October 26, 2006
Front Page

Environmental groups file 'Village' lawsuits

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Two area environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Oct. 19 challenging the United States Forest Service's environmental impact statement (EIS) and record of decision (ROD) regarding the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

Ryan Demmy Bidwell, executive director of Colorado Wild, a group that filed the suit jointly with the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, said the thrust of the lawsuit is twofold. First, the lawsuit alleges the entire EIS and record of decision is illegal and inadequate because the Forest Service failed to address the impacts of the village as a whole. And secondly, the suit alleges Forest Supervisor Peter Clark unlawfully modified the record of decision "making it easier for the developer to begin construction."

The Forest Service released the EIS and record of decision in March, and the documents authorize two access roads across public land to the 287.5-acre parcel located atop Wolf Creek Pass and adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The proposed Village at Wolf Creek has been described, at final build-out, as a small city capable of housing 10,000 inhabitants with more than 200,000 square feet of commercial space and 2,000 single family homes, all at an elevation of 10,000 feet on one of the snowiest passes in Colorado. The village parcel is a private property inholding within the Rio Grande National Forest.

Despite the scope and scale of the project, the EIS looks solely at the impacts of constructing two access roads across public land into the inholding, and the tack has drawn the ire of Colorado Wild, the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, and hundreds of private citizens. The roads will connect the inholding to U.S. 160.

On a recent visit to Pagosa Springs, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar leveled a similar complaint.

"The construction of a road is not the development that will cause the environmental impact. The EIS should address the impact of the Village itself," said Salazar.

The Forest Service has long argued their primary charge, as outlined in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), is to provide access across Forest Service land to the inholding, and that Mineral County is the governing body for land use on the parcel, hence the focus of the EIS.

The Mineral County Board of County Commissioners approved the developer's proposed build-out of the village parcel in October 2004, however 12th Judicial District Judge O. John Kuenhold overturned their ruling in October 2005, stating Forest Service Road (FSR) 391 (Tranquility Road) did not provide reasonable year-round access to the development. In court documents, FSR 391 is described as a single-lane seasonally-closed road unsuitable to accommodate "the kind of services that are required in a development of this size and scope - even for its first phase."

Mineral County Attorney John Wilder described FSR 391 as a "miserable little road."

In addition, Kuenhold ruled that once the developer - Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, fronted by Billy Joe "Red" McCombs and Bob Honts - obtains adequate year-round access and secures the necessary Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) permit or permits to access U.S. 160, the developer may request Mineral County approval of their development plan.

In focusing solely on the two access roads, Bidwell said the Forest Service "ignored thousands of comments from citizens and various government agencies who demanded the agency take a hard look at the broad implications of its decision."

The second facet of the lawsuit, that Clark unlawfully modified the record of decision for the final EIS, is built from documents obtained by Colorado Wild via a Freedom of Information Act request.

Chronology of events

On March 15, 2006, Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Peter Clark issued his decision concerning the final EIS entitled, "Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities for the Village at Wolf Creek." In the decision, Clark identifies Alternative 4 - also called the Dual Access Road Alternative - as the Selected Alternative. The selected alternative provides for two access roads to the private property - a 250-foot extension of FSR 391, or Tranquility Road; and a new road, to be constructed, called Snowshed Road.

According to Clark's selected alternative described on page six of the Record of Decision, "The Applicant will be authorized to construct, use, and maintain both the Snowshed Road and Tranquility access roads as all-season, year-round roads as shown in Figure ROD-1. I am requiring the applicant to construct both roads to provide for increased public safety and operational compatibility with the Wolf Creek Ski Area."

In the final EIS, chapter 4 page 201, the document describes the public safety concerns linked to using Tranquility Road as the sole access point.

The document states, "The single access road to the private property would not provide emergency evacuation options and would allow only one source for traffic ingress/egress. This Alternative represents a high probability of increased public safety issues in the event of mass evacuation using one access road for ingress and egress."

On May 30, 2006, attorneys for the village developer appealed Clark's decision.

According to the appeal, the developer asked the Forest Service to change its decision in one of three ways.

First, the developer asked the Forest Service to amend the record of decision to identify the Proposed Alternative (Alternative 2) as the Selected Alternative.

According to the record of decision, the developer proposed Alternative 2 and the alternative would authorize access to the inholding via one road - Tranquility Road (FSR 391).

The alternative proposes a 250-foot extension to Tranquility Road in order to reach the inholding.

As a second request, the developer asked for a modified version of the Selected Alternative, with Tranquility Road identified as the primary access route and to condition the development of a second access road - Snowshed Road - "based on specific traffic thresholds tied to actual safety and engineering concerns."

At a minimum, the developer requested year-round use of Tranquility Road until it completes design, approval and construction of Snowshed Road.

According to Clark's decision, the developer will only be authorized full use of Tranquility Road during times outside the Wolf Creek Ski Area's operating season in order to mitigate Village and ski area traffic conflicts.

On July 13, 2006, after reviewing the developer's appeal request, Deputy Regional Forester Greg Griffith, and Appeal Reviewing Officer Brad Exton upheld Clark's decision and denied the developer's request.

In a letter to Steven P. Quarles, attorney for the developer, Exton establishes the rationale for mandating two access points.

On page 12 of the 14 page document Exton writes, "During all seasons of the year it is imperative that there be two roads for access to and egress from the property. Colorado is a state known for wildfires in the summertime. The Wolf Creek Area is one of the snowiest locations in the State in the winter. One access route does not provide sufficient emergency access, and this is true whether the property is in the construction stage or construction has been completed. Delaying the construction of Snow Shed Road will not serve to meet the emergency egress routes that public safety requires ..." In conclusion Exton writes, "I recommend the decision of the Forest Supervisor be affirmed in whole and the Appellant's request for relief be denied."

In Griffith's correspondence, he uses similar language and adds, "I am also issuing an instruction that Supervisor Clark not issue the authorization to construct or use the Snowshed or Tranquility Roads until the Applicant obtains the necessary highway access permit(s) from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

"My decision constitutes the final administrative determination of the Department of Agriculture."

On Aug. 3, 2006, Richard J. Cook of the United States Department of Agriculture responds to Quarles' request for a discretionary review of the appeal decision made by Exton and Griffith.

The lawsuit alleges that a developer lobbyist in Washington D.C. hand-delivered the discretionary review request to Mark Rey, the under secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) who oversees the Forest Service.

Cook writes, "Thank you for your letter of July 28, 2006, to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Under Secretary Mark Rey and Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth requesting a discretionary review ..."

In the letter Cook states Johanns asked him to respond to Quarles' request and Cook writes, "As noted in the last sentence of ADO Griffith's decision on your appeal, the regulation at 36 CFR 215.18(c) directs that '[t]he Appeal Deciding Officer's appeal disposition constitutes the final administrative determination of the Department of Agriculture.' Therefore, there is no statutory provision for a higher-level official to conduct the discretionary review you have requested."

Cook concludes by denying Quarles' request.

On Aug. 28, 2006, Clark wrote a letter to a second village attorney David Ross. Both Ross and Quarles are part of the firm Crowell and Moring LLP representing Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture in their appeal of Clark's decision.

Clark writes, "Recently, I was made aware that you requested a discretionary review of my March 2006 decision ...I believe I may be able to address most of your concerns about my decision, as identified in your request."

Clark continues, "The decision authorizes the building of two routes of access to the VWC (Village at Wolf Creek) from State Highway 160, the Tranquility Road and the Snowshed Road. Your client may elect to build the Snowshed Road first, build both roads simultaneously, or build the shorter road - the approximate 250-foot extension of the Tranquility Road - to provide for access to the VWC property from State Highway 160, and at a future date, build the longer access route, the Snowshed Road."

Later in the letter Clark writes, "Your client may want to construct the Tranquility Road as the first means of access to the VWC property."

In the letter Clark offers to consider realigning Snowshed Road and to work as a middleman on negotiations between the developer and the ski area should the developer choose to use Tranquility Road for access when the ski area is in operation.

Due to the litigation between the Forest Service, Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Clark declined to comment for this story.

Bidwell said Clark's letter constitutes an illegal modification to the record of decision "by eliminating the requirement that the developer 'construct, use and maintain' both roads simultaneously in order to provide 'sufficient emergency access.'" And Bidwell said Clark's statements in the letter run contrary to the mandates of the final EIS and record of decision.

E-mails between Gloria Manning, associate deputy chief of the National Forest System, Dave Tenny, USDA resources and environment deputy undersecretary, Thomas Millet, assistant general counsel for the USDA Office of General Counsel, and Randy Karstaedt, director of physical resources for the Rocky Mountain Region of the Forest Service, detail a discussion over the appropriate language for Clark's letter.

On Aug. 22, 2006, Manning wrote to Millet and Karstaedt, "Randy, I talked to Dave and we did not get the next to last paragraph correct. It should read: ..."

In the same e-mail, Manning continues, "I think this is it but for finding out the person to whom we should address the letter ... Let me know if there is heartburn with the wording of the letter."

The e-mail was also sent to Rick Cables and Richard Stem.

On Aug. 23, 2006, Manning wrote to Tenny and Millet, "Here is the Region's counterproposal to our language. They felt a strong need to acknowledge the necessity of having CDOT engaged to alleviate any problems with the intersection of the roads. Are we comfortably (sic) with letting them go with this rendition?"

Regarding the e-mails and Clark's letter to Ross, Bidwell said, "USDA officials apparently have a short memory, as documents show USDA officials and lawyers drafted Peter Clark's letter less than three weeks after they determined that they had no authority to do so."

Bidwell alleges early drafts may have been ghost written by the developer's lobbyist, but said the Forest Service has refused to release documents that illuminate the origin of Clark's letter.

Bidwell said Clark's letter and modification of the record of decision smacks of developer collusion and casts doubts on USDA Inspector General Phyllis Fong's finding of no improprieties, improper conduct or undue political pressure wielded by the developer in regard to Forest Service decisions related to the Wolf Creek Project.

Fong released her findings in September 2006 following a request by Sen. Salazar for an inspector general's investigation into allegations of collusion between the developer and high ranking Forest Service officials.

Bidwell said Clark's letter marks a change from the record of decision, and therefore the public should have been privy to the process.

"It is alarming that the public's nearly 3,000 comments seem to have fallen on deaf ears, yet when the developer asks for a favor, federal officials go out of their way to respond," said Christine Canaly of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council. "The courts are unfortunately the only venue where the public seems to get a fair hearing on this matter."

Geoff Hickox an attorney from the Western Environmental Law Center who prepared the lawsuit said, "We sincerely hope that the Forest Service will immediately cease implementation of their decision until the Court reviews this matter. If they refuse, we'll be forced to ask the court to stop the agency from moving forward."

 

Natural gas costs could fall by 52 percent

SUN staff

If the filing flies, the cost will drop.

Considerably.

The price decrease will be for the natural gas purchased by many local consumers for home heating and other uses, and a possible 52-percent drop in costs will mean the financial burden of the upcoming winter could be eased for many area residents.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. announced Oct. 19 it had filed its annual Gas Cost Adjustment with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for its Pagosa Springs/Bayfield service area.

The filing reflects a decrease of 52 percent in gas costs for KMI's area residential customers during the upcoming period that begins Nov. 1, and continues through Oct. 31, 2007.

In accordance with state law, the company recovers the cost it pays to purchase natural gas on behalf of its customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis, without realizing any profit or loss. The GCA mechanism ensures that customers pay exactly the same amount that the company paid to purchase natural gas for them. The new rates, if approved, will take effect Nov. 1and will be reflected in the following billing cycle.

"This decrease serves as a reminder to customers that natural gas remains the best energy value for the home, offering substantial cost savings over propane or electricity, as well as greater reliability and convenience," said Dan Watson, president of KMI's retail group. "The decrease in natural gas prices has been due in part to higher levels of natural gas in storage and a quieter hurricane season for 2006." The filing also reflects the natural gas market prices expected for the next calendar period.

For customers in the local service area, the new rate will be $0.53220 per one-hundred cubic feet (CCF). Based on annual usage of 1,000 CCF, a household will now pay about $532 instead of $1,120 for their natural gas service. As a result of the decrease, residential customers who typically use 180 CCF in January (when bills are usually the highest) will pay approximately $106 less, a decrease of about 52 percent, for the natural gas portion of their January 2007 bill, compared to the same period in 2006. The typical small business using 524 CCF in January would pay roughly $308 less, a decrease of about 52 percent, for the natural gas portion of their January 2007 bill, compared to the same period in 2006.

"These rates for Colorado customers are significantly below the national average," said Watson. "Kinder Morgan will continue to take steps to stabilize gas costs and minimize the impact to customers."

 

Health district sells bonds, construction begins

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Twice in the past week, significant events marked truly historic moments in Pagosa Springs, as construction of a new Critical Access Hospital became a virtual reality.

Last Friday, workers were on site near the former Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, as operators manipulated heavy equipment in efforts to relocate encroaching utilities, and reshape the terrain to accommodate a 28,000 square-foot addition to the existing structure. Aside from a ceremonial groundbreaking earlier last month, it was the first physical sign of things to come, which, in approximately 14 months, will represent the only true hospital in community history.

Then, just yesterday, the Upper San Juan Health Service District received word that its lender had sold the revenue bonds necessary to finance hospital construction, thus paving the way for work to begin in earnest. The total cost is estimated at nearly $12 million. With the bonds sold, loan closing is set for tomorrow, and the district should receive funding in about 10 days.

Located at 95 South Pagosa Blvd., the hospital will incorporate the former 8,500 square-foot medical center and encompass approximately 36,500 square feet total, including 11 patient beds. Though architects reduced the original plan by approximately 1,850 square feet as a cost-saving measure, they also shifted the original footprint 50 feet to the east, again saving considerable costs in excavation and site work. According to planners and the district, the current design does not sacrifice function or amenities, and will allow ample future expansion as needed.

Costly and time-consuming delays are often realities with large construction projects, and the hospital has not been immune. A good portion of the work since Friday has been dedicated to constructing a new water line to replace an existing one that crosses the construction site. Because of low water pressure, relocating the existing line didn't make sense, so a new one is being run from a main on the east side of South Pagosa Boulevard, where pressure is superior.

Soon, when the district is able to produce the required up-front expenses, an underground La Plata Electric Association power line will be moved. The power line, and an underground sewer line, both must be relocated before construction of the hospital addition can continue.

Meanwhile, extensive earth work is ongoing at the site, which will reshape the landscape to accommodate the new structure.

While moving or replacing the various utilities adds significant cost to the hospital project, it was not considered during budget preparation. Neither was the anticipated cost of mitigating serious expansive soils concerns that may exist at the site. According to some soils analysts, poor soil conditions were discovered during a routine site analysis and, of course, caught the district by surprise.

District board chairman Neal Townsend recently said, "Because there were no cracks or other signs of movement in the existing building, we couldn't see how there'd be expansive soils."

However, engineers claim adverse soil conditions do exist, and they're now working to determine the cost of correcting the situation. Meanwhile, the district is looking into how these setbacks will affect its hospital budget, and what, if anything, can be done to defray costs.

Nevertheless, delays and unforeseen barriers notwithstanding, with funding assured and work underway, a Critical Access Hospital in Pagosa Springs is virtually guaranteed.

 

Inside The Sun

Pagosa Fire Protection District board opposes Amendment 38

At its regular meeting Oct. 17, the Pagosa Fire Protection District board of directors unanimously ratified adoption of a Statement of Resolution in opposition to Amendment 38, also known as the Petition Rights Amendment.

It is the board's belief that enactment of this amendment would hamper the district's ability to respond to needed services for their taxpayers.

While board members agree citizen participation is a good thing, they are convinced this amendment takes it to an extreme - allowing a minimum number of taxpayers to disrupt district operations and require continual elections financed by the taxpayers (not the petition circulators).

Under current Colorado law, district citizens have the opportunity to be informed and have input into district matters by attending regular board meetings, notices of which are posted in four areas within district boundaries or that can be obtained through the administrative office.

Under the current system, when the district needs to purchase a fire truck, the board approves the purchase with accompanying financing. The order for the truck is then placed with the manufacturer. It takes 330 to 360 days - almost a full year - to build the truck.

Under Amendment 38, the district asserts it would need to allow an additional 91 days for publication of the motion to purchase the truck. That puts the district up to 421 to 451 days from delivery of the needed equipment. If the amendment is passed and a petition is received during this period, the district must hold an election the following November which could add as much as 11 to 15 more months. This could mean, stated district officials, that it could take as long as 2 1/2 years to actually place a truck in service.

Consequently, the PFPD board is urging its taxpayers to vote "No" on Amendment 38.

 

Operation Winter Coat project

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

It is that wonderful cool time of year Š time to look in your closet for warm hats, coats, boots, gloves, sweaters and warm blankets that you are no longer using.

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is hosting Operation Winter Coat Friday, Nov. 17, at the Extension Building. Last year, the club handed out nearly 200 items to more than 65 families.

You can drop off your donated clothing at Gem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Pagosa Springs Junior High School, the Lutheran School, and The Outfitter Carhartt Store. Items must be delivered no later than Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We encourage everyone needing some warm clothing to come by and get any items they may need.

For more information, call Kathi DeClark at 731-9920, Colleen Myers at 731-6378 or Karen Gray at 946-0033.

 

Tipton, Ritter to meet voters in Pagosa Springs

Two prominent candidates in the upcoming general election will visit Pagosa Springs this week.

Scott Tipton, Republican candidate for Congress representing the 3rd Congressional District, will hold a town-hall meeting dealing with the topic of Illegal Immigration at 5:30 p.m. today, Oct. 26, at the Fairgrounds Extension Building (in the front room).

The meeting is open to the public.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter is at Town Park, 1-2 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 27, to meet the voters of Archuleta County.

In the event of inclement weather, this event will move to the community center.

 

It must be election season, signs are missing

James Robinson

Staff Writer

During election season, campaign signs sprout like weeds, but apparently, some of these ubiquitous hallmarks of the election season have gone missing in Pagosa Country.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, District 3 county commissioner candidate John Egan filed a report Monday with the department following the weekend disappearance of six campaign signs along the 200 and 300 blocks of Hermosa Street.

Egan said he also filed a report with the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and added that he had "heard but could not confirm that others have disappeared in the county."

When asked if the six-sign incident could be the product of random or juvenile vandalism, Egan said, "I don't think it's kids because signs from my opponent would be missing as well. If it were kids, all the signs would be missing."

Egan, who currently holds the District 3 seat, faces Republican challenger Bob Moomaw.

Moomaw said he has lost between 10 to 15 campaign signs, including a 4x6-foot placard near U.S. 160.

Moomaw said staff from the Colorado Department of Transportation removed (CDOT) the placard when they determined it encroached into the highway right-of-way.

Moomaw said the placard, along with five smaller signs, were found and recovered from the CDOT yard in Pagosa Springs.

Moomaw said he will keep his signs out of state or county right-of-ways, and out of Pagosa Lakes green belts and off private property without the owner's permission.

He said he still expects some to disappear.

"You expect a certain amount to disappear, it's just part of the process," Moomaw said.

Moomaw said he has not filed, nor does he intend to file formal complaints or reports of missing signs with the sheriff or Pagosa Springs police.

Volger said unlawful removal of campaign signs constitutes theft and the town will prosecute.

Anyone with information regarding the removal of Egan's campaign signs along Hermosa Street can call the Pagosa Springs Police Department at 264-4151.

For county incidents, call Archuleta County Dispatch at 264-2131.

 

County accepts bid for conceptual design of park

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has accepted a parks and recreation conceptual design bid from Winston Associates, Inc. for 150 acres of Bureau of Land Management land near Cloman Drive.

According to County Administrator Bob Campbell, the county currently holds 30 acres of BLM land through the Recreation and Public Purpose Act. Through the act, public entities can lease property on BLM's disposal list at no cost, as long as the land is used for public purposes.

Archuleta County will acquire the additional 120 acres of land from BLM through the same process, but it must first complete a conceptual plan for the use of the land, which has led the county to seek bids from landscape architects.

Winston Associates returned the only bid after a request for proposals from the county, which was published in The SUN and submitted directly to five landscape architectural companies.

The bid was reviewed by the county and Winston Associates was found to be qualified based on their experience.

The Boulder- based firm has developed master plans and provided project management for a variety of large-scale, moderate and neighborhood parks and recreation areas in the Rocky Mountain region - including the cities of Longmont, Grand Junction and Farmington.

Winston Associates' bid came in at $17,575 - some $2,500 over what the county had budgeted. The bid was based on services in three stages: project start-up/site evaluation, preliminary concept designs and final conceptual design deliverables.

The county commissioners previously approved $15,000 for the conceptual design of the park. They accepted the bid with the intention of reducing the scope of work required from the landscape architectural firm, in order to keep the cost within the budgeted amount.

According to Campbell, the county would shoulder the burden of the public involvement process, rather than hand it over to Winston Associates, in order to reduce costs. It has also asked the Town of Pagosa Springs to contribute the additional $2,575. The county could reduce costs further by asking the firm to eliminate one of the two trips to the community.

As proposed by Winston Associates, the conceptual design would be completed by early next year, potentially by the end of January.

Final plans could include a picnic and trails area, sports facilities, public buildings and may provide a site for a future community college, said Campbell.

 

Senate, county commission candidates speak at forum

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Candidates for State Senate District 6 and Archuleta County Commissioner District 3 faced off in a question-and-answer forum Tuesday, sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Jim Isgar and Republican challenger Ron Tate took to the podium first.

During opening remarks, Isgar talked about his ongoing efforts to protect the rights of surface owners of mineral rights, the importance of long-term financial planning in preparation for a post-Referendum C economy and the role of water issues in both southwest Colorado and the state as a whole.

Tate, highlighted his educational background - he earned a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oklahoma University - and asserted he was not simply a bookish scientist, but a candidate who would bring a common sense approach to government.

Tate said however, as the state's problems become more technical, his technical expertise would prove invaluable to his constituents.

Among Tate's top issues, he listed developing alternative energy infrastructure to provide economic development to the region, immigration, and "basic American liberties," such as the right to life and the Second Amendment.

On illegal immigrants, Tate said he would work to make southwestern Colorado "a very difficult place" for non-law abiding illegal aliens to live.

When asked about their top three priorities, Tate listed immigration, the economy, economic planning for after the expiration of Referendum C and education.

Isgar listed water as the top issue, and said local legislators face a tough fight against ever-increasing Front Range water demands. Isgar said he was up to the fight and highlighted 35 years of experience serving on various state water boards, and by being deeply involved in state water law and water policy.

On the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), both Isgar and Tate advocated keeping TABOR intact, but both argued the legislation was in need of fine tuning. Isgar advocated long-range planning and keeping a "rainy day fund" while Tate argued that even if TABOR is modified, the state needs to exercise restraint when it comes to spending.

Among TABOR's primary shortcomings Isgar said, is that spending limits are based on growth plus inflation, yet when inflation outpaces growth, the state has difficulty bridging the financial gap.

Tate said he opposed referenda C and D, because he saw the legislation as "a blank check."

" The 'spend as much as we get mindset' is bad," Tate said. "Referendum C didn't fix the base problem."

Isgar said, "Referendum C was not a perfect fix," but higher education and medicare were in jeopardy.

"When we start taking kids out of schools and people out of wheelchairs, we've gone too far," Isgar said.

On issues of civil liberties and the Patriot Act, Tate said Islamic Fundamentalism posed a grave threat to Americans.

"I have reservations on the Patriot Act, but I know we've got a war to fight," Tate said.

Isgar spoke of striking a delicate balance between liberty and security, and he advocated a better system of checks and balances.

When asked about Amendment 43, specifying that marriage in Colorado constitutes the union of one man and one woman, and Referendum I, authorizing domestic partnerships, Tate said he supported Amendment 43, and said those in domestic partnerships live "a detrimental lifestyle," and have shorter lifespans.

Isgar also said he supported Amendment 43, and that Referendum I would ensure basic rights to those in domestic partnerships that should be recognized legally - such as transfer of property rights.

