July 20, 2006

Front Page

Town 'big box' draft causes controversy

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Tuesday's unveiling of draft regulations capping large scale retail development at 180,000 square feet had one audience member and one town council member outraged, and many in attendance questioning the town's ability to regulate commercial development.

Presentation of the draft regulations occurred during a joint work session with the Pagosa Springs Town Council and Pagosa Springs Planning Commission and comes as the current moratorium on processing of large scale retail permits is set to expire.

The current moratorium expires Sept. 15

Private citizens, business owners, and members of the development community attended the meeting and during the public comment period, Leanne Goebel said, with square-footage capped at 180,000 square feet, it was a sad day for Pagosa Springs.

She said the planning commission and town council were in an enviable position, and that many communities wish they had been able to regulate and mitigate the impacts of large scale retail development before it permanently transformed the community. But, with the draft presented, she said the town had failed its citizenry and the greater community. She added that because the potential impacts of large scale retail development transcended town boundaries, the town council should not be alone in making decisions.

"The vast majority of area residents live in Pagosa Lakes, which is county, and therefore they do not get to vote for town council or mayor and these are the people that are making these decisions," Goebel said.

According to Town Planner Tamra Allen, 180,000 square feet is slightly smaller than the Durango Wal Mart, and council member Tony Simmons said, "Do we feel comfortable having a building as large as a Durango Wal Mart in our community?"

And Simmons continued, "I think this whole project is overkill. This (180,000 square feet) is bigger than anything the town currently has. The impact of this is dramatic. There is nothing of this scale in our town."

Although Simmons and Goebel expressed grave concern regarding the maximum square footage allowance, much of the debate centered around the town's ability to assess the impacts of a large scale retailer, and if and how the town should regulate how a large scale retailer enters Pagosa's commercial mix.

According to the draft, retail projects of 49,999 square feet or less would go directly to design review and through the planning and review channels currently in place.

Projects of 50,000 square feet to 180,000 square feet would undergo a greater level of scrutiny via an impact assessment, created by a third or neutral party. According to the draft, satisfactory completion of the impact assessment is required by the town before a project is approved.

"Basically, if you come in at over 50,000 square feet, you have to come in on our terms." Allen said.

According to the draft, the impact assessment asks the developer to address myriad factors including: long term economic impacts such as numbers and kinds of jobs including wages and benefits, housing impacts, impacts on the existing transportation system, infrastructure and environmental impacts, and many more from a 15-item impact assessment list.

The impact assessment will then be used as a tool to help planning commission and town council members review projects.

Council member Darrel Cotton has long been an outspoken opponent of stringent big box regulations, and during the debate reiterated his position.

"It's not our role to regulate commerce," he said.

And he pushed for language to be removed from the document that would allow the town to audit a large scale retailer in order to determine if they had followed through on statements made in their impact assessment.

In addition, he argued successfully for removal of language that would have made higher wages and employee benefits a condition of approval.

Council members John Middendorf and Simmons countered Cotton's argument, and said it behooved the town to fully understand the scope, scale and impact of a large scale retailer prior to approval, and pushed for language that would expand public notification when a project is being considered for approval.

Among changes to the draft, the group approved strengthening the language regarding vacancy of big box structures, and expansion of the notification radius and notification timetable when a big box application is before the town staff and the planning commission.

Allen said the draft is the result of a long string of compromises and that a revised draft incorporating the changes discussed during the Tuesday meeting could be viewed online next week at townofpagosasprings.com.

To view the document online, go to "Departments," then click on "Planning" and follow the links.

Allen anticipated the regulations should come before the town council for a first reading on Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. during the regular town council meeting.

 

Forest Service stands by 'Village' decision

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following expiration of the appeals process, a decision by the United States Forest Service to authorize access to the Village at Wolf Creek has been upheld.

The appeals process expired July 14.

According to Jim Maxwell, spokesperson for the Forest Service in Golden, Colo., after considering the appeals, including those put forth by Colorado Wild, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, San Juan Citizens Alliance and the developer, the agency upheld its decision to grant the developer two separate access roads to its 287.5- acre inholding atop Wolf Creek Pass and adjacent to the base of the Wolf Creek Ski Area. The proposed village is located on a private inholding in the Rio Grande National Forest.

The parcel is slated for development of a 2,200-residential unit, luxury resort village which could ultimately accommodate 10,000 people.

With the decision upheld, Maxwell said the developer, Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture led by Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and project frontman Bob Honts, would be working with local Forest Service officials and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on finalizing the acquisition of U.S. 160 access permits.

"They need a CDOT access permit before a spade of dirt can be turned to build the access roads," Maxwell said.

The access routes are Tranquility Road, including construction of a 250-foot extension of the road into the developer's inholding, and the construction of a new road called Snowshed Road.

Once built, Snowshed Road will be located just west of the snowshed on U.S. 160.

Tranquility Road currently serves, and terminates, at the ski area's Tranquility parking lot.

With the appeals process complete and the Forest Service upholding their access decision, Maxwell said project opponents wishing to press their case must do so in court.

Although Ryan Demmy Bidwell, spokesperson for Colorado Wild, did not say whether his group would press its case against the project, in a press release dated July 14, he called the end of the appeals period an opportunity.

"Today's decision is an opportunity more than anything else," Bidwell said.

"The public has been waiting for 20 years for their government to take a hard look at the threat posed by the Village to their water, wildlife, local economies, and way of life. Freed from the tainted administrative process of the Forest Service, we look forward to the court taking a fresh look at the evidence."

Maxwell said the integrity of the Forest Service is sound, and that the agency is confident in the integrity of the process that produced the final environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision regarding access to the controversial project.

Despite Maxwell's, and similar past agency assertions, the integrity of both the Forest Service and the developer has been called into question by citizens groups, such as Colorado Wild, and Colorado legislative officials, including State Rep. Mark Larson, U.S. Rep. John Salazar and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar.

In a May request to the United States Department of Agriculture's Inspector General, Phyllis Fong, Sen. Salazar asked Fong to investigate allegations of improprieties in the Forest Service's evaluation and decision on the final EIS.

Fong responded that her office is reviewing information submitted by various concerned parties, including two citizen's advocacy groups, Larson and U.S. Rep. John Salazar.

In her letter to Sen. Salazar, Fong wrote, "Once we have completed our evaluation of the facts and applicable statutes, regulations, and FS (Forest Service) policies, we will make a determination whether further inquiry by the OIG (Office of Inspector General) or Forest Service is warranted."

Paul Feeney, spokesperson for the USDA Inspector General's Office said upon completion of the review, the inspector general would respond directly to the members of the Colorado delegation who had voiced their concerns.

Feeney did not provide a timeline for the review.

 

Water districts get news on court ruling

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) Board of Directors met in joint session with the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Board of Directors Monday, with various water matters and raw water development projects dominating discussions. The three-hour parley began with a special meeting and work session of the SJWCD board.

A funding request to aid in the continued restoration of the Blanco River kicked things off when Jerry Curtis submitted a letter to the SJWCD board asking for a $25,000 commitment to cover a portion of the cost of Phase Three. The letter was signed by James Wilson, president of the Lower Blanco Property Owners Association (LBPOA).

The request, if granted, would provide a little more than a quarter of the amount needed to match a $95,000 grant obtained earlier from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (of the U.S. Department of Agriculture). If other requests are also successful, the balance will come from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Southwestern Water Conservation District, the LBPOA and Archuleta County.

At a cost of $346,000, two previous phases had been completed by 2004, with 3.25 miles of streambed and banks restored sufficiently to improve water quality and sustain fish populations. Phase Three will restore another mile or more, and will cost an estimated $190,000. Upon completion, another six miles will need improvement before the entire project is finished.

Following review of the funding request, and discussion involving upcoming costs associated with the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir, the SJWCD board agreed to fund $20,000 of the proposal, contingent on the LBPOA's success in obtaining the necessary balance of $75,000 from other sources.

Western Weather Consultants, LLC of Durango then approached the SJWCD board, asking its participation in a three-month cloud seeding program during the coming winter. According to WWC data, cloud seeding supposedly increased the moisture content of last winter's snowpack over a 1,475-square-mile area by 66,597 acre-feet. An acre-foot of water is one acre of surface area, one foot deep.

The program would cost approximately $69,000, with the Colorado Water Conservation Board contributing $6,000. The Southwestern Water Conservation District would split the balance with the SJWCD, reducing the local district's total commitment to around $33,000.

While a representative of Western Weather Consultants presented what appeared as compelling evidence supporting the effectiveness of such a program, board president Fred Schmidt pointed out that local reservoirs have remained full, without cloud seeding.

"All of the extra water would go downstream, benefiting Denver and the lower state users, but not us," he said. "Maybe they should share in the cost of the process."

Once the board was informed that downstream users agreed to pay only a portion of the cost of extending the program from three to five months, and not contribute to the cost of the original program, it decided to offer just $4,000 to a "stand-by" program. Stand-by would provide additional water within the district during a "drought winter."

Shortly after the PAWSD board joined the SJWCD board in joint session, both received a report on litigation involving the Dry Gulch Reservoir. As co-applicants, the two districts went before District Court, Water Division 7, and asked for approval of the controversial project. Trout Unlimited, Koinonia, LLC, the Park Ditch Company, and others issued Statements of Opposition in the matter, citing the project's size and potential harm to the San Juan River.

According to attorney Evan Ela, who represented the districts in court, Judge Gregory Lyman effectively granted them water rights sufficient to develop Dry Gulch and contain up to 35,000 acre-feet after initial filling. However, the court reduced the amount the districts hoped to divert from the San Juan River by half, allowing fill diversions of only 100 cubic feet per second (cfs), rather than the requested 200 cfs.

According to the court, the rights granted are conditional, and the districts must show that water has been applied "to beneficial use" every six years.

 

Inside The Sun

Four county road meetings remain on schedule

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As approved in January by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, and effective June 15, maintenance and snow removal has ceased on all county secondary roads.

In order to ensure maintenance and snow removal continues, the county is asking citizens to take measures now to provide for their own maintenance until a long term solution is found to the road maintenance funding problem.

To facilitate the process, the county continues to host a series of meetings to explain the options currently available to residents. Those options include the creation of special taxation districts such as local improvement districts or public improvement districts, property owners associations or individual contributions.

Meetings begin at 6 p.m. on the following dates, at the following places:

- July 24: Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, Pagosa Springs.

- Aug. 1: Navajo State Park Visitor's Center, Arboles.

- Aug. 2: Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, Pagosa Springs.

- Aug. 3: Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room at the Archuleta County Courthouse, Pagosa Springs.

County Administrator Bob Campbell said he is not satisfied with the county's current road maintenance plan, takes citizen concerns seriously and is working with staff to seek other viable, financially feasible solutions.

"The county is continually looking at ways to expand the alternatives," Campbell said.

Among the alternatives, Campbell explained, could be one that involves stabilizing the mill levy by "de-Brucing" the county. Campbell said stabilizing the mill levy does not necessarily mean a mill levy increase.

According to Archuleta County Finance Director Bob Burchett, under TABOR - the Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights - yearly property tax revenue increases are capped at a maximum of 5.5 percent with yearly increases based on numerous factors, including an analysis of the Denver, Boulder, Greeley consumer price index. Those caps, he said, ultimately affect the county budget and the mill levy.

For example, in 2006, due to TABOR limits, the county provided $689,000 in temporary property tax credits to Archuleta County taxpayers. Without TABOR, Burchett said those funds could have been added back into the county general fund, including the road and bridge and the human services budgets.

Burchett said de-Brucing would free the county from the constraints of TABOR, and would allow the county to set the mill levy at a fixed rate, and at a rate that reflects the nature of local, rather than Front Range, economic conditions.

"It (de-Brucing) would provide the revenue to keep pace with local growth and inflation," said Burchett

Both Burchett and Campbell said de-Brucing requires commissioner approval for the question to appear on the ballot, followed by approval from county voters.

Campbell said he and staff are exploring de-Brucing as one of many options to solving county road funding issues, and although the project is not on a hard timetable, commissioner approval for the ballot question could be sought as early as the first commissioner's meeting in August.

In the meantime, with the future of the ballot question and voter approval uncertain, Campbell is urging county residents to attend the meetings to learn about their road maintenance options.

He said the county will pay for the formation of special taxation districts and is working with various contractors and vendors to keep individuals or special districts from having to be bonded themselves.

Sheila Berger, special projects manager for Archuleta County, said more workshops will be scheduled if necessary, and said she is willing to meet individually with citizens and with neighborhood groups.

For more information, contact Berger at 264-8540.

 

Voelker fund-raiser takes place Saturday

Members of the First Assembly of God Church and Hungry for God Youth Ministries, will host a fund-raiser bake sale at the Pagosa Country Center City Market 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 22, and a car wash at the North Pagosa Shell Station, to raise funds to help offset medical costs for Herman Voelker who will undergo a liver transplant in California soon.

Anyone wishing to help with the bake sale or car wash can contact Lynn Carrell at 731-0009. Baked food donations marked "bake sale" can be left at First Assembly of God Church kitchen by Friday, July 21.

An account has been set up in the name of Herman Voelker at Bank of Colorado for anyone wishing to make cash donations.

 

Primary election: vote early, or at vote centers Aug. 8

The primary election is set for Aug. 8 in Archuleta County (and all of Colorado) with early voting going on now. The Aug. 8 election will be held in the lawful polling places designated for each precinct, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Archuleta County will be utilizing vote centers for this primary election.

The precinct for absentee/early voting is in the county clerk's Elections Office downstairs in the courthouse. Absentee ballots may be picked up or applied for and also returned there. You may also drop off absentee ballots at the county clerk's office. Early voting will be held in the Elections Office. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The following are the office nominations that will be voted on at the Aug. 8 primary election.

Note that there will be two ballot styles, Democratic and Republican. Republican candidates will be listed on the Republican ballot and the Democratic candidates will be listed on the Democratic ballot.

Representative to the 110th United States Congress - District 3: John Salazar, Democratic; Scott Tipton, Republican.

Governor: Bill Ritter Jr., Democratic; Bob Beauprez, Republican.

Secretary of State: Ken Gordon, Democratic; Mike Coffman, Republican.

State Treasurer: Cary Kennedy, Democratic; Mark Hillman, Republican.

Attorney General: Fern O'Brien, Democratic; John Suthers, Republican.

Regent of the University of Colorado - At Large: Stephen C. Ludwig, Democratic; Brian Davidson, Republican.

Regent of the University of Colorado Congressional District 3: Susan A. Hakanson, Democratic; Tilman "Tillie" Bishop, Republican.

State Senate - District 6: James Isgar, Democratic; Ron Tate, Republican.

State Representative - District 59: Joe Colgan, Democratic; Jeff Deitch, Democratic; Ellen Roberts, Republican.

County Commissioner District No. 3: John T. Egan, Democratic; Robert C. Moomaw, Republican.

County Clerk and Recorder: June Madrid, Republican.

County Treasurer: Lois E. Baker, Republican.

County Assessor: Keren L. Prior, Republican.

County Sheriff: Peter L. Gonzalez, Republican; Steven M. Wadley, Republican; R.E. "Bob" Grandchamp, Republican.

County Surveyor: David L. Maley, Republican.

County Coroner: Carl R. Macht, Republican.

Instead of individual precincts, there will be only three vote centers. All voters have the option to vote at any one of the three vote centers on Aug. 8. They are:

- Archuleta County Clerk's Election Office (downstairs in the courthouse), 449 San Juan St.

- Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Dr., U.S. 160 west.

- Restoration Fellowship Church, 264 Village Drive (behind the west City Market).

Please remember to bring your signature card you will be receiving in the mail.

 

First plague case of year reported in region

San Juan Basin Health Department reports that a La Plata County man has tested positive for plague.

This is the first confirmed case of human plague in the area since last summer. There were two cases in 2005.

Over the past 30 years, there have been 49 reported cases of people in Colorado who have contracted plague, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that cases of human plague in the United States occur mostly in rural areas with an average of 10 to 15 persons each year nationwide.

Bubonic plague is the most common form of the disease in humans and begins two to six days after the bite of an infected flea, or contact with an infected rodent or cat.

Typical symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, sudden onset of fever or chills, severe headache, extreme exhaustion, and a general feeling of illness. Bubonic plague can be successfully treated when diagnosed promptly.

If you have a history of possible exposure to infected rodents or fleas and are experiencing these symptoms, consult a physician as soon as possible.

Seven animals (including squirrels, household cats, and prairie dogs) in southwest Colorado have tested positive for plague this summer. Cats become infected from flea bites or by direct contact with infected rodents. Plague infected cats will generally have a history of roaming freely in rural or semi-rural areas and their owners often report that they are known hunters.

Infected cats frequently exhibit swelling and sores around the mouth, head and neck, and appear to be ill. Seek veterinary care for such animals. Since domestic cats can carry infected fleas into the home environment, it is also important to consult your veterinarian for information about flea control for your pets.

Precautions

- Do not feed or entice any rodent or rabbit species into your yard, back porch or patio.

- Eliminate rodent habitat, such as piles of lumber, broken cement, trash and weeds around your home or recreational cabin.

- Make sure that houses and outbuildings are as rodent-proof as possible. Keep foundations in good repair and eliminate overhanging trees from roof and windows.

- When outdoors, do not linger in rodent-infested areas. Do not catch, play with, or attempt to hand feed wild rodents.

- Avoid contact with all sick and dead rodents and rabbits. Look for the presence of blow flies or dead animal smell as evidence of animal die-offs. Report such die-offs to San Juan Basin Health Department at 247-5702.

- While hiking, treat pants, socks, shoe tops, arms and legs with insect repellents.

- Restrain cats and dogs from roaming at all times in and around prairie dog colonies.

- Insecticide treatment should be used on cats and dogs during summer plague season. Contact your veterinarian for more information.

- If you hunt or trap rabbits or carnivorous wild animals, such as coyotes and bobcats, protect your hands and face while skinning or handling these animals. Fresh pelts may be treated with flea powder.

- Bites from wild carnivores and from cats and dogs have caused human plague. Such animals may be infected, carry the bacteria in their mouths or may transport infective fleas.

- The incubation period is two to six days and consult a physician if sudden unexplained illness occurs within that period after activities in the outdoors.

For more information on plague, visit www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague.

Plague fact sheet

Q: How is plague transmitted?

A: Usually by bites from fleas that are infected with the bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis), although smaller numbers of cases occur following direct contact with infectious body fluids or inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets.

Q: How do people get plague?

A: Usually by the bites of fleas infected with the plague bacterium, but also through handling infected animals or exposure to persons or animals with plague pneumonia and cough.

Male Xenopsylla cheopis (oriental rat flea) engorged with blood. This flea is the primary vector of plague in most large plague epidemics in Asia, Africa, and South America. Both male and female fleas can transmit the infection.

Q: What is the basic transmission cycle?

A: Fleas usually become infected by feeding on rats and certain other rodents that are circulating the bacterium Yersinia pestis in their bloodstreams. Fleas transmit the plague bacteria to humans and other mammals while feeding on the blood of these animals.

Q: Could you get plague from another person?

A: Yes, when the other person has plague pneumonia and cough, droplets containing plague bacteria can be spread into the air. If a non-infected person inhales these infectious droplets, they also can become infected.

Q: What are the signs and symptoms of plague?

A: The typical sign of the most common form of human plague is a swollen and very tender lymph gland, accompanied by pain. The swollen gland is called a "bubo" (hence the term "bubonic plague"). Buboes usually appears in the groin, armpit or neck region. Bubonic plague should be suspected when a person develops a swollen gland, fever, chills, headache, and extreme exhaustion, and has a history of possible exposure to infected animals or fleas. Pneumonic plague, a less common but much more dangerous form of the disease, is characterized by high fever, cough, bloody sputum and difficulty in breathing.

Q: What is the incubation period for plague?

A: A person usually becomes ill with bubonic plague 2 to 6 days after being infected. When bubonic plague is left untreated, plague bacteria invade the bloodstream. When plague bacteria escape the person's immune defenses and freely multiply in the bloodstream, they can spread rapidly throughout the body and cause a severe and often fatal condition called septicemic plague. Infection of the lungs with the plague bacterium causes the pneumonic form of plague, a severe respiratory illness. The infected person may experience high fever, chills, cough with bloody sputum and breathing difficulties. Although pneumonic plague may occur secondarily as a consequence of untreated bubonic or septicemic plague, it also can result from inhaling infectious respiratory droplets or other materials. The incubation period for pneumonic plague cases acquired by inhalation is usually about 2 days. If plague patients are not given specific antibiotic therapy, the disease can progress rapidly to death.

Q: What is the mortality rate of plague?

A: About 14 percent (1 in 7) of all plague cases in the United States are fatal. Most cases in the U.S. receive some antibiotic treatment during their course of illness and deaths typically result from delays in seeking treatment or misdiagnosis. Reportedly, about 50-60 percent of bubonic plague patients who fail to receive any antibiotic treatment die. Untreated septicemic or pneumonic plague is almost always fatal.

Q: How many cases of plague occur in the U.S.?

A: Human plague in the United States has occurred as mostly scattered cases in rural areas (an average of 5 to 15 persons each year). Globally, the World Health Organization reports 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague every year. Most of these non-U.S. cases occur in impoverished rural environments that are heavily rat-infested.

Q: How is plague treated?

A: According to treatment experts, a patient diagnosed with suspected plague should be hospitalized and medically isolated. Laboratory tests should be done, including blood cultures for plague bacteria and microscopic examination of lymph gland, blood, and sputum samples. Antibiotic treatment should begin as soon as possible after laboratory specimens are taken. Streptomycin is the antibiotic of choice. Gentamicin is used when streptomycin is not available. Tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are also effective. Persons who have been in close contact with a plague patient, particularly a patient with plague pneumonia, should be identified and evaluated. The U.S. Public Health Service requires that all cases of suspected plague be reported immediately to local and state health departments and that the diagnosis be confirmed by CDC. As required by the International Health Regulations, CDC reports all U.S. plague cases to the World Health Organization.

Q: Is the disease seasonal in its occurrence?

A: Yes. Most cases in the U.S. occur during the warmer months of the year but cases can occur during any month of the year. Winter cases in the U.S. typically occur among hunters, trappers and cat owners handling infected animals. Warm season cases are most often attributed to flea bite. Numbers of cases in tropical regions often fluctuate between wet and dry seasons.

Q: Who is at risk for getting plague?

A: Outbreaks in people occur in areas where housing and sanitation conditions are poor. These outbreaks can occur in rural communities or in cities. They are usually associated with infected rats and rat fleas that live in or near homes.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague, or call the CDC public response hotline at (888) 246-2675 (English), (888) 246-2857 (español), or (866) 874-2646 (TTY).

 

2006 county fair dedicated to Ann Alice Seavy

By Lisa Scott

Special to The SUN

This year's fair is dedicated to the memory of Ann Alice Seavy for her many contributions over the years.

Ann was honored in 2002 as that year's Fair Lady recipient.

Ann Alice was born on a ranch eight miles west of Pagosa Springs in 1913. She grew up in the Bayles area and graduated from the old Fort Lewis College at age 18. She began teaching in rural one-room schools in the county.

Additionally, Ann helped her husband, Millard, run their ranch and, after he died, Ann continued to ranch, teach, drive a school bus and advance her own education. She was a proud mother of two daughters: Hazel Seavy Anderson and Peggy Ann Seavy Jacobson.

After teaching three generations of Pagosa area residents, she moved to Bloomfield, N.M., where she taught for another 24 years. She initiated the San Juan County, N.M., Science Fair program which still exists today.

While living in Pagosa, Ann and her friend Verda Kimball began the 4-H program in Archuleta County. Their first club, Rocky Mountain 4-H Club, was created in 1948. Ann volunteered as a 4-H leader for many years, watching the program grow and expand.

She officially retired from teaching in 1984 at the age of 72, after 53 years of service. During her tenure, she received the New Mexico Teacher of the Year Award.

Ann taught school and ranched for 26 years in the Pagosa Springs area. One of Ann's true loves in life was helping and teaching children. She was a pillar of strength and model of virtue to her beloved family and many friends.

 

Despite growth, Pagosa to lose driver's license office

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As of July 26, Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County residents will have to travel to Durango for driver's license services.

