September 16, 1999
Front Page

Two people killed in holiday accidents

By Karl Isberg

Accidents during the Labor Day weekend in Archuleta County claimed the lives of two persons.

Michael J. Werle, 50, of Fort Collins, was killed on Sept. 4 when the motorcycle he was driving collided with a bear on Colo. 151, 10 miles south of U.S. 160.

Werle and his passenger, Carol Merriam of Fort Collins, were northbound on the highway at approximately 8 p.m. when Werle's Harley Davidson motorcycle hit a bear estimated by Colorado State Patrol Trooper Chris Balenti to weigh between 250 and 275 pounds.

The impact caused the motorcycle to roll then flip a quarter turn, ejecting both riders. The impact killed the bear, throwing the animal 158 feet down the roadway. Balenti estimated the speed of the motorcycle at 65 miles per hour.

A crew from the Ignacio Volunteer Emergency Services responded to the site of the accident.

Werle was declared dead at the scene. Merriam was transported to Mercy Medical Center where a spokesman reported she was treated for a leg laceration and released.

In a second fatal accident, Thomas Ray Lyde, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was killed in a climbing accident in the southeastern part of Archuleta County on Sept. 5.

According to Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht, Lyde and an unidentified companion were climbing on V Rock, located approximately 3 miles off the Buckles Lake Road, north of Chromo.

Macht said the climbers had completed an ascent at approximately 3 p.m. and were "rappelling down to a piton to re-rope. Mr. Lyde ran out of rope and fell approximately 80 feet."

Macht said Lyde's companion contacted a group of hunters who, in turn, went to the Chromo Mercantile store to call authorities.

A crew composed of members of the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue unit and Emergency Medical Services arrived near the scene at 5:40 p.m. Macht and Mike Patterson of EMS used four-wheel vehicles to get close to the site, then traversed a half-mile wide field of large boulders to get to the victim.

Macht pronounced Lyde dead at 7:45 p.m. The coroner said the victim died on impact with the ground, of head and neck injuries. Macht and Patterson were forced to leave the man's body at the site because of darkness.

On the morning of Sept. 6, Macht and search and rescue team member Leslie Allison were flown to the site in a Durango-based helicopter and Lyde's body was recovered.


Ordinance passed as 'protective measure'

By Karl Isberg

While the Colorado Supreme Court waits, the Pagosa Springs trustees act.

In a move calculated to preserve sales tax revenues for the town of Pagosa Springs, the town trustees passed an ordinance on Tuesday that is hypothetical by nature: an "if . . . then" proposition.

In a nutshell, the ordinance asks the voters to go to the polls in either November 1999 or April 2000 to consider a measure stating that, if the "existing Archuleta County sales tax is repealed, invalidated, readopted, or expires in whole or in part greater than one percent," then Pagosa Springs will institute a town-wide sales tax not to exceed 3 percent.

The move occurs against the backdrop of legal actions ongoing since the middle of the decade.

Archuleta County currently has two separate sales taxes in effect: a perpetual 2 percent tax, and an additional 2 percent tax that expires on Jan. 1, 2003. That second 2 percent tax was approved by the voters in November 1994; attendant to the approval of the tax was an agreement between the town and county for sharing sales tax revenue on a 50-50 basis.

A group calling itself the "County Road Users Association," headed by county residents Fitzhugh Havens and Earle Beasley, petitioned Archuleta County to place an issue on the November 1995 general election ballot to redistribute the total county sales tax revenues. The ballot question proposed by the group would have voters consider approval of a 75-25 split of sales tax revenues, with 75 percent going to Archuleta County.

Archuleta County and the town of Pagosa Springs challenged the ballot request in Colorado District Court and the district court agreed that certain technicalities in the Road Users' petition had not been met. The Road Users appealed the decision and the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the district court decision, ordering Archuleta County to hold the election.

The town and county then challenged the court of appeals decision, asking the Colorado Supreme Court to review the case. The court of appeals order was stayed pending a decision by the supreme court on whether or not it will hear the case.

The ordinance passed Tuesday by the town trustees makes it clear that if either of two supreme court scenarios come to pass, and Archuleta County is forced to hold a sales tax election, residents living within town boundaries will go to the polls to decide a sales tax issue of their own.

An election will occur if the Colorado Supreme Court refuses to consider the case, or if the court rules in favor of the Road Users. An election will take place in November of 1999 if supreme court action occurred prior to the close of business hours at the Archuleta County Clerk's office on Sept. 8, 1999 - the deadline for putting an issue on the November ballot - or in April 2000 if the deadline is not met.

During considerations at their Sept. 7 meeting, town trustees characterized the ordinance as a "defensive measure" designed to ensure the town has revenues necessary to continue with capital improvements projects in an increasingly large municipality. The trustees also voiced concern that county leaders know the town remains willing to negotiate and cooperate with Archuleta County.

Town Administrator Jay Harrington reminded trustees that the state of Colorado limits the total sales tax imposed by state, county and municipalities to 7 percent. The statewide sales tax is 3 percent.

Harrington emphasized that an imposition of a 3 percent sales tax in the town would not itself increase total sales tax within the town to more than the current 7 percent. The 7 percent limit can be increased in some situations to 8 percent to allow a county to impose a sales tax of 1 percent (with no similar exception granted to municipalities). Harrington also stated that between 80 and 90 percent of all sales tax collected in the county is now collected from sales made within town limits.

The bottom line is that with a 3 percent sales tax, the town would realize an increase in revenues from the level it now enjoys.

The other part of the bottom line: town officials are vocal about maintaining a positive working relationship with the county.

"We enjoy a real strong working relationship with the county," said Harrington, "and we want that to continue; the trustees have made this very clear in the direction they have given town staff. This is a protective measure, not an attempt to get more money. It puts the town in a strong position to negotiate. Hopefully this will never have to be utilized, but even if something changes, it is our intention to negotiate with the county. We are simply trying to protect the town on all fronts."


Improvements begin on Eightmile Mesa Road

By John M. Motter

Work on improving Eightmile Mesa Road, scheduled to start Aug. 25, was started by U-Can-Afford Landscaping Inc. yesterday morning.

Upgrading the road is a joint project involving the county, Loma Linda developer Fred Schmidt and a pair of landowners along the road. The issue came to a head several years ago when Jack Adams, one of the landowners, locked a gate across the road because "it wasn't safe."

Much of the traffic on the road is of recent origin, generated by property owners in the Loma Linda subdivision. Those property owners have to use Eightmile Mesa Road in order to enter the subdivision and reach their homes.

In the beginning, Loma Linda's developers were not required to upgrade Eightmile Mesa Road, even though the Loma Linda development is responsible for generating most of the traffic.

Subsequent to Adams' action, the county established that the road is a county road. It then reached an agreement with Fred Schmidt, the most recent of Loma Linda's developers. Schmidt agreed to pay for rebuilding the road, including a new road bed and surface, widening and the mitigation of certain curves and dips. Schmidt also agreed to provide fencing materials. Adams and another adjacent property owner, Dick Ray, agreed to build the fences. The county agreed to provide culverts.

After several years passed with nothing happening, last year the county filed a suit against Schmidt and Loma Linda LLC. Subsequent to the suit, Schmidt agreed to escrow $93,250, obtain a performance bond for the same amount, begin work Aug. 25, and complete the work within 30 days. He assigned the contract for the work to the county.

As of last Tuesday, only about $63,000 of the required escrow amount was in the bank. The performance bond was in place, and the fencing materials nowhere to be seen. On Tuesday of this week, the entire escrow amount was in the bank, but the fencing materials were nowhere in sight.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Listened to a report from County Manager Dennis Hunt concerning state requirements relevant to airport development over the next five years. The essence of the report is that the county may be required to come up with several hundred thousand dollars. An additional problem is keeping the runway open while it is being rebuilt. Hunt suggested that the runway may have to be closed for a two-month period while construction is under way.

- Approved a beer and wine license renewal for the Bavarian Inn

- Approved the improvements agreement and gave conditional approval to the final plat of Peregrine Townhouses Phases VII and VIII

- Gave conditional final plat approval for Doors and More, a firm locating in the Cloman Park industrial area adjacent to Stevens Field

- Released the maintenance bonds of Talisman Pointe Phase I and Greenbriar Plaza Phase II

- Approved four lot consolidation proposals

- Approved county action clearing the title to property owned by an Aspen Springs couple.

Ski Area expansion crosses another hurdle

By John M. Motter

Wolf Creek Ski Area has apparently crossed one more hurdle leading to implementation of plans to build a new ski lift, parking and access roads, according to Steve Hartvigsen, the winter sports coordinator for the San Juan/Rio Grande National Forest.

Final approval of the proposed project has been on hold pending mitigation of an appeal filed against the project's environmental assessment that was okayed by the Forest Service some months ago.

Submitted by Colorado Wild, the appeal voiced concerns with roads proposed for construction in the vicinity of private property adjacent to the ski area. The ski area is located on U.S. Forest Service property. While the environmental assessment dealt with various environmental impacts associated with the project, it did not address issues related to potential future development of the private area that adjoins the ski area. Colorado Wild's appeal stressed that impacts of developing the private area should have been included in the environmental assessment.

The Forest Service and the ski area have argued that the permit process triggered when development of the private area begins will address any environmental concerns at that time.

Since the appeal was filed, representatives of the Forest Service, Colorado Wild and the ski area have been meeting in an attempt to find common ground. Last week, that common ground was reached when Forest Service and ski area representatives agreed to initiate an impact study should a road accessing the private land be proposed for upgrading.

