March 9, 2006
Front Page

Apathy kills local elections

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

They are two words heard during every election season - voter apathy.

But it wasn't voter apathy that foiled the town's upcoming town council election, it was candidate apathy.

With three town council seats and the mayor's post up for grabs in the upcoming April 4 election, the contest might have proved exciting. But "might have" is the operative clause.

In an announcement made during Tuesday's town council meeting, Town Manager Mark Garcia said that because only two candidates - John Middendorf for District 1 and Darrel Cotton for District 3 - had stepped up for the three district seats, Middendorf and Cotton are shoe-ins for their respective town council posts.

The District 2 seat, being vacated by Trustee Judy James, lacks a candidate and Garcia said the town will seek letters of intent from residents of District 2 who would like to be considered for the post.

District 2 includes everything within the town boundaries east of Hot Springs Boulevard and south of U.S. 160; and everything within the town limits east of North Sixth Street and North of U.S. 160.

Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo said the letters will be reviewed by members of the town council, and that the nominee must reside in District 2. She added if an appointment is not made by the council within sixty days of the election date, April 4, another election must be called.

Although the town council race, is a non-election, the mayor's race is on. As of press time Wednesday, incumbent Mayor Ross Aragon and challenger Paul Nobles had entered the fray and voters, in addition to voting "yea" or "nay" on the lodger's tax, will have an opportunity to select the town's next mayor.

Although the importance of the mayor and town council elections are debatable, it is undeniable that the issues facing the next town council will be numerous.

With the current big box moratorium expiring in June and the town having already faced a large scale retail development proposal, the next council will again grapple with the future of big box development in the Town of Pagosa Springs.

In addition, the town is nearing completion of two significant planning efforts - the Downtown Master Plan and the Comprehensive Plan - and the council will face the choice of adopting those as policy come late spring or early summer. Add adoption of impact fees, business licensing, and what Garcia called, "a whole host of development proposals," and the council could have a very busy schedule in the months ahead.

In addition to low candidate turnout at the town, the following is a list of other local elections cancelled, also due to low candidate turnout, and a list of their respective board candidates who were declared elected because there were not more candidates than offices to be filled.

- Pagosa Area Fire Protection District: Ron Maez, Bob Frye and Michael Howell - all will serve four-year terms.

- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District: Karen A. Wessels to a four-year term, including a remaining board vacancy, also for a four-year term.

- San Juan Conservation District: Heidi Keshet and John Taylor, both for four-year terms.

- Loma Linda Metropolitan District: John W. Porco and Jack T. Lilly, both to four-year terms.

- San Juan River Metropolitan District: Michael Scott Kay, Joseph M. Nanus, Richard W. Riethmiller, all to four-year terms.

In other town business, an ordinance mandating business licensing passed on first reading. The ordinance will now go to a second reading during April's council meeting.

County hires new manager, attorney

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Archuleta County has seen its share of staff turnover during the last year, and despite the tumult caused by resignations of key, long-time personnel, perhaps there are two bright spots on the horizon - the much anticipated arrival of a new county administrator and county attorney.

Katherine Ross, human resources director for Archuleta County, announced the hiring of the two positions at Tuesday's board of county commissioners meeting.

In her presentation to the board, Ross identified the selections - Robert Campbell for the county administrator's position and Teresa Williams as the new county attorney.

According to Ross, Campbell has served as the city manager for Bloomfield, N.M., since 2000, and prior to that worked as Bloomfield's chief of police. Ross said, Campbell has an extensive law enforcement background and served as a manager for McDonald-Douglas, where he administered their Department of Defense contract procedures. Campbell, Ross said, holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree from the University of Colorado in public administration.

He will start March 20, Ross said.

Williams will begin her tenure with the county nearly a month later, Ross said, with Williams' starting date scheduled for April 10.

Williams will be moving to Archuleta County from Palmer, Alaska.

According to Ross, Williams has served as the borough attorney for the Palmer area since 2003. A borough is the Alaskan equivalent of a county. In addition, Williams has served as the city attorney for Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Sugarland, Texas; as a borough attorney in Ketchikan, Alaska, and as assistant city attorney in Houston. Williams holds a bachelor of science in speech communication and earned her law degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

In addition to announcing Williams' and Campbell's arrival, Ross also announced her own departure.

Ross said she "is moving back to the midwest to manage some personal family health issues."

Although Ross' tenure has been relatively short - her first official day was Nov. 1, 2005 and her last day in the office is tomorrow - Archuleta County Commissioner Mamie Lynch commended Ross for her role in filling many of the county's staffing vacancies in various capacities and departments, including the new county administrator and attorney, public works, solid waste, the assessor's office, building and planning, road and bridge and the geographic information system department.

Ross shrugged off the compliment and attributed hiring successes to a team effort. She said as a human resources director, location and recruitment of candidates was her primary role.

"I rope 'em, they brand 'em," Ross said.

With Ross' resignation, that puts county-wide resignations for the fiscal years 2005/2006 near 40. And although reasons for resignations are attributed to a variety of reasons, from personal to professional, they come at a cost to the Archuleta County taxpayer.

According to county documents, during the 2005 fiscal year and as of Dec. 6, 2005, the county had suffered a total of 38 resignations at the cost of $146,000 to the taxpayer.

During that time period, four resignations occurred in county administration, to the tune of $23,258 in separation costs. Three occurred in the assessor's office at $12,308 in separation costs; three at the county clerk's office for nearly $3,000; eight in building and planning for about $26,500; 11 in the sheriff's office, including six from the patrol staff, at a department-wide resignation cost of about $64,000; two in road and bridge administration for roughly $6,000; one in senior services for about $700; five in solid waste at nearly $8,000 and one at the airport for $1,800.

Archuleta County Finance Director Bob Burchett defined separation costs as severance pay, if any was paid, and accrued compensation such as vacation time or sick leave.

Burchett said the accrued separation costs as of Dec. 6, 2005 was equal to two, one-year salaries for a county senior management position.

Airport commission asks for improvements

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission is recommending two specific enhancements to newly constructed amenities at Stevens Field. One will increase public utility and convenience, while the other will heighten airport safety and performance. According to the ACAAC, neither will break the budget.

During the ACAAC regular meeting in February, a tour of the new, nearly-completed fixed base operations center resulted in two separate motions meant to address items the commission feels are of pressing concern. By meeting's end, both carried unanimously, by vote of the commission members present.

The first item recommends the county improve drainage patterns and apply sufficient gravel to the short- and long-term public parking areas around the new FBO. Recent spring-like snowmelt has turned the areas, and the interior airport roads leading to them, into a sea of mud and standing water. Short-term parking is located on the north side of the new FBO, and long-term parking is situated to the west.

During the tour, commission chairman Elmer Schettler pointed out the sorely saturated areas and suggested, "Stevens Field is becoming a first class facility. We need to ensure that persons driving to, and parking at, the airport do not have to drive through standing water and walk through mud to access their autos."

As a whole, the commission believes the work can be accomplished by utilizing county personnel recently hired to operate snow removal equipment around the county and at the airport. "During slack work load times this spring," Schettler said, "they could be used to haul the necessary gravel and do the grading."

The second concern raised by the ACAAC is a little more complicated, and involves a newly-constructed connector road between the midfield aircraft parking apron (Alpha-1) and the north apron (Alpha-2).

The existing lane is sufficient for automobile use, but is too narrow to tug or taxi light planes between aprons. Consequently, to move a plane from one apron to another, whether for fueling at Alpha 1, or tie-down parking at Alpha 2, planes must be towed or taxi onto the active runway, effectively closing the airport. Because Stevens Field has no control tower and is not "radio-controlled," the ACAAC believes using the runway for such purposes constitutes a safety issue.

Therefore, the ACAAC is asking airport management to devise a plan for the widening and solid-surfacing of the road to accommodate aircraft up to 7,000 pounds, and to discuss the concept at the next ACAAC meeting, March 16. The ACAAC is also requesting a final plan by its April meeting, and to assure that the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners is informed of both requests, it has also submitted copies to the commissioners' office.

According to both formal recommendations, the ACAAC believes each can be accomplished by utilizing county equipment and employees during down times, and surplus capital originally budgeted for airport snow removal.

With little snowfall so far this winter, the idea seems feasible, but when asked for his reaction to the proposals, airport manager Rob Russ suggested the projects "are already in the works." He explained, "the airport is a work in progress, and there are several jobs ongoing, including them."

When asked if these two items were a priority, he said, "They're kind of prioritized yes, they are a priority."

Russ insisted he has materials and equipment already lined out for such projects, but warned, "The work can't be done until those areas dry out later this spring, and even then," he said, "there may not be funding available."

Meanwhile, the current FBO services provider, Avjet Corporation, hopes workers will finish construction on the new FBO building in the next few weeks, thus facilitating their move from the old center in Nick's Hanger, by late April. If so, depending on the weather, parking around the new structure could be challenging.

Impact of second homes studied

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Region 9 Economic Development District has released Phase 1 of a study exploring the impact of second home owners in southwest Colorado.

According to Region 9 documents, second homes and their ownership present a paradox to many communities, and therein lies the impetus for the study.

While the study acknowledges that second homes add dollars to local economies, the study seeks to understand at what social and economic cost.

"Second homes are taking up large amounts of land in some Colorado mountain resort areas where developable land is already in short supply. This demand, and ability to pay top dollar, also has an effect on the cost of housing locally.

"As their numbers increase, and the land available for development decreases, a dilemma is created. Second homes have generated the need for more workers, but the rise in property values and subsequent housing costs have made it difficult for the workers to live within a reasonable distance of their place of work," the study states.

With the framework laid, Region 9 Assistant Director Laura Lewis said the study will proceed in three phases, with recently completed Phase I, focused on gathering data about the percentage of second home owners; land use patterns and land values; population trends and demographics; and economic drivers in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties.

The data compiled in Phase I shows that between 1990 and 2000, the population of Archuleta County grew by 8.5 percent annually. Those growth figures ranked Archuleta County as the fifth fastest growing county in Colorado, and the 14th fastest growing county in the nation. Since 2000, the study states the growth rate has slowed to about 3.2 percent annually with much of the growth occurring in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Current population numbers listed in the report indicate the county population will nearly double to roughly 20,000 by 2020 and will broach 27,000 by 2030.

According to the study, "This rate of growth is expected to continue through 2030, presenting challenges for the provision of adequate facilities and infrastructure. These population figures, however, do not reflect the large number of seasonal residents in the area."

Within this burgeoning population, the study reports that two of the key economic drivers in the county are tourism and jobs in the service industry, coupled with the economic impact of second homes, their ownership and their construction.

According to the report, the second home industry accounted for about $11.8 million in wages and proprietor's income in the county during 2003.

In addition, the study reported that 59 percent of private lands in Archuleta County are owned by non-locals. Non-locals, as defined by the study, are property owners whose mailing address is outside the county. And of that ownership, 72 percent of the non-locally owned properties are land without homes on them.

And, according to Laura Lewis, Region 9 assistant director, that begs the question: With high numbers of second homes both in the region and in Archuleta County, what impact do second homes and their ownership have on the socioeconomic fabric of the community?

Do second home owners vote locally? What is their level of commitment or their social contribution to the community? Lewis asked.

Answers to those questions, she said, will be explored during Phase II, the home owners survey portion of the study.

Phase III, Lewis said, will entail a joint effort with Department of Local Affairs demographers to delve deeper into the nature of economic impacts of second homes and will build on Phase I by providing a comprehensive analysis of the region's key economic drivers.

Lewis said the survey should be completed during the coming months with analysis occurring over the summer. Lewis said the anticipated completion date for the study is fall 2006.

 

 Inside The Sun

Wolf Creek development hits home hard

By U.S. Rep. John Salazar

I am so proud to call the San Luis Valley my home and to have had the opportunity to represent my community first as a Colorado State Representative and now as a U.S. Representative. No matter what my title has been, though, I have always stayed true to my roots and will continue the fight for what matters to our rural communities - economic development and water rights.

Back in the state House, I built a bi-partisan coalition to protect our water rights. And now in Congress, I work hard to balance those same needs. Those of us from the Valley understand the importance of having elected officials who know firsthand that rural development and water are more than just contracts and legal paperwork - jobs and water hit home.

The Village at Wolf Creek development hits home too. From day one on this job, I took steps to educate myself about the ins and outs of this deal. My biggest concern has always been how this would impact the community. I have met with the developers and spent time with local community leaders. I have read agency reports, news analyses and constituent letters. My research has led me to believe that the new Village at Wolf Creek will result in growth, but it's not the kind of responsible growth that will be good for the larger community.

Responsible development is done in a way that enhances, not dries up resources - like water - which keep our economy running. Responsible development involves long-term economic growth plans, not flash-in-the pan, jobs here one day and gone the next. And last, if not most important, responsible development requires community input and participation. It involves taking time to bring people together as part of a public process to make sure no one community benefits at the expense of another one.

We have certainly learned some hard lessons about responsible development from Colorado Springs' poor management of Fountain Creek. Unchecked development has led to contaminated water and downstream users are the ones suffering from the poor planning. Rather than job growth and raising the standard of living for the region, unchecked development pits communities against each other, making people who should be united compete for scarce resources.

The new Wolf Creek development concerns me for the same reasons - a hope of new jobs and income twisted into a nightmare of contaminated water and communities fighting with each other.

The original development seemed promising at a 200-unit scale, bringing the hope of new jobs and income for the area. But the new plans for more than 2,000 units will be unmanageable and have raised an outcry throughout the 3rd Congressional District. The development may increase economic output from southern Colorado, but there is no guarantee that local people will get the jobs. Local communities will then have to find a way to absorb workers hired from the outside and deal with the strain that they put on the community.

With water users in the Valley still trying to dig out of the drought, we need to be especially careful of the Wolf Creek development's impact on downstream users. Valley water users are struggling to meet current demand and a project this size could hurt our ability to recover from the drought. Rural water users cannot afford to speculate on how this development will impact water supplies.

I am deeply concerned about what impact this project will have on Colorado's obligation to the Rio Grande Water Compact and the water quality for downstream water users. A 2004 study by the Hydrosphere Resource Consultants concluded that the Wolf Creek developers overestimated the available supply of water. The developers also underestimated the water needed to sustain the site. It is my understanding that the project specs do not account for any distribution system losses.

The Wolf Creek development as now proposed hits home in ways we cannot afford. Local farmers, economic development advocacy groups, and scientific studies have independently concluded the project will have major, negative impacts on local water users. The project does not fit the regional needs of communities in southern Colorado and will injure water rights of the Rio Grande River. I cannot support a project that hurts the community I grew up in and that I represent.

Economic development is key to the survival and growth of the Valley. One of my goals in Congress is to encourage responsible development and economic growth in the Valley, which can only be done by communities coming together. I will always be open to your ideas and stand ready to work with you to bring sustainable economic growth to the area.

Tate running for state Senate

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In a press release issued March 2, Ron Tate of Bayfield announced his Republican candidacy for the Colorado Senate District 6 seat.

The seat is currently held by Democratic incumbent Jim Isgar, who is seeking reelection.

In the press release, Tate outlined his connection to the region, his educational and professional experience and his campaign platform.

"The very basis of who I am is a Reagan conservative. I will always work to make government smaller and more effective. I believe this means keeping the tax burden as low as possible, controlling spending and reducing the intrusive nature of government. I believe that we must encourage and allow people to control their own destiny, and shoulder their own responsibilities. We must always be on guard against the erosion of liberty.

"Specifically this means that in this campaign we must address eminent domain abuse such as we have seen in Connecticut. We must address state spending and actively seek to find ways to help state government comply with the message the citizens sent when they approved the taxpayers bill of rights. We must address illegal immigration and reestablish respect for the rule of law. We always have to pay attention to our water rights and protect quantity as well as quality. We must protect the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage for these are the bedrock of our society. We must protect our right to keep and bear arms, the U.S. Constitution says that it 'shall not be infringed.' We must protect the freedom of religion and speech, there have been efforts to stifle both," the press release states.

In addition, Tate said he would search for ways to attract light industry including biotechnology; reduce dependence on foreign oil; protect water quality and quantity; and would address specific issues such as chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease.

According to the release, Tate was born in Durango in 1963 and attended Bayfield area public schools. He graduated in 1981 and then served four years in the United States Army, with one tour in South Korea.

Following military service, Tate returned to Durango in 1987 and earned a degree in cellular and molecular biology with a minor in chemistry at Fort Lewis College.

Tate attended graduate school at Oklahoma State University in 1991 and earned a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology.

He has worked as a cancer research associate, a protein chemist and an environmental analyst. In 2000, Tate started Water Solutions, a family-run water quality consulting firm.

Tate said he is a third generation La Plata County native and has been married to his wife, Christina, for 21 years. Together they have seven children.

PAWSD seeking bids on Hatcher water treatment system

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) is accepting sealed bids for the Hatcher Water Treatment Plant "Clearwell/Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Treatment System Expansion Project."

Bids must be submitted by either mail or hand delivery before 2 p.m. Thursday, April 13. Those received after that time will not be accepted.

Copies of contract documents and project specifications for use in preparing bids are available by contacting PAWSD at 100 Lyn Avenue, P.O. Drawer 4610, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. The phone number is 731-2691.

Lump sum bids should be submitted, and no independent subcontractor bids will be accepted. Qualified bidders should be licensed in accordance with all applicable laws of the state and local governments where the project is located - in this case, Archuleta County, Colo.

As described by PAWSD, "The work to be performed generally includes the design and construction of a completely functioning expansion of the existing Hatcher Water Treatment Plant. The plant expansion work consists of a clearwell and a GAC treatment system, including furnishing, delivery, construction, and testing of a fully functioning clearwell and GAC treatment system, including a new treatment building, GAC feed pumps, clearwell pumps, influent/effluent piping manifolds, miscellaneous piping connections, all associated appurtenant equipment, influent piping connection, yard piping, fittings, and all other items required for completely functioning systems. GAC contactors and associated valve manifolds have been procured by PAWSD separately."

The owner (PAWSD) reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive irregularities or informalities therein. All bidders shall agree that such rejection shall be without liability on the part of the owner for any damage or claim brought by any bidder because of such rejections, nor shall the bidders seek any recourse of any kind against the owner because of such rejections. The filing of any bid in response to this invitation shall constitute an agreement of the bidder to these conditions.

At precisely 2 p.m. Thursday, April 13, all bids duly received will be opened and read aloud at the PAWSD office located at 100 Lyn Ave. and all interested parties are welcome to attend.

Seeds to hold fabulous fund-raiser

"Once Upon A Time" is the signature event this spring for the Seeds of Learning Early Childhood Education Center in Pagosa Springs.

The community is invited to attend a dinner and auction Friday, May 12, at the community center, which will be transformed into a storybook fantasy land.

Each dining table will be decorated by a creative designer based on a different children's storybook theme. The fanciful table settings, as well as many other items, will be auctioned during the evening festivities.

Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon will be the host for the evening that will include a buffet dinner and a cash wine and beer bar.

Invite a group of eight friends to the dinner and auction and fill a table for $300. Proceeds from this evening will support the Seeds of Learning capital "FUNdraising" campaign.

Fore more information, to reserve a table or to find out more about being a table decorator, call Susan Thorpe at 264-5253.

No hoof, no horse'

The March meeting of the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen will be 7 p.m. tonight, March 9, at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

The program at the meeting will be "No hoof, no horse," by Dr. Ben Hufnagel, DVM.

April tack sale boss Laura Scarafiotti will finalize the plans for the sale. Tack for sale? Call Laura at 259-6113.

The April 13 meeting will be held at the Four Square Church on CR 501, north of Bayfield.

Health fair delivers 'unparalleled value'

By Pauline Benetti

Special to The SUN

Finger stick glucose screenings, oral screenings, vision screenings, and a 31-component blood chemistry analysis.