According to John Jackson, office manager and the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle employee charged with staffing the Pagosa Springs office, the official closure date is July 31. However, because the local office only provides services on Wednesdays, July 26 marks the effective closing date.

Jackson said the department is closing all one-man offices statewide for security reasons.

In an e-mail to State Rep. Mark Larson from Diane Reimer, public information officer and legislative liaison for the motor vehicle department, Reimer wrote, "Our Division of Motor Vehicle has determined that a one-person office is a safety risk, both for the person who is in the office and the customers who need reassurance that their information/documents are safe."

According to Reimer, during fiscal year 2006, the Pagosa Springs office had 1,238 customers.

According to United States Census Bureau statistics, the estimated 2005 population for Pagosa Springs was 1,628 and the estimated population for Archuleta County was 11,866.

According to population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2003 Archuleta County was ranked third among Colorado's 64 counties in terms of growth, with a 14-percent growth rate over the three-year term and a annual growth rate of 4.76 percent.

Between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2002, the census bureau ranked Archuleta County 30th among the 100 fastest growing counties in the nation, based on housing units.

Donna Graves, a research consultant for Region 9 Economic Development District, said population growth estimates indicate Archuleta County should continue to grow at roughly 3.6 percent annually between now and 2010.

Archuleta County is not the first county to have its driver's license services eliminated.

According to the Rio Grande County Clerk's office, Rio Grande county has not had a driver's license office for about two years, forcing Del Norte and Rio Grande County residents to make a 45-minute trip to Alamosa.

According to the Hindsdale County Clerk's office, Hindsdale County residents have not had a driver's license office for about six months, forcing Hindsdale County residents to make a one-hour drive to Gunnison, or to Saguache County.

 

RCDI announces grant funds available

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the availability of more than $6.2 million in grant funds through the Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI).

The RCDI program provides technical assistance and training funds to qualified intermediary organizations to develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in rural areas.

"The projects funded through this program promote economic investments and job development in our rural communities," said Conner. "The community buildings, housing and improvement projects these funds will help finance are providing additional economic opportunities and improving the quality of life of rural America."

The $6,286,500 in RCDI grant funds are available to intermediaries and have a dollar for dollar matching fund requirement, intended to double the impact of the grants. Qualified organizations can be public or private (including tribal organizations) that have been legally organized for at least three years and have experience working with eligible recipients. Recipients of the funds from the intermediary can be non-profit organizations, low-income communities, or federally recognized tribes.

Complete information about the program is available in the July 12, 2006, edition of the Federal Register or by going to www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/rcdi/. Information is also available from the Colorado USDA Rural Development state office, (720) 544-2931. Applications must be received by Rural Development within 90 days of the Federal Register publication date. Late applications will not be considered for funding.

 

School board to consider term limit vote

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta School District 50 Joint Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting in the offices of its new MaT Building Tuesday. Having just been finished south of the high school athletic fields, the structure is now occupied by the maintenance and transportation departments within the district.

Before getting down to business, the board, administration officials and guests toured the state-of-the-art facility, guided by maintenance and transportation directors Steve Watson and Dolly Martin. According to Watson, the project took two-and-a-half years from beginning to end, and cost the district approximately $1.6 million to complete.

Aside from a vastly superior working environment, the building and rear parking lot now house all district school buses and other vehicles, which effectively reduces traffic congestion and increases safety in the vicinity of the elementary school.

To celebrate the building's completion, the district board met in what will ordinarily be the training and conference room. The board may meet there again next month, but by September, its regular meetings will return to the junior high school library.

Once Tuesday's meeting turned to the main matters at hand, a fairly lengthy discussion ensued, regarding the feasibility of placing a resolution on the November ballot. If done, the resolution will ask voters within the school district if the existing two-term limit for school board members should be extended to three terms.

Based on recent history, qualified candidates are difficult to come by at times, and extending the limit would allow dedicated members to seek a third term, if they choose. Apparently, two earlier attempts to eliminate the term limit entirely failed by nearly identical two-to-one margins.

School superintendent Duane Noggle said, "We don't want to eliminate the term limit, just extend it. Turnover is good from time to time, but term limits often limit talented and skilled members from contributing fully."

He went on to say, "Being a school board member is an important volunteer position, and many establish valuable relationships with state officials like Mark Larson. Those relationships have to be reestablished when members are lost to term limits."

Board President Mike Haynes asked Noggle how much time the board had to decide on a resolution, and what the estimated cost of placing it on the ballot might be.

"It depends on the number of other issues that appear, as to how much it costs," Noggle said. "Right now it would be about seven or eight thousand, but we won't have a good idea until sometime next month."

Meanwhile, Noggle said he thought the deadline to file a resolution was sometime in September. Haynes noted that no current board members are subject to reelection until at least 2007, and questioned whether the matter was pressing enough to address at this time. The board debated the issue briefly, before agreeing to create a resolution with proper wording, and make a final decision during next month's meeting.

The controversial Wellness Policy came before the board again, this time for a second reading. Based on suggestions by the Wellness Committee, including members of the district food service, school nurse, physical education teachers and concerned parents, the latest version of the policy reflected several changes made as a result of significant differences among the committee and school administration.

The Wellness Policy is a nutritional and physical activity program now required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. Original guidelines were created under the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1996, and recent amendments facilitated the need for a new policy, which the school board was supposed to adopt by July 1.

Turmoil developed between committee members and the administration when, in spite of committee recommendations, the first version of the policy appeared vague and watered down. Some changes were subsequently made, but committee members remained dissatisfied, arguing that the new policy addressed food service more as a business, rather than a part of youth education.

According to parents and committee members Ronnie Doctor and Crista Munro, the latest version is an improvement, but still fails to address overriding concerns with the quality of food and beverages kids receive in school, and the amount of physical education they're required to participate in.

In an apparent turnaround from earlier statements made, superintendent Noggle said, "We have to, as a society, change the way we view food. We need to have a policy in place that encourages more exercise and better nutrition."

Two weeks ago, Noggle was quoted as saying, "Proper nutrition is not the most important thing, and there isn't enough evidence to support the importance of nutrition and exercise the committee stressed.

"It's an ongoing debate about the nutritional aspects, how it affects achievement," said Noggle. "The research is both good and bad. The validity of it, I don't know."

After closely scrutinizing the latest version, the board made another minor change to one particular phrase, then approved the entire policy with a unanimous vote. The board also agreed to review it regularly, and consider additional changes as recommendations are made.

 

Daytime delays on Wolf Creek Pass through mid August

Crews are installing wire mesh and soil nail walls above U.S. 160 on Wolf Creek Pass as a final measure to mitigate potential rock fall in the recently reconstructed section extending east from the Big Meadows Reservoir access (just east of the pass summit).

Motorists can expect up to 15-minute delays during the daytime until the work is complete in mid-August. There will be single-lane, alternating traffic through the work zone Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays, until 5 p.m.

 

Act fast on conservation easements

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Property owners hoping to protect smaller tracts of forest or agriculturally productive land from development may want to act fast. Conservation easement tax credit laws will change January 1, and the process for establishing an easement under 2006 regulations should be underway by Aug. 15.

According to Michael Whiting, executive director of the Southwest Land Alliance (SLA), easements are easier understood when thinking of land ownership as owning a "bundle of rights." Such rights include water rights, mineral rights, subdivision and development rights - anything you can legally do with the land.

An easement, however, is a second deed placed on land, which either allows or restricts access, or certain activities. It may preserve or prohibit a specific property right, or it may grant certain uses by non-owners. A common example is a utility easement, which prevents a landowner from constructing improvements on a defined piece of land, yet allows public utility companies to install electric, water, sewer, or phone lines above or beneath it.

A conservation easement is based on the same concept, but differs in its consideration of certain intrinsic values associated with the land, and how property rights might negatively impact them. Referred to as "conservation values," they include such things as the worth of agricultural use, open space and view corridors, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.

Because rampant development has quickly gobbled up otherwise pristine lands in Colorado and across the country, the state and federal governments have created generous financial tax incentives for landowners willing to give up specific property rights that may adversely affect certain conservation values.

The SLA cites the right to subdivide and develop productive agricultural land as one of the biggest threats to our nation's stability, and suggests it was the catalyst in shaping the Colorado Conservation Easement Tax Credit, as well as federal tax benefits available to easement donors. Such incentives allow property owners fiscal advantages, without having to sell or subdivide.

To determine the value of a conservation easement, a specially-trained real estate appraiser analyzes the market and extracts an actual dollar value of each property right and conservation value specified in the easement. The sum of the rights and values equals the "easement value," from which tax benefits are calculated.

Based on the 2006 State Tax Credit Benefits calculation (on easements recorded before Dec. 31), the first $100,000 in easement value affords the landowner an equal amount in tax credits. With an annual easement value cap of $500,000 the landowner can claim, the next $400,000 in easement value nets only 40 percent in tax credits.

Therefore, at the $500,000 cap, a total annual tax credit of $260,000 is available to the landowner in a system that actually benefits easement values of less than $100,000 the most.

By 2007, the annual easement value cap will increase to $750,000 and the $100,000/$400,000 split will no longer apply. Every dollar of easement value will offer equal tax credits of 50 cents each. This, according to the SLA, will favor larger easements, which they say, "is not a bad thing."

The SLA believes the new law will avail the citizens of Colorado by encouraging conservation easements on larger properties with greater conservation value, while requiring fewer transactional steps. Technical adjustments to the formula structure will ensure that landowners are making a "charitable gift" of at least 50 percent of the easement value, which should ease concerns of "donative intent" raised by the Internal Revenue Service and others.

Meanwhile, the SLA suggests owners with properties worth $500,000 or less in a non-covenant restricted area, who are interested in land conservation, contact them and begin the process by Aug. 15, to assure receipt of full 2006 benefits.

The SLA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit land trust dedicated to assisting people who wish to preserve their land. Founded in 1981, it serves Archuleta, Mineral and Hinsdale counties, and has assisted with the establishment of 30 conservation easements, totaling more than 13,000 acres.

For more information on conservation easements as they pertain to agricultural practices, water and mineral rights, real estate sales and taxes, land development, income and estate tax benefits, and cash benefits, the SLA is sponsoring a full day of speaker presentations at the Community Center, Oct. 6.

To visit with the Southwest Land Alliance, its office is located at 450 Lewis St., or you can call Michael Whiting at 264-7779.

 

County to host right of way session

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following a flurry of citations, notices and confusion over whether a property owner's work in the county right of way is unlawful, the county will host a public work session to help clarify county right of way landscaping and maintenance issues.

During the meeting, county staff and the board of county commissioners will discuss county road and bridge design guidelines and specifications, right of way, driveway and noxious weed issues.

The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Aug 10, in the board of county commissioners' meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse at 449 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

 

Smoke-Free Colorado provides call center and Web site

To help residents and business owners understand the nuances of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, the statewide smoke-free law, Colorado has launched an informational call center and a Web site. The free call center at (888) 701-2006 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week as is the Web site, www.smokefreeColorado.org.

Colorado's statewide smoke-free law, went into effect July 1, requiring most indoor public areas including restaurants, bars and most workplaces to be smoke-free.

The call center, staffed by trained, qualified operators, is designed to handle a large number of calls in a very short period of time. The state anticipates significant interest to mid July. Callers, after initially being identified as individuals or business owners, are offered the options of receiving automated, pre-recorded information on the most frequently asked questions or talking to a live operator to have their individual questions answered.

Business owners may have questions about exemptions to the law and will learn that, essentially, the only exemptions are casinos, cigar-tobacco bars, retail tobacco businesses, up to a quarter of hotel and motel rooms, limousines for-hire and Denver International Airport's smoking lounge. Callers also can ask questions about how the law impacts them, such as how far away from building entrances they must be to smoke, penalties for violating the law, enforcement and informational materials for businesses.

The Web site provides comprehensive information for the general public; proprietors of bars, restaurants, gaming halls and other businesses; local health agencies; and community partners. Information on the new site will include: collateral and signage related to the law available to order for free to help business owners educate their customers and employees; fact sheets, press releases and FAQs; a section for businesses with information about compliance, employee education and economic impact; information about smoking cessation and Colorado's Quitline and QuitNet counseling services; TV spots airing to educate Coloradans about the new law; and text of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.

All Web site content is available in both English and Spanish; in addition, an online fact sheet is translated into 12 languages to ensure all Coloradoans understand the new law.

Smoke-free laws are proving to be an effective way to improve public health by reducing people's exposure to secondhand smoke, which has been shown to be harmful to both adults and children and causes about 53,000 deaths per year in the United States. Colorado is the 13th state to enact a smoke-free law, creating healthier environments for people while they're in public indoor places. People living, working and visiting in Colorado will benefit from having access to healthier indoor environments wherever they go.

Most cities and states with smoke-free laws in restaurants and bars have seen an improvement in residents' health. For example, studies in Helena, Mont., and Pueblo, Colo., found significant drops in hospital admissions for heart attacks in the 18 months after enacting smoke-free ordinances.

In Colorado, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death. Surveys of Colorado smokers have found that 85 percent of them want to quit. The Colorado Quitline, (800) 639-QUIT, is a free telephone coaching service that supports smokers through the quitting process and offers up to eight free weeks of the patch. Telephone coaching with the patch shows a 40-42 percent success rate, versus only 3 percent for Colorado smokers quitting on their own.

Smoke-Free Colorado is a statewide coalition of health and community organizations including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, GASP of Colorado (Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution), Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance and the State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership. Together, Smoke-Free Colorado is working to educate the public about the state's smoke-free law that went into effect July 1.

 

Firewood permits available on Pagosa Ranger District

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has easily accessible firewood available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis from ongoing fuels reduction projects along the Newt Jack Road (Forest Road 923) and Martinez Canyon (forest boundary at San Jose Ct., west of North Pagosa Boulevard in Lake Forest Estates).

The wood is ponderosa pine ranging from 4 to 14 inches in diameter, cut within the last two months, and available with a personal use firewood permit. The trees were thinned to reduce the risk of wildland fire to communities.

People may drive up to 300 feet off Newt Jack Road to access cut trees as long as they do not tear up soil and vegetation and create ruts.

Decked pine logs are available on Forest Service property off San Jose Court, Lake Forest Estates. People may drive through the gate in the fence to park and load wood as long as they do not drive when the road is wet.

Firewood gatherers will need a valid personal use firewood permit to remove the wood. Permits and directions are available at the Pagosa Ranger District Office, 180 Pagosa St., for $10 per cord.

For further information, call the office at 264-2268.

 

Unusable items hamper nonprofit thrift stores

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

In Pagosa Springs, as in many communities, the charitable work of our not-for-profit thrift shops has been a cornerstone in the foundation of society for many years.

In essence, they are in the business of helping others, and certainly, they rely on generous public support.

But now, the actions of a few would-be donors, however unintended, are actually increasing shop operational costs, while reducing overall effectiveness.

It is a concern affecting both the Community United Methodist Church and Humane Society thrift stores, yet one that is easily resolved. It is a problem characterized by a rising number of unsuitable off-hours contributions.

Both stores depend on public donations, and besides cash, both graciously accept contributions of serviceable used clothing, jewelry, books, music, art work, appliances, furniture and more. Once accepted, items are cleaned, priced and sold, thus generating revenues used in assisting people and pets in need.

The key word, of course, is "serviceable."

If a shirt has no buttons, or a jacket zipper doesn't zip, the garment is considered unserviceable. The same is true of a TV that has no picture or sound, or an oven that fails to heat. If a broken rocker, or couch with battered and torn upholstery, holds no value to its owner, it's probably of little use to anyone else either.

Neither of the stores has sufficient personnel or the expertise to render more than simple repairs to slightly deficient items, and neither has the capacity to accept things, especially large ones, that don't function as intended. Yet, nearly every weekend, and often throughout the week, each store finds a variety of unsuitable "gifts" left on its doorstep, usually after hours.

When asked what effect receiving such articles has on store productivity, representatives from both explained that unserviceable items must promptly be discarded in trash Dumpsters that correspondingly fill to capacity every day. Even as non-profit organizations, each must pay the escalating costs of trash removal, which ultimately reduces unwanted offerings to "negative" donations.

"We really appreciate useful donations from the public," explained Christina Woodall of the Humane Society Thrift Store, "but when something is unusable and has to be thrown away, it actually costs us time and money to dispose of it."

Meanwhile, Sabina Elge, worker at the Methodist Church Thrift Store, described how a volunteer recently hauled a flatbed trailer of unserviceable furniture to the dump, only to find another full load left at the store's rear gate overnight.

"The guy paid for gas and the dump fees out of his own pocket," she explained. "Now we have another load to haul away."

Through the Pagosa Outreach Connection, which brings community, faith-based, business and governmental organizations together to help individuals and families in financial crisis, the Methodist Church and its store render emergency financial assistance to people who are typically self-sufficient, but are now unable to pay utility bills, rent, car repair costs, medical payments, or other similar obligations. The thrift store has worked to resell usable items and generate revenue for this cause since 1973.

In a similar role, proceeds from the Humane Society Thrift Store have provided considerable financial support to the local animal shelter for the past 11 years. The shelter provides safe haven and necessary medical care to homeless dogs and cats, until they're adopted by caring and qualified families.

Workers at both stores are quick to express sincere gratitude for the ongoing generosity and assistance afforded them by the entire community, but want to remind everyone that donations must be dropped off during working hours. A phone call describing large items may save an unnecessary trip, while acceptable articles can be checked in and sorted immediately.

The Community United Methodist Church Thrift Store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Humane Society store is also open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Super Superintendent - Vicki Patterson

By Lisa Scott

Special to The SUN

Members of the fair board want to recognize Vicki Patterson's efforts and dedication to the Archuleta County Fair and salute her as this year's Super Superintendent.

Vicki moved to Pagosa Springs as a newlywed 27 years ago. She and her husband, Mike, raised their two daughters, Corri and Kelli, here.

In 1996, Vicki was asked by the fair board to take on a new role as one of the superintendents in the Exhibit Hall. The many and varied ribbons that are awarded annually at the fair were always in disarray so the Ribbon Superintendent position was created. This job entails sorting, organizing, issuing, tracking and ordering the variety of ribbons the fair keeps on hand for annual awards.

The 2006 fair will be Vicki's 10th year in this role, and it will be her last year. She and her husband will be moving to Farmington, N.M. where Mike works as a paramedic. Vicki plans to continue her education and obtain her teaching certificate.

Vicki has been employed as a teachers' aide in the Pagosa Springs school district for 15 years. Her students fondly call her "Miss Pat."

Daughters Corri and Kelli (Vicki's "best accomplishments") are both graduates of Fort Lewis College. Corri is a music teacher at an elementary school in Denver and Kelli just graduated and completed her teachers' certificate requirements in December.

"I love the fair," Vicki exclaimed. "I have so much fun while I'm there. I see so many people that I don't see any other time during the year."

While we are sorry to see Vicki leave Pagosa Springs, we are honored to have had her time and talents for 10 years of fairs. She is a real Super Superintendent.

 

2006 Super Volunteer - Cliff Lucero

By Lisa Scott

Special to The SUN

The fair board would like to honor Cliff Lucero for his tireless work and generosity on behalf of the 4-H program and the Archuleta County Fair.

In 1989, county administrator Dennis Hunt asked Cliff to help with the set-up and some other laborious projects for the benefit of the 4-H program at the county fair. Cliff graciously and gladly agreed.

The following years, Cliff was asked for help by Russell Boosted, Carol Kimsey and Charles Stith.

Every year thereafter, Cliff has been at the fairgrounds to help with set-up and assist in moving things around, then he returns to help during the tear-down of the fair.

Cliff remembers fondly the times he's helped past board members with their various projects at the fairgrounds. He remarked that he was always flattered to be asked, and glad to be able to help.

Many fair board members remember the assistance Cliff gave during the mid and late 1990s with the assembly of the Taste of Pagosa and know it could not have been done without him.

Born and raised in Pagosa, Cliff is proud to be a third-generation Pagosan. He and his wife, Gina, are raising their five children, ages 23 through 9, here as well. Cliff also has a large extended family in the county.

Cliff is well known in this county for his generous spirit and willingness to help. In 1999 he received the Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year in recognition of his many noted efforts.

Annually, the fair board is overwhelmed by Cliff's contributions to the fairgrounds. He has always done what's been requested and he always does several additional things that he notices need to be done.

We are honored to give Cliff the thanks he so richly deserves.

 

Outdoors

Special events on calendar at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Experience a unique part of America's heritage at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

This National Historic Site features the remains of an ancient Ancestral Puebloan village and Chacoan Great House, perched high atop a mesa overlooking the Piedra River valley. Two developed trails lead to both excavated and undisturbed sites by guided walking tours. The lower Great Kiva Loop Trail is barrier free.

The site is accessible daily for guided walking tours (2-2.5 hours long) at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. These informative tours, most led by volunteer interpretive guides, are offered to adults for $8; children 5-11 years old are $2; and there is no charge for children under 5 years old. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.

The visitor cabin has a pit-house model and artifact display and offers a selection of books, gifts and souvenirs, as well as necessities like bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Native American Cultural Gathering and Dances

Traditional singers, storytellers, and dancers will perform at Chimney Rock Saturday and Sunday July 22-23. Native American arts and crafts will be available. Participants from the pueblos of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Laguna, San Felipe and Ohkay Oweingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) will be featured at this year's event. In addition, Jicarilla Apache singers and dancers will perform for the first time at Chimney Rock and Carlos Castaneda will return with Groupo Tlaloc, the charismatic Aztec dance group that has become such a favorite with the public.

An entry fee of $10 will be charged. There are no guided tours of the archaeological site during these two days. For details, call the Friends of Native Cultures at 731-4248.

Life at Chimney Rock

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, interactive demonstrations of crafts and skills of Ancestral Puebloan and regional Native American cultures will be held at Chimney Rock. Free demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include use of the atlatl, basket-making, flint knapping, flute making and playing, grinding grain, pottery making, fiber spinning, and yucca pounding to make rope. The normal, 2-2.5 hour, guided site tours will be offered all weekend at the prices listed above.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District, is a non-profit organization devoted to public education and protection of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area through guided tours, traditional native dance, music, and information programs. Memberships in the association and in Friends of Chimney Rock, and generous gifts of time and money are sincerely welcomed and appreciated.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151.

For more information, call the Visitors' Cabin daily at 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or check the Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.

 

2006 waterfowl survey shows duck population gains

The preliminary 2006 Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat Survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates a total duck population of more than 36 million; or a 14 percent increase from last year's estimate and 9 percent above the 1955-2005 average.

The survey indicated an increase in the quality of waterfowl breeding habitat in the United States and Canada from 2005. Improvements in Canadian and U.S. prairie habitats were primarily due to average to above-average precipitation, warm spring temperatures and the good summer conditions of 2005. The higher number of ponds counted in Prairie Canada this year relative to last are a strong indicator of the improved habitat conditions.

"There's a lot of good news in the survey this year for the total duck population and waterfowl breeding habitat," said H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Most species increased above the estimates of last year and numbers were above the long term baseline. We're especially excited about the fact that while pintail populations are below their historic average numbers, the survey shows a 32 percent increase in pintail population from the previous year. However, wigeon and scaup are not experiencing those positive trends and that's cause for concern."

The Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind in the world, samples 1.3 million square miles across the north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska. The survey estimates the number of ducks in the continent's most important nesting grounds.

Annual survey results help guide the Service in managing waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state representatives from the four flyways - the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific - that waterfowl and other birds use during their migrations to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits.

Highlights from the survey in the north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska include:

- Mallard abundance was 7.3 million birds, which was similar to last year's estimate of 6.8 million birds and the long-term average.

- Blue-winged teal abundance was 5.9 million birds. This value was 28 percent greater than last year's estimate of 4.6 million birds and 30 percent above the long-term average.

- The estimated abundance of green-winged teal at 2.6 million was 20 percent greater than last year and 39 percent above the long-term average.

- The estimated number of 2.8 million gadwall was 30 percent greater than last year and was 67 percent above the long-term average; whereas the estimated number of 916,000 redheads increased 55 percent over 2005 and was 47 percent above the long-term average.

- Canvasbacks numbered 691,000, 33 percent higher than last year and 23 percent over the long-term average.

- Northern shovelers at 3.7 million were 69 percent above their long-term average.

