Front Page

January 6, 2000

PLPOA, county negotiate contract for public safety

By John M. Motter

The ability of Fairfield Pagosa public safety officers to independently engage in criminal law enforcement activities remains on hold, despite a Wednesday work session involving the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and the Archuleta County Commissioners.

A proposal for a temporary contract allowing the PLPOA Public Safety Office to resume criminal law enforcement activities was presented at the meeting. Only Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners, was present. Crabtree listened to the PLPOA proposal, then responded with an alternative proposal.

Commissioners Ken Fox and William Downey attended the funeral of a local citizen in lieu of attending the workshop.

Setting the stage for Wednesday's meeting was an action taken by Undersheriff Russell Hebert Dec. 22 notifying employees of the PSO that they cannot enforce criminal law unless they are accompanied by a Level 1 officer. Hebert's directive is temporary pending negotiations between the county represented by the county commissioners and the sheriff's office, and the PLPOA.

According to the terms of an agreement of approximately one year between the county sheriff and the PLPOA governing PSO activities prior to Hebert's Dec. 22 directive, PSO officers worked as Level 3 reserve officers under direct supervision of a Level 1 Archuleta County deputy.

The agreement was based on local interpretation of Colorado State Statutes and Police Officers Standards and Training regulations established for certification of Colorado peace officers.

In accordance with the agreement, the PSO hired and paid five deputies who were commissioned and supervised by a Level I deputy from the sheriff's office. The PSO deputies worked out of an office provided at the PLPOA administrative facility, drove vehicles provided by the PLPOA, and were allowed to carry firearms and enforce criminal law.

Hebert's directive allows the PSO officers to retain their Level 3 reserve commissions and act in law enforcement when in the company of a Level 1 officer, whether that officer is a sheriff's deputy, town policeman or highway patrolman.

The situation came to a head based on a May 1999 P.O.S.T. interpretation of state statutes relating to PSO-law enforcement arrangements reportedly received by the local sheriff's office. The interpretation convinced county officials the arrangement as it existed prior to Dec. 22 was not legal.

Consequently, the PLPOA has approached the county commissioners asking for a contract that meets the latest interpretation of the state regulations.

An agreement drafted by the PLPOA and proposed at the Wednesday work session contained the following provisions:

1. The county sheriff will provide the PLPOA with five officers to perform law enforcement and other duties as determined by the sheriff plus non-law enforcement duties to be determined by the PLPOA. These officers will be EMT and fire certified commissioned Level I deputies. They will wear sheriff department uniforms and badges plus a PSO patch on their right shoulder.

2. The PLPOA will pay Archuleta County for the costs of the five deputies.

3. The PLPOA will designate the officers to be hired by the sheriff, will provide office space and equipment, and will furnish vehicles. Vehicles will have sheriff plus PSO markings.

4. Insurance, gas, and maintenance of vehicles will be provided by the PLPOA.

5. The PLPOA will pay for salary differentials between a Level 1 deputy and a Level 1 sergeant. The sergeant will supervise the five officers according to sheriff policies.

6. All PSO officers will be first responders for medical and fire emergencies within Pagosa Lakes.

Nine additional points of lesser importance were contained in the proposal.

Crabtree responded to the proposal by pointing out that, according to his understanding of the P.O.S.T. interpretations, the PLPOA must release total control of the PSO officers to the Archuleta County sheriff. He argued that the proposal does not do that.

As an alternative, Crabtree proposed that the county hire two additional officers at county expense and limit those officers' activities to the Fairfield Pagosa area as much as possible but not exclusively. He suggested the PLPOA hire as many non-criminal law enforcement officers as they want, without placing them under supervision of the county sheriff.

A great number of comments were offered from the PLPOA board and members of the audience. The comments ranged from "We need five full-time officers here for 'X' number of reasons" to "the need for a PSO office has long since vanished. We have very good EMS and fire emergency services outside of the PSO. We're already paying taxes to get law enforcement services from the sheriff. Why should we continue to submit to double taxation?"

The meeting ended with no action. Crabtree promised that the commissioners will meet as soon as possible, but probably not before next week, and make a decision as whether to consider negotiating a contract with the PLPOA.

Even though the proposed contract involves PSO officers working for the county sheriff, the commissioners are involved because they negotiate and pay for insurance policies providing liability protection for the county. In addition to county approval, any such contract will require approval from the sheriff.


Stray bullet lands in Room 133


By Karl Isberg

"I shot a bullet into the air,

It fell to earth, I know not where."

Unless it was Room 133 at the Best Western Oak Ridge Motor Inn on Hot Springs Boulevard.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, it appears an instance of New Year's Eve revelry resulted in a projectile falling from the sky, going through the roof of the motel, through the ceiling of the room and landing next to a television set.

The room at the motel was unoccupied, and a maid found the bullet on the floor during her morning rounds on Jan. 1.

"We got a call at about 10:30 in the morning," said Volger. "The maid found the hole in the ceiling and discovered the bullet behind the television set. I think it is safe to assume that someone got into the spirit of the new year and fired a rifle into the air. What goes up, must come down."

Volger cautioned residents to monitor themselves when feeling joyful and to not incorporate firearms into their celebrations.

"To discharge a firearm into the air, not knowing where the bullet will fall, is absolutely one of the dumbest things a person can do," said the chief. "In the case of the incident at the motel, we were very lucky there was no occupant in the room. Had the situation been slightly different, someone could have been seriously injured or killed."

Volger said there is no information concerning the identity of the person who fired the shot. The chief is in possession of the slug that fell through the roof of the motel and into Room 133.

"If the owner of the bullet wants to claim the property," said Volger, "he or she can come to Town Hall. We would be more than happy to discuss the situation."


Community mourns death of Haynes

Stan Haynes went home to be with the Lord on Jan. 2, 2000.

He passed away at his home in Pagosa Springs, following a nine-year battle with bone marrow cancer.

Stanley Joe Haynes, 60, was born in Clovis, N.M., on Mar. 1, 1939. He graduated from Clovis High School and attended New Mexico A&M.

On Aug. 9, 1959, Stan married Beverly Kay Stone at the Central Baptist Church in Clovis. They moved to Albuquerque, where Stan served a machinist apprenticeship with the Santa Fe Railroad from 1959 to 1963. He worked as a machinist for the railroad in Albuquerque and then in Clovis from 1963 to 1966 before graduating from Eastern New Mexico University in 1967 with a business degree. He was in management with the Can Division of Carnation Company in Oconomowoc, Wis., from 1967 to 1970. He moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1970 and worked as manufacturing manager for Liquid Paper Corporation.

In 1979, Stan and his family moved to Granby, where they owned and operated Country True Value Hardware. They moved to Pagosa Springs in 1984 where they have owned and managed Ponderosa Home Center with their son, Mike, daughter, Melanie, and their spouses until the present time.

Stan's purpose in life was to honor and glorify God. He was an active member of First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs, where he served as deacon and adult Sunday school teacher. He and his family helped start and were charter members of High Country Baptist Church in Grand Lake, leading in the church's building program.

Close to Stan's heart was the Power House Christian youth ministry in Pagosa Springs, for which he served several years as president of its board of directors. He also participated for many years before his illness with the Bill Glass Prison Ministry witnessing in prisons all over the country as to his faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

Stan was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, who spent countless hours with his family doing the things he enjoyed. Sports, hiking, fishing, camping, stamp and coin collecting, and being outdoors were favorite pastimes.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Beverly Kay Stone Haynes; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Laura Haynes; daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and Tony Stephens; and five grandchildren, Jennifer, Jacob and Mary Kate Haynes and Becca and Eli Stephens, all of Pagosa Springs. Also surviving are his sister and brother-in-law, Gloria and Ron Burch of High Rolls, N.M., and brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and JoAnne Haynes of Parker. His step-mother Mrs. Beatrice Haynes also survives. Preceding him in death were his parents, Mr. Lloyd Lendon Haynes and Mrs. Edna Sorrows Haynes.

A celebration of Stan's life was held Jan. 5 at 10:30 a.m., at First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs with Pastor Dan Sanders officiating.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Stan's memory to First Baptist Church Building Fund, Box 960, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; Power House Youth Ministry, 300-A Squaw Valley Place, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; or Hospice of Mercy Pagosa Springs, 95 South Pagosa Boulevard Unit B, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


This town looks good in white


By John M. Motter

The new millennium greeted grateful Pagosa residents with a two-day storm that deposited more than 10 inches of snow in town and in excess of 40 inches at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

That's all for now, however, according to weatherman Joe Ramey of Grand Junction.

"There is no precipitation in the 10-day forecast," said Ramey, who works out of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "The former pattern is returning. A high-pressure ridge along the West Coast is shunting the weather systems across the northern Rockies so you are not getting anything in the Four Corners area."

The high-pressure ridge broke down over the New Year's weekend. As a result, 6.5 inches of snow fell New Year's Day, the continuing storm dropped another 6.5 inches Sunday, and another one-half inch fell early Monday morning bringing the weekend total to 13.5 inches.

An official low temperature of minus 12 degrees was recorded Monday night at Stevens Field, followed by minus 7 degrees Tuesday night. At the Fred Harman Art Museum, the coldest reading was minus 4 degrees recorded Tuesday night. Unofficial thermometers in town dipped to minus 20 or colder, the coldest night of this winter season. The minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded at 7:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, only .06 inches of precipitation were measured in town last month, far below the long time average December precipitation of 1.79 inches. December's highest temperature was 55.2 degrees measured Christmas Eve. December's lowest temperature was 3 degrees recorded Dec. 15.

Much of the data for this week's weather report was supplied from the Fred Harman Art Museum, which is equipped with a full-time, recording weather observation station.

Meanwhile, according to Ramey, it is not unusual for temperatures in a river bottom to be as much as 15 or 20 degrees colder than temperatures just 500 feet higher.

"The inversion happens because a given volume of cold air is denser and heavier than a given volume of warm air," Ramey said. "At night, cold air on upper-mountain slopes rolls down the mountain side into the valley bottom creating a pool of cold air that remains until the day warms up."

Ramey's explanation sheds light on the disparity between low readings at Stevens Field or the Fred Harman Art Museum, and readings in the downtown area that are 15 or 20 degrees colder.


Service held for Raymond McWhirter

Raymond R. McWhirter, 87, a resident of Aztec, N.M., died on Christmas Day, 1999. He was born on Christmas Day, 1912, in Texhoma, Texas, to Charles and Clara Belle Murphy McWhirter.

Ray was a rancher, farmer and logger. For a pastime, he loved anything that had to do with horses, especially raising, training and riding them. He loved sharing a good story. He will always be remembered for his smile and the sparkle in his eye.

Mr. McWhirter lived with his wife, Jean, in the Upper Piedra from 1962 to 1979. He was a member of the Piedra Grange and served as a Hinsdale County commissioner.

The couple moved to Arboles in 1979, and then relocated to Aztec in 1994.

Ray is survived by his wife, Mrs. Jean McWhirter; his sister, Wilma Lee Cameron; his stepchildren, Georgia Lou House of Pagosa Springs and John Keane of Aztec; his grandchildren, Kelly Pickens of Aztec; Melissa Prokop of Bloomfield, N.M.; Michael McWhirter and Rick House of Pagosa Springs; Vickie Montgomery of Bayfield; Steve House of Durango; Todd House and David House of Pagosa Springs; Mike House of Allison; and Charlotte Keane and Michelle Keane of Aztec. He is also survived by 20 great-grandchildren and many loving family members.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his son, Gary; his first wife, Wanda; one brother, Dale; and three sisters, Mildred Lemke, Alwayne Lemke and Leona Burton.

A memorial service was held Dec. 29 at Cope Memorial Chapel of Aztec.


Town passes first snow-removal test


By Karl Isberg

With the first significant snow of the winter season falling on Jan.1 and Jan. 2, crews from the Pagosa Springs street department had an opportunity to fine-tune their snow removal system.

According to Town Administrator Jay Harrington, the crews performed admirably and, once traffic into the downtown area increased on Jan. 3, streets were cleared and passable.

The performance of the crews gave Harrington an indication that, with a change in policy by the Colorado Department of Transportation nearly two years ago, town employees can handle snow removal tasks within town boundaries. Mid-winter in 1998, CDOT instigated a new program in which the state crews would no longer remove berms of snow left by CDOT plows in the middle of U.S. 160 in the downtown area.

"Our crews started work on Saturday (Jan. 1) during the day," said Harrington, "then started work early on Sunday. We ran two shifts, and this is one of the few times we've had to transport snow from the entire downtown area since CDOT changed its policy. The snowfall was not enough to force us to hire private dump trucks to haul snow, but we can do that if it is necessary."

Harrington noted the CDOT policy of applying magnesium chloride to sections of the highway inside town boundaries prior to storms "really changes the situation for the better."

