Front Page

December 2, 1999

No snow? One lift opens anyway

By Karl Isberg

If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

Is the glass half empty, or half full?

Keep your sunny side up.

Let a smile be your umbrella.

Etc., etc., etc.

At the heart of every cliché and behind every overused expression of optimism, lies a kernel of truth, something tangible that can motivate positive activity.

If you need an example, go to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

As of Wednesday, most of the ground in Archuleta County was bare, bereft of snow. In the high country only a dusting of the white stuff was evident.

As of Wednesday morning, however, there was one ski lift operating at Wolf Creek. The 1999-2000 ski season had begun.

"We're saying the Nova Lift is in operation at 11:30 a.m.," said Wolf Creek's Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher on Wednesday. The lift is a short, double chair at the base of the ski area, serving beginners' runs.

"Only one run will be open," said Haidorfer-Pitcher, "the Nova run off the beginner chair. We're reporting eight inches of snow and we are saying we are skiing on a man-made base of six inches. We have 118 vertical feet open - the equivalent of one twenty-fifth of a World Cup downhill!"

Lift tickets will cost $10 and the lift will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"We'll have lessons available for people who want to learn to ski or to snowboard," said Haidorfer-Pitcher. "Our Sport Shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, offering 25 to 50 percent discounts on items, and the cafeteria will be open the same hours, offering a limited menu."

While the lack of snow keeps the rest of the mountain shut down, the abnormally dry fall season has allowed crews at the ski area to finish most of the construction of the new Alberta Chairlift. The new quad lift rises 1,100 vertical feet from Alberta Park and will unload below the Knife Ridge Outpost. The new lift will access an additional 500 acres of glade skiing and will carry 1,800 skiers per hour at 475 feet per minute over a length of 5,243 feet.

"We are getting real close to finishing the new lift," said Haidorfer-Pitcher. "We will finish hanging the new chairs, then get a lift inspection. We anticipate having it ready by Dec. 15."

And everyone at Wolf Creek, and in the Pagosa ski community, anticipates heavy snow to arrive by the time the new lift is in operation, providing for yet another season of great skiing in the high country.


Snow predicted for today, more for weekend

By John M. Motter

A sheath of cold, gray clouds invaded Pagosa Country yesterday afternoon, hiding the sun and bearing promise of long-hoped for snow. And snow is what the weatherman predicted for today and the early part of the coming weekend.

"Thursday morning there may be scattered snow showers with afternoon clearing," said Gina Loss, a National Weather Service forecaster from the Grand Junction office. "Highs should be in the 30s with lows in the teens or low 20s."

"Another system should come through Friday and Saturday," Loss said. "It likely will be more intense than the Thursday system. By Sunday, conditions should return to dry and warmer."

Western Colorado weather is settling into more traditional winter patterns, according to Loss. That means fast moving storm fronts originating in the Gulf of Alaska will be moving from west to east through the area.

A significant factor leading to snow falling in Pagosa Country is the location of jet streams in the upper atmosphere. When the jet streams carrying moisture from the Pacific Ocean are over or near the San Juan Mountains, snow is the likely result.

Currently, the sub-tropic jet stream is moving in a northeasterly direction from the northern Baja Coast of Mexico and across western Arizona and Utah. That system will move through very quickly and provide whatever moisture falls this morning.

By Friday and Saturday, that jet stream will have sagged to the south and a polar jet stream carrying Gulf of Alaska moisture could be streaming over Pagosa Country. That event carries a greater likelihood of dropping significant moisture, according to Loss.

Meanwhile, one of the driest Novembers Pagosa Country residents have experienced since 1938 closed Tuesday. Total precipitation for the month amounted to 0.08 inches, compared to a long-time average precipitation of 1.52 inches. Snowfall this past month amounted to 1.47 inches, all of it occurring on Nov. 22. November snowfall since 1938 in town has averaged 10.6 inches.

The average precipitation for December, according to records from the Colorado Climate Center is 1.79 inches. The snowfall average for the same time frame is 22.2 inches. The maximum snow recorded during December in town was 72 inches in 1967. The other extreme, the least snowfall for December, was one inch recorded in 1989.

Local temperatures have remained above average. Although ice is evident on local lakes, none of the lakes near town appear to be solidly frozen or to contain ice strong enough to support humans. The average high temperature last week was 49 degrees, the average low temperature 15 degrees, with a low of 6 degrees recorded Nov. 24.

The average mean December temperature is 22.8 degrees. The maximum average mean December temperature is 31.5 degrees recorded in 1980, while the minimum average mean December temperature is 14.4 degrees recorded in 1952. The highest December temperature of record is 64 degrees recorded Dec. 5, 1946. The coldest day ever officially recorded during December is minus 34 degrees recorded Dec. 25, 1990.


$2.9 million Vista wastewater plant upgrade proposed

By John M. Motter

Upgrades and repairs to the Vista wastewater treatment plant top the list of capital improvements slated for the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District's Year 2000 budget.

When finished, the renovated plant will have a capacity of about 2 million gallons per day, up from the current 1.35 million gallons per day. Financing for the proposed project is expected to come from revenue bonds issued by PAWS. Revenue bonds do not require prior voter approval. Treated effluent from the plant is discharged into the Martinez Creek drainage.

Additional capital projects for the coming year include $280,000 for facilities upgrades and $205,000 for a variety of other projects.

Included under the facilities upgrade heading are $85,000 for installation of a larger water line connecting the U.S 160-U.S. 84 junction and a booster plant located about two miles south on U.S. 84. The increased pipe could be as large as 12 inches and should increase water pressure for users south on U.S. 84.

The $60,000 scheduled for a system analysis will allow the district to measure current capacity against future needs. In addition, bottlenecks and other problems will be identified for future repairs.

About $50,000 is being allocated to relocate the water line adjacent to Lightplant Road. The town expects to rebuild Lightplant Road during the coming year.

Upgrading lift station No. 11 in the Twin Creek area is expected to cost about $40,000. The existing lift station is too small to perform satisfactorily.

PAWS is allocating $10,000 to redo the water line on Lewis Street in connection with the signal light installation proposed for the Lewis Street-5th Street-U.S. 160 intersection.

The installation of additional new fire hydrants will cost about $10,000.

About $65,000 is the expected cost of rebuilding the West Fork headgate. The headgate is used to remove water from the West Fork of the San Juan River, water used to supply Pagosa Springs and the surrounding vicinity,

About $60,000 will be spent to update maps showing the location of water distribution and sewage collection systems. Ultimately, the updated maps will interface with satellite maps for a comprehensive rendition of the entire system.

The following, additional capital expenditures are anticipated: $50,000 for a fork lift; $18,000 to purchase a vehicle for the assistant manager; $10,000 for rebuilding the Martinez intake at Lake Hatcher, and $2,000 for additional communications radios.

Adoption of a final version of the PAWS Year 2000 budget is proposed for the district's Dec. 7 meeting.

In general, the PAWS budget contains an ordinary general funds section and an enterprise fund section. The general fund is largely dependent on property taxes and is subject to TABOR and other state statutory limits. Because PAWS has not de-Bruced, that is, obtained voter approval to retain revenues in excess of TABOR and other limits, PAWS will credit taxpayers with about $60,000 for the coming year.

Assessed values in PAWS are up about 25 percent over the previous year. Consequently, collection of property tax revenues are being reduced in order to maintain revenues within acceptable limits. The tax rate in District 1 will probably drop from the current 6.08 mills to 5.273 mills. In District 2, the rate will likely drop from 1.949 mills to 1.660 mills. Both districts are part of the Fairfield Pagosa area. District 1 is generally north of U.S. 160, District 2 generally south. District 1 tends to contain both water distribution and wastewater collection systems. District 2 contains primarily water distribution.

The enterprise fund portion of the budget is primarily supported by user fees. Colorado law limits enterprise fund tax income to less than 10 percent of the total enterprise income. The advantage of an enterprise fund is that enterprise funds are not subject to TABOR or other limits.

Total PAWS enterprise fund revenues anticipated for the Year 2000 budget amount to $7,554,737, up from $3,585,022 the previous year. Revenue increases for this fund will be generated by boosting the facilities upgrade fee by $500, increasing the availability fee by 50 cents per lot per month, and increasing water service fees by 50 cents per user per month.

Work will continue this year on the already started project of piping water from the San Juan River below town to a new water treatment plant planned for construction this year near the Vista office. The pipeline installation has progressed from the river until it is now taking place along Vista Boulevard, just a short distance from its ultimate destination.

Remaining in this year's budget are $1.8 million for the San Juan pipeline project and other work connected with construction of the new water treatment plant. Work on the new plant should start this coming spring.

Once completed, the new plant will provide an alternative source of water from the Stevens and Hatcher reservoirs currently in use. Provision of the alternate source will allow PAWS to enlarge Stevens Reservoir to increase its capacity, and ultimately to construct a new intake reservoir in the Martinez Creek drainage.


Pagosa saddened over passing of Ray Littlefield

Many Pagosa residents were saddened Friday to learn that Ray Littlefield had passed away.

Raymond C. Littlefield, 70, was born in Houston, Texas, March 8, 1929. He passed away November 26, 1999, at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M.

He is graduate of Mirabeau B. Lamar High School in Houston in 1945 and the University of Texas School of Architecture in 1955.

Mr. Littlefield served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve, was a past president of the North Austin (Texas) Rotary Club (1970-71), was a past president Austin Woods and Water Club, a past president of Austin Apartment Association (1968), a member of the Association of General Contractors Austin Chapter, and a member of the American Institute of Architecture.

An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Littlefield made annual trips to the Pagosa area beginning in the 1950s to enjoy the hunting and fishing opportunities. He moved to Pagosa Springs in 1984. While in Pagosa he was an active member of First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Water and Sanitation Board, Archuleta County Airport Authority and Pagosa Springs Rotary Club.

Mr. Littlefield was the founder, architect, and developer of the Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. His experience and a lifelong love of the Colorado Rockies and the Pagosa area placed him in the unique position to recognize the need for a facility that truly cares for the elderly and to fulfill that need with the development of Pine Ridge.

Mr. Littlefield is survived by his wife, Mrs. Dolores Littlefield of Pagosa Springs; one brother, David P. Littlefield of Euless, Texas; his children, Bob A. and Brenda Littlefield of Grapevine, Texas, James R. Littlefield of Seattle, Wash., Dale W. and Susan Littlefield of Memphis, Tenn., and Karen and Randy Eustace of Lubbock, Texas; by his step-children Dan Buchanan of Sacramento, Calif., Debra Buchanan of El Reno, Okla., Diane and Pres Gurule of Prescott, Ariz., David and Rita Prokop of Pagosa Springs, Dennis and Kathy Prokop of Prescott, Ariz., and Donald Prokop of Pagosa Springs; 19 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

His funeral service was conducted at the First Assembly of God on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m., with Pastors Dan Sanders of First Baptist Church and Micah Wells of First Assembly of God in Pagosa Springs officiating. Burial followed at Hilltop Cemetery.

The pallbearers were Bob Littlefield, James Littlefield, Dale Littlefield, David Prokop, Dennis Prokop and Donald Prokop. David Littlefield, Eric Eustace, Pres Gurule and Dan Buchanan served as honorary pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that gifts can be made to First Baptist Church, Pagosa Springs Building Fund, Box 960, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or Hospice of Mercy Pagosa Springs, 95 South Pagosa Boulevard, Unit B, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Larson, Dyer host open house

Representative Mark Larson and Senator Jim Dyer will host an open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 7, in the county commissioners meeting room of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Sen. Dyer and Rep. Larson plan to discuss concerns raised by their constituents and to answer their questions.

Rep. Larson's legislative assistant, Tyler Nifong, also will attend. Nifong served as an assignable clerk in the House last year.

Larson, R-Cortez, represents House District 59 which includes Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. He serves as the vice-chairman of the House Transportation and Energy Committee, and is member of the House Business Affairs and Labor, and Capital Development committees.

Dyer, D-Durango, represents Senate District 6 which includes Archuleta, Delta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties. He serves on the Senate Agricultural, Natural Resources and Energy, State Veterans and Military Affairs, and Transportation committees.

Inside The Sun

Some exciting alternatives to standardized testing

By Roy Starling

Last week in the SUN, an informal survey of Pagosa Springs High School teachers revealed that they had little faith in the ability of standardized tests to gauge accurately what or how students learn.

The teachers agreed that standardized assessment devices such as the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests, which schools must perform well on in order to retain accreditation, tell them little about students' creativity or growth, and nothing about how well they research, synthesize or learn collaboratively.

Furthermore, the teachers argued that the tests bear little resemblance to how people are expected to process learning - to show what they know - in the real world.

Given these deficiencies in standardized testing, what sort of assessments do these teachers devise in an effort to learn more about their students' learning, give their students opportunities to learn in a variety of ways and help prepare them for life beyond the classroom?

A favorite device that is especially effective in writing classes is the portfolio. Teachers say portfolios help both them and the students measure progress and give students some say in which of their pieces will be graded and at what stage. Portfolios, English teacher Jack Ellis said, "contain polished work, the results of three, four or five drafts.

"Students collect their work and they choose their best pieces to be included in the portfolio," Ellis said. "Those pieces represent a variety of student writing samples, from journal entries to research articles to their best essays. Then I ask them why they chose the pieces they chose, and they have to write an essay on that."

When his students look back over their work, Ellis said, "they can choose on the basis of having a good grade, but that's pretty superficial. Many times they'll choose a piece due to the emotional ties they have to the subject."

Ultimately, portfolios give student writers an idea of what it's like to be professional writers. They don't "publish" a piece that's still a rough draft and they don't tend to publish pieces they don't like or don't choose themselves. Consequently, when it's time to grade the portfolios, Ellis doesn't have to start from scratch. "At that point, my intention is to read, not to edit. Most of the time it's truly quality work," he said.

English teacher Nancy Esterbrook's Classics class's final demonstration also contains "real world" components - some of the judging is done by various members of the Pagosa community - and appeals to several different ways of learning.

In this semester-ending assignment, students are asked to relate what they think and what they've learned through course readings, research and discussion to thoroughly examine the question: "What is truth?"

"The final demonstration requires public speaking, creativity, research and personal writing," Esterbrook said. "It's also a multidimensional activity. They can use video, tape recorders, costumes, props, movie clips, music and art."

The assignment requires several types of writing. The students must write a dialogue between themselves and their guides on an imaginary journey back in time to converse with the authors they studied in Classics; they write a brief research paper on their guide; they write a short story that "reflects a search for truth"; and they write an analytical essay giving an answer to the question "What is truth?" based on what they read during the semester.

English and speech teacher Curtis Maberry has a number of assignments that could be classified "authentic assessments." One of these allows students to become teachers, to choose a work of literature, develop a lesson plan to teach it, and assign an activity to a class. This assignment looks especially effective in light of research that indicates students retain much more from what they "teach" than from what they're "taught."

