those beginning in 2006.
Three major PAWS projects are currently underway: the Dutton Ditch pipeline, the Steven's Lake enlargement and an expansion of the PAWSD administration offices.
The Dutton Ditch project is nearly complete, in that only 1,500 more running feet of pipe needs to be laid along Four Mile Road, replacing an open ditch. "As long as the weather holds, they're going to stay on it," said Gregg Mayo, PAWSD project manager. "By the end of next week, it'll be ready to rock 'n' roll." Carrie Campbell, district manager, was leery of making firm projections: "The weather could change things in a heartbeat."
A three- to four-day water pressure test is likely to be conducted on the Dutton Ditch project by the end of next week. Afterwards, clean-up work is set to begin: seeding, grading and land slopes. The U.S. Forest Service has already inspected the diversion structure, which removes water from Four Mile Creek to the new line, and was "very pleased" with what they observed.
The Steven's Lake enlargement project is experiencing a few minor difficulties. "Things are not moving as smoothly as we had hoped," stated Campbell. The board discussed possible actions in executive session, behind closed doors.
PAWSD collected initial bids for the office expansion project in July. Mayo said he considered the bids to be "high side," and minor modifications were made to the plans such as removing a planned access road and seeding, and after a re-bid process, a bid by Hart Construction came in at approximately $217,000.
"It appears to be reasonably competitive, and we've been diligent [regarding costs]," stated Campbell. The motion to accept the bid carried unanimously, and construction could begin as early as next week, or as late as next spring if unreliable autumn weather is uncooperative.
Other items on the agenda included the certification of delinquent accounts, transferred commercial usage in the district, and projected budget issues for the coming year.
There is currently at least $114,000 owed to PAWSD by way of unpaid accounts. The board unanimously accepted the resolution to certify delinquent accounts with the Archuleta County Treasurer for collection. PAWSD undergoes an annual review of its accounts each fall, and processes past due accounts with the county. Overdue bills of $150 or more qualify for county treasurer notification.
In regard to new commercial water usage, Archuleta County airport has requested a transfer of an equivalent unit to its new fixed based operator located at the midfield terminal area site. Campbell suggested a two-year review of the transfer at both sites, "to insure it's still based on one EU." Campbell stated there is "justification to do this." The board agreed the request was reasonable, and although it is reportedly not a typical action, granted the request.
Also on the commercial front, Lynne Bridges, representing the Seeds of Learning Family Center, approached the board requesting that fees be waived for their new facility, still on the drawing board. Seeds of Learning is applying for a community block grant, a federally-based program, and Bridges asked the board if Seeds might "have larger fees waived to show that the whole community is behind us."
The proposed 5,000 square foot Seeds of Learning building, to be located at 7th and Apache streets, would incur a capital investment charge of $5,820, and a connection fee of $825, although after the first of the year fees will likely increase by about 3 percent. ""We can't give you all that you'd like, given the statutes," stated Steve Hartvigsen, vice president of the PAWSD board. Campbell asserted that "legally, the board cannot offer a waiver of fees, but the board can allow for a payment process." Campbell also suggested a transfer of equivalent units, if the board was open to such a proposal. It would "essentially be transferring usage from one site to another," said Campbell.
Bridges explained the Town of Pagosa Springs has suggested creating a park area where the current Seeds of Learning building is located, and bathrooms would probably be included in that plan. Campbell recommended that if the board agreed and the Town of Pagosa Springs is favorable, then a transfer of equivalent units would be the best course of action for both parties. Any additional costs to be paid by Seeds of Learning could be divided into an installment plan.
Campbell will convene with a representative of the Town of Pagosa Springs and develop a course of action and report to the board of directors.
A new PAWSD project on the horizon is the improvement of the Lake Hatcher water treatment facility. The Hatcher Lake water treatment plant will cost an estimated $1.3 million, turnkey, for an addition to the existing building, or perhaps a new building, and chemical feed equipment.
Patrick O'Brien, of Briliam Engineering, explained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is "being incredibly stringent on their [new] testing requirements. We're making sure we're following the letter of the law. We're trying to be a year ahead of the EPA and their requirements." The new Hatcher facility will have the capacity to treat current consumption levels with room to expand as demand rises along with the area's population. According to O'Brien, the $1.3 million is needed to keep the facility compliant, and prepare it for future EPA regulation changes.
"We're not a tiny district anymore," stated Gene Tautges, assistant manager of PAWSD.
"Every testing site has to test on its own. We've budgeted in 2006 for the extra laboratory testing that will be going on. We're only going to get tighter and tighter on this," said Tautges, referring to facility improvements and upkeep to meet state standards. Tautges also explained that PAWSD is utilizing smaller cost saving options including moving the Hatcher intake pipe to the middle of the lake and circulating the water in San Juan River intake pond.
"The older water gets, the more susceptible it is to TTHMs and other issues," said Tautges.
Also projected for the 2006 budget are various tasks PAWSD will undertake in conjunction with Harris Water Engineering, Inc., including extending the current 20-year water plan to extend to 2040, and preparing storage capacity for a minimum of twice the current peak usage. Certain Harris projects were carried over to the next meeting for consideration, when a full board will be present.
Additional monies on the Stevens Lake project, the Hatcher improvements and bond refinancing issues are planned for discussion at the next board meeting.
School district seeks candidates for board appointment
On Oct. 11, the board of directors of Archuleta School District 50 Joint declared a board vacancy in District 4.
The vacancy is a result of Clifford Lucero, current board member, being term-limited and no candidate stepping forward for the current election.
The vacancy will occur on Nov. 1, however Lucero will continue to serve on the board until the new board is seated Nov. 16.
Individuals interested in being considered for appointment to the board of directors for Archuleta School District need to submit a letter of interest by Wednesday, Nov. 2, to the district office at 309 Lewis St., or by mail to:
Superintendent Duane Noggle
Archuleta School District 50 Joint
P.O. Box 1498
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
The letter must address the following:
- Why do you want to be on the board?
- Do you plan on running for the position once your term expires in November 2007?
- What is your philosophy of education as it relates to serving on the board?
To serve on the board, an interested individual must be a resident of District 4. The boundaries of the district are as follows:
Beginning at the junction of U.S. 84 and U.S.. 160, at the east end of Pagosa Springs, the boundary line for Director District 4 shall run south along U.S. 84 to the intersection of CR 119, thence westerly and northerly along CR 119 to the intersection of Apache Street, thence west along Apache Street to the intersection of 5th Street, thence south on 5th St. to the south boundary of the 1883 Town site of Pagosa Springs, thence west along the 1883 Town site of Pagosa Springs to the intersection of 8th Street, thence north on 8th Street to the intersection of Apache Street, thence west on Apache Street to the intersection of CR 500, thence west and south along CR 500 to the intersection of Cascade Avenue, thence west along Cascade Avenue to the intersection of Buttress Avenue, thence north along Buttress Avenue to the intersection of Meadows Drive, thence west and north on Meadows Drive to the intersection of Carino Place, thence west along Carino Place to Pompa Drive, thence north along Pompa Drive to the intersection of Dichoso Street, thence west along Dichoso Street to the intersection of U.S. 160, thence northeast along U.S. 160 to the intersection of Trails Boulevard, thence north along Trails Boulevard to the intersection of Bonanza Ave., thence north along Bonanza Avenue to the intersection of Prospect Boulevard, thence north along Prospect Boulevard to the intersection of Lyn Avenue, thence east along Lyn Avenue to the intersection of Lake Forest Circle, thence east along Lake Forest Circle to the intersection of N. Pagosa Boulevard, thence southerly along N. Pagosa Boulevard to the intersection of U.S. 160, thence east along U.S. 160 to the intersection of Lewis Street, thence northeast along Lewis Street to the intersection of 1st Street, thence south along 1st Street to the intersection of U.S. 160, thence east along U.S. 160 to the beginning point where U.S. 160 intersects with U.S. 84.
The board will conduct interviews with interested candidates at the Nov. 8 board meeting and make a selection once the new board is seated Nov. 16.
For additional information, call the district office at 264-2228.
Voters to decide on Pagosa lodger's tax
By Chuck McGuire
Town voters will decide the fate of Ordinance No. 647 Tuesday, Nov. 1. Commonly known as the "Lodger's Tax," the ordinance, if approved, will increase the total tax on the purchase price of Pagosa Springs short-term lodging from 8.8 percent to 11.8 percent.
Only those paying for overnight lodging for periods less than 30 days will pay the tax, which proponents say, will enhance regional and national awareness of Pagosa Springs, and will improve the local economic base.
Currently, area lodging taxes include a 6.9 percent sales tax, (two percent each to the town and county, and 2.9 percent to the state) and an existing 1.9 percent county lodging tax, which is transferred to the town Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism.
Based on recent lodging tax revenues of approximately $165,000 annually, the proposed three-percent tax, if passed, will generate an additional $294,000 a year, and will be used solely for marketing, capital improvements and special events related to tourism.
The town council will appoint an 11-member Tourism Committee charged with making recommendations on the use of revenues raised by the tax. Committee members will represent the Chamber of Commerce, Lodging Association, Realtors' and Builders' associations, the Community Vision Council, restaurant owners, and merchants.
Subject to voter approval, the lodger's tax would require all lodging accommodations (hotels, motels, lodges, campgrounds, etc.) within town limits to acquire a town business license and begin collecting the tax on January 1, 2006. Collections would continue and be remitted to the town finance director until repealed by ordinance.
Mark Garcia, town manager, said he thinks the lodger's tax is a good idea for Pagosa Springs, but added, "As the community grows and revenues increase over time, it could eventually be repealed and replaced by a special marketing district."
Of course, the establishment of any such district would also have to pass voter approval, but once affirmed, it would manage its own finances and operate independently of local governments.
For now, voters will decide the fate of Ordinance No. 647 at the polls next Tuesday.
Gulf Coast weather hampers local utility construction
La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA) officials announced this week that the co-op is experiencing significant construction delays and increased construction costs due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Most electric system construction materials are being routed to the Gulf Coast to rebuild the systems destroyed by the hurricanes.
LPEA Chief Operating Officer Steve Gregg said, "In most cases, we can't get the materials we need in a timely fashion, because they are all being used to rebuild the Gulf Coast systems. Even when materials are available, shipments are still delayed because our nation's transportation resources are concentrating on the gulf as well. This could add 12-14 weeks to our construction schedules, so if you have a project that will require a service extension in the near future, we recommend that you contact the Engineering Department soon to begin the process."
Gregg added, "The increased demand for materials has caused a line construction materials price increase of up to 30 percent, depending upon the individual material item. This increase is just in line construction material costs, not in electric rates."
LPEA's chief executive officer Greg Munro sends the assurance: "We are working very closely with our material suppliers on a daily basis to keep up with the situation and find solutions to lessen the impact. We expect material delays to be widespread for at least the next 12 months. This does not mean new construction will cease, it will simply take longer than in the recent past."
LPEA was already experiencing delays due to region-wide growth and longer lead times to get materials. Factories are having a difficult time obtaining the raw materials necessary to build the supplies electric utilities need.
The delays will mostly effect new line construction and larger projects. Normal maintenance and small jobs will be supplied from existing inventory. Large jobs have historically been supplied out of inventory as well, but LPEA must now keep inventory levels high enough to be prepared for winter. Snow can be destructive to electric systems; poles and lines can be damaged or destroyed, and plows often damage equipment hidden by snow, so LPEA must keep inventory levels high enough to be prepared for these contingencies.
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.
Grandchamp announces candidacy in sheriff's race
By E.P Reilly
Special to The SUN
Archuleta County Undersheriff Robert "Bob" Grandchamp has announced his candidacy for county sheriff.
Grandchamp is a four-year veteran of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department. As undersheriff, he is the second in command of the 50-person sheriff's department and is responsible for its day-to-day operations.
Grandchamp's law enforcement career covers 34 years. He retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as a sergeant, after 30 years of service. Through his career, where he has received outstanding commendations for valor and leadership, he served in a variety of assignments and at many levels and capacities within the department.
He originally joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department in 1971 as a reserve deputy sheriff, working at the Malibu substation. Prior to graduating the regular academy class as the class Honor Cadet (number one cadet) in 1973, he worked at the Department's Wayside Jail Facility and was then assigned to patrol duties in South Central Los Angeles.
As a deputy, Grandchamp worked assignments in patrol, including field-training officer, detectives, administration; he also served on narcotics task forces and in community relations/crime prevention, vice assignments and SWAT. In addition, he did a tour as an academy drill instructor. In 1979 he worked on the multimillion-dollar Lynwood Regional Justice Center project. Grandchamp was promoted to sergeant in 1989 and again returned to his first love, patrol. As a sergeant, he worked as a field sergeant, watch sergeant, and station watch commander. He commanded deputies in three major civil disturbances (riots) and commanded a team of 10 deputies on a crime impact team.
Grandchamp has a degree in administration of justice and completed two years at Pacific Coast College of Law. He has also attended California's Leadership Institute and as well LASD's Command school.
As Archuleta County is rapidly growing, Grandchamp said he is looking to the future and is in step with that growth as it pertains to law enforcement. He believes in being prepared for every possible contingency and a sign in his office which states: "If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready!"
Grandchamp was instrumental in the county acquiring a grant to purchase a new computerized record and case management system. He has created a system wherein every citizen complaint is investigated and has accountability and has completely reconstructed the department's evidence collection, processing and recording procedures. He created a Citizen Advisory Panel to assist, advise and direct the focus of the sheriff's department. He has implemented Neighborhood and Ranch Watch programs as well as Citizen Volunteer programs. To meet the growing animal needs of the county, he established an Animal Control Officer program and wrote the animal control contract with the Humane Society. Undersheriff Grandchamp has written animal control services contracts for the PLPOA, as well as Memorandum of Understandings for Emergency Services for both Hinsdale and Mineral counties.
As the sheriff's department has the additional responsibility for all emergencies within the county, Grandchamp has created an Emergency Operations Division to cope with all manner of emergencies. Within the EOD are the search and rescue teams, and an emergency management specialist. In addition, the sheriff's department has the statutory responsibility for all fires outside the fire district, and Grandchamp has created and hired the county's first seasonal fire crew. He has equipped the county fire crew with four firefighters and a type six-attack fire truck. He anticipates adding two additional fire trucks and two more fire fighters next year.
To assist with the overcrowding population in the county jail, Grandchamp has helped develop alternative sentencing programs. He is currently working on a Community Justice Center and Regional Training Facility. Again looking to the future, Grandchamp, in cooperation with the BOCC, is looking to install two remote satellite facilities in Arboles and Chromo, which will be home to a deputy and a fire truck each.
Grandchamp is the president of the board of directors of the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program. He is a member of the International Association of Chief's of Police, The International Associations of Police and he also belongs to the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Colorado Emerald Society.
Community 'meetup' on C and D Saturday
There will be a group "meetup" in support of referenda C and D Saturday, Oct. 29, for a mobilization on Pagosa Street from noon to 1 p.m.
Signs will be provided.
Supporters are asked to meet at Town Park in Pagosa Springs at 11:45 a.m. The meetup will be held, rain or shine.
For more information, visit www.ProgressNow.org.
State Rep. Lundberg visits Pagosa Springs
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.
Ballots due 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.
High school students post perfect grades during first nine weeks
The following students were placed on the Pagosa Springs High School Honor Roll after earning 4.0 grade-point averages during the first nine-week grading period.
Heather Andersen, Daniel Aupperle, Christopher Baum, Emily Buikema, Heather Dahm, Caitlin Forrest, Sandra Griego, Jim Guyton, Kody Hanavan, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Charles Hoch, Joshua Hoffman, Ursala Hudson, Matthew Nobles, Sydney Poole, Emilie Schur, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Emmalynn Smith, Ashley Snyder, Brandi Torres and Veronica Zeiler.
Nicholas Bird, Sabra Brown, Kimberly Canty, Adam Carroll, Hannah Clark, Kelly Crow, Kathryn Cumbie, Kimberly Fulmer, Malinda Fultz, Alaina Garman, Jamilyn Harms, Casey Hart, Bree Haynes, Jennifer Haynes, Anna Hershey, Lauren Hicks, Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Javier Iturriiaga, Shanti Johnson, Jennier Lobato, Jessica Lynch, Benjamin James Martinez, Danielle Megli, Jesse Miller, Jordyn Morelock, Laurel Reinhardt and Jenni Webb-Shearston.
Cody Bahn, Dan Cammack, Natalia Clark, Shannon DeBoer, Catalina Esquivel, Alexie Johnson, Sarah Lilly, Shantilly Mills, Travis Moore, Trey Quiller, Forrest Rackham, Sarah Schultz, Rebecca Stephens and Isaiah Warren.
Anna Ball, Joseph Ducharme, Aniceta Gallegos, Zane Gholson, Laura Gonzalez, Rachel Jensen, Stephanie Lowe, Jennifer Mueller, Julia Nell, Raesha Ray, Brianna Roehrs, Shelby Stretton and Amanda Sutton.
Perfect grades at junior high school reported
The following students at Pagosa Springs Junior High School were named to the Honor Roll with straight A's - a 4.0 grade point average - for the first nine-week grading period.
Julia Adams, Jacob Anderson, Ashley Brooks, Megan Bryant, Casey Crow, Taylor Cunningham, Jordan Davey, Natalie Erickson, Amber Lark, Katarina Medici, Brian Montoya, Rebekah Riedberger, Sarah Sanna, Josie Snow and Wesley Vandercook.
Kelsea Anderson, Amanda Barnes, Briana Bryant, Kayla Catlin, Gabrielle Dill, Andrea Fautheree, Michelle Garcia, Amelia Harbison, Zachary Lucero, NaCole Martinez, Tyler Martinez, Tayler McKee, Danielle Pajak, Cy Parker, Crystal Purcell, Rachel Shaw, Garrett Stoll, Sienna Stretton and Tyler Vaivoda.
Pagosans' son receives Navy award, promotion
Lt. Matthew C. Riethmiller, son of Richard and Mary Riethmiller of Pagosa Springs has been named 2006 Engineer of the Year for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Mid-Atlantic. Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Handley presented the award Oct. 14.
Riethmiller serves as Assistant Public Works Officer (APWO) for Naval Station Norfolk (NSN), the largest aggregate military complex in the world, encompassing 2,900 facilities valued at $5.8 Billion. He directs all public works support, long range planning, and construction project execution for more than 150 host or tenant commands. He coordinates and leads 50 military and 1,200 civilians, and manages more than $450 million in contracts, public works services, and operating budgets.
During his career, Riethmiller has demonstrated unparalleled leadership and creativity in overcoming significant engineering challenges at NSN, Spain, Japan, Thailand, and Iraq. As Air Detachment Officer in Charge in Thailand for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion THREE, he executed three civic action ground-up school construction projects and community relations' projects to renovate several other desperately needed schools in an impoverished portion of the world, using a multinational workforce of nearly 200 personnel. He also spearheaded and flawlessly executed 11 major construction projects totaling $20 Million on seven military bases in Okinawa, Japan.
In addition, his engineering achievements were critical in completing myriad humanitarian Public Works Projects supporting citizens of the city of Falluja and the Al Anbar Province in Iraq. He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for Heroic Action under fire in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. At NSN, he coordinated construction of the Navy North Sub-station to provide over 100 MW of reliable electrical service to 13 piers. He also coordinated planning and execution of 11 Counter-Terrorism projects totaling $70 Million.
As APWO for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Port Operations Program Director, Riethmiller was pivotal in programming facilities support for four Installations that encompass 80 piers and over 20 miles of waterfront. He provided keen insight in planning and developing $65 million in projects to upgrade NSN's Deperming Station, the only Carrier-capable Magnetic Silencing Treatment Facility in the world. He also spearheaded the planning and coordination of two pier recapitalization projects totaling $150 Million.
