May 27, 1999

Front Page

Local property values increase

By John M. Motter

County residents received notice this past week that reflect significant property value increases in some localities and for some classes of property, and lesser increases in other areas.

"I think this year's property value increases show that Pagosa has become the place to be," said County Assessor Keren Prior. "There has been a big influx of activity in residential and commercial properties and in new homes."

While it is too soon to calculate the exact amount of increase countywide, according to Prior, it is safe to assume property values across the county are up, driven by the willingness of buyers to pay more and more for the privilege of living in Archuleta County.

Prior, with assistance from the Colorado Division of Property Taxation personnel, has just completed the state-mandated, every-two-year revaluation of property in Archuleta County. Taxpayers who disagree with the valuation of their property as it appears on their notices have until June 24 to protest. Protests must be made at the assessor's office in the county courthouse. Protesters must bring documentation supporting their claims.

Property values for residential property are based on the actual price people have paid for similar property in the same neighborhood. This year's valuation is time adjusted as of June 30, 1998. The county was divided into 20 economic areas for the purpose of comparing residential sales.

Increases in the values of single family homes range from 8 to 61 percent, according to James R. "Bill" Hyde, a property tax specialist from the State Division of Property Taxation. The value of homes in some areas or subdivisions has increased by as much as 61 percent, Hyde said. In other areas or subdivisions, the increase is a more modest 8 percent. The overall increase in single-family residences averages about 35 percent.

"The value of any home in a given area is determined by what people have paid for an equivalent house in the same area," Hyde said. "When we look at the asking price for homes, we see that our estimates are conservative. In most cases, people are asking more than the value we've placed on their property."

The assessment rate on residential property is 9.74 percent. For all other properties, the assessment rate is 29 percent. Actual market value is multiplied by the assessment rate to calculate the assessed value. Assessed value is multiplied by the mill levy to calculate property tax.

Commercial property values are based on how the property is used. Again, a countywide total is not available.

"In some areas, the value of commercial property doubled," said Ron Benko, a property tax specialist from the State Division of Property Taxation. "In other areas it changed very little, all based on actual sales."

Vacant land values, in and outside of subdivisions, followed the same pattern, increasing by as much as 70 percent in areas with considerable sales activity, and increasing very little in areas with little sales activity.

An overall number for the change of agricultural land values is not available yet, according to Judith A. Kahl, senior tax appraisal consultant for the State Division of Property Taxes. In general, irrigated land showed a slight increase, dry land showed a slight decrease, and grazing land remained about the same. The value of buildings on agricultural land increased substantially, Kahl said.

The three representatives from the Colorado Division of Property Taxation have come to Archuleta County at Prior's request.

"Property values should have been set by January 1," Prior said, "I needed help so we can be in compliance with the state guidelines."

The entire property appraisal procedure is running behind state-recommended deadlines, placing a crunch on the personnel working in the appraisal office.

"Our main focus," Hyde said, "is to provide assistance to the county assessor. Everything Prior does is done according to standards set by the State Board of Equalization. We're not the independent auditors hired by the Legislative Council to analyze the assessment level and uniformity, and to evaluate procedures used to evaluate property."

Following the 30-day protest hearing window which ends June 24, Prior will mail a notice of determination to those property owners who protested the values the tax office placed on their property. Prior makes the final determination in each case.

If the property owner is still not satisfied, the county commissioners sit during July as a board of equalization. They can approve or deny the property owner's appeal. If the property owner remains unsatisfied, an appeal trail leading as far as the U.S. Supreme Court is open.

Following the appeal process, the assessor recalculates all property values, calculates the taxable value of all property and forwards those values to all of the taxing entities in the county. The board of directors of those individual taxing entities then establishes a mill levy according to law and the needs of their respective budgets.

Because of certain limits on revenue increases, the mill levies set by taxing entities should decrease as the assessed value of taxable property in an entity increases. The law limits revenues to not increase more than 5.5 percent over the previous year, or within TABOR limits if they are less than 5.5 percent.

Voters in Pagosa Springs and School District No. 50 Joint have agreed to allow their governing boards to retain revenues in excess of the state imposed limits. Archuleta County voters refused to allow the county government to keep excess revenues.


24-hour EMS service available for Pagosans

By Karl Isberg

As of June 1, residents living inside the Upper San Juan Hospital District boundary will receive round-the-clock emergency medical service from ambulance crews housed at the Emergency Medical Services headquarters on North Pagosa Boulevard.

Inception of the expanded hours coincides with completion of a 2,000-square-foot, two-story addition to the EMS building this week.

Ambulance crews will sleep at the station in a suite that includes six bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining area and a day room. The new construction also includes second-floor office space, and a new handicap-accessible board room on the first floor. A garage and maintenance area complete the first floor.

According to USJHD director Bill Bright, four members of EMS will be in residence at the building after regular business hours, ready to answer calls for emergency assistance. Two of the residents will be paramedics (EMS currently has six paramedics on the full-time staff) and two residents will be volunteers with EMT basic or EMT intermediate training.

According to Bright, the addition at the EMS building was completed "with no use of tax money. It was paid for as a result of fund-raising efforts by the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation, by a $35,000 Energy Impact Grant obtained by the hospital district, by a $30,000 donation made by a private individual and by a commitment by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association for $5,000 per year for 10 years. There were no tax dollars expended on this project."

With round-the-clock ambulance service in effect next week, training is starting in preparation for yet another expansion of services by EMS.

Bright said the six paramedics on the EMS staff, as well as full-time staffer Carl Macht (who will complete paramedic training next year) are currently going through an extensive training session with district physician advisor Dr. Bob Brown.

Their training deals with advanced assessment techniques and wound management and, said Bright, is in preparation for 24-hour coverage at the Urgent Care Center located at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic on South Pagosa Boulevard. When the Urgent Care Center coverage begins, staff residents at the EMS building will be able to respond to the Urgent Care Center to attend to patients brought to the facility by means other than EMS ambulances. No start date has been set for the Urgent Care coverage.


Gov. Owens to PHS: Don't make fun of violence

By Roy Starling

Speaking to a Pagosa Springs High School assembly Friday morning, Governor Bill Owens talked briefly about the Columbine High School tragedy, suggesting ways to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Owens was on a two-day swing through the San Luis Valley and western Colorado that culminated in an address at Durango High School's graduation Saturday morning.

While admitting that he "didn't have any answers," Owens told the students "we have to make sure we don't make fun of violence anymore."

A typical 15-year-old American, Owens said, "has probably seen 15,000 deaths on television or in movies. We may not think we're affected by what we see on TV, but businesses spend huge sums of money on advertising because they believe that what we see on television influences our behavior."

Owens said that following the Columbine killings he has "kept a closer eye" on what his own children watch and the music they listen to. He urged Pagosa's students to distinguish between what they saw in the entertainment media and the choices they made in real life.

The governor spoke of his interaction with some of the people involved in the tragedy. On April 20, the day of the incident, he met with "mothers and fathers who were wondering if their children were still alive." He said he would be attending a graduation party this past weekend for one of the survivors.

Owens said despite the recent series of shooting in schools, he's not giving up on young people or on the future of our society. "Instead of dwelling on the two murderers," he said, "I've come to realize what great kids the 12 victims were and what a great man the slain teacher was.

"I haven't given up on our society. There are still a lot of good people out there," the governor said. "The United States probably has more opportunities than anywhere else in the world. There isn't a better country than this one, and there isn't a better state in the country than Colorado."

Students asking questions from the audience wanted to know what could be done to decrease the risk of high school shootings. One student asked Owens if he thought tighter gun control might be effective.

"At the margins, there may be something to addressing gun control issues," Owens said. "I do think we should raise the legal age for being able to purchase guns, but the problem goes much deeper than the availability of guns. I would like a law that does away with some of the confidentiality that keeps law enforcement authorities from conversing with school officials. We really need to increase the flow of communication between these two groups."

The governor was asked if there are ways to make parents more responsible for the actions of their children. "I believe parents and society bear much of the responsibility for what happened at Columbine," he said, "but whether or not parents can be held legally responsible is another question."

Governor Owens received mixed reviews from students following his talk. Peter Dach, a junior, and J. B. Forrest, a senior, both liked what he said concerning gun control.

"He made a lot of good points on gun control," Dach said. "He thought we should have tighter gun control, making it harder for kids to get guns."

Forrest, on the other hand, liked the fact that Owens acknowledged the limitations of gun control. "I liked what he said about how you couldn't fix the problem just by tightening the laws," he said. "You have to work the problem out with the kids."

Junior Ian Widmer was impressed by the governor's comments concerning the influence of music on young people. "I agree with what he said about how music impacts us," Widmer said. "Music, television and movies really influence teens' perceptions of violence and make it socially acceptable."

Shannon Taylor, also a junior, was disappointed in Owens' response to a students' question concerning the Internet. "A student asked him about the conflict between freedom of speech on the Internet and the possible impact that freedom could have on Internet users," Taylor said. "I think the governor avoided the question. I'm interested in that issue and I wanted to hear more about it."

The governor didn't win any points from junior Chelsea Volger, either. "I would consider myself a Republican," she said, "but I didn't really like the guy. I think he kind of smoothed his way around everything. I also thought it was hypocritical that he would come to a public school to speak when he is pro-voucher."

Senior Reyanna Klein didn't respond to Governor Owens' politics, but expressed an appreciation for his visit. "I think it's great that our governor could get so involved that he would go to all these schools to talk to them," she said. "I liked him."

In introducing Owens, school district Superintendent Terry Alley said that this is "only the third time in the last 30 years that a governor has addressed Pagosa Springs students."


Commissioner Crabtree call for county cleanup

By John M. Motter

Every person in the county with trashy property should receive a letter from the county asking if they intend to clean up their property. That is the opinion of County Commissioner Gene Crabtree.

Crabtree's suggestion at Tuesday's meeting of county commissioners failed to stir up any action. Commissioners Ken Fox and Bill Downey suggested instead that a workshop would provide a better forum for discussing the subject.

"I think we should write letters to property owners with material littering their property," Crabtree said, "and ask what their intentions are. The letter could suggest they cleanup. If they don't respond, we can take steps to resolve the problem. We need to make the county as nice on the outside as it is on the inside."

"We can write the letter okay," said County Attorney Larry Holthus, "but enforcing it is something else. The county will have to adopt an ordinance in order to force people to clean up."

"Well, if we write the letter and no one responds, then we can adopt an ordinance," Crabtree said. "We can look at other ordinances already in effect around the state. I understand we could do the cleanup, then bill the property owner. That cleanup bill becomes a lien against the property."

