Front Page

May 13, 1999

Lynx reintroduction program may be dropped

By John M. Motter

If lynx plantings now in progress are not more successful than earlier releases this spring, the lynx reintroduction program planned for the winter of 1999-2000 may be dropped, according to a news release from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

A set of new protocols developed by the DOW lynx recovery team contains the following four elements:

- The remaining lynx will be released by May 14 now that alternative (alternative to snowshoe hares) prey species such as marmots, ground squirrels, mice, voles and additional bird species become available in mid-May.

- There will be no recapture of any of the 29 lynx released during May except for injured animals that veterinarians determine can be treated.

- In September, the DOW will assess the overall project, including the survival of the lynx. If approximately 50 percent of the 29 animals released during May have died from starvation, DOW will recommend at the September Wildlife Commission meeting that proposed 1999-00 releases not be made.

- The DOW will reanalyze snowshoe hare population data collected in 1998 and, if necessary, obtain additional snowshoe hare data in the release area prior to the 2000 release.

DOW personnel released six lynx in the Weminuche Wilderness Area north of Pagosa Springs Friday. Of that number, four were female and two male. Two of the females are pregnant and could deliver kittens within a couple of weeks, according to Glen Eyre, a local Wildlife Conservation Officer.

Earlier this year, four of the first five lynx released near Wagon Wheel Gap near Creede died of starvation. The fifth lynx was recaptured. Subsequently, the DOW changed its approach and held the remaining lynx in pens, feeding them to improve their strength.

Following the change, eight lynx were released and monitored as they moved around the San Juan Mountains. Division ground trackers followed two of the cats last week and found kill sites and scat indicating that each had eaten prey.

Aerial monitoring has been difficult because of frequent storms that dumped huge amounts of snow in southwestern Colorado. A flight last week located six of the cats, including one that had traveled more than 30 miles west of the release site. Two others haven't been located in more than a month.

The final 28 lynx are being released this month.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department is considering placing the lynx on the endangered species list throughout the Continental United States later this summer. If the DOW program is successful, DOW officials hope the federal agency will give them a lead role in monitoring the program in Colorado.

If the reintroduction program is unsuccessful, the attempt may provide evidence that lynx cannot survive in Colorado, thus keeping the animal off of the federal endangered species list.


District reading scores stay about the same

By Roy Starling

Scores from the Colorado Student Assessment Program third grade reading tests are back, and this year's District 50 third graders fared just about as well as last year's.

In 1998, 76 percent of third graders in the district performed in the all-important at-or-above proficient category. This year, 75 percent performed at that level. Seven percent of Pagosa third graders performed at an advanced level.

"I'm encouraged by the scores," elementary school Principal Cyndy Secrist told the School District 50 Joint board of directors at their monthly meeting Tuesday night. "They reflect a strong reading program."

Statewide, 67 percent of the 54,000 students tested were at or above proficient, up just 1 percentage point from last year.

Secrist said her "teachers are working very hard and the kids are working very hard. We'll just keep working and move forward. A change of 1 percent doesn't indicate a need for us to make drastic changes."

The principal was pleased to learn that there were slightly fewer third graders this year performing at the unsatisfactory and partially-proficient level. Last year, seven students were at the unsatisfactory level, and that's now down to five. In 1998, 20 students were categorized as partially proficient, and that dropped to 18 this year.

"We're not unhappy, because we feel like our kids are doing well," Secrist said. "We want to achieve that 80 percent the state wants us to achieve and we're going to do what it takes to get there."

One of the Colorado Department of Education's accreditation indicators requires that 80 percent of a district's students be proficient or advanced based on the CSAP third grade literacy tests. Districts that fail to meet this target over a three-year period will be placed on "academic watch."

Secrist said, "We had 32 kids from 'special needs' programs taking the test, but we had a total of only 23 scoring below proficient."

Secrist also reminded the board that comparing this year's scores to last year's was a case of "comparing apples to oranges - it doesn't really compare anything. This was a whole different group of kids."

The CSAP scores, Secrist said, are just one piece in a body of evidence that assesses students' reading skills. "We also use an individual reading inventory administered to each third grade student by his or her teacher, and we still use the Gates McGinnity reading assessment," she said.

The district had 105 students take the third-grade reading test this year, 17 fewer than in '98.

CSAP reading and writing tests were also administered to district fourth graders, but those results won't be available until the fall.

In other business, the board

- Approved the retirement of transportation director Don Ruth and Title I gifted/talented teacher Barry Thomas.

- Renewed the contracts of all coaches, sponsors and probationary teachers.

- Heard bus driver Jim Layne's request that drivers be "given the same amount yearly raise as teachers, across the board" and that principals deal with disciplinary reports from drivers more quickly. High school Principal Bill Esterbrook told Layne and the board that those reports are "always dealt with immediately."


Development firm plans project on East Fork

By John M. Motter

A $90 million private development is planned for the East Fork of the San Juan River, local folks learned Thursday at an informal information session hosted by the company doing the development.

The developers, Jerry Sanders of Park City, Utah, and Kurt Fleming of Irvine, Calif., are calling their project Piano Creek Ranch. It is located on acreage formerly owned by Dan McCarthy. McCarthy unsuccessfully attempted to develop a destination ski resort on the property in the early 1990s.

Several families homesteaded in the valley and lived there year around prior to the 1911 flood. Also prior to the 1911 flood, a state road through the valley and across Elwood Pass connected Pagosa Springs with the San Luis Valley. The 1911 flood washed out the road through the canyon. Following the flood, all of the families living there moved out. No one has lived in the valley year around since the 1911 flood. Also following the 1911 flood, the state highway department constructed the highway over Wolf Creek Pass and stopped funding repairs on the East Fork of the San Juan route.

Since that time, the valley has been used to graze sheep and cattle and for outdoor recreation activities. The Forest Service has accepted responsibility for maintaining the road, which has not been kept open during winter months.

Sanders promised at the Thursday meeting that the public will retain access to the East Fork valley, except for the private property. Ranger Jo Bridges, of the Pagosa Ranger District, said that the Forest Service will continue to oversee the road.

"An environmental assessment is being required of the developing firm to determine what the impacts of keeping the road open year around will be," Bridges said.

Piano Creek Ranches will be developed as a guest ranch featuring horseback riding, fly fishing, a small golf course, a small ski area, and other amenities expected by people who will pay $500,000 for a membership. The owners hope to attract 395 members and complete construction by the end of the year 2000.

Building will be limited to about 10 percent of the total acreage and will consist of a lodge capable of housing 20 families, 15 permanent homes, 42 guest cottages containing 2,200-square feet each, plus the requisite number of service buildings. An annual payroll of about $1.5 million is anticipated.

The road will be maintained as a gravel road with some straightening for safety purposes.

Since the project is located in Mineral County, all development permits and plan approvals are being processed through the county commissioners of that county.

The company is restoring the old San Juan Supply building on Lewis Street as a downtown office.


Pirates earn regional spot

By Roy Starling

After easily defeating Ignacio and Monte Vista in the Intermountain League-District baseball tournament Saturday in Ignacio, the Pagosa Pirates will try for a third consecutive year to advance past the opening round of regional competition.

The Pirates (14-4) are seeded sixth among the sweet 16 regional teams. Their opponents in the Region 3 opener will be the Brush Beetdiggers. The two teams tangle at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Englewood High School.

The other two Region 3 teams, Faith Christian (20-0) and Rangely (8-7) will face off at 10 a.m. The winners will play at 3 p.m. for a chance to advance to the state semifinals to be played at Regis University in Denver, Friday, May 21.

Pirate coach Tony Scarpa says he's "pretty certain" he will start senior right-hander Jason Schofield (9-0) against the 'Diggers. Schofield finished the season with a masterful outing against Monte Vista in the district finals, holding the heavy-hitting San Luis Valley Pirates to just three hits while striking out nine in seven innings.

Schofield takes a 2.38 earned run average into regional play. He has 90 strikeouts in just 53 innings and has issued only 31 walks.

Senior catcher Jeff Wood came out of district play with a .576 batting average, eight home runs and 42 runs batted in, leading the Pirates in all three departments. Shortstop-pitcher Ronnie Martinez is hitting .509 with 21 RBIs.

Schofield carries a .489 average to Englewood and is second to Wood with 24 RBIs. Center fielder Lonnie Lucero is hitting at a .431 clip with 18 stolen bases. First baseman Brandon Thames has a .423 average, while second sacker Clinton Lister is at .421 with three home runs and 18 runs batted in.

The Beetdiggers compete in the tough Northern Plains League where they finished second to the formidable Eaton Reds (18-0). They were 6-3 in league play and 13-6 overall. Of those six losses, one was a 3-2 squeaker to Eaton, another a narrow 5-3 defeat at the hands of Faith Christian.

The Pirates will have a chance to test 'Digger ace Bill Mundt who finished the regular season with a 5-1 record a spectacular 1.40 ERA.

Brush has only one batter - Robert Anderson - hitting above .400 and no one with more than two homers, yet the 'Diggers managed to score 10 or more runs six times this season.

The Region 3 winner will play the champions from Region 4 Friday, May 21, at Regis University. The heavy favorite from Region 4 is unbeaten Lamar.


Forum on growth issues

Archuleta County residents are invited to attend a second public forum aimed at hearing the public's opinions and concerns about current growth issues and the future of Archuleta County. The meeting will be held on Monday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fair Building on U.S. 84. A similar meeting was held May 6.

James W. Tosch, of Tosch and Associates in Durango, will conduct the meeting. Amy Malick, a native of Durango, will assist Tosch in facilitating the audience participation.

The county has contracted with Tosch and Associates to assist the county commissioners in determining what county residents favor or oppose regarding zoning or other land-use measures that could effectively limit or direct the future growth and development of Archuleta County.

Based in part on the public input received at the May 6 and May 17 meetings, Tosch and Associates plans to develop a questionnaire to be used in a survey of Archuleta County residents. The survey will be intended to determine local citizens' attitudes and preferences relative to land-use controls.


Inside The Sun

Man found in truck died of natural causes

By Karl Isberg

Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht has determined that a local man whose body was found in a truck on Monday night died of natural causes.

Michael Hermes, 56, a resident of the Aspen Springs subdivision, was found dead in the front seat of his Toyota pickup. The truck was parked behind a business at North Pagosa Boulevard and Bastille Drive where Hermes worked.

According to Macht, Hermes was found by fellow employees when he failed to show up for work as a dishwasher. The man was reportedly observed working on some items in the back of his truck and was last seen at approximately 11 a.m. Macht said witnesses told him it was not uncommon for Hermes to take a nap in the cab of the truck.

Archuleta Sheriff Captain Otis May and deputy Bill Lucero responded to the scene. Macht was called at 9:24 p.m.

"We think Mr. Hermes went to sleep and didn't wake up," said Macht. "There is no suspicion of foul play; none of his personal valuables were missing and there were no signs of trauma. I believe the cause of death was probably a cerebral vascular accident. The victim had not seen a local physician, so I have no medical history to help me be more precise."

