Front Page
November 4, 1999

Yes, excess revenue; yes, library

By John M. Motter

Tuesday was election day across Colorado, the first election constructed around an all mail-in ballot. Multiple elections were included in the process.

Counters in the county clerk's office started adding up the vote at about 6 p.m. Tuesday and finished by 8:45, according to June Madrid, the county clerk and election official.

"This was the hardest election I've ever done," Madrid said. "So many little things went wrong. We had a lot of problems with the ballot printers. Still, it would have been harder if polling places had been designated across the county. We were able to reduce the number of judges from about 45 to 12 or 15."

When the count was finished, it was learned that voters said yes to a request by county commissioners to retain excess revenues. Incumbents Randall Davis and Carol Feazel were returned to the School District 50 Joint board, and all other local proposals were approved.

Local voters said no to Referendum A, a state-wide proposal allowing the state to borrow up to $1.7 billion against future federal highway revenues in order to complete any of 24 transportation projects. The local vote on Referendum A was 52 percent against, 48 percent for. Across the state, approval of Referendum A was leading by a 62 to 38 percent margin Wednesday with about 80 percent of the vote counted.

Archuleta County Referendum 1A passed by a 57.4 percent for, 42.6 percent against, margin. The measure allows commissioners to retain excess revenues without limit and for an unlimited number of years. Not included are excess revenues from property taxes.

"Basically, this allows the commissioners to start addressing growth-related issues," said County Manager Dennis Hunt. "The planning and building departments are putting a plan together. Any new fees, such as impact fees, will be subject to a public hearing. The effects are not likely to be felt until the Year 2000 budget process."

The draft budget for the Year 2000 is already in place and, after public hearings will be finalized and adopted some time in December, too late to be changed by the recent vote according to Hunt.

"Well, I figured it would pass," said Fitzhugh Havens, a vocal opponent of Referendum 1A. "I'm not against them having some money because they are facing more expenses. I was opposed because they didn't tell us how much money they wanted for what and there is no time limit. I notice they didn't include property taxes among the excess revenues they can keep. I expect in two or three years we'll be voting on excess property taxes. That's the way taxes are; they go up a little at a time, but they always go up."

Referred Issue C proposed by the Upper San Juan Library District carried with 1,854 votes for, 422 votes against, an 81.45 to 18.54 percent approval ratio. The approval means the library district can retain revenues in excess of TABOR limits. Library officials have promised to purchase additional books and increase modern library services with the anticipated revenue increase.

Referred Issue 5E presented by the Piedra Park Metropolitan Improvement District passed with 37 votes for, three votes against. Approval means the district can retain revenues in excess of TABOR limits. Approval does not mean the district can increase property taxes without voter approval.

Referred Issue 5A also presented by the Piedra Park Metropolitan Improvement District, was approved with 28 votes for, four votes against. Approval means the district's board of directors can increase the district's debt by $150,000. The money will be used for improvements on the water system.

Voters approved expanding the land area of the Pagosa Fire Protection District by 44 votes for, nine votes against. The area to be added lies north of the present district generally on both sides of Piedra Road north of the cattle guard. Residents of the newly included area will have all of the privileges and obligations of existing members.

The Pagosa Springs Sanitation District's Referred Issue 5D carried with 221 votes for, 70 votes against. Approval means the district can retain and spend all grant funds for the purpose of improving and expanding the infrastructure of the district. The district is responsible for sewage collection and treatment in and immediately around Pagosa Springs.

 

Search find lost hunter after 3 days

By Karl Isberg

A Louisiana hunter missing for three days in the mountains northwest of Pagosa Springs was located by searchers Wednesday and returned in reasonable condition to his hunting party.

According to deputy Tim Evans, co-coordinator of Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, Mike Heneley, 51, of Tallulah, La., was reported missing on Nov. 1.

Evans said Heneley and several unidentified hunting companions were headquartered at the camping area adjacent to the Chimney Rock Store on U.S. 160, about 20 miles west of Pagosa Springs. Evans said the hunters drove to a point near the end of the Beaver Meadows Road on Sunday and split up to begin their hunt. The Beaver Meadows Road is located northwest of Yellowjacket Pass and west of Baldy Mountain, near the Archuleta and La Plata county border.

Heneley did not return to the vehicle at the end of the day and his companions reported him missing the next morning, said Evans, who was called at approximately 8:30 a.m.

"We began a helicopter operation at 11 a.m. on Nov. 1," said Evans. He joined a helicopter and its pilot from Durango-based New Air to search for Heneley from the sky while the hunter's friends searched on the ground.

Two more helicopter searches were conducted on Tuesday and the local search and rescue group moved a communications van to the Beaver Meadows Road, near the site where Heneley was last seen. Three ATV teams from Upper San Juan Search and Rescue worked on the ground and were joined by a horse team from Troop F of the local Colorado Mounted Rangers.

On Nov. 3, a canine search team from Cortez was brought to the area and a team from the La Plata County Search and Rescue unit began a search working east from the Vallecito Reservoir area.

Late Wednesday morning, at approximately 11:50, Heneley was spotted by Evans and the pilot of the New Air helicopter, approximately 3 miles from the spot where the missing hunter was last seen by his companions.

"He was ecstatic when he saw us," said Evans. "He was dressed in cotton pants and a cotton shirt, a blaze orange vest and hat. He had been all over that part of the mountains and had been to a closed outfitter's camp, but he didn't stay there. He had a little water and food and some candy. He said he wasn't sure he would make it another night up there."

Heneley was flown back to the communications van where he was interviewed and reunited with the members of his hunting party.

The newly-found hunter was interviewed by USJSR co-coordinator Sean Curtis.

"Mr. Heneley said he started down drainages and passed the outfitter's camp," said deputy Curtis. "When he didn't find anyone there, he kept going. He heard the helicopter yesterday (Nov. 2) and said his main goal was to get in view of the helicopter crew. He said it passed over him several times, but no matter how much blaze orange someone wears, we can't see them if they are in the trees. He said he didn't have much energy left on Wednesday, but he was able to get into the meadow where they could spot him."

 

Mayor will keep an eye on new cable TV proprietors

By Karl Isberg

Town trustees dealt with two franchise issues at their regular monthly board meeting on Nov. 2.

The local cable television system is about to change owners, and the prospective new proprietors received a clear message from Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon that they will be expected to comply with franchise stipulations in a more effective manner than their predecessors.

Pagosa Vision, the current owner of the cable television operation in Pagosa Springs, has signed a contract to sell some of its Colorado holdings (including the Pagosa system) to ICE Cable Holdings. In order to operate the Pagosa system within town boundaries (there are numerous cable households outside town limits) ICE must obtain the franchise from the town.

ICE was represented at the Tuesday meeting by Chip James, one of its two owners.

In his presentation to the trustees, James detailed several changes and improvements he said his company hopes to make to the local system.

James said it is his desire to expand the current system boundaries, taking in areas that could be developed in the future. He also said he intends to move the system's customer service office from its current Alabama location to "a Colorado location" within four to five months from the close of the sale.

James also noted the possibility for expanding programming on the system and for possible enhancement of cable service to include "looking at offering Internet service via the cable. We are hopeful," said James, "that it can work here."

Town Administrator Jay Harrington pressed James concerning the location of a Colorado calling center and asked whether that center could be located in Pagosa Springs. James gave that possibility a "50-50" chance of occurring.

Harrington reminded James and Pagosa Vision representative Larry Grogan that the parties "would have to remedy any deficiencies" prior to the franchise agreement being transferred to a new owner.

Grogan replied that his company "is not aware of any problems or deficiencies that exist before we transfer the franchise."

Harrington said the town staff "will look at issues and see if board members have any issues" concerning cable television operations in the community.

Once James was finished with his presentation, Aragon had a brief, clear response to the statements and promises he and the trustees heard.

"I want you to know," said Aragon, "that we're going to hold your toes to the fire. We've heard this same song and dance two other times. I'm not impressed at all."

Harrington said Wednesday that the town attorney is preparing a resolution concerning transfer of the franchise to a new owner. He said the resolution will contain elements relating to the location of a customer service calling center in Pagosa Springs and to the "performance measures concerning the service the company will provide its customers."

Second franchise

A request Tuesday that the town grant a franchise to local resident Kathy Young to operate a trash collection service within town boundaries met with a more hospitable response from the trustees.

Trustees granted a five-year franchise to Young for her company "At Your Disposal" giving the company the right to provide refuse collection service to residential customers and, eventually, to commercial customers.

The franchise involves what Harrington called "incremental compensation" to the town for the right to provide the service.

"It (the franchise agreement) is almost identical to the one the town granted to Waste Management for the service that company now provides," said Harrington.

Young will begin with residential service, using 90-gallon polycarts. She will also provide recycling service to her customers, with the items to be recycled determined by a proposed Archuleta County recycling program. Young said she will provide special stickers to be affixed to sacks holding recyclable items and her company will drop those sacks off at the county-operated recycling unit at the transfer station.

Once Young's customer base reaches 500 customers, the company will be required to open a local office. Young said she hopes to begin commercial service by June 2000.

The franchise agreement for At Your Disposal includes requirements relating to hours of service, a timetable for service to customers, collection equipment and its condition, personnel, office and complaint procedures, permits and licenses, disposal of refuse, insurance and rates charged to customers.

"This business should be a slam dunk," Aragon told Young. "Especially because of the insufficient services now being provided by the existing franchise holder. They are a joke as far as I'm concerned; they are not taking care of business."

The franchise granted to Young and At Your Disposal takes effect 30 days after its passage at the Nov. 2 meeting. It can be renewed automatically unless notice of non-renewal is provided by either party at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the five-year franchise period.

La Plata resident infected with plague

A La Plata County woman has been diagnosed with bubonic plague, making her the third reported case in Colorado in 1999. It is the second case to be identified in La Plata County in the past three months.

According to a facsimile message San Juan Basin Health officials transmitted late Wednesday evening, it is the seventh plague case that has been confirmed in the U.S. this year. The remaining four cases occurred in New Mexico.

Pat Shepherd, San Juan Basin Health Department's environmental health director, issued a plague warning the third week of September after plague was confirmed in domestic cats in the Florida Mesa area near Durango. Also, fleas collected from prairie dog burrows on Florida Mesa tested positive for plague at that time.

Shepherd's latest news release said, "The woman recognized the plague symptoms when she read a newspaper article about the illness."

The health department has been monitoring the rural ar¡eas of La Plata and Archuleta counties for prairie dog die-offs, which is a plague indicator. Shepherd said squirrels and chipmunks in other parts of the region may also be involved.

San Juan Basin Health officials said plague is a bacterial disease transmitted to humans through fleas and direct contact with infected animals. Domestic cats and dogs can contract plague by catching and eating infected rodents and rabbits, or by being bitten by infected fleas. Pets may carry infected fleas home to their owners or serve as a direct source of infection.

In humans, typical early plague symptoms include sudden onset of a high fever with chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and a general feeling of systemic illness, according to Shepherd. The disease may progress to the development of painful, swollen lymph glands in the groin or underarms.

Individuals with these symptoms should contact their physician immediately. While antibiotics are effective against plague, if an infected person is not treated promptly the disease may cause severe illness or death.

Cats infected with plague often exhibit swellings and sores around their mouth, head and neck. They may also be lethargic and develop a high fever. Owners are warned to wear gloves and face protection over their mouth and nose when handling suspiciously-ill pets. The owners should seek professional veterinary care for their pets immediately.

Shepherd recommends that owners use flea powders or shampoos on their cats and dogs if the pets live in or visit rodent-infested areas. He said humans should avoid any contact with sick and dead rodents and rabbits.

Shepherd is asking area residents to report any evidence of animal die-offs to the San Juan Basin Health Department in Durango at 247-5702, ext. 218.

 

 Inside The Sun

Pagosa hosts reclamation 'scoping' meeting

Bureau of Reclamation officials will host a scoping meeting in Pagosa Springs on Nov. 10, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pagosa Inn on U.S. 160. A similar meeting will be held in Durango today from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Doubletree Hotel on Camino Del Rio.

The public meetings will address the scope of the issues to be assessed in a draft environmental impact statement the BLM's plans to prepare on the operations of the Navajo Dam and Reservoir located in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

The draft EIS will describe the effects of operating the dam and reservoir to implement flow recommendations provided by the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program. The purpose of this proposed action is to mimic the natural hydrography of the San Juan River. This would help create and maintain habitat and a healthy biological community in order to conserve populations of the endangered razorback sucker and the Colorado's pike minnow while maintaining the other authorized purposes of the Navajo Dam and Reservoir.

The Nov. 10 meeting in Pagosa Springs will begin with a short overview of the proposal. Following the presentation of the overview, BLM officials will ask those in attendance to identify relevant concerns regarding the proposed action, and to provide comments on whether they think the overall range of alternatives is appropriate. Persons wishing to speak will be given five minutes to make their official comments.

A sign-up list for those desiring to speak will be taken the night of the meeting and will be on a "first come, first served" basis. Besides offering verbal comments, persons planning to speak are encouraged to provide written versions of their oral comments, and any other additional written materials they may wish to present for the record.

