Front Page

December 23, 1999

Saga continues for Public Safety

By Karl Isberg

The saga of the Pagosa Lakes Public Safety Office continues.

For many years, directors and staff of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association have believed they and the association membership need a higher level of law enforcement in the subdivisions represented by the PLPOA than do residents of the rest of unincorporated Archuleta County.

At times, the desire for enhanced service has been satisfied. At other times, the scenario has not played out.

Over the years, since the creation of the PLPOA and its Public Safety Office, PSO officers have received law enforcement commissions from the sheriff, have had those commissions retracted by the sheriff, and have had members voluntarily surrender commissions. There were periods when residents of the subdivisions had a privately-funded law enforcement organization that operated with relative independence; times when the department enforced the law under closer supervision by the Archuleta County sheriff; and times when law enforcement was provided by sheriff deputies.

In the latest incarnation of the PSO, for more than a year, PSO officers worked as Level 3 reserve officers under direct supervision of a Level 1 Archuleta County deputy, in line with an interpretation of the Colorado State Statutes and the Police Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) regulations established for certification of Colorado peace officers. The activity occurred under the auspices of an agreement reached between the Archuleta County sheriff and the directors of the PLPOA.

Recently, say sheriff's officials and officials of the PLPOA, P.O.S.T. standards have changed. And so - again - the ability of PSO officers to enforce the law has changed. As of Dec. 22, employees of the PSO cannot enforce criminal law if they are not in the company of a Level 1 officer.

Now, the question is whether the change will be temporary and the PSO officers returned to duty as new employees of Archuleta County and the Archuleta County sheriff, or whether the PLPOA will back away from the desire to have PSO officers enforce criminal law.

Archuleta County Undersheriff Russell Hebert notified members of the PSO on Dec. 22 of the change in their duties.

Hebert said Wednesday he exchanged information with Archuleta County Commissioner Bill Downey earlier in the day and was aware "the county commissioners have serious reservations about the legality of the relationship with the PLPOA. As of 11:30 a.m.," said Hebert, "I suspended the capability of the PSO to enforce criminal law, unless the officers are accompanied by a Level 1 officer. This was done in order to meet standards put forth by P.O.S.T., a revision of existing standards governing the actions of Level 3 reserve deputies. Sheriff Tom Richards is on Christmas vacation and I took the action with his consent and direction."

Hebert said the Level 3 reserve commissions given to PSO officers by Richards "have not been revoked and they can still act as law enforcement officers when in the company of a Level 1 officer - be that a sheriff deputy, a member of the Colorado State Patrol, or an officer of the town of Pagosa Springs Police Department."

Hebert said the action "is temporary, hopefully until a proper contract can be negotiated between the county commissioners and the PLPOA that will allow us to hire the existing PSO officers as full-fledged deputies, with the PLPOA reimbursing the county for services."

Reported changes in standards by P.O.S.T. last spring threw the relationship between the sheriff's office and the PSO into question. According to PLPOA President Pat Curtis, those regulations were changed to require more supervision of reserve officers. Curtis told the SUN's John Motter that the PLPOA was notified of the changes in June or July of 1999. Neither the PLPOA nor the sheriff's office have detailed the alleged changes.

Curtis said the association's Public Safety Committee considered options for the continuation of service by the PSO, and decided to wait to make concrete proposals until after the November 1999 election when county voters were to decide on whether or not Archuleta County could retain and spend revenues in excess of TABOR limits. Had the voters refused to allow the county to exceed the established yearly increase in revenues and expenditures, no contractual relationship involving significant sums of money could be made between the entities. (The PLPOA came to the county commissioners during preparations for the 1999 county budget cycle and proposed a contract. That proposal was turned down at the time due to TABOR considerations.)

Hebert singled out the November 1999 election as a critical element in the consideration of how the situation with the PSO would be handled. "No contract with the PLPOA could be negotiated until after the vote to keep the revenues and spend them," said the undersheriff. "Since the favorable vote, efforts have been underway to generate a satisfactory contract."

When asked why the suspension of PSO law enforcement activities did not take place immediately after P.O.S.T. changes became apparent, both Curtis and Hebert cited the November election deadline as a factor in contract considerations and the timing of the suspension of duties.

The subject of a contract occupied the attention of the Archuleta County commissioners at their Dec. 21 meeting. The meeting was attended by representatives of the PLPOA board of directors.

At that meeting, Curtis said the PLPOA has two options when faced with the ramifications of alleged changes in P.O.S.T. standards: first, to contract with Archuleta County and the Archuleta County sheriff's office; second, to relinquish law enforcement duties for the PSO, rely on the sheriff for service, and utilize the PSO as a security organization. Curtis said directors believe the residents of the subdivisions want to continue with a higher level of law enforcement.

Curtis and his fellow PLPOA officials asked the commissioners for guidance in the matter, in particular regarding a method of payment should a contract be reached where the PLPOA pays for service from additional sheriff deputies in the area. Curtis said he and his cohorts see two options for payment: a lump sum paid to the county each year, or a monthly payment with unforeseen expenses billed to the association. Curtis indicated he prefers the second option.

Commissioner Downey told the PLPOA representatives he has "highly supported" the PSO from its inception. He said he believes there are ways to continue providing the higher level of law enforcement service desired by the board, but also said he is concerned about "county liability."

Curtis told the commissioners the PLPOA assembled a list of contract issues for discussion and said he and other board members feel a "sense of urgency" concerning the outcome of the interchange.

When asked about possible service costs by Commissioner Gene Crabtree, Hebert said he anticipates a cost of approximately $250,000 per year for five deputies added to the sheriff department's rolls. A transition to sheriff's deputy status would not be a technical problem for current members of the PSO. Sergeant Sean Curtis, who has overseen the PSO reserves since the sheriff's department took over supervisory duties, said PSO officers possess the necessary qualifications to be certified Level 1, since all are graduates of the Colorado Law Enforcement Academy.

Downey said Wednesday he thinks several aspects of the situation are of minor importance at this stage of the process.

One of those things is the specifics of any changes made to P.O.S.T. requirements. Downey said his reading of the Colorado Revised Statutes makes it clear to him that the nature of permissible duties for a Level 3 reserve officer nullifies a return to the situation that existed until Dec. 22.

A second thing of minor importance according to Downey is the idea that a contract with the county is "simply a matter of dollars and cents. We need to have a discussion with the PLPOA board," said Downey. "There are a lot of unaddressed issues that could have serious consequences for the county. I hope we can meet some time next week or, in light of the fact that it is the holiday season, as soon as we can get everyone together."


Here comes Y2K . . .


By John M. Motter

Ready or not, here comes Y2K.

Archuleta County held its final Y2K meeting of the year Tuesday, just 10 days before the possible appearance of the millennium-launching computer glitch that some say will bring civilization to its knees.

Ready or not? Archuleta County says it is ready.

Starting with 10 p.m. New Year's Eve, county, town, utility employees and other key officials will be manning communication centers, ready to respond to any calls.

Getting help will be just like any other time of the year for the average citizen. Just call the county communication center at 731-4799. Emergency 9-1-1 will be working normally, but Y2K coordinators are hoping people leave that number alone unless they have a real emergency.

You can make those calls if your telephone works. If your telephone does not work, a plethora of citizens with radios and carrying identifying signs will be positioned around the county. Those radios are tuned to central dispatch and to an auxiliary communications center.

Most of the precautionary Y2K provisions made by the county are based on the assumption that electricity could possibly be off for a couple of weeks. The flip side of that assumption is, if electricity is not off, what's the problem?

Law enforcement, fire fighters and emergency medical providers will be on hand and in touch with central communications. Local law enforcement will protect certain key facilities in the county from sabotage.

Television and radio contact will be maintained with the outside world. Since, under western time, the day begins in New Zealand, people will be monitoring what happens in New Zealand during the first hour of the new year, hours before that hour reaches time zones further to the west.

In Archuleta County, provisions have been made to provide food, water, warming stations, and medical services for county citizens. Again, a call to 731-4799 will connect the caller with someone who can provide answers for questions and directions to available services.

If electricity goes off, School District 50 Jt. will open the doors of the junior high school to the public. The school is heated geothermally, has a kitchen, and has access to a community food bank. The town has provided a backup generator to ensure that the geothermal system at the school operates, even if the commercial electric system fails.

The county and town have sufficient fuel stockpiled to operate snowplows and other vehicles.

People on oxygen therapy can continue that therapy at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, according to Russell Crowley, the Archuleta County emergency coordinator.

Contingency plans call for contacting state and federal emergency service providers should a local situation develop that exceeds local capacity to respond.


Commissioners select Weiss as new attorney

By John M. Motter

Local attorney Mary Deganhart-Weiss and the Archuleta County Commissioners are entering negotiations that could result in Weiss being hired as the new county attorney.

Ken Fox, chairman of the board of county commissioners, announced at the regular Tuesday commissioners' meeting that Weiss has been selected from among three applicants for the job of county attorney.

In addition to Weiss, the applicants were Larry Holthus who is the current county attorney, and the Durango firm of Goldman, Robbins and Rogers LLP. The Durango firm provides legal services for La Plata County.

After the selection of Weiss was announced Commissioner Bill Downey made the following statement: "The current attorney has provided the county with legal services for a number of years. Sometimes, after a long time of service, a fresh perspective is beneficial. By making a change we are losing considerable experience, but the trade off is we'll gain fresh enthusiasm. They are both competent attorneys. No doubt, Mary will soon get up to speed and provide excellent service. The Durango firm is also experienced in government affairs, but in my opinion if we have a competent local attorney, that's who we should utilize."

Commissioner Gene Crabtree added, "This county is moving to a new level as is evident from the growth - we are getting new people who sue first, ask questions later. We need legal representation to meet the future demands, which will be a lot heavier. We are losing a lot of experience that I hope will be available in the future. I want someone to help take us past the Year 2000 and into the next 10 to 20 years."

Holthus has been county attorney for the past 15 years.

"It has been a pleasure, serving the constituents of this county," Holthus said. "I have had a lot of wonderful experiences. It's been the kind of work I enjoy."

Holthus' contract with the county called for a $1,300 monthly retainer plus $40 an hour. In addition, he received a monthly retainer of $1,200 plus $50 an hour for work in the Social Services Department, work particularly related to child protection issues and child support checks.

Weiss' financial arrangements with the county will be negotiated, along with the scope of work and starting time.

"This is a new challenge that I am looking forward to," Weiss said. "I hope that I can benefit the county."

Weiss graduated from Weldon Valley High School, near Fort Morgan. She obtained a degree in history from a college in Lake Forest, Ill., in 1982 and a doctor of law degree from the University of Denver Law School in 1985. She met John Weiss in 1980 and the couple married in 1984. He is manager of the Navajo State Recreation Area. The couple has no children. For hobbies, they sail, travel and golf.


County approves levies for taxing entities

By John M. Motter

Tax levies with their attendant revenues imposed by the various taxing entities in Archuleta County were approved by the Archuleta County Commissioners while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

The county does not set the tax rates for any taxing entity other than itself. Nevertheless, state law requires the commissioners to approve the levies set by other taxing entities located within the county.

Individual property owners pay ad valorem, also known as property taxes, based on the assessed value of their property and its location. The total due is the sum of all of the taxes levied by each entity including the property within its boundaries.

For example, an Aspen Springs resident pays property taxes to the county, School District 50 Jt., Upper San Juan Library District, Pagosa Fire Protection District, Southwestern Water Conservation District, San Juan Water Conservancy District, and Aspen Springs Metropolitan District. People living in various parts of the county pay property taxes levied on properties located in their boundaries respectively. The total volume of property tax dollars paid by Archuleta County residents is $9,947,705. $5,154,160 goes for schools and $4,793,545 for local governments.