These are just a few of the free and low-cost health screenings available at the 27th annual 9Health Fair, which runs during the month of April across Colorado and here in Pagosa Springs Saturday, April 1.

The 9Health Fair promotes health awareness and encourages individuals to assume responsibility for their own health. As in past years, 9Health Fair will benefit thousands of participants through its one-of-a-kind health awareness and education program, which has earned unique endorsements and support from the state's leading health and medical organizations.

Last year 9Health Fair touched more lives than ever by generating nearly 93,000 participants. With nearly a three percent increase in participation from the previous year, 9Health Fair is the largest community health program in Colorado and in the country. More than 18,000 volunteers served those participants at 169 rural and urban sites throughout Colorado and into surrounding states.

"As Colorado's only health fair program endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Nurses Association, and supported by the Colorado Health and Hospital Association, 9Health Fair continues to be an institution and tradition in communities across Colorado," said Anne Cosby, president and CEO of 9Health Fair. "Our goal is to be a leader in providing health information and to bring attention to crucial health issues that are at the forefront of our communities."

According to 2005 9Health Fair data, over 9,000 participants learned of a previously unknown health concern by participating in a 9Health Fair. In addition, approximately 2,700 participants received phone calls from 9Health Fair's pool of volunteer nurses, notifying them of a critical or alert health situation, and urging them to contact their primary care provider or other health provider for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

The fair "delivers unparalleled value to Colorado communities," said Cosby. "Our valuable supporters and partners help us provide evidence-based, thorough and comprehensive screenings for a nominal fee or at no charge at all. Many of our participants use 9Health Fair as their only chance during the year to obtain health screenings and talk with a healthcare professional," Cosby said. "Citizens across the state greatly rely on our ability to deliver health information and educational services to their communities."

Basic screenings at all 9Health Fair locations include the 31-component blood chemistry screening at a nominal cost of $30. During the same blood analysis, men can receive a prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening for an additional $25. Other basic screenings include blood pressure, colon cancer screening take home kits, height/weight/body mass index, bone density, and hearing.

Approximately 60 days after attending a 9Health Fair, participants should receive follow-up postcards encouraging them to seek further evaluation and medical treatment if necessary. Attending a 9Health Fair should not be considered a substitute for an annual physical examination and regular checkups with a primary care physician.

For more information on 9Health Fair, call (303) 698-4455 or visit the Web site at www.9HealthFair.org.

Region 9 names Zaday director

The Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado has added Ronnie Zaday and Michael Scannell to the Region 9 board of directors.

Zaday is an Archuleta County commissioner and Scannell is the La Plata County manager.

Region 9 is a public/private partnership that promotes and coordinates economic development efforts in five Colorado counties. The Region 9 board of directors is comprised of representatives from 17 local governmental jurisdictions and the private sector.

For more information, call 247-9621.

Correction

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Last week's edition of The SUN featured a public service announcement from the Archuleta County Assessor regarding personal property tax.

In the article, the phone number for the assessor's office was erroneously reported. The correct phone number is (970) 264-8310.

In addition, the assessor would like to note, "Regarding the exemption for a total actual value of less than $2,500: Taxpayers should fill out and return the Personal Property Declaration Schedule and the County Assessor's Office will calculate the actual value of the personal property. If the calculated actual value is $2,500 or less, the listed personal property is exempt."

Outdoors

BLM seeks resource council members

The Bureau of Land Management continues to seek nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the Southwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council (RAC).

Nominations are being accepted through March 27, to fill the positions of members whose terms of appointment will expire in August.

The BLM Southwest RAC has:

- one opening for a member representing holders of federal grazing permits/leases; representatives of mining, timber, off-road vehicle use and commercial recreation;

- three openings for members representing recognized national or regional environmental or resource conservation organizations; archeological and historical interests; wild horse and burro groups; and dispersed recreational activities;

- two openings for members representing state, county, or local elected officials; employees of state agencies responsible for management of natural resources, land or water; representatives of Indian tribes; academicians involved in natural sciences, and the public at large.

The RAC provides advice and recommendations to BLM on the use and management of 8.4 million acres of public lands in the state, enabling citizen members to have a meaningful say in how public lands are managed.

Members give advice to BLM on the broad array of resource, social, and economic issues that confront land managers and local communities. The council operates on principles of collaboration and consensus. Members are sought who are committed to working together with other interests for the long-term benefit of public lands and the people who enjoy and rely on them.

Council members must be residents of Colorado. Each year, one-third of the membership is up for renewal or replacement. The RAC consists of 15 members, selectively balanced and representative of the above general interest groups.

Qualifications for RAC membership are based on the nominee's:

- education, training, or experience to give informed, objective advice on an industry, discipline, or interest;

- experience or knowledge of the geographical area the council serves;

- demonstrated commitment to collaboration in seeking solutions to resource management issues.

BLM provides training on resource science and management issues to all council members. Members serve without monetary compensations, but are reimbursed for travel and per diem expenses. Members are expected to attend RAC meetings called by the designated federal officer. Meetings usually occur no more often than every other month. Location of the meetings can vary throughout the state, and may include tours. Meetings will normally be held Monday through Friday, and may last more than one day.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Letters of reference from the interests or organizations the nominee wishes to represent must accompany the nomination form. In addition, each nominee must submit a completed Background Information Nomination Form and should have a demonstrated commitment to collaborative resource decision-making.

The nomination period will close on March 27, as announced in the Federal Register Feb. 8.

For additional information, contact: BLM Southwest RAC, Attention: Melodie Lloyd, e-mail melodie_lloyd@blm.gov 2815 H Rd., Grand Junction, CO 81506. Phone (970) 244-3097.

Public comment sought on trails project

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for public input on a proposal to reroute 13 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail on public lands between Cataract Lake and Stony Pass to the Elk Creek Trail east of Silverton.

The reroute will enable the trail to become non-motorized and parallel the Continental Divide as closely as possible. As part of the proposal, the Colorado Trail would also abandon its existing route in the same area and become joined with the Continental Divide Trail for the full 13 miles, seven miles of which is within the Weminuche Wilderness.

The segment from Stony Pass to Cataract Lake passes through public lands managed by the Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests, and the San Juan Field Office of the BLM. The segment from Stony Pass to the Elk Creek Trail intersection passes through public lands managed by the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests and is within the Weminuche Wilderness.

Rerouting the trails would involve reconstruction and new construction, beginning in 2006 and finishing by 2007, in time for the 30th anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail in 2008. The resulting new section(s) of trail will be designated for non-motorized uses, however, existing motorized segments will remain open to motorized travel.

Within the segment from Stony Pass to the Elk Creek trail intersection, a proposed one-mile section of new trail construction within the Weminuche Wilderness would require a Forest Plan amendment. The existing Forest Plan designates this area to be managed under a "pristine" management prescription. Constructing a new trail through the Wilderness would require that the management prescription be changed to "primitive," which allows for more impact.

Public input will be used to develop the scope of issues to be studied in an Environmental Assessment of the proposal.

Written comments must be mailed by Monday, March 20, 2006, to Jody Fairchild, Rio Grande National Forest, P.O. Box 270 Creede, CO 81130. Comments may also be e-mailed to: jfairchild@fs.fed.us

For more information, contact Fairchild at (719) 658-2556, Ext. 6403.

Catch and Release

A typical fishing day ... in Argentina

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

I don't know how long I've been sitting on this rock along the riverbank - 20 minutes, an hour - it feels like a lifetime.

It is late in the day and the sun hovers low in the west and just above the river. The valley is an oven set to broil and casting upstream requires battling the sun's rays face to face. I am losing the battle.

The heat and trials of the day have beaten me into submission. I have been sun burnt, bitten by horse flies and knocked down and carried downstream by the river - twice.

The wind rips down the valley, crashing through the pine and willow along the riverbank , cutting the water in violent erratic slashes like a seamstress tearing silk. Its force knocks my fly line easily from the sky. Its force makes it hell to cast.

It is a typical Patagonian fishing day, and I'm in heaven, but I need a break.

Perched atop my boulder from within the shade of the streamside willow canopy, I have a perfect view upstream. With my legs dangling in the river, I gradually cool off, and I scoop up water with my hands and pour it on my neck and head. The tension eases and I relax, but I maintain my view on the river.

Although the blistering heat makes this hardly the best time of day for fishing, it was a mayfly hatch that drove me from my afternoon break and back onto the water. And since my return, I've watched trout rising with regularity in the shallows along the bank. The action has lulled, so now I wait.

I gaze far upstream and the willows begin to undulate in waves of deep dusty green under the force of another powerful gust. I watch the wind as it moves down the canyon and I bury my head in my shoulders, pull my cap down tight over my eyes and brace for the hit. The gust blasts over, around and through me. The fabric of my shirt flutters furiously in the wind and my fly rod vibrates like a car antennae.

After a moment, the wind passes and I lift my head, open my eyes and look down at the river. A tiny, solitary, caramel-colored mayfly, deposited by the gust, is floating helplessly on the current. Its wing are splayed out in the shape of the Southern Cross, and it struggles, although its efforts are futile. It is trapped in the surface film and the current carries it lazily past my rock and to the mouth of a rainbow holding in the shadows just a few feet below. Time to cast.

I mentally scan the contents of my fly box, and my mind wanders back to a frustrating day on the Henry's Fork and to the words of a crusty old fisherman I met streamside.

"Everyone needs a rusty spinner in their fly box," he said before wandering off upstream.

I took his advice and bought two size 20s. I had hardly used them since, but the shape, size and color of this Argentine mayfly match the pattern perfectly.

I quickly tie one on and shuffle back out into the current before the next gust of wind. I am working a long, flat, nearly featureless run, but the water is deep and a few mid-stream boulders break up the current and provide cover for trout.

About 40 feet in front of me lays one such boulder and its placement piles up the current on the upstream side, while channeling the flow into a perfect V-shape on the downstream side. Each arm of the V extends down, well beyond the boulder, and is marked by a neat foam line. My targets are clear.

I strip off line and launch a cast into the momentary calm. It is perfect. The loop unfolds and lays the fly gently at the top of the foam line on the right side of the boulder. My imitation is tiny and it is impossible to see how it behaves on the water, yet there is no ambiguity when the trout hits.

After the fly drifts for a moment, a trout shoots up from the streambed and plows into the tiny spinner pattern. The river erupts in spray and foam, and in the chaos, I see streaks of silver and blue - a rainbow. I set the hook, and after a few leaps and runs, I bring the trout in. I then remove the hook, ease the fish back into the water, grease up the fly and cast again.

I can see the wind moving down river, and I race to make the cast before it hits. Although not as delicate as the first, my fly lands unscathed at the top of the second foam line on the left side of the boulder. And again, after a moment's drift, another feisty rainbow collides with the fly.

With the wind ripping down the valley, I grapple with the trout and eventually land the creature and release it back into the current.

I prepare for a third cast, but the wind does not relent. High along the Andean cordillera wispy Argentine clouds clash with their tempestuous, moisture-laden Chilean neighbors. Somewhere in the high country rain or snow is falling, but here in the Rio Meliquina valley all I taste is wind. I stand firm in the gale but a few thwarted casts later, I scuttle back to shelter of my streamside boulder and out of the full force of the wind.

Once there, I wait, and the Patagonian day evolves into dusk. As the light fades, dust hovering above the river, changes from tan to glowing violet, and like the sky and the light, the river undergoes a slow transformation.

Its depths become impenetrable and the current, once emerald, now slithers past, glistening black as obsidian. As the sun dips behind the mountains and darkness slowly swallows the valley, the landscape cools and the wind relents. And in the evening calm, the river comes slowly back to life.

I sit in the shadows and listen to trout sipping insects in the shallows along the shore. Far upstream, I catch glimpses of trout with their silvery bodies flashing as they break the surface to feed. At times, they rocket out of the water, flying in high arching acrobatics, splashing back down as though they are playing. Maybe, like me, they are pleased with the sun and wind's departure. I watch as ducks cruise in low, skimming the surface of the water like chubby bombers, making their way home for the night.

I reenter the river, moving slowly, feeling my way over the cobbles and back out to midstream. I face up river, stop, and search for the sound of a rising trout.

I cast in the direction of the nearest rise, letting the line peel back and forth in long sinuous loops. The casting is just a formality, a reason to be standing midstream in the blackness, listening to the night unfold, listening to the passage of the river.

High Country Reflections

Colorado's wily weasels

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I will always remember the surprise and sheer delight in my first encounter with a short-tailed weasel. Nearly 30 years have since passed, yet I still recall the image of that rather long and slender, virtually pure-white figure frolicking so freely in the deep powder beneath me, as I rode Chair 16 out of Vail Village.

It was an ominous overcast morning, with heavy snow accumulating at the rate of an inch an hour, and I was buttoned up tight against the cold. With a ski hat pulled well over my ears and the collar of my jacket zipped high above my chin, I sat huddled in my seat, peering through broad rose-colored goggles at the deepening world of white 25 feet below.

At once, a slight commotion caught my eye, and as I strained to see more, a small face with large rounded ears and an elongated snout suddenly popped up from a drift near the base of a tall snow-shrouded pine, just ahead. I remember the reddish nose, and the black beady eyes glaring but briefly in my direction, before another flurry sent the strange creature scurrying back beneath the snow. In another second, it reappeared a few feet further from the tree, only to submerge again, and disappear altogether.

At the time, I couldn't say what kind of animal I'd seen and, in fact, describing it was awkward enough. Aside from its nose, eyes and a prominent black tip at the end of its short fuzzy tail, its fur was as white as the drifts it romped in. Given its lightening-fast movements, I gained only a vague sense of overall size and form, but as I related the encounter to my brother that afternoon, he immediately knew I'd seen an ermine.

Ermine is the name given short-tailed weasels in their winter pelage. In autumn, as shifting light patterns cause them to molt, their entire coat, except the tip of the tail, turns pure white. Come spring they molt again, turning dark brown with white under parts and feet. Interestingly, elevation and the severity of winter in their home range determine the actual extent of color change, though most short-tails live at higher elevations where transformation is complete.

In size, short-tailed weasels average eight or nine inches in length, and have about a three-inch tail. Weighing in at only a few ounces, they are the smallest carnivores in Colorado. Their long slender bodies and short legs enable them to follow prey into the tightest of burrows, where mice, chipmunks and ground squirrels make up much of their diet.

As small, cute and cuddly as they appear, short-tails are ferocious hunters and will often kill much larger animals with a powerful bite to the base of the skull. I once watched for several minutes, as a tiny weasel dragged a fat pine squirrel several feet over the leaves, sticks and low-lying shrubbery of the forest floor.

Like all weasels, short-tails are members of the Mustelidae family (of the order Carnivora), and have scent glands that can secrete a foul-smelling fluid when the animal is hopelessly cornered or overly agitated. Such defensive behavior is typically a last resort, but by some accounts, it can be at least as unpleasant as that of a skunk, though it doesn't last nearly as long.

Speaking of skunks, until their recent reclassification as the unique family Mephitidae, they were long grouped with the mustelids, and many guidebooks still refer to them as members of the weasel family. Though they lack the ferocity and boisterous characteristics of weasels, they seem to share more similarities than differences.

Of the four species of skunks in Colorado, only the spotted and striped are seen in the high country. The striped, of course, is the most common in North America, but all skunks are omnivorous, eating insects, birds, small mammals, eggs, berries and even carrion. Compared to other weasels, their movements are much slower, and when confronted with danger, they're more inclined to turn and raise a tail than run away. Consequently, many of the nocturnal creatures are found dead along roadways.

For obvious reasons, skunks fear few natural enemies, although great horned owls have little sense of smell and are largely indifferent to a skunk's "fragrant" defenses. More often than not, when an unwary skunk falls victim to an owl, it is taken completely by surprise. Nevertheless, in recent times, the automobile has become the skunk's greatest "unnatural" enemy.

Even as the short-tailed weasel is Colorado's smallest mustelid, the wolverine is her largest and most mischievous. A male wolverine can attain three-and-a-half feet in length and weigh 35 pounds or more, but its strength and ill-tempered disposition command more respect than its size. Wolverines have been known to kill elk and moose, and will chase bears from carrion. In the past, they have raided backcountry trap lines and ransacked cabins, stealing food caches and supplies.

While wolverines have never been abundant in Colorado, their affinity for carrion left them vulnerable to poisoned baits set out for predator control purposes in the early 1900s. Most disappeared from the state back then, yet stories of their existence in remote areas like the Flattops Wilderness north of Eagle still persist. Today, they are listed as "endangered" in Colorado.

Like wolverines, the black-footed ferret is extremely rare in Colorado, and is considered the most endangered mammal in North America. A captive breeding program undertaken in the mid 1980s has rescued it from the brink of extinction for now, with 186 ferrets released in northern Colorado through 2005. Last fall, researchers documented the first known ferret reproduction in the wild since the program started.

As predators, black-footed ferrets are overwhelmingly dependant on prairie dogs and typically reside in the midst of prairie dog towns. While never abundant in Colorado, their historic range includes the eastern plains, high mountain parks and western valleys where prairie dogs are found. Certainly, the agricultural plowing of natural prairie lands and repeated attempts to eradicate prairie dogs are largely to blame for reducing ferrets to near extinction. Their susceptibility to distemper has also contributed.

Black-footed ferrets average 22 inches in length and, like other mustelids, are mostly nocturnal and carry a strong musky body odor. When threatened by larger predators like eagles, hawks, owls or coyotes, they will express alarm through chatter and hissing, yet, in the presence of man, they are remarkably tolerant. Perhaps they share similar temperament, as they do appearance, with their domesticated cousins.

There are a number of other weasel-like mustelids in Colorado, including the long-tailed weasel, marten, mink and badger. On one end of the spectrum, the long-tailed weasel strongly resembles the short-tailed weasel, but is notably larger and hasyou guessed it, a longer tail. On the other end, the badger seems most similar to the wolverine, particularly in attitude, but is somewhat smaller and fairly common in the mountain parks and western valleys. Martens and minks are similar in size and color, with martens inhabiting dense mountain forests, and minks frequenting lakes, swamps and waterways.

Of all the weasels inhabiting Colorado, I am most familiar with, and fond of, the short-tailed weasel. However, there is another very intriguing mustelid that, until the mid-1970s, had essentially disappeared from the state. Today, river otters are making a comeback and now maintain self-sustaining populations in the Green, Gunnison, Piedra and Colorado rivers.

Averaging three to four-and-a-half feet, river otters are the longest mustelids in Colorado. A powerful cylindrical tail comprises about a third of their size and, with their webbed feet and semi-aquatic tendencies, they are at home in and around rivers. As efficient predators, their diet consists of fish, crayfish, frogs, muskrats and young beaver.

Undoubtedly, the river otters' most amusing attribute is their apparent affinity for play. Otters seem to enjoy sliding in mud or snow, diving for stones, wrestling, playing tag and harassing beavers. Their antics may go on for hours, while covering short distances or miles of terrain between rivers, streams and lakes.

Like all predators, each of Colorado's weasels is vital to the ecological balance of our natural environment. Some appear small, cute and cuddly, while others are fairly large and downright vicious. As hunters, all are highly evolved and efficient, and many apparently find time to live it up a little.

Letters
Meet candidates

Dear Editor:

Before the general election, before the primary, before the state conventions, before the county assemblies, and before the precinct caucuses, you have an opportunity to question the Republican candidates for the elected officers in Archuleta County. On Monday, March 13, at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) Vista Clubhouse (230 Port Ave.), the two Republican county commissioner candidates, the three Republican candidates for sheriff and other Republican candidates for county offices will answer your questions and listen to your concerns about the future of Archuleta County. This open forum of questions, answers and comments is sponsored by the PLPOA and the Archuleta Republican Party.

