Features – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Wed, 06 Nov 2019 20:02:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Duty to country http://www.pagosasun.com/duty-to-country/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 11:56:33 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190537

James Hart

On Sept. 11, 2001, James Hart was working as an electrician in Albuquerque, N.M., when he heard on the radio the United States had been attacked.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Enjoying the beauty: County attorney sets the bar high with ultrarunning http://www.pagosasun.com/enjoying-the-beauty-county-attorney-sets-the-bar-high-with-ultrarunning/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 10:55:16 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190114

Photo courtesy Todd Weaver
Todd Weaver runs in the Never Summer 100k in Gould, Colo., in July. Weaver called ultrarunning “a test to see mentally and physically what you can accomplish.”

When he’s not presiding over the county’s legal needs, Archuleta County Attorney Todd Weaver runs. Far.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Lynch finds renewed competitive spirit through endurance bicycling http://www.pagosasun.com/lynch-finds-renewed-competitive-spirit-through-endurance-bicycling/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 10:55:00 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179470 Sometimes we just enjoy the finer things in life, the things that add much-needed stability and familiarity to our hectic work schedules and business lives. For some that may be enjoying a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, others it could be reading a book in the late evening hours. For local Bob Lynch, that simple pleasure is found in riding his bike.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Photo courtesy Bob Lynch
The wonderful scenery of Iceland unfolds before local Bob Lynch as he participates in the 850-mile Ring Road of Iceland race this past June. Lynch has competed in numerous “ultra endurance” events that have taken him all over the world.

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‘Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow’ Reflections from a refugee camp http://www.pagosasun.com/dont-stop-thinking-about-tomorrow-reflections-from-a-refugee-camp/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 10:55:53 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179020 By Casey Crow
Special to The SUN

Photos courtesy Beyond Words International
Volunteers for Beyond Words International provide healing arts programming for women and children living in a Syrian refugee camp in Thermopylae, Greece over the summer. The local team, photographed above, includes Kelly Ziemer, Casey Crow and Paula Jo Miller, who worked alongside international volunteers to provide instruction in English and math, as well as implementing art and dance therapy.