Of the total tax dollars collected, $8.2 million will be used for general operating funds, $1.56 million for bond redemption, $39,643 for refund/abatements, and $109,493 for capital expenditures and other purposes.

Public schools collect more tax dollars than any other entity in the county. Archuleta County contains portions of three school districts: School District 50 Jt., Pagosa Springs; School District 10 Jt.-R, Bayfield; and School District 11 Jt., Ignacio.

The assessed valuation of the Pagosa Springs school district is $143,182,440. The Pagosa school's tax rate of 35.1 mills is expected to generate $5,025,704. Of that amount, operations uses 27.250 mills generating revenue of $3,901,722, bond redemption uses 7.621 mills generating revenue of $1,091,193; and other uses 0.229 mills generating revenue of $32,789.

The assessed valuation of the Bayfield school district, located generally along U.S. 160 west of the Yellowjacket Pass summit, is $520,000. With a total tax rate of 38.776 mills, property taxes generate $20,160 for the Bayfield school district from Archuleta County property owners.

The assessed valuation for the Ignacio school district, located generally along Colo. 151 in the Arboles-Allison area, is $6,198,660. The mill levy of 17.471 on that assessed value generates revenue of $108,296 from Archuleta County property owners.

For the Archuleta County government, the assessed value of property for tax purposes is $149,901,120. The temporary tax rate of 16.680 mills is expected to generate income of $2,544,123 for the county budget.

Pagosa Springs' assessed valuation is $26,392,230. The town tax levy of 1.763 mills will generate $46,530 for the town budget.

District No. 1 of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has an assessed valuation of $53,722,020. The District 1 temporary tax rate of 9.574 mills will generate revenues of $514,335. District 1 generally includes the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions west of Pagosa Springs and north of U.S. 160.

District No. 2 of PAWS has an assessed valuation of $55,230,640 and a temporary tax levy of 5.959 generating income of $329,119. Both districts are paying for two bond issues with dedicated tax levies included in the amounts already given. Repayment of an April 1, 1992, bond issue requires a mill levy of 1.17 mills generating an annual income of $62,855 in District 1. The same mill levy in District 2 generates $64,620 because of the larger tax base. The second bond issued Sept. 15, 1992, requires a mill levy of 3.170 that generates $170,299 in District 1 and $175,081 in District 2. District 2 is generally that part of PAWS not included in District 1, but located south of U.S. 160 and including Pagosa Springs and its environs.

Piedra Park Metropolitan Improvement District is located in Arboles. It has an assessed valuation of $1,953,720 with a tax rate of 12.279 mills that generates $23,991 a year.

The Upper San Juan Library District has an assessed valuation of $149,381,100 and a tax rate of 1.507 mills that generates income of $225,188 a year.

Also with a tax base of $149,901,120 is the Southwestern Water Conservation District. The tax rate of 0.314 mills generates income of $47,069 for the SWWCD.

Based on an assessed valuation of $124,388,520, the Pagosa Fire Protection District tax rate of 3.598 mills generates income of $447,550.

The Pagosa Springs Sanitation District provides sewage collection and treatment services in and around Pagosa Springs. With an assessed valuation of $22,272,170, this district's tax rate of 3.4 mills generates income of $75,725 per year.

An assessed valuation of $145,874,030 generates an income of $350,449 for the San Juan Hospital District. The tax rate for the USJHD is 2.403 mills.

The San Juan Water Conservancy District has an assessed valuation of $118,852,820, which, with a tax rate of 0.351 mills, is expected to generate income of $41,717.

Aspen Springs Metropolitan District has an assessed valuation of $7,711,830 with a tax rate of 10.879 mills producing income of $83,897. This money is used to maintain Aspen Springs roads.

Alpha-Rockridge Metropolitan District, with an assessed valuation of $3,041,800, generates income of $30,417 with a tax rate of 10 mills. Alpha-Rockridge uses this money to maintain roads.

Finally, the San Juan Village Metropolitan District has an assessed valuation of $2,177,890. The San Juan Village tax rate of 15.352 generates income of $33,435.


Sales tax collections for 1999 set new record

By John M. Motter

With one month of the year remaining to be tallied, annual sales tax collections in Archuleta County reached a new high this year, according to a report released by County Manager Dennis Hunt.

An end of November report shows $3,888,740 collected through November of 1999. Last year was a record year for sales tax collections. The total collected last year through the entire 12 months of 1998 was $3,719,235.

During December of last year, $312,226 in sales taxes were collected. If this year's December collections match those of last December, the total for 1999 will reach $4,200,966. It would be the first time that Archuleta County has topped $4 million in sales tax collections.

November collections this year reached $384,463, a 29.02 percent increase over the $297,998 collected during November 1998. For the year 1999 through November, the $3,888,740 total is 14.14 percent more than the $3,407,009 collected through November of 1998.

Sales taxes are collected in Pagosa Springs and throughout the county by merchants making retail sales. The collected taxes are forwarded to Denver to the Colorado Department of Revenue. After the state's portion is removed, the amount belonging to the local entity is returned to that entity. In Archuleta County, the sales tax rate is 7 percent, or seven cents for each dollar. The state retains 3 percent and returns the 4 percent to Archuleta County. In Archuleta County, the 4 percent is divided 50-50 with the town. All local sales taxes imposed by any taxing entity must first be approved by the voters of that entity.

Archuleta County apportions its sales tax revenue among the general fund, road and bridge fund, and road improvement fund. For 1999 through November, the general fund has received $777,748, the road and bridge fund $194,437, and the road improvement fund $972,185.

The town's portion of $1,944,370 through November of 1999 is devoted to capital improvement projects.

Since sales taxes are directly proportional to retail sales, many economists regard them as an important measurement of the health of an economy. The record sales tax volume for 1999 means that retail sales in Archuleta County probably set a new record for dollar volume in 1999.


. . . and the rumors fly

By Karl Isberg

The date: Dec. 17, 1999.

The place: a bunker beneath the White House, Washington, D.C.

The room is lined with state-of-the-art electronic communications equipment, video displays and flashing lights.

A large man sits alone in the room, captivated by the flow of information cascading around him. He is the President of the United States.

The President knows what few other humans know: that total cultural and economic collapse will occur, worldwide, as the new year breaks. He knows Y2K will not be a mere, irritating ripple in the binary universe - it will be a disaster unparalleled in human history.

He must do something.

The President picks up a red telephone set on the table next to him. On the other end of the line is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"General," says the President. "I have made my decision, and we must act."

"What are your orders, sir?"

"I want you to mobilize the National Guard. I have drawn up a list of locations for use of the Guard and I want them sent to the top-priority location on my list, now!"

"Yes sir, Mr. President. Where should I send the troops?"

"Archuleta County, Colorado. Fly the Guardsmen there and station them at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. Have them wait there until they receive further orders."

A somewhat unlikely scenario, you say?

Not according to some residents of Pagosa country. With the approach of Y2K on the horizon, local county officials say several interesting rumors are flowing through the community.

Two of the rumors being heard by the officials are a bit far-fetched.

According to Archuleta County Undersheriff Russell Hebert, some citizens are convinced National Guard troops were flown to Stevens Field recently and are now stationed in the vicinity of Wolf Creek Pass. The rumors persist, despite the fact residents living near the airport have not seen or heard large military transports, or the convoys needed to ferry troops to a bivouac located in a alpine zone dominated by sub-zero temperatures.

"We have heard rumors that elements of the National Guard have landed at the airport and that troops are deployed on Wolf Creek Pass," said Hebert. "This is utterly false."

A second rumor heard by law enforcement officials concerns residents of the county who have exercised the forethought needed in times of emergency - Y2K or otherwise - and stocked supplies of food and water needed to see them through adversity.

"We have heard from some folks that we (local law enforcement agencies) are preparing to arrest anyone hoarding food and to confiscate their supplies," said Hebert. "Our response is go ahead and hoard to your hearts' content, and to City Market's delight. We will not be coming for your food."

A third rumor seems less implausible, and concerns the potential for an interruption of electrical power to the area.

A press release sent out on Dec. 21 by La Plata Electric Association, the local provider of electric power, deals with rumors circulating to the effect that electricity in Pagosa Springs will be turned off for the so-called "Year 2000 (Y2K) rollover."

The release states that the local LPEA office has been contacted by local residents who believe that Tri-State Generation and Transmission - the supplier of electrical power to LPEA - will shut off the juice on Jan. 1, 2 and 3.

According to LPEA Pagosa district manager Russ Lee, there are no plans by Tri- State or LPEA to shut off electric service to any local resident.

Contacted on Dec. 22, Lee said he heard from residents who are worried about the impending, purposeful blackout. Lee said two residents told him they heard the source of the information was an LPEA employee.

"We've talked to all our people," said Lee. "No one who works for LPEA is spreading this rumor. I think it is a rumor being spread by people who actually want something to happen. A similar rumor is running rampant in Durango, where people have heard the power will be shut down for up to six months."

Lee repeated the claim that LPEA and Tri-State have both undertaken "extensive testing programs. Even if we had done nothing," he said, "all we would have lost were some readings. Our power would not have gone out. Every power company has done a lot of testing. We may have an outage, that night or any night, but it would be coincidental. We have outages. We will have people working on the night of December 31 and, if there are any problems of any kind, we'll be there. But, we are not going to shut off the power."

And, if the power does go off, and no one answers the phone at LPEA . . . call the National Guard.


Celebration of Matthews' life to be held Dec. 30


Mrs. Irene Matthews passed away in Albuquerque, N.M., on Dec. 14, 1999.

Mrs. Matthews was born in Little Falls, Minn., on March 15, 1913. She later attended teachers' college at Western State College in Gunnison. She came to Pagosa Springs in 1938 to teach at the one-room Hayden school on Snowball Road. In 1941 she married Robert Matthews of Pagosa Springs and the couple moved to San Diego. When World War II ended, the Matthewes moved to Albuquerque where they raised four sons. When her youngest son Sam started school, Mrs. Matthews went back to teaching and taught for 15 more years. After retiring, the Matthewes spent their summers in Pagosa Springs at the family ranch.

Mrs. Matthews kept busy with activities here in Pagosa Springs, especially at the Senior Center and women's club. She and her husband were also founding members of the San Juan Historical Museum, and donated many items for display. The Matthewes were great friends with many of the "old-timers" here, including Ruby Sisson, Fred Harmon, Sam Teeson and Worthe and Cornelia Crouse. They all enjoyed many a fishing trip and picnic. In Albuquerque, Irene and Bob taught art at the Palo Duro Senior Center, founded the Suicide Prevention Center, and were active in their church. Mrs. Matthews also sewed costumes for grandson Partick's Spanish dance troupe, to whom she was known as "Sweetie Pie."

Mrs. Matthews is survived by brothers Bernard, Earl, Dewayne, and Kennard Fellbaum; sister Dorothy Olson; sons James, Robert, Dewayne, and Sam Matthews; and three grandchildren. Her husband preceded her in death in 1995.

A celebration of Mrs. Matthews' life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 30th at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Albuquerque; a reception will follow. Interment will take place Memorial Day weekend at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs. For information, please call April Mathews at 264-6197.


Inside The Sun


Not needed

Dear David,

As discussion of Piano Creek grows more heated and after reading the letters of Mark Bergon and Claire Goldrick in the last two issues of the SUN I think some of the more mundane and less emotionally charged issues effecting Pagosa should be examined.

