Front Page

October 28, 1999

Fire district has hot week

By Karl Isberg

If firefighters with the Pagosa Fire Protection District needed some practice, they had plenty of chances as district crews responded to seven calls between Oct. 22 and Oct. 24.

According to Chief Warren Grams, the seven calls in little more than two days kept his crews and trucks extremely busy.

Grams said the first call came to the district at 3 p.m. on Oct. 22. "It was a structure fire on Harman Drive in the San Juan River Village," said Grams. "The fire was caused by faulty fireplace design. The fire was located between a floor and the garage ceiling below it." Grams said the district responded with two engines, a command vehicle and seven firefighters. The blaze caused moderate damage to the structure.

Firefighters faced a less-than-pleasurable situation at 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 23 when an engine with a crew of five was summoned to put out a fire at North Pagosa Boulevard and El Capitan. The fire destroyed a "Porta Potty" at that location.

At 3 p.m. on Oct. 23, a fire in a kitchen on North 5th Street, at the Archuleta Housing Apartment B, drew one truck with eight firefighters. There was no damage at the scene.

A second kitchen fire on Oct. 23 occurred in a unit of the Ptarmigan Condominiums, on Park Avenue. The blaze required the attention of 17 firefighters with four district trucks. The kitchen in the condo sustained heavy damage.

Five firefighters with a tanker and a squad vehicle kept a controlled burn on Trujillo Road from getting out of hand on the morning of Oct. 24.

That afternoon, at 2 p.m., a district official drove to a site near Piedra Road and Turkey Springs Road, on Forest Service Road 623, to investigate a wildland fire. The situation was turned over to the U.S. Forest Service.

Grams said a call to a report of smoke near Cat Creek Road and Sandoval Mesa ended the district's weekend. A command officer responded to the scene and found officials of the Southern Ute Tribe undertaking a controlled burn on the mesa. According to Grams, that controlled burn has continued and has put quite a bit of smoke into the local atmosphere. He said an upcoming U.S. Forest Service controlled burn is expected to do the same.


Poverty level in sight for county employees

By John M. Motter

Recent raises granted certain county officials were noted with disapproval during Tuesday's weekly commissioner meeting by Commissioner Gene Crabtree.

County Finance Director Tracy Allen and Director of County Development Mike Mollica each recently received annual raises of $2,000, according to County Manager Dennis Hunt. Allen was hired at an annual salary of $31,000, Mollica at an annual salary of $43,000. In addition to the recent raises, in next year's budget Hunt proposes to raise Allen's salary to $35,000 and Mollica's salary to $47,000.

"We hired both of them on a 90-day trial basis," Hunt said. "They were told they would be compensated according to their contribution to the county. The 90-day period for each of them recently ended."

"I understand we are giving raises to people who've only been here a short time," Crabtree said. "At the same time, I understand that 27 out of 100 county employees are living below the poverty level; that they are eligible for food stamps and free lunches. Some of them have worked for the county a considerable time. I don't have an ax to grind, but I think we as a board should look at these workers. Some people claim if we don't have leaders the county will fall apart. I agree, but I say if we don't have workers we won't have leaders. I don't agree with giving these people a raise now and another raise in December while we have people at the poverty level. We need to take a second look."

The raises for Allen and Mollica were granted by Hunt.

"Basically, I informed all of the commissioners of the salary increase," Hunt said.

Wednesday, Crabtree said Hunt had informed him of the raise, but at the time he missed the significance of what was happening.

"I am interested in this because as elected representatives of the people we are responsible for setting policy and making decisions," Crabtree said. "A county commissioner should know what is going on. I go down there (to the courthouse) every day, but decisions are being made I know nothing about. I'm out of the loop."

Crabtree used a Tuesday commissioner decision to "seek proposals from other attorneys in the county for the position of county attorney" as an example of a decision the commissioners should make.

"Who is going to decide which attorney to hire?" Crabtree asked. "I think the decision to hire an attorney should be made by the commissioners with technical assistance from the county manager. The commissioners should lead."

When informed of Crabtree's statement about being "out of the loop," Hunt said, "That's not true. Basically, I inform all three commissioners equally. I work at the pleasure of a majority of the board. When two of the three commissioners decide to do something, that is what I do."

A two-hour executive session during which the raise issue was discussed following Tuesday's regular commissioner meeting, according to Crabtree.

Some accord and increased understanding among the board of commissioners and with Hunt was reached during the executive session, Crabtree said.

The number of below poverty-level county employees was reduced from 27 to 11 by deducting part-time employees, Crabtree said. Those who remain are scattered through all of the departments. A commitment was made to raise all county employees to the poverty level during the coming budget session.

An across-the-board cost of living pay increase ranging from 2.6 to 3 percent is proposed for all county employees for the coming year, Hunt said. Elected officials are not included in the proposal. Department heads can ask for additional merit raises for selected individuals.

A budget review involving the commissioners, elected officials, and department heads is scheduled Nov. 15 and 16. A final budget for the Year 2000 will be adopted some time during December.


Four vie for board seats

By Roy Starling

Two seats will be up for grabs on the School District 50 Joint board of directors when voters mail in their ballots for the Nov. 2 election.

In District 1, incumbent Randall Davis faces a challenge from former board member Laura Haynes, while appointed director Carol Feazel and Kathryn Pokorney compete for the District 3 slot. Director Russell Lee is running unopposed in District 2.

According to County Clerk June Madrid, ballots must be marked with a No. 2 pencil and must be delivered to her office, either by mail or in person, by 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

District 1

Davis's experience with the school board began 20 years ago when he was appointed to the board to fill the vacancy created when former resident Art Allen was recalled. Davis is currently president of the school board, a position he has held off and on "for about 12 years." He has also served on the hospital district and Dr. Mary Fisher medical boards.

Davis said he would like to remain on the board because, "For me, it's always been a worthwhile service to the community. Also, the whole direction the board is heading in right now interests me. To meet our goals, it's going to take a lot of energy and not a little work, and I'd like to maintain a directorial role in that. It's been a rewarding experience being a part of a good board and helping make our schools better."

Concerning his qualifications for the position, Davis referred to his 20 years of experience on the board. "When I joined the board in '79, there was a lot of dissension, but shortly afterwards, things calmed down," he said. "So I've seen what dissension can do to a board and what happens when people were on there for their own personal agenda. Now, we just try to do what's best for the student. When the board can get along, it's the schools that benefit most.

"Having been president for a good number of years, I also have experience keeping the meetings moving along, and I have a good working relationship with (Superintendent) Terry (Alley) and the school administrators."

Davis said he will be receiving a Master School Board Member award at the Colorado Association of School Boards meeting in December.

Asked what he'd like to accomplish if re-elected, Davis said, "The biggest thing is to see if we can do something about emphasizing learning for the students and to keep them excited about learning. Kids come to kindergarten totally jazzed about learning, but somewhere between then and high school, they start counting the days and looking forward to the weekends. It'll be a huge challenge to reverse that process."

Davis started spending his summers in Archuleta County in 1962, becoming a permanent resident in 1974 when he completed dental school. He maintained a dental practice in Pagosa until 1994. Now retired from dentistry, Davis says he does "a little of everything." He's an artist, "works on the family ranch, helps a friend with spring planting and fall harvesting on a potato farm" in the San Luis Valley, and restores antique vehicles.

Haynes, Davis's challenger from District 1, also has experience with the District 50 Joint board of directors. She served as a District 3 representative on the board from 1993 to 1998, resigning when she moved out of that district into District 1. Haynes's other educational experience includes "teaching (first grade) here in the elementary school for four years" and continuing to maintain a teaching certificate.

Haynes said she would like to return to the board because "I miss being involved. I like being part of the process and part of the school system. I want to be there to ensure the best education for my children."

As qualifications for her return to the board, Haynes lists her experience as a teacher and as a board member. "I'm also a parent of three children in district schools," she said.

As what she would like to accomplish if elected, Haynes said she would like for "the board to have goals that are attainable. We need to take a close look at standards and standardized testing and find out what parents and educators want."

The current board's goals for this year are to "continue to investigate the expansion of technical/vocational offerings" and to "continue to pursue innovations related to the ideas presented in the works of Alfie Kohn and to develop a mission statement that supports and encourages innovation."

Haynes said she would be supportive of attaining the first of those goals. "I don't know if I can support the one on Alfie Kohn because I still don't know that much about him," she said.

Haynes has lived in Archuleta County since 1975. She is currently a homemaker, working part time at Ponderosa Do It Best which her family owns.

District 3

Feazel has served on the board since April 1998 when she was appointed to replace Haynes. Her other education-related experience includes teaching in the Amnesty Program and creating a curriculum for the Los Angeles Unified School District. That curriculum, Feazel said, was "basically English as a second language for U.S. citizenship."

Feazel also taught English and humanities at University of Arizona and Pima (Ariz.) Community College from 1989 to 1991. In Pagosa, she has served on the adjunct faculty of Fort Lewis College's Modern Languages department and taught a variety of courses for Pueblo Community College.

Feazel said she would like to remain on the board because "it's been a learning experience and I enjoy it. It's a good district and a good board. The bottom line in any argument we (the directors) have is, 'What's best for the kids?' I'd like to see us continue in this vein, making the schools better for our kids. My children attend school in this district and will for several years yet."

Concerning her qualifications for the seat, Feazel cited her experience on the board, her teaching experience and background in "all different kinds of education. I come from a family full of professors."

If elected, Feazel said she would work towards getting "more honors classes in the high school" and towards "making community service a part of our high school students' experience. It's really important for the kids to see that they can make a difference by giving back to the community. After all, they're our future leaders." She also said she looked forward to working on the board's goals for this year.

Feazel has been spending summers in Pagosa since 1961 and has been a permanent resident since 1993.

Pokorney has 17 years of educational experience and has served as a special education teacher and consultant, an assistant principal of elementary and special education, a principal of high school and middle school and as an assistant superintendent and director of instruction. She has worked in schools in Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Dulce, N.M.

"I have a really strong commitment to education," Pokorney said about her desire to serve on the board. "Now that I'm pursuing a different career line, I don't want to lose touch with my commitment to education. I think I have a lot of experience to offer in the service of the community and the children."

Pokorney said she is qualified for the position by virtue of "my education and my teaching and administrative experience. I also hold certification in both elementary and special education in Colorado."

Should she be elected, Pokorney said that "as a first-time candidate, I'd like to lend my expertise towards strengthening the school board in the direction it's going."

Pokorney, who has lived in Archuleta County since 1992, is currently a guest-service representative at Fairfield Pagosa Inc.


X-Country trail runs all the way to state

By Karl Isberg

One down, one to go.

A victory at the regional championship meet at Buena Vista on Oct. 23 puts the Lady Pirates' cross country team on the doorstep of the Colorado Class 3A state championship meet, with a good chance of coming out the other side of that door as one of the top teams in the state.

When the Ladies take to the Kent Denver course on Saturday, they will be one of four 3A teams to wear the mantle of regional champion. Many of the teams the Ladies will see at the meet are teams they beat earlier in the season. If the Ladies have all guns loaded, if there are no injuries and each athlete performs at her peak, it could be a great day for the Pagosa cross country program.

Four of the Ladies will go to Denver in healthy condition. Aubrey Volger, Sarah Huckins, Chelsea Volger and Annah Rolig are 100 percent and each can be expected to perform well at Kent Denver. Amber Mesker fought problems with her calves at the regional meet, but coach Glen Cope anticipates a strong performance out of her at the last meet of the year. Makina Gill, likewise, has battled injury and will have to fight off the pain to do well at the state meet.

"We'll be in the mix," said Cope of the Lady Pirates' chances on Saturday. "But, nothing is a given; now, it's a matter of performance. We'll stay relaxed at practice this week and back off. The mental part of this sport is half of it. I hope they stay relaxed enough to enjoy themselves, to run and not get too tight."

Regardless of the outcome on Saturday, this Lady Pirates team has reached new heights during the regular season.

"I think I've had a team that won two, maybe three meets in a season," said Cope. "But I've never had one win 5 of 9 meets like this one did this year. It's been very good. The kids have had a great year."

Travis Laverty won the right to compete at the state meet as an individual with his 14th place finish at the regional meet at Buena Vista.

"Travis has a mission," said Cope. "He went to the state meet last year and he was disappointed with his performance. I told him 'You've got a second life now,' and I am sure he will be ready come Saturday."

The Class 3A state meet will be held on the campus of the Kent Denver School, at Quincy Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. The site can be accessed off U.S. 285 (Hampden Avenue) by taking Colorado Boulevard south to Quincy or by taking University Boulevard south to Quincy, and Quincy east to Colorado Boulevard.

The Lady Pirates will run the course at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Laverty will compete at 11:30 a.m.

Kohn heads list of school board's new goals

By Roy Starling

At their October meeting the School District 50 Joint board of directors adopted two goals for the coming year: Continue to investigate the expansion of technical/vocational offerings, and continue to pursue innovations related to the ideas presented in the works of consultant Alfie Kohn (and to) develop a district mission statement that supports and encourages innovation.

Who is Alfie Kohn and what are his ideas?