"You can recognize that without jeopardizing marriage between a man and a woman," Isgar said.

Up next were Archuleta County District 3 candidates Democrat John Egan and Republican Bob Moomaw.

In Egan's opening remarks, he listed a long list of issues and measures he supports including: green building for future county facilities, transitioning the county into using hybrid vehicles, Ballot Issue 1A, efficient, clean and environmentally sound growth, a setback that would prohibit coal bed methane drilling within 1.5 miles of the Fruitland Outcrop in the HD Mountains, lifting the moratorium on snow removal and maintenance of county secondary roads, and opposing the Village at Wolf Creek.

During Moomaw's statement he said, "I'm not happy with the direction of this county commission and that's why I'm running."

Moomaw added that the primary purpose of government is public safety and that roads are the primary issue.

When describing a vision for the county, Moomaw said he would work to achieve a responsible county government that spends money wisely and provides for public safety.

Egan said he envisioned a county where business and citizens work in harmony, where the local economy supports a solid middle class and business opportunities exist. He said solar research and development of alternative energy should play a key role in the economic development of the county and that he would work to maintain a clean, healthy environment and supports green building.

Both candidates agreed that county impact fees should mirror the town's.

On developing the local economy, Egan said the key is to create a strong middle class, to move beyond a tourism-based economy and to explore the possibility of creating vocational and higher education opportunities.

Moomaw said the key is to provide economic opportunities for the younger generation, build relationships with business owners, and to identify ways to solve technological problems such as limited bandwidth for Internet-based businesses.

When asked to discuss the most important issue facing the commissioners, Moomaw said roads are important, but prioritizing the budget is crucial.

Moomaw advocated shifting oil and gas monies out of the county general fund and into an improvement fund.

Egan said passing Ballot Issue 1A was the county's most important task.

"1A gives us the funding to plan for the future. Without 1A the county is actually moving backward," Egan said.

During closing remarks, Moomaw said, "We need effective leadership, cooperation and responsible leadership, all of which are currently in short supply."

Egan said the county has seen too much staff turnover during the last year.

"What we don't need is more changes in personnel. What we need is consistency in county staff," Egan said.

The general election is Nov. 7.

 

Having a holiday drink? Find a designated driver

By Trooper Dawn L. Berry

Colorado State Patrol

Special to The SUN

With the holidays fast approaching, party season will soon be upon us.

The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind everyone about Colorado's "The Heat is On" campaign. The most recent update to the campaign is the addition of a new slogan, "Over the Limit, Under Arrest."

The message is simple: Anyone who is stopped by a law enforcement officer and is determined to be under the influence will be arrested.

On July 1, 2004, Colorado lowered the legal limit from .10 to .08, and now, every state in our nation has a .08 limit.

Most people may not think of DUI as a crime, but it is one of the most committed and deadly crimes in America. A DUI arrest is embarrassing and costly; statistics show that the average DUI arrest can cost upwards to $10,000, when all of the fees and fines are calculated. Some of the fees include costs for vehicle towing and impounding, bail, attorney's fees, minimum fines, restitution, license re-instatement fees, and large increases in insurance rates, if the insurance company doesn't cancel the policy altogether. This is not to mention possible jail time and probation, required community service, and alcohol education classes.

This is only for one DUI arrest and the fees and costs increase for repeat offenders. This is not to mention the worst that can happen when driving under the influence.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person dies in an alcohol-related crash every 31 minutes in this country. Those who aren't killed can end up permanently disfigured or disabled. The emotional and financial tolls that these crashes cause are devastating. The average cost for a DUI related fatality within Colorado is 3.6 million dollars.

If we could reduce the amount of alcohol-related crashes by only 10 percent, it would save tens of millions of dollars in auto insurance claims.

Thanksgiving to New Year's is considered one of the most dangerous times of the year on the highways. So, when celebrating the upcoming holiday season, please employ one of the oldest tricks in the book: a designated driver or other available transportation, such as a taxi or bus, to get you home safely. Not only will you avoid a humiliating and expensive DUI arrest if caught, you will be able to enjoy the season with your family and friends.

Don't forget to call *CSP to report aggressive or impaired drivers.

 

IRS issues e-mail scam warning

The Internal Revenue Service warns taxpayers to be on the lookout for an e-mail scam that uses the Treasury Department's Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) as a hook to lure individuals into disclosing their personal information.

The system, which is used by more than 6 million taxpayers, allows businesses and individuals to pay their federal taxes online or by phone.

The new e-mail scam, fraught with grammatical errors and typos, looks like a page from IRS.gov and claims to be from the "IRS Antifraud Commission" (sic), a fictitious group. The e-mail claims someone has enrolled the taxpayer's credit card in EFTPS and has tried to pay taxes with it. The e-mail claims money was lost and "remaining founds" (sic) are blocked. Recipients are asked to click on a link that will help them recover their funds, but the subsequent site asks for personal information that the thieves could use to steal the taxpayer's identity.

"The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails asking for personal information," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "Don't be taken in by these criminals."

Additionally, the IRS never asks people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.

This latest e-mail scam is the first one known to reference EFTPS.

The IRS has seen a recent increase in these scams. Since November, 104 different scams have been identified, with 22 of those coming in June - the most since 40 were identified in march during the height of the filing season.

Many of these schemes originate outside the United States. To date, investigations by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have identified sites hosting more than two dozen IRS-related phishing scams. These scam Web sites have been located in many different countries, including Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, England, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Singapore and Slovakia, as well as the United States.

Other scams claim to come from the IRS, tell recipients that they are due a federal tax refund, and direct them to a Web site that appears to be a genuine IRS site. The bogus sites contain forms or interactive Web pages similar to IRS forms or Web pages but which have been modified to request detailed personal and financial information from the e-mail recipients.

Tricking consumers into disclosing their personal and financial information, such as secret access data or credit card or bank account numbers, is fraudulent activity which can result in identity theft. Such schemes perpetrated through the Internet are called "phishing" for information.

The information fraudulently obtained is then used to steal the taxpayer's identity and financial assets. Typically, identity thieves use someone' personal data to empty the victim's financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns.

When the IRS learns of new schemes involving use of the IRS name or logo, it issues consumer alerts warning taxpayers about the schemes.

The IRS also has established an electronic mailbox for taxpayers to send information about suspicious e-mails they receive which claim to have come from the IRS. Taxpayers should send the information to: phishing@irs.gov.

More than 8,000 bogus e-mails have been forwarded to the IRS, with nearly 1,300 forwarded in June alone.

The IRS's mail box allows taxpayers to send copies of possibly fraudulent e-mails involving misuse of the IRS name and logo to the IRS for investigation. Instructions on how to properly submit one of these communications to the IRS may be found on this Web site. Enter the term "phishing" in the search box in the upper right hand corner. Then open the article titled, "How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious E-Mails" and scroll through it until you find the instructions. Following these instructions helps ensure that the bogus e-mails relayed by taxpayers retain critical elements found in the original e-mail. The IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the bogus e-mails to trace the hosting Web sites and alert authorities to help shut down these fraudulent sites.

However, due to the volume the mailbox receives, the IRS cannot acknowledge receipt or reply to taxpayers who submit their bogus e-mails. The phishing@irs.gov mailbox is only for suspicious e-mails and not for general taxpayer contact or inquiries.

For information on preventing or handling the aftermath of identify theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission's consumer (http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html) and OnGuardOnLine (http://onguardonline.gov/index.html) Web sites. Click on "Topics" to find the identity theft and phishing areas on OnGuardOnLine.

For information on identity theft prevention and victim assistance in relation to tax administration, visit the IRS identity Theft Web page which can be found on this Web site. Enter the term "identity theft" in the search box in the upper right hand corner.

For schemes other than phishing, please report the fraudulent misuse of the IRS name, log, forms or other IRS property by calling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's toll-free hotline at (800)366-4484.

 

Mailing your ballot? Use two stamps

James Robinson

Staff Writer

With electors facing a girthy ballot this election season, absentee voters wishing to return their ballots via the U.S. Postal Service will need more than one stamp.

According to Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid, the multi-page ballot, loaded with seven amendments, seven referenda, seven county ballot issues and 46 candidates, including write-ins, requires 63 cents.

Those wishing to simplify the return process can affix two 39-cent postage stamps, or electors can return the ballot to the Archuleta County Courthouse themselves.

Madrid said her staff is informing voters of the postage requirement when the ballots are picked up. In addition, notification of the postage requirement is included in the instructions found inside the ballot.

Madrid said the deadline to return absentee ballots is Nov. 7. Madrid said ballots must be received by the county clerk's office on or before the deadline - postmarks do not count.

Election 2006 Key Dates

- Early voting continues through Nov. 3 at the Archuleta County Elections Department. The office is found in the lower level, and on the back side of the Archuleta County Courthouse located at 449 San Juan St. in Pagosa Springs.

- Oct. 27 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot if the ballot is mailed to the voter by the county clerk's office.

- Nov. 3 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot not mailed by the county clerk. In this case, absentee ballots are available for pick-up only.

November 7 is Election Day.

Vote Centers

As approved by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, Archuleta County Voters now cast their ballots at any one of three recently-established vote centers.

The vote centers are: the Archuleta County Elections Department, found in the lower level, and on the back side of the Archuleta County Courthouse located at 449 San Juan St. in Pagosa Springs; Our Savior Lutheran Church at 56 Meadows Drive; and Restoration Fellowship Church at 264 Village Drive.

 

Wolf Creek Ski Area opens Friday

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Better wax the boards and get 'em ready, the mountain opens tomorrow.

That's right. In the morning, Wolf Creek Ski Area will celebrate its earliest opening ever, with 57 inches of snowfall recorded in the past month. To date, the mountain reports an all-natural snow depth of 15 inches midway, and 23 inches at the summit.

Of course, area supervisors are advising caution. With just 25 percent of the mountain opening, "early-season" conditions do exist. Available terrain will include a near equal mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes.

All-day adult lift tickets will cost $25 for now, and those for seniors and children will run $15. As always, the ticket office will be open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Three lifts will open at 8:30 a.m. sharp, including Treasure, Bonanza and Nova. Other lifts will open later in the season as conditions warrant, and the new Raven Lift, a Doppelmayr-Ctec detachable quad, will open when completed and certified, probably by the first or second week of November. Raven replaces the 34-year-old Dickey double chairlift.

To accommodate a full range of skier wants and needs, the ski school, rental shop, sport shop, Wolf Pup Building, Wolf Creek Lodge (main day lodge), and Pathfinder Bar will also open tomorrow.

And, in accordance with 30 years of free cross-country skiing at Wolf Creek, Forest Road 391 is now groomed and useable from the end of the Alberta parking lot to the Alberta Lake dam.

In commemoration of this popular no-cost service, the ski area has special events planned throughout the season, including races, games, clinics, and demonstrations of equipment and technique for all ages. Activities will take place in Alberta Park near the bottom of the Alberta Lift, with dates and times announced a bit later on.

With a base elevation of 10,300 feet and the summit reaching to 11,904 feet, Wolf Creek Ski Area has a vertical drop of 1,604 feet. Its average annual snowfall is 465 inches (more than any other ski area in the state), and 1,600 acres of skiing includes 20 percent beginner, 35 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced, and 20 percent expert terrain.

Family owned and operated for 30 years, Wolf Creek claims excellent skiing and snowboarding in a unique alpine setting that affords guests ample sunshine and the best snow in Colorado. Lifts operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and a regular-season, full-day adult lift ticket costs $46. Half-day rates begin at 12:30 p.m., with adult tickets normally going for $34.

As part of a stated mission to preserve the mountain experience through controlled growth and hands-on management, ski area officials apparently recognize the importance of utilizing renewable energy resources whenever possible. In fact, this season will be their first in operation, while solely utilizing wind power purchased from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, a green power energy supplier near Medicine Bow, Wyo.

While green power is currently more costly than conventional energy sources, Wolf Creek will not pass on the extra expense to consumers, and hopes to set an example for the business community, with regard to environmental concerns.

Nevertheless, the ticket office opens at 8:15 a.m. tomorrow, with three lifts opening just a few minutes after.

See you in line Š

 

Special District Association honors Pagosa's Dusty Pierce

By Mary Zuchegno

Special to The SUN

The Special District Association of Colorado (SDA) has honored Dustin "Dusty" Pierce, former vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, with a 2006 Distinguished Board Member Award.

SDA annually presents this award to special district board members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication and service to their district. The award was presented at the SDA General Luncheon which was attended by approximately 850 people, including special district board members, managers and their spouses.

In his 18 years of service on the board of directors of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, Pierce helped the District grow - in terms of both its territory and its facilities. In 1989, he worked successfully toward the inclusion of the Echo Area into the district, which then paved the way for other areas to seek inclusion into the district.

Pierce has served two terms as president and currently holds the office of vice-president for the local chapter of the Colorado Homebuilders Association and was instrumental in developing the Homebuilders Association of Upper Rio Grande. He utilized his expertise in the construction field to benefit the district by serving as the unpaid volunteer construction superintendent on Stations 3, 4 and 5 and the board consultant on related matters in the extensive expansions of Stations 1, 2 and 3.

For many years, Pierce has guided the district to provide fire protection coverage to many areas which previously had none, and through his insistence on planning for the future, he has assisted the district in developing long-range goals aimed at providing countywide fire protection.

 

Pack peddles popcorn - for a good cause

Cub Scouts from Pack 807 have started their annual pack fund-raiser, selling a variety of popcorn products.

Each scout is responsible, along with his family, for raising money for the Pack. This annual fund-raiser provides the budget for the year's activities of the Pack. It pays for the supplies, badges, awards, necessary equipment, scholarships for needy scouting families and at least 50 percent of the fees for any scout to attend summer camp.

Over $21,000 worth of popcorn was sold by the Pack last year, which resulted in over $6,000 being retained for the local pack.

The popcorn products are available from any Cub Scout from Oct. 28 to Nov. 17. The Scouts have the products in-hand, so it is a cash-and-carry fund-raiser. Products range in price from $8 to $50 and include microwaveable packets of popcorn and kettle corn and six different types of popcorn covered in chocolate, cheese or mixed with nuts presented in reusable decorative tins of several sizes.

A scout might visit your home or business or you may see scouts selling the product in front of several stores or at the Civic Club Bazaar Nov. 4. Contact Lisa Scott at 264-2730 if you'd like to purchase a popcorn product and have not had a scout solicit you.

The Pack currently has 47 boys in grades one through five enrolled in the Cub Scout Pack for this year. The boys are assigned to Dens and currently there are seven adult leaders coordinating five dens. There are many other adult leaders involved in the coordination and organization of Pack activities.

The mission is to provide a means of raising money for the Cub Scout Pack with which the Pack can establish and expand its programs and give boys the best scouting experience possible. Community assistance and support through purchasing popcorn is greatly appreciated.

 

United Way in Archuleta County

By Tom and Ming Steen

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging is the umbrella organization for our local senior center.

The mission of the Agency on Aging is to provide elderly residents in Southwest Colorado with nutrition programs, transportation, in-home care, legal and other support services.

They are fortunate to have federal funding through the Older Americans Act as their primary source of revenue. They have a local, cash match requirement, however, to allow them to receive these funds. United Way in Archuleta County has agreed to help provide local funding to the Archuleta County Senior Center out of money raised during this year's fund-raising efforts.

Archuleta County Senior Services has been serving our senior population since 1998. Their goal is to enhance the health and well being of the senior citizens of Archuleta County through nutritious meals program and transportation. Regardless of income, older persons benefit from these services and through socialization and other senior program services offered at meal sites.

The Senior Center's transportation program provides door-to-door services for seniors who are unable to drive. This enables seniors to get to the group meals, perform daily errands, shop for groceries, attend medical appointments and pick up prescriptions.

Group meals are served four days a week at the Silver Foxes Den in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The congregate meal program expanded into Arboles in 1995. The number of seniors attending these congregate meal programs increases each year. These group meals provide an important socialization opportunity as well as a balanced meal. Home delivered meals for those unable to attend the group meal also increase in number each year. In 2005, 1,184 individuals were served 12,335 meals through the congregate meal program, 59 individuals were served 3,309 home delivered meals, and 140 individuals were provided transportation services. The Archuleta County program anticipates serving 1,200 older adults in 2006.

United Way in Archuleta County hopes to raise $67,500 through donations during its current campaign. Part of this has been pledged to Archuleta County Senior Services Program. Donations may be sent to United Way of Southwest Colorado, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Next week we will report on agency support for youth programs that United Way plans to assist with money raised during this year's campaign in Archuleta County.

 

Free online employment testing at Workforce Center

Local employers are struggling to find qualified employees.

The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center, along with Workforce Centers around the state, has responded by incorporating online employability testing that can be tailored to meet an employer's needs. Job seekers also benefit because the tests are not academic, but test employment skills and can help them market their skills.

There are two testing programs - WorkKeys and Qwiz and 1 program, KeyTrain - that can help an employee build his or her skills in every area WorkKeys tests. Nationally-recognized companies provide WorkKeys (ACT) and Qwiz (Previsor). WorkKeys tests nine areas of employability from Applied Math to Teamwork; Qwiz has over 350 tests ranging from accounting skills and customer service to specific computer programs.

The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center will help an employer select the tests, which best represent the skills needed for the specific job description. Staff will also help job seekers identify the best tests for marketing their skills to employers. The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center is working on educating employers about the new value-added services to help them find qualified employees.

If you are an employer and would like to know more about all of the free services at the Southwest Colorado Workforce Centers and about using WorkKeys and QWIZ, including a demonstration at your office, call Kathryn Saley, special projects coordinator, (970) 563-4517, Ext. 220; cell (970) 759-5369; e-mail ksaley@brainstorm.net.

You can also call The Colorado Workforce Center, 731-3832, or come to the office at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 4.

 

Outdoors

Forest Service tour aims to increase public awareness, involvement

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

I've spent a lot of time in the woods over the years, but after a recent Forest Service tour of the Jackson Mountain area, I'll never look at trees quite the same as before.

I was among a small group of folks, accompanied by officials of the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office of the San Juan National Forest, who trekked a few miles into the woods via Forest Road 037 Saturday, to examine current timber conditions and consider possible actions aimed at restoring forest health. The outing lasted nearly five hours, and the lessons learned were both interesting and disquieting.

A 1,500-acre tract of mostly mixed conifer in the Jackson Mountain/Laughlin Park area is of particular concern to the Forest Service, in large part, due to its vulnerability to wildfire, and proximity to neighboring subdivisions.

On a day when lots of hunters were in the field stalking big game, nearly a dozen of us clad in blaze orange cautiously ventured forth in government vehicles to evaluate various stands of pine, spruce, fir and aspen. Forest Service Supervisory Forester Steve Hartvigsen took the lead, stopping at various points to illustrate different forest characteristics. At each location, he described the qualities of the existing vegetation, their historic influences and how they might react to fire.

Our first stop was but a short distance from U.S. 160, where Hartvigsen pointed to a broad stand of ponderosa pines. There, we could see thick forest, with Gambel oak underbrush and little or no fuel breaks. While the trees seemed healthy, very little regeneration appeared evident, suggesting that a calamitous wildfire could race through the canopy, leaving the countryside barren of forest for years to come.

To mitigate concerns, Hartvigsen and fire management officer Steve Henschel suggested selective logging as a way of reducing the threat and opening small areas to the light of day, where new growth and forest regeneration could occur naturally.

Other stops, at increasingly higher elevations, revealed significant intrusions of white fir among, and beneath, the fewer pines, Douglas firs and spruce remaining, after years of over-grazing and extensive logging reduced old growth forests in decades past. Hartvigsen explained that, of the species present, white fir is the most tolerant of shade and root competition from other trees, and often takes over areas where total fire suppression has now been common practice since the early 1900s.

Because the lumber quality of white fir is considered inferior to that of other trees, and the trees themselves are more vulnerable to disease and fire, forest officials believe a combination of mechanical thinning, mowing and prescribed burning of white fir and Gambel oak is necessary to improve timber conditions in many areas.

While Hartvigsen and Henschel talked of such things as contiguous fuels, ladder fuels and high fuel loading, stressed timber conditions and fire susceptibility, district wildlife biologist Anthony Garcia discussed the impacts of changing forest conditions on indigenous species.

Again, through illustrating how forest characteristics have been altered over time, both naturally and through human influence, Garcia described how Lewis' Woodpeckers, Flammulated Owls, Abert's Squirrels and others are being displaced by competitive species normally found in higher-elevation forest habitats.

Following several hours of observation and discussion, forest officials outlined a plan, complete with maps and illustrations, on how best to "treat" areas of Jackson Mountain forest concerns. The overall objectives are to restore timber stands to a more natural state, reduce vulnerability to disease and fire, protect the integrity of indigenous species, and prevent catastrophic fire from threatening the nearby subdivisions of San Juan River Resort and San Juan River Ranch.

By conducting Saturday's tour, the Forest Service hoped to increase public awareness to the seriousness of its concerns, and encourage public input on possible methods of mitigation. Depending on public interest, additional tours may be scheduled in the spring or summer, and written comments will be solicited in the coming months.

For more information on the Jackson Mountain forest thinning project, or any of the other Forest Service projects in the Pagosa Springs area, contact the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office of the San Juan National Forest at 264-2268. You can reach Steve Hartvigsen directly at 264-1513, Steve Henschel at 264-1536, Anthony Garcia at 264-1544, or district ranger Kevin Khung at 264-1520.

 

Vehicle collisions with wildlife can be deadly

According to information released this week by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), vehicle collisions with wildlife can be deadly.

Since 1999, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has reported 15 wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) resulting in human fatalities, the majority of which involved deer.

"In addition to the tragedy of human fatalities, wildlife fatalities include black bear, mountain lion, wolf, lynx, elk, deer and many other species important to Colorado," said Monique DiGiorgio of the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project (SREP).

Collisions with wildlife are highest during the fall months when animals are mating and moving to winter habitat ranges. The number of collisions peaks between dusk and dawn, from the middle of October until the first week in November. The worst times of day during the peak are 6 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Wildlife-vehicle collisions are showing a rising trend. In their very first edition of the 2005 State of Colorado "Strategic Plan for Improving Roadway Safety (SPIRS)," CDOT reported that over the past 13 years animal-vehicle collisions have steadily risen from 1,263 in 1993 to 2,237 in 1999. In 2004 (the most recent statistics available) there were 4,074 WVCs, an increase of almost 300 percent.

Factors contributing to the rise in WVCs include expanding road networks to accommodate new land development; increasing traffic flows; and increasing traffic pulses in the morning and early evening. Unless specific efforts are made to alleviate these collisions, the trend is likely to continue to increase.

The SPIRS also states that during the past three calendar years, motor vehicle crashes involving wildlife were ranked as the third leading cause for crashes behind speeding and inattentive driving. The number of WVCs reported by Colorado State Patrol (CSP) is known to underestimate the actual number of animals killed because it only represents accidents reported to CSP. CDOT has begun collecting data from maintenance patrols on the number of wild animals killed and removed from the roads. Preliminary maintenance patrol roadkill counts show that roughly twice as many animals are killed as are reported to CSP. This data will serve as a supplement to CSP crash data in the future.

Finally, the SPIRS identified potential mitigation strategies and goals for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. Mitigation strategies include wildlife fencing, construction of wildlife underpasses or overpasses, lower speed limits, warning signs, roadway lighting systems, habitat alteration, and raising public awareness. CDOT listed a total of seven performance measures, of which include reducing the total number of WVCs per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) from a high of 307.1 in 2002 to 292.0 by 2008 and 289.7 by the year 2010; reducing the fatal crash rate (number of crashes) from 1.62 per 100 million VMT in 1995 to 1.00 by the year 2008 and maintain at 1.00 through 2010.

Locally, on a 51-mile stretch of U.S. 160 between Pagosa Springs and Durango (Milepost 88 to Milepost 139) there is an average 7,483 vehicles using the highway each day. There were 124 vehicle wildlife collisions on that stretch of highway in 2004. Species killed in those collisions were black bear, deer, elk, coyote and turkey.