- Although the numbers of most species increased over last year and were greater than their long-term averages, American wigeon at 2.2 million and scaup (lesser and greater combined; 3.2 million) were 17 percent and 37 percent below their long-term averages, respectively. The estimate for scaup was a record low for the second consecutive year.

- The abundance of northern pintails at 3.4 million was 18 percent below the 1955-2005 average, although this year's estimate was 32 percent greater than that of last year.

This preliminary report does not include estimates for the eastern survey area or information from surveys conducted by State or Provincial agencies.

The entire 2006 Trends in Waterfowl Breeding Populations report can be downloaded from the Service's Web site at www. fws.gov/migratorybirds/ and will be updated when the data are compiled.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

 

Elk research and recovery facility hosts picnic

The Cervid Research and Recovery Institute is hosting Picnic at the Preserve noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 23. The event will feature lunch, games and limited tours of the elk preserve.

The institute currently has some of the largest bull elk in North America, and numerous babies on the ground.

The event is free to members; nonmembers pay just $10 per person or $25 per family.

Contact Sharla at (970) 749-4647 for more information or to R.S.V.P for the picnic.

The preserve is located at the San Juan Basin Research Center, four miles south of Hesperus on Colo. 140.

 

Letters

Take action

Dear Editor:

I highly recommend Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," to your readers. This amazing story about the current state of environmental affairs, is, in my opinion, a "must-see" for anyone living on this planet. After viewing the information Gore presents, we can reconsider the "facts" upon which we've based our beliefs, as the vast majority of scientists are standing almost wholly behind it.

Our actions are causing global warming. The evidence shows this isn't just some natural, cyclic occurrence. It's beyond being a political issue, as Gore says: it's a moral issue. The before/later shots of the depletion of our glaciers are indisputably alarming, as some populations depend on them for drinking water. In other areas, devastating impacts are predicted as sea levels rise more than 20 feet. The presentations on diseases and viruses spreading to higher altitudes, and plants and animals migrating from their natural habitats, are aspects that illustrate the fragile interconnection of life and survival on this complex planet.

I respect Gore's thoughtful presentation for everyday understanding of this serious issue and his offering of doable solutions, perhaps the greatest of which is to express our concerns to our legislators, as they are generally inclined to only address those issues that are on the tips of their constituent's tongues. But act, we must, and without further delay, as the hourglass is emptying quickly.

Thankfully, Gore closes with concrete things we can do to reduce our impacts and help avert potential catastrophic consequences. Here are some suggestions from www.climatecrisis.net: Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents; move thermostats down two degrees in winter/up two degrees in summer; clean/replace filters on furnaces and air conditioners; install a programmable thermostat; choose energy-efficient appliances when making new purchases; wrap water heaters in insulation blankets; use less hot water; use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible; turn off electronic devices you're not using; unplug electronics from the wall when not using them; only run dishwashers with full loads/use energy-saving setting; insulate/weatherize your home; recycle; buy recycled paper products; plant a tree/lots of trees; get a home energy audit; switch to green power; buy locally grown foods; buy fresh foods instead of frozen; seek out and support local farmers markets; buy organic foods as much as possible; avoid heavily packaged products; eat less meat; reduce the number of miles you drive - walk, bike, carpool, take mass transit wherever possible; start a carpool with coworkers/classmates; keep your car tuned up; check tires weekly for proper inflation; when it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel-efficient vehicle; try car sharing; try telecommuting from home; fly less.

If you can, please see the movie. If not, the Web site provides good insights and states, "There is no doubt we can solve this problem. In fact, we have a moral obligation to do so. Small changes to your daily routine can add up to big differences in helping to stop global warming. The time to come together to solve this problem is now - take action!"

Most sincerely,

Karen L. Aspin

 

Thanks, Pagosa

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the staff, volunteers and over 2,000 cyclists who participated in the 2006 Ride The Rockies, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Pagosa Springs for the hospitality and hard work offered as a host community.

We would especially like to thank Mary Jo Coulehan, the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Jim Miller, the Town of Pagosa Springs, Julie Jessen, and the entire Ride The Rockies organizing committee that made the tour an overwhelming success.

We have received numerous compliments from cyclists about the wonderful welcome and warm hospitality they received during their visit to Pagosa Springs. All of the people who contributed to the event should be very proud of their accomplishments. We hope that the community was pleased with our visit and would like to see the tour come through Pagosa Springs again in the future.

Sincerely,

Paul Balaguer, tour director

Christina Climaco, community relations coordinator

 

SLA information

Dear Editor:

I would like to supply some information to supplement the story by Sarah O. Smith in the July 13 edition of the The SUN concerning PAWSD's recent action to take on the conservation of the small strip of land around the to-be-expanded Stevens Reservoir.

1. Originally, the Corps of Engineers asked for a full third-party Conservation Easement to protect this small strip of wetlands, and PAWSD asked the Southwest Land Alliance (SLA), as the local land trust, to help it by creating Conservation Easements with the landowners involved.

2. The SLA Board considered this an unusual (for us) situation since so few acres were involved in this narrow strip of land; yet, because it was an important local agency asking our help, the Board authorized staff to pursue the easements.

3. Any eligible organization accepting a Conservation Easement is required to insure the protection and defense of the easement indefinitely into the future ("in perpetuity"). To provide an assured stream of income for that protection and defense, the SLA establishes an endowment for each easement, with the earnings (only) from the endowment used to defray part of the annual costs of protecting the easement.

4. PAWSD's analyses indicated that it could itself protect and defend the conservation of these wetlands with its own staff and from its regular annual budgets. When the Corps of Engineers granted PAWSD the right to take on these tasks itself, without the use of a third-party land trust, PAWSD reasonably decided to do so. By doing so, PAWSD avoided some of the upfront costs of a regular Conservation Easement (e.g., baselines, mineral reports, appraisal) and took on the costs of long-term protection of the land through its annual budget process rather than through an up-front endowment. When PAWSD informed SLA of its plan to pursue this now-possible direction, we concurred completely with the decision.

5. SLA has worked cooperatively with PAWSD in the past on land conservation issues and has every expectation to do so, when needed, in the future. We have been amicable partners for the community interest in other instances as we were in this case.

Nancy Cole

Chair, board of directors

Southwest Land Alliance

 

Consideration

Dear Editor:

If the county is not going to maintain, or even snow plow, its secondary roads, the several thousand taxpayers (property owners and residents) along those roads should rightfully be given some consideration in return. The following is suggested for commissioner consideration.

According to the primary and secondary road lists published in The SUN, there are 515 total roads in the county. Four hundred and five of those roads, about 4/5ths, are classified "secondary." Obviously, a large percentage of the land and of the 12,000 or 13,000 people in the county live along those roads and won't get any road services from the county.

Excluding town, school and other taxing districts, in 2005 the total county tax levy was 18.233 mills of which 3.395 mills (18.62 percent) was for road and bridge.

It would seem only fair and equitable that the assessed value of properties along the secondary roads should be reduced by that 18.62 percent. Those properties should not have to pay for services in the county is not providing them!

Certainly, the market value of those properties will go down, by virtue of not getting road maintenance or snowplowing from the county, which further justifies reduced assessed value.

Commissioners, it is hoped that you will give those property owners reasonable consideration for the service which you are denying them.

A very concerned property owner,

Fred A. Ebeling

 

Bait and switch

Dear Editor:

In an article in the July 16 Denver Post concerning the approval of access to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek across Rio Grande National Forest property, Forest Supervisor Peter Clark is quoted as stating that, "The (project) size, scale, density is the purview of local government." This is consistent with the Forest Service's ongoing position that the development is on private land and not subject to environmental review by any federal agency.

I would remind Mr. Clark that when this development was initially proposed, the land in question was federal land and a part of the Rio Grande National Forest. Ownership of the land passed into the hands of the developer by way of a land swap. The land swap was the subject of an Environmental Assessment that resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact being included in the final notice approving the land swap. This Environmental Assessment was based on a proposed development of less than one tenth what is now proposed by the developer.

To make an Environmental Assessment for one project scale and then build a project of a much larger scale with significantly greater impact seems to be a sort of "environmental bait and switch." It makes a mockery of the NEPA and the entire NEPA process. Maybe I am oversimplifying, but I can't imagine that any local government entity can approve a development that exceeds the scope of the original proposal.

Lal Echterhoff

 

Horse problems

Dear Editor:

Attention Aspen Springs residents:

- After talking with Sheriff Richards two times and leaving three messages;

- After talking with Captain Reilly two times and leaving three messages;

- After talking with animal control officers three times and leaving three messages;

- After talking with dispatch 11 times;

The sheriff's department of Archuleta County had decided it will no longer respond to loose horse calls.

Since May 18 through July 8, 2006 (52 days), horses have been loose and/or crossed a road used by the public or been on private property 51 times. This is a residential neighborhood of one-acre lots and the section of road is about a quarter of a mile long.

As a property owner or resident, you must put up a three-strand barbed-wire fence to keep these animals off your property. You may not step one toe off your property to chase these animals away. If you were to shoot them, you can be cited for cruelty to animals.

There is no law in Colorado for the confinement of stallions. They may run free.

What's wrong with this picture?

Steffy Hodge

Editor's note: it would appear what is wrong with the picture is the state law. According to Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp, Colorado law requires a property owner to fence out horses with the legally defined fence. Only when the property owner has done this, and a horse has broken through that fence, can a law enforcement agency respond to the incident and take action.

 

Bogus charges

Dear Editor:

I am a resident and business owner in Pagosa Springs. I want to give you some information about a scam that again has come to our area that many business owners and residents may be subject to.

CenturyTel allows third party billings to be added to monthly invoices. These third party billings added to your telephone bill are for services that usually are never ordered or purchased by the party being billed. A telemarketing company, in this case "Burgeon Financial," will call your primary phone number and they will ask if ... is your name. All you need to do is say yes and the caller will hang up and you will now be billed for signing up for a service offered by "Burgeon Financial" or whatever the newest company name is at the time of the call. It will take months in most cases, to get these charges off your telephone bill. Many businesses will not even notice the charge until several billing cycles have passed, which only makes it harder to get the service billing stopped. They will argue that because the service was paid for previously, you have accepted the charges. The charges will range from $25-$50 per month. The portion of your bill that contains these extra charges is usually located on the last page of your telephone bill. CenturyTel will put a disclaimer on the bottom saying, "This portion of your bill is provided as a service to the company identified above. There is no connection between CenturyTel and this company. If you have questions concerning this section of your bill, please call the company listed above."

Just recently, CenturyTel has set up a service, at no charge, to stop these third party billings from being added to your phone bill. Call CenturyTel and request the service, "Drop Non-Pick Charges." This will stop these scam companies from being able to use legitimate third party billing companies that have contracts with the phone company to place bogus charges on your account. If you see these extra charges on a bill, you must call CenturyTel and put the charges in dispute. If you decide to omit the payment, this will affect your credit and could cause CenturyTel to cancel your phone service. I write about this because it has caused a lot of problems and taken up valuable time to remove a service never ordered. At this time, we are still looking at 30-90 days to completely remove the unwanted charges from our bill.

Diane Ludwig

 

Selective

Dear Editor:

My question is how can a county maintained road all of a sudden become a non county maintained road?

Looks like the list was very selective.

How can that be?

Lili Pearson

 

   Community News

Adkins Ensemble to provide rare treat for

Music in the Mountains audience tomorrow

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

One of America's most talented classical music families will be showcased at a Music in the Mountains concert when the outstanding Adkins String Ensemble performs on strings and piano in Pagosa Springs at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, July 21.

On the program are Mozart's "Piano Quartet in E-flat major," Briley's "Quintet for a Healing Nation" and Frank's "Piano Quintet in F minor."

Can you imagine the family jam sessions when both parents, their children and one in-law get together for a little night music?

All the Adkins family musicians are famous in their own right as leaders in major orchestras, popular soloists and ensemble players extraordinaire. So when five members of the family take to our stage together, the audience will see a remarkable powerhouse of musical talent.

Among America's best musical families

Christopher Adkins is principal cello of the Dallas Symphony. After completing a master's degree at Yale, he played with the Denver and Milwaukee Symphonies before returning to Dallas to take over the principal chair. The Dallas Morning News critic recently declared, "I can't imagine that any orchestra has a finer principal cellist."

Elisabeth Adkins is associate concertmaster of Washington's National Orchestra. She earned both masters and doctoral degrees at Yale. A Washington Post critic recently praised her "impeccable technique and a tone that melted the heart and warmed the soul," going on to say, "As I listened to Adkins, I realized there is no violinist (including Perlman, Menuhin - anyone) whose playing I prefer."

Clare Adkins Cason is concertmaster of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra, where she performs on violin and viola. She also plays Baroque violin and viola with the Dallas Bach Society. During the summers she pursues her interest in chamber music at various festivals around the country.

Madeline Adkins is assistant concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a position she won after completing her schooling in 2000. The youngest of the Adkins siblings, she has performed as soloist with orchestras in 11 states and served as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.

Edward Newman, husband of Elisabeth Adkins and a Juilliard graduate, is a concert pianist who has been a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony. He combines the qualities of "brilliant technique" (Washington Star) and a "light touch of dazzling clarity" (Cleveland Plain Dealer) with "expressive lyricism" (Washington Post).

All the string players in the family (including two more at home) are natives of Denton, Texas, and received early training at the University of North Texas where their parents were on the music faculty. The Adkins Strong Ensemble has four CDs to its credit.

"Few families boast as many accomplished musicians as the distinguished Adkins clan," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the steering committee in charge of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa. "Having an ensemble of their stature play for us is indeed a very special treat for our town."

A few tickets still available

Tickets for the Adkins String Ensemble are $40, available at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce where you can pay by cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Tickets also can be purchased on line at www.tix.com or through the Music in the Mountains Web site at www.musicinthemountains.com.

All the concerts take place in a spectacular mountain setting at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch and founders of the Music in the Mountains festival in Pagosa.

Clinkenbeard pointed out that ticket prices cover less than one third of the cost of putting on these concerts. "Pagosa audiences greatly enjoy the many soloists we attract summer after summer, as well as our fabulous festival orchestra. That is why the contributions we receive from individual donors, businesses and other larger organizations are so important to our Pagosa festival," she said.

This special concert is presented by Coleman Vision and sponsored in part by Prudential Triple S Realty and BootJack Ranch.

As well, all of the planning and organizational work for Music in the Mountains in Pagosa is done by Clinkenbeard and her local volunteer steering committee composed of Mary Jo Coulehan, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft, Ed Lowrance and Lisa Scott.

Food and beverages available

In keeping with the informality of festival chamber music concerts, the artists will offer commentary from the stage about the pieces they are performing.

Also, a selection of food from sandwiches to dessert and beverages from champagne to coffee will be available for purchase before the concert and during intermission.

 

Oteka Theatre Productions plans outdoor shows

By Libby Neder

Special to The PREVIEW

There is a new kind of uniquely Pagosan attraction - Oteka Theatre Productions' Theatre Under the Stars."

Oteka Theatre Productions is the brainchild of Oteka Bernard. Oteka and her husband, Jon, had spent their lives devoted to theatre, acting, directing and educating themselves all over the country before moving here five years ago to raise their two sons. They have had the opportunity to work with groups such as the Music Boosters, but for the first time since moving here, the Bernards are calling the shots.

"I Ought to be in Pictures," the classic comedy by Neil Simon, and "The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," a one-woman show originally performed on Broadway by Lily Tomlin, are both directed by Oteka and cast entirely of qualified Pagosans. "The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" stars Cynthia Neder, who grew up here in Pagosa, just graduated New York's American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and has returned to her home town just to do this show. "I Ought to be in Pictures," stars John Bernard, Anna Hershey and Candy Flaming.

Theatre Under the Stars takes place in a gorgeous outdoor venue, with excellent food and drinks, and top-notch customer service. Performances will occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, July 20 through Aug. 26, with one of the two shows performed every night. The audience will be expected to be dressed casually, when the show begins at 7 p.m. on the outdoor stage nestled in the trees. Patrons are welcome as early as 6, when they can have their car valet parked, and enjoy dinner and drinks at the stageside restaurant and bar.

"I Ought to be in Pictures," which will run July 20-22, July 27-29 and Aug. 24-26 showcases Neil Simon's classically quick wit in this heartwarmingly hilarious story about an estranged father and daughter's haphazard reunion.

"The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," by Jane Wagner, is raucous, energetic, hilarious social commentary that calls upon one actress to create the commentary and the society and more than a dozen different wacky characters.

Both of these shows are full length, lighthearted comedies, but due to some mature humor, it isn't recommended that children be brought along.

Each evening will last until about 9:30 p.m., and it can get chilly, so bring your jackets. Dinner and drinks will be available before the show, and dessert at intermission.

Tickets are $18/$20 at the door, and include admission and valet parking. The theatre is located in the trees 3.7 miles north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road (CR 600). Call (970) 759-3142, or e-mail Tickets@OtekaTheatre.com, for ticket information.

 

'Voices in America,' summer theater at Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College's Voices in American Drama play reading series continues it's critically-acclaimed presentation of new work with an evening of three one-acts by young writers.

One-Acts for the Future takes place 8 p.m. Thursday, July 27, in the Fort Lewis College Amphitheater. Admission is free.

Selected plays include:

- "Perspect Prospect," by Alex Gagne-Hawes , directed by Katie Brost. Gagne-Hawes, a playwright based in Portland, Ore., theatrically explores the interconnectedness, awkwardness, and small moments of beauty inherent to platonic and romantic relationships in his short play about a group of friends.

- "My Life in a Former Life, or The Butterfly Exhibit," by Tina Satter. Feathered appendages, a country at war, a ridiculous courtroom trial . . . Tina Satter puts an absurdist bent and poetic language to play in a one-act about a woman with wings in love with a soldier.

- "Wednesday's at Ten," by Martin Dittiger, directed by Kurt Lancaster. Dittiger received an M.A. in theater from the University of Maine, where he developed this two-person comedy that puts a surprise spin on the male/female relationship.

The ensemble cast includes: Angela Garbardi, Joseph Martinez, Marilyn Leftwich, Geoffrey Johnson, Don Doane, Jimmy Johnson, Athena Gundlach, Dawson Cole, Rachel Gressler, and Katie Brost.

For more information call Tina Satter at (971) 222-5088 or e-mail kristinasatter@yahoo.com

 

'Select works' features nine regional artists

"Select Works" at Shy Rabbit features artists Susan Andersen (MarSan), mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Sarah Comerford, painting; Ron Fundingsland, intaglio printmaking; Deborah Gorton, mixed media; Shaun Martin, painting; Al Olson, photography; Lisa Pedolsky, ceramics; and Kate Petley, resin on acrylic panels.

This week, the gallery is open today, July 20 and Saturday, July 22 from 1-4 p.m. Next week, the gallery will be open Tuesday, July 25; Thursday, July 27; and Saturday, July 29 from 1-4 p.m.

"Select Works" will be on display through Aug. 12.

Shy Rabbit - a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery - is gaining widespread recognition for its cutting edge exhibitions and professional workshops. Shy Rabbit appeals to discerning art lovers and area visitors alike, with its contemporary appearance and welcoming atmosphere. Approximately 175 people attended the "Select Works" opening reception July 1.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, go north to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

 

Chimney Rock site of Native American Cultural Gathering

By Caroline Brown

Special to The PREVIEW

It is time for the 12th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering, this weekend.

On July 22 and 23, Chimney Rock 2006 will celebrate and preserve the past in today's world through traditional Native American song and dance.

Participants from the pueblos of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, Laguna, San Felipe and Ohkay Oweingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) will be featured at this year's event. In addition, Jicarilla Apache singers and dancers will perform for the first time at Chimney Rock and Carlos Castaneda will return with Groupo Tlaloc, the charismatic Aztec dance group that has become such a favorite with the public.

Two cultural programs will be presented each day beginning at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, and all proceeds are divided among the singers and dancers. No advance tickets will be sold, nor will there be any guided tours at Chimney Rock on either day. Native American arts and crafts will be available.

Chimney Rock 2006 will also acknowledge another historic milestone, the Antiquities Act Centennial. One hundred years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt signed "An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities," otherwise known as the Antiquities Act of 1906. This was the first time the United States recognized, in law, that the material remains of the past were a valuable part of our heritage.

The Antiquities Act set the stage for a comprehensive body of law and policies that became the foundation for the cultural resource management programs of federal land managing agencies. The act created criminal sanctions for the destruction of antiquities, provided for permits to authorize study of archaeological sites, and allowed presidential designation of outstanding archaeological, historic and scientific areas as national monuments for long-term preservation.

Come out and celebrate the ongoing presence of indigenous cultures in this area for the last 1,000 years, as well as the Antiquities Act Centennial, and be part of the 12th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering.

The Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is located approximately 20 miles west of Pagosa Springs.

This special event is sponsored by Friends of Native Cultures with funding provided by Durango Friends of the Arts, San Juan National Forest, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association and the Major Lunar Standstill Program.

For more information, call Caroline Brown at 731-4248.

 

In Step Dance Club banquet and ball Saturday

By Deb Aspen

Special to the PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club will host the Stars and Stripes Awards Banquet and Ball Saturday, July 22, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

This will be a formal (or semiformal) affair given in honor of graduating dance students, and winners of In Step's Merit Program.

A Certificate of Achievement Award will be presented to each of the following graduates: Karen Bynum, John Hoehn, Teri Hoehn, Bodil Holstein, Loretta Lewis, Jennifer Matcham, and Gerry Potticary. We especially encourage family members and friends of our graduates to come support these honorees, but we also invite any adult interested in ballroom, country or Latin dance to attend. Even if you don't dance, it will prove to be an evening of entertainment to remember.

The evening will begin at 6:30 with caterer Eddie B Cookin’ as he presents his tantalizing pasta bar, including penne and fettucine pastas; marinara, alfredo and pesto sauces; chicken or Italian sausage; bell pepper, zuchinni, mushrooms, onions and tomato toppings to choose from; along with fresh parmesan cheese and bread. In Step will complement the entrée buffet with a salad bar, a sundae buffet, and an extensive beverage bar.

The awards presentation will start around 7:30 with honor dances preformed by some of the graduating students. Honor dances are a way of giving dancers an opportunity to show their skills, either with their partner or with Charles Jackson or me. These performances are impromptu, and are not choreographed routines.

To complement the evening, there will be door prizes given away, and lots of general dancing to a wide variety of CD music. Also slated is a special video presentation of excerpts of the Banff (Alberta) Dance-O-Rama, where viewers will see Charles and me competing in an international event. As a added feature, we will perform, live, our award-winning, fox-trot solo to the song, "Orange Colored Sky."

There is a suggested donation of $15 per person (at the door only), that will defray the cost of the event with any leftover proceeds placed in a dancing scholarship fund. Please R.S.V.P. the banquet and ball by calling 731-3338 or e-mailing instep@centurytel.net. Come on down; let's have a ball!

 

Love a mystery? Try the Film Society

It's mystery night at the Pagosa Springs Film Society meeting Tuesday, July 25.

And the mystery is: What will the movie be?

Due to an unusual set of circumstances, the film scheduled by the selection committee became unavailable. The replacement will not have been chosen in time for this article, but there will be a movie.

The Film Society meets at 7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month at 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 back parking lot and look for the big sign. A suggested $3 donation will benefit The Friends of the Library.

 

Two free family concerts highlight Music in the Mountains' fifth season

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

For the third year in a row, a musical performance starring local children and members of the festival orchestra will highlight the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains free concert schedule this summer. As well, for the first time ever the Bank of the San Juans is hosting a free concert and barbecue in their parking lot for their customers and the community.

Free Family Festivo

The first outdoor community program for families and "kids of all ages," called Family Festivo, will take place in Town Park on Thursday, July 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this event, Music in the Mountains will present the premiere performance of a totally new musical version of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale "Bremen Town Musicians."

After the concert, a free lunch with dessert will be served, thanks to the Bank of the San Juans, LPEA Roundup Foundation, Town of Pagosa Springs, El Pomar Youth in Community Service, and those who attend the annual Music in the Mountains benefit event each summer. Supplies also have been donated by The Springs Resort, Wildflower Catering, Edward Jones Investments and A&P Tents. The generosity of these sponsors makes it possible for Music in the Mountains to offer this event free to everyone.

