Front Page

December 16, 1999

County adopts 2000 budget, postpones hiring attorney

By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County Commissioners adopted a Year 2000 budget, postponed action on choosing a county attorney, and conducted other business while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

Copies of the new budget were not available until later this week. Consequently, elected officials other than the county commissioners had not reviewed the final version of the Year 2000 budget at the time of the Tuesday unveiling.

While the new budget of $15.5 million is smaller than last year's $16 million budget, a major factor in that decrease is the spending of the money received through the Fairfield Communities bankruptcy settlement. Last year's budget contained $4.9 million in Fairfield funds. The Year 2000 budget contains only $1.3 million of Fairfield funds. The difference of $3.6 million was spent this year on Fairfield Pagosa roads in compliance with the bankruptcy settlement agreement. Without the Fairfield factor, this year's budget is more than $3 million greater than the previous year's budget.

"We're presenting a balanced budget with three months of operating expenses in reserve," said Ken Fox, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "We're authorizing a temporary tax credit of $625,537.

"In areas that have attracted the most attention," Fox said, " we've granted the salary increases requested by department heads. We're allowing two new dispatchers instead of the three requested by the sheriff. We're not supplying the animal control position until we work out a method to ensure the position pays for itself.

"In the assessor's office, we've approved one new position instead of the two requested and we didn't approve the storage space request because the ongoing space study we have is not completed," Fox said.

The temporary tax rate under the new budget is 16.978 mills, 4.167 mills below the permanent tax rate. The 4.167 mills creates the $625,537 temporary tax credit.

Copies of the budget will be available later this week in the county library, the county commissioner's office, and for purchase from the Archuleta County Clerk at a cost of $35.

"According to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, we are the second fastest growing county in Colorado," said Dennis Hunt, the county manager and chief financial officer. "We grew at the rate of 7 percent this past year. In 1991, our budget contained 11 pages. This year it is 112 pages."

On another subject, the commissioners postponed the selection of a county attorney after meeting in executive session. Applications for the advertised position have been received from current county attorney Larry Holthus; local attorney Mary Degan-Hart Weiss; and the Durango law firm of Goldman, Robbins and Rogers LLP.

In other business the commissioners:

- Agreed to purchase from Western Heritage in Albuquerque a 10-by-16-foot building to be used at the landfill transfer station on Trujillo Road by the recycling and transfer station attendant. Cost of the ready-made building, including installation, is $6,947.

- Renewed a royalty agreement for the Klett Gravel Pit. Located at the intersection of Juanita and Trujillo roads, the pit is a source for county road gravel. Gravel from the pit costs 55 cents a cubic yard.

- Authorized reimbursing Michael DeWinter, president of the Archuleta County Fair Board, $661.51, expenses incurred by DeWinter while attending a county fair-oriented convention last October. The commissioners admonished DeWinter that future expenditures that exceed the county fair's budget must be approved in advance by the county finance office.

- Renewed a brew pub license for Pagosa Springs Brewing Company LLC, doing business as Paradise Brew Pub and Grill.

- Postponed action concerning a request by Roxann Hayes, the county engineer, that certain requirements be changed for sidewalks and trails as specified in the county's planned unit development regulations.

- Agreed for the county to become the lead agency in a $65,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant application. The GoCo money is to be used to further a non-motorized, public trail system being developed at Fairfield Pagosa. Larry Lynch of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will be responsible for trail plans and expenditures. Accountability for the expenditures will come through running the money through the county finance office.

- Learned that the work on Eightmile Mesa Road is complete at a cost of about $65,000, the amount paid Weminuche Construction Company. Attorneys for the county and for U-Can-Afford Landscaping, the original contractor, are still negotiating. After U-Can-Afford had been on the job several days, the county pulled the company off of the job and refused to pay it. The county said the company's work did not pass the required inspections. U-Can-Afford accused the county of breach of contract and threatened to sue. That is when the attorneys became involved.


Two injured in accident

Driver loses control on slippery road


By Karl Isberg

A light snow fell on the night of Dec. 6, barely enough to dust the ground in many parts of Archuleta County, but enough to glaze the surface on sections of local roads and highways.

A vehicle westbound on U.S. 160 on Tuesday morning hit just such a section of slippery roadway, resulting in a one-car accident and injuries to two occupants of the vehicle.

According to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Randy Talbot, the accident involved a 1990 Acura driven by Jonathan Prather, 26, of Pagosa Springs. Talbot said the accident was probably caused by unsafe speeds for existing road conditions.

The trooper reported the accident occurred at approximately 6 a.m., near the site of the Hideaway Campground, 7 miles west of downtown Pagosa Springs.

Talbot said the Prather vehicle was traveling west on U.S. 160 at 50 to 60 miles per hour when Prather lost control. The Acura rotated clockwise and ran off the south side of the highway. The car struck boulders near the side of the road and overturned on a large sign, coming to rest on its top, facing east. Talbot said a post from the sign penetrated the interior of the car, but did not hit the driver or passenger.

Road conditions at the time of the accident were reported as snow-packed and icy.

Prather and a passenger, Julie Campbell, 44, of Ashland, Ky., were injured in the crash.

Campbell was extricated from the vehicle by rescuers from Emergency Medical Services and the Pagosa Fire Protection District. She and Prather were taken by Air Care helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M. Campbell was then transported to Mercy Medical Center in Durango where she was reported in good condition on Wednesday with lower back and neck strain.

Prather was treated at San Juan Regional and released.

The crash was the most serious among several one-car accidents that occurred late Monday night and on Tuesday morning, following the light snow.

"The primary cause of crashes on snow-packed or icy roadways," said Talbot, "is excessive speed for the conditions. Drivers must be aware of the changing conditions on the roadway and should be familiar with the vehicle they are driving and how it handles on slick roads."

Talbot said drivers can receive speeding tickets even when they are driving at speeds under the posted limit. Those situations occur when conditions are hazardous.

"Drivers are required by law to reduce their travel speed to a speed which allows them to keep the vehicle under control in any conditions," said Talbot. "This means drivers must drive slow enough to safely negotiate curves, hills and heavy traffic during adverse conditions of any kind."


Pagosa may be removed from bad air list

By Karl Isberg

There is a chance the town of Pagosa Springs will be removed from a short list of municipalities known for the worst air quality conditions in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has proposed a redesignation for Pagosa Springs that could make it somewhat easier for the town to meet a mandate concerning air quality standards set by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Pagosa Springs has worked for more than a decade to remediate a problem with airborne particulate matter in the downtown area. That particulate matter is called "PM10" and involves solid or semi-solid material suspended in the atmosphere - inhalable particles 10 micrometers or less in diameter.

An EPA study determined that unacceptable levels of PM10 in Pagosa air were produced by dust from roads, carbon black from auto and diesel engines and soot from wood stoves and fireplaces.

With EPA standards set in 1971, monitoring of the air in Pagosa Springs was conducted from 1975 to 1987. In 1987, Pagosa Springs was designated as a Group I area for PM10, then designated as a "moderate nonattainment area" in 1990. A mandate was levied that required a solution to the problem.

Efforts by town officials to deal with the PM10 problem began in 1990. Primary among the efforts was the paving of dirt roads within town boundaries to cut down on the amount of dust kicked into the air by auto traffic. Town officials increased sweeping of town streets and changes were made by the Colorado Department of Transportation in the types of materials applied to U.S. 160 during winter months.

"It was clear early on that the majority of particles were from dust from the roadways," said Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington. "And that is why the emphasis was put on paving and street sweeping."

Last year, it seemed a change in rules might get Pagosa off the hook. An attempt was made last year to alter EPA particulate standards, changing the size of regulated inhalable particles to PM 2.5 That change would have excused Pagosa Springs from monitoring and meeting attainment standards. The change was successfully challenged in court, however, and the EPA requested the PM10 maintenance plan in Pagosa Springs be revived to demonstrate that the town meets standards.

The question then became whether or not the town would continue to be classified as a "nonattainment area."

According to the state of Colorado, the town should receive some sort of reward for efforts made during the past 10 years and the positive results that came of those efforts.

With evidence from a decade of monitoring in hand, and results showing success in achieving compliance with air quality standards, the health department requested that the town be redesignated and given "attainment" status.

As part of the request, the health department provides documentation showing "the area will be able to maintain the NAAQS (air quality standards) through the year 2010."

A document produced by the health department states: "It is reasonable to attribute the attainment of the PM10 NAAQS in the Pagosa Springs nonattainment area to emission reductions that are permanent and enforceable. These reductions are the result of local, state and federal actions, not economic factors or unusual meteorology."

The document recognizes that the town paved 6.5 miles of gravel roads in 1992, '93 and '94, and that there is a requirement in place limiting the type of sand that can be applied to U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 within the nonattainment area. It is also notes that the town has committed to a rigorous street-sweeping campaign.

According to Harrington, the town also requires all new developments within town limits with a density greater than one unit per acre, "or new developments that will create a significant flow of traffic" to have paved streets.

If the argument is persuasive and the town is redesignated as an attainment area, the health department lists several benefits.

"Areas redesignated to attainment lose the stigma associated with nonattainment of the NAAQS.

"Areas redesignated to attainment do not become 'serious' nonattainment areas even if a violation of NAAQS occurs. This means that specific control measures can be applied to address a violation without going through a rigorous federal process, where serious areas must implement mandatory control measures and be subject to numerous administrative activities."

Harrington agreed that loss of the stigma that comes with nonattainment status would benefit the town. "Also," he said, "if the town is designated as an attainment area, it shows that many of the control measures we've worked on have produced a measure of success."

A change in status, said Harrington, will not absolve the town of its obligation to monitor air quality in the downtown area, nor will the town alter its remediation process. "These things will be around for a while," he said.

And there is no telling when a change in status will occur, if it is approved.

"This request has to go in front of the Air Quality Control Commission (on March 16)," said Harrington, "and then go to the EPA for review. As a result, there is no exact date when a change might take place."


Fairfield Pagosa road project 98 percent complete

By John M. Motter

Road work contracted under the $6.5 million Fairfield Pagosa bankruptcy settlement agreement is at least 98 percent complete as the 1999 road work season winds down, according to Kevin Walters, assistant manager of the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department.

"Basically, we just have about 1,500 feet of work on Vista, 1,400 feet on Park, 5,000 feet on North Lake, 5,000 feet on North Pagosa north of North Village Lake and the Fairfield bankruptcy project will be finished," Walters said. "That includes the settlement agreement between the PLPOA and Fairfield that the county was not party to."

The original settlement agreement amounted to $6.5 million between the county, PLPOA and Fairfield. Weminuche Construction won the contract with a bid of $5.2 million. Change orders added another $885,000 to the project. Through November, $5,462,829 had been paid out. Of the $1.2 million PLPOA settlement, also supervised by the county, $575,968.50 has been spent. About $625,555 remains.

A meeting between the county commissioners and the Road Advisory Committee will be held in the near future to determine how to spend the left-over monies.

Work on Vista Boulevard was delayed because tests show the road base is inadequate. The county intends to dig up the entire road and rebuild it from the bottom up. Work on Park Avenue was delayed because Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District is laying a water line through the area.

"It didn't make sense to pave that road, then have PAWS dig a trench through it just weeks later," Walters said.

In other business, county road and bridge crews have:

- Hauled about 1,070 cubic yards of material at an estimated cost of $5,378 for use on the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners path and trails project. The work and materials are part of a county in-kind donation to the project.

- Readied equipment needed for snow removal. Snow removal policies on newly constructed PLPOA roads call for the following order: main arterials, school bus routes, main residential collectors, residential roads. All residential public roads leading to homes will be plowed as soon as main roads are cleared. Residential public roads not leading to homes will be plowed when time permits.

Existing and newly-paved roads will be sanded and treated with granular de-icer in shaded spots, curves, and other areas likely to cause trouble. Additional trouble is expected on newly paved roads because motorists are driving faster on those roads, such as North Pagosa Boulevard.

- Cut down trees along Fourmile and Snowball roads to minimize shading of the road surfaces. Additional tree removal will take place along the Lower Blanco, Mill Creek, and County Road 337A.

- Started developing plans to provide improved drainage for County Road 551 prior to resurfacing that road with gravel.


Recreational vehicles

PLPOA gives subdivisions responsibility for restrictions


By Roy Starling

Recreational vehicle owners in most Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association subdivisions can breathe a little easier, for now.

Two months ago, the PLPOA board was prepared to support the Environmental Control Committee's enforcement of a declaration of restriction that allegedly prohibited the parking of RVs in neighborhoods.

When RV owners protested, a special ad hoc RV committee was formed to research the matter, get legal opinions and make a recommendation to the PLPOA board. On Tuesday, Nov. 23, that committee met and made the following recommendation:

"The RV Committee recommends that in subdivisions where there are no specific RV restrictions, RVs are permissible. Included within such category are travel trailers, motor homes (including van type), truck campers, camping trailers and pickup covers that are mobile."

But at their regular monthly meeting last Thursday night, the PLPOA directors voted unanimously not to adopt the committee's recommendation, calling it, in the words of directors Rod Preston and Dick Hillyer, "too general."

In place of the recommendation, the board unanimously passed a motion encouraging subdivisions to establish their own regulations concerning RVs.


Read our lips: Snowflakes likely to fall on Sunday


By John M. Motter

Pagosa Country's best chance for snow during the coming week is Sunday, according to National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey.

"There is a 30 percent chance for snow Friday and Friday night," Ramey said, "but snow is likely Sunday."

Local weather will continue to be much as it as been, Ramey said, except for Friday and Sunday. High temperatures will remain in the upper 30s, with lows in the 10 to 15 degree range.

"You're under the influence of a northwest flow," Ramey said, "with little weather fronts moving through every couple of days. It's difficult to predict the exact timing of these fronts. The polar jet stream is staying north and will probably dip down to Wyoming Sunday."

Does it ever get too cold to snow?

"That is a bit of folk wisdom that is not true for your area," Ramey said. "The ideal temperature range for forming ice crystals is between 14 and minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. It does snow outside of that temperature range."

Even though the temperature on the ground in Pagosa Springs might be sub-zero, it is likely much warmer even 500 feet higher, according to Ramey.