Plans to lower the incidence of wildlife-vehicle collisions on the highway near Pagosa Springs include an animal detection system (planned for 2007), wildlife fencing (future), wildlife underpasses (future), habitat alteration (2006).

 

State parks board allocates snowmobile trail grooming funds

The Colorado State Parks board allocated $470,000 to 27 different snowmobile association clubs for trail grooming at the most recent parks board meeting. Trails will be groomed from Nov. 15, 2006, to April 15, 2007, as snow conditions and trail use dictate.

Since 1977, the snowmobile grooming clubs of the Colorado Snowmobile Association have been grooming winter trails in Colorado, assuring both safety and the high quality of all winter trail experiences. Approximately 2,500 miles of trail are groomed each year for all winter trail enthusiasts to enjoy.

Funding for the grooming program comes from both the Colorado State Parks managed Snowmobile Program and the Recreational Trails Program.

The allocation for each club is based on a formula that accounts for number of trail miles, trail usage, and type of equipment used by each club. Each year the formula is reviewed by the Colorado Snowmobile Association and Colorado State Parks. During routine snowmobile patrol duties, officers from Colorado State Parks inspect the trails to assure grooming is being performed as required.

 

Pagosa landowners sought for walk-in access program

The "Walk-in Access Program" sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to provide hunters access to private land to hunt small game is expanding to western Colorado.

Property owners who participate in the program are eligible to earn from $5 to $20 per acre depending on the amount of property available for hunting. In southwest Colorado the DOW is asking property owners to consider providing access for spring turkey hunting.

The walk-in program has been in place for many years on Colorado's eastern plains. In that region, private landowners allow hunters access to hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

While most of the land in western Colorado is publicly owned, thousands of acres of private property are located in prime wildlife habitat.

Enrolled properties will be clearly marked with Division of Wildlife "Walk-in Access" signs and their locations published in a walk-in atlas. Landowners are not identified in the atlas. Access to enrolled properties is by foot only. No vehicles or horses are permitted.

The program is funded through sales of a mandatory Walk-In Access program permit which will be available for $20 at all DOW offices and all hunting and fishing license vendors. Enforcement of regulations is the responsibility of the DOW. All normal hunting regulations apply on Walk-In Access properties.

Interested landowners should contact their local district wildlife manager or the nearest DOW office for more information. Landowners in Archuleta County should contact the Durango area office at 247-0855.

 

Local Marines to celebrate Corps' birthday

Two battalions of American Marines were authorized by the Second Continental Congress on Nov. 10, 1775, to help fight the British. Since that beginning, the United States Marine Corps has continued to grow, fight and prosper.

The Marines have been present for duty in all the big wars of the United States from the American Revolution through the Gulf War, to our present war in Iraq, writing their names large at such places as Bladensburg, Guantanamo, Belleau Woods, Guadalcanal, Inchon and Khe Sanh.

In between the big wars, there have bene little wars, campaigns, showing of the flag, protection of American lives and property and humanitarian missions.

"The Marines have landed" well over 200 times in their 231-year history. After nearly every landing, it could be reported with satisfaction that "the situation was well in hand."

Today, as in the past, the Corps is perfectly confident that, "If the Army and Navy ever gaze Heaven's scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines."

In the Pagosa Springs area, active and former Marines, former Navy medical personnel, families and friends of Marines will celebrate the 231st birthday of the Marine Corps Nov. 11 at the Pagosa Lodge beginning with social hour at 1800 (6 p.m. if you are no longer on military time), and dinner at 1900. Dancing to DJ Bobby Hart ('50s, '60s and country/western) will begin at 9 p.m.

The celebration will include the traditional reading of the birthday message and the cutting of the birthday cake. There will be door prizes of a USMC knife, mugs and beer steins with the official emblem.

Reservations are required for the dinner and must be made no later than Nov. 1. For reservations and information, contact Carrie Toth at 264-9042.

If you know of, or are a young Marine who can't afford this dinner, please call Carrie. There are some funds to sponsor this dinner for young Marines who would like to come, but otherwise couldn't afford to.

Semper Fidelis.

 

Hospice of Mercy bulb planting set for Nov. 2

Hospice of Mercy will hold a bulb planting at the Hospice Memorial Garden, located next to the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in Pagosa Springs. This event will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2.

Interested individuals are invited to plant bulbs of their choosing in memory of a loved one. Participants may bring their own bulbs, or Hospice will have a small number of bulbs available. No R.S.V.P. is required. Bring a trowel with you, if you can.

Hospice of Mercy volunteers and staff look forward to enjoying these bulbs with you when they bloom in the spring of 2007 as well as far into the future. The Hospice Memorial Garden is a great way to honor and remember a loved one.

Call 382-2032 with questions or for more information.

 

Letters
No on 1A

Dear Editor:

What will 1A do, not do or should do.

Fact 1: Yes, Ballot Issue 1A will freeze the tax rate, but it will not freeze taxes. Don't be fooled; this ballot initiative is a tax increase.

Fact 2: Yes, proponents of Issue 1A promise to grade roads once a year and snow plow when needed, but will one grading sufficiently maintain roads? Maintaining the roads to drivable standards (such as desired by first responders) should be the goal.

Fact 3: Yes, 1A recognizes a perceived inequity due to the fact that the assessment rate of vacant land is higher than improved land, but the demands of population growth should not be funded by present residents. Impact fees and/or other fees should be quantified by the county before the county asks present residents to pay for perceived future county needs.

Fact 4: Yes, the oil and gas industry will contribute greatly to county coffers because of 1A, but oil and gas wells usually are productive for about 20 years, not 40 years. Also, oil and gas contributions to the county coffers depend on the value of production. As we know, the oil and gas industry is a boom or bust business. How can we depend on oil and gas money to fund ongoing projects?

Fact 4a: Yes, the oil and gas industry must pay its own way, but we must define what the oil and gas industry wants from our county's infrastructure. Road degradation and water usage are possible impacts. Therefore, all oil and gas revenue should be put into a road fund and/or water storage fund and not the general fund.

Fact 5: Yes, Issue 1A tax increase will sunset in five years, but we are asked to fund five years of projects based on the first year's projections. What are the priorities for five years? We are asked to trust the county for five years. The county has not demonstrated a reason for such trust.

Vote No on Ballot Issue 1A.

John Bozek

 Super salesman

Dear Editor:

I recently attended a fairly high-powered sales seminar in Denver and was struck - negatively - by the implications of some of the ideas put forward by the presenters. I will quote them here so that the next time you feel uneasy with a salesman you might understand where he may be coming from and also, perhaps, how he was sucked into doing what he is doing.

This one was flashed on the screen: "It's not what you say or do, but how you make people feel."

From the training manual: "Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined," and "You have been taught your whole life to face reality. Now you know that you create your own reality."

Many years ago, at a similar event, the presenter from one of America's largest corporations advised using a strategy of creating anxiety, that by making a person feel insecure or inadequate, you create a need for your product or service in that person's mind. And Eskimos have actually bought refrigerators!

Our government has become a super salesman. And what is its No. 1 product in our marketplace today if it's not security? And what is the bill of goods this one-party government has been selling us about our security, both national and at home, if it is not that we are insecure and that our democracy is now inadequate to guarantee our safety?

Don't listen to me. Find out about the product for yourself. On your computer, if you have the courage, Google in the word, "Fascism" and select "Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism," "George W. Bush and the 14 Points of Fascism," or any site listing these 14 points by Dr. Lawrence Britt, or "12 Warning Signs of Fascism from Majority Visibility Project." Then click in and read, "Reclaiming the Issues: Islamic or Republican Fascism?" from Common Dreams, 8/28/2006. Then make your own comparisons and draw your own conclusions.

Just don't dismiss me as a Bush-basher because I won't blindly follow a Pied Piper. I am an American and I love my country.

Henry Buslepp

 Missing signs

Dear Editor:

I personally know of three John Egan yard signs that have been removed from friends' front yards. How pitiful.

Phyl Daleske

Editor's note: Please see the article in this week's SUN regarding missing campaign signs.

 Roadblocks

Dear Editor:

For years, we at PFLAG have dealt with people who condemn lesbians and gays for their alleged "homosexual lifestyle." Now those same folks are trying to set up roadblocks for gays and lesbians who want to "settle down" in legally committed relationships. These folks cannot make up their minds! But on November 7, Colorado voters can make up their own minds.

Colorado already has a statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman, so the proposed Amendment 43 is just unnecessary political grandstanding. I hope voters will vote "no" to send a message that our State government has more important things to do.

Another ballot issue, Referendum I, seeks to define and stabilize the limited relationships Colorado does allow to its lesbian and gay citizens (while retaining enough inequality to "save" the institution of marriage and western civilization). Domestic partnerships are not the same as the "marriage," but Referendum I would provide a deserved haven for an integral, vital and important segment of our human race.

Concerning Referendum I, some of the propaganda circulating in Colorado claims that gay people don't need this legislation. They can all just go spend thousands of dollars on attorneys' fees to make sure that their property and children are secure. Tell that to my aunt who could not have the body of her companion of over 40 years cremated without "the family's" permission, paperwork notwithstanding. Then try to explain to a little kid that one of his mommies can't raise him if something happens to the biological mommy; that estranged grandparents or foster care would be better than that person who holds him, feeds him, adores him, and gets rowdy at PTO meetings on his behalf. Even with their "papers" on them all the time, there is no guarantee that some mega-church sin patroller won't question a gay man's right to hold his dying partner's hand. Referendum I is needed; anything less is indefensible, heartless bigotry.

PFLAG asks you to vote "no" on Amendment 43 and "yes" on Referendum I. It means a lot to our loved ones.

Martha Elbert

Durango

 Selective enforcement

Dear Editor:

The following is an open letter to all members of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that the board and ECC have decided not to follow the covenants. Many people have complained about paying dues to an association that is more interested in paint code colors and minutia than in protecting our property values and quality of life as stated in the Letters of Incorporation of PLPOA and our CC and Rs. The board and ECC are not permitted to change our covenants. They run with the land, not the board. We are the only ones who can change them.

If you are "mad as hell and don't want to take it any more," if you feel we are subject to selective enforcement and that enforcement is arbitrary and capricious, please send a letter and/or photo(s) with your name, complaint(s), your address and phone number to Evidence, P.O. Box 5944, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Dates of complaints should accompany letters and photos.

It is my intention to collect a body of evidence to put before the PLPOA board. If the board is not willing to listen and comply with our wishes, then we will have to consider arbitration or litigation. But now is the time to stop complaining and let's get started.

Judith S. Esterly

 Good old days

Dear Editor:

I was reading the letter from Paulette Heber about chemtrails and it made me reminisce about the good old days in Pagosa Country before the "chemtrails." Back when we had large herds of Jackalope grazing in the meadows, with their fuzzy tails and lovely antlers. And remembering when those pesky Sasquatch would occasionally knock over the garbage bin rummaging for food (messy but harmless). Yes, those were the days. Too bad those chemtrails have ruined all of that. You rarely even see a single jackalope anymore.

Craig Givens

Albuquerque

 Ballot Issue 1A

Dear Editor:

A close reading of the county's notice of election, Ballot Issue 1A (de-Brucing of county taxes), indicates that, if approved by voters, any resident living on a secondary road can expect to see increased taxes with no improvement in road maintenance. Fact No. 2 of the notice of election states that secondary road maintenance will include one grading and snow removal, which is the current level promised by the director of road and bridges, and far below the level of service two years ago which included dust control, grading as needed, and snow removal. I strongly urge voters residing on a secondary road to vote No on Ballot Issue 1A, forcing the county commissioners to develop an equitable road maintenance program for all residents.

Larry Guckert

 Vote smart

Dear Editor:

Well, it's that time again, folks! Time to decide who we want to run our local, state and federal government. The question, as always, is who is truly qualified? Do we vote a straight party ticket or do we think outside the box of dogma and party lines. Us vs. them? Or do we think for ourselves and vote issues and candidates? Do we want candidates that work of us or for themselves?

Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter. Does the candidate embody the attributes of a real leader, rising above party line thinking and rolling up their sleeves to go to work for us. Or do we continue the status quo nonsense?

Consider the last election with all the vitriol and mudslinging, the "us vs. them" mentality, and consider the result. We have an economy in shreds, 300-percent increase in gas prices and an inequitable war on terror, which we are losing (losing lives of our young people and creating more enemies every day). Worst of all, our personal freedoms are being encroached upon on a daily basis in the interest of the "greater good" (Homeland Security, or should I say insecurity).

Enough of the rant, here it is. First, get out there and vote, it's your right and your responsibility. It does make a difference! I personally would not vote for a candidate who feels the need to cast disparity at his opponent to make himself look better (that smacks of grade-school mentality) instead of leading by example and refusing to sink to the level of throwing mud.

There are some excellent, new resources on the Internet for making informed decisions, such as www.vote-smart.org/ which gives a lot of vital information on almost every state and federal candidate and www.drummajorinstitute.com/congress which shows at a glance how current members of Congress have voted on recent issues. I urge everyone to think for yourself and make your own decision, not your party's church's or activity group's decision about what's important to you. What matters to you?

Think and vote smart.

Mark Wagner

 To build or not

Dear Editor:

I am in favor of demolishing the old sheriff's office, court facilities, dispatch and all administrative offices that already exist on that site, except move the jail - and rebuild on that site.

Rebuild a new effective efficient building for administrative offices. Depending on whether dispatch needs to be near the jail, it can be on either piece of land that the city/county already owns. Install lots of windows for ventilation on the river side and landscape to compliment both sides the river and street side.

The building can still be geothermally heated, saving taxpayers money.

Parking can still be underground under the new building, with storage vaults for valuable information that is necessary to be stored. With the courthouse where it is, it will ensure that the public will always have the river walk.

Build an underground jailhouse on Cloman Boulevard, a large facility that could, if needed, house up to 200 inmates and rent space for inmates from other counties. Create more jobs for the locals. Plan for growth ahead of time.

A parking lot could be on top of the jail for city, county, and state vehicles. Maybe even rent parking to airport customers for long-term parking. Build one satellite combination office for police, sheriff and highway patrol in the parking area. Landscape to compliment the area.

The jail would have to be started first, then, when it is complete, find a place to temporarily house the administration office, courthouse etc. - maybe rent temporary trailer offices and place at Road and Bridge during the building duration. Build a beautiful sheriff office exactly where it sets near the beautiful San Juan River.

Does this make more sense than to dive into debt purchasing land that the taxpayers will be responsible to pay off?

Is it wiser to use the land that we already have and own? Is it wise to ask the taxpayers to purchase new land when land is already owned?

Thanks,

Freda Whisman

   Community News

The Purple Orchid Room is open - for Hallo Swing

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, with the help of our own Bob Hemenger, has assembled a stellar group of musicians to play in "The Little Big Band" for the Hallow-Swing event to be held this Friday eve at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse (i.e. "The Purple Orchid Room").

The Little Big Band stars Hemenger on saxophones, Larry Elginer on trumpet and vocals, John Graves on piano, Lee Bartley on piano, Dan Fitzpatrick on upright bass and Walt Lukasik on drums. Special Guests include Kim Judd on saxophone, and Mark DeVoti and Johnny K. on vocals. Sue Anderson (piano) and Jeannie Dold (vocals) will be teaming up to offer a few tunes. And Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson will not only be amazing us with their moves on the dance floor, but also offering instruction to those of us willing to learn some new steps.

It is a rare treat to be able to bring this talent together in the same place to perform, so don't miss out.

The evening will be filled with dancing, musical enjoyment, a light buffet, drink, good company and a few other surprises from the '40s. Wearing '40s attire is encouraged; be bold!

October 27 is the date; 7:30 p.m. is the time. Cost is $20 per person. Limited seating is available. Tickets are available at The Plaid Pony, 731-5262, or at the door, if available.

Fund-raising proceeds will benefit the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters Scholarship Program. See pagosamusicboosters.org.

 

After-school activities planned by Ed Center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

The Archuleta County Education Center offers a selection of after-school enrichment classes for students in grades K-8.

During the months of November and December, classes will be offered to K-4 students from 3-5 p.m. at the elementary school, including art classes such as basket and candle making, Cool Cats Count using exciting games, activities and adventurous stories, and Happy Hands Crafts making cards, artwork and ornaments. Don't forget our Fun Friday Activities starting Nov. 3, from 1:15- 5 p.m.

For students in grades 5-8 we will offer a full line-up of activities each day of the week. Activities will include Babysitter's Workshop, Computer Kids, Drama and Theatre, teambuilding, and a Chess Club. Students will meet each day at 3:30 p.m. in the Pirate Pit at the junior high school where they will receive a snack before their activity. There is also a Halloween Party scheduled for 3:30-5:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the junior high.

If you would like to register for classes or need more information, contact the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835.

 

Film society to screen French classic

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, The Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss director Yves Robert's "My Mother's Castle," a sequel to "My Father's Glory," which was shown here in August.

Critic Roger Ebert says of these Marcel Pagnol cinematic memoirs, "The effect of the two films is a long, slow, subtle buildup to the enormous emotional payoff at the end of the second film, a moment when gratitude and regret come flowing into the heart of the narrator."

This sub-titled French classic is quite a departure from the blood and gore of conventional Halloween fare. Ebert points out that there are little of the usual commercial elements in either of these films - little action, plotting, suspense or romance. "But there is love and happiness, and how often do you find those anywhere, let alone at the movies?"

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 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 donation of $3 will benefit The Friends of the Library.

 

Annual Harvest Fest at Powerhouse Gym

Several Pagosa area churches are again sponsoring the Annual Harvest Fest at the Powerhouse gym located behind the Humane Society Thrift Store and near Town Park, from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31.

This event is in a safe environment for kids to dress up in costumes (no evil costumes, please), play games free of charge, win prizes and get lots of candy. There will be a hot dog dinner for $1.50 available.

For information on how you can help or if you have questions, call 731-2205.

 

Form, Figures, Symbols opens to large crowd at Shy Rabbit

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Forms, Figures, Symbols, a Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Works, opened Saturday night at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts to a crowd of approximately 275 visitors from all over the region, many traveling from Durango, New Mexico and northern Colorado to view the show.

Those in attendance enjoyed a very impressive display of 59 unique works of contemporary art on view in Shy Rabbit's two exhibition galleries.

Juror Gerry Riggs painstakingly reviewed a total of 182 entries submitted by 61 artists, which resulted in 43 artists being selected for inclusion.

"I was delighted that there were so many submissions to choose from," Riggs said. "I thought the intake would be mostly from regional artists, but as it happens, there were entries from all over the country. This means that the show has a national scope, which is more than I had hoped for."

Riggs also added, "This is a contemporary show, and that translates into original, unique or fresh approaches to the subject. Overall, I think the show is comparable to many good contemporary exhibitions I have seen or curated in the past, and will prove to be a worthwhile, varied and interesting exhibition for viewers."

Riggs served as assistant professor and director/curator for the Gallery of Contemporary Art, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, for nearly 15 years prior to retiring to Pagosa Springs in January 2006.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 28. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Visitors are also welcome to call or stop by during non-posted hours. Private viewings are also available. Call (970) 731-2766 to schedule an appointment.

Shy Rabbit is located in the Pagosa Lakes area, on the west side of town. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard. Continue on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC). Turn left and continue on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental.

 

Great geezer artists: Lifelong Learning lecture explores their work

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

Attention geezers!

How old is old? How does health impact creativity? Which artists have had the most astonishing longevity? Is repetition more common than creative innovation in their work?

Judith Reynolds, art historian, will be in Pagosa Springs this weekend to explore the connections between age and artistic production in the works of world-class artists.

"Great Geezer Art: Creative Expression in Old Age, from Michelangelo to Matisse, Hokusai to Picasso," is the title of her talk at the Sisson Library, 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

Reynolds is the fourth of the Fort Lewis College Professional Associates Lifelong Learning lecturers to speak in the Pagosa Springs series at the Sisson Library.

Reynolds will be familiar to readers of the Durango Herald as the art historian and political cartoonist who, of late, has specialized in arts writing. She has timed this one-hour presentation to coincide with the 125th anniversary of Pablo Picasso's birth (Oct. 25).

As a former professor of art history, Reynolds brings a wealth of background to her subject. Expect to see early and late works by Picasso, Donatello, Goya, Bonnard, Renoir and others as she explores the theme of age and creativity. (Picasso, by the way, painted well into the ninth decade of his life. He was exceptional, but not unique.)

This is a free presentation.

 

November is Merengue Month at In Step

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

The fun and easily learnable Merengue will be the In Step Dance Club's dance of the month for November.

Merengue is a great beginning dance for anyone wanting to learn something Latin; and for those dancers that already have some Latin under their belts, it's a great way to develop their Cuban Motion and the ability to adapt to any partner.

It is the only Latin dance which combines one-step timing with Cuban Motion, therefore, is a help to all Latin dances.

Merengue was first a music style from the Dominican Republic which has a march-kind of rhythm to a 2/4 beat. It evolved out of 'perico repiao’ which means plucked or stripped parrot. This name refers to the wild country parties at which, in the absence of chicken, pigeon or other fowl, the main dish was parrot. The frenetic dance music that accompanied these parties was originally created by local country groups, which spread into the urban population that then took a modified version into the dance halls, by the 1930s. This quickly took the nation by storm, and became the dance music of the Dominican Republic.

Like all Caribbean music, Merengue is deeply rooted in both African and Spanish music. It seems that merengue comes from a Cuban music called "UPA Habanera," which had a part in it called meringue. UPA arrived to Santo Domingo in the middle of the 19th century from Puerto Rico. This style of music traditionally began with an introduction, paseo (walk) followed by one or two vocalists playing with the accompanying instruments in which the theme of the piece is developed. This is known as the jaleo (body). This is followed by the meringue: a call and response section where the soloist sings a short phrase and the chorus responds.

The traditional instruments of the Merengue are the accordion, guitar, tambora, guira and marimba. The accordion and the guitar are part of the Spanish influence, while the tambora, guira and marimba are the results of African influences.

There are two schools of thought as to how the Merengue dance actually began. One says it started as a peasant dance in the Dominican Republic by African slaves. The dragging of one leg relieved chafing of leg irons. Another says a returning war hero, a General Maringie, danced by dragging an injured leg. Even as far back as the 1850s, the simplicity of the Merengue was rapidly displacing the then popular Tumba, which had eleven different positions.

Today the exciting rhythms inspire dancers all over the world to move with the vibrant beat of the Merenque. Animation comes from having fun and being willing to show it: this is Merengue.

Anyone 16 to 96 is welcomed to attend the Merengue classes in November.

Classes will meet 7-9 p.m. Nov. 2, 8, 16 and 30. Practice sessions will be 3-5 p.m. Nov. 19 and 26. Check-out Sunday will be Dec. 3.

Please come 10 minutes early to register and have your merit points recorded. Dress in comfortable clothing and wear smooth or split leather shoes - something that does not leave black marks or mud. There is no preregistration required, and you do not have to be a member to attend. For more information, call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.

 

Local writers meet at Shy Rabbit

Writing is a solitary art.

Any opportunity for a writer to interact with other writers is a valuable endeavor. Brown Bag Writers provides that opportunity.

Writers of all levels meet every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts. New writers come to learn about the craft; experienced writers come to stir up the creative soup and take a break from their regular writing projects.

In this relaxed and casual environment, writers are provided creative prompts and are given the opportunity to share their work aloud with others. Averaging about five writers per week, the group is diverse and fun. Freelance writer Leanne Goebel facilitates, providing the writing prompts.

Bring your writing tools (pens, paper, notebooks, laptop) and a sack lunch if you would like. The 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, stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

For more information: log on to http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call 731-2766.

 

Sports Swap Saturday at fairgrounds

The San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its annual Ski and Sports Swap from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall on U.S. 84.

Anyone wishing to sell items can bring skis, boots, poles, outdoor clothing and other outdoor sporting goods (no exercise equipment please) to the fairgrounds Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. or Saturday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. All items are sold by the SJOC for a 20-percent commission used by the club to support the Swap with extra funds going for college scholarships for local seniors.