"Like a tax lien," Holthus said.

"If the property is not fenced, kids can get in and get hurt," Crabtree said. "It becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and rats and mice, a threat to public health and safety."

At this point in the discussion, Fox suggested a work session and changed the subject.

Magnesium chloride

A contract was approved calling for Desert Mountain Inc. to apply magnesium chloride to county roads. Magnesium chloride is used on non-paved surfaces as a road stabilizer and dust-control agent. The county prepares road surfaces for the application, but Desert Mountain applies the solution. For this season, the county is purchasing 470,650 gallons of magnesium chloride at a cost of $157,620, or 33.49 cents a gallon. About 100 miles of roads will be covered. Application of the road salt began in the southern part of the county and should reach North and South Pagosa boulevards in the Fairfield Pagosa area today or tomorrow.

PUD bonds

The commissioners dropped a $17,000 post-completion bond requirement placed against Village Apartments Phase I as a guarantee that a parking lot and landscaping at the site hold together for at least a two-year warrantee period. The requirement was dropped when developer Mike Branch pointed out that county planned unit development regulations do not specifically authorize such a bond. PUD regulations do authorize such a bond for road work, as do subdivision regulations. Subdivision regulations authorize a performance bond to ensure completion of required improvements, and an additional bond posted to guarantee that roads last at least two years.

Quarter midget racing

A six-months variance from PUD regulations was granted Tom Fletcher and the San Juan Quarter Midget Association. The variance will allow the association to construct a quarter midget racing track on the east side of Vista Boulevard about 300 feet north of the Park Avenue intersection. Fletcher says the association has a 10-year lease for the property, but will move sooner if the county has an alternative.

"We might have a site available much sooner on the 40-acre BLM property we're trying to obtain," said Fox. 'Would you consider moving there, even if it means moving in a short time?"

Because Fletcher agreed with the idea, the commissioners granted the association the six-month variance from PUD regulations, starting in May and ending in October. Everything the association installs this year will be of a temporary nature.

About 13 or 14 young people are currently involved in the racing, Fletcher said, but the number should climb when a permanent facility is available.

Eightmile Mesa Road

The commissioners and property owners Jack Adams and Dick Ray discussed proposed improvements to Eightmile Mesa Road beginning with its junction with U.S. 84 and extending westward about 2 miles. Special emphasis was placed on doing something about the fences Adams and Ray own along the road.

"I heard by word of mouth that work may start on the road," Adams said. "I don't want anybody showing up and cutting my fence before I know about it."

Holthus said the contemplated road work is to be done under an agreement between the county and Loma Linda Ltd. and its chief executive officer, Fred Schmidt. Negotiations to get the work done have been under way for many years.

A 1995 agreement between the county and Schmidt called for Schmidt to rebuild the road to county standards, including a 60-foot right of way, according to Holthus. Installation of the 60-foot right of way requires moving the fences. In that agreement, Schmidt had agreed to buy materials for a three-rail, split-rail fence, according to Holthus, and Ray and Adams agreed to install the fence. The county was responsible for providing culverts across the main road and for driveways.

Because years have elapsed since the agreement was reached with nothing happening, Holthus said, the county last year initiated legal action against Loma Linda Ltd. to force compliance.

Prior to reaching an adversarial position in the courtroom, the protagonists are required to go through a dispute-resolution process, Holthus said. A result of that process has been the recommendation by the presiding judge that Loma Linda Ltd. assign a road work contract to the county. Loma Linda Ltd. had agreed to establish a $90,000 escrow account and contract with U-Can-Afford for the road work, according to Holthus. The work is scheduled for Aug. 15 through Sept. 15. The new contract does not make provision for replacing fences.

The non-consideration of fences is what led to Adams and Ray appearing before the county commissioners.

The county has only had the contract in hand for a few days, according to Holthus, and has not reached a decision on whether to accept assignment or not. The consensus of the commissioners was that the contract assignment will not be accepted unless the fences are provided for, and maybe not then.

Other business

In other business Tuesday:

- County Manager Dennis Hunt reported that the county may soon be able to strike a deal to obtain from the Bureau of Land Management the 40 acres of land located near Stevens Field. A detailed site plan is being prepared by the county for submission to the BLM. Facilities on the plan will generally be recreational in nature.

- Hunt reported that four-laning U.S. 160 between Pagosa Boulevard in Fairfield, Pagosa and 8th streets in town, has been given third place in a ranking of projects made by the Region 9 Engineering staff. That project had ranked first when ranked by the five southwestern Colorado counties. The new ranking includes projects from a much wider area than did the original ranking. Rated first was a $2 million study proposing to bypass Alamosa. Second was a $20-million proposal for improving the road between Telluride and Ridgway.

- Ambulance permits were issued for nine ambulances operated by the Upper San Juan Hospital District.

- A special, three-day, 3.2 percent beer retail license was issued the Pagosa Springs Lions Club to cover Fourth of July activities.

- The commissioners approved the improvements agreement and conditional final plat for Timberline Townhomes located in Pagosa in the Pines.

- A $22,000 contract was authorized for rebuilding a bus purchased in connection with a transportation plan being developed to help senior citizens, persons with medical problems, and ultimately, other citizens of Archuleta County.


American Legion Post 108 remembers county's war dead

Members of American Legion Post 108 will observe Memorial Day, May 31, at the Legion Building in Town Park and at the Legion memorial at Hilltop Cemetery. The service in Town Park starts at 9:30 a.m. The Hilltop Cemetery service will follow Catholic Mass at 10:30 a.m. The public is welcome.

Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor America's war dead. The observance began shortly after the Civil War to honor the dead of both the North and South. It later became an occasion for commemorating American lives lost in all military conflicts.

Monday, American Legion Post 108 will honor Archuleta County's war dead with a roll call of the 30 men who gave their lives in either World War I, World War II, Korea or Vietnam.

Legion Post 108 and Boy Scout Troop 807 will place flags on veteran's graves May 30 at 4 p.m. The flags will remain in place 24 hours.

All local veterans are invited to meet at the Legion building at 9 a.m to participate in the service. Uniforms are desired, but not required.


New high school's first class graduates Saturday

By Roy Starling

Commencement exercises for the Pagosa Springs High School Class of '99 will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the high school gym.

The Class of '99, with 96 graduates, is the largest in Pagosa Springs history. The school's 89th graduating class, the last of the century, is also the first to graduate from the new high school.

The seniors will be welcomed by both salutatorian Nicolle Sellers and Superintendent Terry Alley. English teacher Curtis Maberry was selected by the seniors to deliver the commencement address. Maberry will be introduced by salutatorian Emily Stoltz.

The class history will be presented by Jessica Brown, Kachina Domenick, Corrilee Patterson, Brad Schmidt and Brandon Thompson. The high school choir will sing Greg Gilpin's "Graduation Song," which will be followed by a slide presentation and the singing of the class song - Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" - by Gillian Berrich, Sara Fredrickson, Katherine Frye, Tranell Ross, Jancy Savage, Sellers and Stoltz.

Valedictorians T Jay Carter and Tracey Farrow will then address the gathering.

Counselor Mark Thompson will award scholarships and Principal Bill Esterbrook will present the class. Dr. Randall Davis, president of the board of education, will accept the class. The benediction will be given by salutatorian Shannon Bishop.

Esterbrook said the doors of the gym will be open at 8 a.m. for those who want to be sure of good seating. He said it may also be possible to view the ceremony from the auditorium. "We have plans to video it and play it at the same time in the auditorium," he said. "We're still not 100 percent certain, but if we can get the technology to work, we'll do it."


Sen. Dyer, Rep. Larson speak at Legislative Recap

Senator Jim Dyer, D-Durango, and Representative Mark Larson, R-Cortez, will be guest speakers at a Legislative Recap on Tuesday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in the Archuleta County Fair building.

An informal "meet your legislators" opportunity will be held at 6:30 p.m. prior to the forum.

The meeting is being hosted by the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County.

The Legislative Recap intends to offer interested citizens of Archuleta County an opportunity to learn about recently-passed state legislation, and how it will affect Archuleta County.

Windsor Chacey, president of the local League of Women Voters chapter, said the recap will address legislation in the areas of TABOR surplus refund/tax cuts, campaign finance reform, land use and property rights issues, children, family and social policy bills, education programs and funding, firearm regulations and the safety of students and communities.

Sen. Dyer and Rep. Larson are expected to discuss how they developed and proposed legislation during the recently-completed session. They also will discuss how citizens can become involved in effecting legislation being considered for the next legislative session.

The Legislative Recap format will provide ample time for questions and answers. According to Chacey, the legislators have been asked to be available for a short time after the meeting to listen to individuals' concerns.

For more information, contact Chacey at 264-6275.


Inside The Sun

Lynch attends Hall of Fame opening

By Karl Isberg

When honored guests take their seats in the VIP section at the grand opening of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 4, Pagosa's own Famous Redhead will be front-row center.

Though her hair is no longer the red color of her youth, Mamie Lynch will attend the opening of the Hall of Fame as a member of the Famous Redheads and the All-American Redheads - as one of the pioneers of women's basketball in the modern era in the United States.

A former Archuleta County commissioner, a former manager of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and the former business manager for School District 50 Joint, Lynch will make a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., next week to participate in the festivities.

Her trip really began when Mamie Holder was a star on the high school girls' team at Gillham, Ark. Gillham's girls were one of the most successful teams in the state, winning two state championships.

Mamie was a senior when the renowned Famous Redheads scheduled a game in Gillham. "The Redheads were playing in town," said Mamie, "and they were working out in our gym. I played hooky to go watch them. My coach was there and he urged me to try out for the team. I tried out that fall, and in the spring there was a vacancy and they called me and asked me to finish the season with them. The school officials thought it would be as much of an educational experience for me as I would have at the school, so they let me go."

Mamie quickly took a big step away from Gillham, and from the one-bounce, half-court game then played by high school girls. The Redheads played men's rules, with many of the players having AAU experience, and they played games in towns across the nation. Serious games.

"I was 17 years old," recalls Mamie. "I was a scared little girl."

It was 1950. She was on her way to the pinnacle of women's basketball, headed to an experience that would have a dramatic and positive effect on her life. The Famous Redheads, and their sister squad the All-American Redheads, were started in 1947 and had gained a national reputation as they barnstormed the country. It was the big time for a woman in the sport.

