March 2, 2006
Front Page

Larson, Isgar sponsor Village resolution

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a push by 59th District Rep. Mark Larson, state lawmakers are reviewing a resolution that, if passed, would open the dialogue on the controversial Village at Wolf Creek, and perhaps push the project to a greater level of legislative scrutiny.

The resolution, sponsored jointly by Larson and state Sen. Jim Isgar, hit the House floor Monday and follows in the wake of allegations of collusion between the United States Forest Service, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture (the project developers) and Mineral County officials, in addition to allegations by Durango-based Colorado Wild that those same entities violated the Colorado Open Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

Larson said state legislators would debate the resolution in about a week after lawmakers had ample opportunity to review the document.

Key to the resolution are concerns related to the scope and scale of the project and its potential impact on the adjacent Wolf Creek Ski Area, U.S. 160, the natural environment, water resources and neighboring communities.

Current plans, as put forth by the developers, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and Bob Honts, call for more than 2,000 residential units which could house up to 10,000 people, 220,000 square feet of commercial space and luxury hotel accommodations on a 287-acre parcel adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The resolution also calls into question the nature of a 1986 land exchange which created McComb's private inholding; the tenets of a scenic easement which governs the nature of development on the property; and urges the United States Forest Service to comply with "open-government provisions of the Freedom of Information Act in its consideration of all matters related to this proposed development."

Larson said the resolution had remained true to his initial intentions but that the tenor of the document had changed.

"This resolution has been watered down significantly. If you come in with names and accusations, it's going to alienate some people," Larson said.

Larson's initial tack called for an inquiry into allegations of lobbying abuses and the collusion charges between the developers, the Forest Service and Mineral County officials.

Although Larson admitted the resolution was markedly toned down, he said he was pleased and comfortable with the document as it now appears before lawmakers.

"The resolution remains pointed enough for discussion, yet is open-ended enough for Congress to take a look," Larson said.

And some federal lawmakers have done just that.

Nayyera Haq, speaking for U.S. Rep. John Salazar, said the congressman has been an outspoken opponent of the Village in the past and still harbors serious concerns over the development's impact on water and quality of life for nearby residents.

She said Salazar has pressured the Forest Service to provide answers to his concerns and "certainly has questions and concerns over lobbying abuses." In short, she said, Salazar wants an open and fair process and input from all levels of government.

"Congressman Salazar certainly welcomes comments and involvement from the rest of the delegation and local officials," Haq said.

Isgar, the resolution's co-sponsor, said transparency was one of his main concerns. He added that the resolution encourages staff in all agencies, federal, state and local, to stick to procedures and to take no shortcuts based on the applicant or their connections.

"The project should live or die on its own merits, not based on who its owners are," Isgar said.

Despite the flurry of recent activity and the potential for an unprecedented level of governmental scrutiny, the "owners" of the project appear to be unphased.

Honts described Larson as a "lame duck" representative who was operating out of his jurisdiction and who is unwilling to discuss the development and it's impacts with local officials, business and civic leaders.

Honts said those very leaders had invited Larson and Honts to discuss the issues, but that the Representative had declined.

"He's been invited before but he wants to talk behind our backs. We invite him to come and look us in the eye, and we can answer his questions and he can answer ours," Honts said.

Honts added that he was fully prepared to undergo any and all scrutiny Larson's resolution might cause, but he added that the resolution had overstepped its bounds by asking the Forest Service to deny construction or use of an access road over federal lands to the Village property.

Honts said federal law binds the Forest Service to provide access to private inholdings on federal lands.

"I do object to him calling for an action that asks the Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture to violate federal law," Honts said.

In past statements, Larson has said the project has been riddled with red flags since its inception. And with the resolution before law makers Larson said he remains firm in those convictions.

"I am confident that if they do any kind of exploration, they'll find exactly what we found," Larson said.

  

Officials seek killer of endangered bald eagle

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

An unidentified fisherman reportedly found a dead bald eagle on Southern Ute tribal lands sometime in January or February of this year, and tribal rangers believe someone shot it. Now, they are asking for help in determining the identity of that person.

According to ranger Jeff David, an angler was fishing in the vicinity of Fosset Gulch about 18 miles west of Pagosa Springs when he found the bird, and results of a preliminary investigation suggest the bird had been killed with some sort of weapon.

David would not divulge the exact nature of the eagle's wounds, or the kind of weapon thought to have been used in the alleged crime, and would only say, "Rangers are seeking information about a bald eagle that was shot and killed sometime in the last month in the Fosset Gulch area."

Responding to questions via e-mail, David said the killing of a bald eagle on tribal lands is a violation of the Southern Ute Tribal Wildlife Conservation Code, and is punishable by a $10,000 fine.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) currently lists bald eagles as "threatened" in the lower 48 states, including Colorado, and the intentional slaying or harassment of one is a violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Any individual convicted in federal court of a first offense may spend a year in prison and pay a $100,000 fine. Other federal laws provide further protection of eagles, subjecting violators to additional fines and/or imprisonment.

Because the eagle was found on tribal lands, the Southern Ute Tribal Rangers are heading the investigation, with assistance from the USFWS. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has volunteered further aid, if necessary, and a reward is offered for facts leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call David at (970) 563-0133, Ext. 1442. Callers can remain anonymous.

  

Town tackles traffic planning issues

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Traffic. Most people hate it, and few revel in the prospect of sitting bumper-to-bumper with thousands of their neighbors on a gridlocked highway or city street.

And while many Pagosans would attribute unending automobile congestion to cities such as Los Angeles or Phoenix, recent population and traffic forecasts presented last week during the third public forum of the town's comprehensive planning process, indicate Pagosa Springs residents will soon have a plethora of traffic-related problems uniquely their own. And the bottom line is that you can have growth without traffic, and you can't plan for one without planning for the other.

"Transportation is going to be a major issue for this town," said Town Planner Tamra Allen.

And Brian Welch of the traffic consulting firm Fehr & Peers, while speaking to the group of about 40 residents gathered in the Pagosa Springs Community Center gymnasium, elaborated.

In light of population and growth projections estimating 1.7 million square feet of commercial space, 4,400 new housing units and 18,000 area residents by around 2020, Welch said Pagosa area streets will be significantly overburdened.

To make matters worse, Welch said, at full build-out, which estimates a total of 6.5 million square feet of commercial space, 11,600 new residential units and 30,000 area residents, Pagosa's streets will be bursting at the seams.

"After 15 years, as the community approaches and reaches buildout, travel demand significantly exceeds the existing and planned transportation system. You can't build your way out of this, in terms of roads," Welch said.

Welch's conclusions were derived from a recently completed traffic study undertaken by his firm and commissioned by the town as part of the overall comprehensive planning process.

Although Welch said road construction was not a silver bullet, he said new road construction or improvement projects could play a significant role in managing the traffic concerns of the future.

"Ultimate build out calls for an east/west bypass and a parallel U.S. 160 route, or, you back off the land use code," Welch said.

But Welch said a bypass alone will not solve the community's traffic problems, nor would just widening U.S. 160 from four to as many as six lanes. Welch said a bypass could prove to be an effective method of moving transregional traffic around, rather than through town, but that something would need to be done to facilitate moving people and traffic within the town proper.

Welch then distributed maps showing crosstown and bypass routes which drew gasps and groans from some audience members. He assured the crowd the maps were simply to be used as a visual aid, and were not intended to depict actual proposed routes.

"This is conceptual as conceptual can be," Welch said.

Following Welch's presentation, land use consultants Lesli Ellis and Ben Herman of Clarion Associates, the firm charged with completing the town's Comprehensive Plan, asked attendees to consider the implications of Welch's report in regard to the current tenets of the Comprehensive Plan.

"Does this plan lead to too much development in this community?" Ellis said.

With that, Ellis asked attendees to work in groups to brainstorm potential solutions to future growth related traffic problems. She urged them to frame their explorations within the context of three primary strategies.

The first, Ellis said, called for reducing potential residential and commercial development by scaling back or reworking the development proposals put forth in the most current iteration of the Comprehensive Plan. The second, Ellis said, asked attendees to consider implementing a variety of growth management tools such as development caps, building permit allocation and creating growth boundaries or a phasing system where development is linked to the availability of infrastructure, transportation related improvements and other public services. The last strategy had attendees grappling with potential structural solutions such as widening U.S. 160, building a bypass route, or a cross town, U.S. 160 parallel route.

Herman said attendees did not need to pick one angle of attack, "These are not mutually exclusive. The solution is probably a hybrid of all three," Herman said.

Following 40 minutes of wrangling, the groups presented their ideas.

As Herman suggested, the presented solutions demonstrated an incorporation of all three strategies.

In the end, nearly all the groups advocated implementing various growth management tools and nearly all suggested the need to explore the viability of a bypass route or other cross town route before all right of way or vacant land options disappeared.

Although the exercise appeared constructive for those in attendance, Ellis agreed many future decisions went beyond just the town. In fact, she said the long term success of the town's Comprehensive Plan would rely heavily on town and county, and interagency cooperation.

Allen said the feedback garnered from the work session would be considered for incorporation into the forthcoming draft of the plan.

Last week's session put the comprehensive planning process at just past the midpoint, and Allen said a full draft of the plan should be completed in the next two months.

For a complete update visit www.townofpagosasprings.com.

Hospital bond question goes to voters in May

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Services District received a "very strong" financial assessment for a future Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in Pagosa Springs at a special board meeting Feb. 23.

Phil Brummel, of BKD, LLP, an independent certified public accounting firm, presented a 30-page forecasted financial statement to the district, which he summarized, "In the scheme of things, you really have a project that's very strong."

The forecasted financials consider revenues, expenses, and changes to net assets for the five years following initial construction of a hospital, expected to begin in August if the voters approve the district's bond question in May, and be completed in October of 2007. "The bottom line is that for all periods (in the five-year forecast), there will be an excess of revenues over expenses," said Brummel.

A 35,000 square-foot hospital, estimated to cost $14 million, would house 15 hospital beds and offer services including inpatient and outpatient surgery, EKG and EEG monitoring, radiology, CT scanning, and laboratory, physical therapy and emergency services.

"Not only will you be able to cover the cost of the project, but you will be able to generate a positive level of cashflow," said Brummel.

Brummel's study assessed the demand for services, based on population, age distribution, and geography, and current hospital demand, and assumed that 50 to 55 percent of Archuleta County residents requiring hospital care would be admitted into the local Critical Access Hospital, rather than neighboring hospitals.

One of the critical aspects of the study was the percentage of patients who are covered under Medicare, the government health insurance program for people 65 and older. The feasibility of the hospital is primarily based on the Medicare reimbursement program, which currently pays CAHs 101 percent of the costs to serve Medicare patients, including the corresponding percentage of start-up (construction) costs.

In terms he labeled "conservative," Brummel assumed the current estimated 11,000 residents in Archuleta County will grow 13.5 percent over the five-year forecast period. In the same period, according to Brummel, the Medicare percentage will grow 26 percent (from 1,414 to 1,919 people). "This is exactly what you want to see when you are looking at demand for hospital services," said Brummel.

In 2010, the final year of the analysis, 2,473 inpatient days are estimated (with each patient staying for an average of 3.26 days) with Medicare patients comprising 70 percent of the payer mix. For outpatients, 5,178 equivalent days are estimated, with a 50 percent Medicare payer mix. According to the report, each inpatient day for acute services will bring in $1,914 of revenue for the hospital in 2010, while each outpatient equivalent day will bring in $1,819. Medicare inpatient reimbursement is listed as $1,103 per day, with outpatient Medicare reimbursement listed at 70 percent of what the hospital charges for services. A 2.5 percent bad debt expense is assumed.

To pay for the construction of the hospital, the district will ask the voters on May 2 to approve a ballot measure allowing the district to approve a $12 million bond issue without increasing existing taxes or imposing any new tax. The money will be used to build an acute hospital, which will then be immediately converted to a CAH by a federal licensing process in order to qualify for the Medicare reimbursement program.

Until last week's meeting, the health district board intended to issue municipal revenue bonds, which are secured only by expected revenues, without an encumbrance on the mill levy. However, after advisement from bond council and consultants, the board considered a "limited tax bond," defined as a municipal bond secured by a pledge of a specific tax, which in this case will be all or part of the district's existing 3.884 mill levy, which brought in $819,000 to the district last year (after a levy reduction to 3.674 mills in compliance with Colorado's Galagher Amendment).

For over an hour, the board listened to public comments and discussed the pros and cons of a limited tax bond verses a revenue bond.

Dr. Mark Weinpahl argued against putting the mill levy at risk, saying the district may require the mill levy funds for unforeseen health needs within the district in the future.

J.R. Ford noted the limited tax bond made "default less likely," and board vice chair Neal Townsend said, "It would be fiscally irresponsible not to vote for (the limited tax bond)." In the end, the board voted unanimously to approve the ballot issue incorporating the limited tax bond.

Board president Pam Hopkins said the limited tax bond will allow the health district "more flexibility to get a better loan."

Ford, a district ad hoc bond and finance committee member, said that by encumbering a portion of the mill levy, the district will be able to shave 1.5 to 2 percent off the bond's rate, saving the district $200,000 per year over the course of the bond issue.

Tuesday evening, the board approved final ballot language, which does not specify the type of municipal bond, but asks whether revenue from the mill levy be "utilized as necessary, along with any other revenue of the district" to pay the debt service of the $12 million bond.

Estimated costs to build the hospital include $8 million for construction (plus a 5 percent "contingency" amount), $750,000 in medical equipment (Mercy Medical Center has pledged to donate equipment), $600,000 in architectural and engineering fees, and $1.8 million in working capital ("cash to get the doors open," said Brummel).

In addition to the $12 million bond, the district plans to apply for a $500,000 GOCO grant. Ford said he was "comfortable we're going to get it."

The district also plans to raise $1 million in contributions, and is off to a good start. At the end of the meeting, board members presented a $102,000 pledge check to the district for the new hospital. Contributors included Ford, Maria Kolpin, Dr. Deborah Parker, Lisa Scott, and district board members Jim Pruitt, Kitzel Farrah, Bob Scott, Michelle Visel, Bob Goodman, Townsend and Hopkins.

The board also announced Mercy Medical Center's hiring of Pat Haney as the Upper San Juan Health Services District acting business director. Haney began work Feb 16.

 

 Inside The Sun

Planning Commission

The Archuleta County Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, in the board of county commissioners' meeting room, in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

- Call to order/roll-call.

- Lussi Minor Impact Subdivision-Sketch Plan

The applicant is requesting approval of the sketch plan phase of a minor subdivision in order to subdivide two lots previously consolidated. Section 19, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Colorado. The property is Lot 22X of Eaton Pagosa Estates Subdivision. Physical Address: 156 Glen Eaton Drive, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147.

- Coyote Cove Full Subdivision-Preliminary Plan

This is a request to obtain approval of the Preliminary Plan to subdivide 30.37 acres to create 35 lots ranging in size from .33 acres to 4.72 acres. The average lot size will be .66 acres. The property is located in the SE 1/4 Section 25, and NE 1/4, Section 36, T36N, R2 1/2 W, N.M.P.M. The site is along the south west side Piedra Road (CR-600) approximately 5 1/2 miles north of U.S.160.

- Pagosa Pointe Conditional Use Permit

This is a request to obtain approval of a Conditional Use Permit. Pagosa Pointe is a proposed multi-family affordable housing development located on 7.41 acres centrally located off of Piedra Road (County Road 600) approximately 1.3 miles north of U.S. 160. The development will ultimately contain seven housing complexes. In the first phase of the project there will be five buildings with 16 rental units in each complex for a total of 80 apartments. A clubhouse will house the on-site management and maintenance team that will provide services to the resident community in the first phase. The second phase of the development will consist of two buildings with 16 units for a total of 32 apartments to complete built out. Of the 112 apartment units, there will be 52-1; 56-2; 4-3 bedroom apartments. The project is located off of County Road 600, approximately 1.3 miles north of U.S.160. This project is located at 1230 County Road 600 across from the Cloman Boulevard more commonly known as the SW 1/4 Section of Section 9, Township 35N, and Range 2 West.

- Review of the planning commission minutes of Feb 8, 2006

- Other business that may come before the planning commission.

- Adjournment.

 

Jeff Dietch to meet the voters Saturday

Jeff Dietch, Democratic candidate for State House of Representatives, 59th District, will meet voters at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at Shy Rabbit 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 and B-4.

The event is being hosted by Rich and Leanne Goebel .

Take North Pagosa Boulevard to Bastille Drive, turn left on Bastille. Shy Rabbit is just past Hopi, next to the Pine Valley Rental. Look for the sandwich board signs.

Feel free to bring a bottle of wine, a micro-brew or an appetizer of your choice.

R.S.V.P. to 731-1841

(This event is not sponsored by Shy Rabbit. The facility was provided by the owners to the hosts for the evening.)

 

County road maintenance policy is outlined

Archuleta County Primary roads are those which are of greatest importance to intra-county transportation. The primary road system is comprised of all roads which function as minor arterials, collectors, local access roads, rural access roads and recreational access roads.

All of these functional classifications have criteria described by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

The following outlines the maintenance and other responsibilities of the county for a road which is included in the Archuleta County Primary Road system. For any person living or traveling on a Primary road, the following can be expected:

Routine maintenance: These are activities which preserve the life of a road. Gravel roads will receive blading and dust abatement as needed, full-depth mag chloride stabilization on a rotating schedule, and ditch, culvert and cattle guard cleaning. Asphalt roads will receive pothole patching and crack sealing, striping as necessary, and ditch and culvert cleaning.

Road Capital Improvement: These are activities which extend the life of a road. All roads in the County Primary Road System will have capital improvements scheduled over a multiple-year schedule, determined by the condition and function of the road. The aim is to keep as many roads in the good to excellent range (OCI of 70 or above) of the life cycle curve as financially possible. Examples of road capital improvements are: re-graveling, overlaying asphalt roads (which includes chip seals), paving gravel roads, and reconstructing roads.

Snow removal: All roads in the County Primary Road System will receive snow removal on a priority schedule determined by the function of the road. This priority and associated map is described in the Archuleta County Snow Removal Policy brochure, which will be available at the county administration office, public works facility, and on the web site at www.archuletacounty.org.

Safety: All roads in the County Primary Road System will undergo an engineering study to determine appropriateness of, and needs for, signage and other outstanding safety issues. The study will evaluate traffic volumes, types and speeds, accident history, road function, surface type and width, and parking, pedestrian, and non-motorized traffic activities. Signs will be replaced on a routine schedule based on federal retro-reflectivity standards.

Bridges: Any bridge on a road in the County Primary Road System will be inspected and photographed every other year to ensure it is maintained to a safe and operational standard.

Reconstruction: Any road or segment thereof in the primary road system undergoing reconstruction will be reconstructed to the design standard described in the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Design Standards for that road's functional classification.

The Archuleta County Secondary Road system is subject to the following policy as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners Jan. 17, 2006.

"Effective June 15, 2006, staff be directed to not maintain secondary roads except in emergency situations as authorized by the public works director," the document states.

In addition, the document directs county staff to assist citizens in the formation of public improvement districts to provide for their own road maintenance.

Archuleta County Primary roads

Minor Arterial Roads

Road Name, Extent

Cloman Blvd. County Rd. 500 (Trujillo Rd.),Town Limits to County Landfill

County Rd. 600 (Piedra Rd.), to FS boundary

N. Pagosa Blvd., U.S. 160 to Lake Forest Circle

Major Collector Roads

Road Name, Extent

Bristlecone Dr., from Timber Ridge Bdry to CR 500

Buttress Ave., S. Pagosa Blvd. to Cascade

Capricho Cir., S. Pagosa Blvd. to Bristlecone

Carlee Pl., Pinon Cswy. to Park

Cascade Ave. Cloud Cap Ave., CR 600 to Park

County Rd. 119 (Light Plant Rd.) County Rd. 359 (Coyote Park Rd.) County Rd. 700 (Cat Creek Rd.), U.S. 160 to Orange Ct.

Lake Forest Cir., Vista Blvd. to N. Pagosa Blvd.

Meadows Dr. N Pagosa Blvd. Park Ave., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Cloud Cap

Pinon Cswy. S Pagosa Blvd. Trails Blvd., U.S. 160 to Sam Houston

Vista Blvd. Minor Collector Roads Road Name, Extent

Aspenglow Blvd. Bonanza Ave. County Rd. 139 (Bayles School Rd.), U.S. 160 to Haley Pl.

County Rd. 335 (Lower Blanco Rd.) County Rd. 339, U.S. 84 south to .55 mi.

County Rd. 411 (Cemetary Rd.), to Bienvenido Cir.

Crestview Dr. Handicap Ave., CR 600 to W. Masters Cir.

Hatcher Cir., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Saturn

Holiday Ave.

Jack's Pasture Rd. Lake Forest Cir., Vista Blvd. north to N. Pagosa Blvd.

Masters Cir., Holiday to Handicap

Mission Dr. Northlake Ave. Park Ave., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Vista

Pike Dr., to Rainbow

Rainbow Dr., Pike to Crestview

Saturn Dr., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Hatcher Cir.

Trails Blvd., Sam Houston to end

Local Access Roads

Road Name, Extent

Ace Ct. Back Swing Dr. Bastille Dr. Brookhill Dr. Butte Dr., Aspenglow to Monument

Capitan Cir. Carino Pl., Meadows to Hersch

Cloud Cap Ave., Park to Aspenglow

County Rd. 337 Coyote Dr. Dandelion Dr., Coyote Dr. to Mayflower Dr.

Davis Cup Dr. Dichoso St. Escobar Ave., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Laurel

Falcon Pl., N. Pagosa Blvd. to W. Snow Cir.

Handicap Ave., Masters Cir. to Pines Club Pl.

Harvard Ave., Meadows Dr. to Elbert Pl.

Hatcher Cir., Saturn south to N. Pagosa Blvd.

Hersch Ave. Hidden Dr. Holiday Dr. Holiday Ln. Hopi Dr., Navajo Trail to Bastille

Lakeside Dr., N. Pagosa Blvd. to Park Ave.

Lakewood St. Laurel Dr. Masters Cir., Holiday Ave. east to Handicap

Mayflower Dr. Monte Vista Dr. `Monument Ave. Navajo Trail Dr. Pines Club Pl., Carlee to Handicap

Pines Dr. Pineview Rd., U.S. 84 to Terry Robinson

Pinon Hills Dr., CR 982 to Mesa View

Port Ave. River Forest Dr. Sam Houston Ave. Seminole Dr. Shenandoah Dr., Stagecoach to Coyote Dr.