Town residents, said Harrington, tended to comply with parking regulations that apply during snow removal operations.

"Most residents who park their cars on the streets in snow removal areas obeyed the signs in those locations and moved their vehicles to allow crews to deal with the snow," said Harrington. "Things went well for the first storm of the season, with a few exceptions, and we were able to work around those cars. People were good about moving their cars while we plowed and we appreciate their cooperation."

Harrington said a more critical winter storm situation will require town police to ticket cars parked in signed snow removal zones and he said, in some instances, the cars will be towed.

"The other thing I would like to mention is the town's ordinance requiring people to shovel snow from sidewalks," said Harrington. "Residents who have a sidewalk adjacent to their property must remove the snow within 48 hours of a storm. If town officials determine a safety hazard exists with an unshoveled sidewalk, town employees will shovel the sidewalk and the town will bill the property owners for the work."



Inside The Sun

1999: The year in review

The following is an abbreviated review of some of the major local news events that were reported in The Pagosa Springs SUN during 1999.


Though January began with mild weather and little snow, winter inched back into the picture. Following a snowfall of a little over an inch on Jan. 1, skies cleared and temperatures climbed above the freezing mark on most days. Wolf Creek Ski Area continued to benefit from early-season snows and, at the end of the first week of the new year, the area reported 75 inches of snow at the summit.

As of Jan. 19 only 1.5 inches of snow had fallen in Pagosa Springs. The January average for the area is 27.1 inches and as the month began to wind down, nature provided some white stuff to make up for lost time but daily temperatures remained higher than average. Nearly a foot of snow dropped from the skies above Pagosa during the last 10 days of the month, and Wolf Creek listed a summit snow depth of 93 inches.

Newly elected county officials were sworn in Jan. 12 by Archuleta County Court Judge James Denvir. Participating in the courthouse ceremony were County Commissioner Gene Crabtree, Sheriff Tom Richards, County Assessor Keren Prior, County Clerk June Madrid, County Coroner Karl Macht and County Surveyor Dave Maley. Traves Garrett, who was reelected in November 1998 as county treasurer, was sworn in early in the month due to her signatory role in county business and payroll transactions.

A former Pagosa resident, arrested in 1997 after being indicted on 55 counts including conspiracy, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud, had a day in U.S. District Court at Houston, Texas, on Jan 22. Thomas Kiser was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $1 million to defrauded investors.


Two Pagosa Pirate wrestlers captured state championships at the Colorado Class 3A tournament at Denver. Jason Silva won the title at 130 pounds (his second in a row) and Cody Backus was the champion at 135 pounds. The two wrestlers and their Pirate teammates took second place among Class 3A teams at the tournament.

Figures were released indicating the value of new construction in Archuleta County during the previous year was 28 percent higher than in 1997. There were 536 building permits issued in 1998, with a value of $64,132,100. In 1997, 483 permits were issued, with a value of $50,069,000. The Town of Pagosa Springs building department issued 47 permits in 1998, with a value of $2,753,480.

Mayor Ross Aragon assumed the leadership of the Archuleta County Republican Party following a rarely-used method to decide an election - a coin flip. Aragon was named chairman of the party after he and incumbent chairman Earle Beasley tied 13-13 in a vote to determine who would take the position. Aragon called heads. Heads it was.


For a second year in a row, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates basketball team took second place at the Colorado Class 3A tournament at Colorado Springs. The Ladies duplicated their 22-3 record from 1997-98 and made it to the final game of the year, where they lost to Eaton.

A lynx released Feb. 3 across the Continental Divide at Wagon Wheel Gap near Creede made its way to the Upper Blanco Basin in Archuleta County. The lynx was found dead after three weeks in the area. An initial analysis by officials of the Colorado Division of Wildlife indicated the animal died of starvation.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported a record 4,517 skiers on the slopes on March 15. The numbers of skiers at Wolf Creek during the traditional spring break period allowed the area to maintain a pace 30 percent ahead of previous best years. By the end of the season in April, 203,000 skiers had enjoyed the trails at the ski area.


A search for a plane reported down in the mountains near Chromo on March 29 ended when wreckage was discovered on April 7. The bodies of three members of an Iowa family were recovered from the crash site on April 14 by an Upper San Juan Search and Rescue team.

Three Archuleta County residents were arrested in Kayenta, Ariz., after they allegedly kidnapped a Pagosa man and forced him to accompany them at gunpoint as they made their way to an Arizona destination. Terry Patrick Yerton, Michael John Yerton and Edward Daniel Laue were arrested when their victim escaped during a stop in Kayenta.

A funnel cloud touched down near Pagosa Springs on April 25, knocking down trees and fences, and causing a power outage. The funnel hit the ground approximately one mile southwest of Pagosa Springs. An estimated 30 to 50 trees were knocked down in a path 400-yards long by 100-yards wide crossing Trujillo Road just north of the town's former landfill site. A climatologist at Colorado State University said the funnel was the first such occurrence of a tornado reported in Archuleta County.


Despite the results of a lynx release earlier in the year near Creede (where five of six animals died) the Colorado Division of Wildlife continued with a plan to repopulate wilderness areas in the region by releasing six lynx in the Weminuche Wilderness north of Pagosa Springs on May 7. Two of the four female lynx released in the forest were pregnant. The DOW indicated it would assess the overall success of the repopulation project later in the year to determine if it would continue.

Local property owners received notice that property values had increased during the previous year, in some cases significantly. Increases in the values of single-family homes in Archuleta County ranged from 8 to 61 percent. Vacant land values followed a similar pattern The value of some commercial property in the county doubled. All increases were based on means of calculation provided by the State of Colorado.

An interesting blend of weather made its way to Pagosa Springs in May. Precipitation during the month was measured at 2.08 inches, nearly twice the average for May of 1.21 inches. Late spring snowstorms dumped 4.1 inches of snow on the area on May 1 and 2.1 inches on May 3. Slightly more than a half inch of rain fell on May 23.

Pagosa Springs High School Class of '99 graduated on May 29. There were 96 students in the class, the largest ever to graduate from PSHS.


A project to design and construct a new Pagosa Springs Community Center at a site on Hot Springs Boulevard took a big step forward as town trustees ratified a contract with the Durango architectural firm of R. Michael Bell and Associates. The contract was a three-way agreement between the firm, the town and a non-profit community center board. Funds needed for the project, including the $250,000 cost for the design phase of the work, are being generated by the fund-raising committee of the Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition.

Pagosa Springs trustees acted to make a historical preservation board and its activities a reality with the appointment of three members to the newly-constituted entity. The Historical Preservation Board will serve in an advisory capacity to the trustees, making recommendations concerning historical preservation of local buildings and designation of historical landmarks within town boundaries. Named to the board were John Motter, Shari Pierce and Mary Weiss.


Commissioners elect Crabtree chairman

By John M. Motter

Commissioner Gene Crabtree was elected chairman of the Archuleta County board of county commissioners during the board's first meeting of the new millennium Monday.

Elected vice-chairman was Commissioner Bill Downey. Downey is authorized to assume the chairman's duties in the event Crabtree is absent.

The terms for Crabtree and Downey as chairman and vice-chairman last through the end of the year. At the first meeting of each new year, the board of commissioners reorganizes. Traditionally, the vice-chairman from the previous year becomes chairman, the commissioner with no office becomes vice-chairman, and the chairman steps down to a no office position. This year's action followed that tradition.

During the past year, Commissioner Ken Fox was chairman, Crabtree vice-chairman, and Downey held no office.

The new chairman has a long list of goals he'd like to see the commissioners accomplish during the Year 2000.

"I'm going to bring these items to the board and see if we can't get some action," Crabtree said. "One of my goals for the coming year is to get things to happen faster, to get more action from the board than has happened in the past."

Crabtree's top concern centers around growth issues and zoning.

"I want us to look into the future and take some steps concerning our growth rate," Crabtree said. "We're past the time for talking. Now it's time for action."

A second concern is related to the first. Crabtree would like to see the county adopt a set of user fees so that those responsible for growth pay a fair share of the costs created by that growth.

Third on Crabtree's list is a requirement that contractors in the county register with the building department and demonstrate proof of financial responsibility

Also related to the building department, Crabtree wants to develop inspection and enforcement capabilities of the building inspection office to ensure that every building is permitted as the law requires, and that no one moves into a building until a certificate of occupancy is issued. Currently, according to Crabtree, the building inspector spends all of his time reviewing plans and building activities and has no time to drive around the county to see if buildings are going up or if people are moving into buildings not erected according to county requirements.

Next on Crabtree's list is cleanup of eyesores across the county, such as the site of the former San Juan Lumber Company mill at the intersection of U.S. 160 and 84.

Crabtree would like the county to start a community service program putting to work people sentenced to the county jail, especially over weekends. He would have the county hire a supervisor, obtain a bus, and use inmates on cleanup jobs and other work deemed viable.

"I would like a study performed to find out if the sheriff's office might keep a portion of the traffic fines on tickets they write," Crabtree said. "That would provide some encouragement to write tickets and enforce the traffic laws. Today, they hardly write any tickets."

Dogs and cats in the county are the focus of Crabtree's next objective.

"I know it won't be popular with the ranchers, but I would like the county to require dog and cat licenses," Crabtree said. "The money could help support the Humane Society."

Another favorite Crabtree objective is for the county to take over operation of the landfill and transfer stations. Although they are owned by the county, those entities are currently operated by Waste Management, the county-authorized trash hauling service.

Crabtree is quick to note that a majority vote is required before any action can be taken by the three commissioners.

In other business Monday the commissioners responded as follows:

- A contract was approved designating Mary Weiss as county attorney. She will receive a retainer of $3,500 a month for general services to the county including attending commissioner and planning commission meetings. In addition, she will be receive a retainer of $1,500 a month for general services to the Archuleta County Department of Social Services. On top of the retainers, she will receive $90 per hour for litigation, preparation of some contracts or documents, or required court proceedings as attorney time and $45 per hour for the same services for paralegal time. Travel time for litigation will be reimbursed at $45 per hour and all travel expenses paid.

With county concurrence, additional attorneys may be retained at county expense to handle special legal situations.

- Agendas for commissioner meetings will be posted in the hall outside of the commissioner meeting room, a continuation of past policy. According to state law, an agenda must be posted at least 24 hours prior to any meeting. The Archuleta County agenda is posted by 10 a.m. Monday. Earlier postings are subject to change up until the 24-hour time limit. County policy is to post the agenda in the hall, but not to fax or mail the agenda to outside entities.

- Designated as official county depositories for the coming year were Citizens Bank, Norwest Bank, Burns National Bank, Bank of the San Juans, Vectra Bank and Rio Grande Savings and Loan.

- County Manager Dennis Hunt was reappointed budget officer, making him responsible for developing the county budget. Authority for sizing, adopting, and changing the budget belongs to the county commissioners.

- The board chairman was authorized to sign county warrants. In the absence of the chairman, either of the other commissioners can sign warrants. Special warrants used for child support may be signed by Hunt, since they have a 24-hour turnaround time

- Appointed to the County Fair Board were Gena DeWinter, Tammy Searle, and Rhonda W. Logan. Following the appointments, four vacancies remain on the 15-member board.

- Allocated for Social Services for the year ending Dec. 31, 1998, was $41,547 representing the county claim from the state for certain Social Services activities.

- Approved the final plat and released the improvements agreement for Doors and More located in Cloman Industrial Park.

- Approved a $29,000 contract calling for Four Corners Planning and Design Group to conduct a study designed to reveal community wishes concerning county growth control policies and development of a "Community Vision."

- The commissioners agreed to pay for gravel used during the Eightmile Mesa Road rebuilding project.


Radio transmitter cause of phone woes

By Karl Isberg

Many Pagosa area customers of Century Telephone Company of Colorado had problems with telephone transmissions on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4, and a company spokesman attributes the difficulties to the failure of part of a phone signal transmission system.

Most complaints about the telephone service centered on an inability to phone long distance, to connect with 800 numbers and to connect calls with numbers in Durango and Ignacio. Other complaints dealt with altered dial tones and garbled conversations once connections were made.

According to Michael Hudson, Century Telephone of Colorado public relations manager, the problem involved a radio used to transmit telephone transmissions from a "Pagosa West" location to a microwave tower. Signals received at the tower, owned by U S West, are then transmitted by microwave to Durango.

Hudson said calls to Durango and Ignacio, while billed as local calls, are in reality long distance calls sent through the same microwave system as all other long distance calls out of the Pagosa area.

"I believe there was a problem with our radio," said Hudson. "Once we realized this, we switched to a back-up radio, corrected the problem, and Pagosa was running on that back-up on Wednesday. "

Hudson said replacement parts for the primary radio were ordered and were expected in Pagosa on Wednesday. "The parts will be installed as soon as possible," said Hudson, "and the system will be switched back to the primary radio."




