January 18, 2007
Front Page

Town reviews river permit

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With a proffered permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in hand, the town may soon begin phase two of its river restoration project.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said he received the long- awaited permit Jan. 5, and is reviewing the document with project engineer Gary Lacy, of Boulder-based Recreation Engineering and Planning, before singing and sending it back to the Corps &emdash;and so far, so good.

"I'm really pleased with the permit language," Garcia said. "If I had seen this six months ago I'd be ecstatic."

The town had originally anticipated receiving a phase two permit in the fall of 2005, but Army Corps and Colorado Division of Wildlife concerns regarding the town's river work completed in the spring of 2005, led to string of Army Corps allegations, correspondences and protracted negotiations, culminating with a streamside meeting on past and proposed river work with town officials, Lacy and Army Corps Durango chief Kara Hellige.

At issue, Hellige said, was Lacy's use of grout to adhere boulders in the U-structure installed adjacent to The Springs resort, the town's removal and relocation of a U.S. Geological Survey gauging station, and an alleged raising of the flood stage upstream from the U-structure along with a variety of other permit violations.

Garcia has long refuted the Corps' assertions, and has stated the town operated within the bounds of the spring 2005 permit.

With the town's recent acquisition of the phase two proffered permit, it may seem many of the issues related to the 2005 work are behind them. However, a series of special conditions outlined in the proffered permit harken back to many of the Corps' prior concerns.

For example, the proffered permit mandates hydraulic modeling to determine pre- and post-construction calculations for shear stress and bankfull discharge. In addition, the town must commit to two monitoring programs. The first is a five year monitoring program to ensure the project does not raise the floodstage. The second is a three-year monitoring program analyzing, among other items, structure stability, water quality, and aquatic organism passage and macroinvertebrate habit. The permit also mandates minimal use of grout, and asserts that each U-drop structure will allow fish passage.

Garcia said he and Lacy had some concerns on the three-year monitoring program, and will ask the Corps for clarification and a sample of a similar monitoring plan to use as guide.

Shawn Zinzser, chief of the Intermountain Regulatory Section, Sacramento District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers explained the flow of events now that the town has a proffered permit.

First, he noted, a proffered permit is just that - proffered. Therefore, in order for the permit to become valid, the town must agree and adhere to the conditions before, during and after the project is complete. Furthermore, a proffered permit is not valid until both parties have signed. Therefore, in order to activate the permit, the town must accept the conditions, sign the document and return it to the Corps. Once Zinzser receives the signed document, he will then sign himself, making the permit active and valid. He will then return a copy to the town.

But that is just the start, and a valid permit doesn't mean the town can begin work immediately.

For example, one of the permit's conditions requires the town to submit detailed construction plans to the Corps and the Colorado Division of Wildlife 45 days prior to commencing construction. In addition, a subsequent condition requires the town to submit the three-year, U-structure monitoring plan 60 days before initiating construction.

Garcia said he hopes to negotiate a 45-day timetable for both procedures, but admitted that even 45 days offers a very narrow window of opportunity to get into the river and begin work before spring runoff.

Depending on when the document is signed - Garcia has not inked the permit yet - returned, and both parties have a copy in hand, that could put the town at mid-February. Then, the question remains whether Lacy will be available to perform the work.

According to Garcia, Lacy's scheduling is tight - Lacy's firm is currently involved in a number of projects, including the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C. However, if all the factors coalesce, there is a chance the town could get into the river in March, although, Garcia predicted little more than a two week work window between low flows and runoff.

Garcia said in light of permit and scheduling constraints, he might try to negotiate a phased approach with the Corps. Under the plan, rather than undertaking the entire project this spring, the town would submit the monitoring regimen to the Corps and Lacy would install one or two U-structures below the Town Park pedestrian bridge before runoff, with the rest of the work completed in November and December.

Whether the phased approach is a viable option this year, Garcia said, depends on the Corps' approval. If the Corps's denies the request, the town will undertake the entire project in November and December.

According to Garcia, phase two of the river restoration project includes installation of seven in-stream, U-shaped structures, bank stabilization and boulder clusters between the Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the Apache Street bridge.

Garcia said the upstream portion of the project area, roughly between Hot Springs Boulevard bridge and the Sixth Street bend, is slated as a, "high impact, high use area" with structures designed primarily for whitewater users. Garcia said the features would be designed to provide wave diversity and function at varying flow rates.

"We'll have different features for different flows," Garcia said.

The lower portion, roughly between McCabe Creek and the Apache Street bridge, will be designed as a float through area, with random boulder clusters, deflectors and bank stabilization.

Garcia said the lower stretch, with its fish habitat structures and riparian revegetation should satisfy one permit condition which requires the town to rectify remaining issues with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and its "Fishing Is Fun Grant."

Mike Reid, a local Colorado Division of Wildlife Officer, explained the grant is a 20-year contract comprised of federal funds that are administered at the state level by the division of wildlife. When awarded, the grant funds are used to enhance fish habitat and fishing access.

During the town's spring 2005 river work, however, issues arose concerning whether the removal of a W-structure and it's replacement with a U-drop structure benefitted or degraded the fishery. With the town still bound by the terms of the grant contract, and more in-stream structures planned, Garcia said he hopes the habit improvements will satisfy the town's grant contract obligations. Garcia added that discussions with the division on the lower stretch as a habitat or "mitigation" stretch have been positive so far.

The permit states that any grant-related corrective measures must be approved by the division, although, Reid explained, that because the grant is comprised of federal funds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be part of the process as well.

According to Reid, Patt Dorsey of the division has been negotiating grant and permit issues with the town, although by press time, Dorsey was unable to be reached for comment.

 

LPEA boosting electric rates

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

If your residence is on "the grid" and you've already received your January electric bill, you've probably noticed an increase in your basic rates. If your statement hasn't arrived just yet, be advised that, on average, your monthly power bills are now $5.05 higher than those of 2006.

Just as holiday revelers were raising glasses to the beginning of the new year, La Plata Electric Association, Inc. raised electric rates to its standard residential customers by an average of $0.008 per kilowatt-hour, or about 8 percent.

According to the LPEA Web site, rates actually climbed across the board, but specific increases depend on the rate classification of each residential, commercial and industrial customer. All told, LPEA's 2007 rate hikes average approximately 6 percent.

LPEA, and 43 sister co-ops in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Nebraska, purchase wholesale electric power from Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc., and were, themselves, subject to a 12.8-percent boost in rates, also effective the first of the year. Apparently, Tri-State announced its increase in September and since, LPEA has tightened operating budgets in an effort to absorb at least some of the cost. Nevertheless, it says $4.4 million in additional funding is needed to maintain what it calls reliable electric service to its customers.

"Despite the best efforts of electric co-ops across the country to hold the line, the monthly electric bills are unfortunately heading up," said LPEA Chief Executive Officer Greg Munro.

Munro also explained that Tri-State is in the process of raising its rates to co-ops for a variety of reasons, the two most significant being the growing demand for power, and the need to construct new electric power generating stations to meet that demand. Tri-State spokesman Jim Van Someren acknowledged that bulk distribution rates to co-op members will rise over the next five years, but has not indicated how much.

Tri-State plans to spend $5 billion building three 700-megawatt, coal-fired power plants, two in western Kansas by 2013, and one in southeastern Colorado by 2020. When completed, the plants will primarily serve a growing demand for electricity from Front Range cities.

"When demand for electricity exceeds the supply generated by Tri-State, which is currently occurring, the company must purchase the needed power in the open market," explained Munro. "Just like any commodity, buying on the spot market is generally the most expensive option, and that supply is rapidly decreasing."

Munro further suggested Tri-State is playing "catch-up" as it attempts to build new plants, but Rick Gilliam of Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates disagrees.

"Tri-State doesn't have any solid justification for building even one of these plants," Gilliam said. "Clearly, Tri-State already has enough resources in its portfolio to meet projected growth. So, the co-op members have to ask themselves if it's worth such drastic rate increases to pay for something that's only needed for speculative load and that won't have any benefit for them."

WRA sites a recent economic study, "based largely on Tri-State's own data," in suggesting Tri-State members face rate increases of 64 to 80 percent over the next five years, in order to pay for the three plants.

"This is a huge increase for me and other customers to have to swallow for something we don't support," said Chris Calwell, a customer and ratepayer of Durango-based LPEA. "It's one thing to pay for new electricity that's necessary, but quite another to pay for something that's not."

In response to concerns, Van Someren said, "Tri-State effectively plans for the future. Those challenging these plans fundamentally dislike pulverized coal generation resources. Their issue is not with the cost of our plans, it is with the resources we pursue."

"We're in the business of keeping the lights on for our member systems and their consumers," said Tri-State executive vice president and general manager J.M. Shafer. "We've successfully carried out that mission for over 50 years. However, in order to continue to meet the ever-increasing demand for electricity, we have to invest now in additional generation and transmission resources. The demand for electricity has simply outgrown the capability of our existing facilities.

"Across our system we're experiencing an annual load growth of about 4 percent, which translates to 100 megawatts of added power needed every year," Shafer continued. "Our long-range forecasts project that trend to continue; we estimate the need for an additional 1,600 megawatts of power by 2020," he said.

Aside from suggesting Tri-State already has sufficient capacity to meet growing demands without additional plants, WRA insists, "Much of Tri-State's growth plans are speculative at best. Any growth in member demand that has occurred is not nearly as large as the company claims, and those increases can be characterized as suburban-type seasonal demand, which doesn't require additional baseload capacity from coal."

WRA also believes Tri-State's commitment to new coal-fired power is a huge financial risk, due to, among other things, rising costs for coal and rail delivery, and the likelihood of having to spend millions on controlling greenhouse gas pollution.

Meanwhile, public opposition is mounting, as protesters ranging from college students and longtime environmentalists to Kansas City area mothers crowding into public hearings, urge officials to deny state-issued permits that would allow construction of the proposed plants. Many suggest $5 billion could go a long way in developing cleaner alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar and biofuels.

Nevertheless, Tri-State is now engaged in the permitting process, preliminary planning and preparatory work for all three plants, as environmental studies and site acquisition efforts are ongoing for the Colorado site.

Currently, Tri-State owns 1,398 megawatts in coal-based generating facilities, 625 megawatts of natural gas and oil-fired generation, and approximately 1,100 megawatts of contracted capacity from hydroelectricity providers. It also wholly, or partially, owns and maintains more than 5,000 miles of high-voltage transmission line.

Only time will tell if Denver-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. ever actually builds new coal-fired power plants, but one thing is certain - electric rates have just gone up, and will likely do so for at least the next five years - if Tri-State gets its way.

 

Arboles man perishes in Friday house fire

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A home in Arboles located on County Road 500, near Navajo Lake, was engulfed in flames Friday, Jan. 12. The body of a resident was discovered in the structure and an arson investigation is underway.

Michael Dwaine Thompson, 54, was discovered dead at the scene, and was positively identified through dental records, said Archuleta County Coroner Karl Macht.

Macht ordered an autopsy Tuesday to ascertain the cause of death, and would say only that Thompson did not die of asphyxiation, and that other information would follow communication with the victim's family.

Thompson's wife, Janet, was not at the scene at the time of the fire, said Macht, but was staying with a relative.

The Los Piños Fire Protection District (LPFPD) received the call at 4:11 a.m., arrived at the scene at 4:30 a.m. and had the flames under control by 6 a.m. The Pagosa Area Fire Protection District dispatched two water tankers shortly after the original call, which arrived on the scene at 5:05 a.m - according to officials from both departments.

Macht said he arrived on scene around 6 a.m., after firefighters reported they found a victim inside the structure.

According to Macht, the house was "fully involved," with flames reaching 50 feet in the air. After his arrival, the fire was still active, though controlled, and there were occasional flare-ups as responders searched through the rubble.

La Plata Electric Association shut off electricity to the site to facilitate a safe search of the razed home.

Neighbors reported they heard explosions after the fire began and responders found evidence of home oxygen tanks, said Macht.

The tanks could have been a contributing cause to the fire, said Archuleta County Sheriff's Department investigator Carl Smith, but their impact on the fire cannot be determined conclusively until further investigation and analysis is completed.

Due to the level of destruction, it was difficult to determine the point of origin of the fire, and a Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arson dog team was called in to aid the investigation, said LPFPD representative Tom Aurnhammer.

According to Macht, the CBI dog team searched for evidence of accelerants and the dog "had several hits." Evidence of accelerants was also found by investigators sifting through the rubble. Investigators were "leaning toward arson" as a cause of the fire, said Macht.

But "the cause of the fire is still under investigation," said Aurnhammer, and no final determination has been made.

LPFPD, the sheriff's department and CBI are all involved in the investigation.

Smith said the sheriff's department was waiting for the final CBI arson analysis and report to determine the cause of the fire, and whether arson was involved. If an act of arson is confirmed, the sheriff's department will proceed with an investigation to identify the person or persons responsible.

Inside The Sun

Registration open for upcoming Basic EMT class

The EMS division of the Upper San Juan Health Services District (USJHSD) is jointly sponsoring an upcoming Basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) course.

The course (accredited through San Juan Technical College), will prepare the student to meet the requirements to be certified by the State of Colorado and the National Registry of EMT (NREMT). Students receiving their certifications will be qualified to begin a career in pre-hospital, emergent medicine - not only in Colorado, but nationally.

Registration is required by Feb. 10, with the course scheduled to begin in March.

The class, which meets two nights per week and one Saturday per month for about six months, includes classroom instruction, practical skills and hands-on clinical training.

Students should expect to leave the course with a better understanding of anatomy and physiology, a thorough understanding of ambulance operations, basic medical and trauma life support skills, and the legal and ethical issues involving pre-hospital, emergent medicine. Students will also receive a certification in provider CPR/AED operations. A valid driver's license, no felony convictions and a good attitude are course prerequisites.

Actual cost of the course is $900, with a scholarship from a State of Colorado grant available to pay for half that cost; all students qualify for the state grant making the cost of the course for each student $450.

For additional information, or to register for the course, contact Larry Escude at lescude@usjhd.org or by phone at 731-5811.

 

Subdivision sketch plan prompts controversy, questions

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A developer's plans to carve a 163-acre parcel into 134 single-family residential lots north of downtown Pagosa Springs and adjacent to the Pagosa Hills subdivisions drew a standing room only crowd and strong criticism from attendees during a Jan. 9 town planning commission meeting.

Called Pradera Pointe, the project is bordered on the north and northeast by Cemetery Road and on the south and southwest by Pagosa Hills Number Four. As proposed during the Jan. 9 meeting, the project includes multiple tracts and lot sizes ranging from .25 acres to 3.99 acres, with lot prices from $75,000 to $300,000.

The project is in the sketch plan phase.

During his presentation to the planning commission, developer Bill Herebic of Monument, Colo., and one of the principals in the development firm Gazunga LLC, explained his motivations.

"I fell in love with the area last year while driving through," Herebic said.

And Herebic's statement evoked a sharp response from planning commissioner David Conrad.

"Do you want to make Pagosa look like Monument?" Conrad said.

"No," Herebic responded, "I like Pagosa just the way it is."

Herebic, Guiseppe Margiotta of Trinity Land Consultants and Mike Davis of Davis Engineering, outlined development plans for the vacant, forested parcel.

According to the sketch plan, the southern portion of the project area includes 32 quarter-acre lots clustered in three separate, long, 10- to 14- parcel tracts. Farther north, lot sizes increase, with the largest parcels focused on the far northern perimeter.

With an overall average density of .82 units per acre, Joe Nigg of the town's planning department, said the proposed development, in terms of density, was generally compatible with adjacent subdivisions. Many in the audience disagreed with Nigg's assertion. (Lot sizes in Pagosa Hills Number One range from .25 acres; lots in Pagosa Hills Two and Three from one acre; and lots in Pagosa Hills Four from one to two acres.)

Some called the proposed density "ridiculous," and took aim at the multiple rows of quarter-acre lots, asking the developer and the planning commission to consider removing, or at least reducing their number in the sketch plan.

Davis countered that the reason for the series of quarter acre lots was to meet "clustering" requirements outlined in the town's Comprehensive Plan and to deal with topography issues. Some in the audience countered that Herebic's clustering looked more like California tract housing. Davis said another contributing factor was "the bottom line in development."

Newly-appointed planning commissioner Angela Atkinson suggested reducing the clusters to groups of five or six lots rather than the nine- to 16-lot clusters shown on the map.

Others in the audience expressed concern about road impacts, and predicted Pike Drive, Fritz and Mable's Place and Rainbow Drive would face unprecedented traffic increases, roadbed degradation and intersection congestion - if they survived the initial damage done by heavy construction traffic.

If the project is approved, Rainbow Drive, Fritz and Mable's Place and Rainbow Drive will provide access routes both for construction traffic and residents once the development is complete. According to the developer, an emergency crash gate would limit access between Fritz and Mable's Place and Pradera Pointe.

Open space and wildlife issues also figured prominently in the discussion, and many were concerned that, although the ratio of open space to developed property may have been technically correct, the placement of open space was disingenuous at best.

On the map, open space appears largely along the perimeter, a placement which Davis called "buffering."

Herebic said the decision to focus on perimeter open space was intentional and that the areas constituted "meaningful open space" which could be used for wildlife viewing and bird watching.

Area resident Robin Auld challenged Herebic's assertion, and said the property in question provides a migratory corridor and wintering area for elk, and that the subdivision as proposed would destroy habitat and restrict the herd's movement. Auld presented photographs of the area's wintering elk to support his claims.

Planning commission chair Tracy Bunning questioned if the open space depicted on the perimeter was truly "usable" open space.

The developer has pledged to discuss wildlife issues with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW), and Nigg said the DOW will weigh in on Pradera Pointe's preliminary plan.

After lengthy public comment, the planning commission moved to continue the sketch plan hearing to a later date. In the meantime, the planning commission asked Herebic to consider reductions in density, address public concerns regarding lot size, wildlife and open space issues, and to modify clustering to eliminate or reduce long, contiguous tracts of quarter-acre lots.

Herebic will present a revised sketch plan to the town planning commission at 5 p.m., Jan. 23 in town council chambers at Pagosa Springs Town Hall.

 

PAWSD water/wastewater rates to increase

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

At its regular monthly meeting Jan. 9, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors voted to approve higher rates for water and wastewater services, effective with the May/June meter-reading period. The board also agreed on a variety of other fee increases, which took effect immediately.

By the May/June meter reading, the monthly water service charge (per equivalent unit) will increase from $8 to $9, and volume charges (per 1,000 gallons) will increase as follows:

- 1 to 8,000 gallons usage will increase from $2.20 to $2.70.

- 8,001 to 20,000 gallons usage will increase from $4.45 to $5.15.

- Over 20,000 gallons usage will increase from $5.40 to $6.10.

During times of mandatory water conservation, an additional drought surcharge will be imposed. Again, rates are per 1,000 gallons, with charges reflecting total monthly use. The new rates are as follows:

- 0 to 8,000 gallons usage, no additional surcharge.

- 8,001 to 20,000 gallons usage will increase from $1.30 to $2.18.

- Over 20,000 gallons usage will not change, and remains $2.40.

The monthly service charge for wastewater system use (per equivalent unit) will increase from $18 to $20.

An equivalent unit is defined as a separate residential, multi-family residential or commercial space, such as a home, townhome, apartment, or commercial business, which requires connection to the district water and/or wastewater service. Individual residential properties are typically considered one equivalent unit, while a particular formula from the American Water Works Association is used in determining the number of equivalent units in a commercial property, depending on its nature and size.