As the leaves begin to change and autumn slowly descends on our mountain town, it is difficult to imagine the adversity faced by millions of people around the globe while we are surrounded by such beauty.
Several Pagosa locals, myself included, recently returned from our pilot project with Beyond Words International (BWI) in Thermopylae, Greece, where we witnessed firsthand the suffering that characterizes forced displacement, but also the incredible resilience of the human spirit.
BWI is a nonpolitical, nonreligious 501(c)(3) that aims to bring healing to survivors of trauma through the arts in the U.S. and abroad. Over the summer, our team set out to provide healing arts programming for women and children living in a Syrian refugee camp.
We worked in partnership with Happy Caravan, an organization operating long-term on the ground in two refugee camps in Greece. We worked alongside international volunteers to provide instruction in English and math, as well as implement our own art and dance therapy programming for 80 children each day.
Despite the lack of coverage in the media, the refugee crisis in Europe remains dire as ever, with nearly 60,000 refugees awaiting processing in Greece.
The conditions in these camps are horrific and inhumane. Thermopylae is considered one of the better camps, yet even here, trauma is evident and an attempted suicide occurred during our first week on site. The majority of the children we worked with have grown up in conflict or camps, spending years traversing Jordan, Turkey and the Greek Islands. Many were born in refugee camps; and, thus, were never educated at all.
I want to illustrate the depths of the hardship these individuals face on a daily basis, but, more importantly, I want to convey the remarkable strength and resilience that allows them to continue embracing hope for a better tomorrow. The children we worked with are more than just “refugees.” This single label is not the only thing that defines them. They are intelligent, strong, dynamic and ambitious young people who have chosen to keep pressing forward despite countless reasons to give up.
Each day, we were challenged to create a curriculum for students of vastly differing levels of education, while keeping them engaged and challenged. We implemented a variety of art and movement therapy activities to allow children to express themselves through nonverbal means. One such project was called “Painting Your Heart.”
Local abstract artist and BWI team member Paula Jo Miller explained, “This project offered the ability for the kids to express their feelings through visual expression and creativity, without having to use words. We created a legend on the white board using colors that correspond to emotions. We explained that they could color the heart using any method, but it was important that they follow the legend. We also explained that they could use more than one color because often we feel more than one feeling. They were so excited to paint and made a point to keep looking at the legend to select the colors that represented their feelings.”
Every week, we gathered in the school, formerly an abandoned restaurant, to dance. It was incredible to watch dance work as a unifying force among the students. During class time, the children would inevitably divide themselves between boys or girls and Arab or Kurd. Yet, as soon as the dancing began, everyone joined together. The boys and girls danced side by side. Both Arab and Kurdish students joined hands to dance a traditional Middle Eastern dance called Dabke. When the founder of Happy Caravan, a Syrian refugee himself, came to visit and watch a dance class, he was shocked.
“You are tearing down walls,” he said, “the wall of gender, Arab and Kurd dancing together. I can’t believe this. It is really beautiful.”
Our team members also worked with a partner program called Happy Academy to provide English and technology instruction to teens and women. Miller formed a close bond with one resident.
“One woman, in particular, wanted to work on her English skills, so we sat together for many hours each day and talked, we read poetry together and we wrote haikus, a healing form of Japanese poetry. In her best English, she told me and created poems about her family’s story of living in and traveling from Syria and how they came to be in the camp in Greece. She shared about her son’s rare disease which puts him in the emergency room every month, yet they cannot get the medical help they need to proactively address the disease. She told me that because her husband is Palestinian, he is considered to not have a nationality. Therefore, he can’t have a passport, which is required to move to a country where they wish to seek asylum. Both are university educated and want to work to provide for their family. Instead, they live in a cramped space, in a country where they feel unwelcome, and they are unable to work. They have little hope for leaving the camp and beginning a new life like they once had in Syria,” she shared.
Our time in Greece was characterized by dramatic highs and lows — moments of heartbreak and frustration, but also waves of gratitude and hope. Toward the end of our trip, the children put on a beautiful concert at a local museum. I’ll never forget the image of our students standing hand in hand, faces radiant, singing at the top of their lungs: “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow/don’t stop, it’ll soon be here/it will be better than before/yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone!”
This project has once again convinced me that the arts carry an undeniable power to cultivate hope, healing and connection.
Having returned from our pilot project in Thermopylae, our BWI team is currently looking to our next project, this time with asylum seekers in our own backyard. In October, three of our volunteers will travel to the Texas-Mexico border to provide emergency aid to asylum seekers in partnership with an organization called Team Brownsville (TB). TB is a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian assistance for U.S. asylum seekers at the Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas. While the asylum seekers were once placed in detainment camps in the U.S., as a result of a recent Supreme Court ruling, most have been sent to Mexico to await processing. Many are fleeing endemic violence and crime in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Today, 36,500 asylum seekers are stranded on the border in Mexico, most with no food, clothing, or shelter. Of those, 600 asylum seekers (100 of which are children), live in tents under the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico. Living conditions are poor, with little infrastructure and high levels of violence, including kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, armed robbery and sexual violence.
Our BWI team will assist in preparing and distributing hot meals and other emergency aid to those living under Gateway Bridge. In addition, we have an opportunity to create healing art and dance programming for a weekly enrichment school in the area. We are currently taking Amazon and Walmart gift cards to purchase food, water, diapers, prenatal vitamins, powdered milk and tents.
To learn more or to donate online, visit our website at www.bwintl.org or find us on Facebook. To support our work, send a check or gift cards to P.O. Box 2503, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 

 

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A wild life: Mia Anstine turns humble beginnings into outdoor outreach http://www.pagosasun.com/a-wild-life-mia-anstine-turns-humble-beginnings-into-outdoor-outreach/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:53:57 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=175328

Photos courtesy Mia Anstine
Mia Anstine advocates for outdoor activities and aims to educate and teach people to not only enjoy the outdoors, but to do it in a positive manner.