Mamie took a train from Arkansas to Missouri, then transferred to a bus for a ride to Montana where she was set to meet the team. "I took the bus to Deer Lodge, Montana," she said. "I had never been to snow country. I got to the hotel early. I saw the team car pull up and I watched as a 6-foot-4 player started to unfold herself from the front seat and I said, 'Oh, mama, what am I into now?' "

It wasn't long before the high school senior from Arkansas was an accepted member of the team, traveling in a special touring car from town to town, from game to game. "I was one of only two players on the team with natural red hair," said Mamie. "The team was started by a man who once played for the House of David (a barnstorming, all-Jewish basketball team) and his wife was a hairdresser. She provided henna to the rest of the players so they could color their hair."

The Redhead experience provided more than a basketball education. "I persevered," Mamie said of her first days with the Redheads, "and I learned some great lessons. We had a cardinal rule: Don't fight. One of the most important things I learned was how to get along."

Camaraderie was necessary; the team was on the road all the time, in less than leisurely conditions. "We traveled in a custom-built car," said Mamie, "seven team members and a coach. We had hotel rooms booked in advance. We would get to a town, check into our hotel and many times get there in just enough time to put on our stuff and get to the gym. Sometimes, we played seven days a week, as many as eight games a week. It was rare we would get a day off and when we did, we would cherish it."

And the play was anything but frivolous. It was genuine basketball. "We played local men's teams," recalled Mamie. "We played men's rules. Occasionally we would travel to a town with a small college and we would play the college team. We played 180 games a year and we won 70 percent of the games. It was great entertainment."

The fall after she signed on with the Famous Redheads, Mamie was transferred to the All-American Redheads and she stayed with the program for more than two years. By the time she left the Redheads, she had played basketball in 40 of the 48 states.

Now, with the completion of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, the achievements of the Redheads will be recognized in a manner fitting their importance to the sport. There will be a special room at the Hall of Fame devoted to the team. Memorabilia will be on display, as will one of the special touring cars used by the teams.

Not only will Mamie be able to take part in a celebration of 106 years of women's basketball when she travels to Knoxville, she will also have the opportunity to reunite with some of her teammates.

"I'm excited," she said of her trip and her reunion. "I know some of the people I played with will be there. We can compare to see who's aged most gracefully. I'm also excited that there is a Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. They've almost got me sold on buying a brick in the building for $100."


Clean Up Week fills 10 dumpsters

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington reported Wednesday that the recently-completed Clean Up Week was a success - in terms of the number of residents participating in activities and the amount of junk and debris removed from properties in town.

Harrington said Clean Up Week participants filled at least 10 large dumpsters placed at various locations in town from May 16 to May 22. Each dumpster had a 30-cubic-yard capacity.

"During an eight-day period," said Harrington, "our crews had two or three dump trucks working throughout the day, carrying items placed curbside by residents."

As part of the clean-up effort, town crews demolished an abandoned house located on North 5th Street. They also tore down and removed several old sheds located within town limits.

"We had some residents remove junk cars from their properties," said Harrington, "and there are several junk cars that must still be removed."

While the level of participation in Clean Up Week was higher than in the past, Harrington said some residents did not take advantage of the opportunity to rid their properties of junk items prohibited by town ordinance.

"We had a pretty good level of participation," said Harrington. "Now, we will follow up in the next few weeks with those people who have not yet cleared junk and debris from their properties, with the possibility of citations being issued."

A town program designed to promote the planting of trees on residential properties will continue. The town of Pagosa Springs will pay half the cost of trees planted between houses and the street in an effort to help residents beautify their properties.

Town Parks and Recreation Department director Doug Call said the next town beautification project will take place on June 5, National Trails Day.

On June 5, volunteers are asked to meet on Reservoir Hill near the cabin at 10 a.m. for a day of work on trails located on the hillside. Call said participants will receive a free T-shirt and a barbecue meal. Work will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Information about the tree program and the work on National Trails Day is available from the parks and recreation department at 264-4151.



Day of remembrance

General John A. Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War, issued an order that declared May 30, 1986 as a day "for the purpose of strewing with flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."

Following World War I, May 30 was designated as the day to honor the fallen comrades of all American wars. In time the custom was expanded to remember all deceased relatives and friends, whether military or civilian.

In 1971, Congress established the last Monday in May as the time to observe Memorial Day.

To our nation's dishonor, Americans started paying more attention to enjoying a three-day holiday rather than observing a day that had been designated as a time for paying respect and gratitude towards memorializing our nation's war dead.

Monday is more than the final day of a three-day weekend, it is Memorial Day.

Whether we attend the ceremony American Legion Post 108 will conduct at 9:30 a.m. at the Legion Hall flag pole at the east end of Town Park or the Post's 10:30 a.m. service at the southwest end of Hilltop Cemetery, we should personally take time Monday to remember the brave military personnel, loving family members and devoted friends whose lives have enabled us to experience and enjoy peace, love and prosperity.

They are deserving of a personal time of remembrance.

David C. Mitchell



Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Some graduations aren't that fun

Dear Folks,

Pagosa Springs High School conducts its 89th commencement exercise Saturday.

It should be a great day for the graduating seniors and their friends and families.

But when life is not lived in a perfect world, graduation day can be far from being fun for some graduates and their friends.

As a recent news release from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials reminded, graduation parties that provide a mixture of drinking and driving can turn a time of celebration into a time of mourning.

Whether facilitated by unconcerned consenting parents, unlawful merchants or well-meaning friends, it's rather common for underage drinking to occur at graduation parties in Pagosa.

According to state officials, teens tend to "binge" drink at such celebrations, consuming high levels of alcohol simply to get drunk.

Because of this tendency, some parents of our local teenagers will be praying Saturday night that their phone will not ring early Sunday morning while they are sleeping.

Though they will share their children's natural inclination to think, "it will never happen to us," they will battle their parental awareness that drinking, driving and fatal crashes are all too often a common occurrence on graduation night.

To deepen the tragedy, sometimes the victims are someone other than the drunk driver. It's an awful way to end a friendship of a passenger or to become personally involved with a total stranger riding in another vehicle.

I've expressed these or similar concerns on this page in the past, and always with mixed emotions.

It's no secret that there's little or no chance that these words will alter anyone's plans or actions Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Despite this awareness, I write them down to alleviate the guilt I would harbor if this year's graduation is added to the list of fatal commencements that occurred on the nights of past graduations.

I don't want to once again be listening to the standard unanswerable questions . . . "Why does this sort of tragedy happen to such good kids?" "Why is it the driver survives and a passenger is killed?" "Why doesn't somebody do something to prevent this sort of thing?" "Why weren't they wearing their seat belts?"

I tired of these questions years ago. So I started asking some new ones: "Who was the adult who sold or provided the alcohol to the underage drinkers?" "Why would an adult not know any better?" "When are we ever going to learn?"

Like I say, some questions don't come with easy answers. But they have the bad habit of being asked after graduation celebrations turn into catastrophes. It's not that I'm wanting to control other folks' actions, it's more that I'm not wanting to print an auto fatality as the lead story in next week's edition.

I've already done it a couple of times.

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



By Shari Pierce

New mural reflects local history

The town is being treated to a new mural on Pagosa Street where a representation of several facets of Pagosa Springs' history are being recorded. The symbols chosen by those overseeing this project are a logging train, the hot springs cone as seen at The Springs, Buckskin Charlie and Henry Gordon. The background of the mural is a view of the San Juan Mountain range.

After an unexpected, but pleasant chat with Sally Hameister, chamber of commerce manager, I was inspired to write this series of Legacies offering a brief explanation of how each of these choices relate to our area's history.

We'll begin with the logging train. As the community of Pagosa Springs and the Camp Lewis army post began to grow up around the hot springs, an obvious need was for lumber. Some of the area's earliest loggers were probably soldiers from the camp and the pioneer settlers. Charles Loucks and E.T. Walker came to this area in 1879. These men built the area's first sawmill. Early-day logging would have been limited to the local area because of limited transportation methods.

With all of the available timber in the area, it would be only a matter of time before this natural resource would be tapped.

In the 1890s, there was a lot of speculation in local newspapers as to when a railroad would reach Pagosa Springs. Claims were made of the wonderful things that would come to Archuleta County along with the railroad.

Soon, a race was on between two lumber companies to be the first to reach Pagosa Springs. Court battles and accusations of unfair elections followed. This, along with the rail lines continuing to build spurs into the timber-rich areas of the county to perform their main business, kept local people occupied over the course of several years.

Finally, in October 1900, the railroad steamed into Pagosa Springs for the first time. It quickly became a favorite method of travel into and out of the area. Ranchers appreciated the convenience of being able to ship their cattle and sheep to market, cutting short by many miles the annual drives.

Over the following years floods, fires and over-logging of previously timber-rich areas, led to the decline of the railroad business. Early in 1935, the railroad made its last run from Pagosa Springs.

Next week, more about the mural.


25 years ago

Gulf Oil signs 1st geothermal lease

Taken from SUN files

of May 30, 1974

The first geothermal lease in Archuleta County was recorded last week in the county courthouse. It involves about 1,600 acres in an area just north of town. The land involved is that of Otell J. and Helen L. Reed and is located on Snowball Road. Gulf Oil Company is the lessee of the 20-year lease for the purpose of exploring for and developing sources of natural steam.

The town board last week received word that a federal grant had been approved for reconstruction of a section of the town water supply line and construction of a new raw water reservoir. Essentially the plans call for replacing the entire line from the filter plant to the town limits. Also planned is a large storage reservoir at the filter plant on Snowball Road to hold raw water.

A blaze that threatened to destroy a large amount of timber on Reservoir Hill was brought under control in a short time Sunday afternoon. The fire was located just north of the steel water tank and was plainly visible from town. As a result of the fire, the town board has ordered that a gate to the top of the hill be locked and stated that trespassers there will be cited.

Six forest fires were reported in the Piedra Ranger District last week by District Ranger Ted Lemay. All were believed to be started by lightening.


Community News

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Catholic church conducts Memorial Day Service

About 22 years ago, Father John Bowie of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church started conducting a Mass on Memorial Day at Hill Top Cemetery. He was away from Pagosa Springs for a few years but the custom was continued while he was gone.

The service is at 10 a.m. Following the Mass, the American Legion Post 108 will hold a military service at the flag pole located up the hill from where the Mass will be held. It is easy to spot. And this too has been a long-time custom in Pagosa.

In 1971, the last Monday in May was made a legal holiday, to commemorate all who have died during military service. This day is often called Decoration Day, and also is often called Poppy Day, for on this day volunteers sell small artificial poppies, the money going for the benefit of veterans.

Memorial Day stands for something. It is a day to fly the American Flag.

Chimney Rock

To continue what was started last week, telling something about the people who will conduct special programs for the Chimney Rock this summer.