If you are interested in the future of your county, if you are a Democrat, a Republican or and Independent, come and let the candidates know your concerns and get your questions answered.

John Bozek

Contrails 1

Dear Editor:

As an 8th Air Force veteran of WW II, I was extremely interested in Ms. Woods' letter concerning contrails. It was not unusual for us to fly through, above or below these trails. They became so dense, especially on 1,000 plane raids, that ensuing bomber formations would have to alter their flight courses. To my knowledge, no flying or ground personnel suffered medical problems associated with these vapor trails. I'm acquainted with several airline pilots, now retired, who have had no problems either. However, we used propeller-driven aircraft using 100 octane gasoline versus jets using high grade diesel fuel. Perhaps the chemicals she described are jet fuel additives.

Bill Carnicom

Scary

Dear Editor:

I took the opportunity to attend the recent Comprehensive Plan meeting.

Very interesting.

Scary.

The Pagosa you know and love is about to become extinct, with much suffering to take place along the path to this extinction.

It is truly wonderful that a firm has been hired to create growth scenarios with all the housing, commercial and roads projected. But, my questions are: "Do we really have to accept this tremendous growth? Do we want such drastic changes in Pagosa?"

Change - OK. Growth - OK. But we don't have to allow enormous change and growth of our chosen lifestyle.

Do we even have enough water to support big growth? Water rationing had to be enacted in very recent history and this winter's lack of precipitation could certainly mandate another rationing season.

While this is a Town of Pagosa Springs Comprehensive Plan, it will affect much of the county and its residents (i.e., raised fees and taxes, light pollution, disturbed wildlife trails, numerous inroads into rural areas, vast road construction).

Please voice your concerns about this projected growth before it is a done deal!

Marilyn Falvey

Land sale

Dear Editor:

This is in reference to the BLM request for written input by March 23, in regard to land sale/trade northeast of Oakbrush Hill to the Smiths.

To BLM: Please consider open space, leave the BLM land as BLM land, for who? The wildlife, need I say more?

Readers, if you feel the same, write by March 23 to: BLM Pagosa Field Office, Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

Contrails 2

Dear Editor:

I don't know about all that research that last week's writer used to claim the hurtful aspects of this subject, but let me explain what a true contrail is. "Con" stands for condensation. It forms when supercooled ice crystals are disturbed. Chemtrails may be something else about which I know nothing.

When we were assembling our B-17s into formation over England to bomb Germany, the contrails sometimes became so thick as to endanger flight due to collision. I believe there were actual fatalities due to this natural phenomenon.

Bruce Muirhead

Wolves

Dear Editor:

In Franklin Anderson's letter dated March 2, he states that when his family arrived in Archuleta County in the 1880s there were "lots of wolves" and "few elk and deer." This is the only statement he makes that I agree with. By the late 19th century, market hunting had driven deer populations to extremely low levels, estimated at 300,000 animals nationwide, compared to 27 million today. Before settlers arrived, there were an estimated 10 million elk. In 1922, only 90,000 remained. Elk had to be reintroduced to Colorado in 1913.

The reason wolves and other native carnivores killed livestock at the turn of the century was because they simply had nothing left to eat. Today, the amount of livestock that predators kill is miniscule. In 2000, predators killed less than 1 percent of the total number of cattle produced in the U.S. The group Defenders of Wildlife reimburses ranchers for any animals lost to wolves. They also have a "proactive fund" that helps ranchers pay for items to protect their herds.

Starting in the late 1800s, ranchers and bounty hunters waged a war on wildlife, augmented by a federal predator-control program. The Colorado Revised Statute 35-40-107, enacted in 1893, provides for a payment of a $2 bounty on any wolf.

Wolf hatred took on barbaric proportions. In Mr. Anderson's letter he graphically describes instances of wolves killing livestock. Well, maybe he would like to compare that to these wolf facts. Cattlemen laced carrion with ground glass and left it for the wolves. Trapped wolves were released with their jaws wired shut so that they would die slow, agonizing deaths. Wolves were burned to death while they were still alive. Hundreds of miles of poison baits were strewn across the West killing not only wolves, but non-predators as well. There are too many stories like this to list. All this done by supposed humanity, one definition of which is "the quality of being humane to people or animals.""

It is hard to comprehend that there are still people out there who feel there are "good" and "bad" animals. Predators, because they eat "prey" or "victims" are historically considered evil. That is ironic. Don't most humans also eat meat?

As far as New Mexico goes, it is the Mexican Wolf that has had "nothing but trouble," as they are being decimated faster than they can breed. Our "public lands" in that area are heavily grazed. Ranchers dispose of cattle carcasses on those lands, causing wolves to get a taste for beef. When cattle are moved in, the wolves' natural food source flees to higher ground. Despite everything, even using the highest estimate of losses provided by ranchers, wolves killed only about a quarter of 1 percent of the 34,800 cattle in the area.

As far as humans being unsafe around wolves, consider this. The animal in North America that causes the most human fatalities is not grizzlies, or wolves. It is deer. Deer, on average kill 200 people per year by car wrecks, with about 29,000 injuries. Wolves are less of a threat than bees, slippery bath tubs and tainted potato salad. I always marvel at the person who inhales cigarette smoke, but worries he or she might be attacked by a wolf. If Mr. Anderson wants to be consistent, then we need to eliminate anything that poses any risk to human beings.

I view the wolf's return as a precious gift. A second chance to show that our society is a little wiser and kinder than our long ugly history with animals would indicate. And, yes, I do want to hear the "howl of the wilderness" return, and I'm afraid it is just not the same on a tape recorder.

Sincerely,

Dina Siegwald

 

Community News

Fair royalty orientation meeting

An orientation meeting for those interested in participating in the Fair Royalty Pageant at the 2006 Archuleta County Fair will be held 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29.

The meeting will take place in the Extension Office at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

Pageant applications are available at the Extension Office and the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

Bring your completed application with you to the orientation meeting.

The pageant will be held Sunday, May 7, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

What is a Freemason, and what does he do?

By Bob Case

Special to The PREVIEW

What's a Mason?

A Mason is a member of an organization or fraternity of men bound together with a philosophy of moral standards, mutual understanding and a brotherhood in which all men are on an equal level.

What is Freemasonry? Freemasonry (or Masonry) is dedicated to the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.

It uses the tools and implements of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its members. Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of friendship, compassion and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military and religious conflicts through the centuries.

Freemasonry is a fraternity which encourages its members to practice the faith of their personal acceptance. Masonry teaches that each person, through self-improvement and helping others, has an obligation to make a difference in the world.

What do Freemasons do?

The Masonic experience encourages members to become better men, better husbands, better fathers and better citizens. The fraternal bonds formed in the Lodge help build lifelong friendships among men with similar goals and values.

Beyond its focus on individual development and growth, Masonry is deeply involved in helping people. The Freemasons of North America contribute over $2 million a day to charitable causes. This philanthropy represents an unparalleled example of the humanitarian commitment of this great and honorable fraternity.

Much of that assistance goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects. The Shrine Masons (Shriners) operate the largest network of hospitals for burned and orthopedically impaired children in the country, and there is never a fee for treatment. The Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of over 150 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics, centers and programs.

Many other Masonic organizations sponsor a variety of philanthropies, including scholarship programs for students, and perform public service activities in their communities. Masons also enjoy the fellowship of each other and their families in social and recreational activities.

For more information, contact Bob Case, 731-5593.

Music Boosters' melodrama tonight, tomorrow, Saturday

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The "melodramatic" cast of Tom Taggart's Gay Nineties Melodrama, "Lily, The Felon's Daughter" has worked hard to become comfortable with the acting styles associated with this type of classic theater.

They've perfected the walks and other characteristic physical movement involved in the portrayal of their colorful characters, as well as experimented with exaggerated facial features, attitudes and annoyances.

The art of the melodrama, developed sometime in the 1800s as an entertainment form, uses music ("melo") to underscore, enhance and heighten its characters.

This type of performance venue portrays clear characters, includes heroes, heroines and villains and represents an obvious challenge between good versus evil.

The style of play is exaggerated and showy, which provided pure entertainment to audiences a couple of hundred years ago and does the same for the contemporary viewer.

John Graves complements the splendid cast of 11 with his melodic and sometimes sinister character music, in addition to accompanying several soloists in the production.

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

Advance purchase tickets are available at the Plaid Pony, 731-5262, and tickets will be available at the door prior to performances.

In Step dancers fare well in competition

By Belinda LaPierre

Special to The PREVIEW

Congratulations are in order for the In Step Dance Club's Charles Jackson and Deb Aspen. They brought home an impressive array of trophies, ribbons and high scores from their last two competitive endeavors.

Albuquerque's Arthur Murray Studio hosted its "Dancing Through The Decades" Winter Showcase Feb. 10-11. The Freestyle competition kicked things off with over 30 students competing in over 20 different dances. Staff and students combined talents in a progressive format which depicted some of the history of dance.

Scene One took place in "Bedrock" with a Formation (or group) Dance to the music, "Meet the Flintstones" followed by a trip to Vienna for a peek into how the waltz came into existence.

Much to the delight of the crowd, and the judge who awarded them a prestigious 95 percent, Pagosa's dancing duo performed their newly-choreographed Viennese Waltz solo to music from the movie "Practical Magic."

Then, the narrative took spectators across the sea to South America where, among other numbers, Deb performed a dramatically artistic Argentine tango with professional Bob Long. After another quick costume change, Deb and Charles took the floor once more and fox-trotted to the music "Orange-Colored Sky," as the scene took onlookers to New York and the Big Band Era.

Deb had minutes to change into a sailor suit and quickly jump into a very fast Lindy Hop with instructor Ben Snell. Instructions to the music director to slow the song down 6 percent were slightly misunderstood. He got the 6 percent correct, but went up with the speed instead of down. Try lindy-hopping 12-percent faster than you've practiced when you're over 50! All is well: Deb survived with a whopping 96 percent score (the highest given to any amateur).

Following an intermission, the curtain re- opened for some exciting excerpts from the 50s; including a John Travolta style Formation, followed by solos in rumba, cha cha and mambo. The '60s scene brought on expressive representations of the hustle, East Coast swing and West Coat swing, performed by other amateur couples and professional/amateur teams as well.

Country western was not ignored. Boot Scootin' Boogie made its debut during the '80s reenactment, and some '90s style country western waltz and swing ensued.

The show finished with a Latin flare with solos in salsa, rumba, cha cha and bolero. Charles and Deb donned '50s high school prom attire and played chaperones to a cute cha cha number danced by Charles' rival, Lonnie Chavez, and instructor Cindy Long. The routine began with Cindy begging her chaperones to dance with the infamous and lecherous Lonnie; with the promise to themselves to keep a discrete eye on them.

At first, it seemed quite innocent, with the chaperones not quite catching little things "going on" that weren't quite acceptable in the public eye in that day and age. Finally, the flirtations had gone too far when there was a voluptuous grab from behind by the "boy" and they were immediately escorted out under no uncertain terms: Deb with the wagging index finger in Cindy's face exit stage left, while Lonnie got the literal boot out the right stage door!

It was a hoot, and much enjoyed by rival Charles. (By the way, not only is Lonnie a 16-year dance rival, he was best man at Charles and Deb's wedding. As some may remember, Lonnie produced the wedding ring when needed from a very protected place ... his mouth!! I guess one could say, Charles owed him one.)

On to Colorado Showcase, put on by Arthur Murray Studios in Lakewood and Denver Sunday, Feb. 26. The beautiful El Jebel Ballroom in uptown Denver was the setting and the comment of the day was "It's like stepping into another world." Deb added, "It's a fairy-tale place where childhood dreams, like mine, can come true."

Deb's brother, sister-in-law, and 7-year-old niece came to watch and loved it. Former Pagosan and longtime dance friend Peggy Schwartzkoph came as their guest, and enjoyed the spectacle as well.

Jackson and Aspen earned bragging rights as they strode away with blue ribbons for first place in all their freestyle dances: waltz, fox-trot, Viennese waltz, American tango, cha cha, samba, salsa, bolero, East Coast swing, country western swing and country western waltz.

Seems like Charles and Deb not only made an impression in Denver, but have become a great inspiration for newcomer dancers as well as for not-so-newcomers. Concerning their two solos, judge Ingvar Geirsson said, "Such a joy. Great energy. Very classy performance. Beautiful Viennese waltz. Great job!"

Deb is teaching cha cha this month at the PLPOA Clubhouse. Call her at 731-3338 for more information.

Plan ahead for the April Fool's Day Party, April 1. Some will remember the visiting Antonio Fostino's sizzling bolero with local dancer Kris Ambrosich last April Fool's Night. Turns out, Antonio from California was actually Deb Aspen from Pagosa. Who knows what may happen this year? There's some talk about two X-rated movie stars making the trip. Call Deb for more details, and stay tuned.

Feasibility study planned for Cultural Arts Center

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance is a non-profit organization working to build and establish a cultural arts and learning center in Pagosa.

The groups has successfully raised $50,000 through contributions from the town, county, Arts Alliance Board, corporate sponsorship and individual donors to fund a feasibility study to be conducted this year.

What is a feasibility study?

The feasibility process takes the dreams and vision of an organization, studies, observes and analyzes the project, and makes recommendations for moving forward. In the for-profit world it is a critical key in evaluating the success of any new business idea or venture. In the non- profit world it also provides an accurate assessment of the factors that might affect a capital or fund-raising campaign.

The board of the Arts Alliance envisions a three-phase feasibility process.

Phase I is a needs assessment that will solicit community input from local businesses, arts organizations and groups, government and individuals. Previous studies recently done regarding the future of cultural arts in Pagosa will be reviewed and included. The study will evaluate both internal readiness and external opportunities available to successfully complete a large-scale capital campaign.

Phase II will address the professional issues related to facility design and plan, operations, finance and budget, while integrating the needs assessment of Phase I.

Phase III, a key element to the success of the project, is the funding and fund-raising analysis. The selected consultant will present contacts and avenues for funding and fund-raising with interested partners, organizations and foundations. They will help design capital and endowment campaigns that support our compelling vision for a cultural arts and learning center that will engage our community.

By itself, the feasibility study is a community service: It allows members of the community an opportunity to voice opinions on the project, and offers local businesses the chance to plan for and develop economic strategies in relation to the cultural arts center. It also builds credibility for the vision and project.

Pagosa Springs is growing and changing. A recent town survey showed that approximately 60 percent of the respondents would like to see a performing arts center built here. The Alliance's feasibility study helps chart a course to accomplish this goal, and more.

If you would like to learn more or get involved with this project, call Susan Neder, president of the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance at 731-4735. The Arts Alliance board holds its regular public meetings the second Wednesday of the month at 7 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

The vision of the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance is "to help establish the Arts as a regional, cultural and economic focal point for the community and to provide gathering places for engaging experiences that will touch the human spirit. Our services include the building and management of Cultural Arts and Education Facilities whose philosophy is focused on giving back to our schools, visitors and community..."

Famed Broadway singer to open

Music in the Mountains season

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

If you love Broadway musicals and want to hear show tunes sung by one of the best voices on stage today, you will want to mark Saturday, July 8, on your calendar.

This opening event of the 2006 Music in the Mountains season will be something totally new for our local festival - a gala benefit concert featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco. She will sing her Broadway favorites in the concert tent in the spectacular mountain setting of BootJack Ranch. Vroman promises a mixture of Broadway standards including Gershwin, Irving Berlin and other classic show tunes — plus some great stories to go along with the music.

This special benefit concert and reception will include sumptuous hors d'oeuvres and libations beginning at 6 p.m. Dress is cocktail attire or as fancy as you please. Attendance is limited. Cost is $175 per person, $105 of which is tax-deductible as a donation. Tickets will be available April 3 through the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Proceeds from this extraordinary evening will help Music in the Mountains continue to provide scholarships to Pagosa musicians, bring professional musicians into Pagosa schools for hands-on workshops, fund instrument purchase and repair programs for our school bands, and host the annual free summer Family Festivo concert for "kids of all ages" in Town Park. This year's free concert on Thursday, July 27 will be the world premiere of the musical score for "Breman Town Musicians," based on the Grimms' fairy tale, with composer Simon Sargon doing the narration.

Vroman is an award-winning soprano and frequent guest soloist with theatre groups, opera companies and orchestras. This month she stars as Rosabella in the revival of "The Most Happy Fella" with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. In addition to solo performances with major orchestras, Vroman has performed starring roles in "Oklahoma," "Les Miserables," "Aspects of Love" and many other musicals. She appeared on PBS TV in Cameron Mackintosh's "Hey, Mr. Producer," a royal gala filmed in London and attended by Queen Elizabeth II. She also starred as Laurey in "Oklahoma," filmed live at The Royal Albert Hall in London for the BBC.

Save the Date cards for Pagosa's gala Broadway benefit concert were mailed last week. If you want to be added to the invitation list, contact Teresa Huft at 731-1978 or teresa@lazy8.net or Maribeth Hill at 731-3234 or bluesky@centurytel.net.

To be put on the mailing list for information about other Pagosa Music in the Mountain events, call 385-6820 in Durango and specify that you want to be on the Pagosa Springs mailing list.

'Ayurveda' next offering at film society

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Film Society is again having a mid-month screening and discussion in addition to its regular last-Tuesday-of-the-month showing. It will held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

The feature-length documentary, "Ayurveda," takes us into an ancient world which deals with a method of healing that has been practiced for centuries by trained practitioners in India. Many have found that Ayurvedic medicine and healing techniques are so powerful and complex that one can study them for a lifetime and still be learning.

A true master of this discipline takes the viewer through the Ayurvedic methods of crafting remedies from herbs, oils and even rocks, to treat everything from insanity to childbirth. This film lasts 102 minutes and is in Hindi with English subtitles.

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is 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. A suggested $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.

Thirty-two artists in 'Primarily Found Objects'

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Shy Rabbit's seventh exhibition, "Primarily Found Objects," is currently underway.

The exhibit features the work of 32 artists from Pagosa Springs, Cortez, Durango, and Chromo, housed in two galleries at Shy Rabbits's unique (for Pagosa) remodeled warehouse space.

Each of the artists' compositions consists of least 60-percent found material, and a minimum of one of the three primary colors is incorporated into each work.

Upon entering the first gallery the viewer is presented with a series of interesting pieces, representing a cross section of the work in the main gallery. The first piece to catch the eye, "Primarily Skinned and Feathered," by Nancy Cole, consists of three pieces of aspen bark linked with horizontal needles and adorned with seven large feathers. Bright yarn used to stitch natural cracks in an aspen's once protective structure restores the bark's continuity, creating a remarkable composition.

Robert Garcia Jr.'s "Big Bang Theory," also in the entry gallery, is a duet of round disks, one bronze and one plaster, each adorned with spirals, symbols, and several carved human appendages embossed on the surface. The artist's statement that the symbols and spirals on the piece were naturally found in a remnant of ceramic material found in the bottom of a 5-gallon paint bucket draws the viewer closer to examine each flourish.

Several traditional found object pieces are present at the show, including Suzin Jesse Daniel's "Childhood Found," an example of "found art which transports us to another era," according to the artist. It is a collection of found pieces with a Howdy Doody theme placed behind a inclined gilt frame.

The gallery also houses several welded pieces using scrap metal objects. Jenny Treanor's "Circling Toward Balance" is an assembly of metal parts resting atop an industrial looking 8-inch steel tube, using steel cylinders, gears, discs and hooks, and topped with a sharp shard of curved rough hewn metal flinging upwards. Two human figures are represented in the piece - one adorned with a silver face and in gesture of operation of the contraption, the other armless and seemingly trapped within a cylinder in the prone position. The artist's comment, "The masculine is content with the status quo, the feminine is weary and hungry for more. What's next?" provokes thought.