Though PAWSD has embraced higher service fees this month, it will delay implementation until the end of the winter pro rata billing period. The pro rata billing period is a five-month time frame from November through March, during which water bills are based on the district-wide average monthly use of 4,000 gallons per household, rather than actual meter readings. Heavy snow accumulations during those months typically impede access to most meters, making readings difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

In April, meters will again be read and billing adjustments made, depending on the difference between pro rata and actual uses. In other words, those having used more than 20,000 gallons over the five-month period will see an additional charge (per 1,000 gallons) on their May statement, while those using less will receive a credit based on a similar rate.

As mentioned, the new service rates take effect in the May/June meter-reading period, with likely increases appearing on consumers' statements in early July.

Other fee increases approved and imposed immediately by the PAWSD board include:

- Standard single-family water meter and 4-inch wastewater connection went from $1,105 to $1,325 per connection.

- Standard single-family water connection went from $820 to $970 per connection.

- Meter turn-on/turn-off fee (when turned off for account nonpayment) went from $25 to $34.

- After hours (4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.) non-emergency water turn-on/turn-off fee went from $32 to $43.

- Water inclusion fee went from $3,459 to $3,827.

- Wastewater inclusion fee went from $2,586 to $2,692.

Other fees, which may or may not apply to the connection, disconnection, new construction or availability of water and wastewater services, remain unchanged. For a complete list of services and applicable fees, or for answers to questions regarding the new water and wastewater rates and how they will affect monthly billing, district residents should visit PAWSD at 100 Lyn Avenue, Pagosa Springs. The phone number is 731-2691, and the Web site is www.pawsd.org.

As the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District grows, so does the demand for water and wastewater services. Though per capita water usage has actually decreased in recent years, more people are collectively using more water. This not only heightens the demand for raw water, it increases the burden on treatment, costing everyone in the district more money for services.

At a time when the cost of virtually everything is rising, wise water use can actually reduce monthly bills. Even with higher rates, when consumers consciously conserve, they typically pay less for drinking water. Following, are a few proven methods of reducing water waste:

- Inspect all pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 15 minutes. If coloring appears in the bowl, there is a leak. Make necessary repairs immediately.

- Install low-volume toilets and showerheads, or place a one-quart (or liter) plastic container in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. To anchor the bottle, fill it partially with sand or small stones.

- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth, and take shorter showers.

- Load the washing machine and automatic dishwasher to capacity before use.

- Place a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator to avoid running the tap.

- Landscape with low-water plants and rock gardens to reduce groomed lawn areas.

- Instead of the hose, use a broom to clean sidewalks or the driveway.

- Adjust sprinklers to water only the lawn and not the house, sidewalk or street.

- Water the lawn early in the morning, not midday, and never water on windy days.

- If the local car wash recycles water, wash the car there. If not, use soap, water and a bucket, and attach a shut-off nozzle to the hose for a quick final rinse.

For additional information regarding water conservation and beneficial landscaping techniques, including booklets and brochures, contact PAWSD at the above address, phone number or Web site.

 

BoCC January schedule

Following is the Board of County Commissioners' schedule for the remainder of January.

All meetings are held in the commissioner meeting room at the county courthouse, unless otherwise noted.

- Jan. 23, 1:30 p.m. - BoCC regular meeting, location to be posted.

- Jan. 30, 2 p.m. - BoCC agenda review work session.

- Jan. 30, 7 p.m. - BoCC public "county hall" meeting. Come and meet with the board for a discussion of county issues.

 

USFS adds to list of road closures

As of Jan. 12, the following roads on the Pagosa Ranger District are closed by snow or have been gated and locked:

Mill Creek Road, No. 662.

Black Mountain, No. 661.

Blanco River, No. 656.

Blue Creek, No. 012.

Buckles Lake, No. 663.

Castle Creek, No. 660.

Devil Creek, No. 627.

Devil Mountain, No. 626.

East Fork, No. 667.

Eight Mile Mesa No. 651.

First Fork, No. 622.

Jackson Mountain, No. 037.

Kenney Flats, No. 006.

Lefthand Canyon, No. 024.

Lower Piedra, No. 621.

Middle Fork, No. 636.

Monument Park East and West, No. 630.

Mosca, No. 631.

Nipple Mountain above Echo, No. 665.

Plumtaw, lower and upper, No. 634.

Price Lakes, No. 731.

Snowball, No. 646.

Trail Ridge, No. 639.

Turkey Creek, No. 647.

Turkey Springs, lower and upper, No. 629.

Valle Seco, lower and upper, No. 653.

West Fork, No. 648.

Willow Draw, No. 722.

Roads that are still open, but subject to close due to weather and road conditions are:

Burns Canyon, No. 649.

Echo Canyon, No. 029.

Mill Creek, No. 662.

Nipple Mountain, below Echo, No. 665.

Williams Creek, No. 722.

 

Pagosa student selected for week in Washington DC

Area high school students Kailee Kenyon, Caleb Flint and Roger LeFevre have been selected to participate in the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C. hosted by La Plata Electric Association and The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Students applying for the youth tour completed an application and penned a 500 word essay on any aspect of the electric industry. Their efforts were judged anonymously by an independent committee. The opportunity to participate in the DC Youth Tour is open to all area high school juniors who receive their electric power from La Plata Electric Association.

A junior at Pagosa Springs High School, Kenyon is thinking about tomorrow, writing, "Creating a way to produce energy efficiently is one of the main goals for the future. I want to be an electrical engineer so that I can help in the process of coming up with a way to make energy work for us. I want to be part of the future."

Flint, a junior from Bayfield High School, wrote, "At the sound of incessant beeping, you wake up, reach over, and hit the snooze button on your alarm clock. Crawling out of bed, you make your way to the door and hit the light switch, which illuminates your room. As you stumble into the kitchen, you open the fridge and pull out your favorite breakfast food. Although most people take it for granted, each of these everyday actions require one very important, crucial element: electricity."

LeFevre, also a junior at Bayfield High, incorporated the arrival of electricity to Durango into an inventive short story: "'Those lights ain't be nuttin' but trouble,' Richard said to the banker, 'if them gas lights aren't broken, then why be fixen' em?' The First National Bank in Durango, was well known for its good support of its community, but on this subject the teller disagreed. 'The electric lights are safer,' the teller argued politely."

Kenyon, Flint and LeFevre will join juniors from LPEA's sister electric co-ops across Colorado for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, set for June 7-14. The schedule includes an intimate look at the nation's capitol and government from the inside. Students will explore issues surrounding the electric industry as well as discuss current concerns with national and state Congressional representatives. Plenty of time for social activities is also part of the agenda.

To review the complete essays of the winning Youth Tour applicants, visit the LPEA Web site, www.lpea.coop.

Applications for the 2008 Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be available in November 2007 through La Plata Electric or area high school counselors.

For further information, contact Suzy Bynum, (970) 382-3506, or sbynum@lpea.coop.

 

Passport laws changing Jan. 23

New passport laws go into effect Jan. 23 and will require all Americans, and foreign nationals, to now have passports when traveling by air, and going to or from the U.S. and nearby countries, such as Canada and Mexico, the Americas, and Caribbean destinations.

Many larger post offices, including Denver, Colorado Springs and over 100 post offices in Colorado and Wyoming, regularly offer passport application service, including the post office on Hot Springs Boulevard, in Pagosa Springs - which the USPS reports keeps passport processing and photo hours from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or go to USPS.com to find other passport post offices and service hours. You can save time by downloading and completing your passport application forms before going to the post office.

The Post Office recommends bringing the following items, to save you time and convenience, and to help your passport application process with the post office go very smoothly:

- Bring proper proof of American citizenship. This must be either: a certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state; a previous U.S. passport; a certificate of citizenship; or a naturalization certificate. (Note: a hospital-issued birth certificate alone is not acceptable.)

- Bring proof of identity. This must be either: a previous U.S. passport; a naturalization certificate; a certificate of citizenship; or a current valid driver's license, government ID or military photo ID.

- The passport application requires two recent identical photographs. If you don't have photos, photo services will be available for $15 for each application payable to the post office.

- To save time, you can download a passport application at USPS.com/passport and complete it before going to the post office. Passport applications must be made in person and cannot be made online.

Passport fees: $97 total for adults (16 years and older), with separate payments of $30 to the Postal Service for its processing fee and $67 paid to the Department of State for the passport application fee. For persons under 16, total cost is $82 with separate payments of $30 to the Postal Service for its processing fee and $52 to the Department of State for the passport application fee. If you need your passport in less than 6 weeks, your application can be expedited for an additional $60 fee for each application, payable to the Department of State. Two-way overnight delivery is strongly encouraged. In such cases, the applicant pays overnight (Express Mail service) delivery costs to the U.S. Postal Service.

 

County to hold open houses on new facility alternatives

Archuleta County staff will hold two evening workshops in order to gain public input on a new County Justice Center and Government Center.

Workshops will take place Thursday, Jan. 18, at the county courthouse and Thursday, Jan. 25, at the PLPOA Clubhouse. Both will begin at 6 p.m..

As the board of county commissioners considers the sale of the current courthouse and jail property at 449 San Juan St., the members must also consider alternatives for future county facility locations. The workshops provide a mechanism for the board to receive public input on the different alternatives prior to making a decision.

The workshops will be an open house format, allowing an informal atmosphere for members of the public to visit at their leisure. Alternatives will be displayed on the walls around the room, accompanied by comment sheets.

There will be a short presentation by staff at 6 p.m., which will provide an overview of the history and need for this project. After this, until 8 p.m., staff will be on hand to answer questions, discuss options and take comments. All comments will be provided to the board of county commissioners prior to any decision making.

Archuleta County staff and the board of commissioners hope for high attendance and much feedback from these workshops since this issue will affect all citizens in the county and the future of Archuleta County Government.

For more information, visit www.archuletacounty.org, Special Projects, Facilities or, if you are unable to attend one of the workshops, call 264-8300 to comment. Comments will be received until Jan. 26.

 

Water conservancy district gets first OK on grant request

The San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) has announced that the Southwest Basins Roundtable members unanimously voted to approve the district's $1 million grant application at a Jan. 10 meeting in Cortez.

Of the applications submitted, the SJWCD's was the only one recommended for state consideration at this time. The application will now go to the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) for consideration at a March meeting in Canon City.

If the grant is funded, the money is earmarked for land acquisition costs related to the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir.

Although the CWCB decision is pending, it is important to note that without electorate approval of the SJWCD's de-Brucing issue on the November ballot, the District would not have been able to receive grant monies under Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) restrictions.

In June 2005, then-Gov. Bill Owens signed legislation introduced by Sen. Jim Isgar and Rep. Josh Perry known as the "Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act" (HB 1177). The Act established nine roundtables, representing the state's eight river basins plus Denver-metro, tasked with negotiating interbasin water issues. The goal is to get water users from throughout the state to come to the table to solve water-related issues. The Act also established the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC), which is made up of members of the Basin Roundtables and officials appointed by the governor and legislators.

In 2006, Senate Bill 179 established $40 million available for statewide water-related projects until 2009. The CWCB administers these funds under two accounts - a State Account ($31 million) and Basin Accounts ($9 million; $1 million per Roundtable) both to be used to fund water activities on a competitive basis.

The Southwest Basins Roundtable, which has 35 members representing various governmental and water interests such as the SJWCD, has set a funding limit of $100,000 per project for their Basin fund. Funding requests greater than $100,000, such as the SJWCD application, first must be approved by the Southwest Basins Roundtable, then considered by the CWCB in competition with other applications throughout the state.

 

February deadline for inclusion in Farm Fresh Directory

Colorado growers can market their products to consumers statewide through the Colorado Farm Fresh Directory.

Listings are being accepted for the 2007 edition, which the Colorado Department of Agriculture publishes annually to promote Colorado farmers' markets, roadside stands, agritourism activities and farms that sell direct to the public.

"The Farm Fresh Directory is a great way for Colorado growers to direct market their products," said Wendy White, marketing specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "It is one of our most popular publications and consumers look forward to the new edition every year."

The fee to be included in the directory is $25 and the deadline is Feb. 16. Listing forms are available at Colorado State University Cooperative Extension offices, by calling the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4115 or by visiting www.coloradoagriculture.com.

The directory will be available in June and is free to consumers. Nearly 90,000 copies of the publication will be distributed through libraries, extension offices, bookstores, farmers' markets, welcome centers, chambers of commerce and home milk delivery services.

In addition to the printed directory, the 2007 Farm Fresh Directory will also be available on the Internet. This is the 23rd edition of the directory.

For more information, call (303) 239-4115 or visit www.coloradoagriculture.com.

 

Humane Society - fact and fiction

By Linda Lawrie

Humane Society of Pagosa Springs

Special to The SUN

It is amazing, some of the ideas you hear when you are out and about talking with people. Where the Humane Society is involved, we would like to try to set the record straight.

Who knows, these answers may appear in the next "Pagosa Trivia."

Fact or fiction?

1. "Don't surrender your dog or cat to the Society; he/she will be euthanized after XX days."

Fiction: We are not a city or county pound. According to our policies, no animal will be euthanized after any amount of time or due to crowding in the shelter. Only vicious or medically untreatable animals are euthanized. With medically untreatable animals, we can sometimes find hospice care.

2. "The Society is wasting money buying and feeding expensive Science Diet® to the shelter dogs."

Part fiction/part fact: The Hills Company has a Shelter Partnership Program with many shelters and Pagosa Springs is part of that program. They donate Science Diet dry food to us for the cost of shipping. It is true that the shelter dogs and cats are fed Science Diet unless there is some medical reason (such as allergies). The Hills Company will also give us a discount on their special diet foods (such as those for allergies).

3. "You seem to advertise for businesses by giving away free samples: Kongs, Kitty Litter, Science Diet®."

Part fact/part fiction: Many companies hope that free samples of their product will help their future sales. From our point of view, giving free food samples and kitty litter has an extra benefit. If you want to change an animal's food, it should be done over a period of time - the 5-pound bag of pet food allows the new adopter to gradually change the animal's food if they want to feed a different food. Likewise, using the same litter as the shelter will give a familiar smell to cats/kittens in the new home.

4. "When there are too many dogs in the shelter, they are transferred out of the area."

Fact: Yes, this is true. We're a small community and can't always support demand for the number of dogs that end up in the shelter. We transfer dogs primarily to two organizations: Denver Dumb Friends League and Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Many more people are looking to adopt animals in those locales. In addition, they have similar rules about euthanizing animals as well as spay/neuter rules prior to adoption. These two organizations will contact us if they should find the transferred animals to be unadoptable.

5. "Of course, you're a pound - dogs that are impounded are taken to you."

Fiction: The reason that dogs are picked up by animal control and taken to the humane society's shelter is due to contracts that the Society has with both the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. The town and county have the regulations and impose fines. In fact, when animals are redeemed from the shelter, the Society repays the town and county those fees.

6. "The thrift store makes so much money, the Humane Society doesn't need any more."

Fiction: Oh, do we wish that were true - that we were a self-sufficient business. Instead we are a non-profit, 501c3 charitable organization. Our funding to operate the shelter comes primarily from thrift store revenues, charitable donations, fund-raising and contracts with the town and county. The thrift store is successful, but it alone cannot offset the losses at the shelter. (If you wish to examine our books, make an appointment with the administration office.)

7. "You've been talking about a new shelter for years. When will it be built?"

Fact: Yes, the idea of a new shelter has been in the works for several years. Unfortunately, as much as people love animals in Archuleta County, our fund-raising pales next to funds raised for "people" things. A new impetus for the shelter has been given with PAWS' need for our property at Stevens Lake. Humane Society plans for a new shelter were presented in the May 11, 2006, edition of The SUN. The article also addresses the necessity of a new shelter.

8. "Didn't Archuleta County give you land for a new shelter?"

Fiction: The land designated for the new shelter (on Cloman Boulevard) was purchased from BLM with funds from two donors. The Aug. 3, 2000 SUN has a specific article on the land acquisition. Several other issues also talk about the BLM land.

9. "Aren't you making money on the adoption fees?"

Fiction: Not at all. Most dogs and cats come into the shelter unaltered. The cost of spaying or neutering would consume most of the adoption fee ($65 dogs, $30 cats). In addition, the animals receive vaccinations, micro-chipping, and a free veterinary checkup within the first week of adoption, not counting feed and daily care while the animal is at the shelter. The adoption fee is quite a deal compared to the expenditure (minimum: $133 dogs, $118 cats). Shelters in larger communities typically have much higher adoption fees.

10. "My dog was picked up by animal control and taken to the shelter last night. Why do I have to pay to get it out?"

Fact: It's the law. The agreement with the county and town impose the fees that we must charge the owner. Animal control and peace officers will first try to return the dog to the owner (if it is wearing collar and tags). Only as a last resort is the animal brought to the shelter (or if the animal is frequently running at large).

I hope this article has cleared up some of the confusion one might hear in conversation.

Our administrative office (264-5549) is willing to answer any questions you might have. Our board of directors (all volunteers) meets the third Tuesday of every month (except December) at 5:30 p.m. at the Thrift Store.

Moreover, we all follow our mission statement: "To provide a safe haven for animals in need, to promote adoptions, to reunite lost animals with their owners and to humanely reduce the pet overpopulation through community education and aggressive spay/neuter programs."

Outdoors

Region's Nordic ski clubs express thanks to ski area

By Mark Seaton

Special to The SUN

Nordic ski clubs from Alamosa to Durango gathered Monday, Jan. 15, to recognize the Wolf Creek Ski Area for grooming the Wolf Creek Nordic ski trail over the past 30 years.

Members from the Durango Nordic Club, Pine Valley Nordic Club, Pagosa's San Juan Outdoor Club, Pagosa's Gray Wolves, Creede's Upper Rio Grande Nordic Club, and the SLV's San Juan Nordic Club presented Wolf Creek's Davey and Todd Pitcher with a plaque and a cheese/wine basket, thanking the ski area for its generous contributions to the Nordic ski community over several decades.

Gale Tuggle, a Pagosa Springs regular on the Nordic trail, stated, "A few clubs wanted to thank the ski area for all the work they have committed to the Nordic trail and it quickly snowballed into a regional effort."

Rick Schnaderbeck, of Monte Vista, recalled grooming the trail with the late Dick Boyce using old double-track Ski-Doos and added that the ski area has easily done 95 percent of the grooming over the years, at considerable expense of snow-cat maintenance, fuel and staff time.

The Nordic trail is located on the east side of the Continental Divide and meanders across fen wetlands, which are openings in the forest too wet to support trees, and down old Forest Service logging roads.

John Gilbert, of Durango, who uses the Nordic trail to train for winter biathlons, commented that, "Nordic skiers from Flagstaff to Albuquerque to Denver have benefited from Wolf Creek's generosity and we all just wanted to say 'thanks.'"

Representatives from the ski clubs declined comment when asked how a recent move by developer Red McCombs has prevented access to historic portions of ski trail and expressed their desire to keep the day positive and focused on the good things the Wolf Creek Ski Area has done for Nordic skiing.

 

Grants available for local conservation efforts

By Cynthia Purcell

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Conservation District announces a new program, "Conservation Helping Hand."

Are you interested in implementing a conservation practice on your property, but need help with the cost? The district will be awarding grants to pay for 50 percent of your project, up to $3,500.

Conservation practices to promote the use of planned grazing systems, more efficient irrigation systems, improved riparian area conditions, and rangeland/woodland productivity and plant diversity that will benefit both livestock and wildlife will be considered.

