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Get ready for the E-Cycle Event

It is definitely the technology age.

What would we do without our computers, cell phones, TVs, iPods, VCRs or DVD players?

These electronic gadgets, however, do not last a lifetime and eventually we need to replace them. According to the LA Times, more than 550 million computers and analog TVs have been thrown away in the continental United States — in addition to all of our portable electronic “toys.”

Computer monitors can contain up to eight pounds of lead. Other electronic equipment such as CPUs, keyboards, mice, scanners, cell phones and VCRs exceed the regulatory limits for heavy metals and should be managed as hazardous waste if sent for disposal. Hazardous materials in computers include mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and silver. The EPA estimates that 75 percent of heavy metals found in municipal landfills are a result of electronics disposal.

It is illegal for individuals, businesses, governments, and schools to dispose of computers in the landfill.

Everyone is urged to refurbish or recycle their computers instead of throwing them away. However, it is often difficult to send your equipment to a reliable vendor for recycling. Therefore, in conjunction with Earth Day/Week events, the Chamber of Commerce and Archuleta County are joining forces to host an E-Cycle Event. On Friday and Saturday, April 16 -17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the community can bring electronic equipment to the Chamber for recycling. We have partnered with the City of Durango for them to take our electronic equipment and recycle it properly, just as they do during their biannual e-cycle event.

Costs to recycle your electronic equipment are as follows: CPU, desktop printer, scanner, DVD player, VCR, regular fax machine — $5 each; monitor, laptop, and TVs up to 27 inches — $15 each; TVs over 27 inches — $25; large office equipment (copier, all-in-one, plotter, etc.) — 25 cents per pound; keyboard, mouse, cables, power cords, etc. — no charge; other electronics (cell phone, CD player, iPod, Gameboy, etc.) — no charge; Inkjet cartridge, laptop battery or cell phone battery — no charge. For large volumes you will need to call Jennifer at the county at 264-5660, Ext. 221, to arrange depository, charges and bring an itemized inventory.

The last local E-Cycle Event was two years ago, so we are very excited to partner with the county to make sure this type of recycling can happen again for our community. Questions can be directed to the Chamber at 264-2360.

Marketing for Smarties

The spring session of Marketing for Smarties is just around the corner. The first class, held at the Chamber of Commerce, begins Wednesday, March 24. Your coach for the class is Patsy Lindblad with the Lindblad Group. Marketing for Smarties is a training program in which business owners receive personal coaching and peer feedback as they develop basic marketing and sales processes and a simple, actionable, and affordable marketing plan tailored to your specific business need. The program is offered by the Small Business Development Center out of Fort Lewis College, with sponsorship by the Pagosa Springs Chamber and Region 9.

There are several scholarships available. If you register by the end of today, March 18, you can apply for a full scholarship offered by Region 9. Two partial scholarships are also offered — one by the Lindblad Group and one by SHY RABBIT CONTEMPORARY ARTS, specifically for a local artist. The fee for the course is $149, including the book and all materials. Seating is limited to 10 people. For registration forms, stop by the Chamber, or call Patsy Lindblad at 731-9074.

Operation Cinderella

Spring cleaning is in order, and should include your fancy dresses or evening wear.

Take your evening attire to the Victim’s Assistance Office on the north side of Town Hall for use in Operation Cinderella. Pagosa’s young women will be able to “shop for free” on Wednesday, April 7 from 4-7 p.m. at the Pagosa Youth Center in preparation for the 2010 high school prom.

The purpose of this event is not only to give our young girls the opportunity to choose a prom dress free of charge, but also to raise awareness of the many forms of sexual assault, many of which occur in dating situations. If you have gowns, formal dresses, “sparkly” attire or accessories, bring them to the Victim’s Assistance office or the Chamber by Monday, April 5. We’ll make sure it finds its way to a deserving youngster.

Play debut

Square Top Repertory Theatre is back in 2010 with “The Sun is in the West,” an original new play by Southern writer, Damon Falke.