Based on the assurance that developing the road will result in an environmental study, Colorado Wild agreed to withdraw its appeal.

Wolf Creek is not out of the woods yet. The Forest Service is requiring another waiting period before allowing construction to begin. The waiting period began Sept. 1 and lasts through Sept. 16, according to Rosanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, marketing director for the ski area.

"We can't make any other comments at this time," Haidorfer-Pitcher said, "because we have received nothing in writing from the Forest Service spelling out the situation. Until we do, we don't really know what is going on."

Wolf Creek had proposed adding a ski lift, extra parking and improved access roads in order to alleviate over crowding. The Environmental Assessment reporting environmental impacts and their mitigation required by the Forest Service began during 1998. So far, final permission from the Forest Service to begin construction has not been issued.

County clean-up campaign runs through this weekend

By John M. Motter

A county-wide cleanup starting tomorrow lasts through the coming weekend. Free dumpsters are being placed at strategic locations throughout the county, making it easy for folks to get rid of a whole bunch of clutter.

"Things pile up around the house," said Gene Crabtree, the county commissioner who spearheaded the cleanup date. "It's hard to get to the dump, especially with bigger items that don't fit into trash cans. This way, we're almost bringing the dump to people."

The county has arranged for Waste Management to provide dumpsters at six locations in addition to the existing transfer stations located on Trujillo Road and at Arboles. Only household refuse will be accepted. Commercial and construction trash will be refused.

Residents are urged to place larger items, such as sofas and mattresses, beside the dumpsters so they won't fill too quickly. Hazardous and toxic materials are unacceptable and are not to be brought to the dump site. Objects such as refrigerators, freezers and batteries contain toxic or hazardous materials and will not be accepted.

Household trash may be dumped all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Waste Management will pick up the dumpsters and other trash Monday.

Dumpsters will be set up Friday morning at the following locations:

- Chromo at the old transfer station on CR382

- Lower Blanco at the entrance from U.S. 84 on the south side of the road

- Holiday Acres on U.S. 84 opposite the north entrance

- Aspen Springs and the Hurt Drive and U.S. 160 intersection opposite the Turkey Springs Trading Post

- Vista at the corner of Vista and Bonanza boulevards.

- Holiday Acres near the treatment plant

- The existing transfer stations on Trujillo Road south of Pagosa Springs and at Arboles.


Celebrate: Monsoon sent south, dry air moves in

By John M. Motter

Warm, sunny, and dry describes Pagosa Country weather since Friday. Even better, according to the tastes of a lot of folks, warm and dry it will remain through the coming weekend.

"The monsoon season is finished," said Chris Kuoco, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction. "Our weather is in a transition mode, changing from summer to winter. Look for periodic weather fronts from the Pacific Northwest that will be increasingly colder as the season progresses."

"Expect warm, dry weather into Monday," Kuoco said. "High temperatures will be about 80 degrees. Lows will drop to around 50 degrees."

The best chance for rain during the coming week rests with a system moving in from the Northwest Monday night or Tuesday, according to Kuoco, but even that chance is pretty slight.

For almost two months, the Colorado West has been locked in a monsoon weather pattern defined by a high-pressure system east of the Continental Divide, a low-pressure system west of the Divide, and winds laden with Gulf of Mexico moisture sweeping up the Rocky Mountain chain from Mexico to Colorado.

Sometime during late August or early September the pattern changes, according to Kuoco, and that change has occurred. Low-pressure systems containing colder air and originating in the Gulf of Alaska or northwestern Canada and moving from west to east drop into the United States, forcing the monsoon conditions to remain south. The key to moisture in the fall and winter pattern is the location of high altitude jet streams. A jet stream crossing the Four Corners area often causes precipitation.

"Right now, the jet stream is coming across northern California, crossing Idaho into Canada, then dropping down into the northern Plains States," Kuoco said. "From time to time, local storms spin off of the main stream and drop into western Colorado. When that happens we get moisture. By the time winter arrives, those patterns remain further south providing precipitation in the form of snow."

Pagosa Country received 0.79 inches of rain Sept. 1 and Sept. 2. High temperatures this past week ranged between 75 degrees Sept. 7 and 63 degrees on Sept. 1 with an average high temperature of 70 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 37 degrees Sept. 3 and 50 degrees Sept. 1 with the average being 43 degrees.


Inside The Sun

Three join intermediate school

By Roy Starling

Three new teachers join the staff of Pagosa Springs Intermediate School for this academic year, and two of those will be spending time at other schools in the district.

Tracy Schenk begins her first full year as a fifth-grade teacher in the intermediate school. She began teaching in the school last February when she moved up from Dulce, N.M., to take over Leeann Skoglund's position when Skoglund began working on the new Day Treatment program.

Schenk grew up "all over everywhere. I was a military brat, so space doesn't allow a full history," she said. She spent most of her early years, however, in Phoenix, Ariz., where she attended Peoria High School. From there she moved to Alamosa where she attended Adams State College, earning a bachelor of arts in liberal arts and sciences. This will be her third year in Pagosa Springs.

Gail Hershey, a half-time instructor for gifted and talented students grades two through six, will split time between the intermediate and elementary schools. She grew up in Oklahoma and Kansas, graduating from high school in Maize, Kan.

Hershey continued her education at Wichita State University in Kansas, earning three degrees: a bachelor of arts in fine arts and ceramics, a bachelor of arts in art education and a master of arts in educational psychology with certification in gifted and talented.

Hershey said she had "lived in the Plains until I moved here in '92."

Paul Hudson joins the intermediate staff as a fifth and sixth grade physical education teacher, and he'll also teach eighth grade learning lab at the junior high school.

Hudson grew up in Pagosa Springs, moving to Oklahoma when he was a sophomore in high school back in 1979. He remained there until returning to Pagosa this summer. He graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee with a bachelor of arts in health, physical education and recreation. He returned to O.B.U. to get certified in elementary education.


School district unveils 'Day Treatment Program'

By Roy Starling

School District 50 Joint's new "Day Treatment Program" began its operation at the intermediate school this week. Superintendent Terry Alley said the program will combine the efforts of the school district, the Archuleta County Office of Social Services and San Juan Basin Mental Health.

The program employs a teacher, a case manager through Social Services and a mental health therapist through San Juan Basin Mental Health. They will work with emotionally disturbed students in grades four through six. All three staff members will be full-time employees and will be working together in the classroom.

Alley said the program is funded by a grant obtained by Social Services. Students in Day Treatment work towards meeting the district's academic standards, but Alley said the program also offers therapy to both the students and their families.

Joan Mieritz is the Day Treatment teacher and director of the program. Mieritz grew up in Milwaukee, Wis., and attended University of Wisconsin where she received a bachelor of science in education and a master's in educational psychology and counseling. At the University of Colorado, she earned a master of arts in special education with certification in affective needs.

Mieritz spent the last 20 years in Colorado Springs. "Both of my children are grown up and have left home," she said, "and I realized I could leave home, too. That's when I came to the Four Corners area."

Don Weller will serve as the case manager for the program. "I facilitate meetings between parents and teachers and anyone else involved with the kids," he said. "I also assist the teacher and the therapist."

Weller moved to Pagosa Springs from Pennsylvania in March of 1998. He attended high school in Huntington, Pa., and received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Penn State University.

Brian Seavey is the Day Treatment therapist. Seavey spent the first 21 years of his life in Candia, N.H. At the University of New Hampshire in Manchester, he received a bachelor of arts in psychology, and then earned a master of arts in counseling from Colorado Christian University in Morrison.



Letters to the editor

Pagosa made the front page of The Durango Herald last Thursday. It's not unusual for a daily newspaper that covers a city such as Durango to report on neighboring areas whenever an important event occurs.

Having never been associated with a daily newspaper, I failed to recognize that an informal public meeting aimed at preventing the proposed Piano Creek Ranch from getting off the ground would fall into the important-event category.

So it caught me by surprise last Thursday morning when I saw the Herald's lead story on page 1 covered a public meeting that had occurred in Pagosa Springs only hours before the first section came off the Herald's presses. Even more surprising was that evidently hastily written article was accompanied by two color photographs and a map that illustrated the proposed Piano Creek development's in location in Mineral County. All together, the late breaking story and its accompanying graphics occupied more than half of the Herald's front page.

Considering the fact the meeting in Pagosa Springs lasted until about 8 p.m., and a drive to Durango takes at least an hour, I really admire the Herald's staff of photographers, graphic artists, staff writer and composition room personnel for being able to write and edit an article, paginate the news holes and two other color photos on the front page in such a short amount of time in order to meet the deadline for the first section's press run of the August 26 edition.

I was likewise surprised to see that one of the speakers, Mark Pearson, who was listed on the agenda for the August 25 meeting in Pagosa, also was by-lined, along with his photo, as being the writer of the "Thinking Green" column which appeared on page 1 of section 2 of the Herald's August 26 edition.

In the second paragraph of Pearson's August 26 commentary, he wrote: "In an age of cynicism about government, the (Sept. 3, 1964) Wilderness Act has achieved a remarkable record of ecosystem preservation."

By the same token, in this age of cynicism about the media, I hate to think a newspaper would prepare much of its page 1 coverage of a meeting hours or days, before the meeting ever occurs.

Based on the inaccurate statements and misinformation that have come both from the proponents and opponents of the Piano Creek Ranch proposal, it's hard not to be cynical about both sides. Hopefully newspapers can maintain their objectivity and avoid being sucked into the cynicism.

David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Not everyone sees things alike

Dear Folks,

I miss the days when the environmentalists slept in trees as a means to protest the sale and logging of timber on federal lands. But in time the timber sales trailed off so the preservationists started protesting what folks were proposing to do on their private property.

