Front Page

January 27, 2000

Guns stolen in burglary

By Karl Isberg

An early morning burglary on Jan. 21 at the Ponderosa Do-It-Best store on U.S. 160 west of Pagosa Springs resulted in the loss of weapons and damage to the store property.

The thieves' entry into and departure from the building must have occurred in quick order, since local law enforcement officials arrived at the scene within one minute of the time they were notified of the break-in by the county dispatcher.

According to logs at Archuleta County Central dispatch, a Denver burglar alarm company called to report an alarm at the store at 2:02 a.m. The dispatcher notified officers, and Pagosa Springs officer Tony Kop and Archuleta County sheriff's deputy Tim Evans were at the store less than one minute after hearing the broadcast.

Kop checked the front of the building, and Evans drove to the rear of the property. Evans discovered that a rear gate to the property had been torn down. The two officers then found that a rear door to the store was open.

The officers entered the facility and conducted a search but were unable to locate any suspects. They determined that glass in the rear door was busted out and a deadbolt unlocked to allow the suspects entry into the building. In the store, they found glass cases containing firearms broken and found several shotguns on the floor.

When an inventory was taken, it was determined the thieves got away with four handguns and four shotguns.

Kop and Evans, assisted by other officers, collected evidence at the scene and put out bulletins concerning the stolen firearms.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, an investigation of the evidence from the scene is underway with Kop and department Capt. Chuck Allen developing leads on possible suspects in the burglary.


Power lines down, wet snow to blame

By Karl Isberg

Pick a problem, any problem.

Power off?

Phone calls won't go through?

If you live in Pagosa Country, chances are good you've experienced one of these situations, or both, this week.

The first problem was weather-related. The second had to do with faulty equipment.

Both were a pain.

Snow in Pagosa Country was a welcome sight on Jan. 25, and the heavy, wet white stuff continued to fall throughout the early morning hours of Jan. 26.

Heavy, wet snow.

A power line's best friend.

While the snow was a welcome sight, its moisture content was similar to spring snow and the weight of the snow brought with it the inevitable result: power outages.

According to Russ Lee, Pagosa area manager for La Plata Electric Association, company crews began working on outages at 2 a.m. on Jan. 26

When LPEA employees rolled into the field to repair outages to areas and to individual residences, little did they know they were responding to a fraction of the calls for assistance being made by Archuleta County residents. The problem of power outages was compounded by the fact that an equipment malfunction in the CenturyTel phone system was making it difficult for many local residents to complete calls to the power company.

Lee said numerous customers either drove to the downtown LPEA offices on Wednesday to report outages, or faxed information to the office in lieu of making a phone call.

With complaints coming in throughout the day on Wednesday, LPEA workers had their hands full, but the situation is a familiar one.

"We've had a lot of little outages," said Lee. "They've all been caused by the snow load. Some of the outages lasted all morning and into the afternoon. Some of the outages have been recurring; we re-fuse and they blink and go out again. Most of the outages are to individual residences, but some have affected areas. The Blanco Basin area was out on Wednesday morning as was a section of Fourmile Road. This is what happens when you get heavy snow."

Fortunately, none of the outages occurred on a major power line. "We haven't had a circuit go out at one of our substations," said Lee. "We've had some blinks at the substations, but that's all."

The problem with the local phone lines that dogged LPEA customers when they attempted to call the power company was the same one experienced by numerous residents of the county during the early part of the week. Many local phone customers found it impossible to complete calls on Monday and Tuesday between the local 264 and 731 phone exchanges.

Mike Hudson, CenturyTel public relations manager, said the difficulties system customers experienced when making calls between the two exchanges are directly related to a problem experienced by customers two weeks ago. Specifically, said Hudson, the newest dilemma is tied to the solution of the older problem.

Hudson said Wednesday that many phone customers experienced garbled transmissions when they made calls earlier in the month.

"It was a maintenance problem," explained Hudson. "We chased it down and found out what it was. In changing the equipment to solve the maintenance problem, we updated other equipment."

That's where the newest breakdown occurred, said Hudson. When CenturyTel workers updated equipment (related to the electronic bundling of 24-line groups of lines in and out of switches) the computer "cards" involved in the process were not adequate to handle the load.

New cards were ordered and CenturyTel asked on Jan. 25 that they be shipped overnight to the Pagosa facility.

"The cards are ordered and we've had them shipped," said Hudson. "We've done all the hardware and software work necessary to accept the new cards. When they arrive, it will just be a matter of plugging them in and the difficulties should be solved."


Pagosa gets a dose of soggy snow

By John M. Motter

Snow in measurable quantities descended on Pagosa Country Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, four inches of snow according to the official National Weather Service climate center at Stevens Field. About 11 inches dropped on the Wolf Creek Ski Area during the same storm.

Warm temperatures dictated that the snow be wet and heavy. The four inches of snow delivered 0.64 inches of precipitation, about twice the usual density.

Rain or snow showers might continue this morning, but skies should clear by this afternoon, according to forecaster Jerry Smith of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. A clearing trend should continue through tomorrow and Saturday, Smith said, but a slight chance of rain or snow showers remains. By Sunday, local skies should be clear.

"We're under the influence of a big low-pressure trough centered over Utah and Nevada," Smith said. "We're getting a southwesterly flow of warm air. Consequently the snow is wet and most areas below 7,000 feet are getting rain.

High temperatures last week averaged 45 degrees. Low temperatures averaged 24 degrees. A high temperature of 51 degrees was measured Jan. 19. A low temperature of 15 degrees was measured Saturday.

Total snowfall in town for the month is 17.5 inches, still less than the long time average of 27.1 inches.


Pertussis alert targets LaPlata, Archuleta

By Roy Starling

One confirmed case of pertussis in La Plata County and one suspected case in Archuleta resulted in the San Juan Basin Health Department issuing a "pertussis alert" last Friday.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is most likely to attack children under 5.

School district nurse Maureen Margiotta told the SUN that a Pagosa Springs Elementary School student started missing school with a "bad cough" back on Jan. 10. The student went first to Dr. Mark Wienpahl's office and was then referred to Dr. Cecile Fraley at Southwest Pediatrics in Durango. According to Margiotta, Fraley was "nearly certain" the child had pertussis.

Margiotta said that, as of yesterday afternoon, two lab tests were pending at Southwest Pediatrics "to verify whether or not the child tested positive for pertussis."

According to the Health Department's alert, pertussis is "a disease caused by bacteria. It can cause spells of violent coughing and choking, making it difficult for a young child to breathe, drink or eat. The cough can last for two weeks. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death."

In a release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, pertussis is said to be less severe in "school-age children and adults," not normally requiring hospitalization, "although it may cause severe coughing fits for two to three weeks."

The Health Department's local alert urges "parents to make sure all children have received the complete pertussis vaccination series, which would be indicated on immunization records as DTP or DTaP. Adults and children over 6 years of age are not immunized for the disease. . . . Pertussis vaccine is available at the San Juan Basin Health Department."

Health Department spokesperson Sandra Hilton said parents should act quickly to ensure their children's pertussis vaccinations are current. "It can take a while, roughly three weeks in some cases, to build up immunity once the vaccination is received," she said, "so parents should take care of this as soon as possible."

Hilton said that some parents are reluctant to give their children the pertussis part of the vaccine because of possible side effects, but cautioned that "the risk of the disease far outweighs the risk of the vaccine."

The Colorado School Entrance Immunization Law requires all students to provide proof of immunizations to attend school. According to the law, "If a student's certificate of immunization is not up to date, parents will be given 14 days to show documentation that the next required immunization has been given, plus compete a written plan for completion of all required immunizations."

However, the law also allows for three exemptions: medical, religious and personal. A physician may give students a medical exemption if their physical condition "is such that immunization would endanger life or health, or is medically contraindicated due to other medical conditions."

The student can receive a religious exemption if his or her parent/guardian is "an adherent to a religious belief opposed to immunizations." Personal exemptions are for students whose parent/guardian is "an adherent to a personal belief opposed to immunizations."

"I'd like to see every child immunized," Margiotta said, "but everyone has a right of choice. Still, I think the exemption option should be taken very seriously. I think you have to feel very strongly personally or religiously to exempt your kids from immunizations. And I don't think exemptions should be used just because you lose your records. Students without records shouldn't be allowed into school."

Margiotta said there are currently 25 students at the elementary school exempt from immunizations. Colorado's immunization law requires that, in the event of an outbreak, "exempted persons will be subject to expulsion from school and quarantine."

Hilton urged people who have further questions about pertussis, the pertussis vaccine or the completion of their immunization records to contact the San Juan Basin Health Department at 264-2409.


County manager not in hunt for Arapahoe job

By John M. Motter

County Manager Dennis Hunt is not going to Arapahoe County as county administrator. He will remain in Archuleta County, instead, filling his same old position.

"We couldn't agree on some of the terms of our proposed contract," Hunt said Tuesday. "At first if looked as if the commissioners there were going to accept my proposal. At the last moment, one of them switched."

Hunt was the first choice from among 195 applicants for the Arapahoe County job.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual Tuesday for the county commissioners.

- A discussion relevant to county-Pagosa Lakes Property Owner Association negotiations for a contract calling for the county to supervise the PLPOA-funded public safety office produced no new results. Commissioners discussed the advisability of creating a law enforcement authority. They noted that they could unilaterally initiate action to create a law enforcement authority and that such action might be necessary so that the boundaries and duties of the authority be defined in a way that the general public can understand, then vote, on the proposal.

- Gary Everett was named to a joint, La Plata County-Archuleta County predator control committee working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Former participants Montezuma County and the Wool Growers Association have dropped from the program.

- The commissioners approved spending $2,976 to upgrade bunker gear used by county road employees who fight fires.

- Colorado Local Government Liquid Asset Trust was added to the list of banks approved as depositories for county funds. The addition allows investment of county funds in CLGLAT and was made based upon advice from the county auditor. Until now, all county investments were in the form of certificates of deposit purchased from local banks. If the county had had this option since 1998, an additional $60,000 would have been earned, according to Hunt. Decisions on how, where, and when to invest will be made by Hunt, County Treasurer Traves Garrett and County Finance Director Tracy Allen.

- The county agreed to fund the purchase of advertising by the Community Plan Steering Committee. The ads will be placed in The Pagosa Springs SUN and will announce meeting dates, times, and places for meetings designed to gather citizen input from seven areas in the county. The information gathered will be used to develop a community vision concerning growth and land use planning in connection with a study being conducted by Four Corners Planning and Design Group.

- The county approved expenditure of $6,950 to the Humane Society for its 1999 fourth quarter expenses, and increased the county's contribution for the year 2000 Humane Society budget from $20,000 to $35,274.

- A payment of $25,775, taken from Fairfield Bankruptcy settlement funds, was approved for the Greenbriar Local Improvement District.

- Three Montezuma County residents, Carl Knight, Marvin Smith and Chester Tozer, asked the commissioners to join a fight against the U.S. Forest Service. According to the three men, the Forest Service is taking away the rights of private citizens by charging fees for using Forest Service roads that should be county roads, as well as in other instances. The commissioners asked for time to study the issues presented before making any decisions. A particular case cited by the men involves a law suit they say the Forest Service brought against Diana Luppi in connection with the use of Turkey Springs Road.

- Action was postponed concerning a proposal from Ed Morlan, executive director of the Region 9 Economic District of Southwest Colorado. Morlan proposed that Region 9 be hired to manage county interests relevant to a regional telecommunications network proposed for five counties in Region 9. Morlan asked Archuleta County to be lead county in applying for state funding to finance the proposal. The funding comes under the popular name of H.B. 99-1102 Beanpole funding.

- Action was tabled on a variance requested by Cassidy Energy concerning the drilling of shallow oil/gas wells on private property in the Chromo area. Cassidy Energy asked that 30-day notice requirements be waived and that on-site inspections be waived. The county wants more time to study the effects of granting the waivers.


Six candidates file for commission seats

By John M. Motter

Six candidates, all Republicans, have filed for two county commissioner positions in Archuleta County. The positions up for grabs belong to Commissioners Ken Fox and Bill Downey.

Fox is completing a four-year term as commissioner from District 2. In general, District 2 is located in the southwestern corner of the county south of U.S. 160 and west of the San Juan River.

Fox filed this week for re-election to a second term. Challenges to Fox's return to office have been filed by Ralph Goulds and Alden Ecker.

Downey serves from District 1 in the northwestern part of the county. District 1 is generally north of U.S. 160 and west of Fourmile Road. Downey is completing the unexpired term of Bill Tallon, who resigned and moved to Arizona in the later part of 1998.

So far, Downey has not filed to succeed himself. Challenging in District 1 are Patrick Horning, Nancy Rowe and Albern C. Warren.

The local election calendar calls for precinct caucuses April 11, the county general assembly 30 days later, the primary election Aug. 8, and the general election Nov. 7.


Inside The Sun

Three town trustee slots open

By Karl Isberg

The hunt is on for potential candidates for three positions on the Pagosa Springs board of trustees.An election will be held in Pagosa Springs on April 4. The polling place will be at Town Hall and votes will be cast from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Up for grabs are the trustee positions currently held by David Hamilton, Jeff

Jones and Bill Whitbred.Potential candidates must pick up petitions at Town Hall, with Feb. 14 the first day petitions are available. A candidate must collect the signatures of 10 registered voters living within the town boundaries. Petitions must be filed with the town clerk no later than the end of the business day on March 3.In order for a candidate to be approved, the petition signatures must be validated and the candidate must be a duly registered voter in Archuleta County and have lived within town boundaries for a minimum of one year.

In order to vote in the April town election, a voter must be registered at the Archuleta County Clerk's office and must have lived within town boundaries for 30 days immediately preceding the election.

For further information about the election and candidacy, call 264-4151.


County special district elections set for May 2

By John M. Motter

May 2 is the date set during the year 2000 for holding elections by the many special districts operating in Archuleta County and throughout Colorado. Just as in regular elections, a calendar of events takes place prior to special district elections.

Anyone with a yen to serve on a special district board of directors must sign up with the district prior to Feb. 25 in order to get on the ballot. If no new candidates sign up by Feb. 29, the district may vote to cancel the election and the existing board will continue to serve.

The usual process used by candidates to get on a special district ballot is to obtain a self-nomination form from the district office, then complete and return the form to the same office. Petitions or other qualifying procedures necessary in non-district elections are not required. Candidates must be qualified to vote in Colorado elections and own property or live within the specified district. That means a property owner who lives outside of Colorado cannot be a candidate for a special district office, because a non-resident cannot be a qualified Colorado voter. A property owner living in Colorado but not within district boundaries can be a candidate. No primaries are conducted for special districts. Voters in special district elections must meet the same qualifications as candidates.

Special district board members normally serve four-year terms. Special district boards normally meet once a month, but may meet more frequently for special purposes. Board members are not normally paid for their services.

The first step for special district elections is an announcement by the districts that an election is to be held. That announcement must be published not less than 75 nor more than 90 days before the special district election. Election notices this year must be published between Feb. 2 and Feb. 17. Prospective candidates may throw their hats in the ring any time prior to the Feb. 25 deadline.

Special district voting normally takes place in the district office. In Archuleta County, three special districts are using the same polling place. Joining for balloting purposes are the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Pagosa Fire Protection District and Upper San Juan Hospital District.

