January 25, 2007
Front Page

County tackles 'Big Box' issue

By James Robinson
Staff Writer

Archuleta County embarked on the first of what was touted to be many in a series of Big Box work sessions Monday.

During the meeting, Archuleta County Associate Planner Cindy Schultz addressed about 15 citizens, the board of county commissioners and key county staff, and outlined a series of four possible options for county Big Box regulations.

Speaking in general terms, Schultz said the prospects ranged from a full-out prohibition on Big Boxes, to instituting a size cap, adopting partial regulations such as design guidelines, or no Big Box-specific regulations at all - an option Schultz described as the "do nothing" alternative.

Schultz said the county currently does not have Big Box regulations, however, she explained the county land use code addresses residential, industrial and commercial land uses.

Although Schultz did not go into specifics for each option, Schultz said planning staff did not advocate the "do nothing" alternative.

"We need to be proactive, not reactive," Schultz said. "When a Big Box wants to come to your community, they either look at your regulations or lack of regulations."

Schultz added that the intent of the presentation was not to set the course for Big Box regulations but to take direction from the commissioners and to hear public concerns.

When asked if the commissioners would support a 100,000 square-foot size cap similar to the town's recently adopted Big Box policy, Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said it was too early to make such a commitment.

She said a discussion with county residents and taking any proposed regulations through a public process, including hearings with the county planning commission was necessary before the board makes a final decision.

Commissioner Robin Schiro added that because there is no hard-and-fast definition for a Big Box, what may be considered large format retail to the town may not be the same for the county. Therefore, she said more research is required before drafting regulations or considering the imposition of a size cap.

Although none of the commissioners clearly advocated imposing the town's 100,000 square-foot size cap, all agreed design guidelines should be incorporated into any future Big Box regulations.

Archuleta County Administrator Bob Campbell and Zaday both said they support large format retail because curbing tax dollar leakage is of paramount importance.

Ron Chacey of the county's planning commission and Angela Atkinson of the town's planning commission, urged the commissioners to avoid adopting regulations that would lead to inconsistent land use policies between the town and county.

According to Schultz, there are currently 75 parcels large enough - 12 acres or more - and with sufficient access to accommodate large format retail.

Schultz defined "sufficient access" as lying within 500 feet of U.S. 84 or U.S. 160.

Of those 75, Schultz said, four are zoned commercial and could potentially accommodate a Big Box retailer. Thus, the remaining 71 would have to go through a lengthy rezoning process as mandated in the land use code.

The rezone process requires county planners to assess myriad factors, with compatibility issues being chief among them.

"The criteria are pretty strict and we're holding firm to the criteria," Schultz said.

Zaday said although the county currently has no Big Box regulations in place, a rezone request is a lengthy process, yet without a moratorium in place, questions remain whether time alone is a sufficient safety net.

According to Schultz, although a rezone request could take about two months, a conditional use permit, which is required before a Big Box could go in on one of the four parcels, could be applied for today.

A second work session is tentatively scheduled for mid-March.

Comments on Big Box policies and regulations can be sent to the Archuleta County Planning Department via e-mail. Go to ArchuletaCounty.org, then click on "Special Projects," then "Big Box Forum," then "Send Comments to the Planning Department."

james@pagosasun.com

 

New search for hospital CEO

By Chuck McGuire
Staff Writer

In its search for a chief executive officer to head a new hospital in Pagosa Springs, the Upper San Juan Health Service District is back to square one.

Though the district has overcome several difficult challenges in recent months, selecting a CEO is unfortunately not one of them. Just as it appeared that particular task approached finality, the proverbial bottom dropped out and the district board is now left considering its options.

Collectively, district board members believed the end was near when they ultimately offered Ronald A. Ommen of Jackson, Wyo. the CEO position, after a lengthy application and interview process involving 13 or 14 original candidates.

A four-person hiring committee, including district board members Bob Scott and Jim Pruitt, district construction committee chairman J.R. Ford, and former Pagosa Springs town manager Jay Harrington, conducted the in-depth interviews and gradually trimmed the list to five. Eventually, three applicants dropped out of the running, leaving Ommen and Tim Bishop of Estes Park, Colo. as the two finalists.

"It was a difficult decision," said board chair Neal Townsend. "We wanted to hire them both. But, Ron (Ommen) is currently a hospital CEO, and Tim (Bishop) is a CFO (chief financial officer)."

According to Townsend, Bishop was eager, and able, to move up to a CEO position, while Ommen expressed a strong interest in taking on a new hospital project from the ground up.

Nevertheless, just as the district had decided on Ommen and offered him the job, the Wyoming governor's office approached him with a proposal of its own - evidently one Ommen couldn't pass up. The district had hoped Ommen would accept its offer and assume responsibilities by February or March.

All may not be lost, however. Bishop has apparently expressed continued interest in the post, and hiring committee chairman Bob Scott has since received resumes from other interested parties.

Bishop is currently the administrator of financial services for the Estes Park Medical Center, a 15-bed critical access acute care facility. He holds advanced degrees in accounting, management information systems, business administration and health administration, and has worked in health care since 1982.

"We've received more resumes and still have the information on previous candidates," said Scott, "but we (the hiring committee) haven't even met to discuss them yet. We need a CEO very soon, but we don't want to rush into anything at this point."

Scott believes the committee will meet shortly to decide its next course of action, and should submit a recommendation to the full district board in the near future.

chuck@pagosasun.com

 

Courthouse options reviewed

By James Robinson
Staff Writer

County staff presented four possible locations for a new courthouse and justice center Jan. 18, and the presentation was underscored by citizen concerns over whether the county was selling the building at the most advantageous time for the coffers and the taxpayer.

"You're asking the public what they think, but you're asking them after the fact. You've sold the building out from underneath us," said J.R. Ford.

County Administrator Bob Campbell countered, "I agree in some respects that the process has not flowed the way it should, but at some point the commission has to act."

The county accepted a purchase offer Jan. 9 from the sole bidder, Pagosa Holdings LLC - the bid signed by David Brown, a principal in the company - with a series of conditions. To date, Campbell said discussions with Pagosa Holdings have been positive, however the county has not yet received a formal written response to its counter offer.

According to Campbell, Pagosa Holdings LLC has 30 days to respond and he said he doesn't anticipate a formal response for another week or 10 days.

As the two parties work to seal negotiations, county staff has embarked on an educational campaign to inform residents of the possible locations for new courthouse and jail facilities. The Jan. 18 session marked the first such meeting and Ford and about 15 other county residents turned out to hear the presentation. During the discussion, many echoed Ford's concerns that, in light of downtown's development potential, perhaps the county wasn't selling at the right time or for top dollar.

"This is Boardwalk in Monopoly, it just doesn't have the hotels on it yet," said Nancy Fryer.

The courthouse site, located at 449 San Juan St., fronts U.S. 160, is bordered by Centennial Park and the San Juan River in the rear and on the west by property owned by Brown's BootJack Management company.

In addition to the property immediately west and adjacent to the courthouse, BootJack holdings include a number of properties stretching from the west end of the courthouse, along U.S. 160 to San Juan Plaza and along south Sixth Street from U.S. 160 to its junction with the River Walk path.

Although John Hundley of BootJack Management has declined to discuss development plans for the courthouse property, both Campbell and Archuleta County Special Projects Manager Sheila Berger described the property as a prime retail and commercial location. And Campbell added that the property's commercial potential virtually guarantees the building's demise, regardless of who purchases it.

"I absolutely believe this building will be torn down," Campbell said.

Campbell said he would not disclose the sale price until after the transaction is complete, although he said the building and property had appraised at $4.25 million.

Of the county's many reasons for the sale and the move, jail compliance issues were among the top on the list.

According to both Campbell and Berger, the current jail facility does not meet many state and federal regulations regarding safety and security issues such as housing and separation of inmates. For example, under existing conditions, the county is unable to separate violent offenders from those in for misdemeanors.

In addition, Archuleta County Sheriff Pete Gonzalez added that federal regulations require sight and sound separation of juveniles from adults, and women from men, and under the spatial constraints of the current facility, meeting those regulations poses a number of challenges.

In 1987, similar jail circumstances prompted three former inmates to sue Archuleta County for inhumane jail conditions. According to Berger, the terms of the suit required the county to build the current jail at a cost, she estimated, of roughly $2 million.

Unfortunately, Berger explained, a residential architect designed the facility and therefore it lacks key safety, security and practical features required for institutional use.

Near the end of the presentation, Berger outlined four possible site locations. The first involves building county administrative offices on a parcel located on Hot Springs Boulevard and across from Town Hall. The county purchased the property in 1999 for just such an endeavor, but the property is deed restricted to prohibit construction of a jail or other law enforcement facilities. Therefore, under option one, a justice center, housing the courts, jail and sheriff's offices would be built at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds property.

According to Berger, the justice center, if built at the fairgrounds, would not interfere with regular fair activities.

Option two includes an all-inclusive campus-like facility, also on the fairgrounds property.

Option three involves building an all-inclusive campus on a 12-acre parcel at the southeast corner of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160, the location of the old saw mill.

According to Berger, alternative four is also a campus option, slated for the southwest corner of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160.

Berger outlined the advantages and disadvantages with each parcel. Building in town on Hot Springs Boulevard, for example, would mean $720,000 in town and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District related impact fees. The flip side is that the town already owns the Hot Springs Boulevard property and could obtain fairgrounds property in exchange for the county building an event center at the fairgrounds.

Option two - the fairgrounds campus option - has the advantage of having most of the utilities already in place, however neither option one or two has cost estimates associated with the projects.

Options three and four both came in with price tags of roughly $25 million, although one audience member who asked to remain anonymous said the old sawmill site has significant environmental problems, such as arsenic cleanup issues.

Public input at the meeting went against the old saw mill site, while alternative four garnered the most support.

Missing from the discussion was talk of utilizing the current courthouse.

"The option to stay here has almost been cast aside," Berger said. "Why?"

She explained with Pagosa Holdings' bid, the county's counter offer, ongoing negotiations, and the state of the current courthouse, the county is poised to begin implementing its plan for new county facilities.

"The building is functionally obsolete and fundamentally inadequate," said Berger.

A second courthouse meeting is scheduled tonight, 6 to 8 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse on Port Avenue

To view maps and graphics of the four alternatives visit archuletacounty.org, then click on "News and Events-County Facilities Open House," then click on "Link to more information on this Topic."

james@pagosasun.com

Tax bills: Returned to sender

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Treasurer's Office has been flooded by annual tax bills that have been returned to sender, due to the closure of the Pack N' Mail Plus postal annex on the west side of town, and cessation of forwarding services by the United States Postal Service.

Yearly, the treasurer's office must contend with address changes, but the closing of Pack N' Mail Plus has doubled the problem.

"It just overwhelmed us this year," said Kelly Evans of the treasurer's office.

Evans said the office has recently received 50 to 100 returned tax bills per day, since the postal service stopped forwarding the bills.

Former postal patrons at Pack N' Mail Plus who should be receiving tax bills for real estate, personal or business property, are directed to contact the Archuleta County Treasurer's Office to avoid the administration of late fees. The office needs a written change of address. Additional information and instructions can be obtained by calling 264-8325.

Written changes of address can be sent to the treasurer's office by e-mail at dlivingston@archuletacounty.org, by fax at 264-8329 or by mail : Archuleta County Treasurer's Office, P.O. Box 790, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

louis@pagosasun.com

Inside The Sun

Fire damages downtown residence

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

Firefighters from the Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) responded to a house fire at 164 South 7th St. Saturday, Jan. 20. The fire damaged two rooms on the second floor of the two-story structure but caused no serious injuries.

According to a PFPD report, after the page from dispatch was received at about 11 p.m., 19 volunteer firefighters responded to the home with a rescue unit vehicle, maintenance truck, aerial (ladder) truck, engine (carrying 1,000 gallons of water), water tanker (carrying an additional 1,500 gallons), and pumper.

At the scene, firefighters found the four tenants of the dwelling safely outside. The flames were controlled by 3:14 a.m. and the last fire units were cleared by 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

Most of the damage was confined to second-floor bedrooms on the north and east sides of the house, and the fire vented through the roof on the north side. The flames were difficult to extinguish due to the materials in and construction of the structure. Chainsaws were utilized by firefighters to provide access.

According to a PFPD report, the fire was started by a portable heater, kept in an enclosed area to keep pipes from freezing.

The fire resulted in no serious injuries, though one firefighter had a superficial flesh wound to the ear.

One of the tenants thought he had lost important documents and money in a cash box, as a result of the blaze, but district personnel found the articles unharmed and returned them to the owner Sunday.

louis@pagosasun.com

 

Investigation rules Arboles fire intentional, death a suicide

By Louis Sherman
S
taff Writer

Investigations into an Arboles house fire and associated fatality on Jan. 12 have been concluded by the Los Pinos Fire Protection District (LPFPD), the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and fire investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

According to a LPFPD press release, the investigations determined the fire was set intentionally by the victim, Michael Dwaine Thompson, 54, before he took his life with a firearm.

According to the release, "examination of the remains of the building and its contents has led investigators to conclude that multiple fires were set within the home ... the fire patterns and multiple points of fire origin indicate that the fire was intentionally set."

The release states that the separate investigations concluded "the building was set on fire by the homeowner prior to him taking his own life."

Archuleta County Coroner Karl Macht ordered an autopsy performed on the victim Jan. 16. The autopsy indicated Thompson suffered an apparant, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

louis@pagosasun.com

 

Improvements continue at Stevens Field

By Chuck McGuire
Staff Writer

As the Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission gathered for its regular monthly meeting Thursday, a number of agenda items served to illustrate ongoing improvements at Stevens Field.

In a presentation early on, Chris Pomeroy of the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division described the current status of the entire Colorado aviation system and where the county airport fits in. Pointing to a glossy 2005 version of the Colorado Aviation System Plan (ASP), he explained the changes in statewide aviation services and facilities over the past five years, and predicted how they will appear by 2025.

The ASP, which was last updated in 2000, serves as a tool for measuring strengths, weaknesses, economic benefits and progress in statewide air travel and transport, and classifies Colorado's 75 airports as Major, Intermediate or Minor. A facility's physical location, extent of services, access, and coverage area determine its classification and how it fits in the broader plan. Since 1992, the plan has been updated approximately every five years.

The latest ASP also reflects apparent economic growth attributable to aviation. The 2000 ASP indicated the annual economic benefit derived from Colorado's commercial and general aviation airports (excluding Denver International) was roughly $5.4 billion. By 2005, that estimate increased to $6.7 billion, with 47 Colorado airports having an annual economic impact of $1 million or more.

Essentially, the 2005 plan reflects a growing demand in flight services throughout Colorado, particularly in general aviation, and points to necessary enhancements essential to meeting Federal Aviation Administration requirements, while increasing safety and systemwide performance.

In describing the financial struggles and reduced services amid the commercial airline industry, the plan suggests a growing number of businesses will rely on general aviation to meet their upcoming air travel needs. Therefore, smaller regional airports are gaining notoriety in the overall plan.

Largely due to its strategic location and growing popularity, Stevens Field is classified as a Major airport in the CDOT plan.

Major airports are held to higher standards and stipulations than others, but with recent development at Stevens Field, it is largely compliant with the bulk of FAA and CDOT demands. The only things really lacking are the completion of a parallel taxiway and the acquisition of a precision approach.

Construction of the taxiway is scheduled for later this year and next, and will greatly enhance airport safety. Meanwhile, Stevens Field is apparently at the top of the list to receive a "written approach," which will enable pilots to "find the runway in less than ideal weather conditions."

As Pomeroy concluded his presentation, Dave Naffie of Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. (RS&H) took the floor.

RS&H is an engineering firm contracted by Archuleta County to design airport improvements over the next five years, including the taxiway, and Naffie appeared to inform the commission on the status of a forthcoming update of the Airport Layout Plan.

The ALP is a combination of drawings and documents illustrating the current physical state of the airport and planned improvements over the next 20 years. For upcoming projects to gain FAA approval, and qualify for federal funding, they must first appear on the ALP.

According to Naffie, the cost of updating the ALP itself qualifies for federal and state aid, with the FAA covering 95 percent, while the state and county each contribute 2.5 percent. The total price tag is $83,000, and completion of the report is expected in six to eight months.

In another matter, ACAAC Chairman Elmer Schettler announced county progress in filling two pending commission member vacancies. Seats now held by Schettler and Mark Weiler will open in March, when their original two-year terms expire.

Anyone interested in appointment to the ACAAC had until the close of business Jan. 5 to submit an application for consideration. Since then, eight applicants have been screened and are now undergoing interviews. Schettler and Weiler are both seeking reappointment, though their positions are not guaranteed.

The Federal Aviation Administration has finally commissioned the newly installed Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at Stevens Field. Placed adjacent to the north ramp near the new fixed base operations (FBO) building at midfield, the system is now fully operational.

As designed, the system provides minute-to-minute data on conditions at runway level, which helps meteorologists, pilots and flight dispatchers prepare and monitor weather forecasts, plan flight routes, and provide necessary information for safe takeoffs and landings.

To listen to the AWOS system, anyone can call (970) 731-0365, or tune in to aviation radio frequency 127.175. Those interested can also view AWOS information on a computer monitor located at the information counter of the Avjet front office. Avjet, the Fixed Base Operator, occupies the main floor of the new FBO building at the end of Cloman Boulevard, off Piedra Road.

To keep the community informed of ongoing developments at the airport, Stevens Field management now publishes a monthly newsletter. Entitled "Air Mail," it goes out to anyone included on a specific mailing list, and the January edition is now available at the airport link on the Archuleta County Web site. Go to www.archuletacounty.org, click on departments, then airport, then newsletter.

Finally, the ACAAC has announced a slight change in its monthly meeting agenda. Public sessions are still scheduled for the third Thursday of every month, with those in March, June, September and December now taking place in the commissioners' meeting room at the county courthouse. All other meetings are at 3 p.m. in the Airport Conference Center, located on the second level of Nick's Hanger.

Chuck@pagosasun.com

 

District to host biological pest control program

In conjunction with the CSU Extension Service and the Archuleta County Weed and Pest Control Division, the San Juan Conservation District will host a program on biocontrol Feb. 6 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Building beginning at 6:30 p.m. with dessert.

Dan Bean, manager of the Palisade Insectary, will speak about biological pest control methods and the programs available to the public. The presentation will conclude at 8 p.m.

The main function of the Biological Pest Control Section is the rearing and releasing of natural enemies for control of specific plant and insect pests.

In 1945 the Bureau of Plant and Insect Control developed Colorado's first biological pest control program at the Colorado Department of Agriculture Insectary. Biological pest control affords the opportunity to decrease agriculture's reliance on chemical pest control.

Located in Palisade, the work of the Insectary involves the importing, rearing, establishing, and colonizing of new beneficial organisms for control of specific plant and insect pests that are detrimental to agricultural industries and urgan areas.

The results of successful biological pest control are reduced production costs, decreased amounts of chemicals entering the environment, and established colonies of beneficial insects offering a natural permanent pest control solution. This program offers the citizens of Colorado a useful alternative to the use of chemicals for control of specific pests.

 

Fort Lewis College offers special program to local students

Educational Talent Search (ETS), sponsored by Fort Lewis College, is a program for students grades 6-12.

Talent Search Advisors meet with program participants at least once a month, in the schools. During meetings, students learn about the different aspects of college, what kind of grades and classes they will need to take in order to attend college, and about different kinds of jobs that require a college degree.

Talent Search participants are also able to participate in local, regional and national educational college tours. In addition to helping students plan for college, advisors also assist students with study skills, time management, deadlines and financial aid.

The advisors for Fort Lewis College ETS are: LaVonne Martinez - Pagosa Springs and Ignacio schools; Wendy Allsbrook Javier - Durango schools; and Nicole Mosher - Mancos and Cortez schools.

Currently, each advisor is busy recruiting students for the new semester. In order to be eligible, students must satisfy at least one of these qualifications: first generation (in other words, neither parent has completed a four-year college degree) or income eligible.

If you would like to see what ETS is all about, visit Web site at http://tsub.fortlewis.edu/ or call 247-7348 with any questions. Counselors in participating schools can also provide program applications and/or further information about Educational Talent Search.

 

Free radon program and testing kits

Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office is offering a free program explaining the dangers of radon in the home. This program will be open to the public and will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at the Extension Office, at the Fairgrounds.

The program is scheduled to last an hour and there will be free materials and radon testing kits available, while they last, to those who attend. Reservations are not required but are appreciated. Call 264-5931.

Each year, nearly 20,000 people die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon. A common source of exposure to radon that can be avoided is exposure in the home, yet only one in five homeowners have actually tested for radon. January is National Radon Action Month and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is urging people to test their homes.

EPA is launching a campaign to inform people about radon and is working with organizations across the country to educate the public on how to protect themselves from radon exposure in their homes. Local government agencies, non-profit organizations, schools, health care providers, radon professionals, and other community groups will work together to host events and activities to increase awareness about radon, promote testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction.