Solomon Dr. Stagecoach Ln., Holiday Dr. to Shenendoah

Sunset Trail, U.S. 151 to Meadowlark

Sweetwater Dr. Talisman Dr. Terry Robinson Rd., to first cattleguard

Valley View Dr. Rural Access Roads Road Name, Extent

County Rd. 175 (Old Piedra U.S. ) County Rd. 391 (Edith Rd.) County Rd. 411 (Cemetary Rd.), Bienvenido Cir. to end

County Rd. 500 (Trujillo Rd.), County Landfill to U.S. 151

County Rd. 542 (Montezuma Rd.) County Rd. 551 (Juanita Rd.) County Rd. 700 (Cat Creek Rd.), Orange Ct. to CR 500

County Rd. 917 (Cabezon Canyon Rd.) County Rd. 973 County Rd. 975, NM State line to CR 973

County Rd. 977 County Rd. 988 Recreational Access Roads Road Name, Extent

County Rd. 113 (Fawn Gulch Rd.) County Rd. 146 (Turkey Springs Rd.), U.S. 160 to FS boundary

County Rd. 166 (First Fork Rd.) County Rd. 200 (Snowball Rd.) County Rd. 302 (Mill Creek Rd.) County Rd. 326 (Blanco Basin Rd.) County Rd. 382 (Navajo River Rd.), U.S. 84 to FS Price Lakes Rd.

County Rd. 400 (Fourmile Rd.) County Rd. 982 Eight Mile Mesa Rd.

 

Archuleta County Secondary roads

Secondary Roads

Name, Extent

Abbey Ct. Agate Ct. Andrews Dr. Andrews Ln. Antelope Ave. Antero Dr. Antler Ct. Appaloosa Cir. Arbor Dr.

Arrow Ct.

Arrowhead Dr.

Ashtil Ct.

Aspen Rd.

Aviation Ct.

Balfour Ct.

Bay Ct.

Bayview Cir.

Beaver Cir.

Beech Ct.

Belford Pl.

Bent Grass Ct.

Bermuda Ct.

Big Horn Ct.

Big Sky Pl.

Big Valley Dr.

Birch Bay Ct.

Blanca Pl.

Blue Mountain Pl.

Bluebird Ct.

Bonita Dr.

Bradley Pl.

Brassie Ct.

Brook Dr.

Bross Pl.

Buckeye Pl.

Buena Vista Pl.

Buffalo Ct.

Bunker Ct.

Burro Ct.

Butte Dr., Monument to end

Buttress Ave., Cascade to end

Caballero Dr.

Caddy Cir.

Caleta Pl.

Cameo Ct.

Cameron Pl.

Candelaria Pl.

Canyon Cir.

Cape Pl.

Capricho Cir., Bristlecone to S. Pagosa Blvd.

Carefree Pl.

Carino Pl., Scenic to Hersch; Meadows to end

Carlee Pl., Pinon Cswy. to end

Carpin Cir.

Carrico St.

Castle Pl.

Cattail Ct.

Cedar Dr.

Cherry Ct.

Chestnut Ct.

Chickadee Ct. Chieftain Ct.

Chipper Ct.

Cimarona Cir.

Clearwater Dr.

Cleek Ct.

Clemente Ct.

Cloister Pl.

Clover Ln.

Colony Ct.

Columbia Ct.

Columbine Ct.

Condor Dr.

Convention Pl.

Corona Ct.

Coronado Cir.

Cortez Ct.

County Rd. 139 (Bayles School Rd.), Haley Pl. to end

County Rd. 339, U.S. 84 north to .74 miles

County Rd. 382 (Navajo River Rd.), from FS Price Lakes Rd. to end

County Rd. 557 (Carracas Rd.)

County Rd. 975 (Swanemyr Ln.), from County Rd. 973 to end

Cove Dr.

Coyote Ct.

Crestone Pl.

Croton Ct.

D Pl.

Dandelion Ct.

Dandelion Dr., Mayflower Dr. to end

David Dr.

Dayspring Pl.

Deer Park

Diamond Ct.

Divot Pl.

Dolese Ave.

Domicile Cir.

Dragoon Ct.

Driftwood Dr.

Dutton Dr.

E. Blue Lake Dr.

E. Cedar

E. Cotton Ct.

E. Crescent Ct.

E. Golf Pl.

E. Log Hill Rd.

E. Morning Glory Dr.

E. Nebo Ct.

E. Pyramid Dr.

E. Radiant Ct.

E. Sunbeam Ct.

Eagles Loft Cir.

Eagles Nest

Eagles Pl.

Easy Dr., Pinon Hills Cir. to Hustler's Rest

Easy St.

Ebony Ct.

Echo Creek Ct.

Echo Creek Dr.

Edgewater Dr.

Eiffel Ct

Elbert Pl., Harvard Ave. to Oxford Pl.

Eldorado St.

Elkhorn Ln.

Elm Ct.

Emerald Pl.

Enchanted Pl.

Ermine Ct.

Escobar Ave., Laurel to Mission

Estates Cir.

Evans Ct.

Everest Ct.

Fairfield Dr.

Fairway Pl.

Falcon Pl., W. Snow Cir. to end

Fawn Ct.

Fiesta Pl.

Fireside St.

Fish Cove Ct.

Fisher Ct.

Flatiron Dr.

Flintlock Pl.

Foothill Pl.

Fortune Dr.

Fox Pl.

Fremont Ct.

Fritz & Mabel's Pl.

Frolic Ct.

Gala Pl.

Gallop Ct.

Garnet Ct.

Gary Pl.

Gila Dr.

Glade Dr.

Glenwood Ct.

Gold Cir.

Granada Dr.

Granite Ct.

Grant Ct.

Green View Dr.

Greenbrier Dr.

Greenway Dr.

Grenadier Pl.

Hackamore Pl.

Haley Pl.

Harmony Dr.

Hartong Ln.

Harvard Ave., Elbert Pl. to end

Hawk Pl.

Heather Pl.

Heritage Dr.

High Dr.

Highland Ave.

Hills Cir.

Home Ct.

Homestead Dr.

Hood Ct.

Hoot N Holler

Hopi Dr., Park Ave. to Oakwood Cir.

Horseshoe Cir.

Hunter Ct.

Hustlers Rest, Easy Dr. to Eagle's Nest

Indian Paint Brush Dr.

Inspiration Dr.

Island Pl.

Jacobson Cir.

Jaunty Ct. Jubilee Ct.

Juniper Ct.

Kinley Ct.

Kinnikinnik Dr.

Knife Edge Pl.

Knollwood Ct.

La Costa Ct.

Laguna Pl.

Lake Fork

Lake St., Prospect Blvd. to Homestead Dr.

Lake View Dr.

Lancer Ct.

Lassen Dr.

Lazy Ln.

Lighthouse Dr.

Lilac Ct.

Limestone Ct.

Little John

Lofty Ct.

Longmont Ct.

Lopez Rd.

Luxury Pl.

Lyn Ave.

Mallard Pl.

Manor Ct.

Mansions Cir.

Marble Ct.

Marina Ct.

Marmot Ct.

Martin Ct.

Martinez Pl.

Mashie Ct.

Maverick Dr.

Meadow Lark

Meadow Pl.

Meadowbrook Pl.

Mesa View

Midiron Ave.

Milton Ln.

Moccasin Ct.

Mockingbird Pl.

Moffat Ct.

Mohawk Ct.

Monarch Ct.

Monastery Ct.

Monterosa Ct.

Montezuma Cir.

Moon Ct.

Morro Cir.

Mosswood Dr.

Mossy Ln.

Mule Deer, Deer Park to Surface Change at .08 mi

Musket Ct.

N. Birdie Ct.

N. Dawning Ct.

N. Debonaire Ct.

N. Driver Ct.

N. Emissary Ct.

N. Feather Ct.

N. Honeysuckle Ave. N. Pinescent Ct.

N. Stymie Ct.

N/A (Cloud Cap Access 1)

N/A (Cloud Cap Access 2)

N/A (County Rd. 551 Access)

N/A (Estates Cir. Access 2)

N/A (Estates Cir. Access)

N/A (Hartong Ln. Access)

Navajo Ct.

Navajo Rd.

Night Hawk Ct.

Nocturn Dr.

Northbay Cir.

Northshore Cir.

Nugget Ct.

Oakwood Cir.

Old Durango Rd.

Old Gallegos Rd.

Old Sawmill Cir.

Olive Ct.

Olympic Ct.

O'Neal Dr.

Oriole Ct.

Osprey Ct.

Overlook Ct.

Oxford Pl.

Paciente Pl.

Pacifico Dr.

Packet Ct.

Palm Ct.

Par Pl.

Paradise Dr.

Peace Pl.

Peak Ct.

Pebble Cir.

Peninsula Pl.

Peregrine Pl.

Periwinkle Dr.

Perry Dr., to FS boundary (gate) at 1.22 mi

Pike Dr., Rainbow Dr. to curve at .47 mi

Pine Crest

Pines Club Pl., Handicap to end

Pineview Dr.

Pineview Rd., Terry Robinson Rd. to end

Pinon Hills Cir.

Pinon Hills Dr., Mesa View to Pinon Hills Cir.

Pioneer Ct.

Pizarro Ct.

Point Pl.

Pompa Dr.

Ponderosa Ct.

Ponderosa Dr.

Pony Pl.

Poplar Ct.

ProspeCt. Blvd.

Pueblo Ct.

Putter Ct.

Quartz Ct. Rainbow Rd., from bridge to end

Ranger Park Dr.

Raven Ct.

Ray Ct.

Redwood Dr.

Regester Lp

Rifle Pl.

Rincon Ct.

Ripple Ct.

Rob Snow Rd.

Roosevelt Dr.

Rosewood Ct.

Roush Dr.

Roxanna's Ct.

Ruby Ct.

Run Around Rd.

S. Birdie Ct.

S. Dawning Ct.

S. Debonaire Ct.

S. Driver Ct.

S. Emissary Ct.

S. Feather Ct.

S. Honeysuckle Ave.

S. Pinescent Ct.

S. Stymie Ct.

Saddle Cir.

Saddlehorn Pl.

Samuel's Ct.

San Jose Ct.

San Marcial Pl.

Sandlewood Dr.

Sandstone Ct.

Saturn Dr., Hills Cir. to N Pagosa Blvd.

Scenic Ave.

Scott Dr.

Scratch Ct.

Settler Dr.

Shadow Pl.

Shelter Pl.

Shenandoah Dr., Coyote Dr. to Coyote Ct.

Short Dr.

Sierra Ct.

Silver Cir.

Simi Ct.

Snow Cir.

Sonlight Pl., County Rd. 400 to cattleguard

Spring Ct.

Stagecoach Ln., Holiday to end; Shenendoah to end

Steamboat Dr.

Stevens Cir.

Stone Ct.

Sugarloaf Dr.

Sumac Ct.

Sumba Ct.

Summit Dr.

Summit Swing

Sundown Cir.

Sunshine Dr. Surrey Dr.

Tamarac Ct.

Teakwood Dr.

Teal Cir.

Tee Ct.

Teepee Pl.

Terrace Dr.

Thrush Ct.

Tonto Ct.

Tor Ct.

Torres Ct.

Tower Pl.

Trap Ct.

Trappers Dr.

Treasure Ct.

Trinity Ct.

Twin Creek Cir.

Unk, was Bluegrass Ct. (off Park Ave.)

Unk, was Nassau Ct. (off Holiday Ave.)

USFS 12 (Blue Creek Rd.)

W. Blue Lake Dr.

W. Cedar

W. Cotton Ct.

W. Crescent Ct.

W. Golf Pl.

W. Log Hill Rd.

W. Morning Glory Dr.

W. Nebo Ct.

W. Radiant Ct.

W. Sunbeam Ct.

Walnut Pl.

Wandering Hills

Wapiti Pl.

Waterfall Ct.

Waxwing Pl.

White Tail

Wild Iris Dr.

Wild Rose Ln.

Wilderness Dr.

Willard Way

Willow Ct.

Windward Dr.

Woodland Dr.

Woodridge Cir.

Woodsman Dr.

Woodward Dr.

Yeoman Dr.

Firefighters extinguish two blazes

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District responded to two structure fires during the past week.

A crew of 10 firefighters with seven trucks sped to a fire in a structure located at 817 Doc Adams Road in the Aspen Springs subdivision at 7:41 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.

When the firefighters arrived, they found the blaze had burned down to the smouldering stage due to lack of oxygen in the closed house.

According to Grams, the occupants of the house returned home while the fire was smouldering and opened a door. "We're lucky the fire didn't backdraft," said Fire Chief Warren Grams.

Flames burned a corner of the living room of the structure, burned the ceiling of the living room and the stairs leading to the second story of the house.

Grams reported the house is structurally sound but said there was heavy heat and smoke damage to the home's contents.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but Grams said it appears likely to be electrical in nature.

A district crew of nine firefighters, with four vehicles, were called to a chimney fire in a home at 23810 U.S. 160, 1 1/2 miles west of the Piedra River Feb. 26 at 7:15 p.m.

The crew fought the blaze by pouring water down the chimney. The prompt response left the home with no smoke damage and no damage to the structure.

"The fire should remind people that the use of pine as a firewood requires frequent cleaning of the chimney," said Grams. "A chimney should be cleaned once a month, or at least inspected for creosote, depending on the kind of wood that is burned."

Grams said the district has responded to 60 calls year-to-date and added he expects the district to exceed its 300 calls per year average if the pace continues.

 

BLM requests public comment on proposed land sale

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the Department of the Interior is providing notice of "realty action," and requests public comment on a proposed "noncompetitive" sale of 40 acres of public land to private investors. Comments in writing only, must be submitted no later than March 23, 2006.

Subject to either sale or exchange, the land is being offered to Thomas H. and Margie E. Smith for no less than the appraised fair market value of $170,000, and is surrounded by private property the Smiths already own. Because the parcel is completely encircled by personal ownership, is isolated from other public lands, and has no legal access via any public road, the Smiths are requesting the purchase under noncompetitive, or direct, sale procedures.

The parcel in question lies about a mile northeast of Oakbrush Hill, a U.S. Forest Service tract of 350 acres along Piedra Road the Smiths hope to acquire in a trade with the USFS. If the trade is successful, the Smiths will attain sufficient unrestricted access to allow some sort of medium-density residential development of roughly 2,000 acres of property bordering the north side of Stevens Reservoir.

Roger Horton, a broker for Fairfield Pagosa Realty and representative for the Smiths, said in a telephone interview Tuesday, "We haven't decided what type of development we'll do yet. It depends of whether we accomplish the trade. If we do, we hope to turn dirt in a year or two with some kind of development, but if we don't, we may do 35-acre tracts. We could even sell the whole thing to another company, who might come in and do something different."

Even though Horton claimed the Smiths aren't actively pursuing the trade just now, he clearly indicated that final development plans rest on whether or not it is achieved.

Nevertheless, in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Parts 2710 and 2720, the following described land in Archuleta County, Colo. is proposed for sale pursuant to authority provided in Sections 203 and 209 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended (43 U.S.C. 1713, 1719).

The parcel is identified as suitable for disposal in the San Juan/San Miguel Resource Area Management Plan (1985). Should the sale of this public land be finalized, proceeds will be deposited in the Federal Land Disposal Account under section 206 of the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (43 U.S.C. 2305).

The land that is the subject of this sale is described as: "The Southwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 28, Township 36 North, Range 2 West of the New Mexico Principal Meridian, Archuleta County, Colorado." It is located approximately 1.2 miles north of Stevens Reservoir and two miles east-northeast of Hatcher Reservoir.

Publication of the notice in the Federal Register will segregate the land described above from appropriation under public land laws, including mining laws. The segregative effect of this notice shall terminate upon issuance of patent, or upon expiration of 270 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, whichever occurs first.

According to the BLM, there are no encumbrances of record attached to the land, but a reservation, right and condition to the United States for a right-of-way for ditches and canals constructed by the authority of the United States will be included in a patent that may be issued.

No warranty of any kind, express or implied, will be given by the United States as to the title, physical condition or potential uses of the parcel, and all mineral interests underlying the parcel will be conveyed to the buyers.

The official BLM notice of realty action states, "Acceptance in writing of the offer to purchase the above described parcel will constitute an application for conveyance of the mineral interest for the parcel. In addition to the full price, the purchaser must pay a separate nonrefundable filing fee of $50 for the mineral interest to be conveyed simultaneously with the sale of the land.

"Failure to timely submit full payment for the parcel within 180 days of the sale will constitute a withdrawal of the request for noncompetitive sale of the public land."

All public comments regarding this proposed sale must be in written form and sent to: Field Manager, BLM, Pagosa Field Office, Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Comments must be in by March 23, and electronic submissions, such as facsimiles and e-mails, will not be considered.

  

Personal property declaration schedules due

Confused about your personal property declaration schedule?

Who must report?

Shortly after the first of the year, the assessor's office mails personal property declaration schedules to every person known to own taxable personal property in the county.

Typically, this tax pertains to business and commercial entities, in addition to vacation rentals, but if you have further questions, contact the Archuleta County Assessor's office.

Nonreceipt of a declaration schedule does not excuse you from declaring taxable personal property to the assessor. All persons owning taxable personal property on Jan. 1, 2006, with a total actual value greater than $2,500 per county, are required to report the property to the assessor not later than April 17, 2006.

What must be declared? All property is taxable unless specifically exempt.

Personal property that is exempt includes:

- Household furnishings not productive of income at any time during the year.

- Inventories of merchandise.

- Materials and supplies held for business use or sale.

- Agricultural products.

- Livestock.

- Equipment used on a farm or ranch to produce agricultural products or handle livestock.

- Computer software.

- Business personal property with a total actual value of $2,500 or less per county.

- "Consumable" personal property with an economic life of one (1) year or less or with an acquisition cost, inclusive of installation cost, sales tax, and freight expense to the point of use of $250 or less.

All other equipment and furnishings are taxable whether used, stored, fully depreciated, or located in a temporarily or permanently closed business. Equipment licensed as a motor vehicle (SMM plate of Z-Tab) should not be reported on the personal property declaration schedule.

How do you file? The declaration schedule requests property information such as description, model number, year manufactured, date acquired, original cost installed, and estimated physical condition. It also asks for your social security number or federal identification number pursuant to §39-5-107, C.R.S. If you did not receive a declaration schedule, call the assessor's office. First-time filers may want to visit the assessor's office for assistance in completing the declaration schedule.

If you have previously filed a complete itemized listing of your personal property with the assessor, you may update the list by providing changes that occurred during the prior year. Changes may include items you acquired last year (including the cost of each) and any items traded, sold, destroyed, or deleted from your list of personal property. You should review the assessor's record of your account every year to verify its accuracy.

Sign and date the schedule before mailing.

When do you file? The deadline for returning the declaration schedule to the assessor is April 17. There is a penalty for not meeting the deadline - $50 or 15 percent of the tax due, whichever is less. If you cannot meet the deadline, you may apply for an extension of either 10 or 20 days. The request must be:

1. Written;

2. Postmarked or delivered to the assessor by April 17; and

3. Accompanied by a check in the amount of $20 for 10 days or $40 for 20 days.

What if you don't file? If you have taxable personal property and fail to file your declaration schedule, the assessor will establish a taxable value based on the "best information available." The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that values established using the "best information available" cannot be adjusted at a later time if the taxpayer failed to file a declaration schedule and also failed to protest the assessor's value.

Matt Katsos, personal property manager for the assessor's office, said problems or questions about the tax are much easier to answer at the beginning of the process rather than the end. "At the assessor's office, we would prefer to help you at the front end," Katsos said.

If you have any questions, please contact the Archuleta County Assessor's Office at (970) 264-8301.

  

County Republican caucus sites set

Archuleta County Republicans have announced the precinct meeting locations for their caucuses scheduled at 7 p.m. March 21 at all locations.

Voters who have been registered Republicans for 60 days and lived in their precinct for 30 days may participate in the caucuses.

Republican caucus locations will be:

Precinct 1 - County commissioners' meeting room, Archuleta County Courthouse.

Precinct 2 - United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

Precinct 3 - Archuleta County Fair Building, 344 U.S. 84.

Precinct 4 - St. Peter St. Rosa Catholic Church, Colo. 151/CR 975, Arboles.

Precinct 5 - Chimney Rock Restaurant, 18710 U.S. 160 west.

Precinct 6 - Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, 230A Port Ave., Pagosa Lakes.

Precinct 7 - Restoration Fellowship, Education Building, 264 Village Drive.

Precinct 8 - Our Savior Lutheran Church Gymnasium, 56 Meadows Drive, U.S.160/Meadows.

At the precinct caucuses, Republicans will select their central committee persons, who will serve two-year terms. Attendees will also select their delegates to the Republican county assembly, which will be held April 22. Resolutions proposed and passed at the caucuses will then move on to the county/state levels and eventually move to the national level, if approved at lower levels.

All registered Republicans are encouraged to participate in their precinct caucuses in this year of hotly contested local, state Senator and state and U.S. Representative elections.

With questions concerning locations and agendas of the Archuleta County republican precinct caucuses, call Mojie Adler, 731-4277.

 

Wildlife commissioners to meet public

Two members of the Colorado Wildlife Commission will meet with the public 7-9 p.m., Monday, March 13, at the Holiday Inn Express, 2121 E. Main Ave., in Cortez.

The Wildlife Commission is the governing body that oversees the work of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW).

Commission members attending the meeting will be Robert Bray, of Redvale, and Dick Ray of Pagosa Springs.

Bray is a rancher in Montrose and San Miguel counties. Ray is an outfitter and operates the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park.

The commissioners will talk about current issues facing wildlife and the DOW. The public is invited to ask questions and talk about issues of concern regarding wildlife and the DOW.

The meeting will also be attended by Tom Spezze, southwest regional manager for the DOW; Patt Dorsey, area wildlife manager for the Four Concerns area; Zach Holder, the Cortez district wildlife manager; and Scott Wait, senior terrestrial biologist for the southwest region.

 

Pagosans attend Renewable Energy Summit

By Doug and Laura Large

Special to The SUN

It was exciting to be in Denver in January, and we weren't shopping or seeing a Bronco's game. We went to hear U.S. Sen. Salazar and many others talk about the need for a statewide renewable energy production plan at the Renewable Energy Summit .

Salazar is a member of the Senate Energy Committee and helped work on the 2005 Energy Policy Act, and is passionate about renewables. The Renewable Energy Summit was only one of many forums set up by Sen. Salazar to educate everyone about the many benefits of renewable energy. He stressed the point that dependence on foreign oil has made us vulnerable and that Colorado can be a leader in helping America "grow our energy" and clean up our environment.