Riethmiller holds a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering from The Ohio State University and a master's degree in environmental engineering from Old Dominion University. He is a member of the American Water Works Association, the Society of American Military Engineers, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of North Carolina.
He also volunteers many hours to benefit youth programs in his community through the United Way REACH program, Civic League, church, as a middle school football coach, and as an active youth mentor.
Riethmiller will now compete with other NAVFAC nominees for the prestigious Federal Engineer of the Year Award.
"While Steve Blanton and myself may be the 'point-men' for Naval Station Norfolk, any credit for success belongs to the planners, engineers, and, especially, the 11 Facility Management Specialists who actually get the job done," Riethmiller said.
He was recently selected for promotion to the rank of Lt. Commander.
Recreation survey underway on local public lands
Local residents and tourists are encouraged to participate in a recreation survey currently underway on the San Juan National Forest to collect information on recreation trends.
San Juan employees in orange vests are staffing survey sites, marked by "Traffic Survey Ahead" signs, at recreation areas and along roads on public lands in southwestern Colorado.
Surveys are also being conducted at ski areas, interpretive sites and the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train Station.
Bureau of Land Management employees are conducting surveys on visitor trends on public lands in the Dolores River, Disappointment and Gypsum Valley area.
The survey is voluntary, and all responses are confidential. Interviews take no more than 15 minutes. The San Juan effort is part of a national survey, which is conducted every five years to collect information on how many people recreated on federal lands, what activities they engaged in, how satisfied they were with their visit, and what services they took advantage of in adjacent communities.
The data is used in public-lands planning efforts at local, state and federal levels, as well as in community tourism planning.
Sample questions include: Where did you recreate on public lands?; How many people are you traveling with?; How long you were on public lands?; What recreation sites did you visit?; How satisfied are you with the facilities and services provided?
About a third of visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreation-related spending during their trip.
The surveys will continue from now until next fall.
For more information on the national survey, go to www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum.
For information on San Juan Public Lands, call David Baker at (970) 385-1240.
Drivers urged to watch out for wildlife on the move
An ongoing education campaign wants drivers to watch for wildlife on Colorado highways, especially in October and November. The campaign, called "Colorado Wildlife on the Move," is an effort by state and federal agencies, insurance groups, and non-profits to prevent traffic crashes involving wildlife.
"Colorado wildlife is on the move right now. As winter approaches, deer, elk and other wildlife migrate to meet their daily and seasonal needs," said Monique DiGiorgio, executive director of the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project. "As these animals move across the landscape, they encounter obstacles like highways, making Colorado's roadways more dangerous for people and wildlife."
According to new and updated data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), October and November sees more traffic crashes involving wildlife than any other months of the year. Crashes start to increase in the middle of October, and are at an all-time high in the middle of November. During the period from 1993 through 2004, there were 3,309 such crashes in October and 4,028 such crashes in November. These statistics include property damage, injury and fatal crashes.
Animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs) can also result in human fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that accidents involving animals cause 200 deaths per year nationwide. From 1993 through 2004, 25 people died on Colorado highways in traffic crashes involving wild animals. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, fatal crashes involving animals have increased since the mid-1990s, federal government data show. During 1998-2002, the annual average was 155 crashes in which vehicle occupants died. This compares with an average of 119 fatal crashes during 1993-97. In 2003 there were 201 fatal crashes, a 27 percent increase compared with 2002.
On Sept. 15, 2005, two fatalities occurred on U.S. 160, between Durango and Mancos when a driver hit a deer that was attempting to cross the road. A fatality was also recorded in 2004 on this stretch of highway in the month of May.
Even when collisions with animals are not fatal for drivers, they often result in injury and can cause expensive damage to vehicles and other personal property. During the 12 years from 1993 through 2004, statistics from CDOT show that there were 26,190 animal-vehicle collisions resulting in property damage on Colorado roadways. Animal-vehicle collisions are underreported nationwide, and in Colorado.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) reports that the average cost per claim was $2,000. "The cost to repair vehicles has increased by more than 43 percent during the past decade," said Carole Walker, executive director of the RMIIA. "So, when we are able to raise awareness and reduce the number of animal-vehicle collisions on Colorado roadways that helps make a dent in what we all pay for auto insurance."
In an effort to educate motorists about how to avoid dangerous and costly collisions, the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project has distributed more than 58,000 "Driver Safety Tip Sheets" in 85 cities and 175 locations across Colorado with a list of suggestions about how to avoid hitting animals. Most important among those tips was a reminder to drivers to stay alert and slow down.
"As Colorado has an abundance of deer and elk, as well as other wildlife, that live near our urban and rural areas, motorists need to be aware that they can cross our roads without warning at most anytime of day or night," said Colorado State Patrol Chief, Col. Mark Trostel. "Slow down and stay alert when you see a highway wildlife warning sign especially between dusk and dawn. If you see one deer or elk, expect others. Slow down and concentrate on retaining control of your vehicle. Retaining control of your vehicle is extremely important before, during and after a collision with an animal."
Other tips include the following:
- Scan ahead on the sides of the road for signs of movement.
- Watch for the shining eyes of animals that reflect car headlights at night.
- Look for other animals when a single one is spotted.
- Remember that animals are most frequently on the move at dawn and dusk.
Collisions with wildlife can have a serious effect on sensitive species, such as the Canada lynx, whose population sizes are struggling to survive. Between 1999 and 2005, nine lynx have been hit and killed by vehicles in Colorado. On Sept. 30, 2005, a lynx from Colorado traveled into Kansas and was hit by a vehicle, demonstrating the great distances these animals will travel to survive. Other species of concern that have been hit on Colorado's roadways include wolf, mountain lion, black bear, pronghorn and moose.
For more information about the campaign and the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project (SREP) visit www.RestoreTheRockies.org.
The long wait for spring begins
I have been out of town, and in less than three days, my world has changed.
The willows and cottonwoods along the river, burning golden in last Friday's afternoon light, now stand slate grey and nearly naked. The yard is covered in a shag carpet of orange, recently fallen leaves.
The aspen near my porch is also bare. Its leaves, glittering just days ago like a thousand gold coins, now lay on the grass, sodden, mottled and black, barely shadows of their former selves.
In the yard, patches of clover lay crumpled, abused and wilted by morning frost. The white crystals have weighed heavy on the petals and it looks like yesterday's salad, forgotten and left out to rot.
I have watched autumn move forward in increments - from subtle shifts in light on late August afternoons, to still-warm September days followed by cooler nights. October came, and with it, chill mornings punctuated by the scent of wood smoke from the evenings' smouldering and expired fires.
I have watched the slow and brilliant turning of the cottonwoods and willows near the river - the leaves changing from green tinged with yellow, to yellow then gold, and then golder still.
I have spent afternoons walking through stands of white-trunked aspens - sunlight pouring down through the leaves in radiant, but ephemeral hues of amber. I have been stricken by that aspen-born light, believing it was tangible, its beauty pure, unalterable and transcendent of words. And within that light, I believed everything was sacred and anything possible. That light, now, is nearly gone.
During the weeks, I have roamed through dense thickets of scrub oak, and watched as the leaves changed from fiery orange, to tarnished, weather-battered copper. Since I have been gone, the oaks have lost their leaves, and stand spiky and grey, like tufts of tangled steel wool.
The season has progressed. Autumn continues to move forward in increments and I have witnessed its advance. I have witnessed the subtle, day-to-day changes, but in barely three days time, subtlety is gone, the changes are dramatic and something tells me change has also come to the river.
It's early evening when I finally arrive back at home, my truck loaded with coffee, tobacco, wine, single malt scotch, books and other gear - the stuff needed to hunker down for the winter.
There are things to do, a truck to unload, chores to tackle, dogs to attend to, mail to answer and bills to be paid. But the sun is still out, the sky is clear and I do the only sensible thing. I grab a fly rod and head for the river.
The river moves fast and sleek, in pure, crystalline clarity. It tumbles in shades of pewter and aquamarine over water sculpted cobbles. Brightly colored leaves churn on invisible undercurrents deep below the surface and errant mayflies hover overhead. I scan the surface for signs of trout and all appears quiet. Something in my gut says there will be no fish taken on this venture. Nevertheless, I persist, and plot my course carefully before crossing the river.
The current is deceptively fast. I inch forward, ever deeper, and soon icy water swirls around my hips. The current is strong. It wants to knock me down, and about midway, I regret attempting the crossing. I look back and consider a retreat, but decide to continue, inching forward on tentative footholds, finally reaching the safety of an eddy and shallower water.
I've brought my six weight again, and toss a streamer into the current. I pull line off as the river carries the fly downstream. After forty yards, I hold the line fast, then erratically strip the fly back in.
I cast again and again, working the fly along the familiar troughs, ledges, pools and pockets. I strip it along seams in the current and in front of large rocks where beautiful browns usually hold. Nothing. But the rod is solid and feels good in my hands.
I pull hard for a backcast and relish the tension, the transfer of energy and the release as the rod loads and sends the heavy fly rocketing across the stream. The fly lands with a splash just inches from the levy, then drifts downstream. I retrieve, and again there is nothing. The river has changed.
Just last week the same fly, the same run and the same technique brought ferocious attacks and memorable trout. The sun goes down and still there is nothing, just cold mountain water, chill winter air and a river that speaks of the finality of the season. All things must come to end, and as night falls, I let sail one last cast, retrieve and recross the river.
The dogs are waiting on the other side and we walk home together. One goes after a rabbit, the other eyes a flock of Canada geese but stays close, and the third trails behind me, limping slowly along - his fishing days virtually over.
Inside the house, a fire in the wood stove waits. In the warmth, I remove my boots and peel off my waders. As I do, the dogs settle into their beds.
I venture back outside and retrieve my fishing vest and rod. I examine the long six-weight, and my breath comes out in great white clouds. The air is damp and insidiously creeps beneath the thick wool of my sweater. I've kept my fly rods rigged and ready since May, although after tonight, it seems things have changed. The river feels different.
I return to the warmth of the house, hang the vest on its hook and sit down on the floor in front of the fire with a soft cotton cloth. I snip the fly from the leader and reel in the line. I stash the reel inside a black velvet pouch and gently pull apart the rod sections. I wipe beads of water from each section with the cloth. Once done, I wrap the sections in flannel, slip them back into the rod tube and screw down the cap. I place the tube back in the corner with the others. I pick up my little four-weight and consider breaking it down too. Optimism and the hope of one or two more days fishing prevails, and I leave it in tact and return to the fire.
I toss wedges of oak and aspen into the woodstove. Blue and orange flames flicker around the logs, and soon the fire roars. The heat burns the chill from my bones; I stretch out, crack a book and begin the long wait for spring.
First, the PAWS water board removes fluoride from the water because it is poisonous.
Next, we get a letter telling us the water can give us cancer. Logic therefore requires they cancel the water like they cancelled the fluoride.
I think I shall keep the recent PAWS letter and, if I die of cancer, my family will sue since the letter says it may be cancerous for people like me with weakened immune systems.
Judith S. Esterly
Editor's note: The water district board decision to remove fluoride from the domestic water supply in the district was not made on the basis of the additive being proven poisonous.
Please read the Oct. 20 SUN article dealing with the district's notification to customers regarding water quality.
Scary C and D
Referenda C and D scare me on two main fronts.
If C and D pass, what happens after five years? Will C and D solve the perceived issue that precipitated the proposal of C and D? IF you believe our legislature will, by 2011, find a way to solve their annual budget crisis without asking for more money, by all means vote for C and D. Remember, our legislature had three to four years to fix the perceived problem caused by the 2000 economic downturn. All they came up with is a need for more of our money. Evidently, they think that throwing money at a problem is the only way to solve a problem. The so-called "time-out" is really a "kick the can down the road." The present legislature will get their money if C and D pass and let future legislatures fight the battle of the next economic downturn or the next, even worse, perceived budget crisis. Remember, the TABOR limit is ratcheted up by $3 to $4B by 2011, so future legislatures will now have that much more to groan about not having.
If C and D pass, we may be in a fix similar to California, i.e., bankruptcy. Passage of C and D is the second of three steps in a California-originated process to render TABOR irrelevant. As will be seen later, the third step was pulled, but not forgotten, from consideration by our legislature due to its transparent goal of gutting TABOR.
California had a TABOR type law called the Gann Limit, which passed in 1979. California even had a tax rebate of over $1.1B in 1988 due to the Gann Limit. Then in 1988, the education lobby pushed and helped pass Proposition 98. This proposition required the California government to give tax money to education regardless of the Gann Limit or revenue collected. Sound familiar? Compare this to Colorado's Amendment 23.
Then in 1989, the transportation lobby got its share of the surplus by helping pass Proposition 111. This proposition exempted gas tax from any Gann Limit, thereby allowing increased spending on roads and bridges. Sound familiar? Proponents of Colorado's Referenda C and D are using the same tactic of pushing roads as a main reason for passage.
Also, Proposition 111 changed the formula for calculating the Gann Limit from population plus inflation growth to population plus personal income growth. This essentially removed any remaining spending limit in the Gann Limit rendering it irrelevant. Sound familiar? A couple of years ago, Colorado legislature informally floated a proposal to change the calculation formula. However, I believe, the negative effect on TABOR was too transparent and they dropped it.
Colorado seems to be following California's lead on how to gut TABOR, our much envied spending limit law. Will Colorado follow California into near bankruptcy?
Vote no on Referenda C and D. There are other ways. It's your TABOR refund money. Keep it in your pocket and spend it the way you want - maybe on that next tank of gas or that next monthly heating bill.
Jim Wallis recently began an essay on his Web site saying, "There are moments in every generation when a society must decide what it's real moral principles are." This statement struck me as particularly meaningful following the League of Women Voters forum last week regarding the discussion of referenda C and D.
The two speakers, Jeff Deitch (pro) and Ron Tate (con), came at the issue from two very different directions. Deitch spoke of abstract values. Tate spoke of rational dollars and cents. Deitch asked voters to think about what kind of communities they would like to have. Making the assertion that money in politicians' hands is money wasted, Tate spoke about the money we pay in taxes as being better left in our own pockets, to spend as we choose. Deitch countered, saying that if the money spent for services by the state isn't provided, the local governments would have to pick up the tabs. What he didn't say - that I believe he should have added - is that if the local governments then chose not to or weren't able to pick up the tabs, the people will have to live with the consequences.
These two men, each vying for their party's nomination to run for the state Legislature, stand on opposite sides of the street. Deitch argues for passing C and D in order to get some breathing space in which TABOR can be repaired without jeopardizing public services. Tate maintains the state doesn't need this breather while the legislature tackles the problems of TABOR. Interestingly, Tate's party is in denial of any problems and is ideologically committed to preventing any changes to TABOR.
This election Nov. 1 will probably tell us a lot about ourselves, what the principles are that we value, what kind of communities we want to live in. It may give us, too, an insight toward the national elections coming up next year, what kind of nation Coloradans want America to be.
Mr. Richard Walter writes in The SUN that his high school journalism class wrote 22 essays based on the one fact, "He climbed higher and higher until he felt his lungs would burst." It would have been interesting if the students had submitted their essays to the science class to see if the science students could have discerned the one fact from the 22 essays. Those students who uncovered the one fact should have received a B. Those students who then went on to verity the "fact" experimentally should have received an A. Those students who placed a journalism student in a balloon and used the hot air emitting from said student to propel the balloon should have received an A plus.
In today's world, we are bombarded with not 22 stories but millions of stories. It is virtually impossible to discern the facts, if any, in these stories. As a result, the world is run by charlatans. Unfortunately, we fools tend to believe them.
I would like to encourage the town residents to vote for the lodger's tax, Ordinance 647. The lodger's tax will help promote tourism in Pagosa Springs, which will provide more sales tax revenue for town and county improvements.
The town and the county get the benefits of the marketing provided by the 3 percent lodger's tax and the local residents pay nothing. This is all paid by the guests of the hotels.
The marketing funded by the lodger's tax is important during bad times like the year of the fires or the winters when we don't receive good snowfall. If we can keep a steady stream of tourists in Pagosa, the whole economy will flourish. We cannot be so dependent on weather-related tourism.
All the businesses and their employes in Pagosa are somehow affected by tourism - retail, hotels, restaurants, auto repair and grocery stores are all dependent on tourism and will be helped by positive marketing.
Please vote for the lodger's tax and don't forget to vote for Referendum C and D also. All three of these are investments in your community.
Robert P. Goodman
I've never met Robin Schiro. I've discussed road and other county-related issues with her by e-mail a dozen or so times, and have found her to be very responsive to my concerns. In contrast, although I sent the same e-mail to all our county commissioners, I've heard from Ronnie Zaday once, and from Mamie Lynch never. Which of the commissioners seems to be "customer focused" and responsive to constituents?
Schiro may irritate some people and may not always be right, but I appreciate her thoroughness and attention to details which in the long run will save taxpayers' funds. Perhaps individuals within the county's employment need to be jolted and asked to re-look their approach as to how business is done. If Robin serves that purpose and things are improved, isn't that a good thing for the taxpayers of Archuleta County? Perhaps those easily offended by her performing her duty as a commissioner by asking "why" aren't the people our county needs as employees.
I long have been a student of W. Edwards Deming, for whom the Deming Award is named. It recognizes corporations and individuals who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to quality control, and whose products or inventions make exceptional advances in the pursuit of quality. This process teaches you to ask "why" five times in order to get to the root cause of a problem. That alone certainly can make the recipient of the "why" question uncomfortable. But it leads to understanding of the situation and provides a basis for improvement to serve the customer, who is the "end of the production line." Perhaps the "culture of business" of the county needs to be changed so everyone is quality focused and won't be offended when a commissioner or taxpayer asks why?
I've never met Robin Schiro, but I applaud the fact that she questions - in the name of improvement - how things are done. I would much rather have a person of that nature serve as a county commissioner, than one who simply goes along with how things have always been done. Isn't the "we've always done it that way" approach why the county now faces so many issues that should have been questioned long ago?
It is to my understanding that the river restoration project which is currently in process along various sections of the San Juan River through Pagosa Springs is in jeopardy of being discontinued. This breaks my heart.
I believe that with the expertise involved in this project the river will become not only more fun and useful for the locals of Pagosa, but to all those who pass through town, as well. Upon completion of the final phase of this important improvement to town our section of the San Juan will entice visitors from far and wide to come enjoy the fruits of our waters, much like the majesty of our mountains.
After the proposed changes have been made, the river will be more beautiful for the passersby, more promising for the angler, and more fun for the rafts, kayaks, inner tubes, and children who play in its cool current. To abandon this opportunity to polish our pearl of a river would be a disservice to all.
When I moved to Pagosa Springs last year, the Department of Motor Vehicles was open two days. The wait was long to convert my out-of-state license to a Colorado driver's license, but tolerable.
Recently, I wanted to convert my license to a commercial type to enable me to drive commercial vehicles.
My repeated calls to the Pagosa DMV went unanswered or I got a busy signal. Feeling frustration, I went to the clerk's office and was told the DMV office was now open only one day each week, on Wednesdays.
I went back on Wednesday to find at least 10 people waiting for the one clerk to process everyone. You could cut the tension with a knife, and could sense the frustration.
I was abruptly told I would have to return after 1 p.m. When I told the clerk all I needed was a driver's manual, I was handed one, but you could see the frustration in the eyes of the DMV employee.
If I am not mistaken, the population of Pagosa has grown since I moved here. Would that not logically necessitate the DMV extending their days and hours, instead of the reverse?
I call on the Pagosa city council to pressure the state to address this issue with great urgency. Why do the people of Pagosa Springs have to suffer because of the state's inability to property allocate funds to the Department of Motor Vehicles. We pay the same DMV rates as any other resident of Colorado.