Another Maberry assignment asks his students to assume they've been selected to use American literature to introduce African and Asian students to American life, to show them "what America feels like." For this project, Maberry says, "students have to be creative, have to synthesize their learning and have to narrow down what they've learned to a workable topic."

Maberry's "pride," however, is an authentic assessment from senior speech, one that combines the intellectual with the emotional. Here, students must "create a personal speech which will edify, encourage, and show appreciation" to "someone you genuinely appreciate."

"They're always very powerful speeches," Maberry said, "because they're real. This speech shows them how they can use their speaking skills, not only in academic settings, but with families and friends. I'm so proud of them. There's usually some tears, and it can be very draining."

Authentic assessments, according to Maberry, help answer two questions frequently asked by students: Will we ever do this in real life? When will I ever need to know this?

"This kind of assessment really prepares students for the real world, beyond college, teaching them applications of academic skills for work and for family life," Maberry said. "The goal is for them not to just know their learning, but to utilize it."

Science teacher Rick Schur gives his students group assignments at the end of each semester that mimic a real-world situation or problem, require prior knowledge of course content, require some writing and a presentation, and require students to work together.

"The kids like it because they're able to use a little creativity and use the knowledge they acquired throughout the semester," Schur said. "It's something they'd be doing if they really were chemists or physicists."

Schur doesn't give his students "a set procedure. They have to utilize labs from earlier in the year, and they may have to use two or three different methods to show the outcome of the problem. The group has to write up a formal report to be turned in and then do a short 10-minute presentation to the class. That way, the class can see how they did it and everyone gets a review of the concept."

History and geography teacher Doug Hershey has his students analyze propaganda by creating some of their own. "The assessment is actually a demonstration," he said. "The students create a product that incorporates one or more of the methods used for propaganda."

History teacher Randy Roberts has two favorite assignments: inquiry and simulation. "Inquiries allow kids to find out answers for themselves," he said. "Therefore, they learn it and retain it better and also understand the process of learning better. This is what they'll have to do down the road - know where and how to find information."

In an inquiry, Roberts gives students "the parts of a problem and asks them to solve it. It's more of a discovery process."

Simulations, as the name suggests, simulate "real-life decision-making processes and situations to help students become better problem solvers," Roberts said. For example, one simulation asks them to take on the roles of people in three states - Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska - and try to decide how to save Prairie Bend.

"They have to stay true to their roles," Roberts said, "and this helps them learn the process of political give and take."

During the discussions with these Pagosa High teachers, the term "higher standards" never came up. It seemed obvious that if assignments and assessment methods were exciting, diverse, comprehensive and relevant enough, "standards" would be a logical offshoot.


Planners hope to identify 'growth vision'

By John M. Motter

Identification of a county vision that can be put into action relating to growth and land-use planning is the goal of a community action plan town and county leaders hope to launch shortly after the new year begins.

In order to learn what Archuleta County citizens want concerning growth, a research firm using planning experts with special expertise in helping residents say what they (the people) want to say will be hired to conduct a series of public input meetings, according to Mike Mollica, the county growth and development director.

The project is being financed and conducted in connection with an $84,160 Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant originally conceived to develop an Archuleta County corridor study.

A corridor study would have examined growth issues along the major highways, basically U.S. 160 and U.S. 84, according to Mollica. Implementation of the corridor study was delayed until Mollica's hiring last summer, in order to obtain his input.

"Basically, in my opinion we need to define a community vision before we need a corridor study," Mollica said. "We need to learn the opinions, priorities, and future directions people in this community want for growth. Not only do we need to understand the community vision, we have to develop techniques for implementing that vision.

"I don't see us having one vision for the entire county," Mollica said. "I see the county being divided into geographical and population centers. What people living in the Arboles or Chromo areas want may be very different from what people living adjacent to or within Pagosa Springs want. I expect the researchers will identify seven or eight areas and interview people from those areas."

"I don't care how many meetings it takes," Mollica said. "We'll use as many meetings as it takes to get the job done. I feel smaller meetings are more conducive to people feeling free to talk. That's the hardest part of the process, getting input from the citizens so we know what they want."

Once a database is obtained, Mollica will use the information gathered to rewrite the County Master Plan.

"We have a County Master Plan and it contains some good points," Mollica said. "It has not been updated since 1994-1995. It is pretty vague on land use and does not provide me with a clear mandate on which direction to go. Once we define a community vision or visions, we will insert that into the County Master Plan. Then we will define the steps needed in order to implement the vision."

Mollica foresees the need for cooperation among all governmental agencies in order to make an overall master plan work.

"For example, town annexation moves should be coordinated with the county," Mollica said. "The town, county, and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District should be working together. If PAWS wants to extend central water to Aspen Springs, that action has the potential to immensely impact growth patterns and population densities. Those kinds of moves should be worked out together, based on a community vision."

Mollica expects the research project connected with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant to be completed within five or six months.

Meanwhile, a cadre of local citizens interested in identifying a community vision continues to meet with county planners and the county government. That group was instrumental last summer in persuading the county commissioners to commission a survey designed to measure community wants. Mollica would like the county to appoint an advisory steering committee to help with identifying the community vision.

"It's clear from the results of the survey that the community wants something done in connection with land use planning. The survey was a good beginning. Now we need to take the next step by determining what the community wants, then identifying strategies to implement those wants."

Mollica comes to Archuleta County after serving in a variety of planning roles in Eagle County, the location of the Vail population explosion.

"What is happening in Pagosa Springs does not compare with what happened at Vail, probably because we're not on the I-70 corridor and because we're more than two hours from Denver," Mollica said. "Just the same, Pagosa is experiencing significant growth and so far almost nothing has been done to direct it. Some people say it is already too late, but that isn't true. Typically, communities wait until something slaps them in the face, let's say a fast foods store, before they wake up and acknowledge that something needs to be done. That's where we are right now."


Public will see new county budget soon

By John M. Motter

The county commissioners' Dec. 7 or 14 meeting will provide the next opportunity for anxious county employees and elected officials to inspect the Year 2000 county budget. The recently balanced version of the budget will be unveiled to the public on one of those dates.

"I don't know yet which day it will be," said Ken Fox, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "We have pretty much balanced the budget and we'll make it public on either December 7 or 14, whichever is more convenient."

Fox declined to discuss the budget before the coming unveiling. The budget season started with department heads and elected officials presenting budget requests to the commissioners. That preliminary version of the budget was out of balance by about $700,000, the amount requests exceeded projected income.

Later, the commissioners met with department heads to hear justification for the respective requests. The commissioners also conducted closed meetings with elected officials on a one-at-a-time bases. The purported reason for the closed doors was to allow individuals to speak and not be interrupted.

An uproar followed the executive sessions and public release of the preliminary budget. Without exception, the other elected officials complained that certain employees of Dennis Hunt, the county manager, were proposed for significant raises, while Hunt opposed similar raises in the departments of other elected officials.

Hunt declined to comment on the complaints other than to assert, "I just carry out what the commissioners instruct me to do."

As county manager, Hunt, along with the county finance officer, is responsible for putting together the budget. Final adjustments and approval are the province of the commissioners.

Contention has traditionally existed between the commissioners and other elected officials because of the budget situation. The county clerk, treasurer, assessor and sheriff, in addition to the three commissioners, are elected by the people. Consequently, the commissioners have no authority over the other elected officials or employees of other elected officials.

The rub comes because the commissioners do have final say over the county budget, even that portion of the budget which finances the activities of other elected officials.

For example, the sheriff, an elected official, wants to add five new people this season. One of the new employees would be a dog catcher and the remaining four would work in the dispatch department supervised by the sheriff. The estimated cost of the proposed new people is a little over $100,000. In a sense, the commissioners affect how the sheriff runs his department because they can refuse to fund the increases.

Fox refused to comment last week concerning the sheriff's request.

Another issue connected with the budget for the coming year concerns voter approval of the commissioners' request to keep and spend excess revenues. Even though voters approved the request during the November election, the county is planning to credit voters with $624,446 in excess revenues obtained from 1999 property taxes. The credit is being administered because the assessed value of property in the county increased by almost 25 percent. In order to keep revenues within statutory limits, the county temporarily reduced the tax rate.

No excess revenues will be collected until the commissioners vote to levy some particular fee for a particular purposes. An example might be impact fees levied against new development to pay for certain road improvements. Even in the case of impact fees, public hearings will be conducted before the fees will be levied.

Exceptions are various fees collected in county offices, such as those collected by the clerk, treasurer, assessor and building department. Increased collections in those departments will be proportional to increase activities unless the commissioners or the state increases fee rate structures.

In any case, the budget presented by the commissioners at the Dec.7 or 14 meeting will be in its final form. The elected officials will be provided with an opportunity to comment on the budget, Fox said.

Meanwhile, Hunt, Fox and Commissioners Bill Downey and Gene Crabtree and been in Colorado Springs the first four days of this week, attending meetings arranged by Colorado Counties Inc., a coalition of Colorado counties.


Hot Springs corridor includes 'neighborhood plan'

By Karl Isberg

With approval on Nov. 16 of a "neighborhood plan" for the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor, Pagosa Springs trustees set town staff in motion with directions to implement a multi-use development scheme for the area.

The neighborhood plan was produced by contract planner Albert Moore and Mark Garcia of the town planning department following meetings with owners of properties located on Hot Springs Boulevard between San Juan Street on the north and Apache Street on the south. Those meetings provided information concerning development interests of the property owners and their views regarding a long-range plan for the boulevard.

A draft plan was produced by Moore and Garcia and a public meeting was conducted on Sept. 14, 1999, involving property owners and detailing the proposed plan that, if adopted, will be used as a guideline for development along Hot Springs Boulevard.

On Oct. 19, a public hearing was held before the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission. Public comments were entertained and the commission urged approval of the plan by the town trustees.

A resolution adopted on Nov. 16 signals the trustees' approval of the plan and sets out fundamental details in the development guideline.

Part of that guideline is the statement that the plan for the boulevard will consist of three "overlay zones."

The first of the zones is the "Lodging, Healing Arts, and Bathing Zone." This area is located at the north end of Hot Springs Boulevard and encompasses the area that now includes the Spa Motel, Oak Ridge Lodge, and the Spring Inn property. The area currently provides hot springs bathing and swimming facilities as well as healing arts businesses.

A second zone is the "Mixed-Use Development Zone" which extends down both sides of the boulevard from a point near the location of the U.S. Post Office south to the boundary of the proposed community center-town hall tract near Apache Street.

The last of the zones is the "Governmental Overlay Zone" at the south end of Hot Springs Boulevard, including the community center and town hall tract on the west side of Hot Springs Boulevard and a site for potential Archuleta County facilities located on the east side of the boulevard.

According to Town Administrator Jay Harrington, the overall plan is colored by what he calls a "neo-traditional" approach. That approach entails multiple use, centering on mixed commercial and residential development.

"The middle zone in particular," said Harrington, "is multi-purpose, with mixed use. Commercial development is set at the front, on the boulevard, with residential development and parking put behind the commercial establishments, allowing for a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. There will be higher-density residential development behind commercial structures on the west side of the boulevard."

The neighborhood plan details a specific street and block network, with designated parking areas. According to the resolution the intent "is to create an urban setting with emphasis on pedestrian mobility and reduced vehicular conflicts."

"Streetscapes" are set out in the plan, specific for each overlay zone and encompassing details such as privacy walls, sidewalks, landscaping, parking, lanes of traffic on the boulevard, mid-block pedestrian accesses and building frontage alignments.

In their resolution, trustees directed town staff, "to develop the specific implementation tools needed to undertake the plan and to begin the engineering analysis needed for planning and developing the infrastructure along the corridor."

Harrington said the directive gives staff "the go-ahead to take the concept and find ways to implement it. We have no particular time frame at this point. We will begin with traffic engineering for the roadway itself, then move to design issues."

Once preliminary work is complete, a public hearing will be scheduled to consider zoning concepts for the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor and to discuss the means developed by town staff to implement a full development plan for the area.




Dear Editor,

Have other folks looked at our beautiful Pagosa skies lately? I am hoping that someone has a better explanation to the "X"s left by jets than I have been able to get from the Internet.

What I have learned is that contrails are normal when they last a few seconds, then disappear. This is a function of the cold air and vapors emitted by the jets.

Chem-trails, on the other hand linger in the sky, get fat and are often in the form of "X"s.

What chem-trails seem to be (Internet source) are viruses, intended to reduce world population. The pilots are being told they are inoculating us against germ warfare.

Elder people are the most susceptible to these sprayings . . . coming down with flu-like symptoms and lung problems (pneumonia and bronchial ailments). The rest of the population (human and animal) seem to suffer from liver disorders and the flu, the symptoms that keep reoccurring.

Does anyone have evidence that these patterns may be from something else?


John Michaels

Smooth roads

Dear Editor,

The Road Advisory Committee of Archuleta County-Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association would like to express our appreciation to the commissioners of Archuleta County, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners board of directors, the Archuleta Road and Bridge Department and Weeminuche Construction for the new roads that have been built and the existing roads that have been refurbished in Pagosa Lakes.

These new and refurbished roads are the result of many years of hard work on the part of the county and Pagosa Lakes. Many residents felt that money was being wasted on the legal efforts expended in pursuing the claim against Fairfield. The commissioners and the Pagosa Lakes board persevered and a settlement was made. Without this settlement we would not have new or refurbished roads.

Archuleta County Road and Bridge acted as overall program manager on the contract. They maintained contact with the contractor, the residents and Pagosa Lakes. They took the comments and complaints under consideration and worked hard to resolve any conflict. They kept all parties informed of the status and progress of the program.

Weeminuche Construction, the contractor selected by the county, brought in enough equipment, manpower and experience to handle the task in as short a time as possible. When the weather made work in one area impractical they shifted to other areas. When they had problems getting fill and rock they were creative and found other sources. They also worked with the residents to minimize the inconvenience that accompanies road construction.

We, the Road Advisory Committee, followed the progress, acted as a go-between with residents and the contractor and worked with Road and Bridge to resolve difficulties.

This program has been a team effort that shows the success that can be achieved when all the players work together. The program is now over 90 percent complete and will be finished in the spring. We, the Road and Advisory Committee, congratulate every contributor to this effort. It took all of the named to accomplish the task.

Bill Ralston

Chairman, Road Advisory Committee

Sign freedom

Dear David,

Thanks for printing the letters concerning our "sign problem" in Lake Pagosa. It has been heartwarming to have long- and short-time friends, and even strangers, come up to us on the street, at the post office, store, etc. and inquire as to the state of the problem. They have all been very supportive and wondering what all the controversy has been about.