Dear Editor,

Let's all think about our local government and the position of county manager in particular and ask ourselves if it really is something the county needs.

From what I see and hear it appears this position requires neither a lot of time or expertise. As in a lot of similar positions there is probably a pretty sharp administrative secretary who sets up and organizes everything the manager does.

Maybe, just maybe, the county commissioners should consider dedicating a little more time to their job, have the administrative secretary set up and organize for them and eliminate the county manager position.

It sure would save the taxpayers a lot of money.

Just something to think about.

Jim Kelly


Editor's note: Two former commissioners were similarly misinformed and either resigned from office or changed their opinion after about nine months in office.

Reunion website

Dear Editor,

The Pagosa Springs High School Class of 1994 reunion committee has created a Web site to keep classmates in contact with each other.

Everyone is welcome to visit our Web site and sign the guest book.

Visit us online at: and/or send an e-mail to:

We look forward to hearing from you.


PSHS Class of '94 Reunion

Enjoys old news

Dear David,

I am writing to tell you how very much I've enjoyed the "100 years" pages of Pagosa's early newspapers that you've printed in the paper very often. I've seen names of people I have known and names of relatives several times. John Galbreath, my uncle; Luke Rock, my grandfather; Worthe Crouse and Cornelia, my cousin; and George Orrin in your present paper. George and Lou are my second cousins.

I have enjoyed Shari Pierce's "Legacies" columns especially. Being 87 years old and having been born in South Pagosa, delivered by Dr. Mary Fisher, graduated in 1931 from Pagosa High School, played the piano from 1929 to 1931 in the Liberty Theatre until "talkies" came in, etc. I'm very interested in Pagosa.

You have printed many articles that I've cut out and added to my scrapbook. Also, I would like to thank Mrs. Shirley Slesinger Lasswell for allowing you to print "Red Ryder and Little Beaver" comic strip. I also appreciate Fred Harman III for all he has done for Pagosa and is doing.

The museum did hold several items that I'd used, as a teenager.

Thank you,

Frances Rock Coffee

Dallas, Texas

Fiduciary duty

Dear Editor,

On Jan. 3, I attended the PLPOA board meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the proposed contract between the PLPOA and sheriff for law enforcement services. I went believing an open discussion would be held between property owners and the board concerning the services that were needed and the proper way to provide them. It became apparent the decision had already been made and the meeting was just a formality to vote on a proposed contract, which was unavailable to the public. I believe the property owners in PLPOA should be aware of decisions that are being made on their behalf and have the option to decide if this is what they want to spend additional money on.

The Public Safety office as previously staffed no longer exists. That leaves three options:

1. Abolish the Public Safety office and have the sheriff provide the same level of law enforcement he provides the rest of the county,

2. Organize Public Safety as a private security force to provide property safety, EMT services, and fire services

3. Contract with the sheriff to provide Class I deputies specifically for law enforcement within the PLPOA area.

This third option is what the board voted on. Any of these choices, properly managed and/or contracted for, could save the property owners' money. The problem is that the board will also continue to fund, equip and provide a sub-station for these deputies, and continue to pay for two supervisors over four additional employees.

Most police departments assign patrol cars to officers on duty. If only one or two officers are on duty at any given time only two patrol cars and sets of equipment are needed. PLPOA money is being wasted on five vehicles and five sets of equipment for five officers. That is well over $100,000 in excess equipment paid for with our dues, plus they want to spend another $35,000 on a new vehicle when they presently have two new vehicles.

If this is the level of police support that the property owners believe is required, they should let the board know. The directors are volunteers who believe they are acting in the manner that the owners want. If the owners believe that their money is being wasted they should let the board know it.

If law enforcement is necessary and cannot be provided by the sheriff's department then the protection could be contracted for. The sheriff would be responsible for the assignment of deputies from his office to patrol at any given time. Only two vehicles and sets of equipment are needed for these patrols.

PLPOA employees would be responsible for animal control and covenant compliance, and the administrative office of Public Safety could be abolished at great savings.

During the Jan. 3 meeting, the board was asked to put the issue to the vote of the property owners. The board said no, the property owners would vote it down, as there are too many absentee property owners. The board should be reminded that they have a fiduciary duty to all property owners, not just those living here.

David E. Bohl


Dear Editor,

I would like to apologize to those of you who had planned on eating dinner at our New Year's Day buffet. I had to be transported to the hospital for an emergency and was not coherent enough to coordinate my staff to put on the buffet without me, so they shut the restaurant down.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.




Evelyn D. Bartle

Evelyn D. Bartle, mother of Claudia Bishop and resident of Pagosa Springs for the past 18 months, passed away on Jan. 1, 2000.

Mrs. Bartle was born in Patterson, N.J., on April 21, 1921, to George and Tenneta DeGraff. Her mother was one of six Dutch immigrant children whose parents and three siblings had arrived in 1910 from Holland via steamship. In those days, a large concentration of Hollanders, as they called themselves, were firmly settled in Passaic County in the towns of Clifton, Patterson and Garfield. Tenneta's father started a dairy delivery business and grocery store. Two more children were born.

When Tenneta was only 16, her father had an unfortunate accident with fireworks on the Fourth of July and died of blood poisoning in only a few days. This left a widow and six children to fend for themselves. Misfortune struck again only 18 months later when the mother succumbed to tuberculosis.

The Dutch Reformed Church was the backbone of the community in those days and children's services were nonexistent. The church elders decreed that the six children would be split up between relatives and church members. This made them so miserable that within no time, the three eldest, now in their late teens, petitioned the church to let them raise the three youngest.

Because of this harrowing beginning, the six children, five girls and one boy, were extremely close all their lives, as were their children with each other. Tenneta married George DeGraff in June of 1915. They first had a son, George J. DeGraff, and Evelyn was born in 1921.

Evelyn grew up in Clifton, N.J., and graduated from Clifton High School. She was then employed as a secretary and bookkeeper. Her favorite things to do as a young woman were dancing and figure skating and she was good at both of them. All that exercise kept her at the petite size of 5-foot-2 and 98 pounds.

In the spring of 1942, she took a vacation with her friends to Savannah, Ga., where she met her future husband, George W. Ball, a Marine stationed at Parris Island. They were married six months later. After moving briefly to Philadelphia, George received orders for the South Pacific. They did not see each other again until 1945. Evelyn moved back home to Clifton to live with her parents for the remainder of the war.

After the war, George enrolled in Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and they lived in Passaic, close to family and friends. Claudia Jean was born on Dec. 31, 1946. After George completed college in 1951 on the GI Bill, the family moved to Bridgewater, N.J., where they lived until 1957. Evelyn was very active in the Girl Scouts, the PTA and her church. It was during this time her love of gardening began. Both Evelyn and George had been inspired by literature produced for veterans after the war about how to live on a few acres, raising your own food and having cows and chickens for fresh milk and eggs. Although they didn't raise animals, they did grow their own vegetables and fruits. Evelyn learned to can and preserve, stocking her house at season's end for the winter.

In 1957, the couple built a home in Morris County, N.J., near the small colonial town of Chester. The couple separated in 1963 and later divorced. Evelyn's father passed away on Christmas Eve in 1963 and her mother came to live with her. Evelyn stayed in the area, returning to work as a secretary and bookkeeper.

In 1978 Evelyn married Edward Bartle. They moved to Kendall, Fla., for the warm weather and to be near Evelyn's mother, Tenneta, now in her 80s. Evelyn finished her working career as a medical secretary for the Miami VA Hospital. She retired at age 65. Edward was killed in an accident in 1986. At the age of 97, Tenneta went to a nursing home. Evelyn moved her to Englewood, Fla., on the west coast of Florida, so they could be near their cousins, Janet and Larry Van Liere. Tenneta lived to be 102.

In July of 1998, Evelyn moved to Pagosa Springs to live with her daughter, Claudia Bishop. She had visited here a few times and, as many do, fell in love with the beauty of the mountains. She was thrilled to be living here. She made many friends and was always eager to go to local music and theater events. She loved to play Scrabble and travel to Santa Fe. She and her daughter enjoyed many common interests: music, gardening, decorating, writing and being with good friends.

Evelyn is survived by her daughter, Claudia Bishop of Pagosa Springs; her cousins Janet Van Liere of Englewood, Fla.; Jack Van Liere of Lake Hopatcong, N.J.; June Getner of Las Gatos, Calif.; and her sister-in-law, Mrs. George J. DeGraff of Lakewood, N.J. A gathering of friends will be held at a later date.


Aletha Burgess

Aletha Burgess died Dec. 30, 1999, in the loving presence of her son, Dan Burgess and her daughter-in-law, Sharon Porter, both of Pagosa Springs.

Mrs. Burgess was born to Martha Krug and Armin Reinhold Friedman in 1910 in Great Bend, Kan.

She moved to Hollywood, Calif., in 1924 where she played basketball for Hollywood High. Always drawn to the visual arts, Mrs. Burgess won scholarships that paid for her extensive training in jewelry making, pottery, charcoals and oil painting at the Otis Institute, Chouinard School of Art and the Arts Center in Los Angeles. Her paintings were shown at the art schools, in private collections, the Los Angeles County Museum and San Diego County Museum.

She later married George Denny Burgess and bore two children, Dan and Susan. Susan is an accomplished architect who resides in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., with her husband, Bill Landreth.

Mrs. Burgess' greatest struggle in life was the inability to support the sensitivity required to being a fine artist while still being a good wife and mother. She gave up painting to care for dying relatives, attend the needs of her family and grew a beautiful garden at her home in Pasadena, Calif. After her husband's death from cancer in 1964, she worked as manager and top salesperson of the silver department for Robinson's Department Store in Pasadena until her retirement.

Mrs. Burgess moved to Pagosa Springs in 1997 from Carlsbad, Calif., to be near her son, Dan. She enjoyed her views of the mountains, clouds and trees. She loved to watch the ducks as they bobbed and swam on Pagosa lakes. She never lost her sense of wonder about nature, and would wait for hours for the delight of seeing a crow or a wren fly by her window.

A private family ceremony is planned.

Vicky L. Cromwell

Dr. Vicky L. Cromwell, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, died the morning of Nov. 23, 1999, at her home in Prescott, Ariz.

Dr. Cromwell was born June 21, 1939, in Painesville, Ohio. Her parents were Clyde and Grace Stahr Ebeling.

Dedicated to lifelong learning, Dr. Cromwell was known as an exceptional teacher and therapist. She received her doctorate degree in counseling psychology with a major in marriage and family therapy. She taught at the Universities of Missouri and Tennessee and conducted training workshops throughout the United States, Austria and Norway. She entered the real estate business in 1981 and was a top salesman for Fairfield Communities and Bluegreen West. Most recently she served as a designated broker for Cross Roads Ranch in Prescott.

Dr. Cromwell is survived by her husband, Dr. Ronald Cromwell; sons, John Thomas of San Antonio, Texas, and Aron Cromwell of Lawrence, Kan.; and daughter, Angela M. Dudley of Duncan, S.C. She also is survived by her parents, Clyde and Grace Ebeling of Independence, Mo.; and sisters Rosa Brettrager of Willoughby, Ohio, and Laura Bokanovich of Kirtland, Ohio; and four grandsons.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Valerie Thomas.

A memorial service was held Nov. 30, 1999, in Prescott.

M. J. Vanlandingham

M. J. Vanlandingham, 76, died in Glen Rose, Texas, on Dec. 24, 1999, following a lengthy illness.

A former resident of Pagosa Springs, Mr. Vanlandingham was born in Mangum, Okla., on April 25, 1923. He was a carpenter all his life.

Mr. Vanlandingham is survived by his wife, Mrs. Betty Vanlandingham of Arlington, Texas; his sister Verleene Burt of Lawton, Okla.; his son and daughter-in-law, Marvie and Keron Vanlandingham of Pagosa Springs; his daughter and son-in-law Brenda and Larry Thompson of Kopperl, Texas; his son and daughter-in-law Dennis and Cindy Vanlandingham of Kopperl; his grandchildren, Terry Vanlandingham of Maui, Hawaii; Penny Paff of Corpus Christi, Texas; Shonny Vanlandingham of Pagosa Springs; David Thompson of Arlington, Texas; Tanna Thompson of Dallas, Texas; Jason, Jeremy and Vanessa Vanlandingham all of Kopperl; and three great-grandchildren, Lyberty Paff, Jordan Paff and Alex Thompson.

A memorial service for Mr. Vanlandingham was held at Kimbell Cemetery in Kopperl on Dec. 27.

His family members said, "We all will miss him dearly but he got the best Christmas present of all. He got Jesus and we will see him again."

Jesus M. Padilla

Jesus M. Padilla passed away peacefully at his home in Aztec, N.M., on Dec. 29, 1999.

