Front Page

May 20, 1999

Public to be polled on growth issues

By John M. Motter

A telephone poll could start today designed to evaluate the attitudes of Archuleta County residents concerning growth and the quality of life within the county.

The poll is the outgrowth of pressure applied to the county commissioners by segments of the population asking for development and implementation of measures to direct and control growth.

Hired by the commissioners to conduct the poll is the Durango firm of Tosch and Associates.

"Each of us has to make decisions," said Commissioner Ken Fox, the chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I can make a decision, but I want all of the information I can get to help make the decisions. This survey provides an opportunity to see what the desires of the community are relevant to land use issues. This will give us a community-wide vantage point instead of relying on more vocal, special interest groups."

"This will help us know what to do," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "It will give us a better feel for what the community wants and it involves the community in the process."

"Even when I served on the planning commission, I never knew what a majority of the people wanted," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "The question we need to ask is, do the people want zoning - yes or no. Once we learn that, we can develop more specific plans as to the kinds of regulations we adopt and go back to the people again. I want an answer, once and for all. We've talked about this long enough."

Tosch and Associates has conducted two public meetings and a meeting with the commissioners designed to gather information for formulating questions to be used in the survey.

Preliminary test telephone calls could start Thursday evening, according to James W. Tosch, CEO of the survey firm. The poll should be completed in seven to 10 days. A random list of 400 names will be selected from an alphabetical list of Archuleta County voters obtained from the county clerk. Each of the 400 names will be called by telephone. The caller will read from a list of prepared questions.

"We will call approximately every 20th name on the list," Tosch said. "The accuracy of the poll should be better than plus or minus 5 percent. It will reach every region of the county."

The telephone conversation will begin with the statement: "Hello. I'm . . . (caller's name) with Tosch and Associates, a Southwest Colorado public opinion research firm. I would like to ask you a few questions concerning important issues in Archuleta County."

An analysis of the poll results should be available by June 15, according to Tosch.


Boutwell leaves board

By Roy Starling

Elected by a landslide in last July's Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board election, the three "status quo must go" directors are now officially gone.

Roy Boutwell, who shared an unofficial ticket with Buck Bucklin and Joe Donavan in last summer's campaign, tendered his resignation from the PLPOA board at last Thursday's regular monthly meeting.

Bucklin resigned to move from the area. Donavan, who is president of the Ranch Community Property Owners Association, resigned March 24 when the two associations seem set to enter into a legal battle over the disposition of $135,000 from the Fairfield Communities Inc. bankruptcy settlement fund.

Boutwell's resignation leaves President Nan Rowe as the only elected member now serving on the board. Dick Hillyer, who was appointed Thursday night to replace the departed Donavan, joins John Nelson, Judy Esterly, Pat Curtis and Fred Ebeling as appointed board members. The board will advertise for Boutwell's replacement which could be filled at the June meeting, Thursday, June 10.

Boutwell told those in attendance at Thursday's meeting that he was compelled to resign by two factors: "My wife's physical condition and prognosis, after her severe injuries in our recent accident, and . . . my widening difference with this board."

Jolyn Boutwell was seriously injured while the couple was en route to visit grandchildren in Iowa Park, Texas, after the March 12 board meeting.

Boutwell attempted to read a six-page resignation statement, but was cut off by President Rowe who told him "I won't allow you to use this meeting as a forum to launch personal attacks."

In Boutwell's statement, which he gave to the SUN, he describes Mrs. Boutwell's "condition and prognosis," adding that his "energy and attention will be directed towards assisting and supporting her."

Boutwell's statement also cites instances of the current board acting, in his opinion, like previous boards, primarily by making decisions in private, then voting on them in public. After each such instance, Boutwell states, "I choose to disassociate myself from such activity."

The statement also spends considerable time addressing what Boutwell perceived as personal attacks made by fellow board member Pat Curtis in an April 15 letter published in the SUN.

In closing, Boutwell urged the board to let appointees "stand for election for the unexpired portion of their appointed term at the next scheduled election." Not correcting this problem, he said, allows the board to appoint "people of a like mind set in order to perpetuate a 'status quo,' and to circumvent the democratic process of letting the membership choose directors, instead of directors choosing directors."

Director Ebeling was appointed by the directors to replace Boutwell as board secretary. Director Nelson replaced Donavan as vice-president, and Esterly took over Bucklin's duties as treasurer.

The board has two slots available for this July's annual election: President Rowe's and Curtis's. Curtis was completing former PLPOA President Don Costa's term; Costa resigned shortly after last July's election.

Barring a major write-in campaign, those two slots will be filled by Curtis and Rod Preston, the only two candidates who filed by the May 17 deadline. "The bylaws say we must have at least one more candidate than there are openings," Rowe said, "but they don't say what to do if you don't have that extra candidate."

There will still be an election in July, Rowe said, and "it's still possible to write in a candidate. If anyone writes in anybody, then we'll have the extra candidate required by the bylaws."


Junior high choir superior at 'Music in the Park'

By Roy Starling

Pagosa Springs Junior High's select choir participated in the "Music in the Park" competition in Lakewood Saturday and returned home with two large trophies, one for a superior rating and the other for a "judges' choice" award.

Local music lovers will have a chance to hear the select choir Tuesday, May 25, 7 p.m., at the high school auditorium. They will be joined in the concert by the intermediate school chorus.

"The kids did an incredible job," choir director Sue Anderson said. "They sang the best I've ever heard them. They did a three-part harmony, which is very difficult. A lot of schools try it, but not many do it well."

Anderson said her choir was the only group - band or choir - in the competition to earn a superior rating.

Anderson said she thinks her group caught the judges' attention by warming up with a German piece sung a cappella. After another unjudged number, the choir sang "Soaring Like an Eagle" and "Laudate Dominum."

The junior high select choir is comprised of 41 students, and 30 of those are seventh graders, Anderson said.

Choir members started raising money for the trip in December with their production of Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol." Between this musical, a dance and selling concessions at sporting events, they raised $1,500 dollars.

Anderson said the group also received financial assistance from the Pagosa Music Boosters and Kiwanis, and Steve Tholberg donated music studio time for the making of the accompaniment CD. "The parents and (junior high principal) Larry Lister have also been very helpful," she said.


Sheriff's office peeved by too many dog calls

By John M. Motter

Stray dogs are big business, or at least busy business, according to statistics released by the Archuleta County Sheriff.

"We average 50 dog calls a month," said Sheriff Tom Richards, "and each call requires about two hours. We're charged with protecting the welfare and safety of every citizen in the county. Dogs are a low priority with us."

Responsibility for enforcing a county ordinance dealing with loose or stray dogs rests in the hands of the sheriff. It is a responsibility for which no one in the department has special training or equipment. It is a responsibility tacked on to the other law enforcement responsibilities.

A county loose dog ordinance deals with vicious dogs, dogs creating a nuisance, and barking dogs. Violators of the ordinance are subject to fines and jail time if convicted.

"We have a written policy," Richards said. "Unless the dogs are vicious, we issue a warning for the first offense. If a second offense occurs, the offender will be cited."

The county has no ordinance requiring registration, tagging, or rabies shots for dogs. Because stray dogs in the county may not be wearing tags, they are difficult to identify. A state law requires that all dogs have rabies shots.

Many people have expressed concern that a stray, unidentified dog without rabies tags might bite someone in the county. Since it is unknown if the dog has rabies shots, law enforcement and medical officials are forced to proceed with the worst-case scenario to protect the dog-bite victim. The dog's head is cut off and forwarded to a laboratory at Colorado State University capable of detecting the presence of rabies in the dog. In the meantime, the victim likely undergoes a series of painful, expensive treatments, just in case.

Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association require registration of dogs and that dogs have rabies shots. They also have dog control officers hired and equipped specifically for the task of enforcing their dog ordinances.

The county has a contract with the town allowing the sheriff to ask the town's animal control official to pick up dogs in the county.

A few weeks ago a citizen of Aspen Springs asked the county commissioners to adopt dog control measures. The citizen said he was tired of shooting dogs. He also said the sheriff's department waited two days before responding to his call after he shot a dog and left it lying as evidence supporting the legality of his action.

"He said he had to wait two days," Richards said. "That may have been true because we were busy with more pressing matters. What did he want us to do, bury the dog for him? You can't just throw dead animals in the trash. There are laws against that."

Richards said even though the law allows nuisance dogs to be shot on private property or if they are chasing livestock or wild animals, the practice is a dangerous one.

"People who do that are subject to being sued by the owners of the dogs," Richards said. "They also might be required to prove the safety of their actions."

Adding to the complexity of the dog problem is the irresponsibility of the pets' owners, Richards said. They often turn their dogs loose at night or early in the morning, little realizing that the dogs gather in packs and revert to age-old hunting habits.

"We don't have people to send out there, say at 5 in the morning, just to trap a dog," Richards said. "If we do, the man we send out will probably be entitled to overtime or compensatory time off because his other duties require full-time attention. From a financial viewpoint, it isn't worth it to us.

"If owners would be responsible," Richards said, "if they'd tag their dogs and get rabies shots, and if they'd keep their dogs under control, we wouldn't have a stray dog problem. In fact, this isn't a dog problem, it is an owner problem."

No action on racing request

By John M. Motter

The Pagosa Quarter Midget Association's request for a variance from county planned unit development regulations was postponed by the Archuleta County commissioners this past Tuesday.

That organization proposes to construct a quarter midget racing track and other youth recreation facilities on Vista Boulevard approximately 300 feet north of the Park Ave. intersection. If approved, the recreation development will be built on three acres leased from School District 50 Joint.

Speaking on behalf of the racing association, Tom Fletcher said the installation will be temporary, perhaps for 10 years.

"The school district anticipates a need for that property, maybe in 10 years," Fletcher said. "At that time we'll have to find a new location."

When asked about the volume of noise generated by the quarter midget racers, Fletcher said the noise level should not be more than that generated by a snow blower or lawn mower. The largest engine allowed will be a 200-cubic centimeter, four-stroke, industrial-type engine in the three and one-half to five and one-half horsepower range, according to Fletcher.

A variance from PUD regulations is being sought because the project is temporary, will be constructed so as to be portable, and will be moved in the future, according to Fletcher.

Fletcher asked for immediate action in order to coordinate installation of the project with the presence of Weeminuche Construction trucks picking up dirt in the area. The Weeminuche dirt is being used for fill in connection with the Fairfield Pagosa bankruptcy settlement road improvement project.

The commissioners allowed a temporary permit for Weeminuche to remove dirt, but postponed action on the request for a PUD waiver.

The racing association is a Colorado, non-profit corporation currently riding on Sundays on the Village Center parking lot. In addition to quarter midget racing, they expect to provide facilities for basketball, volleyball, horseshoes and toddlers.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Took no action on a proposal from the developers of Ridgeview Subdivision creating a variance allowing an engineer or architect, instead of a surveyor, to sign building and ground plats. Al Moore, representing developer George Chenoweth, argues that surveyors are not qualified or authorized by law to sign building and ground development plats. Archuleta County subdivision regulations require the signature of a surveyor. Consequently, surveyors have been signing, but issuing waivers excepting them from responsibility for buildings and ground work. Surveyors are responsible for land division and topography measurements, according to Moore. The commissioners took no action on this request because the county attorney was not available for consultation.

The developer received permission to amend the plat for a proposed 36,000 square feet retail outlet mall.

Questions were asked concerning the potential uses allowed for open space required in the development, questions that were not answered.

Finally, consideration of the improvements agreement and bonding for the development was postponed.

In other business, the commissioners:

- Approved an application to transfer the hotel-restaurant liquor license from Moose River Pub to Isabel's Sticky Fingers LLC. They also approved application for a temporary permit allowing Isabel's to be open pending completion of the transfer.