Kohn is a former teacher who now lectures, consults and writes on educational issues. His books on the subject include "No Contest: The Case Against Competition" (1992), "Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other Bribes" (1993), "Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community," and his most recent effort, "The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and 'Tougher Standards.' "

Kohn won over members of the school board with a two-hour presentation at the 1998 Colorado Association of School Boards Convention. That presentation was video taped, and what follows is an effort to glean Kohn's major points from that tape.

Essentially, Kohn contrasts two approaches to teaching and learning: the performance orientation and the learning orientation. Kohn favors the latter.

Those who prefer performance orientation tend to be interested in "tougher standards," "raising the bar," "accountability" and "measurable outcomes."

Kohn believes that too much emphasis on standards and standardized testing can lead to "performance-crazed" schools, and he lists five characteristics of such schools:

- Students are less interested in the learning itself, and tend to regard what they're doing in school as a chore. The "tougher standards" movement, Kohn says, "never mentions the desire to hook students on the love of learning or of ideas, to make the goal of education more education."

- Students tend to attribute their performances on standardized testing not to effort, but to the fact that they're "just plain smart or stupid." They begin to think of intelligence as a fixed quantity, something they either do or don't have.

- An excessive emphasis on performance results in students wanting "the easiest possible thing to do and to get through it as quickly as possible." Students will avoid challenges in order to do what they've been taught is important: make A's, score high on standardized tests. Does this mean students are lazy? Kohn doesn't think so. "They're simply acting rationally to an irrational situation," he says.

- When students don't succeed in such an environment, they're devastated by it; the pressure to excel begins to take its toll, not only in the form of stress and anxiety, but in a loss of the love of learning.

- The quality of learning tends to suffer because students are less likely to ask for help when they need it.

Kohn sees other problems with the "tougher standards" movement. One of these he calls "intensification": "simply doing more of what we're already doing." This means, among other things, longer school days and more homework.

Here Kohn quotes Henry David Thoreau: "It's not enough to be busy; the question is what are we busy about." Kohn isn't suggesting that schools simply eliminate homework, but that they ask "What is the nature or significance of the homework? Is it worth doing?"

Kohn argues that excellence cannot be measured solely on the basis of difficulty. Making the work harder doesn't equate to making it better. "Difficulty is not the only or even the most important way to judge an assignment," Kohn says.

Kohn himself favors higher standards, excellence and rigor, but he believes these come about by engaging the students in the subject matter and helping them retain a love of learning, not by suffocating them with busy work. "The value of what students do," he says, quoting American philosopher and educator John Dewey, "resides in its connection with a stimulation of greater thoughtfulness, not in the strain it imposes."

"I like higher standards," Kohn says, "if by higher standards we mean guidelines for teaching and learning more thoughtfully and acutely and understanding more deeply. This is not the same as higher standardized test scores."

About the push for more standardized testing, Kohn likes to use a bit of barnyard wisdom: "You don't fatten the steer by weighing it," but he admits that analogy doesn't go far enough in describing the relationship between test scores and learning. "Higher test scores do not equate to higher learning," he said. "In fact, the two often pull in opposite directions."

Learning stops so test preparation can begin, Kohn believes. Students are kept "too busy to think." Teachers lose their flexibility, creativity and freedom as they try to get students (as young as 7 or 8) to master a set of standards in lock-step. Both students and teachers will then be held accountable for the results, while few people take the time to question the value of the test or how it attempted to assess students' "learning."

"The word 'accountability,' " Kohn says, "is usually a euphemism for tighter control of classrooms by people who aren't in classrooms."

According to Kohn, here are some questions parents and other interested members of the community should be asking about standardized tests:

- Do the tests improve students' motivation?

- Do parents understand the results of the tests?

- Do teachers think the tests measure the curriculum fairly?

- Do administrators use results wisely?

- How much money is spent on assessment and related services?

- How much time do teachers spend preparing students for various tests?

- Do the media report the results accurately and fairly?

Finally, Kohn believes that he can sum up in one word what really leads to excellence: interest. "Show me a kid who's really getting a kick out of a science project, and I'll show you a kid who's learning science. But the 'tougher standards' movement is trying to do an end run around interest and move directly to raising standards," he said.

How to gauge students' interest? They're interested if "they come home babbling about what they did in school, if they continue outside the classroom arguments and discussions that begin inside them, and if they read on their own."

"These things are hard to quantify," Kohn admits, " but measurable outcomes may be the least significant results of learning."

"We're sorry. All long distance circuits are busy."

By Karl Isberg

It seems quite a few people are experiencing a similar problem with their phone service.

With calls that don't go through.

With long distance, in-state long distance, and local calls that result in silence, or in a recorded message.

"We're sorry, you must first dial a '1' followed by an area code. . . ."

"We're sorry. All long distance circuits are busy. Please hang up and try your call later."

On Wednesday, a call from the SUN office to the CenturyTel of Colorado offices at La Junta resulted in silence.

A second call, placed immediately after the phone was disconnected from the first attempt resulted in, "We're sorry, all long distance circuits are busy. . . ."

A third call, made immediately after the second, resulted in a connection.

What gives?

The bottom line, at least with long distance calls, said Mike Hudson, public relations manager for the Colorado Division of CenturyTel, is we live in a part of the country where development and demand for phone service has outdistanced the ability of long distance phone carriers to deal with call loads.

The key to figuring out where and why your problem occurs, said Hudson, is to determine whether you are having the problem when you make a long distance call out-of-state, or when you make an in-state long distance call.

According to Hudson, problems with out-of-state long distance calls can be traced to the long distance provider a local customer has selected to process calls. "Once you dial a '1' you are connected with that provider," he said.

In-state long distance calls made from the Pagosa area are most often processed at a Durango facility owned by US West, said Hudson.

Regardless of where the problem occurs, the mechanism behind the friendly computerized voice on the "intercept message" is probably the same.

"What the intercept message means," said Hudson, "is the switch in your local system through which your call passes cannot send the signal through a full long distance trunk line. The switch can't process the call and the intercept message clicks on."

According to Hudson, if the problem occurs with an in-state long distance call, or if the selected long distance carrier is US West, the Pagosa call is likely to be fighting for space in a trunk line at Durango.

"US West has a blockage at Durango," said Hudson. "Their capacity is full. The problem is even worse for customers in Bayfield and Ignacio. You might even have the same problem making a toll-free call from Pagosa to Durango than you have with in-state long distance. Even though the call is toll-free, it moves through the long distance trunk lines. If you make a call and the call goes to the Durango US West system, and all the circuits are full, the switch in the Pagosa system has no place to send the call. It is like being stuck on a freeway, with nowhere to go."

Hudson said CenturyTel officials have been in contact with US West and met with US West representatives earlier in October.

"We are working with US West," he said. "We submitted nine areas in the state where there are problems, and the Durango US West connections were given top priority. It is a real source of frustration and US West has given us a two-phase program to remedy the problem. They are going to install fiber optic cable between Durango and Bayfield, and run cable to the CenturyTel exchange boundary at Ignacio. That will provide relief for our customers, including the Pagosa area customers whose calls travel through Ignacio. We anticipate cable work will be done by the end of the year, with necessary additional equipment in place by the end of January 2000."

With regard to complaints voiced about intercept messages clicking on during local calls made in the 264 or 731 exchange areas, Hudson said he is not aware such a problem exists. "I haven't heard anything like that. I can't think of any reasons you can't make calls within the 264 and 731 calling areas, but I will look into it."


Inside The Sun

Elementary school welcomes volunteers

By Roy Starling

Anyone who has ever strolled through an elementary school knows that teachers there have their hands full.

Take Pagosa Springs Elementary, for example. Over 550 children between the ages of 5 and 9 live in the same snug building for about six hours a day.

These young people tend to have plenty of energy, as evidenced by their near frenetic activity on the playground. They have a lot of questions. They don't have a very lengthy attention span. They don't all learn at the same rate. They need a lot of attention, especially of the one-on-one variety.

How do elementary school teachers make it through the day? Not easily. Fortunately, many of them are getting some much-needed help from caring members of the community.

"So far this year, I have about 45 very regular volunteers," elementary school Principal Cyndy Secrist said. "Easily more than half of these are seniors. Most of these seniors have no direct ties to the school."

The 45 regulars, Secrist said, "have a schedule and stick with it on a regular basis. These are the ones teachers can plan for, designing activities specifically for them to do with the kids."

In addition to the regulars, "We have lots of volunteers who come in on special occasions. Some give full days, some half days, some just pop in. It doesn't matter if they can give a day out of the year or a day out of the week. Volunteers are very much appreciated and very useful in the school."

What do the volunteers do? "Most of them work directly with children, not just grading papers or decorating bulletin boards," Secrist said. "They become part of our staff, and teachers come to rely on them. Children can get very connected with them.

"It's not an easy task for a teacher to meet the needs of 23 different individuals in the classroom. Volunteers increase the opportunity for kids to interact with an adult, to bounce things off of and relate to. They help the ratio between adults and students and increase the likelihood of students getting one-on-one attention."

Second-grade teacher Kate Lister says about her volunteers, "I can't live without them. I do an individualized reading program, and I couldn't do without volunteer help."

One of Lister's volunteers, Mary Nickels, helps out because her son Riley Aiello is in Lister's class.

"I like to be a part of his school day, to keep in touch with what he's doing and make sure he's doing it well," Nickels said. "When you volunteer, you really get to see the rhythm of the day and you see a lot of good people doing a lot of hard work."

Nickels believes volunteering can become almost habit forming. "It snowballs," she said. "Once you come in, one thing leads to another. You can get very involved. Of course, the more you come in, the better it is for the kids. The teacher can only be stretched so far." Nickels volunteers four days a week, one of which she spends with her daughter Mattie Aiello in kindergarten.

Retha Kornhaber, who served as the school's secretary last year, also volunteers with Lister. After rushing a young man with a bloody nose to the nurse's office, she said, "I couldn't quite stop being with the kids. I loved being with them and wanted to still have some sort of involvement with them because I care about them and I miss them."

Kornhaber reads "one-on-one with the kids, helping with those who need some reading assistance. I really look forward to my Tuesdays with the kids." She is assisted on Tuesdays by her daughters Sarah and "Havi" who are home schooled.

Kathy Carter, one of the teachers of the combined first- and second-grade class, says that volunteers are "a tremendous help, especially for the primary kids. They're an extra pair of hands and are so willing to do whatever we ask of them. They're wonderful."

Fourth-grade teacher Lori Lucero agrees. "I have wonderful volunteers. I have parents come in every day of the week. They're very dedicated. This has been a great year for volunteers. This is the most support from parents I've ever had."

Volunteers in Lucero's class "help children edit their writing and they read with children," she said. "I also have a couple who help the kids with their math problems."

Secrist says she can always use more volunteers. "We find something for everybody," she said. "If volunteers aren't comfortable working with children, we can have them do some of our clerical chores. If they're not comfortable in the classroom, they can help on the playground. Volunteers are pretty much involved in all aspects of education that goes on in the building."

Secrist said that "the older kids get, the more difficult it is to find volunteers for them. The big kids need support, too."

The elementary school is the only one in the district with a sizable contingent of volunteers. The high school reported no regular volunteers, the junior high four, and the intermediate school six to eight, plus the 20 parents involved with the multi-aged classroom.


County puts attorney job up for grabs

By John M. Motter

Local attorneys interested in winning a contract as county attorney are being invited to submit proposals to the county commissioners.

"We're not dissatisfied with the present county attorney," said Ken Fox, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "We're just opening the door for other attorneys in the community to submit proposals."

"I think it is good to review where we are whatever the services," said Bill Downey, one of the commissioners. "I'm not sure if this job has ever been let out for proposals, but I think it's time others were given a chance."

"Does this open the door for bidding in other areas?" asked Gene Crabtree, the third member of the commissioner board. "I mean things like fuel, engineering services, and such?"

"That could be," Fox replied. "This is specific. Other areas for bidding could be opened."

"No, I'm not slowing down," said Larry Holthus, the present county attorney. "This is something the commissioners want to do. I'll be submitting my proposal along with the others."

Among the tasks performed by the county attorney are attendance and consultation on demand at county commissioner and Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission meetings, advice involving county legal matters including the writing of contracts and legislation, and certain services rendered for the Archuleta County Department of Social Services.

The attorney is paid a monthly retainer plus hourly compensation for specific tasks.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

- Signed a contract with Country Center City Market allowing county transportation buses to stop and pick up passengers in the grocery's parking lot. The county's side of the contract is represented by a fee of $1.

- Granted a bed and breakfast liquor license renewal for TLC Bed and Breakfast owned by Mary Jo Coulehan.

- Tabled a request to abandon a portion of Doc Adams Road in Aspen Springs to allow time to notify neighbors and set a public hearing. The hearing date is Nov. 9 at the weekly commissioner meeting.

- Informed Director of County Development Mike Mollica that provision for "major and minor" proposals must be developed for consideration on proposed changes in planned unit development regulations.

Prescribed burn near Big Branch

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest plans to conduct a prescribed burn this week. The targeted burn area is located south of Pagosa Springs and approximately 2 miles east of the Blanco Campground in the Big Branch area.

If weather conditions allow, a total of 280 acres will be burned. The purpose of this burn is to improve wildlife habitat and to reduce the presence of potential fire hazards caused by dead undergrowth.

Anyone who has questions about this burn or who desires further information should call 264-2268.