"Our national security depends on greater energy independence. We can turn that obligation into an opportunity for Colorado and our nation," Salazar said. "Renewable energy will be a cornerstone of our future independence."

The first half of the summit was given over to renewable energy advocates and the politicians, to speak of the importance of renewable energy to the future of Colorado.

Jeff Probst, of Blue Sun Biodiesel, told us how clean biodiesel is to produce and burn and how they are experimenting with new oil crops for better efficiency. These crops can be grown in Colorado.

Ethanol was also mentioned as a viable option in our cars and it's been produced in Colorado for 20 years.

Rhone Resch, president of Solar Energy Industries Association, spoke of the advances in solar hot air and electricity production, and noted that Colorado has an advantage over other states in that we have more sunshine available. We can also produce more power in our higher elevations because there is less air density and cooler air temperatures.

Lola Spradley, former Speaker and Majority Leader of the Colorado House of Representatives, spoke of the importance of giving rural areas a chance to grow a valuable and profitable crop while increasing incomes and opportunities for farm families and surrounding areas.

Former U.S. Sen. Tim Wirth and David Garman, Under Secretary of Energy, emphasized the importance of politicians embracing renewable energy on all levels of government.

Governor Owens was supposed to speak about Colorado's future but was unable to attend. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper spoke about Denver's commitment to "go green" and commended everyone who voted for Amendment 37.

We were reminded that Colorado is the site of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden. This is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary lab for energy efficiency and renewable energy research. Dan Arvisu, director of the lab, told participants about renewable energy's continued advancement in production and cost reduction. He said he sees a bright and clean future for Colorado and hopes we become a leader in production of renewable energy in its many forms.

It was also noted that wind power is the fastest growing alternative energy source and we were told that Colorado is going to build more wind power plants on the eastern plains, as current plants have produced more power than was anticipated.

The oil industry shared the second half of the summit with Xcel Energy. Oil companies are beginning to invest in renewables as a necessary expansion of their energy portfolio.

Xcel Energy is also investing in renewables and was central to the formation of Amendment 37. The Xcel Energy Web site has posted information about residential incentives, and commercial incentives will be posted at a later date. These are important incentives for anyone in the state who wants to produce alternative energy with a grid-tie system.

There were a lot of "suits" at the conference, demonstrating that businesses are starting to take an interest in renewable energy, and many enthusiastically made vague promises about their parts in the future of clean energy.

Federal energy efficiency tax credits went into effect Jan. 1, making it easier for families and businesses to reduce energy costs. Tax benefits include $200 for installing energy efficient windows, $300 for purchasing an efficient water heater and up to $2,000 for photovoltaic electricity or hot water. Businesses may be eligible for a 30-percent tax credit for the installation of qualifying solar equipment on buildings.

Details about incentives can be found on www.dsireuse.org. We can take advantage of the tax credits now to lower our energy costs for the future and, in doing so, tell our leadership we want cleaner, more dependable energy.

For those interested in renewable energy, this summit was encouraging. Colorado seems ready to follow the lead of other states and there are people working on what can be done in this state to hasten the inevitable move to renewables.

 

Planning commission to consider high-density housing development

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

At the upcoming March 8 regular meeting of the Archuleta County Planning Commission (ACPC), the agenda includes a request for a Conditional Use Permit, allowing construction of a proposed multi-family affordable housing development on Piedra Road. Public comment is welcome and encouraged.

Named Pagosa Pointe, the development is planned for 7.41 acres on the west side of Piedra Road, approximately 1.3 miles north of U.S. 160. If approved, it will ultimately contain seven housing complexes.

The first phase will include five buildings with 16 rental units in each, for a total of 80 apartments. On-site management and maintenance will be located in a clubhouse, and provide services to first-phase residents. Phase Two will consist of two buildings with 16 rental units each, for a total of 32 apartments, and 112 overall.

Of the 112 apartments, 52 will have one bedroom, 56 will have two bedrooms and just four will have three bedrooms.

The project is located at 1230 County Road 600, across from Cloman Boulevard, and is part of the Southwest Quarter of Section 9, Township 35 North, Range 2 West of the New Mexico Principal Meridian. The site abuts the Lake Pagosa Park subdivision.

To comment on this proposal, citizens should attend the ACPC meeting in the Board of County Commissioners' meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8.

 

Pagosa United Way fund-raising meets goal

United Way of Southwest Colorado announced Friday that Archuleta County's 2005 campaign raised $66,221 to support programs that serve local people in need.

Archuleta County's local campaign was chaired by Susan and Mike Neder.

"The credit goes to this community for responding to our appeals for donations," said Susan. "United Way's community partner agencies work very hard to solve problems that exist in our county. They can continue that difficult work thanks to the combined generosity of the many people and businesses that support United Way's special events, write a check, or pledge a small amount per paycheck."

Funds raised will be invested in local nonprofit organizations that address local needs related to education, crisis intervention, family support, youth services, senior services and affordable housing.

The announcement was made at United Way's annual Campaign Celebration in Durango. For the second year in a row, United Way of Southwest Colorado has raised the highest amount ever in its 33-year history. The 2005 campaign raised $603,875 in the five combined counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. The goal for this year's regional campaign was $600,000 and for Archuleta County the goal was $66,000.

"The success of the fund-raising drive allows United Way to fully fund the previously recommended funding amounts for each of our local community partner agencies," said Stacia Kemp, Archuleta County's United Way Community Relations Coordinator. "It was gratifying to see our generous community come through again for United Way - particularly in a year when donors generously helped with hurricane and tsunami relief elsewhere and continued their support of many other worthy local causes."

Seventeen programs operated by 15 organizations which serve the citizens of Archuleta County will receive funds from the campaign. These include: American Red Cross; Archuleta County Education Center; Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program; Community Connections; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Boy Scouts; Girl Scouts; Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County; Housing Solutions of the Southwest; Pagosa Outreach Connection; San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging; Seeds of Learning Family Center; Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Southwest Youth Corps; and Southwest Safehouse.

The Archuleta County United Way Advisory Council reviews local needs, interviews nonprofit organizations that are addressing those needs, and submits funding recommendations for local community partner agencies. The Archuleta County United Way Advisory Council includes: Dick Babillis, Sam Conti, Mary Jo Coulehan, Gene Crabtree, Bob Eggleston, Cherlyn Gwin, Carmen Hubbs, Bonnie Masters, Mary McKeehan, Don McKeehan, Lisa Scott and Don Thompson.

The 2005 regional total represents a 7.5-percent increase over 2004's record-breaking campaign. One hundred and sixty-three businesses across the region supported the campaign as well as 209 individuals. Eight fund-raising events held throughout the region, including a golf tournament in Pagosa Springs and a raffle of Denver Broncos tickets, also generated funds.

"I'm so proud that we achieved our goal, but what is more important is how we invest those generous donations. We owe it to our donors to put their dollars to best use, and we'll do that through relationships with incredible local programs," said Tim Walsworth, United Way of Southwest Colorado's president and CEO.

 

PSHS students attend LA convention, one national award

By Jessica Johnson

Special to The SUN

More than 1,200 students - eight from Pagosa Springs High School - recently had the opportunity to attend the Student Television Network (STN) Convention in Anaheim, Calif.

The third annual convention for scholastic broadcasters began Feb. 2. On the first day of the convention, students attended workshops that offered insights on journalistic principals, finding a good story, shooting footage, using special effects and much more. After a day of learning, the students attended the popular Channel One dance that evening.

On the second day of the STN Convention, PSHS students competed in several of the 15 on-site competitions. After the competitions ended, a student-produced film festival was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Disneyland Hotel.

Conference-goers attended the STN Closing Awards Ceremony the final day of the STN Convention, at which the winners of the competitions from the day before were announced. Out of more than 1,000 students entered in the contests, only 15 placed first. Pagosa Springs High School's Ashley Maddux was one of those 15. Ashley's achievement and national recognition was one of the highlights of the trip.

Although the STN Convention was an exciting experience, sponsor Curtis Maberry and his eight students enjoyed other activities as well. On the day of their arrival in California, they went to Universal Studios, where they witnessed the magic of movie making. Memorable events there included special effects demonstrations, a tour of the studio's back lot, the shows and rides, and meeting "Steven," one of the characters from MTV's "Laguna Beach." (Wow, their first day in Hollywood and they already started seeing stars!)

On the afternoon after the competitions, Pagosa students went to the live filming of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." The students saw firsthand what occurs when a television crew works to get everything prepared, shot and aired.

Finally, after a trip to southern California's beaches, the last exciting activity before the plane trip home was to walk and shop Hollywood Boulevard and to see Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The eight Pagosa Springs students certainly won't forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

 

Tri County Head Start scholarships available

Tri-County Head Start and Early Childhood Programs has announced the availability of the Herb Jones Memorial Scholarship.

This scholarship is open to all graduates of Tri-County Head Start programs who are planning to attend postsecondary education programs in the 2006 school year. Applications must be received by May 2. Recipients and the amounts of awards will be announced in May.

For more information and to request an application, contact Mark Thompson, Pagosa Springs High School counselor, or call 247-5960, Ext. 13.

 

American Sign Language classes at education center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The SUN

Have you ever wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL)?

Learn in a fun, safe environment with Amy Withrow, an instructor who has been a certified sign language interpreter for 21 years.

Did you know sign languages are not universal? Each country has their own signed language,

Did you know ASL is not English? It is its own language, in and of itself. Demystify these and other myths.

In this six-week course, learn basic ASL grammar, structure and syntax; basic conversational signs; social etiquette and constructs such as introducing one's self and others; and Deaf culture, all in the context of functional language learning.

ASL is said to be the fourth most used language in the U.S. Come and learn tools to enable you to socially interact with Deaf people you may encounter anywhere.

Classes begin 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 9. Cost is $60 plus workbook.

For more information or to register, call the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835 or stop the office located on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

 

Medical fund established for Lorraine Gurule

Lorraine Gurule, a lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs and an employee of La Plata Electric, has been through several surgeries and is undergoing chemo and radiation therapy for breast cancer.

A medical fund has been established for Lorraine.

Anyone wishing to donate may do so at the Bank of the San Juans.

 

 Outdoors

Effort to save cow elk may have failed

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Following a harrowing experience involving deep mud, a canine assailant and quick-thinking humans, an embroiled cow elk was believed on the road to recovery, and stood a reasonable chance of surviving the winter.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature often has other plans.

Early on Wednesday morning of last week, Colorado Division of Wildlife officer Doug Purcell received a phone call informing him of an elk hopelessly bogged down in a spring-fed quagmire along County Road 382 near Chromo. As quickly as possible, Purcell drove to Chromo and met up with area resident Dennis Schutz, who lead him to where the unfortunate animal had unwittingly wandered into the bog sometime during the previous night.

There the beleaguered beast sat, head and back high and dry, but with all four legs soundly immured in the muck. According to Purcell, she appeared haggard and worn, and a large patch of fur was missing from her rump. Bite marks and a series of canine tracks, either coyote or dog, suggested the cow had somehow endured relentless predatory torment, yet failed to free herself from the unyielding grasp of the mire.

Knowing overexertion and undue emotional stress can kill a wild creature in a matter of minutes, Purcell and Schutz promptly sized up the situation and took immediate action. As Schutz cautiously moved a backhoe into position, Purcell fashioned a kind of leash from a vehicle tow strap and, with the aid of a short pole, gently placed it around the cow's neck. A few moderate tugs later, and the animal stood briefly, before lying down again, a few feet from the mud.

Purcell was relieved to see the elk stand, as her movements indicated she had not broken a leg or suffered other serious physical injuries, but her apparent indifference to the immediate presence of humans, and the bizarre circumstances overall, seemed sufficient cause for continued concern. As Purcell put it, "One of the dangers of a wild animal overexerting itself while it is restrained for a prolonged period of time is a syndrome called Capture Myopathy."

Capture Myopathy is an affliction characterized by the degeneration and necrosis of skeletal and cardiac muscle. It develops within hours and up to 14 days after capture or transport, and is most often seen in animals suffering severe exertion following a difficult prolonged capture. While an animal may appear fine immediately after a particularly stressful episode, if it is excited or stressed again, it may suddenly fall and die. Unfortunately, because Capture Myopathy often causes heart or kidney failure, death ultimately follows.

With nothing left for Purcell and Schutz to do but hope for the best, they left the besieged creature to recover on her own. Each agreed to drive by from time to time and check her status, but later that evening, she was seen lying just 30 feet from the bog. Concern mounted.

By noon the next day, however, the cow had moved off toward the river and was showing some interest in grazing. While Purcell took that as a very good sign, he cautioned that, "she may not be out of the woods yet."

Throughout Saturday, even as the elk stayed in the same general area, she was observed standing and grazing by local residents keeping a watchful eye. Those involved remained guardedly optimistic, but apparently, their confidence was short-lived.

According to a nearby resident, by sometime Sunday or Monday, the cow was seen resting on her side, but never moved again. Evidently, she laid motionless for two or three days, before disappearing altogether. The resident believes someone must have disposed of her, but repeated attempts to verify the outcome with DOW officials were unsuccessful by press time.

 

Education center to offer wilderness first aid class

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering Wilderness First Aid and CPR classes 6-10 p.m., March 6-9. Cost is $80.

Wilderness first aid is needed for activities in remote areas (hiking, climbing, camping, hunting, birding, snowmobiling). Anyone living in, working in, traveling in, or just enjoying the wilderness should be prepared to manage a medical emergency.

These classes teach you how to handle common injuries and illnesses when medical care is an hour or more away.

If you are interested in taking this class or would like more information, contact the education center at 264-2835.

 

Letters
Wolves

Dear Editor:

When I completed reading the comments in the Feb. 9 "Whaddya Think" about wolves, and Chuck McGuire's Feb. 9 article, I decided to add my two bits to this. My great-great-grandparents and other members of our family came into Archuleta County in the 1880s, and there were lots of wolves to listen to. There were a few elk and deer, but nothing like you would have imagined. The country was relatively uninhabited. The wolves kept the coyote population down, as a wolf is a natural enemy of the coyote, bobcats and young lion.

In the early history of the county the Stockman's Association and the state had a bounty of $100 apiece for a wolf or lion. Why? Because they were deadly on livestock. In the O'Neal Park area, in the l920s, a pack of wolves killed one 4-year-old steer and hamstrung and gutted 13 more in one night. It was so bad that the Stockman's Association brought in a "wolfer" from out of state to take out the pack

In the early 1920s, my great-uncle Fred Confar was riding along the Navajo River below where Jim Bramwell now lives and came across the a freshly killed steer and the tracks of two wolves. They had killed the steer and eaten their fill. He chased them on horseback and killed them both. That was $200, or about a year's salary in those days.

Take a look at New Mexico where they brought in wolves (Mexican) and they have had nothing but trouble since that time. Wolves will kill your dogs for the sport of it, the same way they kill livestock. Why do you think that the early residents of this beautiful part of the state worked so hard to eliminate them? If you want to hear them howl, get a tape recording. It will be a lot cheaper for the livestock producer. You should have polled some of the ranchers in the area to hear what they think.

Yes, I agree with Chuck, he probably heard a wolf, as some groups have released hybrids and possibly purebreds into the wild to achieve their goal of reintroduction. I realize that it is probably inevitable that wolves will be reintroduced in the future. However, we should have learned our lessons from the past. Also, the U.S. Army has records that reflect wolves attacking humans, regardless of what Walt Disney says.

Franklin Anderson

 

Enlightening

Dear Editor:

Attending the monthly Airport Advisory Board meeting is always enlightening. The airport manager, as often happens, was not in attendance to provide an update. The chairman pointed out that despite numerous requests on his part to be kept informed on the negotiations regarding the new contract to be awarded for airport contract oversight, he was not even given the courtesy of a response to his written requests. The agenda included an item for long-term capital improvement. The action on this item took place at the new mid-field area. A tour of the as-yet uncompleted FBO hangar disclosed a number of significant deficiencies such as inoperative floor drains, lack of electric power to operate the main hangar door and the self-service fuel station. Also there is not sufficient roof overhang to prevent water erosion of the foundation.

Additionally, although entrance to the new hangars had been specifically requested, the manager's representative had conveniently neglected to bring the necessary keys. A visit to the tie-down area revealed that not only were there insufficient tie-downs for anticipated traffic, there was almost a complete absence of ropes or chains for adequate tie-down security. The access from the tie-down area to the FBO hangar was barely passable for foot traffic due to water and ice residue, and totally inadequate for the use of the FBO tug to move airplanes from that area to the FBO apron for fueling or maintenance. The only way to accomplish such movement requires the airplane owner to start an engine and taxi via the runway (causing a runway incursion and traffic delay) from the tie-down area to the FBO apron. At the cost of aviation gas at over $3 per gallon, this does not seem a particularly attractive way to treat customers.

The Airport Advisory Board has been working diligently to prepare for the proposed official opening of the rebuilt runway. Its members have the expertise and accumulated knowledge to provide cogent advice to the BOCC. It is truly unfortunate that, despite its charter to provide such advice, the board is continually ignored.

Ralph Goulds

 

Look out below

Dear Editor:

I hadn't thought of it as a local issue until I read the cover story of the current AARP Bulletin. The amount that every newborn infant in the United States currently owes the federal government is an estimated $156,000, the accompanying story tells me. And that doesn't include the promised but unfunded commitments in the federal budget like Medicare and Social Security payments.

The proposed federal budget will pare a billion dollars over the next five years from child care programs, cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid, and whack 30 percent out of the Social Services Block Grant program in 2007 to reduce grants to states for social services to low income people. At the same time, tax revenues to the government will not cover current expenditures.

Something's got to give - and it doesn't look like it will entail reducing military expenditures or increasing tax rates for the wealthy. Odds are it's going to hit home, right here in Archuleta County, especially affecting the most vulnerable people in our population. And, as a result, everyone else.

"A budget is a statement of moral choices, and this budget makes the wrong choices," said Rep. John M Spratt Jr. That hits the nail on the head.

What appears to be a remote financial problem, unrelated to day-to-day life in Archuleta County, is being downloaded to the states, the counties and the towns. It's going to hit home.

Look out below!

Michael J. Greene

 

Double standard

Dear Editor:

I am sick to death of the double standard practiced in Washington, D.C. such as the following, concerning partisan bickering over President Bush and the NSC wiretapping of suspected terrorist phone conversations.

In 1995, during the Clinton/Gore administration, Clinton's attorney general testified before Congress, under oath, that President Clinton not only had the authority to wiretap and do physical searches without a court order, but that it was his duty to do so to protect the citizens of our country. Yet Gore now wants a special counsel to look into President Bush and the NSC wiretaps of suspected terrorist phone conversations. Do they feel that the NSC should put them on hold while they are getting a court order? They truly do rely on the people's short memories, don't they?

Leo J. Landon

 

Contrails

Dear Editor:

I am a local resident of Pagosa and I recently wrote this letter and sent it to all of our local and state representatives concerning the frequent occurrence of lasting contrails in our beautiful blue Pagosa skies. Here is a copy of this letter.

"Dear Representatives of the People of the United States of America,

"I have been growing increasingly more concerned about the long lasting and wide spreading contrails that are being frequently emitted from several white jets over Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

"I have noticed on many occasions several jets, white in color, will be simultaneously spraying this white cloudlike substance into the sky above Pagosa Springs, Colorado. There have been about three occasions where the entire sky turned almost completely white from the criss-crosses of these contrails. I found that within two days of this type of 'white out' my whole family will suffer from burning lungs, throat and eyes leading to severe cold symptoms which sometimes last for weeks.

"I went online and researched this, they are calling it 'Chemtrails' and it seems it is happening in several places, not just here. People are saying it gives them bloody noses and asthma and burning membranes. Several scientists have done analysis on the falling microscopic material coming from these jets; their reports reveal high contents of both aluminum and barium and in some cases silica. Seasoned bird watchers are even noticing that migratory bird patterns have all of a sudden arrested or changed in certain areas where this is not typical.

"It is obvious that what ever is happening it can't be good for our environment or health. I noticed in my research that all of this is possibly stemming back to a recent bill passed called S517. This bill seems to be advocating and developing a massive aerosol program as part of a Weather Modification Advisory and Research Board, without the permission of the people who have to breathe all this in. What power gives the right to others to spray what ever they want into the air we breathe and without our permission?

"This operation to me seems very harmful. Please inform yourself about this so that this type of thing can end soon. I hope this letter instills a sense of concern and obligation, to enforce safe and humane laws for the citizens of this country."

Mira T. Woods

Community News

Malaney workshop at

next Piecemakers meeting

Local artist Jeanine Malaney will present a program and workshop at the regular meeting of Pagosa Springs Piecemakers Quilt Guild Saturday, March 11, at the Community United Methodist Church, on Lewis Street.

At 11 a.m. Malaney will present a program - "Fabric Art Paintings." She will bring several finished paintings for display and will about the step-by-step techniques used to produce a picture with fabric that has an enhanced, realistic, three-dimensional effect. Her inspirations come from the beauty of the western landscape and wildlife. She composes a fabric collage then adds detail features and shading with fabric paint. Malaney then quilts the entire image with smoke monofilament thread, thereby increasing texture and highlighting features.

Malaney's work appears in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council 2006 Calendar. There will be handouts and discussion of the process and working with monofilament threads.

After a brief lunch break the group will reconvene at 1 p.m. and Malaney will present a workshop and an interactive demonstration. She will delve further into her work, discussing and demonstrating design, composition and her quilting and binding techniques. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to help Malaney select fabrics and create a demonstration painting in class.

There is no charge for the workshop; Malaney is donating her time and talent.

For further information, contact Fran Jenkins 264-9312.

  

New after-school class offered at education center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

The Archuleta County Education Center is adding a new class to its after-school enrichment program at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Beginning Friday, March 3 and continuing through May 12, 1:30-5 p.m. we will offer Storytelling with Felicia Lansbury Meyer.

This class is designed for students in grades three and four and will explore writing, drawing, performing and other self-expression - all based on the theme of a weekly story.

Felicia graduated with a B.F.A. in theater arts from New York University. She 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."

In recent years, she has turned her attention to teaching kids of all ages. She has led numerous performance workshops for teens in Pagosa Springs; offers a summer enrichment program, "Take Your Shoes Off," for kids ages 3-6, which includes activities such as yoga and storytelling; and earlier this year, she was a guest artist at Fort Lewis College, where she taught a course in Acting for Camera for the theatre department.

Don't miss this unique opportunity for your child to grow to appreciate reading a story and bringing it to an exciting new level.

For more information or to register, contact the education center at 264-2835 or stop by our office located on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

  

Rotary Casino Night set for March 11

By Justin Dorsey

Special to The PREVIEW

Now that the Olympics are over we can all focus on the next big event: The Pagosa Springs Rotary Casino.