Following is a list of special districts in Archuleta County and some specifics concerning their elections.

Alpha-Rockridge Metropolitan District - This district oversees road maintenance in the Alpha and Rockridge subdivisions west of town and is governed by a five-member board. Members of the current board are Ralph Goulds, Harold Maulsby, Mencore Valdez, Paula Yerton and Shirley Mateer. Three positions on this board expire, those of Goulds, Mateer and Maulsby.

Aspen Springs Metropolitan District - This district oversees road maintenance in the Aspen Springs area. It's five-member board contains Bill Davis, Ernest O. Jones, Nancy Green, Gary Scoggins and Nancy Shepard. Positions appearing on this year's ballot are those of Scoggins and Shepperd.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District - This district governs water treatment and distribution and waste water collection and treatment in the Fairfield Pagosa area west of town. It also governs water treatment and distribution within and around Pagosa Springs. PAWS is governed by a five-member board. The current board members are Harold Slavinski, George Chenoweth, Bob Frye, Don Brinks, and Karen Wessels. The terms of Slavinski, Chenoweth, Frye and Wessels expire this year. Therefore, four positions could be on the May 2 ballot in this district.

Pagosa Fire Protection District - The Pagosa Fire Protection District is governed by a five-member board. Currently on the board are Gene Tautges, Terry Windnagel, Dusty Pierce, Chuck Allen and Bill Clark. Positions which will appear on the May 2 ballot are those of Tautges and Windnagel.

Pagosa Springs Sanitation District - This district governs waste collection and treatment within Pagosa Springs and is guided by a seven-member board. While a board-member election is being held, the outcome may be mute. An item on the May 2 ballot may dissolve the district. Current board members are Jim Cloman (deceased), Wayne Pippenger, Gene Tucker, Darrell Cotton, Dennis Kleckner, Terry Smith and Lynnis Steinert. The positions of Cloman, Pippinger, Tucker and Cotton expire and will be on the May 2 ballot.

Piedra Park Metropolitan District - This Arboles district oversees road and water functions. Its board members are Tamara McDowell, Charles Torres, Reynolds St. Germaine, Sandy Gladfelter and Steve Theys. This district will not hold an election since no member terms expire until 2002.

San Juan River Village Metropolitan District - This district oversees operation of facilities providing road, water and wastewater services in the San Juan River Village area. The board members are Gordon Kahn, Derall Garrett, Bard Crehan, Frank D. Durkee and Tom Schoemig. Members whose terms will be on the ballot are Kahn and Crehan.

San Juan Water Conservancy District - The directors for this district are appointed by District Court Judge Gregory Lyman.

Upper San Juan Hospital District - This district oversees the operations of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic. Current members of the board are Sharon Walters, Scott Anderson, Terry Windnagel, Ken Morrisson, John Weiss, Bill Downey and Bob Huff. Up for election this year are the positions of Walters, Anderson, Windnagel, Morrison and Weiss.

Upper San Juan Library District - This district is organized under different state statutes than ordinary metropolitan districts. Vacancies on its board are filled by recommendations made by existing board members. Those recommendations must be approved by the county commissioners and Pagosa Springs town board. Members or the library board are Kathleen Grams, Jack Ellis, Glenn Raby, Joan Rohwer, John Steinert, Cathne Holt and Bill Bright.


County planning workshops

By David C. Mitchell

Mike Mollica, Archuleta County director of development, this week announced the sites, times and dates for seven public workshops the county planning office will hold next month.

Mollica said the sites were selected in hopes they would be convenient to interested individuals who reside in the proximity of the meeting places. He said the seven areas were designated because each has some unique concerns that might differ from those that are of major importance in other areas of the county. Still, Mollica said county residents are welcome to attend any of the meetings regardless of their place of residency. All of the public meetings will begin "promptly" at 7 p.m. and adjourn no later than 9 p.m., according to Mollica.

The former one-room school house in Chromo will be the site for a Tuesday, Feb. 15, meeting. Located on the east side of U.S. 84 and north of the Navajo River, the building is a familiar meeting place for persons who reside in the southeast portion of the county.

Two separate workshops, Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, will be held in the County Fair Building on the east side of U.S. 84, about a quarter mile south of its junction with U.S. 160. The Feb. 16 workshop is for persons who reside north and northeast of Pagosa Springs in the area bounded by Piedra Road and Mill Creek Road. The Feb. 17 workshop at the fairgrounds is for persons who reside along and south of Mill Creek Road, in the Echo Lake and Echo Valley areas, or east of the San Juan River in the Upper Blanco, Lower Blanco basin areas.

The Feb. 22 workshop will be held in the Chimney Rock Restaurant for residents of the Aspen Springs area and for persons living in the northwest portion of the county.

The Feb. 23 workshop will meet in Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street for residents of the town of Pagosa Springs.

The basement of St. Rosa-St. Peter Catholic Church on the north side of Colo. 151 about a mile west of Arboles will be the site for the Feb. 24 workshop for persons who reside in the southwest corner of the county.

The Monday, Feb. 28, workshop will be held in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse for those who live in any of the subdivisions in that area.

For more information about the meetings, contact Mollica at 264-4896, or e-mail to



Future of the County

Dear Editor,

As a professional planner for almost 20 years, I firmly believe that the (county) planner's job is not to impose his values on an area. The planner should instead work with a community to determine its goals and then develop the plans needed to make that vision a reality.

The Community Development Plan currently being undertaken as a joint effort between the county and the town is not only following this strategy but is taking it one step further by recognizing that the vision for the future of Archuleta County may vary between regions. I am very excited to be involved with the work effort as a member of the steering committee composed of residents from around the county.

A series of public meetings is scheduled for February to be held in seven locations around the county. The intent is to provide everyone a convenient opportunity to make their desire known. At the meetings, people will be asked to talk about what they like about Archuleta County, what they dislike, and what they would like to see for the future in terms of land use and development. The consultant team will then use this input to develop a set of vision statements and alternative growth scenarios, perhaps one for each of the seven areas if appropriate. A second round of meetings will be held in late April to present this information to the community followed by a third set of meetings in the fall with development strategies.

I urge everyone in the county to attend one of these meetings. Whether you support rapid growth or no growth, more land use regulation or less, this is your chance to help shape the future of Archuleta County.


Lynn Constan, AICP

Member, Community Plan Steering Committee


Piano ad out of tune

Dear David,

It appears that the Piano Creek developers used my and others' names in their ad thanking us for our "support" for their project. I previously neither supported nor opposed the project, figuring they can do whatever they want with their private property. Actually enclosing multi-millionaires in a private preserve and keeping them away from the rest of us has its appeal - sort of like the San Diego Wild Animal Park. However, since they've chosen to misappropriate our private property - our names and reputations - in a commercial attempt to exaggerate their local support, I've changed my mind. I propose we form an organization of their "supporters." I would suggest we initially commit ourselves to some basic principles - free and unfettered use of natural resources by all members of the public, rejection of artificial barriers which would exclude anyone based upon economic class, race or ethnicity, and support of diversity. Perhaps we might all meet at the project we "support" for a big picnic - I hear the fishing is good out there. I'm sure they wouldn't refuse their "supporters" the right to use the property. We might even discuss the location of low- and moderate-income housing.

Seriously, Piano Creek, if you want to thank me for something - write or call - don't presume that I want my name in your ads.

Jim Denvir

No Fairfield?!!?

Dear Editor,

In response to Bob Dungan's letter (SUN, Jan. 20) about moving to Fairfield. Where is he moving to - a timeshare in Archuleta County or to a city in another state? If he is talking about the Pagosa Lakes area - he needs to know that "Fairfield" went bankrupt almost 10 years, was sued by PLPOA and the county for defaulting on road construction and other commitments, lost the lawsuit, settled by payment of $8.1M for Pagosa Lakes roads, etc. "Fairfield" does not exist in the area as a "place" except for timeshares and a real estate office.

Just curious.

Mojie Adler

Editor's note: This raises the question: Which exists first, the developer or the development?


Dear David,

How often do the members of a community get the chance to have their voices heard? Do we, the common citizens ever get the chance to actually make a difference? There always seems to be somebody, some official, some group, or some organization that is making the decisions about critical issues. Decisions that end up making a big difference in what your community is going to do and what the place where you live is going to look like.

I have often made the effort to publicly voice my ideas about how Archuleta County should be planning for the future and dealing with the rapid growth and development we are experiencing. I am happy to be able to say that the county has moved forward. We now have a full-time long range planning director, and a Vision Committee. The Vision Committee, which I have recently joined, is responsible for bringing the voice of the people into the county planning process. Last year, there was a professionally run telephone survey of the opinions of the citizens of our county, concerning growth and development.

Our county is now in the process of developing major steps forward in planning for the future, and everyone in the county is invited to participate. Between Feb. 15 and Feb. 28 there will be a series of public meetings in different parts of the county. These meetings will be advertised in the SUN.

Now is the time for all of us to come forward and share our ideas. The results of these meetings will be used in the development of a new Archuleta County Plan. It is very important that the plan which develops actually represents the feelings and desires of everyone in the county.

Please do not neglect to get involved. You and your family and friends may have to live with the results. Make it a point to find out where and when the meeting for your part of the county will be held. Go to the meeting, and speak out about what you want for the future of our county. You can make a difference.


Ron Chacey

Editor's note: The meeting sites are established for their convenience to persons living within the proximity of the individual sites, but persons living anywhere within the county are welcome to attend any and all of the seven public meetings.

Waxing iceberg

Dear Editor,

The OCC did something bad/ They sent Isberg a letter/ and boy, was he mad!/ How dare they expect me to follow the rules/ Those are for people without a column/ And the rest of you fools!/ But I with my satire and rapier wit/ Will chastise the OCC villains/ And make them quit./ How dare they question the Pagosa bard/ Their rules and regs are nothing/ But lard!/ David edits my column and said it was good/ He empathized with my antipathy/ He agreed and understood./ Nobody messes with my reporter and me/ Or we'll skewer them to death/ So all can see!/ Rules don't apply to Karl the Iceberg, I suggest/ Because, "I am special/ And better than the rest."

Georganna L. Curtis

Editor's note: As stated in the masthead that appears on page 2, section 1 of the SUN, Karl Isberg edits the Preview section of the SUN. Somewhat like letters to the editor, it is common for a columnist to comment about a happening or occurrence - personal or otherwise - that is of general interest. Unlike certain letters to the editor, Karl does not sign his name to a column that was written by a second party.

Poet's hiatus over

Dear David,

Now that I have been released from my self-imposed hiatus from writing to the paper, I would like to submit this comment on a recent happening at the courthouse.

Oh heavens above, what's that he has in his hand?/ It looks like a weapon, such villany cannot stand/ The fabric of our commissioners will surely unravel/ Look, it's not just a weapon, it's also a gavel./ A gavel! A gavel!/ No doubt we'll unravel!/ I never voted for such a terrible thing/ Me neither his buddy cried and began to sing/ "You're evil, you're vicious and you're an awful crabtree/ You didn't bother to ask Hunt, him or me."/ A gavel! A gavel!/ No doubt we'll unravel!/ He took the gavel gently in his hand,/ Listened to them closely so he could understand/ Their terror, their stress, and their obvious fright./ Then he gaveled to the left and then he gaveled to the right./ A gavel! A gavel!/ No doubt we'll unravel!/ One was unconscious, the other one fell./ The gavel was expensive and really hit well./ He looked closely at Hunt with a menacing leer./ Hunt says "You can have what you want, I'm outta here."/ A gavel! A gavel!/ One heck of a gavel!

Pat Curtis

Editor's note: Good to learn you've been released. Hope Judy Esterly enjoys the comments you submitted.

Marxist thinking

Dear Editor,

I think that it would be beneath any respectable and qualified judge to make statements as displayed in last week's SUN.

Actually, I'd rather be surrounded by upbeat, able, and forward-thinking wealthy people than I would down-in-the-mouth, and unable so-called poor people.

When this rich and powerful poverty-mouthed judge sees people as nothing but class, color and gender what can we expect out of him for justice? Politics? He can pretend to be superior to all groups and classes as he tries to play them against each other and thereby garner increasing power from these same people.

And, whether his antiquated Marxist thinking likes it or not there already is diversity amongst people and harmony amongst "colors" in this county at least and it's not even forced or mandated either.

What has he and his kind done in their pasts to justify this constant, obsessive, guilt-ridden attention to color, class and gender?

As far as low-income housing is concerned it should not be up to the wealthy to provide such and it isn't they who created disadvantaged people to begin with. Liberal Democrats did.

If someone wants to say that private property boundaries are artificial they're not only implying that public property boundaries are the only real ones they're saying that nobody should really own anything. You know what this is? Communism in full bloom.

Spirit, gender, and class have no color, size, or shape except to Godless, entrenched liberal Democrats.

No organization should use anyone's name in their advertising without permission. There - this is all Jim Denvir needed to say (letter to editor, Jan. 20)! And he could even have done better than I have because he could have used legal language instead of socio-political.


John Feazel

Gavel is good

Dear David,

After reading the article about Commissioner Crabtree's gavel, I question the mentality of two of our current commissioners.

Commissioner Downey states: "We didn't authorize its purchase." Since when do our elected officials need authorization from each other to spend their personal funds? Since Commissioner Crabtree does not want a reimbursement, what is the problem?

Commissioner Fox stated: "Our meetings have historically been non-authoritarian." "Is this gavel really needed?" What happened to Roberts Rules of Order?

Years ago when I was in 4-H and served as president of my club, we had a gavel. We even had to study parliamentary procedures and run our meeting accordingly.

Maybe this gavel will help keep future meetings from becoming historically hysterical like other unnamed boards and committees. Just because a gavel has not been used in the past, does not mean it will not be a useful tool for future meetings.

Since it appears that Commissioners Downey and Fox did not authorize Commissioner Crabtree to spend his own money, I would personally volunteer to give Commissioner Crabtree the $45 he spent for his gavel.

Keep up the good work Commissioner Crabtree.


Debbie Fultz

Occult books

Dear Editor,

I was interested by the letters (Jan. 13) from the two students about the Harry Potter books.

Warlocks, wizards and witches have always been the embodiment of witchcraft. It is the practices or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits. This is occultism. Occultic books and games are often packaged to look like harmless fun. They introduce young readers to topics like vampirism, ESP and out-of-body experience. They are breeders of fear and violence.

Author, Berit Kjos, in her book, "Brave New Schools," warns that this indoctrination is happening nationwide. Those children's loyalties are being turned from the home, the churches, from God. This "ideal" is actually a world view that embraces all religions except Christianity.

In Deuteronomy 18:10-13 we are warned: "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whosoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and shall not be blameless before the Lord."

Witness the Columbine High School tragedy in Colorado.


Rosemary Horstman

Shot on sight

Dear Editor,

I want the irresponsible dog owners of Aspen Springs to know that I am tired of dead sheep and lambs because of your irresponsibility and flagrant disregard and disrespect for both county and state law. So let it be known that from this moment on any dogs found in with my sheep will be shot on sight and the owners of said dogs will be prosecuted and sued for the cost of the lost livestock.

Please! Be responsible and chain or pen up your dogs according to the law, because it will be your pet not you that will pay the ultimate price for your irresponsibility.