- Final plat approval for the Putnam minor impact subdivision was approved. The subdivision is located between the old Pagosa Durango Wagon Road just west of town and Trujillo Road near Pagosa Springs' westerly town limits.


Warmer weather brings threat of thunderstorms

By John M. Motter

The thermometer climbed to 70 degrees or higher every day last week, heralding the approach of summer. Summer in the mountains also means an increase of thunderstorm activity, according to Bob Jacobson, a National Weather Service forecaster based in Grand Junction.

"Your weather should be mostly sunny and dry through Friday," Jacobson said. "There is a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday."

Temperatures should approach 80 degrees during the day with lows in the upper 40s at night, Jacobson said.

"A low-pressure system is being created off the West Coast which will give us southwesterly winds," Jacobson said. "The mountains are likely to remain under a high pressure ridge. Any thunderstorms are likely to be dry."

"Folks should know," Jacobson continued, "that any time a thunderstorm is forecast, the potential exists for damage from winds, hail, enough rain to create flash floods, and tornadoes. Thunderstorms are the most powerful weather feature creating those potentially dangerous events."

Clouds towering 70,000 feet into the air are not necessary in order to create dangerous conditions, according to Jacobson. In the mountains, clouds tend to build to the 35,000-foot level, lower than the monster clouds which create tornadoes on the plains. Nevertheless, the lower clouds can wreak havoc as evidenced by the micro-burst damage near Bayfield a couple of weeks ago, Jacobson said.

The National Weather Service Doppler scanner is located at the 10,000-foot level on Grand Mesa near Grand Junction, Jacobson said. The rotating broadcast beam has a radius of 300 miles, but is effective for only about 125 miles. The beam's elevation above sea level increases with distance because of the curvature of the earth, decreasing its effectiveness.

"We cover Archuleta County," Jacobson said, "but by the time the beam reaches there it is 26,000 feet up. That means we are only seeing the tops of the tallest clouds. We can predict a major storm reasonably well for Pagosa Springs, but we can't predict events triggered at lower elevations."

While temperatures climbed as high as 76 degrees last week, the thermometer still dropped to 32 degrees or colder on five of the seven nights. No precipitation was measured in town. So far during May, 6.2 inches of snow have been recorded, resulting in 1.2 inches of precipitation. No precipitation has occurred since May 3, a span of 15 days.


Thissen memorial service Friday

There will be a memorial service for Norbert Thissen, Friday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Lewis Street.

A resident of Pagosa Springs for the past five years, Mr. Thissen, 66, died Friday, April 30, 1999.

The husband of Mrs. Elizabeth Soens Thissen, Mr. Thissen served in the Korean War. He later received a bachelor's degree in business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He worked as an accountant and comptroller for American Standard of Ohio and later Hy Vie Grocery Stores of Iowa. After retiring in 1994 and moving to Pagosa Springs, he worked part-time at Subway.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Diabetes Foundation.

Inside The Sun
Tax collections up 76 percent

By John M. Motter

April sales tax receipts in Archuleta County for 1999 are up 76 percent when compared with April 1998. For the year to date, sales tax collections are up 23.49 percent when compared with the same time last year.

A 7 percent sales tax is levied throughout Archuleta County. The state takes 3 percent of that levy and returns the remaining 4 percent to the county. The county then divides its portion equally with the town.

Sales tax collections in the county amounted to $365,028 for April of this year. Last year's total for April was $201,665. Collections for the first four months of this year amount to $1,248,131. Collections on this date last year totaled $1,010,688. Last year was a record year for sales tax collections in the county.

Of the county's 50 percent of the total collected during April, $71,006 was disbursed to the general fund, $17,751 to the road and bridge fund and $88,757 to the road improvement fund. Road and bridge monies are generally spent for operations and maintenance. Road improvements moneys are generally reserved for large capital-improvement projects.

The town's portion is spent on capital-improvement projects.


Substation problem causes over

4,000 to lose power

By Karl Isberg

A power outage Tuesday evening left large sections of Archuleta County without electricity for more than two hours before a La Plata Electric Association crew was able to isolate a problem at a local substation and devise a way to work around it in order to restore service.

According to local LPEA manager Russ Lee, the outage happened when a problem occurred in an underground section of cable at the Pagosa substation, located on Mill Creek Road east of downtown Pagosa Springs.

"We don't know yet if it was an underground fault or a meter that blew up," said Lee, "but we had one heck of an arc."

Lee said the electric arc tripped the Tri-State Generation and Transmission breaker at the Ponderosa substation, west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160. Tri State supplies electric power to LPEA.

"The problem took out both substations," said Lee. The blackout affected the majority of power consumers in the county. Only LPEA customers living in several subdivisions north of U.S. 160 near Piedra Road escaped the outage. Those customers receive power from the Piedra substation at Stevens Reservoir.

Power was out along U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs to Wolf Creek Pass, south to the Colorado-New Mexico border and west along U.S. 160 to the Archuleta-La Plata county line.

The outage at the Ponderosa substation affected 1,727 LPEA customers and was repaired in 55 minutes. The Pagosa substation outage took a little over two hours to repair and affected 2,778 customers.

"We could have been down a lot longer," said Lee, "but our guys did a great job. They fixed jumpers at the Pagosa substation and diverted power overhead. When they got everything 'jumpered,' they had to check the transformer."

Lee said the incident was "ironic," in that the LPEA budget for next year includes money to replace the underground element where the problem is thought to have originated. "We've got the cable ordered," he said.

According to Lee, customers faced yet another frustration during the outage. "We had a problem with our generator and phones at the office (on South 8th Street). The generator came on and ran, but our phone lines were down. Many people who called about the outage got a busy signal. We apologize for the problem."


Damage increases from off-road driving

By Karl Isberg

With a sudden increase in damage to federal lands and closed roads in the San Juan National Forest by off-road vehicles, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement agent Roger Newton said efforts are being made to apprehend offenders. He added that significant penalties await anyone found guilty of destroying national forest land

Newton said several local juveniles were apprehended recently after they ignored a gate and used a closed Forest Service road. He said the teens' activities were only part of what he believes is an unusually high incidence of off-road activity in restricted areas this year.

"This is the first year we have had this much of a problem with off-road driving and damage," said Newton.

On May 18, Newton and Pagosa Ranger District archaeologist Bruce Ellis traveled to a meadow on the Eightmile Mesa Road south of Pagosa Springs to inspect damage discovered after complaints were filed two weeks ago. At the site, they examined a five-acre tract that was damaged by off-road vehicles. Deep ruts were cut throughout the meadow and on a slope leading up an adjacent hillside.

Newton said USFS ecologist Sarah Brinton examined the meadow and "was amazed at the damage. She will try to get a crew out to re-seed the area. It will take a crew of five or six people to do the work, raking and seeding, when we get sufficient moisture."

Ellis said that several types of damage can result when off-road vehicles are driven in restricted areas. Not only is there the visible damage to the landscape, said Ellis, but there is a threat to sensitive and endangered plant species and to archaeological sites.

Newton added that, at this time of year, "this kind of activity can have an impact on wildlife, especially on elk that are calving."

The damage to the meadow on Eightmile Mesa Road angered a number of recreational users in the area and complaints were filed at the local USFS office.

"The Eightmile Mesa Road is a very popular road," said Newton. "Quite a few people hike the road and many ride their horses on the road." Newton urged recreational users of Forest Service lands to be on the alert for off-road violators and to report activities immediately.

Newton said damage to the meadow on the Eightmile Mesa Road "potentially involves multiple offenses, including off-road driving and causing damage to natural features. Each offense," he said, "involves a separate penalty." Anyone cited for an offense on national forest land makes a mandatory appearance before Federal Magistrate James Robb at Durango and is prosecuted by the U.S. attorney for this district.

"We intend to aggressively pursue violators we know about," said Newton. "This type of activity is a federal offense, and a federal citation carries a penalty of a maximum $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail; and it does not matter if the offender is a juvenile. Furthermore, as part of any restitution, we will ask that convicted offenders be required to return to the site of the offense and rehabilitate the land at their expense and with their labor."

Newton urged anyone with information about the Eightmile Mesa damage, or information about other illegal off-road activity on Forest Service lands, to contact him at 264-2268.


Commissioners meet with road committee

By John M. Motter

"We're here to find out what the county intends to do about road maintenance," Fred Ebeling told the county commissioners Tuesday.

"From my perspective, we don't know exactly what we are going to do," answered Bill Downey, one of the three county commissioners.

This verbal exchange took place at a Tuesday afternoon work session attended by the county commissioners and members of the road committee appointed jointly by the commissioners and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

Concern was expressed by Ebeling and other members of the road committee that the county might be pushing the larger subdivisions into forming road maintenance districts and maintaining roads at their own expense, while the county maintains roads in smaller subdivisions or locations without subdivisions.

Also of concern to the committee is the idea that the county will continue its 3 1/2-mill countywide road maintenance tax, levying that tariff equally against road maintenance districts and properties outside of districts. The argument is, people within maintenance districts willing to tax themselves should not have to pay taxes to maintain roads in non-district locations.

The committee concerns are a response to the commissioners' announced intent of scaling back road maintenance in the county. The commissioners contend they cannot afford to maintain all roads within the county. They say road maintenance now approximates one-half of what it should be because their road maintenance dollars are spread too thin.

Commissioners Downey, Gene Crabtree and Ken Fox have tentatively proposed establishing a list of arterial or collector roads for maintenance by the county. They have also tentatively proposed to drop all other roads from the county's road maintenance system.

Property owners whose road maintenance will be dropped have been encouraged to form road maintenance districts and tax themselves for their specific road maintenance at any level they feel they can afford. Road maintenance organizations can be formed under a variety of district charters, each with advantages and drawbacks. Other types of arrangements are also possible, including contracts for road maintenance with the county or with private organizations.

Small districts and isolated areas are being urged to band together.

"We haven't made any decisions yet," said Commissioner Crabtree. "We're still gathering information. No roads have been added to or dropped from county maintenance so far."

Concern was expressed about how snow removal will be handled.

"We haven't made any decisions about snow removal," said Crabtree. "Winter is a slack time for the road and bridge department. Maybe we can remove snow. Or maybe we will remove snow for a couple of years and then stop. We just haven't developed a concrete plan yet."

"We can't complete our plans until we know what you are going to do," Ebeling said.

"Each subdivision should look at solving their own problems and not worry about what is happening in any other subdivision," said Crabtree. "In the end, everything will be fair."

"We don't buy that," said Ebeling and others on the road committee.

"Based on figures I got from the assessors office, if we form a district it will have an assessed valuation of about $40,860,320," Ebeling said. Ebeling is from the Fairfield Pagosa collection of subdivisions. "Based on that valuation," Ebeling continued, "the three-and-a-half mill county tax will generate $143,000 within our district. The county should rebate all or some portion of that amount, since we will also be taxing ourselves."

"You will be using roads in other parts of the county, not just in front of your house," the commissioners replied.

"I need to clarify one thing," said Fox, chairman of the board of county commissioners. '"Even after the $6.5 million has been spent at Fairfield to upgrade roads, you cannot assume the county will accept those roads for maintenance. The county has not accepted any roads for maintenance during the past 10 years."

At the close of the meeting, the commissioners thanked everyone for coming and pointed out that many more such meetings will be needed before a county road maintenance policy is finalized.


Expect delays on Piedra Road

Pagosa Ranger District officials announced this week that Weeminuche Construction workers will be reconstructing two curves on the upper Piedra Road and widening the Forest Service's Piedra Alternate Road No. 631 for a length of 0.3 miles.

The improvements are being done to accommodate the use of these roads by Weeminuche Construction as the company hauls gravel to the road improvement projects in Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions this summer. The work on the upper Piedra Road and its alternate route is reportedly scheduled to begin within a few days. It is expected that motorists will experience some short delays while the road work is in progress.