In southwest Colorado, locals are lucky to have the beauty and wonder of the outdoors, along with the ability to hunt, fish and explore, right in their own backyard.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Mia Anstine

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‘Out of this world’ 50-year anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing carries local significance http://www.pagosasun.com/out-of-this-world-50-year-anniversary-of-apollo-11-moon-landing-carries-local-significance/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 10:55:31 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=173149

Photos courtesy Thomas Hanchett
Above: Pagosa Springs resident Thomas Hanchett celebrates the splashdown of Apollo 11 in Johnson Space Center Mission Control 50 years ago. After completing the monumental Apollo 11 moon landing, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins safely splashed back into the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, four days after the Eagle made its historic moon landing on July 20, 1969, on the moon’s Tranquility Bay. Hanchett is in the foreground with white shirt, tie, sideburns and dark-rimed glasses. Below: A current picture of Hanchett holding a spacecraft model used on Apollo 8, 9, 10 and 11. The model is a replica for the restored Historical Control Center in Houston.

July 20, 1969, marked a momentous occasion in human history as it became known as the first time that humans landed on the moon via spaceflight.
The spaceflight, more commonly known as Apollo 11, represented a landmark moment not only for Cmdr. Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, but for the nation, the world and for those in the command center guiding these men through it all.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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History on the auction block: Hott family collectibles to benefit western heritage http://www.pagosasun.com/history-on-the-auction-block-hott-family-collectibles-to-benefit-western-heritage/ Wed, 03 Jul 2019 21:00:00 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=172215

Photo courtesy JR Ford
R.D. Hott, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 86, collected items and history passed down from his family.

When 5-year-old Jule Macht, along with his family, trekked over Elwood Pass to Archuleta County in 1883, few probably would have predicted the impact they would have on what Archuleta County is today and what it could be in the future.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Photo courtesy JR Ford
Several of the Macht family children pose for a photo in the early 1900s. In back, left to right, are Joe, Will and Charles Betts. In front, left to right, are Harry, Emma and Jule.

Photo courtesy JR Ford
A young R.D. Hott, right, and his cousin stand atop a Fourth of July parade float for the family’s Mill Creek Ranch.

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Local veteran pays respects at Veterans Memorial Wall http://www.pagosasun.com/local-veteran-pays-respects-at-veterans-memorial-wall/ Thu, 27 Jun 2019 10:56:22 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=171391

Photos courtesy Annette Candelaria, SUN photo/Chris Mannara
Local Vietnam veteran Lucas Martinez visits the Vietnam Memorial Wall earlier this year. Martinez served in the Vietnam conflict and made the trip to honor his fallen friends and brothers in arms. Martinez reflects on his trip while sitting on his front porch.

A small act of kindness can often go a long way, but when it comes to our nation’s heroes, a kind gesture can put many things in perspective in a storied life.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Taming the Wild West Bramwell retires after 40 years of brand inspecting http://www.pagosasun.com/taming-the-wild-west-bramwell-retires-after-40-years-of-brand-inspecting/ Thu, 30 May 2019 21:00:31 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=169128

Jim Bramwell

Jim Bramwell doesn’t consider himself a cowboy, but after 40 years as a brand inspector wrangling up cattle and livestock, ensuring they are in the proper place, Bramwell’s story sounds an awful lot like something from the days of Billy the Kid or Butch Cassidy.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

Photo courtesy Terry Schaaf
With a 40-year career sunsetting, Jim Bramwell is retiring as brand inspector; however, he will, no doubt, don his boots and spurs as he enjoys retirement on his ranch.

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‘I loved my job’: June Madrid reflects on 30 years as Archuleta County clerk and recorder http://www.pagosasun.com/i-loved-my-job-june-madrid-reflects-on-30-years-as-archuleta-county-clerk-and-recorder/ Thu, 21 Mar 2019 10:56:41 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=164202

Photo courtesy Natalie Woodruff
Retiring Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid receives fanfare and an escort to her retirement party on Jan. 7, her last day in office after nearly 30 years as an elected official.

“It just feels like I’m on vacation,” said June Madrid, who is now into just a few months of retirement following nearly 30 years of service as the Archuleta County clerk and recorder and nearly 40 years of working for Archuleta County.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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