"However, that statement would be true of the polar caps," Ramey said. "That is because colder air holds less moisture than warmer air. The polar caps are true deserts, but any snow that ever fell is still there because it is so cold nothing ever melts."

Meanwhile, Pagosa Country received a trace of snow this past Monday, according to the U.S. Weather Service's official station located at Stevens Field. The average high temperature for the past week was 38 degrees. The 41 degrees recorded Saturday was the warmest day of the week. The average low temperature was a chilly 6 degrees. Tuesday night's minus 2 degrees is the coldest reading of the season. The previous low for this season was 2 degrees above zero, measured Dec. 8. Other single-digit readings were recorded Nov. 23 and 24 when the mercury bottomed at 8 and 6 degrees respectfully. The extreme minimum December temperature for Pagosa Springs is minus 34 degrees recorded Dec. 25, 1990. During the past 51 years, December temperatures have fallen below minus 30 degrees four times, below minus 20 degrees 13 times, and below minus 10 degrees 42 times. The warmest extreme low, minus 1 degrees, occurred Dec. 12, 1986.

Inside The Sun

Major overhaul scheduled at Navajo State Park

By John M. Motter

Navajo State Recreation Area is being included in a $7 million state parks renovation program, according to John Weiss, the park manager.

Work at Navajo should begin sometime this coming summer and be completed within two to three years, Weiss said.

"Navajo Park has been third on a list of state parks getting major rehab attention," Weiss said. "Crawford was first and they are finished. Vega was second and they are probably 80 percent finished. That puts Navajo in the spotlight."

Sharing 50 percent of the cost of the project with several state agencies is the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, Weiss said. The park is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, the agency responsible for the original construction of facilities there in 1967.

Navajo State Recreation Area attracts about 230,000 visitors a year and has an annual operating budget of about $30,000 a year. An additional $50,000 a year is budgeted to hire summer help to augment the permanent staff of three full-time employees.

Great Outdoor Colorado recently awarded $600,000 in lottery funds to Colorado State Parks for the Navajo State Park improvements, Weiss said.

Major attention will be given to upgrading and modernizing camping facilities. The current Navajo campground contains 71 sites built during the late 1960s, according to Weiss. Renovation plans call for increasing the number of camping sites in the park to approximately 125 spread across three camping areas.

The number of camping sites in the existing campground will be reduced, but will be spread around three loops with larger individual camping modules designed to accommodate modern camping vehicles.

Across the road from the existing visitor center, a second camping area will be developed. A new visitor center will be developed a little distance from the main site and out of the main stream of traffic. Employee housing and maintenance shops are also being moved. A third camping area will be developed where employee housing is located today.

The railroad section house located on the bluff overlooking Lake Navajo will be removed. Several rental cabins will be erected in that location. In the same vicinity, the station house and water tower will be retained and an interpretive center constructed.

Environmental protection is the major consideration for work contemplated along the Piedra and San Juan rivers in the upper part of the park.

"We're going to identify the most logical roads used by fishermen up there and gravel those roads," Weiss, said. "Then we're going to cut off other places where people have been driving; restrict traffic to the improved roads."


CASB honors Davis

By Roy Starling

At the annual meeting of the Colorado Association of School Boards in Colorado Springs earlier this month, School District 50 Joint board of directors president Randall Davis received recognition for achieving "Leadership Mastery" status as a board member.

To achieve this status, Davis said he had to "complete 100 hours of training and submit a comprehensive self-analysis to CASB. I qualified for the hours by attending numerous workshops at the state conventions."

Superintendent Terry Alley said leadership mastery is "an educational program for school board members to help broaden their knowledge of educational issues and policies. It's geared to make them exemplary board members." Alley said Davis was the first district board member to achieve mastery status.

Davis has been a member of the board since 1979.


Greeley native new county engineer

By John M. Motter

Roxann Mackenzie Hayes is the new Archuleta County engineer, replacing Dan Flack who returned to his former home near Farmington, N.M.

Hayes is responsible for a wide range of projects. Her duties include being project manager for capital improvement projects within the county; reviewing site plans, plats, and subdivisions; and inspecting roads to make sure road specifications are met. Hayes has been in Archuleta County long enough to work on Light Plant Road reconstruction, a proposed new bridge across the Navajo River, Eightmile Mesa Road, and the Fairfield Pagosa road-settlement project.

Born and raised in Greeley, Hayes graduated from University High School in 1991. Her mother is the gifted and talented coordinator for School District 6, her father is regional manager for Canyon Creek Cabinets. Living in Denver is her younger brother, a human resources specialist for MCI/Sprint WorldCom.

Hayes graduated from the Colorado School of Mines at Golden with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering plus minors in environmental engineering and public affairs.

She formerly lived in Houston, Texas, where she was employed as project engineer for a major chemical company for several years. She then accepted employment as city engineer for a Houston suburb where she was responsible for design and project management of roads, waterline extensions, new parks, buildings, and recreational facilities. She also reviewed site plans and subdivisions, and was the floodplain administrator.

Returning to Colorado is the fulfillment of a vow Hayes and husband, Matt, made when they moved to Houston - a vow to stay in Texas only five years. Roxann and Matt met at college. Born and raised in Kansas, Matt has a B.S. in chemical engineering and petroleum refining with a minor in civil engineering. They married in April of 1996.

Hayes has been a regional director for the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association, a volunteer for the Homeless Pet Placement League, involved at the state level of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a local officer for the Society of Women Engineers.

She and Matt enjoy hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, and playing with Luna, a black Lab, and Buster, a German shepherd mix.



Free enterprise

Dear David,

I have to take issue with Mark Bergon's letter of December 9. His noble wish is for a perfect world like that described in Bible prophecy. However, that's not the world we live in now, and Piano Creek Ranch does not symbolize everything that's wrong with the world.

As most Pagosans know, I have a retail business here, and some of the items I sell carry a five-figure price tag. I have delivered some of these items personally to the homes of buyers, and been given the "grand tour" of these "castles." Here in the Pagosa area, these homes represent patronization of countless area businesses, not to mention building contractors. Elaborate infrastructure necessities, appliances, appointments and decor seen in these homes are testimonials to the diversity of our local suppliers, services and talents. I and other retailers collect sales taxes, also, for the Pagosa area. We pay business and property taxes, and redistribute our earnings around town in restaurants and businesses and the many charitable fund-raisers. My retail business is already being supported by Piano Creek Ranch, and for years it has been substantially supported by the Fairfield timeshares development. My higher earnings each year continue to benefit Archuleta County. I hope Mark Bergon and other critics are not opposed to the way our free enterprise system works.

Mark's letter implied that "rich people" are the most selfish of all of us, and the destroyers of the environment. Too bad Mark hasn't the courage to go in to Piano Creek's downtown Pagosa office and ask them to explain the development plan to him. It is an environmentally-responsible plan.

I'm disappointed and annoyed when I hear critics charging "rich people" with all our environmental problems, as though they were the ogre class by virtue of their bank balance. In my experience doing business with the wealthy and the super wealthy, I have found more environmental awareness and active involvement than I've found in the public in general. I'll bet my friend, Milton Lewis, would agree with that estimation on his similar experiences. I know of a great many individuals, some wealthy, some not, who are quietly making needed changes in areas of environment, education, provision for the poor, the arts, medicine and agriculture, without fanfare. Many are personally involved, even one-on-one in some instances, in addition to providing generous financial support.

There's nothing wrong with Mark Bergon's concluding solution - the world needs redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. We Christians, however, need to remember that we're not immune to the blindness characteristic of our human nature, and be careful that we don't sound like all the other self-appointed critics carping about an imperfect world. We need to be humble ourselves to lay aside our prejudices and broaden our observant facilities and be fair in our criticisms. We need to remember to acknowledge God's sovereignty in all things.

Claire Goldrick

Happy fishin'

Dear David,

I would like to express my appreciation to several people on behalf of the job done on the demonstration project of the Lower Blanco River and what it has done for us. After this portion of the project was completed, the children of some of our tenants here at the Acres Green RV Park began fishing some of the big holes created by Dale Hockett of Elk River Construction Co. through the watchful eyes of chief hydrologist Dave Rosgen and his very able assistant John. These children in one week's time caught eight to 10 fish 10- to 16-inches long, this was hard for me to believe, but as God is my witness, I saw them. The best part was to see the smiles it put on these little people's faces.

Not only has it brought up the level in most of the wells for people living on the demonstration project, the beauty of the falls created by placement of the boulders is just breathtaking. This is work of beauty by Dale and the Elk River Construction crew. Dale is poetry in motion in that trackhoe while out in that river. There might be someone better, but I haven't seen them. He takes so much pride in his work and it shows for all of us. It would behoove anyone to see his work on the Lower Blanco River, starting at the bridge to the RV parks. My individual thanks to Dave Rosgen and John, his assistant from Idaho, Dale and Deanna Hockett and the Elk River Construction crew and Happy Holidays to all.


R.D. Bob Sprague

Acres Green RV Park LLC


Dear Dave,

Thank you so much for your editorial comments regarding our community - really appreciated! Bob and I purchased our property back in '77 from Ralph Eaton with full intention and enthusiasm for becoming active citizens of Pagosa Springs.

We in Kiwanis have put a lot of effort into making our club inclusive, anyone who is willing to give service to this community is certainly welcome to our organization.


Patty Tillerson

Bagged freedom

Dear Editor,

Your "Dear Folks" remarks in the Dec. 9 SUN sent my memories reeling back to a close shipmate who related an incident about the Belgian Congo becoming decolonialized and how some con artist made a small fortune by selling freedom to the people. To that uneducated populace, it was their first experience with this new thing. A small Bull Durham-size cloth sack filled with dirt was exchanged for a small bit of change. This was freedom!

This may be considered funny to most of us who were born and reared in the USA. Who could be so stupid? Was it really stupid? I wonder what it was like when the very same people were told about motor vehicles and they had never seen one. This person may never have traveled more than a jungle trail - let alone a gravel road.

After all, he or she could take a string, tie the sack, and hang it around his or her neck. They were happy. They were owners of new freedom.

Freedom is an inanimate concept, and when one goes deep in thought, it may vary in time and meaning. It is a most personal quality.

One freedom is limited to the foggy extent of where another person's space may become encroached upon. Freedom allows us to enjoy life as long as we don't overindulge. It has limits.

Freedom offers hope to improve our very personal self. There are also some which would take it and enslave you to add to their quota.

Going back to the natives who were sold the sacks of freedom. At the time they were "sacked," those people may have had ample freedom, but just didn't know it.

My personal freedom depends on how much I give to another, and how much I allow myself. Daily, all of us must stand for our freedom.

Today, economics has enslaved more Americans than any other freedom-suppressing system of this country. We willingly have allowed our "wants" to systematically bond us. Economics have unbalanced justice and power of the people. We have willingly let loose of our freedom, commercializing ourselves, and selling our ideals to materialism.

You don't have to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier to see that maybe this is why we "forget so quickly" about the hardships endured by dead patriots of old conflicts.

Americans today do not care to take the time to honestly understand how close it came to loosing everything on that "Day of Infamy" in December 1941. Unfortunately, remembering freedom has now become - how you bag it.

Jim Sawicki

Good ol' days

Dear Editor

I read with interest and enjoyment John Motter's article in the Dec. 9 issue of the SUN about Fort Lewis, the Cooley cabin and the Arlington Hotel.

Brice Patterson (spelled with an i, vs. a y), of the Arlington, was my great grandfather. He, his wife and three sons ventured from La Veta into Silverton over Stony Pass in 1883. With them went wagons, horses and 60 head of mules, which were used for freighting and packing supplies to the mines and ore from the mines for the next 21 years. While in Silverton, he served on the town council and the board of county commissioners where he worked hard and invested heavily in the construction of the courthouse and the town's first public water system. His name (J.B. Patterson) remains on the cornerstone of the county courthouse. His son Fred Patterson served as county sheriff for nine years.

Following successful prospecting and mining ventures around Silverton, he sold out and moved to Pagosa in 1909 where, with his mine proceeds, he bought three ranches on the Piedra above Arboles, one in the Weminuche Valley and, as the article indicated, the Arlington Hotel, which he ran for the next 27 years. During that time he served as mayor and was instrumental in the construction of the first road over Wolf Creek Pass. He later was elected to the state legislature for two terms representing Archuleta, Mineral and Hinsdale counties. His Arboles ranches were lost to the 1911 flood.

In 1906, my mother Julia (Juju) Patterson was born in Silverton to Brice's son Alva (Alvie) and Anna Patterson and was raised on the Weminuche ranch and in town at the Arlington. She remembers riding horseback on a pillow in front of her dad from the Weminuche to Silverton - the same trip described by Pagosa's cowboy poet Bob Huff in his poem "Five Days to Silverton." Only she bunked in the jail, Bob.

After the school burned down on O'Neal hill, she attended classes in the old Methodist Church and graduated from Pagosa High in the first four-year class through what is now the old junior high building back against Lewis Street. She soon married Lee Cox, my dad, who had the contract to remove the timber for Vallecito Reservoir and later was foreman for the David Hersch sheep operation, summering eight thousand head of ewes in the Fourmile, Dead Man and East Fork of the Piedra high country. Stepping back in time, Mom ran the Los Baños Hotel for Joe Hersch while Dad was in the Army during World War II. Dad later owned and operated the San Juan Supply with partners Paul Decker and Woodrow Dunlap, across the street from the Arlington (Los Baños) Hotel. The Piano Creek offices are now housed in that same building.

My older brother, Alva Lee Cox, was born in the Hatcher house on Pagosa Street and I had the privilege of entering the world at Durango's Mercy Hospital. Alva's was the first class to graduate from the current junior high building on Pagosa Street and mine was the first class to finish four years of high school in that same building. Juju, 91, and going strong, now lives in Grand Junction. She can talk your leg off about old stories of Pagosa. (Yes, Patterson Street in Grand Junction was named for one of Brice Patterson's brothers who settled there.)

Harry (Bud) Patterson, Mom's brother, was with the Soil Conservation Service in Pagosa for many years where he orchestrated the construction of the dam for Lake Capote (Pargin's Lake) and many of the livestock watering reservoirs throughout the area. In his younger years, Bud worked in some of the Silverton mines and was sick in bed one morning when the tramway that carried the miners up the mountain to the mine derailed, killing two of his co-workers. He served in World War II and was a POW in Germany.