Mr. Padilla, or "Dizzy" as his boyhood and lifelong friends affectionately knew him, was born to Louis and Sara (Ruybalid) Padilla on July 22, 1922, in Pagosa Springs. He attended school in Pagosa where he graduated in 1942. He was very active in sports, earning school letters in basketball and baseball. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in September 1942 and served his country until the conclusion of World War II. He was sent to Normandy, France, after the invasion and served there until his discharge in the summer of 1945. He returned to live and work in Pagosa after the war. He remained active in amateur sports, playing baseball and basketball for Pagosa's traveling town teams until the leagues were disbanded, and by boxing in regional Golden Gloves action.

Mr. Padilla was a member and past post commander of Pagosa American Legion Post 108. He was a major participant in his bedridden mother's care until her death in 1956. He remained in Pagosa until 1972, when he moved to Aztec with his father. While in Aztec he became a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 614. He worked as laborer/foreman on many major road, building, and water diversion construction projects throughout southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. He retired in 1987 to serve as his father's caretaker until he passed away in 1991. Dizzy never married.

Mr. Padilla is survived by his sisters Lila Gomez of Aztec and Dora McMillan of St. Paul, Minn.; by his brother Andy Padilla of Aztec; and by his sister-in-law Liliosa Padilla of Pagosa Junction. He is also survived by his maternal aunts Virginia Ruybalid of Antonito and Helen Sandoval of San Diego, Calif., and by many loving nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, sister Pricilla, brother Amos, and brother-in-law Henry "Mac" McMillan.

A funeral mass was celebrated by Father Joe Blonski in Aztec on Jan. 3, 2000. He was laid to rest at Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs with American Legion Post 108 conducting graveside military honors. Mr. Padilla's lifetime friend and neighbor, Carlos Trujillo of Pagosa Springs, presented the American flag to the next-of-kin.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Pagosa American Legion Building Project, Box 2041, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.





Sha : Nta Lyam DÁlanzo of Pagosa Springs was among the 1,856 graduates who received degrees Dec. 18, 1999, during the final commencement exercises of the century at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dálanzo was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering.


Margaret Elizabeth Harris of Pagosa Springs was among the 1,856 students who received degrees Dec. 18, 1999, in the final commencement ceremony of the century at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Harris was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology.


Bohl Anniversary

The children (Barbara and Dave Jr.) of Dave and Fran Bohl reported this week that "after five days of courtship, Mom said 'yes' to Dad, and they have been happily married for 40 years."

Franklin-Hughes Engagement

Selena Anne Franklin and Jonathan Matthew Hughes are engaged to be married April 22. Selena is the daughter of Ben and Linda Franklin of Pagosa Springs. She is currently employed by Envelopment Architecture.

Jon is the son of Larry and Barbara Walton of Pagosa Springs. He is currently employed by Yellow Jacket Construction.


Sports Page

Ladies have final warm-up before IML season

By Roy Starling

The Lady Pirates (5-3) will open the year 2000 portion of their schedule tomorrow night when they travel to Bloomfield, N.M., for a 6:30 rematch with the Bobcats.

The Bobcats won't be happy to see the Ladies, but they'd be more than happy to beat them. Back on Dec. 18, Pagosa needed a second-half comeback to knock off Bloomfield 64-59 in the consolation championship game of the Lady Bronco Fall Classic in Kirtland, N.M.

Consequently, the Bobcats, like all the rest of the teams on Pagosa's schedule, will be gunning for the Ladies.

"We've developed a winning tradition here," Lady Pirate coach Karen Wells said, "so everyone's out to get us. A win over Pagosa would be a big thing on Bloomfield's record."

Wells said the Ladies might as well get used to taking every team's best shot. "People are tired of getting beat by Pagosa," she said. "They're all going to get up for us, so it's just going to be a matter of how badly we want it."

The Bobcats will have to turn to their senior shooting guard Jerilysa Silversmith to help them avenge their earlier loss to Pagosa. The team doesn't have a lot of size, isn't exceptionally quick and isn't blessed with a stable of great shooters. But Silversmith can be a one-woman wrecking crew. She's quick and she loves to scoot around picks on the perimeter, shake off defenders and fire up highly accurate shots from either side of the 3-point arc.

After tomorrow night's game in Bloomfield, the Ladies have about a week to prepare for two of their biggest games of the season, coming on back-to-back nights, Thursday and Friday, Jan. 13 and 14.

Next Thursday, the Ladies will host the always tough, always ready Ignacio Ladycats, a team that will be trying to break a 5-year drought against Pagosa. A few hours after this battle is over, the Lady Pirates will find themselves in La Jara to play Centauri's enigmatic Lady Falcons. Centauri is loaded with size and talent, but hasn't exactly sailed through the first part of the season. If the Lady Falcons wake up in time for Pagosa's visit, it could be a tough, tough battle.

Will the Ladies be ready for this early season test? Wells is working on it. "Going into the Bloomfield game, we have no injuries and no one with the flu," she said. "Also, the girls have been working out on their own, so they came back in very good shape."

Wells said the team has been working overtime on polishing up their rebounding skills. "You look at the size of our girls, and you know we should never be outrebounded," she said.

The coach is also trying to get the girls to concentrate on avoiding cheap fouls while reminding them that basketball is, in fact, a contact sport and does require aggressiveness. "I want them to get a lot tougher on offense," Wells said. "Tough, but not dirty."

Wells' other major goal for the team concerns an elusive, intangible quality, one that's hard to coach and one that seems to come on its own good time: that moment when 10 different girls jell into one team.

"We have a lot of individual talent," she said, "but we're still not working together as a team." When she can get her five girls on the floor playing with one mind, all in sync, anticipating each other's moves, weaving their considerable talents into a unified effort, Wells believes she'll have a team that'll be very difficult to beat.


Pirates open conference season against Ignacio

By John M. Motter

Pagosa's varsity boys start "hooping" it up for real one week from today. That's when they match shots with the Ignacio Bobcats in the Intermountain League opener for both teams. Game time is 7 p.m. in Pagosa Springs.

After a 6-2 preseason start, the Pirates hope to capture a trip to the state playoffs this year by slipping past favorites Monte Vista and Del Norte. They can do that by either capturing the league title outright or by winning the post season district tournament.

The Monte Vista Pirates won the league crown last year. With all of their starters returning, they are expected to be even tougher this year. Even so, Pagosa may be less than overwhelmed by Monte Vista's credentials. After all, Pagosa coach Kyle Canty's cagers upset Monte during the district tournament last year. Why not do it again?

Del Norte started last season with an even more impressive record than Monte Vista. When two key players were dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons, Del Norte fortunes sagged. They even dropped a game to Pagosa Springs. By tournament time, however, the Tigers had recovered and they clobbered Pagosa Springs in the tournament finale to advance to the playoffs as the second team from the IML, trailing only Monte Vista. Del Norte is sparked by all-everything 6-foot-8 Jake Evig and compatriot Josh Richardson who is almost as dangerous.

The other three teams in the IML, the Centauri Falcons, Bayfield Wolverines, and Ignacio appear to be equals, but good enough that the league leaders might be surprised with a loss if they take them for granted.

Pagosa Springs has more overall height than in recent years with David Goodenberger, Micah Maberry, Tyrel Ross, and Daniel Crenshaw posting up and working the wings in coach Kyle Canty's motion offense. All are capable of popping threes from around the perimeter.

Getting the ball to the big men is Charles Rand. Rand sinks threes with radar-like accuracy. On top of that, he drives the key with power and consistency often freeing up one of the big men inside for a dunk.

A luxury this year for Canty is the ability to go to the bench without losing potency. Getting a lot of wear on their shoes, even though they don't start, are Dominique Lucero, Clinton Lister, Lonnie Lucero, Darin Lister, Brandon Thames and Carlos Martinez.

Defense has been a Pagosa bulwark so far this season. Normally, the Pirates play man to man, but this season they may go to a zone or even a matchup zone if the occasion demands.

This year's Pirates play a crowd-pleasing, up-tempo game punctuated with the threat that anyone on the team is capable of knocking down a 3-point bomb at any time.


Wrestlers healthy for Rocky Mountain Invitational

By Karl Isberg

Pirate wrestlers return to action on Jan. 8 when they entertain some of the best wrestlers and teams in the region at the annual Rocky Mountain Invitational.

After a tentative start to their season, the Pirates took a break over the Christmas holiday and returned to the practice room on Jan. 3. Coach Dan Janowsky said most of his wrestlers returned to practice without added weight, and said the break was just what the doctor ordered.

"That break was needed," said Janowsky. "I needed it to gain some time to analyze things; the guys needed the break to heal up and get healthy. We are a lot healthier now, and it's really the first time all our upper classmen have been in the practice room together and as healthy as they are. It's the first time since the season began that we have some real intensity at practice. We had two good practices to start the week, and I'm very optimistic."

Fans won't see a lot of changes in the Pirate lineup at the Rocky Mountain. "We'll have some lineup changes in the next few weeks (due to athletes shedding pounds), with changes in our lower weights," said Janowsky. "We're getting closer all the time."

The Rocky Mountain Invitational is a sturdy way to begin the second part of the wrestling season. The Pirates ended the pre-Christmas segment of competition at the Warrior Invitational at Grand Junction - one of the toughest tourneys of the year. Action at the Rocky will pick up where the Warrior left off.

This year, the Rocky features 16 teams, with the list headed by Aztec, N.M. Aztec won every New Mexico state title in its classification in the '90s and is picked to repeat this season. Bloomfield and West Las Vegas join Aztec as representatives of New Mexico.

Durango, a Class 5A program, will attend the tournament as will 4A Palisade from the Grand Junction area. Other Western Slope teams include Dolores, Dolores County (Dove Creek), Bayfield and Ignacio.

Several teams will journey across Wolf Creek Pass from the San Luis Valley: Monte Vista, Antonito, Center, Centauri and Del Norte.

Pagosa will field a varsity squad and will also put a junior varsity team on the mats to fill a spot vacated by Alamosa High School, which opted to participate in a tournament in Alaska.

"Aztec has to be the clear favorite this year," said Janowsky, "but it is an open field after that. Durango is young, but they are coming on. Ignacio and Monte Vista are in contention, and Dolores and Dove Creek can pull in with some surprises. I think we will be right in the mix, and we should be able to fill 70 percent or more of our spots on our junior varsity team."

The Rocky Mountain Invitational begins at the Pagosa Springs High School gym at 10 a.m.

Janowsky expects the tourney finals to start at approximately 6 p.m.


Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Pagosa gets its own reading society

Back in the summer, Margaret May, who lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, and has a house here, kept talking to John and Beth Porter about starting a readers theatre here in Pagosa Springs. Beth is Margaret's daughter. Margaret has had years of acting experiences: Little Theatre is her passion, and she has lots of know-how putting shows together.

Finally she convinced John and Beth to try it, so they invited a few friends over for supper and said, "This is what we are going to do!" And so, in November, the first "Thursday Night Live - a Reading Society and Ensemble" was held at Loredana's Restaurant. The third "Thursday Night Live" will be held Jan. 20. The doors open at 6:30 with live music. Entertainment and dinner follows. The evening ends about 8:45. The cost is $15. Four dollars of this is for expenses (and anything left of this goes to charity).

Tickets can be purchased at Loredana's or the Hodge Podge (located upstairs in the River Center).

Besides John and Beth others who are a part of this endeavor are Pierre and Sandy Mion, George Clous, Lynda Brown, Chris Pierce and Summer Phillips. They are the entertainment. A talented bunch putting together a good show and having fun.

Snoopy's gone

The news is out that Charles Schulz, creator of "Peanuts," the world's most popular comic, is retiring. I am a "Peanuts" fan. Years ago, Betty Feazel started sending me the cartoons from this comic strip that had to do with writing. I've framed most of them. One goes this way:

Lucy says to Snoopy (who is sitting on top of his doghouse styling away): "I hear you got a six figure offer for your next book. May I ask what the six figure was?" And Snoopy answers, "000,000!"

Another is this. Snoopy goes to the mail box and takes out a letter that reads: "Dear Contributor, we have received your latest manuscript. Why did you send it to us? What did we ever do to hurt you?"

And then there is this one I had especially framed. It's a Sunday strip and goes as this.

Snoopy is sitting at his typewriter. He types "Suddenly a shot rang out." Lucy reaches up to him and says, "Let me see what you've written so far. . .you know when you're writing a story, it's very important to select the perfect words" (she says as she reads the copy). She hands back the copy and says, "In this case, I wonder if 'suddenly' is the right word." Snoopy thinks about this and then writes, "Gradually a shot rang out."

According to "Newsweek," Peanuts appears in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries and 21 languages but "Peanuts" will go on: United Media will re-run old strips from 1974 forward.