A gentleman from California wondered if we hadn't "agreed to in writing a clearly-stated rule" when we moved here - a good question. We moved here 22 years ago when Ralph Eaton owned the development now known as Fairfield. We affectionately called it Eaton's Pagosa. There were very few homes here and about 300 people (I think they counted cats and dogs in that number). When we put up our signs we had a quick response from Leonard Carey, who was general manager at that time. He gave us his whole-hearted approval and I quote from a recent letter: "Obviously, we are very sympathetic to your controversy with the Environmental Control Committee. First, Margaret Gallegos commenting on 'Commercial signs within a residential district' is not technically correct, in my opinion. Your ministry is a non-profit faith ministry as is a church. Church signs do not come under the designation in any city of which I am aware as a 'commercial sign.' We were so delighted to have you two added to the community these 22 years ago. We certainly had no objections to the signs that were placed on your property at that time. Please let me know about your signs, so I can write an appropriate letter in your support."

Ralph and Frances Eaton were neighbors and often walked by. They mentioned several times that they were glad that we were here, and never a negative word about our signs. We had never signed anything pertaining to any ruling about them or received any notice of any ruling against them. We have never, in all this time, had a negative word spoken to us about them.

We have over the years added more signs from our house number to ones such as "Stretcher Bearers for Christ," and a sign by our front door that says "Thou shalt remove thy muddy boots (Rebekah 1:1)." Folks say they really enjoy them.

I hope that the PLPOA isn't trying to make this lovely mountain community into a place of houses that are nameless, faceless, and rubber-stamped, where folks all have to act alike, think alike, and look alike. Most of us came here to get away from rigid, regulated lives where people are just a number.

Our purpose here has been to quietly and steadily go about our lives helping people, and we expect the Lord will continue to bring people by to see us, signs or no signs.

Very sincerely,

Rebekah Laue


Found money

Dear David,

The real Turkey's in all this is CDOT for their requirement, and the commissioners for assisting in the enforcement of a bureaucratic decision. If our county commissioners and/or their administrative staff would travel east to the San Luis Valley, they would notice that even private drives over there have turn lanes. These were all put in, compliments of the state, when CDOT widened U.S. 160. There are many turn off's on U.S. 160 more dangerous than Turkey Lane. As a matter of fact, most from the city limits to Durango are more dangerous.

It seems to me that CDOT officials are just flexing their muscle and picking on persons they know do not have the wherewithal to fight back. If CDOT really wants to improve U.S. 160 and make it safer then it should be widened and shoulders placed on it. If it can be done in the San Luis Valley then it can be done here, we are also tax payers.

At the present time 73 percent of the highway between Pagosa and Durango has no shoulder wide enough to pull out on in the event of a flat, so you have your choice of risking your life by fixing your flat in traffic or ruining a tire and rim by driving on to a wider place.

Another thought, a year ago CDOT asked the people for money to widen (four lane) U.S. 550 from Durango to the state line, this was turned down by a majority of the voters but if you have traveled U.S. 550 this past summer you will notice that they are doing it anyway. They are now saying "we had the money after all, we really did not need to float a bond issue." Well, if they "found" the money to four lane U.S. 550 then surely they can "find" the money to widen and put shoulders on U.S.160. I understand that the majority of the money is spent where the majority of the votes are, but I doubt there are more votes along U.S. 550 than along U.S. 160.

Leroy Oldham

United we stand

Dear Editor,

Well it seems that the PLPOA will never run out of reasons to cause trouble. Last week it was letting Craig Givens go from the ECC committee because he, like most of us, expressed his right to freedom of speech and wrote a letter to the editor only after the board would not hear his concerns on a matter that had to do with PLPOA. That's a fine example of lost freedom.

Next, they come out with their so-called recommendations on the RVs, stating that they will be permitted where there are not any specific rules. So, where there are specific rules, only the high rulers know where that is, then they will not be permitted. How fair is that? Sounds like discrimination. Well it sounds as if the board is true to form, just doing what it wants.

Now as for the people who complain and don't do anything about it. I will be glad to help get this petition together in order to get rid of the PLPOA organization. But of the ones who have written letters none of them have come forward to my knowledge in order to start the ball rolling. If you can't follow through then maybe you should not complain. Let's have a little less talking and a lot more action.

This is what is wrong with the people of America, they can't organize in order to overthrow an establishment that they have fault with because we have been free too long and we have an attitude that it will fix itself so why do anything. If this country was in danger of being taken over by outside terrorists would you then ban together and fight to keep your freedom and your rights? I wonder.

This organization is no different except it is on a smaller scale. But if you look at history I think you will find that takeovers are always started on a smaller scale and then go onto a larger scale and then the people ask themselves how did this happen.

What is it going to take for you all to wake up and take back what is yours? Freedom.

Randall Mettscher



Anne C. Lukcik

The family, friends and relatives of Mrs. Anne C. Lukcik mourn her passing on Nov. 26, 1999.

Mrs. Lukcik was born in Sarnia, Ontario Canada, and immigrated to Pennsylvania where she met and married her husband of 53 years, Andy Lukcik.

After spending 22 years in California raising their family, Mr. and Mrs. Lukcik moved to Pagosa Springs where they spent the past 25 years.

Mrs. Lukcik is survived by her husband, Mr. Andy Lukcik; three children; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services were held Nov. 30 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Contributions would be welcome in her name to IHM Parish and Missions, Box 451, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


George Ernest Clay

George Ernest Clay, a 50-plus year resident of Durango and long-time friend of many Pagosans, died of injuries sustained in a pedestrian motor vehicle accident at his Florida Road home on Nov. 12, 1999.

Mr. Clay was born Nov. 4, 1910, at Russell, Ark., and had just celebrated his 89th birthday with his family just a week before his untimely death.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Ollie, sharing over 50 years of marriage and three children: Colleen, Shirley and Dick. Mrs. Clay preceded him in death March 24, 1998.

Mr. Clay worked all over La Plata and Archuleta counties as a logger in the early 1940s and a mechanic. He retired as a mechanic for the city of Durango in 1976. He enjoyed fishing, cutting wood, horse-trading and visiting with family and friends.

He leaves to cherish his memory, two daughters, Colleen Ash of Vista, Calif., and Shirley Brittian of Wichita, Kan.; one son, Dick Lee of Reno, Nev.; seven grandchildren, one of which is Marti Hoffmann of Pagosa Springs; 11 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Ray Littlefield

See Frontpage.

Danielle Malouff

Danielle Nicolette Malouff, a 1998 Durango High School graduate, died in a car accident Nov. 21, 1999. She was 19.

Ms. Malouff was born May 21, 1980, in Craig. In high school she was a member of the choir. After high school she attended Casper (Wyo.) Community College as a nursing student. She had many interests and spent three years working with children in the after school "Kid Time" program.

She is survived by her mother, Dennae Malouff of Loveland; father, Mike Malouff of Durango; brother, Shawn Malouff of Durango; grandmother Sybil Malouff of Arboles; grandparents Eddie and Mary Hodges of Craig; stepfather, Bill Newman of Loveland; stepbrother, Zack; stepsister, Jennifer; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

A rosary service for Ms. Malouff was held at Hood Mortuary of Durango on Nov. 26 with Father Mike McCleary officiating. Her funeral was held at First Presbyterian Church in Durango on Nov. 27 with Pastor Dan Straw officiating. Burial followed at the Allison Cemetery following a graveside service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be make to the Durango Children's Museum in Danielle's name c/o Burns Bank.



Archuleta and Skip compete in ABRA world show

Edward Archuleta and his horse, Chromo Skip Buck, traveled to Topeka, Kan., to compete in the American Buckskin Registry Association World Championship Show Aug. 10 through 14. The event attracted over 650 entries with horses and riders from both the U.S. and Canada. All riders had one thing in common, a chance to win the title of being a world champion.

Being midsummer, the heat and humidity of Kansas was a new experience for both horse and rider native to Pagosa Springs. Although the main arena was air conditioned, the warmup arena and stall area were not. When Skip wasn't being ridden or shown he spent his time in a stall with two fans constantly keeping him cool and somewhat comfortable from the 98-degree heat.

The ABRA world show provided Archuleta and his a horse a chance to compete against some of the best horses and riders in the nation. Competing in eight events spread throughout the week they were judged in each event by three judges. Each judge would assign their personal placing. The three judges' scores then were combined and averaged, giving an overall placing.

The pair placed seventh in the Junior Western Pleasure 2 competition, eighth in the Amateur Western Pleasure 2 judging, sixth and fourth in the Amateur English Pleasure segment, and sixth place in the English Equitation event.

In Skip's two best finishes in judging of the horse, he was awarded two top honors. Skip received a fifth place in Junior English Pleasure evaluation and received third- and sixth-place scores for an overall fifth-place finish in the toughest class throughout the show. In his Amateur Halter gilding class, Skip received third- and fifth-place scores to finish in fourth place overall.

Archuleta said he hopes to take Skip to the ABRA World Show next year and plans to do even better. He also has set his sights on qualifying for the much tougher and more competitive AQHA World Show and in hopes of placing in the top 10.

Skip, a 5-year-old quarter horse buckskin gelding, was born on the Chromo ranch owned by Harold Schutz. He was then purchased, raised and trained as a 3-year-old by young Archuleta with some guidance from Jack Adams.


Sonny J. Davidson

Marine Pvt. Sonny J. Davidson, son of Cindy D. Davidson of Pagosa Springs, recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif.

He successfully completed 12 weeks of training designed to challenge new recruits both physically and mentally. The training phase included a 54-hour team effort, problem-solving evolution which culminated with a ceremony in which the recruits were presented the Marine Corps Emblem, and were addressed as "Marines" for the first time.

Davidson is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Taro R. Hill

Marine Pfc. Taro R. Hill, son of Richard Hill of Pagosa Springs, recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif. Hill successfully completed 12 weeks of training designed to challenge Marine recruits both physically and mentally.

He is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School


Rusty W. Nabors

Marine Pvt. Rusty W. Nabors, son of Jerry G. and Linda S. Nabors of Pagosa Springs, recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.

Nabors and his fellow recruits ended their 12-week training phase with the "crucible," a 54-hour team effort, problem-solving evolution which culminated with a ceremony in which the recruits were presented the Marine Corps Emblem, and were addressed as "Marines" for the first time.

Nabors graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1999.


Jacobs and Lord live out dream

Judy Jacobs and Jamie Lord of Pagosa Springs traveled to southern California in late October to live out Jacobs' dream of meeting Donny Osmond. Yes, that Donny Osmond - the famous '70s teen idol.

Judy is the daughter of Bob and Joanne Jacobs of Pagosa Springs. Jamie is on the staff of Community Connections.

The two young ladies were a perfect match. Jacobs is developmentally disabled, but she had the dream. And Lord, her friend and care giver, had an urge to visit the Los Angeles area where she was raised.

Aware that Donny and Marie Osmond currently conduct their own TV talk show in Culver City, Calif., Lord placed a long-distance call to Sony Studios. Rather than reaching an answering machine, she was connected with David Silberman, Osmond's assistant.

Upon learning of Jacobs' refusal to let her condition control her emotions and outlook on life, Silberman went to work at making her dream a reality. The dreamed of meeting was set for late October. There was just one condition: Lord would have to arrange for the travel and lodging.

No problem.

Lord placed another long-distance call, this time to her sister and brother-in-law, Chris and Dave Abbott, who live in Newport Beach, Calif. It turned out that Dave's best friend and next-door neighbor, Mikey Martinez, would not be using his beach house when Judy and Jamie planned to be in Los Angeles. So being a good neighbor, Martinez graciously invited them to enjoy the comforts of his beach house "during our infrequent times of leisure," Lord said.

When told of the bold young ladies' plan to pursue a dream, Bob and Judy Jacobs were all for it. Using Judy's specially equipped van, Judy rode in her wheel chair as Jamie manned the steering wheel.

Rather than take the shortest route between two points, Lord steered the van out of Pagosa Springs and set out for Bullhead City, Ariz., and an overnight stay with her grandmother. As anyone who's been to Bullhead City knows, the visit is not complete without crossing the Colorado River and dropping in at the casinos in Laughlin, Nev.

From Laughlin it was on to Newport Beach, a mini-family reunion and waking up to a real, live dream. It turned out that the Martinez beach house was right on the beach and offered an uninterrupted view of the yachts and various crafts that plied the waterway. But the next day's events exceeded even their wildest dreams.

Lord said that thanks to Donny Osmond and David Silberman, "Judy's dream came true. We had such an awesome day at the Sony Studios. When we arrived, David showed us the way to our studio seats. After the first taping of the show David escorted Judy and me back stage to where Donny was waiting for us. I can't tell you how awesome it was to see Judy and Donny hand in hand talking. As the day went on Donny and David kept the surprises and the generosity coming with Donny memorabilia, passes to Disneyland, lunch at the studio, and they even gave us our own dressing room to kick back in. Donny was so impressed by all of Judy's memorabilia that she brought with her, that Donny autographed all of it. We were treated like royalty."

The young ladies finished Judy's "dream vacation" with a full day at Disneyland with Judy's new friends Chris and Dave Abbott, their baby, Zachery, and Mikey Martinez.

Asked to describe their day at Disneyland, Jamie said, "What a blast. Dave and I ran with Judy through the ground water fountains, went on rides, ate junk food, and saw all the shows. Judy's favorite show was The Bear Country Jamoboree."

As for the overall trip, Jamie said she could not explain what a fulfillment it was to take part "in helping Judy accomplish her dream. The emotions, the excitement, and the joy on Judy's face were worth the drive and all the extra time."

Declining to acknowledge the tremendously significant role she played in making Judy's dream a reality, Lord instead said she wanted to "extend a special thank you to Bob and Joanne Jacobs and all who were involved to make this trip possible."


Sports Page

Wrestlers looking for another banner year

By Karl Isberg

Last year, Pagosa Springs Pirate wrestlers started the season slow, finished in third place at the Intermountain League and regional tournaments, then turned on the heat to take second place among all Class 3A teams at the state tournament.

That second-place finish involved two state champions and one runner-up. Jason Silva won a second consecutive title at 130 pounds and Cody Backus captured the crown at 135 pounds. Josh Schmidt finished second in the state at 145 pounds. All three wrestlers graduated last spring.

While the departure of three great wrestlers from the Pirates' roster could be seen as bad news, any gloom is quickly dispersed by the fact coach Dan Janowsky believes his team is stronger this season at nearly every weight class.

Janowsky also thinks the 1999-2000 version of the Pirates might, like its immediate predecessor, start the season slowly compared to several of its rivals, then gain momentum as the season progresses, developing into a serious contender at the end of the schedule in mid-February.

"I think, without a doubt, we have a better balanced team than last year," said the coach. "We expect to contend for the IML and regional titles. We don't overemphasize this expectation, but I think we're capable. I think if we have a decent year, we'll be in the top five among 3A teams. If we really put things together, we could be in the hunt for the trophy."

A core of returning veterans provides a solid base for the Pirates. Five athletes who participated at the state tourney last season are back this year: senior George Kyriacou took fifth in the state at 215 pounds last year; senior Shane Prunty was sixth at heavyweight; senior Josh Trujillo competed at 140 pounds; senior Keith Candelaria saw action at the Big Show at 152 pounds; and junior Josh Richardson wrestled at 171 pounds.