Another mostly metal piece reflecting on the superfluity of the human experience is called "Royal Flush," by Susan Anderson. It is largely a collection of toilet parts, elegantly composed in a vertical composition with a fur decorated drain hole. The piece represents the potential flushing of human ego.

A few pieces inviting to the eye are random collections of spare parts. Mark Brown's "Tubo Paddler" consists of an old wooden canoe paddle festooned with a variety of circuitry, wires, inset gauges, spark plugs, a broken bicycle odometer, and knobs and handles. No hint of piece's interpretation is given, though the artist describes the object as "doo-doo."

A few pieces refer to contemporary issues. Lal Echterhoff's "The Streets of Houston, 4006 A.D." is inspired by the financial collapse of Enron, once based in Houston where Echterhoff rummaged the streets to collect the found items incorporated in this piece. The myriad found objects are buried in the bottom of a small aquarium, covered with sand and gravel. Atop the layers of earth, several small surveyor flags hint at a future archeological dig.

One of the centerpieces of the show is Chad Haspel's "The Sun Still Rises." Chad is the artist who crafted the beautiful wildlife carvings in Town Park and on Reservoir Hill, bringing life to otherwise dead trees. In contrast to his detailed tree carvings, "The Sun Still Rises" is composed of an ancient railroad tie mounted on end on a rough piece of sheet steel. The beam tilts slightly, owing to the wood's naturally altered form. Yellow circles alluding to suns lie between carved horizontal bands along the sides of the cracked and withered piece of wood, with a pyramid pointing up to the sun carved on its summit.

"Primarily Found Objects" is open to visitors 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The show ends March 25.

Cat in the Hat at Sisson Library Saturday

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.

Piecemakers host Jeanine Malaney workshop

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.

Shy Rabbit to create art directory

Imagine a full-color art directory and collector's guide featuring regional artists with contact information and a map. Imagine 10,000 distributed around southwest Colorado in hotels, galleries, restaurants and visitor centers. Now imagine a multi-media CD that expands to include your artist statement and additional images. Imagine that as an artist you could reach over 60,000 upscale buyers and that you could get it all for less than the cost of ad in a local newspaper.

Stop dreaming and contact Shy Rabbit. Their creative development team is coordinating an "Art Directory and Collectors Guide." They will bring together the production of 10,000, 12x18 poster/brochures that fold to rack card size (4x9). The front of this brochure will be a poster-sized image made up of 2x3 images from 32 artists' work from around the region. The back of the brochure will provide text listings, a map and pertinent information. There is room for an additional 32 artists or artist-owned businesses to purchase a text-only listing.

Cost: $250 for a 2x3 (approximate) full-color image on poster and a text listing that will include name, studio name, address, phone, e-mail, Web site. (Thirty-two artists are required to make this work at this price); $75 for one text-only listing that will include name, studio name, address, phone, e-mail, Web site. (An additional 32 artists are needed to make this work at this price.)

Deadlines and details

- March 13 - Full payment of $250 due by 5 p.m. Make checks payable to: Shy Rabbit, PO Box 5887, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Shy Rabbit reserves the right to cancel this project and will refund money in full if there are not a sufficient number of participants. After this date if there a sufficient number of participants, money is not refundable.

- March 31 - last date for submission of a high resolution, 2x3 image saved at a minimum 300 DPI, as a CMYK, .tif file format - the image to be used for the poster. (Additional images for the CD will have a separate deadline.) Also due is text information: name, studio name, address including city, state and zip code, phone number, e-mail and Web site.

- Mid-June - poster distribution.

Those wishing to participate must submit their final financial commitment by March 13 and photo and listing by March 31.

For more information, contact Leanne Goebel, Shy Rabbit Creative Development Team, at 731-1841 or call Shy Rabbit at 731-2766.

Business Women's Network Night March 15

A Pagosa Springs Business Women's Network Night is scheduled 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, at Bank of the San Juans, 305 Hot Springs Blvd.

Organizers ask you to join them for their monthly Business Women's Network Night. It's an informal and fun way to meet other local professional women and introduce your products and services to the group.

Enjoy refreshments and door prizes compliments of Bank of the San Juans. Bring your business cards and your friends.

St. Patrick's Day dance at community center

By Siri Schuchardt

Special to The PREVIEW

The next community center dance will be held 7:30-10:30 p.m. St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17.

The center will come alive with shamrocks and plenty of green and white decor with a touch of the Irish.

This month's dance will feature local DJ Bobby Hart, who had everyone up and moving at the October dance and has become quite a popular DJ around town.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door and include salty and sweet snacks. Tickets are available at WolfTracks and at the community center, where tables can be reserved with the purchase of eight to 10 tickets.

There will be a cash bar featuring beer, wine and soft drinks as we are no longer able to bring our own alcoholic beverages into the dances. Community center dances are for everyone age 21 and older, and ID may be checked at the door.

So, dig out the "Kiss Me I'm Irish" buttons, find something green to wear (not required and you won't get pinched if you don't wear greeen) and come out for a fun and affordable evening out on the town.

For more information, contact the center at 264-4152 or call me at 731-9670.

Unitarian Second Sunday meditation

On Sunday, March 12, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship holds its regular Second Sunday Meditation Service.

Its leader, April Merrilee, quotes from the UU Words of Affirmation: "The spirit of this Fellowship is love and service is its law. This is our covenant with each other: to dwell together in peace, to search for truth with love, and to help one another."

She continues, "Come experience the essence of these words through the practice of group meditation. Our purpose is to create and sustain a spiritual community which provides a strong sense of connection while supporting individual growth."

The tone for this service will be set with an opening chant to invoke higher consciousness, leading to a silent meditation with the power of focused group energy. (Participants are invited to bring their own meditation cushions.)

The service begins at 10:30 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.

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.

Local Chatter

A town needs a name, doesn't it?

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Ima Gurl first appeared in Local Chatter in the late 1980s and surfaced off and on over the years.

This is her "return" rambling.

There is a well-known community in central Kentucky named Pig. This community has a restaurant called "The Porky Pig Diner" that is famous for its catfish.

To eat catfish at the Porky Pig Diner is why visitors from all around the world detour Mammoth Cave National Park. (They are both in Edmonson County.)

Now, the sad thing is that the owners, Calvin Durham and his wife, Ramona, are having to sell the Porky Pig Diner for he is going to have back surgery and can't do all that standing on a concrete floor.

Is this a familiar story?

Pig is a close community. A sign between the two churches says that people have always done things together, but the legend is that they have not always agreed - and so this is the story of how Pig got its name.

The leading men of the community met in the community post office and were going to decide what to call it, and each of them wanted it named after their last name. They were kind of arguing about it when suddenly they saw a pig wandering down the road. When it went under the building and they had a hard time getting it out, they decided to call it Pig.

Now every town has to have a name, and Pig is as good as any.

If this summer you visit the Mammoth Cave National Park, detour to Pig so as to eat at the Porky Pig Diner.

Fun on the Run

The rules of chocolate

1) If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.

2) Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

3) The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car.

The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

4) Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.

5) A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?

6) If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?

7) Q. Why is there no such organization as Chocoholics Anonymous?

A. Because no one wants to quit.

8) Money talks, Chocolate sings. Beautifully.

9) Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger. Therefore, you need to eat more chocolate.

10) Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way at least you'll get one thing done.

11) If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?

Community Center News

Casino Royale, dance, rummage sale ... it's all at the center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Fun, food, an auction, and gaming!

The Rotary Club's Casino Royale fund-raiser is happening 6-9 p.m. March 11 in the center's multi-purpose room. Tickets are $50 per person, and all the money raised is spent in Pagosa to benefit the community. The Rotary Club gives back in the form of college scholarships, grants and other donations to other worthwhile efforts.

The event will feature several food stations and a cash bar. Four different casino games will be available: blackjack, roulette, craps, and Texas Hold 'Em.

And if that's not enough, there will be a silent auction of approximately $14,000 worth of items. Some have been donated by local businesses; other donations include professional sports memorabilia.

The evening revolves around a sports theme, so come dressed accordingly. Rotarians expect as many as 350 people to attend.

St. Patrick's Day dance

Purchase your tickets now and save. The dance program committee is getting ready with decorations for the St. Patrick's Day celebration 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, with DJ Bobby Hart providing the music.

New dance floor panels will be set up and ready for a big crowd. Thanks again to all who contributed toward the purchase.

Stop by the center or WolfTracks Bookstore to pick up tickets, which are only $5 per person if you purchase in advance. If you buy at the door, tickets are $8.

Prices for drinks at the cash bar are $3 for wine and beer and $1 for pop. This is an adult event, but it is not BYOB. Anyone who brings liquor will not be allowed to enter the building. Call Siri at 731-9670 or Mercy at 264-4152, Ext. 22 for information.

Rummage sale

This year's sale is 3-6 p.m. April 7, and 8a.m.-noon April 8.

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 who are not selling, should plan to come, browse, buy and enjoy the day. The center will sell snacks, food, and hot and cold beverages.

Scrapbooking club

Just a reminder that the Pagosa Springs 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. Come see how easy it is to create beautiful cards, invitations or scrapbook pages. The possibilities are endless.

Over-the-Hill Hoopsters

Larry Page has organized a twice weekly, early morning session of fun, friendship and basketball.

The Hoopsters meet for an hour at 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Prior basketball experience is not necessary - just bring a desire to enjoy yourself and meet others with the same goal.

Call Larry at 731-3984 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

By the way, Larry says you can participate even if you're not over the hill. You will still be welcome.

Post prom party

The Community Center, under the Teen Center program, is sponsoring this event 1-5 a.m. Sunday, April 30. Yes, 1-5 a.m. right after midnight April 29.

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 on Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, at 3-6 p.m. and 10-5 p.m. respectively. Space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cost is $40 and $50 for an 8x8 and 10x10 spaces. Proceeds from this show will be used to benefit community center programs and defray 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 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 will be set in April, possibly on weekends. Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know 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

Thanks to Diana Baird, who taught the yoga class last week. The weekly yoga group meets Thursday mornings for an hour, starting at 11 a.m.

Spiritual practices like yoga and meditation help quiet the mind and reduce stress. The focus in Richard Harris' class is on stretching and relaxation, and awareness of your body and particularly of your breathing.

Join this group to experience for yourself how yoga can affect your life. Dress in comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or a towel.

Computer lab news

We started the new series of beginner classes this week, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Wednesday class is the one reserved just for seniors.

Both classes are currently filled. However, if you have an interest in one of the next beginning computing groups or in using specific software programs, call the center at 264-4152 for more information. Don't forget that the Q&A session has moved to Thursday afternoons, 1-4 p.m.

Center's hours

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.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.; 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.

March 10 - Seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; open basketball, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.; Senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8- p.m.; Mage Knight, 3-6 p.m.; MTech meeting, 6-9 p.m.

March 11 - Girls' softball, 10-11 a.m.; Teen Center open , 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.; scrapbooking, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; MTech/Internet consulting, 1-5 p.m.; Casino Royale, 6-9 p.m.

March 12 - 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.; Clashfest music concert, 4-8 p.m.

March 13 - First Methodist Church Youth Bible study, 6:30-8:30 a.m.; intermediate school meeting, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Senior Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open (poker), 4-8 p.m.; drumming practice, 5:15-6:15 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA board meeting, 7-9 p.m.

March 14 - First Methodist Church Youth Bible study, 6:30-8:30 a.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8:30-9:30 a.m.; Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; 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.; Bible study, 5:45-6:45 p.m.; Chimney Rock potluck, 6-9 p.m.

March 15 - First Methodist Church Youth Bible study, 6:30-8:30 a.m.; computing skills (keyboard and mouse), 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; 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 16 - CO Rural water, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8:30-9:30 a.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.; Leading Edge/Small Business Development, 6-9 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

Skiing, snowshoeing, St. Pat's - all at The Den

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

The AARP Driver Safety Program, the nation's first and largest classroom refresher for motorists 50 and older, will be offered 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, and Wednesday, March 15, at Community United Methodist Church.

The class costs $10 and to register or for more information, call Don Hurt at 264-2337.

Quilting lessons

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

Join us at The Den in the dining area 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, 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. Attend the first meeting to find out what materials you will need to begin making your first quilt. The quilting club will meet every Wednesday in March.

Play the bagpipes

A great deal of uncertainty, conflict and controversy surrounds the questions of the origins, evolution and distribution of bagpipes.

Nevertheless, there they are and here we are, wondering where these marvelous instruments came from.

Jim Dorian, who has been playing the bagpipes for eight years, will be at The Den 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, to shed some light on these incredible instruments. Not only will he share information on the Scottish attire and the mechanics of the bagpipes, but he will also play a few tunes.

Skiing at Wolf Creek

Calling all skiers - first timers or pros.

The Den is going to Wolf Creek for a day of fun in the snow. Meet at The Den 8 a.m. Thursday, March 16, and dress warm for a day of skiing.

Prices are as follows: ski and boot rentals $13; if you are age 65 and over, lift tickets are $25; and for the first-timers there is a great package for $44 which includes your full-day ticket for the beginner lift and a full day of ski lessons 10 a.m.-noon, and 1-3 p.m. Reservations with The Den office were required by Tuesday, March 7, to enjoy this fun day on the slopes learning to ski or making some turns.

St. Patrick's Day party

Is your name O'Reilly, O'Mally or Monnahan?

Well, you do not need a good old Irish name to celebrate festivities on St. Patrick's Day!

Join us at The Den Friday, March 17, during lunch for a St. Patty's party. Wearing the green on St. Patrick's Day can win you some cool prizes for the most festive authentic Irish costumes.

There will be a green cake, green drinks and a little green on your plate to add to the tradition of the most celebrated color.

John Graves will play some favorite Irish tunes on the piano. Join us for an afternoon filled with fun, music and laughter.

Snowshoeing

If you like to hike, you'll love snowshoeing.

Snowshoeing is a great way to introduce yourself to winter backcountry travel. The wonderful thing about snowshoeing is that it's easy to learn and lots of fun.

To see how much fun snowshoeing can be, join The Den Thursday, March 23. We will meet our guides, Nancy and Jim Cole, at 9 a.m. at Pagosa Ski Rental, then head up to the West Fork trail (great for beginners) to enjoy the level terrain and beautiful scenery while walking in our snowshoes. The cost is $6 per person for snowshoe rentals.

Sign up at The Den by Friday, March 17, for this outdoor adventure. Whether your goal is to get out for a leisurely walk in the snow or go for a more physically challenging adventure higher into the mountains, snowshoeing is the way to go.

Thank you

The Den would like to thank Bill from the Choke Cherry Tree for sending beautiful flowers to The Den's dining room. The flowers not only brightened the room, but also brightened many people's day.

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 13th 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.

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.

We started the new series of beginner computer classes this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Wednesday class is the one reserved just for seniors. Both classes are currently filled. However, if you have an interest in one of the next beginning computing groups or in using specific software programs, call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

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 combined with 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.

Friday, 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.

Monday, March 13 - Medicare counseling, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 14 - Blood pressure checks, 11:30; canasta, 1 p.m.; AARP driving class at the Methodist Church, 1-5 p.m.

Wednesday, March 15 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.; quilting club, 1 p.m.; History and Playing of the Bagpipes with Jim Dorian, 1 p.m.; AARP driving class at the Methodist Church, 1-5 p.m.

Thursday, March 16 - Skiing at Wolf Creek (reservations required), meet at 8 a.m. at The Den; lunch in Arboles (reservations required) with $1 birthday lunch celebrations and a St. Patrick's Day Party; AARP tax assistance, by appointment only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday, March 17 - Green day, wear your color green to celebrate St. Patty's Day. Qi gong, 10 a.m.; St. Patrick's Day party with music by John Graves, lunchtime; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; final day to sign up for snowshoeing tour.

Menu

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

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

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

Monday, March 13 - Oven baked fish, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, whole wheat bread, and pineapple and mandarin oranges.

Tuesday, March 14 - Open barbecue beef sandwich, chicken rice soup with crackers, coleslaw and apricots.

Wednesday, March 15 - Porcupine meatballs, whipped potatoes and gravy, veggie medley, wheat bread and almond peaches.

Thursday, March 16 - Lunch in Arboles (reservations required). Chicken tenders, steamed rice with gravy, glazed carrots, whole wheat roll, pineapple and birthday cake; $1 birthday lunch celebrations.

Friday, March 17 - Oven fried chicken, potato salad, spinach, mandarin orange salad, cornbread, plums and a green cake.

Veteran's Corner

Who is a veteran, and how can we help?

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

I frequently encounter persons in my travels who do not realize they are veterans, even though they served in the military.

I venture to say that most of the men over 50 I meet, and some of the women too, are veterans. I can almost tell just by seeing them. Is there something a little more than normal about someone who has served in the military? Perhaps they stand a little taller, perhaps it is the look of pride when they see the Veteran Service Office sign over my door?

Veteran spotting

Since my office is next to the Colorado Driver's License Office I observe most people who have recently moved here from another state or location within Colorado. I keep my door open and I can usually spot a veteran waiting in line to renew or get a new driver's license.

Draft era

Maybe the younger crowd doesn't remember when it was mandatory for every physically and mentally fit male to serve in the military.

I sure remember; I was part of that era. It was called The Draft. Some say it might be coming back to fill the diminished ranks of the "all volunteer" military these days while our country is at war.

Cold War veterans

So who is a veteran?

Did they have to march off to war, serve in a foreign country during wartime?

No, not at all. They simply must have served in the military - during peacetime or wartime. Remember, our country was at peace for many years during what is now called the Cold War period. I was a part of that period. Luck of the draw you might say.

I served In the Navy in the late '50s, during peacetime. I'm considered a veteran just as much as those before or after me who served during a time of war.

Eligibility

To be eligible for most VA benefits, a person must have served in the U.S. armed forces for as little as one day, (if it was prior to Sept. 7, 1980), and received a discharge other than dishonorable. After that date, a veteran must have served 24 months of continuous active duty service to be eligible for VA health care benefits.

There are exceptions to the rule, such as if you were in the reserves and called up for active duty or by presidential order, and completed that active service.

The one exception to this rule is if you were in the armed forces reserves and served six months for training purposes. Unfortunately, this does not count towards the active duty requirement.

DD-214

If you're not sure about your veteran status, or perhaps no longer have your DD-214 discharge paper, stop by my office and I will be happy to assist you. We can send off for a certified copy of your DD-214 and all other military records that may be available (some were lost in a fire in 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis).

Like I always say, the best part is the price ... it doesn't cost you anything. There is never a charge for VA-related benefit and claims applications and information.

Share-A-Ride

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

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). 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.

Library News

Local authors in our library

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Archuleta County has a lot of resident writing talent.

Today I'm going to highlight books written by a few of our many local authors. All of these books are available at Sisson Library.

For the Western history buff:

- "Stetson, Pipe and Boots: Colorado's Cattleman Governor," a biography of Dan Thornton by Rodney Preston landed on my desk this week. A professor emeritus from Texas Tech University, Rod has written an interesting account of a Colorado legend.

Dan Thornton, governor of Colorado from 1951 to 1955, was a flamboyant character from childhood on. He tried his hand at everything from movies to oil. He drifted over to the UCLA student union one day and stood behind a pretty coed playing bridge. A week later he was engaged to her, the daughter of a wealthy man. Together they happily pursued his ranching ambitions and a long, loving relationship.

As a Colorado Senator he loved to quote James Freeman Clark, "a politician thinks of the next election, a statesman of the next generation." His entire life was marked by this kind of integrity and intelligence. This book is a good read about the history of cattle ranching and politics in the American west and Colorado.

For business owners and non-profit executives:

- In a different reading category, entirely, is Carole Howard's, just released 4th edition of "On Deadline: Managing Media Relations." This time-tested book is a concise guide to effectively publicizing, and speaking for, your organization. Carole especially emphasizes focusing on objectives first, then planning a media campaign that stays on target to meet those objectives.