There will be outdoor and sports bargains galore offered by individuals and by various area businesses. Participating Pagosa businesses include Humane Society Thrift Store, Pagosa Ski Rentals, Pedal and Powder, and Switchback Mountain Gear. Those from Durango are Performance Sports and Second Avenue Sports. One Aztec, N.M. store, New Mexico Board and Ski, is participating.

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

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

For information call Jim or Nancy Cole at 731-2073.

 

'Walkabout' with an artist at Wild Spirit

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

What catches your eye? Focus? Values? Design? Composition?

In a "walkabout" through Wild Spirit Gallery, Pagosa artist Pierre Mion will discuss his personal impression of several paintings, explaining what he believes to be their merits. He will point out such things as subject, composition, values, colors, drawing techniques and the medium used.

Exceptionally gifted and well-known as an illustrator and fine artist, Mion's great joy is capturing the fragile beauty of our planet. His subjects include western landscapes, farm scenes, old buildings and houses, street scenes, boats, water and sea shore scenes, people, portraits and animals. His media are oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and pencil.

Mion's paintings of both undersea and space exploration have been widely acclaimed. Five of his pieces were included in the National Geographic retrospective illustration exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a show that is now traveling throughout the country. Among the many prominent individuals he has worked with are Norman Rockwell, Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Wernher Von Braun, Isaac Asimov.

Pierre teaches three watercolor workshops a year here in Pagosa, and currently has seven private commissions for paintings.

This is a free Lifelong Learning program at Wild Spirit Gallery, 10 a.m. Nov. 8. Everyone is welcome.

 

Sandy Applegate: 'There are no rules here'

By Kathy Steventon

Special to the PREVIEW

"There are no rules here."

So says Pagosa resident artist Sandy Applegate when we sat down and talked about her work, creativity and the art world in general.

Do you know Sandy? First impressions reveal vitality, interest, energy and occasional preciseness.

And what of her artwork? These same adjectives leap off her watercolor/pen and ink images on paper. Currently Applegate's work is being featured at the downtown Wild Spirit Gallery. Go have a look. More descriptions may spring to mind: color, fun, spirit . . . talent.

Way back whenever, Sandy earned her bachelor of arts degree, in plastic and graphic arts, from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Even farther back than that, Applegate was a notorious "doodler" from the age of 12. Her college years, and subsequent early work included repetitive imagery, variety, theatrics, muted tones, evocativeness and experimentation.

Sandy's Pagosa home and adjacent large detached work building, lovingly called her "chalet," houses many of her older works. Framed in related groups, various art pieces pull the viewer in. One series in particular focuses on comedian Charlie Chaplin. The graphic, theatrical images in blacks, whites, grays and burgundies nearly bounce off the paper. They are repetitive, playful, skillful and somehow the very invocation of the man himself.

Currently, Applegate's work retains some of the same qualities as her earlier art. Her watercolor, pen and ink, mixed media and color pencil pieces retain traces of her past, but now include bold colors and more in-depth studies of her fun.

Sandy confirms that she "was afraid of color" in her earlier years. Now she "just loves color!" and added, "What's the point of doing artwork if you are not having fun?"

Applegate has been creating original art for over 30 years. Within the last year and a half she has begun to take her art to a higher professional level, and to strongly pursue the business end of the industry. "All my experiences investing in other pursuits, and in supporting others, are now being used towards investing in myself and my own work." Such insight and drive will likely take Applegate to where she wants to be within five years. "My long-term goal is to be represented in Taos and Santa Fe." These two national art "hotspots" are Mecca to many up-and-coming artists.

Which takes us to where Sandy is right now. "It is easier now to display my work in Pagosa and in the Southwest than when I arrived here 12 years ago. I'm glad that these art venues are presenting and selling art that does not always reflect traditional Western styles."

In addition to her work being featured at the Wild Spirit Gallery, Sandy is represented by a few galleries in Wisconsin, where she was born. One in particular, the Working Dog Gallery in Racine, Wis., reminds Applegate of a funny story as to how she got her work into the gallery. While on vacation with friends in Wisconsin, Sandy was referred to another gallery in Racine. - the classic "my friends know your friends" scenario. Applegate dutifully made an appointment with the gallery owner to show her work. The meeting turned out to be a bit of a disaster. The owner was cold and distant, off putting, and had no real time to appreciate Applegate's colorful portfolio. He mentioned to her that "perhaps she should take her portfolio to the gallery next door" where they would better appreciate her artwork. Which is exactly what Applegate did. The owners of the Working Dog Gallery were refreshingly excited by her work. Applegate and the Working Dog have developed a wonderful working relationship ever since. This is a great lesson for emerging artists: One must try, investigate, take risks, and persist in order to break into the finicky art world. Forged connections often come via a very serendipitous path.

Applegate laughs at that story. Her best advice to any artists trying to make a living is simple. "You must be compelled to create, or don't bother trying this field. You must have something to say. Go with what is going on in your life at the time. There are no rules or formulas."

What is her most valuable quality as an artist and as a business entrepreneur? "Imagination. A willingness to explore and have fun. The ability to create for yourself, not for others."

Any artist would appreciate these insights and their truth. Sandy emphasizes that "you must enjoy the journey of art" to stay in the field, advice that she clearly adheres to. It is glaringly obvious that Applegate's doodling has come a very long way. We will revisit Applegate in a few years to see how much farther her "doodling fun" has taken her.

Applegate is currently represented by the Wild Spirit Gallery in Pagosa Springs and the Working Dog Gallery in Racine, and is working on developing relationships with galleries in other art towns. Her Web site, www.sandappleart.com, is a wonderful window into Applegate's colorful, varied and whimsical world.

 

Fix your cat for $15

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs will sponsor a mobile spay and neuter clinic for the residents of Archuleta County, Saturday, Nov. 4.

Partial funding of this clinic is a result of grants awarded by Animal Assistance Foundation, Colorado Pet Overpopulation Foundation, Alice N. Jenkins Foundation and The Mary Elizabeth Bates Foundation.

To obtain a voucher or for more information about the clinic, call 731-4771. Proof of residency is required.

 

Congregation Har Shalom schedule

The schedule of congregational activities for the Congregation Har Shalom for October-December is as follows:

- Friday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m. - Shabbat Potluck at Richard and Gayle Brown's home, 1770 W. 3rd Avenue. Call 259-0344 for more information and to R.S.V.P.

- Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

- Friday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. ’ Torah study led by Harold Shure at Har Shalom. Call Harold at 385-6793 for details.

- Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. - Mitzvah Weekend Shabbaton with Rabbi Baskin begins with a service at the new hospital chapel and dedication of mezzezah. Come learn about the mitzvah of Bikkur Holim (visitation of the sick) from Denver's Jewish Community Chaplain.

- Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. - Shabbat Torah Service with a Gerim Gala celebrating our new Jews by Choice. Following services we will be donating our time to help our community in a Congregational Mitzvah Day. Please watch for details to follow. If you have ideas about projects, leave a message at 375-0613.

- Sunday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m. - Join the new incarnation of our adult education program, Judaism 360, that will run for 5767. Tentative topic: "The Invisible Chariot: An Introduction to Jewish Spirituality and Mysticism."

- Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

- Friday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m. - Shabbat Potluck at Liberman home, 551 Oak Drive, DW2. Call 375-0955 for more information and to R.S.V.P.

- Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

- Friday, Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. - Chanukah Party at Har Shalom. Potluck dinner and group menorah lighting.

 

Unitarian service to feature Ignacio minister

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

On Sunday, Oct. 29, the service for The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will have a sermon by Rev. Raymond Dunton entitled "Living in Harmony with Multi Spirituality."

A Hopi-Navajo and leader of Ignacio's Wings of Freedom Ministry, Rev. Dunton is spreading his Christian message in many culturally relevant ways. He points out that "Ninety-five percent of Indians view Christianity as a white man's religion. It has always been presented from a Western perspective."

In order to help American Indians in the Four Corners to "understand Jesus" and to honor a monotheistic God, he incorporates many traditional practices and native rituals into the Christian faith as he ministers to fellow American Indians.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. For more information call 731-4589. All are welcome.

 

Congregation Kadima Yisrael to hold Shabbat services

The Jewish community of Pagosa Springs Congregation Kadima Yisrael will hold Shabbat services at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. All members of the Jewish community of Pagosa and surrounding areas, relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Jeff Deitch will conduct services. His discussion topic will be "Justice as taught in the Torah." After services, there will be an Oneg Shabbat.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is located in Suite B15 in the Greenbriar shopping center. Go north on North Pagosa Boulevard past the fire station and turn right onto Greenbriar and left into the shopping center. The meeting hall is located around the back. Going south on North Pagosa, turn left on Park and make a quick right into the shopping center.

If you have questions, call 731-99610 or 731-2012.

 

Operation Winter Coat project

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

It is that wonderful cool time of year Š time to look in your closet for warm hats, coats, boots, gloves, sweaters and warm blankets that you are no longer using.

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is hosting Operation Winter Coat Friday, Nov. 17, at the Extension Building. Last year, the club handed out nearly 200 items to more than 65 families.

You can drop off your donated clothing at Gem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Pagosa Springs Junior High School, the Lutheran School, and The Outfitter Carhartt Store. Items must be delivered no later than Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We encourage everyone needing some warm clothing to come by and get any items they may need.

For more information, call Kathi DeClark at 731-9920, Colleen Myers at 731-6378 or Karen Gray at 946-0033.

 

Centerpoint Church to host annual Thanksgiving dinner

A community-wide Thanksgiving dinner for families and friends in the Pagosa area will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at Centerpoint Church, 2750 Cornerstone Drive.

The public is invited and there is no charge for the meal.

Contact the church office (formerly First Baptist Church) at 731-2205 to make reservations.

 

Chuck Bob at the Movies

Halloween: the perfect time for a horror movie

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

With Halloween coming, it's a perfect time for movie buffs to sit back and enjoy some great horror movies.

Unfortunately, most of the recent releases have proven repetitive and predictable, leaving me tuning in to Turner Classic Movies for the good old favorites.

To help those less versed in the horror genre, or for those not willing to take a chance on an unknown at the video store, I thought I'd take time to inform horror fans of two films they should avoid at all costs, along with two much more savory alternatives.

The first thriller I urge horror fans to avoid also happens to be my pick for the absolute worst film of 2006 - "Hostel."

Eli Roth's ("Cabin Fever") abhorrently disgusting sophomore thriller focuses on two jerk Americans backpacking through Europe who fall victim to an underground torture/murder business in a small Slovakian town. Although the concept was decent and the movie had the potential of becoming another horror classic, "Hostel" ultimately failed. Why? Because Roth chose to focus on unnecessary soft-core porn for the first half of the feature, and on hideously gory torture scenesduring the latter half. And unfortunately, Roth's tack left a vast reservoir of psychological terror untapped and key plot details unrevealed. While graphic, grotesque violence used deftly can keep a viewer on the edge of their seat, Roth's was simply grotesque, even pathetically campy, provoking more nausea than fright.

My alternative to "Hostel," is the classic thriller, "Misery." Director Rob Reiner's ("A Few Good Men") film adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel portrays the physical and psychological terror of torture and captivity in ways Roth's debacle could never achieve.

The story begins when a celebrated novelist, Paul, (James Caan) crashes his car while en route to deliver a manuscript. When he awakens from the accident, he finds himself in the care of his "number-one fan" (Kathy Bates). Things appear normal at first, until Annie discovers that Paul is killing off her favorite character in his most recent work. In an effort to change this author's course, Annie inflicts several painful and horrifying acts of persuasion that reveal she is a bit more than an obsessed fan. As Annie persuades Paul to re-write the manuscript, the tension builds during several escape attempts and his helplessness in fending her off.

Unlike "Hostel," "Misery" is a taut psychological thriller, blending judicious amounts of horror and gore sure to keep the most discerning horror movie connoisseur satisfied. Viewers who enjoy watching a true psycho at work will enjoy Kathy Bates' legendary performance - the effort earned her an Oscar in 1990.

Of course not all the classics are great, and one I found completely overrated was "The Amityville Horror." According to the media spin of the day, the 1979 film told the alleged true story of the Lutz family after they moved into their new home in Amityville. Unfortunately, the Lutz's were unaware of the horrifying murders that took place in the house years ago - although soon after the movie begins, the house begins providing clues. In the end, their worst nightmares are realized when the father begins acting more and more aggressive toward the family, and other unexplainable occurrences take place. What was the reason for these phenomena? The house was under demonic influences. Sounds scary. Unfortunately, most of the scare scenes were predictable and underwhelming, even for its time, except for the bleeding walls at the end - I'll admit, that was cool.

To add insult to injury, most of the film's terror factor was stripped away when it was later proven that the incident was a hoax. Nevertheless, this didn't stop Hollywood from producing several sequels to the film, including an equally lousy remake last year that continued to cash in on the "true story" allegations.

If you want a superior haunted house movie this Halloween, then I recommend the late, great Stanley Kubrick's film version of Stephen King's novel "The Shining."

The film follows the Torrence family who are hired as winter caretakers for the Overlook Hotel. Unbeknownst to the Torrences, the hotel shelters a violent and malevolent past, and during months of isolation from the outside world, the family slowly succumbs to the piercing solitude and the hotel's supernatural influences.

Eventually, the father, Jack (Jack Nicholson), is provoked into a murderous rage as the malevolent spirits of the hotel demand that he kill his family, while his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd) is tormented by visions of twin sisters who were murdered inside the hotel among several other horrifying specters. Nicholson's performance is a benchmark for the genre and one his most memorable.

Kubrick was a master when it came to mixing psychological terror with the paranormal frights, and "The Shining" played host to several memorable horror moments - Danny's shocking encounter with the dead twins in the hall, the elevator of blood, the intense finale of Jack chasing Danny through the garden maze. Although Kubrick's vision may not have produced a film Stephen King fans were expecting, "The Shining" stood as one of the best thrillers of the 1980s and remains a classic today.

Although All Hallow's Eve is typically the night when horror movie fans gather together in front of the movie screen or tube, hardcore fans may have to wait until long after Halloween to get the horror experience they have been waiting for.

On the weekend of Nov. 17, After Dark Films will host Horrorfest. The event marks the screening of eight horror films that were considered too graphic, too disturbing, and too shocking for general audiences and, thus, none were ever released.

Of course, with films like "Hostel" and "The Devil's Rejects" out on video store shelves, one wonders how bad the eight films could be? Maybe I should bite my tongue before it's too late. The films are: "Unrest," "Penny Dreadful," "The Grave Dancers," "The Hamiltons," "Reincarnation" (or as it was known in it's native country Japan, "Rinne"), "Dark Ride" and "The Abandoned." The final film is yet to be announced. According to the Internet buzz, Nov. 17-19 will be your only chance to catch these films in theaters. Tickets go on sale Oct. 31. For more information about these "Eight movies to die for," as the tagline says, go to www.horrorfestonline.com.

 

Community Center News

Spooktacular Halloween party and dance at community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Make your plans now to attend the Halloween Party sponsored by the community center for all the young people in and around Pagosa Springs; it will all happen on the 31st, from 6-8 p.m.

The kids' party will feature lots of games and activities; some of these include an inflatable bounce house, piñatas, guessing game, a ring toss game, bobbing for apples, a costume contest, a wet sponge toss, a graveyard, a maze, a haunted house, a bowling game, a fishing game, a cupcake walk and a couple of more activities new to Pagosa but popular in the Philippines, (of course, this is Mercy's idea). There will be prizes for all the activities.

The Kiwanis Club will again provide hot dogs and punch for the huge (we hope) crowd of partygoers. In addition, the Club is also providing Halloween bags for all your treats. We appreciate the Kiwanians who, every year, step forward to contribute so much to this annual community event for our children and youth.

We still need contributions of money, time, or game prizes. If you can help us, call Mercy at 264-4152.

The Teen Center will hold a dance for the older goblins, same night, same time (Oct. 31,, 6-8 p.m.). Part of the parking lot will be roped off and under a tent with heaters, and there will be live music provided by Lance and Karma's Music. Look for appearances by Elmo Chesterhazy and mystery guests. All musicians will be dressed in costume and will be on the lookout for guests to be in costume as well. The best costume will receive a copy of the Wild Blooms' latest CD and a copy of Elmo Chesterhazy's latest CD.

Festival of Trees

A new tradition is about to begin!

We invite artists and those with great talents in decorating to participate in the Festival of Trees. Let's fill the multi-purpose room with decorated Holiday trees.

This is how this works, Mercy thinks (as I said, it's a new thing: we're not sure of everything but we're working on it).

First, sign up at the center if you wish to participate.

Purchase your tree (6- to 8-feet tall) and decorate it here at the center. Decoration of trees will take place Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 4 and 5. Trees will be on display for public viewing from Wednesday, Dec. 6, to Friday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Friday night, the trees will be auctioned and money goes to a non-profit organization of the owner's/artist's choice. Before the auction begins, we will select the first-, second- and third-place prize winners and award the winning trees with the corresponding ribbons - blue, red and white.

We'll have food and hot apple cider during the auction.. At this point, Mercy is hopeful that ideas are forming in your mind. Call her, 264-4152, to share those ideas. She will appreciate any help or suggestions. It is all up to you to make this event another annual tradition in our beautiful Pagosa.

Community potluck - holiday style

This event will be a fun and relaxing evening, in the midst of the holiday madness. Mark your calendars now for Dec. 15. Bring your favorite holiday dish to share, - hot casseroles and chili are always in demand during this time of the year. We'll have dinner at 6 p.m. and a free concert with the Flying Elmos will start at 6:30. Doors will open at 5:30, so we can put the food out on the tables. The center will provide the paper products and beverages-hot and cold.

There is no charge for this program; however, please call to let us know that you plan to attend. That way we'll be sure to have seating for everyone.

Managing Diabetes

The Managing Diabetes group's meeting time has shifted from the fourth Thursday of the month to the third Thursday. That puts the next meeting on Nov. 16, at 5:30 p.m. The discussion topic will be tips for coping with the holidays. Plan to attend and bring some of your own ideas to share - how you have successfully navigated through difficult holiday situations. Some potential problems might include:

- more alcohol than usual is served at holiday parties;

- traditional holiday foods are often not good for diabetics;

- even non-bakers tend to come up with cakes, cookies, pies at holiday time;

- family get-togethers can be used as an excuse for special, high-calorie foods.

If you have success stories, please share them with the group so that all may benefit.

This group is for diagnosed diabetics, those at risk for diabetes, and also for those who care for or live with diabetics. Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know what types of programs could help you.

Yoga class

Thanks to Addi Greer who agreed to lead the class when Diana spends winter in California for seven weeks starting Nov. 1. And we would like to send Diana off with our thanks and gratitude for her dedication and time in keeping this program going . We'll be looking forward to your return.

The yoga session is on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m.; the class lasts for an hour. Attending will allow you to gain flexibility, stamina, strength and to reduce stress. While yoga is mainly about static positions and stretching, the appeal of yoga lies partly in its celebrity endorsement, but also because it gives participants a chance to relax and offers a vital release from the rising stress levels many experience.

This program has been well attended, but there is room for you to join in. Come and experience the gentle stretching and relaxation of a yoga session. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Line dancing

The beginning dance group meets at 9 a.m. before line dancing; this is a very basic class. The object here is to encourage men just to get up and go around the dance floor using some very simple steps of the two-step and waltz. No skill is necessary; the men simply have to be able to walk. It makes their wives happy. Call Gerry Potticary for a free private introduction if interested.

Line dancing rocks on at 10 for beginners; at 10:30 there is dancing for those who are more advanced. Learn the Electric Slide; New York, New York; Old Bones; and last but not least, Trashy Woman and Trippin'. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

eBay Club

The next class is Wednesday, Nov. 1, with Ben Bailey.

Ben learned how to sell on eBay when he volunteered to help the Humane Society sell some items donated to their Thrift Store. Now we are benefiting from the tricks Ben learned. He started this class so that folks who attended could share their eBay experiences with each other. However, so many people have attended who have never used eBay at all that Ben decided to offer an introductory training session. In the remaining time, participants discuss problem solving, and Ben answers questions.

The meeting dates are on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the computer lab.

Join Ben for tips and advice on buying and selling. Call him at 264-0293 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Computer lab news

We are on track for the next round of beginning classes. The Tuesday class will start Oct. 31 and is for people of any age. The Wednesday class will start Nov. 1 and is for seniors only; this is a Senior Center-sponsored program. If you think that you signed up for either of these classes and have not been contacted by me, call the center at 264-4152.

Both classes are full. The beginning classes scheduled to start in mid-January are filling rapidly; don't wait to reserve your spot. All participants are given space in a class depending on the date when they first contacted the center.

If, on the other hand, you have reserved a place and cannot or don't want to attend, let us know, so that someone else can take your place.

All computer classes at the center are free of charge.

Center hours

The community center's fall and winter hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., effective Oct. 30.

Activities this week

Today - PSAAR Real Estate Education, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; TOPS Tourism meeting, 4-6 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Parents Meet and Eat with the Teen Center, 6:30-8 p.m.

Oct 27. - Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; men's open basketball, noon-1:15 p.m.; Bridge for Fun and Duplicate Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

Oct. 28 - Animals are souls too, 9-11 a.m.; drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Moore Connections, 1-4 p.m.; birthday party, 1-4 p.m.; bridal shower, 3:30-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 29 - Grace Evangelical Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 1-3 p.m.; High Roads Baptist Church, 6-8 p.m.; Fairfield Activities information meeting for time-share visitors, 6-8 p.m.

Oct. 30 - Line Dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; Senior Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge for Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 31 - Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; Yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; Senior Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m. Halloween Party, 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 1 - Beginning computing for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Aikido, 1-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; eBay Club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 2 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30-9 p.m.

Need a place to gather for 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

Learning important throughout life

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

When we learn, we organize, shape, and strengthen our brains.

Humans are learning machines.

From the day we are born - and even before - our brains are ready to capture our experiences and encode them into a web of nerve connections. Our brains are the engines driving the human learning machines. A hundred billion or more nerve cells are crammed into three pounds of complex tissue inside our skull. Each of these cells is capable of making thousands of connections with others. These cells and connections are the nuts and bolts of the learning machine.

Recent brain research suggests that actively engaging our brains in learning throughout life significantly affects how well we age.

To most of us, "learning" means an attempt to create a memory that lasts. Mastering new dance steps, learning foreign languages or remembering acquaintances' names require our brains to encode and store new information until we need it. How much do you remember of what you learned in school? Unless you've used skills from school in your day-to-day life, you may have trouble recalling the details. This is why brain researchers draw differences between learning and memory. They are closely linked - but they are not the same thing.

Not all learning is transformed into lasting memories. "Learning is how you acquire new information about the world, and memory is how you store that information over time," says Eric R. Kandel, M.D., vice chairman of The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine for his work on the molecular basis of memory. "There is no memory without learning, but there is learning without memory." For example, you may look up a telephone number and remember it just long enough to make your call. This is sometimes called "working memory." It requires learning - but not for the long haul.

Ballot Issue 1A

Should the county be allowed to override TABOR and stabilize the current mill levy? Join County Administrator Bob Campbell in Arboles at the Catholic Church at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, as he discusses what this ballot issue means for you and county services.

Energy Outreach Colorado

Money is available to help those in need with their heating bills, including past due amounts.

Senior citizens should apply for the Energy Outreach Colorado program with Kathy Kulyk at the Department of Human Services, 264-2182.

There are extra funds available through the end of October, so apply immediately. The new funding cycle will begin in November.

Mystery Trip

It is the final monthly Mystery Trip of the year, and what a way to end months of fun.

There are still a few spots open for this trip, but don't delay.

The clue for October's secret adventure is: Remnants of the past is what we seek - those who came before, in the wind they speak.