While the improvement work on the upper Piedra Road should only take a couple of weeks, the gravel hauling operation to the Fairfield Pagosa area will continue through the summer and into the fall. Therefore motorists are asked to be cautious of the increased truck traffic on these Forest Service roads.

For more information about the road reconstruction activities, contact the Pagosa Ranger District office, 264-2268.


A sound plan is needed

The book "Retirement Places Rated" was the talk of the town Monday following its review on NBC Television's "Today Show." The broadcast reportedly listed Pagosa Springs as one of the top spots for folks who wish to spend their retirement years in less-populated rural areas. In its fifth edition, David Savageau's "Retirement Places Rated" ranks 187 locations based on costs of living, climate, crime, available services, job prospects and leisure activities for retirees.

It's not the first time for a book of this nature to classify Pagosa Country as an ideal area to live during the 21st century.

The SUN's June 27, 1991 editorial warned that Pagosa was "targeted for migration." It was based on Professor Jack Lessinger's book, "Penturbia: Where Real Estate Will Boom After the Crash of Suburbia." The book pinpoints areas where homeownership would be a sound investment.

Don't bother looking for "penturbia" in a dictionary, you won't find it. The September 1987 edition of The Atlantic Monthly defined penturbia as: "noun, an emerging region of growth and opportunity . . . consisting of small cities and towns . . . interspersed with farms, forests, lakes, and rivers. . . ."

Lessinger coined the term after extensive study of the migration tides of the U.S. population. Lessinger earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in land management. Retired as emeritus professor of real estate and economic development from the University of Washington, "Penturbia" expands his theory of socioeconomics. It is a sequel to his earlier book, "Regions of Opportunity," which was published in 1986.

Lessinger contends the first major American migration moved to select middle and southern American colonies between 1760 and 1789. The second migration involved the movement of pioneers to the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The third migration populated prospering industrial cities such as Minneapolis, Kansas City and Chicago. The fourth migration moved away from the big cities and created suburbia.

The current ongoing fifth migration "is away from the suburbs to new and old towns distant from our great metropolitan areas. In the coming transformation, a skein of small towns within a large region will form a cosmopolitan, urban-rural territory - with its ample meadows and mountains - as much as to the town."

While his book provides sound indicators for wise real estate investments, Lessinger cautions: "Unlike the 1980s, the 1990s will stress social responsibility as the license to private profit. We will want each other to care about our common future. . . . Penturbia deals with private profit and social responsibility."

In a personal letter to the editor dated July 2, 1991, Professor Lessinger wrote: ". . . I am more than happy to get the word out to those already in areas I've classified as 1-plus or prime penturbia. You, and the people of Pagosa Springs, can establish a constructive solution to the burgeoning problems brought by this century's growth a la southern California."

With the commissioners currently making what is hopefully is a serious effort at addressing land-use issues within Archuleta County, it will indeed be interesting to see if a constructive solution can be found for protecting private profit while fulfilling social responsibility.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Confusing problems and solutions

Dear Folks,

It was nice having former Commissioner Bill Tallon visit the SUN Wednesday afternoon.

I'm not sure which he is enjoying the most, being retired or not being a county commissioner.

I am sure Bill doesn't envy Commissioners Gene Crabtree, Bill Downey and Ken Fox facing the thankless task of establishing some enforceable land-use measures.

I'm glad folks were able to translate the day-versus-date error regarding the "growth issues" meeting that appeared on page 1 of last week's edition.

The wrong day, Thursday, appeared with the correct date, May 17.

Though 41 folks signed in at the similar meeting Tosch and Associates conducted May 6, some expressed a concern about the need for a larger attendance.

With representatives of the proposed Piano Creek Ranch development holding a public meeting on May 6, the same-date scheduling could have cut into the attendance of both meetings.

Evidently enough folks attended the May 17 gathering to provide Jim Tosch with adequate material for developing the questionnaire he plans to use in a telephone poll of Archuleta County residents.

Local ranchers, the genuine cattlemen, who own large parcels of acreage have a legitimate desire to want to maintain sole control of their private property.

It's easy to agree with the ranchers' concern about their present and future financial security. That security is tied into the land they own.

It's just as easy to question the concerns of the folks who consider the aesthetics that is offered by these ranches' undeveloped pastures and open lands as being their "birthright."

During the past 25 years, one thing that remains constant in spite of the continual growth in Pagosa, no one thinks that their arrival has contributed in any way to the shrinking amount of privately-owned open lands in Archuleta County.

It goes unnoticed that the developments that provide today's home sites for what is a majority of Pagosa's population, where undeveloped scenic pastures and open meadows 30 years ago.

It's a thankless task to try to restructure a community's basic social values without creating a conflict between private rights and society's responsibilities.

It's a job that would test the wisdom of Solomon. If he moves here let me know.

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




By Shari Pierce

The Kachels visit the SUN and share memories

It is nice to have a job that you like. And, when that job also has benefits, it's all the better. One of the benefits of writing Legacies is meeting people like Roy and Elaine Kachel.

The Kachels dropped by the SUN Friday morning for a short visit. I had looked forward to seeing them since receiving a letter in April saying they would be in Pagosa Springs for a visit. Their last visit was two years ago.

I can't remember exactly when I first met the Kachels, but I know it was more than 10 years ago. In that time, they have shared many memories of early-day Pagosa with me.

Elaine Kachel was born Elaine Ellsworth in 1918. She was the daughter of Bert and Anna Ellsworth who came to Pagosa Springs in 1911. Bert Ellsworth was the dentist for the town. Anna Ellsworth taught music to the youngsters in town and played for the silent movies shown at the Liberty Theatre.

Elaine enjoyed a good life here in Pagosa Springs, one typical of growing up in the 1920s and '30s. She wrote once of the experiences of having no indoor plumbing. The family had a "privy" in the backyard. She remembered taking an old piece of fur to line the seat of the toilet, so she wouldn't "freeze my bottom." It was the mid-1920s when the family got indoor plumbing. "What a happy day that was for our family. I can remember climbing up on a stool to get over the edge of the tub and falling down into the tub and nearly getting lost in all that space."

Elaine had her share of pets growing up including Shorty, her airedale dog; Henny Penny, a Rhode Island red hen; Nipper, a chipmunk; and Pinky, a white rabbit. She acquired Nipper on a fishing trip to Born's Lake. The Born's cat caught a chipmunk and Elaine rescued it. She put it in a box and "took it home to care for its wounds. I named it 'Nipper' as it did nip me a few times, at first. However, I made a soft bed in a box, fed it with an eyedropper and cared for it until it was well. By then, it knew I was its friend and it became very tame and was my pet for years."

Anna Ellsworth took Elaine to Seattle, Wash., in 1933 so she could attend high school there. It was hoped that she might receive a better education there. So, in June 1936, she graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle. In September of that same year, she married Roy Kachel. Today, the Kachels have retired and live in Marysville, Wash.


25 years ago

Wolf Creek Pass to get four lanes

Taken from SUN files

of May 23, 1974

The bids were opened in Denver last week for the first project of an eventual program to entirely four-lane Wolf Creek Pass. The work will start at the top of the Pass and extend for almost 4 miles west towards Pagosa Springs. This should bring the four-laning down to the lower end of Chevrolet Park, just above the West Side Highway Camp.

The town of Pagosa Springs received word this week that application for $320,000 in grants to improve the town water supply system has been approved. Proposed is reconstruction of a the main supply line to town from the filter plant and the raw water reservoir at the filter plant.

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Lucas announced this week that they have purchased the Wayside Grocery and Texaco Station at the curve on Put Hill from Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Belmear. The Lucases will continue to operate a grocery and market there, along with the service station.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Barta announced this week that they will be opening a new type of business to be known as the Hitching Post. The business will be a combined recreational and food facility primarily designed to attract the younger people. It is to be located in the building between the Pagosa Hardware and the Elkhorn Cafe.


Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Wolf Creek Wheel Club rolls again

Last Monday, on NBC's Today Show, they were talking about the best retirement places in the United States. Pagosa Springs was included in the top five for small communities of a population under 10,000.

About Town

Fire Chief Warren Grams and his wife Kay are friends of Assistant Fire Chief John Hanson of the Oklahoma City Fire Department. Hanson coordinated the response made during the recent Oklahoma tragedy. He lost his house and didn't know whether his daughter was dead or alive, and his folk's house was damaged. One policeman lost his house and other houses belonging to firemen and policemen were damaged.

Hanson will be on the Fire Academy faculty when it meets at Tamarron in October during Fire Prevention Week.

The Wolf Creek Wheel Club has been started up again (after a few years' lapse). The club is for mountain biking but road bikers are welcome. The monthly plan includes two weekend rides and one mid-week ride, trail maintenance projects in conjunction with the San Juan Outdoor Club and working with the local trail council to assist with mountain bike races. A brochure is available and a newsletter is planned to come out sometime during the summer.

Chimney Rock has a good program this summer. Every year it gets better and better.

Included in Chimney Rock's summer program are hikes and workshops to give participants an opportunity to experience first-hand the environment, culture and lifestyles of the early people of Chimney Rock. Fees include all materials, unless otherwise indicated, and instructors for each workshop have extensive experience in their topics. The Chimney Rock Telephone number is 883-5359.

These notes tell something about three of the instructors.

Dick Moseley, who will be presenting a tour of wildflowers and plants at Chimney Rock May 22 and July 6, is a retired deputy director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and has been an interpreter of wildflowers and natural resources for 40 years. He has been a tour guide at Chimney Rock for five years.

Charlie Worthman will present the guide for hikes to ruins in the Chimney Rock area (different ruins than those in the Chimney Rock tour). The hikes are to Pyramid Peak, on May 27 and July 8; Stollsteimer Cuesta, on June 3 and July 29; to the East Slope of Chimney Rock, on June 10 and Aug. 5; Ravine and South Piedra River, June 17 and Aug. 12; and to Peterson Gulch, June 24 and Aug. 19. Worthman is a retired Director of Indian Affairs in the Phoenix area. He has a long volunteer experience in natural resources public recreation and has developed an in-depth understanding of the people and lifestyles of Chimney Rock. He has spent endless hours researching the area and has hiked and explored almost every part of the Archaeological Area and environs.

Wolf Brooks is a local resident, born and raised in the San Juan Mountains. Wolf's parents, modern day pioneers, shunned electricity and many other modern conveniences and this set Wolf on the path of self-dependence. He learned how to create tools and survive in the wilderness early in life not just as a pastime, but as a way of life. As time passed he honed his skills to the point that he could teach others in the way of the early people in the area. He has taught a variety of workshops in these skills around the state. Wolf will be teaching the following classes: Stone Tools and Firestarting on June 5; Rope, Baskets and Sandals from Native Plants, on June 19; and Hide Tanning on July 10 and 11.

Spanish Fiesta

Thirty volunteers are needed to assist with all aspects of the annual Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta celebration, that will be held on June 18 and June 19. Organizational meetings are planned for May 27, June 3 and June 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the American Legion Post located next to the gazebo in Town Park. Volunteers will assist with the children's parade and piñata party, the Grand Parade, preparing and selling food, the Fiesta Jail and set-up and clean-up. Volunteers will receive free admission to the fiesta dance and/or a complimentary Spanish Fiesta dinner. Become a part of Pagosa Springs' most spectacular Spanish culture event of the year. For more information, please contact Lucy Gonzales, 264-4791; Margaret Gallegos, 264-2970; Isabel Webster, 264-4604; or Anette Martinez, 731-3548.

You and your family are encouraged to become part of the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club. The purpose of the club is to promote the culture of the Hispanic community. With your assistance, the club promotes and fosters the education of the youth of Archuleta County through the Spanish Fiesta scholarship program. The club hosts a potluck dinner the fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post. Stop by for good food and company.

Special Olympics

Durango will host a Colorado Special Olympics swim meet this Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Durango High School's swimming pool. Those from Pagosa Springs who will be participating are Donna Cooper, Delta Buck, Josh Duffy and Frank Read. Kathy Pokorney is the swim instructor and John Porter is the director of the Pagosa branch.