More C and D
I have questions on C and D. What happens if they don't pass? Now, I know there is a fiscal challenge, but the sky is not falling, is it? You would think Katrina was rebuilding strength and heading toward us, with the panic shown by our government friends. Where did the money come from for the profligate expenditure for all the signs, and the gas to place them? Who pays for the gas so our politicians can drive a hundred miles to inform us of our impending doom? Shouldn't they be in legislative sessions working on alterative programs, just in case?
I have feelings for their plight because I was a lot freer with money when I was making $50,000-$60,000 a year. But, since I had to rachet (there's that bad word) down with less than a third of that, I've been more frugal (cheap) and so must they. I know the ones I've met must be intelligent, 'cause they're not cute enough to get elected, so they can work through the crisis, I'm sure.
I have any number of ideas to help. I imagine the few I'll mention will be scoffed at with enthusiasm but here goes. If the "between a rock and a hard place" should emerge, would our reps be willing to donate 5 percent of their salaries for five years? Would, or could they tax the thousand or more churches like the rest of the businesses are taxed? How about an additional assessment of some kind on the billionaires coming in building their fiefdoms?
These are merely ponderings of our situation, and one more itch to be scratched. I haven't read the fine print (too boring), but has the amount of interest been finalized on this loan? Might as well get the interest, I have my doubts about the principle.
I am writing this letter in support of the proposed river restoration on the San Juan river in the town of Pagosa Springs.
As a longtime resident I feel that the river improvements will be an invaluable asset to the town/county residents, and is long overdue. With riverbank restoration, whitewater play park features, and better fishing habitat, the river can become a valuable recreational tool, as well as economic tool for local businesses.
I feel the town has showed its overwhelming support for this project with the first, highly successful river festival held this summer, in which many downtown and local businesses showed their support through donations, prizes etc.
I ask the town of Pagosa Springs to continue with the future plans for the river, and add another great asset which the whole community can enjoy.
Stay the same
I read with great interest your editorial about the Keep Pagosa, Pagosa bumper stickers.
A few months ago, I came up with the idea of the bumper stickers. I ordered five of them. One for each of our cars and a few friends. Next thing I knew ,I was receiving phone calls on how to get them. I continued to order more. Following that, l ordered around 50 of them for a friend ,who is supplying them to those interested.
I had no idea so many would be wanting them, and how surprised I was that each person who asked for a Keep Pagosa, Pagosa sticker wanted it for a different reason.
The Pagosa native family wants Pagosa to stay the same as it has been through many generations. They resent big moneyed land developers buying up Pagosa for their own gain, taking away the heart of the town.
I wanted the sticker because Pagosa Springs of 14 years ago has changed, as the editor suggested, but not for the better, as he hopes. There is no better, for Pagosa Springs. Everyone who has lived here a lifetime, as did their parents, wanted it as it was. Those of us who chose this place, chose it as it was, the way we wanted it. It is apparent some have moved here to make Pagosa like the area they left. They need to take their big city ideas back with them, where they came from.
Change is bound to happen, and some change is good. What we have seen here is not benefiting anyone except the already wealthy land developers who do not care about the soul of Pagosa Springs, but how much more money their pockets will hold.
We can only hope somehow we little people can Keep Pagosa, Pagosa.
Mary Lou Sprowle
On several occasions my opponent in this argument has said she found it hilarious that anyone would suggest using a fluoride mouthrinse to prevent cavities, and in her latest letter she implies that losing a tooth is no big deal. I'm sorry, but I think oral health is more important than many people realize. Several months ago the author of an interesting New Yorker article on health care and insurance in America noted that many emotional and physical health problems begin with diseased teeth. For example, the author of a letter in last week's Sun said that her mother was embarrassed by mottled teeth; how would she have felt about displaying missing teeth?
All letters written in criticism of my suggestion that using a fluoride mouthrinse can be beneficial begin with the assertion that it would be unbelievably dangerous, and incredibly stupid, to do so. Let's do the numbers. The product available at City Market contains 0.0226 percent fluoride; that is 0.226 mg of fluoride/ml, and the bottle comes with a cap that dispenses 10 ml, the amount to be used daily. Consider the worst case scenario - the entire 10 ml of mouth rinse is swallowed. In that case, 2.26 mg of fluoride is ingested. Is that likely to cause a serious problem? EPA and Colorado water standards allow a fluoride concentration of 4.0 ppm (4.0 mg/l) in drinking water. A person who drinks one-half liter (a little more than two 8-ounce glasses) of water containing 4 ppm of fluoride ingests 2 mg of fluoride. If only one-tenth of the mouthrinse is swallowed (a more reasonable assumption), the amount of fluoride ingested is 0.226 mg, the amount of fluoride contained in one liter of our currently supplied water, which has a natural fluoride content of 0.2 ppm. The amount of fluoride absorbed through the oral mucosa during one minute of rinsing is infinitesimal. Conclusion: one would have to be very careless to ingest a harmful amount of fluoride mouthrinse.
We were told in a previous letter that my opponent recently lost her sixth horse to chronic fluoride poisoning caused by drinking fluoridated water. While I sympathize with her loss, I'm troubled by the implications of the numbers. There must be several hundred horses in the Pagosa area that drank fluoridated water, which suggests that many horses have died from fluoride poisoning during the past three years. Two years ago we were informed when two or three horses died from the West Nile virus; why have we not been told about numerous equine deaths from chronic fluoride poisoning? Moreover, if equine fluoride poisoning is such a serious problem in all regions where horses drink fluoridated water, why isn't there extensive literature on the subject? The only paper I could find written in 1971 by Shupe. Perhaps my expert opponent should share her vast knowledge of fluoridation by submitting a paper to a peer-reviewed journal.
Annual Civic Club Bazaar a gift bonanza
By Barb Draper
Special to The PREVIEW
Mark your calendars now for one of the best holiday shopping opportunities in Pagosa - the annual Civic Club Bazaar, to be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at the community center.
As always, the bazaar booths are sold out as crafters and vendors are ready to come from the Pagosa/Chimney Rock/Arboles area, as well as from Creede, Chama, Durango, Bayfield and Cortez. They will offer a wide variety of items for your personal use and for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Items at the bazaar will include Christmas decor ranging from ornaments to pinecone decorations, wall and table arrangements, wreaths, and more. Snowmen, moose, bears, gingerbread men, Santas and angels, will once again be seen throughout the room.
Hand-sewn, embroidered, leather, knitted and felted items will be found at several booths, as will alpaca and llama fiber products and locally created sheepskin products.
Two of the booths feature the handwork of some of our local youth. The youngsters have been working hard to create knitted items and beverage mixes.
Artists who paint in a wide variety of styles will have their art displayed on wood, slate, glass, note cards, greeting cards and canvas.
Additionally, decorations for your Thanksgiving table will be available, along with a huge variety of home decor items for you to enjoy throughout the year or give as gifts. These include, but are not limited to: handmade wooden vessels and other wood items, copper wind chimes, ceramic southwestern pottery, baskets from the Indians of the Copper Canyon, Mexico, live plants and candles.
There will be a nice variety of jewelry at the bazaar, created by several artists. With such a wide choice available, there should be something that appeals to all styles and tastes.
And speaking of tastes - gift food items have not been forgotten. There will be dried fruits and mixes, specialty mustards, candies, jelly, beverage mixes, oils and vinegars. For those of you who are looking for storage items for your food, Tupperware will be available for purchase.
Do not forget the smaller folks on your gift lists. Children's books, stuffed animals, Discovery Toys, and other items will be found throughout the bazaar. Information will be available about all the upcoming growth and happenings at Seeds of Learning. There will also be unique items for sale for all the four- legged critters.
Vendors will be on hand with beauty and health related items to make you feel and look better.
If all this is not enough, there will be a bake sale and delicious homemade refreshments and lunch will be available throughout the day.
There are wonderful raffle items this year, and details of the raffle prizes will be provided next week. In the meantime, raffle tickets are available for purchase - $1 each or 6 for $5 - from any Civic Club member, or by calling 264-2208 (this is the library number and even though the library is temporarily closed for moving, the phones are working.)
Ron Fundingsland at Shy Rabbit
By Leanne Goebel
Special to The PREVIEW
Ron Fundingsland is an artist's artist. His technically superb work impresses those who know how many hours of labor is involved to achieve such mastery of medium. A printmaker in the traditional sense, Fundingsland creates using a form of etching that dates back to the 14th century. Yet the subject of his color intaglio prints is contemporary and contemplative, providing a commentary on American society.
Some prints are subtly political such as "Wheels," two intersecting diameters created from equally thick crosses, one on the left overlaid with the words "We the people," and one on the right layered with green dollars. Others are emotionally charged, like "Memories End," a diptych with half of a watch or clock on the left and what appears to be a careless jumble of blooming red roses dropped from a grief-stricken hand.
Fundingsland is a man with a velvet voice heard regularly on KSUT radio. In southwest Colorado, his voice is more familiar than his art. The last time Fundingsland's work was shown in the area was in a solo exhibit at the Durango Art Center Library in 2001.
Luckily, Pagosa Springs-based Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space, is featuring a solo exhibit of work by Ron Fundingsland through Nov. 12.
While Fundingsland has a B.F.A. from the University of Colorado, he is primarily self- taught. In 1983 he picked up a catalog of work by Frederich Meckseper and taught himself the color intaglio printing process Meckseper used. The trick was, the catalog was in German and Fundingsland had to translate. He explained this to a group of artists who gathered at Shy Rabbit Sunday, Oct. 16, for an artist's roundtable. For 23 years, Fundingsland has diligently pursued his passion for printmaking. His work usually reflects "something on my mind, something I think about. I'm not obsessed with political prints, but often my inspiration comes from what irritates me," Fundingsland said.
The intaglio printing process is very involved. A print begins with a pencil drawing on newsprint and an industrial grade copper plate. The artist coats the copper plates with acid resist, then transfers the drawing to the plate by pressing the graphite from a pencil into the acid resist to create texture. The deeper the mark, the more ink it will hold and the darker the line on the print. Fundingsland creates two plates: one black and one color. The whole process is an experiment, but eventually the artist achieves what he envisioned and he begins the process of hand inking the plates and producing the final prints. The paper is a heavy rag paper and it is put on the plate wet. The wet paper is more pliable and accepting of the oil-based ink. A color plate is printed and then the black plate is put on the press, the registry lined up and the black is printed. The entire process can take four to six weeks and actually printing each of the series of originals seven to 10 days.
Fundingsland usually prints 30-35 multiple originals. Each print is a unique work of art depending upon the ink and the breakdown of the plate and the etching lines. When the 25 or 35 prints are gone, the plate is struck, never to be printed again.
"There is a duality to the process," Fundingsland said. "It's like working with somebody else. That partner of mine is the medium. Sometimes you like that person and sometimes you hate that person. I'm still not sure what's going to happen. Sometimes there are happy accidents."
The artist admits that when you finally pull that one print off the press and it's done. "It's very exhilarating. A cheap thrill. A great artistic moment." But you know you have more to do because each one is hand inked and hand processed.
Many of Fundingsland's pieces in the Shy Rabbit show are diptychs. Ron explained that he was doing well with a gallery in Santa Fe and wanted to experiment with a larger format, but his press bed at his Bayfield studio is limited in size, so he started doing diptychs, two prints framed together to make a whole image. Now he even does triptychs. "I ended up really liking it, it's a challenge to figure out how to bring them together."
Fundingsland talked to the artists and collectors at Shy Rabbit about his work, his career and his process. "This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, folks," he said. "I have another job where I make money and have insurance."
Fundingsland chose the traditional route of entering his prints in juried shows, hitting the pavement with his portfolio to find gallery representation and focusing on contemporary print exhibitions around the world. Today, he is affiliated with the American Society of Graphic Artists, the International Print Triennial Society and The Boston Printmakers. His work is in the public collections of the Denver Art Museum, The Seattle Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, among others. His work is in the corporate collections of 3M and Citibank. Fundingsland is currently affiliated with Robischon Gallery in Denver, Morgan Gallery in Kansas City, Graystone in San Francisco and A Clean Well-Lighted Place in New York.
And while many artists would look at his resume and think that Fundingsland has arrived, he's quick to point out that that isn't the case. He's not going to have a solo exhibition at Robischon, even though he's been with the gallery for 14 years. "It's not like they are going 'we need to pay the rent, where's Fundingsland?'"
Since he has a good relationship with gallery owners Jim and Jennifer Robischon, he was able to have a candid conversation about why no solo exhibition when his work is well received. Ron said to Jim, "If I sold out my show, you couldn't cover the rent, the fish crackers and the wine, could you?"
Robischon's response? "Maybe not the fish crackers."
So, while a gallery like Robischon is having solo exhibits of work by Robert Rauschenberg and Jim Dine, they are showing collectors a lot more Ron Fundingsland than if he were given a solo show. A lot of people may want a Rauschenberg original, but can't afford it. Why not add a Fundingsland to the collection? A Fundingsland diptych can be acquired unframed for less than $1,000.
Fundingsland made the decision long ago that it was about the work and not the market. "I'm not creating work with one eye on the canvas and one eye on the market. Every print I make is part of my life's work.
"It's a different mindset to make money on the art fair circuit. These are fine artists and they are manufacturing what works for them to the keep the thing going." Fundingsland was clear that he felt it the decision to pursue art on the circuit is equally as viable and valuable as the route he took. It's a personal decision.
"I'm shooting for the end game," he said.
He encourages local artists to enter shows, regional, tri-state, national and international because you "get a good feel for how good your work is, not just from friends and family."
"It's important to get your work out there and get a gauge," he said.
What about rejection?
"Rejection is a myth," Fundingsland said. "It's the wrong word. When you enter a juried show or approach a gallery, it is one person, maybe two, who say the work isn't going to work in their gallery. One person is making a decision about hundreds of pieces of work. How absurd to think everyone is going to like your work and how horrible would you feel if they did?"
Traditionally, Fundingsland's contemporary, post-modern prints haven't done well in the Southwest art market. So why show at Shy Rabbit in Pagosa Springs?
"[The Coffees] are miners. They are finding great talent and great work. I must say the people who came to the opening, their comments and perceptions were head and shoulders above what I hear in Durango," Fundingsland said.
Upcoming shows for Fundingsland include the International Print Triennial in Krakow, Poland and a show in Cairo, Egypt called "American Prints in Troubled Times."
Instead of flying halfway around the world to see the work of Ron Fundingsland, be sure to check out the current exhibit at Shy Rabbit through Nov. 12 at 333 Bastille, Unit B-1. The gallery will be open Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. For a sample of his work, visit the artist's Web site at www.RonFundingsland.com.
Children's Chorale prepares for concert season
Members of the Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale, now under the direction of Rada Neal, has begun rehearsals for their winter concerts.
Added this year is a girl's youth chorale called "Dolce Cantare," directed by Sue Anderson.
The Chorale is excited about the new concert programs, which include a sing-along with the audience, and treats for the children. Plan to attend the concerts, scheduled for Dec. 10 at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church and Dec. 12 at Restoration Fellowship Church.
The young singers recently participated in a music camp in Pagosa Springs at Elk Lodge.
The Chorale will perform for the Rotary Club and Builder's Association during November.
Help support these two local choirs in their fund-raising efforts at the Christmas Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 5, at the community center.
Har Shalom schedule for November, December
Following is the schedule at Congregation Har Shalom for November and December.
Friday, Nov. 11 - musical Shabbat, with Jan Courte
Saturday, Nov. 12 - "Renewal Style," and Judith Vanderryn's Bat Mitzvah, led by Jan Courte at Har Shalom. Kiddush and potluck luncheon to follow. RSVP by Oct. 14 at 247-3292 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, Nov. 13 - Study session and Torah study, led by Jan Courte, 10 a.m.-noon.
Friday, Nov. 18 - Potluck dinner and family Shabbat with Consecration, led by Jesse Hutt, 6 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9 - Family Shabbat, 6-6:30 p.m., followed by potluck.
Friday, Dec. 9 - Adult Shabbat service, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 - Judaism 180
Saturday, Dec. 10 - Havdallah, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11 - Annual meeting, 10 a.m.-noon.
Bolero is back at In Step, Halloween party Saturday
By Deb Aspen
Special to The PREVIEW
Bolero is back in Pagosa, by popular demand.
We're kidding, right?
No, the In Step Dance Club is quite serious. A short introduction to bolero followed a six-week round of waltz last February, and was so well received that we're bringing it back. This time for a full month of lessons.
The Spanish Bolero was originally introduced in the late 18th century, and became the national Dance of Spain. It has the same Afro-Cuban roots as the rumba, and was greatly influenced by Spanish and Cuban folk dances such as Danzon and Beguine. The Spanish Bolero is still danced today, and dancers are accompanied by a guitar, with the performers using castanets while they dance. Abrupt turns, complicated steps, and graceful arm and hand movements compliment the rhythmic leaping and kicking.
Bolero, more as we know it in this country, was born in Cuba toward the end of the 20th century as an heir to the Spanish Bolero. It has evolved into a beautiful combination of rumba, waltz and tango. The bolero is the slowest of the Latin dances, and has some different characteristics from its Cuban relative, the rumba. Its long sweeping side steps and use of rise and fall (from waltz technique) create a softness that makes this dance unique among the rhythm dances. The expanding and contracting dance position makes a very graceful and romantic statement. It combines controlled movement with dramatic expression of music.
The music for bolero is usually played in 4/4 time and its tempo is slower than that of rumba. While rumba music is very rhythmical, the lyrical bolero sounds more like a Latin ballad.
This will be a class of beginning bolero. So, while there are no leaps, kicks or very complicated steps, we'll be learning techniques such as "rise and fall," that teaches us grace and poise through balance; "lead and follow," to develop arm and hand connections; "timing," to learn the control necessary for slow music; "arm styling," to create contrasting speed of arms and hands; and "footwork," which develops the use of knees and ankles for soft movement.
Classes will be at 7-9 p.m. Nov. 3, 9, 17 and 30. Practice sessions will be held 3-5 p.m. Nov. 20 and 27. All sessions meet at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. Please arrive 10 minutes early to register, as we will begin promptly. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that have smooth or split leather soles (something that does not leave black marks or mud).
A reminder to club members: The Halloween Hayride-Potluck-Costume-Party will be at the High Plains Nursery in Allison Saturday, Oct. 29. We will meet at the PLPOA parking lot promptly at 4:45 PM to car pool. In the case of really "witchy" weather, the party will be at the clubhouse. For more information contact Deb Aspen at 731-3338 or email@example.com.
Novelists to attend Pagosa book signing
The authors of a newly-released novel with thematic ties to Pagosa Country will be at Moonlight Books Nov. 15 for a book signing.
W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear will be at the bookstore to sign copies of their novel "People of the Moon," beginning at 7 p.m.
Driven by the question of what happened to the native people of the American Southwest in 1150 A.D. and its relation to contemporary society, the authors produced this latest installment in their First North American series, dealing with the people of what is now northwest New Mexico and southwestern Colorado - the builders of the site at Chimney Rock.
Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska, for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the U.S. government's Special Advancement Award for outstanding management of the nation's cultural heritage.
W. Michael Gear holds a master's degree in archaeology and has worked as an archaeologist since 1978. He is currently principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.
Pagosa Song Fest planned for November
By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Pagosa Song Fest will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
This exciting concert features an impressive roster of vocalists including Larry Elginer, Sue Anderson, Kathy Isberg, Jeannie Dold, Jordyn Morelock, Johanna Patterson, Susie Long, Judy Patton, Paul and Carla Roberts, Sharman Alto, David Snyder and others will perform some of their favorite songs.
Local luminary John Graves will provide piano accompaniment for many of the singers and lead the audience in some choice sing-alongs.
Sharman Alto and David Snyder will perform early blues and jazz songs. The talented duo from Arboles has contributed to the local cultural scene for many years.