Those who have made reservations for this month's Mystery Trip should meet at The Den at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. The cost is $5 per person and you must be able to walk one mile on this fairly active trip. You will want to bring a water bottle, camera, wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather (we will be outside). The senior bus will depart The Den at 8:05 a.m. and arrive at our destination at approximately 10. Lunch will be provided and we will return to The Den by 6 p.m.

It is our last mystery excursion for the year, so come along for the excitement and the exploration.

Birthdays and Black and Orange Day

If you are age 60 or older and your birthday is in October, come to The Den Friday, for lunch and to celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch and lots of fun. Remember to let us know it is your birthday when you check in at the desk. It is also Black and Orange Day at The Den so wear your Halloween colors in anticipation of the upcoming spooky affair.

Halloween party

The candy, the costumes, the spookiness and the fun of Halloween is not just for kids.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, The Den will have a Halloween costume party to celebrate this "not just for kids" holiday! Wear your scariest, most original, or funniest costume to win one of the many great prizes. Cupcakes, candy and, best of all, costumes and chances to win a prize, will make this party a memorable one. So, let's bring out the kid in all of us and come in disguise with our trick-or-treat bags for the Halloween extravaganza.

Dance for Your Health

Dance for Your Health classes are available at The Den on Wednesdays at 10 a.m.

Karma Raley, the dance instructor, enjoys sharing her love of dance and blends basic ballet, modern jazz, jazz dance with yoga awareness to create a full body routine which makes it possible to work out to the degree you want and/or need. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel if you have one.

Join us at The Den and learn great dance techniques while having a fun time exercising.

Aikido classes

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly 1,000 years to secret techniques of samurai warriors.

The Den offers Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. with instructors Bill Trimarco and Lisa Jensen. Sign up with The Den if you would like to participate in the Aikido classes. Aikido students learn hand techniques for armed and unarmed attackers, and train with the wooden sword and short staff. Aikido is beneficial for health, coordination, stress relief and character with the goal of bettering oneself rather than trying to be better than an opponent.

Nutrition presentation

Join registered dietician Lori Yencer at The Den at 12:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, for an informative presentation on general nutrition. The Den will be distributing bags of free sample products from Zanios Distributors, Joy's Natural Foods, Alacer Corp. and Rainbow Light. Be sure to attend to discover more about the benefits of what you put into your body. Receive your free bag of sample products and learn how to stay healthy at the same time. This is a presentation that can benefit everyone.

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 older. Through the remainder of 2006, memberships can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. No memberships are sold Thursdays.

Archuleta Seniors Inc. election

The results are in and a board has been selected for 2007 for your local council on aging, better known as Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI).

The results are as follows: Jim Pearson is president; Mary Lou Maehr is vice-president; Lorrie Church is secretary; Kathy Betts is treasurer; and Helen Hoff, Joe Nanus, Jackie Schick, Susi Cochran, Mitch Appenzeller and Bob Tearnan are directors. Congratulations to the new 2007 ASI Board.

ASI is a non-profit organization that helps fund social activities such as the Mystery Trip, organizes events such as the Senior Prom and the holiday party, and plans the annual Oktoberfest fund-raiser. The main focus is to provide financial assistance to those in need, for medical expenses and medical shuttles. Join ASI to contribute and benefit the seniors in our community.

Oktoberfest a huge success

The fifth annual Oktoberfest, planned and sponsored by Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI), was the largest Oktoberfest to date in Pagosa.

With approximately 500 people coming out to join in the festivities, the fund-raising event collected $7,200 to support the seniors in our community. The amount tripled from last year.

A big thanks to the members of ASI and to all of the Oktoberfest volunteers who worked so hard to make this event successful. And a big thanks to all of you who participated in the German family festival, not to mention in the largest chicken dance in the history of Pagosa Springs.

The skinny on organic food

Organic foods generally cost more than their run-of-the-supermarket counterparts. Are they worth it? (by Chad Hudnall).

Q. What does (or should) it mean if something is labeled organic?

There's a federal definition. The USDA has developed organic standards that govern what organic producers can and cannot use. It took the USDA 12 years to develop the standards and they were revised in 2002. In general they are foods that are grown without pesticides and artificial fertilizers. There are rules about how animals must be kept and what they can be fed. There is an enormous list of substances that can and cannot be used.

Q. So somebody is enforcing the rules that apply to organic producers?

There are USDA-certified inspectors, absolutely. The USDA licenses inspectors in every state. There are groups that can certify, that are qualified to certify (state and private organizations) to do the inspections. They all have to be certified by the USDA.

Q. Have there been any recent attempts to change, or specifically, weaken the USDA's organic standards?

There have been endless attacks by the industry and the USDA to revise those standards since 2002. Mostly by the big organic food industry, the large organic producers. More and more corporate agriculture is going into organic products because people will pay a premium price for them. It's the only area of the food industry that's growing.

Q. What's an example of such an "attack?"

The most recent example was a rider attached to a spending bill in Congress that allowed substances that had been turned down by the Organics Standards Board (a USDA-appointed committee) to be used by producers and still have it called organic. Now whether those substances are good, bad or indifferent is really irrelevant, because the issue is whether people perceive the system as being honest. If the system isn't honest the whole thing falls apart. The bill passed last year despite hundreds of thousands of people writing in to complain. The Organic Trade Association at the last minute sold out the industry in a way and said it would be OK to pass the bill. If this type of thing continues and these standards are weakened, people will not trust that if it says organic that it means anything.

Q. People will pay a premium for organics. What's making them spend the extra money? What are the positive benefits?

It's better for the planet and that's the most important thing. And there's no question that organic foods use less pesticides and that people who eat organic have lower levels of pesticides in their bodies.

Q. Are you getting better nutrition from organically grown foods?

That's harder to say. You're certainly getting more minerals because the soil is richer. Whether you're getting more vitamins? The differences are small. I don't think it's a big nutrition issue, I think it's an environmental issue. It's a small nutritional issue.

Q. What are the advantages of buying organic foods if you're on a fixed income?

If something is locally grown Š it's fresher, it'll taste better. It's a choice you make. And if you can afford it, absolutely, you should buy it.

Q. Is local produce necessarily organic? Produce from farmers' markets?

No, only if it says so. If it's certified organic, you have an assurance that it meets the Department of Agriculture's regulations and that it has been inspected to prove that it does. If it says it's organic then it is. I believe you can trust that. Sometimes there are local producers who are "near organic" and who say they don't use many pesticides and don't use artificial fertilizers. And there you have to take it on trust, because they're not inspected.

Q. For people over 50, is there any particular value in buying organic?

Organic foods are worth supporting, for everyone. Organic food is healthier all around. Whether it is worth it for the price, that's an individual decision. But I do think that organic prices reflect the true cost of producing the food. Conventional agriculture is supported by the government in ways that artificially lower prices ... and we have the cheapest food supply in the world.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Oct. 26 - Final Monthly Mystery Trip for the year, 8 a.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Oct. 27 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Orange and Black Day; $1 birthday lunch celebrations; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 30 - Susan Stoffer, nurse and counselor available, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 31 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Halloween party, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling, by appointment only, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 1 - Dance for Your Health with Karma Raley, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Aikido class, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 2 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required); Ballot Issue 1A presentation with Bob Campbell, in Arboles, 12:30 p.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Nov. 3 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; nutrition program and presentation with registered dietician, Lori Yencer, 12:45 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.

Friday, Oct. 27 - Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean amandine, apricots and peaches, whole wheat roll and birthday cake.

Monday, Oct. 30 - Veal parmesan with tomato sauce, spaghetti, spinach, pineapple tidbits and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Oct. 31 - Happy Halloween. Chicken fajitas, cilantro rice, lettuce and tomato, cooked cabbage and tropical fruit with bananas (plus cupcakes and candy for the Halloween sweet tooth).

Wednesday, Nov. 1 - Meatloaf with gravy, cheesy potatoes, green beans, pineapple tidbits and whole wheat bread.

Thursday, Nov. 2 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Stuffed bell peppers, whole kernel corn, spinach, applesauce with raisins, and whole wheat bread.

Friday, Nov. 3 - Oven fried chicken, potato salad, asparagus, peaches, and corn bread.

 

Veteran's Corner

A plea for help: Share a ride

By Andy Fautheree

Veterans sharing a ride to a VA Health Care facility have become a very important focus of the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office.

I even have a name for this program - SAR (Share A Ride).

Unfortunately, so far, it has had limited success.

Travel costs

With the high cost of transportation, fuel and overnight accommodations this past year or two, it has become even more essential that we work together to provide transportation for those who need a ride and those who are scheduled and plan to drive to the same facility on the same days. This applies whether the trip is to Durango VA Clinic, Farmington VA Clinic, Albuquerque VA, or an appointment at any othe VAHC facility.

Urgent plea

I urge, beg, plead that you call or send me an e-mail if you have an appointment at one of the VAHC Clinics or Medical Center. If you call and can't reach me, leave your name, phone number and date and time of your appointment. I will make note of your appointment in case someone else needs to go to the same place on the same day(s).

Provide the same information in an e-mail to me (e-mail address is at the bottom of this column every week).

Because of privacy issues, the VA cannot divulge an individual's appointment information to another person. So, I have no idea who is going where unless you, the veteran, volunteer the information to me.

Often, we have elderly veterans or veterans in poor health who need a ride to Durango VA Clinic or the other VA clinics. It would be a great help if you could let me know of any appointment you have that you plan to drive to, so we can coordinate sharing a ride.

Example

Earlier this year, I took one of our veterans to the Durango VA Clinic at about 10 a.m. in the morning because he needed a ride and there were no volunteers available on this particular occasion.

When we arrived at the clinic, there were four other veterans from Pagosa Springs sitting in the waiting room, waiting for their appointments. None of us knew about the other's appointments. All traveled individually to Durango in private vehicles. So, five vehicles made the same trip at the same time with one veteran in each vehicle.

Cut fuel costs

At today's fuel costs of an average of about $20 per round trip to Durango, that equates to $100 spent for fuel, for five vehicles, that could have possibly been cut in half if we would have known about each other.

Please let me know when you have an appointment and plan to drive to Durango, Farmington or Albuquerque, and perhaps you can share a ride with a fellow veteran and save some money to boot.

Grant money

I haven't made it a prerequisite yet for reimbursement of expenses for fuel and accommodation costs from our Colorado Veterans Trust Fund Grant. But, obviously if several people end up going to the same location at the same time and come in for reimbursement of their travel costs, it may well become a requirement to notify me of your appointment schedule and be willing to share the ride with another veteran, to obtain reimbursement of travel expenses.

I would hate to place this restriction on reimbursement, but it could happen if you don't volunteer your VAHC travel schedule. We need the pool of those that can provide transportation for those that need transportation.

Be a volunteer

Be a volunteer and help a fellow veteran. And, the best part is it won't cost you anything in time or money, just a little effort to help.

Fuel money

Don't forget to stop by my office for reimbursement of your fuel and overnight accommodation receipts to VA health care appointments. We are currently reimbursing 100 percent of your VA Health Care travel expenses. Also, help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility and give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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

 

Library News

Libraries and the Internet: Perfect partnership for years to come

By Carole Howard

PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Recently a friend and I were talking about our library when she said, "Maybe we won't need libraries much longer. After all, everyone has a computer." I thought that provocative comment deserved some research - so I went to the Internet and the library for the facts.

The American Library Association Web site tells us that even today nearly half of all American households still do not have computer or Internet access. Those who remain unconnected often have lower incomes, live in rural areas like we do, and are two to three times more likely to rely on library computers than wealthier people.

These national facts track with our experience here in the Upper San Juan Library District. In fact, since our expanded library reopened in mid-November of 2005 with additional computer capacity, computer use has gone up by 85.5 percent - and we're getting requests for more. Obviously our library's computers are very important to our community.

Also, it turns out that American Library Association records show national library visits have doubled in the last decade - and that's since the Internet gained popularity.

Armed with this knowledge from the Internet, I next went to our library, where I repeated my friend's comment to some of the staff because they are experts on libraries as well as computers and the Internet.

"One of the best things about the Internet is that it is like a giant library catalogue," said one staffer. "It's an amazingly fast way to find the books you're looking for."

But the Internet and computers have drawbacks. "When you're doing research, you can only look at one page at a time on the computer, whereas you can quickly scan a book by flipping through the pages to find what you want," one said. Another added: "You can take a reference book into the backcountry or read it when the power is out, as long as you have a flashlight or candle." Another comment: "There's a lot of inaccurate information on the Internet, and it's hard to tell what is reliable and what isn't if you're not familiar with the source." And one more: "Much of the best information you find on the Internet came from books in the first place."

Bottom line from this mini-brainstorming session: We need library books and the Internet — and we will for a very long time to come. By the way, here's my favorite comment from this staff discussion: "You can't take a computer to bed!"

Parental alert re. MySpace.com

Savvy parents are cautious about how their youngsters use the Internet, and wise ones keep an eagle eye on what web sites their children are visiting. Now the library has an extremely useful new book called

"MySpace Unraveled: A Parent's Guide to Teen Social Networking," written by the directors of BlogSafety.com. It's a timely and indispensable guide to MySpace.com and a clear-eyed look at what's really going on in online teen hangouts.

Honoring Kate Terry

The recent death of longtime library volunteer Kate Terry has prompted some of her many admirers to contribute money in her name to the library. Our thanks for these special memorials to Lynn and Nick Constan, Carol and Gary Dillard, Donna and Don Geiger, Carole and Bob Howard, Shirley and Sherwin Iverson, Elsbeth and Albert Schnell, Jackie and Peter Welch, Margaret and Jim Wilson, and Scott Zesch.

Other special donations

We also are deeply grateful for other monetary donations received from Scottie and Ralph Gibson, Carolyn Grosse, David Miller and the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. And we are thrilled to have two new pieces of art, thanks to generous donors. Bill Whittington donated a waterfall painting by Pagosa artist Virginia Bartlett as a permanent gift to the library. And Terry Hershey gave us a beautiful southwestern-style area rug that adds a warm and welcoming touch to the Hershey Southwest Collection area of the library.

Local authors

We recently received donations of new books from two local authors. Cheryl Gaer Barlow's "Actual Angelic Transcriptions" is an engagingly written reference for anyone soul searching or seeking help from angels. Carleton E. McClure's "Colorado Rangers" is a fascinating history and collection of anecdotes telling how this group helped establish law and order in the Southwest.

Books for babies and toddlers

"Baby Days" is an easy-to-use reference book by Barbara Rowley with lots of ideas on what parents should be doing with their babies from birth to age three, all of it made more compelling by research showing that these may be the pivotal years in a child's development. "The Ultimate Preschool Playbook" by Dorothy Einon offers easy, educational and entertaining activities for your 2- to 5-year-old.

New best-selling thrillers

We have the latest thrillers from four very popular authors. Robin Cook's "Crisis" and Frederick Forsyth's "The Afghan" already are on the current top-ten best-seller charts. Ted Bell's latest, "Spy," tells of a MI-6 officer fighting terrorism in the heart of the Amazon and along the Mexican border. "Underworld" is the latest by Don DeLillo, an exceptional writer whose works always draw rave reviews from critics, readers and fellow writers.

Birds, bees and identifying footprints

Two new bird books are now available at the library: "Attracting Birds to Your Backyard," by Sally Roth, offers 536 ways to turn your yard and garden into a haven for your favorite birds. "The Backyard Bird-Lover's Guide," by Jan Mahnken, is an information-packed reference to attracting, feeding and appreciating a wide variety of birds in your yard. In "Beeing," Rosanne Daryl Thomas and her young daughter embrace the beekeeping life and learn as much about themselves as they do the bees. Just in time for winter - when tracks are much easier to spot in the snow - we have "Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains," by Dr. James C. Halfpenny, to teach you how to determine whether a moose, mouse, marten or other creature has passed your way or might be nearby.

 

Arts Line

Photos in October, gift shop show and sale in November

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

Pagosa Springs Arts Council's first Juried Photography Exhibit continues at the Town Park gallery, 315 Hermosa St., through Oct. 31.

Award-winning photographer Howard Rachlin, joined Dean Conger, a longtime staff photographer at National Geographic magazine and widely-acclaimed local photojournalist Wen Saunders, in judging this first-ever show.

First-place Professional was awarded to David Reineke; first-place Amateur to Robert Ratcliff; Honorable Mentions went to Bruce Andersen, Barbara Conkey and Margaret Reeves.

All works from the featured photographers are for sale.

Gift shop show and sale

The last exhibit of the season is the PSAC Members Gift Shop Show and Sale which will open Thursday, Nov. 2, with an open house from 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park gallery.

All pieces in this show will be original, handcrafted and done by members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Plan to join in the festivities Nov. 2 as we salute our members and kick off our final exhibit

Hallo-Swing and "Nuncrackers"

Music Boosters is sponsoring Hallo-Swing Friday night, an evening of great music and dancing at the PLPOA Clubhouse at 7:30 p.m.

Step into the world of the 1940s and dance to wonderful Big Band sounds in the Purple Orchid Room. Soft drinks, beer, wine and other drinks will be available; '40s costumes are encouraged, others are not recommended.

"Nuncrackers" will play at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2 (matinee on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.). Auditions for this performance will be held 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 29.

Tickets for both events will be available at the Plaid Pony (731-5262) or at the door. Advanced purchase is recommended. Hallo-Swing: adults only, $20.

Adults pay $15, seniors $12, students/children 18 and under $6 to see "Nuncrackers."

Great Geezer Art

"Great Geezer Art: Creative Expression in Old Age, from Michelangelo to Matisse, Hokusai to Picasso" is the title of a slide talk to be given by Judith Reynolds as part of the Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning series in Pagosa Springs.

Reynolds is a journalist who specializes in arts writing. As a former art history professor, she brings a wealth of experience to her subject. Her talk has been designed as an overview and will be the first in a series on the subject of aging and the arts.

This is a free presentation at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Sisson Library. Everyone is welcome.

Drawing with Davis

Local artist Randall Davis will hold a one-day drawing workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at the community center.

The workshop will include a review of basic drawing techniques; students will leave with a completed drawing. This session is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance.

Supplies needed for this class include sketch pad (preferably 11x14), assorted drawing pencils - including a 3H or 4H, a No. 2, and a 3B or 4B - eraser, ruler and pencil sharpener. Plan to bring a bag lunch.

A "Walkabout"

Take a "Walkabout" with Pierre Mion Nov. 8 at Wild Spirit Gallery and listen as a master artist discusses his approach to the appreciation of art.

Pagosa's Pierre Mion is well known nationally and internationally as an illustrator and as a fine artist.

Today, Mion spends most of his time working as a watercolor artist. His works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA fine arts collection and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's collection. His illustrations and photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science, and Readers Digest.

During his storied career, Mion has worked with Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. If you are a philatelic, you might recognize Mion's work on some of your postage stamps.

Mion's fine art reflects his love of nature. His subjects include western landscapes, farm scenes, old buildings and houses, street scenes, boat, water and sea shore scenes, people, portraits and animals. His media are oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and pencil. His fine art is in the private collections of Edwin Link, Gilbert Grosvenor, the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, Robert Ballard, Michael Collins, Wilbur Garrett and Norman Rockwell.

Norman Rockwell once said of Mion, "[he] has packed a lot of remarkable experience and fine work into what, to me, seems a short career. When working with me he has always been so kind, intelligent and understanding. He has a great deal of talent."

This is a free presentation by Mion at Wild Spirit Gallery at 10 a.m.

Gift shop show and sale

The PSAC Members Gift Shop Show and Sale will open Thursday, Nov. 2, with an open house from 5-7 p.m.

All pieces in this show will be original, handcrafted and done by members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

If you are an Arts Council member, you might want to think about entering some of your work for consideration for the gift shop show and sale. Applications are available from the gallery, 264-

Pagosa Pretenders at library

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater, a division of PSAC, offers their "Pretending Books and Stories" program the second Saturday of each month at the Sisson Library. The goal is to promote reading and creativity. "Pretending Books and Stories" is free to the public and appropriate for all ages.

Photography club

The photography club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club year from September through May. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are invited to join for $20 annual dues. For more information, contact club president Larry Walton at 731-2706 or lwalton@fhi.net.

A club field trip is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 7- 29 in Bluff, Utah, to photograph the Valley of the Gods. Additional details for this trip can be found on the Web link: www.photo-artiste.com/workshops.html.

PSAC seeks new members

Started in 1988, The Pagosa Springs Arts Council, a non-profit organization, was conceived and developed to, in part, promote the awareness of the vast array of local artistic talent, provide educational and cultural activities in the community, sponsor exhibits and workshops by local and regional artists, and encourage and support continued appreciation and preservation of the aesthetic beauty of Pagosa Springs.

If becoming involved with such a dynamic organization excites you, we hope you will consider becoming a member. If you have questions or would like more information on joining, call the PSAC office, 264-5020.

PSAC Calendar

All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space at the community center, unless otherwise noted. All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Town Park Gallery, unless otherwise noted. For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020

Through Oct. 31 - Juried photo show.

Oct. 27 - Music Boosters Hallo-Swing, PLPOA Clubhouse, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 28 - "Great Geezer Artists: A Look at Creative Expression in Old Age." A free Lifelong Learning Lecture by Judith Reynolds, art history professor. Sisson Library at 3 p.m.

Nov. 2-23 - PSAC Members Gift Shop.

Nov. 4 - Randall Davis drawing class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Nov. 8 - "A Walkabout: How An Artist Looks at Art." This will be an artist's personal impressions of several paintings. A free Lifelong Learning presentation by Pierre Mion. Wild Spirit Gallery at 10 a.m.

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, Music Boosters production of "Nuncrackers," high school auditorium.

Dec. 1 - Gala Gallery Tour, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of The Pagosa Springs Sun. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). In the subject area of your e-mail, please write "Artsline." 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.

 

The Wine Whisperer

Chateau Haut-Brion 1978: A confluence of graces

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Back in 2000, when I was compiling a prolific portfolio of online wine reviews, I received an e-mail from a fellow wine writer on the consumer-oriented Web site: "With your permission, I'd like to send you a wine to review."

It took me two full nanoseconds to respond: "Permission granted!"

Knowing a bit about the ultra-refined tastes of this elegant man - an attorney in Manila with seemingly no budget when it came to food, wine and cigars - I sensed it would be one very special selection. However, there was no way on earth I was prepared for the 1978 Chateau Haut-Brion that flew in from New York a few weeks later.

In a pitiful effort to feel worthy of such a gift, and to silence that part of my mind that kept taunting me with a "pearls before swine, pearls before swine" chant, I set out to educate my little piggy self. My generous benefactor had penned his own review of the 1988 vintage so I started my education there: "Chateau Haut-Brion, a Graves, is the only 1855 classified first growth not from the Medoc district. The oldest great chateau of Bordeaux, it is the last family-owned domaine and traces its beginnings to the early 16th century. Known for its consistently fine structure, harmony and smoothness, it is surprisingly and, thankfully, reasonably priced (and I use that term loosely) compared to the other first growths."

The Wine Spectator chimed in: "The estate, the smallest of the first-growths, has about 106 acres of vines (45 percent cabernet sauvignon, 37 percent merlot and 18 percent cabernet franc) from which it produces an average of 12,000 cases of its red grand vin per year."

And then I decided that Rumi was the quintessential go-to guy on all things wine: "God has given us a dark wine that, drinking it, we leave the two worlds."

I probably don't have to tell you that this was the oldest wine that has ever passed my lips, and the most expensive. (I can't cite the exact amount paid, for a lady never discusses the price of a gift, but I'm gonna ballpark it at $200, give or take $50.) I treated the bottle with awe and reverence, and a little fear, saving it for just the right occasion. Months passed. Holidays and birthdays came and went. The wine waited down in the garage in poised and patient nobility.

I researched it further. I solicited suggestions from dozens of people regarding what I should pair with this wine. I received dozens of differing opinions. No two wine collectors agreed on the perfect food worthy of this classic. One mandate resonated: "Drink it in the company of someone very special and let the food take care of itself."