Lawsuit affects local Forest Service

By John M. Motter

A lawsuit filed in southern Indiana is affecting some U.S. Forest Service sales and planning on the San Juan National Forest, according to Rick Jewell, the environmental coordinator working from the Pagosa Ranger District office.

"Basically, the lawsuit shuts down small operators across the nation, those who buy poles and commercial firewood," Jewell said.

Local sales reached by the lawsuit include those planned for the Kenney Flats and Brockover Mesa areas, according to Jewell. Both projects are in the planning stages.

Specifically affected by the lawsuit are small sales that were handled under "categorical exclusion" considerations rather than through a more detailed analysis requirement. In the past, such small sales have been excluded from the environmental analysis process or environmental impact statement requirements that larger sales must comply with.

Categorical exclusion sales generally involved less than 250,000 board feet of green timber, less than one million board feet of dry timber, construction of an access road one-half mile long or shorter, and no significant impacts on wildlife sources, both plant and animal.

"We don't know specifically how to react," Jewell said. "We're being forced to apply the more expensive and lengthy EA and EIS studies to the smaller sales or include what would formerly have been small sales in larger sales.

"We're losing a management tool we've used to avoid fires and insect infestations," Jewell added. "We can still cut the small poles and leave them on the ground. We can't sell them. Right now we're not willing to cut poles suitable for fence posts and such and leave them on the ground."

In essence, the lawsuit requires the Forest Service to apply the same criteria to small sales as to larger sales. The suit was filed by a Bloomington, Ind., based group called Heartwood. In response to the Heartwood suit against the U.S. Forest Service, a southern Illinois federal district court judge issued a national injunction to stop categorical exclusion sales offered since the lawsuit was filed Sept. 16. The injunction applies to commercial cutters only.

Local Forest Service officials are waiting for clear directions from the national hierarchy before developing a response.

Gov. Owens in Pagosa to stump for Referendum A

By David C. Mitchell

Governor Bill Owens included Pagosa Springs on his hastily-arranged three-stop campaign visit in southwest Colorado Tuesday morning.

Patterned after similar visits he has been making throughout the state in the past couple of weeks to encourage voters to support Referendum A, Gov. Owens' party landed in Pagosa Springs for a 9:30 a.m. appearance at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, before flying on to Durango for a 11:15 a.m. meeting at the La Plata County Courthouse. He concluded the day's campaign trip with a 3:30 p.m. stop at the Anasazi Restaurant in Cortez.

While accepting questions from the audience that filled the chamber's conference room, Owens focused on explaining why voters should vote for the state's request of increasing the state's debt up to $1.7 billion, "with a maximum repayment cost" of $2.3 billion, "with no increase in any taxes, for the purpose of addressing the critical, priority transportation needs in the state by financing transportation projects that qualify for federal funding through the issuance of revenue anticipation notes," with the earnings on the proceeds of such notes constituting a voter-approved change for the state's increased revenues.

If passed by the voters, the Colorado Department of Transportation can utilize a maximum of 50 percent of its previous year's federal gas tax receipts (about $150 million per year) for annual principle and interest payments on "Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes," or TRANS, that would be used to finance and accelerate the construction of 28 high-priority highway projects throughout the state that were targeted three years ago during former Gov. Roy Romer's final term.

Included on the list of projects is the reconstruction of U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass. Two projects (widening U.S. 550 to four lanes from Durango south to the New Mexico boundary, and similar widening of a portion of State Highway 3 from its junction with U.S. 160 to the Florida River) are targeted in La Plata County.

Owens said that many states already use their anticipated federal gas tax receipts to pay for their transportation projects.

He explained that the TRANS bonds would be repaid from a combination of federal gas tax monies returned to Colorado and state matching funds. Owens said that thanks to its elected representation in Washington, D.C., Colorado now receives 92 cents of every $1 spent on federal gasoline taxes on sales within the state.

Therefore, the bonding company would be willing to receive a pledge on the anticipated federal monies that are being returned to the state. Their claim would be against the federal government rather than the state of Colorado, Owens said. This means that if the federal gas tax revenues diminished for some reason, the state would not owe any money on, or be responsible for repaying the bonds, Owens said.

Being able to increase its indebtedness through the bonding process would save the state money in two manners, Owens said. One, the state should realize a savings by being able to offer the projects through a bulk package and thereby increase the chances for more favorable bidding. Two, addressing the annual inflation of construction costs, the sooner they are put out to bid, the lower the costs will be, Owens said, and the sooner the improvements will be in use.



Yes, yes, yes

The mail-in ballot being used in state and local elections this

year are driving home the importance of being able to read.

The school board election has the only ballot question that simply requires that voters be able to read a candidate's name. All of the other questions require that voters be able to read and to comprehend what they are reading.

If you have not yet marked your ballot, please take the time to thoroughly read the questions the Upper San Juan Library District and Archuleta County have placed on the ballot. If you are elegible to vote in the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District, please read that district's ballot question carefully.

A yes vote for these three questions will not raise your taxes.

The Pagosa Springs Sanitation District is seeking voter approval to "accept any and all Colorado state grants or any other grants for the purpose of improving and expanding the infrastructure for the district. . . ." The state is going to award the grant monies. Similar districts throughout the state are also applying for the grant monies. Should the local voters approve the question, there is no guarantee the sanitation district will be awarded a grant. But by approving the ballot question, the district will be freed from limitations the TABOR Amendment places on accepting revenues. The district then will be allowed to at least apply for a grant, and to keep and use the resulting funds should a state, or any other grant be awarded to the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District.

The elected directors of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library are not wanting to raise the library district's 1.5 mill levy. Instead, they are asking voters to allow the district "to collect, retain, and spend all revenues from such mill rate collected during 1999 and each subsequent year from any other source. . . ."

Yes, the TABOR Amendment contains language that allows for retaining mill levy revenues that exceed projected collections. But this language is in part tied to "annual local growth" with the population to "be determined by federal census estimates. . . ."

Unfortunately, the thousands of timeshare residents and the hundreds of persons who own second homes or condominiums in Pagosa Springs, while declaring some other locale as their permanent resident, are not figured into the local population. The same is true of the hundreds of seasonal visitors who enjoy extended vacations in Pagosa. They place a demand on the services provided by the library district, but they don't count towards allowing the district to retain and use any collected excess revenues.

Therefore the Upper San Juan Library District needs your "yes" vote.

The same is true for Archuleta County's request to "without increasing its property tax mill levy or sales tax rates," be allowed to collect, place in reserve and spend all growth-related monies the county collects during any given year. With Archuleta County being listed as one of the fastest growing counties in the state, it makes no sense to restrict it to the inflation restrictions that are based on the federal consumer price index for the Denver-Boulder area.

Voters in 41 of the 63 counties in Colorado have already passed resolutions that are similar to the one Archuleta County is asking its voters to approve. Like the library district, the county needs your "yes" vote in order to more effectively provide the services its residents deserve.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

It's time to fall back and to vote

Dear Folks,

It looks like there's something for everyone this weekend.

Daylight savings time ends early Sunday morning.

Most folks turn their clocks back an hour before going to bed Saturday night.

A lot of folks will forget about the time change until they arrive at church and their pastor is already half way through his or, in Father Annie's case, her sermon.

For the youngsters, the time change means it will get dark an hour earlier. Therefore they can get started on their trick or treating 60 minutes sooner than if Halloween had fallen on Saturday.

Evidently some folks would have rather for Saturday to have been Halloween.

Living on a county road, I'm pretty much off the beaten path for the "Trick or Treat Parade." So I had no clue yesterday afternoon when a caller phoned the SUN to inquire as to what night the local youngsters were going to go door to door soliciting handouts in lieu of undefined trickery.

Thinking back to my own "kidhood" days, I probably would have been ringing doorbells and repeating the litany at dark-30 on Saturday. Then I'd have worn a different mask and reversed my route on Sunday night in an effort to double my takings.

As best I recall, the late '30s and first five years of the '40s weren't the best of times for trick or treating. But once the War ended, the candy industry supplanted the popcorn balls, fudge, homemade cookies and bubble gum offerings that once satisfied the would-be tricksters.

Actually, one of the more enjoyable aspects of Halloween was listening to Dad give spellbinding accounts of his daring Halloween ventures.

I'd have given anything to have experienced the excitement of tipping over the town crank's outhouse, ringing the church bells, lifting the banker's and doctor's Model T Fords up on wooden blocks or turning the hands back on the clock atop the county courthouse. The real treat would have come the following morning, if I could have been there to innocently watch as some folks walked about town in search of the pen their cow had been moved to during the night.

Of course I was never as big, as fast or as smart as Dad, so I probably would have been one of those who got caught in the act. Or even worse, would have fallen into the pit of an outhouse that had been moved aside rather than tipped over.

For County Clerk June Madrid, the end of the month means that the registered voters in the county will have only two days left for returning their ballots for the November 2 election.

The Denver Post has asked me to be a poll watcher when the votes are counted Tuesday night. With just one ballot box to count, and it being located in the county clerk's office, it shouldn't take long to tally the ballots.

Folks who want to have their ballot counted must be sure it's in the clerk's office no later than 7 o'clock Tuesday night.

June and her trusty staff mailed out about 5,200 ballots. Of these, about 500 were returned to the clerk's office as being "undeliverable." As of yesterday afternoon, about 1,600 of the remaining 4,600 ballots had already been returned and placed in the ballot box.

So if you have not yet completed your ballot, or ballots, quit reading this and go read the instructions that are on the envelope your ballot was mailed in. Use a No. 2 pencil to mark your ballot. Then place it back inside the envelope with the number of your ballot showing through the little window on the lower right-hand side of the front of the envelope. Print your name, sign your signature and write your physical address (not box number), list your date of birth in the proper spaces and then personally return or mail the envelope back to the county clerk.

You can learn about the results by listening to the radio Tuesday night or Wednesday or read about it in the SUN on Thursday.

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


25 years ago

Halloween Carnival at PSHS

Taken from SUN files

of Oct. 31, 1974

Pagosa Springs annual Halloween Carnival will be held in the high school gymnasium tonight. It is sponsored by the Student Council with various other school classes and local civic groups participating. Entertainment including Bingo, cake walks, penny toss, free throw shooting and fish tanks will be offered for all ages.

A drastic weather change this week should have satisfied skiers and any others who wanted snow. Almost 10 inches of snow fell in town after snow started falling around noon on Tuesday. The snowstorm continued for the rest of the day and well into the night. The snow was very wet and heavy and caused many power lines to sag and in some places limbs were broken from trees.

Construction on a new chair lift at Wolf Creek Ski Area is being rushed to completion in preparation for the coming ski season. The area is now scheduled to open the latter part of November upon completion of the work. Late delivery of the drive motor may delay the opening, but all indications are that the lift will be operating by the end of November.

A report on the condition of the Citizens Bank indicates that the local economy is holding its own. The report shows the bank with total assets of $5,353,428.60. This is the largest figure for this date in the history of the bank.

By Shari Pierce

1957 colapse of a Pagosa bridge

A conversation with my mother-in-law a few weeks back prompted me to look back at the 1957 collapse of one of Pagosa's bridges across the San Juan River. So while this story is about replacing that bridge, we'll back up to 1953 to start.

It was in the early morning hours of July 5, 1953, when a pick-up carrying four people crashed into the bridge that crossed the San Juan River on San Juan Street, in the vicinity of today's Riverside Restaurant. At the time of the crash, two of the occupants of the truck ran away from the scene and the other two were arrested by the sheriff and town police officers.

The blow to the bridge by the pick-up caused the supports on the bridge to buckle. When the wrecker lifted the truck away from the bridge, it collapsed into the river. Fortunately, through all of these events, no one was injured.

The driver of the truck was charged with drunken and reckless driving and found guilty of reckless driving. He was fined $300 and returned to jail because of his inability to pay the fine.

So now the town board was left to decide how to replace this bridge which was originally constructed in 1912. A July 10, 1953, news article reported that the man who ran into the bridge had no liability insurance on his truck and obviously did not have the resources to pay for reconstructing the bridge when he couldn't even pay his $300 fine.

The article went on to say, "Several local citizens have expressed the opinion that the bridge must not have been too safe or it could not have been so easily destroyed. It is certain that it will cost the town plenty to replace it and the money, if raised by bond issue, will have to be voted upon at a special election. Until such time as a decision is reached by the present town board concerning the replacement, a temporary bridge is being constructed in the Town Park."

The following week, it was reported that the temporary bridge, being constructed just west of the Legion building in the Town Park, was nearing completion.

By July 24, the bridge was in use and the SUN reported that it should serve the town for several years. At this point, the town board had not made a decision on replacing the bridge at its original location. An engineer's estimate to replace the bridge was $40,000.

More about this bridge next week.


Community News
Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

A Dr. Seuss guide to computers

Thanks to Tom Gossen and Bob and Sue Cowdery of Wichita, Kans., for the following (Tom sends material to Bob and Sue who then send it on to me for Chatter).

Dr. Seuss explains computers:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,

and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,

and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,

then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.


If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,

and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,

and your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,

then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash.


If the label on the cable on the table at your house,

says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,

but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,

that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

and your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,

so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,

then you may as well reboot, and go out with a bang,

because as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!