Sharman Alto has a widely diversified background in the arts. At the tender age of 2 1/2, she began learning tap dancing. By age 6 she was performing in professional ballet productions. At that time, she also began imitating Louis Armstrong's jazz singing. At 15, Alto began performing in musical stage productions with a professional touring company. After studying dance and theater in college, she traveled to the Amazon and Africa to study the dance and music of remote tribes.
In Pagosa, Alto is well known for her dance performances, choreography for local theatrical productions, her dance classes and the children's performing group she directed and performances with partner David Snyder.
Although she gravitates towards many forms of music, Alto's favorite music to perform is blues and jazz from the '20s, '30s and '40s. She plays piano, Native American flute and various percussion instruments.
David Snyder used his early interest in bluegrass as a springboard for developing a variety of musical styles. Snyder is a prolific songwriter who performs on several instruments. Referring to himself as an "Arbolian," Snyder has resided in this area since '92 and was an active participant in the open mike sessions that preceded the first Four Corners Folk Festival.
Snyder is an alternative education teacher who has taught biology, mathematics and other subjects. He has taught at alternative schools in Colorado, Columbia, and on the island of Corfu in Greece.
Snyder is a home recording enthusiast. He says, "I want to get more into the home recording business, to represent Sharman and my music and also recording projects in the area of indigenous music." Snyder is developing a program to bring his recording equipment to schools, in order to introduce students to the art of recording.
Besides performing in various parts of the US, Snyder just returned from Mexico where he performed for a gathering honoring a senator in the state of Chihuahua. On another occasion, he and Sharman were asked to perform for government officials in the state of Sonora after the duo brought clothing and other goods to an old folks home there. That performance was broadcast on Mexican television.
Snyder will be accompanying his songs with Alto on guitar. His other instruments include mandolin, mandola, dobro, banjo, piano and bass guitar, autoharp and harmonica.
What better way to usher in the spirit of Thanksgiving than upon the wings of song?
Please join us for Pagosa Song Fest, Nov. 19 at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Blvd. Turn north on Vista then left on Port.
Tickets for the Song Fest are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children under 18. Pagosa Song Fest is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.
Call 731-3117 for more information.
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.
Hypnotherapist to keynote UU program
Lindsay Morgan, a certified hypnotherapist, will present a service for The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Sunday, Oct. 30, entitled "Hypnosis, an Overview and Uses."
As Morgan points out, hypnosis is used to bypass the analytical left-brain and access the right brain, or subconscious mind, where imagination and creativity can be accessed and memories are stored.
She will discuss the uses of hypnosis, including what it is like to be in a trance state, and how hypnotherapy is used to address addictions, phobias and other life challenges, including its applications to pain control and athletic peak performance. Also, she will offer an overview of past life regressions and self-hypnosis techniques.
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.
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.
Food, gifts galore at civic club bazaar
By Kate Terry
Fifty booths will be available for you to browse, to buy from and just thoroughly enjoy. That's the way it will be at the Pagosa Woman's Civic Club's annual Christmas Bazaar that will be held at the community center Saturday, Nov. 5. Doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
A booth that is bound to attract is the "Wacky Knitters." It will attract because it is run by the Wacky Knitters Club, a club made up of boys and girls, ages 8-13, who get together at Edelweiss Needlework Chalet and knit. They will be selling their knitted goods - hats, purses, scarves, cell phone covers, as well as some other items made just for the bazaar.
And if you get hungry while there, don't fret - there's food available at the Civic Club Cafe.
The civic club itself will have a baked goods table and it will be there that items for the raffle will be on display. (Note: the baked goods table will face the entry door into the hall.)
The raffle is Margaret Wilson's special project for the bazaar. She gathers most of the raffle items and makes the tickets. A big job. Raffle tickets are $1 each and 6 for $5 (called a book), and can be purchased at the baked goods table or from a civic club member. One ticket covers all items.
You do not have to be present to win. The raffle is at 4 p.m., at the end of the day.
The raffle items include a Virginia Bartlett painting of Treasure Falls, two wreaths, each covered with 50 $1 bills, and a basket covered with 50 $1 bills, decorator wood skis, knitted goods, gift baskets - the list goes on and on.
The annual Christmas bazaar is really the opening of the holiday festivities in Pagosa Springs. Go, and enjoy!
Fun on the Run
A 4-10, 90-pound female janitor worked at an amusement park and was told to go out and sweep up the grounds. As she was getting ready to head out to clean up, her supervisor noticed her putting rocks in her pockets. When asked what she was doing, she pointed out that it was so windy out she was afraid of getting knocked over by the wind.
"So," she said, "now I weigh me down to sweep."
Giant Halloween party set for community center
By Mercy Korsgren
Our second annual Community Halloween Party is set for 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, at the community center.
All children in the community are invited to dress up for bewitching Halloween fun!
Check out the Death of the Wicked Witch, the maze, the haunted house, the eerie graveyard and much more. How about a piñata? I'm sure the little ones will enjoy this game.
We'll have food, games, prizes and ghoulish goodies for the whole crowd. We have tons of treats to give away. Though this party is mainly for kids, we welcome parents and other adults to participate. BootJack Ranch will again sponsor the inflatable bounce house and the Kiwanis Club will provide free hot dogs, chips and drink.
Thanks to our sponsors, donors and volunteers - without them we wouldn't have this huge, popular event each year. Thanks go to BootJack Ranch, Kiwanis Club, Sisson Library, Red Hats, Rotary Club, Archuleta County Seniors and Kitchen Programs, Grace Evangelical Church, United Methodist Church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Slices of Nature, PS Office Supply, Citizens Bank, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, City Market-downtown, Aspen Springs Realty, Century 21, PRECO and many more. A complete list will be announced next week.
The community flu shot clinic held by San Juan Basin Health last Tuesday went well. The flow was smooth, nobody had to wait and the weather was great. There were around 475 adults and children who received their flu shots. SJBH hopes to see more healthy people and a flu-free community. Thanks to all the staff of San Juan Basin Health and to all the volunteers including the Rotarians At Work.
This dance session last week was a success, though we didn't get the big crowd I expected.
About 48 partygoers danced for almost three hours and they all expressed a desire to continue this program. A couple of people even called as I was writing this article, expressing gratitude for all the work the staff did putting this together and said they hoped we'll continue to do this. Many said, "We need to do this (dance) frequently; and the community center is the place." Deb Aspen and members of her dance club were present. What a great dance session we had. Everyone had fun.
Thanks to Siri Schuchardt, our volunteer, who worked hard putting this program in place. Siri and I will meet soon to talk about plans for the next dance session. Check this column for the date.
Toddlers' play group
They're back! The Pagosa BRAT play group is meeting on Wednesday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon in the multipurpose room.
Come see familiar faces from last year. Just moved? Make connections with other families in town - with moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers. Feel free to bring your children of any age and a toy or two to share for the morning. Shopping carts, trikes and musical instruments were popular items last year. There are also some toys that were donated by participating families to the play group that are available for everyone. Bring your own snacks and please clean up after yourselves. If you have any questions, call the center, 264-4152, or Cory Warden, 946-4219. Need help during the gathering? Talk to Michelle or Becky at the front desk.
Italian cooking class
The menu for today will be Shrimp Fra Diavolo. This is shrimp cooked with crushed red pepper flakes, tomatoes and white wine, along with other Italian spices. It will be served with a basic Italian risotto as a side dish and a simple green salad.
Last week the class prepared and cooked four-cheese stuffed jumbo shells with smoky marinara sauce. The stuffing included low fat cottage cheese with asiago, grated Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, frozen spinach and a dozen Italian herbs and spices. Stuffed shells were arranged in a prepared dish, smothered with smoky marinara sauce and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. The dish was covered with foil and baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Another delicious preparation by the class, and they are having so much fun.
Talking about fun, Edith Blake our wonderful chef and teacher has agreed to extend the class through the second Thursday in November, as requested by the group. This will be the last class and she will be happy to continue to volunteer again in the spring should there be an interest in the community. 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. Grazie, Edith, and thanks to her husband, Dave, who helps Edith with delivery of materials and tools, as well as cleaning up. They are a wonderful couple.
The Community Scrapbook Club held another successful meeting Saturday.
Carla Shaw, from the Kraftin Post, gave a demonstration of a personal die-cutting system. Carla also provided the group with Halloween designs and supplies to complete a really fun scrapbook page.
The next two meetings will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nov. 12 and 26 (not Nov. 5 and 19 - my mistake). The guest demonstrator Nov. 12 will be Allison Wylie with Creative Memories. Allison will be demonstrating borders and journal box projects. These borders will help you finish your albums so much faster. There is a cost involved for this project. If you would like to try this project please call Allison at 264-2824 so she can reserve a kit for you.
There won't be any demonstration Nov. 26. What a perfect opportunity to work on those Christmas cards and mini-gift albums or to just socialize. Our volunteer, Melissa Bailey, would like to thank all the members who have joined so far and she looks forward to seeing them at future meetings. It's been really great for Melissa to meet her fellow Pagosa Scrappers. Call the center, 264-4152, or call Melissa at 731-1574 if you have questions about this program.
Richard Harris, our volunteer yoga instructor, is back.
Richard will start a beginner yoga class Thursday, Nov. 3, and conduct class every Thursday, 11 a.m.-noon in the multipurpose room. It's free. Thanks to Richard for sharing his time and talent.
Richard has been teaching yoga since 1990. He has a background in education and business. He found yoga to be a personal growth experience and will share how it has changed his life for the better. Richard is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher.
Yoga is now being used by businesses and various schools to enhance physical and mental development. Yoga is also a philosophy that is recognized by the medical community as a way to lessen stress and improve physical well being.
This is a noncompetitive activity with a goal of self improvement. All are welcome to join this free program. Please bring a towel or yoga mat and dress comfortably. Call 264-4152 for more information.
Plug-ins are those extra pieces of software which provide an added service or feature to your browser software program. If your computer came with a Microsoft operating system, you are probably using Microsoft's Internet Explorer as your browser, since IE comes pre-installed on almost every PC sold today. A browser is software which your computer uses to locate and display web pages. Both IE and Firefox, another browser which is rapidly gaining in popularity, are graphical browsers, meaning that they display both text and graphics. In addition, most modern browsers can present multimedia information, including sound and video. However, these formats require plug-ins in conjunction with the browser software, to properly display.
Several weeks ago, we had a Computer Lab user who was looking for some shoes to buy. When she tried to access the Web site of the shoe company, the screen showed a message that the Web site couldn't be displayed because the plug-in called Macromedia Flash Player wasn't installed. After we downloaded and installed the Flash Player, the website displayed perfectly. It was obvious why the plug-in was necessary. On the site we saw a lot of movement on the screen, shoes in all colors appearing and disappearing, and as we moved the cursor over small colored squares, other images popped up and sounds started. All in all, a sight and sound treat. If, by the way, you want to see whether or not you have the Flash Player on your computer, try opening crocs.com. If you get in, you've got the player.
A good idea for anyone who does regular Web surfing is to check the status of your plug-ins. The Firefox Web site says that it recommends the following for viewing sound and video: Macromedia Flash Player, Java, Quicktime, Macromedia Shockwave, Realplayer, and Windows Media Player. Most are easy to find with a search on Google. The Beginning Computing class will tackle the subject of downloading and installing software in just a few weeks. Please call ahead if you would like to join the class for those two weeks, since space is limited.
Another program which is often included on lists of plug-ins is Adobe Acrobat Reader. Last week in this column we talked at some length about PDF files and how to view them.
Rio Rancho, N.M., has become one of the first areas in the United States to offer wi-fi Internet access all across the community. A TV news report says that town buildings are being used by the Internet Service Provider for antennas and network equipment. Now what occurs to me is this - can I turn on my laptop while driving (while someone else is driving, that is) through Rio Rancho and surf the net as we go? I'm not sure how this whole thing works. Do Rio Rancho folks have to pay a fee for access? Or is there a fee only for nonresidents? Certainly someone is paying, perhaps the town? How would Rio Rancho folks feel about tax money for Internet access? The next time I travel to Albuquerque, I'll turn on the laptop, track down some answers and let you know. This kind of Internet access, provided by a town or city, is being implemented in many metropolitan areas. It's an idea whose time is certainly here. Who knows, maybe someday, even in Pagosa Springs?
From Becky Herman, your computer IT.
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.
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.
Aus-Ger Club is gathering tomorrow, Oct. 28, at WolfTracks at 10:30 am. The group will carpool and go to Berliner-German Restaurant in Oxford (close to Durango airport) to enjoy a real German lunch. Questions? Call the center at 264-4152 or call Bodil, 903-8800.
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 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, Susanna Ninichuck and John's son. I will have more information next week. Mark your calendar now and avoid conflicts.
Today - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon.
Oct. 28 - Aus-Ger Club meets at WolfTracks, 10:30 a.m.; 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.
Oct. 29 - Community Halloween Party set-up/decoration, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Oct. 30 - 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.; home school group meeting, 5-6:30 p.m.
Oct. 31 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' bridge club, 12:30-4 p.m.
Nov. 1 - 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.; Waldorf parenting group meeting, 6-8:30 p.m.; nondenominational Bible study, 6:30-8 p.m.
Nov. 2 - Pagosa Brats play group, 10 a.m.-noon; 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.
Nov. 3 - Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; Anglican Church Fellowship, 6-8 p.m.
Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, midsize and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audio visual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.
Den Halloween festivities begin Friday
By Jeni Wiskofske
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 will have approximately 1.5 hours to roam the town limits of Pagosa beginning by trading the paperclip for something bigger and better and will keep trading each bigger and better item that they obtain for the biggest and 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.
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.
The candy, the costumes, the spookiness and the fun of Halloween is not just for kids. On Monday, Oct. 31, The Den will be having a Halloween costume party to celebrate this "not just for kids" holiday.
Wear your scariest, your most original, or your funniest costume to win one of the many great prizes. Cupcakes, candy and best of all costumes and chances to win a prize will make this party a memorable one. So, let's bring out the kid in all of us and come in disguise with your trick-or-treat bags for The Den's Halloween extravaganza.
Annual fund drive
The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has been growing rapidly this past year. Our meals and transportation services, our membership and our activities have increased tremendously. As of September 2005, we have served 9,002 meals, delivered 2,484 meals to those in need, and have provided 4,437 rides. And this does not take into account all of the activities that are now available at The Den like the enjoyable Mystery Trips.
As you can see, we are a great support to you and our community. Please help us to continue our excellent service while continually improving to meet the needs in our ever-growing community by donating tax deductible monies to the Silver Foxes Den. If you would like to send a donation, please mail it to Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, 81147. Any amount is greatly appreciated. We thank you for your contribution, your support and your patronage here at The Den.
Abuse of elderly adults
In Colorado, more than 4,000 incidents of adult abuse, exploitation or neglect are reported each year to local county departments of social services and long term care complaint investigators. Many more go unreported. The victims are at-risk adults who are unable to protect themselves and have no one to protect them. Over 70 percent are over 60 and are physically impaired or have some form of dementia.
For many, the injustice is caused by a caregiver or a member of their own family. Often the victim is totally dependent upon the abuser, and is afraid to complain for fear of reprisal.
Abuse can occur in many forms. Physical abuse may include frequent injuries, over medication/sedation, or when victim appears frightened or withdrawn. Emotional/psychological abuse may include sudden dramatic change in victim's behavior, caretaker won't let victim speak for him/herself, or caretaker scolds, insults and/or threatens victim. Sexual abuse may include evidence of sexually transmitted disease, victim acts upset when changed or bathed or victim appears fearful with a particular person. Neglect may include filthy living environment, lack of medical attention, malnutrition, dehydration, clothing is inadequate for the climate or poor hygiene. Carmen Hubbs, director of Archuleta County Victims' Services, will visit us at The Den Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. to discuss elder rights and adult protection. Please join us to learn more how to protect yourself or someone you love.
Flu shots in Arboles
Annual flu shots will be provided by San Juan Basin Health Department Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Catholic Church in Arboles at 12:30 p.m. (which is the lunch site for The Den's meals in Arboles.)
The flu shots are for priority groups who are most likely to get serious complications from the flu. They include: elderly, 65 years or over; residents of long-term care facilities; persons between 2 and 64 years old with underlying chronic medical conditions; babies and toddlers between 6 and 23 months; pregnant women; health care personnel who provide direct patient care; and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months.
Medicare and Rocky Mountain HMO are accepted and will cover the cost of the flu shot, but you must bring your card with you. For all others, the cost for the flu shots is $25 per person, either cash or check.
For more information, call San Juan Basin Health Department in Pagosa Springs at 264-2409.
Kitchen Appreciation Day
Let's show our gratitude to the kitchen staff who make our daily luncheons at The Den possible. On Friday, Nov. 4, during lunchtime, it is Kitchen Appreciation Day (shhh, it is a secret to the kitchen staff). All you have to do to help us say thank you is to join us for lunch and we will take care of all the appreciation details!
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. Please make a difference and volunteer.
The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will host a blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 12:30-4 p.m. Call The Den at 264-2167 to make an appointment to donate blood. Remember, only a little pin prick to you could save someone's life. Be brave, make time, and give something precious - help save a life!
Friday, Oct. 28 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; $1 lunch birthday celebrations; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.; Bigger & Better Scavenger Hunt, 1 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31 - Happy Halloween! Medicare Counseling, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Halloween party, Noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; Canasta, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 2 - Yoga in Motion, 10 a.m., Elder Rights and Adult Protection with Carmen Hubbs, director of Victim's Services, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 3 - Meals served in Arboles, noon; flu shots in Arboles, 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Kitchen Appreciation Day, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 1 p.m.
Suggested donation $2.50 for ages 60-plus, all others $4.50.
Salad bar every day - 11:30 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 28 - $1 birthday meal! Combination burrito with lettuce and tomato, seasoned green beans, cilantro and lime rice, pears and birthday cake.
Monday, Oct. 31 &emdash;Chicken fried steak, garlic potato and gravy, broccoli and cauliflower mix, drop biscuit and Apple.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 - BBQ pork chops, corn on the cob, seasoned greens, potato salad and watermelon.
Wednesday, Nov. 2 - Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli blend, seasoned greens and peaches.
Thursday, Nov. 3 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Chicken stew with veggies, coleslaw with pineapple, biscuit and fruit cup with bananas.
VSO short one vehicle, plan accordingly
By Andy Fautheree
Many veterans reading this column make use of our two VSO vehicles for their trips to VA health care appointments. I'm sad to say that one of those vehicles, the 2003 Ford Taurus, will be out of commission for a while. That leaves us only with the 2005 Chevrolet Trail Blazer.
One of our veterans was in a slight accident while traveling to the Albuquerque VA Medical Center. Thank goodness it was a very moderate accident and the veteran was not injured. However, the vehicle will need to be repaired before it is put back into use.
The accident doesn't appear to have been our veteran's fault. As I understand it, the other vehicle may have run a red light.
I give high praise to all of our local veterans using these VSO vehicles for the accident free miles they have traveled. This is the first accident encounter that I know of, and I believe our VSO vehicles may have traveled perhaps as much as half a million miles to VA health care facilities. That's quite an excellent record and speaks highly of how diligent and careful our veterans are with these vehicles.
Ironically, I plan to replace this vehicle in 2006 using a grant through the local American legion Post 108 . We will be applying for a grant that will allow us to trade in the Ford for another new vehicle. I figure the Ford will have well over 90,000 miles on it, perhaps as many as 100,000, by the time a successful grant can be obtained next year.
The 100,000 miles may not sound like too many miles, but our many elderly veterans using this vehicle must travel over high mountain passes, often at night, often through winter driving conditions. Not the kind of situation in which you would want to have a vehicle break down.
Hopefully we can get the Taurus repaired soon and have it back in the hands of our veterans who need this assistance for their VA health care trips to Albuquerque, Durango, Farmington, Grand Junction and Chama.