During and after lunch, free games will be available for the kids until 2 p.m.

Children attending this event must be accompanied by an adult. Also, for safety's sake, please leave your animals at home.

Felicia Meyer and Mark Brown are program coordinators and directors of the children playing the parts in "Bremen Town Musicians." Costumes and set design are by Michael DeWinter and props design by Tasha Murphy. Larry Elginer will emcee the event.

The music will be performed by 15 members of the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra conducted by Mischa Semanitsky, founder and artistic director of the festival.

"Bremen Town Musicians"

The musical score for "Bremen Town Musicians" was composed by Simon Sargon to celebrate the birth of his first grandchild. Sargon, a professor of composition at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, enjoys wide recognition as a composer, pianist and music lecturer in the U.S. and internationally. Sargon will visit Pagosa Springs to attend the event and narrate the story.

All of the instruments involved in the story will be demonstrated for the audience, with the hope that this orientation may encourage some of the children attending to want to learn to play an instrument.

"Many adults who now love classical music were first introduced to symphonies in their childhood when they attended a children's concert like this one," said Lisa Scott, co-chair with Claudia Rosenbaum of Family Festivo. "We know everyone who comes will enjoy the music and the characters in the story. We also hope they will be encouraged to learn more about great music and the many instruments that bring it to life."

The story and the actors

"Bremen Town Musicians" is the story of four animals — a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster - who have been thrown out of their homes because they are getting old. They meet on the road to the town of Bremen, and decide to join together to form a musical group.

Of course they have several adventures along the way, including meeting up with a group of robber raccoons. We don't want to ruin the suspense, so we will keep the details of the story a secret until the performance on July 27.

Playing the musicians in the story are Cheyan Rice (donkey), Tyler Greenly (cat), Miah Pitcher (dog) and Zach Brown (rooster). The robber raccoons will be played by Josh Smith, Dylan Lindberg, Julia LeLievre, Molly Burkesmith and William Meyer.

Bank of San Juans concert

On Friday, Aug. 4, Bank of the San Juans will host a free barbecue and concert in the bank's parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music in the Mountains fiddler Tom Demer will perform.

Grilled hot dogs, chips, sodas and other goodies are on the menu. Then the audience will enjoy the toe-tapping sounds of Demer on the fiddle.

Demer has been a classical violist with the Dallas Symphony for more than 20 years, and a kickin' country fiddler for more than 30. He is among the most entertaining and versatile string players in the country - and is almost as well known for his fun style as for his great music.

At age 16, Demer won his first old-time fiddlers' contest while already the youngest member of the Tucson Symphony. In addition to his extensive classical music activities, today Demer plays weekly nursing home jazz concerts, writes and records commercial pop and rock CD songs, and plays in nightclubs.

Hosting this community outdoor concert is a first for Bank of the San Juans in Pagosa Springs.

"We wanted to do something special to help Music in the Mountains celebrate its fifth season in our town," said Angie Beach, vice president and marketing director for the bank. "This concert is our way of saying thank you for banking with us and for making this such a great community to live and work in."

 

Stieglitz changed art in America

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Alfred Stieglitz showed the works of Cezanne, Picasso, Rodin and Matisse at his Little Gallery of the Photo-Secession, six years before the famed Armory Show in 1913.

On July 13, 2006, 21 interested artists, photographers and community members gathered at Shy Rabbit for a presentation on Stieglitz and his 291 Gallery by Dr. Marilee Jantzer-White.

White, who teaches art history at Fort Lewis College, is a petite woman with a passion for her work. She talked without notes for over an hour about modern art in the early 20th century. More importantly, she provided slides to visually highlight the spectacular differences between American Art in early 1900 and the work of those that Stieglitz promoted.

The realism and austerity of photography at the time, used only to document things as they existed, was represented in the work of Timothy Sullivan, a Civil War photographer. This contrasted with the work of Stieglitz, whose famous photo "The Steerage" is all about line and form.

Even more dramatically, White showed slides of work by Thomas Cole from the Hudson River School representing painters trying to capture the realism of nature on the canvas. Stieglitz wanted photography to be considered fine art and in order to do so, felt that painting no longer needed to document things as they are in nature, but should move in a new direction. The only work he found at the time was that of European painters like Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse.

Seeing a work by Matisse, with all its vibrant, emotional color, or a work by Cezanne, with it's geometry of white canvas and focused color, in contrast with a painting by someone like Thomas Cole drives home the vast difference between what was considered art and taught in the art schools at the time, and what we now know as modern art.

Stieglitz believed that painters and photographers should not mimic what the other can achieve in their medium.

It was in 1907, 1908 and 1909 that Stieglitz launched the first exhibitions of Picasso's work in the United States. Stieglitz also showed nudes by Rodin that had so incensed the German public that the gallery director who showed the works in Germany had to resign. In the United States, all of Rodin's nude work sold to mostly women.

American artist John Marin was a Stieglitz favorite and it was fascinating to see Stieglitz photographs of the Woolworth Building in New York next to an abstracted painting by Marin of the same scene.

Yet, many artists disagreed with Stieglitz emphasis on European painting and sculpture, believing that the genius of America was in its machinery and that American artists needed to focus on something entirely new. Eventually, artists like Duchamp, O'Keeffe and Arthur Dove would move in that direction.

Until 1930, O'Keeffe painted very small, but influenced by muralists like Diego Rivera and moving away from Stieglitz's philosophy, she began painting what she described as something American, something big and up close.

It was Duchamp who felt that Stieglitz had it all wrong and that American art should go in a different direction. And it did. Today, Duchamp is more well-known than any American painter shown by Stieglitz. Very few people have ever heard of John Marin or Arthur Dove. Even O'Keeffe is better known than her husband, Alfred Stieglitz.

The presentation by Dr. White was the first in a series called "Let's Explore," a new program at Shy Rabbit. "Let's Explore Alfred Stieglitz" was made possible by the generous donation of slide projectors and screens from Bruce Andersen and Jim Struck. The event was coordinated by Al Olson.

The "Let's Explore" series will continue to bring in guest speakers, slide presentations, films and experts to discuss the many facets of art and art history.

In August, "Let's Explore" will feature a film on Andy Goldsworthy and in September, a film on Isamu Noguchi.

"The 'Let's Explore' series is an opportunity to bring in experts in their field to Pagosa and for those of us actively involved in the creation of Shy Rabbit to do what we love — explore art in all it's many forms and facets, sit around and talk about it and share in the experience," Michael Coffee said.

"Let's Explore — Goldsworthy" is one night only, Aug. 12, and "Let's Explore — Noguchi" is Sept. 14. The suggested donation for both films is $5.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, go north to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

 

Buses will roll for Church of Christ Vacation Bible School

By Dorman Diller

Special to The PREVIEW

The buses are ready to roll to pick up children for Vacation Bible School next Monday.

Vacation Bible School at the Pagosa Springs Church of Christ will be Monday through Friday, July 24-28. Sessions will meet daily, 9:30-11:30 a.m. All children 2 years old though eighth grade are invited to attend Vacation Bible School.

The theme of this year's VBS will be "Sailing With The Savior."

Each day's lesson will center around a story from the life of Jesus and be used to teach a lesson for the day. Themes for the day include commitment, faith, respect, love and sharing. Each student is actively involved as the Bible stories come to life with acting, puppet shows, games, quizzes, songs and crafts.

On Wednesday evening, the children put on a program demonstrating what they have learned in VBS. VBS concludes Friday with a hot dog picnic in the park. Parents, family and friends are invited to those activities as well as being encouraged to visit the daily classes at any time.

Transportation with the church buses will be provided in the downtown area through Pagosa Lakes and out to Aspen Springs. Enrollment forms can be found in the paper or on flyers posted around town.

If your children need transportation, you need more information, or you want to enroll your children, call the church office at 264-2552 or Dorman Diller at 264-4454. Make plans for your children to attend this exciting time of learning and growing.

 

Festival favorite Drew Emmitt returns with electric ensemble

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

The 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Sept. 1-3 on Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs.

The three-day outdoor festival features nationally touring musicians Delbert McClinton, Dar Williams, Eddie From Ohio, RobinElla, the Waybacks, the Biscuit Burners, Old School Freight Train, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, the Duhks, The Stringdusters, Brad Davis, John Moore and Company, Anne and Pete Sibley, the Hot Strings and Julie Lee.

A longtime favorite at the festival, Drew Emmitt will return this year with a new electric ensemble, breaking away from his recent, more traditional sound. The dynamic lead singer and mandolin player with the popular jamband Leftover Salmon, Drew Emmitt is a true renaissance man on musical instruments. Playing mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, flute and electric guitar, he's a string man to be reckoned with. Drew excels in unique, energy-driven mandolin licks and his influences include a pantheon of musical heroes including Lowell George, Steve Morse, Duane Allman, John Cowan, Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Hot Rize and New Grass Revival.

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

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

Emmitt's dedication and love for music have helped him become one of the nation's top mandolin players. Rounding out his ensemble for the Pagosa event are Jeff Sipe, one of the most accomplished and versatile drummers in the musical universe; bassist Greg Garrison; versatile guitarist Tyler Grant and banjo player extraordinaire Noam Pikelny.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Tickets to this year's Four Corners Folk Festival can be purchased with a credit card by calling (970) 731-5582 or online at www.folkwest.com. Tickets are also available at Moonlight Books downtown or at WolfTracks Coffee and Books in the Pagosa Country Center, by cash or check. The festival features on-site camping, free music workshops, food and merchandise vendors, free admission for children 12 and under and a free kids' program throughout the weekend.

 

Local talents urged to enter the annual Colgate Country Showdown

The 25th annual Colgate Country Showdown is coming to Pagosa Springs. KWUF 1400 AM will host America's largest country music talent search and radio promotion. Approximately $200,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded nationwide including the Grand Prize of $100,000 cash to the National Winner, presented at the televised special.

Designed to find the most promising country music talent in the United States for the past 25 years, the Colgate Country Showdown gives aspiring artists a chance to launch their professional careers. Thousands of performers compete annually for the country Showdown title.

Each summer, hometown talent contests sponsored by over 500 local radio stations across the country pave the road to stardom. Local winners advance to over forty state contests where the prizes include $1,000 in cash and the opportunity to compete at on of the five regional contests in the fall. The five regional winners receive an expense-paid trip to the National Final to compete for $100,000 and the coveted National Title.

"We consider the Colgate Country Showdown one of the most anticipated events in country music each year," said Will Spears, KWUF station manager. "It is an exciting community event that provides aspiring artists in our area an opportunity for state, regional, and national exposure while promoting a greater appreciation of country music. We are pleased and proud to join the Archuleta County Fair, 4-H Livestock, Colorado Loan Consultants and Slices of Nature as local sponsors in the twenty-fifth annual Colgate Country Showdown."

Open to vocal and/or instrumental performers, the Colgate Country Showdown welcomes individual acts or groups with up to seven members to compete. Acts also must not have performed on a record listed in the national record chards of Billboard, Radio and Records, or the Gavin Report within 18 months preceding local competition. A $10 entry fee is required of all contestants to begin the Colgate Country Showdown competitions, produced by participating country music radio stations.

To ensure fairness, a uniform judging system is used on all levels of competition.

Entry forms are available at KWUF (702 South 10th Street), by calling 264-5983, e-mailing admin@kwuf.com or by dropping by the CSU Extension Office at the county fairgrounds.

 

Pagosa artist's sculptures selected for Texas competition

Four of Pagosa artist Linda Echterhoff's art works, unique sculptural combinations of bronze and stone, have been selected for inclusion in the 15th annual Juried Art Competition at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center in Breckenridge, Texas.

The competition was juried by Scott Myers, painter, sculptor and Professional Sculptor Member of the National Sculpture Society. The show, a national competition, will run Aug. 26- Sept. 29.

Echterhoff's art works have also been recently featured in several juried shows in the Four Corners region: Farmington Museum 2006 Gateway to Imagination: A National Juried Art Competition; The Durango Arts Center 2006 31st annual Juried Exhibit; and the Shy Rabbit 2005 Artists' Invitational and Open Juried Exhibition. Echterhoff won Honorable Mention awards at both the Gateway and DAC shows for her piece titled "Seed Pod," a mixed media work composed of cardboard, paper tape and glue.

Echterhoff is represented locally by the Wild Spirit Gallery in Pagosa Springs.

 

2006 Archuleta County Fair schedule of events

Listed below is the schedule of events for Archuleta County Fair 2006. All events take place in the venues at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

Wednesday, Aug. 2

Exhibit Hall - 1-8 p.m. Open Class check-in. All exhibits (except baked goods) must check-in today.

Thursday, Aug. 3

Extension Building - 8 a.m.- on. 4-H projects judging.

Education Tent - 11:30 a.m. U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture demonstration.

Exhibit Hall - 1-6 p.m. Open Class Exhibits judging.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Swine, Steer, Goat weigh-in.

Livestock Tent - 2 p.m. Lamb weigh-in.

Education Tent - 4 p.m. EARTH QUEST! Open full time. Exhibits include National Resource Conservation Service, National Parks Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Gem and Mineral Display, 4-H Cloverbuds and Day Camp, CSU Master Gardeners, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Archuleta County Sheriff Dept., Get Hooked on Fishing Program, Ruby Sisson Public Library Program, and more.

Activity Tent - 4 p.m. Chili Cook-Off entries accepted, contestants admitted free; 5 p.m. chili judging, red, green, salsa, and novelty.

Activity Tent - 6-10 p.m. A Hot Time in the Old Town! Chili tasting, live dance music with the Jeff Strahan Band, Salsa dancing, lessons and contest, fire juggling by Wade Henry, jalapeño eating contest. Lots of prizes for participants! Chili winners announced.

Exhibit Hall - 6-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Livestock Tent - 6 p.m. Goat Show.

Rodeo Arena - 7:30 p.m. Busted Spur Rodeo.

Friday, Aug. 4

Livestock Tent - 8 a.m. Swine Show, Rabbit Showmanship.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Fairgrounds - 10 a.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 10 a.m. Cake decorating contest.

Education Tent - 10 a.m.-noon. Library Summer Reading Program.

Livestock Tent - 10 a.m. Rabbit judging.

Activity Tent - 11 a.m. Creative Cooks contest.

Fairgrounds - 12:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Education Tent - 1 p.m. Law enforcement dog demo.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Turkey Showmanship; 1:30 p.m. Turkey judging; 2 p.m. Poultry judging.

Activity Tent - 1:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds - 3 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 3 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Livestock Tent - 4 p.m. Heifer Show; 5 p.m. Steer Show.

Activity Tent - 5:30 p.m. Jana Burch tap dancer show.

Fairgrounds - 6:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 6 p.m. Colgate Country Showdown

Derby Arena - 7 p.m. Demolition derby.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Livestock Tent - 8:30 a.m. Market Goat show.

Horseshoe pits - 9 a.m. Horseshoe contest.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Fairgrounds - 9:30 a.m. Wade Henry juggling, unicyclist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 10 a.m. Mad Science show.

Livestock Tent - 10 a.m. Market Lamb show.

Fairgrounds - 11:30 a.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 11:30 a.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 1 p.m. Mad Science show.

Education Tent - 1 p.m. Law enforcement dog demo.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Round Robin.

Activity Tent - 1 p.m. Dog Obedience and Agility show.

Fairgrounds - 2 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 2:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds - 3:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 5 p.m. Mad Science show.

Activity Tent - 4-6:30 p.m. 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner.

Livestock Tent - 6:30 p.m. Livestock auction.

Activity Tent - 7:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show; 9-midnight, Fair Dance featuring Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge.

Sunday, Aug. 6

Activity Tent - 8-10 a.m. Pancake breakfast and Fellowship of Christian Cowboys Durango Chapter Worship Service.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Open to the public.

Livestock Tent - 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Livestock Record Book judging.

Fairgrounds Patio - 10 a.m. Mad Science show.

Activity Tent - 11 a.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - Noon. Mad Science Show.

Rodeo Arena - 1-4 p.m. Kids' Rodeo.

Activity Tent - 2 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 3 p.m. Mad Science show.

Exhibit Hall - 4-6 p.m. Open Class Exhibits mandatory checkout.

Did you know that over 200 Archuleta County citizens volunteer their time to make the Archuleta County Fair happen each year? To join, call 264-2388 or log on to archuletacountyfair.com.

The Archuleta County Fair Board congratulates all 4-H Club members and leaders for a great 2006 fair.

 

Is Pagosa's chili cook-off ready to go big time?

By Sally High

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs hosts a chili cook-off at its Archuleta County Fair and chili cook-off enthusiasts have requested that the fair pay more attention to this favorite hometown event.

We hear you and we've planned a bigger, better chili cook-off. This year's fourth annual chili cook-off is Thursday evening, Aug. 3, at the party that kicks off the fair: It's "A Hot Time in the Old Town!"

Chili cooks are admitted free at the fair entry gate at 4 p.m. Chili judging is at 5 and the public tasting begins at 6. "A Hot Time in the Old Town" features live music by the Jeff Strahan Band, salsa dance lessons and a dance contest, fire juggling, a jalapeño eating contest, and lots of prizes for participants. Bring your whole family out to the fair that night to help decide the big question: Do we want to become a sanctioned chili cook-off?

The biggest changes to our small town event, if we were to be a big-time chili cook-off, would be: 1. We'd have to cook from scratch on site. Instead of bringing in a crock pot, we'd bring in propane burners and cook our chili right there in the three or four hours before the judging; 2. We'd pay dues to a chili society. The fair board would choose the chili society we want to affiliate with and follow their rules; 3. We'd have more serious contestants. The chili society would advertise our sanctioned event and this would bring lots of "chiliheads" to Pagosa for our fair.

Categories this year are red chili (no beans), green chili (no beans), salsa and novelty. The novelty chili category remains for our unique bean and vegetarian entries, but is not a sanctioned chili society category. We'll award a first-place prize for each of the four categories and give out a Peoples' Choice award. The judges will choose a grand prize winner from among the red, green and salsa entries.

The grand prize winner will win a trip for two to the Colorado State Chili Cook-Off and the Rocky Mountain Regional Chili Cook-Off in Winter Park, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26 and 27. This includes two nights for two guests at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge and $100 for gasoline. The grand prize winner can give us more feedback about the big question: Does Pagosa want to affiliate with a chili society and go big time?

This year we have five judges for a fair and blind judging. Thanks to Eddie B Cookin, JJ's Upstream, Kip's, Dogwood Cafe and The Getaway for judging the best chili recipes in Pagosa.

Tell all the Pagosa chiliheads you know about this growing event. Entry Thursday night is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children under 3 are free.

Entry to the fair Friday, Saturday or Sunday is only $2 for adults and $1 for students. Visit us at archuletacountyfair.com for more details about the fair and use the "contact us" link to let us know what you think. Should Pagosa host a sanctioned chili cook-off ?

 

UU service to feature dramatized reading of play

On Sunday, July 23, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a dramatized reading of "The case of Mother Earth versus World's People."

This original play, written by nationally-recognized Unitarian playwright Doug Stewart is a fun, informative, and interactive production which documents a case brought by Mother Earth, charging World's People with "acting in ways to cause her grievous personal harm and limit her inherent civil rights to a fruitful existence."

This trial by jury (the audience), held in the International Court of Last Resort, is perhaps "the most important trial in the history of civilization."

The cast includes members of the UU Fellowship and its Environmental Committee (recently expanded to the larger community and renamed the Southwest Organization for Sustainability, or S.O.S.).

The author, Doug Stewart, from Santa Fe, who is also a nationally recognized global warming expert, will be in attendance to answer any questions.

The service, child care and the children's program begin 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 back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

 

Annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race

Get ready Š get set Š for the annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race and Picnic.

More specifically, get ready to race over to Town Park Saturday, Aug. 19, where you'll enjoy a classic auto show, kids' games, a gigantic duck race, prizes and, of course, a food court.

The fun will begin around 10 a.m. with the classic auto show. Owners of four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive classic cars and trucks from pre-1930 to 1980 are welcome to enter their vehicles. There is no registration fee and a trophy or plaque will be awarded for Best in Show. For more information about the car show, contact Frank Martinez in the evening at (970)264-5435.

The food court and kids' games will begin around 11:30 a.m. The food court will include the Boy Scouts selling the American classic hamburger and hot dogs and the Flying Burrito providing a Hispanic flavor in foods. A prize raffle will start around 12:30 p.m. and the duck race will follow around 2:30.

You can purchase tickets for the duck race at several locations around town. First prize in the duck race will be $1,000, with a second-place prize of $500 and a third-place prize of $100. All proceeds will go to the Knights of Columbus charities.

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

 

Our Savior Lutheran vacation Bible school seeks treasure

By Margaret Wallace

Special to The SUN

Join us at the "Treasure Cove," where sand tickles your toes and balmy breezes blow while discovering the riches of God's Grace in Jesus.

Children from the age of 4 through fifth grade will go on a treasure hunt every day, digging into scripture to find the greatest treasure of all - Jesus Christ.

The fun begins 9 a.m.-noon July 31 and ends Aug. 4. The children will meet Chester the Treasure Chest, sing, pray and hear about his lost gems. Then it's off to five fun activity sites where they will also collect clues to help find Chester's lost gems.

This year's mission project reaches out to a Lutheran school in New Orleans greatly affected by hurricane Katrina. Mission projects help teach young people to respond to God's love by sharing the gifts He gives.

Preregistration is encouraged for adequate planning of supplies and space. However, in order to accommodate all treasure hunters, the July 31 session will begin at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, call Margaret Wallace, VBS director, at 264-2756.

 

Meet other writers at Brown Bag gatherings

Every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Brown Bag Writers meet at Shy Rabbit to listen to the muse, tap into the creative river, and learn to not take themselves so seriously.

Facilitated by freelance writer Leanne Goebel, the group is informal and fun. Goebel provides writing prompts in the form of phrases, music or visual stimuli and writers are free to spend 20-30 minutes writing. Then, the writers share their work (don't worry, if you don't feel comfortable, you can pass).

This is a gathering for writers of all levels and abilities. It is an opportunity to practice writing, to prime the pump. Bring your writing tools (pens, paper, notebooks, laptop) and a sack lunch if you would like.

Cost if $5 per session and drop-ins are welcome.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, go north and turn left on Bastille Drive (at UBC) and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located next to Pine Valley Rental.

For more information about Brown Bag Writers, log on to http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

 

Community center offers self-help class

By Becky Herman

Special to The PREVIEW

A class, Self-Help for Health, starts Monday, Aug. 7, at the community center at 5:30 p.m. and runs through Sept. 11.

There will be an opportunity to meet the facilitator, Medora Bass, Ph.D., at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 28, at the community center. Refreshments will be served.

Self-Help for Health is based on Bass's personal experience, when she became ill in the mid 1980s. She was working at the time as an expressive therapist and she began to use the processes which she taught to others on herself. Using those methods was helpful in determining what course of action to take regarding her own health care.

Bass was in bed for two years and during that time read a biography of Edgar Cayce who was able, while dreaming, to determine what remedies to suggest to a person who had a health challenge. The biography gave Medora the realization that dreams could be used to help determine physical ailments and what to do to help oneself.

Soon after she had a dream about amalgam dental fillings, and when she told a friend about the dream, was sent a packet of articles about amalgam fillings and their possible toxicity. Another friend lent her a book which included a description of her symptoms as being those of someone with MS. Upon going to her physician she was told she was not sick. The same day she went to her doctor, her car radiator overheated and was towed to the dealership. The car service supervisor told Medora, "Car mechanics don't retire; they die of MS." He implied that the lead found in gasoline was the cause. At this point, concerned that she had MS, she called another friend who was a neurologist and who eventually gave her a prescription for MS. That friend told her that MS was not curable with Western medicine. At that point Medora decided to pursue other means of health care.

She then went to see a doctor who had written an article on mercury toxicity. He suggested that she have her amalgam fillings removed. She did and about 10 years later was given a clean bill of health by a neurologist.

After her amalgam fillings were removed, she went to a chiropractor who did Total Body Modification Technique (TBM). After about 15 years of treatment he said that he never would have known how to treat her except that she asked questions at the beginning of each appointment. Those questions were based on information she got inwardly from doing processes such as those presented in the class She checked out all the inner information with doctors over the course of 15 years, and it was all found to be correct.