Pagosa’s Square Top Theatre will take this play on the road, but it will be performed in Pagosa on Saturday, April 10, at the Liberty Theatre. They will also perform in Durango at Fort Lewis College and then, in May, the company will travel to Santa Fe, N.M.

The play is situated in a graveyard on the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast of Texas, where the characters grapple with their connection to the land, with family myths, and with their own history. It combines storytelling, live roots music and modern theater performance.

For tickets, go online to www.squaretoptheatre.com.

Wine Glass Dash

After the pressure and rigor of tax season, head out to our Chamber member in northern New Mexico, Wines of the San Juans, and enjoy their “Wine Glass Dash 5K Trail Run” on Saturday, April 17.

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. and will finish by noon. Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, a wine glass with wine and a reception following the race.

Proceeds from the event benefit the families of children with Niemann Pick Disease.

The course is beautiful, the seasons are changing, and the rewards at the end of the race are well worth the run.

For more information or to register, you can go online to www.winesofthesanjuans.com, or stop by the Chamber to pick up an application.

Business news

We are in the final stages of putting together the groups for the Group Networking Initiative. If you are an owner looking for ways to increase your business, work with problem areas such as cash flow or better financial management, marketing tips, or just want to network with similar businesses, contact the Chamber to join one of our groups. Each group will be mentored by a successful business entrepreneur; each group will develop its own meeting times and schedule, and develop topics and solutions pertinent to the network. The network groups will be: businesses one year and under, 3-5 years, more mature businesses, Lone Eagle businesses (less than five employees and drawing 40 percent of business outside of the community), High Flyers (more than five employees with at least 40 percent of business outside of the community), and non-profit organizations.

This is the perfect time to get geared up for the summer, hone business skills for free and interact with other business people. For more information, or to sign up for a network group, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Membership news

We are pleased to welcome four new members to the Chamber this week.

We start off with a second business for Carol Harper. Carol is the owner/operator of the Hair Loft. Along with great haircuts, color and low chemical perming, Carol now offers Laser Hair Therapy for thinning, weak, broken or damaged hair for both men and women. She also offers day or evening appointments. Call 264-5196, or go to www.hairlaser.com/hairloft.htm.

Larry Williams Photography & Design joins with quality equine portrait photography and graphic Web site design. Larry also works in event, pet and wildlife photography. Check out the Web site and photographs at www.larrywilliamsphotog.com. You can call to schedule an appointment for Web site design at 731-0995.

Southwest Light and Learning Center with Kathleen McCamman and Ann Miller are also new members. They offer classes, seminars and retreats, providing unique offerings that help individuals achieve a state of higher awareness with courses in art, writing, music, health and self-improvement. They also offer semi-annual conferences with a metaphysical theme in mid-May and mid-September. For more information on these enlightening studies, call 731-0694.

Servicing Pagosa, but based in Durango, is Buzztown.com. Buzztown is a local social network and online directory. You can upload photos, video and articles or write a review of your favorite businesses. You can also start a free account and log on to see what’s happening in Pagosa or Durango. Go to www.buzztown.com, or call Kinsee Morlan at (970) 403-1242.

We have a number of renewals to welcome back this week: Northeast Mini Storage with Eddie Campbell; Bonnie Sprague with High Plains Nursery; The Real Choice Real Estate with Brianne Jacobson and Peggy Andrews; Greg Giles with Pagosa Express Lube; SWC Land Consulting with Tom Thorpe; and International Photonics. Our non-profit organizations renewing this week include the Noon Rotary Club and the Republican Party of Archuleta County. We also welcome associate member and past board member John Weiss.

We would also like to bring to the community’s attention the work and efforts of the Loaves and Fishes Group. Currently, they are serving a hot meal on Thursdays at the Parish Hall from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. In addition, they are serving a free bag lunch every Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can pick up a lunch at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. When they’re gone, they’re gone! Thank you to all the volunteers who make this important project so viable in our community.