When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,

and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,

then you have to flag your memory, and you'll want to ram your ROM.

Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom.

God's retirement?

One day a group of eminent scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need You. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't You just retire?"

God listened very patiently to the man and then said, "Very well, but first, how about this: let's have a man-making contest." To which the scientist replied, "Okay, great!"

But God added, "Now we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."

The scientist said, "Sure, no problem," and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You can get your own dirt!"


Ever seriously consider what your grandchildren might say about you? That was the topic of conversation one day around a table in the coffee shop where three gents of a certain age gathered.

"I would like my grandchildren to say, 'He was successful in business,' declared the first man. "Fifty years from now," said the second, "I want them to say, 'He was a loyal family man.'"

Turning to the third gent, he asked, "So what do you want them to say about you in 50 years?"

"Me?" the third man replied. "I want them to say, 'He certainly looks good for his age.'"

Philosophy of life

According to George Carlin:

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

If a man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?

If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear himÉis he still wrong?

If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

Is there another word for synonym?

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

How do you get the deer to cross at the yellow road sign?

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

The older you get the better you realize you were.

Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Seven new members, 17 renewals

Seven new members to introduce this week, 17 renewals, and we're still astonished at the return rate as well as how promptly everyone responded. You are all to be commended. For those of you who might require an extra little "nudge" Morna has sent the bright pink renewals. Those babies are going to be hard to ignore, I assure you. Let's get on to the good stuff.

Welcome to new member Vera Stewart who brings us Fiesta Home located at 122 Fiesta. This is a beautifully decorated home that sleeps 10, set in a quiet cul-de-sac on a heavily treed lot. The location is just about perfect with its proximity to lakes and golf course. To learn more about Fiesta Home, please call Pagosa Central Reservations at 731-2216 locally or 800-945-0182. Laura Daniels receives yet another free SunDowner for recruiting this new member.

We congratulate new owner, Pam Schoemig, on the recent purchase of Selena's Candy Shop located at 420 Pagosa Street. Pam has changed the name to The Candy Shoppe Down Under but has not changed the high-quality product and service that made Selena's such a success. You can still experience "a delight for the senses" with the mouthwatering fresh-made butter kreme fudge, gourmet sweets and chocolates. You may also select from the many candies that line the walls of this old-fashioned candy shoppe. You will find unique gift items as well as custom candy and balloon bouquets for that special event or special person. Please call 264-3033 for more information.

Terry Shumaker joins us this week with a new business as well as a renewal. Terry has added Wolf Creek Gifts to our membership which, as most of Pagosa knows, is located adjacent to Terry's other business, The Junction Restaurant at 401 East Pagosa Street, just before the "Y" at the east end of town. Wolf Creek Gifts offers a great selection of T-shirts, jewelry, pottery and souvenirs. I have purchased some wonderfully unusual gifts at Wolf Creek Gifts and invite you to check it out. You can give Terry a call at 264-5729 with questions.

We are also delighted to welcome Victoria (Tory) Poma as a Real Estate Associate Member with Land Properties, Inc. located at 141 14th Street. Tory has made a wise decision indeed with this membership. Recently at the annual Real Estate Annual Banquet and Installation, I encouraged all who attended to join as a Real Estate Associate for some very good reasons. I shared with the group the number of calls we receive at the Chamber from folks out of the area who are interested in buying either a home or land in this area and ask for the name of a local realtor. We never recommend a specific individual, of course, but we do offer to FAX or send them the list of our entire member Real Estate companies and names of all our Real Estate Associates, which are listed separately on the sheet. The RE Associate membership is only $50 a year and, considering the potential return on that investment, seems a wise business decision. 'Nuf said. You can call Tory at 264-6062 with any questions.

Denise Cammarota joins us next with Denise Cammarota Photography and Custom Framing located at 7400 A, CR 146. Denise offers both black and white and color photographs of the local area either framed or unframed. She will also custom frame just about anything you can come up with, to include photographs, prints and oils. She certainly did a beautiful custom frame for one of the Balloon Rally awards. You can call Denise at 731-5268 for more information.

Last but not at all least this week, we welcome Jane Downey who brings us Head Quarters located at 190 Talisman Point right next to Bob Scott's Edward Jones Investments. Head Quarters is a full-service salon offering a wide variety of hair products and services to make you feel pampered in your busy life. Among the many products offered are Lanza, Paul Mitchell, Aveda, Biolage, Nexus and Kenra. Walk-ins are always welcome at Head Quarters or you can call for an appointment at 731-5979.


Thanks to the following businesses and individuals for their recent membership renewals: Paul Nobles and Lynn Cook, owners, Four Seasons Land Company/Better Homes and Gardens; Terry Shumaker with the Junction Restaurant; Ben Lynch with Jackisch Drug, Inc.; Fred C. Harman, III, with the Fred Harman Art Museum, Inc.; Moe Janosec with High Desert Publications; Paul Aldridge with Ole Miner's Steakhouse; Doug Call with Pagosa Area Trails Council; Dan Park with Alpen Haus Ski Center; Barbara Wirth with Village Interiors Carpet One; Robert Soniat (Casper) with American Family Insurance; Sharon Colby with Colby's Cards and Gifts, Christmas in Pagosa and Old Town Gifts (the woman never sleeps!); Ron Stelmaszek, General Manager, Pagosa Springs Inn and Associate Member, Kerry Dermody.

Our sincere thanks to each and every one for your renewed confidence - we do appreciate you.

Superb job

We congratulate Pagosa Lodge General Manager Curtis Hinton, Banquets Manager Charli Lancing, Chef Dennis Morris, and servers Leslie Jackson and Anna Rapp for the splendid job they did with our annual Diplomat Luncheon last Wednesday. Curtis recommended the menu, and we couldn't have been more pleased with the quality of the food and the level of service we experienced as their guests. We definitely received what is known in the hospitality business as "extra added value" and deeply appreciated the many amenities extended to us. The food was outstanding and you have only to ask one of our Diplomats to confirm this - we were served a wonderful meal that left us all full to our eyeballs and ready for an afternoon nap. Many thanks to all the fine folks at Pagosa Lodge for making our Diplomats feel as special as they are.

Volunteer appreciation

Please remember that this is Volunteer Appreciation Week and offers all of us the opportunity to honor those who have done so much for our organizations and businesses. We at the Chamber simply couldn't function without our Diplomats hosting in the Visitor Center while we are attempting to hold things together in the back offices, and I'm sure that's true in many cases. Do something special this week for those who give so generously of their time and talents.

Sales losses

In an attempt to document the sales losses experienced as a result of changes made in big game hunting license sales, Norm Vance is asking for your help. Locals Larry Fisher of the Ski and Bow Rack and Dick Ray of the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Lobo Outfitters intend to make a presentation to the state Wildlife Commission in November with documentation of local economic losses due to the changes.

Norm asks that anyone who can provide documented loss of sales figures this year as compared to the last several years please do so as soon as possible. If you can help, please give Norm a call at 264-4542.


Kudos to Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro upon recently receiving a grant of $8,000 for the Four Corners Folk Festival. The funds will, of course, go to further improve an already highly successful event that brings lots of folks to our fair town. Congratulations, kids!

Christmas cards

With any luck at all, the Pagosa Springs Christmas cards will go on sale at the Visitor Center on Nov. 1. We've had quite the time with glitches large and small, but nothing we couldn't handle, I assure you. They are gorgeous, and not to make you nervous or anything, we have already sold 21 boxes, and the little devils haven't even made their way to the lobby. We order only 100 boxes, so I suggest you scurry on down to the Chamber if you would like to send them this year. There are four designs in each box of ten with stunning Christmas/Pagosa photos taken by Sam Snyder and Jan Brookshier, and the greeting inside is "Happy Holidays from Pagosa Springs, Colorado." We'll be expecting to see you soon.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

PLPOA budget hearings begin next week

Andrew Pimental of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center conducted a body fat analysis clinic last Friday. Many members took advantage of the opportunity to have their body fat composition analyzed. Another clinic will be offered in December. The date will be announced in this column.

The Children's Great Time Series, first-rate family entertainment sponsored by La Plata Family Centers Coalition, Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall will present "Trout Fishing in America," on Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. For nearly 20 years, the award-winning musical "power duo" has been charming young audiences with their solid, story-telling lyrics and rich instrumentation. Trout's music will be presented at Fort Lewis. Concert and tickets can be purchased over the phone at 247-7657.

Start going through your closets for any unused coats, sweaters, hats, mittens, etc. to donate to Rotary Club of Pagosa Spring's Winter Coat Drive. The items will be distributed on Nov. 20 at the county fair building. Your donation can be dropped off at Village Texaco, Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center or to a Rotarian.

It's time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected for defects or storm damage. Last weekend, my husband Tom went through a mile-long list of preparing the house for winter. Have you been saving your old issues of The Pagosa Springs SUN for fire building? Black-and-white newspaper is ideal as color ink releases chemicals when burned. Roll or ball-up the newspaper to start a fire. Never use loose paper trash as the burning pieces can float out of the chimney and start a fire on the roof.

To the children in our community: Why do witches fly on brooms? Because vacuum cleaners are too heavy. Why did the witches cancel the baseball game? Because they lost all their bats. Why did the boy wear a diaper to the Halloween Party? He didn't want to be a party pooper. What type of monster really loves to dance? The boogie man. What do you get when a mummy joins a band? Wrap music. Why was Dracula not at his desk? He was on his coffin break. What does a weight conscious vampire drink? Blood Light. Where do baby ghosts come from? Boo Genes. Have a safe and fun-filled Halloween.

A recent survey showed that American's understanding of important health and fitness issues is extremely low, which may be putting them at increased risk for health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. A significant percentage of Americans believe that the key to good health and fitness is to manage body weight and appearance, according to the second annual American Body Fat Perception Poll. Nearly half of the respondents said that maintaining a healthy body weight has greater impact on health than maintaining a healthy level of body fat. Also, 52 percent of those polled said they don't worry about their body fat as long as they don't appear fat.

As all good things must end, so do long summer days. This weekend, daylight savings time officially will end. Turn your clock back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. Because it gets dark earlier now, talk to children about evening curfew and outdoor safety rules.


Library News
by Lenore Bright

Library continues to focus on literacy

Library historian, Wayne Wiegand, tells us that British clergyman Thomas Bray began a journey to colonial North America 299 years ago to help establish libraries for New World Anglicans. One reason for the libraries was to help make the natives English-literate. Libraries and literacy have been intertwined for centuries.

In ancient times, clay tablets and scrolls were produced and preserved in libraries by an elite group of readers and writers who were more interested in controlling ideas than with their dissemination. Then, in the middle of this millennium, the European Renaissance stimulated wider interest in learning and the Gutenberg printing press allowed people to read the Bible for themselves. There was suddenly a rapid increase in printed books and with that came an increase in people's ability to read and write.

Libraries flourished with the help of Melvil Dewey who figured out how to classify information, and Andrew Carnegie who funded the many American library buildings.

For centuries librarians have defined literacy mostly as skills in reading and writing text. But the people libraries seek to serve are often not as enamored of the printed word as we are. Despite increased reading and writing skills and the growth of libraries, to this day, oral communication remains the dominant means of transmitting information. Most people get most of their information by talking to each other.

We must make sure that "literacy" also includes effective oral communication. We should add "rhetoric," as a third skill to our definition of literacy - reading, writing and rhetoric.

This continuing love of oral communication may explain the popularity of our books-on-tape. We have a growing collection and can also help people with learning and reading difficulties with:

Talking books

We can see that anyone with reading problems receives special taped materials, free of charge. This is a program run by the government that provides a tape player and all the necessary equipment to anyone with a need. An average of 130 new Colorado applicants sign up for service each month. It is for all ages. Ask us for more information and an application. The materials are mailed free of charge. Books, newspapers and magazines are available.

Health information

An alert in the food safety watch of the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter warns the E.Coli strain of bacteria is showing up in raw alfalfa sprouts. Ask about the newsletter at the desk.

Home stretch

Five more days and counting - an election, a bazaar and a 10K run/walk all in the next two weeks. Whew! I want to thank everyone connected with these three exciting events.

Get your ballots in, buy your raffle tickets, plan to attend the holiday extravaganza, and wait 'til you see the T-shirts and the other prizes for the Turkey Trot.

If you don't want to walk or run, but want to show your support, call the library at 264-2209 and ask for Mary. We need sponsors for some student walkers and runners who can't afford the entry fee. We invite all sponsors to come out and cheer on their racers on Nov. 13.

All businesses and individuals will be recognized for their generosity in supporting the library.

Human health

We encourage you to throw away any old books or other print materials that have been exposed to moisture and have mold. If they smell funny, throw them away. If they are spotty, throw them away. Librarians are exposed to a wide variety of microorganisms and must take precautions to avoid this health risk. You should too. We want to warn all of you of the potential hazards connected with the infectious fungi that can be as deadly as the Hantavirus.

It can lead to mycosis of the lungs and skin. If you would like a copy of the article about mold, ask for it at the desk.


Our thanks for materials from Addie Greer, United People Help Ministry, Millie Goodman, Bev Showalter, Sheila Hunkin, Phyllis Decker, Crista Munro, Bill and Jerry Hallett, Maria Feht, Pris Severn, Joan and Harry Young.