First, to put the letters of Bergon and Goldrick in perspective, I find myself more in tune with Bergon, but I am not dependent on running a local retail business for my living. I too am put off by conspicuous consumption as much as anyone I know. However, I can have a degree of sympathy for those individuals who make up the very wealthy and the celebrity groups. By virtue of two professions that were both employed by these groups I became acquainted with them as individuals and it soon became clear that the price paid by the individual for either great wealth or celebrity status was more than I would ever be willing to pay. On several occasions I was told that I was envied because I had my privacy and independence away from my profession.

If I were working in the service economy that goes with a project like Piano Creek, at subsistence-level wages or below, the sympathy would be long gone.

I agree with Goldrick that the "free enterprise" system has allowed many individuals to profit from their hard work. This concept is not an end in itself, and when and if a project for profit becomes destructive to the environment we depend upon, then it is unacceptable.

Goldrick makes the point that her business will profit from Piano Creek. My question is: does Piano Creek offer a market that Goldrick would not find in Taos, Santa Fe, or any other area of the southwest? Artisans of the Pagosa community who have national reputations are not dependent on Piano Creek. She further describes the Piano Creek project as environmentally responsible. This is almost a contradiction of terms. Any development is invasive of the environment. The abandoned miner's cabins in the wilderness areas were invasive, however the magnitude of destruction was not so great that nature could not overcome the result with time. Not so with Piano Creek.

Looking at the Pagosa area from the perspective of the last 10 years of growth, there is now an economy supported by full-time residents, continuing new arrivals and the visitors who bolster the recreation economy.

There is one segment of the economy wherein Pagosa is going to be immediately hurt by Piano Creek. Our skilled craft construction trades have been fully employed for an extended period of time to the benefit of the craftsmen and the local economy. When construction begins at Piano Creek, local craftsmen will be drawn out of the local market. The growing cost of housing in Pagosa will have to increase even more to meet that competition.

With the projects now underway in the Pagosa area and those in the planning stage, Pagosa does not need Piano Creek. There is no reason to support it in the destruction of the East Fork Valley.


Glenn Bergmann

Editor's note: Goldrick's works are marketed in Taos, N.M., and Hamilton, Mont.

Spirit is alive

Dear David,

The staff and residents of Pine Ridge Extended Care Center would like to take this opportunity to thank the community. We have had many groups and individuals that have come to the facility to sing, bring treats and visit. We thank you for your time and kindness. We would also like to thank the merchants who helped to make this a special and memorable Christmas for our Alzheimer's residents and families.

It is clear to all of us that the spirit of Christmas and giving is alive and well in Pagosa Springs. Though these are busy times, these special people have looked past themselves and provided our residents with a kind touch and beautiful memories, which is all that many have left.

Our community continues to grow, but the small town feelings still are apparent to all of us. Thank you all.


Mary Brooks, NHA and

Jana McDonald, SSD


Dear Editor,

The article "Ritalin Not Always the Answer" (SUN, Nov. 24) by Patti Johnson was surprising and shocking. The presentation of partial information, misinformation and personal opinion as fact coming from a member of the Colorado State Board of Education was embarrassing. I would like to correct some of the misleading statements.

1. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) is not recognized as a disability category in eligibility for Special Education services unless the student also has a learning disability, an emotional-behavioral disorder, or some other type of disability recognized by the Individuals with Disability Education Act. Thus there would be no extra federal funding for students who only have ADHD.

2. The Drug Enforcement Agency reported a sixfold increase in U.S. quotas for methylphenidate (Ritalin) production over the years 1993-1998. These quotas were not based on patient usage, but on drug inventories on hand, exports, and industry sales projections. Drug prescription surveys have shown a 2.5 fold increase in use of methylphenidate treatment for ADHD. This rise is related primarily to treatment for longer periods and without interruptions.

3. Methylphenidate may be used by drug abusers when amphetamines are not readily available, but it doesn't create the "high" available from cocaine or amphetamines. Abuse of the drug by individuals with ADHD or their family members has been reported rarely.

4. The alleged connection between Ritalin and emergency room admissions is that the drug is often "mentioned" as a medication taken by the person, but is not necessarily the reason for the ER visit.

5. A recent study from Harvard found that children with ADHD who had been treated with methylphenidate or other stimulants had a lower risk of drug abuse than those who were untreated. Of those with untreated ADHD, 52 percent go on to have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse as adults, 43 percent of untreated aggressive, hyperactive boys will be arrested for a felony by age 16; 35 percent never finish high school.

6. The most common adverse side-effects reported with methylphenidate include loss of appetite, stomach aches, difficulty falling asleep, headaches, and jitteriness.

7. Alleged brain atrophy from methylphenidate has not been reported in the professional clinical literature on treatment of ADHD.

8. A correct diagnosis of ADHD is based on symptom and behavioral rating scales completed by parents and teachers. The symptoms must be present for at least six months; must be maladaptive and inconsistent with the child's developmental level; must be present in two or more settings; and are not better explained by other psychiatric, medical, or neurologic disorders.

9. There is as yet no confirmatory genetic, radiologic, biochemical, neurological, or psychological test for ADHD, but such examinations may be helpful in exploring complaints suggesting ADHD.

10. Double-blind, placebo controlled studies have shown conclusively that medications reduce the core symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. They also improve classroom behavior and academic performance; reduce oppositional and aggressive behaviors; and promote increased interaction with teachers, family, and others. Stimulants have also been found to decrease irritability, anxiety, and nail biting.

11. Some 20 studies have shown conclusively that dietary manipulations are not beneficial for the treatment of ADHD.

12. There is little evidence of widespread over diagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD. There is no evidence of widespread over prescribing of methylphenidate by physicians.

13. The attempt to use an association of psychotropic medications with school shootings as a causal factor does not take into account the large number of children and adolescents taking antidepressants, stimulants, or mood stabilizers who do not commit violence.

Conclusions: ADHD is a childhood neuropsychiatric syndrome which often persists into adulthood and is associated with significant functional impairment. The presence of ADHD at any age increases the risk of behavioral and emotional problems in later stages of life.

Between 3 percent and 6 percent of the school-age population may have ADHD but the percentage of U.S. youth receiving treatment is at the lower end of this range. Those who are untreated are at greater risk for not completing school, job failures, drug abuse, and other legal problems.

Accurate and credible information on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD is available at the Ruby Sisson Library. You can use the Internet to review the National Library of Medicine database on the disorder.

V. Alton Dohner, M.D.

Poem for Pagosa

Dear Editor,

I would greatly appreciate it if you would publish this poem I wrote for the Christmas season and the new millennium. I would like to share it with all the wonderful people of/ Pagosa Springs.

I've titled it "The Year 2000 - a Christmas Story."

Born into this world two-thousand years ago today/ the infant baby Jesus was sent to show the way./ Mary his virgin mother was chosen to bear God's son/ by her immaculate conception a new life just begun./ He came to save the world through his father, forgive our sins/ Jesus Christ, our savior, was born in Bethlehem./ Surrounded by the wise-men and kings from all around/ he was born in a stock filled manger his crib placed on the ground./ Distant stars shined brightly, they glowed both night and day/ Jesus Christ, the son of God, was here to lead the way./ What impact, this child would have like no other person has in time/ how he changed the world so peace and happiness we could find./ He came from his father in heaven, with a proclamation for us to keep-/ "Jesus Christ is the truth you find Whether or not you seek."

Thank you very much,

Charlie Gallegos


Dear David,

We are opposed to the Forest Service's proposed clear cutting and burning on Jackson Mountain for the following reasons:

1. It is not economically viable.

2. It will not be adequately supervised by the Forest Service personnel.

3. Their previous experimental project of Plumtaw Road is not complete (only two years).

4. The wildlife effect has not been studied. (Lynx, etc.).

5. The recreation effect has not been studied.

6. The roads, sewer, and water systems of homes could be severely effected by mountain movement.

7. River pollution into downtown Pagosa could result.

8. Highway 160 could be effected by mountain movement.

9. The potential for river flooding has not been studied.

The present proposal looks to start in approximately two years and will take anywhere from 4 to 8 years to complete. This project directly effects the viable and growing community of the San Juan River Resort and the San Juan Village Metro District. A long-term clear-cutting, burning, and road building (and using) project will negatively effect the entire area of families and homeowners. It will effect the general public's recreation usage. And it will effect wildlife patterns and habitats of the entire area of Jackson Mountain including the newly-released and endangered lynx. Also, if the fires get out of control, there could be substantial loss of property as well as life.

Since it is already known that Jackson Mountain is moving toward the river at approximately the rate of 1-3 inches per year, the clear cutting and burning of the mountain will only increase this movement. This would adversely effect the sewer, and road systems in the San Juan River Resort with possible contamination of the San Juan River and all down-stream entities. In addition, since the highway department already has a difficult time keeping U.S. 160 in repair from the mountain movement, there will no doubt be increased damage and cost of repair to the highway.

The Forest Service has not proved that this will be an economical project, and their plans for supervision from Durango is not adequate to ensure that the proposed plan will be followed by subcontractors. The idea that clear cutting and controlled burning is a safety feature for future disasters has not been proved by years of Forest Service experiments. Mother Nature seems better equipped to take care of the forest and decide which trees are best at any given time.

Sincerely yours,

James L. Knoll III MD

President SJRR-POA board

'Shop Pagosa'

Dear David,

Kudos, kudos, kudos to you Dave for last week's editorial.

You really brought the message "home." Having been a merchant in Pagosa Springs for seven years, I can't agree with you more that people of Pagosa should shop in Pagosa instead of going elsewhere to buy gifts. Especially during a very snowless time, when normally the visitors help pick up the slack - it is not happening this Christmas Season.

Yes, merchants, restaurant and lodging owners are asked constantly to contribute to the many worthy causes throughout the year, and most of them do it willingly, because that is what Pagosa is about.

The next time you get in your car to head out to Farmington, Durango or wherever, why don't you head to the many great shops in Pagosa, shop Pagosa and you would be surprised how much fun you can have right here at home.

Best wish for a wonderful Christmas and exciting New Year.

Mary Muller

More predators

Dear Editor,

I think the very good letter from Franklin Anderson (SUN, Dec. 9) about predators hit the nail right on the head. However he failed to point out a very important fact that he probably omitted on purpose, but his father Lloyd Anderson was more than likely the best government trapper ever.

He sure is right about the amount of deer in the early 1940s. My dad had a forest permit to run cattle in the Turkey Springs area, and if we were riding there and we saw one deer, I couldn't wait to get home and tell my mom. I was about 11 or 12 when I saw my first elk. I didn't even know what it was. My brother had to tell me what it was.

If the "tree huggers" have their way, we will be back to old scenario again. You will see more coyotes, lions, wolves and bears than deer and elk. That would be a real sad thing. What a lot of people fail to understand is that these government trappers did not totally do away with the coyotes, lions or bears. They just kept them under control, and you never heard about them (predators) coming in to your yard, eating your pets' food or breaking into houses, but believe me, these instances will only get worse unless there is more predator control.

Thank you,

Jack Peterson

Wickenburg, Ariz.

Habitat's goal

Dear Dave,

As we celebrate this holy season of Christmas I am especially mindful of the gospels telling that Jesus was born in a lowly stable because there was "no room in the inn." God's plan was that his only son be born in poverty and suffer rejection along with his parents. From these lowly beginnings, Christ became the King of Kings for millions of people around the world.

Here in Pagosa there are hundreds of people who are mindful of the poverty around us and are working, slowly and faithfully, to serve those people for whom there is no room in the inn. Habitat For Humanity is building its seventh home, thanks to the generosity of this community through financial pledges and volunteer time - from roofing to landscaping. It is the goal of Habitat to continue these projects until poverty housing is eliminated. "With God all things are possible."

Our local Christian Ministerial Alliance manages a fund, in conjunction with the sheriff's department, to house people who are traveling through Pagosa and find travelers stranded for the night. Many local churches contribute to this community care fund, but it has been especially blessed by the contributions from the Community United Methodist Church.