I miss the days when folks talked about the "big 3,000-square-foot homes" that were being built around Pagosa, it wasn't long before "big" was used to describe the 4,000- then 5,000-square-foot single-family homes.

Now, the sighting of "starter mansions" or "cozy castles" atop the hills and in the valleys of Pagosa Springs are becoming common.

It's starting to make me wonder what it is that distinguishes a good millionaire from a bad millionaire.

Used to, college students learned about class distinctions such as this in their sociology classes or possibly from the business or economic professors. Evidently the topic of class distinction is now taught in the environmental science department.

I just hope folks never close the gates that lead to Pagosa. If the gates to Pagosa had been closed 10 or 12 years ago, I probably never would have met "Grumpy."

Being a Flowers, he knew that "As for man, his days are . . . as a flower of the field . . . When the wind has passed over it, it is no more . . . But the loving kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to those who revere him. . . ." He knew it, he believed it and he reverently lived it.

This didn't make editing last week's lead story or this week's obituaries any easier. Life's fields never have enough Grumpy Flowers growing in them.

It's hard to understand what occurred over near Bayfield on Wednesday morning of last week. There were some folks who saw a big cloud of dust and heard a loud crashing sound as a plane plunged to the ground.

In that same eternal instant, Grumpy experienced something entirely different from what the folks looking on saw.

Grumpy felt the wind passing over him. He saw a bright white cloud, sort of like the ones the Cumbres-Toltec engines make when they purge their steam lines before they leave the station. Rather than the noise of a crash, he heard a trumpet's high-pitched blast, sort of like the ones those narrow-gauge engines make when they need to get someone's attention. Instead of twisted metal and wreckage, he saw a shining white passenger car and a conductor who was calling out, "All aboard who's going aboard . . . this train's headin' for Heaven."

Well Grumpy showed his lifetime pass, it had been paid for and given to him by Jesus, and smiled as he eagerly jumped on board. It was another new experience, somewhat like taking a loop in an airplane, but it was an exciting experience Grumpy had looked forward to for most of his adult life.

I wish more folks could have a Grumpy Flowers growing in their field.

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


25 years ago

D.A. names criminal investigator

Taken from SUN files

of Sept. 12, 1974

Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs now have a full-time criminal investigator at assist local law enforcement agencies. The officer assigned here is Bill Richardson. He is under the supervisor of the district attorney. Richardson's past experiences in law enforcement includes two and a half years with the D.A.'s office, a year and a half as police chief in Ouray, and 18 months as the undersheriff of Archuleta County.

Harold Schutz, chairman of the board of county commissioners, laid the cornerstone for the new addition to the county courthouse Monday. The addition adjoins the west side of the main building. It will provide space for a commissioners meeting room, Welfare Department offices and storage space.

The town's geothermal well located at the site of the old town hall has been repaired. The well currently furnishes water for the fountain at the west end of the landfill parking lot next to the highway. A protective casing pipe has been placed around the wall that had been leaking for several months, and stanchions were installed around it to protect the well from careless drivers.

The SUN this week is printing the Pagosa Progress, a publication of Eaton International. The four page paper is filled with the news of the Pagosa in Colorado project, its residents and landowners.


By Shari Pierce

'Fred Harman lived his art'

Each week in the Preview section of the SUN we are fortunate to be able to read "Red Ryder and Little Beaver" comic strip installments. This is made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Shirley Slesinger Lasswell who allows the SUN to be the only newspaper in the United States to publish the comic strip.

Another reason this is special to us is that the late Fred Harman, the creator of the Red Ryder and Little Beaver comics, was one of Pagosa's more well-known residents. This little bit about his life is taken from his life story as it appeared in a 1982 SUN under the headline of "Fred Harman lived his art."

"Fred Harman was Archuleta County's most famous citizen. His talents as a cartoonist and western painter won for him international fame.

"His 'Red Ryder and Little Beaver' comic strip sold to one of the nation's largest syndicates and was seen by 45,000,000 devoted followers in over 750 newspapers on three continents. Red Ryder films appeared in more than 8,000 theaters. Red Ryder books and comics sold by the millions.

"Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, February 9, 1902, Harman grew up on a ranch in Archuleta county where his parents homesteaded when he was less than six months old. The early Harman ranch is now the San Juan River Resort.

"Except for two interludes in Kansas City, first as a National Guardsman during World War I and later as a 'flyboy' in the pressroom of the Kansas City Star, he spent most of his lifetime in the Pagosa Springs region.

"After a decade of supporting himself as a cowpuncher, Harman got a job with Film Ad Company in Kansas City. A fellow employee he met there, Walt Disney, and Harman launched a commercial film venture which failed, Disney headed for Hollywood and Harman returned to ranching.

"Harman launched the Red Ryder comic strip in 1934, soon adding his lovable 'Injun' sidekick Little Beaver.

"Harman garnered much recognition along the way. In 1958 he was presented Sertoma's 'American Way of Life Award' as Colorado's Outstanding Citizen. Harman was chosen the first member of The Cowboy Artists of American Association and was a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the Society of Illustrators.

"He never had any formal training as an artist, but picked up ideas here and there. He worked long and hard to learn his art. Harman, a perfectionist, never worked with assistants.

"Harman discontinued the Red Ryder comic strip in 1962 to devote himself to Western art. He painted from memory.

"What he did with his talents through hard work and dedication is history. He faithfully recorded the American cowboy. He ensured with his art that a time and lifestyle, now long gone from the American scene, will live forever."

We are fortunate to have the Fred Harman Museum located at the top of Put Hill which is dedicated to preserving the art of this talented artist. Be sure to visit.



 Community News

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

San Juan could get big fish soon

A project is underway to raise money to be spent restocking the fish in the part of the San Juan River that runs through Pagosa Springs. A committee comprised of Larry Fisher, Norm Vance, Marion Francis, Robert Soniat and Stan Zuege has been formed to study this project.

At present the Colorado Division of Wildlife has plans to stock small fish in the future, but the intent of the Pagosa Springs Fishing Restoration Project is to do the restocking now and include fish in the 12 to 26 inch size.

Whirling disease has greatly reduced the fish stock in the area - a problem the DOW has been trying to deal with. The DOW's new process of reviewing fishing regulations every five years starts this winter. A goal of the committee is to work with the DOW regulations. The DOW has approved the project and is willing to make changes "within reason" as long as the decisions are unanimous.

The prime goal of the committee is to make a superior quality fishing experience for both "catch and release" and "catch and keep" in downtown Pagosa Springs. Research indicates an endeavor such as this has had dramatic affect on a community's economy. A knowledgeable fishing outfitter stated: "It's perfect, there is a need for places that can provide comfortable lodging, food, family entertainment, shopping and quality fishing all in a walking distance."

This is a positive project for Pagosa Springs. The Chamber of Commerce thinks it's great. About $5,000 is needed the first year. Fund raising is vital. Donations can be given to Larry Fisher at Ski and Bow Rack or taken to Norwest Bank. Checks should be made out to Pagosa Quality Fishing Project.

Fun on the run

One day a man came home from work to find total mayhem at home. The kids were outside, still in their pajamas playing in the mud and muck. There were empty food boxes and wrappers all around.

As he proceeded into the house, he found an even bigger mess: dishes on the counter, dog food spilled on the floor and a broken glass under the table and a small pile of sand by the back door. The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing and a lamp had been knocked over.

He headed up the stairs, stepping over toys, to look for his wife.

He was becoming worried that she may be ill, or that something had happened to her. He found her in the bedroom, still in bed with her pajamas on, reading a book. She looked up at him, smiled, asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know, everyday when you come home from work and ask me what I did today."

"Yes, was his reply."

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."


Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Don't relax: Colorfest is coming

Oh, yeah - we love this part. We have two new members (actually old friends of the Chamber in new categories) and 44 renewals to share with you this lovely day and this puts a decided spring in our walk. Thanks to all of you who responded so promptly to our renewal notice and we wait with great anticipation for the others to come pouring in. Thanks, kids.

Ken Harms, Chamber Board Director, joins us with a new endeavor, SelecPRO SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHY located at 4760 U.S 160 west in the Royal Pine Plaza. SelecPRO is the locally owned and operated school photography division of Harms Photo/Graphic Associates and has provided over 30,000 high-quality portraits to a variety of schools throughout the Four Corners. Beginning this September, Ken and wife Jan will be photographing all Pagosa schools as well as Our Savior Lutheran offering their special "natural background" at no additional charge. This is their way of saying "thank you" to Pagosa for selecting a local school portrait company. Please give Ken and Jan a call at 731-2700 for more information.

Don and Dianna Stubbs join us as new Associate Members just on the heels of the sale of KWUF AM and FM to Will Spears. We congratulate the Stubbs on the terrific job they did with KWUF in raising the standard to new levels. Don and Dianna aren't moving from the area but plan to kick back and enjoy life. I'm sure that travel is a part of that plan and we wish them all the best and expect to see them at all the Pagosa events.