As serendipity would have it, a beloved, longtime friend and spiritual teacher came to town for a visit. We'll call him "Dr. Joy." I intuitively knew that this was the moment I'd been waiting for. We dined out at the same small Pagosa restaurant both nights, and the 1978 Haut-Brion accompanied us on the second. We asked our delightful food server, Natalie, to come in early the next evening so she could taste the wine with us. The chef was uncharacteristically not on property that night, but "more for us" was my response to that. I asked to open the wine myself, (yes, yes ... control issues), so I could assess the cork's condition. I was quite surprised to find it very pliable and not brittle in the least with relatively no sediment of any kind appearing until the very last sip in the final glass.

Dr. Joy and I observed that the wine was dense yet not at all cloudy; a deeply-saturated purple with just a hint of brick red around the edges. The nose presented a wonderful melange of light blackberries, raspberries and cherries. The fruit smelled aged to me, but not stewed or overly-ripe; somehow well-preserved yet also retaining moderate freshness. The alcohol was almost imperceptible, and there were vegetative nuances I couldn't specify.

The thrill of tasting wine with a mystic is that they can read wine like they read people and events. Dr. Joy immediately described his first sip as "antique, old and fine." Soon he was invoking the name of "Memoria," the goddess of memory, as he was transported back into "other times and eras." The aged wood aromas seemed to open him up to a range of collective elemental and earthy forces. He decreed it an "ancient wisdom wine." I nodded an "uh huh" and scribed on.

I found the taste of the wine lacking the promise held in the nose. The fruit that remained was very light, and this led me to perceive the more earthy/soil/herbal elements as the dominant flavors. I picked up a lot of eucalyptus and cedar, Natalie noticed the herbal components the most, and the bartender summed up his taste experience with "tobacco." We all concurred that "it doesn't taste like it smells," and for me, that was a disappointment. We were unanimous as well about the in-mouth experiences, finding the first sip the most lively followed by a subtle sweetness mid-palate. The wine had a soft but earthy, rather medium-bodied character and Natalie and I found the finish very short and drying. Dr. Joy was emphatic that it brought to his mind a lover who leaves suddenly - in fact - "abandons" was the precise word I was to use to summarize his perceived betrayal by the finish. The finish abandons! He found that suddenly his tongue was not just furry but numbing quickly. His desire to continue sipping was strong, however, so as to enjoy the delightful front-of-the-mouth fruits and acids. Ever the courageous warrior, he managed to press through the painful abandonment issues evoked by the short finish and mouth-numbing sensations. He so enjoyed the Haut-Brion that I gave him my glass and switched to the '99 Hannah Sauvignon Blanc from Napa. "Any wine will get you high. Judge like a king and choose the purest, the ones unadulterated with fear, or some urgency about 'what's needed.' Drink the wine that moves you as a camel moves as it's been untied, and is just ambling about." - Rumi.

This is where the evening started to get a bit hazy and all protocol and propriety were forsaken for spontaneity and laughter. I got down with my just-untied-bad-camel-self and ambled head-first into the very refreshing and palate-resuscitating sauvignon blanc. Dr. Joy tasted my young Napa white wine, pronounced it "mindless" in contrast to his "contemplative" antique French red, and again I thought: "Good. More for me."

As for food pairing issues, what we ordered had less to do with the wine than with not duplicating what we'd had the night before. I did notice that the Haut-Brion really perked up in the licorice/anise/spice department when I tried it with the calamari marinara appetizer. Dr. Joy enjoyed duck with his Haut-Brion, and I had a New York strip with my mindless sauvignon blanc. It was all good, but by then I was so overstimulated by the company, conversation, laughter, and just being out of the house for the second night in a row, the meal was an afterthought (thoroughly enjoyed at home a few hours later, like the prior evening's, alone in the quiet darkness, straight from the to-go container.)

I am not one to offer advice on the aging of first growth Bordeaux, but I will go out on a limb and suggest that if you are cellaring the 1978 Haut-Brion, now would be the time to drink up.

For fruit freaks like me, it was waning back in 2000. For contemplative mystics, it might still invoke the ancient and ageless wisdoms.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Dryland Strangles a concern in southwest Colorado

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Oct. 26 - 6 p.m., League of Women Voters Forum.

Oct. 30 - 6:30 p.m., Livestock Committee meeting.

Nov. 2 - 7: p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.

Master Gardener training

The Colorado State University Cooperative Extension will be offering the Colorado Master Gardener Program in Pagosa Springs via Breeze Technology starting Jan. 30.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program is an 11-week training program designed to provide the public with information about fostering a successful home garden in Colorado.

People interested in participating in the Master Gardener Program need to contact the Cooperative Extension Office at 264-5931 for an application. Applications will be taken until Dec. 1.

Durango workshop

Agriculture and mining are consistently the two most dangerous occupations in the United States over the past 25 years.

In Colorado, six out of 100 farmers and ranchers are likely to have work-related injuries this year. Historically in Colorado, the leading external causes of death have been suicide, animal incidents and tractor rollovers.

A variety of factors put Colorado's farmers and ranchers at high risk of injury. Livestock are a major cause of injuries on farms and ranches. Injuries that result from animals tend to be more serious than other farm accidents. Also, exposure to pesticides and the associated depression, anxiety and inability to concentrate are postulated to be related to increased risk of agriculture-related injury.

Make plans to attend this workshop by pre-registering one week prior to the program so you can be provided with a free box lunch. This meeting will be held at noon Nov. 7 at Mercy Regional Medical Center, Three Springs Boulevard, Room A-B, with Wendy Rice, (970) 247-4355.

Dryland Strangles

Recently, there has been a serious number of cases of Dryland Strangles in horses in southwest Colorado.

Also known as pigeon fever, this is a highly contagious disease not to be mistaken for Strangles, which has pus discharging from the nostrils and swellings (abscesses) forming in the lymph glands under the animal's jaw.

"What was once considered a disease of California horses is now a growing problem for the Colorado equine population," said Andrea Torres, veterinarian and microbiology resident who conducted a study of the disease in Colorado in 2000-2001.

Torres and other equine veterinarians at Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital point out that the signs of pigeon fever can also initially resemble those of other diseases such as strangles. Sometimes the only initial signs are lameness and a reluctance to move.

Pigeon fever, also called pigeon breast, breastbone fever, false strangles, dryland strangles or dryland distemper, is caused by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis and is found worldwide. It can strike a horse of any age, sex or breed, but usually attacks young adult animals. There is a low incidence in foals.

It has also been diagnosed in cattle, and a similar disease affects sheep and goats. The disease is not transmissible to humans, although humans can carry the infectious agent on shoes, clothing, hands or barn tools and transfer it to another animal.

Clinical signs include lameness, fever, lethargy and weight loss and usually is accompanied by very deep abscesses and multiple sores along the chest, midline and groin area and, sometimes, the back. Abscesses also can develop internally.

The disease is called pigeon fever because infected animals often develop abscesses in their pectoral muscles, which swell and resemble a pigeon's chest. Although the disease is considered seasonal, with most cases occurring in early fall, a number of cases have been confirmed during winter months and other times of the year as well.

The causative bacteria live in the soil and can enter the animal's body through wounds, broken skin or through mucous membranes. Additionally, some researchers believe pigeon fever may be transmitted by flies.

The disease occurs in three forms: external abscesses, internal abscesses and limb infection, also known as ulcerative lymphangitis. The most common forms are external abscess and lymphangitis, with the prognosis of a full recovery being generally good. Internal abscesses are much more difficult to treat.

"Because this disease is so highly contagious, it is very important that veterinarians accurately diagnose these cases to tailor treatment and control," said Torres.

"Horse owners should be aware of the clinical signs and understand that veterinary care must be timely. Infected horses should be isolated, the abscesses properly treated and the drainage properly disposed of. The area where the infected horse is kept must be properly cleaned and completely disinfected because this is a very hardy bacterium. Pest control is extremely important."

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Orientations and Election Day reminders

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

An orientation was held last Wednesday for Pagosa Lakes property owners. It was an informative evening with plenty of relevant information shared in a lively and compressed format by board members and staff. Additionally, Bill Ralston with the Roads Committee gave a short overview of where the county commissioners now stand on road maintenance for the Pagosa Lakes community.

The Association will schedule orientations on a regular basis, as it is an effective way to introduce property owners - new property owners in particular - to what their association provides. The next orientation will most likely be in the spring of this next year.

Rec center work

The woodwork in the recreation center natatorium has been cleaned and resealed and the 19-year-old pools have been resurfaced with a fiberglass surfacing system. The new fiberglass surface is currently going through a seven-day curing process. We are still on schedule to reopen on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Almost all of the odor from the stain and pool surfacing system has dissipated.

Timely reminders

Here are some reminders from me: eat your veggies, exercise daily, and go vote.

In a democracy, voting is a way for you and me to select among candidates for office. By casting a vote, we express an implied willingness to participate in a common process with some shared outcome.

Any qualified voter may vote early in person between Oct. 23 and Nov. 3, 2006, at the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder's office in the lower level of our county courthouse. The easiest access is to enter from the back of the courthouse.

Any qualified voter may also vote by mail. However, an application for an absentee ballot must first be obtained in person at the County Clerk's office no later than Friday, Nov. 3.

For the Tuesday, Nov. 7, general election, the county has gone to voting centers instead of the polling precinct places we're accustomed to.

You may vote at any of these locations: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Restoration Fellowship or the county courthouse. I encourage you to vote early to avoid the crowds on Election Day. But if you enjoy the energy from crowds, I recommend you carry a sack lunch.

MySpace has launched a new effort to bring the benefits of social networking to voter registration. This social networking colossus, with its knack for popularizing the faces of cool people, is setting its sights on a slightly squarer issue: the ballot box. The site, as of yesterday, has begun steering its tens of millions of members to myspace.com/declareyourself, as a new in-house page where subscribers can register to vote and - with a single click - tell their entire network of friends to follow suit.

Although few of the teens and 20-somethings who frequent MySpace and FaceBook are aware of the politicians in their midst, it's still terribly exciting to test whether its word-of-mouth machinery can work as well in the civic arena as it has in entertainment.

Politicians, take heed of the power of the mouse. You reach the voters where they are. They are more likely to pay attention if an influencer - an opinion leader in their network of friends - is helping broadcast a particular message.

 

Obituaries

Farris Breedlove

Farris E, Breedlove, 95, died Sept. 24, 2006, in Tucson, Ariz.

Farris was born to John W. and Anna (Carter) Breedlove on Jan. 28, 1911, in Hollis, Oklahoma.

He graduated from Wellington High School in Wellington, Texas, and from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Farris excelled in football.

While in college, he married Billie Gilley on July 4, 1935.

After graduating, Farris coached football at Decatur High School and Decatur Baptist College.

He enlisted and served in the United States Navy during World War II.

He worked for his brother-in-law in Fort Sumner, N.M., and then moved to Pagosa Springs in 1947, where he owned and operated the Pagosa Hardware until 1970. Upon the sale of the store, he sold real estate and became a partner in Pagosa Realty. Retiring again, he started full-time motor homing, traversing North America. Then he moved to Tucson, becoming a resident of the Voyager RV Resort, where he resided for over 20 years. He moved to the Carestone Assisted Living Facility in October 2005, where he resided until his death.

Farris was a 32nd degree Mason, a charter member of the Pagosa Springs Baptist Church, and a committee member of the Red Ryder Roundup. He enjoyed his own airplane and was active in the development of the Pagosa Springs airport. Farris helped develop the fish hatchery on the San Juan River, and the landfill project that provided needed parking in downtown Pagosa Springs. At the Voyager, he was Mr. Coffee, making 400-1,200 cups of coffee every Saturday morning. In addition, Farris was a stained glass supervisor. He was an avid Arizona Wildcat basketball fan.

Survivors include his wife Billie; daughters Marilyn (Win) Alme, Marka (Harvey) Catchpole and Beverly (Barry) Kreek. Grandchildren are Doug (Kim) Alme, Zack (Melody) Alme, Catherine Swanson, Jerilyn Cook, Andii (Brian) Jobe, Matthew Kreek and Elizabeth (Mark) Quick. Great-grandchildren are Morgan and Jared Alme; Cody, Alexis and Talon Alme; Canessa and Mackenzie Swanson and Jaxson Jobe.

Even in death, Farris continued in his giving way by donating his body to the University of Arizona Medical School.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. today, Oct. 26, in the Catalina Room at the Voyager RV Resort, 8701 S. Kolb Road, in Tucson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Voyager Health Center, or to the Shriners.

 

Robert Bundren

Robert C. Bundren ("Uncle Bob" to many of us) was born an only child to Elmer Clifton Bundren and Anita L. Bundren on Sept. 4, 1938. He passed away on Oct. 13, 2006, at the age of 68.

Robert attended Texas A&M University in Kingsviille, Texas, where he majored in accounting and finance. He joined the United States Air Force in 1958 and performed the duties of medic and airman until 1962. He then went into his career as a banking vice president, which was the highlight of his life.

Upon his retirement, he moved to Pagosa Springs to enjoy his favorite pastimes of hunting and fishing. He was also an active member of the VFW.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Anita. He is survived by his beautiful daughters, Shelly Bundren McDowell and Kathy Bundren Meldrun, and his stepson, Lee-Allen Botts and Lee-Allen's children.

He also left behind five grandchildren: Anthony, Kendel, Cody, Brandon and Savannah, children of Shelly and Kathy.

As stated, he was an only child; however, throughout his life, he was loved by many "brothers and sisters," especially in Pagosa Springs.

His enigmatic personality will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

"Twas midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight. The sun was shining brightly and it rained all day that night." Merely a vignette of this fascinating fellow.

A memorial service to celebrate Uncle Bob's life will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006, at 1 p.m. in the Casa de los Arcos recreation hall at 503 S. 8th St. Welcome all who knew and loved him.

 

Joan McCoy

Joan Lee McCoy, 69, passed away quietly at home with her family Tuesday, October 17, 2006 in Aztec, N.M. Joan was born to Leland and Opel Turner on June 1, 1937, in Pagosa Springs. She attended school in Pagosa Springs, Ignacio, Farmington and graduated from Monticello, Utah, High School.

She married William Kenneth McCoy on Nov. 4, 1955.

She was preceded in death by her father, Leland G. Turner.

She is survived by husband Kenneth; daughters Debra George and husband Harold of Wray, Colo., and Sherre Pacheco and husband Leo of Blanco, N.M.; son Todd McCoy and wife Shelly of Bayfield; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; her mother, Opel Turner of Buckeye, Ariz.; brother Ronald Turner of Salt Lake City; sister Beverly Leas of Buckeye; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Joan was a loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother and she enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren in all their activities; she loved her friends and church family. She will be greatly missed by all.

Visitation was held at Hood Mortuary Friday, Oct. 20. A funeral service was held Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Church of Christ, Bayfield, with Mr. Gene Chapin officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lavenia McCoy Public Library, 395 Center Dr., P.O. Box 227, Bayfield, CO 81122.

 

 Business News
Chamber News

Series helps build better businesses

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls - it's shop 'til you drop time in Pagosa.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 28, and lasting until December, remember to shop Pagosa first with all the opportunities that will be available to you.

Let's start with Saturday, when the San Juan Outdoor Club hosts its annual Ski and Sport Swap at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can partake of some great bargains from a variety of stores, or try selling some of your stuff on consignment. There will be ski equipment, outdoor clothing and other sporting goods available. Don't miss this yearly event, especially with Wolf Creek opening so early in the season. For more information, you can contact Jim or Nancy Cole at 731-2073.

The Women's Civic Club brings us the 32nd annual Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 4. This yearly arts and crafts show and sale highlights more than 60 vendors. There is also a bake sale, a food court and a raffle. The raffle will include items such as $50 in cash, wreaths, gift baskets, jewelry, and handmade items from the vendors. You can purchase early raffle tickets from Margaret Wilson at 264-4246, from civic club members or at the Sisson Library. Doors open at the community center at 9 a.m. and stay open until 4 p.m. This shopping opportunity really gets everyone in the mood for the holidays, and lots of advance gift purchasing can be accomplished. For more information on the bazaar, contact Jennifer Hedrick at 731-5835.

Take a bit of a break in your shopping routine as the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church hosts the 10th annual Fashion Show and Luncheon on Nov. 11. This year's theme is "American Women on Parade," and an afternoon of good food, beautiful fashion, and opportunities to walk home with a door prize are in store for the attendees. Food this year will be catered by Christine's Cuisine and local fashion clothing stores will participate. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce for $20. The doors will open at 11:30 a.m. and the festivities will start at noon. I highly recommend getting your friends together and reserving a table. The fashion show will be held at the IHM Parish Hall on Lewis Street. After the fashion show, you can run, not walk, to the store that modeled your favorite outfit.

Then to peak your curiosity, the Chamber, in conjunction with local stores, will have a "Parade of Stores" event at the beginning of December. That's all I'm going to say for now, but we are working on resurrecting this extensive shopping spree and incorporating some fun community interaction. Stay tuned for the details in the weeks to come.

When you run, not walk, to your favorite store here Pagosa, don't forget you can use Pagosa Perks. These Pagosa "checks" are purchased here at the Chamber, they spend like cash, and they can be used at any store or facility that is a Chamber member. Since they are guaranteed, we've even had stores that are not Chamber members accept them. If you are a merchant, treat Pagosa Perks just as you would a Travelers Check. Deposit the check just as you would any other check. You can even give change back when a Perk is used. Denominations are $10 and $20 . These Pagosa Perks make great gift ideas for the Christmas holidays, birthdays, or as a thank-you gesture. Stop by the Chamber and we will gladly write out the amount you need. For more information about purchasing or accepting Pagosa Perks, call us at 264-2360.

Halloween madness

The Community Center area will abound with ghosts, goblins, Disney characters, and lots of movie and cartoon characters at the Teen Center Monster Bash Dance and community center Halloween party Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Both activities start at 6 p.m. and both are free.

The Teen Monster Bash Dance will be held in the Town Hall parking lot, and the children's Halloween Party will be at the community center. The Monster Bash Dance will feature The Flying Elmos. There will be numerous activities at the community center party including games, an inflatable bounce house sponsored by BootJack Ranch, a maze and a haunted graveyard. Kids can try their hands at the pinata or can bob for apples. The Kiwanis Club will dispense free hot dogs and punch.

This major community center event gives the children of our community a safe and fun place to go and celebrate this ghoulish evening. Even if you have a neighborhood in which the kids can collect treats, come by the community center until 8 p.m. for the dance, the party, or both.

Forms, Figures, Symbols

Don't forget that the Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts has changed its exhibit and is now showing Forms, Figures, and Symbols. This eclectic showing has over 40 artists from across the nation providing a unique expression of a form, figure or symbol. The category was intentionally designed to encompass a broad range to bring out the creative in relation to this theme. Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive and the exhibit continues until Nov. 28. The gallery is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. and the second Thursday of each month from 1 to 6:30 p.m. or by appointment. Stop by this contemporary gallery for some great indoor Pagosa activity.

Many members renew

We have two new members and a slew of renewals to welcome back.

We stay in the real estate arena for our new members this week starting with B's Realty. Debbie Barquist is the owner of this new real estate agency in Pagosa located at 46 Eaton Dr. No. 5. B's Realty is a full service real estate agency including real estate, mortgage and builder services. Find that perfect home, vacation or second home retreat, commercial site, vacant land for that future home, or enjoy the convenience of a town-home. For more information, you can contact Debbie at 731-5452 or visit her Web site at www.beesrealty.com.

She has been affiliated with the Chamber for years - now just in a different capacity. We welcome Laura Daniels as an associate Chamber member with Jim Smith Realty. Laura works out of the Eagle Drive office. She has over 12 years experience matching people with properties and she can help you buy or sell your piece of Pagosa realty. You can contact Laura at 731-6486 or visit her Web site at www.ldhomes.net.

We welcome both new members, wish them much success, and hope to see them at a SunDowner near you. Thanks also to Siri Schuchardt for referring Laura and encouraging her to sign up as an associate member.

Renewing this week are: The Lodge at Keyah Grande, now known as Keyah Grande Guest House; The Junction Restaurant and T.L. Lewis; Amy Dunmyre and Wildflower Catering; Terry's Ace Hardware; Bob Scott at Edward Jones; Dr. Harold Thompson, DMDPC; Southwest Silver Gallery.com - an Internet based jewelry store; DIG Enterprises; Myrlin Web Design Services; American Avalanche Association; and American Legion Post 108.

I know that many people are now in the process of reviewing their ballots for the upcoming election and will be mailing them in. Here is just a little side-note that I was informed of: when you mail your ballot in, it takes two stamps. So, if you want your vote counted, don't send it out with a single 39-cent stamp; it may come back to you and by the time you send it back out, it could be too late.

I will travel to Albuquerque this weekend to attend a new Ski and Snow Show in cooperation with Wolf Creek Ski Area, South Fork, Creede and the Lodger's Association. We look forward to a great ski season and getting the word out to all our neighbors who love Wolf Creek, as well as to those who have never been here.

It's important to let people know about Pagosa, our area and all the wonderful winter activities we have in store for the snow enthusiast. Typically, while not as busy as our summer months, with good snow, the winter season is critical to the economic vitality of our community. I'll be out encouraging winter travelers to check out Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek, with the most natural snow in Colorado.

 

Colorado cattlemen to hold Mid-Winter Conference

Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) members from every county in Colorado, will travel to Colorado Springs for the 56th Mid-Winter Conference, Nov. 15-17 at the DoubleTree Hotel.

This annual event, sponsored by CCA and the Colorado CattleWomen's Inc. (CCW), brings together leaders throughout the state, who have made a commitment to improving Colorado's beef industry.

Committees will meet Thursday, Nov. 16, to discuss key industry topics, including trade, federal lands management, endangered species, private-property rights, and more. Based on these discussions, members will consider and vote on proposed policy resolutions. Members at this event will develop policies that will guide the future of Colorado's beef industry. Join CCA members to learn about these beef industry issues and get involved in the decision process that shapes the industry's future.

"CCA's open and inclusive process has brought producers, from across the state, together since 1867," CCA President Mark Roeber said. "All of our members have the opportunity to come together and lay out a plan to continue improving the bottom line for Colorado producers," he added.

During the lunch and the awards banquet Nov. 16, CCA will give special recognition to several members who have gone a step above their normal daily job descriptions and have shown an invaluable dedication to the beef industry. These include the CCW Honorary Life Member, Outstanding Seed Stock Producer, Outstanding Commercial Producer, CattleWoman of the Year, CCW Rookie of the Year, Brand Inspector of the Year, and Law Enforcement Officers of the Year. Following the banquet and steak dinner, entertainment will be provided by Carin Mari and Pony Express. Taking the cowboy western entertainment world by storm with show-stopping songs and standing ovations, 14-year-old Carin Mari Lechner and her brothers create their trademark sound that is full of youthful energy, warm harmonies, and pure yodeling. They were honored by being named "2006 Youth Entertainers of the Year" at the National Festival of the West.

The Mid-Winter Conference will wrap up with the Current Issues Breakfast/Meeting, Friday, Nov. 17, where each of CCA's affiliates will report on the activities and concerns in their areas. "The affiliate groups represent the core of CCA, and the Current Issues Breakfast is just one more outlet CCA has to make sure every member's voice is heard," said Roeber. "And with 300 new members this year, we are confident our inclusive process is working."

To join CCA and CCW at the Mid-Winter Convention or to find out more information, contact the CCA office at (303) 431-6422 or log on to www.coloradocattle.org.

Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is the state's only nonprofit trade organization exclusively representing Colorado's cattle producers. Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation's oldest state cattlemen's association.

 

People
Cards of Thanks
Carnley

To my Mom, Jan Carnley - thank you for all you mean.

Through the trials when the burden was heavy, my mother kept the faith and trust in Jesus Christ, turning from her own condition she managed to have a heart of compassion to pray and do for others, to truly see a glimpse of love through the eyes of Christ. "He who waters will also be watered himself." Proverbs 11:25.