The district will accept applications until March 30. Applications will be reviewed by the elected board members and prioritized based on the targeted resource concern, environmental benefits and cost of implementation. Winners will be notified by April 9. All projects must be completed by Sept. 1, 2007.

Technical assistance will be provided by the NRCS and all approved projects must meet NRCS Standards and Specifics.

 

Durango RMEF to hold fund-raiser

The Durango chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will hold its annual fund-raising banquet and auction at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Sky Ute Pavilion in Ignacio.

There will be an excellent selection of artwork, firearms and merchandise to win. Tickets are limited, so purchase them early for this family-friendly event.

Call 259-9339 for tickets or more information on the event. The RMEF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.

 

'The Great Warming' debuts

The Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) is sponsoring a screening of the film, "The Great Warming," at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at the UU Fellowship Hall, with a free 2 p.m. matinee viewing Monday, Jan. 29, at the Liberty Theatre.

Narrated by international stars Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette, "The Great Warming" is considered by many to be the most factually accurate, visually stunning and wide-ranging production ever mounted about this complex subject. Filmed in eight countries on four continents and endorsed by many of the world's leading scientists, it has been called "the best film about global warming ever shot."

The film, which taps into the growing groundswell of public interest in the topic, sweeps around the world to reveal how a changing climate is affecting the lives of people everywhere. The film goes beyond other climate change documentaries, however, to look at realistic solutions, technologies and actions which can help reduce the impact of global warming.

SOS sponsors a quarterly environmental cinema series, of which "The Great Warming" is the first for 2007. Donations are welcome and encouraged for both events.

For more information, contact Denise Rue-Pastin at 946-9024.

 

Walk-in hunting access meeting in Bayfield

Rural landowners from the areas around Pagosa Springs, Arboles, Bayfield, Ignacio and Durango are invited to attend a meeting about a new hunter-access program, hosted by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

This meeting is specifically geared toward landowners who are interested in allowing public access to their lands for spring turkey hunting. Landowners who offer or who are interested in offering fall waterfowl hunting access are also invited to attend.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Lavenia McCoy Public Library, 395 Center Drive in Bayfield. The meeting will address only issues that are related to landowners.

At the meeting, officers from the Division of Wildlife will explain the agency's Walk-in Access Program, a statewide effort to open private land to public hunters. The walk-in program has been in place for many years on Colorado's eastern plains and has been popular with landowners and hunters. Landowners support the program and 90 percent of them reapply to be included year after year.

On the eastern plains, private landowners allow hunters access to hundreds of thousands of acres of land. While most of the land in southwest Colorado is publicly owned, thousands of acres of private property are located in prime wildlife habitat.

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

One benefit of the program is that landowners who are enrolled report a decline in trespass problems.

Landowners who cannot attend the meeting but who are interested should contact the Durango area office to speak to their local wildlife officer: 247-0855.

 

Colorado Trout Unlimited seeks students for camp program

Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU), a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Colorado's coldwater fisheries, is now accepting applications from students ages 14 to 18 for its Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp.

The camp, which is scheduled June 10 -16 at the Peace Ranch near Basalt, is designed to educate students on the importance of coldwater conservation and provide hands-on fly-fishing instruction.

The Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp is limited to 20 students who will be selected based on their qualifications and a written essay on why they would like to attend the camp. To qualify, students must have been born between June 23, 1988, and June 18, 1993.

"The selection process for this elite camp will be quite rigorous as we seek students who not only exemplify an interest in fly fishing, but demonstrate leadership, community service and dedication as well," said Shawn Bratt, a Colorado Trout Unlimited spokesman. "By selecting the high school leaders of today, we believe they will be our community leaders for years to come. It's important for these students to understand the value of clean water and how it relates to our everyday lives. The youth fishing camp curriculum will help provide the foundation for that education."

Colorado Trout Unlimited chapters around the state will select and partner with students in their areas before, during and after the camp. Following the camp, all participants will work on a local conservation or education project with their chapter, applying what they've learned to the waters in their community.

"We think it is especially important that our work with these young people is not limited to the one-week camp itself," said CTU Executive Director David Nickum. "By fostering a relationship with their local chapters on a conservation project, we hope to give the students a chance to deepen their education and apply what they are learning in a way that makes a difference right in their own communities."

The camp will be hosted by the CTU Ferdinand Hayden chapter, located in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Beattie family has donated the use of Peace Ranch for this year's camp. The ranch is located three miles above the Frying Pan River, just five miles from the town of Basalt. The 600-acre ranch has six acres of trout-filled still water, fed by Taylor Creek. Students will live in their classroom during the camp, surrounded by some of the best trout waters in the West.

Camp classes will include: principles of ecology, hydrogeology, aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate sampling, hydrology, trout behavior, trout stream entomology, the biology of pollution, acid deposition, and politics of conservation and human effects on the Rocky Mountains. In addition, the camp will include hands-on fishing classes such as fly tying, fly casting, streamside ethics, angling literature, streamside botany, wader safety and survival, and the evolution of an angler. Students will also participate in a watershed project to repair habitat in a nearby stream.

The CTU Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp includes faculty from various environmental fields and state agencies such as the Colorado Division of Wildlife and U.S. Forest Service.

Cost to attend the six-day camp is $375. Applications are available online at www.cotrout.org and must be received by March 15, 2007. For more information, or to download an application, visit www.cotrout.org or contact Larry Quilling at (303) 543-0939.

  

Letters

Spoil the beauty

Dear Editor:

I would like to bring to your attention a bizarre encounter I had with the two Archuleta County sheriff deputies last week. I am bringing this situation to the attention of the local residents and public because it impacts the way other residents, visitors and business owners view Archuleta County.

I was stopped at around 10:45 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 3, as I was leaving the Pine Ridge Residential Care facility. There was no other vehicle on the road except a deputy sheriff going in the opposite direction on Bastille. I came to a full stop at the corner of Bastille and North Pagosa Boulevard. I made a right turn and proceeded to get in the left lane to make a turn onto U.S. 160 after the light changed and head to my sister's home on Majestic Drive. I no sooner made my left turn on the green arrow when I was pulled over by the same deputy who passed me on Bastille.

The cop got out and said, "You did not use your turn signal twice." Before I knew it a back-up deputy shows up. Keep in mind the streets were deserted.

No alcohol, no drugs, no cause to stop me other than not turning on a signal. I was in a rented late model SUV. My seat belt was fastened.

The two deputies asked where I was going and where I had been. I explained that I had been traveling all day to visit my mother who was semi comatose the day before and may not make it through the night. I got a zero response from the cops, other than a condescending, "You must be tired."

The point that is disturbing is the male cop and his female back-up had ice in their veins and never once acknowledged the fact that I had a relative that was in a critical state. My son was in the car and my sister who is a resident of Pagosa Springs was in the car and all of us were flabbergasted and thought someone was going to pop up and say, "You are on candid camera."

Let this be a notice that the local county sheriff should train their staff better. It paints Pagosa with a terrible image when the cops stop people for not using a turn signal after a tough day and display no compassion for the obvious. Shame on the two cops that had nothing better to do. I am sure you do not want Pagosa to have a reputation for such ineptness on the part of their civil servants.

Further, I question if it is against the Colorado motor vehicle code to not use a turn signal.

You have such a beautiful county and beautiful people. I would hate to see the local cops spoil the that beauty.

Rob Anderson

Benicia, Calif.

Editor's note: Colorado law requires use of the turn signal.

 

Our support

Dear Editor:

I am in my upper 70s, therefore, I have lived through 13 presidents and several changes in the leadership of Congress. I am a moderate and practicing Christian of the Catholic faith. I have been married 43 years and have two sons and five grandchildren. I fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

When first we invaded Afghanistan, a friend asked me what I thought. My response was that we may open a can of worms. Well, the can is open and the worms are out. The question now is what do we do about it. Do we cut and run or finish the job? This is a struggle between two ideologies brewing in our society today.

I remember vividly the attack on Pearl Harbor and a president's call to declare war. Although woefully unprepared we went to war, demanding unconditional surrender. We performed saturation bombing in Europe and dropped atom bombs on Japan. We worried about collateral damage, but it was necessary. The world knew we meant to win and we achieved unconditional surrender. In doing so, we saved Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and Britain. Remember the song about not coming home 'till it's over, over there? Then we pitched in and helped to rebuild.

Another president committed us in defense of South Korea even though we were unprepared. That "police action" did not have a goal of unconditional surrender. We "blinked" and a great American military leader who wanted to win was relieved and we accepted less. I recall a presidential candidate who won election on the basis that if he won he would go to Korea and end the war. He went but did not achieve winning and the Armistice was signed in 1953. That war has never ended and now the enemy has missiles and atomic warheads and is threatening again.

Another president or two got us involved in Vietnam to defend the South Vietnamese from the North. Again, this was a "limited" war without the goal of unconditional surrender. The war was won but we did not have the courage to continue on to unconditional surrender while the enemy argued about the shape of the "negotiating" table in Paris and just waited. And another president decided to withdraw and turn the South over to the North. In Somalia, we withdrew and in Palestine, we withdrew. In Panama and Grenada we finished the job.

Another president got us into Iraq in defense of Kuwait. We did the job and achieved surrender but there were conditions. Another president expecting collateral damage bombed a country expecting to win and it was achieved. For various reasons, right or wrong, another president invaded Iraq. In error, it was thought we would be welcomed and to a degree we were, but then the various "religions" began to argue and fight, each following their own agenda rather than pulling together to preserve and protect their country from within and without. Some bordering countries have supported the infighting and have made it worse.

Well, there you have it, the "worms" are out. The question remains: What are we to do about it? This is not just Iraq. I believe we may be in the initial throws of World War Three. To accept anything short of success will be disastrous. I don't know if this president is right or wrong, only time will tell. I do believe we better win and accept nothing less.

Please note I have not named the presidents or what political party they were from. All of us have a part in where we stand today. A president rises above party with the responsibility to do what they believe is best for the country. War cannot be run by consensus. Right or wrong, a Commander in Chief must lead. We deserve his best and he deserves our support.

Donald H. Bartlett

 

Warmth and kindness

Dear Editor:

We extend a heartfelt thanks to the kind people of Pagosa who helped selflessly after the head-on collision that totaled our car. Robert Keaton, first on the scene, effectively took charge helping get things under control then making sure that no one else came around the curve and hit the disabled cars. Thanks to Jana Heckerman who opened her home to everyone at the accident scene and later drove us to Aztec as we had no car.

The EMTs were very caring, professional and comforting. Colorado State Patrolman Douglas Wiersma was patient, informative and professional. Thanks to Deputy Brandon Bishop who transported us to the Junction Restaurant where T.L. Lewis' staff treated us to breakfast, warm hospitality and made calls for us. The San Juan Motel graciously made calls for us. Deputy Jack White made a special trip to the cabin to check on us the day after the accident and took Charley to town for necessities. Dennis Eamick offered us his assistance and transportation. Thanks a million to Kermit Case who took us to stores, offered care, and came out to check on us regularly. We're overwhelmed and humbled by Pagosa's warmth and kindness. Thank you all.

Very truly yours,

Tom, Charley and Karl Kalm

 

Why hurry?

Dear Editor:

What's the hurry? Sale of the courthouse by the county appears to be on a fast track for a sole source procurement. According to the article on last week's front page, requests for proposals were sent out "in early October" and responses were due October 31. This is an extremely short period to allow any potential buyer to prepare a bid. Only an in-town buyer familiar with the community and the situation could respond in that length of time. Only one local buyer has these attributes as well as the resources to bid. This is a multi-million sale which deserves broad publication and the opportunity for competitive responses.

Commissioner Schiro is to be commended for not rushing into a divestiture of a major county asset without further consideration. Let's encourage the other commissioners to consider the necessity for competitive bids to maximize the return. Also, let's encourage the county staff to require that all bids include specific plans for the building or the site so that the town does not end up with yet another vacant lot.

Jim Lincoln

Editor's note: Articles printed in The SUN in recent weeks have detailed the town's move to ensure demolition of downtown structures is preceded by completion of a planning process. Since the courthouse is within town limits, the town council is ultimately responsible for setting conditions for the use of the property.

 

A warning

Dear Editor:

A warning to all the people who are driving on CR 500. You are driving in a danger zone! CR 500 is Trujillo Road, and the dump is located on this road. We, the residents who live and drive down this road every day, have a major problem. On Jan. 15, Timmy Martinez and his family were traveling down Trujillo Road when they met up with a trash truck. The truck was traveling down the middle of the road at a high rate of speed and the driver was talking on his cell phone. What happened next was a very close call. Their SUV hit the side of a bank, spun around and was heading backwards to a 25-foot embankment. If their vehicle would have rolled another foot, it would have rolled over and over. Only God knows what stopped them. Needless to say, the truck driver never even stopped to check on them. Three tow trucks and four hours later, the SUV was pulled off the side of the steep embankment. And what did the state patrol tell them? He said that since there was no direct contact that they could do nothing about it. So, in other words, they would have had to hit this truck head-on for something to be done. Now, for the rest of us driving down this road, I guess we just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. The company that owns the truck isn't the only one we have problems with; the other local company is just as bad, if not worse. And so I ask, what exactly does the law enforcement of Archuleta County plan to do about this problem? And I know that this isn't the first they have heard about this issue.

Kristi Martinez

 

Good work

Dear Editor:

Archuleta County in general, and Road and Bridge in particular, should be commended on their performance this year in snow plowing. The timing and quality of their effort this year is the best I have seen in the 12 years I have lived here. The crews respond quickly and leave an inch or two on the gravel roads to protect the roadbed. This allows all types of cars to use the road but does not displace the gravel. I compliment Bob Campbell, Alan Zumwalt and the personnel of Road and Bridge for a job well done. Keep it up.

Bill Ralston

 

Pelosified

Dear Editor:

Dave Blake's BS, "Conclusions," in his SUN letter of Jan. 11, was an exceptional example of the liberal new Nanny's outlook in our Congress. Yes, I believe Blake has been Pelosified. He should have stayed with his initial gut feelings and endorsed W's plan - so sad.

Blake might want to give some rational thought to Winston Churchill's phrase about the gathering storm. "There was a storm gathering, but there were people in Europe who didn't believe it and who didn't take the periodic storm clouds and the squalls as a real threat. They thought they were transitory and, of course, paid an enormous penalty in treasure and life for their failure to understand the nature of that threat." I worry we are in a gathering storm and we do not, as a society, accept it. The penalty for being wrong can be enormous.

The truth is, we are currently being ordered to submit or die. There are those who are fighting to murder us all, and those who are fighting to save us; the left's response is to appease the former and destroy the latter. They simply reject the very notion that civilization is at risk. They airily dismiss three decades of Jihad against the West. They avert their eyes from the murderous record of embassy bombings, hijackings, kidnappings, rapes, beheadings, mass murder and terror attacks against Western targets worldwide. They ignore the vicious genocidal threats - written and video.

I got some big news fer ya, Mr. Blake: You'd be at the top of your form were you aware that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on a mission to become the next Adolph Hitler, is actively working to create a 1,000-year Islamic Reich, and is definitely planning to carry out his genocide program against Israel (and America), using nuclear weapons. When a world leader has openly called for genocide É our new Speaker of the House of Representatives had best believe him! The rampant "gathering storm" is global. It is virulent, and it is violent, and it is unappeasable.

However, Palooza Pelosi is much too blind to realize that knowing our enemy requires us to believe the evidence in front of her eyes. And all of us must understand, in our marrow, that defeating these Islamic terrorists will take every last measure of strength God has given us; and that, sir, ain't no BS.

Jim Sawicki

   Community News

Friends of Wolf Creek benefit concert tomorrow

By Ryan Demmy Bidwell

Special to The PREVIEW

Thanks to the generosity of the Pagosa Hot Strings and Jeff Greer of Summit Ski & Sport, there will be a Friends of Wolf Creek benefit concert in Pagosa Springs tomorrow, Jan. 19.

The concert, featuring the Pagosa Hot Strings, will take place 7:30-11 p.m. at 432 Pagosa St. and will feature music, food, beer and good times.

Tickets, for $10, are available at Summit Ski & Sports (264-2456), Moonlight Books (264-5666), or at the door.

Invite your friends, family and visitors to the area. We'll give a brief update on Friends of Wolf Creek efforts, and have a darn good time.

For more information, call Colorado Wild, 385-9833.

 

Community Choir rehearsals starting soon

By Matthew Lowell Brunson

Special to The PREVIEW

It's that time of the year again.

The Community Choir of Pagosa is gearing up to start rehearsals Feb. 6 for the spring concerts. Director Larry Elginer has selected a good cross section of music for the choir.

Anyone who has a love for music and can dedicate themselves to attend nearly every rehearsal from Feb. 6 to the concert is welcome to join the choir.

Rehearsals are held at the Community United Methodist Church located at 434 Lewis St. They are held every Tuesday starting promptly at 7 p.m. The rehearsal Feb. 6 will start at 6:30 to allow for registration. A one-time registration fee of $20 will be taken before singers are able to receive their music. The fee helps offset the cost of the music.

Seasoned members: If you have any music or folders at home, make sure you bring them to the first rehearsal so we will have enough folders. See you there.

 

ECA presents Woodwork Percussion Ensemble

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts proudly presents Dr. John Pennington - renowned percussionist and music professor at Fort Lewis College - and his Woodwork Percussion Ensemble, 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Woodwork is a professional ensemble that has performed many concerts and has released a beautifully produced CD. Performances by Woodwork are an auditory and visual treat. Some of the highlights will include lush arrangements of classical music, American ragtime and traditional music from around the world.

The ensemble's instrumentation includes marimbas, xylophones, glockenspiel, vibraphone, croatales and cajon.

As a special addition to this concert, Pennington will perform solo hand drum compositions on his extraordinary collection of ethnic percussion from various cultures: Egyptian riqq, Moroccan bendir, Middle Eastern tar, Irish bodhran and African mbira.

Performing with Pennington are some of the college's top music students: Philip Peters, Michael Pratt, Sean Statser, Chance Harrison and Grayson Andrews.

Pennington has been influential in building a greater appreciation for the fine art of percussion. "Percussion tends to be in the back of the orchestra or band," he said. "The Woodwork Ensemble shows the soloistic and expressive possibilities of these instruments." His energetic output of performances, recordings, original compositions, concert production, teaching, writing and whatever time he has left to be with his family, is simply amazing.

He contributes to the world of music as performer, recording artist, educator, conductor, composer and author. "I think of myself as a global musician, as someone who has embraced a myriad of styles," said Pennington. "At my core, I still feel I'm rooted in the classical and orchestral tradition but I certainly have a very strong jazz element and a very strong global music element as well." Besides teaching, he performs all over the world.

Woodwork is the fulfillment of his dream to perform and record with some of his most advanced students.

One of the draws of Fort Lewis is its fine music program that attracts students from all over the country. Like Woodwork member Sean Statser, a music performance major. Since coming to Fort Lewis in January of 2004, Statser has received numerous scholarships and awards for academics, music theory, performance, and literary composition. He was recently awarded the "Outstanding Soloist" award at the Reno Jazz Festival and he is a member of a national academic honor society. Statser plans to go to Sweden to study with vibraphonist and composer Anders Astrand and hopes to attend graduate school after he returns, focusing on jazz performance and composition. He is currently focusing on mallet percussion, under the instruction of Pennington, and has studied several styles of music including: Latin, Afro-Cuban, Japanese, and Indonesian, as well as both classical and contemporary styles of "Western" music. Statser said his true passion lies in jazz vibraphone and composition.