Dogs killed three new-born lambs Jan. 21, 2000.

Stephen Keno

Not supportive

Dear Editor,

On January 13th a full-page ad was placed in your paper by the Piano Creek organization. In the ad many local businesses were listed and thanked for their warm welcome and support of Piano Creek.

Moonlight Books was one of them. We would like the community to know that Moonlight Books is in the business of selling books and providing related services to our customers. We have certainly and happily sold books to individuals who work for the Piano Creek organization and have been grateful for their business; as we are for all of our customers. We would not be in business if it were not for all of our supportive local customers.

Generally when a business or an individual's name is used in an advertisement for a project or organization, it is an indication that the business or individual is in agreement with the entity paying for the ad. In this instance, Moonlight Books was not consulted. As a business, it would be prudent for us to maintain neutrality toward this controversial project.

As individuals who have lived in the county for 22 years; we are constantly confronted by the conflicting desires to maintain the quality of life we moved here to enjoy and the necessity of making a viable living. Thirteen years ago when we opened Moonlight Books, we were aware that our community would need to grow to stabilize our local economy. We have always believed that growth could take a benign and complementary form.

After considering the situation, we contacted representatives of Piano Creek to attempt to learn more about their reason for using our business name and to relate to them that our ideas about development were not necessarily in concert with theirs. The reaction to our inquiry was highly defensive, it was actually quite difficult to even state our concerns. We were clearly informed that Moonlight Books would no longer be frequented.

Should we assume this means that they no longer feel warm and supported? Should this strengthen our feelings that our name was not necessarily used in good faith?

Jerry and Joan Rohwer

Listen to 'foam

Dear Editor,

Your intrepid reporter's exceptional coverage of recent Archuleta County commissioner meetings is providing raucous entertainment for local PCSP (Pagosa Coffee Shop Patriot) devotees. But recent coverage has also renewed the ire of its membership. They have now launched a new political party in the county and are actively recruiting a growing membership.

The GOGP (Grand Old Gavel Pounders) party has not selected their nominee for one of the two commissioners' seats up for grabs in 2000. If the GOGP nominee is elected, the first vote will be to abolish Roberts Rules of Order.

Personally, I feel fortunate that I haven't had the time to attend the most recent commissioner meetings. From your stellar reporters' glossy-eyed revelations of commissioner philosophy, I'd just as soon be at home listening to a pack of styrofoam.

Maybe there really is something terribly wrong with the PAWS (Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation) product. Perhaps a tad too much sulfur?

Jim Sawicki

Corgi M.I.A.

Dear Editor,

Tuesday, Jan. 18, was a terrible day. Our dog, a 9-month-old Corgi was taken from our yard.

We live on Dutton Drive just off North Pagosa Boulevard, and it seems that the disappearance of our dog was no accident. We had just returned from town and like any other day let the dog out to play. After a short time we realized the little guy hadn't returned to the side door as he usually does. Naturally, we went outside to call for him but still he was nowhere to be seen. While searching and calling his name we spoke with several neighbors and witnesses who say they saw a girl with blond hair playing with our dog. This girl was seen walking on Dutton Drive with our dog beside her and a short time later she was seen again on North Pagosa at Lake Forest Circle.

Our dog has never strayed and has always stayed within the vicinity of our yard. He is a Pembrook Corgi. He has short legs, a long body, large pointy ears, is neutered and he has no tail. His fur is long and very soft. He is primarily red with white and a little brown. He looks very much like a fox and has a fantastic spunky personality.

We miss our little guy terribly and our grandchildren are broken hearted. He was wearing a collar with dog tags with the number of a Monte Vista veterinarian clinic. It would be very easy to find his proper home yet no phone calls have been made. We are long time residents of Pagosa Springs and are very disappointed at this turn of events. Please, if you are reading this letter and you are the young girl who was last seen with our dog, know that he is a member of the family and that our home is not the same without him. Please return him to where he belongs. A phone call is all it would take. There will be no questions asked.

If anyone in the community should recognize the description of our dog we would appreciate any information that you might have. Call Judy at (970) 731-2549 or Sam at (719) 754-2746. We are offering a reward.

Anxiously waiting,

Judy and Sam Selters

That darn gavel!

Dear Editor,

After reading the John Motter report of the "Gavel" caper during last week's commissioners fiasco, I envisioned this hysteria occurring in my fourth grade reading class. I would have tapped the hands of the two spoiled brats with a ruler and lectured their mommies on parenthood.

Oh my, the caucus is so far away and there are so many letters to write.

Lee Sterling

Take care

Dear Editor,

Those of us who live here, or have lived here more than 50 years are concerned about all the negative ideas about the ongoing use of our renewable resources. Those of you with negative ideas, not wanting to take care of the land, are not one of the majority of residents.

If taking care of the land is wrong, why do a lot of people living on the land, try to take care of it?

Do you have a right to live here? What do you contribute? The folks who came before, trappers, Indians, miners, soldiers, pioneers, those looking for homes and opportunities; they took care of the land and taught others to use, renew and reuse the land - so we are here.

Consider some of the basics for building and living. We use straw, steel, wood, cinder block, brick, stone, mud and cement, electricity, paper, coal, chemicals, propane and water.

Some of these products are renewable resources. Let's learn to use them, and help them to renew and grow. Take care of the land and surroundings so that some years later more of these products will be available.

Other concerns to consider: home and structure fires, also grass and timber fires are facts of life. The fire-fighting and containment equipment will be available only if the roads are open and passable to travel either to private or government land.

Disease and injury to plants, people and animals create a need for roads and a communication system to be a safety net for all.

Erosion, lack of ground cover (grass and shrubs) non-stable hillsides and excavation sites are a problem. Let's get together and look at some of these problems. We can get help and get good ideas from some of our already available sources. To cooperate and to communicate are sometimes not easy things to do. A look at the problem from both sides of the fence can find a solution.

Jean Taylor



Pot-hole dodger

Dear Dave,

I just want to say I agree completely with Dave Bohl's letter and the letter of Joseph Marion concerning the paving of Vista Boulevard. If the paving company got paid for the Vista job, they had to be holding a gun to someone's head. It was better before they came - at least we knew where the pot-holes were and could dodge them.


Bobby Carruth

Small town flavor

Dear Editor,

The other day I needed to check my bank balance and called Citizens Bank for that reason. I told the person who answered the phone what I needed. She asked for my name and account number. Then she proceeded to ask for some other identifying information. Halfway through the question she stopped and said, "I don't need any more information; I recognize your voice." That made my day. It's nice to live in a town where someone recognizes who you are just by your voice. I hope the small town atmosphere will never be swallowed up by the growth we are experiencing now. Thank you Citizens Bank.

Peter D. Laue

Irritate neighbors

Hey Karl,

Here's how you can have your shed, and individual rights too: Sell your house at a handsome profit (courtesy of your POA's covenants and restrictions), and move to a non-POA area.

Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and have new neighbors that irritate you more than you irritate them.


Kurt Raymond

Fork friends

Dear David,

I would like to comment on the amusing bit of fiction created by the spin doctors at Piano Creek. Their full-page ad on Jan. 13 might have been impressive had it actually been endorsements by all the businesses and people mentioned.

However, several of us (Friends of the East Fork) have made calls to inquire if these people and companies had any knowledge of being used in this ad to promote the destruction of a beautiful wildland. And we learned that a great number of them were unaware of being mentioned and indeed, did not support what Piano Creek is doing. One person even stated, in surprise, "All we did was not sue them when their remodeling broke some water pipes and damaged some of our property."

Let it be said that buying a bagel somewhere or having lunch, or getting ones garbage picked up, does not mean that the establishment supports or condones the actions of their patrons. It simply means they have provided a service as they do for anyone, regardless of what mindless activity that customer engages in when they leave.


Kathryn Nelson

Officer's hands full

Dear Editor,

Now the Public Safety Office would like to revitalize the Neighborhood Watch so that the property owners can protect their own property. Gee, why not.

After all we do not want the Public Safety officers to be over worked, because they have their hands full with traffic stops and eating donuts. Whatever happened to 24-hour coverage that we were promised?

I will tell you, nothing. They can't seem to schedule their officers to work around the clock but they can have two officers on during the first 8-hour shift of the day when one would do. That first officer has a sheriff's deputy to back him up and if need be the town and state officers too.

What are we getting for the estimated $300,000 that we pay out in education, uniforms, equipment and vehicles? Certainly not protection of our property and businesses. But the sheriff's department gets full use to do with whatever he wants at our expense and now wants it all with no strings attached.

My work takes me on every street within the boundaries of the PLPOA every night after the Public Safety is off duty. So here is an idea.

Why not pay me the $300,000 and I will assure that with that kind of funding your property and businesses will be protected 24 hours a day. Isn't that what you expect for your money?

Randall Mettscher


Marie R. Snook

Marie R. Snook, 86, died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2000, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango.

Mrs. Snook was born May 1, 1913, in Creede, the daughter of Robert and Jennie Cummings.

She lived in Archuleta County as a young child after her parents moved to Pagosa. While in Pagosa, she met her husband, Elbert L. Snook, and lived on the Snook ranch for several years before moving to Arizona. She returned to this area in 1988.

She is survived by her nieces, Helen L. Schoonover of Pagosa Springs and Letha Tucker of Durango; five other nieces; and two nephews.

Mrs. Snook was preceded in death by her husband Elbert; her father, Robert W. Cummings; and her mother Jennie Warr Cummings.

No services are planned at this time.



William Nathan Sanders

William Nathan Sanders graduated from the Colorado State Patrol Academy Dec. 10, 1999. He received his badge upon completing a five-month training course as a cadet trooper at the academy. Sanders and his wife, Kristen, are presently residing in Fairplay where he received his first duty assignment. He is a 1997 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

Sports Page

Wrestlers get wins over Del Norte, Buena, Monte

By Karl Isberg

With three dual-meet wins in a week's time, Pirate wrestlers are on a roll as they head to Bayfield for a dual tonight, and to the Ignacio Tournament on Saturday.

Pagosa beat Del Norte 46-21 in the Tigers' home den on Jan. 20, then turned around on the same night and defeated Buena Vista by a score of 57-15. Returning to the friendly confines of their own gym on Jan. 21, the Pirates whipped rival Monte Vista 48-23.

While the overall performance of the team is still not at the level coach Dan Janowsky desires, the improvement during the past week is one of the first unmistakably positive signs the team has given during what, to date, has been an erratic season.

With only the Bayfield dual and the tourney at Ignacio left before the Feb. 5 Intermountain League Tournament, the Pirates have the engine on the right track. With some fine-tuning, Janowsky might yet see the results he hoped for when he evaluated his team at the beginning of the year.

"I don't think we wrestled our very best in any of the dual meets last week," said the coach, "but we certainly had our moments. I'm real pleased with our lower weights; they steadily improve and are gaining confidence. Our bigger guys execute well technically but they have been a little more tentative than I like, and they seem to tire quicker. It's harder for big guys to get into top shape, so we're going to make some efforts with conditioning to clear it up. You can change that picture with three or four workouts. Overall, though, I think we're building some momentum."

Del Norte

The momentum was created at the dual meet with Del Norte. The Pirates got points in the first three matches of the meet.

Jesse Trujillo was given a victory by forfeit at 103 pounds, as was Anthony Maestas, at 119 pounds.

Michael Maestas nailed a 9-5 decision at 112 pounds to put points on the scoreboard.

Freshmen Cliff Hockett (125 pounds), Zeb Gill (130 pounds) and Clayton Mastin (135 pounds) each lost matches at the meet.

Senior Daniel Martinez dropped a tough 9-8 decision at 140 pounds. "I think Daniel's opponent was probably the best man on Del Norte's team," said Janowsky. "We gave up back points in the first period and couldn't make up the ground."

Josh Trujillo stopped the bleeding, with an emphatic 10-0 decision at 145 pounds.

Keith Candelaria followed the trend, nailing his man's shoulders to the mat in the first period of the 152-pound match.

Kraig Candelaria took a 13-6 decision at 160 pounds to continue the winning ways for the Pirates.

At 171 pounds, Clint Shaw battled his opponent and illness and lost 10-8 in overtime.

Josh Richardson recorded the first of three victories by pin in a two-day period, when he got the fall in the first round of his match at 189 pounds.

George Kyriacou (215 pounds) and Shane Prunty (275 pounds) were awarded forfeits.

Buena Vista

Jesse Trujillo started the Pirates on the road to victory against Buena Vista, pinning his opponent in the second period.

At 112 pounds, Mike Maestas nailed a pin in the third period.

Anthony Maestas followed with a 21-5 technical fall at 119 pounds.

Hockett came up big for the Pirates, winning a 12-5 decision at 125 pounds.

Gill lost his match at 130 pounds with a second-period fall, as did Mastin at 135 pounds.

A Demon forfeit at 140 pounds gave Pagosa more team points.

Josh Trujillo won his match at 145 pounds with a 7-4 decision.

Keith Candelaria had little trouble forging a 14-2 major decision at 152 pounds.

Kraig Candelaria was ahead in his 160-pound fight when he received the win by injury default.

Shaw lost an 11-7 decision at 171 pounds.

Richardson took on the best the Demons had to offer at 189 pounds. The Buena Vista wrestler went to the finals at the 1999 regional tourney and was a placer at the state tournament. Richardson dispatched him in the second period of the match.

Kyriacou earned a quick pin in the first period of his 215-pound battle.

Prunty also pinned his man in the first period to cap off the Pirates' victory over the Demons.

Monte Vista

If the Pirates have one certifiable nemesis and rival year after year, it is Monte Vista. The teams have engaged in some epic clashes in recent years, and the dual meet on Jan. 21 belonged to Pagosa.

The evening did not begin on a high note for the Pirates. Jesse Trujillo lost a 17-1 technical fall at 103 pounds and Mike Maestas lost a 9-3 decision at 112 pounds. The Pirate freshmen faced two of the better wrestlers on the Monte Vista team, and the losses gave the visitors from the other side of Wolf Creek Pass an early point advantage.

The advantage was short-lived.

Anthony Maestas put a stop to the Monte Vista party. Facing Darin Montoya at 119 pounds, Maestas came back from a sizable point deficit and scored a pin in the third period.

"Anthony's match was big for us," said Janowsky. "He was down 8-3 and he came back to win it. He set a good example when he won; good things happen if you keep pressing."

The lesson was not lost on Hockett. The Pirate freshman pinned Monte's 125-pound senior Matt Wolfe in the first period.

Gill also received the message. Behind 6-1 in his 130-pound contest, the Pirate persevered and got the pin in the second period.

Mastin lost his match against Jason Salazar when he was pinned in the third period.

Martinez regained the momentum at 140 pounds with a 6-0 decision over Chad Thompson.

A Monte Vista forfeit at 145 pounds donated points to Pagosa.

At 152 pounds, Keith Candelaria pinned Nick Wolfe in the second period. Always an excellent technician, the Pirate senior seems to be peaking at just the right point in the season.

Kraig Candelaria won at 160 pounds when he pinned Jared Biggs with little more than a minute gone in the match. Kraig had won three consecutive matches - two by pin.