Jean Carson will give a workshop, "Spinning With the Ancients" on June 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $30. The deadline for reservations is June 12. Call 883-5359.

About Jean Carson. She has been spinning for over 20 years using a variety of spinning devices and fibers, including buffalo, dog, musk ox, and human hair. She has been a Chimney Rock volunteer for four years and has done extensive research into lifestyles and craft ways.

Bruce Ellis will give workshops on "Archaeology of the Chimney Rock Area," on June 30 (deadline June 23) and July 21 (deadline July 14). The cost is $25. Call 883-5359 to make reservations.

A note from the Chimney Rock brochure tells us that Bruce is the District Archaeologist for the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan/Rio Grande National Forests and has had a primary responsibility for supervising the archaeology and preservation of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area for the past four years. He has studied early culture of the Southwest for 14 years.


The 1999 Congressional Directory lists all the U.S. Senators and Representatives and the committees on which they serve. Of interest is that U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R) serves on Appropriations, Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs and Veterans' Affairs.

U.S. Senator Allard (R) serves on Armed Forces and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

U.S. Representative Scott McGinnis (R) serves on Ways and Means.

Because New Mexico is so close by and because we get New Mexico news (sometimes more than from Colorado) here are New Mexico's two U.S. Senators and how they serve.

Pete Domenici (R): Appropriations, Indian Affairs, and the Budget Committee as Chair.

Jeff Bingaman (D): Armed Forces, Energy and Natural Resources, and Health Education, and Labor Pensions.

Fun on the Run

A man came home and found his house on fire, rushed next door, telephoned the fire department and shouted, "Hurry over here. My house is on fire!"

"Okay," replied the fireman, "How do you get there?"

"Say, don't you still have those big red trucks?"


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Pagosa not in top retirement spots

We have three new members who have joined the Chamber family this week, and we are delighted to welcome them to the fold. So much activity in Pagosa these days with a busy summer ahead for all of us; these are good problems, ya know!

Yale Espoy joins us with a new restaurant, Isabel's, formerly Moose River Pub, located at 20 Village Drive. Yale and gang are smack in the middle of renovations at present, but we will certainly let you know when they open their doors. It will be a fine dining, eclectic American cuisine and, I'm sure, well worth waiting for. We're happy to have you, Yale.

Jon Jones joins us next with Image Service of Pagosa Springs. Jon is an all-round clean-up guy offering a number of valuable services to include professional commercial and residential window cleaning. He will also do general house cleaning including ceiling fans, outside lights and storm windows and additionally provides construction clean up. If you need help with your daunting spring cleaning tasks, just give Jon a call at 970-902-2217.

Our thanks go out to Kennith and Vickie Ceradsky who join us as associate members this week. Remember that you don't have to own a business or even be associated with a business to join the Chamber of Commerce. Our list of associate members is growing by leaps and bounds with folks who want to become a part of the movers and shakers of Pagosa Springs. It's a great way to become a part of an exceptional group of people working together to build a better Pagosa. It's just $50 a year to become a member of the coolest family in PS.

Quite the Buzz

You were either out of town or willfully incommunicado not to have heard the buzz about mention of Pagosa Springs on the Today Show on MS/NBC last week. Jim Layne was good enough to call immediately after seeing it and a number of other kind folks called or stopped by during the day. David Savageau's fifth edition of "Retirement Places Rated" was the culprit and this is the real scoop. Basically, Pagosa wasn't even rated in the top thirty retirement destinations listed in his book. Fort Collins was listed as the top spot. Durango was the twelfth place and Colorado Springs was sixteenth. Pagosa was listed as the ninth fastest-growing (47 percent growth from 1990) destination for retirement folks. I was interviewed by Channel 6 news in Durango to clarify and report the local reaction to such widespread notoriety and tried to be clear as possible about what I heard about town. As always, there was some ambivalence expressed by locals. Everyone seems to worry about losing our "small town" feeling and yet, from an economic standpoint, growth is a good thing. It's not the first time Pagosa has been mentioned in nationwide recognition as a dandy place to live or retire, but it seems as though it's happening more and more. At any rate, I have a copy of some of the information discussed on the show, and Jerry at Moonlight Books has the book for anyone who would like to read it.

Movin' Members

Gayle Allston, owner of Allston Designworks, is proud to announce her new location at 103 Pagosa Street, Suite 203, directly across the street from the yellow Victorian right before the bridge on the east end of town. In tandem with her relocation, Gayle has added Dee McPeek, currently with Old West Press as part-time associate. Together Gayle and Dee will create a powerful design team and will enable Designworks to better serve the marketing and communication needs of Pagosa. Gayle offers seventeen years of award-winning national design experience, and Dee has three years under her belt. Stop by and say hello to Gayle and Dee in their new location. Our best wishes for continued success in your new location, Gayle.

New Owners

Congratulations to Cathe and Harry Kropp on their recent acquisition of the Silver Mine Country Store now the Silver Mine Country Company located right on Pagosa Street next to Happy Trails. We will miss Mary but are happy to welcome Cathe and Harry to our family. We also welcome the new owners of The Irish Rose Restaurant located next to Goodman's Department Store on Pagosa Street. Neil and Andrea Postolese are the new owners of this little jewel and makers of the tastiest soda bread this side of Ireland.

Mountain Harmony

The Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus is at it again and will perform at the Fort Lewis Community Concert Hall on Saturday, June 5, at 7:31 p.m. This program is presented by the Durango "Barber Shoppers" and promises to be extremely entertaining. The theme of the program is "Happy Days" and, contrary to what I first thought, it is not about the former restaurant, the fifties or the TV show. It's about all the holidays, actually, from Christmas to the Fourth of July. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce at $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Plan to attend - with the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus you can always count on the highest standard of music.

Western Horseman

Forest Bramwell is becoming quite the celebrity these days, and we couldn't be happier to acknowledge the son of Gary and Faye of Astraddle A Saddle. The June issue of Western Horseman features a fabulous article on young Forest accompanied by two pictures. Congratulations once again to an exceptional young man and athlete. There's nothing quite as exciting as a "local boy makes good" story, and we do love to report them.

Hospitality Workshops

We still have some space in our "Winning Ways" workshop on Tuesday evening, June 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. If you have employees who could benefit from learning customer service skills, and who couldn't?, call to reserve a space while some are still available. Give your employees the gift of training and ergo, the gift of confidence when dealing with the public. Call us at 264-2360 to reserve a space.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Meeting held for Relay-for-Life Volunteers

Leslie Patterson from the American Cancer Society will be holding a meeting for volunteers willing to assist with Relay For Life tonight at 6 p.m. at Las Montañas Restaurant. Relay For Life is a team event to raise money for the American Cancer Society's program of research, education and service. Walkers and runners from teams will go around the clock for an 18-hour relay. The relay starts at 6 p.m. Friday, July 23, and goes through the night until noon on Saturday. To make this a fun event for participants, entertainment, contests, games, massages and meals will be included.

Teams are already being formed to be a part of Relay For Life. If you are a business owner, why not get your employees involved. It could sure be a wonderful team-building opportunity. Teams can consist of eight to 15 people with one member of the team having to be on the track at all times. Anyone interested in helping with pulling together this first-time event in Pagosa Springs, are invited to this evening's meeting or call Leslie Patterson at 731-4643 for additional information.

San Juan Outdoor Club members Gary Hopkins and Doug Call are resurrecting the Wolf Creek Wheel Club. They are inviting mountain bikers of all ability levels to join the club. With the vast numbers of dirt roads and trails in our area, the club will organize rides to explore these trails. Additionally, the club also hopes to help mark and maintain some of the trails. If you are interested please contact Gary Hopkins (264-6300) or Doug Call (264-4151) for membership information.

PLPOA's summer issue of its newsletter is printed and ready for mailing. Volunteers are invited to help with the huge task of labeling. A newsletter social is planned for Thursday, June 10 at 9 a.m. Come on out and bring neighbors and friends at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

Please be reminded that the Recreation Center will begin its summer business hours on Monday, May 31. The 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 classes, swim team training and organized swim lessons. Lap swimming is available daily during both morning and evening hours except from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from Monday through Thursday when the swim team uses the whole pool.

To accommodate increased numbers of aerobics class participants during the summer months, instructor Monica Greene is including some extra morning classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. Monica incorporates strength work and cardiovascular training in her instruction. If you have reached a sticking point in your training program and your butt and belly stay too big, your calves and chest remain too small; it's time to push the envelop and learn some new techniques. These morning classes will start June 1.

Congratulations to all our graduating seniors. Good luck and best wishes as you all embark on a new and challenging chapter of your life.


Senior News

By Thelma Risinger

Spring has sprung; seniors plan picnic

Hello everybody.

This community has reasons to be proud of the museum. Seniors made a little tour of the museum last Wednesday and were amazed at the antiques and dignity in the place. Much work has been put into the museum. The museum will be open to the public on Memorial Day weekend.

"Senior Choice" meal will be June 11. There will be barbecue beef, corn on the cob and potato salad on the menu for that day.

June 11 is full of fun as seniors are having their first Picnic in the Park of the year. Seniors Choice meal will be the same day as the picnic, so put on your old gray bonnet (and dark glasses) and come to the Picnic in the Park on June 11.

Lillie Gurule was "Senior of the Week" last week out here at El Centro.

It looks as if spring has sprung. Flowers are coming up, lawns are being mowed and birds are nesting. It is a beautiful time and we should count our many blessings.

Prayers for the sick and shut-ins.

Medina Hamilton is "Senior of the Week" out here at El Centro. Medina lives out by the lake and comes to the center on the bus. We enjoy having her very much.

We rejoiced today with Cindy Archuleta, coordinator, who has become a grandmother for the first time. Congratulations Cindy.

Happy birthday to Father John Bowe. May he have many more.



Library News

by Lenore Bright

Library's annual summer reading program begins

Our annual summer program starts June 14. Come in anytime during that week to get signed up. There will be all kinds of fun activities, games and prizes. We always have the reader sign a contract stating how many library books he or she will read during the six-week period. Parents may read to small children; siblings may read to younger children for extra credit. But children must read at their grade level for their own contract. Each participant will receive a pirate eye patch and special bag, and get their name on the "Whale of a Reader" wall.

A reading log is given to each person to take home. Parents are encouraged to have the children fill out the logs, which also helps reinforce the writing skills during the summer months.

Each reader must read at least six books during the six-week period to be eligible for certificates and prizes. We trust more than six will be read.

It is proven that children who continue to read during the summer do much better in their school work. Participating in the library program goes a long way toward improving reading skills for all ages.