On Christmas Eve, we will all be enjoying the safety and warmth of our homes and the many blessings God has given us. But we must also remember that such bounty is not experienced by all; not even by the infant Jesus and his parents.

Tis the season to join hearts and hands and work together to build God's kingdom here in Pagosa Springs.

Christmas blessings,

The Rev. Annie Ryder



Great sadness

Dear Editor,

I just want to wish the person who stole the Winnie the Pooh Christmas statue from my front yard a very happy holiday. I hope every time you or anyone you might have given it to looks at it they will think about my 4-year-old granddaughter whose special Christmas it was supposed to be. I will certainly spend the next few days before Christmas searching for one to replace it. She begged me last Christmas to get one, but I was unable to do so until after the holidays. I kept it a secret for a year, and within 10 hours of placing it on the lawn you came along and decided it was more important to you than it could possibly be to us. I hope the spirit of this holiday brings joy to your heart, because you have certainly brought great sadness to mine.

Always dedicated to this community,

Thomas O. Fletcher

Contested signs

Dear Editor,

As yet, there is no conclusion to the problem with the contested signs in our front yard. The Environmental Control Committee decided to let us keep the "mailbox signs" in place. You printed a picture of these signs in the SUN in October. The ECC zeroed in on three other signs which they asked us to remove. One of these we agreed to remove and did. The other two signs we were not willing to take down. One of these is 4-inches-by-15-inches and reads: Peter D. Laue, Counselor. It is next to our front door and has been in place from the day we moved in, 22 years ago. Above that sign is one of those funny signs about office hours. It essentially reads: We are available once in a while and sometimes a little sooner.

We asked the interim manager of the PLPOA, Bill Watts, to communicate to the ECC that in the event their final decision is negative, people in the community could be notified to attend the ECC meeting. Everyone in the community has been very supportive. We hope this matter will be settled quickly. We asked for a written document so that future committees could not contest how we decorate our yard.

Thank you for letting us speak and speak up through the SUN.

Peter Laue

Pay attention

Dear Editor,

All property owners in the Pagosa Lakes Area had better start paying attention to the actions of the PLPOA board of directors regarding a new contract being negotiated with the sheriff's department concerning the immediate future of the PLPOA Public Safety officers. Some members of the board want to give the sheriff all assets of the Public Safety Department, including vehicles, equipment, and the monies budgeted for the Public Safety Department.

A special board meeting to discuss the specifics of the new contract will be held on Jan. 3, 2000, at 9 a.m. All concerned property owners had better stop being apathetic and start defending the destruction of our Public Safety Office.

Mojie Adler

Millennium wish

Dear Editor,

It sure is nice to see the Pagosa SUN on the Internet. What marvelous technological achievements have been accomplished over the past 40 years. Yes it's been that many years plus a few that I left Pagosa seeking adventures promised by Uncle Sam and the Navy and see the world.

As we are about to enter into a new millennium I suppose those folks who have settled there over the years can look at Pagosa with pride in their accomplishments. I must say though with all the visits I've made to the land I called home for the most memorable days of my youth, it breaks my old heart to see the way the land has been raped.

Isn't it strange how we encourage tourists to come and see the beautiful San Juans, then allow them to buy and destroy our most precious possessions. The local historical society is to be congratulated for its determination to preserve a piece of our past.

Pagosa was more than just a home to me growing up there from '45 to '57, it was a place and time filled with family, friends and love. A place where respect for all of God's creation, fellow-man and nature were taught at home, school and church. My wish for the new millennium is that the wildlife, the mountains, streams and overall beauty of my childhood homeland will be preserved for my great grandchildren to enjoy.

Happy holidays to all the staff at the SUN mostly to my brother, Ronnie.

Bill (Butch) Willett



Irene Matthews

See Frontpage.





Shawn Lewis and Geneva Jordan are pleased to announce their engagement to be married. Geneva is the daughter of Blanca E. Garcia and Louis Ceasar Jordan of Arvin, Calif. Shawn is the son of Marilyn and Everett Coen of Pagosa Springs.



Sports Page

Ash's flash helps Ladies bash Bobcats

By Roy Starling

Maybe you've heard about the Phoenix, a bird from Greek mythology. At the end of its life cycle, it was consumed by fire on a funeral pyre. The good news, though, is that another bird then rose from the ashes with renewed youth and beauty.

Saturday in Kirtland, N.M., the Lady Pirates might have had one of those moments in which they rose from their own ashes and soared upward towards a new basketball life in a new millennium.

The Lady most responsible for this turnaround is named, appropriately, Andrea Ash. Here's how it happened:

As recorded elsewhere in the SUN, the Lady Pirates got off to a dismal start in the Lady Bronco Fall Classic at Kirtland Central High School. They received a soft first-round pairing against Kirtland Central's junior varsity squad, but let that one get away from them 51-46.

This loss dumped the Ladies into the losers' bracket against the hapless Bloomfield (N.M.) JV, which they dispatched by a 69-13 score Friday afternoon. Playing against that kind of competition, of course, doesn't tell you much of anything.

Then Saturday afternoon with an opportunity to play a reasonably good Bloomfield Bobcat varsity team, things started going down hill in a big hurry. The Ladies committed nine turnovers in the first quarter, but were still tied 14-14. In the second quarter, they turned the ball over nine more times, but managed to stay within three, 27-24.

Going into the third quarter, senior post Mandy Forrest already had four fouls and sophomore Ashley Gronewoller had three. In the third, the Ladies trailed by as many as seven, 37-30, and while they were down only 45-42 at the end of the quarter, Katie Lancing had fouled out and Gronewoller had joined Forrest with four.

Then came the fourth quarter and the Phoenix act. The Ladies got a free throw from Forrest and two more from Janae Esterbrook to tie the score at 45-45.

With 6 minutes and 27 seconds remaining in the quarter, Bobcat guard Jillian Martinez roughed up Andrea Ash just in front of the Lady Pirate bench and was whistled for a foul. Upset with the call, Bloomfield coach Charles Kromer began to throw off smoke and sparks like a faulty toaster. Not amused by his appliance act, the referee who made the call tacked on a technical.

Ash, the Ladies' seventh player, had played only a handful of minutes and scored a total of five points in the first seven games of the season. But she calmly stepped to the line and sank the first free throw to give the Lady Pirates a 46-45 lead. Then she sank the second one. Then Pagosa coach Karen Wells sent her back to the line for the two technicals, and she sank both of them. It was 49-45, Lady Pirates.

Because of the technical, the Ladies retained possession of the ball and, in a reversal of usual roles, Forrest found herself on the perimeter passing to Ash cutting under the basket. Ash kissed the ball off the glass for two more points and was fouled by Bobcat post Laci Candelaria who then took a seat alongside Kromer with her fifth foul.

Even though Ash failed to convert the free throw, she had scored six points in just nine seconds to give the Ladies a lead they wouldn't lose. They'd come close a few times, but they wouldn't lose it. "Andrea did a really nice job," Wells said. "It's nice to see someone come from the bench and make a big difference."

With the Ladies up 52-47, Bloomfield's hot-shooting Jerilysa Silversmith got free from the corner and fired in her third 3-pointer of the night, trimming the lead back to two. The Bobcats' very active point guard Claudette Frausto then fouled out on Esterbrook who hit one from the line to make it 53-50.

After Meigan Canty rebounded a Silversmith miss, Gronewoller scored off a Bonnie O'Brien feed, then seconds later Forrest hit a free throw and the Ladies were up 56-50 with just under three minutes remaining in the game.

It turned out to be a very long three minutes. After a minute of exchanging turnovers, the Bobcats' diminutive guard Tami Duncan scored on a long shot from just inside the arc, then Canty got one of those points back with a free throw.

With 1:38 left, Sherwin Edwards hit two free throws, and the Bobcats were only a 3-pointer away from tying the game. Within the next 30 seconds, O'Brien and Esterbrook gave the Ladies a little breathing room by hitting one free throw each.

With about a minute left, O'Brien finally put the game out of reach when she scored underneath off an Esterbrook assist, giving the Lady Pirates a 61-54 lead. The Ladies then held on, surviving a 3-pointer by Cheri Black, and won the game 64-59.

When the game came to a merciful close, Canty, Gronewoller and Lancing were sitting on the bench with five fouls. Forrest somehow managed to get through the second half without picking up her fifth. For the Bobcats, Martinez, Jessica Spangler, Frausto, Candelaria and Laura Wegener fouled out.

Esterbrook was the Ladies' leading scorer with 19, and her free-throw shooting kept them in the game in the second and third quarters and helped protect Pagosa's lead in the final period. The senior guard was 11 of 14 from the line. Forrest and Lancing had 11 points each, and O'Brien had a big game with nine.

Forrest was the team's top rebounder, pulling down 14, many of those coming in the tense fourth quarter. Esterbrook and Lancing had seven each. Esterbrook also led the Ladies in steals with four, while Canty dished out the same number of assists to lead the girls in that department.

The Bobcats' elusive Silversmith had 15 points, followed by Martinez with 10.

The Ladies finish the 1999 portion of their schedule at 5-3. After taking a break for the holidays, they'll find out if their Phoenix act was for real when they head back to the Farmington area for a rematch with a severely disappointed bunch of Bloomfield Bobcats.

Pagosa opens its IML season Thursday, Jan. 13, hosting Ignacio's Ladycats. The next night, the team will travel to La Jara to check out the latest version of the Centauri Falcons.


Bronco Classic turns Y2Krazy

By Roy Starling

The Lady Pirates will remember the 1999 Lady Bronco Fall Classic in Kirtland, N.M., as the one that got away. Either that or they will quickly relegate it to the dust heap of their collective memory.

Strange things happened down there. The Lady Pirates seemed to be the recipient of a "soft" bracket slot, lining up first against Kirtland Central's junior varsity, with the prospect of advancing to play the winner of the Show Low (Ariz.) and Bloomfield (N.M.) JV game.

In the other bracket, however, the Class 4A Cortez Panthers played Bloomfield's varsity while Kirtland Central, a New Mexico dynasty for roughly the last 20 years, took on Cuba.

But Y2K craziness set in early in Kirtland. On Thursday, Kirtland Central's JV surprised and embarrassed the Lady Pirates by beating them 51-46 and advanced to play Show Low, who trampled Bloomfield's hapless JVs. Cortez won its game to earn the privilege of playing Kirtland Central on its hostile home court.

The next day, Cortez, beaten by the Lady Pirates in the first game of the season, upset the Lady Broncos 56-44, while the "little sister" Lady Broncos advanced to the finals by knocking off Show Low.

And now the punch line: On Saturday, the JV Lady Broncos won their big sisters' tournament, easily beating Cortez 61-48.

The consensus among Lady Pirate coaches, players and fans is that the JV Lady Broncos should've never advanced beyond the first round, that the Lady Pirates, had they played a little more aggressively, protected the ball a little better and run the offense a little more consistently, would've handled them rather easily.

The Ladies stayed close to the Lady Broncos in the first period, trailing only 13-11 after one. Seven of Pagosa's 11 points came from sophomore post Ashley Gronewoller, while seniors Janae Esterbrook and Mandy Forrest had two each. The Broncos, meanwhile, capitalized on Pagosa fouls, going 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

The Broncos extended their lead in the second, outscoring the Ladies 12-8, to take a 25-19 advantage at halftime. Freshman whiz Kim Simpson hurt Pagosa by going 4 for 5 from the line, while teammate Cary Moone, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, connected twice from the floor.