Speaking of VA health care travel, we are dispensing money from a VFW grant this year to veterans to help them with the high fuel costs and, in some cases, overnight accommodations at Albuquerque VAMC. We have a limited amount of money, but will gladly help a veteran as much as we can.
All we need is verifiable proof of the VA health care appointment at any of the VA facilities, a fuel receipt and a receipt for overnight accommodations if the situation arises. Stop by my office with this information and I will be happy to give some cash reimbursement assistance. This assistance is available whether you use our VSO vehicles or your own vehicle and has not been reimbursed by any other source of funds.
One VSO vehicle
Meanwhile, be aware that we are down to one vehicle and you may have to make your own transportation arrangements until the Taurus is repaired.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Some scary reading for Halloween night
By Christine Eleanor Anderson
The small farm kitchen was shadowy. The October wind whistled through the trees out in a dark night. Dad had a glass of water in front of him on the grey Formica table.
We kids watched him slowly submerge a single long hair in the water.
He looked at us and said, in a hushed voice, "The old woman told the farmer that if he wanted to find out who was stealing his pigs, he should put a hair in the water. In one day the hair would flatten out and an eye would appear in the center of the hair. Then he should pull the hair out and put a needle in the eye.
"The next day the farmer went to town and saw his neighbor in the general store. The man had a patch over his eye Š said he didn't know what happened, just felt a sharp piercing pain the day before, and went blind in that eye."
He enthralled us with a story of grim, supernatural justice on Halloween.
Halloween almost always coincided with Homecoming, the marching band, the last falling leaves and the first snow of the year. And, of course we went to Gram's, four miles away, in town, so we could go trick or treating.
My favorite Halloween memory is one of my Dad taking his little kids out, after dark, with a lone flashlight, to a deserted Civil War era cemetery. It was spooky, but that's not what impressed me. What I remember was being startled and confused by the headstones of more than one woman with the same name, and little, tiny tombstones around them. What happened to those women and those babies?
Years later, when I taught domestic relations at DePaul College of Law, those tombstones came back. Finally, I understood that serial monogamy had always been the American way of life. In the past, early, irrefutable and final, death preempted divorce. It was a strange Halloween lesson from Dad. That was the way Dad often, sometimes unwittingly, taught: not by telling, but by leaving an indelible memory that later gave me the ability to understand.
I've noticed that there were a lot of mystery thrillers in the "mini" library. The staff tells me that you like to read them. Your reading choices made me think about mine, and what we might share.
I think I read every Nancy Drew book ever written. Then I went on to Alistair MacLean. After that, I pounced on Dashiell Hammett, then Le Carre.
Somewhere along the line though, my mystery reading preferences changed.
My sisters read terrible stories of real murders that would leave me with nightmares. I've had enough happen to me in my life that being frightened by true stories isn't fun.
Nor will I read stories of animals being hurt. I can't even listen to the synopsis of Poe's "The Black Cat," much less force myself to read the actual story.
Ah, but the mysteries of my adult reading life are whoppers that never leave me. They are usually short stories that make my hair stand on end, but without making me afraid to walk the dogs in the dark. They are not commonly thought of as mystery thrillers, but I'm sure they really are.
Can anyone ever live through reading Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," without a sinking sense of horror? The wonderful fall harvest festival you are led into turns increasingly somber, and you become more and more uneasy. You are stunned to find that the winner of the drawing is the one who will be stoned to death as a thanksgiving sacrifice.
Or, try reading Duras' "War," and breathe in the frightening reality of living as part of the French Underground, carrying cyanide with you at all times, so that you can kill yourself instantly to escape torture if the Nazis catch you. How did they do it? She makes you shiver with the fear she felt.
Then there is the riveting horror of Eudora Welty's, "Where is the Voice Coming From," a guided tour with the mind of the killer as he murders Medgar Evers. She takes you with him. You don't know where you are going, but certainly someplace bad, and, bang, you are suffering kickback from the gun before you know where you are. I was shocked.
Finally, though, my favorite fiction writers of the last century are, hands down, the great South Americans. These are giants among writers. Mostly missed by Americans is the fact that they are also the originators of hard-boiled crime fiction. It came to America from them.
Jose Luis Borges is one of my favorite authors. His "Death and the Compass," is considered to be one of the most unique of all crime fiction short stories.
His short story, "The Gospel According to Mark," still burns in my brain after 30 years. It is the tale of a do-gooder, a healer, reading the story of Christ's crucifixion to simple natives out on the Pampas. They listen intently to the medical student. Then they erect a cross for him.
Happy Halloween! Scare yourself, and your family, with some great reading.
Artists' studio tour a success, exhibit closes this week
The Arts Council held its annual fall artist's studio tour last week.
Pagosa Springs is home to many talented artists working in all mediums. Thanks to participating artists Pierre Mion, Sandy Applegate, Soledad Estrada-Leo, Roberto and Ana Garcia, Pat Black, Donna Wagle, Jan Brookshier, Betty Slade and Clair Goldrick.
The event was well attended and guests viewed watercolors, pastels, oils, photography and bronze sculptures. A special thanks to Marti Capling, chairperson, for coordinating the tour.
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.
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 Š offer a unique perspective on Š 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.
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 email@example.com.
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 PSAC members. This is the first season of an annual Pagosa Country Scenic calendar, stop by and pick up yours now don't forget they make great Christmas gifts.
Time to join
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is an organization that helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through the arts.
The privileges of membership include: Involvement in membership activities,; involvement in the community; socializing and participating in the camaraderie of the arts; discounts on PSAC events and workshops; recognition in Artsline and listings in PSAC Artist Guide and PSAC Business Guide.
Workshops and exhibits are sponsored by PSAC to benefit the art community.
Membership rates are rates are: Youth, $10; Individual Senior, $20; Regular, $25; Family Senior, $25; Regular, $35; Business, $75; Patron, $250; Benefactor, $500; Director, $1,000 ; Guarantor, $2,500 and up.
PSAC sponsored events include:
- Gallery exhibits in Town Park, May - October.
- Art workshops and classes, arts and craft space, in the community center.
- PSAC annual membership meeting.
- Annual Pagosa Country Calendar.
- Annual juried art exhibit.
- Annual photo contest.
- Annual home and garden tour.
- Annual gallery tour.
- Periodic artist studio tour.
- Watercolor club.
- Photo club.
- Summer youth art camp.
- Arts and craft tent, Four Corners Folk Festival.
PSAC divisions include: Pretenders, our Family Theatre Group and San Juan Dance Festival.
We value our membership and appreciate your support. If you would like to be a member, call 264-5020 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Call for entries
The Gallery Shop and the Durango Arts Center invites 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.
The next entry 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 meets 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 for more information.
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. 29 - Fine Woodworking and Betty Slade Student Oil Painters Exhibit.
Dec. 2 - 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 email@example.com. We want to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.
Lonely? Buy an ad, sell yourself
By Karl Isberg
I'm in the bathroom.
I won't burden you with details, other than to say I'm reading a copy of a magazine from and about New York City.
I soon tire of the cultural chauvinism - the smug and strangely provincial articles about the superior nightlife, restaurants, museums, blah, blah, blah - and I flip to the back pages.
To the personal ads. The ads soliciting companions, life partners, dates, dreams.
Personally, I like them.
I find personal ads a rare lens through which to peer into the desolate emotional landscape of upper middle class America.
We live in a culture where, in metropolis or small town, it is apparently very difficult for adults to locate each other, to make the all-important initial social connection. Too many Americans, otherwise successful human beings, are alone in a crowd with no way to find Mr. or Ms. Right.
As a result, people advertise.
Think about it? What would you do? You're between 35 and 75 years of age; you're alone in an environment that provides few comfortable situations in which you can let down your guard, revealing your true self long enough to, perhaps, attract someone to the point they want to spend a bit of time with you.
You're a drudge, so this is no mean feat. You have to write ad copy, pay to have it printed in a periodical then anxiously await responses from interested parties. Our economy is built on convincing someone they need a product. Why shouldn't the product be you - touted in a fascinating, compact description of your fully-realized personality and lifestyle?
I don't know about you, but I would have a difficult time doing this. I look in the mirror every day and what I see would be hard to glamorize. What I see is an image that scares small children in the lockerroom at the gym. It would take a team of ad agency mavens and a major budget to put the physical me across.
When I turn my attention to other matters and ponder my list of life accomplishments, I confront a long, empty sheet of paper. I would be a hard sell here, too.
Apparently, I am not typical of the folks in the personal ad crowd.
What I read in the magazine as I bide my time in the bathroom shows me there are quite a few people who do not have my problem.
The personals are printed, appropriately, on the pages following the section containing gaudy ads from plastic surgeons and practitioners of cosmetic dentistry.
The Fifth Avenue Vein Center will get rid of those varicose veins, "wherever they may exist." I don't want to imagine all the spots they could exist.
Dr. Papadum and Dr. Tandoor will straighten your smile in two visits, without braces. And put you in touch with an answering service in Calcutta that can handle all your off-hour calls for a remarkably low fee.
You can get a new look with laser eyelid surgery and pay enormous amounts of money for the breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and fat transfer. Ah, yes, a fat transfer.
A special, this week only, will see $100 taken off your Botox tab if you receive five injections or more. The revolutionary lap band will allow you to lose weight at half the cost. Cost of what, they don't say.
Once you're thoroughly made over, you can take out a personal ad and find the person of your dreams. The one you can't find any other way.
The personals ads are full of missives from people just like you and your neighbors: dynamic, incredibly successful folks, employed in high-level occupations or self-employed, captains of industry and yachts.
These people describe themselves in glowing terms; they glimmer like fine gems, revealing perfect facets, ideal reflections of an ideal existence. Each ad, like a cheesy pop song, has a hook.
"CEO, with a soft side, Young 40." According to his ad, this guy is seeking the perfect partner with whom he can start a perfect family. She, of course, should be, "21-25 years of age, compassionate, sweet, slim, fit, able to make both our dreams come true."
The dreams, of course, are not spelled out in detail.
Read closely and you find an old guy who needs sympathy and desperately needs a woman young enough to be his daughter who can do "everything" for both of them. But, why be critical? Esse est percipi and percipi is on Page 237.
"Extremely handsome millionaire, great build, ex-athlete, 40 years young Š"
We know where we're headed here, don't we?
"Wants woman 21-25, highly passionate and sensual, exceptionally attractive and well built."
Hmmm. It seems these "young" 40s guys have certain things in common.
Another chap describes himself as "handsome and honest, wry and reflective." Well, maybe one out of four.
Another one of these geeks describes himself as " A Celtic-American writer."
This clever Celt seeks a gal for "pro or recreation." Heh, heh. He compares himself to Wordsworth and Shaw (which means he's goofy and he's an jerk) and tells his love-to-be she must be " a glaring aristocrat with soft eyes."
Does he mean the eyes must be literally soft? Is he going to poke some poor gal in the eye?
Yet another of these barely-restrained Lotharios is a "tall, handsome, articulate, multi-disciplined (huh?), degreed, licensed professional, perspicacious, kind, of extraordinary wit with eclectic interests from cooking to photography." His perfect date will reflect the same tendencies and will broadcast the following attributes: "tall, thin, strikingly beautiful, warm, sweet, wise and with character."
Whew. Hey, that's not asking much.
You wonder why this guy is alone.
Another would-be Casanova is a "Young 75."
This cagy codger is "trimly built" and "alert to cultural possibilities." He desires "exclusive intimacy."
Guess who he's looking for?
Could it be that same gal, 21-25, the extremely handsome millionaire is after?
We live in a balanced culture. Lest anyone think all the desperation is generated by males, read this:
"Regular girl, 42, anything but thin, pretty, huge heart (do tell) big blue eyes (big, you say?) long brown hair, accomplished (at?) adventurous, happy (how happy?) loves everything from Jeeps to music to barbecues."
And wealthy Jewish men, "25-75, who are down-to-earth, brilliant, caring and secure." The age range seems reasonable.
One woman modestly refers to herself as a "precious jewel," while another tells us she is a "woman scientist/physician looking for a man, age unimportant."
For a lab experiment, no doubt.
One gal says she looks like Sophia Loren. Another, to even the score with the guys, is "54, leggy and hot in the city, and wants to link up with athletic clean-cut guy, 21-25, intellectual, into dance and theater, athletic, who owns his own business."
Yes sirree. Of course, most of them are gay.
On page 238, I find a "beauty contest winner," a "vibrant editor" (I can relate to that), a "sensual slender, toned, yet curvy great looking package with dancer's legs."
I would return the legs to the dancer as soon as possible.
On page 239, there is a woman who "gravitates" to the Swiss Alps, enjoys tennis, Rome and Paris, and who used to be a lawyer but is now an artist who is genuine, resourceful and really really, really knows how to enjoy life with a "trim, athletic man, 21-25."
The more I read, the more depressed I become.
Everyone out there is witty, cultured, vivacious, eager to experience all the best with a person half their age. And they're alone, of course.
I feel so inadequate.
I read six pages of ads before I realize no one promises to cook for the object of their affection. No one uses my hook.
I ponder what I would do were I to suddenly find myself single. Actually, I thought of this the other night as Kathy reminded me of what a slug I am and turned around several times so I could observe her carefully and extrapolate from that the certainty she is attractive to more ambitious and successful males. To handsome millionaires, for instance.
What if she wises up and dumps me? How would I manage the dating game?
If I wanted to lure a potential date to my lair, I would promise to make comfort food, to soothe someone damaged enough to respond to personal ads in order to connect with another, grossly deficient human being.
I'd take a couple of pounds of boneless short ribs (protein is an aphrodisiac where I come from) and cut them into chunks. I'd dice a white onion, half a red pepper, a stalk of celery, four cloves of garlic and a large carrot.
I would season the meat for my prey-to-be then dust it with flour before browning the beef in hot olive oil. I'd remove the beef when brown and throw the vegetables in the pot, adding oil if necessary. When the veggies are soft, I'd put the meat back in, add four cups of beef stock, a can of diced tomatoes, some dried oregano, some dried thyme, a hefty amount of hot red chile powder, salt and pepper. This could simmer for a couple of hours while I push debris and dog hair beneath my threadbare couch.
Ninety minutes before my potential paramour arrives, I'd add one potato, cubed and a can of Great Northern beans, with liquid. I'd toss in a couple more cloves of garlic, minced and adjust the other seasonings. Most of the potato and the beans will disintegrate, thickening the broth.
Once I open the front door of my bachelor pad and admit my gregarious, soft-eyed and witty companion for the evening - the one with the huge heart - I'll bust open a bottle of cabernet franc and cut some thick slices of crusty bread. Crusty bread work on women with large hearts.
The bread will be slicked with olive oil and crushed garlic. A layer of grated Gruyere cheese will be applied before the bread goes under the broiler. If we each devour immense amounts of garlic, our passion will be unchained by the stinking rose.
Stew, bread avec browned and bubbly cheese, a plate of dressed greens and a splash of cabernet franc: What could be more seductive? I'll borrow a smoking jacket. I might even smoke.
The strategy seems sound, and I might well need it.
I'm not sure what Kathy's thinking, but I hear her out in the living room singing verse after verse of "I'm Gonna Wash That man Right Out of My Hair." Truth be told: she's every bit as good as Mary Martin.
To hedge my bets, I need get started on my ad. I'll close the magazine, stand up and get out of the bathroom. My legs are numb.
Let's see: Handsome millionaire is already taken, as is "alert to cultural possibilities."
I've got it.
"Delightful, young-59, gap-toothed fat guy with ADD, a knack for eats and a way with words seeks tall, trim, financially-independent redhead, Ph.D./nuclear physicist/poetess who collects antique tarot cards, reads the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, watches the Home Shopping Network, loves bull dogs and spandex evening wear, and has a morbid interest in Nordic history and ice hockey."
Oh, yes, I almost forgot:
" Must be 21-25 years of age."
Learn to store foods safely
By Bill Nobles
Oct. 29 - Halloween with A Heart Dance, 7 p.m.
Nov. 3 - Shady Pine Club meeting, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 - Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2 p.m.
Nov. 4 - 4-H Achievement Night, 6 p.m.
4-H family and friends Š make plans for Nov. 4, to attend 4-H Achievement Night and support local 4-Hers. The program begins at 6 p.m. Remember to bring a side dish or dessert to share.
Master Gardener applications
Persons Interested in the upcoming Master Gardener Program in Pagosa Springs need to have their applications turned into the Archuleta County Extension Office by Dec. 1 with payment for the program fee.
Classes will begin Tuesdays starting Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. until about 3 p.m. Class size will be limited.
Foods vary in the temperature and moisture they need to retain quality in storage. Stock only the kind and amount of food you can store properly to retain high quality and nutritive value. Use a thermometer to check that the refrigerator is at 35 to 40 degrees F and the freezer at 0 degrees or below.
Use fresh, perishable foods soon after harvest or purchase. If they are stored, maintain the proper temperature and humidity. Even under proper storage conditions, foods lose freshness and nutritive value if they are stored too long. Signs of spoilage that make food unpalatable but not a bacterial hazard are the rancid odor and flavor of fats caused by oxidation, slime on the surface of meat, and the fermentation of fruit juices due to yeast growth. Off-odors in foods and a sour taste in bland foods can indicate dangerous bacterial spoilage. However, food can be high in bacteria count even without such signals.
Buy food from reputable dealers, with a known record for safe handling. Select dated products only if the "sell by" or "use by" date has not expired. While these dates are helpful, they are reliable only if the food has been kept at the proper temperature during storage and handling. Although many products bear "sell by" or "use by" dates, product dating is not a federal requirement. Select products labeled "keep refrigerated" only if they are stored in a refrigerated case and are cold to the touch. Frozen products should be solidly frozen. Packages of precooked foods should not be torn or damaged.
Avoid cross-contamination when purchasing foods. Place raw meat and poultry in individual plastic bags to prevent meat from contaminating foods that will be eaten without further cooking. Put packages of raw meat and poultry in your shopping cart where juices cannot drip on other foods.
Shop for perishables last. Keep refrigerated and frozen items together so they will remain cold. Place perishables in the coolest part of your car during the trip home. If the time from store to home refrigerator is more than one hour, pack them in an insulated container with ice or an ice pack.
To retain quality and nutritive value, stock only the kinds and amounts of food you can store properly. Proper storage means maintaining a clean refrigerator and freezer. Avoid overcrowding the refrigerator. Arrange items so cold air can circulate freely. To reduce dehydration and quality loss, use freezer wrap, freezer-quality plastic bags, or aluminum foil over commercial wrap on meat and poultry that will be stored in the freezer for more than two months. Stop by the Archuleta County Extension Office at the Fairgrounds and pick up further information on short but safe time limits that will help keep refrigerated food from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The time limits for frozen foods are to maintain flavor and texture. It is still safe to eat frozen foods that have been stored longer.
Exchange student reports from Denmark
By Ming Steen
In July, Kyle Kamolz, a Pagosa Springs High School student, went to Denmark as a rotary youth exchange student. Kyle will spend a year in Denmark, living with host families and attending school. The program aims to enable students to acquire knowledge of life in their host community and to promote the general interest and goodwill of international exchange.
The news from the Danish front has been very encouraging. Kyle e-mails the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club regularly and he said, "Life is good in northern Europe. I've made a lot of friends so far, and can only hope for more. It's really fun having so many friends from a different country. Trying Danish foods is also a big treat for me, as it's usually scrumptious. Sharing candy from home, like Skittles, that they don't have here Š my host mother said it tasted like soap."
In a latter e-mail, Kyle said, "The food is definitely worth mentioning. It was just a lot of random cow parts, with potatoes. Always with potatoes. I had the misfortune of getting a hunk of spine Š twice. I'd say it was about 95% bone, 4.7% meat, and .3% cartilage. So I got to pick the meat out from between the vertebrae. That's an experience I wouldn't recommend to anyone."