Your loving son,

Ceth

 

Loaves and fishes

A huge thank you from Loaves and Fishes to all our donors: Whispering Pines, Parelli Natural Horsemanship Center, the Methodist Thrift Store, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for all the books, Pagosa Baking Company, the Senior Center, Immaculate Heart of Mary, The Knights of Columbus, The Rose, James and City Market uptown. We couldn't continue without your support. Thank you from all the volunteers and Thursday guests.

Joanne Irons

Loaves and Fishes coordinator

Locals

Mollie A. McGrath and Michelle E. Thaxton

Mollie A. McGrath and Michelle E. Thaxton, both of Pagosa Springs, recently earned degrees from the University of Northern Colorado.

McGrath was awarded a B.A. in Spanish; Thaxton received an M.A. in speech-language pathology.

 

Sports Page

Pirate cross country teams are regional champs, state next

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate cross country runners swept the regional meet in Monte Vista last Saturday, claiming first in both girls' and boys' races and securing 10 individual state qualifications.

Last week, the girls' squad became Intermountain League champions.

Now both, teams are regional champs.

The girls' team finished with a perfect score, since Jaclyn Harms (a personal record 20 minutes, 22 seconds), Julia Adams (a personal record 20:48), Jessica Lynch (20:52) and Laurel Reinhardt (20:53) went one, two, three, four - combining for the lowest possible point total of 10.

Coach Scott Anderson stated, "To have achieved that in a regional race is unheard of in recent memory; perhaps it has been done somewhere before, but this is extremely rare and extremely special."

The Pirates nearly swept the top five, with Chelsea Cooper, running a personal best 21:09, finishing in sixth place.

Harms - league champion, now regional champion - has won her last four races.

Along with Harms, Adams, Lynch and Reinhardt won all-conference honors last week.

After coming in behind Monte Vista in the Intermountain League race last week, the Pirate boys finished first as a team at the regional event.

Jackson Walsh (17:14) finished in second, behind a Del Norte competitor, followed 14 seconds later by Travis Furman in fifth. Both runners made the all-conference team.

With the two front runners, the rest of the boys' team put in top-20 finishes, despite the more competitive regional field. Chase Moore took 14th with a personal record time of 17:59. Logan Gholson was 16th, at 18:13. Aaron Miller posted a PR of 18:14 to finish 19th in the field.

"A total team day, is how to best describe their effort for the day. As a team they ran smart and strong, closing on whom they needed to at the end and achieving what I thought of as only a glimmer of a possibility this summer when we started to work on this," said Anderson.

With the first-place finishes, the Pirate teams secured places at the state meet.

Since all Pagosa's runners finished in the top 20, they also qualified for individual competition at the state race.

The teams will take their marks in Colorado Springs this Saturday at the Vineyards Golf Course. The girls' race will start the meet at 10 a.m.

 

Pagosa sweeps regular season against Monte Vista

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

If there is one volleyball program in the Intermountain League whose overall improvement stands out this season, it's the program in Monte Vista.

Friday, the team from the San Luis Valley met Pagosa in Monte Vista and proved that point, making it tough for Pagosa before losing 26-24, 26-24, 25-14.

The victory meant Pagosa's Pirates would finish the season in second place in the league standings, behind Bayfield; Monte would take fourth and move to a pigtail game Tuesday against cellar-dwelling Ignacio - the winner advancing to next weekend's district tournament in the PSHS gym

As Friday's match began, it seemed the Pirates would make short work of their hosts; Pagosa jumped out to a 6-1 lead, getting kills from Alaina Garman (who had yet another solid night at outside hitter, leading the team in kills), middle hitter Jennifer Haynes and outside hitter Camille Rand. Garman put her team up 7-2, then 8-3, hitting clear from both ends of the net.

Then, a bug appeared that would bite the Pirates all evening long: a service error. Time and again throughout the match, serve errors would either negate an ace or stop the Pirates' momentum. Monte began to counter the Pirate scores, most of their points coming on unforced errors.

Senior Danielle Spencer hit an ace and Monte committed a setting error; Pagosa led 13-5, but another serve error stopped the run short. Monte tipped for a point - an effective weapon for the home team throughout the match and got points on a Pirate double hit and a Pagosa passing error.

Senior setter and hitter Erin Gabel put a halt to Monte's surge with a kill from outside, then hit an ace, but a serve out of bounds gave Monte a point and a side out. Monte then got a point on a Pagosa setting mistake and trailed 15-11.

Senior Kim Fulmer scored on a back-row attack; Monte got three consecutive points - two on Pagosa mistakes, one on a tip and, suddenly, the home team was staying within two or three points of the leaders. With Pagosa ahead 19-16, the game went the hosts' way. Monte killed for a score then got three points handed over on errors to lead for the first time, 20-19.

A Monte hitting error tied the score and it seemed Pagosa would snap out of its lethargic state and move on to the victory. Spencer attacked on a short set from sophomore setter Allison Hart, Monte hit the ball into the net, Haynes stuffed a Monte hitter for a point and Monte gave away another point. The Pirates had the 23-20 lead.

And lost the momentum with a service error.

A Pagosa hitting miscue then narrowed the margin to 23-22 before Fulmer put a rocket down from the strong side to move the Pirates to game point.

It wouldn't be an easy win.

Pagosa mis-hit to surrender a point. A botched serve receive put the ball above the net and it was crushed by the Monte middle. The game was tied 24-24, anyone's to win.

Or lose. Monte missed a serve then committed a hitting error to give the Pirates the gift, 26-24.

Pagosa seemed back on track as the second game began, going in front 6-2 with two kills by Haynes, an ace by Kim Canty and two kills by Garman - one a rocket.

Unable to tolerate the advantage, however, the Pirates decided to be generous; a serve out, a serve receive error and two setting mistakes allowed the hosts to tie the score.

Spencer broke the tie with a kill on the quick attack from the middle and Canty got a kill on a blast from the strong side.

Again, not content to stay in the lead, the Pirates hit a ball out and were called on a double hit. A poor Pirate set allowed the Monte middle to score, the home team got an ace and a kill, and led 11-8.

After giving up a point on a poor serve, Monte Vista got yet another unearned point on a Pirate passing error.

Spencer scored and took back serve. Monte committed two unforced errors. Trailing 13-12, it seemed as if Pagosa would generate some steam mid game.

Not so.

A soft Monte shot fell to the corner as a flat-footed Pirate back row failed to cover. A Monte hitter killed through a block from the outside, the Pirates committed a hitting error and a Pirate attack went out. Monte led 17-2 - a formidable advantage in the final third of a rally-score game.

Fulmer scored, Monte committed a hitting error and Haynes put an errant Monte pass to the floor. The formidable advantage was largely gone, 17-15 - the quick turnaround another facet of rally scoring.

The serve error bug bit the Pirates again, but Pagosa used two Monte errors, a kill by Haynes, and a kill to the back line by Garman to take a short-lived 19-18 lead. Short-lived, because of yet another serve error by Pagosa.

Garman returned the lead with a kill and Rand killed from the strong side. Pagosa led 22-20 and could have cruised.

But for another serve error.

Spencer scored from the middle, but the Pirates were called on a double hit. A Pagosa passing error gave Monte a point and produced a 23-23 tie.

Monte got to game point first, with a successful tip.

But, it was Pagosa that had the fortitude and presence to win.

Spencer nailed a short set from Gabel to tie. Monte hit a ball out and it was Pagosa at game point. Fulmer put a kill down just inside the back line and the 26-24 win belonged to the Pirates.

Pagosa finally showed up in the third game, all due credit given to the hosts for their efforts in the first two games.

Despite another four service errors, the Pirates managed to put heavier offensive pressure on Monte in the third game. In short order, with a bevy of Monte mistakes and a kill, block and ace by Haynes, Pagosa was ahead 9-4. The lead was 12-6 following an ace by Canty. Monte chipped away at the lead and trailed 13-10, when Pagosa put together a 5-1 run.

A Monte serve error began the run. Haynes hit a soft shot to the back line off the quick set and Monte hit the ball into the net. Haynes nailed another short set in the middle; Monte hit a ball out. Pagosa led 19-11. The lead could have increased Š

Serve error.

Monte was not going to capitalize, however. Two mistakes on offense gave the Pirates points; Garman scored inside the block; Rand scored inside the block; Fulmer hit an ace. Pagosa was at game and match point, 24-12.

Serve error.

A Pagosa player was then called into the net as Haynes crushed a ball for the apparent win.

Revenge was not long in the making, however. Rand fired a bullet down from outside and the game and match was over, 25-14.

Garman had 11 kills against Monte; Rand had 10.

Gabel put up 13 assists in the match.

Haynes had three solo blocks for points, Garman had two.

Canty hit three ace serves.

"We came out kind of sloppy," said Coach Andy Rice. "We knew we had to be loose, but it took a while to find the balance. Our fundamentals were strong in that third game. I'm glad they pulled it out, against a much-improved Monte Vista team."

The Pirates are in action at the district tourney Friday, facing Centauri at 7 p.m., following the 5 p.m. Bayfield match against either Monte or Ignacio (the team to be determined in a Tuesday night playoff). Saturday, pagosa plays either Monte or Ignacio at 10 a.m. then returns to the PSHS gym at 4 p.m. to face Bayfield.

The winner of the tournament continues on to regional tournament play.

Fans are minded that, since the tourney is a Colorado High School Activities Association event, tickets prices are $5 for adults and $4 for students. Only CHSAA passes will be accepted.

 

Pirates end regular season with win over Centauri

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

With a 25-26, 25-13, 22-25, 25-23 win over Centauri Saturday, at home, the Pirate volleyball team secured second place in the final Intermountain League standings and takes a two-match win streak into the district tournament, Friday and Saturday at the Pagosa Springs High School gym.

Pagosa and Centauri have played three times so far this year. Pagosa defeated the Falcons at the Adams State tournament to open the year. When the Pirates and Falcons tangled at La Jara earlier in September the Falcons stepped it up a notch, and took Pagosa to five games before falling.

Saturday, the Pirates came out strong, defeating their opponents soundly in the first two games of the match; but the Falcons reversed the momentum, taking the third game - and made the fourth and deciding game less than easy for the hosts.

Each team exhibited its hallmarks during the match: Pagosa, a fast, powerful attack, especially from outside; Centauri a stout back-court defense and an offense that relies heavily on the tip.

Power was the key in the first two games as the Pirate attack clicked. Centauri benefitted from 11 unearned points - giveaways on Pirate mistakes that included three service errors.

Early on, it became obvious Pagosa's outside hitters - in particular Camille Rand, Alaina Garman and Kim Fulmer - were ready for a big night. Garman hit back-to-back kills (the first from the strong side, the second from the right) as Pagosa went out to a 5-2 lead. A Falcon stuff block and three Pagosa errors tied the game. The teams stayed even to 11-11, the Falcon's 11th point coming on a tip.

Pagosa broke away with a four-point run: Fulmer tipped, then tipped again, left-handed. Jennifer Haynes demolished a quick set in the middle, a Centauri hit went out and Pagosa had a lead it would not relinquish. Garman hit line on the right side and her team led 16-12. Rand sent a blast to the back line and the Pirates were up 17-13. After an exchange of unearned points, Rand killed cross-court from the right side.

Centauri committed a passing error to put the hosts ahead 20-15 and Fulmer capitalized, crushing a cross-court kill. A Falcon ran into the net and a Centauri hit went out. A Pagosa serve error gave the Falcons their final point and two Centauri hits out of bounds ended the game.

The Pirates took a commanding 11-4 lead in the second game and were never at risk of being caught. Haynes, who had a solid all-round performance in the middle, scored the first two points when she nailed an errant Falcon pass and put a quick set down. Garman scored with two kills, Rand with one; Fulmer, Haynes and Erin Gabel hit ace serves.

With the Pirates leading 11-6 Rand killed cross-court then hit an ace. Middle blocker Danielle Spencer stuffed a Falcon hitter and Kim Canty put a tip to an empty spot on the floor. The Falcons made three consecutive hitting errors and Pagosa was up 19-6.

Centauri got three points due to sloppy play on the Pirates' side of the net, but Spencer stopped the Falcon effort short with a kill off the short set in the middle. Haynes scored on another short set - this one a brilliant one-hander by Gabel. Pagosa led 21-10.

With her team ahead 21-12, Rand left a crater inside the 10-foot line when she annihilated a Falcon overpass. Mariah Howell served up an ace to put her team at game point and, after a successful Centauri attack, Rand hit a ball off the block to give the Pirates the win.

Then, the tables turned.

Suddenly, Pagosa's backcourt was sluggish, the defense lagged, the setting was off the mark. Pagosa was not able to deliver the ball via pass and set to its strengths; Centauri took advantage, scoring more earned points, percentagewise, and won the game 25-22.

Haynes continued to play a strong game in the middle during the loss, killing a Falcon overpass then, following a spectacular dig by Pirate libero Iris Frye, scoring with a roll shot. Haynes put a thunderous shot down from the middle off a short set and, after a kill by Rand, the Pirates led 5-3.

The teams stayed even through 9-9 when the Falcons made a move, finally generating some consistent offense. Centauri pulled away to a 15-9 lead. Pagosa fought back; Garman scored from outside and Haynes crushed a quick set, putting the ball inside the 10-foot line, but Centauri continued to match the Pirates and following a successful tip by Gabel, the Falcons used yet another Pirate serve error to extend their lead to 21-15.

Pagosa fought back after a Falcon serve mistake. Fulmer killed cross-court then nailed a stray Falcon pass. Spencer scored off a short set on a slide and the Pirates trailed, 19-21. A Pirate attack went out and the Falcons responded in kind. Fulmer put a left-handed tip down; the Pirates were behind 21-22.

A Pirate hitting error surrendered a point; Fulmer killed off the block. Pagosa was in position to surge ahead, but consecutive Falcon tips that fell off the block gave the visitors the victory.

The teams traded the lead through the midpoint of game four. With a stuff by Haynes, an ace by Canty and two points by Garman, Pagosa went ahead 5-1. Centauri closed the gap and tied at 6-6. Garman killed; a Falcon killed inside the Pirate block. A Pagosa player was called into the net and the visitors led 8-7. Garman hit line to tie.

Centauri used two Pirate errors and a stuff to go in front 11-8; Spencer nailed an overpass, Rand hit an ace, Canty killed a stray Falcon pass - the game was tied 11-11. Centauri was up 18-15 when Pagosa put together a critical seven-point run, with Haynes returning serve with a kill to the sideline. Haynes took the serve and stayed there for six more points. Spencer scored on a stuff, Rand put a rocket to the floor at center court, then nailed a Falcon overpass. Spencer connected on a short set in the middle. Pagosa had the 22-18 lead and seemed in control.

Following a serve mistake and a passing error, the Pirates led 22-20.

Rand put another blast down cross-court and, as she did all night long, showed that when she got the good set, the result was dramatic.

Centauri killed off the block but Spencer put her team at game and match point with a tip of a short set.

With only one point left to score, the Pirates made it exciting, putting up a poor set that resulted in a Falcon point and committing a passing error that allowed Centauri to get within one point, 23-24.

Spencer ended the suspense, The senior middle hitter connected with a kill that went out off the Falcon block and the home team had game and match. The regular season was over and the playoffs loomed.

Rand topped the Pirate kill list with 11; Garman had 10.

Canty put up 17 assists, Gabel 11.

Haynes and Rand each served two aces.

Frye had 15 digs, Rand 14.

"I was pleased," said Pirate Coach Andy Rice. "Iris (Frye) was all over the place; she had some great digs. Camille (Rand) was hitting very well. Alaina (Garman) and Kim (Fulmer) were hitting. We had a lot of good hustle plays."

Remembering his team's lack of success against Centauri during the 2005 season, Rice said: "To sweep them in the regular season this year was an accomplishment."

Now, the district tournament.

Bayfield, 2006 Intermountain League champs, enter the tourney as the first seed. The Wolverines will open tournament play against the No. 4 team, which was determined Tuesday night in Monte Vista, with the hosts tangling with Ignacio for the right to extend the season. Bayfield and the winner of Tuesday's match play Friday, at 5 p.m.

Pagosa, the No. 2 seed, faces No. 3 Centauri Friday, at 7 p.m.

The tournament resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m., with the Pirates facing Tuesday's winner. Bayfield plays Centauri at noon. Centauri then takes on either Monte Vista or Ignacio at 2 p.m. The tournament ends with Bayfield and Pagosa facing each other at 4.

The winner of the tournament advances to regional action.

"It's a trying scenario," said Rice, "with only one team going on. But what more could we ask? It's in our gym.

"We have to take care of our business," said the coach. "We have the physical tools - we need to add composure and we need to be relentless. We need to be focused, in every match."

Fans are reminded that the tournament is a Colorado High School Activities Association event. As a result, adults pay $5, students pay $4. Only CHSAA passes will be honored.

 

Pirates drop 40-34 overtime thriller to Monte Vista

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

For the first time in seven years, Pirate football lost to Mountain league rival Monte Vista, 40-34, in a close, overtime game that knocked Pagosa out of playoff contention.

The contest was undoubtedly the most exciting game of the seasons. Both teams had to win to make the playoffs, and both had the potential, swapping the lead throughout the game. Pagosa displayed an impressive passing game, which covered nearly 200 yards and earned three touchdowns, while Monte Vista gained 328 yards rushing and 111 yards passing.

Kerry Joe Hilsabeck dominated at receiver, with eight receptions, three for touchdowns, and almost 140 yards. Senior running back Bryan Santistevan led the way for Monte Vista, with six TDs (one to win in overtime) and over 200 yards rushing.

Monte Vista got off to an early 8-0 on its power running game, but Pagosa closed the gap two drives later, moving the ball 80 yards and finding the end zone with a 34-yard pass to Hilsabeck. After a failed two-point conversion, the score paused at 8-6.

The Pirate defense held Monte Vista with a three-and-out the next drive, which gave the offense good field position on Monte Vista's 47-yard line, and after a 19-yard pass to Hilsabeck, quarterback Jordan Shaffer found the receiver again for a 27-yard TD, bringing the score to 12-8 after another missed two-point conversion.

The Pirates continued to thwart Monte Vista offense with a John Hoffman interception and, on the next Monte Vista drive, a three-and-out.

On the ensuing punt, Hoffman fought for a 26-yard return that put the Pirates on Monte Vista's 28-yard line. This set up a 24-yard Corbin Mellette run and another Hilsabeck TD reception. Shaffer completed a pass to Adam Trujillo for the two-point conversion making the score 20-8.

Though Monte Vista had a bout of lethargy in the middle of the first half, it regained its earlier momentum at the end of the half, with another touchdown after a 74-yard drive and 19-yard Santistevan run.

The score was 20-14 at the half. The second half would reverse both teams' fortunes - Monte Vista scoring three touchdowns to Pagosa's two. Monte Vista would add another TD in overtime.

The Pirates had a poor start to the second half, following the opening drive with a 3-and-out. Monte Vista briefly tied the game after a ground-game drive, then went up 22-20 after the two-point conversion.

The Pirates nearly answered after a 17-yard pass to Hoffman and a 34-yarder to Hilsabeck put the team at the 4-yard line, with a first and goal. But a red-zone conversion was thwarted after Monte Vista recovered a fumbled pitch. Monte Vista would soon punt, leading to another Pagosa touchdown, but the fumble took away a necessary offensive opportunity.

The Pirates were given excellent field position, at the Monte Vista 37, by a short punt. And, after a short drive in which the Pirates successfully converted on a fourth-down-and-one, Mellette scored on a 26-yard screen pass, bringing the score to 26-22 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

About halfway through the fourth, the lead flipped again, after several Santistevan runs led to another TD for the runningback.

Pagosa answered with a running-game of its own - a Shaffer 14-yard run, four Mellette runs totalling 31 yards, and a 1-yard keeper for a Shaffer touchdown - bringing the score to 34-28, after Mellette caught a pass for the two-point conversion.

With three minutes left in the game, the Pirate defense came close to thwarting a Monte Vista comeback, forcing two fourth-down conversions. But for a 10-yard quarterback keeper and 13-yard pass reception, both on fourth downs, the Pirates would have ended Monte Vista's playoff hopes.

But the alternative came true. Santistevan ran in for his fifth touchdown of the day, making it a 34-34 tie after the failed two-point conversion. And the Pirates were unable to make a comeback of their own, with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.

The game would go to overtime. The Mountain league settles ties by giving each team an equal number of opportunities to score from 10 yards out, in four downs. If both teams score, or fail, on their 10-yard drive, it goes to another round, until one team fails to match the other.

The Pirates had the first opportunity to score. The first call went to Mellette on a sweep for minimal yardage. The second play, a Shaffer pass attempt, was tipped at the line and intercepted.

Monte Vista only had to move the ball 10 yards for the win, all of which were covered by Santistevan on two rushes.

Pirate Coach Sean O'Donnell said the Monte Vista game was typically an important one, often deciding which team would win the league. This year it decided who would go on to the playoffs.

According to O'Donnell, both teams scored the same number of touchdowns in last year's game - the Pirates winning by four since they converted all of their extra-point attempts, while Monte Vista failed to convert any.

This year, both teams scored five touchdowns in regulation, with each converting two, two-point conversions, putting it into overtime.

The Pirates could not field a placekicker, due to ineligibility, but if they had, it is conceivable that they could have converted on five extra-points, thus winning in regulation.

"I don't know if we could have improved on anything ... we competed well," said O'Donnell.

The Pirates were successful through the air, since Monte Vista stayed in man-to-man coverage, and they were able to balance that success with runs by Mellette. Likewise, the defense proved strong against the option, forcing Monte Vista to run the power I, said O'Donnell.

However, Monte Vista "found a crease in the defense" up the middle, with the power I, O'Donnell continued.

That crease may have been impacted by the absence of some key defensive players.

The loss put the Pirates in third place in the Mountain league, behind Salida and Monte Vista. The top two teams from every league head to the playoffs, with third-place teams eligible for wildcard births.

However, the Pirates will not win a wildcard, having won too few games.

The Pirates go into their final game of the season tonight, against Bayfield, the Wolverines sporting a 2-2 conference record, 3-5 overall.

The Wolverines are in last place, so fans expect a Pirate victory to close the football season.

The game will begin at 7 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.

 

Pirate soccer should field strong team in 2007

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate soccer ended its season last week with a win over Bayfield, 5-1 - bringing the team to a 6-4 conference record, 7-7 overall.

The Pirates competed for the playoffs throughout the season, despite the frequent absences of key players due to ineligibility.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said the instability made it difficult for players to take the pitch as a cohesive unit and required them to adapt.

By the end of the season, the Pirates made the transition - putting in a strong team effort against Bayfield in the best soccer of the season.

Though the Pirates will lose some key seniors next year - including stalwart midfielder, and leader, Caleb Ormonde - several upperclassmen will return next year.

Keith Pitcher headed up the defense this season, playing with cool consistency. He was a very positive influence on the team, as well as a solid player, said Kurt-Mason.

Agile keeper Michael Schmidt will also return next year, likely seeing even more time in the goal.

Younger players became important components of the team during the season and will undoubtedly continue to contribute next year.

"We had a strong bunch of freshmen and sophomores," said Kurt-Mason.

Thomas Schmidt and Zel Johnston, sophomores, started throughout the year, and John Jewell saw significant playing time, after he returned to the field from a surgery.

Freshmen Dustin Anderson and Ryan Searle made strong contributions at midfield, while Josh Whipple was impressive at wing at the end of the season.

Kurt-Mason said they played like upperclassmen, emphasizing their intelligence and positive attitude on the field.

Other young players who got some experience on varsity included Josh Devoti, Drew Portnell and Eric Freudenberger.

Off the varsity field, the Pirate JV squad worked as a team and improved every game, said Kurt-Mason.

Allen McIver, Sawyer Smith and Nathan Trowbridge - strong JV players - asked their coaches what they should work on over the off-season, to improve for next year, he said.

The young players will contribute greatly to a promising Pirate varsity, which played its best this season when it focused on strategic, methodical play and teamwork.