Among the 38 athletes out for the team, Janowsky has some high-quality talent to gather around his state tournament vets.

A glance at the team's initial depth chart reveals an interesting mix that could gel into a formidable unit. With wrestlers at every weight, this year's team might be one of the better Pagosa dual-meet teams of the decade.

Freshman Ryan Lee could give the Pirates a man at the usually vacant 103-pound slot.

Freshman Jesse Trujillo could take the mat at 112 pounds or might drop to the lower weight class. Junior Chris Murphey is also at 112 pounds.

Ronnie O'Brien, a sophomore, is joined by freshman Mike Maestas and senior Henry Espinosa at 119 pounds.

Junior Anthony Maestas and sophomore Ross Wagle are listed at 125 pounds on the current depth chart.

Trevor Peterson gained considerable experience at 125 pounds as a freshman last year and moves up to 130 pounds at the start of this season along with junior Albert Martinez, sophomore Conner Backus, senior Robinson Cortez and freshmen Cliff Hockett, Bobby Read and David Houle.

At 135 pounds, the depth chart lists sophomores Reuben Coray, and Matt McInnis and junior Keegan Vavrick.

Daniel Martinez returns for his senior season at 140 pounds. He is joined at that weight by freshmen Zeb Gill and Orlando Martinez.

Nate Stretton (junior), Dylan Pruitt (junior), Brandon Rosgen (freshman) and Ryan Wendt (freshman) are listed at 145 pounds.

Josh Trujillo starts his senior season listed at 152 pounds, but is likely to end the year at 145. Also at 152 pounds are sophomore Ronnie Janowsky and freshman Jordan Kurt-Mason.

At 160 pounds, the current roster shows Keith Candelaria, who might return to 152 pounds before the end of the year, and senior Jacques Sarnow.

Kraig Candelaria returns for his senior year at 171 pounds, along with junior Clint Shaw, who might, like last year, end up battling giants at 189 pounds.

Richardson is listed at 189 pounds.

Kyriacou ends his high school career at 215 pounds, joined at the weight by sophomore Luke Boilini.

Prunty is the sole Pirate listed at heavyweight.

"We have a good corps of seniors," said coach Janowsky. "They're good leaders and hard workers. I give this bunch of seniors a lot of credit for elevating our program; it's something they've done since they were underclassmen."

The number of athletes in the program is an advantage, but it might be a while before the advantage plays out.

"We have depth," said Janowsky, "and that always adds to improving your performances in the practice room. If you have people competing for a spot in the practice room, it has a carry-over effect. We're pretty solid in our freshman and sophomore classes, and a little thinner in the junior class, so we have a lot to work with."

The possible problem during the first part of the season?


"Our initial problem," said the coach, "will be recovery from football injuries. George Kyriacou is out for a while. He has a fracture in his forearm and a cast on his arm. Hopefully the cast will be off in a couple of weeks and he will be back to competition. We have four wrestlers with shoulder injuries from football: Keith Candelaria, Josh Trujillo, Nate Stretton and Ronnie Janowsky. All of them are day-to-day, but they'll probably be okay."

Another factor that will play a role in the early season is the fact that, with a football playoff date in the recently-completed season, many of the wrestlers are at least a week behind in their practice and conditioning regimen.

"We're not pulling weight right now," said Janowsky, referring to the fact many of his athletes are heavier now than they will be later in the season. "Maybe we'll have most of our guys where they belong by the time we go to the Warrior Classic (Dec. 17 and 18), and maybe not. We go to the Rocky Ford tournament this weekend and I might wrestle more than one guy at a weight during the tournament. I'll play it by ear."

By the time the Pirates return to work following the Christmas holiday break, the pieces should start to fall into place.

"I think, come January, we could have a good dual meet team," said Janowsky. "This will be to our advantage. The IML tournament is a dual meet format this year, and we host the tournament this season (on Feb. 5)."

From the league tournament, the Pirates will go to the regional tournament, held at Centauri this year. The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state tourney at Denver on Feb. 17, 18 and 19.

"We have two placers (Kyriacou and Prunty) from last year's state tournament with a likely shot at getting back and into the finals. George is one of two or three placers at 215 who might be back, and all five guys who placed ahead of Shane graduated. We have other guys who know what it is like to wrestle at state," said the coach. "Aside from maybe three weights, we are a better team than last year. We don't want to expect too much, too early, but I wouldn't be shocked to see us do well. We always start a little slow, or others start faster, but things get better as time goes on. We're finally starting to get people's attention around the state. People are starting to ask 'Who's Pagosa got?' I'm hoping other teams are thinking Pagosa graduated its points. If so, they're in for a surprise; we've got some hungry guys."

Pirate wrestlers will have three opportunities to exercise that hunger prior to the Christmas vacation.

On Saturday, the team travels to the southeast plains to compete in the Rocky Ford tournament.

The Rocky Ford tourney features 12 teams in a dual-meet format, divided into four pools in the preliminary round. One team from each pool advances to the semi-finals. Besides Pagosa, a number of top-level teams will be at the tournament including the host team, top 4A program Cañon City, 3A Roosevelt, regional 3A contenders Lamar and La Junta, and perennial 1A power Crowley County.

Pagosa fans will have an opportunity to see the Pirates on Dec. 9 when the team hosts Ignacio and Aztec, N.M., at the high school gym. Ignacio finished ahead of the Pirates at last year's IML tournament and Aztec is one of the most successful wrestling programs in the nation, winning every New Mexico 4A championship in the '90s. The tri-meet is the first of three appearances the Pirates will make in their own gym this season, the others being the Jan. 8 Rocky Mountain Invitational and a dual meet against Monte Vista on Jan. 21.

Pagosa ends the pre-holiday schedule with a trip to the Warrior Classic at Grand Junction, arguably the toughest regular-season high school wrestling in Colorado.


No. 2 ranked Lady Pirates lose Hamilton for season

By Roy Starling

In a preseason poll, The Denver Post Preps section has Pagosa's Lady Pirates pegged to finish second in the state for their third consecutive year. Tomorrow night they'll go to work on that lofty goal against some stiff competition.

The Ladies open up their last campaign of the millennium (and their first of the next millennium) at the Cortez Tournament with a 6:30 p.m. game against the host Class 4A Panthers. If they manage to delight their own fans at the expense of the home crowd, they'll take on the winner of the Rio Rancho-Delta game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

If, on the other hand, they take their lumps against Cortez, they'll play the Rio Rancho-Delta loser at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Lady Pirates coach Karen Wells was pleased with the way the girls looked in a marathon scrimmage with the 5A Durango Demons Monday. "I thought they did a fine job," she said. "We had two sophomores (Katie Lancing and Ashley Gronewoller) play the entire game in the post."

Wells had only eight players for the scrimmage, and three of those were swing players (who will split their time between the varsity and junior varsity squads this season). Though there was little opportunity to rest her players, they never ran out of fuel. "I didn't know they were in that good of shape," Wells said.

"Katie and Ashley played really well," she said. "And this was Ashley's first game of varsity competition. Also, we had Janae Esterbrook playing out of position at the three spot (a kind of combination of wing and high post). She really knows how to block out."

With two-year starter Dena Lee out of the picture, Wells played musical point guard, rotating junior Meigan Canty, senior Bonnie O'Brien and Esterbrook at that position. Her point guard committee, she said, exhibited strong play making and leadership skills.

There was a glaring absence in the Durango scrimmage, one that will be felt all season long. Projected post starter junior Tiffanie Hamilton, arguably the team's best defensive player, will miss the season with a wrist injury. Hamilton will undergo surgery in January and is expected to be in top form for both volleyball and basketball in her senior year.

With the loss of Hamilton, junior guard Andrea Ash will move from swing to full-time varsity, leaving only Carlena Lungstrum and Tasha Andrews as swing players. Wells will be scanning the JV roster for a dedicated, hardworking player to take another swing slot.

As of yesterday, Wells hadn't settled on a definite starting five, saying instead that six of her girls would see plenty of playing time. Senior Mandy Forrest, Lancing and Gronewoller will stake out their territory as post players under the basket. Canty, Esterbrook and O'Brien will assume ball-handling chores and man the perimeter.

The Lady Pirates will open their home season next weekend, Dec. 10 and 11, when they host the Wolf Creek Classic. Coming to town for the affair will be Gunnison, Montrose, Nucla, Salida and San Juan (Utah).

Once the Ladies begin league play in January, they'll run into another team that caught the eye of the prognosticators at Denver Post Preps. The McCarroll-laden Centauri Falcons were ranked ninth, and both guard Holly McCarroll and post Cindy McCarroll showed up in the "Players to Watch" list.

Also making that list were Forrest and Ignacio's sturdy post player Teresa Cox.

The Post expects last year's state champions, the Eaton Reds to repeat, and they seem like a good bet, returning every starter but Kelli Dyre. Lamar is picked for third followed by Faith Christian, Frederick, Basalt, Buena Vista, Centauri, Rangely and Colorado Springs Christian.


Pirates cagers open season in Cortez

By John M. Motter

The Pirates basketball season begins for real tomorrow. Coach Kyle Canty and his Pagosa cagers travel to Cortez where they join Cortez, Monticello (Utah) and Delta for the annual Cortez Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Opening the season at Cortez has become a tradition for Pagosa over the last few years. Last year the Pirates lost to Monticello and Cortez, but the year before Pagosa surprised everyone by sweeping both games to capture the tournament.

The Pagosa boys take their first tip off of the season against the 4A Delta Panthers at 4:45 p.m. tomorrow. Host Cortez, also 4A and also called the Panthers, closes Friday's calendar against Monticello, Utah, with action starting at 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, Friday's losers meet in the consolation championship game at 11:45 a.m. The boys' championship game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

Canty's boys scrimmaged Durango last Saturday.

"I was really pleased with the way our defense played," Canty said. "We may be further along with defense than we have been in several years."

Following the scrimmage, Canty selected an 11-man varsity squad. This year's squad does not have a tall, go-to player, but will rely on ball handling and balance.

"We'll use a motion offense," Canty said. "Whoever gets open, that's who will be shooting."

On defense, Canty has always been an advocate of man-to-man defenses. This year is to be no exception although "we might shift to a zone more than we have in the past."

Named to the varsity squad are seniors Charles Rand, Lonnie Lucero, Clinton Lister, Carlos Martinez and Brandon Thames; juniors Tyrel Ross, Daniel Crenshaw, David Goodenberger, Micah Maberry and Dominic Lucero; and sophomore Darin Lister.

Rand, Lucero, Ross and Crenshaw experienced serious playing time last season, while the Listers, Goodenberger, and Maberry also picked up some varsity minutes.

Rand is expected to direct this year's offense. Last year he showed ability to drive the key or shoot jumpers from around the free-throw line. He will be expected to attract defenders, then pass off to the open man.

Goodenberger, Mayberry, Crenshaw, Martinez and Thames will be working from post positions. On the wings will be Ross, Lonnie Lucero and Clint Lister, while Dominic Lucero and Darin Lister will help Rand with ball-handling duties.

"Right now, it's a little early to say just how everything will work out, who will play where," Canty said. "We've got three tough tournaments to open the season. Hopefully, by the time league play starts after Christmas, we'll have a few things worked out."

On Dec. 10 and 11, the Pirates host the Wolf Creek Tournament. Invited to appear this year in the home town tournament are Aztec (N.M.), Dolores County, Gunnison, Nucla and Salida.

The following week, Dec. 17 and 18, the Pirates cross Red Mountain Pass to do battle in the Black Canyon Tournament at Montrose.

Intermountain League play for the Pagosa boys begins Jan. 13 at Ignacio.


Seven Pirate gridders named to all-IML team

By John M. Motter

Pirate coach Myron Stretton and seven of his players have been named to the 1999 Intermountain League All-Conference football team.

The selections were made by vote of IML coaches at the end of regular season play. The coaches had agreed not to release the names of those selected until IML schools complete post season play. That happened last Saturday when Monte Vista lost to Buena Vista in the 2A state championship game.

A Pagosa Springs High School graduate, Stretton just completed his second season as the Pirate head coach.

Stretton's team captured the IML title by winning five league games without a loss. In the first round of 3A championship action, Pagosa fell to unbeaten Fort Morgan 42-7. Fort Morgan remains unbeaten, largely untested, and takes on Evergreen Saturday for the state 3A championship.

In the IML, Monte Vista finished second to Pagosa Springs, their only defeat a 13-6 loss to Pagosa Springs. Monte Vista reached the state 2A championship game before losing to Buena Vista.

Because of a decline in enrollment, Pagosa Springs will compete as a 2A school next season. Tentatively on the Pirates schedule are Dolores County, Kirtland, N.M., Bloomfield, N.M., Piedra Vista, N.M., Taos, N.M., Monte Vista, Centauri, Bayfield and Ignacio. Del Norte is being dropped because the Tigers are moving down to 1A competition.

Named to the IML All-Conference offensive team from Pagosa Springs are Clint Shaw at offensive back, Lonnie Lucero as a receiver, Josh Richardson and George Kyriacou as offensive linemen, Darin Lister as place kicker, and Lucero as return specialist.

Also named to the offensive all-conference team are backs Steve Duran of Monte Vista and J.D. Jordan of Centauri, receivers Joaquin DuPont of Monte Vista and Gregg Anderson of Centauri, and linemen John Williams of Bayfield, Matt Steinhart of Monte Vista and Nathan Shawcroft of Centauri.

Named to the IML All-Conference defensive team from Pagosa Springs are Shane Prunty, Keith Candelaria and George Kyriacou as defensive linemen/linebackers, and Lucero as a defensive back.

Also named to the defensive all-star team are linemen/linebackers Grant Lyons of Ignacio; Matt Steinhart, Mike Martinez, and Dustin Weyers of Monte Vista; and Derek Brady and Ryan Crawford of Centauri; defensive backs Ronnie Hunter of Ignacio and Steve Duran of Monte Vista, and punter DuPont of Monte Vista.

Senior quarterback Carlucci of Monte Vista was chosen player of the year. Others chose as both offensive and defensive starters are Lucero and Kyriacou of Pagosa Springs; Duran, Steinhart, and DuPont of Monte Vista. Lucero and Candelaria are repeat performers. Last year Lucero was a first team defensive back selection. Candelaria was first team running back last year, and honorable mention as a linebacker.

Only Lucero, Kyriacou, Prunty, and Candelaria of the Pagosa Springs all-stars are seniors and subject to graduation. Returning for Stretton's Pirates are juniors Shaw and Richardson, and sophomore Lister. This year's Pirate squad contained eight seniors, seven juniors, 13 sophomores, and nine freshman.