Macht said no autopsy was ordered.

Hermes' body was transported to Pagosa Funeral Options, and next of kin were notified.


County ponders excess revenues, clean up, dogs

By John M. Motter

Tuesday's meeting of the Archuleta County commissioners divided into two parts. The first contained items for action by the commissioners. The second part contained items for discussion requested by Commissioner Gene Crabtree.

Among the items suggested for discussion by Crabtree were the excess revenue ballot issue, property clean up in the county, clean up around the landfill, dog licensing, recycling, and the planting of trees around the road and bridge maintenance building. Commissioners Bill Downey and Ken Fox both said the discussion items placed on the agenda by Crabtree would be better addressed at a work session than in the regular meeting.

Excess revenues

Concerning the excess revenue issue, a consensus was reached among the commissioners to place that option before the voters during November. Excess revenues are certain county incomes that exceed TABOR limits. Money received in excess of TABOR limits must be refunded to the voters unless the voters give the county permission to keep the excess funds. During the last election, Archuleta County voters refused to allow the commissioners to keep excess revenues. Pagosa Springs and School District No. 50 Joint received the voters permission to retain excess revenues.

Tuesday, the commissioners asked County Attorney Larry Holthus to prepare for putting the issue on the ballot this November. They also committed to a program designed to convince voters that the county should retain the excess funds.

County clean up

Crabtree urged his fellow commissioners to take steps to clean up eyesores around the county. He specifically alluded to the saw mill property located at the intersection of U.S. 160 and 84, but also mentioned other sources of "junky" looking property. Fox and Downey agreed that something should be done. Fox said that the county must avoid invading private rights. Holthus affirmed that the county is empowered to adopt ordinances regulating accumulations of rubbish, trash, and garbage.

"If an ordinance is adopted," Holthus said, "the county can order and pay for the clean up, then bill the property owner. If the owner does not pay, the clean up bill is attached to the property in the same manner as unpaid taxes."

Landfill clean up

Paper and plastic debris scattered around the landfill on Trujillo Road may be caused by the failure of Waste Management disposal company to cover debris with dirt in a timely fashion, according to County Manager Dennis Hunt. Hunt promised to discuss the issue with the firm.

Dog licensing

Crabtree suggested that the county adopt a dog licensing ordinance.

"I agree with what (Dan) Snow said at last week's meeting," Crabtree said. "When you drive around the county, there are stray dogs everywhere. If the dogs had a license tag, it would be easier to identify the owner and solve the problem. Once they pay a fine, the owners are more likely to control their animals."

Fox suggested that such a regulation might punish responsible pet owners for the sins of the irresponsible.

Downey said he doesn't have a position on licensing, but in the event of a dog bite, knowing who the dog's owner is and if it has been given a rabies shot becomes extremely important.

No action was taken on this issue.

Need for landscaping

Crabtree suggested that, because private developers are required to plant trees and shrubs around their buildings to provide sight and noise screens, the county should be required to do the same thing. He said that the county road and bridge building on U.S. 84 has no plants and that trees and shrubs should be planted.

"Those were in the original plans, but we didn't have the money," Hunt said. "We will need to bring in top soil and install a watering system if we do that."

No action was taken on this suggestion.


A progress report on reinstating the county recycling program was made by Hunt. Continuing negotiations are in progress with Waste Management to reinstate this program, according to Hunt. All of the commissioners expressed a desire to have the program returned.

Other business:

- Lisa Scott was appointed to the 15-member Archuleta County Fair Board. Four vacancies remain on that board.

- The commissioners approved a contract bringing a carnival to the 1999 Archuleta County Fair.

- A meeting with the Airport Authority was scheduled for June 15 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room. The purpose of the meeting is to improve communications between the two boards, according to Fox.

- A permit was authorized for a 1998 Suburban to be used as a quick response vehicle by county emergency medical service personnel.

- A transportation contract for social services extending through May 30 of 2000 was approved. For the remainder of the current year, through June 30, the cost of the service to the county is $2,100. For the coming year, the cost is $58,000.

- A hotel/restaurant liquor license renewal for Bob's Cabin was approved.

- An intergovernmental agreement was reached with the Forest Service calling for the application of 38,861 gallons of magnesium chloride to Piedra Road. The Forest Service is paying $8,238 for the road stabilizing salt.

- Final approval was granted for the improvements agreement and letter of credit for Village Apartments. Conditional approval was granted for acceptance of the final plat. The conditions relate to completion of certain parking lot and grade work as weather permits.

- Variances from Planned Unit Development regulations were granted for a multi-family residential condominium in Lake Pagosa Park. The variances include no need for a topographical map, allowing one entrance driveway instead of the usual two, and elimination of setbacks on one side of the property bordered by a greenbelt. A request for a variance deleting the need for sidewalks was denied.



Concerts next week

By Karl Isberg

A series of concerts highlight the public school calendar next week.

Each spring, instrumental and vocal musicians from School District 50 Joint provide audiences with entertainment and, with a new auditorium at the high school, there is a now a facility available to complement their performances.

Tomorrow, May 14, the Senior Recital will be held at the auditorium at 7 p.m. According to high school music teacher Lisa Hartley, as many as 10 senior musicians will perform instrumental and vocal numbers for the audience. Many of the students invite guests to perform with them.

The concert is free and the public is urged to attend.

On May 18, bands from the intermediate and junior high schools will be in concert at the auditorium. The musicians are from grade five through grade eight. The free intermediate and junior high band concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

The final concert of the current school year will take place at the auditorium on May 20. Both the high school band and high school choir will perform, beginning at 7 p.m. The concert is free.


Mayor Aragon declares May 16-22 Clean Up Pagosa Springs Week

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon recently issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 16 to May 22 as "Clean Up Week."

During the week, town residents will have a free opportunity to clear their property of items classified as "junk" in the town municipal code. Residents will be able to rid their property of large junk items with the help of town crews and can dispose of other residential trash and litter in dumpsters placed at locations in town during the course of the week.

"Junk" is defined in the municipal code as "old motor vehicles, auto bodies or parts, old rubber tires, old farm machinery, refrigerators, and all other abandoned personal property or other appliances stored out in the open on public or private property."

The code gives specific conditions that must apply before the items are deemed junk - among them criteria such as the length of time the items have been on a property, whether the items constitute a neighborhood eyesore, or whether the items are in working condition. A copy of the pertinent chapter of the code is available at Town Hall.

"Litter" is defined by the code as "any scattered refuse or rubbish."

Town authorities have the power to issue notices to all property owners in town who have junk or litter on their property, and town police officers will begin issuing such notices following Clean Up Week.

In order to assist residents in the disposal of junk and litter, town crews will remove certain junk items from street rights of way.

Crews will remove large items such as appliances and lumber, if the items are placed along the road right of way. Crews will enter a property to remove items only if a hardship case is approved. Such arrangements can be made by calling Town Hall at 264-4151.

Town crews will not pick up junk cars. It is the responsibility of property owners to call a towing company, arrange for removal of the junk auto and avoid a notice from the town.

A town crew will operate in a section of North Pagosa on May 17. The area runs from the Western Addition to 3rd Street, and includes the downtown alley and the portion of Pagosa Hills within town limits.

On May 18, removal of roadside junk will take place in the remainder of North Pagosa, from 3rd Street to the River Center.

Crews will pickup items on May 19 east of the San Juan River, from San Juan Street to the southern town limit.

On May 20, the crews will work in a section of South Pagosa from the west side of the San Juan River to 8th Street and in Piedra Estates.

Work on May 21 will include the remainder of South Pagosa, from 8th Street to the Garvin Addition.

Household trash will not be removed from the roadside by the crews. Dumpsters will be placed at various locations in town during the week for use by residents seeking to dispose of household trash.

On May 16, household trash can be placed in dumpsters located at Town Park and on South 9th Street. The dumpsters will be moved to other locations in town after May 16. Residents can learn of those locations by calling Town Hall at 264-4151.

For residents wanting to take trash to the county landfill, Archuleta County will provide free residential dumping throughout the week. The free dumping does not extend to disposal of construction or yard debris.

During Clean Up Week, as part of the Adopt-a-Road Program, the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will coordinate various local organizations in clean up efforts along sections of road in and near Pagosa Springs. Information about the Adopt-a-Road program is available at 264-2360.

The Town Parks and Recreation Department is working to enhance the aesthetic beauty of properties in Pagosa Springs by continuing the residential tree program this spring. The town will pay half the price of a tree planted between the front of a house and a town street. Information about the residential tree program is available from parks and recreation department employees at 264-4151.



Noticeable changes

Friday, someone asked if I had ever expected to see a McDonalds or KFC/Taco Bell outlet in Pagosa Springs. Other than being somewhat resigned to the inevitability of change, I really hadn't given the matter much thought.

There are a couple of noticeable changes I had never expected to see in Pagosa.

One, I never expected to see motorists in Pagosa Springs intentionally wait in line for an extended period of time unless they were stopped behind a snowplow operator. Or unless it was a line of motorists on U.S. 160 who were backed up on either side of town during the Fourth of July parade. But for a Pagosa motorist to choose to wait in line to place an order at an "express" window of a "fast food" outlet is contradictory and foreign to the surroundings. It puts a new twist on the concept of "Pagosa time."

Two, I never expected to see folks who choose to live in Pagosa Springs place a new twist on the concept of the significant phases of Pagosa's past.

I never expected Pagosans would develop an urge to reinvent the uniqueness of Pagosa. I'm referring to the mineral deposits that have developed on the geothermal fountain alongside the parking lot at The Spring Inn - an unusual significance has been bestowed on it.

The fountain was built in 1962. Cinder blocks, stone and a water pipe were used to form a somewhat inverted cone-shaped fountain. A group of high school students constructed a similar fountain on the edge of the downtown parking lot in 1971. Today, the earlier fountain and its ever-growing crust of mineral deposits appears in paintings with Native American hunters riding bareback and carrying handmade bows and arrows. Or the fountain is used in murals to depict the early stages of settlement in Pagosa Springs.

In many ways, Pagosa hasn't changed that much in the past 25 years. The greatest changes are with some of today's Pagosans and the things they consider important.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

More questions than answers

Dear Folks,

I've been out of the classroom for almost 18 years, but for some reason I'm aware that school will be out in 12 more days.

It's a toss up as to who is the happiest - the students, the faculty and administration or the custodians.

There is no question about the fact that the ideal teaching position would be to serve on the faculty of an orphanage.

The headlines the past few days and weeks have raised a few unanswerable questions.

Would the situation in Kosovo be any different if the Senate had impeached the president earlier this year and Vice President Al Gore was the current president?

Would the situation in Kosovo be any different if the voters had elected Senator Bob Dole president in the 1996 election?

Would the economy in the United States have been any different during the past three years if Senator Dole had been president during that time?

Would the United States really be ready to defend itself today if confronted with a surprise attack such as occurred on December 7, 1941?

Would the U.S. be ready to defend itself if a foreign power announced it planned to declare war on the U.S. in 30 days?