In the third quarter, the Lady Pirates tightened up their game on both ends of the floor and seemed set to send the JV Broncos hurtling into the losers' bracket. They completely shut down their hosts from the floor, allowing them only three free throws during the quarter. On offense, the Ladies turned to Esterbrook, who knocked down a 3-pointer and a field goal, and 6-foot sophomore Katie Lancing, who scored eight big points, six from the floor.

After the third-quarter surge, the Ladies took a 32-28 lead into the final stanza. But shortly after the fourth period began, the Bronco offense started running all over the Lady Pirate defense. The Ladies had no luck at all in slowing down Simpson and Moone as the two big girls scored eight and seven points, respectively, in the period, while the team as a whole racked up 23 points.

Despite nine points from Forrest, the Lady Pirates couldn't keep pace and wound up on the wrong end of a 51-46 score.

Lancing went 6 for 11 from the floor to lead the Ladies in scoring with 14. Esterbrook's aim was true as she connected on 4 of 6 of her 2-point attempts and 1 of 2 from beyond the arc, to wind up with 12 points. Forrest's big fourth quarter gave her 11 for the game and Gronewoller finished with seven.

Forrest and Lancing did the bulk of the board work for the Ladies, pulling down seven rebounds each, while Esterbrook and Gronewoller had five each.

Sharing the game ball for the Lady Broncos were Simpson and Moone, who combined to score 34 of the team's 51 points. Simpson had 18 and Moone 16.

Another JV team

The disappointing loss to the Kirtland Central JVs set up a real yawner between the Lady Pirates and a not-quite-ready Bloomfield JV team. The Bobcats' talent was pretty evenly distributed among their 16 players.

The excitement of the game began to ebb shortly after tipoff. Bonnie O'Brien went to work swiping the ball from the Bloomfield guards and connecting on long shots just inches inside the 3-point arc. Esterbrook got in on the perimeter act, hitting a 3-pointer and a 20-footer. Forrest scored once from a pass from Lancing, once on a nice spin move after a feed from Gronewoller and once more from an Esterbrook pass after a steal.

By the time the first-quarter buzzer sounded, the Ladies had built up a pretty healthy 26-2 lead. They politely took a little air out of the ball in the second, outscoring Bloomfield only 15-5 to take a 41-7 lead at halftime. The third quarter, too, was pretty uneventful, as the Lady Pirates quietly pushed their lead to 50-9.

The Ladies went back to work offensively in the final quarter, and most of the action took place under the basket where their 6-foot-and-over club demonstrated good court vision, sharp passing and unselfish play.

The quarter opened with 6-foot-3 Gronewoller scoring on a pass from 6-foot Forrest; moments later Gronewoller scored after 6-foot Lancing found her under the basket. Two minutes later, Gronewoller hit an open Lancing in the lane, and Lancing buried it.

After a few more minutes of this, the final buzzer sounded, and the Ladies had won their fourth game against three losses, 69-13.

Lancing, who has been busy teaching other teams the meaning of the word ambidextrous, had 17 points, eight from the left side. Forrest had 15 and Gronewoller 12 - eight of those in the fourth. Esterbrook and Canty had eight and seven, respectively, while O'Brien contributed six.

O'Brien led the thievery against the Bobcats, stealing the ball eight times, while Forrest and Lancing had six steals each.

Gronewoller cleaned the glass with 13 rebounds, seven of those on the offensive end. Forrest had 10, six offensive, while Lancing had eight rebounds.


Pirates give Canty something to smile about

By John M. Motter

Pirate basketball coach Kyle Canty might not have "visions of sugar plums" to bring Christmas happiness to his head, but he has some wins that will surely have him smiling out loud when no one is looking.

Canty's charges captured two of three games at the Black Canyon Classic in Montrose this past weekend. The Pirates closed out preseason play with six wins and two losses. At Montrose they beat Gunnison 56-43, Olathe 56-40, then lost to tournament champion Rifle 50-40.

Charles Rand of Pagosa Springs was named to the Black Canyon Classic All-Tournament Team along with Reid Fishering of Montrose, Randy Williams of Olathe, Brian Beecraft of Rifle, Jeremy Moles of Golden and Jess Leonetti of Gunnison.

"I'm proud of the way the boys played," coach Kyle Canty said. "Charles had an outstanding tournament even though he was sick and I didn't start him. At the same time, I don't think we are playing nearly as well as we can. We're still getting only about one good quarter of playing time a game."

A major concern for the Pirates is Daniel Crenshaw's bruised and swollen Achilles tendon. Canty kept him out of the Black Canyon Tournament.

"I didn't let him practice last week and he'll get about four more weeks of rest over the holidays," Canty said. "He'll be out of shape when we resume play, but hopefully he'll be able to play."

Crenshaw is a 6-foot-1 junior who started much of last year and has been a steady force under the basket on this year's team. He was named to the Wolf Creek Classic All-Tournament Team earlier this month, even though already playing with a tender tendon.

The 56-43 Friday win over Gunnison was the second time Pagosa Springs has beaten the Cowboys this season. They defeated Gunnison 60-56 earlier this year in the Wolf Creek Classic.

"We started out flat against Gunnison," Canty said.

At the half, Pagosa trailed 19-18. The Pirates outscored their opponents 14-11 during the third period to take a two-point lead, then cut loose in the final stanza. During the fourth quarter, the Pirates outclassed their adversaries 24-11, paced by 11 points from David Goodenberger, six points from Clinton Lister, and five points from Rand.

Goodenberger and Clinton Lister paced the Pirate scoring with 13 points each. It was Lister's best scoring effort of the season. Not far behind were Micah Maberry and Tyrel Ross with 10 points each, and Rand with eight points.

The Class 4A Rifle Bears presented the next opposition for the Pirates, with game time at 10 Saturday morning. Pacing the Bears was Brian Beecraft, an all-tournament selection. Beecraft asserted himself early, throwing in 10 points to give Rifle a 16-13 first quarter lead. Pagosa got a pair of threes from Rand, five points from Tyrel Ross, and two points from Clinton Lister to stay close.

Beecraft added 11 more points in the second period and at the half Rifle was on top 30-25. During the period Rand hit five more points, Maberry fours, and Dominique Lucero a 3-pointer. Pagosa still had a chance.

Beecraft slowed down during the third period and Rifle picked up only six points. Lonnie Lucero tallied four points and Maberry and Rand each hit a 3-pointer as Pagosa narrowed Rifle's lead to 36-35 at the end of the third quarter.

The game was up for grabs in the final period, but Pagosa was unable to grab the ring.

"We were tied with two minutes left," Canty said. "They scored, we turned the ball over on our first possession and they scored again. Then we had to start fouling, they hit their free throws, and the game was over."

Rifle went on to beat Montrose 58-54 in overtime to capture the tournament championship.

A couple of hours after their loss to Rifle, the Pirates took the floor again, this time against Olathe.

"We started slow against Olathe, but the game was never in doubt," Canty said. "The boys might have been tired."

Still, Pagosa managed a 15-13 first quarter lead, riding on the momentum of the first two of Rand's six three-point bombs. Maberry aided the Pirates' cause with a pair of field goals. Olathe's all-tournament player, Randy Williams, balanced Rand's radar-like accuracy with seven points of his own. For the game, Williams hit five 3-pointers and finished the game with 26 points overall.

Pagosa's lead grew to 30-21 at the half, then disappeared when Olathe built a 37-36 lead by the end of the third period. Williams had seven third-quarter points. Maberry hit two field goals to top the paltry 6-point third quarter for Pagosa.

The Pirate defense held Olathe to 10 points in the final stanza. Meanwhile, Goodenberger banged for seven points, Rand added six points, and Maberry five points to cement the Pirate win and leave Canty with pleasant dreams over the year-ending holidays.

Pagosa resumes play after the holidays by hosting Ignacio Thursday, Jan. 13, in the Pirates' first Intermountain League encounter of the season. The following night, the Pirates cross Wolf Creek Pass to engage Centauri in the La Jara school's gym. Altogether, Pagosa plays 10 IML games, two each with Ignacio, Bayfield, Centauri, Del Norte and Monte Vista.

Monte Vista was unbeaten in IML play last year and is favored to capture the title again. The San Luis Valley Pirates are ranked among the best Class 3A teams in the state. They have an additional incentive to beat Pagosa Springs this year - revenge. After going unbeaten through regular season IML play last year, Monte bumped into a hot Pagosa Springs five during the second round of the IML Tournament and lost a 61-59 squeaker. Pagosa couldn't maintain the momentum and lost to tournament champion Del Norte 53-44 in the next game. Del Norte represented the IML as the second-place team last year, behind Monte Vista.

Del Norte is expected to challenge Monte Vista for the title again this year. Tiger hopes are built around 6-foot-7 Jake Evig, a senior this season. Evig was the league's most valuable player as a sophomore and as a junior. He is aided and abetted by Josh Richardson, enough of a threat to keep opposing teams from focusing all of their defensive attention on Evig. Del Norte seemed well on the way to winning the title last year when coach Mike Smith removed two starters for disciplinary reasons and the team went into a temporary slump.

The IML sends two teams into state playoff action. Protocol to qualify for the state playoffs gives the undisputed leader of the IML at the end of regular play an automatic playoff birth. The team ranking highest behind the league winner in the IML year-end tournament represents the district as the number two team.

"I think the IML is more balanced this season than I've ever seen it," Canty said. "Bayfield may be the most improved team and Ignacio has everybody back. Centauri is awful tough. If Monte or Del Norte or anybody takes any other team for granted, there is going to be an upset."


Pirate wrestlers take first step towards state

By Karl Isberg

The longest journey begins with the first step.

So said Mao Tse Tung, and Pagosa Pirates wrestling coach Dan Janowsky, no doubt, agrees.

A journey to the Colorado state tournament in February did not start on Dec. 9, when the Pirates lost dual meets to Aztec, N.M., and Ignacio. The first step in the trip was taken with an improved performance at the Warrior Classic in Grand Junction on Dec. 17 and 18.

Every year, the roster of teams at the Warrior includes an array of excellent teams, from several states and from all classifications. While two of the traditional Warrior powerhouses (Delta, Utah, and Green River, Wyo.) were missing, the competition was still formidable and included several Colorado Class 3A teams the Pirates could meet later in the season.

"We certainly improved," said Janowsky, comparing the results at the Warrior to the team's dismal evening on Dec. 9. "And we improved throughout the tournament. We were in the middle of the pack scoring-wise until the last stages of the tournament. We didn't have any of our guys medal (finish first through sixth in their weight class). Many teams had a couple of medalists and the points they earned at the end of the tournament shot them ahead of us in the final standings. It was the medal points we didn't have."

Pagosa finished the two-day event with 45 1/2 points, ahead of 3A Rangely, 4A Palisade and a team from Mojave, Nev.

Individual results

With a junior varsity tournament scheduled at Del Norte on Dec. 18, Janowsky decided to send several potential varsity wrestlers to that tournament and forfeit at 103, 130 and 135 pounds in Grand Junction.

The first Pirate to the mat at Grand Junction was Jesse Trujillo, at 112 pounds. Trujillo drew a wrestler from Middle Park for the match, and ended up being pinned by the eventual tourney champion. Trujillo moved to the first round of consolation action and pinned an athlete from 3A Eagle Valley, earning the fall in the second period. Trujillo ended his tournament with a loss by technical fall, 16-1, to Chase Francis of Monte Vista.

Michael Maestas wrestled for the Pirates at 112 pounds. Maestas was pinned in his first match by an athlete from Brighton, then drew a bye in the first round of consolation. Maestas faced an opponent from Pueblo South in the second round of consolation action and was forced to concede the victory with an injury default. Maestas shot a takedown and his nose was broken when it was hit by his opponent's knee.