Following the meet, the kids will gather at 5th and Main streets and go to Buckley Park for the awards ceremony.

On Sunday, the Durango chapter will participate in the annual Special Olympics Torch Run from the Durango Mall to the Archuleta County line where they will be received by Pagosa's Special Olympics. Pagosa's torch run is to be announced.

One can donate to Pagosa's Special Olympics by calling Marilynn Bunch, 264-6147, or John Porter, 731-3671.

Fun on the Run

Top 12 Things Not To Say To A Cop. (Attributed to Woody Dent)

I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer. (OK in Texas)

Sorry, officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

Aren't you the guy from the Village People?

Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job!

Are you Andy or Barney?

I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.

You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?

I pay your salary!

Gee, officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning, too!

Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

I was trying to catch up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around. That's how far ahead of me they are.

When the officer says "Gee, son . . . your eyes look red, have you been drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with, "Gee, officer, your eyes look glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?"


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

A week for appreciation, clean-up

I'm back and rarin' to go with the many summer projects coming our way. My sincere thanks go out to Suellen and Morna for holding down the fort with such professionalism and enthusiasm. These two are priceless gems who make my life so much more pleasant by handling everything that comes their way with panache and grace. I am indeed lucky.


Suellen welcomed five new members in my absence, and not to be outdone, I have the pleasure of welcoming six this week. Wowsers, I do love this welcoming business.

Rita Thompson joins us with The Cruise Shoppe located right here in Pagosa at 475 Stagecoach Lane. Rita is a travel agent for cruise ships only and offers you the advantage of her ten years experience in this business. She is available to you by phone night and day seven days a week at 264-2690. She also offers a toll free number, 877-215-1124, for those out of the area. Rita takes great pride in offering the best prices, the best service and free delivery.

Pagosa Springs Enterprises, Inc. joins us next with Rhonda Ward at the helm. This is the group that maintains and promotes the rodeo grounds for all user groups. This is going to be a particularly busy year for these folks because they are responsible for the promotion and presentation of the Red Ryder Rodeo, and this year marks the 50th anniversary for this event. We're happy they have joined our merry band, and you can reach them by phone at 264-2332 or 264-5332.

Dr. Bruce Staggs brings us our next new business, and I'm sure that you, like me, will find it to be unique to our town. Bruce joins us as Dive Shop Too which is, yep that's right, a scuba diving business. He is qualified to certify divers, will sell you all the appropriate gear and will even put together just the right diving trip for you and your water-bound friends. To learn more, please give him a call at 731-3855.

Patricia Heck, R.N., Ed. M., joins us next with Clarity Counseling located at 422 Pagosa Street. Patricia offers confidential, experienced assistance with trauma, grief, loss, relationship difficulties, stress reduction, chronic pain and illness for adults and adolescents. She also offers business consultation and personnel training to you and your business. You can reach her for more information at 254-6021.

We welcome next Granton Bartz who brings us Cowboy Carpet Cleaning located right here in town. This nice gentleman specializes in on-time service for carpet and upholstery cleaning and water damage restoration in the Pagosa Springs area. He uses brand-new, state-of-the-art equipment and IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) prescribed methods. With spring cleaning looking you in the eye, you can find help with Granton at 731-5200.

Last but certainly not least, our old friends, Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County, join us with Nancy Ziegler as the contact person. This group builds homes for needy families in Pagosa Springs and currently boasts six completed homes and is beginning the seventh. We're happy to have Habitat as members of the Chamber family.

Italian Kitchen

I was out of town when Shawn and Heidi Frank opened the doors of their new restaurant, The Italian Kitchen, located at 17117 Navajo Trail Drive (formerly the Coney Express.) Please stop by for lunch or dinner to say hello, congratulate them and try some of their delicious Italian fare. Heidi has done a remarkable job with decorating to make you feel like you're dining in a cozy little place in Rome, Venice or . . . well, you get the idea. Congratulations Shawn and Heidi and continued success with The Italian Kitchen.

Newsletter Inserts

Time flies when you're having fun, and the quarterly newsletter is just around the corner. This means that you need to be gettin' those flyers to us pronto so we can include them in our June mailing. For those of you who might not be familiar with the world's best bang for your marketing buck, allow me to share. You provide us with 620 flyers announcing your new business, a special event, or anything at all you would like to share with all the Chamber members. You accompany those flyers with a check for $25, and we will do the rest. Please have those here by May 28 so we can get everything collated, labeled and sent off the first part of June. If you have questions, please give us a call at 264-2360.

Hospitality Workshops

Next Tuesday, May 25, we will conduct our first of three Hospitality Workshops entitled "Great Service=Great Success!" right here at the Visitor Center. This first session will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, and we certainly hope you plan to attend and/or send your employees to one of the three. One of the smartest and kindest things we can do for our employees is to give them the opportunity to become great service providers with training. I personally conduct these workshops, and we always have a great time and hopefully learn a few good tips about customer service. One thing you can count on is that folks leave with far more confidence about how they deal with the public than they might previously have had. We all know that one of the most difficult things we are asked to do is work with the general public - and the more we know, the better equipped we are to win customers for life for our organization. One of the most valuable segments of the session addresses how to deal with angry customers and clients - and come out with winners on both sides. Please give us a call and register yourself and/or your employees. It's certainly one of the cheapest investments you will ever make for a great return: $5 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members (shame on you!) Call Morna at 264-2360 with questions.

Local Appreciation

You still have a few days to register for Local Appreciation Week prizes, and I strongly encourage you to do so. If you need a little incentive, just stop by the Visitor Center and peek into Suellen's office to see the ten prizes that will be awarded next week. You will want one real bad, I assure you, and the only way you can win is to register at as many participating businesses as possible to enhance your chance of winning. Just look for the hot pink posters and balloons at local businesses and go in for a snack and register to win one of these scrumptious prizes. Remember that this week is designed by the businesses to thank you for your year-round support. Take advantage of the special prices and bargains they are offering as well as the chance to win fabulous prizes.

Clean-up Week

This annual project began on Sunday, May 16, and we invite everyone to become involved in the spring cleaning of Pagosa. We find that even a dry winter like our last one creates tons of trash on our streets and byways, and Clean-Up Week offers us the opportunity to collectively collect all the unsightly crud and do away with it before our busy summer commences. Letters have been sent to all the groups and organization who own stretches of the highway, but everyone can do their own thing on this one. Some in the past have carried an orange bag with them when they walk their dog around their neighborhood. Others have just taken walks here and there armed with the famous orange bags. At any rate, please come by the Visitor Center for your bag and join the Clean-Up club so we will be outrageously spic and span this summer.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Holcomb conducts free funky taebo demo

The secret of success in physical conditioning does not simply lie in the exercises you choose, but the level of enjoyment in which you perform them. Does your training lack pizzazz? How about trying something new. Tammy Holcomb will be conducting a free funky taebo demonstration class at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center on Monday, May 24, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Taebo is a high-energy workout that incorporates punching, kicking and footwork into a system which provides the proper work and active rest intervals to optimize physical conditioning - all in a non-contact workout. I have taken Tammy's funky taebo classes and have found it to be a regiment that approaches martial-arts training at the bunny-hop speed of an aerobics class.

The Recreation Center is geared up for a busy summer. Effective Monday, May 31, the business hours will be as follows: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. During the week, open swimming begins at noon. Morning hours are reserved for scheduled water aerobics classes, swim team practices and organized swimming lessons. Lap swimming is available daily during both morning and evening hours except from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. from Monday through Thursday when the swim team uses the whole pool.

With our recent beautiful sunny weather, Gray Wolf Ski Club members are gearing up to a busy hiking schedule for this summer. Bob Tillerson and Jerry Sager will again coordinate and lead the hikes. The following is the schedule for June: Turkey Creek, June 1; Turkey Springs cross country trail, June 8; Fawn Gulch to Mill Creek Road, June 15; Sally Overlook, June 22; and Monument Park, June 29.

If you are planning on joining these Tuesday hikes, meet at the west end of the Country Center City Market parking lot, near Taco Bell at 8:30 a.m. Wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of drinking water, a nutritious lunch and rain gear just in case the weather takes a turn. Please call Jerry Sager, 731-2302 or Bob Tillerson, 731-5160 if you need to touch base with them.


Senior News

By Thelma Risinger

El Centro needs volunteers for dining room

Hello everybody!

Friends, relatives and senior citizens were saddened to know Marguerite Collins had passed away. Marguerite had recently lived in Colorado Springs but was born and raised in Archuleta County. We shall miss Marguerite.

Friday volunteers were Delphie McFatrich, Helen Girardin, Tina White, Lena Bowden and Kurt Killian. More volunteers are needed at the desk and dining room at El Centro. It is not fair to call on the same ones all the time. If you want to volunteer call 264-2167 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. El Centro will be closed May 31, due to the holiday.

Ted Cope was Senior of the Week last week.

Cindy and Ron Gustafson are home after traveling to Kansas City and Connecticut.

There is plenty of "TLC" at El Centro. There are some thoughtful people out here.

Bobbi and Carroll Carruth will be spending the summer here.

Be careful to not be careless.

There will be a memorial service July 17, at Community United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. for Lorraine Cline. Mrs. Cline was the mother of Barbara Sansom and lived here part time.

Barbara and Tom Sansom were visiting old friends and having lunch at El Centro Friday. Barbara and Tom like their new home in Roswell, N.M., but still love old friends and these mountains here. It was nice to see them again.

The senior bus travels to Durango each Tuesday morning returning in the late afternoon. The fare is $6 round trip for senior citizens and $7.50 for non-seniors.

Lillie Gurule is "Senior of the Week" out here at El Centro. Lillie is considered an "old-timer" after living in Archuleta County most of her life. She comes to the center often and is fun to be with. Lillie raised a family here and is a good citizen. We love Lillie.

The weather is beautiful again and it is about time to plant and set your flowers for the summer. It is a privilege to live in Colorado.

Bye, bye.


Library News

by Lenore Bright

Family retraces route of Navajo deity

Mary Lou Sprowle brought in her latest donations that included several new quilting books. Our selection of books on this subject is growing as are the number of people enjoying this craft. We have books for beginners and the experts. We hope to have some displays of work sometime in the future. Our community is blessed with several world-renowned quilters.

Talking Ground

Someone donated a very special book to us. It is the story of a family's journey on horseback across the sacred land of the Navajo by Douglas Preston. In 1992, Preston and family rode across 400 miles of desert in the Four Corners area. They retraced the route of a Navajo deity on his quest to restore beauty and balance to the earth. It is a tale of two cultures meeting in a sacred land. It is a study of the relationships among geography, religion and cultures. This is a book for anyone interested in the history of this area.

Mary Lou also provides the excellent series, "Our American Century." The latest volume is "The Jazz Age, the Twenties." F. Scott Fitzgerald remarked, "The restlessness approached hysteria. The parties were bigger, the pace was faster, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper; but all these benefits did not really minister to much delight. Your people wore out early - they were hard and languid at twenty-one. Most of my friends drank too much - the more they were in tune to the times, the more they drank." You will enjoy reading all of the series as you reminisce about our century.

Reading Scores

In spite of the edict from the state board of education, many children are still behind because of poor reading skills. A dedicated group of volunteers are reading to the children at the elementary school. They are making a difference. What will happen once summer comes, and that personal touch is missing? Try hard to keep your children reading. Read to them; have them read to you. Be sure and have your children join the summer reading program. And be sure and thank those volunteers who are helping at the schools.


We were pleased to have Mary Stahl's mother visit this past week.

The volunteers held a potluck lunch for her, and it was nice she could meet so many of people connected to the library.