Another instance in which she used the processes she teaches in the class involved a knee injury. After her dislocated her knee was put back in place, she was told the knee would heal in six weeks. It did not. Frustrated with the situation she pretended to ask her knee what was the problem. What she heard by way of a response were the words "rheumatoid arthritis." She asked a physician for a test for rheumatoid arthritis. The results were positive.

About the same time she had a dream that she had food in the knee. On a picnic she became aware that eating a raw food made her knee pain worse. Medora began to track what she ate and the effect on her knee. She eliminated certain pain-causing foods, and after three years of tracking the food she ate and the results in her knee, it was healed. She was tested for rheumatoid arthritis twice since, and the results were negative. The decisions she made regarding health care and how to help herself were largely based on inner information gained from the techniques she teaches.

The class is experiential. In each class, new techniques are introduced and often practiced in class. Other techniques are given for homework. The purpose of the class is to familiarize people with processes that they can use to help themselves with their health.

The techniques involve art, imagery, dreams, dialog, writing and observation. Some techniques help one to gain insight into how one may have contributed to his or her ill health inadvertently, either physically, emotionally, mentally or unconsciously. Some techniques are designed to release patterns that are no longer working for a person, and others are to help one create positively what one wants.

Medora Bass, Ph.D., facilitator, has been using expressive therapy to help others since the mid 1960s. She has worked privately and also through non-profit organizations. She has taught Expressive Therapy at J. F. Kennedy University in Orinda, Calif. and Southwestern College in Santa Fe, N.M. Also, she has painted for 10 years. and has an M.F.A. in painting and a master's in spiritual science. She has 20 years experience dealing with health challenges.

 

Chuck Bob at the Movies

Pirates' 2 a worthy summer sequel

By Charles Streetman

After riding the cinematic theme park ride for what I can only guess is the thousandth time, writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and director Gore Verbinski have returned with a sequel to the 2003 smash hit "Pirates of the Caribbean."

In "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Johnny Depp again brings the flamboyant and wily Captain Jack Sparrow to life. This time, though, Jack may be in for more than he bargained for, when the diabolical Davey Jones (Bill Nighy, "Shaun of the Dead") calls for him to pay a debt owed to the slimy tyrant; a debt that will be paid with Sparrow's soul!

Meanwhile, dark times fall on Will Turner (Orlando Bloom, "Kingdom of Heaven") and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley, "Pride and Prejudice"). What was to be the day of their wedding becomes the day of their arrest by Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander, "Pride and Prejudice"), for aiding in Sparrow's escape at the end of the first film. Their punishment for helping Sparrow escape is death. Beckett, however, offers a proposition to Turner: Should he be able to track down Sparrow, and convince him to surrender a specific possession of his and return it, he will sign release papers for both him and Miss Swann.

Turner then sets out to find Jack, who is searching for a sacred chest and the key to open it. What is inside this chest will be Jack's only salvation from Davey Jones collecting his soul and forcing him to serve on the Flying Dutchman, among the rest of Jones' grotesque crewmen.

One thing you should know is that everything that you loved about the first film has been doubled up in the second, and the action is more exciting and memorable this time around. Unlike the first movie, which felt like two hours of interminably dull swordfighting, salt and peppered with cannon fire, "Dead Man's Chest" offers a wider variety of action sequences ranging from a comically daring escape from cannibal tribesman, to classic swashbuckling with a three-way duel atop a rolling waterwheel, to several intense encounters with a terrifying sea monster! Fangirls will be thrilled to see Elizabeth taking part in the action, rather than playing the damsel in distress again.

Although action is the film's primary driver, Bruckheimer, Elliott, Rossio and Verbinski have done a good job of balancing action sequences, with storytelling and comic relief. As expected, Jack Sparrow is up to more flamboyant antics and viewers will enjoy his bewildering, deviously garrulous reasoning. Beyond Sparrow, much of the humor is related to inside jokes going back to the first film, including countless rum jokes. Other laughable bits include awkwardly dramatic pauses and quirky arguments between everybody's two favorite lunkhead pirates, Pintel and Ragetti, which peaks with a disagreement over the pronunciation of said sea monster's name.

Of "Pirates'" strengths, production design wins the prize. The movie looks great from every aspect, from makeup to cinematography, and you can thank Oscar-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs, who won for "Sleepy Hollow" in 1999, for that! Under Heinrichs' direction, the design of Davey Jones' ship, The Flying Dutchman, is eye-popping. Covered in barnacles and seaweed, the ship is an eerie vessel, with interior walls fused together with coral and expired crewmen - very creepy, cool stuff!

While the Flying Dutchman will make your skin crawl, the visual effects and makeup artistry used to bring Jones and his crew to life are stunning and Davey Jones is one ugly sucker! He has a head that is the body of an octopus, complete with a beard of tentacles, with a crab claw for one arm and a crab leg mimicking a peg leg. To top it off, his clothes are enveloped in coral and assorted slimy sea plants.

I'm glad to see that Verbinski, Elliott, Rossio, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer decided to put more effort into this sequel than other recent summer bombs. Unlike the "X-Men: The Last Stand," the "Pirates'" production team made a movie worth watching rather than simply trying to cash in on a franchise.

Of the film's shortcomings, a two-hour run time with a plot that occasionally drags is the worst of the movie's transgressions. Moviegoers can relax, however, because most of the drag occurs at the beginning of the film during the reintroduction of the characters.

"Dead Man's Chest," although stale in parts, including a lackluster romance between Turner and Swann, provides more entertainment than the first film, and is the better action movie of the summer. In fact, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is the only summer movie I've seen twice and I am planning on a third viewing in the very near future. It's a worthy sequel to a soon-to-be classic movie franchise with a cliffhanger ending that will leave you both mad as hell and hyped for the third and final installment, due out summer 2007!

Although rated PG-13, parents should preview the film prior to bringing their young children. "Pirates" is one of Disney's darkest films and is more violent, more intense, and much more frightening than its predecessor.

And lastly, a correction: In my review of "X-Men: The Last Stand," I erroneously reported Jim Cummings played Nightcrawler, when in fact, Alan Cumming played the part.

 

Local Chatter

Thanks Boosters, loved the show!

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

I saw "Joseph and the amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Saturday matinee, and I loved it!

It is the best show the Music Boosters have put together.

The actors and musicians and crew spent nearly eight weeks, many times five hours per day, practicing.

The direction was tops and all the actors and musicians were volunteers.

Dale Morris said they put a daunting challenge to the cast and musicians, and they came through. She said, "Once again, I had the privilege of working with the best of Pagosa, helping create an environment in which everyone can shine. And they do."

Michael DeWinter is remarkable, with a background in the performing arts - having appeared in three television commercials, studied costume design and as a degreed florist. Pagosa is the place for him!

He said that he was excited to present this "cavalcade of color" known as "Joseph" - that he has been thinking a lot about color, how to add color to the life around him and his choice of Music Boosters, an organization dedicated to brining color to our community.

He added that Music Boosters is charged with the task of bringing out the best in those around us, and then he asked how we can bring color to a life - a smile, a helping hand, reaching beyond our comfort zone.

What he said is positive and it makes us want to do the "colorful" things.

Thank you Music Boosters. And, as for Andrew Lloyd Webber, who helped write "Joseph" ... isn't he called the "modern Shakespeare?"

Fun on the run

Two different patients limped into two different medical clinics with the same complaint: Both had trouble walking and appeared to require a hip replacement.

The first patient was examined within the hour, x-rayed the same day, and had a time booked for surgery the following week.

The second saw the family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waited 18 weeks to see a specialist, then got an x-ray which wasn't reviewed for another month, and finally had his surgery scheduled for a year from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The first was a Golden Retriever; the second was a senior citizen.

 

Community Center News

Red Cross fund-raiser dance will be annual event at center

By Becky Herman

SUN Columnist

The Be-A-Tourist-At-Home Dance last Friday, to benefit our local Red Cross, was a success, though we did not get the big crowd that we expected.

As usual, all present had a great time with Will Spears' music. Mercy had to turn on all the lights so the dancers would leave and the committee would be able to clean up. Several people turned in their donation envelopes and expressed interest in volunteering. Next week we'll provide the photos of the winners of best dressed, those who looked like tourists, and of those who least looked like tourists.

Thanks to Diane Owens from the Humane Society, she decorated each table; Edie Newberg and Pagosa Candy Company for the contest prizes; the town police department and the Colorado Mounted Rangers; KWUF and The Pagosa SUN; and all the volunteers who donated food. A community effort made the event possible.

The board decided this will be an annual event; it provided great publicity for our local Red Cross.

Master plan meeting

There will be a public meeting at 5 p.m. July 25 in the North Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting is to review the second draft of the Downtown Master Plan and associated design guidelines. The committee is seeking public input and direction. The area incorporated into the Downtown Master Plan are from 14th Street east to the junction of U.S. 84 and 160.

Free yoga class

Diana Baird, who leads the weekly yoga class, reports the July 27 class will be cancelled. On the new schedule, the class will meet Tuesdays instead of Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 in the morning.

Diabetes support group

Last week we met with Laurie Echavarria of San Juan Basin Health; our support group and SJBH want to partner to bring help and information to diabetics in Archuleta County.

We are excited that Laurie has access to several types of materials that will help both English and Spanish speaking diabetics. She has also indicated that grant money may be available to help with purchasing testing supplies.

This is an opportunity to get to know others who are battling the same disease. Please let us know if you are a diabetic and if there are specific ways in which this organization can help you. And, of course, please plan to come to the next group meeting, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Confidentiality is a must in this group.

Teen Center

The Teen Center's hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Rhonda LaQuey, the teen center coordinator, is currently in need of more volunteers to maintain these hours. If you are interested in giving one night per week, one night per month, perhaps for special events, or even if you could donate a partial shift, contact Rhonda at 264-4152, Ext. 31. She would love to hear from you.

Line dancing

Line dancing continues with new moves and new dances every week. Newcomers are welcome at 10 a.m. for an introduction or refresher course. Stay with Gerry and Peggy and the group for more difficult dances from 10:30 to 11:30. There is lots of fun and a little (painless, I hear) exercise in the bargain.

Call Gerry Potticary at 731-9734 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Sewing classes

Did you know that Cecelia Hopper's sewing classes have expanded?

The group used to meet only on Saturdays, but now Cecelia has added a Monday morning session at 10 a.m.

Cecelia says that if this time is not convenient for those wanting to attend, she is willing to adjust to meet people's needs. There are always interesting projects going on, and Cecelia can provide you with a wealth of information about fabrics and sewing techniques.

Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

eBay Club

The eBay Club met this morning at 9 a.m. Ben Bailey is the founder and mentor of this group. He has gained a lot of eBay experience in both buying and selling while working for our local Humane Society Thrift Store, and he is more than willing to share his expertise. Call him at 264-0293 if you are interested in participating. Newcomers are always welcome.

Computer lab news

A new Beginning Computing for Seniors class will start Aug. 23. The class meets on eight consecutive Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon in the community center's computer lab. Call me at 264-4152 if you would like to register.

Center hours

The community center's hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, 8-5:30 Tuesday through Friday, and 10-4 Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; photo class with Wendy, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; eBay Club, 9-10:30 a.m.; yoga, 11-noon; Forest Service meeting, 1-4 p.m.; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

July 21 - Marketing your Business with Wendy, 9:30 a.m.-noon; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun and Duplicate Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Perspective on Marketing with Wendy, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

July 22 - Photo class with Wendy, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

July 23 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church, 6-8 p.m.

July 24 - Watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-noon; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Self-help for Health Class, 5:30-8 p.m.; Christian Women's Retreat, 6-8 p.m.

July 25 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Arts Council board meeting, 5-7 p.m.; Public Downtown Master Plan meeting, 5-9 p.m.

July 26 - Watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday Bridge, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; TOPS Elected Officials Training, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Grace Evangelical Vacation Bible School, 4-9 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

July 27 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Grace Evangelical Vacation Bible School, 4-9 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

Take extra care in the sun, in hot weather

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

July Is Skin Cancer Month.

Skin cancer has been on the rise steadily for the past 30 years. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types.

There are more than 1 million skin cancers diagnosed each year in the United States. That's more than prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries, and pancreas cancer combined. And the number of skin cancers has been on the rise steadily for the past 30 years.

There are two main types of skin cancers, non-melanomas and melanomas.

Non-melanomas are the most common cancers of the skin. They rarely spread elsewhere in the body and are less likely than melanomas to be fatal.

Melanoma is much less common, but is far more serious. Melanoma is almost always curable in the early stages, but it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. The short-term results of unprotected exposure to UV rays are sunburn and tanning. Long-term exposure causes prematurely aged skin, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches, precancerous skin changes and skin cancers. The sun's UV radiation also increases the risk of cataracts and other eye diseases, and can suppress the immune system.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer.

Following these practical steps can help protect you from the sun: 1) Limit direct sun exposure during midday. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun rays are the strongest. 2) Cover up - wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. 3) Wear a hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around. 4) Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher. Sunscreen products labeled "broad spectrum" protect against UVA and UVB radiation. 5) Wear sunglasses that block UV rays. 6) Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.

It is important to check your own skin, preferably once a month. Learn to recognize changes in a mole, such as its size, shape or color or the appearance of a new spot. The "ABCD rule" is an easy guide to the usual signs of melanoma.

- A is for asymmetry: half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.

- B is for border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched or blurred.

- C is for color: The color is not the same all over and may include shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of red, white or blue.

- D is for diameter: The spot is larger than a pencil eraser or is growing larger.

As part of a routine cancer related checkup, your health care professional should check your skin carefully.

To learn more about skin cancer go to www.Cancer.org or call The American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345.

Beat the heat

Keep cool without air-conditioning: use fans. At night they help rid the house of the heat from the daytime sun. Close shades and windows. During the day, that is. At night, open windows opposite one another for cross-ventilation.

In dry climates like Colorado, evaporative coolers (swamp coolers) are a good alternative to air conditioners. They are less expensive to operate.

Install a programmable thermostat. Make sure it is programmed to automatically turn down the heating or cooling when you are not home and when you're sleeping.

Stay in the coolest place available.

Dress for the weather. Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. If you go outdoors, protect your head from the sun.

Limit activity. Try to limit your activity, especially during the hottest part of the day.

Eat and drink properly. Eat light, easily digested foods. Avoid hot, heavy meals. Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids, especially water.

Warning signs of heat

Heat cramps are usually caused by too much physical activity in hot weather.

Symptoms include weakness, muscle cramps, heavy sweating and feeling sick to the stomach. If you get these symptoms, go to a cool place, lie down and rest. Drink a half of a glass of cool water every 15 minutes.

Heat exhaustion is your body's way of telling you to slow down and take it easy and cool off.

Symptoms are: heavy sweating, feeling thirsty and very tired, being unable to concentrate; skin is cool and moist. Contact your doctor immediately!

Heat stroke is a very serious medical emergency. It can result in death if not treated quickly.

Symptoms include: faintness, dizziness, weak and rapid pulse, dry hot skin, high (as much as 106 degree) body temperature. Call 911 immediately for paramedics or an ambulance.

Hyperthermia, a summer threat

Hyperthermia is the term for heat-related illnesses that occur when the body is too hot to function properly. Under normal conditions, once air temperature has reached 95 degrees, the body begins to cool itself down by perspiring. When the temperature stays at or above 95 for several days, perspiring may not be enough. As body temperature increases, it loses salt and water through perspiration. This causes weakness and fatigue. Watch for the warning sign that your body needs to cool down! On high temperature days, be sure to check on your elderly family members, friends and neighbors. They may be more susceptible to hyperthermia symptoms.

Dinner at Indian Head Lodge

On Thursday, July 20, folks from The Den are going to Indian Head Lodge for a delicious dinner of barbecue ribs and scrumptious sides. Indian Head Lodge is an atmospheric rustic cabin located near scenic Williams Lake that offers a wonderful buffet full of homemade cooking with tasty desserts. We will leave The Den at 3 p.m. for our 4 p.m. dinner reservation at the lodge. The cost is $12.95 per person. The senior bus will provide transportation to the first 18 folks who sign up. If the bus is full, others can carpool.

Horseback riding

Saddle up and join us Friday, July 21, for a one-hour scenic trail ride with breathtaking views.

Wolf Creek Outfitters is providing us with the opportunity to experience the scenic backcountry of the San Juan Mountains on horseback for only $25 per person. We will meet at Wolf Creek Outfitters located at the base of Wolf Creek Pass at 10 a.m. with carpooling being our mode of transportation. Cowboy up and hop into a saddle for a horseback ride into the spectacular wilderness. This is a great trip for beginners and all levels of riding experience.

Malt Shop fun

It's the middle of summer and it's time to beat the heat by cooling down with a trip to our local Malt Shop. On Wednesday, July 26, jump on the senior bus after lunch and away you'll go to enjoy a refreshing ice cream treat. All you need to bring are a few bucks and a craving for ice cream to have a pleasurable afternoon. Come along and don't miss out on the fun!

Mystery Trip

Take us back to the old western times. Horses and cowboys, spurs sounding chimes.

Cover your eyes, peek but don't hide. Hang on to your hats; it'll be quite a ride.

The Den is going on the monthly Mystery Trip Thursday, July 27. For those 18 lucky people who signed up to go, meet at The Den at 9 a.m. The senior bus will be our mode of transportation and you must be a member of Seniors Inc. to participate.

You must be able to walk short distances and climb a few stairs. Bring a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, sun hat, comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather (you will be outside some of the time).

We will depart The Den at 9:10 a.m. and arrive at our destination at approximately 10:45. Lunch will be provided and we will return to The Den by 3:30 p.m.

Picnic in the park

Get outdoors and enjoy yourself this summer.

And what a better excuse than our monthly picnics in the park. Come to Town Park by the Arts Council building at noon Friday, July 28, for a wonderful lunch in the great outdoors.

We'll relax by the river, enjoy the shade trees, play some horseshoes or croquet, and hang out with good friends. Not to mention enjoy the wonderful food, like oven fried chicken.

Bring your relatives, bring your friends or just bring yourself and a smile to this summertime social event. We will also be celebrating all the July babies by recognizing their birthdays at the picnic - which gives us even more reason to celebrate. And if that's not enough fun, then put on your most colorful shirt for the picnic because it is Hawaiian Shirt Day.

It is time to enjoy the sunshine, the food, the camaraderie, the laughs and Pagosa's beautiful outdoors with a picnic in the park

Birthday celebration

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

Homestead Tax exemption

A quick reminder to Colorado senior citizens that the deadline to sign up for the newly-restored Senior Homestead Tax Exemption was July 15. More than 140,000 Colorado seniors could qualify for the tax relief made possible by Ref C.

The Senior Homestead Tax Exemption reduces property taxes for those who are 65 and older and have been in their homes for 10 years or more.

For more information and to download a brochure and application form, call the Department of Local Affairs at (303) 866-4904 or go to www.dola.state.co.us/PropertyTax/Forms/formsIntro.htm. You will most likely need to cut and paste the above Web address into your URL area.

For those who had applied previously and received the Senior Property Tax Exemption several years ago, my understanding is that they don't have to re-apply. Their eligibility will continue as long as status and residency have not changed. This notification is primarily for those who newly qualify by the passage of time (now 65 or older and have the required 10-years' residency in their current home).

Although the nominal deadline was July 15 for 2006 property taxes, "The (county) assessor is authorized to accept late applications until September 15 if the applicant can show good cause for missing the July 15 deadline."

Needs of the aging

Please join us at a public meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, July 31, in the dining room of the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, located in the Community Center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. We need your input to help create a plan to assist the aging to live dignified lives.

Seniors, the general public, local government officials, care givers and any other interested parties should attend.

Let's come together to learn how to help the elderly in our community live their final years in comfort and happiness.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

Memberships are available for folks age 55 and over and can be purchased at The Den for $5 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No memberships are sold Thursdays.

Not only will you receive generous discounts from local businesses, but you'll be eligible for our Mystery Trip program and other trips, in addition to discounts at such senior activities as Oktoberfest. Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eye glasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership also allows a great discount on the purchase of a dental water jet and electric toothbrush. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. even offers financial assistance for medical shuttles to Durango handled by The Den.

This is the best discount program in town, and a great way to help our senior community. Sign up now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Arthritis support group

Are you interested in participating in an arthritis support group?

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center would like to start a support group for people who suffer from arthritis. For more information, please call Musetta, the Director of Senior Services at 264-2167.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Ron Dickson as our Senior of the Week. He will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Lois Portenier in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of July.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, July 20 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required) with $1 birthday lunch celebrations; dinner at Indian Head Lodge (reservations required), 4p.m.; The Den is closed.

Friday, July 21 - Horseback riding trip, 10 a.m.; Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bring a Friend Day for lunch; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, July 24 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Malt Shop fun, 1 p.m.

Thursday, July 27 - The Den is closed.

Friday, July 28 - Hawaiian Shirt Day; Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; picnic in the park, noon; $1birthday lunch celebrations in Town Park, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus and kids 12 and under; all others $5.

Salad bar available every day at The Den beginning at 11:30 a.m. Menu subject to change.

Thursday, July 20 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Ham and beans, broccoli, parslied carrots, orange wedges, corn bread and birthday cake.

Friday, July 21 - Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, sliced pears with strawberries and whole wheat roll.

Monday, July 24 - Combination burrito, lettuce and tomato, cilantro lime rice, veggie medley and peaches.

Tuesday, July 25 - Liver and onions (or substitute), mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, fruit mix and whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, July 26 - Tater tot beef casserole, zucchini, pineapple and whole wheat bread.

Friday, July 28 - Picnic in the park and $1 birthday lunches. Oven fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, cantaloupe, whole wheat roll and birthday cake.

 

Veteran's Corner

Grant money secured to help veterans with travel

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Working with the Pagosa Springs American Legion Post 108 we have been successful in obtaining a grant for $32,710 from the Colorado Veterans' Trust Fund.

This is the fourth year in a row that we have been successful in obtaining these grants to assist our local veterans with transportation to their VA health care appointments.

I believe this adds up to about $100,000 Archuleta County and local veterans organizations have obtained in four years. Last year, we received a VTF Grant of $5,000 through the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). That money was used to assist veterans with their fuel costs and overnight accommodations.

Tobacco money

VTF Grant money comes from the Colorado Tobacco Settlement funds and is not paid for with tax revenues. VTF money is a portion of those settlement funds set aside for veterans, who frequently have tobacco-related health problems. As most of us who were in the military years ago know, we were encouraged to smoke through cheap or free tobacco products, before the health risks were as widely known as they are today.

Reimbursement

Approximately $10,000 of the $32,710 will be used to defray and reimburse veterans for fuel and overnight accommodations. The balance of approximately $22,710 will be used to purchase a new vehicle to replace a previous VTF Grant vehicle that is now aging, with high mileage. This will be the third vehicle purchased with VTF money.

These vehicles are used by our veterans who do not have reliable transportation and need to travel long distances to their VA health care appointments. The high mileage of the oldest 2003 vehicle verifies just how much these vehicles are used for those long distance trips to VAHC facilities in Albuquerque, Farmington, Durango and Grand Junction. The second VTF Grant vehicle is a 4WD 2005 SUV used mostly during winter driving conditions.

Retroactive payment

It will be a while before the grant is finalized and the money is in hand.

It is expected we will be able to reimburse local veterans with fuel and accommodation money retroactive to July 1, 2006. I urge all veterans to save their fuel and overnight accommodation receipts, and proof of VAHC appointment for reimbursement. Watch for an announcement of when the grant money is available and bring your receipts in this office for reimbursement.

You can receive reimbursement for your fuel and accommodation expenses using your own vehicle or one of the Veterans Service Office vehicles. The VSO vehicles are available for veterans to use on a schedule kept at this office. Veterans need to provide a valid Colorado Driver's License and sign a release of liability waiver to Archuleta County in order to use the VSO vehicles.

Share-A-Ride

Don't forget to call or stop by my office with your VA health care appointments for the Share-A-Ride program. Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction, to the same VA facility. Give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I 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 west). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

 

Library News

How shall I know ...

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

SUN Columnist

This is a bittersweet column for me to write, because I hate to say good-bye to Pagosa Springs.