For persons unable to attend the Nov. 10 meeting, written comments may be sent directly to the Bureau of Reclamation, 2764 Compass Drive, Suite 106, Grand Junction, CO 81501; Fax: (970) 248-0601; or e-mail: girt@up.user.gov. Comments should be received by Friday, Dec. 10, 1999, to be most effectively considered.

Persons who have questions about the draft environmental impact statement the BLM plans to prepare on the operations of the Navajo Dam and Reservoir or who need more information about the Nov. 10 meeting should contact Ken Beck at 385-6558 or Jane Wright at (970) 248-0636. Information is also available at a BLM web site address at www.up.user.gov.

Pagosa students plan November trip to Jamaica

By Roy Starling

In a little over two weeks, three Pagosa Springs High School students and their two chaperones will head for the St. Anne Parish of Jamaica, armed with supplies and a desire to share cultural experiences with the islanders.

Freshmen Dale Hott and Clay Pruitt and junior Chelsea Sanchez, accompanied by group leader Kathleen Potter and chaperone Heather Kiley, are busy preparing for the trip.

The Jamaica adventure is sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center. Money for the trip has been raised by the three students' working and fund-raising efforts. Potter said the group has received generous help from Burns National Bank, Norwest Bank, Wildflour Bakery, Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, La Plata Electric Association, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, City Market and Venus Imports.

Potter, the coordinator of the Education Center's After School Elementary Tutoring program, said the group will visit the villages of Eightmile and Ninemile in St. Anne Parish. Potter used to teach at Ninemile, the birthplace of reggae artist Bob Marley.

"We plan to deliver school supplies for the preschool and elementary school," Potter said. "These schools have no electricity and no running water. It's just a very poor, under-funded mountain community."

Between now and their Nov. 21 departure date, Potter is hoping members of the Pagosa community will donate such items as "pencils, rulers, notebooks and crayons." She said anyone interested in helping out should call the Education Center at 264-2835 and "leave a message for Kathleen."

In addition to delivering these badly needed supplies, the Pagosa group has other plans for their stay in Jamaica. "We'll volunteer a day at the preschool and do a story hour," Potter said, "and we'll paint a mural with Jamaican teenagers. Our kids are also going to spend a day at a Jamaican high school."

Hott, Pruitt and Sanchez are making a video of various activities at Pagosa Springs High School which they will show to Jamaican students to "give them an idea of what schools are like here," Potter said. "They'll also make a tape at the Jamaican high school and bring it back to Pagosa."

Archuleta County cattle sales mooving on to Internet

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County cows are moooo'ving up. Nowadays you can see them on the World Wide Web, put in a bid to buy one if you're of a mind to.

"CattleSale.com" is the millennium's answer to roundups and traveling cattle buyers, and several local cattleman have taken advantage of modern technology to market their cows.

The process is simple. In Archuleta County, when a cattleman gets ready to sell his cows, he bunches them up all close to home. Then he calls Jim Bramwell, the local field agent for CattleSale.com.

Bramwell grabs his digital camera, climbs into the saddle of his pickup, and gallops over to the seller's ranch. There he takes pictures of the herd, writes down everything a prospective buyer might want to know, finds out how much money the rancher expects to get, and moseys back to his own ranch.

His next step is to forward everything he has learned, including digital photographs of the herd, to the main office in Boise, Idaho. The folks in Boise put all of the information, including the photographs, on the Internet.

Scanning the Internet are all kinds of people who want to buy cattle including the four largest cattle feeders: Montford ConAgra, Cactus Feeders, National Farm and Continental Grain.

When buyers see something they like, they contact the Boise address, either by computer or by telephone and make an offer. If they offer the asking price, a deal is made. If they want to haggle, that can happen too. Once agreement is reached on the price, Bramwell returns to the seller and gives him a check for the full price of the herd. About the same time, arrangements are made to ship the cattle. Ultimately, CattleSale.com gets a check from the buyer and distributes the commissions and proceeds according to a prearranged agreement.

"The beauty of this method is, the seller is exposed to more buyers than he could reach in any other way," Bramwell said. "During the sales process the cows are still on his place, so he isn't under pressure to accept just any offer. He can wait around until he gets the price he wants, or if he gets tired of waiting he can come down on the price."

Californians collide in 2-car crash

By Karl Isberg

A two-car accident on Oct. 30 near the west side of Wolf Creek Pass involved two vehicles from California and resulted in injuries to five people.

The accident occurred at 5 p.m. at the junction of U.S. 160 and the roadway to the Bootjack Ranch, approximately 11 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs.

According to a report filed by Colorado State Patrol Trooper Chris Balenti, a 1997 Ford pickup truck driven by Jeffrey Ivison of Santa Cruz, Calif., was leaving the Bootjack Ranch driveway and entering the westbound lane of U.S. 160.

A 1987 GMC driven by Daniel Perez, of Sun Valley, Calif., was westbound on U.S. 160 and struck Ivison's truck on the left side with its left front end. The Perez vehicle spun and rolled over, coming to rest in the barrow pit on the west side of the Bootjack driveway. The Ivison truck spun a quarter turn and came to rest in the middle of the highway.

Both drivers sustained minor injuries in the crash. Three passengers in the Perez vehicle sustained more serious injuries.

Two ambulances and a rescue truck from Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene as did a unit from the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

EMS crews transferred Ibis Banegas, 20, of Van Nuys, Calif., from the scene to a medivac helicopter and the victim was flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center at Farmington, N.M., suffering from a head injury. A San Juan Regional spokesperson said Wednesday that Banegas was in serious condition.

Tommy Martell, 18, of Van Nuys, Calif., was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center at Durango. Martell was treated at the hospital for an open facial laceration and an open skull fracture, stabilized and transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center. Martell was reported in fair condition on Wednesday.

Miguel Enriquez, 27, also of Van Nuys, was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he was treated for a fractured jaw and released.

Balenti cited Ivison for failure to yield the right of way when entering the highway. The trooper cited Perez for driving without a valid driver's license.

Crabtree named to planning committee

By John M. Motter

A committee representing the community is being formed to help local elected officials choose a firm to develop a community plan.

County Commissioner Gene Crabtree was appointed at the regular commissioner meeting Tuesday to serve on the committee as a representative of the county commissioners. Crabtree joins County Planning and Development Director Mike Mollica, Town Manager Jay Harrington, and Tim Horning on the committee.

The community plan is an outgrowth of the previously proposed corridor study. While the corridor study would have been limited to considering issues and properties adjacent to the U.S. 160 corridor through Archuleta County, a wider scope is anticipated for the community plan, funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

"We hope to use this as a mechanism for developing a county-wide vision plan," Mollica said.

In other business at the regular commissioner meeting Tuesday, County Attorney Larry Holthus reported the Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to review the Colorado Court of Appeals decision on a lawsuit the County Road Users Association (Earle Beasley and F.T. Havens) filed in 1995 concerning the county sales tax. The town joined with the county in the lawsuit. The Court of Appeals had found in favor of the County Road Builders. Implementation of the finding would have required the county to conduct a sales tax election, which, if approved by voters, would result in reallocation of sales taxes between the town and the county. The Supreme Court decision keeps the entire issue open.

New contractor gets Eightmile job

By John M. Motter

A new contractor has taken over responsibility for converting Eightmile Mesa Road into a suitable roadway for ordinary vehicles.

Weeminuche Construction, the Towaoc, Colo., firm currently rebuilding the road system at Fairfield Pagosa was awarded an open-ended contract to complete Eightmile Mesa Road at the regular county commissioner meeting Tuesday.

Weeminuche's bid allows them to bill the county at an hourly rate, but estimates the total cost of the job at $65,000. A second bid, this one from A & M Construction and Excavating Inc. of Pagosa Springs asked for $164,500. The second bid was rejected in favor of the Weeminuche bid.

County Manager Dennis Hunt estimates the cost of completing the project at $75,000. Hunt estimates the project can be completed in 10 calendar days.

Rebuilding Eightmile Mesa Road is the result of years of negotiating among residents along the road, the county, and Loma Linda developer Fred Schmidt.

Most recently an agreement was reached between the county and Schmidt representing Loma Linda Ltd. In accordance with that agreement, Schmidt placed $92,500 in escrow for the project, shared with the county the cost of a performance bond of the same amount, and hired contractor U-Can-Afford Landscaping Inc. to do the work. Schmidt's contract with U-Can-Afford was assigned to the county. The contract with U-Can-Afford called for payment at the completion of each of three phases of the rebuilding.

Shortly after work began, the county refused to pay Don Ford, owner of U-Can-Afford. The county claimed the contractor's work did not meet county specifications. Soon afterwards, the county ordered U-Can-Afford to leave the job. The county's position was that the work was not approved by an engineering firm hired by the county to inspect the work quality to ensure it met county road building standards.

The bid awarded this week to Weeminuche is the next step in the attempt to get the road rebuilt.

Meanwhile, Ford has notified the county that he believes the commissioners have committed breach of contract and owe him the $92,500 contract amount.

"We're negotiating with Ford's lawyers," said County Attorney Larry Holthus. "It is probable that some beneficial work was done by U-Can-Afford, work for which payment should be made."

So far, none of the escrowed $92,500 has been spent.

Holthus is also working with the court to release the money Schmidt placed in escrow. The county hopes to pay Weeminuche from the escrow account. While waiting for that to happen, the commissioners have agreed to pay Weeminuche from county funds.

 

Letters

Three choices

Dear David,

Evidently, there are some PLPOA property owners who are not happy with the covenants. Some only want the covenants enforced that they like. However, the enforcement of covenants is not a discretionary decision. The covenants are legally binding and they "run with the land."

For many years, some covenants were ignored and not enforced and others were applied to everyone except special groups. It was obvious to the majority of PLPOA property owners that they wanted a change. And in 1998, they voted overwhelmingly for change.

We need to be constantly reminded that the purpose of the various covenants (Declarations of Restrictions) and ECC rules is to maintain property values. Property values are determined by many factors including views, locations, and quality and size of nearby homes. That is the prime purpose of the covenants and we need to enforce them to achieve these goals.

I strongly encourage association property owners to read the covenants (Declaration of Restrictions) that apply to one's own subdivision. Since all of us bought the covenants that were applicable to the subdivision in which we reside when we purchased our property within the PLPOA, then it behooves us to become familiar with those Declarations of Restrictions.

The PLPOA board cannot ignore the covenants. They were originally drawn up, along with an outline of enforcement, by the developer. They are legally recorded documents. This board should not elect to choose which covenants they like and will enforce.

As one who helped change the covenants in our subdivision for the purpose of maintaining and improving our property values, I know it is possible to affect a change. It took us eight months and over $1,400 but we worked together and got it done.

If you think a change is needed, then work within the system. The board or ECC cannot change the Declarations of Restrictions, only the vote of a majority of PLPOA property owners can do so. Until then, we must live by the rules we have in place.

The alternative to our various covenants, and they are not uniform throughout all subdivisions, is no rules with the resulting lowering of property values.

But, until the property owners are ready to work to change the rules, following these covenants is no different from following the laws of the county, and the building codes, and the laws of Colorado or the United States.

We have three choices: One, live and work within the association and its procedures to improve and enhance our life here. Two, be unhappy with what we have and work toward eliminating covenants with a result of lower property values. Three, continue to be unhappy but unwilling to work toward any change. In that choice, moving is the answer.

Sincerely,

George R. Esterly

Come on down

Dear Editor,

I would like to say "thank you" to John Feazel for his enlightening letter in last week's SUN. Now I finally know where he is coming from - Neanderthalville.

I particularly liked his statement "If I don't need it, then nobody else does, period." Shall we bring back the cave and the club?

I realize no human on earth could ever change the way he thinks but I'd like to suggest that he become better educated (that's what libraries aim to do, by the way) before he harangues the general public on an issue he clearly knows nothing about. Our ballot issue for the Sisson Library was not about raising taxes, if he had taken the time to read the proposal.

As chairperson of the board for the Sisson Library, I invite him to visit more often and see our overcrowded children's area, our book collection averaging a dated 1984 age and our carpet, which we are making do with by covering the worn spots with runners. And, as for being politicians, well anyone that knows me knows "what you see is what you get" - no hidden agenda here, only 19 years of no pay public service - can he say as much?

I think he also needs to do some research in theology and the earth sciences, all of which are available for no charge at his library.

So, as the game show host says, "come on down." John, I promise lots of smiles and lots of learning - for free.

Sincerely,

Kay Grams

P.S. Our world is what we make it.

 Women's suffrage

Dear David,

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (who brought "The Civil War" and "Baseball" to our living rooms) has produced an exciting new documentary entitled "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony," and woman's suffrage. The film will air on PBS on Sunday, Nov. 7, and Monday, Nov. 8, both starting at 8 p.m. EST. Stanton and Anthony, along with many others (both men and women) fought to repeal laws that allowed slavery and barred all women from public speaking professions, property ownership and child custody, if married in some states, and of course, the vote.

Few American women realize that it required almost 75 years for the suffragists to achieve the vote that we all take for granted today. From 1848, when a resolution calling for woman suffrage was adopted at the Seneca Fall Convention, to 1920, when the 19th amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified (a decade after the deaths of Stanton and Anthony, and 144 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed), several generations of suffragists had labored tirelessly for the right of women to vote in the United States.