At 125 pounds, Anthony Maestas lost to a wrestler from 3A Hotchkiss, then, after entering the third period tied 2-2 , lost a consolation match to a wrestler from Cortez.

Daniel Martinez was 2-2 at the Warrior at 140 pounds. A pin at 1 minute, 31 seconds of the match gave Martinez a win over an athlete from Mojave. Martinez fell behind 11-2 to Dustin Rodman of Alamosa in the first round of their match, and lost a 16-4 decision.

"Daniel fought hard against Rodman," said Janowsky, "and made some adjustments after the first round."

Martinez came back strong in the consolations, pinning an Eagle Valley opponent at 2:40. The tourney ended for the Pirate with a 15-7 loss to an athlete from Pueblo Centennial.

Josh Trujillo dropped a weight class to wrestle at 145 pounds - the weight projected for him at the start of the season. Trujillo won his opening match, taking a 7-5 win in overtime against a wrestler from Olathe. Trujillo lost his second match after forging a lead against an opponent from Grand Junction High School. In consolation action, Trujillo and an athlete from Fruita were tied 1-1 in the third period before the wrestler from the 5A school gained the momentum and took a 6-1 decision.

Like Trujillo, Keith Candelaria went down a weight class to his anticipated weight and wrestled at 152 pounds. Candelaria started the tournament on a high note, whipping an Olathe opponent with a 21-6 technical fall. In his second match, Candelaria continued his winning ways, nailing a 15-4 major decision over a wrestler from 3A Battle Mountain.

Top-seed and eventual Warrior champ Andy Vincent of Alamosa was next on the agenda for Candelaria, and the Alamosa athlete scored a pin in the second round. "Keith showed the ability to go with Vincent on his feet," said Janowsky, "but Vincent is a very tough mat wrestler, and a good cradler."

Facing an opponent from 4A Rifle in the consolations, Candelaria continued to wrestle well on his feet but, again, gave up a second-period fall. "Keith was battling a bad cough and the flu," said his coach, "and it affected his condition. He was doing everything he could, but at a certain point in the matches, his lungs gave out on him. Hopefully, he'll be well at the end of the holiday break."

Jacques Sarnow took the mat for the Pirates at 160 pounds. Sarnow lost to a Mojave wrestler when he was pinned in the third round. Sarnow then dropped an 8-1 decision to an athlete from 4A Montrose.

At 171 pounds, Kraig Candelaria was 2-2 at the Warrior. He opened the tournament with a loss to Arapahoe. His first-round consolation match against a Kennedy wrestler ended at 4:47 when Candelaria pinned his man. A 10-8 win by decision over a Grand Junction Central wrestler followed in the second round of consolation. Kraig Candelaria's tournament ended when he was pinned in the second round by an opponent from Meeker.

Josh Richardson saw his first action of the season at the Warrior at 189 pounds. Following a first-round bye, Richardson pinned a Mojave opponent at 3:21. Alamosa's Manuel Martinez took a 15-0 technical fall from Richardson to put the Pirate in the consolation bracket. Richardson took a 12-6 lead against a Pueblo South opponent before being pinned in the third round.

George Kyriacou also took the mat for the first time this season, at 215 pounds. The veteran senior returned to action following an injury to his arm and, while rusty, acquitted himself well at the Warrior.

Kyriacou drew a first-round bye, then won a 7-3 decision over a Middle Park wrestler.

After losing to a Montrose opponent with a second-round fall in the quarterfinals, Kyriacou went to the consolation bracket against an opponent from Thunderbird, Ariz. The Pirate pinned his man in the second period. The tourney ended for Kyriacou when he was pinned in the second round by a West Jordan (Utah) wrestler.

Heavyweight Shane Prunty finished his tournament with a 3-2 record.

Prunty began with a quick pin of a Moffat County opponent. Prunty scored the pin a mere 29 seconds into the match.

The Pirate then faced an opponent from West Jordan, got caught in a headlock, and was pinned in the first period. Moving to consolation action, Prunty got a fall at 42 seconds against the Alamosa heavyweight, then went on to pin a wrestler from Rangely at 3:29. In his fifth and final match, Prunty was on the losing end of a 3-2 decision against an athlete from Pueblo South. Both opponents who defeated Prunty went on to earn medals in the tournament finals.

An improvement

"When you saw our guys wrestle at Grand Junction," said Janowsky, "you saw a noticeable improvement. I thought the Warrior was a lot more balanced this year, and I didn't see weak wrestlers anywhere. Our conditioning was not a factor at this tournament like it was against Aztec and Ignacio. Our defense was a whole lot better, as was our wrestling on our feet. Our work on the mat needs correction. The problems are small things, but they are hard to correct; they're mental mistakes and if we can correct them, there will be a big turnaround for our guys. We'll do a lot more match-like work in practice, concentrating on our strategy."

Janowsky was pleased with the overall performance by the Pirates against wrestlers from other Class 3A teams. "We won more than we lost against the 3A teams," he said.

The Pirates worked in the practice room until today (Dec. 23), the official practice cut-off date set by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

"We need all the practice time we can get," sad the coach. "We got a late start (due to the Pirates' prolonged football season). "All the Colorado teams have to lay off during the holiday, so when we start back to practice on Jan. 3, we should all be on even footing."

The Pirates host the Rocky Mountain Invitational to restart the season on Jan. 8.



Community News

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Some background into on Chrismons

Back in 1957 Frances Kipps Spencer, a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia, offered to decorate her church's Christmas tree. In looking for ideas, she came across some drawings of designs called Chrismons (ancient monograms of Christ). She realized that they would make lovely Christmas ornaments - a way to honor the Christ. The idea for her Chrismon Tree spread all over the world and today there even is a Chrismon Tree in the Smithsonian.

Two churches is Pagosa Springs have Chrismon Trees: Our Savior Lutheran and Community United Methodist Church.

Everything on the trees is white or gold. The only decorations besides the handmade ornaments are small white lights. The standard materials are Styrofoam, beads, wire, foil and braid. The Chrismon Ministry at Ascension Lutheran insists that any symbol (and symbols besides Chrismon can be used) must, first of all, point to our Lord. Designs pointing to a particular denomination are to be omitted. And Christmas Chrismons are never to be sold.

The word Chrismon is a compound of Christ and Monogram. It was originated by the early Christians as symbols of their faith; the triangle, the fish, the circle, the cross.

The cross we know as the Chi Rho is an X superimposed on a P. According to legend (and talked about in Rudolph Koch's "Book of Signs") this Chrismon appeared in a dream to the Emperor Constantine accompanied by a voice saying, "In this sign shalt thou conquer." He accordingly had the sign emblazoned on his war banner.

The most popular Chrismon is the fish. The best known Chrismon is the circle over a cross representing the ball of the sun over a cross representing the rays.

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre is one of Pagosa's "dream jewels." It differs from most drama groups in that it involves the whole family and structures its shows around a well-known story (in this instance the "Arabian Nights") while letting the cast interpret the story. The thing that happens is that there is no absolute script - only a general idea; cast members are not held to memorizing lines, only given the opportunity to interpret. They do a great job of this.

The "Arabian Nights," the fifth production for the Pretenders is scheduled for production March 10 and 11, and for March 17 and 18. Rehearsals will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Pagosa Springs Jr. High School choir room.

Auditions are Jan. 5 and 6 at the junior high.

The Pretenders encourages family involvement. There are needs back stage with consuming, lighting, props, etc. - something for everyone. Call Addie Greer, 264-4596, for more information.

From Ima Gurl's notebook, this line from the 1946 film starring Jimmy Stewart, "It's a Wonderful Life": "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings."

Merry Christmas!


Chamber News
By Suellen Loher

Chamber still has Christmas cards

Three new members to share with you this week and 20 renewals.

We are most grateful to all of you for your continued support of our efforts in your behalf and pledge to carry on with your best interests in mind. To those of you who might need a little nudge, on Dec. 23 we will be updating our 2000 directory. Those of you who have not renewed will be left off the 2000 directory.

We would like to welcome The Water Consultant to the Chamber membership. Steven Bauguess brings this new business to our community. Steven provides water and wastewater system inspections and consulting, water analysis and treatment, and engineered septic system designs. Steven provides solutions to your toughest water and wastewater problems. Call Steven at 731-7076.

New member No. 2 is Victoria's Parlor. Pat Kahn and Nona Pruitt will be opening this European coffee, tea, and pastry establishment, located at 274 Pagosa St., next to Victoria's Reign. They will be serving signature soups, salads and quiche. Hot entrees will be served daily as will decadent desserts. Victoria's Reign will be open seven days a week. Call them at 264-0204.

Our third new member is Custom Wood Designs, Inc. from Farmington, N.M. Lawrence Lovato with Custom Wood Designs offers custom entry and interior doors, cabinets, and solid surface countertops. Your can reach Lawrence at (505) 325-5526.


We're happy to welcome the following renewals: John Thurman with Pagosa Jewelry; Rolly Jackson with Radio Shack/Satellite Connection; Todd Ormonde with Todd Ormonde Insurance and Retirement Options; Linda and Charity Love with The Hide Out III; George Johnson with Norwest Mortgage, Inc.; Diana Smith with High Country Real Estate; Kenneth D. Smith with Smithco Construction and Excavation; Michelle Reyes with the downtown City Market and Rusty Hector with the Pagosa County City Market; J.Y. Poitras with Bacchus Video and Television Production Inc.; Gordon McIver with Pagosa Building Services, dba PBS Heating and Air, Warren Eden with Pagosa Power Sports; Leslie and Jake Montroy with Monograms Plus Leather; Marguerite Seavy with Mountain Greenery; Lori Madsen with Loredana's; John Fargerson with Silverado Clothing; Dan Levesque with Quest Mortgage Corp.; Jerry and Joan Rohwer with Moonlight Books and Gallery; G.A. Petsch with Pagosa Cards and Gifts; Robert Goodman with Goodmans Department Store; and last and certainly not least, Matt Carnahan with Lafarge Construction Materials Four Corners. We're delighted with your renewals.

Christmas cards

Just a reminder that the Pagosa Springs Christmas cards are available at the Visitor Center as long as they last. Stop by and pick up a box of these beautiful jewels so you won't have to think about that particular piece of the holidays anymore.

Yearly awards

Yes folks, it is that time of the year again. We have the ballots for Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year ready and waiting for you. Please come down to the chamber to vote for that special person who has contributed to our community above and beyond the call of duty. All members will find a ballot in the last quarterly newsletter. All ballots due no later than Jan. 3.

Director ballots

We would like to thank members Ron and Sheila Hunkin; they were the first to vote for three new board members. If you can not make it to our annual meeting on Jan. 22, please come into the chamber and vote for the board of directors.

Christmas hours

The chamber will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. Sorry to inconvenience anyone.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Rec Center closed Christmas

Since we are all busy preparing for Christmas, I'll make this a short and easy one.

Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center will be open on Friday, Dec. 24, from 6:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The center will be closed all day on Christmas.

PLPOA's administrative office will be closed all day Friday, Dec. 24, and Dec. 31.

Pagosa Lakes residents have been taking advantage of the early sale of 2000 Recreation Center user passes. What better gift could you give someone than health and fitness? Still time to purchase a membership and get it all wrapped up for Christmas.

Pagosa Lakes residents are cautioned to keep children and dogs away from the lakes. The ice is dangerously thin.

The spirit of Christmas is very much alive in Pagosa. Over the last month, there has been much giving, sharing and caring. Churches, businesses, special groups and individual volunteers have donated and/or collected massive amounts of food and a variety of Christmas gifts for the needy in our community. This exemplifies the spirit of Christmas.

I wish all of you a very happy Christmas.