 

First commissioners' public forum Jan. 30

The first in a series of evening public forums set by the Board of County Commissioners is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 30 in the commissioners' meeting room at the county courthouse.

Forums will also take place in other locations in the county in May, July and October - all months with a fifth Tuesday on the calendar.

The forums are not regular BoCC meetings at which the commissioners officially discuss and vote on issues and policies, but were created to provide county residents who cannot attend regular daytime meetings of the board with opportunities to exchange ideas with their elected representatives.

 

Pomp gives way to serious business

Rep. Roberts' Report

The first full week of the 2007 legislature is over and the pomp and circumstance has given way to serious business.

The daily pace has quickened and the first bills are in committee hearings. Bills that survive their committee hearing then move to the House floor for further debate and votes. My bills mentioned in this column last week have now been scheduled for committee over the next couple of weeks.

The two remaining bills of mine to be filed by the deadline of Jan. 29 are a surface use bill and a bill regarding health service districts.

The surface use bill was originally brought to me by the Durango-based group known as the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP). They work on surface use issues in the region and have been an active player in the many earlier efforts on reaching a surface use bill in Colorado.

OGAP's orientation is to protect the rights of the surface owners. Obviously, any time a legislator starts with a bill draft from one interest group rather than another, there will be those who feel that a bias is present, so I farmed out the bill draft to a number of groups and individuals who have their own interests to protect. This bill is intended to level the playing field between operators and surface owners, while still ensuring that the right to develop gas resources isn't unduly compromised.

While I'm using the remaining days before the deadline to continue meeting with stakeholders and to explore this issue, I'm encouraged that all involved are making a serious effort to get to some common ground. The basic premise of the bill is to put into statute the accommodation doctrine which allows for the development of oil and gas while reasonably accommodating the interests of the surface owner. It's too early to say what result may occur, but Rep. Curry of Gunnison, a veteran of prior efforts on surface use bills, is working closely with me and I'm benefiting from her experience and advice. I'm also keeping in close contact with Sen. Isgar on the bill's development and progress.

My final bill for January deals with the formation of health services districts. Watching the process that a Durango group went through last year, it seemed that the special district procedures didn't fit a plan directed at providing health care services. The group was hampered in responding to community feedback by certain procedural steps that cost much money, time and energy. This bill modifies the process for a health services district by removing the step to go before the planning commission, which is better designed for development of physical improvements than health care. Under this new process, there's still a requirement of public notification of hearings in front of the county commissioners and the court will check that all legal requirements are met before taking the proposal to the voters. This bill may also allow the new option of using a sales tax as an option for funding a health services district.

I made it home this weekend and was able to attend my son's graduation from the Adult Education Center's GED program. I'm a proud mom and he also was inducted into their National Honor Society. I applaud the hard work and perseverance of all of the graduates to get to the great results of Friday night's ceremony. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated, highly skilled and encouraging educators as we have here and my deep thanks to those at the Adult Ed Center and their supporters who make it possible.

 

Foundation provides low-interest loans for water wells

Certain low- to moderate-income individuals or families may be eligible for money to construct, repair or improve household water well systems through 1-percent interest loans from the Foundation for Affordable Drinking Water.

The Foundation was established through the National Ground Water Association.

Qualified applicants can borrow up to $8,000 at 1-percent interest for a term not to exceed 20 years. To qualify, households must:

- Own the home and use it as the principal residence.

- Have as the primary drinking water source an individual household well system located on the property of the home.

- Must meet income eligibility requirements.

- Be located in a city, town or unincorporated area with a population of less than 50,000.

Currently, the program is available in Colorado.

The Foundation will not underwrite a loan once a project is underway or has been completed. Most new home construction projects are not eligible.

Another important aspect of the loan program is to educate loan recipients on the importance of regular well maintenance and annual testing of their well system.

Complete information, including application forms and requirements and income eligibility limits, can be accessed by going to www.ngwa.org and clicking on the link for Foundation for Affordable Drinking Water. Applications and additional information can also be obtained by contacting the Foundation at (800) 551-7379, or e-mail Paul Humes at phumes@fadw.org.

You also can learn more about the program by going to www.wellowner.org and clicking on "Financing."

"Water is essential, and the Foundation is committed to helping those in greatest need," said Humes, foundation director. "If you have a real need and meet the qualifications for this program, we encourage you to apply."

 

Plans underway for annual Seeds of Learning fund-raiser

By Joanne Irons
Special to The SUN

The Seeds of Learning Once Upon A Time Dinner and Auction fund-raiser committee has announced a March 24 date for this signature event.

Looking to expand on table decorators and sponsors, the committee welcomes newcomers to join this fairy tale extravaganza. You can sponsor a table for six or eight guests, and provide a table decorator as well, if you wish. The tables are decorated with children's books. Those books, along with the final auction price of the table, are donated to the Seeds of Learning Early Education Center.

To learn more about the event and what tables looked like last year, visit www.growingseeds.org.

The dinner and auction will take place at the community center at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 24. There will be time to see the tables prior to the evening's event, but to attend the dinner and auction you must be a guest of a sponsor or purchase a ticket for $50 prior to the event. There will be a cash bar, as well as a "pot of gold" if you wish to donate to the organization that evening. Dinner will be catered by Wildflower Catering, and Bill Nobles will be the auctioneer for the evening.

Committee members this year include Lori Unger, who will help coordinate the sponsors and table decorators. Lori was a table decorator last year and will return this year as well. Lynne Bridges, director of Seeds of Learning, keeps the members inspired as the new Seeds building is under construction. Dee McPeek, an event planner, brings her many talents to the committee. Sue Johnson is looking for other creative people to help with the decor at the dinner this year.

If you have questions, contact any of the committee members.

To receive a packet to be a sponsor or a decorator, call Lynn Moffat at Seeds of Learning, 264-5513, or event coordinator Joanne Irons at 946-7545.

 

Salazar survey considers No Child Left Behind

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

United States Senator Ken Salazar's office released the results of a survey of over 2000 educators, administrators and parents regarding the bipartisan federal legislation "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB), which is up for reauthorization by congress this year.

NCLB, passed in 2001 to expand upon and extend education legislation previously passed, establishes standards and mandates testing in reading and math in all school districts - requiring 100 percent proficiency by the year 2014. Schools that do not make "Adequate Yearly Progress" or AYP are subject to corrective action or restructuring.

NCLB also established the Reading First initiative and made it possible for parents to opt their children out of schools that fail to make AYP (with transportation to another school paid for by the failing school) - while addressing a variety of other issues, such as school safety, bilingual education, teacher qualifications and school finances.

NCLB has been controversial, however, largely because of its stance on school accountability, standards and testing. Sen. Salazar's survey primarily addresses these issues.

A vast majority of those surveyed said that they thought the goal of 100 percent proficiency was unachievable; 90 percent of teachers thought it would be better to focus testing on the evaluation of individual students' growth over time, rather than measuring proficiency of a whole grade level in a school, one year at a time; 60 percent of principals and administrators said proficiency goals should be flexible; 89 percent of educators said they believe that NCLB's emphasis on testing detracts from learning in other subjects, including science, history and the arts; and 95 percent of principals and administrators said the requirements of NCLB have resulted in increased costs for school districts - including teacher training, staffing and data collection and analysis.

Archuleta County School District 50 Joint Superintendent Duane Noggle recognized some of the difficulties posed by NCLB, but described a more complicated issue, since individual states have their own standards, as do districts, above and beyond the requirements of NCLB.

For instance, NCLB has been criticized for focusing too exclusively on math and reading, while the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) measure reading, writing, math and science (in fifth and sixth grade). High school juniors in Colorado are required to take the ACT, which measures English, math, reading and science.

Noggle admitted that state and federal standards didn't place as much focus in some subject areas, but that this was a necessary result of a strong education in the basics. He challenged anyone to look at the state standards, which are established by educators and tested by CSAP, and judge for themselves if there are any that a student does not need to learn.

However, at the same time, the school district has continued to put a priority on the arts, said Noggle, citing the district's addition of a half-time music teacher since NCLB has been on the books.

Noggle suggested that the effectiveness of standards-based education and testing largely depends on the districts themselves. While NCLB measures proficiency with a testing snapshot - that is, measurement of a particular grade-level in a single year - the school district is already practicing the longitudinal growth model advocated by educators in Salazar's survey. The district takes data from CSAP and measures individual student performances over several years, allowing teachers to focus not only on overall proficiency but individual improvement from year to year.

Noggle said the district does not see CSAP, and other standardized tests, as testing so much as "collecting data to diagnose and intervene when students are having a problem."

Teachers in the district also administer their own "benchmark exams" to ensure that the standards are being taught in all classes, preparing students for following years, and placement exams are given to make sure entering students are enrolled in classes that fit their level of knowledge.

While NCLB and state standards seem to be imposing threats at first glance, Noggle said that they are standards a district should want to meet anyway. Thus, he said, a district's focus should not be simply on teaching to the tests, but on teaching to the standards. The tests then report on a district's success at meeting the standards.

Noggle noted that NCLB does pose funding challenges for schools, especially for those that do not make AYP and need to take additional (sometimes costly) measures in order to improve). Noggle said the local school district has directed funds to address the mandates of NCLB but argued that these were changes that they would have wanted to make anyway, as effective measures to improve student achievement (even though the school district has always made AYP).

The district has added a new position to analyze and disaggregate data obtained from CSAP, as well as additional math teachers (in order to allow teachers more time for preparation), since the institution of NCLB.

"I could blame NCLB ... but we want to do better in math ... and we thought our teachers needed more planning time," he said.

Still, Noggle noted that there was definite room for improvement if and when congress reauthorizes the bill: NCLB requires excessive paper work, said Noggle, which takes up administrative work-hours that could be used for other tasks.

And then there is the provision of NCLB that requires 100 percent proficiency by 2014. Noggle said the philosophy behind the goal was valid, the desire to want all students to succeed, but said it was not possible. "It is an admirable goal, but it isn't achievable," he said, due to students moving between districts and the lack of a guaranteed curriculum across state lines.

According to Noggle, there is a paradox in the education system of the United States, in which local control is said to exist within mandates from various levels of government. The standards have been set at the state and federal level, and now the institutions of education in the U.S. must play catch-up to reconcile those regulations with local control.

Revision and reauthorization of NCLB, as well as reformation and development in local school districts, is apparently apart of that process.

louis@pagosasun.com

Girl Scout cookie sale begins

By Jennifer Kemp
Special to The SUN

Every year, thousands of girls across the area and nation gain valuable knowledge while providing their community with a special treat - Girl Scout Cookies®. This year will be no exception.

The Girl Scout Cookie program, an integral part of Girl Scouting's Business and Economic Literacy initiative for girls ages 6-17, provides finance, marketing and public speaking skills, along with valuable experiences that build girls' self-confidence and helps them develop their own personal leadership style.

Locally, girls began to sell Girl Scout Cookies Jan. 12, and will end the sale March 18. We are very proud to announce that all varieties of Girl Scout Cookies are now "zero grams trans fat per serving," in compliance with FDA regulations. We are also excited to announce we are offering a sugar-free cookie this year. These changes were made because, like most successful businesswomen, Girl Scouts listen to their customers.

Through the Girl Scout Cookie program, girls manage inventory, set goals, learn money management and develop marketing skills. Essentially, the girls run their own business. The entire troop sets a goal and follows a plan leading toward that goal. Girl Scout troops use funds from the cookie activity to fund a service project, plan for an exciting trip, or pay for materials for their regular troop activities. Many successful women have credited their business and economic literacy program for girls in the United States.

"The Girl Scout Cookie program is a valuable part of the Girl Scout experience. The skills girls gain truly help them develop into future business leaders," said Melissa Bruney, chief operating officer. "It is always exciting to see girls developing skills they might not realize they are developing while it is happening. It's wonderful to see their pride in achieving the goals they set for themselves. This is one of the many activities girls look forward to participating in every year."

The Girl Scout Cookie program helps girls in unique ways. For example, this activity is a chance to build self-esteem. A shy girl can overcome her fear of approaching people by working at a booth with her fellow Girls Scouts or going door-to-door in her neighborhood with other girls from her troop. A girl who might feel she isn't good with numbers can build her confidence by keeping track of sales and learning to make change.

Since 1917, the Girl Scout Cookie activity has become a famous annual event that has helped girls develop important leadership skills they will use throughout their lives. Whether they are dreaming of becoming a doctor, teacher, judge, businesswoman, astronaut, president of the PTA or superstar athlete, the Girls Scout Cookie program gives them the self-esteem they need to reach for the stars.

In addition to supporting individual troop activities, proceeds from the Girl Scout Cookie program also go to support programs for girls and training for volunteers across the area.

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council, Inc., serves more than 4,600 girls and 1,800 adults in nine counties in New Mexico and five counties in southwestern Colorado. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Chaparral Council welcomes all girls, ages 5-17, and adults to participate in the premier leadership development program for girls. Girl Scouts is a non-profit organization and welcomes contributions for programs, financial aid or other organizational needs. To volunteer, join or contribute, please call (505) 343-1040, (800) 658-6768, or visit our Web site at www.chaparralgirlscouts.org.

 

CDOT implementation of traveler information line complete

Statewide implementation of 511 is complete. 511 is the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) new number that commuters and travelers can use to access information regarding road and weather conditions and road construction, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 511 as the national traveler information phone number in July 2000.

- Call 511 from any phone, including mobile phones.

- 511 is an addition to CDOT's traveler information services, not a replacement for the long-standing (303) 639-1111 and (877) 315-7623 numbers for road and weather conditions and for road construction and maintenance information. CDOT's traveler information Web site also remains the same at www.cotrip.org

- Colorado joins 30 other states or metropolitan areas that have implemented 511.

- The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) are leading the deployment efforts.

Statistics

Nationwide 511 telephone usage as of October 2006, was:

- 1,631,857 total calls in October. Colorado's contribution, including 511 and other traveler information numbers, equaled 9.25 percent of all calls.

- Almost 62 million calls nationwide since inception in July 2000.

- 26 consecutive months with more than one million calls.

- 511 now available to more than 100 million Americans (35 percent).

- Peak usage is during adverse weather and AMBER Alerts.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Why was 511 initiated?

A: By the 1990s, more than 300 travel information telephone numbers had sprung up across the country, as a way to deliver the real-time information collected by Intelligent Transportation Systems to travelers and commuters to help them with their trip decisions. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Transportation petitioned the FCC for a three-digit dialing code to make it easier for consumers to access these travel information services. 511 offers one, easy to remember number.

Q: What area does Colorado's 511 service cover?

A: 511 is offered statewide via landline and where cellular service is available. The information covers interstates and most U.S. and primary state routes. It does not include county roads or city streets, unless those routes are part of the state highway system.

Q: When I call 511 in Colorado, do I only receive Colorado road information?

A: Yes, most all of the time. When you call 511, the call is automatically routed to the state you're in. However, if you're calling from a cell phone and are close to the Colorado border, it's still possible you'll be routed to a cell tower outside the state and, in turn, receive a neighboring state's road information, provided that state offers 511.

Q: What is the role of the cellular phone in making calls to 511?

A: When 511 calls are placed from a cellular phone, we encourage motorists to put safety first. Because 511 participation is voluntary, most but not all cellular providers offer 511 service. Some smaller providers also lease space from other carriers that may or may not be participating in 511. Customers of non-participating providers are encouraged to contact their cellular phone company and ask them to add 511 service. (303) 639-111 and (877) 315-ROAD (7623) remain available to those who cannot access 511.

Q: Is there a charge for 511 service?

A: Basic travel information (weather and road conditions, traffic updates, road closures, etc.) will remain free of the charge to the public. However, cell phone users will pay for normal airtime and roaming charges according to their wireless service contracts. Pay phone users are responsible for any phone charge they may incur.

Q: What is 511's relationship to 911?

A: 911 is for reporting emergencies, such as police and medical attention. 511 reports traveler information.

Q: How often is the information updated?

A: CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol update winter road conditions on an on-going basis. Summer road conditions are updated daily or as conditions warrant. CDOT reminds callers that 511 recordings are informational only and reflect conditions as reported to CDOT and may not reflect conditions that drivers experience due to the possibility of a changing weather environment.

Q: What states or areas have implemented 511?

A: In addition to Colorado, the following states, cities or areas now have 511, as of October 2006: Cincinnati, Ohio/Northern Kentucky, Kentucky statewide, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia, Arizona, Orlando, Florida, Tampa, Florida, Southeast Florida, Florida statewide, Minnesota, Washington State, Iowa, South Dakota, San Francisco Bay Area, California, Sacramento/Northern California, Montana, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Kansas, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Idaho, Wyoming, Tennessee and Nevada.

Outdoors

Count for the Record, and help the birds

What mid-winter activity is fun, easy, free, and helps bird conservation?

What can parents and teachers do with children that opens their eyes to a whole new world of natural wonders?

From Feb. 6-9, the 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, will give everyone a chance to discover the birds in their neighborhood and "Count for the Record."

People of all ages, and of all levels of experience, are invited to join this event which spans all of the United States and Canada. Participants can take part wherever they are. They simply count the highest number of each species they see during an outing or a sitting, and enter their tally on the Great Backyard Bird Count Web site at www.birdsource.org/gbbc. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the GBBC, and Cornell and Audubon are challenging people everywhere to participate in greater numbers than ever before.

"We are encouraging people who have never done so before to go outside and count birds," said Paul Green, Audubon's director of Citizen Science. "By submitting their counts online, bird watchers can quickly see how the dots they put on the map form patterns that tell new stories about the birds that share the world in which we live, including our own backyards and parks."

"The Great Backyard Bird Count is a community celebration of birds, birding, and nature," said Janis Dickinson, director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "We often fail to notice how rich our surroundings are, but counting birds, even for just 15 minutes, is not only educational - it can provide a lasting source of enjoyment, turning a daily walk into a treasure hunt."

Last year, participants submitted more than 60,000 checklists - and reported 7.5 million birds overall and 623 different species. Together, the counts offer a real-time snapshot of the numbers and kinds of birds that people are finding, from Boreal Chickadees in Alaska to Anhingas in Florida. The information is used to track bird populations and to better inform conservation efforts.

Participants who want to hone their bird watching skills can learn more from the Great Backyard Bird Count Web site, which offers identification tips and a multimedia guide to 500 bird species. People can also submit photos to an online gallery showcasing the dazzling array of winter birds found during the GBBC. Competitions add another element of fun, including a prize drawing for everyone who submits a checklist, a photo contest, and the coveted "checklist champ" title for towns, states, and provinces with the highest participation.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is sponsored in part by Wild Birds Unlimited. For more information, visit www.birdsource.org/gbbc.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation.

 

Be aware of Colorado livestock laws, regulations

By Jim Bramwell
Special to The SUN

Every time you buy, sell or are given livestock, state law requires a brand inspection be completed by a brand inspector.

It does not matter if the animal is branded or not. An inspection certificate is the only legal bill of sale in the state of Colorado.

An inspection is required if you cross the state line, travel over 75 miles from the point of origin within the state, or sell the animal. If you take livestock to a sale barn in the state and do not cross the state line, you do not need to get an inspection, but you must provide proof of ownership at the sale barn.

A legal bill of sale is an inspection certificate issued by a brand inspector or a purchase from a licensed sale barn. If you have come from out of state where brand inspection is not required, health papers, bill of sale or registration papers will help.

Livestock owners cannot let their animals run at large. Good livestock owners try to confine their livestock in their pens or pastures. A legal fence in Colorado is barbed wire; electric or pole fences, etc., are not a legal fence. Animals that keep getting out can be sold and the owner can be fined. Colorado is a fence-out state, but owners cannot let their livestock run anywhere. If you do not have a legal fence and an animal gets out, even if the animal is not yours, you can be liable if someone gets hurt.

Failure to have an animal inspected at the time of sale or transport is a Class III misdemeanor and both the buyer and seller may be charged. Keeping an estray animal that you have found is a felony. State statute requires that you contact your local inspector within five days of taking an estray into your custody. The inspectors are there to help identify the rightful owners of livestock.

Because of brand inspection requirements, cattle and horses have been found and returned to their rightful owners in Archuleta County, as well as statewide.

To get an inspection or have your questions answered, call Jim Bramwell at 264-5959, or Wes Lewis at 831-9389, or the Colorado Brand Board at (303) 294-0895.

 

SOS to screen 'The Great Warming'

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.

 

Court halts recreational trapping of mink and pine marten

Legal recreational live trapping of mink and pine marten in Colorado has been halted by a recent District Court decision.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission passed regulations in July that added mink and pine marten to the list of furbearers which are allowed to be live trapped. Organizations challenged the legality of the regulation and the District Court entered a stay on Jan. 5, nullifying the regulations.

Mink or pine marten caught accidentally while trapping for other species must be released immediately. The court order does not prohibit all take of mink and pine marten, only recreational take with live traps. Mink and pine marten can still be taken with all lawful manners of take in damage situations where and when authorized by the Colorado Division of Wildlife pursuant to Amendment 14. Other lawful manners of take (specifically rifle, handgun, shotgun, handheld bows and crossbows) listed in the regulations for recreational purposes are still permitted.