Thanks to Ears 2 U Hearing Center and Eichinger Financial, this year's casino event will be the best game in town. So pull out the old high school uniform or your favorite jersey and head down to the community center Saturday, March 11. There will be plenty of food, a cash bar, and numerous ways to win great prizes by playing any of the four casino games. The event also includes raffles and a silent auction with over 75 items.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased from friendly Rotary members, at the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and local sponsoring banks. By purchasing one ticket, you could win a trip for two for a Denver Broncos weekend getaway. You will also receive $50,000 in funny money to take your "A" game to the black jack, craps, roulette or Texas Hold'em tables for more chances to win great prizes.

The silent auction will have fantastic autographed sports memorabilia items from sports heroes like Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth, the 1980 US Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team and even the seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.

Another great reason to support this event is that 100-percent of the proceeds will go back into the community of Pagosa Springs. The money will allow Rotary the opportunity to provide funds to support college scholarships, the Pagosa Springs Sports Complex, the Pagosa Outreach Connection and various Rotary Community Grant Fund projects.

So, buy your tickets now for the Pagosa Springs Rotary Casino Night.

This event is made possible by our generous sponsors: Ears 2 U Hearing Center, Eichinger Financial Inc., Bank of Colorado, Citizens Bank, Four Corners Broadcasting, Jann Pitcher Real Estate, KWUF, LaPlata Electric Association, Wells Fargo, Coyote Hill Lodge, Clarion Mortgage, DeClark Granite, Jem Jewelers, UBC, Appraisal Services, Bank of the San Juans, CenturyTel, Colorado Dream Homes, Comfort One Insulation, Davis Engineering, Edward Jones, First Southwest Bank, Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures, Security Contractors, Skywerx Internet Services, Sunetha, and Tim Miller Customer Homes.

 

Humane Society sponsors essay contest

By Lynn Constan

Special to The PREVIEW

Have you ever thought about what the requirements should be for adopting a pet?

Should there even be requirements or should anyone who wants a pet be able to adopt one?

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is sponsoring a contest for junior high students asking them to think about these questions and write an essay on the subject. A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the writer of the winning essay.

Donnie Gooch, contest committee chair, said, "This is a question that the Humane Society deals with every day. Each year we find good homes for almost 300 dogs and cats. We hope that this essay contest will get young people thinking about the requirements for responsible pet ownership."

The contest is open to all Archuleta County students in grades 7 and 8 or between the ages of 12 and 14 if they are home schooled or attend a school without traditional grade levels. Students may submit only one entry. The essays must be typed, double spaced, and no longer than three pages.

Each essay must be accompanied by an official entry form which can be picked up at the Humane Society Thrift Store. The entry form has a place to include your name and contact information. Do not put your name on the essay. Each essay will be assigned a number so that judges will not know the identity of the author until after the winner has been selected. This way, no one will receive special attention.

All entries are due no later than March 31. Entries may be mailed to the Humane Society at PO Box 2230, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or hand delivered to the Humane Society Administration Office at 269 Pagosa Street, above the Thrift Store, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Essays should not be dropped off at the Thrift Store or the shelter.

The winner of the essay contest will be announced May 1.

If you have any questions, call Lynn Constan 264-5451.

 

Cat in the Hat to visit Sisson library

Children in preschool, kindergarten and up to grade four are invited to a special free event in the big front room at the Sisson Library 11 am.-noon Saturday, March 11. The event will involve reading, food, fun and an interactive performance by the Cat in the Hat. Those in other age groups who think they would enjoy these activities are welcome as well.

The gathering is sponsored by the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre and Pagosa members of the Pi Beta Phi alumnae club as part of the sorority's national day of service focusing on literacy. Timing of the sorority's volunteer events across the U.S. and Canada was set to coincide with the birthday this month of Dr. Seuss, creator of "The Cat in the Hat" and so many other delightful characters such as Horton the Who and Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Included in the Sisson library event will be a special reading session of Dr. Seuss books as well as cookies and juice. Every child participating will be given a free Cat in the Hat bookmark.

Parents may want to bring cameras because the Cat in the Hat, known in real life as high-school student Honor Nash-Putnam, will entertain by singing a song, then teaching the kids a verse and a couple of dance steps. The Cat in the Hat is participating in the library event courtesy of the Pagosa Springs High School's spring musical "Seussical," where more than 15 of Dr. Seuss' beloved books are woven together amid 30 songs and dances to be performed in the auditorium April 4-8.

  

Music Boosters melodrama pure entertainment

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The "melodramatic" cast of Tom Taggart's Gay Nineties Melodrama, "Lily, The Fellon's Daughter" are becoming more and more comfortable with the acting styles associated with this type of classic theater.

They are perfecting the walks and other characteristic physical movement involved in the portrayal of their colorful characters as well as experimenting with exaggerated facial features, attitudes and annoyances.

Music Boosters' Scott Farnham is making his directorial debut with this production as part of an apprenticeship program designed to support those with interest and abilities in the performance arena. Working alongside other directors, Farnham receives the benefits of experience while being encouraged to develop his own style, which, for him, includes seeking suggestions and feedback from his cast. The result is a give and take of different perspectives and viewpoints in addition to the development of a sense of ownership within the ensemble.

Performance dates at Pagosa Springs High School auditorium are March 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional matinee on March 11 at 2 p.m.

Advance purchase tickets are now available at the Plaid Pony, 731-5262.

  

Rotary sponsors banner design contest

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs has celebrated its 25th year here in Pagosa and its 100th birthday internationally.

As members of a service club founded upon the principle of "Service Above Self," Rotarians continually strive to meet the needs of the community, both local and international.

Rotarians visit Pagosa Springs from all over the world. It has been a tradition of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club to exchange a 6- by 8-inch banner as a token of goodwill to visiting clubs. Over the many years, Pagosa has had the pleasure of collecting and exchanging hundreds of these banners.

In honor of the 25th birthday locally and 100th birthday internationally, the Rotary Club is looking for art designs for a new banner depicting Pagosa Springs and its beautiful surroundings. The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs invites every local artist or art student to submit their creative designs.

Designs can be submitted to Kim Moore (946-5619) or can be dropped off at Moore Chiropractic Wellness Centre, 163 Pagosa St., during normal business hours.

Deadline date of entries is Friday, March 24.

A $100 check will be awarded to the winning artist.

  

"Primarily Found Objects" continues through March 25 at SHY RABBIT

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Both SHY RABBIT galleries will be open 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 25 for the current exhibition, "Primarily Found Objects."

This innovative exhibition features the work of 32 uniquely talented local and regional artists.

Participants were encouraged to explore their creativity by assembling found objects into unique and interesting artworks. The only criteria in this open, non-juried show was that participants use a minimum of 60 percent found objects in their creations, and that they incorporate at least one of the three primary colors as well.

They were also free to stretch the boundaries of the commonly used definition of "found objects." Awards were given to the participants creating the most compelling and unusual works.

Private viewings are also available by request. To schedule an appointment, call 731-2766, or 731-2659. You are invited to meet the artists and talk to them about their work in Pagosa's only contemporary venue, SHY RABBIT.

SHY RABBIT is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4. For additional information or directions, call 731-2766, 731-2659, or e-mail shyrabbit01@aol.com.

 

Fourth edition of local

author's book published

Chicago-based Waveland Press has announced the publication of the fourth edition of "On Deadline: Managing Media Relations," co-authored by Pagosa Springs author Carole Howard.

Called "virtually an encyclopedia of media relations" by one reviewer, the book presents strategic and tactical guidelines on all aspects of successful media relations programs, drawing on case histories and the authors' extensive experience in the U.S. and around the world.

From the need to establish a media policy within an organization to discussion of the role of the communicator as counselor to management, On Deadline: Managing Media Relations offers practical advice based on decades of real-world experience. The book covers how to anticipate and manage crisis situations, train and brief spokespersons, organize news conferences and special events, match a media plan to an organization's business plan, integrate media relations into a marketing communications plan, and handle media situations on a global basis.

Waveland Press pointed out that it is unusual for strong audience demand for a public relations textbook to warrant a fourth edition. "'On Deadline: Managing Media Relations' has achieved that special distinction because its experienced authors have communicated the breadth and depth of media relations in a straightforward, practical and original way," the publisher said in a statement. The book is considered by many reviewers and university professors to be the foremost text on media relations in the corporate and nonprofit sectors.

The first edition of "On Deadline: Managing Media Relations" was published 21 years ago when Howard was worldwide vice president of public relations for The Reader's Digest Association in New York. Today she lives in Pagosa Springs with her husband Bob, where she is active in local organizations including Music in the Mountains and the Gray Wolf Ski Club. Although semiretired, Howard continues to contribute chapters to other books, write magazine articles and give speeches on public relations, marketing and management.

 

Realtors help fund higher education

By David Cammack

Special to The PREVIEW

Local Realtors faithfully continue to contribute a dollar amount from every closing to Archuleta County Scholarships in Escrow program. A recent article in The SUN featured photos of most of the Realtors.

Not long after the scholarship program was established, program administrators realized that, with an increase in Pagosa Springs High School graduates, it was going to be difficult to fund the program with just the interest generated by the Whit Newton seed donation of $250,000. Interest rates were falling and in order not to touch the principle, the administration would need to seek outside contributions.

The year was 1991, and the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors was looking hard for a program to give back to their community. Then president Jann Pitcher, and director Lee Riley, were challenged to create a program that would keep on giving. Archuleta County Scholarships in Escrow seemed to fit the bill. The first year (1992) the Realtor contributions totaled $3,270.

Because of continued matching funds donated by Colorado Land Title, High Country Title and Great Divide Title, the 2005 contribution was an all-time record of $22,305.

Since its inception, the Realtors' program has contributed roughly $170,000.

Here is how the program is structured: During four years of high school, students earn monetary scholarship credit for excellent classroom performance. Students are given a statement upon graduation of their dollar amount earned. Students are paid for A's and B's. With perfect grades, students can earn as much as $2,000. Almost all graduates are able to earn some money. The money is available for five years to defray the cost of attending institutions of higher learning, including vocational schools. The dollar amount is based on the student's academic hard work and nothing else.

The current Pagosa Area Association of Realtors' scholarship committee consists of original founders, Jann Pitcher and Lee Riley, with David Cammack serving as chairman. Because of this committee's persistent dedication and hard work, nearly 90 percent of the local Realtors participate.

For more information, contact Nancy Schutz, chairperson of the Archuleta Scholarship in Escrow committee, or David Cammack, liaison for the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors.

 

Volunteers needed for 9Health Fair

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The PREVIEW

The 27th annual 9Health Fair in Pagosa Springs will be held the first Saturday morning in April - the first day of the month. However, people are beginning to think and plan already, specifically Sharee Grazda, site coordinator, and the Pagosa Springs 9Health Fair core team.

A look at data from last year's Fair gives some indication of the importance of the event to the community. There were 620 individuals (61 percent women, 39 percent men) who made an investment in their health by taking the blood chemistry analysis, perhaps the single most important 9Health Fair offering. In 2004 the numbers were 601 (58 percent women, 42 percent men); while the total number increased, participation by men decreased. Total attendance at the Fair was in excess of 620, since a good number of people participated without having the blood chemistry analysis.

In the area of heart health, specifically cholesterol, the data indicates that more people register in the high range than in the normal; 161 males and 269 females were high while 81 males and 109 females were within range. The numbers for one male and three females reached the "alert high" status and these folks received phone calls from a nurse volunteer. Our 2004 numbers indicate a worsening trend in the short run: 133 males and 216 females were high while 117 males and 135 females were in range.

Triglycerides results were better: 70 men and 83 women were high, while 172 men and 295 women were within range. However, four females were so high they reached the "alert high" status and received phone calls. Our 2004 results were only slightly better, despite eight participants reaching the "alert high" status.

The data for PSA testing in men reveals that two out of the 181 participants were high in the count that indicates a potential prostate problem. This compares to three out of 198 in 2004.

We have no way of knowing whether these "alert high" notifications came as new information or not. However, we suspect that for some it was new, and the knowledge enabled them to seek information and/or treatment to improve their health.

Interested in assisting in this community outreach? It's all done by volunteers wanting to help their families and neighbors to live long and prosper. Call Sharee Grazda at 731-0666 for more information.

 

Music the theme at UU service

For the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service Sunday, March 5, John Graves will present a program exploring "Music and Unitarian Universalism - A Celebration of Diversity," and Phyl Daleske will lead a short welcoming ceremony for new members.

Interspersed with brief explorations of the background and uniqueness (even humor) of the UU approach to music will be special numbers by various members of the Fellowship, including Shanti Johnson, Rich Harris, Tim Bristow, The Jensen Troupe and maybe a few surprises from the extensive talent pool. Of course, there will also be some rousing choruses from the massed voices of the congregation.

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

 

Local Chatter

Young Pagosa musician to study at Berklee

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Chris Baum, a senior at Pagosa Springs High School who plays the violin beautifully, has just been awarded a $10,000 renewable scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Mass.

Berklee is a prestigious school of music and the largest contemporary music school in the nation. It has an enrollment of 3,500 students. A year's tuition at Berklee is $31,000.

While there, Chris plans to major in film scoring (writing music for movies) and music production (recording music), a double major that will take five years and will offer lots of career options.

He has been playing violin since he was 4 years old, when he got one for his birthday. He'd been taken to a concert the year before, and admired the violins.

The family lived in Huntingdon, Penn., when the father died. Chris' mother, Melinda Baum (who'd always wanted to live in Colorado), moved to Colorado with her twins, Chris and Sara, and her other son, Alex. This was in 1998.

Melinda Baum is a fine pianist and quickly became a contributing member of Pagosa's incredible music community, and her kids followed, with Chris playing violin, Sara clarinet (both 17 years old,) and Alex, now 15, playing drums. Also, Chris started guitar six years ago and piano a year ago. It's truly a music nurtured family.

When the Durango Youth Symphony was organized last fall, Chris was chosen concertmeister. He also plays with the San Juan Symphony and is a member of the All State Colorado Orchestra. Mikylah Myers McTeer, Fort Lewis College's teacher of viola and violin, who organized the youth symphony, is Chris' violin teacher.

Chris is ready to experience something new. He's ready to get away from the classical scene; his interests are mainly jazz and rock, just what Berklee has to offer with its contemporary music program.

Chris is thankful to all the people who have supported him. He displays an outstanding maturity of expression and techniques for a 17-year-old. But people will have the opportunity to hear him this summer, when Paul and Carla Roberts' nonprofit Elation Center for the Arts will sponsor him in concerts.

Chris was one of the performers at ECA's recent classical concert, "Winds in the West." His selection then was Brauch's "Concerto in B Minor" for which the audience gave him a standing ovation. This had been his selection for the Berklee audition.

How does one apply for a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music? The school has a Web site. The staff does a world scholarship tour that takes them to Japan and Europe and the U.S. They visit big cities and when they surfaced in Denver, Chris auditioned. The recording was then sent to Boston and the scholarships selection were made there.

Not only does Chris have a maturity beyond that of the average 17-year-old, he has a gentleness that stands out. If you haven't heard him play, try to do so at one of the ECA's concerts.

Fun on the Run

The woman was far from being a fastidious housekeeper.

One evening her husband returned home from work, walked into the kitchen and teased her, "You know, dear, I can write my name in the dust on the mantle."

She turned to him and sweetly replied, "Yes, darling, I know. That's why I married a college graduate."

 

Community Center News

Over-the-hill Hoopsters take to the courts at center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Reminder - support Hospice of Mercy by attending Soup for the Soul tonight in the community center's north conference room. Soup's on from 5 to 8 p.m., when 10 local restaurants will provide soups, salads, breads and desserts for this annual event. Get your tickets for $10 at the Chamber or at the door.

Over-the-hill Hoopsters

If laughter and fun - and some exercise, while you're at it - are your cup of tea, come to the community center's gym for a twice-weekly, early morning session of entertaining basketball.

This group of over-the-hill folks will meet for an hour at 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Prior basketball experience is not necessary - just a desire to enjoy yourself and meet others with the same goal.

Sometimes the participants will decide to play a little two-on-two or three-on-three. The first Hoopsters session will be March 7; call Larry Page at 731-3984 for more information. By the way, Larry says that even if you're not yet over-the-hill, you will still be welcome.

St. Patrick's dance

The dance program committee brings to all another fun and exciting evening of dancing, laughing and camaraderie 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, with DJ Bobby Hart.

Yes, let's all dance in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Also, the committee would like to invite individuals who know Irish dancing to perform during the DJ breaks.

Please call so we could arrange the time. Call Siri at 731-9670 or Mercy at 264-4152 Ext. 22.

Tickets are available at the community center and WolfTracks for $5; or, you could procrastinate and purchase at the door for $8. At the cash bar, white and red wine and beer will be available for $3 per glass/bottle and $1 for pop. This is not a BYOB event! Anyone who brings liquor will not be allowed to enter the building. Water and coffee are free.

Thai cooking class

The next class will be on Monday, March 27. Call if you're interested. An advance payment of $10 by March 20 is required if you wish to take the class.

Each session is different. Next week we'll share some comments about the Feb. 27 class where Pao demonstrated how to cook/prepare yellow chicken curry, green papaya salad and tofu soup.

Spring rummage sale

Our sale this year is Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8 - 3-6 p.m. and 8 a.m.-noon, respectively.

Clean out your cupboards, closets and garages and put things in order. Then, rent one or more tables at $20 per table for both days. Earn dollars from stuff you don't need or want while providing others with useful items.

Call Michelle at 264-4152, Ext. 21 to reserve your spot.

Those not selling should plan to come, browse, buy and enjoy the day. The center will be selling snacks, food and hot and cold beverages. Watch for details after Mercy gets the list from our great cooks, Michelle and Becky.

Post prom party

The party this year is Sunday, April 30, from 1 to 5 a.m. Yes, 1 to 5 a.m., right after midnight April 29.

The community center, under the Teen Center program, is sponsoring this event. The purpose of this party is to keep our youth safe while they have lots of fun. Entertainment will include giant inflatable, casino-type games, a live DJ, a hypnotist, a coffee bar, food and much more to be announced later. Electronic and cash prizes will be given away during the party.

The committee is working toward having a laptop computer as the grand prize. Watch for further details.

Arts and crafts show

The center invites all artists and artisans to display their handcrafted items for sale during the show Friday and Saturday, May 26 and 27, 3-6 p.m. and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., respectively. Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. Cost is $40 and $50 for 8x8 and 10x10 spaces, and includes one 3x6 table.

Proceeds from this show will benefit center programs and help with operations costs. Call 264-4152, Ext. 21, to reserve your spot.

Sewing classes

The community center is planning to offer beginning sewing classes.

A new volunteer, Cecelia Hopper, has come forward to offer her teaching services. She plans to start with the basics - how to use a sewing machine, how to adjust patterns, how to tackle simple sewing projects.

Students will be asked to bring a sewing machine if possible and to furnish their own materials.

A tentative start date is sometime in April, possibly on weekends. Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know that you are interested; you will receive a call when detailed plans are made. If anyone has a sewing machine that isn't being used, we would appreciate your donation of the machine for the sewing classes.

Yoga

Richard Harris is back from vacation. Our thanks to Diana Baird who sat in for Richard while he was away.

The yoga group meets every Thursday morning for an hour, starting at 11 a.m. What Richard would like to emphasize about the yoga sessions is that this class is not necessarily what one would find in a typical yoga class. The focus here is on stretching and relaxation, on awareness of your body and particularly of your breathing. Stress reduction is emphasized. Who wouldn't benefit from an hour of meditative attention to one's own health and well-being?

Stop by Thursday morning and experience for yourself how this ancient practice can affect your life. Dress in comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or a towel.

Scrapbooking club

Just a reminder that the Pagosa Spring Community Scrapbook Club will meet again 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 11 in the arts and crafts room. There will be a demonstration on dry embossing using a few tools like a light box, stylus and stencils. Please come and see how easy it is to create beautiful cards, invitations or scrapbook pages. The possibilities are endless!

Computer lab news

New computer classes start March 21 and 22. These classes are already full; however, call if you are interested in later beginning classes or in more advanced classes. We will be happy to put your name on the waiting list.

Thanks to John DiMuccio of Coolwater Plumbing, we now have ear phones for use with the lab's computers. Ask at the reception desk.

Questions about computer use? Call me at 264-4152.

Winter hours

During the winter months, the center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday hours are 10-4.

Do you have a special talent, hobby, or interest you would like to share - singing, dancing, arts and crafts, cooking, foreign language conversation group, coffee mornings, sports, etc.? We're looking for volunteers interested in forming interest groups. Call Mercy with your ideas, 264-4152, Ext. 22.

Activities this week

Today - Watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga class, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Hospice of Mercy Soup for the Soul, 5-7 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor club, 6:30-9 p.m.

March 3 - Watercolor workshop with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8- p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.

March 4 - Teen Center open (dodgeball), 11 a.m.- 4 p.m

March 5 - 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.

March 6 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Senior Bridge, 12:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.

March 7 - Computing skills (keyboard and mouse), 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open (Uno Attack!), 4-8 p.m.

March 8 - Computing skills (keyboard and mouse), 10 a.m.-noon; preschool play group, 11 a.m.-noon; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, weigh-in at 5 p.m., meeting at 5:30; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

March 9 - AARP free tax help, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga class, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Pagosa Lakes for swim team, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 p.m.; basketball practice, 7-10 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

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

 

Senior News

Bake those cookies - for the grandkids, for yourself

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Would you like to make cookies for your grandchildren that will go down in family history?

Or, maybe, just pick up a few baking tips to add a little ease and spice to your normal baking habits?

Whatever your motive is, join us for an afternoon of fun taking a baking class at the Pagosa Baking Company, 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, March 8.

Cost is $5 per person and each person will get to take home a dozen delicious, homemade cookies. The class is limited to eight people, so sign up by Friday, March 3, to learn the secrets from the baking experts.

Quilting lessons

Have you ever wanted to learn the creative skill of quilting?

Join us in the dining area at The Den 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, for quilting lessons. Whether you are a beginner, want to improve or learn new quilting techniques, or just come for the fun of socializing, you are sure to enjoy The Den's quilting club. Come to the first meeting to find out what materials you will need to begin making your first quilt. The quilting club will meet at 1 p.m. every Wednesday in March.

Tax time

The AARP sponsored Tax-Aide program is returning this year.