Richardson got some revenge against Monte's Nate Zamora in their battle at 171 pounds. Zamora defeated Richardson at the Rocky Mountain Invitational on Jan. 8. On Jan. 21, Richardson wailed on Zamora to build a 15-0 lead, then put him out of his misery with a third-period fall.

Sophomore Luke Boilini stepped in at 189 pounds for the Pirates and dropped a close 10-8 decision to Nathan Roberts.

Kyriacou managed to gain a 7-2 lead over Matt Steinhart at 215 pounds but got into trouble as the match ended and lost when he was pinned.

Prunty won a stall-filled heavyweight battle against Jason Schneider with a 7-3 decision.

Bayfield and Ignacio

"To me," said Janowsky, "it's clear we're making progress, but now we're racing the clock. I'm anxious to see what Bayfield has when we travel over there for the dual meet. It will be interesting to see how we fare against Ignacio on Saturday. They're pretty good this year, and we should have a few head-to-head matches with them. I think we should be in the hunt for the tournament title at Ignacio. Last year, we didn't have the depth to win the tournament. This year, we might. I'm looking for everybody on our team to score points and I'm hoping we'll have a number of guys in the finals."

The dual meet at the Bayfield High School gym beings at 6 tonight (Jan. 27).

The 11-team field at Ignacio on Jan. 29 includes the hosts, Pagosa, Bayfield and Mancos, New Mexico teams from Kirtland, Bloomfield and Shiprock, and Monticello, Utah.

Action at Ignacio begins at 10 a.m.


Lady Pirates geared up to avenge Centauri loss

By Roy Starling

Saturday night at a little after 6, there'll be a regular clash of the titans in the high school gym.

The two biggest and best teams in the Intermountain League will meet in what amounts to a title bout. Centauri's undefeated (5-0) Lady Falcons will swoop down on Pagosa to take on the 4-1 Lady Pirates.

The math is pretty simple. "We have to beat them or lose the league title," Pagosa coach Karen Wells said. If the Ladies lose, they have to wish upon a star for two other teams in the weaker than usual IML to knock off the Lady Falcons.

If they win, they have to be sure they don't lose again (there's still a Feb. 17 rematch with Ignacio) and hope that one other team will surprise Centauri or that league officials will devise a tie breaker that works in the Lady Pirates' favor. Finishing the season with a No. 1 seed will give the Ladies a much more comfortable bracket in the IML District 1 Tournament to be held Feb. 25 and 26 in La Jara, home of the La Jaratbreak Hotel.

Beating Centauri isn't going to be easy. The Lady Falcons are an offensive juggernaut with depth. Senior shooting guard Holly McCarroll is deadly from downtown, but she's just as much at ease pulling up for short-range jumpers. Sister Cindy McCarroll breaks the 20-point mark occasionally with a variety of swift moves in the high and low post.

But the straw that stirs the Centauri drink is a tough-as-nails point guard named Nicole Espinosa. Standing no more than 5-foot-3 in heels, Espinosa has waterbug quickness and absolutely no fear in launching 3-point shots. It was her last-second missile, of course, that pushed the first Centauri-Pagosa game into overtime in which she hit yet another three to put the game out of reach.

How to beat these girls? "We have to rebound and hit our free throws," Wells said, noting that these were the two areas that hurt her girls in La Jara. "We've been working on both in practice. There's just no way we should ever be out rebounded."

To keep that notion on her team's collective front burner, she's had the Ladies repeat the following mantra all week: "We will not be out rebounded. We will not be out rebounded."

The Ladies have also spent many hours on the free-throw line this week. When they don't meet Wells's quota, they get to work on their conditioning. So even if they're off the mark at the stripe Saturday night, they shouldn't tire easily.

"The girls think they can beat this team," Wells said, "and I think they can beat them. It just depends on which of our teams shows up: the one that played great defense against Monte Vista Saturday or the one who couldn't score against Del Norte in the third quarter Friday. Against Centauri, we'll have to play consistently the whole game."

Even if the Ladies play their best, they could use some help from their local fan base. In La Jara, the enthusiastic faithful generated a deafening din in the game's pivotal moments, and even Monte Vista's fans pushed the decibel level to uncomfortable heights. Wells believes a similar sort of controlled rowdiness in Pagosa would be a big boost to her girls Saturday night.

Going into the Centauri game, senior Mandy Forrest is leading the team in scoring, with a 12.7 average, and rebounding, with 10.5 a game. Sophomore Katie Lancing is contributing 10.9 points per game and 8.7 rebounds. She's also fattening her teammates' scoring averages by dishing out over four assists a game, a statistic pretty much unheard of for a 6-foot post-forward.

Shooting guard Janae Esterbrook is averaging 10.2 points per game and is helping out on the boards with a 4.85 rebounding average. Sophomore post Ashley Gronewoller, after totaling 34 points in two games last weekend, has a 9.9 average; she's pulling down rebounds at the rate of 7.6 per outing.

Guards Bonnie O'Brien and Meigan Canty will continue to worry enemy perimeter players, both on offense and defense. Both have stepped up their defensive play considerably in the last couple of weeks, forcing teams to try their luck in the post against Pagosa's 6-foot-and-over club.

Junior Andrea Ash has seen her playing time increase significantly of late, chiefly, according to Wells, because of her hard work and hustle. "I can count on her anytime, either at guard or down below," she said. "She knows every position, one through five, on offense and defense."

After Centauri, the Lady Pirates' main task will be to maintain intensity while plundering the IML cellar. They have Bayfield there, Friday, Feb. 4; Monte Vista here, Friday, Feb. 11; and Del Norte here, Saturday, Feb. 12.

They'll wind up their regular season with a pretty important trip to Ignacio on Thursday, Feb. 17.


Ladies rip Del Norte despite 3rd quarter stall

By Roy Starling

In the second quarter against the out-girled Del Norte Lady Tigers Friday night, the Lady Pirates seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, swatting around their opponents like a cat toying with a wounded mouse.

They expanded a 13-3 first period lead to 26-3 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the half, then, after Del Norte hit a deuce and a trey, the Ladies bombarded their hosts with 12 more points, taking a 38-8 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter, however, they tossed the Lady Tigers perhaps their biggest moral victory of the season. They did this by going into a stall, but not intentionally. Through a series of miscues and missed shots, the Lady Pirates held themselves scoreless for the first 7:20 of the period, and wound up being outscored by Del Norte 9-2.

This was cause for great celebration from Lady Tiger coach Mike Gallegos and his girls, a celebration that cooled when the Ladies opened the final period with an 11-0 run and went on to secure a 57-24 win.

But let's go back and take a look at some of the second-quarter fireworks.

On the Ladies' opening possession, senior Bonnie O'Brien found Ashley Gronewoller under the basket, and the sophomore post turned and delivered, giving her team a 15-3 lead.

Junior Meigan Canty rebounded Del Norte's next miss, and on the other end Mandy Forrest skipped a pass over the Lady Tigers' zone defense to O'Brien who cashed in on a 3-pointer. Pagosa led 18-3.

After the two teams took turns turning the ball over, Pagosa set up a play that culminated in a Katie Lancing pass into the post, this time to Forrest, for an easy two. After the Lady Tigers misfired and Forrest grabbed the rebound, Lancing created a shot for herself on the baseline, pushing the score to 22-3 at 5:10.

Del Norte then turned the ball over, and Lancing made them pay by dishing to Gronewoller for two. On the Ladies' next possession, Lancing hit a turn-around jumper for two more, putting anything other than a moral victory out of reach for the hosts.

Lancing, incidentally, had five assists in the first half, giving her 13 in the last six quarters.

Unfortunately, there are no highlights to report from the third quarter, but the Ladies got their groove back for a while in the fourth. With Pagosa leading 40-17, Gronewoller scored from a Forrest assist to open the period, then two minutes later she made the most of a Lancing feed. Canty followed up with a quick drive into the lane, scoring on a banker from the left side. Gronewoller then hit 1 of 2 from the line and, on the next possession, scored on a putback. Forrest capped the run by sinking two free throws, making the score 51-17 at 4:02.

Gronewoller led the Ladies' rout, knocking down 19 points - her season high - and grabbing eight rebounds. Lancing had 10 points, and led the team with seven assists, four steals and 11 rebounds.

Forrest, despite having one of those nights every shooter dreads, when the orange rim seems tightly sealed with an invisible lid, finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Esterbrook scored eight points and made her presence felt under the glass, snatching seven rebounds. O'Brien had eight points, going 2 for 3 from beyond the 3-point arc.

As a team, the Ladies shot 36.8 percent (21 of 57) from the floor and 47.3 percent (9 of 19) from the free-throw line.

Leading the Del Norte attack were the diminutive Mika Gallegos and 5-foot-10 Shelly Butero, both sophomores, with a half dozen points each.


Lady Pirates' defense shuts down Monte Vista

By Roy Starling

The Lady Pirates' defense clamped down on an aggressive Monte Vista team Saturday afternoon, holding them to just one field goal in both the second and third quarters, while getting enough offense to polish off their San Luis Valley namesakes 49-20 in Monte.

In last Thursday's Denver Post, Monte Vista was ranked eighth among Class 3A teams, but after Saturday's game, it appears that ranking may be based on inadequate information. Centauri's Lady Falcons were ranked 10th, while Pagosa has dropped out of the rankings.

When they dropped in on Monte last weekend, they found a hustling, inspired, fired up, scrappy team. The Valley Ladies greeted their visitors with a full-court press that resulted in a few steals early, but was more of a nuisance than anything else. Pagosa's Ladies returned the favor, so both teams spent much of the first period figuring out the best way to get the ball across the time line.

Monte kept it close for the first quarter, trailing only 13-8 at the buzzer. Pagosa got its offense from sophomore Ashley Gronewoller, who hit a short banker on the opening possession, then added three free throws; from senior Janae Esterbrook, who buried a jumper from a Katie Lancing assist and sank two free throws; from Mandy Forrest, who faked out three Monte defenders with an under-the-basket reverse layup; and Lancing, who hit a turnaround jumper with 22 seconds remaining in the period.

In the second period, Pagosa's Ladies tightened their defense. Monte's big girls - 5-foot-10 senior Kiley Schmeir and 5-foot-9 senior Sonia Moncy - found the lane clogged with Pagosa's taller defenders, and Monte's perimeter's players were unable to get a good look at the basket thanks to constant harassment from Bonnie O'Brien, Meigan Canty and Esterbrook.

During the period, Pagosa got steals from O'Brien, Canty and Lancing, a noisy block when Lancing stuffed a long-distance effort from guard Misty Howard, and consistent rebounding from Forrest.

Monte got a field goal from a nice move by Cassie Kelso with 5:45 remaining in the half. They wouldn't get another until junior guard Heather Sims hit a 25-foot 3-pointer with 2:16 left in the third quarter.

On the offensive end, the Lady Pirates didn't make a lot of noise, but got the job done well enough to take control of the game early in the second period. O'Brien opened the quarter by sinking two from the line after being fouled by Rebecca Longseth. A Forrest rebound on the defensive end resulted in a Lancing basket on the other, thanks to a Gronewoller feed.

At 6:05, Lancing executed one of her patented steal-and-score moves, picking the ball off near Monte's basket, then racing the length of the court for a layup. This put the Ladies up 19-8. Kelso's shot momentarily slowed the Pagosa momentum, but Esterbrook came right back with a nifty move and a bucket in the lane.

The half played itself out with the two teams alternating trips to the free-throw line. When the buzzer sounded, Pagosa was up 24-11.

In the third quarter, Monte's Schmeir and Moncy, no doubt frustrated by Pagosa's interior defense, both picked up their fourth fouls, while the Ladies' big girls, Forrest and Gronewoller, combined for eight points, pushing the lead to 36-14 going into the final period.

In the fourth, Forrest, who had been mired in a 6-quarter slump, got fed up and fired up, and made her presence felt in a major way. She opened the quarter by taking a pass from Andrea Ash, putting a quick move on her defender and draining a 5-footer.

At 6:17, she forced her way between two Monte girls for another basket. Seconds later, when Gronewoller missed a free throw, Forrest bounded into the lane, stole the rebound from Monte and put it back up for two. Pagosa led 42-14. In the next two minutes, Forrest picked up a steal, recovered a loose ball and scored when O'Brien found her in a crowd.

Forrest's flurry gave her a total of 14 points, eight of those coming in the final period.

Competing with Forrest for this week's floor-burn trophy was the Ladies' versatile bench player Ash. In a 2-minute span in the fourth, she picked up two rebounds, a steal and an assist.

The Lady Pirates' top scorer in the road win was Gronewoller, with 15. Esterbrook had 10 and Lancing seven. Gronewoller was the team's top rebounder with 12, followed by Esterbrook and Forrest with 10 each. Forrest also had three blocks and three assists. Canty added three assists to the offensive effort.

Lancing had nine boards and led the team with eight steals and five assists. O'Brien pestered Monte's guards with four steals.

The Ladies shot 32.6 percent (16 of 49) from the floor and 50 percent (17 of 34) from the line.

Pagosa's defense held Monte's all-conference candidate Kiley Schmeir to two points, while shutting out Moncy, her partner in the post. Howard led the hosts with seven.

At the halfway point of their conference season, the Ladies stand at 4-1 in IML play, 10-4 overall.


Pirates earn two big IML wins on road

By John M. Motter

Unbeaten and on top. That is the status of the Pagosa Pirates basketball team after resounding victories over Del Norte and Monte Vista. Pagosa has five wins, and no losses, the best record in the Intermountain League.

Last weekend the Pirates shutdown Jake Evig and the Del Norte Tigers 61-42, then returned to the San Luis Valley Saturday night to mug Monte Vista 69-52. Pirate fans showed their appreciation by shouting down hometown crowds in both gymnasiums.

The wins completed the first half of IML for Pagosa Springs. The Pirates have met and beaten every other team in the league. Just behind Pagosa are Monte Vista and Bayfield with 2-1 records, Del Norte 1-2, Centauri 1-3, and Ignacio 0-5.

During the second half of the season, Pagosa plays each IML opponent a second time. The Pirates host Centauri Saturday at 7:30, travel to Bayfield Feb. 4 with games starting at 4 p.m., travel to Monticello, Utah, for a non-league game Feb. 5 at 5 p.m., host Monte Vista Feb. 11 at 8 p.m., host Del Norte Feb. 12 at 5 p.m., and close the regular season at Ignacio Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. The IML district tournament is at Centauri Feb. 25 and 26. Regional play is March 4 and the state tournament begins March 9.

There are two paths for reaching the state tournament. The first path is by capturing the IML title. The team that captures the IML title automatically qualifies for regional play. The second path is through the IML district tournament. The team finishing highest in the tournament, excepting the team that has already qualified for the playoffs, qualifies for the regional playoffs.

"The best way to go to the state playoffs is by capturing the league title," said Kyle Canty, the Pirates coach. "The tournament is kind of sudden death, winner-take-all. Anything can happen."

If the Pirates win all of their second-half games, they will be IML champs and automatically qualify for the playoffs. Going undefeated a second time around is no cinch. When the season started, Monte Vista was favored to win the IML with Del Norte not far behind. The Pirates were, at best, a dark-horse contender. Now, having beaten every other team, the Pirates have moved from dark horse to favorite. Everyone will be shooting for them and if they let down, any team can beat them.