Given honorable mention status on the 1999 Intermountain League All-Conference team are: offensive backs - Rodney Hocker, Ignacio; Kelly Greer, Bayfield; offensive linemen - Cade Huffaker, Centauri; Mike Martinez, Monte Vista; and Grant Lyons, Ignacio; defensive linemen/linebackers - Greg Anderson, Centauri; Ben Heyeman, Del Norte; Kelly Greer, Bayfield; and Matt Nelson, Bayfield; defensive backs - Justin Gingrich, Bayfield; Daniel Polkowske, Centauri and Brandon Carlucci, Monte Vista.

Not all of the Pagosa players were available for a photo earlier this week.


Cheerleaders head to Denver for state competition

By Roy Starling

Is cheerleading a sport?

It sure seems like one to the Pagosa Pirate cheerleaders.

When they reported for cheerleading practice in August, they found themselves running up Reservoir Hill at about 6 a.m. They also spent a lot of time in the weight room and jumped rope as if they were preparing for a heavyweight bout.

Since the beginning of the school year, the cheerleaders have worked out daily from 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Having cheered for the football, volleyball and soccer teams in the fall, they're now fine tuning their stunts and routines for the State Spirit Coed Championship in Denver coming up on Dec. 10.

They warmed up for the state competition by entering a regional event in Albuquerque on Nov. 20 where they finished fourth out of 23 teams.

"We'll have two and half minutes to show what we can do at Denver," cheerleading coach Mable Barber said. "We have to come up with a routine that will be judged on difficulty, choreography, safety, voice control, synchronization, crowd participation and sharpness of motion, among other criteria."

The Pagosa cheerleaders went coed three years ago, Barber said, and that resulted in the team getting "bumped up in the competition. We're the only Class 3A team in the state that's coed, so we have to compete against 4A and 5A teams."

They'll return from Denver just in time for the opening of the winter sports season. "We'll cheer for wrestling and all the basketball teams," Barber said. However, local fans shouldn't expect to see their most exciting acts at these events. "We can do some of the stuff," she said, "but for others we need a mat."

Barber's cheerleaders are convinced their sport often gets a bad rap. Keith Frank claimed, "It's a lot harder than it looks. It's scary sometimes. One mess-up can bring the whole team down."

When asked why they chose to cheer, Barber's group gave a variety of responses: "It's something new, different from other sports." "The competition." "We don't have a dance team." "It's fun to support the other teams. Some of the players really appreciate it." "It's a team effort."

And finally this, from a "flier": "It's fun to be thrown in the air."

Making the trip to Denver next week will be Jamie Burchinal, Jennifer Espinosa, Michelle Ferguson, Lee Ann Foutz, Keith Frank, Keri Frank, Toni Gallegos, Dusty Higgins, Caleb Kop, Kira Lekos, Melissa Marks, Susie Rivas, Brittany Thames and Katie Toner.


Community News

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Finally, our very own boom box parade

Pagosa Springs is going to have a Christmas parade and there will be music along the parade route. Sally Hameister and Will Spear, owner of radio station KWUF, put their heads together and came up with the idea to use boom boxes in the parade.

A boom box is a portable stereo system - a portable radio whose volume can be turned up high.

The town of Willimantic, Connecticut, located about 35 miles east of Hartford, is famous for its annual boom box parade. It is very much a people parade, for anyone who wants to do so can march: family groups, organizations such as the Boy Scouts, members of the large Spanish population - just anyone who wants to be a part can do so. Some dress up, some are from out-of-town. The honorary Grand Marshal is Wayne Norman, the main AM radio personality of the local radio station WILI. The parade lasts about an hour. The radio plays march music.

The boom box parade has been written about in the Wall Street Journal and has received national TV recognition.

Here in Pagosa Springs, for our parade, the request has gone out for each float to carry and play a boom box, and it is hoped that spectators will have their boom boxes with them. KWUF will be providing the music. Our parade is going to be fun. It is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

Holiday music

The Community Christmas Choir will perform two nights, Friday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Community Bible Church. The concerts are free but donations are welcome to pay for music and choir incidentals.

The choir is under the direction of Marie Jones.

The program is in two parts: music taken from Kearn Fetke's "The Majesty of Christmas" and selections from George Frederick Handel's "The Messiah."

Once again concert pianist Richard Schiro will be here to accompany the choir when they sing the selections from "The Messiah." Richard now lives in Los Angeles but lived in Pagosa Springs for a number of years teaching piano. He is well-remembered for his piano concerts given locally. We will be happy to see him and to hear him play again


Some Christian churches observe the Advent season. These definitions of special words having to do with Advent can be of help to you who are hazy about Advent, never heard of Advent, or simply do not understand what the season is about.

Advent is a season of preparation for remembering Christ's birth. It begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve.

An Advent calendar is a calendar used to mark the passing of days in Advent. Advent calendars usually have a series of doors to open, one for each day in the season.

The Advent wreath is a circle usually covered with evergreen foliage, with four candles - one to be lighted each Sunday in Advent until all are lit.

Fun on the Run

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went camping. One night, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up and tell me what you see."

"I see millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" asked Holmes.

"Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is 3:15 a.m. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful. Meteorologically, I suspect that tomorrow will be a beautiful day. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

"Watson, my dear friend, someone has stolen our tent."

 Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Thursday Night Live! on Wednesday

How in the world did our six new members and eleven renewals find the time to join the Chamber amidst all the turkey madness? My hat is off to each and every one of them - I was up to my eyeballs in airport runs, sweet potatoes and broken water pipes. I salute those who kept their heads about them and did something so sage (little Thanksgiving pun there). Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and got lots of rest in preparation for the several weeks of non-stop holiday activity ahead. Miles to go before we sleep.

Our good pal, Gail Hershey, joins us with her new in-home business, Mountain Time Designs. Those who have lived in Pagosa for a while know Gail's beautiful work. She has been a ceramic artist for 20 years and is a teacher as well. Gail creates functional and sculptural ceramics and specializes in dinnerware sets with Southwestern flair. If you would like to talk to Gail about ordering some Christmas gifts, please give her a call at 731-2207.

Our second new member this week is Lily Jay with Lily Jay, The Money Matchmaker, doing business out of her home. Lily offers competitive rates for all types of real estate loans, business loans, and venture capital, financed by private sources matched with your interests and goals. Please call Lily at 731-1731 for more information about her services. Mary and Don McKeehan, Lyn DeLange and Pam Schoemig recruited Lily and will be rewarded with passes for free SunDowners for their efforts. We love it when our existing members recruit new members.

Doug and Katrina Schultz join us next with Spun Gold Web Design and Consulting located in their home. Doug and Katrina are friendly professionals who specialize in designing your web site to fit your unique needs. Their reasonable hourly rates allow you to do a little or a lot and expand as you wish. Please give them a call at 731-0178 or HYPERLINK to talk to them about your personal web site needs.

Doug and Katrina offer a second business as well, Uncle Zack's. You are invited to get back to basics at their Old West Webtown for great foods and gifts. Shop their webstore, and get great goodies sent directly to your home. They offer two web sites for your convenience: HYPERLINK or HYPERLINK http://www.uncle

Good friends Jenny and John Schoenborn join us with their new business, Lodestone 21, LLC, with offices located in their home. The Schoenborns are independent distributors of Nikken Wellness Products that relieve stress and discomfort, improve sleep and increase energy, balance and strength of people and pets. These products utilize leading magnetic and far infrared technologies and outstanding nutritional and skin care products. In addition to selling these top-notch products, the Schoenborns are looking for some folks in the area who are interested in talking with them about this business. Great products, great business opportunity - join their team. You can call them at 731-9197 to learn more.

Old friend Patsy Wegner joins us as owner and president of Wegner Properties, Inc. located at 98 Dayspring Place. Wegner Properties, Inc. is a general building contractor business with over 40 years experience specializing in custom built and spec homes. These folks have been building in Pagosa for the past 15 years to satisfied homeowners who are still "friends." Please give them a call at 731-4564 for more information about Wegner Properties, Inc.


We are delighted to acknowledge the following renewals: Jo Bridges with the Pagosa Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service; William Bright with Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic; Rick Kiister with Impact Printing and Graphics, LLC; Mark and Erica DeVoti with Pony Express Brochure Delivery; Elata with Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Donnie Dove with Canyon REO, Inc.; Brenda Eaves with the Rainbow Gift Shop; Terry Clifford with Clifford Construction; Jamie Sharp with FireFly Ranch and Associate Members, Merilyn Moorhead and Glenn Bergmann. Patsy Wegner, GRI, Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker, the Pagosa Group, joins us as well. Thanks to you all for your continued support.

Wednesday Night Live

Thursday Night Live! will be held on Wednesday night, Dec. 8, this month due to all the predictable December chaos and conflicts. Join "A Reading Society and Ensemble" on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Ristorante Loredana on Bastille Drive for an evening of good food, good music, hopefully good theater and definitely good fun. Just what is Thursday Night Live!? It's a dinner theater in which the cast re-enacts timeless, vintage radio and TV scripts. December's performances will include another episode of "Ethel and Albert" and the first of "Fibber McGee and Molly." The plays have adult themes, so children are not encouraged.

Cast, crew and ensemble include Lynda Brown, George Clauss, Sandy and Pierre Mion, Summer Phillips, Chris Pierce, and Beth and John Porter. Enjoy a great meal from Loredana's kitchen, accompanied by music. Then sit back and enjoy the show after dinner. Tickets are $15 and include your meal and entertainment. Beer and wine are extra. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at Loredana's banquet room on Bastille Drive. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Hodge Podge at the River Center or at Risorante Loredana. Please join us on Wednesday, Dec. 8, for an evening of food, fun and frivolity.

Christmas in Pagosa

Please join us this Saturday at the Visitor Center for our annual Christmas in Pagosa celebration. This event officially opens the Christmas season in Pagosa and is designed especially for the children and the young at heart. Santa Claus will appear at the VC at 3 p.m. to listen to all the Christmas wishes and award each child a candy cane. At about 4:45 the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus will arrive on a flatbed truck (provided courtesy of Ace Hardware/Circle T Lumber) to lead us in all the familiar and best-loved carols of the season. At around 5:30, Santa will flip the switch lighting the Visitor Center, and this is a truly magical moment for both young and old. During the day, we will serve hot spiced cider and Christmas cookies, and this year we have a special offering for you. Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography will be here to snap a Polaroid of your special youngster on Santa's lap for you to keep for posterity - or send to grandparents. We're very exCited about this addition, and the pictures framed in a card will cost only $4 each. After the Visitor Center lighting, you can head on over to Parish Hall on Lewis Street to partake of the Kiwanis Club "Infamous Chili Dinner" served from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. This year you will be able to enjoy live entertainment while eating your dinner, so don't miss it. Hope to see you all on Saturday!

Parade of Lights

This Pagosa first offers you the opportunity to become a part of what we hope will become an honored tradition in Pagosa Springs.

Our first Parade of Lights will take place on Friday evening, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m., and we encourage you and your group to get those registration forms into the Visitor Center soonest. We will line up on South 8th Street at 5:30 p.m. and enter the highway at 6th and proceed to 2nd Street (the same route we use for the July 4th Parade). We are offering cash awards of $100 for the Best and Brightest floats in the following categories: Business, Family, Organization, Real Estate and Lodging.

Entry fee for the parade is $25 and the deadline for entering is noon on Dec. 10. This is a great way to get together with your family, business or organization and create something unique and bright. KWUF is working with us to provide the music for the parade, so we ask that each float is equipped with a boom box and is tuned in to 106.3 KWUF-FM so we're all on the same page with the music. Like any other parade, this one will be subject to the weather - blizzard conditions or three inches of snow will pretty much cancel this one. We hope to have an alternative of just heading down 8th Street to the high school parking lot just for laughs if the weather doesn't cooperate. Stay tuned to KWUF for the latest information on the parade on the 10th. Get those registration forms to us as soon as possible.

Yearly Awards

Nomination forms for Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year will be included in the quarterly newsletter, the Chamber Communiqué, and we hope you will give thoughtful consideration to your choices for both of these respected awards. I'll just bet that we all know someone who has made a substantial contribution to the community and should be recognized for his/her accomplishments. There is no better way to honor them than to pronounce them Citizen of the Year. Keep in mind that this award has also been presented to organizations that meet the required parameters so it doesn't necessarily have to be an individual.

Nominees should not only have made an outstanding contribution locally but also should have been involved in the betterment of community through active civic participation. Their involvement may be in health or human services, education, economic development or community-based organizations that contribute to the quality of life in our community. Generally speaking, winners of this award have spent several years of service in Pagosa.

Volunteer of the Year is that person or organization that has devoted many hours of their lives to volunteering their talents and services. Last year's winner, Lee Sterling, is the perfect model for this award when one considers that he has volunteered for just about every organization in Pagosa and established and organized the Road to Recovery program. If Lee required a paycheck for all the hours he has devoted to volunteer work, he could purchase at least two continents and have some left over to attend several Grateful Dead concerts. At any rate, I'm sure you get my meaning and hope you will nominate just the right recipient for this award. More on both later, but just wanted to give you a "heads up" so you'll be thinking about your choice.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Recreation Center annual memberships go on sale

Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center memberships for the year 2000 will be on sale starting Monday, Dec. 20. If you are wondering what to get the family for Christmas, why not pick up an annual Recreation Center membership. It will be something the family can enjoy together, stretching the experience over the entire year and gaining benefits from healthy exercises. There are changes in the types of memberships available to property owners and their sponsored guests next year.

Recreation Center memberships for the year and for six months will continue to be offered at the same price as this year. A new category for couples has been added. Family membership for the year will cost $182. This category of membership will be sold to a family, covering only parents and single dependent children that are living with and supported by parent's income. Single and couple annual memberships will cost $102 and $142, respectively. Couples with grown children may purchase Recreation Center punch passes to cover facility use by their visiting children and grandchildren. Information on punch pass is included below.

The following are costs of six-month Recreation Center memberships. For a single it will be $70, $100 for a couple and $121 for a family. Six-month memberships can be purchased anytime during the year provided the expiration date does not go past year 2000. The same qualifying definition for a family membership from above applies.

The "punch pass" will be a whole new Recreation Center use option for next year. Punch passes for 12-use ($29), 20-use ($40) and 32-use ($60) will offer more flexibility to property owners visiting their second homes in Pagosa. All of the above mentioned membership options are available only to property owners in Pagosa Lakes who are members in good standing with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, and their renters.

Sponsored guests of a Pagosa Lakes property owner are eligible for only these Recreation Center use options. Sponsored-guest punch passes for 12-use at $36 and 20-use at $55 will be offered. A daily-use pass costing $5 will still be available. For more information on the Recreation Center memberships, please call Andrew or Ming at 731-2051.

Pagosa Lakes residents are cautioned to keep children and dogs away from the lakes. The ice is dangerously thin. The only fishing docks that are still available to fishermen are located on Lake Pagosa and Village Lake. Fishing docks on Lake Forest and Lake Hatcher are surrounded by ice. I understand the fishing is still good.

The Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs invites the community to their famous annual chili dinner on Saturday, Dec. 4. This enjoyable evening event will be held at the Parish Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition to good grub (chili, drink and ice cream), there will be Christmas music provided by local children choirs, Mark DeVoti and Ashleigh Corell. The final period of entertainment will include a "Kids Karaoke." Bring all your munchkins and let them have at it. DeVoti, a talented singer himself, will bring out the song in these youngsters by accompanying them. Prizes will be given to those who perform. I'm looking forward to the evening because it's another opportunity to visit with friends, listen to holiday music and for the first time this year, hear our children belt out their favorite songs in a relaxed, anything-goes environment. Who knows, we may discover a Shirley Temple in our midst. Although tickets are available at the door, I highly recommend that you pick them up in advance from Pack and Mail Plus and the Emporium ($5 adult and $3 children). And by the way, kiddos get to have hot dogs or chili dogs. Wow! So get your tickets, join in the festivities and know that the proceeds will go to support healthy activities for the children and youth of Pagosa.


Education News
By Tom Steen

Success in reading begins early

In 1999, we are witnessing a time of unparalleled activity to get more children on the road to reading.

An unprecedented pro-literacy movement, focused on children under age 9, is sweeping through thousands of communities across the nation. A common strategy has emerged for reading success: we must start early by preparing young children to read, and we must finish strong by providing excellent instruction and community support in the primary grades.

In 1998, The National Research Council produced "Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children," a blueprint for action to create a nation of readers. The study clearly defines the key elements all children need in order to become good readers. Specifically, kids need to learn letters and sounds and how to read for meaning. They also need opportunities to practice reading with many types of books. While some children need more intensive and systematic individualized instruction than others, all children need these three essential elements in order to read well and independently by the end of third grade. Effective teaching and extra resources can make it possible for many "at-risk" children to become successful leaders.

Newspapers, businesses, libraries, sports teams, community service groups, employees, college students, and volunteers of all ages are stepping forward to tutor children, work with parents, provide books, and support schools. This crusade is reshaping our view of the reading challenge. Every parent, caregiver, teacher, and citizen has a role to play to spark dramatic improvement in reading. Explore ways that you or your organization can support this effort.

What can be done to prepare more children for reading success?

First, families can maximize the benefits of parent-child communication from birth.

Second, caregivers and preschool teachers can be trained and given resources to stimulate emergent literacy.

Third, children deserve well-trained teachers who understand reading development, who can pinpoint problems, and who can address them effectively.

In addition, entire communities can rally around their children for literacy success. This means more partnerships between schools and communities. It means greater engagement of private enterprise and cultural groups. It means more volunteers and more opportunities for legions of mentors and tutors.

By expanding our view of who contributes to students' reading success, we are increasing opportunities for millions of Americans to endow our children with this lifelong skill. If we succeed in engaging this untapped pool of adults, the results will revolutionized education in this country.

The Education Center is working with the schools to coordinate the participation of tutors in after-school programs. Many of the current tutors are local high school teens who are doing an outstanding job of working with younger students. There is a pressing need to involve more community adults as volunteers to support this program.

Please contact the Education Center at 264-2835 to see how you can help during the after-school hours or contact the schools if you would like to help during regular school hours.


Library News
by Lenore Bright

Library looking into expanding open hours

When one door closes, another one opens.

The future is exciting now that we can do some long range planning. The board of directors and staff are looking forward to the challenge. Expanding services is number one. Early in January, we'll start with focus groups. If you would like to take part in a group discussion, please sign up at the desk.

Longer hours

The board is investigating requests for longer hours now that our ballot issue passed. We will be asking patrons to give us suggestions as to what they would prefer. We encourage your input on this subject as soon as possible. We will have a suggestion box at the desk.

College Invest

A few weeks ago, the state of Colorado introduced College Invest, offering families a choice of funds including the Prepaid Tuition Fund and the new Scholars Choice savings program.

Families can enroll through Jan. 11, 2000. Your investment can be used throughout the United States at private and public colleges, universities and vocational schools. Taxes on the increased value of these accounts are deferred. For more information, call (800) 478-5651. The web site is

We have an enrollment kit at the library for you to look at. Ask at the desk.

Virtual campus tours

Over 800 colleges now provide tours on-line. The tours are intended to encourage students to visit the campus in person.

Studies Center

Groundbreaking for the Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis took place in May. The entire complex is set for a grand opening in 2001. The Center will house a museum, library, archival area, classrooms, labs, and a 120-seat lyceum for public lectures.

Currently the Center is located in the college library. Anyone interested in our Southwest history and lore should pay a visit to this resource. A new collection focuses on the prehistory of Colorado and New Mexico. Another new collection features twenty-nine Kachinas donated by Richard Vogel, owner of a trading post near Ship Rock.


"Timelines," the Fort Lewis Southwest Studies Newsletter, also discusses an archaeological site discovered on private land last year in the north Animas Valley near Durango. It raised speculation that the people inhabiting the area may have different ethnic and cultural origins from the ancestral Pueblo Indian people who later occupied Southwest Colorado.

The people were robust, and big boned - larger than the average Ancestral Puebloan who came later. If you are interested in this subject, ask for a copy of the newsletter at the desk.

Cathy Dodt-Ellis, our resident archaeologist, can also tell you interesting facts about this latest find.

Diet and cataracts

The latest "Health and Nutrition Letter" tells what the latest evidence shows. It has several interesting subjects including buying drugs over the Internet. Our Tufts newsletter is just one of many excellent references in our medical section.

Gifts and memorials

This is the time we normally ask you to consider making a donation to your library to purchase books. This year, because of the support we had at election time, we will have an adequate budget to buy books next year. We are so thankful for your generosity these past seven years. Your gifts kept our collection going.

While we won't be soliciting this holiday season, we still encourage you to donate in memory, or in honor of someone. This type of memorial is a living, lasting gift. The names of the donor and honoree are in our memorial book and are part of our community history.

And please continue to donate your books and other materials as they continue to be needed. The more best sellers we have, the shorter the waiting lists. The more books we have from you, the more money we can put toward that building fund.


Financial help came from Kelly Johnson, Ralph and Genevieve Phelps in memory of Nellie O'Neal and Reuben Marquez, Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Reuben Marquez and Albert Naegeli.

Materials came from Richard and Laura Manley, Mary Alice Behrents, Beth Cofer, Michael Turolla, Mary Lou Sprowle, Mary Jo Hannay, Don Simonson, Sandra Kahrs, Dick and Gerry Potticary, Don Mowen, Angie Crow, Phyllis Decker, Don and Barbara Draper, Liz Morris, Linda Rackham, Ann Van Fossen, Kathy Carter and Hannah Foster.

Our thanks to all of you.


Arts Line

By Jennifer Galesic

Opening reception for Christmas Shoppe

Attention! Don't miss the reopening of the beloved Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and gift shop, happening today, Dec. 2. The gallery will host "An Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe," through Dec. 23.

The Christmas Shoppe features a vast selection of extraordinary gift items, hand crafted by local artisans. This is a fantastic opportunity to find truly one of a kind gift items for everyone on your holiday list. Plan to join us this evening, for the opening reception, and best selection of gifts from 5 to 7 p.m. This event is free of charge, wonderful refreshments are served, and as always the openings are a fun way to mingle with some of Pagosa's finest.

Upcoming events

Let the good times roll, as the PSAC presents another Whistle Pig Folk Night on Dec. 11. All musicians, poets, storytellers, and other entertainers are encouraged to come out and express themselves. John Graves will appear on Dec. 11, with a Christmas special and open dance combo.

"Whistle Pig" takes place at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 7 p.m. Donations are $4 for adults; kids and teens are free. Bring the whole family for a splendid holiday evening.


The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater will begin work on their winter production in January. Auditions will take place the first week of January. Stay tuned for exact time and place. Tentatively, the theme for the production will stem from "Tales of the Arabian Nights."


Exhibit applications for the year 2000 are currently available at the PSAC gallery. Just a reminder: gallery and gift shop hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Dawnie and crew cooked wonderful Thanksgiving meal

Once again, we must brag on our cooks. Dawnie and the kitchen crew out did themselves with the wonderful Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday. Also, thanks to Phil Janowsky for entertaining with his guitar and beautiful voice, what talent!

The Seniors and the kitchen crew want to thank Francisco's Restaurant in Durango for the delicious meal they donated to our folks. They do this each year and it is truly appreciated.

Folks, we Seniors need your help. In 1997 Congress passed the Balanced Budget Act. It accomplished many good things but also had some devastating effects to those receiving care, the homebound, sick and dying. There is a growing recognition in Congress that Medicare cuts mandated in BBA '97 went too far, especially with home health care. The original intent of Congress was to cut the home care benefit by $16 billion, but the Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that actual reductions in the Medicare home health benefit over five years will total $48 billion instead of the $16 billion. We urge you to contact your representatives and ask them to support legislation pending before Congress that would block yet another 15 percent cut in Medicare home health expenditures before it takes place on Oct. 1. Also, please urge Congress to restore the equity that was unfairly taken from the oldest, sickest and most frail among us.

Thanks so much to Kate Lister's second grade class for the beautiful Thanksgiving symbols they colored and wrote messages on. What a wonderful group of youngsters.

Also a big "Thank You" to Dorothy O'Harra for playing piano tunes during our lunch periods.

Congratulations to our Senior of the week, Kent Schaefer.

Dawnie has a new helper in the kitchen, Crystal Quintana. Welcome Crystal!

Our most welcome guests the past two weeks include Ella and Sam McNatt, Sharon and Ray Park, Jeff Schaupp and Bryan, Steve and Josh Ulery and Mary Jo Janowsky. We are happy to see Marie Pruitt, Cecilia Redfield, Anna and Norman Denny and Hannah and Pat Foster back.

Upcoming events at the Senior Center include:

Dec. 16 - for a $10 fee, seniors can ride the Durango/Silverton train

Dec. 17 - the annual election of officers and board meeting

Dec. 22 - Christmas party/gift exchange for seniors (gifts under $5) and open house at the Copelands.



Another milestone

Yesterday, December 3, 1999, marked the 91st birthday for The Pagosa Springs SUN. The first edition of the SUN appeared on the streets of Pagosa Springs on December 3, 1909. So wishing ourselves another happy birthday is in order. Whereas the SUN published Volume 1, No. 91 seven weeks ago with its October 21 edition, reaching another longevity milestone is most satisfying.

When editor W.J. Wright printed the first edition of the SUN, its competitor, the Pagosa Springs New Era was already established and in its fifth year of operation.

Ninety-one years ago the SUN consisted of four pages. The owners of the Sparks-Moore Hardware Company and of the Hatcher Mercantile Co. evidently trusted Mr. Wright's venture for both ran advertisements promoting Christmas and Holiday gifts on page 1 of the first edition. A Sparks-Moore Mercantile Co. advertisement covered almost half of the back page. Hatcher Hardware Co. ran an advertisement for its holiday goods on page 2.

Demonstrating that there is nothing new under the SUN, Pagosa Realty Company had the largest advertisement on page 2. It was joined by the Denver and Rio Grande advertisement which suggested December was a good time to consider taking a winter trip to California and the Pacific coast.

The Cash Drug Store ran the only advertisement on page 3. It offered presents for Mama, Papa, Sister, Brother and for Little Ones.

There were three separate reports on the public schools in Pagosa Springs. One listed the names of all of the students in the first through the eighth grades "who have been neither tardy or absent during the past month. Then as now, ". . . Pagosa prides herself on her public schools . . ."

The Women's Christian Temperance Union was provided space for a column. Space also was made available to the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Pagosa Springs.

The first edition was very timely in that in its "Little Sun Beams" column, it reported that "Rafel Jaques, the oldest and perhaps best known citizens of Archuleta County, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Juanita Harris, in Pagosa Springs, today at 4 o'clock. He was 89 years old. The funeral will take place tomorrow at the Catholic church."

While many changes are evident between the December 3, 1909, edition of the SUN and today's edition, in many ways, the nature of the SUN isn't that different. The SUN continues to be in operation because of the many businesses who consider their advertisements to be a worthwhile investment. The SUN continues to report on the citizens, public entities, public meetings and happenings in Pagosa Springs.

And today, the SUN can say that it is the only newspaper in the world that directs its major focus on reporting the timely news of Archuleta County.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Snow season is a go slow season

Dear Folks,

Saturday allowed me an opportunity to mark another item off my "one of these days" list.

For years I've been meaning to hike across to the barren knob that sits above the snowplow barns atop Wolf Creek Pass. I finally did it Saturday.

It was frustrating to see the packed areas on the upper stretches of the ski trails while knowing full well that there wasn't adequate snow for skiing. The barren patches at the base area near the lodges indicated patience was not only a virtue, this season it's a necessity.

The drive down the Pass brought to mind, that as additional snowfall reaches Pagosa, patience will be a necessity for motorists. This is nothing new to folks who have lived and driven in Pagosa for one or more winters. But based on the "I can't believe it" stories I heard following the November 22 snowfall, it's a fact some folks might want to consider.

If you're one of the fortunate ones who have driven in snow "where I come from," forgive me while I throw out some tips about Pagosa winter driving.

I was tired as I started down Wolf Creek Saturday, so I shifted the car's automatic transmission into second gear. The speed limit is 40 miles per hour so the lower gear did fine. It's the gear of preference once it snows.

Folks who travel down Put Hill this winter when its icy or snow packed should probably shift into first gear before they leave the junction at Piedra Road. Sure, you'll only be moving about 10 miles an hour, but that's more than enough speed for Put Hill when its snowing. You won't have to use your brakes nor will you need to slow down for the car you're following. It also allows you to stop in a shorter distance if the flow is disrupted . . . and it will be.

Also, the curve on Put Hill near mile post 142 spends most of the winter in the shade. And shade equals ice, even on a sunny day. Even when the rest of the highway is dry, the melting snow on the south side of the curve runs across the highway and freezes once the sun starts going down.

Similar icy conditions usually exist on U.S. 160 just east of the Branding Iron. The east-bound lane usually sits in the shade most of the day. The same is true of various spots on U.S. 84 south of town - especially through the Spiller Canyon area.

Speaking of sun, folks who travel Put Hill in the late afternoon should know by now that the winter sun can blind you at various points on the upper stretches of Put Hill. Start slowing down before you reach the curve. If the sun is in your eyes forget about passing. Look over the front portion of your vehicle's right front fender and use the white stripe along the shoulder of the highway as a guide. Even with the best of sun glasses it's hard to see at times. It's worse than driving in dense fog, so slow down. If you need to stop pull all the way off the pavement, including the paved shoulder to protect yourself from following motorists.

In a nutshell, leave early so you can drive slower. Start slowing down sooner when you plan to make a turn or when approaching stop sign, red light or intersection. It doesn't matter if you have the right of way if another motorist can't stop and slides through an intersection. Plan on getting home later at night.