Why do politicians form special committees, conduct extensive studies and proposed restrictive legislation based on the criminal choices of two students, when the other 1,933 members of the student body conducted themselves like average teenagers?

Why isn't more attention given to what the parents of 1,933 students evidently did right in raising their teenagers rather than condemning society and questioning what two failed families did wrong?

Why is society as a whole graded down when two students fail and 1,933 students demonstrate that they are competent?

Why don't schools have athletic policies that clearly define that student athletes are not special, and will not receive - nor should they expect - special treatment?

Some folks will contend that it is pointless to ask unanswerable questions. Other folks will try to provide the "right" answers.

Some folks will contend that unanswerable questions are stupid questions.

I tried to assure my students that the only stupid question was one that they already knew the answer to. Or a stupid question was one that no one was really interested in knowing the answer to.

The questions that really concern me, are those that I might not want answered.

Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.



By Shari Pierce

Early days as seen through the eyes of a young girl

Daisy Opdyke Fitzhugh wrote a short story about the early days in Pagosa Springs as seen through the eyes of a young girl. I often use her stories as examples of early-day Pagosa life when I take children on tours through the museum. The Opdyke family arrived here in 1879, when Pagosa Springs remained very much in its infancy.

Fort Lewis army post had located here in 1878 to protect the settlers, so encountering soldiers was an everyday occurrence. Mrs. Fitzhugh told of a celebration the soldiers held when Garfield was elected president. The soldiers placed their cannon on the river bank pointing upstream. "They loaded it with tin cans which were filled with pebbles. They came over and asked my mother if she would let me fire the cannon. (I was thirteen years old at that time.) She was afraid I would get hurt, but they promised her there was no danger so I fired the cannon and such a report you never heard! I was deaf for a week, but anyway, I fired the cannon for Garfield."

A unique occurrence of growing up in Pagosa was how some of the families chose to bathe. To take advantage of the natural hot water - "Almost every family had their own little bath house. We would go in the morning and fill the large built-in wooden tub and by afternoon the water would be cool enough to take a bath. Then when we were through bathing we would empty the tub, lock the door and it would be ready for the next time."

Mrs. Fitzhugh reported that almost every building in the young town was a saloon. Her family lived across from the Rosebud Saloon. One morning as she stood at the front door of her house, she witnessed the shooting of a man. The man had come out the front door of the saloon. Another man, "Big Aleck" came out the side door and shot the first man. The young girl ran in and told her mother what she had seen. Her mother told her to never tell anyone that she witnessed the shooting; or she would have to travel to Conejos for the trial. That was quite a journey in that day and time. Young Daisy Opdyke heeded her mother's advice as she wrote that she never told anyone until she was 50 years old.

The Silverton newspaper reported on a shooting in Pagosa Springs on February 4, 1881. In that case, A. K. Fleming was being held for the murder of a man by the name of Maxwell. Fleming was acquitted in Maxwell's death.

25 years ago

School district buys building site

Taken from SUN files

of May 16, 1974

The school board voted this week to purchase approximately 35 acres just south of town as a site for athletic facilities and future expansion of school buildings. The land, belonging to the Pagosa Springs Water and Sanitation District, will be used for athletic fields. Purchase price for the land was $150 per acre.

John C. Evans, a six-year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol, has been appointed county sheriff by the Archuleta County Commissioners. Evans resigned from the CSP a few weeks ago and has since that time been employed as a heavy equipment operator. He will assume his new duties as soon as he receives the oath of office.

Three men are in the La Plata County Jail with bond set at $5,000 each after having been arrested in connection with a disturbance and damage at the Town Hall last Friday night. It was alleged that the three men, in company with a large group of people, came to the Town Hall late Saturday evening and started shouting at and cursing the police over an incident where a stray dog was shot with a tranquilizer gun and subsequently died.

The community historical museum, being constructed by the San Juan Historical Society, is shaping up this summer. The work is being done by local volunteers and donated materials.


Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

They're just dogs, but it was one fantastic party

It was the best party.

On Sunday, Shirley Mateer and her golden retriever Max (short for Maximus of Squaw Canyon) again hosted a party for Max's siblings - to celebrate their third birthday. So much has been written about the parties the past years, but if you are new to town, you have to hear about this canine social event of the season because it isn't an ordinary party - one moved away and owners keep going on vacations - you know how people in Pagosa do. But this year there were seven of the Golden Nine plus mama dog, Caisen, owned by Dr. Kitzel Farrah.

And everyone - dogs, owners and other guests - had fun.

The amazing thing is that dogs who do not see each other during the year recognize each other, and when a car drives up and someone exclaims, "Here comes so and so," the dogs understand and go bouncing out to greet the newcomers and lead them back to the party.

No sniffing of dogs or anything like that. Just a bouncy greeting.

Host Max wore a big red bow tie. He's announcing that he's running for President of the Canine World.

But to get back to the fun things; how the doggies were dressed.

The invitation read "to come formal." Well, they were dressed "Pagosa formal," meaning anything goes. Variety makes life interesting, you know.

Shandy was beautifully gowned in a silver lame jacket with a big silver bow. (At least she started out wearing a bow.) Shandy belongs to Bob and Joan Arnold.

Duchess, whose owners are Fred and Norma Harman, wore a double strand pearl necklace - an elegant touch that made her easy to keep up with, and to identify.

Cedar, whose owners are Jim and Jean Carson, was strictly "with it" wearing a black leather motorcycle coat. (You know how it is with this modern generation.)

And then there was Saffy (short for Saffron) wearing a stunning white T-shirt with a picture of golden retrievers on it. (She knew that would make a hit.) Saffy belongs to Gerlinda Snyder. Last year. Saffy was headed for dental school. The news is that she has graduated and is now struggling to get a practice started.

Ellie (what a flirt) belongs to Don and Barbara Rosner. She started out wearing a gold lame jacket but decided it was constricting her movements and so shed it real quick-like.

Atticus, who belongs to Steve and Shelly Marmaduke, was wearing Calvin Klein boxer shorts, so sharp looking. They didn't stay on very long. He'd spent the day before at the White House. He's getting ready to become Max's Secretary of State when Max becomes President of the Canine World.

And then there was the mama of them all, Caisen, wearing rags. She couldn't afford anything else because at the time of last year's party, she was in CSU's dog hospital and the bills incurred there haven't allowed for any new clothes.

They all took part in the three races. Caisen won two of them. Someone said that Kitzel was giving her meal-time signals (all the owners were lined up at the finish line) and Caisen can out-run any dog when it comes to food.

There was a swimming pool, a portable one, and when all eight dogs got in it, it developed a hole and all the water ran out. The dogs didn't think a dry pool was fun so out they jumped.

And then it was time for cutting the cake. It was a good-size cake and Shirley broke it off in bites, one bite at a time for each dog. Last year (don't you just hate people who talk about what used to be) every dog sat real attentive: no grabbing, just real polite-like. But this year - NO WAY. Every dog wanted that piece of cake. They probably were hungry from all those games. And then, all of a sudden, up jumped Duchess, on top of the table. And she laid down, all stretched out, right at Shirley's hand. Oh my goodness! Mama Norma was so embarrassed.

All the brother and sister dogs got a certificate that said, "Happy Birthday - Certificate of Accomplishment on your third year," and then the name of the dog.

So it is happy birthday goldens. We can't wait until next year.

Shirley Mateer

About Shirley Mateer who thought up the party. She is a public relations consultant who has Mateer and Associates Marketing Communications in Pagosa Springs. She handles all the marketing and advertising for Colorado Potatoes and is recipient of many awards, the most recent one being first place for the Golden Quill Award, for its outstanding newsletter.

Colorado Potatoes is now No. 2 in the country, being second only to Idaho Potatoes.

Shirley has an extensive background in the food industry. She worked for Proctor and Gamble and Scott Paper Company and joined the Nestle Company. She then went out on her own and has since worked for Campbell Soups and Lipton Tea. And she did all the promotion for M & M Chocolates.

Her work takes her all over the country setting up promotions for Colorado Potatoes: food conventions, grocery store openings, hotels, just anyplace where she can promote Colorado Potatoes. And she is often on TV and has been on Good Morning America. Shirley is a busy lady.

A good part for us is her involvement in the community. For one thing she served on the Chamber of Commerce board of directors for a term. She gives to the community.

Off the Back Burner

From Ima Gurl's "Off the Back Burner" - the miscellaneous section - comes this recipe for Anita's Dog Biscuits.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oat meal

3/4 cup cornmeal

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 bouillon cubes

2 cups boiling water

Add any flavoring your dog likes: bacon drippings, etc.

Combine first six ingredients. Mix well. Dissolve bouillon cubes in the boiling water and add to dry mixture. (This makes a very stiff dough.) Divide in two parts. Roll on floured surface and place on two cookie sheets. Using a pizza cutter, cut in 2 x 6 cookies. Leave out to dry for 2 1/2 weeks.


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Don't forget Local Appreciation Week

Food, insurance, real estate, construction, scenic pictures - the basic staples in Pagosa? No, this is the variety of members who joined our Chamber last week. We are very pleased to introduce you to the following new members.

Juicy Jerky is located on U.S. 160 next to the Pizza Hut, under the big shade tree. David and Carolyn Hamilton own Juicy Jerky and are very happy to be here in Pagosa offering Colorado's best gourmet jerky. They offer 14 flavors including buffalo, elk, antelope, venison, turkey and beef, with no preservatives. Ask for a free sample. Look for the log cabin, or call 884-5233.

We would like to welcome Mountain West Insurance located at 527 San Juan Street, Unit D. Mountain West is an independent insurance agency; you can reach Bunny Holguin at 264-6639.

Sean MacAllister joins us as the managing broker of RE/MAX Sunrise Properties of Pagosa Springs, Ltd. located at 2343 W. U.S. 160, Suite B. RE/MAX Sunrise Properties of Pagosa Springs is your "Above the Crowd!" real estate service. They offer residential, new home building, land and commercial properties. You can reach Sean at 731-5255.

Jerry Caves with Sunrise Construction, Inc., is our third member last week. Located at 2343 W. U.S. 160, Suite B. Sunrise Construction, Inc. offers quality home building and remodeling with more than 20 years experience. Sunrise Construction received awards from the National Association of Home Buildings in 1995, '96, '97 and '98. Please call them at 731-5255.

Art Fox joins us with Rocky Mountain Scenics located at 642 Main Street in Ouray, Colorado. Rocky Mtn. Scenics is the manufacturer and distributor of Southwest Colorado souvenirs including postcards, calendars, magnets, books, boxed note cards and book marks. You can reach Art at (970) 325-4019.

New Owners

We would like to congratulate Neil and Andrea Postolese, new owners of the Irish Rose. Most folks already know Andrea as the go-getter who has worked at the Irish Rose for more than two years. Best wishes for a successful endeavor.

Mini Face Lift

I would like to thank Elder Barney and Elder McMillian from the LDS church for their hard work at the Chamber last week. These fine missionaries helped sand and paint the back ramp and railing. A big thank you to Mark Mesker, owner of the Paint Connection Plus; he donated the drop cloths, primer and stain. Once the wind dies down we will finish the job.