Team play, a strong defense, and an unselfish offense created the victories over Del Norte and Monte Vista this past weekend, according to Canty.

Pagosa 61, Del Norte 42

"We hoped to hold Evig (Jake) to 30 points and Richardson to 15 points and we did," Canty said. "David (Goodenberger) and Micah (Maberry) took turns on Evig and Charles (Rand) came in to help. Just as important, Tyrel (Ross) and Daniel (Crenshaw) were responsible for keeping the ball away from (Michael) Richardson."

The Pagosa boys' success on defense is proved by the score book. Evig did not get a field goal until the third quarter and scored only 12 points for the game. Richardson also scored only 12 points. By quarters, Del Norte was held to 7, 8, 8 and 18 points respectively.

Meanwhile, the Pirates offense cranked out 15 points the first quarter, 9 points the second quarter, 13 points the third quarter, and 21 points the final quarter. Help for the Pagosa offense came from unexpected sources. Early in the final period, Evig moved out to high post and began to find the scoring range. At the same time, Pagosa suffered from a scoring drought. Seldom used Brandon Thames entered the lineup because two Pagosa front liners were in foul trouble and needed a rest. Thames responded by burying a trey, then driving inside for a field goal to wake up the offense with five needed points.

Rand topped Pagosa scoring with 15 points. Next was Ross with 12 points; Crenshaw with 7 points; Maberry with 6 points; Goodenberger, Thames, Lonnie Lucero, and Clinton Lister with 5 points, and Darin Lister with 1 point. Pagosa made 12 of 27 field goal attempts for a shooting percentage of 44, 7 of 17 on 3-point attempts for a shooting percentage of 41, and 16 of 24 free throws for a shooting percentage of 66.7.

Goodenberger's nine rebounds topped that category for Pagosa. Tops in assists was Ross with three. Rand turned in two steals and Clinton Lister contributed a blocked shot. Pagosa committed only 12 turnovers for the game.

Pagosa 69, Monte Vista 52

Stellar defensive play and taking care of the ball helped Pagosa Springs get an early lead on Monte Vista, a lead it never relinquished. Canty cited Lonnie Lucero's defensive play against Monte star Trevor Stewart as a key to Pagosa's victory.

"Stewart burned us with eight points during the first period, but then Lonnie got in his face," Canty said. "Stewart hit another field goal during the second period, then was silent during the second half."

By quarters, Pagosa led 19-15, 19-17, 14-8, and 17-12 respectively. Again, offensive help came from unexpected sources. Clinton Lister set a scorching example as he opened Pagosa scoring with a pair of treys. Maberry chipped in five first quarter field goals using his fade-away jumper. In the second quarter, Ross and Crenshaw took over the scoring chores. Maberry took the lead again in the third stanza. Everybody helped in the final period, paced by Goodenberger's three field goals.

"Another key to our win was the way we handled Monte's press," Canty said. "They tried to trap and keep us out of scoring range. Charles handled the traps very well. It cut down on his scoring, but was vital for us to win."

Maberry's 22 points topped Pagosa scoring, followed by Ross with 15 points, Crenshaw with 12 points, Goodenberger with 8, Clinton Lister with 7, Rand with 3 and Lucero with 2. Pagosa converted 21 of 32 field goal attempts for a shooting percentage of 65.6, 4 of 14 3-point attempts for a shooting percentage of 28.6, and 9 of 13 from the charity stripe for a 69.2 shooting percentage.

Maberry captured the most rebounds with nine, followed by Goodenberger with seven. Ross was tops in assists with three, while Rand turned in two steals and one blocked shot. Pagosa committed 14 turnovers.

Maberry is leading Pagosa scoring through the first five IML games with 75 points and a 14.6-points-per-game average. Next is Rand with 65 points and a 13-points-per-game average, Goodenberger with 52 points and a 10.4-points-per-game-average, Crenshaw with 45 points and a 9-points-per-game average, Ross with 38 points and a 7.8-points-per-game average, and Clinton Lister with 21 points and a 4.2-points-per-game average.

The Pagosa team is averaging 64 points a game while holding the opposition to 51.2 points per game.

Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Chatter about 'Buy a Key' program

Members of the Fort Lewis College Music Faculty gave a concert last Saturday evening at the high school. Considering the short publicity notice (in last week's paper) and the Chamber's Mardi Gras at Pagosa Lodge at the same time, the attendance was very good. It was a beautiful program.

There is an explanation for the short notice: The Fort Lewis Faculty Music notified the Music Boosters that members would be going to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs to give a concert and that they would be passing through Pagosa Springs. Would the Music Boosters like for them to present the concert in Pagosa? The Music Boosters picked up on this. They had the answer. Proceeds for the concert could go to the "Buy a Key" program. The following is the note included in the concert's program. It tells the whole story.

Buy a Key

"Buy a key and support Pagosa's newest resident, a conservatory grand piano.

Thanks to the efforts of several members of Pagosa's music community, there is a new and magnificent instrument at the high school auditorium. Local pianist and piano technician Lee Bartley recently became aware the piano was for sale. He and fellow pianist John Graves were able to acquire it for the school. Graves, a Pagosa Springs Music Booster, and his wife Ann provided the $11,000 needed to purchase the 6-foot Yamaha instrument. With the help of Bartley, Steve Rogan and Kathy Isberg, also of the Music Boosters, as well as Jeff Laydon of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, local resident Bob Hemminger and Durango technician Rhythm Earthsong, the piano was brought here from Almont, Colorado, and placed in the auditorium.

"An effort is now underway to generate funds to allow the entire community to participate in the donation of the piano to the school. Bartley has contributed $300 worth of work to regulate the action of the piano. The Music Boosters have purchased a custom cover for it and are initiating the fundraising with a $1000 donation. Two concerts are being planned at the high school auditorium to raise the money needed to reimburse John and Ann Graves for their up-front expense.

"You can participate too. While donations of any size will be gratefully accepted, the main emphasis of this fundraising process will be the 'Buy a Key' campaign, wherein Pagosa Springs music lovers are encouraged to donate $100 to 'purchase' one of the new conservatory grand's black or white keys. Key purchasers will have their names inscribed on a plaque of donors to be permanently exhibited at the high school. If you would like to contribute, checks should be made out to the Music Boosters Piano Fund and mailed to P.O. Box 2218, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Please be sure to include your return address.

"Thank you for your continuing support."

Fun on the run

From the Daily Oklahoma newspaper:

A young woman brought her fiance home to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiance to his study.

"So, what are your plans?" the father asked.

"I'm a Bible scholar," the young man said.

"A Bible scholar. Hmmm." the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?"

"I will study," the young man said, "and God will provide for us."

"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?," the father asked.

"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man said, "God will provide for us."

"And children?" the father said, "How will you support children?"

"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," the fiance said.

The conversation proceeded like this. Each time the father asked a question, the young idealist insisted that God will provide.

Later, the mother asked, "How did it go, Honey?"

The father said, "He has no job and no plans, but the good news is he thinks I'm God."


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

That Mardi Gras was some party

I finally managed to remove all the glitter from my hair and am working on the car and the house. Somehow even the dog and cat have been glittering with the leftover residue from my wild Mardi Gras ensemble (selected from the extensive racks of the Betty Johann costume shop, thank you very much), and we're trying to resume some semblance of normalcy around the Visitor Center. One of the normal things we do every week is welcome new members and renewals, so that seems to be a good place to start.

Welcome to Vincenso Sencich who brings us Enzo's Catering Service, and I'm pleased to say that we were able to recommend Enzo to a client very shortly after he joined us. Your Chamber does work for you, I assure you. He was also ever so thoughtful to bring the staff a sample of his exquisite creme brulee a treat consumed accompanied by many ooohs and ahhhhhs. Enzo's Catering is committed to making your culinary experience as entertaining and enjoyable as they possibly can. At Enzo's, luxury and indulgence is easy and affordable to find. Please give them a call at 731-2013.

Mark Simon is our next new member, and he brings us The Daily Times out of Farmington, N.M., with offices at 1315 Main Avenue, Suite 307, in Durango. The Daily Times is a daily newspaper serving San Juan County New Mexico and the Four Corners area. You can reach these folks at 385-5133.


Our renewals this week include Darrel Cotton with Pagosa Materials, d/b/a Durango Construction Company; Greg Jorgensen with Pagosa Outside, LLC/Backcountry Angler; Mayor Ross Aragon with Pagosa Springs Community Center, Pagosa Springs Public Facilities Coalition, Inc.; Paul Day with Day Lumber; Norm Vance with Homestead Publishing-San Juan Adventure Guide; and Terry French with Pagosa Auto Care-NAPA. We welcome Mayor Ross Aragon once again as a Chamber Associate Member.


We are pleased to congratulate the three folks who will be serving as your new voices on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for the next three years. A warm welcome to Liz Marchand, Bonnie Masters and Mark DeVoti who will join the Board officially on Friday when they attend our all-day board retreat at Echo Manor Inn. Maureen and John Widmer are clearly gluttons for punishment as they invite us to hold our retreat at Echo Manor year after year. They are such splendid hosts that we can't bring ourselves to say no, so we will once again be treated like spun gold and enjoy every second of it. Just as a reminder, your standing board directors in addition to the three newly elected members are Ken Harms, Lauri Heraty, Don McKeehan, Terry Smith, Robert Soniat and Lynnis Steinert. You are fortunate, indeed, as I am, to have such a great group of people representing you on your Board of Directors.

Whatta party

I hope that everyone enjoyed our Mardi Gras just half as much as we did. Our sincere thanks go out to Jackie, Dawn, Ann and the entire staff at Pagosa Lodge for their accommodating good nature and the excellent service they have provided the Chamber throughout the planning and implementation of Mardi Gras. If you attended, you know that we pretty much took over the entire place with the exception of the restaurant. Thanks for everything.

Congratulations to Clifford Lucero who was named Citizen of the Year and to Ron and Sheila Hunkin who were honored as Volunteers of the Year. Certainly worthy recipients of these time-honored awards.

Congratulations as well to Pagosa Pride winners Shirley Brinkman with Edelweiss Needlework Chalet, Terry Shumaker with Junction Restaurant, Karen and Tracey Bunning with High Country Title, Jerry Sanders and Curt Fleming with Piano Creek Ranch, Rick and Jody Unger with Copper Coin Liquor, Matt Mees and Bill Dawson with The Spring Inn, Diana Smith with High Country Real Estate and Mare Perouty and Yale Espoy with Isabel's.

Prize for Best Female Costume was awarded to Cass Wright who was adorned in a gorgeous Victorian ensemble, and Best Male Costume honors went to Michael DeWinter, the most colorful court jester in the nation with his black, white and red costume. I was most impressed with the number of costumes and beautiful masks worn that night, and for future reference, you can count on another Mardi Gras next year.

Very special thanks go out to my evil twinster, Betty Johann, for allowing me to adopt the Mardi Gras theme she used so effectively for the Board of Realtors annual meeting. She shared not only her own decorations but her considerable creative talents as well. She single-handedly put together that stunning stage in the Ponderosa Room and allowed me to wear one of her wacky dresses and boas that evening. I am ever so grateful to my little pal for her generosity and humor.

Thank you to Morna, Suellen, Lauri Heraty, Terry Smith, Ken Harms, Tina and Robert Soniat, Michael DeWinter, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, and Matt Bachus for their help in hours of decoration/tear- down time. Thanks, too, to Nathan Trowbridge and Michael Heraty for their work as balloon runners. It was a collective effort and lots of fun but hard work for all. Next year things will go much faster since we know what goes where. Thanks to the over 200 partygoers who joined us and we look forward to even more next year.

Swing band

This Saturday night you can head to Pagosa Lodge once again to attend the Big Band Swing Dance featuring the Jeff Solon 1940's Big Band with guest, John Graves, on piano. Pagosa's own Debbee Tucker Ramey will join the stage that night as well. The Big Band sound has once again gained tremendous popularity, so this is your big chance to jitterbug your little hearts out. Tickets for this event are $22 in advance and $26 at the door, and you can contact Nan Rowe for ticket information at 731-9548. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Colorado League's Voter Education efforts and are tax deductible. A cash bar and complimentary canapes will accompany this evening of great vintage music, and we hope you will be able to join the swingin' group on Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m.

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

More info on St. Valentine's Day Dinner Theater

I talked briefly last week about a St. Valentine's Day Dinner Theater to be presented by the Pagosa Players and The Kings Men. Well, here's more information. The dinner theater will take place on Feb. 14, in the Ponderosa Room of Pagosa Lodge. Curtain time will be promptly at 8 p.m.

The Pagosa Players and The Kings Men will present Jack Sharkey's delightfully, light-hearted and fast-paced recent Broadway comedy, "A Gentleman and a Scoundrel," directed by Zach Nelson and starring Michael DeWinter, Valerie Quick and Scott Quick.

"A Gentleman and a Scoundrel" is the story of Fred Dickson, a young product analyst, who is in a bad financial bind, which even his boss, and sometime sweetheart, Jenny Corell cannot solve for him. Unable to get an increase in pay, Fred hits on the scheme of hiring on at the office in the guise of Texan "Rick Laredo," so that, as his own assistant, he can get two salaries for one job. Complications arise when Jenny proceeds to fall head-over-heels in love with "Rick," leaving Fred as his own love-rival. (As he observes, "That woman is two-timing me . . . and so am I!") Things grow even more complex when Basil Pronker, the company's credit-check investigator, discovers that Fred is banking double what he actually earns, and tries to ferret out the extra source of Fred's income from "Rick" and Jenny. How Fred manages to foil Basil, win Jenny's heart, and dispose of love-rival "Rick" make up the fast-moving plot of this hilarious romantic comedy. This is a G-rated play, so bring the whole family to enjoy the hilarity.

Live dinner music will be provided by Melange of Denver. Those of you who saw The Pagosa Player's summer production of Taming of the Shrew will remember fondly the fresh and whimsically lulling soft sounds of this musical group. Melange has recorded four CD albums and has provided music to audiences throughout Colorado, the Southwest and northern California.

If all this sounds just like what you want to do for Valentine's Day, get your tickets right away. No tickets will be sold at the door. The all-inclusive ticket price is $24 per person and advance reservations are to be made with Michael DeWinter at Pagosa Lodge (731-5262) or Chez Pagosa (731-4141). I forgot to mention earlier that beer and wine are available, though not included in the ticket price.

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has one vacancy for a volunteer position on its board of directors, for a term expiring in July 2002. The board is inviting interested PLPOA members who are in good standing and permanent residents to apply for this vacancy. Application forms may be obtained from the association office in person or by mail. Applications must be returned to the Association office by 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 31. It is the board's intention to interview all applicants and appoint the new director at the regular board meeting in February.

I talked briefly last week about a St. Valentine's Day Dinner Theater to be presented by the Pagosa Players and The Kings Men. Well, here's more information. The dinner theater will take place on Feb. 14, in the Ponderosa Room of Pagosa Lodge. Curtain time will be promptly at 8 p.m.

The Pagosa Players and The Kings Men will present Jack Sharkey's delightfully, light-hearted and fast-paced recent Broadway comedy, "A Gentleman and a Scoundrel," directed by Zach Nelson and starring Michael DeWinter, Valerie Quick and Scott Quick.