There are tips on how to be interviewed by the media so that an executive tells his story well. The author provides specific directions on how to approach each different kind of publicity medium, from news releases to television and radio appearances.

The chapter, "Media Events, How to Make Them Work for You", is a great step-by-step guide to making the most of events. This handy reference tool is a little gold mine for business and non-profit managers in Pagosa. I'm reading it and taking notes for my work at the library and am grateful for the tutoring it offers.

For interpreters of dreams (and dreamers!):

Another prolific local author, Julie Gillentine, is an astrologer who conducts workshops all over the United States. We have her three books, "Messengers," "The Hidden Power of Everyday Things" and "Tarot and Dream Interpretation" in the library.

The most recent publication, "Tarot and Dream Interpretation," was released in 2003.

The author starts out by informing the reader of the history of dream interpretation from a wide range of cultural traditions, citing the Hindu Upanishads, Australian aborigines, Native Americans with their dream catchers, the I Ching and the Greeks.

In Chapter 2, she gives techniques and charts for recording one's own dreams. Then she launches into the meat of the book: how to use Tarot cards to interpret the dreams recorded.

The Tarot card depicted in color on the front of the book is such a gorgeous piece of art that I found myself wishing the depictions of the rest of the cards inside of the book could have been the same size and vibrant color. For the Tarot aficionado, I'm sure this is an interesting and useful book. For me, an outsider, it was an intriguing window to another tradition and frame of mind.

For those who want to sew it up:

- A month or so ago, I went to talk to the Piecemakers, our talented Pagosa quilting group, about the library's collection of books on quilting. My preparation for the speech brought me to the discovery of Pam Bono's fun quilting books.

She has authored at least ten in a series and they all feature the famous Zelda (www.zeldawisdom.com), an English bulldog, on the cover in some fabric related pose. Excuse me for saying it, but the pictures are a stitch! The newest one that I have in the stack in front of me is titled, "Rectangles, New Quick Piecing Tricks" and subtitled, "You CAN teach an old dog new tricks." I think even I, a non-quilter, could get started with the great photographs and excellent directions that are provided in this book.

Regardless of my readiness to pick up a needle, the books offer the same pleasure as reading a magazine on home decoration. The backdrop pictures used to display the quilts are full of wonderful decorating ideas. I enjoyed looking through the books and think that some of you will too.

This is my first investigational trek into our home literary turf. I'll continue my exploration of works by our talented local writers in future columns.

Arts Line

PSAC to offer marketing workshops for artists

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

It's time to wake up and market your business!

What business hasn't experienced a marketing slump? Perhaps it could be because of personal challenges, lack of motivation, the competition has a new service, technique, product, or maybe there's just more competition in Pagosa (and surrounding area) these days.

Pagosa Springs Arts Council presents a series of four marketing workshops, "Falling Forward: Web Site Marketing & Logistics" and "The Secret of Your Success: Marketing Your Biz," to be held April 18 and 20. The series is specifically directed toward artists, but would also benefit any business. Each session's information stands alone and sessions may be attended individually or as an entire series. All sessions will be held at the arts room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

As series presenter, I realize the marketing dilemma for artists and small businesses, as I have been in those very same trenches. For more than 25 years, I've continued to operate a thriving photography, graphic design, marketing consulting, marketing and photography workshops, and Web site design business. My business and artistic talents have given me ultimate success in an industry where most fail and I will present my successful strategies in this jammed-packed, two-day marketing series in Pagosa Springs.

Barring catastrophic events, businesses just don't dive into a "marketing slump."Marketing slumps can occur even when things are going well and you feel you can "coast." The problem is you can not coast uphill. Successful businesses don't wait to start their marketing ascent, as they know the longer they wait - the harder the climb!

"Falling Forward: Web Site Logistics" (session one) is April 18, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

Artists create great art and may even offer exception services, but how do they let everyone know it?

Creating and producing effective marketing for artists doesn't happen by accident. The public is increasingly turning to the Web as a quick source of information, working 24 hours for businesses. We'll deal with authentic Web site setup, design, and how to implement and market themselves through the Web's low cost in their business operations. Whether you have a site or are thinking about a site, this session will give you new ideas on how to fine-tune your site. Web site knowledge is not required when attending this session. And, if you are Web savvy, this session will turn you toward the next creative level.

Topics for this morning session include: Obtaining a Site, Setting a Web Site Budget, Hosting Resource and Fees, Registering a Site (Name), Sectioning Your Site, Web Editors (Front Page), Pre-Designed Sites, Creating "User Friendly" Sites, Choosing Images and Information for Your Site.

"Falling Forward: Web Site Updating & Front Page" (session two) is April 18, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

In marketing, you have to look forward and think ahead. This afternoon session will satisfy the attendee's need to gain more knowledge of how to update (or set up) a Web site. I will demonstrate the Web editor software Microsoft Front Page as a means to easily manage and change your site information. If you are familiar with Microsoft Word, then you can easily use Front Page.

In simple terms, Front Page is the word processing format (software) for the web. Surround yourself with others who have a desire to learn how to manage their own Web sites. This session will give participants a better knowledge of Web sites, providing them with a better ability and understanding when a need arises to communicate with web site designers. Topics for this afternoon session include: Creative Ideas to Market Your Site, Getting the Client to Your Site, Creating Repeat Site Traffic, Site Hit Number Strategies, E-Commerce, Co-op Sites, and Additional Site Links.

"The Secret of Your Success: Marketing Your Biz With Print Media" (session three) is April 20, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

When was the last time you broadened your print marketing habits? This session will help businesses fine-tune their marketing activities and target their customers more efficiently.

During this session, learn marketing failures and successes for large and small, new and established businesses. Learn more about how to grow your business. I will share those winning strategies and give participants the opportunity to interact and focus marketing efforts. Marketing is the true success for any business, including artists.

As a special bonus, resource vendors will be offering special marketing discounts to participants, allowing them to not only focus their marketing dollars but to also gain more marketing dollars to spend. Topics include: Print media (post cards, PR PACS, brochures), Press Releases, Coupons, Artist/Company Bio, Web Site Marketing, PR Images for Your Business, Self Printing Verses Professional Printing. Each participant will receive a free sample packet of successful marketing materials.

"The Secret of Your Success: Different Perspective Marketing Mix" (session four) is April 20, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

When it comes to spending marketing dollars, everyone is looking for the magic formula.

This marketing session is not about what's always right or wrong; it's about a different perspective.

Lining up your work passion with a keen marketing strategy will breed that "magic formula" for the marketing dollar. You may not be particularly good at coming up with marketing options on your own. This afternoon session focuses on the Perspective Marketing Mix for businesses. Highlights of the session include: Creating Print Marketing (Professional Design and Software Options), Implementing a Web Site, Media Resource List, Newspaper, Direct Mail, E-mail Marketing, Networking, Client Follow-up, and Company Branding.

This exciting marketing series is available to PSAC members and the general public. Advanced registration by April 7: Individual sessions are $45 for PSAC members, $55 general ($65 after April 7). Full-day sessions are $85 PSAC, $95 general ($105 after April 7). For advance registration and further information, call me at 264-4486 or visit www.wendysaunders.com and pagosa-arts.com.

Dodgson workshop

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.

Creativity by the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 18 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Logistics," 9:30 a.m.-noon.

April 18 - PSAC "FALLING FORWARD: Web Site Updating & Front Page," 1:30-4:30 p.m.

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

April 20 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Marketing Your Biz With Print Media," 9:30 a.m.-noon.

April 20 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Different Perspective Marketing Mix," 1:30-4:30 p.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

Pandemics? Bio warfare? No problemo

By Karl Isberg

PREVIEW Columnist

Pandemics.

Bio warfare.

The ultimate, nasty germ chill. Chemicals in the air and water. Bacterial aggression. Viral havoc.

It's in the news, it's in the collective mind, hard to avoid: alarm about weapons of mass destruction, threats of chemical and biological agents being introduced into populations causing mass casualties, deaths too hideous to describe, twitching limbs, bulging eyes, grinding teeth, foaming orifices.

It's painfully simple, this threat of bio warfare - simple and cowardly, rarely done eye-to-eye. A geek surreptitiously pumps and dumps substances into subways, hotel lobbies, schools, sports venues, theme parks, nightclubs, public restrooms, any place large groups congregate. Perhaps he puts bio-agents into an environment in aerosol form, spraying them from flimsy and clumsily-flown crop dusters onto urban populations while people play golf, eat greasy fast food, square dance, sell crack, celebrate birthdays and lay poolside, working on that oh-so-perfect tan.

Perhaps our ideological geekboy slips a smidge of bacteria in the taco salad, pops a virus into the champagne punch at the country club wedding reception.

This hostility does not require talent; it is available to a legion of bozos who haven't a shred of detectable skill. It doesn't even require a GED.

People are worried and the more talk about the possibility such an attack will occur, the greater our apprehension.

If man-made havoc were not enough, how about that bird flu? One day you're romping in the yard with your pet turkey, Delbert, and the next day your lungs are filling with viscous, ropy fluid and you are on your fevered way out of here ... in the express lane.

Do we have enough vaccine?

Are there antidotes to any of this?

Scientists across the nation gather to deal with the situation, dressed in natty, anal-retentive white jackets, wearing respirators and space-age face masks - some of the more fearful clad in Mylex suits - working on defenses against these unspeakable threats.

Inspectors are ransacking warehouses, scurrying around third-world countries feverishly ferreting out evidence of manufacturing operations, frantically searching for stockpiles. Inventory checks are underway at decrepit ex-Soviet nuclear and bio sites, rusting compounds tucked in valleys in the Urals, piles of toxin-bearing frozen wreckage plopped down in the endless tracts of Siberia. Everyone hopes, against hope, an enemy hasn't breached these poorly guarded facilities, doesn't possess these distressful substances, this terrifying capability.

Others are busying themselves slaughtering poultry in Thailand and Turkey - anywhere a poultry farmer's kid comes down with the sniffles.

What about smallpox?

How about botulinum?

Anthrax?

Marburg, Ebola and their awful hemorraghic cousins? You take a nature hike and, on your way home from the hinterlands, you slough off your intestinal lining and bleed out as you slump in Seat B-12 in the coach section of a 777. This is hideous business, folks.

People are freaking out. It's time to buy a gas mask, purchase crates of duct tape, rolls of plastic sheeting, build an airtight chamber in the crawl space.

Me, I'm not worried.

Not a bit.

I have the solution to the problem. I've identified a means to avoid all manner of biological and chemical attack, any and all pandemics and hideous viruses loosed by the destruction of the rain forests. I've identified our frontline troops in the battle.

I made this discovery last weekend.

At my mother-in-law's house in Denver.

The pieces to the puzzle were there in front of me; all I had to do was put them together.

The synthesis occurred at breakfast.

I looked across the '50s aluminum and Formica breakfast table at my mother-in-law, Ruth. She is 89 years old. She doesn't hear or see as well as she used to, but she is durable as an Abrams battle tank - despite a diet rich in all the foods guaranteed to kill you and a lifetime of little or no exercise.

Some would attribute Ruth's longevity to her Swedish genes. She is rarely ill, never seriously so. She cruises along like a Viking longboat plying the waters between Ireland and Britain, its passengers searching for a monastery to ransack, for monks to slaughter.

But, I've got Swedes in my family, and too many of them died young for me to support the Nordic thesis.

No, Ruth owes her durability - as do numerous, vigorous and frighteningly healthy oldsters - to a prolonged program of self-immunization.

In her kitchen.

Ruth and a growing number of her peers (most of them old dames) are pretty much immune to any bacterial or viral infection. They are unfazed by chemical and biological agents.

Bird flu?

Hah!

Anthrax?

You gotta be kiddin'.

These old gals create and maintain stocks of antibacterial and antiviral compounds and they ingest them regularly, constantly fine-tuning their immune systems.

They do the scientific work in their refrigerators.

I realized this when Ruth set to preparing breakfast for me and Kathy.

I decided to give my mother-in-law a hand.

"Why don't you get the eggs and bacon from the refrigerator," she said.

It was like opening the door to a clandestine laboratory.

I fished the "bacon" from the meat drawer. The package was sandwiched between some cloudy plastic bags containing substances in various states of transformation and decay. The palette of colors was extensive, ranging from bright and ominous greens to sunset-like pinks and oranges. An evolving, organic DeKooning painting in a drawer.

This was meat.

I asked Ruth if she wanted me to throw anything away.

"Oh no, it's still good. Had some yesterday. In fact, if you kids get back around noon, I'll make lunch. There's some bologna in there."

I peered at the packages, On one of them, faintly visible through a veneer of mold, was the word "Bologna." Dear heavens.

The "bacon" was a study in Ostwald complementary colors - the somewhat dulled red of the flesh creating a dramatic optical effect where it butted up against the green that had permeated the once white fat.

Kathy was assigned the task of making toast.

Afraid of smallpox? No worry: Eat a slice of Ruth's bread each day for two weeks and you are safe. I think it's the black dots that'll do the trick - the ones flourishing inside the green patches on the crust.

I examined the contents of the refrigerator. Some of the expiration dates on bottles went back to the mid 1990s. There were a couple of jars so old there were no expiration dates printed on the labels. Some jars had been in there so long the labels had disintegrated. I was no more tempted to open them than I'd be to open a canister of weapons-grade plutonium and help myself to a couple spoons' full.

I fished a jar from the top shelf and held it aloft.

"Oh, that's just fine," said Ruth. "I had some with my toast Friday. "My friend Audrey sent me that from Pennsylvania. It's either maple syrup or pickled herring. You know, when you kids get back, I bought some vanilla ice cream just for you."

The freezer compartment of the refrigerator hummed along at about 45-50 degrees. Nothing in the freezer was solidly frozen.

There was writing on two packages at the front of the compartment: "venison, 1985."

The vanilla ice cream was semi-molten. I dug through a forest of ice crystals and algae and took a core sample. There was a bit of white at the center of the block of dairy-like product, surrounded by a blanket of a yellowish, viscous substance.

"You're going to like this ice cream. I had a bowl last night before bed and it was great. I haven't slept that well in weeks."

We enjoyed several notable meals with Ruth while we were in Denver.

None of them at her house.

We ate at one of our favorite Chinese joints. We took Ruth to a French restaurant we've frequented for a couple decades. We hit a bistro specializing in "New American" cuisine - which, while eclectic, does not include multicolored colonies of bacteria on the bread and butter.

The French experience reminded me of two things: first, the French eat quite a few infested food products (leave it to those crafty French to survive a biological holocaust by chowing down on unpasterized cheeses) and, second, that I need to perfect a recipe for a scallop terrine.

I ate a terrine of this sort and was intrigued by the firm, cream-riddled, scallopy essence, pristine white, afloat in a bed of a buttery emulsion I am fairly sure included pulverized and strained crayfish, shrimp and fish stock.

It was extraordinary, blessed with a teensy kiss of pernod, baked in a bain marie until set, garnished with little bits of lobster or crayfish, the red-tinged meaty bits placed at the cardinal points around the superb, shimmering terrine finally free of its dish.

Wow, what a sentence!

Wow, what a recipe.

I'm going to master this puppy. I'm going to work a few wrinkles of my own, then try it on friends.

I'm going to prepare a forcemeat of scallops, some firm, white fish, a bit of shrimp, egg and heavy cream. I'll flavor the forcemeat with a splash of pernod, a bit of nutmeg, some tarragon, salt and pepper. Into individual ramekins the forcemeat will go and the little terrines will be cooked in a 350 oven, in a bain marie, for 25-30 minutes.

The sauce I'll start with a stock I'll make of fish and the shells of shrimp. I'll strain the sauce, reduce it, then liquefy some shrimp or crayfish, add it to the stock and strain again. A bit of pernod, a bit of salt and pepper and a substantial amount of butter right at the end to thicken and shine up the whole mess. I'll plop the terrines out of the ramekins and bed them in slicks of sauce, garnishing with little hunks of crayfish. I'll keep trying until I get the right seasonings in terrine and sauce. I might work with some lobster in the forcemeat.

Once I'm satisfied with the recipe, I'll indulge the terrine in comfort, unafraid, unburdened of worries of imminent attack and infection.

In fact, I'll make and eat these puppies for six or seven nights in a row.

I'm not supposed to eat scallops and shellfish, what with my propensity for gout but, from what I've learned, this regimen should cure me in homeopathic fashion.

After all, there is a legion of 80-plus American gals out there, healthy, happy and following this course. If you can't trust them, who can you trust?

We need to muster them into service.

I intend to create a list of elderly local residents who can make the invaluable products of their pantries and refrigerators available to the rest of the population.

I'll compose a schedule at each location - for breakfasts, lunches, dinners - and print it in the paper.

We'll each be required to have at least one meal per week for three months with these valiant old gals, these patriot scientists, these sly and persistent guardians of our public safety.

The occasions can serve two purposes: medical and social. Take along some photos of the family and, by all means, try the toast.

Give us your best shot, Osama. Chickens, turkeys who cares?

We're immune. We've got you beat.

Oh, and I think I'll set one of the terrines aside on the kitchen counter for a week or so, then send it to Ruth.

I think she'll like it.

Pagosa Lakes News

Odd turns on Exercise Avenue

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

I subscribe to a number of fitness industry publications and so am able to keep up with the newest and the latest, or so I thought.

It all started with a phone call a couple of weeks ago - from a timeshare owner - asking, "Do you have lap dancing?"

I went through our list of program offerings but none met his expectation.

Turned out what he wanted was a whole lot more exotic than what the recreation center offers; maybe even more than what's available here in our community.

Most club members are focused on taking it off ... but taking it all off?

Sure, our members are shedding pounds, but some (not here) are also shedding inhibitions in pole dancing classes.

Pole dancing, an activity generally associated with strip joints, is gaining in popularity as a way to burn calories and tone muscles - in health clubs. The slick chrome poles are becoming a familiar fixture in the fitness arena and are promoted with class names like Party Pole or Polateez.

Pole-dancing followers claim it's a heck of a workout, offering cardiovascular benefits, and works the upper body, the core, and often neglected muscles, such as those in the fingers and wrists, which are not easily targeted with weights.

Participants often dress in a sexy fashion and feel sexy. I guess it's a sanitized version of erotic dancing.

Because science and technology continue to push the fitness envelope, another training tool is vibrating equipment. Manufacturers of these products explain the equipment generates mechanical vibrations that trigger 30-50 involuntary muscle contractions per second in the user. Wow!

Muscle cells and tissue, stressed by the vibration, automatically contract in response - it's as though all the muscle cells are firing virtually nonstop.

Does it melt fat away?

Did you know a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top. Why does vibrating equipment bring this to mind?

PLPOA election

There will be three vacancies on the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors in July.

Two are for the full three-year term and the third is an irregular term of one year.

Residents of Pagosa Lakes who own property within PLPOA and are members of the association in good standing are eligible to run for office. Attendance at board meetings and special work sessions is a requirement.

If you are able and willing, and have an interest in staying involved with the community by serving as a board member, please stop by the PLPOA administrative office at 230 Port Ave. to pick up an application. Deadline for applications is May 15.

Obituaries

Claudette Risher

Claudette L. Risher was born Sept. 23, 1934, in Atlanta, Georgia. She died February 23, 2006.

She is survived by her daughter, Sandy Ragsdale. Claudette lived in Arboles for the last six years.

 Business News
Chamber News

Tell us what you want in seminars

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

I'm not sure that I'm ready for all this nice weather.

It is still the beginning of March and we could use more moisture. So I'll continue to hope for a little more snow or even rain and ignore some of the flowers that are already popping out around town.