My sister Judith and I used to recite Edna Vincent Millay's poetry when we traveled together. One of our favorites starts:

"How shall I know, unless I go, to Cairo and Cathay,

"Whether or not the perfect spot, is perfect in every way."

I told the library board when they hired me a year ago that I expected this job to be a wonderful learning experience. And, I also told them that I didn't expect to be here for very long, that I would be their "interim" director, getting things ready for someone who might be a long-term prospect, when I traveled on to another place.

I didn't expect to leave quite so soon, but when I saw the advertisement for a law librarian who would also teach international law at American University in Cairo, I knew that the job was cut out for me. Sometimes, you are given opportunities you really cannot turn down.

So, I am leaving.

And what will I miss?

I'll miss this wonderful staff, that's what I'll miss. We certainly had to go through some rough spots and adjustments, especially with the move and the re-opening of our expanded library.

But they rolled up their sleeves and blew me away by how hard they worked getting the library ready to open. They were spectacular!

I have loved working with Jackie, Barb, Nancy, David and Shirley, and more recently Hilda and now Stephanie. They love taking care of the library and our patrons, and I expect everything to go on smoothly and well without me.

And for Karen Kauffman, our bookkeeper, and Peter Welch, our tech support, I thanked my lucky stars daily. Sometimes you are very, very lucky with your staff, and I was.

The board has also been wonderful, supporting and helpful at every turn. Thank you Glenn, Scottie, Kerry, Dave, Betsy, Cate and Gail. It has been a pleasure to work with you and get to know you.

We have too many really marvelous volunteers for me to mention all of them, but I spent enough time with Donna Geiger and Kate Terry to come to appreciate their long-term, caring dedication to this library. Cindy and Ron Gustafson have been beside me, helping me all the way. Kathy Hamilton's smiling face popped up to offer a hand whenever I wondered who would take care of something. Helen Richardson sat at the desk behind me, cataloging away at Nancy's direction on so many days that I wondered where she was when she didn't show. I loved coming in on Saturdays and seeing the Halletts together, shelving. They have been so faithful in their library care. And Harold Morrison has helped with all kinds of things, from collection development to the mulching beneath the picnic tables. Bob Bigelow has been a joy to work with, his counsel and generosity to the library always a treasure. Ellen Wadley's design of the new Web site was a great gift.

What would we have done without Betsy Gill taking charge of the food for the SunDowner, or Gail Shepherd and the Alpine Lakes Ranch Book Club running our Pagosa Reads! program? Now, Biz Greene is working on bringing the Fort Lewis Life Long Learning Series to the library. Then, there is John Graves, offering his talent to Jazz in the Parking Lot, coming up. The Woman's Civic Club was also always there, supporting the library, as they have been for its entire history.

And to Dave Krueger, our man of all hats, volunteer, board trustee, and builder of library book stacks Š we could not function without you Dave. This summer, in particular, you are building the foundation of the library, so to speak. Thank you so much for your constant, willing, ever good-natured help.

Forgive me for not mentioning all of you personally, but your faces and smiles will remain with me for the rest of my life. You also give me confidence that the Library will always serve this community with care and love.

And, finally, the community: thanks to all of you who supported the library with help and smiles through this special year. Especially I want to thank Karl Isberg and James Robinson at The SUN, Will Spears at KWUF and Carole Howard for broadcasting the word about doings at the library. Your help has been invaluable.

I am going to miss this lovely little town, and all of you.

 

Pagosa Reads

The deadliest pandemic in history

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

Special to The SUN

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John Barry. New York, Penguin, 2004.

This book is a true mystery story scarier than any fiction you've ever read. After I read it, I bought copies for everyone in my family.

The book is about the great flu epidemic of 1918.

If you were to imagine a government that went to war completely unprepared, drafted the flower of the nation's young men, cramped them into terrible close quarters in one of the coldest winters in U.S. history, then didn't have any procedure for or idea of how to handle the matter when they began dying in legions of a horrible unknown disease, you'll get the picture of what happened and what is described in this book.

What followed the initial death wave was as frightening as the disease itself. The U.S. government drafted every competent doctor (certification of doctors was in an evolving state in 1918) and nurse, left the civilian population uninformed, to die alone, and put some of them in prison if they talked about the whole nightmare. The newspapers, even telephone conversations, were censored and there were severe repercussions from challenging this terrifying state of affairs. Nurses and doctors died, there had to be special trains to take away the dying, the hospitals stopped admitting patients, where a quarter of the people admitted each day died anyway. Whole families died in a single day. Fear was pervasive and governed every aspect of life.

Very interesting to me was the report of how the little towns in Colorado dealt with the disease. From page 345, "Gunnison decided to isolate itself entirely. Gunnison lawmen blocked all through roads. No one was even allowed to get off a train. And the Gunnison News-Chronicle, unlike virtually every other newspaper in the country, played no games and warned, 'This disease is no joke, to be made light of, but a terrible calamity.' Gunnison escaped without a death." And, of course, one must understand that survival in this virtual quarantine was possible only because ranch families were well provisioned. They could sustain a whole winter without any truck deliveries to City Market.

The mystery story is that of the race to find a cure that would stop the epidemic. The book details the fascinating story of the scientists at the top of the academic establishment who worked both in labs and went into the wards of the dying, trying to understand what the killer was, and how to stop it.

Then it also details the frightening story of the left behind doctors, homeopaths, nutcases, and just plain desperate citizens and what they tried on their patients and themselves.

"First rate medical journals rejected articles about the most outlandish and ridiculous so-called therapies, but they published anything that at least seemed to make sense."

What made "sense" included the terror of injecting people with typhoid vaccine, injecting hydrogen peroxide intravenously, intravenous injections of a mixture of morphine, strychnine, caffeine and fluid from skin blisters created by mustard packs on bodies of the influenza victims themselves. The mortality rate from the last cure was reported at 6 percent, down from the usual 30 percent or so.

Beyond all of this is the very disturbing discussion of the Paris peace treaty that Wilson negotiated and concluded under the influence of his own bout with influenza, that some misinterpreted as stroke symptoms. Many of the most intelligent and influential Americans with him felt he set the stage for World War II and all of its horrors as a result of mental disturbance resulting from his own illness. One of the last chapters discusses mental illnesses among survivors of the flu and speculates that the damage to those who lived was a serious side effect of the pandemic.

Read this book. If you read no other book this year, or next year, read this book. Flu epidemics like this come every 100 years more or less. If you are watching, you already know that some countries are suppressing the news about avian flu deaths. Regardless of the type of pandemic or its particulars, understanding the behavior of governments in such circumstances seems potentially as important to survival as vaccines and food stocks.

Christine Eleanor Anderson recently resigned as the Librarian at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library in Pagosa Springs. She will be law librarian and law professor at American University in Cairo, Egypt as of Sept. 1.

Pagosa Reads features book reviews of all kinds of books from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, reviewed by local readers Š just like you. If you would like to review a book and share it in this PREVIEW column, contact Jackie Welch, acting library director at 264-2208.

 

Arts Line

Opening reception tonight for new Arts Center show

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

A new show opens today at the Pagosa springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park.

A reception for "Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Fine Art Show and Sale" will be held this evening, 5-7 p.m.

If you can't make the opening reception, visit the show, which will be up until Aug. 8.

Perspective: All drawing

This workshop will be held Aug. 3-5 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center for artists and those who hope someday to be an artist. Cost is $150 for three days for PSAC members and $175 for nonmembers, (the extra $25 goes for an annual membership to the arts council. A per day fee of $60 for members or $75 for nonmembers is also available. Hours are 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day.

Perspective is a non-painting class that is open to all - whether or not you paint. It covers drawing man-made structures, landscapes and still-life setups. The class includes aerial perspective, one-, two- and three-point perspective, and multiple-point perspective for roads and rivers. Shadows in perspective and more will be covered.

No need for your buildings to fall forward; your vases can be round; backgrounds will recede!

Class size is limited. Take your check by the Arts Center in Town Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or call 264-5020 to sign up with a credit card. If you need art supplies, try to have them well before the class. The only materials you'll need are:

- Pencils: red, blue and green drawing/writing (not watercolor), a mechanical pencil such as a Sharpwriter and/or an HB drawing pencil.

- Pen: Ultrafine Sharpie.

- Ruler: Minimum 18-inch, maximum 24-inch.

- Triangle: with one side at least 10 inches long.

- A big tracing paper pad - 24x19 or 20.

Also, remember that 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 20, there will be the reception for the "Ginnie and Denny and the Gang" show at the Art Center. If you are a recent student of Ginnie and Denny's (the last two or three years) you should plan to show one or more of your paintings and need to let them know as soon as possible. For the rest of you, please plan to attend.

If you have questions, call Denny, 946-0696, or Ginnie, 731-2489.

Volunteer at Harman museum

The Fred Harman Museum is looking for volunteer docents to work in the museum.

Museum hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Summer hours include Saturday and Sunday. Both half-day and full-day hours are available.

Working in the museum provides the opportunity to preserve a part of our western authenticity and to meet visitors from across the world.

For further information, contact Fred Harman III, curator, at 731-5785.

Summer camp for kids

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a Children's Summer Art/Spanish Camp, taught by Soledad Estrada-Leo. Classes began June 5 and continue through the end of August. Classes are held at the community center and are open to children between the ages of 4 and 13. Ages 4-7 meet from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and ages 8-13 meet from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Classes are $150 for two weeks or $275 month. Classes are filling up quickly so call PSAC, 264-5020, to register and for more information. If you prefer to speak directly with Soledad, you can reach her at 731-1314.

Watercolor club meeting

The PSAC Watercolor Club, has changed its meeting day from Wednesday to Thursday. The club now meets at 10 a.m. the third Thursday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center.

The next meeting is Aug. 17.

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.

Joye Moon workshop

PSAC will sponsor a watercolor workshop with Joye Moon 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 5-8. Cost for the workshop is $250 for PSAC members and $275 for nonmembers.

Call 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, or call PSAC.

 Tom Lockhart workshop

A plein aire oil painting workshop with Tom Lockhart will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 11-13. Cost is $300 for PSAC members, $325 general. An additional day may be scheduled. Call 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, or call PSAC.

October Mion workshop

Pierre Mion will teach a fall watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9-11. Classes will be held in the arts and crafts room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students can sign up for an optional fourth day Thursday, Oct. 12. Register today for this session by calling PSAC at 264-5020.

The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers. The optional fourth day is available for $60, with a minimum four students needed for the session.

This workshop is limited to 10 students. Sign up early by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

PSAC calendar

Today - Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Fine Art Show and Sale. Opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

July 20-Aug. 8 - Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Fine Art Show and Sale.

July 24-26 - Figure and portrait watercolor workshop with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aug. 3-5 - Perspective Drawing Workshop with Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Aug. 10 - Pierre Mion and Students Watercolor Exhibit and Sale opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 10-29 - Pierre Mion and Students Watercolor Exhibit and Sale.

Aug. 31 - PSAC Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego by Sandy Applegate opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 31-Sept. 19 - PSAC Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego by Sandy Applegate.

Arts Line is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

For inclusion in Arts Line, send information to PSAC e-mail at psac@centurytel.net.

Your attachment should be in a Microsoft Word file document format. Images should be limited to 2 (300dpi, 5x7 inches in size) and sent as a separate (individual attachments) e-mail. You can also mail a CD of images and information to Wen Saunders, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. Deadline is at least two weeks prior to event. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts Line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

The Wine Whisperer

The sensualists are sipping pinot noir

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

If you were to poll wine lovers and ask this one simple question: "What is the most food-friendly red wine produced in California today?," chances are the most frequent reply would be: "Pinot noir."

A lighter, fruitier, more acidic and less tannic red grape varietal, pinot noir is one of the oldest grapes to be cultivated. Its ancestral roots trace back to the rather small Burgundy region in France, the only growing region able to claim a history of consistent success with the grape until very recently.

The last 25 years have found California winemakers and growers improving and refining their planting and growing methods, tweaking their winemaking techniques, and achieving their own impressive record of success.

Pinot noir can be one of the most sexy, seductive, satisfying, graceful and elegant red wines produced. It is also the most fickle, temperamental and hardest to handle in every stage of its life, from vineyard to cellar. It is susceptible to damage from early spring frosts as it is one of the first grapes to undergo leafbreak, and it can ripen too early. It is easy prey for a multitude of viruses, rots and destructive insects and birds. Crops must be kept low to produce concentrated fruit, and it can be hard to ferment.

Once bottled, most California pinots reach their peak within three to six years of the vintage. This explains why it is also pretty expensive (for me: The Queen of the Single Digit Wine). It is rare to find a bargain pinot, but they're out there. It just takes a lot of frog kissing along the way.

My favorite California regions for pinot are the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County and the Carneros district, which spans parts of Napa and Sonoma. The other prime growing regions in the state include the Central Coast regions of Santa Maria Valley and Santa Barbara County and a few areas of Monterey County. (No accident that I have lived in Santa Barbara, Monterey and Napa. And Fresno. But I don't admit to that in print.)

These appellations all share the required environment to nurture this sensitive grape: close proximity to the Pacific Ocean offering foggy and misty mornings, warm and sunny afternoons, and cool evenings. This keeps the fruit acidity high and the sugar levels low.

The complexity of the aromas alone can cause pinot aficionados to swoon. The nose can offer up a medley of intense cherry, raspberry, strawberry, plum and currant. With luck, the fruit-filled promise of the nose delivers in the mouth accompanied by pungent spices - anise, cinnamon and peppermint. Other commonly found descriptors include cedar, tobacco, leather, chocolate, vanilla, fresh earth, mushroom, tomato, green tea and barnyard smells.

Good pinot noir offers the delicate and perfect balancing act for optimum food pairing. It contains just the right amount of enlivening acidity and satisfying sweetness, moderate alcohol levels (13.5 percent or less, ideally), low tannins, with a flavor and mouthfeel that should be soft, full, and smooth as velvet. Pinot is full-bodied and rich, yet delicate and sensual. Beguiling grape!

Pairing with pinot : Tracing the grape's roots back to its indigenous homeland, Burgundian cuisine has evolved to enhance the wine. A large array of meats perform quite well, along with all manner of wild mushrooms, nuts, mustards and other earthy foods. Think classics like cassoulet, coq au vin, and boeuf bourguignon. Pheasant, goose, duck, squab, turkey, Cornish game hen and roasted chicken dishes pair beautifully; likewise veal, lamb, ham, pork and liver dishes. In the seafood arena, nothing washes grilled salmon down better than pinot . Appetizers like smoked salmon, sushi, rumaki, and fois gras will shine. The wine's rich subtleties blend beautifully with the earthiness of wild mushroom and eggplant dishes along with lighter pasta and quiche offerings. Gotta have my cheese: Swiss, gruyere, a young brie or a creamy roquefort. Use a light hand when it comes to cooking spices in your dishes so as not to overwhelm the delicacy and subtle nuances of the grape.

Pinots to pick: I've kissed a lot of really hideous pinot frogs over the years and, yes, most of them were found in the lower price ranges. You really do need to expect to pay more than you would for your shiraz, merlot or red blend when shopping for this finicky seductress.

Here are some winners that I have discovered over the years from reliable California producers who know their way around this persnickety grape.

Dr. David Bruce, a gentle and genteel soul, poured his ruby-colored offerings into my tipped glass under the hot and crowded tasting tent in the park at the 1997 Telluride Wine Festival. I liked his wine, I liked his dignified and understated labels, and I liked his dignified and understated personal style. Look for this respected and noteworthy producer who specializes in pinots derived from several California coastal appellations, ranging from $20-$45 There's sure to be something for everybody in this extensive and diverse portfolio.

Rodney Strong, who passed away in March of this year, was a visionary pioneer - one of the first to plant pinot noir in the Russian River Valley. The estate vineyard bottling comes in around $19.

Mark West has a reasonably priced array of bottles to choose from, sourcing grapes from Russian River, Somona and Santa Barbara vineyards. Look for their Central Coast offering at under $10. One of the few value pinots available.

Two more widely available choices in this category are Gallo of Sonoma ($13) and Clos du Bois Sonoma ($18 suggested retail but often found for much less).

With a little smart shopping and some thoughtful swirling and sipping, you, too, can call yourself "a sensualist."

 

Food for Thought

When the virus strikes ... eat

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It's over.

Finito.

Cue up Samuel Barber's "Adagio" on the iPod.

Order the flowers.

If I haven't told you I love you, I should have. I hope it's not too late.

If I didn't apologize before now for my many misdeeds, for misspeaking, I should have. Please, accept my apologies at this late date.

If I owe you money, well Š

I gotta kiss the dog. He's been a faithful companion, despite those nasty accidents in the living room.

And, I forgive everyone who ever did me wrong. I have a list of your names somewhere, I just don't have time to dig it out and forgive each of you individually.

I need to wrap things up, pronto.

I'm a goner.

Yeah, I know - we're all goners. But for me, the viral express is on the tracks: hantavirus.

Got it.

No question about it.

I'm short on reporters at work so I took on a story the other day, following up on a note from a Texas university stating the threat of hantavirus is above average this season in the Four Corners.

Here's the first clue: The Four Corners.

I live in the Four Corners area. And I've been under the weather.

I go to the computer and dial up a description of the symptoms of infection to include in the article I am writing. (Sure, there is information about how to prevent contact with the virus, but a lot of good that's going to do me now!).

Flu-like symptoms.

Yep.

Fever.

I'm definitely feeling a bit flush.

Muscle aches.

Hoo boy, I'll say.

Nausea.

Yep, in particular the other night, after half a bottle of syrah and a grilled cheese, anchovy and onion sandwich.

Headache.

Ouch! This latest baby's more than a mere stinger.

All this one to six weeks after exposure to virus-riddled deer mouse poop.

I cleaned out a storage unit exactly six weeks ago. The joint was a mouse droppings museum.

Need I say more? No coincidences here, no surprises.

I expect my lungs to rapidly fill with fluid any moment now, and then its off to (insert your favorite scripturally defined ultimate destination - and for those of you I have done wrong, but who have not yet received my apology, please wait to fill in the blank).

My certainty is further strengthened by the fact I am no stranger to major infections and disorders. I have been a prime target for somatic disaster since I was a lad.

I was raised by a physician. I grew up around doctors, clinics, hospitals. When I was real young, I spent many a day in the nurses' quarters at the old St. Luke's Hospital in Denver, being tended while my father did his residency in the building next door.

I know lethal disease.

Further, from the time I can remember, I read my old man's medical journals - as did my brother, Kurt. In fact, after Dad finished reading the journals and bulletins, he would toss them on our beds, I suppose in the vain hope we would take interest and opt to follow him in the profession.

Instead, what happened was we caught everything, suffered every disorder detailed in the journals. It was kind of a race between Kurt and me: Who would contract which major disease first?

That's how I caught typhoid fever. Believe me, you don't want typhoid fever.

I read an article about diptheria and darned near didn't survive.

Brain cancer? Had it four times.

I was the youngest case ever of late-onset diabetes and, in an age before the invention of the defibrillator, I don't know how I survived four major heart attacks before the age of 12.

Just tough, I guess.

Then there was that carcinoma of an area every male cherishes. Talk about anxiety!

By the time I hit my teens, I had labored to overcome nearly every serious affliction known to modern medicine.

Did I tell you about West Nile? Rugged, take my word for it. I knew better than to go on a picnic next to wetlands.

Kathy comes into the room as I collapse on the couch.

"Honey, I need to tell you a couple of things while I still can. First, I need to tell you I love you and apologize for Š well, for everything. Second, we need to work on that will. I Š"

"Oh, for crying out loud, you haven't contracted a life-threatening disease again, have you?"

"Hantavirus. Sure bet."

"No way, Bozo."

"I have all the symptoms."

"Just like you had all the symptoms of dengue fever, remember?"

"Ah, 'bone break fever.' A devil, that one, Don't know how I bounced back."

"You went to Vegas, ate at Bouchon, and had a good night at the tables."

"Oh, yeah. It happened at breakfast, didn't it? The croque madame. Must have been the mornay sauce. Something miraculously curative about the gruyere."

"Right. And the time you were suffering from, what did you call it? 'R34 immune disorder?' What cured you that time?"

"My recovery should be noted in the annals of medicine. One moment, I was on death's door, the next I ate two major league helpings of a baked ziti with four cheeses and Š well, the rest is a matter of medical history. I should probably contact the JAMA and fill them in."

"You probably ought to see if you can find something like the Hooey Journal, and tell them about your amazing, imaginary medical adventures. Now, if you don't mind, I've got to go hide in the oak brush near the end of the driveway and terrorize the deer that ate my pansies. The beasts will pay dearly for what they've done. Cook something to make yourself well. And make it snappy; I'm starving."

Yes, a cure.

Granted, it's going to be tough, getting off the couch and making my way to the store then back home and into the kitchen. I'll probably exhaust what few energy reserves I have, but I've got to try. There's a life at stake.

I have so much to live for.

I meet my friend Marion at the fish counter at the store. We make "weeks from water" jokes and gently poke a couple pieces of dubious looking halibut. The fish is on sale. Does that tell you what it tells me?

Marion notes a couple pieces of wild-caught sockeye. They look a bit ragged, but he assure me sockeye often looks raggedy. Marion fishes a lot - who would know better? "And don't worry about those holes in the flesh," he says. "They probably had to pry a couple sea worms out. No problem."

"Certainly no problem for me, given my condition. By the way, do I owe you money?"

I purchase two relatively attractive hunks o'salmon and procure what I need for a light succotash - a swell summer bed for a piece of grilled fish. I buy a small red onion, a small zucchini, three ears of Olathe sweet corn, a red Bell pepper, a fresh jalapeno, some thin green beans (you could substitute lima beans), a pack of small tomatoes, a pack of fresh thyme.

I dice the onion and pepper, remove seeds and membrane and mince the jalapeno, peel and dice the zucchini, trim and cut the green beans into inch lengths, cut the kernels from the ears of corn. I also smash and mince a clove of garlic. I halve three or four of the tomatoes, seed them, remove the moisture then dice the flesh.

I bring a pan of salted water to a boil and blanch the beans. (If using frozen lima beans, I would cook them until just tender). I remove the green beans from the water, drain them in a colander and run cold water on them to retard the cooking.

I heat a large saute pan over medium high heat, splash in some extra virgin olive oil and, when the oil shimmers, I add the onion and peppers and saute until soft, stirring frequently. In go the tomatoes and I cook and stir until the tomato begins to smell sweet. I add a bit of thyme and the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Finally, in go the corn the beans and the zucchini and the pan stays on the heat for a while longer. I want the zucchini semi-soft and the kernels somewhat chewy. I adjust the seasoning, adding some more thyme, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Right before serving, a glob of butter works wonders, melted in the mix.

The fish? Simple. After a rinse and a dry on a towel, each hunk is hit with a sheen of olive oil, some kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and goes skin side down on a medium hot grill. Skin gets crispy good and the hunk is turned ever so briefly for a bit of snap on the flesh side.

On to a bed of the succotash goes the fish with a wedge of lemon standing at the ready. A simple salad of fresh greens, diced ripe avocado, feta cheese, sliced tomato and oil-cured olives with a lemon vinaigrette tops off the light meal.

Ah, that's medicine.

The potency amplified by a glass of decent rosé. Or two - I'm seriously ill, after all.

I can only hope the prescription is correct and the medicine does its work.

I'm feeling a bit of tightness in my chest following treatment, so I need to go stretch out on the couch now. I'll nap and give the meal a chance to work its magic.

If it succeeds, I can put the apologies on hold.

And, as for the money Š

 

Extension Viewpoints

New school lunch safety regulations in effect

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

July 20 - 4 p.m., Quality Assurance make-up meeting.

July 21 - 2 p.m., Rabbit Project meeting.

July 21 - 3:30 p.m., Poultry Project meeting.

July 24 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

July 24 - 6 p.m., Swine Project meeting.

July 25 - 5 p.m., League of Women Voters meeting.

July 26 - 6 p.m., 4-H Livestock weigh-in.

July 26 - 6 p.m., Fair Board meeting.

Enhance safety of school lunch

The safety of food served in American schools has become an increasingly important issue in recent years, drawing the attention and concern of both the media and the public.