Mark June 14 on your calendar and come in and see all of the delightful plans Shirley, Mary and Cathy have in store for this summer.

Other Activities

The CSU Extension Office also has two summer activities planned for children starting in the middle of July. We have some registration forms you may pick up here at the desk. Their programs are for children from age five to seven, and eight to eleven. Many other churches and organizations are planning vacation bible schools and camps. It is nice to have so many activities in our community.

Internet Concerns

The Annenberg Public Policy Center did a survey of parents concerning worries over their children using the Internet. Forty percent of parents are concerned about what their children will see. Another 40 percent of parents are comfortable with the situation. Twenty percent are not even convinced the Internet offers anything of real value for their children.

People of all ages will find educational opportunities on the Net. Its value to individuals has yet to be determined, but there is no doubt it is here to stay, and it will be as pervasive as television was 50 years ago. Television was called the most important educational tool of the century. The Internet may give TV a run for that title. We will plan to have some more classes in using the Internet after summer reading is over. If you wish to get on the list, give your name at the desk.

Local Heroine

Just want to say "hats off" to Sandy Caves who took it upon herself to help some of our local children learn to love reading by supplying them with new books out of her own pocket. A number of people have said they would like to help Sandy with this expense. This can be done by making a donation to Moonlight Books in Sandy's name.

Reading is the first and foremost skill a child must have to begin any kind of meaningful life pursuit. We applaud all of the volunteers who are donating time to bring up the reading skill level of our children. Reading should be fun. You can make it happen.


We will close for the Memorial Day holiday


Thanks for financial help from Mary Miller in memory of her dear husband Lindsay, the Pagosa Woman's Civic Club, Bev and Emmet Showalter, Shirley Snider, Pat and Ric in memory of Ed Webster. More donations to the Dorothy Schutz Memorial came from Alan and Patricia Button, Deanne and Danielle Miller, Beaverdale Boutique Beauty Salon, Jennifer and Sandra McGee. The last three donations were from friends and relatives of the Miller family lost in a recent plane crash. They were to thank Dennis for his rescue efforts.

Materials came from Carol Hakala, Hazle Neill, Joan Michaels, Donald Mowen, Harry Cole, Kyle Harders, Pres Severn, Ann and Dick Van Fossen, Rita Zeck, Betty Reynolds, Paulette Mobley, Darla MacLean, Barbara and Allen Hofferber, Shyamala Schmidt, Don Draper, Nicholas Afaami, Ellen Schmidt, Carole Howard, Janet Donavan, Brian Stahl, Mary Lou Sprowle, Nita Heitz, Sheila and Ron Hunkin, Gail Stuckenschneider, Joseph Washburn, Cecelia Arnold, Joan Driesens, Lois and Matt Mees, Carole and Richard Quillin, Phyllis Decker, Chris Bentley, Barbara Lindley, Bill Wills, Henry Rice, and Catherine Frye.


Arts Line

By Natalie Koch

Jensen show opens tonight

Tonight marks the opening of a new show at Pagosa Springs Arts Council Center and Gallery in Town Park.

Barney Jensen from Fort Collins will hold his opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. this evening and will be there to greet people and talk about his works. He specializes in watercolors, oils and bronzes, and as a special treat he plans to exhibit eight scenes from Pagosa Country.

Mr. Jensen had his own insurance business and after being in that field for 25 years, in 1978 he sold the business so that he could devote himself full time to his art.

Barney's work reflects the landscapes, wildlife and people he loves. His favorite places to paint take him into the mountains and streams of the American West, and to the favorite haunts of fly fishermen.

At first Barney concentrated on the serene beauty of landscapes and wildlife subjects, but more and more he is bringing the human form into his work. "I am attracted by what I see," Barney says, "and there are some scenes where people naturally belong."

Barney's paintings blend the rich hues and variable colors of nature into moments for reflection.

A fly fisherman himself, he considers himself lucky to be in the part of the country that has an abundance of trout streams and fly fishermen. "I think you need to practice a sport to really capture the essence of it on paper."

A self-taught artist, Barney now teaches other artists in workshop settings. His works have appeared in corporate publications and print editions. Originals can be seen at the Blue Heron Gallery in Fort Collins, and in other galleries and collections in the United States. He likes to paint outside on location and will be doing a demonstration this Saturday, June 29, in Town Park (outside, weather permitting). He plans to begin about 2 p.m.

New Writers

Welcome to the two new Artsline writers. Many of you may have met Trisha Blankenship when she had her one-woman show at PSAC Gallery earlier this year. Trisha is a Pagosa Springs High School graduate who is very interested in Native American spiritualism. She is not only a talented artist, but is a fine writer as well, and we are pleased to have her on board.

The other new author is Jennifer Galesic, who moved to Pagosa in February of this year with her husband Nick and their three children. This busy lady enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, traveling and playing with her children. She has had experience in writing poetry and stories and has studied screen writing and participated in an art masterpiece certification program through the Phoenix Art Museum.

Thanks so much for volunteering to help with Artsline. It is always great to have new talent and perspective for this column. And on a personal note, thanks so much, Bill Hudson, for the time you spent on Artsline. I very much appreciated your enthusiasm, creativity, and positive attitude. We will all miss you!

Speaking of volunteers: PSAC is looking for a membership committee person. If you are interested, please contact Joan Hageman for all the details at 264-4863.


PSAC Center and Gallery summer hours Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration deadline for Summer Arts Camp for students in grades two through nine is June 1, and space is limited. This is a wonderful program for our Pagosa Springs youth. Stop by the PSAC center for registration forms and more information.


Big kudos to Pagosa Springs Arts Council for its generous donation toward the new Community Center. PSAC has pledged $3,000 over the next three years, and made the first $500 installment last week with the proceeds from its spring garage sale. If you haven't made your pledge yet, or if you need more information, contact Jay Harrington, Ross Aragon, Sylvia Murray, Bill Dawson, Mark Garcia, Debbie Brown or myself.


Sports Page

Air Pagosa takes bronze at Durango Shootout

A young soccer team from Pagosa Springs took the bronze medal in the Durango Shootout over Mother's Day weekend. The tournament included over 80 soccer teams from Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

Air Pagosa, the local "under 13" team, had to play up in the Bronze Division of the "under 14" bracket because of scheduling demands.

In their first game the night of May 8, Air Pagosa suffered tournament jitters and lost to Telluride 6-0 in a game that was not indicative of the score.

On the morning of May 9, the team had an early wake-up call with a 7:30 a.m. game with a Durango team that had beaten Air Pagosa earlier in the year. This time, however, Air Pagosa rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with an incredible sliding shot from Levi Gill late in the game that, in retrospect, was a major factor in Air Pagosa winning the third-place medal.

In their 1:30 game on Sunday, Air Pagosa played their finest game of the year in beating a very physical Cedar Ridge team. Josh Soniat and Luke Brinton played an excellent defensive game by holding Cedar Ridge's larger forwards down the entire game. On the offensive attack, Ryan Ranson scored four goals enroute to Pagosa's 6-2 victory. The win put the team in a position to win either the silver or bronze medal.

The third game on Sunday pitted Air Pagosa against Montrose. Montrose was undefeated for the tournament, having won its first three games by 6-0, 5-0 and 3-0 scores. Although running out of gas, Air Pagosa trailed only 1-0 with 10 minutes left to play when Montrose scored from a mid-field shot. The score seemed to take the air out of the already exhausted Air Pagosa players.

Montrose finished the tournament undefeated to win the gold medal, Durango won the silver and Air Pagosa the bronze.

Members of the Air Pagosa team are Kyle Sanders, Levi Gill, Ryan Ranson, Ryan Lister, Michael Dach, Jimmy Anderson, Darin Prokop, Carson Park, Kevin and Paul Muirhead, Luke Brinton, Ty Faber, Drew Fisher, Caleb Forrest, Casey Kiister, Jerod Payne and Josh Soniat. The team is coached by John Ranson.

In addition to the success of the young Air Pagosa team in the Durango Shootout, Pagosans Zeb Gill and Jordan Kurt-Mason played on teams that won the gold medal in the Gold Division of the U-14 division, and Brian Hart and Harlan Lewis played on a team that won the silver medal in the Silver Division of the U-14 division.

The Air Pagosa players are looking forward to their final tournament of the season - the Zia Cup in Albuquerque, N.M. June 5 and 6.


Seven Porpoises finish in top five in first meet

The Pagosa Lakes Porpoise swimmers traveled to Farmington, N.M., last weekend for their first meet of the summer season. Twenty-four Pagosa swimmers attended the meet. The turnout reportedly was the largest ever for a Pagosa Lakes team. A total of 236 swimmers representing 16 teams from New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado participated in the Farmington meet.

The races were held in long-course format. This format uses a 50-meter pool, quite a bit longer than the 25-yard pool the Porpoises train in.

The 1999 Porpoise season marks the first with two coaches. Carol Anderson, a personal trainer and Porpoise swimmer last year, joins Natalie Koch as a Pagosa swim coach. According to Koch, Anderson's personal training experience and knowledge of workout planning have contributed immensely to the incredible results the swimmers exhibited in Farmington. "I've learned so much from her already this season," Koch says. "The kids are stronger and swimming faster, and this is just the first meet!"

Koch's assessment proved true at Farmington as seven Pagosa Lakes swimmers enjoyed a number of "top five" finishes or better.

Second-year swimmer Michael Caves, 10, placed fifth in the 100-meter butterfly and seventh in the 50-meter butterfly. Caves cut time off his personal bests in every event he swam, including a 22-second drop from his last year's best in the 100 breaststroke.

Also in his second year as a Porpoise, Christopher Coray, 10, earned fifth place in the 10-and-under 100 breaststroke, surprising himself and his teammates who were usually faster in that event. Coray also placed ninth in the 50 breaststroke.

In her first time swimming the event, Aliya Haykus, 9, placed fourth in the 100 butterfly. Haykus swam the maximum of 10 events in the two-day meet with events including the 400 freestyle where she place 17th.

Chris Matzdorf, 12, posted personal bests times in all eight events he entered. His top finish was a fifth place in 100-meter butterfly of the 11-to-12-year-old division.

Chris Nobles swam an incredible meet with 7 of 10 personal best times. At the bottom of his 11-to-12-age-group at age 11, Nobles won first places in the 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly, and finished third in the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle. Nobles' other finishes included a fourth in the 200 freestyle, a fifth in the 100 freestyle and a seventh in the 400 freestyle.