Most of the time having four-wheel drive will keep you on the road, but it will not enable your vehicle to stop any sooner. As for driving off the road or on unplowed roads, four-wheel drive will help your vehicle to go further before it gets stuck.

Folks who drive county roads to reach the highways should remind themselves that vehicles pick up speed on down hill stretches and lose traction on curves. So memorize the curves and declines on your road, and slow down before you reach them.

This isn't meant to be complete and comprehensive, it's just what came to mind as I was driving down Wolf Creek and praying for snow.

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


25 years ago

New water reservoir completed

Taken from SUN files

of Dec. 5, 1974

Construction work was completed this week on a municipal water supply reservoir that will give the town an emergency supply of water. Supplied by water piped through a large pipeline from the West Fork, the reservoir will store about 7,000,000 gallons of raw water.

W.H. "Dee" Diestelkamp was appointed by Gov. Vanderhoof this week to fill the vacancy on the Archuleta County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Diestelkamp will fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of George Alley some weeks ago. He will serve the remainder of the term which expires in two years.

The county commissioners had a relatively light schedule for their December meeting. Fred Ebeling of Eaton International presented to the commissioners maps of roads that have been completed to county standards in the Pagosa in Colorado subdivisions. The county has accepted about 5 miles of these roads into the county highway system and it was requested by Eaton that about five more miles be accepted by the county.

A golden eagle is now at the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic being treated for an injured leg and foot. The injured eagle was spotted by high school teacher Will Hobbs. It was finally captured by police Chief Leonard Gallegos after the bird became exhausted from escaping the attempts of high school students.



By Shari Pierce

When snow would fly in days gone by

During this season of being thankful, my thoughts turn often to Mrs. Elaine Kachel. I met her back a dozen or so years ago, but feel as though I have known her forever. She is a wonderfully talented and caring lady and I am truly thankful for her friendship.

From time to time I hear from her through a letter or phone call. She and her husband, Roy, have visited Pagosa several times over the years, but they make their home in Marysville, Wash.

Mrs. Kachel grew up in Pagosa Springs, the daughter of the town's dentist and a mother with a talent for music. About 10 years ago, she wrote some of her childhood memories for her granddaughter, Kelsey, and was gracious enough to share them with me. This week I'd like to share a portion of those about winters like we haven't seen here in a while and many hope for.

" My earliest memories, of my youth, were of the severe winters when the snow covered the windows of our little house. My dad had to tunnel out the front door to get to the street. The snow plow would scrape the street, and this was a horse-drawn plow, and pile it on the side of the road, where Dad tunneled under the pile to reach the street. Everyone had to walk in the road, as the snow was too deep on the wooden sidewalks. It was so cold, too, and one winter the temperature dropped to 56 degrees below zero. Now, that was cold! In the 1920s, when I was small, the only way to get around the town was by horse-drawn sleighs. Oh, how I loved to listen to the sweet music of the sleigh bells on the horses' harnesses. The sound was lovely in the crisp, clean air, and the horses' breath steamed out and rose like a fog around their heads as they trotted down the street.

"How I loved to soak in the hot water and I had a little boat that I sailed all around that big tub. After my bath, Mother would drape me in a big, fluffy towel and sit me in front of the stove to dry. Sometimes she had hot cocoa, on the range, to treat her little girl. After that I would get into my long, flannel nightgown and run to my bedroom, where it was so cold, and snuggle down under a featherbed comforter. There was no heat in my bedroom and I had to curl up in a tight ball, under the covers, to keep warm. I used to put a glass of water on my dresser, in case I got thirsty in the night, and it always froze."

Thanks Mrs. Kachel for your friendship and sharing.




Video Review

By Roy Starling

Back to school for Josie Grossie

Let me begin by acknowledging two things: Here in the United States, we live in a society without strict class boundaries, and even the daughter of a homeless person can grow up to become President.

Also, many good and wonderful things can happen in our high schools.

Having said that, I must also acknowledge that high school can be the home of a strict, rigid, unforgiving class system, a vicious, humiliating microcosm of American snobbery. High school is a place where those we euphemistically refer to as "the less fortunate" are made excruciatingly aware of all that they do not have. It's a place where kids with any trace of a perceived defect can be named after that defect and where they in effect then become that defect and nothing else.

Who could forget those wonderful high school lunches? You pick up your tray of food and then scan the tables for the one you'd be accepted at.

Imagine that you were one of the Untouchables in high school. You were the butt of jokes in every class, and the Gates of Cooldom were forever locked against you. But you survived, went on to a prestigious college and got a job with a newspaper. Now that newspaper wants you to go back to high school, disguise yourself as a student and get an undercover story.

That's the setup for the film "Never Been Kissed" (1999). Being sent to South Glen South High is Chicago Sun-Times copy editor Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore), trying desperately to be promoted to reporter. In high school, Josie was fondly tabbed "Josie Grossie" by her sensitive schoolmates and she suffered a heartbreaking "Carrie"-like humiliation on her prom night.

"Now stop right there," you're saying. "Why, that Drew Barrymore is prettier than a newborn calf! How can she play someone who falls prey to the petty slings and arrows of insecure high school kids?"

And the answer is: She does it beautifully, convincingly. As you probably know, Miss Drew, heir to the legendary Barrymore name and the acting legacy that accompanies it, was a cutesy child star in "E.T." and "Firestarter," so it's hard to believe that she can relate to the Geek-Loser-Nerd crowd. But in an interview, she claims she was going through a rather awkward phase in high school and, like Josie, was a bit of a clumsy, unsightly oaf. I'll take her word for it.

There's certainly nothing unsightly about her now, and I'm guessing she's one of the few young glamour stars that would undergo the degradations required by this film's plot line. In intermittent flashbacks to Josie's high school days, Barrymore is in braces, has a scraggly unwashed 'do, and tends towards chunkiness.

When she returns as a mature 25-year-old, she's no bargain either. Wait till you see her chugging around the football field in long, baggy gym shorts and tube socks. She's the perfect frumpy loser who would really like to be cool. Whether or not she has experienced this unenviable role in real life, she's right at home in it in "Never Been Kissed."

It's really time to start taking Barrymore seriously. She rescued Adam Sandler's "Wedding Singer" from mediocrity, was the only reason to watch "Whatever After" (the Cinderella story with late 20th-century values retrojected onto it) and was a delight in "Home Fries."

Everyone knows about her smile, that gorgeous scene-stealing, screen-filling facial explosion. But she has more than a smile; she may have the most expressive face in Hollywood today. Some of what she does is broad mugging, some of it is much more subtle.

In "Never Been Kissed," Barrymore's character is not only a pedantic copy editor and a high school doormat, she's a hopeless romantic. She's never really been kissed, and she's waiting to feel "that thing, that moment" when she knows she's in the arms of her lifelong partner.

So you can see what keeps viewers hanging around in this cleverly made movie: Will Josie find the story at South Glen South to earn her a promotion to reporter? Given a second chance at being a high school student, and knowing what she knows now, can she squeeze her way into the In Crowd? Will she find the love of her life and be kissed by him?

While you munch your popcorn and await the answers to these important questions, you can enjoy nice performances from David Arquette ("Scream"), as Josie's baseball-star-turned-slacker brother; Molly Shannon (the tense Catholic school girl from Saturday Night Live), as Josie's bawdy coworker at the Sun-Times; and Leelee Sobieski ("Eyes Wide Shut"), as the sharpwitted head of a calculus club called "The Denominators" and the first person to befriend Josie upon her arrival at South Glen South.

This movie transcends the typical high school film in a number of ways, but I'll only talk about one. Near the end, Josie has an opportunity to give a bit of a lecture to the South Glen South seniors, and it's one I suspect a lot of us would like to give. But Josie's remarks are more generous than we expect, especially from this kind of movie.

The gist of her talk is that high school students need to chill, that their greatest social achievements there may be little remembered. But for all the cruelty she has experienced at their hands, she isn't particularly hard on the In Crowd. High schools will always have the prettiest girls you'll ever see, she says, and one particular boy so charming and charismatic he makes going to school worthwhile, and one teacher who marches to a different drummer, and a group of sweet, intellectually gifted but socially challenged scholars.

The real accomplishment in high school, she says, is to "find out who you are and (then) try not to be afraid of it." What a nice sentiment from a silly movie. What courage it takes to be ourselves even in the company of "mature adults." How much harder must it be for our children in high school.

"Never Been Kissed" ends in high romantic fashion on a field of dreams, a hope diamond. And since this is a comedy, we know that all shall be well, all shall be well.

Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Karl saddled with pudding monkey

I'm obsessed.

I've got a serious jones, and I can't shake it.

This is nothing new: I'm prone to obsessive behavior, to fixations and whatnot. Always have been.

If I dip deep in the memory banks, I find odd attachments lurking at the furthermost reaches, at profound depths, at great distances. They've been with me all along. For example, I recall an infantile preoccupation with female circus performers or I dislodge a later fascination with the uniforms and saddle shoes worn by the winsome students at an exclusive girls school in southeast Denver.

But these and other enchantments were eventually unloaded or, as in the case of the saddle shoes, sufficiently subdued, rendered ineffective.

The last few years I've done just fine, having traveled a far piece carrying only a few quirks, little things like having to take the first step in a flight of stairs with my left foot or beginning any unilateral exercise with my left hand - residue from my days in the Blue Knights drum and bugle corps. These attachments are slightly annoying, but not burdensome; no more so than my need to take only two steps within each standard-sized block of concrete in a sidewalk. Nothing to worry about.

Things were proceeding smoothly when, four months ago, the monkey climbed on my back again, locked on with its claws and held tight. I can't get the beast off.

It's the worst kind of monkey - the pudding monkey.

The rice pudding monkey.

Specifically, the Kozy Shack Rice Pudding monkey.

It's killing me!

My problem began suddenly, when I made a turn down the last aisle of the grocery store, moving past the dairy cases, veering toward the butter and the cheese in search OF a snippet of bel paese.

For no reason at all (oh, really?) I glanced at the top shelf of the refrigerated case and spied a display of nondescript 22-ounce tubs of pudding. My first inclination was to ignore the containers. After all, most store-bought puddings consist of metallic artificial flavors and bits of indistinguishable organic matter suspended in a distressing and, I suspect, polymerized emulsion.

Then, I read the label on one of the containers: Rice Pudding.


There was no way I could resist. At that moment, a dangerous and delicious relationship began with my dealer, my connection: Kozy Shack Inc., of Hicksville, N.Y.

Why this attraction to rice pudding?

Easy to explain. Rice pudding was one of the first, semi-solid comfort foods that passed the lips of little Karl. Rice pudding was an eagerly anticipated gift grafted to some of the most pleasurable activities I experienced as a tyke. Norman Rockwell moments, with Nonny.

Nonny cared for me and my brother and sister when we were young, and rice pudding was one of the few foods Nonny made well. Really well.

Though she cooked frequently, high quality was not one of the earmarks of Nonny's cuisine. On the contrary, Nonny was renowned for her ability to orchestrate meals in terms of the color of foods, rather than their tastes. At times, the motif matched the occasion: nothing but green foods on St. Patrick's Day, red foods on Valentine's Day, red, white and blue foods on the Fourth of July, etc. At other times, different foods were on the menu simply because their colors went well together: all earth tones, for example, assembled as a tribute to autumn, or complementary colors and the ripping optical illusions produced when they are placed side by side. Nonny had a real thing for liver and onions (a symphony in greys, a full palette that would have pleased Constable) and the horror of the meal is indescribable.

Her rice pudding, on the other hand, was the food of the gods - pale, pure, ambrosia.

Nonny cooked her rice pudding in a double boiler, and she plunked some raisins in it.

I remember the pudding clearly: white, warm, served in a small glass bowl, the surface of the pudding barely covered with a sheen of cream. I sat in a small room off the kitchen, at a table with an enameled metal top, my feet dangling above the linoleum, delighting in each spoonful of the pudding, gazing out the window at the hedge-rimmed back yard, watching the clouds move east from the Divide, listening to the Arthur Godfrey radio show. I was adrift in a rice and cream-fueled reverie.

Husserl tackles the notion of time dilation in several of his works, including the obscure "Phenomenolgy of Internal Time Consciousness," but his efforts to describe the effect fall short. If only he had sat at that table, eating Nonny's rice pudding, the universe framed by that window, defined by those hedges, his consciousness focused on each bite of that incredible food and nothing else . . . then, he would have known. Time stretches, grows tissue-thin, dissolves, becomes vaporous like the notes from Arthur's ukelele as they pass from electrical impulse to a vibration in a fiber cone to a sound wave and out, ever thinner, until they evaporate in the ether.


So, suffice it to say, with a linkage that powerful, the lure of the tub of Kozy Shack was difficult to resist. I rose to the bait. I needed to sample the stuff expecting, of course, to be disappointed.

I opened the tub the instant I stepped into my kitchen. I sampled the pudding.

The stuff was unbelievably good!

I was hooked.

Quick as that.

I read the label as I continued to eat from the container: all-natural ingredients - rice, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla. I ate the entire 22 ounces of pudding.

I bought another tub of Kozy Shack the next day and ate the whole thing. A week later, cognizant of my excess, I cut myself back to half a tub per night and I have been able to maintain that dose since.

My nightly maintenance dose involves two and a half of the recommended servings of the pudding, or 11 ounces of rich goodness. This includes 350 calories, 75 of the calories generated by fats. My dose provides 60 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, 45 grams of sugars, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 7.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, and 10 grams of protein.

Kathy says I have a problem. She's right. She feels compelled to say something every time she comes into the front room and finds me watching television, sprawled on the front couch, a tub of Kozy Shack on my chest, spoon in hand, a stray kernel or two of rice spilled on my sweatshirt. She says snippy things like "Do you want me to call 9-1-1 when you go down, or just take out a section of wall and rent a frontloader to haul your dead - out of the house?" Kathy is very sensitive. That's why I married her.

I know I have a problem. I attempted to wean myself from the rice pudding last week by substituting a tub of Kozy Shack chocolate pudding. It did not work.

Kathy and I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving to visit our granddaughter, Ipana. I planned to take a small cooler with four or five tubs of Kozy Shack - one tub for the drive in either direction, the remaining tubs to keep me going while we were in Arizona. Kathy knew something was up when I tore the garage apart in a frantic search for the cooler and she stymied my plan. I sensed trouble ahead.

We drove to Phoenix and by the time we motored through Gallup, I could think of nothing but Kozy Shack.

Once I got the Thanksgiving dinner cooking at my daughter Aurora's house, I used the old "Oh, I think we need some olives. I better go to the store" ploy, zipped out of the house and was speeding away before Kathy could stop me.

Can you believe there isn't a grocery store on the west side of the Phoenix metro area that stocks Kozy Shack! What kind of world does my granddaughter inhabit?

I went into Kozy Shack withdrawal. I developed a nasty case of the shakes and I perspired freely. I reduced the frequency of Ipana kisses to six per minute and I refused to pet the dog. I was on bad turf.