Kurt-Mason said his team should have been 10-0 in conference, easily making the playoffs this season. With new additions, and a strong backbone of varsity players, the Pirates could accomplish that goal next season - if they continue to play as a controlled team, as they did against Bayfield.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Youth soccer season ends, coaches and sponsors recognized

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

The final round of games in this year's youth soccer tournaments were played Saturday, with the Royal team claiming the championship in the 9-10 division and the Forest team earning the top spot in the 11-13 division.

With another year of youth soccer now in the books, the recreation department staff would like to thank all of the coaches and sponsors who contributed heavily to a successful season.

In the 5-6 division, thanks go out to coaches Shannon Charnley, Amy Wilson, Reuben Sanchez, Lisa Scott, Dreux Williams and Scott Pierce. Sponsors for the 5-6 division teams included The Mud Shaver Car Wash, The Concrete Guys, Edward Jones Investments, BootJack Ranch, GDI LandCo and Concrete Connection.

In the 7-8 division, thanks go to coaches Regina Wetherstein, Todd Miller, April Hessman, Steve Koneman, Duane Breman, Trevor Gian, Matthew Bowbridge and Chris Pitcher. Sponsors for the 7-8 division included Galles Properties, Design A Sign, Beaver Run Ranch, The Mud Shaver Car Wash, Pagosa Peak Custom Fireplaces and Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate.

In the 9-10 division, we thank coaches Bob Hogrefe, Ericka Vincent, Chris Andresen, Tammy Romain and Tasha Murphy, as well as sponsors Design A Sign and Edward Jones Investments.

In the 11-13 division, we recognize coaches Ben Colia, Chris Smith, Geoff Beserra, Doug Hampton, Mike Church and James Brinkman, and sponsors Terry's Ace, Pagosa Riverwalk Condos, Aspen Village and Herman Riggs and Associates, LLC.

Lastly, we would like to thank the players and their parents and guardians for participating in this year's program, especially those who took foul weather and subsequent schedule changes in stride near the end of the season.

Thanks again to one and all for your continued dedication and support.

Youth soccer photos

Coaches and parents who ordered youth soccer photos can contact Jeff Laydon at Pagosa Photography, 264-3686, to check the status of their orders. The recreation office will provide sponsors with team plaques and photos as soon as they are available.

The recreation staff would also like to thank Jeff for accommodating a hectic and often rainy schedule during this year's youth soccer season.

This is the 10th year Jeff has offered professional photography service to our programs while donating all of the team photographs used in the commemorative sponsors' plaques free of charge; thanks again.

7-8 youth basketball

Registration for this year's 7- and 8-year-old basketball season has closed and coaches will be contacted with players' contact information as soon as rosters are finalized.

Practice slots at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. are available at the community center Nov. 1 and 6. Coaches wishing to schedule a practice on these dates can call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Games in the 7-8 division will be played Tuesdays and Thursdays at the community center beginning Nov. 7. The season will end Dec. 14.

Please note that registration for the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions will begin in mid-November; the season for these divisions will not begin until early January.

Coaches and team sponsors for the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions are needed and appreciated. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture and recognition in media articles.

For more information call 264-4151 Ext. 231 or 232.

Adult volleyball

Adult volleyball (open gym) will be held 6:30-8:15 p.m. Mondays at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

There will be two courts set up to accommodate varying levels of play, and instruction will be provided if desired.

A goal of having a coed "4s" league playing once a week in November will be discussed at the open gyms.

Contact Andy Rice, sports coordinator for the Town of Pagosa Springs, at 264-4151, Ext. 231 for more information.

Comment on youth basketball

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department staff is currently exploring the feasibility of forming separate leagues for boys and girls in the 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball divisions this year.

Anyone interested in commenting can call the department office at 264-4151, Ext. 231 or 232. Comments by e-mail may be sent to andy.rice@centurytel.net or tcarosello@centurytel.net.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter; the decision on whether or not to separate this year's 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball leagues according to gender will depend heavily on public comment.

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

 

Editorial

The point of the problem

Substance abuse. It's a very real and persistent problem, and it is invariably a hot topic; one taken up by avid politicians eager to make an impression and amplified by marginally informed alarmists whose thrashings rarely produce effective progress in the battle. Substance abuse can destroy lives, can rip families apart, weaken a society. And we have, so far, done little about it except spend enormous amounts of money on "wars" and engender more intrusions into our privacy.

When the topic moves to substance abuse among young people, the heat is turned up even more. Drug and alcohol use by underage individuals produces wild responses: legislators pass laws, schools react in Draconian fashion (many times motivated by genuine concern for what is deemed "the school culture") task forces are formed, meetings are held, voices raised.

And very little happens to stem the tide.

There is evidence that substance abuse among local youngsters may have increased somewhat lately. If not, substance use by some youngsters, in particular of marijuana, seems to have become more obvious, more visible, occurring with more impunity, say local law enforcement officials.

How do we deal with a problem like this? Some urge the schools to take a more active, pseudo-law enforcement approach. And school officials have, either by choice or by mandate, become increasingly involved in the monitoring of students' personal lives off school grounds and away from school time. Others urge law enforcement to adopt more intense approaches to the problem

A lot of folks make a lot of noise and institutions respond: schools become more oppressive, the law enforcement community runs more and more youngsters into courts and programs. And it seems to make little difference. Why? Is it because we are demanding action and accountability at the wrong points?

The point, is the parent and certain other adults in the community.

There are few parents whose children abuse alcohol and drugs who are not aware of that fact. If they are unaware, they should be ashamed of themselves. If they are aware and do nothing about it, their shame should double. They are the problem

There is evidence that shows drug and alcohol abuse damages a youngster's ability to develop a sound emotional, social and intellectual base. There is evidence that use of drugs and alcohol by adolescents produce problems with learning.

And a parent allows this to begin and to continue? Is the pressure to be a friend, to be free of the stresses of parenting so great that a sacrifice of this magnitude is acceptable?

It is the failure of the parent that produces the failure of the child.

It is also the irresponsibility of some members of the adult community that aids and abets substance abuse among our young people. Adult members of the community provide the substances, profiting from the problem - financially or socially. An adult likely brings drugs into the community; an adult purchases the alcohol and provides it to the underage drinker. Sometimes that adult is but a few years older than the users; sometimes that adult is a parent. Arrest and prosecute them.

Ultimately, if we are to have any chance of dealing with this situation, we must put pressure where it belongs: On the parents who see no problem with chronic substance use. On parents who attempt to excuse their children's abuse of drugs and alcohol. On "parachute parents" who seek, in rabid fashion, to divert attention from a child's behavior and their role in it. On adult suppliers.

Substance abuse will not be solved by institutions. Substance abuse will not be countered by slogans or noise. Substance abuse by youngsters must be dealt with where it begins. At home. And with adults.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies
Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 3, 1916

Plenty of good eats for everybody on election day at the M.E. Church. The Ladies Aid will serve you a big chicken dinner on that date for 35 cents. Dinner commences at 11 a.m.

A.M. Packer informs us that his potato crop has reached the 34,000 pound mark, many of them weighing 3 pounds.

The 3rd and 4th grades have established a savings bank system at school and will take their money, no matter how small the amount, to the teacher, Ione Bostwick, who will keep strict account of each deposit and return same to the small financier.

A fine new cash register has been installed in the Greene Drug Store.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 30, 1931

Owing to the depression and stringent times, it will be possible for residents of Pagosa Springs to obtain a limited amount of free wood from the San Juan National Forest this year. All that is necessary to do is to make application to Earl H. Mullins, town clerk, who will in turn issue a permit that will be recognized by Forest Ranger Dalton.

Don Sprague, who with Ted Webb recently started trapping in the upper Piedra section, sustained a broken leg Tuesday morning on his first trip over the trap line. His horse stumbled and fell on him, fracturing the small bone of the right ankle. Fortunately, Ted was within hailing distance, and was brought to town and treatment administered.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 1, 1956

The Town of Pagosa Springs this week received delivery of the new fire truck the purchase of which was authorized by the voters of the town in a bond election this spring. The new truck is being housed in the old fire house and the old fire truck is being temporarily stored in the court house basement where it will be available for standby use in the event of emergencies. The new truck is a very fine piece of equipment and has a great deal of modern fire fighting apparatus. It is mounted on an International truck chassis and is painted bright red. The piece of fire apparatus is equipped with a high pressure pump capable of delivering water at 800 pounds per square inch pressure, another pump that may be used for either high pressure fog or for volume pumping.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 29, 1981

Ralph "Hoppo" Yamaguchi was named Citizen of the Year by the Archuleta County Board of Realtors. Last year's recipient of the award was Glen Edmonds. Yamaguchi received the award for outstanding service to the community over a great number of years.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District's new water treatment plant opened September 24, and has been supplying all the water in the District since. Manager Jack DeLange explains, "The new plant is more compact. It takes no more space than the old plant and we have two complete plants, each producing 350 gallons of water per minute. This plant is more flexible. If there's a problem, we can shut down one side while the other continues to operate."

 

Features

Halloween Deep roots, and many interpretations

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

For many, Halloween is about overcoming fears; for all who participate, it is about being a part of a larger community.

Halloween makes a significant contribution to the national economy, grossing over $3 billion a year, according to the National Retail Federation.

If you are an average spender, you will contribute about $50 this year, going to costumes, decorations, greeting cards, and candy (of course). Adults from 25-34, many with young children, spend the most in any given year, last year spending $62.46 on average, according to the federation.

From there the costs go down. Seniors' average spending comes in at about $27.

Halloween has become a largely secular holiday, though religious groups continue to voice their own alternatives and interpretations, but it is not merely an expression of crass materialism.

There is more to Halloween community-building than supporting the economy.

Money spent on costumes and candy support social interaction and good feeling, greeting cards allow friends and relatives to get back in touch, and decorations illustrate a community project - joint celebration.

And if you don't feel compelled to keep up with the Joneses, it is still possible to take part in the social holiday without spending to excess.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center will host its annual Halloween party Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m., free of charge.

Last year, more than 600 children and about 400 adults took part during the two-hour event. Similar numbers are expected this year.

While providing a social outlet on the holiday, the community center party addresses the child-safety concerns that go hand-in-hand with Halloween - providing a fun alternative to trick-or-treating and more mischievous trickery, in a well-monitored setting.

In a news release, Becky Herman writes, "The party is an opportunity for Pagosa's youngsters to have a memorable and safe Halloween."

The party will include an inflatable bounce house, graveyard, maze, haunted house, pinata, cup cake walk and face painting - along with a dozen or so other typical Halloween games.

The event is made possible by volunteers and donations, said Mercy Korsgren, facility coordinator at the community center.

The Kiwanis Club will provide food and refreshments, along with pizzas from Dionigi's Restaurant, and numerous volunteers will manage the games. But more volunteers are needed for the games and setup, so if you are still looking for ways to socialize and contribute, give Mercy a call at 264-4152.

Coincident with the party, the Teen Center will host the Monster Bash Dance, from 6-8 p.m. in the Town Hall parking lot, under a heated tent. There will be live music, food and refreshments and awards for the best costumes.

For those who couldn't wait for All Hallow's Eve, the Upper San Juan Library District incorporated Halloween into its children's program at the Sisson Library on Wednesday.

Children gathered in costumes for "fun Halloween stories" focused on skeletons.

Barb Draper, who leads the children's program, described the program as a mix of Halloween fun and science education, involving "a lot of movement."

There were also Halloween-oriented crafts that children and parents could chose not to participate in.

The library had originally intended a more traditional program, featuring ghosts and other mythical creatures that go bump in the night, but some parents asked that the program be changed, due to their Christian beliefs, expressing concern over the place of ghosts and witches in the event, said Draper.

Though the library is a public institution, it made the decision to revise its plans, out of respect for the wishes of some of the public, added Draper.

Next Wednesday, the children's program at 10 a.m. at the library will focus on pumpkins and how they grow.

Christian critics of Halloween observances point to the holiday's pagan origin and emphasis on evil, according to Christianity Today.

The forerunner of modern Halloween was a Celtic harvest festival in the British Isles and portions of France, known as Samhain. During the Celtic "end of summer," spirits were believed to visit the world of the living as the seasons moved toward the bleakness of winter. Mortals disguised themselves as demons to protect themselves from and deter the real threats. It was also a time to reverence ancestors.

However, the actual "Halloween" observance began as a Christian holy day, under Pope Gregory IV in 835 C.E., when he formalized Nov. 1 as All Hallow's day throughout Christendom. It is likely that All Hallow's Day, with its eve, was instituted as the Christian church vied for authority with the pagan traditions, but this is not fully verifiable.

Along with the Roman Catholic All Hallow's Day, or All Saint's day, came All Hallow's Eve - also called Hallowe'en or Halloween. While revering Mary, the martyrs and other saints on All Hallow's Day, medieval Christians continued the popular pagan practices on the eve of the holy day.

Likewise, in Latin America, the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), an Aztec carry-over, combines with All Saint's day. Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the departed with colorful fanfare, in contrast to the darker mood of Halloween.

The Reformation eradicated Halloween from much of the world, with the exception of Ireland and Scotland. The holiday, now in secular form, only came into prominence again at the turn of the 20th century, with the Irish and Scottish immigration into the U.S. and Canada.

In the United States, Halloween has taken a new commercial, nonreligious form, which has been transmitted to other Western nations, including Britain and Australia - though it continues to carry symbols and imagery of the Celtic holiday, plus Boris Karloff, Voldemort and Darth Vader.

In this milieu, some Christians abstain from Halloween, while many others seek alternatives.

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, writes, "There is a place for some harmless fun. Kids love to dress up and pretend. If the Halloween experience is focused on fantasy rather than the occult, I see no harm in it. Make costumes for your children that represent fun characters, such as Mickey Mouse or an elderly grandmother, and then let them go door-to-door asking for treats. This side of Halloween can be thoroughly enjoyable for the little ones."

In this spirit, Pagosa Area Churches (PAC) and Centerpoint Church, formerly First Baptist, sponsor a free harvest festival every year, located at the Power House from 6-8 p.m. on the 31st.

Games will include a basketball shot, fishing booth, sponge throw and archery game. A hot dog dinner will be available for $1.50.

Donna Sanders, the event organizer, said Harvest Fest, which has been a Pagosa fixture for over 20 years, was "set up to be a fun fall festival for kids - an alternative to trick-or-treating."

Sanders pointed out that trick-or-treating comes with several concerns, many specific to the area, such as the absence of street lights and long distances between homes.

The annual event was created mainly for safety reasons, said Sanders, who also added that they "try to avoid witches and demons, because we're giving a Christian alternative."

While many churches in the area support alternatives to the modern holiday, others try to continue the Christian tradition of All Saint's Day.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church will hold "dialogue Mass" at 3:30 p.m. on All Saint's Day, followed by a party, including games and treats. Children will dress up for the event in the guise of their favorite saint.

The Mass will be oriented toward children, and Father Carlos Alvarez will explain the ritual and liturgy to the congregation as it is celebrated.

While many respond to the secular holiday, or its pagan undertones, with new Christian alternatives or the traditional All Saint's Day, some seek to embrace the significance of the original Celtic holiday, free of the influences of consumerism - paying respects to ancestors and recognizing the changing seasons.

Others will feel free to have a little sweet, secular fun, with costumes and candy - perhaps confronting fears by watching a scary movie or even knocking on that grumpy neighbor's door.

But, surely - whether you celebrate the holiday with saints and not witches, in connection to the earth rather than pop culture, or as a little ghost, princess or Pirate of the Caribbean - the holiday is sure to make you a part of a larger community.

But still, play safe.

 

Pagosa's Past

Executive order creates reservation, but problems remain

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

During late 1880, the Jicarilla Apache were anxiously awaiting final word on receiving a reservation west of Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico.

Anxious is probably an understatement. The homeless Indians had been looking for land to call their own since the 1850s. An entire generation of Jicarilla had been born and reached maturity since the quest began. They looked forward to planting crops the next spring.

Their expectations were fulfilled when, on Sept. 21, 1880, President Rutherford B. Hayes issued the executive order setting aside the recommended reservation. Before they could move onto their new home, special interest groups began pressuring the government to consolidate the Jicarilla with the Mescalero in southern New Mexico.

After the president created the reservation, the Indian agents were instructed to relocate the tribe near Amargo, a town about to become the temporary agency headquarters. Preparations did not get underway until almost a year later because of administrative lag and slow communications between the agency and Washington.

In October of 1881 after bureaucratic hindrances were removed, farmer-in-charge at Tierra Amarilla Frank N. Roedel (the title Indian Agent had been changed to farmer-in-charge) had been given $1,500 and orders to gather the Jicarilla in the most expeditious manner and have them on their way to the new agency by November.

The task was daunting. Jicarilla were scattered from Tierra Amarilla to Cimarron. Unfazed, Roedel notified all of the Jicarilla by the end of October and they hastily returned to Tierra Amarilla. By December, supplies had been transported to Amargo (The railroad reached Amargo in 1880) and by January of 1882 the last of the stragglers arrived.

Unfortunately, internal feuding began, apparently between Mundos' band on the one hand, and the bands under Largo and San Pablo on the other. The last two groups suspected Mundo of having something to do with closure of the Cimarron Agency giving the Llanero no choice but to move to Amargo. Mundos' band was accused of wanting to be domesticated farmers.

Mundo and his band accused the Llaneros of being unrealistic in trying to remain in Cimarron, especially since the buffalo had long since been killed off. The verbal feud became so intense that the Olleros set up camp as far from the Llaneros as possible.

Conflict between these two bands never reached armed hostility, but was a contributory factor to San Pablo's and Largo's unauthorized return to Cimarron. Compounding the problems was a shortage of rations. The dissidents felt they could better survive by hunting buffalo and other game back in the old country.

For their trip, Largo's men began stockpiling ammunition and refusing to disclose the amount in their possession to the agent. They insisted their only intention was to go hunting. Nevertheless, a suspicion that they intended to leave the reservation was soon confirmed.

In May, a resident of Taos reported seeing a few Apache. Alarmed officials issued orders to insure that San Pablo, who had been joined by an additional 150 Jicarilla, return to the reservation. Jicarilla volunteers were sought to join the search for San Pablo, but no one volunteered. Even so, a search for San Pablo began on June 4. By June 9, it was learned that San Pablo was camped in the mountains west of Mora.

When finally contacted, San Pablo calmly explained that his chances for making a living outside the reservation were far better than on it. He had no plans to return. He was told that he had no choice and must return within two weeks or troops would be sent to force return. San Pablo promised to return, but gave no specific date for accomplishing the task. When a month passed and San Pablo and his people were still absent, citizens of the area became apprehensive and asked the army to remove the Indians from the Wagon Mound area. The army became involved, as we will discover in next week's column.

Information concerning the Jicarilla Apache used in these articles comes from a book titled, "The Jicarilla Apache, A History," by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Mars orbiter already paying dividends

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 7:27 a.m.

Sunset: 6:17 p.m.

Moonrise: 12:03 p.m.

Moonset: 9:06 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 19 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The moon is at first quarter Oct. 29 at 2:26 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

In preparation for its main mission due to begin in early November, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is testing a battery of equipment and beaming a steady stream of data and images back to Earth. And although the craft's mission has not yet officially begun, it appears the orbiter is already paying big scientific dividends.

"In this opening phase we have tested the instruments, and they are working perfectly," said Steve Saunders, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. "The teams are getting amazing science data. They are ready to fulfill the mission's science objectives and to support other Mars missions."

NASA launched the orbiter on Aug. 12, 2005, and after a seven month flight and six months of aerial acrobatics - called aerobraking - above the planet's atmosphere, the orbiter has finally settled into its targeted, low altitude orbit.

Aerobraking is a technique that uses friction generated between the craft and the martian atmosphere to gradually inch the craft into the desired orbit and the technique requires much less fuel compared to relying solely on thrusters.

Orbiting Mars more than 10 times each day and flying between 155 and 196 miles above the surface, the orbiter will use a variety of equipment, including the largest camera ever flown on a planetary mission, to search for evidence of water that persisted on the surface of the planet for long periods of time.

Previous missions have shown that water once flowed across the surface of the red planet, however, NASA scientists want to know if water persisted long enough to support life.

Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 instruments on the craft viewed dozens of sites astronomers say represent different episodes in Mars' history. And many of those observations indicate water played a significant role.

For example, the instruments recorded data from the geology of the martian north pole, revealing previously unseen details in the icy composition of the region's geologically young layering. In addition, clay layers have been discovered in an eroded valley along the planet's mid-latitudes, and researchers say the layer formed a few billion years ago, when prolonged wet conditions created the clay.

NASA scientists say clay-rich areas show some of the strongest evidence for conditions that were possibly favorable for life on ancient Mars.

"These layers are geologically young - on the order of thousands of millions of years - and may hold clues about climate cycles," said Scott Murchie of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. "You see more-ice-rich and less-ice rich layers, which tells you that conditions changed from the time one layer was deposited to the time another layer was deposited."

Murchie is the principal investigator for the spectrometer on the orbiter craft.

While the spectrometer's preliminary observations appear promising, project scientists are also excited about the quality of the initial images produced by the orbiter's high resolution camera - called HiRISE - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment.

While previous Mars mission cameras could resolve objects no smaller than a school bus, the HiRISE camera can resolve objects as small as a dinner table. The improved capability of the HiRISE camera can help scientists identify boulders or other hazards that might damage future landers or rovers.

"One image is already helping the Mars Exploration Rover team choose a route to explore Victoria Crater. Others will help guide the selection of a safe site for the Phoenix Mars Lander," Saunders said.

The Phoenix Mars Lander is scheduled for launch in August 2007, with an anticipated touchdown on the red planet in May 2008.

The Phoenix Lander will be the first lander specially equipped to dig beneath the martian polar surface in search of water ice, clues to climate change and habitat that might support life. An 8-foot robotic arm has been designed for the task.

One recent HiRISE image resolved the Opportunity Rover at Victoria Crater, and all told, the camera produced 64 images during the testing week.

"These images are truly beautiful, and since they resolve features the size of people, you can visualize yourself hiking around in these diverse terrains," said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona and the camera's principle investigator.

Among other firsts, the orbiter's telecommunications systems will become the first link in a communications bridge back from Mars back to Earth. NASA scientists call this bridge an "interplanetary Internet" that can be used by numerous international spacecraft in coming years.

The orbiter's primary mission ends Dec. 31, 2010.

 

Weather

Date High Low PrecipitationType Depth Moisture

10/18

45

27

R

.01

.01

10/19

48

19

R

.01

.01

10/20

54

24

R

.01

.01

10/21

51

26

-

-

-

10/22

53

19

-

-

-

10/23

62

22

-

-

-

10/24

57

30

-

-

-

Winter storm warning should give way to sun

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Though Wolf Creek Ski Area opens Friday, and though we are nearly halfway between the fall equinox and winter solstice, the weary sun will struggle to hold the snows at bay for at least another week, after an initial wintry blast.

Our star was relatively successful over the last week considering the fact that we are nearly into November - highs finding their way into the low 60s (generally in the 50s) and lows only making it down to 18.6 degrees in the Pagosa Lakes area.

Precipitation was limited to a trace during the week - some rain and snow coming yesterday and last night.

AccuWeather.com projects a high of 55 degrees for today, with a low of 17 degrees - while the National Weather Service adds that there is a 20-percent chance of snow showers this morning for Pagosa Springs.

There is more hope of snow for those longing for opening-day skiing.

A winter storm warning is currently in effect for parts of the San Juan Mountains, including Wolf Creek Pass, due to a cold pacific storm system.

However, the clouds will recede for the rest of the week, with sunny or mostly sunny days projected by AccuWeather.com.

Highs will range from the mid- to high 50s and, after today, lows will hover throughout the 20s.

Halloween is expected to be wholly sunny, with a high approaching 60 degrees, but the darkness will pull the temperature below freezing, so trick-or-treaters should wear layers under their costumes.

It looks like there will not be snow to trick holiday plans this year. But another winter storm warning could be just around the corner, so take in the last of autumn, while the sun still rules.

Or, wait in anticipation for winter's deep snows and great skiing.