Fun on the run

There was a religious lady who had to do a lot of traveling for her business, so she did a lot of flying. Flying made her nervous, so she always took her Bible along with her to read.

One time, she was sitting next to a man. When he saw her pull out her Bible, he gave a little chuckle and smirk.

After awhile, he turned to her and asked, "You don't really believe all that stuff in there do you?"

The lady replied, "Of course I do; it is the Bible."

He said, "Well, what about that guy that was swallowed by that whale?"

She replied, "Oh, Jonah. Yes, I believe that is in the Bible."

He asked, "Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time inside the whale?"

The lady said, "Well, I don't really know. I guess when I get to heaven I will ask him."

"What if he isn't in heaven?" the man asked sarcastically.

"Then you can ask him," replied the lady.


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Happy New Millennium from Chamber

Happy New Millennium to one and all! What a wonderful thing that we entered 2000 so "glitchlessly" - I consider it an excellent omen for the year.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays as much as I did. I spent a couple of weeks with my children in a dry, sunny Portland, Oregon. Obviously, we're not the only place experiencing uncharacteristic weather. Portland residents were shaking their heads in disbelief every day that the sun appeared yet again. It's good to be back in Pagosa, and we're ready for the new year and rarin' to go. Thanks to Morna and Suellen for doing such a good job of holding down the fort at the Chamber - it's a great feeling to be able to leave and have a seamless, business-as-usual operation.


I have five new members to introduce to you this week and nine renewals. I'm delighted that our final reminders seemed to have worked and jolted a few into action.

Kevin Toman, DVM, brings us the AspenTree Animal Caring Center located in the City Market Center at North Pagosa Boulevard and U.S. 160, 63 North Pagosa Boulevard, No. B-7. The AspenTree Animal Caring Center offers you and your pet the best in medical technology in a caring environment. They spoil their pets at AACC - and they will spoil yours, too. If you would like to learn more about services at AspenTree Animal Caring Center, please give them a call at 731-5001.

Michael Ferrell joins us with Rocky Mountain Maintenance, a residential and commercial building and landscape maintenance business. Michael also offers weed clearing and construction sites clean up as well as sprinkler system installation, maintenance and repair. He also handles residential snow removal, and my guess is that he was a very busy feller this past weekend with our abundance of white stuff. If you would like to discuss the services of Rocky Mountain Maintenance, please give Michael a call at 731-5925.

Our old pal, Patti Renner, joins us with yet another business, Crescent Moon Landscape Design and Consulting Company. Patti offers a complete landscape design firm specializing in customized landscape drawings, itemized plant lists, landscape care guidelines and on-site consultations. This business represents thirty years of combined experience in the Pagosa Springs area. You can give Patti a call at 731-4935 or 731-2011 to learn more about Crescent Moon Landscape Design and Consulting Company.

Scott Utterback joins us with Kitchen Solutions located at 150 Sawyer Drive in Durango. Kitchen Solutions offers educated designers of kitchen and household cabinetry, countertops and lighting. Offered as well are manufactured and custom cabinets along with professional in-house installation. Look for a local showroom in Pagosa in the near future, and you can give Scott a call at 385-8605 with any questions.

Welcome to new Associate Member Christopher Smith, and our thanks to all our new and renewed members for the amazing support you have given us throughout the years. We are so grateful and assure you that we will continue to work as hard as we know how to earn your continued confidence.


Thanks to the following renewals: Monika Astara with Astara Boutique; Gay Bohn with Pagosa Peak Financial Group; Shawn and Heidi Frank with the Italian Kitchen; Cindi Owen with Cameo Designs at The Primrose; Maureen Widmer with Echo Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast; John Widmer with Echo Transport, Inc.; John Widmer with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; and Louise W. Jagger with the Chimney Rock Restaurant. Many thanks.

Record breaker

Suellen just completed the year-end figures for the Visitor Center traffic for 1999, and we broke all previous attendance records even with our less-than-ideal November and December. The Visitor Center hosted 41,456 folks this year, a whopping 6,571 more than 1998.

Neighboring Coloradans were responsible for 7,148 visits with Texans in second place at 6,663. New Mexico came in third at 3,240; Oklahoma was in fourth place with 1,826; and Arizona came in at 1,735. The big surprise: For the first time in many years, California didn't place in the top five, but dropped to sixth place with 1,250. Germany and England combined brought in about 444 folks and about 100 Canadians came in. Be sure and thank all the Chamber Diplomats you see for all the work they have done for us in 1999. Just imagine hosting that number of people, most of whom have a lot of questions. Thanks, Diplomats, for doing such a great job.

Yearly awards

Please, please drop by the Visitor Center with your nominations for Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. There are so many outstanding citizens and volunteers in our fair town, you shouldn't have much trouble coming up with several names for each category. We have extended the deadline to this Friday, Jan. 7, so please stop by. We have plenty of forms here at the VC and will be delighted to share them with you. Both of these prestigious awards are an important piece of Pagosa life and deserve our thoughtful consideration. Please bring those nominations to us soon.

Thank you

Seems we always have people to thank for their help, and this week is no exception. Ron and Sheila Hunkin once again came to the rescue with their time and talents over the holidays. Since I left for the holidays, we were shorthanded around here, and the Hunkins came in to relieve Suellen more than once, and we are grateful. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to Rick at Pagosa Auto Care for coming to our rescue with the recent dump (thank heaven!) of snow. Rick was good enough to plow out our parking lot at the Visitor Center and gets our vote for Good Guy of the Week. Thanks, Rick.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Ways to make 2000 healthier and safer

Another new year - a whole 365 days to make small but measurable improvements to be healthier and safer. The healthier and safer you are, the better you can handle life's ups and downs. Let's take a moment to reflect on all areas of our health: spiritual, physical, mental and emotional.

San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its January meeting tonight at 7 in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. The program will be presented by Larry Fisher from Ski and Bow Rack. Larry will share his expert knowledge on cross country skiing, equipment basics, technique tips, etc. With the very recent snowfall, Larry may even consider coordinating some outings for SJOC members.

The SJOC, in its fifth year of existence, has grown in size and scope. In its initial couple of years, the club was primarily a cross country ski and hiking club, with some biking activities included. Over the years (and in a relatively short period of time) backpacking, river rafting, four-wheeling and camping were included. All these healthy and family-centered activities are in addition to the club's trail grooming and maintenance responsibilities, participation in fund raising activities such as ATV license sales and a huge annual sports swap. If you are interested in joining the club, tonight's meeting is a good opportunity to get to know some of the club members. Annual membership fees are $15 for a single, $20 for a family.

Activities organized by both the San Juan Outdoor Club and the Gray Wolf Ski Club encourage togetherness as a family - your own immediate family and that slightly bigger circle of our communal family. Besides, participating in activities you enjoy with people you like will help you to maintain a healthy schedule.

Laughter is good for our body and soul. Here's an opportunity to laugh, let go, and lighten up. On Jan. 15, Improv-O-Rama, a professional stand up comedy with audience participation, will be brought to the Pagosa Springs community by Archuleta County Victim Assistance. This is a fund raiser for Archuleta County Victim Assistance. Tickets are on sale at Moonlight Books, Ruby Sisson Library, Wild Hare Gift Shop and Pack-N'-Mail Plus. Admission for adults 18 and over is $7 and $5 for students. If you wait to purchase it at the door it will cost a dollar more per ticket. Children 5 and younger get to have free laughs. Improv-O-Rama will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m. Wow. Two hours of laughing.

Bring out those cross country skis. Places you can now ski include the Alpen Haus Skiing Center at Pagosa Springs Golf Club and a groomed loop from the lower parking lot of Wolf Creek Ski Area. Both places are prepared for some action. Juanalee Park at Alpen Haus will be giving lessons - for right now ski skating until we get more snow and a classical ski track can be set.



Education News

By Tom Steen

Center needs friends for 2000

The Education Center is inviting local families and businesses to become supporting members of the "Friends of the Education Center" for the year 2000. Thank you to the following earlybirds who have already become supporting members for this year.

Silver Members ($1,000 to $4,999): Town of Pagosa Springs.

Bronze Members ($100 to $999): Archuleta County, Dave and Carol Brown, Teresa and John Huft, Bud and Barbara Brashar, Jim and Jean Carson, Pam Barsanti, Gary and Nan Rowe, Jack and Tamara Searle, Bob and Lisa Scott, Ray and JoAnn Laird, Don and Mary McKeehan, Michael Alley, Henry and Wilma Espoy, Paige and Jean Gordon, Emmet and Beverly Showalter, Cecil and Barbara Tackett, Lee and Laurie Riley, Doug and Jamie Sharp, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Steven and Ellen Rolig, Jack and Katie Threet, Dan Aupperle, Tom and Susan Wellborn, Willie and Christen Spears, Don and Dianna Stubbs, Gene and Joan Cortwright, Chris and Summer Phillips-Pierce, Ken and Kathryn Perry, Ray and Teddy Finney, Reid and Debra Kelly, Jon and Fran Jenkins, Stu and Marti Capling, Bonnie Masters and Dick Babillis, Barbara Sanborn and Ranza Boggess, Jr., James and Debra Brown, Stan and Beverly Haynes, Sidney and Phyllis Martin, and Roy and Betsy Gill.

Family and Single Members ($35 to $25): Windsor and Ron Chacey, Jere and Lois Hill, Jim and Vanessa Sutherland, John and Linda DiMuccio, Dhian Lauren, Sue Gast, William D. "Pops" Kimble, David and Mary Helen Cammack, Rice Reavis and Ben Lynch, Elizabeth Allen, Scott Allen, Sharon L. and Ray A. Pack, Howard Zacher, Charles Hubbard, Jane and Dr. J.R. Cook, Gene and Jackie Schick, Bob and Patty Tillerson, Bill and Marguerite Flick, Ralph and Lois Gibson, Jan and Ken Brookshier, Jack and Mary Madore, James Pruitt, M.D., Gil and Lenore Bright, Kathy Mymern, Frank and Charlsie Reardon, and Zack Nelson.

Business Members ($50): Blood of the Lamb Counseling, Bootjack Ranch, Citizens Bank, Colorado Dream Homes, Cool Water Plumbing, J.E. Sutherland Construction, Jackisch Drug Store, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, LaPlata Electric Association, Mountain Snapshots, Pagosa Players and King's Men, Sunset Ranch, and United Oil Company.

The Archuleta County Education Center, Inc. (the Education Center) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation. We have offered a wide range of children, youth and adults education opportunities in Pagosa Springs for more than ten years. Please send tax-deductible contributions to the Education Center at P.O. 1079, Pagosa Springs, 81147.

Mission and offerings

Our mission is to offer programs and support to meet literacy, educational, and vocational needs in our community. This mission is based on the belief that learning is beneficial and valuable to everyone throughout life and that individuals living in small communities should not be deprived of educational opportunities.

Education Center offerings include;

1. An alternative high school diploma program.

2. Access to high school classes through distance learning options.

3. Literacy tutoring.

4. Assessment and training to pass the GED (high school equivalency) test.

5. Classes for speakers of other languages (ESL).

6. Youth job skills training and placement (Pagosa Youth Force).

7. After-school tutoring and homework help (first through eighth grades).

8. After-school enrichment programs (arts, dance, drama, music).

9. CPR/First aid certification and training classes.

10. Computer classes.

11. Various general interest community education classes.

12. Access to Pueblo Community College classes taught locally.

13. Access to degree programs available through various distance learning and telecommunication options.

New class offerings

"Microsoft Word for Realtors," meets Monday and Wednesday Jan. 17 through Feb. 3, 6 to 8 p.m.

"First Aid/CPR for Infants and Children," meets Saturday, Jan. 15, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"After-School Tutoring (fifth to eighth grade)" takes place Monday and Wednesday, 3:45 to 5 p.m. or Tuesday and Thursday, 3:45 to 5 p.m.

"Family Night - computers for kids and parents," Thursday, Jan. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.

"Family Night - from the sheep to the coat," Tuesday, Jan. 25, 6 to 8 p.m.

"Good Credit Made Easy" will be held Saturday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"After-School Tutoring (first to fourth grade)" meets Monday through Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

"Kids Klubroom (first to fourth grade)" meets Monday through Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

"Storytelling Fun (first to fourth grade)" takes place on Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Computer Club (first to fourth grade) will meet Tuesdays, Jan. 11 to Jan.25, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Art with Tessie (first to fourth grade)" will be held Jan. 12 to Jan. 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Drawing and Painting (first to fourth grade)" meets Thursdays, Jan 13 to Jan. 27, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to register, please stop by or call the Education Center at 264-2835.