Matt Nobles, by not turning 11 until the second day of the Farmington meet, swam in the 10-and-under age group for his last time. Matt Nobles placed third in the 50 and 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Matt also earned fourth places in the 50 backstroke and 400 freestyle, fifths in the 50 and 100 freestyle, and sixth in the 50 breaststroke.

Veteran Tiffany Thompson, 15, swam the first meet of her eighth season as a Pagosa Lakes Porpoise. Nervous about her choice of grueling events, Thompson began the meet with the 400 individual medley on Saturday. In this race, swimmers must swim consecutively 100 meters laps of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Thompson completed the race slashing over six seconds from her best time last year and earning a second-place finish. In one of the other tough events, the 200 butterfly, Thompson placed first. She placed third in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, fourth in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Also attending the Farmington swim meet were first-time swimmers Lauren Caves (13), Abby Coray (6), Joshua Coray (8), Emily Greer (6), Mackenzie Kitson (8), Josh Mesker (10), Aaron Miller (9), Audrey Miller (12) and James Schneidereit (8). Returning Pagosa Lakes swimmers competing in the meet were Ben DeVoti, Emily Finney, Jenna Finney, Hillary Matzdorf, Del Greer, Liza Kelley, Courtney Steen and Cela White.

The Porpoises will travel to Gunnison for their next meet on June 5 and 6. The meet will offer them an opportunity to earn qualifying times for the Colorado Summer Club Championships which will be held in Cortez July 30 through Aug. 1.


Fredrickson finalist for Steinmark Award

By Roy Starling

Sara Fredrickson, who as a star varsity athlete thrilled and inspired Pagosa area sports fans for four years, is among eight finalists for the prestigious Fred Steinmark Award, an award that honors excellence on and off the field.

The award is named after Fred Steinmark, an All-American football player who starred at Wheat Ridge High School and University of Texas. The tremendously gifted student athlete died of cancer shortly after his career at Texas ended.

The winner of the Steinmark, considered by many the most prestigious honor that can be earned by a graduating high school senior athlete, will be named today in the "Rocky Preps" section of the Denver Rocky Mountain News.

Winners must have compiled at least a 3.0 grade-point average, earned all-state honors in one sport and at least all-conference in another, and must demonstrate outstanding citizenship.

Fredrickson easily meets these requirements. She'll finish her academic career at Pagosa Springs High School with a 3.76 G.P.A, was a member of the National Honor Society, the secretary of Student Council and won several academic awards in various classes.

In her junior and senior years, she was first-team all-state in both volleyball and basketball, and received honorable mention as a sophomore. In both basketball and volleyball in her senior year, she was selected to participate in the Colorado Coaches of Girls' Sports and the Colorado High School Activities Association all-state all-star games.

In basketball, she helped lead the Lady Pirates to two consecutive second-place finishes at state and was selected to the Class 3A all-tournament team on both occasions. She was voted the tournament's most valuable player this past season.

The middle hitter/blocker is the school record holder in virtually every volleyball category, and she is the Class 3A record holder for career blocks. As a low post on the hardwood, Fredrickson is one of the Lady Pirates' all-time great shot blockers, and in her last two seasons she was among the state leaders in scoring, rebounding, shooting percentage and steals.

In both sports, she was the Intermountain League Player of the Year for the past two years. In track, she qualified for state in the 800-meter relays her junior and senior years, and in the shot put her junior year.

About Fredrickson, her basketball coach Shonny Vanlandingham Kimber said, "Her approach to athletics and life is to be focused, to strive to reach each goal and to be a team player. While achieving great success . . . , Sara has maintained a truly humble attitude." Kimber also praised Fredrickson for her "strong commitment" to her teams and for setting the "highest of standards."

Fredrickson will attend the University of California at Santa Barbara in the fall on a volleyball scholarship.

Other finalists for the award are Ashley Augspurger, Wheat Ridge; Jennifer Bahl, Skyview; Amber Burgess, Columbine; Rachel Caliga, Dakota Ridge; Shannon Strecker, Chatfield; Linda White, Kiowa; and Katie Yemm, Fort Collins.

Last year's winner was Lamar's Britt Hartshorn, now a star basketball player at Colorado State University.



Video Review

By Roy Starling

Westworld: Where nothing can go 'worng'

Well here's an oddly relevant movie.

"Westworld" (1973) is about both the insidious effects of pretend violence and about the lingering hold the wild, wild west has on the American imagination.

Speaking to a Pagosa Springs High School assembly last Friday, Colorado Governor Bill Owens said, "We need to make sure we don't make fun of violence anymore."

Before he completed that bit of advice, I thought he was going to say, "We need to make sure we don't make fun of people we consider different or inferior, because our careless, half-witted comments are capable of making lasting scars on young, vulnerable psyches."

Most high school students are objects of abuse, derision and ridicule at some point, but, thankfully, most are in good enough control of their senses not to respond by spraying the joint with gun fire. Some, obviously, lack that control. We know that not only from what recently happened in real life, but from such films as "Carrie" and "Welcome to the Dollhouse."

Picking on people we hold in contempt is a loathsome quality we share with our friends in the animal kingdom. Based on my youthful observations of barnyard animals, they seem to have an instinct for weeding out their weaker brethren and sistern, those who would weaken the gene pool.

Chickens, in particular, will go out of their way to peck holes in a sickly family member and to keep the defective clucker from getting his fair share of the corn.

As human beings, the crowning race of all creation, you'd think we could do a little better than that.

Anyway, that's not what the governor wound up saying, and it has nothing to do with this week's featured film.

The governor said we had to stop "making fun" of violence, and from that I take it he meant "stop taking violence lightly" or "stop seeing violence as amusement."

In "Westworld," written and directed by Michael Crichton, city slickers pay $1,000 a day for the pleasure of pretending they live in the violent West of the 1880s. At this amusement part, at no risk to their own safety, they get to shoot it out with gunslingers and bank robbers who are, in fact, robots who look exactly like human beings except for some irregularity in their hands. The tourists can't shoot each other because the guns are programmed not to fire at objects with temperatures anywhere near 98.6.

If the tourists are so inclined, they can also "date" robotic saloon wenches.

Since Crichton grew up to write "Jurassic Park," you can probably guess what happens. "Westworld," in fact, is basically "Jurassic Park" with horses (which are also robots). For some never explained reason, something begins to go wrong with the robots' "central system" and they don't behave the way they're supposed to. They stop dying when they're shot and they start shooting back.

The best character in this movie is a robot who looks exactly like Yul Brynner as he appeared in "The Magnificent Seven" and "Invitation to a Gunfighter." Once the Brynner robot's wiring goes bad and he begins to exhibit violent human behavior, he develops the slightest trace of an evil smirk.

Many of us have seen this same look on the face of the playground bully who knows it's only a matter of time before the teachers turn their backs, and he can experience that perfect bliss that comes only from grinding your scrawny self into the dirt.

When things go wrong, horribly wrong, at Westworld, the people who direct the actions of the robots are trapped inside the control room. Why did I get the idea I was watching a preview of our upcoming Y2K adventure? Anyway, now everyone is up Piano Creek without a tuner or however that vulgar expression goes.

"Westworld" suggests that people who profit from selling pretend violence are ultimately consumed by the real thing, and violence eventually turns on those who seek to be entertained by it. Crichton sees violence as some shadowy beast that no cage of civilization can successfully contain. Tease it (or "make fun" of it) long enough, and it will eventually erupt, leaving a river of real human blood in its wake.

The film also reminded me of the appeal the image of the West has for Americans, especially those of us who grew up elsewhere. That image - which may bear little resemblance to reality - suggests a wide open land of rugged individualism where tough frontier types battle it out with the unruly, potentially savage elements of nature, human and otherwise.

We're drawn to this image, but is that what we really want?

A business man (played by Richard Benjamin) from Chicago, after testing a bed in one of Westworld's frontier hotels, says "At least they could've made it comfortable." He's told by his friend (James Brolin), "If you wanted comfort, you should've stayed in Chicago." Sound familiar?

After watching Crichton's film, I was reminded that I'm just a city slicker, a dude, a tender foot, visiting here in southwest Colorado's own version of Westworld. Tourists in Crichton's Westworld become westerners by dressing like them, but I know that won't work for me. I'm a stranger in town, and wearing a cowboy hat won't make me any less strange.

Still, I reckon I appreciate the hospitality around these parts. And I shore hope none of these other uppity flatlanders get a burr in their saddle and go to makin' the place too dang comfortable.

If they do, I'm lightin' out fer the territory.



Motter's Mutterings

By John M. Motter

Words: What do they really mean?

Words are like wives. You can't live with them and you can't live without them. What people say, or mean to say, often has little to do with the words they use. Every married man and woman learns, as a condition of remaining married, to identify what the spousal partner means, not what they say. This knowledge requires considerable on the job training and is, unfortunately, not available to love-struck young folks just entering the marriage estate. Those of us who have been locked in this estate for several years can, however, offer a little advice appropriate to the more obvious situations.

For example, if a man is busy digging in his pocket for a ring and the preacher says "Do you?" and his beloved answers "He does," when it's his turn to speak, he needs to at least suspect that trouble is coming.

Suspicion turns to certainty if, later during the same ceremony the preacher asks, "Do you promise to love, honor, and obey," and she falls on the floor overcome with laughter.

His doom is sealed if, when he gets home following the ceremony she runs through the house chanting, "no more curlers, no more cooking, no more of this or of that." The best thing he can do is forget counseling, buy a wig and mustache, and catch the next ride out of town. Never mind the bank account. She's already been there.

On the other hand, the following situation reflects the easy camaraderie, trust, and acceptance common in the relationship of couples who have been married a long time.

A funeral procession being held for a well-known lady in a small town follows a narrow road through the park and along the banks of the river. Hundreds of mourners march in the procession from the church to the cemetery.

As the mourners move along the river bank, a fisherman clad in waders lifts his pole from the water and places his fly-encrusted hat over his heart in an obvious gesture of sympathy for the deceased and those survivors whose hearts are hurting.

A man resting on a bench in the park notices the fisherman's piety and that he does not start fishing again until the last straggler in the procession moves past.

"I want to commend you sir, " the man says. "Not everyone would have stopped what they were doing to honor a passing procession."

"It was the least I could do," the fisherman replies. "She was a good wife."

This story generates conflicting thoughts. At first, we are sorry for the loss of the woman and the heartache felt by her friends and family. The procession reminds us of loved ones we have lost and makes us sad.

Then we are uplifted, almost made happy, by the fisherman's actions, at least until he answers the admiring onlooker. Here is an obviously caring person. Admiration turns to disgust when we hear his reply to the onlooker's compliment. We become furious. Indignation is the proper response to the fisherman.