"It's essential to get students out of the practice room and out of the rehearsal hall, to become the musicians that they're destined to be," according to Pennington. "There's practicing and there's performing." His enthusiasm is immediately contagious. "This ensemble performs extensively to all types of audiences and we're very excited to play for your audience in Pagosa."

You are invited to the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Jan. 27 when the Woodwork Percussion Ensemble explores the unique possibilities for percussion to create melody, harmony and rhythm. Advance discount tickets, for $12, are available through elationarts.org and at WolfTracks Coffee House. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults. Children with parents attend free.

Desserts and coffee will be provided at intermission. Please bring a dessert to share if you wish.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista and left on Port.

For more information, log on to elationarts.org or call 731-3117.

Elation Center for the Arts is a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving our cultural heritage.

 

Precept Upon Precept: A study of Deuteronomy

By Laura Manley

Special to The PREVIEW

Moses led the people of Israel faithfully for 40 years. They are now ready to enter the land of promise, and through Moses God tells His children how to live in that land. It is time for them to renew the covenant made at Mount Sinai, to promise to love God and to serve Him from the heart.

The message of Deuteronomy is about God and Israel's relationship to Him. Discover what God expects of believers and how we should live as His children in the world today. Hear His voice calling us to love and serve Him from our hearts.

This is the final study of the Torah, God's first five books of His scriptures, given to His people through Moses.

Jerri Anderson, of Grace Evangelical Free Church, will lead this study series. Join us for this eight-lesson series which begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 8 at Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Drive. Cost of the study book is $15.

Contact the church office at 731-2937 no later than Jan. 29 to register.

 

January activities at Congregation Har Shalom

Following is the schedule of Congregation Har Shalom activities for January, in Durango.

- Friday, Jan. 12, 6 p.m. - Shabbat potluck at Pat and Mary Dworkin's home, 16 Long Hollow Lane. Call 259-9434 for more information.

- Tuesday, Jan. 16, 6:30 p.m. - Reading Circle Folk tales and Legends Night at Har Shalom.

- Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m. - The Conscious Community Group at Har Shalom. For more information, contact Harold Shure at 3385-6793.

- Friday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. - Torah study led by Harold Shure at Har Shalom. Call Harold at 385-6793 for details.

- Sunday, Jan. 21, 10 a.m. - Shalom Yeladim Religious School at Har Shalom. Contact Marla at 247-2992.

- Sunday, Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m. - Adult Hebrew class at har Shalom. Contact Harris Richard at (505) 326-2936 or hrichard@obii.netfor more information.

- Thursday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation and Conscious Community Group (CCG) at Har Shalom. For information about the meditation group, contact Judith Vanderryn at 247-3292 and for the CCG, contact Harold at 385-6793.

- Friday, Jan. 26, 6 p.m. - Shabbat on Weekend with SABABA begins with a potluck and very special musical Shabbat service with Robbi Sherwin and Scott Leder at Har Shalom.

- Saturday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m. - SABABA Concert. You don't want to miss, with opening songs by St. Mark's Choir.

- Sunday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. - Energetic Songfest for Kids. Enjoy great music and singing with Steve Brodsky, Robbi Sherwin and Scott Leder. Bagel lunch and schmooze to follow.

 

UU topic, 'Metaphysics and the Subconscious Mind'

On Sunday, Jan. 21, the topic for The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service will be "Metaphysics and the Subconscious Mind."

Lindsay Morgan, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, will be the speaker.

Morgan will present a series of talks about the nature of the subconscious mind and its relationship to time, space and causality. The first talk , "Metaphysics and the Subconscious Mind," on Sunday, Jan. 21, will focus on altered mind states, universal consciousness and access to past life recollection. The second talk will discuss "Life Between Lives" and the third talk will cover "Exploration of the Future Self."

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

 

Winter driving tips from the Colorado State Patrol

By Trooper Dawn L. Berry

Colorado State Patrol

Special to the SUN

Driving on Colorado's highways during the warm weather can be a pleasant experience, whether driving in the mountains, in the metro area, or on the plains.

But as most of us know, when the snow flies, especially like it has lately, this pleasant experience can become frustrating and even hazardous. As winter weather continues to envelop the state, the Colorado State Patrol would like to remind you about some safe driving tips.

By doing a few things now, you can save yourself a big headache later. We suggest the following tips to be prepared and stay safe while driving this winter.

Driver's checklist

- Get your vehicle ready for winter driving by checking your battery, belts, fluids (including antifreeze and windshield wash), wipers, brakes, exhaust, oil, heating system, and lights.

- Make sure you have a good set of tires on your vehicle. Colorado law requires that every tire on a vehicle has tread that is at least 1/16 of an inch thick. Make sure all of the vehicle's tires are the same make, size, and model, and that they are properly inflated.

- Remove all the snow and ice from your vehicle's windows, mirrors, and lights to improve visibility. Use your defrost feature to eliminate fog on inside windows before driving.

- Always keep the gas tank at least half full.

- Check weather and travel conditions, especially if you are going on a long-distance trip. Conditions might be great where you are, but worsen as you travel. Let someone know about your travel plans, your planned route, and carry a cell phone. Be sure to visit Cotrip.org for information about statewide weather and road conditions, road closures, and other helpful information. You can also call (877) 315-7623 for road conditions within Colorado but outside the Denver metro area. If the weather is severe, or could become severe, don't take chances; stay home and travel when conditions improve.

- Carry items with you such as extra clothing, blankets, a first aid kid, drinking water, nonperishable food, a standard tool kit, tire chains, jumper cables, ice scraper, shovel, matches and candles, and a flashlight; a fully charged cell phone is also essential when you are traveling in winter.

On the road

- Drive with your headlights on and slow down; speed is one of the most common reasons for crashes in wintry conditions.

- Allow plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. It takes longer for a vehicle to stop on snow and ice, so leave more space than you would if you were on a dry road.

- Look far ahead when you are driving, and watch out for "black ice" which can be found on bridges and shaded areas.

- If stranded, try to move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible. Remain calm and stay in your vehicle with your hazards flashing and call for help, or wait for help to arrive. Turn your engine on occasionally for heat, and don't forget to avoid exhaust fumes.

- Always wear your seat belt and don't drink and drive.

- Consider taking an advanced driver training course to improve your cold-weather driving skills.

- Call *CSP for assistance.

The Colorado State Patrol wishes you a safe and enjoyable winter season.

 

Apply now for conservation district grants

The San Juan Conservation District announces a new program, "Conservation Helping Hand."

Are you interested in implementing a conservation practice on your property, but need help with the cost? The district will be awarding grants to pay for 50 percent of your project, up to $3,500.

Conservation practices to promote the use of planned grazing systems, more efficient irrigation systems, improved riparian area conditions, and rangeland/woodland productivity and plant diversity that will benefit both livestock and wildlife will be considered.

Stop by the district office for an application. Staff will accept applications until March 30.

Applications will be reviewed by the elected board members and prioritized based on the targeted resource concern, environmental benefits and cost of implementation. Winners will be notified by April 9. All projects must be completed by Sept. 1, 2007.

Technical assistance will be provided by the NRCS and all approved projects must meet NRCS Standards and Specifications.

Stop by the office at 505A CR 600 (Piedra Road) to pick up an application or call 731-3615 for more information.

 

Ski Day and Après Ski Party to benefit United Way

By Stacia Kemp

Special to The SUN

Take out delicious home-made hearty soup, fresh bread and enough tasty dessert for a party of four while helping United Way's Archuleta County campaign on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

This après ski (or après work) event is part of the Party 'Round Pagosa benefit series and is hosted by the Archuleta County United Way Advisory Committee.

Takeout meals must be reserved in advance with a $25 donation to United Way-Archuleta County. Meals will be available for pick up from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., following United Way Ski Day at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Full-day lift tickets will be sold for $34 that day, with $11 of each ticket sold going to United Way.

Proceeds from United Way Ski Day and the Après Ski Party will help Archuleta County's United Way campaign to raise money for 15 organizations that care for the people of Archuleta County.

For more information or to reserve a takeout meal, call Stacia Kemp, 264-3230, by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22.

 

Community Center News

Parties, dances, classes on center calendar

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Saturday is the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and dinner here at the center.

Purchase your ticket in advance and save.

The evening is full of activities and fun, one gets to vote for three new board members, and the Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards will be announced.

The theme of the event is western with yummy food and the High Rollers from Durango providing music for dancing. This event is not to be missed!

If you have questions, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Beaded jewelry

Treva Wheeless, a local talented artisan, is ready to start this new program. Thank you, Treva, for sharing your time and talent.

There will be an orientation 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, Feb. 22. At this meeting, those interested will have an opportunity to discuss their specific interests, the tools needed and what is involved in beading jewelry.

A series of three classes will start March 1 and continue March 8 and 15. Treva also does rubber stamping and card making - she's very talented.

Call the center, 264-4152 to sign up for this class.

Volunteers dinner

By this time, all our volunteers should have received an invitation to this important event. The community center is hosting a volunteers' appreciation dinner and dance 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, for all the volunteers who have helped during the past year.

This is our way of saying ,"Thanks, we would not have survived the year without your volunteer time and talents." Eddie B Cooking will cater the chicken dinner and Bobby Hart will be our DJ. The center will also provide drinks and dessert. Please RSVP by Monday, Jan. 22, to help us prepare for this evening. It's time to party!

Pre-Valentine's Day dance

Yes, this is our next fund-raising event - 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. We are happy to have Tim Sullivan and the Narrow Gauge Band back by popular demand, to provide music. As usual, we will have yummy, sumptuous hors d'oeuvres (more than just snacks) and a cash bar will be provided. Siri, our volunteer dance chairperson is finalizing plans for this annual event with the help of our decorating guru, Pam Stokes.

Baton twirling class

Karla Dominguez is back with this fun, challenging activity. Elementary school-age children are invited to join this class at the center every Monday after school from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The first lesson is free and continuing lessons are $3 per lesson. Also, a discounted monthly rate is available. Bring your own balanced baton or purchase new ones for $18; Karla will have them available at the class. Join and get ready to perform during the St. Patrick's Day parade.

Line dancing

Couples line dancing resumed last Monday. The group is getting ready for the Pre-Valentine's dance where they'll exhibit the fruits of their fun-filled labor. It is great to watch both men and women enjoying this program. Instructors - Gerry, Peggy and Beverly - welcome all beginners and the more experienced as well. Gerry will break you into basic steps while Peggy and Beverly have new and exciting dances for all abilities. If you are a beginning couple and would like a private preview to see if this is for you, call Gerry at 731-9734. This is a community center-sponsored program, so there is no charge other than a big smile.

Couples dancing is at 9 a.m. and you learn very basic, simple steps in two-step and waltz. If you can walk, you can do this. Class members have fun, laugh a lot and even learn a little. There is no pressure and no money involved - just some new friends. The fellows are pampered, because they deserve it.

Line dancing begins at 10, and requires no partner. You start with basic, easy moves and gradually increase difficulty until 11:30. All beginners and experienced are welcome. You'll get good exercise and lots of smiles. Fellows pampered here also.

The group is starting a new season in both couples and line dancing. It is a good time to try this out.

Yoga

Which type is right for you?

Yoga - which combines deep breathing, movement and postures - can help reduce anxiety, slow breathing, lower blood pressure and help your heart work more efficiently. Yoga can be as vigorous or gentle as you choose, so almost anyone can do it.

Different styles appeal to different people.

- Hatha yoga combines deep breathing with slow stretches and movement through a series of poses. Try this if you're looking for a gentle form of yoga.

- Ashtanga yoga, also called "power yoga," is a fast-paced style designed to build flexibility, strength and stamina. Try this if you're looking for an aerobic, athletic form of yoga.

- Bikram yoga, also know as hot yoga, is practiced in rooms that can be heated to more than 100 F. This is for those who are already fit, and looking for a new challenge.

- Kundalini yoga combines poses and breathing techniques with chanting and meditation. This helps fulfill spiritual needs.

- Iyengar yoga emphasizes mental clarity and precision in doing yoga postures. It uses benches, ropes, mats, blocks and chairs. Try this if you're looking for a variety in a yoga workout.

- Svaroopa yoga uses postures that focus on the spine and hips. This type of yoga is for stress relief.

Some types of yoga may not be a safe option for you if you have lower back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis or other health conditions. Ask your doctor before starting a yoga program.

Diana Baird and Addie Greer lead this active group which meets every Tuesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Bring a towel or mat if you decide to join this program. It's free and everyone is welcome.

Computer class

Classes will be postponed until further notice. Watch this column for updated news.

On a positive note, we would like to thank Richard Irland for donating a new computer system. This unit should be available to the public soon.

Weight Watchers

Be responsible for your own health. Join this group of determined individuals and see the results. It is amazing to see people really lose weight. The group meets here at the center every Wednesday from 4:45 to 6:45 p.m.

Open gym

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8 to 9 a.m. the Hoopsters meet for an hour of "exercise basketball." Call Larry Page, 264-1096 or just show up for a session. This is another free program offered by the center. It's a fun way to exercise and meet new friends. Larry, who leads the group, invites everyone to join. This activity is open to all, including those who go to work. Remember that the center has shower and locker facilities that anyone can use. So, there should be no excuses.

Another open gym is held every Friday from noon to 1:15. Dan Aupperle is the contact person for this activity. Call Dan at the downtown Citizens Bank if you're interested in this fun game.

Center hours

The community center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 to 4. Call 264-4152.

Activities this week

Today - Hoopsters Basketball for Exercise, 8-9 a.m.; Beginners 1 Watercolor Class with Denny and Ginnie, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Arts Council open house, 4-7 p.m.; Chimney Rock meeting, 6-8 p.m.; Trinity Anglican Church bible study, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jan. 19 - Beginners 1 Watercolor Class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; open basketball, noon-1:15 p.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Pierced Passion Ministry seminar, 7-10 p.m.;

Jan. 20 - Pierced Passion Ministry seminar, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and dance, 6-11 p.m.; Chimney Rock evaluation meeting, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.;

Jan. 21 - Grace Evangelical Free Church and Church of Christ services, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church service, 6-8 p.m.; Fairfield Activities meeting, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.;

Jan. 22 - Line Dancing, 9-11:30 a.m.; Beginners II Watercolor Class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; baton twirling class, 3:30-5:45 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Jan. 23 - Hoopsters Basketball for Exercise, 8-9 a.m.; real estate appraiser orientation, 9-11 a.m.; Beginners II Watercolor Class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga, 10-11:30 a.m.; county commissioners' meeting, 10-11:30 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Jan. 24 - Beginners II Watercolor Class, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors' Aikido, 1-2 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Jan. 25 - Hoopsters Basketball for Exercise, 8-9 a.m.; Beginners 2 Watercolor Class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Trinity Anglican Church bible study, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

 

Senior News

Calories: Know your numbers

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Of all the diet plans out there to lose weight, they all come down to one thing: the calorie.

Whether it's calories from protein or carbohydrates or chocolate, at the end of the day it is the number of calories you take in and those you burn off that make a difference in terms of weight loss, weight gain or weight maintenance. Calories in, calories out is the key. But not all calories are treated equal, so you still want to make healthy choices.'

The energy you get from food is measured using calories. Your body requires this energy source to keep you functioning. Energy from calories fuels your every action, much as gasoline powers your car. The main food energy sources are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The amount of energy in each varies: Proteins and carbohydrates have about 4 calories per gram, and fats have about 9 calories per gram. Alcohol also has calories, about 7 calories per gram. Regardless of where they come from, calories you eat are either converted to energy or, if they're not used as energy, they're stored in your body as fat. Unless you use these stored calories — either by eating less so that your body must draw on reserves for energy or by increasing physical activity so that you burn more calories - this fat remains stored within your body.

Understanding your body's energy requirements can guide your nutritional choices. A number of Web calculators can help you determine your daily caloric needs, as well as determine how many calories you are burning through daily activity. Your caloric needs are based on your age, weight, gender and level of physical activity. But be careful. Not all calculators are from reliable sources or use appropriate scientific formulas. A nutritionist or personal trainer can get you the most accurate calculation.

There are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat. To lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories. So, if each day you cut 250 calories from your typical diet and burn off 250 calories through exercise (a total of 500 calories a day), you can lose approximately one pound a week. Cutting calories does not have to be difficult. It might be as simple as forgoing one extra item a day, swapping foods or trimming serving sizes. The number of calories you save is likely to translate into pounds lost. And remember, any physical activity burns calories!

Ten weight-loss myths

Madelyn Fernstrom, nutritionist and director of the weight management center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, reviews some popular myths that sabotage our good intentions.

Myth 1: You don't have to count calories.

Definitely not true. According to Fernstrom, people tend to overestimate their physical activity and underestimate their calories. Don't rely on eyeballing your caloric intake. Instead, every day write down what you eat, the calories and your physical activity. To make it easier to estimate your physical activity, wear a step counter.

Myth 2: Always eat breakfast.

This does not mean that you have to pack in a huge meal right after you get up in the morning. But you should eat at least a couple of hours after you start your day. This structures your day and prevents you from being so hungry when you do eat that you overeat.

Myth 3: Eat three times a day - don't snack.

You can eat three times a day or six times a day, as long as you have the same caloric intake.

Myth 4: Carbohydrates make you fat.

Carbohydrates are necessary for a balanced diet. Carbohydrates don't make you fat - calories make you fat. It is often the sugar and fat hidden in refined carbohydrates (desserts, baked goods) that cause you to gain weight. Eat whole, unrefined carbohydrates (100 percent wheat breads and pastas) loaded with fiber. Just be careful what you put on them.

Myth 5: Avoid fats.

Fat is twice as fattening as carbohydrates and proteins, but you don't want to avoid them. Studies show that fat gives you a sense of fullness and adds flavor to foods. Eliminating fats from food may increase your hunger. Additionally, fats are required for certain metabolic functions that could be jeopardized.

Myth 6: Cut out desserts.

Don't deprive yourself. Deprivation is the downfall of all diets. Portion control is the key.

Myth 7: Don't worry about dieting - just exercise.

Exercise alone is not enough. It does not burn enough calories. The most successful approach is cutting calories nutritionally and exercising.

Myth 8: Don't weigh yourself.

Get on the scale! You need to keep yourself in check, so weigh yourself at least once a week.

Myth 9: Never eat at night.

Calories don't know time. What is important is how many calories you consume, not when.

Myth 10: No snacking between meals.

Calories are calories. Snacks are not the culprit of our weight gain, calories are. Your choice of snacks and how they add to your overall calorie intake for the day make the difference. Choosing an apple instead of a candy bar saves you calories and is a healthy snack that will keep you from feeling hungry.

Don't look at counting calories and steps as another task you have to do. Instead, look at these changes you need to make for weight loss and management as lifestyle changes that will be with you for the rest of your life. If you learn the proper skills that help you limit and burn off calories, you will soon be making healthier choices and be well on your way to a healthier, trimmer you.

An afternoon of culture

You don't need a big city for fine dining and culture; we have it all right here in our lovely mountain town of Pagosa Springs. The Den would like to invite you to join us Thursday, Jan. 18, for an afternoon of fun as we explore the finer things in our quaint town. Our day will begin with a luncheon at Dionigi's Restaurant at noon, as we enjoy a taste of Italy right here in Pagosa. You will have a choice of four classic Italian entrees including eggplant Parmesan, chicken parmesan, fettuccine alfredo, or spaghetti and meatballs, along with a salad, bread and a drink for the all-inclusive price of only $10.