Annually, over 7,500 young people participate in exchanges supported by Rotary clubs in 80 nations. Youth exchange continues to grow and it is regarded as one of Rotary's most popular and enduring programs. If you would like to look into the organization behind Rotary International Youth Exchange, you can contact Joann Irons (731-4065) who will be happy to help in your desire to embark on this adventure.
Or, if you would like to host an exchange student for three months, also contact Joann Irons. During the course of a year's exchange, the student lives with four different families. Our next exchange student through Rotary will be a high school girl from Australia. She'll be arriving in January Š bad timing, perhaps, since she's an avid basketball player.
The PLPOA Declarations of Restrictions for all of the subdivisions are now available for download from our Web site. Just go to plpoa.com. On the home page, there is a lien that reads, "Are you looking for Declarations of Restrictions? Click Here!"
Or, in the left hand index, you can click on "Finance and Legal." When hat pops up, click on "Subdivision" at the bottom of the Legal column. That will bring up subdivision list. All of the subdivision names are links to the various declarations. And if the master decs are required it says, "also Master Declarations - Pagosa." This is highlighted, and is a link to the Master Decs.
If you have any questions or if you notice errors or changes to be made, please call Gloria at the administration office, 731-5635.
For you mouse-potatoes, that is the online, wired generation's equivalent to the couch potato, here are some new rods and phrases to share:
Blamestorming - sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who will be responsible.
Assmosis - the process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
Sitcoms - single income, two children, oppressive mortgage; what yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
Stress Puppy - a person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
Swipe Out - an ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
Velma Hicken Reseigh, 93, of Idaho Falls, died Oct. 25, 2005, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
She was born Aug. 5, 1912, in Heber City, Utah, to Addison Alonzo Hicken and Jean Lindsay Hicken. She grew up and attended schools in Heber City.
On Feb. 1, 1930, she married Clifford Lawrence Reseigh in Heber City. In 1978, their marriage was solemnized in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. They lived in Heber City, Park City and Layton, Utah, before moving to Idaho Falls in 1951. Clifford preceded her in death May 7, 1994.
She was a mother and homemaker and later, after the children were in school, worked for the school district in the lunch program until her retirement.
She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and, in 1981, served in the Pittsburgh, Penn., Mission with her husband. She enjoyed quilting, embroidery and many other crafts, as well as collecting dolls. She especially loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Survivors are: Daughters Jane Reseigh and Judy Reilly of Pagosa Springs, and Joan (Gary) McManus of Idaho Falls, Idaho; sons Larry (Patty) Reseigh, Calimesa, Calif., and Earle Alonzo (Linda) Reseigh, Idaho Falls; 22 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, two sons - William John "Bill" Reseigh and Jerry Allan Reseigh - and a daughter, Jean Poulsen-Stevens.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005, at Wood Funeral Home (273 N. Ridge) with Bishop Dan Perkins, of the Idaho Falls LDS 22nd Ward, officiating.
The family will visit with friends for one hour prior to the services.
Burial will be in Fielding Memorial Park. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.wood funeralhome.com.
Help us help them: Adopting a town
By Mary Jo Coulehan
The weather is great, by many accounts retail, restaurant, and visitor numbers are up, and we're hearing lots of successful hunting stories this year. We have much to be grateful for.
I see so many businessmen and women pouring their hearts and souls into their businesses to help make Pagosa a successful and thriving community. We are a generous community and I know many a person here who continuously gives financially and with in-kind contributions. With this thought in mind, I would like to remind everyone that we are still working on adopting a Gulf community that has been ravaged by the hurricanes. With Hurricane Wilma whipping in the Florida region, communities are not out of danger yet.
We have finally identified some of the towns and have found out what some of their needs are. I can tell you this: We have narrowed the field down to three towns, all of which are in Mississippi. By the time this article is read, I hope to have chosen a town with the help of Mark Garcia, our town manager. We are trying to match criteria such as similar size, town government, civic clubs, and the community's needs. We have people on board to help with the planning, and coordinating the different requirements that the recipient community has with the products, money and talent we have - then executing the adoption.
If you are interested in participating in any way with this project, call the Chamber and we will take the information and identify the level at which you would like to participate.
We approach the season where we celebrate others through giving of our time or through gifts. Perhaps this town adoption can be a different way to show our gratitude for the blessings that so many of us have.
Civic Club Bazaar
We sure are grateful that the Civic Club Christmas Bazaar is held at this time every year. Funds raised will benefit our library, which hopefully will be in its new home soon.
Handcrafted items such as jewelry, needlework, knitted items, wood items, soaps and lotions, stained glass, pottery, paintings and so much more will be available. When the doors of the community center open at 9 a.m. Nov. 5, shoppers will flock into the gymnasium to get the pick of the crafts.
While at the bazaar, don't forget to buy a ticket or two for the beautiful fall quilt that will be raffled off. Shopping continues until 4 p.m., and with snacks and drinks available, you don't even need to leave to take a lunch break. Get a jump on your holiday shopping and come out Saturday, Nov. 5, to the community center and the Civic Club Bazaar.
Trick or treat
Just a reminder that some of the Halloween festivities will again be held at the community center on Halloween, Monday, Oct. 31, From 6 to 8 p.m., various groups will provide tricks, treats, and fun for the children of our community. There will be a bounce house sponsored by BootJack Ranch, the Kiwanis Club will provide some food, and there will be lots of other activities. With many of us living in rural areas where neighborhood cluster housing is not available, this is a perfect and safe opportunity to entertain the children of our community. For more information, you can contact the community center at 264-4152.
Thanks to Ensignal, Howlin' Wolf Music, The Sewing Source and Trophies Tomorrow for hosting a great SunDowner for October. Remember, these next two months, due to the holidays, the SunDowners will be held the third Wednesday of the month, not the fourth. The next after-business gathering will be held Nov. 16 by Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography and Laura Laydon of Pagosa Skin Therapy. Don't miss this party.
A Tuscan Afternoon
I understand we are very close to selling out tickets for the Immaculate Heart of Mary annual fall fashion show on Saturday, Nov. 12.
This entertaining event shows off some of the best fashions in the Four Corners from shops right here in Pagosa. Come and see clothing from Happy Trails, Goodman's, Satori's Boutique, Astara's Boutique, Miss Jeans and Upscale Resale. The fashions this year will be made even more stunning with the enhancement of some beautiful jewelry provided by Lantern Dancer and Puttin' on the Rydz. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m. and participants will view a Parish Hall transformed into an Italian venue where they can greet friends to the lovely sounds of John Graves.
During the afternoon, you will be treated to a scrumptious lunch and the melodic voice of Barbara Witkowski as she sings Italian melodies. This year, don't let the afternoon end with the end of the luncheon. Travel just around the corner to Pagosa Street and help cut the ceremonial ribbon for Puttin' on the Rydz as they officially open their doors. Hors d'oeuvres, beverages, a live remote, music and stunning jewelry will delight the visitors. Owner Pat Rydz has wish lists available for easy shopping ideas, great layaway plans, and a creative and wonderful selection. Gentlemen, it might be a good idea if you tag along to this portion of the day's activities in order to get some ideas. You don't need a holiday to show that special person how much they mean to you. Please call the Chamber at 264-2360 or Judy Cramer at 264-1156 to check on available tickets for the fashion show. I told you the tickets would go fast!
This is a perfect time for me to segue into our memberships, introducing our first new member, Pat Rydz and Puttin' on the Rydz. Located at 420 Pagosa St., Puttin' on the Rydz has elegant, creative jewelry of high gemstone quality. Her layaway plans make this affordable jewelry even more obtainable. Stop by her store now, or plan on attending the grand opening/ribbon cutting Saturday, Nov. 12 starting at 2:30 p.m. You can also contact Lucy at the store at 264-4001 for more information.
With their home office in Farmington, NM the Sheppeck Insurance Agency now writes policies here in Colorado. This mother/daughter team has been involved in the Pagosa area since 1976. The independent agency has almost any line of insurance covering all areas of personal and business needs. This includes health, life, auto, business packages, workman's comp, and home and condo coverage. Jacque and Shelley Sheppeck have years of insurance experience and they want to educate on the different insurance options, not just sell you insurance. Give them a call at (888) 450-0447 or visit their Web site, www.sheppeckagency.com. And thank you Peggy Poma for referring them to join our Chamber of Commerce. A free SunDowner card is coming your way.
Last but not least of the new member sign-ups is Divot Place Guest House, run by Michael and Susan Garman. Located on Divot Place, this comfortable three bedroom, two bath, log home is a great vacation rental. Having the home right on the golf course is an advantage as well. The home sleeps eight to 10 people and is fully furnished. For more information on this house, call 731-2485. Give your home a break and let the visiting family spread out this Thanksgiving holiday with their own place.
Kicking off the renewals this week is one of the boutiques for the IHM fashion show, Happy Trails Lady's Boutique. Next is Derek Farrah a call with PlanTax, Inc. Renewing this week with two businesses is Ms. Pagosa Springs herself, Lyn Delange, with the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service and Creative Spirit Enterprises or CSE Advertising Specialties.
Returning this week also with years of insurance experience is Kahrs Insurance Group and Jim Kahrs.
Also renewing is Waste Management, as well as The Durango Mountain Resort.
Let's round out this week's membership renewals with associate member Dow Timmen. We appreciate the part-time residents who help our organization and the Timmens are a fine example.
I do want to make note that, in my haste last week in getting the thank you ad out to the paper for the businesses that donated items to the diplomats, I left out one very important merchant. Not only did this lady make some gorgeous gift baskets for the diplomats on behalf of The Source, but she also donated on behalf of her business, Slices of Nature. So thank you Bonnie Nyre for all your kindnesses to us on this occasion and throughout the year.
I hope we will see some organizers step forward to help us with the town adoption project. And thanks everyone, as always, for the work that so many volunteers do for our own community.
Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gift Shop
Walter and Doris Green own and operate Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gift Shop, located in the River Center at the east end of downtown Pagosa Springs.
Walter and Doris moved to Pagosa in 1998, intending to keep two homes, but they fell in love with Pagosa and sold the Florida house. After 10 years of retirement (Doris from management with McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Walter from real estate sales) they purchased Lantern Dancer.
Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gift Shop specializes in contemporary Southwestern jewelry, Native American and Western art and collectors' pottery. Lantern Dancer carries stones from sources around the world, used by Western and Native American artists in their work. The gallery features fine art created by the likes of Darlene Rae (with her feather art) Claire Goldrick, Sue Weaver and Norman Lansing. At Lantern Dancer, the customer gets Santa Fe quality, at Pagosa prices.
Lantern Dancer is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sundays 10-6:30. Call 264-6446.
Those who participated in the Studio Art Tour on Sunday, Oct. 23, were treated to a gorgeous fall day, a variety of artistic styles and a chance to visit with the artists in their personal workspaces or studios.
Many thanks to the following artists who opened their workplaces to share their art: Pierre Mion, Sandy Applegate, Patricia Black, Donna Wagle, Roberto and Ana Garcia, Claire Goldrick, Soledad Estrada Leo, Jan Brookshier and Betty Slade.
Appreciation also goes to the volunteer hostesses who greeted participants at the various studios: Abby Linzie, Joan Slavinski, Cindy Quigly, Lily Rydman, Evelyn Kantas, Kayla Douglass, Jeanine Malaney, Jeanne Hempstead and Jolene Ratliff.
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is grateful to all who participated in the Studio Art Tour 2005 and hopes to expand the tour to many more artists in the coming year.
Navy Fireman Nathaniel A. Lee
Navy Fireman Nathaniel A. Lee, son of Lois and Willie Lee of Pagosa Springs, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.
During the eight-week program, Lee completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. Battle Stations is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Its distinctly "Navy'" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a sailor.
Lee is a 2005 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
Pirate cross country teams qualify for Saturday's state meet
By John Middendorf
Saturday was another glorious day to race for the Pirates cross country team, and the girls and boys team won second and third place, respectively, qualifying both teams for the upcoming state championships.
The festive atmosphere included a DJ, who played songs by request prior to each team's race. The girls chose "Eye of the Tiger," by Survivor (the theme song of Rocky III) with inspiring lyrics: "Risin' up to the challenge of our rival." The boys chose "Let's go," by Trick Daddy, with lyrics also regarding rivals (but which cannot be printed here). Choosing theme songs before the races was "part of the home field advantage", said Coach Scott Anderson.
Although there were some expectations for the girls to win Saturday's regional race, confidence is still high for the upcoming state championships, as Anderson has geared the training schedule for his athletes to peak for the championships. Anderson expects training this week to include "some quality, some intensity, and overall less volume."
At the regionals, "Bayfield showed up to win, and they deserved it," said Anderson, who believes the Wolverines had trained to peak for the regionals. In contrast, "we're putting all our eggs, so to speak, in the state basket," said Anderson. "Whether Bayfield can peak for two (consecutive) weeks" is still up in the air, said Anderson, adding, "that's the roll of the dice that coaches make," when setting the training regimen. Anderson referred also to the fact that the Bayfield and Pagosa girls' teams have been "trading weekends." Pagosa won the previous week's league championships, then Bayfield took the regionals. "If form holds true, it's our turn," said Anderson.
Several other teams will provide some competition for the Pirates when they compete against the other top 3A teams next week. Classical Academy, in particular, against whom the Pirates have not yet competed with this year, is expected to have strong runners.
In Saturday's race, Emilie Schur took five seconds off her time from a race at the Pagosa Springs Golf Course earlier in the season, coming in third overall with a time of 21 minutes, 9 seconds. Laurel Reinhardt had a solid race coming in seventh at 21:49, followed by Jaclyn Harms in 13th place at 22:34. Chelsea Cooper had a "huge" race, according to Anderson, taking nearly two minutes off her previous race on the Pagosa course, coming in just behind Harms with a time of 22:37. "It was very pleasant to see her bridge up" to the other runners, said Anderson. Fifth for the Pirates was Del Greer in 22nd place with a time of 23:53.
Although the boys team did not meet its lofty goal of beating Monte Vista, the athletes got "a lot closer than the week before," said Anderson, who added, "Expect bigger things next week," when the boys are "tapered," or trained to peak for the state championships. Back into fine form relative to his earlier season's race at the Pagosa golf course, AJ Abeyta came in 10th overall with a time 18:09, while Travis Furman came in 19th with a time of 18:34, knocking 15 seconds off his previous time at the golf course.
The big surprise was Logan Gholson, the team's "special forces guy," who came in third for the Pirates running a personal record time of 18:41. Coach Anderson remembers meeting Gholson in the school hallway after the season had already started, when Gholson asked to join the team. After asking, "Are you fast?," Anderson said the look from Gholsen said it all. Since then, Gholsen has made "great progress."
Fourth for the Pirates was Orion Sandoval with a time of 18:38, knocking 16 seconds off his previous time, followed by Chase Moore with a time of 19:22, speeding in at over minute and a half faster than his earlier race at the golf course.
With the upcoming state meet, "We're back into hunter mode," said Anderson, who is open to one of those "spectacular days where we take the whole enchilada. This is where it gets really fun and why we prepare all year."
The state championships are Saturday, on the Vinyard Golf Course in Colorado Springs. The race begins at 10 a.m. and will be on a "very fast course, and very spectator friendly," said Anderson.
Pirates advance to Sweet 16 with 2-0 win
By Karl Isberg
They're in the Sweet 16.
With two goals in the first half, and a superb defensive effort led by goalkeeper Felix Gutierrez in the second half of the match, the Pirate soccer team defeated James Irwin of Colorado Springs 2-0 to advance to the round of 16 in Class 3A postseason action.
The Oct. 21 match at Golden Peaks Stadium was a study in contrasts - one half compared to the other.
In the first half, Pagosa carried the bulk of the action to the visitors, successfully thwarting attacks by Class 3A's top scorer - David Hausknecht - and putting five shots on the James Irwin goal in the first 15 minutes of action.
The Pirate onslaught was led by strikers Chavolo Ortiz and Shon Webb. The two sophomores swarmed the James Irwin net with 28 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half, Webb's shot going just wide.
A little more than a minute later, though, the onslaught produced results. Webb took the ball and shot from 35 yards. The James Irwin goalie went into the air, tipped the ball, but the shot dropped behind the keeper and went in to give the Pirates the 1-0 lead.
The momentum began to change somewhat, with James Irwin's offense making better forays into Pagosa's end of the field. But the Pirates came back strong: forward Kevin Blue made a tremendous effort to retain control of the ball at mid field, passed to Ortiz who, in turn, put a lead out to Webb who ran on to the ball and fired a shot wide with 23:35 remaining in the half.
There followed a series of midfield jams, the teams fighting to break into the offensive zones. A James Irwin attack produced a long, cross-field lead and a shot off a cross. Gutierrez stopped the attack cold. The Pirate keeper stopped another shot with just over 19 minutes left, and a James Irwin shot was just off the mark five minutes later.
Then, Pagosa made the visitors pay for a penalty. A Pagosa direct kick was headed into the net by Ortiz at the 11:55 mark.
Gutierrez then came up strong again with defenders draped all over him at the other end of the field, and Webb took a shot that barely missed the corner of the net. Another Pirate attack was high with a bit more than three minutes left on the clock and a James Irwin attack was halted by the Pagosa defense as the half came to a close.
In the second half, Gutierrez saved the day as James Irwin stepped up the tempo of their offensive game and the Pirates worked to protect the 2-0 lead. The bulk of threats were in Pagosa's defensive end of the field and the pressure was on.
Gutierrez was superb in the net, making several key stops as the James Irwin attackers came at him again and again, perhaps the best effort coming on a save of a 15-yard drive with 10:45 left in the game. Another drive from the wing was stopped by the Pirate keeper as time wound down.
When all was done, the Pirates were set to take a trip to Arvada to play Faith Christian, the state's No. 2-ranked team.
"Our guys played with passion," said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, "and that's why we came out on top. At the half, I said we could win with a two-goal advantage, so we went into a defensive mode. Caleb Ormonde marked Hausknecht and while Hausknecht took 10 shots, Caleb was all over him and he got rattled. And Felix (Gutierrez) was in the zone, making saves. Felix should get a lot of credit and I gave him the Lunchbox Award. Keith Pitcher also played a fine game. He didn't make mistakes and he stopped them when he had to. And, he's starting to overlap and take shots."
Kurt-Mason's take on the upcoming match with Faith Christian?
"I don't know much about them," he said. "But I do know it's great to get this far."
The game will be played on the Eagles' home pitch Saturday, at 2 p.m.
Pirates beat Wolverines in marathon, district tourney next
By Karl Isberg
Following a 3-2 win Saturday at Bayfield, the Pirate volleyball team secured a second-place finish in the Intermountain League regular-season standings and the No. 2 seed for the Oct. 28-29 District 1 tournament, to be held in Monte Vista.
With two league losses - both to Centauri - the Pirates finished behind the Falcons and ahead of third-place Bayfield. Ignacio and Monte Vista played a pigtail match Tuesday night to determine the fourth team for districts, with Monte pulling a certifiable upset to nab the spot in the tournament.
Pagosa's trip to the postseason was a difficult one - one marred by critical injuries and a schedule featuring a bevy of tough opponents.
And few opponents were tougher than the Bayfield Wolverines, on their home court Saturday. The Wolverines were ready to take it to Pagosa, and did just that, as the Pirates struggled to log the 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-25, 15-11 victory.
The close match was attributable to several factors, not the least of which is a Bayfield team greatly improved from the first meeting of the clubs Sept. 24 in Pagosa Springs - a match won by the Pirates 3-0.
The other factor is one that has wounded the Pirates all season long - inconsistency and a tendency to give away too many points with unforced errors.