I am continually amazed at how many of the old pioneer family names no longer have a presence here in Pagosa. If there's a point to all this, it is that there are still a few family lines here in Pagosa that date back to wagons, mules and working horses. As Worthe Crouse would say - "Just thought you'd like to know."

Dean Cox

A survivor's thanks

Dear Editor,

During 1996-98 my most unfortunate association with Thomas Kiser caused what I considered to be the most unexpected and life-threatening situation ever imaginable. He had no conscious as he devastated the lives of every person even remotely associated with him. Due to his actions I was dragged, hands tied, to the threshold of his den in hell. The light that kept my sanity and brought my feet back to solid and good ground was the support that surrounded me. Letters and circulated petitions of support came in within a matter of days, and the support continued until it was all over. I was lazy and I should have acknowledged and addressed the incredible outpouring of support back then, but I was tired of seeing my name in the paper. I figured everyone else was too.

So here I am writing to publicly express my gratitude. To date, however, I would also like to thank this little town for the support that has been shown towards me in my most recent health-threatening endeavor. In a matter of days, once again, the positive actions of this community were evident. The musicians that collected money for my medical expenses, the families of the Postolese's (three generations), Porkorney's (zirconia), Lehr's, Lumley's, Trujillo's and many, many individuals who continue to help me do what I need to do, even though I would rather not, I thank you. With the many layers of positive energy around me I know already that I am a cancer survivor.

Thank you for your time, thoughts and prayers.

Helene A. Koelsch

Dynamic coexistence

Dear Dave,

It was interesting getting some feedback from Franklin Anderson concerning my recent letter (SUN, Dec. 2) about deer management in Colorado. Certainly he is someone whose family heritage of government trapping would tend to make one believe that he is quite knowledgeable on issues pertaining to wildlife. However, I respectfully disagree with his fundamental conclusions.

The idea that lack of predator management is the primary reason for the decline in deer populations is absurd. I do agree that predator populations, like most species must be controlled in this day and age. Sadly, our wild lands have become something akin to a large zoo. You cannot just sit back and let "nature take its course." We have established artificial carrying capacities for various species based on our personal whims. To maintain these populations requires careful management.

On the other hand, the image of ravening packs of coyotes running down helpless deer trapped in snowdrifts while each mountain lion pounces upon another two deer each week to fulfill its insatiable need for venison is far from accurate. Even if it was, common sense dictates that eventually deer populations would decline to the point that excess predators would begin to starve, and a balance would be reestablished. If you think about it, a burgeoning predator population would be a strong indicator of a healthy deer herd instead of one that has been in steady decline for several decades.

One final point. While it is true that records indicate that deer were relatively scarce in this area during the 1940s, early explorers to the region described game populations as "plentiful." One can't help but wonder if the lack of deer during the first half of this century was more the result of excessive market hunting during the late 1800s rather than predator populations gone awry. After all, it is important to remember that natural balances were established and maintained for countless millennia before European settlers first appeared upon the scene to "straighten things out." Somehow coyotes, mountain lions, deer and even humans managed to live in a dynamic coexistence that incorporated predator/prey relationships that were both functional and sustainable.

I suspect that the real truth is that mankind is the predator whose population is completely out of control, and it is only when we come to accept this as fact and implement changes in our lifestyle to correct the situation, that any lasting solutions to our wildlife problems will occur.

Peace to all and Merry Christmas.

Tony Rackham

Women voters

Dear David,

Pagosa Springs was very fortunate to have both our state legislators, Senator Jim Dyer and Representative Mark Larson meet with local officials and citizens on the afternoon of Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor Day). The legislators listened to and gave suggestions for solutions to local citizen concerns about: the reductions in federal funding for Home Health Care and Hospice programs, which are valuable for our rural population; state-mandated education standards and testing; placing a traffic light at the Piedra Road intersection and other concerns about CDOT; deregulation of electricity providers; costs of growth; telecommunications development and individual/government problems.

Dyer and Larson also gave a preview of some of the coming legislation and working issues of interest to our area which will be addressed by the General Assembly; these include: the use of the Tobacco Settlement money; mental health patient transportation and development of a regional center for mental health; changes in Rural Electrical Cooperatives; transportation and CDOT; noxious weed and predator control; and other regional and Governor Bill Owen's issues, such as: telecommunications, education, growth, tax reductions and crime.

If you were unable to attend this informative session, and want to have information or give comment on any of the areas of proposed legislation, now is the time to speak up, your General Assembly convenes Jan. 5, 2000.

Our legislators can be easily reached by home phone or e-mail: State Senator Jim Dyer. (970) 259-1942 or

State Representative Mark Larson: (970) 385-5959 or


Windsor Chacey

Voters Services Chair

League of Women Voters of Archuleta County



Part-time Pagosans

Dear Editor,

I'm one of those darn out-of-state radicals that owns an undeveloped home lot in the Pagosa Lakes area. Frankly, we purchased the property on a "one-day" visit while passing through on a vacation trip. Prior to this, my wife and I had never heard of Pagosa Springs, zippo, nada. Our intention is to build a small summer getaway home. In order to learn about the community we frequently read your Web site version of your paper. It is so humorous to see that all the issues that appear in your features and letters to the editor are a mirror image of our full-time home residence, Payson, Ariz. May I suggest that your readers visit our local paper website and see for themselves how ironic the similarities are. ( Controlled growth, local politics, getting a Wal-Mart store, and the battle of the home owner associations. We are all truly from the same mold it seems. We look forward to becoming good Pagosa citizens, be it only part time.

Yours truly,

Don and Connie Evans

Used-to-be Pagosan

Dear Editor,

I was searching the web when I suddenly decided to look up Pagosa Springs, I can't believe some of the things I read. I am so out of touch. I graduated from Pagosa in 1985. I believe that there was no better place to live and I still believe that. I have not been to Pagosa for about 10 years. Boy, do I miss it so. Some of my closest friends in high school are now teachers and one in particular, Myron Stretton, is now the head coach of the football team. I even named my first son after Pete Peterson's son, Trevor. Anyway, I see that Pirate Pride lives on. I remember how seriously we took it. I hope to be back in your town soon, so if anyone is interested please e-mail me at


John McMahon


Farrow family

We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for all the kindness shown through thoughts, prayers, contacts and offers of help during Wayne's stay in the hospital.

The Wayne Farrow family


Charles Scott

Charles Scott died at the age of 82 on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999.

Mr. Scott was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1917. He worked as a sound engineer at the University of Strathelyde in Glasgow for a number of years. He moved from Scotland to Oklahoma in 1996, and moved to Pagosa Springs in 1998 to live with his daughter, Elizabeth Allen.

Mr. Scott is survived by his daughter Elizabeth Allen of Pagosa Springs; his daughter Susan Bay of League City, Texas; his son, Malcolm Scott of Manchester, England. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Betsy Scott and his son, Allan Scott.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of Mercy, 95 South Pagosa Boulevard, Unit B, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Manuel Jose Atencio

Local residents were saddened to learn of the death of lifelong resident Manuel "Manny" Jose Atencio.

Mr. Atencio died Tuesday, Dec. 7, 1999, at his home in Pagosa Springs. He was born to the late Jose Desimilo Atencio and Maria Luz Espinoza Atencio in Pagosa Springs Mar. 27, 1954. He lived his entire life in Pagosa Springs and graduated from the local high school in 1973. For several years he worked on the service crews for the U.S. Forestry Service.

Mr. Trujillo is survived by his sisters, Jenny Bell of Pagosa, Trudy Gomez of Utah, Nardy Lattin of Farmington, N.M., Delila Guiterrez of Ogden, Utah, Dolores Deselms and Linda Aragon of Phoenix, Ariz., and Dolores Martinez of Denver; brothers Paul Atencio of Denver, Rey Atencio of Trinidad and Alex Aguilar of Grand Junction. He was preceded in death by his parents Jose and Maria Atencio; brothers Joe and Willy Aguilar; and sisters Ruth and Lydia Atencio.

A mass of Christian burial was held Saturday, Dec. 11, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father John Bowe officiating.



Robert Gomez

Pvt. Robert S. Gomez graduated from basic combat training in the U.S. Army on Sept. 16 in Fort Jackson, S.C. He is the son of Jeanette and James Gomez of Pagosa Springs, and Renay and Greg Lenz of Austin, Texas.

Pvt. Gomez left Pagosa Springs on June 29 for Fort Jackson. He is now training for aircraft engine repair in Fort Eustis, Va. He will be home on leave for the Christmas holidays on Dec. 18. He will return to Fort Eustis on Jan. 2.

Anyone who would like to write can reach Robert at: Pvt. Robert S. Gomez, A Co. 1-222 AVN Regt. 2 PLT, Fort Eustis, Va. 23604.



Larry and Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs announce the Oct. 9, 1999, engagement of their daughter, Breezy Autumn McCormick, to Paul Thomas Beckler, son of Jerry and Peggy Beckler of Bayfield.

Breezy graduated from ABeka Correspondence, and is presently pursuing a biblical studies degree at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. She will graduate in 2002.

Paul is a graduate of Durango High School, and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in business administration. He will graduate in the fall of 2000 from Fort Lewis College. The couple plan a June 3, 2000, wedding in Durango.


Sports Page

Pirates win all three at Wolf Creek Classic

By John M. Motter

The Pagosa Springs Pirates beat Gunnison 60-56, Nucla 60-50 and Salida 53-48 this past weekend in the Wolf Creek Classic Basketball Tournament. Coach Kyle Canty's boys now have four wins against a single loss for the season.

Even though they captured every game, the Pirates failed to win the tournament championship. That honor fell to Aztec, which also defeated Gunnison, Nucla, and Salida. Pagosa Springs and Aztec did not play each other, but Aztec defeated their common opponents by a larger margin than did the Pirates.

Boys' scores for the local tournament, in addition to the Pagosa games, show Dove Creek winning 68-59 over Nucla, Aztec beating Salida 93-64, Aztec downing Gunnison 58-48, Dove Creek dropping Salida 65-53, and Aztec squeezing past Nucla 68-67.

Named to the all-tournament team from Pagosa Springs were Charles Rand, David Goodenberger and Daniel Crenshaw.

This weekend the Pagosa cagers bus across Red Mountain to play three games in the Black Canyon Classic Tournament at Montrose, a confrontation that has become an annual outing. The competition should be formidable.

Play begins for the Pirates with a return engagement against Gunnison starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the auxiliary gym. Action for Pagosa resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. in the auxiliary gym when the Pirates take on Rifle. The final Pagosa game is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the Lloyd McMillan Gymnasium with Olathe as the opponent.

Boys teams entered in the Black Canyon Classic are Rifle, Golden, Montrose, Olathe, Gunnison and Pagosa Springs. Last year in Montrose, Pagosa beat Gunnison but lost to Rifle and Olathe.

"I have to be pleased with our performance last weekend," said Canty, "Any time you win, you have to be happy. At the same time, I can see a lot of room for improvement. For one thing, we have to show a lot more discipline with the offense. While I like making a lot of threes (3-pointers), you can't depend on them. When we're in a half-court situation, we need to work the ball in for a lay up."

Pagosa showed a happy penchant for shooting 3-pointers throughout the tournament, and against Nucla five straight threes turned the game around. For the three games, the Pirates connected on 20 of 55 three-point attempts.

Against their first opponent, Gunnison, the Pirates led throughout the game, but could never put the pesky Cowboys away. By quarters, the Pirates led 15-13, 27-23, 44-43, and the final 60-56. The score was tied 56-56 with two minutes remaining in the game. Goodenberger canned a pair of free throws to put the Pirates on top 58-56, but the game wasn't iced until Rand hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with two seconds left.

Rand and Micah Maberry each hit for 12 points to pace the Pirates' scoring against Gunnison. Adding to the balanced attack were Crenshaw, Tyrel Ross and Lonnie Lucero with eight points each, Goodenberger with seven points, and Clinton Lister with three points.

Goodenberger topped Pirate rebounding with four offensive and seven defensive boards, followed by Maberry with 10 rebounds, and Crenshaw with eight rebounds. Goodenberger and Crenshaw each had three assists, and Goodenberger's two steals topped that department.

Pagosa and Nucla traded baskets during the first half Saturday morning in a defensive struggle. By halftime, Pagosa held only a 24-23 lead. During the third period the Pirates bombed from outside the three-point circle to outscore their opponents 21-11 and stretch their lead to 45-34. During that third-period onslaught Goodenberger and Crenshaw each hit a pair of 3-pointers and Rand sank another to account for 15 of the 21 Pagosa Springs tallies.

Goodenberger registered 19 points to lead Pagosa scoring, but Crenshaw was close behind with 17 points. Rounding at Pagosa scoring were Maberry and Rand with seven points each, Ross with six points, and Lonnie Lucero and Carlos Martinez with two points each.

Goodenberger again topped Pagosa rebounding with 11 boards, followed by Clinton Lister with nine boards. Ross topped the assists department with four. Pagosa pilfered the ball from Nucla 19 times, led by five steals by Rand.

The game with the shorter Salida squad was never in doubt as Pagosa jumped to a 14-6 first quarter lead, stretched that to 30-18 by half, and 41-30 at the end of the third. Canty substituted freely during the final period as Pagosa coasted to the victory. Rand paced Pagosa scoring with 18 points, 15 points coming from hitting 5 of 8 from beyond the three-point circle. Crenshaw added 12 points, Goodenberger 11 points, Clinton Lister and Ross four points each, and Maberry and Lonnie Lucero two points each.

In the rebound department, Goodenberger's 11 rebounds was tops, followed by Crenshaw with nine rebounds. Goodenberger's five assists topped that department. He and Charles each had two steals.

Following the Black Canyon Classic, the Pirates take a break over the holiday season. They return to action Jan. 13 by hosting Ignacio in the first Intermountain League contest for both teams. Teams in the IML, in addition to Pagosa Springs, are Bayfield, Centauri, Del Norte, Ignacio and Monte Vista. Two teams from the IML advance into the state basketball playoffs. Last year, Monte Vista won the IML, followed by Del Norte.