The decision to determine whether the regulations are legal or not and whether the recreational live trapping of pine marten and mink will be allowed in Colorado will be made by the District Court in the future.

High Country Reflections

The thieves asked for it, now they're getting it

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Charles Pedraza and Thomas Doyle, Jr. got theirs. So did Frank Kelly, Lonnie Blakemore and Gerald Harp. Six New Yorkers and a friend from Massachusetts were recently handed theirs, and Joseph Chapman will soon claim his.

What, might you ask, are these men receiving?

Justice.

All have either gotten, or are about to get, exactly what they asked for - from a court of law.

You see, these men, along with a disturbing number of others, are thieves. They are unscrupulous crooks whose only consideration in life seems to be the fulfillment of their own desires, including the satisfaction of some twisted egotistical yearning that, to them, defines skilled woodsmen or accomplished hunters.

As thieves, these men are more precisely poachers - indiscriminate killers of Colorado's wildlife. Whether big game, small game or non-game species, poachers kill nearly as many animals as legitimate hunters do during officially authorized seasons.

According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW), "If poachers kill even half that number each year, the problem is serious because they are stealing game from licensed sportsmen, robbing businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting and depriving us all of a valuable resource - our wildlife."

The DOW defines poaching as, "the illegal taking or possession of any game, fish or non-game wildlife."

A hunter killing an animal out of season, or killing one outside a district for which he or she holds a valid license, are common forms of poaching. So are illegal license transfers, and taking more than a legal limit of fish, waterfowl or upland birds. A non-resident who purchases a resident hunting license can be convicted of poaching, as can those who hunt at night with spotlights.

Unfortunately, poaching thieves steal more than just specified game animals every year. They also kill endangered, threatened and non-game species, as well as individual animals afforded special protection in designated areas.

For instance, over the past two big game seasons, a number of federally protected lynx were illegally killed. In 2005, only the collars worn by two reintroduced animals were ever recovered, while in 2006, two dead cats were actually located, via mortality signals emanating from their collars. Both had been shot to death, one by a high-powered rifle, the other with a shotgun at close range.

In the fall of 2002, Charles Pedraza was hunting elk in the mountains of south-central Colorado when he illegally shot a bull moose. He thought he'd gotten away with it for nearly four years, but in August 2006, a Chaffee County judge ordered him to pay $11,391 in fines, for poaching.

Apparently, an anonymous tip led federal wildlife officials to investigate Pedraza, who had since moved from Colorado Springs to Wisconsin. During the course of the investigation, detectives found a moose hide in a Colorado storage unit rented by Pedraza, while another tip directed them to an unusual skull partially buried on a hillside in the same area where Pedraza had been hunting. Incredibly, a bear had dug up the skull and a plastic bag containing bits of bone and hair. When a lab declared DNA samples from the hide and skull a perfect match, Pedraza confessed.

Meanwhile, Thomas Doyle, Jr. of Monument, Colo. paid $2,249 and was assessed 50 points against his hunting and fishing privileges for repeatedly shooting a deer with a shotgun and leaving the carcass to rot. Again, an anonymous tip led DOW officers to an abandoned deer carcass, while another directed them to Doyle. Doyle eventually admitted to hunting outside an established season, illegal possession of wildlife, waste of game and hunting with unlawful ammunition.

Three Arkansas men, Frank Kelly, Lonnie Blakemore and Gerald Harp, paid a total of $22,192 in fines and were assessed 15 points each, for illegally killing two deer in October 2005. Kelly and Blakemore were charged with unlawful take of a mule deer, and each were assessed a Samson surcharge - a hefty fine for illegally killing a trophy-class animal. Harp was charged with unlawful transfer of a license.

Whenever poachers accumulate 20 points or more within a five-year period, they typically lose hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 23 other states. As in the aforementioned cases, anonymous tips led DOW officers to the Arkansas poachers.

Just two months ago, six New Yorkers and a Massachusetts man spent a night in jail and paid a total of $42,000 in fines for illegal possession of wildlife. An administrative hearing will soon determine how long each will be barred from hunting and fishing in Colorado and the other Wildlife Violator Compact member states.

Robert Bertholde, Thomas Gray, Timothy Rocklin, Raymond Selah, David Souza and David Weber of New York, and Stanley Tomkiewicz of Massachusetts each agreed to pay $6,000 as part of a plea arrangement, after Meeker area landowners initially reported suspicious activity involving a black Hummer with out-of-state plates.

Apparently, someone illegally shot a deer on private property and a short time later, wildlife officers found the conspicuous vehicle parked adjacent to a bunkhouse on a nearby ranch. When confronted, the men consented to a search of the premises, during which officers found several animal carcasses and antlers. A couple were tagged legally, while several others were untagged and intentionally concealed. At least five deer carcasses were discovered in all, while only two men held valid licenses.

Though Joseph Chapman awaits final justice, he has admitted to a Class 5 felony for illegally killing a trophy buck north of Parachute in late November. Chapman, father of seven children, had a public defender appointed to represent him and remains free on $13,000 bond until a scheduled Feb. 1 court appearance.

As a drilling rig worker from Provo, Utah, Chapman evidently became infatuated with a trophy mule deer buck he'd often seen near the Union rig he worked on. Early Thanksgiving morning, he shot the animal with a bow and arrow, then removed its head and stashed the carcass without field-dressing it or taking any meat. He later concealed the head in a shed outside his home.

Chapman now faces a Samson surcharge ($10,000) and additional charges of hunting out of season, illegal possession of wildlife and transportation and exportation of wildlife. Investigators first heard of Chapman's crime by x you guessed it x a tip from an anonymous informant.

Following the fall hunting seasons, as autumn gradually gives way to winter, long nights, bitter cold and heavy snow force many wild creatures into hibernation. Of course, countless others migrate to lower-elevation winter ranges where conditions are relatively mild, and food and water are more easily attainable. Unfortunately, while there, they are more visible to humans - and more vulnerable to poachers.

Statistically, poaching is particularly prevalent over the winter months, and most poached animals are bucks and bull elk. Many are considered trophy-class, with only the head and/or antlers typically taken, while the carcasses are left to spoil. Sadly, the illicit elimination of a large buck or bull often adversely affects the overall health of an entire herd.

Concerned citizens can help slow this endemic thievery by reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement, or contacting Operation Game Thief anonymously. When someone hunts out of season or at night, or they take more than their lawful limit of fish, game or birds, they are poachers and should be reported.

To contact Operation Game Thief, call 1-877-COLO-OGT toll-free, or send an e-mail to game.thief@state.co.us. Verizon cell phone customers can simply dial #OGT. By playing an active role, everyone can help thieves get exactly what they're asking for.

Operation Game Thief also graciously accepts tax-deductible donations, and if you call or e-mail, they'll tell you how to contribute.

Since 1981, Operation Game Thief has received more than 2,400 poaching reports, resulting in more than 700 convictions. Overall, convictions netted $600,000 in fines, the seizure of more than 1,300 unlawfully harvested animals and payment of nearly $130,000 in rewards.

chuck@pagosasun.com

Letters

Unvarnished truth

Dear Editor:

Two letters in the Jan. 18 SUN, "Our support" by Donald H. Bartlett and "Pelosified" by Jim Sawicki, are the best and most complete I have seen published in The SUN or anywhere else. Both men state different and unvarnished truths in support of their appeals for us to wake up, recognize the threat to civilization and come together as a nation and society to defeat that threat.

Bartlett says this is not just Iraq and we may be in the throes of World War III. He closes with the following: "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."

Sawicki quotes a statement by Winston Churchill about a gathering storm that people in Europe didn't take seriously and paid an enormous penalty in treasure and life for their failure to understand the nature of that threat. Sawicki goes on to say, "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."

Bartlett recaps our wars and police actions and their results, successes and failures, from WW II to the present. Sawicki speaks more of the present situation and of events leading to it.

Quoting Sawicki: "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." He goes on to express his opinion that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad means what he says about the destruction of Israel and a world without America.

I recall an interview in which the question was, "Why do they hate us so?" The answer was, "Their goal is to rule the world. We can appease them, negotiate with them or confront them. Appeasement and negotiation don't work; so we are confronting them."

Another question, "What is the problem between the Sunni and Shiites?" The answer was, "The Sunni don't consider the Shiites real Muslims; and never should a Sunni be ruled by a Shiite." In Iraq currently most of the deaths are Sunni and Shiites killing each other. This is a complicating factor in achieving success in Iraq. If anyone has the solution I haven't heard it.

Earle Beasley


Good company

Dear Editor:

Thank goodness, I've been "Pelosified." Good company that.

Sen. Salazar: "Recently, we heard from the President on his plan for the war in Iraq. I am skeptical of his plan to increase troop levels and its impact on our Nation's security. Even good Republican friends like Senator Chuck Hagel are opposed to the President's plan. I had hoped that in the President's two months of deliberation he would develop a workable plan for success in Iraq that would bring our troops home. I will continue to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to find a new direction in Iraq." Respectable liberals and conservatives have expressed misgivings with W's hallucinations about expanding the Iraq war to Iran, again without thought of how to end it other than spreading his form of "freedom."

With the ruthless onslaught of the "islamofacists" hidin' on every corner, I'm wondering why the president disbanded the CIA unit assigned to track bin Laden down in late 2005 and why those CIA members express misgivings about our efforts thereafter? Didn't bin Laden form al Qaeda, organize attacks on our embassies, ships and murder thousands of Americans! Oh well, W then said he'd pretty much eliminated al Qaeda.

My deepest respect and thanks for service goes out to D. Bartlett as he expresses the same feeling we all have w/regard to military actions ... don't initiate or retaliate without the intent to finish it. The problem now is, to do this, we'd have to eliminate Islam, as the latest jihadist "volunteers" are coming globally from wealthy non-fundamentalist families. Further, let's remember the only hostile sovereign party involved was attacked but our forces were not allowed to end it by chasing the enemy into Pakistan and ending their ability to rebound.

Any spread of nuclear weapons is idiocy. W chose to reward Pakistan for its illegally gained weapon and sales of same to N. Korea, and likely terrorists, with "ally" status even while their military intelligence unit trains, rearms and sends new Taliban units into Afghanistan. More sound reasoning as he then chose to feed nuclear material and generation supplies to India without requiring compliance with the non-proliferation treaty. Whether it's racist in nature, the former nation has no basis for trust as an ally or holder of a nuclear weapon. Recall during the cold war that India was all but an ally to the USSR, and now to Iran. What was that about riding the back of the tiger?

Based on W statements and actions supporting him, without congressional oversight, it's just unacceptable. The solution to the Mideast crisis does exist and I recommend support for a combo of military and political solutions, some of which the more rabid supporters will not like.

As far as being "Pelosified" goes, it's long past time for women to be equally key political leaders in our society. They won't be perfect, but as far as I'm concerned the only thing holding them back may be women haters ... oops, there goes that liberal tendency again.

Dave Blake


Dedicated people

Dear Editor:

I experienced an unfortunate incident Saturday night, Jan. 20. I received a call alerting me that my rental house on South 7th Street was on fire and that I should go to the scene.

Upon arrival, I found the street packed with fire trucks, emergency vehicles and nearly two dozen Archuleta service employees and volunteers. These dedicated people were at the scene for over eight hours performing a dangerous job, relentlessly. Our highly trained firefighters tackled the job of extinguishing the blazing house by every means conceivable. They were breaking holes in the flaming walls, entering the smoke-filled house, atop high truck ladders shooting water on the house.

I would like to publicly recognize these fine, hard-working people and give them my heartfelt thanks. We should be extremely proud of the volunteers in this community who gather together to make such a fine and efficient workforce. I pray that not many of you will need to understand how professional these people are. Please rest assured that, if you do have an emergency where the firefighting volunteers need to respond, they will be prompt and totally committed to the job at task.

Thank you so much Pagosa Fire Protection District, and all the very fine volunteers!

Betsy Carpino

Blessed

Dear Editor:

I wrote to The SUN to see if Mr. Sawicki is still okay. I was afraid he had injured his typing finger, or even better, he had come to his senses and given up on King George. Judging from his letter neither of these cataclysms seemed to have happened. Mr. Sawicki did get one thing right, namely, I have been blessed.

As for the Republicans, in the old days they weren't so bad. I once was one. However, in recent years, in their desire for money and power, the Republicans have lost their way, along with me. In our time, the Republicans have anointed a King.

History teaches that kings, acting on the advice of their lackeys, make horrible mistakes. Our King George is no exception. At the end of King George's reign, the USA will find itself in debt to the tune of about 10 trillion dollars and in the early stage of another 30- to 100-year holy war. While I won't be around to see the end of this holy war, I predict that we will win every battle, including Iraq, but lose the war. Of course, who wins won't really matter, as the Arabs will be out of oil and the USA be out of money.

The good news is, my grandkids may live even longer than I, as I've been told that eating rice with chopsticks and riding bicycles is very healthy. And the Arabs can play in their sand box without the interference of the American oil companies.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

Give us more

Dear Editor:

Friday night there was a concert in downtown Pagosa - Dan and Susan. A small crowd attended (due to the big storm moving in), but it was very enjoyable with delicious desserts available. Hope there will be more entertainment of this sort, and outdoors in the nice weather. Then on Sunday evening, we proceeded to Randall Davis' ranch out a nicely plowed Cemetery Road to enjoy a house concert. This was a bluegrass group, "Town Country," from North Carolina and they were thoroughly enjoying our Colorado winter. This was truly a top-drawer evening, with libations and food brought by members of the audience; the music was great and the venue was perfect (a cabin built in 1898).

Thanks to Caroline Coulie for arranging this - looking forward to more.

Cindy Gustafson

Get involved
Dear Editor:

Folks, get involved, whether it is only one letter or one phone call this new year, contact congress, county commissioners, town council, game and fish. Whatever office you choose, whatever your interest. Our representatives need to hear from all of us.

We can play hard, whether it be hike, ski, snowshoe, sled, etc., but I think about protecting these playlands and neighborhoods.
Too often I hear, "Oh, I don't know what is going on around here." No excuse, especially for those who can play. Learn, ask questions, i.e., what is going on here and in our world?

We are all part of the whole.

Pam Morrow

Storm history
Dear Editor:

Thanks so much for the picture of avalanche cleanup on Wolf Creek Pass from January 1957.

As CDOT's avalanche forecaster for Wolf Creek Pass I have a keen interest in this event and done considerable research. This period, January 26-30, 1957, is the most severe avalanche cycle that the Pass has experienced on record. Nearly 15,000 feet of the highway was covered with avalanche debris. In comparison, the largest avalanche cycle in the last 14 winters only covered 4,000 feet of the highway in early January 2004.

If anyone would like to share their experiences or photos from this extraordinary event I would love to speak to you. You can call me at the Pagosa Springs Avalanche Office, 264-4826.

Mark Mueller

Editor's note: See Looking Back on Page 2. We are running yet another of Mr. Warr's photos of the winter woes on the pass in 1957. We intend to run several more of the photos in weeks to come.

Protect and defend
Dear Editor:

A response to Mr. Rob Anderson (letter, Jan. 18).
I am extremely sorry to hear about your mother. Grief is a difficult process - ask the families who have lost their son, daughter, husband, wife, father or mother in a line-of-duty death.

Perhaps you are not aware that the second most deadly call for a peace officer is an "ordinary" traffic stop. At night, it is impossible to see if the vehicle occupants are armed with life-threatening weapons. At night, it is impossible to see even how many people are in that vehicle - thus the necessary arrival of a backup deputy for your lawful and valid traffic stop.
Protocol for peace officers states that the first officer/deputy on the scene will be both the primary and reporting officer. The second peace officer is there to protect his/her fellow officer, and is not allowed by that same protocol to interfere in the primary officer's call - thus the silence of the second deputy.

Perhaps you are not aware that a large number of drunken drivers, who fail to use their turn signals when changing directions, cause serious, even fatal accidents. Every day, peace officers, as public servants, place their lives on the line to protect and serve; these brave officers/deputies are on-the-scene agents to enforce laws to protect citizens like you. They will literally stand between you and your family to defend you from robberies, rapes, murders and other such lawlessness. Every year, over 150 officers are killed in line-of-duty deaths in the United States.

Mr. Anderson, you did break a Colorado law, and these deputies were simply doing what they are supposed to do - protect and defend. One of the greatest beauties of Colorado is your freedom to enjoy our state in safety. A traffic ticket seems a small price to pay as reminder for you to stay safe!

Sincerely,

Chaplain Lynne Parker

Elizabeth

The nuances
Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter written by the gentleman from California, complaining about being stopped late at night on Bastille. His letter berated the actions of the two deputies and mentioned that "they had nothing better to do."

It is absolutely appropriate for a police officer to stop someone for failing to use a turn signal, at any time of the day or night. Late at night, such a violation is often a probable cause that leads to a DUI arrest or maybe stopping a burglary. These officers were not doing anything out of the ordinary and that is what we pay them to do.

As for the immediate backup on the traffic stop, that also is normal and especially appreciated by the officer making the stop. The most critical time for an officer to run into trouble is usually between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., so all officers should be extremely cautious in these circumstances.

I am reasonably sure that these officers had no idea who they were contacting at the time. It could have been as harmless as the gentleman visiting his ailing mother or it could have just have easily been a fugitive from who knows where. The officers should be alert, cautious and all business, if they want to go home safely at the end of the shift.

That being said, in defense of the California complainant, the officers should have the training and experience to very quickly determine the gravity of the stop and use an appropriate technique to emotionally "disarm" the citizen. A traffic stop is an emotional event and officers must quickly access the situation and behave accordingly. It was obvious by the tone of the gentleman's letter, he was aggravated at being stopped under the circumstances. Yes, they could have inquired about the welfare of the man's mother and maybe they will next time this happens. All cops have to learn the nuances of community policing.

I learned a long time ago that all police officers must have three characteristics to be successful and respected in the community. Common sense, a sense of humor and compassion, provide the officer with the tools he needs to do his job and eliminates most of the complaints from the average citizen.

I am truly sorry that our California visitor had an unpleasant experience in Pagosa. Let us all hope that he will not make too many wrong assumptions over this one experience.

Doug Smith

   Community News

Red Shoe Duo - a red hot performance

By Jeni Middendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

Treat yourself to a "red hot" night of music Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Pagosa High School auditorium with the Red Shoe Duo. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30.

The Red Shoe Duo, Katherine Jetter Tischhauser on cello and Lisa Campi on piano, formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. They are dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions. Tischhauser and Campi are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

This is a fund-raising event to raise money for the construction of a new Senior Center in Pagosa. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for Seniors Inc. members, $10 for children ages 8 to 12, and children under 8 years of age are free. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the community center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

A portion of this magnificent program is devoted to the historic dances of Europe and Eastern Europe. The Gavotte and dances in the Bach Suite are all very symmetrical in nature and could be classified as "courtly" or "sophisticated." The Bulgarian dance is on the other end of the spectrum. It is a peasant dance in irregular meter.

"Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel, Op. 24," by Johannes Brahms is on the program. Brahms composed the virtuosic set of continuous variations in 1861, when he was only 28 years old. It was composed for his friend, Clara Schumann, who later performed the piece in Hamburg. The theme is borrowed from an aria in George Frederic Handel's "Harpsichord Suite in B-flat," composed in 1733. The original piece by Handel contained five variations. Brahms, on the other hand, composed 25 variations and an extended fugue based on the original theme, in which he explores chromatic chords and key areas, huge orchestral textures, hemiolas and syncopated rhythms, and a myriad of romantic colors and moods.

Ginastera (1916–1983) wrote three "Pampeanas" for varied scorings, each intended to evoke the essence of the Argentine plains. He wrote: "Whenever I have crossed the pampa, my spirit felt itself inundated by changing impressions, now joyful, now melancholy, produced by its limitless immensity and by the transformation that the countryside undergoes in the course of the day ... from my first contact, I desired to write a work reflecting these states of my spirit." Throughout "Pampeana No. 2 (1950)" Ginastera exploits characteristic Argentine dance rhythms - the estilo, which moves first in a slow 4/4, then a fast 6/8; and the malambo.

The performers

After receiving both the bachelor of music degree in cello performance and the bachelor of arts degree in applied mathematics from East Carolina University, Katherine Jetter Tischhauser earned the master of music and in 2003 the doctor of music degree in cello performance from Florida State University. She did her primary musical training with Selma Gokcen, Andrew Luchansky and Lubomir Georgiev. She has performed in master classes of Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Channing Robbins and Stephen Doane.

Tischhauser's chamber and solo experiences include performances with the International Cello Festival Master Classes in Kronberg, Germany, the Killington Chamber Music Festival, the Alfred Chamber Music Institute, the Florida State New Music Festival, the Red Shoe Trio (Fort Lewis Faculty Trio), the Alexander Murray Recital Series, and the Amical Ensemble. She was the cellist for the Camellia String Quartet for two years during which time the ensemble placed in the finals of the Carmel Chamber Music Competition.