I would also like to thank Sheila and Ron Hunkin, Sylvia Murray, and Carol Lynn for their help at the Chamber while Sally was basking in the sun in Florida. These fine folks helped in the lobby answering guest questions, answering the phones and preparing vacation packets. Thanks for helping Morna and I stay sane and keep up with the increased tourist load.

Local Appreciation

It's here! Tomorrow you need to look for the hot pink posters and balloons in 90 stores. These participating stores will be showing their appreciation for your loyal business throughout the year by offering you special bargains, snacks and a chance to win big prizes at the end of the week. Each participating business will have registration forms, and the more you fill out, the greater your chances of becoming one of the winning names drawn at week's end.

Clean Up Week

Please remember that Clean Up Week is May 16 through May 22. And a big thanks to those folks out this past week cleaning up the roadside. You can pick up trash bags at the Visitor Center any time and clean up your street, the parking lot of your business or wherever else you like. Let's help keep Pagosa beautiful!

Hospitality Workshops

You will soon receive your invitation to attend one of this year's "Great Service=Great Success" workshops at the Visitor Center. This is a very affordable workshop that focuses on training employees to be great service providers. These workshops are geared to give great tips on customer service and, subsequently, give your employees the gift of confidence in dealing with the public.

Two-hour workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on May 25, 1 to 3 p.m. on May 27 or 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 1. Please sign up at the Chamber of Commerce soon as space is limited. The price remains $5 per person for Chamber members and $10 for non-members.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

PLPOA board has two regular vacancies

The PLPOA Nominating Committee is seeking qualified members of the association willing to stand for election for two regular board vacancies on July 31. The term of both vacancies will run through July 2002. The deadline for applications to be reviewed by the nominating committee was last Friday, May 2. However, the PLPOA bylaws also provide for nomination by petition. The deadline for petitions will be Monday, May 17, 5 p.m. Petitions are to be accompanied by an official application which can be picked up at the association office at 230 Port Avenue (731-5635).

San Juan Outdoor Club has set a date of May 19, for trash pickup of U.S. 160. Please meet at 10 a.m. in the western part of the Country Center City Market parking lot. Anyone wishing to help is most welcome - bring gloves and if muddy, wear boots. Call Jean Carson at 731-3478 if you have questions.

Turkey Springs cross country ski trail work day is set for Saturday, May 22. Please come on out and help the San Juan Outdoor Club members with this project. Bring snacks, drinks, lunch, trail or brush tools and wear appropriate work clothes. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Turkey Springs cabin.

The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held tonight at 7 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

The following agenda for tonight's meeting was provided by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association:

- Call to order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of board meeting minutes

- Non-departmental committee reports:

- Treasurer's report, Director Judy Esterly

- Road maintenance and improvements

- Rules committee, Director Fred Ebeling

- Ad hoc golf course committee, Director Nan Rowe

- Election committee, Director Roy Boutwell

- Department reports:

- General Manager Waynette Nell

- Covenant compliance, OCC Manager Margaret Gallegos

- Property and environment, DPE Manager Larry Lynch

- Public safety, Committee Chairman Director Pat Curtis and Public Safety Manager Tonya Rogers

- Recreational amenities, Committee Chairman Director John Nelson and Recreation Center Manager Ming Steen

- Unfinished business

- New business:

- Appointment of a new director

- Newsletter advertising, Steve Thull, Fairfield Pagosa

- Sharman Alto, dance classes at the clubhouse

- Ballot issues, Dallas Johnson

- Ranch Community affairs, Joe Donavan

- Bank resolution 99-20, Norwest Investment Services

- Bank resolution 99-21, Nowest Bank

- Bank resolution 99-22, Pine River Valley Bank

- Bank resolution 99-23, First National Bank of Durango

- Bank resolution 99-24, Raymond James Financial Services Inc.

- Bank resolution 99-25, Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter Reynolds

- Resolution 99-26, proposed amendments to the code of enforcement

- Amendment to the public safety manual.


Library News

by Lenore Bright

Watch out for Y2K investment scams

The American Library Association has put together selection criteria to help you look for good safe web sites for children. They suggest that the World Wide Web is a lot like a flea market - a lot to choose from, but not much order to it.

Children's librarians evaluate books and other materials, and web sites are no exception. If you would like a free copy of the criteria, ask at the desk. We also have the web addresses for the good sites.

Y2K Scams

As we begin to winnow out the information creating Y2K fears, it is important to identify investment scams that exploit these fears that banks won't be able to handle the date change. Don't fall for these con games.

Do not give your bank account numbers to anyone. If you are approached for any reason that sounds fishy, it probably is, and should be reported to the police and your bank.

Bank accounts and credit cards are now the favorite targets of the scam artists. One such con game has callers asking permission to transfer a customer's deposit into a special bond account for safekeeping until the bank completes its Y2K repairs. Remember . . . if they can get your number, they can get your money. Another scam according to AARP, is calling to give you a new magnetic strip for your credit card. The time is ripe for all sorts of bogus scams; be aware and alert the authorities when you see or hear something that doesn't sound quite right.

The Real Danger

Probably the most terrifying thing about Y2K, is the danger you face if you have a generator you are using or plan to use, and you haven't had it connected properly. A local family almost died of fumes before Warren Grams saved them. If you have a generator there is much more involved than just plugging it in and turning it on. Get expert advice from La Plata Electric immediately.

Summer Reading

Our annual summer reading program will begin June 14 and run for six weeks. It is open to children of all ages from babes in arms to senior citizens. It is a way to keep up reading skills during the summer months. We have all sorts of activities for the children and end up with a theme party mid July. We have a story time on Friday mornings. Watch for more information as we get closer to the time.


The other activities coming up are the annual Friends meeting and booksale. The Friends board is looking for people interested in working on a variety of committees and serving on the board. If you are a member of the Friends, and would like to run for this board or help with special activities, call us at 264-2209. Terms are for three years. The current board members are: Warren Grams, Patty Sterling, Pat Riggenbach, Judy Wood, Charla Ellis, Margaret Gallegos, Dick Hillyer.

Feel free to call any of them to find out what the jobs entail.

Book Sale

The major Friends fundraiser is the annual booksale. The public sale will be July 17. Members of the Friends are invited to a meeting, party, and preview booksale on Friday, July 16. If you wish to attend that, join the Friends now. You may pick up an application at the library. Dues are $5 for an individual, $10 for a family, $2 for a student. Life memberships are also available for $100.

Friends are responsible for helping the library in many ways. You are invited to participate.


Materials came from: Ron Graydon, Barb Walton, Ruth Newlander, Nell Jones, Carrie Campbell, Frances Penland, Don Costa, Ralph Manring and Patty Sterling. Special thanks to Audrey Johnson who donated a typewriter. We appreciate all donations of materials, items and money. We could not do without them. We would especially appreciate donations of material in good condition for the upcoming booksale.


Arts Line

By Natalie Koch

Hey, being an artist isn't easy

I was talking to a friend at the post office the other day and he made a comment something like this: "Of course, I wish I were an artist like you and could spend my days doing what I love. Then I would be a happy man."

I wonder how many people think that being an artist is something lovely and wonderful. Speaking for myself, I find art to be awfully difficult to do and about as stressful as an occupation can get. If only art were easy! Oh, sure, from a technical standpoint, I have no trouble drawing, say, a picture of a horse, once I get started . . . I can do it in a few minutes' time. It's the "getting started" part that is so gosh-darn difficult. It can take me weeks just to pick up the pencil.

Almost anything you can name is infinitely easier for me to do than art. In fact, the only time I can actually do a piece of art is when I have a hard deadline . . . the customer has called for the third time reminding me that the drawing is DUE BY FRIDAY! Why I act this way, I cannot explain, because once I start working on a project, I enjoy myself immensely. Drawing, painting, carving, performing, writing . . . whatever the art form, I have a wonderful time . . . once I start working. But before that stressful moment when the pencil finally meets the paper, oh, my . . . hey, I think I need to read that Lillian Vernon catalog again. . .

Hershey Art Show

One of Pagosa's most accomplished artists will have her opening reception at the Art Center/Gallery in Town Park this evening, showing the latest of what she calls her "outlandish ceramic sculpture" at a show entitled "Art for Art's Sake." Gail Hershey has been gracing our town with her ceramic art and pottery, as well as offering private classes in art and ceramics, for many years. Judging by Gail's prolific output over the years, I suspect that she does not suffer, as this writer does, from "artist's block."

Gail moved here in 1992 with her husband Doug and daughter Anna, intending to continue her school teaching career, but has instead found her niche as a studio potter and sculptor. Her studio is located at the Cimarrona Gallery on Main Street, where she works mainly in one-of-a-kind sculpture pieces, using a wide range of firing and glazing techniques. She also makes functional pottery, specializing in dinnerware sets, but this show will highlight her often whimsical sculpture art.

Gail is also a talented art teacher and offers classes in ceramics and art through the Cimarrona Gallery. She starts a new class about every six weeks, and has a loyal following of students, including one successful local potter who provides considerable competition.

Gail's work will be exhibited at the PSAC Art Center/Gallery from May 13 through 26. For those of you who have forgotten, the gallery's hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. except Thursday, 2:30 to 7 p.m.

Following Gail's exhibit, Barney Jensen from Fort Collins will be showing landscapes and wildlife in watercolor, acrylics, oils and bronze, starting May 27.

Artists, please note that there are still a couple of openings in the exhibit schedule for later in the summer. Contact Joanne at the Gallery, 264-5020, for more information.

Art for Kids

Tessie Garcia tells me that the applications for the Summer Arts Camp for Kids should be arriving at your homes about now, if you have a student in the first through eighth grades. The Summer Arts Camp, now in its fifth year, is an opportunity for our town's budding young artists to spend two or four weeks learning more about art techniques and methods, and to have fun doing it. (Art is always fun . . . once you pick up the pencil.) The camp runs from June 7 to 17 and from June 21 to July 1, and is funded by student tuition, but there are several full and partial scholarships available based on financial need, due to the generous support of the Pagosa Rotary Club, the Women's Civic Club, the Archuleta Recycling Committee and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Instructors at the Camp are Tessie Garcia, Lisa Brown and Michele White.

Enrollment for the camp is limited to 45 students, so if you would like your child to join in the fun, sign up as soon as you can. You can get more information about the camp or obtain a camp application by calling the PSAC Arts Center/Gallery at 264-5020 or by contacting Tessie Garcia at the elementary school. Tessie is also the contact for the scholarship applications.

Sports Page
Martinez, Schofield lead Pirate district romp

By Roy Starling

The Pirates got stellar outings from pitchers Ronnie Martinez and Jason Schofield and breezed through the Intermountain League District baseball tournament at sun-drenched Ignacio Saturday. Pagosa mercy-ruled Ignacio 10-0 in the opener, then cruised past Monte Vista 9-2 in the championship round.

The Pirates' third straight district title sends them into Saturday's regionals as a No. 6 seed out of 16 teams. They'll open against the Brush Beetdiggers (13-6) at 12:30 p.m. at Englewood High.