Cold shooting, Indians' freeze stop Lady Pirates

By Roy Starling

In Saturday night's game between unbeaten teams in the Wolf Creek Classic, the Montrose Indians would take only one shot from the floor in the fourth quarter against the Lady Pirates.

They made that shot, with seven minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the game, and it gave the Indians a 40-28 lead and permission to play a boring but efficient game of keep-away the rest of the way. When the final horn sounded, Montrose had iced the game - 49-39 - and chilled the gym.

Although the Ladies finished as runner-ups in the Classic, three of them were named to the all-tournament team: seniors Janae Esterbrook and Mandy Forrest and sophomore Katie Lancing.

Young Lancing made her grand entrance into varsity ball in the Lady Pirates' 56-37 opening-round win over the Nucla Mustangs. After averaging 11 points per game in the team's first two contests, Lancing got in a serious groove against Nucla, hitting 10 of 12 field-goal attempts and 2 for 2 from the free-throw line, for a 22-point total.

When her hot shooting began to attract a crowd of Mustangs, she found her open teammates, dishing out four assists to lead the team in that department.

Lancing didn't exactly conserve her energy on defense, either, leading the team in steals with eight and rebounds with 10. "Katie played a fabulous game against Nucla," Lady Pirates coach Karen Wells said.

Esterbrook scored 13 points against the Mustangs, while Ashley Gronewoller and Forrest added eight and seven, respectively. Forrest also had nine rebounds and three assists.

The Ladies weren't too quick to show the visiting Mustangs the exit. The first quarter ended in an 11-11 tie, but by intermission Pagosa was up by eight, 30-22, and the girls never looked back. Even though Wells subbed freely, the Ladies built their lead to 45-31 at the end of three and won by a final 56-37 margin.

Forrest stepped up her game Saturday morning when the Ladies returned to their old home court, Mamie Lynch Gym, to beat up on the Gunnison Cowgirls, 51-40. The senior post led the team with 15 points and seven blocked shots, tied Lancing with five steals and was second to Gronewoller with eight rebounds.

Esterbrook, Gronewoller and Lancing all had eight points each, and Meigan Canty tossed in six. Canty also polished up her play-making game, leading the team with eight assists

Wells believed the Gunnison game was the girls' best of the tourney. "They played really well Saturday morning," she said. "They had a lot of energy and were really sharp."

But when the Ladies took the floor against Montrose a few hours later, starting their third game in a 24-hour period, Wells thought some of their earlier fire had dimmed a bit.

"Against Montrose, we just didn't look good," she said. "We looked tired and sluggish."

As it turns out, Montrose is not a good team to be tired and sluggish against. Like the Rio Rancho Rams who wore down the Ladies the previous weekend in Cortez, the Indians utilized a frequent, wholesale substitution system, sending five rested girls in from the bench every few minutes.

Playing before a small but well-behaved crowd, the Lady Pirates took an early 4-2 lead when a 20-foot shot by Montrose's Annie Walker was sandwiched by two Esterbrook free throws and an 8-foot jumper by Forrest. The rest of the quarter, however, was not much of a treat for Pagosa fans. The Ladies turned the ball over too often and got pushed around under the boards, and the Indians got hot from near and far, charging out to a 15-4 lead at the end of the quarter.

Pagosa used free throws to nibble away at that lead early in the second, but Walker's hot hand kept the visitors in front. With Montrose up 15-7 with four minutes remaining in the half, Walker swished in a shot with one foot over the three-point arc. Forrest answered with two free throws, but then Walker grabbed an offensive board and laid it back in for two. The Ladies were down 19-9 with 3:17 to go.

On the Lady Pirates' next possession, Lancing found Gronewoller alone under the basket for an easy deuce. When the Indians misfired on their next trip down the floor, Lancing pulled down the rebound and fed it to Esterbrook who got open for a rainbow jumper from 18 feet. The shot found its mark, and the Ladies were back in business, down only 19-14 with 2:05 to go.

Whitney Tucker then hurt Pagosa with a quick scoot to the basket, after which the Indians changed teams for the second time in the quarter.

Once the exchange was completed and the ensuing numbers talk died down ("I've got 11!" "No, I've got 11, you take 20."), Esterbrook promptly disoriented her new defender with a stutter step and a head fake and found herself alone in the lane for an easy 8-foot jumper, bringing several Pagosa fans to their feet as the Montrose lead was trimmed to 21-16.

Montrose's Jenny Evans shut the celebration down with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Ladies went into the locker room down by eight.

The girls made another short, quick run at the opening of the second half. Senior Bonnie O'Brien continued her tradition of knocking down at least one 3-pointer per game by nailing one from a Canty pass on the Ladies' first possession. The Indians missed on their next possession, and Canty made them pay, finding Esterbrook open underneath for two more to cut the lead to 24-21.

Canty swiped the ball on the Indians' next possession, but the Ladies returned it to them. A moment later a rested Walker hit a runner, and the Indians began to pull away, leading 38-28 at the end of three.

This lead, of course, set the stage for the dramatic fourth quarter in which first one Montrose team and then another dribbled and passed, dribbled and passed, while weary Lady Pirates gamely chased them around the high school gym.

Forrest and Esterbrook led the Ladies offensively in the loss, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. Forrest had 10 rebounds and Lancing seven. Canty again led the team in assists with five, followed by Lancing with four and Forrest with three.

"They had a lot of big girls and we just didn't shoot very well," Wells said of her girls' second loss of the season. The Ladies shot only 27 percent from the floor on 2-point attempts, but were 3 of 6 from beyond the arc.

The bad news, Wells said, is that "after five games, we're averaging about 20 turnovers and 35 percent (field-goal accuracy) per game." The good news? "We can still hang with some very good, very deep teams."

Wells believes there's more good news. "The things we're doing wrong are things we can correct, and we're working on them," she said. "We can shoot better, we can protect the ball and we can rebound better."


Wrestlers take 2 dual-meet losses into Classic

By Karl Isberg

A 78-0 loss to Aztec, N.M., on Dec. 9 was a disappointing way for Pirate wrestlers to begin the season, and a 38-36 loss to rival Ignacio on the same night didn't make matters any better for the team.

Of the debacle with Aztec, the less said the better. Every Pirate who took the mat was pinned but one - and that wrestler, sophomore Trevor Peterson, suffered a season-ending spiral fracture of the tibia during his match.

In the wake of the two dual-meet losses and on the brink of the notoriously difficult Warrior Classic this weekend, coach Dan Janowsky and his staff had some work to do in the practice room.

"What can you say?," said Janowsky. "We weren't ready last week. There's a number of factors involved in a loss like that, but who cares what they are? It was a nightmare, and just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Our experienced wrestlers are at the end of our lineup and we didn't have a stopper among our lighter weights, someone at the front of the lineup who could stop the momentum. We'll have to wait to get at them (Aztec) again, and I know we can redeem a lot of what happened. If we're tough, it's not going to hurt to carry this around. If we're not that tough, then the worst has probably already happened."

While the loss to Aztec was dramatic, there were some clear lessons to be learned. Aztec wrestlers seemed stronger at nearly every weight, and in better condition to wrestle.

"We lacked mat time," said Janowsky, reflecting on the fact many of his wrestlers participated in an extended football season, and that the team was prevented by weather from attending a tournament at Rocky Ford on Dec. 4. "We're still going to be short of mat time, until after the Christmas break when things will even up. In the meantime, the only answer is to rise to the occasion. After the other night, our guys know what can happen and, hopefully, that will motivate them. We all expected a better night."

Dual with Ignacio

Last season, Ignacio beat the Pirates at the Intermountain League meet, but with major losses to graduation, Ignacio did not figure to be as strong this season.

Not so on Dec. 9.

Pirate Ryan Lee lost at 103 pounds, in a 19-4 decision.

Jesse Trujillo lost when he was pined by a Bobcat in the first-period.

At 119 pounds, Michael Maestas lost a 10-5 decision against a placer from the 1999 state tournament. Maestas fell behind, then closed as the match waned, preventing a major decision.

An Ignacio forfeit at 125 pounds gave the Pirates their first points.

Albert Martinez lost with a fall in the third period at 130 pounds.

At 135 pounds, Clayton Masten took over for Peterson and lost a 4-0 decision.

In a high-intensity match at 140 pounds, Daniel Martinez and his Bobcat opponent were tied 7-7 in the third period when Martinez was forced to surrender a default.

Another Ignacio forfeit at 145 pounds gave Pagosa points on the scoreboard.

Josh Trujillo pinned his man at 152 pounds in the first period of the match.

Keith Candelaria was on the losing end of an 8-2 decision at 160 pounds and Ignacio forfeited at 171 pounds.

Clint Shaw weighed approximately 170 pounds before his match and gave up considerable weight to compete at 189 pounds. Shaw got behind 4-0 and was pinned in the second period.

Luke Boilini took the mat at 189 pounds and earned a victory with a fall in the second period.

Shane Prunty ended the evening winning with a pin in the first period of his heavyweight match.

"When I look back on our matches against Ignacio and against Aztec," said Janowsky, "I realize we weren't in shape. We were out of position all night long. We can correct physical things like that; what we need to focus on is the emotional side of the sport. We need to be more intense, more combative, show some desire to win the match."

Warrior Classic

That intense, combative attitude will come in handy at the Warrior Classic at Grand Junction this weekend. It is the final tournament prior to the Christmas break and the Pirates will face some of their most formidable competition of the season.

The motivation born of the experience with Aztec and Ignacio should play into the Pagosa appearance, as should the fact that some of the Pirates have lost weight and will compete in their regular classifications.

Getting away from the confines of the Pagosa Springs High School gym could help as well.

"It'll be a lot easier to coach the team when we go to Grand Junction," said Janowsky. "At home duals, you're not as focused as you'd like to be. We'll do better, even against the tougher opponents."

Two Pirates are set to return to action this weekend, and their appearances could bolster the Pirates' attitudes. Senior George Kyriacou is back at 215 pounds. The veteran team leader missed the first matches of the season recuperating from a fracture in his forearm. Josh Richardson is slated to return to the mat at 189 pounds.

Other Pirates move to a more familiar weight for the Warrior, most notably Josh Trujillo, who is back down to 145 pounds. Shaw could be ready to move down to 171 pounds.

After the Christmas break, other Pirates will be poised to change weight classes and enter more familiar territory as the season progresses. "We've got a number of guys between weights right now," said Janowsky. "We've paid a price for this so far, but we're not pushing anyone to lose weight. As they work out and get into the season, they'll lose the pounds in a healthy way."

Action begins at the Grand Junction Central High School gym tomorrow (Dec. 17) at 10 a.m.

Saturday's matches start at 9 a.m. with the tourney finals scheduled for 6:50 p.m.

Ladies travel to Kirtland for Lady Bronco classic

By Roy Starling

Today the 3-2 Lady Pirates continue their December tour of non-conference tournaments when they travel to Kirtland, N.M., for the Lady Bronco Fall Classic.

The Ladies will play in the tournament's opener, tipping off against Kirtland II (presumably, that school's junior varsity squad) at 1:30 p.m. today.

That game will be followed by contests between Showlow (Ariz.) and Bloomfield II at 3 p.m., Cortez and Bloomfield I at 6 p.m. and Kirtland I and Cuba (N.M.) at 7:30 p.m.

All games will be played in the huge Bronco Arena, tastefully decorated with an array of state championship banners.

If the Ladies defeat Kirtland II today, they'll advance to a semifinal slot tomorrow at 6 p.m. against the winner of the Showlow-Bloomfield II game. If they lose today, they drop into the losers' bracket for a 3 p.m. Friday contest with the Showlow-Bloomfield loser.

There will be three games on Saturday: a seventh-place game at 1:30 p.m., a third-place game at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 7:30 p.m.

For those who place any importance on comparative scores, Kirtland's varsity narrowly defeated Montrose last week in Kirtland; Montrose beat the Lady Pirates 49-39 in Pagosa's Wolf Creek Classic.


Community News

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Catechism hidden in Christmas song

Beta Sigma Phi pays for the upkeep of the lighted star and cross located on the hills overlooking Pagosa Springs. Sid Hott does the maintenance. Collection boxes are in stores around town, but if you would like to send a check please do so. The address is Beta Sigma Phi Lighting Fund in care of Violet DeVore, Box 15, Pagosa Springs, 81147. The nativity scene in Town Park is also a sorority project.

Hidden meaning

The first day of Christmas is Christmas Eve Day. The Twelfth day of Christmas is Epiphany Eve, commemorating the coming of the Wise Men (as recorded in Matthew). The Epiphany Season runs until Lent.

The very popular Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," is sung with joy at Christmas. It's a fun song. It isn't considered a religious carol but its history is religious. The song was written as a catechism song for young Catholics, between the period of 1558 and 1829 when the Roman Catholics were not allowed to openly practice their faith in England. The song had a surface meaning and a hidden meaning: Each element in the carol is a code word for a religious reality, which the children could memorize.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

The two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

The three French hens stood for the virtues of faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah, or Law, the First Five Books of the Old Testament.

The six geese-a-laying stood for the first days of creation.

The seven swans-a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The eight maids-a-milking were the eight Beatitudes.

The nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

The 10 lords-a-leaping were the Ten Commandments of Almighty God.

The 11 pipers piping stood for the 11 faithful Disciples.

Finally, the 12 drummers drumming symbolized the 12 pints of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Holiday activities

The Christmas doings around town have been well done, despite the sore throats and other ailments that have kept people from participating. One substitute was noteworthy: Melanie Wayne substituted for Joan Hageman, who was supposed to have sung Ave Maria, in "Santa Meets the Humbugs," the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus program. Melanie is an alto. In ladies barbershop, altos are classified as baritones. But Melanie sang Ave Maria softly and right on key. There was a sweetness to her singing - beautifully done. It was only three days before the performance that she offered to do this.

"Santa Meets the Humbugs" was one of the best Christmas programs that the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus has done. Connie Glover and LaDonna Radney were responsible for coming up with the idea. The Humbugs were aliens off a UFO who "landed on the Methodist Church." The costumes were great. Highlights were LaDonna singing "Sweet Little Baby Jesus" a capella, and Betty Lou Reid waltzing with Wes Huckins. The show was pure enjoyment.