In the position of principal cellist she has played in the Florida State Symphony Orchestra, the Showcase Chamber Ensemble, and the San Juan Symphony. Other orchestras Tischhauser has been a member of include the Tallahassee Symphony, the New Carolina Sinfonia, the Tar River Orchestra, the National Opera Company Orchestra, the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, and the Santa Fe Symphony.

Currently, Tischhauser resides in Durango. She is associate professor of cello and music theory at Fort Lewis College. In addition to her duties at the college she actively teaches in the Four Corners area through private lessons and the Conservatory Music in the Mountains. Her performance schedule is filled with solo recitals, Red Shoe recitals, the San Juan Symphony, the Showcase Chamber Ensemble, and the national touring Amical Ensemble. She is currently recording a second album with the band Formula 151 and is an active performer with the group. She is the secretary of the Colorado ASTA with NSOA chapter and is an active clinician in Colorado and New Mexico. Dr. Tischhauser is frequently asked to present clinics at state and national string conferences. She has done extensive research on contemporary techniques in string literature and cello pedagogy.

During the fall of 2006, Tischhauser was on sabbatical from Fort Lewis College, on a national tour performing and researching cello literature. Upon her return, she took over the position of department chair.

Lisa Campi is the assistant professor of piano at Fort Lewis College where she performs, accompanies, teaches private and class piano, theory and history. She was previously an assistant professor of piano at Eastern Washington University in Spokane.

Campi has performed and adjudicated throughout North America, and has given lecture recitals for such organizations as the National Music Teachers Association. She has played recitals for the Chautauqua Institute in New York, the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia, for CBC radio, for the National Public Radio on WBFO: for the "Opus, Classics Live" series at the University of Buffalo, and for the "Piano Bench" series on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio. A native of Silver Spring, Md., Campi received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University, her master's from the University of Maryland, and her doctorate from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Rebecca Penneys. Campi was the pianist for the Taliesin Piano trio which participated in the National Endowment for the Arts/Chamber Music America rural residency in Blytheville, Ark., and which founded the concert series, "Composers, in their Own Words."

Campi is the co-artistic director and pianist for the Clock Tower Chamber Music festival, and she founded, directed and adjudicated for the Four Corners Piano Competition at Fort Lewis College. She also currently serves as the keyboardist for the San Juan Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs as the pianist for the Red Shoe Duo. She is a vigorous advocate for the music of our time, has performed a wide range of solo and chamber works by leading contemporary composers, and has been associated with several modern music ensembles, including "Ossia" in Rochester, N.Y., and "Zephyr" in Spokane.

All proceeds from the concert will benefit The Den and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. Join us Thursday, Feb. 8, for an evening of celebrated music with the Red Hot Duo and help support The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center's expansion to continue to provide activities and services to our ever-growing community.

 

Children's Chorale to conduct registration

Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale Spring Registration will be held at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.

Parents will receive orientation materials and information, and each child will be asked to sing a simple song.

Children's Chorale is open to all interested boys and girls, ages 7 to 17, and will begin weekly rehearsals at the Methodist church at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The Chorale is divided into two singing groups, with membership based on musical skills and reading ability. Bel Canto is the non-auditioned entry level choir; Dolce Cantare the auditioned choir. For performance, both choirs are combined on several numbers.

In addition to local spring performances, the Chorale also offers its members the opportunity to participate in music camp, exchanges with children's chorales from Durango and Colorado Springs, and Music in the Parks competition in Denver in May.

If you know of any young child who loves to sing and wants to perform with an award-winning choir, plan to attend either of the above sessions. Call 264-0244 for more information.

 

Film Society to screen 'Never on Sunday'

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Pagosa Springs Film Society will screen and discuss director Jules Dassin's 1960 classic comedy-drama "Never On Sunday," starring Melina Mercouri.

The title song for this sub-titled movie won an Oscar, while Mercouri and Dassin were both nominated - she for acting and he for writing and directing.

In this joyous and uplifting story, Homer Thrace, an amateur philosopher from Middletown, Conn., arrives in town to find out why Greece has fallen from ancient greatness. He decides Illia, an energetic prostitute, full of life and good humor, is a symbol of that fall, so he sets out to study and to save her.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign.

A suggested donation of $3 will benefit The Friends of the Library.

 

New book by Pagosa author Jim Morris

What do senior executives from a large regional construction company, a high-end carpet mill, the State of New Mexico, two international educational movements, an international biotech company and a chocolate company have in common?

According to the book by the same name that features them, they all have "The Five Insights of Enduring Leaders." They have also worked with the book's author, Pagosan Jim Morris.

Morris is a coach, corporate educator and consultant who lives in Pagosa Springs. He surveyed leadership characteristics and competencies of companies large and small and discovered that there are five universal traits all leaders need to have in order to be successful.

"The Five Insights of Enduring Leaders, Add Value - Inspire Others - Change the World," is the result. The book shows "how-to" lead with character and effectiveness for aspiring leaders and the senior leaders who act as their coaches and mentors. "If someone wants to advance their career, the book teaches the hard-to-learn but absolutely essential characteristics leaders need to have to be successful over the long term," Morris said.

Morris' inspiration for writing the book came from two sources: a deep concern about the lack of character in corporate leadership and a desire to tell the stories of companies that doing business in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible. "Making money is the easy part. Making money and conducting business in a way that adds sustainable value to employees, the shareholders and the community, now that's hard. But companies are doing it. People are sick of leaders who don't have character. This book is about developing character in oneself and learning to do well by doing good."

Published by Bristlecone Learning Press, "The Five Insights of Enduring Leaders" will arrive in book stores in late March 2007.

 

Music in the Mountains, a valentine gift

By Elise Zimmerman
Special to The PREVIEW

Sometimes, the best way to show that special someone that you care about him or her on Valentine's Day is simply to set some time aside to spend with them.

What better way to do so than by purchasing a gift certificate for one of Music in the Mountains' four classical music festival events this summer? These concerts bring together music and musicians from all over the world to the backdrop of beautiful Pagosa Springs.

Gift Certificates can be purchased at $40 for a chamber music concert, and $50 for an orchestra concert. These certificates can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Pagosa Springs. Visit the Chamber office, or call them at (800) 252-2204 or 264-2360. Cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa) are accepted.

The following concerts will take place in July and August at the spectacular BootJack Ranch, nestled at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass. Festival Tent at the gorgeous BootJack Ranch.

1. Wednesday, July 18 - Brilliant Bach.

The 2007 Festival season opens at 7 p.m. with a Bach chamber orchestra concert. Highlighted in this special show are soloists Vadim Gluzman on violin, Angela Yoffe on piano and Erin Hannigan on the oboe. A few of the works in this performance are "Passacaglia in C minor," and "Brandenberg Concerto No. 3." This special performance is sure to delight all audience members.

Certificates for this concert are $40.

2. Wednesday, July 25 - 2x4=8.

Internationally renowned musicians Aviram Reichert and Anne Akiko Meyers highlight this Chamber Concert at 7 p.m. Israeli pianist Aviram Reichert was a medalist in the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997.

Anne Akiko Meyers' passionate and enchanting communication with audiences of all ages has inspired composers to write works specifically for her. She performs on Stradivarius violin dated 1730. This performance will also feature a piano trio, as well as works by Mendelssohn.

Certificates are $40.

3. Saturday, July 28 - Shimmering Strings.

The full orchestra will perform under Guest Conductor Guillermo Figueroa's leadership at 5 p.m. Figueroa has been the music director of both New Mexico Symphony and Puerto Rico Symphony. Featured composers include Berlioz and Dvorak, as well as a solo performance by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who will be performing music by Barber.

Certificates for this performance are $50.

4. Friday, Aug. 3 - Piano Perfection.

Guest Conductor Lief Bjaland, who is in his tenth year as the artistic director and conductor of Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota and his 12th season as music director and conductor of Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, will conduct the full Festival Orchestra at 6 p.m.

Featuring soloist David Korevaar on piano, who was praised by The Washington Post for "wonderfully warm, pliant, spontaneous playing," the orchestra will perform works by composers Chabrier, Rachmaninov and Brahms.

Certificates for this event are $50.

The Pagosa Festivo will be held this year at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, in Town Park. Featured theatrical performances by members of the Durango Children's Theater this year include "Peter and the Wolf" and "The Little Engine that Could," which will be accompanied musically by members of the Festival Orchestra. Conducted by Mischa Semanitzky, this performance is free of charge, and open to audience members of all ages.

Pagosa Springs committee members Teresa Huft, Mary Jo Coulehan, Crystal Howe, Lisa Scott, Jim Foster, Ed Lowrance and Janis Moomaw also announce the annual Pagosa Springs benefit for Music in the Mountains, held this year at Moomaw Ranch on July 16. Tickets are $175, and are available for purchase at the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Pagosa Springs. Further details about the Music in the Mountains Festival schedule and programs are available at www.musicinthemountains.com.

 

The Woodwork Percussion Ensemble in Pagosa this Saturday

By Paul Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW

The Woodwork Percussion Ensemble performs in Pagosa Springs at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The concert is sponsored by Elation Center for the Arts.

Acclaimed for its unusual instrumentation and lush musical arrangements, Woodwork offers up a feast of sound on its amazing array of marimbas, xylophones, glockenspiel, vibraphone, crotales, cajon and a variety of ethnic percussion. Its expansive repertoire includes classical, jazz, international folk music, world rhythms and new music.

Performances by Woodwork are an auditory and visual treat. Some of the highlights of this Saturday's will be selected works of J.S. Bach; "Galloping Comedians," by Dmitri Kabalevsky; "Prelude No. 2," by George Gershwin; traditional folkloric tunes from Mexico, Guatemala, Russia and Zimbabwe; American ragtime from the 1920s and '30s; and compositions centered around traditional global percussion instruments.

Woodwork is the brainchild of Dr. John Pennington, internationally-renowned percussionist and professor of music at the Fort Lewis College. The ensemble is the fulfillment of Pennington's dream to perform and record professionally with some of his most advanced students.

Performing with Pennington are Philip Peters, Michael Pratt, Sean Statser, Chance Harrison and Grayson Andrews - music performance majors who are gearing themselves towards careers as concert musicians. Pennington's exemplary program provides these students the opportunity to start actualizing their professional goals while advancing their education.

"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," he said.

To date, Woodwork has performed dozens of concerts and received a grant to produce a CD, entitled "The Invisible Proverb," which will be available at the concert.

According to anthropologists and historians, percussion instruments were the first musical devices ever created. Pennington has been influential in building a greater appreciation for the fine art of percussion. "The Woodwork Ensemble shows the soloistic and expressive possibilities of these instruments," he said.

Pennington contributes to the world of music as a performer, recording artist, educator, conductor, composer and author. He tours internationally as an orchestral and ethnic percussionist. "I think of myself as a global musician, as someone who has embraced a myriad of styles," he said. "At my core, 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 performing with the other five members of Woodwork, Pennington perform solo hand drum compositions (including the debut of one of his original works) on his extraordinary collection of ethnic percussion: Egyptian riqq, Moroccan bendir, Middle Eastern tar, Irish bodhran and African mbira.

Come to the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse Saturday to hear the Woodwork Percussion Ensemble explore unique possibilities of percussion on a rare collection of instruments. 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. 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 left on Port.

This community concert is sponsored by Elation Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving our cultural heritage. For more information, log on to elationarts.org or call 731-3117.

 

Dance to Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge

By Siri Schuchardt
Special to The PREVIEW

Put on your dancing boots and head to the Pagosa Springs Community Center's Valentine's Dance Saturday, Feb. 10, with music by Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge, one of the area's premiere country western bands.

Tim Sullivan has appeared on stage with such well-known artists as Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Glen Campbell, and Tammy Wynette. He has won a Songwriter of the Year award in Massachusetts for his song "Dance In The Rain," and is featured on the soundtrack of a new motion picture, "Follow Me Outside." Tim is an entertainer and songwriter who has performed from Los Angeles to Manhattan, and the community center is proud to bring him and his band, Narrow Gauge, back to Pagosa Springs for the annual Valentine's Dance.

The evening will start at 7 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. Cost is $25 per ticket and $30 at the door. The ticket price will include a dessert bar, sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, and there will be a beer, wine, and soft drinks cash bar. Tickets will be available at Wolf Tracks, the Chamber of Commerce and the community center beginning Jan. 29.

Last year, more than 300 people danced to Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge at the Valentine's Dance.

Please buy your tickets early to insure that you have a ticket, and so we have an accurate head count for planning purposes.

We are always in need of volunteers to help with the community center dances. If you are interested, call Mercy (community center facilities coordinator) at 264-4152, Siri (dance coordinator) at 731-9670, or Pam Stokes (decorations chairman) at 731-1284. It is a great way to volunteer your time, meet some wonderful people, and play a part in keeping the community center dance program successful.

 

Barbara Hays to speak at Four Corners Center

By Anna Lauer
Special to The PREVIEW

The Four Corners Center for Spiritual Living in Bayfield has invited Barbara Hays to speak about peace, place and presence on Sunday, Jan. 28. And they invite you to join them.

Barbara will speak on "Practicing the Presence," and finding our own natural place of silence and peace in which we can reside, no matter what.

Time, place and presence have been the focus of Barbara Hays' ministry since she began almost 20 years ago as a Religious Science minister. Hays has now accepted a call to be an assistant minister to the Denver Church of Religious Science, an inner-city church. She said, "I started my ministry at 60 and am still going strong. Old ministers never give up."

Please come find a place of peace with us this Sunday at 11 a.m. The Four Corners Center for Spiritual Living holds its services in the Wholistic Heartlight Center on the corner of North and Pine Streets in Bayfield. If you have any questions, call 884-4889. As Hays teaches, "Beyond happiness and unhappiness there can be peace."

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.

Pagosa travelers discuss Thai meditation retreat

For the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service on Sunday, Jan. 28, two Pagosans, Karen Aspin and Victoria White, will speak about their recent journey to Thailand for an international meditation retreat with the Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Aspin has been a Quan Yin Meditation practitioner for seven years and White for 11 years. They will discuss their trip, and share the insights and benefits of this renowned meditation practice with inner light and sound.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. Child care and the Religious Education program for those three years old and up are offered every Sunday except the second, which is a special meditation service.
The Fellowship Hall is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.

Christian Women's Retreat in February

The 10th annual Christian Women's Retreat will be held Feb. 2-4 at Sonlight Christian Camp, north of Pagosa Springs.
This year's featured speaker is Christine Jahani, with Humility Ministries.

Cost is $105, which includes a date with God, two nights' lodging, unlimited hot tubbing, and five delicious meals.
For additional information, contact Teresa Mael at 264-4786, or Christina Velarde at 731-4136.

Cupid Classifieds are coming

"Roses are red" and your Valentine would probably love some.

In addition, you could give her or him a Cupid Classified, that will last long after the flowers have faded.

A Cupid Classified is a classified ad printed in The Pagosa Springs Sun the Thursday before Valentine's Day.

It can be poetry or prose with words from the heart expressing your love. A Cupid Classified is always the right size, not fattening, doesn't wilt, can be cut out, kept indefinitely, and expresses your love like nothing else can.

Don't forget your children, grandchildren, grandparents, pets or neighbors. If you're stuck for ideas you could simply write a short greeting from your heart, like: "You make my life complete. I never thought I would feel this happy." Show that you care enough to send the very best by creating a personalized Cupid Classified.

The cost is 30 cents per word with a minimum of $6 per ad. The deadline for the Cupid Classifieds is noon, Feb. 5, at The Pagosa Springs SUN office downtown.

Forms are available at The SUN, The Humane Society Thrift Store, Humane Society Animal Shelter and Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. Or, simply write your special Cupid Classified on a piece of paper and take it to the SUN office.

The Pagosa Springs SUN is donating all proceeds to the Humane Society to benefit the homeless dogs and cats in our community.

For more information call 264-5549.

Chuck Bob at the Movies

Two films brighten a stale month

By Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

You would think there would be much catching up to do on the new releases, but January has been a stale month for quality video and theatrical releases.

This week, I'm taking a look at a new and authentic historical epic currently in theaters and an enigmatically beautiful mystery film new to DVD.

Now playing in theaters is Mel Gibson's violent, yet thrilling "Apocalypto," a new historical epic set during the eve of the Mayan Empire's decline. The film focuses on a young Mayan hunter (Rudy Youngblood) and his humble village as it is ransacked by warriors from the capitol. The hunter successfully hides his family from the attack, but in turn is captured himself. He and the other surviving adults of the village are capture and escorted to the capitol. Upon reaching the capitol, the women are sold off as slaves, while the men are offered to Mayan priests to be sacrificed.

The young hunter successfully escapes his gruesome fate, but is then pursued by several warriors through the jungle. This intense chase sequence expends the final hour of the film, as the hunter eludes his pursuers and strikes them down, so that he can return to the family he left behind.

As I was expecting, Mel researched thoroughly to make his film as historically accurate as possible. As with "The Passion of the Christ," Gibson inserts a great amount of detail into the film; from using actors of Mayan descent, to recording all the dialogue in the Mayan language, to crafting the production design to exhibit the artistry of the Mayan civilization to its fullest. The end result looks, sounds and feels incredibly authentic.

Mel's portrayal of the savagery of the Maya culture is unrelenting and it is among one of the most violent films of the year. However, as brutal as the feature is, Gibson shoots tactfully yet maintains a tenor that is strong, intense and effective.

"Apocalypto" is one of the finest films of 2006. Thrilling and entertaining, its historical material is meticulously researched, the production design stunning, and though violent, it is powerfully captivating.

While Gibson's summer arrest and inebriated exploits will undoubtedly be the Academy's excuse for snubbing the feature on any wins, it would have surely dominated the lower Oscar categories, such as Best Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup Effects and Cinematography.

New to DVD is "The Illusionist," a modern gothic film set in a seemingly timeless era in Vienna. It tells the story of the young magician Eisenheim (Edward Norton, "Fight Club") whose fascinating illusions have captivated all who have seen them; particularly Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti, "Lady in the Water") and the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell, "A Knight's Tale").

This tale starts off with two childhood friends, Eisenheim, a woodworker's son and Sophie (Jessica Biel, "Stealth") a nobleman's daughter. Their friendship is forbidden due to their stations in life and they are traumatically separated. Years later however, they are reintroduced when Sophie attends one of Eisenheim's performances with her betrothed, Prince Leopold. Although the encounter rekindles old flames, the two remain separated by social rank as well as Sophie's engagement, but cannot deny their affection for each other. Despite the consequences, the two ignite a secret affair that inevitably ends in tragedy. When Sophie's body is discovered, Eisenheim is more than convinced that Prince Leopold is the murderer. And, with nothing to lose, and despite Inspector Uhl's prying, Eisenheim dedicates his incredible gifts to exposing Leopold in what is to become his greatest illusion yet.

"The Illusionist" is the kind of gothic period piece I look forward to seeing. The cinematography produces a spellbinding silent film look, the art direction and visual effects help greatly to amplify the atmosphere, and the movie simply looks amazing.

And, while anyone can easily escape into the production design, the story certainly doesn't disappoint. It twists and turns, making the viewer believe that it is a number of things, up until the final scene where it throws the viewer a riveting, though mildly predictable twist ending. In a sense, the movie itself is one big illusion act.

The actors are terrific in the film. While Rufus Sewell once again takes the roll of the cunning villain, he does well with his part. However, the rest of the cast finds themselves in some of their most out-of-character performances yet. Most surprising is Jessica Biel. I wouldn't have thought she could have done this well with her part, but she truly immerses herself and her character in the film's eerily beautiful ambiance.

"The Illusionist" is a worthy addition to the ranks of other great mystery films. It provides ample creativity and originality that many recent mysteries - "Lucky Number Slevin" to name one - have lacked. Visually dazzling, and cleverly written, it is among one of the most artistically captivating films of 2006.

The special features are very few, but worthwhile. The disc provides a feature commentary from writer/director Neil Burger, a "making of" featurette and a featurette focused on actress Jessica Biel and her thoughts on the film.

Community Center News

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at community center

By Mercy Korsgren

PREVIEW Columnist

Saturday, 5:30-9 p.m., we will honor our 2006 volunteers at a dinner and dance.

About 100 volunteers helped last year with the center's many programs and fund-raising events. We know that without these volunteers we could have not done what we did for the community.

We had the monthly dance programs, the Spring Rummage Sale, the Arts and Crafts Show, Patriotic Night, the Cinco de Mayo Mariachi Concert, the Community Halloween Party, the Festival of Trees and we've offered our weekly free programs: line dancing; yoga; computer, sewing, cooking and eBay classes; scrapbooking, Self-Help for Health, Managing Diabetes, and many more.

These volunteers are our heroes; they donated their valuable time and talents, and willingly gave back to the community.

Now, it's time to party to thank them and let them know we appreciate their help. Eddie B Cooking will cater the chicken dinner and Bobby Hart will be our DJ. The center will also provide hors d'oeuvres, drinks and dessert.