Our congratulations as well to new owner Will Spears on the purchase of the station. Will and wife Christie are welcome additions to our community and we look forward to a long and productive relationship with them. We also thank them for the KWUF AM and FM renewal and thanks go out to the following businesses for their 1999-2000 renewals: Mike Branch, CPA, and FCDA (Former Chamber Devil's Advocate) noted on his renewal form that their Websites were found mostly in the corners. Not only is he a DA, but a comedian as well. What would we do without Mike? Our other renewals include Chris Pierce with Arborilogical West, Inc.; Summer Phillips with Summer Phillips Jewelry, Inc./Goldsmith; Derek Farrah with Plantax, Inc.; Bonnie Young with Carefree Adventures; Bonnie S. Thrasher, RDH; with Dental Hygiene Clinic of Pagosa; Sarah Potts with Chimney Rock Interpretive Program; Wayne Walls with Wilderness Journeys/Pagosa Rafting Outfitters, Inc.; Rick Taylor with AAA Propane, Inc.; Eddie Dale with Dale Construction; Matt Yoksh with Pagosa Ski Rental; Bessie Montoya with the Elkhorn Café; Silver Dollar Liquor; Pagosa Bar, Inc.; Gerlinde Ehni, D.D.S.; P.C., Jim and Rosa Layne with Layne's Shaklee Distributor; Terri House with The Pagosa Springs SUN; Jane Zimmerman with the Durango Area Chamber Resort Association; Melinda Lutz, O.D., with Pagosa Vision Care; Sandra Million with Sports Emporium; Francis M. Self with Blueline Special, Inc.; Granton Bartz with Cowboy Carpet Cleaning; Jerry and Rosie Zepnick with Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gifts; Jessie Formwalt with Appraisal Services, Inc.; Pat and Wendy Horning with Finishing Touches Landscaping; Lyn DeLange with CSE Advertising Specialties; Lyn DeLange with Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service; Matt and Jennai Bachus with Piano Creek Ranch/The Ranch at East Fork, LLC; Robert and Susan Kanyur with Barnwood Crafts; Ron and Julie Jones with Pagosa Riverside Campground; Dave and Suzy Belt with Echo Mountain Alpacas; and John Porter (Mr. Brussel Sprouts) with Clean As A Whistle. Whew!

Our sincere thanks to the following Associate Member renewals: Paige Gordon, Real Estate Associate (and Diplomat); William W. Storm III; Dalas and Carrie Weisz (Diplomats); Bob and Mary Ann (Diplomat) Huff; Sylvia Murray (Diplomat); Ella McNatt (Diplomat); Dick and Lorraine Raymond (Diplomats); Marguerite (Diplomat) and Bill Flick; Angie and Ken Gayhart; and Jack Threet. As you can see, I made a special note for those Associates who also serve as Diplomats because these folks support the Chamber with both their time and money- a double dose of support for which we are so grateful. Thanks to all for the continued support - we are most, most grateful.

Colorfest comin'

Just when you thought you could relax, comes another wild weekend in Pagosa. Colorfest is hot on the heels of the Four Corners Folk Festival, and your invitations to the Wine and Cheese Tasting will be in the mail shortly. As usual, you will be able to save some dough by buying your tickets early - like $5. The tickets will be on sale at the Visitor Center until 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 for $15. On Sept. 17, at the Visitor Center and at the gate, tickets will be $20. Get on it, kids and buy early! With all the lovely rain we've experienced throughout the summer, we will be protected that evening with a tent, so you can plan on this wonderful event rain or shine. We have some fabulous cheeses for you with complementary wines, of course. Lilting flute music will fill the air and fudge, fudge, fudge will be available to top off your evening with something sweet. Just wait until you see the beautiful wine glasses, shirts and pins all designed especially for this event by Ken Harms. We are calling this year's event "An Evening in Black, White and Red All Over" and those colors are all represented in the glasses, shirts and pins. This should be a beautiful and spectacular evening and one not to be missed. Liz and Mike Marchand, Balloon Rally Organizers Extraordinaire, will be there that evening greeting the fifty pilots who will ascend and glow the following two days, so you will have an opportunity to sign up for crewing if you wish.

The next day, there will be an awesome ascension at 7:30 a.m. in the area just south of the springs, and that afternoon the Colorfest Picnic, Concert and Balloon Glow will be held in Town Park beginning at 5:30 p.m. If, heaven forbid, rain descends upon us, we will head up the hill to the Fairfield tent at Pagosa Lodge to keep dry for the concert and picnic. You will hear much more about all of this for the next couple of weeks, I assure you, but this is just a small heads up.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

High Altitude Shootout opens racquetball season

The 1999 Pagosa Lakes High Altitude Shootout Racquetball Tournament will be held Sept. 24 through 26 at the Recreation Center. This popular event traditionally opens the racquetball tournament season that will last all the way into June. On Friday evening a golf-racquetball biathlon featuring nine holes of "speed golf" will be followed by round-robin racquetball games played to 11 points. Not all racquetball players are golfers. This event should be highly entertaining, even if it does not go down in the history of athletics as one of the grueling tests of human endurance. All levels of players are welcomed at the tournament. Registration forms are available at the Recreation Center. For more information, talk to tournament organizers Karl Isberg or Drew Pimental 731-2051.

Archuleta County's county-wide cleanup is scheduled this year for Friday, Sept. 10, through Sunday, Sept. 12. Take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of all your residential trash. Dumpsters will be located for Pagosa Lakes residents at the corner of Vista Boulevard and Bonanza Avenue, in Pagosa Vista subdivision. Large items, such as furniture, should be left beside, not in, the dumpsters. Items containing hazardous or toxic materials are not allowed.

Local physicians will be joined by visiting doctors and holistic practitioners for an open discussion of the latest and most effective prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Parish Hall. Featured physicians are Dr. Jim Irish, M.D., Ph.D., board certified in OB-GYN from Durango, and Dr. Jan Ogletree M.D. and president of the Pagosa Springs Health partnership, who will also be speaking. Other area physicians and practitioners will also be in attendance. The public is invited to attend this free presentation sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Health Partnership, a non-profit educational forum. For more information on the Partnership, their meeting schedules and their free forums, please call Debi Mondragon at 264-6445 or Dr. Bill Sayre at 264-5754.

Recreation Center business hours, effective Sept. 1, are as follows: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

To meet increased demands, the Recreation Center is offering more classes this fall. Water aerobics is available at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and again at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. Floor aerobics, taught by Debbee Tucker Ramey, is offered from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Evening classes are plentiful to accommodate the after-work crowd. Monica Green will teach floor aerobics on Monday and Wednesday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., on Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and an additional class on Thursday evening which will be announced soon. Tammy Holcomb's funky Taebo is available four times per week, Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Dave Casey, our one and only male aerobics instructor, teaches on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Yoga is taught every Saturday at 9:15 a.m. by Richard Harris. Half of these classes are taught by volunteer instructors who offer instruction to Recreation Center members at no additional charge. Please call the Recreation Center for additional class information 731-2051.

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

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

- Call to Order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of board meeting minutes

- General manager's report

- Public comments

- Committee reports

- Old business

- New business

A. Commissioner Gene Crabtree

B. Discussion of timeshare multiplier

C. Enforcement of declaration regarding RV's

D. "Get a policies summary made."



Education News
By Tom Steen

Everyone can pitch in to help schools

Back-to-school time has always been exciting for children. It's a time to meet new friends, new teachers and resume the adventure of learning. But - as the U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley, recently pointed out - back-to-school time is not just for kids anymore. If our schools are going to do the job we expect them to do, everyone must pitch in and help. That includes parents and everyone in the community.

The fact is schools today can't do the job alone. There are more children in American schools this fall than ever before - more even than at the height of the baby boom. We are living in the Information Age, a time when our nation's economy and security depend more on the quality of education than at any other time in our history.

Every parent, family and citizen can use this back-to-school season to renew a personal commitment to supporting better education in our community. When children are surrounded by adults and a community that values education, they get the message that their education is important. And they're more likely to buckle down and do their best. When children see that adults in their community don't care about education, they get the opposite message. And we all lose.

If you look around there are plenty of good ideas for getting involved in your schools and staying involved all year long. Here a few ideas that can get you started:

Employers, be "family-friendly." Give your employees the time to meet with teachers or volunteer for after-school activities. It's good for education and good for your bottom line. Giving parents flexible work schedules helps you keep your top-notch workers satisfied with their job. Also, encourage your employees to be mentors and tutors to young people. Offer students internships and work-study experiences.

Parents, try to slow down your lives and help your children grow. Spend at least 30 minutes a day talking with your children or supervising their education. Use the time you spend together in the car. Start early and read to your youngest children. Share books with your older children. Keep in touch with teachers. Make sure your children are doing their homework. Keep TV watching to a minimum. Enroll your children in after-school programs. Many parents who arranged to have their child in The Education Center's after-school tutoring program found an unexpected benefit of a more friendly and relaxed evening at home. The homework was already done and the child was keeping up at school.

Educators, community leaders and law enforcement officials, many communities are holding town meetings to talk about troubled youth and related crime and violence. Think about holding one in your community. Talk about ways to connect each young person to at least one caring adult. Every child should feel that he or she is the most important person in an adult's life. Creating connections and a caring environment in the home, at school and in all corners of the community is an important part of preventing violence. Help us develop quality after-school programs. Isn't it better to have children in school where they can continue learning, rather than being on the streets or at home alone?

Teachers and school officials, make your school parent-friendly. Reach out to families and remove the obstacles that sometimes make them reluctant to get involved in school activities.

Students, challenge yourselves. Take the tough courses in middle and high school that will put you on the road to college and careers. Take algebra and geometry as early as possible. Follow them up with physics, chemistry and trigonometry in high school. If you need help, contact us to find out about after-school tutoring programs. If you are unable to fit all of the foreign language, art, music, or advanced classes in during the regular school day, consider getting involved in after-school or evening programs. If you need additional credit, The Education Center can help you connect with high school classes for credit through the Internet or other distance-learning channels. Take advantage of the opportunity to take dual credit classes (both high school and college credit for the same class) through Pueblo Community College. Studies show that students who take academically challenging high school courses are more likely to attend and complete college and earn more in the work world, regardless of their family's financial status, race, or gender.