This program provides free tax counseling and preparation by IRS/AARP trained volunteers. The counseling is confidential and the emphasis is on serving the low- and middle-income taxpayer, with special attention to those 60 years of age and older. Appointments for tax assistance may be scheduled via a sign-up sheet in the senior center dining room. Appointments will not be accepted by phone. This program will be offered 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every Thursday through April 13 in the arts council room of the community center.

Archuleta Seniors Inc.

In March, Seniors Inc. memberships for folks age 55 and over can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 9-11 Tuesdays and Wednesdays. No memberships will be sold Thursdays.

Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of great discounts from participating merchants in our area, plus much more. Join now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Medicare Drug appointments

Have questions regarding the new Medicare Drug Insurance plans? The Den can help.

Medicare Drug Insurance appointments can be scheduled at The Den with the director, Musetta Wollenweber. Walk-ins without appointments will not be accepted.

Call The Den at 264-2167 for an appointment to answer your questions and help you choose a plan that best fits your needs.

Home Delivered meals

The Den provides home delivered meals to qualified homebound individuals who want the benefits of a nutritional lunch. The Den's caring volunteers deliver the meals to homes Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays while taking the time to check in with the individuals.

The appetizing lunches are served hot and ready to eat. Whether you want a meal delivered one or four times a week, we can accommodate your needs.

For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Staying warm

If you are afraid you may not be able to keep up with paying your heating bills this winter, you need to know your rights and where you can turn for help.

AARP wants all Colorado consumers to know what they can do when the cost of heat rises faster than their ability to pay.

Here are a few tips:

- Before your heat can be shut off for nonpayment at any time for the year, you must receive a shutoff notice.

- If you are having a hard time paying for your heat, you should ask the utility company to help. You can suggest a payment plan that works for you.

- You can spread the really high heating costs of winter across the whole year by singing up for budget billing.

- You may also be able to get an annual one-time grant of up to $700 through the LIHEAP program at social services to help you pay for your heating expenses.

- You can get a Colorado property tax rebate for your home heating expenses if you are a full-time Colorado resident age 65 or older, disabled or a surviving spouse age 58, and your income is less than $11,000 for single or $14,700 for a couple. Application Form 104PTC is available at any Colorado taxpayer service center.

- Energy Outreach Colorado provides emergency assistance to help with some heating costs. You can call toll-free at 1-866-HEAT-HELP.

- You can lower your energy bills by preventing heat from escaping from gaps around doors and windows and by making sure your furnace is working properly.

Flower Fairy

The Flower Fairy strikes again!

Thanks to the Flower Fairy, beautiful vases of flowers were sent to all of the folks who received home delivered meals from The Den. The flowers brought smiles to many faces and warmed many hearts. Thank you Flower Fairy for making people feel so special.

Thank you

A big thanks to Lorrie Church and Jackie Schick for helping me with the March newsletter mailing. I really appreciate your help and we could not manage at The Den without all of our wonderful volunteers. We also want to thank Sherry Gustafson for her generous donation. Thank you for all your help and support.

New computers

Two new Dell computers have been installed in the lounge of The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center. The computers were purchased and provided by our non-profit organization, Seniors Inc. The computers are available to folks age 55 and over.

Please check with The Den office for computer availability. The Den is open to the public 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Thank you to Seniors Inc. for their support and funding of the computers and to Jim Pearson for their installation.

Yarn suppliers

Thank you from The Den and Liz Schnell to Sandy Pessell, Doreen Ince and Mary Pietrocarlo for all of the yarn they donated to The Den. Liz will be making some lovely house slippers in this coming year to give to the folks at The Den thanks to your donations.

Snowmobiling

The Den went snowmobiling last week up at Wolf Creek Pass with Snow Country Adventures. Larry, the owner, was a pleasure to work with and was very accommodating to The Den's needs.

The folks who went snowmobiling had a blast and were all ready to go again. Thank you to Snow Country Adventures for adding adventure to our lives.

Educational information

Despite the enormous advances in brain research in the past 20 years, depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects thoughts, feelings and the ability to function in everyday life.

The Den has received valuable educational information from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on depression as well as about cancer, HIV/Aids, heart disease, strokes, Parkinson's disease and diabetes. Feel free to stop by The Den and pick up these informative publications on the topics listed above.

Activities at a glance

Today - AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; lunch in Arboles (reservations were required by Feb. 28).

March 3 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; final day to sign up for baking classes.

March 6 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

March 7 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.; final sign up for skiing day at Wolf Creek.

March 8 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; baking class at the Pagosa Baking Co., 1 p.m.; quilting club, 1 p.m.

March 9 - AARP tax assistance by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

March 10 - Spirit Day, wear your Silver Foxes Den shirts. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; Seniors Inc. board meeting, 1 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus, all others $5.

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

Today - Lunch in Arboles. Scalloped potatoes with ham and cheese, brussels sprouts, dinner roll and apple crisp.

March 3 - Roast beef and gravy, whipped potatoes, seasoned greens, whole wheat roll and orange wedge.

March 6 - Hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus amandine, and pineapple and mandarin oranges.

March 7 - Chicken fried steak with country gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli mix, drop biscuit and apple slices.

March 8 - Spaghetti with meat sauce, mixed veggies, whole wheat bread and orange wedge.

March 10 - Smothered combination burrito with lettuce and tomato, black beans with cilantro and diced pears.

 

Veteran's Corner

Get into VA healthcare, and stay in

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

As many readers know from following my column, I strongly urge veterans to get into VA health care.

Once in, it is important to stay in the VA health care system by making an appointment at least once a year, or more often as needed.

The third step is to complete the financial "Means Test" required each year on your enrollment anniversary date. The information should be based on your previous calendar year adjusted gross family income and all "out of pocket" medical expenses.

Means Test needed

I have often expressed my opinions for the need for the Means Tests in this column, but, for now, it is required by the VA health care system to continue receiving this benefit. Some of our veterans receive a notice each year with forms included to complete this requirement. Others are not notified.

I'm not sure why some are and some are not notified. It may hinge on the fact that if you were enrolled prior to Jan. 17, 2003, and checked off the "no I do not wish to disclose my financial information" box it is possible you will not receive the notice. However, if you enrolled after that date, financial information was required for enrollment. The problem is that veterans in VAHC Priority 2 or below essentially must provide an annual Means Test, with some exceptions.

Fulfill the requirement

The safest bet is in fulfilling the VA health care system request and providing your financial information. VA health care services could be denied for failure to do so each year.

For those of you whom I assisted in enrolling in VAHC it is not necessary for you to fill out the forms yourself. I have a computerized copy of your VAHC information and original application form and can do this for you. Just stop by my office once a year for a few minutes, and it is a done deal.

Once enrolled in VAHC the Means Test form is there to determine the co-pay requirements and provide up dated personal information such as a change of address, dependents, etc.

Income figures

Here are the income limitations for those of you who do not have service-connected disabilities, a Purple Heart or other special veteran qualifications, and wish to enroll in VA health care under the current enrollment guidelines. This is specific to Archuleta County, based the Federal HUD formula (2005 figures).

- Single Veteran - $28,950

- Veteran with one dependent - $33,100

- Veteran with two dependents - $37,200

- Veteran with dependents - $41,350

Medical deduction

The out-of-pocket medical deduction is rather complicated. Contrary to my earlier thinking, it is not 100-percent deducted from income figures to arrive at an enrollment qualifying income level.

The VA informs me "for the income year being assessed, the medical deduction withheld = 5% of the previous year's basic pension rate. As an example: The VA Pension rate in 2003 is $9,556. Deductible withheld = $9,556 x 5% = $478. @002 veteran's non-reimbursed medical expenses for Income Year 2002 = $1,200. Medical expense deduction entered on the 1010EZR (Means Test Form) = $1,200 minus $478 = $722."

In other words, even though your out-of-pocket medical expenses are $1,200, only $722 will be deducted from your income to determine your enrollment eligibility.

Once in, stay in

Remember though, for those of you already enrolled in VAHC, the information on your Means Tests is only used to determine if you will be required to pay co-pays. You will not be denied VAHC services for the income information you provide because you are "grand fathered" into the system.

Share-A-Ride

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

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

For information on these and other veteran's benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7. The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648 and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs and for filing in the VSO office.

 

Library News

The Internet and the future of libraries: Part 1

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

This is the first of several articles this year in which I will look at the issues relating to the Internet, and how changes due to it may affect public libraries and availability of printed and other information.

The American Library Association, which tracks library statistics, records that library visits have doubled to 1.2 billion in the last decade since the Internet attained popularity. Since the library here in Pagosa Springs reopened with expanded computer capacity, computer use has gone up 63 percent, with attendant increase in staff servicing demands.

At a Christmas day dinner party, my host asked me what I thought of Google's digitization project. I had no reply. I hadn't really thought about the project except in the matter of copyright infringement. However, the predicted demise of libraries due to "everything" being available on the Web is a serious matter of misconception that calls for discussion and public clarification.

In December 2004, Google made a stunning announcement that it had concluded a deal to digitize the entire contents of the libraries of Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, the University of Michigan and the research collections of the New York Public Library.

It was a dramatic public relations move for their IPO and SEC filing.

So, let's look at the facts.

First: 80 percent of the books in the five libraries that Google has included in the project are still in copyright. Therefore, the text of the books cannot legally be made available. Thus, for these 80 percent of the books, and any future books that are copyright protected, if they are digitized, the project is an indexing project, not a book availability tool. This project, then, is an expansion of Google Book Search (later called Google Print for books) which started in 2003, and offered excerpts from books. In short, it's another amazon.com "Search inside the book" tool, and a direct market confrontation to amazon.com. Only unprintable snippets of the books will be available.

The librarian in me insists that you, dear reader, understand that, not only is a snippet not a book, but searchable snippets are not the user tools that cataloging and classification are.

Google Scholar, a specialized search engine for research materials, with a citation search built in, was announced shortly after the Google Library announcement.

Second: although Stanford and the University of Michigan have indicated a willingness to push the legal envelope and have their in-copyright books scanned, the other libraries in the project have not agreed to this. They are carefully reserving decision on this option until the courts rule on the legal issues involved. I do not believe that the U.S. courts are going to dispose of established copyright precedent for this project. Thus, the original Google announcement that it would digitize the entire contents of the five libraries was misleading, to say the least.

Third: anyone who doesn't think there will eventually be a charge for accessing the materials that are digitized, please come see me at the library. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell. If copyright clearance deals are ever arranged, Google will have the largest bookstore in the world. This is not, as you know, the same as a library.

Now for the good news: Google has, in reality, asserted that it is going to attempt to create the largest out-of-print bookstore in human history. Buying an out-of-print book is not the same as having our old standby, Interlibrary Loan, at your service. However, there are many out-of-print books that libraries will not make available for Interlibrary Loan because the book cannot be replaced if it is not returned. The availability for purchase of downloadable out-of-print books will be a great benefit to libraries and the public for whom these books are simply unavailable under current circumstances.

The huge boon to participating libraries is the fact that they will receive copies of all of the files created, be able to host them on their own servers and build enormously expanded new digital library services. Michigan is archiving on gold CDs which are stress tested for three centuries of longevity.

However, the whole Google proposal of this project raises intriguing questions.

Can Google really afford to do this? The estimated cost of digitizing a single book is $10 per volume or higher. The University of Michigan alone has 7 million volumes. Using the six-year time frame that Google has announced, this amounts to 2.25 books per minute or 3,200 volumes a day for 365 days per year.

What technology are they using? Standard digitization often destroys the fragile materials being digitized. Google has announced that they have new technology that will not damage materials. The University of Michigan librarians are not even being allowed into the room where this secret technology is being used on their own collection.

The questions and issues go on and on. You will certainly be reading about some of them in the news in the next few years.

Thanks

Kudos to the fabulous women of the volunteers and the Woman's Civic Club who brought lavish and luscious appetizers and goodies to the library's first SunDowner last week.

The compliments went on and on! We are grateful to Betsy Gill, who managed the project and to everyone who generously participated with gifts of time and food. The leftovers (that the library staff didn't stash for work treats) went to the lucky diners at Loaves and Fishes the next day. Thank you - every one of you.

 

Arts Line

Dodgson workshop series on PSAC calendar

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

JoAnne Dodgson is a healer, teacher and author ("Gifts of the Grandmother and Walking the Spiral Path: Awakening Power and Passion").

She will conduct a series of workshops in March and April. Her work is centered in the ancient tradition, Ka Ta See, living in balance from the heart. She has been involved in counseling, holistic healing, teaching and community outreach for over 20 years. Her workshops and seminars invite the dynamic awakening of personal empowerment, compassion, creative passions, and joy. She has a doctorate in counseling psychology and has been on the faculty in holistic health, women's studies and psychology programs.

Light of the moon

The moon is a powerful teacher about natural cycles of growth and creativity. Connect more deeply with your own creative process as you connect with the cycles of the moon. Learn to set clear intentions for new beginnings and intentionally focus your energy and attention to enrich the potency of your creative endeavors. Explore empowering tools for letting go of patterns, judgments and fears that inhibit the creative flow and which keep you from nourishing yourself and honoring your process along the way. The class will meet for four weeks, beginning on the new moon.

Classes meet 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 28, April 4, 11 and 18. Cost of the workshop series is $80 for PSAC members. Call 264-5020 for further information.

Gathering for artists

Come explore your personal journey as an artist; honor who you really are. Claim your passions and gifts. Learn empowering tools to access your vast inner resources and let go of old patterns, expectations and assumptions that block your creative process and expression. What do you really want to manifest in your life and with your art?

Cost of the session, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, is $35 for PSAC members and $40 for nonmembers.

Watercolor club

The PSAC Watercolor Club, (formed in the winter of 2003) meets at 10 a.m. the third Wednesday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The next meeting will be held March 15.

Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Each attending member contributes $5 for use of the space. The goals for the day vary, with watercolorists getting together to draw, paint and experience technique demonstrations from professional watercolorists or framers. Participants are encouraged to bring still lives or photos to paint and draw; or a project to complete. Attendees should bring a bag lunch, their supplies and a willingness to have a fun, creative day.

For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Volunteer at museum

The Fred Harman Museum is looking for volunteer docents. Museum hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Summer hours (starting Memorial Day) include Saturday and Sunday. Both half-day and full-day hours are available.

Working in the museum provides the opportunity to preserve a part of our western authenticity and to meet visitors from throughout the world. For further information, contact Fred Harman III, curator, at 731-5785.

Drawing with Davis

Drawing class with Randall Davis takes place the third Saturday of every month at the community center. The next class will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18.

Subjects vary month to month and all levels of aspiring artists are welcome. Attending each month is not necessary, since each session is focused on different subject matter. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience your creative talent together with the guidance of a talented professional.

Attendees should arrive with a large sketchpad, a few drawing pencils (preferably a mid-range No. 2 or 3 and a No. 6 (bold and hard leads), ruler and eraser. Participants should bring a bag lunch (soda machines available). Fee is $35 to PSAC members and $40 for nonmembers. For further workshop information, contact Davis at 264-2833. Reservations should be made by calling PSAC, 264-5020.

PSAC exhibits program

Applications are available to artists wanting to participate in the Pagosa Springs Arts Council's 2006 Exhibits Program.

From April through October, we present different exhibits for public viewing at the PSAC gallery in Town Park. Past exhibits have varied - from the high school art students, to jewelry, bronze, woodworking, photography, watercolor, oil painting, fabric art and a juried art exhibit.

Our exhibits committee will review portfolios by artists working in any medium. Selected artists will be scheduled for exhibits in the Town Park gallery in 2006. If you are interested or have further questions, contact PSAC at 264-5020 or download the exhibit forms from our Web site at Pagosa-arts.com. Hurry ... the calendar is rapidly filling up for the 2006 season..

Call for entries

PSAC announces the call for entries for the PSAC annual Pagosa Springs 2007 Calendar.

Entries may be submitted to the PSAC Town Park Gallery through Thursday, March 9. Subject matter should be limited to Archuleta County and should represent a particular month. Twelve images (one for each month) and a cover image will be selected for the calendar. Local artists representing all media are encouraged to participate.

For judging purposes, low resolution files can be submitted. If chosen for publication, artists will provide image 8.5x11 at 300 dpi for the calendar printing. Actual images (framed or otherwise) submitted for the PSAC annual Photo Contest at Moonlight Books can be dropped off at the PSAC gallery in Town Park after the photo exhibit, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, for calendar consideration. Please call the gallery at 264-5020 for further information.

Pretenders program

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, a division of PSAC, will present another "Pretending Books and Stories" program at the Sisson library, 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11. This presentation program will focus on works by Dr. Seuss. The mission of the monthly program is to promote reading and creativity and is offered the second Saturday of each month.

If you would like to take part in this program, call Susan Garman, 731-2485.

Get to know the artist

We want Pagosa to "Get to know the artist." If you are a PSAC member and would like to be featured in our upcoming, weekly "Get to know the artist," send your bio, photo, and up to six samples of your work for review. Format requirements: (Bio: Microsoft word file. Images: jpeg format, 300 dpi / up to 4x5 inches, or pdf file). For consideration, your information should be presented in CD format and mailed to Wen Saunders, PSAC, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157.

For more information, call Wen Saunders, 264-4486. Of course, if you are not a PSAC member, perhaps you should be. Visit our Web site, pagosa-arts.com, or call 264-5020 for membership information.

Time to join

PSAC is a membership 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 listing in PSAC Artist Guide and PSAC Business Guide. Workshops and exhibits are sponsored by PSAC to benefit the art community. In addition, your membership helps to keep art thriving in Pagosa Springs .

Membership rates are: Youth, $10; Individual-Senior, $20; Regular Individual, $25; Family-Senior, $25; Regular Family, $35; Business, $75; Patron, $250; Benefactor, 500, Director, $1,000; Guarantor, $2,500 and up.

Winter volunteers

If you are a PSAC member and would like to volunteer hours working at the gallery, call 264-5020 for a list of openings. Hours worked at the gallery may be used to attend PSAC workshops throughout the year.

Taos basket weaving

The 2006 Creativity Infusion Basket Weaving Retreat with Pat Jeffers will be held Aug. 18-22 at the Don Fernando Hotel in Taos, N.M. Jeffers is considered one of the best weavers in the nation. This retreat is appropriate for all levels of basket weavers. Cost of $550 per person, double occupancy, $700 single, includes four nights lodging, breakfasts and weaving materials. Class size is limited and reservations are now being accepted. Carpooling from Pagosa Springs is available.

For more information, contact Barbara Rosner at rosnercreative@direcway.com.

Gallery hours

The PSAC Gallery in Town Park is on winter hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Voice mail and e-mail are checked regularly, so please leave a message if no one is available in the office.

Upcoming events

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 PSAC Gallery in Town Park, unless otherwise noted.

March 8 - Pagosa Photo Club, 5:30 p.m.

March 9 - Deadline for call for entries, PSAC calendar, Town Park Gallery.

March 11 - Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, interactive reading featuring works of Dr. Seuss, 11 a.m., Sisson library.

March 15 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

March 18 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.

March 28 - "Creativity by the Light of the Moon" workshop with JoAnne Dodgson, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 1 - PSAC Workshop "A Gathering For Artists" by JoAnne Dodgson , 1-5 p.m.

April 4, 11 and 18 - "Creativity by the Light of the Moon" workshop with JoAnne Dodgson, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

April 12 - Pagosa Photo Club, 5:30 p.m. Program topic featuring Web site design and maintenance for small businesses.

April 15 - Drawing with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.

April 19 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC by e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

Food for Thought

You are what you read. But where do you read it?

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

What someone reads reveals a lot about them, don't you think?

I certainly believe this, but I go a bit further.

What you read while you're in the bathroom says a whole lot more.

Don't squirm - you know you do a bit of reading when you're attending to certain business in the bathroom, when you have time to sit down and relax. Don't deny it. You're stuck there for a while, and reading sure beats talking to yourself.

Your choice of material is revealing.

Think about it. This is not the public library; there is an element of utter privacy here (we hope) and what you read is selected out of view of critical observers.

Granted, the material can't be terribly ponderous, requiring hours of concentrated attention. You are not going to finish half of Moby Dick without creating significant vascular problems for yourself. Same with Joyce and "Ulysses." Ideal bathroom reading should be fairly light and/or quick stuff.

But, not too light or quick. There has to be substance. I have nothing but contempt for those who take a tabloid or Readers Digest to the can. The fare can't be that light.

Likewise, I have deep concerns about that rare soul who drives the porcelain Cadillac with a copy of a dictionary in hand.

I am extremely suspicious of those who prefer something like scripture (you pick the religion, it doesn't really matter ) or dissertations dealing with the peculiarities of particle physics.

Me, I have pretty clear preferences.

I like to cleave in ironic fashion to a maxim attributed to the mythical Hermes Trismegistus: "As Above, So Below." I put my own twist on this, in that I love to read recipes while in the bathroom. I have several back issues of cooking magazines in the little basket beside the throne. It's a tidy equation, isn't it? Like looking over the incoming freshman class at the same time you wave goodbye to the graduates.

I find some nonfiction a fitting study while undergoing this most personal of experiences.

For example, in the above mentioned bathroom basket, I have a copy of "Positively Fifth Street," by James McManus - the author's gonzo rewrite of his experience in Las Vegas covering a notorious murder trial while, at the same time, playing his way to the final table at the World Series of Poker. The pace of this wonderful book is suited to the task at hand: one can read a short section, dig through a manageable bit of beautifully written prose, learn something new about No-limit Texas Hold 'Em, finish up, close the book, wash the paws and exit in fine fettle. All within a reasonable period of time.

I also like to read snippets of Charles Bukowski. Here, the fit is ramified - the author connects with every aspect of the moment, on every level. Bukowski would love to know he is read in the bathroom.

And, then, there is philosophy.

Seems a bit odd, doesn't it: your fave philosophers and

It depends on the philosopher.

A Platonic dialogue?

Nope. Same problem as with Melville and Joyce: too long, too much work when other, more fundamental labor is required.

Likewise Hegel or Kant.

But, those masters inclined to aphorism?

Perfect.

Heraclitus, Lao Tzu, Nietzsche.

Doesn't get a whole lot better than rifling through a couple pages of "Beyond Good and Evil" while attending to the basics.

But, it is the recipe that is ultimately most in harmony with the moment.

I took full advantage of this fact the other day.

There was a bit of a problem, namely guests for dinner. This is something I dislike, that I work to avoid, despite my wife's agitated urgings.

Social affairs don't do much for me.

First there's the expense. Friends are costly. And, truth be told, the foods I love most, and love most to make, cost way too much for more than two diners.

Second: the time involved. For Pete's sake, I've got important things to do! I can rarely spare the better part of a day preparing goodies for a crowd - especially if a "When Pets Go Bad" marathon is on satellite or they're showing reruns of "Roller Girls" on A&E.