Later that night, I lay in the dark in our room at the Sheraton wondering if I could call the concierge and have him locate a tub of the precious stuff - have it express-mailed from Hicksville if need be. A handsome tip would be forthcoming if he succeeded. I was desperate. No one answered my call.

When we returned to my daughter's house the next day, I forced my son-in-law to let me use his computer. I figured, without the big fix, I would find something to tide me over. I got on the net and went to I read the history of the company, tracing its operation from modest beginnings in New York City, to its home in Hicksville. I lingered lovingly on photos of a '40s-era delivery van. I entered my name on the Kozy Shack mailing list along with an effusive salute to the company's prowess. I analyzed the numerous home and institutional uses of Kozy Shack products. I stayed on line for more than an hour, until Kathy forced me to pay attention to little Ipana. And the dog.

My situation was pathetic. I realized it. The monkey was shredding me. I was helpless.

On the drive home, I tried to enjoy the scenery and think positive, sparkly thoughts. I listened to the Arizona 2A football championship on the radio. I tuned to three hours of Navajo radio. I resolved to rid myself of the Kozy Shack habit, to clean up, to go to rehab if necessary.

Who was I kidding?

When we arrived in Pagosa, Kathy wanted to get a few things at the grocery store before we went home. She was exhausted from the trip and she let her guard down. I volunteered to run into the store and before she realized what was happening, I was out of the car, hustling across the parking lot to the entrance, cash in hand.

Two tubs of Kozy Shack, a loaf of bread and some processed cheese.

I knew it: I needed to deal with this problem, to stop chasing the ghost.

As I stretched out on the couch to watch an episode of "Real Stories of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police," a tub of fresh pudding resting heavy on my chest, I figured the only way to break the spell was to dampen the Kozy Shack glow, to strip the veneer off the product, to throw a blanket on the sheer delight of the Kozy Shack experience.

In other words, make a pudding that is better than Kozy Shack.

There are variations to consider when you make rice pudding: with egg, without egg; baked or on the stove top. I tried them all.

One thing you definitely need is rice. Long-grain or medium-grain white rice. For six to eight servings, as much as a cup of rice.

While some recipes have you cook the rice in milk, most use water. For a cup of rice, use maybe 2 1/2 cups of water and a bit of salt. Bring the water and salt to a boil, add the rice, cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed - about 20 minutes. Cool.

Here's where you make the choices.

Baked, with egg: preheat the oven to 350. Butter a baking dish. Whisk together a cup and a half of whole milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, two eggs plus a yolk, a half cup of sugar, a touch of salt and, if you like, a touch of nutmeg or cardamom. Add a cup and a half of rice and some raisins if you appreciate them. (Soak overly dry raisins in a little warm water and plump them before you add them to the pudding. Do not desecrate rice pudding with inferior raisins!). Put the whole mess in the baking dish and set the dish inside a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Pop in the oven and bake on the center rack until the pudding is firm. Check at an hour and adjust time as necessary. Cool and eat. Eat all of it.

Craig Claiborne would have you bake the pudding, without egg, putting raw rice, milk, sugar and salt in a casserole and baking it at 300, stirring on the half hour for two hours, then adding raisins, vanilla and nutmeg and baking without stirring for another half hour or so. Each to his own.

Mark Bittman cooks a no-egg pudding on the stove top, adding milk to the cooked rice and simmering until half the milk is absorbed then adding sugar and spices and continuing to simmer until all the milk is absorbed. He also suggests substituting coconut milk for all or part of the milk in the recipe. Without the egg - a bit weak. The coconut milk is a nice touch.

These are adequate recipes. Merely adequate. They can't touch Kozy Shack.

But, I can't stop trying. My future hangs in the balance.

Tonight, I think I'll settle on the couch with a tub of Kozy Shack and go through Nonny's old recipe cards. Nonny's pudding could knock Kozy Shack for a loop. Perhaps she did something different with her recipe, something related to the various shades of white.

With luck and the right recipe, there's a chance I can thrash this jones.

If not, I'll move to Hicksville, N.Y. Get near the source. Rent a studio apartment, and write ad copy for Kozy Shack Inc.

Maybe get a discount.

Anyone need a monkey?

With saddle shoes?

In a Class by Themselves . . .

By Roy Starling

Writer combines insight, heart

Shortly after soccer season ended, as I was finishing up a story on Seth Kurt-Mason and Peter Dach - the Pirates' two all-conference selections - I decided it was time to write about a Pagosa High student who was a star in the classroom.

I was looking for a hardworking student, one who committed him or herself to each assignment, one who surprised teachers, going above and beyond what was required.

I talked to senior English teacher Jack Ellis about my search, and it didn't take him long to end it. "Seth Kurt-Mason," he said. "There are others, but he's the first one that comes to mind."

Ellis had Seth for senior English earlier this year and now has him in a class on contemporary literature. So far, all of his papers have had the same effect on his teacher: "I can always expect to be surprised when I read his work," Ellis said. "He really takes pride in what he presents. I think he truly works at his communication skills, and I really admire that."

When Seth writes about literature, Ellis said, he quickly gets past the surface details and delves into the richer material lying beneath them. "His written analyses of literature show so much depth in his thinking," Ellis said. "Most of his writing goes straight to the heart of the issues the literature deals with. His writing reflects a real strong grasp of the material and a connection with it."

Nancy Esterbrook, who taught Seth in English I, II and III, agrees. "Seth shows a real mature insight into the literature and how it applies to our own lives. He has a fine mind, and he uses it well."

For Ellis, narrative writing "cuts closest to the soul of the writer," and he believes that style of writing is Seth's forte. "I remember one narrative in particular that was brutally honest about a situation that took place in high school."

That situation was an assault by another student, and Seth describes it succinctly in the opening of his essay:

"My eyes searched frantically for my attacker. I could not see him, only the large white diamond that hung mockingly in the air in front of my face, following my gaze no matter where I turned my head. Another right flew, finding its mark, this time, on my chin. My head jerked back and I dropped my books. I looked down at them dumbly."

Seth told me he liked to write to "try to get closure on events that have happened to me. It really helps to understand an issue if you write about it."

Clearly, his essay on the assault strives for that closure and understanding. He moves back and forth in time, from the incident itself to his feelings about it today:

"For a long time, I sat alone in the nurse's office, eyes bloodshot, tears rolling down my face, thinking. I felt insignificant and despondent. I grew angry with all of the attention I received for this. It was nothing; I wanted everyone else to believe that; I wanted to believe that. I only wanted to get on with my life and forget any of this ever happened. That, however, would not be the case. Now, at age 18, I still think about that day nearly five years ago . . . . "

In a powerfully written concluding paragraph, Seth struggles with two conflicting impulses: the macho hunger for revenge and punishment versus the need to forgive, to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies. He acknowledges "a private storm of hatred" and lethal emotions "bottled up like some ever-expanding gas," while at the same time hearing from his heart - or his conscience - the need to forgive his attacker and to do it soon.

It's possible that some of Seth's pent-up fury for his attacker is unleashed on the soccer pitch where he is known as a bruising midfielder. He talked to me about the relationship between his soccer life and his academic life.

"Soccer is definitely a big part of my life, so I write about it," Seth said. "Playing soccer actually helped my study habits because it gave me a set schedule I had to follow. There was school, then practice, then homework. You have to concentrate on your schoolwork, because if you don't, you fail a class and you don't get to play soccer."

For Ellis's senior English class, Seth wrote about his final game as a Pagosa Pirate soccer player. He begins by describing the team's departure for the state playoffs in Lakewood:

"The bus pulled out of the high school parking lot and took us to the elementary school. Two hundred kids stood outside, our official send-off. We ran along side of them, and they gave us high-fives and bottles of Gatorade. Their smiling faces and screams boosted our morale; adrenaline surged through our veins. We left town under police escort."

This heroic send-off is then quickly deflated as the team's feeling of relative anonymity sets in:

"No one in town knew who we were or where we were going, but that didn't matter to us.

'Check it out,' Jacques called, 'These people don't have a clue who we are. All the cars are pulling over. They probably think that we're going to jail.' Then he screamed out the window to the staring onlookers, 'Get me out of here!' "

Seth then reflects on his soccer career, beginning in the preschool days, playing with his friends Peter Dach and Jacques Sarnow, and continuing to the "good old days" when these three and Aaron Renner played on Pirate teams in which the players were "dedicated to the season, to the sport and to each other," and concluding with the 9-0 defeat at the hands of eventual state 3A champions Colorado Academy.

After that game, Seth writes, "We walked off the field with our heads up, laughing a little at ourselves. The game mirrored our cursed season. I looked around at all of my teammates and it hit me, I would never have the honor of playing with any of these guys again."

While Seth impresses readers with his writing, it's not his first academic love. He likes the sciences best, followed by art. "Writing would definitely not be first," he said. "Somewhere in the middle, maybe. I just put my heart into it and make it the best I can."

The best thing about writing, Seth says, is the way it can "expand your creativity and be an outlet for your creativity. It's an art. I really enjoy writing personal essays. I don't enjoy doing research papers or argumentative essays."

Seth doesn't expect to focus on writing at the college level. "I'll be doing something with biology, preferably something outdoors," he said. "Maybe marine biology."



By John M. Motter

Confrontation between Utes, whites

By John M. Motter

By the time Colorado became a state in 1876, few secrets remained hidden in her mountain wilderness. Copious quantities of ore flowed eastward, enriching Eastern "capitalists." The western frontier was gone, vanished in a whirlwind of settlers. But, a few frontier problems remained.

For example, what to do with the Utes? Made up of a number of bands, these mountain people occupied reservations that continued to shrink in area as white settlers moved into Western Colorado. Utes lived in the north on the White and Yampa rivers, in the central part of the state on the Grand (Colorado) and Uncompahgre rivers, and in the south along the San Juan River and its tributaries. More Utes lived in Utah.

Confrontation between White and Ute seemed inevitable. A nation which had not forgotten Custer and the Little Big Horn nervously watched and waited. Settlers in Southwestern Colorado checked their weapons, but insisted on moving into Ute territory.

And at the White River Agency near Meeker, Agent Nathan C. Meeker attempted to carry out official policy with a band of nomads who, a few years earlier, had freely hunted buffalo on the plains. Meeker felt compelled to convert Ute to White. Utes must till the ground and raise wheat and potatoes. To emphasize his point, Meeker plowed the Indian horse racing track near Agency headquarters. Instead of wheat and potatoes, Meeker sowed the seeds of war. Incensed, the White River Utes struck back.

Johnson, a White River brother-in-law of Chief Ouray of the Tabeguache Utes, quarreled with Meeker and gave him a bad beating. Meeker appealed for help. Major T.T. Thornburgh, Fourth Infantry, was stationed at Fort Frederick Steele near Rawlins, Wyoming. With three companies of cavalry, one of infantry, and a train of 25 wagons, Thornburgh launched a forced march Sept. 21 in Meeker's direction. At the same time, Capt. Dodge and Company "D" Ninth Cavalry was camped on the headwaters of the Grand River. Meeker attempted to get word to Dodge, also.

Thornburgh crossed Milk River near the Agency Sept. 29 after watering men and animals. A short distance beyond the river, Thornburgh ran into a hornet's nest. Ute sharpshooters lined the hills surrounding the military advance. Several of Thornburgh's men were killed during the first round of firing. The bugler sounded retreat and Thornburgh's men found skimpy shelter inside the hastily circled wagons, just a couple of hundred yards from Milk River. Thornburgh was killed during the retreat. The troops made breastworks of the wagon contents, while fighting for their lives until dark. All night long they dug trenches and in the center of their retreat, a pit to serve as a hospital. Nearly all of the horses had been killed. Their carcasses were used to bolster the breastworks. Couriers were dispatched in a desperate bid to get help.

At daybreak, the Utes resumed a galling fire making movement within the corral impossible. Finally, Capt. Dodge, Lt. M.B. Hughes, and 35 buffalo soldiers arrived. After riding all night, they had arrived before daybreak Oct. 2 and halted briefly on the Yampa River. Each trooper was issued three days' rations and ample ammunition. Taking one pack mule, they pushed on to Thornburgh's relief. At daybreak, their arrival brought throaty cheers from Thornburgh's command, already pinned in their trenches for four days. One can imagine the sound of the trumpet, along with rifle fire, as Dodge approached. Soon the buffalo solders were inside the corral, pinned down with the men they had come to rescue.

All day the battle raged, the Utes continuing to rake the men below with a withering fire. That night veteran buffalo soldier Sergeant Henry Johnson left his rifle pit under heavy fire and made the rounds of the trenches to see that all was well. On the evening of the fifth day of the fighting, Johnson climbed out of his pit one more time, shot his way to the river, and returned with a supply of drinking water for his embattled comrades. For this "bravery beyond the call of duty" Johnson was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, one of many buffalo soldiers so rewarded during the frontier wars.

Unable to turn the tables on their well-armed and well-hidden enemies, the troops were forced to remain in the corral. Finally, help came from outside. Colonel Wesley Merritt marched from Fort D.A. Russell with five companies of the Fifth Cavalry. He reached Milk River the morning of October 5. Sensing that the odds had shifted, the Utes retreated, even as Merritt approached. After binding up the wounded at Milk River, Merritt advanced to the Agency. The destruction he discovered at Milk River and at the Agency was appalling.

In the corral were 14 dead and 43 wounded soldiers, along with nearly all of the horses and mules. Only two animals remained alive from Dodge's command.

More devastation awaited at the agency. Meeker was dead, a stake driven through his heart. Eleven employees had been murdered and all of the women and children taken captive, including Meeker's wife and daughter.

Ouray helped negotiate the release of the captured Whites. As a result of the revolt, the Northern Utes and many of the central Utes were removed to an Agency in Utah. The Southern Utes were allowed to retain their reservation property in Colorado, since they had not taken part in the massacre. And what happened to Capt. Dodge and Company "D" of the Ninth Cavalry? They were already marching south, headed for new confrontations, this time with Nana and the Apache.



Delila Faith Pastin

Don and Denise Pastin of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the arrival of Delila Faith. 'Dalle' was born Nov. 13, 1999, at 5:16 p.m. at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. She was 18 1/2-inches long and weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces. Delila was welcomed home by her big sisters Desireé Rose, 5, and Demitrea Celeste, 1.

Delila's maternal grandparents are Charice and Bob Emerson of Blaine, Minn., and Sylvan and Cathy Rue of Rockford, Ill. Her paternal grandmother is Carol Igleheart of Palm Bay, Fla.

Business News

Biz Beat

Kerkes Goldworks

Kelly Kerkes owns and operates Kerkes Goldworks, located on the second floor above the Rolling Pin Restaurant, at 214 Pagosa Street.

Kerkes Goldworks offers custom gold, silver and gemstone jewelry and design as well as jewelry repair service. A master metalsmith, Kerkes works with the full gamut of metals and fine stones.

Kerkes Goldworks is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment. Call 264-1210.



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