Elementary school students should focus on reading, reading and reading - writing and math, too. Retired folks, please volunteer to lend a hand during school or with the Education Center's after-school tutoring program. If some children aren't making the grade, help us give them the extra support they need.

No one stands taller than when they stoop down to help a child. Call the schools or the Education Center at 264-2835 to find out how you can get involved with your community's young people. You will stand taller - and feel taller - than you ever have. Back-to-school time is the perfect time to start.



Library News
by Lenore Bright

Turkey Trot needs T-shirt desing

Believe it or not, the sixth annual Friends of the Library Turkey Trot is coming up Nov. 13 and we need your help.

All artists, aspiring, amateur or professional, young or "experienced," are invited to submit design ideas for the official Turkey Trot T-shirt. The winner will receive a free entry into the Turkey Trot, including a T-shirt with your award-winning design and mention in all the Turkey Trot ads and promotion. Now's your chance to become a famous artist. Deadline is Sept. 25, and entry forms are available at the Library.

Before and after

The baby picture display and contest is still up with a new addition - we now have current pictures of all the babies grown up and how you recognize them as Library employees, board members, Friends and volunteers. Even if you don't officially enter, it's still fun to have a look-see and speculate "who is who?" We'll be reuniting the baby pictures with their adult counterparts within the next couple of weeks and you'll be able to see how close your guesses were.

Love your Library?

The 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress is approaching and their anniversary slogan is "Why do you love Libraries?" Well, we at Sisson Library wonderÉ and we'd love for you to come in and tell us why you love your Library. Come in and see what other people have written on our "Love Your Library" display and add your own two cents' worth.

Old friends

A dear old Friend of the Library, George Reeves, was in town last week and an intimate gathering hosted by Kate Terry was held in his honor. It was sure fun to see everyone hugging and talking and catching up. We certainly are lucky to have such a loyal band of supporters.

Water information

Next time you're here, be sure to pick up a water information packet for southwestern Colorado, which includes all sorts of great facts, tips and advice on everything from saving water to water rights to ditches and diversions on private property.

Caricature maps

If you've seen the Pagosa Springs full-color caricature maps around town and want one of your own, we have them here to give away. While not in scale, it's a fun and handy guide to local landmarks and businesses.


At last we have a copy of Stephen King's latest, "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon." Be sure to get on the list and devour this story of a girl who relies on imagining her hero is with her in order to survive. This book "explores our deep dread of the unknown and the extent to which faith can conquer it." This is a "Waiting List Bestseller" which means that it can only be checked out for a week. Other popular waiting list bestsellers include "Hannibal" by Thomas Harris, "Black Notice" by Patricia Cornwell, the "Harry Potter" books by J.K. Rowling, "Granny Dan" by Danielle Steele and "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom, which has been on the New York Times Book Review best seller list for 97 weeks. Come and get 'em. Thanks again to the generous donors who make it possible for us to offer the more popular books we can't always afford to buy.

End of summer

As summer winds down, we'd like to once again thank all the great kids and parents who helped make our Summer Reading Program such a success. Studies show that kids who read during the summer do better academically during the school year than those who don't. And let's not forget our loyal Friday preschool story time kids - they were great. There are still a few Summer Reading projects and prize packets that need to be picked up. We are hoping to continue Kid's Programs throughout the school year, possibly in conjunction with our local schools, so watch this column for future news.


Thanks to the following who donated materials: Paul Bond, Larry Blue, Dick Ellis, Vi Whitlow, Second Story Books, Patricia Wissler, Wayne Pippenger, Bonnie Briscoe, Liz Akins, Mary Stahl and Deborah Robinson.


Arts Line
By Jan Brookshier

Wolfe family exhibit at gallery

Come one and all to the fantastic opening and reception of "Vibrant ColorsÉDancing Light," the latest exhibit at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in town park, tonight.

This alluring display of fine art is truly a family affair as it features oil paintings by Kathleen Wolfe; jewelry, clay and marionettes created by daughters Angela, Katrina and Jessica; and handcrafted frames by husband, Shane Carlson.

Kathleen's inspiration stems from a childhood where she studied art and gathered an awareness of light, color and form. Later in life, her passions came full circle as she developed an appreciation through the pristine Colorado rivers, hot springs, mountains and dramatic ever-changing weather. Paintings of these places reflect the strength, harmony and peace Kathleen hopes to convey.

Join us this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. for an opportunity to meet this talented family as well as indulge in food, fun and what promises to be a colorful show. "Vibrant ColorsÉDancing Light," will continue through Sept. 15.

As an added bonus, you can meet Kathleen on the following days and times: Sept. 3, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sept. 4, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Sept. 10, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sept. 14, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Worth mention

The PSAC would like to extend its gratitude to the participating artists in the "Artist on a Sunday Afternoon" event. Ten percent of all proceeds were donated to the arts council.

Thank you to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for providing the beautiful, complimentary flower arrangements every two weeks at PSAC opening receptions.


The gallery has an opening for a two week exhibit, Sept. 30 through Oct. 13, due to a cancellation. If you're an artist and would like to show your stuff, please contact Lili Pearson at 731-5159, or Joanne Haliday at 264-5020. Time is of the essence, so be expedient and call today.

PSAC gallery and gift shop hours beginning Sept. 7 will be 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Have a safe and happy September and most importantly, remember that "To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts."


Video Review
By Roy Starling

Is Paul Newman moving to Pagosa?

Dear Paul Newman,

Sorry it's taken so long for me to write. I've been a big fan of yours since I was a little kid, back when my mom had a serious crush on you, even though she was married to my dad, and you were romantically involved with that lovely lass from Georgia, Joanne Woodward.

I loved you in your "H" tetralogy - "Harper," "Hombre," "Hud" and "Hustler" - and your temperature movies: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Long Hot Summer," "Cool Hand Luke," and "Blaze." You were a guy a moviegoer could depend on, bringing style and class to every film you did.

For years, you've also been a tireless political and social activist, speaking up for and supporting causes you believe in.

I'm writing this letter in response to something I read in a newspaper from a nearby mini-metropolitan area. It seems that you and Joanne helped your neighbors save 730 acres of Connecticut woodland known as Trout Brook Valley from being developed into a golf course and luxury housing. You donated $500,000 and helped raise another $175,000 toward a land trust's closing on this tract of land.

I just wanted to say thank you, and to invite you to move to Pagosa Springs. I think there are a lot of people here who would love to have you. We already have quite a few celebrities here, and there's a rumor going around that Garth Brooks will someday call Pagosa home.

We don't have any ulterior motives: We just like you for you. Of course, in case one of the beautiful valleys surrounding this area should ever be in danger of being developed into a golf course and luxury homes, we wouldn't mind if you stepped in and helped preserve it. A lot of us here work very hard and save as much money as we can, but still can't seem to put together $500,000, either to help save the valley or to buy a membership in a resort area there, should one ever be built.

So in an effort to entice you to Pagosa, I'm going to give you some free publicity by reviewing one of your movies this week. It's called "Hudsucker Proxy" (1994), and it was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, the guys who gave us "Blood Simple," "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink," "Fargo" and "The Big Leibowski."

In "Hudsucker," the Coen brothers pay tribute to (and spoof) legendary director Frank Capra, the Sicilian immigrant who loved to make movies about The Little Guy Who Could. In "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "Meet John Doe," "You Can't Take It with You," and "It's a Wonderful Life," idealistic individuals - often rubes - from small towns like Pagosa stand up to corporate and/or political bullies and win the day with decency, courage, common sense and persistence.

"Hudsucker," set in 1958, most closely resembles "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," but it contains elements from all of Capra's most notable films.

Waring Hudsucker, head of Hudsucker Industries, interrupts a board meeting by jumping out the window and falling 44 floors ("45 if you count the mezzanine") to his death.

According to company policy, Hudsucker stocks must go on sale to the public in the event of Mr. Hudsucker's demise. In an effort to keep John Q. Public from buying them up, Sid Mussburger (Newman), Hudsucker Industries' second in command, devises a scheme in which the company is turned over to a schmuck, thereby causing its stock to plummet and allowing the Hudsucker board to gobble it all up.

Mussburger chooses Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), "a jerk, a dope, an imbecile" from the mail room to head the company and lead it to its temporary doom. In true Capra fashion, Barnes is an idealistic rube from Muncie, Ind., and he has a vision that he thinks will save Hudsucker Industries.

That vision is a circle which Barnes seems to think is self-explanatory. He shows it to people and says, "You know . . . for kids!" Huh? The zany hijinks get underway in earnest when we learn what that circle is: a hula hoop. The hula hoop, of course, was the Rubiks Cube, the mood ring, the yo-yo, the Beanie Babies of the '50s. If what I saw at the Four Corners Folk Festival last weekend is any indication, the hoop is coming back in.

The film, like Capra's, charts Barnes's social rise and moral decline and then his social and moral rebirth. It does this in typical Coen surreal nightmare fashion. Fantasy sequences, oddball camera angles and comic book caricatures are used to parody corporate shenanigans.

Hudsucker Industries, for example, is housed in a kind of dark Gothic corporate cathedral, with its strict but silly hierarchy and rituals, its big wheels and little wheels, its wheels within wheels grinding away in its underbelly, its aura of self-importance - it's all heartless, gray and cold.

As Barnes, Robbins combines the sweetness and naivete of Capra favorites Gary Cooper and James Stewart with the downright silliness of Jerry Lewis. Jennifer Jason Leigh, as an undercover investigative reporter out to expose him, does a nice parody of the roles played by Jean Arthur and Barbara Stanwyck back in the '30s and '40s.