After our delicious dining experience, we will attend a tour of the Shy Rabbit Art Gallery and view their latest showcase of art. "Hold It!," an exhibition of contemporary containers, opened at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts in December and runs through Jan. 20. This elegant exhibition features seven emerging and mid-career artists working in varying and somewhat unconventional mediums.

"Hold It!" artists were asked to stretch the concept of a typical container or vessel. This exhibition entertains the viewer's imagination with a wide range of materials and forms. Several of the artists invited to participate in "Hold it!" had existing works that fit the show theme. Others created new work inspired by the show title and the freedom they were allowed in the process. The process was a very organic one that resulted in the creation of work that is natural and unforced. You needed to make your reservation by Jan. 16. If you did, transportation will be provided by The Den for $2. We look forward to sharing a slice of culture with you, Pagosa style.

Inside Out Day

It is Inside Out Day at The Den tomorrow, Jan. 19. When you get dressed in the morning, make sure all of your tags and seams are on the outside rather than the inside. Yes, I mean wear your clothes inside out! We will have some great prizes for those who look a little funny that day

Sing-alongs with Judy Esterly

Tomorrow, at 12:45 p.m., The Den is happy to welcome Judy Esterly for some great fun and music. Judy has been playing guitar and singing for 43 years and considers herself "a plinker and a plunker." She has offered to join us at The Den for sing-a-longs to some favorite songs (song sheets supplied) as a way of giving back to our community and to just have a great time!

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Do you suffer from chronic pain, an injury, headaches, digestive disorders, asthma, stress and anxiety, or women's health problems? Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can offer safe, effective, and drug-free treatments for a wide range of health problems. Join Braxton Ponder at The Den at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, to learn more about this form of general wellness and preventative care. Braxton holds a Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree and is National Board Certified in Oriental Medicine.

Nails with Dru

Do you want to feel pampered? Or how about some fun conversation while doing something nice for yourself? Dru Sewell, has offered to do your nails free of charge from 9:30 -11a.m. at The Den on Wednesdays. You can make an appointment or drop in for your nail treatment. Dru will trim, file and paint your nails while entertaining you with her bubbly personality.

Dance for Health

"Dance For Health" classes will be available at The Den Wednesdays 10 a.m. free of charge. Karma Raley, the dance instructor, enjoys sharing her love of dance and blends basic ballet, modern jazz, and 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 to. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel. Join us at The Den and learn great dance techniques while having a fun time exercising.

Free monthly movie

Our movie at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, is "The World's Fastest Indian" rated PG-13.

In 1967, New Zealander Burt Munro (Anthony Hopkins) set records with his customized Indian Scout motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But, perhaps more amazing than his jaw-dropping land speed of 200 mph, was the fact that he was a 67-year-old grandfather. Join us for some popcorn in the lounge for this heartwarming drama that is based on a true story.

Birthday celebrations

If you are age 60 or older and your birthday is in January, come to The Den on Friday, Jan. 26, for lunch and 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.

Seniors Inc. memberships

In January, 2007 Seniors Inc. memberships for folks 55 and older will be sold at The Den. The 2007 memberships can be purchased for $5 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Memberships will not be sold Thursdays.

Your Seniors Inc. membership entitles you to a variety of discounts from participating merchants. For qualifying members, it provides scholarships to assist with the costs for eye glasses, hearing aids, dental expenses, and prescription and medical equipment. Your Seniors Inc. membership will also cover $20 of the $30 transportation fee for medical shuttles to Durango. The Den's Monthly Mystery trips to fascinating destinations are sponsored by Seniors Inc. so these cool trips in the warmer months are open to all Seniors Inc. members. As you can see, the benefits of a Seniors Inc. membership are endless, so stop on in at The Den during the scheduled hours to renew or purchase your first annual membership. Please remember that you do not need to be a Seniors Inc. member to join us at The Den. Everyone is welcome to be a part of our extended family!

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Jan. 18 - Blood pressure checks in Arboles, 11:45 p.m.; lunch served in Arboles (reservations required), noon; Dionigi's luncheon and Shy Rabbit tour (reservations required), noon. The Den is closed.

Friday, Jan. 19 - The Geezers meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Inside Out Day, noon; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; music with Judy Esterly, 12:45 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 22 &emdash;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, Jan. 23 - Yoga, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 24 - Nails with Dru, 9:30-11 a.m.; Dance For Health class, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine presentation with Braxton Ponder, 12:45 p.m.; a Aikido class, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 25 - The Den is closed.

Friday, Jan. 26 - The Geezers meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; $1 birthday lunch celebrations, noon; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "The World's Fastest Indian," rated PG, 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.

Thursday, Jan. 18 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley, whole wheat roll, and cherry cobbler.

Friday, Jan. 19 - Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, apricots and peaches, and whole wheat roll.

No menu available for Jan. 22-24.

 

Veteran's Corner

VA Financial Income Threshold information

By Andy Fautheree

The Veterans Service Office will be closed today and part of Friday while I attend a VA Conference in Denver.

Income Thresholds

I recently received the official VA Financial Income Thresholds listings for 2007.

I'm sure your next question is: "Why is he telling me this? What's that got to do with me?"

These listings are used to determine the VA health care enrollment priority status. Priority status determines whether you are required by the VA to make co-payments for VA health care and certain other VA benefits.

Means Test

Many of you who have less than a 50-percent service-connected disability, or no other special considerations such as a Purple Heart, POW, or exposure to certain health threatening agents like Agent Orange, and who enrolled after Jan. 16, 2003, are required to fill out a financial Means Test every year.

The actual income threshold is obtained from HUD reports, since cost of living varies from area to area.

Co-pay requirements

If the veteran's household adjusted gross income is less than the following, the veteran co-pay requirements are as follows:

- Free prescriptions, health care and travel allowance: veteran with no dependents - $10,929, veteran with one dependent - $14,313; veteran with two dependents - $16,179; veteran with three dependents - $18,045. The threshold continues higher with additional dependents.

- Free Health Care, co-pay prescriptions, no travel allowance (Archuleta County in parenthesis): veteran with no dependents - $27,790 ($30,200); veteran with one dependent - $33,350 ($34,500); veteran with two dependents - $35,216 ($38,800). The threshold continues higher with additional dependents.

Medical expenses

There is a medical expense deduction of the maximum allowable VA pension rate from the previous year of: veteran with no dependents - $529; veteran with one dependent - $693; veteran with two dependents - $783. The deduction continues higher with additional dependents.

Additionally, there is a $80,000 income and asset net worth limitation for new enrollments.

VAHC co-pays for 2007 have been set at much the same as 2007, with the exception of Inpatient care.

Those co-pays are: basic care services, $15; specialty care services, $50; medications, $8.

Inpatient services are $992 for the first 90 days of care during a 365-day period and $496 for each additional 90 days of care during a 365-day period. Per diem charge is $10 a day.

If this all sounds very complicated, you're right, it is! I suggest you stop by my office and see me for further explanations to see if you qualify for VAHC, and what level of VAHC you might be eligible for.

Fuel money

Don't forget to stop by my office with your proof of appointment information, fuel and overnight accommodation receipts to VA health care appointments for reimbursement of expenses. We are currently reimbursing nearly 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

Why libraries are good for Pagosa and our country

By Carole Howard

Sun columnist, and the library staff

Like so many community services that function well with little help from us, our library in Pagosa makes major contributions to our lives and is vital to providing education for all ages. To remind us that an institution may be taken for granted, here is an adaptation of a list of library benefits that originally appeared in American Libraries magazine in 2006:

1. Libraries inform. Democracy vests supreme power in the people. Libraries help democracies work by providing access to information for effective governance.

2. Libraries level the playing field, providing free resources to everyone regardless of income, race or other factors.

3. Libraries nourish our brains, stimulating curiosity and the twin forces of creativity and imagination.

4. Libraries open kids' minds, with books and programs transporting them from the commonplace to the extraordinary.

5. Libraries return high dividends, increasing property values and helping people of all ages learn and thrive.

6. Libraries offer sanctuary. Like churches, synagogues and other sacred places, libraries create a feeling of peace, respect, humility and honor that helps us learn.

7. Libraries respect history, preserving the record of our nation and our culture, enabling us to communicate through distance and time with the living and the dead.

No computer service Jan. 22

On Monday, Jan. 22, the library will be installing new software that enables self-service signup for PCs and provides management of printing, letting you know the number of pages and cost before you print, thus avoiding waste.

The new software is a gift from the Woman's Civic Club. It also ensures fair access to computers, locates the next available PC and allows automatic signup with your library card, thus offering additional patron privacy and convenience. If you do not have a library card, please apply now because you'll need to enter the barcode from the back of your card to use a computer. If you're under 17, you will need your parent's or guardian's signature to get a library card.

Lifelong Learning resumes

Biz Greene reports that the highly popular Lifelong Learning series of lectures and other special programs is set to resume on Saturday, March 3. She is planning eight events in March and April. Mark your calendars and watch for more details in next week's library column.

Books on tape

Our many fans of books on tape will be interested to know that our latest BOT additions to the library include modern classics like Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" and current thrillers like Wilbur Smith's "Warlock," Jeffrey Deaver's "Twelfth Card," Ian Rankin's "A Question of Blood," John Sanford's "Broken Prey" and Jonathan Kellerman's "Twisted" and "Gone." All are unabridged.

Self-improvement and inspiration

"Talk to the Hand," by Lynne Truss, is a witty look at rudeness and antisocial behavior by the author of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves."

"How Full is Your Bucket: Positive Strategies for Work and Life," by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, shows you how increase the positive moments in your work and your life while reducing the negative. "What Would Jackie Do?" by Shelly Branch and Sue Callaway applies the philosophies of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to aspects of contemporary life including relationships, office politics, family matters and entertaining.

Spiritual offerings

"Cathedrals of the Spirit," by T.C. McLuhan, takes readers on a pilgrimage to the spiritual centers of the earth — sacred sites both natural and manmade — and includes 60 photographs. "Navajo & Tibetan Scared Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit," by Peter Gold, documents basic principles shared by these geographically disparate peoples by drawing parallels between their myths, cosmology, visionary arts and healing rituals. "The Ultimate Dimension" is a new book on CD about advanced Buddhist teachings by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Special donations

Heartfelt thanks for monetary donations from Gail Shepherd, Cate Smock, Bill Wetzel, as well as Donald Logan and Patricia Howard in New Hampshire in recognition of Bob and Carole Howard. And a special thank you to Marty of BrushHog Services, who donated his time and equipment to remove the large pile of dirt left over from last year's construction.

Other donations

Our thanks for books and materials to Joni Jill Barlow, Ian Barton, Carmen Booz, Robert Bricca, Barbara Carlos, Sharee Grazda, Philomena Hogrefe, Ellen Jackson, Sandra Kahrs, Sue Kehret, Clyde Ketchum, the Lyle family, Susan McAdams, Jill Oswald, Ann and William Pongratz, Bonnie Ray, Doug Trowbridge, Jeff Versaw and Wyatt Walston.

 

Arts Line

Pagosa Springs Arts Council open house

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will hold an open house tonight from 4-7 p.m. in the South Conference Room at the community center.

Plan to drop by and learn more about the Arts Council, its mission and goals, what it hopes to accomplish in 2007 and beyond and the benefits of volunteering for this dynamic organization. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

Annual photo contest

Have you taken an outstanding photograph and wondered if it might be worthy of public display?

Have people admired one of your photos hanging in your home?

If so, plan to plan to submit one or more of your photographs to this year's annual photography contest at Moonlight Books.

This fun event is open to all amateur and professional photographers. Each exhibitor may submit up to three entries either in black and white or color - but only two entries in any one category.

There is a $4 entry fee per photograph; entries will be accepted at Moonlight Books until 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 31.

The opening reception is 5-7 p.m. Feb 3 and if you attend, you can vote for the People's Choice Award. Photographs will be on display Feb. 3-24.

Rules and application forms can be picked up at Moonlight Books or downloaded off the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Web site at www.pagosa-arts.com.

Pennington to judge contest

Renowned Fort Lewis College professor Paul Marshall Pennington has agreed to serve as a judge for this year's photography competition. Pennington has exhibited at Nason & Williams in Taos, N.M.; in a Plan B Juried Group Show in Santa Fe, N.M., and at the Soho Gallery of Photography in New York, to name a few. He has been published in Bike Magazine, Natural History Magazine, The Denver Post and numerous other publications. He has received awards from the Durango Arts Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the San Juan National Forest, Mancos, Co-Artists in Residence Program, Aspen Guard Station.

PSAC and Moonlight Books are indeed fortunate to have such a celebrated individual to judge their contest.

PSAC gallery hours

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park is on winter hours.

Although the gallery will not be staffed on a regular basis, voice mail and e-mail will be checked regularly, so please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Remember, it is not too early to sign up for the January workshops and this can be done over the phone or through the mail.

The Artist Spirit

The Artist Spirit addresses your heartfelt questions about the arts. It is geared to enlighten and inform, be sincere, humorous or just have fun. This is an opportunity to hear what other artists are thinking and feeling and a place to speak out in the Art Community

If you have any questions for Dear Liz Rae, please e-mail psac@centurytel.net attention: The Artist Spirit, or mail your questions to The Artist Spirit, PSAC, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Your name is not necessary.

Dear Liz Rae:

I have written and self-published a novel. Recently, I was approached by a publicist to market it for national exposure but with no guarantee of sales. Would this be a good investment, or would I be throwing away my money? How would you advise that I get my book out into the marketplace? A national campaign would take a lot of sales to recoup my money, and I'm wondering if this might be a foolish move. I need your advice. Am IÉ

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Dear Penny Wise and Pound Foolish:

Rejection is part of the game you have to play. What have other publishers told you? Is your book focused on a popular subject that would be of interest to a national audience?

Keep in mind the difference between advertising and marketing. By marketing your book, you will become known and recognized. Advertising, on the other hand, is designed to sell your book.

The right publicist is worth their weight in gold. Publicists are hired not to bring in sales but to sell your name. They have the resources to secure interviews regarding your book with radio and TV hosts, magazines and newspapers. Getting your book into the hands of Oprah or Sally Jessie could sell millions. There is the potential for hundreds of thousands of people hearing about your book with one placement with a national media source.

Through advertising, you will be selling books through bookstores and other venues one book at a time.

Most publicists have a local and regional package for a lot less money than a national campaign would require. You should consider testing the market to see if the subject of your book is something that would appeal to a general audience or should be more narrowly focused to a specific media type.

Most national media want to know how and what you have done in your local area before they will consider you. My advice to you is to start small and expand from there.

Only you can make the decision. Marketing yourself and your book will take the same dedication that writing the book required and is just as important. I advise you keep both in front of the public and be Penny Wise.

Liz Rae

Watercolor club

Watercolor club meets the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. in the Arts and Crafts Room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Attending members contribute $5 for use of the space. Attendees should bring a bag lunch, their supplies, and a willingness to have a fun creative day! New participants are always welcome.

Photography club

Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend their first Pagosa Springs Photography Club meeting at no charge. Any and all are invited to join for $20 annual dues.

For more information, contact club president Sharon Comeaux at 731-4511 (daytime), 731-5328 (evening) or e-mail m_mcomo@yahoo.com.

PSAC winter workshops

Brighten up your winter by signing up for one of the earliest classes of the New Year!

- Denny and Ginnie will teach Beginners II, Building Blocks of Watercolor, Jan. 22-24 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day. Bring a lunch. Cost is $175 for three full days, $150 for PSAC members This workshop builds on Beginners I, The Basics of Watercolor, and uses everything students learned in those classes. In Beginners II, students will continue to work together to make it easy for you to create independently. They use all the materials from before, and just a few more things. Remember, watercolor is magic and fun!

Mornings, there will be lessons and exercises about shapes, composition and design, choosing subjects, further study about value and color, and advanced techniques such as lifting, scraping, masking, glazing, working with sponges, salt, plastic wrap and waxed paper. Afternoons will be spent painting, using the morning's lessons.

- Pierre Mion will teach his winter watercolor workshop (snow scenes) Jan. 29-31 with an optional fourth day on Thursday, Feb. 1. The group will spend a day prior to classes photographing outdoor subjects, this date yet to be determined. These classes are fun, relaxed and open to all levels, including beginners. His classes are always great fun.

Pierre is an internationally-known artist and illustrator who worked with Norman Rockwell for 12 years. Cost for this class is $240 for PSAC members, $265 for nonmembers, who will automatically get a one-year membership.

- Local artist Randall Davis will hold a one-day drawing workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the community center. This workshop will focus on drawing the face. This session is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. If you have never attended one of his classes, it's wonderful to see what you can produce in a day under Randall's guidance. Everyone leaves with a completed drawing.

Supplies needed for this class include a sketch pad (preferably 11x14), assorted drawing pencils, including a 3H or 4H, a No. 2, and a 3B or 4B, eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener. Plan to bring a bag lunch. Cost for the day is $35. Call PSAC to register, 264-5020.

Fabric art lecture at South Fork

Local artist Jeanine Malaney will present "Painting with Fabric," a one-hour lecture on her unique technique of paint and fabric collage. The presentation will be held in South Fork at the Silverthread Quilt Guild at 11 a.m. Tuesday Feb. 20. Jeanine will introduce a step-by-step technique, choice of fabrics, paints, and threads. Several of her fabric paintings will be on display. Jeanine has recently exhibited in Taos, Durango, Ouray and Pagosa, and previously in Arizona. She is also known for her watercolor artwork and was selected for the 2006 PSAC Juried Fine Art Show. You can see originals at her Web site, www.paintingswithfabric.com. For more information, call Jeanine at 731-1664.

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

Today - Watercolor club, 10 a.m., community center.

Today - PSAC open house, community center, 4-7 p.m.

Jan. 22-24 - Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett workshop: Beginners II-Building Blocks of Watercolor.

Jan. 29-31 - Pierre Mion watercolor workshop.

Feb. 12-14 - Soledad Estrada-Leo's Big Little Angelos Workshop.

Feb. 19-21 - Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett Workshop: Intermediate I-Using Photos, People and More.

 

Food for Thought

Having a party? Do The Mandela

By Karl Isberg

A party?

No thanks.

Not for me.

Not the standard party, at any rate.

I'm not comfy at parties, I don't tend to enjoy myself if I'm in a group of more than, say É two. Unless, of course, the party is at one of the higher-end Vegas hotels and takes place following ten or more gin and tonics, in the lounge, at 3 a.m. - complete with a great band playing my old favorites.

Curtis Mayfield, anyone?

The idea of throwing a party is anathema to me. I find the notion poisonous, as damaging to my well being as a piece of radioactive sushi propelled mouthward by an enemy of Vladimir Putin.

Nope, not for me.

"Let's throw a party."

I am just out of bed. I have yet to shake off sleep, to come to full consciousness. I need coffee. Lots of coffee. French roast'll do.

I am vulnerable as Kathy starts to push the idea. She knows this; she is crafty, her timing is impeccable.

"We moved to this house more than a year ago. Let me remind you: I told you way back then I really wanted to have an open house - a housewarming, and you agreed."

"No É if I remember correctly, I nodded then I cleared my throat. I didn't actually agree. I sent an ambiguous signal."

"You were very clear. You agreed."

I know what is coming next; there's nothing I can do to stop it.

"I have a list." She grabs a piece of paper and begins to wave it around.

I know about the list before she flutters it in front of my face.

Why? Because Kathy makes lists every day. You name it, she's got it on a list. She leaves the lists on flat surfaces all around the house; she attaches them to the front of the refrigerator with goofy little magnets - next to greasy photos of relatives, dead pets and babies born to strangers.