In honor of these women and men, The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County has placed a copy of "One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement," edited by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler, in the Ruby Sisson Library. The League encourages all citizens to watch this important program and read the book; because, not only have men and women fought in the past to attain the right to vote, but they continue the fight to preserve our political freedoms that we so highly value today - it is important that we know their deeds and remember their sacrifices.

Sincerely,

Windsor Chacey

Bus system

Dear Editor,

This is a letter of thanks to all of those people responsible for implementing The Mountain Express Bus system of Pagosa Springs.

I work as a dishwasher at The Pie Shoppe in Fairfield and would not be able to keep my job without dependable transportation.

The white Mountain Express shuttle shows up at Turkey Springs Trading Post every weekday at 8:30 a.m. and takes me safely to Fairfield.

After work I catch the bus at City Market which takes me back to Turkey Springs.

The bus drivers are courteous and the ride is comfortable. Most important - they are dependable.

If you want a fun outing for your children, get a bus schedule and go for a ride on the Mountain Express. The scenery is beautiful and the other passengers are fun to meet and to chat with.

Sincerely,

Stacy Denton

Support the youth

Dear Editor,

This Friday I will travel to Aspen to participate in the Miss Teen Colorado USA 2000 pageant, which will be held on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the great people and the many businesses in this community for their support and sponsorship in helping to make this trip happen for me.

To all my family and friends for their help in baking all the goodies for the bake sales and just being there, thanks for all you have done each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ortega

E-mail

Transfer fee

Dear Editor,

At the end of July, the PLPOA directors signed a contract with Colorado Management and Associates (CMA) to provide bookkeeping services and a general manager for the PLPOA at a cost of $12,000 per month. CMA was the only company the directors entertained; no competitive bids were sought (against the board's own policy). During July, many property owners were concerned about the costs associated with contracting with an out-of-town management firm and what additional costs might be hidden in the contract. The property owners were assured that the contract had been thoroughly reviewed and that the costs to the property owners would actually be the same or less than what it had been the previous year and that there would be no reduction in the services provided. A recent PLPOA newsletter also stated how pleased the board was with CMA and how using CMA was a cost savings over the previous staff.

On Oct. 1, CMA started assessing a $75-per-lot transfer fee to each piece of property that is sold within the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions. The Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors estimates that approximately 500 pieces of property change hands in Pagosa Lakes each year. This includes houses and vacant lots. This works out to be an additional $37,500 charge by CMA, in addition to the $144,000 per year that they are being paid by the PLPOA. The $37,500 goes directly to CMA and ends up in Denver. This service was provided at no charge by the PLPOA staff in the past. But now the directors have succumbed to supporting these extortion practices of CMA.

At the board meeting on Oct. 14, a PSAAR representative was allowed to voice the concerns of the Realtors toward this new and excessive charge. Director Pat Curtis, board president, would not allow any other comments on the subject from property owners. The large group of property owners were "stonewalled" by Director Curtis in a dictatorial fashion.

Director Curtis started out by commenting that the transfer fee was a "non-negotiable" part of the contract with CMA. Unfortunately the majority of the directors rushed to sign the contract without arguing this point and the cost is now being placed on the property owners. When asked about the transfer fee, one director told me that he didn't think that the contract with CMA allowed CMA to charge such a fee. Obviously he did not read the contract completely before signing it. It appears that many of the directors have forgotten that they were elected (or appointed in the case of most of the directors) to represent the property owners for the betterment of the association, not for the financial gain of CMA.

The directors have made a huge mistake by contracting with CMA. It is time to break the contract and to remind the directors that their job is to make decisions for the PLPOA that are in the best interest of the property owners.

Craig Givens

Start waking up

Dear Editor,

Well, it's about time some more people who think they own property start waking up. Just maybe they are starting to see the PLPOA for what it really is: a power-hungry, money-spending, mind-controlling, can't-mind-your-own-business organization.

Elaine Hyde's letter hits it right on the nail head. Her first question about the population being pleased could be answered by a group of retired property owners getting together, acquiring a list of all property owners and composing a letter outlining all of the outrageous incidents against other property owners, needless lawsuits, increased monies and needless expenditures over the years and sending it to everyone on the list asking for a signature on a petition to abolish the PLPOA and put in a set of covenants and leave it at that.

Elaine has the idea so she should be the one to head it up and I would even help in what ever way I could to make this abolishment a reality. One does not have to live in the PLPOA boundaries to help. After all if the cancer starts in one area, it can spread to another and another till it takes over the whole body. Marilyn Scarpa would be another to help. After all, people, you should put your actions where your mouth is.

Let's get it done and then we could live as our founding fathers wanted us to live - free.

Randall Mettscher

Philosophy of life

Dear Editor,

Kate Terry has a line in her Local Chatter of Philosophy of Life that seems applicable to the PLPOA . . . "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

M.R. Tippit

Compliment

Dear David,

I enjoyed reading the Oct. 21 issue of the SUN, but I have a question about your relationship with Sally Hameister. Do you compliment, or complement, each other's work?

Keep smiling, and Hook 'em Horns.

Gene Wissler

Austin, Texas

Editor's note: I compliment Sally for her work; the SUN does not try to complement her work.

 

Obituaries

Edgar L. Schmid

Edgar L. Schmid passed away at Mesa View Residence in Grand Junction on Oct. 26, 1999. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Schmid was born in President, Penn., on Oct. 27, 1917.

He spent his childhood in Oil City, Penn., and Detroit, Mich., attending John J. Pershing High School in Detroit.

Mr. Schmid proudly served his country in World War ll as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. After his discharge he attended the University of Detroit where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. He spent his working years as a certified public accountant, retiring in 1980 at which time he and Evelyn moved from Addison, Ill., to Pagosa Springs. He resided in Pagosa Springs until June 1997, when he relocated to Grand Junction.

Mr. Schmid was a proud member of American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs and of VFW Federal Heights Post 10736 in Denver.

He was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn J. Barrent Schmid. He is survived by a daughter, Judith Lee Lewis of Broadview, Ill.; a son, Richard Alan Schmid of Burlington, Ill.; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grand Valley Hospice, Box 60307, Grand Junction, CO 81506.

Gay B. Whitefield

Gay B. Whitefield, 88, passed away Oct. 11, 1999, in Socorro, N.M.

Mrs. Whitefield was born May 28, 1911, in Comanche, Texas, to Lewis and Laura Creamer.

Mrs. Whitefield moved to Socorro 15 years ago from Pagosa Springs where she owned the Gamble's hardware store. She was the only surviving charter member of the First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James F. Whitefield.

She is survived by her son, Larry Whitefield and his wife, Peggy; her grandsons, Wade, Adam and J.D. Whitefield; granddaughter Kristy Sanchez and her husband, Jessie; and great-grandson Jalen Sanchez, all of Socorro.

Funeral services were held Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Socorro Baptist Temple, with Pastor Max Perkins officiating. Burial was in the Socorro Cemetery. Pallbearers were Wade Whitefield, Adam Whitefield, J.D. Whitefield, Jessie Sanchez, Mel Towner and John Chavez.

People

Brandon Carter

Brandon Carter, a sophomore at Colorado State University from Pagosa Springs, has been awarded the Delano F. Scott Scholarship in Agriculture in the amount of $1,950 from the College of Agricultural Sciences. Carter, a landscape horticulture major, is a 1997 graduate of Eaton High School in Eaton.

The scholarship is awarded to deserving sophomores, juniors and seniors with any major within the college.

The son of Kathy and Terry Carter of Pagosa Springs, Brandon also was named on the Dean's List. To be eligible for the Dean's List for the College of Agricultural Sciences, a student must maintain a 3.85 grade point average and carry no less than 12 credit hours.

Realtors contribute to scholarships

For the past seven years, local Pagosa Springs Realtors have contributed generously to the Archuleta Scholarships in Escrow Program.

This program was set up for Pagosa Springs High School graduates. Throughout high school, students are paid (in escrow) for making A's and B's on their semester grades. When they graduate, that money is available to them to use at an institution of higher learning (including vocational schools). This scholarship program is innovative in that all graduates are benefited based on their personal performance. Since its inception students have earned $256,620 in scholarship money.

In 1998 Colorado Land Title and High Country Title agreed to match the Realtors' donation. This proved to be a huge boost to the program. This year Great Divide Title Company has also made the same commitment. It is expected that 1999 will end with a record year of support for the program.

Through a scholarship committee, headed by David Cammack, local real estate salesmen are asked to contribute a dollar amount from every closing completed during the year. Because of the committee's persistence and hard work, over 90 percent of the members of the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors participate in the pledge program.

"By making a team effort the dollars really add up and can make a difference. It means a lot to us to be able to contribute," Cammack said.

The total contributions by the Realtors to date for 1999 are $69,520. Cammack expects that this number will be significantly higher by the end of the year.

Any real estate salesmen who are new in the area and who would like to become a part of this program, are encouraged to contact Cammack, Lee Riley or Jann Pitcher.

Cammack also is encouraging area residents or potential newcomer who are working with local Realtors in a real estate transaction, to ask them if they participate in supporting the Scholarship in Escrow program. Should they give an affirmative response, he asks that you applaud their participation.

 

Sports Page

Ladies' X-C runners just miss at state

By Karl Isberg

So close.

The most successful season in the 16-year history of the Lady Pirates' cross country program came to an end on Oct. 30 when the Ladies finished in second place at the Colorado Class 3A championship meet in Denver.

Pagosa scored 104 points to finish behind champion Clear Creek, with 96 points. The third-place team, Denver Christian, scored 105 points.

There were 139 runners at the final meet of the season, competing on the 3.1 mile course at the Kent Denver campus. The competition was sturdy.

"The biggest difference between this meet and the others during the year," said Lady Pirates coach Glen Cope, "is how fast everybody in the race runs. You have the top 40 percent of the runners and they can all move."

Clear Creek and Denver Christian were no strangers to the Lady Pirates. The three teams ran against each other at the Lake County Invitational at Leadville on Sept. 11. At that meet, Pagosa finished ahead of the two Metro League squads. At Kent Denver, it was Clear Creek's turn to take the day.

Not without a fight from Pagosa.

Sarah Huckins and Aubrey Volger stayed together the entire race and the two Lady Pirates crossed the finish line with identical times - 20 minutes, 45 seconds. Huckins was tabbed for 12th place overall and Volger finished in 13th position.

A third of the way through the race, Cope was not sure where the two Ladies would finish.

"Sarah and Aubrey passed me at the mile mark," said Cope, "and it seemed to me they were somewhere back in the 30s. I wasn't sure how they would do, but they really dug in and pulled up. Sarah and Aubrey were talking and said 'we gotta go.' They picked up the pace and really got after it in the second mile of the race. They had a great race; they ran with each other and they finished with the same time."

Amber Mesker posted a time of 21:04 to finish in 24th place.

Mesker missed much of the regular season with an injury and began to get back into condition in time for post-season races. Despite the fact Mesker suffered cramping in her calves at two previous meets, she took off fast at Kent Denver.

"Amber was ahead of Sarah and Aubrey one mile into the race," said Cope. "Amber did a very good job for us. She wasn't able to train for most of the season, and she came back to make a valuable contribution to the team."

Chelsea Volger finished 55th, with a time of 22:06, completing the Lady Pirates scoring roster.

"Chelsea picked up some ground from where she was early in the race," said Cope. "At two miles, I hollered at her to pick up some kids and she did it."

Though only four runners contribute to the team score at the state meet, a fifth Lady Pirate ran in the race. Makina Gill, who was hampered by injury during the last part of the season, completed the Kent Denver course in 23:41, in 114th place.

Cope said his runners were disappointed they did not capture the 3A crown. "I told them they had nothing to be ashamed of," said the coach, "that they can be proud of what they accomplished. Second at state is never too shabby. You come home with some hardware. They tried and gave it every effort they had. It just didn't happen. I'm happy when the worst you can say is you finished in second place."

Cope again lauded his team for the season that ended with the state meet. "This is the best team I've had since we started the program," he said. "They won 5 of 10 meets this year. They ran in New Mexico and ran well against some extremely good teams. I think they had what would be a pretty good season for any cross country team. They set their goals and kept them in mind even when they were injured. They were always trying to do better and they never let up. They were disappointed this week, but they need to be proud."

Cope reflected on the fact that the team loses two top runners - Huckins and Chelsea Volger - but returns Mesker, Aubrey Volger and Gill, as well as Annah Rolig, Tiffany Thompson and Joetta Martinez. With the addition of at least one good freshman runner next year, the season ahead looks promising.

As it does for Travis Laverty, the sole member of the Pirates' team who qualified to run the Kent Denver course. Laverty finished the boys' race at Denver in 18:26, taking 60th in the individual standings.

Laverty, a junior, will return for one more season of cross country competition.

"He's a kid who kept his head up all year," said Cope of Laverty. "He kept working at it. I think he'll do even a better job next season."

 

Ladies try for five in a row at regionals

By Karl Isberg

With four consecutive regional championships on the record books, the Lady Pirate volleyball team heads to Manitou Springs for the Nov. 6 regional tourney to face a slate of formidable opponents.