From Ima Gurl's Book of Prayers: A prayer for moisture.

Almighty God, heavenly Father, who has blessed us with these beautiful mountains to live in, we call upon you with grateful hearts for moisture to fall upon this very dry land, for the welfare of our animals, the nourishment of our trees and grass, our use and especially, at this time, for all those whose livelihood depends upon the snows of winter. We thank you, Lord, for your loving care and concern. Amen.

Fun on the Run

A concerned husband went to a doctor to talk about his wife. He says to the doctor, "Doctor, I think my wife is deaf because she never hears me the first time and always makes me repeat things."

"Well," the doctor replied, "Go home and tonight stand about 15 feet from her and say something to her. If she doesn't reply move about five feet closer and say it again. Keep doing this so that we'll get an idea about the severity of her deafness."

Sure enough, the husband goes home and does exactly as instructed. He stands off about 15 feet from his wife in the kitchen as she is chopping some vegetables and says, "Honey, what's for dinner?" He hears no response.

He moves five feet closer. Still no reply. He gets fed up and moves right behind her, about an inch away, and asks again, "Honey, what's for dinner?" She replies, "For the fourth time, vegetable stew."

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Thanks to everyone for Pagosa's first Parade of Lights

We're slowing down a bit - predictably with all the holiday chaos, but still hangin' in there with three new members and six renewals. Please remember that our deadline for new members or renewals to appear in the 2000 Business Directory is Dec. 23, so get those forms filled out and get them to Morna soonest. Suellen is working feverishly on a daily basis getting all the information together for finalization on Dec. 23. Don't miss the opportunity to appear in this ever-so-important directory. Over 40,000 folks come through our visitor center every year, most of whom pick up a Business Directory to learn about our business community. In addition, you just need to be a member of the Chamber family - it's simple.

Welcome to Daylight Donuts and Cafe located at 2151 West Highway 160 (formerly Martha T's). Thomas L. Hayes and Linda P. Lee offer donuts and baked goods prepared fresh daily at the "home of the $1.99 breakfast." At Daylight Donuts and Cafe, you can dine in, carry out or buy wholesale. They are open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. They will open soon, and you can call 731-4050 to learn more about this delicious business.

Our next new business is Genesis Companies with Larry Bass at the helm located at 117 Pacifico. Larry offers professional sales, service and installation of garage doors and openers as well as over 20 years experience in the business. He also offers professional home repairs and maintenance for all your sales, service and installation needs for both home and business. If you would like to talk to Larry about his services, please give him a call at 731-4054 or on his cell phone at 946-4300.

We welcome new Associate Members, Bruce and Nettie Trenk, and thank Carrie Weisz for recruiting the Trenks to our ranks. Carrie will receive a free SunDowner for her efforts with our sincere thanks.


We're happy to welcome Peter Dach with his third business, Silver Dollar Bonding. Peter is also owner and member with Pagosa Bar located right on Pagosa Street in downtown Pagosa and Silver Dollar Liquors located just east of the River Center. We love those three businesses, folks. We also welcome Rose Barta, Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant; Mary Jo Coulehan with TLC's, A Bed and Breakfast; Robert A. Holthaus, Golf Course Construction, International/Dr. Dirt; Stephen Saltsman with Flexible Flyers Rafting; and Scott Hollenbeck with Focus and Sound.

Parade winners

We're delighted to congratulate the winners of our first Parade of Lights, which took place at 6 p.m. last Friday night. We thank our judges: Reverend Annie Ryder of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Reverend Don Ford of Community United Methodist Church and Reverend Chris Walls of Mountain Heights Baptist Church. They were such good sports, and we shared lots of laughs. The winners were: Best and Brightest in the Business Category, Circle T Lumber/Ace Hardware; Best and Brightest in the Organization category, the Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs; and Best and Brightest in the Real Estate category, Four Seasons Land Company, Better Homes and Gardens. The judges had a difficult task because the floats were all pretty awesome and represented hours and hours of time and preparation. The winners won $100 for their efforts, and we expect the number of entries to double next year at the very least. Thank you all for your participation. We couldn't have been more pleased with the turnout, both participants and spectators. It was truly a great beginning.

Thanks much

As always, a successful event is the result of hard work and dedicated man hours by many people, and the Parade of Lights was no exception. We are grateful to Jay Harrington for agreeing to let us give it a try, and to Police Chief Don Volger and his staff for risking life and limb tending to the traffic headaches inherent to a parade. We are grateful to all, as well as the Colorado Mounted Rangers, Troop F, for their help in keeping things safe and orderly. Thanks to Terry Smith at Circle T Lumber/Ace Hardware for the use of his truck and for all his help on our Chamber Parade Committee. That truck was out of commission for a long time because we were working on it, and we are grateful to Terry for the loan and for being our own personal driver. Thanks, too, to Ken Harms and Morna Trowbridge for serving on the committee and for their undying enthusiasm for the project. We had a great time with this one. Of course, Suellen was there lining everyone up in the proper order as she has done many times in the past. She's very good at it and runs an extremely organized parade. Thanks to Jim Karlovetz, Ron Gustafson, and Robert Soniat for their help in decorating, and to Santa Claus, Nathan Trowbridge, Max Smith, Quinn Smith and their two buddies for riding on the float. We also thank Pine Valley Rental and Sales, Inc. for donating the gas for our heavy-duty generator. It was a wonderful night, and I look forward to next year when we double the number of entries. The feedback from folks over the weekend indicated that this was a favorite event, a real "keeper."

Security survey

Security concerns seem to be a part of owning and running a business and, therefore, the Pagosa Springs Police Department is offering to conduct a commercial security survey for all local businesses. A police officer will examine your business in an attempt to offer suggestions that will allow you to better protect your business. I particularly like the idea of being proactive with the security issue as opposed to being reactive after the damage has been done. An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure any old day, and this is your opportunity to prevent potential disaster. Please give Officer George Daniels a call at 264-4151 if you are interested in learning more.

Directory deadline

We recently sent a final reminder to businesses that have not yet renewed for the upcoming year, and we sincerely hope that you will all respond before the dreaded deadline of Dec. 23. You will definitely want to be on our membership list in January when the invitations go out for our annual meeting on Saturday, Jan. 22. We are planning some kinda party, let me tell you. It's going to be Mardi Gras time at the Pagosa Lodge with four separate stations for you to visit before the awards ceremony. You will see Bourbon Street, the Bayou, the French Quarter and the Red Hot Jazz room with food, food and more food appropriate to the New Orleans scene. We will invite everyone to "costume up" for the evening and award prizes for the best ones, even though it will be optional for those who abhor costumes.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Changing shape of Malaysian fitness

In 1992, when my family traveled with me back to Malaysia to see my mother, Shawn, who was then 15, found it intriguing that there were so many store fronts advertising weight-gain programs. During my latest visit to Malaysia in February 1999, I saw two shops that called themselves "weight-loss centers." Jenny Craig has become a household name with the upper middle class.

So it comes as news that weight-loss diets are fashionable now. This is all quite a change. Asians have traditionally lived on a diet of low protein, high fiber. Obesity was rare. Then as economic development took place, the rich ate more meat, walked less and drove more. Plumpness became a status symbol.

As the world became smaller and Malaysia became more global, glamour was associated with what's foreign, particularly western. Malaysian advertising increasingly uses skinny, blonde, light-skinned models to sell products to customers who don't look anything like that. It's all quite confusing.

So now at the fitness center, in an upper middle class Malaysian neighborhood, business is booming and plans are afoot to open another branch. Jane Fonda home exercise videos go on sale next to the natural fruit juices, tights and leotards in the lobby. Of course, Jane Fonda never had to face the obstacles a Malaysian woman does in deference to Islamic sensibilities. Malaysian women exercise wearing loose-fitting clothes (the tights and leotards in the lobby are part of the fitness center decor). Though they are doing aerobic exercises, the women aren't allowed to breathe too heavily, lest their rising bosoms prove too provocative. Pelvic thrusts are out, too.

When I visit my mother in her village in the central highlands of Malaysia, I exercise in secret. Early each morning, when it is still dark outside, I do my running. I wear my son's shorts that come down past my kneecaps and an XXXL T-shirt. My defined muscles which I work so hard for are not acceptable in Malaysia yet. My mother tells me that it breaks her heart to think that her daughter must live like a peasant in America. I look like a rice farmer to her, muscular and wiry.

At a weekly weight-loss support group in downtown Kuala Jumpur, capital city of Malaysia, Puan Fatimah has students weigh in and then discuss healthy eating habits. Mainly they strategize about how to stay on a diet in Malaysia, which is no easy feat. The culture of Malaysia hospitality makes it virtually impossible for a guest to say no when food is offered. And it is considered rude for a host to offer a repast of less than many courses. "Serve yourself," Puan Fatimah advises her students. "And always leave food on your plate. That way, the host won't think you're still hungry and give you another serving." Hold on. This is contrary to age-old teaching of not wasting food by leaving some food uneaten on the plate. My mother told me when I was little that for every grain of rice left in my bowl, I would risk a pock mark on the face of my future husband. I was an obedient child. My husband Tom is relatively free of disfiguring facial marks.

Again I say, "It's all quite confusing." with an etiquette of overeating, it's not easy being lean either in the good ol' USA. But fret not, help is available at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. Come in and talk to the trainers and instructors.

Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center's 2000 memberships will go on sale starting Monday, Dec. 20. Get one for the family or for a friend for Christmas. Skip the chocolates, cookies or liquor. Give something that encourages a healthy lifestyle, stretching the pleasure over an entire year and gaining benefits. For holders of 1999 Recreation Memberships, renewal by Jan. 5 is necessary to continue use of the facility. Stay motivated, stay healthy. "Right on, pass the plate."


Education News
By Tom Steen

PCC announces Spring 2000 schedule

Pueblo Community College has announced a Spring 2000 schedule for Pagosa Springs. Classes include English Composition II, Children's Literature, Acting I, and Principles of Speech Communication.

Additionally, students wishing to complete courses for their director qualification for day care providers may enroll in either Infant and Toddler Theory and Lab, or Nutrition and the Young Child. All of these classes will be held beginning Jan. 10 in classroom space at Pagosa Springs High School.

Enrollment can be completed by calling the Pueblo Community College registration system at 1-800-314-9250 or by stopping by the Education Center at 4th and Lewis streets in Pagosa Springs. For more information, students may contact the Education Center at 264-2835, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Principles of Speech Communication is scheduled for Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Carol Feazel will teach this course emphasizing speech delivery, preparation, organization and audience analysis.

English Composition II (ENG-122) will be offered on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. This class has a prerequisite of ENG-121. Jack Ellis will be the instructor.

Wednesday evenings, Acting I will be instructed by Zack Nelson. This course covers basic acting techniques including scene study, improvisation and script analysis. Meeting time for this course will be on Wednesdays, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Children's Literature is being offered for the first time in Pagosa Springs. Discussion topics explore age levels, values taught through literature, and literary and artistic qualities to be considered when selecting appropriate literature for children. This course, taught by Roy Starling, will meet on Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m.

Also being offered for the first time in Pagosa Springs are two Early Childhood courses. First is Infant and Toddler Theory and the lab which follows the theory class. This class is scheduled to meet two evenings a week, but may be rescheduled to meet the needs of the students.Call the Education Center for more information on this class.

Nutrition and the Young Child will begin in March during the second eight-week session of the Spring 2000 schedule. Students need to enroll at the beginning of the semester.

For more information on classes or the enrollment procedure, call the Education Center at 264-2835.


Library News
by Lenore Bright

'Tis the season to forgive library fines

In case you missed last week's column, we are giving a one-time, cross-the-board "forgiving" of fines.

If you have overdue books, get them in before the end of the year and you won't owe any money. Take advantage of this offer - it won't be repeated. It is against the law to keep library materials. Clean up your record. If you don't think this is important, you might be interested in the fact that a person was turned down for a FBI appointment because of the public record that reported he had stolen library material. We talk about family values; how about being good role models for your children? Library materials belong to the public; they are public property. It is a privilege to be able to "borrow" items. Can you pass muster?

Statelink documents

The state sends us many brochures for your information on a quarterly basis. This time we received one on the Colorado Basis Literacy Act. This explains that all children will read on the third-grade level before they move to a fourth-grade reading class. The brochure explains what happens if a child is not reading on grade level. There is much controversy about this state program. Pick up a copy free of charge if you're interested in the subject. We will be faced with this discussion for some time to come.

Legal help

Another brochure is a guide to procedures in the small claims divisions of the county courts. This is also free. Other pamphlets cover consumer credit, Medicaid, and how to stop Medicare fraud. Ask for all of them at the desk.

Tracking cats

If any of the Lynx are left, we have comprehensive information on them, and a track measurement guide in the event you have some sightings. The latest Colorado Division of Wildlife document discusses the reconsideration of the introduction of this elegant animal. Ask to read it at the desk.

Library hours

We want your input on the possibility of adding extra hours. So far, the majority of patrons have asked for us to be open earlier in the morning. If you have suggestions, let us know. All decisions will take place next budget year. Extra hours will mean extra help and the board of directors is considering that.

Audio books

Patrons are really enjoying books on tape. This is fast becoming one of our most popular collections. Give us requests for titles you want us to buy now that we will have adequate funds. Let us know what you want in the way of books, magazines and subscriptions. We will take all requests under consideration depending upon the budget. What fun it is to actually plan on buying things.

Holiday closings

Please make plans according to these closing dates. We will close at noon on Dec. 23, and will open again on Monday, Dec. 27. We will also be closed on Dec. 31 for inventory and will open again on Jan. 3. Renew all your books before these dates. Students planning to do research must plan ahead.

Computer use

As we've explained before, the computers are now free of charge. We have three with Internet capability, and they are getting heavy usage. You must know how to use the computer as staff cannot give lessons or help. We have two Windows machines and one Mac. And we have specific rules on their usage. Students under the age of 18 must have a parent with them, or a parent's signature on the sign-up sheet. No student may watch another person on-line without a sign-up sheet of his or her own.