Plus, I need time to spend on my latest hobby: Finding new ways to irritate Republicans. This, of course, is not hard to do; most of the feeble buzzards are at least four-hundred years old (if not literally, then figuratively), incoherent, and crotchety as all get out.

Third: I have to expend a lot of energy being overbearing and bombastic when entertaining company and I, like the above mentioned Republicans, am no spring chicken. I have only so much to give.

But, this time, I gave in to Kathy's requests (read: threats).

Seven for dinner.

What to have?

I was in a quandary.

Until I took the throne and, tissue at the ready, put on my thinking cap.

I got comfy and picked up a copy of one of my fave food mags, circa 1991.

Bingo, there it was: a recipe for "Chicken in Wine Sauce," better known as a version of Coq au Vin.

That's it, I said to myself. It's fairly cheap, it can braise away in the oven for a couple hours while I drink heavily and enjoy Roller Girls.

Life is good.

I hustled to the market and picked up enough chicken legs and thighs to satisfy seven diners. I purchased a pack of frozen pearl onions, a carton of cremini mushrooms, some fresh thyme, a head of garlic, a couple carrots, a hunk of bacon (I pondered the option of a more authentic lardon - a crispy cube of salt pork - but discarded the idea) some parsley and a carton of organic chicken stock.

At the adjacent liquor store, I grabbed a bottle of mid-grade domestic pinot noir and a couple bottles of a low-price but decent red blend. I had a bottle of a Spanish Grenacha at home as well as water crackers, a runny, triple cream herbed cheese and some Italian dry salami. Good enough for pre-meal nibbles. All I lacked for the foundation of the chicken dish was cognac, and there was no way I was going to buy a bottle. I would do without.

Easy business. I washed and dried the chicken, chopped parsley, sliced carrots and mushrooms and peeled and thinly sliced six or seven cloves of garlic.

I sliced four slices or so of the lean bacon crosswise into little strips then crisped up the strips in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Out came the bacon and it was drained on a paper towel.

The chicken pieces were seasoned with kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper and, three at a time, were browned in the grease. When done, the pieces were removed to a warm plate and the next pieces hit the fat.

When all the chicken had browned, into the drippings (minus a tablespoon or three) went the pearl onions, the mushrooms and the carrots and they were sauteed until they began to brown. In went the garlic and a touch of olive oil. After a moment or two I coated the vegetables with about a third cup of flour (instead of the traditional stout measure of chicken blood) and cooked the mix to get rid of the floury taste. In went the entire bottle of pinot noir (OK, minus a sip or five) and a cup or so of chicken stock. The bottom of the pan was scraped to free the goodies into the brew and the parsley, most of the crisp bacon, the chicken, the thyme and a couple bay leaves were plopped into the liquid. The mess was brought to a simmer, the Dutch oven covered and into a 350 oven it went. For about two hours.

Ahhh.

Roller Girls.

With guests at hand, wolfing down the nibbles and sipping the grenache, out came the Dutch oven. I removed the chicken, the sprigs of thyme, the bay leaves and added a tablespoon or so of chicken demi-glace. The seasonings were adjusted, the sauce reduced and, voila, dinner for seven, served with a couple pans of potatoes dauphinoise (add enough cream and butter, please, to stop a rhino's heart) steamed and buttered green beans and a salad of fresh greens, tomato, and oil-cured olives dressed with a lemon and tarragon vinaigrette. Sliced up some crusty bread, provided plenty o' butter.

Oh, mommy, that was good stuff.

Only, sitting on the can the next day, just after putting down my copy of the collected poems of Theodore Roethke I realized it could be better yet. My eye hit on the cover of yet another outdated cooking mag.

Red chile.

I was back in the groove.

Hey, why not add a teaspoon of my special Espanola red to the coq au vin? Zip it up a bit.

Further, why not serve the chicken and sauce atop buttered noodles, with a hefty sprinkling of grated, hard Mexican cheese, or shredded Parmegiano-Reggiano?

Better yet, why not add some white beans to the mix?

Pollo con Vino.

I tried the adjustment with the leftovers the next night.

Oh, yeah, It's a keeper.

And I, for one, plan to spend a lot more time in the bathroom.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Tips for the care of deciduous trees

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

March 3 - 4-H Fridays, Community United Methodist Church, 1:45 p.m.

March 3 - Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting, 2:15 p.m.

March 3 - Goat Project meeting, 3:10 p.m.

March 4 - Beef weigh in, 10 a.m.

March 6 - Entomology Group 2 Project meeting, 4 p.m.

March 6 - Dog Obedience Project meeting, 4:30 p.m.

March 6 - Private Pesticide Applicator training, 6:30 p.m.

March 7 - Master Gardener Training, Vista Clubhouse, 9 a.m.

March 7 - Beef Symposium, La Plata County Fairgrounds, 8 a.m.

March 8 - Entomology Group 1 Project meeting. 4 p.m.

March 8 - Sportsfishing Project meeting, 4 p.m.

March 8 - Fair board meeting, 6 p.m.

March 8 - Pagosa Peaks Club meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 9 - Vet Science Project, San Juan Veterinary, 5:30 p.m.

March 9 - Red Ryder meeting, 6 p.m.

Private Pesticide Applicator

There will be a Private Pesticide Applicator training 6:30 p.m. March 6 at the Extension Building. This training is for those who want to purchase a restricted use Applicator's License or for re-licensing. A $10 registration fee will be charged for the class. Please R.S.V.P. to the Extension Office at 264-2388 or you can e-mail us at archulet@ext.colostate.edu.

The Private Pesticide Applicator License is required of individuals who use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides on land in agriculture production that is owned, leased, or rented by them or their employer. This includes farm and ranch land, forestlands, nurseries, Christmas Trees, orchards and other properties on which agricultural crops or commodities are produced.

No license is needed if only general-use pesticides are used.

Private Pesticide Applicators are required to maintain records of their applications of restricted-use pesticides. To become certified as a Private Pesticide Applicator, an individual must obtain a score of 70 percent or higher on the Private Pesticide Applicator examination. Once an individual qualifies by becoming certified, he or she is entitled to become a licensed as a Private Pesticide Applicator.

Beef Symposium

The 14th annual Beef Symposium will be held March 7 at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango.

Cost for the symposium is $20 with lunch and refreshments provided. Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 to register.

Pruning deciduous trees

Pruning branches with a flush cut is incorrect and can lead to poor tree health. Remove branches outside of the collar and branch bark ridge to preserve a natural barrier zone in the tree. Do not prune away any portion of the trunk, including trunks that have divided. Do not top any tree. Wound dressings are not useful and can harbor disease organisms. The key to good wound closure is to maintain tree health.

As trees grow, they form natural barrier zones at the base of each branch. Should storm damage or pruning occur, these barriers protect the tree from invading organisms such as decay and cankers. This barrier zone is not at the exact point where the branch and trunk appear to join when viewed from the outside. The barrier zone actually is a short distance (usually less than 1 inch) away from the trunk. Thus, when a branch is flush cut, the natural barrier zone is removed.

To identify the barrier zone, look closely at a branch. Near its base, there is a distinct swelling or collar, and often a ridge of bark that is distinct from the bark areas on either side. This ridge varies according to the angle of the branch as it is attached to the stem. The barrier zone is located in the collar area outside of the branch bark ridge. When you prune away a branch, always cut just outside of the collar to preserve the barrier zone. Some trees do not have a distinct collar and ridge that completely circles the branch. In these cases, locate an area on the branch that is distinct and make your cut at a right angle to the branch.

Depending on the tree type, this procedure may leave a knob or slight stub. Do not, however, leave stubs beyond the collar. Such stubs will die back and allow decay organisms to get a foothold to enter the tree.

Not all branches are branches

Most trees have a central trunk, but this trunk often divides into several stems that appear to be branches. These are referred to as codominant stems. If a stem cut must be made, always cut outside of the bark ridge.

Avoid removing stems, where possible, because there is no natural barrier zone where two or more stems join. Organisms have an easier time invading such cuts. Pruning out codominant stems also tends to promote weak sucker growth (water sprouts). Avoid topping or pollarding any tree.

Large branch removal

When removing large branches, first make an undercut several inches outside of the collar. Next, remove the limb with a second cut an inch or so outside of the undercut. This removes the limb weight and prevents stripping of the bark when the limb falls. Make the third cut just outside the collar.

Safety first

If you need to climb more than a step ladder, or if the tree limbs to be removed are large or may fall onto utility wires or a structure, it is best to hire a bonded, professional tree company to do the job.

Wound dressings not useful

Wound dressings have been shown to interfere with the natural development of callus tissues that eventually close the pruning wound. In some cases, wound dressings can even harbor disease organisms, much like what occurs when a bandaid is left on a skin cut too long. It is far more important to make the cut smooth, outside of the collar and allow the wound area to dry. If a wound dressing is desired for aesthetic purposes, use a very thin coat, just enough to darken the wound area. Aerosol sprays of water-emulsified asphalt sold in Garden centers are best. Do not use oil-base paints, thick tars or other materials that contain petroleum solvents.

Maintain tree health

The key to good wound closure following pruning is to maintain a healthy tree through proper watering, fertilizer application and pest control. Trees under stress from drought, overwatering, pest attack, lawnmower and other mechanical damage, and poor nutrition cannot successfully fight off invasion of organisms. For other information on maintaining tree health, managing pests and proper watering practices come by the Archuleta County Extension Office located at the fairgrounds.

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

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Racquetball courts do double duty

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

For racquetball enthusiasts, there's nothing more tragic, in a recreation center setting, than watching beloved courts double-decked and converted to other uses.

Certainly, recreation center and club operators need to be concerned about maximizing the value per square foot of these areas, but there are innovative, and effective ways to keep the precious space buzzing with activity without eliminating racquetball facilities.

Our two racquetball courts get consistent use in the mornings and evenings. Throughout the rest of the day, between those two periods of racquetball activity, the courts are seldom used for racquetball. Instead, several exciting game formats, including volleyball, squash, court soccer, basketball and badminton, are reinventing fun within the traditional 20x20x40 box.

All of these various game formats appeal to both new and old players, and to a variety of population, and have been implemented at a very low cost - particularly when compared with remodeling.

Walleyball (or Wallyball) - i.e., volleyball adapted for a racquetball court - is one of our oldest and most popular alternative court sports. We introduced it at the recreation center 16 years ago and each year it gets more popular.

As the name implies, the walls, as well as the ceiling, are an essential part of play. Teams of two, three or four players serve, hit, block, spike and deflect the ball, according to a specific set of rules created for racquetball courts. We've had groups of up to 12 players per court; which represents a very efficient use of the space.

Walleyball (open gym format) is held every Tuesday night from 6-9 p.m. at the recreation center. There is no additional charge for members to play and nonmembers pay a day fee to participate. Play all three hours if you are so inclined, or drop in for an hour.

Racquetball challenge is held every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. All levels of players get into the action and a maximum of four players use the court at one time in doubles play. This is very popular with our local racquetball players and a wonderful opportunity for visiting members to pick up a game or two.

Safety glasses are mandatory for racquetball play and free loaners are available at the recreation center. We do insist that clean, non-streaking court shoes be worn. For more information, call the recreation center at 731-2051.

Local racquetball players would like to see more courts at the recreation center. However, as a sport, racquetball is not a growth activity. Although some clubs have converted court space to other use, here at our facility we are encouraging alternative uses for the two existing courts, including sponsoring open gym and challenge sessions on a regular basis.

 

 Business News
 

Chamber News

It's a brave new world for fans of RVs

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I don't think I've ever seen so many RVs in one place at one time.

And, boy, have they changed! There are still the pop-ups and smaller fifth-wheels, but you can travel in the lap of luxury now.

The Phoenix Sportsman and RV show was well attended and Pagosa, being in a cool (literally and figuratively) part of Colorado, was definitely a popular place of interest. I am confident we will be seeing some of these visitors at the trade show here in Pagosa. They sure do like to get out of the Phoenix heat, and we are a popular destination spot.

Soup for the Soul

Remember that 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 2, Hospice of Mercy will host its annual Soup for the Soul dinner.

The event will be at the community center and will feature soups, breads and desserts from some of our fine restaurants such as Victoria's Parlor, The Getaway, JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant, Farrago's Market Café, Buffalo Inn, Dorothy's, Dionigi's, Boss Hog's, Pagosa Baking Company, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee and Higher Grounds Coffee. Warm up physically and psychologically as you help the organization that helps those in the last phase of their life. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10.

St. Patrick's Day parade

It's time to pull out all that is green and get your entry form in for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held March 17.

This year, the parade falls on a Friday and it will begin at 4 p.m. So, plan to celebrate that day when everyone is Irish by joining in on all the parade fun.

You can pick up your entry forms at the Chamber or we can fax you one. The entry fee is $3.17, but the rewards are much greater. We will giveaway cash prizes for the most green float, the best float, and the most bizarre float. The parade will follow the usual route: we line up on South 6th Street, parade down San Juan and Pagosa streets , and the parade ends at 2nd Street.

Youth groups, church groups, families, organizations, businesses and anyone with a sense of style should be in the parade. This small but lively march entertains the visitors and locals who line the route (we just love a parade). Don't miss all the fun; come by the Chamber or check the back page of your latest Chamber newsletter for your entry form. Entries must be in by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 16.

See you at the end of the rainbow.

Seminar tips

There is still time for you to make your recommendation concerning business tip topics for a short monthly business session.

We are looking for input on the best times to have the seminars and their content. The seminar could be a breakfast meeting, a lunch meeting or an after-hours meeting. We are looking for the session to last no more than 1 1/2 hours and we will have various guest speakers at each session.

The sessions will be offered for a nominal fee and will be geared toward helping the businesses improve or enhance the way they operate. We want our constituents to have the latest information and helpful tips. By investing a little time and continuing your education, you may reap more than you expect. To give us your input, call 264-2360, fax us your ideas at 264-4625, or e-mail us at info@pagosachamber.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tax service

Don't forget there is a free tax service for middle- to low-income households and individuals being held every Thursday in the community center art room until April 13. To reserve a time, stop by the senior dining room at the community center and sign up. Don't forget to bring a picture ID, last year's return, any form showing earnings, and social security cards for you and anyone else listed on the tax form to your appointment. Thanks again to Bob Henley for heading up this program. For more information, contact Bob at 731-9411.

Welcome supporters

It's another great week to welcome back some longtime Chamber members and successful businesses.

Starting off this week's list is one of our historical businesses: Goodman's Department Store.

Just down the block from Goodman's is another delightful store, Main Street Antiques.

We welcome back The Real Choice Real Estate.

Also welcome back to Harms Photo/Graphic Associates and SelecPRO School Photography.

I am so pleased to see this business back with the Chamber, The Hideout run by Linda and Charity Love.

Staying on the west side of town, we welcome back Chester Pajak and Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites.

I'm not sure how many people know that we have this next gem of a business in our community: Safer Living with Crystal Coughlin.

Just about every town has to have a AAA agency, and our closest one is in Durango with Cathy Neill and AAA Travel and Insurance.

This week, we end with one of our great heritage non-profits: The Friends of Native Cultures. Caroline Brown is still at the helm helping to promote responsible cultural stewardship by sponsoring indigenous peoples of the Southwest in presenting their traditional dances, music and songs for the public in the Four Corners Region.

I look forward to announcing our business seminars. For new Chamber members, we will have an orientation 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 6, at the Visitor Center. Give us a call if you did not receive an invitation. And all you "old" members who would like to attend a refresher course on Chamber benefits, plan to come on by on the 6th as well.

 

Biz Beat

Happy Trails

Maria MacNamee, owner of Happy Trails Lady's Boutique, recently returned from Orlando, Fla., where she was one of 22 retailers from across the nation to attend a "Sailing with Style Retail Retreat" to Nassau in the Bahamas.

Maria spent three days and enjoyed networking with other store owners and attending classes in body types, fashion personalities and core wardrobe. She is now a certified fashion consultant and invites you to drop by the store at 455 Pagosa St. to find out more about upcoming events and programs on fashions for spring and summer.

Happy Trails is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Call 264-4260.

 

People
Cards of Thanks

McCranie

Many thanks to the Bank of the San Juans and all the ladies that work there for all your efforts in putting together the first Business Women's Network night. The turnout, I believe, showed just how excited, willing, able and (most certainly) ready we women are to promote and assist each other, not only on a business level but a personal level, as well. There most definitely is strength in numbers, so to all you women who couldn't make it to the first meeting, we look forward to meeting you at the next.

Thanks again, ladies at the Bank of the San Juans!

Becky McCranie

 

Teen Center

The Teen Center would like to thank all the volunteers, donors and sponsors who made "A Garden of Lights" such a success: The Flower Cottage, The Buffalo Grill, Pizza Hut, Domino's, The Flying Burrito, City Market, ALCO, P.R.E.C.O. Plumbing, Treasures of the Rockies, The Wild Rose T-Shirt Outlet, Pagosa Office Supply, The Springs, Subway, and SONOCO, Bank of the San Juans, Bank of Colorado, Citizen's Bank, Wells Fargo, and 1st Southwest Bank. Special thanks to Kathy Sahlie and Isabelle Webster for the vital help and support. Thank you! Mille grazie! Merci beaucoup! Muchas gracias!

 

P.I.E.

Partners in Education at the elementary school would like to thank everyone involved in making the family night, Beach Blanket Bingo, a huge success.

Thank you to Joanne Irons for organizing the evening. The Rotarians - Sharon and Chris Crump, Jody Cromwell, Mark Horn, Dick Bond and Steve Wadley and the Jr. Rotarians Jamie, Hayley, Jonah, and Zack - helped set up, serve dinner, clean up and call bingo numbers. Kate Lister deserves many thanks for calling numbers in a wonderful Caribbean costume. Thank you to Mountain Snapshots for taking pictures, Carol Brown for props, Jenifer Pitcher for ordering prizes, Andrew Jones, Dave Krueger, Wildflower Catering, Amy Dunmyer for preparing dinner, the custodial staff and Terry Alley. Thank you to the approximately 225 people who came for dinner and bingo. Family nights are sponsored by Partners in Education as a fun event to bring families into the elementary school.

Stephanie Jones

 

Engagement

Loper-Dean

Dan and Donna Loper, parents of Ben Loper, along with Dwight and Kay Dean, parents of Erica Dean, announce the marriage of their children on March 18, 2006.

The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. at First Assembly of God Church.

 

Ross-Zemp

Cord Ross and Kristin Zemp would like to announce their engagement and upcoming wedding Saturday, March 18. The wedding will take place in the Cardston, Alberta, LDS Temple. Parents are Troy and Loretta Ross of Pagosa Springs, and Mark and Norma Zemp of Raymond, Alberta, Canada.

Cord is a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School. The couple plan to make Pagosa Springs their home. In their honor, an open house will be held 6-8:30 p.m. April 22 in the LDS Church on Majestic Drive.

 

Locals

Jeffrey Johnson

More than 1,772 Colorado State University students were named to the dean's list of their respective colleges for the fall 2005 semester.

Students from Pagosa Springs named to the dean's list include Jeffrey Ryan Johnson, a senior majoring in marketing.

 

Deborah Meyer

Concordia University Wisconsin officials released the fall dean's list. To be eligible for the honor, students must achieve a minimum 3.50 GPA.

Among the area students named to the list was Deborah Meyer, of Pagosa Springs, who is majoring in early childhood education.

 

Delta Buck

Pagosa Springs resident Delta Buck was named to the dean's list at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, for the 2005 fall semester. To be named to the dean's list, students must earn a 3.25 or higher grade point average while carrying at least 12 semester hours.

 

Sports Page

Lady Pirates stun Centauri, win district, host regional

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Will the real Lady Pirates from Pagosa Springs High School please stand up!

Head coach Bob Lynch and his assistants have been waiting all season for the real Pirates to show up in a big game.

That would be the Lady Pirates who are tough, have a winners' attitude and a lot of heart.

This was the basketball team that did show up at the Intermountain League championship final last Saturday night against the undefeated and second-ranked Lady Falcons from Centauri High School. The real Lady Pirates dug deep and showed the capacity crowd in the Bayfield gym that Centauri could be beaten.

The Pirates (17-5, 9-2 in IML) broke the daunted Centauri defensive pressure, played sound basketball, and got tough to beat the Lady Falcons in the finals by a score of 50-37. The win gives Pagosa a home-court regional in the first round of the 3A girls' state basketball tournament, starting tomorrow.

Centauri (18-1, 7-1 in IML) will also host a regional because of their outstanding record. The Lady Falcons will play Ellicot (10-12) Friday evening. The third IML representative is the Bayfield Lady Wolverines (15-6), by virtue of their third-place win over Monte Vista Saturday. They will play Basalt (18-3) in Colorado Springs, also on Friday.

Led by junior Jessica Lynch's game-high 18 points, and senior backcourt mate Liza Kelley's 14, the Lady Pirates opened an early lead and never trailed. By breaking the full court press the Pirates got some easy looks off the fast break and built an eight-point lead after the first eight minutes. The cold-shooting Falcons came back in the second quarter to close within two at halftime. Both teams played fairly close in the third but the final stanza was the backbreaker. The Falcons got down by 10 and had to foul to try and get back in the game. The Pirates closed it out at the charity stripe.

Coach Lynch was ecstatic after the win. "This was by far the best game our kids played all year," he said. "They finally played to our expectations and their abilities. We have been looking for that toughness in our inside game and the attitude to break their (Centauri's) pressure. We found that tonight." The Pirates looked like the team that won the Buena Vista tournament to start the season.

The coach added, "We now get a regional tournament at home, which has been one of our objectives all year long. The perseverance has paid off."

Lynch was six of 12 from the field while Kelley was six of nine from the free throw line. Senior Caitlin Forrest followed with nine points on four of six in the paint. Seniors Emily Buikema and Kari Beth Faber rounded out the scoring with five and four.

Forrest led the Pirates with a season-high 12 rebounds followed by Faber with eight and Buikema seven. Kelley had six assists and Lynch four.

The Lady Falcons, held to their lowest scoring output this year, were led by junior Marcie Cooley with 11 points and senior Janette McCarroll with nine. They were followed by seniors Luca Muniz and Wynona Miller with seven apiece. Their excellent inside player, senior Amanda Gylling, was held to just two points and she fouled out half way through the fourth quarter.

The Lady Pirates opened the scoring on points by Kelley, Forrest and Buikema. Centauri was held scoreless until Cooley hit two at the 5:15 mark. Pagosa used the fast break to go up by 10 at the one-minute mark on layups by Forrest, Buikema, Kelley and Lynch. The Falcons stayed in the game at the free throw line after going into the bonus with less than 30 seconds showing to put the score at 14-6.