Library News

by Lenore Bright

Library loans 71,391 items in '99

It was with awe and great relief that we sat in our cozy living room watching glorious celebrations around the world. The next morning brought the fabulous floats in the Rose Parade and the snow began! A wonderful beginning, and one that will not soon be forgotten. Thank you LPEA for keeping the electricity on. And thanks to all of the people who helped see that it was a peaceful ending and beginning.

End of year stats

Twenty-five volunteers spent New Year's Eve morning helping with inventory at the library. Their hard work was rewarded with a luncheon catered by Mary Jo Coulehan. The final statistics are always of interest to us.

We had 5,814 patrons borrow 71,391 items during 1999. We now own 25,258 titles. The staff cataloged 2,390 books. Volunteers gave 1,602 hours. We ordered 798 items from other libraries. We loaned 28 items.

The circulation figure of 71,391 is fairly consistent with the last few years. It is up 67 percent from when we opened the new library 10 years ago.

Equipment and computer use was way up and will continue to rise now that we offer free use with access to the Internet.

Moon eclipse

Mark the night of Jan. 20 for the first full eclipse in seven years. It is supposed to be red.


"FastWeb" is a newsletter with the latest on education tips and tools for guiding students through the college scholarship search. Ask for a copy at the desk. It is full of interesting free web sites for parents and students.

It highlights the Gates Millennium Scholars Program that will provide $50 million every year to a total of 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.


Beware of the many offers of free PCs in exchange for Internet access service contracts. Many of these free offers come with contracts for long distance telephone service that can end up costing you mega bucks. We just heard of one local person getting a month's bill for over $300.

Digital divide

This is the new buzzword. It used to be the "Information rich and poor." Not much has changed other than the name. The people who can't get the Internet will lose out. Libraries, schools, and community centers may be the only places where free access will be available. Problems over filtering may even cut out these opportunities.

On one hand, the government and private enterprise are eager to provide the hardware through grants. On the other hand, the powers that be are grappling with the content and who gets to log on.

How do we protect intellectual property? The Digital divide is also a digital dilemma. Many new laws will be needed having to do with the creation, distribution, and use of digital information resources. There are already unintended negative consequences for education, research, and public access to vital information.

It would be best if experts from many persuasions were invited to take part in planning for the future - not just the purveyors, and those with vested interests. Again, a warning - be wary of those who would limit your access to information.

Choosing a President

The League of Women Voters donated a copy of "Choosing a President, a Citizen's Guide to the 2000 election." This excellent book explains the complicated process we go through to select the most powerful person in the world. The League encourages you to help choose the next president on November 7, 2000.


Our thanks go to Phyllis Decker, Ray Laird, Don Mowen, Annie Ryder, Carol Beck, Jerry Brinton, Diane Levine, Barbara Carlos, Margaret Lung, Tony Simmons, Victoria Landon and Nicholas Affaami for donating materials.


Arts Line

By Katherine Cruse

Reception kicks off artists' sale

A welcoming reception today, Thursday, Jan. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Arts Gallery and Gift Shop will kick off the second annual Artists' Liquidation Sale.

Come enjoy the refreshments (always a special treat) and check out the wide variety of works at reduced prices. This great January sale event benefits our many wonderful local artists, who can clear out their inventories and get ready to create new works. And it benefits the rest of us, because we can purchase some great things at clearance prices. Did you pass up the opportunity last year to buy something by your favorite artist? Now's your chance to snap up some great buys. The artists' liquidation sale runs from Jan. 6 through Jan. 27.

Pretenders auditions

Auditions are continuing tonight, Jan. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the junior high choir room, for the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater production of "Arabian Nights," based on the translation of "A Thousand Nights and One Night."

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 an 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.

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.

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

Guidelines and entry forms are available at four different locations: the Arts Center/Gallery at 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 will take place on Feb. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. to kick off the photography show. Even if you're not going to enter the contest, plan now to attend and see some fascinating photos.

Exhibition applications

Y2K applications to exhibit your work at the PSAC gallery are available at the gallery and at Moonlight Books. Stop by or call 264-5020 for more details and an entry form.

Items needed

Wanted: a CD player to demonstrate (so we can sell them) the local musicians' CDs on sale in the Arts Gallery Gift Shop. If you have a player to donate, please call the gallery at 264-5020.

Thank you

A big New Millennium thank you to all the volunteers who "have been there" for the Arts Council and gallery and for Joanne Halliday. You know who you are. Volunteering is what keeps us going. And here's a good place to put in a plug. If you want to help support the arts in Pagosa Springs, and meet a lot of creative, interesting people in the process, you too can be an Arts Council volunteer. Call Joanne at the gallery and see what opportunities are available.

Incidentally the decorations at the gallery and gift shop are also donated. Thanks are due to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for the beautiful poinsettia that brightened the gallery with added color this holiday season.


Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Seniors enjoy New Year's snow, big birthday dinner

A welcoming reception today, Thursday, Jan. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Arts Gallery and Gift Shop will kick off the second annual Artists' Liquidation Sale.

Come enjoy the refreshments (always a special treat) and check out the wide variety of works at reduced prices. This great January sale event benefits our many wonderful local artists, who can clear out their inventories and get ready to create new works. And it benefits the rest of us, because we can purchase some great things at clearance prices. Did you pass up the opportunity last year to buy something by your favorite artist? Now's your chance to snap up some great buys. The artists' liquidation sale runs from Jan. 6 through Jan. 27.

Pretenders auditions

Auditions are continuing tonight, Jan. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the junior high choir room, for the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater production of "Arabian Nights," based on the translation of "A Thousand Nights and One Night."

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 an 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.

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.

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

Guidelines and entry forms are available at four different locations: the Arts Center/Gallery at 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 will take place on Feb. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. to kick off the photography show. Even if you're not going to enter the contest, plan now to attend and see some fascinating photos.

Exhibition applications

Y2K applications to exhibit your work at the PSAC gallery are available at the gallery and at Moonlight Books. Stop by or call 264-5020 for more details and an entry form.

Items needed

Wanted: a CD player to demonstrate (so we can sell them) the local musicians' CDs on sale in the Arts Gallery Gift Shop. If you have a player to donate, please call the gallery at 264-5020.

Thank you

A big New Millennium thank you to all the volunteers who "have been there" for the Arts Council and gallery and for Joanne Halliday. You know who you are. Volunteering is what keeps us going. And here's a good place to put in a plug. If you want to help support the arts in Pagosa Springs, and meet a lot of creative, interesting people in the process, you too can be an Arts Council volunteer. Call Joanne at the gallery and see what opportunities are available.

Incidentally the decorations at the gallery and gift shop are also donated. Thanks are due to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for the beautiful poinsettia that brightened the gallery with added color this holiday season.




Time to cut the knot

The New Year's arrival in Pagosa Country could not have gone better. Times Square can have its falling white ball. A most welcome snow storm started falling in Pagosa at midnight . What a wonderful way to start the year.

It would have been nice if the storm had arrived prior to the Christmas holidays, but moisture definitely fits the "better late than never" category. The snow-capped San Juans serve as a beautiful reminder as to how fortunate most of us are to live in Pagosa.

It is understandable if folks who own property within the domain of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association don't consider themselves as being in the "fortunate" category.

This current episode by the latest contingent of PLPOA directors' bent on spending money for a special layer of law enforcement should be the beginning of the end.

This is an opportune time for the sheriff's department to once and for all to cut the Gordian knot that for two decades has entangled the county with the development's security patrol.

The county commissioners, sheriff's department and the taxpayers have had enough of the county's time, energy and money wasted on this pointless, reoccurring issue.

If the PLPOA board thinks it necessary to fund a Public Safety Office in order to provide its membership with security patrols, animal control, and a second level of EMT and fire responders, so be it. Just so they leave the county's law enforcement officers out of their never-ending fiasco. David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

The year starts minus a friend

Dear Folks,

The new year started off somewhat like I had expected.

I woke up Saturday morning, rolled over and looked at my digital alarm clock. There were no bright red numbers.

With my radio-clock being one of my older possessions, I had expected it would be susceptible to the Y2K bug.

I wasn't going to let my circumstances control my attitude.

Y2K or not, the sun was still going to come up in the east. So I peeked through the blinds expecting to see Square Top.

I couldn't see the mountains for the snow. About six inches covered the rail of the balcony.

What a great way to start the day, the year, the millennium, the . . . .

Thanks to La Plata Electric Association and its well-prepared grids, there was electricity.

Turns out Cynthia hadn't been able to turn the alarm off when it started buzzing at 6:30 a.m. So she unplugged it.

It was nice to know Y2K would not be this week's headline.

By Sunday morning, this week's edition was the least of my concerns. I learned at church that Pagosa had lost Stan Haynes.

Stan was one of the folks I had in mind last week when I was writing about Y2K and life just being one heart beat long.

A little over nine years ago, cancer provided Stan a new appreciation for time.

Long before that, Stan had switched over from clock and calendar time to eternal-life time.

Folks can argue about the starting date of a new millennium or a new century, but Stan knew that eternal time had no beginning and no ending.

So Sunday, Pagosa's loss was Stan's gain. His life had not ended, it had passed on to the living time-frame of eternity.

Seeing the fresh snow on the San Juans Monday morning and attending Stan's funeral Wednesday morning made my week.

As it states on page 1, Stan was born in Clovis, N.M.

Some folks describe Clovis as being in southeast New Mexico. For all intents and purposes, it's in the northwest part of the Texas Panhandle. Anytime the wind blows from the west, most of Clovis winds up in Texas. If the wind is coming out of the east, part of the Panhandle shifts into Clovis.

So the common language of Christian love was spoken with a West Texas-East New Mexico drawl Wednesday morning as friends and family remembered Stan.

Some folks arrived late at the Baptist church. Some left early. All of them knew they were fortunate to have known Stan.

"Faithful . . . loving . . . loyalty . . . right priorities . . . giver . . . servant . . . commitment . . . generous . . . witness . . . family . . . honor God. . . ."

These are just a few of the words folks used to describe him. No one was deifying Stan. He was just like any other man. He took nothing with him when he passed on Sunday morning.

It's what he left behind. It's the way his life for Christ impacted other folks' lives. Stan's life made the grieving special Wednesday morning. Rather than grieving without any hope, the grieving was by folks who share the same hope and faith that Stan's life exemplified.

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




25 years ago

County hires Ebeling as planner

Taken from SUN files

of Jan. 2, 1975

Fred Ebeling was employed as Regional Planner this week by the Upper San Juan Planning Commission. He will be a full time planner for the commission. Ebeling is well known in the community, having been employed by Eaton International as project manager for the past five years.

Four men were lodged in jail early Saturday morning after attempting to elude police officers who were investigating a report of disturbance and reckless driving in the area of the intersection of Third Street and Pagosa Street. According to the local police department it was necessary to pursue the men for 8 miles on Trujillo Road and to shoot out the tires of their car to stop the men involved.

EG&G, cloud seeding contractor, said this week that seeding operations were carried out Dec. 28 with 12 generators in the area operating. This the third time that seeding has been in force this winter. The firm said that possible snow storms could be expected Thursday or Friday of this week.

Year end business was transacted by the town board at a special meeting on Tuesday night of this week and a resignation was accepted from W.H. "Dee" Diestelkamp. Diestelkamp was recently appointed to the board of county commissioners and submitted his resignation to the town board this week.



By Shari Pierce

Did you know . . .

In 1867, a duel was fought over ownership of the Pagosa hot springs? Colonel Albert Pfeiffer fought on behalf of the Utes against a Navajo. Pfeiffer was successful in winning ownership for the Utes.

In 1879, a military post was established at Pagosa Springs to protect the new settlers from the Indians?

In late 1880, it was determined that the fort was no longer needed at Pagosa Springs? By 1881, it was moved to Hesperus, near Durango.

In February 1885, a bill was introduced into the state legislature calling for the forming of Archuleta County?

In May 1885, the first county officials, who had been appointed by the governor, met to organize the new county?

The first elected officials of the county took office in 1886?

By 1890, the federal census showed the population of Archuleta County to be 927?

In July 1890, the local newspaper reported: "There are 335,200 acres of surveyed government land in Archuleta county, subject to entry or filing"?

In August 1890, a new bath house had just been completed? It was 42'x22' and contained a plunge 24'x15', vapor, sweat room and sitting room. The "commodious building" cost $900.

The Pagosa Springs News of 1890 predicted that Pagosa Springs would have a railroad connection by the next summer? Oops, that didn't happen for a number of years.

In February 1891, it was voted to incorporated the town of Pagosa Springs by a majority vote of the people? Thirty-eight votes were cast in the election. Twenty-six were for incorporation and 12 were against.

In April 1891, the town held its first election? In that election, John L. Dowell was elected mayor. Six trustees were also elected.

In August 1891, a new arrival to Pagosa Springs asked Manager Patrick at the Springs how the water in the bath houses was heated?