Citizen's Guide

The league of Women Voters compiled an excellent brochure about our elected officials and voting rules. It covers national, state, county and town offices. This lists terms, salaries and other pertinent information. Here are the names, addresses and phone numbers you want if you wish to be proactive on political matters. Ask for a brochure at the desk.

Library Business

I'm off to three different statewide library meetings. These are always interesting and full of information on ways we can better serve you. In the meantime, Shirley, Mary and Cathy and our great volunteers will take good care of you. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated employees and volunteers. My personal thanks to everyone.


Arts Line

By Natalie Koch

'Art for Art's Sake' on display at gallery

Currently showing at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park gallery, is Gail Hershey's "Art for Art's Sake," a beautiful display of raku-fired sculptural ceramics. The successful opening of this exhibit took place last Thursday, and the show will continue through Wednesday, May 26. Stop by and enlighten yourself on this very fun and unique form of art.

Coming Soon

We have a gentleman by the name of Barney Jensen coming to town on Thursday, May 27, all the way from Fort Collins. He specializes in watercolor, oils and bronze. The subject matter Barney chooses to reflect on include wildlife, western themes and sporting activities such as fly-fishing. He will be personalizing his trip to our area by sharing a special writing and illustration titled "Miracle on Wolf Creek Pass." In addition, Barney plans to exhibit eight scenes depicting Pagosa country, four of which he painted on location the last time he visited. The opening and reception for this exciting exhibit will be May 27 and the work will be on display through June 9, with a watercolor demo (possibly outdoors - weather permitting) on Saturday, May 29, at approximately 2 p.m.

Summer Arts Camp

The arts camp program is being offered to youngsters in grades two through nine. There will be two sessions available, from June 7 to 18, and from June 21 to July 1. Both will be held at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Some of the features of the camp are pottery, collages, paper bowls, suncatchers, whistles made out of clay, and painting. And if you so choose, your child may even experience working with traditional raku kiln. The deadline for registration is June 1 and space is limited. Pick up a registration form at the PSAC gallery or local schools.


We at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council are bidding a fond farewell to our own Bill Hudson, as he moves from the area. Bill has not only been a fantastic and creative writer for Artsline for several years, but has also worn many hats for the PSAC. His accomplishments include chairperson of the Pagosa Pretenders, chairperson of youth events and much, much more. Bill, thank you for everything, we will miss you and hope to see you return from time to time. So here's wishing you and your lovely family much happiness and success in your new home!

Worth Mention

We are in need of one more writer for Artsline. This is your big chance to share your writing talents for a worthy cause.

It's hard to believe, but there are still a few exhibit openings available for this year at the gallery.

For more information about either of the above, please contact Joanne at 264-5020.

Last but not least, there will be new hours for the PSAC gallery and gift shop during the summer season. Beginning Memorial Day weekend and lasting through Labor Day, the gallery will be open on Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Receptions will be held the first day of each new exhibits, from 5 to 7 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you soon and have a terrific week!

Sports Page
Scarpa named 'Coach of the Year'; five Pirates make all-IML team

By Roy Starling

Pirate baseball coach Tony Scarpa has been named Intermountain League Coach of the Year, and five of his players were honored by the league's coaches.

Senior pitcher Jason Schofield was selected as Player of the Year.

Center fielder Lonnie Lucero, shortstop Ronnie Martinez and catcher Jeff Wood were named to the all-IML first team. Second baseman Clinton Lister earned honorable mention.

After taking over the team in mid-April, Scarpa led the Pirates to an 11-2 mark, losing only to Bayfield and, in the regional finals, to undefeated Faith Christian.

Schofield finished his last season as a Pirate by going 10-0 and striking out 101 batters in 63 innings. He held opponents to 2.68 earned runs a game. Schofield was no easy out at the plate, either. His season batting average was .444, and his six doubles and 24 runs batted in were second on the team.

Lucero, a junior, hit .403 on the year, stealing 18 bases. Martinez, a senior who also turned in some fine pitching performances, hit .483 and was second on the team with 30 hits. He was the Pirates' third most prolific RBI man, driving in 22 runs.

Wood, a senior, anchored the team on defense from his catcher's position, and led the Pirates in every major offensive category: batting average (.589), home runs (8), runs batted in (43), doubles (10) and hits (43). Wood was second on the team to Lucero with nine stolen bases.

Lister finished the year with a .412 batting average. The junior infielder was second to Wood with three homers, and had 20 runs batted in.


Big innings boost, crush Pirates in regional baseball tournament

By Roy Starling

Big innings were both good news and bad news for the Pagosa Pirates Saturday at the Class 3A Region 3 baseball tournament in Englewood.

In the opener against Brush, the Pirates exploded for seven runs in the second inning to earn a 9-5 victory and send the Beetdiggers packing. Then, playing in their first state qualifying game since the regional format was instituted, they hung tough against Faith Christian until the fourth when a 9-run Eagle uprising put the game out of reach. The Pirates wound up on the wrong end of a 13-3 score in the quarterfinal playoff game.

Faith Christian (22-0) now advances to the state semifinals, taking on Lamar (17-0) at 2:30 p.m. at Regis University Friday. At noon, the Eaton Reds will battle Olathe (19-3), 14-4 winners over Monte Vista in the regional opener.

For the Pirates, beating the Beetdiggers was no small potatoes. Brush had had a couple of brushes with greatness during the regular season, losing by one to unbeaten Eaton and by two to the undefeated Eagles.

The 'Diggers missed out on a chance to get to Pirate ace Jason Schofield early. In the first, Brush had runners on second and third with only one out, but Schofield got clean-up hitter Austin Muniz to chase a slow curve for a third strike, then blew his heater past center fielder Junior Flores to extinguish the Brush fire.

The Pirates couldn't get anything going in their half of the first off 'Digger starter Robert Anderson. Then Schofield breezed through three more Brush batters - striking out two of them - in the top of the second.

In the bottom of the second, the Pirates dug a hole too deep for the 'Diggers to dig out of. Clinton Lister took one in the ribs for the team to lead off the inning. Then his brother Darin dropped a soft liner into shallow right, putting runners on first and second with no outs.

Junior first baseman Brandon Thames delivered by drilling a line drive single up the middle, and Clinton Lister raced home from second. Rusty Nabors walked to load the bases, then Keith Candelaria drove in Darin Lister with a hard grounder to short; Nabors was forced out at second on the play.

The 'Digger pitcher started to work his way out of the jam by striking out Lonnie Lucero, but in the process Candelaria stole second, and when the throw got away from the second baseman, Thames crossed home plate to make it 3-0.

Ronnie Martinez produced another run when he smacked a hard liner to right field, driving in Candelaria. Schofield moved Martinez to third with a shot past short. Then Jeff Wood drove him home with a single that reached the Brush left fielder on one hop, and the Pirates led 5-0.

Anderson balked to advance Schofield to third and Wood to second, and with his two teammates in scoring position Clinton Lister hit a long drive to deep left center to drive them both home. Pagosa led 7-0, and Schofield was pretty much able to put it on cruise control for the rest of the game.

Brush put together two bases on balls, a hit batter and a double to score two runs in the third, but the Pirates got those back in the fifth. After Wood tripled and was thrown out trying to score on a mishandled throw, Clinton Lister deposited a rainbow down the right field line, and Darin moved him to third with an infield hit.

Thames walked to load the bases, and Beetdigger coach Bob Erosky promptly brought in Bill Mundt - sporting a 1.40 ERA - to replace Anderson. Mundt, however, couldn't find the plate with Nabors at bat, walking the senior third baseman to force Clinton Lister in from third.

Candelaria then roughed up Mundt with a base hit to center field, driving in Darin Lister, and putting the Pirates up 9-2.

Brush scored another run with one out in the sixth. After Schofield issued back-to-back bases on balls, center fielder Larry Holter drove a double over Lucero's head in center to bring in a run and put runners on second and third. But Schofield settled down to strike out Kenny Bellendir and get Anderson to tap back to the mound.

The 'Diggers mounted a 2-run rally with two out in the top of the seventh to make things a little interesting, but Holter flied out to Darin Lister in left to end the game.

Schofield gave up six hits in his seven innings of work, walking five and striking out 11. "I know I say this every week," coach Tony Scarpa said, "but Jason pitched another great game. I'm really going to miss seeing him on the mound next season. I also thought Brandon and Keith hit the ball really well, and Jeff was solid as usual."

Thames' hot hitting at regionals boosted his season average from .423 to .438.

Eagles rule roost

In the Region 3 championship game, Faith Christian jumped ahead of the Pirates 1-0 in the bottom of the first, but Pagosa came back to tie the score in the second. Wood got the first of his three hits in the game by singling up the middle and then stole second. He was moved to third by a Darin Lister infield hit, then scored on Thames' base hit.

In the bottom of the second, Pirate pitcher Ronnie Martinez retired the first two batters, but then walked Chuck Hancock on four pitches. Luke Eha advanced the runner with an infield hit. Jared Gonzales drove him in to put the Eagles back up, 2-1.

After a scoreless third, Thames opened the Pagosa fourth with a single to center. With two outs, Candelaria continued his hot hitting by doubling to the 390-foot sign in center field, driving in Thames and tying the score at 2-2.

Faith Christian turned the lights out on the Pirates' season in the bottom of the fourth by taking advantage of solid hitting, Pirate errors, bases on balls and hit batters to score nine runs.

"Actually, I thought Ronnie pitched well against Faith Christian," Scarpa said. "We just had that one bad inning. I think he had to get about seven outs in the fourth. You take away that inning and it's a 4-3 game."

Scarpa said that his team had little trouble hitting Faith Christian's ace Paul Faust. The Pirates had 10 hits off the big righthander and three other times hit the ball deep in the outfield only to have it snagged by Eagle outfielders.

Freshman Darin Lister was called on to relieve Martinez, and Scarpa said he thought "Darin pitched well coming in that situation against an undefeated team in regionals." The coach said he's expecting Lister to play a major role on next year's pitching staff which could also include lefty Thames and Ronnie Janowsky.

"These three are going to have to work a little harder," Scarpa said, "but there's no reason they can't become as effective as Jason and Ronnie were."

Scarpa said it would be "hard to fill the shoes" of departing seniors Martinez, Nabors, Schofield and Wood, but that he's been "very pleased with the work of this season's swing players." (The swing players started in the junior varsity games and gained some playing experience in some varsity games.)

The Pirates finished the season with a 15-5 record.


Pirates' Ash, Forrest honored

Brad Ash and J. B. Forrest, both all-league performers on last year's varsity basketball team, have been invited to participate in the U.S. Eastern Regional Basketball Championships July 12-18 in Columbus, Ohio.

Ash plans to accept the invitation, while Forrest will remain at home, busy with preparations for college this fall.

The Pagosa Springs seniors were chosen to play in the U.S. Nationals based on their play in the Colorado all-state game played in Denver during the early part of April. At that time, about 100 Colorado high school seniors were invited to Denver to participate in all-state, all-star USA Junior National competition. Based on their performance in that competition, about 30 players, including Ash and Forrest, were invited to Columbus.

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., the USA Junior Nationals provides one of the top amateur competitions in the United States for athletes with a high interest in basketball through statewide, national and international competition. One-day competitions are provided at 34 sites in the spring. Those who demonstrate advanced skills, team leadership, competitive spirit and good sportsmanship advance to the next level of play.


Prunty takes third place in state discus event

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs junior Shane Prunty hurled the discus 142 feet, 6 inches Friday, good for third place at the state class 3A track championships held at Fountain-Fort Carson High School May 14 and 15.

Jake Evig of Del Norte won the event with a heave of 143-4. Both Intermountain League contestants threw well below the marks they set the previous week in Region 3 competition at Alamosa. The second-place distance was 142-11.

"Shane came out and hit 141 feet on his first throw," said Kyle Canty, the Pirates coach. "That scared everybody. The winner of second place threw out-of-bounds every time until his last throw."