As for my man, my main man, my new hero Paul Newman, who will possibly soon be living in Pagosa, he goes way out of character in playing the ruthless Mussburger. Still, those chiseled features and piercing blue eyes, holding up so well in his mid-70s, make him a very convincing iron man with a heart as big and generous as a raisin.

"Hudsucker" is a lot of fun, and perhaps it'll convince you to have your own personal Capra film festival. As Americans, we're such suckers for stories in which David, or Gonzaga, actually whips up on Goliath, where might doesn't always make right, and Capra was a master of filming such yarns.

Well, Paul, that pretty much does it for my review. If I don't hear from you soon, I'll just assume you're on your way out here. If you don't come out, I won't exactly go on a hunger strike, but I will eat my salads without dressings, if you catch my drift.

Please tell Joanne I really like what she said about saving a little land: "I believe in doing whatever we can to preserve land anywhere," she said. "We have to do this for our grandchildren."

Maybe you've heard, Paul, that I recently became a grandfather myself with the birth of Gabriel Joseph on August 26. I want there to be some vast, spectacular valleys to show him when he's old enough to hike and fish in them.

So come on out and do what you can. You know . . . for kids.




Old Timers
By John M. Motter

Spa nears half a century of service

Since they came to town almost 50 years ago, the Giordanos have been in hot water - hot geothermal water.

Jan. 1, 2000, will mark the 50th anniversary since Mike and Nancy Giordano and their family arrived in Pagosa Springs with their young family. Since then Mike has passed away, the family has grown, and grandkids are taking turns greeting the public and answering the telephone.

Today's Spa Motel and bath house are a far cry from the Navapachute Camp featuring the Pagosa Spring Health and Beauty Pool the Giordano's purchased from Mrs. Cora Woods. That 1950 establishment boasted of 29 rentals distributed through a variety of buildings, many with no floors.

The Giordanos, along with a lot of other coal miners from the Walsenburg area, were familiar with the Pagosa Hot Springs and the therapeutic virtues of the mineral waters. Each year for years they had made the long trip across La Veta Pass, the San Luis Valley, and finally Wolf Creek Pass. The goal was always the same. They soaked for hours in the legendary water, washing away the aches and pains of another hard year in the coal mines.

World War II had just ended, the Korean War was not yet full blown, and the family coal mines around Walsenburg and Trinidad were dying. Clean and bright natural gas was replacing the coal grubbed from dozens of mines located in the Huerfano country of south central Colorado. The Giordano family, immigrants from Italy around the turn of the century, operated several of those mines.

Mike Giordano was invited into a partnership owning the camp. He said yes. Mike, wife Nancy, sons Mike (Tuffy) and Norman, and daughter Marsha all climbed into the family sedan, waved goodbye to Walsenburg, and moved to Pagosa Springs, permanently.

For the Giordanos, the challenge was twofold. First, while the old hot springs camp they had purchased had a loyal following, it was old. The Giordanos launched a rebuilding program. Second, Pagosa Springs was a sleepy little town, a good place for a business owner and family head to starve to death. Only during the two week hunting season were the streets full and the cash registers humming. A handful of tourists motored through town during the summer. When one of them stopped, there was probably a flat tire. Winters were dead - dead - dead.

During the winter there wasn't enough business to justify the cost of heating the public buildings. As a result, the buildings were closed and winterized, all of the water drained to keep the pipes from freezing.

In order for the family to survive, Nancy taught first grade in the public school, replacing Illae Montroy who had resigned. Altogether, Nancy taught first grade for 40 years, including nine years in Durango.

Born in Redwing, Colo., Nancy is descended from a long line of pioneers. She is a member of the Territorial Daughters of Colorado. Her ancestors were in the state before Colorado became a state in 1876. One ancestor arrived in Taos, N.M., about 1845 and married a local señorita. The family moved around frontier Colorado, finally settling in Walsenburg where Nancy's father was appointed deputy sheriff. Nancy and Mike met in Walsenburg, and in 1940 became Mr. and Mrs. Giordano .

The family's new health resort was almost immediately renamed The Spa, the same name it has carried nearly 50 years. Mike rustled up a hammer and a saw and began remodeling. Mrs. Woods' pool and building complex had been launched in about 1938, hard on the heels of a falling out with John P. Lynn, the owner of the Great Pagosa Hot Springs with its collection of bath houses and cabins. Water for the new pool and baths was supplied by a geothermal well located on the property, instead of from the hot springs.

It is said Mrs. Woods' buildings were hauled in from an abandoned military base. For furnishings, they contained a bed, ice box - not refrigerators - a wood stove for heat and cooking, and little else. Guests stayed by the day, week, or month. A huge concrete slab was marked with lines for shuffle board and other games.

Mike's first task was to tear down the old bath house and erect a new one. When that task was finished, he built the family a home on the cement slab, a home still in existence. He then demolished a two-story building standing behind the bath house and erected apartment buildings in their place. Finally, one or two at a time, the individual cabins came down.

Through it all, the clientele grew, many of them attracted by the healing properties of the mineral waters.

"We are great believers in the medicinal properties of the water," said Nancy. "We've seen so many astounding healings. My husband, Mike, was a perfect testimony. He was injured several times, mining, by a horse, falling. One time the doctor told him he would never walk again. He bathed every morning and evening in the hot waters. When the doctor saw how well Mike recovered, he started sending his patients to bathe at the Spa."

Today, the Spa is a busy place, summer and winter. Pagosa Springs has grown from a sleepy mountain town into a destination resort attracting people from all over the world. Along with that growth, the Giordano family has grown. Today they are a stellar part of the community.

As with all families, the Giordanos have witnessed a mixture of joy and tragedy down through the years. Son Norman was killed in an accident while working on the construction of Navajo Dam. Mike passed away in 1953. Now 84, Nancy continues to live at the Hot Springs, surrounded by doting family, and visitors, all taking advantage of the hot mineral waters.



Food for Thought
By Karl Isberg

Volleyball obsession grows stronger

It's autumn.

I'm obsessed.

What could it be? you ask.

A newly discovered Pinot Noir from an obscure Oregon vintner?

The chance that a naive bowhunter will give me the back strap of a freshly slain elk?

A basket of chanterelles, the fungi plucked at the peak of flavor?

A recent delivery of Thai curry pastes?


It's my regular fall obsession.

High school volleyball.

Specifically, Lady Pirate volleyball.

I love watching the Lady Pirates, complete with all the spectacle, the triumphs, the tragedies, the thrills. I've covered the sport for the SUN since 1987 and my obsession grows stronger each year.

Simply put, no more exciting team sport is played in high school - it's the best show in town.

I'm obsessed.

While some folks spend the fall motoring around the mountains gawking at dead leaves, I'm speeding past that same colorful mountain scenery, oblivious to the transient glories of nature, on my way to a distant town, consumed by fevered speculation about the chances for another Intermountain League title, fretting about the foot speed of an underclassman middle hitter, gnashing teeth at the prospect of a backcourt breakdown, talking to myself about hand position on a tandem block.

While many folks are parked in front of their television sets on autumn nights, I'm front row center in the bleachers at the high school gym engaged in ardent conversations about an ominous dead spot in the middle back row or the ability of an outside to hit down the line.

If you must be obsessed, I say this is the complete package.

What gives, Karl?, you ask. How is it that a guy who has spent time in the Tate gazing at Turners and Blakes, who has memorized the halls of the Louvre, the Pompidou and the D'Orsay, MOMA and the Getty, who weeps when he hears Barber's "Adagio," who has gazed into the eyes of the burghers of the Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum, who has hoisted vin du pays in toasts at obscure boites and savored the glory of a perfect unpasteurized Camembert, is devoted to the spectacle of a bunch of high school girls playing a game with a small white ball and a net?

Don't laugh until you've tried it.

I admit, I am biased. I have two daughters who played the game - one at Denver North and one at Pagosa Springs. Granted, too, I have watched and analyzed nearly every Lady Pirate player who has donned the black and gold during the last decade, from the time she first grabbed the white sphere as a tot and tried to propel it across the net. I've watched them, I like them, I care about them.

But, there is more. This game delivers the goods, in spades.

In my opinion, sport - played and watched - is a fundamental element of a life fully lived.

Playing a sport is a special experience, and the athlete has moments of accomplishment and transcendence that are incomparable.

There is also a special state of being available to a spectator; it comes when you are focused on the flow of a game, tuned to the spontaneous development of anticipated forms, intent on a pattern of action that jerks you from your normal place in space and time, that concentrates your attention in a way few other things can. It is an experience that can be cultivated as carefully as the experiences associated with great art, theater, music, architecture, superb food and drink.

Believe me, a sure access to this sport-induced state of mind in Pagosa is Lady Pirate volleyball. Give it a try.

What can you expect, what will you see?

If you arrive at the gym at the appointed time, you will be privy to three matches, the first two of which are largely experimental - enjoyed primarily by parents of players and the discerning talent scout. These are the C team and junior varsity matches. The C team is composed of neophytes, working to develop the skills of the game. The junior varsity involves athletes working to bring those talents to the level needed for varsity play. To watch both contests heightens your appreciation of what is to follow.

It is the varsity match, the final match of the night, that displays the game at its best. Here is your stimulant, your elixir, the delicious center of your obsession.

During your first couple of visits to a Lady Pirate match, be dispassionate, be open to the sudden delights that await you.