In October 1900, the railroad steamed into Pagosa Springs for the first time? The first train arrived on Saturday, Oct. 13. The first official timetable of the Pagosa & Northern was dated Monday, Oct. 22, 1900.

Geothermal wells were being drilled in Pagosa Springs around the turn-of-the-century?

In October 1911, the worst flood in recorded history struck the town and county?

In 1916, Wolf Creek Pass opened to the public for summer travel only? In places it was only a narrow, one-lane road. It wasn't until the mid 1930s that the road over Wolf Creek was improved to the point that it could be maintained for year-round travel.

Have a safe and happy New Year's weekend.


Video Review

By Roy Starling

Imminent doom calls for silliness

Travel with me, if you will, back in time, back, back to the 20th century.

More specifically, let us return to last Thursday night. Potential doom was hanging over us all like a stern headmaster over a quaking grade-schooler, like the shadow of a hawk darkening the path of a baby chick, like an ominous cloud looming over a picnic.

We could have been in the last hours of civilization. The fabric of society was threatening to unravel. Terrorists kept creeping across the border. The area was in the grips of a stubborn drought, and the ground downtown was brown.

In such gloomy and foreboding conditions, what could a guy do but get in touch with his deepest self, renew an acquaintance with his most cherished values, and watch three really silly videos: "John Candy on SCTV," "Top Secret" and "Uncle Buck."

"John Candy on SCTV" features some of that rotund comic genius' more memorable sketches from one of the funniest television series ever, "SCTV," a little gem hidden for a while in the early '80s on a late night slot (12:30 a.m.!) Fridays on NBC. "Top Secret" was the movie Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker made after their first commercial success, "Airplane!" "Uncle Buck" was one of many John Hughes films of the '80s, this one capitalizing on the fame of the Candy man.

For those of you who still have some giggling memories of "SCTV," the "John Candy on SCTV" tape is priceless, but tantalizing. In a previous life, I had hours and hours of "SCTV" on tape, so I have most of their skits and routines memorized. Watching the snippets on the tape just threw me into a fit of nostalgia for the whole package; all of them seemed to end just before the really funny stuff began.

Still, it was wonderful to see Candy as Julia Child boxing Martin Short as Fred Rogers on "Battle of the PBS Stars," while Eugene Levy as Howard Cosell called the fight; and to see Candy as Curly Howard (of the Three Stooges, obviously) playing Ben-Hur; and Candy as Luciano Pavarotti begging a favor from Joe Flaherty as Guy Caballero as the Godfather; and Candy as the lisping Dr. Tongue on Count Floyd's "Monster Chiller Horror Theatre's" production of "Dr. Tongue and the 3-D House of Stewardesses."

"SCTV" was pure insane genius, lampooning every stupid (and not so stupid) thing that had ever been put on the big screen or on TV. While I was watching it Thursday night, I laughed so hard I forgot to feel nervous about not having a generator, 20 cases of macaroni and cheese, 15 100-pound bags of pinto beans, 36 batteries and a gross of special, handcrafted Y2K candles.

"Top Secret" is a first cousin to "SCTV." Both works depend on their respective audience's ability to recognize and laugh at showbiz conventions that have, over the years, become tired, trite, clichéd, threadbare, hackneyed. Every year, for instance, TV viewers are subjected to endless hyping of stupid new shows, many of which don't last into the second month of the season. "SCTV" taps into this nonsense by airing plugs for "Court Reporter," "Night School Jeopardy," and "Identical Cheese Hostesses."

"Top Secret" cracks most of its jokes at the expense of Elvis movies (Val Kilmer plays rock star Nick Rivers) and Cold War "thrillers." Abrahams and the Zuckers mercilessly parody every stock scene from these two genres.

Anyone who watches Westerns knows that somewhere during the course of these films there'll be a brawl in a saloon: chairs and whiskey bottles will be broken on heads, everyone will dive under the table or head for the exit when two hombres reach for their guns, etc., etc. "Top Secret" includes a similar scene, but gives it a slightly different spin by having it take place (a) in Germany and (b) under water.

A scene featuring Peter Cushing (I believe this was his last role) is run completely backwards, and this includes the sound. In case viewers don't get the joke, a dog runs across the floor backwards at the end of it.

"John Candy on SCTV" and "Top Secret" are great fin de siècle, end-of-the-world tapes. Their appeal, their entire existence depends on the tired conventions of a dying world, and they signal the need for a fresh vision and new formulas. They suggest that it's really time for there to be something new under the sun.

"Uncle Buck" is another kind of comedy altogether. Rather than making fun of conventions, it depends on them. Only the wonderful Mr. Candy keeps it from dying a slow death.

Hughes' film taps into the following conventions: Parents who are too busy to love their children; precocious children (played by Macaulay Culkin and Gaby Hoffman); the sullen, rebellious teenaged daughter (Jean Louisa Kelly); the bachelor slob (Candy) who doesn't want to grow up and make commitments; heartless, cruel educators; and the apparently inherent humor in a man's efforts to perform domestic duties (as seen, for instance, in "Mr. Mom" and "Kramer vs. Kramer").

Because "Uncle Buck" is a comedy, all problems are solved, all rough things made smooth, but it's hard to tell exactly how or why. Somehow, Uncle Buck, the overgrown boy, helps his teenaged niece Tia grow up, reject the ceaseless amorous advances of her boyfriend Bug (Jay Underwood) and become willing to work on her relationship with her mom. Somehow, the presence of the two little tykes Miles (Culkin) and Maisie (Hoffman) help Buck mature and accept the inevitable role of father, husband and breadwinner. Somehow, Buck learns that he can love, learns that he's father material (his love of the kids is apparent from the start) and learns that he can go to whatever lengths are necessary to protect the virtue of the troubled Tia.

Who cares how all of this happens? Viewers should just sit back and appreciate Candy, in my opinion the best of the fallen fat comics - John Belushi and Chris Farley being the other two.

Just so you know, I watched another movie over the long snowy weekend, the weekend the world stood still, but I can't recommend it. I saw "200 Cigarettes," chiefly because my beloved Christina Ricci was in it. Ricci, however, couldn't save it, nor could the now grown up Gaby Hoffman, nor could Courtney Love.

Rather than watching this movie, I suggest you just smoke the 200 cigarettes. You'll be better off and you won't feel so rotten afterwards.



Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Pleasure of surviving, being right

I was ready, so very ready.

To survive and, more important, to be right.

Things looked promising as the Big Moment loomed. There was a global calamity pending where, at the single stroke of a clock's second hand, all humanity would be neatly divided into two camps and subjected to a nasty cybernetic disaster.

Us and them.

Those of us who predicted and understood the impending disaster, those of us who prepared for it, were in one camp; the haughty morons who did not prepare and who mocked us would suffer for their errors - permanent residents of Camp Pain.

It was Y2K. Everything hinged on the tick of a clock, and the slamming of awesome binary doors.

Then, the whole thing collapsed like a poorly-tied balloon.

I should have known it would not work out.

We were deceived by clocks and computers.

Clocks and computers are pitiless devices: machines of malevolent regularity - a regularity most people mistake for something more than a manifestation of a category of human understanding, one we persistently and pathetically project on a universe beyond our experience.

That was the mistake I made; that is why I got so excited. I love to project my ego on all aspects of existence so, on Dec. 31, in the thrall of the temporal illusion, I sat in the bunker I constructed in my front room and watched the second hand of my clock. I was waiting to be right - waiting for others to be wrong. It meant a lot to me.

I had carefully calibrated my time-keeping machine, aligning it as closely as possible with the atomic clock at the Bureau of Standards, trusting our nation's chief timekeepers were in constant touch with Greenwich - the Mecca of linear thought. As I watched the clock's hands move inexorably toward midnight, I focused on the moment when my dualistic dream would become reality, simultaneously a glittering instant of triumph for me and a stark, horrible reality for anyone who scoffed at the impending Y2K tragedy. I was ready for the computo-cataclysm and my adversaries were not. It was perfect: I would be proven right and anyone who disagreed would pay a massive price.

My attitude was part of a great tradition. It is emotionally stressful to deal with certain, personal doom; it is easier to buffer the shock of realization by projecting personal transience onto the entire species, the entire world. "I am doomed," becomes "we are doomed" and "it is doomed," and everything feels better. The icing on the psychic cake, of course, is to develop a set of circumstances or rules where, with existence unraveling and you in possession of all the answers, you come to a worthy end while those who disagree with you absorb a horrible blow.

I did my mental and emotional homework as Y2K approached. I had the answers. I was ready.

As the second hand worked its way to the golden hour on Dec. 31, I inflated with a sense of worthiness. Then, midnight struck and my dream began to disintegrate.

As a matter of fact, midnight had been striking around the globe for most of 20 hours and nothing disastrous had occurred. Nothing happened in Auckland or Beijing. No mishaps in Prague or Reykjavik. Times Square was unscathed.

I was nervous. Still, I had hope.

I closed my eyes as the second hand neared the top of the dial (I refuse to use digital clocks - they provide scant drama as indicators of our remaining moments). I took a long breath with two seconds left in the long and rich history of humanity. I counted to myself: "one-thousand one, one-thousand two, one-thousand three" and I opened my eyes, expecting to find myself in the dark, the sound of generators and rifle fire in the distance, a chill pervading the initial inky blink of January.


I still had hope.

Well, I thought, maybe the disaster will occur as a result of a chain reaction - the gloom produced by a domino-like process: A Commodore computer shuts down in Samoa and a ripple of cyber-mayhem shimmers west across the Pacific, gaining momentum until finally, as a tsunami packing world-altering energy, it crashes ashore in Asia, pushing power stations to grinding halts, one dynamo after another shutting down until an ominous shadow sweeps over the Danube and the Seine, leaps the English Channel and the North Atlantic, wipes out the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and rolls unstoppable across the Great Plains, presaging the annihilation of civilization in Chicago, St. Louis, Salina, Las Animas, Walsenburg, Fort Garland, Alamosa, Monte Vista, Del Norte, South Fork and. . .

Perhaps it would take the better part of a day before my niche in the civilized world was eradicated, before ATMs no longer worked and traffic lights blinked steadily yellow. Before I was right. Before others were punished for their insolence in the face of enlightenment, for their inattention to prescribed detail.

I watched the Rose Bowl Parade, ready for the television screen to go blank, ready for the Krups coffee pot to perk its last cup. Boy, were the naysayers going to suffer.


Now, it's four days into the 21st Century and the lights are still on.

Suddenly, the question flipped from how to fight off crowds of freezing, hungry miscreants to, What am I gonna do with all these beans?

I've got four years' worth of beans on my hands, even after I sold Starling 100 pounds for his Y2K larder.

I can deal with the 1000 gallons of water I stored in the crawl space and I'm sure Kathy can bake six or seven hundred loaves of her famous cranberry bread in order to use up the half-ton of flour we stashed in the garage. The quinoa can be used to feed birds and our government surplus peanut butter has an expiration date of May, 2010. Packets of freeze-dried Stroganoff will keep indefinitely. The ten cases of Grenache/Shiraz will age well, but will probably be consumed within a year.

What am I gonna do with the beans?

Two hundred pounds of pinto beans is a major league batch of legumes, my friends. Add a hundred pounds of dried navy beans to the mix and, with another hundred pounds of Great Northerns, you are talking a massive amount of nutritious and fiber-filled food.

I'm not sure I can make a decent cassoulet with what I have on hand. I failed to manufacture any confit prior to the new year, so I'll need to substitute some of the hundred pounds of elk jerky I stored in the upstairs bedroom. I saw no need to lay away any garlic sausages so I hope the Vienna Sausages and Spam I cached for the cosmic debacle will suffice.

Mmmm. Cassoulet with jerky, Spam and Vienna Sausage. Should go nicely with a Grenache/Shiraz.

Since I secreted away several hundred pounds of pasta, I'll consume quite a bit of pasta e fagiole during the next year or two.

This is a bean-based dish I really don't mind. I'll wash and sort a batch o' beans and soak them overnight. I'll drain the beans in the morning and rinse them, cover them with a mix of water and chicken stock and bring them to a boil. I'll turn the heat to low and add a ham hock or two to the beans (any chunk of meat will do - beef, lamb, etc.) along with some chopped tomatoes. I'll cook this combo for a couple of hours, until the beans are tender. After I take the meat out of the beans, I'll puree about a third of the beans and return them to the pot. I'll pick the meat from the bones and throw the meat in the pot, along with some chopped, fresh spices. I might even add a touch of olive oil to the mix. I'll serve the beans with a mess of al dente pasta and some grated Parmesan.

I can also use the pintos. I'll prepare them the same way I did the Great Northerns I made for the pasta e fagiole, substituting beef stock for the chicken stock. To the pot of beans, I'll add a hefty amount of ground red chile powder (from my two-year supply of Mrs. Padilla's red - the Mercedes Benz of red, from Espanola), some sauteed onions, a couple of cloves of garlic minced, and a whisper of cumin and oregano.