We're also over our hiatus, during the "slow" time of the year, and now we kick into the mid-season for community activities. Here are some of the things that are on tap for us.

St. Patrick's Day parade

Now is the time to get your floats and participants together for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade to be held Friday, March 17.

The parade will begin at 4 p.m. with floats arriving and getting lined up starting at 3:30 p.m. Line-up is on South 6th Street where the parade starts. The parade will travel down San Juan and Pagosa streets and end at 2nd Street.

Participation forms are available at the Chamber with an entry fee of $3.17. There will be cash prizes for the most bizarre float, the greenest float and the overall best float. With these categories, how can your imagination not run wild.

This will be a big spring break week for visitors, so come on out, show off your business, and strut your stuff. Give us a call here at the Chamber at 264-2360 if you need us to fax you a form. Or, check the back of your most recent Chamber newsletter for the entry form. Remember, on March 17, everyone is Irish!

Friday fish fry

It's that highly anticipated time of the year when the lines form and participants indulge in the delicious fried catfish and fresh French fries that the Knights of Columbus dish out every Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street. Along with the fish and fries comes cole slaw, hush puppies, ice cream, and drinks.

I don't think I've ever seen the hall so crowded on the opening Friday as it was this year. The weekly fish fries will continue until April 7. Takeout is available and the wait in line is worth the tasty dinner. So, come out for some great camaraderie and low cal fried fish. It's worth blowing the diet, just through the Lenten season.

Melodrama

Thursday, March 9, through Saturday, March 11, the Music Boosters will present their annual spring production.

This year it is "Lily, the Felon's Daughter." Performances start at 7:30 p.m. every night with a 2 p.m. matinee performance Saturday, March 11. Tickets are available in advance at the Plaid Pony at $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children and students. Always sticklers for authenticity, be assured the Music Boosters will give a performance with beautiful period costumes and great scenery. Don't wait to buy your tickets at the door; get them now.

Rotary Casino Night

Pull out your best jersey, letter jacket or cheerleading outfit and head out to the community center Saturday, March 11, for Rotary's annual Casino Royale.

This year's theme of March Madness brings the fun and frenzy of athletics, particularly basketball, to our community.

Tickets are available from all Rotary members, and at sponsor banks, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and here at the Chamber. Tickets are $50 each and that also gets you started with $50,000 in funny money to play blackjack, craps, roulette, and Texas Hold 'Em.

This major fund-raising event for the Rotary Club allows it to put 100 percent of the proceeds back into the community in the form of scholarships, local community and teacher grants, and other worthwhile local causes.

Fun begins at 6 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. The entertainment level is always high, and you get to support this generous community cause while you have fun.

Attention artists

This is a reminder that the call for entries for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council's 2007 calendar ends Thursday, March 9.

What a great 2006 calendar it was (we sold out at the Chamber) and 2007 is expected to be even better. Only 12 images and a cover will be selected. Subject matter should be limited to Archuleta County and should represent a particular month.

All types of mediums are encouraged and the few stipulations are that the image must be in horizontal format and that there are two entries per artist. The entry fee is free to PSAC members and $25 for non-members, and it includes a one-year membership in the Arts Council.

We still have a 2006 calendar here at the Chamber should you like to see some of the work submitted by previous entrants.

For more information you can call the Arts Council at 264-5020 or e-mail them at psac@centurytel.net. With all the local talent, I don't envy the judges making the final decisions.

Family story hour

Family Story Hour is 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Ruby Sisson Library.

The Pagosa Pretenders will lead the story hour and the event is for the whole family. Take time to include yourself and your children in some fun learning practices.

Don't forget the third Friday of the month, (this month it is March 17), the library also hosts the Afternoon Library Club. The reading groups start at 1:30 p.m. and the sessions last until about 3 p.m.

On March 17, you can leave the club meeting, hang for a bit, then come out to the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Both reading sessions are free and there will be games, book discussions, stories and more. Thanks to all the volunteers and staff that make these fun events happen at our library.

Tree and shrub sale

You have until Friday, March 17, to order your conservation tree and shrub seedlings.

Remember, you must own at least two acres of land and the plantings must be used for conservation purposes: conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habitat enhancement. The trees will be available to pick up April 12. Stop by the San Juan Conservation District Office at 505A Piedra Road or give them a call with your order at 731-3615.

Chamber memberships

We didn't have much of a chance to highlight the ribbon cutting event held last week at The Corner Store/Old West Spirits, now owned and managed by Phil Janke and Chester Freeman. They had gas happy-hour specials, a barbecue and lots of drawings. While Phil and Chester are new to this business, as with any successful business, their employees are the key. Dave Sprowle, Dave Karlish and Bob Arnold are longtime Corner Store employees and they are "the know" of the store and the area. If you want to know what's happenin', go see these guys like I do. Min is the new manager of Old West Spirits, and Nicole, Seth, Sandy and Gayle make up the rest of the stores' team. Never allowing grass to grow under their feet, Phil and Chester also own Katahdin (northern white cedar) Log Homes and they are the dealers for most of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. We appreciate their Chamber support and wish them a very successful ownership.

Another ribbon cutting on the horizon is the opening of the new photography studio by Art Franz. Stop by his studio Saturday, March 18, for food, door prizes and, since we're in the holiday spirit, Irish dancing. The fun will be going on 1-6 p.m. and the ribbon cutting will be around 3 p.m. Art's new studio is located at 2035 Eagle Drive in the Mountain View Shopping Center and it will be filled with his pictures and portraits and, of course, lively entertainment. Come by and support one of our new Chamber members: Art Franz and PhotoGraphic Art.

As we gear up to host some mini seminars starting the beginning of April, I want to again remind business owners they need to take care of themselves if they are going to take care of their businesses. That not only means taking time out for yourself but also keeping yourself abreast of the latest techniques specific to your business, as well as trends in general.

The Chamber will offer business owners the opportunity to enhance their business savvy, thereby enhancing their business prowess. Stay tuned as we offer different types of seminars from full-day events to sessions lasting several hours, starting in April. We want to help you be the best business you can be and keep you informed of current trends.

Let's welcome Wolf Creek Communications and High Country Locksmith owned by Ron Geers. Wolf Creek Communications can help you with telephone systems for your business, computer networking, satellite TV installation, and home theater and security systems. Include Wolf Creek Communications on your list for business or home communications systems and call 731-5051. You can also use this same number for High Country Locksmith. From lock repair to rekeying to keys made and safe sales, Ron takes his home security business one step further than most. We are pleased to have a locksmith back on our Chamber membership roster. If you're locked out of your car, call us and we can get you a number. Congratulations, and welcome aboard Ron.

We also welcome another new member: Donald MacLeod, a Real Estate Services Company. Don's business offers unique personalized real estate services to the discriminating few. He can be contacted at 731-2872. We would also like to thank Frank Elge with Clarion Mortgage for referring Donald. Frank will receive a complimentary SunDowner admission for his referral!

Our renewals this month include: Matt Yoksh and Pagosa Ski and Snowboard Rentals; Bill Goddard and The Choke Cherry Tree; Best Value High Country Lodge, owned by Dick and Kathy Fitz; Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge and Squirrel's Pub and Pantry; Harmony Works and owner Catharine Carter; Yale Espoy at Isabel's Restaurant; Larry Page and Mountain West Insurance; Fulbright Construction, Inc, with Brian and Holly Fulbright; Susan Angelo, with Pagosa Realty Rentals; Kathryn Heilhecker and her business, Jafra Cosmetics; and, last and certainly not least, Mountain Heights Baptist Church and Pastor Bart Burnett.

As always, lots of information to absorb, lots of events to keep up with and lots of members to welcome.

I'm still taking requests on times and themes concerning what businesses want in the way of seminar "snippets." Please let me hear from you. We want to design courses that work for you.

People
Cards of Thanks

Laverty benefit

The Bluegrass and Blues Concert to benefit the Laverty family raised $ 5,841.50, and thanks to efforts by individuals and groups, donations are still coming in.

Heart strings were touched as musicians offered their encouragement to the Laverty family. Even Kurt Laverty, Danna's husband, dusted off his singing pipes and joined his friends Bluegrass Cadillac for a few tunes at the end of the concert. It was an event we will not soon forget.

On behalf of the Lavertys, the Downing family would like to thank the following for making the concert a success:

Al DeBoer of Restoration Fellowship Church for use of the fine facility, Ian Kelley and Ion Fount, Foxfire Bluegrass, The Hot Strings, Dan Appenzeller, Susannah Ninnichik, Chris Baum, Bob Hemenger, Jack Ellis, Bluegrass Cadillac, The Teen Center, Greg Wells and Mike Daniels who ran the sound board like a finely oiled machine, The Lyle family who took money and never left their post, Katie Vowles, Becca Stephens, Ben Owens, Shawn and RayAnn Curvey for watchin' our girls, Curtis Maberry for his special encouragement, Mark Thompson, and Randy Blue. We would also like to thank KWUF, KNMI, KSUT, The Pagosa SUN, the Durango Herald, The Bayfield Pine River Times, Pagosa.com, and the Telluride Daily Planet for advertising the concert.

Red Cross

The Archuleta County American Red Cross group under the Durango Chapter, would like to thank the community center and the community that donates to this superb facility.

On Saturday, March 4, the Pagosa group held a Disaster Action Team training session at the center. On behalf of the American Red Cross, Kathie Baughman, Pagosa ARC training coordinator, would like to thank the staff at the community center, who helped make this training session a success. On her day off, Mercy Korsgren opened the doors one hour early, and Becky and Michelle provided technical support. The facility was spotless, the computer lab was available and the equipment functioned perfectly. Archuleta County is fortunate to have a facility that reflects the high standards and spirit of the people in the county.

Also, the Red Cross would like to thank the Pagosa Springs volunteers for participating in the disaster training. Please contact Kathie for additional training information at 264-0716.

Hospice

Wow! What an amazing turnout we had for the second annual Soup For The Soul dinner last Thursday. More than 200 people came for soup, salad, breads and desserts prepared and donated by Boss Hogg's, City Market Country Center, City Market Downtown, Dionigi's Italian Caffe, Dorothy's Restaurante, Farrago's Market Cafe, 4 & 20 Baking, Higher Grounds Coffee, JJ's Upstream, Naturally Yours, Pagosa Baking Company, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Shamrock Foods, The Getaway, U.S. Foods, Victoria's Parlor, and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee.

Many, many thanks to our generous sponsors, incredibly hard-working volunteers, and all who supported our dinner.

Hospice of Mercy staff and volunteers

Library

Because of the generosity of the following people the hardback, paperback, CD, books on tape, video and magazine sections of the library have been enhanced.

Marcia Barrett, Sandy Bramwell, Jim Brinkman, Bob and Jan Clinkenbeard, Edward Crutchley, Jackie Donoghue, Dennis Frantz, Maggie Gabel, Zoe Groulx, Dick Hamilton, Jennifer Hedrick, Karin Hoot, Ellen Jackson, Leslie Jackson, Evelyne Kantas, the George Lyle Family, John Mathis, Sheila McKenzie, Pagosa Pretenders, Nomad Pendragon, Vivian Rader, Janet Reseigh, Lee Ann Richey, Margaret Rouke, Robbie Schwartz, Garry Scoggins, Henry Silver, James Vanliere, Jeff Versaw, Laurie Walton, Beverly Warburton, William Wetzel and Paula Yerton.

Your donations to the library were very much appreciated. Those who use the library always benefit from our donations.

Christine Anderson

Ruby Sisson Library staff and board volunteers

Weddings

Tottenhoff-Weiler

Mark Weiler wed Leslie Tottenhoff of Miami, Florida, Jan. 7 at the Golden Ocala Country Club in Ocala, Florida.

Mark Weiler is president of Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

Sports Page

Pirates tame Buffaloes

again for trip to 'Great Eight'

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

This is getting to be a good habit.

Not an old one, but a good one!

For the fourth consecutive year the Pagosa Springs High School basketball Pirates have advanced to the 3A state tournament in Fort Collins with an invitation to the "Great Eight."

For the second consecutive season, the Pirates had to get past the Bishop Machebeuf Buffaloes from the Denver Metro 3A league in the region final to qualify for the trip.

For the second consecutive season, it appeared the Buffaloes stayed up most of the previous night in their hotel rooms celebrating a first-round victory. When it came to game time they looked anything but like they did in their opening win.

Or maybe it is because the Pirates are just that good.

Give credit where credit is due.

The Pirates (15-6), with seniors Craig and Casey Schutz and Paul Przybylski playing in their last home game for the black and gold, used a stout pressure defense and a good balanced scoring attack to send the Buffaloes (12-12) back to Denver and out of the playoffs again by a big score of 58-36.

With the win, the Pirates earned the right to meet the Kent Denver Sun Devils in the state 3A tournament quarterfinals today at 8:30 p.m. Kent (20-3) won its regional tournament, defeating the University Bulldogs from Greeley last Saturday.

It looked like a close matchup when Pagosa and Machebeuf opened cold in a first quarter that saw a low 7-5 lead for the black and gold. The turning point of the game came with just over three minutes left in the first half when junior Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, who had been sitting with two fouls, returned to the lineup to spark a 6-0 run for Pagosa to put them in the lead for good. The Pirates wore down the tired Buffaloes in the third on an 18-8 quarter, then coasted home for the win.

Coach Jim Shaffer had nothing but praise for his team. "We have a great group of kids who played hard and came back for a big win over another good basketball team. We started out slow, but came back and executed in the second half." The Pirates put up 35 points in the second half and were 71 percent from the line.

Shaffer added, "I liked the way Paul (Przybylski) and Derek (Harper) played defense tonight. They held their top scorer (Matt McIntyre) in check all game. And Craig (Schutz) played (Nick) Branch well all game." The defensive effort held McIntyre to 13 points and Branch, playing in the post, to just three.

He ended by saying "we will have our work cut out for us against Kent. They have some excellent players and have been ranked very high all year. This will be a good test for our team."

Craig Schutz led the Pirates and tied for game-high honors with 13 points and 16 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Hilsabeck followed with 10 points on three of four from the field and four of four from the charity stripe. Junior Caleb Ormonde, playing one of his best games, followed with nine on four of five in the paint. Casey Schutz added eight on three of four from the field, Harper six, Przybylski five, junior Jordan Shaffer four and junior Adam Trujillo three.

Shaffer pulled down six rebounds and Hilsabeck carded five assists.

For the Buffaloes, M.T. Tuggle followed McIntyre with six points and both Matt McDonald and Alex Bullock netted five. Branch and Will Myer rounded out their scoring with three and two.

Craig Schutz controlled the opening tip over the taller Branch and quickly scored for the Pirates. Both teams were fighting turnovers and a lid on the basket in a slow first quarter that ended at 7-5. Hilsabeck committed two fouls and had to sit.

The second quarter started as a carbon copy of the first: Craig Schutz netted four and Shaffer two at the line from a foul on a layup attempt. Ormonde kept the score close for the Pirates but McIntyre hit two long treys from the top of the key to tie the score. The key play came after Hilsabeck came back in at the 3:25 mark. He scored two off a fast break steal that sent the Pirates on a 6-0 run to go into the locker room up by eight. Shaffer and Craig Schutz added points in the run and Ormonde a jumper with 20 seconds left.

Harper hit a long jump shot for two, Hilsabeck a driving layup and Craig Schutz tanked a three from the left wing to continue the run in the third and put the Pirates up by 15 with less than six minutes showing. Harper and Casey Schutz both hit long jumpers just inside the three point line but McIntyre came back for his third trey to keep the Buffaloes in the game with four minutes remaining. Hilsabeck and Przybylski then scored on fast breaks to keep the lead at 16. With just over one minute remaining, the refs called a technical on the Buffaloes' bench and Casey Schutz hit both to end the third with the score at 41-23 for the good guys.

Craig Schutz opened the fourth on an inside deuce and another long two-pointer by Casey Schutz put the Pirates up by 20. Coach Shaffer brought the seniors out of the game, starting with just under five minutes remaining, to loud cheers from the big crowd. The remaining juniors on the court, led by Hilsabeck, Ormonde and Trujillo, rounded out the scoring for Pagosa.

And then they cut down the nets.

Summary

Bishop Machebeuf - 5, 10, 8, 13-36

Pagosa Springs - 7, 16, 18, 17-58

Scoring: Shaffer, 0-0,0-0,4-4,4; Hilsabeck, 3-4,0-0,4-4,10; Przybylski, 2-3,0-2,1-2,5; Trujillo, 0-2,0-1,3-4,3; Harper, 3-5,0-1,0-2,6; Casey Schutz, 3-4,0-1,2-2,8; Travis Richey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Ormonde, 4-5,0-0,1-3,9; Casey Hart, 0-1,0-0,0-0,0; Craig Schutz, 5-8,1-3,0-0,13. Rebounds: Shaffer 6, Hilsabeck 3, Przybylski 1, Harper 1, Casey Schutz 2, Richey 2, Ormonde 4, Hart 2, Craig Schutz 16.

State tournament

The Pirates will open 3A state tournament play today at the Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University. The other six representatives to the "Great Eight" along with Pagosa and Kent Denver are St. Mary's-Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Christian, Denver Christian, Buena Vista, Roaring Fork and Faith Christian. This is a double elimination tournament. The tournament schedule is:

- Thursday, March 9

Upper bracket

St. Mary's-Colorado Springs (16-7) versus Colorado Springs Christian (19-4) at 1:15 p.m.

Denver Christian (25-1) versus Buena Vista (22-3) at 5:30 p.m.

Lower bracket

Kent Denver (20-3) versus Pagosa Springs (16-6) at 8:30 p.m.

Roaring Fork (21-2) versus Faith Christian (19-6) at 10:15 a.m.

- Friday, March 10

Consolation

Two losing teams from upper bracket at 10:15 a.m.

Two losing teams from lower bracket at 1:15 p.m.

Final Four

Winners from lower bracket at 5:30 p.m.

Winners from upper bracket at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 11

Consolation

Winners from Consolation round at 10:15 a.m.

Third Place

Losers from Final Four at 1:15 p.m.

Final

Winners from Final Four at 7:45 p.m.

To see the complete boys' 3A state tournament 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.

Pirates corral Mustangs, ride to regional final

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Craig Schutz, the Pagosa Springs Pirates' senior post player, must have felt a need to make up for a lackluster showing in the district championship game in Bayfield.

Make up for it, he did.

Schutz, playing in his next-to-last game in the PSHS gym, muscled in a season-high 30 points against the taller Colorado Academy Mustangs and led the Pirates into the "Sweet Sixteen" by corralling the Mustangs 70-49 last Friday in first round regional action.

The win sent the No. 2 seeded Pirates (15-6) into the second round regional against the No. 6-seeded Bishop Machebeuf Buffaloes (12-11) who upset the No. 3-seeded Lamar Savages 59-56 earlier that day.

The loss meant the Mustangs had to saddle up and head back to Denver.

Assistant coach Wes Lewis said after the game, "We played well at times and our transition game was good. We were able to push the ball and get some easy looks off the fast break." The Pirates were 53 percent from the field and 14 of 18 from the free-throw line.

Lewis went on to say, "We knew from our scouting reports that they had some players who could score and they would get their points, but we kept them in check. And Craig (Schutz) was fun to watch tonight. He is not as tall as their post guys but he dominated them inside." The Mustangs' center, David Jones, was held to 16 points while guard Mark Hubbard was held to just 13.

Craig Schutz was 10 of 18 inside the paint and a perfect seven for seven from the line. He was followed by senior Casey Schutz who netted 10 on three of seven from the field. Senior Paul Przybylski, who had the ominous chore of guarding heavyweight Evan Simmons, and junior Caleb Ormonde added seven each. Junior Jordan Shaffer tanked in five and junior Derek Harper four. Juniors Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, Adam Trujillo and Travis Richey each carded two and junior Casey Hart rounded out the scoring with one.