The computers are used on a "first come, first served" basis. There are time limits and also limits on how the computers may be used. One computer may be used for word processing, and we also have an electric typewriter for the public.


Financial help came from the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation; Jane Cook; Elizabeth Feazel in memory of Ruben Marquez; Earle and Betty Beasley in memory of Anne Lukcik; Hazel Carlson in memory of Anne Lukcik; Walter and Doris Green; William and Marjorie Hallett; Ralph and Lois Gibson. David Swindells gave a gift subscription to "Bloomberg Personal Finance." Mrs. Robert M. Case gave a subscription to "Country." Ann Moseley donated a subscription to large print "Readers Digest." Richard Miller gave a subscription to "Organic Gardening."

Materials came from Paulette Sohle, June Geisen, Ed Lowrance, Betty Gibbons, George Love, Angel Preuit, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ogilvie, Sheila Hunkin, Annie Ryder and Don Mowen. Our thanks to all of the generous people who have given so much.


Arts Line
By Jan Brookshier

Many fun things to do in December

Don't you love December? So many fun things to attend and a chance to meet old and new friends (and eat and eat). Now if we just had some snow. . .

Saturday, Dec. 11, Whistle Pig presented a Christmas dance with the wonderful music of John Graves and Company. Attendees also enjoyed a special performance by the San Juan Dance Academy. A huge thank you to all those involved and who made this evening possible.

The opening reception for the Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe, held Dec. 2 at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop in Town Park, was a big success, with many folks enjoying refreshments and browsing among the myriad of unique and creative items available for Christmas giving. More artists are contributing this week, so even if you have stopped by once, come by again and see the new offerings. Perhaps you can even find a nice gift for yourself. The Shoppe will be open through Dec. 23.

Upcoming sale

PSAC has numerous up and coming events to look forward to also. Feb. 3 through 29 will be the second annual Artist Liquidation Sale, also held at the gallery at Town Park. The opening reception will be held Thursday, Feb. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. Anyone interested in donating artwork please contact Joanne at 264-5020. The date to drop off work to be included in this fundraiser and show is Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This show affords one an opportunity to find some real bargains in fine arts and crafts, so keep an eye on this column for further reminders.

Photo contest

Also in February will be the 12th annual PSAC Photography Contest.

This show is open to all amateur or professional photographers with 11 different categories in which to enter. All photographs will be for sale, with PSAC garnering a 25 percent commission on all sales.

Deadline for entries is Wednesday, Feb. 2. Although that sounds like a long time away, it really isn't when you consider the time needed to select images, get prints made, and have the photos ready to hang.

Entry blanks and a full set of guidelines are available at Moonlight Books, Focus and Sound, and Mountain Snapshots.


Space is still available for year 2000 exhibits at the PSAC Gallery. Call 264-5020 or stop by the center for details and entry form.

PSAC is looking for a CD player to demonstrate the CDs that are available in the Gallery Gift Shop. So, if you have one you don't want or need anymore (in working condition, of course), give a call to the above number.

 Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Christmas a 'glorious time of year' in Pagosa Springs

What a glorious time of the year! I hope everyone has been attending the various Christmas celebrations in the area, the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus and the Community Christmas Choir gave wonderful, uplifting performances, despite the illness permeating the groups. Also, the first "Parade of Lights" was great, hopefully it will become a new tradition that can keep growing each year. Unfortunately, we didn't get to some of the other celebrations but am sure they were just as impressive.

Folks, remember the reason for the season and don't forget those less fortunate, there are numerous Helping Hand programs around town that need donations.

Kate Lister's second graders (adorned with halos and Santa's

reindeer cutouts around their necks) visited on Friday and brought cards and darling little angels they had made for all of us "adopted grandparents." The "Santa Seniors" presented them with little gifts and crocheted ice skates - made and presented by Eva Darmopray. What a fun time!

We are happy to report that Myrtle Hopper was able to join us on Monday and is doing well during her stay at Pine Ridge. She especially enjoys the visits from friends so everyone drop in to visit with Myrtle. What a wonderful lady! Also, we missed Ted Cope Monday and hope she is feeling better and will be back with us soon.

A very special "thank you" to Dr. Max Forbert for his donation of protein drinks to the seniors.

If you have noticed folks wearing the little golden millennium angel pins with "2000" dangling from them, the Seniors are selling them for $3. We have already sold out of the first order but will be obtaining more, so let me (731-4581) or George Ziegler know if you would like to purchase one/some and we will try to accommodate you.

Congratulations to Nancy Ziegler, the Senior of the Week.

Don't forget the following important events that are coming up:

Dec. 17 - Annual election of officers (please come and let your voice be heard as to who you want to represent your senior center). The board meeting will be held immediately after the election.

Dec. 22 - Seniors Christmas party/gift exchange (gifts under $5, men bring man's gift and women bring woman's gift). Afterward those who wish to attend are invited to the Copeland's open house to share our enthusiasm for Christmas decorations.



Think about it

It makes good sense for Pagosans to think about what hap-

pens to their money as they complete their Christmas shop

ping. It would be wise to think about what happens to the money that will be spent outside of Pagosa Springs this Christmas season .

Stop and figure out how much of that money will be returned to benefit Pagosa Springs. It should not take long to realize the answer is zero,

None of it will go to businesses that provide financial and material support to organizations such as the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, American Legion Post 109, VFW Post 9695, Archuleta County Senor Citizens, Pagosa Lakes Porpoise, local Little League teams, or local Boy Scout. Girl Scout and Cub Scout programs.

You could make your own list if you have children at home or if you enjoy the many school activities and civic activities that are offered in Pagosa Springs.

Local merchants play a vital role in supporting local youth activities and civic programs. The salaries paid their employees are spent in other local businesses as well as providing support for local churches and civic organizations.

Portions of the sales taxes derived from purchases made in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County help fund the county and town budgets. These monies in part help determine the level of the services and the adequacy of the facilities the town and county can provide you.

Besides providing you with more and better public services, the monies spent in Pagosa help provide jobs for your friends and neighbors who live in Archuleta County.

Money that goes away to out-of-town businesses does just that. It goes away. It never returns to benefit you and others in your community.

Think about it. David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Looking forward to next year

Dear Folks,

I know now why I the annual Red Ryder Fourth of July Parade is so enjoyable.

I know now why I enjoy photographing the Spanish Fiesta Parade. I'm surprised the inaugural St. Patrick's Day Parade didn't open my eyes sooner

It came to me clear as a light Friday night while trying to photograph Pagosa's inaugural Parade of Lights.

More than once I've admitted my camera is much like a pool cue - I shoot and hope. Sometimes I snap a good shoot. Given enough shots, I'll come up with something.

The Red Ryder Parade has become very forgiving. Its many entries move at a start-stop pace. It's easy to walk along the parade route and shoot at will.

Karl and John also are snapping away at different vantage points so the percentages are in our favor.

The inaugural St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 1992, was an exception. The parade featured the chamber of commerce board and a couple of last-minute recruits. Three ladies carrying a computer-printout banner proclaiming the "World's Tiniest St. Patrick's Day Parade" led the way. The gray skies couldn't dull the marchers' smiling faces as they rounded the courthouse curve.

Talk about a "woe is me" moment. I found myself at a tremendous disadvantage. It was a single-shot situation. The parade would end almost as quickly as it started. There wasn't enough time to determine the correct lens opening and shutter speed, much less focus on the oncoming participants.

So I did what any shoot-and-hope photographer would do. I asked them to stop.

If you want to know how much Pagosa has changed in the last six years, I'm talking about standing still in the middle of the east-bound lane at about 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon.

It was no big deal. They stopped. Adjusted the banner. Tipped their green "St. Patty" hats and smiled for the camera. Not even I could miss on such a shot.

The resulting photo made page 1 of the March 18, 1993, edition. Though some of the marchers were somewhat out of focus, the photo clearly shows there was no traffic to interrupt.

Fast forward to December 1999.

Pagosa's newest parade offered some new experiences Friday night. I was totally in the dark when the inaugural Parade of Lights moved through the downtown business district.

I started out at the stop light corner, thinking I would get the floats as they moved towards me. It seemed to be a good vantage point.

The parade quickly turned into a challenging learn-as-you-go experience.

Focusing a camera in the dark isn't easy.

At night, background lights and head lights interfere with lighted floats.

There are no good vantage points with a nighttime parade.

Flash attachments are slow to recover in near-freezing temperatures.

Motorized parades move at a much faster pace than those that feature marchers.

Don't try to stop a parade in downtown Pagosa Springs if it's no longer March 1993.

It's hard to focus when the lens of the view finder frosts up. It's even harder when the lens on your eyeglasses do the same.

It was a true shoot-and-hope experience.

It was a great parade. The enthusiastic folks along both sides of the parade route made it a warm occasion. The children's "uuuuzzs" and "aaaahhs" were musical.

Next year's Parade of Lights will be a bright addition to Pagosa's list of annual events.

Like the others that have marched, or driven before it, it's certain to be the biggest and best ever Parade of Lights for Pagosa Springs.

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


25 years ago

Industry opens at Eaton's Pagosa

Taken from SUN files

of Dec. 19, 1974

A new industry, Miniature Automation, has been established at Eaton International's Pagosa in Colorado. The company makes precision machinery that is used by electronic manufacturers. The new firm is headed by Heinz Bareiss and Werner Kuhne who operated a similar business in Chicago for many years. Both are originally from West Germany.

It will be free candy, a free movie and a visit with Santa Claus for children who attend the big Christmas party this Saturday afternoon at the high school gymnasium. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored affair gets underway at 2 p.m. Santa Claus will arrive right after the movie to visit with the children, and to distribute candy and treats to all of the youngsters.

Lewis Luchini, a Republican and county commissioner for the past 10 years, has submitted his resignation effective Jan. 1, 1975. A resident of Arboles, Luchini stated in his letter that he was moving from Archuleta County and therefore would no longer be eligible to hold the position. He is the second commissioner to resign in the past few months.

Wolf Creek Ski Area has excellent conditions, snow depth is over three feet, and the area will be operating every day during the holiday season. The big new Borvig chairlift installed there this past summer is performing flawlessly.


By Shari Pierce

Matthews on the move

I was sorry to hear on Friday of Mrs. Irene Matthews' poor health. She is another of the wonderful people I have had the good fortune to meet because of writing this column. I send Mrs. Matthews and her family my best wishes.

I met Mrs. Matthews and her late husband, Bob, at their lovely home here in Pagosa Springs in 1990. They immediately made me feel quite welcome.

Mrs. Matthews first came to Pagosa Springs in 1938. She taught at the Hayden School two terms and then went to Gunnison to obtain her degree. She then returned to Minnesota where she had originally lived.

But, while she was in Pagosa Springs, she had met Bob, a son of the local barber and sheriff, Frank Matthews.

After graduating from Pagosa Springs High School, Bob went to work for the telephone company. Later, he went to work at the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Durango. Then came a stint with the Forest Service doing bug control. After that came Matthews' Photography Studio in Pagosa Springs. Just after Christmas in 1940, Bob moved to California.

Shortly after he arrived in California, Bob told Irene that she'd "better come out and cook for me." She did. They were married in 1941 and had four sons: Jim, Bobby, DeWayne and Sam.

The University of California needed a photographer for a sonar research lab in San Diego, so the Matthewses went there where they stayed until the end of the war. Son Jim was born in 1942.

At the end of the war, Bob and Irene decided to return to Pagosa Springs and retired. They wrote stories and Bob took photos for magazines. Their retirement was short. Mrs. Matthews discovered she was expecting a child.

The family packed up and moved to Albuquerque. Bobby was born in 1948, followed by DeWayne in 1951 and Sam in 1954.

Upon their return to Albuquerque, Bob began working for Sandia Labs where he remained for 25 years. He made educational movies on various subjects.

When Sam went to school, Irene went back to work teaching and taught for 15 years.

After the Matthews retired for a second time, they spent time at both their Albuquerque and Pagosa Springs homes.

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet these fine people.




Video Review
By Roy Starling

Penny makes a fine Pa (and Ma)

It's that time of the year when families are liable to be spending a lot more time together. Yes, it's finally flu season, and lots of parents and their precious offspring find themselves trapped under one roof, the happy home a veritable symphony of honking noses, hacking coughs, cymbalic sneezes, and other musical sounds too numerous to catalog here.

No one really feels like talking, and you can only sleep so much, and sitting there staring at each other can get really old. Time to turn to our old friend Mr. Video.

But you, the discriminating adult, are afraid you'll throw up again if you have to watch "Pocahontas," "Prince of Egypt," "Toy Story," or "Heaven's Gate" one more time. And at 5 and 6, your kids still seem a little young to fully appreciate the subtleties of "Eyes Wide Shut," "Blue Velvet" and "Crash."

I recommend you send the one healthy member of your brood out into the bitter cold to the local video store. Have said healthy member cruise the Classics aisle until he finds "The Yearling," directed by Clarence Brown in 1946. ("It's okay, Johnny. It's in color!")

This film's got a pretty good pedigree. It's based on Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of 1938. The copy I checked out of the bookmobile and read as a kid was illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, who fathered the more famous American painter, Andrew. I read that book quickly, not only because I loved the story, but because I was always anxious to get to the next illustration: Penny Baxter and his dogs fighting Ol' Slew Foot the bear; Penny Baxter in bed recuperating from a snake bite, his son Jody on the floor next to him; Jody discovering a fawn behind a palmetto bush.

Those Wyeth illustrations obviously made an impact on Brown, as well. When he made his film in '46, he did all he could to recapture Wyeth's lush, rich colors. In fact, if you happen to have the Wyeth illustrations in front of you as you watch the film, you can see several of them reproduced almost image for image on the screen. Nice touch.

If the film's only quality was its visual beauty, I'm not sure your young people would sit still for it.

The story focuses on 11-year-old Jody Baxter (Claude Jarman Jr.) and his lonely life in Florida's inland scrub country in the late 1800s. The same area is now dotted with Waffle Houses and Cracker Barrels, but man, there was nothing there when the Baxters were trying to scratch out a living on their little "island."