"A Gentleman and a Scoundrel" is the story of Fred Dickson, a young product analyst, who is in a bad financial bind, which even his boss, and sometime sweetheart, Jenny Corell cannot solve for him. Unable to get an increase in pay, Fred hits on the scheme of hiring on at the office in the guise of Texan "Rick Laredo," so that, as his own assistant, he can get two salaries for one job. Complications arise when Jenny proceeds to fall head-over-heels in love with "Rick," leaving Fred as his own love-rival. (As he observes, "That woman is two-timing me . . . and so am I!") Things grow even more complex when Basil Pronker, the company's credit-check investigator, discovers that Fred is banking double what he actually earns, and tries to ferret out the extra source of Fred's income from "Rick" and Jenny. How Fred manages to foil Basil, win Jenny's heart, and dispose of love-rival "Rick" make up the fast-moving plot of this hilarious romantic comedy. This is a G-rated play, so bring the whole family to enjoy the hilarity.

Live dinner music will be provided by Melange of Denver. Those of you who saw The Pagosa Player's summer production of Taming of the Shrew will remember fondly the fresh and whimsically lulling soft sounds of this musical group. Melange has recorded four CD albums and has provided music to audiences throughout Colorado, the Southwest and northern California.

If all this sounds just like what you want to do for Valentine's Day, get your tickets right away. No tickets will be sold at the door. The all-inclusive ticket price is $24 per person and advance reservations are to be made with Michael DeWinter at Pagosa Lodge (731-5262) or Chez Pagosa (731-4141). I forgot to mention earlier that beer and wine are available, though not included in the ticket price.

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has one vacancy for a volunteer position on its board of directors, for a term expiring in July 2002. The board is inviting interested PLPOA members who are in good standing and permanent residents to apply for this vacancy. Application forms may be obtained from the association office in person or by mail. Applications must be returned to the Association office by 5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 31. It is the board's intention to interview all applicants and appoint the new director at the regular board meeting in February.


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 not a recycling center

There has been some erroneous information given out that the library is a recycling center for newspapers and magazines. We are not accepting any printed material for anything other than use for the library.

Please do not bring any paper products to the library that belong in the dump. We have a table in our foyer for people to trade magazines and that is all. We do not want anything that is not current and interesting to our patrons.

Planet Earth

We have a book with exquisite pictures of our earth taken from a satellite. "Planet Earth: the Macmillan Atlas," presents completely digitized maps that display the world with accuracy unprecedented in publishing history. See the world's color as it appears from space.

Kate Terry gave us this beautiful atlas in memory of Harold Farrah. We invite all of you interested in geography to enjoy the recent advances in computer cartography.

Word traveler

Carole Howard, our resident globetrotter, slowed down long enough to write an update to her comprehensive book, "On Deadline: Managing Media Relations." This compendium of good public relations advice is updated to deal with the global aspects of today's business. You'd be surprised how many small businesses here in our part of the state have international ties.

Howard's book gives credit to local people: to Debby Tully, who gave her information about the Oklahoma City Fire Department, and the Library Staff for help with research. We in turn thank Carole for giving us PR help on various projects. Anyone with serious business aspirations should read "On Deadline."

"There I Was"

This is the title of Wes Huckins' newly published story of his experiences as a combat bomber pilot and prisoner of war in Germany. Wes is a local resident who felt there weren't many left to tell the stories of WWII. Wes was drafted five months before Pearl Harbor into the Coast Artillery. The story takes him through being an aviation cadet to life in the prison camp, and back to college on the GI Bill. We thank Wes for his donation of "There I Was." It may be checked out.

How's the air?

The annual state air quality report is in. Archuleta County had no violations. The report goes on to tell that our entire western slope has only 501,100 population. It is an interesting report on the entire state. Ask for it at the desk.

Magazine for women

Cheryl Gaer Barlow wrote a feature article for the magazine, "Alaska Men USA." Suellen Loher and Cary Diane Ellis also have photographs with the article about Pagosa Springs. The March issue features interesting and exciting men who are single and available. Pagosa presents ten men who fill that description. Come by and find out who these ten are before they're taken.


Financial help came from John Regester in memory of his father Chuck. Mr. Regester sent a substantial donation to our book endowment.

Good materials came from: Margaret Rouke, Lili and Dave Pearson, Bill Clark, Fran Jenkins, Betty Hillyer, Donald Mowen, Sue Davis, Barbara Carlos, Addie Greer, Mary Lou Sprowle, Carolyn Hansen, Evelyn Kantas, Rusty Ryan, Barry Thomas, Barbara Carboy, Kathy and Hollis Davis. Thanks to all.

And please remember, we need materials in good condition that our patrons will use. We are not a recycling center.


Arts Line

By Jennifer Galesic

Three more days for artists sale, photography contest begins soon

Are you one of the millions of culturally, yet financially savvy Americans, who simply enjoy a bargain in the way of purchasing priceless art? If so, perhaps the Artists Liquidation Sale at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery at Town Park is right up your alley.

The sale features unique works of at least 14 local artists, clearing everything out at 5 to 50 percent off regular prices. With only a few days remaining, stop by the gallery, today through Jan. 29, between the hours of 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and take advantage of tremendous savings.

Photo contest

The 12th annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Photography Contest will commence Feb. 5, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. All interested parties must submit entries to Moonlight Books no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 2. Keep in mind the contest is open to all professional as well as amateur photographers. There are a total of 11 categories with prizes being awarded in all. Additionally, there will be ribbons awarded to three lucky students; one each for the best photo taken by an elementary student, a middle school student and a high school student. For all of the particulars pick up an entry form at the PSAC gallery at Town Park, Moonlight Books, Photo and Sound, or Mountain Snapshots.


Rehearsals for the Pagosa Pretenders' March production of "Arabian Nights" are now in full swing. Casting is complete. However, there are still several opportunities for you to participate. There is a need for volunteers in many areas behind the scenes, from backstage and props, to backdrops and costumes. The Pretenders is a wonderful means of experiencing theatre, as a family, from a creative and insightful standpoint. For more information or to volunteer, please call Susan Garman at 731-2485.


The Pagosa Players and the Kings Men (PPKM), a resident theatre company of local actors, actresses, musicians and technical people, was founded in March 1999.

If you are interested in being a part of PPKM, there will be a general casting call on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Lodge. Any questions, call Zach Nelson at 731-3300.

Thank you

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council would like to extend a world of gratitude to longstanding Artsline writer and friend, Jan Brookshier. As this very busy and talented lady moves on, we wish her the best in her future and much success in all she pursues.


Exhibit applications for this year are available at the PSAC gallery and at Moonlight Books. Incredibly, there are still show dates available in March. For the best selection of exhibit dates, or to inquire about a March date, please contact Joanne at 264-5020. All messages will be returned.

Artists who have participated in the Artists Liquidation Sale must pick up all unsold items by Feb. 2.

The PSAC gallery at Town Park will be closed for the month of February. Be sure to catch information on upcoming exhibits in Artsline throughout the month.


Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Seniors go to FLC for laughs

We have some wonderful employees here at the Senior Center and they try very hard to plan events and provide bus transportation so our seniors have the opportunity to get out and enjoy them. On Friday, Feb. 4, there will be a comedy at Fort Lewis College, "Second City Comedy Troupe" for which there will be bus transportation leaving the Senior Center at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. Please sign up right away if you desire to attend so Cynthia will know whether there is enough interest for the trip to go, or whether the trip should be canceled. If any of you desire special entertainment or events, please let Cynthia now so she can include it in her list of plans for the seniors.

All those with birthdays in January don't forget the birthday meal will be Friday, Jan. 28. Also there will be a Senior Board meeting on Friday, Jan. 28. Board members please mark your calendars and don't forget.

Reminder - Memberships for this year are available for $2 each. See Wayne Van Hecke, our Membership Chairman, or Gene or Janet Copeland to obtain your membership cards.

Congratulations, Delpha McFatridge - this week's Senior of the Week. Delpha is one of our dedicated volunteers.

We missed Dorothy O'Hara on Monday - Dorothy treats us with her piano playing most every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is such a treat and we thank Dorothy for her efforts.

It was nice to have Inez Seavy with us on Wednesday, Carolyn Beach and Audry Martinez on Friday, and Ray and Madeline Finney, Kathy Wendt and Dennis Hunt on Monday. We hope you can all come again soon.

We are happy to hear that Irene Woods is home after being hospitalized.


Hiking with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Flu's gone and it's fitness time

First off, many thanks to all the wonderful concerned people who offered sympathy and/or chicken soup after last week's column. For the record, we are well, or as well as we ever were, and ready to get on with our lives. And that means fitness!

For several months now, Tom and I have been talking about "getting in shape." This body I'm lugging around is not the one that three years ago hiked the 90 miles from Wolf Creek to Silverton, carrying a 50-pound pack. This body does well walking a 3-mile loop around the neighborhood. I want to blame living in Nashville for my lack of enthusiasm for exercise, but I know that's just a cop-out. Or perhaps I can blame the knee that's been giving me trouble.

Anyway, we want to hike next summer. We want to look lean and mean when it comes time to don shorts and take to the trails. So for the millennium year we joined the PLPOA recreation center. Then we went a step further and signed up with personal trainers, a guy for him and a gal for me, who could evaluate our fitness levels and prescribe an appropriate regimen.

My first session with my trainer got cut short, due to illness. A week later, feeling like a new woman, or at least like the old not-sick one, I went back for the rest of my introductory workout. Debbee was very encouraging. "You were fit not so long ago," she said. "It shouldn't take too long to get back there again."

So here's the routine - three times a week work through all the machines to get a full workout. And to feel pain uniformly the next day. Twice a week do some aerobic exercise. I have a complicated formula for figuring out my "target heart rate," but I haven't quite gotten there yet. Get too tired. I can blame that on the altitude, right. Altitude is always a good excuse.

A few years ago I was here in Pagosa for a couple of weeks, and some well-meaning friends organized a nice little day hike. Well, it was nice for them. From where we parked the cars the trail seemed to go straight up. There were five of us. Two were fast hikers and soon disappeared. Two were medium-paced hikers. I tried to keep up with them, panting a lot and falling farther and farther behind. Finally I gave it up.

The plan was to go up this mountainside, have lunch, and come back down. If I didn't make it to the top, they'd be back for me at some point. Besides, I was the driver. I had the car keys. Nobody was going to abandon me and get away with it. With those thoughts, I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the hike. I stopped to admire the flowers. From time to time I sat down and looked across the valley, admiring the different shades of green between spruce and aspen and grasses. I went on a little farther, and, lo and behold, there were my companions. Deep snow had blocked the trail. Nobody was going to the top that day.

Keeping up with the pace set by others can lead to resentment and ill will. So can forcing others to keep to your pace. It's just not worth it.

Last Thanksgiving, Tom and I flew to Dallas to join our daughter in the 28th Dallas Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Emily and her father jogged, he for three miles, she for the entire eight-mile loop. I walked the 3-mile loop along with the old, the young, the infirm or out of shape, the parents pushing strollers, the dog walkers. Most of the dogs were of the larger sort, and many of them had registered for the race and wore their Turkey Trot T-shirts. The shirts were long-sleeved, but a lot of the owners had cut the sleeves off, so that the dogs would be more comfortable. One stingy owner tied her own shirt on the dog's back; I guess she intended to wear it herself later. Well, maybe I misjudge her. Perhaps the dog was registered in the race, and she just came along to keep it company.

There were lots of small children and babies in big sturdy three-wheeled strollers, the kind with the front wheel on a long axis way out in front, to minimize drag and increase turning efficiency. Children above the age of six or so were too big for these high-tech strollers and were forced to walk. A child who might have plenty of energy to run around outside all day playing with his friends, can get awfully tired after eight blocks of crowded walking, seeing only the backs of the adults ahead of him.

I heard parents exhorting children - "Just a little farther. C'mon, it's not so bad." Usually these parents looked pretty trim and athletic and wore Spandex tights and running shorts. You could tell that they were anxious for their children to like the same activities they did, and to do well at this jogging thing. They'd probably been waiting eagerly for their offspring to reach and age where they could all hit the streets together.

There was one father who resorted to bullying his little boy. "Suck it up, Alex. No pain, no gain. You'll be glad you did." Alex looked ready to sit on the curb and cry.

And there was the pair I passed with less than half a mile to go.

Dad: "I'll race you to that lamp post."

Daughter, about eight years old: "Okay."

Off they went. Dad shuffling. Daughter's long blonde braids swinging.

Dad: "I won."

Daughter: "No you didn't. I won."

Dad: "No, I did."

Daughter: "You stopped too soon."

Dad: "Okay. Maybe you're right."

I smiled to hear them. That's one kid who'll come back willingly next year. And so will I, lean and mean. Maybe. Right now, I gotta run. It's time for my workout.



Changing attitudes

Archuleta County is growing - even booming - and we love it or hate it. We enjoy our county's special qualities

and respect the strong desire of the people who live here to preserve the things they love. We also respect the desire of others to come here to live. But, as we see more development, more lights, and more traffic, we fear that there is less care being taken to nurture those special qualities that we love so well. So we grumble about it with one another. And we worry. Some of us try to find a way to warn others of what looks like a runaway horse coming our way. But it is difficult to find the right place to begin. How can we come together to corral the horse? Who will lead us?

That leader does not have to be found. He/she is here. That leader is each of us. True leadership cannot be achieved from the top down but must be taken on at the personal level. It has to happen in every family, neighborhood, school, church, business, and health care facility. It begins with changing our attitudes toward our neighbors and ourselves. It requires reclaiming the building and nurturing of community that we put aside to pursue the materialistic aspect of "The American Dream." In that process we grew accustomed to an increasing sense of powerlessness. It's time to take up our stewardship again - treating every other as an equal, working together with respect and dignity.

Where do we begin? We start where we know we can make impact - with ourselves. Ask yourself a few questions and demand honest answers: Do I take full responsibility for who I am? . . . how I feel, think, act? Do I know the difference between desires and values? . . . need and wants? Do I just complain when I don't like what is happening? How much responsibility do I take for what gets done in the community? Am I an asset to this community or just a hanger-on?

We as individuals form our communities and governments - and they in turn mold our lives. We want our institutions not only to restrain us but to enable us. To reach that goal we must go past shortsighted, narrow vision. None of our citizenry wants Archuleta County to become a traffic-light strip-along-the-highway town or a fantasy resort area or a hodgepodge of mushrooming development. And, the final insult with this sort of growth is that the promised financial benefits rarely occur. We have seen these things happen to other quiet, unique spots in Colorado, and we worry that it will happen here.

We must learn to look further down the road, working together to get a glimpse over the horizon. As we combine our views and accept full responsibility, we can create a broad vision to include every component of the whole of life. In Sir Edward Gibbon's account of the collapse of Athens, the birthplace of democracy, he judged that, in the end, more than they wanted freedom, the Athenians wanted security. Yet they lost everything-security, comfort, and freedom . . . because they wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them. The freedom they were seeking was freedom from responsibility. To nurture the Archuleta we love requires that we take on that responsibility. Lauren Huddelston

Editor's note: Lauren Huddelston resides in Pagosa Springs. She describes herself as being a "sustainability strategist" who helps interested parties develop new frames of reference in climates of ongoing, rapid change.