The trip to Manitou was occasioned by the Lady Pirates first-place finish at the District 1 tournament in Ignacio on Oct. 30.

As the regular season Intermountain League champs, the Ladies were guaranteed a trip to the regional tournament. District matches were played in order to seed teams for regional action, and for pride.

Victories over Ignacio, Centauri and Bayfield at the district tourney assured Pagosa the No. 1 seed and also cemented the fourth straight season in which Pagosa has not lost a match to an IML team.

Pagosa's first match of the tournament was against the host team, Ignacio. The Bobcats entered the tournament following a pigtail victory over Del Norte on Oct. 28 and had extra incentive to play well on their home court. The tournament marked the final home-court appearance of head coach Melanie Taylor, who announced her retirement after 13 years with the Bobcats.

Ignacio played at peak intensity in the first game of the match, falling behind the Lady Pirates 6-2, but making up ground with gift points off Pagosa errors and an ace serve to tie the score at 8-8

Mandy Forrest scored twice with stuff blocks for the Lady Pirates, but the Bobcats fought back to tie at 10-10. Two Ignacio hitting errors put Pagosa in front 12-10 and again Ignacio rallied to tie the score.

Nicole Buckley put an abrupt halt to the Ignacio express with a kill that returned serve to Pagosa. Katie Lancing scored with a tip and Tiffanie Hamilton put a kill cross-court. After several scoreless side outs, Lancing captured the serve with a deftly delivered free ball to the back corner of the court. Janae Esterbrook ended the 15-12 game with a kill inside the Ignacio block.

The Lady Pirates awoke from their collective slumber for the second game of the match, beating the Bobcats 15-6. Esterbrook started the scoring, Ignacio handed over points with errors and, with Forrest at the serve, the Ladies reeled off five more points to go ahead 9-0. The Ladies scored with two kills by Hamilton, an ace by Forrest, and a tandem stuff block by Buckley and Meigan Canty.

Canty put Pagosa in front 11-2 with a solo stuff; Forrest and Buckley blocked for a point and Forrest slammed an errant Ignacio pass down inside the 10-foot line to put Pagosa ahead 13-4.

Ignacio scored with an ace and got a freebie on a Lady Pirate mistake before giving up a point with a hitting error. Esterbrook proved the stopper once again, killing the ball to end the game.

Forrest had six kills against Ignacio. Hamilton had five kills and Esterbrook killed the ball four times. Forrest logged five stuff blocks during the match while Canty contributed two solo stuffs. Lancing had 14 setting assists during the match.

Centauri was next up for Pagosa, and the Ladies swept to a relatively easy 15-5, 15-3 win over the Falcons.

Pagosa got points on three ace serves by Hamilton on the way to a 7-3 lead in the first game. A tip by Forrest and a kill by Buckley extended the Pagosa lead to 9-5. Seven unanswered points gave the Ladies the win, including kills by Buckley, Canty and Hamilton, and two aces by Andrea Ash.

In the second game, by the time the Falcon players had a chance to draw a breath, Pagosa was ahead 4-0, propelled by three aces by Lancing and a stuff by Forrest. Hamilton scored with a kill, the Falcons surrendered two points with mistakes on offense and Pagosa was in front 7-1. A kill by Lancing, an ace by Hamilton and a left-handed kill by Esterbrook extended the lead to 11-2. Centauri scored a final point before Forrest led the way to the win with a tip, a kill of a set by Buckley, a shot to the back court and a tip in front of a Falcon tandem block.

Forrest had a great match on offense against Centauri, nailing 10 kills. Hamilton and Buckley each had four kills. Hamilton hit four aces; Lancing had three ace serves and Ash hit two aces against the Falcons. Forrest had three stuffs, Lancing put up 15 assists and Canty had six digs during the match.

Only Bayfield - the tourney's No. 2 team - remained on the schedule. The Wolverines had their backs against the wall, having been upset by Ignacio in a previous match. Bayfield had to beat Pagosa in order to advance to regionals.

It didn't happen.

For the third time in the 1999 season, a team that loudly and publicly declared itself "a better team" than the Ladies, failed to prove the point.

Bayfield put up a tremendous fight in the first game of the match, using the fuel of an enthusiastic crowd and (like Ignacio) a coach who announced she is leaving the program, to power a great effort.

At first, it appeared Pagosa would cruise to a win, as the Ladies went ahead 5-1 with Esterbrook at the serve. Bayfield stormed back, however, to lead 6-5 and 9-6.

After a series of seven scoreless side outs, the Lady Pirates generated points with a kill by Buckley, a hitting error forced by a perfectly-set block by Canty and an ace by Forrest.

Tied 9-9 the teams traded the serve 11 times without changing the numbers on the scoreboard. Finally, Bayfield broke the ice and went in front 12-9. A kill down the line by Esterbrook gave the Ladies a point, but the Wolverines went ahead 13-10 when a Pagosa attack went out of bounds.

Following a time out, the Ladies put the package together. Forrest dominated the net, getting two kills, and Lady Pirate blockers forced Wolverine hitters to hit high and out of bounds. Pagosa silenced the Bayfield crowd with the 15-13 win.

It was the style of the day for Pagosa: play and win a weak first game, then overwhelm the opponent in the second game. The style prevailed against Bayfield.

Esterbrook and Forrest gave Pagosa the early 2-0 lead. Bayfield tied the game 3-3 and that was as close as the Wolverines would get.

Forrest dinked down the line for a point and Hamilton tipped to a hole behind the Bayfield blocks. The Wolverines got sloppy, giving up points with poor plays and when Forrest took the serve, Pagosa was up 6-3. When Forrest lost serve, Pagosa was ahead 11-3, with earned points on a kill by Hamilton and a shot inside the block by Buckley.

Bayfield got three points on Lady Pirate hitting and passing errors, but Canty scored with a stuff to start the final run of the day. Bayfield surrendered a point with a mistake and Forrest got a point on a tip. Following several tremendous digs in the Pagosa back court, Forrest ended the game with a tip that caught the Wolverines flat-footed. With the 15-7 win, Pagosa was the district champ.

Forrest had one of her best matches of the season against Bayfield, with 14 kills. Hamilton, Esterbrook and Buckley each had five kills.

What Canty lacks in height, she compensates for with a tremendous vertical leap. She nailed three stuff blocks against Bayfield from the middle blocker position. Hamilton had two stuffs. Lancing produced 21 assists in a sterling setting performance. Forrest had 10 digs in the back court.

"We started slow against Ignacio," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "After the Ignacio match, we stayed in the locker room between matches, and were in the gym only when we played. It helped get rid of distractions. When we came out, we were ready to play."

Hamilton was pleased with the level of play at this year's district tournament. "It was a more competitive district this year," said the coach. "Everybody else beat each other and we got pushed a couple of times, even though, in a couple of cases, it was our fault. We dominated Ignacio and played a steady match against Centauri. Bayfield gave us a run. They were ready to go after they lost to Ignacio."

District play was so well balanced this year that Ignacio, Centauri and Bayfield had to meet in a special playoff on Monday at Ignacio for seeding purposes in the regional tournament. Centauri won the playoff and will advance to regional competition as the district's No. 2 team.

Regional tourney

It can be argued that the regional tournament at Manitou Springs on Saturday will be the toughest Class 3A get-together that day. The field in the round-robin tournament includes Pagosa, Manitou Springs, Middle Park and Olathe.

The host team, Manitou Springs, finished second in the 1998 Class 3A championship match, finished at the top of the Tri Peaks League regular season standings this season and won the Tri Peaks district tournament last week. The Mustangs finished the regular season as the top-ranked 3A team in Colorado and represent a program with an illustrious volleyball history. The team has advanced to the 3A state tournament 16 times.

The last two times Pagosa played the Mustangs, the Lady Pirates emerged victorious. Pagosa beat Manitou at the 1995 regional tournament and took a three-game match from the Mustangs at the 1998 state tournament.

Middle Park comes to the regional tournament with significant momentum. The Panthers finished near the middle of the Metro League regular season standings, but forged an impressive second-place finish at the district tournament, placing ahead of Kent Denver, and eliminating perennial powerhouse Faith Christian. Featuring one of the state's best hitters, the Panthers are a major threat on offense and statistics reveal an effective back court defense.

Pagosa last played Middle Park at the regional tournament in 1994, and won the match in two games.

Olathe has not been to the state tournament since 1992. The Pirates took the Western Slope League this year, but slumped to a third-place finish at the district tournament behind Hotchkiss and Aspen. Olathe and Pagosa have played each other only one time. Pagosa lost to Olathe in the first round of the 1991 state tournament in a year that Olathe went on to win the 3A crown.

"We were a bit nervous at the start of the district tournament," coach Hamilton said of the Lady Pirates. "We can't be nervous on Saturday. We have to come out of the chute ready to play. We need to raise our level of expectations. We have to be ready to play solid defense all the time, getting our blocks to the right spot every exchange. On offense, we need to set our big guns."

Hamilton has not received much information about the Lady Pirates' opponents at regionals. "I know Middle Park has a great hitter," she said. "We know Manitou will be tough. They run a 6-2 (a form of offense utilizing two setters, each of which can serve as a hitter while on the front row) and they have one very good setter. I know Olathe won their league, then took third at districts, Other than that, I don't know anything about them. As always, we need to be worried about what happens on our side of the net. We need to concentrate on playing our game."

Tourney schedule

The first match of the day at Manitou Springs features Pagosa and Middle Park. The match is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Manitou Springs High School gym.

Manitou and Olathe play at 10:15 a.m.

Pagosa returns to the court at 11:30 a.m. to face Olathe.

Manitou Springs and Middle Park play at 12:45 p.m.

Middle Park and Olathe meet at 2 p.m.

The tournament ends with Pagosa and Manitou squaring off at 3:15 p.m.

The two top teams advance to the Colorado Class 3A State Championship Tournament.

To reach the Manitou Springs High School gym, take Colo. 24 west from I-25 in Colorado Springs. Take the Manitou Springs business district exit off Colo. 24 and merge on to Manitou Avenue at the base of the exit ramp. Take Manitou Avenue to Oak Place. Make a left on Oak Place and drive up the steep hill to the high school. Parking is available on the south side of the school.

It's official: Pirates are '99 IML champions

By John M. Motter

A 50-0 romp over Del Norte Saturday gives the Pagosa Springs Pirates the Intermountain League Championship for 1999.

The win is the seventh in a row for coach Myron Stretton's gridders and lifts the Pirate record to 5-0 in the IML, 7-2 for the season.

Pagosa plays Cortez Saturday in a non-league encounter, then journeys to Fort Morgan a week later for the first round of Colorado Class 3A playoff action. Fort Morgan captured first place in the Tri-Valley Conference.

"All I can say is, it feels great to capture the title," said Stretton. "I feel good for the players because they all worked really hard to reach this point."

Saturday's win over Del Norte gave Stretton a chance to empty the Pirates' bench. The fireworks started when Pagosa tailback Clint Shaw broke several tackles during a 56-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes gone in the game. Darin Lister booted the extra point to give Pagosa a 7-0 lead.

Fullback Keith Candelaria punched over from 11 yards out for the Pirates' next score with five minutes left in the quarter. Lister converted again to boost the Pirate lead to 14-0.

Three minutes later, Lonnie Lucero scored from the 1-yard line, Lister's kick was again good, and Pagosa was on top 21-0. So far, the Pirate defense had not allowed Del Norte a first down.

Josh Trujillo swept the end for six yards and the Pirates' final tally of the quarter with 57 seconds left on the clock. Lister's kick missed and the score mounted to Pagosa Springs 27, Del Norte 0.

Del Norte finally earned a first down on the final play of the first period. The Tigers were unable to string first downs together and were forced to punt.

Pagosa Springs began a drive on the Del Norte 43-yard line that ended with a successful Lister field goal with Pagosa facing fourth down and goal from the 10-yard line. Lister's 27-yarder was his second successful field goal of the season. Pagosa's lead crept to 30-0 with almost seven minutes remaining in the first half.

Lucero scored the Pirates' final first-half TD with about two minutes left on the game clock. Following Lister's extra point kick, Pagosa was on top 37-0 with more than half of the game remaining. The first half ended with Pagosa Springs on top 37-0.

Pagosa kept up their scoring ways by crossing the goal line on the third play after receiving the second half kickoff. This time Lucero tallied on a 24-yard jaunt. Following Lister's kick, Pagosa's lead mounted to 44-0 with most of the third and all of the fourth period remaining.

The final Pagosa score of the game came on a 2-yard run up the middle by freshman Brandon Rosgen. Trujillo tried to kick the extra point and missed.

The Pagosa lead of 50-0 stood up as Stretton substituted liberally from the middle of the third period until the game ended.

Even so, Del Norte was unable to move the ball. A brick wall Pirate defense jammed all Tiger efforts on the ground. The Pirates repeatedly sacked Del Norte quarterback Scott Consaul, preventing Del Norte from mounting a successful aerial game.

One scare came midway during the third period when Lister and Lucero both left the field limping.