Buying meals at school is a popular choice for many students, especially with both breakfast and lunch available; it is estimated that approximately 93 percent of public schools in the United States are currently involved in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Programs. Through these programs, 29 million lunches and 9 million breakfasts are served to students each day. While most schools have good food safety records, highly publicized outbreaks of food borne illness associated with school lunch and the large number of students consuming these meals daily have raised the level of concern among both parents and experts about the safety of meals served at school.

In response to these concerns, last year Congress amended the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 with requirements designed to enhance the safety of food served through the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. These amendments were detailed in an Interim Rule published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2005, and in a longer document entitled "Guidance for School Food Authorities: Developing A School Food Safety Program Based on the Process Approach to HACCP Principles."

The new regulations increased the number of food safety inspections required of all schools from one to two per year. Schools are now required to post their most recent food safety inspection report in a visible location and to release a copy of the report to the public upon request. In addition, State-level agencies are required to monitor school compliance with the new inspection requirements and submit a report annual to the federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) detailing the number of food safety inspections conducted per school. Finally, the new amendments require school food authorities to develop and implement HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety programs for food preparation and service in their establishments. Such plans must include several key elements: documented standard operating procedures, written plans at each school food preparation site for applying HACCP principles, documentation of critical control points of production, monitoring systems, documentation of corrective actions, record keeping, and review of overall food safety programs.

The above requirements went into effect July 1, 2005, and schools have been working to comply with the new regulations since. The first report to FNS detailing compliance with the two food safety inspections/year rule will be due this November. It is hoped that by implementing these new requirements, public schools will be better able to improve safe food preparation and serving practices, and to identify problems and shortcomings quickly and on a regular basis. Experts hope that the quality and safety of school meals will be enhanced as a result, and children will be further protected from food borne illnesses at school.

Chuckwagon dinner

Get your tickets now for the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, Aug. 5 at the county fair.

The planned menu includes barbecue beef by the famous Harry Cole, cole slaw, baked beans, texas toast, potato salad, and a hot fudge brownie and ice cream. All that and a drink for only $8 for ages 13 and up, and $6 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased for any 4-H member, at the county Cooperative Extension Office, and at the Activity Tent Saturday night at the Fair. Come out 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, for an excellent meal and stay for the excitement of the 4-H Livestock Auction starting at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in this year's auction as a buyer by registering at the Livestock Tent before or during the auction. Livestock animals can also be "split" for purchasing - so you and your family or friends can get together and purchase some top-quality meat.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Only nine days left to train for the Tri

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Just nine more days before the 14th annual Pagosa Lakes Triathlon - our one and only local summer triathlon.

Some of you have trained for it, some are still training, and then there are others who will participate just for the fun of it, with very little preparation.

This year I'm seeing a large number of participants who are doing a triathlon for the first time.

Also this year, with the newly formed women's running group, we have more runners than ever primed to compete. Along with the runners, there will be swimmers from the Pagosa Lakes Swim Club and mountain bikers from the Wheels Club that can be drawn on to make up teams.

The Pagosa Lakes Triathlon follows a unique format of run, bike, swim (breaking away from the traditional swim, bike and run format). Because none of the open water in Pagosa Lakes is available to swimmers, we chose to use the indoor pool at the recreation center instead.

With an average of 80 participants and a four-lane, 25-yard pool, it made sense to put the swim last so the athletes have a chance to spread themselves out over the run and bike portions.

The triathlon starts out from the recreation center with a seven-mile run on residential roads and forest rails in Martinez Canyon.

Then you transfer to a mountain bike, in the transition area at the recreation center, for two loops of the same course, in reverse direction.

Cyclists end up at the recreation center where the final leg, a half-mile swim, takes place.

For information and help getting a team together, contact the center at 731-2059. You can compete as an individual or as a team. Course maps are also available at the center.

Annual meeting

The PLPOA annual meeting will be held Saturday, July 29, at the Pagosa Lakes Community Center on Port Avenue.

Yup, it's on the same morning as the triathlon - blame it on a moment of mental distraction on my part; I take full responsibility for the goof-up and, in time, I hope, will be forgiven.

Social hour and voting will begin at 9 a.m., with a prompt start of the meeting at 10.

Purpose of the annual meeting is to elect three property owners to the board of directors, vote on one proposed amendment, hear reports from the board and its standing committees, and consider other business.

Property owners in good standing as shown on a voter list certified Monday, May 30 at 5 p.m. (60 days prior to the election), are encouraged to vote in person at the annual meeting, 9-10 a.m.

Please plan on attending your annual meeting - a meeting of property owners to voice their ideas and to give direction for the future planning of the association.

Trails Council work day

The Pagosa Area Trails Council will sponsor a second trail work day in Martinez Canyon Saturday, July 22.

The plan for the day will be to continue to extend the Martinez Canyon trail down the canyon toward Stevens Draw, picking up where we left off in May.

There was a great turnout at the May work day and we are hoping for another one this Saturday.

The Martinez Canyon Trail is a Forest Service approved trail but all construction must be done with volunteer efforts. This is where your help is needed.

We will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse in Vista. Please bring a lunch, hat, work boots, water and sunscreen. Tools will be provided.

For more information call John Applegate, Pagosa Area Trails Council, at 731-9325.

When complete, the Martinez Canyon trail project will be something that everyone can be proud of - located in an easily accessible part of the National Forest. The trail is being built to accommodate hikers, bikers and equestrian users.

Obituaries

Robert Cebula

Robert Edward Cebula, born July 11, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York, passed away on July 15, 2006.

Bob is survived by his Colorado family: Carol, Arthur, Brian and Randy, the Cary family; also by his nine brothers and sisters in California.

Bob's father was in the Navy. His early years, they traveled around the world, settling in California in 1949. Later, he attended the seminary for four years. He then went to Syracuse University to continue his language studies, among other pursuits. He spoke eight languages fluently - reading, writing, learning the music and cooking the food of each country whose language he spoke. He was in the Air Force and CIA, which sent him to Vietnam four times. He was a true war hero. After leaving the Air Force, he came home to California. While working there, he met the Cary family. When they moved to Pagosa Springs, he visited them and loved the land. After both of his parents passed away, he knew where he wanted to live, in that beautiful place with his best friends. Bobby loved working the land, making beautiful gardens and landscapes.

He was deeply loved by all and will remain in our hearts forever.

Services will be July 21, 2006, at 7 p.m. at Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

Chamber members: Get your cars washed, fill out survey

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Calling all dirty cars!

With a chance of rain all week, we need to have an event that will really bring in the monsoons - a car wash, with lots of cars!

Saturday, July 22, is the date for the annual Chamber of Commerce Membership Appreciation Carwash. Starting at 9 a.m. in the Visitor Center parking lot the Chamber board of directors and staff will be on hand to wash your car or cars (if you have more than one business registered with us). We will be shining up cars until 1 p.m.

This is one of the times of the year when we want to say thank you for your membership and support, and do so in a fun and tangible way. I mean, everyone needs their car washed.

Please, if you're a member, come by the Chamber Saturday and let us shine up your vehicle. It only takes a few minutes since our crack team of scrubbers will be armed with all the appropriate car washing tools.

While you wait, enjoy a cool drink and some cookies and you'll have a clean car until the monsoons hit - hopefully the next day.

Chamber survey

It is not too late to complete your Chamber survey and submit it to 9G Enterprises.

If you cannot log onto the Web site to take the survey, we can fax you a copy, or you can stop by the Visitor Center and complete one. The survey takes only a few minutes to fill out, and we need your feedback.

If we are to grow as an organization, we need to know better how to do that. We need to know what areas you, our constituents, want us to improve in, what areas we are doing well in and how we can become a stronger organization.

The Chamber is not just a referral source; it is an organization that helps foster business interaction, support and growth. Are there mini classes you would like to see us host? Is there a way we can organize the businesses better? What kind of information would you like to see us disseminate?

The survey is completely anonymous and 9G Enterprises is compiling nationwide statistics. We should receive the feedback in September.

Thank you for helping us grow and giving us the tools to make the growth happen. A few minutes of your time could result in a stronger and more effective organization for you.

Newsletter inserts

Our next newsletter, for August and September, will be coming out shortly. Therefore, if you are interested in placing an insert promoting your business or event, we need to have the flyers by Monday, July 24. The requirements are that we need 700 flyers, flat not folded. The cost to place an insert is $50.

In this issue we will be talking about the Colorfest activities, a new branding image for our marketing efforts, and lots of recap information and pictures from all the summer activities with numerous Chamber member sponsors.

If you have questions about placing an insert, give our newsletter guru, Kimberley, a call at 264-2360. This is a widespread, inexpensive way to introduce yourself as a new business, highlight a special event, announce a new product or send a reminder to existing Chamber members. We just need the flyers. Our wonderful volunteer staff will collate and stuff all the newsletters, and we so appreciate their time. Remember, Monday is the deadline.

Chimney Rock dancers

On Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23, dancers from the pueblos of Hopi, Acoma, Laguna, Zuni, San Juan and San Felipe, as well as Aztec and Jicarilla Apache performers, will be at Chimney Rock to entertain during the annual Native American Cultural Gathering.

Performances will be at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days.

In addition to the dancers, there will also be Native American arts and crafts available. These performances are so special and we are very lucky to get so many pueblos to participate. Don't miss this opportunity to see a colorful and interesting part of our area's heritage. Cost is $10 per person and attendees should be at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to the program.

For more information on the dances, call 731-4248 or 883-5359.

Family Festivo

Animals playing musical instruments?

Can it be so?

It can at this year's free Music in the Mountains family event, Family Festivo. Local actors and area musicians will perform "The Bremen Town Musicians" starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 27, in Town Park.

Not only will you see this delightful musical production with costumes again designed by Michael DeWinter, but there will be children's activities and food. We encourage you to ask for a long lunch that day and join your children in Town Park for this new concert, created especially for Pagosa. We are so honored that the musical creators for Music in the Mountains agreed to tailor this musical score for us.

Again, the concert is free. What greater way to expose your children to music and in what better place for our children than Town Park? Let's hope the weather holds for this annual event.

Welcome members

Four new members join our ranks this week.

Let's start off with Colorado Loan Consultants owned by Buz Gillentine. Colorado Loan Consultants is a full service mortgage broker offering a wide range of services. Whether it is a refinance, home equity, new home or land mortgage, Buz can help you. Colorado Loan Consultants also sponsors "The Changing Face of Pagosa" every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. on KWUF. To schedule an appointment, call 264-5363 or stop by his convenient office at 103 San Juan St.

Then we have Diamond Dave's, Inc. coming on board. Diamond Dave's has a wide range of entrepreneurial activities all under one roof. Let's start with the oxygen bar, providing 92-percent oxygen during a five to 20 minute session. You can also get the benefits of the service while sitting in a relaxing, robotic massage chair. Dave also carries guns and ammo and he will buy, sell or trade firearms. Diamond Dave's is also home to the Diamond Dog, natural casing hot dogs - the exclusive distributor west of the Rockies for these tasty items. What a delicious lunch. Stop by his location on the east end of town at 266 E. U.S. 160 or give him a call at 264-9052.

We also welcome Bill Schwan with Southwest Wilderness Outfitters. Southwest Wilderness Outfitters is a premier provider of backcountry llama trekking tours. Their tours will take you into the spectacular South San Juan Wilderness area with daily or multi-day trips. Llama trekking is comfortable and interesting and these animals are great to hike with. For more information, call Bill at 264-2655.

We close out the new members with Viking Construction of Pagosa Springs, with Nick and Carrie Toth. The folks at Viking Construction pride themselves on their honesty and the quality of work they bring to their clients. They specialize in remodels and additions, a great alternative to building new. Give Nick a call at 264-9042 when you are ready to interview builders.

Here are our renewing members this week: Kinder Morgan, Agape Gifts, The Cabins at Hartland Ranch, the Blanco River RV Park, Pinon Park Campground and RV Resort, Harold Kelly and Highland West Investments, and the San Juan Conservation District.

There are still a lot of activities happening in Pagosa, but many people are taking a deep breath, getting ready for the Archuleta County Fair which always occurs the first weekend of August. Get ready for the demolition derby, chili cook-off, all the various exhibits, the livestock show, Chuck Wagon Dinner, dance and kid's rodeo. You'll be seeing more information about this yearly event in the coming weeks, and you can check out their Web site, www.archuletacountyfair.com. We have fair handbooks available here at the Chamber.

Thank you again for completing the Chamber survey. We do want your feedback.

 

Biz Beat

Drs. Tim and Beth Mazzola have joined the team at the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center. They move here with sons Marcus and Noah from Colorado Springs, where Tim finished his Air Force career at the Air Force Academy.

Beth started her career as a physician with the Air Force, leaving in 1999 as a major. She has continued in family medicine with an emphasis in hospice and palliative care, She graduated from Michigan State University, where she also attended medical school. She completed her residency training in family medicine at David Grant Medical Center in northern California. She looks forward to the opportunity to develop a part-time family practice and to work with hospice and special needs services in the community.

Tim attended UC San Diego then went to medical school at Penn State. He completed family medicine residency at David Grant Medical Center. After serving in the Air Force, he specialized in sports medicine at the University of Colorado, caring for the CU Buffalo football team and the DU soccer and hockey teams. He moved to the Air Force Academy and served as team physician for the Falcons. He is opening a specialty clinic - Pagosa Springs Sports Medicine - under the same roof as Pagosa Family Medicine, specializing in the care of "athletes" from all walks of life and abilities.

Pagosa Family Medicine is at 75 South Pagosa Blvd. and is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9-4 Saturday. The phone number is 731-4131.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

Webb

Words utterly fail me while I try to write this letter of thanks and gratitude for the incredible outpouring of generosity and love shown at the benefit dance held in my honor. Actually, for the first time in my life (as some would attest to), I have found myself speechless.

Having lived in Pagosa for 20-some-odd years, I've always been astounded by the phenomenal people who make this community so special. Being on the receiving end of this love and support has made me a believer: There is no place in the world quite like this.

Time moved so quickly that evening, I found myself powerless to talk to everyone. Needless to say, some people that would have liked to harass me didn't have the opportunity and vice versa! Yet, it definitely proved to be a wonderful celebration filled with so much love, laughter, friendship, generosity and support. Truly an experience I will never forget!

There are so many people to thank for this wonderful evening. Suffice it to say, you know who you are and each of you hold a special place in my heart.

The sisters want to express their gratitude and love to each and everyone that made this a night we will remember forever.

Hugs and kisses,

Lyn Webb, Patti Renner and Susi Mays

 

Morris

Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat has been hung and stored for the time being. Our sets have been dismantled, the pharoah's face carefully preserved. The cast, crew and musicians enjoyed their cast party, turned in their music and costumes, watched and cheered a DVD of their performance prepared by Ray Diffee, said their goodbyes, gave and received lots of hugs, and went back to their lives before "Joseph."

I would like to thank each and every one for the almost eight weeks of rehearsal time, (usually five nights a week) that they gave in order to produce an outstanding production. They created an ensemble that not only shined onstage, but also performed with a joy that translated into excellence. They all grew as actors and performers; they will shine again the next time they grace our Pagosa stages. I learned from them, as I strive to improve my role as director and choreographer. Our "pit" musicians, working with a challenging score, brought a beautiful sound and clarity to "Joseph's" music and, under the direction of Sue Anderson, filled the auditorium with the melodies of their gifts. Thanks y'all, for a tremendous experience. "Marco Polo!"

Dale Morris

 

Arts Council

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sincerely appreciates the time and effort by so many people who contributed to the success of the sixth annual Home and Garden Tour on Sunday, July 9. Special thanks to the homeowners who so graciously shared their homes and gardens: Tom and Susan Thorpe, Ron and Val Halverson and Michelle Mesker, Ed and Barbara Simpson, and Darlene and Dan Gonzales. Also greatly appreciated are the volunteers who served as hosts and hostesses: Jeanine Malaney, Katie Deschler, Kayla Douglas, Carolle Ash, Barb Draper, Charlotte Overley, Siri Schuchardt, Ann Rasich, Cindy Quigley, Jeanne Kaiser, Diane and Sandy Sanford, Nettie Trenk, Cheryl Mingo, Treva Wheeless, Chad and Jeni Plum; Rada and Chip Neal for providing live music, and to Jean Smith and Linda Strathdee at the PSAC gallery for their assistance.

Gratitude also goes to those who sold tickets; Lantern Dancer Gallery, Moonlight Books, The Chamber, WolfTracks, and the PSAC gallery, and especially to Jeff Laydon for providing photos of each of the homes.

Marti Capling and Charlotte Overley

 

Softball association

Southwest Colorado ASA Girls Fastpitch Association would like to send out a big thank you to all our local business sponsors. Without your generous donations, our girls' softball programs wouldn't exist. The 12U Hot Shots would like express their appreciation to the team's official sponsor - Lone Pine Custom Millworks. The 16U Diamond Backs would like to extend their appreciation to the team's offical sponsor - Coyote Hill Lodge.

Other supporting sponsors of this years girls' fastpitch program are Southwest Custom Builders, The Tile and Carpet Store, Ears 2 U Hearing, Vaughn Johnson DDS, Builders Association of Pagosa Springs, Whispering Pines Development, First Southwest Bank, and Hi-Mesa Truck and Auto Center. Once again, we appreciate these special businesses for investing in our community's youth. Wishing you all a successful year.

Maddie Beserra

 

Gustafson

Behind the bandstand at the red, white and blue dance held on June 23rd at the community center, hung an enormous American flag. This was graciously contributed by the folks at High Country Furniture and Gallery. How perfect this would be for Patriots' Night on the 30th, and there it was. Then, on Monday, Earl Stokes, a volunteer, came in, took it down, and got it back to its proper owners so it would be on display for the Fourth of July.

Thanks to this generous business for providing the perfect touch to these two events.

Cindy Gustafson

 

Amazon team

On July 31, 18 Pagosans on the Restoration Fellowship Amazon Team will be traveling deep into the heart of the Amazon jungle to bring food, toys, medical supplies, goodwill and good news to over a thousand people.

The following businesses have donated generously toward helping our team raise funds for this trip. We would like to express our personal thanks to them. Many, many lives will be touched by what they are helping us accomplish: Aaron's Fitness and Strength Training, ACE Lumber and Hardware, Agape Gifts, Boss Hogg's Saloon, Buffalo Inn Restaurant and Bar, City Market, Dionigi's Italian Caffé, Dogwood Café, Domino's Pizza, Farrago Market Café, Isabel's, KFC/Taco Bell, Kip's Grill and Cantina, Liberty Theatre, LouJean's Salon, McDonald's, Ramon's Mexican Restaurant, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, Shang Hai Chinese Restaurant, Ski and Bow Rack, Sonic, Subway, The Getaway, The Malt Shoppe, The Plaid Pony, The Springs and Victoria's Parlor.

Britt Bennett

 

Sanchez

I would like to thank all my family and friends for their prayers, food, flowers, cards, phone calls and visits while I was in the hospital and during my recovery.

May God bless you.

Lupe Sanchez

 

Skoglund

We would like to thank everyone for your generous support and love you have shown us during the loss of our mother, Carolee Jane (Skoglund) Blevins. She will be missed, but her lessons of having fun and finding the best in people will be carried on throughout our lifetimes.

David Skoglund and family

Leeann Skoglund and family

Mark Blevins and family

 

Engagement

Bramwell-Landsford

James and Sandra Bramwell of Chromo, Colo., are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Christine Lee Bramwell, to Dr. T.R. Lansford, III, DVM, of College Station, Texas. Christine, a 1994 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, earned a master's degree in agricultural extension and education from New Mexico State University in 2004. She is currently the senior manager of educational programs with the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas. T.R., a 1993 graduate of McMullen County ISD, is the son of Tom and Gail Lansford of Fowlerton, Texas. He earned his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University in 2000 and is currently the assistant state director of meat safety assurance with the Texas Department of State Health Services. The wedding will be celebrated on Sept. 9, 2006, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Amarillo, Texas.

Sports Page

Girl's fastpitch softball continues to grow in Pagosa

By Maddie Beserra

Special to The SUN

What a busy season it's been for Pagosa girls' fastpitch softball.

Our athletes have played hard this summer in the Farmington ASA League, which included teams from Cortez and Durango, and several New Mexico teams.

The highlight of the season so far is the second-place finish at the Diamond in the Rockies Tournament by Pagosa's 16U Diamond Back team.

The Pagosa 12U Hot Shots team will wind up the season with a round robin tournament in Durango July 29 at Riverview Park.

Thanks go out to all the players and their families for being committed to this program. Girls who play two years or more in ASA programs are eligible to apply for college softball scholarships.

As Southwest Colorado ASA heads to its third year, we would like to invite any adults interested in working toward positive youth development through girls' fastpitch softball to join in. The organization welcomes new board members and has openings for new coaches, team moms, scorekeepers and umpires. ASA offers training and certification courses in these areas.

The next board of directors meeting, to establish next year's program, will be held in October. Anyone interested in being a part of this exciting girls' sport program can call 903-8878.

 

Annual Pine Cone Classic a golf and fund-raising success

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

This year's Pine Cone Classic Golf tournament, July 11 and 12, featured great weather, very lush and well-groomed courses, keen competition, two holes-in-one, and a very successful charity event.

The event, hosted by the Pagosa Women's Golf Association and the Pagosa Springs Golf Club, included 112 women golfers from five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

This year's tournament returned to teams of four women who played a two best-ball gross and net format. The full field of 28 teams played the Meadows Ponderosa courses the first day, and the Pinon Ponderosa courses the second day, each with a par 71 rating.

Two Pagosa teams were winners or placed in their respective flights, and several Pagosa players captured top honors in the special events both days.

Championship Flight: first net: Marilyn Smart with teammates Kay Daley and Ginny Husted of Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Denise Bates of Aztec Hidden Valley - 249.

First Flight: third net: Jane Day, Jan Kilgore, Cherry O'Donnell and Julie Pressley - 254.

Third Flight: second net: Claudia Johnson, Nancy Mackensen, Cindy Simpson and Lee Wilson - 248.

Special events winners on opening day were Lynne Allison for closest to the pin on Meadows No. 6 (0-18 handicap), and Nancy Mackensen for her drive that was closest to the line on Meadows No. 7 (19-36 handicap).

Second day special events winners included Leslie Fluharty for closest to the pin on Ponderosa 2 and longest putt on Pinon 8 (19-36 handicap); Carole Howard for closest to the pin on Pinon 3 (19-36 handicap); and Cindy Simpson for her drive that was closest to the line on Pinon 9 (19-36 handicap).

Teammates Cindy Bryniarski and Teresa Price from Dalton Ranch each scored back-to-back aces on Ponderosa 2 the second day - a most unusual and amazing feat.

The ladies enjoyed breakfast both mornings at the club's Greenskeeper Grill, and were treated to a cocktail party and delicious buffet dinner Tuesday evening hosted by Bonnie Hoover. John Graves provided the guests with many popular selections from his very extensive repertoire throughout the evening. Immediately following play Wednesday, the ladies enjoyed a delightful awards luncheon provided by the Greenskeeper Grill.

During the awards luncheon, Pine Cone Classic Committee Chairwoman Julie Pressley and tournament co-treasurer Sheila Rogers presented representatives from the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Upper San Juan Health Service District with a check in the amount of $6,500.

Pressley said that, "This year's charity tournament was a huge success" thanks to her committee; the generosity of the PWGA league members and the community; Terry Carter, club groundskeeper and his staff; Alan Schutz, club general manager and his staff; and all the volunteers, sponsors and turnout of top players.

 

High school golf season begins

First practice and team meeting for the 2006 Pirate golf team is at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at Pagosa Springs Golf Course; parents are welcome to attend.

Golfers must have a sports physical before they will be able to practice. The doctor giving the physical will provide the required physical form to the athletes.

Golfers are required to wear a collared golf shirt, with shirttail tucked in and appropriate golf shorts/pants.

The one home tournament is 9 a.m. Aug. 25.

This year's schedule (subject to change):

- Aug. 16 -17 - Montrose.

- Aug. 18 - Alamosa.

- Aug. 23 - Cortez.

- Aug. 24 - Durango (Hillcrest).

- Aug. 25 - Pagosa.

- Aug. 30 - Delta.

- Sept. 8 - John Mall (Walsenberg).

- Sept. 11 - Canon City.