Centauri opened for two in the second then Kelley hit one from line. Lynch and Faber scored inside again and the lead stayed at eight for the black and gold. Buikema stuffed Gylling in the paint and everyone knew the attitude was there.

The Falcons went on a 9-2 run and, with a minute showing, tied the game on buckets by Muniz, Miller and Cooley. Lynch laid one in on her own Michael Jordan move at the buzzer to give Pagosa a two-point lead at intermission.

The Pirates went on their own 5-0 run to start the third on points by Kelley and Lynch. Centauri didn't score until the 2:45 mark on a deuce from McCarroll. The two teams matched points to end the third with Pagosa up by five in a slow 9-6 quarter.

Forrest scored two to start the fourth after a Falcons' turnover. Lynch hit two from the charity stripe and the Pirates started another 7-0 run that, with what appeared to be cold outside shooting by Centauri, produced a 12-point lead for Pagosa. Gylling fouled out at the 4:25 mark and the momentum was with the black and gold. The Falcons managed two treys from Cooley and McCarroll to get within 10 with two minutes remaining. Faber hit two then Lynch and Kelley won it from the foul line.

Summary

Pagosa Springs - 14, 10, 11, 17-50

Centauri - 6, 16, 6, 9-37

Scoring: Lynch, 6-12,0-1,6-9,18; Mackey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kelley, 3-7,0-1,8-10,14; Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 2-6,0-0,0-0,4; Buikema, 2-2,0-0,1-3,5; DuCharme, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; Forrest, 4-6,0-0,1-2,9. Rebounds: Kelley 6, Faber 8, Buikema 7, DuCharme 2, Forrest 12.

Regional tournament

The Lady Pirates will open 3A state tournament play tomorrow at home as host team at one of eight regionals.

The other teams in the regional include Holy Family from Broomfield and the Denver Metro 3A League; Saint Mary's from Colorado Springs and the Tri-Peaks East League; and Cedaredge from the Western Slope 3A League.

This is a one-game elimination tournament, with the winner advancing as the "Great Eight" representative to the state quarterfinals at Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins starting next Thursday, March 9. Brackets and opponents will be announced next week in The SUN.

Friday, March 3

- Game A - Saint Mary's (20-2) versus Cedaredge (13-9) at 2 p.m.

- Game B - Pagosa Springs (17-5) versus Holy Family (13-10) at 6 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 (Sweet Sixteen)

- Game C - Winner Game A versus winner Game B at 1 p.m.

To see the complete girls' 3A regional bracket visit the Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) site on the Internet at www.chsaa.org and click on the 2006 Basketball Playoff bracket, then click on Girls 3A.

Admission prices for these events are set by CHSAA and are $6 for adults, $5 for children K-12 and senior citizens.

  

Lady Pirates bump Bayfield, move to title game

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Several things seemed odd about the semifinal matchup in the Intermountain League district basketball tournament held in Bayfield last week.

The district schedulers had the winners playing in early games, while the losers played in the late games. Winners, in most tournaments, play late games. The schedulers must have figured that, by playing in the earlier games, the winners would get more rest for the next round.

The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates advanced to the semifinal by beating Monte Vista last Wednesday night. Their opponent would be the Bayfield Lady Wolverine at 2 p.m. Friday, in a mostly empty gym to start the game. It seemed odd when the host school was in the contest - must have been the start time.

Another odd occurrence happened when the announcer introduced the Lady Pirates, wearing home white and sitting on the home side of the court, as the visiting team. In tournament play the highest seeded team, in this case Pagosa, is usually the home team regardless of where the game takes place. The Lady Wolverines were dressed in away blue and sat on the visitor's side. The announcer's only correction was "the Wolverines' score will be posted on the visitors' side of the scoreboard."

Then, an odd basketball game started.

The Lady Pirates, using their size and speed, finally wore down the Lady Wolverines to win 54-44 and advance to the finals. Although it seemed like Bayfield, playing inspired basketball on their home court, would never go away. Pagosa would build a lead then the Wolverines would bounce back. It seemed like a roller coaster ride until late in the fourth quarter when the Pirates used a 6-0 run to end the game and get the win.

Pagosa would get yet a third try against the undefeated Centauri Lady Falcons in the championship game. In the two previous meetings this season the Falcons had their way with Pagosa. The Wolverines would play Monte Vista, a surprising winner over Ignacio, in the third-place game Saturday afternoon.

Coach Bob Lynch said after the game, "This was a closer game than we wanted. They (Bayfield) are much improved and played an inspired game. However we took care of business and put us where we wanted to be, in the championship game."

Lynch added, "Liza (Kelley) had been battling the flu this week, but she still played well for us. I was proud of how our team fought through adversity and got the win. We get another shot at Centauri and we'll see what happens."

Kelley, a senior, dug deep and led another balanced scoring attack with 14 points on five of eight from the field. Senior Kari Beth Faber followed with another good 13-point game on six of nine from the field while senior Emily Buikema added 11 on four of six from the field and three of four from the line. Junior Jessica Lynch netted eight points on one long trey and three of four from the charity stripe. Senior Caitlin Forrest and juniors Lyndsey Mackey and Kristen DuCharme rounded out the scoring with four, two and two.

Buikema had her second double-double of the season, pulling down 10 rebounds. Forrest also grabbed 10, while Lynch recorded six assists.

For the Lady Wolverines, sophomore Rheanna Moe led all scoring with 18 points followed by sophomore Alexis Pommier with 10. Senior Ashley Shaw and junior Whitney Howard added seven and four each.

The Lady Pirates controlled the opening tip and Forrest scored on a layup off the assist. Buikema added six more inside but Moe and Pommier answered for Bayfield to put the score at 8-7.

Lynch netted two, Kelley a long trey and points by Faber and Buikema put Pagosa on a 10-0 run with three minutes remaining. The Lady Wolverines came back on four quick points at the buzzer to put the score at 18-11. The Pirates seemed to have a little trouble with the full court pressure that Bayfield must have stolen from Centauri.

The Wolverines opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run and the roller coaster ride began. Moe hit a long trey from outside and Shaw a deuce to tie the game at 18. At the 6:05 mark, Faber took control for Pagosa on seven straight points to put the Pirates back in the lead. Kelley hit two from the line. Buckets by Forrest and DuCharme put the score at 32-26 at intermission.

The Pirates came out of the locker room in their own full-court pressure that hurt the Wolverines. Lynch's three pointer and deuces by Kelley and Faber sparked another 8-0 run for the "home" team that put them up by 14 with just over five minutes showing. Kelley, Buikema and Mackey added eight more but Moe kept getting open and sank six more to put the score at 48-38 at the end of three.

Pagosa went on a cold streak to start the final stanza. The Wolverines responded to put them within six at the three-minute mark. Faber had to sit with five fouls but Kelley and Buikema finally answered to put the Pirates up by eight with a minute showing. The Wolverines' Howard missed two from the line before Lynch hit both ends of a one-on-one to end the scoring.

Summary

Bayfield - 11, 15, 12, 6-44

Pagosa Springs - 18, 14, 16, 6-54

Scoring: Lynch, 1-4,1-4,3-4,8; Mackey, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Kelley, 5-8,1-2,1-2,14; Samantha Harris, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kim Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 6-9,0-0,1-1,13; Buikema, 4-6,0-0,3-4,11; Tamara Gayhart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Camille Rand, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Emily Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 1-3,0-0,0-0,2; Forrest, 1-7,0-0,2-2,4. Rebounds: Lynch 2, Mackey 2, Faber 4, Buikema 10, DuCharme 5, Forrest 10.

  

Round one to the Lady Pirates

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates came out in the opening round of the Intermountain League district basketball tournament looking like they had something to prove on home court against the green and yellow Lady Pirates from Monte Vista last Wednesday night.

The Pirate seniors handed out flower bouquets to their parents before the game and then they showed no mercy on the court during the game. Round one to the Lady Pirates.

Using a relentless pressing defense and a balanced scoring attack on offense, Pagosa ran away and hid from the Monte Pirates, 65-24, to advance to the semifinal round of the district tournament in Bayfield. There, they would play the third-seeded Bayfield Lady Wolverines who also won their opening round against the Ignacio Lady Bobcats in the same convincing fashion. The winner of the semifinal match would earn the right to face Centauri in the championship game.

The Monte Lady Pirates would try to rebound against Ignacio, on Friday as well, in the loser's bracket. The winner would see their way into the third-place game and the loser would go home.

The IML will send three representatives to the Class 3A girl's state tournament that starts tomorrow.

Pagosa opened quickly and looked like the Lady Pirates who opened the season in Buena Vista in November. Their pressing defense and scoring offense had the Monte Pirates in trouble in the first quarter and the visitors looked at the scoreboard to see themselves down by 14. Pagosa used an 11-2 run in the second stanza to build a 23-point lead going into the locker room for a much-needed drink of water. Monte Vista could only manage 11 points in the first 16 minutes. The third and fourth quarters were much the same and Pagosa coasted to an easy win.

"This was a good win for us heading into the semifinal round," said Coach Bob Lynch following the contest. "We needed to get back on track quickly and our defense worked well tonight. I was also pleased with our balanced scoring attack." The pressing defense caused multiple turnovers and three Pirates scored in double figures.

The coach added, "we still have some work to do to get better but this was a good start. Tonight was a good practice game for us heading to Bayfield and hopefully another shot at Centauri. We will first have to take care of business Friday (against the Lady Wolverines)."

Senior Liza Kelley had game-high scoring honors for the Lady Pirates with 15 points on six of nine from two-point range and one for one from three. Senior Emily Buikema was second with 11 points on five of 10 from the paint and three of three from the foul line. Senior Caitlin Forrest followed with 10 on three of five from the field and junior Jessica Lynch put eight in the books on two of four from downtown. Senior Kari Beth Faber and junior Kristen DuCharme, both having nice games, carded six each while junior Kim Canty and sophomore Camille Rand netted three a piece. Junior Samantha Harris and sophomore Tamara Gayhart rounded out the scoring with two and one.

Faber led the Pirates with a game high seven rebounds followed by Buikema with six and DuCharme five. Lynch recorded three assists.

For Monte Vista junior Bianca Derbin, coming off the bench, led the visiting Pirates with seven points. Senior Meredith Schaefer, also a substitute, followed with four and seniors Adrianna Cereceres and Amy Hart netted three each.

The black and gold Pirates controlled the opening tip and scored quickly on two by Buikema. Faber netted a jumper and three the old fashioned way on a fast-break layup. Pagosa's pressing defense started to take its toll early and the Buccaneers went on a 13-0 run. Sophomore Emily Schaefer finally banked one in for Monte at the 3:25 mark. Faber netted five, Forrest and Kelley four and Lynch a long trey to put the score at 20-6 after one.

Pagosa used another 11-2 run in the second on inside shots by Buikema, Kelley and Forrest to put the hosts up by 23 with just over three minutes remaining. Derbin hit three for the green and yellow but they could only manage a five-point quarter. Lynch and Gayhart added points to go into intermission with the score 34-11 for the Buccaneers.

The third period saw Kelley put up seven straight on a long trey and fast-break steal for a layup. Hart and Cereceres hit the only buckets for Monte in the period on an 11-4 quarter for Pagosa. Forrest, Faber and Canty lit up the scoreboard and junior Lyndsey Mackey just missed a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer.

The Buccaneers continued their relentless attack in the final stanza on a 20-9 quarter off fast-break buckets and a Lynch trey from the right baseline at the 6:30 mark. With less than six minutes remaining, Coach Lynch cleared the bench and got help from Rand on a trey from the right wing and putback points from DuCharme. Harris ended the scoring on a putback after an offensive rebound.

Summary

Monte Vista - 6, 5, 4, 9-24

Pagosa Springs - 20, 14, 11, 20-65

Scoring: Lynch, 1-5,2-4,0-0,8; Mackey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kelley, 6-9,1-1,0-0,15; Harris, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Canty, 1-1,0-0,1-2,3; Faber, 2-6,0-0,2-5,6; Buikema, 5-10,0-0,3-3,11; Gayhart, 0-2,0-0,1-2,1; Camille Rand, 0-0,1-1,0-0,3; Emily Martinez, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; DuCharme, 3-5,0-0,0-1,6; Forrest, 4-5,0-0,2-2,10. Rebounds: Lynch 1, Kelley 1, Harris 4, Canty 2, Faber 7, Buikema 6, Gayhart 2, Rand 1, Martinez 1, DuCharme 5, Forrest 3.

  

Pirates beat Bayfield in district finals, host regionals this week

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Based on their outstanding record this year, the Bayfield Wolverines should act accordingly. But, they choose a different path.

For the second time this season, the Wolverines showed disrespect for the Pagosa Springs High School Pirates, this time in the Intermountain League championship basketball game last Saturday on the Wolverines' home court.

The Wolverines, taking away from valuable warm-up time, stood in a line at half court to stare down the Pirates who thought nothing of it and continued their pre-game routine. The referees had to intervene and send them back to their side. The Pirates, for a second time this season, would make them pay where it counts.

The Pirates were designated as the home team in the final by virtue of their regular season record and higher seeding in the tournament. The Wolverines would have to sit on the visitor's side and wear their away uniforms.

The "home" team, led by junior Jordan Shaffer and senior Paul Przybylski, showed why the Pirates were the No. 1 seed in the tournament, beating the Wolverines for a third straight time in front of a loud, packed house to win the district championship by a score of 60-53. The win gives the Pirates (14-6, 8-0 in IML) a high seed in the 2006 3A state tournament and the right to host one of eight regional tournaments this weekend at the PSHS gym.

Bayfield (19-3, 5-3 in IML) will have to travel to Colorado Springs and face Middle Park (15-6). The Ignacio Bobcats (10-12), winner of the third-place game Saturday over Centauri, will also represent the IML in a regional tournament at Roaring Fork (19-2).

Coach Jim Shaffer said after the game, "We stepped up again against a good basketball team on their home floor. Our top scorers were having an off night and Craig (Schutz) was in foul trouble, but we still won the game."

Shaffer went on to say, "I liked the way Paul (Przybylski) and our juniors came through for us. The most important thing is we have a regional at home."

Jordan Shaffer, scoring inside and out, led the Pirates with 17 points on six of 12 from the field and three of five from the line. Przybylski, known for his play on defense, had a big offensive show with a season-high 13 points on four of six from the field, including two treys. The unsung hero was probably junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, who was 10 of 12 from the charity stripe; he iced six straight, with less than a minute left in the game, to preserve the win. Senior Craig Schutz, who fouled out in the fourth period, was held to just seven points. He did, however, hold the Wolverines Troy McCoy to just four. Junior Caleb Ormonde, who helped on McCoy, also added eight from the paint while senior Casey Schutz rounded out the scoring with five.

Craig Schutz led Pagosa with seven rebounds while Hilsabeck tallied eight assists.

For the Wolverines, senior C. J. Bell led all scoring with 18 followed by seniors Kyle Guilliams and Clay Rampone with nine each and McCoy's four.

The "visitors" opened the scoring and the crowd went wild. Craig and Casey Schutz each hit two and Ormonde got a putback to put the Pirates up by one at the three-minute mark. Craig Schutz scored on a fast break and Przybylski knotted a three from the right wing to quiet the crowd. Bell answered with his own trey and Shaffer scored on an inside layup to put the score at 13-10 after one.

The second quarter proved to be a two-man show for the Pirates. Przybylski drove the crowded lane for two more and Shaffer hit a trey from the top of the key to put the black and gold up by eight. Shaffer's second three from the same spot countered buckets by Guilliams and Bell with 5:28 showing. Craig Schutz hit two and Przybylski banged his second trey to put the "home" team up by nine. Shaffer scored three on a layup and foul, but Bell answered for the Wolverines. With two seconds left, Przybylski netted another long three to apparently end the quarter. But wait: Bell dribbled across the time line untouched to hit a long three at the buzzer and the crowd went wild again with the Pirates still up eight at intermission on an 18-13 quarter.

The third period seemed to slow down for the Pirates but Przybylski, Shaffer, Ormonde and Casey Schutz kept them in front by eight on a 9-8 quarter. The Wolverines tried to get aggressive but ball control helped the good guys.

The ball control strategy continued for the Pirates in the final stanza. Craig Schutz hit one from the line and Ormonde a jumper to put the lead at 10 with 6:29 to go. Senior Mickey White, coming off the bench for the Wolverines, tanked a long three from the left baseline to give them new life but their aggressive play put Pagosa in the bonus with just over four minutes showing.

Then, Hilsabeck stepped in and sank two from the line for his first points of the game. Shaffer hit a deuce and Hilsabeck two more from the stripe to keep the lead at five. Senior Lee Ramsier cut the lead to three on a deuce and one from the line with 1:43 remaining. Przybylski, Casey Schutz and Shaffer hit six from the charity stripe to answer.

The Wolverines had to foul to stay in it and with just 24 seconds showing Hilsabeck took over from the foul line to ice the game.

Summary

Bayfield -10, 13, 8, 22-53

Pagosa Springs -13, 18, 9, 20-60

Scoring: Shaffer, 4-6,2-6,3-5,17; Hilsabeck, 0-0,0-0,10-12,10; Przybylski, 2-4,2-2,3-4,13; Adam Trujillo, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Derek Harper, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Casey Schutz, 1-3,0-1,3-7,5; Ormonde, 4-6,0-0,0-0,8; Casey Hart, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 3-8,0-3,1-2,7. Rebounds: Shaffer 4, Hilsabeck 3, Przybylski 2, Trujillo 1, Harper 1, Casey Schutz 3, Ormonde 4, Hart 1, Craig Schutz 7.

Regional tournament

The Pirates will open 3A state tournament play tomorrow at home as the host team at one of eight regionals. The other teams in the regional include two teams from the Denver Metro 3 A League: Colorado Academy and Bishop Machebeuf. The fourth representative is Lamar, from the Tri-Peaks East League. This is a one-game elimination tournament with the winner advancing as the "Great Eight" representative to the state quarterfinals at Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins starting next Thursday, March 9. Brackets and opponents will be announced next week in The SUN.

Friday, March 3

- Game A - Lamar (16-6) versus Bishop Machebeuf (11-11) at 4 p.m.

- Game B - Pagosa Springs (14-6) versus Colorado Academy (10-13) at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 (Sweet Sixteen)

- Game C - Winner Game A versus winner Game B at 3 p.m.

To see the complete boys' 3A regional bracket visit the Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) site on the Internet at www.chsaa.org and click on the 2006 Basketball Playoff bracket, then click on Boys 3A.

Admission prices for these events are set by CHSAA and are $6 for adults, $5 for children K-12 and senior citizens.

 

Fifth Fun Race run at Wolf Creek

The Wolf Creek Ski Area 5th Fun Day Race was held Feb. 26.

Winner of Girls 3-5 was Alana Scull, of Tenaha, Texas, with a time of 1.25.

Winner of Girls 6-8 was McKinley Mines, of Monte Vista, with a time of 48.38.

Winner of Women 26-30 was Scampy Britt, of Phoenix, Ariz., with a time of 30.08.

Winners of Women 41-50 were: gold, Masconey Lemon, of Albuquerque, with a time of 28.51; silver, Chris Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 28.83; and bronze, Karlen Ivy, of Kansas, with a time of 27.40.

Winner of Women 51-60 was Kay Dezendorf, of Texas, with a time of 39.75.

Winner of Women 60-plus was Lynda Van Patter, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 33.21.

Winners of Boys 9-11 were: gold, C.D. Scull, of Center, with a time of 28.22; silver, Sumner Erhardi, of Del Norte, with a time of 43.52; and bronze, Jeremiah Givins of Del Norte, with a time of 45.81.

Winners of Boys 12-14 were gold, Tyler Moore, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 30.7; silver, Sammy Anderson, of Texas, with a time of 1.03.

Winners of Boys 18-20 were: gold, Jake Smith, of Socorro, N.M., with a time of 26.94; silver, John Koehn, of Kansas, with a time of 33.33; and bronze, Michael Hogan, of Socorro, with a time of 38.64.

Winners of Men 21-25 were: gold, Jeremiah McPrrin, of Socorro, with a time of 25.71; and silver, Kareem Dabbagh, of Socorro, with a time of 26.77.

Winners of Men 26-30 were: gold, Josh Melby, of Galesburg, Ill., with a time of 23.87; silver, Eric Herchmer, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 34.0; and bronze, Billy Cole, of Texas, with a time of 34.98.

Winners of Men 31-35 were gold, Terry Scull, of Center, with a time of 28.22, and silver, Chris Ball, of Golden, with a time of 29.40.

Winners of Men 36-40 were gold, Doug Smith, of Middleton, Texas, with a time of 24.3, and silver, Mark Flynn, of Denver, with a time of 28.44.

Winners of Men 41-50 were: gold, Dean Sell, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 25.06; silver, Bill Daboff, of Santa Fe, with a time of 27.54; and bronze, Chris Mines, of Monte Vista, with a time of 27.73.

Winners of Men 51-60 were: gold, Mike Evans, of South Fork, with a time of 24.53; silver, Henry Woods, of Lake City, with a time of 24.72; and bronze, Jim Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.12.

Winners of Men 60-plus were: gold, Glenn Van Patter, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 27.78; silver, Bryant Lemon, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 28.55; and bronze, Klaus Neubert, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.2.

  

Local racers to compete in snowmobile event

By Pam Lloyd

Special to The SUN

The Mountain States Snowmobile Racing circuit will make its stop March 4 and 5 on Molas Pass. This race will be the sixth race of the season.

Some of our local snowmobile racers will be fighting for season points. Shane Lloyd and Tony Poma are among the local racers who will compete.

Snocross racing will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Drag races will take place Sunday immediately following Snocross finals.

Registration will be held at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Silverton 6-9 p.m. Friday. The race is being put on by the Durango Snowmobile Club.

Don't miss this exciting snowmobile head-to-head racing. Admission may be charged at the gate.

For more information, call 731-5740.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

New water features spout hot water

By Jim Miller and Tom Carosello

SUN Columnists

Two new water features have sprung up along the River Walk between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the footbridge. Town employees built them over the course of the last couple of weeks.

The workers blasting granite for the new roadway on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass were considerate enough to bore large holes into the solid rock, placing charges to dislodge chunks of stone, thereby saving us the effort of creating ports for the healing waters to exit and cascade.

Although the majority of the town's residents probably think there's plenty of spewing taking place already, these dancing falls enhance the downtown in a way that may allay their concerns.

Caution: the pool upstream is too hot for bathing your dog. But the one below the fountain is just right for soaking your dogs, as was proven by its two designers, Phil and Chris, the morning it filled. I'm disappointed no cameras captured the sight. I won't soon forget it, until I do, God willing.