"I think they'll both be okay," Stretton said Tuesday. "I'm not taking any chances with them against Cortez Saturday. If there is any question, they won't play. We want to win, but I don't want anybody to get hurt. We want to be at full strength for the game against Fort Morgan."

Intermountain League

Pagosa Springs finishes on top of the Class 2A IML with a 5-0 record. Monte Vista is next with a 4-1 record, followed by Bayfield at 3-2, Centauri at 2-3, Ignacio at 1-4, and Del Norte at 0-5.

Three IML teams qualify for the first round of playoff action. They are Pagosa Springs, Monte Vista and Bayfield.

Because they are a 3A team, Pagosa Springs must play 3A schools during the playoffs. Their first opponent is unbeaten Fort Morgan, champion of the 3A Tri-Valley League and ranked first among 3A schools in the state.

Monte Vista and Bayfield, both 2A schools, encounter 2A schools in the playoffs. Monte Vista faces Pueblo West and Bayfield faces Carbondale.

Pagosa's last trip to the football playoffs was 1993 when the Pirates reached the state semi-finals before losing.

Cortez

Saturday's game against Cortez starts at 1:30 p.m. in Golden Peaks Stadium. Cortez is a Class 4A school that does not play in any Colorado league and is therefore not eligible for the playoffs. Most of the Montezuma County school's games are against New Mexico schools.

"They'll spread the field out and throw the ball a lot," Stretton said of the Panthers. "A lot of the time they'll have a single man back. The game should be a good one to help us prepare for Fort Morgan."

 

Football Pirates could drop to 2A next season

By John M. Motter

The Pagosa Springs varsity football team will probably drop one classification next year, from Class 3A to 2A.

For the past few years, based on enrollment, the Pirates have been rated a 3A school. Because no 3A schools are located within reasonable traveling distances of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa has competed in the 2A Intermountain League. The other schools in the IML are Bayfield, Centauri, Del Norte, Ignacio and Monte Vista, all rated 2A because of their enrollment figures.

Pagosa's post season playoff procedures have been complicated by the current arrangement. In order to qualify for the state playoffs, Pagosa has been required to finish an undisputed first or second in the IML. The Pirates are then matched with the winner of a 3A league. This year, during which they finished unbeaten in IML play, the Pirates are matched with Fort Morgan of the 3A Tri-Valley League. At the same time, Monte Vista and Bayfield, teams that finished second and third in the IML chase, also advance to the playoffs. They will compete against 2A schools.

Classification is based on Oct. 1 enrollment in the schools respectively. Once the enrollment is analyzed, schools are classified for two years. Classification for the years 2000-2002 will be made by the Colorado High School Activities Association in January of next year.

Pagosa Springs' Oct. 1, 1999, enrollment was 488 students for grades 9 through 12, according to athletic director Kahle Charles. The recommended enrollment range for the 2000-2002 period for 2A schools is 236-512 students. Consequently, the Pagosa school staff is asking to be reduced from a 3A to a 2A school for football competition.

The recommended league for the coming period will be the same IML Pagosa has been competing in for the past few years. The only changes will be that Pagosa will compete as a 2A instead of a 3A school, and Del Norte is dropping from the IML. The Tigers are asking to compete as a 1A school. The attendance range for 1A schools is 126-235 students. Teams in the IML will be Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Centauri, Ignacio, and Monte Vista.

Even though the IML will shrink to five members, the league will probably continue to send two teams to the state playoffs, Charles said.

A change in identification of the alternative school in Pagosa Springs accounts for the reduced enrollment, according to Charles. Last year, Pagosa Springs had an enrollment of 530 students, including the Pagosa Springs Alternative High School. This year, the alternative school is treated as a separate school within School District 50 Joint. Consequently, alternative school enrollment is not included in Pagosa Springs High School's enrollment. Despite the change, state money allotted the district based on enrollment will not change, according to Charles.

In all sports excepting football, Pagosa Springs will continue to compete as a 3A school.

For football purposes, the state classifications and their associated enrollment ranges are: 5A - 1,615 students up; 4A - 1,177 to 1,614 students; 3A - 513 to 1,176 students; 2A - 236 to 512 students; 1A - 126 to 235 students; 8-man - 76 to 125 students; 6-man - six to 75 students.

The final decision regarding classification and league alignments for the next two years will be made Jan. 20, 2000, by the CHSAA Board of Control.

No. 1 seed Colorado Academy eliminates Pirates

By Roy Starling

Colorado Academy's top-seeded Mustangs blanked the Pagosa Pirates 9-0 Saturday morning in the first round of the state playoffs in Lakewood.

The Pirates, seeded 16th in the 16-team field, found they could rein in the Mustangs for long stretches of time, only to have the horses break out of the corral and score in quick clusters.

Colorado Academy scored shortly after the game got underway, then both teams slammed the gates to their respective goals for the next 13 minutes. During that offensive lull, the Pirates managed three shots on the Mustang goal, all of them originating in corner kicks.

One of those, with 30 minutes and 35 seconds remaining in the first half, came awfully close when a chest shot by junior Dustin Cooper just missed.

During that same time frame, the Mustangs had one scoring threat end in an offsides call, one turned away by the Pirates' junior midfielder Daniel Crenshaw, one cleared away by the old reliable sweeper Peter Dach and two saved by goalie Aaron Renner.

But for the next five minutes, the Mustangs shortened the field to about 15 yards or so in front the Pirates goal.

At 18:53, they scored off a cross pass from the right side. At 16:41, another cross pass arrived in front of the net, but a cluster of Mustangs were stuffed by the Pirate defense. At 14:56, yet another cross pass found a Mustang striker roughly five feet from the net, and he kicked the ball past Renner for a 3-0 Colorado Academy lead.

The flurry finally ended at 13:38 when a Mustang striker took a cross shot from the left side that wound up in the right side of the net, and it was 4-0 for the hosts.

The Pirate defense regrouped and stiffened until the 4:04 mark in the first period. At that point, a Mustang executed a near perfect banana kick from the corner and a teammate upped the score with a "noggin" shot directly in front of the net.

Up 5-0, the Mustangs picked up in the second half where they left off in the first. Renner stalled them with three great saves in the first three minutes, but then Mustang senior striker Ben Wilkins demonstrated some slick ball-handling skills before drilling in a shot from 20 yards.

Three minutes later, the Mustangs were back in Renner's face, but this time he saved a hard point-blank shot from the Academy's mighty-mite striker Mike Hiraoka.

At 28:10, Hiraoka tried again, but Renner snagged his shot with one hand and pulled it in for another save.

The Pirate "D" withstood the thundering hooves of the untamed equines for another nine minutes before a Mustang scored around Renner on a breakaway with 19:33 remaining in the game. In the next seven minutes, CA would knock in two more to give the Mustangs a final 9-0 margin of victory.

Coach's comments

"I think we did the best we could with what we had," Pirates coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. "Peter (Dach) gave Hiraoka a game, playing really well against a kid who'll probably be an all-stater. Jordan (Kurt-Mason) played probably his best game of the season, and Aaron (Renner) had some saves when I thought the ball was already in the net."

About the Mustangs, coach Kurt-Mason was most impressed with their timing. "They've played together about three years as a team, and it shows," he said. "Almost all of their goals were on crosses. When they made a pass from one side of the field to the front of the goal, there was always someone there to take it. Their timing was excellent."

Getting the Pirates to the Mustangs' level, the coach said, wouldn't be easy. "Colorado Academy focuses almost entirely on boys' and girls' soccer and lacrosse. These kids play almost year around. Most of the CA kids will go straight from the state playoffs to tryouts for club teams."

A great boost for the Pagosa program, Kurt-Mason said, would be "a feeder program, a junior high team that would feed into the high school. And a junior varsity team would be wonderful. Basically, we need more numbers, and our guys need more early experience when they can pick up skills and tactics."

The Pirates will lose some invaluable experience this year when four-year players Dach, Seth Kurt-Mason, Renner and Jacques Sarnow graduate and ponder continuing their soccer careers elsewhere.

"It's hard to see these guys go," coach Kurt-Mason said. "Seth and Aaron have started since they were freshmen, and Peter and Jacques since they were sophomores. All of them got better every year. I don't think any of them have played their last soccer game; they're all considering playing at the college level."

The coach said if he had to pick out the one player who made the most progress over the four years, it would be Renner. "Aaron went from zero to 10 while he was here," he said. "He got to be a grown man on the field, becoming physical, commanding, taking his knocks."

With Renner's departure, freshman Matt Mesker is expected to be the next man in the net for the Pirates. "Matt's energy and enthusiasm is a bright spot for us," the coach said. "He's going to a goal-keeping camp this summer. He's going to be a good one."

 

Community News
Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Library displays Bazaar raffle items

The Civic Club's annual Christmas Bazaar is this Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Extension Building. The doors open at 8 a.m. The day ends at 6 p.m. with the raffle drawings.

The raffle is an important part of the Bazaar. People donate items for this. Many are homemade. Some items are practical and some beautiful but all are well-crafted.

The items in this year's raffle are on display at the Ruby Sisson Library. The wall cases as you enter the Library are full. A monogrammed vest made by Leslie Montroy hangs behind the main desk, and a stunning 18x24 inch stained glass piece made by Mary Miller, hangs in the window between Lenore Bright's office and the desk.

A raffle ticket is $1 or you can get 6 for $5. One does not have to be present to win. The way the raffle is handled is this: An item is selected and a ticket drawn. Another item is selected and a ticket is drawn and so on until all items are gone. Of course, the special, special items are drawn at the last. It is an exciting moment.

The Bazaar raffle has been going on for some years. It's the special project of Civic Club member Margaret Wilson who makes the tickets and really sells the most of them. She has a following. Many bright, library-minded people expect her to count them in every year to buy tickets.

A ticket is only $1 and what a lot a $1 can get. The big item the first year was a quilt made by Ethel Resnic. One year the big item was a piece of Ben Nighthorse Campbell's beautiful jewelry. (How many of you know that Senator Campbell was famous for his fine jewelry long before he got into politics?)

Another year the big item was a gorgeous squash blossom. For the first Bazaar after Sisson opened in 1989, Ella McNatt, with the help of others, made a quilt. the center block was a picture of Sisson Library; there was no question about the center block being Sisson Library for the likeness was perfect.

The quilt was won by a woman from out of state - a woman to whom Margaret had sold a ticket. She called Margaret and said "This quilt belongs in Pagosa Springs. It's yours." Last year Margaret had a brainstorm: that the quilt should go to Lenore Bright, the head Librarian who is responsible for the Ruby Sisson Library, its being and its wide recognition, even in the New York City Public Library.

So Lenore got the quilt and David Mitchell made a picture for the Pagosa Springs SUN.

The proper name of the Civic Club is the Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs. It was established in the late 1800's. For many years it was affiliated with the Federation of Women's Clubs. Article 2 of the bylaws reads: "The object of the organization shall be principally the support and maintenance of the public library and giving assistance to other civic projects." But all the money received from the sale of raffle tickets goes to the Library to purchase children's reference books for the Science Fair, special projects, and encyclopedias. A wonderful set of books about animals was one of the purchases.

Pagosa Springs has two women's clubs, the Woman's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Women's Club. The latter was started in the early 1980s as an off-shoot of the Newcomer's Club. Newcomer Club members have to drop out after four years (or is it three years?) and so they formed the Pagosa Springs Women's Club. Eldine Joslen (now deceased) was the founder and first president.

The Ruby M. Sisson Library was the name given to the present Library. Sisson was a former beloved math teacher. Actually the Upper San Juan Library District was formed at the time and the Sisson Library was a part of the District. So far it is the only existing part, but as the area grows, other libraries will be added.

The old Archuleta County Public Library was located in the City Hall. When the new one was built it was paid for with donations, grants, and money making events. Dan Fogelberg gave a concert to raise the needed money to match the grant that put the money situation over the top. There was no bond issue; neither the county nor the town contributed.

Some people in town said we didn't need a new library. Two years later I overheard one of these people talking about expanding the library. Isn't human nature wonderful?

Now that you know where those dollars go, you won't mind buying raffle tickets I'm sure. You are helping to purchase badly needed reference books for our kids, and you just might win something doing it.

The library's hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and you can get tickets there. And Margaret and members of the Civic Club will be selling tickets on the street and at the Bazaar.

The booths at the Christmas Bazaar are full of goodies and there is food available.

Fun on the run

The money from this tobacco settlement should be used to fight illiteracy since people can't seem to read the Surgeon General's warning.

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

New members, renewals and 'oops'

Three new members to introduce this week and 21 renewals. We couldn't be more pleased with the terrific response we've had to our renewal reminders, and we're constantly amazed with the number of new members that continue to walk through our doors. It's a very exciting time to be involved in the growth of commerce in Pagosa Springs, fur shure. We love it, and we sure do appreciate each and every one of you.

New member number one this week is Shelby Delaney with Colorado Mountain Log Homes doing business out of his home here in Pagosa. Shelby offers log home buyers the best product (non-shrinking kiln dried Northern White Pine) along with a well-established, reputable supplier, Kuhns Brothers Log Homes, Inc. Shelby also offers his services as a competent, honest sales representative and welcomes you to give him a call at 731-0330 to learn more about Colorado Mountain Log Homes, Inc.