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

Youthful Aspirations' displayed at library

We are honored to display "Youthful Aspirations," a mixed media collage celebrating the introduction of College Invest.

Elementary school students in Western Colorado created self portraits illustrating how they see themselves in the future and what they hope to accomplish in their lives. A total of 5,000 images, including their dreams and goals, were submitted.

Professional artists chose the work to put in the display. Pagosa students were involved.

The purpose of this mixed media presentation is to emphasize the importance of compositions that children create. The display incorporates a mirror as the central point to show the natural conclusion that every person who views this collage is indeed, the "Face of Our Future."

We hope this collage will remind the viewer that expressive art is an important avenue and window of childhood progression. College Invest can provide and nurture the opportunity. Trish O'Brian and Nancy Fredrick put together the exhibit. Come look in the mirror and think how you can help.

After school programs

One group helping with this is the Pagosa Youth Force at the Archuleta County Education Center. It is time to support the Center's good work. Funding is always a problem, so they will appreciate any donation. The address is P.O. Box 1079.

County budget

The Archuleta County final budget is available for viewing at the library. Ask for it at the desk.

Attention Deficit Disorder

There has been a lot of misleading information in the news lately about treating this physical problem. The use of drugs was questioned by a group with unclear motives who tried to influence the State Board of Education and the Legislature. Dr. Alton Dohner MD, is sharing a number of articles and books on the subject with our patrons. We are attempting to build a comprehensive collection of material on the subject. Dr. Dohner also donated a new book, "Straight Talk About Psychiatric Medications For Kids" by Timothy Wilens.

Graduate center

Many Colorado colleges and universities will offer classes through the Colorado Consortium for Independent Study. Special emphasis will be on developing a program that will allow students in western rural areas the opportunity to get teaching certificates that already have a bachelor's degree. Ask for a copy of the latest newsletter with more information.

Recycling group

We're pleased to give out the Pagosa Community Coloring Calendar for 2000. Shirley's grandson Bradley is featured for April. Pick up a calendar and support the county's recycling efforts.

Moon stuff

It is too late to tell you about the wonderful solstice moon last night. We hope the weather was clear and you had the chance to see the biggest, brightest moon in over 100 years. Now mark your calendars for the night of Jan. 20 when you can see a total eclipse of the moon at 9:43 p.m. We hear it will be an unusual color and very special.


Financial help came from Richard and Sherry Murray in loving memory of Dorothy K. Reeves. Peg Shipman gave a donation in memory of Ed Schmid and Mildred Williams.

Materials came from Lu Larson, Peg Shipman, Aliya Haykus, Don Mowen, Sylvia Murray, Elvis Ream, Maureen Margiotta, Phyllis Decker, Wayne Crosby, Dean Cox, Anna O'Reilly, Dennis Martinez and Mary Lou Sprowle.

We count our blessings often. The people who give your library financial help and a variety of materials are also your blessings. How fortunate we are to live in such a caring community. Happy holidays to all.


Arts Line
By Katherine Cruse

Local artists plan January sale

Well, today is the last day of the Christmas Arts and Crafts shop at the Arts Council Gallery in Town Park.

If you don't read your paper until Friday, you missed a great opportunity! (I personally picked up Christmas ornaments, soap, jewelry, and a stuffed reindeer the size of my 2-year-old granddaughter.) But don't despair, because another sale is coming right after the holidays. January 6 marks the opening of the 2nd annual Artists' Liquidation Sale.

If you read last week's Arts Line, you probably think this sale is in February. Not.

This great January Liquidation Sale benefits our many wonderful local artists, who can clear out their inventory and get ready to create new works. And, it benefits the rest of us, because we can purchase some great things at clearance prices. The artists' liquidation sale runs from Jan. 6 through Jan. 27. Plan to attend the opening reception on Jan. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy the refreshments (always a special treat) and check out the wide variety of works at reduced prices.

All you artists and artisans who are interested in participating in the January sale, please call Joanne at the Arts Council Gallery ASAP.

If Joanne doesn't answer the phone, leave a message. The number is 264-5020.

Photo contest

Coming in February, the 12th Annual Photography contest. If you think you have that winning photo, or your new camera has been working overtime, start sorting your pictures and selecting those special ones.

This contest is intended to encourage local participation and it's open to all amateur and professional photographers.

There are 11 different categories, and ribbons will be awarded to the top three entrants in each category. Plus, Best of Show and People's Choice winners will be selected.

The works entered cannot have been exhibited previously.

Selling your photographs is optional, but the PSAC will receive a commission on each work sold.

Entry photos must be matted or mounted or framed, and ready to hang. They'll all be on display from Feb. 5 to Feb. 26 at Moonlight Books.

Guidelines and entry forms are available at four different locations: at the Arts Center/Gallery in Town Park, at Moonlight Books, at Focus and Sound and at Mountain Snapshots. Deadline for entering is Feb. 2, and that day will be here before you know it.

An opening reception on Feb. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. will kick off the photography show. Even if you're not going to enter the contest, plan now to attend and see some fascinating photos.

Pretenders theater

Also in January, the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater will be holding auditions for "Arabian Nights," based on the translation of "A Thousand Nights and One Night."

Auditions will be held on Jan. 5 and Jan 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the junior high school choir room. Come prepared to "perform" or speak for one minute on any topic.

There are opportunities for all family members either on stage or behind the scenes. This is family (not just children's) entertainment and a opportunity for the entire family to do something together. Volunteers, both take-charge and go-fer types, will be needed for all areas of production, from stage and technical crews to props, backdrops and costumes. Call Susan Garman to volunteer, 731-2485.

Need help

Not all our local artists work in the visual arts. We have some great musical talent here too. The PSAC is still looking for a CD player to demonstrate the local musicians' CDs on sale in the Arts Gallery Gift Shop.

If you can help, please call the Gallery at 264-5020.

Applications available

Remember artists, Y2K exhibit applications are now available at the Arts Gallery and at Moonlight Books. Stop by or call 264-5020 for more details and an entry form.


Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Seniors hear 'Tall Tales of Mountain Men'

We folks at the Senior Center are so blessed to have folks come by to entertain us. This week several members of the Mountain Harmony group sang Christmas carols on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and Phil Janowsky came on Friday, Dec. 17, to entertain with his guitar and Christmas songs. We thank these folks, especially knowing some of them were singing while feeling bad from the illness going around.

We appreciate Hawkeye Maynard coming by on Monday to tell us some stories about "Tall Tales of the Mountain Men." Mr. Maynard teaches a "just for fun" Colorado history course at Arapaho Community College.

We have had several seniors missing due to illness. We hope Betty Lou Reed is feeling better, as well as any others who are ill. Also, we miss the smiling face and poetry recitations of Tuffy George. We hope she may be able to join us again in the future.

Marge Mountain is our Senior of the Week.

The Seniors held their annual election of officers on Friday. Those elected include Janet Copeland, president; Phil Heitz, vice president; Doris Kamrath, secretary; George Ziegler, treasurer; and Teresa Diestelkamp, June Nelson and Wayne Van Hecke as directors.

We can't let this season go by without again thanking all the volunteers who keep everything operating at the Senior Center. This week's volunteers are Teresa Diestelkamp, Kathy Perry, Jo Rose, June Nelson, Wanda Aeschliman, Lydia Martinez, Delpha McFatridge, Don Hurt and Kurt Killion.

Guests welcomed this week include: Kayla Lindsey (Donna Boughan's granddaughter), Linda Muirhead and Carol Hakala. We are happy to have had Betty Thomas and Fidel Herrera join us Monday.

The Senior Center will be closed on Dec. 24 so employees may spend Christmas Eve with their families. No meals will be delivered on the 24th. We hope Dawnie has a wonderful time vacationing with her grandchildren, we will miss her while she is off.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And a big thank you to our staff and to all who have contributed to making things better for our seniors.



Do not be afraid

Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and who was with child.

And it came about that while they there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And an angel of the lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

And an angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is called Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased."

And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."

And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as he lay in the manger.

St. Luke 2: 1-16

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

It seems nothing really changes

Dear Folks,

I wish everyone could have looked behind the screen that divided the exhibit hall at the Archuleta County Fair Building Friday night.

There were rows of tables piled high with thousands of brightly-wrapped Christmas presents.

Large cardboard boxes filled with food items suitable for providing a complete Christmas meal were arranged beneath the tables.

Twenty-nine new bicycles with numbered tags affixed to them occupied most of the building's northwest corner. Many new tricycles along with a number of almost-new bikes and tricycles were similarly arranged in the same area.

A number of volunteers, young and old, male and female, were busily wrapping the customary last-minute gifts that are associated with Christmas.

Each of the more than a thousand gifts had been purchased to fill a specific request from a young boy or girl, or from the child's parents.

Tables were likewise arranged in the 4-H meeting room at the south end of the fair building. The tables and nearby windowsills were filled with Christmas decorations, stuffed animals, toys, household utensils and clothing for all ages. Organized by members of the Kiwanis Club, the items in the "Something Old, Something New" room were free for any Helping Hand applicant who had a need for any of the items.

Saturday morning, from 10 o'clock until a little after noon, persons who had applied to be recipients of Operation Helping Hand arrived at their scheduled time to receive the items they had requested..

As the last of the weary volunteers and organizers left the fair building Saturday afternoon, they left with the satisfaction of knowing the 1999 Operation Helping Hand program was a success.

Thanks to many of the same folks and organizations, the same is true about this year's Operation Winter Coat program that took place at the same site on November 20.

Somewhat a subsidiary of Operation Helping Hand, Operation Winter Coat fulfills two purposes. One, it provides many local families and individuals with free winter clothing and Thanksgiving food boxes. Two, it serves as a reminder and as an initiator for Operation Helping Hand. Sponsored by Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, Operation Winter Coat provides many folks with free winter coats, jackets, sweaters, boots, gloves, hats and warm clothing.

Both programs operate through request forms that are available each year at the Archuleta County Social Services office.

Neither could survive without the generosity of many anonymous donors, local businesses, civic clubs, churches, county entities, law enforcement personnel, part-time residents, students and out-of-town subscribers.

Operation Christmas Wish List - the forerunner of Operation Helping Hand - joined the Pagosa scene for the Christmas of 1989.

Pagosa had needs and concerns then much like today. Snow was one of the needs in December 1989, just like today.

Wolf Creek Ski Area opened the weekend of December 23 that year. Nova Run and Powder Puff were the only trails open.

Proposed development of a ski area for the East Fork Ranch generated opposing views in December 1989. Proposed development of a luxury resort for the East Fork Ranch is striking a similar cord 10 years later.

Pagosa has experienced tremendous change in the past 10 years. More folks are living here now than ever before. But many of them are as generous and caring as any who arrived in Pagosa before them.

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


25 years ago

New full-service bank opens

Taken from SUN files

of Dec. 26, 1974

Mesa Verde Savings and Loan Association this week announced that it is opening a full service bank in the Pagosa Springs area. Mesa Verde has maintained an office in this area since 1972 when it opened a branch office at Eaton's Pagosa. The new office, to be located east of the courthouse, will accept savings deposits, allow withdrawals and sell savings certificates.

Mrs. Herb Kingsley was the lucky winner of a valuable squash blossom necklace last week. She won the prize at a drawing of donators' names of persons who had donated to a fund drive by the Woman's Civic Club. Funds derived from the drive will be used to match a $5,151 state library grant being sought by the Civic club.

The Pagosa Springs High School ski team placed ninth at Vail in the first meet of the year. This was also the first time that the local schools had ever entered a team in ski competition. Miss Rene Neal is the ski team coach.

Employees of School District 50 Jt., and spouses, were guests of Superintendent of Schools and Mrs. A.D. Hahn. The dinner was in honor of the school board and Mr. Hahn paid tribute to the board members for their progressive attitude and the improvements made in the schools in the past two years.