For the first half of the film, Jody's companionship comes mainly from his father Penny (Gregory Peck), who gets my vote as Parent of the Year. He may be one of the more admirable fathers ever filmed. He serves both as the manly mentor, teaching Jody about raising crops, building fences, shooting bears, and as the more motherly (not to lapse into stereotypes or anything) nurturer, just being there emotionally for the boy, listening to him, finding out what he wants, needs, fears.

Penny is both Pa and Ma by default. Ma (Jane Wyman, the original Nancy Reagan) is similar to Lord Archibald Craven from "The Secret Garden": she's been hurt as much as she can stand, so she's not going to get emotionally involved again, not even with her son. It's hard to blame her, though. She's lost three babies out there in that harsh, humid, mosquito-infested Florida wetland.

Wyman is perfect as Ma Baxter, her face rather washed out, her eyes gazing blankly into the distance somewhere, and she was nominated for an Academy Award for her work.

Just an aside to you, the discriminating adult: Penny is a name either a man or a woman could have. And the only time Penny is really rough on Jody is when he (Penny) is wearing a dress. Calling Dr. Freud! Calling Dr. Freud!

Aside from Ma and Pa (or vice versa), Jody has one other friend, who lives a fur piece back in the woods, a young man "crookity in mind and body" named Fodderwing. Folks consider Fodderwing a little odd because he seems to live entirely in the realm of the imagination. He animates his surroundings with own imaginative spirit. He sees clouds as "just the backs of angels." He lives in constant flights of fancy. In fact, he ruins his leg by literally trying to take one of those flights. "I tried to fly too young," he said.

I think your young people will enjoy the scenes of Jody and Fodderwing together. Fodderwing's such a sweet kid, the Eternal Child. But Jody, he's one of us: He has to grow up, go to meet his troubles, learn what it takes to survive. Many of these lessons come to him courtesy of the yearling of the title, a little fawn he names Flag.

For a few magical moments, these two frolic, play, ramble, dance - hey, they're wild and free.

But the last time most of us checked, life doesn't stay that way. Thanks partially to Penny's penchant for winding up in bed, Jody learns about life's hard choices, about sacrifice, about all the dismal stuff I don't need to bore you with what with your having the flu and all.

I believe this is a movie that will go over reasonably well with your whole sick family. Nice story, beautiful images, excellent acting. In fact, Jarman won a special Oscar in this his film debut, and like Wyman, Peck was nominated but didn't win.

May we all be feeling much better next week this time.


In a Class by Themselves . . .
By Roy Starling

The two stories of Gabe Silva

By Roy Starling

In this week's "In a Class by Themselves" feature, we have two stories to tell. First, we'll go back a few years to the time when a young man named Gabe Silva was a freshman at Pagosa High.

Story One begins with Gabe and his friends milling about at a safe distance from the old high school, now the junior high. They're not thinking about what they're going to learn that day, and they're not thinking about their grades. Actually, they're trying not to think at all. They're preparing for their academic day, not by finishing up their homework, but by passing around a joint and a couple of beers.

Back then Gabe heard his friends say, in effect, "Look, we've been dealt a lousy hand. We've been given really rotten lives. We might as well go through them drunk and high." Not much was expected of these guys, and they had every intention of living down to those low expectations.

"I was trying to take everything away from me," Gabe recalls. "But I never really thought about quitting school. I just wanted to get through it without doing anything."

Principal Bill Esterbrook said Gabe was "never belligerent" back then, he "just didn't show up. He apparently saw no reason to be in school."

Sean Downing had Gabe in a ninth-grade English class, and his memories are similar. "Everything in Gabe's life was working against him," he said. "He was really the kind of student a lot of teachers might have a tendency to give up on, but the teachers at this school don't give up on people."

As a freshman, Gabe took pre-algebra with Mark Thompson, now the school's counselor. "My experience was that he wasn't a terror in the classroom, he just wasn't real engaged or motivated," Thompson said.

History teacher Doug Hershey remembers Gabe as being "pretty nearly totally non involved. He wasn't disruptive, in fact, he was a nice kid, but he did next to nothing. He showed up unprepared for class and didn't do anything once he was there."

According to Gabe, even when he made it to class, he wasn't really there. "In first period, I was usually still so stoned I didn't remember anything the teacher said." He'd just try to hang on until lunch when he'd "smoke some more dope and, about half the time, take a few more drinks."

This went on for some time. Gabe says he "used up" two school years and an additional summer in this condition. He remembers those years as being "relaxing, but empty; carefree, but troublesome."

When there was trouble, someone else would usually have to tell him about it. "I'm told I was busted in class one time," Gabe said. "I guess I just lost it and started swinging at another student. I guess I said some bad things to a teacher. I don't know. I completely blanked out. The next thing I remember was sitting in Mr. (Kahle) Charles' office, listening to him and Mr. Esterbrook. One of them said, 'Look at you!' "

When Gabe looked, he didn't see anything unusual: same ol' Gabe. "They were both very upset," he said, "but it was just another day for me."

Gabe said there were "other incidents," some he can't recall, some he'd rather not. He does remember sleeping some in the high school nurse's office.

Meanwhile, Gabe was making absolutely no progress academically. "I think maybe I earned two D's in ninth and tenth grade," he said. "The rest were F's." While Gabe was earning very few credits at the high school, he racked up a pretty impressive record on the police blotter, earning "10 summons tickets for alcohol and marijuana use."

Story One ends with Gabe Silva going nowhere fast, resigned to becoming the town drunk, the Otis Campbell of this Mayberry in the mountains, just following through with what seemed to be expected of him.

Story Two

Pagosa High senior Gabe Silva - the star, incidentally, of Story One - lives by a motto: "Take every opportunity to do what isn't expected." A little over a year ago (on Sept. 8, 1998, to be exact) he decided he'd better start putting that philosophy into action.

He was in Durango to buy some school clothes. Before heading into Wal-Mart, he downed "a six-pack or more in the parking lot." Once inside, he was busted for trying to steal some shoes.

The arresting officer, Gabe said, "noticed I was intoxicated. I believe that was ticket number 10."

On the way home from Durango, Gabe had an unusual experience, one that led him to do the unexpected. "Maybe I was still emotional from being drunk," he recalls. "I actually had some tears. I had feelings of success. There was something inside me that wanted to change. I heard words in my head reminding me I could do more with my life, that I could control my life. I knew I could turn the tables from being a drug addict alcoholic troublemaker to becoming a successful person. I challenged myself to make the switch."

Gabe said that personal goals that had lain dormant for years began to rouse themselves and rise to the surface of his consciousness. "Since I was 9, I've had a dream of being a law enforcement officer," he said, and on the way back from Durango "all those memories came back to me and helped motivate me to change."

Gabe also found motivation in "all those fines, all the trouble I was getting into. I knew I was just going to wind up in jail." On top of all of that, he realized he didn't exactly have the reputation of being a ladies' man. "I was so stoned I couldn't express myself," he said. "That made it pretty difficult to get into a relationship."

Shortly after the Durango experience, Gabe was so certain he was ready to make a new start that he made his intentions known to Esterbrook. "He came in on the first day of school last year," the principal recalls. "He told me, 'I want you to know I'm going to be different this year. I'm going to be a good student.' "

Did he live up to his promise? Yes, and then some. "He hasn't backed away from it," Esterbrook said. "He's exceeded it. And he hasn't had it easy. He never has a light schedule. He's had four solid courses each term with lots of homework."

Downing said Gabe has become "a model student - hardworking, diligent, respectful. Everything good I could possibly say would be short of the mark. Coming from where he came from, those adjectives just don't cut it."

What impressed Downing the most is that Gabe had "the strength of character to change right then. A lot of people can't do that."

After Gabe's about-face, Hershey had him in back-to-back classes, two semesters in a row. "It was a complete turnaround," Hershey said. "He gave a consistent effort. He was prepared for class every day. He wanted to know what he could do to make things better and what he could do for extra credit. He was intrinsically involved in the educational process; he was part of it. I was just thrilled with the effort I saw from a kid who had previously not done anything. Really remarkable."

Gabe, Hershey says, "is the kind of student that, as a teacher, you always hope for but rarely ever actually have, somebody who actually turns it around."

Leigh Gozigian, who now has Gabe in an American government class, calls him "a wonderful young man, courtly, gentlemanly. I wouldn't have guessed his earlier problems. He's doing very well in class, and I'd say his success is largely due to how hard he's working."

Although Gabe still finds it challenging to wake up every morning, go to school and do all of his work, he continues to persist, looking ahead to graduation and pursuing his career in law enforcement. He also finds numerous "little" ways to count his blessings each day. "I'm relieved that whenever I drive, I know I'm safe. I don't have to worry about doing something stupid and not knowing about it. I'm relieved to be able to make my own decisions instead of alcohol making them for me. And I love waking up sober without a hangover."

Gabe credits Thompson with helping him stay focused, especially while he was still shaky in his new life. "He helped me extend my success," Gabe said. "For a while, even after I had changed, I still wasn't thinking clearly - I guess my head was still filled with smoke. Mr. Thompson was there to counsel me and help get my classes together. He was like a father to me."

Even though he's happy with his new life, he doesn't spend much time trying to change his old drinking and smoking friends. "I encourage them to go on with what they're doing," he said. "If you want to mess up your life, go for it. You can always use your background as an excuse, but eventually you have to make your own life."

Several of Gabe's friends on the faculty and staff have favorite stories involving him, special "Gabe moments" that signal another victory for the young man.

Gozigian remembers seeing him dressed nicely at school last year and complimenting him. "He looked great," she said, "and I think he wanted to project a different image to the school, both for himself and for all of us."

Thompson remembers Gabe receiving the Endaba Retreat Pirate Award at last spring's awards assembly and "the kids giving him a standing ovation." The award went to Gabe to honor his "exceptional courage and persistence in the face of adversity."

Downing remembers Gabe reading his class an essay he had written about "waking up and not knowing where he was and realizing something had to change. When he finished, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. It was really powerful."

Esterbrook, who sees high school sports as a way for students to learn and practice the courage and commitment required for real-life challenges and victories, remembers an image from a football game: "Watching Gabe catch a touchdown pass against Mancos and knowing what he'd been through - for me, that was the biggest win of the season."

And Esterbrook looks forward to another moment, one that will take place in late May. "When he graduates this spring, there will be no one in this district who has done as much as him, no other student who has graduated from here who has come so far, who has done so much in such a short time and who has worked harder to accomplish his goals than Gabe Silva."

Story Two doesn't end here. With Gabe's strength and with help from his friends, it should continue for a long, long time.

Food for Thought
By Karl Isberg

Glogging toward a Brave New World

It's time for a celebration.

There's never been a better time. Its the holiday season and, to boot, we've got Y2K.

Might as well make the celebration a doozy - after all, come January 1, when the systems crash, when civilian aircraft fall from the sky, when missiles fly, sewage treatment plants fail and the fabric of society is shredded, we'll be huddled in unheated yurts, eating our pets and melting snow to obtain water.

The signs of impending disaster are clear: odd intersecting contrails in the sky as the delivery boys for a horrible government experiment spray the stratosphere with noxious gene-altering chemicals; mutants are heating up the action on Level 7 beneath Archuleta Mesa with a eye toward escape and utterly messy anarchy; if you go outside between the hours of 2 and 3 a.m. there is an almond scent to the air and you can hear a sound not unlike the snapping of a giant bullwhip or the flapping of the leathery wings of an immense and lethal mythological bird.

Beyond the door to the new millennium might lie a bleak landscape beneath a sky that rains ash - a skeleton of a civilization bereft of electrical power and therefore lacking the photon-rich entertainment to which we have become accustomed. No juice, no television. No television, no Buffy the Vampire Slayer, no WWF, no Friends, no roller derby, no Andy of Mayberry reruns. There will be no hiphop, no Artist Formerly Known as Prince, no Britany Spears. Restaurants will cease to exist. There will be no gas to fire the stoves to heat the pans to make the velouté, to stoke the ovens to bake the baguettes. There will be no mail-order paté, no cherries encased in fine Belgian chocolate. There will be no Belgium.

With this numbing prospect in mind, we need to do things right, while we have the time.

Carpe diem.

Let's celebrate.

If I peer to the core of any decent celebration, past, present or future (well, maybe not future), I see wine. Vino. The grape. Sure, there's got to be food, and fine food at that, but at a paradigm celebration the selection of food is relative to the choice of wine, not the other way round.

My choice for the celebratory pivot in this all-important century-ending collocation of weirdness is a wine-based beverage near and dear to my Swedish heritage. As a bonus, the concoction has a special link to my father, Raymond.

We're dealing with a pre-meal beverage, but let's not treat it lightly. We are going to get this last holiday season of the century, perhaps of all time, off to a ripping start!

I suggest you begin preparation of this beverage at 7 a.m. on Dec. 31. Don't forget, many of the eastern-most parts of the former Soviet Union are approximately 16 hours ahead of us. If the big birds are set loose in Vladivostok, they will leave their silos at 8 a.m., Mountain Standard Time. No sense going to a lot of trouble if you can't enjoy the fruit of your labor, eh? At the very least, you can stand on your deck clutching a cup of this delightful infusion, watching the eastern skies glow as airbursts demolish once-peaceful North Dakota farm land.

Since I anticipate a run on local liquor stores prior to the potentially deadly bite of the Y2K bug at the first tick of the new year, I recommend the purchase of libations, now! To include a couple of bottles of premium north coast zinfandel for this recipe. In fact, buy an extra case of zin if it is available. A bit of fine wine will come in handy, both to bolster the spirits and as material for the impending barter economy.

(Note: A couple of weeks ago, after I recommended zinfandel as an accompaniment to a dish I highlighted in my column, an acquaintance approached me and levied a harsh charge. She believed I had recommended white zinfandel and accosted me with the revelation. This is a serious and abusive accusation. And very, very wrong.

Let me be clear about this: given the choice, I'll drink my mouthwash before I drink white zinfandel. In fact, with the exception of a few superior whites, I'll chug a gallon of Lavoris before I entertain any wine clear enough to see through. You can have your white zins, your white grenache, your blushes in boxes. Take them. Take them all.

When I say "zinfandel" I refer to the noble red, and one of the few quality varietals we Americans can pretend is our own. It is a pedal-to-the-metal heavyweight with a serious punch - some versions bordeaux-like with a spicy giddyap, many lugging ramified berry overtones and so versatile they go with turkey as well as with major-league beef. There are some great Napa Valley and Sonoma County zins and, for the recipe that follows, get out your wallet and buy a good one.)