Shelby also joins us with a second endeavor, that of a Real Estate Associate with the Pagosa Real Estate Store located at 354 Talisman Drive, Suite 6-B. This busy man will act as your own knowledgeable, assertive Real Estate professional who will represent you and your best interest on the sale or purchase of a home or land upon which you choose to build your dream home. You can give Shelby a call at 731-0330 at the Pagosa Real Estate Store to learn more about both of his businesses.

I recently spoke at a Kiwanis Club meeting and had the pleasure of meeting our next new members, Tom and Lynn Shick, new owners of JTL Appraisals. While we were chatting, I, naturally, suggested that as a new business in the area, they needed to join the Chamber. Lynn bowled me over with the instant presentation of their completed membership form - they were 'way ahead of me. These nice folks offer Real Estate appraising services to include residential, land and commercial real estate. They bring 19 years experience to JTL Appraisals and will be happy to chat with you at 731-1155.

Renewals

A mental drum roll and round of applause should accompany the following folks who have renewed their Chamber membership this week: Joan Cole with Massage at the Springs; Pat Kahn with Victoria's Reign; John Zwisler with Xerographics Plus, Inc.; Rhonda Ward with Wolf Creek Outfitters, LLC; Kari Montagriff and Greg Ruttum with Pagosa Springs Office Supply; Ken Brookshier with Brookshier Plumbing and Heating, LLC; Shirley Brinkmann with Edelweiss Needlework Chalet; Phyl Daleske, president, Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Mary Deganhart-Weiss, Attorney-at-Law; Gilbert and Nancy Davidson with Davidson's Country Inn; Dr. David Baker with the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic; Sharon and Richard (Shari and Gus) Gustafson with the Gustafson Consulting Group; Dave Freeman with Citizens Utilities Company; Karen Wessels with Alpha Engineering; Maria MacNamee with Happy Trails; Craig Nelson, OD, Point of View Eye Care; David J. Brown with Bootjack Management Company; Gary J. Willmart with Colorado Fishing Adventures; Gary J. Willmart with Rainbow Lodge on the San Juan; and John J. Taylor with Sportsman's Supply and Trailer Court, Inc. We're also delighted to welcome back our old friend, Marion O. Francis, Jr., as an Associate Member. Thank you all for your continued support and confidence.

Oops revisited

Just when you think it's safe, son-of-a-gun, if I don't have another memory lapse and forget to thank those who do so much for us. Most recently, I slam forgot to thank the good folks who contributed gifts to the Diplomat bag of goodies. I'm here to correct that inadvertent omission: thanks to Stan Zuege at the Spring Inn for donating two free passes to the springs to each Diplomat. We're also grateful to Mark and Angie Dahm at Wolftracks Bookstore/Coffee Company for donating a coupon good for one free drink at their establishment. Thanks to Lenore Bright at the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library for the slick "oven ruler" she donated which should cut down on the number of oven burns we all seem to acquire.

In the category of long overdue thanks comes Bobbie Miller of Plaza Liquor. Bobbie has for several years been responsible for "marrying" all the appropriate wines to the cheeses we order for the Colorfest Wine and Cheese Tasting in September. She works very closely with Suellen to select just the perfect product for each cheese and further, personally works at the Wine and Cheese Tasting to assure that all goes well. Bobbie has always done a fabulous job for us and is the last person I would deliberately forget, but somehow with all the subsequent chaos following the event, I experienced one of my senior moments. I sincerely thought that I had included her in the long, long thanks list, but I didn't. (That was the column that Karl Isberg titled, "Sally Thanks Everyone in the Universe.") At any rate, please accept our late but very sincere thanks for another great job at this year's Colorfest as well as our apology for the omission.

Newsletter inserts

Morna just reminded me that I need to start reminding those of you interested in including inserts in our December quarterly newsletter that the time is nigh. Can't remember when a year has gone this quickly, but it is time to get those babies created and delivered to us. If you are not familiar with this inexpensive advertising option, allow me to fill you in. You bring us 700 copies of your flyer advertising whatever it is that you want the entire membership to know about with a check for $30 (the price just went up from $25 due to postage costs) and we'll take it from there. It is an excellent, low-cost marketing option, and we do all the work. December is also a month when lots of folks want to advertise Christmas specials, special events and other seasonal offerings, so it's a dandy time to take advantage of the opportunity. Please call Morna at 264-2360 with questions or just have your flyers and check to us by Nov. 26. To avoid any problems, we do ask that you pay prior to the mailing.

Dinner theatre

Thursday Night Live! debuts on Thursday, Nov. 11 at Loredana's Authentic Italian Ristorante with Pagosa's first dinner theatre combo. You can enjoy dinner accompanied by live music followed by a presentation of two episodes of "Ethel and Albert." Doors open for this event at 6:30 p.m., and, due to the adult themes, parents are not encouraged to bring children. Tickets are available at Hodge Podge in the River Center and at Loredana's on Bastille Drive.

 

 

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Rec Center needs to expand for 'elderly gym rats'

What has been foremost in my mind these past couple of months is tuning and massaging the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center's 2000 budget. Every summer I'm absolutely convinced that building expansion is an urgent issue as the timeshare visitors descend on Pagosa. In late August they go home to where they come from. In a matter of days, life changes for those left in Pagosa. The Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center again becomes a place of relaxation, leisurely, friendly conversation with ample space to work out. My resolve to support a building expansion wavers. How then do I present a strong case to the board directors that funds must be set aside for enlarging the Recreation Center? My mind dwells on this issue - constantly.

The "ah ha" moment occurred just a few days ago. I was swimming in the Recreation Center pool alongside a 75-year-old man. He had a strong stroke, a powerful kick and he out-lapped me. I swam hard, trying to keep myself streamlined and efficient. He finished his mile nine minutes before me. He beat me.

That experience in the natatorium of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center was extraordinary in that most 70-somethings don't swim so fast. But it offered a glimpse into the future. Twenty years from now, a nation of super fit 70-somethings will redefine old age. The elderly will talk not only of grandchildren and ailment and medication but also of personal trainers and weight training and their times in the mile (swimming or running).

I'm not discovering anything new. What did happen was a firing of synapses. The trend is already underway. Recreation centers are a necessary and good investment for any community. The number of older gym-goers is growing. And these members aren't just stewing in the hot-tub. They are swimming a mile several times a week and also lifting weights. Today's population of elderly gym rats is nothing compared with what it will be. A silver-haired gym rush is coming soon and it will shed light on my nagging questions: Should we expand the Recreation Center? How soon do we need to do it?

The ones most anxious to find the answers to the question of enhancing quality of life are baby boomers. In barely a year, the first of the baby boomers will turn 55. By the time they turn 55, their children will be gone or going, and the family assets may be extensive enough to make retirement an earlier-than-expected option, thanks to the stock market. So how will they face it? They'll move to a quiet mountain town and build themselves a home with a view. Next they will focus on ways to prolong their lives. They'll take comfort in the news that it's never too late to start getting fit. They'll actively pursue ways to increase physical activity so they can reduce the odds against disease, disability, premature aging and reduced life span.

And so I'll explain to the board of directors that we will need to expand - not just for the influx of timeshare visitors but also for the silver-haired gym rush that will begin with the millennium. The possibility of dying young at an old age is far too sweet for the baby-boomers to overlook.

Education News
By Tom Steen

"The Spirit of Education - Building Learning Communities" is the theme of National Community Education Day, to be observed on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Held annually since 1982 on the Tuesday of American Education Week, National Community Education Day promotes strong relationships between communities and schools. This year's theme, "The Spirit of Education - Building Learning Communities," focuses on the need to create communities that provide learning opportunities for residents of all ages, day or night, on weekends and during the summer.

Community Education Day focuses attention on the need for communities to become learning communities - communities where individuals, public schools and other institutions, businesses, and agencies work together to create and support learning opportunities for all ages in school and out. They are communities where all entities share resources for the common good and where everyone is a teacher and a learner. Finally, they are communities that provide a safe and nurturing environment for all residents.

According to David Matthews, President of the Kettering Foundation, "Effective communities appear to be different, not because of economic or demographic or regional factors, but because they are simply better educated as a community. They are good at educating the whole community in the community's business."

National Community Education Day is co-sponsored by 28 national organizations, among them the U.S. Department of Education, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Civic League, the National PTA, the National League of Cities, and the Family Resource Coalition of America.

Watch for details of events and activities to celebrate National Community Education Day in Pagosa Springs. For more information, contact the Education Center at 264-2835.

If you're interested in working with children, youth, or adults in our community, the Education Center has volunteer opportunities for reading and math tutors, mentors and individuals willing to share their special skills.

Contact Cynde Jackson at 264-2835 for further information about how you can make a difference in Pagosa Springs.

Library News
by Lenore Bright

After election, library planning begins

By the time this edition of the paper is in your hands, I will know how I will be spending my time in the next few months. But for now, I will just share my wish list.

I will be thanking all of the people who helped with this election. We will be doing a new budget based on enough money to buy books patrons have requested. We will be working on arrangements to be open more hours. We will be working with the TARA folks in Arboles. I will be so glad this election is behind us. No matter how it turns out, I just want to thank all of you who've supported us in the past. It has been a joy and a pleasure to serve you.

Civic Club bazaar

This Saturday is the one-day-only Civic Club Bazaar at the Extension Building on U.S. 84. Doors are open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. The raffle drawing will be at 6 p.m. We have some wonderful items for you to win. Be sure you have your raffle tickets. (You don't have to be present to win.) Remember that this year's bazaar is only open on Saturday, so don't be late.

Bronze exhibit

Dr. Randall Davis is letting us display one of his bronze pieces entitled "Spirit Wind." This is a depiction of an Indian and horse, and is one of 25 casts. It is a haunting piece, please come by and see it. What a joy to be able to create something this beautiful.

Turkey Trot

We're displaying the Turkey Trot T-shirts. The Friends had a great idea: You may pick up your shirt when you register here at the Library. This will save time the morning of the race. Come by ASAP and get your shirt. The race is Saturday morning, Nov. 13. Plan to attend the Turkey Trot, then go on to the fashion luncheon if you don't want to swim and spend the day at the recreation center.

Laminating

Did you know we offer a service to laminate items? The cost is $2 minimum. We can do fairly large posters and maps. Call 264-2209 for more information.

Special thanks

We just received our first check from City Market based on all of you who signed up to support the Friends of the Library with your Value Cards. The check was for more than $1,500. That will buy many books. Thank you all - City Market and cardholders.

Web site

We have a super site to share: www.google.com. You will have fun looking up many things and we love the name.

Donations

Thanks for materials from Bud Brasher, Evelyn Kantas, Mary Alice Behrents, Peggy Shipman, Mary Lou Sprowle, Carole Howard, Carol Fulenwider, Donald Mowen, Diana Smith, June Geisen, Sherry Murray, Dr. Alton Dohner, Jeannie Baldwin, Virginia Bartlett, Barbara Draper, Larry Blue and Carol Mestas.

 

Arts Line
By Jennifer Galesic

Time to join Christmas card workshop

Christmas is a'comin; have you done your shopping yet?

An "Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe" at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery offers a wonderful opportunity to do all your Christmas shopping in one convenient location. Choose from a wide selection of gift items all handmade by our own local artists. There's bound to be something for everyone on your list. The Christmas Shoppe will be open from Dec. 2 through Dec. 23 during the regular winter hours, Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Artists, if you're interested in selling your original Christmas-oriented arts and crafts at the "Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe," please call Joanne at 264-5020 ASAP. The work will be accepted at the gallery in Town Park on Sunday, Nov. 30, between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Arts Center/Gallery and Gift Shop is closed during the month of November. The Gallery reopens with an Open House reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 2, at an "Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe," in Town Park.

Card workshop

There may still be time to join the second of two watercolor Christmas card workshops taught by Chama resident and artist Mary Cardin at the Arts Center/Gallery in Town Park on Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $35. A list of materials to bring will be given out at registration. For information or to register, call the gallery at 264-5020.

Whistle Pig

The next Whistle Pig open mike night is Nov. 13. Join us to welcome back Debbee Ramey (Tucker). Song-writer and musician Debbee has been living and making music in Pagosa springs and the Southwest for 18 years. She recently headed to California to work on a CD recording. Debbee will be accompanied by Robbie Pepper and other friends. All musicians, poets and storytellers are encouraged to come out and express themselves. Whistle Pig takes place at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue, and begins at 7 p.m.

Donations are $4 for adults; kids and teens are free. On Dec.11 Whistle Pig will host a Christmas dance with music by John Graves.

Y2K events

Applications for exhibiting work at the Arts Center/Gallery in 2000 are available and may be picked up at Moonlight Books during the month of November. Also, the PSAC annual photography contest will be here before you know it. The entry deadline is Feb. 2. All photographs will be displayed at Moonlight Books Feb. 5 to Feb. 26. If you haven't been collecting your best photographs, get out your camera and get busy! For information, contact Phyl Daleske at 731-4589.