Arts Line
By Jennifer Galesic

Arts Council gallery closed in Nov.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and gift shop will be closed Oct. 28 to Dec. 1, with the exception of the Christmas card watercolor workshops conducted by Mary Cardin. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in this exciting activity taking place on Oct. 29 and Nov. 13. Each day the classes will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a "bring a brown bag" lunch somewhere in the middle of the day. Cost for the workshop is $35. Both dates are almost filled. Please call 264-5020 to register and for availability.

Muchas gracias

Thank you to Doris and Walter Green for donating a fax/copier combo to the PSAC.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council would like to extend its appreciation to the following people, businesses and organizations: Kent Greentree for organizing "Whistle Pig" folk nights at the Pagosa Lakes Community Center; Circle T Lumber for the stage; Bill Woggons and Zeellah Hoffman at Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee Company for the delicious coffee; Julia and Stewart Royston, Clay Campbell, Jennifer Harnick, Jim and Joanne Haliday for helping out in many ways; and last of all, the PLPOA for the use of the center.

Whistle Pig

Headlining the Whistle Pig open mike night last weekend was the oh-so-entertaining group, "Harry Banana and the Bunch, the group with A'peal," and a really long name. The evening was a great success with a lot of "monkeying" around. Participants in the fun included Jim Michaelson, Jeannine Michaelson, Kent Greentree, our good friend Bill Hudson, Lee Bartley, and Creed de Avanzar.

Join us for the next Whistle Pig open mike night on Nov. 13, as we welcome back Debbee Ramey (Tucker), and a Christmas dance with John Graves on Dec. 11.

Christmas shop

The PSAC gallery and gift shop will reopen with an open house reception on Dec. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m., as we kick off "An Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe." The Christmas Shoppe will be open our regular winter hours Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

If you are interested in selling your original Christmas oriented arts and crafts, please call Joanne to sign up at 264-5020. After Oct. 29 leave your name and number and plan to bring your arts and crafts to the gallery on Nov. 30.


Applications for exhibiting at the PSAC gallery in the year 2000, may be picked up at Moonlight Books throughout the month of November.

PSAC is looking for a person with computer access and know-how for membership and the Petroglyph, the PSAC quarterly newsletter. Please call 264-5020 and leave a message for Joanne.

The Water Media art show will continue at Moonlight Books until Oct. 29. The "Peoples Choice" award went to Mary Cardin of Chama, N.M., for her piece titled "Ocean Point." Congratulations.


Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Seniors get help from students

Thanks so much to Brook Nelson and all the high school students and other volunteers who worked so very hard on Saturday cutting, hauling and delivering wood to seniors and others in need of wood for heating this winter. The students included Ruben Coray, John Hughes, Salina and Terra Franklin, Grace Britton, Trae Fisher, Erika Rader, Danin DeVor, Mike Ybanez, Nathan Garcia, Sandy, and Fran Valdez. Also special thanks to George Love. Thanks so much for your help. I'm sure the recipients are most grateful.

Some of the high school students have volunteered to help our shut-ins. If you are a shut-in and need help with light housekeeping, or just want someone to visit or play games with, contact Cindy at 264-2167 and she will make the arrangements.

Help! Dawnie needs part-time help in the kitchen. If you are willing and available to help, please contact Dawnie during the morning hours at the Senior Center.

We were honored to have Phil Janowsky play his guitar and sing numerous old time western and classical country songs during the noon hour on Wednesday. Phil is very talented and we hope he comes back to perform for us again soon.

Dorothy Million is the Senior of the Week.

Our most welcome guests this week include Angie Lind from Los Alamos, N.M.; Helen McKinzie from Pine Ridge; Jeff Jones; Gwen and Dottie Smith; and Isai Matlock. We hope you folks will come back to eat with us again soon.

We were most happy to have Elaine Nossaman and her daughter, Susan Felts, back eating with us Friday - we hope Elaine will continue to recover from her accident and soon be good as new.

Also, welcome back to Ron and Cindy Gustafson - they have been away for a while.

Nancy Fryer spoke to us on Friday about the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program. LEAP is designed to help low-income households with winter home heating costs. If you have questions about LEAP, call Nancy at the LEAP office, 264-2182.

Informational pamphlets regarding "Buying Medicare Supplement Plans" are available at the Senior Center. Please feel free to pick up one of these if you are considering purchasing Medicare supplement insurance; it is better to be informed.

Again our sincere thanks to all the wonderful volunteers at the Senior Center. This week's volunteers include Teresa Diestelkamp, Kathy Perry, June Nelson, Helen Girardin, Eva Donapray, Mary Archuleta, Johnny Martinez, Lena Bowden, Jo Rose, Betty Thomas, George Ziegler and Don Hurt.

We want to remind all volunteers of the all-day "Training Volunteers Course" on Nov. 1 in Durango. For more information or transportation, call Cindy at 264-2167 or Suzanne Zerbe, the Well Elder coordinator, at 382-2025.

Video Review
By Roy Starling

Two new movies with apocalyptic edge

Halloween, Hollywood.

Look how similar those words are. Both start with "H," both have "ll," both have double vowels, both have nine letters.

Isn't that spooky? Sure, but it's also appropriate. Hollywood, which actually came into being after Halloween (a holiday invented in Germany to help relieve the Great Candy Glut of 1722), is the perfect vehicle for Halloween fear.

Nobody ever wants to be really afraid, but Hollywood and Halloween are great at helping us be safely afraid.

Hollywood has given us some truly frightening moments over the years: Michael in the closet in "Halloween"; Jason in a hockey mask in "Friday the 13th"; Anthony Hopkins in a hockey mask in "Silence of the Lambs"; Anthony Perkins in drag in "Psycho"; Tom Hanks trying to sound like a Southerner in "Forrest Gump"; the slacker standing in the corner in "Blair Witch Project"; Regan's rotating head in "The Exorcist"; Reagan playing the President in . . . wait a second! That wasn't a movie.

The video I dug up for this week focuses on a slightly different kind of terror. There are no space aliens or ghosts or vampires involved. Just a bunch of guys looking for the perfect mate.

The movie is "The Stepford Wives" (1975), based on the Ira Levin novel, with a screenplay by William Goldman. If those two names sound vaguely familiar, here's why: Levin also wrote that masterpiece of Kennedy paranoia called "Rosemary's Baby" (and what that book did for the Kennedys, "Stepford" does for Disney), while Goldman penned such beauties as "Marathon Man," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Princess Bride."

In "Stepford," attorney Walter Eberhart (Peter Masterson), his photographer wife Joanna (Katherine Ross) and their two daughters (one of which is played by Masterson's real life daughter Mary Stuart) move out of the evil city (that would be New York) to a simple, golden, leafy, yuppie suburban retreat known as Stepford Village.

The film features a fine flash of foreshadowing in its first few frames. As the Eberharts are leaving their Big Apple apartment for the final time, they see a man crossing the street holding an unclothed, life-sized inflatable doll. A disgusted Walter says, "That's the kind of thing we're moving to Stepford to get away from."

But they don't get away from it, really. While the men in Stepford don't walk around carrying inflatable dolls, they're all married to them - figuratively speaking, of course.

Many of the wives in Stepford are awfully compliant. They make the wives in those old '50s television sitcoms look like fire-breathing feminists. They are selfless, subservient, servile, slavish. They have the emotional range of a Barbie Doll.

The wives live to keep their husbands happy in every way. They keep their homes spotless, organize wonderful social events, and boost their husbands' egos by keeping themselves beautiful (including maintaining a shape that men find appealing), by letting their husbands make all the important decisions and by worshiping them as lords and masters.

The men, a rather flawed and homely bunch, come out way ahead in this deal. Even with all their money, they'd have a hard time finding a gorgeous member of the opposite sex to devote the rest of her life to making them happy. Frankly, I'll bet these guys would have trouble just finding a date.

Now I understand that most men, and not a few women, would find little terror in the Stepford arrangement I'm describing. I'm afraid I find that frightening.

Joanna soon finds Stepford Village boring, then frightening. She's a bit of a '70s woman (remember them?). It annoys her that her husband often makes important decisions without consulting her (for instance, it was his idea to move to Stepford). And while she loves her daughters, she also wants to pursue a career as a photographer.

She likes to spend more time in the darkroom than in the kitchen. She doesn't devote a lot of time to applying makeup and styling her hair. (Of course, if you remember, Ross was so beautiful, going without makeup didn't exactly make her resemble a wart hog.)

At Stepford, she and her vivacious friend Bobbie (Paula Prentiss) try to bail these houseslaves out of their seemingly unfulfilling routine. They form a "consciousness-raising" group, but find the other ladies have no complaints with their lives and only want to discuss household hints ("Try spray starch. It saves me hours each week!").

Bobbie and Joanna's radical feminist paranoia leads them to believe that there's something terribly wrong in Stepford, that these wives are being somehow manipulated into lives of happy drudgery. Surely they don't choose to live this way.

It's worse than that, but I'll try not to give too much away since I know many of you will want to watch this video on Halloween. Here are some hints:

All the men in Stepford belong to a club called the Men's Association. The head of that club is called Diz (Patrick O'Neal), because he used to work at Disneyland. Sometimes this club will meet at the home of one of its members, and one of the guys will do pencil sketches of the wife. One of the other guys likes to have the wife say different words into a tape recorder because "dialects are a long-time hobby of mine."

Later, the couple who hosted that particular meeting will go away for a weekend. When they return, the wife will be the perfect mate: a vacuous doll void of opinions, individuality, dreams, ambition, desires - all the little things that can make a mate so dang disagreeable.

Late in the film, Joanna asks Diz why the Stepford men to what they do (and I refuse to tell you exactly what that is) to their wives, and he responds with the film's most chilling line: "Because we can." Isn't that always the way? Nothing like combining technology with power in the absence of a conscience.

"Stepford Wives" provides a nice, spooky little trip down memory lane, back to the silly '70s before we got everything all worked out. Kids brought up on "Dawn of the Dead" and "Natural Born Killers" won't find it very frightening, but I'll bet women of a certain age group will.

Anyway, I was sufficiently impressed with the whole thing that I'm thinking of dressing up as a Stepford wife for Halloween, and I'm absolutely certain my wife Mindy is. Of course, she doesn't know it yet, so mum's the word.


By John Motter

Settlers fought for their beliefs

Tony Perea is living proof that man can outlast his environment. Tony was born in Pagosa Junction and later lived in Lonetree. Pagosa Junction is almost dead and Lonetree is gone and almost forgotten. Tony lives and remembers well.

Life began for Tony in Pagosa Junction in 1915. There he was born to Pedro Perea and Margarita Archuleta Perea. Tony's father had been born in Edith, his mother at El Vado de Piedra in Trujillo. She had been raised by the Archuleta family. Her mother died when she was two, her father when she was seven.

Tony's father's mother was from Medanales, a small community near Abiquiu, N.M. Grandpa Pedro Perea was also from New Mexico.

"The Perea name can be traced all of the way back to Spain," Tony said.

Historically, the Pereas were farmers and ranchers, an occupation they followed at Edith. They also worked at the Biggs New Mexico Lumber Co. mill in Edith. Tony's father was employed at the Sullenburger Pagosa Lumber Co. mill at Pagosa Junction when Tony was born.

Tony's growing up years were divided among his mother, grandmother, and various acquaintances. He managed to live at Trujillo, Lonetree (1928), and Pagosa Springs. He started school in Trujillo while living with his grandmother, the same grandmother who raised his mother. His last year of schooling was at Lonetree.

"Why did I move around so much? I guess I couldn't stay home?" Tony says.

When he was 13 years old, Tony stayed for a year on the Gertrude Larson ranch in O'Neal Park. There he helped with the chores, including caring for the livestock. Larson was the lady who served as the model for the Duchess in Fred Harman's world famous "Red Ryder" comic strip. She was the tough as nails lady rancher with a heart of gold buried beneath the gruff exterior.

"She was a nice old lady," Tony recalls.

Tony lived in the Altura/Lonetree area as a young boy when his father worked at the Bryce Howard sawmill. In those days, the Pagosa and Northern narrow gauge railroad steamed back and forth between Pagosa Junction and Pagosa Springs. The tracks more or less paralleled today's Cat Creek Road and passed through thriving communities that no longer exist. For example, Altura Landing straddled the tracks at the south end of Hall's Canyon. Lonetree was a couple of miles south of Hall's Canyon.

Altura Landing was just that - a railroad unloading point. No store, school, or church existed there.

"Lonetree and Altura were in the same school district," Tony said. "The school and a church were at Lonetree. There was no store at Lonetree when I lived there, but there had been one earlier operated by Benito Cordova."

Kearns, with its sawmill, post office, school, and store, were located about three miles south of Lonetree.

"Kearns was before my time," Tony said. "A man by the name of Trinidad Martinez had a little store there. The mill may have been owned by a man named Moore."

Tony signed up with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps twice during the depression-plagued 1930s. Both times he ended up working at Mesa Verde National Park.

In January of 1941, Tony joined the Army, an obligation that lasted until August of 1945 when Japanese resistance ended. Tony took boot camp training at Fort Sill, Okla., then was stationed at Camp Barkley in Panama for a year. From there he was transferred to the warfare being waged in the hot, disease-infested jungles of New Guinea. By the end of the war, he was back in San Francisco, where he was discharged.