This particular list is all too familiar; I have seen it in one place or another around the house for the last year or so, occasionally updated, always placed in a prominent spot, guaranteeing I will find it. It's interesting to see which names have been added to the list, which have disappeared with each change in our roster of acquaintances. It is a record of Kathy's social consciousness.

Me É I have no social consciousness. I don't want to throw a party.

"We have so many of our old friends who have had us over, and we've never reciprocated."

"I can't invite them over."

"Why?"

"I would deprive them of one of their primary sources for insults, for fun at my expense. They count on me not extending an invitation, so they can rag me about it. I can't take that from them. It's a gift, you know, from me to those I love. Denying it would be cruel"

"OK, so we can't have any of the people too numerous to mention who continue to invite us over, over. Does that mean we can have someone over who has never had us over? Or, how about someone who has had us over once, or over twice at the most? Can we have them over?"

"Well, that's a lot of 'overs,' but É"

"Good, cuz I have a list."

Rats!

I am in a bind and it will take some shifty work to minimize the damage. I need a moment to gather my wits, to devise a strategy. I am assisted by Dame Fortune.

Zap Mama's "Miss Qin" booms on the sound system and Kathy is off, scooting across the hardwood floor doing The Mandela, a dance of her own creation, a "dance of tribute to a Nobel Peace Prize winner." Thankfully, Mandela is not here to see it.

Despite the diversion, I am only temporarily off the hook. It is clear we are going to host a gathering. The trick is to engineer the event so it features a novel combination of company; and a whopping bunch of fine food and drink.

I wake in the middle of the night with the answer. I am brilliant in the middle of the night, when there is no one around to witness it.

The purpose of the gathering - indulge a special wine, and scarf down a load of food that harmonizes with that wine.

Turns out a bunch of us made one of our regular bulk wine purchases a while back, guided, as always, by our noble oenological guru, James. One of the bottles we purchased was noteworthy: a Domaine de Charbonniere, Cuvée Mourre des Perdrix, Chateau Neuf du Pape, 2001 - at a reasonable price, mind you, with a more than good chance of being a huge bargain. When we purchased the bottles, I suggested that we each refrain from opening the Charbonniere and find a time in the near future when we could gather and down all of it at one sitting.

I believe I was drinking at the time I made the suggestion. OtherwiseÉ

So, this is my fall-back position and it stalls Kathy. I proceed to set it up and, this weekend, we do the deed. Jim and Betsy, Leigh and Jim, Pat and Marion, me and Kathy, James.

Five bottles of Charbonniere Chateau Neuf du Pape, 2001 (plus a couple bottles of Chateau Lascaux and a Chateau La Roque thrown in for good measure).

And a mess o'food.

James arrives early. We are in charge of a main course and primary side that fit the wine - something vaguely Provencal, since just down river (the Rhone) from the home of our wine is Provence and the sea.

A daube seems in order, with nicoise olives, caramelized pearl onions, a bit of tomato, carrot. And couscous, with raisins and almonds. And a baking sheet full of tomatoes Provencal.

Jim and Betsy are bringing a starter, as are Marion and Pat. Leigh and Jim are providing a pear, bleu cheese and walnut salad. Kathy is whipping up a tarte tatin with a rum raisin sauce and whipped cream. James and I are in the kitchen, sleeves rolled up, making bread crumbs, roasting veggies, braising and steaming for all we are worth.

And we're all bringing a bottle of the wine.

James and I decant our bottles a half-hour before anyone else arrives, giving the incredibly colored but tight delight time to loosen up, to relax and open for us. The plan: As we drink, we decant another bottle, and so on until all (and the several bottles of other juice) is gone.

The daube: I chunk up a bunch of boneless short ribs and a slab o'chuck. First thing in the morning, I saute the dried and seasoned chunks, a few at a time, in olive oil, over medium high heat in a large casserole, until they're browned on all sides. I remove the chunks to a warm plate and, when all are done, I toss a mire poix into the pan - finely diced white onion, carrot and celery, and saute until the veggies begin to caramelize. I deglaze the pan with an entire bottle of pinot noir, scraping all the goodies off the bottom of the pan. I pour in a bit of beef stock and I reduce the liquid a titch. In goes the beef, ten cloves of garlic peeled, a large curl of orange peel, a half can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, a serious hit of herbes de Provence, a tiny bit of salt (remember, as liquids reduce, the salt becomes more pronounced) a scant teaspoon of Espanola red and some crushed black pepper. I bring the liquid to a simmer, cover the pan and place it on the middle rack of a 325 oven.

For three hours.

About two and a half hours after the pan goes into the oven, I heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, dump in a batch of parboiled pearl onions and a bit of salt and, shaking the pan frequently and frantically, I caramelize the onions. I hurl in a bunch of chunks of carrot and let them brown up a bit. Into the pan of braising beef go the veggies.

When the beef is excruciatingly tender - after about three hours - I move the meat and veggies to a heated bowl with a slotted spoon and I put the pan on the stovetop. I reduce the liquid over high heat until a third of it of it is gone. I taste, I adjust the seasonings. I toss in a serious number of nicoise (or pitted kalamata) olives and I add a splash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I pulverize the soft cloves of garlic with a fork and add the garlic paste to the sauce. I plop in a heaping tablespoon of veal demi-glace, taste, freshen the seasoning (dishes such as this should be seasoned in layers) and continue to cook for a few minutes. Back in go the beef and vegetables, the casserole is covered and the heat is turned down to near zero while James' tomatoes Provencal are finished off under the broiler - Romas halved, covered with fresh bread crumbs seasoned with herbes de Provence (cubes sauteed in olive oil and butter until crisp, then pulsed into crumbs in the processor) moistened with extra virgin olive oil, the crumbs brought to golden brown hue by the flame in the oven.

Oh my.

Everything is just dandy.

The starters are spectacular - cheeses, shrimp, smoked salmon, pesto. The salad is the perfect foil to the meaty entrée, the dessert is a wonderful finish. Jim brings a bottle of old Port and we polish it off. Everyone gets along; there are no fistfights.

Good company, good food, good wine.

Now, if I can keep Zap Mama under wraps and prevent Kathy from giving Mandela lessons É this could be a bearable party.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Get ready for the Winter Perch Tournament

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

As we go through this cold snap, the refrain "Siberia with a View" keeps playing in my mind like a broken record. The view indeed is awesomely beautiful and I feel we are finally getting some winter weather, just like we use to have in the good ol' days.

As local anglers enthuse about the upcoming Winter Perch Tournament at Lake Pagosa on Saturday, Jan. 27, PLPOA employees are working hard at planning a fun, safe and enjoyable event. Larry Lynch will continue to evaluate ice conditions closely over the next week. The ice is good over most of the lake now - about 12 inches thick with some normal open water areas around the aerators. Use your good sense and stay clear of the open water areas.

The tournament will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will run until 2:30 p.m. The entry fee is $10 early purchase, and $12 at the lake on tournament day. Tickets are now available at the recreation center, PLPOA administration office, Terry's ACE Hardware and Ponderosa Do-it-Best.

Neither a Pagosa Lakes-issued fishing permit or a state fishing license is required. Children 15 and under will fish for free at the tournament and will compete for prizes (mainly fishing-related items). Adult participants will be competing for cash prizes.

Hot food and drinks will be sold at the tournament by a group of seven local students who are raising funds to travel to Italy, France and Greece later this year for a People to People Student Ambassadors Conference. Won't you help these kids out by buying food from them. They will have delicious hot wraps, zesty chili, assorted snacks and hot and cold drinks available.

I have really appreciated having the walking trails on North Pagosa Blvd. so well-maintained this winter. Thanks to Joe Rivas of PLPOA, I am able to walk the path safely and enjoy my commute to work.

Ellen Griffith, a Rotary Youth Exchange student, left last week to return to Adelaide, Australia, after spending a year in Pagosa, living with four local families and attending our high school. Below are excerpts from a letter she wrote to the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. I wanted to share this with the community because so many of you touched her life and contributed toward a very meaningful year for Ellen. She said:

"I want to start by saying thank you. This year has meant so much more to me than I could have ever imagined and it is you that I have to thank for that É I have grown in so many ways this year. I am no longer the country girl at the all-girls city school. I am now part of a much larger thing É while my friends in Australia have sat in Adelaide all year, I have had the experience of a lifetime."

Ellen goes on to talk about the kindness extended to her by our community and how warmly she was welcomed. She mentioned in particular that "things I will never forget are things like going to Rotarians' homes for dinner and the Cammack family picking me up at the airport when I arrived six hours late É and then the little things like going to watch a movie at the cinema and actually recognizing the people working there. You know you have become part of a town when you can't walk down the aisle at City Market without being stopped by the people that you know." (That must be the reason it takes us all so long to do our grocery shopping.)

I wish to acknowledge the host families who opened up their homes to Ellen. I thank you, Bob and Livia Lynch, Bob and Lisa Scott, Sue and Brian Meekins and Sabra and Tim Miller.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

Get ready for Chamber meeting, WinterFest

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

The awards have been ordered, the decorations have been pulled out, the food is being prepped and the band is tuning their instruments for the 2007 Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and celebration.

It's that time of year, when business owners and representatives gather, celebrate successes and have some fun.

It is also a time for the Chamber to honor the Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year, as nominated by community members, and the Pagosa Pride recipients who have made renovations to existing buildings or landscape, thus improving the look of their businesses. We will also have some fun awards this year, as well as other activities and lots of chances to win some great prizes. The evening will culminate with music by the High Rollers, the popular Durango-based band.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. There will be a cash bar with wine and beer from our hometown brewery, Pagosa Brewing. The food will start off with a salsa and guacamole bar and the full buffet dinner will be provided by Eddie B. Cookin'. Prior to the awards, we will have some fun with the Office Olympics; prizes include yearly memberships, a trip to Glenwood Springs, and tickets to other events to be held during the upcoming year.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

This will also be the last time you will be able to vote for your favorite candidates for three-year terms on the Chamber board of directors nominees. The candidates are: Janis Moomaw, an associate member; Shawn Lacey, owner of Plaza Liquor; Jim Stacy, owner of Eagle's Nest RE/MAX Realty; Mark Horn, with Bank of Colorado; Robin Carpenter-Hubbard, owner of Pagosa Candy Co.; and Frank Schiro, with Jim Smith Realty and owner of Curb Appeal. If you are unable to attend the festivities, please stop by the Chamber to cast your vote. There is only one vote per membership. Please make your vote count.

When I was in D'Iberville, Miss., people would ask me why our town has so many Chamber members and why we were such a strong organization. This made me think about our organization and others like ours, and why Chambers are so important in their communities. Here are some thoughts and some notes about successes in our community:

- Your chamber offers networking opportunities, like our upcoming annual meeting and the monthly SunDowners. We provide the opportunity, you provide the knowledge and salesmanship.

- We provide great exposure for your business through brochure placement in our Visitor Center, face-to-face and phone inquiries, and at trade shows.

- We offer low-cost marketing opportunities through newsletter inserts, trade shows, visitor fulfillments, and a direct link to your Web site from ours, that is included in your membership fee.

- The Chamber offers continuing education opportunities through the Business Builders Series, the upcoming short Business Bites learning lunch series, and cooperatives ventures with Fort Lewis College, AEDA and Region 9. These programs enhance your management skills and provide educational opportunities for you and your personnel.

- We answer scores of inquiries about businesses in our community. That's our job; if you had to answer all the questions, you would never get any work done.

- We are your bonus salesperson. We sell this town, this community and the wonderful businesses that are invested here. We bring people to this area to visit, to shop at your stores and utilize your services. We look for new ways to bring viable, sustainable commerce to this area.

- We try to keep you abreast of business issues you should be aware of and involved in. You are part of a business community. You add credibility to your organization as a business that is involved in the community.

The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce is many things to many people: a referral source, a phone directory, an advertising agency, a learning opportunity, and even a social networking system. We are here for our community. We are not just a referral system; we want to share community successes with you, and one of our opportunities is at the annual Chamber of Commerce meeting. We hope to see you Saturday night.

WinterFest

It's time to get fit, practice those ice-fishing techniques, and be creative for the WinterFest activities to be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10 and 11.

Although there is no sanctioned balloon rally this year, we understand there will be about 10 balloonists in Pagosa, ready to fly Saturday and Sunday mornings, should the weather cooperate.

Saturday's festivities kick off with the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race, hosted by Dick and Kathy Fitz at Best Value High Country Lodge. All sleds must be homemade and the sled with the best timed average on three runs down the hill wins. There will also be a prize for the most creative sled and door prizes for the attending public. Come out to cheer on your favorite entry and then after the races partake of hot dogs, hamburgers, and beverages provided by our sponsors at High Country Lodge.

Also on Saturday, there will be an ice-fishing tournament at Lake Hatcher, hosted by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. Questions about the ice fishing tournament should be directed to Larry Lynch at 731-5635.

Saturday night, the community center will come alive with the sounds of Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge. Combine the activities of WinterFest with Valentine's Day to make this a special evening for your sweetheart. Tickets will be on sale soon at the community center and the Chamber.

Sunday, Feb. 11, the annual WinterFest Triathlon will be held at Wolf Creek Ski Area, including cross country skiing, snowshoeing and downhill skiing or snowboarding events. Participants will be treated to lunch after the race, the price of lunch included in the registration fee. Participants and spectators alike will be privy to an Olympian guest speaker. There are some great prizes from vendors such as Spyder and Voilé and other registration treats as well. This event would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of Wells Fargo, Galles Properties, Jann Pitcher Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Fairfield Resort, Wolf Creek Ski Area and El Rancho Pinoso. Come out and cheer on your favorite participant and watch some awesome athletes. Entry fees are $30 for single entry, $45 for a team of two, and $60 for a team of three. For more information or to register, call Kimberley at the Chamber at 264-2360.

Memberships

Our memberships this week include new members and renewals, and this variety is what makes our organization tick.

Our first member isn't really new, but his business is up and running, to the delight of many. We welcome Tony Simmons and Pagosa Brewing Co. I mentioned that Tony will be providing the beer for the annual meeting this year - quite a step up for us. Here's a little known fact about Pagosa Brewing: Did you know that before the doors were even open at the brewing company, Tony had won two national awards? We are so pleased to welcome his business at 100 N. Pagosa Blvd., behind the old Wild Hare. Turn west on Bastille, then left behind Wildflower Catering. The small but "homey" tasting room has live music on specified days, beer to go and, in season, a huge tree-covered beer garden. For more details, you can view Tony's Web site at www.PagosaBrewing.com or call 731-BREW (2739).

We have another new member this week - Artyrox Graphic Design with Roxanne Schick. Artyrox has reasonable rates, prompt graphic service and provides graphic design from a complete identity package with logo, business cards and stationary to brochures, newsletters, copywriting, catalogs, business forms, and promotional materials. Roxanne can add animation to your Web site or give it a customized look. She also provides photography to complement your business brochure. For more information about this talented lady, call 731-0949, or visit her Web site at artyrox@ifriendly.com.

Renewals this week include the Pagosa Lodge; Cutting Edge Glass & Mirror; Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites; Digital Assets; Short Civil Engineering and Land Surveying; Foam Insulation Specialists; Ensignal; Pagosa Springs Golf Club; Harms PhotoGraphic; Harmony Works and Juice Bar; Airport Self Storage; and Basin Printing and Imaging, in Durango.

We welcome back two non-profit organizations this week: United Way of Southwest Colorado and the Kiwanis Club. And we have two associate members renewing: Maryjane Knight and Joanne Irons.

Thank you to all the renewals this week. Everyone was waiting for the beginning of the new year to re-up. This is just another indication of what a viable organization the Chamber of Commerce is in our community. We look forward to seeing many folks at the annual meeting, partaking of great food and having lots of fun. Suspense is building as people try to figure who will receive the Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year awards.

Come to the annual meeting, congratulate the winners and dance the night away.

For more information, call the Chamber at 264-2360

 

IRS adds new features as filing season begins

The Internal Revenue Service has begun a busy 2007 filing season that features telephone excise tax refunds, a new refund deposit feature and recently enacted tax breaks that may require extra attention from taxpayers.

"Taxpayers will have a number of new tax benefits and features available this year," IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. "We encourage taxpayers to take a few minutes to review these changes, particularly those involving the recently enacted tax law provisions. The IRS will do everything it can to minimize the impact on taxpayers."

This week, the agency is sending 17 million 1040 tax packages for 2006 to taxpayers who have previously filed paper returns. The number of paper tax booklets being mailed to Americans continues to decline as more people opt for electronic filing. The IRS expects to process about 136 million individual tax returns for 2006, with more than half of those filed electronically.

There are some major changes taking place this year.

Telephone excise tax refund

Individual taxpayers will be able to request a refund if they paid the federal excise tax on long-distance or bundled service. The government stopped collecting the federal excise tax on long-distance service in August and announced plans to provide refunds of these taxes billed after Feb. 28, 2003, and before Aug. 1, 2006. More than 146 million individual taxpayers are expected to request the refund.

To request the refunds, taxpayers have several options:

- Individual taxpayers can request the refund by using the standard amounts, which are based on the total number of exemptions claimed on the 2006 federal income tax return. Choosing the standard amount saves taxpayers the time and trouble of digging through up to 41 months of old phone bills. The standard amounts are $30 for a person filing a return with one exemption, $40 for two exemptions, $50 for three exemptions and $60 for four or more exemptions. For example, a married couple filing a joint return with two dependent children (for a total of four exemptions) will be eligible for the maximum standard amount of $60. To get the standard amount, eligible individual taxpayers will fill out an additional line on their regular 2006 1040 return. (Line 71 on Form 1040; Line 42 on Form 1040A; Line 9 on Form 1040EZ.)

- Alternatively, individual taxpayers who want to request a refund of the actual amount of tax paid should figure that amount using Form 8913 and report it on their income tax return.

- Businesses and tax-exempt organizations can also request a refund under a different procedure; more information is available at IRS.gov.

New 1040EZ-T form

For people who don't need to file a regular tax return, the IRS has developed a special, shorter form to allow them to request the telephone refund. Copies of the Form 1040EZ-T will be available on IRS.gov, over the phone and at a variety of other locations. The IRS encourages people who qualify for the 1040EZ-T to file electronically through the Free File program, which will be available for free beginning later this month. More than 10 million taxpayers who aren't normally required to file a tax return may be able to use this new form. Taxpayers can either request the standard amount on this form or attach a Form 8913 to request actual amounts.

Tax law enactments

The IRS is taking a number of steps to help taxpayers get the information they need to take advantage of tax law provisions enacted in December after IRS forms went to print.

This new legislation affects a number of areas of tax law, but the most significant effect on individual taxpayers involves the deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees, and educator expenses.

Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov for updated information on the late legislation. The IRS will conduct a special mailing of Publication 600, which will include the state and local sales tax tables and instructions for claiming the sales tax deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), to 6 million taxpayers who also receive the 2006 Form 1040 package this month.

For taxpayers using a paper Form 1040, they will have to follow special instructions if they are claiming any of the three deductions. The key paper 1040 Forms went to print in November, so taxpayers will have to make special notations to claim the deductions if they use these paper forms. Specific details are available on IRS.gov. For people using IRS e-file or Free File, tax software will be updated to include the three key tax provisions, and e-file will get the refunds to taxpayers faster than paper returns.

"As we always do, we encourage taxpayers who think they may claim these deductions to file electronically," Everson said. "They will get their refunds faster through e-file. Even more importantly, e-file will greatly reduce the chances for making an error compared to claiming the deductions on the paper 1040."