Chamber event

The Chamber of Commerce annual banquet and meeting here at the center was a great success even though the weather wasn't too good. Unfortunately, like many others, I didn't get to go due to a cough and cold, but I heard that everyone present had a great time. They enjoyed the food catered by Eddie B Cooking, the games, the dancing and of course the camaraderie. Congratulations to Joanne Irons and J.R. Ford - they are the 2006 Volunteer of the Year and Citizen of the Year award winners, respectively. What a great event!

AARP Tax Help is back.

It is time again to take care of our tax responsibilities. If you need help preparing your taxes you need to sign up. Help is available starting Feb. 1, every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sign up at the desk located inside the Senior Dining Room. AARP Tax Help volunteers will be available to assist you. No phone reservations will be accepted.

Movie Night

First, we would like to thank David and Carol Brown for donating a 50-inch Sony television set. It is awesome! Thanks again, Dave and Carol, for your continuous support of the center.

So, let's have a movie night once a month. We could start with a Super Bowl party, but wait ... we need a volunteer to be in charge of this program. If this is something you would enjoy doing, call 264-4152.

Beaded jewelry making

Treva Wheeless will conduct an orientation meeting 10 a.m.-noon, Thursday, Feb. 22 for those interested. Treva,, a local artisan, is ready to start this new program. At the meeting, you will have an opportunity to discuss your specific interests, tools needed and what is involved in beading jewelry. A series of three classes will take place March 1, 8 and 15. Treva also does rubber stamping and card making; she's very talented. Several people have called in to reserve spaces. Call the center, 264-4152 to sign up for this class.

Pre-Valentine's Day Dance

Plan to attend this first dance of the year - also our first fund-raising event this year, 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10.

Tim Sullivan and the Narrow Gauge Band will 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 the plans for this annual event with the help of our decorating guru, Pam Stokes.

Tickets will be available by Monday, Jan. 29, at WolfTracks, the Chamber of Commerce and the community center. After tickets are purchased you can reserve a table for 10 people by calling the center. Be prepared to give your ticket numbers. Cost: $25 per person in advance until noon Saturday, Feb. 10, and $30 at the door. This is an adult, 21 years and older, event.

Baton twirling cancelled

Due to lack of interest, Karla has cancelled this program. Last year, there were several children attending and we don't know why they stopped coming. Is it because the meeting time or day is not convenient for the children and parents, or are there other reasons like weather issues? Please give us your input. In the meantime, Karla will rest and maybe we'll be able to do it again in the future.

Line dancing

Gerry writes: "Couples meet at 9 a.m. Mondays to polish their two-step waltz and night club two-step. A new group started last Monday, so it is a good time to be a beginner. Walking is the only requirement. We have lots of fun, laugh a lot and even learn a little. The goal is to get around the dance floor as simply as possible. No pressure, no money involved - just some new friends. Men are pampered, because they deserve it."

Line dancing begins at 10 a.m. and you don't have to have a partner to learn. Gerry will help provide one, if necessary. If you are new, Gerry will also teach you the basics. Peggy and Beverly will have new moves to challenge the more experienced. Easiest dances begin at 10 and gradually increase in difficulty until 11:30. It is good exercise, and everyone is welcome.

Yoga

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 are still on hold. Becky is undergoing several diagnostic tests to find out why she loses her strength. She will keep us posted on the findings and asks that we include her in our prayers. We hope to see her back soon.

Weight Watchers

Resolve to make positive changes to lose weight and keep it off.

Join this group every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. They provide motivation, weight-loss needs, e-tools (Internet companion for meetings), free e-mail newsletter and many other things to better meet different individuals' needs. Eating the right food with the right amount of calories and exercise are the key points. Don't wait, start now!

Open gym

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

Another open gym schedule is every Friday noon to 1:15 p.m. 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's winter hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10-4. Call 264-4152.

Activities this week

Today - Hoopsters basketball, 8-9 a.m.; Beginners II 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.

Jan. 26 - Beginners II watercolor class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 4-H Cloverbuds, Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; 1:30-3:30 p.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.;

Jan. 27 - Beginners II watercolor class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; baby shower, 1-3 p.m.; Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Dance, 5:30-9 p.m.;

Jan. 28 - 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. 29 - Line dancing, 9-11:30 a.m.; watercolor workshop with Pierre, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30-4:30 p.m.; baby shower, 2-4 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club board meeting, 7-8 p.m.;

Jan. 30 - Hoopsters basketball, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor workshop with Pierre, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga, 10-11:30 a.m.; 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. 31 - Watercolor workshop with Pierre, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Aikido, 1-2 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 5-6 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Feb. 1 - Hoopsters basketball, 8-9 a.m.; AARP Tax Help, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; watercolor workshop with Pierre, 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.; San Juan Outdoor Club monthly meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Senior News

Better balance prevents falls

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

You juggle many activities, responsibilities, and people in your life with grace.

But sometimes you can be physically tossed off balance by a wet floor, ice or uneven pavement.

Falls can occur anytime, anyplace and to anyone, while doing everyday activities such as climbing stairs or getting out of the bathtub. As we age, our sight, hearing, muscle strength, coordination and reflexes change, weakening our balance.

Also, some health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and circulation problems, affect balance. Even some medications have been known to make people dizzy.

Unfortunately, all of these factors make falls more likely. One of every three persons aged 65 years and older falls each year. But take heart, you do not have to be one of them! You can take simple steps to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.

Check your medications. If you are on medicine that makes you feel dizzy, talk to your doctor. A doctor can review your medications and adjust or reduce your dosages to help you improve your balance.

Do simple balance exercises. Balance is just like muscle strength - if you don't use it, you lose it. There are some easy ways you can make gains in improving your balance and lower-body strength. No special equipment, no cost - just you and some space. You can try these just about anywhere; just be sure you have something nearby that you can hold onto, should you feel unsteady.

- Tightrope walk. Walk heel-to-toe. Position your heel just in front of the toes of the opposite foot each time you take a step. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch. After taking 10-20 steps forward, reverse and walk backwards toe to heel along the same imaginary line. Take the challenge! Do this walk with a paper plate on your head. With a little extra focus on your posture and balance, that plate will stay put!

- Balanced stand. Stand on one foot. Hold your weight on one leg for 30 seconds or longer. Then witch feet. Try this while waiting in line at the grocery store or at the bus stop.

- Sit and stand. Get up from a chair and sit back down.

Take the challenge! Do this sit and stand exercise with a paper plate on your head.

Try advanced balance exercises. If you belong to a fitness center with access to personal trainers, ask one to teach you specific exercises using balance balls or balance boards. Many gyms offer balance or ball classes that work on strengthening your core muscles and improving your balance. Classes are fun, challenging and effective. Tai chi, yoga, pilates, and stretching or dance classes are also good ways to work on improving your balance. You can even use a DVD or video to practice in the comfort of your home.

Consider using weights or resistance bands. "Strength training can go a long way," says Dr. Manson. "It helps with balance while improving muscle tone, bone strength, and fights osteoporosis in women and men. You can do exercises like curls and shoulder presses while seated with free weights or resistance bands and advance to a standing position when or if you feel secure on your feet." Whether you're at the gym or at home, Dr. Manson suggests you exercise in company. "Have a friend or relative join you. You're safer and you can support one another's efforts while preventing possible injury."

It is important to fall-proof your living environment. To keep your balance and prevent falls, make sure you don't have obstacles on the ground or around your walking paths. Here are some reminders:

- Remove the clutter, pick up papers or clothes from the ground, move garbage bins under cabinets.

- Keep your area well lit.

- Be aware of your surroundings, know where your furniture is placed and any stairs or change of entry levels.

- Clean up any spills.

- Be sure your furniture is stable.

- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.

- Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.

Falls don't have to be part of getting older. You have the power to stay securely on your feet and decrease your chance of experiencing a fall. Share these tips with friends and family to help ensure their safety too.

Treat yourself to a "red hot" night of music at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium with the Red Shoe Duo.

The Red Shoe Duo was formed in the fall of 2003 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. They have performed throughout the region to delighted audiences. They are dedicated to performing the great standards of the repertoire, while avidly championing contemporary compositions.

Katherine Jetter-Tischhauser, on cello, and Lisa Campi, on piano, are currently faculty members at Fort Lewis College where they maintain active teaching and performing careers.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit The Den and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. This is a fund-raising event to raise money for the construction of a new Senior Center in Pagosa.

Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for Seniors Inc. members, $10 for children ages 8 to 12, and children under 8 years of age are free. Tickets are available at The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Join us for an evening of celebrated music and help support The Den's expansion to continue to provide activities and services to our growing community.

Are food supplements for me?

You eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. But in the back of your mind you sometimes wonder, "Could taking a food supplement make me healthier?"

Surveys show that more than half of American adults take food, or dietary, supplements to boost their diet. Sometimes people take them because they lack - or think they lack - certain vitamins and minerals. Other people want to improve some part of their health, like their immune system. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs are the more popular food supplements. They come as powder or liquid that you can take as a pill or mix into food or drinks. For years, doctors and food experts have been saying that in general, you don't need supplements if you eat a healthy, balanced diet.

How do you know if your diet is healthy? Check the Food Guide Pyramid. It tells you which foods to eat each day and in what amounts to stay healthy. A healthy diet is low in fat and sugar and rich in plant foods, like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Sometimes, changes take place in our lives and bodies that can make it harder to eat right. For instance, a sad event, such as losing a loved one, could cause us to lose interest in food or eating right. Health and dental problems or some drugs can ruin our appetites or cause other eating problems. Some people, as they age, begin to avoid certain foods, like milk. That's because the sugar in milk gets harder to digest. This could cause them to not get enough calcium, which the body needs for strong bones. If you aren't sure if you have a healthy diet, talk to your doctor or a food expert. He or she can help you figure out what's missing in your diet. Maybe you should be taking calcium tablets or a multivitamin. Find out which supplements to avoid if you have an illness or take medicine. Some supplements can make certain health problems worse or interfere with your medicine.

If you want to try a supplement because you read or heard it could improve your health in some way, do some research first. Look on the Internet or in the library for medical studies to support the claims. If the supplement is for a certain problem, like arthritis, check with a health group that knows about the illness, like the Arthritis Foundation. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if the supplement is safe and how it's used.

The federal government doesn't have to approve food supplements before they're sold. The people who make them are responsible for making sure their product is safe and effective. That's why you want to check the information they give out before you use the product. Here are some additional tips from the American Dietetic Association:

- Beware of false claims. Supplements that claim to help you stay young, grow back hair, lose weight, or cure cancer could be false. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

- Watch for double standards. Even though herbs are often sold for having the same effect as certain drugs, they aren't controlled the same way. Find out about the herbs you want to use. Are there side effects? Could taking large doses be dangerous? How long have the herbs been used for treating your condition(s)? Have medical studies been published on their effectiveness?

- High doses of some supplements might be harmful. There are guidelines for the amounts of vitamins and minerals you should take to stay healthy, but not for herbs. Some herbs could be harmful in large amounts. So could very large doses of vitamins and minerals. Natural doesn't mean safe. Just because a supplement is natural or comes from a plant doesn't mean its safe. Many times, herbal products don't include warnings about harmful side effects.

Remember, if you want to try a food supplement, be your own best health advocate. Assess your diet first; do some research; and talk to your doctor. Then you can make the best choice for your health.

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 heart-warming 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 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.

Nails with Dru
Do you want to feel pampered? Or how about some fun conversation while doing something nice for yourself? Dru Sewell will do your nails free of charge at The Den 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesdays. You can make an appointment, or just 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 are available at The Den at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 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.

Aikido

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. The Den offers Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. with instructors Bill Trimarco and Lisa Jensen. Aikido students will learn how to redirect an attacker's energy with hand techniques, and train with the wooden sword and short staff. Aikido is beneficial for health, coordination, stress relief and character with the goal of bettering oneself rather than trying to be better than an opponent.

2007 Seniors Inc.

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 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 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 eyeglasses, 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. Remember, 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!

Senior of the Week

Congratulations to Mary Lou Maehr. She is our Senior of the Week and will receive free lunches at The Den for the week. Mary Lou will also be leading the way, first in line, which is a big deal here at The Den!

Activities at a glance

Today - 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.
Monday, Jan. 29 - 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. 30 - Yoga, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 31 - Nails with Dru, 9:30-11 a.m.; Dance For Health, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Aikido class, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 1 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required.) The Den is closed.
Friday, Feb. 2 - National Wear Red Day for heart disease awareness; Geezers meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus and kids 12 and under; all others $5
Salad bar available every day at The Den beginning at 11:30 a.m. Menu subject to change.
Friday, Jan. 26 - Chicken cacciatore, oven potatoes, vegetable medley, plums, and garlic roll.
Monday, Jan. 29 - Swedish meatballs over noodles, spinach, biscuit, and tropical fruit.
Tuesday, Jan. 30 - Roast pork with gravy, oven potatoes, glazed carrots, jello salad, and dinner roll.
Wednesday, Jan. 31 - Chicken salad sandwich with lettuce and tomato, potato soup, orange wedges, and apricots.
Thursday, Feb. 1 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, pineapple and mandarin oranges, and whole wheat roll.
Friday, Feb. 2 - Beef stroganoff, noodles, orange spiced carrots, beet salad, mixed fruit, and dinner roll.

Veteran's Corner

VAHC facilities get high marks - again

By Andy Fautheree

A comprehensive study by Harvard Medical School concludes that federal hospitals, including those run by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provide the best care available anywhere for some of the most common life-threatening illnesses.

"This recognition by Harvard should assure veterans of the quality of VA's world-class health care system," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "Veterans have earned only the best. And we can prove that's exactly what VA is providing."

The study was published Dec. 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a journal for health-care professionals. Researchers looked at congestive heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia across the health-care industry and found that patients in federal facilities are more likely to receive high-quality care than those in for-profit hospitals.

Dr. Michael J. Kussman, VA's Acting Under Secretary for Health, said the report is the latest example of VA setting standards for health care in the United States.

"This study further demonstrates that VA is providing high quality health care to veterans," Dr. Kussman said. "Our computerized system of electronic health records and performance measurement means that veterans are getting the top-level care and treatment they have earned through service to our country."

Higher ratings

The study found that hospitals operated by the federal government and the military received higher performance ratings than other hospitals studied. A large percentage of federal hospitals are operated by VA.

"This suggests that lessons learned from (VA's) decades-long experience in quality improvement deserve further study," said Dr. Bruce Landon of Harvard, the study's lead author.

The study assessed the quality of care for congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction - commonly referred to as "heart attack" - and pneumonia in more than 4,000 hospitals in the United States.

The Harvard Medical School study is the latest recognition of the high quality of VA health care. In 2006, VA received a prestigious "Innovations in American Government" Award from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for its advanced electronic health records and performance measurement system.

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

Lifelong Learning lectures resume March 3

By Carole Howard

Sun columnist, and the library staff

Back by popular demand after a triumphant debut last fall, the Saturday afternoon Lifelong Learning lectures organized by Biz Greene will resume on March 3. She is planning eight lectures during March and April. Mark your calendars for the first three:

- March 3: "Dirt, Water, Stone: A century of preserving Mesa Verde," by Kathy Fiero, a 30-year field archeologist in the southwest who supervised the repair and preservation of the archeological sites of Mesa Verde. She now lives in Santa Fe.

- March 10: "Women to the Rescue: Creating Mesa Verde National Park," by Duane Smith, an award-winning author on the southwest.

- March 17: "Impending Climate Catastrophe and the Quick Energy Switch: What the media and academia don't know, won't bother to find out and wouldn't tell you anyway," by Dr. Roger Cohen.

All Lifelong Learning events are free to the public. They take place in the library at 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Web site updated, revamped

Because of the resignation a few months ago of the volunteer who maintained our Web site, information on the site became embarrassingly out of date. We apologize. We now have made it current, and also added new features to enhance clarity and add visual interest. We hope you like the result.

Please take a few moments to visit our Web site at www.pagosalibrary.com. With a few clicks of your mouse you can reserve library books and other materials. You can get all sorts of local information about the library's latest books and services, as well as events, donors and other news. You also can access state resources such as "Colorado Virtual Library" and "Ask Colorado," in both English and Spanish. And you can "Ask a librarian" by linking to a site at the Library of Congress.

Non-fiction: Science, self-rescue and baseball

"Great Ideas in Physics," by physics professor Alan Lightman, is an accessible exploration of the conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. (If more of us had studied under a professor like this we might have understood and appreciated physics!)

"Climbing Self-rescue: Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations," by Andy Tyson and Molly Loomis, shows how to analyze and improvise your way out of a crisis when your team is in trouble on the mountain.

"Hardball on the Hill," by James C. Roberts, a book about baseball in and around our nation's capital, is a great read for baseball buffs, history lovers and anyone who loves a good story.

How-to books for children

Thanks to a donation from the Mountain View Homemakers Club, we have four new how-to books geared especially for kids. Two are about scrapbooking: "Kids Scrapbooking: Easy as 1,2,3" and "Scrapbooking Childhood Moments," with 200 page designs. Another book is called "The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for Kids" and the fourth, with 95 recipes, is titled "Semi-Homemade: Cool Kids' Cooking."

Exploring minds, ancient textiles, drinks and language

"The Millionaire Mind," by Thomas J. Stanley, is a groundbreaking study of America's wealthy, exploring who they are and how they got there, with insights into their school days, how they responded to negative criticism, their spouses and their religion.

In "The Mummies of Urumchi," Elizabeth Barber takes us along the ancient Silk Road in western China to learn about remarkably preserved woolen textiles.

"A History of the World in 6 Glasses," by Tom Standage, tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola.

"The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar," by linguist Mark C. Baker, surveys the incredible diversity of the world's languages to show how linguists are closing in on the question of what is the true nature of language differences.

Medicine and health: chemicals and menopause

"Detoxification & Healing: The Key to Optimal Health," by Dr. Sidney MacDonald Baker, is praised by medical people as a pioneering opus on treating toxins and their link to immunology and neurobiology. "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide," by Pamela Reed Gibson, offers comprehensive advice for coping with environmental illness, chemical injuries and chemical hypersensitivity. "Natural Women, Natural Menopause," by Marcus Laux and Christine Conrad, features the benefits of bio-identical plant-derived hormones, nutritional guidelines and cutting edge research to help women deal with menopause in natural, safe ways.

Special art from Pagosa Piecemakers

Next time you come into the library, be sure to stop by the right bank of computers to admire the huge Heritage Quilt that more than a dozen members of the Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild made and provided to the library on a long-term loan. It offers extraordinary evidence of the talents of Pagosa quilters - not to mention the beauty of the historic sites of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Each square in the multi-colored quilt, which measures more than six feet by seven feet, depicts scenes from our past such as an old sawmill, an original school and other historic buildings. Please watch for a special feature in a forthcoming issue of The SUN with more details about this beautiful work of art.

Other generous donations

Heartfelt thanks for monetary donations from Joyce Webb in memory of Robert Wilson, and from David Krueger. Our gratitude also for gifts of books and materials from Kerry Dermody, Susan Dussell, Marti Gallo, Scottie Gibson, Jenny Iguchi, Stacy Jehnzen, Janet Parks, Anna Royer, Daniel Senjem, Michael Schneider¸ Brenda Wanket, and Margaret and Jim Wilson.

 

Arts Line

Submit your images for the 2008 PSAC calendar

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will accept images for the 2008 Calendar Feb. 27-March 3.

Submissions can be any of artwork that makes one think of the charm and beauty of the country around Pagosa Springs. We will consider only photographs, drawings and paintings, and also other types of artwork such as sculptures, stained glass, quilts etc.

Acceptable artwork is not limited to identifiable scenes; it may be abstract. Criteria for acceptance will be the work's appeal to the judges and its appropriateness for a particular season. In order for us to use the artwork in the calendar, if it is accepted, it will need to be presented in a photograph in landscape format. We urge those whose artwork was not accepted for previous calendars to consider entering again. Your work may be just what the judges want for a particular month in the 2008 calendar!

ExxonMobil Foundation

PSAC has received a matching grant from ExxonMobil Foundation.

Pagosa's Dorothy Childers volunteers many hours each year, helping staff the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. It is because of her efforts that Exxon has honored PSAC with a grant of $500. Thank you Dorothy, for all your hard work and thank you Exxon for recognizing this work and for rewarding the Arts Council.

Photo contest deadline

You have less tan a week to submit your entry to the 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 in

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 winter 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, 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:

It seems those things I want to do, such as join a band, write and illustrate science fiction and more, are like pipe dreams. No one is thinking about me. They say they are, but it doesn't seem like it.

My dad says "... get a real job. Go to college and make something out of yourself. You can't get through life without money. It's a paying society. No one is going to support you. You're being foolish with your life."

I'm losing myself and I can't find Me in all this well-meaning advice.

Where is Me? Woe is Me!

Dear Where is Me:

Each one of us has within a True North. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find out what we are all about and how we are made. Dreams and visions are good, they tell us a lot about ourselves. Over a lifetime, whether detours or side road trips, the needle will always point back to that True North in us and we are always discovering something new about ourselves.