Help wanted

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is looking for a person with computer access and skills to maintain the membership roster and keep it up to date. PSAC also needs someone, again with a computer, to help prepare its quarterly newsletter, "Petroglyph." If you're interested, please leave your name and phone number at 264-5020.

 

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Seniors celebrate Halloween with songs, parade

Thanks to our wonderful staff and cooks at the Senior Center, we celebrated Halloween and the October birthdays on Friday with much fanfare and beautiful decorations - everyone had a great time. Carlo Carrannante sang some "songs from the past" that most of us recognize. We appreciate his sharing his exceptional voice with us. The second graders from Kate Lister's class visited us again, bringing paper pumpkins and cards they had drawn for their "adopted grandparents" - they are a wonderful group of children and we enjoy them so much. The students, and many of the seniors, were dressed in Halloween costumes and provided a Halloween parade - what fun!

Winners of the Seniors Costume Contest were Eva Darmopray, Kurt Killion, Bruce Muirhead and Lena Bowden. They really went all out in coming up with original and cute costumes, as did several other folks. Thanks everyone for participating and making it such a fun occasion.

Our Seniors Choice Meal will be served at noon on Monday, Nov. 8. Everyone should come out and enjoy this wonderful lunch prepared especially per our requests. Thanks so much to Dawnie and the kitchen crew for allowing us this choice.

An anonymous donor has offered to give away a very good wood stove. If you are interested, call Cindy at 264-2167.

Congratulations to our Senior of the Week, Dorothy O'Harra.

Our most welcome guests this week include Fidel Perea, Jane Martinez, S. Beaught, Douglas Howard, Juanita Gallegos, Juanita Archuleta, Fannie Romero, Carol Pacheco, and Jay Myers. It was good to see members Ray and Lila Martinez and Willie Trujillo eating with us on Friday. We hope all of you folks will come back to eat with us again soon.

Again our sincere thanks to all the wonderful volunteers at the Senior Center. This week's volunteers include Teresa Diestelkamp, Kathy Perry, June Nelson, Margie Martinez, Don Hurt, Chris McCracken, Helen Girardin, Jo Rose, Mae Boughan, Jay Myers and Johnny Martinez.

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, reading, or just want someone to visit or play games with, contact Cindy at 264-2167 and she will make the arrangements.

The Senior Center will be closed on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26 for Thanksgiving.

 

Editorials

The voters in Archuleta County have demonstrated a willingness to trust their elected officials with excess revenues so long as it does not involve increasing tax rates beyond the limitations imposed by the TABOR Amendment.

The results of Tuesday's county-wide election indicate that most voters are aware that municipal entities cannot maintain existing services and infrastructures nor provide improvements without being allowed to use excess revenues that result from an increase in population, part-time residents and tourists.

It's unrealistic to think a county or district can properly address growth-related demands without being trusted to retain and use growth-related excess revenues. Last week's county commissioners meeting offered an illustration.

Whereas the supposed number of county employees living below the poverty level dropped from 27 to 11 during the day's public and closed discussion, it still is understandable the commissioners are interested in continuing to increase the salaries of the county employees who are under their direction. I am sure the county's other elected officials want to do the same with the various employees within their departments. Even after discussions at this week's commissioners meeting revealed that there are zero full-time employees receiving wages below the poverty level, salaries should remain a valid concern with all of the elected officials.

Salaries and benefits have been and probably always will be a point of contention in the county courthouse, town hall and school district. Still, it is a rare incident if there is only one applicant for any of the full-time job openings that are advertised by the county, town or schools. This is understandable. Besides offering a salary, employment with the municipal sector offers medical and dental benefits as well as 11 or so paid holidays a year and at least two weeks of paid vacation. Also, county employees are offered free memberships with a local fitness center.

As with the job openings themselves, all other services or positions such as county attorney, fuel, road materials, office supplies, janitorial services, printing, and heavy equipment have always been advertised and awarded to the most qualified applicant or lowest bidder. State bids are used on vehicle purchases. As for construction projects, state statutes require that all projects over $50,000 be advertised and put out for bids.

Reading between the lines of the recent discussions among the county commissioners, there is more than just a concern about salaries; there is a concern about the management of the county.

Again, this is not the first time for such a concern to arise. In the past, it was discussed in private among certain commissioners, probably more so than in public, and eventually in public at their regular meetings. The discussions lead to changes. However, within a few months the changes were changed and the management of the county returned to its former status.

Changes should not surprise anyone in public service. In a real sense, they are growth-related matters. Whether they are related to the growing demands for improved services within the county or related to the growing cycle of its leadership, they are good for the county. Especially when the discussions are conducted during public meetings so that everyone can be "in the loop."

David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

He says, she says and they say

Dear Folks,

The SUN endured an early start on the Y2K thing last week.

It was about 3:30 p.m. last Thursday before the first caller phoned to inquire as to the proper date for setting clocks back for the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Naturally, the answer was take your pick - either late Saturday before going to bed or early Sunday morning.

Naturally, the response was, "It says October 28 on the front page of this week's SUN."

They were right. We were wrong.

I checked my calendar for the year 2000 and took little comfort that October 28 falls on Saturday next year.

So next year, remember that you first read it in the SUN, you can set your clocks back an hour before going to bed on October 28.

Pagosa was mentioned in the state and national news earlier this week. On page 1 of the "Lifestyles" section in the Sunday edition of The Denver Post, it was reported Pagosa was a popular spot for women hunters who were out to shoot big game.

Jay Delange dropped by Tuesday afternoon to read Claire Martin's report on his hunting experiences with his wife Sally.

The article tells of how last year Sally bagged a black bear while she and Jay were hunting.

So earlier this year whie hunting in Pagosa she passed up a broad-side shot when a big four-by-four bull moved into her view less than 20 yards away. She told the ¡reporter she held her fire so that Jay would have the opportunity to make the kill.

The scenario reportedly led to a discussion of "would've been mad" versus "wouldn't have been mad" on Jerry's part had Sally dropped the bull.

The article went on to discuss the "chilling effect" the presence of a female hunter can have on a hunting camp.

Rick and Kathy Komloski, a Loveland couple who were hunting "at a camp in Pagosa Springs," were the resource personnel for the "chill" issue.

Again, there were differing opinions. Whereas Rick contends the girls "don't expect us to be different" in their presence; Kathy claims, her presence in the hunting camp "probably subdue the guys a little."

Kevin Wells, a Longmont hunter "whose favorite hunting camps include a site in Pagosa Springs," said he "hadn't ever dated anyone who expressed an interest in wanting to hunt."

No explanation is given as to what first attracted Wells or the Komloskis to Pagosa Springs.

Nor does Monday's article in The New York Times reveal how the Times happened to print Michael Janofsky's article titled "Private Acres in Public Parks Fuels Battles of Development."

Janofsky's article somewhat focuses on Dan McCarthy's 2,780-acre ranch in the East Fork Valley, in a rather balanced discussion on the varied concerns of "private development inside federally owned lands."

The article uses the so-called Piano Creek Ranch and its $385,000 to $535,000 timeshare development being considered for proposal on the East Fork Ranch as an example.

Sure, the private property is not surrounded by a national park. It's bounded by national forest lands and is accessed by a Forest Service road. But it still fits into the discussion.

Along with a number of national figures interested in the preservation of federal lands, McCarthy, Betty Feazel of the neighboring At Last Ranch and Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges were interviewed for the article.

Jerry Sanders, Piano Creek Ranch chairman, was afforded the opportunity to have the last say in the article. He understandably disagrees with the positions and contentions of the opponents to his proposed development.

Evidently speaking from experience, Sanders says he "knows it's not easy to believe a developer, that I could have good intentions." . . . "But I am trying to protect the environment."

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

David

25 years ago

Search for lost plane called off

Taken from SUN files

of Nov. 7, 1974

The search in this area for a plane lost en route from Gallup, N.M., to South Dakota has been called off. The plane left for Gallop on Monday of last week and has not been since heard of. Five members of the Civil Air Patrol search party were stranded overnight on the side of Square Top Mountain during a snow storm but suffered no problems.

Sheriff John Evans nosed out Democrat challenger Tony Rivas by only eight votes in Tuesday's county-wide election. Evans received 597 votes to win, with Rivas receiving 589. In another close county race, County Clerk Felima Gardner, Democrat, won over challenger Lucille Kleckner, Republican, with a 66-vote total. The race for county commissioner was also close with incumbent Harold Schutz, Republican, defeating Joe Talamante, Democrat, 649 to 523.

Electrical power was out in part of the county Tuesday evening after some unidentified person or persons fired some shots into the electrical transmission system. Power was restored soon afterwards when the damage was located and repaired.

Archuleta County received $97,100 in funds from the U.S. Forest Service this past month. This is the county's receipts from the timber sales and other revenues derived on Forest Service lands within the county.

 

Legacies
By Shari Pierce

Snow had effect on temporary bridge

By the end of July 1953, Pagosa's new temporary bridge located near Town Park was in use. The temporary bridge ended up being a little more than temporary. It was the bridge that was still in use in 1956 when Pagosa experienced a very dry year. The first headline of 1957 in the SUN read, "1956 Will Go Down As One of Driest Years on Record Here." A subheading reported "Less Than 14 Inches of Moisture Dried Streams, Caused County Hardship."

The first full week of 1957 saw a major change in the weather. Snow reports across the county ranged from three inches to as much as seven feet. The town saw rain showers and more than a foot of snow.

Another winter storm, Jan. 21 and 22, dumped an additional three feet of snow on Wolf Creek Pass and left the town's people with a foot of snow to shovel.

Yet another January storm left the town buried under 61 inches of snow in a six-day period.

All of this snow had an effect on Pagosa's temporary bridge. Melting snows caused high water in the streams and rivers. This, in turn, caused damage to many roads and bridges throughout the county. Perhaps the biggest loss was that of the bridge near Town Park which washed out at the end of July.

The SUN of Aug. 1, 1957, reported that the bridge had been "in jeopardy several times during the spring run-off, but had been saved each time by keeping the trees, logs and debris from jamming. The bridge had also been secured by cables to large trees and when they gave way, the bridge swung loose from one end and floated downstream."

On the day the bridge washed out, it was reported that the waters "started rising very fast around noon and by late afternoon the debris and tree trunks were coming down so fast it was impossible to keep them cleared from the bridge." It was also reported that on this day the water was "considerably higher than at anytime during the run-off."

The town board began meeting with representatives of the Civil Defense Administration and the State Highway Department to try to come up with a way to fund and secure another bridge for Pagosa Springs.

More about those efforts next week.

Features
Video Review
By Roy Starling

"Blair Witch" survives second viewing

As my loyal readers will remember, some weeks ago I traveled to a nearby mini-metropolitan area to watch "The Blair Witch Project" to see what all the fuss was about, and when I returned I gave that oddball bit of low-budget art a rather glowing review.

Since then, "Blair Witch" has become the most profitable movie ever made, having grossed roughly $140 million so far (it cost about $35,000 to make). When it came out on video last week, I decided to take another look at it. I had every intention of rebutting my previous review, exposing the film as an over-hyped fluke flash in the pan.

I'm sorry, but I can't go through with it. I watched carefully; I paused; I hit rewind and watched some scenes again; I took notes, lots of them. After all of this, I cannot diminish the accomplishments of directors and writers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez and actors Heather Donahue, Michael Williams and Joshua Leonard.

I know some folks see "Blair Witch" as just a bunch of clueless slackers running and screaming in the woods. But I am so delighted to see someone crack through the thick crust of Hollywood formulas, I'm so relieved to see a horror movie that doesn't rely on "Poltergeist"-era special effects and I'm so hopeful that the film may now open the door for more risk taking, innovation and creativity, I can't even think of a way to finish this sentence.

Apparently, I'm not alone in this. Orlando Sentinel film reviewer Jay Boyar, in a syndicated column that appeared in the Denver Post, said that if you "talk to Hollywood insiders about movie history . . . they break it down into two distinct eras: Everything before 'The Blair Witch Project' and everything since."

Part of its success, of course, came from its mammoth marketing campaign, making use of the internet in ways that had never occurred to other film hypers. But I think all of the marketing gimmickry would have been in vain had the film not delivered a novel, unprecedented and unexpected kind of entertainment.

Who knew, for example, that you could make a scary movie without a soundtrack? If you were to watch "The Shining" minus the soundtrack, I think you'd find it wasn't very frightening. Stanley Kubrick's groaning synthesizer was an unsettling presence throughout the film, keeping our nerves on edge, then he just cranked it up a few decibels to help spookify those twin girls and that redundant novel Jack was working on.

Think of "Jaws" without its "here comes the shark" music.

Then check out "Blair Witch." When you see those bizarre stick figures in the trees, you're either afraid or you're not. There's no music to move you one way or the other.

How does the film set the table for this terror? It covers a week - apparently the last week - in the lives of three young filmmakers. It begins in daylight, a getting-to-know-you period of good-natured jokes and playful preparation for the project ahead: a rational, "non-cheesy" investigation into the legend of the Blair Witch near what is now Burkittsville, Md.

The first part of the film is what I call a meta-faux documentary. In plain English, it pretends to be a documentary that also includes much discussion of the documentary itself. These kids not only film the documentary, they film themselves talking about it.