On a day when the Pagosa bats weren't as rowdy as usual, coach Tony Scarpa was happy to see his team win with pitching and defense. "Ronnie and Jason both pitched awesome," he said. "Jason's been pitching so well this season we've just come to expect it, but I'm really glad about the way Ronnie's throwing."

Martinez, who had struggled with the strike zone earlier in the season, was pinpoint sharp against the Bobcats. In five innings, he walked only two while striking out seven and giving up only two hits.

"Ronnie's not walking too many people anymore," Scarpa said. "When he's throwing strikes, it keeps the defense in the game."

Due to this spring's rotten weather conditions, fielding the ball off actual grass and dirt has become a novelty for the Pirates, but Saturday they looked much more comfortable in the field than their rusty neighbors from Ignacio and Monte.

Rusty Nabors, Martinez, Darin and Clinton Lister and Brandon Thames all handled the ball well in the infield, and Jeff Wood proved once again that it's not a good idea to stray too far from the bag when he's behind the plate.

"I was really impressed with our defense," Scarpa said. "We've only been on the field once in the last two weeks because of the weather."

Early knockout

The Pirates' first-round game with Ignacio began at 10 a.m., and by about 10:30 they'd taken all of the suspense out of it.

Martinez quickly retired the Bobcats three up and three down in the top of the first, and then the Pirates jumped on Ignacio starter Robert Lucero for four runs in their half of the inning.

Lonnie Lucero led off for Pagosa with a bloop single over second base, stole second, then came home when Bobcat center fielder Anthony Horn dropped Martinez' long fly ball. A Schofield single past the third baseman put runners on first and third with no one out.

Wood drove in Martinez with a fielder's choice to the shortstop, then, after Wood stole second, Clinton Lister drove in Schofield with a ground ball single up the middle. Lister then scored on an opposite field single by the lefty Thames, and the score was 4-0.

The Bobcats made some noise in the second, but heads-up fielding by the Pirates kept them from crossing the plate. Robert Lucero led off with a walk, then Lawrence Cloud doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs.

Lupe Huerta lined a shot that Darin Lister snagged at short, and the runners held. Horn then attempted to advance the runners with a bunt, but Martinez fielded the ball and threw home to nail Lucero for the second out. Wood ended the inning by throwing out Horn trying to steal second.

The Pirates added to their lead in the second when Schofield drove home Kraig Candelaria with a sacrifice fly. Candelaria had singled, moved to second on a Lonnie Lucero base hit, then advanced to third on Martinez' fly ball to deep right.

Down 5-0, the Bobcats tried once more to mount a rally in the fourth. Kevin Hronich led off with a single to right, then moved to second on a muffed pickoff attempt. Martinez then plunked Martín Rivera in the ribs, and Ignacio was threatening with no outs.

But Martinez used a nifty pickoff move to nail Hronich leaning the wrong way at second, then struck out Robert Lucero and got Cloud to pop up to Thames, and the inning was over.

The Pirates added two more runs in their half of the fourth, giving them a 7-0 lead going into the fifth. Josh Trujillo and Kraig Candelaria opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Then Lonnie Lucero drove them both in with a double, his third hit of the day. Lucero's time on the base paths was shortened, however, when he was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple.

Martinez now needed only one run to invoke the 10-rule and shorten his workload by two innings, so he went out and scored it himself. He tripled to the fence in right field, then raced home with the 10th run - ending the game - when the throw from right field got away from the Bobcats' third baseman.

Another pitching gem

After Pagosa's Game 1 blowout, fans in Ignacio settled in for what looked to be a rugged battle between two perennial IML powerhouses, Monte Vista and Bayfield.

But the normally hard-hitting Wolverines could never draw a bead on Monte's ace left-hander Trevor Stewart and went down quietly, 10-0. Stewart limited the Wolverines to one harmless hit while Monte's Pirates jumped all over Bayfield's Isaac Fleener for six runs in the first three innings, capped by Nate Boothe's grand slam in the third.

Apparently, Monte fired all of its guns against the Wolverines, because the Pirates from the San Luis Valley could manage only three hits off Schofield in the championship game.

Schofield had a no-hitter going into the fifth when Monte scored two runs off a double, a walk, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. But the other Pirates could muster no more damage after that, and Schofield wound up with his ninth victory of the season, striking out nine and walking three.

Pagosa capitalized on some uncharacteristically porous fielding by Monte to push across a run in the first, then blew the game open in the second.

Freshman Darin Lister led off by ripping a hard grounder over the second base bag for a single, then moved to second on Thames' floater into shallow left. After Nabors popped up to third, Keith Candelaria loaded the bases by beating out a roller down the third-base line.

Lister scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0, then Lucero brought in Thames with a groundout to short.

With two outs and a man on, Martinez, who had been hitting fly balls to the fence all day, finally yanked one over it, and the Pirates had a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Wild pitchathon

The Pirates' remaining four runs would all come gift-wrapped from Monte's battery mates. In the third, Wood hit a lightning-bolt double to the gap in deep left center, then scored on a throwing error by catcher Ronnie Swartz.

In the fourth, Martinez was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a fielder's choice, then came home on a wild pitch.

In the fifth, Monte Vista replaced starting pitcher Boothe with Brandon Meadows, but got the same results. Meadows walked Nate Stretton; Thames moved Stretton to second with a single; both runners advanced after a balk; then Stretton came home on yet another wild pitch. It was 8-2 Pagosa at that point.

The Pirates final run scored when Martinez reached on an error in the sixth, went to second on a Schofield walk, to third on a Wood single, and then came home on, you guessed it, a wild pitch.

Monte had one shot left at the Pagosa Pirates in the seventh. Schofield got Darin Montoya to pop to Ronnie Janowsky at first. Then Meadows drilled a single between Nabors and Martinez on the left side of the infield.

Schofield made sure the Monte rally was short lived by quickly striking out the next two batters to end the game.


7 Pirates head to state; Prunty sets discus record

By John M. Motter

Shane Prunty set a new Pagosa Springs High School record by heaving the discus 145 feet, 8-1/2 inches at the Region 3A track meet held at Alamosa Friday. Prunty's toss bettered the 32-year-old school record of 136-10 set by Glenn Elliott in 1966.

Prunty's record-setting throw was good for second place at Alamosa and a trip to the state meet this coming weekend at Fountain-Fort Carson High School.

Altogether, seven Pirates qualified for the state meet. In addition to Prunty, they are Doug Newton, Julia Rolig, Meigan Canty, Sara Fredrickson, Sarah Huckins, and Tiffanie Hamilton.

Skies were clear at the Adamson Track complex at Adams State College, temperatures were warm, there was little wind, and the track athletes from 17 Region 3 schools responded by turning in top-notch performances.

On the boy's side, La Junta captured first place by racking up 165 points. Rounding out the top five were Monte Vista with 83-1/2 points, Pueblo West with 76 points, Bayfield with 71 points, and Buena Vista with 55 points. Pagosa's boys placed 10th with 24 points.

The La Junta girls also outdistanced the competition by earning 118 points. Completing the top-five finishers were Ignacio with 83-1/2 points, Rocky Ford with 79 points, Bayfield with 62-1/2 points, and Centauri with 58 points. The Lady Pirates placed seventh with 42 points.

"I was very pleased with the way we performed," said Kyle Canty, the Pagosa Springs coach. "We're not very deep, but every girl except two freshmen came home with a ribbon."

Any fourth-place or better finish earned a trip to the state meet.

Pagosa earned two second-place finishes with Prunty's effort in the discus and the girls' 800-meter relay team. Meigan Canty, Fredrickson, Hamilton and Rolig shared the baton for the Lady Pirates in the 800-meter relay.

Rolig grabbed a third in the 100-meter dash and Newton a third in the boys' 3,200-meter run. The girls' 1,600-meter relay team of Huckins, Rolig, Meigan Canty and Hamilton finished fourth to earn the right to compete at the state finals.

Several Pirates earned points, but did not qualify to go to state. Points were awarded the first eight finishers in each event.

For the boys, Prunty finished fifth in the shotput. He missed qualifying for state by a scant 1-1/4 inch. His throw of 43-8-1/4 was not that far behind the winning toss of 47-1-1/2 made by Mascaneras of La Junta.

Clint Shaw finished seventh in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.6 seconds. Mike Gornish of Pueblo West won the event in 11.1. Shaw also earned points with an eighth-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24 flat. The winning time of 22.5 was turned in by Brysen Mustain of La Junta.

Newton won his heat by a 75-yard lead over his nearest competitor in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5 minutes, 05.6 seconds. His time was good for sixth place overall.

Running in the second heat, Jason Giese of Buena Vista won the 1,600-meter with a time of 4:44.3. The first five finishers in the second heat all bested Newton's time.

"If Doug had been able to run in the second heat, he probably would have qualified for state in the 1,600," Canty said.

Fredrickson finished fifth in the shotput with a heave of 32-8-3/4. The winning throw of 37-6 was turned in by Trinidad sophomore Melissa Vallejo. Fredrickson qualified for state in this event last year and has reached 33-9 this year, a distance which would have given her third place at Alamosa. Fredrickson was forced to throw the shot after everyone else had finished and only 10 minutes after running in the 300-meter hurdles.

The Lady Pirates 3,200-meter relay team finished eighth with a time of 11:53.6. The winning time of 10:17.6 was registered by Rocky Ford. Running for the Pagosa girls were Annah Rolig, Makina Gill, Andrea Ash and Julia Martinez.

Huckins ran the 100-meter hurdles in 18 seconds, good for sixth place. Amber Elliot captured the event in 16.2.

Huckins finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 53.6. Fredrickson was sixth in this event with a time of 53.4. Sara Harper of La Junta ran a 47.7 for first place in the 300-meter hurdles.

The girls 400-meter relay team was fifth with a time of 53.7. The time of 52.2 registered by La Junta took first place.

Meigan Canty ran the 1,600-meter run in 2:43.7, good enough for seventh place. Rocky Ford's Tara Dell won the event in 2:29.4.

Joetta Martinez earned points for the Lady Pirates by capturing eighth place in the 3,200-meter run. Martinez' time was 15:31.7. The winning time of 12:52.4 was turned in by Beth Donelson of Rocky Ford, who finished almost a half minute in front of the second-place qualifier.


Golf meeting

With the return of favorable weather, the local golf season started with the first meeting of the Pagosa Men's Golf Association held Wednesday, May 5.

Officers elected include president Bob Kaiser, vice president Larry Waddell, treasurer Don Geiger and tournament chairmen Russ Hatfield and Steve Haboian.

Following the annual organizational meeting, the Pagosa Men's Golf Association conducted its first tournament of the 1999 season.

Bob Kaiser started off the season with a low-gross score of 74 for the May 5 tournament.


Peewee Wrestlers end season

Members of the Pagosa Springs Peewee Wrestling Federation team enjoyed their final competition of the 1999 season at the Four Corners Peewee Wrestling Championships in Dolores on May 1.