No other Pirate competitors qualified for the finals. Julia Rolig, who had run a 13 second 100-meter dash in regional competition, ran a 13.7 at Fountain-Fort Carson and failed to reach the finals.

The Lady Pirates' 800-meter relay team came closest to qualifying for the finals, turning in a time of 1 minute, 50.3 seconds in the qualifying heat, good for ninth place and just .02 seconds out of eighth place. The first eight finishers qualified for the finals.

Competing at the state level for Pagosa Springs were Prunty, Rolig, Doug Newton, Meigan Canty, Sara Fredrickson, Sarah Huckins and Andrea Ash. Ash was an alternate for Tiffanie Hamilton, who did not compete because of illness.

Meanwhile, results from the Region 3 meet held in Alamosa and used to determine IML champions were released this past week. The IML championship meet in Durango had been canceled because of bad weather.

The Pagosa Springs boys ranked fourth among the six IML teams. Monte Vista was first with 164.5 points. Following Monte Vista were Bayfield with 116 points, Centauri with 101.5 points, Pagosa Springs with 70 points, Del Norte with 57 points and Ignacio with 37 points.

Points were awarded for the first six finishes. Earning points for the Pagosa Springs boys were Prunty, first in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 8-1/4 inches; Prunty, second in the discus with a throw of 145-8; 3,200-meter relay, fourth with a time of 9:49.8; Clint Shaw, third in 100-meter dash with a time of 11.6 seconds; 800-meter relay, second with a time of 1:41.4; Newton, 1,600-meter run, second with a time of 5:05.6; 400-meter relay, fifth with a time of 49.6 seconds; Tyler Ross, fifth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.9 seconds; Shaw, second in the 200-meter dash with time of 23.7 seconds; Newton, first in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:06.3; fifth in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:13.8.

Pagosa Springs' girls also finished fourth. Ignacio captured first with a 139 points followed by Bayfield with 121 points, Centauri with 119 points, Pagosa Springs with 99 points, Monte Vista with 64 points, and Del Norte with 36 points.

Earning points for the Lady Pirates were Fredrickson, first in the shot put with a throw of 32-8 3/4; 3,200-meter relay, fourth with a time of 11:53.6; Huckins, third in the 100-meter hurdles with time of 18 seconds; Rolig, first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13 seconds; 800-meter relay, first with a time of 1:51.9; 400-meter relay, second with a time of 53.7; Rolig, second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 62.5 seconds; Fredrickson, first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 51.2 seconds; Huckins, second in the 300-meter dash with a time of 51.5 seconds; Canty, fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:43.7; Hamilton, third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.4 seconds; Joetta Martinez, fifth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 15:31; Makina Gill, sixth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 15:42; 1600-meter relay, first with a time of 4:27; 800-medley relay, fifth with a time of 2:12.4.


Soccer players honored

By Roy Starling

Three members of the Lady Pirates' first-year soccer team have been named to the all-conference team. The Ladies, the only team in the Intermountain League, were honored along with standouts from Telluride and Ouray of the Mountain League.

The all-conference Lady Pirates were freshman goalie Ashley Gronewoller, sophomore midfielder Jennifer Gross and sophomore defender Kelli Patterson.

Coach Lindsay Kurt-Mason said these girls helped lead the team "not only with their talent, but with their positive attitude."

Kurt-Mason said if he had to use only one word to define Gronewoller, it would be leadership. "Ashley has great leadership ability on the field," he said. "She's very vocal in a positive way."

Gronewoller "improved with every outing," her coach said. "She's very coachable. She listened to everything (assistant coach) Dorman (Diller) or I told her. By the end of the season, she looked like a veteran goalie."

Kurt-Mason called Gross "maybe the best midfielder in the league. She has great physical skills, her dribbling and shooting skills are remarkable and she distributes the ball well." The coach said he often received compliments on Gross's play from referees and other coaches. "She played on the guys' team before we started the girls' varsity, and she did real well," he said.

As for Patterson, Kurt-Mason said she specialized in "slowing down an attack and supporting her teammates when they needed it. Along with our other defenders, she helped keep opposing offenses from scoring a clean goal against us. Like Ashley and Jennifer, she also has a very positive attitude. Late in the season, I played her at offense, which she liked, but she was always willing to play defense if asked to."

Motter's Mutterings

By John M. Motter

Mutterer attacked by angry red rooster

No wound is so deep, no pain so intense, as that of betrayal by one you love. The suffering compounds if you care deeply for that someone, rising early and staying late to make sure they are fed and watered and housed, that they want for nothing.

I once had such a someone, Chanticlair, the red rooster. I trusted that rooster. He was the light of my eyes, the joy of my heart. Chanticlair had a good crow in him, a magnificent crow that rang through the neighborhood like church bells.

We lay there each morning, my wife and I, quietly anticipating Chanticlair's first summons of the day. From the distance, other roosters crowed. At first, Chanticlair was silent, disdaining such inferior competition. Finally, when he could stand the ineptitude no longer, Chanticlair cut loose as if to say, "Here's how it's done, fellas." Of course, the others responded by crowing louder and more frequently. Chanticlair responded in kind, refusing to be out done.

Every morning following the rooster reveille, I roused from bed, filled a coffee can with chicken feed, and ambled down to the chicken house, humming a song planted in my heart by Chanticlair's heroic efforts. You have to understand that at six o'clock in the morning B.C., that is, before Chanticlair I never had a song in my heart. That's the way life was.

Because of the ever-present threat that wild animals might slip into the chicken house during the night and feast on one of the residents, I took roll call each morning. On this particular morning, everyone was present, including the two white leghorns, the pair of Plymouth Rocks, the mother Coachin with her white, feathered feet that looked like pantaloons, and her eight little children, all in a row.

As I counted heads, Chanticlair arched his back, clicked his spurs together, and gave a full-throated cockadoodledoo. I thought it was his way of saying, "See boss. I've done a good job. Everyone is fine." Little did I know the evilness lurking in his heart.

Blissfully I reached for the water trough, intent on filling it for another day. Whammo! A thunderbolt struck my arm leaving two angry, red wounds. I was momentarily stunned. Slowly, the awful truth of what had just happened dawned on my consciousness. Chanticlair had attacked me. In unabated fury, he had slashed my arm. Worse, he was circling, wing feathers down, head extended, beak open. He intended to attack again! I placed the waterer between us and slowly backed from the hen house.

The red blotches swelled on my arm, but that wasn't what hurt the worst. My heart ached. Chanticlair betrayed me. A lifetime of feeding and watering and bragging meant nothing.

Before this story goes any further, you must understand that I am not naive. I have been around farm animals all of my life. I know they can hurt you. I know that getting spurred by a rooster is not as bad as being gored by a bull. I've leaped fences to escape the charge of irate Guernsey bulls and crumple-horned Jersey cows and even excited young horses. I've dived into the dirt to escape from whirling Brahmas while shooting photographs at rodeos. I've sat in the car all day, waiting for an owner to come out of the house and calm the dog snarling at my driver's side window.

A major difference separates each of those instances from Chanticlair's perfidy. In each case, I anticipated danger, I knew I was being threatened. Those were strange animals, not friends that I fed and petted and doted on.

Not so with Chanticlair. He was my friend. Unfortunately, Chanticlair is no more. I captured him with a fish landing net and shipped him off to the auction barn to be sold to the highest bidder. I thought about dropping him in a pot full of noodles and onions, but soon abandoned that idea. Eat Chanticlair? No way.

We still hear the chorus of neighborhood roosters every morning, but it's not the same. Somehow they sound subdued and colorless. And that's how our hearts feel, now that Chanticlair's gone.


Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Time to revisit Isberg plan

IP Redux.

Every few years, a wave of people moves to Colorado and to Archuleta County; soon after, we experience collective consternation.

About problems.

About the future.

There is a clash of perspectives. People argue.

"Visions" happen.

Plans are made.

Planning is a luxury: it is what people do when they don't have to worry about squeezing out a few dollars with menial work, when they don't need to spend their waking hours worried about whether they'll make the next rent payment or how to put a chunk of potato in the kids' mouths.

When times are bad, people survive. When times are good, people plan.

Times are good, so there's planning going on now. People are setting out once again to shape the future, to chart the course. A lot of folks who arrived here in the last four or five years are worried about how to stem the corrosive impact of their own immigration. Many of them intend to create a "vision" of the future. Some will work to write ordinances and regulations to preserve their "heritage" and "birthright."

Meetings will be held.

A meeting is a petri dish waiting for the germs of discontent. I don't plan to attend.

There is nothing more jarring than the sight of developers and realtors trading punches with treehuggers. Nothing is as upsetting as the high-pitched howl emanating from a mob of pampered ex-urbanites who want paved roads (they bought homes on gravel roads and they are peeved about dust), street lights every thirty feet and around-the-clock police patrols stationed on their cul-de-sacs. Nothing is more distressing than the plaintive moans of citizens who believe trees have souls.

Many of today's planners are "ranchers." They bought hefty 35-acre "ranches" where they herd llamas and skunks. They wear cowboy hats - snazzy cowboy hats, clean hats with doodads and feathers and neato hat bands. Some of them even wear a little kerchief around the neck, just like all the other cowboys. The "ranchers" want to make sure their pristine agricultural land is left unsullied.

Then there are the folks who are worried about rampant commercial development. Many of them call in their plans on cell phones as they wait in the drive-thru line at a fast food franchise.

On the other side of the proverbial fence are the practitioners of laissez-faire growth, their acquisitive minds operating like well-oiled adding machines.

No, I won't attend meetings. I get frustrated, and I get hungry.

Planning makes me hungry.

All this talk, all this furious futuristic activity makes me want to eat. I need a recipe. Recipes are plans, you know.

In order to set the stage for some serious eating, the first thing I'll plan is how to get my wife Kathy out of town.

This is necessary because I want to prepare a traditional spring dish: roast leg of lamb. There is no way Kathy will eat lamb; it is near the top of the list of 6000 food items she will not put in her mouth.

Once I concoct an excuse to send Kathy packing - something like a newborn grandchild - I'll purchase the lamb and establish a guest list. I have a couple of friends who live in Saguache and if their 1959 Chevy can pull Wolf Creek on six cylinders and two quarts of oil, they'll come to dinner. If I invite two more friends from this side of the Divide, we've got an ovine fiesta on our hands. Now, that's a plan!

I'll need a five to six pound leg of lamb. I'll remove all the fat from the surface of the meat then use a small knife to cut deep slits in the flesh. Into those slits I'll insert a mash made of garlic, anchovy, salt and pepper, rosemary and a bit of high-grade olive oil. I'll rub the leg with the same mix, seal it in one of those monster freezer bags, and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight.

When it's time to roast the meat, I'll start with a hot oven (425 degrees) and I'll cook the leg in a roasting pan for about one-half hour then reduce the heat to 350 and cook it for another hour and a half, or until the internal temp is around 130 to 135 degrees. I'll let the beauty rest before I carve it. My carnivore friends and I will devour it along with some spring greens, roasted vegetables and a stout measure of Merlot.

Once I finish eating, I am going to make some calls to printers. I intend to have a brochure ready in time for the next community meeting - the next open forum held to discuss visions and plans, ordinances, regulations, to receive "input."

You see, I was into community planning a long time ago; I have all the problems covered.

I intend to revive The Isberg Plan.

IP Redux.

For the 95 percent of you who were not in this part of the world 10 years ago, my brochure will be your first exposure to the Isberg Plan. This ruthlessly efficient blueprint for preservation of the Colorado Rockies was first printed in the SUN a decade ago. It was ahead of its time.

To produce the Plan, I wielded an altered Occam's Razor, its simplicity turned from explanation to expectation, and the surgery was remarkably clean - not unlike removing the fat from a leg of lamb.