BUT, and that is a big word, "there is safety in a multitude of counselors." Whatever you pursue be the best you can be. If it is writing, go to college, go to the people in that particular field, ask questions. Learn from those who've been there and know where they are going. Education will direct you to the next step in your quest in finding what you were made to do.

Turn your woes into wows!

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.

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 for nonmembers, $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

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

Jan. 25-27 - 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

Proffer a pile of our piscine pals

By Karl Isberg

What do you think when you wake in the middle of the night, the mental engine unstoppable, powering ahead in high gear?

Do you worry? About the kids, about love, your job, money, illness, about your nutball kin?

Lately, I've been waking about 3 a.m. every morning, brain ablaze, neurons firing at warp speed.

Not a thought about money, though. Nary an instant spent on mortality. Not as much as a momentary link with the fact that my wife has threatened to put a shock collar on me that zaps me with 10,000 volts if I dial the area code and the first three digits of my favorite wine importer's phone number.

I've been thinking about anchovies.

The lowly anchovy: Engraulus encrasicolus. Anchois, anchoa, katakuchiiwashi - call it what you will. Regardless of the name, it's that dinky little silver fish with a bluish or greenish back, a forked tail and a single dorsal fin.

The anchovy.

A distant and small relative of the herring, the anchovy is, to begin with at least, not the often abusively salty, ugly thing you find packed in tins that are impossible to open without wounding oneself or splashing stinky oil on the cashmere.

Nope. The fresh model is considerably milder than the canned, frequently gutted and grilled at low-end bistros in seedy port towns near wherever the fish school; it's the salt-curing process that lends the fish it's renowned and oft disdained character.

Since we don't regularly scoop tons of the mighty mites from lakes and streams here in Siberia with a View, it's the cured, and most often canned fish we purchase and use. Face it, me hearty, even if you soak the fillets in milk, they are going to be briny. And it is fillets you will deal with, since our diminutive pals, rarely more than 8 inches in length at maturity, are so-called "round fish" - in other words, a fish (like trout, salmon, bass, etc.) with a backbone along the upper part of the body, fillets draped off either side and, for good measure, an eye on either side of its head. Accept it: brininess and fishiness are the features you manipulate in the kitchen.

Lately, I spend a good half-hour or so in the middle of the night, in the dark, my head on my battered pillow, thinking up ways to use the critters.

Why?

Because I love 'em.

As very few other folks do. Certainly no one in my neck of the woods.

Kathy can't stand them. Can't bear to hear the name mentioned.

The other day, I'm at the store and I end up in conversation with Lindsey and Leigh. We collide with one another in the produce section, Lindsey touting the merits of some goofy wasabi-flavored confection, Leigh in search of the elusive poblano, and I mention I am obsessing on anchovies. Lindsey recoils in horror; Leigh bugles a rousing revulsion.

I'll show them! I am determined to make the fish the centerpiece of an entire dinner - excepting, of course, dessert.

The one thing anchovies are undeniably good for - in fact the one type of food in which they are the ideal ingredient - is the nibble. The goodie that accompanies the drinks. Cocktails, to be precise. This is where the tang, the salt, come to the fore, and where the anchovy shines.

In my opinion, it shines in two applications. The first is in the company of pastry. The second is as a primary ingredient - or flavor, if you will - in a classic spread, tapenade.

In the pastry application, you can choose to go overboard, or you can opt to cheat. Go overboard and you make a dough, with flour, yeast, salt and water (I won't bother with a recipe, since you won't go to the trouble) let the dough rise, place anchovies in wads of the dough, and deep fry the goodies, seasoning them the moment they emerge from the hot oil.

If you cheat, you buy the pastry, ready to thaw and use.

Make anchovies in a puff pastry. Thaw a couple sheets of the pastry and cut each sheet lengthwise into two-inch wide strips. Slather the pastry (leaving an edge on each side) with a mix of minced anchovy and chopped kalamata olives. Brush the edges of the strips with beaten egg, fold over, seal, cut into squares and bake at about 400 until golden brown. Eat warm. With something to drink.

There's also wide berth when applying our piscine pals to slabs o'toasted bread (baguette, if you can get it). Put a schmear of cheese and some herbs on a hunk of the baguette, lay a couple anchovy fillets on top of the cheese and broil until the cheese oozes. Use ricotta, brie, bleu, whatever. Sprinkle a teensy bit of extra-virgin olive oil on top and devour. With something to drink.

For the ultimo appetizer, whip up a pissaladiere. But, again, please, don't waste time making the dough yourself, when you could be watching The Price is Right. Purchase frozen puff pastry, roll out a batch to the desired rectangular size and put it on a greased baking sheet. Prick the pastry all about, except for a half-inch free zone around the perimeter.

Have ready a pan full of onions, cooked over medium heat in olive oil and butter until deep, golden brown. The last five minutes or so, add some finely minced garlic to the onions, and season, adding herbs if there are some about.

Dust the pastry with shaved Parmesan cheese, (you can go the trouble of making and using an extra-thick bechamel, with gruyere, if you're so inclined) layer with the onions, dust the onions with more cheese. Fan a major league bunch of anchovy fillets atop the tart along with a scattering of chopped nicoise or kalamata olives - perhaps even a cascade of halved, seeded and roasted cherry tomatoes - and bake it for a half hour or so, until the edge of the dough is deep gold/brown. Sprinkle with extra-virgin, slice, enjoy. With something to drink.

Tapenade, anyone?

Easy business.

Put a can of drained anchovy fillets, a couple cloves of garlic, a half pound or so of pitted kalamata olives, a bit of lemon juice, some capers and a quarter to a half cup of extra virgin (adding it a splash at a time) in a food processor and pulse the mix until it is fairly muddy - with bits of olive distinguishable in the mess. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Eat it - on raw veggies, on slices of bread, on crackers, with your fingers. With something to drink.

From the nibble, it's on to dinner.

How about a veggie? How about stuffed eggplant, with anchovy in the stuffing?

Halve an eggplant and scoop out most of the flesh. Chop the flesh, sprinkle it with a smidge of salt and let it drain. Do the same with the inside of the eggplant. Forty-five minutes later, rinse everything and dry with a towel.

Saute the flesh in oil with diced onion. When all starts to soften and brown, add a bunch of minced garlic, some seeded and chopped tomatoes, some chopped capers, a significant number of anchovy fillets, chopped, some chopped kalamata olives (the anchovy's best friend) some herbs (oregano, a bit of basil), freshly-ground black pepper, some hot red pepper flakes. Add a small amount of bread crumb to fill the mix out a bit.

Put the eggplant halves on an oiled baking sheet, stuff them with the mix and top with more bread crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs with extra virgin, put the eggplants in a 400 oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Or, how about potatoes, roasted with rosemary, anchovy, onion, tomato – everything slicked up with super good olive oil?

Then, on to the entrée.

The kneejerk response here is to produce one of many pasta dishes that include the anchovy - some as simple as al dente linguine dressed with a sauce made of white wine, olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, butter, minced white onion or shallot, and garlic. A frosting of shaved Parmesan and you're in business. Some of the pasta recipes include toasted bread crumbs. Can't hurt. Some involve tuna. Fish on fish. Not bad.

But, I think I'll head for fleshville, to a schnitzel Holstein - a seasoned escallop of veal, dusted with flour, dipped in eggwash, breaded, sauteed to golden goodness in a mix of oil and butter then served with a pan sauce amped up with more butter, some parsley and lemon juice, the veal crowned with a runny fried egg and surrounded by anchovy fillets curled around capers. The same approach works with a turkey or chicken cutlet - although there has to be some dietary law, somewhere, that prohibits eating chicken with a chicken egg. There's a certain resemblance here with the old no boiling the kid in mommy's milk, wouldn't you say?

While these options are just peachy, I believe a simple - how do they say, in France? - hache avec oeufs, will do the trick and finish off the anchovy feast in fine fashion.

Basically, this is a burger with a gooey egg and a mess of anchovies.

Grind the meat yourself (I'll use my Porkert Fleischhacker 10, with the fine Czech steel blades) - a high-grade sirloin, or even tenderloin. Make thick patties and coat them with freshly-cracked black pepper. Sear the meat in a super hot heavy skillet or on a hot grill for a couple minutes per side. Don't overdo the heat; you want red meat in these babies. If you have an aversion to meat juices, you might prefer a bowl of cereal instead.

Take a burger and put it on a heated plate while you fry an egg, gently, until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. Plop the egg atop a meat patty. Throw a wad of butter into the frying pan, toss in some chopped parsley and brown the butter. Add a smidge of lemon juice, season to taste and pour on the egg and meat. Surround the patty with a circle of anchovy fillets, each wrapped around a caper.

This is likely to kill you.

Unless you eat it in the company of something to drink.

Here's to round fish everywhere and, most particularly to the lowly anchovy.

Perhaps overindulgence will erase my fixation and allow me to move on to another middle-of-the-night obsession.

Something more normal.

Like fear of shock collars.

Extension Viewpoints

Livestock project deadline tomorrow

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Jan. 26 - 1:45 p.m., 4-H Fridays, Community United Methodist Church.
Jan. 29 - 4 p.m., Advanced Entomology project meeting.
Jan. 29 - 4 p.m., Shooting Sports project meeting.
Jan. 30 - 9 a.m., Master Gardener project.
Feb. 1 - 6:30 p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.
Feb. 2 - 1 p.m., Radon program.
Feb. 2 - 1:45 p.m., 4-H Fridays, Community United Methodist Church.
Feb. 2 - 2:15 p.m., Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting.
Feb. 2 - 3 p.m., Dog project meeting.

Livestock project deadline
The deadline date for 4-H members to declare a livestock project is 5 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 26.
If all livestock projects are not declared, 4-Hers can not show in divisions at the Archuleta County Fair in August. You will still be able to drop projects but no livestock projects can be added.
Call Pamela with any questions, at 264-5931.

Free radon program
Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Office is offering a free program explaining the dangers of radon in the home.
This program will be open to the public and will be at the Extension Office, at the Fairgrounds, 1-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. There will be free materials and radon testing kits available, while supplies last, to those who attend.
Reservations are not required but are appreciated - 264-5931.

Beef Symposium
The 25th annual Beef Cattle Symposium will take place Tuesday, Feb. 13, right here in Pagosa Springs, at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension Building.
This year, the primary focus at symposium will be management and marketing.
Registration cost is $10 before Feb. 7, or $15 after that date. Cost includes six informative presentations, lunch and refreshments.
Stop by and pick up your registration form today at the Extension Office.

Pagosa Lakes News

Rec center pool closed for repairs

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The recreation center pool was closed in October last year for a major renovation.

The kiddie and main pools were both resurfaced with a fiberglass finish and the results were good - improved water clarity and a significant decrease in chemical use.

However, approximately a month after the pools were in use, a huge bubble was detected in the new fiberglass finish at the south end of the main pool. Within a day, the bubble broke open and necessitated the damaged area be roped off (but still leaving 85-percent of the pool for use).

We closed the natatorium for the necessary repairs starting today. After a two-day draining process necessitated by the winter weather, the contractor and his crew from Florida will be working on the repairs to the damaged area beginning this weekend.

My staff and I would like to apologize to all users for the inconvenience the closure of the pools may cause. We also thank our members for their patience and understanding.

Are you interested in the growth and development of Pagosa Lakes? Do you have the skill to process applications and plans? Are you interested in permits or new building, alterations and improvements? If your answer is yes, the Environmental Control Committee is for you.

The committee is created by the master declarations of restrictions and is composed of association members appointed by the PLPOA Board of Directors. The principal function of the committee is to review and approve or disapprove plans, specifications and related details for any structures, additions or improvements to be constructed, erected or maintained on any lot. The committee meets the first and third Thursday of each month in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 8 a.m. The committee is composed of three standing and three alternate association members.

Still interested? You are invited to submit a written application that can be picked up and returned to the Department of Covenant Compliance, 230 Port Ave., or call 731-5635, or e-mail to plpoa@plpoa.com.

The Pagosa Lakes Winter Perch Ice Fishing Tournament will be held at Lake Pagosa this Saturday, from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Pre-purchase your tickets for $10 at Terry's ACE Hardware, Ponderosa Do-it-Best, Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, or the Pagosa Lakes administration office. Tickets can also be purchased the day of the tournament at the lake for $12. All revenue is used for prize money. Hundreds of dollars in cash prizes will be given away for placing winners in two categories - most perch and largest perch. The tournament is open to the general public and no permit or fishing license is required. Kids 16 and under fish free.

 

Obituaries

Gilbert Martinez

Gilbert Martinez, 73, of Aztec, N.M., passed away Jan. 18, 2007, at his home in Aztec. He was born May 27, 1933, in Edith, Colo., to Belarmino and Mabel (Wilson) Martinez.

Gilbert is preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Ruffie Herrera; brothers Arquin and Sam Martinez; and a sister, Encarnacio Talamante.

He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Regina (Maez) Martinez; a son, Charley and wife, Jennette, Martinez; a daughter, Mary Archuleta and husband, Eli Herrera; a brother, Abel Martinez; and eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Gilbert was employed by Aztec public schools and was married to Regina in Tierra Amarilla.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

A gala evening, with notable winners

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

The community center was filled Saturday with laughter and camaraderie, and there was delicious food, lively music and resounding applause as numerous community awards were doled out.

The highlight of the evening was the Citizen of the Year honor awarded to J.R. Ford and our Volunteer of the Year going to Joanne Irons.

J.R. was chosen as Citizen of the Year for his contributions to the cultural, lifestyle, economic and philanthropic aspects of our community. His dedication, from conception to fruition, to the new 4-H building at the fairgrounds, his part in the arena grandstand renovation, his focus on the Western Heritage culture of this community, his passion for improving water and fishery habitat at Hidden Valley Ranch (garnering him a state Excellence in Riparian award), and his pivotal role in securing funding for, and his other contributions to, the new Critical Access Hospital were just some of the actions the committee reviewed before selecting him as the Citizen of the Year for 2006.

Joanne Irons is no stranger to excellence either. Her shared vision of creating the Loaves and Fishes program, now in its third year, her work with Special Olympics, Seeds of Learning, school participation with the Rotary MidAct (intermediate school) Club, drug awareness, the new Woman to Woman program, and assorted other volunteering activities gave her the edge as the 2006 Volunteer of the Year.

Other worthy candidates for Citizen of the Year were Tom and Ming Steen, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, John Egan, the Mounted Rangers-Troop F, Bill Goddard and Connie Bunte, Jody Cromwell, and the Music Boosters.

Additional nominees for Volunteer of the Year were Ron Gustafson, Ray Diffee, Jackie Schick, Ming and Tom Steen, and Michael DeWinter.

The decision was difficult in each category. But, this year the names of J.R. Ford and JoAnne Irons rose to the top and they shine in Pagosa Springs as deserving recipients of these prestigious awards. Congratulations to all the nominees, the winners and the people who took time to nominate someone for these awards.

Pagosa Pride awards

Also honored Saturday night were the Pagosa Pride winners.

The Pagosa Pride Award is given to a Chamber business that has improved an existing facility through renovation, building expansion, or landscaping. The interior of the building is not judged, only the exterior. New construction also does not qualify.

This year’s Pagosa Pride winners were: first place - Paint Connection Plus; second place - BootJack Management for the Alley House Grille; third place - Jim Smith Realty, for both properties.

Honorable Mention awards went to BootJack Management for Premier Properties, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, The Outfitter, Ponderosa Do-it-Best, the Forest Service, The Spa, and the Western Heritage Events Committee. We want to thank all these businesses and groups for efforts they made to upgrade their properties and improve the aesthetics of the community.

Chamber board members

The final votes were tallied the night of the annual meeting and our new members on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors are: Mark Horn with Bank of Colorado, Robin Carpenter-Hubbard with Pagosa Candy Co., and Janis Moomaw, associate member. These newly- elected candidates will serve three-year terms on the chamber board.

This time of year is a favorite and yet I am saddened because three very deserving candidates did not make it onto the chamber board. I would like to thank the other three candidates - Jim Stacy, Shawn Lacey and Frank Schiro - for their participation in the process. All the candidates would have brought business knowledge, experience and a great volunteer attitude to the table. Only three candidates could be chosen, and Mark, Janis, and Robin will serve this community well. I look forward to working with the new board members as we embark on a very busy year.

If you are a Chamber member and are interested in running for the board of directors, contact me and I will submit your name to the board. We will consider your request to be put on the roster of candidates for 2008.

Thank you to all those Chamber members who took the time to vote for the new directors. We appreciate your involvement as we continue to grow and work on serving the business community to the best of our ability.

Upcoming events, opportunities

Don’t miss the classic movie, “Never On Sunday,” at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30. This film is subtitled, so be ready to read while you enjoy this classic film.

With the Valentine’s Day holiday right around the corner, don’t forget to get a Music in the Mountains gift certificate for your significant-other music lover. Two chamber concerts and two orchestra concerts are slated for this 2007 season at the stunning BootJack Ranch. There are also gift certificates available for a special benefit concert to be held June 16 at the Moomaw Residence in Echo Canyon Ranch. Certificates can be obtained by calling us or coming by the Visitor Center. Give the gift of music to that special person in your life, then enjoy the gift all over again this summer.

Don’t miss the very special reopening of the Plaza Grille, formerly The Getaway, Saturday, Jan. 27. The ribbon cutting will occur at 5:30 p.m.

Memberships

We have quite a few renewals this week; however, we do have two new businesses to celebrate.

The first business is Pine River LLC located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, Suite A, in the Silverado Shopping Center. Pine River carries work clothing and accessories, fresh premium cigars, hunting and pocket knives by Kershaw, Sog and Knives of Alaska. They also carry Dexter Russell cutlery, tool bags, rain gear, tyvek suites, chefs clothing and more. This was a great stop on the Parade of Stores for the women, because they have a huge range of items for men. Vic Gillean will greet you and his helpful attitude will make you a loyal customer. Located next to Upscale Resale, Pine River is just another great store for the needs of our area, whether for work or play. Stop by the facility or call 731-2614 to see if they carry a particular item you may need.

Also joining this week is Interior Design by Rick Wriston. Rick not only does interior design but has also home-staging services including furnishing, flooring, window coverings, lighting and consultation from blueprints to finishing touches. The business is located at 604 Prospect Blvd., You can contact Rick for an appointment at 731-1154. When in doubt about the design of your home, call one of our interior design professionals, now to include Rick Wriston. Interview design candidates and find the one who meets your needs - including Rick.

Our renewals this week include: Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park; Elk Meadows River Resort; Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge; Squirrel’s Pub; Dionigi’s; the Taylor Ranch; Team Gallo; Don MacLeod (A Real Estate Services Company); SKA Brewing Company in Durango; Rocky Mountain Health Plans; and the Rio Grande Club in South Fork.

Our non-profit organizations this week include Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; and Habitat for Humanity.

Our associate members renewing this week are awesome; they lived in Pagosa, left, and are now back. We welcome Karen and Harris Bynum to the Chamber fold. Karen and Harris are great community supporters and you will see them at many of Pagosa’s functions. We also welcome Richard (Gus) and Shari Gustafson as associate members. Shari was a past Chamber board president and still volunteers as a Chamber Diplomat. Both Gus and Shari are also very community involved and we appreciate their continued support of our organization.

Congratulations again to all the nominees and especially to the winners of this year’s awards. We hope to continue to recognize individuals and groups in our community for years to come. Our community thrives with the generosity and involvement of so many residents. Without this participation, we would not be the forward-moving and forward-thinking community we are. You are all winners - thank you!

People

Cards of Thanks

Road and Bridge
Sometimes people tend to not see the people behind the front lines. So for that reason ...

All of us at the Archuleta County Road and Bridge would like to thank the Archuleta County Fleet Division - Mike, Chris, Dennis, Sonny, Mark and Keith. We could not efficiently complete our jobs without you. You keep us up and running safely.

So when you see those snowplow trucks and the motor graders out in the middle of the night plowing snow, just remember that there is also a crew of mechanics behind them.

Thank you, guys!
Archuleta County Road and Bridge

Casa de los Arcos

Thank you from Casa de los Arcos to the following people and organizations for their generous donations: Gene Crabtree for the lovely rooster creamer pot; Pagosa Baking Company for the breads and pastries; Helping Hand for the Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes; Kyle Blair for picking up the Helping Hand boxes and distributing them to everyone; LPEA for the Santa visit to the tenants and all the goodies he brought with him; Pagosa Bible Church for the carolers and Christmas goodies; Loaves and Fishes for the delicious lunches and Harold Morrison for delivering these with a smile every week; Lois and Ralph Gibson for the clothing and other donated items; Linda Pennell for the recliner and the Christmas lights; and Upscale Resale for the bunny statue and the jewelry box

Sincere thanks from Casa Manager Molly Johnson and all the Casa residents

Sonlight Camp
Benji is home! Thanks to everyone who looked so hard for Sonlight Christian Camp's dog last week. He spent five nights and five days out in the cold, but seems to be just fine. His long hair and winter fat kept him healthy. Benji was spotted several times by people and finally found by a nice lady off Cemetery Road late Thursday night.