The first thing you'll observe is the Grand Entrance. This is a big deal and is heralded by a tremendous blast of music (if you are over 30, read "noise"). The members of the team collaborate to produce a taped medley of high-decibel racket to accompany their arrival on the court. It is a form of feather fluffing, a ritual display geared to dazzle the crowd and to unnerve the opposition.

Next is the warm-up. As with the entrance, this also has a dual purpose. First, of course, is the preparation of bodies and minds for the competition ahead. Second is a display of power, a form of muscle flexing conducted for the sake of the opponent. For years now, the Lady Pirates have conducted a warm up that begins with a frightening display of hitting. Players on the other teams try not to watch, but it is impossible. It is like passing a car wreck and not looking. Impossible.

Then, to the game.

It is a simple game, and to watch it for the first time you need to know very little about the rules. Float with the current. Enjoy.

To start, understand there are six players per team on the court.

Only the team that serves can score a point. The serve goes to the opposing team if a point is not scored by the serving team.

Don't worry about all the reasons why a point is awarded or why the serve changes hands; you'll learn by watching. The first team to score 15 points (or that wins by a two-point margin if the score is tied at 14 or higher) wins the game. The team that takes two games out of three wins the match.

Grab a bag of popcorn or buy a chili dog and sit back to absorb the delightful succession of crescendos that make the sport what it is: flat-out fun.

How can I describe the essence of the game? Poorly, at best.

A volleyball team on offense is well compared to a weapons delivery system and, in fact, the term used to describe the perfectly-hit ball is "kill." The delivery system, when it works smoothly, is a thing of beauty. The position of the ball determines the range of possibilities available to the delivery system on each exchange. As the ball moves, you can see what might happen, what should happen, what is going to happen, and the uncertainty is special. When it happens right, it is golden.

The guns in the weapons system are the hitters.

Hitters are distinguished by their power and by the variety of ways they find to put the ball to the floor on the opposite side of the net. The aforementioned kill is the most dramatic, but a great hitter has a knack for hitting off-speed shots, for deliberately hitting shots that angle off or between the hands of opposing blockers, and for scoring on occasion with soft shots that drop behind blockers at the feet of back row defensive players, or that travel down the net in front of blockers expecting a more powerful shot. There is subtlety to this craft.

But the guns are silent without the setter. The setter is like the computer in a weapons delivery system. Think back to Desert Storm, to all those black and white videos of smart bombs going through the windows of buildings. Pretty dramatic blasts, don't you think? Without the computer that locked on the target and provided the right information for the missile, you'd be watching a black and white video of an explosion on a sand dune.

So it is with the setter: She takes the pass and converts it into an opportunity for a hitter, placing the ball into a position where the hitter can do her work. That conversion, when it is successful, is gorgeous to behold. Sets can go high or be placed right at the top of the net. The setter can put the ball to a hitter located in front of her or in the back court, or she can "back set" the ball to a hitter behind her. The setter herself can hit the pass, or dump it to an open spot on the floor.

For the setter to accomplish her role, she must get a decent pass out of the defensive mode of the game - a player must find a way to keep an opposition attacker from putting the ball to the floor, and she must send that ball to the setter at a spot where it can be transformed into an opportunity to score.

The best way to get a decent pass to the setter is to make sure the ball does not travel across the net untouched. This is the role of the blocker on defense. There are numerous blocking schemes available to a team: A single player can attempt to block the hit, but most often two players combine to thwart a hitter. A stuff block, when a shot is rocketed back in the face of a hitter, is one of the great moments in the sport. The speed with which the blockers move to the point of attack is critical, as is the movement of the best back row players who can read the body positions and the approach of hitters in order to second-guess the placement of the ball into the back court.

When the entire system works, when the back row player digs an attempted kill, when the pass goes to the setter, when the setter puts the perfect ball to the hitter, when the hitter leaps and the kill goes down. . .wham!. . . epiphany, a lightning stroke, noise, delirium, delight.

There are few things more satisfying than a kill that thunders from the hand of a soaring middle hitter, cratering the floor inside the ten-foot line, leaving defensive players flat-footed and open-mouthed. Pagosa has had some great middle hitters during this decade. The team has a great one now. You need to come out and watch her.

There is nothing more dramatic than a cross-court kill or a bolt shot down the line by a premiere outside hitter - a kill that leaves the opposition sprawled and stumbling. The Lady Pirates have featured a succession of superb outside hitters over the years. They have one now, so come out and watch her.

Good setters are rare. Pagosa has a wonderful setter, a surgeon of a setter; come see her play.

You want drama? How about a dig of a blistering hit, the defensive player diving to keep the ball in the air and alive? Lady Pirates do it all the time.

What about an ace serve, a ball sent to just the right place on the other side of the court - a ball hit without spin, or with the right spin to confound the receiver and deny a return? It happens regularly.

You like uncertainty in your sport? Volleyball is a game characterized by incredible swings in momentum. A team can be ahead 12-0 when the momentum shifts. Suddenly, the score is tied. Which team has the character to win? Which team has the leadership on the court? Which team has the player who can provide the composure, generate the confidence, the energy? The teams are even, the physical skills are balanced: Which team has the floor leader who can take control of the collective emotions? Pagosa has one, come watch her work.

Oh, when this game is clicking, it is the best. When all cylinders are firing, there is a sustained tension that occurs only in the greatest of sports. When the energy is there, when the teams are at the top of their games, when the rallies are long and the ball is zipping first like a laser then floating like a feather, when bodies are flying and the feats are improbable, when you are twitching with each exchange, your nervous system firing spasmodically, when the rhythm is perfect and, finally, when the right team puts the ball to the floor, this game is so very, very good.

Wow, I love watching the Lady Pirates.

In fact, I like it so much, I ought to make a dinner for the members of the team one of these weeks.

I can whip up something good, but not too good - they are teenagers after all. Perhaps I'll find a suitable place to serve it, and I'll con some of the parents into waiting table. They're nuts, they'll do it.

It's the least I can do to pay for all the fun.

What do you cook for a volleyball team?

A balance of protein and carbs, for sure. We're dealing with jocks, after all.

Usually, a team meal involves spaghetti.

I refuse to cook spaghetti.

But, acknowledging that most teens are comfy in the quasi-Italian zone, I can make a lasagna, or stuffed rigatoni or manicotti. Maybe a couple of the dishes, since they utilize the same basic ingredients.

I can make one version with meat and one without.

The basic filling: a mix of ricotta, egg, basil, oregano, garlic, nutmeg, salt, pepper, some shredded mozzarella and some grated Parmesan. For the meatless filling, I'll add a bit of chopped, cooked spinach. For the meat version, I'll toss in some crumbled hot Italian sausage.

This filling can be crammed into al dente manicotti or rigatoni, the stuffed shells layered in an oiled baking dish. I'll cheat and use a bottled sauce, doctored a bit with some fresh spices. Cover the stuffed pasta with sauce, top it with some grated Parmesan and into the oven it goes.

The lasagna uses the same filling, as well as thinly sliced mozzarella, sauce and dabs of bechamel between the layers of al dente noodles. The final layer gets tomato sauce and two cheeses - the sliced mozzarella and grated Parmesan or Romano. Into the oven it goes.

I'll toss together a salad of mixed greens with some shredded carrot, chunks of cucumber, some black olives, and have some croutons on hand. I favor a simple vinaigrette with this salad, but since we're dealing with finicky teens, I can provide bottled ranch and Italian dressings.

Hot Italian bread is a must.

For dessert, if I'm in an energetic mood, the tykes will have to suffer and eat something relatively sophisticated: perhaps a fruit tart with a pastry cream base. They won't like it, but who cares.

What we care about is volleyball.

What do you care about? Half-baked sitcoms, trash movies and washed-out television news shows?

Check the local sports schedule, get off your duff and put some zip into your life.

It's fall.

Join me at the gym.

Get obsessed.

It's time for Lady Pirate volleyball.


Tourist trap

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the letters by Janna McDonald (Aug. 26) and Della Truesdell (Sept. 2) which appeared in the last two issues of this newspaper. Both of them used the term "another tourist trap" as being far less desirable than a main street funeral home.

Mr. Cappy White (SUN letter to the editor, Aug. 19) was not protesting the existence of a funeral home in Pagosa Springs but just its location in the middle of a commercial area. If it weren't for our many fine stores this town would have very few tourists and in case you aren't aware of it tourism is the main source of business, outside of real estate, in Pagosa Springs.

The specific store you are referring to as "another tourist trap" is without a doubt the finest store of its kind in the Four Corners area. I am referring to Handcrafted Interiors, owned and run by Cappy White and Monica Green, both great people and extremely talented furniture makers and finishers as well as retailers of wonderfully fine handcrafted merchandise. Pagosa is quite fortunate in having this kind of talent and taste in its midst and equally fortunate to have this fine family as fellow citizens. Perhaps you both need to visit their store and see for yourselves what you are calling "another tourist trap."


Pierre and Sandy Mion

Obvious curiosity

Dear Editor,

Well, nobody took me up on my invite for a walk in the woods (SUN letter to editor Aug. 26). Probably just as well. It wasn't a very nice day - gray, cloudy and misty. Half an hour of strolling through the tall grass and I was half as wet from the knees down as though I had waded the Weminuche, which I had to do later anyway, twice.

I found the site I believe is described in Gestefield's story, a rock slide that would be traversed by a peak cast sun shadow. There was some disagreement between the bearings shown by my two compasses, a simple Silva and a Brunton pocket transit. After sitting and thinking about magnetic declination back in camp, I decided that the azimuth bearings were what I had hoped they would be. The transit was difficult to adjust because of background reflections from the rocks and trees, but I believe the altitude was also as I had predicted.