Wrestling in the 6-and-under Division I competition at Dolores, Pagosa's Juan Pablo Espinosa won second place in the 35-pound division. Michael Rivas wrestled in the 40-pound weight class but failed to place. Cody Snow and E.J. Romero wrestled for Pagosa in the 45-pound weight class but failed to place

In the 8-and-under Division II matches, Pagosa's Antonio Espinosa won first place in the 40-pound bracket. Shelby Chavez competed in the tournament but failed to place in the 50-pound bracket.

In the Division III, 10-and-under matches, Andy Abresch wrestled his way to a second-place finish in the 55-pound weight class. Mike Smith and Bradley Rivas both wrestled in the 60-pound division with Smith placing fifth. Rivas failed to place among the top six finishers in his weight class.

In Division IV, 12-and-under matches, Roy Vega won fourth place in the championship tournament in his 85-pound weight class.

In Division V, 14-and-under matches, Patrick Mestas battled his way to a second-place finish in the 90-pound weight class.


Video Review

By Roy Starling

That's some catch, that 'Catch-22'

Wars, wars and rumors of wars.

Novelist Joseph Heller flew 60 missions as a bombardier in World War II and began writing "Catch-22" during the Korean War. A film was made of the novel during the Vietnam War (1970), and now I'm reviewing it during . . . whatever it is we're calling this present war.

How long, O Lord, how long?

I don't think we're going to get an answer to that question any time soon, so let's move on.

For every war, there is a time, a season and some movies. "Catch-22" falls in between the time of black-and-white sanitized victory parade WWII movies - filmed in the '40s and '50s - and the colorful blood-spattered gore fests "Saving Private Ryan" and "Thin Red Line" of last year.

It has the same irreverence about it as two other Vietnam War-era films about earlier wars: "Slaughterhouse-Five" (WWII) and "MASH" (Korean War). It was still too early, I guess, to start making films about the Vietnam War itself.

"Catch-22" (both Heller's book and the film directed by Mike Nichols) is all about lunacy. In wartime, people kill each other off by the thousands. What could be crazier?

The film's opening sequence, while the credits are still rolling, is the only sane moment in its two-hour running time. It begins in darkness. As the sun slowly rises, there is no sign of mankind, just the sound of nature going about her business: dogs bark, birds sing.

Suddenly, there is the cacophony of bombers starting up, taxiing down the runway. A flock of birds fly up in the dust and smoke, their songs drowned out by the roar of the planes. From this moment on, the movie is wall-to-wall madhouse.

The film's structure is dictated to a degree by the consciousness of its main character, Captain Yossarian (Alan Arkin), and is thus no slave to linear time. But don't be put off by this. You'll pretty much have your bearings about midway through, and really, you should watch it again anyway.

The movie returns again and again to one critical scene, Yossarian's most painful memory, each time giving us a little more information about it. It concerns the wounding of a young gunner named Snowden, and after a while we see why this moment was too grim for Yossarian to remember all at once.

Yossarian sees that Snowden has a leg wound and begins to treat it. What he doesn't know is that beneath Snowden's flak jacket, he has sustained a much more serious wound and his insides are about to spill out (the mortal wound is called by Heller "Snowden's grim secret"). This incident makes it clear to Yossarian (and to us, the viewing audience) that soldiers are human beings, that human beings are made of flesh and bone, and that when ammunition comes in contact with that flesh and bone, the human being often becomes a corpse.

Snowden, then, is much more than a casualty, part of a body count. He's a young man whose body has been ripped apart.

Another scene, which is very funny in a black comedy sort of way, plays with the notion of soldiers as interchangeable parts or as products of a seemingly endless assembly line.

A family in the States learns that their son, Harvey, is dying, so they fly over to Italy to see him. But Harvey dies before they get there. To keep from disappointing them, Doc Daneeka (Jack Gilford) persuades Yossarian to pretend to be Harvey. Even though Yossarian tells Harvey's brother (goofy bug-eyed Richard Libertini) that he's Yossarian, not Harvey, the family goes about their business of saying good-bye. As Doc Daneeka says, "What does it matter? One dying boy's as good as another."

One way not to become a dying boy during wartime is to be rotated out of the combat zone. But in "Catch-22," Colonel Cathcart, greedy for glory and careless of human life, keeps raising the number of combat missions his men must fly before rotation. So these men are essentially in a death trap. Is it sane to stay in such a situation? Certainly not, but how to get out of it?

Like MASH's Corporal Klinger, Yossarian attempts to be relieved of combat duty by claiming insanity. But if he claims to be insane, he can't really be insane. Here's how the dilemma is explained in the book with reference to a pilot named Orr:

"Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to."

This, of course, is the insane logic called Catch-22.

The most infuriating character in "Catch-22" is Milo Minderbinder (Jon Voight), a lowly mess officer who, in the spirit of capitalism and Yankee ingenuity, works his way up to become the head of a giant syndicate, M & M Enterprises. Like many people, his goal is get rich off the war.

He makes all kinds of absurd deals with other countries ("Because that's what we're fighting for," he says), at one point agreeing to bomb an American air field for the Germans if they'll take some excess cotton off his hands. The raid results in the death of Nately (Art Garfunkel), a naive young airman. Of Nately's death, Milo says, "He was the victim of certain economic pressures. . . . Since his parents are rich, they'll understand."

I first read "Catch-22" when I was serving in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and I was astounded by how much truth leaked through Heller's dark satire. The film isn't a big enough net to catch all the novel's quirky characters and nutty plots, but it should still be required viewing in a time when all we're seeing of another war are sterile video-game shots of explosions occurring in the distance.

Because somewhere, by the rocket's red glare, I'll bet there's another Snowden, hiding his grim secret, about to become all too mortal.

Motter's Mutterings

By John M. Motter

Nothing quite like catching cutthroat

Cutthroat trout are tops. If lions are the kings of beasts, cutthroat trout are the lions of the piscatorial world. The name cutthroat comes from the slash of orange beneath their mouths, not from the way they do business. You know you've hooked a cutthroat when violent slashes of orange light up the swirling storm at the end of your line.

Nowadays, fishermen penetrate deep into the mountains in order to find cutthroat, or natives, as the locals call them. Cutthroat are the only trout native to the streams of Colorado and New Mexico. They don't fare well in the warmer, muddier waters of lower elevations.

As hard as they are to find, cutthroat are worth whatever effort it takes to reach their wilderness hideaways. Pound for pound, they'll put as much wrinkle in your pole as any other fish. And a pound is a good-sized cutthroat.

Catch a couple of cutthroat, dip them in cornmeal batter, then throw them in the skillet over your campfire. Eat with French fries or skillet-fried potatoes. Nothing tastes better.

My favorite fishing spots for cutthroat are at the headwaters of the rivers, about five walking hours beyond anywhere you can reach with your pickup. Most of these streams burrow through rocky canyons before arriving at their homes in the mountains. The trails along these mountain cataracts are not for sissies. Sometimes, in order to get around a rock blocking your passage, you have to plunge into the water and confront the brisk mountain current in order to continue your journey. Mostly, the trails are too rough for horses. Consequently, the guides and outfitters don't take tourists there. Additional consequence: there are some fish left.

A special treat on the way up the mountain is the variety of scenery and wildlife along the way. Blue columbine smile from the canyon walls and water ouzels perform polite little dipping dances in and out of the stream. I've never decided if the main point of these excursions is to catch fish or to just drink in the untainted wilderness.

Catching cutthroat is the top priority the first night out. As soon as I arrive at a likely site, backpack, sleeping bag, and tent all fall in a pile. Out comes the fly rod, Pflueger reel and an assortment of flies - grey hackle yellow, Rio Grande king, mosquito, willow and a few others.

On hands and knees, I creep up to the first riffle, keeping a rock between myself and the river. Carefully I drop a fly into the singing current, then feed in line by hand as the current carries the offering down the riffle and into a translucent, little pool.

Wham, the cutthroat strikes, the rod bends, the reel creaks, and the fight is on. Cutthroat are great scrappers, but the first catch is soon in the bag. Another fish hits, then another and another. It's happy hour for trout, just before darkness, and they are in a feeding frenzy. Every cast nets a fish. I'm sure they'd strike a bare hook. Except for the unfortunate dinner choices, the remainder are returned to the water to fight again.

Darkness falls, night birds cry out, and in a few minutes camp is set up. Almost as fast as the tale can be told, the cutthroat are eaten, washed down with copious quantities of coffee, and converted into dream material.

It's time to slide into the sleeping bag, fold my hands behind my head, lay back, listen to the coyotes and owls and song of the river, and dream of a simpler life. I'll fish again tomorrow, but the urgency won't be present. One magic night of catching cutthroat, the king of fish and my fish catching needs are sated for another year.


By John M. Motter

A look back at the Martinez family

When Jose Benedito Martinez moved to the upper Animas Valley in 1874, you could almost count the settlers in the valley on two hands, unless you counted the still-roaming Southern Utes. J.B. was the great-grandfather of Jerry Martinez, Archuleta County commissioner from 1987 through 1992 until ill health forced him to live at a lower elevation.

People of Hispanic descent played decisive roles in the Caucasian settlement of northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. No family, of any ethnic origin, played a more important role than the Martinez'. J.B., J.T., and Jerry Martinez all served in office in Archuleta County.

J.B. was born near Rancho de Taos, New Mexico, in 1853. His birth occurred years before the Civil War and only a few years after the United States took control of New Mexico from Mexico. In 1870, he married 11-year-old Maria Liberta Valdez of Abiquiu. Soon after, the young couple moved to the Tierra Amarilla area just south of Taos. A son, Jose Teofilo was born to them in March, 1874, at Park View, a few miles from Tierra Amarilla. A few months later, the family took up a homestead near Hermosa, north of where Durango was born in 1880.

In 1879, J.B. homesteaded the Snowball Ranch north of Pagosa Springs, while soldiers still occupied Fort Lewis downtown. The family also acquired a ranch near the old Job Corps site on Martinez Creek - the creek is named for them - on Piedra Road, and a winter ranch between Gobernador and Bloomfield, N. M. The family livelihood depended on sheep, which they wintered in New Mexico and summered in the high country above Snowball Ranch. Down through the years, they continued to raise sheep, owning as many as 9,000 at a time. During the 1930s, financial pressures from the Great Depression convinced J.T., now in charge of family affairs, to sell the sheep and buy cattle. The family opposed this move, but J.T. was determined and borrowed enough money from David Hersch and Citizens Bank to buy cattle. The move resulted in loss of the family fortune and all of the ranches.

J.B. was a small man and the source of many legends. Many said he had five or six notches on the handle of his six shooter, an allegation affirmed by Jerry.

"The big gun was upstairs, but it had notches," Jerry said. "When I knew him, he kept a smaller gun in his belt behind his back. He always wore a suit, a high collar, a vest, and a gold chain with a pocket watch. The small gun was hidden beneath the coat."