We who constructed these diversions hope you, the strolling public, enjoy our efforts. Suggestions, criticism and compliments will be happily accepted by us, your humble servants, the town crew. No wishes will be granted.

Youth basketball

Last week drew the curtain on the 2006 youth basketball slate, a season that saw the Pacers of the 9- and 10-year-old division and Nuggets of the 11- and 12-year-old division claim championships in their respective leagues.

The recreation department staff congratulates both of these first-place teams and commends all of this year's players for demonstrating utmost sportsmanship throughout the season.

The contributions of this year's sponsors and coaches merit even greater recognition; without the various commitments of the individuals and businesses listed below, another successful season would not have been possible.

First, we thank the following merchants for their generous sponsorships: Pagosa Candy Company, Buckskin Towing and Repair, Pagosa Auto Parts/Carquest, Design A Sign, Allen's Auto Body and Paint, Pagosa Glass, Brighton Custom Homes and Domo's Portables.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to all of the head coaches who volunteered their time and knowledge in order to enrich this year's experience for all of our youthful participants.

In our 9-10 division, thanks go to Jim Amato, Lori and Bill Manzanares, Doug Hampton, Bob Hogrefe, Jack Searle, Matt Chavez, Steve Crow, Fred Manzanares and Dom Lucero.

Coaches deserving accolades in the 11-12 division are Matt Aragon, Dawn Ross, Allen Gregg, Craig Vrazel, Cliff Lucero, Frank Zellner, Todd Miller and Scott Miller.

In addition, we recognize the parents, grandparents, big brothers and big sisters of our participants, who faithfully adhered to an often hectic game schedule for the past two months.

Thanks again to one and all for your patience and support throughout another great season.

Tee-ball deadline

The recreation department will accept registrations for this year's tee-ball season through March 15. Any child who will be 5 or 6 years old as of April 1 is eligible to participate.

Registrations are available at the recreation office in Town Hall. Cost is $25 per player and $15 for each additional child in the same, immediate family who participates. The season is tentatively scheduled to begin in early April.

Coaches and sponsorships for this year's tee-ball teams are also needed. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture, and designation on season banners and in media articles.

For more information, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Adult basketball

The men's competitive (nine teams) and recreation leagues (seven teams) will start next week, with the competitive league beginning Monday night and the recreation league beginning Tuesday night.

All games are scheduled for Pagosa Springs Junior High School; team managers will be contacted regarding the times of their first games of the season before this weekend, and regular-season schedules will be handed out during next week's games. Schedules will also be available at Town Hall and updated on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

Youth basketball pics

Parents and coaches who ordered youth basketball photos can pick them up at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan St. If you have questions concerning your photo order, call Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

 Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained 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 on a weekly basis. If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Editorial

Let's develop tourism

Let us consider again the topic of development in Pagosa Country. Let's do so recognizing the desire of developers to have government permit a speedy and relatively unimpeded progress of their plans. Let's also recognize those among us who cry loudly at the very mention of development, who oppose change whenever and wherever it is proposed - any change but that occasioned by their arrival. Let's strike for the middle course.

Let us also, as always, remember that population growth is the fuel that propels most of our pressing problems in Pagosa Country and the Rocky Mountain West: environmental and cultural. And remember that anyone who moved here in the last 50 years or so, regardless of their position and proclamations, is, to some degree, part of that problem.

Here is a notion that comes on the heels of talk at and after a recent town Comprehensive Plan meeting - talk that development be restrained in targeted areas in order to wait for the development of adequate infrastructure; the suggestion that development be curtailed, moderated, or held in abeyance by moratorium.

We believe there is some merit to this idea, but only if a critical distinction is made: between new commercial and new residential development.

Consider this: that Pagosa Country's prime industry does not necessarily lead to population growth and its attendant, persistent pressure on infrastructure (water, roads, services, schools, etc.). That prime industry is tourism.

Consider this: Tourism produces significant revenues that pay for infrastructure and public services. Commercial development, if successful, increases those monies - via impact fees, sales tax revenues, etc.

Here is a proposal for our local governments: Encourage and expedite commercial development intended to improve the tourism environment, and do so with the controls provided by improved and adequate, but flexible design guidelines. Implement reasonable impact fees as well.

At the same time, if development must be restrained, apply temporary restraints to new, major residential development. While we are opposed to over control of the rights of private property owners, a delay here - of large-scale residential development - can be digested. There are more than enough lots and parcels in this county to fuel the continued success of the real estate and construction industries, in the short run.

It will no doubt offend the privileged populists among us, but we say it here: Give the commercial developer and business community wide berth. If anyone can help fortify the local economy, it is the commercial developers and business owners who cater to the tourist. If anyone can create products that have the potential to provide needed revenues, it is these commercial developers and those who utilize the properties developed, the properties that make the area a more desirable destination: quality lodging, retail spaces, restaurants. Let these people risk their money in the marketplace.

The establishments, if they succeed, will also provide jobs and income to the population most endangered by growth and development. It is, after all, only those who do not need them that condemn service-industry wages.

The future of downtown Pagosa Springs is hanging in the balance. Judicious commercial development can provide the area with the vitality needed to make progress in ways that suit most residents. If the town council has the political will to keep new, major residential development at arm's length for the time being, then time can be bought to deal with other problems, with revenue increased to help pay for the work.

In order to make this happen, county government must do the same: resist outlandish proposals for residential development - in particular high-density developments that can destroy neighborhoods and burden infrastructure and services - and encourage development that brings tourists, business and the ability to pay for progress to Pagosa Country.

Let's do that business, and utilize the benefits wisely.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

 

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 3, 1916

The Citizens Bank of this city has just completed the installation of a new bookkeeping machine which is attracting wide attention in this section. The machine was built especially for the bank by the Burroughs Adding Machine Co., and is designed to handle all the bookkeeping of the bank which was formerly done by hand. One big new feature is the fact that every day, as the ledger sheet is printed, customers' statements are made at the same time, thus doing away with the necessity of the customer having to surrender his passbook to be balanced. Under the new method not only will the customer receive a neatly printed statement, but this statement will now be ready at any time that it is desired. The new machine is run by a motor.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 6, 1931

Since our last report, the M.E. Aid clothing station, in charge of Mrs. Mary Hatcher, has passed out a total of 179 garments to the needy of this community. Another appeal is hereby made for additional clothing of all kinds, as the supply is practically exhausted and requests continue to come in. Besides clothing and shoes for adults and children, a special appeal has been made for two cases, where the stork is shortly expected, for apparel for babes.

Geo. Crouse, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, who spend the past month at the U.S. Veteran's Bureau Hospital at Fort Lyon, Colo., for medical treatment, returned home Tuesday greatly improved in health after a year's illness.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 1, 1956

If all this talk abut equality for women ever comes about, it will be quite a comedown for them.

Both of the political parties in the county will be having their party elections this month. They will elect the chairmen, vice chairmen and secretaries for their respective organizations. Those who are committeemen and committeewomen should plan to attend.

Speaking of elections, the town election is just around the corner and all residents of the town that are eligible should get registered so that they may vote. The bond issue of the new fire truck will also be voted on and everyone who can should make his decision known at that time.

 25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 5, 1981

The area was blessed with some heavy and wet snow over the weekend, with the storm continuing through Wednesday. The mixed snow and rain in town left .55 inches of welcome moisture, but it also made for some slow travel on the highways in various parts of the county. The snowflakes that fell in this storm were the largest of the winter and very wet. The air was still and snow piled up on top of utility wires and posts. More storm may be ahead for the weekend.

Wolf Creek Ski Area, with several weeks yet to operate, has surpassed the total attendance set for the entire season last winter. It appears as if there may be a total attendance of more than 60,000 skiers before the season ends.

 

Features

Plans & potential for a bright future

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

"They ate pizza. They danced. They popped a lot of balloons," writes Jen Stockbridge, Teen Center coordinator, on the Town of Pagosa Springs Web site.

Stockbridge is describing the focal points of the teen dance held Feb. 17 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. One hundred youth attended the dance, which marked the grand reopening of the Teen Center.

"We've been trying to create a place where teens feel welcome and (a place to find the motivation) to take initiative to do what they want to do in the community and with each other," said Stockbridge. "We are a drop-in center with a goal of becoming (more for) the kids who need something more - so they know they can come here and create something."

Stockbridge is full of ideas concerning what the Teen Center can become. "There's a current reality and there's what we're working towards," she said.

On the visionary horizon, Stockbridge sees a YAC - a Youth Advisory Council, made up of youth of various ages in junior high and high school who are willing to join together to make up the backbone of the center - casting ideas and helping to make those ideas actuality. The goals for the YAC will include making decisions regarding the center, creating programs that teens desire and appreciate, and acting as a mouthpiece to advertise those programs.

"The YAC will learn event planning, execution and wrap-up," explained Stockbridge. "I'd love to see the YAC become an official service opportunity, recognized by the community. The long-range goal would be for the Teen Center to be youth-led and community supported."

Currently, the Teen Center has a daily focus for each open session, from billiards, Foosball and darts, to board games and dodge ball, although the youngsters are encouraged to participate in those activities in which they are most comfortable. "Most of the time, they're here to play pool and hang out," said Stockbridge with a smile.

Stockbridge carries a mental list of critical needs to be met: forming the YAC, planning of fund-raisers followed by the execution of those plans, and establishing adult volunteers who are prepared to help during open hours as well as volunteers devoted to fund-raising.

"We need to be creative financially," admits Stockbridge of their minimal event funding. "This (dance) was successful because of the community's support. We had great sponsors, donors and chaperones who stepped up to make this dance something special ... and free of charge! Their participation indicates that Pagosa really does want the Teen Center to succeed. That's encouraging to me," wrote Stockbridge on the Web site.

Another major hurdle that Stockbridge has come up against is transportation, and the few options available for students. "Transportation is a huge issue; I think it really needs to be addressed by the entire community with a comprehensive study. Very rarely we'll have kids walk here, and most don't have cars. I think we'd see a lot more usage if there were more ways for kids to get here."

Students often ask Stockbridge why the center doesn't have a weight room or a climbing wall, and she answers with, "We don't have one yet." "I try to explain that the community needs to see that the youth want to be here - that they like it here. When the center is used, there will be more incentive for the town to add to what we have," said Stockbridge. Hopes are that the center will continue to see increasing attendance numbers, and reach out to a broad range of students.

"With creativity and determination, I'm hoping the teens can use the space and resources we have, and build upon that," added Stockbridge.

The Teen Center's newest feature is the "Snack Shack" filled with "One hundred percent good, old-fashioned junk food," said Stockbridge. All items are very reasonably priced and should suit the palate of any snack food aficionado.

"This place has potential potential, potential, potential, potential," said Stockbridge. "It's going to be up to the teens, through the YAC, the [adult] board and the community to continue to build on what's been started."

Stockbridge thinks she has made a connection with a variety of students through the Teen Center. "I like to think that my being here at this time and this place has made a difference for these kids."

And, though she's seen the fruits of her efforts blooming in strong friendships with some of the students, Stockbridge said her heart is planted in the Appalachian Mountain region. She and her husband plan to move there after he finishes his student teaching at the close of the school year. "I'd like to issue a personal invitation to anyone interested in the Teen Center Coordinator position to come on down here and check things out," said Stockbridge. "Become a volunteer and take a test drive!"

The position is "not a job - it's a calling," said Stockbridge. "You don't just do this to get a paycheck. You have to do this to build relationships. The management aspect is necessary, but the vital aspect is interacting with the kids."

In addition to seeking a new coordinator, the Teen Center is in need of adult volunteers to serve on the advisory board. The voluntary board will require approximately two hours a month to better serve youth in the community. Stockbridge fully realizes that human resources are the center's greatest need, and is hopeful that adults in the area will be willing to jump on board. "The Teen Center cannot be open without someone here," she said, or without the support of a supervisory board of advisors.

The Teen Center is currently open 4-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Pagosa's Past

Allison and gang wreak havoc in Pagosa Country

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

We've been writing about the general lawlessness that accompanied construction of the narrow gauge railroad into the San Juan Basin in 1881.

We've focused particularly on the town of Amargo, located along the railroad just east of Lumberton. The difference in 1881 was, there was no Lumberton, but there was an Amargo. Today's column is about the demise of Amargo and the rise of Lumberton.

First, let's take one more look at lawlessness in the Amargo area, this time as reported by a Silverton newspaper. The Silverton editor's target is Charley Allison, a desperado holed up in Amargo.

Just a short year before showing up in Amargo, Allison had been a deputy sheriff in the old town of Conejos over on the east side of the southern San Juans. In a few short months Allison and his cohorts are said to have committed five stagecoach holdups near Alamosa.

After arriving in Amargo, Allison held up the towns of Chama and Pagosa Springs. It is said he rode his horse into the middle of the main business block of Chama where he commenced creating a ruckus. Windows flew open and citizens from every direction crowded around Allison to discover what was happening. We presume Allison gave a head nod to his waiting gang members who thereupon pulled their six-shooters and sealed off both ends of the street. Allison, with gun in hand and a smile on his face then proceeded to remove cash, jewelry, and other valuables from the startled onlookers. There task completed, the gang mounted up and hied out of town.

A posse began an unsuccessful search for the brazen highwaymen. The posse neglected to ride to Pagosa Springs where they would have discovered Allison involved in an identical caper, this time holding up Pagosa's finest citizens.

Soon the Silverton writer reported that travel on the southern route (along the New Mexico/Colorado border) was not safe and that lawlessness in the vicinity of Amargo had reached such proportions that it threatened to shut off travel to the San Juan country.

In May, under a headline reading "Another Stage Robbery," it was reported the Allison gang held up the eastbound stage four miles west of Pagosa Springs in a rocky canyon. From 10 passengers on the coach the robbers took about $500, plus a number of gold watches, other jewelry, and a draft for $3,300. Following the holdup, the robbers walked into James Voorhees store in Pagosa Springs. Among those present in the store were Harry Sanderson and John Fosbay, the division superintendent of the Barlow & Sanderson stage line. Although they had money and valuables on their persons, they were not molested. At the mouth of a pistol Mr. Voorhees opened his safe and handed over to the robbers about $450.

About a week later the same gang held up the same stage in the same rocky canyon. On May 31, the newspapers reported, "The stage robbers intended upon filling in full, the measure of their crimes. Since their escapades at and near Pagosa, they have stolen three valuable horses, two of them belonging to A.C. Hunt Jr., and one to Gov. Hunt (Colorado's governor), the latter being his excellent trotter Moro, for which he paid over $1,000. The robbery occurred at Monero, near Amargo, on the night of the 28th while in camp."

The leaders of the Allison gang were arrested near Albuquerque in July and subsequently sentenced to jail terms.

Maybe next week we'll report on what finally happened to Amargo.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Pojmanski passes close to Earth

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data for March 2, 2006 is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 6:38 a.m.

Sunset: 6:03 p.m.

Moonrise: 8:08 a.m.

Moonset: 9:37 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 11 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

The passage of a comet or a meteor shower is often one of the most enjoyable and breathtaking of all celestial sights. Luckily for sky watchers, these events are often the most predictable, and it's hard to beat a night spent under the stars, comet chasing or meteor watching with a group of friends.

But not all celestial happenings occur like clockwork, and every once in while, something unexpected appears in the night sky that sends star gazers scrambling outdoors with their binoculars and telescopes.

Such is the case with the recent discovery of the Comet Pojmanski, and the latter part of this week provides Pagosa Country sky watchers with a fleeting opportunity to view this celestial newcomer as it hurtles past Earth while making its way back to the outer reaches of our solar system.

The comet first appeared on the astronomical community's radar Dec. 29, 2005, but the image depicting the object went largely unnoticed by observers. As luck would have it, the comet appeared again, just a few days later, this time in a sky survey image taken by the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

On Jan. 2, 2006, while studying the Chilean image, Grzegorz Pojmanski of the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory noticed a comet-like object which aroused his suspicions. Realizing he might be on the brink of a significant astronomical discovery, Pojmanski called for a subsequent confirmation photograph, and researchers obtained a third view Jan. 4.

Following analysis of the confirmation photograph, researchers determined the object was, in fact, a comet, and true to astronomical tradition, the comet became Pojmanski's namesake.

With the object positively identified as a comet, the next step required researchers to determine Pojmanski's trajectory and orbital path.

Upon initial discovery, Pojmanski was observed deep in the southern constellation Indus and was visible only to sky watchers in the southern hemisphere. But comets are not static, and a series of quick calculations revealed the comet would soon be heading north as it rounded the sun.

At first, the extent of the comet's northern trajectory was unclear, but further analysis indicated Pojmanski would travel well within the viewing range of sky watchers at mid-northern latitudes by the first week of March and, so far, so good.

With the trajectory well established, the second question for observers was whether Pojmanski would brighten as it neared the sun, and if so, by how much.

On first inspection and while still far south, the comet glowed at a very faint magnitude of 11 or 12—about 100 times dimmer than the faintest naked eye stars - but astronomers thought the comet would brighten on its northward journey. That theory has borne true, and has, in fact, exceeded astronomers' expectations. On Feb. 7, Pojmanski reached a magnitude of 6.4, and by Feb. 20 it had brightened again to about magnitude 5.3 - well within the viewing range of sharp-sighted, naked eye observers. But there is some bad news.

On Feb. 25, the comet emerged from below our eastern horizon and astronomers have indicated the comet will appear at progressively higher points in the pre dawn sky as the first 11 days of March unfold. This sounds like an ideal situation for sky watchers, but unfortunately, as the comet appears ever higher it will gradually dim, eventually fading beyond the viewing capabilities of back yard, or naked eye star gazers. Thus, the key for successful viewing will lie in striking a balance between viewing the comet at a sufficient altitude above the horizon and while it is still at magnitude suitable for amateur observation. For sky watchers at mid-northern latitudes, astronomers estimate that ideal day may be between March 3 and March 5 when Pojmanski passes closest to Earth.

On March 5, Pojmanski will reach peak proximity to our own planet when it passes within 71.7 million miles. At that time, Pojmanski will appear as a magnitude six, fuzzy white blob hovering about 16 degrees above the eastern horizon—ten degrees is about equal to the width of a fist held at arm's length with the night sky as a backdrop.

Sky watchers should not expect a Hale-Bopp or Halley's-like view, but the Pojmanski's coma, or gaseous head and a faint tail should be visible. Through binoculars, the comet will appear as a small, circular patch of light with a bluish-white hue and bright almost star-like center.

To view Pojmanksi between March 3 and March 5, sky watchers will need to be outdoors, facing east and slightly south about 90 minutes before sunrise. Venus, which will be burning bright in the southeast, should provide one useful landmark, while Altair in the constellation Aquila should provide another.

Weather permitting, and using the sky chart, patience and a little persistence, star gazers should be able to enjoy views of one of astronomy's most recent, and perhaps most fleeting discoveries.

 

Weather
 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

2/22

41

4

-

-

-

2/23

48

7

-

-

-

2/24

50

11

-

-

-

2/25

51

14

-

-

-

2/26

53

15

-

-

-

2/27

58

22

-

-

-

2/28

53

25

R

T

T

A bit of weather, as tides rise and Lent is upon us

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Spring weather seems to be arriving early this year.

On Monday, we had a high of 58 degrees. The jet steam has resumed its northern meander, once again avoiding southwestern Colorado, though there's some prospect it will skirt our region on a direct path from the Pacific Ocean, with a slight chance of snow for today and tonight.

Otherwise, expect balmy weather for the weekend, with highs in the 50s, lows in the teens. Next week should also be mostly clear, with a chance of a snowstorm toward the end of the week. With the warm weather, the San Juan River has been steadily on the rise, starting the month at 50 cfs, with 64 cfs reported coming through town yesterday. A trace of rain was reported in some parts of town this past week.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, marking the beginning of 40 days of fasting and repentance that ends on Palm Sunday (April 9). Easter falls on the following Sunday, April 16, this year.

Why does Easter's date change every year? The origins of Easter, of course, are to celebrate the resurrection of Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. Mathew tells us that Jesus' Last Supper was during the Jewish Passover. The Hebrew calendar is based on the moon's cycle, with Passover beginning on the 15th day after a new moon during the month of Nisan.

From this information, the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. generally determined Easter to be the first Sunday following the first full moon (April 13 this year) after the vernal equinox (March 20 this year). But the ecclesiastical version determined by the Council is not so simple, and follows a complex series of equations to determine Easter's date, with a fixed date for the spring equinox (March 21), and a specified time (14 days) after the new moon, which doesn't always coincide with the actual full moon.

This dating method of Easter is complex and has been a matter of controversy ever since its origin. For the Greek, Russian, and other Orthodox churches, for example, Easter falls on April 23 this year, one week later than our Easter, because of their persistence in utilizing the Julian calendar. In some years the Orthodox Easter is five weeks later than the western Easter. Although attempts have been made to bring all Christian faiths together with a consistent date for the celebration of Easter, no resolution has yet been reached. Things would be simpler if the actual dates of the full moon and the vernal equinox were employed.

Speaking of the moon, it's well known that the tides are caused by the moon, with high tides created on both sides of the earth. It's clear that the high tide of oceans facing the moon are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon, but why is there also a high tide on the opposite side of the globe that faces away from the moon?

Different theories have been proposed, and it turns out that there is not a unified consensus on the phenomena. Some claim that the gravitational shadow of the earth shields the far oceans, causing them to rise, but this explanation is not founded in gravitational theory. By the way, gravitation is one of the big mysteries yet to be solved by scientific inquiry. Newtonian gravitational theories are known to be imprecise, but a unified theory has not yet been discovered explaining gravity (some think invisible wavicles called "gravitons" pull, or push, masses together).

Perhaps the esteemed physicist Richard Feynman's explanation of tidal bulges on both sides of the earth is the most plausible: he begins by reflecting on the earth and moon's "dance." Feynman said that the moon does not orbit around the earth, but rather that the earth and moon both revolve around a mutual center of gravity. The gravitational center lies somewhere within the earth's surface in a direction toward the moon. Since the center of gravity is shifted away from the center of the earth toward the moon, the far oceans become more distant from the center of gravity, thus experience a lesser gravitational force.

Another way to look at it is to imagine the earth/moon system as a Frisbee (with liquid oceans) being twirled on your finger by its rim (analogous to the shifted center of gravity). Visualizing this motion with centrifugal forces correlated to gravitational forces, it's possible to imagine that the centrifugal force would be pushing out on the oceans opposite your finger on both sides and in line with the Frisbee's center. That's the theory, anyway.

Next week: chaos theory and weather.