The IRS will not be able to process tax returns claiming any extender-related deductions until early February. All other returns can be filed and processed as normal. Whether claiming an extender provision or not, the IRS notes that using IRS e-file is the most accurate way to file any return and the quickest way for taxpayers to receive their refunds. Based on filings last year, only about 930,000 tax returns claimed any of the three extender provisions by Feb. 1.

New split refund option

For the first time, taxpayers can split their refunds among up to three accounts held by up to three different U.S. financial institutions, such as banks, mutual funds, brokerage firms or credit unions. To split their direct-deposit refunds among two or three different accounts or financial institutions, taxpayers should complete the new Form 8888, Direct Deposit of Refund to More Than One Account. Taxpayers can also continue to use the direct deposit line on the Forms 1040 to electronically send their refunds to one account.

Free file improvements

The free electronic filing program begins later this month featuring improvements to benefit the 93 million taxpayers - 70 percent of all taxpayers - who qualify for the program. Free File, a partnership between the IRS and the private sector Free File Alliance, is available for taxpayers who earn $52,000 or less. This year, the program features an agreement by private sector partners to remove Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) as well as other ancillary offerings from the program.

IRS.gov, E-file helps

Given the large number of changes this year, there are several easy options for taxpayers to turn to for help. IRS.gov will have information on all the tax changes and new features this year. Key features include 1040 Central. This is a one-stop online shop for people hunting key forms, looking for what's new in the tax code and answers to frequently asked questions.

Where's My Refund?

Once taxpayers file their tax returns, they can track their refunds through the online tool "Where's My Refund?" at IRS.gov. Taxpayers will need some of the exact information from their tax returns in order to use the tool. Access this secure Web site to find out if the IRS has processed the tax return and sent the refund.

Filing electronically will prevent problems for many taxpayers sorting through this year's changes. With IRS e-file, taxpayers can get their refunds in half the time of filing a paper tax return and receiving a refund check, even faster with direct deposit. IRS computers also quickly and automatically check for errors or other missing information, making e-filed returns more accurate and reducing the chance of getting an error letter from the IRS.

"With all the changes taking place, this is a good year for paper filers to try e-file," Everson said. "We remind taxpayers that e-filing is fast, secure and reliable."

Taxpayers consistently give high marks to e-file in satisfaction surveys. E-file ranks as one of the government's most popular programs, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. And in a survey of users of Free File, 97 percent said they would recommend it to others.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

Fix-It-Free

The fourth annual Computer Fix-It-Free Day, held Jan. 6, was a great success. A dozen local technicians helped repair over 20 computers for individuals who might otherwise be unable to afford to get their computers up and running.

First and foremost, thanks to Lois Lee for scheduling and coordinating the event.

Thanks also to the Humane Society for donating computer parts, donuts, hot coffee and soft drinks, and to Robbie Schwartz in particular, who volunteered her time for the event.

Theo VanderWiede of Domino's Pizza generously donated pizzas and drinks to feed all of our hungry technicians.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center donated the conference room in which the event was held. Thanks to Mercy Korsgren, Becky Herman and Michelle for their help.

The Pagosa Springs SUN publicized the event, which otherwise no one would have known about!

Thanks to Restoration Fellowship, H&R Block, and other individuals who donated computers and parts to be used in refurbished computers given to those in need.

And a special thank you to the technicians who selflessly gave their time and talents to fix the computers: Alan Bunch, Natalie Carpenter, Larry Dick, Becky Herman, Myron Lindberg, Sam Matthews, Mark McGowan, Dave Nasralla, Kurt Raymond, Frank Simbeck, Steve Vaile, Peter Welch and David Willsey.

We'll be back next year, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 5, 2008.

 

Martinez family

The family of Maria (Mary) Martinez would like to thank everyone for the kindness shown to them during the illness and loss of their mother, Mary. Thanks so much for the prayers, flowers, food, calls and support. Special thanks to Hospice, San Juan Basin Health, Dr. Jim Pruitt and anyone else we have missed.

Thank you Father Carlos for the beautiful Mass and to the Rivases and Joel Christie for the songs. Thanks to Dennis Martinez for the beautiful flowers and the sign. Thanks to Manual Trujillo and Johnny Perea. Thanks to the Guadalupanas for their delicious food. We apologize for the misspelling of Dominic Fiorenza's name.

Sincerely,

Thomas and Juanita Martinez and family; Mac and Tessie McCarley and family; Gilbert and Frances Martinez and family; Alfredo and Loretta Campuzano and family; James and Jeanette Gomez and family; and Janice Martinez and family

 

Archuleta

My family would like to thank all of the people who helped support our family during this difficult time of Alfonso F. Archuleta's death. We have such wonderful family and friends who kept us in their prayers. God listened, and we felt the love from all of you. The Knights of Columbus and the Honor Guard who performed wonderful ceremonies really gave the family a peace of mind. Officiating the Rosary was Father Carlos Alvarez and officiating the funeral, Monsignor Leopoldo Gomez. Thank you both for bringing your personal life experiences for our beloved Alfonso.

Thank goodness we live in such a supportive and caring community.

The Archuleta and Pitts family

 

Engagement

Gronewoller/ Iverson

Don and Paula Ford happily announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Gronewoller, to Davey Iverson, son of Daniel and Dixie Iverson of Winnett, Mont.

The couple met at the Colorado School of Mines, where both played basketball. Davey graduated in May 2006 with a B.S. in physics engineering. He will graduate in May 2007 with an M.S. in engineering and technology management. Ashley graduated in December 2006 with a B.S. in economics and business and has accepted a managerial position with Anheuser-Busch in Fort Collins. The couple is planning a June 9, 2007, wedding in Pagosa Springs.

 

Sports Page

Pirates drop two, begin league play Friday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A wave of varsity boys' basketball victories broke against the strength of two New Mexico teams last weekend, ending the Pirates' 8-0 winning streak.

In an away game against Kirtland Central Friday, the Pirates lost 42-39, while Farmington dominated the Pirates Saturday in Pagosa, 68-49.

With the two losses, the Pirates dropped three spots to a fifth-place ranking in Colorado Class 3A, as determined by Colorado Preps.

Despite the close score, Coach Jim Shaffer said the team had a weaker performance in the Kirtland game, against a struggling opponent.

The score at the half was a mere 21-19, in favor of the Pirates. But after an even third quarter, Kirtland pulled away in the fourth.

Guard Jordan Shaffer put in a strong performance, despite the loss, scoring 20 points and shooting four-for-five within the arc and three-for-five from three-point territory.

Adam Trujillo was second in scoring with 10 points and led the team in rebounds (eight) and steals (four, tied with Kerry Joe Hilsabeck). Travis Richie led the team in assists with four.

The rest of the team only added nine points to the point totals of Shaffer and Trujillo.

The Pirates were unable to bounce back from the loss the next night against Farmington, though they had defeated the team by eight points before the Christmas break. In the first game, Farmington was missing one of its top players. It was the Pirates' turn to be short of starters Saturday, due to Caleb Ormonde's sprained ankle.

Ormonde will return to play for the start of the league season tomorrow.

"We were real flat and never really played well the entire game" - nowhere near the team that went undefeated before Christmas - said Coach Shaffer.

Shaffer went on to say that he was disappointed in the performance of his defense, which didn't come up with key stops. The Pirate running offense depends on defensive play to produce steals, rebounds and stops in order to enable the fast break. Pagosa only had 14 rebounds against Farmington, and the Scorpions were routinely able to take second and third shots at the basket.

While the defense didn't produce the turnovers, the offense did not protect the ball well, said Shaffer - with 16 turnovers against Kirtland and 17 against Farmington, many on throwaways.

With the difficulty passing, the offense was unable to consistently get the ball into the paint for high-percentage shots, and outside jump shots were not falling Saturday night.

As for this week, said Shaffer, the team needs to "acknowledge we didn't play well and get back to work."

According to Shaffer, "you probably learn more from losses than wins." When you win you can gloss over some of the mistakes, while a loss can help you refocus on areas in need of improvement.

The Pirates showed a more balanced attack against Farmington than against Kirtland. Jordan Shaffer and James Martinez finished with 12 points each - followed by Casey Hart with nine and Spur Ross with six.

But the points were hard in coming. Shaffer, for example, shot four-for-11 from the floor and Martinez shot six-for-10 from the free-throw line (respectable numbers for high school play, but below both players' capabilities).

The two losses are by no means the death knell of the Pirates' season. It bears repeating that they are still ranked fifth in the state and have only lost to two larger schools.

The league season, which starts Friday, will determine the Pirates' playoff future. If they win the Intermountain League regular-season title, which they are favored to do, the Pirates are guaranteed a place in the playoffs. The losses suffered last week will only have an impact on seeding in the playoffs, since teams with better records can earn home-court advantage and easier opponents. A league championship would also guarantee some home playoff games.

The boys will start their eight-game league season this weekend at home - Friday at 7 p.m. against Centauri and continuing Saturday at the same time against Monte Vista. Both teams, said Shaffer, should be better than they were last year and will provide good competition - as the Pirates try to prove their losses were flukes.

Now the Pirates have an opportunity to start another win streak, starting with Intermountain League play.

 

DuCharme tops at Alamosa tourney, Pirates at Center Saturday

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

They get better each time out.

Last weekend, Pirate wrestlers made a careful trip across a winter-blasted Wolf Creek Pass to attend the Alamosa Invitational - to compete in what is arguably one of the toughest regular-season tourneys in the state.

The question, with the adverse conditions: How many of the 15 teams scheduled to attend would actually make the trip - seeing as one (Alliance, Neb.) and several from the Denver and Colorado Springs areas could face an even more formidable drive than the Pirates.

The answer: All but two managed to negotiate the highways, including the team from Alliance.

"It was a rough trip over," said Coach Dan Janowsky of the trip to the San Luis Valley, "and we were proud to be there, amongst some pretty hard-core teams."

There were other reasons for the coach and athletes to be glad they made the trip: a tournament champion, and the chance to wrestle at a tournament - action crucial to the development of an individual wrestler and of a team.

"When you miss a tournament," said the coach, "you pay a price. When you miss a dual meet, you miss one match. When you miss the tournament, each athlete misses a couple matches at the least, and you miss the day's experience. A whole day is a forge, of sorts - everybody leaves the meet tired but, a couple days later, you're stronger."

DuCharme definitely left stronger, bringing home the title at 145 pounds.

"Joe won it all," said Janowsky, "and it was a valuable experience, for him and for the rest of the team. His performance this week was better than last week's, and he did it at a better tournament. And, as for the rest of our guys, overall they wrestled better this week, in particularly from a technical standpoint."

DuCharme began with a match against Ryan Kyllonen, of Thunder Ridge. The Pirate overwhelmed his opponent, scoring an 18-6 major decision.

In his second match, DuCharme faced Dylan Orlady, of Rock Canyon. DuCharme got the victory with a fall at one minute, 53 seconds.

Ronnie Goodman, of Durango, was next. Goodman had beaten DuCharme at the Warrior Classic earlier in the season and the Pirate had evened the score with a win at last week's Rocky Mountain Invitational. Though he fell behind at one point, this time DuCharme got the best of it, securing a win with a 14-8 decision over Goodman.

In the finals, DuCharme fought Ryan Swenson, of Douglas County, and, for a few moments, found himself on his back. Undeterred, DuCharme scored the 16-8 major decision, scoring the his last two points in the final 20 seconds of the match.

"Getting that major decision in the last seconds of the match is good," said Janowsky. "It shows you're wrestling to the very end."

Mike Smith took fourth place at 152 pounds, a sophomore fighting very well in a weight class most often dominated by upperclassmen.

Smith scored a fall at 2:27 over Taylor Barnett of Alamosa (unattached) and moved to second-round action where he pinned John Lavengood, of Durango, at 1:45.

A loss to Jarrod Purvis of Mesa Ridge put Smith in the consolation bracket where he beat Dominic Gaiton, of Alamosa, pinning Gaiton at 1:39.

A 10-6 loss to Martin Sare of Thunder Ridge, put Smith in fourth, but the match was not without its highlights. Smith got behind 5-0 in the early going but fought back, steadily gaining ground and, finally, tying the score at 10-10 with approximately 30 seconds remaining. His opponent, however, managed an escape, a takedown and back points to get the win.

Joe Hausotter was the third Pirate to place at the Alamosa tourney, at 275.

Following a first-round bye, Hausotter lost to Jimmy West, of Mesa Ridge.

In consolation action, the Pirate pinned Ethan Sizer, of Thunder Ridge, at 3:30, then lost to Alamosa's Vicente Apodaca, 4-1. Hausotter's opponent in the match for fifth place, Justin Vialpando of Pueblo East, was unable to compete due to an arm injury suffered in earlier action.

Two other Pirate posted wins at Alamosa.

Cole Mastin got a victory at 119, pinning Jordan Cahill, of Rock Canyon, at 1:20.

Caleb Burggraaf earned a 7-1 decision over Rock Canyon's Gary Davis at 171.

"It was a long way to go, and a long day," said Janowsky. "But, we got some matches in, we got to watch some good wrestling and our performances validated what we're doing. To have a sophomore win that tournament should give us more momentum."

The next test will take place Saturday, at the Center Invitational.

A dual meet set for Jan. 16 at Durango was postponed and will now take place Feb. 1. An Intermountain League dual scheduled tonight at Monte Vista, (also including a nonleague dual against Florence) was also postponed and set for Jan. 25.

 

Pirate girls thrown by Broncos

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate varsity girls' basketball suffered two tough losses at the hands of the Kirtland Central Broncos in a Friday away game and Tuesday at home - games they lost 40-27 and 56-33, respectively.

With the losses, the Pirates went under .500 for the first time this season, with a record of 5-6.

In the Friday match-up, the Pirates played close to even with the Broncos through the first half, scoring eight points to Kirtland's nine in the first quarter and nine to Kirtland's 11 in the second. However, the Broncos pulled away in the final half, scoring 10 points in both the third and fourth quarters, compared to six- and four-point totals for the Pirates.

The Pirates' top scorers were limited by the Kirtland defense: Jessica Lynch finished with eight points, Camille Rand with seven and Kristen DuCharme with six. Samantha Harris, who recently came back from knee surgery, led the team with nine rebounds (five on offense).

The Pirates came out strong Tuesday night, controlling the momentum in the first quarter. The team took a 4-0 lead three minutes into the game, which briefly disappeared after a series of missed shots (and a Kirtland surge) that led to a 6-6 tie after five minutes. But the Pirates turned it around to close the quarter with another four-point run, leading 10-6.

The game turned against the Pirates in the second quarter. Kirtland tied the game at 10 with good ball control and long offensive stints. About three minutes in, the Pirates took their last shot for a lead, when Lynch hit a three to put her team up 13-10.

Midway through the quarter the aggressive, physical play of Kirtland and a series of calls and no-calls that didn't go the Pirates' way led to an 11-point Bronco run to close the half, with the score at 21-13, Kirtland.

Kirtland's lead expanded in the third. The Pirates only score from the floor - a Rand two-pointer. The rest of the Pirates' eight points came from free throws (four of which were sunk by Rand).

Kirtland answered the Pirates with 18 points in the quarter, spreading the margin to 39-21.

Kirtland scored 17 points in the fourth, compared to 12 for the Pirates, increasing the visitors' lead to 23. But, despite the margin, the Pirates kept fighting, only, as in the game as a whole, their shots did not fall.

DuCharme, in particular, showed determination during the game, and especially the fourth quarter. DuCharme matched Kirtland's intensity from the beginning - fighting for jump balls, hustling to make plays and meeting Kirtland's physical play with toughness of her own. Before fouling out, DuCharme had five points in the fourth quarter alone.

While Kirtland showed good control of the ball and momentum (with good movement, passing, tough defense and smart shooting), the Pirates were held back by defensive mistakes (including missed match-ups and rebounds) and a general shooting slump. Pirate shooting was hampered by unsuccessful movement without the ball and forced passes - which led to turnovers, shots taken in crowds of defenders and low-percentage shots.

But the Pirates' drive to keep fighting against a larger school (even as they lost ground) could turn into something good during league play.

Pagosa's first chance to see how the Pirates will stand against their league rivals is tomorrow night at home, against Centauri, beginning at 5:30 p.m. - followed by another home game Saturday against Monte Vista, starting at the same time.

 

Reserve takeout meals for U-Way Ski Day

United Way's Ski Day at Wolf Creek and Aprés Ski Take Out Party is Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Full-day Wolf Creek Ski Area lift tickets will be sold for $36, with $11 of each ticket sold going to United Way's campaign for Archuleta County.

The Archuleta County United Way advisory council is selling Aprés Ski takeout meals consisting of soup, bread and dessert for a party of four, for $25. Meals must be reserved in advance (by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22) and will be available for pickup at the Community United Methodist Church from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Call Stacia Kemp at 264-3230 to reserve a meal or to get more information.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Youth basketball season starts, officials needed

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

The 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball seasons begin next week.

Games in the 11-12 division are slated for Monday and Wednesday while games in the 9-10 division are set for Tuesday and Thursday. Uniforms will be provided to each team on opening night.

Schedules for both divisions were not finalized as of press deadline, but are now available at the recreation office in Town Hall and can also be downloaded in Adobe format through links on the recreation department Web page at www.townofpagosasprings.com (click on "town departments," then click on "parks and recreation").

Schedules can also be obtained by calling the sports hotline (264-6658) beginning Monday morning. The hotline is updated regularly throughout the season.

Parents who have not been contacted by head coaches should call the recreation office at 264-4151, Ext. 232, to obtain roster information.

Due to record numbers participants in both divisions this year, teams in each division will have bye weeks throughout the season, and both seasons will likely run into the second week of March.

Officials needed

The recreation department is in need of game officials for the 11-12 youth basketball division and would like to hear from anyone with a general knowledge of basketball rules who is interested in officiating in this year's league. Pay scale ranges from $12-$15 per game depending on experience.

If interested, contact Andy Rice at 264-4151, Ext. 231, or Tom Carosello at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Christmas tree recycling

The Town is once again conducting a Christmas tree recycling program.

Trees can be dropped off at the designated site at South Pagosa Park any time between now and the middle of February. Look for the snow fencing surrounding the drop-off area and the signs posted just off of South Eighth Street.

Remove all ornaments and trimmings before leaving your tree. Trees will be mulched, and the mulch will be distributed to planting areas in the town's parks.

Skate pond

The skate pond at the River Center is open for the season.

Resurfacing efforts continue on Monday and Thursday evenings through the season.

On the nights the pond is resurfaced, skating will be suspended at 6 p.m. The rest of the time the lights will be on, and skating will be available from dawn until 10 p.m. Please observe any posted changes to this schedule on the signboard by the tables at the pond.

The parks crew will do its best to provide the level of services, as well as the level surfaces, to make the skating experience as enjoyable and safe as possible. The public can assist in this effort by refraining from leaving foreign objects on the ice, and by accommodating the wide array of skill levels and skating styles of their fellow gliders.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis.

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

 

Editorial

An 'understanding'

We find ourselves concerned about and saddened by a Memo-randum of Understanding being proposed between the local school district and law enforcement agencies. Concerned that such an "understanding" be clear in all its aspects and restrained in its application, and saddened by the reasons such an understanding might be necessary.

With the memorandum sent by the district to the proper officials, we hope those on the receiving end think about the nature of the agreement before they sign on. In particular, we hope there is a clarification of several seemingly ambiguous features. And, if the understanding is reached, we hope for caution following in its wake.