With the certain demise of the species on the horizon, we're making Glog, or Glug, or Glugg, or Glogg - where's an umlaut when you need one? - or whichever homophone you prefer.

Glog is a Nordic invention, designed to propel the most despondent Swede out of the slough of despond into a snappy mood. This potion will come in handy if the lid closes on the Big Box.

If you carry the Nordic gene, you know what I mean when I mention a despondent Swede. The fancy psychospeak name for our winter-to-spring problem is "seasonal affective disorder," translated as "Boy howdy, am I depressed. I need to tear apart a monastery." Glog was invented to fuel the monk-harassing engine.

Glog reminds me of my dad.

My father was a master mixologist and he created glog for several reasons. First, the above-mentioned anti-Nordic gene effect. Second, to make my mother mad. Third, to incapacitate my Uncle Jack prior to a dinner attended by members of my mother's family - the dreaded English side of the family.

Raymond's third reason related to the fact that, at Thanksgiving dinner at my maternal grandmother's house, Uncle Jack was called on to carve the turkey. In true colonialist fashion, it was assumed by members of my mother's family that Jack should shoulder the burden of the carving chores wherever he went. Including our house. It was a matter of seniority, but my old man never saw it that way. To him, as a physician with prodigious surgical skills, the carving was his to perform. My Uncle Jack, lovely man that he was, was a wildlife biologist. Who, thought Ray, should do the carving?

Yes, for crying out loud, who?

When dinner moved to Ray's home turf during the depressive winter months, he took a step to insure Uncle Jack was incapable of wielding the blade without suffering or inflicting grievous injury.

That step?


Good cheer, with a hammer.

After a trip to Lloyd's Libations for supplies, the old man assembled the equipment and ingredients in the kitchen, on a table set apart from the activity attendant to the production of the big dinner. My brother Kurt and I watched our father, fascinated by the hermetic process occurring before our eyes. The alchemist's apprentices, if you will.

Raymond put on an apron, rolled up his sleeves, splashed a bit of Johnny Walker Blue Label in a glass of milk in order to invigorate the impending procedure (the milk calmed an irritating ulcer) and set to work.

Fluids were mixed in measures passed down through the generations, part of an oral tradition designed to protect the concoction from prying non-Nordic eyes.

The old man was like the mad scientist in a 50s Hammer Film, working in his lab, obsessed with his creation. Components were simmered together with esoteric additives. A veil of steam rose from the pot; a heady and exotic aroma mingled with the smells of foods being prepared nearby.

At just the right moment, a second pot was placed on the table and a piece of screen was put on top of it. On the screen was placed a layer of perfect sugar cubes. White. Pure. Innocent. Cubes.

Then - egad Igor, the Doctor has lost his mind! - after Ray took a final nip of his Walker and lactose, things were set alight and flames were everywhere. Liquids were poured from one container to another. The pace was frantic (with an occasional halt to sample the product) and finally the old man stepped into the living room proudly displaying the pot of Glog to the assembled crowd.

Raymond put a 78 of "Holiday Favorites by the Stan Kenton Orchestra," on the hi fi, and ladled the goods into crystal cups.

All the old gals in the crowd had a spot of glog. The English gals from my mom's side of the family developed rosy blooms on their cheeks. The Swedish gals on my dad's side of the family were inclined to smile. . . but failed.

My mom - who never allowed an atom of alcohol to pass her lips - stood at the edge of the room, her little arms folded, a scowl etched on her face, her foot tapping on the hardwood floor.

Two down, one to go.

Dad then used an implied threat to Uncle Jack's manhood, and a challenge to the glory of England, to force Jack to match him dram for dram.

Nolo contendre. You cannot keep pace in a glog competition with a man suffering seasonal affective disorder.

After ten to twelve cups of glog, Uncle Jack was "resting" in the guest bedroom and Raymond was standing at the head of the table, razor-sharp carving knife clutched in a frighteningly steady hand.

All was right with the world. The good doctor had overrun the monastery.

What a great way to start a celebration.

And what a great way to begin the final celebration of the 20th century.

Got some relatives coming over for dinner this year?

Got some scores to settle?

Give Glog a try.

You need a bottle of Aquavit. (Talk to Swedes or Danes and they'll tell you everyone needs a bottle of Aquavit.)

Pour the Aquavit in a large pot and add red wine (here's where the zin comes in). Put in ten cardamom seeds, five cloves, three pieces of bitter orange peel, one cup of almonds, one cup of raisins and one to two cinnamon sticks.

Bring this mess to a slow boil.

Take an iron grill or piece of screen and place it over another kettle. Put two pounds of lump sugar on the grill.

Light the liquid on fire and pour it over the sugar into the second kettle. (Do not let kids or pets too close while you do this! Keep a fire extinguisher handy.)

Enjoy, immediately.

Then, eat.

Eat a lot, because. . .well, you know.

In keeping with Nordic tradition, I recommend roast goose for the post-glog meal.

A second reason for this recommendation is a profusion of geese that winter at the local golf course. Easy pickings once the lights go out and you've exhausted your supply of ammo shooting at shadows lurking at the end of the cul de sac.

If you procure a goose with a 9-iron, you will have to pluck it and dress it. If you have a frozen goose available, you'll need to defrost it.

Once the bird is ready, prick the skin across the entire body with a skewer or knife in order to allow the fat to run off. Use salt and pepper on the bird and place it on a rack breast side down in a roasting pan. Put the bird in a 350 degree oven. Prick the skin periodically over the course of 35 to 40 minutes as the goose roasts, providing more exits for a copious amount of rendered fat. Occasionally drain fat from the pan and save to use in a confit after your next golfing excursion.

After 45 minutes, turn the bird right side up and roast for an hour or so, continuing to prick the skin until the goose is cooked. Raise the oven temperature to 450 for a couple of minutes to brown the skin.

Serve this beauty with roasted potatoes and green beans. And a bottle of zinfandel.The red kind.Go ahead, you carve.


By John M. Motter

Fort Lewis and early Pagosa

By John M. Motter

Fort Lewis's impact on the founding of Pagosa Springs cannot be over estimated. One can easily argue that the first settlers came to town because of the fort and its soldiers. By extension, it is easy to see that when Fort Lewis moved west to the La Plata River, town economics were tremendously impacted.

The first soldiers to arrive at Pagosa Springs were members of Companies I and B of the Fifteenth Infantry, and Company D of the Ninth Cavalry - the famous buffalo soldiers. They came starting in October of 1878. The post first called Camp Lewis Oct. 26, 1878, was given the higher designation of Fort Lewis on Dec. 30, 1878. During the fall of 1879, the Northern Ute Indians with Agency headquarters on the White River near Meeker, lashed out in a bloody uprising. Troops from Company D, Ninth Cavalry were embroiled in that conflict. Following the so-called Meeker Massacre, the Army reassessed its position in Southwestern Colorado. The days of Fort Lewis in Pagosa Springs were numbered.

General John Pope ordered construction of a new post on the La Plata River Aug. 15, 1880. On Jan. 21, 1881, General Sherman ordered, "By the direction of the Secretary of War the new post on the Rio de La Plata, Colorado, will be known and designated as 'Fort Lewis' and the name of the temporary camp at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, will be changed from 'Fort Lewis' to 'Pagosa Springs.'"

The action moving Fort Lewis west was made in response to a recommendation made by General Phil Sheridan after he toured the area in 1879. Sheridan advised moving the post west because that was where most of the settlers and Utes were. An additional factor was the number of settlers encroaching on the military reservation at Pagosa Springs.

While visiting Animas City and Pagosa Springs, Sheridan bounced along in an Army ambulance, his favorite form of frontier conveyance. He spent one night at Peterson's road-side boarding house on the Piedra River before continuing on to Pagosa Springs.

Lieutenant Colonel R.E.A Crofton passed through Pagosa Springs during August of 1880. He was commanding Companies A, B, C, D, and E of the Thirteenth Infantry, a full battalion en route to the new La Plata River location.

While in Pagosa Springs, Crofton ordered Captain R.L. Torres, 13th Infantry, to remain with Company A for the purpose of "removing the public stores, dismantling and removing the public buildings to the Rio Mancos."

Company D Ninth Cavalry and Company C of the Thirteenth Infantry spent the winter of 1880 in Pagosa Springs because there was not adequate housing for them on the La Plata. A limited number of troops from Company A Thirteenth Infantry remained at Pagosa Springs, now a sub-post of Fort Lewis on the La Plata River, until Dec. 2, 1882. At that point in time, the post was totally abandoned by the Army.

Torres never carried out his orders to dismantle the Fort Lewis buildings located in Pagosa Springs. Old photographs of that part of town reveal that the buildings remained into the 1890s, perhaps a little longer. The 10 enlisted men's barracks disappeared before the four officer's buildings. Through the years, many Pagosa pioneers are said to have lived in the buildings temporarily while waiting to find permanent quarters.

According to R.D. Hott, his grandfather, Jule Macht, disassembled two of the officer buildings during the early 1900s and reassembled them into one building at the Macht Ranch on Fourmile Road. That building remains intact to this day.

Rumors that the old Cooley, or Colton building that stood on Pagosa Street opposite the Baptist Church was a Fort Lewis building are probably inaccurate. Laura Manson White, an early Pagosa Springs historian, has left a written account of Mrs. Cooley building the building. There is considerable evidence in the county courthouse that Nancy Cooley may have purchased the bare elements of the building from E.T. Walker and that White's story refers to a time when Mrs. Cooley enlarged the building. Mrs. Cooley, incidentally, was the daughter of Doc Gilliland and the sister of Serena Texas Smith, George Smith's wife. Smith built the two-story log house that used to stand at the entrance to the Hell's Hip Picket area. Interestingly, both the Smith cabin and the Cooley cabin have been moved to the Fred Harman Art Museum, where they remain to this day.

Another building that some oldtimers thought was formerly a Fort building was the old town hall located on the west river bank at the intersection of San Juan and Pagosa Streets. Maps of the fort show a building in this location, possibly the bakery located for easy access to water. Other information discloses that the building was owned by Abner J. Lewis, P.A. Dellar, and Charley Schaad at different times and operated as a butcher shop and bar before the town acquired it. It is not clear if the old town hall was a fort building, but it is clear that, if it was, it was greatly modified by private owners.

Finally, one hears arguments that the false front building on Lewis Street owned by Ray Martinez and operated as a barbershop was formerly a Fort Lewis building. There are several reasons for not believing these arguments.

First, the conceptual drawing for Fort Lewis and the survey of the town showing the location of Fort buildings do not show this building. What is shown is one of five enlisted men's barracks nearby. Further, a list of buildings at the fort prepared by an Army inspector general in 1879 does not list the building, nor is an Army "paymaster' building ever referred to in connection with Fort Lewis or any other frontier fort.

Photographs of that part of town showing the fort buildings do not reveal this building. Later photographs, circa 1901 or 1902, do show the present building. An article in a newspaper of that era describes a paymaster's building being erected on Lewis Street by the Pagosa Lumber Co.

At historical society meetings I attended during the early and mid-1970s, oldtimers said the building was built by the lumber company as a paymaster building. While that is possible, it is hard for me to understand why the lumber company paymaster building would be on Lewis Street when the lumber company with all of its employees was located south of town in the vicinity of the present high school complex. Quien sabe?

In any case, Fort Lewis existed in Pagosa Springs as an active base from 1878 through 1882. The buildings lasted longer. Today, the only building remaining from the fort is probably the one on the Hott Ranch.


Keanan Paul Anderson


Dr. Scott and Carol Anderson of Pagosa Springs are the proud new parents of Keanan Paul Anderson who was born Saturday, Dec. 4, 1999. He weighed 8 pounds and was 20 1/2-inches long. He was welcomed home by his big sister, Kelsea.

Business News

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Balcomb Business and Tax Works

Susan Balcomb operates Balcomb Business and Tax Works, offering customers accounting, business management services and tax services.

Balcomb Business and Tax Works also produces mortgage loans for residential and business buyers.

Balcomb can be reached at 731-2500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

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(Story also on Front Page)

Read our lips: Snowflakes likely to fall on Sunday

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Country's best chance for snow during the coming week is Sunday, according to National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey.

"There is a 30 percent chance for snow Friday and Friday night," Ramey said, "but snow is likely Sunday."

Local weather will continue to be much as it as been, Ramey said, except for Friday and Sunday. High temperatures will remain in the upper 30s, with lows in the 10 to 15 degree range.

"You're under the influence of a northwest flow," Ramey said, "with little weather fronts moving through every couple of days. It's difficult to predict the exact timing of these fronts. The polar jet stream is staying north and will probably dip down to Wyoming Sunday."

Does it ever get too cold to snow?

"That is a bit of folk wisdom that is not true for your area," Ramey said. "The ideal temperature range for forming ice crystals is between 14 and minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. It does snow outside of that temperature range."

Even though the temperature on the ground in Pagosa Springs might be sub-zero, it is likely much warmer even 500 feet higher, according to Ramey.

"However, that statement would be true of the polar caps," Ramey said. "That is because colder air holds less moisture than warmer air. The polar caps are true deserts, but any snow that ever fell is still there because it is so cold nothing ever melts."

Meanwhile, Pagosa Country received a trace of snow this past Monday, according to the U.S. Weather Service's official station located at Stevens Field. The average high temperature for the past week was 38 degrees. The 41 degrees recorded Saturday was the warmest day of the week. The average low temperature was a chilly 6 degrees. Tuesday night's minus 2 degrees is the coldest reading of the season. The previous low for this season was 2 degrees above zero, measured Dec. 8. Other single-digit readings were recorded Nov. 23 and 24 when the mercury bottomed at 8 and 6 degrees respectfully. The extreme minimum December temperature for Pagosa Springs is minus 34 degrees recorded Dec. 25, 1990. During the past 51 years, December temperatures have fallen below minus 30 degrees four times, below minus 20 degrees 13 times, and below minus 10 degrees 42 times. The warmest extreme low, minus 1 degrees, occurred Dec. 12, 1986.