Following the war, Tony returned to Pagosa Springs and worked on various farms helping care for livestock and other farm-related duties. His parents had moved to Monte Vista in 1942.

In 1945, he married Juanita Nickerson. She had been living with her grandparents at Lonetree. His father-in-law was Lloyd Nickerson, who also owned property on the Navajo River upstream from Juanita.

For awhile, during 1951-1952, Tony worked his own farm, first at Lonetree, then along the Navajo River about two miles upstream from the church and school at Juanita. Then he sold the farm and moved to Pagosa Springs.

At first he worked for the Duke City Lumber Mill located near where Stevens Field is today. Following that, he worked in the Hersch Mercantile store for a time, worked on the San Juan Chama diversion tunnel project, and when San Juan Lumber Co. built their big, new mill at the intersection of U.S. 160 and 84, worked there for about five years. From 1972 through 1980, Tony worked for Eaton International west of town. Tony retired in 1980.

Tony and Juanita's children are Alice and Rose. Tony has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

"The old timers are all gone," Tony says. "It used to be all of the Spanish people were poor. They either worked for somebody or they had a small farm way out in the country, what they call subsistence living."

"During 1931, a terrible winter storm killed a lot of the sheep and wiped out family sheep herds," Tony says. "During the Depression, a lot of them abandoned their farms. They couldn't get any price for their crops. They moved to town and asked for help through the WPA. Then WWII came. A lot of them moved to California or Nevada or Utah to work in the factories."

Tony recalls the old timers nostalgically, Victor Archuleta with whom he lived at Lonetree and J.L. Jaquez of Blanco, N.M. Jaquez sold out to the Henry Espinosa family after Navajo Dam was built and some of the Espinosa land flooded by the new lake.

"We used to grow hay and oats and wheat at Lonetree," Tony said. "There used to be big meadows for hay before the pine trees were cut. There was a big pine tree by the road about 0.3 mile south of the church at Lonetree. I think that is where it got its name. It was dead when I saw it."

"I don't know anybody anymore," Tony said. "There have been a lot of changes. Pagosa is a lot prettier than it used to be. There are more jobs and they got rid of the old shacks."

Tony bought a house on Lewis Street from the Samora family in 1953. It was the first time he'd lived in a home with running water and electricity. Even so, one of his first tasks was to build an indoor bathroom.

Of the Samoras, Tony recalls Julian, a Pagosa boy who later was a Dean at Notre Dame University.

"I knew him when he was a boy going to school here," Tony recalls. "If he got a bad grade, he'd stay up all night studying to make up for it."

Sharp of mind and filled with memories, Tony talks easily about the old days, of times living at Lonetree and on the Navajo. Already, in less than a lifetime those places are gone. Scattered around the country are a few oldtimers who, like Tony, talk about the old places that no longer exist, places that we outsiders look at and wonder "Where was Lonetree and who lived there and where did they go?" Tony and his friends know.

As long as they live, Lonetree will live in them.



Making a difference


Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Pagosa Springs High School golf team, I would like to thank the Pagosa Springs Golf Club and their staff for helping us to make this a successful year of high school golf. They graciously allowed the high school team members golfing privileges that included free golf and range balls all summer and during the fall golfing season.

There is not any question in my mind that our players have more privileges and opportunities to learn and play the game than any other high school team member in our Western Slope area. We are very grateful for their support, help and encouragement during our season. Without the benefits that they have afforded us, having a successful year would have been much more difficult.

It is my hope that this letter will help make our community aware of what one business enterprise is doing to make a difference in the lives of our young adults.

Again, my thanks to Mr. David Flickwir, owner, and Mr. Bobby Hart, general manager, for their willingness to contribute so generously to the success of the high school golfing program.


Kathy Carter

High School Golf Coach

Burdened by rules

Dear Editor,

I have lived in Pagosa Springs since 1968. I am appalled at the actions of the PLPOA board for attacking people because of a sign on a mailbox stand in Pagosa Lakes. Peter and Rebekah Laue are law abiding, compassionate, caring people who have done nothing wrong. They have been an asset to the community.

My husband and I have just recently visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The PLPOA and its actions in so many situations reminds me of the terrible actions taken against the Jews in Nazi Germany. Do we still live in a free country? Please rethink your actions and reverse your attack.

My questions to your are:

1) If the populations at Pagosa Lakes were polled, how many would say they are pleased with the PLPOA?

2) Have the actions of the PLPOA board been a factor in people choosing to buy property elsewhere so as to avoid being burdened by the PLPOA's rules and regulations and the way they are carried out?

My suggestion would be abolish the PLPOA and have generalized zoning in place to eliminate the personal agendas, emotions, and personalities involved in having a PLPOA board.


Elaine Hyde

More money

Dear Editor,

The Archuleta County Commissioners just spent $750,000 of the people's money to buy 4 1/2 acres and now, at the same time, are asking for more money.

They say they're broke when really what they are is incompetent and as of this deal and all of the new programs they've secretly foisted on us, evil.

The people have three commissioners who are doing nothing but spending fulltime in conspiracy sessions trying to figure ways to further rob the people. With Republicans like them the Democrats certainly have nothing to worry about.

It look as if the Republican Committee should have picked me and I would have already saved Archuleta County millions. Here's my budget policy: If I don't need it, then nobody else does, period.

No politicians anywhere at any time should be asking for money or telling the public of programs that politicians need. Politicians should not be able to waste our money devising ballot issues and then hold elections at our further expense. This system is set up for politicians, not people.

They say property tax and sales tax won't be increased to advance their greed, but who can be suckered into believing that? They don't con me.

Here's a discovery that should puzzle practically everyone and which is; there are more and more people paying more and higher taxes in this county than ever and politicians say they have a money shortage? This is ridiculous.

No, my budget would not include funding for a new carpet for the library. The one there is good for another 15 or 20 years. Nor would my budget include funds for more books touting evolution as a science and creation as man-made. The evolutionists found some old camel bones and some monkey bones and when they put them together, they discovered "Lucy" the first Neanderthal woman. What science.


John Feazel

A moment

Dear Editor,

Pagosa Country is a wonderful place to live. As I wait for my bread to bake and watch the luminous sunset over this neck of the woods, Blanco Valley, I'm struck by the splendor and privacy the San Juan ridges offer up on a daily basis.

I am iconoclast in a semi-wilderness and need little from anyone. Right? Then from the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of an object sitting in the middle of my kitchen table. Ketchup. A giant economy-size bottle of ketchup, a good buy with a handy coupon from City Market.

It is easy for me to view myself as an independent, prepared for Y2K kind of gal. I'm set. Anyway. The outside world is a clamor of corporate chaos, industry blight and folly. A world, in which I could persuade myself, I am no longer involved, were it not for that darn bottle of ketchup staring back at me from the table. The comfort of my narrow view is pushed aside by a more thoughtful process. So, here it is.

I would have to ignore the numbers. The literally thousands upon thousands who have labored to bring me this basic, and in our house, necessary condiment. It would seem I am no longer alone. There's the bottle, the glass for the bottle, the materials and processing that make the bottle. The labels, designers for the labels and the lids (oh boy, now we're into plastics). Its colors, paint, wood, metal, major engineering; and that's before anyone's picked a tomato or invented a fifty thousand gallon recipe. Hey, who invented ketchup anyway? It's an endless parade of humanity, dreams and ideas sitting at my table. A countless array of people, who bring to me this bottle of red stuff.

Maybe today I can momentarily shush that, not so subtle, critic that resides within my head regarding those who still parry with the "city job" or the "rat race." Oh man, we're connected. Lest you consider me hovering somewhere between humility and just plain humiliation with these thoughts, I am not suggesting we stand and sing the National Anthem every time we top off our burgers, fries and favorite barbecue. After all it's just ketchup, but for me it's been a moment. A little Pagosa Zen? Well, at any rate, my bread's out of the oven and as the hills swallow up the sun, I thank you for lending an ear.


Lois Navrkal Preston

Editor's note: The World Book Encyclopedia states: "Catchup is a spiced sauce made from tomatoes. The name originated in the Orient from a word pronounced like 'Kaychup.' It is often spelled catsup, katchup, or ketchup. . . . There is no standard formula for its manufacture. . . ." Hope you enjoyed watching the moon rise above the Continental Divide earlier this week.

Unsung hero

Dear Editor,

I wish to publicly thank one of your citizens whom I suspect is an unsung hero in your community. His name, I believe is Ray Cundiff and he owns Pagosa Springs Radiator up on the hill northwest of town.

My wife's car broke down on the climb up Wolf Creek pass with a blown out radiator plug. My local car dealer sold me the wrong replacement which left us wondering just exactly what it would take to fix it. The men at the Car Quest shop were very helpful by sending me to Ray who, while busy with other work, took time to discern exactly what kind of radiator we had and find a replacement plug from among his recycled parts. It was exactly right and required only five minutes for me to install it. Ray's expertise in radiators was apparent from his answer to my first question. Yet he wanted no compensation for his help.

The world needs more folks as willing and helpful as Ray. You are blessed to have him in Pagosa.

Yours truly,

Charles Stillings

Monte Vista

Political palate

Dear Editor,

Was glad you declined that long distance caller's offer in your Oct. 21 "Dear Folks" to "stimulate letters to the editor;" your remarks were right on target. Local talent is available; at the moment it's just not utilized to its fullest.

I assume your caller was referring to a column with current national political overtones? Got some great "news" for ya "Gramps," that talent is currently on your very own payroll.

Since some say that "man" is a political animal and craves mouthwatering tidbits, let's just give this tasty moment a little "food for thought."

Idea: Why not replace your weekly "Dear Folks" diatribe (you already have your "editorial" legitimacy) with a column by the "Iceman." The daily political recipes and ingredients are endless and would just be another satirical "piece of cake" for a connoisseur of Isberg's proportions. Of course, there are some side effects that you'd have to deal with. I doubt that Isberg would take on such a weekly effort without more dollars; but I believe your providing a daily mid-afternoon "Big Mac" snack should satisfy and you'd get off cheap. No need to produce dollars; just show him the beef.

Besides, you're old &emdash; tired. Wouldn't you rather retire in the A.M. to a Pagosa coffee shop and tell PLPOA stories to the tourists? You can join Lee Sterling and yours truly. I "think" Sterling would invite you? Since he's now retired from his position as president of the local BDA (Brain Dead Association).

Just imagine: No more enemies, you wouldn't have to "trash" any more letters to the editor, no deadlines or payrolls to meet, more time with the grandkids, unlimited supplies of Tootsie Rolls, the good life. You could even ride your bike to town. Create a healthy lifestyle; you'll probably live longer.

I can just taste some of Isberg's satirical "truths" pelting the political palate right now: Liberal portions of Clinton Cabinet "fruit" salad, El Reno Rellenos, with a little dash of Hillary's habanero hot sauce on the side. And of course the inimitable, Levitan "grace cakes." Now this is "stimulation!"


Jim Sawicki

Editor's note: I'm old and I'm tired but I enjoy reading the editor's mail, and the SUN focuses on Pagosa Springs rather than "current national political" happenings.

Another rule

Dear Editor,

A letter was sent to Peter and Rebekah Laue telling them to remove a sign from their front lawn which reads, "Stretcher Bearers for Christ."

It seems we now have another rule to smother us. Is this America? What next?

Wake up, folks. Your freedoms are being squashed.

I do not live in that area and I never will. However, it scares me to death to hear of this cancer anywhere.

I am outraged and cannot be silent lest it creeps up and swallows me.

Marilyn Scarpa

Top notch

Dear David,

About this time last year, you printed a letter I wrote regarding the quality of food served by the Pagosa Lodge to the Chamber of Commerce Diplomats at our annual luncheon. The tone of the letter did not bring me the most favorite customer award at the lodge. Last Wednesday, we had our annual luncheon at Pagosa Lodge again. I am happy to say that it was one of the best luncheons Sally Hameister has ever put on for the diplomats, and the food and service was top notch. If you haven't tried the lodge recently, give it a shot.

Pat Curtis

Bottom line

Dear Editor,

What is going on with the phone company? Don't they realize that by us constantly getting the message "We're sorry, all circuits are busy . . ." that they are potentially putting peoples lives in danger? Exactly what are we to do if, God forbid, an emergency strikes and we need to call 9-1-1? Not all of us are "fortunate" enough to have a cell phone (some of us don't want one) nor do we have neighbors close enough to run to who "may" have one. Lines were unavailable for several hours today and over the past several days, too.

Last summer we came home from hauling water and noticed smoke coming out of our neighbor's house. We called 9-1-1 immediately. The firefighters told us that had we been just a few minutes later, the house would have burned to the ground! And that's exactly what would have happened had all circuits been busy. Is the phone company doing anything to rectify this problem? Didn't they plan for the growth Pagosa is experiencing? Or is the bottom line just profits?

Jay Duncan

P.S. It's about 7 p.m. Tuesday and I can't get through to e-mail this to you because . . . well, you know . . .

Burn project

The Columbine Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service would like to thank all the residents of the lower Piedra Valley for their patience and tolerance for our prescribed burn project in the First Notch area.