We just want to thank the wonderful people of Pagosa Springs for their concern, their help and their prayers. The campers will be glad to see Benji this summer.

Winston and Mary Marugg
Sonlight Christian Camp

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army thanks the many businesses, groups and individuals who made the 2006 Bell Ringing Campaign a great success. City Market was very cooperative in allowing bell ringers to accept kettle donations for 45 days. KWUF ran PSAs and had a Salvation Army spot on Good Morning Pagosa.

The following churches provided bell ringers: Community United Methodist; Congregation Kadima Yisrael; Grace Evangelical; St. Patrick's; Trinity Anglican; and Unitarian-Universalist. Kiwanis, Mile High Garden Club, Rotary and the Women's Club are service groups who also supplied bell ringers. The County Department of Human Services, other county employees and town staff cheerfully rang bells at the downtown City Market. Finally, some 30 friends and Salvation Army supporters pitched in to ring bells.

We applaud you all and appreciate your enduring the cold to collect money for Archuleta County people who need help. God bless you all.

Jim Haliday

Engagement

Erickson/Candelaria

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Candelaria, of Pagosa Springs, announce the engagement of their son, Kraig Candelaria, to Hannah Erickson of Fort Collins, Colo., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Art Erickson, of Sheridan, Wyo.
The couple will be married on May 19, 2007, at Fort Collins.

 

Locals

Kern
David Kern, a junior economic major/minor in Spanish at Hillsdale College, was named to the Dean's List for the 2006 fall semester.

David is the son of Robert and Leslie Kern of Pagosa Springs, and is a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Talbot

Charmaine J. Talbot, an Eastern New Mexico University student and a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, is among the 588 students on the 2006 fall semester Dean's Honor Roll.

To be eligible for the Dean's Honor Roll, students must complete a minimum of 15 hours for the semester and maintain a 3.25 GPA.

Talbot is majoring in agricultural business.

 

Sports Page

Pirates beat Falcons as IML play gets underway

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

The Pirate boys’ varsity basketball team dominated Centauri at start and finish in a home game last Friday, though they lagged in the middle two quarters - ending a two-loss streak with a 68-39 win.

The win put the Pirates at 9-2 for the season, 1-0 in Intermountain League play.

The Pirates started the game at an up-tempo pace - with points made possible by steals, quick transitions and high percentage shots, while the team showed steadiness from the free-throw line. Six Pirate players contributed in the quarter to build a 24-5 lead.

But with the substantial lead, said Coach Jim Shaffer, the Pirates lost focus and were hampered by the pressing Centauri defense in the second and third quarters. During the lull, the Pirates only scored six and 14 in the second and third, compared to 11 and 14 for Centauri.

The Pirates did not score in the second quarter until over halfway through it, when Jordan Shaffer hit a jumper on the baseline - the only points from the floor for the Pirates in the period.

Despite the weak quarter, the Pirates went into the second half with a 30-16 lead.

The Pirates showed more energy in the third quarter, though the period brought in Centauri’s highest point total. Adam Trujillo started the home team off with a steal he converted into a layup and followed that performance with another steal, which led to an assist and Shaffer layup. The Pirates traded brief runs of consecutive scores with Centauri, until the quarter closed at 44-30.

Coach Shaffer said the two strong Centauri quarters were possible because the Pirates did not take good care of the ball. After the game, he said he talked with his team about the difference a turnover can make, since it gives the opponent back-to-back opportunities to score - potentially putting four, or even six points on the board, instead of two or three.

Pagosa had 22 turnovers during the game.

But the Pirates played their game again in the fourth quarter, dominating 24-9 in the eight minutes of the period. Kerry Joe Hilsabeck was involved in seven points to start the quarter - scoring the first two after a steal, assisting Caleb Ormonde for two and converting a three-point play after being fouled.

The Pirates scored 11 points in the first 2 minutes, 35 seconds of the final period, compared to two points for Centauri. After expanding their lead to 55-32, the Pirate starters exited the game. Their relief, essentially the junior varsity starters, added 13 points to the total.

Ormonde, back to form following recovery from an ankle sprain suffered early in January, led the team with 16 points - followed by Shaffer with 10 and Hilsabeck with nine. Hilsabeck and Trujillo tied for the lead in steals with four each.

In all, the Pirates played well in two quarters, said Shaffer, and that was enough to win the league game. The team would work toward a more consistent performance the next day, in a home game against Monte Vista.

louis@pagosasun.com

 

Pagosa boys rip Monte Vista 85-40

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

The Pirate boys’ varsity took to the home court Saturday for a victorious blowout against Monte Vista, 85-40. The game followed a victory against Centauri the night before.

The two wins improved the Pirates’ state ranking, raising the team one place to fourth. The Pirates had dropped to fifth place, from second, after two consecutive losses to larger schools, Kirtland and Farmington.

While the Pirates played well in only two quarters against Centauri, according to Coach Jim Shaffer, they turned it around and played with intensity for a whole game against Monte Vista.

“We got back on track - played four quarters of basketball again,” said Shaffer.

The Pirates scored 20 points or more in each quarter, with 25 in the first (against four points for Monte Vista). Pagosa went into the second half with a 45-14 lead and were up 65-25 when the starters came out of the game for good with the close of the third quarter.

Despite the wide margin, Shaffer said that Monte Vista was not a bad team, but the Pirates “just got them early and kept at it.” The Pirates returned to form - pushing the ball up the floor, scoring on transition and playing solid defense, said Shaffer.

For the second game straight, the Pirates were led in scoring by Caleb Ormonde, with 17 points (14 from the floor). Kerry Joe Hilsabeck finished with 11, Jordan Shaffer with nine and Spur Ross and Adam Trujillo with eight. Hilsabeck led the Pirates with eight assists, followed by Shaffer with five, and Hilsabeck and Trujillo tied for the lead in steals with five.

The junior varsity starters were brought in for the entire fourth quarter, gaining experience for future seasons. Though they allowed 15 Monte Vista points, the bench continued the Pirates’ scoring trend, scoring 20 points. Freshman Taylor Shaffer found himself among the scoring leaders, with 11 points in the game.

Every member of the Pirate team put points on the scoreboard against Monte Vista.

The Pirates will likely face greater competition this week. They will tip off in Bayfield tonight at 7 p.m. Bayfield graduated 11 seniors last year, so they are an unknown.

Ignacio, Pagosa’s Saturday home opponent, is another story. According to Coach Shaffer, Ignacio’s best team in four or five years is 10 deep, with quick feet, good shooters and a pressuring defense.

“We’ll have a tough time guarding their quick kids,” said Shaffer. “It ought to be a really good game.”

The home game against Ignacio will start at 7 p.m. Saturday at the high school gymnasium.

louis@pagosasun.com

 

Pirate wrestlers turn corner at Center

By Karl Isberg
Staff Writer

Pirate wrestlers found a haven in the midst of a tough season and got well Saturday, taking second at the Center Invitational, finishing behind their hosts, with four tourney champs, one second-place finish and five athletes capturing third place in their respective weight classes.

Two of the Pirate championships were not unexpected, earned by sophomores Joe DuCharme at 145 pounds, and Mike Smith at 152. The other two titles came as very pleasant surprises, perhaps signalling a sea change in the way in which the young Pirates are approaching and executing their matches. Freshmen Ryan Hamilton (135) and Waylon Lucero (140) took top honors at Center.

DuCharme fought his way to first place with two technical falls - the first at 4 minutes, 10 seconds against Jose Martinez of Centennial; the second came at 3:17, against Eric Hinton of Sangre de Cristo.

Smith had a long day, taking the 152 title with five decisive victories. Smith pinned Matt Staggs of Alamosa at 1:30; pinned Devin Vandiver of Buena Vista at 2:20; put Cripple Creek/Victor’s Brian Biels’ shoulders down at 3:11; got a pin against Adrian Diaz of Center at 1:38; and pinned Taylor Burnett of Alamosa at 1:12.

“We expected Joe and Mike to win,” said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky, “and they did x handily.”

Hamilton won three matches on his way to first place. The Pirate pinned David Salazar of Center at 4:38 and forged decisions over Angus Hutchinson of Buena Vista and Dominic Rodriguez of Alamosa.

Lucero had two wins by decision at Center - over Ryan Bowman of Cripple Creek/Victor, and Adam Welsh of Center.

Joe Hausotter had few options at heavyweight, with only one other competitor at the tourney - Nate Rodriguez of Centennial. The two big men went at it twice and Rodriguez got the better of it each time.

At third for the Pirates were Caleb Pringle at 125; Dillon Sandoval at 130; Andrew Carroll at 160; Caleb Burggraaf at 172 and Eric Hurd at 189.

Pringle pinned Stephen Norego of Alamosa at 3:18.

Sandoval won three matches. The Pirate pinned Joe Borja of Hilltop Baptist at :57; pinned Nelson Vialpando of Centennial at 3:15; and took a decision from Mike Price of Alamosa.

Carroll pinned Joel Espinoza of Alamosa at 3:38.

Burggraaf decisioned Doug Marquez of Monte Vista, and pinned Paul Martinez of Mountain Valley at 3:05.

Hurd pinned Alamosa’s D.J. Salazar twice (at 1:23 and 4:39) and earned a win by pinning Anthony Carvevaie of Buena Vista at 1:39.

Other Pirates scored victories at Center.

Pat Ford pinned Jesse Mitchell at 1:49 in 160 action.

Andrew Clark pinned Buena Vista’s John Mitchell at 1:30 in a 103-pound match.

Beside the morale boost provided by a raft of victories, the Center tourney allowed Pirates to get in some serious mat time; when there were six or fewer wrestlers in a bracket, the athletes were given a chance to fight in a round-robin format. As a result, many of the Pirates got valuable experience, to the tune of as many as five matches.

“The tournament gave us a chance to work on things we needed to work on,” said the coach, “so, even if one of the guys lost the first one or two matches, in most cases, he still had a chance to wrestle.”

Janowsky saw some significant progress from his young team, with many wrestlers seeming to overcome their freshman/early season hesitation.

“You could see the tentativeness melt away as the day went by,” he said. “Our guys started wrestling with confidence and once they did, they looked pretty good. I saw a lot of evidence we are moving forward. You know, our confidence suffered for a couple of weeks and this tournament kind of proved a point I’ve been trying to make all along - that we could wrestle better against better teams. This tournament showed that, if our guys believe they have a chance to win, they wrestle harder. Our techniques were jelling. Our young guys wrestled guys older than they are, and they did a better job. They needed this.”

Now, the last portion of the regular season schedule is at hand - with two makeup dates and the last duals prior to the regional tournament on the horizon.

With two varsity regulars set to return to the lineup (sophomore Steven Smith, coming back from a broken hand at 112, and freshman Clayton Mastin , who did not make weight Saturday at 119) the team could be primed for a run a post-season success.

“With those guys back,” said the coach of Smith and Mastin, “the lineup is getting better. If we get the lineup where we want it, we could make things interesting.”

Interesting might be the theme tonight as the team travels across the pass to Monte Vista for an Intermountain League dual against Monte and a non-league dual with Florence - two certifiably tough Class 3A teams.

Saturday, the Pirates are on the road again, to the Centauri Invitational - another tourney featuring a lineup with several top 3A squads. The Pirates begin the day in a pool with Olathe, Dolores Huerta and Monte Vista. The second pool includes the hosts, Buena Vista, Gunnison and Rocky Ford (one of Colorado’s premier 2A teams).

“Olathe is good this year,” said Janowsky, “and both Olathe and Monte are top-ten teams. Rocky Ford has a fine team, as they usually do; Gunnison finished sixth at state last year and returns nearly everyone from that team. Buena Vista is no pushover either. Again, if we have our lineup in place, it could be interesting.”

Action tonight at Monte Vista starts with the Pirates dualing Florence at 5 p.m. Pagosa is slated to dual the hosts at 8.

Wrestling at Centauri begins Saturday at 9 a.m.

editor@pagosasun.com

 

NBHA barrel horse competition schedule set

The NBHA Colorado District 08 schedule for spring 2007 is set.

- Feb. 11. NBHA CO08 District Barrel Race, Ignacio, Sky Ute Events Center Indoor Arena. Time-only runs begin at 10:30 a.m. and are $4 each. The Open Barrel Race will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Youth Barrel Race will begin immediately following the open barrel race. Open entry fees are $38 or $48 for nonmembers and youth entry fees are $28 or $38 for nonmembers. Contact Bonny White, (970) 565-7904 or bonnwhite@sisna.com.

- Feb. 25. NBHA CO08 District Barrel Race. Cortez, Montezuma County Fair Grounds Indoor Arena. Time-only runs begin at 10:30 a.m. and are $4 each. The Open Barrel Race will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Youth Barrel Race will begin immediately following the open barrel race. Open entry fees are $40 or $50 for nonmembers and youth entry fees are $30 or $40 for nonmembers. Contact Bonny White.

- March 4. NBHA CO08 District Barrel Race. Ignacio, Sky Ute Events Center Indoor Arena. Time-only runs begin at 10:30 a.m. and are $4 each. The Open Barrel Race will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Youth Barrel Race will begin immediately following the open barrel race. Open entry fees are $38 or $48 for nonmembers and youth entry fees are $28 or $38 for nonmembers. Contact Bonny White.

- March 25. NBHA CO08 District Barrel Race. Cortez, Montezuma County Fair Grounds Indoor Arena. Time only runs begin at 10:30 a.m. and are $4 each. The Open Barrel Race will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Youth Barrel Race will begin immediately following the open barrel race. Open entry fees are $40 or $50 for nonmembers and youth entry fees are $30 or $40 for nonmembers. Contact Bonny White.

- April 29. NBHA CO08 District Barrel Race. Ignacio, Sky Ute Events Center Indoor Arena. Time only runs begin at 10:30 a.m. and are $4 each. The Open Barrel Race will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the Youth Barrel Race will begin immediately following the open barrel race. Open entry fees are $38 or $48 for nonmembers and youth entry fees are $28 or $38 for nonmembers. Contact Bonny White.

 Pirate girls drop game to defending champs

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

Pirate varsity girls’ hoops met stiff opposition against Centauri last Friday at home, losing 44-58, bringing their season record to 5-7, 0-1 in Intermountain League play.

The Pirates met an effective and efficient team - consistently making shots (including attempts at the free-throw line and three-point arc) and running a strong, pressing defense (which seemed, at times, to fluster Pagosa).

Coach Bob Lynch suggested that it wasn’t Centauri’s press which determined the game. Though press sped the tempo of transition, most of the Pirate turnovers occurred after the ball was safely out of the press, said Lynch. The turnovers weren’t forced, but resulted from poor decision making. Many passes were made into congestion and double or triple coverage - making it difficult to get good shots off.

The other problem the Pirates faced during the game was an extremely low shooting percentage in the paint, said Lynch.

“We should have been matching them baskets,” said Lynch, but instead Pirate bricks kept falling from the rim, and setting up the Centauri offense.

The Pirates had a higher shooting percentage from the perimeter during the game than from the paint; Camille Rand sank four three-pointers, while Jessica Lynch made two.

Success for the Pirates came in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, when the team went on a 20-5 run - which brought the Pirates within striking distance and a chance to change the course of the game.

Referring to that five minutes, Lynch said his team’s full-court press was effective turning the ball over in Centauri’s back court.

The five minutes signified what the Pirates could do during the rest of the season: “If you can press Centauri, you can press anybody.”

Another bright spot in the game was Rand, who led the way with 24 points - with 10 in the first quarter and 12 in the fourth. Lynch finished the game with 11 points. Kristen DuCharme topped the Pirate rebounders with eight, four at each end of the floor.

The score during the four quarters was as follows (all in favor of Centauri): 13-17 after the first, 15-30 at half, 22-44 after the third and 44-58 for the final.

After the Centauri loss, the Pirates would try to expand on their fourth-quarter success against Monte Vista, the next night.

louis@pagosasun.com

Pirate girls even league record with 85-41 win

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

After a loss to Intermountain League rival Centauri Friday - in a game featuring baskets that wouldn’t fall and frequent turnovers - the Pirate girls’ varsity basketball team turned it around against Monte Vista in a home game Saturday, with an 85-41 blowout.

The Pirates had found success in a comeback attempt the night before against Centauri, when they were able to corral their opponents with a full-court press. The press continued to succeed against Monte Vista Saturday, giving Pagosa additional scoring opportunities.

What’s more, the players had much greater success shooting from the floor.

The good play of the Pirates was combined with poor ball-handling and shooting by Monte Vista to produce the overwhelming victory for the home team.

The Pirates took a moderate lead in the first quarter, going up 19-12. This was expanded by halftime, with the Pirates nearly doubling Monte Vista’s score, 39-20. The Pirates surpassed the doubled-margin after the third, 67-32, and the spread continued throughout the game.

While the Pirates had difficulty in the paint against Centauri, the Monte Vista game was payday for Pagosa’s forwards. Kristen DuCharme scored 14 points in the game, 12 in the first half, and Samantha Harris made her first double-digit contribution of the season, since coming back from knee surgery, with 12 points.

The Pirates were led in scoring by Camille Rand into the fourth quarter, with 18 points, when she was taken out of the game, with some other starters, as a sign of mercy. (Pirate Coach Bob Lynch also sat starters, including the top scorers, at the end of the third quarter.)

Jessica Lynch remained in until the final buzzer and had the chance to become high-scorer for the evening when she sunk a three-pointer in the last minutes of play, ending the game with 19 points. DuCharme again led the way in rebounds with five - two on offense, three at the defensive end of the floor.

Coach Bob Lynch said that the team would continue to be successful throughout the rest of the league season, if it is able to maintain the full-court press - especially if the Pirates keep shooting well from the paint, as they did against Monte Vista, in combination with the good play from their guards.

The Pirates will face the first test to their refound rhythm tonight in an away game against Bayfield - a small quick team, like Centauri, which lost none of its starters from last year. In Bayfield, the Pirates will face another pressing team - and one capable of scoring 95 points, as it did against Ignacio this season.

Saturday, the Pirates will face another Intermountain League opponent at home, when they play Ignacio - which has one or two good players that carry the team, according to Lynch.

Both games this week will begin at 5:30 p.m.

louis@pagosasun.com

Financial Aid Night at PSHS

The counseling department of Pagosa Springs High School invites all seniors and juniors, and their parents, to a financial aid presentation Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Presenters will be Judy Ransom from CollegeInvest, Elaine Redwine from Fort Lewis College, and Phil Schroeder from Adams State College.

Ransom has many years experience working with financial aid departments of Colorado universities and colleges. Redwine and Schroeder are the financial aid directors of their respective colleges. They will be discussing the College Opportunity Fund, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), grants, loans, and other means to pay for college or technical school.
This meeting is a must for any senior who plans to attend any type of schooling beyond high school, and is strongly suggested for juniors. The staff also welcomes any students who are home-schooled or who attend private schools.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Youth basketball photo nights set

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Photo nights for this year’s 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball teams have been scheduled for Feb. 1, 5, 6 and 12.

Jeff Laydon, of Pagosa Photography, will be conducting each shoot according to the following team photo schedule:

- Thursday, Feb. 1, at the junior high school (9-10 Division) - Royal and Red at 5 p.m., Black and Gold at 6 p.m. and Purple and Columbia at 7 p.m.

- Monday, Feb. 5, at the community center (11-12 Division) - Navy and Columbia at 5 p.m., Red and Black at 6 p.m. and Orange and Gold at 7 p.m.

- Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the community center (9-10 Division) - Navy and Vegas at 5 p.m., Orange at 6 p.m.

- Monday, Feb. 12, at the community center (11-12 Division) - Red at 7 p.m.

Parents’ and coaches’ cooperation in making arrangements to have players arrive promptly at their team’s scheduled photo time will be greatly appreciated.

Youth basketball schedules

Youth basketball schedules are 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 at 264-6658. The hotline is updated regularly throughout the season.

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. Please 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 remains open.

Resurfacing efforts continue Monday and Thursday evenings through the season.

On the nights we resurface the pond, skating is 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.

See you at the pond.

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

The senator's survey

We are interested by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar's recent actions

concerning the soon-to-expire No Child Left Behind bill

and we hope a course change is in the offing, in particular one that might affect NCLB's unattractive Colorado offspring, CSAP. There are indeed serious problems in American education; we doubt the current NCLB and CSAP are ways to deal with it.

Salazar surveyed a number of Colorado educators and administrators. What that survey shows us, after an admittedly cursory examination, is NCLB and CSAP have, for the most part, not helped a public education system lagging behind those in many other parts of the world. A bipartisan effort gave birth to NCLB - we believe largely because of the political cachet sensed in such a seemingly high-minded push. It was a grandstand move and we wonder if the motivations behind it, in general, extended beyond a shallow political horizon. A bipartisan move can remedy the problem.

What we got as a result of NCLB, and Salazar's survey of Colorado educators seems to affirm this, are test-focused processes aimed at unreachable standards (standards that, given an increasingly globalized world, are questionable), processes that have been woefully underfunded and that have fertilized an increasingly bureaucratic public education system, polluted by statistics and jargon, increasingly unable to attract the best and brightest to teaching.