Schutz led Pagosa with eight rebounds and Hilsabeck bounced ten assists.

Following Jones and Hubbard for the Mustangs was Jake Corkin with six points and Avery Harrison plus others for two each.

Academy controlled the opening tip and Hubbard tanked a trey. Przybylski hit two from the line after a layup attempt and Craig Schutz hit four inside to give the Pirates the lead. Hubbard hit a second long trey then Casey Schutz answered with his own from the left wing. Four quick points by the Mustangs put them up by three at the 4:12 mark. Then Ormonde came in for five points and Craig Schutz put up six more to put the Pirates back on top. Shaffer hit two on a neat inside move and was fouled with less than two seconds remaining to put Pagosa up for good at the buzzer, 21-14.

Przybylski opened the second period on a fast-break steal for two. Craig Schutz had a putback for two that started a 9-0 run for the Pirates at the five minute mark. His three pointer from the top of the key and points by Hilsabeck, Casey Schutz and Ormonde put the black and gold up by 15 going into the locker room.

Przybylski came out for another fast break layup to open the third. Hubbard netted two more treys to cut the lead to nine with five minutes showing on the clock. Both Schutz brothers sank four more each and Harper a short jumper on another 10-3 run for the home team that put them up by 17 at the buzzer.

Then the Larry, Curly and Moe Show came out for the fourth period. The virtual trio did a "woop, woop" and untied everybody's shoe laces, starting with the referees and ending with the Mustangs. Their routine caused a halt in the game that delayed free throws by Shaffer. Craig Schutz responded with a "woop, woop" of his own on seven straight points to put the game out of reach. Shaffer, Richey and Trujillo ended the scoring for the Pirates.

In regional action elsewhere in the state, Middle Park (16-6) defeated Bayfield (19-4) 77-66 in overtime and Roaring Fork (20-2) defeated Ignacio (10-13) 51-45.

Summary

Colorado Academy - 14, 11, 15, 9-49

Pagosa Springs - 21, 19, 17, 13-70

Scoring: Shaffer, 2-5,0-2,1-3,5; Hilsabeck, 1-1,0-1,0-0,2; Przybylski, 2-3,0-2,3-4,7; Trujillo, 1-3,0-0,0-0,2; Harper, 2-3,0-2,0-0,4; Casey Schutz, 3-7,1-3,1-1,10; Richey, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Ormonde, 3-4,0-0,1-1,7; Hart, 0-2,0-0,1-2,1; Craig Schutz, 10-18,1-1,7-7,30. Rebounds: Shaffer 6, Hilsabeck 4, Przybylski 1, Trujillo 1, Harper 2, Casey Schutz 2, Richey 2, Ormonde 4, Hart 2, Craig Schutz 8.

Baseball tryouts Saturday

Tryouts for the 11- and 12-year-old traveling baseball team will be held 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 11 on the high school parking lot (weather permitting).

Players: bring your glove and a parent.

For more information, call Lisa Vrazel at 731-3721.

Lady Pirates down Cedaredge, next stop Fort Collins

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

The choice was easy for the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates in their quest for a trip to Fort Collins and a spot in the 3A state basketball tournament: Beat the Cedaredge Bruins in the regional final and go on; or lose and stay home.

Seniors Emily Buikema, Caitlin Forrest, Kari Beth Faber and Liza Kelley, playing in their last home game in the black and gold, had that stay-at-home feeling last year when they lost in the regional final to the Colorado Springs Christian Lady Lions.

This year, they would not be denied.

Playing the same inspired basketball that won them the district tournament championship, the Lady Pirates (19-5) shook off some early staleness and beat the upstart Bruins 51-40 Saturday afternoon to earn the trip they have been waiting a year to take. The Bruins (13-10) had upset St. Mary's of Colorado Springs a day earlier and were looking for a second.

It is the Bruins' turn to have that stay-at-home feeling.

Led by the most balanced scoring attack this season, with four Pirates in double figures, Pagosa took until the third period to solve the Bruins' style on a 6-0 run to break open a surprisingly close game. Pagosa went up by as many as 14 points in the final stanza, then coasted to the win.

The Lady Pirates earned the right to play the Denver Christian Lady Crusaders (23-1) in the quarterfinals of the state tournament today at 7 p.m. in the Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University.

Coach Bob Lynch said after the game, "We played a pretty good basketball game today. Our kids stepped up big against a fine (Cedaredge) basketball team. We started out a little slow but finished it off in the fourth quarter."

Coach Lynch added, "I liked our balanced scoring attack with four in double figures. This is the most balance we have had all year. In these last two games we have continued to play with the same intensity that we used (against Centauri) in the district finals."

He finished by saying, "We are looking forward to the trip to the state tournament. Denver Christian has an outstanding record and basketball team. It will take our best effort and intensity in this one."

Junior Jessica Lynch led Pagosa in scoring with another fine outing and 14 points on four of six from the field and three of five from the free throw line. The other Pirates in double figures included Faber, having one of her best scoring games with 13 on five of eight from the field; Kelley, with 11 on three of eight from the field; and Buikema, with 10 on three of six in the paint and four of five from the line. Junior Lyndsey Mackey and Forrest rounded out the scoring with two and one.

Buikema led Pagosa with nine rebounds while Faber and Forrest had five each. Lynch recorded four assists.

For the Bruins, Shorty Ramos led all scoring with 16 from her guard position, followed by center Amanda Jones with 11 in the paint. Lexi Galvin finished with four for the visitors.

The Lady Pirates controlled the opening tip off to start a slow first quarter. With the game beginning at 1 p.m. it seemed everyone was just starting to look alive. Buikema opened the scoring, then Lynch sank four to put the home team in front 7-0 at the 4:45 mark. Buckets by Kelley and Mackey put the lead to eight but the Bruins came back on an 8-0 run to tie the game after one.

Kelley and Buikema scored four quick points to open the second period and built the lead back to six with 4 minutes showing. Buikema and Kelley both kept the Pirates ahead but another run by Jones in the paint for the Bruins put them back in it with score 25-21 at intermission.

That tough championship style came back for the Pirates on a 6-0 run to start the third quarter, on a bucket by Faber and a layup by Lynch. Buikema broke away for two on a fast-break steal then Lynch added two more that increased the lead to nine at the 3:20 mark. Lynch added three the old fashioned way and Faber banked one in with nine seconds showing for a 38-29 Pirates' lead.

The Bruins came out aggressive in the final stanza to try and show their mettle. But they were a bit too aggressive and sent the Pirates to the free-throw line seven times. Faber, Kelley and Lynch all scored from the charity stripe to put the lead at 14 with less than three minutes showing. Forrest got her first point with 37 seconds left to end the scoring.

In other regional action, the Centauri Lady Falcons (21-1) also won the right to attend the state tournament with a convincing 73-26 win over the Colorado Academy Lady Mustangs (14-10). The Falcons will face St. Mary's Academy Lady Wildcats (18-7) in their first round action, also today.

Summary

Cedaredge - 11, 10, 8, 11-40

Pagosa Springs - 11, 14, 13, 13-51

Scoring: Lynch, 4-6,1-2,3-5,14; Mackey, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Kelley, 3-8,1-1,2-2,11; Samantha Harris, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kim Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 5-8,0-0,3-4,13; Buikema, 3-6,0-0,4-5,10; 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; Kristen DuCharme, 0-1,0-0,0-1,0; Forrest, 0-3,0-0,1-2,1. Rebounds: Lynch 2, Kelley 2, Faber 5, Buikema 9, DuCharme 1, Forrest 5.

State tournament

The Lady Pirates will open 3A state tournament play today at the Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University. The other representatives to the "Great Eight" along with Pagosa and Denver Christian include Faith Christian, Platte Valley, Centauri, St. Mary's Academy, Eaton and Colorado Springs Christian. This is a double elimination tournament. The tournament schedule is:

- Thursday, March 9

Upper bracket

Faith Christian (22-3) versus Platte Valley (21-4) at 8:45 a.m.

Denver Christian (24-1) versus Pagosa Springs (19-5) at 7 p.m.

Lower Bracket

Centauri (21-1) versus St. Mary's Academy (18-7) at 4 p.m.

Eaton (22-3) versus Colorado Springs Christian (21-3) at 11:45 a.m.

- Friday, March 10

Consolation

Two losing teams from lower bracket at 8:45 a.m.

Two losing teams from upper bracket at 11:45 a.m.

Final Four

Winners from upper bracket at 4 p.m.

Winners from lower bracket at 7 p.m.

- Saturday, March 11

Consolation

Winners from consolation round at 8:45 a.m.

Third Place

Losers from Final Four at 11:45 a.m.

Final

Winners from Final Four at 6 p.m.

To see the complete girls' 3A state tournament 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.

Lady Pirates dominate Holy Family

By Randy Johnson

Staff Writer

Payback is sweet.

So sweet it earned the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates a trip to the regional "Sweet Sixteen."

As you recall, the Holy Family football Tigers ended the Pirates' run in the state football playoffs last November on PSHS turf. The Lady Pirates were not going to let that happen on their home court in the first round of the state regional basketball playoffs.

Junior Jessica Lynch, with her second 18-point scoring burst in as many games, led the Pirates into the second round of the regional by dominating the Lady Tigers last Friday night by a big score of 46-28 in front of a capacity crowd in the PSHS gym.

The Lady Pirates used their pressure defense and good inside play to hold the Tigers to just three points in the first quarter, and five in the second, to open a big lead at intermission. A slow third quarter gave Holy Family new life but it was short lived as the Pirates came back in the fourth to put it away on an 18-13 quarter.

"We needed to stay focused in this one and I think we did," stated Coach Bob Lynch following the game. "Holy Family is a tough team and our team played well." The Pirates had just 14 turnovers in the game and were 57 percent shooting from outside the arch.

Lynch went on to say, "We had a slow third quarter and gave them (the Tigers) an opportunity to get back in the game. We went to a zone defense but should have stayed man-to-man. Our kids bounced back to finish strong in the fourth."

Jessica Lynch led all scoring and her four of six from three-point range really stung the Tigers. Senior Liza Kelley had another fine outing with 11 points on seven of 10 from the line. Senior Caitlin Forrest followed with seven in the paint. Seniors Emily Buikema and Kari Beth Faber both had three on good inside play. Junior Samantha Harris and sophomore Tamara Gayhart rounded out the scoring with two each.

Forrest led the Lady Pirates with nine rebounds and Lynch booked four assists.

Jessica Giltner, an excellent inside post player, led the Tigers with 13 points. Lyndsey Halligan followed with six on two treys. Julie Mack had four and Dori Gills added three to round out their scoring.

The first quarter started slow, then Lynch banked in two on a layup to break the ice for the black and gold. Kelley netted two at the charity stripe and Lynch found a trey from the right wing to start an 8-0 run for the Lady Pirates. Kelley added four more and Faber one from the line when she was fouled on an offensive rebound. Halligan knocked down one of her treys from the top of the key for the only points for the Tigers.

Buikema added one from the line to start the second but had to sit with her third foul. Lynch's second trey started another Pagosa run at the 3:20 mark to put the home team up by 10. Forrest netted four on short jumpers and Lynch scored again with 22 seconds left to put the score at 22-8 headed to the locker room. The Tigers could manage only five points from Giltner who started to find her range.

Fortunately for the Lady Pirates they had built a substantial lead in the first half, as the third period went dry for the black and gold. Lynch netted one at the line and the drought was on. Luckily, the Pirates' defense held the Tigers to seven points on inside play from Giltner and Gills. Buikema sank two on a putback with seven seconds showing to get Pagosa some points on a 7-3 quarter for Holy Family.

The Pirates would be the ones to roar in the fourth on a big 18-point quarter. Forrest hit two on a putback then Lynch netted her third trey of the contest. Kelley added four straight from the line and the Tigers' Halligan canned her second long trey but it was too little, too late. Faber and Forrest scored inside again and Gayhart hit two free throws to counter. Harris netted a short jumper to end the scoring.

In other first round action by Intermountain League teams, Centauri defeated Ellicot 74-37 and Bayfield was beaten by Basalt, 70-46.

Summary

Holy Family - 3, 5, 7, 13-28

Pagosa Springs - 12, 13, 3, 18-46

Scoring: Lynch, 2-5,4-6,2-2,18; Mackey, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kelley, 2-6,0-0,7-10,11; Harris, 1-1,0-0,0-0,2; Canty, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Faber, 1-4,0-0,1-2,3; Buikema, 1-4,0-0,1-1,3; Gayhart, 0-1,0-0,2-2,2; Camille Rand, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Emily Martinez, 0-0,0-0,0-0,0; Kristen DuCharme, 0-2,0-0,0-2,0; Forrest, 3-7,0-0,1-2,7. Rebounds: Lynch 2, Kelley 5, Faber 6, Buikema 7, DuCharme 4, Forrest 9.

Fifth Fun Race run at Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Ski Area held its fifth Fun Race of the season March 4.

Winners of Boys 6-8 were: gold, Keanan Anderson, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 50.87 seconds; and silver, John Pattersom, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 1.20.

Winners of Boys 12-14 were: gold, Tyler Moore, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 32.3; silver, Ty Brooks, of Los Alamos, N.M., with a time of 34.98; and bronze, Robby Brooks, of Los Alamos, N.M., with a time of 41.15.

Winners of Boys 15-17 were: gold, Justin Jey, of Sedona, Ariz., with a time of 34.96; silver, Kirk Reeves, of Los Alamos, N.M., with a time of 39.79; and bronze, Sheldon Auge, of Albuquerque, with a time of 43.09.

Winner of Boys 18-20 was John Blackford, of Pueblo, with a time of 41.12.

Winners of Men 21-25 were: gold, Josh Duvall, of Alamosa, with a time of 30.77; and silver, Benjamin Sears, of Clovis, N.M., with a time of 36.10.

Winners of Men 26-30 were: gold, Tom Artale, of Albuquerque, with a time of 37.45; silver, Matt Blackford, of Pueblo, with a time of 39.69; and bronze, Benjamin Tejani, of Albuquerque, with a time of 40.77.

Winners of Men 31-35 were: gold, Steve Marchant, of Tucson, Ariz., with a time of 28.86; silver, Martin Meyer, of Albuquerque, with a time of 29.79; and bronze, Donovan Rhone, of San Antonio, Texas, with a time of 40.84.

Winners of Men 36-40 were: gold, Mark Mersman, of Dallas, Texas, with a time of 39.86; and silver, Shawn O'Neill, of Dallas, with a time of 42.02.

Winner of Men 41-50 was Jerry Gurule, of Albuquerque, with a time of 40.41.

Winners of Men 51-60 were: gold, David Martin, of Pinetop, Ariz., with a time of 28.29; silver, Jim Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 31.60; and bronze, George Dezendorf, of Dallas, with a time of 37.53.

Winners of Men 60 plus, were: gold, Bryant Lemon, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.80; silver, Sonny Parrish, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 32.02; and bronze, Klaus Neubert, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 33.06.

Winners of employees race were: gold, Wes Lavery, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 29.59; silver, Alva Cox, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 31.0; and bronze, Dan Howe, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 33.09.

Winners of Girls 9-11 were: gold, Carrie Patterson, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 38.01; and silver, Abby Hicklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 41.88.

Winner of Girls 15-17 was Alyssa Brooks, of Los Alamos, with a time of 40.6.

Winner of Women 21-25 was Anastasia Martin, of Pinetop, Ariz., with a time of 32.11.

Winner of Women 26-30 was Tina Jenkin, of Albuquerque, with a time of 41.20.

Winners of Women 41-50 were: gold, Chris Hucklin, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 36.81; and silver, Kathy Brooks, of Los Alamos, with a time of 43.21.

Winner of Women 51-60 was Sheila Patterson, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 42.35.

Winner of the employees race was Teresa Scott, of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 34.20.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Southwest Conservation Corps comes to Pagosa

By Jim Miller

SUN Columnist

I am happy to announce the return of the Southwest Youth Corps to Pagosa.

For the last few years, their cheerful, enthusiastic crew of young adults has helped the town with various projects, including trail maintenance and fuel reduction on Reservoir Hill, and general park maintenance tasks, such as weeding planters and painting the small gazebo in Centennial Park.

This coming summer, they will bring a new name and a new program. They are now known as the Southwest Conservation Corps, and their Community Corps program is offering an opportunity for local young people, ages 14 and 15, to contribute to their community while earning some vacation cash and gaining valuable workforce experience.

For four weeks starting mid-July, the Community Corps members will help with planting trees and shrubs at our new sports complex on South 5th Street. They will also rake grade and install irrigation at South Pagosa Park's new tee-ball, soccer turf area.

A project to connect the end of the Riverwalk on South 6th Street to the lower end of Durango Street is also to be completed with their assistance.

The participants will earn $300 for their work on these projects, with the added chance to gain stipends of $25 each for perfect attendance and another $25 for a perfect safety record. Add this to the value of the work experience, personal growth, and interpersonal skills they will gain during their involvement with the corps, and the compensation seems well worth the effort.

All local 14- and 15-year-olds are encouraged to sign up for this excellent opportunity, but act quickly; crew members are limited. Contact me or Julie Jessen at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext. 233 or 226, or you can talk with Allison Laramee, Community Corps coordinator for the Southwest Conservation Corps in Durango at 259-8607 Ext. 2#.

We look forward to hearing from and working with our young citizens.

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.

Men's competitive league

The men's competitive league basketball schedule (all games to be played at Pagosa Springs Junior High School) for the coming week includes the following:

March 13 - Buckskin vs. High Mountain Performance at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, Slack Attack vs. Bear Creek at 6 p.m. in the lower gym, Ruff Ryders vs. Chama I at 7:05 p.m. in the upper gym and Chama II (Ballerz) vs. Concrete Connection at 7:05 p.m. in the lower gym.

March 15 - High Mountain Performance vs. Ruff Ryders at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, Concrete Connection vs. Buckskin at 6 p.m. in the lower gym, Chama I vs. Slack Attack at 7:05 p.m. in the upper gym and M. Kelley vs. Chama II (Ballerz) at 7:05 p.m. in the lower gym.

Men's recreation league

The men's recreation league basketball schedule (all games to be played at Pagosa Springs Junior High School) for the coming week includes the following:

Tonight - Allen's Auto Body vs. N. Toth at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, Shot Callers vs. Citizens Bank at 6 p.m. in the lower gym and Ponderosa vs. Green Machine at 7:05 p.m. in the lower gym.

March 14 - Citizens Bank vs. Ponderosa at 6 p.m. in the upper gym, N. Toth vs. Shot Callers at 6 p.m. in the lower gym and Green Machine vs. South Pagosa at 7:05 p.m. in the lower gym.

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.

With any questions or concerns, or for additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151 Ext. 232.

Editorial

Why no battles?

There should have been some battles. One of the best things about our political life is we can disagree, we can clash, we can test each others' ideas - all usually without conflict ending in bloodshed or a coup. But here in Pagosa Country, with regard to several proposed but now cancelled elections, the field will be empty, the silence profound.

There should have been some battles.

While several local races are being joined this year - Republican contests to select candidates for county commissioner and sheriff in November's general election - there was little interest shown by Pagosa Country residents in vying for other important positions.

Take the town election set this spring. There were four seats on the town council up for grabs - seats in newly districted areas, and the mayor's seat.

As of the cutoff date at the end of business hours last Friday, only one candidate had filed paperwork to run in District 1 - John Middendorf. And only one candidate - the incumbent, Darrel Cotton - had filed in District 3. No one stepped up as a candidate for the seat representing District 2. As a result, Middendorf and Cotton will automatically advance to the board, with a process set to find willing candidates for the District 2 seat and a selection made by the council, not the voters.