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Keeping an eye on the pilgrims

Dear Folks,

Please stop reading . . . . No wait a minute. I used that last week.

Still, I encourage you to read the comments Lauren Huddleston expresses in this week's guest editorial.

They have been sitting in my office since last summer. The upcoming public workshops on developing a reasonable vision of Archuleta County's future make them most appropriate.

An enjoyable aspect of this job is that all sorts of folks drop by to visit.

Often they are highly educated with a wealth of interesting experiences, extensive educations and years of success in various academic fields.

I found it easy to listen to Mrs. Huddleston, though I filed some of her terminology away for future trips to the dictionary.

She was able to express with a smile what I had been pondering with a frown - the pilgrims are bringing change to Pagosa.

Eighteen years ago the folks at the SUN underwent an annual suicide mission. For want of a better title, it was known as the "Progress Edition."

Back then, compiling a four-section edition stretched us to the breaking point. These special editions were mailed to all of our subscribers plus everyone whose names appeared on Pagosa in Colorado's mailing list. The press runs for each section ran to around 10,000 copies.

I'm probably exaggerating the numbers, but it became more trouble than it was worth.

Having plenty of time to think is one of the dividends of long press runs and countless hours collating sections. Appropriately enough, a lot of time was spent thinking about the word progress.

Eventually it became obvious that what a lot of folks were considering as the progress of Pagosa, in reality was the irreversible change of Pagosa. In time, I somewhat accepted the change.

I also realized, that somewhat like beauty, it is the eye of the beholder that determines whether change is positive or negative. It became obvious that to some folks, whether change is positive or negative, is determined by the amount of profit.

Next month a new round of "workshops" will be held to discuss likes, dislikes, retaining, changing, balance, maintaining and how they related to Archuleta County.

Evidently it's already been decided that public meetings should be replaced by "public workshops." The name for the gatherings are unimportant. It is the public input and rationale expression of public concerns that are important. But even these factors are somewhat inconsequential.

Years ago, before meetings progressed into becoming workshops, Betty Feazel warned an audience that having sound rules, regulations and restrictions were of utmost importance in protecting our waters and open lands. The same was true of the penalties that were imposed on those who might decide to disregard or circumvent the regulations. Then she made it clear that even more important, was the integrity and viability of the person or persons who implemented and enforced the regulations.

Having individuals bent on circumventing state and county subdivision regulations are by no means a new development for Archuleta County. In the past, such individuals tried to work around the county's elected officials.

That's what's disconcerting about the upcoming county commissioners election. I'm sensing a change that in no way resembles progress. A person's background of service to the county party or reputation in the community are no longer factors.

No longer is there a concern over which party controls the county commissioners office, today the push is on to determine which economic faction controls the county.

An "Archuleta County Community Plan" with 20-20 vision towards the future will become worthless if the persons elected to implement and enforce the plan are blinded and controlled by the real estate-related interests within the county.

Like my sight and hearing, maybe the years around the keyboard and presses have dimmed my senses, but there is something that doesn't look right to me.

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


25 years ago

Jaycees sponsor snowmibile races

Taken from SUN files

of Jan. 30, 1975

The Jaycees sponsored snowmobile races last weekend drew estimated crowds of over 200 spectators and participants on Saturday and Sunday of last week. The races were held on the school recreation complex located south of town. Len Anderson and Bob Curvey were the race directors for the event. Mencor Valdez did the announcing.

The number of skiers buying lift tickets at Wolf Creek Ski Area this season is mounting steadily. At this time more than 20,000 skiers have enjoyed the snow at Wolf Creek. Snow conditions are the best of any ski area in Colorado. A full-day lift ticket costs $6.50, and the area is seldom crowded.

A January thaw last week was followed by snow, winds and cold temperatures this week. Late Monday night high winds hit here accompanied by heavy snow to cause near blizzard conditions. The winds caused visibility on the highways to drop to zero and many of the roads were iced over and slick. Vehicles in the ditches were numerous and two large transport trucks were stalled for several hours on Put Hill west of town.

The TV Committee reports that it's time for local television users to pay their annual $20 dues. The funds are used to maintain translator towers on Oak Brush Knoll that provide television transmission to most of the local users. The Pagosa Lions Club sponsors the project



By Shari Pierce

Allison gang escapades continued

The escapades of the Allison gang, continued from last week.

The gang proceeded to rob the inhabitants of Chama, N.M. Allison reportedly saying, "We merely want all your money and whatever goods we can carry away on our horses. My friend here will stand guard at that end of the street and my friend here will stand guard at this end. They will shoot to kill any of you who attempts to leave this pleasing scene. I and these two friends will take up a collection. I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind attention." This speech was followed by Allison and gang members Perkins and Watts going from business to business "robbing every man, every till and every safe." The gang then rode out of town.

In May, it was reported the gang held up the east-bound stage 4 miles west of Pagosa Springs. The gang netted about $500, some jewelry and gold watches, and a bank draft for $3,300 from the 10 passengers. Following the stage hold up, the gang robbed the J.V. Voorhees store in Pagosa Springs increasing their take by about $450.

Returning to the scene of the crime, one week later, the gang robbed the same stage in the same canyon, 4 miles west of town.

On May 28, they stole three horses near Amargo, N.M. One of the horses belonged to the governor and was valued at $1,000.

The crimes committed by Allison and his gang prompted Colorado Governor Pitkin to offer a $1,000 reward for the capture of Allison and $250 for each of his accomplices. The stage company offered an additional $250 reward. The gang, along with over 20 other suspects from unrelated crimes, were indicted by a grand jury and warrants issued for their arrests. A district attorney passed the warrants along to a sheriff who subsequently traced the Allison gang members to New Mexico. A plan was made and executed which led to the arrest of Allison and his gang.

They were reportedly taken to Alamosa where they were tried, convicted and sentenced to 37 years each. This was the end of the Allison gang.

According to Ward, Perkins was pardoned after serving eight years of his sentence. He went to Trinidad "where he amassed a small fortune in a saloon and gambling house." After 10 years Allison was pardoned. He went to Butte, Mont., where he lived under an assumed name and became a bartender. Watts was also pardoned after 10 years. He went to Arizona where he joined a band of train robbers. He was killed in a robbery attempt.


Video Review

By Roy Starling

Duvall's Apostle answers the call

Hollywood has found out through the years that it's next to impossible to please all the Christians all the time. It's pretty easy to see why when you consider the broad spectrum of people who claim the title.

There are Christian One-Wayers and Christian Anywayers. There are Christians who believe in a narrow path and those believe the doors to the Banquet are thrown open to everyone. Some Christians define themselves by their beliefs, others by their actions, others by a combination of the two.

Look at the variety of responses evoked by movies about Christianity. Some Christians were gladdened by Martin Scorsese's "Last Temptation of Christ" because it explored Jesus' humanity. Others protested it by buying bumper stickers reading "God Will Not Be Mocked" and by refusing to Ride the Movies at Universal Studios' theme parks.

Some objected to the sympathetic treatment of Judas Iscariot in "Jesus Christ Superstar," some praised the film for its portrayal of Jesus as a revolutionary figure and its use of '60s pop lingo to update the Gospel message.

Some thought "Inherit the Wind" raised important questions about the study of science and the Bible, others felt it gave an unfair depiction of fundamentalists.

Some enjoyed Cecil B. DeMille's epic "The Ten Commandments," others laughed at DeMille's attempt to combine a pious message with a series of scenes involving half-nekkid women dancing. Personally, I'll never forget NRA president and Bud Light spokesperson Charlton Heston as Moses, his hair growing ever whiter and more stiffly moussed with each divine encounter. DeMille's movie also taught me that God spoke English in a deep bass monotone.

Finally, there has recently been some hootin' and hollerin' over Kevin Smith's "Dogma," in which angels use salty language, God stoops to using some of the dregs of society to accomplish His will, and the Creator of the Universe is played, briefly, by an often angry female rock star (for those who plan to see the film, I won't reveal her name). The film also privileges faith in action over strict adherence to doctrine and dogma. Smith, incidentally, is a serious practicing Catholic.

Even though I don't think it was his intent, Robert Duvall &emdash; perhaps America' s finest actor &emdash; might have finally bridged the gap between the various camps of believers when he wrote, directed and starred in "The Apostle" (1998). Consider the following scene, for instance:

Sonny (Duvall), who will eventually become The Apostle E. F. and form the One Way Road to Heaven Holiness Temple, sees a Catholic priest blessing the fishing boats somewhere on the coast of Louisiana. He shakes his head and chuckles, saying, "You do it your way and I do it mine, but together we get it done, don't we?"

Certainly, much of Duvall's story focuses on tent revivals &emdash; which will strike some viewers as little more than show business malarkey designed to work a bunch of gullible rubes into an emotional frenzy &emdash; and on evangelical Christians and conservative, rural fundamentalists, but if it stopped there it might be of little interest to a large portion of the population.

What fascinates us and keeps us watching "The Apostle" is its major character's sense of calling, his unwavering belief that God tapped him as a 12-year old, recruiting him as a lifelong soldier in the army of God.

We see the depth of Sonny's conviction in a number of ways. When he has problems (and he has some major ones), he doesn't just take them to the Lord in prayer. He pleads, he implores, he rails, he demands, he shakes his fist. "Lord, I am mad at you," he shouts. "I am mad at you!" As his mother says, "Sometimes Sonny talks to the Lord, sometimes he yells at Him."

In this sense, he's something like Job. Both characters believe they have a legitimate beef. Come on, they're saying. I'm one of the good guys. I'm your servant. Why do you have to make my life so hard? Both get roughly the same answer: "Trust me. It's none of your business."

Sonny is pushed out of his rowdy Dallas church and out of his old life when he catches his wife (Farrah Fawcett) in an infidelity. Later, Sonny has a little too much to drink and uses a baseball bat to send his wife's lover on to meet his maker. This indiscretion makes Sonny run and puts him on the road to a spiritual journey. He tells God, "Wheresoever thou leadest, I will follow."

He drowns his luxury car (a Lincoln Continental, I think) with its personalized license plate ("Sonny"). He fasts. He takes the liberty of baptizing himself as an apostle of the Lord. "I am your apostle now until eternity," he says. With C. Charles Blackwell, a retired black minister, he starts the aforementioned One Way Road to Heaven church.

As Sonny goes to work preparing his new church and as he preaches and evangelizes, it's clear that he has become a new person. Put another way, he has become himself, the self that God has called him to be. Only when he performs his calling, his vocation, is he truly at home in his body and mind and place. Serving God is where Sonny lives and breathes and has his being.

I think this skeptical, allegedly secular age finds such fierce conviction refreshing. I think we like that. If we're lucky, we do something with our lives that makes us feel that way, or we live for the day when we can.

Not that Sonny is without sin. Like his predecessor in film Elmer Gantry, he is, by his own admission, "a sinner and a womanizer." We catch him in a few lies and we hear him hawking phony religious relics over the airwaves. But in none of his roles &emdash; writer, director or actor &emdash; does Duvall judge him. He doesn't ridicule or belittle Sonny's "old time religion." Instead, he does something Hollywood has never done before: He tells the story from the Apostle's point of view. Consequently, Sonny is a believable, fully realized human being, and viewers care about him, whether or not they share his particular take on Christianity.

Like Sonny, "The Apostle" is not without sin. It contains some false starts, loose ends and extraneous scenes. As Karl Isberg, a noncompliant property owner and fellow art critic, first suggested to me, the sequences involving Duvall's friend Billy Bob Thornton seemed to have been tacked on as an afterthought, and they add absolutely nothing (but melodrama) to an otherwise good story.

Just so you know, while Duvall was filming "The Apostle," Thornton was making "Sling Blade" not far away. Duvall shows up briefly in Thornton's film as the intellectually challenged Karl's demented father. In a kind of tradeoff, I guess, Thornton appears in "The Apostle" as a hot-headed bigot who's ultimately just trying to find the Lord in his own special racist sort of way. Give me a break.

But, brethren and sistern, let us forgive the film its sins. Duvall's Christ-haunted performance alone is enough to elevate "The Apostle" to a state of grace. It has a gallery of colorful characters ("Sling Blade" co-star Rick Dial as a radio station owner is one of my favorites), moments of tenderness and humor, and a conversion scene so powerful that it's been known to move viewers who don't know Jezebel from Ruth, the Nicene Creed from the Communicatio Idiomatum.

I hope you'll feel called to rent it this weekend.

Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Karl's shed unsightly, unapproved

Beware the bull that gores the haystack.

I feel dirty, but relieved.

And in my relief, I have found enthusiasm.

Finally, someone took a step, grabbed me by the collar and yanked me out of a precipitous downward spiral.




It was my property owners association. Specifically, the Phantasm Ponds Property Owners Association, out here in Phantasm Ponds - "the little community that really isn't, but acts like it is."

My deliverance arrived Friday in the form of a letter from the Environmental Covenant Control Inspector, and it was not a moment too late.

The Inspector informed me that my property in Phantasm Ponds harbors an "unapproved storage shed." Furthermore, The Inspector determined the "unapproved storage shed" is "unsightly." Action is necessary, wrote the Inspector, or a fine will be forthcoming.


I don't recall asking to be inspected, but my relief was palpable. This situation has hung around my neck like a millstone and the inspection will save me.

The information provided by The Inspector is nothing new: In the seven years since the decrepit storage shed was put behind my house, I'm the only person who has approved of it. And, whooeee, is it unsightly, or what?

My wife has been on my case for three years to get rid of the shed and I confess, for that reason, I used my delay as a potent domestic irritant.

I was wrong.

My neighbors in Phantasm Ponds have not said anything about my shed, but I'm sure Jerry and Barbara, Pete and Julie, Ian, Vicki, and Lorraine have wanted to put pressure on me. It is only their gracious natures (and the fact none are ancient enough to be obsessed with the myth of "property value") that have prevented them from taking action.

I was wrong to treat them so poorly.

Thank goodness The Inspector and the Phantasm Ponds Property Owners Association were not similarly constrained. They recognized my shed as more than merely unapproved and unsightly.

They recognized it as a cry for help.

Because of them, I am going to do what my wife wants and remove the tragic personal statement from my yard this spring.

In the meantime, with a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, I am on the road to recovery and as part of my reformation, I have changed my mind about the Phantasm Ponds POA and its covenant control efforts.

I want to help.

The new me senses enormous value in tending to the affairs of others and, for several days and nights, I've worked feverishly on a plan to improve the operation of the PPPOA covenant control operation - making it more efficient as it usurps the rights and responsibilities of the association's feeble constituents.

I've assembled a variety of visual aids - transparencies, graphs, charts loaded with statistical evidence, the results of polls taken of befuddled property owners at public meetings, as well as a portfolio of architectural drawings - and I will make a presentation to the PPPOA Grand Directorate in the near future. In the meantime, I've composed the following letter to the Inspector; I hope he will pass it on to his superiors in the PPPOA hierarchy.

Dear Inspector:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful covenant violation warning. Due to your intervention, the quality of my life, the life of my family members and the life of my all-suffering neighbors, will improve rapidly. You are to be commended for the upstanding manner in which you perform a task essential to the well being of the residents of our community which really doesn't exist. On behalf of all residents of Phantasm Ponds, I offer you my profound gratitude. Keep up the good work; our property values would collapse without your worthy labor.