Winter arrived in full force the first of this week. About 6 inches of snow fell in town Monday.


By Shari Pierce

Spirit of the people remains the same

Having just witnessed the tremendous giving spirit of our community through the Operation Helping Hand program, my thoughts turned to a similar story of giving from our county's history when soldiers gave to the community they were temporarily calling home. As much as our community has grown and changed through the years, many things, such as the spirit of the people, has remained the same.

This story was related in the SUN of December 27, 1935, by Laura Manson White, one of our county's earlier historians. The article was titled "First Christmas in Pagosa Springs." This is just a small part of that article.

"In 1878 the government moved troops over here, and this was turned into a fort and so occupied until 1882. When the buildings and fort were moved to Fort Lewis, with the understanding that when it was no longer used as a military fort, it was to be used for scholastic purposes and a branch of the state agricultural college was established there.

"But it was the Christmas of 1879 that seems to stand out in the memory of most of us as a happy and great event. The settlers all lived on the springs side of the river, and the fort, and barracks and other buildings occupied the other side of the river. A huge flagpole stood in the vicinity of the alley back of the present Manhattan cafe.

"On the springs side of the river, commencing with the old Cade hotel, we recall the Driggs house came next. The Plumteaux house belonged to Mrs. Opdyke and the old Scaase feed and livery stable stood down there next to the river. Mrs. Dyke owned a house adjoining and then Bowling's store. Across the street and nearer the river bridge was the old Chestnur drug store, then a blacksmith shop, and then a saloon or two - Jack somebody or other and then the Blairs had the Rosebud saloon. A man by the name of Thomas ran the Kriterion saloon, located somewhere in this locality we are now describing and then just up the street above the Opedyke house was where the Pangborns lived and it was there Asa Pangborn lived and it was there Asa Pangborn was born, said to be the first white boy born in Archuleta county. They afterwards went to Summitville and then to Del Norte. The Duttons lived about where the cabins are now located. But we were telling about one of the first Christmas days in the town.

"It was that Christmas of 1879. The shops were located here, and had big times over across the river. There were several trees over on the town side of the river, and parties and dancing, and when we as children got sleepy, had been hurried off to bed, we saw to it that the stockings had been hung so that old man 'Santy' could put something in them for us. Mrs. Maude Hart told that when she and her companions awoke on Christmas morning, the soldiers had been over and not only filled the little stockings that had been hung for that purpose, but had hung more, and that every available table and chair held gifts of toys and apples, oranges and candy for everyone."

Have a safe and happy holiday.


Video Review
By Roy Starling

Heads roll in 'Dick,' 'Sleepy Hollow'

The early Seventies were a strange time indeed. The Vietnam War was grinding to an unsatisfactory halt. JFK had been dead about a decade. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King had just recently followed Abraham and John over that Hill. Back then, it really seemed the good died young.

The bright side of those dark times was that Richard Nixon and his gang of patriotic thugs were in the White House doing pretty much as they pleased.

Do you remember where you were when Watergate slammed shut on their grubby little fingers? Were you one of the cynical ones, like my dad, who said, "Hey, they all do stuff like that. Nixon just happened to get caught. Darn press!" Or were you one of the more idealistic ones like me who was shocked and outraged that Dick would make up the rules as he went along and then go on television and lie to us through his teeth? "I am not a crook." Right.

Since then, of course, Iran-Contra and Monica have lowered all our expectations concerning White House character and integrity. We've had guys in there who couldn't pass a simple freshman-level ethics test.

But let's not get all gloomy about these loser leaders we insist on electing based on 15-second sound bytes on enormously complicated issues. In fact, let's just kick back and laugh about the whole thing, trying to imagine, for instance, how Watergate would've looked up close from the point of view of two hopelessly clueless high school girls.

That's what happens in Andrew Fleming's silly but eventually endearing "Dick" (1999), just out on video.

Before I even attempt to tell you what to expect from the silly plot, let's take a look at the cast.

I've never heard of the two actresses, Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, who portray the teens in question, so I assume they're refugees from some stupid Fox TV show featuring "an attractive young cast." Still, they do okay, especially the "smart" one (i.e., the one who wears glasses).

In the role of Tricky Dick is Dan Hedaya, best known for his portrayal of Carla Tortelli's slimy, blue-bearded husband in "Cheers" and as the father in "Clueless." Hedaya is so comfortable being Dick, it's a little scary. Maybe Oliver Stone should've chosen him instead of Anthony Hopkins in his big paranoid bio-pic "Nixon."

Saul Rubinek plays a truly funny Henry Kissinger. Western fans will remember Rubinek as the city slicker writer from Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven."

John Haldeman is played by Dave Foley of "Kids in the Hall" fame. Saturday Night Live's Will Farrell and Kid in the Hall Bruce McCullough play Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein and, in their hands, these two have a twisted, bizarrely childish relationship.

SNL alum Harry Shearer appears briefly as Gordon Liddy. Shearer, of course, is the voice of Mr. Burns, Smithers and others on "The Simpsons."

So with this loony cast, there's something to laugh about almost every minute of the film.

The silly plot focuses on the two girls who, through a series of quirky chance events, become enmeshed in the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up. Dick and his henchmen think the girls know more than they actually do, and they attempt to buy them off by letting them take Checkers II on daily walks to "do his business."

The girls religiously bring Dick and the boys some homemade cookies called Hello Dollies, not knowing that Betsy's brother, a sulking drug dealer, is lacing them with an illegal substance. So we get to see Dick and John and Henry and even Brezhnev getting a little stoned once in a while, changing the course of history in the process. In the case of the cookies, at least, they're acting illegally in ignorance.

Perhaps the funniest touch in the film occurs when Arlene begins to develop a serious crush on Dick. I mean, really, as far as I know, no American teenaged girl ever had romantic inclinations for the Tricky One. I don't think any adult American woman ever did. I'm not even sure Pat did. Dick just didn't have "Hey, Baby" written all over his mug.

When Arlene fantasizes about Dick, she pictures him walking along the beach in a black suit - not a swimsuit, but a suit and tie. There is no evidence that Dick ever took off that dark suit and tie. Later, Arlene revises her fantasy by having Dick, still in his dark suit, ride through the surf on a white horse. I know I'm not well, but this strikes me as very funny.

In this bubble-gum look at an American tragedy, something serious does happen. As the ugly truth is gradually revealed to these girls, they are so hurt and so disappointed that their President would behave this way, they feel so betrayed, that even in the silliness of this film and the goofiness of these girls, a nation's collective hurt, a national bruising, as it were, is aptly reflected.

Real gluttons for Watergate punishment, incidentally, might want to plan a Watergate Weekend and watch the following films, in this order: "All the President's Men" (in which Woodward and Bernstein's relationship is treated a little more seriously), "Nixon" (in which Oliver Stone is actually somewhat kind to Dick as he depicts his fall from grace) and "Dick," just so you can laugh through your excessive sorrow.

Heads up (or off)

You have just one more evening to enjoy the lovely Christina Ricci in Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" at a theater very near you. As Indie film fans know and lament, Miss Ricci doesn't get to Pagosa Springs often, so you may want to take this opportunity to get down there and check out her big lovely self on the big screen.

Most of us first saw Ricci in the Addams Family movie, just a Gothic little girl named Wednesday trading hilariously morbid lines with her chubby little brother Pugsley. I remember one scene in particular: She and her brother are selling lemonade from a stand when a Girl Scout comes up and says she'll buy some of their lemonade if it's made from real lemons. It is and she does. Then she asks Wednesday if she'll buy some Girl Scout cookies. "Are they made of real Girl Scouts?," Wednesday asks.

Ricci quickly grew up to rival Parker Posey as the Indie film queen. Appearing in such films as "The Ice Storm," "Buffalo 66," "The Opposite of Sex," and a film whose name I'd rather not print in a family newspaper, she became the prototypical troubled young woman of the Nineties, disturbed, unstable, sullen, manipulative and, doggone it, maybe even a little wicked at times.

I like the fact that, in an age when young actresses feel obliged to affect an Olive Oyl look, Ricci is downright plump. And I also like what she does with that face of hers on screen. I've spent many hours analyzing this business with Karl Isberg, my fellow scholar in the Preview's Pop Culture Department, but I'm still not sure how to describe it.

It's almost a scowl, Ricci's brows furrowed over her deep, dark eyes, but it's not quiet that severe. It looks a little like a child lost in thought, trying to work out some riddle or thorny playground problem. Karl's suggestion is that we just call it "outstanding brow work" and leave it at that.

Ricci is nicer than usual in "Sleepy Hollow," and they've made her a blonde, and the film's a little too conventional for someone of her alternative talents, but it's a fun movie to watch. Johnny Depp plays a very funny Ichabod Crane (Note: The film has little to do with the Washington Irving story of the same name), and two of my old favorites, Christopher Lee and Martin Landau, show up in bit parts. Every critic, even the ones who don't like "Sleepy Hollow," talk about how "visually stunning" it is, and they're right.

For me, of course, any movie with Christina Ricci in it is visually stunning. I'd pay to watch her watch paint dry or to listen to her read from the Real Estate Guide.


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.

Business News

Biz Beat

JJ's Upstream


James and Nancy Dickhoff, co-owners of JJ's Upstream Restaurant with John and Phyllis Brown, operate the establishment at 356 East Pagosa Street on the east end of Pagosa Springs.

JJ's recently reopened on Thanksgiving following remodeling that included installation of a fireplace in the River Room and lighting that focuses on the San Juan River behind the restaurant.

JJ's offers a full lunch and dinner menu including steaks, seafood, game and vegetarian dishes, as well as a full bar.

The restaurant is open 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a Sunday brunch. JJ's is closed on Tuesdays. The phone number is 264-9100.


 Weather Stats

Ever dream of a brown Christmas?

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Country passed through yet another week of winter with no snow. Youngsters concerned that Santa will face "tough sledding" have a valid concern. Only a couple of inches of snow have fallen in town this month, that has all melted, and there is no more in sight.

"There is a slight chance for snow showers Christmas Day," said Doug Baugh of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "Thursday and Friday will be mostly dry."

A slight chance means a 20 percent probability, according to National Weather Service vernacular.

Through the coming week temperatures should range between lows of 0 to 10 degrees and highs ranging from the upper 30s to the low 40s, according to Baugh.

"A storm is trying to develop over northern Mexico and southern Arizona, but it probably won't amount to much," Baugh said. "It is not likely to reach Colorado. However, it could affect folks driving to Texas over the Christmas holidays."

The part of the United States lying west of the Continental Divide is under a high-pressure ridge that is unlikely to move in the foreseeable future, according to Baugh.

Weather conditions in Pagosa Country this past week have been remarkably uniform. The average high temperature for the week was 37 degrees, the average low temperature 0 degrees. The highest temperature was 46 degrees Dec. 18. The lowest temperature was minus 1 degree Dec. 15 and Dec. 21.

Meanwhile, Dec. 22 at 12:44 a.m. was the winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year. From now until mid-summer, each day will be longer than the day before, each night shorter.

On Tuesday night, the full moon was the brightest seen in many years, according to Baugh. Actually, the increased brightness of the full moon is an occurrence that takes place about every 10 years according to Baugh. It happens because of the convergence of two celestial events. First, the earth is in its closest proximity to the sun. Second, the moon is in its closest proximity to the earth. As a result, the moon appears to be about 15 percent brighter than usual.

Baugh offered no explanation as to why recent forecasts for snow in Pagosa Country have been wrong.

"You get a zonal forecast that includes Cortez and Durango," Baugh said. "Sometimes what we expect to happen doesn't, especially in the mountains."