Of course we don't know enough to judge the fisherman. Maybe this same, woman, many years ago at their wedding, said "He does." Maybe they have been married for 40 years and she has never let him out of the house except to report for work. Nary a day for fishing. And maybe, just maybe, she always encouraged him to fish. At the onset of her terminal illness she called him to her side and said, "I'm going. My last hours will only be happy if I know you are happy. Grab your fishing pole and go to it."

Who knows, or as the Spanish say, quien sabe? If you've learned anything other than wariness from this exercise, you're way ahead of me. I've worked with words all of my life. What I've learned is, people say the darndest things. I wish I could understand what they mean.



By John M. Motter

A diary of Pagosa in the '20s

By John M. Motter

Everyone knows the weather was both better and worse in the old days, at least in Pagosa Springs. Winters were colder and snow was deeper. At the same time, spring came earlier and wild flowers were brighter and more plentiful.

Anna Ellsworth, Elaine Ellsworth Kachel's mom, kept a diary in Pagosa Springs through the 19-teens, the 1920s, and the early 1930s. A temperature of minus 56 degrees is mentioned. The coldest temperature recorded in records kept by the Colorado State Climatologist since 1938 is minus 46 degrees reached in February of 1951. Maybe the oldtimers are right.

"I remember the weather was different then," says Elaine. "The winters were more severe. I remember the snow was above the windows. Dad had to tunnel from the front door to the street. They kept the main streets plowed with a team of horses."

Abundant winter snow had a plus side. Elaine recalls the joy of winter sleigh rides, gliding across the snow in horse-drawn cutters or sleds.

The mail for the San Juan Basin came by train across Cumbres Pass. If snow on Cumbres was particularly deep, the trains did not run and no one received mail. More than once, the mail delay stretched from days to as much as a couple of weeks.

Elaine's dad was Dr. Bert Ellsworth, a dentist who practiced in Pagosa Springs for almost 60 years, starting in 1911. Doc Ellsworth's dental chair and other equipment are now in the Upper San Juan Historical Society Museum, donated by Elaine after her father passed away in 1968. The Ellsworths married in Kansas. He finished dental school in Denver, then the family moved to Pagosa Springs in 1911.

One of Doc Ellsworth's first customers was Gertrude Larson, who ranched in the O'Neal Park area. She was the model for the Duchess in the Fred Harman Red Ryder comic strip.

"She was an older lady, good hearted, but as tough as nails," Elaine said. "Dad pulled a tooth for her. I don't know if he used an anesthetic, but I don't think he did. She met him on the street a few days later, thumped him on the back, and said 'Doc, you pretty near killed me.' The thump knocked dad down."

The Ellsworth move from Denver to Pagosa Springs was made by rail, at least as far as Lumberton, located in New Mexico just south of Archuleta County. Because the railroad bridge west of Lumberton was washed out, Elaine's dad hired Tom Mee and his wagon to freight the family belongings to Pagosa Springs. The normal route would have been to stay on the train to Pagosa Junction. At Pagosa Junction a transfer would have been made to the Pagosa Northern rail line, which connected Pagosa Junction with Pagosa Springs.

The family home still stands on Pagosa Street across from the Rolling Pin Bakery. Today it is the blue and white frame building housing Ranson Advisors LLC. That building is where Elaine was born Sept. 20, 1918. She attended Pagosa schools through the ninth grade.

In 1933, the doctor moved his family to Seattle "because he had always liked the Pacific Northwest." He remained in Pagosa Springs, where he continued his dental practice during the winter until retiring. Summers were spent with his family in Seattle. He passed away Dec. 25, 1968.

Doc Ellsworth's dental office was located in a small frame building on Pagosa Street just south of the Goodman store. When the family moved to Seattle, Doc Ellsworth moved his office to the family home. Dave Goodman later bought the property and the building was moved to the corner of 7th and San Juan streets. The present Goodman store building now covers the former location of the dental office.

When he wasn't grinding molars in the Pagosa Springs office, Ellsworth loaded his portable chair and little black bag in the family car and journeyed to outlying communities, such as Pagosa Junction and Arboles, and at the Four Corners Trading Post on the Navajo Reservation. The lack of electrical power was no problem, since all of his equipment, including the drills, were manually operated. Electricity did not come to the Ellsworth home until the late 1920s, according to Elaine. In those days, Doc Ellsworth did his own lab work and made the dentures he sold.

The Ellsworth home had no bathroom until she was five or six years old, according to Elaine. There was an outhouse in the back yard, and a hand water pump in the house. Water was heated in a big tank attached to the kitchen stove. Most homes, even in town, had a stable behind the house for horses and a wood shed.

Social activity for the Ellsworth family centered on the Methodist Church, the Oddfellows and the Order of the Eastern Star, and picnicking and camping.

Sullenburger Lake was a favorite picnic destination. Sullenburger Lake is called Pagosa Lake today and is located in the Fairfield Pagosa collection of subdivisions west of Pagosa Springs.

"I especially remember picking wildflowers at Sullenburger Lake on Memorial Day," Elaine recalls, "The whole area was covered with wild iris and sweet williams and columbine."

Other picnics or campouts were made in the direction of Williams Creek Lake, although that lake had not yet been created. She remembers one trip in that direction in the family touring sedan, a trip during which she stood up the whole time with one foot on the potato salad resting on the floor and covered with a towel.

Everyone in the family owned a horse. Pack trips into the mountains were a special treat. Another treat for the young girls was to climb on their horses and ride out to meet the incoming train. The depot was located on the south side of Durango Street between 7th and 8th streets and is still in use as a residence. Stock loading pens were located near the depot..

Because of muddy roads, trips outside of town were often made by train. Elaine recalls the family traveling by train with her father to dental conventions in Colorado Springs or Denver. Stane Edmisten was the conductor between Pagosa Springs and Pagosa Junction. Trains from Pagosa Springs to Pagosa Junction were mixed passenger and freight trains. The coach for passengers was fairly ornate with plush red seats sporting ornate wooden arms and plenty of filigreed iron works. A coal stove warmed passengers during winter. Then there were the ever-present smoke, ashes, and cinders from the coal-powered engines.

When local folks weren't picnicking or hunting, they entertained friends with home-cooked meals, and at least at the Ellsworth house, singing. Elaine's mother played the piano and sang at weddings and funerals, as well as in the parlor at home. She also played for silent movies in the theater located in the Sullenburger Building, today's Pagosa Hotel. The movie companies normally sent the music a couple of weeks before the films came, so the local pianist or organist could practice. The pianist sat at the front of the theater, between the audience and the screen.

"I remember momma had a hard time with the music for 'Ben Hur,' Elaine recalls. "It was very difficult."

The routines of every day life were much different during those days. Each winter, ice was cut from the river using axes and saws, then stored for the summer months in buildings insulated with thick walls filled with sawdust. A man driving a horse and wagon delivered ice, carrying the frozen blocks into homes with a pair of ice tongs.

Perishable foods were stored in the ice box, often an elaborate piece of wooden furniture with a metal-lined box on top where the blocks of ice was placed.

Shopping for groceries and most other items was done at the Hersch Mercantile store. Most people charged their purchases and paid once a month. Doc Ellsworth also ran charge accounts for his services, although he often accepted milk or butter or chickens or some other commodity in lieu of money.

"We always ate well, even if money was tight," Elaine recalls. "When dad died, in his desk was a huge stack of bills where people owed him money."

During the winter, Doc Ellsworth sent Elaine across the ice-covered San Juan to purchase buttermilk from the creamery located at the east end of San Juan Street.

A big event every year was the opening of Wolf Creek Pass. In the early years, citizen work crews starting at each end from South Fork and Pagosa Springs raced to see which crew would be first to reach the summit. The opening often did not occur before late June or even July.

Driving across the Pass was not a thrill for the young Elaine.

"It was a narrow, one-lane, dirt road," she recalls. "I was terribly frightened and often lay on the floor in the back of the car with a blanket over my head."

Hot baths were taken at "The Plunge," located at the Arlington Hotel and operated by the Patterson family. Those plunges are gone now, but the main building remains as the Bear Creek Saloon on Lewis Street.

The Ellsworths had one of the first radios in town and so their home was a popular place to visit during the late 1920s and early 1930s. They also owned a hand-cranked "gramophone." Their home was the place to hear the popular music of the day, on 78 records, of course.

After graduating from high school in Seattle, Elaine attended the University of Washington. There she met and married Roy Kachel. The couple has now been married almost 61 years. Down through the years, they have made frequent visits to Pagosa Springs, the land of her childhood memories. She also kept in touch with the playmates of those earlier years, but today "they're almost all gone.'

For Elaine Ellsworth Kachel, a visit to Pagosa Springs is a trip into the past, to the home place she knew more than 66 years ago.




Stick to the specifics

Dear Editor,

If D.C. Duncan wants to use my name in his condescending arrogant and God-mocking letters of denial of reality, he should at least stick to the specifics which were within my letter.

No. I have nothing to send him to brainwash him because I don't read any right wing literature. I have my own ideas.

If he can't take God seriously or address any issue, then he needs to henceforth leave my name out of his diatribes.

Now here's a specific of his that needs to be refuted. He does not speak from his heart or conscience because he is in denial. Everything he has written is phony. He does not care about people's rights; nor does any other liberal, but the liberal elite no doubt like him because he is doing their dirty work of advancing their agenda of Communism in America; which means no rights for the majority of Americans.

Incidentally my points of view are not narrow until they are addressed and examined thoroughly and this nobody has done. To do so would endanger them of having true revelations and the light would be blinding.

It looks as if arrogant D.C. will just have to hit bottom before he begins to recognize that there really is somebody bigger than he is. God.

John Feazel

Spring cleaning

Dear David,

On behalf of the San Juan Historical Museum Society I want to thank the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club for sponsoring four young men who helped us with the spring cleaning at the museum on May 15. They are Zeb Gill, Jordan Kurt-Mason, Brian Hart and Harlan Lewis.

Also helping with the cleanup were members of the San Juan Historical Society, Bill Bang, Ron Gustafson, R.D. Hott, Maggie Long and Ann Oldham.

Beginning Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum will be open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Local residents and vacationers are invited to come out and visit with us.

Ron Gustafson

Museum Cleanup Committee

Voter's voice

Dear David,

All citizens of Archuleta County have an opportunity to have their say in the operations of state government by meeting with State Senator Jim Dyer and State Representative Mark Larson on Tuesday, June 1. The Legislative Recap, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County, will be held in the extension building, Archuleta County Fair Grounds. Come to meet your legislators at 6:30 p.m. and learn about and comment on recently passed and proposed legislation during the Legislative Recap. 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Hear what Dyer and Larson have to say about legislation in the areas of: TABOR surplus refund/tax cuts, campaign finance reform, land use and property rights issues, children, family, and social policy bills, education programs and funding, and of course, handgun issues and safety of our students and the community.