It's clear these young people don't take the whole witch thing too seriously, and some of the folks they interview don't either. So we're off to a rather disarming start.

As the three begin their trek into the woods, we see the one shot in the movie that resembles a conventional cinematic technique: One of the three turns around and holds a camera on their car as they leave it behind, giving us a reverse tracking shot of the last sign of civilization, of good ol' metal, of a symbol of the way life really is before the bottom falls out.

On the first night, Josh is sure he hears "cackling, total cackling." The next day, Heather seems to have gotten them lost. And so the pattern is set for the remainder of the film: Terrorized by unfamiliar sounds by night, wandering aimlessly through the endless forest by day.

This is a creepy combo. How bad is it to desperately need to get somewhere (or out of somewhere) and be stuck with an unreliable navigator? And Heather is the prototypical unreliable navigator.

Each night the noises get scarier, and each day the three get more lost. So the film moves from lighthearted skepticism in the light to sobbing, slobbering panic in darkness. This is what it's like for today's dang secular kids to have a genuine spiritual experience.

Once Heather, Josh and Mike become thoroughly creeped out, everything becomes sinister: little piles of rocks, those figures in the trees, the trees themselves, a disgusting but unidentifiable bloody object. The three begin to fight among themselves, then make up, then fight some more.

Even as the terror mounts from day to day, they maintain their wry Generation X humor. As they're cooking over an open fire, Heather observes that "witches in days gone by were roasted just like this Vienna sausage." Mike doesn't believe that rednecks could've made the figures in the trees because "rednecks aren't that creative." Heather doesn't believe this could be happening "in America, because we've destroyed most of our natural resources."

The final day of the week appropriately includes contrition, confession, completion. Heather's apology to her camera (see the video box picture accompanying this review) is the act of a woman (a child, really) who knows her life is over. Word has it that this scene alone has thrown Donahue's name in the mix for an Oscar nomination.

(On the other hand, numerous informal polls indicate she is right up there with Jar Jar Binks, the heavy-metal horse-looking dude in "Phantom Menace," as the year's most annoying film character.)

As for the completion, it takes place in a house, but certainly not the one these kids so desperately want to return to. As I said in my earlier review, this deteriorating house and Mike's and Heather's romp through it was more disturbing to me than anything I can recall seeing on film. But maybe it's just me.

Now that the entertainment industry has seen how much money a project like "Blair Witch" can make, I expect there will be, first, a series of shameless ripoffs, including a lame TV series, and I know a sequel is already in the works. But in the long run, I'm hoping that the Witch's success will result in fewer bad remakes, less reliance on big-name actors and special effects and less focus on people's insides spilling out on screen.

Maybe "Blair Witch" will pave the way for more focus on mood and atmosphere, on technique, on skillful manipulation of an audience's emotions, on fresh stories and on adventurous, if unorthodox, filming techniques.

Maybe.

 

Motter's Mutterings
By John Motter

When does a dog become a dawg?

When does a dog become a dawg? Perhaps the following story will provide a clue. It all began once upon a time, not so long ago.

The back porch tipped and swayed like a teeter totter as I stepped through the door. What's going on, I wondered? Our back porch had always been a model of stability, the 2x4 bracing still shiny and new.

I tip toed down the vibrating steps, balancing carefully to keep the entire apparatus from tipping over. What a bother! As I reached the ground, my foot slipped into a hole, almost throwing me on my face. After regaining posture and composure, a glance around the back yard revealed the source of the problem.

Holes. Holes everywhere, including holes undermining the porch foundation. And there, reclining in one of the holes was Murphy Motter, the one-year old half Siberian husky, half yellow lab that we'd raised from a pup. Where had we gone wrong?

It all started innocently enough, there in front of the Wal-Mart store. As we left the car and walked toward the entrance, a cardboard box full of yipping puppies beckoned.

"Oh, let's take a look," the wife said.

"Why?" I replied. "We've seen puppies before."

"It won't hurt to look," the wife said.

"Of course not," I agreed, my eyes disappearing in their sockets. I knew what was about to happen.

Sure enough, visions of Lassie and Toto filled our heads as we lifted one of the little rascals from the cardboard box, sat her in the palm of one hand, stroked the soft fur around her neck with a probing finger, and muttered unintelligible sweet nothings in her ear.

The puppy responded predictably. The chocolate brown eyes silently pleaded for more attention, the pink tongue nervously licked the probing finger, and a questioning whine begged "take me, take me." Such innocence. We did what any normal person would do. We took her home. After all, at only $10 she was a real bargain.

"We'll call her Murphy," the wife said. "Murphy Motter."

Little did we know the exasperation M and M would cause. I don't know where we went wrong. I suspect the circumstances were beyond our control. How could we know Murphy would be a digger? In retrospect, we suspect Murphy's mother was frightened by a gopher, or maybe a backhoe.

It began innocently enough, just a few small holes in the middle of the front yard. It's just a puppy thing we rationalized. She'll grow out of it. As Murphy grew, so did the size of the holes. We watched nervously as first one, then a ring of holes revealed the roots supporting the Ponderosa shading our front door. Nervousness became panic when the wind blew causing the formerly stable pine to lurch dangerously above the roof of our home. Relief returned when the conifer resumed its upright position.

Then there was the fence between Murphy and the Black Labrador in the next yard. We thought it was cute and neighborly the way the friendly pups sniffed and wagged and ran up and down the fence together. It was less cute when they dug, each from the home side of the fence, until they could rub noses beneath the wire. Cuteness disappeared entirely when we noticed Murphy over in the neighbor's yard. A row of rocks beneath the fence ended that particular problem, but did not end Murphy's penchant for tunneling.

Holes sprouted all over the yard until it looked like a bomb field honey-combed with craters. That was the same yard we contemplated seeding for a lawn. A lawn to benefit Murphy. What to do? We separated the front and back yards with a fence. After we confined Murphy to the grass-covered back yard, we obtained estimates for repairing the front yard. A dump truck load of fill dirt. A tractor to break up the soil, spread the fill dirt, and level and compact the entire mess. A sizable sum we hadn't contemplated P. M., pre-Murphy. I noted wryly that a 40-horsepower tractor would be needed to do the same work a one dogpower M and M was doing.

Then came the back porch experience. The only good thing about the back yard is, it doesn't contain a pine tree for Murphy to topple onto the house. It does look like the front yard, pock marked with Murphy holes. What to do?

"I've got it," I told the wife. "Let's turn disaster into benefit. We'll rent Murphy out as a backhoe. Maybe somebody wants their yard plowed. Maybe somebody wants to take a shortcut to China by way of the earth's core. She has to be good for something."

And so we sit and wonder while Murphy continues to dig. She is still just a pup. Maybe she'll grow out of it. She is good for something. She's such a loyal dog. She still has those chocolate brown eyes. We really dig her. If only she'd quit digging us. But the truth is, Murphy has gone from dog to dawg.

Oldtimers

By John M. Motter

Who erected the first building in Pagosa Springs? When?

Chances are good that no one will ever be able to give absolute answers to those questions. What can be answered is that Pagosa pioneer Welch Nossaman claimed he built the first cabin. What's more, Nossaman left a written account of those times.

Nossaman left his home in Pella, Iowa, early in 1876. With friends Mark Butts and Dr. B.F. Keebles, Nossaman was bound for Summitville, then a bustling gold mining town. Located at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet, Summit, as it was called, was the highest mining town in the United States, higher even than Leadville. The gold at Summitville was discovered in 1870. During the decade of the 1870s, Summitville was the leading gold producer in the San Juan Mountains.

Located about 30 miles north of Pagosa Springs, Summitville was near a pioneer wagon route surveyed by Lt. Ruffner, an Army engineer stationed at Fort Garland on the east side of the San Luis Valley. Ruffner's road was designed to connect Fort Garland with Fort Lewis.

The usual entrance to Summitville was from Del Norte by way of Los Piños Creek. At that time, Del Norte was one of the gateways to the San Juans. Del Norte was founded in 1874 in the vicinity of a Hispanic plaza called La Loma. Many of Pagosa's pioneers moved first to Del Norte, then to Summitville, and finally to Pagosa Springs. Nossaman was one of these.

Nossaman first gazed into the bubbling waters of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring in August of 1876. After returning to Summitville, he made a second 1876 trip to the springs, this time bringing wagons. These may have been the first wagons down the East Fork of the San Juan River. This time Nossaman was on an errand. He was accompanied by two men to witness the placer claim Nossaman intended to file for Dr. Keebles. Keebles was interested in the healing potential of the mineral waters. One of the witnesses was probably Luis Montroy, another of Pagosa Country's early settlers.

Nossaman is said to have loaded gold dust into a shotgun shell, then blasted the charge into the ground. As the two witnesses watched attentively, he then panned gold dust from the ground. That taken care of, Nossaman nailed up placer claims all around the Great Pagosa Hot Spring. Then he sent the teams and the witnesses back to Summit while he settled down with a pet bulldog to spend the winter.

Instead of returning overland the coming spring, Nossaman caught a ride with a passing freighter.

"I got a chance to go out with Old Man Johnson," Nossaman wrote. "That was in the spring of '77. I only had a wagon and $15 with me, as I bought my grub the fall before, and I had bought a beef. I got tired of deer and wild meat and bought a beef and 500 pounds of potatoes and it took all the money I had. The other two boys didn't have any."

In another part of his story, Nossaman again tells of spending a winter in Pagosa Springs, this time with Joab Baker and Lafe Hamilton. This time he says they built cabin for themselves, cabins for Mark Butts, John Russell, and Doc Keebles, and a bridge across the San Juan River. In the spring, the Indians came.

The Indians just stopped in front of the cabin, according to Nossaman. The leader's name was Colorow Ignatio.

"When he came to the cabin door I took my six-shooter out of the scabbard hanging in the corner of the bunk and put it under the corner of the blanket and sat down on the bed and held the dog," Nossaman said. "This Colorow came to the door and I motioned for him to come in and he did."

Apparently Colorow had a long shopping list he was determined to fill. After learning Nossaman had no sugar or coffee or sugar or tobacco, Colorow changed tactics.

"When I kept shaking my head that I didn't have it for him, he grabbed me by the arm and ran his finger across my throat and tried to scare me," Nossaman said.

Colorow wore nothing but a breech-clout, no blanket, but feathers on his head.

When he "done that I got kinda scared," Nossaman said. "He had a big knife sticking in his belt that held his breech-clout on. I thought he could pull it out in a shake, so I just jerked the six-shooter out and put it up against his belly. When the muzzle of that gun got up against him, he made about two jumps and out he went."

Colorow didn't show up again until the following morning, but when he did appear he advised Nossaman and his companions to leave.

"Me camp Pagosa. You leave," Colorow said.

Nossaman took the advice to heart and when just one-half mile down the road looked back. The Utes has set the house "affire."

"The next winter (1877-1878) we built the cabins on our ranches and they fired them three times - until Fort Lewis came there," Nossaman wrote. "They never harmed us, but they burned every cabin we built every spring."

Nossaman is said to have filed the first homestead in Archuleta County. It was on land now lived on by Mrs. Paul Decker and Bob Formwalt. He worked as a freighter throughout the San Juan Mountains and later probably strung the first telephone lines connecting Pagosa Springs with the outside world. In later years, Nossaman worked as a timber cruiser for the New Mexico Lumber Co., marking trees all of the way from Pagosa Springs to the Dolores area. He died Dec. 22, 1937, at the age of 86.

Births

Caecilia Marie Sarnowski

Kenneth and Mary Ann Sarnowski are happy to announce the birth of their daughter Caecilia Marie Sarnowski.

Caecilia Marie was born on Sept. 27, 1999, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She weighed 7 pounds, 15.8 ounces and was 19 inches long. Waiting to welcome her home were her older brother and sister, "Sammy" and Hannah Sarnowski.

Caecilia Marie's maternal grandparents are Kenneth and Elizabeth Boettcher of Littleton. Her paternal grandparents are Jerome and Caecilia Sarnowski of Cedarburg, Wis.

 

Jurney Gunn Martinez

Melvin and LaDonna Martinez would like to welcome home their new brother Jurney Gunn Martinez. He was born Oct. 3, 1999, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. He weighed 7 pounds, 4.3 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

His parents are Amos and Trinidad Martinez. Paternal grandparents are Mel and Lucy Martinez of Chimney Rock.

Business News
Biz Beat

 

Dave Durfee, right, pictured here with employee Brad Mael, owns and operates Rocky Mountain Small Engine Repair, located at 38C Vista Boulevard on the northwest corner of U.S. 160 and Vista Boulevard.

Rocky Mountain Small Engine Repair provides repair and maintenance service for all types of small engines, including generators, chain saws, snow blowers, lawn mowers and trimmers. Durfee and Mael also make up chain and sharpen chain for saws and provide mobile service for off-site repair work.

Rocky Mountain Small Engine Repair is an authorized Stihl sales and service center and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The phone is 731-1112.

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

10/27

64

25

-

-

-

10/28

60

33

-

-

-

10/29

50

15

-

-

-

10/30

61

21

-

-

-

10/31

60

20

-

-

-

11/1

63

20

-

-

-

11/2

55

17

-

-

-