For several days, smoke from the project had a significant impact in the valley. Unfortunately, smoke is an unavoidable product of burning and negatively affects the environment for a short time. I appreciate the people of the lower Piedra Valley who accept this impact so that we can better manage your national forest.

The project was a huge success. Many benefits to the timber resource, wildlife and adjacent landowners will be realized well into the future.

Ron Klatt

Fire Management Officer


Hard to ignore

Dear Editor,

The recent conflict between the Laue's at 965 Cloud Cap Avenue is unfortunate. It has created an uproar.

As I reflected after the meeting of Oct. 21 on the spirit of the dialogue amongst those who attended, it was hard to ignore that the issue about the decorative signs and spiritual statements in our yard was far more than a legal issue. You can be assured that by sharing my heart with you, I did not intend to create a spectacle. But both Rebekah and I felt so violated by the manner we were confronted; I knew we needed the support of others to resolve the problem. The phone calls, letters and visits to our home by concerned citizens clearly show us that many in this community are very disturbed. Two people who called said they regret ever having bought property in the Fairfield Pagosa subdivision.

Rebekah and I feel that something good can and must happen as a result of the last meeting. There are other issues before the Environmental Control Committee that are potentially very explosive. We hope they also will be resolved quickly. Our rules and laws are unfortunately often made by the few who complain the loudest and longest.

You may not be aware that we were not advised we were on the agenda on either meeting when our "sign violations" were to be discussed. It was a coincidence that we discovered our names on the agenda for the meeting on Oct. 21. We asked for the courtesy that should we or anyone else have to appear before the committee in the future, adequate notice be given in writing.

There is not one on the PLPOA board or staff who has viewed our home except from the outside. At the moment, everyone who is a part of the PLPOA organization is a stranger. Our relationship at this time is quite formal. We hope that will change in the future.

With sincere hearts,

Peter and Rebekah Laue

Far off center

Dear Editor,

Years ago, before we moved to the Pagosa Springs area, we knew first hand of Peter and Rebekah Laue's ministry. Our good friend, and minister had spent special retreat time with them for healing of his spirit and soul.

In all these years they have helped countless numbers of people in just that way. They are an asset to Pagosa Springs, as they quietly go about helping.

Now we have many new people moving to this area. While looking for paradise on earth, they move here in that pursuit. However, they bring with them the haughtiness, and hate from their former residence. They want things to be "as it was in . . . ." &emdash; you fill in the state or country or city.

They see a sign and think it unsightly, no matter the size or shape or what it says. They just know that the PLPOA has rules and they want those "rules" enforced.

My heart aches for the Laues. In all likelihood they lived in that spot years before the complainants moved here. They were here first. Didn't the people see the sign when they bought their property? Why not just buy property at another location?

The rules that the PLPOA enforce are as far off center as the rules where we live do not exist. Wonder how those complaining about a harmless sign would like to have the inconsiderate "neighbors" we have? They allow potbellied pigs, turkeys, goats and whatever else they can come up with to roam everyone's yards . . . no rules that can be enforced here. Thoughtless, uncaring humans are in all forms and in every neighborhood.

Sincerely hoping some decent soul will help the Laues.

Mary Lou Sprowle



Ruth Fielder

Ruth Christine Hall Fielder, 69, died Friday evening, Oct. 22, 1999, in Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

A former resident of Pagosa Springs, Mrs. Fielder was a native of Burns, Tenn. She was the widow of the late Billye Forde Fielder and the daughter of the late Elbert Floyd and Mary Ann Lowe Hall. She was a housewife, a graduate of Dickson (Tennessee) High School and a member of the Church of Christ

Survivors include her two sons, Phillip Wayne Fielder of Denver and Mark Hall Fielder of Hollywood, Calif.; one brother, Dan Hall of Dickson; one sister, Anne Weems of Dickson, and one grandchild, Josh Fielder, Athens, Ala.

Mrs. Fielder's funeral will be conducted today, Oct. 28, with Rev. Clarence DeLoach officiating. Burial will be in the Dickson Union Cemetery in Dickson.

Those desiring, memorials may be made to the American Lung Association.

Samuel G. Teeson

Samuel G. Teeson of Durango died Monday, Oct. 18, 1999, in the Christina Hospital in Wilmington, Del. Mr. Teeson, 78, had been hospitalized for injuries he sustained in an automobile accident in Wilmington, Del., on Sept. 11.

Mr. Teeson was born June 5, 1921, in Pagosa Springs, where he grew up. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a chief petty officer in the South Pacific. A former snowplow operator on Wolf Creek Pass, he was a career employee of the Colorado Department of Transportation. Raised in the Upper Blanco area on the family ranch, he was an avid outdoorsman and horseman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was living in Durango at the time of his death.

Mr. Teeson is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carolyn Mowery-Teeson of Durango; his brother, John Dillinger of Pagosa Springs; his sisters Mrs. Hattie Masco of Pagosa Springs and Mrs. Margaret Cobb of Texas; his aunt Mrs. Faye Brown of Pagosa Springs; his cousins, Mrs. Tinnie Lattin of Pagosa Springs and Frank Conner of Durango.

A graveside service of cremains will be Saturday, Oct. 30, 1999, at 11 a.m. in the Christoforo Columbo section of the Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.

A remembrance will be held immediately following the service at the Riverhouse Bed and Breakfast, 495 Animas View Drive. For more information, call 247-4775.

Gabe A. Watson

Gabe Arnold Watson Sr. passed over to meet his heavenly family early Monday morning Oct. 25, 1999. He was at peace and surrounded by his loved ones, after living on this earth for 75 years. He died quickly and painlessly of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Watson is survived by his loving wife Mrs. Doris Watson, his devoted sons Gabe Watson Jr. and his wife, Shirlene, of Torrance, Calif.; Tracy Watson and his wife, Sherry, of Aztec, N.M., and Craig Watson and his wife, Paula, of Pagosa Springs. He is also survived by his five grandchildren and two step-grandchildren Derek, Aaron, Carissa, Jordon, and Nattie Watson, and Kelsi and Lee Miller. He also leaves behind his sister Betty Peace of Paris, Texas.

Services will be held at Emanuel Baptist Church in Farmington at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. Graveside services will be held immediately after at Green Lawn Cemetery in Farmington, N.M.


Jesse Hunter Laverty

Jesse Hunter Laverty was born Sept. 2, 1999, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango at 1:56 p.m.

He weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 1/4-inches tall. He is welcomed home by his older brothers and sisters, Benellen, Allison, Mason and Johannah Laverty.

His parents are Kurt and Danna Laverty. His paternal grandparents are Bill and Peggy Laverty of Pagosa. His maternal grandparents are Dan and Maxine Gnazzo of Aurora.


Sports Page

Ladies stay perfect in IML for another year

By Karl Isberg

With wins over Bloomfield, N.M., and Centauri last week, the Lady Pirates volleyball team finished their regular season with a 14-4 record.

The win over Centauri ended a perfect 10-0 Intermountain league season for the Ladies and gave the program its fifth consecutive regular season IML title. Pagosa has not lost a regular-season IML match since Oct. 12, 1995.

The Lady Pirate volleyball team will play at the district tournament at Ignacio on Saturday with an eye on the regional tourney to be held on Nov. 6.

Prior to the IML match against Centauri, Pagosa met Bloomfield and, despite a lackluster performance, walked away with a 15-5, 15-13 win.

Bloomfield went out to a 3-1 advantage in the first game of the match, with all three of the visitor's points coming on Lady Pirates errors.

Tiffanie Hamilton took the serve for Pagosa and by the time a hitting error turned the ball back over to the Bobcats, the Ladies had scored 10 unanswered points. Most points came as gifts from a sloppy Bobcat offense. The Ladies got earned points on a back-row kill by Hamilton and a stuff block by Meigan Canty. Bloomfield scored on an ace and on a Pagosa hitting error and surrendered two more points with mistakes. Nicole Buckley nailed a cross-court kill and Mandy Forrest stuffed a Bobcat hitter to end the game.

With a 7-1 lead in the second game of the match, Pagosa confirmed the Bobcats are not capable of playing high-quality ball. The question was whether or not the Lady Pirates would allow Bloomfield to drag down the overall level of play.

Pagosa scored easily with kills by Forrest, Hamilton, Buckley, Canty and Janae Esterbrook. When Pagosa did not score in the first game, the Bobcats turned over points with errors.

Then, the problems started for Pagosa. Bloomfield closed the gap to 10-7 as the Bobcats benefited from one Lady Pirate error after another. The Ladies went ahead 12-8 with kills by Forrest and Esterbrook but again the Pagosa offense misfired and gave away three of four Bloomfield points as the visitors from New Mexico closed the margin to 12-11. With more mistakes, Pagosa allowed Bloomfield to tie the game 13-13.

Lady Pirate blockers made it to the point of attack and got their hands up, forcing a hitting error that gave Pagosa a 14-13 lead. A final Bobcat mistake ended the match, with the Ladies squeaking out the 15-13 win.

The Lady Pirates hitting statistics mirrored the overall tone of the match. Forrest, Hamilton and Buckley each managed five kills. Canty and Katie Lancing each had two stuff blocks during the match.

Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton was not happy following the Bloomfield match.

"After the game," said Hamilton, "I really got after them. I said I didn't want any excuses. I reminded them that we are no longer a young team; they're all varsity players at this point of the season and they need to play like it. The thing that bothered me against Bloomfield, and for that matter against Ignacio the week before, was we let the other team dictate how we played. Some things had to change."

Centauri grounded

Changes were made.

On Oct. 23, Pagosa took control of a Centauri team that desperately needed a win to avoid a match to qualify for the district tournament and beat the Falcons 15-4, 15-8.

"Our practice on Friday was outstanding," said Hamilton. "We had played a lot of matches in the previous two weeks and we didn't need distraction. Against Bloomfield, there were too many people interfering with the players' concentration; too many people distracting the girls when they should have been preparing to play. Before the Centauri games, the girls were quiet during warm ups, and they were focused. We waited in the locker room for a long time and they talked, stayed relaxed. They were mentally prepared when it came time to play. Keeping them away from distractions and allowing them to focus worked, and we will continue doing it at the district tournament."

By the time the Falcons realized they were in the Pagosa gym and the match had begun, the Lady Pirates were ahead 8-0, with Forrest and Buckley leading the way on offense. Buckley tipped for the first point then set Forrest twice for kills as Centauri deliberately forced Lancing, the regular Lady Pirate setter, to pass the ball. Forrest scored twice with ace serves and Canty got a point with a stuff block. Forrest ended the eight-point surge with a another kill of a Buckley set.

Centauri managed two points on kills off quick sets where no Lady Pirate blocker got above the net, but a back-row attack by Forrest returned serve to Pagosa. The Ladies scored with a stuff block by Lancing and a kill by Hamilton, and with points off Falcon mistakes, Pagosa led 12-2. Following two unearned Centauri points, Canty killed from the middle, a Centauri attack went out of bounds and Esterbrook killed from the back row. Pagosa took the game 15-4.

In the second game, the Lady Pirates went ahead 6-0. Pagosa got points from Canty with a hit from outside and from Hamilton. Centauri contributed four points with hitting errors.

Ahead 7-4, the Lady Pirates put together a seven-point run, getting two kills from Esterbrook (one a left-handed hit through the block) a kill from Canty and a dink over the block by Lancing. A kill from the middle by Canty put Pagosa on the edge of victory, 14-4.

It would be a while before the Ladies went over the edge. Centauri fought the good fight, getting points on two Pagosa hitting errors, on a stuff block and on an ace serve. A Falcon error gave up a point and gave the Lady Pirates the 15-8 victory.

Forrest had seven kills on 15 attempts against Centauri. Hamilton was 6 for 11; Esterbrook was 5 for 14; Buckley was 4 for 10; and Canty hit four kills in 11 attempts.

Lancing put up 18 setting assists during the match, while Buckley had four assists against the Falcons.

Canty was superb against much taller Centauri hitters, nailing four stuff blocks during the match.

Forrest hit three ace serves.

"The changes we made in our game preparation made a difference," said coach Hamilton. "We can only control what we do on Pagosa's side of the court. We can't control what others do. Now we're into post-season play and it's time to step up. Things will get more intense, and we need to ensure there are even fewer distractions."

District tourney

The Ladies will have their chance to "step up" at the Intermountain League tournament at Ignacio on Saturday. While Pagosa advances to the regional tournament automatically by virtue of winning the regular season IML title, the Lady Pirates' performance at the district competition will determine which regional tournament the team attends.

Pagosa and Bayfield are exempt from the pigtail round of play that takes place today. Centauri will face Del Norte today, and Ignacio and Monte Vista will play to determine the third- and fourth-seeded teams at Saturday's tournament.

The first match of the day at Ignacio on Saturday pits the No. 2 and No. 3 teams at 10 a.m.

Pagosa takes on the No. 4 team at 11:15 a.m.

No. 3 and No. 4 meet at 12:30 p.m. and the Lady Pirates play No. 3 at approximately 1:45 p.m.

Following the match between No. 2 and No. 4, Pagosa finishes tourney play against Bayfield at approximately 4:15 p.m.


Lady runners win regional meet, head to state

By Karl Isberg

When the Lady Pirates finished second at the Intermountain League meet at Monte Vista on Oct. 16, they had two runners operating at less than optimum speed. Sarah Huckins was ordered to run at half-speed following a layoff due to injury. Amber Mesker was still recuperating from an injury and, like Huckins, was told not to make an all-out effort.