In essence, the "understanding" is that law enforcement will provide the district with information concerning charges, adjudication and delinquency involving students. The agencies would report acts, threats, incidents deemed to pose a public safety concern. We await a more precise definition of such acts, and an explanation, by law enforcement, of how they might affect the school environment.

The agencies would provide information to the superintendent and school principals, allowing them, or designees, the right to inspect all records concerning particular students. All records? We hope the circumstances justifying requests are well defined, and that such inspections are rare.

The memorandum would involve school district delivery of student records to law enforcement agencies, with school officials reporting all criminal activity, as well as some activities not deemed illegal. Why are there any questions about how school officials should behave when confronted with possible crimes? School officials are not qualified to investigate potential crimes or to exercise judgement as to whether or not such activities should be reported to authorities.

Further, is there not already clear communication between law enforcement officials and knowledgeable school officials (principals, counselors, teachers)? If not, why not? And why extend the definition of "reportable" incidents beyond the realm of the clearly criminal? Why should noncriminal offenses be reported, instead of used as examples in education? Who will make these decisions and, as school board member Ken Fox pointed out, do we run the risk of a "Big Brother" atmosphere or of damaging healthy school/ law enforcement relationships?

There is, of course, another side to the story. School officials have good reason to believe such a policy is needed. With the firearm-related violence in U.S. schools in recent years, there is ample cause for officials to be concerned; they need to know if a student has a history of violence, of firearm offenses, of drug offenses.

What lies at the root of all of this, and what distresses us most, is the fact that as our schools deal with increasing numbers of children with behavioral problems created by poor parenting and failed families - born of abuse and permissive overindulgence alike - our public education system has taken on more and more of what were once the jobs of parents, church community, neighbors. We've forced public school personnel to act less as teachers, and more as police officers, social workers, nurses and baby sitters. Some school systems go as far as to attempt to control activities of select students when they are not on school grounds or immediately involved in school activities. At times, even on summer break. This social breakdown is the source of the problem, the root of the memorandum, and they are not going to be changed anytime soon.

The implementation of the memorandum should be cautious, and law enforcement officials should enhance relationships with point people in the school district - the building principals - avoiding the politics and the bureaucrats. We have faith our police chief and newly-elected sheriff will do this and, absent interference, a moderate, workable "understanding" might relieve some of the burden we place on our educators.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 19, 1917

A petition is being circulated to establish a post office at Blanco Basin, with J.L. Cabe as postmaster. There is no doubt but what it will be granted.

The Campfire girls enjoyed a sleigh ride Friday evening. At the close of the frolic the party went to the home of Blendina Smith of South Pagosa, where delicious refreshments were served.

About two feet of snow fell in Allison this week.

Good books are to be found in Greene's Circulating Library.

Last Saturday morning the thermometer registered 28 degrees below, the coldest this winter.

Harry Macht received two carloads of cattle from Farmington Tuesday night.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 22, 1932

We understand that the Forest Service will inaugurate a different policy henceforth, especially during present depressing times, in regard to accruing vacancies in the various departments. When a vacancy now occurs, no new appointments will be made, but the vacancy instead will be filled by transfer of other forest service employees from another department or national forest.

The board of county commissioners of Archuleta County, consisting of Chairman David Hersch and Louis Montroy of Pagosa Springs and Walter Zabriskie of Pagosa Junction, left Wednesday for Denver to attend the annual meeting of the state association of county commissioners.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 17, 1957

On Monday night of this week the Town Board voted to sign a contract with the Rocky Mountain Engineering Co. for a preliminary survey of a sewage collecting and disposal system for the town.

George Grainger, manager of the La Plata Electric REA, in a telephone call to the SUN Wednesday stated that their power supply is now back to normal. He also stated that users could now use their normal amount of power and that the load could be carried. The generator that was damaged in the fire was put in operation again Wednesday, making this possible. The power shortage started a week ago Wednesday morning when a fire damaged all the generating facilities at the Tacoma plant of Western Colorado Power Co.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 21, 1982

The Pagosa Hot Springs have not, perhaps, been so controversial since Col. Albert Pfeiffer won a knife duel with a giant Navajo for their possession in the 1860s. The first disputants settled their differences with knives. The pr esent disputants may go to court. At issue is the water level in the spring billed as the world's largest and hottest. A group of Canadian investors last year purchased the hot spring and surrounding property. Dr. Howard Ironstone and Mr. William Brown told a group of local community leaders Monday night that the level of the hot spring was down and they would need assurance that the level would remain the same before proceeding with the development.

 

Features

Restoring the light

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pagosa's Community United Methodist Church is in the planning stages of a building project that will replace the existing structure with a larger facility, reminiscent of the first church buildings of a century ago, said Pastor Don Ford.

A notable part of the construction is the restoration and display of the church's original stained-glass windows. In the current facility, most of which was completed in 1968, the majority of the windows are held in interior walls, with only electric backlighting to display their colors. In the future building, the windows will be highlighted. They will be visible from without and cast light in on the church, said Ford.

The 15 stained-glass windows are between 99 and 110 years old, said Carl Nevitt, who is responsible for the restoration project. The first windows were installed with the construction of the first church in 1897. In December 1907, the windows barely escaped a fire started during the building of an additional room in the church. They were reinstalled, with some new additions, when the church was rebuilt in the summer of 1908.

Nevitt said he has enjoyed learning about the history of the church, and its windows, while working at his craft.

One of the windows made for the second church, after the fire, had the name "Governor Henry A. Buchtel" painted on it, in honor of the Colorado governor and methodist minister, who dedicated the new church on Oct. 18, 1908. The Buchtel window piece was broken by a vandal's pellet gun and has been replaced with a facsimile made during the restoration project, and painted by Nevitt.

Other windows have scriptural passages, memorials, names of donors or church leaders and religious symbols. One window contains the words, "Built 1897, Burned 1907, Rebuilt 1908."

The 15 windows vary in shape and size, including small rectangles, large arched rectangles, circles and semicircles. All display variegated stained glass.

Before being installed in the new church, all 15 windows must undergo an extensive restoration process. Like typical stained-glass church windows, most belonging to the Methodist church are made up of multiple pieces of colored glass, cames (which hold the pieces of glass in place), supports and frames. Most of the original pieces of glass are intact and will only need to be cleaned - in order to remove soot from candles and soil from leaks. Others have broken over time and will need to be replaced by new pieces.

The remaining components of the stained-glass windows - the cames, frames and supports - have decayed during the last century, and will be replaced by modern materials.

Luckily, the Methodist church was able to enlist a local craftsman to restore the windows. Nevitt has worked with stained glass for the last 17 years, and has been in business in Pagosa for the last five. He has successfully restored four of the church's windows and is currently working on a fifth.

In addition to typical signs of aging - cracks and sagging - Nevitt said he has noticed some interesting types of damage in the windows, including a makeshift piece of regular glass which was painted dark green and installed to replace a broken piece of the original colored glass.

Nevitt said he enjoys projects like the Methodist church's restoration, since it allows him to "get inside the head of the person who was making the window 100 years ago and study their techniques."

The windows were manufactured by Jacoby Art Glass Company of St. Louis, which closed its doors in 1970. The stained glass was produced by pouring molten colored glass onto a granite table, rolling the material out and then cutting the glass to size after it cooled. The granite table applied a unique texture to the stained glass. Lead cames were then placed around the glass, holding the pieces in small grooves to shape the window pane. Steel crossbars were attached to support the weight of windows, and the whole piece was framed in wood, with pegged joints.

After carefully removing the windows from their stations in the church, Nevitt painstakingly removes each piece of glass from the lead cames, numbering the fragments so he can put the pieces back together (with a waterproof paint that can be easily scrubbed off, after reassembly). He soaks the glass in water and washes it with a mild detergent. To replace broken pieces he sends samples out to be matched, in order to have accurate facsimiles reproduced, then grinds them down to the appropriate size.

Nevitt said he was lucky to find a glass maker with a similar granite "cats paw" table, that makes replacement pieces with textures similar to the originals. He even suggested that it might be the same table used to make the glass 100 years ago.

Nevitt is removing all of the lead cames, since they have bent and lost strength over the years, and will replace them with cames he will construct of copper foil (with a reinforcing copper strip) and lead solder. While putty was once necessary to stabilize the glass in the grooves of the lead cames, glass is held in the modern copper cames with adhesive, which adheres more securely after being heated by the solder. After the lead solder is melted over the copper and a black patina is applied, the cames will look like new versions of the original cames, said Nevitt.

According to Nevitt, stained-glass artisans must take special precautions when working with lead, to avoid poisoning. Nevitt solders in an open space with good ventilation.

Nevitt will replace the wooden frames with strong, modern zinc - though he admires the original wood frames and said he regretted that they could not be reproduced.

Though the restored cames and strong zinc framing would be enough to support the windows, Nevitt said he will still put in replica crossbars, made of zinc, in order to duplicate the look of the original windows, with their steel crossbars.

"The trick to this restoration is I want the windows to look like they were built yesterday, 100 years ago," Nevitt said.

In addition to being stronger, the new windows are lighter. They will be easier to install and will be less likely to sag under their own weight.

While many colored-glass pieces only need to be rebuilt into the window, other pieces will need to be painted. Some of the original pieces which included names or text were broken during the last century - some intentionally (such as the Buchtel window) and others by stress fracture. To replace these, Nevitt acquires matching glass, creates a stencil with his computer, paints the glass and then fires it to bond the paint to the glass. If heated for long enough at the right temperature, the paint cannot be removed from the glass, as Nevitt demonstrated by scratching a piece of painted glass with a key.

As Nevitt restores individual windows, they will be returned to the Methodist church, where they will be displayed (though not installed) until the construction that will give them a proud place.

Stained glass refers to glass that is colored during its manufacture, by mixing metal oxides (such as copper, cobalt and even gold) with the molten glass. Stained glass is often painted or stained to enhance design and color. Paints once included ground colored glass, metals and mediums such as wine or vinegar, but now are generally made of synthetic materials.

Stained glass became a popular architectural device during the Medieval period, when Gothic cathedrals flourished. The windows helped light the huge, vertical buildings, while providing a separation from the outside world, by preventing a view of it. However, during the Reformation, many stained-glass windows were destroyed or removed as symbols of Roman Catholicism. The secularism of the French Revolution further threatened to make stained-glass obsolete. But the Anglo-Catholic revival in 19th century England brought colored windows back into vogue. The revival was passed to liturgical churches in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the help of manufacturers like Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge and the Jacoby Art Glass Company. Another revival, of sorts, is taking place in modern America as churches of 19th century build attempt to restore old windows across the country.

The Community United Methodist Church is a part of this revival - not only as it restores its antique windows, but as it embarks on a new construction project, which intends to return to a more traditional church architecture, while making it new.

 

Pagosa's Past

How did they survive?

By John M. Motter

Sun Columnist

Raising livestock and harvesting timber were soon recognized as the only viable industries available to the Jicarilla Apaches on the reservation in New Mexico just south of Archuleta County. Money was needed to feed and clothe families.

The Reservation was created in 1887. Congressional approval to sell a small amount of timber came in 1890. The actual first sale of timber did not occur until 1908. The first purchase of livestock came in 1914. In the meantime, the Jicarilla were wards of a not-too-benevolent government bureaucracy.

How did they survive? The answer is "barely."

In a book titled "Cowboys, Pulpits, and Indians," the Rev. J. Denton Sims tells us that the Jicarilla were reduced to eating the inner bark peeled from pine trees. Children were forced to leave their parents homes and live in tightly packed dormitories and wear Anglo clothing. They were allowed to return home, perhaps once a year. The boys' hair was shaved and all were forbidden to speak Apache. Those caught speaking Apache were punished by having their mouths washed out with soap or by being forced to kneel on concrete for hours at a time.

Worse, perhaps, tuberculosis ravaged the tribe. Especially hit were the young people forced to live in the tightly-packed dorms. I recently talked to a Jicarilla man born during the 1930s. He told me while walking in the mountains on a certain portion of the reservation he came across a large number of unburied human skeletons. He learned by asking around that the death rate from tuberculosis had been so high there weren't enough people left to bury the dead. The dead bodies were simply carried into the mountains and abandoned among the rocks without burial.

The situation got so bad during the 1910-1920 era that the number of Jicarilla left alive dwindled to about 300, that from a once robust population of several thousand. The good news is, the tribe somehow survived and today, thanks in a great measure to the discovery of gas and oil on the reservation, is well off when compared with other reservation Indians. Per capita income, outside of tribally-owned trust funds, remains much below the per capita income of most other Americans.

Much of what we write about how the Jicarilla struggled to survive on their own reservation comes as a surprise to the average American.

With the idea of developing income from cattle and sheep, the BIA purchased cattle and sheep for the tribe in 1914. Money for the livestock was advanced as a government loan and did not come from the sale of timber and lumber.

"The impounding of tribal funds derived from timber sales was a glaring example of the government's malfeasance as trustee for the tribe," writes Veronica Tiller in her book "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970." Mismanagement of tribal funds was nothing new, but in the period 1908-1920, when the tribe was in greatest economic need, the government chose to tie up its funds.

While the funds were lying idle, the Jicarilla suffered unnecessarily from the ravages of poverty. In 1917 Congress learned that "members of the tribe were starving while their funds lay in non-interest bearing accounts enriching the federal treasury."

It was later discovered that the Jicarilla had neither the use of the principal nor the benefit of the interest from their moneys. The senseless stupidity of this whole situation was described by U.S. Rep. Hernandez of New Mexico to the House of Representatives in 1919: "The Jicarilla Apaches with 750,000 acres of land, with a tribal flock of from 8,000 to 10,000 head of cattle, have not enough food or clothing to keep them in good health. There is something wrong about that É The tribal flock in the last eight years shows a profit of $143,000 over and above expenses."

There was indeed something wrong, and unfortunately, the power to change it rested solely with the government. The funds in the U.S. Treasury continued to increase. For example, in March 1912, the sale of 130 million board feet of timber netted $178,500 - certainly an amount sufficient to provide relief for the people.

More next week on the Jicarilla struggle to avoid starvation on their own reservation.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Stalking the dog stars

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The following sun and moon data is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.

Sunrise: 7:20 a.m.

Sunset: 5:17 p.m.

Moonrise: 7:18 a.m.

Moonset: 4:49 p.m.

Moon phase: New moon Jan. 18 at 9:01 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

The Winter Circle continues to soar high across the east-southeastern sky in the mid to late evening, and the asterism's now-familiar stars provide key landmarks for stargazers seeking to expand explorations beyond stars along the circle, and to two of the asterism's parent constellations - Canis Major, Canis Minor.

Together, Canis Major and Minor represent Orion's faithful hunting dogs and the pair are best viewed after 8:30 p.m. when Canis Major is entirely above the horizon.

To find Canis Major, start by locating Orion, the hunter, with his three, vertically-oriented belt stars. By 8:30 p.m., Orion will be found soaring high in the southeastern sky.

With the belt stars in view, follow the three stars downward to the next, bright object. This is the star Sirius, the alpha star in Canis Major and the brightest star in the sky.

With Sirius' position fixed, sky watchers are ready to explore its parent constellation, Canis Major - the greater dog.

Fortunately for skywatchers, Canis Major is one of the few constellations that actually resembles its namesake, although the celestial dog has just two legs - one short, stubby leg in the front, and a longer leg in the rear. The shape is reminiscent of a compact and slightly disproportionate Scottish terrier.

To orient yourself tonight, imagine a pooch with its snout buried firmly in the horizon and its rump sticking straight up into the sky with Sirius marking the base of the canine's tail.

From Sirius, stargazers can trace down Canis Major's rear leg, to the Mirzam, a magnitude 2.0 blue giant, and the beta star in the constellation.

From Mirzam, travel back to Sirius, then scan down the canine's torso toward its snout and the horizon line. Along the way, stargazers will encounter two fainter stars. Then, at a spot roughly marking the dog's front shoulder, stargazers will find the star Wezen, a magnitude 1.8 white supergiant 1,800 light years away.

Once you've located Wezen and Sirius, return to the torso and scan its length with binoculars. The effort will yield views of M 41 - a large, bright open cluster of about 80 stars, the brightest of which are seventh magnitude orange giants. M 41 lies about midway along the torso and slightly to the right of the torso line proper.

Back at Wezen, tracing down the dog's short front leg will bring stargazers past sigma Canis Majoris to the terminus of the leg and Adhara, a magnitude 1.5 blue giant marking the pooch's front paw.

Traveling back to Wezen, and following the constellation to its terminus near the horizon, skywatchers will pass a few faint points of light prior to reaching Aludra, a magnitude 2.4 blue supergiant marking the canine's head.

With observations of Canis Major complete, the next destination is Canis Minor, the lesser dog, and its alpha star Procyon. In order to find Procyon and its parent constellation, stargazers will move from Sirius to the left about 10 degrees to the next bright star.

Unlike its canid companion, Canis Minor looks nothing like a dog, and with just two primary stars, Canis Minor easily ranks as one of the night sky's smallest constellations.

To locate Canis Minor's second star, Gomeisa, shift your gaze up, and about a degree to the left of Procyon. Gomeisa, is a magnitude 2.9 blue white star about 170 light years away.

After completing observations of the greater and lesser dogs, a final stop will bring stargazers beyond the realm of the Winter Circle, but to one of the night sky's prettiest sights - Saturn.

Stargazers can find the beautiful ringed planet almost due east, and just a few degrees below the horizontal plane of Sirius.

 

Weather

 

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

1/10

44

6

-

-

-

1/11

13

16

-

-

-

1/12

37

30

S

2"

.02:"

1/13

30

22

S

11"

.75"

1/14

23

-8

S

5"

.5"

1/15

18

-16

-

-

-

1/16

29

-14

-

-

-

 

First the snow, then the cold

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Wow! First came the snow, then came the cold. It must be January.

The season's biggest storm to date hit Pagosa Springs last weekend - as predicted - and brought 18 inches of powder to the Pagosa Lakes area. Wolf Creek Ski Area received a total of 48 inches. That's right, four feet in a single blast.

The tempest began in Pagosa Lakes late Friday afternoon, with 2 inches of snow falling well into the evening. Saturday's unrelenting dump dropped another 11 inches on the region, with yet another 5 inches recorded on Sunday.

According to local weather guru Toby Karlquist, the snowfall equaled 1.27 inches of moisture.

By Sunday afternoon and evening, as already cool temperatures fell sharply, the skies cleared and Pagosa Country took on the air of a winter wonderland. With snow piled everywhere, conifer trees looked like ghosts and side streets resembled bobsled tracks. By press time, the surrounding peaks still appeared frosty.

Daytime temperatures slid from Friday's high of 37 degrees to only 18 degrees on Monday. On average, highs hovered in the mid-20s, as morning lows dipped dramatically. Monday was the coldest day of the season so far, with an early morning low of minus 16. Tuesday wasn't far behind, as the mercury fell to minus 14, before rebounding to a daytime high of 29 above. Yesterday was the fourth day in a row, with sub-zero temperatures under deceptively sunny skies.

According to the National Weather Service forecast over the next five days, skies should be fair to partly cloudy, while high temperatures stay below freezing. Morning lows will dance around the zero mark, but depending on specific locations, could drop well below. Today's predicted high of 29 degrees may bring the warmest day of the week, as highs tomorrow through Tuesday fluctuate between the lower and upper 20s.

There is a slight chance of snow tomorrow night and Saturday, but no accumulations are predicted and probabilities are just 20 percent.

Meanwhile, by 6:30 a.m. yesterday, the Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 48 inches of new snow in the previous seven days, with 95 inches of powder and packed powder at its mountain summit. There were 88 inches midway.