At the end of a causal chain leading to this wrong turn are at least two factors - each based on faulty ideas. The first, very distant, is related to the GI Bill that flowered following World War II: the notion that a great number of people deserved access to a college education. This morphed, one generation later, into the notion that nearly everyone should have the"right" to attend college. This, in turn, in the '60s, led to the dilution of higher education, its standards and product. It took little time for that degradation to make its way down hill.

Second is political correctness and the rise of the"parachute parent." Both work against a central truth lurking persistently behind the idea of no child being"left behind." That truth: There are plenty of children left behind. There is no avoiding it. The alternative to adjusting to this fact is to continue in the illusion, until the reality that there are adults left behind in the normal course of living hits home. Hard.

There are different folks out there - be they child or adult --with differing abilities, different potentials. We are crafting a social and education system, though, that increasingly denies differences. We've cut back vocational training, which is now as certain a route to financial security as the average college education, in order that we not"track" or categorize students. We avoid recognition that so-called"higher education" should be a more rigorous process involving fewer students, and not a self-perpetuating industry.

NCLB and CSAP fail to make many realistic distinctions. They threaten school districts with severe penalties should compliance not occur - compliance that ignores many individual differences, that denies students a wealth of flexible programs, crafted to encourage individual growth and development.

With NCLB and CSAP, we are training drones for the hive, providing a mythic"basic education" and, in significant ways, under increasing bureaucratic, statistic-driven pressure, denying young citizens the skills that will help them to make their ways with well-developed, personalized sets of skills.

We need to improve our public education system. Quick. We wish Salazar well, hoping his intent is less baldly political than that of his predecessors.

Karl Isberg

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 26, 1917
Grave fears were entertained for the safety of Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Ayres, who were out in Saturday night's blizzard enroute to Pagosa to attend the funeral of Mrs. Burster Sunday. They drove from Piedra to Dyke, expecting to come in on the train, only to find that they were a few minutes late. They continued the journey by sleigh and when they reached Camp One, near Sunetha, the horses failed to make the proper turn in the road and they were soon marooned in the deep snow some distance off the highway. They unhitched and rode back to the Al Bayles ranch where they were sheltered for the night. They reached Pagosa about two o'clock Sunday after a searcher had gone in quest of them.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 29, 1932
With the continued snow and wind storms, there is no assurance whatever of regular train and mail service. The railroad crews only work upon call, with the result that Pagosa Springs is getting only one or two trains a week.
Commissioner Walter Zabriske is having portions of the road widened between Juanita and the Junction. The work is being divided up among the citizens of the vicinity.
Mr. Joe Nickerson, who is an artist along the line of rug weaving, is building a loom. He will make both wool and rag rugs.
The intermittent mail service prevents the publication of a newspaper full of live news.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 24, 1957
The largest crowd of the season was at Wolf Creek Ski area Sunday to enjoy the excellent snow conditions and sunny afternoon. Many complete families were there with mother, dad and all children enjoying the outing.
In a series of fast-moving incidents this past week, public accusations against teachers, school board and school administrators were made; teachers resigned, almost en masse, from the high school, and the school board refused to accept these resignations, with one exception, and issued a public statement saying they were one hundred per cent behind their employees. This all as a result of a teacher reportedly becoming intoxicated and being arrested.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 28, 1982
The Pagosa Springs High School Ski teams hosted five other high school ski teams in a two-day meet here last weekend. Pagosa Springs girls continued to win led by Kitzel Laverty and Brenda Alexander. The boy's team improving each week, finished in fourth place. Next week the skiers compete in the Lake County Invitational Meet.
Giardia, an amoeba causing diarrhea and other symptoms, was discovered in Pagosa Springs' water supply. State Department of Health officials say the finding is cause for concern but not alarm. State officials will present plans for remedying the Giardia presence to the town board members at next Tuesday's regular meeting.

 

Features

The Nurse-Family Partnership

Happiness, Hope and Care

By Louis Sherman
Staff Writer

Mothers, fathers and babies in Archuleta County have been engaging in an innovative program for the last seven years - focused on supporting the health and well-being of mother and child during pregnancy and the first two years of life.

As part of "Nurse-Family Partnership," nurses visit the homes of expecting and new parents to help them prepare for parenthood and adjust to new responsibilities.

But the Nurse-Family Partnership (formerly Healthy Kids) is not simply a house call. For Sandy Sanna - a nurse since 1979 and Archuleta County's nurse for Nurse-Family Partnership for seven years - it is "the best job I've ever had."

And as one young Pagosa mother, Marissa Martinez, said: "The program is wonderful ... I wish all moms could take advantage of it."

No doubt nurses and parents enjoy the experience largely because of the children it works to nurture. As Marissa and her husband, Timmy, chat with Sanna about parental concerns, baby accomplishments and developmental goals, they also play with and talk to the child. And in this particular in-home visit there was almost a continual response from 4.5-month-old Jaiden - who babbled, jigged and smiled throughout the session.

"They're so good at engaging with him," said Sanna. Nurse-Family Partnership helps parents interact with their child, based on the child's age and with a goal of encouraging continued learning and growth. The attention encourages the child to interact with his parents, as seen in the exuberance of Jaiden.

According to Sanna, the goals of each visit depend on the family, but can include child birth training, exercise and nutrition advice, support for quitting smoking, expertise to encourage attachment with the child, and information on child development, breast-feeding, sleep, beginning solid foods and discipline.

"Every baby's different," said Sanna, so every meeting is "individual to the family."

"Parents are the experts in what is going to work for their child," she said, but "we have a lot of information to share with them, depending on what their needs are."

Marissa said she read a lot during her pregnancy and as a new mother, and likes the additional resources Nurse-Family Partnership brings. "If I have a question, I can have it answered right away, instead of waiting two months to go to a doctor," she said.

Sandy also points her to other helpful programs and services, she said. For instance, Marissa is interested in starting a La Leche League group in Pagosa and Sanna has put her in contact with other agencies that could help facilitate the creation of a new chapter.

Nurse-Family Partnership in Pagosa places an emphasis on involving fathers, said Sanna, encouraging them to take part in the pregnancy and care for the child.

Timmy Martinez said he has learned about how to help take care of his wife and child during pregnancy and childhood. "It's a really good program, and I'm glad we got into it," he said.

Nurse-Family Partnership expresses a commitment to developing close, trusting relationships between nurses and families. When a nurse meets with a family they have the opportunity to talk about general life concerns, as well as questions specific to their child's development.

In the recent home visit Timmy and Marissa related a harrowing experience to Sanna from the night before, when they were run off Trujillo Road, and nearly down a precipitous slope, by a garbage truck. Sanna provided a listening ear, support and encouragement - validating the parents' response to the crisis, in which they promptly and effectively cared for their child, getting him safely out of the vehicle.

The partnership encourages parents to take an active, informed role in parenting, and the Martinezes have taken up the challenge with enthusiasm - interacting with their child, being conscious of his diet and attempts at communication and even considering less popular parenting techniques, such as the use of cloth diapers.

Nurses encourage the health of the child and effective parenting by providing things such as diapers, toothbrushes and parenting books. Parents earn other "incentive gifts" when they reach their own goals, such as getting a new job, completing additional training or successfully quitting smoking.

Though Sanna had to travel out of county to work a full load early in her tenure, she now holds a full-time case load of 25 families, out of 29 families involved in the program in Archuleta County.

Demand has been so great in the Pagosa area that the new Nurse-Family Partnership supervisor in southwest Colorado, Karen Carrieri, has had to take on a four-family case load in the county, in addition to the 25 families visited by Sanna.

Sanna meets with each of her 25 families every two weeks. When she meets with five of the families, who are Spanish speakers, she is accompanied by Inez Winter, who acts as an interpreter.

The local Nurse-Family Partnership in Archuleta County is part of a five county region, including Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties. According to Carrieri, Nurse-Family Partnership has helped about 500 families in the five county region. There are 104 Nurse-Family Partnership moms currently in the five counties, with 68 babies and 37 pregnancies.

Funding was dedicated to Nurse-Family Partnership in the 2000 Colorado legislative session, under the Nurse Home Visitor Act, which allocates a portion of Colorado's share in tobacco settlement funds to the program every year. The tobacco appropriation will bring in $10.2 million this fiscal year, along with $1.2 million in federal Medicaid funds. By the fiscal year 2014-2015, the tobacco appropriation will contribute $19 million to Nurse-Family Partnership in Colorado.

The Nurse-Family Partnership model was built by David Olds, Ph.D. - a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and preventative medicine at the University of Colorado - based on research and scientific studies. A phrase that is frequently intoned by nurses, administrators, directors and researchers to define Nurse-Family Partnership is "evidence based." The program has spread across the country, serving more than 20,000 families in 20 states, based on the results of several pilot studies, as well as the success of regional programs.

For example, breast-feeding rates among Nurse-Family Partnership clients in southwestern Colorado are high. According to recent data, 89.2 percent of mothers initiated breast-feeding at birth, 52 percent continued for at least six months and 30.2 percent breast-fed for at least a year. (Breast-feeding encourages bonding between mother and child, while providing key nutrients and strengthening the child's immune system.)

The program has also been shown to improve the health of children at birth. Only 9 percent of babies born to mothers involved in Nurse-Family Partnership in the five county area were premature (less than 37 weeks of gestation), and only 11 percent weighed less than 5.5 pounds.

In addition to improved breast-feeding and birth weight rates, Nurse-Family Partnership reduces the incidence of smoking during pregnancy, reduces domestic violence and abuse in participating families, successfully encourages higher completion rates of immunization series, ensures the timely achievement of developmental and language milestones, and prepares children for future participation in school, according to written material from the national program.

The Nurse-Family Partnership program has confirmed that good care of young children will have positive effects outside of the home and past the toddling years. A scientific study and analysis of nurse-visited families in Elmira, N.Y., led by Olds, found that children from nurse-visited families were 56 percent less likely to suffer from serious injuries, parents were much less likely to neglect or abuse their children, children were 69 percent less likely to be convicted of a crime by the age of 15 and limited-income mothers were 83 percent more likely to participate in the work force before their child was four years old.

In a Denver study, mothers were more likely to enter the work force, mothers had fewer pregnancies before the first child's second birthday (enabling a larger spread between children and fewer children overall) and children of psychologically vulnerable mothers had better language development.

Olds built his model for the program on the weight of results, honing the institution in response to the evidence. According to Nurse-Family Partnership materials, the program was focused to first-time parents, because this provides the best chance of promoting positive behaviors and preventing parental mistakes or problems in the future. The home was chosen as the site for visitations to enhance patient comfort and ensure that they would meet with a nurse, since it is sometimes difficult for young families to get out the door to make an appointment. Nurses were chosen to do the work of the program, because of their training, and because mothers were seen to be more comfortable with nurses than doctors in studies. And the program begins in pregnancy, because the prenatal environment has long-term and potentially irreversible effects on the child.

Nurse-Family Partnership plans to extend its model to 38 states and 34,000 families by 2010. Other countries have inquired into beginning Nurse-Family Partnership programs of their own, including Colombia, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, Israel, Russia and Spain.

Nurse-Family Partnership is poised to continue its growth - since it has the worthy goal of helping families and children, while having a positive societal impact. More and more communities, governments and individuals want to get on board.

Who can blame them, with children like Jaiden as the focus of the program? And who wouldn't be interested in Nurse-Family Partnership's continued success. It is a reflection of the best in human nature to respond to the child with happiness, hope, care and a sense of responsibility.

louis@pagosasun.com

Pagosa's Past

The tide turns for the Jicarilla Apache

By John M. Motter

Sun Columnist

The quality of life for the Jicarilla Apache on their northern New Mexico Reservation hit bottom in 1918. Already, the Jicarilla had occupied their supposed promised land for 31 years.

"Deplorable" is how Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, author of "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970," described conditions on the Reservation. Poverty pervaded every aspect of the Jicarillas' lives. Their future was grim because economic privation, social dissipation, and disease were taking a heavy toll of the population. Conditions had become so critical the government could ignore them no longer.

With the appointment of Chester E. Faris as tribal superintendent, the trend gradually reversed. Optimism replaced apathy. Faris was truly optimistic when he accepted the challenge. He wrote, "It may be said that notwithstanding the clouds of pessimism, superstition, indifference, together with tuberculosis, general debility, and an excessive death rate, there are yet rays of encouragement."

Under his leadership, a plan for economic improvement and health rehabilitation was begun that put the Jicarilla on the road to recovery. In truth, this program had been conceived many years earlier. Only when the situation became critical to a laggardly government do we find legs put to the program.

In 1919, Faris was authorized to distribute (to individuals and families) 8,000 sheep from the tribal sheep herd, and to purchase more sheep with funds from the timber account. A year later, in April, the first distribution was made. Each Jicarilla participant received 12 sheep. In December, nine more sheep were issued to each individual. A third issue of 15 head was made in November of 1921. For the majority of the Jicarilla, this distribution put them in business.

It should be noted that during those years, most of the Jicarilla lived in a scattered fashion across the reservation. Their homes consisted of tents, shanties, a few log homes, and almost anything else they could throw together to ward off winter cold and summer heat. Floors were normally dirt.

The practice of constructing "shades," shelters constructed by using upright oak trunks with forks at the top, cross pieces stretching from fork to fork across the top, and a thick layer of leafed oak branches serving as a roof carried over from the Jicarilla past and serves even today.

Family subsistence was marginal at best, depending on a few vegetables, maybe a few chickens, a few livestock, and sometimes a man going off the reservation to work as a cowboy or as a laborer in the nearest lumber mill. Electricity and running water simply did not exist.

The scattered marginal subsistence lifestyle continued into the 1950s and 1960s when revenue from a successful suit that brought federal payment for lands surrendered nearly 100 years earlier and income from oil and gas development set in motion a pattern of moving to and living permanently in Dulce.

Today most Jicarilla live within Dulce. A few of the old-timers reminisce about the good old days when they lived in the country without central heat, water, or electricity. Walking 30 or 40 miles to town had been a common occurrence.

Many of the Jicarilla families retain control over the former rural property. Individual family gravesites are scattered across the reservation on those sites, although a central graveyard exists at the edge of town, the area appropriately known as "Ghost Town."

More next week on the Jicarilla Apache growth from a hunting/gathering people in the direction of becoming operators of a modern economy.

Pagosa Sky Watch

A fantastic planetary nebula

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 7:16 a.m.

Sunset: 5:25 p.m.

Moonrise: 10:57 a.m.

Moonset: 1:16 a.m. Jan. 26.

Moon phase: The moon is at first quarter today at 4:02 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

The Winter Circle continues to provide a launch pad for our night sky observations, and this week, stargazers who follow the asterism's circle shape from the dog stars Sirius and Procyon in Canis Major and Canis Minor, will find the constellation Gemini and a fantastic planetary nebula appropriate for the season.

Once again, the constellation Orion provides the starting point, and observations are best begun after 7:30 p.m. when the hunter is well above the horizon. And although the seasons and the night sky are gradually changing, stargazers will still find Orion rising in the east-southeast after sunset, with the hunter's three belt stars maintaining their vertically oriented alignment.

With Orion and the belt stars located, stargazers can use the trio as a pointer to guide them down toward Sirius, the brightest star in the sky and the first star in the Winter Circle asterism. From Sirius, it's just a slight jump of about five degrees up and to the left (clockwise) to Procyon, the alpha star in Canis Minor and the second point in the asterism. From Procyon, one more jump about equal to that of the distance between Sirius and Procyon, will land stargazers at Gemini and its alpha and beta stars, Castor and Pollux. As an additional navigation aid, imagine the Winter Circle as the face of a clock with Sirius marking the six o'clock position, and Pollux marking roughly the nine o'clock position. Castor, Pollux's mythological twin brother, lies just a degree or so above Pollux. Once stargazers have located the celestial pair, they are well positioned to embark on more extensive explorations of the stars' parent constellation.

In the night sky, Gemini appears rectangular in shape, stretching from Castor and Pollux - which mark the corners on the rectangle's left side - toward Betelgeuse, in Orion. Beginning with Castor, the uppermost and farthest left star of the rectangle, naked eye stargazers will perceive Castor as a single, brilliant, magnitude 1.6 blue white star. But perceptions aren't always accurate, and deep sky observations indicate Castor is actually an amazing star system comprised of six separate components. Hobbyists with telescopes of 60 millimeters or larger and high magnification should be able to resolve Castor into at least two of the six stars, although it will take professional equipment and expertise to explore the Castor star system in its entirety.

From Castor, moving to the right and down the length of the rectangle toward Betelgeuse, the next stop is epsilon Geminorum, or Mebsuta - a yellow supergiant marking a position about two-thirds the length down Gemini's uppermost long lateral. At magnitude 3.1, Mebsuta is well within the range for naked eye viewing, however, those with binoculars or telescopes should pay close attention - a careful inspection with optical aid will reveal Mebsuta's wide, magnitude 9.2 companion.

Moving just a few degrees to the right of Mebsuta, stargazers will find eta Geminorum, a red giant marking the far right corner of the constellation. Professional observations indicate the star varies between magnitude 3.1 and 3.9 over a 233-day period. And, like many stars in Gemini, eta Geminorum is part of a double star system.

For those willing to venture beyond the constellation, just above and slightly to the right of eta Geminorum lies a destination well worth the effort - the spectacular open cluster, M 35. To naked eye viewers, M 35 appears as a faint fuzzy patch that may be indiscernible against the haze of the Milky Way. However, those viewing with binoculars or telescopes will find an elongated open cluster consisting of roughly 200 stars arranged in curvilinear patterns and covering about the same area in the sky as the moon. M 35 is about 2,800 light years away, and collectively, the open cluster's stars shimmer at magnitude five.

Once you've scanned M 35, drop back down to eta Geminorum. From eta Geminorum, another short drop will bring stargazers to the bottom right corner of the Geminid rectangle and the star gamma Geminorum, or Alhena. Alhena nearly marks the midpoint in a line between Betelgeuse and Pollux and is a magnitude 1.9 blue-white star 105 light years away.

After locating Alhena, stargazers will complete the Geminid tour by traversing the constellation's lower lateral back to Pollux. About midway along the lateral between Alhena and Pollux, look for Wasat, or delta Geminorum, a creamy-white, magnitude 3.5 star 59 light years away.

For those viewing with telescopes, Wasat provides a key landmark for locating one of the sky's most dazzling planetary nebula - NGC 2392, or, the Eskimo Nebula. With the scope trained on Wasat, move it slightly down and to the left, scanning as you go for a blue-green disk with a central star burning at its center. The disk will appear about the same size as Saturn would appear through the same scope.

With a large telescope, the nebula looks somewhat like a face peering out from beneath a fur-fringed parka hood - see this week's photograph. Sometimes the nebula is called the Clown Face Nebula, however, in light of the season and recent weather patterns, calling it the Eskimo Nebula seems more fitting.

james@pagosasun.com

 

Weather

 

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

1/17

27

-5

-

-

-

1/18

31

-8

-

-

-

1/19

45

-1

-

-

-

1/20

30

22

S

3.5"

.45"

1/21

31

5

S

1"

.09"

1/22

34

-8

-

-

-

1/23

39

-1

-

-

-

 

Finally, some sun in Pagosa Country

By Chuck McGuire
Staff Writer

As another weekend passed, another weekend snowstorm passed with it.

Last Saturday, 3.5 inches of snow fell on the Pagosa Lakes area, with another inch piling on top, Sunday.

So far this month, 29.5 inches of snow, or 2.05 inches of precipitation, has fallen uptown, even as January typically averages 26.4 inches of powder and 1.97 inches of moisture.

So far, so good.

While the sun returned Sunday afternoon, and days have been bright and sunny since, cold Pagosa Country temperatures have persevered. The week’s warm high came last Friday, with a balmy pre-storm reading of 45 degrees. Saturday’s high only made it to 30, but readings have gradually rebounded to yesterday’s 43 degrees. Although, for the week, most days hardly made it to the freezing mark.

Nighttime lows, meanwhile, have certainly been reminiscent of January. Aside from Saturday, when the mercury only fell to 22 degrees, most nights were below, or barely above, zero. Monday bottomed out at a brisk 8 below.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, daytime temperatures over the next few days should hover in the upper 30s. Skies will remain sunny through tomorrow, with increasing clouds by Saturday. Once again, there is a slight chance of snow Saturday night into Sunday, but the probabilities are less than 20 percent, and no significant accumulations are expected.

By Monday, as a weak cold front passes through, temperatures will slump again, until a gradual warming trend sets in toward the following weekend.

Until the cold front arrives on Monday, lows will drop to the single digits under starry skies and a waxing quarter moon. For a few nights after, readings will dance around the zero mark, before again rebounding by the end of next week.

By 6:30 a.m. yesterday, the Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 82 inches of powder and packed powder at its mountain summit, with 76 inches midway. So far this season, the area has received a total of 258 inches of snow.

chuck@pagosasun.com