I urge you to obtain a brochure at the next community meeting. A copy will be available on a card table at the rear of the room. Study it. Buy into it, and there will be no fights, no controversy between parties holding different opinions.

Trust me.

I'll summarize the basic elements of the Plan in order to whet your appetite for the subtleties, the intricacies, the delightful nooks and crannies that are revealed to the careful student of the IP.

The central goal of the Isberg Plan is to preserve the key institutions and foundation values that made this part of the world what it is.

The core idea of the Isberg Plan is simple - the Wankel engine of ideas. If you are (a) 50 years of age and older and are not a third-generation Coloradan or (b) younger than 50 years of age and not a fourth-generation Coloradan, you must leave the state within 30 days. You may take with you whatever you can carry.

A beautifully reductionist concept, don't you think? Occam smiles.

A rapidly burgeoning population is at the base of most of our problems, isn't it? With the Isberg Plan, consider the population problem solved.

As to the dilemma of land use and the proliferation of small, privately-owned properties in the state, there is an equally simple solution. The state will confiscate all property previously owned by members of the newly-ejected population. Those properties, outside of existing municipalities, will be deplatted and replatted in parcels of 1280 acres and more in size; into ranches big enough to raise things like, say, cattle. Or lambs.

A lottery will be held and the tracts will be distributed among the 250,000 residents of Colorado, with the proviso that the land cannot be sold or subdivided.

With land use regulations swept off the books, new regulations will be put in place - most notably one which allows only one structure on each 1280-acre tract of land. Any other structure, residential or commercial, must be taken down.

Firewood, anyone?

Ponder the BTUs in some of those 10,000 square-foot monstrosities built recently in the hinterlands - on 35-acre "ranches" and "bordering national forest land."

Whoowee, can you imagine the blaze we'll have when we chainsaw those units erected recently in the local timeshare ghetto? The 12 members of the graduating class at Pagosa Springs High School will have a heck of a homecoming bonfire!

We'll be mighty toasty when we feed the cabinets from one of those "quaint country kitchens" into the wood stove during a long January night. It'll be downright comfy, won't it?

Think of how easily the Isberg Plan defuses some of the critical difficulties plaguing people in Pagosa Country.

A road problem?

Gone. For the few who stay and the many who go.

The vast majority of people will leave the county and return to locations where paved roads are commonplace. Deportees will have to search for novel things to gripe about when they arrive at their new homes. They can join property owners associations, or they can form new property owners associations and build egotoriums in which they can fight, slander one another and complain.

With no significant traffic, most of our badly maintained roads can be plowed under - fodder for archaeologists in the 22nd Century C.E.

Okay, I hear some of you grumbling: the same selfish and negative reaction occurred when I first revealed the Isberg Plan a decade ago. Back then, a bunch of readers took a sour grapes attitude about the proposition and wrote hateful letters and phoned in threats. A bunch of pouty babies, if you ask me.

When I dared suggest that folks who complained about the Plan were the cause of the very problems they wanted to solve, they blanched. When I offered up the idea they could alleviate the pressures that concerned them by leaving, they recoiled. When I pointed out that they brought the blight they wanted to escape, they objected.

"But, we wanted to come here and shut everyone else out," they whined. "We always dreamed of retiring here." "We wanted to move to a small, uncomplicated place." "Colorado is so beautiful, we just had to be here."

Tough, I replied. You're the problem. The small place got bigger when you arrived. An uncomplicated life was complicated by your presence. Read the rules. According to the Plan, you gotta go. Its for the good of the place - the place you say you love so much. How can you kill the one you love?

Pressure continued. Disgruntled immigrants fashioned ominous missives with letters cut from Life Magazine and shoved them under the front door of the SUN office. These were dark communications, frightening communications.

I softened. The IP was adjusted.

I proposed that 50,000 "Green Cards" be doled out to counties throughout the state. In each county, a panel of worthy and rational citizens would convene and consider applications, select a number of acceptable "alien workers" and allow those workers to move back to the area to perform tasks deemed essential to the common good. Minimal housing would be provided. Children would be welcome, though they would not be allowed to attend school. With the Isberg Plan, school overcrowding would be a thing of the past.

Seems reasonable, doesn't it?

The Plan eliminates the nasty, "last one in, close the gate" attitude, don't you agree? It cuts through the inevitable disagreements you face when you hold meetings to develop a community's vision of its future. The Razor, my friends: a tool for our times!

There is reason to believe, however, that I might not have slashed deeply enough when I undertook the operation.

I have a Southern Ute acquaintance who believes the Plan's immigration cutoff date should be pushed back to the beginning of the 19th century. His "community vision" has a more radical focus than mine. We are currently negotiating this point. I believe we'll eventually compromise on a date of 1875, with the caveat that everyone whose Colorado lineage is traced back to that date returns to wherever their ancestors lived in that year. All towns, structures and roads not in existence before that date must be destroyed.

Seems fair. There are advantages to this adjustment to the Plan.

Colorado's population will be further reduced - to somewhere near 100,000. We'll have more elbow room and more tracts to go around.

I'll be living in Central City, and that is not a bad prospect. There will be a lot of empty seats at the blackjack tables.

There will be no Pagosa Springs.

I'll write my friends Russell Crowley and Carl Macht and Mencor Valdez. They'll be working their ranches.

There will be no more problems.

No more plans.

For those of you who thrive on plans, take heart. There's some work left before you have to leave.

I need help figuring a way to get Kathy out of town so I can cook that lamb.

Cut some letters from a Life Magazine and compose a plan.

Just slip it under the office door.


By John M. Motter

Ury Ealum is a link with the past

By John M. Motter

Ury Ealum easily serves coffee and cake in his Hermosa home, surrounded by an expansive lawn and carefully manicured fruit trees. Ury is not your average, nice-looking, nice-behaving octogenarian. What sets Ury apart? Ury is sort of the missing link of Pagosa Country history.

Ury married Betty Jo Smith, the daughter of one of Pagosa Country's first settlers. In his sitting room is an organ he says the Smith family carried across the continent in a covered wagon back in the 1870s. Ury himself would qualify for historic designation in Colorado, having been born east of Allison April 3, 1919, in a little log cabin on the Procarione place.

His grandfather, Allen Ealum, was born between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, July 5, 1854.

"That's about all we know about him," Ury says. "At the age of 16, he climbed on a horse and rode off to Oregon. Most of the rest of his life is a puzzle."

Walter Allen Ealum, Ury's dad, might have been born in the Texas Panhandle, or maybe at Guana, Texas. There is some evidence that the Gilliland family, Smith family, the Ealum family, and possibly the Cooley family moved in the early 1870s from Guana, Texas, to near Canon City. It is known that the Gilliland and Smith families made that move. The presence of the Cooley and Ealum family is not so certain.

It is also known that Allen J. Gilliland was born in Missouri. His wife Martha had been born in Tennessee. Among their children were Serena Texas Gilliland, born in Guana, Texas, and Nancy Cooley (this is a guess), also born in Texas (not a guess). Serena married George Franklin Smith, who was born in Tennessee during May of 1852. It is likely the Gillilands and Smiths left Tennessee together, stayed a short time in Texas, moved to near Canon City, and finally to Pagosa Springs in 1878. Serena and Frank's first son was born in Pagosa Springs in 1879.

To put the Smiths in perspective for local folks, in 1880, they built and lived in the two-story log cabin that used to rest where the Hell's Hip pocket sign is today west of Pagosa Springs. That cabin is now located at the Fred Harman Art Museum.

In any case, Frank and Serena fathered seven children, then moved to the Gobernador, N.M., area about 1903. The youngest Smith son was named Porter. Porter had a daughter named Betty Jo. Ury married Betty Jo, but we are getting ahead of our story.

Ury is not certain when the Ealum family moved to the Pagosa Springs area, but he feels they lived near and knew the Smiths and Gillilands in Texas and at Canon City before they all moved to Pagosa Springs.

The family talked of owning horses and riding out into the rampaging San Juan River during the 1911 flood to rescue people clinging to trees. It is also likely the Ealums held property near Gobernador before coming to Pagosa Springs.

In any case, they landed near Allison, where Ury was born. Several of the Ealum children attended the Arboles school when Ora Smith, a daughter of the same Smith family, taught school. The Ealums and Smiths lived together for some time. Oral Smith married Roy White, who ranched on the lower Blanco River.

Ury's dad accepted whatever work was available as he attempted to raise his family. At one time, he carried mail from the Arboles post office to Gobernador, a distance of about 50 miles. The trip was made on horseback, even in the early 1930s. The route followed the San Juan River downstream through much of what is covered by Navajo Lake today. When dad could not make the trip, 15-year-old Ury was the substitute carrier. He'd ride down one day, stay overnight in Gobernador, then return the next day. In Gobernador was the Porter Smith family and their daughter Betty Jo.

"I knew her then," Ury said. "One time my horse wandered off and went to the Smith place. She caught him for me."

The Ealum family moved around often, setting up housekeeping near dad's latest sawmill job. Among the places they lived were Carracus and Talian. Dad often fired the boilers which generated steam to operate the mills. At Talian, the Ealums lived a short distance up the Vega Redonda valley from its confluence with Cat Creek. A few other families lived in the same general area. The mill was located near that confluence between Cat Creek and the present road. The narrow gauge rail line ran between the mill and the road.

"There were a lot of pine trees there in those days," Ury remembers. "We didn't call it the Talian Mill, we called it Mutt's Mill for the owner, Matsumoto. Dad also served as night watchman and often slept in a little cabin there. My brother and I helped clean up at night. Dad had some horses and hauled logs. All of the logging was done with horses, maybe some by Frank Schoonover. Mother ran the cookhouse and the commissary and my sister waited tables. At first we rode horseback to school in Pagosa Junction. Later, a schoolhouse was built at Talian. It was on a little mesa west of the mill and south of Vega Redonda."

Ury recalls roaming the hills around Vega Redonda, especially where Cabezon Canyon, Archuleta Canyon, and Dark Canyon originate.

"We didn't call it Dark Canyon, we called it Cañada Hondo," Ury recalls. "Dad got into a pack of five lions up there and killed three. He said if he'd known they were there, he wouldn't have let us roam as freely."

Ranchers living in Cabezon Canyon were Frank Martinez, Clarence Nossaman, Lardio Rivas, Frank O'Cana, and a Mr. Hill who had a sawmill. There was another mill above Dyke called the McAlpine Mill.

While skidding logs, Ury's brother Clarence poked a hand under a log and was bitten by a rattlesnake. Ury's dad hauled out a pocketknife and lacerated the bite. Clarence was then transported to Dr. A. J. Nossaman.

"Well, I think we've got the snake bite under control," Nossaman said. "Now, if we can do something about those cuts, he'll survive."

The Ealums had eight children, Clarence, Bertha (she died at age seven of diphtheria), Ury, Andrew Carl, Guy Ola, Dale Allen, and Ila Mae.

Ury graduated from the 8th grade at Arboles, all of the public education he ever received. He might have been 17 or 18 years old at the time, because there were years when he had to work instead of go to school. His mother died in 1936 and his father married Louise Luchini, also a school teacher. Ury and Clarence entered the army in 1940. They served in the Aleutian Islands from 1942 to 1945. When he returned home from the war, he tried to attend college in Grand Junction.

"They wouldn't let me in with my 8th grade education," Ury said. "They recommended that I work in the automotive field. Government programs for veterans paid for some training in that area. I worked at Western Auto in Durango for three years, selling about every thing but automotive parts."

Ury and Clarence had worked as cooks in the Army and had a short experience with a restaurant in Utah. In 1948, they started the Candlelight Cafe in Durango. In 1950, he took over Smith Grocery, a store Ury's wife had started in Aztec. In subsequent years, he operated the grocery, either operated or leased out the Durango restaurant, and started two drive-in theaters in Aztec, the Yucca and the Rincon.