Both bean dishes should go well with a Grenache/Shiraz.

I'll do up loads of three-bean baked beans with bacon and beef shanks. I'll use cooked, cold beans in salads. I'll puree cooked beans with lemon juice, garlic, tahini and mint and pass it off as palatable dip. I'll make bean likenesses of my favorite members of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors; I'll coat the sculptures with acrylic and mount them on posts next to my driveway, like the perimeter of heads at the residence occupied by Kurtz in "Heart of Darkness." The horror, the horror.

The beans, the beans.

Eventually, I'll deal with the problem of the beans, but the blow to the ego caused by this Y2K non-event is another matter altogether.

I really wanted to be right. I needed my antagonists to suffer.

I suppose I'll have to await the arrival of the next catastrophe before sweet validation will be mine.

I might not have long to wait.

I've received solid information (from the same source who tipped me off about the alien genetics lab beneath Archuleta Mesa) that disgruntled Russian scientists took over a decomposing germ warfare lab inside a mountain in the Urals and are working feverishly (pardon the pun) to marry the Ebola and smallpox viruses. We're looking at a pandemic as soon as these needy ex-commies decide to let the dog out of the closet.

Let this serve as your warning.

Tomorrow, I am driving to Albuquerque to procure some Israeli gas masks and a gross of Mylex suits. This weekend, I intend to seal my residence with a series of thin spray coats of a temperature-resistant polymer.

You think this is far-fetched?

Boy. . . are you going to be sorry.



By Roy Starling

Pretenders prepare for 'Arabian Nights'

The stories told in "The Arabian Nights" had to be pretty good. In fact, they had to be nail-munching, pot-boiling, page-turning, edge-of-your-seat stories.

These stories were told by a young woman named Scheherazade to her husband, the Sultan Shahriyar. The Sultan, it seems, was a kind of Bluebeard, with a nasty habit of "banishing" his young brides the morning after the big wedding ceremony and reception.

But before Scheherazade agreed to marry the big guy, she had her sister visit him on their wedding day and beg him to allow Scheherazade to tell him just one story. He agreed to her request because, really, what could be the harm in that? Get married, hear a good story, "banish" the bride first thing in the morning.

Scheherazade was no fool. On her wedding night, she began a tradition that would later be used by Charles Dickens in the serialized novel, by Saturday matinee Western and Sci-Fi movie shorts and by such never-ending stories as "The Guiding Light," "As the World Turns," "The Days of Our Lives," and "Beverly Hills 90210."

In short, Scheherazade, in an effort to save her life, might well have invented the cliffhanger. This was "publish or perish" in the purest sense of the phrase. She had to make her stories so gripping, so riveting that her listener - in this case, a compulsive "banisher" - fell under their spell; and then, she had to stop them at just the right moment each night and hope that the Sultan was enthralled enough by her yarn that he'd keep her around for another day.

It worked. Scheherazade kept up her storython for 1001 nights, spinning yarns about such characters as Aladdin, Ali Baba and Sinbad, and by that time the Sultan was not only a literature major, he was in love with his story-telling wife.

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater will be bringing some of these stories to life on stage at the high school auditorium the first week of March. Auditions for this production, called "Arabian Nights," will end tonight.

"Our last audition is tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the junior high choir room," "Arabian Nights" director Susan Garman said. Folks interested in auditioning will only "need to be able to speak for a minute on a topic of their choice," she said. "There are no age limitations, but very small children need to be accompanied by an older sibling or a parent."

"Pretenders' auditions differ from traditional auditions in that we don't turn anyone down," Pretenders' co-founder and producer Addie Greer said. "It's a fun theater experience for all ages. A whole family can be involved. It's educational and it's fun."

"In sports," Garman says, "kids play while parents watch. But Pretenders is a good family bonding thing, a sharing experience. It's something family members can talk about and relate to."

The Pretenders don't use a set script, instead leaving considerable latitude for improvisation and ad-libbing. "Kids are given prompts and partial plots for a scene," Garman said, "then they're free to ad-lib the dialogue. But the scene has to maintain certain points to carry the story."

Garman said the Pretenders' production staff decides, during rehearsals, what has to be kept in the story and how much liberty the kids can take with the material.

"We try to create the play improvisationally," Garman said, "but the actual performance should have little improvisation in it. We want it to have a more polished appearance. Paying customers don't just want to see a bunch of folks goofing off. By opening night, witty digressions are brief and there aren't too many surprises. We do hope to have some surprises, however, because that's what keeps it fresh."

This will be the Pretenders' sixth production. The group was inspired, Greer said, by an idea by Bill Hudson. With "about 10 or 12 people involved," the Pretenders began with a production of "Snow White and the Seven Coyotes." The following year they did "Billy Bronco and the Chocolate Factory." Next was "An Imaginary History of Pagosa Springs," followed by "Peter Pan."

"Last year," Greer said, "we hit the big time, putting on 'Wizard of Oz' in the high school auditorium. We had 95 audition for the cast alone."

The first big-scale Pretenders production netted about $1,100, all of which went towards stocking the shelves of the junior high-intermediate school library. This year, according to Garman, part of the proceeds will go to the school district, the rest to the community.


Old Timers

By John M. Motter

Businesses in early Pagosa Springs

Considerable shopping existed in Pagosa Country during the early days, especially for those with a thirst for alcohol. Businessmen started hanging out open-for-business shingles during 1878, the year the Army cut the first logs for Fort Lewis. Joseph M. Clarke probably started the first business, a general store and post office located at the river crossing about one mile south of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring.

By the early 1880s, the Colorado Business Directory listed the following businesses. Other businesses existed in addition to the ones listed, but we have no way of identifying them.

1880-R.D. Smith, general merchandise; Newman Chestnut, & Co., drugs, books, etc.; E.R. Cooper, groceries and provisions; Field and Hill, general merchandise; W.D. Peabody, post sutler and general merchandise (His brother, James H. Peabody, served as Colorado governor from 1903-1905. Oldtimers refer to the meadow where Stephens Field is now located as Peabody Park.); J.H. Voorhees, second hand store (He is buried in the pioneer cemetery at the west side of town near the old Durango Wagon Road.); Tom Blair, Sam Frazier, saloon (this is probably the same Blair for whom Blair Street in Silverton is named); Joseph M. Clark (Clarke) general store; C.F. Stollsteimer, meat market (He was one of the earliest settlers in the San Juans. He later became agent to the Southern Utes and contributed his name to Stollsteimer Creek, which was formerly known as the Nutria River.); and M.L. Dunn, proprietor of the Hamilton House.

1882-Pagosa Springs has daily mails and a population of 225. The first mails, however, were not daily. The business houses are Beldon and Hewitt, general merchandise; Thomas Blair, general merchandise and saloon; H.R. Bowling, general merchandise; J.R. Crump, blacksmith; P. Devereaux, saloon; J. Gilliland, blacksmith; N.Hoover, drugs; T. Kemp, postmaster (Tully Kemp was also a justice of the peace.); E.C. Laithe, general merchandise; Opdyke Hotel; Michael Slevin, saloon (He was retired from the Army and later died in the old soldier's home at Monte Vista.); C. Stollsteimer, meat market; J.H. Voorhees, general merchandise.

1884-Pagosa Springs has daily mails and a population of 225. The business houses are J.L. Anderson, proprietor of the bath house; S.E. Bowling, general merchandise, (Sarah was the wife of H.R. Bowling); J. Cade, proprietor, San Juan Hotel; Crumb and Berard, blacksmiths (Henry Berard had been a freighter and lived on land now planned for development of the Pagosa Springs civic center.); William Campbell, proprietor, Campbell House; A.J. Gilliland, groceries; N. G. Hover, physician, drugs, and books (Hover donated the lot for building the first Methodist Church, on the same site as the existing church. His homestead was down the San Juan River below the old Light Plant.); Koestle & Barney, Pagosa Hotel; J.S. Martin, physician (He had been post surgeon for Fort Lewis.); C.W. Opdyke, proprietor, Opdyke Hotel; Chas. D. Scase, mail contractor; J.H. Voorhees, general merchandise; E.T. Walker, mail contractor (on the Amargo route). Another business directory for the same year listed a steam sawmill; daily stage fare to Amargo, $4; E. Halstead, carpenter; A.J. Lewis, butcher; and Walker and Loucks, sawmill.

About 20 men were reported working in the Crater Mining District near the head waters of the East Fork of the San Juan River. A small community developed there with a post office called Elwood. Among the men reported working there were T. Elwood Vaille, Prof. Moore & Co., Jacob Smith, Robt. Young & Co., Jacob Laine (Lane); Judge Bowen, and "Mr. Laflin (Laughlin) keeps the only stopping place in the camp and also has some fine looking prospects." A direct descendant of Lemuel and his son John Laughlin still lives in Pagosa Springs.

In 1885, Archuleta County was formed from Conejos County. Conejos is a Spanish word for rabbit. Conejos County was one of the original 17 Colorado counties formed when the U.S. Congress ratified creation of Colorado Territory in 1861. Formed later from Conejos County were the 16 counties of the southwestern corner of the state.

A little western and Colorado history might be in order. The history of any given area, no matter how local, is highly dependent on national and worldwide happenings. Pagosa Country history is influenced by the Louisiana Purchase, the settlement of ownership of the Oregon Country, the Texas war for independence, the Mexican American War, Mormon settlement of Utah, and other occurrences.

A look at a U.S. map shows a continuation of the northern boundary of Colorado in a more or less straight line all of the way to the Pacific Ocean, except for a jog to the north in Utah. South of that line are the states of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. North of that line are the states of Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. A convenient time to begin is with the 1803 U.S. purchase of the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon for about $15 million dollars, about one-tenth the 1999 $120 million assessed value of Archuleta County.

The Louisiana Purchase included all of the land between the Mississippi River, the Continental Divide, the Canadian border, and the Gulf of Mexico. The southwestern border between the purchase and Spanish territory generally followed the Red River boundary between Oklahoma and Texas. The land that was to become Colorado was divided. In general, the portion west of the Continental Divide belonged to Spain, the portion east of the Divide to the United States. North of the east-west line making the present Colorado border and west of the Continental Divide was Oregon Country, whose ownership was disputed among the United States, England, Russia, and to some extent, Spain.

The U.S. obtained exclusive control of Oregon Country through an 1846 treaty with England. Earlier, in 1819, the U.S. had ceded to Spain a strip of land including the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and generally located in Colorado between the Arkansas and Rio Grande Rivers and along the Continental Divide beyond the current Wyoming border. When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1820, ownership of that strip of land passed to Mexico. Later, in 1836, Texas won independence from Mexico and established the Republic of Texas. The Texans claimed the strip of land defined in the 1819 treaty, plus all of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande River. A portion of Colorado, therefore, was claimed by the Republic of Texas. It is important to note that Mexico never agreed with this claim.

In 1845, Texas became the 28th of the United States. At that time, the U.S. took over Texas boundary negotiations with Mexico. The Mexican American War, 1846-1848, delayed settlement. Following the war, Mexico ceded more than one-half her territory to the United States; all land bounded on the north by the Oregon Territory, on the east by the Continental Divide, and with the exception of land later purchased during the Gasden Purchase, on the south by the current southern United States boundary with Mexico. For the first time, all of the current state of Colorado belonged to the United States.

The eastern portion of Colorado was subsequently made part of the territory of Kansas, the western portion including Pagosa Country part of the Territory of Utah. South of Colorado was the Territory of New Mexico. When Kansas became a state in 1861 with its present western boundary, the eastern part of Colorado was cut adrift. Congress solved that problem later in 1861 by creating the Territory of Colorado, combining the portion formerly belonging to Kansas, and taking another portion west of the Divide from the Territory of Utah. Colorado became a state in 1876. Pagosa Country has belonged to Spain, Mexico, and the United States. It was part of Utah Territory and Colorado Territory before becoming part of the state of Colorado. Archuleta County was part of Conejos County before being formed in 1885, which brings us full circle with today's history lesson.

Business News

January 6, 2000

Biz Beat


Yvonne Giesen is the owner of the new Sears Authorized Retail Dealer Store at Pagosa Springs.

Giesen, right, and store manager Julie Brule, will welcome customers to the store at a Grand Opening on Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon, with a variety of special activities and bargains available during the event.

The new store offers a wide array of leading brands in consumer electronics, appliances, tools and lawn and garden equipment as well as repair service on all brands of appliances and consumer electronics.

The Pagosa Springs Sears Dealer Store is located at 140 South 6th Street, just south of the intersection of South 6th Street and U.S. 160 in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Call the Sears Dealer Store at 264-1055.

Weather Stats



















































See Weather story on Front page.