Coach Andy Rice was happy with the victory at Bayfield, noting "It is the first time we went five, the first time we came back after losing two games in a match. We didn't quit. Bayfield was really up to play us and they were better this time around. We kept our composure. We lost the first game, then came back to win games two and three. When we lost the fourth game, we showed a lot of fight to win the final game of the match."
Rice gave much of the credit for the victory to several of his seniors. "I was impressed with our seniors," he said. "Kari Beth (Faber) was hitting the ball hard. When the chips were down, Caitlin Forrest served well and Emily (Buikema) led the team with 18 kills."
All in all, said Rice, the Bayfield match was "good experience for the playoffs."
And what are the Pirates going to have to do to succeed at districts to earn a trip to one of four regional Class 3A tournaments the following weekend?
While Centauri earned an automatic trip to regionals with the regular-season league title, the Pirates could emerge from the tourney as the district's No. 1 seed with a victory over all three opponents this weekend (much as the team did two years ago when Bayfield won the regular-season crown, but the Pirates took the district tournament championship).
"We need to work on our blocking," said Rice. "Bayfield was beating us angle, inside our blocks. We need to do a better job on hitters - force them to hit line. Blocking will be a real key this weekend. Our offense matches up with anyone's. When we block, we have an advantage."
Another factor in the Pirate game might be the return of senior outside hitter Liza Kelly, who could take the court again after recovering from mid-season knee surgery. Prior to her injury, Kelley was arguably one of the IML's top hitters and a force to be reckoned with. "Kelley is the X factor," said Rice. "She's slowly but surely coming back. Her passing is there and her hitting is coming along. Just having her with us could provide a big psychological lift."
The tourney begins Friday and the Pirates take on Bayfield in a 4 p.m. match. Centauri and Monte Vista play at 5:15.
Pagosa returns Saturday for a 10 a.m. match against Monte Vista and finishes with a 1:45 match against Centauri.
"I'm excited," said Rice. "I think any team can beat any of the others at this tournament. I think the field is a little closer than it has been in the past. We can win it, but we need to play every point. Nothing is for certain, nothing is guaranteed."
Kills: Buikema 18, Faber 12, Forrest 9
Assists: Canty 40
Ace serves: Forrest 4, Frye 3
Solo blocks: Buikema and Forrest 2 each
Digs: Faber 21, Canty and Forrest 17 each
Pirates survive Ignacio scare 35-14
By Randy Johnson
Special to The SUN
Halloween came early for the gridiron Pirates in Ignacio Friday night.
The Bobcats (4-4, 0-3 in IML) used every trick play in their book to scare the Pirates (7-1, 3-0 in IML) in the first and second quarters. Pagosa finally got the cobwebs out late in the second stanza and beat the upstart Bobcats 35-14 to stay undefeated in league play and improve to 7-1 overall.
The win gives Pagosa at least a share of the league championship with one remaining game against Centauri tomorrow night. A win will give the Pirates yet another outright conference title.
It appeared from the opening kickoff the Pirates might be looking ahead to November. They came out flat and let the Bobcats tie the game early in the second quarter 7-7 when Bobcats' quarterback Lee Adair found receiver Derek Rodriquez behind a Pagosa defender for a 27-yard score. After being thumped and pushed around, the Pirates used a smash-mouth ground game to turn it around and score three times late to go up by 21 at intermission.
The Pirate rushing offense generated 245 yards on 45 carries.
Quarterback Jordan Shaffer and running back Corbin Mellette, both juniors, were the workhorses. Mellette, standing in for an injured Josh Hoffman, broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight game. This time he carried 21 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Shaffer rushed for two scores on runs of 2 and 12 yards and threw for a third on a 29-yard TD to receiver Paul Przybylski.
Daniel Aupperle had four carries for 16 yards and caught one ball for 10. Adam Trujillo, a junior, had 18 yards on seven carries at running back and senior Craig Schutz caught one ball for 23 yards. Gunner Gill, a junior running back seeing his first varsity playing time, rushed eight times for 27 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Pirates' defense held the Bobcats' ground game to 149 yards on 40 carries, Ignacio running backs Ryan Neil and Travis Darling carried the load. Neil had 53 yards on 13 carries while Darling rushed 12 times for 27. Adair was four of 11 passing for 79 yards with three interceptions. Przybylski had two picks and junior Travis Richey the third. This is the third consecutive game that Przybylski has recorded an interception.
Senior Bubba Martinez led the Pagosa defense with six unassisted tackles. Craig Schutz had five solos followed by Casey Hart and John Hoffman with four each.
Both Bobcat scores came on big pass plays from Adair to Rodriquez. Along with the 27-yard TD in the first quarter they hooked up again for 41 yards and a score in the fourth. Rodriquez also had 29 yards on three rushing attempts.
This was a game that can be used as a good learning experience for the Pirates as they head into the final regular season game and most likely to postseason play. They must focus on the game at hand and the current week's opponent. Bobcats' coach Jake Nossaman had his team fired up and came out looking for an upset. Luckily the Pirates got over the shock and rebounded for the win. The positive news about this game is that a good team will do what ever it takes to get the W.
The Pirates received the opening kickoff and quickly went three and out.
The Bobcats' first possession started on their 32 yard line. With a seven play drive, and almost four minutes of clock time, they used both Neil and Darling to pound the ball into Pirate territory at the 24 yard line before turning the ball back over to Pagosa on a fumble recovery by Jake Cammack.
The Pirates came back with an 11 play drive and took over four minutes off the clock to score their first touchdown on the 29-yard catch by Przybylski. Mellette carried five times for 22 yards on the drive. Aupperle's kick put the score 7-0 with 2:30 showing on the clock.
The Bobcats used a fake punt by Rodriquez for 21 yards and a first down on the Pirate 45 yard line to end the quarter.
Ignacio opened the second stanza with a five play drive and the 27-yard touchdown strike from Adair to Rodriquez. The point after was good, knotting the game at 7-7 with 10:33 on the clock and producing a lot of anxiety on the visitors' sideline.
The Pirates' offense went back to work. Pagosa used a nine play, 62-yard drive to hit paydirt again when Shaffer scored from 2 yards out. Mellette had a big run of 27 yards to put the ball on the Bobcats' 5 yard line. Aupperle's kick increased the score to 14-7 with just over six minutes remaining.
Each team turned the ball over on its next possession.
With just over four minutes remaining, the Pirates put together another smash-mouth drive of six plays to score, this time from their 47 yard line. Mellette carried the load again on runs of 9, 7, 4 and 31 yards to the Bobcat 1 yard line where his number was called again for the TD. Aupperle's kick increased the score to 21-7 and the momentum had finally turned Pagosa's way.
On the Bobcats' next possession, Adair threw a pick to Przybylski who returned it to the Ignacio 26 yard line. Three plays later, Pagosa found the end zone on Mellette's second score from 3 yards out. The touchdown was set up on the 23-yard completion from Shaffer to Craig Schutz. Aupperle's kick put the score at 28-7 with nine seconds showing.
Przybylski intercepted Adair for a second time on the Pirate 46 yard line to end the half.
The third quarter turned into another defensive battle as both teams had two possessions each and all went three and out. On a fourth-down punt by Rodriquez on the Bobcats' first possession, Aupperle fielded the kick and ran untouched for what appeared to be a score but it was called back on a holding penalty.
At the 5:24 mark, Ignacio had a fourth and 7 from their 25 yard line. Rodriquez's punt was blocked giving the Pirates good field position at the Bobcats' 22 yard line. Four plays later Shaffer ran it in from 11 yards out to put the game out of reach at 35-7.
The Bobcats used a five play, 17-yard drive to put the ball on Pagosa's 41 yard line to end the quarter.
Ignacio opened the final period with another big play on the 41-yard scoring strike from Adair to Rodriquez. The score went to 35-14 after the successful point after try.
With 11:43 showing Trujillo, replacing Shaffer at quarterback, took the Pirates on another long 12 play, 60-yard drive to the Bobcats' 18 yard line where Pagosa turned the ball over on downs. Even though the Buccaneers didn't score, it took almost eight minutes off the clock and gave some Pirates valuable playing time. Gill chalked up four carries and Trujillo hit receiver John Hoffman on a nice 12-yard completion.
With 3:17 remaining, Adair was intercepted again, this time by Richey on the Pagosa 46 yard line. After runs by Trujillo and Gill, sophomore Dan Cammack came in at quarterback to end the game.
Coach Sean O'Donnell thinks his team was not ready to play the Bobcats. "We were probably looking ahead to November rather than focusing on the game at hand," said O'Donnell. "Next week we have Centauri and we won't make that mistake again." The coach went on to say, "We will focus our entire week of practice on Centauri; nothing else matters." O'Donnell also pointed out that his team, "made lots of mental errors and had too many penalties," and noted these things can be corrected by refocusing on the task at hand.
The final regular season game will be tomorrow, 7 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium when the Pirates take on the Centauri Falcons. A Pirate win will give the team sole possession of first place in the IML and a league championship. A Falcons' win would create a three-way tie for the league lead between Pagosa, Centauri and Monte Vista.
This is arguably the most important game of the season and it comes with home field advantage. The players and coaching staff have worked hard since August to get to this point so fans are urged come out and be the "twelfth man" for the Buccaneers.
In other IML action last week:
Monte Vista (6-2, 3-1) def. Bayfield (1-7, 0-3) 45-14
Piedra Vista, N.M. def. Centauri (5-3, 2-1) 14-13.
Score by quarters
Pagosa Springs: 7, 21, 7, 0 - 35
Ignacio: 0, 7, 0, 7 - 14
2:32 PS - Przybylski 29-yard completion from Shaffer (Aupperle kick)
10:39 IG - Rodriquez 27-yard completion from Adair (kick good)
6:02 PS - Shaffer 2-yard run (Aupperle kick)
2:17 PS - Mellette 1-yard run (Aupperle kick)
0:15 PS - Mellette 3-yard run (Aupperle kick)
2:23 PS - Shaffer 12-yard run (Aupperle kick)
11:51 IG - Rodriquez 41-yard completion from Adair (kick good)
Making sports fun again
By Myles Gabel
Once upon a time, not that long ago, kids were left to their own devices to play sports on sandlots after school or on weekends.
I remember making up "Over-the-Line" or "Wiffle Ball" tournaments and spending the day just playing. I remember waiting for a rainy day so we could play "Mud Football" (our moms loved that sport). The game was over when we got hungry or if the street lights went on. The two oldest kids (or biggest kids) acted as captains and chose equal teams. Everybody played. There were no uniforms, no refs, no scoreboards, no league standings, no trophies and, perhaps best of all, there were no parents. It was just like Charlie Brown's baseball team in the funny papers.
If a dispute occurred, the game stopped and, after a few moments of debate, the teams would declare a compromise or a "do-over." The disputed play was repeated, and the game went on as before. (In this age of organized participation, how many kids even know what a "do-over" is?)
When the score became too lopsided in those sandlot games, the two captains would rearrange the teams. Even then, as kids ourselves, we knew it was more exciting to play in a close game than in a rout. But the bottom line was that we had fun. Pure, simple, competitive fun.
University of Missouri law professor Doug Abrams is deeply interested in youth sports. In his spare time, Mr. Abrams helps to coach high school and Squirt hockey teams. But Doug Abrams has another hobby, too. Every day he scans databases for reports of outrageous behavior at amateur sports events. Since 1998, he has come across hundreds of episodes involving out-of-control parents, coaches, refs and even players. Abrams says, "These days only the most egregious and offensive acts even make the news. Youth sports, after all, should be a joyful and rewarding experience for everyone involved."
So, if playing sports was such a joy when we were kids, how come many of us have lost sight of those ideals as grown-ups? Why are we depriving our own kids of the pleasures of sport? We know, of course, that organized competition is not going away in our society, but I believe that our children's fun factor has been diminished.
Too many parents and coaches feel that anything goes when it comes to their kids in sports. The prospects of college scholarships and pro contracts only make the stakes higher. Increasingly, parents are becoming intense and confrontational. Good coaches and referees are burning out. And kids themselves are becoming disenchanted and simply walking away from sports, leaving behind all the many advantages that athletic competition, at its best, can provide.
Remember when we put together sports programs for the youth of Pagosa Springs we are attempting to make the experience beneficial for everyone. Whether your youngster is just starting out in sports or is competing at the high school varsity or junior varsity level, sit back and enjoy your child's participation.
It's time to take the games back from those who ruin sports. Try to remember your sandlot days.
Let's give the fun back to our children.
Reference: "A Parents' Guide to Kids' Sports."
If you bought and paid for extra photographs of little Joey or Susie playing soccer, your pictures are available now. Please stop in at Pagosa Photography at 480 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs or call 264-3686 to speak with Jeff Laydon about delivery of your photos.
The last day to sign up for the 2005/2006 youth basketball league is tomorrow, Oct. 28. Throughout the month of October, the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department has sent out registration forms through the schools and via a home mailer. Don't be left out. Sign up your child by 5 p.m. tomorrow.
Elk's Club Hoop Shoot
The 2005 Elk's Club Hoop Shoot will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, at the community center. This free-throw shooting contest will award every participant with a Hoop Shoot T-shirt. Winner of our town competition will go on to regional and state competitions later in December and January. The 2005 Elk's Club Hoop Shoot is free to all participants and you can sign up on the day of the event.
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.
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.
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.
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
We recently heard a report of a comment - one that puts us in mind of a source of many of our common problems and, perhaps, of a root of our undoing as a community, as a society. The comment concerned a recent vote by our county commissioners - a two-to-one vote, as usual, as per the personalities. The comment was derogatory, aimed at one of the commissioners who, incidentally, is a Republican. The condemnation was based not on the value of her decision, not on its quality but, rather, on the fact she "voted with a Democrat."
How sad. And, before the wolves howl, it would be equally sad were it uttered by a Democrat.
The problem here is deeper than a simple-minded remark. The remark illuminates a tendency that is poisonous to us - a thoughtless "partisan" mode of thought, reductionist, untouched by subtlety or detail. It is mean, oblivious to complexity, juiced by a self-aggrandizing rhetoric designed to prop up small egos, to solicit reactions from the powerless, often to line coffers - always to ignore what is best for all and, thus, often difficult to achieve.
The infection of this effortless, knee-jerk thinking is obvious to all but those who feed off it. The relation of this kind of partisan thinking to local issues is nonexistent.
We will make a statement here we have made before: There are few clear-cut partisan issues in Pagosa Country, and few solutions to very real problems here that can be propelled by a partisan fuel.
Look at some of the problems that confront us; try to determine whether or not there is a legitimate partisan division when it comes to solutions.
Our road situation? How well do clichés work here? What
does the fact one is registered as a Democrat or Republican have to do with working through a terribly complex and emotionally-loaded set of problems? How will it fill a pothole, how will it pave roads, how will it deal with an economic problem that cannot be erased with shallow, political emotospeak?
What about the airport? Partisan politics? A different reaction relative to the political party in which one is registered? Hmm?
How about land use issues? There are thoughtful people on either side of the illusive political spectrum who desire a measure (some measure) of control over growth and development, who wish to design standards and codes. How are these defined in terms of party registration?
What about creation of a Master Plan for town and county? A philosophical argument about the nature of planning and control, perhaps. But, a partisan political debate? We doubt it.
What about the move to build a Critical Access Hospital? With no additional taxes?
This is what we think about partisan, extreme political dialogue and thought: Most of us don't fit the mold. There are those, at the extremes of the political, intellectual spectrum, who, for whatever reason, crave the sense of the security they find in an abstract identity, who are emboldened by the rhetoric that embellishes it.
The rest of us? We are in the proverbial middle. We should not be ashamed of it. We are, by nature, moderate. We should not be ashamed of it. We should, rather, ignore the shrill hoots from the flanks, and take a more active, moderating role in affairs - local and national. We must do so, if we are to find our way down the complex road of compromise - a road that leads us to solutions, then on to the next problem in resigned, pragmatic fashion, unrestricted by blinders, deaf to the noise, ready to work together to improve our common lot.
It is time to be moderate, unattached, effective and proud of it.
Halloween, Web sites and candy
By Richard Walter
It seems the electronic age has advanced into every area of our existence.
Even Halloween has its own Web site - www.halloween.com.
It offers anything you ever wanted to know about how to celebrate All Hallow's Eve.
But, I wonder, do many of those who will go trick-or-treating have any idea what the last day of October and first day of November signify?
The following six paragraphs come from the Web site mentioned above:
"Since the eighth century Christians have celebrated All Saints' Day on Nov. 1 to recognize the known and unknown Christian Saints. Saints are not just those whom the Church has canonized, but all members of that "cloud of witnesses" who proclaim Jesus as Lord!
Almost as old as the celebration of All Saints' Day is the tradition associated with All Hallow's Eve. ("Hallows" means "saints," both mean "holy ones." As in "Hallowed be thy name.") So, Halloween means "the evening before All Holy Ones' Day." Today we call that festival Halloween and we have many secular ways of recognizing it.
However, it's important to remember that its celebration has a long, positive history in the Church.
What sort of history is that? Like many of our liturgical festivals (Christmas and Easter included), All Saints' Day and All Hallow's Eve have some connection to pagan festivals. People of many races and cultures have remembered their dead and have had superstitions about death itself. Christians remembered death itself on All Hallow's Eve and celebrated Christ's victory over death.
During the Middle Ages, Christians would gather in churches for worship and they would remember the saints' victories over evil. Likewise they would put on little displays showing Jesus' victory over Satan, often using unusual masks and costumes to act out the story.
Thus, the festivities on All Hallow's Eve were the Christian's way of laughing at death and evil, something we can do in certain hope of Christ's victory over the powers of darkness. The Church for centuries, however, has seen All Hallow's Eve not as a glorification of evil, but as a chance to affirm eternal life in the face of the death of our mortal bodies."
Halloween has a lot of traditions:
- trick-or-treating by children costumed in every imaginable way
- jack-o-lanterns, hollowed-out pumpkins with faces, often grotesque, cut into one side, with a candle or other light source inside. Legend has it jack-o-lanterns were named for an Irish man who could not enter heaven because he was a miser and could not enter hell because he had played jokes on the Devil
- fortunetelling involving a coin, ring or thimble baked into a treat, each having a specific meaning for the finder
- bobbing for apples, often with a coin sliced inside as a reward for bobbing success
- some still believe, as did the ancients, that ghosts roam the earth on Halloween and that all witches meet on Oct. 31 to worship the devil.
We moderns know, of course, that it is really a means of boosting pre-Thanksgiving candy sales in the form of sugar saturated treats.
Taken from SUN files of October 29, 1915
What threatened to develop into a serious forest fire started in the Little Blanco region, on one of the Joe Braun places, last Friday noon, the burning of land clearings in the way of dead tree tops and other timber refuse, left from a former sawmill set, being the cause, the fire accidentally getting beyond the control of those in charge. Although several miles away, the vigilant eyes of Forest Supervisor French discovered the fire before the phone alarm was turned in, and several auto loads of fire fighters were rushed to the scene, where the forest boys, assisted by about thirty men, after about five hours strenuous rush work on the run, had the flames under control. The timber loss was nominal, the flames having been confined to about twenty-one acres of cut over land.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 31, 1930
The Archuleta County Democratic organization this year is going to eliminate illegal and fraudulent voting that has heretofore occurred, either through design or ignorance, in various precincts throughout the county. Watchers will be on hand to see that the election laws are observed, or several contests may be instituted following the elections.
Mrs. Minnie Mote found a relic of unusual interest while walking along the road to the J.A. Latta ranch. It represented a stone foot or shoe chiseled out round the heel and sides. It possibly was a shoe last or a child's toy of the ancients.
A coal mine has been opened up on the Leon Archuleta Ranch. Coal is being delivered from the new mine.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 27, 1955
A large forest fire on the head of Coal Creek, thought to have been caused by a careless hunter, burned over some 30 acres before being brought under control Tuesday noon. Forest service officials surmise that an unattended campfire must have started the blaze which required a crew of 20 men to control. Most of the fire damage took place in the aspens and in the dry leaves on the ground and not too much timber was damaged. The fire was about 8 or 9 miles from the nearest road and it was necessary for all firefighters and their equipment to go in by horseback.