Whether or not there will be a mayor's race depended on a second candidate jumping through the hoops by 5 p.m. March 8. A misprint on applications for the mayor's race inaccurately listed March 8 as the cutoff and town officials agreed to abide by that date. As of 5 p.m. March 3, only incumbent mayor Ross Aragon had filed to run.

The shame here is, we never saw candidates face the public, in forums and in print, to explain how they will deal with the major issues facing the town. Decisions are pending on the Big Box moratorium, the Downtown Master Plan, the Comprehensive Plan, the imposition of impact fees on development, the adoption of business licenses and fees, and proposed annexations. These decisions are critical to the town's immediate and long-term future. For all the hooting and hollering about development, about planning, about the future, when the time drew nigh, the room was nearly empty. We needed battles here.

The Pagosa Fire Protection District cancelled its May 2 election, declaring three candidates elected, due to no opposition. Ron Maez, Bob Frye and Mike Howell will take places on the board of directors.

Incumbent Karen Wessels will serve a four-year term on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board, since no opponent surfaced to create a race.

Both districts provide critically important services to the residents living within their boundaries. But few were willing to serve.

We should have had some battles.

The cancellations and appointments are a shame, in that the victors in these races should have faced competition before they took office - competition that brought their ideas to light. Our representatives should deal with others in the election process who, at least to some degree, disagree with them on key issues.

The apathy shown when it came time to step up and ask fellow residents for the responsibility of tending to their best interests, and the best interests of those yet to come, is disquieting. Granted, none of these positions pay, and none of them bear many other rewards. All, if done with conscience, require work that frequently inspires disdain and abuse.

So, in another way, we are fortunate those individuals who threw their hats into an otherwise empty ring are all caring and competent. All are capable of serving us well.

But, we needed some battles.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 10, 1916

The irrepressible, ever effervescent, fearless Doug Garvin is braving the East Fork string of snow slides this week, seeking and repairing breaks in the over-the-range telephone line.

Henry Born came down from his fish lakes on the West Fork Wednesday. He was compelled to ride the snow shoes as far as Turkey Creek. He informed us that the snow for this altitude is the deepest he ever saw during his over forty years' residence in the Rocky Mountains.

The local Boy Scouts have taken charge of the library at the town hall and announce that the same will be open for the public all day on Saturdays, commencing tomorrow, and from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 13, 1931

The thermometer dropped to two degrees above zero last week, which made the natives shake and some plants froze.

The county spelling contest will be held in the Court House in Pagosa Springs on Saturday. There will be 100 words chosen from the Pearson and Suzzallo Speller. The words are to be written in ink/ paper and ink will be furnished. All teachers are invited to come with their contestant. The following schools have sent word they wish to take part: Chromo, Juanita, Stollsteimer, Talian, Lone Tree, Trujillo, Pagosa Junction and Echo.

J.A. Latta is still able to be about the house but his rheumatism stays by him and he suffers greatly by spells.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 8, 1956

The Upper Colorado Basin Storage Bill passed the House late lasts week and is now in a joint committee for final action and the ironing out of details. President Eisenhower has indicated that he will sign the bill into law when it reaches him. Of prime interest to residents of the San Juan Basin and Archuleta County in particular is the fact that the Navajo Dam was included in this bill. It will be one of the first built and if all goes according to schedule, work may begin there in 1958. It would be located 3.5 miles below the confluence of the Pine and San Juan Rivers. When filled to capacity this dam would have a water surface of about 10,800 acres and it would extend 33 miles up the San Juan to a point 3 and 1/2 miles above Arboles.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 12, 1981

The Pagosa Springs Town Board and directors of Archuleta Water Company met this week to discuss negotiations on a contract that exists between the two entities. The contract concerns the purchase of water by the Company from the Town. As a result of the meeting the two entities agreed to disagree, and the matter will be considered further.

Over three feet of snow has fallen on Wolf Creek Pass since the first of March. Total fall for the winter through Tuesday of this week was 180 inches, and 36-1/2 inches of that has fallen this month.

The school board accepted a gift of $2,000 cash from the Red Ryder Roundup to be used to purchase a heliarc welding machine for the welding classes.

Features

Affordable housing in downtown Pagosa Springs

By Kate Collins

Staff Writer

Colorado Housing, Incorporated (CHI), a locally based non-profit organization dedicated to building affordable housing for working families, has begun work on a project called Pagosa Overlook, located at the junction of 7th and Zuni streets in Pagosa Springs.

"CHI has built a few houses in Pagosa city limits over the past ten years, the most recent one three years ago. Building affordable or workforce housing is essential for any community. Preferably, they are located near jobs, shopping, community and schools. This was one of the main reasons we tackled this project," stated Werner Heiber, interim executive director of CHI.

"CHI acquired the site several years ago. Half was purchased, the other half donated," said Heiber. "Initial estimates indicated that the site, a shale knob, could be developed cost effectively for affordable housing. To be cost effective, we developed a Planned Unit Development (PUD), which allowed us to optimize the number of units to be built. Cost overruns occurred due to underestimating the task at hand, the amount of - and hardness of - the shale that needed to be removed, blasting and redesign of the sewer system,

"Up to now, we have only built on existing platted lots with infrastructure provided, which makes the job much easier. Designing and developing a clustered site is new to us. We are going this route due to the increase in land costs," added Heiber. CHI expects to build homes in clusters in the future, once this site is completed. Two such sites are planned in Bayfield and Cortez.

Pagosa Overlook currently consists of six, single-family homes, built to meet the financial eligibilities of applicants, with room for more homes in the future. The maximum building costs in Archuleta County cannot exceed $132,000. In addition to owning the home, each homeowner will also own the lot on which the house stands. The lots range from 2,600 to 3,700 square feet. Because the development falls into the PUD category, the homes can be clustered closer together, allowing for common areas.

"Specific benefits [of a PUD] would be to increase density of clustering on parts of the land, while leaving open spaces on other places," stated Heiber.

CHI will implement building guidelines described as Code, Covenants and Regulations, with a homeowner association in place. "In addition, all of our houses now have deed restrictions," said Heiber.

Prospective homeowners must complete an application process that evaluates their income as compared to the adjusted median income (AMI) of the county they will reside in. Income cannot exceed 80 percent of the AMI as indicated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA makes a certain amount of money available each year for rural development, enabling working families to secure loans and federal payment assistance.

"The USDA is a conservative lender, so the application process is basically the same as with any conventional lender, with the exception of my assistance free to all our applicants," said Jamie Blechman, CHI outreach coordinator. "The lower a family goes on the AMI scale, and the larger the family, the more payment assistance the USDA may be willing to give. This payment assistance comes in the form of subsidized interest rates, which means huge reductions in the monthly payment for those who qualify. Everybody who gets a loan through the USDA is looked at for payment assistance. It's a great deal and a big help for working families.

"The jist is that we build for families earning well below the 'average' income. It is really a juggling act we're doing here. A family must have enough income to repay a mortgage, but not so much that they are disqualified from the program," explained Blechman.

CHI is a service-providing company that seeks to enable families to experience the joy and security of home ownership.

"Colorado Housing, Inc. is a non-profit. Financially, we are receiving a specific amount of technical assistance per house from Rural Development of the USDA," said Heiber. "With this technical assistance, we recruit applicants and make them eligible. We find land, we design suitable houses, and we assist the applicants in building their own homes.

"Equally important is the staff that works for CHI. What makes us tick is that we are providing a service, doing something of value by helping families and individuals to move into their own house. The benefits to the prospective homeowners are: learning of skills (always useful, and some have made a profession out of it), learning to work in a team, learning to communicate, and handling their own construction budget. [Put together, these equal] empowerment in action," he said.

CHI also claims it empowers communities as it enables families. "[Living closer to their communities] not only saves money, but also gives parents more time for their kids and makes it easier to participate in the community at large," said Heiber. "Families living removed from a community or town will spend more money for transportation. Just one car can cost easily $5,000 per year or more depending on gas costs, depreciation, maintenance and insurance.

"CHI adds to the economy of a community by purchasing building materials and providing work for [subcontractors], and by building equity. For example, 84 homes at a cost of $160,000 each leads to $13,440,000 in owner equity, which adds buying power to the local economy. Without workforce housing for a broad range of people, a community may become more affluent, but it will become impoverished in many other ways," stated Heiber.

According to Heiber, CHI was developed in 1995 in Archuleta County by Ray Finney. The corporation has built 163 homes to date, with 23 currently under construction. Eighty-four of these homes have been built in Archuleta County, including ongoing building projects. CHI also builds in La Plata, San Juan and Montezuma Counties.

"CHI greatly appreciate[s] help as follows," said Heiber. "Monetary donations for tools and to support our organization; professional time and expertise, like that offered by Courtney King, who designed the Overlook cottage house; or Scott Farnham, who has reduced his fees for the Overlook PUD design. We also appreciate donations of land or reduced cost lots. We have approached developers to be included in new developments. For example, building 10 percent of new units to be affordable.

"Lastly," he said, "we greatly appreciate volunteers helping the homeowners finishing their houses. Volunteers are expected to work, preferably a minimum of six hours, on weekends, for jobs such as putting up siding, soffits and facia, painting, laying tile or wood flooring, installing kitchens, finishing carpentry, and landscaping," stated Heiber.

Anyone interested in applying to become a homeowner, or to volunteer time and services can call CHI at 264-6950 or visit their offices at 311 San Juan St. for more information.

Pagosa's Past

Don't try to collect rent in Amargo

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

In July of 1893, Ed. A. Vorhang's hotel in Amargo burned.

The conflagration was neither the beginning nor the end of Vorhang's personal problems in Amargo. The root of the problem seems to lie in Vorhang's insistence on collecting rent from his Amargo neighbors.

It all began a short time earlier when Vorhang received title to a 160-acre homestead, not an unusual occurrence for the time. What was unusual was that Mr. Vorhang's friends and neighbors lived in and conducted business on properties located within the boundaries of the homestead. More directly to the point, Mr. Vorhang had homesteaded Amargo.

Those who have been reading this column during the past few weeks know that Amargo had been a thriving, even if somewhat cantankerous, city since 1881 when the railroad built through from Cumbres Pass to Durango.

Since that time, Amargo had been one end of the stage line connecting Pagosa Springs with the railroad. Amargo also supported a livery stable, one or more saloons, general stores, boarding houses, a fur buying establishment, a store run by James Vorhees and wife, and perhaps other businesses. Living there were such famous local pioneers as Emmit Wirt, and members of the Gomez and Archuleta families.

And so, when his title arrived, Vorhang visited his neighbor's one after the other and demanded rent. Since they had been doing their thing in those very buildings at those very locations for a number of years and not paying rent to anyone, they refused to cough up any money.

In fact, a number of attempts were made to dissuade Mr. Vorhang of his foolish rent-collection notion.

For starters, someone spread a liberal dose of fistic massage across Vorhang's forward section, including his face. When that didn't change Vorhang's attitude, someone else firing from an unnoticed perch launched a lead missile which nearly, but not quite, decapitated the new entrepreneur as it burrowed through a fleshy part of his arm. Undeterred, Vorhang retired that night to his bed located in the southeast corner of his bedroom. Before he succeeded in permanently latching his eyelids for the night, a blast of dynamite lifted the floor from the southwest corner of his bedroom. His life was spared by the incidental fact that the bed had recently been moved.

A whistling Vorhang set about the next morning as if nothing had happened. He appeared nonchalant, at least until he reached the outskirts of town from which he hightailed it lickety-split for Pagosa Springs. Meanwhile, the townspeople held a meeting, determined to find a way to impress Vorhang with the seriousness of their intentions.

Finally, perhaps led by Emmit Wirt, or perhaps by E.M. Biggs who had one eye on his sawmill at nearby Monero and another on the huge stand of timber he was already buying in Colorado, someone persuaded the townspeople to move and leave Vorhang to work out his destiny in Amargo by himself.

And so began the demise of Amargo and the beginning of Lumberton. The townspeople loaded all they could carry onto an assortment of wagons and rail cars, moved about one mile west, and launched Lumberton. The name of the town probably resulted from the fact that Biggs built a lumber mill there. Not enough water was available to sustain a holding pond for logs entering the mill. Biggs subsequently moved north into Colorado taking a spur of the narrow gauge with him.

We don't know precisely what happened to Vorhang. He did find time to visit Daniel Eggers, editor of the Pagosa Springs News. Eggers reported, "There is no doubt the fire was started by an incendiary. In fact, the people seem to know just who did it, yet there is no proof to convict. Mr. Vorhees has just recently obtained title to the land on which Amargo is located, and for years there has been trouble between him and the residents of the town."

Pagosa Sky Watch

Orbiter nears Mars tomorrow

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data for March 9, 2006 is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 6:28 a.m.

Sunset: 6:10 p.m.

Moonrise: 1:15 a.m.

Moonset: 4:34 a.m. on March 10.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing gibbous with 78 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

Tomorrow marks another milestone in NASA's ongoing missions to Mars when the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter makes the final adjustments and fires its thrusters, putting the craft within the range of Mars' gravitational pull.

But getting the craft into Mars' orbit is just the first step in the orbiter's overall mission. In fact, the craft's greater task is to establish an unprecedented low elevation orbit around the planet, thus allowing for an up-close survey, including the exploration of future, manned-mission landing sites.

"This mission will greatly expand our scientific understanding of Mars, pave the way for our next robotic missions later in this decade, and help us prepare for sending humans to Mars," said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "Not only will Mars Science Laboratory's landing and research areas be determined by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but the first boots on Mars will probably get dusty at one of the many potential landing sites this orbiter will inspect all over the planet."

As a secondary mission, and using some of the most sophisticated communications equipment ever deployed to space, the orbiter will relay information from future robotic, ground-based missions back to NASA scientists on Earth.

According to the NASA orbiter team, the craft can pump data back to Earth at about 10 times the rate of any previous Mars mission. The key to the accelerated transfer rate lies in the craft's utilization of a three-meter dish antennae and a transmitter powered by 9.5 square meters of solar cells - an area equal to 102 square feet.

"This spacecraft will return more data than all previous Mars missions combined," said Jim Graf, project manager for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

But the orbiter is not just a messenger craft. Beyond its sophisticated transmission equipment, the craft is equipped to tackle a number of sophisticated observations of its own.

Travelling at a low orbit, the orbiter will employ six other observational instruments designed to study everything from underground layers of the planet to the outer reaches of Mars' atmosphere.

Amongst the instruments on board is the most powerful telescopic camera ever sent to another planet and a mineral-mapper able to identify water-related deposits. In addition, the craft will use radar to probe for ice and water beneath the planet's surface, a weather camera will monitor the planet daily and an infrared sounder will monitor atmospheric temperatures and the movement of water vapor.

NASA researchers will analyze the data to gain a better understanding of Mars' atmospheric changes in an effort to understand the forces that have shaped the planet's surface. At the core of the analysis lies a conviction to discover the form and function of water in the planet's history.

"We're especially interested in water, whether it's ice, liquid or vapor," said project scientist Richard Zurek. "Learning more about where the water is today and where it was in the past will also guide future studies about whether Mars has ever supported life."

But before researchers can begin answering this most vexing of planetary questions, the orbiter must first achieve an ideal altitude before proceeding with its low elevation orbit.

NASA scientists say Mars' initial gravitational capture of the craft will lock the orbiter into an elongated, 35-hour orbit. In order to perform the mission as intended, the craft must drop to a much lower altitude, and a nearly circular, two-hour trip around the planet.

Reaching the desired altitude and orbital path could be achieved with powerful bursts from the orbiter's main thrusters, but that technique would require the craft to carry much more fuel and at a sacrifice to the orbiter's payload of scientific instruments.

Therefore, in order to maximize the craft's instrument payload, NASA teams will instead utilize a technique called aerobraking to inch the craft into position.

Aerobraking will take about six months, NASA researchers say, and will involve a delicate aerial ballet where Earth-based scientists guide the orbiter on a series of carefully calculated dips into Mars' upper atmosphere. The trick is to dip the craft deep enough into the atmosphere to slow it down by atmospheric drag, but not so deep as to overheat the orbiter.

"Aerobraking is like a high-wire act in open air," Graf said. "Mars' atmosphere can swell rapidly, so we need to monitor it closely to keep the orbiter at an altitude that is effective but safe."

Although only NASA team members can observe the orbiter's progress on March 10, Pagosa Country sky watchers will have ample opportunities to view the red planet throughout the weekend.

By 9 p.m., Mars can be found high, and nestled next to the constellation Taurus in the western sky.

To locate Mars, face west-southwest toward Orion and follow the hunter's three belt stars to the right and to the next flickering bright, orange object. This object is the star Aldebaran, which marks Taurus' eye. From Aldebaran, peer a few degrees up and to the right where Mars can be found burning a bold, bright orange in the night sky.

Weather

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

3/1

51

26

S

1

.1

3/2

49

28

-

-

-

3/3

57

27

-

-

-

3/4

46

25

-

-

-

3/5

56

19

-

-

-

3/6

60

23

-

-

-

3/7

53

29

-

-

-

Weather and 'The Butterfly Effect'

By John Middendorf

Staff Writer

Snow!

And more snow is likely for the remainder of the week. Expect up to 14 inches from the current series of storm systems.

We should see a periodic series of waves of snow through the weekend, with cloudy conditions building today, culminating in snow tonight, then clearing Friday mid-morning, with another surge of pacific moisture bringing in more snow for the weekend. The pattern should continue into next week.

The periodic pulse of snowstorms is due to the combination of a strong, well positioned jet tearing into northern Arizona and New Mexico, combined with cloud systems packed with pacific moisture lining up over the ocean for their turn to "hop on the jet" and visit the Four Corners region. Strong winds are predicted for the "calms" between the snows, especially Friday.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported six inches of new snow from Tuesday night's storm, with 3.5 inches reported in town. The high temperature this past week topped out at 60 degrees Monday, with lows barely dipping into the teens on Sunday.

You may have heard of "Chaos Theory," the theory that investigates ostensibly random systems, but did you know that the theory was a serendipitous discovery by a meteorologist?

During the dawn of computer simulations in the early 1960s, Edward Lorenz, a former army weather forecaster, was using a MIT computer to model the weather. By entering values for current weather conditions, he was attempting to graph future conditions by using a series of known formulas relating variables such as temperature and pressure.

With specified initial conditions, the computer provided a repeatable graph of weather predictions for the following days. But, at one point, Lorenz reentered data that varied from the original data by less than 1,000th of a percent, with results that led to the theory of chaos.

Comparing the two graphs with the infinitesimal change in starting conditions, the pattern initially progressed identically, but after a period of time the two graphs diverged unexpectedly leading to wildly different results. The implications were staggering. It had always been assumed that a small change in the initial conditions of a system would lead to a small variance in the result, but in the more complex weather modeling system, a small change led to a completely different outcome. Lorenz was also able to demonstrate simpler single equation systems which had the same effect.

Years later, the term, "The Butterfly Effect," was coined after Lorenz gave a talk at a scientific symposium entitled, "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?"

The Butterfly Effect, or more technically "the sensitive dependence on initial conditions," infers that a micro change in a weather system can lead to a major variance as time progresses. This fact that a butterfly (or a sneeze) can lead to dramatically different global outcomes may sound exaggerated, but it is literally true - every micro change has the potential to affect the broader outcome. Your sneeze may cause a hurricane; then again, it might prevent one.

Prior to Lorenz's work, many meteorologists believed that with enough sensors placed around the globe measuring weather variables, perfect future predictions could be made. Now it is understood that a collection of data can aid in short-term predictions, but has limited ability to predict past a week, even in the best and most stable of initial conditions.

When it comes to the Rocky Mountains, where a huge array of turbulent conditions persist as our weather systems merge with the peaks, a few days of accurate prediction using initial conditions stretches the boundaries of meteorology.