Learn how citizen participation in government can be increased, and when the voice of the voter can be most effective in support of or in opposition to proposed legislation during the decision-making process of the next General Assembly.

The Recap will provide ample time for questions and answers, and the legislators have been asked to be available for a short time after the meeting for individual concerns.

Windsor Chacey

LWVAC President



Dear Editor,

One of the first parades I can remember was Memorial Day, 1945, in Chicago, Ill. The family went downtown on the streetcar and I cannot remember seeing so many people before. People were packed like sardines, 10 deep, as far as one could see on both sides of Michigan Avenue. Big flags and little flags were all about. Red, white and blue decorated all the store fronts.

Our next door neighbor had a brother in the Navy and he was home on leave. He was nice enough to take the time to spin some yarns to a little kid. He had just completed a voyage in the South Pacific, and spoke of the wonders of the deep blue ocean and islands with palm trees. Right then I knew I wanted to be a sailor.

An uncle played upon my fantasy and gave me a sailor jumper, complete with flap and stripes. On this special occasion, I had to wear my uniform to show my patriotism. Someday I would sail the Seven Seas, and sail I eventually did for over 33 years.

During these times, we didn't have many ways to divert our attention. TV was unknown to me. Movies were rare because it took a quarter for an adult to take you. In those days, an adult did not squander quarters. Usually people appreciated most anything from the routine. A Memorial Day parade was definitely a gala event to attend in the big city; not to be forgotten.

Gathered at this event were veterans of World War I, World War II and the Spanish American War, along with bands from the high schools and fraternal organizations. "Everyone" paid proper respect to the flag as it passed by; placing a hand over their heart, removing their hats and some even rendered a snappy salute.

Time has now changed patriotism into an almost forgotten subject. Many who do champion patriotism seem to wrap themselves in it in such a way as to phony its meaning. Our national holidays are no longer celebrated in the manner of days past. Parents are the ones who teach children the code of conduct which allows us to co-exist with one another. Real patriotism means respect for others and for our law. We still have parades, but you don't see the crowds.

More veterans need to get into the act and parade with pride, continuing the tradition and teach our kids to give honor - and remember - our fallen heroes. There is no real healing for the loss of a loved one . . . no words, no memorials . . . that can even hope to make up for the loss. But many of us forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget: Proudly salute them America; they've earned it.

Jim Sawicki



E mail

Dogged down

Hello David,

I'm taking exception to Sheriff Tom Richards' peevishness toward dog calls. His attitude disregards a person's right to the use of their yard, which includes the safety of that person's own self, children and/or pets from the potential menace of a loose, dangerous dog, not to mention the filth from "canine calling cards" (do I need to elaborate?). These dogs are equally threatening to pedestrians and bicyclers.

Sheriff Richards' cavalier attitude also does not consider the effects of all-night barking upon neighbors who might prefer their own sleeping/waking schedules.

The results from tension caused by constant, annoying aggravation are well documented. Nuisance dogs may be a "small" matter, but it is, most certainly, a too common and prevalent concern.


Lyn Frank

Say what?

Dear David,

Not that it matters, but in the April 29 issue the town where Stephen F. Austin University is located was misspelled. It is Nacogdoches (Nack-uh-doe-chis). Not to worry, it could have been Waxahachie (Woks-uh-hatchee-ee) or even Joaquin (Wau-keen) then there is the story of a trucker traveling south of Fort Worth (Foat Wurth) and stopped in the little town of Mexia (Muh-hay-uh) he went into a local fast food place and asked the lady behind the counter . . . "So how do you pronounce the name of this place." The lady looked at him and said very slowly . . . "D a i r y Q u e e n."

I enjoy reading the SUN. Keep up the great work.

Sandy (Tye) Greenhalgh

Santo, Texas

Hard work pays off

Congratulations to the Pagosa Springs High School varsity baseball team on a great season. We're proud of you guys. Congrats to Tony Scapra as well, on being named "Coach of the Year." Good job Tony. Pagosa Springs is a dominant program now. Hard work and dedication will keep it that way. Play hard and play proud.

Clark and Louie Sherman

Montana's No. 1 Pirate Fans

Missing Pagosa

Hi David and Karl,

I have been wanting to write for awhile and especially since I recently pulled up the Pagosa SUN on the net. Oh my, it was a treat to see my hometown on the net and be able to read what D.C. Duncan, one of my fellow musician buddies had to say to the other characters in Pagosa, along with all the other fun info about my favorite town. Thank you for a Pagosa SUN web page. I truly miss Pagosa and all it offers. I am in a community in California that is also small, but does not have the pizzazz you might say that our magical place there has. As you may know guys, I was there 18 years as of May of this year, and loved every minute of it . . . even the hard times, because I feel I learned most of my harder lessons in Pagosa. I sometimes wonder if that is what Pagosa is all about, learning . . . then you really start living.

Would you please say hi to Pagosa for me with this letter. And Karl, I would like to say to you that I really miss your wonderful and witty sense of humor in the weight room at the rec center. But most of all I miss that incredibly grumpy look you got before every workout (ha ha).

We hope to be back to Pagosa soon, to enjoy the slow pace and the best of friends at our celebration towards the end of summer, including you both.

Love Debbee and Tom Ramey and family

(formerly Debbee Tucker)

P.S. It's 90 degrees in northern California here today . . . it makes our 31 tomato plants grow quickly I must say.


Tracey Farrow

Tracey Farrow, the daughter of Alan and Joyce Farrow of Pagosa Springs, has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship by Fort Lewis College. Tracey is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Corri Patterson

Corri Patterson, daughter of Michael and Vicki Patterson of Pagosa Springs, has been awarded a Dean's Scholarship to Fort Lewis College for the 1999-200 school year. Corrie plans to graduate from Pagosa Springs High School on Saturday.

Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown, daughter of Patty Brown of Pagosa Springs, has been named to receive a Presidential Scholarship to Fort Lewis College for the coming school year. Jessica will graduate from Pagosa Springs High School Saturday.

Russell Sinclair

Russell Sinclair of Pagosa Springs was listed on the honor roll at the University of Oklahoma at Norman for the 1999 spring semester. Sinclair earned a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average during the semester in order to be listed on the honor roll.

Tyler Hughen

Tyler Hughen of Pagosa Springs was among 26 Montana State University students from Colorado who received a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and was included on the Dean's List for the 1999 spring semester. A 1996 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Hughen is the son of Donna Zevely of Pagosa Springs.

Nathanael Day

Marine Pfc Nathanael A. Day, son of Louis M. Day of Pagosa Springs, recently reported for duty with the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, Okinawa, Japan.

Day is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.


In Memory of Ben Talamante

To Those I Love and Those Who Love Me

When I am gone, release me, let me go./ I have so many things to see, and so,/ You must not tie yourself to me with tears,/ Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love; you can only guess/ How much you gave to me in happiness/ I thank you for the love you each have shown,/ But now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while, for if grieve you must,/ Then let your grief be comforted by trust./ It's only for a while that we must part/ So bless the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away, for life goes on./ So if you need me, call and I will come./ Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near/ And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear/ All of my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone,/ I'll greet you with a smile, and say/ "Welcome Home."

In loving memory of Ben D. Talamante April 17, 1975 - May 26, 1993.

Still missing you after six years, mi Ben. It still hurts and feels like it was only yesterday we lost you. "Rest in peace," love Carol Talamante Mestas



William Straight

William Straight, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, died from cancer Monday, May 17, 1999, in Clearwater, Fla.

Postcards and memorial contributions may be sent to Mrs. Darlene Straight, 2800 North Summerdale Drive, Clearwater FL 33761.


Weather Stats





Type Depth Moisture
5/19 78 37 - - -
5/20 78 32 - - -
5/21 79 34 - - -
5/22 78 41 R - T
5/23 79 40 R - .54
5/24 55 41 R - .23
5/25 70 33 - - -

Thunderstorms take a break

By John M. Motter

The intermittent rain and thunderstorms which have dampened Pagosa Country over the past few days should end today, according to Doug Baugh, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction.

Weather conditions should remain dry through the coming weekend, Baugh said, with high temperatures in the mid-70s and lows in the upper-30s to mid-40s. A storm containing moisture rests over the northwest, Baugh said, but a high-pressure ridge over the Rocky Mountains should prevent its reaching the Four Corners area.

A noticeable warming trend set into the area last week with temperatures above 70 degrees every day but one. On last Friday and Sunday, the thermometer climbed to 79 degrees, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday the thermometer touched 78 degrees.

Nights were also warmer. Only on Thursday did the thermometer dip to a freezing 32 degrees. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the nighttime low remained above 40 degrees.

Meanwhile, 0.77 inches of precipitation dampened the area Monday and Tuesday. Total precipitation for May this year amounts to 1.97 inches. The long-time average total is 1.21 inches. The largest amount of precipitation ever recorded locally in May is 4.25 inches, measured in 1992. On top of Wolf Creek Pass, 6.1 inches of rain falls during an average May.

With June just around the corner, Pagosa Country residents should expect less rain and continued warming, based on long-time averages. The average maximum temperature for June is 78.5 degrees, a bit over 10 degrees above the 68.3 average for May. The average minimum temperature for June is 36.6 degrees, compared with the May average minimum temperature of 30.6 degrees.

Gardeners may be interested in learning that, in town, the last freezing temperature in spring occurs later than July 10 one year in 10, later than July 5 two years in 10, and later than June 25 five years in 10. In nine years out of 10, it is probable that the temperature will remain above 32 degrees for 43 days. In 8 years out of 10, the temperature will remain above 32 degrees for 53 days. In five years out of 10, the thermometer will remain above 32 degrees for 72 days. In two years out of 10, the thermometer will remain above 32 degrees for 91 days. In one year out of 10, the thermometer will remain above 32 degrees for 101 days.

May has an average of 284-growing-degree days, June an average of 511-growing-degree days, July an average of 740 growing-degree-days, August an average of 684 growing-degree-days and September an average of 456 growing degree-days. December and January have no growing-degree-days.

A growing-degree-day is a unit of heat available for plant growth. It is calculated by adding the maximum and minimum daily temperatures, dividing the sum by two, and subtracting the temperature below which growth is minimal for the principal crops in the area. The threshold temperature in Pagosa Springs is 40 degrees.