The weather continues clear and with no prospects of any moisture. To date there has been no precipitation recorded here this month.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 30, 1980
A hearing on the petition to form a hospital district for this area is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., January 14 in Durango. Anyone interested in the matter will have to travel to Durango to take part in the hearing.
John Wilson saved three men from drowning last week at Echo Lake when he pulled them ashore with a six pound test fishing line. Wildlife Manager Glen Eyre said that the three men were fishing when their boat capsized. Wilson swam out to the boat. However the water was so cold that he couldn't pull the men and boat. He swam back to shore and used his rod, which had a six pound test line, to cast out to them. The men got hold of the line and Wilson very carefully reeled the three men and the boat in. Two of the men received treatment for hypothermia.
It takes a 'Village' to raze a lynx
By John Middendorf
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.
&emdash;Aldo Leopold, 1948
The Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a long awaited draft biological opinion of the threatened Canada Lynx.
The 61-page opinion was scripted for the U.S. Forest Service, Rio Grande National Forest, in response to a request for a year-round access road by the developers of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek in accordance with the requirements in the 1973 Endangered Species Act. The Canada Lynx was listed as "threatened" in March of 2000. The biological opinion provides an analysis and forecast for the feline predators persevering in the environs surrounding Wolf Creek Pass.
Lynx have a long history as a component of Colorado's boreal forest ecosystem. They are uniquely adapted to hunting in deep snow, which gives them a competitive advantage over their main prey, the Snowshoe Hare, and they have historically survived well in the high Rockies.
Unlike Colorado's two other species of wild cats, the bobcat and mountain lion, lynx are "habitat and prey specialists," according to Lori Nordstrom, lead lynx biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Montana field office. Lynx require mature conifer forests with fallen trees for their dens, with abundant populations of Snowshoe Hare; areas reliably found in the Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness areas.
The Southern Rockies lynx habitat is one of four main "core" areas of lynx habitat in the contiguous U.S. (lower 48 states). The other three core areas are the Northern Rockies/Cascades, the Great Lakes and the Northeast. The Southern Rockies area is unique in that it is isolated from the species' main range in Canada by the Green River basin and the Red Desert in Wyoming. The other three core areas are isolated from one another, but are geographically connected to the Canadian population. One would be hard pressed to find a federal biologist that would estimate the total number of lynx in the U.S., but all agree that lynx are rare. NatureServe, a nonprofit conservation organization, estimates the total population of lynx in the contiguous U.S. as less than 2000.
Like many regions during America's westward expansion and development, Colorado's settlement had negative consequences for some of the natural wildlife, including the lynx. Beginning in the 1820s, trappers methodically trapped beavers to the verge of extinction by the 1840s, and were soon followed by hide marketers who killed off the southern herd of Bison by 1870. Next came the ranchers and miners, and to feed the influx of settlers, hunting of elk, deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and turkey diminished the wildlife populations rapidly, creating an ecological imbalance of predators and prey. As a result, natural predators such as wolves, wolverines, grizzlies and mountain lions preyed on domestic animals, becoming "nuisance" animals in the process. State-sponsored bounties for the predators' hides, some continuing well into the 1960s, decimated their numbers.
Unlike several other states, Colorado never placed a bounty on the Canada Lynx, but prohibited hunting of the animals only in 1971, when their numbers had become unsustainable. The lynx's curious nature and valuable pelts made them vulnerable to poachers, and in 1974, the last known lynx was illegally trapped within the Vail Ski Area boundary. Except for anecdotal tales, that was the last native lynx ever seen in Colorado, according to Joe Lewandowski, Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesperson.
In 1997, in order to help restore ecological balance, CDOW began a bold program to reintroduce the Canada Lynx by importing lynx from the northern ranges. In 1999, following the capture of lynx in British Columbia and Quebec, 41 lynx were released in Colorado in the early spring, followed by 55 the following year. The initial relocation efforts had marginal results. CDOW "initially had a bad protocol. They were released in the toughest time of winter, and many died of starvation," said Lewandowski. After a two-year hiatus, the program began again in 2003 with a new protocol. After a winter capture (the easiest time to trap the lynx), the lynx were initially kept in cages in Del Norte and released after April 1, after they had become acclimatized and fed for a several months. With the changed protocol, the lynx have done "very well," according to Lewandowski, and have been released annually.
In all, 204 lynx have been released in Colorado. Of those, there have been 66 mortalities, with 22 unknown causes, 11 hit by vehicles, 14 shot or probably shot, and two other human-caused fatalities. Seventeen lynx have died from natural causes, including nine from starvation, three from probable predation, and the remainder from illness. The released animals wear radio collars, enabling tracking from airplanes and satellites.
On the bright side, the lynx are now naturally reproducing in the wild, with 16 kittens documented in 2003, 30 in 2004, and 46 kittens born to 16 mothers in 2005. Whether or not the population is now sustainable, however, "can no way be determined," said Lewandowski, but signs are hopeful that the lynx population is on the road to recovery. According to Tanya Shenk, CDOW's lynx field researcher: "Not only are we finding more litters, but some females are having second or third litters in their established home ranges with the same mate. We are starting to see a stable social structure evolve and family relationships become established."
Many conservation groups feel that the recovery effort is on the cusp and the existing conservation conditions in the Southern Rockies need to continue. "In terms of recovering lynx in Colorado, we're past the midway point, lynx are in the wild making babies, let's finish it up," said Jacob Smith, director of Center for Native Ecosystems, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving and recovering native ecosystems in the Southern Rockies.
In the Fish and Wildlife biological opinion, one of the major concerns regards the lynx linkage area situated on Wolf Creek Pass. The document defines linkage area as: "Habitat that provides landscape connectivity between blocks of habitat." The proposed Village at Wolf Creek sits in the center of the critical lynx linkage territory. The Wolf Creek Pass linkage is the bridge between the southern habitat which includes the South San Juan Wilderness and the northern habitat which includes the Weminuche Wilderness.
Linkage areas are important not only for subpopulations to interbreed in order to prevent genetic isolation, but dispersal through linkage areas appears to be a natural instinct. According to KG Poole in a 1997 article in the Journal of Wildlife Management, subadult lynx naturally disperse, even when prey is abundant, "presumably as an innate response to establish home ranges." There has been documented evidence of lynx travelling over 300 miles from their original home range.
The biological opinion states that linkage areas "can be degraded or severed by human infrastructure such as high-use highways, subdivisions, or other developments." According to the report, the volume of traffic increase expected from the Village of Wolf Creek will be between 5,484 to 11,003 cars per day on an annual average basis (based on a 20-year projection). Current traffic over Wolf Creek Pass is 2,900 vehicles per day, with an estimate (without the contributions from the Village at Wolf Creek) projected to be 5,600 vehicles per day in 20 years.
The biological opinion references a 2000 study by Bill Ruediger, endangered species program leader for the Forest Service, which states that "highway mortality rates can increase drastically with relatively small increases in traffic volumes and speeds," and that "with respect to highway traffic volumes and lynx crossings, Canadian studies suggest that 2,000-3,000 vehicles per day are problematic and greater than 4,000 vehicles per day are more serious threats to mortality and habitat fragmentation."
Despite the statements in the Ruediger study, the Fish and Wildlife biological opinion uses a straight proportion estimate as to how many lynx will be killed by the increase in traffic expected by the Wolf Creek Development, and bases the estimate on current records of lynx killed by cars since the reintroduction program began. The opinion also anticipates that the traffic directly related to the development will alter the essential breeding and feeding behavior by hindering 32 lynx from crossing the linkage.
The linear extrapolation of lynx road-kills seems optimistic. The current level of 2,900 cars per day is an average of one car per 30 seconds; the potential 16,603 cars per day is an average of about one car per 5 seconds. It must take a few seconds, after all, for the lynx to actually cross the road. Exacerbating the problem for the lynx, the full-time residents living near the pass will significantly increase the percentage of traffic from dusk to dawn, when lynx are naturally more active.
Al Phister, the author of the biological opinion, says that the opinion uses the "best available information" regarding lynx road-kill predictions. Because there are no traffic volume studies specifically relating to lynx, he used the linear "straight proportion" to calculate the road-kill rate.
In addition to habitat fragmentation and the increase in the road-kills, the biological opinion describes the complete loss of lynx habitat within the development, a 10-percent reduction in lynx crossing areas within the linkage area, an increase in poaching made possible by the development's access, and negative effects from trampling, overuse, and unintended discharges and runoff.
Despite the grim prediction for the Southern Rockies lynx, the biological opinion concludes that the Village at Wolf Creek "is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of Canada Lynx in the contiguous United States DPS (distinct population segment)."
In reality, the document was always based on the fact that there are other core populations of lynx in the contiguous U.S., since the "distinct population segment" of the lynx as listed in the Federal Register encompasses the entire U.S. population, and not just the isolated Southern Rockies population. In the opinion of Monique DiGiorgio, executive director of the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, the "Fish and Wildlife Service is taking the strongest stance they can give given the political situation."
Following the "no jeopardy" decision, the biological opinion does require the developer to do two things: first, to convene a panel of five to eight recognized experts in the area of lynx ecology, subject to the approval of CDOW, Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The panel will determine the most appropriate means of reducing lynx habitat fragmentation and minimizing lynx/vehicle collisions, which may include building wildlife overpasses. The second requirement is to establish a monitoring program to evaluate the effects of the increased traffic as part of an adaptive management approach applied to all phases of the developer's project.
Every little bit helps. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the "Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act," (also known as the "Pombo Bill" after the republican Representative Richard Pombo, who introduced the bill). Although the title of the bill would lead one to believe it strengthens protection for threatened and endangered species, the bill in fact repeals several key aspects of the 1973 Endangered Species Act. If the bill passes the Senate and becomes law, it would significantly limit federal habitat protection and would eliminate the need for federal agencies to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the Endangered Species Act, before approving a project that impacts the environment of a protected species. Unless specifically requested by the Secretary of the Interior, a political appointee, mitigation procedures such as the ones currently required by the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Southern Rockies lynx would no longer be mandated when a critical habitat becomes impacted by a development such as the Village at Wolf Creek.
Flu shots at
All persons interested in receiving flu shots this year can come to San Juan Basin Health Department in Pagosa beginning tomorrow, Oct. 28 ,between 8 and 9 a.m. and continuing daily 8-9 a.m. Monday through Friday while flu vaccine supplies last.
Blood drive set today
United Blood Services has set a blood drive for Pagosa Springs today, Oct. 27.
The drive will take place 1-6 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.
Donors can sign up for drives at www.unitedbloodservices.org. An ID is required from donors at the drive site.
For more information, call 385-4601.
Marines celebrate a 230th birthday
On Nov. 10, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the raising of two battalions of American Marines to help fight the British.
Since that beginning, the United States Marines have fought in every clime and place from the American Revolution through Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Inchon, Khe San, Kuwait, Afghanistan and in the present Iraq campaign.
Pagosa Springs Marines, active, reserves and former Marines, former Navy medical personnel, families and friends of Marines will celebrate the 230th birthday of the Marine Corps Saturday, Nov. 12, at JJ's Upstream Restaurant. A social hour begins at 1800 hours (6 p.m. if you are no longer on military time) and dinner follows at 1900. The celebration will include the traditional cutting of the birthday cake.
Reservations are required for dinner and must be made no later than Nov. 3. For reservations and information, call Moe Mollender at 731-2279, Sepp Ramsperger at 731-4824, or Robert Dobbins at 731-2482.
Construction begins at Fort Lewis
By John M. Motter
Taps and reveille. The sounds of marching men and trotting horses. Trumpets and rifle blasts.
Such were the sounds during 1878, 1879 and 1880 when Fort Lewis was home to companies of frontier troops assigned to the Ute campaign.
Those were also the years when Fort Lewis consisted of a number of log cabins and many tents, all located where downtown Pagosa Springs so picturesquely nests today.
For several weeks we've been presenting a report prepared by an Army engineer named Lt. C.A.H. McCauley, based on his on-the-spot survey of the fort and its environs. Today we present McCauley's description of the buildings along with a map.
"The new cantonment was so named in honor of Lieut. Col. Lewis, Nineteenth Infantry, killed in action during the raid of the Cheyenne Indians the past summer.
"At the time of the examination of the springs (December 1878 ... Motter), two companies of troops were encamped at Pagosa: I. Fifteenth Infantry, Lieutenant Cornish commanding, upon the east side of the river, and D, Ninth Cavalry (the noted black Buffalo Soldiers), Lieutenant Guilfoyle commanding, upon the opposite bank - the position of their tents, &etc., being indicated in Fig. 1.
"The buildings of the new cantonment were being rapidly erected under the able superintendence of Capt. W.T. Hartz, Fifteenth Infantry, then commanding officer of the post, the location being a bench upon the right bank of the San Juan, some 20 feet above the bed of the river.
"Although the area is contracted, the site chosen is admirably adapted for the purpose of a winter camp. Very convenient to water, not far distant from the hot springs, and commanding a good view, it location is warmer than any other; a line of low hills on its immediate north provides shelter from the cold winds descending from the high mountains of the Pagosa Range; its being open to the south gives it an all-day sun.
"The buildings being erected agreeably to plans and specifications prepared at Fort Garland, are as follows: Ten for enlisted men, two for company kitchens, five for officers' quarters, four for storehouses, one for officers, one for the guard-house, one for the hospital; each to be 22 feet by 14 feet by 6 feet high; all inside dimensions in the clear. The materials, logs, well chinked, with a roof of shingles.
"In addition thereto are to be built stables and corral, post bakery, laundresses' quarters.
"The sketch (Fig. 2) shows the condition of the buildings, December 1, the result of but three weeks work - ten days later all of the line of men's quarters being under roof. The order of the erection decided upon by the commanding officer was: 1st. soldiers quarters, 2d. stables and corral, 3d. officers' quarters, primarily insuring comfort for men and animals.
"Each of the ten buildings for troops is calculated for ten men. Having a door with a four-light sash opening on the parade, opposite which is an open stone fireplace and at either end an opening 21 by 18 inches closed with the solid shutter. Similar to the ordinary guard-house bunks at both ends of the roof, about 15 inches above the pine flooring, is a raised platform intended for five men; its width 6 feet; its length the width of the cabin, 14 feet."
More next week on the construction of Fort Lewis including the report of an inspector general some years later.
Exciting weekend for sky watchers
By James Robinson
Today, the moon is waning crescent and according to data provided by the U.S. Naval Observatory, about 26 percent of its visible disk will be illuminated.
With just a thin crescent moon and little moonlight to interfere, this weekend could prove to be an exciting time for sky watchers. Although the main event does not occur until Saturday, the action begins tonight just after sunset.
This evening, looking southwest and low on the horizon after sunset, sky watchers can view a stunning alignment of Venus, Antares and Mercury.
In order to see more than Venus, you'll need a good, unobstructed view of the horizon, clear skies and perhaps a pair of binoculars. In addition, it is probably best to begin your observations half an hour before sunset. Antares and Mercury will disappear below the horizon in just a short time, so the time gained by starting early can be used to locate the area of the grouping, and then viewing time, once the three objects appear, can be maximized.
The first object to appear, and perhaps the easiest object to locate, is Venus. Although appearing low on the horizon, it will be the highest and brightest object of the grouping. Venus burns a distinct, brilliant creamy white.
Once Venus is located, shift your gaze down and to the right, looking for a burnt orange object a few degrees away. This is the star Antares, alpha Scorpii, a red supergiant which marks the heart of the constellation Scorpius.
From Antares, shift your gaze down and to the right again to locate Mercury. Binoculars may be necessary to resolve the planet, which appears as a tiny spot of bright, white light in the early evening sky. The planet might not be easy to see, so don't get discouraged. Unfortunately, good evening views of the planet right now are spotty at best. However, that will change the first week of December when the planet will be much easier to see during the morning hours. Therefore, if you miss it now, you will have another, arguably better opportunity.
The main event in the weekend's sky watching occurs Saturday, Oct. 29. On this day, Mars will be at its closest to Earth since the planets' record breaking proximity in August of 2003.
During that event, astronomers calculated that Mars passed by our planet at a distance of 34.7 million miles. Further calculations from that year indicated this was the closest the planet had come to Earth in nearly 60,000 years.
This year, the distance between the two planets is greater, with Mars passing at a distance of 43.1 million miles. Although the distance is greater this year than during the 2003 record-breaking passage, astronomers still consider this year's pass to be very close. And despite the greater distance, views of Mars on this go-round could prove to be much better.
The difference between this year's pass and the 2003 event, is Mars' position in the sky. In the summer of 2003, Mars' trajectory kept the planet far south and low in the sky. This position required observers to attempt viewing the planet through both summer's haze and a thicker part of the Earth's atmosphere.
On this pass, conditions will be different. The planet will travel farther north and will rise higher on its nightly journey across our sky. This means due to the planet's higher position and cooler autumn temperatures, observers will be viewing the planet through less atmospheric haze. These factors could make for some fantastic views of the red planet.
On the 29th, the best views of Mars will occur after 9 p.m. At this time, the planet can be seen fairly high in the eastern sky and as the evening progresses will shift gradually to the west. Nearby landmarks include the famous Pleiades or Seven Sisters and the constellation Taurus with its bright alpha star Aldebaran.
Although these star groupings appear somewhat close to the planet, Mars stands off by itself, distinctly orange, thus making it difficult to miss.
As the evening progresses, the planet will inch higher in the sky, and those viewing with telescopes will have greater atmospheric clarity and a better chance to see the planet's deserts, rocky outcrops or the South Polar Cap. However, despite the planet's relative proximity, back yard astronomers may have difficulty viewing the planet's surface features&emdash;imagine trying to resolve the features on a penny from 620 feet away.
If you don't have an opportunity to view Mars on the 29th or 30th, don't worry, fantastic views of the planet will remain for about two weeks into November. After that, you'll have to wait until the summer of 2018 for another visit this close.
WeatherDate High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Forecasts show continued, mild weather
By Chuck McGuire
If you chose Wednesday, Oct. 19, as the date of this season's first measurable snowfall in Pagosa Springs, you "predicted" accurately. Of the total 0.44 inches of moisture received that day, 0.02 inches came in the form of snow. The other 0.42 inches fell as rain.
Of course, the lofty peaks surrounding our community are beginning to hold some snow, as each passing front deposits several inches up high. Only time will tell how much we'll see this year, but forecasters are predicting a "milder than normal winter."
For now, days here in the valley remain mostly sunny and mild. Evenings have been clear and cool, and aside from a few isolated patches, the fall colors have come and gone.
Since last Wednesday, Oct. 19, the area received a total of 0.48 inches of precipitation, with the aforementioned 0.44 inches arriving that day. On each of the following four days (Thursday through Sunday), a mere 0.01 inch was recorded, and no measurable moisture was recorded Monday or Tuesday. While skies over Pagosa were partly cloudy at press time yesterday, heavier clouds with a promise of showers hovered over the higher terrain north and east of town.
Weeklong temperatures ranged from a low of 28.8 degrees Monday morning to a high of 63.7 degrees Sunday afternoon. On the average, daytime highs were in the low 60s, but last Wednesday's high fell just shy of 49 degrees. Recorded lows for the week were in the upper 20s and low 30s.
The forecast for the coming week shows continued mild weather, with daytime highs in the mid 50s to the mid 60s, and nighttime lows from the mid 20s to around freezing.
Mostly clear skies tonight and tomorrow will give way to increasing clouds and possible showers tomorrow night through Sunday, with partial clearing Sunday night. Sunshine returns Monday through Wednesday, with highs expected in the mid 50s.