On one occasion, while in a Durango courtroom, J.B. yanked out his pistol and in full view of everyone, shot a witness about to testify against him. Keeping their dad out of the state penitentiary for that offense almost emptied the family larder. The trial was moved to Salida and the family paid for a whole train car-load of witnesses to travel to Salida on J.B.'s behalf.

Meanwhile, J.T. married Manuelita Madrid Nov. 9, 1901. J.T. was a tall man, about 6'2", and turned bald at an early age. The couple had nine children, one of which was Emmett, Jerry's father. J.T. served as Archuleta County judge from 1934 until 1954. He also ran the family business until going broke during the 1930s. He maintained a home on Lewis Street on a lot purchased by the Forest Service and currently used as a parking lot. At the same time, J.B. lived out his final years in a log cabin near the northwest corner of town.

Emmett grew up working sheep and came to know the local mountains as well as anyone. On a trip to Denver to sell cattle, Emmett took a side trip over to Denver University where he picked up the love of his live, Betty Joy. She was attending school there. The young couple eloped to Tierra Amarilla, where they married. That act drew the wrath of the young bride's father, Bobba, and brother Andrew. In fact, Andrew threatened to kill Emmett.

The Joys had moved to Pagosa Springs from Buena Vista, where the father had operated a grocery store. Joy suffered from infantile paralysis and the Pagosa hot baths seemed to help. In Pagosa Springs, they opened another grocery store, this one located where the county commissioner wing of the courthouse is today. Nearby were apartments, also owned by the Joys.

Three or four years passed by, a grandson came, and still the elder Joy did not speak to his son-in-law and daughter. There were two problems, Emmett was Hispanic and Joy Anglo. Just as bad, Emmett was Catholic and Joy Protestant. On top of that, the Joys were members of the KKK. They used to burn tires arranged in the shape of crosses on the hill behind the old high school.

Finally, the day came when Emmett was pulling Jerry down Pagosa Street on a sled. The Martinez family fortune was gone. Bobba Joy came across the street and said, "How is my grandson?" Sight of the little boy melted his heart. The freeze was over. Soon, Emmett went to work at the Joy Grocery Store where he earned a reputation as a first-class butcher.

There occurred an incident still fresh on Jerry's mind, even though it took place about a half century ago. Jerry had keys to the store. He was with boyhood friends Oscar and Eddie McCoy, Doug Lynch, Sonny Alley, and Gibson.

"We decided to make some fudge, but we didn't have the fixin's," Jerry recalls. "We decided to go down to the store to get the ingredients. While we were there, we changed our minds and took some candy bars. The problem was, we walked through the flour storage area, then through the coal oil room wearing our sneakers with suction cup soles.

"Well, dad came in the next morning and saw the candy case was open. Then he went down to the basement and saw the flour tracked through the coal oil room. Next thing I know, he was taking me out of school. When he compared our shoes to the tracks, we all confessed. Then he hauled us before the county judge. That was my grandfather.

"The sheriff was there and allowed as how he hadn't seen what was going on because he probably would have shot us. They talked about sending us to reform school at Buena Vista. Finally, the judge said reform school cost the taxpayers a lot of money. Why didn't he just take charge of us instead? If we messed up again, even one time, we'd still go to reform school. Well, we were confined to school and I had to work in the store and a lot of things. Dad took a belt to me and before it was over, I was really sorry for what I had done."

Jerry remembers another boyhood prank involving his great-grandfather, then living by himself in the log cabin. In the cabin was a loft where the old man kept homemade choke cherry wine.

"That wine was the best thing anybody ever tasted," Jerry recalls. "Everybody talked about J.B. Martinez' wine."

Every morning at a certain hour, J.B. walked downtown to the post office, then located in the rear of the first floor of Sullenburger's Hotel. After getting their mail, the old Spanish men would sit around and talk for an hour or so before returning home.

The boys knew this and they had a craving for some of the homemade wine. From a neighbor's house, they watched J.B. walk away, then slipped into the house and upstairs. Just then J.B. walked through the door, having forgotten something. He heard noise upstairs, grabbed a shotgun, and began to shout in Spanish. Terrified, the boys cried out to their great-grandfather to please be careful with the gun. When he recognized their voices, he grabbed them by the ears and marched them down to Joy's Grocery. Jerry received another whipping from his dad.

The Joys shut down the grocery store in about 1941 and moved to California. Emmett had a job with the government inspecting meat for the armed forces during WW II. Betty passed away in 1961.

Jerry graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in range management. While attending college there, he met and married Diana Spore from Dallas, Texas. The couple has three children, Kirk, age 45; Cindy, age 43, and Brad, age 37. They also have six grandchildren.

Jerry was employed by the Forest Service. He and Diana moved around the west, at one time returning to Pagosa Springs where he opened the Job Corps Center on Piedra Road. He retired from the Forest Service in 1982 after 31 years of service, worked for an oil company, and returned to Pagosa Springs in 1984. In Pagosa Springs, he was employed as an environmental officer by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, then served as county commissioner until health problems forced him to move to a lower climate.

No matter where he lives, Jerry's heart remains in Pagosa Springs. And, as the years pass by, the Martinez family remains at the heart of Pagosa Springs history.

Irresponsible group

Dear Editor,

One thing that people such as D.C. Duncan don't seem to know is that the ACLU supports criminals only and not victims. That is its whole reason for being. It did not "come to my defense" back in 1985 when it should have. It was not interested in the fact that a member of a government agency infracted one of my constitutional rights. The First Amendment was broken. No, the ACLU does not support any individual in America unless that individual is a member of some gang, mob or some anti-American and anti-God group.

The ACLU has spent its whole time making sure that our Constitution was not taught in the public school system so that students could not really know what their inherited rights are. This is not only straight ahead censorship, it is detaching students from the concept and life line of right and wrong; thus the Columbine incident. Incidentally, the ACLU has replaced its religion of godlessness with various sensitivity programs, replacement history, political correctness, alternative languages, any and all non-Christian religions and Satan only knows what it will force on our students next. The ACLU has also spent its whole existence returning criminals to the streets so they can further victimize society and it has made it impossible for the police to do their job of protecting the public; thus, the Columbine incident. A perfect example of this has happened locally where an ACLU judge turned somebody loose who went and committed an even worse crime by some standards anyway. This should also make the judge liable for the second crime. There's no accountability for real criminals is there?

In this society there is only one victim and only one minority: the individual and not a member of some bullying, whining, cry-baby, irresponsible group.

Another thing that people such as D.C. Duncan can't seem to understand is that the Second Amendment is needed to protect the First Amendment as well as all others. These types also can't seem to see that all laws are a further encroachment on our rights and that they are enforced ultimately with the guns of those who are totally exempt from all gun control laws. The more laws that are written, the more laws will be broken and if enough laws are broken by enough people at the same time, does anybody really think that any law book is going to protect them when the real enforcement is with guns instead of law books? This is the tyranny our ancestors tried to escape. This is what the ACLU stands for. With them there is a gun behind every law that they have lobbied to make.

Furthermore, Christians who are in prison are political prisoners thanks to the ACLU.


John Feazel

Public recognition

Dear David,

As another school year draws to a close, I want to give public recognition to a few special volunteers who have given generously of their time and talents to make a success of our seventh grade reading class at Pagosa Springs Junior High.

For several years Debi Whitbred has donated a full morning once each week to read with small groups of our students. The smaller groups allow more students to read and they thrive on the individual attention.

Sandy Caves, another parent volunteer, joined us this year. Like Debi, she has come for one morning each week. Sandy, an employee at Moonlight Books, has arranged to buy books at cost from her employers, Joan and Jerry Rohwer, and she then donates the books to our seventh graders. Each student has been able to pick a book of their own from the many Sandy brings each week.

Our school and our students are fortunate to have people like these willing to help out in our crowded classrooms. We want to let them know how much they are needed and appreciated.

Thanks from the seventh graders at Pagosa Junior High!


Cindy V. Hamilton

Pagosa Springs Junior High

Planned progress

Dear David,

Congratulations and thanks to all those involved in organizing the meeting May 6, where citizens were able to voice their opinions and concerns about current and future growth - and to the committee that had done so much preparatory work beforehand.

Special thanks also to Commissioner Gene Crabtree for taking time to attend. All the commissioners will get a report on the meeting. But there is nothing like hearing people's comments firsthand.

Listening to everyone's thoughtful and reasoned remarks relating to planning and growth reminded me yet again what talented and caring people live here in Pagosa Springs. If we take advantage of their experience and expertise, we should be able to find a good balance between property rights, planned "progress" and preserving the spectacular scenery and small-town lifestyle that made most of us move here in the first place.

We were told this is just the beginning of citizen input in the planning process. A survey and more meetings are in the works. I only hope they can get greater publicity so more people know about them and can attend.

Best regards,

Carole Howard

'Eyes wide shut'

Dear Editor,

I love every blade of grass, every tree, every flower (weed or otherwise), every creature great or small, etc., etc., etc. of this beautiful place and I do not want to see Pagosa Springs overdeveloped and raped.

After the meeting Thursday night of the "developers" of the "high end" not "high end" guest ranch planned for Piano Creek, I felt like some Indian tribe might have felt, listening to the white men, with honey dripping from their mouths, who were attempting to feed the Indians a bucket of buffalo dung . . . "he speaks with forked tongue." Oh it sounds too good to be true, but, I swear I saw dollar signs floating out of their mouth and also over the heads of quite a few people in the audience. And what a nice touch to have a token woman as a spokesperson and a few strategically placed supporters and fans in the audience.

My question about water usage and the raise in the cost of living, as well as in land, were answered subliminally, i.e., "there won't be (we are) any raise (going to) in the cost (make lots of) of living (money) because rada rada (off you poor suckers). We won't be taking (and we will use) any of your (as much water) water, because we (as we want to) have 26 CFS of water." Where the heck do they think we get our water? Do they think we are dumb country bumpkins? Lots of us know what 26 CFS means . . . it means 26 cubic feet per second of water we won't get.

I know for a fact that the cost of living will go up, along with the land, because the town is growing and the town already has a cost of living as high, if not higher, than Dallas. And I know a socio-ecologist, who has worked with communities near Aspen and Vail, who predicted we could become like Aspen and Vail - so high end that no one but the rich can live there, if we are not careful. It snuck up on them because they had their "eyes wide shut." But thanks to Betty Feazel and the Southwest Land Alliance, as well as many people in Pagosa who care about what happens in this "best of Colorado" maybe we can keep our community's "eyes wide open."

If there is anyone else who feels the same way, please speak up.

Cindi Mitchell

(No relation to the editor)

Film flam show

Dear David,

Having just been witnessed to the "film flam" show at the Ponderosa Room on Thursday night (May 6), I fee I must make a comment or two. Had the Piano Creek developers not been so intent on dodging questions, I might have been able to comment during the meeting.

I found their attempt to portray themselves as humble humanitarians, ridiculous and offensive. Mr. Sanders would have us all believe that his purpose in bringing this exclusionary "guest ranch" is to afford families the opportunity to spend quality time together . . . to provide children with education regarding nature and, ironically, conservation. He had the audacity to tell us, in a blatant attempt to elicit our sympathy, that he comes from a dysfunctional family.