- Sept. 12 - Rye (Colorado City).

- Sept. 14 - Buena Vista.

- Sept. 15 - Salida.

- Sept. 21 - Regionals (Colorado City).

- Oct. 1-2 - State (Colorado City).

 

Meeting set to promote positive future for local skateboarding

A meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 24, for people who wish to promote a positive future for skateboarding in the community.

Concerned parents, residents and skateboarders are urged to attend the 7 p.m. meeting in South Pagosa Park, on South 8th Street, under the yellow pavilion.

A member of the town parks and recreation commission will attend the meeting, as well as a member of the town staff.

Topics to be considered at the meeting, among others, are contests, events and fund-raising to ensure a positive and valuable experience for local youth.

 

Sports physical clinic Saturday

Participation in sports at Pagosa Springs Junior High School and Pagosa Springs High School requires a current physical examination.

A sports physical clinic will be held 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, July 22, at Riverside Health Practices, 103 Pagosa St. No appointment is necessary. Cost is $30.

Call 264-2218 for more information.

 

Immunization clinic schedule changed

The San Juan Basin Health Department immunization clinic in Pagosa Springs will be held on Mondays beginning Aug. 7, and will be by appointment only.

The clinic will set aside the time period from 2-3 p.m. for babies 0-2 years old, and 3-5:15 p.m. for children and adults.

Call the office at 264-2409, ext. 0, to schedule an appointment.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

It's time to register for youth soccer

By Andy Rice

SUN Columnist

Time to register for youth soccer.

The recreation office will accept 2006 youth soccer registrations for children ages 5 through 13 beginning Monday, July 24, and will continue to accept registrations through Aug. 9.

Registration forms will be available at the recreation office beginning July 24. The office is located upstairs in Town Hall.

Registrations will also be available online in Adobe format at www.townofpagosasprings.com (click on the department link, then the recreation link).

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 late August.

This year's age divisions will be 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-13. Coaches and team sponsors for each division are needed and appreciated. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, a commemorative plaque with team picture and designation in media articles.

For more information call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Angels take Mustang crown

Congratulations go out to the Angels, who won this year's Mustang division baseball tournament and championship last week at the Pagosa Springs High School Sports Complex.

The recreation department staff would also like to recognize all of this year's Mustang division head coaches and assistants for their selfless dedication and efforts, which provided a fun and knowledgeable season for our local 9- and 10-year-old ball players: Jim Amato, Louis Mannara, Al Wylie, Jerry Smith, Tim Miller, Bob Scott, Brad Denison, Rich Goebel, Matt Chavez, Ericka Vincent, Bill and Lori Manzanares and Jimmy Henderson.

In addition, we owe a debt of gratitude to all of the cooperative parents and the following Mustang division sponsors for their generous contributions toward youth sports: Herman Riggs and Associates, LLC, The Springs Resort, A-Affordable Storage and Edward Jones Investments.

Thanks again for helping us realize another successful youth baseball season.

Youth baseball photos

Parents and coaches who ordered youth baseball pictures this season can pick them up at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan St. For information concerning photo orders, contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

Adult open volleyball

Adult players are welcome to attend open sand volleyball play at the South Pagosa Park sand courts 6-8 p.m. Monday evenings, beginning July 24.

Instruction will be provided if desired; the goal of the program is to give interested players a chance to have a regular night to meet other players and to introduce outdoor volleyball to those who have mainly enjoyed the indoor game.

Open play will continue through Aug. 14, with the possibility of more sessions depending on interest shown. Outdoor balls will be provided; don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen! There is no charge for open play.

Contact Andy Rice, recreation coordinator, at 264-4151, Ext. 231, for more information.

Adult softball schedule

Schedules for this year's adult men's and coed leagues are available at the recreation office and have been posted online at www.townofpagosasprings.com. Schedules are also updated regularly on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

The men's league schedule for the coming week includes the following (all games to be played on Field 1):

- July 24 - Boss Hogg's vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 5:30 p.m., American Legion vs. MBM Construction at 6:50 p.m. and Four Corners Electronics vs. Pagosa Falcons at 8 p.m.

- July 26 - Boss Hogg's vs. American Legion at 5:30 p.m., Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 6:50 p.m. and MBM Construction vs. Pagosa Falcons at 8 p.m.

The coed league will begin its double-elimination tournament tonight at the high school Sports Complex; tournament brackets and pairings are available online at www.townofpagosasprings.com. Coed league players can also call the hotline at 264-6658 or the office at 264-4151, Ext. 232, for current pairings and game times.

Horseshoes

Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park will continue each Tuesday from 5-7 p.m., through September.

From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome to play and improve. Now is a good time to come out and sharpen your eye for this year's county fair tournament. If there's enough interest, we'll hold a town tournament in October.

So remember to attend Tuesday-evening practice and pick-up games at South Pagosa Park's horseshoe courts, just north of the basketball courts.

Park Fun

Registration for this year's Park Fun program is ongoing daily at Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Stop by to get your child enrolled for fun now.

Thus far, Park Fun has hosted bike days, swim days, hiking, talent shows, the Diffendoofer cookout and a special movie day.

Future activities include a cookout at the Fireside (hosted by Fireside Cabins), water fights, treasure hunts and our Christmas in July party.

Activities also include hiking, wading, rollerblading, art and daily field trips. Your child will get plenty of fresh air, exercise and fun.

Drop-off for each day's program is at 8 a.m. at the junior high and pick-up is at 5 p.m. All scheduled events are posted weekly and daily for your convenience. Children require a sack lunch, sunscreen and a towel.

Call Heather Hunts, director, at 731-1146 with any additional questions.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis.

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

Editorial

Difficult choices

With processes underway to set construction requirements and "big box" policies, we are drawn to ponder the role of gov-ernment - of staff and elected officials - and express our relief we are not in the position of having to make certain pending decisions for our community.

The job of a staff member in the face of growth and development should be simple: to ensure that regulations are observed. That is the nature of positive bureaucracy and, given the system is not flush with unacceptable motives or fueled by too many, difficult sets of rules, that bureaucracy forms a buffer between one who proposes development (or its opposite) and those who must decide whether or not a project is approved - elected officials.

Regulations must be clear, reasonable, applied to all. If, say, a developer approaches a planning staff, that staff must be able to ascertain whether the development in question meets standards and must be able to do so without ambiguity. That information can then be passed on to elected decision makers.

What we have seen in recent discussions of the need to create clear rules - in this case, the town setting height limitations on new construction or standards for big box projects - is a move to ensure staff has viable regulations with which to work. And that developers have clear guidelines when it comes to design and plans.

We are also seeing similar moves in the attempt to finalize the town's Downtown Master Plan.

With clear regulations, proposed projects can make their way through the pipeline. Developers can understand the rules of the game and officials can allow their staffs to do the basic work, staying clear of charges of improper associations, and of potential litigation.

But, once a project and its proponents have made the way through the bureaucratic process, there is yet another level of action, and it is political and practical. And it often relies on incomplete evidence and, yes, sometimes, on a hunch.

This is the point at which elected representatives enter the picture and make the final decision, whether or not a project is approved.

And, make no mistake about it, the elected officials often have the right, and we would say the obligation, to go against the rules.

Such a move can be difficult. What should be the reaction of an elected official, pledged to understand and protect the best interests of all constituents as well as he or she can, when confronted with a request to vary from the rules - based, say, on the promise of jobs for residents, of added revenues in the community? What if that request is reasonable, with a discernible quid pro quo involved?

A developer approaches a council and says: "I have met all your requirements but one, and I ask you to grant a variance in the height or size of my building. If I construct this building I will bring 40 jobs to the community, regular salaries and benefits to 40 or more residents - people who pay taxes, who spend much of their income where they live."

Do you grant the request?

What if, with the price of oil escalating, tourist travel to the area is restrained, requiring more funds to complete? Do you, as an elected official, deny reasonable requests and compromises to those willing to risk money on higher-grade commercial development, the kinds of facilities and amenities needed to compete in a tourist industry that is increasingly small and more competitive?

We do not know the answers, since we are certain they are situational. We do know a combination of clear regulations, competent staff and non-ideological action on the part of elected officials might be the only formula that ensures this growing community continues to prosper.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 21, 1916

A small blaze yesterday, caused by a coffee-percolator gasoline-heating apparatus in the Pagosa cafe, did a small amount of damage to the wall tiling and ceiling frescoes.

Mrs. Robt. Ewell drove a fine span of Belgian mares attached to a brand new "Carthermobile" from Chromo Tuesday and returned yesterday with about a dozen new pitchforks, a new cream separator, a gasoline engine and other implements of a strenuous suburban life.

The Wolf Creek Pass highway will not be open to travel before August 1st. Logan & West have finished their contract, but the Chapman section is as yet uncompleted. They will probably move on to the Chapman section in order to expedite the finishing work.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 24, 1931

With hundreds of cars passing daily over Wolf Creek Pass from South Fork to Durango, construction engineers are speeding to completion this picturesque mountain highway. For three miles below Twin Bridges the highway is completely surfaced with gravel and is a virtual boulevard. From South Fork to Windy Point the road is rough in spots, but good on the whole. Plans are now being drafted for the graveling of the four mile stretch. Thus it is that treacherous Wolf Creek, one of the most feared, dangerous and rugged of all Colorado passes, will soon be tamed by modern engineering prowess.

A brush fire up the Piedra Canyon, two miles above the Piedra Store, required the services of several men the better part of two days to extinguish this week.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 26, 1956

At a meeting of the directors of the Wolf Creek Pass Ski Club last week, several very important developments were discussed and the improvements that are underway at the ski area were also talked about. Several new runs have been built this summer, a parking area at the foot of the tow is being constructed, and the tow is being changed somewhat. This change involves raising the tow system higher above the ground so that the disks will not drag on the snow on the return from the top. The old rope tow that used to be at the top of the pass has been moved to the new area and will enable skiers to get further up the hill before starting down. The directors of this association also voted to advertise for a concessionaire to handle the lunches, ski rentals, etc., for the tow.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 23, 1981

Various groups in the county were called out to fight three forest fires within 25 miles of Pagosa Springs on Tuesday and Wednesday. The largest covered 20 acres and was reported under control by noon Wednesday. Another fire was reported Tuesday in Ignacio Canyon, but air surveillance revealed no flames.

Mike Ray and David Gallegos will be in Douglas, Wyoming July 27 through August 2 for the national high school rodeo championships. The Pagosa Springs High School cowboys qualified for the world's largest rodeo with strong performances last month at the Colorado High School Championships in Estes Park. Ray finished first and Gallegos third in saddle bronc riding.

 

Features

Pagosa Springs Community Centerwhere Pagosans gather

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

W here in Pagosa Springs can you celebrate a quincenera, be deposed by a lawyer, play bridge, surf the Internet, take shelter in the event of an emergency or natural disaster and attend a dance, fund-raiser, or political gathering all in one location, and sometimes, all on the same day?

The answer? The Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Located on Hot Springs Boulevard adjacent to Town Hall, the center opened in July 2002, and in the course of providing a home for the activities listed above, has become an important hub in this rapidly growing community.

Upon entering the community center, one of the first people you will encounter is Michelle Jamison, the center's administrative assistant, and the staff member usually seated behind the information desk.

Jamison is often on the front lines of the customer service aspect of the center, and has come to know the interests and demands of its users well.

She said the center has evolved into both an activity center and an information clearinghouse - almost like a surrogate Chamber of Commerce - and during an afternoon visit, she answered questions regarding availability and pricing for meeting space, admired a young visitor's crochet work, and assisted another visitor with a photocopy.

"This is a great place to meet the community, that's what I love about this job. It's a great place to meet people," she said.

She added that newcomers or visitors to Pagosa Springs will often stop by to ask about youth, children's and senior services, including area attractions and activities.

"We are definitely an information center," Jamison said.

And in the process of gleaning local information, community center users can send a fax, make a photocopy or have a document or photograph scanned. If they need to use a computer or the Internet, for just a $2 onetime fee, they can access one of the center's 10 computers equipped with a DSL Internet connection.

In addition to offering an open computer lab, the center, under the tutelage of system administrator Becky Herman, provides free computer classes for both new and experienced computer users.

During Herman's tenure she has rebuilt, refurbished and upgraded the center's computers, provided tips to new users on everything from how to use a mouse to e-mail, and is working on securing grant funding to bring the center's technology securely into the 21st century in an effort to increase computer access and computer literacy in Pagosa Springs.

Although Herman said the task is not without its challenges, discovery of a new grant program may enable the center to fully develop a computer education curriculum, including newer equipment and the possibility of students "learning-to-earn" their own computer.

And Jamison said the computer lab is a tremendous asset, attracting a wide variety of visitors who wouldn't otherwise come to the center.

Beyond technology training and computer access, the center provides a place for Pagosa area teens to hang out.

With a foosball and pool table, dart boards, access to the gymnasium and a quiet room for movie viewing, Pagosa youth have a place they can call their own.

Teen Center Coordinator Rhonda LaQuey, has plans to expand the Teen Center's programs. In addition, LaQuey can help young Pagosans make the necessary connections to secure that first job or summer employment.

When running at full tilt, the community center may be buzzing with the energy of youth playing basketball or thumping to the bass line of teenagers listening to hip-hop in the teen room. In the computer lab, a visitor might hear the rapid-fire click of keyboards as users surf the Web or type a resumé, and in a small conference room, savvy bridge players may work their hands deftly and in silence. Down the hall from the reception desk, members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council may be learning the techniques of watercolor painting or the basics of marketing their art on the Internet, while food lovers gather in the community center kitchen to learn the elements of Thai or Italian cooking, while another group learns line dancing in the gymnasium.

And amidst all the activity, if you watch carefully, you might notice a petite, black-haired woman scurrying between the gym, kitchen or a conference room, a ring of keys in hand, tossing a question, greeting or instructions to those she passes. And if the Pagosa Springs Community Center is a hub of activity, then Mercy Korsgren with her keys, energy and leadership, is the engine that drives the ship.

By title, Korsgren is the center's coordinator, and coordinate she does.

Between scheduling cooking classes, hauling oak dance floor panels for a Friday night dance, arranging chairs for a banquet or fund-raiser, or setting up a conference room for a legal deposition, Korsgren is a busy coordinator, but she says its part of the center's mission.

"The goal is to provide a healthy mix of free services with paid events," Korsgren said. "We try not to turn away people. We try to accommodate groups of all economic means."

But she added, there is always a balance to be struck.

During the center's first year, between 2002 and 2003, Korsgren said there was a struggle to provide a balance of services. She said taxpayers, because they essentially paid for the building, expected free use of the center. However, as a non-profit entity with little funding from the town, the question of who would pay for the day to day operating expenses - such as lights, heat and air conditioning - remained.

Initially, the solution was to rent space to generate revenue, yet Korsgren said she advocated a balanced solution.

"We went to the board and suggested that the community center not just rent space, but provide programs for the community," Korsgren said.

That was in the center's second year, which she said was a transition year for the facility, and a year which helped the board clarify the center's mission.

"Our mission is to provide a free and affordable space for all kinds of gatherings and services that enhance the lives of people," Korsgren said.

To that end, the center has hosted numerous paid events such as family reunions, monthly dances, an annual NRA banquet, Auction for the Animals, the Seeds of Learning fund-raiser, the annual Chamber of Commerce awards banquet and various convention services, in addition to offering a full roster of free, weekly programs and serving as a meeting place for large, town and county meetings.

She said one of the center's huge successes is the annual community Halloween party. Last year, Korsgren said the event attracted more than 1,000 revelers, which, Korsgren is quick to point out, is almost the population of the town of Pagosa Springs.

"And that was just those who came in through the front door," Korsgren said.

With limited funding from the town, and in order to continue offering affordable or free programs, Korsgren said grant funding and volunteers play a crucial role.

"My goal is to secure enough funding to provide a wide variety of services at reasonable prices or for free," Korsgren said. "But a lot of programs require funding beyond an individual donating their time."

On her wish list is securing resources to hire an aerobics instructor, and the cash to convert the center's kitchen into a commercial-grade facility. In addition, Korsgren said she would like a larger space for accommodating bigger groups, and more space for storage. She said the community center plays a vital role in the community, and she envisions a future where the teen center might be incorporated with a community recreation center, along with the expansion of cooperative and collaborative programs with other community organizations such as the library.

Until then, Korsgren will keep coordinating, with the space and facility she has, and will continue to be a broker for those needing essential community services, such as a hot shower, a ride to the doctor in Durango, a simple photocopy, a place to send an e-mail or take a crash course on the fundamentals of line dancing.

"This is truly a community center. It's where people gather, it's where they meet," Korsgren said.

For a complete listing of center events, hours and activities, call 264-4152.

You can also visit the community center on the Web at townofpagosasprings.com, and click on "Community Center."

 

Pagosa's Past

A second year of war for the Jicarilla people

By John M. Motter

W War in 1854 with the Jicarilla Apaches and their allies, the Southern Utes, had the sprinkling of settlers, miners, and others in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico nervously watching over their shoulders.

The Jicarilla scattered and for the most part eluded pursuit. Their losses as measured by the number of dead were relatively light.

Nevertheless, the constant pursuit made seemingly mundane matters, such as gathering food, of critical importance. Consequently, peace negotiations began in late 1854. Many books have been written about the subject, but we have chosen as our source "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History 1846-1970" by Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, herself an enrolled Jicarilla.

Continuing from last week, Tiller tells us,

"On September 6, 1854, Chacón (an Apache leader ... Motter) visited Meriwether (The Territory of New Mexico governor ... Motter) with the intention of suing for peace. Chacón was tired of the war that had caused so much suffering and poverty among his people. Meriwether reminded him that blame for the war lay entirely with the Jicarillas, who had committed thefts and failed to surrender stolen property. Chacón claimed that the difficulties had arisen because of the actions of one band of nine lodges led by José Largo, who had escaped south to Mescalero and left Chacón's band to face the army. Chacón offered to apprehend Largo if he were given a month to do so, and if his women were provided with food and provisions."

Meriwether provided corn for Chacón's followers, who were camped near Abiquiu.

According to Tiller, even though Chacón was for peace, he took part in all of the battles. By 1854, Chacón was probably in his 60s and his leadership was being challenged. In fact, the Jicarilla were not united and did not have only one chief. They were scattered and in many instances allied with Ute Indians.

"In September of 1854, Col. Thomas T. Fauntleroy replaced Lt. Col. Cooke as the new commander of Fort Union (near Mora ... Motter). As winter set in, supplies were replenished and preparations for a spring campaign began. Gov. Meriwether issued a proclamation in English and Spanish asking for mounted volunteer companies. Plans called for using a combined force of regulars and volunteers to defeat the Indians.

"Six companies of mounted volunteers headquartered at Taos under the leadership of Lt. Col. Ceran St. Vrain. Col. Faunterloy commanded the overall military operations and the three posts of Fort Union, Fort Massachusetts (later Fort Garland ... Motter) and Cantonment Burgwin."

The Indians had regained strength and were making more daring attacks on settlements, according to Tiller. Indian depredations occurred near Ocate Creek, the Red River, and Las Vegas. In the lower San Luis Valley, 150 Utes and Jicarillas drove off nearly 4,500 head of settlers' livestock.

By March, Faunterloy had gathered his forces at Fort Massachusetts including two companies of dragoons, four companies of mounted volunteers and 30 guides and spies under Capt. Lucien Stewart. In the meantime, the Indians ran off another 1,000 head of cattle from the San Luis Valley, Red River region, and the Las Vegas area.

Faunterloy began his campaign March 14, 1855, by marching his 500-man force from Fort Massachusetts to the San Luis Valley and headwaters of the Arkansas River. The Apaches split away from the Utes when they realized they were being followed. The troops picked up the trail of Chacón, leading the largest of the groups. On the headwaters of the Arkansas they jumped a Jicarilla camp. All of the Indian horses were captured, but the Jicarilla escaped. The pursuer's supplies were running low and their horses tired, so they returned to Fort Massachusetts."

More next week on the U.S./Jicarilla war, now in its second year.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Tracing an asterism - the Northern Cross

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 6:03 a.m.

Sunset: 8:25 p.m.

Moonrise: 1:41 a.m.

Moonset: 5:03 p.m.

Moon phase: Waning crescent with 20 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

There were many highlights from last year's trip to Argentina - Argentine wine and cuisine, Buenos Aires, and of course, fly fishing for Patagonian trout. But also on the list, and one of the peaks of the trip, are memories of camping in the Andean foothills next to vast lakes and remote mountain streams and watching the Southern Cross - one of the most distinct and celebrated constellations - rise into the evening sky.

Although the Southern Cross, also know as Crux, is only visible from southern latitudes, skywatchers living at northern latitudes have a cross of their own to gaze at in the midsummer sky. Known as the Northern Cross, the celestial grouping differs slightly from its southern cousin. Whereas the Southern Cross is a constellation in its own right - and the smallest of the 88 modern constellations - the Northern Cross is an asterism, or a pattern of stars grouped together to form a familiar or easily recognizable shape.

Like constellations, the stars in an asterism are not necessarily related, and the shape is outlined by stars lying in the same general direction on the celestial sphere, although at different distances from Earth. Whereas constellations are generally comprised of numerous stars, asterisms are often outlined by just a few, taken from either a variety of constellations, or from a single constellation. With few stellar bodies and simplicity in shape, asterisms are usually easy to locate, and are useful aids to help skywatchers navigate the night sky.

In the case of the Northern Cross, the stars in the asterism all come from the constellation Cygnus, the swan, and the asterism is comprised of the stars in the swan's torso and the bird's slightly clipped wings.

To locate Cygnus and the Northern Cross, begin observations at about 10 p.m., and look east-northeast and almost directly overhead. The Northern Cross will appear as a T-shaped grouping of stars, appearing to soar north to south and dead center in the band of the Milky Way. At about 10 p.m., the Northern Cross will appear almost opposite the constellation Bootes. Look for kite-shaped Bootes high in the west, then travel due east to the cross-shaped Cygnus.

Once you've located the outline of the Northern Cross asterism, begin at its northernmost star, or the tip of the cross, marked by Deneb. Deneb is a magnitude 1.2 blue-white supergiant lying 3,200 light years away. Deneb, translates as "tail," and in the constellation Cygnus, the star marks the terminus of the constellation. However, in the asterism, Deneb marks the tip of celestial pattern. Stargazers should also note, Deneb marks the northernmost point of the popular Summer Triangle asterism.

Traveling southward down the length of the cross, the next star in the grouping is Sadr, or gamma Cygni. Sadr, meaning "breast," is a magnitude 2.2 yellow-white supergiant lying about 1,500 light years away. Sadr marks the intersection of the cross' arm and upright.

From Sadr and moving to the right, or east, along the cross' arm, stargazers will next find epsilon Cygni, or Gienah, meaning "wing." Gienah marks the eastern terminus of the cross shape, and is a magnitude 2.5 orange giant lying 72 light years away.

From Gienah, moving back to Sadr, then left, to the western terminus of the cross' arm, stargazers will find delta Cygni, a magnitude 2.9 blue-white giant, with a magnitude 6.6 companion. The stars have an orbital period of roughly 800 years.

Traveling back to Sadr, then down the length of the cross, stargazers will find the star Albireo, marking the cross' southern terminus.

Albireo is one of the night sky's prime attractions, and those with powerful binoculars or a good amateur telescope should be able to resolve the star and its beautiful companion. The brighter star of the pair is a magnitude 3.1 orange giant, while its companion burns at magnitude 5.1 in hues of emerald and sapphire.

According to the mythology, Cygnus, the celestial home of the Northern Cross, represents Zeus in the guise of a swan soaring down the length of the Milky Way, en route to a lover's tryst with Leda, wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta.

Following the swan's flight path north through the Milky Way, stargazers will soon discover the distinct W-shape of the constellation Cassiopeia. Traveling south, the swan's flight will take skywatchers deep into a rich realm of the Milky Way marked by the constellations Sagittarius, and the king of summer skies, Scorpius.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precip
Type
Depth Moisture

7/12

82

46

-

-

-

7/13

85

45

-

-

-

7/14

89

47

-

-

-

7/15

85

48

-

-

-

7/16

88

48

-

-

-

7/17

91

49

-

-

-

7/18

87

60

R

.01

.01