When I informed my acquaintances of my new attitude toward the association and my admiration of your activities, their response was uniform: they perceived you as an errand boy for fools - people in whom a relative ease of existence produces a vacuum that can be filled only by the minding of other people's business.

I find this a bit harsh, don't you?

I'm on your side. I say, "You get 'em boy!"

To assist you in your noble duties, I've worked out an extensive overhaul of your department, its policies and procedures. I anxiously await a meeting at which time I will provide you with details. Until then, allow me to summarize.

As I see it, we must step up efforts to condemn those poor wretches among us who are unable to manage their personal or social affairs. The sooner we correct the situation, the better. Rather than hoping residents will take it on themselves to correct problems on their properties and in the vicinity of their properties, we must step in and do it for them. Our national government has proven time and time again that action from above provides the most expedient and economical solutions to human problems. Our national government can't be wrong. We can't be wrong.

As I see it, our activity must focus on three elements: Image, Enforcement and Reeducation. Let's consider my ideas in that order. When I meet with you and your infinitely wise overseers, I will have a plethora of audio and visual aids at hand to illustrate my points, making it easier for those members of the organization who cannot read to understand our mission.


An examination of the history of the royal families of Europe shows us the need for precise trappings; the mantle of power must reflect the ability of the wearer to exact immediate and horrible consequences. This notion was streamlined by several nasty social giants of the mid-20th century - Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, et al. What use is it to wield absolute power if you don't dress the part, if you don't possess the proper symbols? When appearance and reality coincide, you are in the driver's seat. Make a note of this.

First, consider your need for a proper insignia.

My friend Milton Lewis ceased all profit-making artistic activity this week at his downtown gallery and devoted hour after hour to the task of developing the right insignia, the right logo, an image to make manifest the nature of your calling. Milton succeeded brilliantly! He designed a shield-shaped field on which is emblazoned a highly-stylized dual lightning bolt crashing down from the sky to destroy an unapproved storage shed. Let anyone whose eyes regard this symbol tremble and obey! A simple graphic image speaks volumes, don't you agree?

Next, the uniform.

I've executed watercolor sketches of potential uniforms, each in harmony with a season of the year. Inspectors require a veneer of authority and I believe my designs will help you project a paternalistic but less than patient presence.

For the winter months, picture this: a one-piece black jumpsuit with epaulets. Paired with knee-high jack boots and black leather gloves with winged cuffs, this outfit screams dominance. An ascot is mandatory. I worried over the proper color for an ascot and decided on two - claret and Prussian blue - the color choice to be made by the Inspector as he assesses his mood prior to going out on his rounds.

When it comes to a cap, I am positively giddy about the Central American General look, aren't you? The peak of the hat stretches skyward in an exaggerated arc, its tip seeking the heavens and contact with divine resources. On the bill of the cap, a swirl of ornate golden boughs and intertwining tendrils represent the complex duties performed by its wearer.

In the more temperate months, the uniform is a fawn brown in color. The hat . . . a jaunty kepi with bold concentric circles of color - claret and Prussian blue - on its flat top (the better to be seen from the covenant control helicopter). Our Inspector will wear shorts so he won't overheat while in pursuit of his prey, as well as knee socks replete with a zippy fringed sock garter tab in a color to match his ascot. As with the winter outfit, the summer/spring ensemble features dramatic epaulets graced with a silver shoulder cord.

Add the right vehicle, and the image of power is complete!

Imagine the spectacle confronting an offender. Imagine you are an unruly resident of Phantasm Ponds. You sit on an inverted plastic pail on your dilapidated and unapproved deck, dressed in a pair of boxer shorts and a wife-beater T-shirt, sipping a Grapette. Into your driveway pulls a black Humvee. There is a bar of emergency lights on the roof of the vehicle, numerous spotlights bedeck the side panels at the front of the massive doors. A loudspeaker is mounted on the Humvee's front bumper and from it blares:"Put down your Grapette. Do not place the bottle on the railing of your deck as this violates article 7, section D of the Phantasm Ponds restrictive covenants. Put your hands on top of your head, walk three steps past your front porch, then drop to your knees."

You do as you are told.

Out of the car steps The Inspector.

You struggle to catch your breath. The black-clad specter unrolls a scroll and he reads: "On behalf of the Grand Directorate of the association and my immediate superiors on the Environmental Covenant Control Supreme Tribunal, I hereby deem your structure unsightly and not in harmony with your dwelling. You are a bad, bad person and you must be punished. If you fail to report to the ECC bunker by 0100 hours on 14 March, you will be summarily denied all association benefits and members of the Grand Directorate will shun you when they pass you in the grocery store."

(Actually, it is best if summonses, warrants and notices of covenant violations are delivered at approximately 3 a.m. Roused from a deep sleep, the recipient is confused, defenseless. File this suggestion for future use.)

With your new image, you will transcend confrontation, you will occupy an Olympian throne. Birds will drop from the skies. Magma will pour from cracks that open in the earth.



I propose a reorganization of our covenant enforcement process to ensure that residents of Phantasm Ponds understand their places in the social pecking order. Heretofore, we have the group of sages on our ECC Tribunal and our noble Inspector holding the fort against social disorder. This is not enough.

We need a complex organization of informants. I propose neighborhood "cells" as the foundation of this organization.

Each neighborhood in Phantasm Ponds will hold a mandatory meeting of property owners. At the meeting, a dictate from the Grand Directorate will be issued, requiring every property owner to spy on adjacent neighbors and report weekly to a neighborhood cell leader - preferably someone without a real life who is willing to sacrifice soap opera time to snooping and snitching. There are plenty of candidates in Phantasm Ponds.

Cell leaders report to a subdivision commandant who analyzes information and passes it on to the ECC Tribunal. At the same time, the subdivision commandant has the discretion to engineer a campaign of public humiliation against an alleged offender. Nothing beats a dose of peer pressure, eh?

During the summer months, when local school children are on vacation, I propose an ECC Youth Corps be mustered, with Phantasm Ponds youngsters between the ages of 8 and 18 drafted for service. Each neighborhood will have its own "Youth Cadre" under the guidance of an adult cell member in need of a sense of self-importance and control. The cadre will hold "maneuvers" three days each week, with cadets marching in formation through the neighborhood, seeking out covenant violations and spray-painting derogatory phrases on "unsightly" structures and "unapproved" fences.

Once word of an offense makes its way to the newly-constructed ECC Bunker and the Tribunal, the Inspector will serve a warrant and a hasty trial will be scheduled.

Interrogation of suspects will take place in the Tribunal Chamber with the suspect lashed to a stool and bathed in bright halogen light while members of the Tribunal, clad in silver mylar robes (I have drawings!), render judgment from a dais raised six feet above floor level. Regardless of the answers proffered by the slacker, conviction occurs quickly and sentence is passed: a hefty fine, a trip to the reeducation center, and public service consisting of gardening duties at the home of a member of the Phantasm Ponds Grand Directorate.

Once convicted by the Tribunal, the offender will have a placard hung around his or her neck bearing a handwritten confession and apology, and he or she will be paraded through a gauntlet of mocking Phantasm Ponds residents gathered in the courtyard at the front of the ECC Bunker. Members of the Phantasm Ponds Grand Directorate will be seated on elaborately decorated chairs on a balcony above the courtyard. Following the public spectacle, they will throw recreation center passes to the happy throng.

The big question, of course, is what to feed the mob? What good is a property owners association if it cannot feed a mob?

Members of the Grand Directorate and the ECC Tribunal will adjourn inside the bunker following the weekly humiliation of offenders, where they will dine on roast squab, joints of mutton and beef, and spices from the Near East. For dessert, a palate cleanser of blood orange sorbet with basil.

Members of the mob will be given Lorna Doones and bottled water. They will be allowed ten minutes to enjoy their cookies and liquids then dispersed with blasts from the PPPOA water cannon.


What is the value of social humiliation if there is no follow-up - no effort by the community to reorient its strays?

The Phantasm Ponds Reeducation Center will be located at the end of North Pagosa Boulevard. Surrounded by an ECC-approved electric fence, the center will contain color-coordinated barracks and work centers. In the work centers, under claret and Prussian blue flags bearing the Phantasm Ponds motto - "Possunt, quia posse videntur" - convicted covenant offenders will manufacture hand-stitched muskrat moccasins and a variety of curios bearing the likenesses of members of the Grand Directorate to be sold at a shop located just outside the entrance to the center. Proceeds from curio sales will be used to purchase Lorna Doones to feed the mob.

Inmates at the reeducation center will be monitored by gangs of armed teens who chant sections of the covenants and restrictions en masse, reading their selections from small red books. If association geneticists are successful in their attempts to create a strain of cold-weather rice, inmates at the reeducation center will be put to work in a system of paddies located in the wetlands adjacent to Lake Hatcher.

Inmates will also be subjected to a horror beyond description: They will be forced to sit through monthly meetings of the Grand Directorate and to take notes at numerous Directorate "work sessions." They will be required to memorize select comments made by members of the Grand Directorate and to repeat the phrases on demand. It is a fate worse than death!

With punishment like this in store for offenders, dare I say there will be little civil disobedience in the little community that really isn't. Smart-alecky intellectuals and libertarians will soon learn to hold their peace and to fall into step.

What do you think?

Do any of my ideas stoke the fire of your zeal?

I know I can be of some help to you. Our joint effort will be the coup de grace delivered to doubters, the cap stone of a great venture.

Incidentally, as a favor while you wait for me to make an appointment to meet you at your office, would you mind doing some research on the following topics?

1. Are there any PPPOA restrictions limiting the burning of effigies at the summer solstice?

2. If a cock-fighting pit is stuccoed and tinted the same color as the adjoining residence, is it in compliance?

3. Do our covenants give the association a cut of proceeds earned by backyard smelters?

4. Am I allowed to keep critters down by the ceeement pond? Do the restrictions recognize reptiles as critters?

5. Can moats contain gasoline or similarly volatile substances such as jet fuel?

Looking forward to your response, to our meeting and to a productive partnership.

Your faithful servant, fellow PPPOA member and new champion of the ECC,



Old Timers

By John M. Motter

Militia needed to tame outlaws

Many tales of outlaws and bandits highlight the folklore of the West. Mostly because of Hollywood movies, a few of these tales are household treasures. Who hasn't heard of the gunfight at the OK Corral, or of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or of Wild Bill Hickock and Deadwood? Everyone knows about Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War.

Not so well known are the outlaws who frequented the New Mexico/Colorado border during the late 1870s and early 1880s. Nevertheless, the havoc wreaked by these desperados nearly brought the region to its knees. Not one, but several outlaw gangs galloped along the lonely mountain trails of the San Juan frontier. Many factors contributed to the proliferation of crime.

Southwest Colorado and Northern New Mexico were a new and untamed area. Distances between towns and law enforcement officers were huge. A new railroad snaking into the area tempted outlaws with its payrolls and single men. Gold and silver ores were being shipped from a number of mining camps in the San Juans. Men on the remote frontier customarily wore and used firearms.

An early Durango newspaper editor wrote, "There is probably not a man in Durango who does not carry a double action six-shooting revolver. When they congregate every night at the various resorts it is a matter to be wondered at that there is so little bloodshed. Western men. . .value their lives little more than they do those of others, and are ready on suitable occasion to risk them."

Among the better known outlaws were the Allison Gang, the Stockton Gang (with several names), and the Jimmy Catron Gang. Fitting into the mix was the feud between the Trubys and the Cox's, a confrontation almost as deadly as the shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone.

The Allison Gang worked mostly in the San Luis Valley, in Chama and Pagosa, and along the route advancing the Denver and Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Their favorite for-profit activity was holding up stagecoaches. The Catron Gang apparently worked from Chama to Durango, taking whatever appealed to them. Stockton seems to have worked from Chama to Durango, also. The Stockton Gang invested their criminal efforts in the stock market, said stock belonging to neighboring ranchers. Some of the Stockton Gang members, including Ike and Porter Stockton, may have been involved in the Lincoln County and the Colfax County wars before toting their six shooters to San Juan Country.

The San Juans provided refuge for outlaws made uncomfortable by the arrival of enforced law and order in other parts of the West. The Truby/Cox shootings seemed to be confined along the Animas River and centered on Cedar Hill.

Adding to the mess was the deadly loathing many cattlemen and sheepmen felt for each other. A number of killings occurred during cattlemen/sheepmen confrontations. Many more unrecorded killings may have resulted from this rivalry, not to mention the slaughter of cattle and herds of sheep.

Shooting brawls were almost common place with itchy trigger fingers trading lead down in New Mexico Territory all along the border, in Animas City and then Durango, and westerly to the Utah border. Add a few scraps between whites and Utes and the result was a frontier stew made up of gunmen of all kinds and spiced with hot lead.

Things got so bad, the abused citizens cried out to New Mexico Territorial Governor Lew Wallace for help. Wallace was governor of the territory from 1878-1881. Better known for his military exploits during the Civil War and for writing "Ben Hur," Wallace responded by ordering the New Mexico Militia to bring law and order.

General Max Frost galloped up to Tierra Amarilla with five soldiers and enough arms and ammunition to equip a local militia. For several weeks Frost traveled around Tierra Amarilla and to the Bloomfield area where the Porter Stockton gang was causing most of the trouble. He found the villages in the Los Ojos area as quiet and orderly but Chama was "very lawless and disorderly with shooting all day and all night." A grand jury was convened and indictments brought against Stockton and several of his gang members.

Eventually, the inevitable happened. The vast majority of settlers were law abiding and their desires for law and order prevailed. Just as it did in the rest of the Wild West, civilization came to the San Juans.



Deanna Roth

Just in time for the new millennium! Deanna Roth of Pagosa Springs is proud to announce the birth of her beautiful daughter, Katlyn Marie Roth. She was born on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2000, at 9:37 p.m. weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measuring 19 1/2 inches.

She was welcomed home by her excited grandparents Alan and Jeannie Roth.

Kayla Elise McKeen

Kayla Elise McKeen was greeted into the world by parents Jason and Kim McKeen on Dec. 14, 1999, at 6:28 p.m. in Durango, weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring 18 1/4 inches.

Proud grandparents are David and Shirley Murrey of Showlow, Ariz., and Linda McKeen of Long Beach, Calif., and Jim McKeen of Hemet, Calif.

Jason and Kim appreciate and sincerely thank Kayla's many friends who helped welcome her home.


Business News

Touchstone Pottery and Gifts

Verna Lucas, the owner and operator of Touchstone Pottery and Gifts, opened her business on Jan. 21 at 136 East Pagosa Street, in the River Center.

Touchstone Pottery and Gifts features stoneware and porcelain pottery created by Lucas, with functional and decorative art pieces available. The shop also offers pottery and decorative items produced by other Pagosa artists.

Lucas creates a full range of pottery items and includes many of them in specialty gift boxes. Examples of gift boxes are a combination of a salsa and chip bowl, with salsa; a box containing a tea pot and a selection of teas; and a coffee specialty box, with mugs and gourmet coffee. Salsas and chips are sold at the shop.

Touchstone also offers a selection of candles, handmade soaps and handpainted silks.

Business hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The phone at Touchstone Pottery and Gifts is 264-0550.


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