Let's be clear about one thing. We are not talking about poverty ridden, inner-city kids who would not otherwise get the opportunity to experience nature. We are talking about multimillionaires who have nothing but opportunity. This ranch will have its own ski area, golf course, shops, fly fishing guides, horseback riding and helicopter landing pad. How many people in this town make their living doing these things? Are we really to believe that these people will help our economy in any way other than hiring local construction workers?

It was stated that "a lot of these people will fall in love with this area and begin buying real estate here." Well, I am not alone when I say that this is not something that brings me comfort. There are those of us here who believe there are things more important than being forced into living in an area like Aspen or Vail. This is nothing more than a maneuver to eliminate middle- and lower-class people. Mr. Sanders referred to a golf course he built somewhere, which replaced two "trailer parks." These were not just trailer parks. These were the homes of some people who could not afford the $500,000 he is asking for his units. There were real human beings living there. While I hope I never have to live in a mobile home park, I do rejoice that there is an alternative for families who cannot afford anything grander. It is bad enough that the blessed Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association wants to practice exclusionary thinking in dictating how large ones home has to be to live in Fairfield Pagosa and a no-mobile-home rule.

I want to ask, in what way do you think your actions honor the sacred integrity of the land? You can find the words honor and integrity in Webster's if you have forgotten the meaning.

I will not go quietly and neither will many people in this town. We will not allow our Mother Earth to be desecrated nor our people to be dishonored. Leave us something, Mr. Sanders, just as God made it and gave it to his children. I don't think he had only the wealthy in mind when he created the beauty that is our birthright.

Kathryn Nelson

Hate and love

Dear David,

Violence will be with us till Judgment Day because of that first sin that seems so minor compared to the sins that followed. Being free spirits we can control violence with the right decisions and being careful not to over react. More guns on the streets means more violence. What about a person who has a gun who changes in high emotion situations like road rage? Our quality of teachers could change if school violence isn't stopped.

Let's start by taking assault weapons off the streets even though the core problem is hate. All assault weapons should be confiscated and recycled into jail cells or monuments of love in memory of those who have been victims of this hatred and placed at schools. Eliminating all guns will not solve the problem. How many guns were used in Oklahoma City? If we eliminate all guns, what's next? Knives, tire jacks, ball bats, tree limbs, rocks?

Haven't all of us grown up with violent movies, with most teaching us that the good guys win. Roy Rogers, John Wayne and many others standing up for what is good. God beating up on the devil. Cassie Bernall facing down the devil. Do we want this lesson to change? Just because if your child is cheering for the good or the bad guys?

Cassie Bernall was killed because she stood up and confessed her beliefs in God. Her favorite movie was Braveheart. A very violent movie. It's also about love and making a difference if you believe in what's right strong enough. It's even available in our local libraries. Good can come from bad and Cassie has made a difference. She could have watched Braveheart 100 times and I don't think she would have developed hatred because she had God in her heart.

Would we learn to hate school if it was a place where we were treated like an outsider? Were Eric Harris's parents trying to help their child if he was seeing a doctor and on medication. What were the parents of the bullies doing to make better children out of them? The Golden Rule doesn't mean if you own the most gold, you rule!

Bullying may seem minor like the first sin but it can only be the works of the devil.

The problem is hate and the answer is love. Have any of the perpetrators in school violence been active in Sunday school? Don't let these children die in vain. Stand up, speak out, and make a difference by teaching our children the real meaning of the Golden Rule using those 10 rules given to us.

Love conquers all,

Rod and Gayle Dornbusch

P.S. A mother's revolt is understandable but a child's hatred is a united mother/father problem.

How appalling

Dear Editor,

A few years ago the California public school system embraced a new curriculum called "Sex Respect," a federally funded, 10-session course that stresses abstinence and the many pit falls of premarital sex. The teacher believes the approach is working with her students. The school is happy with the program. Parents are well pleased with the results. Unfortunately, the story does not end there.

The American Civil Liberties Union and its radically secular allies are challenging such programs on constitutional grounds. Their lawyers say that abstinence and marital fidelity are "religious concepts," and therefore it is inappropriate to teach them in a public school setting. Planned Parenthood has claimed in a lawsuit that teaching abstinence is tantamount to spreading fear. Can you imagine? Some liberals think it should be illegal and inappropriate to teach kids abstinence. What about the fact that on secular grounds, abstinence is preferable, as well?

Taking the ACLU's line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, any code of behavior, any proverb, any concept, any practice that happens to be accepted according to any denomination, must be banned from the schools because it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. To me, that just about includes anything, except secular concepts, which, ironically, are touted by their humanistic adherents, with a zeal and fervor that rival any churchgoer - how appalling.

In the May 6 issue of The Pagosa Springs SUN, Mr. D.C. Duncan contends that we should be happy that the ACLU fights for our constitutional rights and is a champion of the U.S. Constitution. What a total farce. However, he is emphatically correct in at least one of his rollicking liberal utterances, "God help us."

Jim Sawicki

E mail

Females left out

Dear Editor,

In response to John Motter's Mutterings I enjoyed reading your article about trucks (Preview section May 6), but, you left the female truck driver out. Where have you been?

Trucks are as I say, the do-all vehicle. Where I live, it is horse country. Who could live without a truck? Like myself, many of my female friends drive trucks. We are either hauling hay and feed or taking the entire neighborhood to the Saturday matinees.

I drive a one-ton four-door Ford. Believe me, it is every guy's dream truck and the old guys are always impressed when they watch me maneuver it like a sports car. Trucks are for everybody. They are all-American. I have great kids and I owe part of it to driving a truck to all of the 4-H events, horse shows and rodeos. So, please don't leave us out, we will wave at you too.


Rachel Polakoff


Dear David,

My good friend Kathy McInnis Corbett e-mailed me from Hawaii last week and told me that I should look up the Pagosa SUN online and check out your "Dear Folks" column last week about the 1981 Pagosa High production of "The Miracle Worker." What a terrific article, brought back many fun memories of high school and people that I had forgotten. I am glad to hear that the PHS kids are still benefiting from Mr. Jack Ellis' enthusiasm for drama - in a new theater, no less. Mr. Ellis is a very good teacher, too. When I went to college, his English classes prepared me the most for what college classes offered.

I will check out the SUN every week on-line - it's really nice to keep up with my home town. Great job.

Kristine Kleckner Purrington

Albuquerque, N.M.

Engagement - Pechin/Peterson

Jim Pechin of Pagosa Springs and Marlene Pechin of Elkhart, Kan., wish to announce the engagement of their daughter Tonya Pechin to Craig Peterson, son of Cheryl Otis and Chuck Peterson. The ceremony will be held in Pagosa Springs on July 10, 1999. The couple will reside in Durango.

Nathanael Day

Marine Pfc. Nathanael A. Day of Pagosa Springs, was recently promoted to his present rank upon graduation from the Basic Combat Engineer Course.

During the course at Marine Corps Engineer School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Day studied the fundamentals of engineering support for combat units and received instruction on the tools and procedures for building bridges, roads and field fortifications. Studies also included the use of demolitions, landmine warfare and camouflage techniques.

A 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Day is son of Louis M. Day of Pagosa Springs.


On May 10, Benny and Sandy Lohman celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in San Francisco, Calif., with their son, Ric, and his family. Their other two sons, Chuck and Chip, and their families flew to California from Virginia to join the festivities and to surprise their parents.

Benny and Sandy have been residents and enthusiastic boosters of Pagosa Springs for the last 18 years. The brothers and their families enjoyed the reunion and opportunity to extend their best wishes to the Lohmans on this joyous occasion.


Mary Collins

Mary Marguerite O'Caña Collins, a lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away in Colorado Springs on May 8, 1999, after an extended illness.

Mrs. Collins was born in Pagosa Springs on June 2, 1921, to Maria Cirila and Mercelino O'Caña, she was the ninth child in a family of 12. She worked for many years at Goodman's Department Store and Jackisch Drug Store. She also attained a beautician's license and owned Your Beauty Shop for many years. She later began working part time for an organization known as The Green Thumb, which placed Senior Citizens in part-time positions. She also worked as the bus coordinator for the Archuleta Transportation, a job she truly enjoyed. She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority, the Lady's of Guadalupe and was a very devout Catholic.

Mrs. Collins was preceded in death by her husband, Louis E. Collins in 1971, as well as several brothers, sisters and dear friends. She is survived by her son Alvin Ludlow; daughter-in-law Cindy, both of Monument; her daughter Sylvia Wullschleger and son-in-law Daniel of Zurich, Switzerland; her granddaughter, Jasmine Wullschleger, also of Zurich; her brothers John O'Caña of Colorado Springs and Sylvian O'Caña of Aztec, N.M.; her sisters Betty O'Caña of Louisville, Ky. and Ruth Rios of Phoenix, Ariz.; as well as many nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her friends and family.

Recitation of the Rosary was held on Tuesday, May 11, 1999, and the Mass of Christian Burial was held on Wednesday, May 12. Both services were held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pike's Peak Hospice, Colorado Springs, CO.

McKenzie Grace Juanita Perea

Tony and Anne Perea are proud to announce the birth of their daughter McKenzie Grace Juanita Perea born April 3, 1999, at 12:13 a.m. at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. McKenzie weighed 7 pounds, 6 3/4 ounces and was 19 1/2-inches long.

Paternal grandmother is Rose Perea of Pagosa Springs and paternal great-grandfather is Tony Perea also of Pagosa Springs.

Maternal grandparents are Thomas and Jane Zoellner of Ripon, Wis., and maternal great-grandmother is Grace Zoellner also of Ripon.


Weather Stats


















































Chance of showers, thunderstorms

By John M. Motter

Today should be partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon and evening, according to Dan Cuevas, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction.

Through Sunday, Pagosa Country weather conditions should remain the same, with a slight chance of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms, according to Cuevas. Temperatures should reach the upper 70s during the day, and drop to the mid-30s at night, Cuevas added.

The Four Corners and much of the Rocky Mountain west is under the influence of a low-pressure trough that should move out early next week, Cuevas said. While the area remains under the influence of the trough, conditions will remain unsettled with spotty rain showers.

May snowfall in Pagosa Springs totals 6.2 inches so far this year. The long-time average May snowfall in town is one inch, while the most snow ever recorded in May is 14 inches.

April was a record-setting month for both snow and precipitation in Pagosa Country. Precipitation includes the melted snow. During April of this year, 43.8 inches of snow fell in town. The average snowfall for April is 5.5 inches. During April 1975, 27 inches of snow fell, the old record. Precipitation during April of this year was 4.4 inches. The average precipitation for April is 1.29 inches and the record of 4.33 inches was set during April 1942.

Meanwhile, gardeners with itchy green thumbs need to be mindful that temperatures as low as freezing occurred as late as June 25 during five of the last 10 years. Since May 1, the thermometer has fallen to 32 degrees or lower every night. The warmest temperature has been 70 degrees, reached Saturday and Sunday of this past week.