In 1964, the Durango cafe was sold. Subsequently, he sold Dodges for six months, worked for the city of Durango for six months, worked on micro-wave towers, then at Camarilla State Hospital in California for 11 years. He retired in 1977, building a home on Hermosa Creek on property he purchased a few years earlier.

Ury and Betty Jo have one child, daughter Amelia Ann Metz.

Today, Ury keeps in touch with people who have touched his life, although most of them are gone. His deep interest in history and sharp memory provide a refreshing insight into a past of wagon trains and cowherds, of sheepmen and cattlemen, of logging and railroads. Ury Ealum truly is a link with our forgotten heritage.

A need to boycott

Dear David,

Ever since the tragic incident at Littleton, the leaders of our nation have been searching for who or what to blame. After the way they acted on what kind of bandaid to put on gun control laws they don't need to search anymore. Aren't they suppose to be part of the solution? Representative Mark Larson has asked the public for help in solving the school violence. Law-abiding citizens need to boycott gun shows and pawn shops until effective laws are put into effect and enforced.

Remember the Boston Tea Party.

In response to "Dear Folks" thoughts last week. If President Clinton had given the speech Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote for him and resigned, it would have done more for the morale of our nation. That woman in black is running around the country reaping the gold because of an immoral act that cost the taxpayers.

Al Gore could have proved his self as an environmentalist by cleaning up the bad gun smoke in the air.

The cost of winning the Cold War with Russia by President Reagan is about to be destroyed by President Clinton at further costs in Kosovo because of how he has handled the situation. Isaiah 2:4.

Did all the parents of the other 1,933 students at Columbine High School raise their children right if some were the bullies that helped develop the evil hatred in Eric and Dylan? Remember how some don't want people from other parts of the country to move here? What does that tell our children?

When I was eight, we moved from Tennessee to Iowa. I was teased because of my southern accent. I felt different, but thanks to my folks, I made it through what I thought was painful at the time.

I repeat, if you don't know the Golden Rule, seek it. If you do know the Golden Rule, live it daily and teach others.

Rod Dornbusch

Redeemed heart

Dear David,

Just a short line to thank Messers. Feazel and Sawicki for straightening me out on my "rollicking liberal utterances." Gee, fellas, I don't know what comes over me. Seems like I start speaking from my heart and conscience and the next thing you know, I'm spouting all sorts of crazy ideology i.e. standing up for citizens' rights (even if they're heathens - like I am).

I have had a revelation. I finally concede that your narrow points of view are the truth. Yes, gentlemen, there is no room for disagreement because you speak the word of God (or Rush Limbaugh). In fact, I wish you guys would send me some of the goofy, ultra-right conservative literature that you have been digesting and then regurgitating on the pages of this newspaper.

I'm sure if I brainwash myself with this "stuff" I, too, can be a minion for the truth. I also promise to go to church and pray for forgiveness for being a lowly liberal slug. Sorry.

From the bottom of my

newly-redeemed heart,

DC Duncan

Very concerned

Dear Editor,

I am very concerned with a major safety problem in our county. There is a lack of traffic lights in three locations. One at Lewis Street near the Subway, one at Piedra Road and the third at North Pagosa Boulevard, all three of which intersect with U.S. 160.

Last Thursday I heard two cars collide at the top of Put Hill; this was the motivating factor which propelled me to write this letter. These three locations are fairly high on the priority list that the state highway department has compiled. In order to expedite this process, I suggest each of you who are equally concerned contact Richard Reynolds at Colorado Department of Transportation, 3803 North Main Avenue, Suite 300, Durango, CO 81301. The phone number is 385-1402.

There are two ways to speed up this process of improved safety by putting up lights. One way is to be a squeaky wheel or to sacrifice yourself in a car accident. The more accidents we have, the more they will pay attention to this severe problem. Don't wait for one of your loved ones to die or become severely injured. Don't wait for someone else to write the letter. Pick up a pen or the phone and do it now.


Lee Riley

American values

Dear Editor,

While watching "Key Largo" the other night for about the 10th time in my life, I was casually noticing the violence content. Mr. Clinton wants to cut down violence in Hollywood movies and I was wondering if he was going to shelf this one. If John Wayne were still alive, I suppose Mr. Clinton would suggest he start doing Lassie movies. As my dad used to say, "It's only Hollywood son. It's not real." Duh.

It seems today's parents aren't getting that simple message across. They simply don't have enough time to spend with their kids. It seems like half the new parents I meet can't wait to pawn their kids off on some babysitter or some other poor soul (grandma), so they can go party or whatever. If they are with the kids they put them in front of their electronic babysitter (television) and learn from geniuses like Pee Wee Herman and Barney the Dinosaur.

I'd also like to say a good percentage of people should never have had children. I know winters here are long and accidents do happen. I meet them all the time. Some people will say this is a bad comparison but some of these kids are like dogs. Their parents get a puppy, spare the rod, put it on a short chain in the backyard, don't spend any time with it and wonder why it doesn't know it's own name and can't fetch a stick.

Mr. Clinton is trying to blame guns for all this. Poppycock. While he's out hunting birds somewhere with his $3,000 shot gun, he's trying to take our freedoms. I guess he wants all the birds for himself. What he's saying to the American public is: You're all too stupid to control yourself so I'll do it for you.

I totally disagree. If we got back to good old-fashioned American values we wouldn't need Mr. Clinton and his rich friends back East where they seem to know nothing about the values we have out here in the West.

What's going to be next? No fishing because you might drown? I can't explain it any better than this.


Steve Ruegger


Dear Editor,

I was hired in October of 1998 to manage the Upper San Juan Humane Society, now the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. Since moving from the Denver area, I have been overwhelmed by the sense of community which thrives in Pagosa.

Last weekend, May 15 and 16, the humane society held its annual adoptathon. This is the one big event that takes place at our shelter on Steven's Lakes and preparing the shelter for so many people is no easy task. With only five paid employees, the humane society relies on our volunteers to help us through these tight spots. During the week leading up to and on the weekend of our adoptathon, humane society volunteers provided over 160 hours of work at our shelter.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of the volunteers who gave of their time to help in our adoptathon effort. Though far too numerous to name individually, each of you deserves a pat on the back for your work.

To all of the wonderful residents who visited the shelter during our adoptathon, I hope you enjoyed your day at the humane society. If you adopted a new pet, I hope you find a lifetime of joy. If we didn't have what you were looking for, I hope we'll see you again soon as you continue looking for that perfect companion. And to everyone, I extend an invitation to join our corps of volunteers. The feeling you get from helping abandoned dogs and cats find new homes is incomparable and the people you'll be working with are the best around.

Thanks to everyone for caring.

Doug Trowbridge

Shelter Manager

Humane Society

of Pagosa Springs


Dear Editor,

We write this letter to you in response to the letter entitled "Error in judgment" printed in the May 6 Pagosa Springs SUN.

We, a large part of the 1999 varsity baseball team, feel we were either misrepresented or not represented at all in the contents of the letter. Many of us signed a form of the letter through trickery. We were deceived as to the contents of the letter, not allowed to read it before signing and we were never told it would be printed. We have all learned a great lesson about signing before reading. The rest of us were not represented at all even though we are very much a part of the "1999 Varsity Baseball Team."

Now that the letter has come out into the open we wish to set the record straight. We do not agree with what was stated in that letter and we are in full support of the school board's decision. Coach Scarpa has treated us all with respect which is something that we all deserve. We have learned a lot from him and our program has never looked stronger. More importantly, the future of our program stands to benefit from the controversial decision.


Brandon Thames, Kraig Candelaria,

Ronnie Janowsky, Nathan Stretton,

Josh Trujillo, Darin Lister,

Keith Candelaria, Anthony Maestas,

Clinton Lister, Lonnie Lucero

and team manager Erin Lister

Don't forget

Dear Editor,

I want to remind local taxpayers to not forget to thank their own town board for cleaning up our cemetery and Dr. Mary Fisher a lot (I know it was a big job) and put a fence around it. Is that where the taxpayers money went? If so that is a joke.

Next, write to your senators and Colorado state representatives about sending our taxpayers money to space while our common laborers are not getting enough wages to live on. They should get at least $8 an hour in order to make a living that will meet the high cost of living of today.

Thank you for reading this.

Jewel Jacobson Walton

A safer place

Dear Editor,

As the nation is still devastated over the tragedy at Columbine High School, we continue to offer them peace as they put their lives back together. I am sure that all over the nation as well, school districts are thinking "how can we make our schools a safer place?"

I am wondering if Archuleta County School District has a plan or is considering a plan on how we can make our schools a safer place? Please let parents know as well, how they can help and have their children help make our schools a safer place.


Isabel Webster

Shawn Steen

Shawn Steen, a 1995 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, just graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

While at Boulder, Steen majored in biochemistry and molecular, cellular and developmental biology. He also founded the CU Bio-Ethics Club and was active in both the Golden Key National Honor Society and the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. The son of Tom and Ming Steen, and brother of Courtney Steen of Pagosa Springs, Shawn has been awarded a cancer research fellowship and will begin working in the University of Colorado laboratory of Dr. James Goodrich this summer.


Gronewoller takes first in impromptu speaking

By Roy Starling

Freshman Ashley Gronewoller finished in first place in the introduction to impromptu speaking competition at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference in Vail last month and will advance to national competition in Chicago June 27 through July 3.

Other Pagosa Springs High School students placing in Vail were Tracey Farrow, second in public speaking; Tiffany Diller, fourth in machine transcription; Elena Hernandez, seventh in introduction to impromptu speaking; Micah Maberry, eighth in introduction to impromptu speaking; and Joshua Purvis, eighth in public speaking. Virginia Buck received the Peak III award for the chapter.

"Impromptu speaking is a tough event," FBLA sponsor Dorothy Christine said. "Ashley did a remarkable job, especially for her age."

Competitors in this event are given a topic, and then they have 10 minutes in which to prepare a four-minute speech on that topic. If the speech is more than 30 seconds too long or too short, the speaker is penalized.

Christine said that the speech itself is judged "chiefly on presentation - such things as maintaining eye contact, avoiding repetition, pacing and hand movement." She said that all FBLA speakers are coached by high school English teacher Curtis Maberry.

In addition to Gronewoller, the FBLA will send voting delegates Farrow and Diller to Chicago. Christine and intermediate school teacher Paula Ford will accompany the students.


Michael Hermes

Michael Hermes, 56, a resident of Pagosa Springs, died on May 10, 1999.

Mr. Hermes was born on March 6, 1943, in Paduca, Ky.

He is survived by his daughter, Myrlin Hermes, of Oregon and his sister, Betty of Wisconsin.

Funeral services for Mr. Hermes were held on Friday, May 14, at 10 a.m. at the Pagosa Springs Funeral Options Chapel. His cremains were sent to his former wife, Satisha, who had remained his friend, and to his daughter who joined her mother in Maui, Hawaii.

A "Michael Hermes Arts and Humanities Scholarship Fund" is to be set up at the Norwest Bank. This scholarship will be awarded to a Pagosa Springs High School student on May 27, 2000, to further his or her education.

Ruri Skye Adams

Eight-month-old Ruri Skye Adams visited the SUN last week.

Ruri was born Sunday, Sept. 27, 1998. She and her parents, Tom and Mariko Adams, live in Colorado Springs where her father attends the University of Colorado of Colorado Springs.

Her paternal grandparents are Cookie Adams of Colorado Springs and Jim Adams of Collinsville, Texas. The Adams are former residents of Pagosa Springs.

Andrés Estevan Chavez-Newell

Andrés Estevan Chavez-Newell was born at 10:30 a.m., Feb. 9, 1999, at the Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs to Stephanie and Matt Newell of Keleen, Texas. Andrés weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces and was 16 3/4-inches long.

His maternal grandmother is Connie Chavez of Pagosa Springs. His paternal grandparents are Pam Newell and Jeff Fredricks of Sacramento, Calif.


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