The only obvious curiosity at the site was a small pothole that had been dug in the rock slide. I ran my metal detector around inside, but there were no indications because 1) there was nothing there, 2) the hoped for material was too deep, buried beneath a couple feet of small broken rock. (I promised the U.S. Forest Service "no digging.") My detector is just a nugget shooter without much depth. It can't find my car across more than 9 inches of open air. 3) I don't know how to use the detector properly. 4) impatience. There were several large boulders at the toe of the slide, but I was distracted from searching around them by the compass problems and the pothole and the desire to get back to the cross-roads trails before it got much later or wetter.

My plans for the next trip include better precision on the predicted azimuth bearings and altitudes with current instruments, maybe better instruments and thorough knowledge on their use and a more potent two-box metal detector. I'll also pay more attention to the boulders and look for evidence of the carved cross.


Nick Schroeder

Stick with nothing

Dear Editor,

I have heard so many commercials asserting that "nothing is better than" the product they advertise that I have decided to stick with nothing.


John Spradley

Your own size

Dear Editor,

Sir, some guys (SUN letter by Dr. James Cate Aug. 26) have questioned the qualifications to be a good hard working American, of my good friend Glenn Bergmann.

I just thought they might be interested in his "insignificant" accomplishments. In my war (World War II) he lied, lied about his age so that he could enlist in the 10th Mounted Division as a mule skinner in the pack artillery, with the rank of private, subsequently to officer's candidate school then to the 1st Cavalry, in the South Pacific theater, then detached to the OSS in the China-Burma-India theater. He didn't get his decorations the easy way. At war's end, the separation clerk noted that if he planned to stay in he would have to forfeit his officer rank because the army was returning to an age qualification of 21 years for officers and Glenn was a 19-year-old captain. Called back for the Korean conflict, he commanded weapons training school at White Sands, N.M.

Glenn holds a Juris Doctorate, LL.B. in law, and an architectural engineering degree. After retirement he may have laid around for a while eating bonbons but when I met him in Pagosa, he was supervising construction on Habitat for Humanity homes and designed a recent one. As you may know, Habitat is volunteering at its best. My only reservation about Glenn is that he is a lifetime Republican. Next time you guys "pick on someone your own size."

Lee Sterling




Dear Dave,

Just a reminder for those who may have forgotten, or a note for those who missed last week's paper, that we are having a get-together for Reita and Bill Hawthorne at our house next Monday, 13, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. for friends who would like to visit with the Hawthornes on their short visit to Pagosa. For directions to 800 Prospect call 731-5016.


Bobbie Carruth

No boundaries

Dear David,

We appreciated seeing the recent coverage of the Piano Creek public meeting, hosted by "Friends of the East Fork Valley," in the Sept. 2 edition of the SUN. We also enjoyed the informative article by John Motter, on the history of the East Fork Valley. Prior to this edition, we had wondered if and when the SUN would begin providing coverage on this controversial development.

We also attended the meeting on the proposed Piano Creek Resort, and would like to take this time to share some of our thoughts.

The Piano Creek Ranch is private property. However, the ownership of private property is not an inalienable right, or God-given right, to do what ever you want to the land (i.e. build a golf course, dump pesticides and herbicides, or construct a resort). All land is part of an ecosystem that knows no boundaries between public and private lands. What happens in terms of human disturbance on the private land in the East Fork will affect the plant, animal, and human communities off the private property.

Because the East Fork has a road, a few cabins, and a gas pipeline, it does not meet most people's definition of "pristine." However, it has not seen any recent development. If there were another valley in southwestern Colorado of this size, at this elevation, accessible to the public, and with similar scenic grandeur and wildlife qualities, we would like to see it.

It should be noted that over the last 150 years, the land in the East Fork has transferred hands from the Utes to the U.S. government, homesteaders, Forest Service, ranchers and now developers. When a private inholding as ecologically and aesthetically important as East Fork is threatened with development, there is no reason to think that the ownership can not be returned to the public. In fact, East Fork is at the top of the San Juan National Forest's list of private properties it would like to acquire.

David, you asked in a July editorial, where "Friends of East Fork" and other environmentalists were when Fairfield was developed? It has also been asked, "Why don't we do something about all the other ranches being developed?" The answer to the first question is that we were not born yet or at least were very small when the Fairfield development began. As for other ranches, there are no doubt ranches that should and could be saved from development, but we have families, school, and work to attend to and can not work on every environmental issue. Because East Fork is a unique area directly adjacent to the wildest protected wilderness area in Colorado, the South San Juan Wilderness, we have chosen to concentrate our efforts there.

We would like to remind everyone that this proposed resort is not going to provide primary housing for local people, but is instead an exclusive resort with a membership fee of half a million.

Two Friends of East Fork

Dan Johnson

Sarah Hewlette


Daily lifeblood

Dear Editor,

My husband Rick and I are planning to move to Pagosa Springs sometime next spring. We are coming to this community on high recommendation of someone familiar with the area. In the meantime, as we eagerly await this exciting move, I have been checking the Pagosa Springs SUN on the internet. I have been trying to get a real feel for the community, especially through "Letters to the Editor" and what I have discovered is that, just like in any other area there are issues that come up and need dealing with, and complaints to be made. There also seems to be a lot of uplifting community support. And this is good, indeed.

Rick and I are looking for a strong sense of community - a place where we can become a proud part of that community. We plan to put down roots and likely live out our lives in that community (we are in our late 40s). So, in perusing your newspaper and reading about the people, the community activities, and the issues that make up the daily lifeblood of your town we hope to get to know you even before we become a part of you.

If anyone would like to e-mail us, our e-mail address is: We would welcome your input, your suggestions, and your friendship. We will be in Pagosa Springs on a combined delayed honeymoon/camping trip and fact-finding mission (to check the employment and housing markets) in early October.


Jeannie and Rick Miller

Bedford, Ind.

School bus safety

Dear Editor,

In the article, "Transportation director discusses school bus safety" (SUN page 6, section 2, Sept.2)John Rose states: "Whenever those lights flash red, you are required by law to stop until they are turned off, whether you're on a divided highway or not." It is this last statement that Mr. Rose made, that is incorrect.

While his statement is probably correct for Pagosa Springs it is totally wrong for the more urban locations in this state or others. To quote the Colorado Driver Handbook, page 16, "You are not required to stop if the bus is traveling toward you on a roadway that is separated by a median or other physical barrier." A correction to his article may be appropriate.

D.H. Nicholls


Ralph G. Flowers

Ralph G. Flowers, 75, of Pagosa Springs died in an airplane crash Sept. 1, 1999, and went to the loving arms of his Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, who he faithfully served most of his adult life.

Mr. Flowers was born Oct. 28, 1923, in East Orange, N.J., and grew up in Hickory, N.C. He graduated with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. He worked for General Electric for 37 years. Mr. Flowers was a decorated World War II veteran of the Pacific Theater, serving on the U.S.S. Cabat. He was wounded in action and received the Purple Heart.

He married Elizabeth Severns in Neshaminy, Penn., on May 8, 1945. They celebrated 54 years together. Mr. Flowers faithfully served the Lord at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Lubbock where he and his wife worked with the youth group who gave them the endearing nicknames of "Grumpy" and "Granny." He served on the administrative board, various committees, and as marriage enrichment leader at First United Methodist Church in Carrollton, Texas. After moving to Colorado, he helped build the church at Redstone. The Flowers later moved to Pagosa Springs where he attended and served at Community Bible Church and Pagosa Bible Church. During his retirement years he enjoyed serving as a director of the Friends of Cumbres and Toltec Railroad in Chama, N.M.

Memorial services for Mr. Flowers were held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4, 1999, at Community Bible Church in Pagosa Springs with Dr. Ken Carter, Rev. Rick Fox and Rev. Al DeBoer officiating.

Survivors include his wife Mrs. Elizabeth Flowers of Pagosa Springs, son Ralph A. Flowers and his wife, Barbara, of Houston, Texas; daughter, Donna Neal, and her husband, Earl of Carrollton; sister, Barbara Miller and her husband, Glenn of Hickory, N.C.; five granddaughters, Amy Campbell, Alyssa Neal, Kathleen and Melissa Flowers, and Whitney Neal; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pagosa Bible Church, Box 3536, Pagosa Springs CO 81147.

Phillip Wroblewski

Phillip Adolph Wroblewski died Sept. 1, 1999, in a plane crash east of Bayfield. He had been a resident of Pagosa Springs since 1998.

Mr. Wroblewski was born in Milwaukee, Wis. on Nov. 25, 1939. He entered the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17. Following his military duty, Wroblewski was a police officer in southern California as an undercover drug enforcement officer. After an early retirement from law enforcement, he moved to the San Joaquin Valley and was security coordinator for Beckman Instruments in Porterville, Calif. After moving to Pagosa Springs he was employed by City Market.

In the early 1980s, Wroblewski began his training as a private pilot in Long Beach, Calif., but had to put his dreams on hold until June 1990 when he resumed training and accomplished his goal a few months later. Shortly afterwards, he started a home-built aircraft project that was completed in 1995. His love for flying and his proficiency in his Van RV4 grew into a desire for acrobatic training. During the next four years he flew his RV4 more than 600 hours.

Wroblewski's other interests included fly-fishing, hiking, skiing and playing the guitar, banjo and mandolin.

He is survived by his mother, two sisters, his son, Brian Wroblewski of Newport Beach, Calif. and his daughter and two grandsons, Tracy, Justin and Scott Simmons of Lake Chelan, Wash.

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a Phil Wroblewski Memorial Fund at the Rio Grande Savings and Loan in Pagosa Springs to help cover expenses.