At the regional meet at Buena Vista on Oct. 23, the two Ladies were prepared to make more formidable runs on the 3.1-mile course with teammates Chelsea and Aubrey Volger and Makina Gill. The results speak for themselves: Pagosa won the regional championship with 36 points, finishing ahead of Bayfield (39 points), Centauri (45) and Buena Vista (52).

The Ladies fashioned a pack time of one minute, seven seconds in order to secure the victory.

"It was a pretty close race, overall," said coach Glen Cope. "Our girls really did a job."

Cope said the Lady Pirates were still hampered by the lingering effects of injury, especially in the case of Mesker. "I thought everyone was a little tight before the race," said the coach, "and Amber had some problems with her calves. She's been struggling with cramping in her calves since she came back, but I can't put a leash on her at this point. If we can keep her glued together this weekend she could run well. If she does run well, she'll keep our pack together."

Huckins returned to top form at Buena Vista, finishing third in the individual standings with a time of 21:04.

Aubrey Volger ran the course in 21:11 and took fourth in the standings.

A time of 21:56 gave Mesker 13th place in the standings.

Chelsea Volger was 16th with a time of 22:11 completing the Lady Pirate scoring.

Gill finished the course at 25:07, in 29th position.

Despite their win, and the fact that the Ladies will advance to the Colorado Class 3A state championship meet at Denver on Saturday, not one of the runners was satisfied with her performance at Buena Vista.

"I don't know that any of them felt they had a good race," said Cope. "I said that's okay. If you run like that and win, that's great. And if you run well this week . . . ."

Pirates take eighth

Where the injury bug nipped the Lady Pirates, it took a big chunk out of the Pirates before the regional meet. Injury was an obstacle the team could not overcome as the Pirates finished in eighth place, out of contention for a team berth at the state championships.

Buena Vista won the regional meet, followed in the standings by Monte Vista, Centauri and Bayfield.

Travis Laverty qualified to run as an individual at the upcoming 3A state meet at Denver.

Laverty earned the trip to the Big Show with a 14th-place finish at Buena Vista. The junior completed the course at 18:40.

Dominic Lucero was the 25th runner across the finish line, with a time of 19:22.

Freshman Todd Mees ended his inaugural varsity season by placing 41st, at 21:22.

A time of 22:27 put Daniel Martinez in 47th place.

Robinson Cortez was the 49th finisher, at 23:14.

Cope said the Pirates were fighting an uphill battle before they arrived at the Buena Vista course. "Todd Mees had a case of the flu and had only two days of practice before the meet," said the coach. "And Robinson Cortez continued to suffer from a knee problem. It was a real shame; Robinson worked hard and started well for us at the beginning of the season before he got hurt. It was a tough break for him."

Despite the fact the Pirates will not make the trip to Denver as a team, Cope expressed his appreciation for the dedication of his athletes and for their accomplishments during the season.

"They have a good attitude," said Cope, "and considering the injuries and illness that worked against them as a team, they had a good year."

Ignacio nips Pirates; both advance to state

By Roy Starling

After a season-in-a-nutshell 2-1 loss to the Ignacio Bobcats in Friday's regional playoffs at Golden Peaks Stadium, the Pagosa Pirate soccer team advances to the Class 3A state bracket as a No. 16 seed in a 16-team field.

That means they'll open the state playoffs against the No. 1 seed, Colorado Academy's Mustangs, a team that wound up 7-0-1 in the tough Metropolitan League and 13-1-1 overall. That game will be played Saturday, 11 a.m., on the Mustangs' home field.

The road to a state championship isn't much smoother for the victorious Bobcats. Saturday will find them up in Arvada taking on the Faith Christian Eagles (11-2-1), also from the Metro League. The Eagles are seeded second in the state, Ignacio 15th.

The Pirates' archrival Telluride Miners, who cruised through the regular season undefeated, got knocked off by Ouray in the regionals. The victory earned Ouray a No. 12 seeding for the state playoffs and the Trojan Demons will open up against No. 5 Denver Christian on the Crusaders' home field.

What kind of chance do the Pirates stand against the top-seeded 3A team in the state? "We'll obviously be underdogs," coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said, "but I'm not ready to count us out yet. I like playing the underdog role."

Ignacio wins two

In Pagosa Friday, the Ignacio Bobcats earned the right to play the Pirates by breezing past the La Veta Redskins 7-3. They then proceeded to turn Golden Peaks Stadium into Heartbreak Hotel by going up 2-0 with 12 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the game and then holding on to edge Pagosa 2-1.

From the game's opening seconds, there seemed little doubt that the Pirates would blow past the Bobcats, a team they had beaten 4-1 earlier in the season. Freshman Zeb Gill had two shots on goal in the first two minutes, the first from long range, the second off a pass from sophomore forward Damian Gruber. The first shot was stopped by Bobcat goalie Chris Smithwick; the second sailed wide.

In the next three minutes, the Pirates continued to make furious charges on the Bobcat net, bearing down in wave after wave on Smithwick, but the Ignacio keeper was always up to the challenge.

Well into the middle of the first period, the fired-up Pirates kept the pressure on the Bobcats' "D," and a much larger than usual crowd kicked in with badly needed vocal support. But the ball wouldn't go into the net.

With 25 minutes remaining, sophomore forward Josiah Payne took a pass from Seth Kurt-Mason and shot one into the hands of Smithwick from 15 yards.

At 24:40, sweeper Peter Dach took a shot off a Pirate cornerkick, but Smithwick grabbed it.

At 23:14, Dustin Cooper's cross shot narrowly missed to the left.

At 22:20, Seth Kurt-Mason repeated Cooper's futile feat.

And so on.

Shortly afterwards, the Bobcat offense finally found its way across the midfield stripe. At 21:30, a Dach tackle saved a sure shot with Pirate keeper Aaron Renner out of the box. At 19:41, the ever-present Dach cleared away another Ignacio effort.

An Ignacio penalty kick sailed over the goal post at 18:12, and a minute later Renner came charging out of the box for a save with a Bobcat striker bearing down on him.

The Pirates came excruciatingly close to breaking on top at 16:05 when Gill's hard head shot of a Kurt-Mason handspring throw-in just lodged in Smithwick's sticky fingertips.

Much of the remainder of the first half consisted of a kind of midfield tug of war, with only the Pirates threatening to score &emdash; twice &emdash; before intermission.

At halftime, the Pirates and their fans had every reason to believe it was only a matter of time before the good guys put this one away. They had completely dominated the first half, forcing all the action on their offensive side of the field. The Bobcats could never wrest control of the ball from the swarming Pirates.

In the second half, the teams swapped shots on goal in the first seven minutes &emdash; each taking two &emdash; and then, at 32:32, the Bobcats put Pagosa in a hole when a shot off a breakaway went just a hair beyond Renner's reach.

The Pirates then threatened to tie twice in the next minute off cornerkicks, but couldn't close the deal.

The game settled into a defensive standoff for the next 17 minutes, and then the Pirates' season-long nemesis jumped up to bite them one more time: Ignacio got loose on a breakaway and found almost nothing but green on the Pagosa side of the field. A Bobcat striker booted one into the back of the net with 12:50 remaining, and the Pirates, down 2-0, knew they were in a whole lot of trouble.

Seth Kurt-Mason gave Pagosa a glimmer of hope when he blasted a shot in from 20 yards with 6:17 remaining, but a series of desperation shots by the Pirates in the game's final minutes refused to cooperate.

After the game, coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason noted that the Pirates had good ball control, good field position and outshot the Bobcats a whopping 34 to 9. "I don't think any of our guys could've tried harder or done more," he said. "Ignacio played kick-and-run soccer. They just put their sweeper back there (on defense) and had him kick it as far as he could. This whole season has been real hard to figure out."

Playing their last game at Golden Peaks were seniors Dach, Seth Kurt-Mason, Jacques Sarnow and Renner.

Pagosa wins big over the other Pirates

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs is king of the Intermountain League after winning the "War of the Pirates" Saturday with a 15-6 victory over formerly unbeaten Monte Vista. Pagosa's league record is 4-0 and they have a six-game winning streak in progress.

"I'm really proud of the way we played," said Myron Stretton, the Pagosa Pirates coach. "That was probably the best game we've played since I've been head coach. Everyone did their job and there were no let downs."

Nail-biting fans filled bleachers on both sides of the field, glued to their seats by a first-half defensive struggle during which neither offense could mount a threat. Punters Darin Lister of Pagosa Springs and Joaquin DuPont of Monte Vista took turns kicking the opposing team back on its heels. Each punted six times during the first half.

Appreciative fans who came expecting offensive fireworks turned to cheering defensive heroes and held their collective breaths waiting for the mistake or turnover that would give the other team the edge, waiting for the heralded Monte offense to break loose. After all, coming into the game Monte Vista ranked third in the state among Class 2A teams. The San Luis Valley Pirates had averaged 42 points a game while winning all eight of their 1999 encounters. In IML play, they were averaging 52 points a game.

During the first half, breaks came and went for both teams without a score. Monte Vista's offense crossed the 50-yard line only once during the first half. That drive stalled on the Pagosa 41-yard line. The white-shirted Monte squad was unable to take advantage of an interception and a Pagosa fumble. Often, Pagosa's brick-wall defense kept the invaders pinned down in the shadows of their own goal posts. The most serious Monte threat ended when Pagosa's Tyrel Ross sacked Monte quarterback Brandon Carlucci for a 9-yard loss.

Meanwhile, Pagosa Springs' deepest penetration was the Monte Vista 39-yard line.

"We knew by half time we would have to throw the ball more," Stretton said.

Monte received the second half kickoff, but was forced to punt from its own 22-yard line.

The Pagosa offense took over on its own 41-yard line and drove to the Monte 14 before two illegal-procedure penalties pushed them back. With fourth down and 10 yards to go on the Monte 18-yard line, Darin Lister booted a 35-yard field goal for the first score of the game. Pagosa led 3-0 with 7:04 remaining in the third period. Key plays during the drive were Ronnie Janowsky pass completions to Tyrel Ross and Kraig Candelaria and a 9-yard sweep around the left end by Lonnie Lucero.

On their next possession, Monte took to the air to gain a first down, then, unable to continue the drive, the visitors punted yet one more time. Pagosa couldn't moved the ball, punted, then recovered a fumble on Monte's second play from scrimmage as the third period ended.

The black-shirted Pagosa boys drove the length of the field, only to fumble the ball away on the Monte 7-yard line. On Monte's third play, Pagosa's Keith Candelaria stepped in front of a Carlucci pass on the 15-yard line and high stepped down the right side line and into paydirt. Lister missed the extra point kick, but Pagosa Springs was on top 9-0 with 8:11 remaining in the game.

On the first play following the kickoff Monte Vista stumbled again. Pagosa's Josh Trujillo recovered a Monte fumble and Pagosa took over on the Monte 12-yard line. Two plays later, Clint Shaw swiveled up the center of the field for another Pirates score. Lister missed again, but with 7:15 left in the game, Pagosa was on top 15-0.

Monte Vista wasn't ready to quit and scored five plays after receiving the kickoff following Pagosa's score. The big gainer for Monte was a sweep-reverse-flea flicker pass good for 42 yards and a first down on the Pagosa 9-yard line. From there, Steve Duran burst up the middle for the TD. Now the importance of Lister's field goal became obvious. In order to win the game, Monte would have to try for 2-points, then score another touchdown and add two more points for a 16-15 lead. Carlucci's pass for two failed and the score stayed at 15-6 Pagosa with 5:46 remaining in the game. Monte would need at least a touchdown and extra point and a field goal to win.

Once more, the Pagosa boys took charge of the game. The final gun sounded with Pagosa driving in Monte territory.

Stretton identified almost every Pagosa player as a hero, offense and defense.

"Our passing was the best of the year and it had to be to open up the Monte defense in the second half," Stretton said. "On defense, our defensive ends shut down their veer offense. They quit using it later in the game. Our pass rush kept Carlucci under pressure and Nathan Stretton played a good game at defensive halfback. They threw at him about 90 percent of the time."

Around the IML

Pagosa's win perches the Pirates atop the IML with a 4-0 league record. Trailing are Monte Vista 3-1, Centauri 2-2, Bayfield 2-2, Ignacio 1-3, and Del Norte 0-4. The games this coming weekend are the last in the IML for this season. Pagosa plays at Del Norte, Monte Vista plays Ignacio, and Centauri plays Bayfield.

On Nov. 6 Pagosa hosts Cortez in a non-league encounter and the Pirates final regular season game of the season.

Pagosa Springs is likely to play Fort Morgan in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs. Fort Morgan leads the Tri-Valley conference and is currently rated No. 1 among 3A schools in the state.

Pagosa Springs is a 3A school, but plays in the 2A Intermountain League because no 3A schools are located within a reasonable traveling distance from Pagosa Springs. To reach the playoffs, Pagosa Springs must finish a clear second in the IML. They then play the champion of the Tri-Valley League in the first playoff round.

This week Stretton is concentrating on Del Norte.

"We'll worry about the playoffs when the time comes," Stretton said. "Right now, Del Norte is our most important game."

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